I've been debating for a few weeks about my jewelry business. I still love to make jewelry and selling is just a nice byproduct of doing something I love. It's not my favorite part of having my own business though. Selling can be a huge stress.
And as much fun as having my own website was, I hadn't been updating it often for the past several months. Nor had I really made a lot of jewelry. My site had gotten quite a good Google ranking, which also meant that I got tons of Spam and people e-mailing me for links. My hits weren't outstanding though and although I enjoy having a site of "my own" it was a huge stress to have to do the SSL certificate and hosting issues.
Well, God works in mysterious ways.
Yesterday afternoon I noticed that I wasn't getting any e-mails to my google account. Which is odd because at the very least I normally get spam messages every hour. Still nothing today when I got up and I know that is wrong because I have several standard e-mails that I subscribe to.
I just read a message from my website developer and I wish I could fly out to her and bring her chocolate or something.
A host server crashed and everything is gone. Nothing can be recovered.
I'm extremely bad at backing things up and have no idea if my site was stored somewhere else. So the decision as to whether or not I should just go to Etsy or if I should keep my current site up has been made for me.
I am not closing my site entirely. I'm going to have a front page of sorts at www.castocreations.com but my shopping cart will no longer be separate and on my own. This means I can cancel my merchant account and save at least $20 to $50 in fees (sometimes more) each month. I'll still have paypal and Etsy fees but it really seems to even out. Not to mention the stress that I'll be able to reduce from worrying about people's cards going through - and having to run the cards.
Even better - no more SSL certificate needed!!! Woohoo!!! =)
The main drawback is not having the ability to accept credit cards at shows. I may keep my merchant account until after my work show this November.
So if you're searching for my site...it's dead at the moment. I'll be sending out a newsletter soon with all the new details. I'm actually relieved. All my new jewelry designs will now be posted for sale to my Etsy shop and my Etsy shop alone. You'll be able to purchase items through my shop but will have to create an Etsy account and pay through paypal. You don't have to have a Paypal account to pay though - they allow you to use your credit card without creating a new account.
I'm really surprised at my non freaking out reaction right now. Maybe it's all the sugar from my fair food. That's a new post. =)