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Setting up my jewelry website

Dear Orchid

I have another more immediate problem and that is the creation of a
web site for my jewelry. The site needs to be commercial and not
simply a brochure. A friend of mine, who makes lovely silver
jewelry, told me that web sites do not help you sell your jewelry and
they are a waste of time. If I believe her I am left with craft shows
which have proved to be marginally profitable and not the best venue
because of some special needs. In addition, I have another full time
job and therefore cannot spend a lot of time going to craft fairs.
Does anyone have some advice on the benefit of web sites? Does
anyone have advice about people who create web sites who live in
Maine. I would want to visit the person and discuss my needs. My son
in Calif. recommended a friend who is very, very expensive and I
don’t see the value in spending a great deal of money on a project
that may or may not be valuable. Some of my jewelry is on my facebook
page…my students shamed me into putting one up. I’m not certain if
facebook is a force for good or ill?

Barbara Pincus

I have my own website, have generated limited/little business from
it, but it only costs me $10 per year for the domain fee. The google
applications portion is free from google. The biggest portion of
using a web based sales shop is catching the person. So you have to
work at getting your site to be recognized by the search engines so
you show up in the first or second page of a search. Then you have
to have some eye catching items on the first web page to intrigue the
future customer. This is a lot of work. My webpage is not a good
example, but I do not do this to put food on the table, this is a
side adventure for me. Then when I retire, it will be my full time
business and I will be able to devote the time necessary.

the commercial jewelry sales arenas (Etsy, Artfire, etc) are very
crowded and have many vendors already established. again, you have to
have something unique to attract the search engines. I have a friend
who is specializing in Catholic Rosaries; she also makes much more
jewelry, but on Artfire she will emphasize the Rosaries to attract

Best of luck.

John Atwell Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Geologist and Gemologist
Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry

Hello Barbara

I think it’s a very good idea you build a website, and understand
your concerns. A website is a way to publicize your work at minimal
costs. People can look at it at their own pace, and then contact
you. Nothing shameful about going public ! And the good news is : you
can build it yourself. A unanimously declared techo-idiot, I
nonetheless built my website last november. It took me a month ( had
hundreds of pictures to doanload + made some mistakes ) and cost $100
for the annual server fees. I chose, but there are
many others. I like Artsite because they are helpful and simple.

Good luck ! Cecile


The web is only one of several channels that can be used to move
products. How well any channel works depends on your products,
target customers, and how much effort you put into it. The statement
that the web is a “waste of time” is simply naive.

For a web site to perform well there are several areas that you must

(1) The site must be designed to present your work well (duh!)
(2) The site must be optimized for the search engines (SEO)
(3) The site must be secure and easily maintained

There is a lot of marketing hype out there when it comes to the web
but the fact is that you can put up a quality site for a reasonable
amount. I “retired” from a web site development career but have kept
myself current by building and maintaining my own sites.

If you don’t have the technical skills to build your own site you
will need to pay someone to build it for you. How much depends on
what you want. The range is hundreds to thousands of dollars. After
that there is an ongoing “hosting” cost. Again the amount depends on
what you require. The range is tens to hundreds of dollars. Web site
technology can be complex which means people will try to take
advantage of you. (Think the unscrupulous auto mechanic that fixes
things that aren’t broken.)

I would be happy to work with you and others to navigate these
complexities if you want.



We use Brian Willson at 3 Island Press in Maine for our web site.

I have a small jewelry business and I feel a web presence is
essential. When someone comments on my jewelry, I find it awkward to
remove even a small photo album from my purse and begin presenting my
work. I prefer to say “Thank you. May I give you my business card
with my web address?”

Good luck with your decision.

Mary A
Chief Design Officer
Jewelry for the Journey

Hey Barbara,

Getting a website is a necessity nowadays. It doesn’t matter whether
its a static catalog website or an e-commerce website, an online
presence is a must. You can build an ecommerce website easily through
any out of the box software. They range from free to 1000’s of
dollars. You can actually start off with CubeCart (
for FREE and see where it takes you. It is very search engine
friendly and additional modules are extremely cheap. It has an active
developer community and forum which is very friendly. It is an ideal
software for a starter website. A domain name and web hosting will
cost you around $100 a year. A little bit of TLC and you should see
sales coming through.

Ravi Ramani
Graduate Gemologist, GIA

i am on godaddy’s web site tonight product just bought it a few days
ago they have the costs wraped up into a monthly charge of up to $12
u,s. per month you get alot of product more pages on your site than
you will need things like, mouse over, accept cc cards , hosting,
templates, tech support, domain, lots of email address’ domains and
an account where you can change stuff around as often as you like. -


I prefer to say "Thank you. May I give you my business card with my
web address?" 

All depends what you’re looking for, as with all things. My brother
put some of his inlay work on EBay and nobody ever looked at the
page - the hit counter stayed on 0. If your work is the sort that
fits on Etsy and some of the others (ours does not), and you want to
give it a year to rise above the masses of others there, then that’s
maybe a good way. You could “launch” a website with e-commerce and a
whole line, but that’s a million dollar enterprise when you include
advertising to steer people to it. The days of expecting YOUR site
to come up by searching Google for “custom jewelry” probably never
did exist, but certainly your site goes to the back of the line to
start out, nowadays.

But for an online portfolio and a place you can tell anybody,
anywhere to go to look at your work it is invaluable and, in our
case, cheap. I can’t measure the benefit because it doesn’t
translate directly into cash, in our case, but it has tremendously
widened our exposure. I do the site myself and no I’m not expecting
anyone to say it’s the best they’ve ever seen. It does the job, and
the server is $2/month or something.