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Meet Magento New York 2015 Recap

October 6, 2015 0 Comments

Meet Magento New YorkWe were delighted to attend the 2nd annual Meet Magento New York, produced by our good friends (and partners) Interactiv4. This two day event is always a great place to meet partners, merchants and developers – so we’re always excited to sponsor and attend! I also greatly enjoyed working closely with our sales team and learning how they answer questions and concerns from current and prospective clients and partners. As always, we are grateful for their expertise. It’s always great for a developer to get out from behind the screen, actually interact with users, and get feedback!

It will surprise no one that Magento 2 was a huge focus at the conference, so we made sure we brought shirts to match (among other swag). Among the highlights for me was Joshua Warren’s Magento 2 Workshop, which was a great look at the design and architecture of Magento 2 – something we’re all going to become extremely familiar with in the coming months.

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Posted in: Magento, Nexcess

The Physical Web Could Bring The Internet Of Things To eCommerce Web Apps

October 1, 2015 0 Comments

StoryformThe Internet of Things is one of the biggest recent developments in retail, especially for retail businesses that have both a physical and an online presence.

For those who aren’t familiar, in this context, the Internet of Things refers to technology that enables retailers to use internet-connected smart devices to interact with shoppers’ mobile devices. The most widespread implementation at the moment is Apple’s iBeacon.

Let’s say a user walks into a store and opens the retailer’s web app. The app discovers a nearby beacon which is then able to send data to the phone. That data can be used to display tailored information that reflects the user’s location and identity, allowing retailers to customize the shopping experience at the point of sale.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Storyform Brings Beautiful Magazine Layouts To WordPress

September 29, 2015 0 Comments

StoryformWe all know what a typical blog post looks like – pretty much exactly like what you’re looking at right now. A main column of text with a sidebar, comments at the bottom, maybe some advertising above, below, and off to the side. There are variations of course: part of WordPress’s popularity comes from the way it allows site owners to choose from thousands of themes that will alter what a site looks like. But, the basic architecture of a blog article is consistent and quite different to the appearance of articles in magazines.

Blog articles are not magazine articles – no great revelation there. They are built on different technology in a different context. But blog designers have tended to ignore many of the lessons about layout, typography, and image use that magazine designers have learned over decades.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Four Alternatives To Disqus Comments On WordPress

September 24, 2015 0 Comments

Customer SupportThe majority of WordPress sites use either WordPress’ built-in comment system or Disqus, a cloud comment service that can be embedded into WordPress and comes with a number of useful social features.

But these are far from the only options. In fact, it’s not at all clear that the traditional WordPress comment model is the best solution for article comments. Many major publishers have removed comments altogether or implemented comment systems that bear little resemblance to the standard nested lists.

I’d like to take a look at some of the major alternatives for WordPress comments. This is only a small selection of what’s available, and I’m deliberately taking a wide latitude with my interpretation of “Disqus alternative”.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Building A Customer Support System With WordPress

September 22, 2015 0 Comments

Customer SupportCustomer support is one of the biggest expenses of any sales or service oriented business. It’s also one of the most important, especially in an era when negative customer experiences will quickly find their way onto social media.

Companies should offer an easy way for customers to contact support staff, and support staff should have a fluid and reliable system in place to respond to queries, complaints, and support requests.

One the most popular support strategies is the help desk. Help desks work especially well for companies with an active online presence — a help desk can be integrated seamlessly with the company’s site, reducing complexity and creating an inclusive interface for lead generation, content marketing, sales, and support.

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Posted in: Nexcess

The Best Recent Magento, ExpressionEngine, and WordPress Content

September 18, 2015 0 Comments

RoundupSince our last roundup, Envoy sent us cupcakes. They were really really good. Oh yeah, we’ve also been to Meet Magento in Vietnam, an event we detailed in our roundup below, sent a contingent out to Seattle for Pacific Northwest PHP Conference, and next week we’ll be in New York for Meet Magento New York. It’s clearly a busy time, but we’re  never too busy to roll out our monthly roundups. So without further delay, here’s the best of the rest WordPress, Magento, and ExpressionEngine articles from August and September 2015. If you’re looking for the same great content on a day-to-day basis, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know if we missed anything important in the comment section.

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Posted in: Monthly Roundups

The Three Pillars Of SEO For WordPress Beginners

September 15, 2015 0 Comments

SEO For WordPress BeginnersSEO can be a confusing topic for site owners, not least because of the mixed messages they hear. There are the SEO optimists who say all you need is great content and a Twitter account. Then there are the SEO professionals who make it seems as if you need degrees in statistics and marketing to rank well. And, of course, the SEO hucksters who’ll tell you anything at all if it’ll encourage you to give them money.

In reality, search engine optimization is a complex business, especially at the technical end of the spectrum. But to have a decent chance of ranking, most site owners just need to implement some commonsense measures.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Magento 2 is Available Right Now

September 10, 2015 1 Comment

Magento 2Magento 2 is Available Right Now!


The Magento 2 Merchant Beta has been released and that means that it’s testing time!

In spirit of the next generation of Magento being upon us, Nexcess has launched a public demo of the new Magento 2 Merchant Beta, which you can now play with online right here. Keep in mind that this is a beta release, meaning that they haven’t necessarily worked out all the kinks.

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Posted in: Nexcess

What Do Social Media Buy Buttons Mean For eCommerce Retailers?

September 8, 2015 0 Comments

Social Media Buy ButtonsWe’re all familiar with the traditional eCommerce process. We decide we want to buy something or see an advert that persuades us that we want to make a purchase. We head to our favorite eCommerce store and load up the virtual shopping cart, perhaps throwing in a couple of extras that caught our eye. We go through the checkout process, add our details if we’ve never used this store before, pay, and we’re done. In a few days our purchase will be delivered.

What could be simpler? Well, if some companies have their way, online shopping will look more like this: you see an advert on a search engine or social media site, beneath which is a button that says “buy”. You click the button, confirm your purchase, and you’re done.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Three WordPress Maintenance Jobs To Keep Your Site In Top Condition

September 3, 2015 0 Comments

WordPress Maintenance JobsAs content management systems go, WordPress is fairly low maintenance. Even the least technically inclined person can look after a WordPress site and expect that it will suffer no serious degradation — particularly if it’s not a site with huge amounts of content. But, like all complex systems, WordPress can gather cruft that will slow it down over time.

In this article, I’d like to talk about three WordPress maintenance tasks that I carry out every month or so — think of it as the WordPress equivalent to getting your car’s oil changed.

I’m not going to include updating in my list of maintenance tasks, because responsible WordPress owners should be doing that whenever a patch or version update is released. Updating is not a performance and maintenance issue — it’s a security issue, and one that is essential to keeping your site safe from online criminals.

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Posted in: Nexcess