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Georgias Gifts
04-16-2013, 09:27 PM
I would like to add a search box onto my site that will show pictures when someone searches for an item. Right now I have a google search box and it only brings up text results.

Any suggestions for this? Will the paid google search box do this?

nealrm
04-16-2013, 09:38 PM
I don't think the paid Google Search box will do any different. However, you can create you own search using a product call Sphinx Search. It is open source. Basicly it will allow you to text searches on your database. You structure the result as you want. However, this result does require you to know how to program.

Georgias Gifts
04-16-2013, 09:41 PM
Thanks nealrm. I'm hoping to find one that doesn't require programing.

billbenson
04-17-2013, 02:14 AM
Thanks nealrm. I'm hoping to find one that doesn't require programing.

I don't think you are going to find anything that doesn't require programming. There are probably scripts that are close to plug and play on hotscripts.com. But they will most likely need some customization. What you are trying to do isn't a lot of programming time for a good programmer. You can probably get it done for a few hundred dollars.

Georgias Gifts
04-17-2013, 11:29 PM
Okay. I will open this up to programmers here. Look at my site & see if it can be added to my hosting site. I really want something that I can go back in and change myself as my product changes, if possible.
Thanks.

vangogh
04-18-2013, 12:44 AM
I'll echo the thoughts about needing this programmed, however I think it's likely to cost more than a few hundred dollars. From what I can see it looks like your site is all html and isn't being run by a content management system. Search usually works by searching through a database, but if your site isn't running with a database it's probably not going to be a simple matter of coding search functionality. There's likely going to be more work involved.

If I'm mistaken and your site is running on a content management system with text and images stored in a database then it's probably not too difficult to code, but if everything is a static html page, I think it might take more work.

Georgias Gifts
04-18-2013, 01:22 AM
You are right vangogh. I probably need to wait til I'm ready for a complete site upgrade. Thanks for taking a look.

billbenson
04-18-2013, 12:43 PM
Vangogh is right, I was assuming there was a database there when I suggested a few hundred dollar figure.

vangogh
04-19-2013, 02:55 AM
Bill I had a feeling you figured it was a database driven site. That was my first instinct when I took a look, but then I noticed all the .html extensions.


I probably need to wait til I'm ready for a complete site upgrade. Thanks for taking a look.

Obviously when you do that is up to you, but just so you know there are some free and low cost options for ecommerce. Odds are most will have built in search too. I realize you didn't start this thread to overhaul your entire site, but if you're considering it at all let us know. We can point you in a few directions that wouldn't necessarily cost much.

Georgias Gifts
04-21-2013, 05:50 PM
Do you think your commerce site should reach a certain dollar amount before you upgrade? Would a site like my type keep you from getting to a higher level?

Harold Mansfield
04-21-2013, 07:06 PM
Do you think your commerce site should reach a certain dollar amount before you upgrade? Would a site like my type keep you from getting to a higher level?
Nope. You have to play to win from the onset. That whole "I want to see if it makes any money first before I go all in" strategy is defeatist.

You learn as much as you can about what you are doing, insure that it is indeed a viable, decide what is the best strategy to target your market and make sales, and you execute to win.

It doesn't happen over night. You'll have to make ajustments along the way. Some of the things you try will fail and others will succeed. Over time, you come up with a formula that works for your business.

You can't do that if you are just dipping a toe in the water.

However, in this instance, if adding a search box will cost just as much or more than putting the site on a CMS which already has search capabilities, and gives you more functionality, don't spend on just the search bar. Get the entire overhaul.

Gabe
04-22-2013, 10:11 AM
You could check out Swiftype (https://swiftype.com/), though I'm not sure if it can do the full image search you're looking for. If you're using WordPress it has a plugin that'd make setup relatively easy. They just launched recently, but I'm pretty sure they still have a free plan.

billbenson
04-22-2013, 02:18 PM
Do you think your commerce site should reach a certain dollar amount before you upgrade? Would a site like my type keep you from getting to a higher level?
Ya, you really should do it right from the onset. Otherwise you are duplicating work.

For an ecommerce site you really need a CMS driven site such as workpress. That will allow you to easily add, change, products, prices etc.

vangogh
04-23-2013, 01:09 PM
Do you think your commerce site should reach a certain dollar amount before you upgrade?

