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Creation of website

Hi

We are thinking to create our website as an extra of the platforms we are listed. As we want payments on it and others options, we need to get a pro to do it.

Anyone that can recommand me companies, best will be in low costs countries, do you know how much it can cost?

Why not do it yourself? Since you’ll have to supply the text and photos antway, there are several web-buiding companies that include payment and other options. I’ve used Wix which has a great selection of templates and is reasonably user-friendly and friends like Weebly as well.

Otherwise you could look on Fiverr for website designers and you can directly compare prices.

Perfect thanks. I will look both options.

The most important decision you’ll make is choosing your web developer! Be sure to employ someone who is experienced in all aspects of web development including design, usability and two other very important items - someone who understands search engines and the crucial aspect of making sure that the site works well on phones or tablets.

If you use an amateur or someone who has only being creating sites for a short time (or only part time) then you could be throwing your money away. It’s a false economy.

One of the very first things he or she should discuss with you is search engines. (It’s no good having a pretty site if no-one goes there). Sites should be built with search engines in mind from day one. Creating a site then getting someone to ‘do SEO’ is the wrong way to go about it.

I would suggest that you ask the designer to use Wordpress or similar (on your own URL) and create the site in such a way that you are later able to edit, add photographs etc. yourself, avoiding upkeep costs.

A professional and experienced designer will be able to create a basic but functional site for you for under $1000. (In the USA - prices will differ elsewhere).

You can control costs to a great extent by buying your URL and hosting yourself, providing photographs correctly sized (if possible) and providing all the copy in advance in plain text. Bear in mind that the developer may change your copy slightly for keyword density requirements. Take all your material with you for your first consultation before the designer prepares the quote and be clear in your expectations and the functionality you need. This will enable him or her to prepare an accurate price for you.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

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Hi @jaquo,

Thanks, that’s a very useful summary.

One question. Cost issues aside, do you think one should restrict ones attention to designers living as the same country as the listing? Or even the same city? Or not?

There are pros and cons with both and often it depends on the client / designer. Over the last sixteen years, I’ve created many sites for clients who are not local and all our communications have been online and the occasional phone call.

This is a great way to work if the designer is experienced and if the client is organised. This said, a professional designer can do a great deal to help the client be organised. For example it’s a huge help, and works out better and cheaper for the client, if they can supply all their materials before the build commences.

Another factor is trust. The client has to trust the designer to do the very best job for them. Clients who don’t trust their designer want to be more hands-on so like to use someone local who they feel they can micro-manage. (And they are usually the worst clients!) Clients like these often like to have regular meetings and the designer has to factor this into the cost of the overall project.

But to anyone using a non-professional, I’d suggest using someone local. (Although I’d say always use a pro!)

As you know, I’m based in Florida and over the years have created sites for people in the UK, Japan, Puerto Rico, the Caymans and various places in Europe. It’s easy and works well.

But even when working with local companies, our communication relies mostly on email, texting, Dropbox, Basecamp, password-protected ‘client’s areas’ of their site and various other online facilities. It’s quicker, easier and both parties have a paper trail.

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Thanks @jaquo,

Excellent analysis. I didn’t realise you were a website designer. So, how much do you charge? :slight_smile:

How would define “professional” in this business?

Up to $50 per hour depending on the type of work. I can create a basic website (fully functional but with 5 - 6 pages) in about 16 - 18 hours or so, as long as the client has supplied all the materials. Some items are charged for per piece - for example, blog posts for $30 per article etc. (And I recommend that all business websites have a blog).

I could write a book about this :slight_smile:

A professional should have at least five years experience in the field, should be fully conversant with current technology and search engines. He / she should know social media well in order to promote the site and be able to show their social media to potential clients. They should be able to analyse stats well, be able to create a site that works well on phones (the latter being vital - on my sites I see that over 55% of visitors are using their phones).

They must be very able designers (preferably with degrees in Graphic Design) and be very experienced working in the required softwares such as Photoshop etc.

