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kiarta
11-24-2017, 04:42 AM
Hello, very soon I'm thinking of starting a new business, a small family hotel. For this I
I will need a website. Can you recommend me where I can do this. I dont have a very large budget. Thank you in advance!

tallen
11-24-2017, 09:05 AM
You might check out https://www.hermesthemes.com/

Harold Mansfield
11-24-2017, 01:59 PM
What do you consider "Not a large budget"? Under $5k or under $500?
Also, what do you expect this website to do for you?

Is it just for information to show facilities, and amenities, phone number and contact form and that's it?
Or do you expect it to be a full featured website that takes reservations, handles customer service, and a place to update special rates, and book events?

Before you can determine where to go to get a website built, whether to build it yourself, and costs....you first have to know what you need. It's not all the same, or all one cost.

Then you'll have to determine if your needs match your budget, and then evaluate what you're actually able to get with the budget that you have, which probably means sacrificing a few wants until you can do better.

My first suggestion to anyone who says they have a low budget is to go to Squarespace and do it yourself.
If what they have isn't enough for your needs, then you need to get serious about your budget.

Bottom line, you will not get everything you want and have it done well on the cheap. But again, we don't know what you consider a low budget.
Could be what you've set aside for this is enough to have a professional build it for you.
First, know what you want and need.

cbscreative
11-26-2017, 09:56 PM
To what Harold said, I would just add exposure. How will the site be found? What are you doing to gain bookings? Spending money on a site no one sees makes the budget irrelevant because any amount is a waste of money. Trying to do it yourself or on the cheap only to have no one book a stay dooms you to a big disappointment with your new business. We're not saying any of this to be discouraging, we're all about small business. It's only fitting that you have realistic goals and not have a low site budget serve to undermine your success. In a hospitality business like a hotel, you need to be easy to find and easy to do business with.

Portip
11-27-2017, 04:16 AM
I think it's good to say what your business is. So we can give you advice. How many pages does your site have? Is it an online store? What is the second budget?

kiarta
11-30-2017, 03:15 AM
I think it's good to say what your business is. So we can give you advice. How many pages does your site have? Is it an online store? What is the second budget?

What do you mean under the second budget

Wash & Dry
11-30-2017, 04:19 PM
Portip, If you would read the post you would know everything you just asked..... Didn't read 1 work of the post, just the title.

OP, Like cbscreative said, if no one can find your site.... why have one? it's not about building a site. It's about the built in SEO that the builder puts in to it and what you do with the site after it is built. I have my original site from many years ago. You couldn't find that site on the internet if you spend a year trying. I just have it because it was my first and back in the day, it ranked well. On the other hand, my site that I have now is built for 2018 and is on the 1st page for most key word searches.

It sounds to me like you are trying to do too much with little money, which means, you really don't have the funds to do this but you are going to do it anyway..... and the odds are that you will lose the funds that you do have trying it.

kiarta
12-04-2017, 04:11 AM
I think it's good to say what your business is. So we can give you advice. How many pages does your site have? Is it an online store? What is the second budget?

There must definitely be such a reservation page. Maybe my site should be about 3-5 pages. I think it's normal!

Paul
12-04-2017, 12:06 PM
I think you should not expect too much action from a website. You may have already done this but try getting listed with an existing booking site such as Airbnb.com , Homeaway.com or any number of booking sites. That’s where people will be looking. Of course you need a nice looking site, great pics featuring your rooms and amenities. If it’s just pics and copy it can be inexpensive like Harold said. I'm not sure but some of those sites may let you submit pics and copy that they will include with your listing.

Harold Mansfield
12-04-2017, 01:21 PM
There must definitely be such a reservation page. Maybe my site should be about 3-5 pages. I think it's normal!

Ok, based on experience with dozens of people over the years who say "It should only be 3-5 pages", there is no way that it's only going to be 3-5 pages. If you don't have a clear understanding of what you need going in, you're going to waste whatever money you spend and not be happy with what you got for the money.

You will also run into conflict with your web designer when you tell them up front that "it should only be 3-5 pages" because you're trying to get the lowest possible price, and then realize that you need 10 more pages that you hadn't thought about. They will halt full stop until you come up with more money.

That's why you need to know everything that you need so that you can get an accurate understanding of actual cost to build it. You cannot "one more thing" an experienced web designer.

Off the top of my head just the basics are:

About
Contact
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Home Page
Reservations Page ( and functionality including credit card processor)
A page describing your room's features and amenities
Rates and payment and refund polices.
If there are any other things in the hotel like entertainment, restaurant or meeting spaces, you will need pages for that.
Any other services that you offer like Concierge, transpiration shuttles and so on.

With all the above you will need professionally done images of your property, rooms, staff, and amenities

Do not attempt to build a feature website without professionally done images and a clear understanding of who will write the copy ( and what that entails) for those pages.

If you've never done any copywriting, you won't magically figure how it's done as you're rushing to provide your designer with copy for each page. You will turn in junk that will not help your site. It will actually hurt it.
If you're not a photographer or at least have some skills, you will not take a bunch of pictures with your smart phone and magically have them look awesome. Again, be honest about what you have the skills to do and what you don't.

