Home – New Forums Tech talk What confuses you most about the web?

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  • #972572
    websitedesigner
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    Hi guys I’m thinking about writing a little ebook or maybe just a series of blog posts on my website design blog on the major aspects of getting going online and making the most out of the web for small business. I want to focus specifically on giving small business owners some very plain simple answers to some of the confusing questions about the web. Something that small business owners can perhaps read before making decisions about their web presence so they start with all of the facts.

    So I want to know what are the things that confuse people the most about getting a website going and making the most out of it.

    Also if anyone wants to contribute to the blog or the book I’m keen for that too – just contact me via here or http://awebsitedesigner.com.au.

    #1056897
    OneArmedGraphics
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    Hi Dan, I think a small business owners would enjoy a ‘Social Media, what’s in it for me’. type of overview.

    • Also an overview of SEO is, both black & white hat.
    • Oh and then of course SEM. Can’t forget that!
    • Oooh and also having a solid business plan done before touching a web browser!

    Robbie

    #1056898
    mexham
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    Hi Dan,

    I know when I started getting into online business I didn’t have any knowledge on what was involved in terms of cost with getting a website setup and online.

    A rough price guide could be good detailing, hosting, web-design, marketing, domain name purchase etc. As these prices are often hard to find out when you are new to the online world, without requesting numerous quotes. It’d be good to have indicative price ranges to get an idea what to expect and budget for.

    #1056899
    fredfarcle
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    If you get this right, you’ll have best seller.

    I’ve been very surprised by the very poor level of IT literacy (ie. very basic understanding of managing a computer and software) I’ve found in the small businesses ( some turning over a million or more) I deal with, so educating them about the finer point’s of developing a site makes their eye’s glaze over.

    Until they actually have a web presence that delivers some results all they want to know is how much and can you get me on page one of Google.

    Maybe it’s the age demographic I tend to deal with (over 40 to late 50’s) but they just hate anything to do with IT, they realise the need to get involved or miss out so they tend to look for someone they trust (must be face to face), give them a budget and let them go.

    If you can offer this demographic a simple solution I think your on a winner because they DO have the money to back them up and they Do have real world business experience in what can make money.

    To give you an example of what you’re up against I have two separate clients both with reasonably successful websites ( in terms of work leads generated) both turn over around a million and both struggle with the concept that Google is a site accessed from a browser and not a stand alone application.

    Good luck with it.

    #1056900
    OneArmedGraphics
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    bitsa, post: 69957 wrote:
    d both struggle with the concept that Google is a site accessed from a browser and not a stand alone application.

    If I had a penny for everytime I’ve found someone who think’s Google is the browser address bar. :)

    #1056901
    MyGreatIdea
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    TERMINOLOGY !!!

    For a 40+ like me who uses computers and understands the basics, I found it very confusing when I first started looking at getting a website.

    SEO SSL OMG!! I’ve never seen so many capital letters grouped together. Then there’s adwords, rankings, not to mention tweets and blogs…a dictionary for beginners – that’s what’s needed – with basic explanations of all the terms.

    I probably understand 85-90% of it now but it’s taken me nearly 2 years…and I think I’m a reasonably intelligent woman :)

    Wendy

    #1056902
    JaneB
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    bitsa, post: 69957 wrote:
    Maybe it’s the age demographic I tend to deal with (over 40 to late 50’s) but they just hate anything to do with IT, they realise the need to get involved or miss out so they tend to look for someone they trust (must be face to face), give them a budget and let them go.

    If you can offer this demographic a simple solution I think your on a winner because they DO have the money to back them up and they Do have real world business experience in what can make money.

    Ha! This is so true and describes all of my friends and me. A year ago I didn’t know the difference between a domain name and hosting a domain. Now I know what a meta tag is – but it’s been a tough slog.

    For many of us (baby boomers) the ever changing nature of social networking is just overwhelming. I have a blog set up to inform my singers (I run a large community choir) of performance and recording updates etc and out of the 60 people I need to reach only 13 people have signed up. So when I make an announcement on the blog I then have to copy and paste the blog post into emails which then go around to the other 47!!

    You certainly are onto a winner if you can start at the point of presuming that your reader is so far only comfortable with email.

    Bring it on!

    #1056903
    fredfarcle
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    JaneB, post: 70027 wrote:
    Ha! This is so true and describes all of my friends and me. A year ago I didn’t know the difference between a domain name and hosting a domain. Now I know what a meta tag is – but it’s been a tough slog.

    For many of us (baby boomers) the ever changing nature of social networking is just overwhelming. I have a blog set up to inform my singers (I run a large community choir) of performance and recording updates etc and out of the 60 people I need to reach only 13 people have signed up. So when I make an announcement on the blog I then have to copy and paste the blog post into emails which then go around to the other 47!!

    You certainly are onto a winner if you can start at the point of presuming that your reader is so far only comfortable with email.

    Bring it on!

    Pretty much my whole business revolves around this combination of lack of interest and ignorance of anything IT.

    I’m in my late 50’s and was fairly useless at anything to do with computers until I did some formal study a few years ago (Information technology) in an attempt to reinvent myself, of course I soon realised no one would give me a job but it has provided unlimited opportunities for self employment, especially acting for people who don’t want to know about anything more than a browser, usually a crap one.

    I have to laugh sometimes when I hear the pitches on using a CMS, no client I’ve struck so far want’s to use them (or learn how), I use them to make it easier on me because I know it’ll be me making the changes.

    I’m not sure trying to educate this sector will work, your pitch and or application has to target their level of interest, if it needs more than a few clicks your wasting your time, I believe you’re engaging no one but other designer’s/developers or someone trying to save a dollar.

