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We're starting from scratch & need advice

     
3:58 pm on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We are going to be a small 2 person (and possibly in the near future, a 1 person) business offering a web shopping site, utilizing drop shopping.

Under no circumstances do we want to produce an amateurish, slow, cluttered, clunky, badly/poorly designed/laid out or an unsatisfactory-customer-experience web site that destroys our ability to be successful.

We do not have any and will not be able to get any web, design or computer knowledge or expertise ourselves (other than reasonable end users) and also, we will need advice/consulting on what we need, what are the various elements we need to factor in and then what things will cost, initially and ongoing.

Is there a company type/single source for all of these disciplines or are we best advised to approach different types of companies for each element/area (or group) and if so, what kind of companies do we need for which area(s).

I can do minor ongoing admin, tweaking, data entry and those non-technical computer tasks myself and possibly could do other things if taught/shown, but that's really my limit.

(we do not intend to sell on ebay or amazon).
3:59 pm on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've found Volusion a very comprehensive system that was logical and easy to use. Big Commerce also looks good too.
8:50 pm on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Big Commerce is a good option but be ready to go to school for any ecommerce platform you choose. Dont expect any real income for months if ever unless you think everything out in advance. Getting to the first page of google is not easy in some markets for someone with no SEO or web master experience it can be impossible.
9:16 pm on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Silver, you should commission a "Needs analysis" with a reputable web development firm. It is an initial expense however it will let you know what is "blue sky" thinking and what is actually attainable within your budget.

Without the help of experts you will have no real idea of what the true costs will be to have your vision fully implemented, it will also give you a realistic expectation of what you will get for the budget you have in mind.

Keep in mind just because you get a needs analysis from company A doesn't mean company A has to be the company that builds the website.
11:20 am on June 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Who are the reputable web development firms? I have zero knowledge of who is out there or who have good names.
7:59 pm on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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There are a zillion firms out there and I suspect many will be out of your budget. I would suggest trying to tap your network to see if anyone either does what you need or knows people who do. Also, lots of smaller operation web sites include "site credits" so surf around and if you see stuff you like, try and find out the designer.

[edited by: lorax at 11:02 pm (utc) on Jun 16, 2011]
[edit reason] link snipped [/edit]

9:02 pm on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi there, Silvershine:

Just my two cents, which you can totally disregard.

the web site development part is going to be the easy part.

It is the business development / marketing / SEO / PPC management that is going to be hardest, and that is the most crucial part.

I really wish that I had invensted in that ten years ago when we were starting out. I am living to regret the fact that we didn't.
10:27 pm on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Who are the reputable web development firms? I have zero knowledge of who is out there or who have good names.


I always recommend going with a local firm if possible. Do a little looking of who is in the area. Call them and ask if they can provide references.

If they don't answer the phone during normal business hours or can't provide a reference... move on.
2:43 pm on June 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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pricetack pb:

I don't have a "network".
 

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