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Starting a website, need lots of input


TexasBrat
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What do most of you all do for a site? Do you use a free site and then use a Paypal button for customers to check out with? Do you pay someplace to have a site? If you do, when you have a secure shopping cart do you use some sort of merchant to process credit cards? Is it better to go with that site to get a domain name or go somewhere and get a domain name?

I didn't think this was going to be so hard to figure out.

Any information on starting a new site is appreciated. Do and don'ts too.

thanks

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It's better to have a non-free site if you can afford it. It's not that expensive really and the name will be shorter and easier for people to remember, plus it gives you more credibility. There is a site www.internic.com/whois.html where you can look up domain names. If the name isn't taken, it'll tell you. If it is in use, it'll tell you which company they bought it from. It's a good way to check out the various companies which sell domain names, to see who is using what.

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I had a free site for quite awhile, and honestly it sucked... so myself , and several others im discovering, have went with DIYeStores. You pay for the hosting, and buy a webset to match the store style you chose.. over all the initial cost is around 110 to 140, depending on which webset you choose.. The customer service rocks.. and all of the extras they provide is just outstanding..... so they get my definate thumbs up. You can go to my links page, and there is a link to the DIY section..... HTH

on a side note you can get a domain name thru GoDaddy.com for less then 10 bucks.

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I'm not too sure about the do's & don'ts since I went with a company that was recommended to me and it's worked out great so far. I'm with Wahmshoppes - I got my domain through them, and pay them $7 a month to host. They have free templates to use, but it wasn't the look I was going for. I purchased a webset through the internet and put it together in Frontpage. I use mals shopping cart, and also pay for their premium service which is $8 a month which allowed me to use rates directly from USPS & UPS or have more zones with more shipping options. To process credit cards, I use propay.

When I was looking for all this information too, I was overwhelmed with everything. I just did research and compared what all these companies were offering & how much it cost. Hope this helps somewhat.

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Guest EMercier

I use Go Daddy's Quick Shopping Cart. I also use paypal, since I have an acount. There are lots of options. The only drawback, and I haven't figured this one yet, is how to put a link to a page for scent descriptions. I'll figure it out yet. It costs $9.95/month and it's very easy to use. I need to take new pictures though.

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I had a free site to start out with, but switched to a paid host. I use RedLime and really like them. They are efficient, professional, helpful and courteous.

I've got Mals shopping cart. I like PayPal for receiving my payments because customers can pay with a credit card even though they don't have a PayPal account. So I don't have to pay extra for a credit card processor, KWIM?

Most of my customers do have a PP account, but if they don't, they can still pay through my shopping cart using a cc or just shoot me a money order. I wait until the M.O. is received to ship, natch.

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I bought my website through Go daddy. I have my site hosted w/wahmshoppes, I use their feature cart which comes with their hosting/store package. And I use paypal to process my payments.

When I first got my site I use the templetes that wahmshoppes provided but I had a total make over on my site in Oct or Nov. of last year. Which I paid someone to do that for me.

HTH

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I've been playing around with Photshop and Dreamweaver this week myself, trying to put a little something together before I go back to work next week for family and friends, etc. It won't be much but it'll work until I can spend either some time or money on it.

The more I think about it, the nicer it sounds to pay someone to do it for me. But I'm lazy that way, especially when it comes to my own stuff. I have to decide if it's worth the time for me to do it, or more cost effective to pay someone else.

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My advice is, if you are not familiar with the "rules" of web design, HTML, and PHP, then get a template or hire someone to help you. It is easier than designing a site from scratch. My website www.amybills.com is done with a free template and my other one www.scentedcompositions.com is one that my boyfriend did with PHP type web software (which I do not know much about but he does). With PHP you can update your catalog easily w/o having to manually edit the page or html. My advice is, if you are not familiar with the "rules" of web design, HTML, and PHP, then get a template or hire someone to help you. PM me if you need any help. I love making websites, it was part of my major in college, but I don't use my degree much LOL.

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I flustered Crafty1!!

:P

I took a look at Red Lime's site & I'm pretty impressed with their portfolio. How long did it take you to have your site where you wanted it?

I can't see myself putting $750 into it right now.

I was looking at building a site through prostores which is affiliated with ebay also. Anyone have experience with that?

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Well my site still isn't exactly where I want it. LOL It's an ever-evolving process. I'm happy with everything except some of my photos. Need to do some "upgrading" there. But this is trickier than you'd think. Hard to strike a balance between fast-loading pages (not too graphic heavy) and having clear, close-up, large shots of your product. Especially when you make a lot of varieties of a particular item.

But to answer your question, it took us a few weeks to get everything finalized, from design conception to proofreading the final version and going live.

HTH

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