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My Personal Reviews

My Personal Review: CheapSSLShop.com

This is my personal review of site CheapSSLShop.com which I personally use.

It’s one of the most affordable SSL vendors I can find on the Internet. I’ve been personally using it since 2012.

The price is good and the delivery is fast and easy.

You need some expertise to get the SSL certificates installed but with support from my host, there’s nothing to worry about for me.

Cheap SSL Shop was also able to process full refunds to me when I messaged them about my mis-order of SSL certificates I didn’t need. This is something you don’t see everyday but they do it nonetheless.

A trustworthy supplier overall, it’s highly recommended.

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Domains My Personal Reviews

Register.com Scam Review – Considering Them? Stop!

Update: After some communications with Register.com, I was able to acquire the transfer authorization code via their live chat support.

For people who are considering Register.com, I’ve got something new. Well probably not new but I just found it out myself the hard way how Register.com is a SCAM.

Sneaky Pricing at Register.com

I registered a .com with them a couple months ago at a bargain price of $2.95 (or so) and when I learned that the renewal price for the next year was like $38 / year, I said to myself, woahh, what an idiot must had I been registering this name with them in the first place?!

38 dollar  per year renewal price at Register.com

For people who are new to domains, you can get a .com name at almost any other registrars at no more than $10 / year (new registration or renewal), with much better control panel and functionalities.

The next thing I found myself doing was trying to get an authorization code so I could transfer it to another registrar. It wasn’t easy – I clicked around for about 5 minutes to find the tiny link at the bottom of the page where they would allow me to retrieve the auth code and guess what. After I clicked the link, they offered me a totally different price for renewing – $10 / year:

different renewal price for people who want to transfer away

What a douche.

And stupid.

Worst business practice ever.

Who else is offended by this moronic trick that they thought would do good to their sales?

It actually punishes loyal customers who take good faith in them in the first place yet rewards disloyal ones who are looking to get away from them.

What kind of business does that??!!

Apparently, I clicked “Continue Transfer” and requested the auth code.

Register.com Takes 7 Days to Review Your Request for an Auth Code

Turned out I couldn’t get my auth code at once. Unlike all (probably) other registrars that instantly sends you the transfer auth code upon request, Register.com sends it 7 days after request. And they only promised to review the request! They may end up NOT sending you the auth code at all at their discretion.

It was lucky of me who had found about this delay policy long before the renewal due date, otherwise I’d probably have to take one of the offers and renew another year with them should I want to keep the domain from dropping.

However, this isn’t the best part.

They declined my request for the auth code.

Yep. And this is their message addressed to me regarding my request for the auth code. Seemed I had some suspicious activity in my account and now I have to do a phone call to their customer service consultants at 1.888.734.4783 to get the auth code I need for my domain.

Dear Yang Yang,

You recently requested an auth code to transfer your “xxxxxxx.com” domain name.
Your request has been processed and at this time it has been declined due to recent suspicious activity in your account.

Register.com is committed to providing the most secure and reliable domain services for our customers. We have implemented specific security measures to help prevent unauthorized transfer of domains to another registrar.

The type of suspicious activity that could have caused your request to be declined includes:
-       Multiple failed attempts to login to customer’s account
-       Recent changes to the account holder’s name, email address, or login ID
-       Attempts to access the account over the phone without authorization
-       Recent changes to the accounts password
-       Domain name lock not removed
-       Recent changes to billing or credit card information

To receive your auth code, please call one of our customer service consultants at 1.888.734.4783.  They will confirm you to the account and then fulfill your request.

Thank You,

Sandy Ross
EVP, Customer Service
Register.com

Lucky of me again, this one domain with them wasn’t so very big a deal to me. I think I’ll just leave it un-renewed. It was well worth $3 bucks for finding out a thug registrar this way.

Register.com is now on my blacklist for all my future domain needs.

Now to the appalling part – I’m UNABLE to turn off the auto-renewal.

Obviously, I would want to turn off the auto-renewal of my domain or at the end of the registration cycle Register.com would bill my credit card again which is the last thing I want. I would rather delete or drop the domain than to be forced to continue paying them.

unable to turn off auto-renew at Register.com

There’s essentially no ‘No’ option for “Automatic SafeRenew Enabled” and the “Update” button is basically unclickable.

A credit card charge-back seems to be inevitable.

More Horror Stories with Register.com

Just Google for “Register.com Review” or “Register.com Scam” to see for yourself.

