Shopify vs. WooCommerce- Which is More Cost-Effective?

Shopify vs. WooCommerce- Which is More Cost-Effective?

Shopify vs. WooCommerce : Which is More Cost-Effective?

Shopify vs. WooCommerce : Which is More Cost-Effective?

When it comes to an eCommerce solution, as an entrepreneur, you want the maximum bang for your buck while offering your clients top service. The world of online shopping is mostly divided between the two giants, Shopify and WooCommerce, but which is the most cost-effective?

We are going to make a head to head comparison, but let you decide the winner, according to your budget and needs. However, don’t forget that it is not only about current costs, but the potential to generate more revenue and the total expenditure.

WooCommerce

This is a free plugin for WordPress and is it designed to work with most themes which follow the guidelines in the Codex. However, although the software it’s free, running an actual shop will require a domain, hosting, an SSL certificate.  Additional features, like the design and other plugins (e-mail marketing, SEO), are usually part of the deal and could increase the total cost.

A rough estimation shows that you’ll spend at least $120/year to run a secure shop build on top of WordPress, using WooCommerce. The actual amount depends on the additional features you integrate, but not on the volume of sales.

Shopify

This is a SaaS platform designed specifically for shopping. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything you might want or need to start immediately, hassle-free. You can test it for free for two weeks, then you’ll have to decide between the four payment plans:

  • Lite ($9 per month)-only available for Facebook stores
  • Basic Shopify ($29 per month)
  • Shopify ($79 per month)
  • Advanced Shopify ($299 per month).

The basic plan offers you a package of hosting and SSL, but you still need to get your domain. The downside is that they also charge a part of your transactions. There are even calculators to show you how much you will pay every month.

The Verdict

Our recommendation is to invest more time and even money in the initial phase of your e-shop development using WordPress. Out of the box solutions like Shopify might seem tempting at first, since you can sell right away, with no coding knowledge. However, these offer a limited set of design options and are way costlier in the long run. It’s better to steer clear of any shop that charges you per transaction. Better spend more money upfront, one time, than having a recurring payment problem.

WooCommerce is the definite winner of this competition. It offers infinitely more customization options and total control over your data and source code. Without being paranoid, you wouldn’t like your information to become an additional revenue source to a platform already charging you monthly.

Top 3 Free Tools To Check Your Website’s Speed

Top 3 Free Tools To Check Your Website’s Speed

Top 3 Free Tools To Check Your Website's Speed

Top 3 Free Tools To Check Your Website’s Speed

We live in a world where the attention span of the clients is shrinking every year. An anecdote said that it is under 8 seconds, which is less than a goldfish’s.  Even if this is a myth, the reality is that developers need to aim for under two seconds loading speed to prevent bounce.

Studies already show that tasks which take longer than three seconds, even for web shops make users abandon the page. Google even advises going as low as half a second. They also announced to take a mobile-first approach, ranking websites after their mobile version’s performance.

Here are a few tools to help you see how does your website rank in the speed challenge. Be sure to test it with all of them and take into consideration the differences. Every tool has a different algorithm, and you should consider your actual speed as an average between the results.

 

Google Page Speed Insights

This tool provided by Google themselves is a way to assess the performance of both your mobile and desktop versions. It measures the loading speed of the elements situated above the fold and the entire page. The great thing about this tool is that it gives you a zipped folder with the resources that you need to improve. You have to change your existing images, CSS sheets, and JavaScript with the ones provided and see your score jump.

 

GTMetrix

This tool combines results from multiple platforms, including the one mentioned before and YSlow. It offers a school-type grade from A to F. We love this tool for its feature that lets you test the site from multiple locations and compare speed for different connection types (cable/dial-up/4G). Run the test a couple of different times to get an accurate report.

 

Pingdom Website Test

Similar to GTMetrix it offers multiple test locations, a breakdown of the elements organized as a waterfall, and possible improvements. We use this tool in conjunction with the others since it also has a history feature. Pingdom comes in handy when you want to track developments and identify the influence of specific elements.

Do you have the courage to run your site through these tools? If you got not such stellar results, we are here to help. Sometimes even small changes like optimizing one image can boost performance considerably. Remember, when it comes to website speed optimization, the devil is really in the details.

Why Every Business Owner Needs To Have An Opt-in On Their Website

Why Every Business Owner Needs To Have An Opt-in On Their Website

Why Every Business Owner Needs To Have An Opt-in On Their Website

“Do I have the permission to give you more information about a particular product?”

