3 (Smart) Tactics to use FOMO in Your Social Media Strategy.

FOMO means “fear of missing out”. i.e. missing out on an amazing experience or product.

One of the most popular tactics in marketing since, well, the actual inception of marketing, is the utilization of FOMO.

People will actually feel bad and get a sense of losing out on something that will either give them joy and pleasure, or perhaps meaning and a positive experience.

This phenomena is widespread and is an integral part of human nature.

For this reason, FOMO has been shown as a very effective way of getting an individual to buy a product or pay for a service. Read More

5 Vital Factors Of An Ideal Web Host [SEO StandPoint]

Amongst the numerous variables that can affect your rankings on the search engine result page (SERP); your web hosting is one of them.

Web hosting is a service that enables businesses and individuals to post their websites on the internet.

While several providers can help you go online, you should choose a company that is SEO friendly.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a practice that helps your website gain organic visibility and exposure on the search engines.

Increased user traffic: Consequently, your site will also enjoy increased user traffic because 75% of the users never go past the first page of results before concluding their search.

Better Search Rankings:Even though the right web host does not guarantee an immediate boost in your rankings, it can ensure that you do not earn you a Google penalty, resulting in a significant drop in your positioning.

Competent web servers: Most importantly, the most competent web servers improve your site’s loading time and reduce the incidences of downtime, consequently improving your rankings, customer retention, and conversion rates.


Following are the characteristics of an ideal web host company that has a positive influence on your SEO:

1. Page load time:

Google explicitly stated in 2010 that the page loading speed of a website is one of the decisive factors that can affect your rankings.

In addition, your site should load as quickly as possible to provide a better experience to your visitors.

In fact, if your page takes longer than 3-seconds to load, almost 40% of the users will abandon the site.

Therefore, opt for a web host company that offers an optimized hosting package specific to your framework, fast hardware, and good datacenter infrastructure.

Moreover, make sure that your website is not sharing a server with hundreds of other sites. The more sites hosted by a server, without the required hardware and software to handle them, the slower is your website’s loading speed.

If your page load time is very high, it is better to move your site to a less busy server or a more trusted provider to improve the performance of your website.

2. Security

When you initiate your website, you employ all measures to ensure that your site is secure and safe from hackers.

However, if your web hosting provider is not extending you the same level of security, your website is still prone to hacking.

Hacked websites can lose their rankings if the problem is not resolved fast enough. Google can remove them from the index, and the domain is blacklisted.

Google penalizes such sites to avoid the users from interacting with a compromised website, and no amount of reputation management services can salvage this situation.

Moreover, even when the case is cleaned up, it takes a long time to recover the initial ranking and user traffic.

Therefore, security should be one of the major factors when choosing a web host, because an insecure server can cause revocable damage to your online presence.

3. Less downtime

Downtime denotes the amount of time that your website was inaccessible to visitors due to issues with the hosting server.

Google does not like to redirect their users to sites suffering from downtime.

Google’s search engine spiders routinely crawl websites to index them and later retrieve them for relevant search queries.

If your site is suffering from downtime during one these sessions, Google will not index it.

If the site is inaccessible repeatedly due to recurrent server failures, Google flags it as unreliable and removes it temporarily from the index.

This can cause a substantial drop in your rankings.

Uninterrupted website accessibility is the responsibility of the web hosting company.

Even though some amount of downtime is inevitable, you should make sure that the provider guarantees the maximum amount of uptime.

4. Server Location

Search engines are geared towards providing localized search results for a query.

If a user searches for an online business, for example, Google will consider websites based in the same area as the user.

To determine the location of your site search engines use the IP address of your website.

The IP address is assigned according to the location of the hosting server.

Therefore, if your aim to attract the local market, you should ideally choose a provider based in the same country to gain a higher ranking.

While the location of the server is not one of the predominant characteristics of an exemplary web host company, it can still have a marginal effect on your ranking.

5. SEO Awareness

It is vital for your provider to understand the importance of SEO and the role they play in acquiring better positioning on the SERPs.

It is possible that the host company is unaware of the consequences of their actions on the SEO of a website.

Therefore, before selecting a provider, inquire about their understanding of SEO and search rankings.

Make sure that they will not perform any alteration to your website’s server, which can damage your online reputation and ranking, without bringing it to your notice.

The bottom line is that an ideal web host company is one that provides the best services, with an optimized infrastructure that can withstand your website and its plugins, in addition to other sites it hosts.

It should maintain an uptime of at least 99.9% and give utmost consideration to security against hackers and spammers.

