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  #1  
Old 02-06-2010, 05:13 AM
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wrench for hire wrench for hire is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Maine
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Default Website website what to do???

All I want is a simple site where people who see my adds can go to learn more about my business. The problem is I understand "NOTHING" about this stuff. The terminology, the little acronyms, or what goes into making a good site. I have no idea how much I should be looking to pay for a SIMPLE website or what it cost for any added features. I don't want some bohemoth thing that needs constant care and updating. So a few questions I have.

1) Who would be a good hosting company to use?
2) What should I expect to pay?
3) What are common mistakes made by people building their sites?
4) How much trouble is it really once the site is running to maintain?
5) Is there any other pointers you guys can think of?

I've visited some sites you guys (and gals) have posted and I just don't understand how you've done it. Where do come up with the ideas, ability, and knowledge to build these things.
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2010, 05:38 AM
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colefarm colefarm is offline
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To answer the last question first, my college degree is in computer graphics. Besides that, I spend time each week reading about new trends in web design, and I learn new skills by working on projects.

1) I use JaguarPC. There are others that cost less, but I have been with Jaguar since 2003, and use them exclusively.

2) The hosting plans I use are around $84 a year, plus $9.95 for the domain. As far as to get the site built, I can only quote what I do as a freelancer (which is why I add disclaimers to my website posts). The most expensive site I have ever done was about $500. Now, I am on the low end because I design in my spare time, and have no overhead. If you look, you will find a large range of prices.

3) Not knowing your customers is one of the biggest. We sometimes forget that our customers aren't always interested in fancy stuff, they want information, and they want it now.

Content that never changes is another one. Though it isn't as much of a problem in our industry, it is a good idea to change the content now and then.

4) This depends on how it is made. If it is built right, then it is really easy to maintain it. That is why content management systems (like Wordpress) are good or beginners, they ease the learning curve. Also, basic sites are easier to maintain than their complex counterparts.

5) Know where you are wanting to end up. I see you have a good idea of what you want, but it doesn't hurt to write down an outline so that, if you do hire it out, you can communicate your plans to them.

Know what you are comfortable with as far as maintenance and design goes. CMSs are fairly easy if you can use basic computer programs. Our site is hand coded. That is easier for me, since I like to experiment (and I'm a geek).
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2010, 09:24 AM
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rwaters rwaters is offline
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remember a website is a lot of work if you do it right, I am constently wanting to change mine around, in fact I just started redoing it from scratch to include bad boy breakdowns for customer use. that is taking a while as I want it to work like partsmart.
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2010, 11:20 AM
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wrench for hire wrench for hire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwaters View Post
remember a website is a lot of work if you do it right, I am constently wanting to change mine around, in fact I just started redoing it from scratch to include bad boy breakdowns for customer use. that is taking a while as I want it to work like partsmart.
Thats a bit more involved than I could ever get. I did do a search on google and found a site called web host geeks. this is a darn good site and is helping me tremendously in deciding what direction I am going to go in.
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2010, 12:38 PM
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rwaters rwaters is offline
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just make sure it looks clean, a bad site can do harm even in this industry, I also would not just do facebook and tell customers it is my website, makes it look unprofessional I think.

but maybe that is just me, I put a lot of time making my site look crisp I just hope it looks good to my customers.
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2010, 03:33 PM
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kensmobile kensmobile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwaters View Post
just make sure it looks clean, a bad site can do harm even in this industry, I also would not just do facebook and tell customers it is my website, makes it look unprofessional I think.

but maybe that is just me, I put a lot of time making my site look crisp I just hope it looks good to my customers.
Can you post a link to your site?? I always enjoy checking out what others are able to do with their sites...
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2010, 09:33 PM
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rwaters rwaters is offline
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sure I still have a bunch to link to still so it is a work in progress but here is a link

www.wouldntyourather.com

let me know what you think so far.
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  #8  
Old 02-07-2010, 01:24 AM
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shsmallengines shsmallengines is offline
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looks good
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2010, 04:38 AM
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kensmobile kensmobile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwaters View Post
sure I still have a bunch to link to still so it is a work in progress but here is a link

www.wouldntyourather.com

let me know what you think so far.
It's very nice, I like it.

Is Bad Boy the only mower line you carry?
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2010, 05:49 AM
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rwaters rwaters is offline
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yes at the moment, but I am thinking of signing up with a new line soon... My badboy rep decided I could not sell MTV's as he just signed a new dealer on top of the evansville store and promised them we could not have them. Kinda ****ed as we took years to build the brand when nobody wanted them and when we start taking the sales from this dealership they take on badboy and the rep cuts the products we can sell. So much for loyalty.

But we had really like the company, everyone but the rep has really been a pleasure to deal with, thats why we went on a limb and opened a 2nd store.
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