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  • #968026
    newface
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    • Total posts: 9
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    Hi,
    I am starting an online babywear business and need to find a great web designer who can work within a tight budget but deliver a great looking and functional website. I want to be able to update info and photos of stock myself and I want great SEO. After much consideration I have decided I want a local web designer as I want to be able to have some face to face contact. If you fit the bill please contact me or if you have used a great web designer with these qualities please let me know. Also if anyone wants to add any tips for getting a great website up and running I would appreciate them. I want to get started ASAP.
    Thanks,
    Jane

    #1030416
    Chris Bates
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    • Total posts: 966
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    Great tip? Losen the purse strings.

    eCommerce websites aren’t cheap, unless you want some dodgy crap that never converts.

    eCommerce + goal orientated design + training + SEO = big $

    Email me on [email protected] if you want a figure.

    #1030417
    JohnSheppard
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    • Total posts: 940
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    <-- what Chris said... A cheap e-commerce site will do about as much for you as a cheap brick and mortar store. If you are on a budget, save money by doing it remotely. There really is no difference except for the cost saving.

    #1030418
    Melinda B
    Member
    • Total posts: 349
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    Chris Bates, post: 36448 wrote:
    Great tip? Losen the purse strings.

    eCommerce websites aren’t cheap, unless you want some dodgy crap that never converts.

    eCommerce + goal orientated design + training + SEO = big $
    What Chris said.

    If you want the results then you have to be prepared to pay the price. That’s not saying that you have to pay a fortune, but if you’ve only got a small budget then that’s the kind of website you’re going to get, and the business you’ll attract.

    There’s nothing wrong with starting small and building it up as you go – the reality is that the majority of at-home businesses are bootstrapping.

    #1030419
    Melinda B
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    • Total posts: 349
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    Have you looked at some of the mall styles stores as a starting point? Ozebaby, Buy For Baby, WAHM-Naps come to mind and I know there are many others.

    #1030420
    JayTurn
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    • Total posts: 35
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    Hi Jane,

    eCommerce websites don’t have to be extremely expensive.

    The web design itself will take some hours to design and implement on a website. Some designers will charge you an all inclusive cost whilst others will charge per hour.

    Designers can take anywhere from 8 to 20+ hours to come up with a design depending on experience and talent. Also keep in mind that the more information you give to the designer, the less time it will take them to design.

    From there the design is passed on to the developers who transfer the design onto the website. Some designers do this themselves. For the purpose of this post, implementation of the design onto the website can take 6 hours or more. Again depending on skill.

    Now, the total time for all this depends on the organization skills of the company. The best companies have managed to streamline their work processes so it doesn’t cost them as much as other companies to implement the designs. Don’t presume that low cost websites equal poor work, it can mean that they are better at efficiency.

    Once the website is completed, there will be a big learning curve for you. You need to know how the website works and how to make it work for you.

    Again, efficient companies have developed video/text guides to tell you how your website works, how to create pages, sell products, send out newsletters, invoice customers etc. They should also be available whenever you get stuck to help you out.

    Other companies will give you one on one tutorials but may charge you for the time. I personally find the video/text guide combined with ongoing support is the best option as it means you can learn at your own pace.

    As Chris said, simply having a website and knowing how to add pages won’t be enough. You need the site to work for you.

    This is commonly referred to as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but you need to be really careful about what SEO advice you take. In fact, you can do all the SEO stuff yourself if you have the time.

    SEO companies simply create pages for your site and gather inbound links pointing to your site. Building pages and inbound links is important but you can easily do it yourself. You just need to know how to make your web pages search engine friendly and how to get other websites linking to yours.

    If you have found a quality company, they will build your site, tell you how to use your site, make the structure of your pages search engine friendly automatically whilst educating you on content optimization and provide you with vast amounts of information about building quality links to your site.

    Building an online business takes time and work. Be careful of those who say they can have you ranking at the top of search engines quickly.

    Hope this helps Jane :)

    Jason

    #1030421
    FionaFell
    Member
    • Total posts: 342
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    Hi Jane,

    Just a quick reminder of the old project triangle:

    You can have it FAST
    You can have it WORK
    You can have it CHEAP
    (You can only pick two points of this triangle for your project: never all three)

    If you could give us a better idea of how much money you are willing to spend, a few of the fellow web gurus should be able to give you an idea of what you might be able to get for your dollars.

    Remember you can release a website in stages. v.1 first then when you have a little more cash available, add in v.2. (Just let your web developer know that more features will be needed down the track)

    Happy to help you out if you need a hand.

    #1030423
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    • Total posts: 1,117
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    Just out of curiosity ..

    “I am starting an online babywear business and need to find a great web designer who can work within a tight budget but deliver a great looking and functional website.”

    If a developer can deliver a “great looking and functional” website on a tight budget, it’s going to be amazing.

    – Jake

    #1030424
    mike_allen
    Member
    • Total posts: 74
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    I have ecommerce packages that are reasonably affordable. The sites are ‘themed’ rather than designed. I use nopCommerce which is an established shopping cart. I have an affiliate that does themes at nopCommerceThemes
    which may give you something suitable. This product has good SEO features and you could work with an SEO expert to customize this. It’s all driven from menus and is quite easy(ish) to use. I’m a start-up and I’m offering great service and prices (humble too!).

    #1030425
    lutrov
    Participant
    • Total posts: 134
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    While I agree with Chris, in that effective websites aren’t cheap, and you haven’t defined what a “tight budget” is, Jason makes a valid point when he says that commerce websites don’t have to be extremely expensive.

    Assuming your definition of a tight budget is under $10K, then you should be able to get something which WILL actually work for your business. Shop around, but just make sure you get proper SEO. Very importantly, also spend some money in proper copywriting, ’cause that’s what really counts, once the thrill of the shiny new graphics wears off.

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