11.11: Site Anniversary Update

New-Site

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started the Big Cartel site. It’s been so fun to grow the characters and the store.

I started documenting things I’ve learned along the way starting in June, and even in these last five months I look back and it’s humbling and exciting to see how much I didn’t know, and still have yet to learn.

Why the update?

I decided to take on this overhaul of the site to coincide with this “anniversary,” and it’s required a lot of self-imposed hermitting during nights and on the weekends the past month (sorry, friends!). BigCartel was a great place to start and I highly recommend it if you are an illustrator/artist just starting to sell some things online and want something easy and free. However,I really wanted to create a proper place to house the characters and give it room to grow. I wanted more control over the site’s appearance and more tools, so it was time to look at the next step up.

I really wanted to create a proper place to house the characters and give it room to grow.

Which platform is right for me?

I did a lot of research on which platform to use for my site’s new home, looking at all the major contenders such as WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, BigCommerce, Volusion, etc. It came down to Shopify and Squarespace for me. Both had beautiful templates available, easy user interfaces, and the basic tools such as blog functionality. I would say Squarespace is a bit “cooler,” but I ended up going with the Shopify platform because it seemed to have an edge over Squarespace in e-commerce, and had a ton of add-on apps and plugins that seemed helpful.

Other thoughts

In this process, I was reminded how much I enjoy building websites. I realized I grew up drawing and building websites (in HTML on Geocities, for anyone who remembers that!). I built them for myself and friends before there was anything like Facebook or WordPress. I did it because it was fun for me, but I didn’t even think for a second of pursuing it as a career. Same goes for drawing. I think the path I went down led me to where I am today, so I don’t regret any of it. But it is interesting how it is has come back to this!

TL;DR Summary:  Thanks your for all your support, without it I certainly wouldn’t have the motivation to continue on with this story. I am so eternally grateful.

-MC

bigcartel

In memory of the little Big Cartel store 🙂

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