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    Default Build your own website or pay someone to do it?

    Hi,

    What do you think the main advantages/disadvantages are of having your website built by a professional design company as opposed to doing it yourself?

    Surely if you have the money to spend then it's better to pay a professional or am I missing something?

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    If you're a good coder and want something customized: do it yourself
    If you're not a good coder and want something customized: hire someone, but be prepared so pay some money. Pay peanuts results in getting monkeys.
    If a customized website isnt; necessairy, use some theme. Themes usually do have a lot of features. Better use a standard theme than let some joker make something customized. For customized websites, just work with pro's that know what they're doing.

    My 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple7 View Post
    If you're a good coder and want something customized: do it yourself
    If you're not a good coder and want something customized: hire someone, but be prepared so pay some money. Pay peanuts results in getting monkeys.
    If a customized website isnt; necessairy, use some theme. Themes usually do have a lot of features. Better use a standard theme than let some joker make something customized. For customized websites, just work with pro's that know what they're doing.

    My 2 cents.
    Yeah that was pretty much what I was thinking, Agree completely about paying peanuts! I think if you are going to pay someone to do it then make sure you are using someone that is actually going to do a very good job.

    When paying someone to build a site for you what are the main things that you should make sure they do? For example security etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landofbetting View Post
    Yeah that was pretty much what I was thinking, Agree completely about paying peanuts! I think if you are going to pay someone to do it then make sure you are using someone that is actually going to do a very good job.

    When paying someone to build a site for you what are the main things that you should make sure they do? For example security etc
    Exactly. Also a gambling site needs some typical features that a lot of other websites are not having. Another thing is that you need to specify very good what you exactly want. You need to think very good about that, because your website needs to be fast, nice looking but also it must be possible to maintain it in an efficient way.

    You need to be sure that:
    - they build exactly what you want and what you meant!
    - they need to build a website with features, not a standard theme with a bunch of plugins
    - they use clean code and know what they're doing.
    - Make a clear agreement about support after
    - Ask a manual or something like that where is pointed out how things need to be updated, how things are coded, etc. So that always anybody else can work on your website. It's very difficult to work with somebody elses work, because everybody has his own way of making things.

    Perhaps I did forget some things, but these things for sure are things to remember. I hired some people times ago and I paid peanuts and I received monkeys. Most self declared web specialists, just use some theme or copy some theme and add a bunch of plugins and some code. Also people that advices just what was better for them. Like "Hey, better no banner there", because it costed them some time to make that .... The most important is that you exactly know what you want.

    To be honest, if you're not having much experience with having gambling sites, you'd better start first with a standard theme (Flytonic or something like that). Than you learn what you want, what you need, etc. Once a customized website is made, it's expensive to make changes and if people do not do things in a logical way, it's even almost impossible to change some things in a reasonable way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landofbetting View Post
    Surely if you have the money to spend then it's better to pay a professional or am I missing something?
    But how much money do you want to spend - and how long are you going to wait to get it back (if ever) ?

    If you can find a professional gambling site design company with pre-existing knowledge and advice - then you are correct.

    If you can't then you are more than likely going to get a pretty site that may be what you asked for - but may not meet your needs within a couple of months - and may not be easily adaptable in future. Some of the prettiest sites on the net are actually locked into the "strait-jacket" of their "cutting edge" design - and end up being expensive lemons.

    I don't think that ANYONE who is moderately successful in this area knew where their site was going to grow ahead of time. So a big argument for "building it yourself" is that you have a good understanding of the structure of the layout and code to make the modifications.

    I think that an experienced affiliate group COULD provide a detailed specification to a professional design group and get a good site, but there would be significant time and expense in the initial build - and on-going maintenance and enhancement. People outside the IT area sometimes don't realise the amount of time and effort that does into a detailed specification and 3rd party build.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    But how much money do you want to spend - and how long are you going to wait to get it back (if ever) ?

    If you can find a professional gambling site design company with pre-existing knowledge and advice - then you are correct.

