Putting Your Art on the Web

Getting Started
Design Issues
Appendix (hardware and costs)
PDF of handout
The Computer Workshop

Appendix: Hardware, Costs and Related Issues

  • Cheapest is the "free" space you have as part of your ISP dialup account (about $20/month -- you may want to use a forwarding service to this, see below). Be sure your ISP allows your use: most, but not all, allow listing business information but not actual sales on a "personal" site. If you don't have an ISP, my clients have had good luck with the local ISPs: Seanet, Blarg, Nwlink. For those who travel, ATT Worldnet works well (but ATT cable is a mess at the moment).

  • If you have e-mail through work and don't need a dial-up, you might select a separate web host: for example www.hostsave.com is $6.95/month plus $35 one-time setup fee and prices go up from there.

If you want to take money:

  • Commercial site as part of your dial up account. ($30 to $70 to ....)

  • Separate commercial site with shopping cart. $19.95 on up. Remember this is in addition to the monthly dial-up fee your ISP charges to give you access to the internet.

  • Hosted mall: Ebay storefront ($9.95/month plus lots of little fees that seem to add up quickly), Yahoo ($49.95/month for hosting, $0.10 per item per month, 0.5% transaction fee on all transactions, and 3.5% revenue share on transactions that originate on the Yahoo! Network; no startup fee and you can cancel whenever you want.). Finding all the fees seems difficult: keep your eyes open here.

To take credit cards you need an on-line merchant account; some hosted malls include this, most commercial sites from ISPs don't. www.westhost.com is $19.95/month for the site and $30/month plus 2.29% per transaction for an on-line merchant account plus $195 in set-up fees. They submit and validate the card charges and the payment can be automatically deposited to your bank account.

www.gateway.com is $19.95 for a 10 item store (90 day free trial is advertised). This uses credit card capture: you get the card # and process it through your normal credit card merchant account. If you don't have one, fees are about $30 per month and 1.5 to 7%, depending on volume (those of you doing street fairs may know more about cheap sources for merchant accounts than I).

www. paypal.com and www.kagi.com are two ways to avoid monthly merchant account fees: They charge a higher per transaction fee but no monthly fee. You send your users to the site to make payment. Pay pal is widely used by auction buyers and noted for ease of use and integrity (2.9% +$0.30 fee). Kagi is also well reputed and used by many shareware vendors. Kagi does a good job of returning your users to your site after payment. Their per transaction charge is $2.50 plus a variable percentage. Normal payment to you is a monthly check. See the sites for more info.

Getting a name:

A domain name is easier to remember and remains yours even if your ISP changes.

If you get a commercial account, domain registration is usually included. If you are trying to cut your costs, use domain forwarding: Domain Direct (www.domaindirect.com and there are many other such services) can tell you if your chosen name is available and register it for you if you wish: they will provide the two name servers required to register a name and they will forward all requests for that name site to wherever you tell them; they will also forward 5 different e-mails (about $35 per year). This is what I do to be www.computer-workshop.com instead of workshop.home.mindspring.com (To find the owner of an existing name see www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois).

Getting Started
(hardware and costs)

A talk given on 1/12/02 to the Contemporary QuiltArts Association of Seattle by Karen Seymour, The Computer Workshop

Copyright 2002, Karen Seymour