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3 posts

Wannabe Geek

#195350 17-Apr-2016 01:14
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Hi all, first time poster here!


I'm after some advice... My husband and I just brought a business that has an online store (we are yet to have a proper handover etc.). The original owners had website designer design and set everything up for them (Zen Cart). That was nearly seven years ago and the site is in desperate need of a makeover! It looks old and is not mobile friendly (I know!!).


We don't have a lot of $ to spend on it I just wondered:


a) Is Zen Cart as difficult to use as it seems? Or once you get going is it ok? 


b) Is is possible for a novice to give the site a 'makeover' with a template/theme? or am I dreaming?


c) As a novice (not completely useless and a fast learner) would I be better off starting fresh with a word press/ woocommerce set up? (It seems easier to build and maintain, however I'm not sure if being in NZ matters... anyone have one already?)


Sorry if my questions seem really stupid! I'm new to all this e-commerce jazz. Any thoughts much appreciated :)

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1993 posts

Uber Geek


  #1534195 17-Apr-2016 06:24
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What ever option you choose make sure you always keep up to with the plugins. 


They generally get patched with secuirty problems on a somewhat regular basis

CPU: Intel 3770k| RAM: F3-2400C10D-16GTX G.Skill Trident X |MB:  Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB | GFX: GV-N660OC-2GD gv-n660oc-2gd GeForce GTX 660 | Monitor: Qnix 27" 2560x1440



3 posts

Wannabe Geek

#1534208 17-Apr-2016 08:53
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Noted. Thank you smile


246 posts

Master Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1534225 17-Apr-2016 09:51
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We run a ZenCart shop, and yes I agree it can be a bit clunky. You do get used to managing it.
You can give it a makeover via themes which is quite powerful, but I would suggest it is a stretch for a novice.
The latest version of ZenCart includes a responsive theme to provide mobile support.
Not familiar with woocommerce so can't really compare sorry. What I would say however is make sure whatever solution you choose provides all the functionality you will want in NZ either builtin or via plugins. We discounted some options originally due to this.
Good luck!

Edit: fixed typos - damn autocorrect!

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Wannabe Geek

  #1534424 17-Apr-2016 15:15
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Thanks so much for your advice.


I have had a small amount of training with Zencart and it feels pretty old school -I think it may need updating. It would seem the old owner knows even less than I do about e-commerce! So I'm feeling more and more confident about this new endeavour! Curious to know who you use for hosting? 

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Master Geek

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  #1534515 17-Apr-2016 18:35
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The back end hasn't changed a huge amount over the updates, functionality added rather than ui improvements :)
I suspect there is a trade off between flexibility and a simple interface!

We currently host it with godaddy. It was simple and worked at the time of setup and has suited our needs well enough. I am planning on looking at other options, but the todo list is long :)

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Uber Geek

  #1534529 17-Apr-2016 19:09
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Many shared hosts these days are too slow for CMSs and shopping carts. It is not really the shared hosts fault, it is that many websites are quite demanding on server resources these days. Then there are potential problems such as the website being hacked, customer details getting hacked from the website etc, which can be a nightmare if you don't have someone technical on staff to deal with it. I would suggest looking at a software as a service option. Overall it could work out cheaper than using a developer, although it probably won't probably be as adaptable. Developers too can set you up with a SaaS option.  But a warning, SaaS providers can change the way they price at a whim. Many SaaS providers are making a loss in order to grow their cusomter base, so if they sell to another company or want to increase revenue, then you are at the mercy of any pricing changes they may make. Just make sure the SaaS provider allows you to easily export out your product database. 

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