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needin a lil help


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19 replies to this topic

#1 appl.tech.29501

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:49 PM

Hey guys, need a little advice. Trying to start a little website for my bidness starting up in January. I hear talk of free websites, hosting, etc. The company I use for my printing offers websites from $10~$20 monthly $20 being the premium site but I just don't like what they have to offer. Anyone have any experience with this or can offer suggestions? Thanks !!!
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#2 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 07:06 PM

Excellent inaugural question to kick off this this new forum, appl.tech!

First thing to ax yourself is, "Self, what do I be wantin' out to use this site for anyway?"

The answer could be one or more of the following:

- Bidness card on the web: name, phone number, company description, maybe a coupon
- Periodically post tips and fun-facts-to-know-and-tell for customers and repeat web visitors
- some other reason

Answering the "What" question points you in a couple different directions.

If you just want a static website-- bidness card on the web idea-- then an easy and free way to set that up is with Google Sites: http://sites.google.com

If you want a more frequently updated and interactive site, maybe even one that plays nice with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, then you have several excellent and free options to choose from. All of them are in blog format.

A blog is a type of website that's designed to updated periodically so when you check back in with it, there's new stuff to read. I keep a blog at Fixitnow.com and also on this board in the blogs section. BTW, you and all the other Masters are welcome, even encouraged, to start your own blog there, too.

My main site, Fixitnow.com, is powered by the awesome blogging software, Wordpress. Wordpress comes in two flavors: self-hosted (like my site) or where they host it for you for free at Wordpress.com. The advantage to self hosting is that you have infinite flexibility... but you also have to know more about webology to take advantage of that. The downside is that you have to pay for your own webhosting. For a site just starting out, you can get a hosting account on a shared server (meaning you're sharing the server with lots of other websites) for as little as $4.95/month. The best webhost I've found so far-- and I've been thru dozens of them-- is, by far, HostGator. Currently, both Fixitnow.com and our old forums, Applianceguru.com, are hosted at Hostgator (on their VPS hosting packages).

For someone just starting out in the webmaster world, I recommend keeping it simple. There are several excellent free options out there for getting a blog site up without having to worry about any of the nuances and minutia of server stuff. This way, it frees you up to focus on content and not get bogged down in technical details. Two excellent (and competing) resources are Wordpress.com and Posterous.com.

Lemme just say that Posterous is some slick stuff. I keep a Posterous blog at fixitnow.posterous.com. All kinda themes to choose from, can post via email (in fact, that's how you start your Posterous), great iphone app, send multiple photos and they'll make a gallery out of it and host it, send 'em videos and audio, boom, it's there. Smart, intuitive posting that takes care of all the formatting details so you can take focus on creating content. All free, no ads. Can autopost to Twitter, Facebook, other social networks at your option. Not to overstate it too much, but I think everyone should have a Posterous regardless of whatever other site you have.

Anyway, them's a few thoughts. Lemme know if you have any questions.

#3 appl.tech.29501

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:11 PM

Thankyou Master for that easily understood tutorial of the ever confusing web. Having read many pages over the last few days my eyeballs feel like they took a hit from a dull Katana. I will now go and seek further knowledge of the formentioned sites and letcha know where my head bees @.
If you would like to make a donation you may do so at the link below

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http://homepage.mac....ppl.tech.29501/

http://twitter.com/ApplTech29501

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#4 appl.tech.29501

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 09:09 PM

checked out Host Gator and its similar to what I currently have I think. the only noticeable difference is the cost is about half of what i'm paying but you have a contract which I currently don't have. Posterous looks pretty cool...probably sign up on there soon.
If you would like to make a donation you may do so at the link below

One on one repair help now available !

http://homepage.mac....ppl.tech.29501/

http://twitter.com/ApplTech29501

http://www.facebook.com/ApplTech29501

www.eliteapplianceservice.org

#5 kdog

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:07 AM

Love the new avatar !
Bet ya wish ya had a dollar for everytime you seen one of those pump bearings mashed ..... wait a minute, you probably do!

