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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Hi Everybody

    I just recently registered to post on this site, hoping to get a few questions answered. I realize this may not be the proper forum to post in, but it seems like as a new member this must be my first thread. My main reason for joining is because I need advice regarding purchasing web design software. I am a teacher, but I also work two other jobs. The first as a retail associate for an independantly owned athletic store, the other as a coach and personal trainer.

    Recently, at my retail job, I have been discussing the possibility of taking over management of the store's (very basic) website and social media pages. This is not becuase I have any expertise in web design, but because the other employees have less computer experience and no interest in the job. Simultaneously, I am looking to build my own website in order to build my training buisness.

    I'm sorry if this is a long winded explanation but taking each job's requirements into consideration here is what I need from a design program.

    1) Easy to use/learn intially (right now I have no knowledge of code writing), but with the ability to use more complex features as knowledge grows.

    2) Templates that dont look generic or corney, with the possibility to create your own site format.

    3) The ability to link to motible social media sites.

    4) The ability to link/use eBay and Paypal.

    5) The ability easily to upgrade as technology advances

    I know this is a crazy laundry list of demands, I know I wont find the perfect fit I just want the best fit. I'm not looking to buy the most expensive program but I'd rather some money now, than buy a cheap program and then realize I need to trash it and buy another one. Any help would be grately appreciated.

    Thanks for your Help

    Pat

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  3. #2
    Banned
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    Check out http://net2.com/nvu/ it's free.

  4. #3
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    Pat, in all honesty, it sounds like your store may have to actually hire
    a professional developer. Not that you would not be able to learn,
    but this is going to require a lot of PHP, MySQL, JQuery and web
    development skills. The learning curve would be many months to
    year(s).

    The other part of this project is the online retail. Will the athletic
    store be able to compete with other online merchants? Are they
    prepared to pay for lots of advertising and are they willing to put
    a person full-time into the position of running an online store?

    Maybe trimming this down to local interest, such as the personal
    training ... so the website is about "services", not "tangible items"?

    Keeping their demographics local and not getting into the online
    retail business might be more cost effective and easier to manage.

    Find out if they've made a business plan about how the online
    website ecommerce will operate. If they don't have a business plan
    for that, you should not even offer to help.


  5. #4
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Your list of requirement are actually what heard all the time from people wanting to break into the business.

    All "design" software, web, graphic, any kind of design software is going to have a HUGE learning curve associated with it. Sure there is a program out there that fits the bill of what you're looking for, but I'm not going to recommend it to anyone just breaking into or think about the business because a large investment like that is useless if you don't have the drive, the time, and he abilities to put to a heavy load of learning for say 2-3 weeks full time ( just to learn the basic functionality ),

    Most of these programs are like this because thy have been built over the years and they have just added layer on layer of functionality to their programs...

    There are no "simple" design programs that will grow with you.

    On the other hand, if you learn the basics of HTML, CSS a little JavaScript and have a halfway decent eye for design, you can do that for free... But again, you're talking about a learning curve that just takes time depending on your drive and ability to read, understand and implement basic concepts.

    Now when you are talking about ecommerce, you enter into a completely different world, which I won't even bother with as you are just in the beginning stages. I know designers that sub out their ecommerce stuff because they have little if any knowledge in payment integrations ( other than a pay pal button ), and no desire to learn it.

    As for your personal trainer site, just remember, your website is a visual extension of your business and many times it is the first impression a potential client will have of you and your business. So, learning HTML or web design so you can do these 2 projects is not really a cost effective solution.

    Matter of fact, you could probably get both sites done by a professional for less than the cost of the software mentioned above.

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    What other people have said.

    If you had taken one of those items out of the first (let's say the first one), you'd probably find the software. Just finding something for the first two alone is extremely difficult, since an "E-Z web editor" would mean for the most part that the templates would suck. Using eBay and PayPal would require some development knowledge, and growing the site requires development knowledge. Linking to mobile sites would depend on what you wanted.

    What you'll need to understand, and what most people in our industry don't even fully understand, is that building a business website is the exact same as building a business. It requires many different skills and ideas to make it work.
    I'm an expert in off-page SEO, social media optimization, and repeating everything everyone else says about these topics so that I sound like I know what I'm talking about.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link. Some of us are really insecure and need those likes so that we feel important and smart, so come on, help us out, huh?

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Renus: don't link drop, please. Thank you.
    I'm an expert in off-page SEO, social media optimization, and repeating everything everyone else says about these topics so that I sound like I know what I'm talking about.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link. Some of us are really insecure and need those likes so that we feel important and smart, so come on, help us out, huh?


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