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I've tried Dan's site with IE, Firefox and SeaMonkey and all three browsers work fine for me.
Maybe it is something else about Argee's set up causing the problem.

As far as I'm concerned, Dan's site is fine. It tells me what he does gives me pictures that are good enough to illustrate the range and some guide prices.
Contact details address and phone numbers are provided as is email contact.
If I'm looking for an artisan then this level of website is all I need to down select who to call.

In my Hi-tech day job however I expected a much more professional website as I'll be looking for hardware and software suppliers who should be banging their own drum in their chosen fields.

So horse for courses.

What does pi88 me off are the single page websites that many builders seem to have which tell me nothing more than a paper yellow pages entry. Similarly builders merchants who can't be bothered to put their product range and prices on their websites. Hats off the travis perkins who do bother. They tend to get my business.

9fingers":2ep94qeg said:
So horse for courses.



I am completely open to ideas on what type of furniture I make for people, but I am quite specific on the type of customer I want to attract.

Half the Premier League footballers in the country live within 30 minutes of my workshop. They spend collosal amounts on their homes and could make me a wealthy man. Do I want them as clients?


Do I want their wives as clients?

Double No!

My own experience and that of countless colleagues I have spoken to tells me that I do not want to working at the 'bling' end of the trade. It's not that I can't do the work; it's just that I don't want to be beholden to that type of person. I'd end up punching somebody 'important'!

Much the same goes for the many very wealthy business people who live in my area.

No, my core client base is among solid down-to-earth middle income folk living in the suburbs. People who just want a good job done by a local craftsman or artisan (I like that one!) and are prepared to pay a fair price for it. These are my kind of people and I get on with them.

These are also exactly the type of people who respond to my crappy website. So there is method in the madness!

Compare my website to this one, plucked at random from a google search.

They are obviously a much bigger outfit than me doing very nice work. However, for a few grand I could have a flashy website like theirs and convey a very different image to the world.

Do you know what would happen?

My core business from my target demographic would evaporate overnight! I would probably though, get loads of enquiries from the very type of people I want to avoid!

As Bob said, Horses for Courses!

The other thing to remember is that my little home-made but highly effective website cost me the princely sum of...


As I touched on earlier, the secret is in the optimization.


Duncan's site's fine enough - no visibility problems in either browser once located, it's the supposed link to this site in his post that I couldn't see and still can't. The other subsequent links are visible, though.

But even with the clues in this series of posts, (i.e. 'Dan Tovey' goggle couldn't find it).

So, concur with all the other posts. Probably a great way to do business, if it produces the results that you want.

Compared to conventional advertising, what are the costs, if it's not a too personal question?.

I've got to agree with Dan. A web site is a cheap and versatile advertising tool. The key is putting the information down in an easy to read way that also attracts Google!

I must say that the other link that Dan put up was frankly a rubbish website. They must be so far up their own ar**s they will never find their way out to make anything!! No offence!! :wink:

My website costs about £75 a year to host and thats it. It really doesn't take that much business to re-coup £75. I also have full control over it's content as I do it all myself. Take a look if you get 5 mins. Any feedback is always welcome.


You asked for it! Not keen on the Brown? background, somehow it doesn't go with the green. I think the pics, especially the close- ups, could be clearer and a little larger. I don't think the current photo's do justice to your work.
Apart from those relatively minor gripes it's a perfectly good website that is both logical and easy to navigate.
Hi Richard,

We obviously agree about websites.

A couple of hopefully constructive things about yours, however.

I have had a better response from my site since I started talking about myself in the first person, rather than the third. It is far more direct, personal, and open. The main thing one is selling in a website is oneself, so make it personal.

Secondly, I've always thought that dark background colours are somehow less 'friendly' than light ones.

That's about it!


PS re the Halstock website:

I went in search of a ridiculously poncy and arty-farty website in order to illustrate my points.

Imagine my delight when I found that monstrosity! :lol:
Dave S":3kg9gpii said:
I look at your site - half the text doesn't display in Firefox and the pictures are poor quality. That is poor attention to detail in my book, and were I a potential customer it would put doubts in my mind. I would be most likely to move on to the next website.

