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Blogging and its Importance for Business.

What is a Blog?

Any personal diary or Journal which is updated frequently online is called a Blog. It is actually a way through which you express yourself to the entire globe. It is like sharing your passions and thoughts to the entire world.

Blogging and Business

Initially Blogging comprised of a personal web log in which a person could share his personal thoughts and emotions. However later business people realized that blogging is something that can be utilized for business purposes as well. Today blogging is one of the most popular tools when it comes to marketing.

Blogging: Some Considerations!

The basic reason behind the fame of blogging is that it helps you make money and serves as a marketing tool. However blogging is not a piece of cake and before you actually indulge in Blogging, it is necessary that you consider the below mentioned points.

  • A lot of time is required for blogging. You need to come up with an interesting content and you need to update that particular content regularly. The success of blogging lies in retaining your readers and the readers only get retained if they have something new and interesting to read.
  • You need to brainstorm hard and come up with the right idea to actually write a blog. The good news is that you do not have to write everything by yourself and you have the option of seeking assistance from the freelancers out there.
  • The biggest frustration which is often linked with blogging is that it can consume a lot of time with very less payoffs especially in the beginning. It takes a lot of time before momentum and readership gets built.

Business and Blogging

As a business person you cannot ignore blogging! There are many benefits which it provides. There are several reasons which make blogging important for business. Some of these reasons are:

1.      Traffic

The blogs provide you with the opportunity to develop an interesting and relevant content for your clients. It actually helps you in driving the traffic back to your particular webpage. You can make your blog a basis for all of the social media platforms you have an account on.

Your business must be on popular social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. You need to get the links posted with visuals which are relevant. The point is that you should provide your social media audience a reason because of which they may actually click through your webpage.

It is recommended that you should post the inbound links directly in your articles so that the traffic may be driven to exact landing pages of your site.

2.      SEO

Blogs contribute in the enhancement of your SEO. To beat the competition you need to come up with fresh content.  It is preferable that you should use appropriate Keywords in your Blog page. However do not overload the content with Keywords.

You need to list out the categories, keywords and topics you want your company to be recognized with. You need to utilize these expressions and words while writing the posts. Regular blogging actually increases your search keywords.

3.      Brand Positioning

If the articles are written well then this creates a nice perception in the minds of the readers. In fact many of the readers in their sub-conscious think of you being an industry leader.  If you are someone who is involved in retailing then it is preferred that you should write articles about your product. In this way the customers will be able to recognize you.

As a B2B personal you need to come up with well researched articles. The point is that you actually develop trust once people start thinking that you are a professional in your field.

4.      Customer Relationships

You make the connection with your customers strong through blogging. Since the clients connect directly with you through their webpage hence they know about your business better. Try to become a source of information as this is something which attracts the customers.

On your social media platforms try to interact with your customers by replying their comments etc. As compared to a social media site, the blogs remain searchable for a considerable period of time in your website. This surely serves as a key advantage.

Why You Should You Choose Prestashop?

E-commerce has quickly become one of the biggest phenomena in the recent years. With the help of E-commerce, more and more online stores are emerging every day. Running an online store has never been easier, with the introduction of platforms like OpenCart, JigoShop and Prestashop things have become really simple. However, there are always some reasons that you need to consider in order to choose a particular E-commerce platform. Each and every platform out there has some benefits and drawbacks. Here we will discuss some of the reason why you should choose Prestashop.

The Reasons

Prestashop is undoubtedly one of the best if not the best E-commerce platforms that you can use. Some of the best things about Prestashop are as follows:

  • SEO
  • Open Source
  • Digital Marketing
  • Web Services
  • Functionality
  • Security
  • Analytics
  • Management
  • Tranlations

1.      SEO

When you are talking about online stores and websites then SEO is one of the most important things to worry about. Without Search Engine Optimization it is impossible to market your website and bring it to the publics notice. Luckily, if you choose to use Prestashop as your E-commerce software then you will have to worry less about SEO.

Prestashop is search engine friendly as it creates dedicated URLs for each and every product that you have on your website. In this way the search engine has a link to every product that you have and the users can easily access those links.

2.      Open Source

One of the best things about Prestashop is that is completely open source. This means that the software is free to use, not only that you can also distribute the software and modify it according to your own needs. This gives you the ability to freely work with Prestashop and do whatever you want with it.

3.      Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is also an important part of running an online business. Prestashop can also help you with your digital marketing. This is because it provides automated follow-up emails and newsletter subscriptions. It also provides social media page links and other such features that fall under the shadow of digital marketing.

