The Polyclay Forum

General Category => The Business End => Topic started by: FranOnTheEdge on October 28, 2014, 09:01:38 PM

Title: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on October 28, 2014, 09:01:38 PM
I have never designed a shop from scratch before, so I'm wondering how you do it.

I have 3 websites at the moment all hosted on Lunar Pages, they keep increasing the price every year, but when I decide to move because of the increase, they instantly lower it again. Makes me anxious at renewal time, but less hassle than actually changing hosts - so far.

I can start up another website and simply host it on Lunar Pages too, like I do my main site: http//www.franontheedge.com (http://www.franontheedge.com)
and my 2 subsidiary sites:
www.franontheedge.com/crafts (http://www.franontheedge.com/crafts)
and
www.franontheedge.com/animation (http://www.franontheedge.com/animation)

Well, this is what I've come up with so far:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Polymer%20Clay/JewellerySite1_zpsfc79e16c.jpg)

Of course a lot of these images are just placeholders for now, but I wanted to see what it would look like full.  There are also no prices as yet.  And I wondered about using either the light blues or blue to black backgrounds for each item?
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: MelMcG on November 17, 2014, 01:29:50 PM
Your sites look great Fran.  The first link didn't work though.

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on November 18, 2014, 07:34:14 PM
Your sites look great Fran.  The first link didn't work though.

Mel  :)

Oh thanks Mel, I'd forgotten I'd posted this.
Sorry about the top link, I've fixed it now.

I was most worried about the picture of the (as yet unpublished) shop layout website.

I wasn't sure about the soft buff coloured paper background, and about the black background around all the items for sale (or what will be the items for sale) you see.

I've been wondering about this look:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Polymer%20Clay/WebsiteOnBlackSM_zps1f30130f.jpg)

Or something like this:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Polymer%20Clay/WebsiteOnPaperSM_zpsd907f76c.jpg)

Or even something more like this:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Polymer%20Clay/WebsiteOnJournalBackG1SM_zps87c13ed1.jpg)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: JonB on November 18, 2014, 10:49:19 PM
Not so sure about the gradient in the box behind each item. It's all getting a bit complicated. My advice fwiw would be to keep it simple and fairly neutral if you want the layout to go with whatever colours you may feel like using. The work should stand out rather than have the background bits and pieces fighting it. Maybe that's a bit boring, but then if so it makes the work look even more interesting by contrast ;-) It's a tricky thing to get right, because it has to reflect who you are and where you are coming from creatively, but not get in the way of your work. . It also has to look professional without being boring. . . This is why the world has graphic designers in it ;-)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on November 18, 2014, 11:15:44 PM
Not so sure about the gradient in the box behind each item. It's all getting a bit complicated. My advice fwiw would be to keep it simple and fairly neutral if you want the layout to go with whatever colours you may feel like using. The work should stand out rather than have the background bits and pieces fighting it. Maybe that's a bit boring, but then if so it makes the work look even more interesting by contrast ;-) It's a tricky thing to get right, because it has to reflect who you are and where you are coming from creatively, but not get in the way of your work. . It also has to look professional without being boring. . . This is why the world has graphic designers in it ;-)

Okay, thanks Jon.
How about this then:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Polymer%20Clay/WebsiteOnPaper2SM_zpsf4a0eb45.jpg)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: MilleD on November 19, 2014, 07:47:28 AM
They all look a little contrasty to my eye, not easy to look at.

Even the last one with the pitch black against the pale background seems a bit too much for me.

In fact I've just taken a look at some of the jewellery sites I visit and they all have either a white or pale grey background with the pictures laid directly onto that or with a very thin border.

Not that I'm saying you need to look exactly like another site, but there must be a reason they are all similar and they do feel easy on the eye.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: MelMcG on November 19, 2014, 10:03:43 AM
Oh OK.  I like the top pic with the black background.  I agree with the contrasty issue.  I think it would look a lot better if all your photos had the same background (plain white), then it would be a visually appealing contrast. 