It should also be well versed in the technicalities of SEO and how their actions can affect your positioning in the search result.

 

Best Web Host

Ideal Web Host

BlueHost is very popular web host and has a strong understanding of SEO and search rankings as well.

Their servers are secure and loads fast. And support is very good as well.

No wonder they have powered 2 million websites worldwide.Signup for BlueHost Today

 


Author Bio: ABOUT Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

 

5 Crucial Steps for Best Blog Rankings [Easy Steps]

Struggling with SEO for your WordPress blog? Here are the best tips that can change your blog position from bottom to top. You just need to pay a little attention to the mentioned guidelines.

 

Increasing your blog presence over the search engines is one of the most crucial decisions you need to make.

Above than that, the question of choosing the best CMS always bothers your thoughts.

Advantage WordPress! Your will be more than happy that you chose choose wordpress as your blog platform,  the  moment you start realizing advantages[SEO Standpoint]. Read More

9 Strong Reasons To Convert(website) to WordPress

Fact: WordPress powers 30% of all sites on the web.

Online sites,nowadays, are quite complex, yet provide enjoyable and much richer experience for visitors and site creators alike.

It is mainly because of open source platforms like WordPress.

Over the past 10 years or more, WordPress has succeeded in its mission to democratize online publishing. You can choose right plugins or theme for modern websites with advanced functions and designs.

It helps you to avoid the mess created by HTML coding!

That’s why you need to convert HTML website to WordPress, where you can get multiple plugins and themes to make your task of website design and development an easier option.

Why prefer WordPress over HTML?

In case you have a plain business website, it is time to power it up with WordPress themes.

It is a perfect platform for small and medium businesses. WordPress offers dynamic platform for developing website and business blogs.

Apart from that, there are some strong reasons to convert html to wordpress.

1.Easy to setup and customize:

Programmer icon flat set with web services data protection app development isolated vector illustration

Look:

For an HTML site, you have to contact web designer every time you need to update content or add pictures to your site.

This isn’t the case with WordPress.

Through this open source platform, it will be much easier to build your website. With few clicks, you can install and customize the website design.

From adding pictures to content, or even for updating your online site, you can have complete control over your website.

Even novices will find it easier to use WordPress, as it is free from coding.

2.Free and open source

WordPress offers its users with a complete database full of free themes and plugins to use.

However, for availing the premium plugins and themes, you might have to pay a small fee with the free options, you can perform any kind of customization.

You can even improve source code mainly because of its open source nature.

3. Quite easy to manage:

If compared to HTML sites, WordPress gains its popularity because of its easy manageability.

For beginners, it is rather hard to edit some raw HTML code and work on changes.

But, they don’t have to bother about any of these changes, thanks to WordPress. This platform helps them to manage website pretty well and even update it whenever the time arises.

With a simple intuitive interface, even the non-technical members can update the online site anytime.

4. Strong Community of developers

WordPress houses a big community.

Therefore, no matter whatever security issue you are facing, it will be treated instantly.

Another plus point is that it provides every user with the liberty to contribute to this source. It has a higher level of customizability with multiple themes to help users remain updated with latest happenings in the WP community.

Continuous support and flexibility from this community are the major characteristics to make this experience a memorable one for the new users.

5. Comes with mobile optimization:

Mobile browsing is increasing at a high rate.

If you fail to make your website mobile optimized, chances are high that you are losing on your customer count. You might even lose mobile based website traffic to competitor.

Unfortunately, trying to create a mobile version of HTML site can be expensive and quite complicated. But, that’s not the case with WordPress.

Mobile optimization through WP is rather simple. You can procure mobile friendly themes and plugins like WP Touch for creating easier mobile versions.

6.  Multiple user capability:

One of the best features of WordPress platform is it’s multi user functionality which is hard to find in HTML.

Through this characteristic, it becomes easier for allocating specific roles to assign tasks.

Let’s take an example.

You can assign “Author” to the person, known for publishing and managing the post. Moreover, you can give the “editor” role to the person, who is given the responsibility to edit or manage the post, after the author posted it.

Another one is “subscribe”, which is presented to someone managing profile and receiving regular updates on the site.

7. Best way to save money and time:

For a dynamic HTML site, you are in need of experienced programmers to help you code and maintain it entirely.This is not just time consuming but quite expensive as well.

You have to pay each programmer individual for his or her part in establishing your website.

Now, with WordPress, you can actually avoid making these extra payments. Through WordPress, anyone will not just setup a website but get to manage it completely without any secondary help from the developers.

This will help you to save time and focus on your major business.

8. SEO friendly

If you want your business to gain popularity, you have to integrate SEO to your website.

