Today, online spending is a force to be reckoned with, as buyers prefer convenience and customization over brick and mortar customer service.
The total value of online purchases exceeded $600 billion in 2019, and e-commerce now accounts for 16% of all retail sales.
With this increase, customer expectations are rising - eCommerce shoppers want real-time customer service optimized for mobile experiences and personalized shopping experiences.
What does all this mean for your business? Well, it's not enough to simply create an e-commerce website.
Instead, you need to create a memorable and delightful e-commerce website and experience if you want to attract qualified prospects, generate consistent interest, and boost conversions.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about designing quality e-commerce websites to help you do just that.
What is an e-commerce website?
An e-commerce website is an online shopping and purchasing portal for your business.
It provides visitors with the ability to quickly find the products they are looking for, contact customer service for help in navigating your products or services and make purchases without leaving your website.
E-commerce websites have many of the same requirements as websites that do not include online stores, including the need for a hosting provider, content management capabilities, and regular updates.
Meanwhile, some of the features that make e-commerce unique include:
- Product and pricing pages so your customers can browse, search, discover, and identify the products or services you sell.
- On-demand assistance to ensure that visitors get the help they need while determining if they wish to convert.
- Today's e-commerce sites typically have several support options, including live chat, FAQ pages, community forums, email, and phone support.
- Simplified shopping carts so that visitors can add items to their shopping carts with minimal effort and view and edit their shopping carts.
- Secure payment for customers to securely enter their credit card, shipping, and billing details to complete their purchases (m all hosting providers now offer SSL encryption and HTTPS protection to ensure the security of transmitted data as well).
Simply put, potential and existing customers should effectively find everything they need to learn more, evaluate and purchase your product or service on your site.
Next, let's review some design tips to help you improve the look, feel, and user experience of your e-commerce site.
E-commerce website design
To ensure that your e-commerce website offers exactly what it needs for your visitors, follow these four design principles.
Create compelling content
Convincing stories and well-written content that integrates your brand message while highlighting your product or service features are essential when capturing your target audience's interest.
This will help you stand out from your competitors and ensure that your e-commerce site's content is memorable.
Implement a beautiful and consistent design
In addition to compelling content, implement a beautiful and consistent design throughout your e-commerce site. Think about your colors, fonts, pricing, product, and payment pages.
Remember that design consistency is essential here (as is the importance of consistency in your marketing efforts).
Predefined templates of popular e-commerce website designers (which we have in the next section) can help you ensure that your design complements your delivery and brand.
Maintain a clear website structure
A clear site structure is essential to the success of your e-commerce business.
If users cannot immediately find what they are looking for, they will likely abandon your site.
To do this, implement straightforward and streamlined navigation so that visitors can easily navigate to site pages, shopping carts, customer support offers, etc.
Focus on search engine optimization (SEO).
All current websites, e-commerce or not, should be search engine optimized.
This means that your site is optimized in a way that makes it more likely to appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) for the words, phrases, concepts, and content in which you specialize.
This helps increase your organic traffic recognition and awareness, conversions, and more.
Best E-Commerce Web Site Builder
- 1. WooCommerce
- 2. Shopify
- 3. Wix
- 4. Squarespace
- 5. Weebly
If you are looking for a website builder, you have many options.
Here is an overview of some of the most popular e-commerce website builders:
WooCommerce Ecommerce Website Builder
If you already use a WordPress site and don't like the idea of starting again, WooCommerce can help you.
This e-commerce plugin allows you to design and deploy great themes and templates and offers many extensions, such as WooCommerce integration for marketing automation, CRM, abandoned shopping cart, etc.
Even better? WooCommerce is a plugin that can be added for free to your site.
Shopify E-Commerce Website Builder
One of the most common E-commerce website creators used are Shopify. With tools to help you choose the right business name and the ability to register domains in a single dashboard to manage your online orders, Shopify has you covered.
Prices start at $29 per month for the Basic Shopify package and increase to $299 per month for the Advanced Shopify package, which is ideal for expanding existing sites.
Wix Ecommerce Website Builder
Wix is an all-in-one e-commerce website creator that allows you to fully customize your site, create a responsive design, and add advanced features to your site, including blogs and online booking tools.
While the basic offer of Wix is free, you can upgrade to other plans, such as Unlimited ($14/month), which includes unlimited bandwidth and 10GB of storage.
