My new Guitar Tuition website - thoughts?

23 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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I'm REALLY new to all of this and have recently created a website to help me build up my professional guitar tuition business.

I don't want to (yet) get bogged down in all the code, etc. But what should be the first few things that I need to do in order to improve it and build a good, solid BIG website?

[website link in my signature]

Regards,

Pete
#guitar #thoughts #tuition #website
  • Profile picture of the author Revenant45
    Functionally, your website is... ok. My first problem is that besides the picture of you (at least I think its you) in the middle of the page holding a guitar, I wouldn't know what the heck you were trying to sell me. You need a more "musical" theme...subtle tones though, don't overdo it.

    Second, your site is very......."Wordpressy". I'm not a big fan of people using WordPress to facilitate a well rounded website, mind you, so I'm biased. This new "drag n drop" website building is cheapening the industry. If you're selling a professional service... you need to get your potential customers emotionally invested into what you represent. This is not doing it.

    If you simply MUST go Wordpress, then buy a professional"ish" theme or code your own with your vision. I would advise against trying to make Wordpress into a viable BIG (as you describe it) website, it simply is not made for it.

    Code yourself a nice informative 3-4 page website with HTML, Javascript, and CSS. Within that small website, link your Wordpress blog as part of the site itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Abledragon
    Pete, hi,

    The most important thing you need to do is create a captivating headline on your home page to tell people what you can do for them. Use the AIDA formula: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

    Put yourself in the mind of your potential student/customer and imagine what they would be looking for - i.e. the ability to play spontaneously at parties, the ability to Jam with friends, the ability to make money playing in a band, or whatever.

    Then incorporate that desire into a headline that reads something along the lines of:

    "How often have you thought what fun it would be to Jam with friends at a party?"

    (For heaven's sake don't use that line, but it illustrates the point!)

    Get into the minds of your students, understand what their motivation (or desire) is and then play it back to them.

    WRT to your title, description and keywords, adopt a similar approach. Make sure the title is less than 70 characters, the description less than 150 characters and use no more than 5 - 8 keywords.

    Then re-write your title and description for each page using the AIDA formula again. The initial Attention should be grabbed by the title and the description should create the Interest and Desire, as well as including a call to action.

    That will help both your pages performance in the search results and the likelihood of people clicking through.

    (The title is the blue title link that appears in the search results and the description the text that appears underneath the title).

    I disagree that WordPress is inapprpopriate as a platform for this type of site - in my view it's an excellent platform.

    If you configure it to start on a static page you can run the blog (as you currently are) and it will look like a normal site with a properly integrated blog (which is what it will be).

    This article illustrates the benefit of using WordPress in this way:

    A Company Site with Integrated Blog: WordPress Review | WealthyDragon

    WordPress has the benefit of doing a lot of the SEO stuff for you, plus you can add plugins (or use a premium framework) that will enable you to customise your SEO tags for each page and article very easily. That will optimise your site further.

    I hope that's helpful for starters (but it is very much just a starter!)

    I would suggest you subscribe to CopyBlogger (Online Copywriting and Content Marketing Strategies | Copyblogger) to get copywriting tips and read up on some basic SEO techniques. Both my site and CopyBlogger have simple SEO tips - enough to get you going, anyway.

    Cheers,

    Martin.
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    WealthyDragon - Earning My Living Online
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    • Wow - two great responses there, thanks!

      The site is actually made using RapidWeaver (just one of their own themes). I made a blog using rapidweaver but then found out about WordPress - it looks really good and I have heard that you can create the WHOLE website just using WordPress?

      I only use RapidWeaver as it is easy to use (now I've used it enough to find my way round) and I liked the theme that I have.

      So... should I ditch my design, redo it all in a good, professional themed WordPress?

      If I could get my site all in WordPress but not have it look like just a blog, then that'll be great (as I could edit/add to it from any computer).

      Or should I do as Revenant45 has said - get decent simple programming down on 3 - 4 pages and work from there?

      Is WordPress really that good in SEO?

      There are SO many amateur 'so called' guitar teachers around where I live, that all register on google places etc. I need my website high up in rankings AND to look good and informative.

      Look forward to your much appreciated help, guys.

      Peter
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  • Profile picture of the author Abledragon
    Pete,

    No reason not to do the whole thing in WordPress. Here are two sites that are set up as static sites, one with a blog component and the other without a blog:

    Exciting, Exotic Tours in Asia | Best Family Vacations in Asia (This one has a blog)

    Irish Pub in Hong Kong | The Shamrock Irish Pub (This one does not have a blog at present)

    The second one is a client's site and they're thinking of starting to blog. When they start I'll simply activate the blog for them and it will be seamlessly integrated with the rest of the site.