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: JonB on November 19, 2014, 10:05:25 AM
I'm with MilleD on that. Still too zingy on the eye with the black. The text is an issue because often the title of the piece is wider than the pic so it butts up against the next title and looks weird, as in the two mermaid's tail/tales top left. Also the spacing between the boxes and the titles in the third row is smaller than on the other rows which looks odd. If you cold knock back the texture a bit/a lot it would help the text to be more readable against it. Maybe a font with a bit less serif? The serif kind of merges in with the horizontal marks on the texture sometimes. Just my opinion, please don't feel I'm giving instructions. I'm not a graphic designer but I have degree in it, technically, though that was looong time ago ;-)
Maybe start with the work on a plain background and see what then needs to be added. Have the courage to be boring ;-) the work isn't and it has to be the most important and visible thing on the page.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on November 19, 2014, 12:41:23 PM
They all look a little contrasty to my eye, not easy to look at.

Even the last one with the pitch black against the pale background seems a bit too much for me.

In fact I've just taken a look at some of the jewellery sites I visit and they all have either a white or pale grey background with the pictures laid directly onto that or with a very thin border.

Not that I'm saying you need to look exactly like another site, but there must be a reason they are all similar and they do feel easy on the eye.

I had a look at polymer clay jewellery shops on etsy, and they are all uniformly grey with pics on a large white border.  Making me wonder if that's how Etsy is laid out, and that's all you can do with it.

I've had a lot of problems finding jewellery shops that are not Etsy - basically I don't know how to search for that.  Just trying "polymer clay jewellery" or "hand made" or "Hand Crafted" or "artisan" or "metal jewellery" doesn't bring up just shops, it's mostly blogs... I found some folksy shops but the only difference between them and Etsy is the shade of grey background used...
Trouble is I'm sure I've seen more elegant shop designs in own website shops, but I can't remember how I found those in the first place.

I'm okay with changing the too zingy black and with muting down the background, not so sure about a sans serif font as I have problems reading sans serif myself.  I notice the font more than with a simple Times New Roman.  I also find a stark white background makes my eyes ache after very long, so I'm wary of that - the greys are better.

I therefore offer this as a possibility:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Polymer%20Clay/WebsiteOnPlainSM_zpsfd97146c.jpg)

I'm of two minds about this, as I'm still not sure if I should create my own shop like this or just go with the bog standard Etsy & Folksy layout - the Etsy route might be quicker to get started with, but do you still need to do SEO stuff if your shop is on Etsy?

Millie, I would be interested to know what the jewellery sites you've visited look like - if they are not Etsy or Folksy but owner sites.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on November 19, 2014, 12:45:53 PM
Oh OK.  I like the top pic with the black background.  I agree with the contrasty issue.  I think it would look a lot better if all your photos had the same background (plain white), then it would be a visually appealing contrast. 

Mel  :)
Same background, I can understand that, (nods earnestly) not sure about white though, it can pretty quickly give me a huge headache.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on November 19, 2014, 01:17:04 PM
I'm with MilleD on that. Still too zingy on the eye with the black.

Okay, I've changed that. (see below)

Quote
The text is an issue because often the title of the piece is wider than the pic so it butts up against the next title and looks weird, as in the two mermaid's tail/tales top left.

Yes, I see that, okay I've reduced the size of that text now.
(see below)

Quote
Also the spacing between the boxes and the titles in the third row is smaller than on the other rows which looks odd.

Okay, is that better now? (see below)

Quote
If you cold knock back the texture a bit/a lot it would help the text to be more readable against it.

Background blurred to a more uniform colour, is that better?

(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Polymer%20Clay/WebsiteOnPlainSM_zpsfd97146c.jpg)

Quote
Maybe a font with a bit less serif? The serif kind of merges in with the horizontal marks on the texture sometimes. Just my opinion, please don't feel I'm giving instructions. I'm not a graphic designer but I have degree in it, technically, though that was looong time ago ;-)

I too once did graphic design, unfortunately I didn't finish that course as I obtained a back injury and when I was well enough to return to the course the government had closed it down.  Mine too was a long time ago, but if you got a degree that's more than I managed at the time, so you must know more than I do, anyway most of what you are saying is making a lot of sense.

Quote
Maybe start with the work on a plain background and see what then needs to be added. Have the courage to be boring ;-) the work isn't and it has to be the most important and visible thing on the page.

Yes, okay, that last sentence has hit home, thanks.

I was thinking of trying to create a plain maybe black background/backdrop to take the final photos on.

