Websites are affordable and… beautiful

TERRANCE ON TECH

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Yes these dogs are yowling for a website of their own! Photo of the McDonald clan by terrance Gavan.

Story appears in Dead Dogan Web… cheap… by design!

Terrance Gavan – CEO: Dead Dogan Design

Think Different! We Do!

Vive la difference!

If you can’t have fun doing it? Don’t do it. Terrance Gavan

Does a website have to cost you a fortune? No. I am only a decade into the web design phase of my life. I was initially drawn to the field when I was asked to pay a huge fee for the design and set up of a personal website and blog.

I was gobsmacked by the quote. I vowed then that I would never overcharge for a product as vital as an open freeway to the world wide web. I had an aha moment. Websites should never cost that much to design. Okay. Before I start to sound like Ben and Jerry, on with the story.

That was back in 1999. I got to work designing websites in Invermere, BC while working as a ski and snowboard instructor.

Initially, I did websites for friends, ski instructors, wilderness businesses and bike shops.

Get this! I never made a dime. There’s a reason for that. I was unwilling to charge friends for my services. I was learning back then. The milieu of web design back in ‘them dark days’ was chock-a-block with cowboys and cowgirls who put up some wonderful and some not so wonderful sites.

I am being too kind. My first website was a piece of crap. I designed it for an artist I knew and she just wanted to get her art on display.  I set up the web site and she was thrilled. I read two articles, logged into a tutorial with a web and graphics guy I knew in Whistler, and I told him to look at the site.

Here’s the thing. That guy told me how the site could get better. He offered to help me for free. I worked with him for two days. I’d come off the ski hill after six hours of hauling kids around the mountain and then I went home and talked and designed with my ersatz mentor for another five hours.

Two days later I told June, the artist in question, that her website was coming down. I took that first website and I decimated it. I removed it from the server and started from scratch. Two weeks later we were back on line with June’s wonderful woodcut prints of the  Lizard range near Fernie, and prints of our own iconic Fairmont Range in the Kootenays.

Now, I’d like to say that the website won some awards. It didn’t. It was another piece of crap (hindsight is nothing if not cruel) but you know what? June was having one of those, hmmm, artistic winters. She was supplementing her artistic income by working at the pro and rental shop at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

That website, by today’s standards, was butt ugly. Ahh, but those woodcut prints? Now they were beautiful. A week after the site was up (back in 2001) June sold two prints to an American couple, who were coming to Fairmont for a skiing vacation. They found her on line and when they arrived they came to her shop and purchsed two prints for $3,000.

Shortly after she sold about five more prints.

There’s a lesson there.

Actually there’s a few lessons there.

Websites for small business pay dividends. An on-line presence for starving young and old artists is an intrinsic part of a business paradigm.

The smile on June’s face was as beautiful as the rock hewn face of the formation the first nations call “Big Chief.” June’s woodcut print of Big Chief, flowing locks draped onto the crevices and slopes of the mountain, eyes tilted toward the sky, was one of the first paintings sold to that American couple.

My own journey into website design has led me today to this business model: Dead Dogan Media.

I am a professional writer, editor, blogger, raconteur and web professional.

I found wordpress.org in my day to day trudge and also via conferencing with my many design friends.

I am a convert. An unabashed fan of the wordpress themed website.

It’s an amazing tool. It’s open source – a free template used by CNN, MacLeans, the New York Times, and many Fortune 500 companies.

But more important? It offers web designers a unique opportunity to offer their clients huge access at low cost. So if you are thinking of a website and your quotes are running to $2,000-$5,000? Please reconsider. Website design is not rocket science.

Access to templates and web compliant themes makes my life in web design quite easy indeed. I can design a small business website and have you up and running in three to four days. The charge? Anywhere from $400 to $700 dependent on pages, photography, mileage and size.

For reference please visit www.haliburtonhighlander.ca.

Pictures are added by drag and drop technology and stories, content and pages are updated by typing or cut and paste from a MS word or other compliant document. (PDF, Cut and paste from web pages or from emails).

So what are we saying? Pretty simple really. You can save a bundle on upkeep with a WordPress.org website.

And for the small business owner? That’s a pretty hefty saving on yearly web costs. I’m here to answer all of your questions at no cost. And because I was taught by some very unique open-source guys and gals? I like to pay that favor forward. Talk to me.

And artsist, bloggers and crafters?

The web is the perfect milieu for you creative folk. Artists are iconoclasts. In small communities – here in Haliburton Highlands for instance – we have an abundance of artists and small crafters who, without the aid of internet exposure, run the risk of never having their works spread to that wider audience.

If you’re an artist today? And you don’t have a website to tout your wares? That’s a downright shame. Let’s fix that.

Come see me. Contact me. 705-878-6371.

My name is Terrance Gavan and I guarantee that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get your product out to the world.

I am a true believer. I am an open source guy. And I deliver on my promises.

Web design is not magic. Don’t, please don’t, spend $2,000 on a product that can be yours for $550-$1,000.

Maserati or Porsche styled websites will cost a little, err, a lot more.

Sincerely

Terrance Gavan – CEO Dead Dogan Media

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