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  #1  
Old 03/11/13, 01:02 PM
JLMissouri's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 225
Starting a Website

I have decided to open a website, its focus will be selling products from my farm as well as motorcycle and vehicle parts. I am also planning on having some pages about what I am currently working on for the farm and what I have learned.

I have done my initial research and have narrowed it down to Bluehost or Hostgator and building it with either Weebly or Wordpress. I am not computer illiterate but I am not a programmer either. Has anyone else done this and what was your experience? What route did you go, or is there a better way?

I have had an Ebay store for several years and figured I would use PayPal to process transactions on my future site.

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  #2  
Old 03/11/13, 02:49 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 153

i like wordpress and I personally use hostgator and bluehost. i like hostgator better because there support seems a little quicker but they are both the same really

wordpress is easy to install and I'd do it for you for free if you wanted

http://www.makemoneyhomesteading.com...-installation/

sounds like you want a "blog" to update now and then with a store attached (or the other way around), they are considered two different things usually

wordpress will give you a bunch more freedom over using weebly to do whatever you want down the road

the store part depends on a few things like if you just using paypal, or google checkout or all the above, or do you want to accept credit cards in your businesses name etc. do you need a shopping cart or just buy now buttons, how much commisions do you want to pay someone to handle payments for you, willing to pay a monthly fee for a service? etc.

good luck on your site.

(my experience is selling thousands of dollars of software over the years online (never did physical products though, yet))

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  #3  
Old 03/11/13, 08:24 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Posts: 661

We have used weebly, and paypal is the way to go!

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~ My At-Home Businesses ~

BradleysToy&HobbySupply (eBay Store)

FolkOfTheWoodCrafts (Etsy Shop)

Thanks for looking!

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  #4  
Old 03/18/13, 06:19 AM
JLMissouri's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 225

Thanks for the input. I decided to use wordpress but it wouldn't upload to the host so I tried to use Weebly. Weebly charged to use some features so back to wordpress. I went with Bluehost and their technical support has proven valuable twice already as they fixed the problem with wordpress. So months of work ahead, but I am off to a good start.

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  #5  
Old 03/18/13, 08:09 AM
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Location: Upstate NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLMissouri View Post
Thanks for the input. I decided to use wordpress but it wouldn't upload to the host so I tried to use Weebly. Weebly charged to use some features so back to wordpress. I went with Bluehost and their technical support has proven valuable twice already as they fixed the problem with wordpress. So months of work ahead, but I am off to a good start.
Let us know when you get it up and running!
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  #6  
Old 03/18/13, 09:12 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 153

good luck JLMissouri

let us know how it goes, put your url in your sig when you get it going so we can see, might also get you a visitor or two

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  #7  
Old 03/18/13, 10:57 AM
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 259

JL Missouri, with Hostgator, there is something called cpanel.
In cpanel look for "fantastico" (could be softaculous)
Click on that and look for Wordpress.
You can install in under a minute.

I would suggest you sell your different types products on 2 different sites

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  #8  
Old 03/19/13, 12:01 AM
JLMissouri's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 225

Thanks, I have already got wordpress going, don't know what the problem was but Bluehost fixed the problem. Everything is working now, just have a lot to set up. It will probably be awhile before I am really selling much as I am sure I won't have a lot of traffic, so for now I am just trying to build a good site. Plus Ebay is kinda hard to beat for the traffic they give me on my store, but diversification is always a plus.

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  #9  
Old 03/19/13, 06:54 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLMissouri View Post
Thanks, I have already got wordpress going, don't know what the problem was but Bluehost fixed the problem. Everything is working now, just have a lot to set up. It will probably be awhile before I am really selling much as I am sure I won't have a lot of traffic, so for now I am just trying to build a good site. Plus Ebay is kinda hard to beat for the traffic they give me on my store, but diversification is always a plus.
I'm curious if you could drive traffic from ebay to your website also? is it worth it?

I see some people doing this

they put their url as a watermark in their pictures, they also link to their website on the product pages

I haven't sold on ebay yet but thinking about it after I get my nursery going and other ideas i have floating around
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  #10  
Old 03/21/13, 09:25 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 225

I have seen similar, it is against Ebay policy for obvious reasons, but I don't care for Ebay policies sometimes. A lot of the things I have bought on Ebay come packaged with a flier for a website. Only problem for me is my website is more about small farming and my ebay store is about misc. stuff and car parts they don't really go together.

My site is www.JLmissouri.com I cannot find a way to add a signature, maybe I am too new of a member to have that privilege.

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  #11  
Old 03/22/13, 10:15 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 50

Hi JL,

I do freelance web design/development, including wordpress and shopping cart sites.

You won't go wrong with Hostgator, they have been a great host for my clients.

You stated that your focus will be selling parts, etc. It's important to note that while it's possible to sell items via a Wordpress widget, I wouldn't recommend it unless you are only planning on selling a few items. There are much better programs specifically designed for shopping cart applications. Most of my clients use ZenCart, but I also like OpenCart.

It's important to know now what your business model will be before getting in too deep. There's nothing worse than having a client who started with one idea, and their business grew, but their software didn't keep up with their needs. Shopping cart programs, including wordpress widgets, don't always share their data cleanly - if at all - into another application.

So don't rush into something. Think where you want to be in 6 months, a year, 3 or 5 years from now and then pick an application that will meet your needs for growth, instead of choosing what's easiest right now. Otherwise, it can cause a lot of headaches later.