I have at present only a black journal, that photographs as a black to grey colour, I might be able to buy some black velvet... hmmm, thinking about that.  Do you think that might work?  Anyone?

I have noticed that lots of people are taking their photos on grey slate or other rocks or on gravel, sand or on wood branches of some kind... I'm also thinking about that. Hmmm.
Opinions anyone?
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: MilleD on November 19, 2014, 01:33:22 PM

Millie, I would be interested to know what the jewellery sites you've visited look like - if they are not Etsy or Folksy but owner sites.

Fran, I have PMd you.

Claire.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: JonB on November 19, 2014, 02:00:05 PM
A lot better Fran, the work is what you look at now. No distractions.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: MyrtleWeed on November 19, 2014, 06:28:40 PM
Hi Fran, I liked the black background, thought it went well with your designs, had a magiciany, enchanted look that appealed to me.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on November 20, 2014, 09:51:10 AM
A lot better Fran, the work is what you look at now. No distractions.

Thanks, that's what I'd hoped for.

Hi Fran, I liked the black background, thought it went well with your designs, had a magiciany, enchanted look that appealed to me.

Yes, I liked it too, but as Jon said, maybe it's too noticable, and the work should be what you see, not the design of the background?  Or maybe it's just another way of bringing the work forward, only a black background instead of white/pale?
I'm kind of torn myself but most other sites, even owner sites, (thanks, MillieD) not just etsy, seem to be uniformly pale & bland.

This is not an easy thing to figure out, which is why I'm so grateful to hear everyone's opinions on this knotty problem.
Thanks all. I really appreciate you all taking the time out to look at this and reply.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Carrie on November 20, 2014, 10:16:15 AM
Regarding the font, l think Times New Roman isn't clear enough and a nice modern font like we have here would look a lot nicer and be much easier to read. Fonts with serifs look old- fashioned to me.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on November 20, 2014, 10:01:20 PM
Regarding the font, l think Times New Roman isn't clear enough and a nice modern font like we have here would look a lot nicer and be much easier to read. Fonts with serifs look old- fashioned to me.

Here?  I see nothing but TNR.

I have however tried out some different backgrounds on the actual items, and I've tried Tahoma as the font.  I don't like it much, but ... what do you think?
Photos taken on a black (ish) background:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Craft%20Spaces/WebsiteOnBlackSM2_zps00c67a4a.jpg)

And on Metal:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Craft%20Spaces/WebsiteOnMetalSM_zps2b1020b8.jpg)

and on Grey Fur:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Craft%20Spaces/WebsiteOnPlainGreyFur_zps3d1a2ab3.jpg)

Now these last 3, the grey fur, metal and black backgrounded photos are not meant for the page as you see them here, they are meant for the alternative views that you can have on the individual item pages. But I haven't made individual pages yet, so I'm showing them like this... one of these alternatives will be on the main page, I'm just not sure which one.

Obviously the other items will all have the same background in their photos as soon as I can take them all... tired now.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Carrie on November 20, 2014, 11:00:55 PM
Oh - how interesting!  I had assumed we all saw the same font here! (Verdana)

I never like TNR - l would find it hard to read. (TNR)

l'm not really following all your different background ideas - you're getting lots of useful input from other people though! (Ariel)

Don't know what the default one is on the forum - well, my default one, anyway, as yours is different from mine ???
Mine could be verdana l think. My favourite font, as a matter of fact.

I like the plainer font for the captions  better than TNR, but it looks a bit heavy in bold - but that's just me ;D
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: MelMcG on November 21, 2014, 11:01:12 AM
I like the black background for your photos.   As for the font.  It's simple and clear and I think it's fine.

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: AfroByte on November 23, 2014, 02:36:42 PM
Rule number one:

ALWAYS keep it simple and follow what the big online sites do. White background and easy to read font!!!!
Because there are many people out there who have sight issues like colour blindness for instance where your item bleeds into the background and they cannot see it properly. They say about 15% of the male population are colour blind with greens/greys/blue tones.

Good large font thats easy to read.

Its not about what you like but what other people see on their computers, laptops, iPads, Kindles, mobiles and any other android device.

ALWAYS look at your website using other computers than your own (Library, friends computers, etc.)

NEVER ask close friends and relatives for their opinion. They will not be honest because they do not want to hurt your feelings.

Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on December 11, 2014, 10:09:38 PM
Oh - how interesting!  I had assumed we all saw the same font here! (Verdana)

I never like TNR - l would find it hard to read. (TNR)

l'm not really following all your different background ideas - you're getting lots of useful input from other people though! (Ariel)

Don't know what the default one is on the forum - well, my default one, anyway, as yours is different from mine ???
Mine could be verdana l think. My favourite font, as a matter of fact.

I like the plainer font for the captions  better than TNR, but it looks a bit heavy in bold - but that's just me ;D

Um... well, got a confession to make here, obviously.  My fonts are not goverened by forums, but by my FireFox settings, I have everything set to TNR, because I find that easiest to read, and set to not less than font size 16, because anything smaller isn't readable and I end up craning my neck trying to see and doing a lot of damage to my vertebrae.

Obviously other people don't do the same, so I'll need to pay more attention to what other people think for designing this shop, than to what I think... this, I am finding, is hard to do.  Very hard.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on December 11, 2014, 10:12:28 PM
Rule number one:

ALWAYS keep it simple and follow what the big online sites do. White background and easy to read font!!!!
Because there are many people out there who have sight issues like colour blindness for instance where your item bleeds into the background and they cannot see it properly. They say about 15% of the male population are colour blind with greens/greys/blue tones.

Good large font thats easy to read.

Its not about what you like but what other people see on their computers, laptops, iPads, Kindles, mobiles and any other android device.

ALWAYS look at your website using other computers than your own (Library, friends computers, etc.)

NEVER ask close friends and relatives for their opinion. They will not be honest because they do not want to hurt your feelings.

I'd agree with everything except the white background, as I've heard a lot of other people (not just me) complaining like anything about white backgrounds hurting their eyes, as it does mine, a very pale grey is better, less glaring.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Carrie on December 11, 2014, 10:26:22 PM
A nice very light blue, like on here, or light grey would be an excellent compromise - easy on the eye.

A further thought about your experiments above - l think the photos are too crowded together and could do with a lot more clear space between each one.    More restful to look at and less busy-looking   :)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on December 13, 2014, 03:03:57 PM
A nice very light blue, like on here, or light grey would be an excellent compromise - easy on the eye.

A further thought about your experiments above - l think the photos are too crowded together and could do with a lot more clear space between each one.    More restful to look at and less busy-looking   :)

Right, thanks Carrie,
How's this:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Craft%20Spaces/WebsiteOnBlueGrey2_zps3c5b4210.jpg)

of course it'll be easier to tell if the image sizes and spacing work once I get it actually uploaded instead of just taking a screen shot like this.
But in the meantime here's a screen shot on previewing it in my FireFox:
(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg314/franontheedge/Craft/Craft%20Spaces/WebsiteOnBlueGrey2BrowserTest1SM_zpsbcdfb942.jpg)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Carrie on December 13, 2014, 04:41:38 PM
That looks good  :)  Do you like it?
They'd be clickable thumbnails, right?
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: AfroByte on December 15, 2014, 07:16:37 PM
Sorry, no. Do not agree. The blue looks washed out. Website looks homemade, does not fuel confidence that the shopping experience will be pleasurable.

You need to remember that customers all have different PC's which have different screens. The blue you see may not be the blue the customer sees. Plus browsers all have their own settings, depending on the type the customers use. PC's are all different too. Dont forget Mac's as well. Plus those people who use android phones would have problems when using a colour background as the small screen lets all just run into one another and its difficult to keep your images apart from the background. Customers will just leave and never come back.

Believe me, if Amazon, Ebay, Argos, Lidl, House of Fraser, John Lewis, etc. think they can make better sales or better shopping experiences for their customers they would be the first to change the background colour. If you want to sell, stick to the ground rules. If you are really adamant that you want a different colour then take a very light supple cream/off white colour, anything very close to white. Grey is cold as is blue. This has been a tested science to see which colours get customers to part with their cash, including the layout of the website. Hundreds of books have been written about it.

If the white background is glaring then it could be the computer setting is too bright for the screen. Turn it down a little. Also remember that you want the majority to shop from you, not just a minority.

