PDA

View Full Version : website questions from dave g


David Gretzmier
05-19-2007, 10:58 AM
All this talk about webstes has got me interested. back when I did the big lawncare thing, we paid a designer and hosting company some cash ( I think 1-2 grand and 20 a month or so) to do our website. we probably only got 1 lead a month out of it, as opposed to 20-50 leads a month from yard signs.

what is a good price to pay for a website?

I did a search on landscape lighting, northwest arkansas ( we really don't go by cities here) and I came up third on google, from my service magic.com listing. #2 was a buddy , he doesn't even do lighting, but he has it listed, no info, on his website. #1 was a gigantic company that does everything and has no info or pictures on lighting. So I think my market is wide open for me to be #1 if I do the links right and info.

what would this cost me in terms of initial outlay and monthly cost? and what would you guys reccomend?

this has probably been discussed before, but I'd like to run this thread to kind of help me specifically for a website for Christmas lights and landscape lights.

dave g

Eden Lights
05-19-2007, 11:14 AM
I am having my site re-done right now, I felt like my old site didn't represent my image as an professional so I pulled the plug. It looks like the new site is going to come in at about 5K without images, art, and etc. I have provided an static image to show the layout and the number of pages that will be provided. This includes 5-6 featured projects with 5-6 images each to start.
Hosting and maintenance to keep it all fresh looks like about $50 per month. Let me know if you have any more questions?

http://dexter.lwtkbk.com/edenlights/comp/

David Gretzmier
05-19-2007, 11:24 AM
nice picture- great work. 5000 bucks plus huh? ouch. but it really looks like you get what you pay for. I just don't have that laying around right now.

Bill S
05-19-2007, 01:01 PM
Hey Dave

Website can be effective from an SEO standpoint and look neat, professional and easy to navigate for well under $5K.

I could probably help you out with the web design and SEO if you are interested.

Check out www.wjsmallwood.com

google... landscaping salem nh; landscaper salem nh; holiday lights salem nh; christmas lights salem nh; then change town to windham nh

you will also see landscaping nh come up on some of the lighting searches...this is my site too.

send me an email from wjsmallwood contact us if you are interested.

Bill

steveparrott
05-19-2007, 01:11 PM
Congrats to Eden, beautiful design - well worth 5K. I've seen good designs for $3,500 but have never seen a real professional web design job for less. Anyone who tells you different should be suspected as having low standards.

One successful lighting guy paid about 12K for his and it was worth every penny. Homeowners landing on his site have no doubt that his professionalism is above the rest. They also see his work displayed beautifully and homeowners are educated as well as promoted to.

It only takes a couple jobs to cover a top notch web design project. An excellent web site gives the highest return on investment of any form of marketing. Search out the best designer in your region and go for it!

NightScenes
05-19-2007, 01:30 PM
My new site was less than $900. $20 an hour when I need some things done to it.

extlights
05-19-2007, 03:05 PM
We're also looking to change our site up. I've never gotten much action from it so it's hard to pull the plug and spend the money. A friend of mine said he'll do it for $4,500 for a full professional site, and I guess that's a pretty low price. Maybe it's because we've never had much luck with our past sites, but to me I feel like that $4,500 could be used elsewhere with a better return. However, he has showed me some $2,000 sites that I personally thought looked good, but then showed me a $6,000 site that made that $2,000 site look very amateur.

It's a hard decision as far as I'm concerned.

Bill S
05-19-2007, 03:37 PM
Guys, spend all the money in the world on your website design! Go ahead spend $10,000 on the design...it will look the best.

Now, ask yourself this... If you have a website and no one knows about it, do you really have a website?

Without proper search engine optimization you are WASTING your hard earned money.

When you drop $3, $5, $6K or more on a site and it drives no traffic, what good have you done? Why not go to the local horse track and drop all the money to win on the long shot of the day?

David Gretzmier
05-19-2007, 04:52 PM
bill makes a good point- a lot of advertising is gambling.

spent 5000 bucks to do a REAL nice literature catalog to submit with bids a few years back, MAYBE helped close some jobs.

I have dropped 2-3k on tv a few years back, no response. radio, 1000 bucks, nothing.

newspaper generates leads but very low close ratio, 10 percent on leads. aprox 250 bucks per month.

yellow pages are great, about a 35% close on average lead. 200 dollars per month

so far, servicemagic.com is a loser deal for us, 5 leads, 2 bids, no closes. 20 bucks per lead.

