I have given serious thought to creating a web page for my company. Is this a worthwhile marketing tool? Where did you start? Has the return been worth the effort? Any resources found useful would be appreciated.
I did a search on website and this is the results below. Some are not on personal websites, but there are a few. I hope this helps. Several members get good results from having a website, but mine is mostly information for LawnSite members.
OK That went over my head for a good minute. I'm thinking to myself "did Ray fall off his rocker? He has a web site. Why is he posting this question?" Then I was thinking "Landscaper3 & Eric ELM have been posting here forever, why are one of those screen names suddenly so cool?" Yep, time for bed. LOL
One of the criteria used to determine the need for a web site is "could this product be sold from a catalog". If you have the available expertise and time to do your own site then go for it but design it for your local area and don't use a lot of graphics. Use Front Page instead of a product like Flash and remember that for ever 10 seconds it takes a page to load you lose 3% of your viewers.
Don't tag onto an existing site because the URL (uniform resource locator) doesn't have anything to do with your business. If you put up a site be sure to use your URL on everthing printable and on your vehicles. Use plenty of pictures of your work and if you are doing any well known properties in your area be sure to include them.
I have some experience building web sites and built one for my hydroseeding business this year. The great thing about it is that you can provide tons of information to your customers at little cost. I have pictures of jobs, personal information, horticultural information, etc. on the site and I plan to begin selling fertilizers/chemicals to my customers through the site in the future.
In addition, my site sets me apart from the competition because not very many people have them in our business. Finally, the best thing is that my web-hosting service provides information on how many people came to my site each day. I can use this information to guage how well my advertising is working in newspapers. For instance, I had over 50 visitors on memorial day this past spring, when the local newspaper was delivered in the morning! And I pulled my newspaper ad this year for the month of July because the visitor count was very low in late June/early July. This saved me over $300 in wasted advertising in the paper.
In a nutshell, I would highly recommend it. Go to http://www.domaininfo.com to register a domain name (it costs $25/year - less than other places). Also, check out http://www.bcnsolutions.com and http://www.futurequest.com for web hosting. Bcnsolutions is very low priced and I have been very pleased with their service. FutureQuest costs more but they offer far more functionality for their customers (they host another, more complicated web site for me).
I would recommend starting your designing with FrontPage and then progressing to Dreamweaver to build better pages. You can download a free 30-day trial version of Dreamweaver at http://www.macromedia.com
And, hey while you are at it you might as well look at my site: http://www.383turf.com
I would be happy to help you out or perhaps build a site for you! I would like to get into web site building/design, maybe we can talk about it.
Anyways, good luck!