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  1. #1

    Web Site Design Dilemma

    Hello everyone..I have a dilemma here and any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I want to open a ecommerce store. I dont have any web design experience. I'm looking for a solution to build the store. I need a solution that is geered more towards beginners although I am technical.

    1. I looked at Template Monster and saw some bad reviews. Not sure if anyone has ever dealt with them before but I'm hesitant now. I would be open to purchasing a template from a reputable company.

    2. I have also been thinking about having someone/company design the site for me. Does anyone know of a good design company that could design something on a budget.

    Any help would be appreciated as I am confused about how to go about having this site either designed or purchased through a template company. Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    11,222
    It might be helpful to start by evaluating eCommerce software to see what's going to work best for you, and then to either select a template or hire a designer familiar with the software, which should help move things along more smoothly for you.

    I personally LOVE Pinnacle Cart. It's pricey at $800/license, but resellers get very good rates, and you may be able to get a license for less than $200. It's a VERY worthwhile investment.

    Miva Cart is generally well-received. Magento can be very server-intensive, and I'm not a big fan. Whatever you do, please do not use OSCommerce. I've seen too many good people burned by that piece of garbage.

    Demo different pieces of software and see how they function. Many double as a decent content management system as well (Pinnacle does this), so you can build static pages around your shopping cart too.

    Once you have a shortlist of shopping carts, then you can worry about how to make them pretty
    Studio1337___̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.__Web Design

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    72
    If you do not have technical experience then better hire someone to do the installation of the shop or buy a commercial ecommerce that has support. Buying a template will not do the job for you. Ecommerce websites need some professional customizations and tests in order to not have any issues with your customers.

    I also agree magento is resource hungry but its maybe the shopping cart with the most features.
    But if you really have a basic store i recommend Opencart just because i find very easy to use and fast.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    603
    I recommend you to use oscommerce, it is a pretty cms based on php.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    369
    If you can give me some detail on your design specifications and budget, and give you a few referrals.
    Tin Pham
    Solutions Engineer
    WP Engine - WordPress Hosting, Perfected.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    41
    I totally feel your dilemma. I have generally negative view on template websites. Here is something you also need to consider: you need to be able to place your keyword and change certain functionality. Can you do that with the template sites. The template sites have to offer that kind of flexibility so that you can promote your site through SEO at least.

  7. #7
    Have you looked into some of the newer wordpress ecommerce templates? They are getting pretty darn good!

  8. #8
    Yes if you are technically week then hiring designer or content writer is not bad idea. Have a good luck!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Use custom templates so that it be designed according to your requirements.
    Also use OScommerce cart do hire a good content writer for best and quality contents.

  10. #10
    Paying a company to design your web is a very good idea. In fact it is the best one to do serious business through web. Because professionals know the best about it.

    My suggestion will be try finding a host offering web design services. It will be easy for you to manage things easily.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    38
    As part of a firm that specializes in ecommerce, as well as an user of many carts I would recommend that:
    1) You avoid zencart, oscommerce and anything based off of them at all costs. They should have died 6 years ago, but it seems somebody is keeping the zombie alive.
    2) Avoid Magento if you don't want to spend thousands on support and customization. Magento has a horribly over-complex code base for logic and templates.
    3) Look for paid carts. Pinnaclecart and Xcart would be at the top of my list. Both are easy for customizing the template, as they use Smarty and not PHP.
    4) Scrap the idea of buying a premade template. Customers are savvy enough to understand when a company buys a template vs getting one specifically for their company. Hire a real design and development firm to get what you need. They will also be able to assist in logic and functionality changes.
    5) No one should be able to give you a company that will design a site for you until you know what you're using. The company you hire should be familiar with the software and not just coding.
    6) 'Budget' is not a number. I've had some clients call 'budget' $200 and others call it $6000. If you want something custom for under $1800 and have it be of decent quality, then I wouldnt count on it.

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