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E-commerce website Template?

Discussion in 'Web Hosting' started by antboy, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. antboy

    antboy Newbie

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    Hi BHW!

    I'm going to jump into the online retail world this year and want to start a website. I don't know jack about HTML or how to build a website.

    I had a friend tell me that I could make my own website for $20, I was like "yeah but it won't look near as professional as if I just spent about $200 and got a template from a website like temp monster i'd prolly be better off".

    And yes I know, I could learn how to build my own but that takes alot of time AND even more to make it look and work professional.

    I would like to hear what you think is better, something custom or a pre-made template? $500 budget. I'm not looking for a wordpress solution, something more open source for a shopping cart.
     
  2. radarsurge

    radarsurge Regular Member Premium Member

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    For $500 you could have someone on Odesk design and code a website for you in whatever platform you choose. zencart is free, that may be a good starting point.
     
  3. Zapdos

    Zapdos Power Member

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    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    Ecommerce platform: $free http://www.prestashop.com/
    Theme: ~$60 http://themeforest.net/category/ecommerce/prestashop
    Hosting: $10-$20 month. Be sure to get one with a dedicated IP
    SSL cert: $50 http://www.rapidssl.com/
    Total 1st month: ~$130
    2nd+ : ~$10-$20

    I've tried Zencart, OScommerce, Cubecart, Magento, X-cart, Opencart, Ubercart (drupal plugin) and so far I'm liking Prestashop much more than everything else. Easy to use, easy to customize, easy to explain.

    Also, if you're just starting out then I'd not go with a custom theme. Get a premade and then start optimizing that.
     
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  4. antboy

    antboy Newbie

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    Thanks guys, sounds like experience talking.

    How is Prestashop with Black hat and white hat SEO??
     
  5. tnhomestead

    tnhomestead Regular Member

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    osCommerce, opencart and magento are all great solutions. I have 2 sites running osCommerce and several customers running opencart/magento and others. All are good choices, prestacart is just a fork of osCommerce and its nice too. For SSL look around can get an alpha ssl for 20 bucks. Hosting basic from 2.95 to 20 a month depending on hand holding/security/features. Avoid free hosting or unlimited hosting -- both can have limits and problems. Dedicated IP is usually 1 to 2 dollars a month, needed for the SSL.

    If you have never done anything, get a theme -- but make sure the ecommerce solution you use can handle the functionality you need. ie -- do you want real time shipping quotes from fedex, ups and usps? A lot of software doesnt have that built in. Check out the offered credit card solutions -- which do you want? Paypal, Skrill, 2co etc. Make sure the software has that plugin and you dont need to pay extra for it.

    All the carts can handle seo, make sure page titles/products are setup correctly.

    Good luck
     
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  6. Zapdos

    Zapdos Power Member

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    Doing "Black hat" on-site tactics stopped being viable around 2004.
    For white hat methods, it's great. If you have multiple languages it follows the guideline of having a separate directory. The URL rewrite is also customizable to fit nearly any setup you need.

    --
    Source? I couldn't find anything about that.


    --

    My opinions:

    For opencart, the problems I found were:
    - Lacks basic functionality. If you want to bulk import/export products you need to buy a module...
    - Themes are a mix of PHP and HTML. While it's not an issue for me, if you need to do basic edits it may become a hassle.
    - Premade themes are a bit lacking in taste I think

    For Magento the problems:
    - Essentially requires a VPS just to start. Very resource intensive.
    - Themes are more complex than most frameworks/applications I've seen. Unless you're experienced in coding you need to hire someone.
    - Modules are expensive. So are the themes.

    For X-cart:
    - Takes up alot of resources but not as much as magento.
    - Too costly now compared to the features ($200-$300 for just a single domain license)
    - Two mods that are essentially required both cost $200 (SEO and one page checkout.)
    - Premade themes are almost non-existant.

    For prestashop:
    - Less themes available than Magento/Opencart
    - If you have configurable products (ex: A tshirt where you can select different sizes and colors) you have to select the options, click a save button and then click add to cart. I did manage a fix for this though so its not so much of a problem.
    - Egoods cannot have configurations (ex: A license to software and you get to choose which version) without using a mod.


    OScommerce, zencart and cubecart I think aren't even valid competitors in the field anymore.
     
  7. blognetworkservices

    blognetworkservices Regular Member

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    You can go with open cart or magento...But If you hire good developer means you can go with custom theme also...It is easy to access admin panel in custom theme...