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I have to move host and need some advice on carts etc

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I have to move host and need some advice on carts etc

Postby tridean » Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:42 pm

Hi All,
I am new to this forum but found it in an article named 'The 5 best internet forums'. So there you go!

I am in need of some advice on a web site I have been running for just over a year.

It sells wildlife figurines. For the past year I have just made $5000 in sales, with a net profit of around $680 after expenses. My expenses are $299/ year for Yahoo listing, around $100 paypal fees and $480/year for hosting.

My plan is to sell my site, however I feel that I need to move to another host first for obvious reasons.
Now, for the year I had over 15,000 unique visitors and all of this from free organic traffic. However my site has been optimized for many category pages (in excess of 15), and in fact less than 5% land on my home page, which is a good thing for a site like mine. Obviously if someone searches for 'elephant figurines', then you want them landing on my elephant page, which they do.

Now the problem. To move host means installing a new shopping cart OR sticking with Paypal and then using their cart. If I install a new cart I have the issues of having to install extensions or plug ins that enable me to manipulate the category pages that are self created by shopping carts such as Zen and OSCommerce. For example if I create a category page called 'dolphin figurines', OScommerce will call it /-c-xx/ for example, which is useless to me because the page ranked in the search engines looks like this www.mydomain.com/Dolphin_Figurines.html. A change in URL means lost traffic.

I have been asking around with little success, and I don't know whether it's easier to use Paypal's cart and just create buttons for each product (around 300-400), or to use a database driven cart and go through the customizing etc. The other issue is the updating of products that go in and out of stock (as I use dropshippers I have to keep on top of that)

There is another possibilty which is Joomla, as I understand their package has a cart built in, but I'm not sure of it's flexibilty. I do have access to it through Cpanel, but I don't know how much of it is free.

I was hoping someone could help me make the right decision here with regards to moving host and rebuilding my site to keep all the current flow of traffic.

Cheers
Dean
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Postby geraelindsey » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:14 am

If you were to use a cart like osCommerce or ZenCart - you could set-up 301 redirects to the new category pages. This would prevent you losing traffic. I have a client who was using PayPal and we switched her over to ZenCart (she needed inventory control options) and this is what we did, it worked great for her.
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Postby tridean » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:23 am

Hi Geraelindsey,
Thanks for that. Was there a reason you chose Zen over OScommerce?

I have sepnt most of my time looking at OS and have been playing around using another host and web site to get a feel for it. I actually found a way to get my URL's to end in html and have the category name (and thus keyword) incorporated, however it still has the stinking -c-xx bit in it. A real pain, however your redirect idea will help me overcome this in the short term.

Both Zen and OSC use the same contribution called Chemo's Ultiamte SEO URL's

Cheers
Dean
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:36 pm

Postby geraelindsey » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:44 am

In my experience working with both, ZenCart is easier to customize as far as the look and feel of the cart goes. The fact that it includes an editor in the admin area for pages has also been a plus to my clients. I also like how ZenCart includes things like vouchers (gift certificates) and text field options (for example, entering a name for personalization) built into the cart. Where as with osCommerce, you need to install contributions for these.
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