Thank You Veterans BNSF Train - Montana Rail Link - Livingston, Montana
Some things to know about Exit333 Designs websites...
Whether you are looking for a new website or a website makeover, it will look good and be easy to navigate, and be a design that will showcase your company, it's image, and help communicate effectively with your present and future clientele.
Your business deserves a website that is not built with a template (especially one that your competitors are using or look too similar to), and one that will adapt to and be usable on a variety of vistor's devices.
Your website should attract your target audience and that means it should be found in the upper ranks of the search engines. And it should load *fast*. From the recent studies I have seen, most people will not wait more than three or four seconds for a page to load. And nobody likes to scroll or swipe down a page for seconds and seconds to see your content. That could lose their interest too and send them to a competitor's website. I know a website like that will make me depart very quickly.
A website that partly adapts to fit on a cell phone is a website that doesn't fit on a cell phone. Pinching and grabbing a web page should not be a requirement to use it.
No portions of the web design process will be delegated to other people or companies. This is so nothing is leveraged that will add cost and scheduling challenges. Or complexity.
And you will be interacting directly with myself! No middlemen between you and your developer. No third-parties you know nothing about.
There are a lot of websites on the web that are impersonating "custom" websites, pretending to be built from the ground up when they are actually based upon pre-built themes. The people (or AI "robots" ) just insert your company name and employee names, an AI generated logo and design, put together by "intelligent website builders", perhaps only change the colors of the layout. Stock images that have little resemblence or relationship to your business or type of business.
Rubber stamp it and it is yours!
It shouldn't take long to look at some web "designer's" portfolio to recognize this, or browse the web and recognize what websites were done using do-it-yourself web building services.
They rarely keep my interest for long. I certainly do not like having to keep scrolling down to view the content of a web page that contains little else but "big" text and "big" images with lots of whitespace.. And sometimes they take a while to load.
I will not use a theme or template and claim it is mine or claim it to be a custom one. I do not think I would enjoy working with or around someone elses' designs specification so that Is why I stay away from WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly and hosting site's website builders. I like freedom of design. I do not want my websites to look the same or like every one elses. I do not want to outgrow someone's idea or a Content Management System.
AND, I want to host my website where I want to host my website and change hosts if I want to.
Check out my client websites and sample websites by using the above menu.
You wll not receive a promise or guaranteee of a top ranking, but instead an attractive one that will rank well in the search engines. It should be ranked well enough in the important categories to you for people to find it. I don't want you to have a nice website but no visitors to see it!
I am not going to claim that your website will attain top rankings in 24 or 48 hours (believe it or not, there are search engine placement companies that do.). It takes time and adjustments to get a properly ranked website. If you want to use Google AdWords and Pay-Per-Click go ahead and do so. It takes some time and money to learn how to use them and to not let them run on auto-pilot. I am certainly not even close to being an expert about using them. You will have to do your own research on those. Paid search does complement good SEO, but that is an entire business by itself.
I do believe that using "organic" search engine techniques: Earning traffic with quality content is important.That includes keywords relative to your business (but sometimes not) and it's target audience (what would you and others type into a search engine to find your business and also your competitors?). And proper page descriptions and titles but not necessarily keywords "hidden" in the web-page code (Google has mostly stopped placing reliance on "meta keywords" as far as I know but other search engines may still use them if they are meaningful).
Building links to your website from relative websites help a lot. Even local ones. Getting yourself noticed from posting on other peoples websites that are relative to yours are a big help.
Keyword research shoul be done for your business and it's target audience. But having a website that loads fast (some of which depends on where your website is hosted) and is mobile-friendly are also very important. And structured correctly so that people can easily find their way around it.
You should conside anything that will help people find your website and help them see it's content, such as:
- Creating your own social media to list your website on. Incoming links to your website are very important. I will will put links on your website to them.
- Getting local business links and inserting your website address and description in online directories related to your business.
- Writing your own blog posts somewhere to link to your website.
- If you find that the keywords I used to help people find your website are not popular or working well enough, you must let me know. Check out other websites and try and figure out what they are using.
- Publicize any press releases and important events. Including print media.
Please realize that it takes time for the search engines to index your domain name, your website and it's contents, and any changes that are made to it.
