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JSP
04-11-2007, 01:35 AM
I have an existing site (with SOL) which I am hoping to move. I can't afford to take the old site down, but I feel totally lost in trying to recreate the site with a shopping cart. All of the shopping carts seem to be online only (have to build with their templates) and I can't figure out how to access them or work on them.

I am hoping that somebody can point me in the right direction. I don't have a problem creating the individual pages (I have resigned myself to that task), but I don't want to have to create them multiple times. Although I feel fairly comfortable with basic HTML, I am nowhere near being a programmer.

I feel like I am spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. Can somebody please help?

If OS Commerce is not the right shopping cart, that is okay, as long as I can get pointed in some direction that might work.

Thanks in advance.

John Presler

Vasili
04-11-2007, 04:08 AM
John....

osCommerce is a powerful eCommerce solution, and as a solid foundation for transacting business online, there are few carts more robust.
There are a few free templates available from VodaHost as a customer for you to spin a new look to the generic osC out-of-the-box look, and an avalanche of Premium templates to choose from as well (most avg. $175). These can be easily installed on top of a generic installation of osC in your account, and honestly, unless you are looking for a real customized look and feel, once your chosen "skin" is installed, you simply go through the simple process of "configuring" the car itself, and loading it with product lastly: thus, choosing a Premium template and resigning yourself to using it "as-is" with minimal swapping of logos and images, osCommerce will be probably your most simple avenue of approaching things.

However, if you prefer to begin to develop a "cart" using Soholaunch (the premium website builder with an eCommerce solution built in --unlike Blue Voda, which is a builder without a eC solution), the approach is quite similar to the above: you have a short selection of Free skins via VodaHost, and a huge selection of Premium Templates available as well ($75-175). And, like above, you can choose to swap out images and logos to make things yours, if you are satisfied withthe template itself.
Or, if you are feeling adventurous, you can install Soho generically, and methodically go through the foundational files to tweak it yourself from the ground up.

Although I have a Soholaunch cart myself, I elected to have it completely customized the way I specified (colors, images, set up, width, etc.), and I think I paid less than $200 when all was said and done. Preparing my products for loading, however, has proven to take me more than 5 times as long! You can see my yet incomplete Soho site here (http://www.theblingster.com).

I have osCommerce sites also, and have not really made up my own mind which is better, which is easier, or which serves clients more.....I might have to wait until they are fully operational to get that data....BUT.....osCommerce offers unlimited categories and sub-categories, and customizable shipping options (Soho offer limited categories and few S/H options), yet Soho offers digital delivery (eZines, downloads, etc.) and osCommerce needs MOD's, usually a daunting task. >> Depends on what you need them to do!

But....no matter which you choose, I do not think you can go wrong being a VodaHost customer and finding the technical support to make things happen for you......it is more a matter of "studying the material" before you begin, and thus being more able to proceed according to your own pace and expectations.

"Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan"

Karen Mac
04-11-2007, 04:51 AM
Hi John <waving>

I think what you are asking is.. can you upload all your products and product pictures without having to add them all one by one, then the answer is yes.. you can do this with OSC or Soholaunch and I think with Cube Cart too. Ftp your image folder up, and import your csv files into either one of these builders.

Coming from SOL, you will find soholaunch much easier to manipulate and build with than trying to jump into OSC or ZEN cart. It does have limitations in the shipping methods, you cant do mulitple ones, you have to pick one and deal with it, or add a product for them to add more costly methods etc etc. OSC is more customizable in this area.

Finally, If you want to build it totally, without having to disable your current site or deal with double domain issues, then you may want to talk to Beth about using Cart Manager and BV to custom build your site.. or Use Blue Voda and Mals ecart which will allow you to use your merchant account for credit cards. You could also just use paypal with Blue voda fairly easily.

Blue Voda will allow you to totally build OFF Line on your hard drive, and then when you have it all ready to go publish and redirect your domain. However, you do lose the ability to just make a csv file from your current store and reformat and upload the whole product line with a csv file.

There is a way also to temporarily format your computer to view soholaunch storebuilder and work on it without a domain, but everytime you clear the cache or dump the cookie files you will have to reconfigure your computer to access the domain by the numeric address. I dont know how savvy you are in this area, but these are giving you the possibilities.

If you have further questions.. you know how to reach me!

Karen

JSP
04-11-2007, 11:12 AM
Thank you both for your replies.

From what I am hearing there is no way to use either OS Commerce or any online shopping cart to rebuild my current site unless I take it totally off line and then start from scratch.

Is there any way to upload OS Commerce, create the site with one name and then rename it when I am ready to activate it?

I tried looking at SohoLaunch at one point, but because I used the name of my existing site, I made a royal mess of things and could not access it. Fortunately, support was able to reset my account, so I could access it again. So far I have had VodaHost for about 4 months have been unable to use it to rebuild my existing site. (Very discouraging.)

I tried looking at Mals but the programming part seemed overwhelming, but maybe I can look at it again. My problem is that I have spent so much money trying to get this thing running that I am flat broke (like a lof of other people who went with SOL and PMI). I honestly don't know which way to turn. Again, I am getting extremely discouraged with the whole process.

I want to thank you both for your responses, and I hope to be able to find a solution rather than leaving the site on SOL, but for right now I seem to be stuck. SOL = S*** Outta Luck.

John