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  • Questions about creating a website

    Greetings TG community.

    I am planning to start my own business. The nich is personal training. I will need a website as a cyber office for potintial clients to view in order to become more familair with the services offered. The reason the website is so crucial is that I will not have my own building for persons to visit, but will be an independent contractor in a rehab facility.
    I do not know how to make a website, nor do I know the resources and cost and monthly fees to keep a website running.

    Here are some of the specs:

    1. I will not need it for money transfers. So no need to worry about setting it up for credit card use.

    2. It will consits of mostly text with of course some graphics to give it some flavor.

    3. A liberal estamte on the total pages/ or windows that one can click on and access are 50 pages.

    4. I would like to have admin access to change basic text at my whim.

    5. It would be tight to know the exact amount of persons who visted the sight

    6. I would like to have persons to e-mail the sight. I could just set up a e-mail account with my current internet provider, but this is for personnel use and I could get in trouble for not paying the extra 10 dollars a month for not having the business internet set up. Plus it seems unprofessional to have sight named: name of sight @cox.net. This sounds better: name of sight.com. This looks and sounds more business like and not so cheap. However, Vonage may help me out with this one, see below.

    7. The hyperlinks that will move viewers to other websights and other pages on the website itself are estimated at 25.

    8. I will be using Vonage as a phone and fax resource. Perhaps they offer a business e-mail account i could use. Vonage is good stuff right?

    The way i see it there are a few buisness options i can take:

    1. Pay like 100 dollars a month to a business who focuses on making websites. I simply hand them offer the blue print of the website and how I want it set up and it is a go.
    Bad things about this: I will not have admin access. If something is wrong I have to call and call and try to get them to change it. Plus, the cost is a little high.

    2. A little more personal would be seating down with a with pro business and building the website ourselfs. This allow me to make sure it gets built right the first time, and most likly I can have administrative previlages. I hear tell that someone can mange their site from using the Microsoft word pad. I suppose as long as someone does not mess with the code they will be all righ to do this.

    3. I make the site may self. allowing me to only pay for a domain name, and dues to use a server. The bad thing about this is that i do not know what i am doing. The time to learn this stuff would be too long.


    tips on what I should think about or suggestions on what not to do would be great. Any good webiste on the subject would be tight also.

    thanks champs.
    (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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  • #2
    Re: Questions about creating a website

    Well if you want a proffessional looking website dont make it buy yourself considering you have no previous experience. I would recommend getting one made for you it may cost a bit but that will depend on how large and fancy you want the website to be.

    As for purchasing and domain hosting I use godaddy.com for several site and have never had a problem. They have 3 pacakages to suit all budgets.

    Economy
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    2 months:Just $3.99/mo
    12 months: Just $3.59/mo SAVE 10%!
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    Deluxe
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    • FREE! $25 Google® AdWords® Credit

    1 month: Just $6.99/mo
    12 months: Just $6.29/mo SAVE 10%!
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    Premium
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    • FREE! SSL Certificate, $19.99 value!
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    1 month: Just $14.99/mo
    12 months: Just $13.49/mo SAVE 10%!
    24 months: Just $11.99/mo SAVE 20%!



    Domains are typically $10 a year :)

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    • #3
      Re: Questions about creating a website

      I can vouch for godaddy's hosting and prices. They also offer sitebuilding software that I've read is good, but the evidence was anecdotal and part of godaddy's advertising, so digest with salt.
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      • #4
        Re: Questions about creating a website

        Rick, I'd recommend you look into web design/development companies. Take a look at examples of their work and make sure that the examples you see were purchased at the same cost that you're going to be paying. Usually companies will show their best, most-expensive projects, and this can misrepresent the kind of website you'll get for a cheaper rate (from what you're asking, you don't need a terribly robust website).

