What's New and How to Build a Website to Sell Jewelry

To see the full HTML color version with photos click http://www.mrbead.com/midAugust12.htm

Click a picture below to see one of this month's new beads. Follow Nigel at his new site at NigelHayMckay.com

For Free Shipping enter "website" (without the commas) in the box at checkout, and click "Redeem Coupon". Use NOW - as expires Wednesday 15th August 2012. No minimum order, but can only for used at MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk and cannot be used with any other discount or eBay.

Follow us on Twitter at MrBead@UKMrBead and follow Nigel at Nigel@NigelMckay

Click a link below to see one of this month's new beads:

New Beads:
Mystical Raven Black FAC Fire Agate 8mm Beads
Black & White Crystal Shamballa Bracelet
White & Rainbow Disco Crystal Shamballa Bead
Gold & Rainbow Rhinestone Shamballa
Slate-Grey Double Skull Metal Bead
Bright Gold Double Skull Metal Bead
Ravishing Watermelon Jade Teardrop Beads
Magnetic Hematite Ball & Squares Bracelet
Magnetic Hematite Teardrop & Pearl Bracelet
Rainbow Turquoise Starfish Beads
50 Solid Metal Tyre Barrel Spacer Beads
Large Silver Hexagonal Tube Bead Spacers

To see all What's New in our US store click MrBead.com or UK MrBead.co.uk

How to Build a Website with an Online Store to Sell Jewelry

If you really want to make money, what you need is an e-store with a nice front page, a Paypal checkout, and marketing to bring traffic.

This is much easier than you think, especially the first part.

How a site works
When you view a website, you’re accessing the hard drive of another computer, sometimes in a different country. This host machine stores the website for the creator. The site itself has hidden code called HTML (for short). When your browser views this code it translates it into the image you see on the screen. For instance the code will make the word appear bold.

HTML editor
Rather than spending ages writing this code yourself, all you need is a program to generate it for you. Some word processing programs can do this, or better still you could invest in Front Page or Expressions. However, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to use website building software with an HTML editor built-in, these also make it simple to publish to your host. One such program I use is from ewisoft (click link for details). I joined their 30-day free trial and then signed-up for a hosting contract with Domain Sale! $7.49 .com at GoDaddy. These companies make things easy and inexpensive.

Custom store software
For high-volume sellers, Miva offers a good online store software – get the store for free by signing a hosting contract with someone like NetNation at netnation.com. Because of less competition you should also sell at a higher price in your store. The MrBead store uses Miva. There are also some excellent open source free stores available now - Google "online store software".

Register a Domain with a Host
Before you begin working on a new website, you must register a domain. This needs to be as simple, as short, as memorable as possible, and available. Start by writing a list of names that are related to you or your business – these are more likely to be available.

For example, if you live along Bure Lane and sell designer jewelry, write Bure Jewelry (at the time of writing burejewelry.com was actually available for just $10.69 a year). Or you could use your own name or the type of pieces you design.

Go for a dot com if possible, especially if you’re in the US, as it’s easier for potential customers to remember. However, a .co.uk for Britain, or .eu for Europe may be more available and appear “local”.

When you’ve scribbled all possibilities, go to Domain Sale! $7.49 .com at GoDaddy to see whether it’s taken. If someone else has your preferred domain, consider a different suffix, or change some of the wording. It’s better to string words together, than use hyphens or dots, as it’s easier to remember.

Example: If annspearls.com is taken, then annspearlnecklaces.com is better than anns.pearls.com. This can then be expressed as AnnsPearlNecklaces.com

Web storage
At the same time choose a contract for storage space under the name from a web host, like GoDaddy – the minimum priced will be sufficient. I think I paid about US$100 for the registration of two domains and one year hosting. Or you can pay monthly, which works out a little more.

Be sure to print out and keep all letters and settings mailed from your host, you will need these later. After you’ve done all that, you’re almost on the road!

Choose a template for your site, this will ensure each page is linked professionally. With a template, every page in your site keeps the same design, logo, and other sections. It saves you a lot of time. Free templates are available from most web hosts or within the program Expression.

How to Structure Content within the Site

Be sure to add a clear link to “Add to Basket”, “Basket Content”, AND “Buy Now”, on all sales pages. Missing these will lead to lost sales.

Ensure type face, color, and font sizes are consistent throughout your site, especially if you don’t use a template. Apply the same font, writing style and spelling everywhere, except for headings. Only use two or three different colors.

The best font for web-reading is Arial (as this book), although headings also look good in Tahoma. Times New Roman looks dated. Don’t use fancy styles as they may look different to the viewer on another web browser. This book is in 12 point, but 14 point is also common. Don’t go smaller, and never under 10 point.

Use a Paypal checkout if you don’t have a merchant account to accept credit cards. These checkouts are simple to set up, free, and can be used by anyone with a credit card. If you haven’t already joined Paypal, do so immediately at Paypal.com.

Going live
When you’ve finished designing the site with your HTML editor, it’s time to upload to your host, just click Publish on the program.

For the first time, you’ll have to enter the ftp address (this will be ftp.yourdomain or ftp://yourdomain). Plus user name & password you choose for ftp to your host, and maybe your website URL (address). If you can’t find any of this information, just ask your host.

Your site should now be up and running, but don’t expect any sales without promotion and marketing.

Check & double check
After you’ve finished your site, go through every single page to check links go to the right places, it’s very easy for these to be wrong. Check spelling with your spell checker and use English for the country you are marketing too (US spelling in the US and British English for the UK).

Keep it simple
Edit copy and shorten paragraphs for easy online reading. Leave lots of space on the page, so it looks refreshing and pleasant to the eye. Black type on a white background looks the best.

Try yourself
Buy something from your own website to see everything is working correctly, and also to get the feel a customer experiences. There’s nothing like testing the system yourself all the way through.

Problems a visitor will suffer, like where to click next, will show right away. You can then make adjustments. Such as adding automatically-generated emails, or change other aspects of the process that might not be working as intended.

It’s very worthwhile to do these tests often, even after your site is up and running. Things can strangely change on their own, either from bugs in the software or adjustments from your host, so never become complacent. Test, test, test.


Read about the man behind MrBead and watch him make a fool of himself at NigelHayMckay.com and his resent trip to Burma and what he eats in China! Much from these newsletters on beads is already on the site + a lot more with photos, and there will be a even more in the future.

Soon the site it will be interactive so you can add your own content. However, Nigel's blog is now fully functional - so please join in!

To see all What's New in our US store click MrBead.com or UK MrBead.co.uk

From our new book How to Make a Killing Selling Bead Jewelry - to buy at a 33% discount to quoted price click: US Version or UK Version

To go to the US MrBead store click MrBead.com. Or our UK shop at MrBead.co.uk
To see all old newsletters click here