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How to Start eCommerce Business

Trade and commerce in this 21st century are very different from the old ages. The whole world is moving to the electronic commerce module, which is defined as eCommerce. Evaluation of information and communication technology has changed consumer behavior, and the mode of traditional trade and commerce has shaped into eCommerce. American stock exchange Nasdaq assumed that, by the year 2040, 95% of shopping would be facilitated by eCommerce.

According to Statista, the German statistics portal, in a calendar year on average spending per customer is estimated to be $1,800 in the USA and $1,600 in the UK. In the aspect of Singapore, the average revenue per user (ARPU) currently amounts to $760.95, which is 1061.53 in Singapore Dollar.

Why eCommerce?

There are several reasons for building an eCommerce platform. Let’s focus on the top five-

Widen Your Brand

An eCommerce platform can take your brand from a traditional store to a well-acknowledged brand. It will add extra value to your brand. Your business will not be limited to a singular store; rather, it will be open for the entire online world 24 hours a day along with online customer service, social media, and blogs. Online presence of your business will become the home of your products without having to worry about moving locations.

Increase Your Reach 

Because of the internet accessibility, people across the world can visit your product home at any time, whenever they wish. This means your business reaches out to an extended scale of audience, and you are getting more opportunities to expand your business. There is no alternate way without ensuring an online presence to improve your reach. Moreover, you can determine the specific consumers’ group to whom you would like to reach.

It’s convenient

Ecommerce platforms are more convenient than traditional shops. It’s available always, meaning a customer can visit and purchase at any time whenever he wants. At present, people don’t always have time to go shopping physically. Instead, they prefer online shopping. It’s not only limited to only personal products but also extended to any business product or equipment.

Endless Marketing Opportunities

A website can create an endless marketing opportunity for your brand or product. Not only the search engine optimization (SEO) but a large scale of marketing techniques can be applied to your website. Social media marketing, email marketing are two new techniques to apply. Using these marketing techniques will help to prospect your business.

Scalability

Scalability is a must for an eCommerce platform. It’s the key to success. But the good news is, it’s comparatively easier to scale your online platform than your physical store. And in most of the cases, scalability doesn’t work well for a physical business. 

What do you need to start?

Probably you are thinking of starting your own eCommerce business. Whether it’s a new business or an online platform for your existing products. Let’s have a look at the following checklist-

  1. Domain Name
  2. Hosting Space
  3. Payment Gateway
  4. Management System
  5. Capital to start

The domain name and hosting space is a must for an eCommerce platform. Without these, there is no possible way to start. You have the liberty to purchase a domain and hosting from different providers, but we suggest to buy from one provider.

Here is our domain registration portal. Go and check your domain availability before purchasing. We also provide secure SSD hosting starting from SGD 3.00/month. We also have different plans for different types of platforms. 

There are plenty of other domains and hosting providers that you can use for your domain and hosting. But, if you are planning to buy a secure, consider our plans before purchasing. Also, our dedicated support team is always ready at your service. Check Sudonode before you start purchasing.

After that, you will need a payment gateway for your platform. There are many payment gateways available now. Check and grab the right one. 

Market Research and Product Selection

If you have an existing brand or product, you can start building your online presence. But, starting a new business, you need to research the market to pick the right product. Consider the following things to get a positive prospect. For starting an eCommerce platform, you need physical products to sell online. It will not give you any benefit if you pick a low selling product to start. You may think to influence consumers’ minds, but things don’t work like that. It will break your heart when you do not get enough sales from your platform. So, initiate in-depth research before selecting the product. Here we are giving some notes that will help you during the research.

A product that already becomes a tread, try to pick that. In this case, you also keep in mind that you are not alone who is thinking this way. Of course, this is not an easy task, but the success is hidden behind product selection. Try to find a low competitive product; this will boom. A low competitive product with high trends is the key to your success. 

Also, consider the most selling product for your platform. You will find those from the bestseller list of some renowned eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, etc.

Building your online store

When you have your domain name, hosting space, and a payment gateway, now you are ready to build your platform. Building an eCommerce website is not similar to building a blog or any static site. But, the good news is, there are many eCommerce Management Systems for starting. Let’s check the three most popular eCommerce management systems-

WooCommerce (WordPress)

By far, it is the most popular open-source eCommerce solution. Overall, 37% of the entire eCommerce platform powered by this WordPress eCommerce solution. As it works in WordPress, it gives the most comfortable options to manage an eCommerce platform. WooCommerce is a free platform for an entry-level website, but you need to pay for that to use the upgraded features. Overall, it’s a satisfactory system to build your first eCommerce website.

