So, You Want to Start a Website?
Have you ever thought about building a website? It seems like everyone is online these days. Call me crazy, but this is what I've been doing for a year and a half. Here's how my website Picklebilly began and how it has evolved. Put on your seatbelt!
I fell in love with pickleball and subsequently decided to build a website. I had just retired from 23 years of teaching. Being "retired" but not "tired," I wanted to create an online way for pickleball players to connect with each other. Despite having zero background in online e-commerce or in the art of webpage development, I plowed forward like I knew what I was doing.
My vision was to create a website where pickleball players create a profile and can use this information to connect, to offer hosted housing, and to promote travel to new locales. This is a fairly complicated site as it allows members to interact as well as to create personal profiles and housing profiles. The cost for a developer to create a professional website with all the bells and whistles: $100,000. When I heard this, I fell off my chair! Through negotiations and scaling down my dream site, I was able to develop the site for about 1/10th of this amount.
Picklebilly was officially launched in February of 2020. I am the first to say the site is far from perfect. There's so much I would like to add if I had unlimited revenue, but it's a start. On a positive note, we now have approximately 300 members. I write blogs on a wide range of topics, interview people from varied backgrounds, and the USAPA is adding Picklebilly as a hosted housing option for the upcoming west region tournament in May of 2021. Yay!
It's been an expensive endeavor. To pay forPicklebilly, I initially planned to charge a yearly fee and sell advertising. With Covid and other logistics, I ultimately kept Picklebilly free to join. The cost issue remained, and I needed to find a way to pay for all of this. (After all, I do want to stay married to my wonderfully supportive husband :)
Thus began phase #2 of Picklebilly which is an online store. I have just launched www.picklebilly.net. This has been a whole other process. I have learned so much about setting shipping rates, inputting products, and forming alliances with retailers. I have enjoyed creating the product collection: lovely clothing, paddles, balls, jewelry, hemp supplements, visors, and even pickleball trips! I have curated over 1,000 products and am proud of how it has turned out. I hope Picklebilly members who need to purchase pickleball items will support the store and buy their pickleball "merch" from us at www.picklebilly.net. This will help pay for the website and will help to make www.picklebilly.com the best it can be.
Without further ado, I invite you to check it out! Let me know your thoughts, or if there's a product you'd like me to add. I welcome your input. Personally, I love the colors and design. You'll enjoy seeing players from our local courts on the landing page. With the huge variety of inventory, there's sure to be something for that special pickleball friend on your shopping list.
Thanks for reading this article on Picklebilly.com, a pickleball community dedicated to growing pickleball connections worldwide. Please share so others can enjoy, and, as always, Happy Pickling!