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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
coolray[dot]com

I was quoted $1500 to make a site similar to this site for my HVAC company but I am unsure. May I have your opinion? Is this a good deal? I really don't know much about websites/SEO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The question I have is...is it really necessary to have that many pages?

Acutualy I was thinking that the # of pages were the most important part of that site. The design is ok but they have offered to give me a lot of the content but I would have to rewrite it so that it is not simply copied.
 

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Acutualy I was thinking that the # of pages were the most important part of that site. The design is ok but they have offered to give me a lot of the content but I would have to rewrite it so that it is not simply copied.
That sounds 'fishy'. If you get that content, but have to rewrite it, and pay for it, you could do it all yourself, I believe. With an editor, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That sounds 'fishy'. If you get that content, but have to rewrite it, and pay for it, you could do it all yourself, I believe. With an editor, of course.

Thanks.

I think this company uses the same content for many different sites (I've found a few other sites that use the same text) and most people leave it just as is. But I was told it is better to rewrite it to keep Google from detecting it as a copy.

Another company quoted me a similar number but without any content at all so I am just looking at the content as an extra.

So do you think that site is worth $1500 if you have to rewrite the content?
 

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Not if all they are going to do is modify a template and have you rewrite text. Are they going to do some SEO work for you? How much and how long? What about changes down the road? Web pages are not static displays that you can just put up and forget. What you are getting into sounds like something for which you will get very little return.

Do a search here. There have been many posts on the subject and even some names of really good developers who can help. Don't go cheap; you will just get cheap.
 

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As with anything, when you have done enough research, you will know how much YOU will need to pay to have a site developed for your needs. Before you talk to anyone, you should make a few notes. Ask yourself, and answer, questions such as:

What is the purpose of the site?
Who is my target audience?
What's my branding consist of?
What do they need to see on my site that will make them want to call me?
How much content do I have now, or can develop quickly?
What do you think the site should look like in your mind?
What do I need to have done for my site?
How will I promote my site?
Is what I offer unique, or a niche or am I one of thousands in my area?

Once you can answer these, and other questions, you can then talk intelligently with developers and begin to get an idea of what it costs to put a site together that fits YOUR needs. There are lots of options available and not all are right for you at this point in time. Then you can determine cost vs value vs funds availability and go from there.

Make sure the site is built on a platform that is up-to-date and can be easily modified when growth is needed. Keep in mind that a developer you select now may not be suitable for you later. Keep the terms of the contract flexible since you may need to change directions quickly.
 

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When you mentioned the $1500 price, I thought the seller was insane for offering that much for so little even though it is obviously a template site (which I don't care for). Since you mentioned the content being used on several other sites, it makes more sense from the seller's perspective. Even though I just stated it makes sense, I believe you were taken. One of the most important things in web design is uniqueness. They are just selling the same thing to several companies so they can bait people with price and make more than the design is worth.

A comment was made above about duplicate content not ranking with search engines. That is very true! You would have a tough time getting search results with this.

To answer your question directly, calpub, about a price, you should expect between $3k to $5k with a good designer. If I were doing it, I would pose the same questions Mike referred to and more. The price mentioned is usually sufficient for a small business like yours appears to be. Your needs are not served by a magic template like you have now, but by answering some key questions that help to determine the best use of the investment, and then building a site that meets your objectives.

The challenge you face is content, which is much more involved than the look and feel. The look and feel is not worth $1500. Since it is a template, it is worth about $60. A custom design is worth maybe $500. The rest is determining and meeting the marketing goals, SEO, and creating content. Content is the toughest and most time consuming. It also determines the success or failure of your site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
When you mentioned the $1500 price, I thought the seller was insane for offering that much for so little even though it is obviously a template site
What makes you think this is a template site? I know that some of the content is duplicated but I have never seen another site like this.

Also, what is required in terms of content? Do I really need more than one page on the usefulness of an air conditioner? Or on the range of furnaces I carry? When I saw that site I thought they have the whole 'kitchen sink' in terms of content. What other kinds of content should I have?
 

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What makes you think this is a template site?
It may not look exactly like another site, but a template site always looks like a template site. That's not inherently bad because template vs. non-template has very little to do with success or failure. It's just my personal preference to not use templates because they lack uniqueness. Since most web users don't care, I'm not knocking the fact that it's made from a template.

What you need in terms of content depends on your goals and priorities. I know that sounds vague, but it really means you need a unique site. If I had a canned answer, it wouldn't do you much good. Since the existing site has canned content, it doesn't provide what I need to provide a useful answer. I will say you don't need "the whole kitchen sink" to succeed.

It might be more helpful if I use a Heating and Cooling site example that is probably very close to what you need. Since you have been in business for over 40 years and serve a fairly large market, I am guessing your needs are also very similar. The site comes up top ranking in my area and would be in the price range I mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It might be more helpful if I use a Heating and Cooling site example that is probably very close to what you need. Since you have been in business for over 40 years and serve a fairly large market, I am guessing your needs are also very similar. The site comes up top ranking in my area and would be in the price range I mentioned above.
Coolray is not my site. It was a model of a site proposed to me.

I was looking at your heating/cooling site (above) and noticed that there were not many articles other than some content on products/services.

So I cannot understand why another site would link to a page on your site for the purpose of education their visitors.
 

