Would like a website that will show apartment listings and also be able to have apps submitted online via the website. Does any have any recommendations and also the general cost of running the website?
There are tons of options out there. Here's what you need:
1. Domain name. The name of the site (ebay.com, amazon.com, etc.), usually around $10/year, I think GoDaddy is having a sale where they're like $1.50 for the first year.
2. Hosting. This is where your website actually lives, available from the same place you buy your domain. Usually around $8-$10 a month for Linux hosting (I'll get to that in a minute) which is good for most situations.
There are two hosting platforms out there, and several different content management systems. WordPress is by far the most widely used content management system, and is what I would recommend for you. There's lots of flexibility in the design, but not so much that you have to do EVERYTHING yourself. There's also plenty of plugins that allow you do to do things like have users submit applications without having to code it all yourself. It works best on Linux hosting, it's possible to do it with Windows but requires a lot of configuration that your hosting provider may not be willing or able to do.
3. Design. This is the look and feel of your website. You can do a template, or you can hire someone to design it for you. You can expect to pay anywhere from nothing (there are TONS of free templates out there) to $100/hr or more (personally, I charge $25/hr but I'm on the lower end, YMMV) for a decent design. DON'T (and I mean DON'T) use one of the "website builders" out there offered by hosting companies, the templates are often very generic, don't allow for much customization and don't look very good on other platforms (phones, iPads, etc.). Plus, why pay every month for something you're only going to touch once?
THere are plenty of other options out there (SSL certificates, private domain registration, etc.) that I could keep talking about, but that should be good for now. Let me know if you have any questions.
I don't think the website is as important as how you promote the website.
I am not expert on this, but I'll bet an oatmeal raisin cookie there are BP experts here.
Design is incredibly important. It has to look the way you/your company want to be represented. Your website is most likely the first impression you'll make to your potential clients and it is going to continue to be this way for many many years in the future.
There is no reason you can't design it yourself, but dishing out a little bit of money for an amazing site that you could use for 10+ years, seems like a great investment to me.
@Tyler Smiarowski Check out Property Managers Websites. Their sites are called SmartSites.
They are building my property management website as we speak. We decided to just do one website one time. I liked that their monthly support was MUCH less than the cost of hiring part-time or full-time web support.
there's app folio. From their website it looks like they cover everything you need. Personally, unless your a pro website builder, I would outsource the building of the final website. Learn the basics so you know what your purchasing, but I building it all yourself may not be the best use of your time.
I'd check out SquareSpace. I work in the field and they have very approachable and well designed sites.
Also, they are ready to handle an ecommerce back-end. So people could actually apply and pay rent through your website. All very easy. And there are plenty of freelance folks that can do the initial build out.
Freelancer is going to run about 150/hr (I live in NYC)
Probably about 3.5 - 5 hours worth of work depending on how much content you need and how ready you are for the designer.
I agree with @Jeffrey Stasz , SquareSpace is a good option if you want everything all in one place.
Wix is VERY easy to use and gives you a lot of options as far as templates and layout. It also ties into SEO very well. You can keyword each page and add separate SEO settings w hich are very important for being found. I highly recommend using Wix. If you need help message me. I created all our websites andwork and then some.
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