However, if your site is working for you, it's a moot point.


if dan was selling websites you might have a point - tho there is nowt wrong with the quality of the pics. However it is the quality of his work that matters - I'd rather hire a master carpenter with a simple website than a halfwit with the best site imaginable and i imagine most customers for bespoke furniture would feel the same.
Argus":9rwj9btd said:

Compared to conventional advertising, what are the costs?

Website - nil
Domain name - 2 x £10
Web Hosting - £30 per year
Subscription to (optional) - £150 per year

In other words, it is unbelievably cheap. I'd be lucky to get one ad in the local paper for one week for the amount I spend on internet advertising for the whole year, and the website works better than any paper ad I've ever known.

When I had a furniture shop pre internet, I used to reckon on spending 5% of my annual turnover on advertising.

I now spend a fraction of 1%.

It's no wonder the local papers are struggling.

Hey Dan.

I do like your website. I think it sets out clearly who you are and what to expect from you.

Speaking for myself, when I set about looking for a tradesperson/supplier I will always hit then google to check out the results. If turned up 10 hits for, say, a cabinet maker, and only one had a website like yours: he/she would get my business.

IMO, i'd say that a website like yours that showed what you are capable of is as good as, if not better than, a long list of references from previous clients. I can see what you've done, get a feel for your style and approximate costs.. generally 'sus' you out before making contact.

I'm not sure if its typical of my generation (mid 20's) but I'd always prefer to make first contact via e-mail than over the phone / face-to-face. A few tradespeople have lost my interest in the past because they have not returned my e-mails or had any form of descriptive websites.

I'd also guess that older generations will be more likely to want to speak or meet with the individual in person initially, rather than correspond in writing/e-mail.

Bryn :D
The proof of a web site is the conversion rate - that's usually the #1 measurement of a site's value. If Dan knows it is his site that is keeping him in work (plus some) then the conversion rate is higher than it needs to be. If anything Dan should be considering deriving better value for money - perhaps testing the conversion rate dependant on Yell to see if that is money well spent. Even if there is a necessary dependency then it may be worth trying to establish if a better design would remove that dependency and thus cut costs and therefore improve value.

That said... given the current negligible costs and the time/cost and risk associated with experimenting I would leave it alone.

At the end of the day a site needs to reflect the mood of the day. Currently people are looking for trust & value for money.
Hi guys,

Thanks for the feedback!

I rather like the colours on my site (I was thinking green/brown = wood/trees etc :?: ) although I am aware that on the old square monitors the colour comes over a little darker.

The I / we thing is something I have ummed and eeerd over :-k :-k for a long while and I am very tempted to alter it. I was aiming for professional but I know what you mean about the personal touch.

Was there any pictures in-particular that don't look good? Its all done by me and my little digital camera :oops: !

To add my bit about yellow pages/, I got a link on Yell to boost my Google rating (the more links the better!!) and my Yellow pages add has been in for less than a month and has almost paid for itself already (2 jobs!!) So no complaints from me on that score!!

Cheers for taking the time to look,

Richard i quite liked your site & had no problems with the colours.
The thing i found with the photos was, that on the main page they looked fine, but when i clicked on a photo to get a larger image, eg the pens or mushrooms,the large image looked slightly blurred.
Though i haven`t got my glasses on :wink:
Overall i enjoyed looking at your site.
Richard Findley":1cretkfs said:
The I / we thing is something I have ummed and eeerd over :-k :-k for a long while and I am very tempted to alter it. I was aiming for professional but I know what you mean about the personal touch.

I don't think it has anything to do with 'professionalism'. Some very big professional companies use the more intimate 'we' in their advertising material as opposed to the more remote 'they'.

This is exactly the same as a sole trader such as you or me using 'I' instead of 'he'.

As Matt quite rightly says above, people these days are looking for trust and value for money. A slightly more intimate and open prose style (without getting shmaltzy) is a great way of generating trust.

The only reason I can think of why a sole trader would want to use the third person about his or her enterprise is if they want people to believe that it is actually a much bigger company that it really is.

My customers seem to like to deal with a one man band, so that excercise would be totally self-defeating.


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