    If you can't then you are more than likely going to get a pretty site that may be what you asked for - but may not meet your needs within a couple of months - and may not be easily adaptable in future. Some of the prettiest sites on the net are actually locked into the "strait-jacket" of their "cutting edge" design - and end up being expensive lemons.

    I don't think that ANYONE who is moderately successful in this area knew where their site was going to grow ahead of time. So a big argument for "building it yourself" is that you have a good understanding of the structure of the layout and code to make the modifications.

    I think that an experienced affiliate group COULD provide a detailed specification to a professional design group and get a good site, but there would be significant time and expense in the initial build - and on-going maintenance and enhancement. People outside the IT area sometimes don't realise the amount of time and effort that does into a detailed specification and 3rd party build.
    Lets just say for example that I want to spend 10,000 and that I don't have a time scale on getting that cost back as I see it as a long term project.
    Timescale I've been quoted is around three months to get it done.
    Completely agree about the whole 'cutting edge design' and have made it clear when getting quotes that I'm looking for something clean and user friendly that's extremely easy to update and maintain, have also explained that the site will be growing in terms of content very quickly.
    Also Im an expat living in a country where my budget of 10, 000 is going to go a lot further than it would in the UK.
    When having meetings with design agencies what kind of questions should I be asking? The reason I'm thinking about having it built for me is because after trying to it myself I feel like I'm out of my depth and as I see this as a long term project I would rather have it done right from the start and if that means investing heavily in it then so be it

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    For me, it's a question of competence and ambition/goals. Can some create high-quality website with great designs, useful contents and manage all the partners in one? I don't know a person like this, everyone outsorces at least some areas. And if you really wanna grow, you will ultimately only have time to manage the business, so giving out areas straight away is better. If you start as a hobby and don't wanna invest, you have to learn many things and will need way more time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casino Strategy View Post
    For me, it's a question of competence and ambition/goals. Can some create high-quality website with great designs, useful contents and manage all the partners in one? I don't know a person like this, everyone outsorces at least some areas. And if you really wanna grow, you will ultimately only have time to manage the business, so giving out areas straight away is better. If you start as a hobby and don't wanna invest, you have to learn many things and will need way more time.
    You mirror some of my thinking, if I outsource the building of the website (an area where I'm weak) Imagine how much quality content I can write for the site in the 3-4 months that it's being built.

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    BEFORE STARTING :

    Just a general warning here on "snake-oil" salesmen and design groups that promise that they can build you a website on the cheap that will have all the "whiz-bang" features you want at a fraction of the cost.

    THEY ARE EITHER BRILLIANT EXPERTS IN THIS FIELD - OR - DONT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    The website business is full of options, and full of people with vastly different skills levels. Typically young enthusiastic groups will want to run off and knock something up quickly, without producing the specs, the designs, and/or technical details, and it's then going to be very hit-or-miss as to whether you get a good website.

    Some guys are brilliant - they can work like that - but most groups (especially those from 3rd world countries) are simply out of their depth, self-taught, and lack the discipline to bring their promises together to a coherent final product.

    IF you have an individual idea, with unique elements or functions, then it's going o take some time to think out properly and design and build it in a way that makes it useful now and in the future.

    ----------------------------------

    I'm getting a feeling that you are not an IT guy - so I'm going to lean on my experience (in my previous IT career) to do what I always did when talking users through the process - and liken it to a house build.

    Apologies if it sounds a bit basic - but in my experience this process works well because people understand physical building processes much better than software building processes.


    STEP 1/ THE BASIC IDEA - FUNCTIONS
    The first thing you need is a functional specification which is an overall plan of what you want your website to do, what you want it to look like, and what technologies or traits you want to use (if you know them).

    This is like visiting an architect for the first time, and saying I want a house. A 3-bedroom house, with a swimming pool. And also possibly saying that you like the modern flat plane look - rather than a log cabin approach.

    This takes time - and usually a couple of iterations - before we have worked out all the kinks - ie you want a garage as well.

