Most people think an e-commerce site is only for selling physical products on line.  They think of the internet as a place to offer books, DVD’s, fashion items, etc. and that all products and services of an e-commerce site are only available on line. While this is true for a lot of e-commerce sites, not every e-commerce site involves selling physical products.  E-commerce can be an important part of every business.  If you are running a business based on services rather than actual physical products – e-commerce can be relevant to your business as well.

Businesses that are selling services need to understand that e-commerce transcends physical goods.  Service oriented companies can use the online community as a payment channel for things such as exercise classes, beauty services and tickets that will be consumed in a separate physical location.  By offering on-line promotions and sales opportunities to potential customers, businesses like these can reach a broader sales base and facilitate the purchase of their services.  Using an on-line payment system opens up an entire new way to offer and sell your services.

Selling your services on-line for future consumption can also be a market research tool.  Selling your services on-line can help you collect information on your most loyal customers and reach out to them.  You can use the information gained from on-line analytic sales tools to enhance your business as well as enhance the customer experience.  This information allows you to offer a different kind of personalized customer service.

Lastly, in today’s world the ability to purchase services on-line offers convenience.
Not having to run to the store to buy a subscription or gift certificate is a time saving way to increase revenue.

So whether you are selling beauty services or exercise classes, consider e-commerce for your site.  If you are not doing so – you may be missing a valuable sales and marketing tool.


News; Web Programming

You’ve decided to create a website or blog for your new business.  The developer and everything you read suggests using WordPress.  Should you listen to them? Depending on what you are looking to do, it may or may not be the best solution.

Word Press is a free and open source content management system (CMS) and blogging tool.  It is a very popular software used for web design and development and can be beneficial in saving time and cost. It has a reliable framework that has been around for a good amount of time.

As with many content management systems WordPress is simple and easy to use.  If you can create a Word document, you can publish a new article to your WordPress website. Once it is set up, you can update it any time you want.

WordPress sites can be customized by most web development professionals.  Many features such as newsletters, contact forms, and music players can be added to WordPress sites.  However, WordPress while good for some features is not necessarily for others. If you are developing an e-commerce site or sell products, WordPress would not be recommended. There are many inexperienced webmasters and novice programmers that use the platform simply because they can just search plugins.  However, not all plugins are good. Many plugins created by developers are glitchy and do not work properly.

If you are on a limited budget and do not have much functionality or are truly creating a blog WordPress can be a great cost effective solution. We would not recommended developing any robust business applications in an open source platform unless budget really restricts you.  Your project requirements and the scope and functionality of your website should determine if you should use WordPress.  We have seen many projects where site owner was dead set on using WordPress and their project ultimately was a compete failure because the platform just was not good for what they wanted to do. You should find a knowledgeable reliable and trusted website consultant that can guide you in how you should develop your business concept and determine what is right for you.


News; Web Programming

Developers and web designers are talking alot these days about HTML5. Developing in HTML 5
HTML5 is the newest version of the standard language used to program websites and bring content to the web.  Versions of HTML have been around for years and have been largely been a subject reserved for those in web development.  It all sounds very technical and is probably not something that the average web user might think he needs to know about.  But the newest version of programming language when finalized will offer benefits to everyone and is something even those who are not programming websites might want to know about.

HTML5 will make it easier for developers to incorporate many important features such as video, audio and graphics to your site. For a long time, video, animations and graphics have relied on third party applications like Adobe Flash or QuickTime to be embedded into web pages to view them.  HTML5 now allows all of these visual elements to be incorporated into a website natively and removes these applications from the equation.

With HTML5 you as a web visitor will be able to view it in places where you might not have been able to in the past.  With the use of HTML5 when customers visit a website there is less of a chance that anyone will come across a black hole in the middle of the page or get a prompt to download a plug in.

The iPod Touch, iPhone and the iPad have been especially good at leaving black holes on the screen, because Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs, would not allow Flash to run on any of his iOS devices from the start.

HTML5 looks to benefit everyone.  Developers won’t need additional plug-ins and as long as you’re using an up-to-date browser once it officially launches, websites that use HTML5 will allow you a more seamless user experience, no matter what device you use to access the Web.

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