MY FIRST WEBSITE

watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
     
Can anyone out there help me start up my first website. I know I need
one but I don`t have a clue how to start  it up.  I bought a
book on it but actually I don`t have the time it takes to learn all
about web language and all the other essential stuff.

 I just need something to get my business out there for now, nothing too expensive would be wonderful too.

Also information on web servers would be helpful too.
Need some good advice here please.
Thanks !!!

Jo
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Comments

  • ScottyScotty subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Jo,I can help you get started. Have you chosen a domain name yet? A web hosting provider? Do you know what your expectations of your website are yet? I can get you set up with the basics. If you want to go over specifics, you can contact me via the "My Messages" tab at the top of the page.BTW, what book did you get? If it turns out to be useful to you, others may want to get a copy of it too.Scott
  • tomasztomasz subscriber Posts: 14
    Hi Jo,For a new online business like yours I would recommend that you take a look at Yahoo Merchant Solutions. Yahoo offers three different soultions for an online merchant. In your case I would recommend that you take a look at the Starter Solution. All the steps are clearly explained along with guides and tutorials. If you have any other questions please ask as I am very familiar with Yahoo`s Merchant Solutions. One thing I should mention; I someone suggests to create a website for you make sure that you have full control of webdesign, order processing, inventory management, and marketing. Often what happens to individuals who let one person get involved in the entire aspect is that they tend to bring their own people into the mix. And for example you want make a small change within the website, then the entire group of people is suddenly involved and they charge a small amount for their involvement simpkly because they have ties to the webdesigner of the person who`s doing the marketing.
  • bobbyhumebobbyhume subscriber Posts: 1 Member
    Hello Jo.

    I would love to help you get a website up and running. I have
    to disagree when it comes to using Yahoo though, very pricey
    for what you get in my opinion. Depending on your business
    and what you`re looking for in a site I am sure you can get a first
    class site up and running for very little money. Please e-mail
    me if you are interested in me helping you get started. I ran a
    photography business off the web for a couple of years before I
    got a job transfer and truth be told I miss the programming and
    design.

    Good Luck.

