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Show Us Your Website

by Tedster
posted 06-17-2012 05:56 PM


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98 replies

98 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112103 posts in 2234 days


#1 posted 06-17-2012 06:12 PM

Hi Ted
Mine is not that fancy and I did not put it together my son did. He’s in the process of redoing my furniture section.

http://artisticwoodstudio.com/

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View nomercadies's profile

nomercadies

507 posts in 995 days


#2 posted 06-17-2012 06:20 PM

http://chancefour.sharepoint.com

This site used to be the free one run by Microsoft. It costs $6.50 per month after six months free for the limited service I get. I offer a free class to students from special needs divisions of high school that have graduated and have found nothing to do and no one to help them. They find wonderful opportunities to do valuable things with wood and other media if they “want to work.” I have eight students now and love the idea of doing it on my own. The students love it and like to show off things they have done and do now. The site helps accomplish that. The need to sell things from the site and advertise to the world isn’t necessary. The items made are almost always sold before they are completed. The proceeds go to the students. Last sale prompted the student to say, “Now I can make a payment on my glasses.” There are all kinds of valuable people out there that have been thrown away. I think I have found a way to tap into that power.

The site doesn’t have a very strong English speaking support staff, but for my needs, I muddle through. I would be happy to learn more.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14210 posts in 995 days


#3 posted 06-17-2012 06:44 PM

Mine is hosted by Inmotion. My software is Serif. Great tutorials. You make all the decisions ….....and mistakes. I use Square so I can take any credit cards. That alone probably doubled my business.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14210 posts in 995 days


#4 posted 06-17-2012 07:07 PM

If you are up on Facebook, several LJ’s use it. I have been trying to figure it out. It’s free if you do. My hosting is $6.00 a month. Serif is from the UK. They are great to work with. But I am from the Monty Python generation so I want to laugh when I talk to them.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1655 days


#5 posted 06-17-2012 07:12 PM

You have to make a decision on if you would rather be spending your time woodworking or as web designer/maintainer. It is an ongoing project to keep one working and keeping out of trouble with people trying to break into it (especially if you deal with money.)

Two points:

Most Search Engine Optimization is garbage. The search engines explicitly work at filtering out the optimization and will in fact score you down for having. It is seen as “gaming the system”. Just good plain text tags and content is enough.

As far as the blogging, It is a lot of work to keep content fresh and interesting. I played with it a while but it was more than I wanted to deal with. Nothing worse than stale content. Mine sucks miserably. Plan on at least a post a week to make it worthwhile. Much longer than that and people wander off. Much less than that and you will be spending all your time blogging and little else. Try keeping one here and see if you like doing it. You are not going to find much friendlier software to start with and you don’t have to deal with maintaining it.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

612 posts in 1437 days


#6 posted 06-17-2012 07:14 PM

Hi Ted,

I run a few websites:

My own Don Johnson site – I’m not really sure what it is for – originally I suppose to try to sell my book ‘Billy the Bit’ (I did sell a few – but it never made the Best Seller lists! LOL), but I add bits to it from time to time. It is also useful as a place to put files for people to download – such as instructional videos created by Jing e.g. Racenite Program

John Smiths site, which uses Paypal for selling. The code for inserting into the ‘Ordering’ page came from Paypal. John wanted something simple that could be navigated easily by inexperienced web users.

Chedzoy Village Hall

Somerset Woodturners Club

The first three use much the same layout, which I created using Namo Webeditor 2006 – rather old-fashioned now but I’m too lazy to change to a free editor or too mean to buy the latest version!

Regarding ‘promoting’ a site, I understand that the search engines – like Google – look for links both TO and FROM sites when ‘ranking’, so it is good to have plenty of links of both types.

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View TheWoodenBox's profile

TheWoodenBox

167 posts in 2266 days


#7 posted 06-17-2012 07:25 PM

Just started mine, nothing much on it yet.

www.thewoodenboxes.com

I use vistaprint.com, it’s cheap and easy to use.