How to install?

Firstly, you need to install WordPress. You can directly download from WordPress’s official website and install it on your website by uploading it. Or, you can use the software installer from the cPanel to install WordPress.

After that, install the WooCommerce plugin and arrange it according to your requirements. You will find dozens of free eCommerce template for your website. Pick a suitable one and start your business.

X Cart

X Cart is a PHP based shopping cart software. This software offers the freest features that you will not find in any other platform. Although, it’s an expensive one to avail of the premium features. Interestingly, they provide a lifetime license, that is not a bad deal for an on growing business.

How to Install?

Before installation, make sure that your server meets the requirement of installing this, download X Cart from the official website, and upload it to your website. Go to http://<your-domain>/<x-cart-5-directory>/install.php from your browser. You will find the installation wizard. Accept the license agreement and start installing it. You will be required to create an administrator account first. After that, the software will check the environment, whether it is fit to install or not. Then fill the options with database information on the following page and click next. At the seventh step, you will be able to get the client area and admin area.

Magento

Magento is a powerful eCommerce platform built with open source technology. It provides online merchants with a flexible shopping cart system. Magento offers two different editions to the users. One is a community edition, and another is the enterprise edition. 

How to install?

Download the compressed file that contains Magento from the official website. Upload and extract the data in your web server. 

1. Using the bash shell, follow the syntax to switch to the Magento file system owner and enter the command at the same time:

$su <Magento file system owner> -s /bin/bash -c <command>

If the owner does not allow logins, try this.

$udo -u <Magento file system owner> <command>

2. To run Magento commands from any directory, add <magento_root>/bin to your system PATH.

Use these command lines and follow the instructions to install.

Branding and Marketing

So, after having your product and an online store, you need to emphasize marketing. You need to let your customers know that you have the product to sell. Without proper marketing, your business will not grow at all. Your product will not be sold if the customers don’t know about it. It’s your responsibility to let them know about your product, where many other platforms are available. 

Success depends on a proper marketing strategy. Here are few most common marketing methods-

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most used methods that try almost every online business owner. This type of marketing won’t give you instant results, but it will generate traffic for a long time. The more you get traffic, the more opportunity of selling your products.

Content marketing involves creating and sharing online materials such as videos, blogs, etc. For example, a blog post or a video with your product description and keynotes could be an ideal content marketing theme.

Social Media Marketing

Social media can make your business highly profitable if you can use it properly. Having a social media account or page for your business is a must at present. 

A recent study conducted by Buffer shows that 73 marketers out of 100 believe their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.

So, it’s already proven that social media makes a significant impact on business growth and selling.

Last note

It’s already been described how to start an eCommerce business. Follow the guidelines and start making money through your eCommerce Platform. It doesn’t matter what type of product you are selling, but your product must have demand among the consumers. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to comment below.

Beginners Guide to Build a WordPress Website

In this online world, you may need to build a website for your business, product, or portfolio. When you realize that you need a website, then, many things come to your mind. What will your site look like? How will it work? Or how much will it cost to develop? And obviously the maintenance cost. Here is a complete solution for all of your problems.

Making a website is not difficult where many content management services are available. You really don’t require hiring a developer for an entry-level website. 

Checklist

Let’s have a look at what you need before starting.

  • Domain Name
  • Hosting
  • WordPress CMS
  • Time and Patience

Why WordPress?

There are many content management systems available now. But WordPress is the easiest and convenient one. This is designed for everyone, where coding knowledge is not a must. 

The installation process of WordPress is not a difficult task. It can be installed within the blink of an eye following a few stapes. It is the most important reason for choosing WordPress.

Moreover, WordPress has a broad theme and plugin library from where you can easily pick anything for your website. Community developers of this open-source platform are sharing their ideas, codes, and experiences that give access to reach at the apex of popularity.

Statistics say that ‘WordPress is used by 63.4% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 37.0% of all websites.’

Why do people love WordPress?

WordPress is a straightforward and flexible content management system. You can easily create Posts and Pages, insert media, into your content. And, just with a click of a button, your content will be live on this online world.

WordPress supports multiple user management. Not everyone does not need the same access to manage the website. In WordPress, Administrator manages the website, Editor deals with content, Authors, and Contributors write content.

Also, WordPress has a strong media management capability. It allows uploading any media quickly. Drag and drop uploading makes the process more convenient and straightforward.

Step 1: Pick a domain name

Picking a domain name is the first thing to do. Go here and check the availability of your domain. Then register and follow other guidelines.

Step 2: Buy a hosting plan.

