It was a tough decision for me to invest in the Web Assist products due to my financial situation at this time but I’m glad I did make the choice. I agree with many of the posts I’ve seen, in that the learning curve is quite steep, made more so by what I feel is a lack of in-depth documentation. (On more than one occasion I wanted to sit down and write out some proper manuals.) In fact if it weren’t for these forums I would be very unhappy, but I have been able to figure out almost all of my problems here, some through research and some through asking. It’s only with Power Store 3 that I have hit a bit of a wall. On the whole I have found the support staff to be fairly quick and efficient at helping me/us out. I dare say that a few of my problems have been due to my own ID ten Tee errors, still no one laughed at me, (at least out loud) and support, and other members, were more than helpful in getting me up to speed.
After spending a couple of weeks trying to set up Power Store 3 for a store of almost 6000 items I’ve almost come to the conclusion that it is not really designed for large stores and doesn’t have many of the features I want. My impression is that for a smaller store with maximum a few hundred products and no need of any advanced features it might be a very good product. But then since I couldn’t get past importing everything I didn’t get a chance to experience the problems many of the others have complained of. The alternate store I’m considering (not fully decided yet) has tons of documentation, well over 1000 pages. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much, try to find that one item you need in all that. :-) And even with all that documentation customization is very difficult. Add to that the fact that support is not free and I expect that if one encountered problems with installation and set up or anything else it would turn out to be a very expensive product indeed. Still for a store with multiple thousand products, the need for digital goods, and affiliation ability, Power Store is just not ready. (I’m looking forward to Power Store 4.)
On the other side, for all the issues I’ve seen I’ve also seen the Web Assist people working diligently to help solve those problems. That is worth a great deal.
I’m generally satisfied with Web Assist. I agree with the concerns that the products are not as user friendly as the marketing literature would imply and for someone with little or no web experience that can be a headache. And not to beat a dead horse, documentation is sparse. (Hey WA, I’m available if you want to hire someone to turn your 5 page, confusing drafts into 50 page comprehensive installation and set up manuals for each product.) :-) On the other hand Web Assist appears to be willing to work with anyone to help them overcome their issues and get the products working. I’m impressed with the level of knowledge of the support staff and there is a great community of people willing to pitch in and help out.