    No one I know in business has ever done a search for a web designer beyond a local one and even then would not talk to one without a personal reference.

    #1056904
    JaneB
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    bitsa, post: 70033 wrote:
    I have to laugh sometimes when I hear the pitches on using a CMS, no client I’ve struck so far want’s to use them (or learn how), I use them to make it easier on me because I know it’ll be me making the changes.

    Well, I don’t know about this. I’ve set myself up a WordPress blog just to see how it all works. My goal is to get some help – ok, a lot of help setting up a WP website that I can then update myself once it’s out in the ether. So far I’m enjoying it very much. The mysteries of the web are starting to fall away like confetti.

    But I must say that I’m extremely motivated because of the frustration with what I have now – to email someone and ask for changes to be made is simply not ever going to happen again.

    #1056905
    Niks
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    I’m going through the process of trying to set up an online store at the moment, and I cannot believe the amount of things I don’t understand. I have always researched things before I go ahead and make a purchase, and I have found this to be by far the most difficult thing I have ever looked into, to the point where I have almost given up a number of times.

    I have requested quotes from a few businesses, and in one case I have noticed the answers to my questions completely drop off, I assume because I am taking up too much of their time when they don’t know whether they are going to make a sale or not.

    I can write a quite comprehensive response to this if you want? Although I don’t have many hours to spare as all of my time is currently being devoted to setting this up & I have a little baby to care for in the meantime. Is there any chance you could attempt to answer a few of the questions for me? If not I’m still happy to help out…

    #1056906
    fredfarcle
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    JaneB, post: 70075 wrote:
    Well, I don’t know about this. I’ve set myself up a WordPress blog just to see how it all works. My goal is to get some help – ok, a lot of help setting up a WP website that I can then update myself once it’s out in the ether. So far I’m enjoying it very much. The mysteries of the web are starting to fall away like confetti.

    But I must say that I’m extremely motivated because of the frustration with what I have now – to email someone and ask for changes to be made is simply not ever going to happen again.

    I think it’s great that you or anyone else is prepared to take on the learning curve to master the web and IT.

    I just wish more people would have a go.

    The risk is, that as we learn, we start to use the same doublespeak that leaves others behind.

    A guide like the one proposed could be a help as long as it doesn’t assume too much prior knowledge.

    All you need to know is available on the web but the trick is finding the right sources, I think this is actually getting harder to do (find solid relevant content) thanks to some SEO practices filling search with rubbish.

    #1056907
    JaneB
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    Niks, post: 70105 wrote:
    I can write a quite comprehensive response to this if you want? Although I don’t have many hours to spare as all of my time is currently being devoted to setting this up & I have a little baby to care for in the meantime. Is there any chance you could attempt to answer a few of the questions for me? If not I’m still happy to help out…

    Why don’t you do this? The people here at FS who will answer are amazing – I just don’t think I could have progressed in my understanding about websites and the web in general without their generous answers.

    #1056908
    websitedesigner
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    hi Mexham, thanks or this yes I totally agree re costs, it’s the first thing people ask me and it’s the last thing most web companies want to talk about.

    mexham, post: 69956 wrote:
    Hi Dan,

    I know when I started getting into online business I didn’t have any knowledge on what was involved in terms of cost with getting a website setup and online.

    A rough price guide could be good detailing, hosting, web-design, marketing, domain name purchase etc. As these prices are often hard to find out when you are new to the online world, without requesting numerous quotes. It’d be good to have indicative price ranges to get an idea what to expect and budget for.

    #1056909
    websitedesigner
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    Hi Bitsa, bitsa thanks yes I have experienced the same thing, I want something that I can send people to so that before they spend any money on a website they know what they are doing and why they are doing it. I always get asked by people to build them a website becase they want to be on the front page of Google like their competitors. I’m not trying to get more work out of this, I’m not trying to educate people to my way of thinking, I really just want somewhere people can go to before they start taking advice from web companies. I can’t tell you how much business I get from peopel who are dissatisfied either with their current provider or with the interactions they have had with other firms trying to find out the basics. Hopefully this book or blog posts will work towards reducing this.

    Re your point “No one I know in business has ever done a search for a web designer beyond a local one and even then would not talk to one without a personal reference.” we get close to 2,000 visits to our website each month, almost half from natural Googel searches, 5 or 600 from people just searching for the term ‘website designer’. 50% of my customer came originaly from Google. We also get a stack from referral as you say but don’t assume no one is searching for web designers via Google, other companies pay an absolute fortune for adwords, the going rate is a few dollars a click.

    We also have stacks of clients using a CMS (we usually use Joomla or WordPress), this has grown from none 4 or 5 years ago and it will certainly become the norm. We don’t offer a service to maintin people content. I tell them if they want to take their website seriously then they need to maintain it themselves.

    #1056910
    websitedesigner
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    Wendy thanks re the tip on terminology, I think I want to stay away from a glossary style thing I really just want to capture the main things, so let me know what you think they are, SEO, SEM, Domains, Hosting, Website, Social Media, Adwords etc I’m guessing as a start? I think I might have a separate chapter on ecommerce so people who aren’t interested don’t have to deal with all of the associated terms (SSLs etc).

    Couple It, post: 69999 wrote:
    TERMINOLOGY !!!

    SEO SSL OMG!! I’ve never seen so many capital letters grouped together. Then there’s adwords, rankings, not to mention tweets and blogs…a dictionary for beginners – that’s what’s needed – with basic explanations of all the terms.

    I probably understand 85-90% of it now but it’s taken me nearly 2 years…and I think I’m a reasonably intelligent woman :)

    Wendy

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