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

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  #1  
Old 2006-08-13, 6:42am
cheeky monkey's Avatar
cheeky monkey cheeky monkey is offline
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Default whole bunch of stupid questions re websites

Okay - I am getting ready to take the plunge into websites AND I have 2 smart computer type kids (one is a comp engineer for gosh sakes) so I think I can do something nice. Here come the questions that I need all your help on

stupid question #1: Do people ever have websites that they DON'T sell stuff on, they just show their work etc? The reason I am asking is because I work fulltime and am not ready to plunge into the shopping cart thing yet. I would however like to have a place where people can see what all I have and maybe contact me via email if they have a need. I currently sell through word of mouth and hope to branch out into shows and some shops next spring.

#2: I want to be able to make changes and update my site myself, I have Frontpage on my comp and was thinking I would do my own stuff (with that kid I talked about ) Is that advisable? How much time (after the inital setup) do you spend keeping yours up to date?

#3 What would you say are the MOST important things to have on a site? (I am not really into blogging as I think no one needs to know about my life)

#4 Do I have to have a shopping cart or can I add that later??

#5 Any one got mistakes they made that they would caution others against doing too?
Thanks in advance for your answers - I appreciate it!!
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  #2  
Old 2006-08-13, 6:57am
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IF-Designs IF-Designs is offline
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#1 Yes lots of people just have gallery pages and info contact pages up thats perfectly acceptable if you sell on ebay you may want to put a link to your ebay auctions

#2 Depends how much time you want to put into it some people update their site every time they make beads other people hardly ever update their site.

#3 The most important thing is to have contact info and the most recent and best work you have up.

#4 no you do not have to have a shopping cart you can add it later but you need to make sure wherever you host it is capable of containing a shopping cart if you want to do something more complicated than the simple paypal buttons.

#5 Research your hosting company! THOROUGHLY! I thought I had a good one the first time through and they became a nightmare, I could never get my email, I couldnt update easily, they would cut off my account access MONTHS before my account was ready to renew they were a pita. Ive been really happy with Yahoo hosting and 1and1.com they have both been really good.
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  #3  
Old 2006-08-13, 7:11am
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Thank you!!! This is great info. It is good to hear what has and hasn't worked for others. I hate to waste money and time on things that don't work if I can avoid it.
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  #4  
Old 2006-08-13, 11:21am
BeadinMarie BeadinMarie is offline
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If you are not ready for a shopping cart definatly don't waste time setting one up, since it requires maintance for updating products and inventory.

If your kid sets things up pretty good you should have no trouble updating things yourself. Sounds like you really need a gallery. There is a lot of free software out there for galleries. I love Coppermine, it is an open source (free) gallery, chances are your kid can install it and set it up for you, once set up to your liking it would be easy for you to upload pictures and add descriptions to your gallery.

Here is the website for coppermine: http://coppermine-gallery.net/index.php
Here is a site of mine that uses it:
http://www.broadwaybeads.com/gallery/

Just having a web presence to tell people about or even put on your business cards and flyers is a great thing to have, even if you don't sell anything. It lets customers remember you and gives them a way to bookmark you and contact you later.

As for what to have on your site, a showcase/examples of your work, and great bio about yourself, your work your studio etc.. people really like to read that!

Do have a gallery or news section or something that dates your work, people want to know the site is still active and that you are still current, so having updates with the date on them I think is good. If you used a gallery like the one I suggest it would show dates when you uploaded new photos.

Definatly research the hosting company, have your kid help you as well, things like the gallery I suggest require certain things be available from the hosting company, most offer those things, but some really cheap hosting solutions do not. So decide what you want on your site as well before choosing a company to host.

Good luck!

-Marie
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  #5  
Old 2006-08-13, 3:57pm
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Donna*Jo Donna*Jo is offline
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If you just want to show off your stuff why not try http://www.beadartists.org/ ? It seems pretty easy to set up and I'm pretty sure it's free
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  #6  
Old 2006-08-17, 5:47pm
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Frostfire Frostfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeky monkey
#1: Do people ever have websites that they DON'T sell stuff on, they just show their work etc?
Absolutely. I still don't sell on my website (though that is coming), and I've had it live for ten years. Of course it has changed radically in that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeky monkey
#2: I want to be able to make changes and update my site myself, I have Frontpage on my comp and was thinking I would do my own stuff (with that kid I talked about ) Is that advisable? How much time (after the inital setup) do you spend keeping yours up to date?
You can spend as much time as you want to keep it up to date. It can be a real time sink.