View Stephenw's profile

Stephenw

273 posts in 1042 days


#8 posted 06-17-2012 07:42 PM

This is my website…

http://shopngarage.com/

It costs $9.95 a month.

I use WordPress. I shoot my pictures and video with an iPhone4. I process my pictures with Photoshop Elements 8.0.

I took a basic theme and heavily altered it to make it my own. You have to get into the page templates, CSS, and a little PHP to do this.

I don’t do anything as far as search engines are concerned. I’m shocked at how many things I find I am on the first page of a Google search for, things like “Fluke Multimeter Repair”.

My site is just for fun (a hobby). Traffic varies; slow right now with the nice summer weather.

-- http://www.garagebulletin.com/

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

891 posts in 1830 days


#9 posted 06-17-2012 07:43 PM

I run asliceofwoodworkshop.com. It is ran through godaddy.com and is hosted by wordpress. It is a blog, not a traditional website, however you can use wordpress like a website. Fairly easy to use. I also have facebook which I promote my stuff on.

-- Tim- http://www.asliceofwoodworkshop.com; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/asliceofwood

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#10 posted 06-17-2012 07:51 PM

Dave, your son did/is doing a fine job on your site. What I like most is the Design Process page, great idea to outline the steps in a simple matter like that. I bet that page alone accounts for a big chunk of any new business generated.
Monte
, I’m on facebook and have made a facebook page (as opposed to the standard profile page) just for kicks. I can see using it as a woodworking website, and for hooking up with other woodworkers and/or customers. But I would tend to point all the visitors to a separate website, under it’s own domain.

4, I bet you have a blast working with those young future artisans. It’s also a noble contribution to society providing them a good outlet to focus their energies.

David, I see a lot of woodworkers do a lot of projects and maintain a nice website and/or blog. Personally, I’m not really into blogging. I would like to just make my projects and put some of them up for sale in a simple online catalog.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1655 days


#11 posted 06-17-2012 08:32 PM

Ted

I am not saying not to do it. Just pointing out the gotchas. Many people jump into it without knowing the ins and outs and make some problematic choices in the beginning. There are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there hawking SEO that is worthless for the most part. Creating a website is the simple part. Maintaining it is the long term job. Especially if there is a payment component. Unless you are making a large quantity of small and easy to ship items, you might be better off using it as a showcase for your work more than a point of sale.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Mike's profile

Mike

302 posts in 1344 days


#12 posted 06-17-2012 08:45 PM

Hi all:

Mine is http://www.termitecrafts.com

It is really more of a personal site that has opportunity for commercial applications. Free hosting with a $35 for 5 years registration fee. I used Dreamweaver for this design, but I am working on a new layout too.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1280 posts in 2394 days


#13 posted 06-17-2012 08:54 PM

I made up my website using Yahoo. It was quite easy and mainly made it to show projects with a description of my experience.

http://oldworld-construction.com/

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

568 posts in 2199 days


#14 posted 06-17-2012 09:01 PM

My fun site : http://plans.testsitem3.info.
It sits as a sub domain on one of our test sites until I get the new site completed, Then it will have it’s own stand alone tld domain.

It was built and edited from scratch in Microsoft Expression Web 4

All the images, other than the plans images, were built in Photoshop CS5 and Image Ready 7.0 and optimized for the web in both programs. It also has some work done on it in CorelDraw x14 and Corel Paintshop Pro X2.

It’s hosted with KVC and has 2 MYSQL databases running behind it.

It also has a CMS attached to it call Content Seed so parts of it can be edited by my wife if I have another set of plans completed and don’t have time to upload them myself.

I’m not going to SEO the site until the new site is completed. SEO does work if you do it correctly and have patience. Ted speaks the truth, there are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there calling themselves SEO specialist…run away from them.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View GenerationWW's profile

GenerationWW

521 posts in 906 days


#15 posted 06-17-2012 09:28 PM

Hey Ted, Check out my forum www.generationwoodworks.com/forum/. The forum was just completed but click on the banner at the top. I think hands down they have the best hosting and great packages. My whole site is run from them and they have everything on their c-panel.

