Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ChristopherW

Best way to create a website?

Recommended Posts

Hello! I would like to create a website for my pottery, but am unsure where to start! 

I don't know if a free site is best or if it is better to pay a fee?

I decided not to use a social media platform like Instagram for a few reasons!

A super simple site is good; just a place to show photos of pots!

If you have any recommendations, I would appreciate it! Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Google is advertising a free year's hosting (try "free website hosting" as a search string, compare to "website hosting" results); local non profit I volunteer for is using Wix - it's a bit clunky but does work. There are others. weebly, etc. Suggested you do some homework b'fore committing; perhaps others will have suggestions. 

What you wish to accomplish and plans for future could influence your choice...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like weebly free site-you can view mine -every page has a small weebly at bottom but its free.They have a pay area if you do not want the words on your page .I got this tip on Weebly from GEP.

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another Weebly fan here. You can view my site via the link in my signature. I also use the free version, and I don’t care about the Weebly logo at the bottom of each page, because free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started a topic titled Web Site Building and Marketing   that has lots of input from others and was useful as I built my own, which you can check out by my site link at the bottom of the post.  I use WIX and like it a lot-I find it easy to use. 

 

Edited by LeeU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Website building and what tool to use for that depends on what you need your website to do. If all you need your website to do is show off a few photos, have a newsletter signup link via Mailchimp (or other),  and have a place where you can be contacted for further information, a free website builder is likely all you need. There are many weebly fans on this forum, and in lots of website building resources, both wix and weebly consistently come up as extremely user friendly options. This makes it easy to update those photos and change up information quickly when needed. 

If you're looking at selling things on the Internet on a regular basis (eg more than at Christmastime), I'd have a look at paid websites like Shopify (easy setup but maybe a few dollars more), or Squarespace (more technical ability required, but a little less $$, and lots more options). There are an increasing number of reasons why I'm not recommending Etsy for folks who aren't already there.

Just like with pottery equipment, think about what you'll need in 5 years, and do that, or at least leave yourself room to get there. 

My own views on social media is that it's a tool to be used, but you don't need to be on all the platforms in order for it to work, or to waste your life there. Pick one and be consistent on it, even if that means posting once a week. It's a way to entice people to your website for more information, and hopefully to sign up for your newsletter. It's a way for people to get to know about you and your work, and it can lead to a lot of social connections. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

image.png.8d84ca87bf66aa70c6880dae170251f0.png

Not sure it it matters to you guys (Mark, GEP,  Callie and Lee) but Weebly and WIX  is not securing your site so it shows the 'not secure' message in Chrome.

Edited by Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Stephen said:

image.png.8d84ca87bf66aa70c6880dae170251f0.png

Not sure it it matters to you guys (Mark, GEP,  Callie and Lee) but Weebly and WIX  is not securing your site so it shows the 'not secure' message in Chrome.

This is only important if you are asking people to give you their credit card numbers via your site, or stuff like that. If your website is essentially a read-only brochure, it’s not important. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This informational type website has served me very well.    I did it using the standard package hosted by Network Solutions. No selling on this site.  (yeah I just noticed it's not secure).  Very easy to set up.  I also have a bill board on a major high way (10 miles from studio).   The website is on this bill board and we get a lot of hits from it.     Customers can see what we have and it prompts them to come to the studio.  I have no interest in packing and mailing pottery.  In fact, we do not do it, even when people ask.

http://www.dirtroadspottery.com/

My selling website is for jewelry only hosted on Shopify (costs $29 a month).    This site appears to be secure.   When I promote the site, I sell more online.    The sales more than pay for the site.  Was easy to set up.  I could increase my on-line jewelry sales if I spent more time on the site and promoting.  But currently I'm more focused on driving customers to the store.   I  did all the work myself on both websites. 

https://dirtroadsjewelry.com/

I also use Instagram and Face Book, which yields a good return, for the limited amount of time I spend on these.   I post about once a month and always see direct sales from my posts.  I  did all the work myself on both websites.   Facebook and Instagram is a click and post, all in one step.    I mailed  6 jewelry orders from a post on my Face Book / Instagram post that I did 2 weeks ago.   Plus it brought in about 20 customers that all made purchases.  I should probably use these more, but I don't want to wear out the effectiveness.   I'm pretty sure if I did it 2 or 3 times a week, some customers would get tired of seeing them.

