Creating a Website for your Business

It is important to have a website for your business. Many people now use the internet to search for products and services and to do their shopping. Giving your business a web presence is an ideal way to advertise and promote your products and services and to bring them to the attention of thousands of online shoppers across the globe.

Creating a website for your business is not difficult at all. It actually consists of two steps. The first step is getting your web address, which is what your visitors will type into the address bar to reach your website. For example, let’s say your business is called Sarah’s Sublime Soap and you want to use this as your web address, visitors would type in ‘’ . This is what is called a top level domain – (or .net or .org or .info, etc.,). In order to get a domain, you have to go to what is called a domain registrar, choose your domain and register it. It is a good idea to use some of your main keywords in your domain name, for example, if you sell soap or candles or jewelry or website services, or what have you, be sure to work those words into your domain name like in the example above. Your domain name cannot contain spaces or punctuation marks like apostraphes, commas, underscores, asterisks, exclamation points, dollar signs, @ signs, semicolons, colons, quotation marks, percentage signs, hashtags, plus signs, and brackets. The only punctuation you can include is a hyphen, but your name cannot begin or end with a hyphen, it must be somewhere in the middle. Also, domain names are not case sensitive and they can contain numbers.

Domain names are not expensive, ranging usually from about $7.99 to about $14.99 usd, which is paid anually (you can also choose to register it for 2 years, or 3 years, etc.,). Sometimes you can find sales for as low as .99cents for the first year, just make sure you read the fine print. If you have a really simple domain name in mind, you might find that someone else already registered it, in which case you have to chose another one. Some of the more popular domain registrars are GoDaddy, Netfirms, and 1&1.

Ok now you have your web address, what do you do now? If someone types in your new domain name they’re going to get an error message. Why? Because the website itself technically doesn’t exist yet, even though you registered the name. A website consists of files, for example your business website is going to consist of photos of your products, descriptions of products or services, descriptions of your business itself (what exactly you do, how you got started, etc.,), answers to frequently asked questions for your visitors, and whatever else you want to add. All these things are going to make up the pages of your website and you need a place to store it all and create your web page files, and this is where a hosting company comes in. Think of a hosting company like an apartment you’re going to rent and you’re going to store your files, this is where your website is going to “live”. The domain name that you registered is going to be the address that is going to bring your visitors to your website’s “apartment”. Many domain registrars offer hosting plans as well, but you don’t necessarily have to sign up with the same company. You can register your domain from one company and sign up for hosting with another company. Hosting companies offer many tools to help you create and maintain your website, look for things like the amount of disk space, that’s like the amount of rooms your apartment will have, if you’re planning on a large website of course you will want a good amount of disk space. They also offer things to go with your hosting account like email addresses to match your domain name, mailing lists, autoresponders, subdomains, website statistics, and scripts installation if you want to add things like wordpress blogs to your account. They have different packages available depending on your needs and they are come with small monthly fees (sort of like your rent) and as is the case with domain names you pay it yearly.

Once you have your hosting account set up you can start uploading all of the photos you want to use and start creating and designing your website, which is done by creating files using HTML and CSS – these are coding languages to create web documents that are readable by your web browsers. But what if you don’t know HTML or CSS? Does this mean you can’t create a website for your business? Actually you can have a great website, there are options for you. For example, many hosting companies offer simple website builders where you either drag and drop or upload your files into predesigned templates, so you don’t have to have any HTML/CSS knowledge. These website builders tend to be quite simple and don’t offer many personalized design options but there are DIY hosting companies that deal specifically with website builders. They have many more features and design options with a variety of templates and graphics. You don’t have to have any knowledge or experience with HTML/CSS to work with them and create a beautiful website. DIY hosting companies like Create A Shoppe Plus, Designer218, and Little Fish Hosting work with crafters, wahms, and small business boutiques. All of Dina’s Designs Graphics websets work with them and can be uploaded to their website templates.

Font Styles

In the previous post I talked about font styles and how they relate to your website and graphics style, particularly to crafts businesses. For this post, I compiled some of the different font styles relevant to crafters to give you an idea of how they look.

These are some of the most popular country primitive style fonts:

These are some popular elegant boutique style fonts:

What Does Your Font Say?

In this post I want to talk a little about font style and how it applies to your graphics and overall website. The type of font you choose can complement your graphics and website style very well, it definitely adds an ambiance, especially for crafter’s websites, it complements your creativity and gives it some juice. There are some font styles that are particularly well suited with primitive country style graphics/crafts and others that are suited for feminine boutique style graphics/crafts.

But before you decide on your font style, you have to keep some important things in mind. First of all, while some fonts are really stylish and may suit your graphics and website style very well, they may be a bit…overly stylish. Consider this pic…and NO it doesn’t say what you think it says:

It’s supposed to say “MegaFlicks”. Obviously with that particular font style, certain letters…uh…don’t really go well next to each other. You definitely don’t want to decide on a cool looking font and have a logo made out, only to discover that the letters of your shop name in that particular style are all kinds of wrong. Another problem with an overly stylized font is that, even if you’re not accidentally cursing yourself or your customers out…the font might be too illegible…people might not be able to make any words out, curses or otherwise.

Interestingly, according to studies in which two groups of people were given instructions to do something in two different types of fonts – one plain and one stylized, the ones with the plain font carried out the instructions faster than the ones with the stylized font. But in another study in which two groups of people were given restaurant menus in two font styles – again one plain and one stylized, the people with the stylized menu assumed that the chef was more talented and skilled.

Ok so what does all this mean, particularly for crafts businesses? A stylized font, one that fits your particular style whether it be country, prim, extreme prim, or feminine boutique, is important. Not only does it complement your items and website graphics/colors but it also conveys your skill and artistry to your visitors. As we have seen though, you don’t want to pick a font that is overly stylized making it difficult to read… or even worse…inadvertently saying something downright nasty. I would recommend that you use a more simple font for your main website text and use a stylized font for your logos, buttons, and headings. It’s a good idea not to have more than 2 font styles on your website because it tends to look messy and disorganized.

I just want to mention one more thing…what font style should your “calls to action” be? Your “calls to action” are the points on your website where you point your visitors to do something, whether it be to sign up for your newsletter, click to buy your product, click to visit your blog or social media page, etc., It is generally recommended that your call to action font be simple so as not to slow down your visitors or even run the risk that they can’t make out the stylized font, But in my personal experience and other people that I have known, we have had more positive results with a stylized font for calls to action, as long as it’s clear and legible. You could actually test this out on your website and see what gives you better results.