Website Design

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by kandalawncaremgr, May 11, 2013.

  1. kandalawncaremgr

    kandalawncaremgr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    I think I might be in the right posting area if not please send it to the right area. I'm looking for someone to build my website. I currently have godaddy.com which is great but my website is lacking a bunch of things , its just basic . I would like to make it nice and put before and after photos and some testimonials on there. Can anyone point me in the right direction. All the local places around Chicago want 700 and up. So any help would be greatly appreciated,,,,Thanks
     
  2. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,416

    So a budget of under $700? Do you have a specific budget in mind? That will give us a better idea of how to best advise you.

    It's very rare to see quality work for under that price point, so you may have to go with a combination of a nicely optimized, semi-custom template site and sweat equity.
     
  3. kandalawncaremgr

    kandalawncaremgr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    Hey tony I wasn't sure how much these websites cost. Holy smokes. I didn't think they were that much but would like to stay around 500. I know you get what you pay for. Was just curious if there's a place like the printing everyone goes too.
     
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,416

    Yes, but their products are, by and large, quite terrible. If you want an electronic brochure, they're serviceable. By "electronic brochure", I mean just that. Printed brochures, you have to physically get it in front of a potential client's eyeballs. Discount web builders usually produce an inferior product, in terms of Google's eyes, that they only way you'll be found, out of the box, is to specifically direct people to your site by telling them the address or referencing it on your print materials.

    Basically, it's not likely going to do very well for you when it comes to getting fresh, organically-driven leads. To further entice you, they tend to offer higher priced, premium versions that feature "Premium SEO" service. There is usually no better profit margin than that as I've not seen any of them worth anything.

    If you're not technically-inclined enough to work with a web site template, my recommendation would be to look at a better quality DIY site builder, such as squarespace.com, and then read up on basic on and off site SEO methods. Create Yahoo/Bing/Google local accounts that link to your site, as well as creating other citations that you can find on getlisted.org, and you'll be on your way. It takes time and work, but you'll likely come out far ahead than if you use a $500 budget for a developer or vistaprint type web mill. If you go with trying to find a reputable web developer, $500 might get you a site, but it will likely require you to do the steps that I outlined.

    Google's SEO Starter Guide

    seomoz's Beginner's Guide to SEO
     
  5. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,100

    I can second you get what you pay for
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,416

    Of all the PMs and emails I receive, these are the 3 most common:

    1.) Could you please offer tips for my site? I don't want to post my business name on the forum.

    2.) I paid $300-$500 for a web site and think I might have been ripped off.

    3.) I just can't seem to rank my site.
     
  7. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,100

    I believe you. I think a lot of us realize the importance of a website, but don't understand what goes into it.

    A comparison would be a paver patio. Yea you can go to Home Depot and do it yourself for 2k when I'm going to charge 8-10k. But my patio is guaranteed with a solid foundation
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,416

    Exactly. Amusingly enough, I usually compare it to a retaining wall. Sure, my Mom could build one... lol
     
  9. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,058

    There are two ways to success here:

    1- build your own site. With at least a little technical knowledge you can force a decent builder to create a site that is SEO sound. I use Squarespace and it has not held back my SEO efforts at all.

    2- hire someone. Prepare to pay to get a nice site and a monthly fee to maintain it. Your site needs to be dynamic, so it should change and expand frequently. That will cost you every month.

    Either way you need to educate yourself, starting with the articles Tony suggested, if you want things to turn out well.

    Have fun!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    As I tell my clients when I'm being tactful, I think your budget is a little light for what you want to achieve.

    Like everyone has said, DIY is an option IF you're willing to invest the time to a)learn what needs done and b) DO what needs to be done. Because I started my business having been laid off with a day's notice in the height of the recession, I built my own site and wrote all my own content (all on WordPress). I finally reached a point where I felt the look of my site wasn't consistent with my branding, so I hired a firm to customize a template for me. Where I saved money is we kept the directory structure exactly the same and I moved 2-3 years of content right over.

    There are several paths to get where you want, but as tony alluded the first thing is to decide exactly what your goals are for the site.
     

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