Good website builders/ questions

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by KUMA01, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. KUMA01

    KUMA01 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,083

    Well it’s time for my company to step up to the next level. I’ve done some extremely nice projects and would like to get my name and pictures of my work out there a little bit more. But the question is who do I contact to build a website do I do it myself? Contact someone give them any info for them to build it? There are some really professional websites out here that I would like to mimic I do realize copy rights ect. And I don’t mind paying for a quality one and or someone to proof read as I’m terrible with grammar. Just need some help on what to do! Thanks for the responses!
     
    Kris Fahndrich and Tara Ann like this.
  2. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 679

    Visit your local computer repair shop
     
  3. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,110

    DIY or hired out, you'll want to decide on budget. It's quite possible that what seems like a budget stretch to you doesn't actually get you in the game with a reputable web developer or agency.

    First, you need to decide if it's something you really want to try and tackle yourself. DIY-wise, take a look at the easy to use site builder that squarespace.com offers (not wix.com) or, if you're tech savvy, a full DIYer via Wordpress is an option. You can also supplement that with a bit of hourly help as needed.

    For kicks, lets say your budget is less than $1k. While it may sound like a good chunk of change, it's not going to get you much, if anything at all, in the way of a reputable developer. It leaves you exposed to getting ripped off (I can't recall the last time someone on here didn't get soaked on a thousand dollar or bartered site.). A realistic budget to get you in the pro-built game is likely going to be north of $2k. There are a very small handful of lawn & landscape agencies and the range is going to be $2,500 - $15,000.

    If you do have a reasonable, realistic budget to work with, I'd start by asking around. At the local level, you may have some service-based business owner friends that you can get references from. If you ask for references in the online world, be ware of the Facebook Group and Youtube Guru referrals. I have yet to see one of those end in success, especially with the 'tuber bros (you bros read this forum, so...hi. :waving:)

    I would spend some time looking at your 2019-20 marketing budget and coming up with a realistic idea and then going from there.
     
  4. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 679

    Honestly imo hire out. I made my website some 10+ years ago in notepad. Haven’t updated it since. Any updates are not easy because it wasn’t coded that way because I don’t know what I’m doing.
     
    Kris Fahndrich, kemco and KUMA01 like this.
  5. Tara Ann

    Tara Ann LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 736

    I was going to tag @tonygreek, but he has already responded.

    We decided to tackle our own website. It has been “under construction,” now, for over a year. We have been tossing the idea around of looking at a local university to offer a student the project (possibly less expensive, and maybe a fresh idea/approach).
     
  6. OP
    OP
    KUMA01

    KUMA01 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,083

    @tonygreek good info the current Budget is 3500 I’m willing to spend more as need be. I willing to put up to 6k in it as I want it done right to begin with. I talked with a few companies there websites I would like to mimic and they said it’s there biggest money generator with marketing. One quick question let’s say it cost me 5k to build the website do you pay that every year the website is up and running? Or is it a one and done fee?
     
  7. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 679

    You’ll pay a monthly/quarterly or annual for server space. Like a subscription. + email addresses. Ask for a idiot proof update method for adding pictures or text when you want to upload a pic. Our website works but the job pics are 10+ years old because it’s a nightmare to add pictures.
     
    KUMA01 likes this.
  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,110

    Your site (re)build fee should be, at its core, a one time event. You give them money, they build you a site.

    That said...it may include X amount of months of content and SEO work. It really depends on what you're looking for and what the scope of the project is.

    Ongoing or long-term costs can be greatly impacted by your service area competition. If you're in, say, Arlington VA, you're looking at a lot of time and money to get you into the mix. If you're in Springfield, OH, your ongoing costs may be minimal. If you're in a really small, noncompetitive market, you may have nothing more than hosting costs and an occasional check in with your web folks to see what goal posts Google has moved today and how does it impact you tomorrow.

    Any long-term costs should be viewed as any other marketing expense. As long as it falls in line with your customer acquisition cost target, you budget for it like anything else and hope that Google's own shenanigans allow your ROI to be a hockey stick.
     
  9. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,110

    This should also help. I've written a variation of this quite a few times over the years. This is my most recent, and it holds up, so copy 'n paste it is.

    ---------------

    If you dig through the archives, there are a lot of posts here related to vetting web marketers, agencies, and what to look for. Basically, let the horror stories of others put you in a better decision-making position.

    Some tips...

    - "Youtube Guru"-recommended? So far, haven't seen one that's not an instant "You should keep looking.".

    - Top ranking guarantee or "We partner with Google, so we..."? Run fast, run far.

    - Beware of the oversell and overstatement of skills and relevant background.

    - Ask for examples of apples to apples prior work. "Well, here at Mow Better Marketing, we've only actually built websites for plumbers, but now we 're ready to be experts in landscape marketing ...staaaaarting... now."

    - If the agency says they specialize in the lawn & landscape industry, understand that anyone can pick a niche, get an industry membership badge, and shape their image to fit that niche.

    If I want to be a specialist in tanning salon web marketing, I can be one by Friday and I'll make it hard for you to think otherwise.

    For example, the Lawn Care Marketing 360 folks are also the Acupuncture Marketing 360 folks are also the Tanning Salon Marketing 360 folks are also the Yoga Marketing 360 folks.

    - Ask to speak to previous or existing clients. If you poke around, you should be able to find clients that aren't on an overly curated list that might be given to you.

    - Make sure you understand what owning your site vs leasing on a closed/proprietary platform entails and what happens if you're not happy with the product or see yourself eventually outgrowing and wanting to move. Many of the monthly fee websites go away when you stop paying, whether it be a DIY platform or agency-built. Make sure you know if everything you've paid and worked for will disappear with the flip of a "Cancel" switch.

    - Are you getting a completely bespoke site? Maybe it's semi-custom. Are you getting a site that's well coded and built or are you getting an off the shelf template from Themeforest? Find those things out before someone on here has to break it to you that you just paid a grand for a pirated off-the-shelf templated site that's about to start pushing Viagra ads to your visitors. (those stories are in the archives here, too.)

    - What does the deal actually include and what is a la carte or "Oh, that's actually another fee, so..."?

    - Reeeeally make sure you understand the deal length and terms.

    In short...do the same due diligence you would perform on any other large capital expenditure.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    KUMA01

    KUMA01 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,083

    Awesome info appreciate it! I’ll researching and contact some site builder companies any good recommendations? Should I do local companies? How long does it typically take to build if I subbed it out to them could they have it ready by January 2020? I’m already a established lco but I’m trying a new marketing campaign 2020 and this being the biggest push for marketing...
     

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