4.      Web Services

Prestashop allows the developer to easily do what they want to do with the online store. It allows them to modify the store or create more useful things that meet with the specifications. This is a very helpful feature and will definitely come in handy in the long run.

5.      Functionality

Prestashop provides a lot of functionality to the online store. Most importantly it makes things like checkout, payment and shipping a lot easier for the user. It integrates payment methods and providers on the checkout page. In other words it does all the work for you and gives you the money in the end.

6.      Security

When you are running an online business then one of the biggest concerns is security. Luckily, if you are using Prestashop then you need not worry about it, this is because the software is very serious about its security. It supports SSL web hosting and cookie encryption along with many other security protocols and features.

7.      Analytics

Prestashop is integrated with Google Analytics, this is helpful on many levels. It gives real time analytics and tracks visitor activity. This is a great tool to have by your side if you want to grow your business. If you truly want your business to prosper then analytics plays a very important role as it gives you information that you would not be able to get otherwise.

8.      Management

Prestashop also makes it very simple for you to manage your online store. Customer management is one of the most difficult things to do but Prestashop makes it so simple. From orders to customers’ accounts to shopping carts, Prestashop helps create all of those things.

9.      Translations

One of the biggest reasons that you should choose Prestashop is that it is available in 41 different languages. This means that you can choose any language that you understand and have a full command over. The customers can also choose a preferred language and use the website in that particular language.

Conclusion

These were some of the main reasons that should convince you to use Prestashop for your online business.

The Best Open Source Platforms (Ecommerce)

For effective running of an E-commerce website or an online store, the importance of an Open source E-commerce platform can be ignored. These platforms assist in the effective and professional running of an online store. There are several E-commerce platforms that are available in the market. Through this article we will list and briefly explain some of these E-commerce Platforms to you. Before we jump to the actual topic let’s see some of the basic benefits provided by an E-commerce Platform.

Benefits

  • There is no requirement of a Vendor Lockdown
  • The availability of an old school integration surely serves as an advantage
  • E-commerce platforms make customization easy and simple
  • E-commerce platforms provide adequate security to a webpage

E-commerce Platforms worth experiencing!

Now let’s see some of the E-commerce platforms who have created a buzz in the market due to their wonderful offerings and features.

1.      Magento

The community edition of Magento is truly awesome. The greatest thing about the community edition is that there are several features that have been added in it. Most of these features are not available on other Open source Ecommerce platforms that are available out there. The main features are related to management of multiple stores, different currencies and a variety of languages.

2.      PrestaShop

The biggest benefit of PrestaShop is that it very easy to utilize as compared to some of its counterparts. The software is utilized in more than 250,000 different online websites of the world.  The software is very easy when it comes to customization and installation. Without doubt PrestaShop is one of the best E-commerce platforms available.

3.      OpenCart

OpenCart is highly popular in those circles which are involved in small level businesses. The software is ideal for people who lack in programming experience. The application is very simple and does not possess complex functionality found in some of the other shopping carts available out there. However high simplicity also means less features.

4.      osCommerce

osCommerce is one of those applications that have been in operation from almost last fifteen years. The application is home community created add-ons in access of 7000. The software allows you customization as far as designing and improving the appearance of your storefront is concerned. More than 260,000 store owners are using this software.

5.      Zen Cart

Zen Cart also has considerable following when it comes to Open Source Ecommerce Platforms. The software is blessed with a wonderful system related to product management. Zen Cart can help you in the management of inventory as well. The software provides you with absolute control. Zen Cart can lose speed especially if loaded with too many products.

6.      Spree Commerce

Spree Commerce is a relatively new platform and is a kind of an application that has its basis on Ruby on Rails. The platform is modular in nature and can be configured with ease. Similarly the functionality can also be upgraded. The software is used by popular retailers like 3D Robotics.

7.      WooCommerce

WooCommerce is highly compatible with WordPress hence is worth using if your website has been developed via WordPress. The application boasts a rapidly increasing utilizer community. The software can be managed and installed with ease without much of a serious difficulty. Popular retailers using this software include names like EcoKitty and Cupcake Studio

8.      Jigoshop

Jigoshop is also a WordPress-based solution which is gaining fast fame in the market. The software is lightweight especially if compared with its counterparts. The application is conducive for all those individuals out there who want to improve their plugins, storefront, plugins and extensions.