    STEP 2/ THE DESIGN SPEC - LOOK AND FEEL
    Then you get the design spec. This will include screenshots, mock-ups, and start laying out how the finished items might look.

    This is the architects detailed design, it specifies the rooms, the shapes, the windows, doors etc. This takes 2-3 times longer than the first stage as there is a lot more to detail, and work through.

    STEP 3/ THE TECHNICAL SPEC - HOW IT WORKS
    This is where the team specifies exactly how the website will work under the covers. What technologies are involved, what platforms, mobile applications etc.

    Consider this the materials spec for a house. What sort of plumbing, what tiles for the roof, what insulation for the walls etc. It's likely to be ful of details that you don't understand completely, but you will have other experts to help you determine industry standards.

    The technical specs are important, but usually quite standard, it doesn't take as long as detailed design (usually) unless you've come up with an original design feature - say you'd like the roof to flip off the garage - so that you can park a helicopter in there ..


    ----------------------------------------

    At THIS stage the likely cost of the build project can be estimated - because now we know WHAT you want the website to do and HOW it's (probably) going to be done. To get to this stage in IT / website build probably takes 1/3 of the total time and cost.

    ------------------------------------------

    STEP 4/ THE DETAILED DESIGN
    This is where each of the functions is defined out by the designer to the programmer. Screen layouts, data elements, interaction with other components. It takes a bit of time, but saves time by avoiding confusion.

    IN building parlance these are the functional working drawings and blueprints that the builders, electricians, plumbers and roofers will refer to in order to build you EXACTLY what you have asked.

    STEP 5/ THE BUILD PROCESS
    Just as it sounds. Software building is easier (usually) especially if it's a standard project that the architect and builder have done before. If there are new and novel elements (like that flipping roof on the garage for the helicopter) then these items may blow out.

    STEP 6/ THE TESTING PROCESS
    Check all the screens, add the data, test the interactions. It takes more time than you think - usually about 1/4 to 1/3 of the build phase.

    STEP 7/ IMPLEMENTATION
    Installing your website on a server and doing quality assurance that it all works as designed.

    ------------------------------------------

    What do things cost ?
    - A basic website with pages of information and no special features can be setup for $100.
    - Getting good content to fill it might cost $1000 or $5000 depending on your requirements,
    - A decent mobile app with good functionality can take 10K to design and build.
    - A unique website with special functions could cost $10K, $25K or $50K

    $50K?!! - Now if this all sounds like a LOT of time and expense ... IT IS!
    But you have got a personalised handcrafted website that does exactly what you asked.

    But it's likely to take several months to build, and a good site with mobile functionality could easily cost 5-10 times your strawman budget.


    ------------------------------------------

    However, there are ways to simplify the process and significantly reduce the cost.

    One way is to buy an "off the shelf" website Content Management System (CMS) like Wordpress or Joomla and have a theme installed. Maybe even have content created and posted into it.

    This approach is like buying a showhome - you get exactly what you see - nothing less - but nothing more.

    It's far cheaper, because it's already built - and they are selling the same thing over and over again.
    All the design, and technical specs are complete, and it's simply a case on implementation (and content)

    The downside - is there is no unique features - it's cookie cutter.

    IF you have never created or run a website - this is a good start option - and you will quickly come to grips with it and start to get a feel for extra options or mods that you will want in future versions of your site.
    ----------------------------------

    Apologies for the long winded diatribe - and I know it may be stuff you already know and understand - but you are talking about a sizable amount of wedge to spend and I felt it was important to layout the likely process and likely costs.

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    I agree with Paul. There's no real shortcut to trial and error for the most part no matter how much you try to plan and get feedback from fellow affiliates. At the end of the day, your design, your traffic, you style of writing, your layout will differ, which will affect pretty much everything you can think of.

    I started with 0 knowledge, 0 money for investment, and some programming/html background. A friend of mine was hosting the site, and paid for my old domain name. I was supporting myself by writing posts for a few other sites who let the author use adsense and keep whatever they make (which came about 400$ a month).

    May sound strange, Im glad i got pretty much nothing for 2 years. Not converting, not receiving traffic, not scoring well on speed/optimization tests, makes you READ and learn.

