I'd be really interested to hear if you have any experience using this site. It seems really easy to use but is WIX a good long term solution for a small operation? I need a shopping cart.
Thanks in advance!
For personal sites, Wix is great. There is a "shop" app you can use. The problem with these kinds of sites is that if something goes wrong you do not have access to your back-end files and database so you can't really transfer your files to another host. For a tiny site it's a start.
Thanks for the heads-up Cardisa. What do you mean by back-end files? Is it possible to back them up?
I certainly want to be able to transfer my domain name, custom, files and other information to another site if it's not working for any reason. I'll use gmail so I want to be able to keep any email addresses I collect too.
I appreciate you sharing your information with me.
When you host your website with a company like Hostgator (for example) your website is saved two ways; FTP (file transfer protocol) and a database, usually MySQL. If you want to transfer your website for some reason you can back up your database and website files, then upload them to your new host.
Your FTP files will contain the HTML for your website, templates, plugins and modules for your website and the database contains everything including passwords and pages you created.
So you've decided to definitely have your own site?
If so, then I strongly suggest you forget Wix. Even if they enable you to export data (which I greatly doubt), it's unlikely you'll be able to preserve all your page URL's, which will result in a big traffic loss.
I can understand you being sucked in by how nice the site looks and ease of use but trust me, you'll regret it in the end. It's badly designed:
Remember, Wix has an affiliate program so a lot of favourable reviews are just people trying to earn commissions.
I still reckon you'd be better off piggy-backing on an Etsy-like site. Did you look at any of the links I gave you?
I agree 100% with you re an Etsy type site but have yet to find one. Of course there are numerous limitations with Etsy too. Sure people browse the shops and can favourite you etc which is awesome, but you can also lose customers through that process too and many people on the forum have their own sites and drive traffic there for that very reason. It's also incredibly popular so you need to create traffic to drive to your shop.
Marisa, thanks for the extra ideas and I'm working my way through your list. So far, although the dewanda concept is good, I clicked on numerous links and there appear to be few sales, few views etc. The forum is not that active either.
I really like ezebee though, but again, it appears few sales.
I don't like notmassproduced at all. Will go through the rest as I can.
I too am concerned re losing my URL. I've registered a name and once I get this up and running I don't want to lose it and any traffic I manage to generate.
Remember, if you create your own site, the only traffic you'll get is what you create. You may be able to get a bit of extra traffic by being on a marketplace-type site, or you may not. But you won't get less traffic, so you'll be no worse off - and it will be free to run and easier to set up.
http://www.powerretail.com.au/getting-s … ketplaces/
You won't lose your main URL, but that's not the point.
Think of your HubPages account. Each Hub has its own URL. Your shop will be the same - each page has its own URL. Over time, people will link to your site and they won't just link to your home page, they'll link to other pages as well - so those URL's are important too. Some sites may say they let you export, but all they let you export is the text of your pages, and it may not be easy to recreate the URL's on another platform (for instance, WIX URL's are unusual).
Susana may be right about Squarespace - but as you need more than 20 products, it becomes almost the same price as Shopify so I'm not sure I'd recommend it over Shopify. And if you can restrict your product range to 25 products at first, you'll pay only $14 per month on Shopify.
I totally forgot to mention the Amazon Webstore. http://webstore.amazon.com/
Just checked the price and it's a little expensive but you could check it out and see if it suits you.
I agree that Wix is not the best option but there's no need to preserve page url's forever, nor to lose traffic. 301 redirects can be used.
Not long ago I worked with a site that did exactly that. They moved from an ecommerce website builder (EKMpowershop) to a custom site. Every single url changed except the homepage url. I thought there would be some temporary loss/reduction in search traffic and serps, but there was none at all.
No, no, no! As Cardisa says, there is one huge problem with WIX - once you build a site there, you're stuck there forever. If their service goes downhill, or they decide to charge ridiculous fees, you're at their mercy because there's no way to transfer your site to any other provider. Whatever service you consider using, always make sure you can export and transfer your site - otherwise don't touch them with a bargepole.
The trouble with WIX is that its looks are seductive but under the hood, the engineering isn't that good.
This is a good review:
...and on another topic, DaWanda says it accepts "small family run businesses" as well as individual artists:
http://en.dawanda.com/cms/c/en/Seller-P … on-DaWanda
or you could look into:
Your comment re migration and being "stuck" with them is most interesting Marisa. Thank you.