Along with that you're going to want on site SEO done properly, and all the start up bells and whistles associated like Analytics installed,

So first you need to take stock of what you have in the way of marketing materials, and do an honest assessment of your skills and budget to determine which things you can actually provide, and which you will need someone to do for you.

Don't go into a website design expecting things to magically fall into place, or that everything you're imagining is all included. It's not all the same. Many web designers tell you specifically what they do for the price quoted, or will ask questions about what you need.

If you don't know those things, they cannot build what you want or need.

With this you should be able to determine if you have the skills to build your own using something like Squarespace and if that's going to be enough for you, or how to get realistic quotes from designers based on what you actually need.

cbscreative
12-05-2017, 04:36 PM
Amen, Harold!

If you don't carefully plan and execute the site, it will end up hurting more than helping. People looking for a nice place to stay aren't going to be attracted to the "Look ma I did this myself" approach that makes them wonder if they'll be sleeping with critters.

bellinger97
01-31-2018, 05:18 PM
Yeah I would keep it to 3-5 pages like the others suggested and there are a lot of great hotel themes on themeforest.net as well.

Harold Mansfield
01-31-2018, 06:05 PM
Just to add to this thread. I generally have a 4-6 week turnaround on new sites. Technically building the site is not the time suck. I can do it in my sleep.

I could honestly build them a week or less. The other 5 weeks of time is chasing the clients down for marketing materials, images, logo and such.
Getting them to write some basic copy about their company and what it does.
Getting them to hunt down what their passwords are for the things I need to work on.
Communications black outs that go days or even weeks, and overall just waiting on things from them.

If I have to deal with an organization or multiple decision makers it can be far worse.

You'd be amazed how many people cannot simply describe their own company and services.


So when you're shopping for the cheapest professional, ask yourself how prepared are you to be an easy client?
If you're unorganized, have nothing prepared, and take forever to respond to emails, no professional is going to give you a deal.

Everything with us is time. If you seem like the kind of client that will waste my time and drag a project out for weeks and months, you pay max rate (if I even take the job).

That's just how it is.

HumaneHosting
01-31-2018, 07:03 PM
Just to add to this thread. I generally have a 4-6 week turnaround on new sites. Technically building the site is not the time suck. I can do it in my sleep.

I could honestly build them a week or less. The other 5 weeks of time is chasing the clients down for marketing materials, images, logo and such.
Getting them to write some basic copy about their company and what it does.
Getting them to hunt down what their passwords are for the things I need to work on.
Communications black outs that go days or even weeks, and overall just waiting on things from them.

If I have to deal with an organization or multiple decision makers its far worse.

You'd be amazed how many people cannot simply describe their own company and services.


So when you're shopping for the cheapest professional, ask yourself how prepared are you to be an easy client?
If you're unorganized, have nothing prepared, and take forever to respond to emails, no professional is going to give you a deal.

Everything with us is time. If you seem like the kind of client that will waste my time and drag a project out for weeks and months, you pay max rate.
That's just how it is.

What I try to do to avoid the "forever" thing is ask for the lot in one lump. By doing a re-installation for a client I already knew what I needed so I just asked for everything and confirmed everything right there and then.

That and combined I knew how to install that custom application from the last time I did it for him shortly before I was able to do the whole thing in 20 minutes.

But if ever has a client that takes long to reply and such then they may need to wait until I am open again as stated on my website. Except for ToS violation activities. In such case if the client still act in this manner I would likely resort to suspension until the customer "catches up" and/or take more extreme means depending on the case itself.

Because I agree clients who act like this are indeed time and possible additional risks if not handled properly (hence for the suspension).

Harold Mansfield
01-31-2018, 07:38 PM
What I try to do to avoid the "forever" thing is ask for the lot in one lump. By doing a re-installation for a client I already knew what I needed so I just asked for everything and confirmed everything right there and then.

That and combined I knew how to install that custom application from the last time I did it for him shortly before I was able to do the whole thing in 20 minutes.

But if ever has a client that takes long to reply and such then they may need to wait until I am open again as stated on my website. Except for ToS violation activities. In such case if the client still act in this manner I would likely resort to suspension until the customer "catches up" and/or take more extreme means depending on the case itself.

Because I agree clients who act like this are indeed time and possible additional risks if not handled properly (hence for the suspension).

Some people are just unorganized and horrible at simple business communications. You can tell who they are pretty easily. The sad part is that they never correlate how much they are paying with how much of other people's time they waste.

I have penalties for clients who do this and they don't get their sites turned over until they pay it. They know ahead of time that price is based on time and that if they are the reason it goes over time (and have not communicated anything what so ever), that means it's over budget and I'm not eating it.

All it takes is simple communication. Some people just cannot do it.

As you can tell I have no sympathy for people like this.

Harold Mansfield
02-01-2018, 07:07 PM
I've even joked that I should put an option on my site that just says "Give me your logo, colors, tell me about your company, and then don't bother me for 7 days. You will have a well designed, well written, SEO'ed website with all the bells and whistles that sells your products and services like a Pro. Done."