  1. http://www.hostingkids.com/host/register.com/
  2. http://www.dnforum.com/f557/register-com-scam-thread-18490.html
  3. http://www.webhostingstuff.com/review/Registercom.html
  4. http://www.whoishostingthis.com/hosting-reviews/register-com/
  5. http://www.ripoffreport.com/directory/register-com.aspx
  6. http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1163283
Categories
eCommerce & Shopping Online My Personal Reviews WordPress How To

My WooThemes Review

WooThemesAs WordPress becomes the de facto standard of web publishing, the need for quality WordPress themes have soared. There are lots of themes vendors across the web but I finally made up my mind to go with WooThemes and signed up a $125 membership with them a few months back. I never looked back. Here are the things I like or don’t like about them off the top of my head.

Good things

  1. Some of the themes look so fantastic and unique! Their themes are much more than just blogs.
  2. They retire old themes that went out of fashion. This means they are very picky of what they offer. When I first signed up, it’s about 125 themes in their repository but recently it has been downsized to 100.
  3. They UPDATE. I log back in my account at WooThemes.com every a few days and the version numbers of the themes change very frequently. Many old themes have been regularly updated and patched since being released more than 2 years ago.
  4. They release new themes every month. While it’s not as exactly as 2 themes per month as they promise, it’s approximately in that pace. And the latest ones are the best.
  5. They have very sophisticated yet easy to use backend configuration panels for every theme. Each of them comes with hundreds of different options regarding a variety of aspects. The administration is quite enjoyable.
    WOOTHEMES CONTROL PANEL
  6. They reply to EVERY THREAD in their member community with usable advice and sensible solutions in less than 24 hours. Sometimes it takes longer for advanced questions that would be assigned to a senior support staff. I asked a total of 16 questions at their community forum and all of them got resolved in less than 48 hours with clear, detailed and professional answers. I actually become better with WordPress (know many useful plugins that make my life easier writing for the web) since I started participating in their forums.
  7. As an intermediate web programmer myself, from viewing their code base and from the answers to my questions, I can tell they have designed their products (themes, theme framework and WooCommerce) well. It’s not a novice-work that’s pieced together and then duplicated over and over again. What they make is a well-formed ecosystem that’s capable of forgiving and extending. It’s both robustly functioning and beautifully usable.
  8. Very great value for money. With this coupon code:

    $25 OFF STANDARD MEMBERSHIP OR $40 OFF DEVELOPER MEMBERSHIP
    WOO2011
    Click To Open/Copy

    You would only need to pay $100 (with $25 OFF, or $40 OFF for developer membership) for a standard membership that instantly enables you to download ALL of their current themes for a month. And subsequent subscription is just $20 per month that you can choose to deactivate or re-activate any time you want without any additional charges.

Not so good things

  1. About 1/2 of the themes don’t look that good, especially old ones. This is probably because they have designed their website so beautiful that I have high expectations from their products and become too easy to be disappointed by their themes.
  2. I tried to think of things I don’t like about them for the last hour…….and I couldn’t think of any, except one time I asked a question about the product image resizing issue for one of their WooCommerce themes and got replies that insisted it was my problem rather than theirs. They turned out to be right. It was my problem because I was not familiar with the WooCommerce options. But still. If a user can be blamed for incompetence to use the software, it’s a developer fail without excuses.

Conclusion

To sum up, I give 4.8 / 5 to WooThemes. Go with them, if WordPress is your core publishing platform. Period. With WooCommerce and their e-Commerce themes, WordPress can be a very powerful online store as well. Being a member of them would make sure you stay on the decisive edge of web design trends for your web projects.

Categories
Business and Marketing Coupons and Promo Codes Free Web Templates Internet Tools My Personal Reviews

Webmium Review – WYSIWYG Website Builder

Webmium 40% Discount Promo Code: KAVOIRWebmium may not have much to look at on their website – for which they better hurry up and get a better design – it’s actually very very easy and intuitive to use.  With adequate features, abundant site templates to choose from, and hundreds of online marketing guides, it’s the combo solution for people who want to get their business website up in less than 10 minutes, without having to spend an arm and a leg to tackle the challenges of web design, web development, web hosting, and web marketing. Webmium has it all.

