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Recommedntations for Creating a Website for my turnings/art

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Ricc Havens, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Not sure this is allowed since it's not specific to a turned piece or technique but it didn't seem to fit under any other forum topic. So moderators delete if necessary.

    Looking for advice, recommendations, etc.

    Since all the summer art shows have been canceled I decided it's really time to get off my lazy procrastinating hind end and create a website for my turned art. (or at least what I call art). And I already have an Etsy shop and yes Etsy offers a website builder but not sure if that's a good option. Etsy only offers limited pages such as gallery, about, contact, blog, events, and home page. I want to be able to separate the "gallery" page into 3 or 4 pages/categories such as hollow forms, bowls, Misc. and an About the Artist. but Etsy's website builder doesn't seem to allow that option to edit or create a new page or two. But, I like the integrated shopping cart and shipping costs calculator embedded into Etsy's system.

    Any opinions on Square's website builder, Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy etc. I already have a registered web address through GoDaddy that I have had for 2-3yrs.

    Looking for something easy since I am not a tech expert. Want to be able to have eCommerce/shopping cart option.?

    Needs to be easy to add/remove product inventory as I create and hopefully sell pieces. I don't need options for things like blogging, tutorials, videos, etc as those are not my forte.

    So what website programs do you recommend?
    Do they have eCommerce or integration with Etsy?
    Do you use Square or Paypal for payments?
    What have you learned NOT to do?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Good question. I desperately need a website but I am so non techy. I will beeee watching this.
     
  3. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    FWIW, Square's website builder is actually Weebly. I haven't turned my Square store on yet, but plan to do so in a few weeks.

    I have used Weebly to build our club website (BayLakeWoodturners.com) and found it petty easy to use.
     
  4. Dave Mueller

    Dave Mueller

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    Take a look at Antenna Web Design Studio. It does not require any programming knowledge, as it is purely "drag and drop" and is only $59. I have developed a number of woodturner websites, including Jerry Bennett's art website (www.jerrybennettart.com) and his SegEasy website (www.segeasy.com) , which he has since modified, and mine (www.aggieturner.com).
     
  5. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    First and foremost, do not pay someone to build/maintain a site for you...do it yourself. In the long run, you'll be happy to know that you have acquired the skills to do it yourself...when and how you want it done.

    I used Etsy for several years, but became disenchanted when they went public, got greedy and invited off shore mass producers to compete for business on their platform, against true crafts-people. Go-Daddy has pretty useful and easy to use tools for non-coders to create sites. They also have a lot of different plans to choose from, with something for just about any size business.

    There are basically two things to consider...having a website (a online resume), and having an online sales venue. The two things can be integrated into one, or be completely separate. After 20 years of doing this, and trying just about every option, I've settled on having two separate facilities...see http://yoyospin.com and the "Products" link on my site to see what I mean.

    If you're interested in online sales for the absolute lowest costs possible, then consider this facilitator: https://www.zibbet.com . They provide a secure platform with unlimited listings/sales for a flat annual cost...no listing fees and no sales commissions. It's the only company I've seen who provides this kind of pricing. They also have a system that integrates several other sales venues (Etsy, Facebook, etc...), so you can sell on multiple platforms...add a product to the Zibbet platform, for example, and it will automatically migrate to other sales facilitators you have accounts with. I've been using Zibbet for the past six years...a tremendous bargain.

    One final consideration...if you are going to participate in the ridiculously massive online sales world, you've got to establish a robust presence to get noticed: blogs, YouTube videos, social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and on, and on...), interviews with other bloggers, contest, giveaways, and anything else you can think of.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
    charlie knighton likes this.
  6. odie

    odie

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    What is the name of your shop, Ricc? I was unable to locate it with a search. You can separate your items by "hollow forms", "bowls", etc., by using the "section" feature on your main page. Your potential customers can view only those items in that section........

    Ed.....I agree that Etsy has become more difficult for artists to be found and have a successful shop. Etsy has abandoned it's "handmade art" heritage, and is now an international multi-media platform, where the "bottom line" is much more important than the image they used to project. Etsy wants to make as much money as possible, rather than be known as strictly an artist's outlet......and, that is understandable. The advantage of Etsy, is the draw of potential customers through it's online presence, reputation, and advertising programs. If you can manage your shop in such a way that gets you some views by potential customers, you will have more opportunities to make sales than any other online platform.