    Cheers,

    Martin.
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    WealthyDragon - Earning My Living Online
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    • Well, after having a good look around at a few sites that have been created entirely using WordPress, I have done the same. I'm pretty happy at how it is developing but still have a long way to go!

      Any important DOs and DONTs with WordPress in general?

      Regards,

      Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author Elion Makkink
    Looks nice! But you should write in a more compelling way if you want to attract customers.

    Here's an example of copy writing for a violist player! You could kinda use that as well:
    Before & After Demonstration
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    Cheers,
    Elion Makkink

    Become an SEO Hustler too at seohustlers.com

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  • Profile picture of the author FabianSmith
    It's good but need some improvement.
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    • Thanks for that link Frank Abagnale.

      FabianSmith.... thats a really helpful comment... thanks :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author CBP
    Honestly, need some work on the colours, I would try and get away from black background with inverted text and it doesn't help if the font is small too. It gives eye strains. You will notice this once you keep reading for a few minutes/hours and then when you look at something white on your screen it hurts the eyes. Like the rest says need to work on your salescopy as well.
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    • Thanks CBP, maybe I should do a whiter/lighter one - I was just trying to be different

      In terms of the actual text and how I can 'sell' it - I read the link above but it sounds almost like a spam email from Nigeria! I don't want all this 'i can help you explore your musical soul' and 'I’m inviting you to join me on an exciting and rewarding journey'.

      I want something personal, friendly and down to earth really.

      Regards,

      Peter

      EDIT:

      I also like these themes:
      studiopress.com/themes/streamline
      studiopress.com/themes/church

      P.s I like the ones done by studio press. Although, ideally I'd like to find a white one that is musical/rockstar/rocky
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  • Profile picture of the author MESophie
    I would suggest making a headline that tells me as soon as I get to the site who you are, what you do and why I should stay on the page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Revenant45
    I understand that you mean well Kent Guitar and you are simply looking for an "all inclusive" solution to begin your online presence, but taking the advice of non-coders and non designers has you're site probably looking and "feeling" just like theirs..... the same as 2,000,000 other Wordpress sites on the planet.

    Same basic structure with a different background, texture pack and banners...and a few links up top. Same stuff, same look, same truncated SEO, same wordpress,same everything.
    If you are looking to stand out and be noticed..WORDPRESS IS NOT THE ANSWER.

    Unless you are very very good at manipulating the Wordpress code, which requires real coding knowledge, you're website will have no...."soul" or character. Just another obvious template site that every other non-developer is using. If that's what you want then fine. All I'm saying is that there are other, better avenues...especially for a musical solicitation site.
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    • Originally Posted by Revenant45 View Post

      All I'm saying is that there are other, better avenues...especially for a musical solicitation site.
      Can you expland on this? I am new to all this 'website building' and do want a vibrant, interesting and informative site. A rocky/musical one that shows up well in Google and gets me more students!!

      Is that too much to wish for? lol
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      • Profile picture of the author Revenant45
        Originally Posted by Kent Guitar Tuition View Post

        Can you expland on this? I am new to all this 'website building' and do want a vibrant, interesting and informative site. A rocky/musical one that shows up well in Google and gets me more students!!

        Is that too much to wish for? lol

        No its not too much to wish for. For your situation, I would go with a nice CUSTOM designed website. (I think I posted this already). A website with a concise, upscale, and clean web 2.0 approach.

        You need about 3-4 pages with a menu tab linking your Wordpress Blog (that's what it is made for). I understand you may not have/or don't want to spend the $$ for someone to make you a custom design, however this is what I recommend for your situation:

        You may not like what I'm about to tell you (many folk just don't want to put in the work these days), but its one of the best, if not the best, course of action for you.

        LEARN.

        Grab you a book on amazon (or your favourite brick and mortar bookstore) on the basics of HTML & CSS. Many good ones are under $20. Then, grab yourself a copy of Photoshop Elements for about $60. Get yourself a shutterstock.com account for $45 (its what I use) or Fotolia..there are many others. Download Notepad++ for FREE.

        So in essence:
        - You have a tool to teach yourself at your own pace + a reference guide.
        - You have an excellent graphics editor for creating custom backgrounds and manipulating images.
        - You have a marvelous liscensed and royalties free stock image account with super sharp graphics. (You'll learn that sharp graphics/images are supremely important.)
        - You have the best FREE HTML editor to put it all together. Most veterans use Notepad++ and forego the expensive ones.
        - THEN you have Wordpress as your PURE BLOG, so your students and potential students can keep up with you and your news,style and info. Not only that, you'll have gained the knowledge to design and manipulate Wordpress YOURSELF to fit your own custom design.

