This discussion is locked
Post a new topic
29 Replies Latest reply: Apr 8, 2012 1:09 PM by Moderator Berta RSS

Website For new small business

Dancemoves Novice
Currently Being Moderated

My sister in law An I are in the very early stages of starting our business. We have no idea how to start or hire someone to make a website for our business. I was thinking of finding a student and hiring them, we don't have a lot of money to put out for this right now, but know that we will need one. Any suggestions on how to get started? It's a mobile dance studio that goes to daycares and preschools. We are working on our flyers and ads. I did some research on my own about websites and now I am feeling very over whelmed. Please help.

  • Re: Website For new small business
    abuschel Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    Congratulations on starting your business. You should explore Google Sites, https://sites.google.com . You can design and host your site there for free.

     

    You should also consider how you will accept payments and how to track responses to marketing campaigns, among other topics.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Alex Buschel

  • Re: Website For new small business
    Moderator_PaulR Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello,

     

    When making a new site the first thing you are going to need to figure out is budget.   Some good web designers will charge $1000 and up for just the design and you still have to get hosting.

     

    What I would recommend is maybe find some design students at your local college.  They should be pretty decent by that level but still not charging to much and if you find a good one they will walk you though the process of getting hosting too.

     

    Good Luck!

     

    ~Paul

    • Re: Website For new small business
      Dancemoves Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Wow 1000! I don't have that to do right now, thanks I will look at the local college near by.

      • Re: Website For new small business
        LWKathyF Novice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Dancemoves,

         

        You can save yourself a lot of money by looking into Wordpress and purchasing yourself some hosting space with places like addaction.net or HostGator.  Wordpress is very user friendly and most hosting providers have it setup in their admin panels for one click installation.  Then look for designers that you can purchase a wordpress theme from.  One I can think of offhand is elegantthemes.com.  Learn the program and manage your own space.  It will beneficial in the long run to spend some time researching the above.

         

        Kathleen

      • Re: Website For new small business
        jc212gonzalez Novice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Save even more by getting a wordpress design and use the tutorials online to do the management of it. Just like the idea you came up with, took some research and design, if you place just a tad bit of time you can even for go the college student route. I worked for a business incubator and know that as much as you would like to not spend time on this.. you will have to, even if simple; research and then decide.

  • Re: Website For new small business
    Dancemoves Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks everyone this info has been very useful can't wait to get started.

  • Re: Website For new small business
    Grunt Websites Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    The days of having students build websites for businesses are long gone. Your online

    presence is cruical to your businesses success, don't trust that with just anyone.

     

    SCORE offers free online workshops and how-to-guides for small busines owners

    on developing a web presence. I recommend you take a look. http://ebusinessnow.org/

     

    Best of luck in your new venture,

    Greg

  • Re: Website For new small business
    transcribe Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Today creating a website on wordpress is very easy. You can save your starting capital and instead spend those on creating content and promotion.

    • Re: Website For new small business
      mtjalloh Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated

      I  interested in creating a website for a not for  profit educational  institution. What  will be  the set up cost

      • Re: Website For new small business
        jc212gonzalez Novice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Mt Jalloh,

         

        Use the wordpress website template & then look for a designer that could modify the website for a discounted fee [yes, they are some.. I am not into dropping names though] worst case use the free templates that some hosting companies use and use the cpanel to modicy it.

        • Re: Website For new small business
          AffordableWebsitesDenverLLC.com Newbie
          Currently Being Moderated

          There are plenty of decent free WordPress themes/templates you could use. But you need to be comfortable with WordPress as the engine powering that theme. That's why, if you are not already familiar with WordPress, I would recommend getting the local webbie guy to copy and paste text for you and set it up and then let you make whatever updates you wish  in the future using WordPress.

           

          This is the best way to go. Too many people pay hundreds or thousands of bucks for a lousy-looking website (or cheap looking) and then have problems when they want to update it or make changes. Then they have to hire someone to update things. Or they go with Vistaprint or Website Tonight and get a generic looking brochure website. It's much easier to get a theme made for you, plug it in to a hosting account, set up WordPress on your host server, and then learn WordPress basics so you can take over from there.