It seems incredibly restrictive and an old-fashioned way to conduct a business. It's just so darned difficult to think of EVERYTHING when you're looking at this type of project so all input is fantastic.
I've just asked them a question about exiting and migrating data and will look forward to their reply.
It is true. These websites are all the same with no recourse if something happens
I think Zoho offers a way to back up your files, the last time I checked. I have accounts with all of these sites and do not have one active website with any of them. You can create a free account, browse and see what they offer. Plus they are quite expensive if you want your own domain name.
Depending on your budget it's best to go with traditional hosting and set up shop with one of their open source applications.
Wordpress is easy to set up and comes with a free webstore plugin. http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-online-store/
Purchase a domain name and a hosting plan. Currently I am using Arvixe. They have hosting as low as $5 per month with a free domain name for life. If you change host you pay $9.95/year for the domain, which is within the normal price range.
Godaddy now has a special on for $2.95 for .coms for new customers. http://www.godaddy.com/deals2/?gclid=CN … 09051414:s
But Godaddy is not a reliable hosting provider.
I used WIX to build my first three websites. However, since it is built in Flash it wasn't accessible for all smart phones. That didn't work for me because my professional site is something that I want people to access, regardless of the device they use.
I use wix right now for my portfolio/online resume. It was easy to set up and allows you to change things to your liking. I haven't used the shopping cart option so I'm not sure about that one.
Can we sell anything using wix? I have never used this site
This is one of the things I love so much about these forums. I learn about these new websites that I've never heard of before. I've been introduced to Flickr, Stumbleupon, bubblews and a few others..
I have never even heard of WIX before. lol. I feel like I'm always behind the times on these new web-sites. You're right Marisa, it does look like a really great web-site.. even I was almost lured by the fanciness of the site. I'm not in the market for a web-site right now, but maybe someday I'll have enough time to run a blog or something.. I'm amazed by everyone who can manage multiple accounts on different sites, run their own blogs and websites and still have time to post regularly on HP. Makes me feel like a rookie/slacker. lol.
I'd be interested to hear of anyone else's experience on this site as well. I always like to have lots of feedback from other users before I open accounts on other sites...I would worry that the price is currently free, but nothing good on the internet stays free for too long. If they own your web-site and decide to start charging for it, you would lose so much of your own work. That would be awful.
Good luck with your web-site, travelespresso! I hope you're able to find a suitable host.
PS. Does anyone remember Geocities from back in the day? I used to run a website hosted from them like 15 years ago. I really liked them. Too bad it's shut down now.
I use wix for my business. It's easy enough to put together a nice looking site but what Marissa says has merit. Make sure you back up all your information, text, pics - just in case you have to move it. I miss the old Geocities where I could do my own HTML *sigh*
Thanks Merej99. Do you use the shopping cart? Do you use it on your mobile? If so, can you please comment on how easy/difficult it is to load etc.
I wouldn't know what to do if I had to put in code so this type of template structure works for me!
Can I back everything up, including email addresses? Is this what Cardisa means by "back-end" files?
I definitely don't want to be locked into a host forever because if my needs change or they hold you to ransom, I want to be able to move.
I haven't dabbled in the shopping cart but I was able to use their menu app. From my experience the various apps are user-friendly and easy enough to place on your page. You have the option (like maps) to include it on all the pages or one specific page. There is a little learning curve, depending on your aptitude for such things but consider dedicating a few hours get familiar with the tools and formatting options.
I can't speak on what Cardisa was talking about but my version of "back end files" are my text, pictures, and site map of what pages were connected (in house) and what pages led you to an outside link.
Any emails I receive from my website go directly to Outlook so it's easy enough to create a group so you know where those addresses are on your computer.
I guess the best advice I can give is to start a beta page that you can tinker with. See if you like the tools and options. It's like a relationship. You never start one thinking it's going to end. But just in case it does it's nice to have your stuff packed.
I love your analogy merej99 about relationships! Too true so after reading comments from Cardisa and MW I'm investigating Wix a little further, particularly in relation to exiting. I bought a name from Godaddy. I think the issue might be linked to them asking to transfer and this is what Wix say:
"When connecting your domain to your Wix site using name servers, the domain name stays at your hosting company and connects to the Wix servers. Connecting to our name servers transfers control of your domain records to Wix."
I've started a beta page and so far, I really like it. As you say, there's a learning curve but that's normal with all new applications and its quite intuitive. The only thing I've stumbled on so far, is how to delete one of the existing tabs but I'll take a fresh look later.
