What hosting do you use for your business?

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

What do you use for your website?

  • Wordpress/Woocommerce

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Square

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Shopify

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Weebly

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wix

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • BigCartel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • BigCommerce

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Godaddy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ecwid

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 33.3%

  • Total voters
    3

MelissaG

Owner and Creator at Silver Branch Soapworks
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
250
Reaction score
240
Location
Louisiana, USA
I currently have the free square site. I'll be honest, I'm not overly impressed. I've been debating moving to another site. Honestly, money matters. I'm not sure I can manage $29 a month yet. I'm still small time.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
744
Reaction score
701
Location
Goldsboro, North Carolina
I used a paid version of Square and it was very nice and offered lots of pretty layouts. However, I found the need to frequently update with new products or new photos of my Soapmaking to keep my site fresh was too time consuming. I got more business from local folks and people I already knew using FB.
 

MelissaG

Owner and Creator at Silver Branch Soapworks
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
250
Reaction score
240
Location
Louisiana, USA
Sorry for my ignorance... What about Etsy? I don't have a business, so I really do have no clue. I know sometimes it's a lot of work to try and better your search algorithm to get exposure.
Etsy has so many soapers. I tried and was lost in the sea of other makers. After 6 months, I didn't get a single order so I gave up. Plus, I attached my square to it and they started taking part of every sale even when it had nothing to do with them. I've gotten more from my square site than I ever did from Etsy. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE buying from Etsy. I don't trust Amazon anymore (the reviews since 2020 have crashed and burned on almost everything) so I buy a bunch of stuff from Etsy even when it has nothing to do with my business. I just don't like selling on Etsy.
 

Michelle0803

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
109
Location
Ohio
I currently have the free square site. I'll be honest, I'm not overly impressed. I've been debating moving to another site. Honestly, money matters. I'm not sure I can manage $29 a month yet. I'm still small time.
We have used Square for the free site for 4 years now. It has actually been a blessing in letting us learn exactly what we want and need in our site. We are changing to a Wix site at the beginning of next year as we are growing our business and want more features. We can integrate our square for payments online and at events, so that is a plus. What is it that you don't like about your Square site? We learned a lot by taking advantage of the free version of Square and are now building our Wix site with a laser focus on what we want and don't want or need. With Wix you can begin designing your new website (they have a free version) and you can upgrade to a paid version. We waited for a 50% off offer and paid right around $170 for a year.
 

MelissaG

Owner and Creator at Silver Branch Soapworks
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
250
Reaction score
240
Location
Louisiana, USA
Well, in order to make sure the taxes were correct in the location I was selling, I'd either have to manually change it every time, or create separate locations for each sale location. And, rather than pulling the inventory from a central hub, I'd have to manually change it at the end of every day. And that's per how I was told to do it by Square themselves ("our websites do not currently have that ability but we are looking into it"). If I didn't do this, then it's possible I'd end up with an oversell or the sales tax would be wrong because the central hub is the only one that shows online. If I activated all inventory, it shows that I have more inventory than I do.

I want a website that will allow me to pull all inventory from a central hub AND do the taxes properly for wherever I am at the time. So if someone were to buy from my website, and someone were to buy from my market location the inventory is correct and the sales tax is charged correctly for both locations.

Does that make sense? I'm not sure how else to explain it. I'm wondering if another site would do inventory tracking and sales tax per location correctly.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
7,223
Reaction score
13,151
Location
US
You can do all of those things with a WordPress site that has WooCommerce installed. To set up my (non-soapy) site, I used a web developer that I found on Fiverr. He had high ratings and did a great job designing the entire site, including the e-commerce setup. He had the whole thing done in less than a week (and for under $500). I requested a few changes, and he finished those in less than 24 hours. Fiverr is full of developers like this with high ratings. Although I have the smarts to set up my own site, it is frustratingly slow, and was worth EVERY penny I paid for his help.

You just need to be very clear in advance about what you want the site to do. They will all ask you for a written list of your needs, and whatever is not on the list will be an upcharge. So I recommend that you write it all down, and come back to it over a couple of days as you realize what else you need and want.

WordPress and WooCommerce are both open-source software, but there are annual licensing fees for the addons that handle taxes, payment processing, etc. You will also have to pay for a domain name and webhosting. If you want to be seen and found, you probably want to pay someone to optimize the SEO, too (you can find those folks on Fiverr, too).

It's still far less expensive than the ongoing costs for Shopify, Wix, Etsy, etc. What can get expensive is if you want to pay for Google AdWords, FB advertising, and the like.
 