They should understand marketing thoroughly and understand that not only is the client’s website their most effective marketing tool but that it also has to ally itself with the client’s other marketing and promotional material to create a cohesive brand.

I could go on … :wink:

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@jaquo - what fun information! I would think most Airbnb listings, especially ‘private room’ listings would require a very simple website. Do you find that photos taken with phones are adequate, or, if one is hiring a pro to build a website, should higher-quality photos be used? In other words, could a client just use what they already have on their listing?

(Wimdu keeps nagging me to put ‘better-quality’ photos on my listing with them).

Thanks

Phone photograph are just fine :slight_smile:

As long as they are sharp then a designer will be able to easily enhance the colours if necessary. (I have iPhone photographs on our listing). Although I do think it’s nice if the website has more photographs than the ones on Airbnb - just to give a fuller picture of the place.

I agree that most listings will need a small site. I’d suggest: homepage, gallery, booking page, contact and blog. If the designer can utilise an easy system for the site owner to write their own blogs, then it keeps the site fresh for search engines and real live people :slight_smile: Once a week is fine and about 300 words per blog is just right - people, especially when using their phones, don’t want to scroll through huge swathes of text.

Hi @jaquo,

Are you familiar with Django and/or Pyramid? I don’t know if these are suitable for designing a rental site, though.

Hi @faheem - I’m familiar with Django (although I’ve never used it myself) but I’ve not even heard of Pyramid :slight_smile:

I’m an old-school, HTML coder although these days I prefer working with good old-fashioned Wordpress because it covers just about any functionality, it’s incredibly adaptable, it’s search engine friendly and it lets me work in the coding of the site. It’s great for rentals because there are some fabulous booking plugins.

For the developer it’s also relatively simple to create a content management system that allows the client - however inexperienced - to maintain their own site (without doing any damage!). I’d strongly recommend it. Note that I mean downloading it and NOT using it on their blogging software system.

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Hi @jaquo,

It sounds like you don’t recommend Django for a rental site. Would that be a fair statement? I’m not really familiar with Pyramid myself, though I have used Django. And Pyramid is similar to Django, though Pyramid is a bit more of a power tool. I don’t know Wordpress, except that it written in PHP, which People Like Me consider the Spawn of Satan.

I suppose that if Django (or Pyramid) isn’t used much for this kind of thing, it wouldn’t have much of the necessary bits and pieces already available. Which would make the developer’s job that much more difficult.

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I’ve experimented with various systems in the past and found that search engines prefer the good old fashioned way. (As you realise, I’m passionate about search engines!) I’ve seen so many things come and go - do you remember years ago when Cold Fusion (if my memory is correct) was all the rage? Hopeless.

A website is simply not doing its job if people can’t find it so search engines are always my first concern for any website.

I don’t know if you remember but when phone use increased, just about every website out there didn’t work well on a phone. What had been ‘the latest technology’ suddenly became obsolete almost overnight :slight_smile:

Hah. What is the good old fashioned way? A Django (or Pyramid) based site would be text/ASCII, except for the images/photos. What kind of sites do search engines like, and why? I always assumed they were Ok with Plain Text. Disclaimer: I like Plain Text too.

Oh, I certainly agree with that.

And actually I only got a smartphone in April 2015, and I still rarely do anything with it except receive calls and text messages, make calls, and occasionally send text messages. I definitely don’t use it for web surfing. Though if I have wifi on it’s a handy reminder of incoming Airbnb mail, via the ringing noise the app makes.

Airbnb has us well trained - when I hear that sound I immediately grab my phone. Pavlov would be so envious.

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I’m exactly the same. And I can’t imagine being without my phone. I remember the old days of travelling when I used to lug a laptop everywhere - now I just need to slip my phone into my pocket and I’ve got almost everything I need.

If only there was a built-in toothbrush :slight_smile:

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Cool! What we need is a sort of Swiss Army phone :slight_smile:

You can also list on Home Escape. Free to guests and hosts.

Currently blocked in India, for some reason.

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