The Store Editor and the Web Hosting File Manager are the two publishing platforms that you will use to create your online presence with Merchant Solutions. These two platforms can be used separately or in unison depending on your needs. This page will help to explain the differences between the Store Editor and Web Hosting as well as help make the decision of whether to build your site in Store Editor or in Web Hosting. You can download a PDF version of this file for printing and reading.
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Main Differences Between Web Hosting and Store Editor
Your Yahoo! Merchant Solutions account has two separate tools for building Web pages, Web Hosting and Store Editor. Table 1 shows some of the important differences between each tool.
|Web Hosting||Store Editor|
|How new pages are developed||You build your pages on your own computer using an HTML building tool such as Yahoo! SiteBuilder or Dreamweaver®.||You build your pages in the Store Editor tool using only your web browser.|
|Location of pages after publishing||The pages are published to "www." domain, for example, "www.yourdomain.com."||The pages are published to "store." domain, for example, "store.yourdomain.com."|
Table 1: Comparison of main differences between Web Hosting and Store Editor.
Note: You now have the option to point your domain traffic to your Store home page or your Web Hosting home page. For more information, review the Domain Traffic Options help page.
Advantages of Web Hosting vs. Store Editor
The reason your Merchant Solutions account has both Web Hosting and Store Editor is so that you have more options in building your store. Each tool has its own advantages, summarized as follows:
In particular, there are three issues that affect your decision to use Web Hosting or Store Editor:
Table 2 shows some of the comparative advantages of Web Hosting and Store Editor for these four issues.
|Web Hosting||Store Editor|
|Ease of development||If you know HTML, customization is important to you and you are creating a small to medium sized store then building your store in Web Hosting may be the right choice. You have to create or choose a site template, and you also must either import the Catalog Manager data or manually insert Store Tags and Store Modules. If you want to design your store from the "ground up", including custom artwork and layout, then it takes even more work for you to build and test your store.||If you are new to web site building, don't know HTML or you wish to create a database-driven site with many products then building your store in Store Editor may be the right choice. Each time you add product data to Catalog Manager, Store Editor automatically creates a page for that product. Store Editor also comes with a default page design consisting of a left-hand navigation bar and a preset layout for product and section pages.|
|Ease of design customizability||It's easier to customize your site in Web Hosting, assuming you have experience creating HTML and custom images. You have complete control over your HTML page, so if you're already experienced at web design, you can create your site design and page layout to your exact specifications. Hosting also allows you to use advanced features like PHP/MySQL and Perl.||It's less easy to customize your site in Store Editor, assuming you have experience creating HTML and have exact specifications. While it's not hard to make significant design edits to Store Editor in the Variables page, if you are already experienced in building web sites using a particular HTML editor, Store Editor may seem less intuitive than your current method of development.|
|Your amount of experience using HTML editing tools||If you have a great deal of experience using one or more HTML building tools, then you may prefer to develop your site in Web Hosting. That way you can continue using tools you're comfortable with, and you can control your site design to the same degree you're used to.||If you don't have a great deal of experience using an HTML building tool, you may prefer to develop your site in Store Editor. Store Editor comes with a pre-set look and feel that you can change, and the only tool you need to make any edits to your site is your web browser.|
Note: Even if you have a lot of experience using an HTML building tool, you may still prefer to build your site in Store Editor. Since Store Editor automatically creates a page for every product in Catalog Manager, that means you don't need to do any extra work to create these pages. Instead, you can concentrate on editing the Variables or editing the Templates to customize the site-wide design.
Choosing an HTML Editing ToolIf you are considering building your store using an HTML editing tool, the following help document lists the advantages and disadvantages of various editing tools, and also presents information to choose a tool based on your knowledge of these editing tools and the projected size of your store.
Which Help Pages to Refer to Next
When creating your site you have both of these platforms at your disposal but are not required to use both. We recommend you create a few test pages in each to see which you are most comfortable with using. In general, if you had planned on building your pages from scratch when signing up for your Yahoo! Merchant Solutions account, you will want to be using the Web Hosting portion of your package. If you were looking for a more automated process of building your storefront we recommend using the Store Editor.
Please review the help pages listed below to get started with your account:
Note: If you are currently using Yahoo! Store and want to upgrade to Merchant Solutions, you may want to consider continuing to use the Store Editor for the bulk of your pages and using Hosting for additional informational pages and file storage. If you choose to rebuild your Store pages and upload them to the Web Hosting File Manager in order to have complete control over the look and feel of your website, it is best to complete the entire storefront before switching traffic over to the Web Hosting portion of your account.