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Jewelry Designer Line Microsites

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This is the 3rd in a series of Daily Golden Nuggets explaining the good and the bad techniques of Designer Line pages on your jewelry website.

As a recap, a "Designer Line Page" is usually a single web page on your site that's dedicated to a single jewelry designer. They are commonly used as landing pages since they (should) include background information about the designer, and general details about the type of jewelry styles that designer creates. The designer page should also have a few high quality photos.

Some jewelers will link a designer line page to the designer's website, but in the past two days we've given you plenty of reasons why that's a bad idea.

Some time in 2008 we started seeing internet savvy designers create stand alone microsites that could be added to a jeweler's website. In this context we're referring to a "microsite" as any self contained website that shows products and product information, but doesn't necessarily show your store name or contain your store's contact information.

Many, perhaps even most, loose diamond dealers have the ability to create a customized microsite with your own markup and jewelry store name. Typically the diamond dealer will give you a script or HTML code to put on your website, which, when viewed in a browser, magically creates the microsite of loose diamonds to choose from. Actually it's not magic; it simply uses JavaScript or IFRAME code to seamlessly, and easily, make it work. And sometimes, depending on your website's structure, it's not so seamless.

Other designers, like Verraigo, give their retail jewelers full HTML websites including several product pages. This type of microsite usually requires fine tuning by your HTML programmer and then uploading via FTP to your website.

Let's consider both types: IFRAME version or the full HTML version.

IFRAME - This is usually easy to set up on your website once the designer configures all your settings. Many content management systems will allow easy insert of the IFRAME code. The benefit to this type of microsite is that it actually still looks like your website. Specifically, your website's logo and navigation is still usable. When a user is finished browsing the designer IFRAME they can easily click somewhere else in your site. A detractor is the IFRAME may create a horizontal or internal vertical scrollbar. This is indicative of an IFRAME not made to the specific height and width of your website.

FULL HTML - This microsite type is difficult to set up because it will require technical knowledge. Your designer will give you a large Zip file with the entire microsite inside it. It will probably have HTML pages, JavaScripts, images, thumbnail images, and maybe even a Flash file. Typically you will need to edit the HTML files you want your store's name on the microsite. This type of microsite will need to coexist on your website with your current site, and with your content management system. This type of microsite is useless to you if you don't have FTP access to your web server.

Another problem we usually see with FULL HTML microsites is that they have self-contained navigation. The jewelry designer doesn't usually include a "Home" or "Return to Jones Jewelers Website" link anywhere in that self-contained navigation.

So what type of microsite should you choose if you're given a chance? It all depends.

The IFRAME version might require a yearly commitment to sales, or a monthly service fee. The FULL HTML version is yours forever once you set it up.

The IFRAME version doesn't use any website resources because the designer is taking care of that. The FULL HTML version adds a little extra work to your website, and uses part of your monthly bandwidth.

Regardless what you choose your customers will appreciate the extra product information on your website. In the end you need to weigh the technical setup difficulties, any long term costs, and what type of user experience you want your customers to have.
AT: 04/10/2012 11:41:07 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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