My own website

I’m thinking of starting my own website for sales and figure a lot of you guys probably already have your own. I’ve done some research already and appears to be the best choice for building my own site. I don’t want anything to do with Etsy, I know that. Any ideas, suggestions, insights, referrals, warnings, whatevers for me?

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My biggest issue with my own website was being in charge of my own advertising. It’s work to direct traffic your way. I ended up shutting mine down because i didn’t have the time (or patience) to commit to it with all the other things i had to stay on top of.

I know some people who have a small shop on etsy simply to direct traffic to their website. They’ll have a couple small, but popular items on etsy, and their shop banner will have their website info for their full inventory.

I’m not a fan of etsy, but for the regular consumer, it’s a trusted way for people to buy “handmade,” so you’ll get alot of exposure if you can work your way into the search algorithm.

I get directed by pinterest alot to random websites i would not have otherwise gone to, so depending on your product, that might be a way to reach my demographic.

Good luck!


I find the help available on WordPress to be better than Wix - mostly because it’s been around 20 years longer, but if Wix speaks to you - then definitely use it! They’re all trying to do the same thing in slightly different ways :slight_smile:

Ditto to what @CMadok said of advertising. That’s a job, but if you have those skills I 100% recommend a website over Etsy or any other aggragator!

BTW, for hosting your site can I recommend They are brilliant. They don’t nickle and dime like GoDaddy and its ilk do, plus you never have to worry about accidently forgetting to renew your URL. I can give you a referral URL if you want, but even without getting anything out of it I recommend them constantly!


I know people moan about Etsy fees, but seriously 20% cut on any sale when they do all the marketing, selling, payment handling etc. That is a good deal. I make 5 figures a year on etsy, don’t ignore it out of prejudice.

If you add your own marketing skills on top of that (I assume you have them, otherwise your own website is going nowhere) you should be able to make a lot of money through etsy.


These are all amazing comments to my question. Keep 'em coming, please.


I am about ready to bail on my Etsy site. At the start, there was not a lot of folks there and everything was handmade. Now they have everything for the DIY and actual finished work with value there is very much less, the biggest sellers being things like boxes selling for less than the cost of the wood, so certainly not able to sell high-value finished products. Folks sell the design fairly regularly but I am putting that effort into the Glowforge catalog.


It’s less the fees and more things like Etsy freezing your income for months at a time with no explanation beyond “something looked questionable” that’s driven the folks I know off. It generally seems to hit people who are selling higher value actually handmade stuff, rather than lots of smaller things. The irony being that used to be the majority of their customers, until they started letting mass market stuff in.

Thrilled to hear of someone who hasn’t run into that! Happy people don’t tend to talk about it.


I will always tell folks to have their own website and email list, even if it’s simple. If you want to add Etsy on top of that for marketing and/or ease of sales, cool. Owning your own stuff is vital. If Etsy kills your account, you’ll still have whatever traffic your site has been garnering over time and whoever joins your email list. You can offer special sales and previews to your newsletter list to entice people.

Do not put all your eggs in someone else’s basket.

I host on Wordpress, which I love, but it’s not always the easiest option. I’ve heard good things about Wix in terms of simplicity.


This site has changed a lot over the years: Portfolio I have been there so long I actually got Dragon as a screen name! I have mostly referenced it when looking for jobs, but they have become much more sophisticated selling designers all over the world.


Oh I’ve had that and I’ve had my shop closed down. You certainly have to go into it with your eyes open. I run multiple shops, partly to protect myself and partly because they sell quite different things with different branding.

And to ChristyM’s comment - yes you should absolutely be building your own lists (carefully so you don’t breach T&Cs.


RBTD do you mean Wix or Etsy?

I would add, there is no need to restrict yourself to one channel, use facebook, etsy, amazon, folksy, etc etc. Once you’ve done the prep work for one you’ve pretty much done it for all. Each of these marketplaces has their own niche and in my experience products which sell on one may not sell on another and vice versa.

Remember, all those third party platforms have a MUCH bigger reach than you ever will.

You might want to search for “Build a glowforge business” on Etsy or amazon. cough


The link has the answer. Neither one. Its called Caroflot and was originally a place to park your portfolio but has grown a lot over the years, and my focus has changed several times as well.


I am an author, so I sell books, not laser designs.
In the US, the seller is responsible for collecting state and local sales tax from the buyer and then sending that revenue to the proper authorities. 50 states plus something like 6000 localities. I can’t keep up with that. I have my own website, but I only sell through Amazon and Etsy because they deal with the tax.


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