Before the arrival of open source platforms, ecommerce and blogging were costly and time-consuming endeavors. Creating and maintaining your website required programming expertise that many people simply did not have.
Today there are several networked, open source platforms available to consumers and business leaders that can remove costs, save time and improve overall quality in intuitive and straightforward ways. While they still require varying degrees of programming knowledge, these platforms make maintaining and customizing any website straightforward and relatively simple.
We’d like to familiarize you with the various open source platform options so you may better understand what they do, how they work, and which is the most appropriate platform for your business needs.
Magento is an open source ecommerce platform for large-scale enterprises. It can be used to create webstores and tailor them to your customers’ convenience with mobile access, multiple currency options for payment, and multi-address shipping. The program allows you to design your own theme, add widgets, modules and extensions, and utilize SEO and marketing promotion tools. Magento places a high priority on security, so you can be sure that your data remains safe and intact in an easy-to-locate place. With the free support and help guides Magento offers, getting assistance when you run into issues is only a click away. With Magento, you can efficiently handle the large-scale, expensive issues of code re-use, maintainability, debugging, support and more.
The learning curve for using Magento can be pretty steep. Even an experienced programmer will need time to become comfortable with it. If you’re using a small server to run your site or need only simple, non-ecommerce features, the Magento platform may prove to be more of a hindrance than an advantage.
Joomla is one of the most popular free content management systems (CMS) around. Joomla is great for small to medium sized business websites, allowing you to create and manage a dynamic website with ecommerce features. Joomla is preferred when you require a cost efficient website with CMS features and easy blogging.
Drupal is a powerful & developer-friendly tool for building complex CMS sites. If you want a large CMS that gives you complete control over everything at a low cost to your time, Drupal is the way to go. Designed for sites with heavy traffic, Drupal gives you precise control over URL structure. You can create new content types and advanced custom views.
One of Drupal’s unique features is its Taxonomy module, which provides multiple ways to tag, organize and categorize content. Drupal pages are quick to load and have a faster response time than those made with WordPress or Joomla. Adding plug-ins, themes and other configurable options to your webpage is easy.
WordPress is easy and cost-effective. It includes customizable and standard blogging capabilities that are easy to understand. The code behind WordPress is clean and simple, meaning search engines can easily identify content to direct visitors to your page. With millions of users, WordPress has a rich and vibrant community that can support you through any problems you may have.
Though mainly used for smaller and simpler sites, such as personal blogs, WordPress’ ever-increasing repertoire of themes, plugins and widgets lends itself to a wide range of uses for several website formats. Using a free plugin called WooCommerce, you can use WordPress to convert your blog to an ecommerce platform as well.
One disadvantage to consider is the need WordPress has for plugins in order to remain competitive with Joomla and Drupal.
Which Platform is Best for You?
Consider your own business & requirements and which platform might be best for what you need:
Magento is best used to maintain large-scale ecommerce enterprises.
Joomla is perfect for small to medium sized businesses that want easy set-up and maintenance for their website with simple ecommerce and CMS capabilities with flexibility.
Drupal is recommended for building large and complex CMS websites, not ecommerce sites.
WordPress is the best option if you’re running a personal blog or a small/medium business website with better SEO capabilities. WordPress is a suitable option that can take your business far with simple technical requirements.
Whilst every one’s visual tastes are different, there are several universal principles that successful websites embody. We’ve distilled these down for you into a simple list of critical success factors. As the web matures, visitors come to your site with higher expectations. Failing to satisfy those expectations can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your website.
People visit your site to view content, so providing worthwhile content is one of the most fundamental issues that website owners need to address. The quality of your content not only plays a vital role in converting visitors into results, but also directly impacts your search engine rankings. Good content is time consuming to produce, so ensure that you make adequate allowances for content production in your planning.
Many sites on the web – even cool ones – fail because people either can’t figure out how to use the site or couldn’t be bothered trying to work out the innovative navigation that the web designer spent countless hours inventing. To ensure that visitors find your site easy to use, it is advisable to run some simple tests with a small number of people from your target demographic. Just ask them to perform some basic tasks on your web site (such as “purchase 2 widgets using this credit card”€). You may be surprised at the results and the findings may vastly improve your website overall.
People access the internet in many different ways using an increasing number of connections, browsers and devices. From fast corporate connections to mobile broadband, blackberries & iPhones, speech browsers, old browsers through to old fashioned dial-up the range is enormous. Your site needs to be usable on any of the platforms that people are likely to access it from. The key concept here is “graceful degradation” € which simply means that whilst a simple device might not display your web page in all its glory, it should still display in a respectable manner.
