New Website for a Re-Brand local business owner near where I lived for much of last decade just bought back a gym he sold recently and wanted a new website for the re-brand. The company which had purchased the Gym from him had changed the business name and so now, the original owner wants it back the way it was.

Jim required a quick build with some decent usability up-front of course but also wanted to keep much of the original content from his old website.

A couple of problems were inherent in that, sure I managed the business’ domain name in the past but when he sold the business a while back, he didn’t want to keep the domain, nor did he want it pointed to another website etc – in fact, against my better advice the order was to take the domain out of web (removed nameservers). To make the re-hab of the old-to-new website that little more difficult, the old website was also not hosted by FarCool but hosted elsewhere and the owner couldn’t source any old backups which might have been taken in the past. That’s a pretty common problem with business websites where there is no full-time I.T. department. However an occasional solution: (The WayBack Machine). I managed to get a copy of the website circa 2008 and with some new copy in addition, the design could then be considered.

As design began, there were no new photos of the gym to use, so I had to run with about $60 worth of stock images (That’s 10% of budget – so supply quality photos if you can folks! – these were highly suited though, without matching anything recognisable too precisely at, or not-at the gym such as wrong type of machines, wall colours etc).

I’m still working at eventually hammering out my very own HTML5 responsive framework (to make available to others) but there are so many who have already gone so far – I chose to use a beautiful responsive theme from a dedicated WordPress theme designer as a starting point (I own developer licenses through many services and through the years have kept abreast with the best with many hours spent in R&D, and sensibly utilising these where they add the most value and convenience). The theme chosen had just the right slider in my view and built in components which were perfect for the intended look & feel (not every website suits an image slider or some other components). Having been able to visit the gym in the past helped.. if I can’t visit a business I will definitely spend good amounts of time getting to know a business before I can claim to know how to make the best website to suit most, if not all needs and to budget.

So, after many careful preparations and conversations with the owner, a new hosting solution in Australia provisioned (Gym Junkies is an Aussie gym), a WordPress install, a theme and plugin installation, content added, images fitted and so on, the next phase was to make certain that it’s ready for adding extra useful features.

For one example, the gym’s old website used to require people to download a membership form (doc format) and edit it (which would often make the formatting cactus), send it back by email or print out to carry in. It was time consuming for everyone involved. Instead, I added a simple form (with a wonderful plugin) to lessen the friction. Now, a prospective member just fills out simple details and the form emails it to a staff email address so they can be ready for when the customer arrives – no effort on anyone’s part. Also added a 3 day pass form so people can order a free trial – simply show up and quote a number.

There is more content on the way, including team photos and bios – probably much more in the way of small updates as we go. For a quick small business website I think that I’ve found a rather good mix of products and prices to deliver a great value for money bargain at around the $890 range. Note, this includes a $100 ad budget (to kick-start it along) and hooking up with Facebook and Google+ pages, a twitter account and generating REAL posts with real ad copy and real messages from the owners of the business.

Also, in that price range, a year’s hosting and email (in this case 4 accounts including a default catch-all) is included – as is basic training and follow ups. More to do here also.

Higher budgets mean longer preparation periods, more marketing studies, perhaps deeper surveys with staff and customers etc, more depth to the website, more features – certainly. A good example is eCommerce which does add complexity but this can be added here for not much more (by comparison to other expenses which don’t necessarily return a profit).

However, if your business is considering a new website and wondering what is possible at FarCool for a budget of around $600 to $1000 I invite you to see how this website appeals to you – and scale it up and down from there. Imagine you don’t have to do anything. Imagine you don’t have to spend hundreds of hours after hours trying to make a website yourself. Every business and everyone’s needs will undoubtedly be different, however I can certainly deliver something along these lines for this kind of budget. Feel welcome to contact me if you’d like to know more.

BTW – the part I love the best about making these kinds of websites for business customers? I love it when they say “Awesome!” – I love it when they get to say “We’ve got the best website in our market” and “You’ve helped us face down stiff competition”. I’d love to do more of the above! I’d love to do the same for you!