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  #1  
05-04-2014, 05:40 PM
Thirdtime Thirdtime is offline
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I am veeeery green at this, but I am so happy to have discovered your site. I am trying to start an online retail business selling medical supplies. I need to decide on a web host, as well as register a domain name. After joining your site it seems that Namecheap is great but is it the best choice for both of these as well as for a retail store.

Many thanks to sites like yours!!
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  #2  
05-04-2014, 06:55 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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I'm happy to help!

The domain part is easy. Yes, use Namecheap.

But for the hosting aspect, first I'll need to know a few more details...

1. What kind of medical supplies are these? Is it anything that is regulated by the government?
2. It appears that you're in the U.S. -- is that correct?
3. What will you being using to power the online store? (examples: Magento, Open Cart, osCommerce, WordPress) -- Or do you not know yet?
4. Will you be trying to create the site yourself, or outsourcing it to either an individual or a company?
5. About how many products will be in the online store? --- This assumes you have a shopping cart based site.
6. Finally, what sort of monthly budget do you have in mind? (Tip: You need to match your monthly phone budget, not a Taco Bell budget. Too many people make this grave mistake, and it costs them their business.)

e-commerce apps tend to be resource-hungry, and you'll need to pick a host very carefully to have a good experience. Yes, Namecheap might be the best option. But it may also not be.

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  #3  
05-04-2014, 08:21 PM
Thirdtime Thirdtime is offline
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Thank you for such a quick response... Here is more detail

Disposable supplies only & not govt regulated - I am in Raleigh, NC - I have no idea about powering the store, there will be 10 items or less - I will definitely not be creating the site myself, I will need to outsource someone to assist me from beginning to end and my monthly budget is flexible since I will keep my current job until it really takes off. Thank You for any suggestions!
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  #4  
05-04-2014, 08:57 PM
offliner offliner is offline
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Hopefully I can pipe up. If you are just getting started, don't have the tech skills available and given the small number of products you will be carrying, this is a perfect time for a hosted application. Check out Shopify if you want or I use BigCommerce though their prices just went up.

The great thing is, you can probably do a lot of it yourself and then hire a designer to come in and tweak things. I have done some walk thought of various hosted carts you can find HERE.

If you still want to go with an open source application like Magento or Opencart (please don't do it in wordpress), then these guys can point you to a good host.
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  #5  
05-05-2014, 08:26 PM
Thirdtime Thirdtime is offline
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Thank You!....helpful information!
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  #6  
05-06-2014, 07:32 AM
Brent Brent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirdtime View Post
Thank you for such a quick response... Here is more detail

Disposable supplies only & not govt regulated - I am in Raleigh, NC - I have no idea about powering the store, there will be 10 items or less - I will definitely not be creating the site myself, I will need to outsource someone to assist me from beginning to end and my monthly budget is flexible since I will keep my current job until it really takes off. Thank You for any suggestions!
Where are the majority of your customers going to be, in the Raleigh/Durham area?
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  #7  
05-06-2014, 12:51 PM
Thirdtime Thirdtime is offline
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Thank you for asking....Since I will be selling the products online, anyone can purchase, however in US only. Also the products will be ordered from my website but drop shipped to the customer by a fulfillment company that is located in another state.
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  #8  
05-08-2014, 01:41 PM
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I never suggest proprietary systems like Shopify, as it can be hard to migrate to your own platform later. It's just a "hosted app", so you're trapped. Bad things always happen, long-term, when proprietary apps.

For something this small, I'd actually consider WordPress with an e-commerce plugin of some sort. Understand that I mostly despise WordPress for e-commerce, preferring a solid CMS like Magento. But size matters. And you can get away with it here.

All you need next is a host known to work well with WordPress. (I've already responded to your PM, and you have some options there; we dev WordPress and can host it.) Veerotech and WebhostingBuzz work very well for WordPress based sites, so I'd look at those first.

We also need to figure out which application gateways you'll be using for this. ie, Paypal only, direct credit cards online, etc.

I think anywhere in the U.S. is fine -- Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Atlanta, etc. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.

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  #9  
05-14-2014, 04:04 PM
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Never understood why people think it is hard to migrate away from hosted applications. As long as your option structure is not overly complicated it is as easy as downloading the csv and uploading it to your new cart. With the small amount of products I am guessing his option structure will be quite easy.

Given that Woothemes, the maker of woocommerce just had a data breach of their own, I would never suggest using wordpress for a commerce site. If the developer can't keep their own site secure, what makes you think a non-programmer can. Just not worth the hassle of notifying all your current and past customers of a data breach (required by law in 47 states, DC, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands).