You could also list your stuff on my site or free. Set up your own store there until you get your site off the ground. A food for thought

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ www.generationwoodworks.com for free!

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1626 days


#16 posted 06-17-2012 09:37 PM

I’m glad you posted this. I have put off and put off doing a website until now and I have someone lined up to do it in the near future (unless someone can walk me thru posting a site with iWeb which I can do myself).

About a year ago I posted a thread on LJ’s asking “Do websites work” – the feedback on that was basically that as a window onto what you can do, then yes, they certainly do, but don’t expect sales to shoot up as a consequence.

However, I have spoken to another local cabinet maker and a joiner with websites about how their websites worked for them and the responses have been more than favourable (not many customers, but good customers).

Before I started woodworking full time I was a retoucher and Mac operator so I’m familiar with all the image editing software and graphics packages, I have designed my website (more or less) but just need someone to do the things like slideshows etc. and get it published.

I just have one question for now regarding domain names – if I use a .ie domain (Ireland) will it show up before a .com domain if someone is searching for cabinet work in Ireland?

If anyone has any tips on making the most of a website, I’d be really interested.

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

568 posts in 2199 days


#17 posted 06-17-2012 09:53 PM

Google cabinet shops in Ireland and you’ll see .ie and .com sites listed. It helps to have your site hosted in your area and SEO it for your area.

We do a lot of local area SEO for mom and pop businesses on the sites we build for them. I plan on giving a show and tell here how we do it successfully just as soon as I get the time.

It also helps to buy not only the .ie domain for your site but the .com too if it’s available. The domain prefix that you don’t use as your tld (top level domain), just use a URL Gripper and point it to your site tld.

In our business sites and having web sites for them from many years ago we own all the top three domains to help protect our brand.
.com .net and .org. The .net and .org we redirect to the .com sites with the URL Gripper at our domain registrar, but you can also do it in your cpanel if you can add on other domains with your hosting package.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#18 posted 06-18-2012 03:09 AM

Bruce (or anybody), What do you think about .bz .ws .mx and other less popular domain extensions? Of course, they’re not a memorable for humans, but do you think it matters to search engine?

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#19 posted 06-18-2012 03:39 AM

Renners, I kept meaning to get back to your questions but as you see in my signature.. I’m easily distracted :)

Looks like Bruce already answered your main question, regarding top level domains (.com or .ie). What he says makes sense. Be sure to post any other questions you may have regarding your woodworking website. That’s why the topic is here. :)

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View John 's profile

John

208 posts in 2059 days


#20 posted 06-18-2012 04:05 AM

I don’r really have a web site but rather point my customers to look at my things at webshots.

http://community.webshots.com/user/jahness

I really need to update it.

-- John

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

568 posts in 2199 days


#21 posted 06-18-2012 04:38 AM

Bruce (or anybody), What do you think about .bz .ws .mx and other less popular domain extensions? Of course, they’re not a memorable for humans, but do you think it matters to search engine?

As the world gets more populated so does the internet. Recently there has been a lot of discussions on the three top level domains in some of the developer seminars we attend…..com, .net, and .org. It seems we’re running out of those three with the keyword domain names and that’s the reason more domain extensions are being brought into play. By keyword domains I’ll use a few for an example. bank.com, host.com, sugar.com, etc. Per say each one of those domains is a direct keyword for multi billion dollar industries associated with those products, and the list goes on.

The average internet surfer looks for .com first. Many people still associate the .org with organizations and .edu with education, etc.

We have several clients that had to get a .biz because their business domains were already taken by someone else. SEO for them? We’re just getting started with them but feel like they’ll rank ok in the search engines after we’ve had some time to experiment on how we need to present them to be crawled by the search engines.

We use a lot of .info for our test sites. Why, because we buy them cheap and have no intentions of doing any SEO work on them. They’re for site test purpose only. We do have several .info small business clients because they could not get one of the top level domains in relationship to their businesses either.

