Why You Should Not Use Proprietary Page Builders Like Those Offered by WIX, GoDaddy, and Other Hosts

Build you website in under an hour! Sounds good doesn’t it. You probably could put together a simple site in an hour. Do you consider yourself a designer? Give that some serious consideration. I’ve seen plenty of websites put together by folks trying to save money by doing it themselves using these proprietary page builders. A few look pretty good, but most look like beginner experiments. What will potential clients think when they see your website?If you’re satisfied with that, more power to you. But if you want to optimize your site you need to know something about SEO, webmaster tools, Google Local, backups, and the list goes on.Be that as it may, the reason you do not want to use a host’s proprietary page builder is that it locks you in to their service. Let’s say you become dissatisfied with their pricing structure and want to move to another host. You can’t do it. You built your site using their software. If you want to move, you will have to rebuild your site.Do yourself a favor and learn to use WordPress. It’s free and not much more difficult to learn than your host’s page builder. A front end plugin like Elementor, again free, makes it that much easier. Then if you want to move your site at some point, you can duplicate it and move it wherever you want.But WIX offers me a free website that I can design using their page builder. They do that for a good reason. They brand your site with their logo and URL addition to your domain name. If you want to...

How Much Will It Cost To Add eCommerce

Clients have asked me how much extra it would cost to add eCommerce to my basic website package. I tell them that’s dependent on many factors. Some of them being:How many products do you have? Do you have varieties on some or each of your products – different sizes, colors, etc. that are not price dependent. Do you have excellent copy written for each product? If you are planning to use real time shipping quotes, do you know your package sizes and weights? Do you know the weight of each product being shipped? Do you have your product titles, descriptions, pricing, and other product information ready? Do you have your product photos ready so that’s all that might be needed is resizing? Do you have your domain name? Do you have your hosting service selected and set up?Let’s say you want to add eCommerce to my basic website package. On my front page it states, “All page text and images must be supplied in electronic format.” I can supply you with a sample excel spreadsheet to use for your product listings. Variable pricing and other unknowns make it nearly impossible to provide a set in stone estimate. The unknowns can mean the difference between a 50 hour project and a 250 hour project.Assume your store will have fifteen products, and a third of them will have simple variations with the same pricing for each variation. You have everything ready to go in electronic format, and all your products are listed on the excel spreadsheet. You have written excellent, SEO friendly copy that can be delivered in an electronic format....

Choosing a WordPress Theme

This post is directed to those contemplating hiring a designer to develop a new website.So you’re thinking about having a website designed. WordPress is my Content Management System (CMS) of choice. That being said, there are thousands of themes available – free and premium. You’ll see themes with gorgeous content and rave reviews.  What’s a person to do?For the most part, everything between the header and the footer will be striped in preparation to receive your content. The layout falls on your designer. I would consider three things when looking for a theme.One, do you like the header and menu. Two, how do you like the footer? And three, do you want a full width or boxed layout. Many themes advertise they are full width, but in reality, they are not. If you don’t want to spend any time searching for a theme, there’s another option.I use several themes that have nice menus, footers, and full width capability. We can use one of those as a base point. My page builder has a number of very nice templates. You may like to review those. That takes the theme selection out of the equation. Now you can concentrate on story boarding (making a graphic outline of your website), writing your copy, and putting together your images. Those are things I can’t provide unless you want to pay for copy writing and photography. I can help with your story board.If you have your heart set on a particular theme, we can use it provided it’s compatible with my page builder. Just give me the name of the theme, and I will...

Why Have Privacy and Terms Policies

Reasons Why Your Website Needs a Privacy Policy:  Build TrustWhen someone sees that you have a privacy policy, whether or not they read it, there is a subconscious belief that they can trust you.It’s the LawAlmost every state and country, as well as several state-sponsored organizations, requires you to display a privacy policy. If you collect, store, or share personal data like emails, names, or payment info, you need to explain what you plan to do with your visitors’ and customers’ personal data.Make More MoneyResearch has shown that if you are honest and upfront with people who visit your website by providing them with a privacy policy, more of them will do what you want them to do. If you are an e-commerce company, that means that you will make more money with one than you will without one. Even getting people to fill out surveys, forms, and signing up for newsletters is easier with a privacy policy.Fulfill Third-Party RequirementsCompanies like Google and Apple require that you display a privacy policy on your website. Even if you’re not planning on personally collecting sensitive personal data, using a third-party service to collect data or display ads, like with Google Analytics or Adsense, it still means that you’re collecting personal information and the user has a right to be informed.Don’t Get SuedAs a consequence of not abiding by the previous reason, without a comprehensive privacy policy, you risk the probability of being sued. Delta Airlines, SnapChat, Google and many more companies have all faced lawsuits over questionable privacy policies. Whether you own an online website, blog, or mobile app, you should...

Searching for a Web Designer

If you own a small business and do not currently have a website – you need one! If you want to share your thoughts with your own blog or you just want to highlight your achievements – you need a website. I’m sure you’ve given it much thought. Here are some options and thoughts. Let me address these one by one. Do It YourselfIf you are Internet savvy and have a fairly good command of programs like Photoshop, you can select a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress to build your website. That may be a little too involved for some. Another option would be to use a WYSIWYG design sight like WIX. They actually let you build a free website, but it will have some limitations. If you want more than the site offers, you will have to pay for an upgrade.WIX advertises the ability to easily build a beautiful site using their platform. For the most part, that’s correct – if you are a good designer. I have friends who used this option to design their websites. What most (there were exceptions) ended up with was not good. A poorly done site will hurt your marketing effort.In addition, there are a lot of site related matters that need attention like SEO, alt tag composition, the correct footer schema, etc., etc. In other words, you need to know more than drag and drop. If you decide to use WordPress, there will be a learning curve. Do you have that time to spend? If you do, maybe I can help you with some short cuts.Hire a Local Design FirmThis is...