Can you help me with a web site

Most companies are interested in communicating with their customers in one form or another. This is an area where you can ask about new ways of marketing to your customers as well as share your experiences of advertising to your customers. Remember to include what type of business you work at in your postings.

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mjstrand
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Location:Menomonie, WI, United States
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Can you help me with a web site

Post by mjstrand » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:45 pm

So if I need a web site done do you think you could help me ? For my cards of course ! As I haven't got a clue on how it all works.

Patricia Trouille
France
Last edited by mjstrand on Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mjstrand
Site Admin
Posts:290
Joined:Tue May 25, 2004 8:56 pm
Location:Menomonie, WI, United States
Contact:

Yes, We can help with a web site

Post by mjstrand » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:47 pm

As for a web site, I could probably help you out. I reseller web hosting now for $8.95 per month (with the U.S. Dollar being so soft, that i probably really inexpensive for you now). That would be great for your purposes I'm sure. That is located in California, so I suppose it could be a little slow going across the ocean, but it shouldnt be too bad though.

There are lots of extra programs that you can install as part of that too. There is even an order catalog system that might just work for you with
very little changes. Of course making things look pretty can take a bit of work though. Have you ever done web page programming? You might enjoy it because there is a lot of graphic editing and visual placement involved with it. Of course there are some icky programming parts here and there too though. If you want me to do it, I've been asking $100 per hour for web development. I'm not that great at the graphical part, so I would love to work with you on that if you have any expertise with graphic editing programs.

You will also want to think up and buy a domain name that people will type in on their browser. I use GoDaddy.com for mine. It is $9.00 per year for a domain name which is pretty affordable. They have a place where you can type in the names you are thinking of and it will tell you if they are taken.
Mike is president of StrandVision Digital Signage and also does business marketing consulting through MikeStrand.com.

mjstrand
Site Admin
Posts:290
Joined:Tue May 25, 2004 8:56 pm
Location:Menomonie, WI, United States
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More Web Info

Post by mjstrand » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:50 pm

Thank you for your answer. Sounds complicated (to me that is). Obviously I want to do as much as I can myself to save money. 1.Before even doing anything I need to purchase a digital camera to take good photos of my cards and some of the materials. 2. I have an applemac at home and I have to figure out what is the best software in which to create a web page. I do not know anything about web page programming but I can create the page. 3. Does your order catalog system includes a payment method like paypall or else (there again I do not know a lot about). How much does it cost ? Finally I am not bothered about where my website is located but would like my web site to come up before others, and there again I do not know how it works and how much you have to pay to be in the 1st ones, I guess it depends on the domain name ?

Also how do I make changes in my web site ?

Patricia Trouille
France
Mike is president of StrandVision Digital Signage and also does business marketing consulting through MikeStrand.com.

mjstrand
Site Admin
Posts:290
Joined:Tue May 25, 2004 8:56 pm
Location:Menomonie, WI, United States
Contact:

I'm overwhelmed with your web site expectations

Post by mjstrand » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:58 pm

Well, I must admit that I am a bit overwhelmed by your expectations. I've been doing this for a year and half, and have not accomplished all that you hope. All things can happen given enough time though. I'll answer your questions as I can.

1. A digital camera is a good idea. Of course, with the visual aspect of your cards, I would think that it is important to ensure that your photos are professional looking. That will probably require you to have a very good quality camera (most of them do a good job anymore), a studio with good lighting and learning about backgrounds, lighting, depth of field, etc. I am sure that you know a good picture when you see it, so that is probably the biggest issue. The nice part is that you dont need real high resolution, just very good lighting.

2. I only know windows, so I'm not going to be able to help you out much with applemac computers and how to do this. I have heard that they are much better suited to graphic applications than windows machines. Unfortunately, I dont have recommendations on programs to help you out. For windows, I use a program called DreamWeaver from Macromedia. I suspect that they have a version for the mac as well.

3. I dont know if the order processing system supports paypal or credit card processing. It does send emails with people's requests though. Everyone that I help wants to support online order entry. When you do that, there is a lot of infrastructure that must be put in place (like the little padlock in the corner of your web browser) as well as programming. Typically, you are looking at over $1000 to get started and over $200 per year to keep it going. If you accept credit cards directly, you will also be looking at a minimum of $25 per month. As you can see, it adds up quickly. I always recommend that you have a link on your site where people can email you their order and you can manually direct them to paypal with an email reply. A little bit of manual work per order is usually worth it compared to all the costs to get going. Of course if you are going to have a hundred transactions per day, then it is worth the investment.

4. As for your web site coming up before others, I'm assuming that you are talking about search engines. There are literally billions of web sites that are indexed by the search engines. There are some tricks to optimize your site for search engines, but they can easily take 20 or more hours to research it (plus a little bit of cash for online research subscriptions), then your site needs to be developed using optimization techniques (another 10 to 20 hours is possible), follwed by the search engine taking 6 to 9 months to get your site in their databases. I have been learning this full time over the past year and a half, and still have only scratched the surface of this rapidly changing field. I have decided that my site is not worth all this work, so I am using other marketing techniques to directly get people aware of my site and hope that they tell other people as well. I suspect that you know people who could talk about your products and your site to their friends and have them do the same. Word of mouth advertising is the best way to get your site known.

5. To update your web site, you use a program that uses the FTP protocol (called an FTP program) to log into your web hosting account and send the files to that server. Immediately after this, any web visitors see the new web pages.

I'm sorry that I sound like such a pessimist on this. Like I said, I'm overwhelmed with your question because I dont know how to do some of this myself! This is proven by my gross sales of $200 for 1.5 years worth of work. There is lots of upside potential with little extra cost, so I'm continuing to work with it. Web sites are not a quick way to global exposure like it used to be 5 to 10 years ago. Web sites are a great way to supplement the business you do via traditional methods. It is probably not the best idea to think of it as your only marketing venue.
Mike is president of StrandVision Digital Signage and also does business marketing consulting through MikeStrand.com.

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