      • Re: Website For new small business
        AffordableWebsitesDenverLLC.com Newbie
        Currently Being Moderated

        Costs are:

         

        $80 per year for hosting. If you don't like that amount, it's the lowest there is out there. WordPress.com will let you host for free, but will delete your website (as they did to me before) if they believe it is a business of any kind and not just a blog. BlueHost is good. I prefer GoDaddy simply because they're the biggest and have 24/7 customer service.

         

        Domain name is $10 to $15 per year, per name. Go with a .com and nothing else.

         

        Theme/template design should average no more than $300 to $500 unless you want e-commerce and flash. Maybe add another $200 or so for changes and training/upgrades/updating, and you should be set.

         

        When I meet with clients, I tell them exactly what I charge by the package or by the hour, and tell them they have to be willing to pay for the hosting, domain name, whatever else they may want. I prefer the open, up-front approach. Most people want to shop around until they eventually forget about it, or they go with Vistaprint or Website Tonight, or some "free" service that puts ads all over the place; but it's better to go with quality and pay a little bit in my humble opinion.

  • Re: Website For new small business
    Moderator Berta Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dancemoves,

     

    There is a lot of helpful information here. Did you find what you were looking for?  How's your website coming?

     

    ~Berta

  • Re: Website For new small business
    AffordableWebsitesDenverLLC.com Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    This is right up my alley. I would strongly recommend you take a few steps if you still can:

    • Sign up for a hosting account with GoDaddy.com. They're huge and will not go out of business any time soon. They're not perfect, but they are reliable. It'll cost you on average $80 per year for a good hosting account.

     

    • Next register your desired domain name. The domain name should match your company name ideally. If you can't find an exact match, put LLC or something denoting location at the end of the name. For example, our business is Affordable Websites Denver, LLC. So we registered affordablewebsitesdenver.com, and affordablewebsitesdenverllc.com. This is usually $10 to $15 per year. If your desired name is reserved or on back-order, move on. Don't waste your time with .mx or .net or whatever types of names. People don't understand them and they are not as popular as the .com.

     

    • Find someone locally to create a nice WordPress theme for your site. Get WordPress for Dummies and read it. Have them upload their theme to your GoDaddy.com server/host/account with you present, so you can get all the usernames and passwords needed. Set it up with a Linux, MySQL database and have WordPress installed in it, then you upload your created theme.

     

    • The web designer can do the basics and get you up and running, then you can learn WordPress easily and learn how to update it yourself for free after that.
    • Re: Website For new small business
      LWKathyF Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      While I agree that hiring a web designer is a good practice, *if* you are going to have a hard core website with many products.  The average user can get a functional website built using wordpress with a weekends worth of dedicated research time.  It's not that hard.

       

      Most hosting companies handle the install so there is no fiddling around with Linux, MySQL or other indepth programming knowledge.

       

      If the average user took their time and went step by step they can have a very functional practical website that meets their desired needs in a reasonable amount of time before digging too deep into their pockets.

       

      Wordpress alone has an experienced community of programmers and average users that are willing to help you along at no expense.

      • Re: Website For new small business
        AffordableWebsitesDenverLLC.com Newbie
        Currently Being Moderated

        LWKathyF,

         

        You bring up some good points. I'll address them one by one:

         

        It is true that you don't need to hire a web designer to create a theme for you...if you, the business owner, are happy with a basic one-page website that looks fairly basic. Most professional business people do not know HTML coding, are not familiar with WordPress, and don't know how to create themes, even basic ones. That's just been my experience in 10 years or so. You can create very nice themes using HTML, or using free themes online. But once you have them, you won't be able to edit those themes or get them to do much of anything unless you know HTML and WordPress basics. WordPress does not develop or design a website for you. WordPress is a content management system. It is the motor or engine while the theme/appearance of the website and layout is the vehicle. If that makes sense. I'm all for learning WordPress and HTML, but it's important to be clear on differences.

         

        Most hosting companies DO handle the install. You just have to tell them that you want Linux, MySQL, and WordPress installed. That's all. If you don't tell them, they won't know automatically.