    I'd say go for building it yourself. And as your knowledge of what you want it to be, and HOW you want it to operate grows you will adapt to it. You'd see at some point that the whole editing/processing takes a lot more than writing and you'd want to optimize that. I dont know about the rest, but in the beginning something that takes me 15-20 minutes now, would take me well over an hour a few years back.

    If it was me I'd keep that investment and slowly use it month after month on different things and see what works. Ofc you are free to do whatever you'd like to, that's just how I'd proceed.

    P.S: off-topic lawl Paul we r not allowed to give thanks to your 2nd post, just report it as spam ... p.s2 nm showed up in a few minutes
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    BEFORE STARTING :

    Just a general warning here on "snake-oil" salesmen and design groups that promise that they can build you a website on the cheap that will have all the "whiz-bang" features you want at a fraction of the cost.

    THEY ARE EITHER BRILLIANT EXPERTS IN THIS FIELD - OR - DONT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    The website business is full of options, and full of people with vastly different skills levels. Typically young enthusiastic groups will want to run off and knock something up quickly, without producing the specs, the designs, and/or technical details, and it's then going to be very hit-or-miss as to whether you get a good website.

    Some guys are brilliant - they can work like that - but most groups (especially those from 3rd world countries) are simply out of their depth, self-taught, and lack the discipline to bring their promises together to a coherent final product.

    IF you have an individual idea, with unique elements or functions, then it's going o take some time to think out properly and design and build it in a way that makes it useful now and in the future.

    ----------------------------------

    I'm getting a feeling that you are not an IT guy - so I'm going to lean on my experience (in my previous IT career) to do what I always did when talking users through the process - and liken it to a house build.

    Apologies if it sounds a bit basic - but in my experience this process works well because people understand physical building processes much better than software building processes.


    STEP 1/ THE BASIC IDEA - FUNCTIONS
    The first thing you need is a functional specification which is an overall plan of what you want your website to do, what you want it to look like, and what technologies or traits you want to use (if you know them).

    This is like visiting an architect for the first time, and saying I want a house. A 3-bedroom house, with a swimming pool. And also possibly saying that you like the modern flat plane look - rather than a log cabin approach.

    This takes time - and usually a couple of iterations - before we have worked out all the kinks - ie you want a garage as well.

    STEP 2/ THE DESIGN SPEC - LOOK AND FEEL
    Then you get the design spec. This will include screenshots, mock-ups, and start laying out how the finished items might look.

    This is the architects detailed design, it specifies the rooms, the shapes, the windows, doors etc. This takes 2-3 times longer than the first stage as there is a lot more to detail, and work through.

    STEP 3/ THE TECHNICAL SPEC - HOW IT WORKS
    This is where the team specifies exactly how the website will work under the covers. What technologies are involved, what platforms, mobile applications etc.

    Consider this the materials spec for a house. What sort of plumbing, what tiles for the roof, what insulation for the walls etc. It's likely to be ful of details that you don't understand completely, but you will have other experts to help you determine industry standards.

    The technical specs are important, but usually quite standard, it doesn't take as long as detailed design (usually) unless you've come up with an original design feature - say you'd like the roof to flip off the garage - so that you can park a helicopter in there ..


    ----------------------------------------

    At THIS stage the likely cost of the build project can be estimated - because now we know WHAT you want the website to do and HOW it's (probably) going to be done. To get to this stage in IT / website build probably takes 1/3 of the total time and cost.

    ------------------------------------------

    STEP 4/ THE DETAILED DESIGN
    This is where each of the functions is defined out by the designer to the programmer. Screen layouts, data elements, interaction with other components. It takes a bit of time, but saves time by avoiding confusion.

    IN building parlance these are the functional working drawings and blueprints that the builders, electricians, plumbers and roofers will refer to in order to build you EXACTLY what you have asked.

    STEP 5/ THE BUILD PROCESS
    Just as it sounds. Software building is easier (usually) especially if it's a standard project that the architect and builder have done before. If there are new and novel elements (like that flipping roof on the garage for the helicopter) then these items may blow out.