It is so easy to do a website,  Instagram and Face Book.  I see no reason to not do them.    I see about 10 more years in retail for me.  If I was planning a lot longer, I would be pushing more online sales.  I do two shows a year and have the free standing retail location.  I'm at max pottery production, with no plans of expanding pottery.    If I was just starting out, I would look more seriously at online.

Edited by DirtRoads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/6/2019 at 12:58 AM, DirtRoads said:

(yeah I just noticed it's not secure)

I am not good at all at retaining and repeating the details/facts of things, but I have been told by several expert "computer people" that the primary purpose for that little "not secure" pop-up is to get you to fork over more money for (maybe, sorta, kinda) more tight security that is generally not actually needed for small websites-bit of a scare tactic for those who do not know that they actually have a good bit of sufficient security already built in, and it is actually just fine not to buy the higher "credentialed" status.  I never did for my site and have never once had the slightest problem, other than from friends who would e-mail me and say "OMG do you know your site is not secure?"  Makes you feel like you "have to"  buy the upgrade that is pitched, or people won't visit. Anybody have experience with this (the pop-up that says your URL/site is "not secure")?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, LeeU said:

I am not good at all at retaining and repeating the details/facts of things, but I have been told by several expert "computer people" that the primary purpose for that little "not secure" pop-up is to get you to fork over more money for (maybe, sorta, kinda) more tight security that is generally not actually needed for small websites-bit of a scare tactic for those who do not know that they actually have a good bit of sufficient security already built in, and it is actually just fine not to buy the higher "credentialed" status.  I never did for my site and have never once had the slightest problem, other than from friends who would e-mail me and say "OMG do you know your site is not secure?"  Makes you feel like you "have to"  buy the upgrade that is pitched, or people won't visit. Anybody have experience with this (the pop-up that says your URL/site is "not secure")?

It usually means that there is an intermediary between you and the content.  In this case it's Weebly or wix.  In a nefarious case it's a man in the middle attack which is basically a proxy that sits in the middle and takes your request, records it, and passes it on.  Chrome shows the not secure message on nonsecure websites that have form fields because there could be a man in the middle.  On the above websites it's search fields and subscribe to newsletter fields, neither of which matter if they're secure.  If you were to be logging in or buying something it would be a much different story.  And I'm betting that when GEP logs into the back end of her website it is in fact a secure connection (https vs. http)

Edited by liambesaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can vouch that the back end to my website is an https signature, and I do have an external link for people to sign up to my mailing list embedded in a couple of spots on my website. Etsy is also an https signature, because you process payments through them.  One of the tasks I’ve set myself for this year is to get a tidier e-commerce setup on my website, so more research to come. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Google has taken things further in the last year and requires ssl and a lock on all pages, forms or not and shows 'not secure'  if its not there. SSL means all transport between your browser and the site is encrypted end to end and that is signified with the 'https://' rather than 'http'. If the site is https:// but still shows the 'not secure' then there is a problem with the security certificate used to secure the site or mixed content. Mixed content is if there are calls from the page being viewed that has an insecure non encrypted link (http) such as an image, script or ccs etc. GEP is partially correct in a sense that ssl encryption is needed for any page with data entry such as customer setup and of course if someone is entering credit card information, to keep the information from being transported as plain text that Liams man in the middle can trap and use. Google took it further than that because hackers can also gain access to an image file and change the image to get a user to click on it and enter a copycat site that is there to rip you off or manage to inject and execute scripting code that for instance might downloads on your computer and transmit everything you type (think banking passwords and such) to a thief.

I have been working on a old web application written in 2003 for the last few days and will continue for likely a few more trying to get locks on every page regardless of content to satisfy Chrome and get rid of the 'not secure' chrome tag. The site was written back when no-one used ssl for anything but pages with data entry like GEP is saying. It is a pain in the rear but with 50% of the net using chrome we have no choice because a percentage of our customers will see that 'not secure' notation and leave. We rely on a user coming to our app on a regular basis throughout the month and using our services so losing a customer might mean losing hundreds of jobs next year, and every year after, so it adds up. 

Me, if I were you I would go to WIX and Weebly and see what you need to do to get your site to be fully secure via ssl and a 'lock' showing with every major browser on every page. All of us that do this for a living are doing this.

