Advice needed on a Ecommerce site

  erkmatrix 21:48 18 Feb 2008

Hi I'm in a slight dilema, I know very little about web design, well coding anyway, I have only designed web pages using WYSIWYG online site builder Moonfruit, but think it lacks search engine benifits being built in flash.

Heres the dilema, I want a site with a online shop to sell my modern artwork, prints and other craft products, maybe even sell other artists work too. Is there any good Web hosts that do a good ecommerce package, I've heard of zencart and oscommerce anyone recommend these or seem to have some good packages.

or should I learn Dream Weaver , I've bought it a bit back with adobe master suite and also got the missing manual book on dreamweaver or would it be a steep learning curve to learn to build a site with no coding knowledge a ecommerce site.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.


  CodeMeister 11:41 19 Feb 2008

I will probably get lambasted again for saying this, but in order to code an ecommerce site yourself, you will need to learn a server-side programming language such as PHP or ASP.Net.

Microsoft offer a completely free web development application for developing ASP.Net websites.

click here for details

Also, have a look at VirtueMart (click here for details).


  Kemistri 15:35 19 Feb 2008

Off-the-peg carts are quite OK for many folks, but it depends on what you are selling, how many items you have and how much customisation you expect. It's usually quite easy to spot websites that are not fully bespoke and rely instead on drop-in databases, carts and payment systems. Consider just having an external payment system such as Worldpay and creating the other parts yourself (or having someone else do it).

You have DW, so give it a go, but don't waste too much time/effort in one direction if you begin to think that another direction may work better for you. Try the trial version of Expression Web, which has very good ASP support and is easier to use. Just be aware that ASP has one slight caveat -- the provision of Windows servers is not as cheap and universal as Linux/PHP/MySQL. CodeMeister was trying to find Server 2005 support recently, for example. (How did that go, by the way?)

  CodeMeister 18:39 19 Feb 2008

Hi Kemistri,

I think you've just about summed it up there.

Most of my work is with ASP.Net / SQL Server, and although it does cost more to host a ASP.Net website, my services are in almost constant demand.

I agree that the "off the shelf", "one size fits all" ecommerce packages are a compromise and the resulting system is not as good as a proper bespoke one.

On the ASP.Net / SQL Server hosting front, I decided to go with EHosting (click here).

UKFast have won the ISPA awards for the best hosting company for the last few years, but my clients are not willing to pay the prices that they are quoting.

Memset (click here) also look good, but again, very expensive.

It's a shame that Heart Internet don't offer Windows hosting.

  Kemistri 18:55 19 Feb 2008

Yes, Memset has a very good reputation but is overpriced in my opinion. I'll bookmark EHosting.

  Forum Editor 11:20 22 Feb 2008

Windows hosting.

I agree, but they don't seem to think it's the way to go.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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