This article aims to give you an overview of what you need to know when thinking of getting or rebuilding a website. If you're left with questions - ask away!
What is a website? A collection of information and services served out by an internet-connected computer (aka 'webserver'). Usually you won't have your own webserver, but will rent a webhosting account alongside other websites on the same webserver. The 3 basic things you need are a registered domain name (the www.something.com.au) for people to look up, the website 'stuff' (text, images, photos, videos etc.) and a webhosting account to put everything in. Mostly, you'll get all 3 from the same webservices provider/business.
Where do you get a website? From anywhere in the world. Literally! There are thousands of webservices providers to choose from. Like choosing a mobile phone, or a dentist, or a lawyer, it's best to do a bit of research and not simply choose the cheapest or first. You'll want to look for a reliable and responsive partner to build what is an important part of your overall image or brand. You'll be comparing apples & oranges, so it won't be easy! There are big highly-automated impersonal but cheap providers, there are mid-sized more local but more expensive options, and there are enthusiastic and personal but small boutique solutions.
When do you get a website? Now, basically. Websites are not instant fixes. You might be able to build and publish it quickly, but there are millions and millions of websites on the internet. Again, literally! Even if you restrict it to websites in your industry and even area, you'll find there is plenty of competition. Check on Google now - run a search for what your customers will look for. Your new website will simply not jump to the head of the search-engine results no matter what the slick marketing sellers tell you. You need to work at it, or get someone else to work at it for you. It takes several months to start seeing a return on your investment. So the sooner you start the better!
Why bother with a website? Because it's where people are looking for you. Printed phone directories are dying. Printed advertisements are extremely limited, in both how much you can put into them, and who gets to see them. And in a world where smartphones, tablets and computers are everywhere and internet-connected, people use what's most convenient and easiest to find whatever it is they're looking for. Your website can say as much or as little as you want. You can change it frequently. You can gather detailed statistics on who, when, where, how for your website. And the website can actively work FOR you - collect new leads with online forms, sell directly online, push your brand and business with social media, newsletters, blogs etc. Across all demographics, websites are where people want to find answers to their needs or check up on whether you are worth dealing with. If you're not there, you have no voice!
How do you build a website? For all but the simplest, 1-page website you'll want to use a "content management system". These are software packages for websites - think of creating a document without using a word-processing software package, well you just wouldn't. Likewise for a website, you get a much more sophisticated website but with tools and facilities to make it easy to build and manage. The most popular are Joomla and WordPress (both of which Winch Websites uses) - and how about this, they're free!! The content management system lives entirely within your webhosting account - so you can manage, maintain, edit and amend your website from anywhere, anytime, no need to download and install software onto computers. And one more thing - content management systems have thousands of add-ons, the extra bells and whistles that you can plug in so your website does just what you want it to.
Who will build your website? Like webhosting (the "Where?" above), you are spoilt for choice. A boutique agency like Winch Websites will offer a personal one-on-one experience, mid-sized web companies have specialists and higher prices, national corporates have point-and-click standardised solutions. You can build your own website - and it's getting easier and easier (see Weebly for example). But as with most activities, you'll get a better result from people that do it for a living, you'll get it faster, and you'll save yourself a fair bit of aggro and learning that won't be used again.
Which website system? Well... that all depends... Joomla is general purpose. Wordpress is great at blogging. Weebly is drag-and-drop and free at the starting level. BigCommerce gives you a managed online-store solution. Winch Websites mostly uses Joomla as it can be fitted to almost any website needs, there's a LOT of support and thousands of cheap or free add-ons. Whatever you go for, make sure it's mobile-friendly, around 20% of website visitors come from a smartphone or tablet, and growing.
Hopefully that's enough background knowledge for you to get an idea of what's involved.
You may like to start gathering together the information that you would like to put into a website -
Don't forget to assemble photos and videos that you can add for visual appeal. They don't need to be studio quality - websites usually only feature relatively small images, so if you use your digital camera and smartphone, they are going to be too big and will need resizing anyway. It's more about what the photo shows. Photos do need to be in focus though!
It's also a good idea to think about how you want your website to look -
Do you want your website to 'do' anything special besides give out information? For example; customised enquiry forms, direct online sales? A wish-list of functions would be good, even if you don't implement them all straight away (you might be surprised at how cheaply they can be achieved).
Winch Websites accepts payment via the following;
Please make payments to
Bank : Bendigo
BSB : 633000
Account Number : 132801929
Account Name : Winch Websites
Reference : Invoice number
Alternatively, you can make use of Paypal's EFT facility to pay from a credit or debit card ; our emailed invoices include a link to pay online via Paypal. If you prefer, we can send you a special link to make a payment (a Paypal account is not necessary but does make things quicker and easier. We recommend you sign up with Paypal, it's free).
