For a simple website solution: I used Microsoft Front Page software,
this allows you to create your own website in any manner you choose
& upload it to your e-commerce site.
For Jewelry item pictures, I used my scanner instead of fancy or
expensive camera setups. This allows you to get great detail &
close-ups of your work. Using a piece of gray paper over your pieces
on the scanner helps. Your scanner program will allow you to size,
adjust quality etc.
So now you have your site built, your pictures look great, you still
need to do something with all that hard work so folks can see it on
the web. I use CWI web hosting company, you can find their link at
the bottom of my web pages. They are great to work with. They
answered all my dumb questions as I was trying to figure out the
whole e-store situation for uploading & managing my account. And the
best thing is they only charge me $15. per month to host my site!
Plus they offer ongoing help anytime I need it, for free. No hidden
costs. They do charge an initial low one time setup fee. Can't quite
remember but was between $25.- $45.
I found CWI after much searching & being "courted" by numerous host
sites for my business. There are many hosts out there willing to
charge big bucks & offer all kinds of fancy stuff, but the bottom
line is, you still have to do all the preliminary work with
pictures, pricing, descriptions etc. And when you want your site
updated, you have to rely on them, bad news!
A representative from CWI initially advised me to use their low-end
business package & "feel the waters" until I was experienced enough
to make a further decision. That was refreshing in itself as all the
other host companies I spoke with pushed me to buy their "big"
package so it would be done right. This advise from CWI was enough
to get my attention & business.
I have now had my site with CWI for 3 years & am still using their
inexpensive $15. per month package, which I have yet to max out. My
site has major graphics on it since it is my online Jewelry Catalog
with lots of content, but still has lots of growing room left.
Great, now you have a beautiful site, you are ready to upload it to
your internet host, but you still need that e-commerce package so
folks can purchase from you online. CWI does offer an e-commerce
solution, a "shopping cart". But I chose to go with the Paypal
"shopping cart" as it is about the cheapest way to go. Paypal is
free to register with, you need to setup with them as a "Premier
The way Paypal works versus Merchant accounts. If you already have a
Merchant Account with your local bank, you are set, just use it,
although these accounts usually are not very cheap. But if you want
a cheaper way to go, use Paypal. This will save you a lot of money
while you get setup & get your website into full swing.
Paypal supplies you with the html to create your "purchase item
buttons". Once you have created a button for one item, it is easy to
copy, paste & adjust the html for the next item. Each item you have
for sale gets a description, a number & of course a price.
Using Paypal, you can accept Credit Card purchases, etc. Paypal gets
a small fee for every sale you make, this covers the credit card
processing fees. I also still accept checks & money orders through
the mail for purchases.
There is your low cost website, built with Microsoft FrontPage
software, hosted by CWI, & credit card enabled using the Paypal
Now there is "search engine optimization" & submission to be
Definitely an education in itself! Any questions?
"One of the Best Jewelry Stores on the Net!"
by the Grace of God!