Unbelievably Easy and Intuitive

After a few minutes of clicking and typing, my first site on Webmium was up and running – Xi’an Jobs. I didn’t have to think once to get my job done. Everything seemed to be right there when I needed it. I felt like a breeze being pushed by the wind, naturally and comfortably and never did I have to sweat any effort to accomplish the whole website which is decent enough for most undertakings. Your site is well modularized so that you can freely switch between themes / layout and move around objects without jeopardizing anything. Your content is never hard coded.

A WYSIWYG Website Editor Better than Desktop Programs

Everyone can learn and start doing it in a minute. In fact, it’s so intuitive and easy that everything including editing text, uploading image, adding contact form and creating another page is accomplished within one editor page. Check out the editor screenshot:

webmium website editor

You don’t get any more WYSIWYG than this. Lots of desktop website creator programs such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression Web available on the market who claim to be WYSIWYG don’t come up close. You have to view the produced web page in a browser to see the final results. But with Webmium, it’s all in there, 100% WYSIWYG and never again do you have to scratch your head and ask why the hell does it look so different in the browser from that in the editor.

Free Entry Plan – Very Good for SEO

Best of all it’s free and they’ve got tons of FREE templates to choose from. You should get one up on Webmium right now. Sign up with them. It’s definitely worth the time to have an external page of content up for the sake of SEO. Be sure to create useful, original and rich content or Google won’t buy it just because it’s on a distant IP. Webmium has an auto-submission feature that after you have published your site it will automatically submit the site to search engines like Google.

My tiny site about Xi’an Jobs ( http://xian.webmium.com/ ) was indexed by Google 8 hours after being published at Webmium. Definitely looks promising from the perspective of SEO.

Quick Built-in Guides to Kick Start Your Online Marketing

For small business owners who don’t know how to have their own website online, Webmium is the no-brainer choice. It has got hundreds of articles and guides in the Marketing Academy on how to do it and what the best practices are, about not only the technical aspects but also the marketing part. It’s a perfect companion for starter small businesses owners who want to have their website up today, in the minimum effort and cost possible. And you are well guided along the way with built-in tips while you are building your online presence.

What can be improved about Webmium?

It’s a greatly simple and useful solution for starter business owners but there are definitely ways that Webmium can be improved. I’ll just lay out a few of the problems I met when playing with it:

  1. Currently there’s no way I can add text beside the logo. It’s either a logo or a text but you can’t combine.
  2. I don’t seem to be able to align social buttons such as facebook like buttons and tweet buttons together. Weird.
  3. Unable to modify footer attribution to add copyright notice, etc. I guess it’s because I’m on the free plan. You would probably be able to do that after upgrading to the PRO plan.
  4. For now, each account is limited to one website / domain. I think they can definitely offer the ability to create and manage multiple websites under one account in the PRO plan.

Other than these, Webmium is looking a prosperous future if they keep shaping it better.

Upgrading to PRO? Use a Promo Code!

Webmium was kind enough to offer an exclusive promo code to the readers of Kavoir.com. If you want to take advantage of the PRO plan that offers all the easiness to build a small business website as well as unlimited storage and bandwidth, use promo code:

KAVOIR
Click To Open/Copy

Like this:

Webmium Promo Code

When you are upgrading but before making payment. It would give you a nice 40% discount off the listed price.

Categories
Internet Tools My Personal Reviews

Invoicera Review – Online Invoice Software & Client Billing Software

Let’s be honest here. One of the most dreaded dreams for any working professionals perhaps is generating timely and professional invoices. Important as they are for ensuring timely payments, it is a pain to sacrifice time and make an effort to track down all the details. If you are having a tough time preparing invoices and the accompanying reports, a valued solution that lies with you is Invoicera. Invoicera is a completely web hosted application that effortlessly works towards getting the invoice generation job done, in a professional manner.

A sturdy online invoicing and billing application, Invoicera provides you with a self explanatory user interface along with poignant and much sought after set of features and functionalities. Thus it seamlessly simplify and streamline the entire process of generating and sending invoices.

Invoicera control panel

Language Multiplicity and Multicurrency support

This is a major factor, which gives Invoicera an edge over various other online billing systems in the market. Invoicera supports 11 different languages and more than 100 currencies.

Effortlessly Manage Your Clients

In the client section apart from managing and adding your new clients you can also view their account statements and create custom fields and entries which you deem necessary.

To overview the complete details of any particular client there is an automated Report generator, which gives you the ease of analyzing the dealings and business you have had with the customer.