Winch Websites is a boutique website design & build agency. Based in a lovely rural setting just outside Winchelsea (halfway between Geelong and Colac), we have a particular focus on building low-cost, full-function websites for SOHO (Small Office Home Office) and small businesses, non-profit organisations and individuals.
Our websites make use of technology and systems that are widely available, popular and transportable. It is a guiding principle that our customers are not stuck with proprietary websites that nobody else can understand - think of Winch Websites as an assembler of a huge range of easy-to-find parts (the websites equivalent to that Swedish superstore of domestic wares!). You are very welcome to take over the ongoing management and updating of your website, which saves you time and money.
Without hefty city-centre office overheads, and without having to build website software from scratch, Winch Websites is able to offer very economical solutions to get your organisation online. If you're not familiar with modern content management systems (ie. websites with management tools built in), you may be surprised at what you can get your website to do at exceedingly low cost. Think of slideshows, photo galleries, calendars, online forms, email newsletters, online stores, and much much more.
Winch Websites has a particular specialisation in the general-purpose Joomla content management system, but also builds Wordpress websites (a blogging content management system that can do a whole lot more than just blogging now). We can create simple 1-page websites if you're just getting going and only need to reserve your internet place for now.
And for an outsourced solution with big-company support, Winch Websites can help get you off the ground with a drag-and-drop website byWeebly ("the Easiest Way To Create A Website") or even a full ecommerce website by BigCommerce. You can try these out for free, too.
Winch Websites has created websites for a wide range of small businesses - everything from horse-riding schools through community newspaper to Merino wool clothing. We don't pretend to be an expert in your business - we're here to help you get your business online, and we'll work closely with you to achieve that. We want your website to represent your business, your image, your way of doing things.
See below for some of the websites we're proud to have created and launched.
To discuss what Winch Websites could do for you, please call Tony on 0488 776620.
Winch Websites builds low-cost, fully-featured small websites for small business, non-profit organisations, and individuals. We put together the modular 'building blocks' for a website that does just what you want it to, with your own stamp of uniqueness. It's a fast process, and you will likely be surprised at what you can get for such a low cost. We'll help with domain name registration, organisational email accounts, and can even help you discover the words to put into the pages (ie. copywriting).
Winch Websites builds websites that you can take over and manage yourself - no waiting for someone to schedule your work, no writing out changes for someone else to copy-and-paste, no hourly charges for 5 minutes of work, you can do it all yourself whenever you need to. But if you're flat out with running your organisation, we're here to make any changes you like, quickly - your own part-time 'virtual webmaster'.
Yes, Winch Websites can help you here too. We won't tell you we know your business - but we can make it easy to raise your profile with social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, blogs, Google+ and more). All you need to do is send in anything that occurs to you (some text, photos, printed-media articles, online mentions - anything!) and we'll work out where's best to put it. We'll even create your social media accounts if you don't have them already.
Winch Websites services (scroll down for an overview) are provided at very reasonable and competitive prices, backed up by personal service. We also offer fixed-price website packages.
Contact us now for a review of your specific circumstances and our recommendations (no cost, no obligation) to achieve your professional, high-quality 'web presence' to add to your marketing and promotion kit-bag.
The following services are available from Winch Websites;
All websites need to 'live' somewhere - because websites are globally accessible, they can live anywhere in the world. We offer feature-rich and flexible accounts. Find out more about a webhosting account from Winch Websites.
Winch Websites will work closely with you to create a website that not only features your information (text & photos), but also reflects your 'image'. We can follow your ideas or come up with a design for you. Then we fine-tune it to your liking. And we fill in the website with everything you need to get up and running. We'll also make the website search-engine-friendly and even mobile-device-friendly. If you would like more than just a "brochure website", we can help with suggestions on how to get the website to 'do' more for you. Find out more about website design-and-build by Winch Websites.
Every website needs a domain name, and once registered you need to make sure that it is renewed regularly (often annually but every 2 years for ".com.au" names). Winch Websites can make sure you get the name, own the name and keep the name. You can also register more than one domain name for the same website - a minor but low-cost way to deliver more visitors to your website (eg. directtemporaryfencing.com.au and direct-temporary-fencing.com.au). Find out more about domain name registration by Winch Websites.
If updating your website doesn't appeal to you, Winch Websites can take care of it on your behalf. We'll make any changes you like, plus make sure that the underlying 'engine' of your website is kept up-to-date with any technical fixes or improvements. You choose how much time each month you think you'll need, then simply email or phone through whatever you want changing. Find out more about website maintenance by Winch Websites.
For a lower-cost option, we offer a once-a-year Website Servicing. We'll upgrade your website's technology as and where required to keep it up with all the latest security and facilities, and update the website's words, images and design as required. Find out more about the Website Servicing by Winch Websites.