February 01, 2012
The 3-Step Website Plan
Recovering from website management burnout
3 easy steps to a new website!
If there is one thing that defines our modern world it is complexity. People don't just work one job for life any longer. Staying in touch isn't just about simple letter writing. And running a business is not just a physical "bricks and mortar" affair.
Even though the online world is now part of every facet of daily life, for most people it remains a 'black box' - "...a system which can be viewed solely in terms of its input, output and transfer characteristics without any knowledge of its internal workings."1 You're expected to run an alpaca business with all the various duties and skills that involves and in addition try to make enough sense of online marketing for it to help your business not hurt it. So it's no wonder that so many farms just give up with the idea of a functional website, despite the great benefits.
Why a "3-step" website plan?
X-step recovery plans are popular because they help people navigate out of a difficult situation in life by charting a course to recovery and having milestones along the way to gauge and celebrate progress. This process helps to make a complex process easier to understand and follow.
It goes without saying that if you are planning to be successful as an alpaca farm, customers expect you to have your own website. A website is not just a place to go for information but is a statement of your relevance, your attitude, and your competence with what you do. If a customer visits your website and there are events or due dates that have passed, that says a lot about the way you run your business. It will erode trust and give a customer a negative perception of you.
So many alpaca farms have tried to have their own website but have failed in one area or another. It can start out very gung-ho - investing a lot of money into an energetic dream of success. Even if the project is completed many weeks or months down the road, now you have a whole new raft of time, complexity, and cost overheads to keep your costly website investment up-to-date and fresh.
A neglected website is like a pet lion that you've stopped feeding - he'll eventually come and eat you! That's how a poorly constructed or maintained website works - it doesn't just stop generating business, it positively hurts your business.
Main reasons for website management burnout
- The initial cost of designing and building a website is too high for most farm budgets, so it never happens in the first place.
- Setting up all the website hosting, domain registration, and email is too complicated.
- Making edits, additions, and updates becomes a headache because:
- Your web person is slow or unresponsive and you have pay for every change.
- The editing system you were provided is hard to use.
- Trying to figure out html on your own is just not your strength and is time-consuming.
- You just don't have the time to update another site.
- It's hard to make things look polished and professional.
- When I have problems no one is available to help or answer my questions.
You sincerely want to make a successful business out of alpaca farming but this website stuff is just too confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating, so you just set it aside for another day - or year.
Solving the major website problems
Because we at Openherd were hearing these stories time and again, we came up with a simple process and way to have a professional, fully-featured website without these major obstacles to success.
1. No design or building costs - By using pre-built, pre-designed website templates, you don't have to pay the high costs - often many $1000s - of having a website custom designed and built from scratch. Sure, things won't be as highly unique as a fully custom website job but don't forget that your customers are not as concerned with your website's uniqueness as you are and getting customers is your main goal. There is a reason Craigslist.org is so popular and it's NOT the website design!
The most important factors to your website customers are:
- An appealing website that conveys professionalism and quality and makes the customer feel valued by the effort the proprietor has made.
- Clear navigation and content organization so that it's easy and quick to find what they're looking for.
- Up-to-date content that builds customer trust and a sense of freshness, relevance, and activity.
- Easy to find your contact information and get in touch with you.
2. Automatic website setup - Openherd has made getting your website hosting up and running incredibly simple. Just enter the web address you'd like to use, choose a design, and finally upgrade to any paid membership plan. That's the 3-step website plan and we do all the rest for you while you get on with things you'd much prefer to be doing. Get started >
3. Easy edits and additions - Because you have already set up an Openherd farm page and uploaded alpaca sales information, you already have a home page, sales lists, and individual alpaca sales pages created. All we do is "sync" them over to your website where they take on your website's design.
Unlike bargain website hosting, such as GoDaddy.com, we don't just give you an empty shell and leave you on your own to build your pages. The instant you upgrade, you'll have a complete, live website with your sales lists and other pages already there! Plus, adding a new web page or blog - even setting up your online store with a shopping cart - is super easy to do yourself and all included in one affordable annual or monthly plan.
4. Automatic updates - The big advantage of the digital age is that information can be replicated in an instant. So why enter your information all over again when it's already on Openherd! Just edit your pages in Openherd and your personal website will update automatically at the same time. It's like having a maintenance-free website!
5. Easy, professional page creation - Adding a new web page, blog, article, alpaca, or store item is easy because we provide simple page templates that allow you to focus on the content and we take care of all the code, layout, and professional presentation. This gives you more time to invest in the quality of your write-ups and marketing rather than wasting time fiddling with html code and trying to make it all look nice.
6. Responsive support - At Openherd if you have a problem or need help, we are a phone call or email away. We take pride in the quality of our products AND our customer service and will address your needs promptly.
Try before you buy!
If you'd like to see what your website will look like, simply follow the 3-step process. If you like what you see, click the upgrade link and your site will go live! Get started with Step 1 now!
Custom design packages available
Easy page creation
1. Wikipedia.org, "Black box"; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_box.