Incredible Time Tracking

With its expert time tracking capabilities, you can be rest assured to track down every minute of your time that you have spent on the projects for your clients. It completely nullifies all the worries surrounding time tracking and you can easily keep a check on how much time you have spent on a particular project.

Template Customization Service

In case you are not technically trained in customizing the look of the invoice / setimate templates, Invoicera provides you with the option of Invoice Template Customization service. This will provide you with the expert services of seasoned technical experts and you can easily customize the look of the invoice that you send, as per the need of your business.

Schedule Your Invoices Easily & Charge Late Fee from Defaulters

A stand out point of Invoicera is that unlike other similar apps, with Invoicera you can easily schedule each of the invoices needed to be delivered. You can simply schedule the date and time on which you need to send out the invoices to the users and the intuitive online invoicing solution that Invoicera is, it will make sure that invoices are delivered right on scheduled time. Besides, with just a click of the mouse, you can add the late fee charges and get reimbursed for the same.

Other Benefits That Invoicera Offers:

  • Login and carry out some invoicing tasks wherever you have access to the Internet either via PC or laptop,
  • Flexible pricing depending on your usage levels,
  • Constant updates and support,
  • No large up front application costs,
  • Data security and backup

In Short

Invoicera is vast enough to confound all the different invoicing requirements of your web site and you assure yourself productive gains by availing its services. Besides, their customer support and related services are impeccable and unmatched. Thus if at any time you stumble, Invoicera provides you with enough options to continue the smooth sailing.

Invoicera - online invoicing

Categories
Make Money Online My Personal Reviews WordPress How To

WordPress: Display Ads in Post Content and Only Display Ads in Old Posts

The title pretty much says it all. It’s 2 of the most useful AdSense ads tips for bloggers in my opinion. Obtrusive ads have the unnecessary effect of driving away readers after they have found what they needed. Unless you have amazingly great content, the chance of them becoming a loyal reader is rather low when you have ads splashing into their faces – this is not something you want to do to your subscribed readers. On the other hand, you’d want to maximize your AdSense earnings by putting up ads on as many posts as possible.

Ad Injection (WP plugin)

This tiny little plugin, Ad Injection, gets it all. Very useful plugin for you to insert AdSense ads in your blog posts AND set a specific age threshold for the posts to display ads, so freshly published articles won’t have ads to drive your subscribers away. See detailed introduction here: Ad Injection for WordPress.

Just install it from the inventory (upload or install from within your WP administrator panel) and activate it. Go to Settings > Ad Injection > “Random ad (inserted randomly between paragraphs)” and insert your AdSense code there. Depending on how aggressive you are, you can use a variety of ad formats from Google. I used a 468×15 links banner on Health Not. Check out the screenshot below:

insert ads in wordpress posts

By default, Ad Injection inserts a maximum of 2 instances of the Random ad per post. This way, the ads are well blended in the content. What works a few years back with the 336 square ad format on top of the content is gradually dying out in CTR thus click revenues. You should try something new such as this.

Another useful option of the plugin is to set “Only show normal ads on pages older than xx (days) – only for single posts and pages”. This would prove very useful if you want a good balance between ad performance / earnings and user experiences. Only displaying ads on older posts are a pretty good idea for creating a good first impression to those who stumble upon your site.

Categories
eCommerce & Shopping Online Magento Tips My Personal Reviews PayPal & Ecommerce

Premium Magento Theme – Avalanche (Review)

Avalanche 15% Off Promo: Click here to get 15% discount off, then enter code KAVOIR in the box to claim the 15% discount off the Avalanche theme.

avalanche - premium magento themeAfter digging into Magento for a few months and trying to start my own tangible business (I only deal with digital goods as of now), I failed in finding the perfect theme for my store. What I had in mind was a Magento theme much like Thesis for WordPress, the sort of theme that’s simplistic yet powerful, finely crafted and omnipotent (not just for a specific niche). Seemed most of the themes I could find were a bit too frivolous for me, until I found Jake and his Avalanche, premium Magento theme.

Jake was one of a few Magento experts who are true masters of the eCommerce platform. I first discovered Avalanche with awe and thought, that was it – that was exactly what I wanted. With a few improvements it’d be the perfect theme for my store. I contacted Jake immediately with some of my ideas and he got back to me and greatly appreciated my feedback. He adopted and implemented my suggestions the next day. Those were some great ideas such as a mega / exploded menu option for the top navigation. It used to be 3 options, now there are 4 – it’s all yours to choose from in the Avalanche configuration panel.

