View Full Version : dot.com
11-30-2000, 08:24 PM
I am sure this has all been covered somewhere but I couldnt find it. So, please bear with me.
What is the advantage of having a dot.com vs using a page on aol.com or even artist nation?
This is essentially 3 different options the way I view it.
12-02-2000, 01:11 PM
I can offer an opinion, but it comes from the perspective of a computer geek rather than an artist selling their work.
Page on AOL or other provider - You are the proverbial needle in a haystack. No one will EVER find your site by chance. It's entirely up to you to do the work of getting your site listed and ranked high in search engines and linked to by other sites' pages. More than likely the provider will place limits on storage space and bandwidth that will make you want to move on if you start getting visitors. Then of course, your listings and links are outdated and people think you've vansished. A small page is probably free with your internet service though.
Artist nation and such - There are several of these that provide free space, fee space, or percentage of sales space. You'll still want to do the work to get your pages linked to and listed for best results, but odds are search engines are already spidering the site and will find you eventually. With a listing like this you'll likely get lot's of visits from people who came to see other's work and then stumbled across yours while browsing or searching the site.
.com - Cost of maintaining even a small site used to be high, but isn't anymore with all the hosting services around. It's great if you're well known and can get your name or a name people will be drawn to or try at random (next to impossible). You still face all the listing and linking problems that you would with an aol page. One advantage over the aol page, or an artist nation type site, is that you control your destiny. If your hosting service closes shop, changes hands, changes names, charges more, etc. you just move to a different one. Your (hopefully) established presence is not going to disappear or be bought or sold out from under you unless you allow it. Links and listings won't be broken unless you break them.
I'd think of it this way if you're into this for the business. AOL - You're the deep back country art studio who only gets visits by word of mouth. .com - You're the art studio in a small building of your own somewhere in a large city. Occassionally people will drive by and drop in on a whim, but most will still be word of mouth. ArtistNation - You've set your studio up in an art mall. Everyone that comes to see anyone there may walk by your studio, see a window dsiplay, and come in. Together you attract business for each other.
I could say a lot more, but there are so many issues just from my point of view. Perhaps this will get the ball rolling.
12-02-2000, 01:38 PM
Ok, I will say one thing more http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
AOl - You determine appearance and functionality of the site. You WILL be severely limited on what you can do if you need scripting or secure pages for ordering, billing, and data storage.
.com - Everything is up to you and, if you have the money and/or time, you can do anything that can be done on the web.
Artistnation, others - You may not have complete control of appearance but have to follow guidlines. You need less skill and knowledge because, strict guidlines or not, most help you set up your pages to some degree. All the business aspects (ordering, billing, etc.) are typically handled by them or at least that option is often available to you.
12-02-2000, 02:26 PM
Actually, a small correction on ArtistNation - you do have complete control over the look, feel, structure, etc., of your site. We do offer templates which make it a bit easier to get started, but if you are proficient with HTML, you can do whatever you want.
BTW, we'll be rolling out a series of new templates soon - created by one of our moderators - stay tuned! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
12-02-2000, 03:50 PM
Haha, that's why I always try to say may or may not... I can always claim to have been generalizing when someone corrects me!!
I claim to have been generalizing http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
BTW - Templates are a great help both for the individuals involved and the site as a whole. I know individuality and creativity are things everyone wants to try and avoid suppressing, especially when dealing with artists and an artists site, but there is a lot to be said for some degree of consistency.
12-02-2000, 09:49 PM
Although I use redirection service which is free....I love to tell people that my site is www.chclements.com (http://www.chclements.com)
It is easy for them to remember because they know me and it gives my site a professional sound. It also says...hey! I'm serious about being online!
(my site is maintained at artist nation where I have the control over the content)
12-02-2000, 09:52 PM
what redirection service?
12-03-2000, 12:32 AM
Wanderfast what a wonderful question! I certainly wish someone would respond to this also!
12-04-2000, 10:43 AM
There are redirection services you can buy. Basically you buy the domain name and then when people type it in or follow a link, it can take you somewhere else entirely (such as, say, CHC's Artistnation site).
However, something to keep in mind: as I understand it, many major search engines will NOT index a redirected URL. Also keep in mind that without your own .com, if you ever leave AOL (or whatever), then you'll lose your email address, everyone's links to you will be totally wrong, and so on. Don't risk losing touch with your audience!
What I do is, I have my own .com (a couple of them), and I ALSO have an ArtistNation site... AND other sites elsewhere. ArtistNation and all the other sites redirect you to my "real" website. So -- you have the advantage of possibly being found during an ArtistNation community search, but you don't have any of the disadvantages (like a long and complex URL when you want to send people directly to your site).
I can't even TELL you how convenient it is to tell people to just go to "beware of art .com" to see my work.
There's an additional factor -- you're going to be taken more seriously if you have your own .com... unfortunately that's just the way it works. Think of it as the most important piece of web-letterhead a business can have. It's kind of like having a good 1-800 number -- it might cost a bit, but it's convenient for your customers, easier to remember, and it emphasizes that you're serious about what you do.
The other aspect of being taken seriously is that you HAVE to have well-coded, well-designed webpages. So many pages I see are just incredibly busy and crowded, cramming lots of info onto one page... or they don't say when they were last updated, so your visitors have no idea whether you're REALLY going to respond when they drop you e-mail (or an order!).
-=- Jen "1-800-www-.com" de la Cruz
Dangerbugs (http://www.BewareOfArt.com) and Digitalpics (http://www.Pixelscapes.com)
P.S.: By the way, I suggest Yahoo!Website services. $15 a month for your own domain. Plus e-mail addresses, and some really convenient online tools. Not bad at all. http://website.yahoo.com
[This message has been edited by pixelscapes (edited December 04, 2000).]
12-04-2000, 05:49 PM
Ditto all the above.
Also, it is easier, clearer and more attractive to view your own domain name on a business card than to see the lengthy address provided by AOL & others and easier to say a quick domain name in a conversation.
Whenever you change your web host, your .com, .net (or any one of the new extentions .pro, etc.) your web address does not change. If you move your site from AOL you have to re-submit your site all over again to search engines/directories, which is an enormous task especially if you do it yourself.
Paintings by L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com)
Workshops for 2001 (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops)
01-20-2001, 11:12 AM
I also use my .com name simply because it's easier to give out and remember (and put on business cards!) It only cost about $35 for 2 years and the index page is free. My site is actual on a free Tripod server. My email is seperate (excite). None are directly on my ISP because I travel too much and need remote access to everything. My metatags, webrings, and everything are on my main Tripod index page and that's the one I submit for all my marketing. ALWAYS KEEP A COPY OF YOUR ENTIRE WEBSITE! All pages, all images, all folders, everything, in case you do need to switch providers.
I bought Microsoft's Frontpage software and found it to be fairly easy to use. I have been using the free site places like tripod and geocities but you guys have got my interest up in a dot com. I haven't been getting much response to my pages and now I know more about it, thanks.
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