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Website help and critique -- Get assistance with your website.

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  #1  
Old 2010-08-14, 8:46pm
PolychromeBeads's Avatar
PolychromeBeads PolychromeBeads is offline
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Default Own Website or Not

I've had my own website for several years. My sales off the website have never been very great, I do better on Etsy and eBay. Since the beginning of the year there have been major problems with the host, things like crashes, hacks, and other major outages. Right now it's basically not working any more. The service I was using apparently was sold at the beginning of the year and since then NO ONE has anything good to say about it.

I've been wondering about the necessity of even having a website of my own. Yeah, there's name recognition - but when you consider the cost is it worth it? I can get a blog for free, sell on Etsy and eBay, and cut out almost $100 a year in costs.

If you can give me a good reason to have my own website, can you point me in the direction of a host that won't charge an arm and a leg (or require a 5-year contract!).


Aimee
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  #2  
Old 2010-08-14, 9:30pm
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I think that if you're going to continue doing what you do now, you've already figure out the answer. Maybe ask a few customers, particularly ones that bought through the website?

I just want be sure that there's somewhere to buy your bead displays

For a host I like mine pair.com, no contract required, but it's still in that $100 range yearly
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  #3  
Old 2010-08-14, 9:33pm
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I have supported myself for many years without a www site but maybe I would have more sales if I had one? No idea........no time to develop or manage one. I too wonder about this..
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  #4  
Old 2010-08-14, 10:26pm
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I kinda like using all three (eBay, Etsy, and my own site). I did a count at the end of 2009 and it turns out most of my sales were indeed on my own website. But I think eBay and Etsy picks up people that I can then merge over to my site.
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Old 2010-08-15, 4:27am
Angie09 Angie09 is offline
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My "real job" is as a web designer and I have used bluehost.com for about 8 years now for all my clients and have had absolutely no problems!!! They have great technical support and I think it's about $90/yr.

WAIT ... I just went to the website to get you the URL and they are running a sale for $3.95/mo that's less than $50/yr (and NO I do not work for them) but highly recommend them! http://www.bluehost.com

Here's some reviews and the info about the sale: http://www.dependablereviews.com/

I tried several companies before finding them and I know what a pain a crappy host can be. Hope this helps.

Angie

Last edited by Angie09; 2010-08-15 at 4:29am. Reason: found more info
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  #6  
Old 2010-08-15, 5:05am
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Opinion of a customer:

I don't think it is absolutely necessary to have a Web site for selling. It is more a place to know about the artist.
Web site are more for advertising a business or an artist even if there is nothing for selling.

To buy I just need a safe place.
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Last edited by maroli; 2010-08-15 at 5:11am.
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  #7  
Old 2010-08-15, 8:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maroli View Post
Opinion of a customer:

I don't think it is absolutely necessary to have a Web site for selling. It is more a place to know about the artist.
Web site are more for advertising a business or an artist even if there is nothing for selling.

To buy I just need a safe place.
i agree, i just maintain a blog (free from wordpress.com - i just pay annually for my domain name) as my web presence - it explains what i do and provides links to where they can purchase or view my beads. Plus clients can subscribe and keep up on all my latest news

currently most of my sales are through word of mouth, shows, FaceBook and etsy - in that order.
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  #8  
Old 2010-08-15, 10:50am
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Sales for me are comparable on the site and Etsy, slightly higher on eBay. I like having a site as well, but it can be a bit to maintain all 3. I think what's vital is what you're comfortable with.
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  #9  
Old 2010-08-15, 10:52am
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BTW, I run the SRAJD organization and can tell you that a ton of people only use Etsy as their website.
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  #10  
Old 2010-08-15, 7:45pm
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Thanks for all the input.

Shelby, one of the reasons sales are so slow on the website is because we are having such a hard time getting parts for the bead stands! We've stopped making the arch displays because we can't get the memory wire in the right size any more, and our primary supplier for the acrylic parts won't work with our "small orders" any more. Our back-up supplier has no minimums, but charges twices as much.

I'm thinking that if I can find something cheap enough I will maintain it as an "Artist Bio" site, and move whatever bead stands we do over to Etsy. That way I won't be sweating any outages or security issues.


Aimee
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  #11  
Old 2010-08-16, 10:03am
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Well, here's my take on it...

I sell on Etsy and on my web site. I had planned on doing only one, and did a little experiment to see which one sold more. They were about even over 6 months, so right now I'm still doing both.

But, to me, the best part about a web site is not necessarily sales. It's being able to tell someone "Go to my web site", not "Go to my Etsy store". While there is nothing wrong with selling on Etsy, I just think it sounds better to be able to tell someone to check out your site, even if when they get to that site they are directed to your Etsy store to find your stuff for sale. There is just so much more you can put on a web site than you can on Etsy. I have a lot of customers that tell me they enjoy being able to find out more about the person they are buying from. More than they can get from the few paragraphs you can put on Etsy.
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  #12  
Old 2010-08-16, 9:29pm
Vineeta Vineeta is offline
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I just started with BlueHost and am building a "blog" that looks like a website with a "store", from a purchased template that works in Wordpress. It's for the business where I work. Sort of a specialty market with it's own set of unique shipping cost challenges. Take a look if you like >>> http://www.cactusjoeslasvegas.com/ (still tweaking it.) Also welcome and comments. From what I understand, blogs that get updated often are more apt to show up in search engines than are static websites these days.
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  #13  
Old 2010-09-10, 6:27am
linda1985 linda1985 is offline
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I sell on Etsy and the website. And certainly it sell better on website than on esty. I think website is good place to show your products
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  #14  
Old 2010-09-23, 9:30am
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I'm horrid at the whole selling business, so I can't say which is better. I just wanted to suggest that yo see if if your ISP offers free web hosting. I use Comcast and they do... I'm not sure if you can set up a shopping cart, but it you are looking to set one up for informational purposes to direct people to your etsy shop, this may be the economical way to go!
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