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Thread: Best website builder in your opinion

  1. #11
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    I didn't see the ecommerce part. That throws a special monkey wrench into the program.

    I'm not saying you can't learn. You can. We all did. But where I am now in understanding the web and what is effective and works, is light years ahead of where I was 7 years ago when I put up my first website and thought I could just emulate what I saw elsewhere. Anyone can download or buy the tools. But it really takes a while to learn what to do with them and why you need to do it that way.

    If you ask me can you find a website builder and figure out how to put the parts in, I'd say "of course". But will it be anything that makes you any money? I'd say definitely not. Not with no knowledge or understanding of the web, or design.

    Something as simple as putting your phone number above the fold is second nature to someone like me. But for most people little things like that never cross their mind. And there are a million little things like that, that make all the difference no matter what tools you are using. Especially with eCommerce.

    I'd say if you are intent on doing it yourself, or if budget just doesn't allow hiring someone, that you at least pay someone for a couple hours consulting to steer you in the right direction as much as possible so that you can avoid the common rookie mistakes.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 06-04-2014 at 06:16 PM.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    I'd say if you are intent on doing it yourself, or if budget just doesn't allow hiring someone, that you at least pay someone for a couple hours consulting to steer you in the right direction as much as possible so that you can avoid the common rookie mistakes.
    This.

    If ecommerce is an important part of your business, then you should really hire someone that specializes in ecommerce.

    Most of the people that I've worked with that have tried to do ecommerce through the various site builders out there go into it with an "if you build it, they will come" mentality, and no statement could be more untrue in business (except in the special case of amusement parks, casinos, and certain types of bars). You need someone who knows how to present your product to the customer as well as someone who knows how to present your product to the various shopping search engines out there (not just Google, and not just plain ol' search engines). I've never seen a site builder that had all of the proper metadata in place for ecommerce (even those that claim to be specifically for ecommerce), and I welcome any evidence to the contrary.
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  3. #13

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    While I agree with everything everybody has said ie don't use a website builder. The OP's question is what is the best web site builder, now for ecommerce. That question hasn't been answered.

    I can't give an answer as I wouldn't use one either, but the OP deserves an answer if anyone knows...

    @ OP It may be that no one knows of a decent ecommerce website builder here...

    Look at the advice you have had above.

  4. #14
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    Usually the hosting company will offer a few Ecommerce solutions for an additional charge. I see OS Commerce, Agora, Cube Cart and Zen Cart in a lot of people's C-Panel as offered services.

    If I'm bootstrapping and doing it myself with a site builder, and you are with a hosting company with good support, may as well go with what they support and can help you with.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 06-04-2014 at 08:49 PM.

  5. #15

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    Wow, so much good stuff here to go over. I am strongly considering squarespace. I plan on my website just having a nice homepage and a few pages such as shirts, pants, etc. I have looked at a few sites that I would like mine to have similar features and it doesn't seem like these sites are too complex. I actually asked for a few quotes from designers and gave them the website I'd like mine to look like and got quotes anywhere from 3k-5k. I was taken aback with this price given the fact that they would be building the site off of squarespace.

  6. #16
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    There's actually a lot that goes into building an Ecom site. Structure, products, descriptions, prices, weight, shipping, and with clothes there are so many variables. For instance one of my clients (All Things Boutique) she sells clothes and all sorts of stuff. So when she's setting up a product she has to go through and set in all these variables. I had to teach her how to use the software. All of that takes time and time isn't free. Then the site owner wants everything just right it all takes time regardless of difficulty to set up... That what a lot of clients don't understand why sites are so expensive.

    Think about it like this, the time working in your site could be time spent with family or working on the business. Your time is valuable, so is ours ( us web designers)
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    Quote Originally Posted by on_my_own View Post
    Wow, so much good stuff here to go over. I am strongly considering squarespace. I plan on my website just having a nice homepage and a few pages such as shirts, pants, etc. I have looked at a few sites that I would like mine to have similar features and it doesn't seem like these sites are too complex. I actually asked for a few quotes from designers and gave them the website I'd like mine to look like and got quotes anywhere from 3k-5k. I was taken aback with this price given the fact that they would be building the site off of squarespace.
    Well, it's not my place to questions someone elses quote with no information, but I agree with the previous statement that people really don't understand how much knowledge and time goes into building a website. It's not just plopping in stock images and any old text just to fill out the page. Especially when you are talking about eCommerce.

