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I am going to pay a web developer to make a website...But I feel like I'm at the mechanic!

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Chaddy20, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Chaddy20

    Chaddy20 Newbie

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    Hello fellow Blackhatters,

    Please do not let my limited forum reputation scare you from posting or reading, I've been a long time lurker and "side-business" guy... All of which is changing. I am looking to invest up to $1500 on website development and start-up SEO. Before I piss away some of my investment I need some help:

    I am making a fitness related website with my personal fitness routines and such. Let's just say it's p90x so you get it's a package, a program... A 'follow me and you should achieve results' type deal.

    Before any criticism gets posted I'm a national competitor within the NPC/IFBB and have years of modeling experience. This is a passion and something I have been involved with for years - I know it's hard and there's a million of my websites out there, thanks for the concern. :p

    What I need to know:

    How much can I expect to pay for QUALITY web pages? The following is how I am building the website:

    - the web-address brings you to a static page that plays an embeded video upon loading. It's centered in the page, to the left and right - little widgets like follow me, youtube link, etc, etc... And on the other side a subscribe newsletter or some way to grab the email/contact information of potential clients.
    here is where I have a serious question

    - Ideally I want my website to be websitedotcom - /store - /forums - /category or new page
    But the 'Ipage' hosting company I use says I can only have storedotdomaindotcom, I want to change this if possible. Probably a noob question but I hate those web addresses. I'll change hosting companies if I have to.


    Moving back on track...

    - On the "Main Page" - the domain name I bought... I want there to be 5 pages/links on the website. These 5 pages make the site what it is and I don't plan to change it for years. These are the pages the dev is making for me... Along with some image/logo making.

    - I want there to be a transparent navigation menu with small text at the top, a navigation menu leading to link 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
    - I want to have a logo/banner (which the designer will make) under the navigation links.
    - Then another, identical navigation bar with larger text and not transparent background under the banner. So, to clarify a banner is sandwiched between two somewhat identical navigation bars.

    --- So that's the top portion of the page, the header if you will... Since I want that to be the common theme of my website. That sandwich with a nice color pallet. :)

    From there I want the embedded youtube video I mentioned that played once the site is loaded, the widgets to promote my social media and then an app to record their name/email in some easily-reported fashion that I can later make a marketing list from.


    That will essentially take up the page as it fits on most screens without requiring the need to scroll... I do, however want a smaller section below the video and widgets. I want it to have a tabbed section like you see here, on the "Choose your p90x kit" section: <website blocked - Just google "p90x" and look at their website.>

    All written content will be provided to the web developer, they do not need to write on thing regarding my products/service.

    The header situation with the navigation links, banner, navigation link sandwich is how I want all my web pages to be at the top.

    As for the 5 links I mention my site existing around:

    - About Me
    - Training Programs (has to be a store and I want to be secure obviously)
    - Video Library
    - Supplement and resources
    - Business Inquiries

    All pages will be relatively simple, nothing complex... Some text and then some pictures/advertisements/sales things to try to get you to buy my stuff. It can probably be built with wordpress if it's easier/cheaper. I have the "Sahifa" theme on Themeforest. It was $69 and is a phenomenal theme.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The "Training Programs" page is an E-commerce page (am I saying that correctly) which means it needs to be able to have a secure checkout, paypal with guest checkout preferred.

    It will have the same header as described above, then 6 programs listed with descriptions. Let's say they are strength training, speed & agility, conditioning, fat loss, etc, etc... I want the web designer to create an image that fits the words for each program (again, they don't write anything - I give them all text content I want on the site.) Something small - Again I will reference this website: <website blocked - Just google "p90x" and look at their website.>

    They just have the DVD's on one photo, then the bands and the dvd, then the whole package... They're showing you what you are getting. I need something simple along those lines. Not an elaborate $60 image made.

    I want it to be seen like this:

    Program 1
    Program 2
    Program 3
    Program 4
    Program 5
    Program 6

    With appropriate button art, like a bubble around the text or something. Once the user clicked on the "program 1" product, it creates a drop down giving details about the product, much like the extra tabs I mentioned on the "home page" - under the video and contact/social media widgets. This means it is expandable and collapsable.

    *Important* Upon purchasing a program, you are entitled to 30 days free (a $0.99 value) in our Video Library. More explained below. I need this to be added to every order indefinitely upon checkout. One per order, always... I also need a lifetime membership to be added to their account upon purchasing all 6 programs.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Video Library

    This is a Video Library of proper form of every lift spoken about in the training guides and even some that aren't. It shows the muscle groups as they are being used, highlights where the user should be feeling the burn, provides a unique and resourceful experience at a monthly (30 days) fee of $0.99 per month, or a lifetime membership for $9.99 - only two subscription options for now.