I'll echo what Harold and Bill said above. I don't think you should just wait until the site brings in a certain amount of money to invest in it. Many businesses won't make money until after there's been some kind of investment. Think about it. Imagine you said the same thing before putting up a site. How would you you ever have made a sale through the site to earn enough to get the site built in the first place. Obviously a certain amount of investment (whether money or time) was needed before you could bring some money in.

Similarly you may not bring in the revenue you want now to pay for the upgrade until after first paying for the upgrade. A part of what makes for business success is believing in your business and taking the risk.

Having said that I don't want you to automatically rush out and start throwing money at the site thinking it's all you need to do or that it's something you have to do. You should invest in the site because you think that investment will help your business. If you think the business should be taking in more revenue the first step is trying to identify why it isn't?


Do enough people visit the site?
Do enough people who find the site end up making a purchase?


If no, each question has a variety of different solutions and more questions to ask to further figure out where to invest. Another question is do you currently have a way to determine either of the above. It looks like you have Google Analytics installed so you are collecting some data. So is traffic good enough? Can you tell what people are doing on the site once they get there?

Maybe we can help you make the determination about where it makes the most sense to invest in the site.

Georgias Gifts
04-23-2013, 09:36 PM
Thanks for your imput, vangogh. I've been reading some of the other threads on the forum, such as "hiring a web designer/marketer" and this seems to be a popular subject with related themes.

I think there is still potention in my current site, but you ended your post with a very relevant statement- how to determine where it make the most sense to invest in the site. My time, budget and knowledge are limited and I know I can use some outside help. But deciding what to do first and who to trust to help is a confusing issue. I do not believe in "throwing money" at anything without a plan.

I do use Google Analytics to a certain extent, but don't really understand it enough to take advantage of it. I have a stat counter in place which I do find very valuable in seeing what search terms people use to find me & where they come from. That helps me choose my keywords on my site and when I use adwords.

I agree that it takes a long time and a lot of attention to your site to get good rankings on the search engines. I've been at it long enough to have good placement for many of my search terms (in top half of first page), but need better conversion on the traffic I do have. I know a few things I can do, but then I circle back around to what should I do first!

Harold Mansfield
04-23-2013, 10:56 PM
My time, budget and knowledge are limited and I know I can use some outside help. But deciding what to do first and who to trust to help is a confusing issue. I do not believe in "throwing money" at anything without a plan.
And you shouldn't.

If you just sit back and try to comprehend everything alone, you will never make a move. Why not just ask around?
Maybe pay for an hour of someone's time who can listen to where you want to go, and consult with you about where your shortcomings are, and suggest some directions to take to acheive your goals.



I've been at it long enough to have good placement for many of my search terms (in top half of first page), but need better conversion on the traffic I do have. I know a few things I can do, but then I circle back around to what should I do first!

You just narrowed in on exactly what you need to concentrate on. Your website isn't converting. So until you fix that, spending more time and money on trying to get traffic is a waste. Right?

Look at your competitors or simular niche sites that seem to be successful. Look at what they are doing.
And do that.

If you've determined that the website is the problem, now you have a direction and can start moving in a straight line investigating what is going to be the best solution for you to get that done. Once you have that figured out, you can work on finding someone to work with and put the redesign plan into action.

Maybe it's a complete overhaul, and maybe it's just some changes to what you already have. But one thing you know for sure is that, as is, it's not working.

Everything you do online hinges on your website. That's where people put the money into the register. If it's not ready for prime time, everything else is a waste of time.

Georgias Gifts
04-23-2013, 11:05 PM
Thanks for your imput, Harold.

vangogh
04-25-2013, 03:12 AM
Once again I'll echo what Harold said. You shouldn't just throw money at the problem. The first step is understanding what might be the problem (if there is any) and then you can figure out how to spend money to solve the problem.

It does sound like you're getting traffic and the problem is more one of converting the traffic. That does suggest improvements to the site are likely where you want to spend, but we can probably dig more into your analytics. You can add one of us to your analytics account and let us see your stats if you're comfortable sharing. You add the email address we use for our analytics and Google will show us your data inside our accounts. I certainly don't mind taking a look to see if I can offer some help. There are things beyond the basics that can be set up with analytics so you can get better information like connecting most everything to the revenue the site brings in. That way you can see which keywords lead to sales and which don't.

imarketingpromoter
05-21-2013, 05:23 AM
Sphinx or Solar can index plain HTML pages, too.

Marcomguy
05-21-2013, 04:18 PM
Zoom (http://www.wrensoft.com/zoom/) sounds like it will do what you want, including image search. It says it's "free for small sites" though I don't know how they define "small."