    STEP 6/ THE TESTING PROCESS
    Check all the screens, add the data, test the interactions. It takes more time than you think - usually about 1/4 to 1/3 of the build phase.

    STEP 7/ IMPLEMENTATION
    Installing your website on a server and doing quality assurance that it all works as designed.

    ------------------------------------------

    What do things cost ?
    - A basic website with pages of information and no special features can be setup for $100.
    - Getting good content to fill it might cost $1000 or $5000 depending on your requirements,
    - A decent mobile app with good functionality can take 10K to design and build.
    - A unique website with special functions could cost $10K, $25K or $50K

    $50K?!! - Now if this all sounds like a LOT of time and expense ... IT IS!
    But you have got a personalised handcrafted website that does exactly what you asked.

    But it's likely to take several months to build, and a good site with mobile functionality could easily cost 5-10 times your strawman budget.


    ------------------------------------------

    However, there are ways to simplify the process and significantly reduce the cost.

    One way is to buy an "off the shelf" website Content Management System (CMS) like Wordpress or Joomla and have a theme installed. Maybe even have content created and posted into it.

    This approach is like buying a showhome - you get exactly what you see - nothing less - but nothing more.

    It's far cheaper, because it's already built - and they are selling the same thing over and over again.
    All the design, and technical specs are complete, and it's simply a case on implementation (and content)

    The downside - is there is no unique features - it's cookie cutter.

    IF you have never created or run a website - this is a good start option - and you will quickly come to grips with it and start to get a feel for extra options or mods that you will want in future versions of your site.
    ----------------------------------

    Apologies for the long winded diatribe - and I know it may be stuff you already know and understand - but you are talking about a sizable amount of wedge to spend and I felt it was important to layout the likely process and likely costs.
    Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed response, it really is appreciated.

    Your right I'm not an IT guy and I'm leaning towards having it built for me. The good news is that the agency I'm currently speaking to have laid out how they wouls go about the project and it is almost exactly the same as points 1-7 that you have listed.

    When you talk about buying an off the shelf CMS Im a bit confused as I thought wordpress was free and then you can buy certain themes? is that what you meant? If so I may well do that and start playing around with it so at least I can start to get a feel for it for future projects.

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    What have you budgeted for monthly costs? I do something nearly every hour on my site.. so if you are not willing to learn then you need to factor this in.. what if it goes down and its out of hours? how much are you willing to throw into it before you see a profit? Making money isn't about design... the trickiest part to this business is getting traffic then converting it.. most fail.. what are your actual goals? what do you want the site to do?

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    So after reading all the replies and doing abit of thinking I have a couple more questions!

    the website is going to be football betting tips, with some articles on betting strategies and match previews and latest news

    Let's say I buy a theme like flytonic and don't want to change the layout much just add content and work on the seo are these themes easy to use? do I need to know how to code anything? Pulling my hair out here as I'm really not sure what to do for the best!

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    Flytonic themes are extremely easy to use. It's like working in Microsoft Word. You don't need to code at all. If I were you, I should start with a standard theme, like a Flytonic theme.

    To make a plan for a fully customized website is quite difficult. Flytonic is having most of the options that most of the gambling websites are needing. It suits for 95% of all websites. After some time, you're also having more experience necessairy for making a plan for a customized website.

    I would first try with a FlyTonic theme. It would be a pity to invest now like € 10.000 on a fully customized website that doesn;t fit your needs in a few months, that doesn't have advantages worth that money compared to a Flytonic theme and that is quite pricy to maintain. A Flytonic theme cost a few bucks or 250 dollar for all of them. I bought all of them and I still am using them a lot.
    If you're not an IT-er yourself, start with a Flytonic theme or something like that. Or it must be that you;re having a detailled masterplan, than go for it. But it doesn't seem like that.

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    If you want something unique on the market then hire a professional. But that is going to cost you quite a lot, and if you will want to change/add smth in future this is going to cost you again. So it really depends on your plan - how big you are willing to go.

