Website on a budget

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by TwoGuyswithMowers, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. TwoGuyswithMowers

    TwoGuyswithMowers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    I'm looking to get a website going for the company. We don't have a big marketing budget so I'm looking for a godaddy type site that allows you to design your own site. I've used godaddy in the past, but that's pretty much the only one I know of. Is there anything better out there?
  2. GreencastleWebDesign

    GreencastleWebDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Hi TwoGuys on a budget,
    I suggest WordPress as you grow your site will grow with you. We offer free WordPress tutorials. We also are offering a class that starts tomorrow on growing your business with WordPress. Please feel free to call or email me at . I would be happy to help you out.
    Thank you,
  3. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Messages: 1,182

    If you are going to build it yourself, with no or little HTML knowledge, then Squarespace is the way to go.

    This has been discussed quite a bit in the website sub forum- do a search if you are interested.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Completely agree with Headz re: both Squarespace (a great, easy to use tool) and reviewing the forums to see what solution might be the best fit for you.

    As GreenCastle points out, there's also Wordpress and budget-friendly templates.

    If you're going the DIY route, please, don't touch GoDaddy with a ten foot pole. I have no problem saying, and supporting, that it's junk.
  5. GreencastleWebDesign

    GreencastleWebDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thank you, I agree with you on goDaddy sites. I have converted quite a few. For WordPress if it is in your budget, I suggest the SmallBiz theme by Expand2Web as there are many local search benefits. : )
  6. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Walking it back a couple of steps, what do you mean by a small budget? $100? $1000? Here's what took me a few years to figure out: I could afford to invest the TIME to figure out how to write my own content, write blog posts, and do some SEO. What I couldn't get right on my own was the look and feel of the site. As a landscape designer I know how to open up AutoCAD and make something stick where I want it. Even using a user-friendly CMS like WordPress, though, I couldn't always make what was in my head appear on screen.

    IF you are willing to invest the time in learning how to use it, I think WordPress is a pretty solid DIY setup, but you need to start with a good theme. Greencastle has what they recommend; I used a theme based on the Genesis theme by StudioPress and have been really happy with their theme. To really get a good look, though, I think it's worth hiring a web designer to customize your theme. Maybe that's phase two.

    That's how I did it - phase one was purchasing a premium WordPress template and getting it as close as I could, then really working the content end of things to get ranked well and have solid sales pages. When I could afford it, I paid a pro to customize my template. At that point, it was literally a matter of having her install the new theme and everything was how I wanted it (with a few minor tweaks here and there)
  7. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Would you mind expanding on what you mean by "many local search benefits" of a theme?
  8. GreencastleWebDesign

    GreencastleWebDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Sure, here is a list that is within the SmallBiz theme/WordPress that helps with local search.

    • Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) on each page
    • Custom HTML title tag, Meta Description and Meta Keywords for each page and post
    • hCard Microformats built-in
    • areas served for nearby cities and neighborhoods (in footer)
    • ALT Image Text
    • Map and Description page, with driving directions
    • Opening hours
    • Unlimited Pages
    • Touch-Enabled Mobile Site
    • Add images and video to every page
    • add your own logo and colors
    • Socialy Enabled
    • Do not need to know html but can add if you do
  9. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,568

    Tony you agree with this?
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Yes, I agree that the theme can do those things, however it could also apply to any Wordpress theme and an assortment of widgets or plugins. The "local benefits" aren't necessarily a feature of a theme, but a bi-product or outcome, via the content with which it guides you to populate it.

    For example, there's something to be said for a "localized" theme to have a section in the footer, say for the aforementioned benefit of "areas served for nearby cities and neighborhoods (in footer)". While I would assume it's a standard text widget for the footer, instead of using WP's broad text widget designation of "Text:Arbitrary text or HTML" , it might say "Cities you serve", which would be a better, more instructive guideline for the business owner. If a business owner is bad at following the "Cities you serve" directions and, instead of putting "Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee" in the box, they put in "Hotdogs, Unicycles, Flip Flops", there is no inherent, localized value that will overcome not following the "local" theme's cues. So, there's definitely value in that level of hand-holding. In that regard, the theme would have instructive value, more so that what people would think of as true, localized value.

    To extend beyond the theme itself, I would assume the real value would be with Greencastle's oversight and implementation, allowing business owners to focus on their day to day ops and not worrying about building a site or populating the content.

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