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I agree with fencing, above.
If the Startup Nation community has taught us nothing else, it`s that brilliant ideas are nothing without investment of time, money and sweat. That`s why there`s one Facebook, not 10; one mypsace, not 10.
Nearly everyone has a big idea. Really. Almost all of them never even make it onto a thin sheet of paper.
If you do not want to sell your idea nor invest in it yourself, give the Internet time and, yes, someone who is willing to do either will ...or someone will come up with something even better.
And, hey, nothing wrong with that. Remember: MOST don`t.
Great points, Craig.
Clarification, however, on the capitalization of Web/web: When referring to the World Wide Web (as in, "to get your products on the Web") then, yes, it is capitalized. When referring to web development, web designer, etc. (as in, "venturing into the world of web development"), it is acceptable to lowercase, since the person is not developing nor designing *the* Web.
I would add the following critiques to the site:
Please speak with your web designer about page titles. Currently, you have page names that say simply "about us" and "contact us." Because page titles are an important piece of search engine optimization (SEO), you will want page titles that are more descriptive. For example, the "about us" page could have a title like "The Products and Services of The Pendex" or "Company Profile | ThePendex." Read more on SEO via Google.
Please speak with your copywriter about editing and proofreading your pages. I found some examples quickly for why this is needed:Ex. Then maybe it`s about time you looked into creating a Web presence?
-- front page, first paragraph. Should be a statement, not a questionEx. We can translate the way you already run your brick and mortor operation into a Web-based equivalent.
-- front page again. Mortar is misspelled.
I found others, unfortunately. Spelling errors, misuse of punctuation, and incorrect word usage may be excused in my post (thanks!) but could make the difference in selling your business services.
Best wishes on your launch.
I agree with Roland that open source products would be the route to choose if portability, the learning curve and keeping costs low are priorities.
I would recommend that you take a close look at the developer communities behind the software on your shortlist to determine if you think there is enough activity there on theme, module and plugins to suit your needs. Consider the user forums too. If you feel comfortable with the level of discussion happening in its official forums, you will feel comfortable turning to them with any newbie questions or seeking out a professional.
Beware: not all hosts are as good at supporting every piece of open source software out there. You may want to take a look at the developer forums to see which hosts have a good track record or are exclusively hosting the eCommerce package of your choice.
Good luck! Do update this thread when you`ve remade your site!
P.S. I heartily recommend Wordpress. For an example of an eCommerce plugin for that platform, see the "WP e-Commerce plugin" on the http://Instinct.co.nz home page, samples on the lower right.
I disagree with bestclickbankguide. Now is a fine time to brainstorm about monetizing the site *if* your purpose in creating the site is to derive income from it, however modest. It is *because* you are thinking about the money that you determine from the get-go that you are going to deliver a quality forum that would attract both fans and advertisers.
That said, I also agree with bestclickbankguide that this is not easy. To quote Shawn Hogan who wrote "Making Money with Forums": I wouldn’t suggest starting a forum and expecting it to make money in a
few months. Growing a forum can take considerable time and personal
effort so if you don’t have the time, energy or money to make it
successful, you’ll be better off blogging for money."
Google "monetize your forum" to find that Shawn Hogan article and other tips. Best of luck!