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Guys, I’m looking for some opinions on how well VirtueMart works? A buddy of mine has his commerce site currently hosted at one of those “do-all” providers. You pay them a monthly fee, and they handle EVERYTHING that has to do with your site. You build your site using one of their templates, and you are paying them for hosting, domain, bandwidth, etc.

The problem I see here is that they offer really horrible templates, further more you can customize the site yourself but apparently the way their sites are set up, the code you use to create the site is actually a lot of non-validating workarounds to get a completely custom site working right. They offer design services but wont create a site off a mockup, they have to “completely design it themselves” and again, I’m really not liking their designs. Not to mention they are charging $600 for “button design”. They have a package for a “template design”, but the template design does not include “homepage design” which of course can be provided for additional fee. I’d love to see what a template design looks like if one were to opt out of the homepage design :P

Anyhoo, I’m suggesting to my friend that he moves his site off this service. He’s paying something like $90 p/month for a limited amount of items in his store, and 5 gigs of bandwidth. I cant believe these companies actually charge for the amount of items in your site as though having another item somehow costs them more to host.

I am considering moving him to a Joomla platform so its easy to update and add content, and hearing good stuff about VirtueMart, but wanted to know if any of you have experience with it. How well it handles with pretty high volume business, and how SEO friendly it is…

Any input would be appreciated. If you dont like it, do you know of any alternatives?

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I built my father’s website using Joomla and Virtuemart. There is a lot of hidden potential in the system, it takes years (not really) to clean up the crappy template code in vm, but in the end it works. It’s still a WIP but I enjoy it.

Sportsman’s Cabin

Note, I only posted the link as an example of Joomla + VM.

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