        There is no such thing as cheap web design, but there is such a thing as crappy web design. There are lots of people out there that shouldn't be making a profession out of web design but do it anyway. Find a company with impressive design skills. I'm not talking about flashy graphics, I'm takling about usability. Lots of companies can put your information onto an HTML page and throw it up, but you want someone that will make you look good. That's why you're paying a professional.

        Regarding your question about email, most hosting plans will support some email addresses, so it should be no problem to get [email protected].

        Also, many hosting plans come with a stats program, so your web developer should be able to provide you with access to a visitor stats system without any problems.

        You say that you'll need approximately 50 pages of information and 25 links. I recommend you do not approach you web site development in this fashion, and I personally would avoid any firm that tried to charge me per-page or per-link. It is better to get together the material and the vision of your website, and the firm can give you an estimate or quote on cost of development. Especially if you want to be able to modify your webpage to change basic text. This means you'll either use some kind of external program, like Macromedia Contribute, or you'll need a content management system. Most content management systems are built to handle unlimited pages.

        From your description, it sounds like you will be a small business owner with the time or the inclination to manage the changes you want to make on your website. Because of this, I strongly advise you to avoid the first business option you specify, because firms charge a lot of money for minor changes and updates to a site. This will put you into a cycle of having to keep shelling out money every time you want something. To get out of this, you'd likely have to abandon everything you built with that firm and start new with someone building a dynamic website (most firms like this make their money off of these updates and so they have no incentive to empower you to make the changes yourself).

        And finally, I'd recommend looking into local companies. It can make a big difference sitting down in person with someone to talk out what you want, having someone local you can call up and talk to, etc. You may not find what you're looking for, but it's worth seeing what's in town. Also, do you have a friend or anyone who knows about web design? You might ask a friend or an acquaintance to take a look at any company you're serious about.

        And good luck! Websites are expensive!
        [volun]

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Questions about creating a website

          Originally posted by H-Hour View Post
          And finally, I'd recommend looking into local companies. It can make a big difference sitting down in person with someone to talk out what you want, having someone local you can call up and talk to, etc. You may not find what you're looking for, but it's worth seeing what's in town. Also, do you have a friend or anyone who knows about web design? You might ask a friend or an acquaintance to take a look at any company you're serious about.

          And good luck! Websites are expensive!
          This is the advice I was going to give. Aside from the horror stories of dealing with online folks, being able to talk to someone in person about what exactly you want is very important. Nothing to be miscommunicated in emails, no IM's that get missed, etc. Be as precise as you can be with your wishes but not so precise that you limit the designer's creativity.. May be a fine line, but you'll be much happier with your website if you can walk it. I know we have a designer or two on TG, so maybe they'll chime in.

          I think option 2 will be best for you.. Content Management Systems will allow you to post content to a website much like how you post to the forums. Simple web form to fill out with a few simple formatting commands -- the software will take care of the rest. To get an idea of what kind of interface you could use, check out TacticalBlog. It may not be the exact system that you'd use, but signing up for a site and playing around in the admin interface should give you an idea of what's possible. If nothing else, it'd give you a place to put all your tactical ideas ;)

          If you want your head to explode with information on actually hosting a website, check out WebHostingTalk.
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          • #6
            Re: Questions about creating a website

            wow, good intell gang. Very informative. I'll need to save this stuff and put it in my website folder I am working on.

            I live in a small city. Roanoke VA. We have some small business web design/devolopment companies were i can talk face to face with a person.

            good points on not going with option one.

            Webpages are an awsome marketing/ Potintial Client resource to have for the small business owner.

            I would like to have this business functioning by New Year at the latest.

            I am like General McCullion from the civial war. It takes me for ever to do something cause i won't to get the job down right the first time.

            have a good'n.
            (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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            • #7
              Re: Questions about creating a website

              I was going over my Marketing plan and this came up:

              Does one need to register their website with google and other search engines?

              Is it so simple that if someone puts in search for Roanoke, VA. personal training improve fitness there is a chance my sight will come up?

