Building your own website

rvdebbyrvdebby Posts: 11subscriber
I am somewhat computer literate and enjoy creating marketing materials for my current employer. I see that webdesign is very expensive and will have continued demand for $`s to upgrade and maintain. Would it be crazy to consider purchasing software, like Front Page or even using MSPub to create my own website?
If I did choose this method, how do I go about creating a shopping cart? I understand that PayPal is a great way to add credit cards. Does anyone have thoughts on this?
I also will need to have a catalog and brochures--what software have you used for this or should I just incorporate the cost into my startup loan request?
 rvdebby2006-11-4 19:23:15
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Comments

  • rvdebbyrvdebby Posts: 11subscriber
    Hi Rich,
    Thanks for the advice. Your website looks good.
    Are you happy with the results of your web package? Are you getting the results you expected?rvdebby2006-11-4 21:0:42
  • EBizAlanEBizAlan Posts: 0subscriber
    If everyone here doesn`t already know, there is a free software at www.nvu.com</A> that is just as good as frontpage (minus the $100 you have to spend). 
    Just in case you guys want to lower your overhead!
     EBizAlan2006-11-4 21:8:24
  • RichardBuggyRichardBuggy Posts: 4subscriber
    Hi rvdebbyFrom you`re questions I think you`d very quickly find yourself in over your head if you tried to build your own shopping cart. I`d strongly recommend you look for a shopping cart hosting company with all of the feature you want and that allows you to customize the look.If you just want a static website then go for try the free programs like Nvu first. They`ll probably do what you want but save you $$$`s  Rich
  • NuevolutionNuevolution Posts: 30subscriber Bronze Level Member
    Building your own web site!The question remains... Altough, many entrprenuers like to take matters into their own hands, they like to take on a project like "building a web site"... My questions to you is? How much knowledge do you have on web design? Are you artistic enough to take on a project of this nature?Remember, although keeping your overhead low is always a concern for many company`s... It can hinder your business in a way that you wont imagine. Why? because.... Your internet presentation has to do alot with how people are going to see your business... When a client visits your web site, it has to have appeal, easy to navigate... The least you need is for your company`s web site too look like something a 10 year old created while fiddling around with MS Frontpage or MS Publisher. Remember, MS Publisher is what it is... Its for publishing internal marketing and communication letters... It is not intended to give you the corporate presentation that the company that you work for seeks.... When I talk to my clients and they ask me: should we build the web site on our own and you just look it over? My answer is No, I will not help you... Why? Because a web designer is a professional that understands how things work on the internet... Just like you wouldn`t paint your own car, would you? Just imagine yourself painting your car, would you get the same results as if you where to take it to Joes Body Shop? Web Design doesn`t always have to be expensive, you can find good web designers out there that will give you a good web presentation. My answer to your posting is: LEAVE IT TO A PROFESSIONALDown the road you are going to see that, what you though was going to be expensive, fits in good with the budget you set aside for your web site. Another thing, Shopping carts aren`t something you want to touch if you don`t have the knowledge to go along with it. Remember you will be collecting clients critical information. How are you going to protect your clients from the internet (hackers).. How are you going to process credit cards? Paypal? CC? what type of Security are you going to have on the checkout? There is more to a shopping cart that alot of people don`t understand... Or they simply just don`t care.
  • leadstudiosleadstudios Posts: 1subscriber
    I would also recommend you talk to a professional simply because there are a lot of other factors and considerations that you may need to think about. On the web design side, you have to consider things like CSS, search engine optimization techniques (eg meta tags, keywords), browser compatibility, accessibility requirements, etc. There`s also many different web languages: html, jsp, asp, php, etc. Most common now is phpThe posters above are right about shopping carts. It gets more complicated and should be left not be taken lightlyHowever, if you are pretty tech savvy and have some interest in it, as a developer, I would stay away from MS Front Page. It`s terrible. Something like Adobe/Macromedia Dreamweaver is probably the most user friendly for web design. Don`t forget you`ll also need some kind of image manipulation program like Adobe Photoshop to create your logos/headers/images, etc that you are going to use for your website. Any questions, let me know.....Good luck!
  • rvdebbyrvdebby Posts: 11subscriber
    OK...it`s apparent that it would be criminally stupid to attempt website design at home--at least with my experience. Guess that I will confine my artistic side to logo design and creation of brochures and catalogs. Thoughts on software. Haven`t had a real desktop program to work with since Corel 4. Know the office here uses PageMaker for our magazine, but we are a non-profit and often do not have the best solutions.
    Thanks guys!
  • enlightDanenlightDan Posts: 0subscriber
    Deb,I agree with the forum`s consensus that you want to consult a professional. Designing a website is an involved process, and it helps to have a knowledgeable person in your corner if not leading the way for you.As far as publishing software goes, PageMaker or MS Publisher are great tools.  If you`re looking for free/cheap, check out Scribus. It looks like a great tool, although I can`t personally vouch for it. It seems to have a great community around it as well, which would help if you have trouble.
  • rvdebbyrvdebby Posts: 11subscriber
    I have MS Pub 2000 on my computer. Is it worth it to invest in PageMaker? We have an older version in the office so I don`t know what improvements have evolved. I do not use PageMaker myself but am sure I wouldn`t have trouble learning it.
    Thanks
    Deb
  • MMVPMMVP Posts: 0subscriber
    I generally agree with the advice given about consulting an "expert" to design your website you don`t have to shell out endless $$ to have a quality site.  There are a lot of "experts" that specialize in small site design - which depending on your needs, might work for you.
  • ChristinaChristina Posts: 6subscriber
    There are a lot of "experts" that specialize in small site design - which depending on your needs, might work for you.Exactly what I was thinking. If you consult a pro, they can help you decide what`s really necessary to begin with and what you can / should hold off on until a later date, in order for everything to be cost effective for you. They can get you started with a design (template design probably, to save you money) and you can focus your dollars on the aspects of the website that really need it. Some places even offer monthly payments as opposed to a huge upfront cost. (We do, anyway.) It does sound like you need some advice from a professional, because you do want to lay a good foundation for your future website to grow on. A good web developer should be able to help you define short term goals that will get you headed in the right direction, and long term goals that will get you where you eventually want to go.Hope this helps.
  • enlightDanenlightDan Posts: 0subscriber
    I generally agree with the advice given about consulting an "expert" to design your website you don`t have to shell out endless $$ to have a quality site.  There are a lot of "experts" that specialize in small site design - which depending on your needs, might work for you.This is a really great point! A good professional won`t try to sell you everything under the sun. He or she will show you what`s practical.Pagemaker is a great application, but Publisher should be able to accommodate the majority of your needs. One thing I`ve noticed though is that Printing companies generally prefer Adobe formatted files. If you`re going to print from home, I would stick with Publisher. You might find that later on Pagemaker will become a viable option, but if you learn you away around one publishing app, it shouldn`t be too hard moving to another one.
  • rexiedexierexiedexie Posts: 97subscriber Silver Level Member
    Hi Deb
    It does not have to be expensive to make a web page.
    I suggest you learn html basics first, it only takes about 10 days to master. This will answer many of your questions also.
    HTML is basic web page language.  Lean this free ....
    See http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/html/</A>
    Once you have done this you will be in a better position to make a decision.
    What ever you spend on your web page you will need about 10 times as much money to promote it...
    Web pages do not make the money it is the ability to get enough people to see your page and entice them to make purchases that makes you money.
    You will need 10,000 visits a day if you want to make ongoing income. Also allow three months after you start to promote it before income starts to come in.
     
