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Hosted solutions vs. your own website/cart

Discussion in 'E-Commerce and Online Selling' started by Pete, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. eAuction

    eAuction

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    If you value your time then it's worth just paying a professional to do some things.
  2. Pete

    Pete

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    Most hosting packages include one-click sort of installation on OpenCart, it's enter user name and password for the admin and click install.
  3. Dean

    Dean

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    Pete - sign up to one of the hosted packages that offer a free trial and see for yourself what it is like to set up. It might give you a better understanding of what some of us are saying about how easy/quick they are. Then you will have first hand comparison.
  4. eAuction

    eAuction

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    As soon as you wan't to do anything interesting you're going to need to know how to use FTP. If you want to get a bit more interesting (extensions etc) then you are going to need to know your way around a code editor too.
  5. Pete

    Pete

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    I have done that in the past. Did not see any difference between that and what you start with when using most of the stand-alone carts.

    As an example, here is what you get with Open Cart after installing with couple of clicks from a hosting account.

    *******************************************************************

    View both demos, that is exactly what you have after the automatic install. Most hosts such as myself will even do that for you, but it truly is enter login info and click install.

    From there you still have to add your own shipping, payments, items, images, policies, etc. I'm not saying that some carts do make you go through an entire installation process, but open cart, presta, zen and others are just a couple of clicks with most hosts and many hosts will install them for you. Not taking away from other comments regarding the hosted solutions, mainly to me is the automated upgrades, which can be daunting to a newbie, the initial install is quite simple. But by then they usually have a feel for it, or can pay someone $25 or so to do it.

    I make it sound simple, but it truly is simple, using the "one click" installation that comes with most hosting accounts. There is no reason to go through a tedious installation process.

    It's what comes after the install that takes the time, and that's pretty much the same, regardless of which way you choose. Pay me $20 to $250 (for unlimited) per month and I'll install anything you want. :)
  6. eAuction

    eAuction

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    What about one click installation of extensions? upgrades that keep things in tact? extensions that don't break with upgrades?
  7. shopafrolix

    shopafrolix Banned Member

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    i get someone on Fiverr to do those for me .

    tip/warning. 1&1 Internets one-click install does NOT allow for upgrades, modules, extensions or even minor adjustments to basic things - you get what you see on the demo site
  8. Pete

    Pete

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    I think I mentioned upgrades, which includes the above. He asked me to look at a hosted demo, as I understood it from his earlier posts, it was the initial install that turned him off.

    We've been over this several times, and I keep saying I'm trying to learn. I have admitted (not that I have to, as I'm not defending any) that those are benefits.

    But, notwithstanding the small user of a $20 to $30 subscription, I daresay that there are hundreds of folks - including the script developer support team - who will do the upgrades and make sure things are intact for far less than the $250 PER MONTH of an unlimited big commerce, etc. Most developers will upgrade their own stuff in the $50 range, with a lot of the add-on extension guys keeping theirs up to date for $15 or $20.

    So, with most carts upgrading once or twice a year, for that $250 monthly fee, you can keep up a stand-alone cart for that price or less once a year.

    I agree there are people whose time is worth more than that. People who don't want to spend 5 seconds on their carts And have the money to pay for it.

    But most here are on a budget, as you can see by any number of comments here and elsewhere. They don't have $250 per month, they'd like to pay less than half that per year and other than some maintenance / upgrades that many may not even want, the hosted solutions don't seem to offer much else for someone of limited means.
  9. Dean

    Dean

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    Me? As a seasoned UNIX techy/programmer, Opencart is a walk in the park for me ;)

    My arguments are more for the non-technically minded or people that want done quickly. Its not just the initial install, which could easily put many off. Its the configuring once the install done. Setting up shipping rules is one that stands out. Its a right pain on Opencart - on the hosted cart I have tried its easy. Also some of the free templates are much better and professional looking than the default OC one. Then if its not quite right or you fancy a change, you can change with one click without risking screwing up the rest of your cart in the process.

