eCommerce Startup Weekly Diary By Dan eShop Hosts Support 31.5.2012 No Comments
Diary of an eCommerce Start Up Part 3

Website Appearance Moving Forward

Since making a decision last week and registering a new domain name for my eShop, deciding which cart to use and the layout, colours and logo etc.  We have since been working hard on the website appearance.

This brought us to our next dilemma, as we had an idea of how we wanted the website to look, so we needed to look into and decide whether to try and build the website template ourselves, choose one of the many free ones available or hire a web designer or developer to make a custom one for us.

With being so busy working at the moment, we soon realised that it would take forever to learn how and build a custom template ourselves and decided to spend our spare time getting familar with the Administration area of our Zen Cart website and learning what each of the tabs and options are for instead.

Customising Our Website Appearance

original zen cart appearance

We had a good talk with Richy on eShop Hosts Live Support, who took time out to discuss the options available to us. He explained in great depth the time commitment to building the site template ourselves and what was required and to consider having a custom template designed for us quite cheaply which will save loads of time and mean we can spend more time on other things such as writing product descriptions and our site terms etc.

He also went through how, if eShop Hosts built a custom template for us, that we would be very hands on with the web design and any ideas we had that was sent in as our ‘brief’ would be implemented.

Seeing Our Site Develop Online

custum zen cart template

The best part whilst discussing this was Richy mentioned that while our website template was getting coded, we could view it and check daily on how it was coming along. If we didn’t like anything or felt it needed changing then we were to just email or pop onto Live Support to discuss it. I didn’t realise that I could look at the demo site while the work was in progress. For some of the ideas we got for our website was through surfing the World Wide Web and looking at ecommerce sites selling the same type of products that we intend to sell as well as other websites that we came accross. Believe me if you get stuck and need some inspiration surf the World Wide Web and see what is possible, what features or functions other websites have that you can incorporate within your own.

Through doing that it has helped us decide on our website appearance and also our colour and layout theme. Understandable we wanted to get it right and not just dive in. When we thought we had all this sorted, appearance, colour and layout theme, we would leave it for a day or two. Come back to it and see if it was the one we wanted. If am honest with you we have changed our minds seven times until we were satisfied. Hopefully when it goes live you will be able to understand what we were aiming for.

The past week or so has been hectic deciding should we build the web site or not. We were getting stressed for no reason. I mean am busy working; my wife is busy at home so how could we do it. We have tried really hard not to pester Richey and his team but he keeps telling us “that’s what they are there for” to contact them either by email, live chat or telephone. Richy said to us that the only daft questions are the ones you don’t ask. Learn from our lessons don’t be afraid to ask.

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