Categorized | Web and Ecommerce

Web and Ecommerce 7

Getting your Web site right means accomplishing many different tasks. Because so many different aspects contribute to a site’s success, the task requires many different hands to make it work. This chapter covers the main aspects of getting your site up and running and the resources available to you to get it right.

We begin with a general discussion of designing and building Web sites and provide vendor resources. We then cover the basic mechanics of Web sites: hosting services and domain names.

After that, the chapter delves into the finer details. Copywriting and search engine optimization (SEO) are closely interrelated and determine the long-term success of your site. Since you optimize your site as an ongoing marketing initiative (called Search Engine Marketing or SEM), we cover resources for ongoing search optimization in Chapter 8: Marketing.

E-commerce is a complicated affair, so we divide our discussion into three parts. The first deals with shopping carts, which are online catalogs and all-in-one checkout systems. We then break out some important components of a shopping cart that you may have to deal with separately. Payment gateways allow you to process credit card transactions online and are an unavoidable part of setting up a storefront. While you may or may not be involved in actually selecting a security certificate for your site (some services package certificates with their shopping cart setup), it is an absolute requirement for e-commerce; we provide the resources for easily attaining and setting up your certificate.

We conclude our chapter with some detailed discussions of software attached to your site. Web analytics software (often provided by your hosting service) allows you to monitor how well your site attracts, keeps, and converts your audience. Content management systems (CMS) allow you to easily create and change content through an easy-to-use interface directly connected to your site. Blogging software is a specialized content management system that allows you to create regular journals or articles, a profoundly effective way to market your services, show up on the search engines, and capture a loyal audience. Finally, wikis are specialized content management systems that allow you to set up a collaborative work space on your site―and even allow your users to contribute content to your site.

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