Building/maintaining websites - how hard?

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Alan

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My wife and I are thinking about taking our business to the Internet world. I have found lots of outfits that would be happy to build and maintain a website for us for just a few hundred dollars a year. I have also looked at Godaddy.com a little they seem pretty reasonably priced. Can any tell me how hard it really is to build a website and maintain it (by that I mean changing pics every few months, business specials, coupons, etc.). I'm pretty good on a computer but this is new territory for, can some of you give me some pointers, or at least something to get me started?

Thanks,
Alan
 

dun

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Do some of the HTML tutorials that are online. That will get you the basics and you can go from there
 

Cattleman200

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I understand that you probably want to save a few dollars by creating your own website. I just wanted to put in my two cents worth and say that Cattle Today has done as good a job as anyone could with my website and I have been very pleased with their service. I looked at probably 200 cattle websites and different companies that built and maintained websites before I decided who to go with. I have also recruited a few other people who wanted websites that have also been completely happy as far as I know. Being connected to a company like Cattle Today will also get you more trafficc versus just having a website. I hope this helps if you decide to have one built.


Circle H Ranch
 

showing71

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Just my experience with web design...
I started in web design back when we decided to go on the web. We looked at having some people make one, but it's not so much the design fee -that's just a one time expense- it's more the price they charge for quarterly maintenance and updating. One place we looked at charged $450 for a 3-page site, which fine, but wanted $250 a quarter for maintenance. So I spent the last year learning web design. I ended up buying the top of the line software for it. Getting into Photoshop and Dreamweaver, etc. was wayyy more than I bargained for. Like I said, over a year and I still am learning. Personally, having someone else make the website so it is graphically appealing for you is a big plus. It takes a lot of know how to make everything operate smoothly.

A lot of the building and maintenance is just time consuming, not real hard. To make our website, it took me 2 weeks, but it has about 25 pages total (separate pages for each cow family, etc.) One customer of mine has a 6 page site, and building that took about 4 days. I updated another one of my customer's website a few weeks ago with his private treaty bulls that are for sale and it took me a good 4 or so hours.

I have seen some people use the free blog spaces for their websites. They are easy to do, but I think they are hard to navigate because they aren't a true website. Microsoft Office has a website builder, but it's pretty basic as far as graphics. The big thing I learned is graphics are tricky, and if they aren't high quality, they look poor on the web.
 

Aaron

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It takes some time to build the pages, but updating is simple and straightforward. One of my best friends runs a professional hosting business and can link you up with page developers for very reasonable rates. Email and tell him that Aaron says to give you a great deal. [email protected]
 

CKC1586

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Cattleman200":36citpb2 said:
I understand that you probably want to save a few dollars by creating your own website. I just wanted to put in my two cents worth and say that Cattle Today has done as good a job as anyone could with my website and I have been very pleased with their service. I looked at probably 200 cattle websites and different companies that built and maintained websites before I decided who to go with. I have also recruited a few other people who wanted websites that have also been completely happy as far as I know. Being connected to a company like Cattle Today will also get you more trafficc versus just having a website. I hope this helps if you decide to have one built.


Circle H Ranch
Yup, I agree. My brother used Cattle Today services for his web site. He is very pleased with the outcome! :tiphat: :nod:
 

slick4591

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I have a catering business and when I started looking for a way to get a web site up I found it was more money that i wanted to spend. So, I bought web design software that only a dummy could screw up and built my own. I proved myself a dummy on more that one occasion, but after I got a feel for it it was pretty simple. So now i have the software and have built a few sites for friends and am in the progress of building my farm site. I invested a portion of the money and my time was free, so I think I came out way ahead.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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IMO we have built several websites (have 2 now). Past experience has taught us to STAY AWAY from "webmasters" that charge "maintenance fees" to update or change your site. You need a "real time WYSIWYG capability" that YOU can update on the web "right now". Any number of web services have "canned" "skins" (design layouts) that you can pick and choose your layout and colors.

Initial design is the start. As the days go by, you will add, delete, and change information. Other than that, you should always purchase your OWN domain name (minimal cost per year) and do not "piggyback" onto some services domain (e.g., the freebie web creation sites). You want your OWN domain identity.

People that use "webmasters" (who do all work & changes for you) often fine the webmasters not doing changes when you need them done. IMO their prime "business" is to charge initial and then on-going "maintenance" fees, second to do your stuff "right now".

For those that are contemplating using the HTML design language...if you are not computer savvy and don't want to spend time learning the special HTML code, then you are better off using one of the "canned" design frameworks for initial set-up

JMHO
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I agree with building your own. When I did mine - I didn't even know what "linking" was and I still don't know HTML :shock:
I use Microsoft Front Page. Bought it thru Ebay & have updated the program recently.
But, definately get your own domain name - I get mine thru GoDaddy. Then you can change your email address to your "virtual" address which would be your domain name. No matter what service you use from now on, your email address can always be the same, like mine @SimmeValley.com
 

Cattleman200

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People that use "webmasters" (who do all work & changes for you) often fine the webmasters not doing changes when you need them done. IMO their prime "business" is to charge initial and then on-going "maintenance" fees, second to do your stuff "right now".

Have you ever had any dealings with Cattle Today on their websites? If not then please do not be judge, jury and executioner on all webmasters. My updates have always been done in a timely manner and I have had their service for 5-6 years now. If you have had a bad experience with another one then please tell us about it so people can steer clear of them. I am completely satisfied with Cattle Today as my website host and they have always been a pleasure to work with.

Also, there is a lot more to having a website than just building one and saying "hey we have a website". It should be advertised in every aspect of your business from ads in magazines, catalogs etc. to having it on all of your business cards. Even with all that said I dont find that I get the exposure that I get by having it listed here on Cattle Today. You can not have too much exposure for your site. I have had over 64,000 hits on my site and I attribute a large number of those to having it listed here on the Cattle Today Website. I also would say that I average at least a call or email weekly year round from my site. It is an outstanding tool to have and IMO you should not take a lot of short cuts when attaining a site.


Circle H Ranch
 

JustSimmental

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I can show you how to build a website for < $30 per year ---forget the 200 dollar guys.
It is simple.......
JS
 

ffamom

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The problem is not with creating your site, but in getting the right meta tags so it can be found when people search. The tags have to be updated regularly. You could have the best site...but if no one knows about it...doesn't do you much good.
 

cypressfarms

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ffamom":1k81sui6 said:
The problem is not with creating your site, but in getting the right meta tags so it can be found when people search. The tags have to be updated regularly. You could have the best site...but if no one knows about it...doesn't do you much good.


Really good point!

My wife is a computer programmer; she did a website for me. She says the same thing all the time - If your website isn't where people will get to it, everything is wasted.
 

slick4591

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I think I have a little less than $300.00 invested in my software and that includes a $100.00 upgrade. My farm site is now published and that is a total of 6 sites I've built and can maintain myself for that amount. I'm no pro at it but In my book that's a bargain anywhere! I'd be glad to get feedback on my site and my animals if you want to throw any back.

http://hughespiedmontese.com/
 

showing71

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This is a website I just finished up not too long ago http://www.ledahltarentaise.com . It's one of the more basic sites I have going right now, they have had some rough weather in ND so he hasn't got much for pictures and information yet.

I think that having an invisible stat counter helps too. I use statcounter.com on the websites I've made to allow the customers to see where people are finding their website. It shows the state people are visiting from and the link they followed to get there, what they look at while on the site, and how long they stay. It's kinda neat to see it, and really helps in marketing.
 
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