small-business-saturdays

Where to begin when you build your website?

Melissa Amato

This website is a lot of years in the making.  I started fiddling with websites and their creations back in 2006 to showcase my artwork.  I remember not knowing anything about websites back then, not compared to the information that I now know.  

 DISCLOSURE: I’m an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. When people read what I’ve written about a particular product and then click on those links and buy something from the retailer I earn a commission from the retailer. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. For full disclosure, click here.

I have bought domains through GoDaddy.  I have built a blog through wordpress.  I have built websites for myself through Yahoo's Website Builder and had the domain through GoDaddy.  I have built an entire website, multiple actually, through Blogger.  I have based my business through those blogs.  I have created websites for businesses through blogger as well.  So, why am I telling you all of this?  Because I want you to know how far I've come and how what I am doing now is the best that there is available for you at this moment.  

So in the most recent past, I was with wordpress with my domain through them.  Then, it became too complicated and I prefer easy over hard, just like everyone else.  Why not go the easy route if the easy route is just as good if not better than the hard way?

So, I found Shopify.  I knew they existed but thought I could do it on my own so that is why I went the Wordpress route.  And the Wordpress route just confused me and frustrated me to the point where I stopped my shop and blogging because of it.  The plugins are confusing to me and I was afraid that if I put too many on my site that I would slow my site down defeating the purpose of a fast site.  I couldn't customize my site exactly how I liked and I was just done.  I like easy.  I like drag and drop.  I like simple, polished and ready to go.  So, that is why I went with Shopify.  Also, my extensive research brought up that Shopify stores are indexed higher in google, it's better to have your store through an independent hosting service because you will not have all your eggs in the same basket in case you want to move your site and having a separate hosting service allows you to have a personalized email like mine which is melissa@melissaamato.com.  But you can have up to like 5 or so so...you can have email for like news@melissaamato.com or thankyou@melissaamato.com.  So that's super cool.  

I wanted an email address with my yourname@yourwebsite address to it.  So, I needed my own domain instead of my shopify.com/melissa-amato so, I went with bluehost. I gravitated to Bluehost for hosting and email and I am glad that I did.  At one point I had a problem with my email and then I had a problem going from one site to another site.  Their customer service was impeccable.  I called in, they cleared what needed to be cleared and my email was up and going.  They even taught me a few things along the way. 

Why not hostgator, siteground or any other site out there?  Because I went for reputation and cost efficiency.  Through my research, I found that bluehost has the best reputation for a hosting company and they were either the same or cheaper than most competitors.  So, I went with them.  

 

 

I have done extensive research on both the above companies.  I have also had experience with other companies such as Wix.com.  Wix.com did not work for me because it doesn't open up like I want it to on an android phone.  I want a site that is impeccable on every device for as far as the eye can see.  My Aunt did Wix.com for her shop and I saw her site and I instantly knew I wanted none of that because we are moving into a mobile revolution.  They may have changed but, their flexibility on design of my site is not as flexible as Shopify.  So, again Shopify Wins.  

I have been with Shopify for the past few months and the customer service is fantastic.  I have the bare minimum basic package but there are free templates for you to choose from.  In my instance, I wanted the Log In, Cart icons on the upper right hand corner because aesthetically, I thought it looked better.  I contacted customer service just to see if they can help.  And they did.  They allot you 1 hour of design service per month of subscription.  So, even though my template did not allow that.  We are allotted that one hour and I took it.  Now I have my website exactly like I like it all thanks to that 1 hour. 

I have a little bit of design and web experience so, I am a little bit more experienced than most but even if I didn't, this is pretty easy even for novices.  If you are willing to learn a new skill and love easy like I do, Shopify is your girl. POP is the title of the template that I use.  There are so many different apps you can utilize but that is for another blog post for another day because of how extensive the apps can be.  

So, in conclusion if I had to do it all over again, I would still want to end up exactly where I am and that is with a shopify storefront, hosted by bluehost and email with bluehost.  

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