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FIB - Scams 101 - Ye Olde Archives

Daily Dose of Insight - Hmmm

Posted By: The Tim <>
Tuesday, 3 January 2006, at 12:59 p.m.

In Response To: Brainstorm this biz idea w/me - website maintenance/upkeep (Diana Ratliff)

In prosperous (and not so prosperous) college towns there are a plethora of people (usually teens) who can and do handle the 'lower end' webwork. At least that's been my experience. Folks with a 'decent' (profit generating) website tend to run their own or already have somebody QUALIFIED to do so.

People who have websites that they know so little about they can't even tell you where they're hosted? Those websites aren't gonna be worth much anyway (above and beyond the usual 'business card' type site). There's certainly nothing wrong with a business card type static site, but they generally DON'T require maintaining much anyway.

Better idea??? How about a seminar where you teach people how to build/host/promote and MAINTAIN their own sites utilizing some of the newer content management software? How many people do you think there are that would like a blog but are SO TOTALLY CLUELESS that they can't even handle that?

I'll give you a little insight into the web management business from a firsthand viewpoint. Our company used to do web development so I have handled these issues directly. The biggest problem you'll face with doing content management as a third party???? Answer: You can't 'make up' content for these websites. The content has to be provided to you by the biz owner. They are NOTORIOUSLY bad at providing the content THEY want to use on THEIR websites!!! I cannot tell you how many times we had web development projects on hold (for MONTHS sometimes) just waiting for simple content like a contact list for the contacts page or information on principals for the ABOUT US pages. Seriously easy and simple stuff you'll end up waiting on til you're blue in the face.

Perhaps you'll find the market conditions have changed since we quit doing web dev/content mgmt a couple years ago?


> Okay, I live in a prosperous college town. I'm always running into
> business owners who had a college student build their website - and once
> the college student graduated, the business owners have no idea how to
> update or maintain the site from then on. One gentleman I talked to (music
> store owner) doesn't even know where his site is hosted, passwords,

> Seems to me there's an opportunity here... but would like someone to help
> me analyze pros/cons and considerations.

> Some concerns I have:

> 1) I'm not a high-end web designer. I've hand-coded basic sites and use
> Frontpage for more sophisticated sites. It's entirely possible that they
> may have a website that's beyond my knowledge/skill level - but my guess
> is if their website is THAT high-end, they have a webmaster on staff. And
> if I make it clear I do website UPKEEP, not website DESIGN, maybe I'm
> okay? (Or is that distinction too fine?)

> 2) Related to the one above - I don't own all the web design programs that
> someone might have used on their site. How critical do y'all think that
> would be? I mean, if the site I need to update was created in Dreamweaver
> and I don't KNOW (or HAVE) Dreamweaver, is this idea even feasible?

> 3) I have NO IDEA how to price this - should I provide a free
> consultation, and then just give them an estimate? And I could charge one
> price for a one-time update, and also offer some package that includes
> regular updates to the site (in otherwords, acting as their webmaster.)

> Anyone ever done something like this, or know where to look to research
> it?

> One bit of expertise I have which might help sell my service is that I'm
> an Accessible Web Specialist at a local university and have lectured
> nationally on that topic. I've also taken courses to be a Certified
> Website Makeover Consultant. One of my sites has been in the top 10 in
> Google for very competitive terms. So I could certainly act as a
> consultant, too. At the very least, I can EXPLAIN what an autoresponder is
> or SEO and why dancing monkeys on your screen isn't a good idea... (unless
> of course, you SELL dancing monkeys.)

> Please, any advice welcome!

Sensibility Without the Static

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Be sure to visit the Current Message Board when you're finished here.

We're very friendly, so don't be shy... just jump right in and post your question.
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