These are some of the Tools and Systems we will use to create your website and/or online store.
Not all of these will be used for every site, and sometimes extra programs and plugins may be needed. Read on for a quick explanation of what they are each used for.
First we need a DOMAIN NAME together with HOSTING
we highly recommend SITEGROUND for hosting & domain registrations
What makes SiteGround unique is their extraordinary team of individuals who put their passion, dedication, and expertise into taking care of customers’ websites. They love what they do and in our experience deliver an outstanding level of service. Offering great introductory rates for web hosting, with the ability to offer domain hosting, they are our first choice.
sometimes specific DOMAINS are only available from select providers
If you are in the UK, then 123 Reg is a cost effective solution for domain names, especially those targeted on UK names which are not always available outside of the country.
Second requirement is a CONTENT MANAGEMENT solution
WORDPRESS is our recommended solution
WordPress started in 2003 as an elegant, well-architected personal publishing system. Today, it services almost half the world’s online sites. It has a plethora of add-ons, plugins and enhancements covering almost every need you could think of. Best of all, the core system is open-source and therefore free of charge.
we have also worked with SHOPIFY sites
Shopify Inc. is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. Shopify is the name of its proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. This can be used as an alternative to WordPress and WooCommerce.
Then we can add specialist PLUGINS which provide extra functionality
Search Engine Optimisation is made much easier with YOAST
Yoast SEO is a search engine optimization plug-in for WordPress. This plugin has over 5 million active installations and has been downloaded more than 350 million times with over 25,000 five star reviews. There is a free version which offers most of the functionality for those with basic to intermediate site setups. It gives guidance and suggestions about the best use of on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
almost all sites require CONTACT FORMS of some kind
Formidable Forms come with both free and paid plans. You can create a basic functioning contact form using the free version of the plugin. The beauty of this system is that it stores the users entries so that they can be retrieved and re-used afterwards. (Other forms just send an email with the data and if this is lost then you have no record of the contact). For more advanced customisations, you can go for the paid plans. Integrations with payment systems, stylising entry data, performing calculations and adapting the form depending on user entry, are all possible.
When adding an ONLINE STORE we recommend these tools
integration closely with WordPress, WOO COMMERCE is our first choice
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. Launched in 2011, the plugin has become popular for its simplicity to install and customise. The base product is freeware, although there are lots of add-ons available to customise to the users exact needs.
we know that PAYPAL works extremely well for small businesses
With PayPal integrated into your online store, you can collect online payments from users via a name which they trust. Originally part of eBay, they became a separate entity in 2014 and have become as popular as any other card payment system. Easy to implement and fees can be calculated upfront so that you always have control of your budgets.
finally, ongoing ANALYSIS is key to understanding performance
seeing information about visitors is where GOOGLE ANALYTICS is key
Whilst much information is available about visitor numbers to your site via your hosting provider, Google Analytics allows much more detail. It can give fine grained analysis of the user journey throughout your site. Used as a tool for adjusting your site layout, user interface and customer experience, it builds up a data view over time.