April 14, 2014
It used to be pretty hard to set up your own e-commerce store but these days it’s very easy. With apps like Shopify, Woo-commerce and more it’s a great time to start selling your product online. Plus, there’s plenty of information on the Internet to help you, for example, this Shopify review takes you through the pros and cons of using Shopify as your platform of choice for e-commerce.
If you read that review you will see that Shopify is a paid application to create your online store but there are many different apps/plugins as well which are free and also paid, we’ll look at those later on in this post.
It’s important to think about what you’ll need before you jump into making a choice of which app/plugin you’ll need as there’s many different aspects to running an e-commerce store and some you may have not even thought of.
Hosting – Does your app/plugin provide hosting for your store? If not then you’ll need to pick a good hosting company and factor that into your cost.
Theme – Have a design in mind? Research to see if your plugin/app offers a theme that is similar to the one you have in mind otherwise you could end up paying for an expert to create the one you’re thinking off.
Functionality – What features do you want on your website? This could be email sign ups, Maps, re-marketing, discount features, social media features etc. Check that your app/plugin can offer the features that you want.
Payment gateways – Check that they have a built in payment gateway and it’s not supplied by a 3rd party. This would only add to the work needed plus the cost.
Shipping & accounting – It’s best to keep everything in one place so it’s easier for you to track and keep up to date. Research that your e-commerce store offers these features if needed.
These are some of topics that you’ll need to consider before simply trying out the first e-commerce service you find. What that said here’s a list of some of the most popular ecommerce plugins/apps that should help you get started.
While most of these platforms will offer most of the list we have described above, it’s best to have an idea of exactly what you want from your e-commerce store and compare these to find the best option for you. Once you have decided it should be easy to get your online store up and running in no time.
February 19, 2014
As technology evolves there’s ever increasing options regarding what you can pick from and what’s available. In this post we’ll look at WordPress hosting and what this means for you as a customer, along with technical details etc.
WordPress now powers a fair percentage of the web so this is the type of hosting we’ll cover. If you’re using a blogging platform like Joomla or something else then a quick Google search will show you good options to host your Joomla site. While most hosting companies will be able to support both it’s best to check. Many on our list that was posted previously are specialized for WordPress only. This makes a great choice if you have decided to use WordPress as your main platform as you’ll get many features that have been designed just for WordPress and thus not available not other hosting companies.
An example of such as a company is WP Engine, because they only allow WordPress hosting you get a much more fine tuned experience and thus you can achieve crazy page load times as shown in this WP Engine review.
If you’re just starting out then it’s unlikely that you’ll need such a powerhouse WordPress host but the good news is that you’ll be able to find various shares WordPress hosting which will do just fine for a low amount of traffic while you build your brand. Apart from WP Engine you’ll find good shared WordPress hosting on that link.
Shared hosting will start from as low as $3.99 per month and many will offer a 1 click install of WordPress meaning that you can get your website up and running straight away. Of course while many hosting companies offer cheap hosting with 1 click install they are not all the same.
These are a few things to consider when trying to find the right hosting for you.
Security – If you store sensitive information on your website like customer’s credit card information etc you’ll need good security. While many companies say they have good security be sure to read about the web and check out their Twitter stream to see if people are complaining.
Support – No hosting company can offer 100% security. It’s not possible. Due to this if your website does get hacked you’ll want a company with excellent support who will give you a ABC on how to fix it or even better they will fix it for you. This is something you should ask for you sign up.
Speed – No one wants to pay for a slow loading server. Be sure to try and find a comparison website showing the different speeds etc to see what you’re getting.
These are the main areas of topics you should check out before you sign up for hosting. Don’t be afraid to contact support to make sure you’re getting the correct service for your needs.