We’ve been able to get them ranked fairly well in the search engines for their local areas because of how we presented their businesses to the search engine spiders for their given area. As far as international on the .info and .biz I can’t give any info because all of our clients that need international search engine exposure have .com domains.

Once again I suggest that everyone buy the three top level domains for their web sites to protect their brand or someone could shoot you down doing some smart SEO. My thoughts are, if you own your three top level domains then you have better control over your business name, products and reputation in the internet.

I own the three top level domains on the name of a large and popular stream where we live. I also have them on WHOIS Privacy. I get emails all the time through my WHOIS Privacy company asking to buy the domains.
They’re not for sale and all my neighbors and friends here thank me for that. I’m protecting our beautiful stream and our little community from the thugs out there that could make us look bad here or use them to make greedy money from.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#22 posted 06-18-2012 04:49 AM

Nice photos, John… but that webshots sure does pack in the advertisements.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#23 posted 06-18-2012 04:55 AM

Bruce, does your team focus much attention on mobile devices? I see a lot of joomla and wordpress designs include mobile versions, and a lot of ‘responsive’ designs coming out lately. I’m not sure how important it is for a woodworkers website, probably not a high priority.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Remedyman's profile

Remedyman

47 posts in 854 days


#24 posted 06-18-2012 04:56 AM

I created a website a few years back that was very basic in flashiness but worked beautifully. It was database driven with a php backend. There were no limits to the number of items you could list. You could have a small image and a large image that was clickable and everything was setup to use paypal. Worked quite nicely. I am a software developer so the bones of the operation were smooth, but I am not a graphics person so it just wasn’t eye catching. I could dig up the code if someone is really interested.

Unlike some people, the money side was VERY easy to maintain. If they clicked to buy something it was added to their paypal shopping cart. So paypal handled all the finance side of things. I would get notice from paypal for the order and fill it. Pretty simple if you let the companies that spend the time and money to specialize handle their parts.

-- As long as our customers are happy, we have done a good job. Even if we are our own customer.

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

568 posts in 2199 days


#25 posted 06-18-2012 05:13 AM

Ted we started about a year ago getting ready for the mobile’s out there. We have one girl that’s working on it full time now. You might be surprised at how many people surf the web now with mobile devices.

I just looked at the stats on one of my woodworking sites and it had 32 hits today from mobile devices.
So, the new toys and gadgets are beginning to make their name be known in the internet would be my thoughts.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#26 posted 06-18-2012 06:05 AM

That’s 32 potential sales today, not something to scoff at. :)

RemedyMan, funny you should mention PayPal. I’m looking at their developer sandbox trying to figure out how it works. I guess I can add Buy Now buttons to my web pages for testing, but they don’t actually work—if somebody clicks it seems to work but doesn’t actually process the payment. PayPal definitely makes accepting payments a lot easier. There are other options, like 2Checkout, but PayPal has all the tools that one can basically insert into their webpage and they’re good to go. I think Google Payments also has a lot of useful tools for selling online.

I like the idea of making a single page for each item, as opposed to a full featured catalog, since the woodworking projects I’ll be selling are each one of a kind. It doesn’t make sense for me to have a catalog. I’d rather make a page for the item, add a paypal button, and when it sells it will be sold. The page will still be there, but nobody will be able to buy that item again. Not sure how that works… maybe the buy button turns to a sold button? Soon as I get their sandbox figured out I’ll do some testing.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

333 posts in 1601 days


#27 posted 06-18-2012 04:50 PM

Hello TedW. My website is in my signature at the bottom. I use 3dcart.com for my website. They have many different templates that you can customize to fit what you would like. They also can set up a Facebook store for no extra charge. They have a lot of automation features that I like. Like sending emails when the order is received, the order is being processed, the order is shipped and a follow up for their online review.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 921 days


#28 posted 06-18-2012 06:37 PM

I don’t know if this is going to be much help to you, but Wordpress offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to site development. It’s not just for blogging (though that is what it is known for). My wife and I pay for our own server and hosting. The site (it’s mainly her’s) is:

Southern Sprout

You can pretty much mold Wordpress into any arrangement you want if you’re clever enough (or if you feel like just paying for a prepackaged theme).