              Not sure how this works.
              (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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              • #8
                Re: Questions about creating a website

                You can register with any of the search engines to get yourself to the top of certain web searches, or a guaranteed listing fairly high up on a page, but that costs a fairly large amount of money. You can also hire a "web optimization" consultant. For a one-time fee, they add meta-tags, extra pages, and other embedded information to draw web crawlers to your site and increase your page rank. They also help you arrange content to attract more links and draw hits, however that can get out of hand - some "optimized" pages I've seen have very little content and just reams and reams of google bait.
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                • #9
                  Re: Questions about creating a website

                  Originally posted by perry View Post
                  Content Management Systems will allow you to post content to a website much like how you post to the forums.
                  This brings up another issue. No offense, Rick, but you need to find someone to look over your grammar and spelling, too. Internet forums are one thing, but if you use horrible grammar on the website that is representing you and your business, your website might do exactly the opposite of what you want.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Questions about creating a website

                    You are 100% correct Cing. Thank you for your frankness.
                    (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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                    • #11
                      Re: Questions about creating a website

                      Looks like I found a good local business.

                      Unlike the others, they have a logical website that gives me a good idea of what they are all about.

                      I am able to navigate it with ease.

                      http://howlndog.com/index.htm
                      (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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                      • #12
                        Re: Questions about creating a website

                        Update.

                        There is a good chance I’ll have a facility to work out of with my sessions, therefore,

                        I am beginning to make a push for the website this month.

                        I called one place that caught my eye and they wanted $800.00 for a home page. I would need to make the hyperlinks, additional pages and such. After, that is, I buy FrontPage (plan on it anyway) Good Lord, what trickery is this? You guys said it was expensive, but heavens to Betsy.

                        One thought that I have been playing around is getting Cox Communications to change my regular civilian account to a Small business account.

                        When talking to some guys at Circuit City (Tech College students and such) they said they could build my website just using Microsoft note pad. Due to the fact that I’ll get a blank website anyway from Cox, FrontPage can be used, I could have them make the site with FrontPage and pay them for their time.

                        This seems renegade like without any business structure.
                        Does this sound like looking into?

                        Either way, I’ll give who ever does the site Admin access and have them build it with me putting text in and all. (Will be using FrontPage)

                        The Cox Small business set:
                        The web space is 10 MB. I hope that is enough. Your thought.

                        They are running a special for 99.00/month for this deal with two phone lines (I would use one as a fax). The speed is 3MBps I think.

                        Plus I’d need to pay for the $24 dollar domain name and extra stuff of course.

                        Also, How much speed do you’ all recommend.

                        It starts as low as $59.00 with 256kbps and goes up from there. I do not have a problem paying money for site that can be easily accessed. Very important not to restrict viewers to the sight.


                        With so many people building these websites and all, seems like it should not be super expensive.

                        I mean $400 dollars for a nice kick arse site seems a worthy price.

                        How long does it take to build these things?

                        I feel like a warrior trying to get a grasp on using a magical wand that has 0 experience points wielding. My sword will do me little good in this realm.

                        Any other thoughts would be helpful.

                        Thanks again TG community
                        (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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                        • #13
                          Re: Questions about creating a website

                          I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about. It sounds like you're confusing your ISP with webhosting. Oh, nevermind, I see that it's a package deal. Well, I just asked my wife and she says she pays $30 a month for her store's website (which has a lot of photos). Her host does design, too, but my wife did her own. She uses http://hyperdomains.net/. You might also want to talk to Apophis about this. For something with a small amount of traffic, he might be willing to work something out?
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                          • #14
                            Re: Questions about creating a website

                            Hey, thanks for the intel.
                            (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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                            • #15
                              Re: Questions about creating a website

                              Greetings.

                              I have all the info I want on the website ready to go.

                              The deal is, it is in "Print Layout" view on a microsoft word.

                              Should I get everything set up for "Web layout" view?

                              If so, this info will be cut and pasted on the website and look just how I made it, right?

                              Thank You for your time.
                              (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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