Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This Beginning Farmer Needs a Website

Sometimes I feel guilty for doing it, but then I remember how much knowledge there is out there among those that read this blog. So, from time to time I blatantly ask for help and today is going to be one of those days where I need the help of those more in the know than I am.

Quite awhile ago I purchased the domain name www.stoneyfieldonline.com so that I would have it for when I was ready to add a website. At first I tried to use it as the URL address for this blog through some sort of pointing or something with GoDaddy/Blogger, but that seemed to slow things down so I canceled that. Now as a few more things are beginning to fall into place I'm really feeling the need for a true online home for Stoneyfield Farm and The Beginning Farmer blog.

That is where all of you smart computer people come in ... even though I'm young and thought I was somewhat computer savvy I have found that I can't really figure out this website thing. Right now I just want something very basic with a front page and contact information so that I can point people to the website (www.stoneyfieldonline.com) when they inquire about the farm, but I'm having a bit of trouble getting it setup so it works in a somewhat easy way.

I suppose that I should also mention that I have a Mac, but if need be I could access a PC to do the work. So, do any of you know what I need to do to get my website up and going? If you have some tips or suggestions or anything else just reply in the comments or click on the new e-mail link I made on the top right (that is one html thing I could figure out).

16 comments:

Devin Rose said...

Howdy,

I think your best option is to hire someone or a company to design your website, ensuring that they give priority to you being able to make edits and update it.

You could try to do it yourself by using something like Joomla to design your site or learning an HTML editor, probably a WYSIWYG (Wiz-ee-wig, what you see is what you get) like CoffeeCup, but I think these are difficult to use unless you are pretty savvy.

I do know of a fellow beekeeper/farmer who has designed his own site (using Joomla) and that of a church. You can contact him here: http://my4acres.com/index.php?option=com_contact&task=view&contact_id=1&Itemid=86
or just go to his site, my4acres.com and click on the contact link. Perhaps he could design your site or point you to someone who could.

Good luck!

Bro. Williams said...

I built a small website for my church that we left up for a while. It was fully functional, yet completely simple. I used FrontPage from microsoft and found it to be extremely easy to use, although limited in options, unless you add them into html.

Steven said...

We used a google service to run our wordpress page on our own domain, and it also gives you the ability to set up email@domainname.com The email application is gmail but the address can use your domain name.
We decided to start with wordpress but I know that you can also easily make a website with iWeb on a Mac and use your own domain to publish it through MobileMe. But, MovileMe does have a subscription fee.

Chris said...

I don't think you'd need a professional service to do it. We beginning farmers must have a bent toward self-sufficiency, and given your growing involvement in the blogosphere, I think that the time invested here would pay off over the long run.

Steven suggested using iWeb with the MobileMe service (me.com), which would be a drop-dead simple way to do it. You can have your own domain with your sites through Apple, but you would have to subscribe to MobileMe.

Another option is to use would be google apps for your domain - http://www.google.com/a - they allow you to use gmail, web sites, etc with your own domain, and the cost is minimal. The tools for building the site are still easy, but in my opinion are nowhere near as good as iWeb.

A final option that gives the most control, though it does require a tad more skill, would be using a hosting company, such as dreamhost.com. You could still post files from iWeb (though it wouldn't be as easy as it would with MobileMe), install applications such as WordPress for blogging, and even have access to relatively easy e-commerce tools (sell cuts of beef online :-).

Anonymous said...

I did mine with Network Solutions and it was so easy and they were incredibly helpful. I think it turned out pretty okay - www.CloverBellFarm.com - but you may want something else. I have email through it, guest book, and there a lots of options I didn't even use. I've had great response from it. Since I can't figure out how to log on here you must know that I'm not the most tech savvy but I did it all myself I swear.

Off Grid Everett said...

You can email me (everett at e sizemore dot com) to talk more about this if you like, but I'd advise using Wordpress instead of Blogger. There are SO many more features and free templates / designs for Wordpress. For instance, here are a few FREE wordpress designs I use on my sites:
http://www.livingoffgrid.org
http://www.knowmybackyard.com
And an inexpensive, slightly customized wordpress theme at my site http://www.usrecallnews.com .