I’m a software engineer so my advice on what is easy may not apply in your case.

As far as payments go, there are plenty of easy to use methods from PayPal, Amazon, Square, etc. The problem is how much are you willing to pay for that convenience.

This isn’t to be rude, but it seems like with your recent posts you’re just asking for a way to do it without actually having to do the work. That’s not going to be the case unless you don’t mind paying for someone to handle it for you. My advice is stop asking (again, I’m not saying that in a condescending or rude way) and just start doing it. You’ll learn a lot along the way… trust me. We can only help so much unless you come in with some specific questions. I have no real way of determining how much knowledge you have so I don’t really know where to start and what to leave off. Understand?

And on to the opinion section of the post: Nowadays, I think it’s necessary to have a well-sorted, user-oriented, well-designed site. That’s just my opinion, but I know if I go to a site that looks like it was made even from 2001 I usually immediately exit.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

568 posts in 2199 days


#29 posted 06-18-2012 08:45 PM

May I ask, why you immediately exit it because it was made in 2001 or looks like it ?

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 921 days


#30 posted 06-18-2012 09:27 PM

May I ask, why you immediately exit it because it was made in 2001 or looks like it ?

Good question, so I’ll clarify. If it looks like it was made in 2001 (because 2001 is old to me and I think sites from that era were poorly designed for the most part) and I’m trying to buy something, I’ll leave because they have a higher probability of being difficult to navigate, not providing enough information, or have owners I don’t like dealing with.

Guess it’s somewhat of a habit of my generation… everything now and avoiding things that seem inconvenient. My friends do the same thing. If it looks old, it probably isn’t selling anything new or useful to me now.

I’ve had experiences in the past with those types of sites that left a bad taste in my mouth. Mind you, this doesn’t mean everyone with a dated-looking site is bad to deal with, just almost everyone I’ve dealt with has been. So, it’s easier to just avoid them.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

568 posts in 2199 days


#31 posted 06-19-2012 02:48 AM

I would probably be old to you too and thank your for answering my question. I seem to be having more problems with the new age of sites than the “older ones”.

I’m going to take up for some of the older sites, especially the mom and pop sites. My wife’s favorite restaurant site was built in Frontpage 2000 in about 2001. Awesome place to eat and one of the most popular in our area. They still use that site except changing the menu and wishing their regular customers Happy Birthday on it. MY wife offered to build them a new site several times for free and they would say to her..thank you honey but everyone tells us they love our site just the way it is..and I love it too because it was built by themselves. Looks and works the same in all the browsers They also get many young adults telling them they found them through their site. So undoubtedly they didn’t exit the site because it is old.

I have several vendors that have “old sites” and they seem to have more people visiting than exiting their sites.They also built their own sites back in the early 2000’s. So far as I know no one has ever gotten any diseases from visiting their old sites.

We do many sites a year from small business to corporate and most all of them tell us they hate the new sites and build their sites to match their company profiles, and this is what we do.

I have no problems with the new sites other than most of them look cluttered and my eyes get tired of scanning their home pages trying to find what I’m looking for.
I think Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal are great for the average person that wants, need a site for their personal or small business use. More people than not cannot afford to pay a web development company to build and maintain their sites for them.

In a recent developers seminar we attended there was a young girl sitting next to my wife that is a web designer. The keynote speaker asked..where would the net be now without all the pre made themes we’re seeing? The girl told my wife..I would be without a job.

I’ve made a link to four sites we’re working on now..these are their home pages…sure they may look old to you but the clients love them. The designer of these home pages is 30 years of age and has a master’s in computer sciences. She is also our database coder.

But, I understand where you’re coming from and I mean no pun intended by this post.

http://www.m3sitetest.com/temp3206.html

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#32 posted 06-19-2012 05:15 AM

PuzzleMan, now that’s a professional looking site! I’m really impressed and if I had a kid or 2 or 5 you would be getting some sales from me right now. In fact, I’m going to mention your site on facebook as soon as I’m done posting this. Thanks for sharing! I have heard of 3DCart but never looked into it.. I will now.

