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  • mikrobson 3 posts 82 karma points
    Nov 13, 2019 @ 22:01
    mikrobson
    0

    I'm wondering if this is a good platform for hosting school and commercial websites for my clients

    Hello everyone,

    I'm shopping around at different web hosting companies and platforms like Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Drupal, etc. for our new platform for hosting school and commercial customer websites, and I'd love to get some feedback from anyone who has used any Umbraco eCommerce tools, and compare what they have to offer with the tools being offered by Duda, which is the white label platform that we're leaning toward at this point.

    We've been using DNN (DotNetNuke) for the past 16 years for hosting school websites, but after MANY, MANY, MANY fails and frustrations, we're finally giving it up completely and are in search of a new website hosting platform on which to build school and community websites.

    After MUCH research and analysis of more than 80 different platforms, we've almost settled on the Duda platform and their white label package, and we’ve even built out our new primary marketing website as well as a few small test customer websites, which can be seen at https://www.iwantawebsite.com.

    The issue is that, although we're already underway with our new Duda reseller package, we're just not feeling 100% sure that we've made the right platform choice, and would love to get some true and unbiased opinions of our new site, the Duda platform as a whole, and how it might compare to what we could get and/or do with the Umbraco platform in direct comparison to what Duda has to offer, especially with regards to the Duda eCommerce tools VS. any available Umbraco eCommerce tools (assuming there are some!).

    We still have not actively promoted the new website, out of fear that we might not be heading the right direction, so we need to really commit to it and launch it, or we need to jump onto the right platform (Umbraco?) immediately before we dig ourselves a deeper hole in the Duda world!

    Thanks for any help and insight y'all could give us, and don't be afraid to give any critiques or comments about our new site, any of our new test client sites, or any other advise that might help push us in the right platform direction before we get too far along and discover that we’ve made the wrong choice!

    Rob

  • mikrobson 3 posts 82 karma points
    Nov 13, 2019 @ 22:03
    mikrobson
    0

    I was afraid that my links in my question might flag me for a spammer or something, so please feel free to either remove my link or call me directly at 678-232-1188 any time, and I'll be happy to verify my details and the legitimacy of my question. This is not spam or solicitation of any kind, and if I need to go back and change my post in any way so that it conforms to the requirements of the forum, please let me know what I need to do, and I'll be happy to do it.

    I'm just trying to get realistic feedback and advice from the community.

    Thanks!

    Rob Frierson

  • Graham Davis 109 posts 364 karma points
    Nov 15, 2019 @ 21:24
    Graham Davis
    100

    Hi Rob!

    I reviewed the website you provided and would be happy to speak with you. In some ways, we are in simailar situations and serveral flags went off for me while I was looking through your site. Like me, you are in a "niche" industry/industries....Schools and eCommerce (mine is Real Estate) whose web platform is data driven and probably has to meet various State and Federal regulations. You also mentioned you have built most of this on DNN over the last 18 years and probably have a staff stilled in MS.Net Technologies.

    When I began building our platform, I first stared with DNN, but found it cumbersome building and debugging modules/plugins on the older 90's ASP.NET standard. When I found Umbraco, I was estatic because it used the MVC architechure and allowed me to code, debug and develop everything directly in Visual Studio. A real time saver that is simpler and cleaner without the complex setup of DNN.

    So here are my thoughts for you....

    1. Don't give your business away to a 3rd party company whose focus is on how fast you can create a web site that looks good. You're working with professional "Enterprise" level organizations whose business is data driven and can't be hindered by the limitations of 3rd party company. They are going to be looking for things such as database customizations and other value added integrations with applications such as MS Office and SharePoint. How a site looks is worthless if the functionality is not there. Umbraco is not going to tie your hands in this.

    2. Umbraco is built on MS.Net Technologies, which your staff has been using the past 18 years. Play to your strengths and run with it.

    3. Setup servers and databases in Azure to host your clients and allow you the ability to better service your customer's future needs. Don't give a monthly revenue stream away to someone else!

    4. Since you are in a niche industry, I am guessing you have developed modules that can be reused across your different clients. Know that you can do the same in Umbraco. I am doing the same for our platform and have included a screen shot below.

    5. Look into becoming a MS Partner and if you haven't, join the Microsoft Developer's Network.

    Feel free to give me a call,

    Graham

    enter image description here

  • mikrobson 3 posts 82 karma points
    Nov 15, 2019 @ 22:31
    mikrobson
    0

    WOW! Thanks for al of that information. You're very right that we're pretty embedded already in the .NET world, and the idea of giving away revenue in exchange for a platform does stink. However, I'm just wondering if it's worth it to not be in the server management and software development business in terms of managing servers, hosting, software and module dev & support....and instead just focus on the much more direct task of simply building websites. I have installed a local Umbraco instance, and I am actually VERY surprised at how easy it is to use, how fast it is, and how simple it was to setup! Thanks again for your help!

    Rob

  • Graham Davis 109 posts 364 karma points
    Nov 15, 2019 @ 23:03
    Graham Davis
    0

    My experience has been that everybody in the world is a "web designer", and if you reduce your business to nothing but that, there is nothing to make you stand apart from them and the customer is going to give thier business to the one with the cheapest price every time.

    My son's school manages their own WordPress site on the front ,with RenWeb on the back. Many of us hate RenWeb and they pre launched Schoology this fall. It it were me, I would be looking for ways to become a one stop shop, providing all their needs as Sofware as a Service(SaaS).

    I only know what I saw on your sites, but it looks like you've worked hard to establish your client base. Look for ways to consolidate resources, centralize processes and reduce duplication so you can run a streamlined, reliable service.

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