5 Things to Consider When Starting Your E-Commerce Store

If you’ve decided you would like to take the leap to E-Commerce and start your online shop, it can be a difficult process to get started. Fear now though, these days it’s very simple to get your store set up, even if you are just a beginner.

Here are five things you need to consider when you’re starting your journey in the e-commerce world.

Server Size

The first thing you should take into account is the hosting provider that you choose. Essentially, it all comes down to how big you want your store to grow. A shared service is a good option, to begin with, whereas a dedicated server will cater to bigger e-commerce stores.

A shared server means that you won’t have its space all to yourself, however, it’s not needed if your store is only relatively small. If you are aiming at exponential growth then a dedicated server will be a perfect fit. Do note that dedicated servers are more expensive than shared servers. There are other options though, these days you can get a good cloud hosting where you can update the specification of the server as your website grows. To be honest, this is probably the best option. Companies like SiteGround, WP-Engine, and eUKHost offer some great packages to get you started. Best of all, their online support team will help you with any hurdle along the way.

Web Design

When your first visitor lands on your store, the first impression they will get is from the design of the website. So you need to ensure it’s clean, easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. This will ensure people will stick around and continue to browse your website.

If your website is difficult to explore and not attractive, often potential customers will look elsewhere. Especially if they’ve had no previous dealings with you in the past. Think about it realistically, the big e-commerce sites out there are all straightforward to navigate and have great designs. No matter how small you are, your store shouldn’t be any different. These days, you should consider flat designs for a foolproof way of making your online shop look good.

A Niche Market

When embarking your journey in the world of e-commerce, you’ve likely learned that a niche market is absolutely something you should avoid. Nice marketing is a term that means finding your path in an already busy market. When there are a load of competitors with nothing different or unique to offer, avoid the oversaturation of it all and use the power of innovation to bring something completely new to the table. You’ll find by doing this, it will grow your audience rapidly.

Quality Customer Service

One of the most important things to have when establishing your online store is a reasonable or high level of customer service. It’s the only way you’ll guarantee solid relationships with buyers – they’ll establish respect and trust for you should you be doing the same for them. In my opinion, for online shops, chat support is a must, everyone likes speaking to somebody before purchasing something right? Offer good customer service and you’ll find that clients will come back.

Security

To get established with an online store, you’ll at least some level of security to back you up. Too often are websites compromised by a lack of security, with attacks such as SQL injection being all too common. Be sure to employ security upon your online store for your sake, as well as in the best interest of your customers – if they’re a victim of an attack, it’s unlikely they’ll stick around to buy from you ever again. As with all online stores, they should always be https:// secure buy installing a valid SSL certificate o the server. This will bring more trust to potential buyers! It is also useful to offer multiple forms of payment by using PayPal and Stripe/SagePay/WorldPay to offer your customers more security when it comes to purchasing products/services from your shop.

Well, I guess that wraps it up, are you starting an e-commerce shop and came across this article? Leave a comment, we’d love to help you on your journey!

 

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Top 12 Best CMS Platforms (2019/2020)

A CMS platform gives you tools to manage the content on your website, its appearance, and many other things you might need to keep your website up to date. But which are the better CMS platforms out there for different needs in website design and web development? In this article, we’ll go through the highlights of those we consider to be the top twelve CMS platforms for 2019 and the upcoming year. We’ll advise you on which is better for you depending on the web development skills of those who’ll be using it, your website’s goals, and many other circumstances that might at play during your web development process. So, on to the list!

WordPress.org

Did you know that one-third of all websites around are built on WordPress? If not, you’ll figure out why in a minute. WordPress.org started out to be a blogging platform, but these days it has grown into a full-blown CMS useful for any kind of project. We usually use Magento to integrate larger e-commerce solutions, these tend to be stores with over 2,500 products. For smaller sized shops we would go for WordPress with the free to use WooCommerce plugin. There are all sorts of plugins you can install on WordPress websites to make them have all the functions you need, so the installing process is pretty straightforward and user-friendly. If you’re looking for an even easier way to develop a blog or website, you can always count on WordPress.com.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com keeps most of the more advanced features for Premium users, but it’s a lot easier to navigate if you haven’t ever used a CMS platform before. If you prefer to pay and have the platform do all the hard work for you, WordPress.com is the best option you’ve got out there. It’s meant to be even more user-friendly than its .org version, so you should have no issues using it to create any website. Keep in mind that if you want some free CMS solution, WordPress.org might be better for you: with WordPress.com, the free version won’t get you very far, but if you just want to create a blog for your company, it should suit you alright.

Drupal

Now if you’re an advanced user, Drupal should be well-known for you. For high-traffic websites, this is the best solution out there, close to WordPress.org when it comes to the number of users worldwide. Being open-source, you’ll have to host it using PHP on an Apache server, which makes it more difficult to implement than the other options we mentioned previously. For enterprise platforms, Drupal is the more suitable option, being able to withstand a large amount of traffic and having plenty of customisation available through thousands of modules available. You don’t even need to know how to code, being able to use one of the over two thousand themes available to build your custom solution.