     rexiedexie2006-11-8 1:53:52
  • NuevolutionNuevolution Posts: 30subscriber Bronze Level Member

    Hi Deb
    It does not have to be expensive to make a web page.
    I suggest you learn html basics first, it only takes about 10 days to master. This will answer many of your questions also.
    HTML is basic web page language.  Lean this free ....
    See http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/html/</A>
    Once you have done this you will be in a better position to make a decision.
    What ever you spend on your web page you will need about 10 times as much money to promote it...
    Web pages do not make the money it is the ability to get enough people to see your page and entice them to make purchases that makes you money.
    You will need 10,000 visits a day if you want to make ongoing income. Also allow three months after you start to promote it before income starts to come in.

    Now that is funny, Master html in ten days? Sir I am a vb.net, asp, php, coldfusion, and C++ developer and sometimes I have to go back to the old html.... I been a web designer and developer for almost 10 years... Now how can someone master a programming language in 10 days? Again, if you want to have your web site looking like a 10 year old designed it... That`s a different story..Best wishes... Deb,If you need consulting feel free to call me, Its free to consult.. Unlimited time.
  • rexiedexierexiedexie Posts: 97subscriber Silver Level Member
    Nuevolution
    You obviously did not visit html goodies.
    I am not suggesting anyone make their own web pages even though I did a week after I did html basics.
    I`m am just saying they will learn a lot and be in a better position to judge.

     rexiedexie2006-11-8 3:40:18
  • ChristinaChristina Posts: 6subscriber
    I agree with Michael in that anyone can learn HTML. It`s not all that hard as long as you`re willing to spend a lot of time with an html book (or online reference) to help you remember stuff. Once you get the basic hang of it, you only really need reference materials to remind you of the small stuff you forget.But there`s more to a website than html, of course. Design, usability, interactivity, marketing ability - these are all important issues that will sometimes make or break whether a web visitor chooses to stay at your site or go to a competitor`s site. Total user experience is of great importance.You can learn how to do all of these things, of course. It`s just a matter of how much time you want to spend doing it. I`ve seen people really put their nose to the grind and they are able to do a pretty good job. It all sort of depends on what skills they had to begin with. Some people are naturally good designers. Some people take to coding really easily. But rarely are they able to produce the level of quality and efficiency of a team of developers who have lots of experience.That being said, clients who`ve come to us after having tried to create their own web presence are often more web savvy and have clear-cut ideas about what they want the website to do. They understand the way the web works. This makes our job as developers easier Good luck, no matter which route you choose!
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