Updates: Open Market Testing: 80% Off on CafeSigma Sites
We're finally ready to open everything up in the form of open market testing: the interfaces are refined enough where I feel comfortable releasing this to the general public. There's still a lot of refinement and development to do, but I want to start getting feedback from more people then the current testing setup allows.
Of course, since this is all test software and it might (and probably will) still have occasional issues, anyone who signs up during this phase of testing will get 80% off on their subscription, which brings the monthly cost to a hair under $20. It was originally going to be 75% off, but $25 per month didn't sound as nice. Either way, anyone who participates in the testing phase will retain their 80% off after everything is done, so this is a nice opportunity to get in on the super cheap.
That said, there are still a few points I'd like to note:
There are only three themes. All of the design functionality is there, but the relatively few prepackaged themes (with not much difference between them) means that you'll either have to get creative...or hit the support button and I'll help with using the design interfaces. They aren't overly complex, but I figure it's worth noting. More themes will be released as they're developed.
The only method of payment is credit cards processed through Google Checkout. Google Checkout is great for small startups because of its feature set, but it requires you to have a Google account. I want to make sure everything works well with that (it's already been through extensive testing) because it will be one of the payment processors available when online store support goes online.
E-Store and Restaurant subscriptions are not available yet. That means no payment processing yet (see the above note) and none of the restaurant-dedicated features (online carryout ordering, etc.) are available. That doesn't mean you can't build a restaurant website, just that the specialized extensions (mostly covering ordering) aren't there.
There isn't a way to submit your site to the Site Gallery through the interface. If you want your site to be included, send a message through the support system. This probably won't be for much longer though.
All in all, I feel pretty confident about this release. One step closer to moving "doing that internet thing" from a computer dork only thing to an "everybody can get in on this" thing. As always, if you have any questions about anything either drop me a line through the Support system or use the Contact Us form here.