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WHICH WEB BUILDER? - ANY ADVICE PLEASE!!


becster99

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I WANT TO CREATE A WEBSITE TO SELL MY FAIRY LIGHTS ON USING A WEB BUILDER SUCH AS WIX, WEEBLY, JIMDO, WORDPRESS, JOOMLA ETC AND WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE SOME ADVICE ABOUT THE MOST ECONOMICAL, USER FRIENDLY, RELIABLE AND EFFECTIVE SOLOUTION

THANKS!!

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Ansolan

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I WANT TO CREATE A WEBSITE TO SELL MY FAIRY LIGHTS ON

Can you be more specific on what you mean by sell i.e. where you envisage customers coming from?

This could range from - You have a real world shop which is well known - to - You intend attracting customers via search - to - You are very busy on social networks etc. etc.

Bearing in mind that a website exists to fill a need, hard to make a decision without knowing both customer and your needs, intended (or required) volume of sales. Whatever else you think is relevant, not least the unique angle(s) you intend bringing to the market.

How to build a site is not a decision divorced from the purpose. Appreciate many approach the plan without that thought, possibly why 92% of new ecommerce sites are closed, or abandoned within 12 months.

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becster99

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thanks for your response. as you can probably tell I'm new to the online selling process - my wish is obviously to catch as many people as possible who are searching for similar products to the ones I offer. whilst this may be wishful and somewhat naive thinking, I was hoping that if someone entered a search for rose, butterfly, angel or leaf skeleton fairy lights, they would swiftly be directed to my site. I work on a busy christmas market selling my product and the frequent request for a card with website details has prompted this exercise. the christmas period is currently the only time I'm selling on the high street. In addition to our christmas stock we bought approximately an extra 1500 units with the intention of attempting an online business. We can obviousy order more stock as and when we need to, but as our product comes from thailand and is hand made, there's a time delay of at least a month. I'm working with a low budget and limited technical experience, so the allure of the web builder sites such as wix is very attractive. Have you had any experience of sites such as Wix? Am I barking up the wrong tree? What about Word Press - is it user friendly for the non computer savvy type? thanks so much for taking the time to read and hopefully respond to this post. andrew xx

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Ansolan

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Don't let me put you off, you need a website and with sufficient work in, can get a fair amount out. Will come back to search/social, there are alternatives.

Many businesses are happy to have a website simply as a contact/information/online brochure facility and push their products in other ways. Current clients, recommendation, mailshots, old fashioned advertising, basic SEO, existing Facebook, Twitter etc. That is a scenario you could consider.

Few of the standard online web builders will suit but you could use a specialist site such as:

http://www.bluepark.co.uk/

This type of facility tends to be user friendly, so solves lack of skills. The downside is that adopting any preset system can lead to technical barriers in the end and you are reliant on them keeping going. They can also be slow sites but in fairness I tried a few Bluepark websites and not bad. Also a fair forum for support.

Alternatively, buy annual hosting from a reliable firm, offering an easy install of ecommerce software. Along the lines of:

http://www.heartinternet.co.uk/blog/2011/05/essential-links-and-tips-for-getting-started-with-zen-cart/

Of the commonly used packages, Zen is a little lighter than Magento or similar (which ideally need a dedicated server) and is open source i.e. free, with a good support community. Plenty of free/low cost templates available, also reasonable facilities for general management, email campaigns:

http://www.zen-cart.com/

You could also look at Wordpress with an ecommerce plugin but may be better to stick with a specialist package. Whichever way, the self managed site will be cheaper than somewhere like Bluehost and more flexible.

Coming back to bringing business via the web. For your sector, social has to be of interest but can be time consuming and requires knowledge of using what is a quagmire. Social is already far more gamed than search ever was and likely to get worse. If you are a Facebook/Twitter user, do what you can to spread the word. Beyond that, consider carefully probable return on time invested.

Not that Google aren't trying to join the club via Google+. Hopefully a passing phase in current form, where the internal wreckage/strained focus will pass as well. Core search still does a job and can bring real business.

Learning to cope with needs there and building position in search will take a while, if you really devote yourself, maybe a year. Still no reason not to get the basics right from the start. Worth looking at these before you go near a website:

http://static.googleusercontent.com/externalcontent/untrusteddlcp/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=checklist.cs&tab=1095542

http://static.googleusercontent.com/externalcontent/untrusteddlcp/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/google-seo-report-card.pdf

Just accept that the online world is very competitive, you will need to improve technical skills and devote much time. The decision is often whether the thousands of hours spent over a couple of years could be used to earn more elsewhere. The upside is that running and succeeding with a website can be fun.

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jonasmarsh621

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Making a website is your first priority. Developing it becomes your sole purpose until it is ready to be worked on by SEO specialists. This takes a lot of time especially if your product is quite common. Just persevere and you'll get there soon.

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