Squarespace Ecommerce Website Builder
Squarespace makes it easy for you to look like an expert from the start.
Simply choose a template, launch a free trial, and start creating - use powerful CMS tools to add your text, logo, and photos.
Then choose from hundreds of fonts, colors, and stock images to design your site.
Personal plans start at $12 per month and include a free personalized domain, while Advanced Commerce plans cost $40 per month and have fully integrated e-commerce tools, website analytics, and point-of-sale (POS) transactions.
Weebly Ecommerce Website Builder
Building with Weebly starts with detailed instructions on creating and launching your website.
Then customize your site with Weebly's free website builder tool - deploy shipping, payment, and inventory management to make your life easier.
You can also present customer reviews to showcase what sets your site apart.
Log in to a custom domain, get SSL security for $7 per month with Weebly's Personal Plan, or upgrade to Professional for $15 per month for unlimited access, storage, and a shipping calculator.
Create your e-commerce website
The right e-commerce website makes all the difference in driving customer interest and conversions.
Achieve an enjoyable e-commerce experience for visitors by using the tips we've discussed above and applying one of the e-commerce site builders we've reviewed to help you along the way.
How to start coding: the ultimate guide for beginning programmers
In case you haven't noticed, the role of technology has changed a lot over the last 20 years or so. Slowly but surely, computers have permeated almost every part of our lives, from what we buy, to how we move from place to place, to how we work, to where we eat after we've spent the day.
For this reason and many others, coding is one of the most valuable skills you can develop.
Whether you want to advance your career, create software or games for your friends, or simply understand the technology space better than ever before, learning the language of computers can be a significant asset for your professional and personal development.
However, it can also be very intimidating.
Even before I wrote my first program, I thought computer programmers were an elite group of experts with a talent beyond anything I could possess. From conversations I've had with budding programmers, this seems to be a common mindset - coding is a practice reserved only for the most prodigious technological genius.
I want to make it clear from the outset that this is not the case true. With time, dedication, and access to the Internet, anyone can learn to code.
If you are reading this, that includes you.
Depending on what you want to learn and how deep you want to go, you could spend a few months learning the rest of your life, but everyone starts with the basics. That's why, in this guide, we're going to find out everything you need to know to start writing code, including:
- Why you should learn how to code
- Which language to begin with
- How to start coding
- Some valuable advice for those just starting out
Why learn how to code?
Before you begin your first lesson, first determine why you want to code in the first place.
This will help you determine the language you decide to learn first, the types of projects you want to do, and finally, what you want to do with your skills. Here are some well-known advantages:
You develop professional skills.
Let's be the most obvious: knowledge of computer programming is a valuable asset for the job.
As technology continues to permeate our daily lives, programming skills will become increasingly sought after by job seekers - according to Indeed.com jobs site, many of the most sought-after skills are computer-related.
If you're looking to move your career in technology or move into a more technical role in your field, it's essential to know at least one relevant programming language.
This does not only apply to developers.
Project managers need to know the inner workings of the tools they help create.
Even if you are running a simple WordPress website, being familiar with front-end languages and some PHP is handy.
If you are not pursuing a strictly technical role, coding experience is still a good asset - it shows technological know-how and an ability to grasp abstract concepts and solve complex problems.
Finally, coding knowledge allows you to take up self-employment and perhaps pursue a full-time career as a freelancer.
With this path, you will have much more control over your career and the projects you take on.
You can create things.
One of the most exciting benefits of learning how to code is the ability to bring your ideas to life.
Do you have a concept for a website, application, or video game? Now you can create it exactly the way you want it and then share it with the world.
Whether you want to monetize your project, post it on an open-source platform like GitHub, or just do things as a hobby, you'll have the knowledge and tools to do it.
It's rewarding to know that you can create programs that, until now, you never fully understood. Also, projects are essential to the learning and job search process, as we'll soon see.
You will better understand the world around you.
As I said, technology is spreading and evolving year after year.
Learning even the basics of computer programming will help you understand the growing digital landscape components, including what you probably use every day called the Internet.
You'll get a whole new perspective on the technologies in your life and an appreciation of how everything fits together.
It's old-fashioned but true - for many, learning to code is an enriching and enjoyable experience.
Once you've acquired the basics and started your original projects, the process will seem less like learning than a hobby. After all, if you don't like it, why pursue it as a career?
