Why a website?
Saving time IS saving money.
A professionally designed user-friendly website lets your shoppers browse to their heart's content without any inconvenience to you. By the time a potential customer contacts you personally, he is educated about your horses and is familiar with your prices and services. That way, your conversation can cut straight to the business at hand.
2) photographs and video
A picture IS worth a thousand words - and will save thousands in traditional magazine or newspaper advertising. A quality photo layout implemented by a skilled web designer eliminates a lot of confusion and guesswork. Beauty and good taste do make all the difference.
Bottom line is in today's world, a poorly designed, inadequate website design - or no website at all - can equate to a complete lack of legitimacy in your area of expertise. People turn to their computer like they used to turn to a phone book. The only way to gain true respect is to prove your value and competence with an attractive, high-profile easy to use on-line presence.
You need to stay up with the times - for your business' sake.
Who does what?
Stoney's Equine Website Design offers full service custom website design and maintenance, primarily for the equine, canine and livestock industries. I am prepared to do as much - or as little - as you require.
If you don't know where to start, I will provide options in design, color scheme, layout and even offer editorial and photographic services.
If you have a firm idea of what you want your website to look like, I will use your photos, logos, letterhead, color schemes and text to create a website design which reflects your existing trademark and flare.
Stoney's takes care of all domain name and hosting set-ups, and gets your website on the internet as soon as humanly possible. I make your new website discreetly available on-line while "under construction" so you can view it as it expands and matures. I need and encourage your routine involvement and input.
At a minimum, I design and format your website, crop and retouch your photos, proofread your text, and check all linked website addresses. I also build in premium searchability features behind the scenes of your website for no additional cost.
If you require additional services, I can offer online forms and contracts, professional editorial, video production, or set up a photo shoot.
Bottom line, I do whatever it takes to make your website YOURS.
What will you need?
logo, tagline, and color scheme
If you have existing brands, logos or a color scheme, be prepared to e-mail them or mail them hard copy. If you are starting from scratch, you will need a color scheme, logo idea or slogan possibility for your web designer to work from. Stay simple and classy. I'll work from your ideas to develop a layout and website design that you'll love.
editorial and documentation
Be prepared with a short bio of yourself, your animals, your business, or your ranch. Prepare a mission statement about your business or services. Gather pedigrees, show and produce records, references, and present any other accomplishments or records accurately. Be prepared to keep data current and correct to lend credibility to your website and business. Nothing turns customers away like poor photos and out-dated details.
Nothing will make or break your equine-related website more easily than photographs.
Be prepared to get and only use GREAT photos. A quality photo should have good lighting, a clean background, and show the subject to its utmost advantage. Don't be dismayed if a website designer suggests not using a photo you provide or asks you to try for better ones. Any inconvenience or expense will pay off in the end. Trust me. My job is to make you and your business look superior.
Where do you start?
You've already taken a big step in researching the equine website design process. But before you tackle the website of your dreams, there are a few things you should take time to do.
browse the web
Before you lock into a certain website design idea or theme of your own, spend some time browsing the internet for other websites similar to yours. Write down at least three sites that you admire and why you like them. It may be because the photos are awesome, or perhaps the navigation is simple, or maybe you find the design and colors appealing. This information will greatly help your web designer build you a website you will love.
choose a domain name
Your new equine website will need a name, called your domain. The biggest mistake people make when choosing a domain name is making the name too long. Another common mistake is making it hard to spell. You want something catchy, easy to type, and avoid punctuation marks or underscores. The best domain names contain the business name and/or business type. Examples would be horsewebsites.com or joneshorsefarm.net, etc. If you have an unusual last name, often that is a good choice, providing it is relatively easy to spell.
choose an email name
Your new website automatically offers the option of an e-mail address attached to it. If the website name is jonespainthorses.com the e-mail address could be firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep the e-mail address short and even more simple than the web address. Having it be pertinent to your type of business is always a good idea. Examples would include email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
about 'hooplahs' and 'doodahs'
There are millions of little flashing icons and sound effects that can be incorporated into a website. But I suggest you save those for other applications. At Stoney's Website Design, my tastes lean toward keeping your horse facility or equine website clean, classy and simply elegant. Your site will load most quickly and attract repeat visitors more readily if viewers don't have to sit through the same old "doodahs" every visit. The goal is to make your horses and business to stand out from the crowd in a clean, professional way.
How much does it cost?
At Stoney's Website Design I employ flat rate fees so you can build a budget with no surprises. See my price list.
stoney's website design charges
At Stoney's Website Design, I offer a FLAT FEE for the initial set up and design of a set number of pages of your site. This flat fee includes original website design and layout, normal graphics, menu buttons and photographs, and formatting your website content to be highly searchable.
Other small fees involved for new sites are a domain name fee and a hosting fee. A domain name is your "www.whomever.com" website name and the hosting fee is for the space your website occupies on the world wide web. I use two very reliable companies for these services, and these fees add up to a total of around $175 annually.
Maintenance fees for typical updates are charged per page updated, period. Update fees are billed as work is completed. Any additional charges will be billed at the time of service.