9.      VirtueMart

VirtueMart is highly compatible with Joomla. It helps in the effective running of your Storefront. The high side of the application lies in the fact that it is SEO friendly which means that by applying professional SEO you can surely achieve a high ranking for your webpage.

Make your Move

If you have just started your business then keep one thing in mind and that one thing is that you cannot survive without a strong online presence. Online presence is not a piece of cake and for this you need to think seriously and may have to seek help from some professionals too.

 

 

 

Open Source CMS: The Criteria for Selection

What is an Open Source Content Management System?

A content management system is actually a computer application which has the ability to support modification and creation of digital content. It can support multiple users in an environment which is collaborative in nature.  An Open source content management system in most of the cases has the following features

  • Version control
  • Web based publishing
  • Format management
  • History editing

Open Source CMS: The Plus Point

There are many things that give an Open Source CMS edge over Propriety CMS. The things have been discussed below

1.      Stability

The majority of open source content management systems that are operating out there are home to communities of developers which are massive. These communities work very hard for the improvement and expansion of the systems which they use for their operations.

Since the code is open to all hence it is very easy and simple for the developers working outside the company to search out the problems and propose the necessary solutions. The reason behind this phenomenon is that there is no single owner of the particular product but rather community which can produce content as per necessity. The phenomenon leads to faster innovation too.

2.      Flexibility

The open source CMS is much better then propriety CMS when it comes to flexibility. In an open source CMS you can have full leverage to try out your creativity. It is recommended that you should go for the CMS provider that vetts out the code (contributed) first.

3.      Safety

Security threats are their especially the risk is too high with the CMS which is highly popular in the market. In case of an Open source CMS the chances of getting hacked are much less if the CMS is equipped with the ability to monitor patches and security issues. Usually the CMS which has a strong community is less prone to any kind of security threats.

4.      The Cost

There are countless factors that can be helpful in determining the cost of a CMS implementation. The majority of propriety solutions are packaged in bundles which are “ready to go” in nature. However still some level of customization is required.

On the flip side of the coin, an Open source solution is highly unpresumptuous and flexible while not forecasting that you require everything in a bundled form from the start.

Open Source CMS: How to select

Just like it is necessary that you must check certain things in a CMS application. These things have been mentioned briefly in the headings below. You should ensure that these things are present in your CMS.

1.      Community Size

You should check the size of the CMS community before you decide to use it. There are several ways to check size such as

  • Check the forum size
  • Check the availability of FAQ
  • Check the accessibility of the documentation

2.      Updates

Check the blogs that are written for product updates. This will help you in ensuring that whether the system which you are considering is regularly updated or not? There are many systems that have not been updated for a long time so be careful in this regarded

3.      Options

Check whether the CMS which you are considering offer paid support or not? If yes, then check the cost too. It is also necessary that the support should be there in your language.

4.      Development Houses

In majority of the cases vendors have a chunk of companies whom they feel are the best. Hence there is no harm to request the vendors for their recommended companies. Once you have the list then follow up the development houses through RFP’s to get an idea about the end cost.

Conclusion

These were some of the major things which you need to check in an open source content management system. There are many other things as well however to keep this article simple and easy we have listed only the major ones. There are many CMS companies out their which you can consider and with a mere Google search you can find many names.  To know more on the subject you can always go online and find the blogs which others have written on this subject.

 

 

Best E-Commerce Software Solutions

If you want to run an online business then you will first need to build an online store. Building an online store is a simple task but requires a lot of care and focus. In today’s era, E-commerce has changed a lot and many new tools have been introduced that can help you by providing E-commerce solutions. There are many software that you can use in this regard and some of them are mentioned below.

  • Magento
  • OpenCart
  • osCommerce
  • Prestashop
  • Spree Commerce
  • WooCommerce

1.      Magento

If you have done a bit of research on e-commerce software then you will certainly recognize Magento. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest names on the market and is also one of the most used e-commerce software that you can find.

The best thing about Magento is that it gives open source users everything that they need to run an online store. It allows the user to create landing pages for the products that you want to sell, you can also create content for those products.

With the help of Magento, you can easily manage the shipping of the products that you send out to your buyers. Running an online business has never been easier. With Magento you also get access to many add-ons. These add-ons add many new features to Magento and you can choose from a huge library.

2.      OpenCart

Installing OpenCart is very simple, as long as you have LAMP (Linus, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack on a server then you can begin using OpenCart. One of the best thing about OpenCart is its marketplace, this is where you can go buy all the different kinds of add-ons that are supported by OpenCart. The prices of the add-ons vary depending on the functionality that they offer. The most expensive OpenCart add-on that you can buy is Microsoft Dynamics Integration which costs almost $2000.

