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HOT TOPIC Which website builder should I use?

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yyes

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Hey guys I'm looking for advice on what platform to use in order to build my website.

My business is a service based business. Specifically, it's a painting /carpet cleaning business

Initially I thought I would use squarespace or just learn Javascript and html and build website from scratch.

However, I have also been thinking about clickfunnels . But at the same time, I think clickfunnels is geared towards a product based business where customers can buy online rather than a service based business where customers would want you to go to their homes and give them an estimate.

What would you guys advise?
 

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minivanman

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The good news is, as far as competition for the 1st page of Google, with a little work it shouldn't be a problem no matter what you use. Your competition doesn't have great websites. lol Personally I use Weebly but most people say Weebly sucks. I have 19 sites on 1st page in different cities but I'm fairly good at SEO. With a little work and 1 year and you should be on top. It won't happen over night. How are you getting work now?
 

Pesh

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If you plan SEO to really be a part of your business and you have no coding experience go with WordPress.

Its terribly setup when you just make a fresh install but you can customize it a lot and achieve a lot with it. As for a page builder that you can use with it - Elementor. The free version is more than enough for what you are planning to make.

Good luck :)
 
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yyes

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Jun 18, 2017
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The good news is, as far as competition for the 1st page of Google, with a little work it shouldn't be a problem no matter what you use. Your competition doesn't have great websites. lol Personally I use Weebly but most people say Weebly sucks. I have 19 sites on 1st page in different cities but I'm fairly good at SEO. With a little work and 1 year and you should be on top. It won't happen over night. How are you getting work now?
If you plan SEO to really be a part of your business and you have no coding experience go with WordPress.

Its terribly setup when you just make a fresh install but you can customize it a lot and achieve a lot with it. As for a page builder that you can use with it - Elementor. The free version is more than enough for what you are planning to make.

Good luck :)
Thanks for the feedback guys.

Im actually not relying on SEO initially.

Im relying on adwords and direct mail marketing. I'm following the advice of Perry Marshall and his book on Google Adwords
 

minivanman

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Where do you get your leads at know? Is your phone ringing at all for jobs?
 

Aunt Clyde

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From my experience, WordPress is mainly for blogs. But it can be customized with plugins. Years ago when I ran a blog I read and lot about content management systems . Several of them are open source. One such program that comes to mind is Drupal that you install on yourself server. Another one that's gotten good reviews is Expression Engine. But I think you need to pay for the full version.
 

jon.M

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Hey guys I'm looking for advice on what platform to use in order to build my website.

My business is a service based business. Specifically, it's a painting /carpet cleaning business

Initially I thought I would use squarespace or just learn Javascript and html and build website from scratch.

However, I have also been thinking about clickfunnels . But at the same time, I think clickfunnels is geared towards a product based business where customers can buy online rather than a service based business where customers would want you to go to their homes and give them an estimate.

What would you guys advise?
ClickFunnels costs at least $99 per month. Although the price might not be an issue for you, you get just as much value with a WordPress setup that would cost something like... $200 per YEAR?

However, it also depends on your marketing approach. Just want a good looking website, nice copy and a contact form? ClickFunnels is a waste of money. If you're looking for an easy way to incorporate tripwires, one-click upsells, downsells, quizzes or whatever, ClickFunnels could save you some time and headaches, but I suspect that's not what you're looking for.

What exactly do you want in your website?

I'd personally go with WordPress. It's the most popular content management system on the planet, which means there is a LOT of help, experts and documentation to be found in case you run into any trouble.

If you get Elementor, which is an easy-to-use page builder for WordPress, it can be quite a seamless experience when you want to design the site and add content. For what you're probably looking for in terms of functionality, the free version of that plugin would be more than enough.

Feel free to ask in case you've got any questions about that.

From my experience, WordPress is mainly for blogs. But it can be customized with plugins. Years ago when I ran a blog I read and lot about content management systems . Several of them are open source. One such program that comes to mind is Drupal that you install on yourself server. Another one that's gotten good reviews is Expression Engine. But I think you need to pay for the full version.
Although it might be tempting to shop around for the "ultimate" solution, IMO the average user would better spend their time on WordPress instead of the more obscure alternatives. If your website runs on WP and you experience an issue, chances are you'll find a simple-to-understand solution for just that specific problem on Google, Youtube or in Facebook groups.

