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Better start looking in to this soon.  Bout that time to re-up the web site, and I do get a bit tired of those messages about how you folks crashed me again due to high traffic (627 times in a month).  So, change the site, change the host, or ditch you folks ;)

Problem is, I've done web design, though only for a couple of years and I let the tech pass me up - didn't keep up with it.  Other hand, I know something about that, so it's much more difficult for pseudo-designers to con me into extravagant payments for simple stuff.  I expect a guy to get paid, but some of them have lost all sense of TRUE worth ;)

Think I'm good 'til after the new year, but I should check ...

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Remember there are 2 sides to this: - the tech side which affects the user experience (crashes etc) and the content/relevance side which impacts user experience in terms of sales. If you're gonna go through this updating process then put as many eggs in the professional word editing, updating and reframing of your content basket. This observation applies to any biz . You've got a head start with your b**sh** detector. Happy to chat. 

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I may well offend you but your site is quite poor for selling

I assume you want customers to buy your products yet they do not have a buying experience, it looks like you sell either Belts or Holsters but the home page shows neither and  there are no products to buy or have a good idea of price

You really need the home page to have a brief description of who and what you do and some images and links below to full descriptions of what you are offering as basic models. you could have something like a image of a belt with text underneath stating available from $ xxx to $xxx and a link to a page showing a selection Belts all with a description of what they are built with and the benifits to the user. the most basic belt designs can have a fixed price showing and the tooled belts a max and min  price with contact details to contact you by email with their requirements

Your header looks like a poor copy of your logo without much detail so you find it hard to even read the word leather in the logo

There is no method of paying online which is ok if all are made on order, but would make more sales if you had some stock items. it's so easy to do e-commerce these days and people just want to find the product and buy for delivery within a couple of days

Break the products up on different pages to standard and tooled or stamped or even three pages per product range

Descriptions are what sell. they cannot touch , smell or pick up your items so you need to say what they are

Belt hand made and hand sew in the traditional way using the best US leather  that has taken over a year to be tanned using the bark of Oak trees, Each belt comes with a solid brass buckle in various designs and has removable screw fastenings so you can easily change the apperance with a different buckle. Belts can be lined or unlines  and so on

Edited by chrisash

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2 hours ago, Mike306 said:

You've got a head start with your b**sh** detector. Happy to chat.

:cheers:

1 hour ago, chrisash said:

I may well offend you but ...

There is no method of paying online which is ok if all are made on order, but would make more sales if you had some stock items. it's so easy to do e-commerce these days and people just want to find the product and buy for delivery within a couple of days

Descriptions are what sell. they cannot touch , smell or pick up your items so you need to say what they are

Belt hand made and hand sew in the traditional way using the best US leather  that has taken over a year to be tanned using the bark of Oak trees, Each belt comes with a solid brass buckle in various designs and has removable screw fastenings so you can easily change the apperance with a different buckle. Belts can be lined or unlines  and so on

I'm not offended. ;)  But you're saying two different things there.  So, I'm not trying to persuade you - just thinkin' out loud here ...

There is a place for "click and have it on my door in a day or two".. but I already declined an "invitation" to Amazon.  Not my thing. Only time I have "stock" items are when sometimes when people order something, I make a second while I'm at it. OR, sometimes I have been known to make 3 of something just so I can do 3 different colors of that thing. So those git stuck on Cutesy, or sometimes go locally.

Not looking for an "e-commerce" site in the "traditional" sense .. one reason being that might associate me in some people's mind with some recent scavengers. I've seen them, of course - they're everywhere.  You can click some drop-downs, or select some option buttons, and then get notified that you can send money and hopefully get something in return in WEEKS or MONTHS.  Now, seriously, if what you're getting a CUSTOM REALLY IS ONE OF A KIND item, or if Elvis wore it, then this would be valid.  Otherwise, the site is just a con man wanting a 0% interest LOAN.

You have a point about the "logo" (though that's not actually THE logo).  I see my "slider" thing with pics isn't working - sometimes happens when too many people are over there downloading free stuff.  From that standpoint, really can't be considered "commercial". But then, the "logo" (which is actually on the right side) doesn't bring anybody TO the page.. they don't see (or not see) that until after they're ALREADY THERE.