    Ideally the page will be organized into 6-10 groups, let's say neck, shoulders, back, chest, biceps, etc, etc.... Once clicked on, it brings up a list of thumbnail videos or somehow displays the many videos they have access to, including the ability to see the title and possibly a brief description of the video.

    So this page will require login credentials, and can be used to purchase video access only - meaning the user does not have to purchase a program to get into the video library... They can simply use the video library for a $.99 monthly fee...

    If this costs more to make another ecommerce website, I of course want it redirected to the products page where there are two options for membership. The 30 days and the lifetime. I don't mind spending money but again, this is where I don't want to get taken advantage of.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The supplements + gear review page:

    This is where I post video reviews of me opening the supplement, mixing it, tasting it, resuming the review 30 minutes later during the peak effects right before my workout, then reviewing the product immediately after providing an in-depth and unbiased review.

    I want this page to be an amazon affiliate page. I want to make money reviewing these products as an unbiased party - with no sponsorships.

    So - ideally I would have a link to a video review of mine that is playable in the website - And that way I can write a description about it, post the amazon link, do whatever needs to be done to ensure I get my affiliate credit.

    This page needs to be somewhat editable to me. I need to be able to post new reviews and such without ruining the aesthetic beauty I paid someone to create.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then the business inquiry page

    This is where I will have a few good modeling shots and offer my services as a fitness model, stage coach, posing coach, actor, etc. It should be elegant and simple and very pleasing.

    It will have my contact information, some words, and some photos - can't imagine much else.

    This will be a static page and will only need to change once the contact info is updated or once I decide to change photos years down the road. So I don't want this to look wordpressy.

    Well, I think I explained it all in a nutshell.

    TL;DR - How much should I be looking at spending to invest in:

    1 website with 5-6 pages.
    Fitness related workout routine programs. Needs to have secure checkout on the site.
    I am selling workout programs
    There will be a members only section that will require a paid membership.
    I need the purchases to automatically give said membership for either 30 days or lifetime.
    the members only page is a video library so I will need to display tens and eventually hundreds of short (less than 30 second) videos.
    I need to be able to edit the website easily to change video URL's and make sure the newest content can be displayed on the main pages.
    One of the pages is a fitness related amazon store. Selling amazon products that I post a unique video review of me using the product and then a link to buy the product. Again, I will have tens and eventually hundreds of videos on this page. I want it to be organize.

    BAM! Long post... I hope that there are some people willing to help me. I am trying to get this started ASAP. I have it all together, even sketched out.​
     
  2. Wania

    Wania Junior Member

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    Seems like pretty straightforward page - wordpress with amember plugin should do the trick. This is literally copy&paste job - you should have no problems finding someone who would do it under 100$, but realistically I'd set a budget of 200$ and post it on some freelance sites. Amember is 169$, so you're looking for around 350$ total cost.
     
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  3. Chaddy20

    Chaddy20 Newbie

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    Thank you Wania for your time and reply, I appreciate it. Anyone else with any opinions?

    I am willing to invest the extra $500 or more if it will make a quality site or make the difference.

    Would it be better to invest in a different host or a plan? I want to make sure I am prepared at launch (I have a rainy day fund set aside as well)
     
  4. laowai

    laowai Power Member

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    Pumping more money won't guarantee better quality. What you are asking is pretty simple to implement. Save your $500 to make 2.0 version after you have initial site up and running.

    Definitely if your current host is limiting how to structure your site. You can start with cheap <$10 hosting and upgrade later if you start to get traffic.
     
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  5. Chaddy20

    Chaddy20 Newbie

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    Thanks again for the quick reply Laowai.

    I am pretty irritated with the hosting process, back-end... I'm sure if I asked and threw in $20-$50 the web dev who takes this job would assist me in that fashion as well.

    It's good to know that I am looking at rather minimal start up expenses - and will allow me to focus heavily on more organic SEO building.

    Any particular recommendations for a brand new start-up in a relatively competitive (probably larger than I think) niche?

    I have browsed through the SEO packages forum and have seen some very impressive reviews and products/services being offered. Can I get anyones personal recommendation? Anyone who is willing to read that huge OP of mine - I can take their recommendation on link building and ranking.

    (Plus, anyone who can point me in the direction of a "coach" to give me a one time Skype lesson of 1-3 hours on the very basics of setting up simple tools or apps that help me manage my business flow) I would appreciate that as well. Something like:

    Skype session. Hey bro, download these apps.

