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ecommerce solution help

Discussion in 'eCommerce' started by o_l, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. #1
    Hi

    I am looking for some help for the future of our web shop. I am sorry for the length of this, but it is only to try and explain the situation the best way possible. Any help at all will be much appreciated.

    Before I started working for this company they had a WordPress with a premium theme + WooCommerce + Mamut – Visma as their complete ecommerce solution. An external company did the entire job some years ago and is responsible for maintaining and develop the solution. Any changes big or small went through them. The only thing the owners did was add new products.

    Also, before I started working this got slightly changed when the premium theme got exchanged for a custom developed solution for WordPress by the external company.

    Now that I joined the team the owners want more control over their website and they were hoping this would be possible giving my user account admin privileges. This would have worked perfectly when the site was running the premium theme, but the custom upgrade is as it is now giving what I would call extreme limitations, on the border of actually being able to do nothing custom/design wise. The external company made these changes when upgrading because they said running a premium team slow the web shop down, make unnecessary mess in codes, it made SEO more difficult and to keep plugins to a minimum.

    The store is selling office supplies and started small some years ago but today have over 10000 products. There is still just a handful of people working there and almost nothing is kept in the actual storage. We also know that the number of products are going to increase rapidly in time to come. Google analytics and AdWords play a large role in the daily use as well as Facebook advertising.
    SEMrush
    So from the owners perspective and with this information (and I will provide more if needed) what would you recommend going forward as the owners want a lot more control design wise but none of u are by no means developers? (By design wise I am talking layout on pages, menus, portfolios, banners, slides, content etc).


    1. Have the external company do an expensive development job so that pages, post, design in general can be edited more like a traditional WordPress site and keep going forward with the rest as it is?


    2. Keep things as they are today but on the side start to set up a new shop solution on a WordPress + premium theme (old theme? Or a good recommendation?) + WooCommerce from scratch on our own exporting and importing everything to save time from the current solution as we own everything. Than we would also want to try to exclude the Mamut solution and keep everything that has to do with shopping, transaction, stock, shipping etc to WooCommerce.


    3. The 3rd option is kind of up in the air and open but are there better suited platforms if the web shop is to be rebuilt based on the information provided? There are no developers working in the store and the best knowledge is limited to setting up a WordPress sites and general IT understanding. Though the will to learn is not lacking….There is also nothing wrong with seeking out help from the same external partner or others, but the end solution has to give us the ability to edit visual design and only lean on them for technical/development challenges.

    Regards,
    Ollie
     
    o_l, Mar 18, 2017 IP
    SEMrush
  2. MaxGoodman

    MaxGoodman Greenhorn

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    #2
    I don't know if maybe I'm having a more kneejerk reaction because of my background in eCommerce development, but honestly I think #2 might be the way to go. It's going to be a huge hassle and a bit of a time investment, but honestly in the long run having a store that you have far more creative control over is really going to pay off. I've worked with clients who had a lot of development bottlenecks that prevented updates from being made quickly and easily, and that sort of thing never really helps anyone. It's going to be harder to make updates to products, it's going to be harder to keep up with SEO needs, and there's really just no good way of going about it otherwise.

    If it's within your budget and it won't really cause a massive impact on earnings or operations, try to stick with your current site for now and work on a new one in the meantime. In a couple years when your website is better able to keep up with changing SEO needs and product availability, you'll be glad you did.
     
    MaxGoodman, Mar 21, 2017 IP
  3. o_l

    o_l Peon

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    #3
    I appreciate your input very much. If we were to go for a new clean wordpress + WooCommerce solution, do u have any recommendations for a wordpress framework/theme for a clean and fast solution? I dont know too much about just that but I am wondering since the developers responsible for the site chose to leave a theme and rebuild a custom solution. I am thinking in regards to it being fast and able to handle tens of thousands of products, SEO friendly, good structure for communicating with analytics and adwords.
     
    o_l, Mar 21, 2017 IP
  4. SEcomm007

    SEcomm007 Peon

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    #4
    hey

    Full Disclosure I'm a Shopify Partner but I don't work for them.

