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  • #989629
    Sam’s Little Bo-Tique
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    Hi Everyone,

    I am a newbie to all things business and I am stumped when it comes to websites.

    I know I need to register my domain name and get a host for the site. That’s as far as my knowledge goes.

    I don’t want anything too fancy. Something that is easy for me to upload products and will require changing frequently.

    Can anyone suggest where to start with it?

    I would prefer for the host to also host my emails if possible.
    I was looking at Netregistry but I heard bad things and I got scared!

    Many thanks

    #1173114
    Lucinda Lions
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    Hi Sam’s Little Bo-Tique

    Welcome to the Flying Solo forums!

    I can completely understand your confusion regarding websites when starting out.

    We have quite a few expert webby people on the forums, so hopefully you’ll receive some useful responses. In the meantime, you might find the web design section of our website useful: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/website-design

    When you’re ready, it’ll be a good idea to set up a forum signature so we all know a bit more about you.To do this, visit the Control panel (the link is in the grey bar above the forum) and choose Edit signature.

    Wishing you lots of success with your new business venture.
    Lucinda :)

    #1173115
    MikeDav
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    Hi Sam’s little Bo Tique,

    In addition to getting your domain name and hosting you will need to find yourself a web designer to build the site and potentially an SEO/SEM person to help you market the site.

    My advice would be to go to an experienced web design company who can point you in the right direction for each of these things.

    It can be relatively inexpensive to get a website up however if it is not built correctly then your chances are low in terms of making any money off the site.

    #1173116
    MissSassy
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    I agree with Mike

    For example http://www.pixelfish.com.au did mine, they are very professional and while they are not the cheapest you will get an awesome site. One that works, has the ability to be updated by you and has the ability for you to do the SEO in the backend and much more.

    Get recommendations and go with someone you trust.

    #1173117
    MatthewKeath
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    It’s a really good idea to get a professional website because the first impressions do count.

    It can be daunting to start, but the best thing is to find someone you trust and have them explain the process.

    I am up for a chat if you need.

    Cheers,

    Matt

    #1173118
    Blank
    Participant
    • Total posts: 41
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    Sam’s Little Bo-Tique, post: 201101 wrote:
    I would prefer for the host to also host my emails if possible.

    Seperate your emails from your web designer, you need the two to be independant. Depending on how the webdesigned sets up his service you might end up being committed to them because they control everything.

    It can cost you $10 a year to register your domain name. I use http://www.crazydomains.com for that.

    You can get your email hosted, http://www.zoho.com for free (<10 email accounts) and it is an excellent service. Its as good as google email/calender/drive etc.

    You can also create a simple website on zoho.com to kick yourself off. If you are not having an online store or other complicated stuff its free.

    I would be happy to help you out for getting your domain name set up and email on zoho, for a free lunch. I dont do websites though.

    #1173121
    AmberS
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    • Total posts: 66
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    Hi

    A great looking website is important, but you want to make sure it works properly as well. I would tend to stay away from custom CMS options and cart systems as you tend to get locked in with the website developer. I do like woocommerce for e-commerce sites because it is pretty flexible, and easy to use if you are wanting to update products regularly yourself. It is also a very search engine friendly setup out of the box so the need to hire someone to do SEO for you is minimalised, especially if you are just starting up.

    We do build websites, hosting and online marketing if you wanted to get in touch to have a chat.

    #1173122
    gregorys
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    Just a few things to add.

    * Choosing A Domain Name – This is the most important part in this process. This is something you should take some time to aquaint yourself and research before you start the process. Choosing a nice name that is still available is no easy feat. First choose your top level domain. If your clients/customers are mostly local, then .com.au might be preferrable. If your customers are international, then .com might be preffered.

    Try to keep it as short as possible. Avoid using hypens and numbers etc unless its really part of your name. I wish someone told be this when I was starting out. One of my domains still has the hyphen :( . If you search the web for something like “Choosing A Domain Name” you will find a lot of useful tips.

    * Registering A Domain Name – Once you find one that you like, you need to check if its available. The domain name registrar can do this. I used netregistry for some of my older domains without any problem. Back then it was PlanetDomain before being aquired by Netregistry.

    For registering new names, I too would now choose crazydomains as suggested by others or maybe godaddy. Most important, register and pay for the domain yourself. Ensure that it is registered under your name or business.

    At the time you sign up, most of the registrars will try to sell you other stuff like web hosting, email hosting etc. I usually decline all this. Call me paranoid but I always like to keep hosting and domain name registry separate so no one party has control over the name and web content as well. So choose someone else to host the site and email.

