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  • worth of a website?

    Hi I wondered if you all thought it was worth the expense to have a website?
    And although i know its a case of 'how long is a piece of string' but how much roughly does it cost to have a website designed and get it up and running?

    I have wanted to do this for 2 reasons - a business not linked with craft and also to sell some of my craft things. I haven't a clue about the costs involved!

  • #2
    Hi there

    I recently wondered the same thing and have now gone down the website route. But rather than have it designed I'm using Mr Site (as do a lot of crafters on here, and other similar do-it-yourself sites) which are a lot cheaper. So it's only about £3 per month, which I felt was worthwhile. The good news too is that these sites you do yourself are very simple and you don't have to be a computer expert to do it, it's a lot easier than I thought and I'm hoping to have my site up and running by the weeend.

    All the best
    "Human beings, who are almost remarkable in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so" - Douglas Adams


    Website: www.janscardsandcrafts.co.uk
    Blog: http://janscardscraftsandmusings.blogspot.com/
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    Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

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    • #3
      it is a little bit like the length of a piece of string. it depends on what you want your website to do.

      websites can be anything froma few basic pages to a large e-commerce site linked to your other business stock control etc. etc...

      you can probably get a basic template few pages with contact details photos etc for about £50 plus hosting and domain name prices. (i.e. you'll have to pay a yearly amount for having the domain names etc.) domain names probably start at £10 a year and hosting can be more expensive depending on how big your website is and how many features are required.

      if you're looking to sell from your site it all gets more expensive. probably the cheapest you would get your site professionally designed for is about £300 ish and that's if you find a nice cheap person to do it. business link's advice for new businesses puts the average cost of a website at £1500! But don't let that put you off. There are grants available to help businesses get a website you could look into that if the cost is offputting.

      another point worth considering irrelevant of the money involved is that will anyone take your business seriously if you DON'T have a website? surely pretty much all businesses do nowadays?

      as to whether you'll make money hmmm... money is hard to make generally in craft nevermind online. the important thing is not to imagine havign paid out for a website that people will instantly come and shop there. you have keep on top of advertising and promoting your site just as you would a real shop.

      i hope this has helped and not been offputting....

      portfolio: www.suzielda.co.uk

      buy online: www.mooart.com

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      • #4
        Most of my website sales come from contact through Craft Fairs, at the moment I have not had anyone buy who I have not already met. Perhaps the trust has been built at the initial sale.

        I use easily.co.uk and pay £37.57 per year for my domain name and the virtual server. The software with web templates I bought from Karelia.com for about £39.00.

        I would like to see more traffic to by website but times are hard at the moment out there, I put my web address on everything, envelopes etc.

        I was quoted £600.00 for a website designer and could not see the point I sell using Paypal shopping cart and account.

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        • #5
          I use Mr site like many others it's reasonably easy to use and cheap.

          Melanie

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          • #6
            I use www.freewebs.com - they have various options available, ie. you can set up a free website to establish the site and monitor how successful it is and then gradually subscribe to monthly payments which then vary depending on the facilities you require.

            I've been using Freewebs sites for almost four years now and have never had any problems with them - they are easy to set up, very simple tutorials available and the online (via email or forums) support is brilliant.

            At the moment, most of my online sales come through people that I have either dealt with in the past or through word of mouth, but we do put our website on EVERYTHING which I think is important, and have website links on as many sites as possible to direct traffic towards us.

            Hope this helps.

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            • #7
              As everyone else has said - its a bit of a piece of string question, really. There are lots of free and low cost options out there, but going down the "professional route" can be expensive.

              In terms of the latter, it really does depend upon what you want to achieve, and how you want the sites to interact with the user - for a business/portfolio/promotional site, I would suggest the "pro" route may be better, because you'll get a finely tuned layout by a professional graphic designer (assuming you pick an agency with good standards!).

              In terms of starting your own eCommerce site, you need to have a really good think (and do plenty of research and reading up) about the likely revenue and profit margins - there are cheap options out there which are perfectly serviceable for small businesses and part time ventures, but it might be that a "full on" approach will work better for you.

              Nothing is set in stone. You can always try one of the free/low cost/DIY options to start with and re-model later!

              If you are unsure about the potential revenue the business(es) will generate, it's probably best not to take too great a risk by investing lots of money right on day one - although if you want to message me privately with more information I can give you some idea of what I would charge - don't want to spam the forum with lots of info on that.

              Most of the folk here seem to use Mr Site, and are very enthusiastic about it - if that isn't a good recommendation, I don't know what is!
              --Matt

              Web Development
              Beads, Charms & Findings - Jersey Craft Shop

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              • #8
                If you are indecisive now, but can think of a good website name and it's available, then I would get in there and register it while you can. You don't need to do anything with it for the time being, but you don't want to let the name go and then miss out on it when you do want it - I lost a domain a long time back, and have been kicking myself since.

