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Volusion can help you create a decent web store quickly. The design process is assisted and streamlined, enabling a simple and quick initial setup. While there are not many external apps, the in-built functionality is impressive in its own right, covering all the needs of a modern e-shop manager.
Volusion has a 15-day trial.
Upon launch, Volusion streamlines the creation process by taking you through 5 setup steps. The first two make you choose a theme and then a logo for your site.
Then you should add products to your inventory. For an online shopping platform, Volusion got that step surprisingly clumsily.
At first glance, everything you need is there but the interface feels disjointed and a bit hard to navigate. Adding products to certain categories happens slowly.
You can copy an existing product in order to alter it slightly, without inputting everything from scratch. You can import and export lists of products too.
Shop management aside, the web design part is quite limited. Drag-and-drop functionality practically doesn’t exist. The elements can be edited only a bit without switching views and navigating from one page to the next.
Overall, I found the design interface frustratingly cumbersome.
Volusion has just about 50 themes to offer. The vast majority of them are paid and their price tag of $180 is no joke.
The code of all designs is editable, but that fact alone hardly compensates the limited choice. Certainly, some people have the skills and the time to edit the CSS, but most people who use website builders go to such platforms exactly because they lack coding knowledge.
Admittedly, the available themes are diverse, with reasonably well-executed design solutions.
All templates are optimized for mobile devices.
Volusion also boast a CDN with the idea to deliver the same speed all around the world. However, my tests on 4 randomly picked websites built with Volusion revealed rather poor performance.
Two of the sites were outright slow, whereas the other two clocked in slightly above average response times.
Expecting quick online shops without any optimization is naïve, but Volusion support centre doesn’t provide any help at all. There is some advice on managing your control panel and optimizing the site from the backend.
Useful, as the control panel is awfully slow, but there is not a single word on image compression and other basic tricks.
Indeed, this is a Volusion review but, in order to put things in perspective, I must draw some parallels between this ecommerce platform and some other popular solutions.
Take for example a comparison of Volusion vs Shopify. They have some similarities like the relatively limited choice of themes but when it comes down to applications and plugins the difference is mesmerizing.
Volusion offers about 60 plugins; 11 of them are free. With Shopify you can browse over 1,500 apps, with nearly 700 of them being free.
To offset this narrow choice, Volusion comes with a number of features built-in from the initial setup. Useful things, like email confirmation, discount vouchers, deal of the day, are available without any additional plugins.
Such functionality is very helpful early on but the lack of plugins limits the future growth of your shop significantly.
Volusion has the SEO basics well covered. Meta tags, custom URLs, sitemap and a robot.txt are available to play with. The tags can be edited globally, for the entire site, and locally, for each page.
Throw in Google Analytics and the SEO bundle looks reasonable.
Here is where things become really interesting. In a convoluted and confusing manner.
Paid annually, the Volusion pricing starts from $13.50 per month and reaches $121.50 across 4 different plans.
There are 3 major things to notice:
Volusion doesn’t impose a transaction fee if you use their payment gateway. However, it’s only available in the USA.
One of the things that adds some value to the pricier plans is the Volusion API. With it you can connect to third-party systems and exchange data with them. The Volusion Wiki provides suggestions for developers regarding the API.
My limited personal experience tells me that the support could be better.
Shortly after opening my account for this Volusion review I received a phone call for onboarding. The next day I received another one, with the virtually the same info. Both calls were made after 10pm my time, which, coupled with the utter redundancy of the second call, struck me as extremely unprofessional.
The support centre is OK but there is a lot of room for improvement.