    * Free Domain Names – Some hosting providers will offer free domain names when you host with them. This is something I do NOT recommend taking. As mentioned, best to register and pay for the name yourself so theres no confusion about who owns the name. Its only about $10-$20 per year for peace of mind. The domain name is like your piece of realestate on the net.

    * At this point I think its good to contact a web professional and they are several others right here who can help you. Your requirements are not so straight forward as it looks like you need to upload you inventory etc. There’s really no point to try and struggle with this part on your own. My preffered choice is to use an open CMS system like WordPress etc so you can update the content yourself after it is setup by the web professional. Again I wish WordPress was out when I had to publish my site years ago. Some of my sites are still built on Frontpage :( and its really tedious to move.

    Hope this helps.

    #1173123
    IncredibleCo
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    AmberS, post: 202561 wrote:
    I would tend to stay away from custom CMS options and cart systems as you tend to get locked in with the website developer. I do like woocommerce for e-commerce sites because it is pretty flexible, and easy to use if you are wanting to update products regularly yourself.

    .

    I often see things like this being said. But if you use WordPress it’s just as easy to get locked in to a developer if they build a custom theme. Let’s face it if you’re a developer who knows their way around PHP and JavaScript – you can edit anyone’s code. I also use WordPress but I think is you’re no less locked in using it than a custom solution.

    #1173124
    AmberS
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    IncredibleCo, post: 202632 wrote:
    I often see things like this being said. But if you use WordPress it’s just as easy to get locked in to a developer if they build a custom theme. Let’s face it if you’re a developer who knows their way around PHP and JavaScript – you can edit anyone’s code. I also use WordPress but I think is you’re no less locked in using it than a custom solution.

    To a degree, yes, custom WordPress can sort of lock you in. However I would still say that more people can work with a WordPress site than a complete custom setup. If someone comes to us to engage us as their marketing agency and don’t want to do a website re-build, it is much more cost effective for us to work within any WordPress build. There is more flexibility for us in terms of updating, tweaking or re-theme / re-templating to make the website more effective.

    But the user friendliness is a winner for me. If you are wanting to work on and add content / products to your own site without needing to go back to your web developer everytime, WordPress is pretty solid and the knowledge base and online support is good.

    #1173125
    alex-checkoutr
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    • Total posts: 19
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    There’s some great points raised in this thread, for what it is worth while you’re starting out I would thoroughly recommend you direct as much of your funds as possible to marketing your site, rather than building it.

    After all, there’s not much point spending all your budget on an awesome site with no visitors after all. So set a budget for your design and stick to it – you can always go back and polish your site up when you have more money to throw at it.

    Also, as mentioned in this thread your email and web site hosting can be separated, and it is usually a good thing to consider doing this. Email is best left to the experts as you need to your provider to ensure they stay “white listed” so your emails get through to your clients and it’s a pain for smaller hosters to manage (so they generally don’t).

    Google apps offers a great email service, and if you need to purchase MS Office applications too, Microsoft’s Office 365 product is a good proposition too, particularly as their included OneDrive service offers you unlimited storage (it’s a dropbox-like service) so your files remain safe even if your computer dies.

    I hope this info is of help – and wish you all the best with your project!

    #1173126
    SB1Design
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Hi Sam’s Little Bo-Tique, (I like the name),

    If you’re still looking for a website, I would definitely recommend WordPress. Once your site is built, it is the ideal platform as you will be able to add new content yourself as your business grows.

    Also, with a little patience and the use of online guides, (Youtube is great for this) it is possible to get a WordPress site up and running yourself. Many hosting companies do one click WordPress installs, and then you can choose a theme and start creating your site.

    If you would like any advice on this don’t hesitate to drop me a line via my signature link below.

    And if you would prefer to seek the help of a developer to build the site, I would be able to help there too. I specialise in creating affordable small business websites and could have you a customised WordPress business site up and running for as little as $300.

    All the best with your project,

    Stew

    #1173127
    Byron Trzeciak
    Participant
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    Hi There,

    You’ve received some great advice and offers so far.

    I specialise in SEO ready websites which means that from day one you’ll receive a website that is optimised for organic search traffic i.e google.

    In terms of your emails I recommend that client’s go with Google Apps which costs $5 per month per email address. It’s far better than the hosted email accounts which don’t provide a great experience but can still do the job.

    Would love to chat, send me a private message or contact me through my website below.

    Cheers

    Byron

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