eCommerce

10 Essential Things You Must Do Before Launch of an eCommerce Store

  By     |   June 16th, 2017
  1. Decide your target region: Decide your target country and optimize website based on your region. Make sure the language should be locally specified, add lang ref in meta tag.
    <link rel=”alternatehref=”https://www.yourdomain.comhreflang=”en-gb“/>
  2. Choose right hosting partner: Host the website inside your targeted region. For example if you are starting an ecommerce store in India, you should choose a server from Indian data center. There are lots of big companies like godaddy, hostgator are now starting their data center in India.
  3. Choose a right e-commerce platform. Your e-commerce store should be have all common features of a typical e-commerce store like Product catalog management, Category Management, Brand Management, Content Management, Inventory management , Sales & Order Management, Customer management, SEO Friendly, Easy to integrate with 3rd party APIs. There are some good open source e-commerce platform available now and using large number of companies around the world. Leading open source e-commerce platform are Magento, Open cart,. Prestashop, Woocommerce and Nopcommerce. All of this are php/mysql based solution except Nopcommerce, it is an asp.net based e-commerce platform.. Magento is the best and powerful from above list and enjoying more than 50% of market share.
  4. Optimize your website performance: Before launch your website make sure optimize site performance. The loading speed of the site is very important to get better ranking in search engine and improve user experience. Ideal loading time of the site should be below 3 seconds. I am listing here some of the best practice tips to reduce your site loading time.
    • Add server side gzip compression, it can be done thru htaccess after enabled module in appache web server
    • Minfy all html / css / javascript
    • Optimize all images used in the website and use lazy loading images
    • Specify image width and height in html tag
    • Include Javascript at footer of page if it is not necessary for loading page
    • Combine all js file into one file to reduce number of http request
    • Reduce your http request to the server by using content delivery network (Like cloudflare, Amazon S3 etc) for loading static content like image, css and javascript
    • Optimize your css and javascript delivery (Please refer my article about css delivery here)
    • Try to move external javascript  to footer of the page.
    • Add caching methodologies like full page cache, Memached, Redis cache etc. The caching will reduce your server/database load and improve site performance.
    • Add header expire for static component on the website
    • Remove all unwanted files from server
    • Test your website performance using google page speed insight, gtmetrix and pingdom, yslow etc testing tool.
  5. Make sure your site will be secured: Add SSL certificate for website before launch, you can get if from hosting company or your developer / consultant can help with. Add security symbol/logo on your website, so users can get feel that he/she is buying products from secured website and his confidential and financial details will be secured with you. Now this is a  common practice to make all of your website pages secured (https instead of http)
  6. Responsive design: Make sure your website will be responsive and can view using all the devices. Nowadays major traffic is coming to the site using mobile devices and we can see a rapid growth of e-commerce sales using mobile phones.
  7. Google analytics integration:  Web analytics integration is most important to analyse the performance of your website, if you cannot measure it you cannot improve it. Make sure you integrate with google analytics. You can even hire an analytics expert to do advanced integration and create your ecommerce goal.  
  8. SEO/Schema.org Compatible: Make sure your website is to keep SEO standard structures. Search engine crawler can read your website content and index easily. Each page of your website need unique SEO friendly URL, unique meta title and meta description. There should be some relationship between meta title, meta description, heading (h1) tag and content your website. If you have any case that you want to use duplicate content in two pages, make sure you add proper canonical tag representation in header. Also make your data structured by using schema.org standard can easily understand search engine crawler. Crawler can identify information about your product, price, stock status, reviews & rating etc. Also this will appear in search result too.
  9. Integrate with webmaster tool – Integrate your website with google and bing webmaster and upload site map. XML based sitemap generating tool normally available with most of the e-commerce platform or you can contact your developer. Webmaster tool will help you find out search appearance and issues on your website like 404 error, 500 & 502 server error, missing meta title or meta description page, duplicate content issues etc.
  10. Adding proper redirection: If you already have a website and trying rebuild there might be a chance to loss traffic from search engine. You should add proper 301 permanent redirection from your old URL to new URL.

 

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