This is what opt-in marketing does; it is requesting the reader or the website visitor for the permission to be sending emails to them.

Initially, businesses would send emails to recipients without their consent. What would likely happen if you received an email from a company without your permission?

Most probably, you would get angry, mark the email as spam, maybe report the sender, develop a negative attitude towards the seller and swear never to do business with them ever.

On the other hand, if a website asks for your permission to send you emails, you have the power to accept or decline. If you accept, it is most probably because you are interested in the products, services or the information they offer.

Reasons why every entrepreneur should use an Opt-in

An opt-in is a gate. It is a gate to a world of endless opportunities. These are the opportunities that an opt-in presents to your business:

 

You can build a tribe of followers

Why do I need another tribe when I have a Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and the other social media platforms?

Answer: Because you do not own those platforms. You have just rented them to build your community of followers on them. Building a community of email subscribers gives you full ownership and control.

 

Tapping into a larger audience

Did you know that there are over 4 billion email users? Can you compare this to the 2.2 Billion Facebook users?

There is a general perspective that social media has a more significant usage than emails. However, the facts say otherwise. Opt-ins presents you with the opportunity to tap into these large numbers.

 

Having a chance to build relationships.

Whenever a person signs up on the opt-in, they are raising their hand and saying- “Yes! Me! I’m interested”.  

You can, therefore, take advantage of this and build a relationship with them. It is an opportunity to warm them up to the point whereby they can become a customer.

Also, email is personal. It is unlike social media where most people go to keep up with the Kardashians. Most people open their emails to check for specific updates or information. They open the email when they are in a motivated state of mind. Therefore, an opt-in gives you the opportunity to communicate with the potential lead in such a state of mind- They are more likely to take action then.

 

To increase traffic to your website

When you have a list of subscribers, you can alert them every time you launch a new product, post a new blog, you have an offer and so on. This redirects them back to the site to keep up with the updates, and it creates a stream of traffic to your site that is not dependent on the Google ranking. This gives you freedom from worrying about the changing Google algorithm.

An opt-in is a MUST have for any business owner. With the email subscribers, you get from the opt-ins; you can increase your traffic and your sales independent of Google and other social media platforms.

Valuable Tips to Maintain a WordPress Website

Valuable Tips to Maintain a WordPress Website

Valuable Tips to Maintain a WordPress Website

Valuable Tips to Maintain a WordPress Website

Imagine, you finally have your WordPress site up and running. You are updating valuable posts every so often, and it is ranking well on the search engine. The traffic to the site is shooting through the roof! You are converting the visitors to subscribers and buyers.  You are thrilled; this online hustle is finally working, and you can see yourself hitting significant financial milestones!!! You wake up one day excited to see how your site is doing and log in with excitement. Unfortunately, something is wrong- you cannot login into your site- it has been hacked!!!

The site security is just as important as all the other efforts you put into increasing the sales.  You should take every precautionary measure by maintaining your website regularly.

Here are some simple maintenance hacks that even a tech-rookie can manage to keep the site secure, up and running and making you more money.

 

Ensure that you Update the Site

WordPress is always improving its core version. Therefore, make sure that you update your site to the latest WordPress update. It gives your website an improved advantage.

 

Update your Plugins

Most WordPress plugins are also updated to increase their functionality. Therefore, regardless of how many plugins that you have integrated into your WordPress account, ensure that you update all of them

Also, note that you should never install a plugin that has not been updated for over two years. Such a plugin puts your site at risk of an attack.

Also, if you have any plugin that is idle- delete it. Such plugins reduce the loading speed of your site.

 

Conduct Regular Site Audit

Some technical issues might be interfering with your site SEO. You might be thinking that you are doing everything right, but your site is still not raking well.

Some tools can help you conduct a site audit to identify the technical issues that might be interfering with your site. Some of these tools include the MOZ, SEM audit, screaming frog, and many others.

 

Backing up the site

What is your backup plan for your website?

You should have a way to back up all the blogs and data on your WordPress site. Some hosting plans offer a backup option. Ensure your hosting provides this option.

Alternatively, you can use certain plugins to back up your site data. Here are some plugins that are effective in backing up WordPress sites.

 

Leverage on Plugins

I know you might not be very IT inclined. However, this should not be an excuse to leave your site unattended and at risk. Many plugins are available and can do virtually anything.

BulletProof Security secures your site against login attacks. It adds a firewall that helps to guard against various attacks.