The domain name will give you an identity. And then you need to purchase a hosting plan to host your website. Here we have different hosting plans. Go and pick the right one according to your needs.

Step 3: Installing WordPress

Once you have brought a domain and hosting, you are ready to install WordPress. There are two most useful ways to install WordPress. 

  1. Download WordPress from the official website and upload it to your hosting.
  2. Use our software installer from cPanel. We provide a fast software installer to save your time and effort.

For installing WordPress from our installer, first, log in to the cPanel with username and password, which we have already provided. Go to the Site Software menu which is in the Software section and click on WordPress. You will find WordPress in the blog category.

From our cPanel, we automatically generated your credentials when you click on install, which is not available anywhere else.

In many other cases, you need to choose a protocol. ‘http’ is the standard and default protocol, but if you have an SSL certificate, select https. Then select the domain name and directory where you want to install WordPress.

Site Setting:

Here you will find the place to put your site title in. Also, you are required to give a short description of your website, which will be used as a tagline of your website. Don’t be afraid; this not nothing permanent. You can change it at any time from your WordPress dashboard.

Most importantly, you need to create an admin account. Give a username and password, which will be used for further site maintenance. We advise not to use ‘admin’ or ‘administrator’ as your username. These are the most common, and these create a chance of guessing passwords easily.

Provide an email address against your username and password. You will get notification of any update in this email address. Also, this will be needed to recover the forgotten password.

Choose Language

English is the default language of WordPress. But this is not limited to English only; WordPress has a long list of supported languages. Choose yours.

Plugin and Theme Selection

Our software installer recommends two plugins to install at the same time as installing WordPress. Limit Login Attempts plugin makes your website secure from unwanted false login attempts. And Contact Form plugin helps to build your contact page.

For theme selection, you don’t need to pick any theme from here. Just leave the section as it is. We will work on it later.

Advanced Options

There are few advanced installing options like choosing database name, table prefix, and backup location. You don’t need to think about it. Our installer will take care of it. However, if you want to set any specific name of your database, this option will allow you to do so.

If you have done all the previously mentioned things correctly, now click on the ‘Install’ button. This will check your submitted data and start installing it. Once done, your website is live. Now you are free to customize it according to your preferences. 

Furthermore, if you don’t want your website to be open to audiences during the development period, you can do this by adding any ‘under construction’ plugin.

Step 4: WordPress Customization

So the first thing, login to your WordPress dashboard. You will find your login page here- http://yourdomainname.com/wp-login.php. It will redirect you to the wp-admin directory if you make a successful login attempt. Here is your dashboard.

Know the options

Let’s focus on the available dashboard options. Here is a shortlist of options-

  1. Dashboard Home
  2. Posts
  3. Media
  4. Pages
  5. Comments
  6. Appearance
  7. Plugins
  8. Users 
  9. Tools
  10. Settings
  1. Dashboard Home

This page immediately appears after login. You will find a welcome message with a few interactions. Also, you can see the total number of posts, pages, and comments here at the ‘At a Glance’ menu. You can save any quick draft from this page.

  1. Posts

From the ‘Posts’ menu, you can create, edit, schedule, or modify any post. To add any new post, click on ‘Add New’ from the menu, and an editor panel will appear to write a new post with the application of featured images and other options. In this same menu here also have ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ submenu to arrange your posts easily.

  1. Media

This is the default media library of WordPress, and it’s one of the most influential media managers. From here, you can upload different types of media (image, video, pdf, etc.). Also, you can find any previous media file by media type and uploading date.

  1. Pages

Pages are essential for your website. You may need a custom homepage, contact page, or privacy page for your website. This option allows creating or editing pages. You can easily create it from here. To create a new page, click on ‘Add New’ and start designing a page. There also have many page building plugins for creating page templates.

  1. Comments

This option gives you the opportunity of hearing from readers. If you allow visitors to leave any comment for you, here, you can manage those comments. You are allowed to approve or unapprove any comment. Also, you can edit or delete unnecessary comments from your website.

  1. Appearance

This is the most important option for defining the outer appearance of your website. Here you will find six submenus-

  1. Theme
  2. Customize
  3. Widgets
  4. Menus
  5. Background
  6. Theme Editor

You can pick any theme from the Theme submenu, and there is a vast library of WordPress themes. Also, this option will allow uploading any customized theme for your website. We can install, activate, or deactivate any theme from here. Also, there is a live preview option that allows seeing the demo before installing.

Customize submenu allows you to customize your website identity, colors, background images, menus, and other things. You can edit your site title and tagline from here.

Widgets allow adding different options to your website header, footer, or sidebar area. WordPress has a long list of default widgets, and also you can develop any custom widget if you want.