    When people say "web design" they are only thinking of the actual colors and shapes. They think we just code something pretty, and the content and structure just appears out of nowhere and everything is magically user friendly and converts. They give no thought to how that stuff gets there, why it's there, and how it is arranged in a way to stimulate visitors into doing business with you or taking some sort of action.

    I'm here to tell you, the content and structure is the most important part. Pretty is just the package, but pretty by itself doesn't make sales. Proper structure and compelling copy can sell on a paper bag.

    There are so many little ways to cost yourself sales that a pro will know how to avoid.

    I know it's hard for many people to understand because after everything is done it looked so easy from the standpoint of the person who didn't do the work. But there is a method to our madness. Designing a website is less about colors and shapes, and more about getting into the heads of visitors and potential customers and manipulating how they feel about your company in order to get them to take a positive action. And it should be so seamless that they don't even notice it. Plain and Simple, it's marketing.

    And you can't learn that by reading the instructions of a site builder.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 06-05-2014 at 11:17 AM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    Well, it's not my place to questions someone elses quote with no information, but I agree with the previous statement that people really don't understand how much knowledge and time goes into building a website. It's not just plopping in stock images and any old text just to fill out the page. Especially when you are talking about eCommerce.

    When people say "web design" they are only thinking of the actual colors and shapes. They think we just code something pretty, and the content and structure just appears out of nowhere and everything is magically user friendly and converts. They give no thought to how that stuff gets there, why it's there, and how it is arranged in a way to stimulate visitors into doing business with you or taking some sort of action.

    I'm here to tell you, the content and structure is the most important part. Pretty is just the package, but pretty by itself doesn't make sales. Proper structure and compelling copy can sell on a paper bag.

    There are so many little ways to cost yourself sales that a pro will know how to avoid.

    I know it's hard for many people to understand because after everything is done it looked so easy from the standpoint of the person who didn't do the work. But there is a method to our madness. Designing a website is less about colors and shapes, and more about getting into the heads of visitors and potential customers and manipulating how they feel about your company in order to get them to take a positive action. And it should be so seamless that they don't even notice it. Plain and Simple, it's marketing.

    And you can't learn that by reading the instructions of a site builder.

    I couldn't have said it better myself Harold.
    Jonathon Harrelson
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  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    Usually the hosting company will offer a few Ecommerce solutions for an additional charge. I see OS Commerce, Agora, Cube Cart and Zen Cart in a lot of people's C-Panel as offered services.

    If I'm bootstrapping and doing it myself with a site builder, and you are with a hosting company with good support, may as well go with what they support and can help you with.
    Not all hosts support what they make available in cPanel. Quite often the installers install out-of-date software.

    Also, the typical hosts that makes that software available via "one-click install" or cPanel tend to be shared hosting providers, and there's no way for a shared hosting provider to be PCI compliant, which means you expose yourself to a ton of liability if running a store on a shared host.

    Quote Originally Posted by on_my_own View Post
    Wow, so much good stuff here to go over. I am strongly considering squarespace. I plan on my website just having a nice homepage and a few pages such as shirts, pants, etc. I have looked at a few sites that I would like mine to have similar features and it doesn't seem like these sites are too complex. I actually asked for a few quotes from designers and gave them the website I'd like mine to look like and got quotes anywhere from 3k-5k. I was taken aback with this price given the fact that they would be building the site off of squarespace.
    That doesn't really surprise me. It's not uncommon for an e-commerce site to run $20K+ on the dev side without even getting into the design work.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    Not all hosts support what they make available in cPanel. Quite often the installers install out-of-date software.

    Also, the typical hosts that makes that software available via "one-click install" or cPanel tend to be shared hosting providers, and there's no way for a shared hosting provider to be PCI compliant, which means you expose yourself to a ton of liability if running a store on a shared host.
    This is true and untrue at the same time...

    You can still get SSL even if you're on a shared server, you don't have to use the shared server SSL but it's there and not worth a damn. Depending on the host, I used to work for HastGator, and you're using cPanel, it depends on the relationship between the host and cpanel on the cpanel updates and if you're using cpanel modules like Fantastico De Lux or Softaculas or what ever its called, to install. But you can always go to the vendors website and download the latest version to install, its more complicated and you have to set up everything manually but its the latest version. When I was working at HostGator as soon as cPanel would create an update we got it which updated the software in the respective modules as well...

    Long story short... if you're on a shared hosting server and you're wanting to accept payments on your site... Get an SSL.
    Jonathon Harrelson
    Front End Web Developer - SEO Consultant - Web Evangelist
    The worst thing anyone can ever tell me is that I forgot a semi-colon...

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