At one time you could get a Paypal shopping cart. That is what I used when I had a site where I sold books. It worked, but wasn't perfect. At that time it was free. That was a few years back, so I don't know if they charge now. I wouldn't think so.
There are a couple of website builders that offer the option of moving your site to wordpress at a later date if you choose. They are squarespace, weebly and IMcreator (there may be more but these are the ones I know of), though you'll have to research whether they have ecommerce store templates. Squarespace definitely do....actually they might be the best option for you. One good thing about squarespace is that you can edit the html (unlike Wix) which is a massive plus in their favour.
Personally I think using a website builder can be a good place to start if you don't have time/don't want to learn wordpress, joomla, drupal, magento etc. If your site is ultimately successful, then you can get your own site built down the line. It's not that big a deal. I would say though, do get your own domain name and go for a paid version of whichever builder you choose.
Also make sure to research what the various website builders customer service is like. Most of them are available by phone or live chat support during business hours for any questions or help you might need, so don't think that once you've decided on a site builder you're totally on your own.
The other option of course is to get a simple ecommerce site built for you. It doesn't have to be expensive.
Again, thanks so much SusannaS. I'm building a beta site at the moment and, so far, it feels OK.
I just need to be sure that if, in the future, I need to migrate my information to another site that I've backed up everything really well. This seems to be an issue with most (all?) of these template solutions.
I already purchased a domain name.
Checking out Squarespace in more detail thanks SusannaS. I like the look of it and it seems transparent re the ownership of the domain name.
I've registered a .com name and whichever provider I use, I want to be able to transfer the data and the name along with any business if I need to exit it sometime in the future.
I definitely don't want to learn any of those programs - Joomla etc.
I checked out Squarespace and whilst its looks amazing, tucked away in the small print (which took me AGES to notice!) is a small list of countries where the site can be used. Unfortunately these restrictions mean I can't use the site for payments so this site's off the list. Again thanks for the suggestions.
I think it's really important to remember that your main goal is to have a shop, not run a website with a shop on the side. If you've decided you're going for your own standalone shop and you're prepared to pay a monthly fee, then I'd say look for a company whose core business is shops, not websites.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/elandekel/2 … -part-2-2/
Shopify gives you unlimited products for $29/month or a $14/month starter pack AND a free trial. You may recall Susana S recommended them.
Yes, I'm looking at Shopify again now that Squarespace is off the list.
I was hesitating because they cream 2% on sales whilst still taking a fairly chunky monthly fee. However, as Susanna said, if it works out well, then I can move it to my own setup. I think I'll have fewer than 20 products for many months so the $14 per month is acceptable.
It still seems like its a long URL even when you use your own domain name.
I just read that Forbes article and its excellent! You're a mine of information Marisa?
I'm naturally curious, and I've recently set up a friend's site using hosting and WooCommerce, so I've been looking into the various ecommerce solutions. We went with WooCommerce in the end, because she already had a Wordpress-based site and we decided to bolt the shop on to that.
We very nearly went for Prestashop (free software) - again, you'll need to get hosting, but they have partnered with various hosting companies and claim that installation is easy if you go with one of them (remains to be seen of course!). Certainly hosting + Prestashop would be cheaper than Shopify.
I must admit, I didn't realise Shopify took a percentage as well as a monthly fee. That does seem excessive! The other service on our shortlist was CoreCommerce.com - also $29.95 a month but with no percentage add-on.
I would go with WordPress.org right from the start. It's easy use with all the available plugins, even shopping carts.
OK SA. Thanks. Do you have the time to elaborate on this? It's not too late for me to change paths!
I can't do code and don't want to learn. My skills in this arena are basic + ...not a bunny ...but not intermediate!
i am not using wix for its hard to put widgets on the site and limited access too. It would be nice to use blogger or wordpress if you are just starting your own blog.
I've used it in the past, but the long URLs forced me to leave.
I am using Wix. I built my site from scratch with it. This is NOT a plug. But see what I have done. It's quite dynamic.
I achieved page 2 results for several keywords within the first few weeks so from what I can see it is not penalised because it is a Wix site.
This is the site I built <link snipped> As I said, I am NOT promoting my site here. I built this site myself from scratch in Wix.
Instead of long URL's as previous suggested by somebody here, register a normal domain name and point it to your site and then buy Gmail email hosting under that domain name.
