Free WordPress Demo Site

CubeCart to WordPress Conversions

Want to test drive a WordPress/WooCommerce site?

Right now, we are offering free WordPress demo sites, all set up with dummy data installed, for you to play with.  This way you will know exactly what you are getting into before you book your new WordPress site with Gecko Gully.

Why WordPress?

Now I’m not just saying that to make it sound like you should have it to look cool (though it will help, I promise!). Because WordPress is popular, there are a LOT of people who need it to run smoothly. So if anything is found to be wrong with WordPress, it gets fixed REALLY fast. And then WordPress brings out a new release.

Because WordPress is so popular, pretty much all hosting companies can handle it. They would be stupid not to. In fact, there are several companies that ONLY do WordPress (our favourite is GetFlyWheel – you are looking at a FlyWheel-hosted site right now). These companies provide super-secure (hacker proof) hosting and daily backups, among other cool features. But chances are pretty good that your current host can also handle a WordPress site.

How popular is WordPress? This blog post will give you an idea – around 22% of all sites are currently powered by WordPress!

WordPress is Extendable

At its core, WordPress is a fairly basic system to set up a site with information pages and blog posts. But it can be made to do a LOT more, by adding what are called Plugins. There are two main types of plugins – free and premium.

A huge number of the free plugins are available at the WordPress Plugin Directory . I just had a quick look (21 June 2014) and it says there are 31,775 plugins available there, with 680,835,552 downloads. Wow! Premium plugins are available from a large number of companies that employ programmers to build them, and are sold on their sites. Premium plugins often also have an annual fee associated with continuing to use them.

Plugins can, put simply, make your WordPress site do pretty much anything. One I use a lot (which is free) is called WooCommerce. This will turn a basic WordPress site into a shopping cart site. The free version of WooCommerce will do most of what CubeCart V3 can do, and more. I also make it even better by adding extra features via additional plugins, as required by the client. These extra features are generally premium plugins, and I get them from WooThemes.

The other thing you can add to WordPress is Themes. They are basically a really cool way to get your site looking really cool. Again, there are free themes and premium themes. There are 2,596 free themes currently in the WordPress Plugin Directory, with 103, 926, 621 downloads.

Personally, I like to use premium themes. I get themes from WooThemes, and from Themify. I also use a site builder called Headway Themes, which allows me to set up a site that will make even the most particular client very happy.

The advantage of using premium plugins and themes is that, because you pay for them, they are kept up to date and working.

WordPress Works

Web hosting c0mpanies are always upgrading stuff. They will change versions of things like php and mySQL as often as they need to. Older systems like CubeCart are not built to be able to cope with anything the Internet can throw at them.

With WordPress, the core is designed to be able to work with versions of internet software that are not yet in wide use (and so your hosting company is probably not using it yet). Before a new version of WordPress is released publicly, a Beta, or test version, is made available for people to check out. The geeks love this. They get to pull it apart and see what makes it work and try to break it. So by the time the WordPress people let you get it, it is nearly always bomb-proof.

WordPress is More Secure

Yes, WordPress can be hacked. But it can also be secured from hackers if you know what you are doing. And I DO know what I am doing. In fact, I also run Hack Attacker, which has secured hundreds of WordPress sites, and none of them have ever been hacked.

At least with WordPress you can add a plugin or tweak some settings to make the site more secure. With older systems, the best thing protecting it right now is that the new hackers don’t know about it because they are concentrating on the 22% of sites that run WordPress and have forgotten about the older system. That, and prayer and good luck, are what stands between your old-tech site and a hacker right now.

 

WordPress is Easy To Learn, Easy To Use

When I was setting up older tech sites for my clients, I made videos to show them what to do. Or wrote long manuals. Yes, I spoiled my clients. Those of you who are not my clients probably remember how hard it was to learn how to set it all up, and quite probably still get confused about how to do stuff. With the WordPress sites I am setting up now, I have built-in videos that are automatically updated whenever WordPress is changed.

Here are some examples…

Working With Images

 

… and that is just the set of videos on working with images.

You can also see from these that the system is WAY easy to use.

 

WordPress gets picked up by Google

In WordPress, the SEO is built in. (SEO = Search Engine Optimisation = making your site easy for Google to find). This means that you need to do a LOT less off-site work, like building links from other peoples’ sites to yours, to get it found on Google.

With WordPress, even if you only use the basic features, you already have a site that is MUCH more likely to be found on Google. With the sites I build, I add an Additional SEO plugin (along with videos to show you how to use it), so you can tweak and change settings to your heart’s content.

 

Still not convinced?

Please see this page on the WordPress site that gives a whole lot more reasons why you should be building your site with WordPress.

Would you like a site to “play” with, so that you can see just how easy it is to use?

Sure! Just fill this in and we’ll get right onto it. Please note that, in order to work out who is genuine and who is a spammer, if you are not an existing client we also require you to either join our mailing list (you will get an invitation after you fill out this form, by email), or Like our Facebook page (you get extra points for doing both!).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my data be copied across from my existing site to WordPress?