I bought the Developer License for $399 that night. It was a remarkable experience. We exchanged quite some emails about how to make the theme better. Not every vendor takes customer suggestions so seriously, let alone a customer-yet-to-be; and it’s not every day you find a developer who so vigorously and wholeheartedly keeps refining his product.

The installation was a breeze. Had some minor problems as I was not quite experienced with Magento yet and emailed Jake for help and he got back to me within 1 hour. Every time. That’s the kind of support lacking in the official Magento Go team.

The Avalanche theme has lots of backend options that you can tweak to customize the look and general texts of your store. Cloud Zoom in place. Breadcrumbs are enhanced. Colors, typography, banners, featured products, AJAX quick views, cutting edge CSS3 features and many more.

As of now, I’m very much impressed in all regards, though I’d say it’s more of a theme for digital niches such as technology and electric products. The black and white theme may not suit every customer base (may not yield the best conversion rates in some niches). You need to tweak them a bit, unless Jake can come up with an overall color themes switcher in future updates. For now, we are stuck with color switchers just for borders, links, and action buttons – they are actually pretty nice with gradients, you should try it!

There could be more improvements and I’m sure Jake’s already started working on the next version. By far, I think he’s making the best premium Magento themes.

My 4.9/5 for Avalanche Magento theme.

Avalanche 15% Off Promo: Click here to get 15% discount off, then enter code KAVOIR in the box to claim the 15% discount off the Avalanche theme.

Categories
eCommerce & Shopping Online My Personal Reviews PayPal & Ecommerce

Shopify Review

shopify - create your own online storeWhen I was trying to find an eCommerce solution for my wedding dresses store, I tried Shopify for 30 days and then been a paid customer for 10 days before I canceled my plan (NOT in a negative manner). Have something to say about them so I come up with this brief review, which, hopefully can be helpful to those who are in search of a fine way to build online stores.

What I like about Shopify

  1. Beautiful. Anyone who has used Shopify would agree that it’s the a beautiful and graceful eCommerce solution. People behind it are working their heart out. The free themes available for you to choose from for your store are eye-candies, simplistic and highly brandable. They SHOULD make more of them, though. Currently there are only about 10 free themes. If you want more, you’d have to pay. Commercial themes at their theme store cost about $100 – $300.
  2. Proactive and personal support. I got emails offering to help from their support team every once a few days ever since my trial sign-up. Friendly, helpful and very personal. Of all the companies that I dealt with, Shopify is the only one that proactively asked me if I needed any help, REGULARLY. WiredTree comes second by asking for my feedback every 3 months. Magento Go comes last by offering unparalleled ridiculous support.
  3. Very easy to use. It only took me a few minutes to set up the whole store with an attractive look and add the first product. The control panel was intuitive and texts (tab names, section titles, field names, etc.) were straightforward. I didn’t have to think to do something. It’s simply there when you need it.
  4. Unlimited bandwidth. I specifically asked about this offer in one of the emails I exchanged with Chris, my client representative at Shopify, and he assured me that this was as TRUE as it’s promised. I never had the chance to have an online store that got hit by 100,000 unique IPs per day so I don’t know. But I sure like it. Who wouldn’t.
  5. Premium yet affordable. While it may seem that a month-to-month SaaS eCommerce solution would cost more than buying a permanent license that could be hosted on your own server, it may not seem so when you scale up. When you hit the mark of 20,000 unique IPs per day and got over 20,000 products in your store, Shopify’s offer of $179 / month for unlimited bandwidth, storage and SKUs is simply irresistible. With licensed shopping cart software that’s hosted on your own server, you would worry about security and upgrade (it can be painful, believe me) which take time and money. However with Shopify, you don’t have to worry about them at all because underneath details are all taken care of. You get a store that’s silently self-evolving without your custody.
  6. They refund. This is the single most valuable thing in any business. I was charged for the first month before I realized that I would be charged after the end of the trial period (30 days). After corresponding with my support staff Chris, I was able to get my money back without a hassle.