    This one shows you how many unique visitors and from what links they came from
    This one shows how long they stayed on your page.
    This is how you need to list your site so google can find it best.
    Make sure to use keywords like *gives advice on related nice*

    Serious general get your foot in the door type stuff. I've ready many articles and bookmarked many journeys. (I've had another Chaddy account or King_James from 04 but couldn't remember any login credentials) I can't say as though I would feel comfortable speaking about IM or SEO in general - but I have read my fair share and read hundreds of thousands if not millions of words over the years about it. Helpful hints the "guides" don't cover is what I am looking for.

    *edit* I do have a lot of extra cash, it wouldn't be bad to receive proper coaching to make sure I can healthily maintain this investment. I am feeling very optimistic about things. My overhead is so small I can live off my savings easily for a year while I focus on working on this. I'm really going to be in business for myself. This is a great feeling! :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  6. laowai

    laowai Power Member

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    Coaching/mentoring is actually not allowed in this forum.

    From competition point of view fitness is so hard niche that I would seriously consider driving traffic using social media or media buying instead of trying SEO as that could cost you easily $xxxx without even getting good results. For example, fitness is very popular on IG and you can grow quickly decent following using bots like FollowLiker.
     
  7. Chaddy20

    Chaddy20 Newbie

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    Again, thanks for the reply.

    I am on IG with 6k organic followers now, I am starting the youtube channel soon and will focus primarily on IG/Youtube/FB then. I will focus more of my learnings on growing those media platforms. You have been more than helpful!
     
  8. vivalafeva

    vivalafeva Supreme Member

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    anyone saying $100 or less has no idea about what it costs to actually have a high quality site like this built for a brand....
     
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  9. Apricot

    Apricot Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    Aargh - I saw this and wasn't going to get involved but...

    Chaddy20: we have a webdesign forum that would be the best place to ask these sorts of questions. We don't allow coaching/mentoring here - it's too prone to abuse and normally ends up with someone taking your money and giving you the absolute minimum they can get away with. If you're going to get involved with IM/SEO, then you need to learn a small amount of techie stuff. It's amazing how much you can build with a minimal amount of knowledge.

    However, as I'm on the thread - this will get you started.

    Hosting. Yes you *can* have website.com/store If Ipage are telling you it's not possible, they're either clueless or there's a reason they want you to use the subdomain. You can get cheap hosting from virtually all registrars. Judging by your requirements, you'd probably be fine with a wordpress managed hosting package. Dead cheap and if you go with a larger registrar, they'll have a dashboard where you can install it and get your domain pointed at it easily.

    Platform: Yes, go with wordpress. It has limitations and you may decide later to move on, but it's flexible, there's vast amounts of people out there who can customise it and it's easy to maintain your content.

    Design: Most of the information you've provided isn't necessary to find a decent developer. What you've described is fairly standard and the word you want is "responsive". Anyone who *doesn't* offer you a responsive website nowadays is not worth their CSS.

    Also - don't even worry about the theme. All you're concerned about is how it looks. Choose a good designer and they'll make their own theme or customise a lightweight one to fit what you want and get decent performance. Lots of themeforest themes are bloated and buggy as hell - if there's one you like the look of, take a screenshot and say "like this, please."

    Structure: again, there's nothing ground-breaking here. This is all easily achieved with wordpress core and a couple of lightweight plugins.

    Cost: here's the bad news, I'm afraid. You can get the above done cheaply, but it won't be done well. You can get it done really well but it won't be cheap. Set a budget of under $500 and it'll be slow, vulnerable and fall over if you have lots of traffic. $1500 wouldn't get you very far in the UK but that doesn't necessarily follow in different countries. Look around and talk to developers to see what they can do. Look at their previously built sites and click buttons, resize windows and see how fast the pages load. If you get bored waiting for a page to render, then think of how that's likely to affect your traffic.

    On the back of this thread, you may get lots of people sending you PM's offering to provide you with "best quality, high speed website for lowest price". All I can say is do your research and look at several developers before handing over a large chunk of money. You're likely to get a better service from someone who tells you all the things that they *can't* do, than from someone who promises you the earth for cheap.

    Before you start ANY of this, have you got content for all the pages you've listed above? Have a basic wireframe of the pages you want and make sure you have good quality content written and ready to go BEFORE you start worrying about optimising it, how it looks or what links where. Otherwise, you'll start fitting content around the structure and end up with lumpy articles with too much reliance on keyword density which does no-one any good.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  10. dgusic

    dgusic Regular Member

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    Apricot when you say that Wordpress has limitations what are referring to? As far as I know, you can have anything you ever want in Wordpress, correct? Sure, it will you cost much more for a custom developed theme or a custom plugin, but you can have anything you ever wanted in a Wordpress.

    I mean, correct me I am wrong?
     
