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Showing posts with label web design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label web design. Show all posts

eCommerce Website Design 101

Every business who currently has an eCommerce website or is looking to start one should have at least some knowledge about eCommerce web design basics. To be successful in eCommerce world a business owner needs to know whats behind the eCommerce engine.

First eCommerce requirement is hiring an experienced eCommerce developer not just newbie whos just starting out. Experience with eCommerce website development is very important if you are looking to take your business to the next level. 

Second, find a decent VPS or dedicated server so you will not have any speed, loading issues since eCommerce websites are very dynamic and require quite a bit of resources to run smoothly.

Third, eCommerce website structure needs to be logical and offer easy categorization of products, brands, tags, descriptions, meta info etc. Also, a key part of this should be URL structure and what I mean by that is that you should be able to create custom urls for example: website.com/blue-shoes. This will not only make it easy to read but can also help your website rankings.

Fourth, payment gateways & merchant accounts. Yes you will need third party to process your financial transactions. This one is tricky as you need to find one that will be compatible with your shopping cart system and suprisingly there are many out there to choose from. The most popular ones are PayPal, Authorize.net, WorldPay, 2Checkout, Google Checkout, LinkPoint etc. However, check the monthly pricing as well as transaction percentage per sale as it varies per company.  More on payment gateways.

Fifth, SSL certificates are a must for any eCommerce website owner who is looking to sell products online thorugh a secure payment system. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) enable eCommerce application date to transmit information back and forth securely. Have you ever see some websites have an extra "s" in the https://www. ? That means the data is being transmitted securely by a third party that verifies websites. Now that you know what a SSL is you will need to purchase one for your domain if you are serious about running an online store. There are many companies that offer SSL certificates ranging from $12 - over $1000 per year so you will have to choose based on your budget.

As you can see starting an eCommerce website is quite a project so its best practice to educate yourself before investing into it. Technicals aside eCommerce is very powerful and profitable business model if you are willing to put the time and resources. If you have any doubts just look at comapnies who are based purely online like Zappos.com, Amazon.com etc. They all started with a very simple online store and gradually became big time brands.

If you have any questions or would like to get advice on how to get started with eCommerce feel free to contact us. 


How to Speed Up & Optimize Your Website The Best Way You Can

First thing that any website owner has to keep in mind is SPEED. Optimizing your site so that it loads in less than 5 seconds should be the main goal. Ever notice some websites that you land on but take forever to load and you hit the back but faster than the website loads! Well, thats not good. Your chances of having lost that customer are pretty high.

Most companies spend so much time and resources designing a top-notch website but fail to address one simple thing - page load. There is no point of having a great and useful website if it loads super-slow and people cant get to it. The average time a person spends on a page is about 8 seconds and if the site takes more than 10 seconds too load, that person is gone in no time without even waiting for it to load.

So what causes the webpage to load so slow ?

There are a few factors and it really depends on the websites structure bu the most common are:
  • Too many images that are not saved for the web (e.g banner.jpg 890 KB) 
  • Heavy usage of JavaScript 
  • Bad choice of web application platform ( e.g CMS, Shopping Cart, etc)
  • Server performance ( shared hosting, not enough RAM)
  • Poor coding structure that does not flow correctly
This is just the top of the surface and there are too many other aspects of website optimization and we cant list them all here.

Below are some quick tips for website optimization for and improve page loading times :
  1. Compress all of your scripts including all CSS, Javascripts files and externally reference them.
  2. Create a cookie-less subdomain and host all of your images there so you are not appending unnecessary cookies to the images. (Do the same for css and js files)
  3. Get a VPS server or Dedicated server with at least 712MB in RAM
  4. Separate your database from your local web server to a different server but make sure there is not latency. ( this one is complicated)
  5. Disable Apache modules that you don't need as Apache is memory hungry and will take up RAM
  6. If using php add application accelerators such as xcache, eaccelerator, zend
Optimizing your website for faster page load is an ongoing process that requires a lot of work but that its worth it at the end because FASTER website equals more customers which leads to more revenue.

If you can't do this on your own and are looking to hire a developer to do instead, please email me at don@tripleroi.com to discuss the details.

Unique Websites Do Bring in More Sales

Just like anything else that is unique people appreciate it more and feel comfortable making a purchase or contacting you. Be original and let visitors enjoy their experience when they are in your website. Very important.

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