How I built my website...


by Tamara Brooks January 20, 2016

Lots of people are blown away by my website. How big it is, how can I take multiple currencies, how do I manage all the orders. I get asked a lot WHO built my website and the easy answer is... I DID! Well, me and the absolutely amazing SHOPIFY!

I started my business on Etsy and I still sell there. I love that community and still sell there but as a merchant I made the decision to grow my brand and business by building my own website. It really was the next logical step after finding out that so many people loved handmade and personalized art prints!

I opened my Shopify store about a year and a half ago. This platform has been so easy for me to learn how to use. I feel that having my own store which I am 100% in control of was a game changer for me. I am living my entrepreneurial dream and building the store and business I dreamed about. 

When I first decided to build my store I knew I needed it to be pretty. I sell art prints and the idea of an online curated gallery of my work had to be gorgeous. Shopify has a billion themes to choose from and many are FREE. I started with a free template and then finally bought a paid one and did some minor customizations with a developer on Upwork. The website design is clean and slick. The backend ordering system is very streamlined and is as easy to use as the design you see, possibly easier? At first I was worried people would notice my site was a 'template', but in reality this is just the starting point. Actually you can customize everything from the colors, to the menu right down to how many products you show and where!

Furthermore, I admire and learn a lot form Shopify themselves. They have the BEST blog of all time and basically give away clues and tips on how to run a successful commerce business. They support their vendors and I've even been featured a few times in their social feeds! Their customer support is fantastic and I've actually never come across my website being down in the entire time I've been with them. They really help me by being a great support system and providing inspiring content.

Shopify has a fantastic app section where you can install apps to make your store do 'extra' things. Some great apps I use are SHIPPO (which has saved me lots of post office trips), mail chimp integration, and yahoo's lexity live app which lets me see what customers are doing LIVE on my website! Some of the apps are free and some paid and most have free trials!

Nautical Art Prints

Seriously, if you're going to open an online store Shopify is the BEST choice, but you will need to be realistic about what's involved. You will spend lots of hours adding products, working out shipping, doing photography but if you're willing to work - this tool is fantastic.

I started with a free 14 days trial within my comfort zone and now I sign up for 2 years upfront payments to save money! I'm pasting their current plans below so you can see the prices.

 

WOOHOO! Thanks for reading and I hope you check out Shopify for your own business!




Tamara Brooks
Tamara Brooks

Author