Here, WordPress can help you by offering multiple security features. This will provide users with the SEO guidelines for optimizing individual websites.

As Google loves new content, so WordPress is constructed as a blogging sector. Here, you can easily add new content on a daily basis. There are multiple plugins available, which will make your WordPress site SEO friendly.

So, now you know the reason to head for html to wordpress conversion.

9. Customized as per your design:

WordPress gives you the freedom to customize your online site according to your designs. For that, you need to choose a related theme.

At first, theme customization may seem a bit complicated but it’s easy to accomplish it with the help of WordPress community.

So, WordPress can be utilized for creating websites, mainly depending on business requirements.

You can further modify the functions and look of the site for making it beneficial for your business. For customizing, users can either choose from the free WordPress themes or from the premium ones.

Endnote:

After going through the points, it is clear that converting HTML websites to WordPress is your firsthand priority.

Even though you don’t need it, but still you can ask programmers and web developers to help you with the conversion.

Author bio:

Brandon Graves is a WordPress geeks as well as digital marketing expert who work for one of the reputed WordPress development company in the USA.

He right now handling the projects such as convert html to wordpress website, plugins development, website SEO and much more. PLease follow him on Facebook for latest updates.

 

7 Best WordPress Plugins For Optimal Search Rankings(2018)

Search engine optimization is an indispensable activity if you are a business that has gone online. There are many different activities that comprise a total SEO campaign.

One of which is the use of WordPress plugins that can help boost your site’s search rankings.

The following are 7 of the most effective WordPress plugins that you can use to help you achieve your SEO goals:

#1. Yoast SEO Plugin

One of the popular SEO plugins on WordPress is Yoast SEO which has been around since 2008.

Yoast can help in the strategic management of Meta titles, descriptions, and keywords. XML sitemaps creation is also made a lot easier through Yoast.

You will also be saved from Google penalties because Yoast can help you avoid the duplication of content by setting canonical URLs.

6 Figure Blogging

#2. All in One SEO Pack

Created in 2007, All in One SEO is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins.

It boasts a number of features that can help sites on their SEO initiatives.

What’s great about All in One SEO Pack is that a lot of the optimization is done automatically for you like title optimization and the generation of Meta tags. This helps beginners do SEO at ease.

All in One SEO also claims to be the only plugin that offers the integration to e-Commerce sites such as WooCommerce for free.

#3. Redirection

Ever experienced a 404 error or a 301 redirect? Annoying, right?

Giving this exact feeling to your site’s visitors can really put your site’s ranking in shambles.

But if you have a huge site, preventing this can be a challenge.

This is especially true if you are monitoring your site manually.

To help you prevent such a catastrophe, Redirection can help you out. It’s a plugin that you can you manage 301s and monitor 404s automatically.

It has been around for more than 10 years and have over 700,000 installations.

#4. Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker is another WordPress plugin that you can help you in your SEO initiatives.

It can help you monitor your content, such as posts and comments, for broken links and missing images.

In SEO, checking for broken links is an important task. Search engines will follow your links to check for any issue.

You will face penalties should issues be found. Broken Link Check then helps you prevent such penalties which can save your ranking.

#5. Google XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps help search engines’ web crawlers to run through your site. As a general SEO rule, you should try to appease search engines in as much as you can.

At the end of the day, search engines do set the rules for SEO and what they say goes for who tops the SEO game.

Google has its own XML sitemap plugin that can help you create a sitemap with ease, and without the need for any third-party plugin.

After creating a sitemap, remember to submit it to the Google Search Console. You should also try Google XML sitemaps for Videos and for Images.

#6. W3 Total Cache

Your site’s speed is an essential factor to consider for your total SEO campaign. One of the pillars of SEO is user experience, and site speed is a vital factor.

A plugin that helps your site load faster is, therefore, an essential tool to use. One such tool is W3 Total Cache.

W3 Total Cache is a plugin that can help reduce your site’s rendering time, as well as improve your site’s download speed, which ultimately leads to a better overall performance of your site.

When used to its full capacity, W3 Total Cache can help your site load in less than 2 seconds, which is very much impressive, and would really bring about a lot of benefits to user experience, and then to your site’s ranking.

#7. All in One WP Security and Firewall

Security is another aspect of SEO that you should not take for granted. One breach and you risk losing it all.

You should, therefore, treat your users’ security with utmost importance, and you should implement tight security measures to ensure protection.

There are WordPress plugins that can help you fortify your site and one of which is All in One WP Security and Firewall.

While it is true that WordPress is pretty much a safe platform, implementing additional security measures is still necessary.