    [email protected]
  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6

    Can anyone out there help me start up my first website. I know I need
    one but I don`t have a clue how to start  it up.  I bought a
    book on it but actually I don`t have the time it takes to learn all
    about web language and all the other essential stuff.Hi Jo - I know I`ve seen this mentioned amongst a lot of other great advice so far, but the most important question in my mind is the one about what kind of business you`re in?That`s going to dictate much of what happens with your website decisions.  If you`re simply looking to have an online presence that provides information about your business, your website needs are going to be very different from someone looking to run a full-fledged e-commerce website.  Bottom line: websites are never a one size fits all proposition, and please avoid anyone who tells you that they are.So let us all know what type of business you run, and I`m sure we can all help you out in this area (and hopefully provide some great information that everyone reading this can use!).
  • watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    Thanks to all who replied to me on help for my first website.  I have tried to answer everyone`s questions below.
    Web Hosting Provider?
              No - not yet - there are
    so many ads out there for web hosts, I havent done any comparisions yet
    at all.
    Domain Name?
              Probably would be the Tomsriverconcierge.com - simple and descriptive
    (my town and services both) both words would make good search words for
    my area. My own company name is Ocean County Support Center for Home
    and Business and that wouldnt work for a domain name.
    Method of Payment I would accept?
           Probably seniors would be paying cash or checks and two-income families
    would use credit cards. I have gotten a lot of credit card applications from
    vendors and will have to choose someone.
    My Location
            I am in Ocean County, NJ (the jersey
    shore).  Mostly everything is done but I have to finish composing
    my legal contracts (my attorney has the final
    say though) and order the rest of my company apparel .  If I had
    to outsource these startup costs it would be unaffordable since I don`t
    like to borrow money. I am waiting on some things like stationary, a
    logo (to be designed) and brochures.
    What type of business do I have now?
           This is a business that I hope to have
    up and running very shortly, it is taking a long time I think because I
    am doing everything 100% but I don`t want
    to start up wrong I want it to start out right.  There is no
    competition out there now and there are thousands of seniors in this
    area, enough for plenty of competition I would think. Since this is a
    first of its kind business, I can`t get information on rates or any
    data at all so I`m out here on a limb, so to speak.
    There is a business in Beacon Hill, Mass that has a similar business and they
    are very very successful. They charge $1500 daily for consultations and they are getting requests from all over the country.
     Types of services are many, but mainly shopping services, concierge services,
    errands, organizational, help with medicare, social security, doctor
    claims, consumer advocate, computer search, helping seniors stay safe
    at at home and
    help with identity theft information,coordinatiang handyman/contractor
    repairs + more. This is to help seniors live at home. Two income
    couples could also use some of these services plus more such as waiting
    for home deliveries, gift shopping, appmt scheduling & holiday
    reminders, faxing documents to a secured fax machine instead of faxing
    to a public office fax, copying & scanning services + more. I know
    it sounds like a lot of work and it is but I do have people in the
    wings to help when I am ready.
    What type of financial resources do I have to start my business?
              To be perfectly honest, I
    am financing myself because I don`t like to borrow but the well will be
    running dry shortly.  Thank goodness, all the equipment I already
    have.  I probably should think about an 800# though instead of my
    own home number.
    Are you considering designing this site yourself?
           I originally thought that I could so I bought a book and was reading it. Then
    nothing else was getting done so I stopped reading it and was going to
    wait on the website but I know that I need one. I would like my website
    to be imprinted on my cards and stationary and on my car sign.
    How long have I considered this venture?
           About 3 years ago I guess, its not a
    spur of the moment thought.  I talked to many people about it,
    family, friends, seniors. Everyone thinks its a great idea esp in this
    area, no negative comments at all.  I really do this now for
    people I know and family but I want to offer it to the senior
    population. As baby boomers are getting up in age, they will be needing
    services like I will be offering and I believe other companies will be
    forming to service these people.  I have 8  years experience
    in this field (for my father) who was able to live at home only because
    of me and my sister taking care of him. I already had a few meetings
    with S.C.O.R.E. and the man that was working with me was enthusastic
    about it for this area.  I also have met with some directors at a
    senior community and they were positive about this type of business in
    this community as well.
    I havent heard any negatives.
    Do I have a mentor? 
              No
    Do I have a team?
              No team
    I think it would be nice to have a website that would list my services & rates,
    benefits from using my company, some history on me and the company, Q
    and A, testimonials, email capability will be needed for people to send
    to me a list of services they will be needing, and a message board so
    people can comment and rate the business. I also would like to send out
    a monthly newsletter reminding
    people things that have to be done seasonally (things that everyone forgets to do or they dont want to do them)  I
    also will be needing a wireless device so that people can contact me on
    the road for emergency requests - i want to be responsive as much as I
    can. Does anyone know if someone sent me an email on my website if I
    could retrieve it on a  blackberry?
    Well I finally got to the end, hope I didn`t put anyone to sleep
    thank you all so much!
    jo in toms river


                      


     
       