         

        WordPress does have an experienced community of programmers that will help anyone and everyone learn the ropes. WordPress.tv is great and WordPress itself even has an online manual.

         

        I just think it's important here that when we're talking about web design and website development to be clear that learning WordPress is not something you can do in a few hours. You can learn to copy and paste and do some basics in a few days, but it takes at least a few weeks to master. Unless you don't have to work full-time; than maybe a week or two. And while you can get a free theme from the web and fill it in, it won't always look great if you don't know HTML and some WordPress.

         

        If people want a cheap website that's basic, I'd go to Angelfire.com, Geocities.com, Wix.com, and try it if they want to. I'd rather pay a few hundred bucks and just have something nice that I can update and take care of myself without having to call someone a million miles away every time I want to add a page or update some pricing information.

        • Re: Website For new small business
          LWKathyF Novice
          Currently Being Moderated

          I like you have been doing web design and graphics since about 1995.  While the average user may not know html coding there really isn't much need for it when using Wordpress.  You can find a ton of themes that are easily manipulated right from the wordpress community:

           

          Wordpress themes:  http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/

           

          Wordpress plugins: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ (and many plugins can be installed right from the admin panel, plus the plugin creators have really stepped up in providing better documentation) Another example of one-click install.

           

          There are hundreds of themes that can be easily manipulated to suit ones needs and are free to do so.

           

          You may not be able to learn wordpress in a few hours but a weekend of dedicated time on how to use the functionality and you are off the ground instead of paying a designer $300-$500 to design a website.  See and if you are going to go into business online, this is where I entirely disagree with you, then one should NOT ever go to angelfire, geocities or wix.  Even recommending someone to go there would be a huge mistake on their part.  My opinion is to empower the small busines owner to take it upon themselves to learn their business inside and out.  This includes their online affairs!

           

          If they took the time to setup their site, learned the aspects of it--there is no reason to call someone every time I want to add a page.  It's two clicks add some copy, and walla you have a page.

           

          There are also hundreds of decent theme creators out there that charge anywhere from $5 a theme to hundreds.  All depends on what you want.  Start small, the more you learn the bigger you can go but just to start out ... there is no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on a designer.

          • Re: Website For new small business
            SMMInc Novice
            Currently Being Moderated

            I somewhat agree with you both:

             

            I agree that it is good to empower a small business owner to do some of the work them self, I also agree that someone who knows what their doing can help them get off the ground and looking professional with out spending hours researching.

             

            If you are a successful small business owner it is because you are doing what you are in business to do...not because you learned to do everything your self.

             

            I own a car, I can do basic maintience on it but nothing too indepth.  That dosent mean I'm helpless if I have to call someone if it breaks down even though I could spend hours researching how to diagnose and fix it.

             

            As a smalkl business owner you should focus on mastering your craft. Remember the saying: If you want to be good at everything chances are you will be good at nothing.

             

            IMO, get some help getting started...dosent matter who but find someone that is willing to help you understand what hey are doing and how you can change/fix your site on your own.

  • Re: Website For new small business
    Dancemoves Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks everybody I have a site through godaddy.com, and now iam onto gator host, and I have downloaded Wordpress. It's slowly com g along, I ave someone working on a logo right now. This site and everyone here have been a lot help thank you again. I will update again soon.

  • Re: Website For new small business
    samb19802000 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi,

     

    Just log on to the www.elance.com and post your requrements with your budget as a job, and there are hundred thousands of freelancers waiting to give theire service.

     

    Simple work, post and watch, select freelancer with lowest cost or highest quality.

     

    Samantha.

  • This reply has been hidden. This can happen if the message has been hidden by a moderator, or has been reported as abusive.
  • Re: Website For new small business
    Dancemoves Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks everyone. I did as much as I could on my own then went with elancers.com and found a great person to work with me on my budget. The site is looking great , but still a work in progress. The best part the contractor gave step by step instructions on how to change things and if I have any questions I can contact him. This expirence went better than I thoought it was going to go.

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Legend

  • Correct Answers - 100 points
  • Helpful Answers - 100 points