Help for displaying website examples on a website?

Hi all,

I am currently planning my new website for a new business - as its a new venture I want to showcase around 4 example websites within it as well as other websites, which will just point to the domain.

Basically I want to start promoting in my local area simple, responsive, modern looking and fast websites for small businesses. I want to create 4 x designs within this as an example:
1 - coffee shop / cafe
2 - hairdressers / salon
3 - landscape gardener
4 - plumber

I will create the designs, but want to have them as full operating pages within my website. Is it best to have them as Subdomains? or create them as independent websites and change the url so its as an example: www.mycompany.co.uk/coffeeshop-home

My reason for asking is I am not sure fully how the sitemap is generated and I do not want this to be messy and cause a conflict with Blocs and its design.
I am also thinking of creating a url for test sites, demo sites for clients - so it might be worth keeping these within that.
@Eldar you host many websites withyour domains as examples, how would you recommend I go about this so its keeps everything running nice and smooth.

Personally, I would simply upload the demo sites to sub folders within the main domain - no need to create sub-domains. You can then link to the sites with URLS that point to the subfolders. For example, mydomain.com/demosite1 mydomain.com/demosite2 etc.

thanks @hendon52 - will this have any effect on what Blocs claims to create its own sitemap by having more structures inside the sites…i guess not.

Not really. I guess it all depends if you need separate sitemaps for SEO on the demo domains. However, if you create links to your demo sites from your main site, search engines can follow the links anyway and index the subfolders. So, no real need to have a sitemap generated for the demo sites. One thing you should do is make sure their is a link back to your main domain (the link page) on each of your demo sites. Search engines don’t like dead-ends, so links going back are quite important. This could be done by placing a sticky at the top of your demo pages with the link back.

The easiest way to ensure your subfolders get included in your sitemap is to create blank pages in your main project named for each demo site (demo1, demo2 , demo3 etc.) Have the links to your demo sites link to these pages (don’t worry that they are blank pages). Now export your site with CLEAN URL’s). This will create a set of folders named demo1, demo2, demo3 etc. Each of those folders will include a blank index.html file. The sitemap generated by Blocs will include all the link URL’s. You would then upload your site to the server. When you create the individual demo sites, simply upload them to the appropriate demo folder on your server. This will overwrite the blank index.html files with the index file of your demo sites.

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Hi @AdieJAM,

I am doing it how @hendon52 suggested. I just put the websites into the separate folders in my main domain public html folder.

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Fab - thank you. I will refer back to this when I am ready for this - thank you.

Thank you @Eldar - I will do this.
Just saw some people do them as sub domains and some people do it on a separate site as they have said it effects their site map etc.

I think it’s better to go the directory route rather than subdomains. Basically, search engines may not follow links to subdomains because they may be considered as being outside of the main domain. Also, the content in demo sites may not be too relevant to people searching the internet (it’s usually dummy content). However, by putting everything into directories within the main domain, at least you will be assured that the individual demo pages will be indexed and credited to the main domain. This is why you should do as @Eldar does. Make sure the SEO tags in the demo sites are relevant to the author or main site. If you look at Eldar’s templates, all the information in the page headers and some of the social media links in the template are all set to point to the main site or the social media accounts of Eldar. All this information will be indexed by search engines even if the page content isn’t to relevant.

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One caveat. If you build these using Volt, they’ll have to be at the root level and not in separate folder.

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yeah - I will do, thank you.

At the bottom of each site (or each page in the global footer) I will create a link back to the main site and also link to other demo sites.

Hi @Flashman - fab! I haven’t got Volt yet - I will get it at some point or when its requested for a blog at some point or CMS. I will mention this is an option for future sites and see where this takes me !

I know you are doing several sites with Volt, how are you getting on with it?

I am currently using Volt on jobs for three separate clients. Two are basically cases where the clients just want the ability to alter gallery images to reflect recent projects. One is a landscape gardener and the other does artistic tiling.

