Create a Business Website: Integrating Web Applications for Your Design Business

Finding the Best Website Platform

At Vintage Renewal, learning how to create a website that worked for me was no easy task.  As an indie redesigner, it’s up to me to create all the inventory, write up great descriptions, create my brand identity and market that whole package to the world via the Internet and other creative avenues.  
 
The Internet is my number one venue for promotion.  Thanks to the web, people all over the world have discovered Vintage Renewal’s design aesthetic.   I firmly believe that if you create a unique and interesting product and create a business website around it, people will find you!  This is no one-step process, and you should be prepared to list your work in as many appropriate places online that you can.  There are tons of free ways to do that via Tumblr, Flicker, Twitter and Facebook.  Don’t forget the importance of tagging and creating interesting descriptions for your work when you create a business website.
 
Once you get those pictures and interest out there into the universe, you’d better have a pretty fantastic website to back it up and give people the chance to buy from you.  
 
Wondering how to create a website? Well, it was heaven sent when I stumbled across IndieMade.  It helps if you're a bit of a DIY girl and guy, but the assistance is there when you need it.  It is very self-explanatory and you will be so proud that you can create a business website for a nominal fee each month.
 
There are a lot of different aspects of my business that I wasn’t able to showcase through other web templates and even with the use of a web designer that I thought would solve all my web dilemmas.    If you are like me and are very determined to create a business website that looks professional, but you do not have a large budget, you will find all your tools here at IndieMade. 
 

How to Use IndieMade Features - Calendar, News, Blog, Gallery and Store

I have created a quarterly Pop+Up Eco-Boutique that will expand and travel across the country eventually and it was very important for me to have an events calendar on my website where people could follow my agenda.  It’s easy as a snap to create events on IndieMade.  
 
 
 Vintage Renewal Calendar of Events for Boutique Shows 
 
If my company gets press in the news, you better believe that I want to share it with my friends and clients online.  You can easily create a news page on IndieMade to show all your best features like this. 
 
 
 National Press received by ReadyMade Mag 
 
Another area that I was very much dropping the ball on when figuring out how to create a website was building my own blog into the site.  Sure, I used Tumblr and did create a small following.  The only problem with that route was that I didn’t like that people had to click off my website to view it.  It’s so important to keep your captive audience on your site and to have all these features under one domain.  Now that is possible with one of the basic features at IndieMade.  Here is an snapshot of mine:
 
 
Pic of vintagerenewal blog with sofa
 
 
Since I am basically a one-woman show with a teeny bit of part-time help, I can only make a certain amount of current inventory.  I couldn’t possibly show the range of my work without a gallery posting my previously sold pieces.  Thank goodness for this gallery feature on IndieMade, which I have renamed as my “Sold Items” on the site.  It’s a wonderful way to captivate the people that are interested in more than you have available at the moment.  This feature could very much lead to custom orders based on aesthetics similar to that of your previous pieces.  
 
 
Images of Redesigned Vintage Chairs
 
The store is a fantastic feature that allows me to create my own inventory number for tracking and to add multiple angle shots of each piece, along with a great lengthy description and tag words.
 
Image of Redesigned Vintage Chair
 
 

Integrating and Embedding other Web Applications into IndieMade

If you feel limited by some of the features instantly available on IndieMade when you create a business website, IndieMade has made it very easy to utilize other web tools and applications for your business.  Don’t be afraid to play around until you get the best results.  Again: ask, ask, ask, if you can’t figure it out yourself. IndieMade is there to help you.
 
For example, I have made a portfolio page with photobucket.com for my indiemade.com site:
 
 
 
 
I have also created a slideshow of my previous Pop+Up Eco-Boutiques slide show with photobucket.com and place them on my IndieMade site:
 
 
Photobucket Slide Show of Vintage Renewal
 
I felt like I lost a lot of traffic on my previous website, but not having the ability to capture names on a mailing list.  I found a form that was already made on wufoo.com and used it on my site.  This site lets you create up to three forms for free!  Again, each site will have a different set of instructions, but I figured them all out my reading the directions, followed by a number of questions to the company providing the service and bingo!   I got what I wanted.  
      
 
                Pic of Using Woofu Forms on IndieMade                
      
 
My most recent discovery was a website called issuu.com that is a very professional way to create an online magazine, catalog or lookbook.  It was very easy to copy the source code on the page on issuu.com and then embed it back to my IndieMade site:
 
      
 Image of Using Issuu on IndieMade     
 
This is what it looked like on the back end while I was creating it:
  
   Image of IndieMade Dashboard While Embedding Woofu on Website     
 
Basically, I am thrilled to report that I am in LOVE with IndieMade.  If you want to create a business website, are on a tight budget, and have $12.95 a month, then you are in luck!  All you need is some perseverance to begin exploring and starting with the websites that I have mentioned above and you can learn how to create a website for your business in no time at all.  You can also have a killer site without using any of those outside sites too.  Indiemade.com has it all and it’s super flexible and always changing to meet our needs.
 
Give them a shot!  Check out what I’ve done at Vintage Renewal.  Another key feature is that I could use my own domain name and still have all these customized goodness with IndieMade.
 
Thanks for reading and I hope I have given you some great ideas on how to create a business website too!
 
Xo
Jeanne Connolly
Indie Redesigner
Vintage Renewal
Vintagerenewal.com
Free eBook

How To Build an Artist Website

Sign up for our newsletter and get the book How to Build an Artist Website for free!

Resource category 

Comments

susan

Just a heads up, the website to create a sign-up form is called www.wufoo.com the one mentioned in the article has a typo and leads to a dating site (woofu.com)

Axel McCarthy

I edited this resource on the author's behalf -- thanks so much for pointing that out, Susan.

Gunilla Wachtel

Great article with great advice :). The one link for issuu.com is broken though, it leads to issue/ (no .com).

Jeanne

Thank you Gunilla! We will get that updated asap.

Sallianne

Great article. Truly enjoy the transparency and honesty.
s

Jeanne

Thank you so much Sallianne!  I appreciate that you took the time to read this post and I'm so glad that it was helpful to you!  

Mel Orr

You site is inspirational. One question, on your blog page & landing page http://www.vintagerenewal.com/, you have added ads on the right hand side and across the bottom. I really need to incorporate this option. Can you share how you did it! Thanks : ) Melinda Orr

Jeanne Connolly

Thank you so much for your comment! The feature you are asking about is an upgrade feature that I suggested to IndieMade. It's in a test phase and hasn't been rolled out to the public yet. With more requests like yours, I am sure that will be sooner than later! I would absolutely send a note to the help desk letting them know that you are interested when, in fact, it does roll out. I am so glad you like it! I have been very pleased with it too. IndieMade is my favorite! Please keep us in the loop on all your questions. The resource pages are a fabulous place to really learn how to maximize your site.

Jenna

Hi, how did you make the newsletter signup form on your homepage? I have a Mailchimp form set up on its own page, but I really like how this form looks! Thanks, Jenna

Jessica Horvath

Hi Jenna

Thanks for the compliment! The appearance of the form was made by our web designer using our own CSS. I believe MailChimp lets you add your own CSS to their webform. Here's their info: http://kb.mailchimp.com/lists/signup-forms/advanced-form-customization

Let us know if you think we can help you out with anything! You can get in touch by email at support@indiemade.com.

Hope you have a great day :)

Jessica

Add new comment

If you need customer support, open a ticket for fastest response times.