Some of you may remember me from the last time I asked advice here, I had the same business but at that time was focusing on free lance logo design and now that’s shifted to retail and freelance writing. It’s all going very well but I think I need to rearrange the site which represents that business and which expands it.
This time I am here for two reasons, the first is for advice on the best pathway to take to change and grow the business I have and the second is to look for someone to make me a new website next year.
Behind the cut I have a little bit more info and I hope that people could give me a few pointers. - In a nutshell I am asking where I should go from the point I am currently at which is earning a good income from my site but wanting to take things to the next level by having someone make me a much better site and finding some appropriate services to use to advertise the site.
I have also included a more specific question about on line advertising.
To Start - Some background
The site – http://www.fluffylikerazors.co.uk
The site is a bit of a crash zone right now. The mess basically occurred as my work began to rapidly transition and I had no time to rethink the site.
It used to be a site that sold clothing to alternative types and was advertised through sponsorship, promotions and some manual web posting style advertising.
It is now turning into a place where people can request freelance writing for a price. If I could display what I have already written / who I have written for in a better way I would get more prestigious work and I would like the site to look much more sleek than it currently does as right now it’s just me frantically smashing some content into very old HTML once every two months or whenever I get time.
The site section where people can request comissions is currently shut down beacause I don't have time to complete any more comissions and also I have no time to make that area of the site appealing. I am thinking that in order to make progress I need to free up more time and also to get a much more attractive site that actually represents what is happening.
Essentially my issue is that I have really run out of steam in terms of being able to just edit something here and there and the site needs to be rethought and remade.
Ultimately at this point in time I have no idea what to do to go about achieving this. As can be seen from the site my own web skills aren’t extensive and it’s not an area I would want to spend time improving, my time is 100% occupied with working.
Basically how I do business is to sell clothing and to sell writing and I am hoping to use the site to develop a way to display a few other projects I will be working on next year.
The site currently acts as a one stop shop where a work portfolio / work and retail all co exist. This is the way the business has evolved and earns, it would just be better if it all looked a lot better than it does!
Overall I want a site that could
• continue to let people buy and maybe make it more appealing for new customers
• look smooth
• be fun and interactive
• allow me to easily update various sections
So can people recommend a web design company or individual with an online portfolio I could go and look at?
What kind of options are best when seeking for a professional site developer to create something which is changing and will keep changing over the years?
I would really be looking for somewhere that could cater to the site being a little bit odd in how it operates in that it's not just there to make money but that is an important factor.
For the type of business I have does anyone have any comments on pathways I should or should not take? I have spent the last few years just editing my own site but now should I hand that all over to a designer or try and stay more invovled? Does anyone have experience of this kind of situation?
It is the initial impetus and direction here that is tripping me up!
Specific question on advertising.
I plan to advertise the clothing section of my site this xmas, (the new site is planned for next year.)
My hosting company recommends I sign up to HyperSubmit. Is this a worthwhile service? If so, how much money is it advisable to invest in this service?
My hosting company provide me with a Mirago voucher. Is this worth signing up for?
More generally, what kind of paid advertising services would people recommend, any to avoid?