maddingcrowd No Comments

WordPress Guide: 7 Best Practices

Want to get it right the first time? Sadly, for the beginners, the end result of wordpress website is not satisfactory.

Here are 7 quick tips/practices for  WordPress beginners :

1.Backup : Why do I need it?

Wordpress backup The common mistake that the beginners do is that they start building the website until some plugin breaks the page or something worse happens.

To avoid this from happening, install a backup WordPress plugin such as Backup Buddy(paid) or Updraft(free).

These plugin can can be scheduled to backup automatically to your google drive or dropbox.

 

2.Research : Are all plugins reliable?

Wordpress researchWordPress has made it so easy to install plugins that we forget to verify the plugin even before we install.

Always make it a point to go through the plugin details such as how it works, reviews and screenshots.

Many plugins out there are from an unreliable source which can cause the plugin to bring down the website or perform malicious operations under the hood.

Always check for the ratings and number of downloads before installing the plugins.

More positive response from the reviews, the more robust and secure it is for using it.

3. Editor : Is it safe to make a direct change?

Wordpress editorUnless your a web developer, avoiding the wordpress editor is a better option because it may break your theme.

If you know your HTML basics, you are good to go.

But remember NOT to update your theme because you will lose all the changes made in the editor.

Also make the CSS changes in the Additional CSS in customise option rather than editing it directly.

Altering the CSS directly is a bad practice that interferes with the flow of the design.

4. Plugins : Separate or bundled?

Wordpress PluginsA good wordpress practice is to limit the number of plugins installed on the website as much as possible.

See if your requirement can be fulfilled by selecting a theme with more in-built functionalities.

Rather than having a separate plugin installed for the requirement, you can always choose the one which offers more for a single install.

For example: If you want to add a testimonial to your sidebar, you need not search only for testimonial plugin specifically. There are many bundled plugins out there that can be used such PowerPack or Siteorigin Widgets.

Also that the support forums available for the bundled plugins will be more compared to the solo plugins which are developed by  a single person.

5. Caching : Is cache important?

Wordpress cache In simple words caching is an area in computer memory that stores recently used information.

Excessive load time on the website increases the bounce rate which impacts on your SEO indirectly.

Images and the pages can be saved temporarily to improve the page speed by the caching plugins.

Free Plugins like WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache and Cache Enabler are highly recommended.

 

6. SEO : Am I visible to the world?

Wordpress seoStill wondering why your website is not been shown on the online searches?Fret not, you have not yet made your website SEO friendly.

There are free plugins like Yoast SEO which do an excellent job of guiding the user for achieving this process.

Using these will help to increase the pagerank which in turn will increase the web traffic towards your website.

7. Unused Plugins : Will I use it later?

WeWordpress unused plugins all love to download the WordPress plugins quite often. But later we realise that the plugins are not being actively used anywhere for whatever reasons.

This causes a major problem for disk storage on hosting servers. You end up cluttering the whole space which becomes very tedious in the later stages of maintaining the website.

This all can be resolved by deleting the plugins that have not been used in the near past which helps to improve the page speed.

 

As a beginner if you are aware of all the above mentioned WordPress practices, you can save loads of time and focus more on the purpose of the website.

Confused about WooCommerce? Read this to help you decide faster WooCommerce remedies.

maddingcrowd No Comments

The pros and cons of having an ecommerce-enabled website

When we launched CinnamonTeal Design earlier this month (July 2017), our repertoire included a whole bunch of services that we were already offering our authors previously as part of our self-publishing portfolio. Hitherto hidden behind a curtain of self-publishing services, a nomenclature that did no justice to everything else we offered besides publishing-related services, developing a “graphics and web division” helps us showcase some of the “other” capabilities we have had for long now. Like our website designing service, for instance.

Going forward, therefore, you will find us talking about issues and trends that perhaps a “normal” publisher won’t. Like digitization and archival, or app development. Or the need to have one’s  own ecommerce-enabled website.