It is very cheap. Wix has so many useful plugins I am exploring.
All the best,
Wix is NOT cheap. $12 per month is expensive. The premium version of Wordpress.com is $99 per year and is far superior. If you get your own hosting and run Wordpress.org software, it will cost you less than $5 per month.
How are you checking your search engine ranking? If you're just doing a search, remember Google personalises results (even when you're not logged in), so you're not seeing what everyone else does.
I don't know what keywords you were using but I did a few searches. I'm in Australia and I found your site on page 4. Considering I had just opened your site and looked at it - and therefore it was in my history - that suggests it would be even lower for others.
Greg, thanks so much for your post and your experience.
Like Marisa, I searched, what I thought are a few key terms, about divorce and I stopped looking when they didn't appear in the first 4 pages.
I hate the way google personalises the results so its difficult for a site owner to get good information about where their site ranks.
Good luck with your new business.
I pay $8 per month hosting 6 websites with a host provider. Wix is expensive and you can only build one website for the $12. Yola allows 5 websites for their Silver package and 25 websites for their premium package...that's a better deal to me...but I still recommend a hosting provider with open source applications like Wordpress.org etc.
The words I am targeting are divorce advice australia (Page 2), how to divorce australia (page 5), life after divorce australia (page 4...I think) and several others and i launch dthe site 3.5 weeks ago and have just used good SEO strategies. Check to see if the results are the same in your country.
Thank you. I will need the luck.
I'm in Australia. You're correct, the exact words "divorce advice australia" gets you on page 2 in my search as well.
My only concern is that when I'm looking for something, I rarely bother to type the word "Australia" because I expect the results on google.com.au to favour Australian sites anyway. If I type in "divorce advice", which I'd be far more likely to do, I can't find your site in the first five pages and after that, I stopped looking.
Thanx You madam it available Information about That topic....
Yes, I am targeting divorce advice and how to divorce also. They are at page 8 and 10ish I think. They are harder. However, Google research is showing me that several hundred people type those phrases in, with Australia at the end. Over 1000 per month without the world Australia.
The way I am working the SEO, getting page 2 in just over 3 weeks and staying there I thought was quite good. It can take months. As I will have that online business for a long time, i am patient. no sales yet. But I will be happy with a sale a week if i can push it high on page 1 in the coming weeks and months.
But having Wix won't penalise you, as per this evidence.
Yes....it's all very valuable information. Thanks for sharing.
We can't judge whether Wix is holding him back or not. New websites often get a boost in search engine rankings because of their freshness anyway. And after all, he's only on page 2 for one particular keyword phrase, for which there are only hundreds not thousands of searches (so it's likely not many other sites are targeting that phrase).
The biggest problem with Wix remains that there is no way to export your website if you ever want to change platforms. Plus the load time can be slow unless you keep the site small and simple.
I have used Wix for two websites, and the biggest problem for me is that no one can pin images from their sites. It's ridiculous.
I have a store with over 400 products on it, so I went with a more robust package that could perform marketing to previous customers, do a customer rewards program etc. and it needed to be easy for a novice to setup.
Volusion has a very slick package; it's easy to setup and maintain, however it is very expensive. $69.00 per month hosting and another $68.00 minimum for credit card processing.
Big Commerce is equally expensive. But on a really big site it could be less expensive. Credit card gateways are expensive, so you want to be sure that you get the fine print on that before you commit.
I didn't know about not being able to PIN products. That's a very big negative these days.
Ouch, that's a lot for credit card fee access and its a minimum!
I found the more I looked at the different packages the more I became aware of limitations.
I've just been through that whole credit card gateway thing and I agree, the fees are ridiculous - but they're not controlled by the shopping platform you use, because they're charged by the finance processor.
All a payment gateway does is give you a way to accept credit cards. If you don't have one, you can still offer Paypal, and people can pay by credit card through that. You can also offer payment by direct bank deposit and by cheque.
All the dedicated shopping platforms charge a monthly fee so I guess it's time to sit down and do some projections and some hard thinking. How long do you think it will take to get customers? What's your plan for attracting them? How much can you afford to go on paying before they arrive?
If your budget is small, then maybe you do need to bite the bullet and go for a free option like Prestashop, where if you don't get customers, your only cost will be the monthly hosting (usually much less than $10 per month).
I can tell you the "Sales" folks paint a different picture. They leave out "incidental fees" The federal government charges an access fee, the gateway charges a fee, the credit card processor charges a fee. Then they take a percentage...
