Setting Up a Website
This section is provided in response to some specific requests and also because there are frequent postings on the various card making forums by crafters wanting to create a website to display their craft products and/or sell their handmade items
You must first decide what you want to do. Do you want merely to publish photos of your work so that family, friends and fellow crafters can see them on the web? If so, you can do this for literally no cost.
PHOTO GALLERY "TAG ONS"
Wanadoo, www.wanadoo.co.uk have a free photo publishing facility, which is available to everyone, not just those who have wanadoo as their server. You don't need to, but you might want, to buy a domain name at a cost of about two pounds per year for a co.uk or about nine pounds per year for a .com. An example of a site created by this method is already on this site under the "Card Gallery Links" section but, for convenience, here's the link www.nickibridge.co.uk
We created a site by this method, as an experiment, in minutes. http://someofmecards.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk
You can see, by that cumbersome handle, why it might be worth buying a decent domain name.The advert on the top of the page is the price you pay for getting it free.
For any card maker wanting to dip her toes into having a website, this totally free facility might be worth a try
An alternative www.picturetrail.com is where you can publish for free for 30 days and then you are required to upgrade at a cost ot 19.95 dollars per year. This is cheap and, not surprisingly, extremely popular and we have a half dozen or more picturetrail galleries in our "Card Gallery Links" section. Here's a couple of examples www.picturetrail.com/peejaycrafts
Another route that is popular among card makers is www.webshots.com (this also has a basic plan which is free) and here's a few examples from our "Card Gallery Links" http://community.webshots.com/user/traceycooke
Freewebs and Piczo have recently become popular and there are some examples in "Card Gallery Links" but for convenience here's links to some picked at random
What better than ask Card Makers themselves and here's some users' comments taken from an exchange of views on our Forum
My preference is for Picture Trail - not totally free, costs about £1 per month for up to 500 photos or 50mb of space, but it's idiot proof. I used it as a total ignoramus of websites and it was so easy to use. It is extremely easy to maintain as well. As the saying goes, it was so good I used it twice!! (Bit of poetic licence there....) As I've gained a bit of html knowledge I've been able to use that to 'tart it up a bit' as well as being able to use to sell from. I can even move pictures between sites - I've moved some between my 2 sites and copied one from my site to C's.
I've had no problems with uploading and definitely none of the problems that some people have been reporting with Freewebs. Many people have given up with Freewebs and and gone to Piczo. I don't like the pop-ups & advertising banners on these sites. Also, when I've had questions I've needed answered I have always got a response within 24 hours of contacting Picture Trail - customer service is excellent.
The only downside is not being able to have your very own web address, it has to be preceded with www.picturetrail.com
I use piczo who were kindly recomended to me. They give you a free web site with the use of their background & fonts etc. They have a few other optional extras that most other free sites don't have, no right click function, add a shopping cart, guest book & more. There is a limit to how many photographs you can have but to increase this limit you have to have visitors so the more visits the more photos. Don't let it put you off as I've only had mine for a month & had nearly 2500 visits which gives me 250 picture allowance.
Picture Trail offers the 'right click protection' as an option - you choose whether you want people to be able to save or not. It also has a guestbook which can be public or kept private. There are so many options available, and they're adding new ones all the time (new album covers and backgrounds have recently been added) but you can also use your own. You can add music from their music library or add your own choice (I have done this with tracks from some free midi music sites).
It's worth giving the free months trial a go - not sure if you get full facilities for the month and then it goes restricted but the info is on the home page, which is where I started from. Worth reading up on before making a decision but with the free trial there's nothing lost....
I have freewebs which was very easy to set up, you simply follow on screen instructions. The down side( a huge pain in the ...Neck) is the uploading of pictures takes ages and frequently crashes whilst you are doing it. It has just taken me a week to upload about 30 pictures for that reason, not being particularly patient I soon abandoned it and went back at a later date.
I love freewebs . I have been able to set up a paypal shopping cart completely free .. and you can get a mutiple file upload for a few pounds . I subscribe when I am doing a big update as it makes it so much quicker
Wanadoo is good, they have a site builder tool, or you can make your own and just use their webspace. Lycos do the same thing but pictures take far longer to d/l.
At the moment I use piczo and bravenet,both are free and very easy to use
Wanadoo & MSN Spaces, both very easy to use & FREE.
MSN Spaces being better as you can upload as many pics in one go as you like. I uploaded about 200 pics in 1 go & took less than 30 mins to do.
Any site where ive got to load up 1 puic at a time, i lose patience with... when you have over 20 to upload, it gets a very long & drawn out process, esp for someone with little or no patience !!!! Theres a slideshow you can use to show off your pics, & they will show as quite large pics too, only taking seconds to load onto your screen.
Havent worked out to to allow others to enter comments into 'my blog' section, can be used like a guestbook!
I have used piczo for a while now, i've had nearly 5,000 visitors to my site and my limit is now 800 photos, the more visits you get, the more pics you can add, no problems with it, easy to use, idiot proof!
I tried freewebs - ok at first but then kept crashing after updloading 1 photo - drove me mad.
Am now on piczo - very easy to use and a doddle uploading photos
YOUR OWN SEPARATE "ALL SINGING, BELLS & WHISTLES" WEBSITE
If you want a full blown website there's many web host companies to choose from but we consider one of the best to be www.1and1.co.uk Websites through 1&1 are very simple to set up and need no technical skills whatsoever. Suggest using their WebsiteBuilder rather than Website Creator but both are OK
An 8 page website will cost you approx £35 per year.
The website you are now looking at, yes, this one, which currently has 70 +pages, costs 60 pounds per year. For the same cost you can create a wesite on a publishing package, for example," Frontpage", and download it to your website. This allows you more scope for individual design. An example of such a site is one designed, for himself, by a member of our staff www.jimharkerartist.co.ukThe next stage upwards is to create a site which has an eShop and this costs about 250 pounds per year. An example is our own www.imag-e-nation.co.uk
We hope this section will be helpful to card makers considering setting up a website and we invite those who already have a website to make comments or suggestions that can be shared with other cardmakers. Comments can be made in the Imag-e-nation Forum