What I don’t like about Shopify

  1. First off, they didn’t make it clear that I would be automatically signed up with paid membership and be charged for a month after my trial period ends. After talking with Chris, it seemed that the terms were in there, in fine print, and I needed to click to open the complete, tedious terms and conditions to find it. Well, I believe it would definitely be much more customer-friendly to get the text in the sign-up page in large print, like what Microsoft did with Office 365 so I know I have to cancel my trial contract to stop them from billing me when it ends.
  2. Shopify doesn’t have effective product filtering. Or they probably have it but it takes quite some work to have it up for my store. For instance, the left side “Narrow Your Choices” product filtering at Zappos Women’s Clothing. I asked Chris about this and he said they had it and could give me an example store that had it. He never did.
  3. Custom made products that are made to order are not well supported by Shopify. For example, a store that sells custom tailored wedding dresses where customers can freely select any of all the possible combinations of options: “Color”, “Size” and “Belt Color”. With 15 possible colors, 15 sizes and 15 belt colors, there would be a total of 15 x 15 x 15 = 3375 distinct combinations of product options (“Color”, “Size”, “Belt Color”) for each wedding dress. The problem with Shopify is, they treat every product as in the inventory rather than custom made, therefore I have to add all 3375 distinct combinations of product options one by one for each of the products. It’s simply an unrealistic job.

All after all, Shopify is among the top 3 most usable and beautiful online store solutions out there after I tried many of them. I would definitely recommend it to people I know and would very probably use it for some of my future ecommerce projects.

4.5/5.

Categories
My Personal Reviews PayPal & Ecommerce Web Applications & Online Software

Magento Go Review – Sucking Support & $99 Ripoff for SSL Setup

Magento goI officially signed up with Magento Go‘s Going Places plan for $25 / month and paid $99 for my SSL to be installed. It’s been 3 days and I wish I had better things to say about them.

And this is my review.

Uptime: 4.7 / 5

It’s too early to tell because I’m only with them for 10 days (in trial for 7 days). Sometimes it’s a bit slow. Magento is known to be resource-intensive. But as of now, Magento Go has been constantly up and responsive for me.

Price: 2.5 / 5

I would have given them 5 / 5 if I don’t have to pay $99 for my SSL to be installed – yes, that’s JUST for the installation service, not the SSL. You have to provide your own SSL certificate purchased from a CA to them. And this didn’t turn out to be very pleasant. I’ll come to that later.

The $1 million stimulus package that they promised to discount the monthly subscription fee by $15 for a year hasn’t been activated for me – and I contacted them about this twice – got NO responses of any kind. Waited nearly 24 hours and still no emails. So I logged back in to see the tickets. You know what I found? The tickets are all DELETED, like it’s never happened before.

What kind of support does that?

So the $1 million stimulus program is pretty much false advertising. Chances are, you won’t get it. Or you will. We are totally at their mercy.

Features: 4.1 / 5

If you are ever building an online store, once in your life time, you should use Magento Go. It simply makes sense.

After trying a few more online store builders, I think I’ll unsay the above saying.

Everything seems good, if not great. There are some parts that can be improved, such as the theming system, backup system, etc.

Their top plan for $125 / month offers a tingling of just 32GB monthly bandwidth. Anyone with decent SEO skills would easily hit that mark in half a year, especially if you’ve got lots of large images for the products. And extra bandwidth are charged $10 / GB. Pretty expensive. AND they don’t even have a bandwidth meter where you can see how much you’ve gone so far. So good luck…My tip is to use external website for hosting the product images.

Otherwise, Magento Go is simply NOT an magento go: not for growth. Be prepared to pay premium when you are locked in with them.

Support: 0.8 / 5

Appalling. If you are ready to pay $xxx per month for the top plan, you would probably be treated much better. But that’s just a theory.

I opened a total of 9 tickets, they DELETED 3 of them and responded to 3 of them.

They sent a very important message to *my* email. I didn’t receive it. Because that’s NOT my email, not even close. How hilarious is that!

Ticketing system is very hard to use. You would view the message and then click “Back” to return to the previous page to reply to it – if you have to quote something, you click “Forward” to view the message sent to you and then click “Back” again to continue writing. Very user-UNFRIENDLY ticketing system.

I posted a “Problem” message to the collaboration site (a collaboration support community to help dilute the workload of the REAL support team) about how my SSL hasn’t been installed after paying $99 and why my tickets got DELETED in the ticketing system. You know what they did? They changed the “Problem” status to “Question“. You know, it doesn’t look pretty in red.

Quick Facts about Go’s Support

People love interesting facts. Here are them.

