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  • #972592
    Hazel&Elsie
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    • Total posts: 13
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    Hi everyone,

    My business partner and I are starting a small home based business, hand made shoe clips (accessories). We are starting small with 10 products in a large range of colours and option to customise. We have done some research on webhosting but are still a little skeptical about which way to go.

    An example of the type of layout/interface we are leaning towards would be http://www.shopbando.com and http://www.sereniandshentel.com

    Here are a few issues we are in dilemma about:

    1. Should we start small via Shoply.com, or go straight into using our own domain name? (I feel that our own domain name will have more presence)
    2. With our own domain name, should we go DIY with eCommerce webhosts like iPage or webhostinghub.com?
    3. Does it matter if the webhosts are based in USA/Australia? (Australian domain names are not a priority)
    4. Are webhosts fairly easy to operate (page/design editing, shopping carts and shipping rate calculator, etc)?
    5. Any other suggestions?

    Sorry for the overkill of Qs =/ all the ideas, all the confusion. Decisions, decisions! Thank you for your time and help anyways.

    Cheers and regards,
    Hazel

    #1057046
    OneArmedGraphics
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    • Total posts: 314
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    Hi Hazel
    1. Own domain
    2. No
    3. USA = cheaper, faster for US clients
    4. Yes! Look for cPanel based host management
    5. start with complexity of cart, how many possible options of colors/sizes etc and then make sure your cart can cope with requirements and also shipping + taxes.

    I haven’t played with Carts in about 5 years so can’t provide any recent experiences but back then I created two oscommerce sites learning as I went.
    Was ok, but I don’t like the template look that they can have.

    Good luck and have fun, JUST DO IT! don’t worry!

    #1057047
    BrettM33
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    • Total posts: 1,372
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    Hi Hazel – Congrats on the new business idea & I wish you all the best with it!

    Quote:
    Should we start small via Shoply.com, or go straight into using our own domain name? (I feel that our own domain name will have more presence)

    No question, own domain name.

    Quote:
    With our own domain name, should we go DIY with eCommerce webhosts like iPage or webhostinghub.com?

    It all depends on your budget, but I would suggest to do things properly & stay away from places like that.

    Quote:
    Does it matter if the webhosts are based in USA/Australia? (Australian domain names are not a priority)

    If you are targeting Australian users primarily then I would highly recommend a .com.au domain name….. getting hosting in the US versus Australia really depends on what audience you are targeting. If you are targeting Australian consumers then getting hosting in Australia will give users a slightly faster experience, however US based hosting is a lot cheaper.

    Quote:
    Are webhosts fairly easy to operate (page/design editing, shopping carts and shipping rate calculator, etc)?

    Well find yourself a host with a nice control panel like cPanel to operate your web hosting specifics & make sure you get hosting that is managed.

    The control panels won’t give you the ability to design/edit your pages though.

    As for shopping carts – some hosting addons such as Fantastico include one click installs for carts such as OSCommerce, ZenCart & CubeCart, but restricting yourself to using these carts just because they are easily available isn’t a wise decision. Not saying there is anything wrong with them, just choose the cart that is right for you regardless on how it is available.

    Quote:
    Any other suggestions?

    Take your time & try out a few carts & don’t rush into anything… another good cart to look into would be PrestaShop, but there are plenty of others out there as well.

    Keep in mind that if you are wanting a custom design integrated into your site then it would also be a good idea to get the opinion from your developer on which carts are the easiest to theme/template.

    Brett

    #1057048
    Hazel&Elsie
    Member
    • Total posts: 13
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    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for your input! Regarding webhosts like iPage and Co. that uses cPanel, are you saying that thr are limited options to customize my page? The problem with these webhosts is that they often provide ‘Demo pages’ and a gallery of sites that utilize them, but they don’t mention if you could do all the customization yourself or by a developer. We are really looking for something we could run on our own without the help of a pricey developer =/

    Thank you for your 2 cents anyways! Cheers.

    XOX,
    Hazel

    #1057049
    BrettM33
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    • Total posts: 1,372
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    Hi Hazel,

    I think you may of misunderstood me. Places like iPage & co. don’t give you cPanel….. cPanel is what general web hosts give you to manage stuff for your website….. such as mail, your files, log, security, domains, databases & other stuff as well.