HumaneHosting
02-01-2018, 07:17 PM
I've even joked that I should put an option on my site that just says "Give me your logo, colors, tell me about your company, and then don't bother me for 7 days. You will have a well designed, well written, SEO'ed website with all the bells and whistles that sells your products and services like a Pro. Done."

Hahaha that's one way to squeeze some lemon into lemonade!

Fulcrum
02-01-2018, 07:32 PM
"Give me your logo, colors, tell me about your company, and then don't bother me for 7 days. You will have a well designed, well written, SEO'ed website with all the bells and whistles that sells your products and services like a Pro. Done."

And all for $100. Sign me up.

Harold Mansfield
02-01-2018, 07:37 PM
And all for $100. Sign me up.
LOL, not quite, but I could do volume without the headaches that way. Certainly cheaper. Reminds of an old bartender, joke, "This job would be awesome if it wasn't for the customers".

Paul
02-02-2018, 03:35 PM
Just to add to this thread. I generally have a 4-6 week turnaround on new sites. Technically building the site is not the time suck. I can do it in my sleep.

I could honestly build them a week or less. The other 5 weeks of time is chasing the clients down for marketing materials, images, logo and such.
Getting them to write some basic copy about their company and what it does.
Getting them to hunt down what their passwords are for the things I need to work on.
Communications black outs that go days or even weeks, and overall just waiting on things from them.

If I have to deal with an organization or multiple decision makers it can be far worse.

You'd be amazed how many people cannot simply describe their own company and services.


So when you're shopping for the cheapest professional, ask yourself how prepared are you to be an easy client?
If you're unorganized, have nothing prepared, and take forever to respond to emails, no professional is going to give you a deal.

Everything with us is time. If you seem like the kind of client that will waste my time and drag a project out for weeks and months, you pay max rate (if I even take the job).

That's just how it is.

I am not a web designer and do not know the first thing about SEO, or any thing about the interactive functions of a site. However, I do get clients that need a site. As Harold said they have no idea how to start and are generally too busy to be engaged.

What I do, is create what I call a "mock up" on some simple template program. Insert photos, write copy etc. Then the client can turn it over to a pro. They can then lift the photo's and copy, rearrange, incorporate SEO and create a professional version. The web designer at least has the basic info and can see the general concept needed. Saves time and money and most importantly gets the process started. As Harold said, otherwise it's a back and forth nightmare.

Web sites are not what I do, but sometimes its an important part of the overall picture and I hate waiting for the client to do it.

Harold Mansfield
02-02-2018, 03:59 PM
I am not a web designer and do not know the first thing about SEO, or any thing about the interactive functions of a site. However, I do get clients that need a site. As Harold said they have no idea how to start and are generally too busy to be engaged.

What I do, is create what I call a "mock up" on some simple template program. Insert photos, write copy etc. Then the client can turn it over to a pro. They can then lift the photo's and copy, rearrange, incorporate SEO and create a professional version. The web designer at least has the basic info and can see the general concept needed. Saves time and money and most importantly gets the process started. As Harold said, otherwise it's a back and forth nightmare.

Web sites are not what I do, but sometimes its an important part of the overall picture and I hate waiting for the client to do it.

I used to do mock ups, but it started becoming a time suck as if I were building the actual site. I've had clients spend weeks just on the mock up and that's just too much for the price point that I'm charging. My rates today are bare bones, based on time and expertise. If I charged twice as much I probably wouldn't mind going through the mock up dance.

Much better for me to do it live (on a build area), and bring them along on the way to change as we go, and them move to the next.

It's also hard to do a mock up that is on target without knowing more about the company and what they're want their website to do for them. Since that's always the initial hurdle, you can end up doing 3 or 4 mock ups before the client gets their thoughts together to figure out who they are, who they're target market is, and what they want to present.

This is actually a perfect example of wants vs. budget and the OP. When your budget is low you have to give up some luxuries and maybe even pitch in to get the price that you want or at least get it lower. I don't think many people who want it cheap understand that they are basically asking someone experienced and knowledgeable to spend weeks with them, guide them, consult with them, teach them, and do a great job on design, marketing, sales, and functionality..and do it all for less than min wage.

They feel that unless you are physically turning knobs and writing code, that all the phone time, marketing consulting, writing, SEO, image searching, and so on..has no value and is something you should just do anyway for free.

Like I said, people who do some research, and come prepared with all of that figured out, written, and a clear direction get the best price and a quicker turn around. Helping clients figure out who they are, what they're doing , and take what's in their imagination and turn it into actual language is 90% of the time suck.

HumaneHosting
02-02-2018, 04:15 PM
They feel that unless you are physically turning knobs and writing code, that all the phone time, marketing consulting, writing, SEO, image searching, and so on..has no value and is something you should just do anyway for free.


This is like this anywhere on the internet. I had almost a client undercutting me after cheaper prices. But after they read some reviews they finally gave up and said that they won't be leaving me because of the support I provides.

I don't get why people just don't value the same as in person.

Harold Mansfield
02-02-2018, 04:45 PM
I don't get why people just don't value the same as in person.

