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For those who have their own website...


moniek
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I dont have my own website. I ran across a place on the web called Homestead.They offer free for one month the following:

web hosting,award winning website building software,5 web pages, site statistics to track your vistors.

This is free for one month, after the 30 days, its 4.99 a month. Anyone heard of this company before? Any suggestions? Do it? Dont do it? :confused:

Thanks for any help!:)

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I have my website with homestead, I have the next package up so I have a ton of e-mail add'ys and more bandwith than I know what to do with. The software to create your website is very user friendly, the only bad thing is I understand the navigation menu is created using Java and search engines don't like Java. That is an easy fix, at the bottom of your pages it's always a good idea to have a 2nd menu anyway. (when people scroll down to the bottom of the page they don't have to go back up to get the menu) You can do text links at the bottom or do a 2nd menu there using some simple HTML codes. (BTW the above statement was made by a self proclaimed moron :D who has no idea what she just said) :P

I've had my site with them a few years now, and have no complaints. Homestead has always been very professional and I've never had any issues with my website. Servers are always on line, tons of bandwith and my own e-mails that make me look professional. In the tracking software you can name people. So when my DH is at work and goes to my website it will just show me his name. This is nice for repeat customers you can see what they might be getting interested in. So far I'm a very happy Homestead customer.

hth,

Karen B

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I know nothing about this stuff. So, your saying go for it!? Thanks for your input. :)

I don't either, (lol) I just know enough key words to make me sound like I know what I'm talking about. (guess I could make a really good lawyer) :P

Yes go for it, the software is easy to use and they have a lot of nice templates to start out with.

Good luck!

Karen B

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I personally use http://www.wahmshoppes.com/ for my website. I have done websites for others for years, but this has been the most simple way to have an online store I have seen. There are 4 different modes 1 being easiest, to 4 being you are very comfortable with html. It's 7 per month but it has a lot of extras and you can even use templates they provide if you want. If you dont like the ones they have for free, there are a lot of designers out there that have ready made templates you can buy, and price wise you can get them very cheap or full on custom, depending on your needs. It has a built in cart. Once it's all set up, when you want to add an item it's as simple as filling in a few things and it's there. They also have a very helpful support forum when you have questions.

This is one of a few of these type stores out there and to me, the easiest way to go.

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How do you do your shipping? Does the website calculate for you? What about payment from customers? So many questions.....:confused:

I use the paypal shopping cart. It's free and you can take either pay pal payments or if the person doesn't want to it will let them use there visa/credit card. There are other free carts out there and you can look into propay for your payments. I think mal's e is another place some people use, google has a shopping cart, and I think even Homestead has a shopping cart system that takes credit cards but that is more money. I like to keep it simple and Paypal is the easiest to integrate into the Homestead website builder.

For shipping I have it set up very easily, I have a scale that is based on how much they spend. (shipping charges go with the shopping cart system) Somehow I got lucky and it's usually very close to right on. (give or take .$0.50) A little trick I do is if someone spends over $100.00 they get free shipping. This works out nice because let's say Jane bought your candles at a craft show and now goes to your web site to order more. What happens is she tells her friends they'll all get in on a big order for the free shipping and you get more customers. (figure out your profit margin and see if it works for you)

If you go with Homestead let me know, I'll give you the add'y for the help forum, and I would be happy to help you with any bumps in the road you come across. (If I can help)

hth,

Karen B

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Does the Homestead website have the shopping cart & shipping in with it? Or is that something else I have to deal with?

The website package you're looking at is just a the website. The homestead shopping cart is a shopping cart. Something that collects all the customers information. (look for something referring to their e-commerce that is the shopping cart) You still need a merchant account with a bank, ProPay or a PayPal account to accept credit card payments. Homestead's shopping cart is more money per month but they do have a real time shipping calculator built into the shopping cart so you don't have to do what I do. mal's E is another shopping cart and you can get one with a real time shipping calculator, but you'll still need some way to take the credit card info and get paid. (merchant account, propay or paypal)

Did that make any sense? I know websites are very confusing. I had to kind of jump in with both feet and eventually figured it out threw trial and error. (error, after error....you get the idea)

Karen B

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