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Thread: Website building

  1. #1

    Website building

    I'm going to launch my own small business shortly, and obviously I'll be needing a website (online shop, blog, feedback and testimonials, etc) Anyone built their own from scratch? Or would you recommend I have someone do it for me?
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  2. #2
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    I would recommend buying a managed service from the likes of GoDaddy or 1and1. They are simple, templated - and they work. It means you have control of content - but you just type it in and the site does the rest - easy to do.
    Bespoke websites can be expensive (while designers faddle around with colours, pictures and fonts, charging by the hour) - and take time and effort to maintain. This last point - you will need to maintain it, but you can grow your site as you need using a templated version - to start at least. You will have more than enough to do in the start up phase without worrying about web design.

    Buying into the email service and things like O365 can also be very cost effective in the long run.
    Nooooooooooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!! Our main weapon is.........

  3. #3
    Cheers Eric. I've run a couple of forums in the past, but a live website is something new to me. Appreciate the advice
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  4. #4
    Eric has made some very good points.

    I also see folk making effective use of Facebook for small businesses. It's worthwhile looking at what your competitors do. Don't underestimate the level of effort that will be required to keep your on-line presence current and secure. Do back up whatever you decide to do. Do give some thought to where you will appear on Google searches. Do give some thought to how quickly you will respond to queries.

    Good luck.

    JCS

  5. #5
    Thanks JCS. I was intending to use FB as part of my approach. I know you can get a website to link to email addresses, Facebook, Twitter, etc (which reminds me, I don't currently use Twitter but I should probably start, hey?) I wouldn't have a clue as to how to start going about linking stuff like that though. The main reason I'd like to try it myself is to maintain complete control over both the site, and the length of time it takes to update and/or edit it. If someone else is building it I could potentially be waiting an age to have images uploaded or content edited.

    Appreciate the input! Any and all advice gratefully-received
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  6. #6
    What Eric said.

    I use Wix - easy to use editor, loads of templates and apps plus reasonable fees. Even quite advanced looking sites can be built pretty easily these days.

    http://www.wix.com/

  7. #7
    All good advice here.

    We made our own website 18 months ago (Design company so was relatively easy) but 6 months ago we upgraded it by getting a web designer to make it. For us we need to be found easily in Google searches and that is all about SEO. As much as we understand SEO and Meta Data you really need some help with the guys that do it for a living to make you stand out.

    My advice would be to decide on a budget. If it is over a grand, get it done for you, allocate a monthly spend on FaceBook advertising (30 should do) and include a blog on your website as Google turns its back on any website that isn't updated at least once a week one way or another.

  8. #8
    Dependent on your business I would advise having your website designed and built for you. We have recently had 3 websites re built from the ground up, costly yes but in relation to other advertising mediums... not costly.
    The right designer and builder will create what you want. I am not very I.T savvy and can upload and change images and text on the new sites.
    If you decide to use a third party, give them a tight brief of what you do and don't want. To be fair, they will probably advise you of elements that you did not even know about that will enhance your website visitors experience.

    Regards

  9. #9

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by N.F.W.M View Post
    Dependent on your business I would advise having your website designed and built for you. We have recently had 3 websites re built from the ground up, costly yes but in relation to other advertising mediums... not costly.
    The right designer and builder will create what you want. I am not very I.T savvy and can upload and change images and text on the new sites.
    If you decide to use a third party, give them a tight brief of what you do and don't want. To be fair, they will probably advise you of elements that you did not even know about that will enhance your website visitors experience.

    Regards
    Ed is correct in as much as you will get a more focussed view and a more personal presence - but sometimes this takes time to come out in terms of what you want for your business. Times change - and once you go the designed route - more effective though it may be - you are on a path of no return. Better to start small and ensure that you are clear on what you want to be - and are definitely going to get the revenue from your site before you invest heavily in it in your start up. You can always move to something more bespoke when you are established. One other thing to mention is that you will still need to decide where and how your site is going to be managed if you go the bespoke route - so consider all costs. For me the benefit of the managed service is that while not completely original, it allows you to bring in new chunks of content/capability as and when you need them at known cost. A well designed site is a thing of beauty - but not for the faint hearted. As a minimum and regardless of end route, I would plan out the image you want to portray and how your site will do that better than your competitors. Also - try and avoid making it a jack of all trades thing. Focus it on one aspect. You can always take email orders and look just as efficient with a manual process. When something goes live on a site, all the processes have to just work. If the links aren't right for PayPal or Sage or whatever for payment, you will lose custom - whereas a promptly responded to email will deliver a more personal service. Lots to think about.
    Nooooooooooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!! Our main weapon is.........

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