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Thread: And so it Begins

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    Default And so it Begins

    Time to build a website.

    Registered some domains (even figured out how to park one and have it redirect to the other) and setup hosting (went with Bluehost as shared hosting is good 'nough for now)late last week. I am glad that I setup a separate email account for this as the spam is off the charts.

    Now it's time to figure out Wordpress and start building.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

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    Congratulations on taking the plunge Brad. WordPress seems a little daunting at first but once you get it all figured out it is pretty easy to work with. I have two WordPress sites finished and 4 more to do but I am on a break until my busy season is over. Feel free to post if you get stuck on anything. You are also welcome to PM me if I can help in any way. I am not an expert at it but do have it pretty well figured out. I may post a little more late tomorrow.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
    www.TurboTurf.com www.IceControlSprayers.com

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    Thanks Ray.

    Glad to hear your busy. My traditional slow time just started and it hit with both barrels. Of course, the fact I might be moving the shop and setting up a factory direct sales room are going to complicate things slightly.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

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    I'll echo what Ray said. Wordpress might seem confusing at first, but it isn't that hard. A lot of what you see when you login, you won't need to work with. Once you know where the things you do need are located, it'll become easier.

    Have you installed WordPress yet? Bluehost probably has an option to install with a click or two.

    Definitely ask questions if you have any. There are enough of us here using WordPress that we should be able to walk you through any problems you'll encounter.
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    Glad to see you lit the match. As VG said plenty of WordPress people around, just ask. Also thumbs up on the hosting. Been setting clients up there for years and rarely have any problems with their shared hosting.
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    Congratulations on starting your site. Wordpress is fairly easy to use. I can make it do things, and I'm not in any way tech savvy. I can also testify to the fact that there are great sources of help here. Vangogh has saved my behind a time or two when I screwed something up.

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    There are a lot of good tutorials on YouTube about WordPress. The ones I liked the best are the ones by WP Scultpor & Josh Jackson

    The plug ins for Wordpress that I have used a lot are these: They are all free

    Nexgen is a good photo gallery
    Page Builder Site Origin Nice for page building, lets you edit visually
    Widgets Bundle easy way to add map
    Black Studio Tiny MCE Visual page builder/Text Editor
    Title Remover, Removes title\
    Spacer Allows you to control spacing
    Contact Form 7, Best contact form
    Light Box plus color box. For video
    Social Media Widget
    MetaSlider (Pro)

    Keep in mind with a lot of themes you don't really have a home page. They often come with a "sample" page that acts as a home page but you need to specify (and build) your home page.

    My experience would suggest that it is far better not to create your text and copy live. What I like to do is to use Word and decide what pages I want, how to lay out the navigation, what copy I wan't on each page and pick out the photos I want to use for my site. It is just a lot easier to organize everything first so if you write something and decide it should be on a different page moving it is easy. Then when you are ready to put the content on your site you can just copy and paste and instead of thinking about content while you are trying to figure out how WordPress works.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
    www.TurboTurf.com www.IceControlSprayers.com

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    Looking for a good theme now. Bluehost promotes Mojomarketplace but from browsing their offerings, I wasn't overly impressed nor did a few stand out to me.

    Is it better buy or build? If buying, where? I don't mind spending some cash to get something that's well done and has the base layout I want.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

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    root Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrum View Post
    Looking for a good theme now. Bluehost promotes Mojomarketplace but from browsing their offerings, I wasn't overly impressed nor did a few stand out to me.
    No me either. Not very impressive at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrum View Post
    Is it better buy or build? If buying, where? I don't mind spending some cash to get something that's well done and has the base layout I want.
    Ah. That's the million dollar question. I used to be all about "build", but I have to be honest and say that the variety, and quality of themes is pretty good these days. Yeah, there's a lot of crap, but you can find some good stuff.

    What I've been doing the most of is a combination of the 2. Finding a theme that has the basic structure that I want, and then customizing it with CSS and additional ( or less) functions that I need. That's going to be the cheapest and quickest way compared to building from the ground up.

    My honest opinion is if you're not looking for a lot of custom functionality, that a well made theme will do the job and with some custom CSS no one will know. The average user doesn't go around looking at WordPress themes and since most sites across the web follow the same structure ( because it works), no one cares anymore. It's not like the old days. These days people care more about function and marketing, than winning design contests for originality. That is for the average non creative works. Designers, and arts have different needs and standards. They'll want to build from scratch mostly because design originality IS important.

    That being said, a lot of themes that look nice can be over coded and many use plug ins to provide functionality that are separate licenses that need renewal in about a year if you want to keep things up to date. Something they don't tell you when you purchase them.

    Also some of those plug ins block out SEO. Visual Composer is a huge offender of that. It can still be used, but you have to mix it up so that you meet the content requirements for indexing and so on.

    If you need custom, then don't try and force a theme to be it. Especially not on your own. Many calls I get these days are people who set out to do it on their own, did their homework, did the one click install with the host, read some things, and did a pretty good job..as far as a novice can do, and then call me to finish up the more complicated styling and integration, SEO, copy writing help and so on. Saves them about half the money,and they get the benefit of learning more.

    Lastly it really comes down to what you need the site to do. An out of the box theme isn't always the best way to go if you need specific things and functionality, nor is WordPress always the best choice. I assume you've determined that it does what you want already and we're past that.

    I could be a little more helpful if I knew what you needed the site to do. What functions? Forms? Ecommerce? Landing pages? Bookings? Reservations?
    It's the details that are the difference.
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    To be honest, I prefer some of the "older" site looks and layouts.

    The basic layout I want is quite simple (see mcmaster.com for a visual idea):
    • Fixed header
    • Fixed left hand sidebar
    • Remainder of screen will be the "showroom"


    The rest will probably be 6-10 pages outlining services and products, while catalogues and a members area (for online pricing access) will be added on later - probably in conjunction with e-commerce.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

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