All in One WP Security and Firewall will check your site for security risks and vulnerabilities and would implement the recommended security measure to counter such risks.

Some of the things that All in One WP Security and Firewall can do is secure your WP user accounts and ensure that no one is using the default username, and that password strength is checked.

Users who enter the wrong password one time too many can also be locked out to prevent the guessing of passwords.

It’s also worth to note that while the plugin does it job, it does not slow down.

Final Thoughts

Search engine optimization is not a walk in the park. There are lots of things to do, and that is why there are lots of plugins that can help you do them. Just be mindful though of putting in too many plugins as this may slow down your site. So strategize your use of WordPress SEO plugins and maximize each plugin’s use in your favor.

Author Bio:

Kenneth Sytian is a Website Developer in the Philippines and the Owner and CEO of Sytian Productions. He has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is the driving force behind the company and an influencer in the industry of web design and development in the Philippines.

Top 10 WordPress Wedding Themes To Deck Up Your Wedding Memories

Looking forward to making your special day memorable?

Why not lend your eyes to these stunning WordPress wedding themes? T

These themes are a complete blend of simplicity, elegance, functionality and sophistication to add grace to your wedding invites.

WordPress wedding themes are a perfect source that saves your memories and transfers your wedding ceremony into a digital canvas. You can make your wedding as exceptional and personalized as you can by integrating WordPress wedding themes. Considering the importance of a wedding day in one’s life, we have come across some of the exquisite collection of WordPress themes that add another way for guests to be excited about the occasion.

 

The list given below covers both modern and classic design. These themes bring something extraordinary to the table like special page templates, RSVP forms and so on.

 

Jack &Rose

https://themeforest.net/item/jack-rose-a-whimsical-wordpress-wedding-theme/13722583

This theme creates your website quickly and is a one-stop solution for quick page loading, mobile friendliness and so on. It comes incorporated with some of the fancy features like drag-and-drop page builder module. With Jack & Rose, developers do not need any kind of coding knowledge. Available with home page are the 3 demo versions, namely, video background, full-width image and slider. The smooth parallax, fade-out animation and Sakura petal fall effects are meant to grabbing the user’s attention.

 

It makes easier to create the custom layouts and customizing the colors easily. It is responsive to ensure that all the guests coming to the wedding will be able to view all details about your wedding, irrespective of the device they are using to view the website. For any kind of help and support, you can view the theme documentation or ask for client support.

 

X WordPress Theme

https://themeforest.net/item/x-the-theme/5871901

It is a multipurpose theme that features an attractive responsive UI. It is integrated with several plugins like Essential grid and Layer Slider. All you need is a click of mouse to choose from multiple unique designs. Multiple commenting system is also available that allows you to chat with your guests and get suggestions/feedback about the wedding. The visual composer plugin is another add-on that features drag and drop page editor. So, a stunning website with simple page elements can easily be crafted using this theme. There are many developers who use this plugin, however, it is great for beginners too.

 

Everline WordPress Theme

https://themeforest.net/item/wedding-event-everline-wordpress-theme/10629293

Everline is a graphically amazing, eye-captivating, unique, aesthetically enticing, professional and feature-rich WordPress wedding theme for event websites. It has been developed with utmost attention to nook and cranny. For a pixel-perfect and retina-ready display, you must try Everline theme for delivering websites of professional grade.

 

You can also find several handy page templates that are easily customizable using the visual composer and built-in revolution slider. Integrate the Event Calendar plugin to align or save your date in a public statement. The theme supports RTL and adapts automatically to the screen size of device and display all the content in an intuitive yet simple way.

 

Perfect Couple

https://themeforest.net/item/perfect-couple-wedding-wordpress-theme/9149465

This theme is apt for any kind of wedding and engagement website. Being completely responsive, the theme ensures that your website is well displayed on all web enabled devices along with smartphones and tablets. It has been developed to offer an optimal viewing experience on accessing the website every time. Built using the Bootstrap technology, the theme enables quick web development. Owing to its redux powered admin panel, it is quick and easy to customize.

 

This theme also comes integrated with an easy page builder that helps in generating countless layout design. A full-screen background video slider featured with eye-catchy images compels people to keep staying and scrolling till the bottom of page. The custom “About Us” page allows you to write some content about the bride and groom.

 

A customized page dedicated to their love story allows in sharing the best memories together. In the profile page, description about the parents, bridesmaids and the man is available.