4. A Good Strategy
A good strategy is essential to gaining a good return on the money invested in developing your website. Our web strategy page covers 5 of the primary strategic reasons that organisations seek to achieve with their website. Ensure that you know why you have a site and what business outcomes you are expecting before spending any money developing a website.
5. An Appealing Design
Everyone wants to have the best looking site. Many web designers become obsessed with this – partly because it is fun and partly because it is an easy sell. Whilst your site should look great, its appearance is just one part of the puzzle. The key is to identify your target demographic and implement a design that they find appealing, but make sure that all of the other points mentioned above have been addressed.
6. A Marketing Strategy to Promote Your Site
Simply having a website is no longer enough. You need to actively build traffic by promoting your site. There’s several ways of doing this such as Search Engine Optimisation, Pay per click advertising as well as the traditional offline methods such as print, radio or flyers. The important thing is that you have a strategy and execute it.
7. Give People a Reason to Come Back
Some sites only want people to visit the site once. Unless your site is one of those, give consideration to providing people with a reason to come back. Most people surfing the net visit so many sites in a day that they simply can’t recollect all of the sites they’ve been to. To overcome this, your site needs to offer a compelling value proposition for people to revisit.
8. Use Analytics
There’s some great tools around that not only track how many people visit your site, but what they do when they get there. This provides valuable feedback that can be used to improve your site by identifying bottlenecks and departure points. With that feedback based on real-world usage your site can be improved to enhance its effectiveness.
9. Regular Website Updates
With the continuing trend towards social media and social networking your customers expect to see fresh and up-to-date information. A well designed website is all about keeping the web pages fresh and current.
It is Great to know that you have an E-commerce Business, Let me ask you few question’s : Is it performing well ? How much Daily trafficking you turn on your website ? Do People purchase frequently ? or People are just visiting and jumping without any purchase ? If you are doing well do people coming back to you again ?
Ohk ! I know you can check everything together for which you need E-commerce digital marketing consultant which will monitor and manage your ” Ecommerce Website Health Check “. Ask this question’s to your eCommerce digital marketing consultant who is taking care of your website :
Ecommerce Business is going to face competition in the search engine , it’s a “Challenge” and “Art” to bring your website in top search result’s. Google has been more strict with search engine marketing strategies, so make sure of activities people do for your website. Here is a some best practices related to eCommerce search engine marketing services.
- Title and Meta of the website should be Unique
- Important Keywords should appear first in title meta
- Url should be clean and specific to content
- Product Description should be unique and descriptive
- Includes proper head tags specific to content
- Internal Linking Strategy
- Image Alt text – most important, most of the website does not have Alt text.
- Tricky Meta description that would make a user want to visit Website
- website should load fate.
- Ask reviews, feedback and put a FAQ on your website.
This check list is customized for search engine optimization of website, you can go in details by connecting with us.
Design and Usability Check List for E commerce Business
One of the weapon by which e Commerce business kill the consumer is “User Interface” ! Your website is your store or a virtual person or guide which will make your consumer to purchase the product. Website user interface should be so interective that it should convert a visitor into conversion. So do check this list of UI:
- Does Website have clear and consistent calls to action?
- Navigation Should be easy to use.
- Website Search box Should work Properly.
- Is your site search is accurate.
- Does your most selling Products are displayed Prominent.
- What is the Number click does it takes from product diaply to checkout process?
The Shopping Cart
Shopping Cart is area where you have to win trust of your consumer. Shopping cart should be simple with high quality product view, with detailed description and review system, this minor changes can boost your conversion to an extreme level. Also do check :
- Are the “remove items” and “continue shopping” buttons distracting users?
- Does it include a product summary and thumbnail?
- Is the user being shown the final pricing with taxes and shipping included?
- Are assurances like secure checkout logos strategically placed on the shopping cart?
- Do have the option to begin the checkout process as a guest?
- Are there multiple payment options?
- Did include some complimentary products in order to increase average order value?
The Checkout Process
Checkout Process is most important part of Ecommerce business , as we all know we are in India where people think 1000 times before buying something without checking that thing physically. And you have convinced him to buy something with all your effort’s and one mistake or negativity around your checkout process can ruin all. your efforts, So make sure of few imporatant thing’s :
- Checkout process should include a progress bar.
- Site’s navigation should be removed.
- Customer should found the checkout process easy and simple
- There should not be any distracting negative element ” like “do you want cancel” or “go back “.
- Create a proper checkout funnel in Google analytics to identify more improvement’s.