Because they have been led to believe that the internet was going to be an even playing field for everyone, which they mistook to mean cheap, and easy.

They believe that everything online is all the same. That Facebook is just a simple website that you can bang out in a couple of days, and that a good idea is all it takes to be successful and wealthy. That simple is easy, and everything online is free. They believe good marking just happens because the world waiting for them to go online, that website copy just appears out of thin air like a book of spells and witchcraft, that you can grab any picture you need on Google images, and that good hosting should only cost $3 mo.

Don't even get me started on security.

And it's getting worse.

That's why my days are numbered. I always encourage new web designers tying to decide between freelancing or taking a job with a design or marketing company or an in-house team to take the job. Get the steady paycheck and learn. If after a few years you think you can go it alone, then go for it. Just remember that people don't need you today like they did 10 years ago. Everyone claims they do websites now, and cheap foreign freelancers are everywhere. As are the site builders that advertise on TV and tell people they can be the next web sensation for $25 mo.

Specialize in something to increase your value and market, and also learn more than just how to build the site.

I'm not saying that everyone needs to spend thousands on a website. What I'm saying is that if you only have $200 go to Squarespace or WordPress.com and drag and drop some things into a template till you know what you're doing, and understand the web and marketing a little better.

Fulcrum
02-02-2018, 06:44 PM
I don't get why people just don't value the same as in person.

Welcome to the service world. I've run into many people who's motto is "You're allowed to turn a profit and make money, just not off of me". Unfortunately, this attitude is getting worse and not better as people see how large companies operate and think they can do the same.

HumaneHosting
02-02-2018, 07:40 PM
Welcome to the service world. I've run into many people who's motto is "You're allowed to turn a profit and make money, just not off of me". Unfortunately, this attitude is getting worse and not better as people see how large companies operate and think they can do the same.

Indeed the "buck passing" can only go so far...

Fulcrum
02-02-2018, 08:25 PM
But it's not buck passing. It's the exact opposite. Buck passing is the conversation I had today with someone who is too cheap to replace consumables, but I'm not "allowed" to charge more because of the extra hassle and time (at least double) I will need to spend on it. It wouldn't surprise me if the actual cost, after adding in all the extra steps, of what he is doing costs more than a replacement. The problem is the true cost gets hidden because it's $5 here and $10 there and I only got XX amount cut before change out when I normally get XXXX cut when running new.

It's almost to the point where we're supposed to subsidize someone else's unwillingness to spend and we become the bad guy when we suggest something that costs more but will save, or make, more money in the mid to long term.

Paul
02-02-2018, 10:45 PM
I used to do mock ups, but it started becoming a time suck as if I were building the actual site. I've had clients spend weeks just on the mock up and that's just too much for the price point that I'm charging. .

That is really the point of me doing it for the client. No reason you, or any pro, should have to waste time doing the preliminary ground work. After I deliver the mock up there is very little interaction between the client and the pro. I can answer any questions (not technical) quickly on behalf of the client. Clients generally don't know what they need. That's why they hire me in the first place.

In general my attitude about any project with a client is either I do it, or I don't. I gather their info and then lay out what I plan to do and then do it. I don't allow much back and forth input from the client. Like Harold said that can go on for months over small details.

Of course they can be helpful but if they get too intrusive, critical and annoying I tell them tell them they don't need me because apparently they can do it themselves. That usually solves it. I bristle when they act like I am now working FOR them, when I consider it working WITH them. I'm cranky that way!

Harold Mansfield
02-06-2018, 01:30 PM
That is really the point of me doing it for the client. No reason you, or any pro, should have to waste time doing the preliminary ground work. After I deliver the mock up there is very little interaction between the client and the pro. I can answer any questions (not technical) quickly on behalf of the client. Clients generally don't know what they need. That's why they hire me in the first place.

In general my attitude about any project with a client is either I do it, or I don't. I gather their info and then lay out what I plan to do and then do it. I don't allow much back and forth input from the client. Like Harold said that can go on for months over small details.

Of course they can be helpful but if they get too intrusive, critical and annoying I tell them tell them they don't need me because apparently they can do it themselves. That usually solves it. I bristle when they act like I am now working FOR them, when I consider it working WITH them. I'm cranky that way!

Except it doesn't work that way. Most times the mock up doesn't take any variables or functionality into account, and only reflects design, not what the client actually wants to accomplish. Submitting a mock up to me when I haven't had the benefit of discussing anything with the client about their wants, needs and budget just makes more work for me. Because now I have to tell them why this won't work, or why that won't do what they expect, or why this part costs more money, or why this won't provide a consistent experience across devices and so and so on.

If I'm the one building the site and responsible for delivering a marketing tool that encompasses everything that a website needs today, I need to be involved from step one. You can't blindly design without considering function, SEO, responsiveness, sales and marketing.

If you're doing the mock up and know all of that stuff and have the benefit of discussing the project in it's entirety with the client, then build the site. You can't hand it off to a stranger and expect them to agree with your approach. Most times they will not.

Bottom line is that if the site is not performing they're going to come back to me, not the guy who did the mock up.

