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Starting Out

Just a reminder:  This site is dedicated to getting your crafts out there on the web.  The actual creation of the site itself will not be discussed here.  There are "millions" of tutorials available on the web that can help you in the creation of your pages.  I'm going to assume that you'll be able to create the site and have your pages available on the web.  If you do need help with web page creation, click here for my links to helpful resources. 

I'd also like to point out that it IS possible to find companies that offer "free" online stores where everything is integrated into your web page and they offer all of the tools you need to build it.  No doubt this is probably easier than building the site on your own. However, the "free" part is usually the sign-up process, and they may want you to use their premium services, open merchant accounts, or only a certain amount of transactions are free, etc.  So it turns out that it's not necessarily as free as they say.  Still, this could turn out to be a good option for you.  I'd suggest looking into, or freemerchant.  Otherwise, if you're ready for the challenge, fun and rewarding sense of accomplishment you'll get from creating your own site, read on! you've decided to create your own website...good for you!  Now let me warn you, it's going to take some work...but it's fun!  The steps that follow are basically how I created my site, and the thought process involved.  Here are some things you'll need to take into consideration before you begin.



First, do you know HTML?  OK...don't don't necessarily have to!  Many Web hosting providers offer templates and site building tools so you don't need to know HTML code or use any other software.  All of your designing and website publishing will be done through the use of their file managers and tools.  I've found several WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors that don't require much knowledge or use of HTML, and I also found a few HTML editors that seem pretty easy to use.  Find them on the Web Resources page. 

If you DO have the software, such as FrontPage or another HTML Editor, and you want to design everything on your own, great!  (Personally I don't like to be restricted by templates, etc. and enjoy creating my own sites from scratch, too.)   I've also created original Webset graphics....check them out here!

The decision you make above will most likely affect which host you choose, so please keep that in mind while you search.  Other things to consider in looking for a host: that you're tossing that decision around, you might want to start checking out some of the web hosting providers.  Check them out here in my web hosting directory. I chose Netfirms and have been very happy with them.  They're geared towards business sites, also.


2.  DO I NEED MY OWN DOMAIN NAME? do not NEED to have your own domain name.  But it might be easier to have a shorter URL vs. the long address you'll have at the hosting provider.



The next steps will assume that you've got the basic website built and and are somewhat ready to go.  You should at least have your text and picture samples ready, know the prices you will be charging, have your contact info available, etc.

Next we'll look at payment processing with shopping carts, etc.