    If you want to go solo, as you mentioned in your latest comment then it is fine to use smth like Wordpress, just buy a template for $50 and set it up for your needs. All pretty simple, need around a week to understand the basics and off you go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landofbetting View Post
    When you talk about buying an off the shelf CMS Im a bit confused as I thought wordpress was free and then you can buy certain themes? is that what you meant? If so I may well do that and start playing around with it so at least I can start to get a feel for it for future projects.
    Yes that was what I meant.

    Wordpress is free, but there is still a little bit of work in installing it with the theme of your choice, and learning how to import and add content correctly. If you have not done it before then it can be a bit confusing. Have you set up website software / bought hosting / registered a domain before ? Can you confidently do all three?

    IF you have the money available and want to make quick progress then finding an expert that will help you through this process is a good idea. You might only need 5-10 hours of their time ... but having a bit of guidance would be useful

    After doing it once with someone's help you will quickly find that you learn enough to do the next one yourself (probably)

    Quote Originally Posted by Landofbetting View Post
    So after reading all the replies and doing a bit of thinking I have a couple more questions!

    the website is going to be football betting tips, with some articles on betting strategies and match previews and latest news

    Let's say I buy a theme like flytonic and don't want to change the layout much just add content and work on the seo are these themes easy to use? do I need to know how to code anything? Pulling my hair out here as I'm really not sure what to do for the best!
    They are easy to use - and will have customisable options for some changes to look and feel.

    But (there is always a but) ... when you say "work on the SEO" I imagine that many onsite / on page SEO ideas will involve changing the way the pages are set out or rendered? As soon as you want to change things then you will need some coding skills - or a good wordpress expert to do so.

    I don't know many good gambling affiliates that are NOT do-it-yourselfers to a major extent. Most are involved on their sites on a daily basis - including coding changes, design changes and SEO changes. The nature of building affiliate websites is flexibility and adjusting to change.

    (I do know of one group - a big successful group - where the lead lady is not technical - but they have technical people on staff ).

    Quote Originally Posted by Landofbetting View Post
    Pulling my hair out here as I'm really not sure what to do for the best!
    If you are frustrated at this stage then you've got a lot of frustration to look forward to. In the end there is no definitive right or wrong option, all choices will have pluses and minuses and you will make errors and learn from them.

    Given your frustration / confusion at this stage, I don't think that you know enough, understand enough, or have experienced enough affiliate operations to be able to go to the design market and spend money getting an effective custom product sat this stage.


    My advice would be GET STARTED.
    Choose a wordpress site and a theme - get it installed with help - and begin the learning process.
    It may not be what to end up with - but it's a cheap option.
    In three months you will definitely know a lot more - and can think about other options.

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  28. #17
    RacingJim is offline Public Member
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    I agree with the consensus, I wouldn't chuck a load of money at it when it sounds like you are still at an early stage. Better to learn cheaply, try learning how to use Wordpress, use the flytonic templates first as they are very good for beginners and some cheap 5 a month hosting.

    Get good at the basics before you start splashing the cash on developers, there's too many who will see you coming and take your hard earned off you without really delivering what you need. You've got to be on your game when you start paying developers/companies to do stuff for you, you have to be knowledgeable to an extent in websites so you can communicate what you need and most importantly not get ripped off.

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    Depends on your budget and time frame
    Out source can work great if you know how t manage it

    Good luck

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  32. #19
    Landofbetting is offline Public Member
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    Thanks everyone for all the really useful advice, I have decided to buy the flytonic themes and hire a wordpress expert on a three month contract to help me develop the site and teach me at the same time. Wages are quite low where I live and I can employ someone for three months and keep a large chunk of my budget for future work that may be needed. I'll keep you updated on how it's going and obviously share the end result

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    roland80 (30 October 2015)

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    I suggest you to fix a price with the wordpress expert. Work on a time basis is dangerous. They ever starts with 3 month to finish with 5.
    You can try UpWork for outsourcing.
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