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The Corroboree
teonanacatl

Starting a website- help

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Im thinking about starting a website to sell the carvings I make on. I carve bone, black coral, ivory, pearl shell, pearls and now jade.

Ive done a lot of reading online on how best to do it, and a little research looking at domain names and the amount of traffic etc. which was an interesting exercise. I found URL's with generic names got considerably more hits then those where the artist used his or her name. So Ill go with some generic name.

Anyway I need help with:

- .com vs .com.au?

- can anyone recommend a host?

- web design program for a mac?

As my stuff is art a nicely designed gallery template to view the work in would be great!

My reason for the website is to increase my potential cliental, as well as provide a link to my work as a portfolio. ie when I sell carvings through a friends shop I will provide a business card with a link to my URL. So I dont need any e-commerce stuff just yet, though I can see a use for it.

I will also attach facebook account. So yeah not figuring Ill make much money from it, but it should pay for itself.

Suggestions?

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Hi Teo, i would always go with the .com as it gets more exposure and hits. That being said, i would definately urge you to register the .com.au too as it would be grabbed by domainers if you build a good business under the .com. And that could get expensive if you want it at a certain time. The top level domain of your country is important too and many people only buy from a shop thats in their country. So build the shop under .com and redirect from com.au .Or build a landing page for the.com and make a link to the com.au where you have your shop.

I use namecheap as they have cheap domain registration (10 US Dollar per .com domain per year) and good hosting. Hosting is like 50 bucks a year for small shops. Shop freeware is oxid, gallery freeware is coppermine or gallery3. Namecheap has about 100 freeware appz that can be installed with one click. bye Eg

Edited by Evil Genius
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I used to use Dreamweaver but recently redid my shop website using wix.com. It's a web-based site builder and it's stupidly easy to use. Cheap too. I've also heard good things about virb.com.

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I'll just add, friggin awesome carvings mate:)

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Thanks for the suggestions. Was thinking of just pulling both .com and .au. Ill see what I can sort out :D

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Hey - just my two cents, as I used to do a fair bit of work in SEO so I know what you're referring to.

Generic names or "exact matches" for search terms are actually becoming much less helpful in search engine rankings, and can even be bad for your business (no branding or personality). The reason for this is that search engines are becoming much more sophisticated in their algorithms and what they measure to discern a site's relevance and level of authority/importance.

I'd say go with something that is half and half. Either make it just your business name/brand, or a mixture of your brand and a description of what you do/sell.

So say your company's name is Teo, and you sell carvings - you'd want either "teo.com" or "teocarvings.com". The HTML title of the page is actually much more important, as are levels of measurable public engagement with your brand (be that people discussing or sharing it on social media sites, linking to it from their blogs etc).

Above all I'll say stay the hell away from anything termed "grey hat" or "black hat" search engine optimization, and the agencies that engage in those practices - it can be hard to tell which do and which don't. Those things can ruin online businesses that rely on search engine traffic.

As for the ".com" vs ".com.au" thing - if you're targeting primarily an Australian market, go with the latter...if you're interested in reaching customers in other countries you can go with the .com version and then use Google webmaster tools and Maps to let them know you're in Australia via geo-targeting, and that may get you the best of both worlds (or not, it's a complicated field).

If you have any other questions feel free to PM me.

Edited by gtarman

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Regardless of how you build your website pay attention to how your content 'unfolds i.e. It's usually better to keep things as simple a possible on the main page/pages.

I use Dreamhost which is $120 a year for a domain and unlimited hosting (which is also handy for large volume FTP file storage/transfers it that floats your boat). I have never had any issues with their service and their support is responsive and friendly.

If you're really new to web design it might be good to look into a content management system (CMS) like Wordpress as it is simple to set up and edit and can be configured into most of the formats you'd likely need (through the use of themes of which there are many; plus you can edit the themes). Many web hosts have Wordpress and other CMSs in their control panel as a 'one-click-install' type option. Might be worth your while to register with a host and play around with a couple (I.e. Wordpress, Joomla etc) and see what you think.

Dreamweaver is the industry standard web design app and probably your best bet if you want to get your hands dirty and codey.

+1 for the .com name. Getting a .com.au requires an ABN and might cost you a bit more but definitely register it too if you can.

Best of luck and I dig your carvings a lot, especially the dugongs/manatees!

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Thanks guys!

Yeah some follow up reading told me about the generic thing. Id like to maintain some anonymity so Ive got a unique name to use, I guess a brand/ business name.

I trialled rapidweaver and I like it so Im going with that. Picked up a nice theme, the gallery is ok and it seems pretty user friendly. Ive made it simple, not too much text.

Going with a .com and .com.au, will probably link to the .com.au.

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Cool beans. Best of luck B)

Also, if you want to learn more about SEO (always helpful), the best place to do it is http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo. It's worth at least learning the basics if you don't know them already - and if you're going with Wordpress (which is almost always a good choice) look for the "all-in-one SEO" plugin. It makes optimizing your pages and site easy as pie.

