More Resources on eCommerce Solutions

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In our latest article, we shared our vision on the 5 most used eCommerce solutions. Today, we would like to bring you more resources you should take into consideration before creating your website:

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Top 5 Most Used eCommerce Solutions

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As you may have noticed, there are dozens of ecommerce solutions available on the market. Most of them look similar, but if one takes a closer look, they are significantly different. So how do you find the right ecommerce software for your business? We hope this article will enlighten you and help make your decision process easier.

It is certainly a challenge to choose the best ecommerce solution from the overwhelming number of technologies and the variety of systems. When making your decision, you first need to determine the most important features and functionalities you must have for your e-store, to anticipate your business needs on the long term, and filter out the solutions that match your requirements.

Having worked with various online shopping solutions, we have concluded that the following are the most popular and effective:

osCOMMERCE

Currently powering more than 10,000 ecommerce sites around the world, it can be used on any web server that has PHP and MySQL installed. The default installation includes features that one can easily enable and configure. OsCommerce allows the user to set prices in different currencies and accept all popular payment methods: PayPal, checks, credit cards, etc.

Most popular features:

  • unlimited products and categories support;
  • multicurrency support;
  • shippable and downloadable products support;
  • multiple payment options.

MAGENTO

Magento is the technology behind numerous e-commerce websites. It is a profesional open-source platform that offers control over the look, content and functionality of the online shop. Magento enables online businesses to operate several online stores through a single administration dashboard.

Most popular features:

  • intuitive administration interface;
  • advanced analytics and reporting;
  • marketing promotions tools;
  • catalog and product browsing;
  • multiple language support.

ZEN CART

Zen Cart is an open source and user-friendly shopping cart. It was branched from osCommerce and includes additional features and architectural enhancements. One of the key features is the gift certificate module which allows one to create, send and manage digital coupons.

Most popular features:

  • multiple sales and discount options;
  • multiple display modes;
  • newsletter manager;
  • quantity discounts.

VIRUTEMART

It is an open source e-commerce solution designed as an extension of Joomla! CMS. It is written in PHP and requires MySQL database environment for storage. It is best suited for low to medium level traffic web-sites.

Most popular features:

  • unlimited number of products and categories;
  • powerful web-administration interface;
  • quick search for products, categories and manufacturers;
  • filter by features or discounted products;
  • product ratings and testimonials.

UBERCART

Ubercart is the e-commerce platform developed for Drupal, the leading open source content management system. It is a great solution for over 31,500 stores that sell digital product downloads, physical goods, and site memberships. Ubercart integrates PayPal Website Payments Standard, Website Payments Pro, and Express Checkout.

Most popular features:

  • configurable product catalog;
  • multiple product image support;
  • product stock level tracking and notification;
  • sales, product, and customer reports.

After considering these CMS solutions, also keep in mind that effective ecommerce integration requires professional development for your online shop to deliver the most effective results. Our team of specialists at CodeMyIMAGE is closely following and adapting to the dynamic market of ecommerce platforms, supporting clients to develop ecommerce businesses with the latest technologies.

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X-Cart Software for Ecommerce Websites

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Are you designing an Ecommerce website and need a very flexible platform to integrate it to? Then you may want to recommend X-Cart software to your client, built with open source code.

X-Cart is a template based content management system which enables the client the freedom to change the look and feel of their shopping cart system and customize it in the way they want or in such a way to meet the needs of their ecommerce business.

At CodeMyIMAGE, we can help you integrate your designs with the X-Cart Ecommerce platform very easily, making sure that both design and layout are fully customized according to your specifications! Choosing X-Cart software offers even more benefits and we recommend it because:

  1. The code is optimized for fast performance with up to 500000 products, depending on the server configuration your client chooses.
  2. X-Cart has a W3C-compliant storefront with a CSS-based layout.  And it comes with multiple Ecommerce design templates that are fully customizable.
  3. X-Cart is highly extensible. The simple PHP code and template-based storefront make it easy for your client to manage and create a world class online store.
  4. Your website pages can be indexed by all major search engines.  Also, users can define custom META tags, titles, and URLs for each category, to improve page ranking for their online store. This makes X-Cart a SEO friendly platform.
  5. AJAX-based components and intuitive navigation improve the user experience.

So, if you were uncertain about the possibilities of using X-cart, now you can consider the options and make the recommendation that best suits you or your clients needs.

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Why Is Magento A Popular E-Commerce Platform?

