Building a Professional Website

Hello everyone,

we have been in business for about 3.5 years and never built a website. We have a Facebook page, but don’t use it as much as we should. We are in a small rural town without much competition from other Pizza joints, but I think its time we got our own website and started thinking about online ordering. We have several Solar Farms about to be built in our community and this will bring a lot of out of town construction workers.

My question is: did you use a professional website developer to create your website? If so, can you recommend them and also post your link so that I can check out their work? Or did you create it yourself? If so, what did you use and can you provide a link?

Thanks again for you input.

We will soon be opening our pizzeria. Here is the website. I had a friend lay it out and then I went in and was able to easily change things. I then found a professor of photography at the university in town and she volunteered her talents. The site is still in the work stage and we have another photo shoot coming up soon. I feel a site with high quality photos is a must. The link is below my name. Walter

any more suggestions for a website designer/builder??

Thanks.

Put out a RFP on craigslist for having a website being built. Get proposals, talk with a few, decide who you like best. Ours cost $2500 to get it done, but it looks professional and people often assume we are a chain store.

I forgot to post the webhost
http://www.squarespace.com/#search=&%2F=

If your thinking about online ordering see if your online ordering site provides website hosting and development. Or you can use godaddy who has a bunch of free templates and also can create a custom site for extra. You can check out my site unclericospizza.com nothing special but it was free (17.00) hosting fee per month)

We used godaddy as well (velocity-pizza.com) and then spent up on having a professional photographer take all the pictures for the the website.

The important thing is know what you want, and one hard lesson over time that I learned is make it simple to change. I am a huge proponent of having a website and using it to the fullest of capabilities.
Take a look at mine here www.rockstarpizza.net
Things that sometimes get overlooked:

  1. coupons…A lot of people come to the sight specially to get them or deals, In my experience the best is a bundle package with a SMALL discount…ie…large 2 topping pizza and breadsitcks 17.99
  2. Printable menu it seems alot of people during lunch take them around to the office to put together orders (ours is down right now as we are updating it) ALSO do the office a favor and do simple black and white.
    3)Promote social media
  3. MUST provide a direct contact to you at least via email. I hire teenagers and they are going to make mistakes, I NEED and want the chance to retain those customers
  4. online ordering: (if you cruise around in this section please make sure you put the word test into the field so my people do not make the order, Thanks) This is a HUGE reason to have the sight, some people love the idea of just ordering things online ( thanks Amazon and ebay) MY best advise is to spend days and days to looking at other sites, Spend time on all the chains. They have a TON of marketing ideas and hire huge firms so you may be able to find things you like or spin off an idea.
  5. make sure you can capture the email address for bounce back marketing
  6. getting the order to you can be tricky, a lot of people have it so that it goes directly to your POS, MY business is not so overwhelmed that I have to have that so when you place an order on my sight it is sent via a cloud service directly to my kitchen printer. We then have to manually enter it but the alternative was way more $$$$$$$$$$$$$
  7. accepting CC online, as you may notice there is a place to enter credit card number and expiration: Do to the laws and complex issues what really is happening is they are entering the # and we are manually entering it just as if you had a call in order
  8. My complete site was 800.00 it was made in word press and it is very easy for me to change.
    I hope this helps, I am sure I missed a lot but a few months PMQ did an awesome cover of this I would suggest reading that as well before you embark on this quest.

My wife built our website using square space. She had found it to be very user friendly and easy to update. We could really benefit from online ordering in our area. The problem that I have run into is that there doesn’t seem to be a fast and accurate way to update wait times. If you order for delivery on a Friday in the summer (tourist town) the wait will be 30-40 min. at 4:30. By 4:45 that wait time frequently jumps to 2 hours. Our average order size is 7 pizzas plus grill food and salads and wings. Five or six of those orders really jams things up quickly. People don’t seem to mind the wait if you tell them accurately how long it will be. They get PISSED when you tell them it will be 40 min and it takes 2 hours. Until someone shows me an online ordering system that can keep up with our changing wait times I’ll keep the girls answering the phones.

Check out 99Designs.com. We’ve used them for Facebook cover page design and logo design and were EXTREMELY happy with the results. I would suggest going to their website and watching the video about how it works. In a nutshell, you create a “contest” for whatever design task you would like accomplished (in this case website design) and then designers from around the world submit visual mockups and you rate their designs and can suggest edits and ultimately choose a winner which is awarded the contest money.

Having said that, I created our website using Wix which was pretty easy to do and took about 7 hours in totality since in the beginning we were trying to pinch pennies. We were not in need of an elaborate website, just a couple tabs so it was something I felt comfortable taking on.

So, if you have the money and little to no time (or lack of desire) I would suggest 99Designs and if you have little money and extra time (or a dying desire to play website designer) I would suggest Wix!