best way for relative newb to create online store plus more?
April 13, 2014 8:02 AM   Subscribe

asking for a relative: she currently has an online store with a mess of a back end that is impossible to use so we are thinking of junking it entirely and moving to something else: what should this be?

sites like etsy aren't an option because of the nature of what she sells (a lot of art and antiques, but also salvage). wordpress came to mind, with their shopping cart plug in - it this the kind of thing a mid-grade user could learn to build and navigate? she also wants the ability to blog and interact with her customers, so those extra types of pages would be nice to build in. what else should we consider?
posted by unlucky.lisp to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have been very happy with Shopify.
posted by visual mechanic at 8:06 AM on April 13, 2014


Consider rebuilding it in Wordpress using Woo Commerce.
posted by zadcat at 8:15 AM on April 13, 2014


I've heard good things about Squarespace.
posted by brentajones at 8:42 AM on April 13, 2014


Shopify is a decent "let someone else do the heavy lifting" option.

The various Wordpress carts (Shopp, WooCommerce, Cart66, and so on) are typically good for the first 80% of store functionality, but can be a pain for the rest, whether in terms of needing to buy add-ons for processing or shipping, or having to work with custom code for specific needs. You may only discover this once you've committed to a particular plugin. Lower-end cart systems are Procrustean beds, where you often have to compromise on how you'd like to sell things in order to avoid code-wrangling, and there are situations where you may prefer the similar compromises of a hosted cart. Higher-end carts are a different world of pain.
posted by holgate at 8:47 AM on April 13, 2014


Yahoo has a very good system. This guy uses it (I'm a regular customer).
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:47 AM on April 13, 2014


Hosted carts like Bigcommerce and Shopify are great because there is way less mess involved - no worries about a separate hosting provider, no code to deal with, and lots of pretty themes to make it look nice.
posted by radioamy at 11:48 AM on April 13, 2014


Big Cartel is easy, but operates as a freestanding shop site (rather than a community based one like Etsy). Also have heard good things about Squarespace.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:18 PM on April 13, 2014


As a professional, I say that unless you plan to pay one for maintenance, don't go with anything requiring that you be responsible for software, like Wordpress or Magento. Things will go wrong, updates and security patches will be necessary, and unless the person behind the keyboard knows what they're doing, you're going to end up breaking things or leaving yourself and your customers open to hackers. That can be acceptable for a blog, but not for a store.
posted by tsmo at 4:01 PM on April 13, 2014


nthing squarespace
posted by jeoc at 8:21 PM on April 13, 2014


I have had good luck with Squarespace, but I have never created an online store with them. They have the capability to create online stores, and they have really good support too.
posted by ohjonboy at 8:19 AM on April 14, 2014


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