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Pls help this newbie get started on her website

Discussion in 'Web Design & Development' started by piscespassion, Dec 27, 2010.

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  1. piscespassion

    piscespassion Thread Starter

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    Ok, I seriously need some advice...
    I'm a newbie at website building. I just started a small business advertising online and am getting a decent response from the field I'm targeting. However, I'm unsatisfied with the website builder my web host provides, and the templates are not to my liking either. In fact, I've read some pretty negative reviews lately regarding my web host altogether, so...
    I figure I should make any changes necessary "now" since I'm still in my initial stages of my business and my website altogether. I could really use some advice on a good web host (not too expensive, pls), and I realize I might be better off "paying for" a template, so of course I'm willing to do that (also not too expensive, pls).
    Now... the "getter" for me is an HTML editor. I assume I need one if I purchase a template, correct?
    As you can see, I'm currently "lost", and I would so much appreciate some help with this part because this small business is a "goal" for me. All suggestions are welcome.
    Thanks much,
    Rosa~ :eek:
     
  2. Hughv

    Hughv

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    Post a link to the site so we can see what you have so far.
    I've used A Plus Net and Go Daddy for years with no problems at all, and the prices are competitive.
    Many people say Dreamweaver is the way to go with HTML editors. I prefer a more manual approach, but you'd have to invest some time in learning HTML and CSS.
    I think you should hook up with a designer to get you started properly.
     
  3. clearcomms82

    clearcomms82

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    The sooner you start the better, I think.

    Getting a professional designer to help you would be good - but it may cost more than you want to pay.

    If you want to do it yourself don't think of Dreamweaver (it's great. But it's also complex and expensive)

    I'd suggest you look at Serif's WebPlus Starter Edition. It's free, and it has a range of free templates.

    You can find it at http://www.serif.com/web-design-software/

    I have no connection to Serif, but the software I have used froim them has always worked well, and this one has a good reputation. If you want to go on to buy the latest version, it won't break the bank, either.

    As to hosting, I use JustHost.com - not expensive, excellent customer service, and very good uptime; what more can you ask.

    Good luck
     
  4. lordsmurf

    lordsmurf

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    Always a bad assumption. The price of Dreamweaver could easily be more than the cost of a basic site. I've done sites for as little as $200, and it's going to be FAR better than somebody's first-time attempt of playing around in HTML software. What I do also uses a CMS, so it's easy for the client to make their own changes. I'll further work with the client on how to use the site, text and image use, what should and should not be on it, where to get reliable hosting, etc.

    Professional can be expensive, but it really depends on the needs of the client.

    Never assume professional = too expensive for me.
     
  5. clearcomms82

    clearcomms82

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    I agree completely - that's why I didn't assume that. Yes, I did say "Getting a professional designer to help you would be good - but it may cost more than you want to pay." I don't know what piscespassion can afford, so I'd say it again.

    Not sure that lordsmurf read my posting properly, actually, since I also specifically said Dreamweaver wouldn't be a good idea, and suggested a FREE alternative.

    I have no idea of the economics of this particular situation - but free options exist. Shouldn't we mention them? They are unlikely to produce a result as good as that from a seasoned professional. But they MAY be all that can be afforded, and they only involve the investment of time.

    I have the better part of 50 years experience in the communications industry, and I know the value of a good pro. But doing it yourself can have advantages, even if it's harder work.
     
  6. ehymel

    ehymel

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    I have to echo the sentiments of lordsmurf... the time to learn html & css & related technologies is NOT when you're starting a new business, *especially* when that business is online. Hiring a pro, even for a moderate expense, will likely cost much less than all the business you would lose from a poorly-designed site. And newbie sites are almost always poorly designed if you consider ease of use, utility, SEO, visual appeal, etc.
     
  7. piscespassion

    piscespassion Thread Starter

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    Hmmm, that's who I'm with "now"... but I've been reading some reviews, and here's a quote from one of them:
    [people saying they have been scammed and there sites gettin shut down without warning etc etc. Some saying as soon as they started gettin 200 visitors a day there site was immediately shutdown without warning,and to get it back up they need to upgrade their account to $150 a month.
    people saying its not a real company,some saying the customer service is diabolical ie,they dont speak english,dont respond and dont help you with your queries and so on.
    ]
    Now the latter comment, I can relate to... I've been in "binds" where I really needed to talk to them, and they don't answer their phone (numerous times), plus I tried to renew my contract but on a month-to-month at one point as I looked at "others", but they charged my CC for the annual anyway and kept attempting to charge me a monthly fee as well! It would post on my account as "due" also. Again no answer to my phone calls, so I wrote them an email and they never responded, they just took it off the "due" status, but a live person would've been nice, as well as an explanation... for "that" and for charging me the annual without my permission.
    So needless to say, the first comment by this quoted customer seemed realistic "to me"... wadyathink?:confused:
    PS: Are you using their website builder and/or templates?
     
  8. piscespassion

    piscespassion Thread Starter

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    Hmmm... I almost hired you right here on the spot! (lol) Sounds pretty fair to me... Can I connect with you, should I decide at some point I need you?;)
     
  9. clearcomms82

    clearcomms82

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    I live in France, so I've never phoned them, but had excellent support via live Chat and e-mail - indeed they fixed a problem for me today. In under two hours from first contact.

    They do tend to keep asking you to upgrade, but I simply ignore it. I've never had a problem with traffic. I have 7 or 8 sites there, none of them the kind that gets very busy, and so far it's been great.

    I don't use their website builder or templates - I use Dreamweaver. But whoever your host is, the Serif free software is worth a look. Most Serif software is effective and easy to use, with good help files.

    My advice, as a long-time communications professional, would be that IF you can afford it, and IF you can find a web designer who will keep your site simple and focus on what you sell and its advantages and benefits, that's the best way to do it.

    But if you're not sure, take a look at something like the Serif software and play around a bit. If it doesn't work well for you, then you have no choice, you need a pro.

    Of course finding one you can rely on can be hard at the budget end of the business, so look at a LOT of their work before you commit to one.

    Posting the address of your site here might also be handy, as was suggested at the start of this thread.
     
  10. piscespassion

    piscespassion Thread Starter

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    Very good points........ thank you.
    PS: I do however have a strong desire to learn it "myself"! I took some basic HTML courses online and I feel confident about eventually learning all I need to (I know it goes further than HTML courses, in other words)... but I agree that this may not be the time to learn it, or else put my business on hold while I do, which isn't a smart thing as I have a small handful of clients set up already... so thanks again.
     
  11. lordsmurf

    lordsmurf

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    Absolutely. (y)

    I used to be the same way. These days, I let the mechanic service my car. I let the pros come to my house to spray for insects and check for termites. I'll have the cable company come out to wire the house. Those people know what they're doing, they have the tools (some of which aren't always available to non-pros), and it just works out better in the end. Been there, done that, made the mistakes, and it honestly saved $0 when all was finished.

    The only way to run a successful business is to know when to rely on other professionals to get you where you need to be. Sitting over a computer learning HTML isn't really something you should be doing unless your business is designing/developing web sites. Do your own business instead. Put your efforts there.

    Had you said "I want to start a new hobby site", understand I'd have said to use WordPress or some other silly little free tool, patted you on the butt (figuratively speaking), and sent you on your way. Too many people give the non-serious "hobby advice" when it comes to needing a site for serious endeavors. Remember that if your business site looks like crap, your business is seen as amateur. So ask yourself, is this site for a business or a hobby? If a hobby, do it yourself. If a business, don't treat it like it was a hobby.
     
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