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    How much time do you spend trying to get your website just how you want it?


    Would you consider paying someone else to do the 'donkey work' for you?


    How much do you currently pay for website hosting?

    Have you heard of the Website Angel?

    We're currently thinking about having a completely new website for one side of our business and would love some feedback.


    Thanks, Laura x
    Last edited by nattynetty; 10-03-2011, 02:07 PM.

  • #2
    I'd only pay someone else if it was worth it in terms of how much of my time would be better spent elsewhere (financially speaking).

    It's a business, so: if I had orders which were keeping me busy from morning to night (like pre-Christmas) and was earning, say £25 per hour from that, it'd be worth paying someone up to £20 per hour to do it. If I'm paying them £40 an hour and I'm only earning £10 per hour, it's got to be worth it in terms of bringing in new business. At the beginning, you may decide it's worth it as part of the setting up process.

    My website is self-built with a template and is far from perfect, but it works. Maybe a better one would work better - but I don't know that it'd bring in new business. I do have complete strangers emailing me and saying they've just found it and it's a fantastic website, when what they really mean is they like my products, so that tells me the most important thing is products.

    Having said that, nobody will stumble across your website unless you promote it, so that's really important too. For me, blogging *very* regularly, being on Twitter and here makes a difference. It's a balance between key words, Google and real people.

    I can't remember what I pay for hosting, but it's less for a year than what I'd pay for a 2-day craft fair and brings in a lot more business. I have unlimited bandwidth and an integrated wordpress blog and am more than happy with the customer service there - it's 24/7 and real people answer you (by email) within a couple of minutes (I think they have live chat too). My host is www.heartinternet.co.uk if you wanted to have a look.

    It's a personal choice, though, and other people may think totally differently from me.
    digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
    blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
    hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
    blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Laura

      When I first started my business I paid a company to do it for me. I was happy to begin with but then realised I just couldn't afford it. I also like the fact that I can update my when i want to and need to. That way I can have it exactly how I had evisaged. If I was to have somebody do it again, i think I would get somebody who knows the way I work and what kind of thing I'm looking for. xx
      Dee x
      Visit ZukieStyle for Handmade Fashion & Pet Accessories
      Follow ZukieStyle for all the latest designs Facebook & Twitter
      Read ZukieStyle's Blog Or Visit Us On Etsy!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for the feedback - it's all very useful info and valid points worth considering before we commit to anything. At the moment the site we use is a webs.com site which is very restrictive in terms of what we can do with it and was set up when we were crafting as a hobby.

        We are now looking at a better site with shopping cart facilities, etc so it's just a matter of gathering opinions and information before making the big step.

        Thank you

        Comment


        • #5
          I have to agree with Wendy that it has to be financially worthwhile and personally, that money is something I am better using elsewhere. I use Create.net and have found them to be fantastic. It is easy to set up and (most importantly) update as and when you want to. I do a lot of my website work later at night while I am sitting watching TV and certainly I could not get the instant updates done if someone else was in control of that.

          It is important to know exactly what is included in what you are paying someone to do for you - how many updates are included in that price? How quickly will they get done? Certainly in the early days of setting up a site (even if you have had websites before) there is lots of tweaking to be done and if you are having to pay extra for that then it is going to be a very expensive venture.

          My hosting costs £99.90 a year and the templates and ecommerce available are great so it is quick and easy to create something you are happy with.

          Obviously if you want lots of bells and whistles, you may be talking outside the realms of the 'self-build' options but you also need to look closely at how much business those bells and whistles are actually going to generate.

          Good luck - there are loads of options out there and it is really difficult to whittle down which is going to work best for you.
          Ali x

          Etsy Shop: aliscraftstudio.etsy.com
          Facebook: AlisCraftStudio
          Follow me on Twitter:
          @AlisCraftStudio

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          • #6
            My website was built by a friend and they will work on it when I need something changing, though I do all the product uploading etc myself. I would never bother paying someone for something I could do myself if I had enough time to do it, but if I didn't have my friend doing all the technical stuff on my site I would probably have to pay another web designer to do it.

            I pay £20 a year, (It was £40 the first year for set up then £20 every year after) which is nothing really, but I'm not with a very good provider and I hear the more you pay the better services they'll provide. I've had some problems with my provider over the years so would highly recommend spending a little more.

            We use Zencart on my site, which seems to be really good...but I don't know much about that side of things.

