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Author Topic: Web site dilemma  (Read 8478 times)

jj4091

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Web site dilemma
« on: April 27, 2012, 07:08:38 AM »

My hairdresser niece is in the process of opening her own salon. She has very limited funds & advertising appears to be an expensive undertaking. Knowing even less about the internet than I do, she asked if it is possible to have your own website. My limited research suggests that she would need to have a web page designed & then pay a monthly fee for someone to host it. Obviously every penny counts at the moment for her & I think I could put together a reasonable page, using photoshop, illustrating the different services she offers & other info required by potential clients, but there would still be fees to host it. I have read that you can post a pic on a web host like photobucket & then generate a code to make it show up like a web page, but would this come up in a web search for someone looking for local services? Can any one suggest another way of overcoming her problem, preferably something simple. ??? Thanks
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Excelsior

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 09:40:47 AM »

Hello there.  My wife runs a small business and like your niece we do not have a huge marketing budget.  Might I suggest:

i)  Buy a domain name.  It's an annual rather than monthly cost, and if you do it through the right sort of site like freeparking you will probably get some sort of holding page as part of the deal.
ii)  Create a Facebook business page.  You'll need to read round that a little, first time I tried it got rather tangled up.  But - it is free.  It's easy to add content to, and people can comment.  You can update it anywhere.  Did I mention it's free?
iii)  Create a Twitter account.  Follow other local businesses, people you know, use it as a tool to provide offers etc.  It's free.
iv)  Remember the domain name from (i)?  Add a link on the holding page to the Facebook page and give the Twitter details.

Ta da.  Webpage, social media, sorted.  Only the web page will cost money, and you don't even necessarily have to have that.  Might just help with Google searches and the like.  Hope that helps.  This is what I did for my wife:

BooBoo Cupcake

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jj4091

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 06:18:03 PM »

Thanks for the info.Personally when you talk about social media I'm afraid you are talking to a dinosaur, hopefully my niece may be better informed about that than she is the internet & I will investigate the cost of domain names for her(at least I know what you are talking about there ;D) & see if, between us, we can come up with something.
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HPsauce

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 07:06:57 PM »

Just a bit of advice from me (though there's no reason you should take it  :-X ) as a sole trader with a web site....

Think about a brand name and check that a suitable domain name is available, one that people who know your brand will find easily by "googling". Then go for it!

e.g if she's Sharon and runs a salon called Sharon's Hair Salon in Downton look for something like sharonshairdownton.co.uk
Ideally something a bit shorter, but whatever it is make it meaningful, unique, searchable and related closely to the trading name.

Oh, and have an email address via the domain. There's nothing tattier than the examples I see so often:
Fred's plumbing , www.fredsofdownton.me.uk , email: fred12763@hotmail.co.uk
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 07:09:30 PM by HPsauce »
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Blackeagle

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 11:31:26 PM »

Some ISP's offer basic hosting in their packages.

EG www.sgcomputers.talktalk.net
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jj4091

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 08:32:43 AM »

Excelsior & HP sauce, thanks, also do you find you actually get any extra business from having a website? Another train of thought that I have been told of is that they are not a big crowd puller for local traders, or is it actually an unmeasurable asset.
Blackeagle, thanks, but she does not actually have her own ISP, perhaps I could do it with mine on her behalf.
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kitz

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012, 11:15:08 AM »

I use my hairdressers website because I can never remember the phone number therefore a quick google gives me the telephone number so I can book an appt. :D


I agree with HP, a personal domain and email address looks so much more professional for a business.

>> she does not actually have her own ISP, perhaps I could do it with mine on her behalf.

Its possible if you purchase a domain name to forward it to free ISP webhosting, I did it a looong time ago with my free BT webspace, but it uses framesets and can be messy if you have more than one page/site because you are only hiding the bturl and when you start having more than one page its harder to navigate without disclosing the bt url.

You can get some fairly cheap packages these days for example Vidahost do a basic website package for just 17 pa.  If you have a look around you may find something cheaper, but considering that 17 includes so many things that some hosts such as 123reg doesnt then its excellent VFM.
Add on a domain name and for about 20* per annum she's set with the essentials for a decent website and her own personal email.

Excellsor also gives some good tips about the social media sites and linking back to generate business


*.co.uk domain renewals are 2 yearly.
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HPsauce

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 11:23:56 AM »

do you find you actually get any extra business from having a website? Another train of thought that I have been told of is that they are not a big crowd puller for local traders, or is it actually an unmeasurable asset.
I'd agree with that.

Most of my business comes via word of mouth and I do try to operate quite locally.

That said I'm in an IT business so I sort of "have to" have a web site and I've probably got at least a couple of enquiries each year that way (people Googling) but I've had slightly more from a free Yellow Pages entry (and Yell.com) and a card in the local newsagent in the early days (gave that up too ages ago when the price went up).
I'm very much into free marketing.  ;)

I use a hosting package for my (many) domains that includes a decent email service; for me the email is the primary driver.
The web site is secondary and is literally just one static page explaining what I do and where and giving email and phone contacts.
Of course for other businesses it will be different,
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Blackeagle

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 08:54:18 PM »

www.one.com will give you 5Gb hosting free for a year and you can also register a domain name through them for free although the setup fee is 9.00 +VAT.  You can ftp your site up to them or use their web designer and they support PHP & MySQL.  It looks like quite a good hosting solution, to the point where I'm considering them myself  :thumbs:
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jj4091

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2012, 08:21:31 AM »

Thanks to everyone for the varied & useful info. All that is basically required is something like this,
http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll100/davy4091/ScreenShot1.jpg but with her own contact details, location etc. It seems that she will have to come up with a domain name & then bite the bullet & lay out a small fee for a year at least as a trial. Thanks again.
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kitz

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 09:06:56 PM »

If thats all you need try something like 123reg.   
If you buy a domain name from them they throw in a one page starter kit for free.
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HPsauce

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 09:50:17 PM »

If thats all you need
Did you spot the "book online" line though.  ???

That could get VERY complex.  :-X
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 08:39:08 AM »

Just a few more tips over and above all the excellent ideas above...

Choose a name that's easily spelled, without ambiguities of punctuation marks.

Avoid anything similar to an existing trademark, you really don't want any disputes.  USPTO, WIPO and the UK patents office all have easy to use search facilities.

Think about mail-forwarding/hosting as well as web hosting.  A .com web page with a hotmail or google etc email address looks amateurish, imho.

I have found freeparking.co.uk to be an easy starting point (not the cheapest) though recently they've made a few mistakes so I'm slightly hesitant in recommending them.  I do still use them, though.
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kitz

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 12:59:12 PM »

Did you spot the "book online" line though.  ???

That could get VERY complex.  :-X

I must admit I didnt spot that ..  thought it was just a page with an image on. :-[

Ummmm yes..  book online is not recommended for a beginner nor a one page site... an area best left alone for now me thinks  :no:
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jj4091

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Re: Web site dilemma
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2012, 07:44:43 AM »

I did not notice the "book online" either, it is something that will not be needed, it was just in the pic that I pinched from the web :-[ Thanks for the further suggestions.
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