If you are looking for a more personalized website other than an onlinestore (such as Etsy and others like it), you will want to look into starting a blog.
Blogging has changed dramatically over the last years. Whereas, blogs were originally used for sharing personal information, they are now being developed and maintained for a number of business reasons – including selling and marketing products! Over the last years, I have devoted more of my time to developing and maintaining blogs (like this one) than putting up websites. Why? Because blogs offer so much more flexibility than most websites; they are easy to use; they are cost-effective (often FREE!); and they are search engine friendly (meaning, you will get ranked faster and easier with a blog than a convention website).
My favorite blogging platform in WordPress. WordPress uses so many options to customize, monetize and use for your blog/website than any other blogging platform. In WordPress, you can add your own picture gallery, top level pages, newsletter sign up boxes, links to your twitter or etsy page and numerous other features through the various plug-ins that are available to WordPress users.
Selling to Gifts Shops blog (that you are reading from now) uses a simple, but free theme called ‘Magazine’. I was able to format the blog to contain two side bars which contain sources of information that I added to the template. Both are WordPress blogs and were designed using different themes and options based on the needs of each of my niche markets.
Okay, back to using a blog to help sell your crafts or products! Did you know that there are hundreds and maybe thousands of people who would be interested in hearing about your craft? Or how your started your business? Or how you have supported your dreams through your professional crafting? Or maybe, you have met a potential buyer (retail or wholesale) who is interested in seeing more of your work. You can showcase all of this information simply and easily on a blog. Why a blog rather than a website? Because it is less expensive and easier to maintain than a standard website. And if you post regularly to your blog, the search engines (who are always looking for new content) will index your site faster than a standard website!