To help you on your journey to entrepreneurship, we’ve compiled a list of products that we’ve used and love. There are wide range of products we’ve yet to try so if we’re missing some big ones that you feel should be on the list then send it to us and we’ll give it a try. In honor of being completely transparent, some of the links on this page are affiliate links. How else are we supposed to fund our coffee addiction?
Shopify – Hosted exclusively on their servers, Shopify is an eCommerce platform that’s easy to use and has a ton of apps to help customize your store. They also have their own payment processor so that saves you the time of opening up bank accounts and searching for third party payment processors. The admin interface is simple to navigate and the folks there are constantly improving the framework. The only downside is that the entire system is built on an open source language called liquid, which is based on Ruby so developers can sometimes be scarce.
OpenCart – The biggest benefit of using OpenCart is that it’s an open source shopping cart. That basically means you can host it yourself, edit all the source code and don’t have a monthly fee to pay like other shopping cart solutions. It’s a very nimble framework with lots of extensions to fit your needs. The only downside is we’ve noticed that the extension market can be a treacherous place to navigate and their rating system doesn’t seem to reflect the actual quality of the extension. However, with the recent release of OpenCart 2.0, we can overlook a couple of bogus extensions.
Volusion – Another eCommerce solution that’s non self-hosted, Volusion has many advantages including a great import/export tool, a very organized product interface and a very good template library. Menus and category filters can be a little confusing but after a while you’ll get used to it. Built using classic ASP, the system lags a little behind in technology but makes up for it with the standard out-of-the-box features you get with a new storefront. A couple of things that bugged us about Volusion is that it’s hard to implement high-level SEO tactics like adjusting header cache. 301s are also somewhat complicated to implement correctly and 302s are non existent.
InMotion Hosting – I’ve personally dealt with InMotion Hosting for the past 7 years and have had zero complaints. They have great customer service and their tech team is very quick to respond. In addition, most support questions can be accomplished through email so you don’t have to log into a portal for assistance like other web hosts. There were no noticeable downtimes with any of my sites and their Account Management Panel (AMP) is a great way to view and edit all of your domains.
1&1 – These guys are pretty straight forward. Domain names are below the market average and they have pretty good customer support. Not only that, they also offer up eCommerce and SEO solutions. I’m not a big fan of these types of services from a hosting company but if you’re starting out and want everything packaged together, I’d read through their site definitely give them a look.
Bluehost – Web hosting for $3.49 is a great deal. In addition, they have 24 hour support and give you $200 in offers when you signup. Granted, they’re just Google and Bing ad credits but that’s probably money you would be spending anyways. One of Bluehost’s best features is that they’re scaleable. Small or large businesses can use them and they’ve got the servers to back it up.
More resources coming soon…