                Of course, the easy way (I'm told) to get a free website done is simply to marry someone who will do it all for you out of love, but we're a rare breed
                It's never too late to gyrate!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MrSwirl View Post
                  If you are indecisive now, but can think of a good website name and it's available, then I would get in there and register it while you can. You don't need to do anything with it for the time being, but you don't want to let the name go and then miss out on it when you do want it - I lost a domain a long time back, and have been kicking myself since.

                  Of course, the easy way (I'm told) to get a free website done is simply to marry someone who will do it all for you out of love, but we're a rare breed
                  I've still got a couple of registered (unused) domains knocking about, for just that reason, so definitely sound advice.

                  And on the latter - yeah - possibly. However, the cost in tea + biccies could be high, so do not underestimate the impact on the weekly shop!
                  --Matt

                  Web Development
                  Beads, Charms & Findings - Jersey Craft Shop

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                  • #10
                    Unfortunately, in todays environment, a website may not generate income, but not having one could well be detrimental. It would appear to be the one thing that everyone asks to look at. I think that they can be done reasonably cheaply by the methods others have suggested, but having one of some kind is probably a must
                    www.glowbiles.com. Real Glow-In-The-Dark decorations

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MrSwirl View Post
                      If you are indecisive now, but can think of a good website name and it's available, then I would get in there and register it while you can. You don't need to do anything with it for the time being, but you don't want to let the name go and then miss out on it when you do want it - I lost a domain a long time back, and have been kicking myself since.

                      Of course, the easy way (I'm told) to get a free website done is simply to marry someone who will do it all for you out of love, but we're a rare breed
                      Hi Mr Swirl, I totally agree with you! I am going to book my name! My brother could do it but he is that selfish he will charge me a prof fee!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by coolkat View Post
                        Hi Mr Swirl, I totally agree with you! I am going to book my name! My brother could do it but he is that selfish he will charge me a prof fee!!!
                        It's probably better to either do it yourself (whether that's with Mr Site or an equivalent, and I don't know enough to comment really on Mr Site), or get someone not related to you to do it!

                        If it's a family member / friend doing it for free, then they are more likely to do things at their pace rather than when you need it doing. I do plenty for Swirly, but there is very little that needs to be done urgently, and she's very understanding that there are certain things that I can't do from work (when someone else is paying me for my time, and I have a lousy connection to the internet that is VERY heavily monitored!).

                        The key is getting the name and then you can do what you want with it at any stage - my first website is dormant at the moment, and my most recent one just redirects to my business site. But I know that they are there if I ever want somewhere to play about in
                        It's never too late to gyrate!

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Mr Swirl - I have the name and its available in .com and in .co.uk!!! But the .com is twice the price. I thought .co.uk was better?

                          Its a great name and everyone around me immediately said wow-thats a great name!

                          I have today put a website together on Piczo which operates for free but has the annoying ads above the top. It has a visitor counter so I can monitor the movement! Perhaps you culd let me know about the .com thing. Thanks for your help Tanja

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                          • #14
                            Hi,

                            I would ALWAYS have the .com over the .co.uk if it's a choice between the two. If it were me, I would register both, have the main site as the .com and then redirect traffic automatically from the .co.uk to the .com, which most registrars do for free.

                            A .co.uk clearly identifies you as being in the UK, however (I'm not sure how accurate this next statement is these days, but it used to be true!) most people will try a .com address before a .co.uk. Also, if you type in the domain name and then press ctrl-enter in Firefox or Internet Explorer, the program automatically puts the www and .com in for you - e.g. typeing google then ctrl-enter will go to www.google.com.

                            Mr Media may have a different view (I don't know!) - I don't know whether the domain suffix is relevant in search engine optimisation or not. I doubt it, but it's a black art and who really knows what Google does inside?

                            HTH,

                            MrS
                            It's never too late to gyrate!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              MrS - I'd tend to agree with you. We use our .com as our primary domain (and redirect from a number of others, including the matching .co.uk), for approximately this reason. Like you say, some autocompletion features will try .com before .co.uk as well.

                              A proportion of users do believe that all sites are .com - I've seen people trying to natigate to xyz.co.uk.com in the past, for example

                              Either way, having both will certainly do no harm, and if nothing else, prevents someone else from nicking the matching address - how annoying if you were, for example fredscompany.co.uk - and someone else (possibly even a competitor) grabbed fredscompany.com!
                              --Matt

                              Web Development
                              Beads, Charms & Findings - Jersey Craft Shop

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