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Help Me Decide on my Limited Choices in Web-Vendors

ErikJonker

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Jan 26, 2013
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Thank you Everyone for your recommendation's and insight!!

Its such a confusing and nerve racking decision to make....Probably on par with buying a new car....I have never bought a car per-say outside of my family business so I am sure its on par.

Just a bit more info to add to the discussion is that e-dealer seems to have improved their offerings in the last year or so and they say they're one of the only Canadian providers to have a totally open CMS...See below: (screenshot from demo)

e-dealers new cms open source full Word Press.png
You'll notice its WordPress and seems like you can change anything and use any plugin you want. You seem to be only limited by not making changes to the SERP and VDP yourself as its a database driven page?!?

Strathcom and the other sites all have proprietary CMS which are supposedly more limited.

Some more info for you Craigh, we were with e-dealer probably 10 years ago when they were have Roy Speed Ross do the sales side of things for us and it wasn't the best experience I am told. There now growing through the use of a heavy customer support staff and using only 3 knowledgeable in-house sales people, this and the new CMS, Does this change things in your opinion Craigh?

Thank you in advance!
 
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craigh

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May 19, 2011
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That changes everything.
Not in a million years would I pay real money to use Wordpress. If you're using Wordpress, you should be paying $0 a month.
Also, the Wordpress CMS is less flexible than most I've used (including the 3 I've built myself). It is far more difficult to change things on the pages themselves outside of the content and title. Wordpress is a great platform, but not a great CMS in contrast to something that allows us to pick and choose blocks on pages, choose page templates, alter content outside of the page content itself, etc.

I've been developing Wordpress sites since Wordpress was just an infant. It's great, has great SEO potential and works great for small business websites. Don't use it because it's a good CMS though. Also, not being able to change VDPs and VLPs seems like poor options - you should be able to change anything you want.
 

Chris Cachor

3rd Base Coach
Apr 29, 2011
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@craigh I can't stand Wordpress either, but Wordpress is leaps and bounds better than most proprietary industry website providers CMS's I've seen. If dealers are thrilled at the possibilities Wordpress brings then the bar is not set very high :/

@ErikJonker, are any of these providers willing to customize a VDP or search listing for you?
 

craigh

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May 19, 2011
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Wordpress is easy to use, but it's not that great and I've had enough problems with it in my lifetime to know that updates can break websites, certain buttons can break things, the editor is absolutely 100% useless for adding simple things like line breaks, etc. Use Wordpress as the blog on your site, not for the site itself.

Yes, this is still better than most, but I personally prefer a design more like Dealer.com with a front-end editor that lets you put any content you want "anywhere" on the site. This gives far more freedom and allows the user to build the page their own way with their own media. The downside to Dealer.com is that they had the right idea, then they locked it down and restricted many cool tools for "safety".
 

amirxl

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Oct 28, 2014
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Wordpress is easy to use, but it's not that great and I've had enough problems with it in my lifetime to know that updates can break websites, certain buttons can break things, the editor is absolutely 100% useless for adding simple things like line breaks, etc.

The *only* downside we have had for hosting WP dealer sites is generally the updates that can potentially break the site (or other plugins), and caching on dynamic inventory pages. However, we use Visual Composer as a front-end editor for WP. Works similar to drag and drop, but then again takes a while to get used to, and its not super friendly with "all" WP sites.

VLPs & VDPs can be customized if you have the right inventory system. See DealerTrend's CDP sites.
 

craigh

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May 19, 2011
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I've had far more issues with Wordpress than that, but I absolutely appreciate what you're saying.
I just don't think Wordpress was made for this and it makes more sense to use something fit for the job.
 

amirxl

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Oct 28, 2014
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Yeah, WP is still experimental in my opinion for full-fledged dealer websites. I remember wp being used for microsites back in the day.
 

craigh

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May 19, 2011
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It's a blogging platform with a CMS feature. Always has been.
Pushing it further than that should be left for other frameworks.
Personally, I write everything from scratch with Laravel so it's exactly what I want.
 

ErikJonker

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Jan 26, 2013
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I was also intrigued that you could then use WordPress SEO plugins like the one listed: SEO all in one or something like Yoast to do SEO in house with a semi-knowledgeable person. I currently spend around a $1,000 per month times two stores to have a company do our SEO and if we could do it in-house with an easy to use tool and save some money I would be very interested.
 

craigh

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May 19, 2011
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I was also intrigued that you could then use WordPress SEO plugins like the one listed: SEO all in one or something like Yoast to do SEO in house with a semi-knowledgeable person. I currently spend around a $1,000 per month times two stores to have a company do our SEO and if we could do it in-house with an easy to use tool and save some money I would be very interested.

Also a service offered by other vendors. Those plugins are great, but they're not game changers.
May I ask what they want to charge for their WP powered websites? I assume it's a cost savings.