Learn best practices for starting and running a float center:
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Something in the world of floating have you stumped?

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What does a float center need to do to get a website?

What should they be prepared for?

Find out now on Daily Solutions Podcast!

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Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Graham: Okay, so this one is one less about running the actual Float Center and more about running the appearance of a Floating Center.

Ashkahn: Just like the facade setting, how do I set up a cardboard cut out and have a float in it?

Graham: And lure people in. Okay so, what should I be doing for a website setup?

Ashkahn: Okay that’s a good question.

Graham: You should probably have one.

Ashkahn: Yeah, it’s not a bad thing to have it nowadays.

Graham: Good advice if you were debating whether or not to go with the website or just no website, probably website.

Ashkahn: Yeah, this is just some of the insights that you’re going to get from the daily solutions podcast, you should have a website as a business.

Graham: Solid gold. All right the thing is that you don’t really need anything that fancy.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: You don’t need a crazy website, you’re not a web based business, your job is not to impress people with your prowess at web design, your goal is just to get them excited about floating-

Ashkahn: Make it easy to book an appointment.

Graham: I mean honestly most of the booking software out there is going to make it pretty easy to book an appointment.

Ashkahn: In terms of actually how to build your website, I mean that’s kind of the first question, what platform do I build it in? And you hear a bunch of things ranging from, you can build it yourself or you can use things like Joomla! There is all these kind of crazy words that people throw out there, but one of the biggest one is WordPress. I forget what the statistic is of like how many websites on the internet are?

Graham: 200% of all websites.

Ashkahn: 200% of all websites are WordPress. So it’s huge and it’s used by big companies and big websites (Float Tank Solutions). Float Tank Solutions is WordPress site The Float Conference is a WordPress site, our float HQ site is a WordPress site.

The nice thing about is, it basically makes a user interface for you to build a website, so it’s got a whole back end and if you want to add a new page, you just hit a big button that says add new page.

If you want to make sure you put this on the title, there’s a box that says title, and you type it in there.

It’s approachable and it’s also so widely used at this point that there is all sorts of plugins and things you can add on top of it that do variety of almost anything you would want a website to do at this point.

Graham: The kind of fancy name for this is CMS’s or Content Management Systems, of which WordPress is just one, Joomla is another Drupal is another. But WordPress by far is going to be the most supported of those out there.

Ashkahn: There’s basically the spectrum right? On one end you’re just coding everything and there is no kind of user interface for you to follow and on the other end is there is kind of no real back end.

These are called like Whizzywig websites, what you see is what you get. Where you literally have your website and if you want a paragraph to be above a picture you’ll just drag it with your mouse and put it above the picture.

You are kind of really just playing with what the website is and it’s very kind of outside. Then in the middle is something like WordPress where there is a back door and you go through and you kind of adjust everything. Pretty much along that spectrum you’re just giving up, you’re balancing ease of use and customizability.

The more you want to customize something to exactly how you want it to be, the more you’re leaning towards building a website completely from scratch yourself, which is very difficult.

The less you care about customizing things, the more you’re building super, super simple websites that are easy to use and easy to manipulate like those Whizzywig sites, things like Wix is an example of that.

Graham: I’ll give you a hint when you’re designing your float center website I would say you probably don’t care too much about having control over it.

Ashkahn: Yeah, so that kind of WordPress is that middle ground that a lot of people end up going with.

Graham: Another really common one that’s even more hold your hand through the process kind of style is Squarespace and that’s more a recent development than WordPress by far.

Basically came about as a response to a lot of these other CMS’s that were a little more complicated and it truly is one that you can design a really nice, very modern looking website that takes advantage of responsive design and all these other kind of buzz words that you might hear going around there and does all the heavy lifting for you.

You’re really just entering in your content the types of effects you want to have happen, different photos and everything comes out the other end looking very much like a lot of Squarespace websites if you start designing in there you’ll be like, “Oh, every single spot in my town uses Squarespace. I get it. That’s why they all look like kind of the same.”

You’ll be one of those very stylish nice looking websites that kind of looks like a lot of other content on the web – especially small shops. But there is a reason for that which is, it’s easy to use and your job again is not to be a really fancy web design company you don’t need the fanciest things.

