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  • #16
    Any opinion on Bluehost?

    Special $3.95/mo (2 or 3 yr plan)

    Free domain that is "yours to take" for as long as you host with them.


    I've been researching/chatting with them all evening, and they seem legit. A lot of the others I've looked at have been sneaky with the rates - one price shown, but they don't tell you that it has "strings attached".

    I'm about to sign up, so let me know if you can think of a reason not to!

    DONE.


    I signed up for the two year plan. I also decided to add the "privacy option" for $9.95/year to keep my personal info off of the "Whois" list (If that's the correct term - all new to me)
    I figure if they are giving me my domain for free for as long as I'm with them, I'd just spend the $10 I'd likely be spending elsewhere for a domain had I gone that route.
    Note that someone elsewhere suggested I ask, and the domain name is mine to take elsewhere if I choose. If I do, they will simply bill me $10. That sounds reasonable.

    And really, like the Cleaning Doctor said above, "That is $120 per year. How much did you just spend at Kinkos printing out your flyers?"

    Seriously. It costs nearly that much to get the needle off of "Empty" when I put gas in my truck.



    Account Plan 24 Months
    Hosting Price $94.80 ($3.95 for 24 months)
    Setup Fee FREE
    Registration Main Domain oakleaflawn.com FREE
    $9.95 Privacy
    You will be billed $104.75
    Now I just need to figure out how to build a web page.

    Comment


    • #17
      OK the page is up online and I am not putting any links to it. It is on OrganicLawnTips.com but there is no link from the home page. The sitemap is the only way Google will find the page.

      I targeted 2 keywords

      Lawn Mowing Gulfport
      Lawn Care Gulfport

      Your web site is useless if nobody can find you.

      Here is a photo of the ranking for the keywords.....Now let's see how long before they are on the front page. The ConcreteSealingTips.com site had a local article on the front page in 2 hours.
      Attached Files
      Pat

      Comment


      • #18
        Now I just need to figure out how to build a web page.
        What are their options?

        Most places will have some sort of site builder.

        1. Site builder easiest to use but also the most limited
        2. 3rd party site building software then FTP to the domain.
        3. Drupal - Free but very steep learning curve. You can do alot with it.
        4. Joomla - Also free, not as hard a drupal
        5. Wordpress - Free and the easiest of the three to learn.

        All of the sites that I have been building lately have been WordPress as they are very flexible and great for SEO. I do get the paid premium templates though over the free ones.
        Pat

        Comment


        • #19
          What are their options?

          Most places will have some sort of site builder.

          1. Site builder easiest to use but also the most limited
          2. 3rd party site building software then FTP to the domain.
          3. Drupal - Free but very steep learning curve. You can do alot with it.
          4. Joomla - Also free, not as hard a drupal
          5. Wordpress - Free and the easiest of the three to learn.

          All of the sites that I have been building lately have been WordPress as they are very flexible and great for SEO. I do get the paid premium templates though over the free ones.
          I believe there's a site builder, but these are also available... all are free except the ones with bold, orange titles. ($10, I believe)


          I have some reading to do.

          I also know a guy who teaches web design at a small trade school and he may have his class to build a site for me as a project. Not sure about that though, as I'd want to be in control of it.

          Comment


          • #20
            Cleaning Doctor:
            Thanks for the suggestions. I've changed the color of the title to match the brown in the buttons.

            I've linked to the pages, and have the meta tags set to (hopefully) show up in the search results. Additionally, I have an ad campaign at Google right now that includes the keywords you've listed and more. Unfortunately, I feel like I've done almost everything I can that would increase my visibility in search results, and feel like there isn't much left I can do. If you have any ideas on how to improve my visibility, please let me know.

            On the topic of my layout: I don't feel it's extremely cookie cutter, but It was free and when looking at costs, you'll see that I only pay $7/year **** and that's just for the domain name. I have some limited experience with HTML and CSS sheets are what I'm most comfortable with. I'm currently working on a quote request form, but I can't seem get the PHP right.

            Comment


            • #21
              In addition to the above linked "SimpleScripts", Bluehost offers the following "site builder" options:
              Soholaunch (not sure if this is free)
              Trendy Site Builder (not sure if this is free)
              LiveSite (free)
              concrete5 (free)

              I know nothing about any of this, so I still have a bit of reading to do before I can "make a page".


