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Advice for creating my first professional website
Thread poster: Ashley Wans

Ashley Wans  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 9, 2011

Hi all,

I would like to create a website that informs potential clients about my services and promotes myself as a translator. I have browsed through other translator's websites, so I have a general idea of what is normally included in these sites and what I would like to include in mine. However, I have some questions about actually setting the site up.

I am relatively computer savvy, but I have never actually created a site that isn't a free blog or page that sits w
... See more
Hi all,

I would like to create a website that informs potential clients about my services and promotes myself as a translator. I have browsed through other translator's websites, so I have a general idea of what is normally included in these sites and what I would like to include in mine. However, I have some questions about actually setting the site up.

I am relatively computer savvy, but I have never actually created a site that isn't a free blog or page that sits within another larger site (like Blogger, Tumblr, etc). I have some knowledge of HTML, but I would prefer it if I could find a company that offers some basic templates or an HTML editor to make the process of creating the site quicker and easier. It would also be great if I could find a relatively cheap hosting option (not a terribly surprising request, is it?). Can anyone recommend a site that offers these features?

Also, how do I go about setting up an email account that uses the website domain name? I currently use a Gmail account, but it would be nice to have a more professional looking email that reflects the fact that I am indeed a professional with a real business.

Thanks in advance for input on this.
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:23
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
ProZ!! Apr 9, 2011

Hello Ashley,

I'm not at all computer savvy and haven't actually got a website yet - it's still in the making (and probably will be so for ever after) but I'm sure you are overlooking something that is sitting right under your nose.

ProZ offers a domain-hosting service. You can have yourself a name.proz.com (or something similar) for free but you can also get yourself a "proper" name (eg ashleywanstranslations.com) and get ProZ to host it. They have one of those Wizard
... See more
Hello Ashley,

I'm not at all computer savvy and haven't actually got a website yet - it's still in the making (and probably will be so for ever after) but I'm sure you are overlooking something that is sitting right under your nose.

ProZ offers a domain-hosting service. You can have yourself a name.proz.com (or something similar) for free but you can also get yourself a "proper" name (eg ashleywanstranslations.com) and get ProZ to host it. They have one of those Wizard things to help you create your site and you can have a multitude of email addresses to go with it. All that for a very small annual outlay - I should know as I've been paying it for years! It isn't ProZ fault that I haven't got my act together!
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S E (X)
Italy
Local time: 20:23
Italian to English
try google apps Apr 9, 2011

Hi Ashley,

For the email with a domain name, check out Google Apps.

I don't have my actual website set up yet, but my email address uses my domain name, which I set up through Google Apps. I have a paid Google Apps subscription that guarantees service and support.

I am (slowly) designing my own website using Adobe Dreamweaver C5, and related Adobe applications, thanks to some excellent Adobe tutorials for (real) beginners, like me, but only because I have a
... See more
Hi Ashley,

For the email with a domain name, check out Google Apps.

I don't have my actual website set up yet, but my email address uses my domain name, which I set up through Google Apps. I have a paid Google Apps subscription that guarantees service and support.

I am (slowly) designing my own website using Adobe Dreamweaver C5, and related Adobe applications, thanks to some excellent Adobe tutorials for (real) beginners, like me, but only because I have an extensive background in the visual arts and am curious to see what I can achieve in this area.

A lot of colleagues have recommended, in previous posts on proz asking this question, hiring a professional, many stating the reason as: you can always tell the difference between a site set up by a pro and one set up by an amateur, and your clients want to see you as a full professional. I myself will turn to a professional in case my dream of designing my own proves to be sheer folly!

But there are also a few proz.com training videos on setting up websites, as well as a number of companies targeted to walking you through the steps towards the achievement of your own site, offering flexible ready-made templates and such.

Sarah
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Ashley Wans  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wow, I didn't realize I had this option! Apr 9, 2011

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Hello Ashley,

I'm not at all computer savvy and haven't actually got a website yet - it's still in the making (and probably will be so for ever after) but I'm sure you are overlooking something that is sitting right under your nose.

