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    8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 3, 2009 10:53 AM by Brocante64

    Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?

    Brocante64 Wayfarer
      I am no computer expert, but over the past few years I have used the internet as a regular part of my daily life. On many occasions friends and colleagues have approached me to ask about either selling something or "getting their idea" online. When I explained to them (as best I could) not so much the difficulties, but more the cost, of creating a functional website they all basically turned away from the idea.
      It seemed a shame to me that the ordinary "man on the street" couldn't easily avail of this most exciting and powerful medium, so I set about attempting to create something for them. Brocante64.com is my basic concept; just launched, but fully functional, it is designed specifically for the person wanting to sell/advertise their stuff on a really low budget.
      I am well aware that the site needs more functionality options, and these will come in time, but (and I value your comments here) I believe that it addresses the fundamental demands of someone trying to join the eCommerce community.

      In these days of high unemployment and dramatically falling living standards it seems to me that the internet MUST be available to all. Having a website not only provides a potential income, but just as importantly gives focus and hope to the owner - a rare commodity for many people these days.

      My question here is:- can these people expect a fair crack of the whip? With the muscle that Google, Yahoo et al utilise to push their adwords & PPC campaigns, linked with the business interests of the multitude of SEO & web designers, is this concept doomed to failure?
      It appears to me that all these business interests are attempting (and generally succeeding) in making the web somehow elitist - like the golf clubs of old - expensive to join, and, you have to know someone to get your membership approved!!
        • Re: Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?
          NewLookTeam Wayfarer
          I am always caucious of low cost / low budget web solutions, the reasons for me being a web developer are as following....

          1 - A Web Site does have to be asthetically pleasing and most of these low budget ones are.. they serve this purpose well... this is there main selling point... look pleasing and sell a customer on asthertics,.. The WOW factor....

          However in reatily, a web site is sooo much more than looks.. while its draw is important, its functionality, and maintainability are SOOO much more vital to its future, Let me explain...

          Maintainability - How well is the code written, can someone go into the code and modifiy it easily, It is quite often the case with these templates that they are badly written and very hard to maintain...

          Functionality - If the code is aweful, not up to WC3 standards, (please see http://www.newlookwebsites.com/?page_id=395 ) for more details on Browser Compatibility, and Web Standards. Then the search engines (google, msn, and yahoo) will rank you down for slopiness. This is vital for any web site, On-Page optimization is vital, everything from your pages title to H1 tags is vital on a website.

          I think its a Reality, they do exist, however they should be used as an example of what not to do in the world of web developement....

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?
              Brocante64 Wayfarer
              Many thanks for taking the time out to reply to this post. In the main I agree wholeheartedly with your comments; the scam factor is obviously an ever-increasing problem on the net, and, like in advertising, more & more, as you call it, WOW, is becoming prevalent and the unwary are getting duped.
              As you say, the aesthetics are not really as important as the functionality - you would never call eBay a wonderful looking site - and as a web developer I understand your obvious reluctance to endorse the use of Low Cost websites like brocante64.com, but, just look for example at the social networking sites of facebook & twitter; in just a couple of years they have more users than there are functioning websites on the internet.
              As a web developer surely you want to try and tap that market? Offering "high" cost websites designed & maintained by a third party will never entice these people to use the net. However, I believe that sites like brocante64.com WILL, in fact, get these people a first step onto the net - like a training ground, and if/when they make a success of it then they can call you for their all-singing-all-dancing version.
              In these days everyone is trying to earn a few bob; the market brocante64.com is designed for is those people with low budgets but having something to sell, and it is nonsensical to think that they would spend a couple of thousand dollars to get a site designed & constantly optimised. So without low cost websites they will probably never even try.
            • Re: Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?
              jero12 Newbie
              yes, they are probably right and also these low costs websites are also exiting and it is up to you how you are going toi enrich it.

              http://www.cabot-financial.dpcregistry.co.uk
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?
                  Brocante64 Wayfarer
                  Thanks Jero12; exactly - reading through these forums I see so many people that - like me - have had bad (and ultimately costly) experiences in trying to get our message online. I can only assume that all the advertising that bombards our screens has somehow affected us subliminally, and all our business acumen flies out the window when it comes to getting our website going.
                  In reality though it is just a lack of understanding of exactly what it takes to get a website working and realising that, however good and artistic our chosen web developer may be, we still have to get our ideas across to them. We will have to write the text and find the photos for them; we will have to give them an idea of how we want the final site to function and to look like because, and this is important, they will never understand our concept to the Nth degree that we have it in our own minds-eye. We think that a website will be the panacea for all our marketing concepts when in reality we often find that the end product does little to promote our business. This is not a reflection on the guys we have paid to do the work, but more a consequence of our expectations of what a website will deliver.
                  For the majority of us, all we really need is a 21st century equivalent of what yellow pages offer - our contact details - but with the text and graphics to better explain our business offerings as only we can fully conceptualise, plus the capability to edit and modify as required.
                  And it is from this background of "bad" experiences that my brocante64.com website was born. Forget about all the bells and whistles - they are a distraction - use a simple template and take control of the message you want to get out; change it as your business changes - and, because you are not paying a third party, do it for a hell of a lot less.
                    • Re: Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?
                      franklinb Adventurer
                      Low cost websites is a reality in today's digital world.