Maybe.  If it is a CubeCart site, probably.  (CubeCart users please see this page).

Other sites may require a manual transfer of information, or they may be able to be done with a program.  Either way, we will have to look at it on a case-by-case basis.  Worst case scenario is that we get someone to manually transfer the data for you (we will quote for this work – we have access to some excellent outsourced labour that can do the job quickly and efficiently).

 

Can you copy the same design?

Mostly, yes. We can use the same graphics and colours. The layout will be different, but we can work to make it as close as possible to your old site, if that ts what you want. Or you can work with our designer to get a super duper new site, exactly how you want it. Or if you are not so worried what it looks like, we can provide you with a theme that will look amazingly professional too.

What about support?

Once your site goes live, you can choose to look after it yourself (and so there are no ongoing costs beyond what you are paying for your domain name or web hosting). Or you can have us look after it for you, keeping it up to date and backed up. You will find details of the Support packages we offer on our After Sales Service page.

How does the changeover work – what can I expect?

First, I would like you to have a play with one of the trial sites. I want you to be sure you are happy with what you are getting, and ask lots of questions. Once you have done that, I will ask you to fill in the WebSite Worksheet, so that we can get started with our discussions about the move. When I get that, I will be asking you to make an appointment for me to call you, and we will talk.

If we both feel that your site will be a good fit for my business, I will send you a proposal that will detail what your new site will be able to do. This will include a price. If you agree to that price, and the scope of the project, you pay me 50% and I get started on the site.

The first step will be for me to set up a prototype site for you. This will be similar to the trial site you played with before, but it will also have in it any special features that we discussed you might need. You need to have a really good play with this site, because you need to tell me if any of the functionality is not how you expected it, before we proceed to the next stage.

The next step, once you sign off on the functional prototype, is that we work on the design. If you are going to be working with my designer, I will hand you over to him (don’t worry, he doesn’t bite, and yes he is a native English speaker, in Australia). Or you choose a theme from a list I will give you, or we come up with a layout that is close to the current site. Once the design is decided, you sign off on that and pay a further 25%.

Next is the home stretch. I populate your site with the data from your old site (if applicable), or you provide content for the new site, removing the dummy data that would have been there up till that point. If we are copying from an old site, I will start by copying over your categories and products, then your customers and orders go over as the last step. Then you have a good look at it and, if you are happy, you pay the remaining 25%.

Note that if this is a brand new site, as opposed to a copy of an old site, and the content you require to be loaded is not yet on a site of yours on the internet, you will be required to load this yourself into the new site.  The easiest way to do this is actually to load it into the web site you will be using.  This way, you learn how to add content (products) at the same time.

Up till this point, all the work will have been done on my hosting. When you pay the final balance, the site is moved onto your hosting (or onto new premium hosting if that is what you prefer), a final copy of the customers and orders is done, and the old site is turned off. Then we do a switcheroo so that visitors can see the new site instead. The total down time is not usually more than an hour (less if you are going onto premium hosting), but in rare cases it can be up to half a day.

At that point, I hand over the “keys”, so you can log in and run it! You will still have had access to your original play site all along, so you can watch the training videos (and try to break stuff) in there while we work on the “real” site.

After that, if we are supporting the site for you, we will do regular backups to your Dropbox, as well as keeping all the plugins, themes, and WordPress itself up to date. You will also be on our exclusive email mailing list for clients only, and will receive emails with news and tips on a regular basis.

If your old CubeCart site and your new WordPress site are on the same hosting, we may be able to give you access to the old site after the new one goes live.

OK! That is a really long explanation – sorry! I love looking after my clients.

What you really want to know – what will it cost?

The following prices are in $Australian. If you are in Australia, you need to add 10% GST. The $Australian is roughly similar to the $US at the moment, as a guide.

The cost for setting up a WordPress site with a shopping cart (WooCommerce) is $5000.

The cost for working with our designer is $3000.

Total = $8,000.

BUT!

Right now, we are offering a package deal for those who take up the offer to get a trial site, and will not charge you for the designer, which means the total is only $5000 for the lot.  Note that there may be an additional fee depending on the source of whatever data you want copied.

(Existing clients – as always, you get a 20% discount on this rate. If you have a site without products, please contact me for a price – it will be lower).

Please note that when we have our discussion about your needs, there may be factors that will increase (or decrease) the price quoted. So that price should be used as a guide only.

But Isn’t WordPress Free?

Yes, WordPress is free, and can be downloaded at wordpress.org . But do you know what to do with it next? Do you have the technical knowledge to actually set up the whole thing and work out what is the best design and plugins and transfer the data across from your old site and test it and add in the shopping cart and set the settings and all that?

If you do, great! Go for it. But if you don’t, maybe you need a professional who has done it before, to do it for you.

What’s next?

Fill out the form above and get started with your free WordPress trial site. Or, if you have questions, please Contact Us.