    I'm speaking from experience with both working heavily with Wordpress and Shopify.

    From the sound of it. Your problem is having a external development company to maintain the website is too expensive and inconvenience. Which I understand.

    My suggestion is you try out Shopify and hire an Shopify developer to customize a theme that is fully editable by you or your both. This is entirely possible on Shopify as I've done it for many of my clients. The reason this is possible is due to Shopify's unique template system.

    As for SEO, it is also entirely possible to have the Shopify developer to design a SEO friendly, clean, and fast website for you.

    Shopify it self also has some SEO support as well.
     
    SEcomm007, Mar 22, 2017 IP
  5. MaxGoodman

    MaxGoodman Greenhorn

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    #5
    Truth be told, I would just stick with WooCommerce. It's one of the easiest ones to use and customize, and if you try to avoid making anything too proprietary or don't customize it too hard, I think you can get by just fine. It sounds like a lot of the problems you had with your first site were made around over-customization and your development team not being willing to hand it over after it was done. This solution might be a little too simplistic, but it might solve a lot of your original problems.

    Of course, there's always Magento to consider; I've never used Shopify but the user above me speaks highly of it, and Magento is really easy to learn and use too after it's set up.
     
    MaxGoodman, Mar 22, 2017 IP
  6. o_l

    o_l Peon

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    #6
    Thank you both very much. I think I will start trying to find out the best framewrok/theme for what we need in wordpress. Its so much to chose from so I am glad we arent in a real hurry. At the same time its worth checking out other solutions as mentioned and the cost if needed to be set up by developers before handing it over to us. Exciting and challenging times.
     
    o_l, Mar 23, 2017 IP
  7. MaxGoodman

    MaxGoodman Greenhorn

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    #7
    I remember when I used to think this sort of thing was "exciting" instead of just being "a pain in my ass". :D Good luck to you, and please let us know how it goes or if you have any other questions!
     
    MaxGoodman, Mar 24, 2017 IP
  8. seoemporium

    seoemporium Well-Known Member

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    #8
    If the current site has 10,000 products and the owners plan on adding more over time, plus they want to be able to customize the store to fit your needs, you might run into some issues with a platform such as WooCommerce and Wordpress. In the end, wordpress is essentially a blogging platform which has been made to work very well with WooCommerce as a plugin. But it can get tricky to maintain when you have thousands and thousands of products, especially if you want a custom solution. Now, can you get it to work with WooCommerce? Sure, but at what cost? In my opinion, I would try to use a shopping cart system that is easier to customize and is made to handle thousands of products. Two come to mind: 1. OpenCart and 2. Magento. OpenCart is free and has tons of extensions that can make your system customized. Magento is also free but they have a paid enterprise version which is kind of pricey, but there are several big name brands that use Magento.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you would like me to dig deeper into your website and I would be happy to provide a free analysis.
     
    seoemporium, Mar 31, 2017 IP
  9. AlvinWilliams

    AlvinWilliams Peon

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    #9
    I think you can always try and check out the reviews and other themes available in WordPress. Try the free ones. And yeah, WooCommerce does come in handy; it’s easy to understand too. It will help you be specific about your e-commerce order fulfillment.
     
    AlvinWilliams, Apr 9, 2017 IP
  10. QuikTek Info Services

    QuikTek Info Services Member

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    #10
    It's better to maintain an e-Commerce site on Magento or Presstashop. There are many developers available who works n Magento & Presstashop. You can also upload the products on your own by using these 2 platforms. Or there are some companies that can help you as QuikTekInfo, Suntec, Data4Amazon & many more.
     
    QuikTek Info Services, Jun 5, 2017 IP
  11. Sirarpi01

    Sirarpi01 Peon

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    #11
    Using Wordpress is easier. I have my own website and started from scratch all by myself (not an e-commerce) without having lots of difficulties. So if you have time, just learn how to use it effectively as Woocommerce lets you have useful CRO and customer engagement tools. You can ease your burden by adding an easy-to-install live support like Backocart to manage your conversations with your customers.
     
    Sirarpi01, Mar 27, 2018 IP