Greetings and good day to you all!
Well, I've been working towards this for a while now and finally have the beginnings of the new website up! WOO HOO! I'm extremely happy to have something up that represents me and my products and nothing else.
I have come to learn that I don't like most other hosting sites that "help" other handmade artist sell their products. It's made to seem real easy and helpful and they are popular and probably helps people gain some popularity. However, the fine print is what makes my blood boil. Most times there are fees for posting items and every variation of that item, plus a percentage on top of those fees if that item gets sold. Then on top of that individuals get charged AGAIN to re-list the item after they sell it AND the item can only stay listed for a limited time. Then, most places don't allow listing or displaying links to another site where you might have your items also listed. That's a pretty hard pill for me to swallow.
I did find one place where it is the least invasive and that is Artfire. (www.Artfire.com) Artists only have to pay one flat rate per month for the service and they can list as many products and variations as they wish and the listings stay up forever. Artists are also allowed to list any other websites they are affiliated with even if they sell their items on other sites. Pretty fair if you ask me. By and large I've been extremely happy with Artfire and their services. But, in the end, the website is still for Artfire, and not for me.
So, I've wanted to have my own website. A site dedicated to my work and is not shared by thousands of other artists. I'm not selfish by nature, but this, to my mind, is the more professional route. Then, BAM! Here we are. I have been able to accomplish this. You might be asking yourself "why is he writing this long, slightly rambly, and possibly boring post about this?". Well, because I'm excited, I was able to do this on my own, I want others to know they can accomplish this as well, and I want to share how I did it.
First of all, this website is hosted by Squarespace.com. So far, I think it is a fantastic service. It allows people of almost any ability level to start their own website and customize it quite a bit. I don't even have to leave the "hosted by Squarespace" tag at the bottom of the page. I do because I like the service and I want to share. I highly encourage anyone seeking their own website, in this crazy cyber world, to try this service.
I learned about this service through the multiple podcasts I listen too. (Another service I highly recommend) So, I decided to try it out. I have no education with HTML or any other computer or website programing or design. I'm pretty good with computers, but I'm just an average guy. I won't go into every single detail about this site because Squarespace has plenty of tutorials and their interface makes it pretty easy once you get the hang of it. What I would like to emphasize is, how it's becoming easier for the average person to obtain things that they might have previously though impossible. When I started my idea of making and selling Chainmaille for a living I had no idea how to do it and I could barely put together Chainmaille. Since then, I have studied and learned how to take my own professional jewelry photographs, how to improve my Chainmaille skills, how to price my products fairly, and recently, how to setup my own website. That's the short list. None of this came fast or easy. I have spent many hours searching for information, testing techniques, and learning how to apply what I've learned.
To sum this ramble up, I say, go out and get what you want. Don't sit on your bum waiting for things to happen. Want to take better photos? Google it, or ask a pro for lessons. Don't know how to price your handmade work? Google it, or ask someone who has sold jewelry professionally. Want to make better Chainmaille? Google it!! (Notice a pattern yet?) With the internet, there is a massive fountain of knowledge sitting at our fingertips begging to be used. USE IT!! It's free.
OK, I'm off to make more jewelry. Keep learning and go get what you want!