Paul
02-06-2018, 02:37 PM
I agree and disagree at the same time. My clients are not online businesses. The sites are just informational for people that are directed to the site. They are basically for prospective investors for various businesses. The copy has to be very definitive. Actually, the sites are more for me than for the client. The site has to be coordinated with business plans and presentations etc. I guess in reality I am the client! I didn’t explain that in my previous post. My clients would have no idea what to include in that type of site. That’s why I do it.

The sites are not dependent on SEO, they are not trying to attract online interest. They do not require online sales ability or much interactive ability other than a contact form. They don’t need to be too robust because only a relatively few will ever view them. But they do need to look good.

My “mockup” really just provides copy and photos on the pages and in the order that I want. Sometimes a video needs to be embedded. I just want the designer to flash it up a bit so it doesn’t look amateurish. Alternatively, I could just provide copy and photos separately, but I find doing a mock up helps me lay it out the way I want it.

You are correct if the site is part of the business itself then a designer would be much more involved. I would not attempt to create an actual business site. But, I would probably still be the contact to work with the designer. Otherwise the designer would have all the same problems you discussed when working directly with the client and I would be impatient waiting for it to get finished.

Harold Mansfield
02-06-2018, 02:44 PM
I agree and disagree at the same time. My clients are not online businesses. The sites are just informational for people that are directed to the site. They are basically for prospective investors for various businesses. The copy has to be very definitive. Actually, the sites are more for me than for the client. The site has to be coordinated with business plans and presentations etc. I guess in reality I am the client! I didn’t explain that in my previous post. My clients would have no idea what to include in that type of site. That’s why I do it.

The sites are not dependent on SEO, they are not trying to attract online interest. They do not require online sales ability or much interactive ability other than a contact form. They don’t need to be too robust because only a relatively few will ever view them. But they do need to look good.

My “mockup” really just provides copy and photos on the pages and in the order that I want. Sometimes a video needs to be embedded. I just want the designer to flash it up a bit so it doesn’t look amateurish. Alternatively, I could just provide copy and photos separately, but I find doing a mock up helps me lay it out the way I want it.

You are correct if the site is part of the business itself then a designer would be much more involved. I would not attempt to create an actual business site. But, I would probably still be the contact to work with the designer. Otherwise the designer would have all the same problems you discussed when working directly with the client and I would be impatient waiting for it to get finished.

If you're the client and you're subcontracting to me, that's a different story. And honestly if that's all you need...no SEO, no special functions, not worried about sales and marketing....just need an information site and you already have the copy and images...you don't need to hire someone like me who charges what it costs them to build it. You can do that on Squarespace or WordPress.com.

If you're worried about basic structure, just hire a consultant to guide you. Once you do that 2 or 3 times you won't need much guidance to do a basic 1 or 2 page information site

HumaneHosting
02-06-2018, 03:19 PM
If you're the client and you're subcontracting to me, that's a different story. And honestly if that's all you need...no SEO, no special functions, not worried about sales and marketing....just need an information site and you already have the copy and images...you don't need to hire someone like me who charges what it costs them to build it. You can do that on Squarespace or WordPress.com.

If you're worried about basic structure, just hire a consultant to guide you. Once you do that 2 or 3 times you won't need much guidance to do a basic 1 or 2 page information site

Honestly if your going to use Wordpress you may as well as get a hosting plan and the sites on that. Make one, show them, if they like it then hand over the data of that and ditch it. Rinse and repeat as needed. :)

Paul
02-06-2018, 03:21 PM
If you're the client and you're subcontracting to me, that's a different story. And honestly if that's all you need...no SEO, no special functions, not worried about sales and marketing....just need an information site and you already have the copy and images...you don't need to hire someone like me who charges what it costs them to build it. You can do that on Squarespace or WordPress.com.

If you're worried about basic structure, just hire a consultant to guide you. Once you do that 2 or 3 times you won't need much guidance to do a basic 1 or 2 page information site

All I'm really capable of is godaddy or wix templates. I don't need the functionality you talked about but I do like some flashy/action. Sliding panes, rotating pics and stuff like that. How difficult is squarespace or wordpress compared to the more simplistic templates?

HumaneHosting
02-06-2018, 03:37 PM
All I'm really capable of is godaddy or wix templates. I don't need the functionality you talked about but I do like some flashy/action. Sliding panes, rotating pics and stuff like that. How difficult is squarespace or wordpress compared to the more simplistic templates?

They are more challenging but assuming you can get around interfaces fine you should be off to a start. However if your going the Wordpress, get a host with an automated installer and just plop it in that way.

Given you can show your clients on your domain or even a subdomain of your choice. Once you do the first it will be 10x easier to do the rest since 80% of the work is done with the first website.

Additionally any good providers will be happy to help you with some/all of these if you put in a support ticket. Just note though some are "unmanaged" though (usually the cheaper shared accounts but some "premium" providers still don't help you beyond server sided problems).

Harold Mansfield
02-06-2018, 04:03 PM
All I'm really capable of is godaddy or wix templates. I don't need the functionality you talked about but I do like some flashy/action. Sliding panes, rotating pics and stuff like that. How difficult is squarespace or wordpress compared to the more simplistic templates?