 

GeekLove

https://themeforest.net/item/geeklove-a-responsive-wordpress-wedding-theme/4163509

A responsive WordPress wedding theme, GeekLove features a clean, minimal, responsive and appealing layout that looks great even on retina displays. It is featured with an attractive design and helps in developing a website for your wedding day in the quickest way possible. The theme is easy to set up and manage. The design and layout are optimized for readability and consistency. The layout is adaptive so that your content can shine anywhere. A live customizer option offers the flexibility you really need. With the right typography and color control, this theme allows you to customize the key colors to match the tone and branding. Use this theme to launch your wedding website in minutes.

 

Just Married

https://themeforest.net/item/just-married-wedding-wordpress-theme/7743193

Simple to browse and navigate, Just Married theme can be easily set up in minutes. It is packed with powerful customization tool with multiple layouts and a bunch of page templates that include RSVP, Registry, Bridesmaids and more. The theme includes 4 pre-defined color schemes and also allows to add custom background. It is completely responsive and retina ready. This gives a satisfaction that your website will display across multiple screen sizes and resolution devices like iPhones.

 

Wedding Industry

https://themeforest.net/item/wedding-industry-wedding-multipurpose-couple-wp/12744555

Wedding Industry is a theme that offers multiple options for customization. It functions more as a multipurpose theme by offering multiple layouts and designs. With demos like planner, couple, engagement, locations and invitations, you can select the best design that aligns more with your needs. It solely depends on the type of wedding business you have.

 

Celebration – Wedding & Class Reunion Theme

https://themeforest.net/item/celebration-wedding-class-reunion-theme/14866865

Celebration is a theme that requires no coding and offers countless layouts. It features some great demos and has a single click import tool. This launches the information of a wedding in few minutes. The theme is entirely responsive, retina ready and easy to customize. It also features 500 Google fonts and fine color control that customizes the theme as per business preferences.

 

No matter what you wish to showcase, Celebration’s features are a perfect fit for any type of celebration or class reunion. It is also used by event management professionals owing to its exclusive range of features.

 

Eternity

https://themeforest.net/item/eternity-responsive-wedding-wordpress-theme/7326697

Designed on the Foundation framework, Eternity is a responsive WordPress wedding theme that comes with simple to design feature. Features like RSVP form, lightbox photo gallery, Google map integration and unlimited color customization option makes it extra usable. The theme also features a video to assist users in the creation of website.

 

Eternity features an elegant, flat-style design with typography options. The design of home page showcases a photo invitation and can be made according to the wedding style and colors.

 

Emma

https://themeforest.net/item/emma-responsive-wedding-wordpress-theme/9554887

Emma is extremely modest website template aimed at creating photos, descriptions and blog section about the wedding. Designed on the Advanced Bean Framework 2.0, the theme is fully compatible with the latest WordPress versions. It is crafted well to display on all kind of devices and screen resolution. It is lightweight in nature and allows in uploading logo, web app icon to help followers identify that they have landed the right page.

 

It is developed using HTML5 and CSS3 code for quick customization. Use of proper heading tags and standard coding delivers excellent performance on search engines. Theme is multi lingual and comes with an extensive documentation.

 

Final words!

 

So, here is it! This quick collection of WordPress wedding themes will help you sort the right one for your business. All these themes are updated and come with extensive documentation. You can try these and let us know in the comment section below.

 

Author bio!

 

Bryan Lazaris is a reputed WordPress developer employed at HireWebDeveloper (Best Company to Hire WordPress Developer). He enjoys exploring the latest WordPress technologies and taking new challenges. Apart from being a developer, he has contributed on all high quality write-ups like WordPress theme and also loves to share his development expertise with the readers.

React Native is Losing its Place to Flutter – Slowly but Consistently

Gone is the time when businesses looked for investing in iOS and Android app separately.

Today, they understand that the real benefits can only be garnered when they invest in apps that are functional on both the platforms – as it is the only solution for making the most of the amount that they invest in the whole app design and development process.

Now, talking of cross platform app development, the industry has been in many ways monopolized by React Native – a cross platform framework brought into existence by the social media giant Facebook.

React Native, because of its features and near native app delivery has become the prime choice of developers ever since its launch in 2015.

Over time, React Native has superseded the influence that platforms like PhoneGap, Sencha Touch, and Xamarin.

React Native Advantages

There are a number of benefits that have come associated with React Native which have been enjoyed by companies that have made their presence on both iOS and Android platforms.

Some of those benefits are 

  1. Code Reuse enabling fast app development
  2. Allows application of React Native’s UI elements in existing app code
  3. The framework offers a number of third party plugin compatibilities, low memory usage, and a very smooth user experience.