But having this conversation got me admitting that I really am going to have to take care of that myself.  Too many people these days have a "plug it into the formula" mentality -- which makes no sense when you're claiming to be NOT like all the rest :dunno:  I'm not looking for a "template".  

"Leather" web sites recently seem to be 1 of 2 things: 

  • "watch this pretty video that drags out a simple point, then click here to give me money", OR
  • here's a nice piece of leather you can wait multiple weeks to get #hermannoak #wickett #blahblah #note,the,hashtags,all,the,same,as,the,other,guys

If personal appearance is any indicator, I guess some "leather workers" main talent is having a snack.  Maybe I could pack on about 50 pounds and make videos? ;)  I think the trick is to get a JOB, let somebody else PAY YOU to do something ELSE while you work on your patterns and your "social media" (I used to network computers, so i KNOW what employees are up to).

I suppose it's trademarked and I can't use it, but I always liked that tag line by the motor oil company ... "If you can't TELL the difference, then why PAY the difference?"

But I'm hardly "conventional", which my customers seem to appreciate. Yesterday I had a guy "order" a holster I'm not going to be able to get to - even start - for a couple of weeks.  Sent payment in full.  So I contacted the guy, let him know he can wait if he wants, or I can return his money if he'd like to shop somewhere else for a more immediate return.  He decided to wait, so I kept the payment - not a lot of money and not worth the trouble of a credit, refund, re-purchase, etc.  If it was going to be more like FOUR weeks, I would have returned his money and told him he's on the list and can pay when work begins.

____________________________________________

TURNING THE PAGE to a slightly more personal note:  Happy Veteran's Day to all those hard-working honest boys ('n' girls) who served this country WITH HONOR. I don't mean every single body who got a check from the fed or ever had a stripe sewn on a sleeve - I'm talking to those with some spine, who did what they were intended to do, simply because it was their job.  The ones who did it even when nobody at all was watching. That's a narrower group than most seem to think.. and the ones I'm talking to know who they are.  They'll probably just read this, remember their service with a bit of a sense of pride.  The others might well reply to "prove" ... i don't know what.

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Even without the e-commerce your still trying to sell your goods and at present just showing a number of images hidden well down the dispal under gallery, not with some product leads on your home page to catch peoples attention, and no descriptions anywhere

You know your market and seem to have enough trade so maybe it does not matter today dont even know if its a full time job or hobbie, but a professional looking site will be guaranteed to get better results, by grabing there attention in the first few seconds before they go to the next search

When the going is fine we ignore the future, when the going gets tough we curse not changing before it was history

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I perceive you may have missed my point ;) No matter, all good.

And this IS my job, or at least ONE OF them.  i do not bilk an "employer" out of money for HIS business while I tend to mine.  But I no longer have employees, so some think "not a business".  I'm not opposed to employees, just haven't met any I'd care to keep.

Side story -- I once got called on an "emergency"... the network was "down' at a law office.  They could schedule appointments, see their INTERNAL files, but couldn't get out to use the internet, though email was working fine.  At the time, "emergency" meant a significant charge for dropping what I'm doing and coming right there.  Turned out, one of the receptionists had a date this weekend and was not able to shop the latest miracle bra (no, not kidding) and she was perfectly willing to spend a few hundred dollars that were not hers to get it up and running right now.  And apparently willing to cash checks for $40k per year to sit at someone else's desk bra shopping.  But they have a "business" :rofl:  

 

 

 

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#$@#$%!@!@$%  WEB DESIGNS

Granted, it's just wordpress.  That may be the problem.  Started to pay somebody, but explaining what I want almost seemed longer than jsut doing it.  So, I start putting in a few things, get it WORKING, and THEN enter most of the "goods".

Just about got it in the works, when the thing pretty much "decided" to "upgrade" wordpress (to 5 point something), and suddenly the shipping calculator is useless and I get messages about plug-ins not tested with that version of WP.  Sigh ....

Oh, and $79/year for USPS labels I would consider CHEAP for that service, print postage right from there. But SO many people on the site whining about the bugs in that ...