Managing OpenCart is simple and fun, as it is known for having an intuitive dashboard. It is easy to use and that is why you will notice that many of the people toady use OpenCart.

3.      osCommerce

One of the oldest e-commerce software that you can find is osCommerce. Since osCommerce has had such a long run that is why many add-ons have been developed for it. You will be surprised to learn that you can get more than 7000 free add-ons for osCommerce.

Integrating osCommerce is very simple as it can be done with the help of its Apps Marketplace. With the help of this marketplace you can even integrate osCommerce with Facebook and other giants. One of the greatest advantages of osCommerce is that it is not complex at all. It is easy to use out of the box and that is why it is a go to option especially for beginners.

4.      Prestashop

Prestashop is one of that e-commerce software that has been built on web development language. It is built on PHP which makes it easier to use with most of the websites out there. With Prestashop, you can get access to more than 1500 templates. You can also avail many add-ons that can simply make your website a whole lot more interesting.

5.      Spree Commerce

The best thing about Spree Commerce is that it gives open source users everything that they need to run an online store. It allows the user to create landing pages for the products that you want to sell, you can also create content for those products.

With the help of Spree Commerce you can easily manage the shipping of the products that you send out to your buyers. Running an online business has never been easier. With Spree Commerce you also get access to many add-ons. These add-ons add many new features to Spree Commerce and you can choose from a huge library.

However, one thing that you should know about Spree Commerce is that it requires the developer to know a bit of Ruby. If that does not concern you then you can do a lot with Spree Commerce.

6.      WooCommerce

WooCommerce is very different from the rest of the software that have been mentioned above. This is because it is not an independent software instead it is a shopping cart plugin for WordPress. Nevertheless it is very useful and can get the job the done.

 

Online Shopping Vs Physical Shopping: The Differences You Should Know

Shopping is something that is enjoyed by almost every single person in the world. It is a word that really makes a person smile especially women. For men however the word shopping is not as pleasant as it costs them some hard earned money. Shopping is a trend and it has been around for more than a 100 years. The 21st century however, has changed how we shop and some drastic changes have been made to the popular trend.

One of the main essence of shopping was that people were needed to leave their homes and go to the malls. All of this has changed because nowadays you can buy almost anything that you want from the comfort of your home. Some people still prefer the traditional method of shopping, however others do not. There are many differences between online shopping and tradition shopping and you will find some of the differences below.

1.      The First Difference

The first difference between online shopping and traditional shopping is pretty simple. As the name suggests, online shopping is done over the internet. This means that the customer or buyer does not need to go anywhere or stand in any line like you have to do during physical shopping. Physical shopping has its benefits as you can see all of the products you want buy in person and may be try them on just to get the best fit.

This is something that you cannot do when you are shopping online. When you are shopping online then you can find all the things in one place, this means that everything from electronics to appliances to clothes are just a click away.

1.      The Second Difference

Online shopping provides a lot of flexibility to the customer, mainly because you can look at and compare multiple products repeatedly without having to buy them. With online shopping you can buy whatever you want and if something is out of stock then you can still order it and the product will be delivered to your address within a couple weeks.

This is something that is absent when it comes to traditional shopping. You can either buy a product or you cannot, and if something is out of stock then you will have to settle for your second choice, or wait for a long time until your choice of product is back in stock. Some popular online stores are:

2.      The Third Difference

One thing that is bad about online shopping is the fact that when you are shopping for clothes or shoes then you cannot try them on. This means that there is a high chance that you might get the wrong size which does not fit your nicely. This is not a problem with traditional shopping mainly because of the fact that all the products are right in front of you and you can try them on and pick the perfect fit.

This is a huge advantage because you will be getting exactly what you pay for. Although online shopping is very comfortable but there is a high chance that you will buy the wrong product. However, another benefit in this regard is that if you buy the wrong product then most websites give you the option to return the product and get a full refund within a certain period of time.

3.      The Fourth Difference

When you are shopping online then you can very easily compare the prices of the products on multiple websites and get the best deal possible. This is something that you cannot do when you are shopping in a more traditional way. Even if you want to compare the prices then you will have to go to many different stores in order to get the best possible deal.

This approach will waste a lot of valuable time and that is why it is a better idea to go for online shopping in some cases.


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