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This Ghost Town has got to end


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#21 demostorm

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 07:54 PM

Hello Everyone...
you may not think that much has changed, but on the flipside, it has!


Don't think anyone would disagree with that but something tells me knowing something of the company myself that when our friends come back from Hostingcon they will do so with a fire at their back. Survival isn't determined by where you've come from but whats out there. If you have the lead keep it. Anything else is a losing mentality and knowing the quality of people at Soholaunch I doubt they have any intentions of losing.

#22 Mike Morrison

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 09:49 PM

something tells me knowing something of the company myself that when our friends come back from Hostingcon they will do so with a fire at their back.

Burning white-hot. HostingCon was awesome.

Knowing the quality of people at Soholaunch I doubt they have any intentions of losing.

Damned. F-ing. Right.

Cameron's going to set up a moderator forum pretty soon so we can fill in the community leaders on the stuff we can't announce publically yet. :cool:

#23 ritchie

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 02:41 AM

I've been absent from this forum for quite some time -- I used to be more involved, although never to the level of many of you. I think my perspective as a user, and less of a developer / supporter, might be of interest to those of you who are promoting this product. I can tell you that a handful of you have helped me in the past - and without that help I might have jumped ship long ago. The product is simple, and effective -- that is what brought me in. But after getting more involved I began to need more advanced options. That is what brought me into this forum. I have to agree that this place felt like a "ghost town" -- and to be honest the lack of forward motion is what forced me to look elsewhere. I hung in there for a while but after severl months of "we will consider that for the next version" I lost interest. Some of you might remember old posts from me asking "does anyone else besides me actually sell products using Soho?" -- that comment wasn't to poke fun or incite the developers - but honestly I kept finding things which were surprisingly basic and simple needs that I couldn't believe hadn't been addressed earlier.

Because of what I perceived as being a lack of community -my solution was to start using Oscommerce - but I held onto parts of Soho too. (promise my point is coming in the next paragraph!!!)

Specifically I feel Soho falls short on the shopping cart side. The other features such as page editing, newsletters, calendars, blogging, gallerys -- are all great. I found serious short comings in the ability to configure shipping parameters. Initially Mike Morrison helped me tremendously -- at least as much as he could. But quickly my list of things I wanted fixed or improved became overwhelming - and I didn't really expect one or two guys from Soho to fix all of my problems. That is what led me to Oscommerce. And why is Oscommerce so much healthier? USER CONTRIBUTIONS!!!! The base OsC product is more robust on the shopping cart side than Soho. But where they really kick butt is that they have a giant family of users / programmers who make up there own customizations. THIS IS THE WHOLE REASON FOR OPEN SOURCING -- the users have made unbelievable contributions which are extremely easy to test and install. Ofcourse all of the contributions come with the "beta warning" but they are so easy and well supported by the forum that there is very little fear in trying out new things. THIS SHOULD BE THE GOAL OF SOHO -- if you want a big future you have to get people involved in bringing this product to the next level.

I apologize if I am stepping on anyones toes -- and I apologize if I am overlooking some basic reason why there isn't or can't be user contributions here -- I certainly won't be programming any customizations myself -- I am a simple user. My real point I guess is to just impress upon the Soho family that if you want greatness you could start by modeling yourself after Osc because they are doing something right. And I know you have a talent pool of support here who could be building new contributions which would ultimately fill in the voids.

Sorry for rambling, but I thought you all deserved and honest assesment from a non-partisan.

#24 demostorm

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 04:47 AM

Ritchie I feel your pain. I too would like to see greater strides in the cart and I share your view that it is or should be a critical part of Soholaunch. However I don't think the comparison ot OScommerce is fitting and I know whereof I speak having presided over scores of OSC installations with our hosting company.

First OSC is has been around for many years. Something would be wrong if a standalone cart/catalog system didn't have mature features after those years.

Second contributions with OSC are NOT easy to work with. No one who wants to use a sitebuilder is going to feel comfortable going line by line making changes in the PHP code in order to get a contribution to work. Thats not what people expect out of a sitebuilder

Third, OSC is a bear to design for. In order to break out of the standard (and I think cheap) look of OSC you again have to go into the code and install the STS or BTS templating systems and then only the BTS really frees you. The price of that freedom is one complicated mess to work with.

It surprises me that OSC has been pretty stagnant for the last few years. Its stuck in a rut but if you are just going to it then it won't seem so

ALL THAT SAID

Soholaunch needs to make some decisions in regard to whats core to the application in the next few months. I am suire I will offend some by saying that I think too much time is invested in things that are not core to a sitebuilder.

I know someone will say how important the database and FAQ modules are to them but the facts are the majority of people using a sitebuilder don't even want to know what a database is and they want ecommerce features much more than they want a Frequently Asked Question section.

Thats not to say such thing are wasted or unimportant. Its just a fact that in terms of sitebuilder comparisons people want an easy to use editor that rocks, great looking sites and built in ecommerce with as many bells and whistles.

