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  • #967125
    newface
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    Hi,
    I need help! I want to start an online children’s business and need to get a website built. My problem is I don’t really know where to start as I have never done this before. Do I need to find a website designer locally or can you do it successfully remotely? Do they design logo’s or should I have one before I approach them? Once up and running I wan’t to be able to make my own changes ie add or remove items myself – is there anything I should ask to make this happen? Do they provide the web hosting or is it better for you to find it yourself? This last point is the most confusing because a couple of the threads I have read have said to make sure you have a stand alone, independant website but how will I know this? And finally, any shopping carts better than others?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Many Thanks,
    Jane

    #1023692
    Anonymous
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    Local or remote probably depends on the job and if you want those face-to-face type meetings. Many designers work for clients around the globe so distance isn’t usually a problem.

    Web design and logo design are two specialized areas. Some web designers can be multi skilled so it’s important you understand what skills and services they can provide. Branding is best done before the web site.

    A CMS (content management system) will be required for you to make changes yourself.

    Hosting and domain you can buy yourself, but if you don’t know anything about these then best to ask the designer for advice. Same with shopping carts.

    One final tip: have a decent budget for this and don’t shop on price alone. You only get what you pay for and this is so true with e-commerce sites.

    #1023693
    deskchecked
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    Hi Jane,

    That’s a lot of questions! Let’s see …

    Do I need to find a website designer locally or can you do it successfully remotely?

    Well that’s entirely your preference. I’ve seen both work, but if you’re uncomfortable about the idea of not being able to speak to somebody in the flesh then you might want to look local. :)

    Do they design logo’s or should I have one before I approach them?

    When you’re looking to build a web site, you’ll often find that there is both a designer and a developer involved. The designer is responsible for all the visual stuff (i.e. making it look pretty) while the developer makes the site “work”. Some talented people can fill both roles and do it all themselves. I am not one of those people and find myself confined the the “developer” role. :)

    However, to answer your question: you’re probably wanting to speak to somebody involved in graphic design — very possibly the same person who’s doing the design for your web site. Having said that, they may wish to treat the design of the logo as a small project in and of itself. Once the logo is settled upon, the site is then built to suit the logo.

    If you plan to use the logo for other stuff — e.g. invoices, letterheads, etc. — then you’ll probably want to make that a separate effort to the production of your web site. Talk to a designer about identity and branding.

    A very talented designer I’ve worked with several times in the past is Gavin Thiesfield. Highly recommend checking out some of his stuff when you get a moment (please note he did not design my web site — that ugliness is all my doing. Remember what I was saying about not being talented on the design front? :))

    Once up and running I wan’t to be able to make my own changes ie add or remove items myself – is there anything I should ask to make this happen?

    You’ll want to ask for a “content managed” site and indicate that you want the control to be able to edit the site content. Be aware that there are limitations on just how much can be edited in a content managed site, but assuming you’re thinking typo corrections, small formatting changes and/or uploading new images, you should be fine.

    Big changes to the structure and design of your site will likely require you to get back in touch with a designer/developer.

    Do they provide the web hosting or is it better for you to find it yourself?

    If you’re not comfortable with it, better to leave it to them. There’s a steep learning curve involved in getting started with web hosting. You might want to shop around to get a feel for prices though — don’t get ripped off on the hosting.

    Initially, you’ll probably be looking at shared hosting or a low-end VPS. The latter goes for about $US20 a month, the former cheaper still.

    This last point is the most confusing because a couple of the threads I have read have said to make sure you have a stand alone, independant website but how will I know this?

    I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say here. Can you maybe link to the threads in question?

    And finally, any shopping carts better than others?

    This is a decision I feel is better left to the developer based upon the needs you have for your site.

    Let me know if you have any other questions, am happy to answer them.

    Cheers,
    Tom

    #1023694
    FionaFell
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    • Total posts: 342
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    Hi Jane,

    Perhaps we can have a chat and see exactly what you need, and who (which professions) could help you out.

    I, of course, can offer the web site design/development side of things. And I work with a guy who does the graphic design for logos and other specific graphic elements. And there are many other pros’ in FS that could help you with all or some of the sites design and development.

    Working remotely or face-to-face is kind of up to how your prefer to work, but many web folks and graphic folks can do much, if not all, of the work from a distance.

    Comes down, mainly to your preference and that of your desired pros’ who are helping you.

    #1023695
    Chris Bates
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    As Fiona, I’ll also pitch my services here :)

    There’s no reason the person who designs your website can’t design your logo, but they can be two very different fields. Depends on your requirements really, some logos are simple – others are not.

    One thing you didn’t mention in your post, is getting people to 1) visit your website, and 2) buy from your website. This is something most web designers or developers will fail to consider, it’s not a part of your web presence they work in.

    If you want to have a chat about it all, from start (branding, your business, etc) to finish (website made for conversions, marketing and social media strategies) I can help you out.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    #1023696
    Past-Member
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    Hi Jane,

    Congratulations on your decision to launch your business for children’s products. I get asked questions similar to yours frequently as a designer.

    Quote:
    Do I need to find a website designer locally or can you do it successfully remotely?
    The internet makes everyone close. I have worked with clients that are overseas as well as within Australia. I always make it a point to call and chat with my clientele within Australia whether it is a mobile or landline. Doesn’t matter to me. It’s harder with overseas due to the time differences, but email seems to suffice for them.

    Quote:
    Do they design logos or should I have one before I approach them?
    In a great website normally both a designer and developer are involved. Sometimes one person is both. I can work alone or just develop a concept for a developer to take over. It doesn’t worry me which way.

    I create all kinds of logos and branding – and the important thing is that they must cross all kinds of applications and media from websites, to stationery, to posters and screen media etc.

