Folksy Ltd

Do you have your own website?

This is a question for those of you who have your own online shop. This is something I am thinking of doing and wanted to know how you went about getting it up and running.
Did you employ a web designer or have a go yourself?
I sell supplies on here and Ebay but have wanted to branch out for a while now so would appreciate any advice or experience.
Thanks so much,
Ness

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I use Namesco for my website with an option to include a shop. However I recognised that first and foremost I needed to raise my profile and concentrate on building my brand via marketing and PR. I felt the worry was that people wouldn’t buy direct from me as they wouldn’t trust me, hence my setting up a Folksy shop and gain a following. I did think that Folksy would also promote their site more so I could gain exposure but haven’t felt this to be the case.

I’m in the middle of moving house so once that is sorted I’m going to be doing a huge marketing push. I think if that doesn’t work I’ll chuck the towel in and just make for my own pleasure.

Sorry that was probably more info than you wanted to know LOL. But I would say marketing is key to getting your website noticed so would be worth investing some time drawing up a plan for that.

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Ooh just to add I love your buttons in your shop!

Hi Ness…

I had a build-your-own site which was lovely and very pro looking but ultimately as you know it is about being seen. I used Google AddWords but found that other bigger businesses would use dirty tackticks to use up all my credit by using up my clicks. In the end I got fed up and packed the site in.

In the end I find it far more cost effective selling via Ebay, Etsy, Facebook and here as the footfall is so much bigger and they all interconnect flawlessly.

My partner had a ver successful internet business and when I read your query he said sadly it seems the only way to have a mega profitable web site is to pay for a proffessional e-commerce site and be prepared to pay Google shed loads of money to get it up the search rankings. (He used to spend well over £1000 per month but his sales reflected this).

They fab thing about Ebay/ FB etc is that they have the power to get you up the search rankings.

I think in short it is like everything - if you do it ‘on the cheap’ like I did, it doesn’t work, but if you are able to put some finances behind a site and are able to use a realy good e commerce checkout then you may well be more successful…xx

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Ps. Utterly agree with Liz at BBLB…I try to have a strong brand image and match it across all buying and social platforms. I’ve recently added a Blog as a more in depth accompniment to my FB page. …I don’t house my whole collection here on Folksy ( not worth it) but love the Forums. X

I use a Weebly website which is free, but bought my domain name. It’s a simple website (which needs updating - I really must get around to that!) but I only use it as a link to my shops here so don’t need anything too snazzy.

www.dandelionsgallery.co.uk

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I have a Create website, they’re really easy to use and there are several packages available starting at £5 a month.

Here’s my site if you’d like to take a look.

http://www.wildrosedesign.co.uk

Lin

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I’m on Weebly too - http://www.josara.co.uk - which was totally free when I set mine up a few years ago, but having set one up for the other half recently we’ve found out that you now have to go onto the Starter edition if you want to have your own domain name rather than the weebly name which you get allocated when you first set up.

I don’t use the shop facility that comes with Weebly (I use the Paypal buttons option) so I don’t know how easy that is to use. Paypal buttons is not a bad option for me. You set your stock levels so you can’t oversell anything. The only thing with this way is you can’t have international postage, it only allows one figure so it has to be UK only for me.

Jo

Edited to say that having my own website was a good move for me. It’s by far the main source of my sales. And as I don’t have to pay anyone commission that way, that suits me fine :smile:

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I used to have a create website until about 4 months ago when I let my monthly payments lapse. I had a few sales from there, but never really enough to make it pay for itself. I also used to spend a lot of time blogging and creating links and backlinks to try and do that SEO- malarky! I think if you’re going to have a website you definitely need to spend the time and/or money to make sure you get ranked highly on your keywords - otherwise you’ll never get spotted. I managed to get on page one for ‘handmade handbags’ - but it took a long time and a lot of work. Most of my sales now come from Facebook, and I’ve managed to link my folksy shop on there, but it’s primarily custom orders. I think if I had more time to devote to it and HbyH was my main income I would relaunch my website. But without putting in the time, for me, at the moment it has to fall by the wayside.

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Thank you all so much for the replies. I will take a look at your sites tomorrow when I have more time.
I appreciate that it is a big commitment time and money wise so will need to give it some serious thought.
Glad you like the buttons Liz.
Thanks again.
X

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I had my own website which sells prints , handmade greeting cards and bookmarks before I came to Folksy. I set it up using Photium, which is designed for photographers / images, but I do know that some jewellery and other craft people have used it and Photium, I believe, endorses that. You have to set it up using the flexible framework it provides, and I found was a lot of work to get how I wanted it, but a lot cheaper than employing someone to do your website, unless you have a freebie from a relative or friend. There is no doubt if you put the work in, it can look good, but a bespoke design from scratch usually looks better, but at a price. Finally, don’t forget whether you do it yourself or employ someone for your website, make it accessible and inclusive so disabled people can access it. There have been problems when one disabled chap found he had difficulty accessing an Australian Olympic website and I think he took them to court and won. I saw something that said over 90% of websites had an access issue !

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I too use weebly which I find so easy to use and I’ve upgraded it for 6 months to the next level which is costing me about $29 (£18.00). I’ve also added the Folksy widget to the site but not sure if its pointed any customers yet to folksy.

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Realy interested to hear that Pauline - just been debating the upgrade! Thank you!x

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I use Mr Site and would NOT recommend this to anyone. It is appalling, the support is appalling, the website does not support tablets, the email system goes wrong at random intervals and the web contact forms need testing every few weeks to make sure they are still working.

Pop an H into the name Mr Site and you have a word which sums up this rubbish website provider nicely.

I am in the process of moving away from them.

X

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Mr Sithe? :wink:

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I have setup my own Blog and shopping cart using Wordpress and WooCommerce.

www.northernwild.co.uk Its early days yet but a good start I hope :slight_smile:

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I have a site for my Art In Wax www.artinwax.co.uk

I designed and coded mine myself as I’ve been a web developer for many years - 1998 I made my first commercial site - I only do it part time now - oh to be a full time artist lol

I used a professional hosting company and have my own domain name - I would recommend having your own domain name - I have used some of the packages online for clients and they can be easy to use but some are better than others!!!

What I always say is “content is key” not just what you say but how you present it, words, headings, images, links etc, think about your home page, it says a lot about you and needs to keep the interest of the visitor and lead them into your site …

All the best with your website

Hazel

Thank you all so much. It’s really interesting reading your sites and blogs and advice.

I may well have a go at something like Weebly to see how it looks. I’ve been looking at sites that I find attractive and making notes of what I want to include and what makes me buy from a particular site.

Thanks again, Ness

Ha ha ha - that’s the one!!

Hi Ness

I have my own website which I built myself, I am lucky though as one of my besties is a web designer so every time I got stuck I could ask her advice. However, I thoroughly recommend it, it was a joy to make, although taxing at times but I felt that I learnt an awful lot and can look after it myself and of course I am pretty proud of it even though it still needs some tweaks.

I used wordpress, there are loads of free themes including woocommerce which has the whole ordering shop linked to Paypal. Or there are themes you can pay for, I used an Elegant Themes theme which had a brilliant drag and drop page builder so it was really easy. Then you just need hosting.

Good luck and have fun!