Edited by JLSleather

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On 12/26/2018 at 9:06 PM, JLSleather said:

#$@#$%!@!@$%  WEB DESIGNS

 

Think I'll bypass a website for now.  Busy enough anyhow, I don't need that stress or the bill.  Thanks for letting me know how it went so I can live vicariously through you.

 :popcorn:

:cheers:

YinTx

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I would go with a e-commerce shop software like "Modified e-commerce Shop Software" - its free - you only need the web space and have to adapt it to your needs.

https://www.modified-shop.org/

Not sure if they have an "english branch" but it has lots of templates you can choose from and you can check out some templates designs at their demo shop site:

https://www.modified-shop.org/demoshops

 

EDIT:

or check MAGENTO:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magento

https://magento.com

 

 

 

 

Edited by Constabulary

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Have you looked into options like Wix? They do all the heavy lifting for you. The only thing I don't go through them for is my domain because I want privacy on my domain registration (which they don't seem to offer) but other than that they handle it all for me. 

Just an option to think about. 

 

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Heavy lifting?  What would that be? What's yer site?

Cutesy does a nice job of painless USPS shipping labels (which is the big issue) and their handling of pdf downloadables is effortless for the most part.  But I've always had issues with them.  Most of 'em I just ignored, but for a while every year I'm shutting that down because I'm bringing THEM way more 'business' than they're bringing ME.  And then of course there are numerous social diseases people will assume I'm supporting by endorsing cutesy.  Did I say diseases?  I should say social issues, maybe.  Several other similar businesses have contacted me at various times, but they all leave something that makes it not worth going.

I really like the idea of just having somebody ELSE do that, but just can't make sense of it.  I'm quite big on the idea of EITHER doing the work, OR paying someone to do it for me... BUT NOT BOTH.  I don't intend to pay somebody for web "stuff", then I still have to provide images, the 'theme' of the site, pricing, general flow of the site.  So I would be paying somebody.. for what? To upload my stuff?@!  

But I'm like that anyway.. why I don't have ANY employees.  Somehow, they self-decide that they can use my stuff to do their own designing and social poop, and expect that while they do all that I should be paying them ANYWAY for not doing what I agreed to pay them to do :rofl:

 

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8 hours ago, YinTx said:

I don't need that stress or the bill

Well, the stress isn't SO bad.. once it's set up the way it should go, not much to maintain it.  Just would have been nice 'heads up' on that latest wordpress update ...

And the "bill" isn't much, for most sites a leather guy would need. Your own site can be done for $150-200 plus card processing fees, which are likely 3% +/- a bit.  I'm a PayPal user, ends up being more like 7%, translates to 3.5% for their processing, which I consider acceptable trade-off for the shipping label service.

Nice idea would be... 2, 3, 4 ... leather people all sell from the same site.  Not really a consignment thing, just a bit of collaboration.  And the next thing you know, there's another Cutesy, or ... similar.

Again, with cutesy - I never did care for the idea of appearing with a bunch of cheap junk (ACRES of cheap junk).  But the straw is that every so often I shut that off, then when I turn it back on it's a matter of time before I'm bringing THEM business.  For a fee.  So - translate that ... I'm PAYING them for the 'privilege' of ADVERTISING THEM. :o  So, just let that trail off.... (the fees are just bumped up to just north of 8%, and their recreation has become changing the rules just to change the rules).  BUT, if a guy just wants a place to list some 'stuff', cutesy is relatively cheap and easy to use, so ... each his own.

 

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2 hours ago, Constabulary said:

Not sure if they have an "english branch" but it has l

Not sure due to translation stuff, but I guess it's sorta the same thing.. open source, blahblah... ;)

downside being that somebody is always fixing what isn't broken.  Nice to have somebody SAY .. when you install this upgrade, yer other stuff may not work any more!  But, they don't ...

I miss the days of buy the disk , use the software... but I think those days might be gone for good.... :thumbsdown:  Trend is to convince you they're doig you a "favor" with auto (and constant) updates ... 