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i use netobjects. simple wysiswg editor. too easy =) bein top 3 in oole and others is just as easy. it's all about content and spelling that matches your title. all my sites are pae 1 at least. tagging (naming) imaes well and relevent to your site is the most important thing you can do for SEO work i have found. i have even had google ring a client of mine and complain he took out a paid customers rank LOL. i told him to tell them i followed all "their" rules and they cant do anything about it hahha! they knocked him back 2 places anyhow... the buggers.

anyhow, GREAT work mate! im cleaning up some roo bone as we speak so as to try bone carving myself for the first ever time.

you CAN be number 1 in google in 24 hours! with no tricks. i find it funny how all the softwear for SEO says stuff like, not enough text, description too short, title too long etc LOL it's all rubbish. all SEO programs tell me i should fix this and that yet i am still in top 3 LOL. i recoment netobjects unless you know dreamweaver or like massive learning curves =P

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Consider building exposure through http://www.etsy.com/sell On your page there link back to your main personal page as to avoid fee's. Consider accepting Bitcoin (along with using the coinbase service so you're just getting AUD if you don't want to fiddle with the crypto currency side of it) https://coinbase.com ...That'll allow you to keep more of your money when selling


Best of luck!

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i use netobjects. simple wysiswg editor. too easy =) bein top 3 in oole and others is just as easy. it's all about content and spelling that matches your title. all my sites are pae 1 at least. tagging (naming) imaes well and relevent to your site is the most important thing you can do for SEO work i have found. i have even had google ring a client of mine and complain he took out a paid customers rank LOL. i told him to tell them i followed all "their" rules and they cant do anything about it hahha! they knocked him back 2 places anyhow... the buggers.

anyhow, GREAT work mate! im cleaning up some roo bone as we speak so as to try bone carving myself for the first ever time.

you CAN be number 1 in google in 24 hours! with no tricks. i find it funny how all the softwear for SEO says stuff like, not enough text, description too short, title too long etc LOL it's all rubbish. all SEO programs tell me i should fix this and that yet i am still in top 3 LOL. i recoment netobjects unless you know dreamweaver or like massive learning curves =P

No offense mate, but that is not great (or accurate) SEO advice. Statements like "you CAN be number 1 in google in 24 hours! with no tricks." are WAAAAY overly simplified and don't reflect an understanding of how things like search algorithms work...and cause and effect are very difficult to establish correlations between especially when these algorithms need to be kept secret to work.

Yeah, you can get a number one ranking for something relatively quickly, so long as it's a ridiculously un-comptetitive keyword with little traffic or profit potential, that nobody else is going after...but even that doesn't necessarily mean your site is going to STAY in that ranking for long.

If you want to go after anything with a bit of competition, you're looking at a full-fledged SEO campaign, over a span of months and even years. Almost every local business with an online presence is doing SEO now, and the more players in the game, the harder it is to be number one - especially when some of those players have much deeper pockets and are often already quite well-established.

Edited by gtarman

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Building the site with Rapidweaver is working, I purchased a theme that I liked with a great CSM gallery display. Still playing with it, though I like the layout of another theme but it sucks I cannot combine the two!!

Anyone know rapid weaver? I must have changed something because the font I liked in one theme I tried to add to another (bugger all programing knowledge) anyway now the font has changed from the one I liked to another one all over my site! Ive deleted everything and started again but no luck. It appears I changed the actual font file?

Hosting is with dream host- special for $59/one year+ $9 for .com. Will go from there.

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"

Yeah, you can get a number one ranking for something relatively quickly, so long as it's a ridiculously un-comptetitive keyword with little traffic or profit potential, that nobody else is going after...but even that doesn't necessarily mean your site is going to STAY in that ranking for long.

If you want to go after anything with a bit of competition, you're looking at a full-fledged SEO campaign, over a span of months and even years. Almost every local business with an online presence is doing SEO now, and the more players in the game, the harder it is to be number one - especially when some of those players have much deeper pockets and are often already quite well-established."

-utter rubbish..

sorry, but this is by no means true! trust me mate. is "unique glass creations" un-comptetitive? no, it is not (2,300,000). etc. etc. etc. my site has been there in top places for over 2 years, while i have done nothing to it at all. gets shit-loads of hits every day and always has. godness me, there is nothing even on the site yet. it is still a tempory page.. it shouldnt even be claiming any place on engines yet if we concider all that everyone thinks is true. it was number 2 i think, maybe 1 not sure, within 24 hours of loading it to web. not even done any seo work for a week after. the most important thing to think about is RELEVENT! text to meta keywords and meta titles with
PHOTO'S! matching your keywords.

do i think you can be top 3 google for bone carvings? yup. no troubles. 2 keyphrase id use teo carvings. 3 teo's bone carvings, 4 teo caved bone art. title will reflect these names on pages too. like the text and photo's on your pages. your domain name should be teocarvings or some such yeah! name should reflect your number 1 and two meta titles and key PHRASES (never use just a word). also, you need to make a sitemap file (.xml) i think.

forget robot files and everything you have read like the rest of us, including me. forget googles new (every 6 months) supposed algorythms blah blah blah. or, do it your way =)

i have told you everything you need to know to get what you seek. but please, dont take my word for it LOL.

so, please dont profess to tell me i have not "helped".

upon closer inspection of your artworks, you sir, just might be, THE MASTER.