              Anyone know if I would be better off learning what Joomla and/or Drupal are? (rather than using a "site builder" type of thing.) I don't know anything about them except that "they are used to build websites".

              I'm a "visual" person, so WYSIWYG is ideal. I'm used to working with Photoshop for my images and laying out advertisements in something like InDesign or Quark Xpress if that helps to explain where I'm coming from "design wise".

              All of my ten years of ad layout/design work has been in print media - the web stuff is completely new to me. (But I'm starting to be less "afraid" of it, so that's a good thing)

              Comment


              • #22
                I am using Joomla for my main store website at www.wouldntyourather.com you have to watch joomla and install it yourself or you have MAJOR security problems. I ran into that a little myself on my sites. I can see Joomla as a great lawn site with what you can do with it though, you can even have a place to where your customer can log in and open trouble tickets for you to check out when you stop in.

                I am starting to go away from Joomla as I need more power with an online store but I am sure you will not have that issue. Good luck with your site, I am willing to help guide you to answers if I can.
                I am the owner of www.AllOutdoorParts.com an online mower parts distributor. I am also a Briggs Master Service Technician and Expert Certified Mechanic for Kohler. If my posts helps you please like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/alloutdoorparts

                Comment


                • #23
                  Website & Facebook

                  Both work well depending on the amount of time your willing to put into them.

                  A website....

                  Lets say you have a site built and have it hosted somewhere...who is visiting the site other than you and your friends that you told? How do you get traffic that wants your service???

                  Lets start off with the decision to go with a website for your business. The first thing you need to do is purchase a domain name...mubusiness.com. When you purchase that domain, all you are doing is buying the rights for that name for a year unless you buy more years. If you forget to renew it next year, its tossed back on the open market for anyone to use.

                  We are a top level registrar company and charge 12.95 for the use/rights to a domain for the year...more years can be purchased. In comparison Network Solutions charges 34.50 a yr.

                  Hosting the site comes next. Most often the cheaper it gets the less options you will get with it and the more of their advertising will be shown. We charge 9.95 a month or 99.95 yr and that gets you a C-panel to be able to check stats of who is coming to the site, key words used and so on. It also gives you the ability to create email address me@mybusiness.com as well as databases to use.

                  Next comes Creating your site using great content, less graphics and looking professional. As already mentioned...you usually get one shot at grabbing a potential customer. If it takes to long to load (to many graphics) to many distractions (animated graphics) or incorrect content for that potential customer to make an informed decision...off they go to the next competitor.

                  Remember your site is a true extension of your business. If it looks cheap and non professional, the assumption is that your work will be the same. So do it right the first time, make sure the site is completely done before taking it live (No Under Constructions) and concentrate on content that will allow your customer to make an informed decision and for search engines to help find you with the correct keywords in that content.

                  Other things you can do....

                  List yourself on Google maps - free

                  If your budget allows...use Google Adwords for advertising

                  Facebook - Have an open/public account (business) so that anyone can view it. Keep this account completely professional. Have a separate one for family and friends.

                  myspace - seems like its on its way out but still free

                  Twitter....a lot of people are now using hand held devices and in saying that...make sure your site is viewable on mobile devices.

                  Wordpress and Blogging - use your expertise to blog about lawn care and drive traffic to your site

                  What its all going to come down too is how much time you have to devote to doing any of this. If it becomes static...people will stop coming and search engines will drop it.
                  Northern New York Parts
                  Finding you the Parts you need at Affordable Prices

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Email Clients, MySQL, DNS, PHP, FTP, Meta Tags...



                    Be advised that my head is going to explode.




                    Taking two Tylenol and heading back to the tutorials...




                    p.s.
                    I can understand why people PAY to have websites made for them.
                    I'm going to try and do this myself, but there is a lot of crap I need to learn first.
                    I haven't even gotten out of my control panel yet, let alone download the "Concrete5" site builder tool to start building a web page. I don't understand most of the terminology, and I'm afraid I'll screw something up! LOL!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      First off I dont know if I picked the right topic to post this in. But here goes.

