Your Own Retail Clothing e-Store: Building a Website (Part Two)
About a week ago we started talking about building a website. You had some time to think it over, so let’s continue.
Today many websites are built on so-called platforms using modifiable templates. Choose the one that looks good enough and matches your criteria, and you can have your website in a matter of days. There are also various modules that add functionality. Some are free, others are paid. Most of them are regularly updated – bugfixes, new features, greater stability, etc. Basically, it’s like a constructor – use the right pieces to get what you want.
The websites are managed via content management system (CMS). Each platform has its own, but they are all quite easy to use. Do not agree to have a custom CMS. In most cases they are inferior to the default ones and may lack certain functionality. Besides, if something goes wrong, you will depend on the person or company who wrote that CMS. And what if that person/company is no longer in the market? Adding functionality means paying additional money. The need to deal with an unknown CMS may cost even more, so don’t risk.
PC and Mac, desktops and laptops, tablets and smartphones, Internet Explorer and Firefox… Your site needs to look well on all these devices and browsers. You cannot afford losing a single client because of a compatibility issue.
You’ll need to be able to back up both your files and database(s). This is vitally important! If you accidentally delete a file or mess something up, you’ll be able to restore your website using a backup.
OK, time for website content. We’ll talk more about it in one of our next posts. For now, let’s just say that it’s much better if you or someone on your team does the content. After all, no one knows your business better than you. Make sure you have a full description and a couple of photos for at least one product before the developer starts working on your site. You can work on the rest later.
When the site is almost ready, you will be instructed on how to use the CMS, manage files, upload photos and other content, etc. Don’t leave any questions unanswered. Take notes!
Beta-testing lets you see your site in action, identify problems and fix things. You can also show it to your friends and learn from their user experience. This is a good way to avoid unpleasant surprises when your site goes public.
Your developer is supposed to provide tech support for a certain period of time. This includes fixing bugs and other relevant adjustments free of charge. Don’t forget to discuss this!
Now that you are more or less ready to have your website, use that theory in practice. Next time we’ll talk about website content.