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  • How to transition to 3dCart from elsewhere

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for tips, advise, and suggestions for a seamless transition to 3D Cart. When our first webmaster started our "main" website 8-9 years ago, it was done with a "front page" type site built from a website building software program, more suitable and geared for information/adsense pages than a shopping cart, and the "Buy It Now" buttons linked (formally) to a GoDaddy shopping cart, and now (presently) to 3D Cart. So the front page is [domain].com, and the BUY links go to [domain].3dcartstores.com.

    Obviously, this isn't the early 2000s anymore and we're behind on getting it to where our website and shopping cart are "all-in-one", without having customers go to a website that then links into a shopping cart when they're ready to buy.

    We rank highly in many organic searches for keywords -- for some #1 in Google, for others, at least some position on the first page.

    How can I transition fully to 3D Cart without losing these good organic positions (that our "front page" website currently hold)? Copy all meta information to 3d Cart pages? Copy the "body" text to 3D Cart?

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,
    James

  • #2
    Here are my quick two cents. We just went through this and it took us about six months. Now we are live and happy. Still got a ton to do, but we are open and customers like the new site.

    1. to to settings and close the store. Otherwise Google will index the temporary store and you will have customers confused. No one told me this and I found out when I received orders from the temporary store that I had no idea existed.
    2. Work very hard an long on your 301 redirects for everything. don't do it right away. Wait until you figure out your structure first.
    2.5. set up your shipping and payment methods early, so you can test and fine tune.
    3. spend time thinking about the Category structure you want. How will the customers find things, how would they navigate, then set your categories. Play with the cart, make purchases, etc until you get a feel for it. You have to change your mindset from your old cart.
    4. get your inventory ready to transfer. Download the templates and go at it. Leave items with options till later. These are more complex.
    5. In the item and category updates, also load custom files names. (I think the column is called "file" or something similar). This will set the names as fixed. Otherwise, if you change an item name, the URL will change and there goes your Google ranking. create one or two items manually to figure out the URL structure. The Custom URL cannot be the same as the one generated by 3dcart. You can change the last _ to - , and that should solve it.
    5. Go through the Store Language and see what is there. Don't go crazy changing things until you are very familiar with the site and where everything shows up.
    6. Create backups by FTP . Name folders by date, and create new one all the time.
    7. Spend weeks going through the Forum. There is a wealth of info here, and many things that are not in the Knowledge Base. You will gain insight into the inner workings of the cart.
    8. Spend some money with the 3dcart design team. They do a great job. You have to know what you want first though, as they will not walk you through the logic, or structure. I wish they offered e-commerce design guidance as part of the design packages.
    9. test, test, test. If you change anything no matter how trivial, go and check the page.
    10. Set Store Languages as one of the short cuts (bottom item on the admin menu. to add to it click the balloon on the bottom right of the screen when on a particular page), and every time you make a change, go there and click save to apply the changes. Very tedious, but it will re-load the page code.

    I am sure I can sit here doing this all day, but gotta go. New web site needs tons of work.

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    • #3
      Keeping a good google rank is a headache.

      Break down what you need to do into a plan. Look at cart2cart for moving your data from your previous cart to 3dcart. 3dcart will also do this.

      Content and links are the key on google. 301 redirects will help. As will setting up your url's correctly. I am in the middle of transitioning my site. I ran into some challenges with the web developer I chose (price was great, but way over schedule).

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      • #4
        Thanks to both of you! I certainly appreciate the thoughtful and helpful advice and suggestions!

        -James

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