I can help you find some images/photos
But again, this is probably something you would be better off doing. There a lots of free photos and images available on the web, and lots of services that supply stock images and photos. I can name a few of them for you to check out (Like freeimages.com for some free ones for example. Click on the "Free Images" tab to see the free ones. The iStock photos are usually very expensive!). Google Images are another good resource. But photos taken by yourself or your wrangler will look so much more authentic! Even those taken by a fishing guide (hehe I was a licensed Montana fly fishing guide for over 20 years and a licensed Montana fishing outfitter for most of that time). Check out one of my client's website. Matt is a hunting outfitter and guide here in Southwest Montana. He took all those pictures using an old Samsung Galaxy 7! WalkerOutfitting.com.
Images and photos are important for the search engines by the way!
However, when it comes to photos I think it would be more personable and effective if you supply your own. That may keep visitor's interest a bunch longer than a stock photo or image taken somewhere else by somebody else. And of people you never met or places you've never been to.
As far as your photos go, I am willing to see if I can touch them up a bit (nothing too fancy) and also optimize them for web pages (which I will do any way). Go HERE for information about that.
Google maps and calendars, videos from YouTube and Vimeo can hosted there and be inserted on your website so that space is saved on your server. Or they can be stored where your website is located. But they can take up a lot of space.
Videos can be made to run in the background behind text or on their own. Like HERE!
If you require a different calendar one may be able to be embedded on your website. Or a link may be set up to go to your listing somewhere else.
And there is always a form that can be put on a page to request calendar dates and other information. Google forms can be used too, but I have a better solution than that for forms that I use to build forms. If you subscribe to a service like JotForms or FormSite they can be inserted into a webpage (but with their branding if you use them for free).
I will design and put one contact form (without ads) on your website, customized to your specifications, so people can contact you.
Check out the contact form on this website. It is accessed by a link on the menu and in the footer.
If you are interested in editing your own content, please contact me.
You will receive 6 hours of free content editing (photos and content) for one year after your website goes live. After that I will bill you in 15 minute increments (which will essentially be changing a picture or two, and some short content edits).
Your website is very important to your marketing and should help your business grow by converting visitors of your website. Therefore, the design process should help this happen so that a solid foundation is built. That requires interaction between you and myself. You can be involved as little or as much as you would like to be:
Come up with a simple wireframe first (what if you were building a house or office building?):
- Do you already have a registered domain/business name? A name for your website? A place where it can be hosted? You should purchase your website domain name yourself. What I have always done, is purchase mine through a company who only does domain registration, not hosting such as Hover. That way if I decide to move on from wherever, I don't feel obligated to them and can just point the domain to another host. Especially if they raise their prices too high or I don't like something about their services. And no "three year deals" for me.
- Discovery phase (your business, your clients,/customers (and your ideal ones), your competitors, who do you want to visit your website - your target audience, who is coming to your website, your budget, questions like that). The goals.
- A great way to get started building your website is to come up with a menu structure and sitemap. They are essentially an outline of what your website is going to be. Your navigation.
- Start with a list of your most important pages and their content.
Then the fun, visual stuff can begin:
- The color scheme of your website and menu (should match your logo if you have one?).
- The fonts you want to use for content and headings.
- The layout of your website.
- Photographs and other images.
Take some time and check out some of the design "widgets" listed on the menu that can be used on your website (galleries, menus, and other effects). See anything you like?
The process of your website will be posted in your own subdirectory of this one for you to review and comment on (such as "www.exit333designs/youkickedouttheboatplugsagain.html").
And, of course, call or email me with any suggestions and comments.
Well, I'd like to say "As many as it takes to make you happy until your website goes live" but I will have to make myself say three major and minor ones. I think that is reasonable. After yours goes live, if there are what I think are "little" changes then no problem. But not a "redesign" or major overhaul of the website.
Revisions are made to get the client close to the date the website goes live and are part of the design process. Layout changes of the website is certainly a major one. Replacing images or moving them, changing some colors, not so much. Changing text here and there, no biggie. But changing a sitewide font could be one.
I am not going to charge for my mistakes (of course), or a few minor revisions before or after your website is live. Or tweaking it to see if it helps with the search engines.
If you currently have a website hosted somewhere, that is fine. I do not offer website hosting and am not a reseller.
If not, please remember that it is very important that your website is hosted somewhere with a reputation for at least 99.*% uptime and also with very fast loading speed of your website. And great customer support (yes, it exists) with chat options, telephone, email support. And of course, price. If you need alot of storage space for pictures, videos and other files consider that too.
What about security? Spam, viruses, malware, hackers taking over your website and using it for their own evil purposes.
Make sure you have domain privacy and use an https protocol (i.e., https://mywebsitename.com) not only for security but also because of search engine rankings. That will tell your visitors that they are interacting with a secure server and not going through some bad place to get to it. And not have their user name and password stolen if you end up using them.
