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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey fellas - I've been reading around, love the help here it's brilliant. I'm in Australia, and on the verge of starting a singlet/tank top online store. The product is still in the works, but i'm trying to get my head around all these different cart based systems.

I want to also have an ebay store, obviously linking it to my website. I've had a play around with coffeecup, and that seems quite good - i'm really looking for an all in one solution (cart based system, which allows me to customise templates to my own style)

I've also had a look at cubecart, and big cartel. I see mentioned here the need for SSL (this is an additional cost?) but if I were to use Paypal this would negate the issue altogether?


Ugmonk — Ugmonk Shop

I really like this. I'm leaning towards bigcartel. I like simplicity. Do you guys know of any issues with it - or is it a fairly well rounded all-in-one e-commerce solution? I'll play around with the free one - but how much better is the upgrade? I think at the very least i'll do the $9.99 solution to have more options.

Really appreciate any input and considerations I'll need when setting up!

regards,
Sam
 

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If you use paypal as your shopping cart, you don't have to worry about SSL. It's built in to paypal.

Bigcartel is a very nice solution. You have more design choices on the pay version, plus large larger inventory. But otherwise, the core program works the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Splatehad. I've never really used Paypal until yesterday, didn't realise you could simply use your CC. I remember my mate had to through the rigmarole of depositing money from his bank account, to the paypal account to purchase but I don't think he had a CC at the time.

I think i'll be using bigcartel - any criticisms of bigcartel?

Oh, and that's also what I forgot. The free version means you need to have yourstore.bigcartel.com

If you purchase the platinum, can you have yourStore (without bigcartel in the URL?)

regards,
Sam
 

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Are you looking at your own self hosted solution or an 'off the shelf' hosted by some other company cart?

For your own hosted cart, with best development potential its really down to Magento and oSCommerce/Zen Cart open source platforms. Cubecart is also very popular and good platform.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I was probably thinking hosted 'off the shelf' initially. Simply for the fact that it's quite easy to get up and running straight away, and all I need to worry about is getting a domain name (so much to do at the moment, especially when you're doing it all lonewolf!)

I love the simplicity of bigcartel. Would you mind briefly letting me know what the advantages and disadvantages are of either?

Obvious ones - bigcartel - easy setup. Less 'adjust ability' so to speak.

Open source - can be more creative, more design choice etc. But I need to get my own host, etc etc.

Edit: Just on this note - with regards to paypal and shipping. I'm in Australia - does paypal usually do a good job at calculating shipping costs? I'm wanting it to coincide with Australia post - if it holds up well in the US - then it must do so in Australia. Thanks for your input.

regards,
Sam
 

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newbie here.. but i'm an e-commerce specialist and web marketer..

My advice.. steer clear of magento.. very very overcomplicated and unnecessary backend system and appalling templating structure, so not good if you want to veer from default layouts or get it to do something a bit beyond the norm.

Oscommerce - still good but a complete mess in terms of development and who maintains and contibutes towards it. You need to know your PHP to get the best out of this one , no question.

Thought of prestashop? couple of years old now and pretty good. Cubecart also not too bad.
 

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... steer clear of magento..
Thanks. I was getting ready to invest the time into downloading the "community" version. Mostly to kick the tires.

Thought of prestashop? couple of years old now and pretty good.
Thanks again. Never heard of it but, I'll check it out.

Cubecart also not too bad.
I do like Cube Cart. Especially after working with Zen cart for a few days. Very impressed with its template structure. Makes for easy customizing.

Thanks for your insight. Much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the help fellas. I've set up my free big cartel site. I will upgrade to the $10/month for more customization. I see you can edit CSS/HTML. Does this mean i'll have more leverage with SEO? I've been reading about it, never quite done it yet, though!
 

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no.. editing the HTML and CSS will only change your layout, providing you know what you're doing , otherwise you can mess it up. It wont help with SEO at all, but it can help if you write decent well formed and common sense HTML.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the advice. I would have thought, though, that these all in one e-commerce solution would already come with 'smart HTML' embedded/used as to produce the best options.

