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Forum topic by Tedster posted 766 days ago 2494 views 5 times favorited 98 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tedster

2265 posts in 808 days


766 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: website online shopping cart seo selling promoting portfolio

... and tell us how you made it, how you SEO it, what tools you used….

I need some ideas for making my website, doesn’t have to be anything fancy, to display and sell my woodworking products, and I’m sure a lot of others here would be interested in this as well. I would like to have a simple gallery and/or catalog, a way to receive payments, such as PayPal or 2Checkout, and a few other pages such as about, contact, and the typical things you would see on a small, home made website. This is not for a large production cabinet or furniture maker, and I’m not really into blogging (but that could change) but I’m sure others would like to know about more advanced websites as well, so pretty much all kinds of websites would be of interest here. Things that would be of interest…

The editing tools you use
How you achieve a unique style
How you promote your web presence
Costs
Hosting and other services you use

Inquiring mind want to know! :)

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th


98 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile (online now)

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#1 posted 766 days ago

Hi Ted
Mine is not that fancy and I did not put it together my son did. He’s in the process of redoing my furniture section.

http://artisticwoodstudio.com/

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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nomercadies

497 posts in 936 days


#2 posted 766 days ago

http://chancefour.sharepoint.com

This site used to be the free one run by Microsoft. It costs $6.50 per month after six months free for the limited service I get. I offer a free class to students from special needs divisions of high school that have graduated and have found nothing to do and no one to help them. They find wonderful opportunities to do valuable things with wood and other media if they “want to work.” I have eight students now and love the idea of doing it on my own. The students love it and like to show off things they have done and do now. The site helps accomplish that. The need to sell things from the site and advertise to the world isn’t necessary. The items made are almost always sold before they are completed. The proceeds go to the students. Last sale prompted the student to say, “Now I can make a payment on my glasses.” There are all kinds of valuable people out there that have been thrown away. I think I have found a way to tap into that power.

The site doesn’t have a very strong English speaking support staff, but for my needs, I muddle through. I would be happy to learn more.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

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Monte Pittman

13223 posts in 935 days


#3 posted 766 days ago

Mine is hosted by Inmotion. My software is Serif. Great tutorials. You make all the decisions ….....and mistakes. I use Square so I can take any credit cards. That alone probably doubled my business.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

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Monte Pittman

13223 posts in 935 days


#4 posted 766 days ago

If you are up on Facebook, several LJ’s use it. I have been trying to figure it out. It’s free if you do. My hosting is $6.00 a month. Serif is from the UK. They are great to work with. But I am from the Monty Python generation so I want to laugh when I talk to them.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1595 days


#5 posted 766 days ago

You have to make a decision on if you would rather be spending your time woodworking or as web designer/maintainer. It is an ongoing project to keep one working and keeping out of trouble with people trying to break into it (especially if you deal with money.)

Two points:

Most Search Engine Optimization is garbage. The search engines explicitly work at filtering out the optimization and will in fact score you down for having. It is seen as “gaming the system”. Just good plain text tags and content is enough.

As far as the blogging, It is a lot of work to keep content fresh and interesting. I played with it a while but it was more than I wanted to deal with. Nothing worse than stale content. Mine sucks miserably. Plan on at least a post a week to make it worthwhile. Much longer than that and people wander off. Much less than that and you will be spending all your time blogging and little else. Try keeping one here and see if you like doing it. You are not going to find much friendlier software to start with and you don’t have to deal with maintaining it.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

604 posts in 1378 days


#6 posted 766 days ago

Hi Ted,

I run a few websites:

My own Don Johnson site – I’m not really sure what it is for – originally I suppose to try to sell my book ‘Billy the Bit’ (I did sell a few – but it never made the Best Seller lists! LOL), but I add bits to it from time to time. It is also useful as a place to put files for people to download – such as instructional videos created by Jing e.g. Racenite Program

John Smiths site, which uses Paypal for selling. The code for inserting into the ‘Ordering’ page came from Paypal. John wanted something simple that could be navigated easily by inexperienced web users.

Chedzoy Village Hall

Somerset Woodturners Club

The first three use much the same layout, which I created using Namo Webeditor 2006 – rather old-fashioned now but I’m too lazy to change to a free editor or too mean to buy the latest version!

Regarding ‘promoting’ a site, I understand that the search engines – like Google – look for links both TO and FROM sites when ‘ranking’, so it is good to have plenty of links of both types.