While these are the main ones, a number of other reasons have been going into making the industry opt for React Native for their cross platform needs.

All in all, React Native had been able to place itself in the top most position because of its plethora of advantages.

But, came March 2018 and the table started turning.

It was in March when in the Mobile World Congress, Google announced the release of Flutter. The tech giant now officially entered the cross platform industry with the feature rich SDK.

Flutter, the SDK that presently sits on its Beta 3 version, comes with its own set of features that make developers’ life much easier and non complex.

In fact, in many ways the SDK answers to a lot of space that is prevalent in the app development process that uses React Native.

The benefits that the SDK offers have been able to bring it almost neck to neck with the popularity of React Native.

In fact, it is the slow but constant adoption of the SDK in app development industry that has given birth to the search queries that look like this – Flutter vs React Native, Flutter vs React Native which Framework to go for in your next Hybrid App, etc.

Now, as far as the verdict goes, the answer to Flutter vs React Native: Who is Winning? lies in two parts.

When you look at the present day, the answer would be React Native, solely because of the fact that it has been adopted by thousands of brands already.

But cut to a time in future, and one can see Flutter crossing the user base count of React Native.

In fact, with brands like Alibaba, Google AdWords, and Groupon adopting the SDK for their cross platform development the future is now very near.

Question is, are you prepared for it?

How to start a great Online Store – A startup guide

What is an Online Store?

Can i start one?

How do i start an online store?

I know of eBay and Amazon, is there similarity?

Am going to answer all those questions in a detailed easy way. Let’s start somewhere. The internet was developed primarily for sharing information. Over the years, it has evolved so much. Online stores belong to a group of internet services known as Electronic Commerce simply ecommerce. Ecommerce refers to buying and selling products and services over the internet. eBay and Amazon fall under this.

An Online store is therefore a website that lets visitors to browse and search for products and pay for them, just like in a regular physical store.

In this article, i have summed up the key points that that am going to explain in depth:

  • PROS and CONS of starting an online store
  • Business Plan: Mastering your Products, Services, Market, Shipping Costs, Taxes, Competitions, Domain & Hosting costs etc.
  • Building your own Online Store. (From Scratch, Trying Bigcommerce Store Builder)

PROS & CONS of Starting an Online Store

PROS:

There are many benefits you get when you become your own boss, which exactly translates to running any business like an online store. Let’s have a look at these pros.

  • Costs. Generally, e-commerce businesses are much cheaper to run than physical retail stores. You are not entitled to paying rent, electricity bills, water bills, hiring additional employees as much of the work can be managed by small number of people. All these costs will however apply to your website and other expenses. This will be a business like any other thus you wouldn’t consider free hosting. Buying a domain, looking for a sufficient hosting package and some tech support and consultation will take a small fee.
  • Vast Customer Base. When you start an online store, your market place is not limited to location. If you can deliver or ship your products over distant areas, then your customer reach is unlimited over the internet. Think of eBay or Amazon, they can ship their products in many countries
  • Establishing Unique Identity. If you want to make the customer think differently about your online products, build your own online store website. Customers will perceive new or beginner sellers at Amazon or eBay as “hmmm just another seller…same product here”. Customers will tend to try out new exciting product base, that way; they don’t get used to or accustomed to the old ways of doing things. This will be your niche, showing yourself out from the crowd.

CONS:

Every business has its bottlenecks. The internet is a tricky place when it comes to convincing people to buy your product. The list below describes these bottlenecks.

  • Advertising Costs. Basically by now you know what am talking about. Wherever you are, you’ve seen small start up online stores advertising a lot on different platforms. Websites selling smart phones, electronics or clothes will spend a lot to advertise. As you would likely not have customers by day one, you will be forced to do this, so as to promote your business
  • There may be substantial additional costs. Setting up your own online store website will require you buying services from experienced web design experts to design you website from scratch. If not, you would try out reputable online store builders like Bigcommerce. They offer you a package at a fee, then you choose a theme – that may cost you even $200.

The Business Plan

Any business whether small or medium sized will require a business plan. You will need to know what products (physical or digital – digital products won’t require shipment) or services you will be offering. You will need to decide how you will be shipping your products. Will you be delivering your product straight from home or, will you plan for a warehouse which will be your storage and delivery point?

A great business plan must include:

  • Products & Services – Decide source of your product
  • Market Research – Do thorough market research, identify your customers and competitors,
  • Layout all costs (Finances) in this case domain & web hosting costs, tech support, shipping costs, Taxes, employee wages, advertisement costs, business setup costs etc.

Building your own Online Store.

