Can someone much more knowledgable on this subject please help me with the following?
I am in the process of redeveloping my site - basically starting from scratch.
I have a small business and will probalby only have about 100 products or less at a time. I want my site to be very user-friendly and clean looking. It is a fashion jewelry site, so it needs to be modern, pretty, and high-end - not too flashy - very minimal. The look is very important.
I have been reading article after article after article on different ecommerce solutions, hosts, gateways, etc... and to be honest, I am completely overwhelmed!
I have a very small budget to do the development, and I clearly want to choose the best solution to save me money in the long-term while still having strong functionality.
I was originally planning on using Magento, but have read too many bad reviews on it, and it sounds too complicated for my needs.
I then read that a hosted solution would be the best option b/c you don't have to have three different sources for your solution, hosting, and gateway. This sounds ideal to me, but the only one i see like this, other than MagentoGo, is Shopify, which is cute and seems to have great templates, but I don't want to give them commission when I'm already paying them a monthly fee.
Lemonstand has amazing reviews, and I am very interested in this, but I am confused with all the "module" and "plug-in" talk - this is a totally new language for me, and I just don't know what it all means and what it will entail in the long-run. It sounds like I will have to keep buying things to upgrade it? And it doesn't yet have gift certificate options, which are very important to me (at least voucher codes). Is this feature something a developer can create on the platform for me until it exists out of the box? The License fee for Lemonstand is $300 - why would it be better for me to buy this one than use a free one like cs-cart?
Also, Lemonstand is developing a hosted version but it won't be out for a while - will it be easy for me to convert my regular lemonstand cart to a hosted version later on if i choose this one?
I will not be developing this myself as I am only slightly tech savvy, but I will be doing the future updates - adding new product and categories, etc... so i need it to be easy for me to make changes to.
Here are the things that are most important for me and my site:
- Easy to update myself
- gift certificate options
- Low-cost when combining hosting, cart, gateway, whatever else i need...
- good customer service
- ability to either edit designs of templates or create own
- mobile sales ability
- easy to incorporate with a mail capture program
- quickbooks integration.
- Facebook sales capability
solutions/hosts I am curious about:
- CS Cart
- any others you recommend
Thank you so much for any advice you can offer!
Would love to be put out of my agony and have a decision made already!