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I only have two suggestions about your site. Need an "About Us" tell a little story highlighting the main stuff like location (close to the beautiful/historic ...), sole owner/operator, experience those types of things and more "Contact" info where you are located so that people can easily see you are in the US, phone number, hours of operation.

All the above due have their pros and cons.

kgg

 

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Thanks -- I'll consider that ;)

 

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Wordpress latest "upgrade" has a LOT of people royally miffed, from what I read on the interwebs.

Jeff

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1 hour ago, alpha2 said:

Wordpress latest "upgrade" has a LOT of people royally miffed,

Yup. "back in the day" we used to have software installed and running LOCALLY, so everything was tested and working BEFORE it went live.  These days I have neither the equipment for that or the space to set that up.

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The newest Wordpress update, Gutenberg, is quite handily breaking a lot of websites who use any themes with page builders. However, they installed a workaround that allows you to continue using the classic editor. Eventually, they'll stop supporting it, but for now... it's an okay workaround. 

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On 1/5/2019 at 5:38 AM, JLSleather said:

when you install this upgrade, yer other stuff may not work any more!

I'm sitting with a plugin update for Contact Form and it says "Compatibility with WordPress 5.0.2: Unknown". Now why would I update that with that kind of message? d'oh. I agree on the old days. We built sites locally, fully tested them, and then uploaded them when we knew they worked. As for the new 'editor', blah.

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Not "actually" web site stuff, but I started putting some on instagram (and it links to my site).  I generally view that social "stuff" (deliberately using a nicer word) as the noise made by those whose work can't carry itself ... the hype that supports the "quality".  You know - like Dr Phil.. prolly a nice guy, but without his advertisers he's got nuthin ;)

Now, normally when I see some guy with questionable morals and lacking any real skills beyond knowing how to post pics somewhere, I just go on about my business and disregard it. Kaint fix stupid, right?   But that one guy really did git under my skin a bit.  Not just using my designs, but doing it badly and claiming the designs were his.  And since 30,000 -ish holsters are displayed with my designs, seems like at least ONE of the posts should be me :rofl: 

If yer using wordpress, there's a plug-in fer that seems to work okay.  Called simply "instagram feed" if ya care to check it out.  Or, go straight to the source, see how my designs were intended to look :o

https://www.instagram.com/jlsleather/

 

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I can't be the only one left ....

I'm always irritated by someone wanting me to log in, or sign up, or subscribe, whatever... for the simplest tasks.  So I don't ask people to do that unless it's necessary.  When you make a purchase, I assume you WANT it verified that it's you using your card.  But if I'm really giving you something free, WHY would you need to "subscribe" for that?  Yeah, I know a thousand of you just said to yourself "oh, that's normal- no big deal".  And THAT is the problem.  It's so common people don't notice it.  But I have never thought that 'common' equals acceptable. No need for graphic examples.

Yesterday, I took one of the boys for a hair cut.  I generally don't do that, so I wasn't prepared to hear that yes, they have an opening but they didn't see where we had registered on line.  Wait... WHAT?@!  You cut hair.  For money.  And I have a boy who needs a hair cut.  And I have money. Seems simple.  SO I'll see you in 10 minutes, thank you no - I think I'll not 'register'.   When we got there, they want my phone number.  For what?  You gonna call me when you're ready for him?  We'll be sitting right over there :o  They need our full name.  How's that?  You can't cut the boy's hair without knowing the correct spelling of his full name and his phone number? OUT of control.  When I told them I was pretty sure SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE could cut hair acceptably without needing any of that information at all - and grabbed my jacket - suddenly one of the other girls thought that was not a problem, her scissors apparently work just fine without talking at all ;) She cut his hair, got the store paid and a decent tip to boot.

A couple people there looked at their shoes a bit.  That was a "why don't the guy just tell em a phone number' look if ever there was one.  Some reading this SHOULD BE rolling their eyes by now.  Here's an idea - if I don't give you the number, that's kind of an indication that I don't want a call. No flyers.  No sales pitch or notice of discounts.  If she wants to date me, she should just say that, right? And then my number wouldn't be going in your computer anyway ...