Lee, no disrespect to the folks that said that the primary reason is money but they are wrong. There are some additional things like extra special green bar across the screen and such that I think are money oriented but having a basic lock with a valid ssl cert has nothing to do with trying to soak website owners. You can go to this link for a free ssl cert that will get you there if your provider does not already provide one. These are used by a lot of ISPs because they are free and work fine. I use them in a pinch if I screw up on a renewal because I can get this in minutes and secure the site but then I buy cheap $9 ones from places like Comodo and replace it because these free ones have to be renewed (at least on this site) every 90 days but if you are doing one site it might be fine and free.

https://www.sslforfree.com/

Edited by Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2019 at 1:15 PM, LeeU said:

Anybody have experience with this (the pop-up that says your URL/site is "not secure")?

I assume you mean the one that makes a user specifically click to say go to the site anyway? Yeah that one you can't ignore. It means that your site is SSL 'https://' and there is a problem with that SSL, Usually it is an expired  SSL cert or the name on the cert is not on the cert registration for the domain being typed to get there. That thing is worded so harsh that really only the website owner would click the 'go to it anyway' link and honestly it has given me pause when it comes up on a site I'm working on.

Edited by Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

Well for what its worth no one has ever messed with my site.  I doubt hackers are busting to break into a rather dull  artist info site like mine

maybe more likely into a great site like Claytons

http://www.claytonbailey.com

Hacking isn't done by humans much anymore, and a computer program doesn't care who you are or what your website says.  That said, http vs. https has no effect on your website unless visitors are entering personal information.  Just wanted to point out that these days hacking is done by robots and they simply harvest information, so security by obscurity is no longer a protection

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My non-ssl domain http://goodelephant.com is linked to my Weebly-hosted site through DNS settings on the domain side at GoDaddy. Weebly no longer allows users to do that. Now, if you want your domain to go straight to your Weebly-hosted site, you need to pay Weebly to set it up for you. 

I have a second, newer website that I built on the Weebly platform. Since I can no longer link my domain name with DNS settings (for free), I am using a simple domain forwarding instead. So if you type in the url http://learnpottery.com , you will get forwarded to https://learnpottery.weebly.com . Note that this address is on a secure server. This site does not collect personal or financial information either, so it doesn’t really matter.

So I’m pretty sure that my goodelephant.com website is also on a secure Weebly server. But Chrome will show it as “not secure” because I did not pay extra for the ssl cert for my domain name. It is a “what’s in a name?” situation. The site is on a secure server. 

Everyone who is using Weebly should feel ok that your site is on a secure server. 

I agree with @LeeU that, to some extent, this is a money grab for GoDaddy and Weebly, and others like them. Chrome/Google was happy to assist. The secure/not-secure designation was always there, but it used to be very subtle. A secure site had a little padlock icon next to the url, and a not-secure site had no icon. Chrome replaced the absence of an icon to the words “Not Secure” but really nothing else changed. 

Edited by GEP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, can't seem to let it go.  I put an ISP together back in the mid-late 90's in Seattle so I was around back in the very beginning at the enterprise network level and I ran the show so I have been involved in all of this as it has progressed from dial-up modems and gopher to now and over the past twenty five years I have noticed as the net moved to engulf the whole planet is that technology is something that non technical  users get spoon fed IT knowledge in small chunks from both knowledgeable sources, tech savvy types and folks with just plain wrong information and all of that information tends to just kind of get all mixed together and kind of gels into an 'expert opinion/their opinion' so although there is some right in what they think there is also some really mixed of notions as well and it gets hard to separate fact from fiction for both themselves and anyone listening to them.

What I said in an earlier reply is not an opinion, it is absolute rock solid fact. It might have been better written and is leaving out a lot of what would be a books worth of details but if you care at all about the subject I would really recommend surfing around on the subject to become familiar with whats true and what is just someone being confused about how this all works.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stephen said:

It is a pain in the rear but with 50% of the net using chrome we have no choice because a percentage of our customers will see that 'not secure' notation and leave. We rely on a user coming to our app on a regular basis throughout the month and using our services so losing a customer might mean losing hundreds of jobs next year, and every year after, so it adds up. 

For a potter who is not doing much online selling, the website is not our main source of customers. Not even close. Our main source of customer traffic is art fairs. The website is just a support element. It doesn’t have the same function as what you’re describing here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.