Doss, I don’t find anything you said to be rude. I appreciate an honest opinion and thank you for sharing yours—that’s what this topic is about. I’m not looking for specific answers to specific questions but, rather, lots of answers to no particular questions other than what is your website and tell me a bit about it.

Regarding websites over 10 years old, I spend countless hours browsing the web, just looking at different websites… some for inspiration, some out of curiosity, some to find information or advice. I find that it makes little difference how old a website is. Many newer websites I find absolutely confusing, obviously having traded simple navigation for sleek design, while others manage to merge the two quite nicely.

Some older websites are obviously outdated, giving the impression that the company behind the website doesn’t care and, thus, might not take business seriously. Conversely, many older websites are like a vintage piece of furniture—well cared for over the years, reflecting a sense of continuity and personal devotion—something which too many businesses lack.

I am not easily impressed by a sleek new websites, which anybody can buy or build on a whim. I’m impressed by the content and the character it portrays. Don’t get me wrong… I like a modern sleek design. But that’s just the cover of the proverbial book. Like people, it’s the character that matters most.

You say your you and your wife pay for your own server and hosting. That seems a bit redundant. Surely you don’t pay for a dedicated server for a single wordpress blog, do you? and the And Hosting part.. which is it, server or hosting? Sorry, but that statement is confusing. If you have a server, why pay for hosting? And if you have one wordpress blog, why pay for a whole server? Anyway, your wifes blog looks nice but it takes too long to load… too much stuff on the home page. But then, blogs are generally personalized by nature, so if that’s the way she likes it then more power to her. I like it too! :)

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 921 days


#33 posted 06-19-2012 03:02 PM

Ted and Bruce, thank you both for not taking what I was saying harshly. Going back and reading it, I know it could’ve been taken that way.

Ted, we pay to have our site hosted. I often say server and hosting because it’s what we say around the office. We have several of our own servers and that’s just what we say when someone else is providing the hardware and connection… I don’t know why, but we do. Well, I guess I do know why. We build a lot of intranet sites. That’s part of it. Plus, a server means nothing if you don’t have an external connection to the world. Also, it was to make a distinction between Wordpress sites. There are two main types 1) hosted by Wordpress.org or 2)on your own server (or rented server). And thanks for the compliment on the site.

Let me clear up a few more things.

1. Any website is better than no website… well, almost always. As much as I hate placeholder sites, they at least show people that you plan on putting something up.
2. If you have a successful business (especially one that doesn’t depend on the internet), chances are most people won’t care what your site is like.
3. If you have something that just works and people are used to it, it also doesn’t matter how old it looks (take craigslist for example).
4. There is a difference between a slick-looking and an actual slick site. My opinion is that design of a site should depend on what you are trying to accomplish: conveying information, forums, selling, promoting interaction between members, promoting interaction with your company, etc. They all have different design needs. All the Flash, Flex, Javascript, and Silverlight won’t help you if your site it too confusing to use.
5. I’m not that young, but I’m not that old either :-)
6. Don’t take anything I say about websites too seriously. I don’t hold any of this (well, apart from good design) too close to concrete. There are exceptions to all of this and many sites that do well in spite of this. It’s all just my opinion.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#34 posted 06-19-2012 04:39 PM

Doss, thanks for clarifying… I’m easily confused and need all the help I can get :)

I should clarify that my reason for starting this topic was to A) get some random ideas and inspiration, and B) so others may get some ideas and inspiration. Fact is, I have considerable knowledge about building websites, hosting, servers (Linux, cPanel, etc..), but I haven’t put much of it to practice in the real virtual world—the reason being that I have mental blocks. I get stuck on one little thing, say a design element or exactly how to word some content, and I can’t get past it. That’s why I need ideas and inspiration from others.

