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Forum topic by 404 - Not Found posted 10-17-2011 12:51 AM 883 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1716 days


10-17-2011 12:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Just a quick one for all you LJ’s with your own websites. I have resisted doing my own website until now as there has always been work in my local area. With the downturn of the last few years, that work has become thinner and thinner on the ground and I’m resigned to the fact that if I am to carry on, I am going to have to travel to do work. The question is, has anyone got business from their websites? I’d just like some feedback to see if it’s worth it.

Thanks


12 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1815 days


#1 posted 10-17-2011 01:23 AM

As a luddite, I’ve resisted doing a website, and now I’m being told that they are a bit old school. Facebook is apparently the new media darling.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2596 posts in 2179 days


#2 posted 10-17-2011 01:48 AM

Why am I always just a day late and a dollar short!
Just started a website… plenty of “hits” but no sales… (of course, it’s only been 4 weeks!)
By the time I get to Facebook… that will be old school too.
Seriously… we just started ours because people asked us if we had one… I’d rather sell in person than have customers think they can just order on line… it rarely happens.
Someone once told me to sell what I could see and not see what I could sell… good advice.
BUT… a website can be as little as $80/year… small investment.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Angela's profile

Angela

205 posts in 1643 days


#3 posted 10-17-2011 02:10 AM

This is only a personal observation and what I look for when I’m trying to locate a company or business.

As a customer I want a company to have a website. Even if it’s only a couple of pages. I’m shocked when a company doesn’t have one. I think if a company doesn’t have a website they are behind the times and/or too small of a company.

You didn’t mention what type of work but if I were you I’d start one even if it’s only a page about you and your business, some examples of your work, and contact info.

They don’t cost much and they really aren’t hard to make.

-- www.WoodWorkersWebsite.com - Helping other woodworker's

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2491 days


#4 posted 10-17-2011 03:40 AM

I went on line with my web site about 10 years ago. I learned HTML and did it myself. It may not be as professional as some, but it works for me. I did it as an online portfolio and it kind of grew from there. I told my wife that no one would buy furniture off the web, but I was wrong. 99% of my business comes from the site. It took about 3 years for it to really get busy. But then I didn’t invest in all of the search engine ads and other “traffic getter” gimmicks.

Don’t know what has happened lately, but I’ve had more local sales than national. About half of those are from the site, the others from a small newspaper add and personal references. Could be the economy. This area of Texas doesn’t seem to be as hard hit as the rest of the nation.

View pashley's profile

pashley

1029 posts in 2464 days


#5 posted 10-17-2011 04:50 AM

I’ve had a website for years, and haven’t done much on it. It’s well done, as is the photography, but the big problem is – Google. If you can’t get listed on the first page – if not the first search result, people won’t find you. You’re really at their mercy. If you make something highly unique, like replica Queen Anne chairs, or replica medieval trunks, you might not have much trouble reaching number one.

The black art of search engine ranking has eluded me, and thus, screwed my business. And no, pay-per-clicks aren’t really worth it. I would try a decent ad in a targeted magazine, but you’re looking at least $500 – for one issue.

Having said that, a website is today’s business card – you need one, and a good looking one – to be taken seriously.

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com

View GregD's profile

GregD

637 posts in 1883 days


#6 posted 10-17-2011 08:28 PM

To me, not having a web site is like not having a sign in front of your business. You might as well be trying to hide from your customers.

As a customer I like to be able to find at least basic information on a company web site – phone number, address, map, hours, maybe descriptions of products/services. I get grumpy if a company lacks a web site with useful, current information and usually go somewhere else.

When I’m googling for a product or service I often include my city in the search string to improve the odds of finding someone local, when I’m interested in that.

But I’m too old school for Facebook.

nearlyfreespeech.net provides very low cost hosting service if you are worried about that. You don’t even need a domain name if you want to skip that cost also, or if you just want to try it out. They don’t provide any help in building a site, however, so you’ll need to figure that out on your own or get someone to help.

-- Greg D.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5601 posts in 2122 days


#7 posted 10-17-2011 10:25 PM

As a consumer, I usually prefer businesses to have a website, for much the same reason as GregD mentioned. I’d suggest doing a decent job with it if you’re going to bother. Just like a sign, how it appears makes a big impact on the overall impression you get. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it doesn’t reflect well on the business if the website is wrought with erronenous info, poor spelling, obvious grammatical errors, outdated info etc. Large or small, professional or amateur, do it well, and keep it updated.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2907 days


#8 posted 10-17-2011 11:58 PM

I was just saying to someone the other day that I only look online when I am looking for a business/product. And if the business name is only listed somewhere and there is no website, I keep looking.
I want to “see” who the company is by the look of their website.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1716 days


#9 posted 10-18-2011 12:04 AM

Hmmm, interesting stuff.

My reluctance to put up a website stems from the fact that I have been kept busy (all word of mouth) and don’t want to be in the position of chasing all around the country (Ireland) looking at this, that and t’other.

I am a one man operation, mostly doing built-ins, and so far have been working locally.

If I am going to have to go further afield for work, the kind of jobs I’d like to do would be home offices, grand display units and the like – big, meaty projects, that can be made in the workshop and installed in a day.

The advice of stating what I can offer – and where is sound, and for the small investment it’s got to be worth a go.
It only needs one new client to make it worthwhile.

And tenontim, your work is excellent.

View Mike's profile

Mike

307 posts in 1434 days


#10 posted 10-18-2011 12:26 AM

it really is a catch 22. I sell on the internet and I notice that if you sell of a community site, it goes in wide swings. I am now in the process of building my new site to try and see if I can get some sales. I am more looking at the website as a hobby too. If I actually succeed great, if not it still is fun.

take a look:

http://www.etsy.com/lepelstatcrafts (community site)
http://zibbet.com/lepelstatcrafts (community site)
http://www.termitecrafts.com (my site – under construction)

In the end, it is like buying an elephant, how big do you want it to get?

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

View bubbyboy's profile

bubbyboy

137 posts in 1440 days


#11 posted 10-18-2011 01:00 AM

I do exactly the same thing as MsDebbieP above, no website keep looking until I find a company with one. I think in this day and age most people have computers and want to see and read about a company before making contact, at least thats what I do.

-- I just don't understand. I have cut it 3 times and it is still to short.

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1167 days


#12 posted 10-18-2011 01:10 AM

OF COURSE WEB SITES WORK!

Of course, if by “work” you mean replace a good salesman, then no, they probably aren’t going to do that.

But, if by “work” you mean, create a brand image for your company, educate potential customers and showcase previous work, then yes, they do a pretty good job at THOSE things.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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