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Where do I start? Any advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by lawnman_scott, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Here is my situation. I was in the yellow pages and discontinued it this year. It was getting out of control, $450 a month. Worth it, but just getting to me too much. Well the new book came out in July and I am still getting alot of calls, from commercial mostly. I was wondering where they were coming from, so I start to ask. The internet is the first responce mostly. So I was curious and did a google search for lawn care/maintenance, my city and state. Well, I have no idea how or why, but a link to my site is the 2nd hit on google. So I want to have something better.

    I have a e-mail with my name@my company.com through yahoo and I set up a one page site through them. Just me name, phone, and e-mail in the middle of the page, thats it.

    My first question is, if I design it, do I still have to pay for hosting each month? If so, how much on average?

    How much would it cost to have it done for me? And once its done can I have control to make minor changes?

    I just want a main page, services page, pictures, contact us, and maybe a way for people to pay through paypal.

    Any advice, links, or names would be great.
  2. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    I am not sure how much help I can be but yes, you will need hosting somewhere. I would say you could get qualtiy hosting for no more than $ 10.00 a month.

    To have a site done professionally would run somewhere between $ 300 and 2 grand. I would think you could get a nice site for around a grand and with what you were paying for yellow pages that is not bad. If you wanted you could probably find some newbie web designer who would do it for a hundred or two but you will get what you pay for to some degree. I don't know much about him but CBS creative hangs out here a lot and since he does he would be familiar with the industry and could probably give you a pretty first class site. There may be others but I have noticed his posts. Most would let you make small changes, some may charge a bit for it but if they charge too much for a small change I would find someone else. It only takes a few minutes to change a photo or reword a few things.

    One of the hosting companies I use gives you "coffee cup" software to create your own site if you host for a year. I host one site with them but never tried thier software but it looks ok. That is PowWeb and thier hosting has been fine. I like GoDaddy for Domain names but have had bad luck with thier hosting. I see some guys mention site builder but I don't know anything about that.

    The other option might be to find a forum for web site desingers and look for someone starting out that might do a decent site cheap but since most of your business is coming from the internet you might want to ask yourself what most of your business is worth and go for quality.
  3. RickR1818

    RickR1818 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    I would be interested in doing your site. PM me with your contact info and I will call you about what your looking for and what I can do for you.
  4. cbscreative

    cbscreative LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Well, I see my name mentioned, and Turbo was pretty accurate with his post. The cost of a site pales in comparison with what you were spending on Yellow Pages. As you already found out, many businesses don't use the phone book any more which is why the Internet is working better for you (many biz owners have not made this discovery yet). Turbo also hit it right on with the price. For someone in your business, I doubt it would be necessary to spend much over $1000, and, you do get what you pay for.

    As for updating, that's something I always work out with each client to what best suits their needs.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    He already has yahoo to host his site, no need for a new hosting service unless yahoo can't meet his needs. No point in wasting something he is already paying for.
  6. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    If he is happy with Yahoo that is great and very true. Truthfully if I was looking for someone to host one of my sites Yahoo would never come to mind and I do think there are better choices. If he is paid ahead for a while then yes, he might as well hang in with Yahoo.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    If he uses AT&T/Yahoo for his ISP, it comes with the package. I also would not recommend Yahoo to anyone for a hosting provider if given a choice.
  8. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Messages: 11

    Another "yahoo" recommendation ;)
    The price given is right in line, a good web site say 4 pages shouldn't be over $300 or less and the only problem is what deal you made with yahoo when you got the name. I made another post about a fairly new client I have who found he had committed to Yahoo for a year without realizing it and you may have done the same when you signed up for the e-mail hosting & such.
    It's nothing you can't get around, you may just have to wait until your "deal" with them (it was buried in the fine print) runs out. Then I would move the name to an independent registrar, you can do that while having a site hosted on another host-no downtime, just moving a name.

    There are other "do it yourself" programs included free, almost every host offers one "free" with hosting these days, the quality varies though so look for the good ones if that's what you want. I had one contractor build a pretty nice site with no prior knowledge in about 10-12 hours...now he's looking for time to finish it over the winter.