Not to publicly talk myself out of business, but WordPress.com and Squarespace have some decent templates. Especially if you just need the basics.
It's also not very hard to get basic hosting with one click WordPress install as suggested above. If you investigate a few decent, well made templates and practice on them, have a decent eye for imagery, and copy writing, and have some marketing basics (which you can learn in a Saturday afternoon watching Seth Godin videos ( or take a $12 Skillshare course), you can bang out a basic site without having to know a lot of HTML or CSS.

It'll probably take you longer that it does me for now, but I've been doing it for 12+ years. But I had to start somewhere.

To be honest my target customer is people who need more than that. I wish I had a price for "basic" or "I just need something simple" but I've tried it in the past and once things get going the scope slowly creeps until you're basically building a full fledged website with all the bells and whistles, but now you're doing it at a lower price.

People who say "I just need something simple" either don't understand what they really need, think everything is all inclusive, or are playing games and know that they're going to "oh yeah, one more thing".. you to death once they have gotten the price that they wanted and you're supposed to just eat it.

Out of all the site builders, Go Daddy is the worst. Wix has come along, but I give WordPress.com and Squarespace the best props.

However, even with a site builder the issue isn't learning how to work the site builder. It's not knowing how to arrange the content, navigation, copy writing and choosing the best images to reinforce the message. Anyone can learn to go through the motions, but they make it look much easier on TV than it actually is. The TV commercials are using professional HD images which most people do not have, copy is already in place, and so on..and they're just dragging all of this ready made stuff into the right place. Well, someone had to make those things, take those images, and write that copy for you and organize the content to have something to drag, drop, copy and paste.

Simple is actually hard work. Most clients can't even express in a few coherent words what it is they actually do. If they're stumbling around when explaining it to me, that's exactly how their website is going to read to strangers. We've all been to sites, read a few sentences or paragraphs and still walk away wondering what it is they actually do.

Again, simple is hard work. You aren't going to just bang it out correctly on the first few tries.

Plenty of people have called me over the years and just asked me to help them organize things on Squarespace, organize their thoughts, and keep them from making mistakes. 2-3 hours of work, they learn how to look professional, and still did it themselves. DIY doesn't mean you have to figure it all out on your own.

HumaneHosting
02-06-2018, 05:00 PM
Not to publicly talk myself out of business, but WordPress.com and Squarespace have some decent templates. Especially if you just need the basics.
It's also not very hard to get basic hosting with one click WordPress install as suggested above. If you investigate a few decent, well made templates and practice on them, have a decent eye for imagery, and copy writing, and have some marketing basics (which you can learn in a Saturday afternoon watching Seth Godin videos ( or take a $12 Skillshare course), you can bang out a basic site without having to know a lot of HTML or CSS.

It'll probably take you longer that it does me for now, but I've been doing it for 12+ years. But I had to start somewhere.

To be honest my target customer is people who need more than that. I wish I had a price for "basic" or "I just need something simple" but I've tried it in the past and once things get going the scope slowly creeps until you're basically building a full fledged website with all the bells and whistles, but now you're doing it at a lower price.

People who say "I just need something simple" either don't understand what they really need, think everything is all inclusive, or are playing games and know that they're going to "oh yeah, one more thing".. you to death once they have gotten the price that they wanted and you're supposed to just eat it.

Out of all the site builders, Go Daddy is the worst. Wix has come along, but I give Squarespace the best props.

However, even with a site builder the issue isn't learning how to work the site builder. It's not knowing how to arrange the content, navigation, copy writing and choosing the best images to reinforce the message. Anyone can learn to go through the motions, but they make it look much easier in TV than it actually is. The TV commercials are using professional HD images which most people do not have, copy is already in place, and so on..and they're just dragging all of this ready made stuff into place. Well, someone had to make those things, take those images, and write that copy for you to have something to drag, drop, copy and paste.

Simple is actually hard work. Most clients can't even express in a few coherent words what it is they actually do. If they're stumbling around when explaining it to me, that's exactly how their website is going to read to strangers. We've all been to sites, read a few sentences or paragraphs and still walk away wondering what it is they actually do.

Again, simple is hard work. You aren't going to just bang it out correctly off the cuff.

Plenty of people have called me over the years and just asked me to help them organize things on Squarespace, organize their thoughts, and keep them from making mistakes. 2-3 hours of work, they learn how to look professional, and still did it themselves. DIY doesn't mean you have to figure it all out on your own.

Absolutely web builders, CMSes (Wordpress, Joomla, etc) are like "tool boxes" more or less. You can't just go to Home Depot or what not, buy it, and suddenly make a deck, a small building, and/or etc in just a day. As they show in the commercials.

Paul
02-06-2018, 06:13 PM
If you're the client and you're subcontracting to me, that's a different story. And honestly if that's all you need...no SEO, no special functions, not worried about sales and marketing....just need an information site and you already have the copy and images...you don't need to hire someone like me who charges what it costs them to build it. You can do that on Squarespace or WordPress.com.

