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The Business of Knife Making A forum dedicated to all aspects of running, managing and legal operational issues relating to the custom knife making and custom knife selling industry.

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  #1  
Old 05-19-2008, 05:29 PM
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Les George Les George is offline
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Buisness question #2 - Websites

What does a knife maker need to have or not have? Likes and dislikes about maker's sites?

I offer mine for critique and example...

www.georgeknives.com

Thanks all!

R/S


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  #2  
Old 05-19-2008, 11:28 PM
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You may be barkin' up a slick tree here Les. Knife makers are poor guys. All we have is dialup. As long as it loads fast we like it.

chiger
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2008, 06:35 AM
brucegodlesky brucegodlesky is offline
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hehehe Gotta agree with that Chiger.


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  #4  
Old 05-20-2008, 09:10 PM
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Come on chiger, none of these questions are for makers exclusively. Perhaps quite the opposite for this one. As makers we love to look at each others work, but it's customers that need to be able to use the site to find what they want.

Dial up went out with disco man....


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  #5  
Old 05-20-2008, 11:00 PM
MWallace MWallace is offline
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Les,

I'd like to make a few comments, but not as a knifemaker, more a kit maker, rehandler, wannabe. I do visit a lot of knifemakers sites, all of them I can find a link for in fact.

What I like to see/not see is:
  • Consistent navigation buttons. In the same location and on every page.
  • Proper rendering of the site on my computer, with my browser.
  • Some personal info from the maker, and a picture of himself.
  • A page of available knives, those that are for sale now.
  • A gallery of past work, and the prices they sold for.
  • Easy on the eyes, not too much contrast, i.e. black background and bright text.
  • Lot's of pictures, sorry guys, I have a fast connection.
  • No animated gifs or scrolling text.
  • No typos, oops, It just a personal thing with me I think (don't go scouring this post looking for them now).

I've visited your site and I like it. It doesn't render quite right using the Foxfire browser, but does using Safari (I'm using a Mac). On the "About Us" page the bottom middle photo shows up in the text, rather than under it. The navigation is consistent except on the R & D World Tour page. Some of the buttons are missing at the top.

Perhaps you didn't want specific input on your site but more general observations regarding content. If so, sorry......

That's all I have,
Mike
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2008, 09:28 AM
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Disco?

Les,

There you go. Mike hit the high points right on the head. An I didn't have to do a thing. It looks like Mike did the same research I did. That or he just has a dang good eye. Either way, his points all appear in the site development principles from my days in Computer Science classes.

Adding to Mike's list, page ranking and meta tag are a big topic of discussion among developers.

Below is the meta tags straight form you site.

meta name="keywords" content="George Knives Balisong Les George Custome Knives Knife Folder Fixed blade Custom Hand Made Hawaii"

Keywords should be separated by a comma. Custom not Custome, although adding common misspellings is a good ideal. And I would add hunting knives, hunting knife, skinning...well you get the picture.

Meta tags are the way search engine robots classify and direct users to your site. Put in everything you can think of that directly applies to your businesses.

Oh, and haven't you heard...disco is making a comeback. I still have dialup and can't get anything else, unless I'm willing to give up my first born.

The suppliers of satellite internet services estimate there or between 12 and 20 million potential rural customers willing to part with their first born. I read that 65% of rural and nearly 40% of all American homes still have dialup. I don't know how many people that is, but it seems like a lot of potential good old boy sales to alienate.

Mike's points about a gallery page with fast loading thumbnails that link to image pages and leaving out the bandwidth eating dancing bear animations address these customers. I know your site doesn't have that problem, but this post makes me think your about to do an overhaul.


chiger,
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2008, 02:45 PM
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Mike, Chiger, thanks guys, I am always fine tunning the web site. I just wanted to see what people though.

Mike, That is exactly the kinda feed back I was looking for! Thank you gents



Surely someone else had business questions.....


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  #8  
Old 05-25-2008, 05:48 AM
brucegodlesky brucegodlesky is offline
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Checking thru your stats page helps to see where the traffic is originating.


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  #9  
Old 05-26-2008, 01:52 PM
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You want to make it as easy as possible for folks to give you money.

Keep it simple, for navigation and for loading.


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  #10  
Old 05-28-2008, 12:14 AM
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1. UPDATE the site every once in a while!!!!!

There are knifemakers advertising knives they sold 10 years ago.

2. Have SOME sort of contact info on the site.

At least one maker I know took down his email because he was getting overwhelmed with spam, but he didn't put any other contact info out there. It's a waste of your money to have a site that doesn't put you in contact with your market.

3. Let somebody - ANYBODY - look over your site and check for stupid spelling mistakes or wrong information.


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Old 06-10-2008, 10:55 PM
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Some things that I feel are very important for Knifemaker websites....

1. The best quality photos possible, that are as realistic as possible. Potential buyers have only a photo on your site upon which to base their purchase decision. The photos MUST show off your work as vividly and as realistically as possible. Nothing will tick off a buyer more than seeing a photo of a knife on a website, purchasing it, and the knife not looking like what they saw. (limit the use of software enhancement on photos). Likewise, if the photos are poor quality, most people just go somewhere else.

2. Visitors to your website want to see YOU. By that I mean they want to get a feel for what kind of person you are. In custom knives, the customer is not just buying a knife...they are also buying a little piece of the maker, and that personal connection means a great deal. With that in mind, I often encourage makers to build and maintain their own websites. Yes, its time consuming, and there is a learning curve attached to it, but no website service knows how you wish to be represented better than you do. When I first wanted a website, I went to several outfits offering website building services. I don't know what the deal is, but they all seem to be "Sell, Sell, Sell....and hardcore at it. Thats not me, and certainly not how I wanted to be viewed. If your knives are good, they will almost sell themselves, with only a gently touch needed from you. Most of the services that I investigated are a nightmare when it comes to making any changes on your website.... "send us a disc, with what you want changed, and we'll have it posted within 3-5 days." In my experience, they get the changes wrong as much as they get them right.

3. Easy navigation. If folks can't find what they're looking for in short order, they will look elsewhere.

4. Freshen your website as often as it needs. Make any changes known on your homepage, where its readily viewable when your page pops up. In today's world, nobody will take the time to browse through an entire site (even if its only 3-4 pages) to see if any changes have taken place, so make it as easy and simple as possible for them.

5. Design something that uniquely speaks of you. For example, my website is a black background, with red highlights, which was very unique at the time I built it. Since that time I have had a number of other makers contact me, and ask if they could use the type of design that I chose. A few are now using it, but prior to that, many customers commented to me that they had forgotten what the name of my site was, but they found it again because they remembered the unique color scheme.

6. Finally: Professional.... each of us develops an "Internet Personality/Perception" just as we do in real life. Be professional in every aspect of your internet dealings. Whether that be your website, or on a forum such as this. That doesn't mean putting up a false front, but being respectful, sincere, and honest. We all make mistakes at times, so when you do, admit the mistake, apologize as required, and continue on course. Just as in person, your not going to like everyone you run into, and everyone is not going to like you, but being able to maintain a level of professionalism will be noticed by all.


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  #12  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:46 PM
Sabrerider Sabrerider is offline
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Yeah, these guys got it right. The one big thing to me is to be able to find what you are looking for quick. I look at a lot of knife maker sites and it's like pulling teeth to just find a sales price. Lots of good pictures but can't find out how to buy one. Gurrrrr!
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