By going through this checklist you will get an idea and a overview of what you want. Ecommerce Business is a mammoth of virtual world, so do take care of your ecommerce website. so for more details you can connect to us. Kindly share your view’s and extra tips, we will always welcome your comments.
What will the information architecture be like? What are the important top level keywords ?
There needs to be balance between information architecture for usability and keyword information architecture for fundability (SEO). IA is definitely one of the most underappreciated aspects of good search optimization as well as usability.
How do we prove high credibility ?
You need to maintain your credibility. With ANY business or organization you are only as good as your word. Prove your credibility and make it apparent – don’t make your users wonder about it.
- About page
- Product or services pages
- Pictures of REAL people
- An Helpline or Sales number
- Contact page with physical address
- Quick responses to customer service requests
- Write like a real person Strong Web Design
- Spell correctly
- Display a contact e-mail prominently.
There are many web designers out there, eager for your business. A lot of them are well-trained in the technology of building a website, and are quite good at what they do. Still others are graphic designers who needed to offer website design as a service, as this is what their clients needed and wanted. Then there are large companies offering websites with enticing functionality, who have a team of website salesmen, essentially. There is no web designer involved in the sales process, only a technician on the other end of the phone. Then there are those who have taken an online HTML course, and start selling their services as a web designer. No wonder business owners are confused about who to hire, and how to decide who to hire.
“Your website is your public face. It must represent you well. If it looks unprofessional, potential customers will get the impression that you’re not that concerned or serious about your business. A website that looks unprofessional is worse than no website at all.”
There are some specific questions to ask that will give you clues as to whether a web designer that you are considering hiring can produce the results that you desire from your website.
- How will you build a website that will load fast, capture the attention of the visitor within seven seconds, and keep them coming back again and again ?
- Who will be the Owner of a Domain name, will you transfer domain name to other service provider, if I am not satisfied with your services.
- Do you know how to set up an email-capture form and hook it up with an autoresponder ?
- Can you design my site so that the call to action is clear and prominent ?
- Will my pages be optimized for the search engines ?
- Which browsers and which versions do you check to ensure that the site is workable?
- Will my site be designed according to the accessibility guidelines and other W3C standards?
- Can you design the navigation so that it is clear, understandable, and the visitor will always know where he is in the site and can find what he wants without clicking more than three times?
- Can I access my Hosting if I need to add files like the Google Webmaster verification file or you will do it for me?
- Will I have TOTAL control of my website, or will I have to email my requests for changes?
Make sure that YOU are the owner of your domain name. Some web designers register their customers’ sites in their own name. But what if something happens to that person? You have to jump through hoops to convince the domain registry company that you are really the owner!
In an internet edge business needs a website in order to survive and compete in the modern, increasingly Internet-based marketplace. One of the key elements to your business success is to create a website that works! Create a website that will effectively promote your business.
It is not just a website. It is where the bricks-and-mortar world meets the clicks-and-mortar world, and your website has an impact on your company’s image. Because your online market presence is viewed by individual-defined norms, you must ensure the site meets the expectations of your site visitors who are looking for your products or services. In fact, a visit to your site must not only meet the visitor’s needs, but also delight her to promote subsequent returns.
Before you build a site, or begin searching for a web design firm to build one for you, it is important to take the time to ask yourself some crucial questions about the goals, purpose, and other aspects of your site-to-be.
What Is The Purpose Of Your Website ?
Many businesses, particularly smaller ones, have a vague sense that they “need” a website in order to keep up with their competition, but aren’t really sure what they want their website to do. Websites are a cost-effective way to enhance the reputation and presence of even the smallest businesses, and when combined with e-commerce capabilities, can allow customers worldwide to find and purchase the products and services that your business offers. Deciding what the purpose and goals of your website are is a crucial step towards creating a successful, customer-focused site.
Who Is Your Audience ?
The first question is “Who are the people that make up my target market?” What group of people am I going to serve? How old are they? What are their interests? How do they speak? Where do they live? What is their income level? Where do they hang out online? How do they think? What makes them tick? etc.That’s just some of the background information you’ll need to collect as you build up a clear picture of the people who will make use of your product or service?Once you know your target customer it will allow you to tailor your marketing message so that it speaks directly to them.
What Do The People In My Target Market Need/Desire ?
Following on from this, question number three is “What do they need/desire?” What things do they need to make their life (a) bearable or (b) better than it was before ?
How Will I Make Visitors Want To Return To My Site ?
What will you offer your visitors to ensure that they become repeat visitors? Are you planning on selling products, providing information, or some combination of the two? Bottom line: What does your target demographic want, and how will you offer it to them ?
To be continued in part 2 of this article