Note, however, Bruce is leaps and bounds ahead of me in the know-how department. Whereas he is fairly knowledgeable about the language of the World Wide Web (PHP, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery…), I am just good at figuring out how to mix and match code provided by others, mostly the free open source stuff because that’s what I have to work with. I am quite proficient with Joomla! and WordPress.

I am working actively building a website. Except for a couple of errands I have to take care of today, I have the rest of the week off so I can focus my rather narrow attention span and, hopefully, finally, get it launched.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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Dave

11168 posts in 1497 days


#35 posted 06-22-2012 02:40 AM

SEO plugins, google love, slugs, web 2.0, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
information overload. And I am loving it.

I need a chat forum tool or page. Any ideas for wordpress?

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#36 posted 06-22-2012 02:54 AM

What you want is bbPress. You can install it directly from the admin section – plugins, add new, search for bbpress and it should show up near the top of the list. Then just click the install button, then activate it. I think it even adds the menu link, so you don’t have to.

bbPress is pretty limited in functionality, but it works. Wordpress is seriously lacking in any decent forum integration. If you want more advanced forum, let me know and I’ll try not to throw too much at ya to quickly, lol. But if you just want a simple message board, bbPress should work. Glad you’re enjoying it.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Remedyman's profile

Remedyman

47 posts in 854 days


#37 posted 06-22-2012 03:11 AM

I am a software developer so design is NOT my strong point. But I am good with a database and I do love to make code run as efficiently as possible. The site I had was basic in design, but it was dynamic. The only graphics on the site were of things I was selling.

Ted’s idea of one page per product is a GREAT idea for stuff that you only do once. And you can keep it up there so people can see samples of what you have done. I would do that myself this weekend if I wasn’t up to my ears in other projects at the moment. And it would be no challenge at all to store a flag in the database for in stock or not and if not then don’t show the paypal (or other) button.

If you are using a database (and I see no reason not to) and/or php and have some issues, feel free to ping me. I am more than happy to try to help.

But if you want to talk about colors and pictures and all that flashy looking stuff, I am not your man. Query tuning. Load timings. Those are the things I live to do. Really not sure how woodworking has worked it’s way into it, but hey, I enjoy it.

-- As long as our customers are happy, we have done a good job. Even if we are our own customer.

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Dave

11168 posts in 1497 days


#38 posted 06-22-2012 03:27 AM

Ted you are the man! bada boom!

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

799 posts in 974 days


#39 posted 06-22-2012 04:00 AM

I’ve built one site and am working on a second one. The first was done for my employer using Wordpress and a professional theme that was purchased from Theme Forest. I picked out a theme that was very close to what I needed then did some minor visual tweaks. It is hosted by Hostgator using one of their webserver packages. Total cost to startup was about $150.00. Annual fees will be around $120.00.

Custom Church Furniture by Remmert Studios

I chose Wordpress since it’s very easy for people with limited computer skills to use and update. That means I don’t have to add all the content personally and can easily train others to make blog posts, add pictures and make new pages.

To get all the functionality I needed required many plugins. Most of them are for security and other administrative functions but there’s also a NexGen gallery plugin to handle portfolios and picture organization.

SEO is pretty simple but it’s not easy. First, the theme has built in SEO functions that let me choose what page titles and page descriptions search engines will display if they show up in the results. The trick is to build page content that fits the keyword phrases I want to target. Then page titles and descriptions are made to accurately reflect the content.

The second aspect to SEO involves making plenty of pages for search engines to find. The more content the better. Just organize it so viewers don’t get lost and that all of it is unique. Pages with duplicate content are a waste of time and may hurt a site’s rankings.

I wear too many hats at work and am therefore strapped for time. Because of that I use a lot of pictures in place of carefully handcrafted pages. Good quality pictures get a lot of mileage. On that note, the site is still a work in progress (always will be too) and there are plenty of older photos that badly need updating.

Since I’ve started working with our website (approximately a year) the traffic has picked up notably. It now places high on many important search terms whereas before it was impossible to find.

Second Website

This one is still under construction and isn’t close to being complete but it’s built in the same manner as the above. It’s for a part time business venture I’m working on to target a tiny but growing customer base.