I do search engine marketing for a living and have a few dozen of my own sites. I always thing it's a shame when I see blogs as good as yours being hosted on blogger.com using the blogger.com software.

There are tools out there (called plugins) that will help you move your posting database over to Wordpress from Blogger. I used one of these on http:/www.usrecallnews.com to move it from Blogger over to Wordpress a long time ago and I kept all of my posts and comments in the process.

I don't have the time to do this for you, but if you could find someone on rentacoder.com to do this for a few hundred dollars probably.

I hope that helps!

Everett

John said...

May want to talk to Tim at the Nature's Harmony Farm. His web site/blog is very professional and well done...



John

Tim said...

You might be able to find someone to consult for you on this "website business" for some eggs and berries, or something similar! I've heard you've got quite the operation going out there, and I'm a big fan of the barter economy! :) Seriously, we should chat sometime. Maybe over swinging a hammer putting up walls inside that beautiful new house you've got going on??? Call me!

Bro. Williams said...

I was researching sites yesterday on building your own home, from that, the guy linked to a company he uses for his site, Site Build It!.

I don't know much about the company, I do know that there are a ton of people using that company (from a quick google search) and that many are making at least some profit from their sites through affiliate advertising. From looking at the original house building site, it appears that the individual has some say in what advertisements are allowed, because that site only had advertisements related to materials, google searches, and the like, all correlating to house building.

From a glance at the Site Build It! company web page, it appears that they offer software to help you framework your site. It might be worth a google.

As the Garden Grows said...

There are a lot of online classes that you can take that would help you with html. I am currently taking a class through ed2go.com that is a beginning creating web pages class and I intend to take more. I realize you need help right now but you should consider it an option so that you can managae and update your site as often as you like and not have to pay someone to do it for you.

Bro. Williams said...

In researching Site Build It! someone offered these two websites in which to counter all of the positive reviews I have seen:

[url]http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/153/RipOff0153732.htm[/url]

[url]http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/107/RipOff0107636.htm[/url]

Ethan said...

Thanks for all of the great responses and tips. I am going to check out some of the links and leads that people have provided and see if I can figure something out ... with the help of people smarter that me!

I just found out one of our cool opportunities is going to come to fruition pretty soon, so I want to get at least something basic up at our url ... Thanks everyone!

mommymommyland said...

for a cheap and easy site you can do what we did for our farm site (www.mizrahimanor.com) and forward our godaddy.com domain to a free wordpress site. It costs something like $10 per year to do this, but the templates are already set up, just choose the one you like best and write pages instead of posts.

Michelle said...

Hey, you mentioned that you already have your domain name reserved through godaddy. I think they have a pretty easy-to-use tool called "website tonight" that comes free with a hosting account. I really like godaddy, they're pretty cool on the phone if you have to call for help, and they are very cheap!

I use MS FrontPage, and like it OK, tho MS now has a replacement product for it that looks fancier (and more expensive), that competes with DreamWeaver & Adobe's latest products. My pro web developer friends all use DreamWeaver.

I bet you don't need to buy something to start out tho- start small with a freebie tool, and then later you can step up to purchasing a web development app if you feel you need to do fancier things. Often, simple is best.
Michelle

Steven said...

Most of those MS programs aren't going to work with a Mac.

We set up our WordPress page on a Mac and then update it with anything Mac/PC/iPod Touch over wifi lol But if we were going to use all Mac we probably would have gone with MobileMe from Apple. I've looked through their templates and they seem really cool and simple.

Coyote Holmberg said...

Hi, I stumbled across your site, I like what you are doing. I'm a web developer by profession (I do it for a living), with experience in website design /development for both small business through large corporation sites. I've not a lot of free time, but would be willing to give advice/assistance/small amount of site development support including providing a basic frontpage and contact page site. If you want to do barter, I'd be happy to barter for a small amount of something interesting from your or your neighbor's farm. Heirloom seeds or a plant or whatever. I'm in Ohio and have a 20x20 foot vegetable garden, and I'm very into supporting our farmers, I like to eat and we NEED you guys. I can be reached via my site http://coyotecreation.com or email starwolf13@wowway.com

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