As I mentioned in my earlier post, I’ve been keeping busy building and supporting some new websites. I’ve not done much in the way of active marketing for new business, but I have managed to keep a steady flow of small business owners inquiring about my services.
I think most are surprised at how inexpensively I can put together a new website for them. Most competing and so-called “small business” web design companies want to quote “big business” pricing – but then provide cheezy websites that look like a high school student put them together. It’s too easy for them to simply create a site from one of thousands of existing page templates. Or they may use one of the many free or low-cost online web page makers intended for amateurs and then pass their efforts off as being “professionally designed.”
In other cases, some small business web designers will simply create one or two standard formats or designs and then sell them over and over again – just changing the background colors and maybe the header font to make them look a little different. That’s why you’ll see so many sites (especially for mortgage and real estate companies) that all look so much alike. They all look alike, and in many cases like one case (South Shore Financial), the web company sold the exact same website – text, graphics, headers – to several hundred clients. Fortunately that web design firm was forced out of business over a year ago.
I choose to take a different approach, and try to create a unique site for each of my clients whenever possible. I may borrow from and modify some existing designs that appeal to me, but my client gets a site that is unique to their company only.
Joe Poulton is a Vancouver, Washington photographer who found me through some Craigslist.org advertising I was using. Joe already had a site, but was not completely happy with it. The site completely failed to show off his artistic talents and used a lot of bells and whistles that fell out of favor around 1998. Quite frankly, it was a confused mess.
Joe decided to give me shot at putting together a professional looking website that would allow him to do his own updates and to upload his own photos into manageable galleries. I threw up a temporary web page after he registered a better version of his domain name through my ALowCostWebSite.com company site. I then built a completely new WordPress based site for him. Within a few days he was online and managing his own site.
Besides being a talented photographer and hiking enthusiast, Joe is a quick learner. Other than the usual updates and some very limited support from me, Joe has taken complete control of his website. He makes regular postings and has several galleries going. His photo subjects include mountain and forest scenery, cityscapes, local rock bands, and, of course, his friends.
I’ll be doing some minor design changes over the next few months and maybe try out a little different look and layout. His site is really expanding and could probably use a little larger format.
Joe was surprised and pleased that I could provide him with a new, quality website, along with hosting and support for a very low price. We’re both happy about that…