If you're worried about basic structure, just hire a consultant to guide you. Once you do that 2 or 3 times you won't need much guidance to do a basic 1 or 2 page information site

All I am capable of is basic godaddy or wix templates. How difficult is wordpress or squarespace in comparison? Are they worth learning. Websites is not my business, just need them once in awhile. Mainly I need a designer to flash it up a bit.

HumaneHosting
02-06-2018, 06:23 PM
All I am capable of is basic godaddy or wix templates. How difficult is wordpress or squarespace in comparison? Are they worth learning. Websites is not my business, just need them once in awhile. Mainly I need a designer to flash it up a bit.

If one take the time to do it in the end it will be more flexible and such. It's really depends if you want a larger "array of tools" or if your prefer just sticking to a builder.

In short the builders tend to be simpler to use.

While applications like Wordpress and such tend to require setup, maintenance, and such but it offer you much more freedom to what you want to do.

It's really depends on your personal preferences and what you require.

Paul
02-06-2018, 07:38 PM
Not to publicly talk myself out of business, but WordPress.com and Squarespace have some decent templates. Especially if you just need the basics.
It's also not very hard to get basic hosting with one click WordPress install as suggested above. If you investigate a few decent, well made templates and practice on them, have a decent eye for imagery, and copy writing............It's not knowing how to arrange the content, navigation, copy writing and choosing the best images to reinforce the message. ............Plenty of people have called me over the years and just asked me to help them organize things on Squarespace, organize their thoughts, and keep them from making mistakes. 2-3 hours of work, they learn how to look professional, and still did it themselves. DIY doesn't mean you have to figure it all out on your own.

Thanks, I may try one of those next time. Unfortunately I don't have an artistic eye, everything I do is very symmetrical. That's where I ultimately need the help. To be honest I don't enjoy it, I wish I didn't have to do it, but sometimes just have to get things moving.

BTW-I don't think you're going to talk yourself out of business! I don't have a clue how to do the more intricate stuff you do, and I know most people don't.

Also, I have the same problem you do regarding communications with clients. I tell them exactly what I am going to need upfront. Books, financials, legal stuff etc. They get it to me in dribs and drabs, they always have to talk to the accountant, the lawyer, the partner, the bank, the manager, the landlord, the wife, the mother-in-law and dog before they can get me the information! Its amazing sometimes how disorganized some business people can be.

turboguy
02-06-2018, 10:47 PM
I have never used Wix or Squarespace but from what I have heard they are easy to use. I have created 3 web sites using WordPress. It isn't very hard and there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube about how to create a site with WordPress.

Wordpress is very popular now and about 27% of all web sites were created using WordPress. I think the pluses for WordPress are that there are thousands of templates available, many for free and some very cool paid ones for prices ranging from $ 15.00 to $ 70.00. On the three web sites I have done, two use a free template and one uses a premium template. Another plus for WordPress is that there are thousands of plug ins that let you do pretty much anything you could ever dream of doing. A third plus for Wordpress is portability. If you do a Wix site and decide you aren't happy you are stuck starting over where with WordPress if you don't like your hosting company you can just move your hosting to a new host. Wordpress is also considered very good for SEO and much better at that than Wix or SquareSpace.

gimli
03-08-2018, 04:07 AM
Ok, based on experience with dozens of people over the years who say "It should only be 3-5 pages", there is no way that it's only going to be 3-5 pages. If you don't have a clear understanding of what you need going in, you're going to waste whatever money you spend and not be happy with what you got for the money.

You will also run into conflict with your web designer when you tell them up front that "it should only be 3-5 pages" because you're trying to get the lowest possible price, and then realize that you need 10 more pages that you hadn't thought about. They will halt full stop until you come up with more money.

That's why you need to know everything that you need so that you can get an accurate understanding of actual cost to build it. You cannot "one more thing" an experienced web designer.

Off the top of my head just the basics are:

About
Contact
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Home Page
Reservations Page ( and functionality including credit card processor)
A page describing your room's features and amenities
Rates and payment and refund polices.
If there are any other things in the hotel like entertainment, restaurant or meeting spaces, you will need pages for that.
Any other services that you offer like Concierge, transpiration shuttles and so on.

With all the above you will need professionally done images of your property, rooms, staff, and amenities

Do not attempt to build a feature website without professionally done images and a clear understanding of who will write the copy ( and what that entails) for those pages.

If you've never done any copywriting, you won't magically figure how it's done as you're rushing to provide your designer with copy for each page. You will turn in junk that will not help your site. It will actually hurt it.
If you're not a photographer or at least have some skills, you will not take a bunch of pictures with your smart phone and magically have them look awesome. Again, be honest about what you have the skills to do and what you don't.

Along with that you're going to want on site SEO done properly, and all the start up bells and whistles associated like Analytics installed,

So first you need to take stock of what you have in the way of marketing materials, and do an honest assessment of your skills and budget to determine which things you can actually provide, and which you will need someone to do for you.

Don't go into a website design expecting things to magically fall into place, or that everything you're imagining is all included. It's not all the same. Many web designers tell you specifically what they do for the price quoted, or will ask questions about what you need.

If you don't know those things, they cannot build what you want or need.

