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How to Set Up a Good E-commerce Website in No Time

How to Set Up a Good E-commerce Website in No Time

We live in a world that is changing by the minute and, in order to keep track of everything, we live fast. We strive to keep up the pace; we strive to do our jobs as best as we can and at the end of the day, we can only hope that it was enough to get by. When it comes to business, one must always be up and running. Each and every workday has to be well organized. Furthermore, in the 21st century, you have to run a business on two fronts – offline and online.

The offline world is tricky. A lot of variables are included in the equation. Where will your office be? How will you treat your customers? How will you organize your staff? – As you can see, a there are tons of things to consider. Unfortunately, the online world is no walk in the park either.  Giving the fact that there are tons upon tons of websites out there, chances are that not many people will get to even find your site, unless you are maintaining and promoting it right.

If you already have a website and it is not bringing you much profit, you should give some of these articles a shot:

Some of the articles above have a long comment section below the article itself. You should go through these comments, as they are also chock full of useful advice, tips and strategies to have a successful e-commerce website.

Considering you don’t have a website, you are most probably at a loss. If you have been reading about E-commerce websites, the one thing that must have caught your eye is the fact that creating, launching, moderating and bringing one site to its functional state takes time. But you don’t have the time – you need a fast and effective solution, as mentioned above. Thankfully, there is a way. If you go through the text below, you will get acquainted with some steps you can take in order to build your site from scratch.

Preparation

It is possible to build an online presence prior to creating a site – furthermore, it is advisory. You should create a page or an account on some of the many social media websites. For an example, we’ll take Facebook, since it is probably the most popular social media forum (but Google+ is on the rise and you should keep that in mind). You create a group or a like page and you invite people to join/like. You already have an existing clientele with which you are in contact (at least I hope you do) and you should indulge them to visit your page, like, click and comment.

If you supply your subscribers with interesting content on a regular basis, then you can use the reach you gained to promote your site before it is up and running. That way, when you do launch your site, it will have an instant audience, which is very important.

There are ways to boost your reach on social media networks. Some of them cost money and others are free. You should go through at least some of the following articles in order to gain a bit of knowledge related to the matter:

Design and development

These are the first two things every online project needs. However, creating an entire website takes a team of programmers to work around the clock for a month and then, when everything is finished, it still takes time to work out all the bugs and the whole venture can turn into a bit of a drag. If you want a fast way out, you should consider creating a site on WordPress – the biggest CMS (content management system) around. If you are new to WordPress, get acquainted with it by following some of the links below:

One of the best advantages of this CMS is the fact that you don’t have to be a programming wiz if you want to find your way around it. The process of creating a site like this is:

  • You find yourself a nice WordPress theme;

  • You upload your content (texts, logos, images, videos);

  • You place your content on the adequate positions;

  • You test it a couple of times and make a few modifications;

  • That’s it!

You might be thinking that it cannot be as easy as it sounds and you are probably right. There are problems that can occur while you are doing the job, but you should keep your hopes up. Whatever happens, you can always ask Google for a solution and one will surely present itself. The WordPress community is constantly striving to improve and people have posted all sorts of useful tips online.

    The most popular market for WordPress themes is the Envato market. Check out themeforest.net, if you wish to purchase one. If not, you can most certainly find a free one here. However, if you chose to purchase, you will also get customer service – if you get stuck, the team that developed the theme you purchased will surely tend to your needs via email.

    Keep in mind that not every theme comes packed everything you need. For instance, you might need an image slider and the theme you got doesn’t have one. This is where WordPress plug-ins come into play. A lot of enthusiastic developers have shared their work online and it won’t be hard to find just the plug-in you need. The Envato market covers these grounds as well and you can start searching for them on codecanyon.net.

    The main thing you should keep in mind when working on your website is coherence. Everything has to be logical – meaning, everything has to be user-friendly and not at all confusing. People are searching for stuff on the go, and if your site is not comprehensible, or if it has problems, the viewer will not be patient – he or she will move to another site.

