(@ Alex) Maybe a one time fee with a fallback free forum type support system (including answers that you have included here for example) for non subscription payers to get out of a rut themselves, with an option to pay monthly or cost per client for extra or personalised services provided by yourself to the individual?
Personally I think shopify should be funding you FULL STOP
I appreciate what you are offering here, and I am sure there are others who will appreciate it more than I, but I did not come to shopify to code nor did I come to shopify to take exersices in code. My time is money and I have little of either left. This is complete BS as far as I am concerned.
Shopify really does lack in some very important departments.
I fully understand your frustration with this. If you re-read my post you will see
"The idea of an app to assist with this is a non-starter as it significantly increases the cost of a site for a facility that should be part of the base system."
The solution I offered is the best I could cobble together without needing to use Ruby and code up and host an App. Multiple level collections is a feature all my clients request, and that bit of trickery in the theme lets them add collections to collections. A developer is needed to modify the theme, but any site owner can build on it once that's done.
The reason that Shopify Apps are billed per month instead of a fixed cost is that the developer needs to host the App on a separate system which is capable of running the App. They are usually written in Ruby as Ruby on Rails apps. These can't be hosted on your average $4 per month hosting. Add the support hassles to that and the cost of $5 per month is quite reasonable.
And I repeat for the benefit of the Shopify devs, This Should be in the Base Product, it has driven several of my clients to WooCommerce. For most things Shopify is the simplest and best e-commerce system, but things like this drive clients away.
I'm very late to this and I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination so apologies if this isn't what your looking for. When I started my store it seemed obvious that there should be collection pages as sub category's. I spoke to shopify before I started and there only suggestion was using tags. After a bit of a frustrating search I found a developer who had a cheap one-off solution.
Again I might have got completely the wrong end of the stick but do you mean something like this http://www.architecturaldecor.co.uk/collections/period-front-door-furniture ? the drop down menu 'pick a sub category' is linked to collection pages that don't appear on the main menu drop down. The 'select material' drop down is a tag. However I have just noticed that on my home page when you hover over the category period shop/front door furniture it used to show the collection pages that are sub categories of the collection 'front door furniture' but for some reason its not working?
Thanks for the clarification. I was unaware of the external hosting requirement, which again adds another thorn in the side of the Developer and higher fees for the end user, which also adds to the argument that this requires an in house solution. Also I am completely in agreement with the maintenance cost and customer support issues. Time can be lost quickly when you have several clients requiring your input, and if I was to calculate the amount of time I have lost to customer support as an IT technician, mechanic, or in the generalised domain of electronics - and multiply it by only 5€ per hour, I would already be able to retire! Unfortunately, most of my customers are not exactly loaded, so most of this time is donated. The other losses are incurred by having to continually refer clients to other suppliers for items that I am unable to keep in stock due to space or financial constraints.
My present restrictions are both geographical and financial. I must rely on mobile internet to reach the outside world as I live in the sticks. This is already costing far too much (10€ per GB in bandwidth) just for attempting to create this start-up business, which has already exceeding my budget. This, coupled with all the monthly hosting and plugin fees, shows an outgoing of over 250€ per month, which is at present - beyond my means, given that I have no current income virtually no savings. And when I say NO income, I do not even get help from the state due to my nationality as I am UK born (now no longer a European country), but I live in France, so already it is hard to scrape a living after the 'Brexit' and slump in the EURO.
I will openly admit that my honesty and generosity with clients has not been profitable in the past, but I refuse to hide solutions from my clients to profit from their ignorance.
For example, at the time MS Vista was a released onto the market I had my own Brick and Mortar store selling and repairing computers. My bread and butter was Virus and Spyware removal, but a lot of my customers could not afford to keep coming back after they, the wife, of kids had once again downloaded something to bork their computer. At the same time, I was faced with customers who had clicking the 'upgrade to Vista' button, thereby turning their computer into a slow and unresponsive nightmare, whom were now obliged to throw away their once fully operational PC, or fork out for a complete upgrade package for the internals!
To combat this issue, I was compelled to write and release my own Linux distribution, fully customized to fulfil my most demanding clients desires. With that I offered a dual-boot with XP downgrade so they could keep their old, yet fully functional hardware and software catalogue, with the option of Linux for the internet.
Needless to say, I satisfied the demands of most all my clients with this solution, and after all the referrals in my location had dried up, I was left twiddling my thumbs, praying for thunder and lightning to knock out some computers so I could pay the rent – or better yet – pay the rent AND buy food. The problem was, that without being able to expand to another town, I could no-longer expand my business or customer base.
After having spent years away from coding software and web design, and forgetting more than some could even learn, I thought (Thought being the operative word) that I had finally found my solution. I hoped that here I could finally get to set up a site with relative ease, and provide an extensive drop-shipped catalogue that would satisfy a diverse client base demand, which is automated enough to allow me to fulfil my customer support requirements, without worrying too much about paying the 'rent' or losing sales due to not having what they require “in stock”. Achieving all this with a tiny investment was the crux.
For the time being I am still stumped, and my current financial predicament is not going to enable me to achieve what is required from this supposed E-commerce 'solution' if I need to continually rely on third parties, whom may indeed at any minute vaporise and cease developing or maintaining the required plug-ins, but whom will also - for the time being - take a considerably large chunk out of my start-up profit margins!
I am already having to re-evaluate options, but with even less capital than before. It is not looking so bright and sunny.
Anyway, I will press on, and I thank you once again for your time.
My best regards!
Well using my app(s) with Shopify (regular or Pro) you can create any number of landing pages, that are:
then you can link them together into a category tree. You can have categories and sub-categories and sub-sub-categories and sub-sub-sub etc.
Based on feedback of storeowners wanting it to be simpler, I've also just made a new app that puts a floating category list on your storefront without any coding, even if your theme doesn't have a left-hand sidebar:
They also automatically generate JSON-LD metadata to help with SEO. The only restriction I've butted up against is imposed by Shopify menus. You can't have two categories with exactly the same if they contain sub-categories. It's because you can't have two different sub-menus with the same title. I've always worked around that with unique category names, but let me know if you want any advice on that.
I have got round this by creating new page templates to include a 'Collection List' section. You do have to create a new page template for each sub category page you want. Here's a 'how to' video >> https://pinehurstwebsites.com/blogs/pinehurst-websites-e-commerce-and-seo/add-custom-page-of-collect...