You need to register a domain name. It should be short, interesting and easy to remember. After purchasing a domain, you need to look for hosting. Look for reputable hosting companies like Hostgator, Blue Host among others. Many companies offer this both, inclusive of domain cost.

After registering a domain and Hosting, you can proceed on either of options below:

  • Hiring Experts to design your online store website, from scratch or
  • Buying packages from online store builders e.g. Bigcommerce.

The first option is straight to the point. There are many web design experts out there. All you need to do is contact them, discuss your requirements and they build you the website.

Am going to show you why Bigcommerce is a reputable e-commerce store builder you should put on top of your list!


Bigcommerce Online Store Builder

Bigcommerce is something to try out. It’s suitable for those with businesses already and they wish to expand their customer base to the internet, or total beginners.

I did my research online, trust me; Bigcommerce offers you everything you buy in your package. I want to emphasize that, many store builders would tell you, they offer this and that, but in fact it’s never there! For example, the dashboard in your package at Bigcommerce has setup tools that you can actually use.

bigcommerce

They will offer you a 15 Day free trial, to move around each customization. The appearance of your online store will determine whether a customer will stick on your store or search another one.

Top 10 Features about Bigcommerce that intrigued me:

1)      Bigcommerce Genuine 24/7 Support to get you started. The unlimited customer support is categorised under: Support Portal, Knowledge Base, Community Forum, Bigcommerce ideas, Bigcommerce University, Tutorials etc. Well, that is quite enough to get you started as a total beginner. You can decide to learn the basics before you start up. There are video tutorials to help you get going as well.

 Support Categories

support

 Support Portal. You can quickly get help by searching. You will have access to tons of step by step tutorials

help

 

Community Forum. Here users post information on “how-to-questions”, comments and user experiences. You can browse through and see whether there is anything similar to what you are searching for. If not, simply post your question and you’ll get help from the site admin or the users.

community forum

 

Video Tutorials. Instead of searching for answers through typing, or even chatting, there are many video tutorials to get you started. The topics covered are building your store, attracting shoppers, creating buyers and Building loyalty.

video tutorials

2)      Their 15 Day Free Trial Package. You don’t even require a credit card to sign up this free service. The process is very easy- fill out data on just 6 input boxes, and you are done! Check your email for signup details and log in. Continue to customizing your store. Where you are stuck, search for help.

signup_process

3)      Genuine Setup Tools. There is a rich list of setup tools freely available to you. The list is long, trust me, take your time and learn them all. They include Setting up your store, Customizing your store, Advanced Tools and Integrations

tools

4)      Simplicity. Bigcommerce offers a simple control panel that any user can master in no time.

Bigcommerce gives you full access on the following dashboard tools:

  • Orders. This section will display all orders, abandoned orders and orders awaiting payment and shipment, pre-orders, archived, refunded and shipped orders.
  • Products. You are your own boss, therefore this amazing complete set of product tools will let you:

>> View Products. You can click on most featured, last imported, products out of stock, Visible and non visible etc.

>> Add new unlimited number of products place each under your own defined categories

>> Edit product categories

>> Search products. Use advanced search to search for specific product

products_search

>> Import & Export products

>> Product options i.e. colour, size, and style

>> Brands and Reviews etc.

  • Customers. You can view all your customers, add or delete them, export and import your customers
  • Web Content. This is an amazing feature. It includes a blog for your store (where you can write your blog posts), web pages like “about us” or “contact us”. The added image manager lets you upload images to your store.
  • Marketing Tools. This menu unleashes a whole set of great marketing tools including the new Google Trusted Stores and Traffic Engine tools.

Apart from the above, you can sell on facebook, eBay, view banners & coupon codes, Google shopping feeds, abandoned cart notifications, gift certificates and email marketing.

  • Analytics. These include general options of an overview snapshot – total revenues, unique visitors, completed and conversion rates. On addition to that, you can view top 20 customers, best selling products and order locations. These will give you some decisions to make regarding your store. Example, you can stock more on your best selling product.
  • Quick launch Wizard. This is an awesome tool that lets you get started quickly.

The wizard gives you step by step guide on setting up your store.

Steps:

>> Storefront. These include your store name, design and logo.

>> Products. Adding and organizing items

>> Checkout. Payment, Shipping & Tax.

>> Launch. Domain and final checks. Bigcommerce lets you point to your own domain if you had one before, or purchase new one from them

quick launch

5)      A rich set of templates to choose from, both free and premium. Your online store theme will determine whether customers will actually stick around or search for other stores. Bigcommerce has the best collection of themes to choose from.