The third is a project to build 12 mini sites that all use the same basic layout and appearance, however we change the text considerably in each case to reflect the local geographic area and avoid having them look like doorway sites. These have been set up as local hubs for a company with a nationwide network of engineers.

The great part with the mini sites is that once the main design was agreed I can now edit content on a draft domain, then just copy across the database to the final destination and export the rest of the site normally.

I put in most the text myself and the client can then login to edit themselves before going live. If they need to change something in future like work hours or covid updates those areas are editable. Best of all maintenance afterwards should be virtually zero and there is a limit to how much clients can mess up. Contrast that with WordPress, which is a whole different story.

I produced a quick demo video for the client showing how Volt worked on their own site and they worked out the rest themselves. Not all clients will be that good, but I think the video tutorials go a long way towards easing your stress. Another good point is that clients can upload silly large images and Volt will downsize them for web to a specified size, which is all done via the server.

Volt won’t do everything by any means and there are some cases where you’ll need something like WordPress or Magento. I am building a site at the moment for a client who wants to sell Christmas turkeys online and we’ll do that using WordPress with Ecwid. At the moment I am not that comfortable with WordPress and still learning the ropes, whereas Volt feels pretty straightforward in Blocs.

If you think you are likely to use Volt at some stage for whatever purpose I would just go ahead and buy it. Having looked at various alternatives it seems to be the obvious choice with active development and made specifically for Blocs. @InStacks is regularly on the forums and we never hear from the others.

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Sounds like you have got your teeth into some nice projects - nice one !

Ecwid with Blocs looks good too - I saw the video on youtube that @Eldar did and he showcased it brilliantly. I will at some bring Ecwid into a website when i get the ball rolling fully in my new projects.

I would probably use WooCommerse if I was using wordpress and if you had to use it if your client insists on it, i would 100% go with Elementor and do the 1 site package, you might event get away with using the free version and getting basic plugins for the header/footer/form but for elementor woocommerce then go pro.

If I to settle to Ecwid, i would 100% do this within Blocs and eliminate Wordpress - Woocommerse as you know if very in depth too…so not sure how many variations of Turkeys other than sizes etc you could do? - I should hope your Turkey is sorted as part of the deal !

At some point in the not too distant future we should be able to design themes for WP in Blocs and export without a lot of the bloat typically associated with page builders like Elementor. That should deliver fast performance with reduced chance of conflicts.

As a very real example, a friend of mine is a photographer with a WP site built with some page builder and it goes offline every week with one problem or another requiring maintenance. Earlier today it had too many redirects, which has now been fixed but still no images at time of writing.

Norm explained it pretty well here General Question - Wordpress/Blocs pros and cons

Ecwid and WooCommerce both have pros and cons. In this instance the client wants the flexibility to make changes in future, potentially adding more pages etc, so WordPress seems like the logical, albeit reluctant solution from my perspective. I haven’t told the client I stopped eating meat last year, but the cat should be sorted until August.

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I see the use case :turkey: :wink:

At one point we are able to do this with Volt CMS also :+1:

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Wait… sell turkeys online with volt? I‘m in :nerd_face:

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Having the name of @Pumpkin you need to get the turkey selling online for Thanksgiving (and you @Flashman) ! :smiley:
@AdieJAM, honestly, go and purchase VoltCMS, it’s great and @InStacks is a great support. I’m very pleased with how it’s all progressing just being a part-time user.

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Hi @TrevReav - I will do 100%, I am waiting for when my new business kick starts and then have a client who is requesting it (Covid has left me financially in a mess at the moment for the 1st time in my life - so will strike when the irons hot! - hopefully the page lock/password will be finalised by when i get it)

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I would also suggest you buy it soon rather than later if you can. So you have time to get familiar with working with it. Be a lot easier without client pressure.

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Yeah I was just thinking about that, would be good to bring it into one of my own sites to play with - it’s high on my list.