    As I said this is more for the non-techy/impatient/lazy. I needed something quick and used a hosted - got it set up and live in less than 30 minutes. Yes I could do the same or better in OC but not in less than 30 mins.
  10. Dean

    Dean

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    To be honest I wouldn't include 1&1 in any kind of positive recommendation.
  11. shopafrolix

    shopafrolix Banned Member

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    I'm not 'techie' so had a paid for template installed, offered free postage on everything , paid for a logo, and had this up and running within a day, which is hosted with 1&1 - come on, what are your real thoughts

    *****************

    which, by the way, is for sale along with stock !! Busy stock-taking pants as we speak !!
    Import Expert likes this.
  12. Dean

    Dean

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    That actually looks really good! (Send me some details about the sale, I might be interested)
  13. Pete

    Pete

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    Shipping varies so much from one cart to another it's a shame, Has nothing to do with hosted vs. stand-alone. Some same are straightforward, some are a nightmare. There are some I simply can't use because they do not offer "weight based shipping" at all, only allow 1 or 2 countries, only do pounds, not kg. I could go on and on about shipping. And for the UK RM does not have any tie-ins that I know of where UPS, FedEx, Canada Post, Australia Post and the US Postal Service all offer such.

    I'm glad you found one that suited your needs on your first try. But you may very well have done that with Zen, Presta, X-cart, CS Cart, etc., as well.
  14. Pete

    Pete

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    Hate to tell you Richard, but that site is hosted by me. You bought the domain from 1 and 1, but the site is on my server. :)
  15. shopafrolix

    shopafrolix Banned Member

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    oops , sorry, so it is - too many websites to keep track of
  16. Dean

    Dean

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    I did look at some of the others a while a go. I settled on OC because it seemed more versatile to me and had the right look templates in the right price range (I've purchased a couple from Theme Forest). I've been working on the OC site for ages - well to be honest have hardly touched it due to everything else going on.

    The hosted solutions only came to light very recently. It's been perfect for this 'quick' site I needed but its not actually going to work for my main site. For that I'm sticking with OC but there is no rush so I can take my time.

    I generally hate paying for anything if I can do it myself and luckily I have the ability to put my mind to most things. But sometimes a quick, easy fix, even at a price is necessary.
  17. Gokou

    Gokou

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    Hello, I've been selling on Ebay and Amazon for a long time before I decided to go and setup my own website. From reading the forums, I already knew Open Cart was a good and viable solution - a free shopping cart and all you pay for is the cost of hosting! (years before I had dabbled in OSCommerce but let's not go there)

    So off I go to install my Open Cart and I regard myself as pretty technical but my strength lies in programming and not in website work or design. After installation I find it just looks "ok". So i play around with a couple of free templates, heck i even bought 1 for £25.00. But I gradually find I was spending a lot of time on tinkering with the website, time I just didn't have. I'm working in a full time job then i go home and I have to fulfill about 25 orders and on top of that I have family and young children!

    I'd come across a little problem or bug in OpenCart and the support just was not there. There are a myriad of extensions you can install and I'd have to trawl through forums looking on how to setup some shipping rate or tweak an option in my product or how remove some mandantory company field. Maybe it's my fault but my site looked too generic and I was starting to get bored of fixing stuff (which I do daily) and I just wanted to get on with selling! But I wouldn't go to my own site and buy stuff with the way it was currently looking.

    So I looked at purchasing a full on designed website, designer quoted me 2500 GBP and using Prestashop - I think that's when I realised I could really do most of this stuff myself but I had no motivation at this point and even less time.

    Anyway in the end I went hosted, in fact I went to BigCommerce, I don't have more than a 100 products and 16.00 a month is affordable for me. Funnily enough, the fact I pay for it actually motivates me to work on it.
    Support is really good, the forums are full of information who have come across problems which i encountered in my setup and moving panels was a breeze. After the 15 day trial I knew this was the right way for me.

    I would say that anyone who is not technical and looking to get into Ecommerce should definitely not be using Opencart unless you are willing to put in time and learn a lot. Setting it up is easy, making it look good and fully functional is the hard part.
  18. Pete

    Pete

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    Thanks!

    That's the real life sort of response I've been hoping for. :)
  19. Andy777

    Andy777

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    Interesting post and discussion.

    Just one observation - just take a look @ what top eCommerce companies are using?

    1) Super large companies use their own, custom made carts (super expensive)
    2) Majority of others use Hosted Carts

    Why? I'll leave that to people reading this to figure out! ;)
    etradz likes this.
  20. planner

    planner

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    Just tell me Andy. Am no good at puzzles.
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