Are you suffering the website woes?

Website BuildersRecently I've been hearing a lot of stories about website woes. The world of websites is still a scary place for a lot of people, especially small business people. Many have bravely taken the plunge and tried in vain to navigate their way through the murky waters of hosting, domain names, registration, SEO and going online. Unfortunately some have fallen victim to a few ruthless and greedy web developers out there and in the process have ended up with a website that they can't control, don't understand and are paying ridiculous on-going fees for, well - I'm not sure what for!

Think of your website as you would your car. Imagine if your car registration and insurance was managed by your mechanic, and when it came time to renew, he charged you an extra fee for registering and insuring your car, plus a monthly fee to file your paperwork in his office. You can manage to put the fuel in regularly and wash your car, keep the oil and water and tyres all healthy, but then when you need specialist work done, you pay your mechanic even more on top of his monthly fee... does this make sense? Why would you do that when it's so easy to pay and file those bills yourself? It's the same with a website and domain name...

With the advent of free web development programs like WordPress, there's no longer any reason to be paying for anything other than hosting and the occasional complicated update or amendment that needs to be done by someone who specialises in that area. Don't be mislead, I am a firm believer in engaging a professional and experienced person for the job, whatever that may be, because we can't all be good at everything. Outsourcing is awesome, and I'm the first to put my hand up and tell you that I do have a web guy to look after the tricky bits that I don't have the time or patience for. He's honest, trustworthy and doesn't charge me an arm and a leg to do stuff.

When I first wanted a website, and even though I'd previously built and designed websites as part of my job, I knew that it wasn't my strength and I knew that building websites was one thing that caused me grief and stress. So I engaged a web developer to do it for me. I designed my site, because I love doing that and that's what I do, then I gave the artwork to the web people and they made it all go live. Brilliant! It cost me a decent amount to set it up but I'd decided to do it properly and make sure it was exactly what I wanted.  I was paying $69 per month for hosting and small changes when needed, but I could add, change and edit most of it myself. Perfect, but it was still costing me $69 per month...

Then I started to hear about WordPress. Friends and colleagues told me that I could create my own site easily with WordPress for nothing! Wow! And it's true, yes it is, but I still didn't want to spend my time building my site. So I did some research, talked to lots of people who had WordPress sites, and found a brilliant web developer who was willing to take me on. We now work together and make beautiful websites for our clients from design all the way through to making it live online.
Here are some of the benefits of a WordPress site:

  • No monthly fees, it's free!
  • No-one has a hold over you, not even a web developer if you engaged one. Because WordPress is free, you have complete control. It's yours forever.
  • You can engage anyone you choose to do development work on your site, it doesn't have to be the same person that you started with.
  • You can choose to build the entire site yourself if you want to. Lots of people build and manage their own site completely and are very good at it. If that's something that you want to do, go for it!
  • You can update, add, move, change, remove and delete any pages, text, images, or plug-ins that you want, anytime.
  • It's easy to connect your facebook and twitter accounts to your website as well as setting up a newsletter facility.
  • You get to choose who you host your site with. You do need to pay for this on a monthly basis, however it can be as little as $10 per month. Think of hosting as renting space on the internet for your site (like a shop space, but much cheaper).
  • When in doubt there are millions of help sources for WordPress, through the WordPress community, google and youtube. There's always an answer, you just have to ask!

Don't get your web developer to buy your domain name, do that yourself. Like registering your car, you know you own it and you can renew it when it falls due again without taking the risk that it might be in someone else's name. You'll need an ABN if you want a domain name ending in, otherwise registration is easy.

So, if you're paying a web developer too much, do some research and look at WordPress. It's getting better every day and there are thousands of people out there who love to develop widgets and plug-ins to use and they're all fr*e! Sharing the love!

If you'd like some simple steps to help you buy your domain name, register your business name and plan your website, subscribe today and receive my little e-book, it's fr*e too!

Have you had a website experience that you'd like to share? Please leave your comments below and have a happy day!

Blog Challenge Day # 24 & 25 – The benefits of a CMS Website

www imageSo you have a website and it’s frustrating the daylights out of you! Or maybe you want a website and don’t know where to start? These days there’s much more online awareness than ever before and, according to 2006 statistics, 61 percent of internet users were buying online – imagine how many more that is today! Don’t you wish you could have some of that? You desperately want to update your website content, you want to change the images, add an e-news facility, and maybe you’re even savvy enough to know that a regular blog would benefit your business and give you more exposure. Now you’ve decided what you need to do, it’s time to figure out how. It’s time to take control of your website and get a CMS (Content Managed System). Talk to your web guy or start searching for a solution, there are a lot of choices, so make sure you ask plenty of questions.

The Benefits of a CMS website

Updating your text
There’s nothing worse than going to a website that has old, out of date information. Having control over the content of your website gives you more power – and costs less because you don’t have to call your web guy anymore. You can write, edit and change your text and make sure that your information is up to date and current. This endorses you as a credible and knowledgeable person in your niche market and helps when search engines are looking for you, because search engines love new content.

Loading new images
It’s great to refresh your website with new images, especially if you’re selling a product. Make sure your photos and images are good quality and not grainy and hard to see. Having a photo of yourself on your site creates trust and lets people know that you’re a real live person – warts and all!

Adding new pages
When you have a CMS website, you can choose how many pages you want on your site, you can delete them, add them, update them and even make them invisible while you’re working on them. Your website should be a work in progress, something that evolves and changes as your business does. Don’t let it sit and do nothing, make it work for you!

Blogging your latest news
With social networking and online marketing being a very big deal now, it makes sense to build a blog into your website. A good CMS will allow you to do this easily and it gives you another tool to reach clients and direct more people to you. It’s also another great way for search engines to find you.

Subscribe here today and download your free e-book for more info about web sites.