Edited by kdog, 15 December 2010 - 03:09 AM.

Help us keep the lights on: buy appliance parts here ==> http://repairclinic.com

For service manuals and lots of other goodies, become an Apprentice ==> Apprenticeship

#6 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 08:51 AM

I think the price for hosting at Hostgator is $7.95/month, not $4.95 as I posted earlier.

I don't have a contract with them but I am using their VPS hosting, Level 3, $50/month, for the old forum. I'm using their shared hosting, Business Plan, $14.95/month for Fixitnow.com.

Definitely look into Posterous. You may find it's all you really need. Can start as many as you like.

Edited by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, 15 December 2010 - 10:33 AM.
Typos


#7 RussTech

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:35 PM

Ive read other posts in here that talk about google sites. And I for one, heartily recommend them. Why?

1. Real easy to start up, at least for me.

Register with a dns provider. (10 bucks a year) Point the domain to googles server. Tell google what the name is of the domain your pointing to your site. Done.

2. Complete and usually seamless integration with rest of Google services. (Calendar, gmail, voice, docs, analytics, webmaster tools, etc)

If you build the site using google apps for business free edition, you get ten gigs of storage. per site. you can build infinite sites. Also, if you set it up with apps, now you have email at whatever, you@domain.com, and it all runs over gmail. Up to ten users. I could go on and on about google apps services, but Im not sure if this is a protected forum. So Im gonna shut up.

3. Free hosting, and hosted on google no less.

Which means next to no downtime, and super fast page loads. Also, Google seems to take a slight preference for sites hosted with their servers in regards to seo. I might be wrong though. Ive been trying to capture top page results for Coachella Valley appliance repair for a LONNNG time now. I thought maybe typing washing machine repair and refrigerator repair 700,000 times would do it. Since Im on page $%^#@&* 2 right now. Guess not.

4. WYSIWYG editing, for the most part. No code required.

This was originally the main selling point for me with this hosting provider (Dont forget, its FREE). I wanted something my dad could get on and edit to his liking or whatever, and although he might be a genius in the refrigeration arena. Hes kinda compooter retarded. Now, two years later, and 700,000 entries of washing machine repair and refrigerator repair, I realize my dad is never ever gonna do anything with the internet. I've almost moved over to wordpress. I have a site halfway built. Then I also have a site built in dreamweaver off of some adobe template. I just have to wrap my mind around all the new programming language and syntax.

#8 RedToryTy

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:06 PM

Samurai,

I've got a web-business card site already; I've just created a Wordpress blog. What I want to do with my site is draw attention for my business on the web via blog updates. Do your video and blog posts raise your page position in searches? How do you multi-post--to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, FixItNow--and how has that posting helped your business?
Mr. Tyrus Lee Smith
Owner-Operator, Smith's Appliance Service
701 Baldwin Falls Road
Baldwin, Georgia 30511-2108
706-778-3411

#9 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:54 AM

If you're just trying to have a web presence for your service bidness, then all you need is a simple, explanatory website like this one ==> http://applianceguru.com -- nothing fancy, just explain to customer how you're going to solve their appliance problems. Since you're only interested in reaching people in your service area, you also need to make sure you're listed in Google Places. Just add your listing and business information. Then when someone in your service area searches "appliance repair" or something like that, your site will pull up in the Google Place listings.

As far as all the postings I do, YouTube videos, etc., that does nothing, zilch, nada for my service bidness. My web bidness and my service bidness have entirely different dynamics, customer bases, etc.

I actually don't get that much service work off the web. Some, yes, but it's a small percentage compared to the calls I get from print advertising, like the local shopper rag and the Yellow Pages. Word of mouth is big, too.

