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Banana

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My project this fall is to re-do my website. Totally re-do. The existing one has served me well for six years, but I'm ready for something else. Unfortunately, the programming that my current site uses was designed by a small company that was bought by a larger company that will continue to host it, but does not have the ability for me to make a new website with that old programming (which is a very simple program). So I'm totally not familiar with any other website programming. I have several questions:
1) I found a website that has several templates that you can purchase: http://templates.entheosweb.com/Bed-&-Breakfast.asp?page=1. Am wondering if anyone has gone this route to do their own website? I just can't afford for someone to design it for me, so am looking for the most economical, but professional looking way of doing it. (sorry - I don't know how you hide what the webpage is when providing a link)
2) The templates can be edited in DreamWeaver, Front Page or Expression Web. I am not familiar with any of these? Is one easier than the other, or have more capabilities?
2) Once I decide on a template, get things going and in place, can I use any hosting company to host the site? Do these companies have to recognize the language that is used for designing, or is it all pretty standard now?
I'm sure I'll think of more - this is a big undertaking, but my slow season is coming up, and I need to do this. Thanks for any advice.
 

JBloggs

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Go for it! Those looks nice.
I will be the first old dog not learning new tricks...CSS is something you need to learn (Style sheets) and they make life easier in the long run, by far, but you can't just visually change an element on a webpage. So stick to the real basics of what they offer and don't try to adjust much...That is my advice. Just fill in the blanks.
They have some nice templates! I am excited for you! Screen resolution will be so much bigger and brighter. We used a template like this, might have been from here on a church website we built for our church, it was simple and easy to use, and looked great.
 

JBloggs

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Have fun taking all the photos too, that will be a big challenge, do you have someone lined up to take them?
 

Banana

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Thanks for the response! I'm going to attempt the pictures myself also - if I don't like how they look, I may do some checking around for someone willing to barter. This project is just not budgeted for - too many house maintenance things going on. You say you used a template similar to this type - can any company host your site after you complete it? I think I'm making this more difficult than it needs to be. It's just hard to make a huge change like this and think it's going to go smoothly!
 

swirt

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Templates in general are a good idea. I have no experience with that particular company.
Dreamweaver is a professional tool. Avoid FrontPage (no longer produced). ExpressionWeb is Microsoft's replacement for Frontpage. For the price of Ezpressionweb, I'd go with Dreamweaver.
Yes any hosting company can host your site. The template is html (and hopefully CSS) so yes any hosting company can support it.
 

JBloggs

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Any site can host them, check to see who hosts your current site.
May I add something?
This is something that will pay for itself, this is something that is as necessary as maintenance and repairs. This is the most important first impression for guests to book or not to book a room.
 

egoodell

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Thanks for the response! I'm going to attempt the pictures myself also - if I don't like how they look, I may do some checking around for someone willing to barter. This project is just not budgeted for - too many house maintenance things going on. You say you used a template similar to this type - can any company host your site after you complete it? I think I'm making this more difficult than it needs to be. It's just hard to make a huge change like this and think it's going to go smoothly!.
Banana said:
Thanks for the response! I'm going to attempt the pictures myself also - if I don't like how they look, I may do some checking around for someone willing to barter. This project is just not budgeted for - too many house maintenance things going on. You say you used a template similar to this type - can any company host your site after you complete it? I think I'm making this more difficult than it needs to be. It's just hard to make a huge change like this and think it's going to go smoothly!
I do my own website. I have to say, though, when I got a pro to take my photos it was a thousand times better. I would find someone to do them for you. If you need to budget try a local teacher or someone who will not be as expensive. THe local high school photo instructor who also does weddings here gave me a great price to do my photos.
RIki
 

Banana

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The last time I checked into having a professional website done, it was with two of the larger (well known for B&B sites) companies and the cost was astronoical (to me). Approximately a month's income. Some might say that's reasonable, but I just can't swing it. I have a different camera than the one that took those shots, and I also have more time to stage the room, fix lighting, etc than I did last time. So I think I'd like to try it, and you know I'll be right back here for opinions when I'm done. I'm come to learn how honest ya'll are
 

EmptyNest

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Here is a site with FREE templates. I have used and adapted several from here. They work well. http://www.freecsstemplates.org
However I will caution. If you have no experience doing this you may be better off to "bite the bullet" and pay someone to do this for you. You want this to be the best it can be. Dreamweaver is expensive.
Another caution here..... A template is just that...it is not like the "fill in the blank" at some of the on line ones. Things often don't look right if you want to do something a bit different, you have to stick with what they give you unless you know how to adapt and edit the style sheet etc. It is not easy especially if you don't have any experience doing it....just ask Mort...who has been working at learning css for a while.
I have looked at some of these templates. Lots of them use FLASH and some of the flash is pretty obnoxious. You can't edit that stuff..it is set. And if you don't know FLASH, you can't edit it anyway....you need the software as well.
 

EmptyNest

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The last time I checked into having a professional website done, it was with two of the larger (well known for B&B sites) companies and the cost was astronoical (to me). Approximately a month's income. Some might say that's reasonable, but I just can't swing it. I have a different camera than the one that took those shots, and I also have more time to stage the room, fix lighting, etc than I did last time. So I think I'd like to try it, and you know I'll be right back here for opinions when I'm done. I'm come to learn how honest ya'll are
.
It is more than just taking the photos. You then have to edit, resize and compress etc to fit the template you are using. Do you have photo editing software?
Maybe you should find a new hosting company that offers templates that you can use to "fill in the blanks" If you own your domain, you can host your site anywhere. Here is one that offers a wide variety of templates.
 

Don Draper

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The last time I checked into having a professional website done, it was with two of the larger (well known for B&B sites) companies and the cost was astronoical (to me). Approximately a month's income. Some might say that's reasonable, but I just can't swing it. I have a different camera than the one that took those shots, and I also have more time to stage the room, fix lighting, etc than I did last time. So I think I'd like to try it, and you know I'll be right back here for opinions when I'm done. I'm come to learn how honest ya'll are
.
I think you can manage just fine with the templates, but at the end of the day look at all the time you will spend on it. For an Inn your size you can get a beautiful website, complete with photography, for about $4K. Sounds like a huge up front investment, but it will pay for itself within a year. I'm all for DIY but this kind of stuff can just become such a time vacuum.
 

gillumhouse

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The last time I checked into having a professional website done, it was with two of the larger (well known for B&B sites) companies and the cost was astronoical (to me). Approximately a month's income. Some might say that's reasonable, but I just can't swing it. I have a different camera than the one that took those shots, and I also have more time to stage the room, fix lighting, etc than I did last time. So I think I'd like to try it, and you know I'll be right back here for opinions when I'm done. I'm come to learn how honest ya'll are
.
If you are going to take your own photos - USE A TRIPOD!!!
 
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