When you are a web designer that lives in Abergavenny, the Brecon Beacons National Park is just on your doorstep. When you live so close to such a beautiful national park in mid-Wales what is any web developer meant to do on weekends except head off into the great outdoors.
Love Brecon Beacons is a hobby site turned into a side business. Selling lots of outdoor and camping equipment this site earns a few pounds each month in commissions from Amazon sales. It also gives me the chance to do the occasional blog about my camping and outdoor experiences. Nobody wants to sit at a computer all day designing web sites and programming.
Design web sites for extra income
Web sites like this one are a great way to earn some money from a hobby you may have. You can write about the things that you love. And earn some ‘side hustle’ money from adverts or commissions from affiliates. Love Brecon Beacons is only a small site so Google Adsense and Amazon affiliates are the way to go.
Once you start to get 20,000 -30,000 visitors a month to your web site there are better ways to monetize. But if you only have a small web site with limited traffic then Adsense and Amazon are the way to go.
As a web design company in Wales, I tend to work with WordPress as the base for web sites. For eCommerce shops, I opt for WooCommerce. These are pretty standard content management systems and I’ve worked with them for over 15 years. Before moving over to WordPress I used to use the Drupal CMS. WordPress is so much easier to use, from both the technical aspect as a developer and adding content as a user.
WordPress Web Site Designer
WordPress powers about 30% of web sites on the internet because of the ease of use. I always suggest to my clients that if they want a web site that they can update the content themselves choose WordPress. If you can type using a word processing package such as MS Office then you will easily come to terms with adding new pages or writing a blog with WordPress.
It is important for small businesses to be able to create their own content. If you don’t need to hire a web designer to add new content, it saves money. It is also important for getting good Google rankings. Google likes freshly updated content. Aim to add new content either weekly or monthly and you will soon notice the benefits.
Let’s get back to the web design of Love Brecon Beacons. The first thing was the development of the logo. It’s an important thing to think about as the logo now appears in google search results. For this web site, I opted for a nice compass rose design. This is a classic outdoor type of design and fits in really well with the overall look of the site.
Brecon Beacons Outdoor Supplies Web Site
I find that things date very quickly on the internet. Going for something very contemporary can soon show up as a little dated in design and look. Opting for a more classic design that is commonplace in the camping and outdoor industry can work better.
We also have two very clear parts to the site. The first is the online camping shop for the Brecon Beacons. The second part is my occasional blog about camping in the national park and in Wales generally. Wales is such a beautiful country and there are so many places to camp. Once the weather starts to warm up I’ll be blogging a lot more this year.
With such easy access into the Brecon Beacons from places like Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Ebbw Vale and Merthyr Tydfil a weekend camp is so easy to do. If you check the web site you’ll also see that there is quick and cheap access to places like Brecon from Newport, Cardiff and Swansea. Gwent is such a convenient place to live for getting away on a quick weekend camp.
Blogs are good for small business web design
My experience is that the blog section is what pulls in most Google traffic. This is particularly so for small business sites. It is very difficult to get search engine placements on branded products when you are competing against large retailers such as Amazon. blog posts allow small businesses to write about industry topics and gain space on the rankings. From there people will find the shop and products to buy. Blogs can be useful marketing tools. It can take time but eventually, benefits do come in.
You can see how products from the shop can be advertised within the blog post to help drive customers to pay for products.
The shop section is a Woocommerce store that integrates with the Amazon affiliate API. Every 12 hours the site checks back with Amazon to update prices and stock levels. This means that customers get a good experience as details are kept up to date.
Cost of small eCommerce web site
There is some custom coding that I did when I designed this web site. This obviously adds to the cost.
As an estimate of the cost of developing a web site similar to this one, I would put on a figure of around £2,500 excluding hosting.