Those are features that will place the product well in the marketplace of sitebuilders. I have to say that I am surprised. Soholaunch still to my knowledge has the only drag and drop cart on the market. I would have thought They would have gone for the jugular and pushed that advantage. That hasn't happened and its disappointing. I will not be surprised to see another company develop a drag and drop cart (if they haven't already) and the opportunity to dominate an industry will be lost.

#25 SteveR

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 05:00 AM

I know someone will say how important the database and FAQ modules are to them but the facts are the majority of people using a sitebuilder don't even want to know what a database is and they want ecommerce features much more than they want a Frequently Asked Question section.

"Someone" here, saying I wholeheartedly agree with you... ;)

Maybe SL is trying to be everything to everyone?

#26 demostorm

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 05:21 AM

Well, All i Know is that looking through forums of competing sitebuilders I don't see anyone sweating over RSS feeds, including ASP scripts in a PHP package or database imports. Not hapening. They are concentrating on core functions and when something isn't available they simply say - sorry we don't support that.

You have to choose a feature that you can market that makes you distinctive.. Soholaunch has an incredible distincitive feature just sitting there in its abilty to drop a product on any page and have it ready to go linked to a cart and its been sitting there pretty much the same for a year now (since I first saw it)

I've said it before. I just wish they would break off the cart and make a seperate standalone cart. If they did that then it would become readily apparent the features they would need to put into it to make it competitive with other carts. These are not rocket science features and even if they were I am confident that Soholaunch programmers who are extremely good at what they do would have no problem getting those featrures in there.

Make alot more money too. People are willing to shell outgood money for carts that install on one domain. Completely different pricing expectations in that market.

#27 ritchie

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 05:28 AM

[I][quote name='demostorm']
Second contributions with OSC are NOT easy to work with. No one who wants to use a sitebuilder is going to feel comfortable going line by line making changes in the PHP code in order to get a contribution to work. Thats not what people expect out of a sitebuilder

I agree with you that the contributions are not as simple to install as I made them out to be : in fact I have had others help me do most of the work inside PHP. But as far as what people expect -- the fact that soho is a sitebuilder brought me to it, the fact that it was lacking cart features pushed me to OSC -- so in my case I can say that I expected more -- I guess I want both... You got the drag and drop, so why not go for the gold? Ultimately lacking features is going to limit your audience -- and hence the ghost town... I don't think this forum is lacking talent -- why not have people start adding contributions? Let them develop something, and then let them offer their services to help install it? Maybe I am out of touch with the users of this forum completely, but don't those of you who know how to program want to make money? Users are already attracted to the simplicity, and if they saw that they could add features for relatively cheap costs -- why wouldn't they? Offer the contributions for free, but let the author advertise his service of installing for a small fee. Some people will do it on their own, some people will try and fail. The forum will flush out the garbage. Maybe you dont have enough traffic now to make it worth the effort, but you got to start somewhere dont you? OSC has been around for a while, but they get bigger all the time, core program might be stagnant but I have run into sites all over the web who are selling selling selling with that cart... including mine luckily...

#28 demostorm

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 12:58 PM

Soholaunch is not completely open source. OSC is free and GPL so it does not have to protect its code from being stolen. If you open up Soholaunch completely no one will make money. Thats the problem

Still OSC is not my standard. In fact I pretty much hate it. The other question you need to ask is why so many people opt out of OScommerce even though its free. A better piece of software to look at for Soholaunch programmers would be Candypress. We use it on our site and though we haven't had the time to modify the design of the default layout its quite robust in that regard. It has a feature list thats just about right without needing hundreds of contributions.

A cart has to have -

A good shipping module
Support a number of processors gateways
Have a robust enough discount/ coupon code system
A skin/template system to modify the look of the catalog and cart (not just colors)
A solid customer account center
good admin features
Some cross selling features ("customers who bought this also bought" etc)
Some sales Tracking features
and if its drag and drop It also is necessary to be able to customize whats dragged and dropped.

The future of Soholauch is not in the gallery, the FAQ module or even a blog. Stand alone applications for all of those are always going to beat the tar out of a Sitebuilder. The future of Soholaunch is in the SOHO - Small office and Home office features that get a great looking site on the Internet, Sells the products and services of the operation and effectively communicates with customers.

I think its a community function to let the developers know what is core to the application. Right now there are some isolated custom requests but almot no discussion on the future of Soholaunch. No buzz. No excitement.

I think you are right RItchie. Thep place to start that buzz is in the ecommerce features of Soholaunch. New sitebuilders come out every other month, galleries are a dime a dozen. Blogs even more so. Here we have the world's only online drag and drop ecommerce application (known to me at least) and its just another module.

#29 lwyau

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 11:38 PM

My $0.02 is that Soholaunch can use a WYSIWYG text editor so that once for all users can see exactly what will appear in the browser while working with the text editor.

Leh-Wen

#30 Kimbob

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 09:15 PM

Mike please excuse my frankness ( and weird sense of humor)

I decided to say what I want.

I want when I click on print (for print page) in the shopping cart orders and any other part of the web site to print all the information in the that in that window and not only what is showing (missing what is in the scolled down bit)

Can you vision extend to that.....




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