Last week I talked to SimpleHelix support (who were very responsive btw) over their live chat app, to get some definitive info over their “semi VPS” hosting deal for Magento.
So we talked through a lot, and I went with the deal they had: 50% off for the first year if paid upfront. I paid about $425,- with paypal. But once I had server access I found out that they don’t offer in-memory caching on the semi VPS, which I definately need for Magento. Upgrading to a full VPS was too costly ($75 vs $160 p/m), plus it would also still lack the in-memory caching, so I decided to stick with my NL based host (IZI Services, very nice company btw).
That’s when I asked for my money back, since they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. But guess what, they simply said no! Because I paid with paypal!? What? Why? Where should I have read that? And why wasn’t that communicated to me before?
Can you believe that? In this day and age? Take money for a service which does not meet your needs? Man, I thought customer was king in the US, but I guess they need mouths to feed overthere now :p
I asked them a couple of times to help me out, because they couldn’t deliver what I need, but to no avail. I finally had to create a dispute with paypal, which is currently waiting for a settlement.
My advice: Don’t bother with SimpleHelix if you need a decent Magento setup.
I had to find the right solution for our online Chronos Coffee store, and preferred to find a SaaS (Software as a Service) application which would be flexible enough and also affordable. I looked at all the big players and also the smaller ones offering shared solutions, but none of them were flexible enough for what I envisioned: A scalable, controllable application with a plugin architecture to custom fit our needs. So I decided I’d give Magento a try again. I had fiddled around with it a year ago, but decided it was too infantile to be used in a production environment (and a web store always is). After having done in depth research, I now think it is actually very mature. It has a very large community and is widely deployed all over the net. Whats was even more interesting to me is the fact that it is built on top of Zend Framework, which I specialize in and am an advocate of.
So I arranged for a private virtual server to get it up and running, and must say I am really impressed. Compared to other web solutions out there, I find my install of Magento to be very snappy and responsive. The backend is rather sluggish, but that’s not such a big deal.
I have put the website online already, because we want to get out of the sandbox Google has put us in, and get a search rank asap. Don’t look at the design tho, because we have used a standard template, and still have to create product images. Here’s a link:
When we came back from our 3 month cycling journey, I wanted to get some action. I met up with my longtime American friend Bryan who decided to start up an online coffee business that would dominate all the others online. He was aware that there are a lot of coffee stores and roasters online, but had a few tricks up his sleeve to truly accomplish that. He needed my skills and elephant skin to team up with. So I joined up as CTO, knowing I could make the technical side of it work the way it should. That was the start of my new professional career. Not only being a small part of the enterprise puzzle, but empowering myself to handle all aspects of the online retail game.
We didn’t have a name yet, so I thought up “Chronos”. I think it sounds nice and makes people associate with the God of Time, a wise figure to feel comforted by. It also allows for all kinds of catchy marketing lines, like: “Chronos. We make the coffee. You make the time.”
I am having a lot of fun at this already, but it’s costing almost all of my free time. Let’s hope I still get to travel 🙂