Friday, October 7, 2011

Creating a Web-site for Free with Webs.

I was recently asked for help in a new company here in Fannmark, Norway. The company has nothing to do with tourism or hotel business (although, its services can be theoretically used there), but my job there is a lot about marketing and positioning of the company in the area.

To be demonstrative, I would like to describe this business in a couple of sentences. The company’s name is Akvariespesialisten Finnmark. From the name one can guess that it has to do with aquariums, more precisely aquaristic design and maintenance of aquariums. I said that its services can be used for tourism and hotels, because eventually it could be a fantastic idea to place a beautiful aquarium (plant or reef tank) in a hotel lobby for example.

Anyway, this blog post is not about the company itself. It is about my experience with creation of a business web-page.

I have read through some articles, including my own about web services. And decided to give a chance to one called Webs. It was easy to register, but a bit tricky to get used to their interface. Upon registration, one can choose to have a free account, or one of 3 other optional accounts where you have to pay for some extras, such as bigger storage, larger internet-shop, Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, and so on. The first day I was using the service, I got an offer of 50% discount on all the payable accounts. I decided that I was not in a hurry. After 2 days they offered up to 60%! That is when I started to wonder, if I should have invested some money in all those options. But the owner of the company decided to wait with investment. In 2 days the sale was over. I played with templates, pages, fonts, pictures. The biggest problem I came to by now, is that I can’t change picture sizes when I use Google Chrome as a browser. With Internet Explorer it goes fine.

After a week I got possibility to add Google Ads and manage files like I want. And I got a sales offer again, this time 50%. But I still haven’t used the opportunity and will wait and see what offers they come up with next time.

What was also great to try, was to create a landing page for Facebook with their affiliate partner.
-         With Free account one can have up to 10 pages
-         The pages can be renamed and managed easily, as you can see, even to be translated into another language
-         One gets a blog, customer reviews pages, forum, FAQ page, location. All can be found in "Applications".
-         One can create picture galleries.
-     Mobile version of the page comes for free.
-         It is possible to place 5 articles in a web-shop (For now I only placed 1), and get payed through Paypal and Google Merchant account (for UK and USA only)
-         Different levels of accounts, and possibility for discount rates.

-         Not all options work in Google Chrome browser
-         Can be a bit difficult to find all the options, but it just takes time and patience
-         Free of charge templates are not numerous, but still quite various
-         With a Free account one gets a name of the site with … On the other hand for a bit of money it is possible to choose a normal domain name. Unfortunately for me, not with .no, but only .com, .org etc.

As for the rest, I have of course made a Facebook page for this business. In fact, it came before the web site itself. I am looking forward to work further and update the site. 

My conclusion is that for a smaller business even a free account at Webs is a great opportunity to become visible.

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