madbass

website building advice

11 posts in this topic

I am considering starting up my own website, using a web hosting service like Homestead. Can you guys that have your own sites offer any do's or donts on this. I am quite inexperienced in computers. Thanks.

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Homestead has a nice interface for beginners, pretty easy to use. Not a bad choice there. Are you looking to design it your self or have someone else do it. The tools that Homestead include you can probably do the basics your self. If your looking to have someone do it, or need any help, PM me.

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Madbass -

I am a professional web designer and developer. I am not familiar with Homestead but I have used similar services. I build and update online stores on a regular basis. Here are some options and pros/cons that hopefully will help you out. You are obviously computer literate because you use a message board, but I am assuming you have never done any photoshop or html coding.

OPTION 1 - Use a web-hosting service that provides tools to create your own website/store.

This package will often include: web hosting, shopping cart, credit card processing, email, etc. The pros to this is that you can do it yourself. You control your site and you know how to update it. The con is that it will take your time. If you have a lot of free time than it's no problem. But if not, maybe you'd prefer to pay someone to create/work on your site instead of doing it yourself. Maybe you'll make more money if you spend that time making lures. The other negative to this option is that your site will look templated or cookie-cutter. I would recommend this option to someone who makes their own stuff and wants to have a website to sell their lures but does it more as a hobby than a serious source of income.

OPTION 2 - Hire a web developer to build your entire site.

I definitely would not recommmend this for any hobbyists. The pros to this is that your website and store will be exactly what you want - custom built to your specs. Cons - expensive.

OPTION 3 - Somewhere in between.

This is what I recommend to most of my clients - someone who is willing to invest some money into their site but can't afford an entirely custom-built site. I (or the professional designer of your choice) builds your store using a web hosts' templated system (option 1). The difference between me doing it and you is that I can customize the look and feel (graphics, colors, fonts, etc.) of the website to make it look more professional than the typical user's site. After the site is designed, I have some clients who have me update their site for them and others do it themselves.

OPTION 4 - Number 1 with a little help.

If you feel comfortable with #1, but you want a little something extra to make your site stand out you can pay a designer to create a logo and custom header graphic for your site. This can be done pretty inexpensively and will give your site a nice touch.

For anyone that runs their own site: take good photographs. I can't stress this enough, it makes a big difference. If you can afford to pay a photographer to do it, even better. (A college student might do it for cheap or someone like myself may do it for trade of product.)

Marketing and advertising

- Once you get your site up you'll need people to find it. You need to have good meta keywords and description in order to show up well on google and similar search engines. Do a search for "search engine optimization" for tips on better search engine placement.

- You can place a text ad on google for as little as $1.00 / day and it will increase traffic to your site.

- Use forums like this to promote your business. Put an ad in the classifieds section (cheap), put your url in your profile and signature, people will click on it.

Like anything else, you get what you pay for. Feel free to pm me with any questions.

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Thanks Sinbad. That info really helps me out and gives me something to think about. If I decide to hire some help, I'll give you a shout. And yes, this is mostly hobby, earn a little extra money, while work is slow.

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Thanks Sinbad. That info really helps me out and gives me something to think about. If I decide to hire some help, I'll give you a shout. And yes, this is mostly hobby, earn a little extra money, while work is slow.

Your welcome.

I am more than happy to give free web advice to any members here. It's the least I can do to repay all the free advice I get here :) Just pm me...

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There are some very nice templates you can buy if you're on a tight budget. Here is one such example:

http://www.coolhomepages.com/store/

You add your content to someone else's design. It's pretty cheap too, and you get a decent looking site. Don't expect traffic from search engine's though. There are some online resources that you can spend some time reading to help you learn how to do that on your own. Hiring someone to get you traffic from search engines can get costly.

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I think Sinbad provided you with some good advice. I built my own web site but it took me probably a week of tweaking to figure out the software and to be perfectly honest I still know very little about the business of HTML. I use microsoft frontpage to build my page but I think this software is pretty outdated now..........is that right Sinbad? One thing I really like about having control of my own site though is that I can change it at any time.

Jed V.

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Jed,

The whole software development cycle is based on a continous spiral concept based on as little as a 9 month rotation process. As soon as product is getting shrink-wrapped, the designers are working on the next release. During the software boom of the late 1990's programer's were trained to deliever the "95 percent" product. It would work okay, but folks can always download "updates, upgrades, & patches" and think of it as "product improvement" not as just finally fixing a long list of known bugs. Some of the best software profits every came as a result of the Y2K scare. All the hype of adding two extra digets to the date field.

Before you pitch your current version of MS Frontpage, ask yourself a few questions...

1) does it still give you what you want to keep your sight updated and looking like you want?

2) if not, what exactly do you want the software to do that it doesn't do now... If it was a problem, was a bug fix made available?

3) before you advance with a new product, how much going backwards are you going to do just reach the same starting point.

The nice thing about software programming was there were so many

languages out there that on most Monday morning flights programmers from across the country were cramming with a new "how-to for idiots" book trying to keep up with the promises the marketing folks had sold a customer on.

The funniest words from a programmer's mouth during a software requirements meeting were, "They told you it would do WHAT???"

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Re: Dont's,...dont make the site public until you have it up to speed. Nothing will cause loss of interest much faster than a poorly or 1/2 built site.

Re: Do's,...make a good first impression.

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Speeeed. Fishing lure sites are about the pics and we want them big and fast. You don't have to fill the screen, but I cannot get any information off a postage stamp (square sticky thing, used by snails).

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