By the way, I want to set up a very small website, just a kind of online business card really. For this I need one of those free web hosts. But things have changed on the web since I have last had a website.
Any recommendations as to which service to use? It’s a jungle out there, and I have already bumped my head with one such company where I could simply not make head or tails of how to use their supposed service…
Back in the day(90s) there were lots of free web hosts but they became gigantic cesspools where garbage went to make babies.
Maybe some still exist but none that garner any real attention.
These days if you want a half-decent website you’ll have to pay a few bucks and get some good hosting, and maybe advertise on google adwords or similar so that your site doesn’t end up in a desolate desert of nothingness.
Check out something that has a website builder, as that offers the lowest barrier to entry when it comes to technical proficiency. AFAIK most local hosting will set you back more than international hosting companies. It’s a bulk business.
However, if you’re just trying to make an online business card perhaps a more effective approach is to create a facebook page and promote that instead. It allows your friend to help you market by “liking” it, you to easily post completed works to keep some interest and get “likes”, etc. I’ve seen some small businesses leverage this to great effect.
IMHO that’s a better, more visible route in the current zeitgeist.
BM: Thanks for the advice. I actually already have a FB page:
I have also started advertising it and my services on various FB groups. It may or may not work - too early to tell. A simple website I can build myself - I know enough basic HTML for that. Unless HTML is no longer used? I have been out of the loop for ages.
My problem is to create a bit of buzz. There is a couple already painting murals, but they are fully booked for months ahead, so I figured there may be room in the market for another. They have both a simple website and a FB page, with lots of activity on their FB page. But they regularly post all the new murals they have done. I cannot do that until I have found a few clients, so perhaps you see my problem!
What I’m hoping to achieve is a little page that will show up in Google if someone searches for terms like “mural painting gauteng” or something like that - that is how I found that other couple’s website and from there they link to their FB page). But perhaps if one uses one of those free website thingies Google will simply not find it.
Anyway, in another forum someone suggested Wordpress, so I’m investigating that. I think my main thrust should be FB; I want the mini-website just as an extra.
Perhaps Tweefo will weigh in here and tell me how he promotes his business. Judged by the lively business that other couple is engaged in, my guess is that there are plenty potential customers out there. The question is how to let them know I exist.
I’ve got a lady that phones the schools, a bit of a telemarketing scheme. I know, I hate telemarketers, but at least we do not phone people at odd hours. My market is schools, so that’s who we phone. I’ve got a website and an FB site, but I only got one or two appointments that way. Word of mouth also works for me, but that does not work straight away of course. To get your website high on Google’s rating is a bit of a mission but to keep it there is even more of a thing. You need as many clicks as you can get but from different computers, but send us the link when you’ve got it and at least you will get a few clicks. It is maybe worth it to spend a little on Google Adwords to get your ratings going.
It’s the core of why google exists as a profitable entity: When you google search you get ads at the top of your search results… Those come from companies who choose to advertise based on certain words in your search criteria. Say I have “murals” in my search and I’m from south africa, it matches a rule (at google HQ) that says brainvds wants to advertise his business to me. Then based on how much you’ve indicated you’re willing to spend, the link gets put in a certain percentage of people’s ad-bit on the search results. Hence Adwords.
I registered at Wordpress, only to find that I couldn’t make head or tails of their interface. I decided to just make a small blog and see what happens. Probably not much. But I’ll put ads in Gumtree etc.
The good news is that I am negotiating with a guy who wants animal paintings. Whether anything will come of it is a good question, because he has a hugely ambitious thing in mind, and it may well be far more than he can afford. I’m of course willing to work fairly cheaply, but there are limits, especially since he’s a good 100 km from me (if not actually a bit more) and all transport I have at the moment is a small motorcycle, which will make for a difficult commute.
I like that idea. He’ll just need to configure his wall to receive faxes.
Anyway, I’ll have to see whether anything comes of this particular case (he knows I am inexperienced and his project is quite ambitious - to be honest, I’m a tad terrified), but I am somewhat encouraged that this thing might after all work.