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Volusion vs. Magento ??? 
 
SoundsGood
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Joined:  2008-11-16
 

Hi,

First post here.  smile

I’m ready to have my very first e-commerce site developed.  I’ve had lots of plain ol’ static websites before, but I’ve never had an e-commerce store before.  I’m not a developer, so I would need to hire one.

Anyway, I’m having a rough time deciding between Volusion and Magento.  Both are supposed to be very good, and I’m torn as to which way to go.

For those that have actually used both, could you please share your thoughts on which you prefer and why?  Not as a developer, but as a site operator.  Which is better for SEO?  Which results in more completed orders, less abandonment, etc…

Any thoughts, comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!

 
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TomC
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Okay, I haven’t used Volusion personally, though I researched it a lot. 

Now, the biggest advantage Magento has over Volusion ... PRICE. 
Magento is FREE whereas you have to pay service fees to Volusion.

Also, I have looked through the cart features of Vlusion in comparison to Magento - and I find that Magento has pretty much everything that Volusion offers ... in some cases, much cleaner.  Further, Magento’s upcoming upgrade release will (hopefully) feature several very nice tools and features - including the ability to sell downloadable products.

Now, where Volusion may have the edge over Magento is in the design/configuration of your store.  Magento does require a level of knowledge in CSS and XML for design purposes - not at a professional/expert level or anything, but basic knowledge nevertheless.  (I did find the Magento Guide for Designers to be very helpful in this regard - as well as several of the video tutorials available via the screencases and within the Magento Blog).

In the end, choosing a cart is ALWAYS a personal decision and one of comfort level in operating your store. 
While Magento can be somewhat challenging, I really do like the overall feel and operation - so I am trying to remain up for the challenge.

Hope some of that personal two-cents opinion helps a bit.

TOM

 
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SoundsGood
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Thanks, Tom… much appreciated!

I just discovered another contender called Interspire.  At $1,000 it certainly isn’t cheap—but wow, it looks pretty fantastic (especially for a non-developer like myself).

 
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TomC
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You’d be amazed at how much of a “non-developer” you can be and still achieve amazing results.  I am by no stretch of the imagination anything close to being a developer type.  I have used Joomla CMS over the past two years and, though it, have learned quite a bit about CSS designing and some basic PHP principles.  XML is still somewhat of a new thing for me ... but it doesn’t look terribly difficult overall.

It just takes some concentrated time and effort to learn the basics - which I really think you will need to do regardless of which platform you go with.  Also, $1,000 saved can go a long way toward development/enhancement for your site).

 
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SoundsGood
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TomC - 17 November 2008 10:24 AM

Also, $1,000 saved can go a long way toward development/enhancement for your site).

I thought so too.  So I posted an ad on one of the freelance type types, looking for a Magento guru.  These guys are nuts.  They want between $1000 and $2000, and most of them have crappy portfolios.

Believe me, I’d rather pocket the $1000… but the thought of weeks or months worth of headaches trying to get Magento to work the way Interspire seems to work (out of the box, no less) might just be worth $1000.  smile Know what I mean?

 
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TomC
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Yes, I hear you.  I may know someone who can help for much less than what those guys are quoting you.
(of course, it all depends on the amount of work you want/need done)

If you’re interested in getting in touch with him, send me a PM.

 
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SoundsGood
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PM sent!

 
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btbc
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Before Magento, Volusion was my #1 choice. I had it setup, but abandoned it… Upon doing my research, I would be paying a LOT each month…

BANDWIDTH is the killer for Volusion. The Silver package is $59.99 monthly and includes up to 250 products and 3GB of bandwidth… YES JUST 3GB!

As of now, my quad core Magento setup includes enough bandwidth and CPU power to last me almost forever at just $100 per month. Think 6 to 12 months down the road… my needs are met, whereas, with Volusion you’ll need to constantly upgrade and budget for bandwidth overages constantly.

And anybody thinking Magento is free is wrong. Opensource doesn’t mean free… you still need to host it and worry about a myriad of other things as well.

View this thread for reference: http://thecartblog.com/2007/10/13/busy-signal-at-volusion/

 
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SoundsGood
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btbc - 19 November 2008 12:44 PM

Before Magento, Volusion was my #1 choice. I had it setup, but abandoned it… Upon doing my research, I would be paying a LOT each month.../

I too gave up on Volusion.  But I’m also giving up on Magento.  Too complicated to handle myself, and too expensive to hire a qualified person to do it for me.

I’m about to pull the trigger on Interspire.  At $1000 it’s very expensive.  More than I wanted to spend, believe me.  But that $1000 buys a very smart and complex package with everything I want and need—yet it’s easy as pie to use.

 
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btbc
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$1000 is somewhat expensive but what scares me is the upgrade costs. I’m sure every *major* upgrade costs more money.

As of now, I am wishing I did go for a paid solution. Version 1.1.7 just came out and I have no idea if it’ll break my cart… actually, I’m not worried about my cart. I’m worried about my SKIN! Its a near stock Modern theme…

I thought skins were just SUPPOSED to work, and didn’t need upgrades every update. I have orders, and am quite visible in the Search Engines, else I would have gone for a paid product.

 
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ShopGuy
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btbc,

I recommend not upgrading. If your site does everything you want there is no reason to upgrade. If there were any security bugs fixed (dont there were), then you can just backport the changes into your current setup.

 
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btbc
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Not upgrading is unfortunately not an option… without upgrading at each step, catching up to future upgrades and/or security patches would be too overwhelming.

I have another load of inventory coming tomorrow, customers to help, orders to ship, bills to pay, and suppliers to deal with.

Volusion and Interspire are looking good during times like this. Time is money, and the less time I have to deal with Magento updates, the more time I have to work.

GL with your cart choice. This is a tough time… hope we all make it through it.

 
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marc_j
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@btbc - you better believe they will charge - they have every incentive to.

Also - if you want any feature developed that doesn’t come with the out of the box product, you have to pay Interspire to develop it. And guess what - they charge and if they are busy - you have to wait. Oh - the joys of vendor lock in (yes - you are in fact locked in).

Oh and to top it all - if they develop a feature for you do you think your system will be upgradeable - I think not. It’s over. You can’t upgrade.

Let’s compare apples to apples. If you enjoy being locked into one provider and paying for every upgrade - go for it.

 
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btbc
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@marc_j - good points! I believe I’m just in the *the grass is greener on the other side* phase.

For me, I’m keeping my cart real and simple. Nothing extra is needed as I’m running it to make money, and not win awards. I honestly would have used Volusion if it had not been for their crappy BW limits.

Honestly.... magento, volusion, interspire, and all the other carts are absolutely great… they have their pros and cons..

For me right now, STABILITY is what I need. I need to know that my skin will not need to be touched on future upgrades ever again. If Magento can do that, thats the winning run right there.

 
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Grut
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Hey there!

In case you are going to change your shopping cart to better one I suggest you to use Cart2Cart - shopping cart migration service.

It will enable you to migrate all your products, categories, attributes, manufacturers, customers, orders and other data entities from Volusion to Magento ( or any other shopping cart) automatically and without data loss.

 
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