Our First Impressions
Volusion is an e-commerce platform that provides users with everything they need to create a fully functional and professional-looking online store. You can begin using the service with a 14-day free trial that you can sign up for without a credit card. Once you enter your information you are ready to begin building your site. Unlike other editors, your building options are limited, however.
The process begins with choosing a design. There are seven free templates to choose from and 35 templates that will set you back $180 each. Each theme is attractive, professional, and modern. Volusion does not include a drag-and-drop editor, rather the platform limits your options to changing content. If you are proficient in HTML and CSS, you may edit your site simply using these options.
Once you pick a template, you can upload your store logo, insert customized content, and add navigation menu options. The user interface has a much more advanced feel than Wix or Shopify, and yet it is more limited. The layout you choose cannot be customized further without coding skills.
Adding products is a cinch. You can customize your product code, main image, price, category, and stock status. Like the rest of the site, product management is as barebones as it gets. Once you start making sales you can begin tracking orders using on-site analytics features such as Top 5 Products and Site Trends.
The service offers 24/7 customer support, which can be extremely helpful in figuring out the things that would normally be more intuitive on other platforms.
The Issues That We Came Across
Volusion lacks the simple customizability of other site builders. Adding a button or pop-up promotion boxes is so convoluted (or perhaps impossible) that it will leave you frustrated (as it did us). That is, of course, unless you can insert the proper code on your own. The editor is simply lacking, especially in a field where everyone is advancing their platform to the point where websites almost build themselves.
Many would argue that a blog is an essential feature for a web store. It can help bring in customers by providing value-added content, creating trust, and is crucial if you plan on performing basic SEO. It is curious, therefore, that Volusion left out a blogging feature entirely. If you want to add a blog to your site you will have to do so on another platform.
Volusion’s plans are reasonably priced, but they are known for hidden fees and limited features. Although they claim no transaction fees, this is a something of a bait-and-switch as you will be responsible for the payment gateway fee, which is 2.15% of the total transaction cost. Additionally, the most basic plan limits you to only 1GB of bandwidth per month.
Our Final Opinion
Volusion is one of the most complicated website builders we have used, and although it may not be considered difficult to use, it is certainly not as streamlined as other builders. It lacks some basic features and requires some knowledge of coding if you want to take your site slightly off Volusion’s offered path. There are many other services we would recommend before Volusion.