Building a website can be fun and at the same time it can be very frustrating. There are several ways to go about it. The main thing is to pick a way and get started. Make sure you pick a program or hosting company that has very good tech support. Are they available everyday ? or just during the week ? And dont' forget to print out your users manual (mine was 400 pages or so, so I double sided it) so you can look in your manual WHILE you are working on your website (This was very helpful for me). I use Yahoo web hosting and you can get started on a very small budget. They have several plans depending on what you want to do and they have a good point and click program that is easy to use. The charges are monthly, what more could you ask for ?
The great part about having a website is having a store that anyone can find. Your store is floating in space and anyone can go there at any time.
The downside is that there are so many websites out there that yours might be hard for people to find. But nothing worth while is easy. One thing at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day, and unless you are only offering a few items your website wont be either. If you are offering a LOT of different kinds of items like me, you will want to be hands on. You will need to learn how to take a good picture (I am working on this all the time) EBay has some very good how to help. You will also need to look at other websites to get an idea of the information you will need to provide to your audience or customers. Try to be precise: What size is it, what is it made out of, and by who, how many colors, is it a custom item ? so on.
A very important factor will be your website name. Try to pick something either related to what you are selling or something catchy. Don't use hyphens or any other punctuations. It needs to be something easy for your customers to remember. My first website had a hyphen... whoops ! After I realized what I had done, I also found out that once you put a website up you cant just change the name of it, so I had to do it all over.... I am no pro by any means. I am sharing my experiences so that hopefully it will help other people avoid some of the obstacles I came across.
If you like doing everything yourself and want to be able to update your website ANYTIME you want to, I suggest you do it yourself. If you don't want to do it, then pay someone to do it for you. Keep in mind that every time you need to make a change you will need to go to this person and ask them to do it.
I make changes on mine daily.
After having a website for 3 years I have learned a little. But there is so much more to learn. I sell all kinds of different items on my site, so it works for me to do it myself. And I LOVE a challenge ! So there.
The hard part is getting sales. That is a whole other can of worms.
One helpful avenue is "dummy" books. I love dummy books and you can easily order them at Amazon.com. I am learning more about pay-per-click advertising and search marketing and search engine optimization. But slowly otherwise for me it wont sink in.
I don't know what I would do without Face book, EBay, Twitter and Etsy.com. Most of my items are handmade. Etsy is a great place to sell handmade creations and it is well known.
Every positive step you take will lead you to your dreams. We'll talk a little about advertising on the web next time it's a doozie !
You are Not Alone ! Do what makes your heart happy !