  • To find templates, go to Design, and then click on themes tab. You can edit html/css of your template, download your theme or upload another using webDav

code

  • You will see your current theme. You can change to another theme on “available themes”. Browse through available themes, select your choice and check where available. Then apply settings. Notice that your previous template/theme customizations will be deleted.

templates


themes

 

You can buy a premium theme but soon find that something needs some tweaking. You hire an expert to correct that. Its quite simple as there is the code interface as well as design interface.

Exporting Templates

You can build your own export template from scratch or customize a copy of one to suit your needs. You export templates mainly to a newly created site, or transferring specific products from your site.

To access export template feature:

  • Go to Set Up & Tools > Advanced Tools > Export Templates. You will view ready pre-installed templates to choose from.
  • To create a new template, under Template Details > Template name, type a name for your template. Use a unique name i.e. products if you are exporting products.
  • You can edit and delete export templates as well as create a new one.

export_template

6)      Huge list of options supporting different online ventures. If you currently run jewellery, fashion, electronics, health, Gifts, Home ware etc, you can easily start by selecting these.

industries_showcase

7)      Bigcommerce offers you with everything you need. Depending on your package, you are entitled to a website, Domain name, secure shopping cart, Product catalog, Payment Gateway, Email accounts, marketing tools, Reporting and a mobile optimized store. Instead of you spending time looking for hosting and domains, Bigcommerce takes that from your shoulders so that you concentrate on customizing your online store. Sounds great right?

>>There are more than 60 – payment gateways to choose from like PayPal, Authorize etc.

>> Bigcommerce gives you unlimited options on customizing your products i.e. flexible rules on products and inventory

>> Bigcommerce lets your products available wherever your customers are whether at facebook, eBay or shopzilla.

8)      Bigcommerce Appstore Support: These apps help you add more capabilities to your store ranging from accounts to email marketing applications. Some are free and others are premium. If you want to sell on Facebook, twitter among other social networks and eCommerce cross platform networks like eBay, you will have a list to get you started.

apps

These apps will integrate your store anywhere be it your website, affiliate websites, eBay, Facebook, blogs etc. They will triple your store functions. You will get benefits from email marketing apps, social media apps, accounting apps, merchandising apps, order management apps, point of sale etc.

Some of the popular apps include: LeadDyno (Affiliate Tracking Software), Apptive, BrightPearl, PicknTell etc. See picture below.

popular_apps

9)      Social Media Integration. Bigcommerce lets you connect your store to the outside social community, doubling if not tripling number of your site visits.

socialmedia

10)  Money Value Pricing Plans. Choose the plan that befits your needs.

>> Silver Plan: $29.95/month

>> Gold: $79.95/month

>> Platinum: $199.95/month.

plans

 

11)  Mobile eCommerce. Since the invention of smart phones and tablets, there has been a huge number of internet users globally, all tracked from these small mobile devices. Bigcommerce provides you with a mobile-friendly storefronts and a mobile app to tap more on what tablets and smart phones can give you while still managing your store from the go. On addition to that, Bigcommerce lets you enable mobile templates (mobile version of your store) for your store. Visitors using their mobile devices will see your store website load in a sleek responsive layout on your screen, if these templates are enabled.

Steps: How to enable Mobile Themes

  • Log in to your control panel
  • Click on design, then locate mobile tab

mobile_themes

  • Select on enable mobile theme. You can download a template, choose a mobile logo, and you are set!

PROS & CONS of Bigcommerce

PROS

  • Excellent setup tools that you can actually use.
  • Simplicity. The dashboard is easy to master.
  • There is plenty of help and support through articles and video tutorials, and a page where you can actually suggest something or service to be done differently!

CONS

  • Absence of Multilanguage language on stores. Bigcommerce supports only the western English at this time. This is a big blow to owners of stores at Bigcommerce since penetrating the internet market on regions where English is not spoken is a problem. By far this seems to be the major drawback. To solve this, an online store owner must seek services from a programmer to write third party code on the base code of Bigcommerce, so that their stores are translated into the languages of their choice.
  • Bigcommerce charges extra for an Amazon or eBay store. The above mentioned problem plus this one and additional charges on themes/templates and buying your preferred monthly plan may incur a beginner store owner more cash than they thought.

 Summary

There are many online store builders out there. So far, Bigcommerce stands out of the crowd as an excellent eCommerce solution. Bigcommerce is best at its cutting edge email marketing and shopping cart tools. Shoppers have the advantage of secure online shopping and 60+ payment options to choose from! The services you buy, you get just that
You’ve got to try their 15 day trial.

 

 

 

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