/ Website hosts and website builders for a novice

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pineapple - on 29 Jun 2013
I want to make a website for my new business but I literally have no idea where to begin.

Does anyone with tech know-how want to point me in the right direction re: web hosts and easy-to-understand website builders please? I want a relatively simple website that looks clean and professional and doesn't look like it was built by someone who doesn't know what they're doing (haha). I have tried one website builder and it is just so difficult to understand - I can't make anything look how I want it to. Also, its templates on offer are just not what I am after at all: all stock photos and boxes and boxes which need filling with text that I can't get rid of.

I know what I want is a bit vague but this is new territory for me.

Also, is 50-60 a year (4-5 per month) a reasonable amount to pay for a web host?
browndog33 - on 29 Jun 2013
In reply to pineapple: I'm using 1 and 1, I'm a total novice but find it VERY easy to use. This is my site; www.site-fit.co.uk
Mark.
Milesy - on 29 Jun 2013
In reply to pineapple:

In my opinion no web builders make you look professional. They might look professional to you, but to many others they look like what they are - that you have used a template.

Well I pay 30 month for my hosting :)
pineapple - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to pineapple)
> They might look professional to you, but to many others they look like what they are - that you have used a template.

Fair point. You are right. I think though, with my funds and the stage I am at with my business, I will be happy with it looking like a template - as long as it's a nice looking one. I think our different hosting prices indicate how important our sites are :)

I ended up finding weebly and it was much easier to use - I'm happy now!
Jim C - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to browndog33:
> (In reply to pineapple) I'm using 1 and 1, I'm a total novice but find it VERY easy to use. This is my site; www.site-fit.co.uk
> Mark.

Looks like a good site Mark, easy to navigate and not too fussy, nice and professional looking.

A couple of things,( if you are looking for some 'constructive' comments)

Certification , I look at a lot of websites for suppliers( often out of normal hours by the time I want to issue it) I need to compile bidders list and decide if I want to send an enquiry, I will always want to check out certification, ideally I will be able to download them, but the very least I will want to do is view them online, to see if I will add your firm to the bidders list. I would look at putting that stuff online, most suppliers I deal with do.

My pet hate is online forms, ( with no alternative email) and this is why:-

I need want email address, because I am busy, I have prepared an enquiry document to issue to several suppliers ,( possibly out of hours) very likely with other attachments , and the return will be on a deadline. I can't wait around waiting 24 hours for someone to get back to me, plus I will want to put a delivered receipt on it and a Read receipt.
Form don't give me that info. And don't let me send attachments, you might not see that enquiry from me if I have lots of options, or am on a tight schedule.

Don't worry about the online form, a business email when it arrives will have a email address (of course, it is an email ) name, company , position, telephone etc on it, why do I want to type it all on a form.

browndog33 - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to Jim C:

Thanks for the comments Jim.

I originally had the business email address on the website Jim but I was strongly advised to take it off to prevent spammy emails (the good fellows and lasses of UKC advised me to do it!) I think I'll put it back on and if the spamming starts I'll have to re-consider(again!).

As for certificates Jim, I'll have a strong think about your suggestions for including them on the site.
Cheers Jim,
Mark.
stroppygob - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to pineapple: I use "Dreamhost" and wordpress. I host a forum, blog, photo gallery, music, and bit and bobs for $10 per month (about 6 quid.)

Mine isn't professional though It's just a fun thing
Mike00010 - on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to pineapple: Go with wordpress on any of the hosts. That'll allow you to setup anything you want and there's a nice and active user forum who will help with questions.
Jim C - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to browndog33:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> Thanks for the comments Jim.
>
> I originally had the business email address on the website Jim but I was strongly advised to take it off to prevent spammy emails (the good fellows and lasses of UKC advised me to do it!) I think I'll put it back on and if the spamming starts I'll have to re-consider(again!).
>
> As for certificates Jim, I'll have a strong think about your suggestions for including them on the site.
> Cheers Jim,
> Mark.


Others can do it ok, but I don't know what they use to protect themselves from spam.

Here is an example of email contact and Certification being available.
http://www.boltandnutmfg.co.uk/?gclid=CIDhjKjQkbgCFfMQtAodDQMAzA

I can only say how effects me trying to do my job, looking for goods and services.

That is not to say other's advice was not well intentioned,. It all comes down to knowing your customer.

If not having a sales@ email is not an issue in your business, then stick with the form. Personally, it leaves me feeling less in control of the process, and my company does not pay me to fill out forms or answer 'surveys' fir the benefit of others.

All this website stuff is unbelievably useful to me, I started out in they mid 70's with a Phone, and later a telex room. Now I get annoyed when people don't make the best use of the fantastic technology available

I used to have to wait for a rep to call round, or ask for a brochure to be posted, fax came along ,and was a boon, now it's old hat, and almost defunct.

I would look at my main competitors in that market and see what they do on their sites. (But you will have done that)

Good luck with the business.
Jim C - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to browndog33:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> Thanks for the comments Jim.
>
> I originally had the business email address on the website Jim but I was strongly advised to take it off to prevent spammy emails (the good fellows and lasses of UKC advised me to do it!) I think I'll put it back on and if the spamming starts I'll have to re-consider(again!).
>
> As for certificates Jim, I'll have a strong think about your suggestions for including them on the site.
> Cheers Jim,
> Mark.

I just noticed you DO have a email, it is just not where I expected to see it , i.e under the contact. It is down the side. I always go straight to contact.
So spam is obviously not been a problem.
browndog33 - on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C: I've added the email since your last post, I forgot to put it on the contact page- thanks for letting me know.
Mark.
browndog33 - on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C: Ps Jim, our target customers are the smaller house builders, not the big boy developers so their procurement of services generally involves less (i.e no) official paperwork to be produced. (less hoops for us to jump through!).
Enty - on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to pineapple:

This is my contact page - about as simple as you can get really.

http://www.veloventoux.com/?c=contact

I pay a fiver a month to Plus.net

E
ads.ukclimbing.com
a lakeland climber on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to Enty:

I have to force money on my web host! He only charges 25 per year. OK, there's no system backup but I've got technical support and up time is well up there with the named hosting packages - I can't remember when it was last down.

As for design - keep it simple, which doesn't mean plain, there are so many sites where you can't see the wood for the trees or should that be bits for the bytes.

ALC

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