Jim's Message Board
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Re: Well... I need some help, please
From Max on 04 July '98
adding to Re: Well... I need some help, please posted by kyle

>I deleted the about us html and I talked to some of the older
>businesses in the area. They said they would get about 650
>for a site like mine? Is that good?
Local prices vary - I charge less, but I get monthly management
fees to do upgrades and mailings. Service contracts are long-term
money makers!
To be blunt, most businesses are going to expect you to charge less
because of your age. You can let them do that, but get the monthly
service fee and always have your contracts in writing! Actually, you
might not be able to have a legally binding contract at 15! YIKES!
You'll have to find an adult to front for you until you reach 18 or
there's nothing to prevent a customer from stiffing you. Ask your
parents or an older sibling.

> I know im not ready for prime time yet but i live in a small town
> and i dont expect to get alot of money and customers
Look for someone local who produces a product that has a potentially
nation-wide audience - something that can be shipped. Good things to
try at first are gourmet foods (Georgia = peaches = peach jam?) or top-quality
hand-crafted items (quilts, baskets, etc.), or other specialty stuff.
Do an inexpensive site for them that includes a sign-up form for newsletters
about the product (recipes and news and how-to and folksy stuff goes over well)
and some sort of on-line ordering form. Find some really cost-effective hosts
for this, and do the BEST site you can.
Get a modest monthly fee to handle the email confirmation and the newsletter
sending, and even the order picking up if they don't want the hassle - I have a
client who prefers that I fax the orders from their email account. They have
NO COMPUTERS and I have all the passwords.
Make it cost-competitive with PRINT advertising, don't promise them
miracles, and get them to commit for at least a year because the Web works
slowly. Study this site's tips, request reciprocal links for your clients on
non-commercial sites related to their product (if you sell llama wool, look for sites
about spinning and weaving, for example).

>P.S. Why does frontpage 98 piss you off? Seriously?
It seriously pisses me off, yes it does. I've had to clean up after it once too often.
If you had a return guarantee, take it back and use the money for a new baseball glove.
Run its pages past any of the online validators and you will see what the problem is.
It writes such lousy HTML that it is impossible to maintain, trashes any valid HTML
it gets its hands on (adding all the Microsoftian browser-specific stuff whether you
want it to or not), and in general makes cat-barf pages. If the pages are not placed
on a server that uses FP extensions (and they have SERIOUS security holes) the
web-bots do nothing. And if the visitor doesn't happen to be using MSIE, they don't
see what you think they see even on a FP server.
There's nothing it did on your pages that HTML couldn't have done in 1/4 the size page,
for a faster more predictable page. If you want next-generation pages, study Cascading
Style Sheets ... they are superb for making fast, elegant pages that are very browser
friendly and search robot friendly.

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