Other systems? I bet you'll need to look around longer for the answer.
 

Gepi

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While I agree with jon.M's advice of not overcomplicating the website, I'd like to throw two very lightweight and nice to set up systems in here:
Hugo and jekyll.
Both are open source and come with helpful plugins and tutorials.
But this is maybe not the best for your particular case, I agree. Your website is basically a means to an end. Just beware of WP's hackability, it is getting targeted quite often. But for that there are also workarounds.
Edit: responsive designs are available. My website is build with jekyll.
 
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yyes

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Jun 18, 2017
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Boise Idaho
ClickFunnels costs at least $99 per month. Although the price might not be an issue for you, you get just as much value with a WordPress setup that would cost something like... $200 per YEAR?

However, it also depends on your marketing approach. Just want a good looking website, nice copy and a contact form? ClickFunnels is a waste of money. If you're looking for an easy way to incorporate tripwires, one-click upsells, downsells, quizzes or whatever, ClickFunnels could save you some time and headaches, but I suspect that's not what you're looking for.

What exactly do you want in your website?

I'd personally go with WordPress. It's the most popular content management system on the planet, which means there is a LOT of help, experts and documentation to be found in case you run into any trouble.

If you get Elementor, which is an easy-to-use page builder for WordPress, it can be quite a seamless experience when you want to design the site and add content. For what you're probably looking for in terms of functionality, the free version of that plugin would be more than enough.

Feel free to ask in case you've got any questions about that.



Although it might be tempting to shop around for the "ultimate" solution, IMO the average user would better spend their time on WordPress instead of the more obscure alternatives. If your website runs on WP and you experience an issue, chances are you'll find a simple-to-understand solution for just that specific problem on Google, Youtube or in Facebook groups.

Other systems? I bet you'll need to look around longer for the answer.
Personally, I need my website to be responsive. It needs to be compatible with mobile and it needs to be fast.

The responsiveness is important to me because clients should be able to click on my phone number from their smartphone to call, or click on my email address to email me, etc.

Also, I'm looking to add before and after pictures of my work. Preferably high resolution pictures.

So in a nutshell my website has to be fast, responsive, and compatible with the mobile.
 

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Jaden Jones

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I have played around with WIX and seemed to like it, is wordpress superior to WIX?
 

Longinus

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From my experience, WordPress is mainly for blogs. But it can be customized with plugins.
In 2012 perhaps, now you have visited many websites you never even noticed it was made with WP. Most WP websites don't even have a blog.

The biggest reason I work with WP is the ease of adding features with (still up to date) plug-ins indeed. The possibilities are endless.

@OP: Like said many times before: WP + Elementor as themebuilder + GeneratePress as theme = wonderful combination.
 

FastNAwesome

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Since your goal is to run paid advertising to you website, the following things should probably matter to you.

Speed: You want a fast website on a fast server. You don't want visitors who's click you paid for clicking the "back" button in their browser because the page was too slow to load.

With platforms that host the website for you, you don't need to worry about the server, as that's taken care of.

With self-hosted, it's not that simple. For example, we're running ads to our own self-hosted pages, but have a very fast (and accordingly priced) server. Makes sense for us because we use it for multiple clients.

But we had some clients whose both website and server are so slow that it made me wonder if anyone even waits to see the page.


Flexibility: You want the ability to add tracking codes from various services. Potentially other codes too, such as live chat.

You want some form of tracking on your website, to gain insight how visitors interact with it, where they come from, which devices they use etc.

Then you can adjust accordingly, test assumptions, see what works, what doesn't, and continuously refine your website to make it perform better and better.


Design: You want your website to look great on a variety of devices, from smartphones to desktops.

Enough said. You don't want to lose a potential customer just because your website didn't look right on their device. Especially in something like carpet cleaning, where they can be a customer for years to come, refer you etc.

There are many great solutions.

Personally, if a friend asked me, I'd recommend self-hosted Wordpress website, as it aligns nicely with above considerations.

