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    I have been following the Blue Blaze website thread. I commend Mike for wanting to better the website and improve his business. I know that my website is outdated. I know that it can be a lot of work to keep it up, even when it's fairly simple. With some of the authoring programs out there today, it can be made a lot easier, but it still takes a level of dedication to go back and update it periodically. So bravo zulu Mike for asking for advice and opinions!

    This is mainly because I'm curious, but maybe somebody with more time and inspiration can make a go of it. There is another industry with individuals who offer their services and products for a fee. There is also an organization who hosts websites for this group of people. While the websites don't offer a lot of individualism, they are informative and maybe more importantly, pre-packaged. There also appears to be at least a little bit of room for personalization.

    I wonder if there is a market for a "Weldors' Directory" of sorts. A website where somebody could go and search for Weldors in an area who specialize in 'metal X'. Then they could be directed to that weldor's page and the potential customer could see their rates, hours, pics of their work, etc. I wish I could link one of the pages I've seen so that you could see what I mean. Except for their area of expertise, they seem to have a good system.

    Anyway, I'm also curious about everybody's thoughts on web design. Do you do your own web page? Do you use a program that does the 'real work' for you? Or do you do everything from scratch? Do you prefer to have a local individual do the work for you? Or do you pay a bigger firm to put it together? I guess this might be better as a poll, but I'm afraid there are too many aspects that I'm curious about for it to be that simple.

    Thoughts?

    Dave
    Still building my new old truck - see the progress!
    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/65...-coe-idea.html
    http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=27017

    Square Wave TIG 200 - Woot!
    MM180
    SP125+

  • #2
    I use a couple of hosting companies. Both support MS Frontpage server extensions. They work well . I am not really into the fancier pages and layout isn't a big concern either.

    I don't do any HTML since a WYSIWYG editor such a frontpage has worked for me. I am using the free "web developer express" from Msoft but havent published anything with it.

    My websites are just for information mainly. No ads other than an occasional banner I may run across the top.
    Good day

    Gerald Austin
    http://www.weldingdata.com

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    • #3
      I don't have a welding related website yet but have a rather large personal site and have constructed a site for my Church.

      I use the Amaya WYSIWYG editor for Linux on my personal site. Used Microsoft FrontPage for the Church site because I trained my Priest to be able to administer the site and make changes as he sees fit. He already had FrontPage and he is a MS Windows user while I prefer Slackware Linux.

      Consider where you want to spend your time. A simple site can stand alone and point potential customers to your phone number. This leaves you free to do welding.

      A complicated site can keep you very busy editing when you should be in the shop.

      Editing a site is do-able. You use a program that looks and feels like Microsoft Word and instead of sending it to the printer, you upload it to your host. I use gFTP for Linux to upload files to my host.

      There can be a significant learning curve.
      Your ISP can answer questions you might have.

      A DIY website often looks like a DIY website. Prefessional sites look better as a rule.

      Hope this helps
      Last edited by Nitesky; 03-14-2009, 08:07 AM.
      Gordie -- "I believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

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      • #4
        I built and maintained the website at www.atlantamusclecars.com for a friend. I host it at godaddy on a virtual linux server (Apache) because they were pretty inexpensive but offer little support. Since this is not my regular job, am definitely a self-taught amateur web page hacker.

        To build and maintain the site I used DreamWeaver 4, which is now a very old version of that program. DreamWeaver makes my life easy by maintaining the site both on my PC and the remote site, and making it easy to FTP the files up and synchronize them. I don't use fancy java script or anything else that makes the site complicated, since it is mostly a catalog site.

        The hardest part of the whole thing was designing and building the Logo in Photoshop, and getting the guy to agree on the basic layout of the pages. It also took about 6 months to get the visits up by making sure Google and other search engines had us listed. At it heyday, we were getting about 2000 distinct individuals visiting per day. Once the basic pages were layed out, it is simply a matter of changing things, which is pretty easy work.

        I have also used some of the Linux clones of DreamWeaver, such as NVu which isn't half bad, and the price (free) is good.
        Last edited by smyrna5; 03-14-2009, 08:29 AM.
        Lincoln 175HD
        Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
        Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

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        • #5
          Originally posted by smyrna5 View Post
          I have also used some of the Linux clones of DreamWeaver, such as NVu which isn't half bad, and the price (free) is good.
          Yeah, I tried NVu but then went on to open the HTML with a text program and found line after line after line of blank. Everytime I made a change it added another blank line so I made the switch to Amaya and learned how to deal with its idiosyncrasies. FrontPage is the easiest and best I have found but is limited to the Windows World.
          Gordie -- "I believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

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