Build a Website with an Online Store & Summer Beads
This month is how to build a website to sell from and summer peridot & carnelian for August. Scroll down, or click a link on the html version.
For the HTML version with color pictures click http://www.mrbead.com/july10.htm
See us in the UK during September and October - for dates click here.
To go to the bead store click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk.
How to Build a Website with an Online Store to Sell Jewelry
Register a Domain with a Host
How to Structure Content within the Site
Peridot & Pearl Necklace
Carnelian - For August
Pearl & Peridot Necklace
$10 or £6 off!
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 angle-bracket B makes the word appear bold.
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 the best online store software – get the store for free by signing a hosting contract with someone like NetNation at http://www.netnation.com. Because of less competition you should also sell at a higher price in your store. The MrBead store uses Miva.
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, Domain Sale! $7.49 .com at GoDaddy 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
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 (in December 2009) 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 Front Page.
Ensure type face, color, and font sizes are consistant 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 www.paypal.com.
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.
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.
Next month: How to Build your Front Page & Online Marketing. The above is from the new book soon to be published: How to Make a Killing Selling Bead Jewelry.
Peridot has been mined as a gemstone for thousands of years, said to be the favorite gem of Cleopatra, and mentioned in the Bible. In ancient Egypt it was mined at night because legend tells that peridot was hard to see during the day, yet easily visible by lamplight. The Greeks and Romans called peridot “topazion” and “topazius” - the later named topaz, to end the confusion between the two. Peridot has also been confused with emerald and many jewelers refer to it as "evening emerald". Peridot was later used to decorate medieval churches, carried back to Europe by the Crusaders, like the huge stones of more than 200 carats in size at Cologne Cathedral.
The gemstone is actually known under three names: Peridot, Chrysolith (derived from the Greek word “goldstone”) and Olivin, because Peridot is the gemstone variety of the Olivin mineral. In the gemstone trade it is generally called Peridot, a name derived from the Greek “peridona”, meaning something like “giving plenty.
Peridot is recommended for insomnia, digestive problems and to stimulate the mind. Some say peridot has the power to drive away evil spirits, intensified when the stone is set in gold. And it’s also said to strengthen the power of any medicine drunk from peridot goblets. Peridot is for people with the star sign of Leo.
To see all or peridot beads click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk
Carnelian is for confidence. Said to help blood disorders and eliminate toxins from the body. Carnelian is in tune with the energies of the Earth, making you feel comfortable with your environment. Allowing you to pause and reflect, while feeling settled and more secure. Carnelian stimulates the reproductive organs too; hence it’s long use as a fertility symbol. It is also said to help creativity and have a clearing effect, replacing negative energy with positive. Making it easier to find direction and feel in control of your life.
A good stone for people starting new projects or who feel they are going nowhere. It motivates, allowing you to find the energy to make the most out of life. Carnelian is best for people with the zodiac sign of Leo, and for those born on a Friday.
For all our carnelian beads click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk
To see our new summer rainbow calsilica beads click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk
$10 or £6 off
Sample our beads with a discount on any order in our MrBead bead store, just key "website" at the checkout (without the inverted commas) and click "Redeem Coupon".
Act Now! As expires on Tuesday 10th August 2010. Cannot be used with any other coupon or eBay.
To see What's New click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk
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