Black Crafters Guild

African Diasporans creating, decorating, and artistically altering by hand

You will need:

* webspace (preferably rented from a host that allows you to use your domain name, as well as upload files to your site with FTP software)
* webpage files (created by you or your web designer)
* FTP software or other means to upload your files to your webspace

Create a webpage using an HTML editor or by obtaining the services of a website designer. Upload the webpage to your webspace. You now have a website. Knowing how to make a website is not sufficient for creating a good one. Cool Homepages is an excellent resource for learning about how a good website should look.

Strongly recommended:

* A domain name (something short, easy to spell, and easy to spell aloud), preferably with a domain name registrar that provides free forwarding. Avoid domain name registrar (DNR) affiliates, and, web hosts who are also DNR affiliates. They tend to force you to list them as the Administration Contact, which gives them power over your domain name
* Make sure that YOU are listed as your domain name's Registrant and Administration Contact.
* Avoid registering your domain name and hosting with the same company. If they are displeased with you over one of those services, they can shut down the other or otherwise cause problems

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Hey - I wanted to add a bit of information about shopping platforms, particularly the one I use which is bigcartel.

I was really struggling with finding an affordable way to sell my items without relyaing on a 3rd party site like Etsy and Ebay (and sorry ahead of time if this sounds infomercially!)

I'm here to sing the praises of bigcartel which made it really easy. They have a completely customizable shop template to work from and the site was built with independent small business artists in mind, so it's also very affordable. I built an informational home page on my domain, but I use bigcartel for my shops.

My home page here: http://www.tunedteeth.com directs people to my two stores, http://www.tunedteeth.bigcartel.com and http://www.clockworkfantastica.bigcartel.com

You can built a free store, but the other options are managable and worthwhile. It's your own shop and you don't need to pay commissions for each listing and sale.

The only aspect I don't like has to do with Paypal - the bigcartel shops accept payment through Paypal, but I don't really like Paypal's shipping options for Canadian merchants. I've been using my U.S. account to get around the limitations.

Hope this is helpful info to another emerging craft salesperson.
Mal's e-commerce cart is another good and free tool. It's a shopping cart but not database-driven, so as products are bought, you have to remove them from your site manually. http://www.mals-e.com/

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