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View TheWoodenBox's profile

TheWoodenBox

167 posts in 2206 days


#7 posted 766 days ago

Just started mine, nothing much on it yet.

www.thewoodenboxes.com

I use vistaprint.com, it’s cheap and easy to use.

View Stephenw's profile

Stephenw

273 posts in 982 days


#8 posted 766 days ago

This is my website…

http://shopngarage.com/

It costs $9.95 a month.

I use WordPress. I shoot my pictures and video with an iPhone4. I process my pictures with Photoshop Elements 8.0.

I took a basic theme and heavily altered it to make it my own. You have to get into the page templates, CSS, and a little PHP to do this.

I don’t do anything as far as search engines are concerned. I’m shocked at how many things I find I am on the first page of a Google search for, things like “Fluke Multimeter Repair”.

My site is just for fun (a hobby). Traffic varies; slow right now with the nice summer weather.

-- http://www.garagebulletin.com/

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

886 posts in 1770 days


#9 posted 766 days ago

I run asliceofwoodworkshop.com. It is ran through godaddy.com and is hosted by wordpress. It is a blog, not a traditional website, however you can use wordpress like a website. Fairly easy to use. I also have facebook which I promote my stuff on.

-- Tim- http://www.asliceofwoodworkshop.com; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/asliceofwood

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2265 posts in 808 days


#10 posted 766 days ago

Dave, your son did/is doing a fine job on your site. What I like most is the Design Process page, great idea to outline the steps in a simple matter like that. I bet that page alone accounts for a big chunk of any new business generated.
Monte
, I’m on facebook and have made a facebook page (as opposed to the standard profile page) just for kicks. I can see using it as a woodworking website, and for hooking up with other woodworkers and/or customers. But I would tend to point all the visitors to a separate website, under it’s own domain.

4, I bet you have a blast working with those young future artisans. It’s also a noble contribution to society providing them a good outlet to focus their energies.

David, I see a lot of woodworkers do a lot of projects and maintain a nice website and/or blog. Personally, I’m not really into blogging. I would like to just make my projects and put some of them up for sale in a simple online catalog.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1595 days


#11 posted 766 days ago

Ted

I am not saying not to do it. Just pointing out the gotchas. Many people jump into it without knowing the ins and outs and make some problematic choices in the beginning. There are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there hawking SEO that is worthless for the most part. Creating a website is the simple part. Maintaining it is the long term job. Especially if there is a payment component. Unless you are making a large quantity of small and easy to ship items, you might be better off using it as a showcase for your work more than a point of sale.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Mike's profile

Mike

289 posts in 1284 days


#12 posted 766 days ago

Hi all:

Mine is http://www.termitecrafts.com

It is really more of a personal site that has opportunity for commercial applications. Free hosting with a $35 for 5 years registration fee. I used Dreamweaver for this design, but I am working on a new layout too.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1276 posts in 2334 days


#13 posted 766 days ago

I made up my website using Yahoo. It was quite easy and mainly made it to show projects with a description of my experience.

http://oldworld-construction.com/

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

555 posts in 2139 days


#14 posted 766 days ago

My fun site : http://plans.testsitem3.info.
It sits as a sub domain on one of our test sites until I get the new site completed, Then it will have it’s own stand alone tld domain.

It was built and edited from scratch in Microsoft Expression Web 4

All the images, other than the plans images, were built in Photoshop CS5 and Image Ready 7.0 and optimized for the web in both programs. It also has some work done on it in CorelDraw x14 and Corel Paintshop Pro X2.

It’s hosted with KVC and has 2 MYSQL databases running behind it.

It also has a CMS attached to it call Content Seed so parts of it can be edited by my wife if I have another set of plans completed and don’t have time to upload them myself.

I’m not going to SEO the site until the new site is completed. SEO does work if you do it correctly and have patience. Ted speaks the truth, there are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there calling themselves SEO specialist…run away from them.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View GenerationWW's profile

GenerationWW

521 posts in 846 days


#15 posted 766 days ago

Hey Ted, Check out my forum www.generationwoodworks.com/forum/. The forum was just completed but click on the banner at the top. I think hands down they have the best hosting and great packages. My whole site is run from them and they have everything on their c-panel.

You could also list your stuff on my site or free. Set up your own store there until you get your site off the ground. A food for thought

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ www.generationwoodworks.com for free!

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