At it’s core you have a link for people to click to schedule, you have your address and stuff about you and stuff about floating, none of that is too crazy or complicated.

Going with Squarespace is a very appealing kind of idea especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in web design yourself.

Ashkahn: Yeah, it’s pretty typical unless you have decent hand at this stuff, it’s pretty typical to find a freelance person or a company to kind of help you with this, with building your website.

My personal advice is always to find a company that can help you with the trickier parts, like setting up a website in the first place is probably one of the most difficult parts of having a website and then sometimes the websites just throw you crazy errors.

It’s like, “Oh, this like crazy plug in node 3.4 thing needs to be updated but can’t.” You’re like, “Oh I have no idea what that means.”

Graham: Node idea?

Ashkahn: Yeah, so it’s nice to have someone that you’re paying money to who knows stuff like that, who can just deal with that sort of shit so you don’t have to. It’s nice to have that, but in my mind you don’t want to… You want to have enough wherewithal in your website to be able to go make small changes.

Graham: Yeah, absolutely.

Ashkahn: If you just want to be like, “Oh, I just need to on my home page I want to change the title of this one little section of it.” You don’t want to have to, every time you want to make a small change like that, have to contact your web developer and pay them money to go into this thing and again WordPress can be nice because it’s easy to do those parts of it. That’s what I find to be a nice balance, like find someone you can pay to do these parts that are weird crazy strings of air, message words that don’t make any sense to you. But give yourself enough training and spend a little bit of time figuring out to the point where if you just need to do changing text, or changing a picture, or small stuff like that in your website you can do it by yourself without anybody else having to kind of be the gatekeeper.

Graham: That actually is just what I would say is a really good litmus test for whatever you end up going. Even if it’s raw HTML/CSS and you’re doing the coding by hand, if that gets you to the point where you feel confident in changing text or an image then you can actually manipulate that raw HTML/CSS then that’s a fine option.

Graham: If you’ve been using WordPress you can’t get to that point because technology is so kind of scary and different sizes of images don’t even really make sense to you then yeah, maybe something that holds your hand even more than that is really what you’re looking for.

Having to go back to a web developer or needing to just wait for a week for someone to respond to an email in order to change something really simple or type over something is so annoying. Getting it in your hands and feeling confident is probably prime.

Ashkahn: Often you change something and you’re like, “Oh, no that actually didn’t look as good as I thought.” It’s nice to be able to do four or five things until you get it right instead of waiting for someone to do it and having a lot of back and forth just sounds very annoying.

Graham: Yeah, other parts of this just to go over them really quick. I mean the nice thing is this isn’t float specific knowledge, so we kind of load you up with a bunch of keywords here and then you can go do a bunch of research on your own once you kind of know how it basically works.

But in addition to figuring out what you’re actually going to design your side on, you’re going to need a domain, so you’re going to need an address, which is in our case is float HQ.

A lot of people do just the name of their business, which unfortunately Float On was taken by a boat trailer company down in Florida who adamantly refuses to sell their domain to us, so we were unable to get on floaton.com.

But that’s kind of your address it’s the equivalent of if you have a house, you have your house and your property and your address. That’s the address part, is your whatever.Com, is the address.

Then the property is kind of like the hosting company that you’re using. HostGator is one, Bluehost is another that’s really common, all these are going to cost you maybe around $10 to $13 a month so really affordable, some of them even go down to like $5 or $7.

That’s again your property, that’s where your house is going to sit on, then something like using WordPress or Squarespace that’s your actual house that you’re building on there.

Once you have your address, you have your property you have your house that’s kind of the full array that you need in order to keep your website up and hosting and have people be able to visit it.

Ashkahn: Then from there the business just starts streaming you know, you seriously get your website up it’ll just be non-stop people.

Graham: Yeah and that pretty much also includes everything we have to say about marketing.

Good. Wonderful. Well, good question and we will talk to you all tomorrow.

Ashkahn: Bye everybody.

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Show Transcription
(in case you prefer reading)

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Float Tank Conference