Over the last 4 years, I’ve done a lot of different stuff with my Foothills Painting website.
I made some mistakes. I lost some money. I made some shitty websites.
I’ve learned along the way, and I’m going to teach you the lessons I have learned.
In 2010, Foothills Painting started and my roommate was an art student. She made our logo. I needed a website. I had a friend who referred me to a website designer. She made our first website for $500. It was incredibly basic. It worked for what we needed it for – basic credibility.
We were a new company. We didn’t have tons of people finding our website online or anything. But we could refer customers to it to look at pictures or testimonials.
I tried using Yodle – this is a company that you pay a set monthly fee. They set up a new website domain like www.fortcollinspaintingcompany.com or something. They put a bunch of stock information on the site, they put their own phone number that forwards to your company phone, etc… They claim it takes time to get calls. But the return we got from their service was pretty bad.
Spent about $600, got 2 phone calls (both solicitors), in 4 months.
Other companies like this are 99calls.com and there are many others.
I made my own website using www.weebly.com and that worked out nicely. It was free. I could make changes anytime I wanted to. I easily uploaded new pictures, new links, new testimonials, etc…
I was able to design it to look better than any other site we had up to this point. It was cheap.
This is what I would recommend doing if you are just starting out.
You can literally drop and drag to build the website. it will look nice enough, it’s super cheap, and you can add to it as you need to. It’s a good way to start.
If you go straight to a designer you probably won’t know what to look for yet… or what you want on your site, or how you want it to look. So you just would be crossing your fingers that your developer did an awesome job.
Building your own website teaches you a lot. I have tons of advice about building a website, and important principles to follow, but we’ll save that for another day.
I hired a developer to build our site. We were able to make our site look a lot more professional when it was done by a developer rather than me. I learned a lot about what I liked.
To figure out how I wanted the site designed, I googled painting companies for a few hours in cities all over the US trying to find the best looking painting company websites I could find.
I took screen shots and notes on websites I liked. Then I consolidated it all, and drew up on a piece of paper how I wanted our site to look.
I wrote all the pages for the site.
Total cost to get the site done was $1,000. Now we use that website as a template for our new websites (We started a business in Michigan recently). Here is an example of the site we made: www.michiganpurepainting.com
Most recently, I’ve hired a company to do more than just manage our website. They list us on 50 major online directories, they do our front end and back end SEO updates for google, they set up and manage all of our social media accounts, and give us monthly reports on our progress on the search engines.
We get to make unlimited website changes, and I have one person who I can contact for all my online stuff. It’s been nice.
Here is the website they built for us: www.foothillspainting.co
So far I’ve loved working with this company. I don’t have clear results working with them yet as far as our return and how much work we are getting from it. We’ve only been working with them 3 months, and it’s the slow time of the year. Once I have more data, I’ll share it with you.
Just email me if you are interested in having a website like ours and I’ll refer you to my rep.
PS- if you have any other questions about websites, just email me!