This blog will enumerate the benefits of “going it alone” and having a stab at developing an ecommerce infrastructure that is managed and monitored by one company, usually the producer, alone. Most businesses already have a website, but sell their products through “marketplaces” such as Flipkart and Amazon. It is not a bad idea to sell through these marketplaces but having the option to sell through your own platform is a big advantage (disclaimer: we develop ecommerce websites for clients, so there is an ulterior motive to this blog).

Here are the pros and cons of having your own ecommerce-enabled website. First the pros:

a. You set your own terms: When you have your own website, you are allowed to choose your own payment and return policies. As a seller of books, we found that Amazon’s return policy, that allows buyers to return books, even a week after they have been purchased as a big source of revenue loss for us. Not only have we found instances in which the book was photocopied, the returned book was, for all practical purposes, unfit for selling again.

b. You are your own competitor: For the time a customer is on your website, you have no other competition. It is then your business to lose and up to you to ensure that the customer does not walk away without making a purchase. For that time, however, there are no deep discounts and other gimmicks by other sellers to worry about, nor the fact that a customer can compare the price of your product with those of other similar products. This also presents an opportunity to ensure that the customer leaves your website feeling good about her experience during her time browsing through it.

c. There is little by way of fees: There are no listing fees, or storage and handling fees, or those gazillion fees charged under quite innovative names. Having your own ecommerce platform allows you to keep costs down. You have, of course, to pay for the hosting and maintenance of the website, and, depending on the payment gateway you choose, also pay a transaction fee, or an annual fee, or both.

d. You get to set your own image: An ecommerce website must be viewed as a digital asset you can use to extend your brand. Therefore you must be very careful of the “image” you portray, how you deal with privacy issues, and how you solve problems faced by your customers. The design of your website must also reflect your brand. You can set up your website to match your “style”.

e. Your website can be tailored to suit your business processes: While selling off a third-party website means tailoring your business processes to meet their requirements, you need not do this if you have your own ecommerce platform. In fact the processes followed during and after an ecommerce transaction, like the way the customer is informed of the purchase and the shipment made, for instance, can be integrated into your way of executing this processes.

f. Your website acts as an additional marketing tool: That means, if properly coded, you can get your products to appear in search results, use your product detail page to highlight the main features of your products, and give your customers a detailed explanation of your products, and use your “about us” and “faqs” pages to properly “explain” your company. Similarly, allow customers to review your products; nothing works like customer testimonials to sell a product or service.

g. You have information regarding your customers’ buying habits: While this is information you have to use carefully (especially taking care to ensure that customers’ privacy is not violated), this information allows you to understand your market better, in turn allowing you to market certain items, understand any seasonality in sales, and cross-sell.

h. You can determine your own geographical reach: Many online platforms, due to restrictions they have placed on themselves, do not ship abroad or ship to only certain countries. Having your own ecommerce platform allows you to sell goods and services to all corners of the globe (unless restricted by the government).

i. You can complement a physical store nicely: An ecommerce-enabled website complements a physical store, if you already have one, very nicely. You can use it to attract customers to your physical store, and sell your stock lying there. For items bought on the website, the store acts as a perfect pick up point, yet another way to tell people there is a store they can visit.

Next, the cons:

a. The upfront costs are substantial: You will have to spend to register your domain name, spend on hosting (which can be paid as a lumpsum or annually), and spend to actually have your website developed. In addition, there will be recurring costs, like the payment gateway cost, the hosting fee (if you choose the recurring option) and the cost of maintaining the website.

You also need to keep in mind that there are costs you might not always be able to track. Like the cost of the time you spend on packaging and shipping, and the cost of packaging material and shipping by post or by courier.

b. Your website will have to be marketed: Just like other websites, ecommerce-enabled or not, you will have to market your website so people know about it and visit it. This translates both into a cost, and into slow pickup (which might mean, that initially traffic to the website will be low).

c. You are your own support staff: You have to take the calls when people have issues navigating and buying on your website, and make sure that the buyer’s problems have been addressed. This is important because it might mean the difference between the buyer returning to your website or forever deserting it.

It may now no longer be enough to have a website that simply displays your products and services. The new paradigm of business implies that you give the customer everything she needs to make a purchase at one point. Having an ecommerce-enabled business might help you achieve that.

photocredit: stocksnap.io