However to be honest, I change the background colour on my Kindle HD when reading ebooks. I use the peachy/sandy colour background to the white as I find that quite bright, but then I stare at the screen for hours when reading. I tend to start and finish a book at the same time. I am a speed reader, which can be a bane as I spend a lot of money on books. At night I change the background to black with white font, as to not disturb my other half when he sleeps.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: AfroByte on December 15, 2014, 07:22:55 PM
I forgot to mention that you seem to have a different background for nearly each item. That makes it look very disjointed. Does not give a coherent feel. Best is to use always the same background.

Photos: Also the blueish background is sucking the life out of the blueish square earrings. They are so pretty, but one cannot see it very well. Blueish earrings, on blue background in photo and then blueish website background, just does not work.

Also you could do the photos on the site larger. Two to three in a row would be fine. The gaps are too large inbetween the photos.

But you're doing well as a website builder novice.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Carrie on December 15, 2014, 07:59:31 PM
I'm with you there, AB - I certainly like white best  :)
Ditto pic size, background, etc etc.

I think this is an academic exercise atm, though, isn't it Fran? 

Don't take this the wrong way, but it would be a disaster if you got a shop together, had a few sales, and a few customers weren't completely happy (tho of course they might be 100% happy!).....any negative feedback would wreck your shop for later when you are more experienced. 

While you are still finding your way regarding important things like baking (strength of items), finishing and findings (secure, neat, orientation etc) it isn't a very good idea to sell except to friends yet. :-* :-* :-*  Get some road-testing done  :)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: AfroByte on December 15, 2014, 08:12:48 PM
Yup, website building is not easy. It takes hours of practice, practice, practice. Like claying. I am nowhere near to the standard of Fran.
When I look at my first sites, oh boy......

But I take my hat off for you trying to build an online shop. My comments may sound a bit harsh but is not meant to be. I used to critique websites and got paid for it as well. So I am wearing my editor hat.

Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: JonB on December 16, 2014, 08:33:26 AM
Just want to say that I agree with AfroByte. As simple as possible should be your starting point. Avoid gradients, colours that might put some people off, (sorry, but the turquoise at the top and the purple look odd together, to me at least) and anything that complicates without being really necessary. Once the basics have been identified, and are there and working, you might start to introduce some personality, which is the fun part I know. . . It's a fiendishly difficult business so don't be downhearted. I don't even have a website right now as I know I will need a lot of time to think it all through first. And for sure when I do make one I will mess up over and over again before it comes right, if it ever does.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on December 16, 2014, 10:07:12 AM
Now you mention it Afrobyte, the blue does look a bit dull.
Yes the images would be clickable thumbnails taking you to a new page with details about the item and more images of it.

Most of the images are of items that I would never sell, at least not as they are now.  The mermaid's tail with the yellow/green hair I couldn't sell at all, since I'd be too afraid of it breaking, and it's so thin and only made of brittle Premo.  If it was made of the stronger Pardo, and perhaps mounted on a nice sturdy backing, like a piece of copper metal made specifically for it - then maybe I would sell it. But not that one, It's just meant I had something else to populate the page.

The Forbidden Fruit one also isn't finished because I'm making a metal bezel thingie for it.
One of the steampunk pendants has the bail placed the wrong way round so it would sit wrong, so couldn't sell that, and anyway it's just a clay bail, not strong enough IMO.
Another of the steampunk pendants has a reinforced bail and is the right way round but I'm not happy with it, it's too chunky a bail to use sensibly, another has a slightly crooked bail...
the point is a lot of them aren't quite right, and I couldn't stand to try selling those, I would only want to sell the good ones, and I don't have enough of those to stock a shop yet.

This is all a learning experience.  And I'm learning lots from you guys and gals.

If I was to dare to sell anything I'd probably start with Etsy, or Facebook or something...
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Carrie on December 16, 2014, 04:29:25 PM
That's what l thought, Fran - a learning process  :)
Premo shouldn't be brittle, btw - it's usually quite flexible after baking, especially on thin pieces.

Lots of people do seem to be selling on FB, don't they.  Seems like a good idea....don't know how they build up their followers though!
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: FranOnTheEdge on December 19, 2014, 10:29:52 AM
That's what l thought, Fran - a learning process  :)
Premo shouldn't be brittle, btw - it's usually quite flexible after baking, especially on thin pieces.

