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Thread: What route should I go to build a new retail site?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    1

    Default What route should I go to build a new retail site?

    Hello all! New member here, joined to get some help/learn a little more about websites.

    Being semi-ignorant of websites (please excuse any misapplied terms) I need a little help...just to show me the right route to go.

    Our company is looking to expand to online sales. We have a basic information site right now, but to do sales we obviously would need a more complex websight.

    Our objectives in a website:

    1. To provide a website/storefront for retail customers to purchase our product; to learn about our company and its products; and to view articles and company news.

    2. Include private areas of the website, to provide exclusive access for wholesale customers.

    3. Be complex enough to give the viewer a good experience...slideshows...embedded videos
    (possibly)...visually appealing layout and design, but also functional and easy to use. Not too complex, but not to basic.

    4. The ability of a administrative interface on the site for easy updating products, pricing, articles, text, etc.

    Within those objectives, we have a couple options, we've considered far (please give your thoughts):

    A self-hosted Wordpress site. We have somebody able to build it for us, for a price around $2500. However, would this be an option for me to do myself (fairly knowledgeable in computers.)

    Pay a Website Design team to build it for us. They would handle about everything besides for media. However, this option sets us back $5000-$7000. Would it be worth the extra money?

    If anybody needs any more information, please ask. Otherwise, we thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    14,245

    Default

    Yikes that sounds expensive but I guess it depends on how custom and detailed the work needs to be. Actually most of what you listed can be accomplished with WordPress plugins. For example WooCommerce is a popular free plugin to sell your products. There are also plugins that will let you create secure sections of your site.

    I know good web design is not cheap but geez.... $7,000 sounds so expensive unless you are having a lot of custom work done and you have referrals for this company so you know they are worth the price. Now the administrative interface may involve a bit of work... especially if you can't find a plugin that is out-of-the-box to do what you want. So for that part, I do understand how things can get pricey.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England
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    Default

    That does indeed sound expensive especially when there are so many well priced WordPress frameworks and templates out there to accomplish a very good looking site.

    I can't see how a small business should have to pay that kind of money for something that can be done for a much lower cost by a competent designer and internet marketer. I do not mean to sound self promotional but I believe I could provide what you need by doing some research and gathering some paid plugins from a framework like StudioPress. I could design everything you need for less than half the price.

    How customised does the site need to be? If you were a large or well known brand with very specific requirements maybe the price would be justified. It seems a bit excessive at first glance. I rent WordPress sites to local clients for $400 a year and those sites are quite advanced. While I think it is better for you to buy hosting and "own" your web property, I don't think $7k is fair.

    P.S. I am not available to design websites for forum members! I only deal with my local geographic area for SEO reasons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    14,245

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    That's what can be so tricky about web design. A lot of times they take advantage of what people don't know so their prices are extremely inflated. I do sites for people locally (only) and rarely charge over $300 but then again I am not doing much design or custom work. Can you tell us exactly what custom work they will be doing? Are they designing your site in Photoshop from scratch and then incorporating into WordPress? Now that kind of work is more costly but if they are just grabbing a theme and making a few tweaks then that seems expensive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    229

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    Lisa

    I wonder if you have a 'sorta' worksheet/questionnaire that you provide to a prospective client before you get into the work of web design.
    My son will require a site to promote his occupation/profession, I am at a loss as to what he requires.. I actually have to try to develop enough material to give to someone so they can asses what needs to be done.

    Thanks Lisa

    daveM

  6. #6

    Default

    Ideally you could have a Wordpress based site (easy to update content), with a custom theme and a woocommerce (wordpress plugin) for e-commerce. Your budget is more than enough, if you are okay with outsourcing the development. You can hire a developer (better a small company) for something in the region of $1000 - $2000 in Elance or any similar sites. With that budget, you have the option to hire a top class developer and get everything done to completion.

    Please make your R&D on Wordpress based ecommerce sites and get 2-3 good examples as a reference.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Well, I would say that is it worth the investment to build a costume website. Who are your audience? What do you sell? How much are you going to profit from your site? Basically the ROI, what is it going to look like?

    Now if you are selling mugs and t-shirts I would recommend Wordpress plugin, That would do the job. But if you are manufacturing the product, I would recommend costume website. It all depends on you cash flow, it might be better off spending $7000 on something else that the company can benefit from.

    Hope that helps ...
    Be the change you want to see in the world

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England
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    1,133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daveM View Post
    Lisa

    I wonder if you have a 'sorta' worksheet/questionnaire that you provide to a prospective client before you get into the work of web design.
    Def put together a questionnaire. I do this and it is for me to understand the person and their business. Some people do not realise how critical the planning stage is and sometimes it becomes apparent to me they have no clue, no strategy and no ideas, yet they want the results. Giving them a questionnaire forces a business to crystallize their thoughts on paper.

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