MelissaG

Owner and Creator at Silver Branch Soapworks
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
250
Reaction score
240
Location
Louisiana, USA
You can do all of those things with a WordPress site that has WooCommerce installed. To set up my (non-soapy) site, I used a web developer that I found on Fiverr. He had high ratings and did a great job designing the entire site, including the e-commerce setup. He had the whole thing done in less than a week (and for under $500). I requested a few changes, and he finished those in less than 24 hours. Fiverr is full of developers like this with high ratings. Although I have the smarts to set up my own site, it is frustratingly slow, and was worth EVERY penny I paid for his help.

You just need to be very clear in advance about what you want the site to do. They will all ask you for a written list of your needs, and whatever is not on the list will be an upcharge. So I recommend that you write it all down, and come back to it over a couple of days as you realize what else you need and want.

WordPress and WooCommerce are both open-source software, but there are annual licensing fees for the addons that handle taxes, payment processing, etc. You will also have to pay for a domain name and webhosting. If you want to be seen and found, you probably want to pay someone to optimize the SEO, too (you can find those folks on Fiverr, too).

It's still far less expensive than the ongoing costs for Shopify, Wix, Etsy, etc. What can get expensive is if you want to pay for Google AdWords, FB advertising, and the like.
Thank you so much.

The taxes thing is utterly ridiculous. I think you can get free payment processing, it just depends on the plugin you use. I already have a domain name paid for until 2025 so that isn't a problem. I'll have to look at the web hosting.

I appreciate the help.
 

Michelle0803

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
109
Location
Ohio
Well, in order to make sure the taxes were correct in the location I was selling, I'd either have to manually change it every time, or create separate locations for each sale location. And, rather than pulling the inventory from a central hub, I'd have to manually change it at the end of every day. And that's per how I was told to do it by Square themselves ("our websites do not currently have that ability but we are looking into it"). If I didn't do this, then it's possible I'd end up with an oversell or the sales tax would be wrong because the central hub is the only one that shows online. If I activated all inventory, it shows that I have more inventory than I do.

I want a website that will allow me to pull all inventory from a central hub AND do the taxes properly for wherever I am at the time. So if someone were to buy from my website, and someone were to buy from my market location the inventory is correct and the sales tax is charged correctly for both locations.

Does that make sense? I'm not sure how else to explain it. I'm wondering if another site would do inventory tracking and sales tax per location correctly.
That makes perfect sense and I agree. It's one of the things that we found frustrating as well. We participate in farmer's markets in 3 different counties, each with a different tax rate, and I had to remember to change the tax rate before and after each market.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
7,223
Reaction score
13,151
Location
US
I think you can get free payment processing, it just depends on the plugin you use.
You are correct; I didn't state that quite correctly. The payment processing plug-ins are free; the actual processing of payments is not. I'm sure you already know that, but I had the general SMF audience in mind for making the point that it will be a cost of doing business.
 
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
165
Reaction score
109
Location
Virginia
I used Godaddy for my website design and hosting. I built the site myself with no prior experience. It was a bit slow going and occasionally frustrating, but I saved the money a designer would have charged, plus I learned something new, which is always a plus. Godaddy now has a card reader like Square, but it does not update the website inventory when you log an in-person sale, which is a major drawback. You have to upgrade to their more expensive device for inventory synching. Inventory is updated if a sale is made at your website. The website and hosting costs about $300/yr. Godaddy charges payment processing fees similar to Square, maybe a little less.
 

MelissaG

Owner and Creator at Silver Branch Soapworks
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
250
Reaction score
240
Location
Louisiana, USA
That makes perfect sense and I agree. It's one of the things that we found frustrating as well. We participate in farmer's markets in 3 different counties, each with a different tax rate, and I had to remember to change the tax rate before and after each market.
Does wix do all that for you then? Since you said you switched to wix, I'm just looking for a site to do what I need.
 

Michelle0803

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
109
Location
Ohio
Does wix do all that for you then? Since you said you switched to wix, I'm just looking for a site to do what I need.
They have a free plan which does not. They other 2 plans offer an option to "automate sales tax" which is through a third party. I am currenty working on getting that set up. They claim that it uses geo location to determine sales tax. I did chat with the third party and that feature is free. They have other services that are not free. I do not recall the exact name of the company and I am not in front of my computer. I will be happy to keep you updated as I navigate the sales tax issues
 

MelissaG

Owner and Creator at Silver Branch Soapworks
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
250
Reaction score
240
Location
Louisiana, USA
They have a free plan which does not. They other 2 plans offer an option to "automate sales tax" which is through a third party. I am currenty working on getting that set up. They claim that it uses geo location to determine sales tax. I did chat with the third party and that feature is free. They have other services that are not free. I do not recall the exact name of the company and I am not in front of my computer. I will be happy to keep you updated as I navigate the sales tax issues
I talked to them late yesterday. It's avatax/avalara.

I talked to an old tech friend of mine who is looking into a wordpress website for me that will do everything I want for cheaper per month.
 

Latest posts

Top