Yard signs in the Christmas light biz are awesome during season, close to 45% close because they are usually in front of a house that is lit up. I am hoping for similar response with landscape lighting- trying that this year. about 4 bucks per 2 color 2 side sign.

truck graphics and trailer graphics are high initial, but pay back great. about 3 k to do trailer and bus, but we get tons of leads and closes, and graphics last about 7 years. " I saw your truck and trailer at.." high close ration, about 35-50% depending on thime of year.

hopefully the web can be added into this mix.

I am also looking at a grahic design/printing company doing some new color literature folders to hold bids, I did thier Christmas lights, so I have a 1500 dollar credit to spend there. that helps our credibility when submitting a proposal.

High Performance Lighting
05-19-2007, 07:38 PM
Congrats to Eden, beautiful design - well worth 5K. I've seen good designs for $3,500 but have never seen a real professional web design job for less. Anyone who tells you different should be suspected as having low standards.

One successful lighting guy paid about 12K for his and it was worth every penny. Homeowners landing on his site have no doubt that his professionalism is above the rest. They also see his work displayed beautifully and homeowners are educated as well as promoted to.

It only takes a couple jobs to cover a top notch web design project. An excellent web site gives the highest return on investment of any form of marketing. Search out the best designer in your region and go for it!

Steve I don't know if you are referring to my website but I was told by your people whom I met at a trade show that the designers of the Cast website were greatly influenced by mine which I take as a very high compliment. I think the Cast site is second to none in the business. In the past when I was asked how much I had invested in my website I would get rolled eyes and wow why so much responses. Now I just say alot. If I said I've gotten 100 x return on my investment I wouldn't be exaggerating. Some guys just don't get it and will think small and be pound wise and penny foolish. You have to invest money to make money. I guess those are the same types that think the Canon 5d is "overkill" for outdoor lighting photography. The proof is in the pudding.

Pro-Scapes
05-20-2007, 12:40 PM
I guess I should pray that I get my cheesy site redone one day. I have gotten alot of compliments on it from clients and other contractors. I know its not the mega site that mike g or cast has but we are proud of it. Investment 500 bucks.

We will definatly do a much more elaborate site later on but right now I just cant justify it. I know some guys without a website who are doing several very large projects.

NightScenes
05-20-2007, 01:40 PM
It's not the site that sells the jobs anyway, it's the designer. Why would I spend $10k on my site? I made my first site myself and got rave reviews from my clients and it didn't cost me squat! It wasn't fancy but it got the point across and the clients liked it. They were always amazed to find that I did it myself. Now I just had it re-done for less than a $1k and it's very nice. I will replace some of the photos as we go along and it will evolve over time. It's just one more advertising venue and one that I can't see sinking a huge amount of money into.

I would rather give that money to my guys for a job well done. That will get me more work than any advertising.

extlights
05-20-2007, 04:45 PM
Ask any successful website designer and they'll all tell you the same thing about business sites. The best websites out there are designed so that they are easy to navigate around, not to cluttered, and have the necessary information that consumers want. I truly believe that if your website is for informational purposes only, then it doesn't have to be super fancy. From what I've been told, some major facts to consider when building a site is colors (backround and font)...the size of the font, and the style of font. Also the navigation toolbar must be easy to use. So I suppose it sounds like it should be fairly simple and straight to the point.

I will say that there is nothing worse than going to a site in which the colors don't mesh well, and the font is hardly readable...it gives me a instant headache.:hammerhead:

From the sites I've seen that you guys have, they all seem pretty nice. I do like the backround color on Paul's site....it's kinda soothing and definately easy on the eyes.

David Gretzmier
05-21-2007, 06:44 AM
I agree that I want my website to have the absolute best image out there, and Mike Gambino's is certainly the standard to go by. I'm sure it pays off, but I don't have 12k or even 5k to spend. I just figure that something of decent quality can be had for 1k it is better than nothing at this point, and when I have the money I will move up the chain.

Paul- I just looked at your website, It looks clean, nice and is the look/price I am looking for. can you give me the email of the guy that did yours...niteliters brother?.....thanks, dave g