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Building E-Commerce Websites: Where Do I Start?

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There’s a huge category of products and services that can either help you get your website where you want it or simply confuse you. It’s also important that you make the right choices upfront so that you don’t finish up having to restructure your whole website because of some problem.

The level of time investment necessary for mastery in a lot of these software packages can range from limited to a very significant amount, because of this I feel it’s important to be lead in the “right” way to make sure you don’t spend time in the wrong areas, or learning some software that might not be all that useful for you later on Frontpage coughs.

Where you should start greatly depends on what you plan on trying to, and how deep you’re going to dive. For a moderately professional, clean looking website without a lot of automation or intensive animated graphics, you can probably. Get by with some basic knowledge of Html, strength with a great WYSIWYG editor, and an image editing program.

On the other hand, if you’re someone that’s looking to build something that will connect your audience. Then you might consider spending some major time and developing some animation abilities with a program like Macromedia Flash. I personally always for what I believe will bring me the greatest amount of profit with a minimal amount of effort, and because. I regularly end up spending all of my time diving in longer with only my WYSIWYG HTML editor, and my image editor.

1.What is a “WYSIWYG” editor?

A WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor is what allows you to get by with at least knowledge of HTML. Yes, that means you don’t have to know everything about HTML to have a clean looking website. When you utilize a WYSIWYG editor it interprets what you’re doing (inserting an image for example) as being a certain series of HTML tags with attributes, and does it for you. So, what you see on your screen is what you get. Instead of seeing a bunch of HTML code in text format, you’ll mostly see what will show up in your browser once your web site is up while you’re making it.

Highly recommend using the latest version of Dreamweaver — it is well-known as one of the best HTML editors by consensus. Dreamweaver’s interface is very friendly, has a built-in FTP client, and is specifically built to be flexible enough to agree both the coder and the everyday amateur webmaster.

2. Image editing? What do I need that for?

It’s important that you can make some basic, proper looking graphics. There’s a lot of graphics problems that can surely get the job done, but as far as strength and flexibility. I recommend Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop takes some time used to, but in the end, it’s very rewarding.

I’ve finished up using my knowledge of Photoshop to make not only graphics for multiple web sites but also touched up portraits, business cards, flyers, and other online advertisements.

I’ve used it for everything except animation. But it too comes with Adobe Image ready which is very good with animation. This software is amazing, and if you’re going to learn any image editing software. I recommend you start with Photoshop because of its’s wide range of overall… usefulness!

Let’s be realistic here: If you’re working to make a professional *appearing* web site.

3. Let’s get me some sales!

Kick-off the fresh website you’ve gotten up from your knowledge of web mastering and image editing with a few new sales. Seems like a plan? Well, a great way to do that immediately is with pay-per-click advertising. But Wait! Doesn’t that cost money? Well… Yes. But with the tools brought to us by some of the largest pay-per-click advertisers out there. We should be able to make a good evaluation of how much profit we’re going to make without much investment.

The big question behind pay-per-click advertising is whether or not it’s worth the cash when you can simply get traffic from regular search engine ranking . After all, there are plenty of companies out there that promise to help get you all the traffic you need through optimizing your website for organic ranking. The answer to this question is quite simple: the advantage is profit. For conversion tracking tools such as those offered by Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google Adwords anyone can calculate exactly, what their profit is after the cost of PPC advertising is taken out. In my opinion, Google Adwords has the most user-friendly interface among PPC advertisers. Google Adword’s interface makes it easy to see which keywords are pulling you in the most sales. And which ones aren’t even worth your advertising money.

Let us not forget, however, that to make those conversions we’re going to be needing a shopping cart! There’s a lot of diverse software packages out there you can use, but I’ve been using Mal’s E-Commerce Free shopping cart for several years with great success. 

Cart’s server is hosted on their machines so that you not only get away with not having to pay for the software itself, but you get out of having to buy an SSL protection ticket too!. of having to buy an SSL protection ticket too! Nothing’s a better bargain than free, eh?

4. Getting those sales leads you’ve been increasing up to BUY!

Once you’ve scored a few sales it would probably be a good plan to start using some kind of lead management services. I highly suggest the use of autoresponders for this purpose. Autoresponders are, essentially, a newsletter sign-up that allows you to strategically determine what you want to send each lead after a certain allotted quantity of time. For example, let’s say someone visits your website you offer them a free newsletter. If you were selling an e-book on some very complicated topic, you might consider sending only information on the most basic ideas to get them interested. Slowly but surely, you can turn those guests that might have left your web site and never have returned into some serious revenue!

As far as autoresponders go, I highly recommend the use of Aweber. Their customer service is superb & can contact at any point during the business day via online chat or phone. They also offer tonnes of free information and guides on making the most of their services.

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