Ghost

This one is widely considered to be the best CMS for bloggers. You can either pay for the Pro version and just get it set up instantaneously or host it in your server if the requirements for it are met. It is quite clean-looking, but don’t be fooled – it’s a lot more work to set it up if you don’t choose the Pro version (in comparison to WordPress). Ghost’s “integrations” work as plugins on WordPress, allowing you to set up many options like e-commerce, newsletters and many other features.

Grav

Made for small websites, Grav uses flat-file architecture, which means you don’t need to create a database on MySQL or anything similar to use it. Your whole website can be stored in a single file on your server. This makes it quite easy to install and to create backups for, however, if you’re thinking about using it for a bigger project, forget about it. Grav is lightweight for a reason – you can’t build huge websites using it without realising its shortcomings. However, for simpler websites, Grav should be enough and much easier to set up than WordPress.

Prestashop

Prestashop is a great CMS tool if you want an easy to set up e-commerce solution. If can be used at your store as an invoicing platform as well, so you’ll have all your sales connected with your stock data. You can choose the theme for your online store, but Prestashop is supposed to be simple so don’t expect to be able to code many changes to your online shop. However, it’s still a pretty good solution if you want a hassle-free e-commerce solution.

Shopify

Shopify is arguably the most widely known option for adding an online store to your website. Boasting over a million clients worldwide, Shopify is a good solution for medium to large-sized e-commerce shops. It provides themes that are both customisable and responsive, however, if you’re looking for an option in which you can code your way through it, Shopify is not your best option. Most things on Shopify are ready-made and suit many different needs, however, if you need a bespoke solution, it might not be your option.

Magento

Once again talking about e-commerce, Magento might not have the same amount of clients as Shopify, but it’s more suitable for products and services that need a bit of tinkering about to be integrated into an online shop. If you have a shop with over two thousand five hundred items, you’ll probably need Magento. It allows you to have a larger database and to customise further than Shopify while allowing for extensions that make your life easier as an e-commerce manager.

Wix

If customisation does not matter much to you and you just want your website set up quickly and easily, Wix might be what you’re looking for. This CMS platform comes with plenty of templates that will make any entry-level user happy while making the web development process incredibly easy. However, don’t expect to be able to do with Wix the same you could be doing with a CMS like WordPress – Wix is an entry-level solution like we mentioned, so don’t expect a lot of customisation.

Webflow

If the perspective of coding to create a new website is daunting for you but you don’t want a cookie-cutter like website, Webflow might be your best bet. Webflow not only offers the CMS but also provides hosting, which makes it a lot easier if you need a website done quickly but don’t want to miss out on customisation. It is also responsive, which is highly important in an age in which mobile searches make up for more than half of the total web traffic. Webflow also provides you with a lot of research material that can be helpful in creating the perfect website for you.

Squarespace

Squarespace is an all-in-one solution if you’re looking for a beautiful website. With hosting, plenty of templates to choose from, and custom domains with zero hassle, you can adjust your website to your needs without needing to go the extra mile. It also includes blogging spaces, SEO tools and much more in a single CMS platform, so Squarespace enters this list as one of our favourites for creating a website in a fast and effective manner.

Conclusion

This is our rundown of twelve CMS platforms for 2019 and 2020 that will probably withstand the test of time. Some are older, some are more recent. No matter what, you’ll find a solution for you on this list – it all comes down to your needs for your website and your team’s coding skills. There’s a bit for everyone on this list, so just pick your favourite and you should be all set. Ready?

Not sure which platform is most suited to your business? Then get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to assist you with your next project.

 

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The advantages of a bespoke website / WordPress / Magento

Are you looking for a website for your brand, but still not sure about how to go about it? In this article, we’ll dissect the advantages of having a bespoke website built for your company instead of an off-the-shelf variety. You probably have looked into it and figured it would be cheaper to just get a theme for your WordPress website and edit just a few bits. However, even though that’s a cheaper option, it might become obsolete quite fast, making you spend more in the long run just to keep it up to date with your company’s evolution and growth. Below you’ll find a few reasons why.

Customisation

When you have an off-the-shelf website, there’s only so much you can customise. You can change the pages and the logo, but in the end, it’s going to be similar to many other websites which use the same theme. With a bespoke website, you’ll never have that issue. You get the pages you need, with the design you want, for the content that best suits your brand’s digital strategy. At Silva Web Designs, we use mostly WordPress to build bespoke websites – which means that no matter how much detail goes into it, you’ll always have an easy back office to work with if you eventually need to change some content on your own.

Website speed

This is a really important factor if you want your website to have a good ranking in terms of SEO. With an off-the-shelf solution, a lot of times your website will be full of plugins and code that you don’t really need. This will slow down your website, not only making it difficult to navigate but also ruining your SEO efforts. To increase your website speed, we recommend a bespoke website solution. This way, you get only the code you need to make your website work, making it faster and more efficient. This is one huge advantage you’ll have over an off-the-shelf solution when it comes to ranking higher on Google results. Google cares a lot about website speed – in fact, don’t we all? Users don’t have any sympathy for slow websites, and usually what isn’t user-friendly isn’t SEO friendly either. A bespoke website will be optimised to your advantage, making it easier to trump your competition – which we’ll discuss in the next point.

