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Topic: Website Critique
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1/29/2013 at 11:54 AM ET
I have two separate businesses,and I would like to have two websites designed for each one. One website will be for advertising our in house custom clothing, tailoring and alteration services.
The other business will be a customized equestrian apparel made to the customer's measurements and specifications in house and orders taken the through internet at the customers request.
What kind of websites would you recommend for the two separate businesses, and what type of web designing company would you suggest to hire.
and should this be set-up as an e-commerce site accepting paypal, etc.
Of course and we will be providing in house/on site custom equestrian apparel as well.
1/29/2013 at 1:51 PM
Welcome back, Patricia...
Do you really want "two websites designed for each one" - a total of 4 sites - or merely one site for each business...which makes more sense?
As for the type of sites, both will have some things in common - appropriate, well written contents, inviting design, ease of navigation, eye-catching graphics, a clear call to action (CTA) and shopping cart capabilities.
My suggestion is to visit the websites of your competitors and keep a diary of what you like and don't like on each. You can then share that information with the various professionals you'll ultimately select to create your sites.
A word of caution, if I may...unless you have the necessary skills and experience, do not attempt to create those sites on your own. The money saved by do-it-yourself site builders is typically lost several times over because such sites rarely produce the sales that were hoped for.
1/29/2013 at 2:45 PM
Having one site for each business, makes more sense. I have looked at other sites and see what I like and dislike about them. I will hire a professional website designer or company to custom design my website.
It's really nice having a site such as MarketingProfs to ask questions and get the anwers, that are so on target.
Thank you, very much.
1/29/2013 at 3:05 PM
How about the same website, only with two subtly different styles for the different markets. A gingham blue background (with a text area in the middle that is white or at least sensible) for the aprons and a background of linen or sacking - or whatever makes you think "horseriding clothing" as a background. This saves you heaps on web design as you can choose your own backgrounds.
Using a simple Wordpress theme you will be up and running in no time. There are literally millions. You can ask someone to play with it and make it so that you can easily change the backgrounds as you choose. That won't cost very much at all - and you have all the benefits of an easily navigable interface (which I grouse at, but then I am rather old school when it comes to HTML editors). It is amazing what one or two tweaks can do to a Wordpress theme. All for a few bucks.
In any case, if you hire a professional, they will probably sell you something on Wordpress (or Drupal or Joomla or ... you name it) which will just be a juiced up theme. They will charge you $500 instead of $30 for the privilege.
You can set up your own free Wordpress site - and try it out before you even start. It doesn't have to be any good as the entire idea is to see if you like the interface.
Anyway, the difference in backgrounds and perhaps the text area colours will make a big impact on the "feel" of your site.
Hope this helps. M
1/29/2013 at 3:44 PM
Thank you for the advice. I had a website in the past using a webhosting company and a web designer who owns a business. Because she is a friend of the family she agreed to serve as my administrator to the webhost. It was my job to write all the text, take the images of my product or services and ,set-up my profiles on facebook, pinterest etc. while running a full time business.
It was a lessoned well learned, and I needed to know how to navigate around the site and upload, download, change or edit to keep things fresh. The website designs results was satisfactory, it drew
traffic to my site, customer's made nice comments.
I cancelled the website after 1 1/2 year, due to hosting fees and maintenance was too expensive.
We are searching for the right design company and making better choices and decisons.
I prefer to hire a full scale web designer tocustom design the website. I will provide the text, profiles, etc. Just not to the scale I did before., it was too time consuming to do-it-yourself kind of thing, and it isn't a project enjoy. I like the results. In other words, I'll leave it to the professionals it's not for me,
but, thank you for your suggestions.
P.S. I will make a mental note of the wordpress fee of $30.00 versus $500.00
1/29/2013 at 4:28 PM
You are wise to draw on professionals to get this job done. In the end it saves/makes more money for you than it costs.
The thing with any creative service is that YOU have to provide the strategy and direction. The creative talent is ... well, creative -- not usually strategic or savvy about your business. That's why you need to be the one to provide a very carefully crafted Creative Brief. It will serve as the spec sheet for the creative work you're requesting (and paying for). It will also ensure you're not going to pull a subjective "veto" after the work is finished. (That's why professional designers and copywriters generally require them.)
In your case, you'll want two different creative briefs -- one for each website. Make it clear to your designer(s) that you expect them to deliver on the Creative Brief specs. If they don't thank you for that kind of structure, they are probably the wrong people for the assignment.
And if preparing the Creative Brief is something you don't want to do yourself, you may need to hire someone to do that for you. You'll still have to do the thinking, but at least you'll have someone to ask the right questions, guide you through the process, and prepare the actual written Creative Brief.
1/29/2013 at 4:38 PM
Thank you, I will pass this information to the web designer of choice.
1/29/2013 at 5:34 PM
Don't forget that people are more interested in what they read than what they see. Sure, the first impression is important, it is the follow-up that clinches the deal. Your text is what will seal the deal, not the website. Keep this in mind when organizing your thoughts and discussing your needs with webdesigners.
If they are anything like the guys down the road from me, when someone comes looking for a website, they have a basic framework that they use in 80% of cases.
You aren't going to need anything special - the sort of flexibility that Drupal will give you for example.
Have a look at some cool themes by a friend of mine -
and a site that came up in a quickie search -
Twenty minutes should find you something you like. If you want someone to tweak it, great. If you want someone to design it, you have something to go on.
1/29/2013 at 6:03 PM
Thanks for all of your help, we will take into consideration and research all of the options and suggestions, everyone at MarketPros have helped with in answering my questions. Your expertise and helpful hints are invaluable to us. we will research all options available, now that we have a more clearer direction.
Thanks, for the sites, I will take a look at them.
All the best,
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