ProZ offers a domain-hosting service. You can have yourself a name.proz.com (or something similar) for free but you can also get yourself a "proper" name (eg ashleywanstranslations.com) and get ProZ to host it. They have one of those Wizard things to help you create your site and you can have a multitude of email addresses to go with it. All that for a very small annual outlay - I should know as I've been paying it for years! It isn't ProZ fault that I haven't got my act together!


Thanks for pointing this out! I'm not sure how I missed that. Now I'm off to check out what ProZ has to offer for hosting.


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
English to Russian
+ ...
free site templates Apr 10, 2011

http://www.google.com/search?q=free%20site%20templates&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:es-ES:official&client=firefox-a

 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
ProZ.com hosting service for members Apr 10, 2011

Hello Ashley,

If you would like to start creating your website using ProZ.com site creator, just start here:

http://www.proz.com/?sp=host/info

There you will find information on the different options available and on how to get started.

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,

Lucía


 

Eugenia Morris
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:23
English to Russian
+ ...
it's easy Apr 10, 2011

Some time ago when I was thinking about creating a website, I was dreading the idea that I will have to deal with HTML, codes and other things of similar sort. Everything turned out very easy, otherwise there would not be so many websites these days=).

If the price is really relevant, it is better to start with finding a provider. I think even the cheapest option with an email account will suffice for a nice website.

After you find the provider, purchase a domain name a
... See more
Some time ago when I was thinking about creating a website, I was dreading the idea that I will have to deal with HTML, codes and other things of similar sort. Everything turned out very easy, otherwise there would not be so many websites these days=).

If the price is really relevant, it is better to start with finding a provider. I think even the cheapest option with an email account will suffice for a nice website.

After you find the provider, purchase a domain name and choose a tariff, you can log in into control panel of your provider where it will take only a few minutes to set up an email account. Later it's better to import it into OUTLOOK so that you didn't have to visit provider's website all the time. My provider some time ago gave me a free blog, plenty of storage space, 15 email accounts, statistics options and other things for only 15 dollars per year. Prices have increased now but with some effort something similiar is more or less easy to find.

Then I realized I need a website, so I simply did what Sergei said - I downloaded a template and edited it, adding my content and changing some graphics. Using the same program I uploaded it into my website (by using setting in the program, I used Dreamweaver but of course it is far from being the only option!).

This process was very interesting and creative, so I didn't stop and in a while updated my website because then I learned so many new things...

So, it is easy and interesting. It begins with finding a good affordable provider and purchasing your own web address.=)
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Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:23
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
website templates Apr 10, 2011

I did the same as Eugenia, downloaded a free website template, edited it and uploaded it online. I used Frontpage for editting the template. It is not the best software in this field, but it is easy to use, especially if you have experience with other MS Office programs. Now, that I have a little bit more experience in this field, can deal better with codes, images, etc., I would like to change my website, but I really don´t have time too.

I host my website on proz and I am happy
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I did the same as Eugenia, downloaded a free website template, edited it and uploaded it online. I used Frontpage for editting the template. It is not the best software in this field, but it is easy to use, especially if you have experience with other MS Office programs. Now, that I have a little bit more experience in this field, can deal better with codes, images, etc., I would like to change my website, but I really don´t have time too.

I host my website on proz and I am happy with this service. You can also create one or more email addresses and then you only have to configure them into your email client.

It is not complicated at all. If you have questions or difficulties, you can always find the answer to your problems doing a simple google search.

Good luck!
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Ashley Wans  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all the information everyone Apr 10, 2011

I will let you know how it turns out

 

Shana Yael Shubs  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:23
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
I use Google Sites Apr 11, 2011

I recently used the free version of Google Sites to build my website.

I designed the site myself with only a very rudimentary knowledge of html, though quite a lot of fondness for fiddling. But there are also lots of templates available that you can use and/or modify for free.

I bought my domain name through Google for USD $10/year, which gives me 50 email addresses as well as all the other Google products - calendar, Google Docs, etc.

So far I'm happy with
... See more
I recently used the free version of Google Sites to build my website.

I designed the site myself with only a very rudimentary knowledge of html, though quite a lot of fondness for fiddling. But there are also lots of templates available that you can use and/or modify for free.

I bought my domain name through Google for USD $10/year, which gives me 50 email addresses as well as all the other Google products - calendar, Google Docs, etc.