I was caught off guard, as our land based business (that did not have the physical cards to run either) was charged $20.00 per month in processing fees. Volusion's sales dept. led me to believe that $20.00 would be my credit card fee. In fact they charge a monthly minimum, $68.00 that is partly offset by sales, but if you have no sales you still pay $68.00.
I did research at the start that said they were great; apparently they got greedier and now people have a lot of complaints in the comment section of most e-commerce software review sites. You may want to search those reviews, once you narrow down your options, at the e-commerce review sites- as the users comments are revelatory. (the reviews themselves are usually pretty positive). Pissed customers have a lot to say.
Big Commerce was wooing me, and it looked like a good switch, but then reviewing user experiences turned me off - a big hassle for the same thing - at my level of sales.
Yes, I've been through it all recently, setting up my friend's shop! After a major review of the various shopping platforms, we couldn't see how any of the major shopping platforms were worth the high fees. After all, none of them do anything to make your site more visible on Google - all they do is look after the nuts and bolts of the back end. Fine if your business is wholly online, but if you also run an offline shop where you already have accounting and inventory management systems, those features just mean double handling.
We liked Prestashop and OpenCart, both of which are free platforms (you need to get your own hosting). However in the end, my friend decided to go with WooCommerce on the advice of a programmer friend. It was against my better judgment, I must say - though very easy for me to set up because I'm an old Wordpress hand. So far it is working better than I expected.
As for credit cards - you don't have to accept them if you don't want to. You can still accept direct bank deposit, checks, money orders, and you can accept credit cards via Paypal. If you use those options then you don't need a payment gateway.
Oh - and Volusion has a cancellation fee, buried in the teeny tiny print that says you pay $200.00 if you cancel in the first 3 years - A-holes. So watch out for any tricky business like that with the provider you choose. Only those who want to switch find out about those tricks.
I started a free WIX website and the first thing I noticed was that they took my email address and put it into my WIX website address. NOT.
Secondly, I read that if you didn't purchase a website, they would run ads across yours. Also a NOT.
So, despite their professional look, this is a definite no go for me.
Thanks SO much everyone for your support and feedback. It really helped me to clarify my thinking and choose a good system.
I hope I've made the right decision - I'm developing the website with Shopify!
First impressions as I try to get it up and running is that its considerably more difficult than WIX to set up.
After a few hours on WIX, I had a lot to show for my efforts but virtually nothing on Shopify. However, the back end of Shopify looks absolutely amazing so after some more sweat and tears, I hope to have something to be proud of.....and something I can promote to get those all important sales!
Thanks for letting us know what you decided to do travelespresso.
Best of luck with your new venture!
P.S. I have emailed you
I just wanted to drop back here and update you on progress.
I went with Shopify....after MUCH deliberation (and feedback from you all) and so far, I'm really happy I did. They say you can get a website up and running in an hour and you probably can....but I don't think it'd be a great experience for users.
My site took MUCH longer to develop and its not perfect but I launched it anyway and I'll continue to fine tune it. I'm very happy with it. Have a look when you've a moment. Its an http:// .com site and the name is VillageMadeCrafts.
Now comes the really difficult part of trying to get traction in this very busy world of eCommerce. If you like what I'm doing and want to help a little, please send it on/like it etc that'd be amazing. Every little bit helps.
Awesome - I will check it out tomorrow. Thanks for updating us. I'd like more feedback on costs , limitations and advantages when you have had some time with the shopping cart. Don't be afraid to revive an old thread - I am very interested to know how you like it once you have been in it a while!
Thank Solaris. Very happy to update you on Shopify.
Probably better to start a new forum thread since the heading on this one is about WIX and after great forum advice I decided not to pursue it. I'll do that in a few days when I have a bit more time but in the meantime, feel free to PM me. Happy to share my experience to date.
I never used Wix but as most of these site, you are not able to add all kind of plugins. These plugins can be important once you need to add some special features to the site.
Hey Everybody. If like me you you started on WiX but then outgrew their e-commerce features, you can use this helpful chrome extension (http://export-wix-products.com) to get a full CSV of your catalogue so you can import them into an e-commerce focused platform like Shopify. It'll save you a bunch of time!
I think it would be much better to own your own site and host it. The other disadvantage of using a site like Wix is that you have no control of the design of the site.
Thanks for sharing this amazing post with us. I would like to share my site with you.
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