2
saucyatom
23d

tldr: I am looking for recommendations for a basic website for my parents. GOTO question;

Pre-Story:
My parents have a small (offline) business. They have a website to give some general information and list their weekly offers.
When I felt that what has come out of the website-building tool (you know, clicky clicky stuff) looked a bit too early 2000's and is a total ripoff for what you get (almost 20€ per month), I created something with Google Sites for them. Feel free to roast me, but web development is not my field and now it looks much more modern, is mobile friendly and does what it is supposed to do. Weekly offers are edited in a google sheets file, which is embedded in the website. Not great, but this way my mom doesn't have to deal with editing a tables on the page - trust me, it won't look good. This also meant they could downgrade the hosting package to discard the clicky-tool and just the domain (maybe 1€ per month). The website itself is hosted for free by Google.

Some time ago GDPR became a thing and then I was tasked to have a look at it. (side note: I don't want to rant about being responsible for it, that's fine. My parents don't really ask me to do a lot for them.) You can't enter any data on the website, it's just very basic stuff and data protection wise there's just the "usual" stuff (cookies, embedded tools, logs). I added another site with a halfway complete privacy policy. Regarding the whole cookie issue (do not enforce unnecessary cookies) I couldn't find an easy solution. It's not 100%, but what can you really expect from a small business like this? I've seen worse.

Now to the question:
Can you recommend a good alternative to the current solution (Google Sites)?
It should be cheap (<3€/month incl. domain) and my parents should be able to make some basic changes (just text in predefined locations). I am not afraid to get my hands dirty - I can deal with some HTML, CSS, JS - but I don't want to sink a lot of time into this. No need for analytics or the like. Maybe a newsletter would be cool (with the weekly offers), but that's just a random thought of mine and definitely not necessary.

Thanks for reading :)

Comments
  • 4
    When someone asks me for a website, I just send them to wix. They can create it and manage it themselves, and I can go about my day without giving it a second thought.
  • 1
    @Plasticnova I just went to wix.com (Android 8.1, Firefox) and not only is it terribly sluggish, also the menu button doesn't work. I guess that would only make things worse.

    But thanks for the input!
  • 2
    Squarespace? A simple wix-like ui, it's quick, there is hosting, domain management, lots of cool features
  • 1
    I don't know. I'll be blunt with you. It all seems like wasted potential and effort. Either you use the full potential of a web presence to aquire new customers and grow your business or stay out of #Neuland and get driven out of business.

    If I were you i would invest into hiring a marketing expert and business developer to take care of transforming your parents business into present day. With your admitted incompetence in this matter you may do more harm than good. Meanwhile set up a Facebook company page and redirect your domain onto that.

    Was macht ein Business Developer
    https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
  • 0
    @saucyatom chances are the website will barely ever be used, how much time do you really want to invest in this? My guess is not much, so a slightly slow website builder isn’t really a showstopper.
  • 3
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  • 1
    @Plasticnova True, but I guess than it could also just stay how it is. Except for full GDPR compliance it's quite okay.
    I have to say that I was also curious about good solutions for this in general, I don't NEED to change it.
  • 0
    @heyheni Not sure if you are serious or...
    It's a small family-led shop in a small village selling food products. Most customers probably don't give a shit at all about online presence. Shipping is not viable. The business will run for no longer than another 10 or 15 years because of my parents age.
  • 1
    @saucyatom I would just do a Facebook page then and be done with it.
  • 1
    @bkwilliams Not a bad idea, though personally I'm not too fond of Facebook. The page does exist and has about 150 likes. I don't touch it.
    The domain could redirect to Facebook. I guess it would be good enough and very low effort.
  • 0
    @saucyatom I'm dead serious
    Wouldn't it be nice to increase sales by 10-30% and thus having a more comfortable retirement?

    For example: establish a comprehensive online shop with regional evening home delivery. Old people who aren't that good on foot anymore and can't carry stuff. Or the stressed office worker who hates having to rush to the store after work. They would greatly benefit from such service.
    With the user data you can fuel an Aldi magazine like E-Mail newsletter which reminds people every week that your parents shop exists.
    With a decent online shop you can individually price the products depending on the custommers spending history. Monitor the demand. And as such increase the profit margin. just an idea.

    But please consult an online marketeer to have a look at your parents business. There is always room for improvement. And if they get an expert so talk to you don't have to deal with this.

    To answer your initial question have a look at
    https://craftcms.com/commerce
  • 1
    @saucyatom always good to check out the playing field. Just sounds like it wouldn’t be worth moving given the circumstances, and I doubt someone would hold a small mom and pop place accountable for GDPR related violations. If they tried they be colossal assholes for doing so. Of course after saying that I realize the world is full of colossal assholes so who knows lol
  • 0
    You could always just do a static site in bootstrap and just change the text for them when they ask. Wouldn't take too long and static hosting at now or surge is pretty cheap.
  • 1
    @heyheni If you do delivery, someone has to do that. Old people don't even have a computer. Shipping is not viable since most products need to be cooled (fresh meat). Any online sales carry a high legal overhead if you don't want to risk paying more than you could earn with it in years to shady law firms.

    It is small and local and it will stay that way and that's okay. I see how it could work with a different product, but in this case this is really way overboard. Also I won't get my hands in my parents business. Well, at least not that deep.
  • 1
    @M1sf3t I thought about a static website approach, but the offers will change weekly and they have to be able to change that on their own. Is there a way to load text blocks from another file? Then they could just edit the text there without accidentally breaking anything.
  • 1
    As to answer my own question from the last comment, apparently it is. Not as pretty as a having a WYSIWYG editor, but it would do the trick.
    https://stackoverflow.com/questions...
  • 1
    @saucyatom there's that approach and there's also ways to tie the page in with their social media so that it updates certain areas based on what they post to facebook, ig, twitter etc.
  • 1
    @M1sf3t Not bad at all. So maybe just having them post offers to Facebook and the post will also be shown on the website. Seems like a 2-for-1 deal.
    (I may play around with this when I can spare the time.. maybe in 2022.)
  • 0
    @saucyatom yea I would probably just do the separate text file initially unless your familiar with graphql. I've only looked into it as far as setting up an rss feed and photo gallery but facebook has a few features specific to business pages ("current offers" is one that immediately comes to mind) that might be possible to tie the page to for the long run.
  • 0
    @M1sf3t I see.. I have no clue of graphql, so I'd rather keep it simple. So now I have a plan for when I get bored (well, added to the list) or when Google decides to shut down Sites. Well, or for when I want to learn bootstrap.. hahahahaha *cough cough*
  • 0
    @saucyatom bootstrap is easy enough to figure out, especially if you start with a template. You can find a couple dozen free ones with just a quick web search. If not email me at protonmail and I'll send you one from the few I'm throwing together for my portfolio.
  • 0
    @M1sf3t Alright, thanks :)

    I'm just not too much into web development, professionally I prefer to stay away from it. There are many other areas that I'd rather explore which also would be more beneficial in my day job, but I don't mind tipping my toes into it. I'm sure I can figure it out.

    It may help that I actually did play around with HTML, CSS and JS a few times and made some sites. Some may call them oldschool, but to me they are beautiful in their simplicity (zero bloat, the little JS used is optional).
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