Revamp Your Open Source e-Commerce Website for the New Year
Start the new year off the right way by refreshing and updating your open source e-commerce website. So, take a fresh look at your site with a critical and strategic eye, and write a list of things you want done. No matter which Open Source e-Commerce (OSC) program you use – whether Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop, osCommerce or something else, here are the most important tasks that every small online store owner needs to address in January:
- Update copyright date. Check your website’s copyright notice! Nothing kills a site faster than displaying a prior year’s copyright date. Get a techie to fix it if needed (see Quick Links below).
- Remove holiday specials. Remove specials manually, if needed. Next year learn to use your e-commerce program’s automatic specials expiration feature, if it has it.
- Refresh home page text. Update the text on your home page if you were on vacation during the holidays. Fresh home page text is a search engine attractant.
- Google yourself. Do a search on your company name and website name and make sure that only good stuff comes up. Set up a Google Alert so that from now on, you find a message in your in-box as soon as Google finds out about it.
- Check domain registration. Make sure your domain registration won’t expire soon. Renew it for a minimum of two years; search engines favor domains that have longer registrations because spammers tend to buy only one year at a time. If you don’t know your domain registrar, go to whois.net and type in the name of your domain; the record will come up with renewal dates and your registrar’s name.
- Check PCI Certification date. If you are required by your merchant bank payment processor to submit annual PCI certification (most small merchants are annual, larger merchants are quarterly or monthly), check to be sure when that is due to avoid late fees, or worse. The date is usually listed on your merchant bank statements or call them to ask.
- Start new promotions. You probably thought of some good promotions and new programs while you were on holiday and your mind was clear. Commit them to writing them down now, before you get bogged down by tax reporting and the other drudgery that accompanies running a small business.
- Update look and feel. Look at your template, logo, and design with a fresh eye. Could they use some updating? Most websites look dated after two or three years. Hunt for a fresh new e-commerce template on TemplateMonster.com or AlgoZone.com, or make a list of changes to your current template you’d like a graphic designer to do for you.
- Connect to customers. Are you connected to social networking from every page of your site? If not, take the time now to find a script or site that helps you find and target new customers, by allowing customers to share the way they want to. A good example is Addthis.com.
- Know who your customers are. Are you getting good traffic reports of who is coming to your site? Although Google Stats is very popular, it can also slow down your site, and it is not the most intuitive to use. Try Statcounter.com for much easier and faster traffic stats.
Once you have the list of everything you want to do, hire a different specialist online to do each thing you need above. There are hundreds of thousands of techies ready to help you immediately on freelancer websites, and the best use of your management time is to manage the project rather than to learn programming. A good freelancer site is Freelancer.com.
Happy selling in 2013!
- Easy Domain Name Checking: http://whois.net/
- Fresh E-Commerce Templates: http://templatemonster.com/ and http://algozone.com/
- Instant Google Alerts: http://google.com/alerts/
- Easy Social Networking Links: http://www.addthis.com/
- Fast Traffic Stats: http://statcounter.com/
- Easy Hire-A-Techie for all of the above: http://freelancer.com/