Build a Website

BUILD YOUR WEBSITE THE EASY WAY

So, you want a website for your soap business but have no idea how to do it.  If you have no experience with creating websites, there are a lot of drop and drag methods for building a website in
very little time.  It’s simply a matter of writing your text, selecting colors and clicking on pictures on your computer.
Below is a short video showing how easy it is to building your own
website on Bizland.com. We can’t give you any other recommendations for web hosts because we’ve been using Bizland to build all of our websites since 1999. At the present time, we have soapbytheloaf.com, aromagregory.com, gregoryleewhite.com, and royhamiltononline.com hosted on the Bizland servers.  They are extremely affordable, have good customer support and a very easy to understand interface for performing all sorts of tasks for your website.  Bizland also provides you with the opportunity to download and install Wordpress on your website, as an alternative to using the Drag and Drop Site Builder.  WordPress is usually used for blogs but more and more static websites have been using it for web design.


Drag & Drop Site Builder by BizLand

PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESCRIPTION

When it comes to building a website for your soap business, two of the most important things is
photography and excellent description.  Soaps are something that normally have to be picked up and smelled before a customer is willing to buy.  It is up to you to present to your customers virtual eye candy.  Look around the web at some of the best known soap websites. Most of the time you will find a
single photograph for each bar of soap, a simple photo with a white background and plenty of light.  This keeps the customers eyes focused on the products itself, its colors, the herbs that speckle the soap, the rustic edges of the bar the show it is handmade – all of these things create a mental “scent” in
the buyer’s mind.  Until scratch and sniff has been invented for the internet, good photographs are the best thing you can do for your website.  If you don’t own a camera, it is highly likely that you have a friend you can borrow one from – or, even a friend who will take the photos for you.  Remember, take
several pictures of the same bar of soap in an attempt to get the very best picture.  If none of them turn out, start over again.

Description goes hand-in-hand with your photographs.  The customer must be well informed about
the product and why they should buy your soap over the next company.  On our retail site, greenpergola.com, we point out that our soap are made ONLY with vegetable oils and real essential oils, stressing that they have no artificial fragrances. This means a lot for people who search for natural products.
Include a full ingredient list in your description and try to describe the scent.  You might even mention some of the benefits of the particular essential oils that are found in the soap.  Over time, collect testimonials from your customers about each of your products.  Include those testimonials on
your product page.

ONLINE SHOPPING CART

We have always used the shopping cart provided by Mal’s Ecommerce.After signing up for an account, you can easily start building BUY NOW or ADD TO CART buttons to your website.  This will allow customers to shop for your products on your website, check out when finished and provide you with their credit card information.Mals is easy to set up and best of all, FREE.  There is also a paid version that allows you the option to download all your current orders at once, along with the credit card info.  In the free version, the order is found on one page of the Malswebsite and the card information is found on another.  Mals does NOT, however, PROCESS credit cards – they are simply a shopping cart, a way for your customers to shop your website and give their credit card information. It is up to you to obtain a merchant account.  Or, Mals has a feature where you can turn on PAYPAL and accept payments that way.

CLEAR AND CLEAN DESIGN

Make it easy for your customers to buy from you.  There is nothing more frustrating than a website that has countless pages that describe the products and show glorious pictures, only to find out you have to go to ANOTHER page if you want to buy the product.  Do your customers a favor and put the shopping cart button on the same page as the product description.

Include a CONTACT US page.
Sometimes, customers just want to know there is a real person running the show.  If you still have a day job and can’t answer the phone all day, then say so in plain English. Something to the effect of – ‘ the best way to reach us is through email. Right now, we’re still working our 9 to 5 job and wrapping soaps and shipping orders in the evening ‘.  It shows that you’re human and customers like that.  Or, if you feel that isn’t professional enough, use a phone number with an answering machine or a cellphone with voicemail. And don’t forget to include your email address on your CONTACT US page.

Make the links of your website easy to understand and to the point.  If one page features your bath salts, just make the say BATH SALTS.  If there is more than one page of soaps, break up the pages in a logical fashion. You could go the alphabetical route but its also in fashion to break up the soaps by TYPE such as minty soaps, relaxing soaps, spicy soaps, etc.

By all means, whatever you do, write your own content for your website and take your own pictures.  I cannot stress this enough!  As I write this webpage, I still have an entire copyright complaint form to fill out where a fly-by-night blogger stole four pages of this very website and used it as their own!  Another site has stolen one of our pictures of the Garden Mint soap – they have to be officially notified as well.  So you see, webmasters CAN find out when you steal their articles, descriptions and pictures. You certainly don’t want to start your business off with the reputation of being a lazy thief.  Do your own work and it will pay off big time in the end.  The search engines LOVE original content, especially Google.

Youtube is a big source for learning web design.  Yes, there are many books out there on the subject but there’s nothing like someone actually showing you how to do something.  We hope this small tutorial on how to build your website helps you build your soap business.

Gregory

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