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Hi, I'd like some thoughts/opinions from non-techie people who have set up or are in the process of setting a website (especially eCommerce) for their small business. As a bit of background I am a web project manager with lots of experience of managing offshore developers who has also set up a successful eCommerce business myself but have now realized that web project management is where my heart is and want to do it on a freelance/flexible basis. I am thinking of starting a service aimed at startups/mumpreneurs, offering low-cost help with off-the-shelf tools and websites which are much cheaper than through normal agencies because I would use low-cost freelancers.
Do you use free tools like Wordpress, Magento etc and if so have you been successful? If not what sort of help would you benefit from?
Has anyone used freelancer websites such as freelancer.com or PeoplePerHour to create their website and did you find this easy and successful? If not what problems did you have?
What benefits do you see in using a traditional web agency over the above methods even if expensive?
Would you use a service that either helped you to install, configure and customize one of the free tools or offered low-cost websites.
I built my own site using publisher, then a Wordpress.com site, and then a Wordpress.org site once I was confident using WP. I found WP quite intuitive (I love the stats!) and there's lots of free help and add-ons online. I like the fact I set it up myself, as it means when something is wrong I can work out how to put it right. Perhaps you could set up a low-cost service where people could ask basic set up questions without fear of being patronised. Questions may need interpretation but you'd have to do that sensitively. For example, one of my first questions when I was setting up was "how do I make this page be on the Internet where people can see it?" DH worked out what I actually meant to ask, and downloaded FileZilla, then showed me how to use it.