Ecommerce Store Website Design

ECOMMERCE STORE WEBSITE DESIGN

SERVICE
:

WORDPRESS, WOOCOMMERCE WEBSITE DESIGN & BUILD

DATE
:

MAY, 2020

A sporty online seller manufacturing a quality UK product from stainless steel that allows the display of medals won from sports and events.

THE TASK

A refresh for an existing customer running a busy ecommerce store, the original site was designed 4-years ago and needed a clean modern look and feel to increase functionality.

THE PROCESS

When the seller originally started out online there were limited online market places available. There has been a big growth in these market places, like Not on the High Street and Etsy etc.

The big step for the customer was venturing into Amazon with Amazon fulfilment. Since starting the integration the customer has seen an equivalent volume of sales from Amazon as their website produces.

This meant that the focus should be on making the website more attractive to Google. This meant the website had to be quick and search friendly and provide critical calls to action.

Be attractive to search engines

Mobile friendly

Display the information quickly and clutter free

Have a fast framework

Site security

Perform well at busy periods

Link into a re-marketing process

THE RESULT

The theme 

Speed on GTMetrix 96%

WordPress CMS

WooCommerce eCommerce

Custom Theme – Unique Look & Feel

Easy to update

Clean website, user friendly

Remarketing Linked to Mailchimp

The end result was a unique looking website that is responsive and looks amazing regardless of the device it’s being viewed from.

client_mhs

Keeping a website up-to-date and secure is vital for any business. I highly recommend James to anyone who needs qualified and trustworthy support, and to take over the hassle of dealing with the technical elements of running a successful website.

Hilary & liz
PARTNERS

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Why WordPress needs maintenance

Website maintenance contracts, are they a waste of money and how do you justify the spend if everything is going on behind the scenes.

I wanted to share why I believe it’s important to keep a website up to date and secure, to do this, I need to roughly explain what WordPress is and how it works.

WordPress is a website platform, it’s the heart of your website, very much like the poles in a tent or the chassis of a car. WordPress is written in a programming language (code) called php. Both WordPress and php are open source code solutions (open source means that you don’t pay a fee to use them).

Being open source means that WordPress and php are constantly developed by a team of enthusiastic experts to make them more efficient and feature rich. Because of this, the code and standards used frequently change, this change happens out of necessity. For example a change may be implemented to close a loop hole that hackers exploit, it could be that a certain code uses too many server resources and has been deprecated and replaced by a new smarter and more efficient way of doing things.

Once the code has been updated, it is then passed down to the users as a WordPress Core update or theme or plugin update, these updates then have to be installed on your website to keep it safe. There is no fixed schedule to when updates happen, they are identified, tested and then rolled out, very much like Apple updates iOS on their phones.

If left unchecked, updates will build up behind the scenes and leave your site vulnerable to attack. It could cause your website to stop displaying properly. This isn’t a scare tactic to squeeze money from you, I have seen many times where a WordPress website owner hasn’t applied updates and the site has been hacked, the usual result is the web page being diverted to a porn or gambling site completely damaging the domains reputation with search engines and causing embarrassment for the owner.

That’s why updates happen and why maintenance is essential to keep your website safe.

What to look out for in a maintenance provider

Admittedly, there are providers offering services to clients that are a waste of money, these are usually bundled into a new website build and you kinda get hooked into signing up for a minimum of 12-months and blah blah they don’t really do very much for the money and you feel disappointed. Admittedly this isn’t always the case, but this is where most website owners get stung.

A good maintenance service will show a list of provided services up front, describing what’s included and what isn’t and the type of communication provided.

Some of the basics that should be included in a maintenance contract.

  • WordPress Core Updates
  • WordPress Theme Updates
  • WordPress Plug-in Updates
  • Backup Service
  • Security Installation
  • Security Scan
  • Malware Detection
  • 24/7 Downtime Detection

Services are usually provided in price tiers based on the response time and regularity of security checking and backups.

A basic package will offer a monthly update, security sweep & backup service and for most WordPress website owners this is sufficient. If you have a more dynamic website, like an ecommerce store or systems critical sites, you would be better off on a weekly or even daily contract.

Check to see if any labour time is included in the contract, some offer a number of hours included to complete changes / backup restore / migration, usually to keep monthly costs low the service will bill out any extra development time taken.

It’s important to compare what services are included, how changes and updates are reported and what time is included in a maintenance support contract. If no support hours are included, find out what the hourly rate is and if you will be provided with a fixed rate estimate before any work is undertaken.

If you would like to learn more about WordPress Maintenance, please visit the WordPress Maintenance Page >

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This wouldn’t cause too much of an issue because the site was getting a new theme layout and the content was all that needed to be preserved.

I just want to touch on how WordPress works…

WordPress is divided into three sections,

1. There is the program core that runs the website, this is considered the platform.

2. There is a theme section – this is the visual “skin” of the website and determines how the website looks.

3. There are plugin files. The program core is just a base, plugins add functionality by extending the basic features. Some of the most common plugins are Slider Revolution used for displaying large animated graphics you normally see on a home page, Yoast is plugin used for Search Optimisation and WooCommerce adds online shopping functionality, there are tens of thousands of plugins available.

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You can only install one theme but you can install multiple plugins.

Back to the project…

There were a lot of “free” plugins used to display portfolio images, these were causing Javascript conflicts and corrupting the visual layout, they were the first thing to go. Once they had been removed the site speed improved considerably.

With the new theme in place, new branding and plugins installed, the site was finally ready for the customer to see. When previewing websites to customers I always place it on a web development server and not on the clients hosting, this way the client can look through the site as if it was live, note down any changes required before publishing it live to the world.

And within a couple of days, the old dog eared website is turned into a shiny new website that’s mobile friendly and looks much more presentable in line with their new branding.

If you need a website, get in touch on 07534 214084 or email hello@atomicwebsites.co.uk