            Good luck with it, having a website really does make a big difference for exposure as long as you advertise it right.

            Comment


            • #7
              My other half runs a hosting company and sorts out the technical /security side of the online store for me. Everything else on that and on my website is down to me and I would LOVE to just hand it all over to someone else, but it really isn't practical. I am updating the online store with new stuff on an almost daily basis and couldn't afford to pay someone else for doing it.

              But if anyone has any free studio chimps who can clean and photograph beads, then please send one along!
              Emma
              www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
              www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
              www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

              Comment


              • #8
                In the past I have used Hostgator for hosting and they are excellent! They have 24 hour help which I have used on many an occasion and they go of out of their way. I have then used wordpress as a base and used templates to turn it in to something i want....LOVE Wordpress...it's so versatile it can be anything you want it to be...including a shop... with the use of plugins etc. Definitely worth a look...PM or email me if you want me to talk you through what you would need to do/consider etc

                Lately though I have decided I want more control over MY design and have decided to give Basekit a go...so far i am very impressed with how easy it is to use! Not sure how easy it would be to build a shop with it but it does have google check out...


                Good luck!

                Jo
                x
                www.alongcamejo.squarespace.com


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                • #9
                  I think if you have the skill to build your website then doing it on your own is the definately the preferred route! I have spent a fortune in the past with designers for my websites. Have just started to look at create and their system seems really easy to build a nice site giving you complete control.
                  Woof and Meow - "unleash your dog's style!"

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                  • #10
                    I've spent about 150 hours over the past few weeks on my new site redesign but I've been 50% learning 50% doing :}
                    Crafter of little cube character plush toys

                    Cubely.co.uk

                    DeviantArt Profile
                    Twitter!

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                    • #11
                      learn yourself a bit of html and away you go ..for a basic website its really easy ..the hard stuff starts when u want to add shop like add ons... u can actually do this by the use of paypal buttons for an easy route

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Laura,

                        I'm a brand new member and a Quilter which is why I joined, however, I noticed this thread today. I also have an ecommerce site.

                        I would recommend using a template based ecommerce company called EKMpowershop. They have really easy templates to use, as trustworthy, you can call them and they will respond to you straight away. You can have a shop through them for £19.99 per month. All you have to do is add data to their template, and you have total control. They also submit you to all the major search engines and our rankings are pretty good. We can change our products at anytime or the content. If you want to check out my website to get an idea of what they can do it's plasticboxshop.co.uk.

                        To be honest I could really do with adding a blog to our site, anyone got any suggestions?

                        thanks
                        gotthetshirt

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                        • #13
                          Apps and the mobile internet is the way ahead and websites are starting to seem old fashioned and will go the way of vinyl records and 35mm roll film. I have a website which I got a firm to do and another online shop and they need a lot of work as all our sites do and we just need to roll our sleeves up and get on with it rather than getting an outsider to do it.

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                          • #14
                            I look after the Teresa Crafts website for a friend, we started the website last year on Mr Site but moved after 12 months as the SEO was very hard on Mr Site. I found Web Hosting uk whose 2 year web hosting was about £59 and I got a free domain, using the ZenCart Open Source e Commerce which you can either create template for yourself or there are a lot of ready made template available.

                            If all depends on your skills web page creation is fairly easier to undertake but it depends what you want from your website and also what your budget allwos.


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I use google for my website. its all free and quite easy to use.
                              I use ECWID for my store (thanks to the advise of Thomas @ cubely) which is free and easy to use.

                              and I love that I can change it whenever I like. i have tried out lots of different styles, ive used templates and ive created the page from scratch. i updated the page only yesterday to suit my logo so its great that I can do this.

                              The only thing I am struggling with is adding buttons to direct people to my other sites (FB, Twitter, Blog etc) but thats probably something im doing wrong.
                              I do all my updates in the evening when i have a little bit of free time.


                              Oh.. also googles forums are very helpful and they tend to get back to you really quickly
                              xx
                              Lucie Simmons
                              Angels and Diamonds

                              <3 <3 ***** An angel in the mist, a diamond in the rough, a heart made of gold, jewellery made with love *****<3 <3

                              My Website www.angels-and-diamonds.co.uk
                              Facebook:www.facebook.com/angelsanddiamonds
                              My Blog: http://angels-and-diamonds.blogspot.com
                              My Folksy Store: www.folksy.com/shops/AngelsandDiamonds

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