Sunday, January 3, 2010

Help Creating A Website

Happy New Year To All.

As many of you may know I earn my living from the Internet and because of a new project I am working on Fairs and Fun Days Out I realized how daunting it is for those not fully conversant with HTML, Hosting, FTP ETC. ETC. and all that Jazz to think about creating thier own website.

The reason I discovered this was talking to some of the 8 out of 10 organizers of events who did not create a website to go with their event because they were worried about the technology and cost. Being honest It can range from many hundreds to many thousands of dollars to get a company to do it and the gobble de cook scares the pants of doing it themselves.

So I spent a few hours looking around at options that do not cost a fortune and make it easier to create a website, the best option I came up with was Google Sites.
Here is a sample site I created in couple of hours Example Basic Web Site Using Google Sites

PS If any of you would like an invite to play with that site and try editing let me know , You can't do much damage and if it will help you be more comfortable your welcome.

There are a number of advantages to this

1. Organizing your pages and information is simple ( sort of once you get the hang of it ) I would advise thinking about what and how you want your site to be organised first even if it is just on paper.

3. You can invite friends to help work on the website

4. Adding information to a page is similar to using a word processor

5. You can buy a proper domain for $10.00 a year and redirect your Google site to the domain and that is all it will cost you except time learning.

6. You can create a page about something and update and increase the information on the page over time, so you might create a page all about horses teeth , what to look for, photographs of good or bad teeth but the great thing is you can work on it over time and add something couple of years later.

7. You can place your own advertising on your website

IS IT AS GOOD AS Paying someone to host, create and manage a website for you NO but it can be a good way to get started.

The one thing I have noticed over the last few years posting occasionally on Callies Blog is how much Horse knowledge and information many of our readers have.

Blogs are good to post fun stuff and updates but not great to create an information website and because it seems scary and expensive, I have noticed few Horse Bloggers bother to create websites to share their knowledge.

A few basic points about Blogs in General

1. Blogs are not very Search Engine Friendly

2. Blogs are not easy to organize for visitors to find Information

3. It is hard to move a blog to a real web address E.G. www.horsesinformation.com because if you use anything other than basic blog template it does not work.

Sorry I did not create a Horse related site as an example but it is the same principle as the site I created except named and organised round horses.

The other beauty of this is it costs nothing to have a go and if it works for you could open up a whole new world of opportunities

Steve

15 comments:

Tammy said...

Our state lacked info on horse trails in our state, so I started a website in 2004 called horsetrailriders.com. I keep it going because it gets traffic. It's the only site that shows our trails. But I hate it! It looks terrible. I use Frontpage for design & my webhost is Powweb.com. I want to get off of frontpage, but don't know HTML. Wandering if google would be a good option for me. Will have to check it out.

The People History said...

Tammy Definitely worth a try,

Create something simple in the beginning and then play , seems hard early but worth having a try

You do not need Frontpage you do it all onlne you can do as much or as little as you want

Let me know how you get on and if you want to ask me a few questions feel free

Steve

Mrs Mom said...

Coolness Steve. I'll have to make some time to sit down and take a look at that. Might just be exactly what we could use!

Jean said...

I took a few courses on web design years ago and somewhere on the web are the little sites I developed.

If I ever need to do a site, I will look into the Google options. No need to learn at that HTML when things are set up for easy development.

Thanks for the information.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Very helpful option.

Question, though. If blogs don't make good search engine propects than why do I get so many folks visiting my blog from doing searches for whatever interests them? (bitless bridle, chickens, trail riding, horses, twins, etc, etc.)

I can track who visits my blog and see from where and how they end up at my blog and it never ceases to amaze me.

I've also had several companies contact me about using my blog to advertise. Except they don't have me place an ad on my blog, they ask me to just post the words that are related to their company along with a clickable link.

It's been a great way to make some extra money (I made over $300 from Bo Dog: horse racing, last year) and gained a few free gifts, too.

But I do think it's odd that these companies use our blogs to help garner more interest in their websites, using search engines to direct people to our blogs.


~Lisa

The People History said...

Hi Lisa,

Just a couple of points , bloggers by default link to other bloggers to spread the love and share the link juice, so for example Callie Links Out to 30 other bloggers not only from home page but also from each post page.

Part of the way search engines work is to look at links in to a page or site , the more links in you have the better you are thought of .

Now most bloggers because they have links out to other blogs have less link juice to their own blog posts which means they will appear lower in Search Engine Rankings.

Lets take a basic example

Blog has 40 links in from other blogs to home page hhhmm says search engine algo Give it 5 points.

So blogger has link to a post about green widgets. So those five points the SE has given the blog will be split between all the outgoing links ( To Other Bloggers ) and what points are left will go to the post about green widgets and all the other blog posts so not that much love to give to your own blog post.

Truthfully for most bloggers it is ideal way to post about your cooking, horses, kids, and other things you want to write about.

But I can think of a few bloggers who might want to create a site just about horse tack, horse breeding or horse health etc. so a website rather than a blog allows them to design the web site around chosen subject making it easier for search engines and visitors to find information on a specific topic.

Of course there are other advantages, lets take a site designed around Horse Tack for example.

On a blog where the posts vary about many things the contextual advertising does not always match what the visitor is interested in and therefore does not pay well.

