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Post Info TOPIC: Website advice


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Website advice


Hi all

Hope you are well - Happy Halloween :) 

Need the advice of you kind people regarding websites for my bookkeeping practice (eventually will lead to accounting if I ever get a move on with the ACCA PC)

My brother the iT whizz, is too busy to help sadly so I wanted any recommendations for website builders. I looked at Wix but didn't want to build anything myself (i attempted and it was awful) plus liked the idea of having a UK company so I can contact them directly if i need future help. 

I contacted Webfactory and they seem great - £299 exc VAT to build it but I have to pay a monthly fee of £10 exc VAT. I didn't like the idea of that as in effect, the website is always going to belong to them. No idea if all companies are the same? 

Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks!

Ally



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Ally



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I imagine the £10 per month is basically your ongoing hosting fee.

From what I've seen - which is not many because this isn't the method I use - most "website builder" solutions are effectively content management systems (CMS) that are either proprietary, or adapted from other systems but behind closed doors. That means if you use one and ever wanted to move away, you'd be kind of stuck anyway - so it's not the £10 that means that it in effect it belongs to them; it's the inability to move it.

If you want to use a CMS and be able to move it, consider [spit] WordPress [/spit]. Some hosting companies offer easy-WordPress set up as part of the package (and WordPress themselves can offer hosting); a WordPress site is pretty much up and running from the get-go; you just have to log into it and add content. As for the 'design' you simply choose a theme, and set some options within it - but the default works as a starting point.

Moving it is easy (although non-technicals might need some hand holding) because you just export the underlying SQL database, and import it into wherever you move to (which also has to be a WordPress site).

As an afterthought before I post; I suppose even if you use a 'site builder' you could turn it into a pure HTML site for uploading anywhere by using a command line tool called Wget.




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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

(I only came here looking for fellow apiarists...)



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A lot depends really on what you want to do with the website.

In my view it is always worth having a single page with your contact details on it. You can, however, have a website that does things like enabling you to securely pass documents to your clients for authorisation. That takes more effort and has more cost. You do need to be careful not to spend a lot of time and effort on something that does not necessarily get you a lot of results from it.

When you get a single page it is worth then spending time setting it up with google and potentially other search engines so that your business is registered by them. That means people are more likely to find you. There is no money cost to this.



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Veteran Member

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Thanks guys. Guess I hadnt even thought about the implications if I wanted to move sites if I went with web factory. I just thought that it would never actually belong to me! Definitely a lot to think about. My IT skills arent great so I wanted a professional look understandably. ;)

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Ally



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Sorry Vince - you mentioned this isnt the method you use.
May I please ask what / who you used?

Thanks

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Ally



Master Book-keeper

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daveholts wrote:

Hey Ally2019! I've emailed you using this site, my email address is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. We are a web design company in Cardiff. Our prices start at £300 excluding VAT with no hidden or ongoing costs :)

Check out our website:




Hi Ally

Of course 3rd party recommendation is better than self recommendation.

 

Im sure the mod will be along later to deal with this one, when he has stopped tricking/treating.

 



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 Joanne  

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position (and my that I dont mean with HMRC)



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Hi Cheshire - I know, i just pretend to agree! I actually think recommendations say a lot which is why I love this site and everyones feedback.

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Ally



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Ally2019 wrote:

Sorry Vince - you mentioned this isnt the method you use.
May I please ask what / who you used?

Thanks


I'm specifically talking about website builders as being something I don't use.

I use a combination - hand crafted HTML for my main business site and a couple of others, and (although I've grown to hate it) WordPress for my biggest site and a couple of others.

I pay for the hosting and domain registrations (hosting companies are ten-a-penny, but I use Ionos) and then put everything together myself. I wouldn't recommend hand-written HTML to anyone but a geek like me, but WordPress is in common use, and once set up non-geeks can use it quite easily - and as I said, it can be moved.



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

(I only came here looking for fellow apiarists...)



Master Book-keeper

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Have you a design in mind, and how many pages are you looking for?  

As Vince said you can use CMS or hand code with HTML, or alternatively find an html/css design from somewhere like Themeforest or envato then adapt it for your own use.

 

 



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



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Good point, John - it's worth putting some thought into what you want before looking any further, Ally.

Not just the number of pages for the main site, and what you want on them - but also, whether or not you want to add a blog section. The latter is worthwhile to ensure the site doesn't seem to be just sitting there gathering dust, but I see many people (and I am definitely also looking in the mirror here) who set out to do that, and after a while forget about it. That, in my book, looks worst than a simple static website. :(

If you do want to add a blog, then a CMS is probably the best way to go, otherwise a simple HTML site should do (eg using a template design from one of those sources John mentioned).

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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

(I only came here looking for fellow apiarists...)



Master Book-keeper

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Hi Vince 

The last one I did was for a garden/home maintenance one man band who didn't have a clue what he wanted on his website. I managed to knock something together with the aid of a template and he was pleased with the result. He also didn't have a clue on wording either so I ended up doing that apart from one section, which I had absolutely no clue about..  Despite repeated requests he never gave me any wording and the wonderful lorem Ipsum appeared as the blurb the whole year he was in business.



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



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Thank you guys. I will be honest. The technical jargon sounds a lot for me but definitely more advantageous if I have control over this site.

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Ally



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It might be worth going for the easy option of a facebook page
www.facebook.com/business/pages/set-up


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Expert

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Hi John,

The last one I did was for a garden/home maintenance one man band who didn't have a clue what he wanted on his website. I managed to knock something together with the aid of a template and he was pleased with the result. He also didn't have a clue on wording either so I ended up doing that apart from one section, which I had absolutely no clue about..  Despite repeated requests he never gave me any wording and the wonderful lorem Ipsum appeared as the blurb the whole year he was in business.

LOL!

I do actually have a silly website situation. A local company asked me for a basic site, and similarly, didn't provide me with any actual wording. What they did provide, though, was a short list of key areas they wanted a page for (only a handful) and lots of technical info about those areas - so I was able to write meaningful text from the outset. They also didn't have any pictures, so we arranged for me to pop to one of their work sites to take a few images, and to park their vans somewhere to take some generic pictures of the small fleet.

I then produced a simple site - handwritten HTML and CSS - that I considered to be temporary; I wanted them to give me feedback; was the wording okay, or did they want any changes? What about the basic layout? etc. As for the photos, as well as some on the pages themselves, I created a number of banner-type images for the page header, and used a different one on each page; these weren't all the same height, which meant the content was a tiny bit further up or down the page, depending which picture it showed - I wanted them to look at those, and decide which one worked best, so I could then use it on every page.

No feedback ever happened - their site has remained like that ever since. That was - I thought - about six years ago, but it turns out it was eight. I only know that because they've recently moved and needed their address changed on the website. I've made that change... but it's *still* the same design, which as far as I'm concerned is still draft and incomplete, and from 2011!

John H:

Pet hate. A Facebook 'page' shouldn't ever be considered an alternative to a real website.

Ally:

As I mentioned WordPress, take a look at wordpress.com - they provide various hosting packages that include all the WordPress set up etc, and apart from the 'free' option, AFAICS a domain name can be included in the price (they exclude 'premium' domain names, which I guess means the more expensive, stupid ones - but I imagine .co.uk types are covered).

The beauty with that set up is that WordPress is set up - you'll have to do no more than log-in and add content.

(Recommended: Opt for a free account first; no domain name, but you can use it to explore the system and decide if it's something you can use.)



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

(I only came here looking for fellow apiarists...)

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