Sunday, April 27, 2008

Prostores Review

Prostores, an eBay company, will not give you the level of success you can achieve.

First you are continually haunted by fact the eBay greed demons own and manage it.

The sales pitch states you can use your own domain name. Well yes you can. They neglect to tell you your domain name will be forwarded via a meta refresh to yourdomain.com/servlet/storefront. Not good for search optimization and also your domain doesn't actually exist. Your own domain is forwarded to eBay's system. Your url looks like one of those childesh eBay stores with a shared url - ebay/whatever/yourdomain - only real difference is your domain comes first hosting on Prostores.

Do a simple test type yourdomain.com into your search bar and if it returns yourdomain.com your domain url actually exists. Type in yourdomain.com and if returns yourdomain.com/servlet/storefront then your domain url doesn't really exist.

Not only does this look preschool to you, your customers view this as not very professional too. Many search engines thus won't rank your site as high, as using meta refresh to redirect a webpage to another webpage is a techinque frequently used by spammers and they don't know the difference.

Another important issue is the shared SSL. Shared or dedicated SSL neither matters as both do the exact same thing and are both equally secure. Using the shared ssl provided by prostores will show the prostores/servlet url on your secure pages again making your store look preschool and costing you yet more customers.

Don't fall for the fully customizable. Even for the advanced web designer making many simple customizable changes can be a nightmare. If you choose to use the default options available you will be left with a very bland cookie cutter shop.

One issue making the customization possible is the fact prostores uses their own unique coding - SSML. As your store is run from a database that you will have no access to or any clue how it is configured, this makes writing your own SSML code virtually impossible. I can write a command to add something but if I cannot create a table in the database to get this information from, I can clearly not customize like I want. Basically all you have is an eBay store with just a bit more freedom, but not much.

Be ready for lots of hair pulling. Even after you do mange to make some changes and custimizations you will save them 4 times, view your site and all will be fine. Go back a month later and your changes you saved have mysteriously disappeared and you have to start all over.

Want Google Checkout on your own site? Forget about it. Prostores claims it is unsafe. Paypal, another eBay company, is claimed to be the only safe way to pay and your only easily intergrated option. And since Google Checkout is deemed unsafe, even though it is your store and they are technically just the host, no coding intregration is made available for you.

Final value fees will still get you. Maybe not as high, but paying any type of final value fee for items sold through you own store is ridiculuos. Sure you'll need to pay your rent via monthly hosting fee, but that is all, again paying a final value fee on top of that is a joke.

It may be a bit different if the final value fee got you some exposure generating traffic but it doesn't. With a Prostore you and you alone do all your advertising, traffic generation, everything. So why the final value fee? Unless you do the work needed your basically a flea swimming in the Atlantic ocean at night and no one will see you. All Prostores does is nothing but host your store. That they can't do very well either as you will encounter lots of down time, slow load times, continual errors(many will cost you customers) a service department that will more often than not say what you want to do cannot be done or we're working on it.

Prostores lacks in search engine optimization in several areas.

Trying to find any help using SSML code is a daunting task. Basically the only help you can get is from the discussion board and the designers reference. Any help via a search on any search engine will yield very very limited results.

If you enjoy having limited options, being influenced by eBay and Paypal on how you operate, and paying final value fees from your own store then Prostores is for you. If you want almost 100% complete control, having an almost endless amount of options, then one of the other shopping cart options combined with a good hosting company will give you the tools you need to succeed. Prostores will only hold you back from achieving what you are capable of.


1 Comments:

At 10:01 PM, Blogger balboa said...

thanks for the candid comments...no one else on the net was as real as you.

 

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