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Should I hold out?? 
 
Gordon_MWS
Jr. Member
 
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Total Posts:  18
Joined:  2007-12-08
Scotland
 

Looking for some honest opinions and advice…

I am currently developing a new ecommerce based project with a view to rolling it out during Feb/Mar 2008.

The site is two thirds complete as I am having to introduce some features that are not found as standard within existing ecommerce solutions. I am currently skinning and modifying a version 3 CubeCart installation for use with this UK national based website, but I keep being drawn back to the Magento site!

I am very impressed with what I have seen in the demo, and on some of the ‘show off’ sites listed in the forum. I have to say though, that we are developing using Xampp on a WinXP system and as yet have not managed to get Magento up and running - and to add to that our current shared hosting package is not capable of running Magento due to the lack of mcrypt and mhash php extensions (UK Fasthost - they do not install additional extensions for anyone either).

My question to the Magento community is…

Should I continue with CC3 and migrate at a later date (post production release), bearing in mind when the site is up and running it will have a database of in excess of 1400 products. Or should I start developing with Magento, with a view to a similar launch date as the expected production release??

BIG sticking point for me this one! I really prefer the admin features of Magento compared to CC3 but am not sure if switching at this point would hold me back for a launch date??

Your honest opinions and thoughts are mot welcome!

(PS. Any hints and tips for getting Magento up on a WinXP Xampp install would also be great!!)

Regards,

Gordon

 
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Mark_Kimsal
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  186
Joined:  2007-09-12
Michigan, USA
 

Magento is beta, you know that, I know that, we all know that.  What that means is, when it is 1.0, do you think it will be perfect?  Probably not.  So, why do you want to switch to Magento?  Is it really for the back-end admin panel?  Is it really that good?

What you have to ask yourself is how much effort do you want to put into the on-going support, maintenance, and development of your store.  If you’re 2/3rds done and after launch it’s just “use it” “use it” “use it”, then continue and use it.  But, if you think that the Magento community is going to really develop some tools that you want to integrate, because you have grand ideas about your store’s future, then maybe it’s worth switching to Magento.

If someone’s going down the path of development already, I could not counsel them to wait and switch to a brand new product with no track record and to throw away a site that is 2/3rds finished because of a pretty back-end.  What I would say is, if you want to switch:

* limit your work done on the existing solution (revise your list of must-have features and want features)
* set a realistic target date for switching (maybe 6 months after being in operation with another solution)
* start planning work cut from step one to be completed in Magento
* use revenue from your existing solution to fund the transfer

We’ll still be here in 6 months, believe me.  Don’t try to turn around a speeding train in mid-transit.  Go with the flow, plan plan plan, be persistent, and you won’t be disappointed.

P.S.
I always wonder why people are so loyal to hosts that don’t give them what they want.  People want X,Y, and Z to run product Q, there’s a million hosts which offer X,Y, and Z, customer wants Q, but sticks with a host that doesn’t give them what they want.  I never understand it.  It’s like not switching printers to one that makes color business cards for your business when your current printer only gives you black and white cards.

P.P.S.
If you need specific help installing on WinXP, post your specific error.  There are many threads dealing with XAMP and Windows setup.  I couldn’t give you any particular advice because I haven’t run into any errors.  XAMP + Magento + WinXP just works for me.  A common problem tho is not having “AllowOverride All” in your default host or vhost definition.

 
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Gordon_MWS
Jr. Member
 
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Total Posts:  18
Joined:  2007-12-08
Scotland
 

Mark,

A huge thank you for a well presented and factual answer!

That is the outside common sense point of view that I need. For the moment I will continue to develop the CC3 store, whilst keeping a very close eye on the Magento development process. Sound advice, taken with gratitude.

As far as hosts go you are absolutely right, and I am currently working with a new host on transferring my domain, hosting etc across to them over the next month. This is going to go ahead regardless of what ecommerce suite I end up using, I know the guy that runs the hosting company, he comes well recommended and from what I can tell is flexible as far as installing extensions etc. I received an email today from him to let me know they have just upgraded to the latest PHP and have included mcrypt and mhash on my request!! Now that’s service and I haven’t even signed up with them yet!

On the Xampp WinXP story, I followed a sticky in the ‘Installation’ forum and got up and running sort of. The only thing is I can add as many categories and products as I like, everything activated and all I get on the Homepage is a right hand column and a title, no contents or categories or products etc..

I will continue to dig through the forums and see what I can come up with.

Finally, thank you for your offer of help, and I will take you up on that by PM if I am still struggling…

Many thanks, and Happy New Year!

Regards,

Gordon

 
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