If you want easy to use and lightweight and opensource, use opencart or prestashop. They have a good developer pipeline and lots of pretty themes to be had for cheap, don't require large server overhead so can be done on shared hosting and work real well.
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  #10  
05-19-2014, 11:55 AM
Thirdtime Thirdtime is offline
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That's helpful information. Thank You!
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  #11  
05-20-2014, 05:38 AM
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Having been online for 20 years now, I can say with full confidence that, more often than not, proprietary web-based scripts/apps lock you in. To "migrate" to another platform, you essentially have to start over -- either in part, or in whole.

I'm not one of those "Use open source only! It's the best!" techie nerds, but that ideology sometime has validity. When it comes to e-commerce, that rings true. I've made that mistake multiple times, getting locked into expensive crap that never paid for itself AND made the migration process difficult to impossible.

Also: "There is no evidence that shows any signs of WooCommerce code vulnerabilities," the company stated. "If our further investigation show any insecurities in our products, we will of course take immediate steps."

The Woo breach was unrelated to WordPress.

I'm not all that fond of WooCommerce or WooThemes in general anyway. There are others that I'd suggest.

OpenCart is the one with a chronic hacking issue.

For something this small, an full e-commerce app is overkill. There's also many downsides in regards to the SEO, and other uses of the site. Creating a site is easy -- creating an effective site is not. That's the difference between business that thrive, and business that fail.

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  #12  
05-20-2014, 07:13 AM
Thirdtime Thirdtime is offline
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After reading your post & reviewing their website, I'm considering "Magento Go", it seems to be a good choice for small business & inexperienced users. I'm still confused about "Wordpress". Seems to be so many bad reviews & experiences out there.
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  #13  
05-20-2014, 07:29 AM
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Magento is excellent, and I recommend it for most e-commerce needs. For having just a few items, it's probably overkill, but it will definitely work.

There's nothing wrong with WordPress. We use it for many sites.

The thing to remember is this: Will you DIY, or pay others to help set it up? Most negative feedback (for anything) is from DIYers that don't know what they're doing. Creating websites are not as easy checking email -- especially not when something more complicated like e-commerce (shopping cart site) is involved.

"Go" is really nothing more than hosted Magento. You pay a lot for very little. But if you only need a little, it certainly works.

It's a decent plan.

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  #14  
05-21-2014, 07:17 PM
Thirdtime Thirdtime is offline
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Will definitely need someone else to set it up. Also What do you think of my using Vollusion instead of Magento Go, they seem to have more included for an ecommerce store...,,,
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  #15  
05-23-2014, 02:29 PM
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Magento was a better plan. At least with Magento, you can migrate your store to a standalone Magento install, if you decide to do so in the future. You need to think of possible futures, not just your needs right now.

Vollusion is a proprietary service.

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  #16  
05-25-2014, 11:59 PM
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Volusion will nickel and dime you for every little thing, their templates are hard to work with and you most likely won't need all that power. Magento Go is not the easiest to work with (plus poor customer support and tutorials) and given the small number of products I still stand by my recommendation of Shopify as IMO that is what it was designed for, small stores like you. Migrating away is easy since they don't allow you to make your products to complicated. Magento is overkill IMO but you can also check out prestashop and open cart. Still don't agree with using wordpress as an e-commerce store, I would do Drupal myself if I was going that route. If you want a hosted platform with lots of options and easy to use, then BigCommerce.
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  #17  
05-26-2014, 08:36 AM
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This person does not want complicated. And that's exactly what Drupal and most dedicated e-commerce are. Magento is the easiest of them all, and WordPress is easier still. When you only have a few items, ANY e-commerce app is honestly overkill. That's my whole point all along.

Most people consider Shopify to be the same as Volusion. You get nickeled and dimed to have basic features.

And you do not have a choice for the hosting. You either host with them, or you don't use it. That's been a problem in the past, as they've not had the greatest site speed or uptime. With WordPress, you can also choose your host.

The only advantage of Shopify is direct credit card processing. You don't have to set up your own gateways. Setting up Paypal isn't that hard, but direct credit card is not fun.

But inversely, Shopify has horrible SEO (translation: how easily your site is found by search engines, thus real people). Shopify needs lots of tedious coding work -- which is what Shopify users were wanting to avoid! So it really fails here.

I actually think Shopify is based on WordPress, as you can migrate it pretty easily to WooCommerce, which is itself easily migrated to other WordPress commerce plugins. There's also several Shopify plugins for WordPress, which turn it into a widget. (The downside here, of course, is that now you have to have both a Shopify card and a normal hosted WordPress site for even more $$ monthly.)

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  #18  
06-07-2014, 08:25 AM
Darshan_M Darshan_M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirdtime View Post
Will definitely need someone else to set it up. Also What do you think of my using Vollusion instead of Magento Go, they seem to have more included for an ecommerce store...,,,
You can also look for follwing apps :
  • CubeCart
  • OS Commerce
  • Zen Cart
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