                      I recommend using many free social media sites in your marketing niche first to join and display your business on. No one has a list, but if you search in your industry or category for free registration social media sites, you will find them. This is completely free for you and me.

                      For instance, if you are a lawyer, just type in a query like "good criminal defense lawyer in Lakewood coloardo" and you will see the social media listings come up. Every one I have found so far is free, and I did this for my lawyer friend. Every industry is represented. He then went in and registered himself with all the free list sites he could find while I was building his site. You can do this process too, as can anyone else.

                      No matter what your business is, there will be many free sites in the social media listings which you can use. All businesses are creating Twitter accounts as well to communicate with clients, customers and to feed their blog posts into in abreviated form.

                      If you want to create a free social media site in your business category, just go to www.ning.com and create it, send out invitations, complete all the content areas and submit the url of the page to search engines. I have a good page for this at http://bblmedia.com/addurl.html*

                      Now you can create free blogs all about your business, link them to the social media site on ning, or to the others who have given you free listings, and write articles and talk about your business on the blog. After awhile, you will realize you need to register a top level domain. Then you can host your ning social media site on that domain, and your free blog as well.

                      These free sites have all the instructions on them to show you how to do all this. The wonderful thing is that you can begin creating all the listings and content for your business presense on the web before actually doing that. Then find cheap registration and hosting at a site like GoDaddy. I refer all my clients to them and they have the best uptime and prices. http://bblmedia.com/godaddy.html*

                      Godaddy is my web host of course, or I would not recommend them. They are totally the best in the world. They actually have real people who answer their support line, so after you register and host, call them and they will walk you right through the process of getting the sites up and running. They are brilliant, helpful and geared towards customer retention. I host several domains with them of my own, and I have referred many clients to them as well. I love this company.

                      You can start out with all free applications long before actually spending any money, but it is time consuming. Someone has to sit down for several hours daily and work the system for appropriate sites to list on, register with and so forth. Everyone in business should have a Facebook page. Once you have a good blog started you can autofeed the blog articles to Facebook as well.

                      Everything ties together on the web, and I do not recommend hiring an expensive web designer unless you have tons of extra money. They are expensive, but not all of them know how to do SEO for the sites they create. Here is the order of workflow that I use for all online projects:

                      Franklin Banker
                      http://bblmedia.com/
                      http://affiliates-make-money-online.blogspot.com/

                        • Re: Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?
                          Brocante64 Wayfarer
                          Hi franklinb
                          Thanks for your contribution "Great oak trees from small acorns grow" I thinks is how the saying goes.

                          To fight this recession all the experts tell us to add more income streams to our main business. We all know just how expensive it is to run a website and this often stops us from floating our other ideas. But in these days of uncertainty we all need to investigate other potential sources of income, however saddling these ideas with the cost of a website will kill them off before they ever see the light of day.

                           


                          We are offering a unique solution to help those ideas germinate without the threat of being terminated by budget constraints.

                           

                          In common with other such sites, Brocante64 gives you templates to display your text and photos, but that is where the similarity ends:- by using the brocante64.com as a sub-domain there are no domain name registration or hosting costs, but, more importantly, using a sub-domain will give your site almost immediate visibility on the search engines. We find that new sites will get a first page ranking within two to three weeks - something that is impossible with a new domain name which can take up to six months (and massive SEO) to get any sort of visibility.

                          As you have so eloquently posted it can be pretty simple, and cheap, to get your ideas out there, but once you get the right formula there is no reason not to have multiple different web pages reflecting all the potential your entrepreneurial mind delivers you.

                          contact us at http://www.brocante64.com to stop worrying about the cost & start concentrating on the idea.
                            • Re: Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?
                              franklinb Adventurer
                              Hey you have a nice business model there. I agree with the idea of having more than one entry in the digital world so a new business can come at the market from different angles. So, if someone buys a small site on your system, I am assuming your domain is already well indexed in the big 3 search indexes? That can have an advantage for a small business just starting out. The customer pages become a subset of your domain?

                              Good looking templates and the idea of no domain registration should be appealing to overworked, stressed out people who are just trying to get things off the ground. Combine that system with social media member sites and you would have a set of links that would work well. Do your customers have the ability to go in and add links to other sites easily? A login with a wysiwyg editor?
                                • Re: Low Cost Websites for All - Reality or Myth?
                                  Brocante64 Wayfarer

                                  Yes it works well - as you say the customer domain becomes a subset of ours & we are finding that, as long as they put a bit of thought into their web name & description (and obviously we will help there) they can get a 1st page on google in just a couple of weeks. Once they add their link to their own social media sites + google maps, SEO is sorted.

                                  At the moment we have preset links to the main social media sites - facebook, twitter, etc - we are trying to keep it as simple as possible, but it is a good suggestion, we can easily include an "add a link" button.