    A logo and branding requires research, discussion, thumbnails, development and final analysis with suggested colours and fonts for consistency in the future across all applications. It is not a 30 minute process. I need to get it right for each individual client.

    Quote: Once up and running I want to be able to make my own changes ie add or remove items myself – is there anything I should ask to make this happen?
    Yes, you can ask for a CMS or Content Management System to be incorporated. This system varies – some systems are independent. Others are dependent on the hosting system. There is always an extra cost involved in this which needs to be weighed against sending occasional changes to the designer to upload for you.

    Quote:
    Do they provide the web hosting or is it better for you to find it yourself?
    There are all kinds of web hosting. The company I recommend is known for very fast access hosting. I know of some others that are cheaper but the website is slower to access. It depends on the person’s preference and budget. All can be arranged by the designer if you prefer. But there will be an ongoing monthly or yearly fee for hosting plus a domain renewal every two years (.com.au) or one year (.com).

    Quote:
    This last point is the most confusing because a couple of the threads I have read have said to make sure you have a stand alone, independent website but how will I know this?
    I believe you are referring to domain and hosting ownership. All my clients own their domain names and are free (as long as everything is paid up) to move their domain names and web pages to any host they wish in the future. I believe it is important that my clients have that choice.

    Quote:
    And finally, any shopping carts better than others?
    There are different types of shopping carts: Custom, PayPal, inbuilt (such as Shopfactory, eCart) and many others. Some web hosts also incorporate shopping carts as part of their ‘template’ service.

    There are loads of things to consider, but if you wish to discuss further, please contact me. Best regards, Karen C.

    #1023697
    wordmistress
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    newface, post: 28101 wrote:
    Hi,
    I need help! I want to start an online children’s business and need to get a website built. My problem is I don’t really know where to start as I have never done this before. Do I need to find a website designer locally or can you do it successfully remotely? Do they design logo’s or should I have one before I approach them? Once up and running I wan’t to be able to make my own changes ie add or remove items myself – is there anything I should ask to make this happen? Do they provide the web hosting or is it better for you to find it yourself? This last point is the most confusing because a couple of the threads I have read have said to make sure you have a stand alone, independant website but how will I know this? And finally, any shopping carts better than others?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Many Thanks,
    Jane

    Hi Jane

    It all seems so hard, doesn’t it? And it is if you aren’t experienced, but just keep asking your questions here and you’ll find answers. And if the answers aren’t simple enough for you, ask again. No one minds.

    You might like to look at my retail site: http://www.liveitup.net.au. It might give you some ideas about elements to incorporate.

    I can help you with your website content (the text, product descriptions, home page, about us page and so on) and help you set up Google Adwords campaigns to advertise your site. If you have any direct questions, feel free to private message or email me.

    All the best, keep us posted!

    #1023698
    Mick87
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    • Total posts: 31
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    You should take up Chris’ offer for help.. he has given me some really good advice in the short time Ii’ve been on these forums.. he’s a very helpful source of information indeed :P

    Also, I am willing to help design you a logo for free to help a fellow solo flyer out.. it might save you a bit of money :) (and I need the practice anyway!).

    #1023699
    Nealst
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    • Total posts: 10
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    Hi,

    Please consider all the posts – they are all useful in someways. The folks on this forum know what they are talking about.

    I use netregistry for my hosting and I have used them for design. Customer service is paramount to me and they tick this box (I had tried 4 hosts/designers prior to finding them and none gave two hoots about me as a customer or about my vision for my businesses).

    Also, Nett magazine is worth a read (on line) and gives good tips for people in your space.

    Good luck!

    Darren

    #1023700
    Chris Bates
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    • Total posts: 966
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    Mick87, post: 28346 wrote:
    You should take up Chris’ offer for help.. he has given me some really good advice in the short time Ii’ve been on these forums.. he’s a very helpful source of information indeed :P]

    Thanks Mick – glad I could help! :)

    #1023701
    Mick87
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    • Total posts: 31
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    Chris is my god! … kidding

    #1023702
    newface
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    • Total posts: 9
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    Thank you so much for all replies. You have all given me much to think about. I will definately be in touch once I have thought it all through. At the moment, I am in the process of sourcing stock which will obviously need to be photographed and uploaded onto my website.

    #1023703
    huwebdev
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    • Total posts: 13
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    Hi Jane,

    All the previous posts have some great info for you.

    I’d like to add that the photo’s of your stock are an important part of an online business. If you’re photos are of high quality then it will show your business in good light.
    If the photos are of poor quality and don’t represent the products and services you offer accurately it could have a negative effect on business.

    It’s all about good presentation. Your website should be the same, look good and work well.

    If you need some help let me know. I’ve had an online store in the past and know some of the traps to avoid.

    #1023704
    wordmistress
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    • Total posts: 504
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    huwebdev, post: 28565 wrote:
    Hi Jane,

    All the previous posts have some great info for you.

    I’d like to add that the photo’s of your stock are an important part of an online business. If you’re photos are of high quality then it will show your business in good light.
    If the photos are of poor quality and don’t represent the products and services you offer accurately it could have a negative effect on business.

    It’s all about good presentation. Your website should be the same, look good and work well.

    If you need some help let me know. I’ve had an online store in the past and know some of the traps to avoid.

    Hello Luke, you must be new. Thought I’d say hi and extend a welcome :).

    #1023705
    huwebdev
    Member
    • Total posts: 13
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    wordmistress, post: 28963 wrote:
    Hello Luke, you must be new. Thought I’d say hi and extend a welcome :).

    Thanks Gina.

    I’ve been a subscriber to the newsletter for a long time and thought I should start to contribute to the community.

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