                      I am trying to find a place to host a website and I have no idea where to begin with it. What do you all suggest? Does having a website w/ just starting up really help out or should you build before doing a website?

                      And as far as Facebook goes, how do you all go about getting a possible client list built up on there? Adding people you know and having them suggest people or find local people and start adding everyone?

                      thanks for any help.

                      Eric

                      I just ran across this site as I was looking for explanations of some of the common terms used in web building/hosting.
                      On the left side is a ton of commonly asked questions. I figured since you appear new to this as well, it may be of some help.




                      As far as a hosting site is concerned, it's mind boggling how many are available, and it can be quite confusing when trying to "compare notes" between each of them where pricing/features are concerned.

                      I looked at a bunch, asked for opinions from friends, and got a different response from everyone. LOL
                      Ultimately, I went with Bluehost. I found a link through a hosting review site that provided a special "promo" price of $3.95/mo (w/2 or 3 yr plan)
                      , but I just checked before posting this, and the offer is now $4.95/mo. STILL a pretty good price though. (The standard "promo" shown if you go to the site directly is $6.95 and the regular price is $9.95)


                      I'm still a bit confused with everything, but they (Bluehost) do have tech support via phone and CHAT that I can utilize. I used chat several times before signing up, and was extremely satisfied with how my questions were handled. Also, they are based in Utah, and when you chat or call, you are speaking to someone in America - not "Robert" in India.

                      I don't care if you use them or one of the thousands of others out there - just giving my input.

                      Reading your OP again, are you looking for a hosting provider, or someone who "does it all", by designing your web site as well?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I also use bluehost and they seem pretty good, I have also had some that were crap like midphase

                        it you go with blue host I can help you with screenshots of how to setup a joomla site and give you links to a templet you can use that looks pretty good for a lawn service.
                        I am the owner of www.AllOutdoorParts.com an online mower parts distributor. I am also a Briggs Master Service Technician and Expert Certified Mechanic for Kohler. If my posts helps you please like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/alloutdoorparts

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Email Clients, MySQL, DNS, PHP, FTP, Meta Tags...



                          Be advised that my head is going to explode.
                          LOL that is a good one. After a while you will wonder why it even worried you.
                          Pat

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Well I am tired of waiting for google to come back and crawl the one page and index it so I am putting one link here because this site is crawled frequently.

                            Lawn Mowing Gulfport

                            I know I know ..... just impatient.

                            Here goes.
                            Pat

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Well I am tired of waiting for google to come back and crawl the one page and index it so I am putting one link here because this site is crawled frequently.

                              Lawn Mowing Gulfport

                              I know I know ..... just impatient.

                              Here goes.
                              With this one link and less than 4 hours later here is where the page stands. The first image is when i started the page and it was not even in the top 1000 results because it did not exist until my earlier post.

                              Goes to show you the power of this forum also, I think I will put one link for Lawn Care Gulfport just to see what happens.
                              Attached Files
                              Pat

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Going it alone

                                There is no reason I can think of that if you put your mind to building a website, that you can not do it all yourself if your willing to spend the time learning. I had to laugh about the hair pulling and trying to learn the terminology and what it all means in the scheme of things.

                                I don't know how it is with you and your personal business, but in mine...time is money. I only have so much time in a day to devote to certain aspects of the business and if I find I am spending a lot of time in one area because of a learning curve issue, I have to make the call of is it worth me spending this time doing it or should I hire parts of it out.

                                I have been designing sites since 1995, went back to college in the late 90's and walked away with a BA in information technology (Web development and Server Administrations)as well as two associate degrees...one in Computer information Systems and the other in database management & Programming languages.

                                And with all of this, I still find days that I am pulling my hair trying to keep up with all the new technologies that keep coming out. My best advice is if you have the time and do what to learn...go for it. If you find you don't have the time because most are gearing up getting their pre season orders in, fixing and servicing their equipment and creating fliers, mailers, magnets and other forms of advertising to get more business, it might be beneficial to hire someone.

                                No matter who does it, the most important thing at the end of the year is the amount of unique visitors and where they went on the site. Did it translate into more business? Google indexing...you need to tell the spiders how often you want the site spidered and what not to spider (private info).
                                Northern New York Parts
                                Finding you the Parts you need at Affordable Prices

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