Post by amusedmonkey » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:10 am

We've finally decided to extend our online presence beyond social media and are planning to launch a website by New Year.

We first looked and more user-friendly options like shopify and others, but it appears everything that we need done (like being able to switch language or have newsletter forms) needs to be paid for monthly, not to mention transaction fees - not a good thing for a startup with already low margins. Since I'm the only (barely) tech savvy among my partners I decided to take a leap and attempt to do it the good old shopping cart way.

Basically what I'm looking for is a free web hosting to use while I learn and tinker with the cart for the next few months to see if it can be done or if we'll need to give in and either hire a developer or use one of the other paid ecommerce services.

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Post by GoldenTongs » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:40 pm

i suggest you just get shared hosting (paid)
which costs a few dollars a month Paid annually
and as for months of tinkering......................
u dont build from scratch
opencart will work out of the box, you should be up and running in a week or so
obviously extra features cost either time or money
if your asking for a free host and need months to test then i expect it would cost the latter

if you need to tinker and play with code
you may want to install locally using xampp
(no hosting required)

as for free hosting, i dont think there is such a thing if you actually want your own properly functioning ecommerce domain,
or at least no free hosting worth using due to limitations, not for ecommerce anyway, there will always be some limitation that forces you to upgrade to paid

try hostupon for $3.95/month (recommended)
there are others as low as $10 or free for first year,
but you should know how it goes
Pay cheap, pay twice,
nothing is for free especially when you want to run a business on it

there is also this other option you can try to find free hosting:
GOOGLE

http://Lilphones.com
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Post by IP_CAM » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:21 am

amusedmonkey wrote: Since I'm the only (barely) tech savvy among my partners I decided to take a leap and attempt to do it the good old shopping cart way.
But a framework type PHP Software , like OC, has very little in Common, technically, with a good old Shopping Cart way, exept for, that it still use's a Cart, and that it sends eMails, usually, at least. You will find out, how much it takes, on Files and Data, to produce something, in a chosen Language, and Currency, where someone want's it to display, on an OC-driven Site... (Other PHP Shop World-Edition Software is not different, in such!)

For Opencart, it does not matter, how many Products you possibly display. But, to make Opencart work, is like, to make a big Machine work, one has to follow certain rules, before even starting to place Products, regardless of, entering 1 Product, or 50'000, to be shown later.

If you therefore plan, to invest just a Day, or so, to get it to work, as you like, you should 'revise' the Value Day, to a week, or a month, if you really plan, to set up an individual looking and successfull operting Online Shop. Everything else is just Fantasy, likely of those, trying to get rich quick, with OC, on nothing, but hot air.

I would use a very simple Javascript Supported Shopping Cart Software, based on HTML or PHP. On a free Server, at least, most FREE Hosters will probably not like OC very much, on their Servers, so, make sure, to make sure, before you run into problems. Or then, find your Shop out of Order, as Others have been finding out, by Mail, on a rainy Monday Morning, after a bad night... :crazy:

Good Luck ;)
Ernie
hitline.info/shop/

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Post by yodapt » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:39 am

Well I can spare a hosting account for the purpose of testing in my own VPS servers as long as you have a domain that can be used for that purpose.

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Post by amusedmonkey » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:08 am

I'm aware free hosting would be a poor choice for an actual store. We have set a budget of about $30/month for hosting and about $300 for paid extensions - if needed, plus more for a decent looking template.

The website is going to be bilingual with the second language being right-to-left. That's why thorough testing is needed so that our website looks good and works well in both languages without layout breaking on language switch or modules doing weird things. Bilingual search, product filtering, displaying the right content for the right target customers..etc.

I considered installing it locally, but then how would we test things like contact us, newsletter sign-ups, social integration and so on?

It's still too early as we haven't even chosen a domain yet, but I just wanted to test the waters and weigh my options so when the time comes we could make a well-informed decision. Maybe I'm just over-complicating things because I haven't tried anything similar before.

Edit: If I install it locally, would I be able to port the whole thing online with all the settings and products later to test online functionality? If so, then that solves the problem and we would upload it a few days before the grand opening to test the online stuff.

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Post by IP_CAM » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:14 am

You could 'route' the shop, on your local server, the same, as it will be 'routed' on the HTTP Server,
then, you won't even have to change much in the config.php files. Just be aware, to 'connect' Mail Functions
to a real Mail-Server, to make 'em work.
Good Luck
Ernie

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Post by TheDoctor88 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:20 pm

amusedmonkey wrote:We've finally decided to extend our online presence beyond social media and are planning to launch a website by New Year.

We first looked and more user-friendly options like shopify and others, but it appears everything that we need done (like being able to switch language or have newsletter forms) needs to be paid for monthly, not to mention transaction fees - not a good thing for a startup with already low margins. Since I'm the only (barely) tech savvy among my partners I decided to take a leap and attempt to do it the good old shopping cart way.

Basically what I'm looking for is a free web hosting to use while I learn and tinker with the cart for the next few months to see if it can be done or if we'll need to give in and either hire a developer or use one of the other paid ecommerce services.
I believe it is hard to find free opencart solution. I have never found it. And usually free hosting identic with unreliable. Imagine they can close anytime and your files are lost forever, it will only waste time, money, and effort you so much more.

You can find opencart hosting solution at here, there are many good options that you can choose. I'm currently using hostforlife.eu opencart hosting, so far so good. But, maybe you can try other hosting alternatives and you can compare it one by one.

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