Altar Rails and Traditional Church Furniture

The content is lacking at the moment since I still need to do some more writing and get the pictures and web graphics done. I do have a blog hosted under a subdomain (run by someone else) that attracts a crowd from a potential customer base though. The best part is that I get over a 1,000 visits a month and I haven’t even started promoting my website yet.

I probably won’t “officially” go public with that business and website for another four weeks or so. However, when I do, high quality pictures and video will be an important part of the marketing strategy. I’ll be investing plenty of time and money into photography.

In the long term future I hope to build a couple more websites as subdomains to promote different product lines.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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Dave

11168 posts in 1497 days


#40 posted 06-22-2012 04:23 AM

JAAune that was impressive.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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JAAune

799 posts in 974 days


#41 posted 06-22-2012 04:59 AM

Thanks.

I forgot to mention that those “fancy” pictures in the slideshows were done using some simple techniques in GIMP (open-source Photoshop clone). They’re fairly quick to make now since I took the time to create some templates that are exactly the size needed and have the layers already setup.

The hardest part is making sure I have all the pictures needed. I’m still kicking myself for neglecting to take proper pictures of most of my own work and some of the Remmert Studios stuff as well. Nowadays there’s always a camera on a tripod in the shop. Soon I’ll setup an area to do formal studio photography so I can completely document every finished piece.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Dev Mehra's profile

Dev Mehra

1 post in 822 days


#42 posted 06-22-2012 07:47 AM

My website is http://www.steelrollingmillmachinery.com/

I don’t know how to do SEO for it.

-- Dev Mehra, India

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Brohymn62

120 posts in 912 days


#43 posted 06-22-2012 12:54 PM

www.southeastcities.org

This is a website I’m running for a Relay for Life event in my area. I used Joomla to create and maintain it. Pretty straight forward once you get the hang of using it.

-- Chris G. ; Los Angeles, CA

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Dave

11168 posts in 1497 days


#44 posted 06-23-2012 11:01 PM

Check out my site on a mobile device. www.chiselandforge.com

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#45 posted 06-23-2012 11:10 PM

No problem Dave.. can I borrow your mobile device?

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#46 posted 06-23-2012 11:27 PM

Chris, Joomla is by far my favorite platform. I find it a lot easier to use than WordPress, and far more useful for almost any type of site. I’m working on 2 sites right now, one using Joomla and another using WordPress multisite. The later will be for fellow woodworkers to create their own website (official announcement coming soon) and the Joomla site will be for woodworking articles and such.

Your site looks nice – clean and easy to find ones way around. Thanks for showing us.

Dev, your site looks awesome! Almost makes me want to go into steelworking :) I’m no SEO expert but I see you have descriptive title tags and description tags. I think everything beyond that is just getting back links, fine tuning and stuff like that. An SEO expert might pick away at every single page and tweek everything, but I think you’re on the right track.

JAAune, I looked at your sites the other day and kept meaning to comment.. they both look pretty good albeit still under construction. I like the church furnishings and will spend some more time looking through your site when I get the time.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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Dave

11168 posts in 1497 days


#47 posted 06-27-2012 02:09 AM

I learned meta tags today.
Ted where is the new site?

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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Tedster

2271 posts in 868 days


#48 posted 06-27-2012 02:51 AM

Then you probably learned that the title metatag and the description metatag are the most important. Keyword metatag is not so important, as Google, Yahoo and other major search engines don’t pay attention to them any more.

I can’t say where the new site is until it’s ready, also can’t say much about it until then. I think it will be ready tonight, in which case I’ll announce it tomorrow.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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sandhill

2122 posts in 2581 days


#49 posted 06-27-2012 03:01 AM

I found I was spending way to much time at the key board. I limit my time to LJs and a few other sites (one hour at the most per day spending more time in the shop). If I ever get another site I will pay someone to build it.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View Dave's profile

Dave

11168 posts in 1497 days


#50 posted 06-27-2012 03:21 AM

Waiting….......................

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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