Competitive advantage

Even though you might think a bespoke website is too expensive for your company, the costs of having an off-the-shelf solution will become quite prominent over time. An off-the-shelf solution usually incorporates a lot of plugins which aren’t probably necessary for what you want to do with your website, and those plugins need constant updating. If the plugins stop getting updates, it’s likely some functions of your website are not going to work. In web development, being able to update easily is essential to make your website withstand the test of time. Other than that, if your customers are looking for your services, you’ll want to stand out using UX/UI features, a great looking web design, and the right code that will make all of it come together in a neat package. Your customers are searching the web to make their life easier – if your website loads fast, is well-designed to make your CTAs accessible, and uses responsive code, you’re already ahead of your competition. A bespoke website is much more likely to work perfectly on mobile, which is also something you should consider. Most users look for services or products on their mobile phones, which is the main reason why your website should adapt to every device out there. Besides, a good website will increase your sales, which will pay for whatever you invest in web development in the beginning.

Security

When you use an off-the-shelf solution, the extra code you don’t need can be a reason for failure. All those plugins accessing your data can be a major security risk – whereas, with a bespoke option, you know exactly who’s working on web development, so any security issues can be handled swiftly.

At Silva Web Designs, we design bespoke websites through WordPress which are tailored to your needs and business goals. Need an online shop for your website as well? We also work with Magento, which makes it easy to buy your product or service directly through your website, reducing your sales cost. Think you’re ready to dive in into a bespoke website for your company? Contact us today for more info!

 

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Websites by Silva Web Designs…

As you may already know, we are a team of developers working remotely across the world, working together to deliver projects in a timely manner without compromising quality!

We offer the following packages:-

  • Brand design
  • Responsive design
  • CMS systems
  • E-commerce
  • Email campaigns
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • App development
  • Hosting
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Copywriting / Content Creation

 

And much more, however, our main passion is web design!

So what do you get from a website build by Silva Web Designs?

In a nutshell, you will get a clean, responsive website that is fully optimised for SEO and speed. We can help you grow your business, whether you need assistance with Copywriting, Google Adwords, Social Media Marketing or anything else in the digital world… we have you covered!

We also provide maintenance and love to develop long-term relationships with our clients, our goal is to help you with every step of your journey to make you as successful as you can be.

Between our team, we have decades of agency experience in building websites that convert… Don’t be fooled by crazy agency prices when you can get the same (or a lot better) quality delivered for a massive deduction of the price!

Which frameworks do we use?

We love WordPress but that’s not our limit, we also work with Squarespace, Drupal, Magento, Shopify, OpenCart, PrestaShop and Larvael to name a few. Whatever the project, we can deliver.

So how do you deliver such a great service?

Taking our most recent project; BeauSocial.

The client wanted a single page web site and needed our team to create a bespoke design and bespoke WordPress theme for their new website. They needed a fairly quick turnaround, a few days… not weeks! (or months, god forbid)

And so we got cracking on this for our client immediately and delivered in just a few days 😉

That’s not to say we rushed the job, we just have the experience to deliver quality work 24/7 to keep out clients super satisfied.

95% of the time, we build bespoke websites, why? Because it gives us the ability to build a website without any restrictions, is built with SEO and speed in mind from the get-go and it’s very easy to update any content/images and everything else across the site.

So the result of BeauSocial was as follows; here is the design of the website:-

https://beausocial.com

As you can see, it’s pixel-perfect to function correctly regardless of browser size and device. Responsive websites at it’s best 😉

Okay, so what else? Well, speed is a major important factor with SEO and the results below show that we definitely adhered to our promises:-

We then continued to support our client helping with their social media accounts, Google AdWords campaigns and providing regular maintenance on their website.

Client = Estatic.

Summary

We have helped a lot of clients now achieving their digital goals at a fraction of the price that you would pay a digital agency.

Is there any benefit to using a design agency? The simple answer is no. You will get the same or better quality and a quicker turnaround in most cases and a massively discounted price that you would pay any agency… People always believe that paying more will result in better quality but that’s not the case in web design at all.

If you need a web developer for your next project, whether it’s a complete rebuild, new website, website updates, maintenance or anything else in the digital world, feel free to drop us an email and we would love to work with you; [email protected]

If you have come this far, thanks for reading… look forward to working with you in the future.

∆ The Silva Team ∆

 

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The Journey – Hi Ho Silva Lining…

If you would like to read about my freelance journey, you can read the full story here.

No time for the full story? No problem! You can see a visual synopsis below…

Silva Web Designs - Journey - The Struggle...

Silva Web Designs - Journey - Beaches

Silva Web Designs - Journey - Our Portfolio

Silva Web Designs - Journey - What we love - WordPress

Nathan da Silva
Founder | Silva Web Designs

‘‘ The Crazy & Creative Team ’’

 

M: +44 7511 68 1818
W: silvawebdesigns.com
E: [email protected]

If you’re a music lover, follow our Spotify playlist; maybe we’re on the same wavelength.

 

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