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  #21  
Old March 10th, 2014, 09:06 PM
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As soon as your website is online Google will automatically find it within days and especially if you get it posted in a directory. You will likely have to search your business name to find it at first but it will be there. After that you start working on building up your keywords which are other terms people may use to search for you like your name, town, state, the word maple syrup of course, and products you make.
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  #22  
Old March 11th, 2014, 08:16 AM
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Hounder, how has building your site been going with ipage? I haven't begun working on ours yet because I'm still not sold on anything and frankly quite nervous dropping some cash on an endeavor I'm not too familiar with.
Both harmony and delivron suggested wordpress sites - are you building your site using this software?

Hope it's going good!
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  #23  
Old March 11th, 2014, 09:28 AM
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Search engine ranking:

Depends on lots of things. Backlinks, as BrianEx suggested, are very helpful, but not just any links. My suggestion is get the word out about your site, and try to get bloggers talking about it and perhaps put together a small press package and have the local newspaper do a story on your sugarbush with a link to your website. Youtube videos and facebook postings with your website embedded in the content are also ways you can build links without depending on others to build them for you.

There is also the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) side. Before you sit down to write your content, you should brainstorm and ask yourself (and your friends who are not involved in sugaring) if they were searching for your farm, your business, your products, your information: what keywords and keyword phrases would they use? Then use these keywords within your copy, especially within your page title meta tag, and header tags.

Every search engine weighs backlinks and content differently, which is why I can have a listing on the first page of google for a particular keyword, but only be on page 3 or 4 of yahoo or bing for that same keyword.

Typically, the robots that scrape the internet for information will find your site within a couple of weeks of publishing, however, it is sometimes necessary to submit the site to google or yahoo which will tell the robots to scrape it.

Hosting recommendations
I hesitate to recommend any of the larger, national companies. I've used hostgator with success over the past number of years, but their customer service has gone downhill since they were bought out by an international conglomerate about a year or so ago. You could try them, and if you don't like them, switch after the first year. They would certainly have all the tools you need to get started. You are looking at about $60-80/year for hosting with one of these. Search the internet for coupons to save you more the first year.

Sometimes there are local companies, including your telephone company and computer shops, that provide webhosting. It will likely be more expensive than a hostgator or godaddy or bluehost, but I would think this would be preferable, so long as they provide the tools and support you need. You just want to make sure they are running their own servers, rather than simply reselling the services of a larger, national company. Because then, there is little advantage.

Hope this helps.

SH
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Old March 11th, 2014, 10:40 AM
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RHale, I am not using wordpress but it is available in the tools from ipage. I am using weebly click and drag. I have only spent an hour or so, (at work) to get a rough start up. The pictures I have on my work computer are definitely limited - but it was a start. The click and drag is easy, choosing a template was the hard part. I think maybe I should have drawn out my vision for each page and then looked for a template but I just picked and am now winging it =) I was more interested in seeing if I could tie it over to our paypal account and create buttons, which I did (have to add the pictures but have to do that at home) It was actually very easy which scares me that something isn't right.

I google our farm name or even google molytreemaple and I don't even get that to come up in the search. Once I get the time to make it presentable I will have to take the time to do some marketing. Next on my list of a gazillion things.

We have excellent media relations within our area. We had 7 aired interviews from our Christmas tree season. All that were on the stations webpage linked to our facebook page and we got a huge amount of traffic from it, so will try and convince them to come out for sugaring and get that started.

You guys are really appreciated giving advice on this. I think alot of people are afraid to take the plunge on a website because of all the choices and the unknowns. I know I was and I work as a builder for doctor and hospital documentation systems.
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  #25  
Old March 11th, 2014, 06:58 PM
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This will get the Google spiders started on your site unless there is a problem - https://www.molytreemaple.com/ . I did notice I was getting a Java error but I don't think that will block you from being listed but do yourself a favour and edit your signature to make your link clickable. Every time you post you could be adding another maple related link. I will also get you listed in the directory this week which will help out big time.

- Bryan
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  #26  
Old March 16th, 2014, 11:11 PM
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I am currently looking for work and am a web developer located in Boston. I am also interested in collaborating with other web developers, discussing web development, giving advice, and possibly helping people create web sites. If you have an interesting project that may intersect with some of my interests, I may be able to help you free of charge or for not too much to build parts of a site.

Some very cheap web hosting might be doable using heroku.com and storing data on the amazon cloud.

Some of my specialties are developing backend functionality such as complex database designs and dynamic content on the front end (where the page changes without reloading basically). I have worked with Ruby on Rails for 6 years. I also do HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery.

I am familiar with twitter bootstrap which can be used to develop look and feel aspects of websites and functionality without someone being a front end type of graphic artist etc.

Bootstrap

bootstrap also has some templates so that all sites built with bootstrap don't look the same.

I worked with PHP in 2007-2008 and am familiar with wordpress.

Many of the websites I have worked on are specific corporate sites used by clients behind firewalls or military type internal websites and thus aren't really visible on the web, but I was one of the main developers for IT Knowledge Exchange which was launched in 2007:

Technology questions and answers - IT Knowledge Exchange

I did do some work on various tech target sites such as
Information Security information, news and tips - SearchSecurity.com
Financial Services Information Security information, news and tips - SearchFinancialSecurity.com

I did not design these sites but was a developer that worked on them.

I am also interested in the maple syrup industry and am currently researching a bit online to see if it might be a good alternate career for me some day. I have 10 acres of land in Maine and have been trying to see if I can grow blueberries, groundnuts, apples, cranberries, shiitake mushrooms on logs, and things like that.
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