Now, this is not even tip of the iceberg view of how out of control it has become.  Think you aren't being "tracked"?  We replaced windows at the house -- and less than a month later we got "sale" flyers from "window treatment" vendors.  (HINT:  building permits are public record).

The kid looks good - that girl has cut hair more than once before.  But if they call, tweet, text, or tango either of us, they won't have to worry about doing it again.  Oh, yeah -- you don't need his name or phone number to get it :o

On my site you can download patterns and information and never even tell me you were there, much less your name, phone number, child's name and age, ... any of that.  Can't remember what you did with it?  No trouble - go download it again. And you can purchase something as 'guest'.  Even if you do decide to create an account, you're never contacted.  You get a notice that your payment was completed, you get another later with a tracking number.  If we talk again after that, it's because YOU CHOSE to contact us.

Edited by JLSleather

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5 hours ago, JLSleather said:

When we got there, they want my phone number.  For what? 

Yeah, no.  Miffs me too.  I buy something at the store, they want my number.  Why?  I tell the cashier I don't have one.  Confuses the crap out of them.  "You don't have a phone??!"  Seriously, I need a phone to buy a screwdriver?  Are you kidding me?  And yeah, everyone just hands it over like no problem.  What no one gets is the store buys info from the credit card company crossed with info from the cell phone, and use it for "targeted advertising" along with other things.  No thanks, my info is not for you to buy and sell.  Enough folks do it to me already without my consent.

Get to the tax office to register a car title after moving.  They want a phone number, the form says "optional."  So I leave it.  Person at the computer doesn't know what to do, has to get a manager, who insists.  I say, hey, it says optional, I don't have a number for you.  She says "You don't have a friend's number you can give me?"  I'm like, really?  I should just be giving out my friend's phone numbers without their permission to random places?  She says "How are we supposed to contact you if there's a problem?" and "we can't take a check with out a phone number."  Uhm, you had no problem sending this bill to me in the mail, right? Contact me that way.  And here's some cash.  They finally relented, but decided they needed to see the original wedding certificate.  Are you kidding.

YinTx

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6 hours ago, JLSleather said:

I can't be the only one left ....

There's one here in the UK too...

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1 hour ago, YinTx said:

 Seriously, I need a phone to buy a screwdriver?  Are you kidding me?  And yeah, everyone just hands it over like no problem.

Since you like a bit o' humor.. this actually happened.  Been prolly 15 years ago.. still remember.  I got a bill for an hospital visit for my son.  It was marked something like "pay this now or we'll send two big guys with ball bats.. final final notice..." But i had never got a FIRST notice, so I called em.  Interesting that this hospital is about 4 hours away.  WHY nobody call me at the phone number on the bill, make sure I'm getting it?

So the gal says it was months ago, and we're a bit mad you haven't paid it.  Says she been sending me bills for months.  So I said well my address aint changed, so why i git THIS one but no others? ANYWAY, that IS my name and address, and that IS my son, so just tell me what its for and we'll just do this.  Says it's for emergency room visit.  SO now I'm REALLY confused, cuz if it's an emergency, WHY would I go to a hospital 4 hours away?@!

But she don't wanna tell me what the bill is FOR, what they actually DID.  So I give her a VISA number, hear her entering it in.  She says ok- that went through... thanks, blahblah.. SO I said agin now tell me what that's for.  ANd she re-starts her "privacy laws".. kaint tell you ... hippa poopa... spiel. And how she can't give that out over the phone cuz she has no way of verifying that it's really me.  So I SAID.. if you can't verify yer talkin ta Jeff, then you need to put that charge BACK ON JEFFS CARD until you verify it was him authorizing it.

She decided there really was no trouble giving me the information.

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9 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

But she don't wanna tell me what the bill is FOR, what they actually DID.

This day and age, I'd be figuring it was a fishing call looking for details to make false charges.  Unless I was really sure that was the hospital's phone number that I had just called, and I knew already what the service was for.

No one has problems charging money, but when the situation is reversed... they can't say nuthin cuz of company policy etc.  Bogus.

Personally, pay me check, cash or paypal.  I don't want the liability of having your personal info, thanks.  If I need your number to call when your item is done, that's about all I'll ask for.

YinTx

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