Previously, I talked about creating a cron job for the last day of the month. This time around, I’m going to show how to set a cron job to run every so-many days. We’ll use every three days as an example.
If you know cron you’re probably thinking, “That’s easy!” Yes, it is. Here’s how we’d typically see that. Continue reading
2014 is going to be a big year. eCommerce keeps getting more important, WordPress continues to expand its user base, and web design has become an integral part of every business’s online presence. With that in mind, we’ve been busy gathering up the best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento articles from January for your convenience. If you’d like more great content throughout the month, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comment section! Continue reading
For new small business owners, a website is a necessity. Tech startups get all the attention in the media, but the fact is that most small business startups don’t have a web technology expert among the founders. The plumbers, electricians, realtors, and consultants who form the largest contingent of new business owners usually don’t have the skill to create a cutting-edge site from scratch; nor do they have the many thousands of dollars to invest in hiring a developer or designer to do it for them.
Content management systems — including WordPress, Joomla, and MODX — are all less difficult to get to grips with than building a site from scratch, but content management systems are designed with different use-cases in mind. Some, such as MODX, are extremely flexible, but that flexibility brings along a level of complexity that makes them a challenge for the inexperienced. Continue reading
Having been given an opportunity at Nexcess a while back, I’ve been able to work with Magento since it was in beta. That experience has given me the opportunity to connect with many ecommerce pioneers, and I’ve often found myself on calls discussing a technical matter with a client, but then found myself engaged in discussions regarding which payment processor or shipping method the client should use. At that point, I would advise the client to do a cost-benefit analysis and evaluate each vendor based on ROI, but I would still find clients insisting I offer an opinion. I would politely explain I’m not an ecommerce store owner, I can run the servers that run the software, but I am not qualified to offer an opinion on such matters. It’s true – we know infrastructure, we don’t know shipping vendors, payment processors, SEO vendors, and so on.
For me (personally), this has changed in the recent months. Continue reading
Only a tiny percentage of a site’s visitors will leave comments, and the ones who do are not always representative of the audience as a whole. In an ideal world, a significant proportion of readers would engage in some way with a site beyond just passively consuming the content. Encouraging them to do so can be a struggle. Commenting puts a lot of people off. Either they don’t have the time to devise a comment or they just don’t feel comfortable voicing their opinion in an open forum.
Consider online reviews: many more people are prepared to leave a star rating than are willing to write a substantive review. On a site like YouTube or Facebook, the users pressing the “like” button will far outweigh those who make a comment. Most users will an opinion and the desire to express it. It’s just that the friction involved in writing a comment overcomes their desire to be heard. Continue reading
If you’re a creative, you’re going to need somewhere on the web to showcase the products of your creative endeavors. Whether you’re a photographer, a designer, an artist, or a musician, without a website your reach is seriously limited.
Of course, there are any number of social networks and sharing services that will allow creatives to build a digital presence, but they aren’t a substitute for having a central hub from which you can represent your work in an environment of your own shaping that conforms to your personal brand.
WordPress offers a quick and easy solution for creatives who need a portfolio. It’s suitable for the less technically inclined, but if you’ve got the coding chops, you can dig in deep and customize everything so it’s exactly how you want it. Continue reading
What is your website for?
There are various ways to construe that question and various possible answers. Many businesses and bloggers see their site as a central digital presence from which they can establish their brand, attract referrals from search and social, promote their services, publish content, and provide support to customers.
A website can do all of these and more, but regarding any as the central purpose of a site misses a crucial point. The primary purpose of a website should be to convert visitors from passive consumers of content into leads and from there to clients, customers, or subscribers. If site owners adopt this point of view, it follows that everything else that a site does should be focused on the goal of making conversions. What constitutes a conversion will differ depending on the type of site, but by making conversions the pivot around which other aspects of the site rotate, we can shape the information architecture, content mix, product promotion, and user interaction in such a way as to maximize conversions. Continue reading
Southfield, MI, January 22, 2014 – Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento eCommerce hosting and Magento Platinum Hosting Partner, has announced that its powerful Magento server cluster plans will benefit from an substantial hardware upgrade. Responsiveness is of particular importance to eCommerce retailers, because faster sites have proven to provide increased sales.
Nexcess’ Magento server clusters are designed to provide the highly optimized and responsive hosting solution required by high-traffic eCommerce stores. As part of the company’s ongoing effort to ensure that eCommerce clients are able to leverage the performance and reliability of the most up-to-date server technology, the company has significantly upgraded the hardware on its Magento MCE-SIP clusters. Continue reading
The Ghost blogging platform was one of 2013′s major success stories. John O’Nolan set out to create a platform designed purely for blogging. Early in the year he published a mockup of what he thought the software would look like, and when, that generated substantial interest, he created a KickStarter campaign that proved to be enormously successful.
There was clearly a powerful appetite among bloggers for an application that dispensed with much of the unnecessary clutter that accompanies a full-blown content management system so that they could concentrate on writing and publishing. Continue reading
Magento is a feature-rich and powerful eCommerce platform, but from the perspective of conversion rate optimization, it can leave something to be desired.
The conventional wisdom is that the harder you make it for users to carry out an action, the less likely they are to complete it. For eCommerce, that means the more steps a user has to take between product selection and making a purchase, the more chances there are for them to abandon their shopping cart. As retailers, we want to ensure the journey to checkout is as smooth as possible.
The paradigmatic example of conversion rate optimization for eCommerce would be Amazon’s One Click purchase. It encourages more impulse purchasing and gives buyers no time to change their mind — although, of course, they can cancel later. Continue reading