With an increase in cheap websites (less than $1000) flooding the market, consumers will need to start asking themselves, is a <$1000 worth the money......and moreso, is a <$1000 Shopping Cart going to deliver what you need? [artBreak]
The answer is pretty much always NO!
Whilst there are some quick and easy solutions to some situations, a cheap / free shopping carte will not cover the vast majority of online shopping projects. (There are cost effective, cheap options, but compromises will have to be made.
I was recently contacted by a company asking for an online store for their car sales business. They were in the market for a website that would look good, and be functional for both the guys running the site, and the end user. We were informed that they ended up hiring a company that quoted them $800. I happily accepted this, and will await their phone call. There is absolutely no way that $800 can cover the design, programming, and testing of the site, and some form of tutorial for the client. So, either the price will blow out substantially, or they will get $800 worth of website. Either way they will not be getting what they think they will. I'll wait for a few months, and update this space....once the story concludes.
This ended up more of a rant than article, as this sort is happening more and more often, and unfortunately it can be hard to educate someone that $800 is not enough of a budget, when they are being told they will get what they want.
When looking for a web development company, it should be taken into consideration that cheap will rarely be good, and really cheap will usually mean outsourced to cheap labour, which will usually mean not the product you need, as personal requirements will not be taken into account. A good Web Development company has done it before, so they will know that things can be be labour intensive. They will also be able to guide you through your project clearly, and provide the end product that you actually need.