Yahoo! Review: Ease of Use (1.5 stars)

Too Many Editors, Ridiculously Hard to Get Around and Figure Out

It's no wonder Yahoo! doesn't have a free trial for Merchant Solutions; it's so hard to use no one in their right mind would sign up after trying it! We try not to be emotional when it comes to rating website builders but it's hard to ignore the utter frustration that this builder caused us.

With 4 different editors that can't be used interchangeably, the confusing interface of the store editor and documentation that even phone support says is not completely accurate, it's hard to understand how anyone lasts using Merchant Solutions more than a month.

Hard to Get Around Without Help

When you first sign into Merchant Solutions, it's hard to figure out where to click to start building your web store.  The main page is quite busy with lots of clickable links.

Where do I click to build my website?

We eventually figured out that we should click "Store Manager."  This takes us to yet another page full of clickable links to sort through.

From One Mass of Links to Another

We got bored of doing experimental clicking and had to use the help documentation just to figure out how to get into the website builder's editor.

Hard to Figure Out Which Website Editor to Use

There are 4 main editors available through Yahoo.  To figure out which one to use, you must first wade through documentation that helps you choose the best one for your needs.  We prefer to have one system for all purposes.

Store Editor Not Intuitive

The store editor could have been better if the toolbar's headings were better worded.  You have to guess what the buttons do when you're first starting out.

What Exactly is a "Section"?

When you actually get into editing the website, the table-based layout doesn't make it easy to figure out how the changes will affect your website.  Even if Yahoo wasn't going to use an MS Word Style editor, they should have at least made the editor give you a sense of what the page will look like when you save your changes.

Store Editor's Table-Based Editing Page

Awkward Design Editor

Even though the design editor is very limited in its capabilities, it's still not easy to use. What makes it so awkward is that its table-based layout makes it difficult to see how your changes affect the look of your website. The only way to see is to make the changes and go back to viewing mode.  This means you have to keep switching between the editor and the viewing page until you get it the way you want.

Consistency Between Tools Within Editor

While the editor is not the easiest to use, at least it's consistently so. Whether you're editing the design, page contents, or products, the table-based interface is used throughout. It may be hard to learn, but at least you don't have to learn more than one interface.

E-Commerce Tools are Easier, but Not Product Upload

The e-commerce tools are laid out and titled better.  It doesn't take long to figure out the vast number of features they have for running a web store.

Getting your products on your website is a bit confusing though because of the parallel systems for product upload.  Don't follow the Getting Started Guide's advice!  Its advice is incorrect, or at least that's what one phone support rep told us.

Forget the "Getting Started Guide" and Call Support

When you're getting started, do yourself a favor and ignore the "Getting Started Guide."  It's 360 pages long and it needs to be updated based on what phone support told us. 

If you have questions, use the searchable online documentation or give support a call if you're having trouble figuring out the instructions (there aren't any screenshots).

It's a bit tricky to find the phone support number and email address.  They try to make you use the documentation first by having you choose categories that fit your question, which then yield potential docs that might help you.  When you do find it, do yourself a favor and write it down so you don't have to go through that every time you have a question.

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Senior Writer
Rodney Scott
Senior Writer
Senior Writer
Eric Rancic
Chief Researcher

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