There was a post made by Rodney, on a website which had a whole heap of info on SEO, Marketing etc - anyone know what it is?

What are some other e-commerce all in one solutions that are good on the SEO front? How detrimental is SEO? If you submit your site to major search engines directly, does this help? What exactly does 'SEO' target on your page?

I'm doing obvious things - using words which describe the product obviously, avoiding flash and too much imagery - generally keeping the site neat and clean.

Thanks for the help - much appreciated.

regards,
Sam
 

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too complicated and too involved to go into really... especially on a level that e-commerce sites work at.

But, very basic advice.. put the keyphrase for your product in your title tag and meta description, make the page and content reflect what the product is about. and above all make sure each page is unique from other pages in your site. Ie a good well written decription (by you, not scraped), and a decent title and meta description for each category and product.

Make sure your category hierarchy makes sense.. put blue widgets in the widgets section, and that section only. Dont be tempted to copy them into every other section just because you think you'll sell more that way.

There are no e-commerce platforms with good SEO out of the box, despite what they say. You have to go custom and attack the templates and structure for real results. With e-commerce theres also a lot of backend work to do with indexing and blocking..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for that, appreciate it.

I still am unsure how this bigcartel site was customized like this?

Ugmonk — Ugmonk Shop

Ie; adding the blog, changing of background - they don't appear to be things that are customizable within bigcartel - I don't really want to mess around with the CSS as i'm not accustomed to it. Which brings me to another question - hosting - is there a limit to how much traffic your site can receive??
 

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Out of the box:
bigcommerce, cs-cart, pinnacle cart, xcart do a great job with seo. They allow you to control titles, meta tags and urls - they also keep good structure.

Other carts do a great job as well but those are my favorite.

To rank -- its all about titles, content and mostly getting consistent and quality backlinks(getting other sites to link to you with proper anchor text)

If you get enough links(you get enough votes) -
Youll rank higher.
What are some other e-commerce all in one solutions that are good on the SEO front? How detrimental is SEO? If you submit your site to major search engines directly, does this help? What exactly does 'SEO' target on your page?

I'm doing obvious things - using words which describe the product obviously, avoiding flash and too much imagery - generally keeping the site neat and clean.

Thanks for the help - much appreciated.

regards,
Sam
 

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Thanks, Roger, for the ecwid tip. I hadn't heard of it before but have been doing some research for the last couple of hours and it looks like it might be a good solution for us.

I think I've got my choices narrowed down to pagebuzz vs. hostgator/wordpress/ecwid

Decisions, decisions...

Thanks again for the heads-up.

Cheers,
David
 

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pagebuzz is a great solution also,, they are great people but I still feel that for free you can't beat the ecwid route, and by the way you don't have to use wordpress as ecwid is a widget and can be placed on any website another nice thing is that if you use face book you can use your ecwid widget there and have a full blown store on your face book page.

Either way they blow Big Cartel out of the water..
 

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Be careful with wordpress, it's awesome to work with but make sure you update your site regularly or your site will be prone to get hijacked and before you know it, a competitor will have all your data handy.

Ecwid was developed by qualiteam who created xcart. It's cool with all the ajax features but still in early stages and doesnt even touch xcart. That's why they charge for xcart ;)

It really depends if you need a simple little website created for a hobby or something serious with room for growth in the future. If its just for a basic website, then any little cart will do like ecwid or pagebuzz. If it's for something serious, do yourself a favor and get a shopping cart that has been in business for years and pay for it(Unless you know a good developer who can customize a free platform to your liking).

If your business grows, in the future youll need an order manager system to manage your orders and you also may want to sell on amazon. It may be wise to prepare for this immediately and get a shopping cart that is compatible with an order manager like stoneedge order manager to handle the automation part of your business. If you realize this a couple years down the road that you need a shopping cart that has these capabilities and you end up having to change -- it won't be fun and will cost you a lot more than the $1000 you saved going with the free platform ;)
 
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