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Minimizing time-consuming tech support for small eCommerce site

  1. I would like to launch a WordPress store that doesn't need to handle more than 10 products at first, and need only scale to about 100 products. I would like to be able to enable some SEO and affiliate marketing capabilities, though don't need to invest heavily in this up front.

    I don't mind monthly fees for hosting the site, or working with a WordPress developer upfront for 8-10 hours to set up the initial site, but want to avoid any costly and time-consuming tech support going forward. What's the best way to host this site such that I don't have to do regular tech maintenance, but can still add more robust SEO and affiliate marketing at a later stage with a WordPress developer?

  2. Would you recommend hosting this eCommerce site / webstore on WordPress.com or with WordPress.org and an external host?

    Raincoaster just mentioned on another thread I started that "at WordPress.com you cannot sell items you yourself do not produce unless you have the $300 a year business upgrade. I think what you need is hosting at an external site and software from WordPress.ORG, which comes at a minimum of $120 a year plus domain cost plus theme cost."

    Would what you save upfront with WordPress.org cost more time, money and effort in initial need for a WordPress developer, theme, and WordPress developer from time to time to perform upgrades and site maintenance?

    Some info I've been able to find on another site, please tell me if you agree:

    -10 man-hours to get this eCommerce site up at about $20/hour for WordPress developer on oDesk or other freelancer site (I'm assuming this is for a WordPress.org site though the poster didn't specify)
    - $40 for a theme
    -WooCommerce for the store (which should be good for about 500-1000 products which is way more than I need)
    -a plugin for adding affiliates
    -Yoast plugin for SEO.
    -Typical maintenance issues are plugin or theme conflict which aren't common, and with a good install, you can upload or modify your content from the WordPress admin panel without a developer, and should not need any external maintenance.
    -In the case you do need an occasional help, it should not take more than a man hour at $20.

  3. This was on the WordPress comparison page for Wordpres.org and WordPress.com:

    "WordPress.com is a great choice for bloggers, photographers, artists, plumbers, doctors, restaurateurs — almost anyone. However, people looking to start e-commerce sites, and techies that prefer to maintain full control over their code, should consider hosting their own WordPress installation. We provide a large number of themes and built-in plugin functionality so you won’t need to upload your own."

    What's the best way to host the eCommerce site while minimizing having to worry about and spend time and money on maintenance and upgrades?

  4. What's the best way to host the eCommerce site while minimizing having to worry about and spend time and money on maintenance and upgrades?

    Buy hosting from a host who offers one click WP install and install software from WordPress.org. Buy a domain name and a theme. Then prepare to either do a lot of leg work and research yourself or pay a reputable consultant about $500 minimum to help you set this up.

    WordPress.com would not be my number one choice for an ecommerce solution.

  5. PS I don't know what kind of expert web help you think you can get for $20 an hour, but ... you can't. Expect to pay $65 an hour and up for competent WP.com assistance.

  6. Raincoaster I know that WordPress.org one-click WP install will be the most flexible and most robust in terms of eCommerce, SEO and affiliate marketing tools. However, how much time and cost will be entailed in general monthly tech maintenance of the site?

    As for as cost for developers, I've worked with many developers before and have hired good and bad ones at the same price point. There's little way to know before working with them and bad ones can waste a tremendous lot of time. Since there are many millions of WP sites out there, WP development is fairly commoditized and there are many WP developers in developing regions who charge far less than in developed regions. It's possible to get good help for far less than $65/hour, but you have to find it.

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