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Thread: Can you help? Magento

  1. #1
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    Question Can you help? Magento

    Hi

    We are a company looking to build our first ecommerce site for our family business, which will have a quite a few specialized features. Design-wise we have found a site that is very, very similar to our preferences (Luxury Watches and Fine Watches - Vacheron Constantin). However, this site is not an ecommerce site.

    We were wondering if anyone has any ideas on how we should proceed in order to figure out potential cost and implementation challenges we face (perhaps some of you can see some of these challenges immediately?) as our programming experience is limited. Initially, we are looking at using Magento.

    Our first choice would be to hire a web developer and just ask. However, our budget is limited and we would like to get an idea of the cost before we get in over our head from a cost perspective.

    Any help would be highly appreciated

    Thank you for your time and effort.


    P.S.:
    We also wish to help the developer as much as possible and we were wondering if anyone has a template of sort on how, and what kind of, information we should give to the developer (we don't want this to happen: Anatomy of a Web Design Client).

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm going to save you a whole bunch of headache off the top...stay away from Magento. It sounds impressive and it has all sorts of features and things that look and sound great, but it's an absolute bugger to try and do anything with. Even customizing a template for it takes several hours more than it should, and a lot of developers (myself among them) won't even touch it. Support is limited, and so are your choices as far as developers go. If you want to avoid paying through the nose, avoid Magento.

    Now, with that said, your cost issue...that's a good question to ask, but it's also an impossible question to answer simply because it depends on what you're selling, what features you want, if any customizations are required for your site, how users are going to pay for the goods, and how often. E-commerce sites have certain fixed costs (e.g. hosting) and certain variable costs (e.g. payment processing transaction fees and merchant discount rates). So there is no "cost estimate" anyone can really provide you unless you provide them in turn with as many details as possible about the site.

    With that said, if you want a site like the one you posted, it's not going to come cheap. The amount of design work a site like that would take is very, very high and as such so is the associated cost of the template. You'd be lucky if you got something like that for under $3,000 USD, and that's just the design...that's none of the e-commerce development. Because those guys are a high-end watch manufacturer, they spent big on the image. Realistically, they spent in the high four and probably into the 5 digits for that. Lot of time, lot of effort, lot of money. That may be where you have to temper your expectations a bit.

    One other thing...don't say your budget is "limited" to anyone you approach for the job. It's not your fault, but everyone's budget is limited and "limited" or "we have a tight budget" in web design speak is another way of saying "we're cheap". You don't want to go in there with that kind of approach because what you get in return won't be what you really want nor will it be what makes you money. Approach it as a "return on investment" / value proposition and you'll be a whole lot better of.
    bleau canon likes this.
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  4. #3
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    Can you describe more about your business and what you mean by many features? Do you have any kind of website at the moment?


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    Thank you TheGame. That was a lot of good information and very interesting.

    We do have some programming experience, though mostly from an engineering/mathematical perspective and we wholeheartedly agree that getting quality instead of opting for the cheap option is important in this regard. Your way of putting it was very good.

    Regarding Magento, we were under the impression that this would be the best option if we wanted a site where it was important to be able to customize different features. For example one of the things we would like to do is give points for purchases that they could use to for instance unlock or get certain free products, maybe even have some sort of graphic on the site showing how many points they've earned and so on. Another thing we were thinking of was letting the customers choose their own price on certain products (they would be able to write their own price over a certain minimum) but it's hard to tell how difficult this is, if it's even feasible. As a developer, which kind of platforms do you suggest if you were to chose something else than Magento?

    Finally, we do realize that a site like the one we linked to is the absolute pinnacle of what we can expect but how helpful would it be to a developer if we were to find an already existing e-commerce site that has a design that matches our vision well? Would he or she be able to save time and money by copying certain elements without having to rewrite everything from scratch?

    Thank you

  6. #5
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    W3schools.com is the best site where you will get help in magento. It will provide you quality work along with details explanation about this issue.I have read it out.I can solve this once I have admin access of this code.If you can provide me, I will solve this issue.

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    websitesandiego: and birds go tweet. What did your comment have to do with anything?

    carljohan: I generally don't recommend platforms because I haven't yet found one that isn't bloated in some form or fashion or that I haven't had to break just to customize it (in which case, you might as well start from scratch). I've used VP-ASP, Magento, Mal's E-Commerce, osCommerce, the Amazon cart, and a few others...I haven't seen a good one yet. It's sad, it's harsh, but it's the truth and it's also the reason I started building custom e-commerce solutions back in 2000. So to answer your question in a single word..."custom".

    Again, Magento does a terrific job with sales. They make the features sound impressive. But it's sort of like Hewlett-Packard printers...they either work absolutely perfectly, or the second something out of the ordinary occurs or needs to you might as well go buy something else.

    If you showed a developer something that roughly matches the idea, it probably wouldn't save much time. In most cases, something looks good but the code behind it is usually sloppy. The developer is also only going to be able to copy the HTML / CSS / Javascript and none of the server-side code behind it. So it's not going to save a whole lot of time, if any at all.

    Another thing you'll need to consider is that design and development are two different things. There's the output (the part you'll see on the screen) and the server-side programming / development (the part where product information is retrieved from the database, etc.) Most great developers are at best good designers and most great designers are "okay" from the development point of view. So you may want to look at hiring two people.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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  8. #7
    Senior Member bleau canon's Avatar
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    Ah! Magento!...good profits for the stores that sale pain and nerve pills to web developers.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.

  9. #8
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Hi - The site you use as an example is visually very interesting. It is in fact a one-page parallax site, created with HTML5/CSS3 and javascript. I think that the scrolling effect would be extremely difficult to integrate into an e-commerce installation.

    There are solutions available that do not cost and arm and a leg, but as the Game has said, none of them are in a category I would describe as "excellent".

    More and more e-commerce solutions are being offered as hosted platforms, requiring a monthly fee and limiting design possibilities.
    There is still some software out there for self-hosted sites, but it is becoming harder to find - charging a monthly fee for recurring income just makes more sense than selling one-off editions of software.

    Most self-hosted e-commerce software available is openSource - I have used both Open Cart and PrestaShop with some success - they have many features that lend themselves to fairly simple modifications. It is still not the ideal solution for a self-hosted site, though it is as close as I have seen that does not require a substantial purchase of software.

    That said, there is still some e-commerce software available, although it is getting more and more scarce. Kryptronic is one I used 5 years ago or so - it was not very customizable back then but seems to be much more so now - plus they offer a customization service. There's also LemonStand and X-Cart but I have never used either of them so I can't give you any info beyond the links.

    I hope this information is of help to you.
    m3n0tu18 likes this.
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