FYI- the worst thing you could do is over-submit your site.

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Thanks for the kind words re the carvings :) Im ok at it.

What if my site name and slogan are a picture/logo? I assume I can still embed the same things in the site?

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oh whether you have .com or .com.au will make no real difference in your ranking eithier. it will however give your customers no doubt that you operate from australia. some folks like that! but the .com will require an ABN. if it was a hobby you can avoid the TAXMAN by using a .info site. google LOVES .info sites too.

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yeah, awesome mate! the that photo's name MUST be your title / slogan, and that must be your #1 keyphrase. it all must match and those phrases tiles etc must be used in page text. other page text MUST feflect info pertaining to such words / phrases used in your title / slogan. (talk about bone carving, tools used, what inspires to carve bone etc.) ..your onto it.

yeah, your very good! i can see why you have found yourself at this point re. the site =)

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you could right click on my sites page (view source) and you might be able to see how i used meta tag info etc. it may be too compressed, im not sure, long ago. mine is the .info david... one under unique lass creations. may give you an idea of how i do it by looking at pic names (any rubbish for a pic as long as the pic is named in an editor before being used on the site as you see on mine) it will show ya how its done easy as im sure. cant think of anything else youd need to know. ask if ya ot a question.

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-utter rubbish..

sorry, but this is by no means true! trust me mate. is "unique glass creations" un-comptetitive? no, it is not (2,300,000). etc. etc. etc. my site has been there in top places for over 2 years, while i have done nothing to it at all. gets shit-loads of hits every day and always has.

I can't take your word for it in good conscience unfortunately, when I know that you're wrong my friend :wink:

I spent more than a year of my life immersed in SEO, studying and practicing it for hours every day and learning from the leaders of the industry, and I know my shit when it comes to this stuff.

For starters, "unique glass creations" is more or less the definition of an uncompetitive search term. In Australia and elsewhere, it actually receives ZERO searches per month...but I'll get to that in a tick. Even just looking at it from a logical perspective, you have to put yourself in the shoes of somebody searching on Google, and then try work out what they would search for if they wanted to buy what you sell. How many average Joe's would sit down at their computers and say to themselves, "Gee, I'd like to buy some unique glass creations today."? The answer is none, because that's not how people talk or think.

They might want to buy "glass jewelry" or "blown glass", and that is what they're going to search for - people don't buy "unique marble creations", they buy marble statues. That's why "glass jewelry" is a competitive term with 1,600 real Google searches per month in Australia, and "unique glass creations" is an uncompetitive term with no searches per month.

You're also using the Google keyword tool wrong (if that's what you're using), if you're getting a figure of 2,300,000...though for the life of me I still don't know how you could have got it to produce that number.

When using the keyword tool, you need to select the "exact match" option when you search and deselect all the others - it's set to "broad match" by default - this means it will show you the amount of searches that contain all of those words (unique, glass, creations), but in any order and with any other words in the mix at any point (be that other random words between yours, before them, after them or all of the above). I performed a search to check the figures, and confirmed that that particular keyword receives no exact match (real) monthly searches.

And "hits" on your website's control panel is a very misleading figure also - it doesn't reflect a real number of unique human visitors, although some CP's depending on your host can give you better estimates. http://www.webmarketingnow.com/tips/hitsvsvisits.html'>This page explains quite well why hits are an extremely misleading figure (although I can't vouch for the rest of that site's info). And even if a website does receive many unique human visitors, they are rarely all from search engines (many arrive on a site via blog links, facebook and twitter shares, word of mouth etc)

And last but not least, the vast majority of SEO professionals say that you only want to bother with the .org , .com , or .net TLD's (top level domains). While Google has "officially" said they don't take TLD into account when ranking a site, some TLD's such as .info and .biz or .tv are used most often by spammers in an attempt to gain an "exact match domain" benefit for their keywords, as the .com's etc are already taken for whatever they're going after. So while you're not likely to be penalized for going with a .info site, it's more likely to hurt than help - and it's terrible for branding and word of mouth traffic, because no matter what you say, people seem to remember .com - even if you said .net - which is why the .com is usually always preferred.

If you're after real search traffic, my recommendation to anybody is to learn about keyword research, get some good tools for it (Market Samurai, SEOmoz Pro tools etc) and head on over to SEOmoz.org to learn as much about effective and up-to-date white hat SEO as you can stomach.

/ends rant :P

Edited by gtarman

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Hang on - it just occurred to me that you meant when you search that phrase in Google it comes up at the top saying "About 2,110,000 results"...it's a common misconception, but it's not a reliable metric for judging competition either - this explains why: http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/how-not-to-judge-keyword-competition

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