Best wishes with your project.

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  #12  
Old 03/31/13, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 45n5 View Post
i like wordpress and I personally use hostgator and bluehost. i like hostgator better because there support seems a little quicker but they are both the same really
I host for HT members for $1/month. PM if interested.
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  #13  
Old 04/01/13, 01:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Missouri
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Thanks for the input. I was torn between Hostgator and Bluehost. The main reason that I went with Bluehost was that I could have as many websites as I wanted with no additional fees while I was limited to one with Hostagtor.

After a lot of thought I decided not to worry about sales from my website, I want it to be more of an informational site about what I have learned and my projects.

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  #14  
Old 06/10/13, 07:36 PM
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Location: Bracebridge Ontario
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Interesting thread! We're just looking into this, and wondering about creating webpages in MS Publisher. It seems very versatile as far as colors etc. are concerned. I guess we would then need to have a host to upload to, and that's where Bluehost or Hostgate would come in?
My wife used Homestead quite a few years ago, but they don't seem to be highly recommended anymore. We don't know HTML code, so need it to be simple. Any experiences with MS Pub? Thanks!

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  #15  
Old 06/10/13, 07:48 PM
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I've tried to make web pages with MS Publisher, and even MS Word. In both cases the code was terribly inefficient. Even for a small page the amount of html code that was generated was huge. The code is repetitive. Try it and you'll see what I mean.

You are better off with an html editor like FrontPage or Expression Web. You would even be better off with a free html editor like Kompozer.

http://www.kompozer.net/

It really pretty good.

jonathco likes this.
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  #16  
Old 06/10/13, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. We'll have a look at all of them.

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  #17  
Old 06/11/13, 09:19 PM
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We currently use Bluehost and have had no issues with them but will be switching to WPEngine after this year is up for our contract. We blog in Wordpress and are not professional coders. My wife has attended several Wordpress workshops and they are cheap and great for learning the basics. From there you can learn a lot by searching for "how to" videos to do just about anything you want to do with your blog.

Our blog is www.whistlepighollow.com and you can see that while it is not the most professional blog out there, we are quite pleased with how it is turning out. Best of luck!

farmer dickie

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Last edited by Whistle Pig; 06/11/13 at 09:21 PM. Reason: mispelling
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  #18  
Old 07/24/13, 10:01 PM
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Location: Virginia
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Just found this thread. Much good information here.

JLM, hope your site is up and running well for you.

I just today received an email from BlueHost letting me know my account has been set up. The only thing I've done thus far is set up my cPanel password; so I have a lot to get done. Already I've discovered the personnel at BlueHost are kind and patient; also very helpful.

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I am what I am! Acknowledging this is the beginning; and my growth is yet to end. http://motdaugrnds.com/farmsales ~~~~~ http://motdaugrnds.com
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  #19  
Old 07/24/13, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by motdaugrnds View Post
Just found this thread. Much good information here.

JLM, hope your site is up and running well for you.

I just today received an email from BlueHost letting me know my account has been set up. The only thing I've done thus far is set up my cPanel password; so I have a lot to get done. Already I've discovered the personnel at BlueHost are kind and patient; also very helpful.
A lot of people start a web page by searching Google for free or inexpensive web page templates, then customizing the template for the application. To show you what I mean, I used this template for a western folk musician's web page.

http://www.countrymanordesigns.com/w...somecowboy.htm

Here's what I did with it.

http://www.desertbreezenv.com/

Just search at Google for free templates. You'll find lots. When you find one you like just edit it with kompozer, as was suggested in a previous post.
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  #20  
Old 07/27/13, 08:35 AM
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I have been a web designer since 1985. I don't suggest using free templates. One, if they are good, there is a chance that they have been copied from a designer and might be copy righted and you would be opening yourself to a lawsuit. 2) If they are free, then many others are using the same template. Better to set yourself apart from the pack, even if it means letting loose of a few bucks. I know, my starter sites are only $300 and that includes a custom designed logo and help getting started. I use godaddy to host. Their econo hosting is under $60 per year and they have 24/7 support that is excellent.
To date, I have designed over 300 sites. While Paypal is great, please don't limit yourself to them. I have also found that I really like squareup.com 's service and reader. They pay very fast and it goes directly into your checking account, not into an online acct with pp. Their fees are comparable to Paypal, and depending on how much you use them, can be less. Paypal does also have a reader now, but you have to qualify for it. Squareup didn't. As for software for doing web design, I haven't used a lot of different ones as I use to work for Adobe and am still using GoLive. They retired it and replaced it with Dreamweaver, which I don't care for. I will be looking into some less expensive programs that will run on both Mac and PC and will report my findings. One thing I can highly recommend. Learn code. It is very simple. Start by finding a basic page you like and view the source code. If you are using Chrome (my fav), go to View, Developer, Source Code. Other browsers will have something like that as well. You will notice that every new thing you do starts with a bracket. example <html> and will end with </html> that means, begin html and end html. <b> </b> start bold, end bold, etc. It is easy to learn, if you just know the basics. Google html basics and you will find many sites that let you know what all the codes mean and do. I am in the midst of redoing my jewelry website. it is a very simple selling site, but you can ck the code and get a good idea of what i mean. hollidaysmith.com I am reworking the shopping cart and not selling anything off the site, so this is not a sales pitch. It is for informational purposes only to help you learn to do your own website. If you want a logo, that is another matter. You want simple, clean, memorable and affordable. ;o) Then talk to me.

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