  11. towelfox

    towelfox Junior Member

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    WordPress is alright but i moved away because I knew I could make something quicker and more robust building an app from scratch. I imagine that's what Apricot is referring to.

    I've created my own platform and that's where things get costly.
     
  12. Apricot

    Apricot Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    No, you're not wrong - wordpress is infinitely customisable and, technically, massively scalable. But, for me, the key word is "customisable"

    Yeah, pretty much.

    Wordpress is fantastic - I'm a huge fan and make virtually all my sites with wordpress. It's a great base to start from and you can do almost anything you want. I particularly like plugins like pods and acf and have found that either of these will encompass pretty much any function I'm after. Otherwise, you can code plugins.

    However, at it's base, it's a blogging platform. So everything you're doing is either adding on or taking away from it's core functionality. When you consider that functions hook into themes with add_action/filter() or remove_action/filter() you start to realise that whichever one you choose, you've got redundant code either sitting dormant or triggering unnecessarily in the background. On top of that, when people use stock themes, they're starting from a base and then adding in scripts/stylesheets to add or remove behaviours. I've seen wordpress installs loading 20 css/js scripts from multiple plugins all replacing functionality provided by something else.

    I've picked up sites where I've seen 4 or 5 !important tags in conflict with each other and trying to work through the specificity to find the rule that's taking precedent is... unpleasant.

    For smaller sites, these conflicts and extraneous code don't have a massive impact. But the bigger a site gets, developers tend to chuck on another plugin to pull in more functionality. Beyond a certain point, it's just ugly and unworkable and slooooowww.

    At that point, if the main focus of your site is to provide a huge storefront, then maybe wordpress isn't the best option. If you want a document repository, then maybe wordpress isn't the best option. It can do it, but I'd argue that the amount of customisation required means you're better off getting something that's designed for the function you're after. Or, you can build it yourself.
     
  13. dgusic

    dgusic Regular Member

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    I am not a web developer obviously but I have a serious questions now. Why is development on Wordpress a bit pricey? Here in BST threads, usually if you want a WP based website, you have to pay a bit more.
    Is it because of the redundant code later or?
     
  14. Chaddy20

    Chaddy20 Newbie

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    Thank you Apricot. That was what I was looking for. I realized my budget of ~$1500 wasn't going to get me the website I want in 1-3 years (depending on business flow) - but it was going to give me something aesthetically pleasing and something that looked more than a simple template. Maybe that's all I really need for now though. I'm not offering many products or services, aside from my amazon store...

    I just want it to be a 5-6 page website that is speedy and easy. It's not meant to be anything more than a few pleasing web pages about taking control of your life and getting the body/mind that you want.

    So, I guess I will resume with my research and keep in mind the keep and rendering of the sites. I did not think of that... And I will definitely look at other hosting options for my website after I call in to confirm the name.name vs .com/something concern.
     
  15. Eazytkp6

    Eazytkp6 Newbie

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    Apricot is correct. I develop websites and worked for web-hosting companies as I still do to this day. The only difference now is that I work inside the data centers with physical servers and the biggest problem that I would notice from dealing with thousands of customers in your particular shoes is that WordPress installs are a decent size as in mb but the theme can be a whole other issue and then you have the added variables as in the plugins. The thing about the plugins is that they all have their own developers that work on them and majority of the time, this would cause problems. Ex. WordPress pushes out the updated version of their platform and then the next thing you know the website is down. This is because WordPress is not accountable for the massive plugin developers that make plugins for their platform. Any good plugin developers will either push out an update before or immediately afterwards. The next issue to be aware of is that the 10$ plans are limited in some cases for your own good because these prices are possible since you are in a shared environment meaning there is more than likely 900 other clients using the same server so you will not have access to use the entire resources of the particular server you are in and installing many plugins can quickly bring you to a status where you are using too much resources for the environment which will get you a slap on the wrist in the eyes of the host. And last but most certainly not least is the problems that comes along with compromise of the website which unfortunately I have seen much more often than I would like since the host will more than happily charge you or even tell you go remove your website from their servers if the problem is ongoing but adding plugin after plugin will most certainly open up vulnerabilities on your website besides from sql injections. These are just some things to think about when determining the price you pay to a developer that makes your website efficient, secure, and pleasing to the eye :) The key to a successful website is to have your site up and actually performing properly consistently. It may seem like a lot but just giving you my spill as these where the most common issues I seen every day.
     
  16. Apricot

    Apricot Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    It used to be more pricey because it took more initial setup than flat html and then maintenance and content management could be handed over to the client. With flat html sites, content needs to be added by the developer.

    Nowadays, it's easier to set up a wordpress site than it is to do one in html. Customising it is more challenging but not by much. The main reason people charge more for wordpress is because they can.