  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    Hey Jo - thanks for the detailed response about your business, certainly sounds like an interesting venture.  I think we all have a much better idea of what type of business you`re starting.  As I read through your list, it doesn`t look like you`re interested in building out a huge amount of expensive functionality (others may not agree).  I`d classify them as follows:Content: services, rates, benefits, history, FAQ, testimonialsFunctionality: an online form of some sort, message board, email list management systemAs far as the wireless device question, Blackberry and similar devices just pick up emails the way any other system does, so there`s nothing special or unique about configuring that.My initial take is that you could get a functional site up without investing a lot.  Can you provide us with some idea of what you`re budgeting for the website?
  • PetsStockPetsStock subscriber Posts: 0
    Welcome to the world of the startup business !
    Its very exciting to be your own boss and start your business.
    I would suggest the following:  Do your homework and research the market or product you are interested in, get to know your competition. I found having a Web Developer to help is important, especially if you are not an expert in HTML and JAVA code writing. They will know how to do the design, but you need to be the guide on what you want, like most things, you get about 70-80% of what you would like to start, unless you have an unlimited budget. Web Development can be very expensive, I found that I start with something I can work with, within my budget. It also seemed to take a while to get things going and this is a factor of how busy your designer team is, so its important to get a rough timeline, although they seem to be missed on a regular basis ( murphys law), so plan for some buffer time for your expected launch ( I found at least an extra month was a good buffer). You also need a good marketing plan ( Google and Yahoo can be fairly expensive, but necessary in startup mode), so you will want to plan for at least 25-30% marketing expense early on, maybe more. You can estimate how much you will make in your business as it launches, but plan to be flexible, I found I need to expect slightly less than I am wishing for and budget accordingly, also you might want to understand your expected "break even" point... it takes time to become profitable in a startup, usually at least 6 months, maybe a year depending on your business. It can be eye opening, and everything is expensive... boxes, shipping, inventory, office space... all are important considerations. Best of luck, I am sure you will get much more in the way of feedback... Have fun, being your own boss is a great thing, planning is a big factor in making things a success and driving customers to your site.
  • MissTiffanyMissTiffany subscriber Posts: 2
    Anyone who wants a professionally built website for $20 a month and no contracts please email me [email protected]</A>. I will also update it weekly for you.
  • IDHPIDHP subscriber Posts: 0
    To preface my response, i want to say that i do not work for any of the companies listed below, nor do i have any ties with them.  My reply is purely as a consumer and entrepreneur.
    I`ve used many web hosting sites and many DNS hosting servers. In my humble opinion they all offer very much the same services.  I`ve been happy with only two of them, network solutions and Godaddy.  I`ve hired several website consultants and have been generally happy, but the website I use currently is one that i built using a program called WEbeasy.  It cost $50, i bought it at compusa.  the site is www.id-hp.com</A> if you want to take a look at it.  It`s not perfect, but it only took me two days to build.  I`m continually improving it, and may hire someone new to provide more functionality and graphics.
    Right now, Godaddy is hosting my site and i pay $5 per month.  They`re very responsive and any questions I`ve had they`ve answered in under 10 minutes.
    If you`re starting out, go with the cheapest provider you can (unless money is not an option).  Most hosting companies are interchangeable and you can swap your sites from one host to another with very little work, usually just a phone call.  If you do it over the weekend you will have very little, if any at all, downtime.
    Later, as your bandwidth and traffic increases think about switching to a more permanent provider.
    There are many online merchant solutions and none of them are completely safe.  There`s always an element of risk when you do these kinds of transactions.  I`ve come to like paypal, but there are many more out there.
    Hope that helps, feel free to e-mail me with more questions.
    Good luck.
    Craig
    IDHP
  • MelissaMelissa subscriber Posts: 7
    I hope Watergal doesn`t mind that I`m jumping in on her discussion, but she asked a question similar to mine (and why have multiple discussions about the same topic, I say!). 
    I, too, am looking to have a website created.  I kind of am in need of a full graphics package, though - website, logo, and brochures.  I`d love it if someone/ various individuals could email me with help!    To facilitate this process, I will answer all the questions that dear watergirl answered below:
    Web Hosting Provider?No, I have some recommendations, but I`d like a little more professional input on this.  The recommendations I`ve received so far are:  www.powweb.com</A>
    Domain Name?Yes - I have registered www.winsomeevents.com</A> through ipowerweb for $2.95 with privacy protection!  Woo hoo, eh?
    Method of Payment I would accept?For the moment, checks and possibly credit cards...maybe through paypal?  I don`t really need e-commerce for a wedding and event consulting business...unless I decide to offer invitations or favors to the general public over the web, but I`m not sure I am interested in that headache.
    My LocationI`m in the San Francisco Bay Area for now...I may be moving in late 2007 to Colorado.       
    What type of business do I have now?I currently am employed, but hope to move full-time to wedding and event consulting by July 2006.  I will offer full-service, partial, and cutomized wedding planning and coordination packages and hourly consultations for weddings and events (such as birthday parties, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.).
    What type of financial resources do I have to start my business?I have been saving like mad and probably have around $5K (total) for everything I need to get up and running.  I have a nice little nest egg for us to live on as well (also due to the saving like mad thing) and can possibly tap into additional student loans for living expenses (my husband is in doctoral school), but I`d like to continue down the road of minimizing student loan debt.         
    Are you considering designing this site yourself?No.  I want something that is done right and looks professional.  I have enough HTML knowledge to be dangerous, but I don`t believe that I can design the site that I`m dreaming of.  I do think I should be able to handle most site maintenance once it is up and running. 
    How long have I considered this venture?I have dreamt about it for a couple of years, but I didn`t seriously decide it was for me until Oct. 2006.  I have been taking courses to ensure that I can provide my clients with superior service.  I am a domestic diva of sorts as well as a CPA/MBA so I have all the skills and know-how to make things fly.        
    Do I have a mentor?  I recently became a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants and they have an apprenticeship program which I am planning to look into.  I also have contacts currently in the wedding planning business.  And, then, there`s always Martha Stewart - whether you love her or hate her, you have to admit she knows how to plan an event and make a business work!    
    Do I have a team?My husband and a friend are excited for my venture and are already doing what they can to help me succeed.  I plan to meet with various vendors and create a "team" of preferred vendors who will refer clients to me....
    As for my vision of what my website will do for me, I am looking for something charming, romantic, sophisticated and fun to attract potential clients and then get them to contact me so that I can convert them into paying clients.  In general, my site will be more along the informative side of things, giving detail regarding my service offerings, the vendors I work with, who I am, etc.  I`d also like to have an outlet to have a little newsletter or something.  I`ve set up a blogger blog where I`m sort of feeling this idea out...
    If you have any more questions for me, please feel free to email me.  I look forward to hearing from you.
    And, watergirl, thanks so much for letting me intrude on your post!   
  • watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    So glad MeLissa, that I am not the only one - feel like I`m on a raft
    in the middle of the big big ocean. I finally signed up yesterday with
    startlogic.com (host provider).
    It was recommended by bobbyhume here on startup - and now they are
    calling me on the phone and want to design my site. Right now I am up
    to their $799  package and they
    arent explaining too well what I get for it. So confused here - 
    just faxed me his contract (which I am not signing at this moment). All
    I want is a basic site, so I will post all feedback on this forum for
    you and all others who are interested and  maybe we can get other
    feedback (oh yes please).....
    jo in nj

  • watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    Thanks Craig for the post,
    I just signed up yesterday for webhosting on startlogic.com. I took their
    lowest plan for $4.99 a month. They have been calling me today to design
    a site for me. Sounded great but so far it will cost me $799 for what I thought
    I would like. I dont want to go that high yet ..maybe later but not yet. I am
    going to look at the software you mentioned. If you works for you why it will
    probably work for me too - just the basics is fine.
    Thanks
    jo
  • tomasztomasz subscriber Posts: 14
    Hi,So if you have not signed anything yet with StartLogic then maybe you should wait. If they are simply not making things easier for you by explaining what you will receive in the package then clearly I would reconsider dealing with them.  Website design and hosting of the site don not have to be combined into one package by one company. GoDaddy has a package for a whole year @ around $80. This inludes all hosting needs along with many tools that will allow you to if you were to hire someone to do your site to create customized site tailored to your needs. If you need to IM me I am online.
  • MelissaMelissa subscriber Posts: 7
    I second tomasz....if you don`t feel completely comfortable with a company and what they`re telling you, they haven`t earned your business.  Your customers will use the same criteria with you!
    And, I appreciated knowing there was somebody in a similar position as me, too.  I guess that`s the benefit of this new community! 
  • MelissaMelissa subscriber Posts: 7
    Karen,
    I`d love to have a copy of your form. 
     
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