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Website question: who to go with?


#1

Hey guys. I have a question about websites. Apparently no one has
ever posted anything about websites, as my search on the orchid site
came up a big fat nothing. I am currently using intuit.com for web
hosting, but have seen ads for sites like artfire.com. Currently
intuit.com charges me over $30/month for the site plus the credit
card service, whether or not I have any transactions. I am thinking
the difference between these servers is intuit has a stand alone
website. Meaning, tarahutchjewelry.com is my address, whereas if I
have a storefront on amazon.com or etsy.com I have a site that has
amazon or etsy in the URL. What kind of experience, good or bad, do
members have with different hosting servers? I am planning on
switching to someone else because I’m pretty sure they are robbing
me.

Thanks!
Tara Hutchinson


#2

I have a site through 1and1.com, bottom of the barrel cheap and with
a paypal checkout. Not to bad. I also list stuff on ebay, ebid, etsy,
and bonanzle and have an inactive for the moment ecrater storefront.
I use the main page of my website to link to the commercial sites to
help drive traffic to them. Having only 1 channel for sales is
limiting, for me it is time for selling that is limiting so I try to
make the most of it. You can purchase a domain (mine is benzgemz.com)
for under $10/year through a lot of different registrars. I get mine
from 1and1, godaddy is another place for inexpensive domains. Then
buy your hosting where ever you get a good deal and point the domain
to the hosting site. You pay more for sites that can handle more
traffic, and I’m sure a lot of your site’s cost is due to the cost of
credit card processing.

Ben
www.BenzGemz.com


#3

Hi Tara,

I have two websites that I have designed that currently use
Microsoft’s Office Live. Currently they are not charging to host the
sights. I was able to transfer hosting to them and keep the original
url.

They are: http://www.bash4fun.com and https://www.bettysbait.com

I am not to sure about the use of credit cards with them since the
folks with the sights are not trying to use credit card sales.

I was able to build the sights using their easy to use site builder
programs.

Just my nickel’s worth,

Ken Moore
www.kenworx.com


#4
Meaning, tarahutchjewelry.com is my address, whereas if I have a
storefront on amazon.com or etsy.com I have a site that has amazon
or etsy in the URL. 

subdomain = less good

own domain that you own and control = much better

Your domain and your site are like real estate. It’s better to own
than rent.

I suggest you have your own shopping cart and site. In addition you
may wish to use etsy, but that would be secondary.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#5

artfire, etsy, 1000markets, etc. all charge for their services in
different ways. getting them to work involves an active effort on
your part so your shop is high on the query list. this is also true
with free standing web sites; you have to work hard to be on
thefirst page of a google or bing search. i have artfire and stand
alone, onlyonline sales have beenthrough artfire. good luck

john


#6

I use bluehost.com for my 8 websites. They are an awesome company!
They can set up and maintain your website for you or they’ll allow
you to do it yourself.


#7

Tara and Orchid,

I use CWI hosting.com. http://cwihosting.com

They have hosted my site for over 7 years.

When I have difficulty, they have been very responsive.

You can email about a technical crisis and get a quick reply…it is
a little harder recently to get a person on the phone.

When I needed more bandwidth recently, they added it at no charge.

There is tons of analytics types of graphs, information
about who came to my site, etc. All of this comes with the basic
plan, actually far more than I can digest.

It costs me $80. a year for hosting my site.

Hope this is a good resource, go check it out and see what you
think.

Just for clarification, they are not building my site, I do all the
work using Dreamweaver.

I use a separate FTP to upload to the site.this is not one of those
template types of situations.

My site just lives there.

Harriete Estel Berman


#8

I use Weebly - they allow you to have a website for free in exchange
for their banner in the footer. They have Paypal and Google shopping
integration.

My personal website is there - kernology as well as my husband’s
(www.fatquartersoftware.com) business (we use the paypal
integration) and have found it really good. I am slowing setting up
my “studio” website where I will sell my hollowware [I hope to have it up soon]

They have many prebuilt templates and I find it was easy to
customize for my husband’s site. I got his up and running in a
weekend - we were with another hosting provider and I had written
all the code which took a lot of my time to maintain when prices
changed. Now with Weebly, even he can change the prices!

Laurie Kern


#9

Hi,

I also use CWI hosting. I pay $30/month, and unfortunately, at least
once a month their server goes down and I can’t get email and people
can’t get to my website for at least a few hours. I really don’t
recommend going with them. If I didn’t have so much stuff there and
it wasn’t such a pain to move I would be looking for a new provider.

-m


#10

I use godaddy.com for my website hosting and strongly recommend them.
I have never caught my site being down, their hosting runs about $6-7
a month for the plan I use, they have good tech support and lots of
extras.

I think they are by far the biggest hosting provider.

Nothing in it for me, just a happy customer.