    A very important thing you need to worry about is responsiveness. Every website has to be accessible via a variety of devices – desktops, laptops, Android and Apple phones and tablets and so on. Make sure you do your research related to this issue. Here is something to start with:

    Domain name and hosting

    When all the content is secure, you have to register for a domain name. The fact that the net is flooded with websites can be an issue here – your preferred domain name is likely to be taken. In such an event, you should explore your possibilities. If there is a way, alter your initial idea a bit. For instance, if yourprefereddomainname.com is taken, explore the option for .net, .org or something else. Also, you can try adding the word “website” or “online” so that your domain looks something like this: yourprefereddomainnameonline.com. You can also try adding an underscore so that your domain looks like this: your_prefered_domain_name.com. As I said, explore your option. The key here is not to change what you wanted a lot. Your website’s homepage link has to correspond with the name of your business. If it doesn’t, tons of problems can occur, so be sure that you take this into account.

    Here are some sources for further reading, related to this issue:

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    When it comes to hosting, you should know that without proper hosting, everything you did on your site will be for nothing. Your web host is the one that launches your site on the web. I will try and explain some things related to this.

    When launching a site, each and every piece of information is uploaded to a server computer, which is used to store this information and then share it with the web. It is important that this machine is stable and that it gets the job done. Hosting companies do this job in two ways – they use one server to host numerous websites or they use a separate machine for each site.

      The former is known as shared hosting. These kinds of servers are extremely strong machines that can handle a lot. The latter is known as dedicated hosting. These kinds of machines are not as strong as the previous ones, but they don’t need to be.

      As you may have deduced, you should go for the latter option. Shared hosting servers tend to get overloaded with info and then, they start to slack. The result of this might be some temporary malfunctions, or, in the worst case scenario, the system falls along with all the websites that were hosted on it. With dedicated hosting, the chances for such a thing happening are very, very low, since each and every server is strong enough to endure one website and its content. This is a fact.

      Here are some useful articles that will explain the story further:

      Optimization

      When all the above is moved to the checklist, there are only a couple of things left to do. At this point your site is just one of the many that are trying to get noticed. Even assuming your social media campaign went as planned, the job is not done yet. You have to let search engines know that your site is there when people are looking for it. Here is where you should look into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), although these two things are pretty interrelated. You see, there are tons of communities on the web and each one has a set of blogs where people constantly go to and check for updates related to a certain niche. It is your job to find these blogs, contact their editors and request to post some interesting articles related to what you are doing on them. Somewhere in these articles, you should mention that you are also a businessman who has a website and you should leave a link that will lead the reader to a page on your site. This will bring you traffic and, consequently, a lot of satisfied customers.

      Marketing related to the online world is tricky business. You should go through some of the articles below in order to see what I mean:

      That’s it for now. With the text above, you can get a clear picture about what one should do in order to create an online presence. This is (probably) the fastest solution. You might think that it is not that fast, but any other option will take even more. A WordPress theme, some content, hosting and promotion – these are the four essential steps. If you are lucky, within a month you will start to notice that sales are going up. When this happens, do not stop doing what you are doing – go for more. Add more people to your online circles and build a community of satisfied customers.

      If you are unlucky – if your site is just sitting there and doing nothing, you should consider outsourcing this part of your business to someone skilled and experienced.

      All in all, I hope that this article gave you what you were looking for. I advise you not to stop here – you should indulge in even further reading. There is tons of useful information just waiting to be found. Explore the possibilities for your business growth and – good luck!

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Published on May 7, 2019

      How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

      How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

      When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

      Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

      Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

      You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

      Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

      1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

      Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

      But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

      • Will you spend more time with your family?
      • What does retirement mean to you?
      • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

      Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

      Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

      2. Figure out When to Invest

      “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

      It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

      The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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      A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

      Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

      3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

      Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

      Why?

      Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

      Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

      Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

      Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

      4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

      Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

      If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

      You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

      1. Vanguard
      2. TD Ameritrade
      3. Charles Schwab

      5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

      Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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      Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

      That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

      Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

      A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

      6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

      The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

      Robo Advisors

      Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

      Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

      Bonds

      Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

      Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

      Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

      1. Treasury bonds
      2. Government bonds
      3. Corporate bonds
      4. Foreign bonds
      5. Mortgage-backed bonds
      6. Municipal bonds

      Mutual Funds

      Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

      One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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      Real Estate

      Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

      Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

      This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

      But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

      Savings Accounts

      Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

      7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

      Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

      So how can you master delayed gratification?

      By building your discipline.

      Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

      Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

      8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

      I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

      It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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      More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

      But, how can you invest yourself?

      Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

      Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

      But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

      Retire Happy with Excess Money

      The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

      It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

      I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

      Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

      One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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      Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

      Reference

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