From the Menus option, you will get the advantage of creating a header menu, footer menu, or any custom menu according to your preference. You can put any page, post, or category to the menu. Also, you are allowed to drag a component to any suitable position on the menu.

Moreover, the Background option allows setting any background image of the website, and the Theme Editor option will enable us to edit theme coding from the WordPress dashboard.

These six options are associated with the theme. Different themes will give you a different experience, but more or less, the basics are the same.

7. Plugins

Plugins are considered as applications that extend the default functionality. You can install, activate, or deactivate any plugin from this menu. Here go some essential types of plugins that you need-

  1. Anti-Spam- Akismet Anti-Spam plugin is a default plugin that helps to protect your website from spam. There also are few other plugins in this category.
  2. Analytics- You will need the analytical plugin to calculate your website growth and see daily visitors. You can use ‘Google Analytics for WordPress’, or ‘Jetpack’ for it.
  3. Security- Security plugins will check your security issues and suggest you taking action. ‘Wordfence Security’ is one of the popular security plugins.
  4. Contact Form- This type of plugins allows creating a custom contact form for your website. ‘Contact Form 7’ is a popular contact form plugin.

8. Users

Users’ menu allows adding new users with a specific role. Five types of roles are available here. 

  1. Administrator
  2. Editor
  3. Author
  4. Contributor
  5. Subscriber

9. Tools

Tools menu offers some important tools like export, import, site health, and others. 

10. Settings

A considerable number of setting options are available here. Starting from General, Reading, Writing this menu allows configuring your website correctly. Let’s have a look at some important options-

  1. New User Role- If your website allows user registration, what will be the role of new users? You can define it from this option. This belongs to the General submenu.
  2. Time Zone- You may need a standard time zone or your time zone to set on your website for a better and easy understanding of time. In the General submenu, you will find this. You will also find the time and date format under the time zone option in the General submenu.
  3. Homepage Display– What you want to display on your homepage? You can display blog posts or any static page. This should be defined from the Reading Setting submenu under the Setting menu.
  4. Permalink- it allows creating a custom URL structure for your permalinks. 

How to create a blog post?

From the ‘Posts’ menu, click the ‘Add New’ submenu first. A new page will appear. Here you will find options like title, body, images, and others. Start filling those accordingly. Enter your post title in the upper field, and enter your post body content in the main post editing box below it.

Select a category, add tags, add featured images and make other selections from the right sidebar. Once done properly, click ‘Publish’ and your post will be published immediately.

Secure your WordPress website

WordPress, the most popular content management system, is serving over 1.3 billion websites across the world. Though the core framework of this system is highly secure and always monitored by their security team, there are many things to do for better security. This will help to save you from any unexpected compromise of your website data by hackers. Lets’ look forward to add extra security to your WordPress website.

Keep your WordPress updated

WordPress releases regular updates for its content management system. Using an updated version of WordPress will give you extra features as well as security patches. Using an old version of WordPress may cause unexpected errors and the security vulnerability of your website.

Use a backup plugin

A backup plugin is highly recommended for your website. Several plugins are available by many developers in WordPress. Go to plugin options and search a high rated backup plugin for your website. This will take regular backup on a regular interval basis.

Think before using third-party theme or plugin

Always try to use the official theme and plugin for your WordPress website. If you need to use any third-party theme or plugin, please make sure the theme or plugin does not compromise in its security measures. We strongly recommend you not to use any nulled version of a premium theme or plugin. Nulled scripts may contain malicious code that is a major security threat to your website.

Limit flase login attempts

The best way of making safe your website from a brute-force attack is to limit your login attempts. Hackers try to break your password by trying different combinations of passwords. Using a strong password is always advised indeed. ‘Limit login attempt’ feature will limit the false login attempt of your website. There are several plugins available for this. Or, a web application firewall will take care of it automatically.

Make wp-admin folder password protected

WordPress admin portal functions via wp-admin directory. This is a secured portal of its own. Only site admin and authorized users can access this. For applying second level security, you may add an extra password to the entire wp-admin directory from cPanel. Remember, WordPress login deals with databases, but this directory password protectin is related to cPanel. Even though your database is being compromised, hackers would not allow to access the admin portal without that directory password.

Disable directory browsing

Directory browsing allows hackers to know the name, type, size of files. It will give an advantage to gain information from those files. This may give the necessary opportunity for finding vulnerabilities to exploit your website. Indexing all directory can save you from this. You can easily make indexes for all directories from .htaccess. Simply add Options -Indexes command to .htaccess file and it will take care of your directory.