T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hey all, im about to purchase a webhosting plan and i need some of your thoughts.

what hosting plan do i need to run a simple online tshirt store? lets say right now i have 24 products, and later i would add maybe 6 more.:eek:
im not into flash or any sort of super complex website.
im thinking of going with usavedomains.com hosting plan, they also offer zen cart, which i want to use.
im only doing it because of zencart, and i checked reviews, theres nothing bad about this webhost so far. they offer basic;deluxe;pro plans.
i'd like to hear from current store owners as well as other forum users who has expirience or knows about webdesign.

thanks all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Dmitry - Hey there. For a cart you need 1 sql database, PHP running on the server, a security certificate registered to your business name and address, so the page goes to ecrypted HTTPS: when the person creates their account and enters in the CC#. Probably need 15 gbs of transfer a month and 1 gb of disk space on the server. You can definitly run a shared plan for sure. A couple POP accounts for email and that's pretty much it re: tech stuff. The important feture to pick a good host is can you pop open a support chat window on these guys and get some friendly help, much better than support email. And then do they have a phone number so if/when they go down you can give them a ring and say hi and see if they are just restarting their web servers or the DB server or if there is a tractor pulling up the fiber in the street outside the server location. Any other questions just PM me. I have a server Co. I've been with here in Los Angeles for 15 years so PM me if you want their info. Not as cheap as the example you gave, but pretty cheap.
Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
What Matt described is pretty much the minimum you'll need to host your own site. As your needs grow (bandwidth) you'll have to upgrade, but by that time you'll be making enough from your site for it to pay for itself many times over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
really good feedbacks here. i especially like Franks positive influence "you'll be making enough from your site for it to pay for itself many times over" lol very encouraging.
i def like some of the links you guys provided. but i have a question what would be some of the downsides if someone chooses to go with basic economy plan on sites like godaddy, hostgator or usavedomains
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
We have historically used AMHosting.com. They are inexpensive, their CPanel packages come with shopping cart cores, and their customer service is exceptional.

Keep in mind, though, that building a shirt store from scratch can be messy. Typically, you'll want to present consumers with an image of exactly what they'll be purchasing. This isn't a task for the weary. It can be daunting, in fact.

Consider also shirt fulfillment services that have shopping cart solutions that couple with print-on-demand direct to garment printing. It may make better financial sense, and it may save you frustration.

Best wishes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
For only 30 products zen cart is probably overkill, especially if you are not a php/css expert. The file structure can be very confusing with override system they use, and the backend has a lot of options that need to be managed. I'd use Wordpress with the e-commerce addon for a simple store. The Wordpress backend is very simple and straightforward. Wordpress is a lot more than blog software these days, some of the things people are doing with it will amaze you.

For either zen or wordpress the minimum package from any of the hosts will do - I have a 10k item zen cart store that is 400MB with images. A 30 item Wordpress store is under 20MB. Most hosts will offer either fantastico or Softaculous for auto installing software and scripts for the major open source software like zen and wordpress.

Just go for the minimums - $5/month should be the max you will pay, + <$10 year for a domain name. Register your domain name separately so that if you need to switch hosts you don't have to deal with someone you're already having problems with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
While I don't disagree with tmonkey, there are some other things to consider. In particular, the ability to render images of style/color/design permutations, and the fact that you'll also require an SSL if you want to keep consumers on your site during the transaction. (The rendering might not necessarily be important if you're only going to sell a few products, but if you want to offer your consumers as many options as possible, you'll somehow need to create images for each item, and you'll have to manually create it if it can't be rendered.)

Also, at $60/year for hosting, you'll probably require an upgrade before too long because there will be significant limitations on bandwidth.

Whatever your decision, you can always change your mind as your company grows, so don't fret. There is no wrong answer.

Best wishes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Yeah I agree, keep it simple to start with, it can take a while to get your revenue rolling and you don't want a barrage of costs in the beginning. For hosting I use PAYG web hosting - pay as you go - Hosting reborn you only pay for what you use, they are very cheap but the service is fabulous, I always get looked after Jon directly for questions and have never had technical issues. Cashflow can be one of the biggest issues with a start up, so keep it simple and cheap, and upgrade as you grow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
While I don't disagree with tmonkey, there are some other things to consider. In particular, the ability to render images of style/color/design permutations, and the fact that you'll also require an SSL if you want to keep consumers on your site during the transaction. (The rendering might not necessarily be important if you're only going to sell a few products, but if you want to offer your consumers as many options as possible, you'll somehow need to create images for each item, and you'll have to manually create it if it can't be rendered.)