So far I'm happy with it, though I should say that I have yet to get a new client through the website. I'm definitely hoping that that will come with time.
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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:23
Swedish to English
+ ...
Search engines Apr 11, 2011

A Google search for "Spanish to English translator" yields 193,000 hits. How will Google know that you exist, number 193,001 ?

The answer is that you first need to do some research into SEO – Search Engine Optimisation– to see how you can improve your ranking. But the odds are against you.

The alternative is to recognise that, more realistically, your website is to be an electronic brochure or CV about your services, intended for the relatively small number of peo
... See more
A Google search for "Spanish to English translator" yields 193,000 hits. How will Google know that you exist, number 193,001 ?

The answer is that you first need to do some research into SEO – Search Engine Optimisation– to see how you can improve your ranking. But the odds are against you.

The alternative is to recognise that, more realistically, your website is to be an electronic brochure or CV about your services, intended for the relatively small number of people who find your details elsewhere, for example on ProZ. But you already have quite a lot of information in your ProZ profile. Can you justify spending more money on your website? What can you do to make your site different and persuasive?

I am not trying to deter you from having a website (I have one or two rather primitive ones), only to make you think about the contents, the benefits and the costs before jumping onto a fashionable bandwagon.
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Krzysztof Kajetanowicz (X)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:23
English to Polish
+ ...
my theory Apr 11, 2011

Peter Linton wrote:

A Google search for "Spanish to English translator" yields 193,000 hits. How will Google know that you exist, number 193,001 ?

The answer is that you first need to do some research into SEO – Search Engine Optimisation– to see how you can improve your ranking. But the odds are against you.


I'd go even further. SEO research is a waste of time because there is a whole SEO industry, and as freelancers we can't afford it; there's no way we can compete with the big fish.

Realistically speaking, we can forget about people googling to our website, unless they google our name. That's not what the website is for.

The alternative is to recognise that, more realistically, your website is to be an electronic brochure or CV about your services, intended for the relatively small number of people who find your details elsewhere, for example on ProZ. But you already have quite a lot of information in your ProZ profile. Can you justify spending more money on your website? What can you do to make your site different and persuasive?


I think it's important not to be viewed as just one in a crowd and for the translation not to be viewed as a commodity. Even an obscure website can help, in my opinion. On Proz, you pop up as an item in the directory, then the user is taken to your profile (if you're lucky). If you link to your website in the profile so that the user clicks away from proz, that might do some good.

Moreover, if you send the client a link to your website (instead of your proz.com profile), or put the URL on a business card, the client won't be so tempted to check out your competition at the evil proz

As far as the "spending more money" goes, free templates are everywhere, and if you add some very basic HTML skills, your only expense is hosting/domain. That's peanuts. The real cost is the time invested in creating the content of the website. But aren't you supposed to make that investment anyway – when building your profile?

[Edited at 2011-04-11 17:18 GMT]


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
English to Russian
+ ...
best is the enemy of the good Apr 11, 2011

... you first need to do some research into SEO – Search Engine Optimisation–


I would propose to start eating dinner from the first course, and only after that touch the dessert.

[Edited at 2011-04-11 17:24 GMT]


 

Holly Nathan (X)  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:23
Italian to English
The hard bit is the SEO Apr 11, 2011

Yes, I agree with what the others have just said about SEO - that was the nightmare for me at least. If I typed in something very vague connected to translation and Italy then I managed to get my website to come up on page one of google a few weeks back but it literally involved me working on SEO for 8 hours a day for three days in a row. I did NO translation work whatsoever in that time.
It's tough. I presumed that once I had my website then I would be away. Not so...
See more
Yes, I agree with what the others have just said about SEO - that was the nightmare for me at least. If I typed in something very vague connected to translation and Italy then I managed to get my website to come up on page one of google a few weeks back but it literally involved me working on SEO for 8 hours a day for three days in a row. I did NO translation work whatsoever in that time.
It's tough. I presumed that once I had my website then I would be away. Not so
Anyway, it is all interesting stuff, so I say give it a go!
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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
English to Russian
+ ...
best is the enemy of the good Apr 11, 2011

... you first need to do some research into SEO – Search Engine Optimisation–


I would propose to start eating dinner from the first course, and only after that go to the dessert.


 
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