  • A total of 3 tickets that got NO responses and simply got DELETED:
    1) A request for installing my SSL attached with my certificate files from GeoTrust
    2) A request to be enrolled in the $1 million stimulus package they promised – $15 monthly discount for next 12 billing cycles
    3) A question why my store home page doesn’t display the newest products after I added them in the backend – tried 2 different approaches but none of them worked.
  • After I complained about the SSL installation, they claimed to have sent an email to me at yanghit (@@@@@) gmail dot com. Apparently I didn’t receive it. Because that’s NOT my email, nor anything close.
  • For me, their support turnaround is about 12 hours, sometimes as long as 3 days, IF they respond at all. (I just recalculated the actual turnaround based on tickets’ and questions’ time stamps)

12 Hours Support Turnaround

Any support turnaround that’s 12 hours or longer is just unacceptable for mission critical sites such as eCommerce stores. Ordinary content sites have an eCPM of about $5 – $50 per thousand visits, however, online stores generally averages $200 – $2000 per thousand visits. Every hour of problem or down time causes substantial loss; the greater the traffic & conversion rate, the greater the damage.

People who choose Go are generally not technically oriented and would require a lot of help along the way. It would be a very painful experience for them should something get haywire yet they can’t get anything done in 12 hours.

Magento Go has got to seriously work on that.

Busted?

They got a final score of 60.5 / 100. Merely passed.

I will keep you updated on my experience with Magento Go. Even though their support isn’t the best in the world, I’d still recommend them to you. Hopefully they can see this review and give their support department a revamp.

I would love to see Magento Go becomes the go-to brand for online eCommerce solution. However, as of now, you would be better off with CE and do your own hosting, if you’ve got some technical nerves. In this case, I would like to recommend the Avalanche Magento theme.

What other folks are saying…

Seems I’m not alone on the bad experiences with Magento Go:

  1. http://www.shoppingcartsforwebsites.com/general/magento-go-review/
  2. http://www.commercestyle.com/e-commerce/magneto-sucks
  3. http://www.magentogoreview.com/list-of-magento-go-reviews~123

 

Update: I submitted a ticket and a *problem* at the collaboration site asking for a refund of the $99 SSL setup fee and they finally got back to me, addressing a question I asked 23 hours ago. After a few more tickets (each taking 2 – 3 hours for them to respond), my SSL is finally up and working.

 

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Hosting Tips & Deals My Personal Reviews

Review: Why I love WiredTree hosting

wiredtreeThis is the second time I wrote a review of WiredTree and also the second time to have signed up a VPS account with them. The last time it was a 512MB VPS (VPS512) that has now been upgraded to VPS1000, doubling everything, RAM, disk storage and monthly bandwidth (tripled!), yet the price tag stays the same. Here are a few coupons that you can use to get 50% off the first 2 months should you want to sign up. The old coupons you may find elsewhere for VPS512 AND VPS 768 have been invalidated.

Okay, to the review part. After about 2 months I feel I should start using the VPS – I admit it’s a impulsive buy, just can’t resist the monster upgrade and 50% off offer – and the primary domain I provided when I signed up with it was somehow randomly picked, and now I want it changed into something else. So I sent the support team an email.

Note it’s about 2:30 A.M. CST. One of them, John, quickly responded to my help request, in less than 10 minutes, did the change and taught me how to debug DNS myself with a free tool intodns.com which by the way is a very cool tool.

The tool showed that I still needed to set the name servers for my domain at the registrar. I didn’t know how to do that so John asked me which registrar I was using, searched for the documents for me and then sent me the exact steps I needed to follow to accomplish the task.

Blah blah blah.

Things kept going wrong because I had no idea what I was doing with the DNS. I wanted to use my own name servers. It was after about 20 emails that I finally got everything in place and the domain started working. They responded to EVERY message in less than 5 minutes. And it’s about 4:00 A.M. CST.

End of story? Not.

I suddenly changed my mind that I wanted to completely re-provision the slice, using the new domain / host name in the first place, because, you know, I have obsessive disorders that knowing the old domain is still somewhere in the box makes me uneasy. I could still find the old domain listed via traceroute and reverse-IP lookup.

So I’m compelled to send another support ticket. John kindly asked me why I needed to do that and I told him I just wanted to, because I feel compelled. He then suggested me that I back up everything I can and let him know when I was ready.

After about 5 hours, the rebuild was done. I had a brand new slice that was as new as just born. Not sure how much time they spent in the 5 hours just for easing my compulsive mentality, I am sure grateful for their dedicated support.

5/5.

Find more reviews of them here: http://www.wiredtreereviews.org/