When preparing for the holidays, some people might say it’s a time to start anew. Ok, people usually say that’s for New Year’s, but for ecommerce sites, I think starting “anew” is best done before the most popular shopping season. Now, with the web being so vast and always updating, I’m not saying the only time of the year you should update your site is before the holidays. No, you should be making minor tweaks/changes throughout the year to keep your site fresh for both SEO purposes and to keep customer interest. For that reason, I asked our developer, Beau Brown, some questions related to updating and “refreshing” your website.
What are some simple ways to “refresh” your site?
The easiest way to give your old site a new and professional look would be to purchase a template. Our templates can be found here. Another route would be to hire a web designer and/or graphic artist to create a professional and appealing website design.
What format is the best for presenting product information?
Simple is always better. The thumbnail and close up product view method works well for ecommerce sites.
Giving your customers the ability to easily sort and search a list of products is very important. If it takes too long to find the product they are looking for they will just go to a site in which finding the product is easier.
When dealing with product close up pages try to keep product information in a position that allows the customer to view all of the details without having to scroll down. If this is not possible, keep the most relevant product information near the top. Most importantly the “Add to Cart” button, if your close up pages are long consider adding an “add to cart” button at the top and bottom of the page.
Make sure you have quality product images. In addition “zoomable” images and light box images will support customer confidence.
I don’t know HTML! What’s the easiest way to make changes to my site?
Hire a web developer, they are skilled in making your site look and operate how you want to. Learn HTML, it’s not too difficult and there are many websites out there to help you learn. My personal favorite is W3 Schools. Alternatively use a Content Management System like Store32, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, or WordPress (all of which work well with Cart32).
I do know HTML, what are some good pointers for site layout?
Don’t use tables unless it makes sense to use a table (e.g. a list of products and their attributes). For everything else use CSS: e.g. your navigation menu, logo, left/right side bar, and footer should all be positioned with CSS not with a table layout.
Design your layout in photo shop or with pen and paper before you start designing. If you have a set idea on how the site will look, it will be easier to get the alignment and spacing correct if you can already visualize it.
So there you have it. It may seem like a lot of work, but who ever said work was going to be easy? To lighten the load you put on yourself, consider our ecommerce website custom development to create a new and easy to use website before the holidays!