    However, despite the drawbacks, I can guarantee that connoisseurs, art collectors, art galleries, gift shops, people looking for birthday, anniversary, special occasion, Christmas gifts, etc., still use Etsy to find a special handmade item that will stand out among all the "nickel and dime" mass produced stuff. Last time I checked, there were 45,000 "wood bowls" that come up with a search, so the competition I must compete with is extremely fierce.....but, I do manage to get "found". :D

    Is Etsy worthwhile? Only if you can compete with 1000's of other artisans who are producing similar items. :eek:

    -----odie-----

    (Edit: Sorry, Ricc.......I'm a real dummy with building a website, and I'm real fortunate to have a nephew, who put mine together for me.....eccentricoldguy.com. Maybe it could be upgraded to perform a little better, but my average number of views is less than 5 per week.....(I get weekly reports of the # of views I'm getting on the site in my email inbox.) As far as I know, I've never made a sale because of my web page, but I may have. If anyone clicks on one of my listings there, they are automatically redirected to my Etsy shop, anyway ......which is ok with me, even though I'll have to pay Etsy's commission. Regardless of the extra expense, I'm real interested in establishing my reputation on Etsy......and looking at the advantages of that for the future! ;)

    ......that is......if our economy doesn't crash and burn because of the covid19! :()
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
    Ed Davidson and Lamar Wright like this.
  7. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    When I was in pen production I had an Etsy account for several years but like Ed mentioned, offshore producers were dumping a lot of Mass produced machine made cheep pens that I got to where I could not compete with them.... so I started selling in local Galleries and sold more pens through the Galleries than I sold with Etsy. Usually Gallery shoppers go for quality and not quantity. :D
     
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  8. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    I set up a website last year with GoDaddy and found it to be very easy to setup and manage. The price was very reasonable. Very helpful tech staff. They took a few pics I sent and some info on who I am, what I do, etc and turned it into a good basic site that needed little editing. Easy to set up your "shop" and add inventory, manage it, etc. Their web site editor is very friendly and easy to use. Their iPhone app is very handy and works well. I set it up mainly to support my market and event sales. People always asked if I had one so I set one up. That said, sales are not happening from the site. I have it on my cards but I don't do anything to drive search engines, etc to find it. It's so crowded out there and didn't think I would get the return. I also have an Etsy site and have had some sales there but as others have said, it's VERY crowded. Page after page after page of wooden bowls and other handmade items. Unless I tell someone how to find me there they likely won't. I relied entirely on local events and markets for sales with the plan that the web site would get visibility from the cards I gave out. That's all gone this year so, I'm building up my inventory of rough blanks and hoping for next year.
     
    Ed Davidson likes this.
  9. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    I'm guessing that COVID is putting an enormous damper on consignment or any other forms of face-to-face sales. It's often been said that making a living from woodturning, or even getting a return on your investment, is just about impossible. The only people who come close are those who teach/demo, and/or who support the hobby/trade in some way...like manufacturing tools, harvesting and selling wood, casting special resin blanks or providing other supplies to us common folk.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
    charlie knighton likes this.
  10. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    A niche market can many times be more successful then competing in a saturated market with hundreds of people making the same products. There are a thousand different items you can turn on a lathe, finding a few of those items that have potential or possibly another related hobby or interest that you are involved with can many times open up opportunities. If you are the only one producing a unique niche item you can market directly to your customer base and not expose yourself to the cut-throats that will copy your design and undersell your price point.
     
  11. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    100% correct, Mike. I started off making pens and bottle stoppers. Few thousand items later, dropped those completely in favor of yo-yos, spin-tops and the like. This small niche has worked well for me.
     
    odie likes this.
  12. Larry Copas

    Larry Copas

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    I've always wanted a website for my sawmill business but have been too busy to take the time. Five weeks ago I badly sprang my ankle and found myself with lots of extra seat time. Seemed perfect to make the website I wanted. I learned HTML 25 years ago but many changes in the interim and I've forgot a lot. Cross that off. I help manage a not for profit website that uses WordPress....hate it so cross that one off. Google gave me choices of several editors and Weebly seemed to have ok reviews. I have a friend that also recommended it. So Weebly was my choice. The first thing I found was that I could build a website completely free. This allowed me to "test drive" Weebly to see if I could manage it. About 3 or 4 days and I had a working website. Since everything went smoothly I decided to buy a domain name and a year of hosting.