        All for about $125.

        Keep it simple, keep it clean, make it stylish. You'll end up with a custom design that's purely and distinctly your own. Anyone who squarely disagrees with my above outline is a troll and just wants your $$.

        My advice has one caveat. TIME.

        The more time you put into learning and experimenting the better your site will turn out. Put in about 2 hrs a day and within a month you'll have done it. Its all about the effort.

        Now if you don't have the effort, drive and time to design and implement your own website for your own business, then its a moot point.

        One more thing....

        SEO is important for business purposes but its not the high all-end all to be on the first page of google for a local business.
        After you've set up your website, do some legwork by setting out flyers in populated areas (that YOU designed with your above outlined Photoshop program) and put a few ads in the local circulators and papers. Make sure you have your website URL prominently displayed in the ads and flyers. Once again, for a LOCAL business... where people need to come where you are physically.

        Building an over exploited WordPress site and SEO WILL NOT magically get you customers and eventual $$. Whomever tells you that is a lie. It takes talent (which you have already being a musician), work ethic, ambition, and brains.
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  • Profile picture of the author Soulofinfamy
    I like it, it's not bad for a first attempt. But I would think if you're offering tuition services, maybe you could afford to hire someone to build you a niche website
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    • Originally Posted by Soulofinfamy View Post

      I like it, it's not bad for a first attempt. But I would think if you're offering tuition services, maybe you could afford to hire someone to build you a niche website
      I'm strapped for cash, getting married in May, my fiancee has just been made redundant, our house rent has gone up considerably, and on top I pay £120 a week rent for where I teach!

      Money? I think I remember what that was once.... :p
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      • Profile picture of the author LannaW
        Is your site in a final stage yet? I know if you have a website, it will never end... I know I always have to work on mine.

        You site looks okay to me. But I have a couple suggestions for you. First of all, I am never fond of having black content background with white characters' style. CBP has already stated the disadvantage above.

        However, I am okay with black background for the body. It will make a site stand out. It is very easy to change the color of the content background. All you have to do is to edit you CSS file.

        On you footer, you can take out links of studio and Wordpress.org. If you feel bad for not giving them the credits, you can put them in you link which is on you sidebar right now. This way you website will look more professional.

        Your home page looks pretty empty to me. Why not make a video of introducing yourself and tell people why they want to choose you instead of others. This way people will be more willing to do business with you since they know they are dealing with a real person.

        Under your video, you should write out what you would say in you video just like some of the sales page. This way people have a choice to choose to listen to your video or just scroll down to read your sales content.

        Good luck to your endeavor!
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        • Originally Posted by LannaW View Post

          However, I am okay with black background for the body. It will make a site stand out. It is very easy to change the color of the content background. All you have to do is to edit you CSS file.
          OK, I can't seem to find where I can get rid of this! I thought it would be in the style sheet css thing, as it is on the footer of each page. No luck finding it though! HELP!

          Regards,

          Pete
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          • Profile picture of the author LannaW
            Originally Posted by Kent Guitar Tuition View Post

            OK, I can't seem to find where I can get rid of this! I thought it would be in the style sheet css thing, as it is on the footer of each page. No luck finding it though! HELP!

            Regards,

            Pete
            Before you do this, make sure you have a copy of your style.css in case anything goes wrong.

            Depends on your theme, you should look for #container or #content; then put background: #ffffff inside the brackets. #ffffff stands for white color. You can change it to be whatever color you prefer. Save that file and upload it back to its original place.

            Since you have white color characters of words, you might have to change them to be black color instead. #000000 is for black color.

            I saw that you've edited your footer.php file, that is good. Any further questions? Let me know; and good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author rosesmark
    its good but need few improvement in website colors
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  • Profile picture of the author crescendo
    Am beginner in Guitar. Can you Pls add some codes video's (FOR C, F, G ,AM & EM)
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  • Profile picture of the author HealthBuff
    Run your web address thru

    http://validator.w3.org/

    Looks like you have done a neat job.......one mistake. (very unusual)

    Google et al just love neat web coding.

    Looks good to me.
    Best of luck with your tutoring.

    /HB
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  • Profile picture of the author caspial22
    Looks nice! But you should write in a more compelling way if you want to attract customers.
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