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Turfdoctor1
11-17-2008, 05:23 PM
I am in desperate need of a website, but not wanting to spend $1000 or whatever it would take to pay a professional designer. Plus, I would like to learn how to publish/maintain a site, because I am absolutely clueless.

I have purchased a domain name and the site is hosted with lunarpages.com

(1) How difficult will it be for me to build a site with no previous experience?
(2) How do I start?
(3) From reading other threads, I assume that lunarpages provides some sort of software, but I can't figure out how to access it. Would this be Frontpage?
(4) Where could I learn the step by step procedure of publishing webpages?
(5) Will I need to know HTML?
(6) If I use my down time this winter, should I expect to have the site up and running by Jan1, 2009?

Thanks for any and all of your input.

josh

WebMan
11-17-2008, 10:57 PM
I don't know what Lunar Pages offers in a site builder but the good ones do not require any knowledge of HTML (but allow you to use it if you want)
They offer templates to get you started but allow for customization of all elements or even building your own template as you learn more.
No company would use a "name" product like FrontPage (a Microsoft discontinued product)
They would usually be much easier than FrontPage or other such programs in "beginner" or "easy" mode.
A good site builder allows for the easiest use for the beginner and leave you with no limits as you learn & want to do more.
Depending on what you ordered from Lunar Pages you may be required to host with them or you may own your name "free & clear" and be able to do what you want where you want. It would all depend on what you ordered & how when you placed the order.

A professional "built" web site for a landscape company shouldn't cost more than $300 give or take unless you want something unnecessary in "bells & whistles" like a lot of "Flash" or other such elements if you just don't want to have to "mess with it".

Site builders vary a great deal, look for a free month or a 30 day refund policy or such to be sure you like it. Whatever you do don't commit for a year (only to find out what you get won't do what you want) unless you find you unintentionally already have.

Turfdoctor1
11-18-2008, 09:56 AM
I don't know what Lunar Pages offers in a site builder but the good ones do not require any knowledge of HTML (but allow you to use it if you want)
They offer templates to get you started but allow for customization of all elements or even building your own template as you learn more.
No company would use a "name" product like FrontPage (a Microsoft discontinued product)
They would usually be much easier than FrontPage or other such programs in "beginner" or "easy" mode.
A good site builder allows for the easiest use for the beginner and leave you with no limits as you learn & want to do more.
Depending on what you ordered from Lunar Pages you may be required to host with them or you may own your name "free & clear" and be able to do what you want where you want. It would all depend on what you ordered & how when you placed the order.

A professional "built" web site for a landscape company shouldn't cost more than $300 give or take unless you want something unnecessary in "bells & whistles" like a lot of "Flash" or other such elements if you just don't want to have to "mess with it".

Site builders vary a great deal, look for a free month or a 30 day refund policy or such to be sure you like it. Whatever you do don't commit for a year (only to find out what you get won't do what you want) unless you find you unintentionally already have.

thanks webman, your response is very helpful. I think paying someone $300 to get the site up and going sounds great. Unfortunately, I have yet to find someone to do it for that price. Also, I would like to have some control over it, just so that I learn how to manipulate it when I need to edit, or add things to the site.

Thanks again for the very good advice.

Kiril
11-18-2008, 10:21 AM
No company would use a "name" product like FrontPage (a Microsoft discontinued product)

Agreed, but not discontinued, just renamed.

Kiril
11-18-2008, 10:27 AM
(1) How difficult will it be for me to build a site with no previous experience?

As noted, depends on the package provided.

(2) How do I start?

Control panel or help page on your hosting service

(3) From reading other threads, I assume that lunarpages provides some sort of software, but I can't figure out how to access it

See answer to ques. 2

(4) Where could I learn the step by step procedure of publishing webpages?

Depends. Best place to start is here.

http://www.w3schools.com/

(5) Will I need to know HTML?

Probably not absolutely necessary, but IMHO, anyone who designs their own site should at a minimum have some understanding of XHTML and CSS

(6) If I use my down time this winter, should I expect to have the site up and running by Jan1, 2009?

Depends on how quick a learner you are and how complicated your site is.

Kiril
11-18-2008, 10:31 AM
thanks webman, your response is very helpful. I think paying someone $300 to get the site up and going sounds great. Unfortunately, I have yet to find someone to do it for that price. Also, I would like to have some control over it, just so that I learn how to manipulate it when I need to edit, or add things to the site.

There are plenty of Open Source solutions that you can use, which will provide you with a "website in a box", ready for customizing. Probably overkill for a site with a handful of static pages, but they are there.

Turfdoctor1
11-18-2008, 11:18 AM
thanks Kiril. I appreciate your help.

I found the site builder that lunar pages uses. It is called Pagemason. It seems to be quite user friendly. However, i can't find a template that I want to use. They each of photos in the headers that I think are permanant.

Do you have any suggestions for a free site builder that is user friendly and has more options for templates, including blank ones?

thanks.

Kiril
11-18-2008, 11:28 AM
Do you have any suggestions for a free site builder that is user friendly and has more options for templates, including blank ones?

This is the only one I have demoed.

http://www.w3.org/Amaya/

Other than that, don't know ... I use a text editor.

RickR1818
11-19-2008, 12:27 AM
Piggy backing on what Kiril said. I cant stand it when people want flash or all the bells and whistles for their sites. Especially in this industry, flash and other high level add-ons do not affect your sales. You need to just be concerned with a site that is somewhat basic, but that can sell your services and give your customers a way to contact you. I would rather help someone design a basic site, but help them with marketing that site and trying to generate traffic to it. I think the thing EVERYONE here needs to remember is that just because you pay for a site doesn't mean it will make you money! You could spend $1500 on a kick a** site but if there is no traffic it is worthless. A website is only a small part of your marketing. Although you can reap many rewards from it, you still need to do the other things to drive traffic. Put it this way. My site is not that great. I threw it together very quickly using sitebuilder (Hold your applause Web man!) But it has generated a ton of sales for me this year. The number one reason is I spent more time marketing my business and getting links to my site. The funny thing although I am not particularly fond of my site; people always tell me how great it looks. I have other local LCO's that want me to do theirs and help them with their internet marketing because of the business it has brought me. My customers love it because they can pay online and for some that live out of town they have arranged everything online from starting the service to billing to paying the bill.
I have dreamweaver and could build a great site from the bare bones but all I need is for customers to land and make it easy for them to contact me. What I see on this forum is that everyone wants a site because they assume that will send them droves of customers, but you need to look at the whole picture and realize that a site is only beneficial is your customer can find it. Like Webman says, you have 8 seconds, and most of the time a person looking for a service will go with the first one they find that looks somewhat professional. Feel free to check mine out www.rowelawncare.com you can let me know what you think but I probably already know the negatives and just have't fixed them yet. At any rate, feel free to criticize or applaud.