Realised that you need to step away from platforms like Etsy or Amazon and build your own handmade business website? Well, this post is for you. It’s a difficult step that many of us will be facing in the upcoming months, especially if we have enjoyed working from home during the pandemic and have decided to take our business full time.
The world of website building is complicated. It’s a specialist skillset in the same way that photography is. So you shouldn’t feel disheartened if first attempts at building your handmade business website aren’t quite what you initially hoped.
But stick with it, and with practice and patience you can design and build your own business website. Having your own website allows you to be in complete control of your own shop and sales, without worrying if the platform you’re using might suddenly change in a way that damages your income.
Picking a theme
If you’ve picked WordPress as the content management system for your handmade business website (which I highly recommend you do – all my sites are build on WordPress), then you can get themes to help you with the layout and different features. Themes are like outfits for your website – you can change the theme to change the whole look of your site.
Of course, they do much more than just change the look! Website themes can also add functionality to WordPress websites and features that really help a small business owner out.
If you’re interested in exploring the different themes that might be available to you for your website, take a look at the WordPress templates section of Theme Planet. You can narrow your search by “category” on the right-hand side, selecting just those that will work as eCommerce websites. If you want to find more themes, a simple Google search will give you lots of options.
Chosing your theme can be a difficult process on your own, so make sure that you get someone you trust to give you a second opinion. It’s even better if that person also has their own successful handmade business because they know what customers look for!
I would prioritise WordPress themes that are clean and simple, which allow you to add your own branding. Find themes that work with your brand and your photographs not against, and that have more functionality than you need right now so that you can grow into the theme in the future, without having to redo your entire site.
Remember the marketing
Don’t forget, if you’re moving from a site like Etsy or Amazon you’ll also need to focus on bringing your own customers. You will no longer benefit from the huge reach that these big companies have and will have to drive all of your own traffic.
Building up your social media following is one way to start preparing for the switch over, and asking customers to sign up to a newsletter is another. Newsletters are great because they deliver your message straight into your customers inbox! That’s pretty powerful.
But whatever you do make sure that you don’t release your website too early. Having an unfinished website is far worse than having an averagely-made handmade business website!