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I've been comparing services between GoDaddy and a new sight I heard about called 'Volusion' which is more of an online store. They have a 'Steel' program which is 20 products ($19.95) which probably exceeds the # of services I need. really just need website or store design help, hosting, and a way to drive traffic to the sight. Oh, and a way fo customers to pay :)

What do you think is a realistic price to pay per month for these very basic services? I sometimes think these sites don't offer a good return on investment and add to your monthy costs.

And speaking of driving traffic to your site, what has been your best method - word of mouth (business cards), mass email, or registering (per GoDaddy, etc.. on Yahoo or Google).

P.S. I have not set up my website/online store yet - only bought domain name and surrounding domains.

Thanks for the advice.
 

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What do you think is a realistic price to pay per month for these very basic services? I sometimes think these sites don't offer a good return on investment and add to your monthy costs.
I agree with that. I much prefer a one time price for a shopping cart rather than having to pay over and over monthly.

I would recommend keeping your web hosting and your shopping cart separate for that very reason.

You can get great web hosting for about $100 per year, and then get a shopping cart installed for free (like cubecart 3, zencart, oscommerce). You might pay someone to customize it if you wanted to give it a unique look, but I still think you could keep the costs much lower than paying month to month.

And speaking of driving traffic to your site, what has been your best method - word of mouth (business cards), mass email, or registering (per GoDaddy, etc.. on Yahoo or Google).
Search engine referrals like Google/Yahoo (don't pay someone to do it for you, just read up on the basics)

Next would word of mouth and media mentions (newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, etc)

Mass email would be spam, and I wouldn't recommend it. It takes time to build up a good opt in newsletter.
 

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Read all the fine print so you can make informed decisions. That volusion price of $19.95 is only for the first month. After that it's $29.95/month. There is also a $99 "set up fee".

I am not familiar with godaddy ecommerce solutions. But while you are looking, check out Big Cartel Bringing the Art to the Cart. I like their setup a lot.
Yeah, Big Cartel looks pretty good although I'm not thrilled abut Paypal. Would rather have some direct merchant payment system (if I undersatnd their site correctly._

What services do you currently use and how much is it per month/year? As I've indicated in other posts (1st shipment this week), I want to keep my services (and costs) down to a minimum. (Web hosting, website set-up/help, minimum storage (I only have three designs right now) and a basic way to drive customers to site ( I know this is hard).

Based on these facts, can you estimate how much I would pay per month/year. It's really hard for me to estimate after loking at so many all-in-one sites. (GoDaddy, Volusion, etc...)

Thanks.
 

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I use Big Cartel - I use the middle payment plan, I can't remember the specific precious metal they call it. It's good if you're just starting up - but there are a few annoyances with them.

As with ANY hosting or ecommerce plan, you need to ensure you have the CSS and HTML coding nailed - if you're not prepared to spend hours and hours learning and adjusting your layouts, you need to find someone to do it for you (but then you lose the control of the process). Big Cartel uses HTML API coding which takes a bit of time to get used to if you plan on customizing your site. A good method to use when doing it all is to copy a good site's CSS source (download the web programmer program on firefox) and adjust the coding accordingly.

Also, with Big Cartel, they have no FTP upload abilities. Which basically shuts out any chance of hosting your own Sitemap for submitting it to Google for SEO.

I plan on going with Godaddy for my ecommerce hosting in a few weeks probably. They're dead cheap, provide outstanding customer service, and excellent features. I already bought a domain off them and rerouted it to my Big Cartel store. Godaddy is what I'd go with.
 

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Based on these facts, can you estimate how much I would pay per month/year. It's really hard for me to estimate after loking at so many all-in-one sites. (GoDaddy, Volusion, etc...)
I gave a breakdown of costs in this post:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/ecommerce-site-design/t49286.html#post291796

It doesn't include a merchant account which varies in its monthly costs. Maybe about $25-$40 per month, depending on your rates and usage.
 
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