I would caution you against using FrontPage, especially if you have computer-savvy kids to help. FrontPage can really do a number on your website, and NOT for the better. It will create code that eats up your storage space, and bandwidth. There are better tools out there for cheap or free; HomeSite comes to mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeky monkey
#3 What would you say are the MOST important things to have on a site? (I am not really into blogging as I think no one needs to know about my life)
I don't have a real answer for this, except to say that it should reflect YOU rather than being generic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeky monkey
#4 Do I have to have a shopping cart or can I add that later??
Add it later. A good webhost will make it easy to add a cart, or anything else, as you need it. The only problem may be that you have to upgrade your account to get more space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeky monkey
#5 Any one got mistakes they made that they would caution others against doing too?
Thanks in advance for your answers - I appreciate it!!
Like others have said, choose your webhost carefully! I use LiveHost.net and have been very happy with them. They make things easy, have reasonable prices, and have good customer support. Sure, I'm a geek, but you don't have to be with their packages.
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  #7  
Old 2006-08-18, 4:15am
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A.Loomis A.Loomis is offline
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Love this thread. My 14 year old daughter created my site (yes, i paid her!) and now I have to keep it up to date or beat her with a stick to update it (no, i don't actually beat her!)
make sure whatever you do, you know your site code, because if you have your son or daughter create it, they get busy with life themselves and rarely find time to update it.
I sell my items mostly through etsy. ( check my Etsy shop link below)

Now, I am a geek as well, and am teaching myself to code with a SQL backend (not up on my site yet.) You should check out the free code available now on Microsoft. Let me get the link for you -- http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/vwd/

I highly recommend that software - there are TONS of resources on microsoft, even templates!!

For hosting, and domain name registry, I recomment GoDaddy. First, go to www.slickdeals.net and search GoDaddy. You'll end up finding coupon codes so that you can save money on your registration and hosting. If you want to, you can actually contract w/GoDaddy for website building templates and stuff too. www.godaddy.com I haven't done that part, and don't plan on building a shopping cart until I get the WebDeveloper/SQL stuff done.

This whole website building stuff takes a good deal of time at the start, but then if you don't sell from your site, it could turn into a "set it and forget it" type of endeavor. GOOD LUCK!!

Best,
Angela

Last edited by A.Loomis; 2006-08-18 at 4:17am.
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  #8  
Old 2006-08-19, 11:24pm
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mamamia mamamia is offline
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Red face Coppermine

I love the idea of FREE. I looked at Coppermine. I must be stupid, but I could not make heads or tails out of it. I am SO confused...
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  #9  
Old 2006-08-20, 12:43am
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meadowesky meadowesky is offline
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if you want something easy ( I MEAN EASY),cheaper, and with good results
check out blue voda software with this company AWESOME I use it.
http://www.vodahost.com/

I use the paypal shopping cart and that is so super easy
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Old 2006-08-20, 2:54am
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Lesperlesakathy Lesperlesakathy is offline
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I just use my site to show my work and let people know when I've got more auctions up, I don't sell from it yet. So I spend about 10 mins a day on my website.
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  #11  
Old 2006-08-20, 8:16am
BeadinMarie BeadinMarie is offline
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Oh oops, yea a lot of the good free, is a little difficult to understand to install/download it! Like I mentioned in my first post, I suggest someone with experience install software like coppermine on websites. I guess when programs are free and written and maintained by computer geeks they aren't the most userfriendly to install I can always help if anyone has questions on almost any thing that needs to be installed on your website.

So you aren't stupid, just not a computer geek in that area

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamia
I love the idea of FREE. I looked at Coppermine. I must be stupid, but I could not make heads or tails out of it. I am SO confused...
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