Lots of people do seem to be selling on FB, don't they.  Seems like a good idea....don't know how they build up their followers though!

Yes it does seem like a good idea, but I don't like the thought of trying to sell things on my current facebook page, it's too family oriented, I'd rather have a facebook page just for clay and metal stuff.  But didn't someone say they'd tried to open a 2nd page for such a purpose and couldn't do it?  i.e. you can only have 1 facebook page?
Or maybe it's only one facebook page per email address, so if I started one with a different email... that might work?

But how do you actually sell on facebook?  A facebook page is such a jumble anyway, with widgets for this and that and the other, scattered about madly.  How would a customer find the 'click here to buy this' button?  is there such a thing?

Do they have clickable images to go to close-ups and different views of that object?  Um... lots of facebook type questions, sorry.  I'm just wondering about it all.

If having a seperate facebook page as well as your social/family page were possible, I'd like to begin by just showing things - (but that's because I'm scared of selling) but is that a good idea?  Should you just go straight in and open a 'buy stuff' page rather than hoping to segue from showing to selling gradually?

Hmmm.... this is such a knotty subject.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Carrie on December 19, 2014, 06:05:15 PM
Yes, we did have a discussion about FB.

l'd love another one for all my polyclaying stuff because l'm reluctant to comment on non-family posts so l don't plague the family with it! 

Up until recently l only had one polyclay 'friend' but l recently added a few more, just people l know face to face, but l'd love to add more!

However, when l tried to set up a different identity, trying to be clever and using a different email addy it still knew it was me  >:( >:( >:(  ln fact, l couldn't even see how to log off from FB which certainly didn't help  :-\  l'm generally fairly confuddled by FB anyway.........

When folk sell on FB l think a would-be purchaser sends them a private message and they arrange it like that.  But how do you get those followers....l guess you need to get yourself known on forums and flickr and so on first.

FB pics are clickable and quite big to start with.    Rather than making them too obviously shop-like the ones l've seen tend to say things like - "this is my new this or that - enjoying making these - what do you think?"  and so on...and wait for the "likes" and the enthusiastic comments  :D

Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Karolina.S on December 20, 2014, 10:57:39 AM
Use another browser Carrie and im sure that you can start a new page with another e-mail adress(idid that). If you use Explorer try Chrome or the other way around.

You can have 2 pages I remade my page some time ago as i made a irreversable mistake with my first one so i just made another just like it and asked people to follow me to the new one. The first page is still there i think, some where in cyber space.

About followers. At first, off course, it would be family and friends, then you share your page in a suttle way in places where it is allowed. Then you start some competitions. Post quality work and try to do so as often as you can. Ask questions to get people to comment, when they comment their friends will se that and maybe like your page. I do not participate in like swaps. It is just a matter of principal, i want people to like what i do and not just like the page to get a like from me in return.
3or 4 years has passed and now the likes started to drop in by them selfs, meaning that people like my page becuase they found it through friends.
So now i get new likers every week.

Like swaps is off course a fast way to get new likers.
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: Carrie on December 20, 2014, 01:33:16 PM
That's interesting, Karolina - thanks!

I don't want to sell but l would like to have family and polyclay friends separately, so l might have another go at some stage  :)
Title: Re: Designing A Shop?
Post by: ejralph on December 20, 2014, 04:06:38 PM
I'd also add - there are lots of open source and reasonably priced shopping cart solutions out there - much easier than trying to reinvent the wheel.

Given the horrendously complex tax laws we will see rolled out over the next couple of years too, unless you are very good at coding and enjoy it, you'll have a hard time making a checkout system that meets your legal requirements. The days of us just being able to put up a website with a few paypal buttons are soon behind us and we will be more and more reliant on well coded solutions, plug-ins etc

Of course - you could help us NOW and stop this slippery slope. Visit http://euvataction.org/ and get involved. Seriously - ANYONE who want to sell ANYTHING to people in the UK / Europe needs to wake up to this and get involved. Big changes are afoot that will affect EVERYONE - from the smallest sole trader selling one or two items a year to the multinational companies.

Please sign this petition and add your voice
https://www.change.org/p/pierre-moscovici-a-unilateral-suspension-of-the-introduction-of-the-new-eu-vat-laws-for-micro-businesses-and-sole-traders
Emma