#10 RedToryTy

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:59 PM

What are you doing in shopper rags? How do you encourage GOOD word of mouth? I'm a little antsy, since I had a two-day week to weeks ago; probably jitters, but still wondering what to do to get more opportunities.
Mr. Tyrus Lee Smith
Owner-Operator, Smith's Appliance Service
701 Baldwin Falls Road
Baldwin, Georgia 30511-2108
706-778-3411

#11 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:10 PM

Here's the ad I run in the weekly shopper rag

Posted Image

It costs me over $200/month to run this size ad but it's been very effective at bringing in the work so it pays for itself many times over. You're welcome to copy it and adapt it for your own bidness.

As for generating word of mouth, two things:

1. Always have a live human answer the phone, 24/7. In my case, that means my cell phone is a permanent part of my body. :borgsmile: Either me or my wife always answer the phone (usually me). The rare time we don't is because I'm out of cell phone signal. Even if I'm in the middle of the beeotch job, I'll answer the phone if, for nothing else, to let them know I can get out that day or the next day and that I'll call them back in a little bit-- it lets the customer know that they called the right place and they don't need to call the competition.

2. Never lie to your customers and do everything you say you'll do. This sounds simple and obvious but you'd be amazed at how many servicers will lie about things like what's wrong with the appliance to how long it will take to get a part in to when they'll return to complete the repair. Let everything you say to your customers (and everyone else) be the truth. And if you say you're gonna do something, by damn, do it!

Just doing these two things will make you stand waaay out from the herd. Word will spread quickly that you're the go-to guy for home appliance repair.

#12 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:19 PM

should always have area-code (smaller print)
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

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RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#13 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:24 PM

I deliberately do not include the area code because I kept getting calls from people all over the country wanting me to help them fix their appliance on the phone and tying up the business line. Even without the area code, I STILL get calls from goobers who apparently can't read that it's for local service calls in the Greater Lake Sunapee area, but CAN look up the area code for New Hampshire!

DO NOT include your area code on any local print advertising (it's unnecessary and clutters the ad-- your local customers know their own area code, and if they don't, do you really want them as customers?) and DO NOT include the area code on your website because you'll have every kind of freak and ghoul calling you for free info.

#14 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:46 PM

I live in Milwaukee, WI and my home phone number is the same phone number as a business in Madison
They were advertising job openings in their area suburban newspapers ...
problem is, some of those newspapers were distributed in counties somewhere half-way between the two cities.
Some people recognized the 3 digit exchange prefix 764- xxxx and thought it was a local call or thought it was a Milwaukee exchange
the phone company routed the calls to me.
I kept getting calls for them, until I called the company to complain about the missing are code problem.
Some little old lady is probably getting appliance repair calls ...
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#15 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:00 PM

Well, that sucks for you but then again, you're not trying to run a service business from that phone number. Makes it a whole different ballgame when you live and die by that phone number.

#16 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:16 PM

the Madison business might have lived and died by that phone number,
and they had been missing business calls, because at first I didn't know what the problem was,
and I just told the caller they had the wrong number ...
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#17 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:23 PM

What I meant was that I didn't want my business line clogged up with extraneous fishing calls from people outside of my service area.

#18 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:27 PM

... I STILL get calls from goobers who apparently can't read that it's for local service calls in the Greater Lake Sunapee area,

maybe I can't read either :ermm:
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#19 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:56 PM

Okay, whatever. Point taken that it is helpful for YOU, with your personal phone number, to include the area code in advertising. But this is not helpful to Tory who was wanting advice for his BUSINESS.

#20 RussTech

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:38 AM

Where I run service I have customers from around the entire nation. Many keep second homes here and live wherever, probably new Hampshire :P So, the area code is absolutely essential in all my listings. Though I completely understand and agree on getting blown up by Internet fishers just because I was dumb enough to include the area code. Everyday I get at least 5 calls from random SEO companies and between 10 and 20 calls from google voice numbers that just hang up.
On a more positive tip, we threw up a Yelp deal, 50$ for 70$ of value type thing, and its sellin by god. I have no idea what my cut of the 50$ yelp collects is, probably next to nothing, but its keepin us busy!
If you haven't heard of Yelp, its a decent local review site similar to google places, that in some parts of the country has become the goto resource for finding servicers, good restaurants etc




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