    This is my new website. https://www.copassawmill.com/ Its still a work in progress so if you visit and see something wrong, let me know. I've tweaked it some using Google Analytics. If you do a search for "sawmill near me" I come up on the first page which was my objective.

    While I have a working website that brings me business, its on the beginner or entry level. Websites should display equally well on either phones or desktops. Websites should come up on google page one in searches. Takes lots of skill and knowledge to achieve those goals. Professional help might not be a bad idea....as always ROI.
     
  13. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I have been building web sites for over 20 years. I now use Rapidweaver a program for Mac only. I needed some help with the settings for the shopping cart and the implementation of the Paypal platform for the remote demos. There is a website rapidweaver classroom.com where you can pay by the month and take online classes. ANd or hire the owner Ryan for one on one consulting.
    You can build very complex sites with RW. It's all drag and drop.
     
    Ed Davidson likes this.
  14. Steven Forrest

    Steven Forrest

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    I briefly was oriented to one of the Ws (Wix? Weebly?), but my son, who had gained experience with Square, got me started on that one. Frankly, it looked to me like they all offered more or less the same thing, with customizable templates of various styles, and you just have to get used to the particular process of dropping in your content and editing the layout. We are currently setting up a store through Square as well. I can't yet comment on the commerce or data tracking aspect yet.
    Etsy just looked like a huge deal, and frankly, I find it a horrible place to search for anything.
    My son also convinced me to start an Instagram page, and that has been a revelation. People all over the world are seeing and responding to my work, and I'm being exposed to those same folks, which is cool. And no political BS, like on facebook. In terms of business, Instagram should function as a front window, which ultimately can lead people to my website/store. I don't think a single person would ever have found my website otherwise (except for the scam artist who was going to convince me to make bespoke urns for tens of thousands of dollars, but that's another story).
     
    Ed Davidson likes this.
  15. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    What is your instagram name, I would like to follow you. I'm emiliano_achaval
     
  16. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Thanks for all the advice and info Ed!!!!
     
  17. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Odie, it's under "RicsDesigns" on Etsy
     
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  18. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Thank Lamar for the info. Not many galleries/gift shops around our town. Plus, I'm visually impaired so driving around to try and find some in nearby regions isn't much of an option. The few "touristy" gift shops I have contacted in our heavily populated Amish communities want mass quantities of small cheap stuff. For me, production turning isn't enjoyable.
     
  19. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Thanks for the info. I have a windows machine. But, maybe someone else reading this thread will have a Mac and benefit from the info.
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  20. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Dave, thanks for the info on teh software. I did check out your webpage and realized I had come across it a couple years ago when I made the oil mist filter from your tutorial.

    Thanks
    Ricc
     
  21. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Larry, the only issue I found from looking at your website is that you are not locate in northern Indiana near me!!!:cool:
     
    Gerald Lawrence likes this.
  22. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Odie, I like your site. That's basically what I am looking to do. Have a web presence because people keep asking if I have a website. Then maybe link to Etsy shop or Zibbets as Ed recommended.
    THANKS!!
     
  23. odie

    odie

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    Ricc.....if you haven't already, think of a web domain name that's easy to remember, and keep some business cards in your back pocket......I can't tell you just how many times those two things have come in mighty handy for casual acquaintances as you are in town, church, the ball game.....whatever! :D

    -----odie-----
     
  24. odie

    odie

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    I guess I'm doing it wrong, but still not able to see your shop, Ricc.....do you have a direct link?

    If anyone else has been able to find RicsDesigns on Etsy.....please tell us how you did it.....

    thx

    -----odie-----

    (I am such a dummy.....:))
     
  25. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Hi Ricc, I got very tired of production turning as well.....nearly 5 years of turning just pens got old. I'm really enjoying my turning now because I can turn what I won't to which is mainly bowls and platters. Happy Turning.
     
  26. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    you need to spell it "riccsdesigns" https://www.etsy.com/shop/RiccsDesigns?ref=search_shop_redirect

     
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  27. Ricc Havens

    Ricc Havens

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    Odie,my apologies for my typo in my earlier reply to you. I'm the dummy!! :) it's RiccsDesigns not RicsDesigns. https://www.etsy.com/shop/riccsdesigns
     
    odie likes this.
  28. Steven Forrest

    Steven Forrest

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    Emiliano, I think you already found me, but it's steveforrestwoodturning. Thanks! (And good luck on your demo tomorrow.)
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  29. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, found you! Thank you Steven! Aloha
     

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