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Coolray is not my site. It was a model of a site proposed to me.

I was looking at your heating/cooling site (above) and noticed that there were not many articles other than some content on products/services.

So I cannot understand why another site would link to a page on your site for the purpose of education their visitors.
I didn't realize coolray was not your site, so the above example was because of similarities mentioned if it had been.

This particular example does not have the goal of including articles. The company is well known in this area and does a lot of offline advertising. The purpose of the site is primarily to be found immediately (so it ranks exceptionally well), show the services provided, and allow visitors to request service, set appointments, apply for advertised jobs, etc. Without the other marketing they do, this site might not work as well, but it effectively supports their other marketing.

There are endless possibilities for building an effective web site. Articles to create "link bait" are certainly one of them. On my own site, I don't have a lot of articles on the site itself, but I do publish articles on some authority sites which works very well. By "authority sites" I mean related sites that are well respected and only accept articles from qualified people. I do have a lot of informational content on my site, some of it is in article form (which seems to invite content theft where people republish without permission or giving credit).

One other thing the Vredevoogd example does demonstrate though; it does not require link bait on the site to get top ranking. A simple search term like "heating cooling grand rapids" shows them at #1 (may have a different position for you because of the complexities of Google's algorithm, but it should still be on page 1). Your needs for a site will be different, but SEO is important for almost everyone, and the duplicate content of the coolray example would kill the SEO.
 

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When you mentioned the $1500 price, I thought the seller was insane for offering that much for so little even though it is obviously a template site (which I don't care for). Since you mentioned the content being used on several other sites, it makes more sense from the seller's perspective. Even though I just stated it makes sense, I believe you were taken. One of the most important things in web design is uniqueness. They are just selling the same thing to several companies so they can bait people with price and make more than the design is worth.

A comment was made above about duplicate content not ranking with search engines. That is very true! You would have a tough time getting search results with this.

To answer your question directly, calpub, about a price, you should expect between $3k to $5k with a good designer. If I were doing it, I would pose the same questions Mike referred to and more. The price mentioned is usually sufficient for a small business like yours appears to be. Your needs are not served by a magic template like you have now, but by answering some key questions that help to determine the best use of the investment, and then building a site that meets your objectives.

The challenge you face is content, which is much more involved than the look and feel. The look and feel is not worth $1500. Since it is a template, it is worth about $60. A custom design is worth maybe $500. The rest is determining and meeting the marketing goals, SEO, and creating content. Content is the toughest and most time consuming. It also determines the success or failure of your site.

$3-$5K is outragous. I would not spend that much. There are outstanding companies out there can do a whole site for cheaper (I am not saying the companies from India either...) lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
$3-$5K is outragous. I would not spend that much. There are outstanding companies out there can do a whole site for cheaper (I am not saying the companies from India either...) lol.

There are thousands of 'coffeecup' sites around, just look.

But have you tried to link to them? Have you ever asked for a reciprocal link? Even if you have a partner site and want to trade one-way links is it easy to do that? Will the owners ever get that email you sent them?

Chances are if the owner spends $5/month on their site they don't expect results and are not checking their logs, checking keywords, adding new pages weekly, and looking for link partners.

Suppose they install epdm membrane flat roofs. Will they have a page dedicated to that particular subject? A link to that page with 'SleepyHollow EPDM roof installer' may be useful for them but most websites have a list of their services in a bullet list and don't have a page just for one particular service. It they provide 50 different services it could be hard work creating 50 pages, one for each service.

I know I am ranting but you should see the sites I have seen.
 

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$3-$5K is outragous. I would not spend that much. There are outstanding companies out there can do a whole site for cheaper (I am not saying the companies from India either...) lol.
First of all, I could do them cheaper too. And it would be just as ineffective as any other site where the designer fails to spend the time needed to make it an asset to your business. In reality, you can quickly put up a site using something like GoDaddy's Website Tonight for free with hosting. In fact, I would actually recommend that option over the $500 specials because of the cost savings. Just don't expect much in the way of results from either method.

I realize that many business owners have the same opinion you do in that they would never invest $3k-$5k for a web site. If you spend $500 a month on phone book ads, that's $6k per year. And an effective web site will provide a much better results. Once your site is built, the updating rates are usually low, especially compared to other advertising methods.

For the record, there are plenty of cases where the investment for an effective site is well below $3k (a small market area with limited competition would be a good example). But $3k -$5k is what an average contractor business should expect for meeting their needs.
 

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There are thousands of 'coffeecup' sites around, just look.

But have you tried to link to them? Have you ever asked for a reciprocal link? Even if you have a partner site and want to trade one-way links is it easy to do that? Will the owners ever get that email you sent them?

Chances are if the owner spends $5/month on their site they don't expect results and are not checking their logs, checking keywords, adding new pages weekly, and looking for link partners.

Suppose they install epdm membrane flat roofs. Will they have a page dedicated to that particular subject? A link to that page with 'SleepyHollow EPDM roof installer' may be useful for them but most websites have a list of their services in a bullet list and don't have a page just for one particular service. It they provide 50 different services it could be hard work creating 50 pages, one for each service.

I know I am ranting but you should see the sites I have seen.
Yeah alot of them are garbage. lol.
 
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