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Designer websites effectivness


#1

Hi,

Could the designer/makers among you answer a few questions. How much
work have any of you been getting from your websites (trade or
direct to the public?) Have you found this the best way to showcase
your work? Are design competitions a good route to get a newcomer
noticed? Have you been able to make a living purely from your own
work or do you need to take on mainstream work as well to pay the
bills? Any other ideas for getting work to a wider audience much
appreciated.

thanks, Steven


#2

One of the biggest bonuses to having an effective, and nice website
is it’s easy to point people to it and you save costs in printing
’catalogs’.

Craig
www.creativecutgems.com


#3

Hi Steven,

I started doing Art shows last summer and it seems to be working.
It’s a good way to talk to people who are interested in your work as
opposed to advertising in a paper or magazine. From the shows, you
direct them to your web site and see what happens. I usually end up
doing more business after the shows than at them. It’s slow going,
but I do see some improvement. I’ve been on my own for a few years
now and probably won’t retire soon, but it is more satisfying to
wake up in the morning!

Best of luck, Scott

Scott Verson
www.metalandstonedesign.com


#4

I recently have tried to get a web- site finished, more time
consuming then I thought, but its running. I hope to include shows
along with the site and have some stores to carry a line. One store
is already carrying it. Three different streams of income. I haven’t
received any orders yet, but in the past everything I have made has
sold.

www.ericsfinejewelry.com


#5
I recently have tried to get a web- site finished, more time
consuming then I thought, but its running. 

Eric, your website is beautiful,

Absolutely love the rutilated quartz piece. Don’t know if it’s my
computer (which does tend to have go slow attacks) but the images
took a long time to appear which I have been told is detrimental to
having people hang around and look.

I would be interested to hear how long it takes for someone to make
a purchase on your website without a shopping cart.

Having just done a website myself (three weeks on line and no
orders) I’m curious as to your success. Would like a shopping cart
myself but can’t afford it at present unless I go for Paypal which I
still need to research.

Cheers, Renate
www.renatesommerjewellery.com.au


#6

Hi

but the images took a long time to appear which I have been told is
detrimental to having people hang around and look. 

I had someone working on a website for me previously. According to
him, the images need to be loaded onto the website at no more than
72DPI. Any higher than that takes an inordinate amount of time for
the images to load. Also, the computer’s monitor is only capable of
displaying images at 72DPI, so a higher resolution will not make a
difference anyway.

Would like a shopping cart myself but can't afford it at present
unless I go for Paypal which I still need to research. 

I have never sold my jewelry using Paypal, but I have sold other
things. It requires that you have a Paypal account and the buyer have
a Paypal account as well. It was very easy to use once I set up my
Paypal account. It seemed like it was rare that someone not be able
to use it and I had no concerns about security of payment. It might
scare customers. I’m not sure if some would be intimidated by the
fact that they have to register with Paypal in order to use it. You
do have to give bank account and credit card numbers. That might
scare people away. Also, I’m wondering if customers would ultimately
just want a straight “click and pay” deal. Would they want to take
the extra time to go thru Paypal at all?

Good Luck and I also am waiting to see what others with more
experience have to say.

Kim Starbard
http://www.kimstarbarddesigns.com


#7

I have never sold my jewelry using Paypal, but I have sold other
things. It requires that you have a Paypal account and the buyer have
a Paypal account as well.

Hi–Just one note about paypal…customers can now pay via credit
card without having to set up a paypal account. Checking out is just
like checking out on any other website…customers just enter their
info and pay. If they want to pay direct from their bank account,
then they’ll need to set up a Paypal account.

Regards,
Beth


#8
I have never sold my jewelry using Paypal, but I have sold other
things. It requires that you have a Paypal account and the buyer
have a Paypal account as well.... I'm not sure if some would be
intimidated by the fact that they have to register with Paypal in
order to use it. 

This is not entirely true. The seller must have a Paypal account,
but not the buyer. I use Paypal on my site as well (and I have bought
from others’ sites). As a purchaser, you are given the option to
bypass Paypal and use an ordinary credit card. I’ve done it many
times.

Beth


#9

When I started my website, I felt it was a “must” to have a shopping
cart. After some learning experiences, I’m now going through my bank
which uses Nova and AuthorizeNet. The basic charge is $35.00 a month

  • a percentage of sales if I go over a certain amount. There was a
    set up fee - can’t remember how much it was - but it wasn’t cheap I
    remember that much, but not overly expensive either (cheap to me is
    anything under $200.00) Considering my 1st sale covered all expenses
    it was well worth it. At that time Paypal was new and didn’t have a
    very good reputation.

If I were starting now, I think I would just go with Paypal. Most
people are used to using it - the percentage is more but it would
usually be less expensive than paying the $35.00 + % each month. I
set up Paypal so I could accept credit cards from countries other
than the US and Canada, now probably half of my customers use
PayPal, and 1/3 call me direct and the remainder use my Merchant
acct. Hmm - maybe I should drop it - duh

My server provides the shopping cart as part of the cost for parking
my website.

Hope this helps.
Jan
www.designjewel.com


#10

I don’t sell anymore but was always interested in how those of you
with successful web sites actually drove people to your site?

Betty Belmonte (in Bryn Mawr, Pa where its snowing again)


#11
One of the biggest bonuses to having an effective, and nice
website is it's easy to point people to it and you save costs in
printing 'catalogs'. 

True, Craig. People seem to love the idea of being able to pop
online and see more. Especially when it’s easy to say (and remember)
the address - if it requires spelling out loud consider a new,
simpler, domain name.

