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    Best way to run my websites? (Multi-Store and SEO)


    I was hoping I could get some advice. I'm really struggling with this and have been trying to figure out what to do for at least 6 months and have wasted thousands of $ getting work developed only to find once completed it is completely useless for what I need.

    The situation is that I have about 10 different online stores selling the same or similar products (about 100 products in total but from 3 related but different categories) which I host from my VPS. There are 3 main websites which sell a collection of the products, but then 7 smaller websites which are specific to a certain product.
    As an example,
    Main websites (sell multiple products from each site) - petsupplies, dogtreats, cattoys
    Secondary websites (sell 1-2 specific products) - catnightguard, dogtoothbrush, pooperscooper etc.

    I want to be able to run these stores using the same admin panel to make it a lot easier when processing orders. But from what I understand is that the Open Source companies that allow this, each domain can only be a 'addon/parked' domain to the primary domain.

    This is not preferred but doable, but the problem would be the SEO. On my VPS, most of the domains have their own dedicated IP address because I know Google does not like you selling the same product on a different web addresses and I can be penalised for this. If I was to multi-store and each website was under the same domain account, that would give them all the same IP address which would be bad for Google.

    Can anyone please help me with my options and what the best approach would be?
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    I want to be able to run these stores using the same admin panel to make it a lot easier when processing orders. But from what I understand is that the Open Source companies that allow this, each domain can only be a 'addon/parked' domain to the primary domain.
    I followed you up until this paragraph; so are you planning to move off of the VPS? If so, what are you planning to move to?

    Referring to a domain as an "addon" or "parked" domain is generally only done by hosting companies and some server control panel software (like cpanel). I don't know if I've ever seen E-Commerce software with this concept. If you have a VPS you can configure the domains exactly as you want them provided the E-Commerce software you're using supports multiple stores.

    This is not preferred but doable, but the problem would be the SEO. On my VPS, most of the domains have their own dedicated IP address because I know Google does not like you selling the same product on a different web addresses and I can be penalised for this. If I was to multi-store and each website was under the same domain account, that would give them all the same IP address which would be bad for Google.
    Google doesn't care about the site's IP address. On a shared web host thousands of sites are hosted on the same IP address and Google doesn't penalize them. However, having separate IP addresses might be critical for HTTPS support, depending on how you have that set up. Because of this, virtually all shared web hosts allow you to purchase dedicated IP addresses for your sites.

    You might want to take a look at Magento; it has probably the most comprehensive multi-store support of any E-Commerce software, free or commercial (it is both).

    However, just keep in mind that transferring 10 stores to a new platform is not going to be cheap if you have to pay someone to do it, regardless of what platform you end up going with.
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    Actually you need to develop some business strategy to have some revenue from your websites. If you have enough budget you can consult with some company offering development and SEO services to work for your websites.
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    I have to agree that Magento is the way to go for a multi-site set up.

    As far as setting up the stores in their own IP addresses, it's actually not that hard to do. The only real reason for doing this is so you can have a different SSL certificate set up for each domain. There was a time when Google cared about the IP address of websites, but that's long past. As long as you're not engaging in any huge interlinking web, or not-so-white-hat SEO you'll be fine using 1 IP for all of your sites.

    I'd suggest asking your hosting company for support in setting up the IP addresses. Even if they charge for that sort of set up support it's worth it to get it done right as playing around with Apache settings is best left to someone that knows what they are doing well.
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    Hi,
    1) I think there are some e-commerce scripts available with multi store support;
    2) If it's not a mission critical, I'd combine your stores as a subdomains under one main domain.

    Cheers!
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    Originally Posted by euro-space
    Hi,
    1) I think there are some e-commerce scripts available with multi store support;
    2) If it's not a mission critical, I'd combine your stores as a subdomains under one main domain.

    Cheers!
    This is good advice.
    Use your main web pages, and transfer other littler web pages as domain, and while you transfer put all in one c panel.
    Think this would work.
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    And will be easy to manage under one account, I'd add
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    Originally Posted by euro-space
    And will be easy to manage under one account, I'd add
    Yes, of course.
    Better all in one place, than 10 web pages in 10 places.
    Off topic.
    Do you have web pages? So we can exchange link?
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    You will need to submit your site to search engines like Google and Bing.

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