With this you should be able to determine if you have the skills to build your own using something like Squarespace and if that's going to be enough for you, or how to get realistic quotes from designers based on what you actually need.

Very on point and accurate, also with analytics you will need to learn how to fully utilise it for your website i,e see where there are problem areas you can get seo for your website but in my own opinion seo is very much dying to paid advertising. ( i say this because only 5 % of websites make it to the first page for their respective queries | most websites dont stay there | u you will have many guys blackhattiing to the top for a week or two get penalised by google a week later and then another one will spawn. I say this because you can look st the rubbish at websites oon googles adwords compared to some really good websites listes below in the organic listings. Money talks my friend and if you want to make money you have to spend money. This is what i have come to realise. Your time ontop will be limited. So you might want to look into google adwords and local google my business listings. Most of the websites ive worked with in this industry make use of already well established directories. It seems to me thats where users go to look for guesthouses. Also you would eventually need to update the content on your site. now i know WordPress is nice and user friendly but remember you original content would have been set up by experts so now you have to match that or hire them again. It tough and it will only get tougher.

Harold Mansfield
03-08-2018, 12:15 PM
Also you would eventually need to update the content on your site. now i know WordPress is nice and user friendly but remember you original content would have been set up by experts so now you have to match that or hire them again. It tough and it will only get tougher.

I generally build in a way so as not to have too many things that the client cannot touch or change. I mean that's actually the entire point. I also teach them how to touch and change the most common things.

That said, people want what they want. If they want something that's not easily managed I tell them up front that "this will not be something that you can change on your own" and let them make the call.

Harold Mansfield
03-08-2018, 12:25 PM
All I am capable of is basic godaddy or wix templates. How difficult is wordpress or squarespace in comparison? Are they worth learning. Websites is not my business, just need them once in awhile. Mainly I need a designer to flash it up a bit.

Not very hard at all. They are closed environments and you only have access to what they give you. So as site builders you can't mistakenly write the wrong code, or install the wrong plug in or add on.

It's kind of like an after hours bar my buddy used to run. For breakfast they had omelettes. You had 3 choices of cheese, 3 choices of meat, 3 choices of toast, and basic veggies. You can have any combination of the available ingredients that you want. And that's it. It's hard to mess that up.

turboguy
03-08-2018, 01:27 PM
I have never used Square Space or Wix but Square Space would compare more to Wix than to WordPress. Both Square Space and Wix are supposed to be easy to use but Wix might have a tiny edge. WordPress isn't hard to use. I won't say it isn't harder than Wix but it isn't bad. There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube that show how easy it is and show how to do it.

The major advantage of WordPress over Wix and SquareSpace is portability. If you are hosting a WordPress site on one host and decide you don't like that host moving it to a new hosting company is pretty easy. If you have a site on Wix or SquareSpace you pretty much have to start over from scratch. Another advantage is cost. You can get decent hosting for a lot less money than on Wix or SquareSpace.

With WordPress the more complicated the template you are using the harder it is to learn. There are some really easy to use free templates. Some of the ones that have things sliding in this way and flying in that way get a bit tougher to figure out. Two that are free and easy to use are Vantage and Pure & Simple. If you do want things sliding in this way and flying in that way there are free plug ins to do most any effect you want.

ayoubafandy
03-09-2018, 08:39 PM
You can use wordpress platform, Its use is easy
The site must contain: Home Page, contact us page, about us page, Terms of Service
Privacy Policy, And other service definition pages

cbscreative
03-12-2018, 03:08 PM
I have never used Square Space or Wix but Square Space would compare more to Wix than to WordPress. Both Square Space and Wix are supposed to be easy to use but Wix might have a tiny edge. WordPress isn't hard to use. I won't say it isn't harder than Wix but it isn't bad. There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube that show how easy it is and show how to do it.

The major advantage of WordPress over Wix and SquareSpace is portability. If you are hosting a WordPress site on one host and decide you don't like that host moving it to a new hosting company is pretty easy. If you have a site on Wix or SquareSpace you pretty much have to start over from scratch. Another advantage is cost. You can get decent hosting for a lot less money than on Wix or SquareSpace.

With WordPress the more complicated the template you are using the harder it is to learn. There are some really easy to use free templates. Some of the ones that have things sliding in this way and flying in that way get a bit tougher to figure out. Two that are free and easy to use are Vantage and Pure & Simple. If you do want things sliding in this way and flying in that way there are free plug ins to do most any effect you want.

That pretty much sums it up. WP is the way to go and Harold's approach is also recommended if you want to manage your own site in full or in part. The learning curve for WP is easy once the site is set up correctly which a pro can do quickly compared to the days, weeks, or even months of frustration you would otherwise have to endure. That time is better spent generating revenue. Plus there are pitfalls that need to be avoided and what you don't know can very much hurt you.

I'll also hop back briefly on my soapbox and mention the importance of security. A default WP installation is grossly insecure. If you think the sheer number of web sites out there means low risk of getting hacked you are VERY wrong. Harold and I can be viewed as scare mongers because of the warnings we issue here but the threats your site faces are real and EVERY day your site will be scanned numerous times with malicious intent.