If you use a good hosting and don't drown it with too many plugins or some clunky theme, speed should be fine. There are also plugins and other ways to speed it up.

Flexibility is also great, you can add any tracking codes you need.

Design - there's an abundance of themes to choose from.

Downside of a self-hosted solution is that it needs maintenance. Even if only just regular updates and backups. Not a big deal, but I've seen many business owners who just neglect to do it.

So if that's a hassle for you, then hosted solutions might be better.
 

minivanman

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Now with my love for Weebly, I am starting something in the near future that I am going to try with Wordpress. I do have a question about Wordpress.... I know 0 about Wordpress or what exactly a 'plug-in' is so, if I use an SEO plug-in on Wordpress, can I still have control over what goes in to my SEO, can I edit it?

If Wordpress seems to be too much of a pain in the a$$, I will quickly go back to Weebly where I know I can get the new site on the 1st page. I just want to try Wordpress to see if I'm missing something.
 
OP
OP
Y

yyes

Contributor
Jun 18, 2017
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73
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Boise Idaho
In 2012 perhaps, now you have visited many websites you never even noticed it was made with WP. Most WP websites don't even have a blog.

The biggest reason I work with WP is the ease of adding features with (still up to date) plug-ins indeed. The possibilities are endless.

@OP: Like said many times before: WP + Elementor as themebuilder + GeneratePress as theme = wonderful combination.
Better than squarespace?
 
OP
OP
Y

yyes

Contributor
Jun 18, 2017
72
73
115
30
Boise Idaho
Since your goal is to run paid advertising to you website, the following things should probably matter to you.

Speed: You want a fast website on a fast server. You don't want visitors who's click you paid for clicking the "back" button in their browser because the page was too slow to load.

With platforms that host the website for you, you don't need to worry about the server, as that's taken care of.

With self-hosted, it's not that simple. For example, we're running ads to our own self-hosted pages, but have a very fast (and accordingly priced) server. Makes sense for us because we use it for multiple clients.

But we had some clients whose both website and server are so slow that it made me wonder if anyone even waits to see the page.


Flexibility: You want the ability to add tracking codes from various services. Potentially other codes too, such as live chat.

You want some form of tracking on your website, to gain insight how visitors interact with it, where they come from, which devices they use etc.

Then you can adjust accordingly, test assumptions, see what works, what doesn't, and continuously refine your website to make it perform better and better.


Design: You want your website to look great on a variety of devices, from smartphones to desktops.

Enough said. You don't want to lose a potential customer just because your website didn't look right on their device. Especially in something like carpet cleaning, where they can be a customer for years to come, refer you etc.

There are many great solutions.

Personally, if a friend asked me, I'd recommend self-hosted Wordpress website, as it aligns nicely with above considerations.

If you use a good hosting and don't drown it with too many plugins or some clunky theme, speed should be fine. There are also plugins and other ways to speed it up.

Flexibility is also great, you can add any tracking codes you need.

Design - there's an abundance of themes to choose from.

Downside of a self-hosted solution is that it needs maintenance. Even if only just regular updates and backups. Not a big deal, but I've seen many business owners who just neglect to do it.

So if that's a hassle for you, then hosted solutions might be better.
Would you say it's better than squarespace ?
 

Andy Black

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Get a free listing on a directory.

Run Google Ads to that listing. Low budget as you’re “buying data”.

See how much of your volume is mobile or not.

Maybe the data will suggest you start with a mobile-only landing page. We have a few clients where we only run mobile campaigns and to a mobile only landing page.
 

jon.M

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Personally, I need my website to be responsive. It needs to be compatible with mobile and it needs to be fast.

The responsiveness is important to me because clients should be able to click on my phone number from their smartphone to call, or click on my email address to email me, etc.

Also, I'm looking to add before and after pictures of my work. Preferably high resolution pictures.

So in a nutshell my website has to be fast, responsive, and compatible with the mobile.
Ok, so you don't have any special requirements when it comes to the site. I see you mentioned SquareSpace above. Do they have a free trial or something? If I were you, I'd try a platform like that out and see how it fits into your vision.

