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Old 08-26-2013, 11:13 AM
TTS TTS is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 618

Hey guys, finally purchased my domain and will start working on getting my website up. I will be using wordpress and plan to have a website and an attached blog. This is pretty much my first attempt at web design, took a front page class in high school but that doesn't count for much. What templates have you found on word press that work well for you and let me know any other tips you have to help make this a little less painful.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:55 AM
bellajones742 bellajones742 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Melbourne, VIC
Posts: 1

Hello First I want to congratulate you for the wordpress choice. It is really easy to use and google loves it. Second - choose a template that will be simple and easy to use for the visitors. There are some plugins that you might want to include - for testimonials (the stars raiting). You have to create your website after you decide what will be your SEO strategy. First make a research and decide which keywords you want to rank for. Than write the content with these keywords in it. Use H2 tags with keywords, titles, descriptions, images with titles and alt tags. Be careful about the URL structure - it should be friendly and relevant to the page content. Then think about the internal link building (how you are going to link the pages one to another). I think it will be good for you to read just a little bit about SEO so you can make a website that people will be able to find in google Well I hope this will be useful for you. If you have any questions about the SEO I will be happy to help
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:22 PM
PaperCutter PaperCutter is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,848
My template is a modified one from What I like about them is they actually stay on top of things and continually update their templates as Wordpress does updates. I paid for one from Template Monster prior to that and it was great - until they stopped updating it and it stopped working right when I upgraded my Wordpress installation.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:02 PM
Mayor of Mow Town Mayor of Mow Town is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 76

I've built a number of sites, so here are my basic recommendations to get you started.

1. Plan your site before you start. Write down the things you want to cover, and that your potential clients need/want to know. What are you selling? What problems do you solve? (e.g. lawn care or convenience and more time). Group similar things together. This will help you come up with a structure (and navigation/menu) for your site and help you define the content on each page.

2. Use simple language. Use bullet points and headings. Speak in "you" language (what we can do for you), rather than "I/We" language.

3. Technical stuff...This is what I use, which doesn't mean they are the only options. Just might be a good place to start looking.

Hosting - ZippyKid - Wordpress experts, more expensive than most but fast and secure, plus they'll help you maintain the backend. Worth the $25 / month.

Themes - I always use Woothemes. There are some freebies, but most you will pay for. Good support, and a transparent, helpful, genuine bunch of people. I use the Canvas theme, which looks ugly in their pics, but gives you lots of options to create a great site without delving into any code.

Plugins - Above all, keep it simple and only install what you really need.

- Wordpress SEO by Joost de Valk (free) - Will help you control the 2 line blurb that you see in Google under an indexed page, as well as the titles of your page. This is a "must".
- Gravity forms ($39 / year) - only if you want to build complex forms. There are some free options out there too.
- Flare (free) for social media sharing and liking/following etc (would only use this if you are active on social media and/or have a blog)

4. Images - Please avoid stock images.Get out and about and take your own.

5. About page - For some reason, most lawn care busiesses avoid the "About" page, however it is generally one of the most visited pages on a site. Photos of you, your story, and how you can help your customers is key.

6. Make your phone number prominent if you want people to call.

7. I wouldn't get too hung up on SEO. I'm not saying it's not important, but design, write and build for your customers first.

8. It doesn't have to be perfect. Get it out there and then revisit it once a month and make any tweaks and changes as you learn what's working and what's not. Go in with a continuous improvement attitude.

9. Above all, listen to tonygreek.

Happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:05 AM
TTS TTS is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 618
Thanks for the tips guys, keep them coming. Papercutter do you know what your theme is called? I looked around on there but I've seen so many themes today it's making my head spin. I really like your site and hope I can get something near that caliber eventually but I don't know that I currently have the knowledge or content to fill in that kind of layout.

I have the site up, I ended up using the Tetris theme from wpexplorer for now. I found a youtube video where the guy walks you through step by step setting it up. I got some of the content written and the contact information is up but I still need to get some pictures and write the home page. I have read a lot of posts from Tony and I'm taking as much of his advice as I can stuff in my tiny brain right now but I'm starting to notice this will be a long process. I haven't had a chance to read moz's guide to seo yet so once I get everything written I will dive into that and post for more critiques.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:57 AM
PaperCutter PaperCutter is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,848
I'm using the Landscape theme, but massively modified by my web designer. I'm using the Associate theme on one of my other sites, and Sixteen Nine on the new business venture I'm getting up and running. I'm not sure what the deal they're running now is, but when I bought mine it was $80 for a theme or $280 for access to all of them. What makes it nice is it lowers the risk, and when I had my site redesigned I gave my web designer my Studiopress login and said "pick whichever one you think will make the most sense for my site,"
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:09 AM
greg8872 greg8872 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Upper Arlington, Ohio
Posts: 296
If you are not going with a managed WP host, make sure that once a month, if not once a week, login to you site to see if their are any updates. It is very crucial to keep the core/plugins/themes up to date.

Also, if you are doing it on your own, look for a good caching plugin, especially the more complex you make your site (read, more plugins you use). Wordpress is quite expandable, however from a programming standpoint, plugin data storage is extremely inefficient, so if you can have it caching what it is displaying, the faster your site will serve (which makes a difference in SEO).
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:36 AM
AdvanceTreeCare AdvanceTreeCare is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 12
Susie has it right. I got a web designer and couldn't be happier with the WordPress site I have. It's running a customized version of Canvas from WooThemes.
Advance Tree Care Service in Virginia Beach, VA
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