Also you may want to use WhoIs privacy so that people don't know the name, address, and phone number of the owner of the domain name.
If you choose to use WordPress (I do not offer that but I thought I would mention it any way ) *please* pick a host that will constantly keep WordPress up to date and secure, and also all the plugins that you have chosen to use. One reason I do not use WP is because of the security issues. I just read that 90 percent of all websites created with a Content Management System (which is what WordPress is) that were hacked were WordPress websites. Search for that stat and also "WordPress security".
Search for WordPress security issues and you will find topics like "16 Best WordPress Security Plugins to Lock out the Bad Guys" , "How to Secure and Protect WordPress Websites" and the list goes on and on. Not to mention all of the articles and paid services to keep WP website secure and tricks to make them load faster than they would usually would without them. Not all are free, but they still have to be maintained by a developer or yourself. WordPress website security is a business in itself.
"According to statistics From 40,000+ WordPress Websites in Alexa Top 1 Million, more than 70% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to hacker attacks." - wpwhitesecurity.com
You should also search to see how secure WordPress's commerce plug-in "WooCommerce" is.
Making sure all WP website code is up to date, including all of the plug-ins that may be used can be time consuming, especially if I need to maintain multiple WordPress websites.
Your website files are backed up by myself in various place, on my computers and external storage drives, and also at off-line sites. I will zip up all of your files and email them to you whenever you want in case you ever need them. And I will put updates (no, not "security" updates - you won't need those from me) for you to download in a subdirectory of this website named after your business. I do not have to use some sort of export process to do that either. Zip it, send it or back it up somewhere, and that's it!
And, there isn't a "maintenance" process to update your website with the latest code. Really no downtime. I just transfer the needed files to where your website is hosted and that's it! That rarely takes more than 30 seconds unless the client is adding or changing huge images or photograph files.
I will need your "FTP" user name and password and website address to do so however, so you will have to trust me until your website is totally finished. Then you can change that information and keep it to yourself until it is ever needed again.
Those are the only times I need an internet connection to create your website, as all work done by me is off-line on a desktop computer.
I will be creating some sample websites or pages that you can view by clicking the links below or by using the main menu.
There is also a page listing some client sites with cutouts of their home page. Type in the links to view their complete and live websites. The page is located HERE.
To build your custom website, we average $250 per page. There will not be any ongoing monthly subscription costs (besides the cost of hosting your website somewhere) that will never end until you close your account.
The costs per page do not include items such as images and photos that are purchased by myself by you.
Using do-it-yourself website creation services such as Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, WordPress may seem quick and convenient and cheap but they may end up more complicated than intially thought. And you, like others, may not feel comfortable learning and using their tools in order to take full advantage of their features.. You may still have to learn how to code and do some graphic design if they do not do what you expect them to do. And, in my case, I have never found a theme/template appropriate to what I want to use it for or relate to my clients businesses.
I will post the progress of your website on my website in your own folder for you to see and interact with. Something we can review and discuss together. You will see the process unfold. I will do this whenever there is something "interesting" or "major" for you to check out.
Your site will go live when you are fully satisfied with it. And after a couple of weeks from the start date, if you are not happy with the progress there will be no cost to you or obligation on your part. And, no hard feelings!
Please use the contact form or call me to discuss your project and I will get out a checklist for you to review and a request for a proposal when needed (hopefully!) via an email or the Postal Service Priority Mail.
Payment for my services. Believe it or not, I will take a corporate check! Businesses where I live still take checks. I am also going to set up a merchant account.
First of all, if you just got a new domain name, please be advised that it may take up to 72 hours for it to "exist" on the internet. It takes time for it to get propogated and found. Same for transferring your website to another host location. There are some things you should know in regards to that which I can help you with getting it "live".
Please note that it can take a while longer for your website to be found by the search engines. It needs to be "crawled" and indexed by their "bots".
Now, once you have a place for your website, and you give me the okay to post all the files needed to make it run:
- Edit and review everything on your website.
- Get it listed in various places on the internet, and print media (see the topic "Finding your site" above). Everywhere!
- Let me know of any changes that you think should be made.
- If you want to, create social channels to promote your website using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter,.... I can put link(s) to them on your website.
- If you have a current website and the URL (address) changes (including page names and menu structure), it is very important to let the search engines know about that. I can help with that.
- Manually submit your website to the search engines, specifically Google and Bing. I can help with that.
- Keep track of any emails and calls you receive and especially ask them how they found your website! Take advantage of this when it happens so changes to your site can be made if need be.
- Don't forget to get your domain name and address printed on your business cards and letterhead.