You seem to be one of the most reputed experts on Dreamweaver that I have come across so I would very much appreciate your advice…just some suggestions on my next steps would be great.
I have done a couple of sites which I am pleased with, but I really want to take it to the next level and now want to be able to design ecommerce sites for clients so I can develop a web design business for small businesses in my local area.
I have a potential client asking me for this right now so need to find out how to do this a.s.a.p. if possible! Any advice you could offer on my next steps, products you could recommend (software plus training manuals), would be great. In fact, do you have a product of your own that would help me?
Many thanks in advance for your advice
Thanks for the kind words about my book and congrats on building your own Web design business.
You’re wise to be thinking about developing more advanced skills so you can handle ecommerce, but you should know that things get a lot more complicated when you start selling things online, and the liability risks go way up as soon as you’re dealing with credit card processing.
Here are some of the most popular ecommerce options I’ve found:
If you’re looking for a relatively simple ecommerce site, consider your options with this comparison of Paypal, Google Checkout, or Amazon.
Magento: A very high-end solution, lots of advanced features, but very complex to set up (they offer a 19-hour basic training program) and prices range from $3,000 to $12,000.
Yahoo Store is used by big and small sites. It offers many popular features but comes with some restrictions and a monthly fee of $39.
That list of ecommerce options should get you pointed in the right direction, but here’s my best advice. I took a look at your first two sites and you’ve done a lovely job, but setting up a client with a full-featured ecommerce site is a LOT more complicated than what you’ve done so far.
Most web designers can handle setting up Paypal, Google Checkout, or Amazon on their own, but if you choose an advanced ecommerce program, such as Magento, consider hiring an expert to help. Even with my experience, I prefer to hire a programmer to set up ecommerce features and help with configuration.
Even small web design firms are often run by at least two people — a designer and a programmer — because it’s incredibly rare for one person to have good design skills and master the advanced technical skills needed to set up an advanced ecommerce system.
I sincerely hope that helps you and I wish you all the best with your new web design business.