    So you should be able to get whatever you want, all your e-mails will come with your new host, web site won't cost a lot if you pay for one or build your own then under $10 a month for all your hosting stuff, easy & well worth the money.
    Happy hunting :)
  9. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Messages: 11

    The BIGGEST trouble you can get into is a company that offers anything "unlimited". Very bad advice.... unless you don't care about either clow response, servers frequently down, poor support, etc.

    What's your $19 "unlimited" lawn care plan?
    No matter how big the lawn or how many hedges to trim or other extras it's all just $19. "Unlimited Lawn Care" -- what a concept. As long as most lawns are small and they don't need edging you'll do great... but what about when the 2 acre lot with all the hedges & walkways calls-OK so you can afford to take a beating on one-but worse they tell their neighbors and now 50 of them all call...:dizzy:
    I'm sure you are running that ad for your landscaping business since your recommend it in hosting ;)

    There are no "unlimited" hard drives in the stores, look on the Dell website, even for $25K the servers don't have "unlimited RAM, even a way cool q8ad-core Xeon is still only so many cycles per second, and then there's those persky internet connections that datacenters price based on speed. 10Mbs costs a HECK of a lot less than a GB connection.

    There was a "woe is me, my site is always slow, it's down a lot, etc." post just today on a big hosting site I'm very active on (sorry-different name) from a guy who had unlimited and he found his host's server was running constant loads over 10 (normal "peak" "redline" is 1) and there were 1,800 & some sites on that server... that's the world of "unlimited".

    I hate to see somebody paying too much like with Yahoo or some of the others but I REALLY hate companies who promise what doesn't exist.."unlimited" hosting or "500GB disk space" (a whole hard drive) for $4 a month... these companies may do OK until they get too many customers, so if it's a brand new company it might work a while... the rules won't let me link to my site so I'll make a long post by adding a news item I posted there 2 days ago:

    In the December 2008 issue of a major magazine I saw one of the scariest things yet!

    Unbelievable if you think of it but this was the "plan" offered in their ad...

    "If you are looking to make big money Start Your Own Web Hosting Business Free!" Unlimited disk space and unlimited transfer for 12 months FREE! (then it told of the huge market for web hosting-you can make a fortune from home...etc. etc.)...then:

    Start your own hosting business, we will "white label" your free plan so it looks just like you are a major hosting company...feel free to offer your customers as much space and bandwidth as they want-charge whatever you want-it's all pure profit for your first 12 months!

    Of course the "plan" is that a percentage of the people looking to make "fast money on the Internet" like all those late -night infomercials talk about; this sounds great and they will get customers from friends, family, maybe advertise or whatever. Then of the percentage that get some customers during the "free" 12 months some will be making enough money they will pay the higher than average fees to continue with the company offering this "deal" when the 12 months is up. Can you believe it..."unlimited everything" for someone who knows nothing about the web or hosting to sell to you through a "white label site" so they look like a real host!
    Sadly I wonder how many people will sign up for this "free money for 12 months" offer and then sell BIG plans-or even unlimited for low prices like $2-$5 to get customers (probably will have a special "yearly" fee) then when it's not free anymore the college kid or "get rich quick" schemer will vanish with his 12 months of free money leaving all their customers with no host? Of course the people making this offer hope a good % will "stay & pay" and in 12 months they will have paying customers...but I can't help think of human nature and how many people will use this opportunity to make some quick money then leave the "customers" wondering "where did XYZHost go? I have no web site or e-mail! To me such advertising & "marketing" gimmicks should be illegal. There are no "unlimited" hard drives if you search for the biggest you can find and all bandwidth (even the low quality slow lines) costs money; but they are offering anyone who signs up "your free & unlimited everything" web hosting business"; for 12 months!
    The people signing up can be anyone and may or may not "have a clue" about web hosting. Some may just want a few quick bucks...whatever the result to me it's totally unethical. After a year you will think one "company" is your host but he's actually just one of many all selling as much as they want of the same server and you would never even know the company that really has your data!

    PS: A little research (easy) shows ziggyhosting.com is a reseller using "white label" services of another host. (not the one in the ad mentioned above--there are LOTS of them)
  10. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Just the look of ziggy's website would scare me. Compared to my other hosting companies their website looks very fly by night. The prices are ok but I have to wonder if down the road a few years when ziggy graduates from high school if the web hosting will still be around.

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