I’ve taken to producing a small printed catalogue and having that
available online (in pdf format) is also very useful.

Brian

B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y
Auckland NEW ZEALAND
www.adam.co.nz


#12

Hi,

I don't sell anymore but was always interested in how those of you
with successful web sites actually drove people to your site? 

There are lists of ways to get people to your site all over the
Internet and many of them work. SEO is pretty nebulous since the
algorithms the robots use change now and then and the big engines
really never quite let you in on every detail.

However, I think a more important issue is how to make your site
"sticky".

Ganoksin is one of the “stickiest” sites around. That means people
return again and again because it is of great value.

Some statistics say that the site visitor needs to come to your site
an average of 7 times before they actually buy from you. (Of course,
direct sales from the site is only one of the goals.) I dont’ know if
the statistics are right, but it seems to be common sense.

Think about some things you can do to make your site a resource for
your visitor.

Louise
http://www.jewelryspectrum.com
Resources for the Artisan Jeweler
Unique Materials / Website Information


#13
One of the biggest bonuses to having an effective, and nice website
is it's easy to point people to it and you save costs in printing
'catalogs'. 

Absolutely, I do more selling from people that have been to my shop
and been given a card/brochure. They know me and then go online to
buy.

A web site must be clean and neat… No flash, NO music, no garbage.

The absolute worst example of a lousy website is Tiffany’s I think
that the designers of that site should be jailed.

My opinion.

Hans Meevis


#14
A web site must be clean and neat.. No flash, NO music, no
garbage. 

Amen! I long ago disconnected the speakers from the desk top
computer and the volume on the laptop is turned off. I absolutely
hate landing on a site and having it play music (or something to that
effect) at me.

It is easier to get people who have already met you to come to your
site, than to drive new traffic to the site. These people are
already interested in you, your products and “know” you.

Michelle


#15

Louise wrote:

Some statistics say that the site visitor needs to come to your
site an average of 7 times before they actually buy from you. (Of
course, direct sales from the site is only one of the goals.) I
dont' know if the statistics are right, but it seems to be common
sense. 

About the same for visitors to a store, wouldn’t you say? So to have
a site up adds yet another way to let a customer see the work they
might one day purchase. To put it in some sort of perspective,
perhaps.

Hans wrote:

A web site must be clean and neat.. No flash, NO music, no
garbage. 

I totally agree. Show what you do, and don’t require your customer
to have the exact same computer setup as yourself.

Betty Belmonte wrote:

I don't sell anymore but was always interested in how those of you
with successful web sites actually drove people to your site? 

In the early days, 12+ years ago on my case, one registered the
site’s first page with various search engines and resource sites. One
required meta inside the file code (which is in fact
easy enough to write yourself). It took a long time to do all that,
and long time to be registered. Some would put a key word like
jewelry
repeated invisibly 500 times at the bottom of the page (text colour
the same as background colour) but they were soon blacklisted by
tmany search engines.

Nowadays I imaging that registering is still important. Plus having
your site URL in the sig of each email you write. I’m amazed at how
often my own emails will come up in a search!

I’d be careful of putting an emaill address in email signatures (and
websites) as there are ways people can harvest them and sell them on
to spammers.

Brian
B r i a n A d a m
Auckland NEW ZEALAND
www.adam.co.nz


#16

It is so funny what people think. I guess that is why there is room
for everything. I personally love all of the European jewelry sites
that are full of flash and music. Try looking at a few.
carreraycarrera.com, palmierogioielli.com, hulchibelluni.com,
boucheron.com some of these have music some don’t but they have
FLASH! I think ink they are great and they definitely keep my
attention.

Dennis


#17
FLASH! I think ink they are great and they definitely keep my
attention. 

I cannot stand moving anything on a website and will leave or scroll
away from it. I also expect complete silence from my computer –
unless there’s something that I specifically want to hear.

I had dial up service for a long time, and that’s why I keep my
website simple and fast loading, so that it works well no matter
what your connection is.

Elaine

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#18
I cannot stand moving anything on a website and will leave or
scroll away from it. 

Thank you, Elaine-- I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I cannot abide
jiggly things especially.

I also have very little patience when it comes to web sites. I
went to one of the ones listed yesterday, and left well before it
got around to showing me any jewelry. Two-three clicks is the max–
show me what I came to see, or I’m outa here!

Noel


#19
I cannot stand moving anything on a website and will leave or scroll 

I just quoted the above as being representative, not the individual.
I’ve seen advice in various places that says, "Don’t use Flash, don’t
use anything but plain old everyday HTML. When I see that “Loading"
bar, I leave, etc.” Well, Bye!!! We’ll miss you. Next thing will be,
“Don’t use an authoring program, we should all write code.” To me
that’s no different than saying that we should all ride bicycles, and
if man were intended to fly… Flash IS state of the art. Not only
is it here to stay, it also permits the programmer to say things HTML
never dreamed of. One of the big reasons people use it in the art
business is because the pictures can’t be saved without a certain
expertise, because they’re imbedded in a movie. I’m not saying the
other side, that everyone should use it, either - it’s difficult to
do well, for one thing. And it’s true it’s easily abused. But I just
laugh when people say things like “I just won’t go there.” We’ll miss
you.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#20
if man were intended to fly...... Flash IS state of the art. Not
only is it here to stay, it also permits the programmer to say
things HTML 

Lots of things are state of the art, that doesn’t mean I want them.

We are all in a field of making things with our hands when the rest
of the world makes things with robotic arms and such.

Surely it is not surprising that a bunch of jewelers don’t care for
the state of the art in the form of annoying Flash graphics?

Elaine

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay