Small Business Website

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by Onetap, Jan 20, 2011.

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  1. As above, I'm going to have a go at a small business idea and would like a small website or homepage that I could edit myself, adding diagrams and text as the venture grows, or alternatively fades away to nothing as I get bored with it.

    I don't know if there's any money in the idea until I try it, so I'm reluctant to spend £300, £500 or whatever these things cost, until there is money coming in. I have in mind something like the things you see for small B&B type businesses; I hope to add content as the project develops.

    Any ideas how one would best go about this? Any recommended software that I should buy to DIY, or is DIY impractical and should I go straight to a website designer type? If the latter, any pitfalls into which website designer types will direct the unwary website virgin?

    I know bog-all about website designing stuff, but am several stages advanced beyond a PC clod, so will happily have a bash. I'm also challenged employment-wise, having been made redundant, so my time is available to invest in the learning process.

    All suggestions gratefully received. Any website designer types recommending themselves will be the subject of normal, everyday cynical suspicion. Thanks all.
     
  2. In reply, last year I chanced my arm starting a cleaning outfit / company.There are some free website building hosting resources online (you may end up paying for it in the long run), and fairly simple to use, as long as you have a little knowledge or flair for these things.. I used Getting British Business Online and started from scratch. It was a lot of hard work setting it all up, but ultimately great fun and a learning process. It depends what you're looking for and whether you want to invest, or save money in the early stages.

    A good solid business plan and a decent website helped us to get going, to the point where we had to turn work down. After several weeks struggling to appear under Google,and registering with every "free" listings service on-line, a bit of research and guidance saw us sitting at the top of the listings.

    Other "free" resources include Wix, Moonfruit.

    See also
    Free Website Templates
    Why get a website? - Getting British Business Online
    Toolkit - Getting British Business Online

    But there's no such thing as a free lunch and investment is inevitable. Good luck.
     
  3. Weebly - Create a free website and a free blog

    Very easy to use and build your own site, Iam no computer expert at all and managed it. Your site is free as long as you have yourname@weebly.com in your web address, I pay a little bit just so I get to use .com cant remember how much I pay a year somthing round the £25-30 mark I think.

    I also tried http://www.mrsite.com/ but I didnt find it as user friendly, my girlfriend uses it for her business use though and seems to like it.

    I get a lot of flack from my Computer Guru mates as I think they find the two sites I suggested a little inferior, if you want a cheap easy option you can build yourself and amend and change anytime you want than these two do the job.
     
  4. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Easy, simple and free - Google Sites ..... don't forget us when you've made your fortune!
     
  5. I seem to remember using this New Website Designer - Basic Website Design Guide when I first started out, as a complete website clod. If anything, using strong keywords in our website to describe our business and attract browsers and customers, with unique selling points (eco-friendly practices,privacy policy, fair terms and services for instance) drew a lot of traffic to us. We found that our website terms, and clear terms and conditions of service (ie what we do and what we don't do) left little room for misunderstanding. It's also about generating confidence and interest in your business.

    We went public, by going online. There is a sh*t load of legislation for consumers, traders and online businesses.

    Fair trading, trade descriptions and Trading Standards | Business Link
    Treating customers fairly  - The Office of Fair Trading
     
  6. msr

    msr LE

    It all depends on what you want the website to do.


    Is it just a 'business card website' or so you want online payments, interactivity etc?

    msr
     
  7. Business card or brochure to attract e-mail or telephone enquiries. Expand later to add on-line orders and payments, if it proves feasible and if I get any income from the early efforts. Hopefully I'd be able to abandon the first DIY efforts and pay someone competent.

    I hope to have a description of the product, detailing how it works and why it is better than the competition. It would require diagrams to explain the various applications.
     
  8. msr

    msr LE

    Check your PMs
     
  9. Thank you all for the suggestions and PMs.
    I'm away this weekend and will be having a read and researching session on Monday, so please don't think I'm ignoring you.
    Thanks again.
     
  10. Personally, if you don't need much functionality - I'd look at using your own copy of Wordpress (rather than hosting at wordpress.com) or, although it is a bit more complicated, Joomla. We use one of each (business blog on Wordpress, main site on Joomla). Drupal is also recommended by lots of people.

    When you do want payments, and of it doesn't wreck your margins, use PayPal or hosted-by-them-Worldpay. Much simpler and you don't need to worry about PCI-DSS, payments integration or RSA SecureSuite.
     
  11. Another vote for moonfruit.com

    Relatively cheap, simple to use and looks quite professional. Mine costs me £54 a year for hosting (and unlimited editing/uploading and downloading of content to it) and I paid another £45 for 5 years domain name rental. However, once you design the website they give you a voucher for 1 years domain rental free, so I saved £11.

    For a complete web virgin (designing I mean ) it took me just under a day to sort out and cost a total of £99. You can add email facilities, Paypal internet banking and all sorts of wizzy flashy things to the site. Its mega.
     
  12. Wordpress with a few easy tweaks can make a very professional looking website, despite it being a blogging platform.
     
  13. Hi. Just joined, and ex Army, long since retired. We're playing with a new business concept and a web site. Though we haven't much experience in web design and it shows ! May we ask for comments and a bit of gentle criticism from our fellow veterans and your much respected membership for this web site? Things are pretty much in the early stages, and though the business is currently fictitious as we're playing with some ideas, the claims are genuine. We 're aware that the site can be deleted with a click, with no loss other than time spent.

    Thank you and regards to all. We hope we'll enjoy our time here We know we'll get flak and a hard time too, that's ok. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
     
  14. That's very nearly exactly the type of thing I want.
    I shall be spending some time on Google site, I think. Any tips, or does one just dive in and learn by trial and error?
     
  15. Also needing a small business website, however the requirements are more complex than using a DIY jobby. Any web designers that can help or if anyone has experience please PM me to discuss.

    Cheers