It will most likely be the least hassle for you, and if you feel it's not enough you can always switch over to WordPress later.

Now with my love for Weebly, I am starting something in the near future that I am going to try with Wordpress. I do have a question about Wordpress.... I know 0 about Wordpress or what exactly a 'plug-in' is so, if I use an SEO plug-in on Wordpress, can I still have control over what goes in to my SEO, can I edit it?

If Wordpress seems to be too much of a pain in the a$$, I will quickly go back to Weebly where I know I can get the new site on the 1st page. I just want to try Wordpress to see if I'm missing something.
The most popular SEO plugin for WordPress is called Yoast SEO. The free and paid versions differ a little bit, but you do have a lot of control over what goes on at your site.

It mostly provides guidelines. For example, you can enter a keyword you want to rank for, and the plugin analyzes your content to determine if you need a higher keyword density and stuff like that.

It's like an SEO grader. If you follow what's good SEO practice according to the plugin creators, you get good grades. If you don't, your grades get worse and you get suggestions for what to do about that. But you can still say "F*ck You" and keep going with a page with a low score.
 

masterneme

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I'll throw another option in case you want to get your hands dirty to have something ultra-customized and lightweight HTML5 Boilerplate: The web’s most popular front-end template

If you don't want to spend time coding I think Wordpress is the best option, it has tons of free plugins for any functionality you want. Get some cheap hosting and you're good to go.
 

FastNAwesome

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I know 0 about Wordpress or what exactly a 'plug-in' is so, if I use an SEO plug-in on Wordpress, can I still have control over what goes in to my SEO, can I edit it?
A plugin is basically a way to enhance or alter functionality of what WP can do.

Maybe a decent analogy is how a roof rack adds a new feature to your car.

As for SEO, of the plugins I've seen, there seems to be plenty of options to configure.

Would you say it's better than squarespace ?
Can't really tell as I haven't tried that platform. As a web developer (but actually as an entrepreneur too), I prefer something I have full control of.

But ultimately it depends on your specific situation and preferences. E.g.if someone wants to be build a website as simply and easily as possible
 

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Edwin Fernandez

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WP is the way to go, and if you go with Wordpress you may want to go right for WP 5 with the Gutenberg web builder already baked in. I think it is released...
Otherwise if you implement any custom functionality like plugins, it may not be backwards compatible with the new WP 5 update with Gutenberg.
 

Bigguns50

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Hey @yyes ... so I just started a service business, consulting, and used GoDaddy's website builder. One day and I was live. Down side is it's like $22/mo and there aren't yet any add-ons. However, for what I need, it works. It also has on-line scheduling for appointments along with the usual email, phone.
 

minivanman

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Being live doesn't really mean anything.........

??

I can be live within 5 minutes from now if I wanted a new site. That includes getting a www and building the site..... but that will never get me found on the internet.
 

Bigguns50

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Being live doesn't really mean anything.........

??

I can be live within 5 minutes from now if I wanted a new site. That includes getting a www and building the site..... but that will never get me found on the internet.
Ok...I'm REALLY hoping most know that. Anything of value you want to add to the conversation ?
 

Andy Black

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Andy Black

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Get a free listing on a directory. Run Google Ads to that listing. Low budget as you’re “buying data”. See how much of your volume is mobile or not. Maybe the data will suggest you start with a mobile-only landing page. We have a few clients where we only run mobile campaigns and to a mobile only landing page.
No response to this. Curious why...
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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minivanman

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Ok...I'm REALLY hoping most know that. Anything of value you want to add to the conversation ?
You acted like it was a big deal that within 1 day you was live... wooohooo, anyone can be live within a few minutes. You basically said it works for you.... not if you are wanting people to find you it's not; so you was wrong there. You are getting screwed at $22 a month but you chose to share and with no pictures mind you. You said you have on-line scheduling for appointments along with the usual email, phone.... doesn't all of them have that feature?.... so I guess in short.... do YOU have anything of value to add to the conversation because you sure didn't add 1 ounce of value with that worthless post. Both you and I wasted time we will never get back by commenting about your more than worthless post. :jawdrop:
 

Andy Black

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