But if the website is just about horse tack and the visitors are only interested in horse tack then much better chance of horse tack related adds giving beneficial outcome for all involved advertiser, publisher and visitor all get what they want.

There is lots and lots more to all this and I am sure I explained it badly, sorry about such a long complicated answer .

PS I did check Bridle Bit in Google and your post comes up as 20th result with Personalized search turned off, on a breakdown of search 45% of all searchers use first 2 or 3 results and then it goes down the further down the page and even lower percentage visit 2nd page of results.
So for example if you are getting 3 searches per day to Bridle Bit at position 20 if you were number 1 to 3 you could expect 300 to 400 visits per day

I decided long ago to let Callie use her blog the way she wants and have stayed clear of helping her make it more Search Engine Friendly because she does it just for fun .

Steve

The People History said...

Lisa
One more thing on your comment about commercial sites using bloggers to gain links , one way links are like gold dust the more competitive the area the more they are worth, plus they are worth even more if blog is semi related as per your findings , one way link on a trusted site with page rank of PR5 regardless of traffic and with no other outgoing links is worth quite a bit each month, of course if the site selling the links gets caught by SE's they will have a penalty applied which is why most webmasters do not take the risk ,

I know of one site valued at over a million dollars who sold 8 links on each page and was making close to $30,000 per month who got caught and has never been seen in Search Engine results since

Not a problem for bloggers selling the occasional link but still worth remembering

steve

dickiebo said...

HELP - please!
I have taken the hint and started a trial website at https://sites.google.com/site/bowenssite/home
I've fouled up already and can't 'undo' the offending part!
When on 'Home' you will see Richard and Nick. There should also be 'Barbara' but I have somehow got it stuck under 'Richard' as you can see from the 'tree'. Do you know how I can separate Barbara as I have done Richard and Nick, please?
Sorry to hog your space like this!

The People History said...

Hiy a Dickyboo

Here is a step by step

Step 1 More Actions ( next to edit page)
Step 2 Manage Site
Step 3 Site Layout
Step 4 Edit Navigation
Step 5 Add In The Extra Page You Want
Step 6 You Can Then Move Them Around using the Up Down Arrows

Manage Site is a little tricky to work your way round but the most powerful tool of them all for anything to do with how the site looks

Hope This Helps

Steve

The People History said...

For any of our other readers playing with this , always remember the worst you can do is F Up , but everything is fixable and even more handy you can start again

steve

The People History said...

PS Dickyboo , great start by the way

I am impressed must have spent quite a few hours already

You should be feeling quite pleased and proud of your self

steve

dickiebo said...

Steve,
Many thanks. I got as far as Edit Navigation but couldn't get it to work beyond that point, so I have completely inserted it as a new page. Doubled-up, but, what the heck!
"...quite pleased with yourself..."
No. I'm afraid that I only see my shortcomings! But you know - I can live with them! He, he, he!

The People History said...

Dickyboo ,

Dont look at as shortcomings , if somebody had told 5 days ago you would have a site like that created all on your own

You would have said no chance took me years and years and I still do not get it right 30% of the time and have to back and fix

steve

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow Steve! You sure do know a lot of stuff about websites and internet, etc. I only know the basics, but do appreciate you explaining things.

Like Callie, my blog is just my 'thang' my hobby, something I do for fun. I was pretty thrilled to have made some money and scored some free products last year, though.

And also through my blog, some companies and charities found me and asked to use a few of my photos (not much money, but free product and a link back to me and my blog), so if that leads to something else with my photography my little blog will make my hubby happy. lol!

It's funny, though, my hubby is all about what will make a profit, while I am all about how much satisfaction will I get out of this. Case in point, we have two llamas, an angora goat and two sheep that I bought to shear an hand spin and knit their wool......because I ENJOY it and it's satisfying.
Hubby went and filed with our taxes that we have a small business farm and was expecting me to make money with our little wooly herd.
Maybe someday, but for now I'm just having fun playing with wool. lol!
So, of course, we have to file that our little farm business has taken a loss these past two years. Oh well.

My parents are the same way. Always telling me I should hype up my blog and give Pioneer Woman a run for her money. lol!
Quite honestly I have no interest in that, even if I had the ability.

If my blog became like her's then I don't think it would be as much fun anymore. I'd have two many readers. Readers I'd never get to know because I'd never be able to visit all of their blogs. And I would feel too much pressure to make each and every post riveting and interesting for my readers.

bah!

I just want to have fun!

Thanks again,
~Lisa

The People History said...

lisa ,

great to here that that , I think you should enjoy what your doing , life is to short to spend it just on thinking about things to make money , my little history website that i just created because I like modern history, it gets close to 1 million page views per month and it carries no advertising because I created it to make something different about something I enjoyed doing, It pays for hosting because i use the google search box and thats fine, I have been offered money to put links to stuff that I do not feel happy about so I do not do it.


I created this blog post because I can think of at least two bloggers who have specialist horse knowledge that would be great as a reference point for horse owners and lovers not just fellow bloggers , I honestly think if they created a website that was easy to use because of an easy navigation system they would become popular and could possibly build a forum or other type community on top.

Most of the top horse websites are so dominated by advertising that you can not see the content without wading through the advertising which puts most visitors off, the hardest thing in my industry is finding that thin line which allows the webmaster to be rewarded for his / her work while at the same time not seeming like a giant billboard.
steve