John Dyer
www.johndyergems.com


#11

I use

http://www.alentus.com

I went through about 10 companies in 3 years before finding a
company that could actually keep the webpage up 99.95% of the time. I
pay a lot but get a lot - I run 2 massive databases and 100gigs of
bandwidth/month; secure pages, etc. Really my webpage is my store and
you don’t scrimp on your store. If you are an internet based company
you can not afford downtime. If my webpage goes down for 5 minutes I
get calls asking if I’m still in business - seriously - 11 years at
the same internet address and 5 minutes down and people start having
doubts

Jon Daniels
The Ring Lord Chainmail
http://theringlord.com


#12

I’ve also been using GoDaddy since 1999 when I started selling on
line. They are the best when I have had any questions, large or
small, simple or complex about my website (FrontPage). Now, four
websites later, and iWeb, they still are very helpful, easy to
understand, and are available 24/7. I have 6 domains with them and 4
that I manage for other sites.

Regards,
Dinah


#13

hello,

regarding web hosts- identify what you need- probably a shopping
cart, and pay pal in addition to unlimited email addresses and sub
domains. You probably also want at least 99% up time ( real time the
website is available to browsers on the www)…if you only have 50
items you are selling then 1 and 1 is the cheapest and most full
featured host. Go daddy has lots of little additional charges that
add up and the starting rate is higher than 1&1’s 10 bucks a month
for a 50 item site that works…if you have lots of variables in your
work pieces then you may want to go with 1 and 1’s step up to , i
believe 15. 00 a month - but free for the first year- you can’t beat
their deals…the other hosts mentioned like “webly” is really full of
advertising and doesn’t look professional nor do you have the control
of go daddy or 1 and 1…bluevoda, blue horizon…most of the “blue
anythings” have a lot of hidden Pups ( potentially unwanted programs
) that are integrated into their package like tracking your own
internet use ( that’s how they keep their provider cost low…by
selling your …Windows Live, Microsoft office live etc.
have just changed their policies and they will all be charging 14. 95
a month for hosting unless you want a Microsoft or windows-live tag
on your site ( again, not very professional)…All said the top two
are 1 and 1, and go daddy… I use 1 and 1 for 8 different sites and
have NEVER in four years had one down period lasting more than 1 hour
, and that happened once in a year when they were doing maintenance
on their servers…If you need a lot of storage or have numerous
products ( like a tools and supplies vendor with a lot of variants,
consider a server of your own, the you can host others sites for a
fee which pays the monthly bill… I highly recommend you subscribe
to “internet retailer” and “website creator” magazines. They are
worth the time and money ( unless you qualify for their free
subscriptions ( through a site like business magazines. com, or
freebiz magazines. com, etc. ). You can really learn a lot about
effective marketing and website creation and follow up-to-date
website analysis trends that actually make a great deal of difference
when utilized as opposed to point and click website creation that is
largely ineffective and in general looks like it was pre-created and
you just changed some text ( 1 and 1’s business sites are NOT
recommended for that very reason- largely static offerings) and were
on line in an hour. It takes more than that to make your website work
for you. 1and1 offers the most flexibility for the greatest price
ranges- so decide what you need to start- as it’s not worth the money
to have the capacity for 200 items with variants if you only have 20
pieces to sell at this point… and you can always upgrade later…the
main thing to keep in mind is to develop a good brand identity and
have it continue on with the future website packages you buy
into…(that’s called scalability- increasing the site’s size and your
power over the data and editing). You could go with “free” hosts
temporarily but I really advise against that- the advertising your
potential customers have to deal with is annoying and the conversion
rate is almost nil on “free” hosted sites- and in general the product
on those sites looks poorly constructed at best and reflects thet
nature of free site hosting choices…You must spend something to make
money on the www. You have to be able to analyze your vistiors and
their habits as well as the way they navigate around your site, so
you have to be able to control the data and have good tools for
analyzing the shoppers that visit. Installing something like LiveChat
can be a great way to actually speak with customers willing to
participate - 8 out of 10 visitors will use the service if offered
randomly and 5 of those visitors will buy something if they can find
it or have questions answered in a chat window as opposed to t
through FAQ’s…so decide what you need first, then select a host
based on where you are now in terms of what you have to offer and the
web host that lets you control that amount of data the fullest…I’m
betting 1&1 will be the right solution for you… rer


#14

I’m using yahoo merchant and have not had any problem with the
website ever being down and am happy with the options and
customization I’ve been able to do. You may be looking for something
cheaper than intuit so this is a little higher with the basic plan
which is enough for me at $39. per month and I use PayPay payments
Pro, you can use the free PayPal but I didn’t want to force customers
to have a PayPal account, but I thought I would mention it. I think
what you’re paying for mostly with an ecommerce provider is the
shopping cart, database and payment processing, I considered doing
that myself too but it didn’t seem worth the trouble, so all in all I
don’t think it’s a bad deal so I think the first thing is to decide
what functionality and options you need and then compare.

I don’t know how good the templates look as I’ve designed my site but
there was alot of customization available that I needed like checkout
and database options so I was able to create the site exactly as I
wanted. My only complaint is that although customer service is
readily available by phone and email there have been times where the
rep wasn’t always very knowledgeable and I ended up having to figure
out the problem myself but maybe that’s a problem with all.

Good luck,
Sheila