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Posted by: Jane Hopwood, 3 Oct 2012 6:33PM
Please do not use the forums to advertise courses.

My website!

Hi, I have been approached by BT to design my website and share "what can be done to drive more visitors". It will cost £480 per year. The gentleman is definately BT as I have checked and his main selling point was that my website is not adequate - he had looked at it. He said is was amateurish and didn't like the surround which shows a clipboard and stethoscope. This surround came with the free google business site which has cost me nothing. What I would really appreciate from my fellow members is some honest opinion and advice. Could you spare a moment to look at Avalonholistichealth.co.uk (please see links to other pages) and give your opinion. I will not be offended as I believe this forum is great for honesty. I know it is not the best of websites, but it is free and I have received appointments through it. Do you think I should get a more professional website or do you think mine is fine for the moment. I am a one-man band and been operating for two years. Please please let me know. Kind regards Jane


Hilary Ellis
3 Oct 2012 7:04PM

Hi Jane, I have looked at your website - it has good information on it but I would say it does not look very eye catching with the backdrop. Be very careful of getting a large company to do your website and about what they promise you. Can I suggest that you speak to a local website person for some advice first about google and web building, hope this helps as I have been had before by company's ringing all the time about improving websites and offering packages. Good luck from Hilary
Rachel Jane Brockhurst
3 Oct 2012 7:19PM

Hi Jane, I would be very wary of spending quite so much per year on a website or commiting yourself to an annual cost which is that high. As has been said you are likely to find a local graphic design service who will build something basic but good looking and functional for you at a fraction of the cost and for a one off fee. Services such as Wordpress are a really good option - you can create a website feel but have the full support of a blogging interface behind the scenes from which you can make quick updates yourself without having to pay anyone else to do it for you. Websites are important but as I assume you are, like most therapists, a one-person operation it is probably a better idea to find a solution you totally understand and can modify yourself than opting for an expensive service which may be more complex than you require and which technically goes beyond what you can take on or fix yourself at a later date. I hope that's helpful, Rachel
Amanda Clegg
3 Oct 2012 7:57PM

that's a ridiculous amount of money! You'd be much better finding a local person through the networking systems - busines breakfasts/athena network etc.
Amanda Clegg
3 Oct 2012 7:57PM

I'd go with free any day if it works - and you say yours does.
Kerry Oliver
3 Oct 2012 8:08PM

totally agree with getting something you can change easily yourself and be in control of. I use Weebly which is free (just host server cost) and clients have said they like it. Works for me and I feel very much in control of it. As a one-person business there is a limit to how many clients you can actually handle so no point having one that is so flashy it attracts loads of possible clients you cant actually deal with. Word of mouth still best backed up by website. Mine is www.holos-therapies.co.uk if you want to see what Weebly can do - it is easy to use though probably not as sophisticated as Wordpress. Good luck and if you have a spare £480 spend it on something else!
Kerry Oliver
3 Oct 2012 8:16PM

had a quick look at yours and as you said you were after honest feedback it could do with more pics I reckon - picture worth a 1000 words and all that, people can get fed up reading too much text - you can get all sorts of pics free from Corbis, but as long as clients can find you via it that is the main thing. Cheers, Kerryx
Diane Chapman
3 Oct 2012 8:56PM

Hi I think your website is perfectly fine, it has all the information people require when looking for your service and it's free!. Something you maybe interested in is an exciting new Swiss company to the uk, the products are unparalled in quality and are Vegan certified. They do a lovely Detox range; massage oil, scrubs etc. This company interests me from a Business point of view as you can buy the products at a 35% discount and then introduce to your clients and the company pay you for using them and introduces them. So it brings an additional income stream into your business which all helps. Please drop me an email dianechapman8@gmail and I can tell you more about company and products.
Joy Healey
4 Oct 2012 12:01AM

Hi Jane I've made sales from far worse websites than yours! If it isn't broken, don't mend it. It works, you're getting appointments. Search Engine Optimisation and getting onto page 1 of Google is more important. In the past I've been conned into spending money on "professionals" and have always regretted it. Much better, in my opinion, to keep control yourself. I always do my own sites and use Wordpress. Better to invest any money into an affordable WP training course - much less cost than £480. I taught myself free, but it was a serious cost in time! One thing I would point out is that your offer ending 30/8/12 is well out of date, and would look better removed! Good luck Joy
Sharon Lorimer
4 Oct 2012 11:26AM

Hi Jane, As requested I have taken a look at your web site. If it does the job of getting clients through the door and your name out there why throw £480 away on something you don't need? I would say you should take a look at updating a few things, as mentioned in an earlier post the special offers are out of date. Also, perhaps run a spell check through as I have noticed just a few little typos and the 'about us' section needs a little tweak. Hope the above comments are helpful and good luck with the updating. Sharon
Jane Hopwood
4 Oct 2012 4:22PM

Thank you all so much for comments. They have all been taken in. When I have more money I will go local or try myself. In the meantime I am going to see if my friend can put some more images on and I am going to check it again from front to back, as they say, as I think I will see it from a new light now. I am checking out your suggestions and would like to post back for some advice/info on the other approaches you have suggested for getting my website done. I am really grateful and knew I would get a good response - I love this forum. Jx
Kerry Oliver
7 Oct 2012 1:43PM

Good luck with it Jane - you are doing a lot of good things, everyone always says it takes time to build a business and it's true - I am 4 years in and I feel I can now relax a bit! Kerryx
Andrew Salter
10 Oct 2012 8:58AM

Hi Jane If you want something a little more professional looking go to moonfruit.com. I designed mine on there for free but you can pay as little as £8 per month which includes your hosting and various other options def worth a look
Jane Hopwood
10 Oct 2012 10:17AM

Great. Thanks again everyone. I will certainly be making changes and/or new website. Kind regards Jane
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