Magento Platform

If you are in the E-Commerce business, you may be struggling with the challenge of choosing the right E-Commerce platform. Faced with many emerging solutions, online store owners are looking to develop the best digital solution in terms of functionality and sales goal optimization. Magento is an open source E-Commerce platform that has grown very popular in a very short period of time, mainly because of its advanced features, rich functionality, and flexibility.

In today’s post, we want to provide you more insight into the features that make Magento such a popular E-Commerce platform. While CodeMyIMAGE has been providing Magento integration services, it has become a much more sought after solution by our clients. The benefits our clients have found in using the Magento based platform seem to be endless. But here are a couple of features that stand out:

  1. The Magento E-Commerce system provides rich functionality and is very easy to use by both online store owners and customers. The platform has the capability to run multiple stores or websites, which are controlled from one administration panel.
  2. It is integrated with Google Analytics, so it allows the webmaster to understand the performance of his/her store and the sales evolution.
  3. The Magento platform enables shipping to multiple addresses through a single order. Customers can re-order previous orders from their account, while administrators can view order histories and create orders in the backend. Moreover, it includes RSS feeds of new orders.
  4. Websites based on Magento are very easy to find – Magento provides search engine friendly URLs and an automatic SEO feature.
  5. Magento incorporates useful marketing tools like Up-Sells, Cross-Sells, and Coupons (pricing rules) that help stimulating online sales.
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PSD to HTML Outsourcing – A Smart Move?

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As modern internet technologies like HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript are taking over the web, PSD to HTML conversion services are becoming increasingly more popular. Web designers and creative professionals in the Marcom industry leverage these providers not only for their quality and quick turnaround, but they became aware of the fact that they could focus more on their passion, creating more unique and creative designs.  Designs that not only attract an audience, but can capture a feeling or move the viewer to react.   For many professionals, this is a full speed ahead approach with no reason to turn back.

However, many companies prefer in-house development. Of course, they haven’t acknowledged the benefits of the conversion solutions, but also like to have total control over their projects. During busy times, some will confess that it can be hard to manage both the creative design and web development at the same time.

So, depending on the size of the project and the deadline, one should take into consideration outsourcing PSD to HTML conversion services. What are the pros and cons? Should your company hire an external provider to convert your designs into XHTML/CSS?

Here, in brief, are some points you should consider when you decide to outsource PSD to HTML conversions:

  • Cost efficiency – 64% of the US companies outsource some of their services in order to save money and maximize their ROI. Particularly, web development is one of the most outsourced services for advertising and branding agencies. PSD to XHTML/CSS services at volume pricing are, on average, more cost effective for a company than doing the development in-house.  However, it is difficult to determine how much the cost savings would actually amount to. Typically, the development cost depends on many variables, such as design complexity, requirements of W3C standard compliance, SEO-semantic coding, markup language, etc. Some companies offer discounts for larger, multi page projects or to returning customers, who continue to take advantage of the sourcing services.  And as the relationship grows, one can always try to negotiate a more favorable offer for your company.
  • Time Savings – Project turnaround time will be reduced, thus helping your company during busy periods and also enabling a company to focus on capturing new business.  That is why it is advisable to outsource the most time consuming parts of the project.  PSD to HTML conversions demand a lot of resources and skills, so increasingly more companies prefer to outsource the development portion of their larger projects.
  • Cross browser compatibility – Your website will look at its best no matter what browser the visitors are using. Also, you should take into consideration that your design is also compatible with different operating systems:  Windows, Mac, etc.
  • The code provided is W3C valid, meaning it meets World Wide Web Consortium Standards, which guarantees the quality of the markup. Also, keep in mind that one should look for a company which does all the coding manually. Unlike machine code, you will get clean, high quality code that not only use features or refinements not supported by the graphical editor or compiler but will also produce more elegant source code to help maintenance and integration. Engaging a PSD to HTML services company to code for you gives you instant access to high quality markup. The website will have a professional look, quick loading time, and meet industry standards. You will not have to worry about solving different coding issues; that is left to the coding company!
  • In order to be completely satisfied with the quality of the markup, you should send along very detailed technical specifications with the PSD files and look to be able to constantly communicate (in person is best) with the sourcing partner.  Communicate exactly what you need in order to get the design you want and according to your specifications.
  • See what other services the company offers like CMS and eCommerce integration, or whether they have any customizing capabilities so that as you grow, your partner will still be there for you and able to meet your growing needs.
  • Try finding companies which allow edits to be made to the design after the markup has been delivered.
  • Finally, look for a partner that understands your style and process so that you can get as creative about design as you want, without having to allocate time and human resources to handle the coding process. You won’t have to worry about validation, cross-browser compatibility, accessibility, meeting web standards, etc.  This will help you reduce costs and save even more time!
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