All in One Security is another plugin that is effective at blocking any attempted logins.

Wordfence plugin helps to scan all the aspect of your site for any signs of attacks. If it notes any infection, it notifies you immediately.

Lastly, as much as plugins can be invaluable, they can also interfere with the loading speed of your site. Other plugins are also not compatible. Therefore, ensure that you are in communication with the support team of your site hosting and the plugin providers to resolve such issues.

Top 3 FREE Tools for Testing Website Speed

Top 3 FREE Tools for Testing Website Speed

Top 3 FREE Tools for Testing Website Speed

Top 3 FREE Tools for Testing Website Speed

We live in a world where the attention span of the clients is shrinking every year. An anecdote said that it is under 8 seconds, which is less than a goldfish’s.  Even if this is a myth, the reality is that developers need to aim for under two seconds loading speed to prevent bounce.

Studies already show that tasks which take longer than three seconds, even for web shops,  make users abandon the page. Google even advises going as low as half a second. They also announced to take a mobile-first approach, ranking websites after their mobile version’s performance.

Here are a few tools to help you see how does your website rank in the speed challenge. Be sure to test it with all of them and take into consideration the differences. Every tool has a different algorithm, and you should consider your actual speed as an average between the results.

This tool provided by Google themselves is a way to assess the performance of both your mobile and desktop versions. It measures the loading speed of the elements situated above the fold and the entire page. The great thing about this tool is that it gives you a zipped folder with the resources that you need to improve. You have to change your existing images, CSS sheets, and JavaScript with the ones provided and see your score jump.

This tool combines results from multiple platforms, including the one mentioned before and YSlow. It offers a school-type grade from A to F. We love this tool for its feature that lets you test the site from multiple locations and compare speed for different connection types (cable/dial-up/4G). Run the test a couple of different times to get an accurate report.

Similar to GTMetrix it offers multiple test locations, a breakdown of the elements organized as a waterfall, and possible improvements. We use this tool in conjunction with the others since it also has a history feature. Pingdom comes in handy when you want to track developments and identify the influence of specific elements.

Do you have the courage to run your site through these tools? If you got not such stellar results, we are here to help. Sometimes even small changes like optimizing one image can boost performance considerably. Remember, when it comes to website speed optimization, the devil is really in the details.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Which is More Cost-Effective?

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Which is More Cost-Effective?

Shopify vs. WooCommerce - Which is More Cost-Effective?

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Which is More Cost-Effective?

When it comes to an eCommerce solution, as an entrepreneur, you want the maximum bang for your buck while offering your clients top service. The world of online shopping is mostly divided between the two giants, Shopify and WooCommerce, but which is the most cost-effective?

We are going to make a head to head comparison, but let you decide the winner, according to your budget and needs. However, don’t forget that it is not only about current costs, but the potential to generate more revenue and the total expenditure.

WooCommerce

This is a free plugin for WordPress and is it designed to work with most themes which follow the guidelines in the Codex. However, although the software it’s free, running an actual shop will require a domain, hosting, an SSL certificate.  Additional features, like the design and other plugins (e-mail marketing, SEO), are usually part of the deal and could increase the total cost.

A rough estimation shows that you’ll spend at least $120/year to run a secure shop build on top of WordPress, using WooCommerce. The actual amount depends on the additional features you integrate, but not on the volume of sales.

Shopify

This is a SaaS platform designed specifically for shopping. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything you might want or need to start immediately, hassle-free. You can test it for free for two weeks, then you’ll have to decide between the four payment plans:

  • Lite ($9 per month)-only available for Facebook stores
  • Basic Shopify ($29 per month)
  • Shopify ($79 per month)
  • Advanced Shopify ($299 per month).

The basic plan offers you a package of hosting and SSL, but you still need to get your domain. The downside is that they also charge a part of your transactions. There are even calculators to show you how much you will pay every month.

The Verdict

Our recommendation is to invest more time and even money in the initial phase of your e-shop development using WordPress. Out of the box solutions like Shopify might seem tempting at first, since you can sell right away, with no coding knowledge. However, these offer a limited set of design options and are way costlier in the long run. It’s better to steer clear of any shop that charges you per transaction. Better spend more money upfront, one time, than having a recurring payment problem.

WooCommerce is the definite winner of this competition. It offers infinitely more customization options and total control over your data and source code. Without being paranoid, you wouldn’t like your information to become an additional revenue source to a platform already charging you monthly.