    I don’t have any experience using iPage or that other site you linked to so I can’t comment on how they work unfortunately.

    I’m one of those pricey developers lol so feel free to take this comment with a grain of salt if you like… but if you’re business is only going to be online then getting a proper website built is going to be your main expense for your new business & if you are at all serious about the business I would recommend to do things the right way the first time around.

    This obviously all depends on how much you are willing to invest into the business, as with any new business venture you don’t know if it’s going to be a success or not & you have to prepare yourselves for the possibility of losses.

    I wish you the best no matter what path you choose.

    Brett

    Hazel&Elsie, post: 70211 wrote:
    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for your input! Regarding webhosts like iPage and Co. that uses cPanel, are you saying that thr are limited options to customize my page? The problem with these webhosts is that they often provide ‘Demo pages’ and a gallery of sites that utilize them, but they don’t mention if you could do all the customization yourself or by a developer. We are really looking for something we could run on our own without the help of a pricey developer =/

    Thank you for your 2 cents anyways! Cheers.

    XOX,
    Hazel

    #1057050
    Hazel&Elsie
    Member
    • Total posts: 13
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    CondorCreative, post: 70313 wrote:
    Hi Hazel,

    I think you may of misunderstood me. Places like iPage & co. don’t give you cPanel….. cPanel is what general web hosts give you to manage stuff for your website….. such as mail, your files, log, security, domains, databases & other stuff as well.

    I don’t have any experience using iPage or that other site you linked to so I can’t comment on how they work unfortunately.

    I’m one of those pricey developers lol so feel free to take this comment with a grain of salt if you like… but if you’re business is only going to be online then getting a proper website built is going to be your main expense for your new business & if you are at all serious about the business I would recommend to do things the right way the first time around.

    This obviously all depends on how much you are willing to invest into the business, as with any new business venture you don’t know if it’s going to be a success or not & you have to prepare yourselves for the possibility of losses.

    I wish you the best no matter what path you choose.

    Brett

    Dear Brett,

    This is my apology letter. I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to offend you or your profession! Haha. I appreciate your opinion and will take your advice on planning it right. We are a home based business, so our capacity will not exceed those of a full on merchandise store. We are aware of the possibilities for things to go south, but we are optimistic as well. Since we are still in the planning process, we are not in a hurry to get it online until we have fully sorted out our options. Until then, we will do more research before making any major decisions. Thank you for your time, Brett :)

    XOX,
    Hazel

    #1057051
    Netorigin
    Member
    • Total posts: 421
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    Hazel&Elsie, post: 70211 wrote:
    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for your input! Regarding webhosts like iPage and Co. that uses cPanel, are you saying that thr are limited options to customize my page? The problem with these webhosts is that they often provide ‘Demo pages’ and a gallery of sites that utilize them, but they don’t mention if you could do all the customization yourself or by a developer. We are really looking for something we could run on our own without the help of a pricey developer =/

    Thank you for your 2 cents anyways! Cheers.

    XOX,
    Hazel

    Hi Hazel,

    When you’re looking for a web host, make sure to look for business grade hosting. Businesses grade hosting always includes a Service Level Agreement. Be aware of the many budget type web hosts. You’ll want someone that provides 24/7 customer support and 99.9% guaranteed uptime at the bare minimum. Most days, web hosts provide Fantastico or Installatron for free. You’ll be able to install your own ecommerce scripts in only a few clicks. From there you can search for themes and modifications.

    Like Brett has said, take a look at Zen Cart and CubeCart. Stay away from osCommerce as it’s riddled with security holes.

    Cheers,
    Shaun

    #1057052
    BrettM33
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,372
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    No apology needed Hazel – I wasn’t offended. :) I know we can be expensive, but we do good work (well most of us haha). ;)

    Hazel&Elsie, post: 70424 wrote:
    Dear Brett,

    This is my apology letter. I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to offend you or your profession! Haha. I appreciate your opinion and will take your advice on planning it right. We are a home based business, so our capacity will not exceed those of a full on merchandise store. We are aware of the possibilities for things to go south, but we are optimistic as well. Since we are still in the planning process, we are not in a hurry to get it online until we have fully sorted out our options. Until then, we will do more research before making any major decisions. Thank you for your time, Brett :)

    XOX,
    Hazel

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