Also, at $60/year for hosting, you'll probably require an upgrade before too long because there will be significant limitations on bandwidth.

Whatever your decision, you can always change your mind as your company grows, so don't fret. There is no wrong answer.

Best wishes!
When you start having problems with bandwidth you'll be able to afford better hosting! Bandwidth is the least of your problems - getting traffic is the problem with most new sites. (I host ~100 sites and no one is even close to their bandwidth max).

Rendering style/color/design permutations is just added code - it shouldn't affect the hosting plan you are on. I haven't had to deal with it - maybe you can elaborate on specific needs?

Yeah, I forgot about SSL - depending on what you'll be using for checkout that's going to cost ~$5/month extra. Most small sites can start out with paypal and use that for payment processing, avoiding the cost and configuration of SSL until the traffic is there.

The thing to remember - pretty much any plan you sign up with can be added to very easily with a quick phone call - start with the minimum and as the need (and traffic) requires upgrade. You'll be able to see it coming...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
thats some really nice points u guys got there! i apreciate every suggestion.
they defintly will help me to make a dicision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
When I first started and offered only four tees, a regular site (hosted by lunarpages) and paypal was enough. However, when I added more shirts, it became too time consuming to have to change out all the PayPal buttons/options, etc., so I switched to ZenCart. That worked great for a few years, until I realized that I needed more robust reporting and wanted to be able to export my customer list so I can mail to them. ZenCart didn't do that! So I switched once again.

You can try something and see how it works for you and then you can always change it once you outgrow it or find a system that suits you better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
I went ahead and bought an unlimited hosting plan. I pay per month, but I also design people's websites, and charge per year to host it with me. When you have unlimited domains, email, database, storage, and bandwidth it pays itself that way.. Well, almost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
some update.
i went with usavedomains.com and it didnt work. not a zencart nor nopcommerce. this is frustrating.
i found out zencart works best on linux servers and i had windows. i uninstalled zen and installed nopcommerce which was great at the begining. i later started having problems with shipping, getting errors, and wen i tried to move my store from "shop" folder to my "root directory" it all got screwed up.
i thought i backed up my files in SQL but all i did was back up database, no idea what the hell the difference is, then i deleted annoying files in file manager that was non existent but still remained in file manager (????) i wonder why. this must be stupid hosting company. neways
all my hard work was gone, and store files and setting got deleted.
i decided to get the hell out of usavedomains, now im gonna have to transfer my domain and strat everything from begingin.
instalaations was supposed to be easy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Dmitry - Sounds tough man. Yes we prefer open source stuff. if you get a install of OSC going I might be able to help point you in the right direction if you have a problem. Try hostica, they are good fair people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Dmitry - Sounds tough man. Yes we prefer open source stuff. if you get a install of OSC going I might be able to help point you in the right direction if you have a problem. Try hostica, they are good fair people.
yes Matt i was gonna try it with hostica like 1 hr ago when i found out i cant transfer my domain name before 60 days. that means if i transfer my domain it wont work on my new hosting up until 60 days gone by, and thats really gonna hurt my business cuz i wanted to launch site and sell tshirts for this summer.
im thinking to transfer later to hostica. it seems pretty good to me.
:( i changed my hosting to linux, they say zen cart works better in linux or someting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Your Registrar won't let you point your domain to different DNS servers for 60 days? Wow you are having a real "learning" experience with this. Stay positive. Switch to Linux and MySQL and zencart should work well. Remember open source always have lots of forums and online help like this site. Good luck man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
It sounds like you are trying to transfer your domain name, which yes, can't be done for 60 days. What you actually need to do is just point you DNS servers to the new host. Domain names and domain hosting are two separate things that do not have to (and probably should not) come from the same company. Who did you get the domain name from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
It sounds like you are trying to transfer your domain name, which yes, can't be done for 60 days. What you actually need to do is just point you DNS servers to the new host. Domain names and domain hosting are two separate things that do not have to (and probably should not) come from the same company. Who did you get the domain name from?
oh really i didnt know that. im still new to all these hosting things /sighs/
i went wit usavedomains.com

by the way zen cart works fine now. and im in progress of configuring my store
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
I use Shopsite, does any one else use this software? Seems to be a great shopping cart and customer service has been great, if you ever need it. This stuff works & is easy to use.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top