What languages should you learn?
Coding requires knowledge of at least one coding language, a set of syntax and rules that computers can understand.
Ther There are hundreds of coding languages, each unique in its purpose and what it can do.
However, some languages are more comfortable to learn than others.
It's best to get started because this is the fastest way to learn the basics of programming.
Here are some languages widely considered as suitable for beginner coders.
I recommend that you familiarize yourself with only one language that suits your goals and then explore others if you feel inclined.
Don't worry about choosing the wrong one, though.
These languages share underlying concepts, so you can start with one and move on to another if you need to.
HTML & CSS
Hypertext The markup language, or HTML, is the basis of the Internet - it is used to define Web pages' content.
When you load a Web page, you usually see an HTML document rendered by your browser.
If you don't know if coding is your thing, HTML is the most straightforward language to sample.
HTML is not technically a programming language - it doesn't execute s, and you can't create functional programs with it.
Yet HTML is everywhere online, so if you want to understand the Internet, you'll have to understand HTML first.
You may be less familiar with the sister language of HTML, CSS.
HTML manages the content that appears on a Web page but does not affect how that content appears.
This is where Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, come in. CSS manages the style of HTML - it defines features such as colors, sizing, fonts, and even entire page layouts.
CSS is not a programming language either.
It is a set of rules applied to HTML. HTML and CSS are almost always used together, so I recommended learning both. Otherwise, your web pages will look pretty simple.
HTML and CSS are easy to learn because they don't force you to think about programming languages' computational logic.
Learning HTML and CSS can also seem less abstract than other languages because you quickly see your code's results - just create a .html file and open it in your browser. Or open an existing website and use your inspection tool to take a look at the underlying code.
This allows you to learn two languages that you use every day in one day.
But, if you want your web pages to do things, you'll need ...
It allows page elements to do things like move around, reacts to user actions such as clicks, and manage any operation beyond simply existing on the page.
Python is a very popular programming language for beginners because of its user-friendly syntax and versatility. Much of the Python code reads like English, which helps beginners quickly understand basic concepts such as functions.
Python also has many code libraries, predefined groups of functions that you can plug into your code instead of writing yourself.
With Python, you can create many different programs, and many introductory courses base their projects on this language.
C / C ++
It is another popular choice for introductory courses.
It is more verbose than Python and often forces beginners to write more code to achieve the same things.
Thi s is more work but useful for understanding abstract concepts.
With C, you will learn skills that can be easily applied to other, more succinct languages.
C ++ is a successor of C.
The syntax C ++ is similar to C with the addition of objects, a powerful type of variable that makes it easy to program sophisticated applications. However, I recommend starting with C because there are fewer concepts to learn, all of which can be mapped to C ++.
Like Python, Java's syntax is easy for human programmers to read and understand - often, complex tasks can be handled by a single command.
Java is generally implemented in Android mobile applications and is another excellent base language with principles that can be intuitively applied to learning other languages.
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How to learn code?
- Take online courses.
- Watch video tutorials.
- Read books and ebooks.
- Complete coding projects.
- Find a tor man and a community.
- Remember to sign up for a coding Bootcamp.
Thanks to the Internet, there has never been a better time to learn how to code.
Unfortunately, the large number of options can block some new coders before they even begin.
This section has some of the best ways to start learning and recommended resources in each category.
1. Take online courses.
Learning to code no longer requires a classroom.
Today, thousands of online programming courses cover everything from basic HTML to data structures to complex algorithms.
Your first course should present the basics of a language and contain interactive modules and assignments to guide your learning.
Courses provide structure to learning, which is essential as computer concepts develop one another.
An organized course keeps everything understandable and ensures that you learn things in the right order.
Popular free course providers include freeCodeCamp", W3Schools, and Harvard's popular Introductory Computer Science course, available on edX" and YouTube CS50 Channel.
These options are ideal for quickly determining if you are willing to invest time to learn a particular language.
Many paid courses are also available for a fraction of what face-to-face classes will cost you.
Codecademy, Coursera and Udacity cover a wide range of CS topics from beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Some paid services even offer free lessons or trials if you want to get an idea of their teaching approach before payment.
Watch the video of the tutorials.
You've probably watched one or two YouTube tutorials - why not do the same for coding?
Online courses are your best choice for a hands-on experience, and online videos can complement your learning and keep your curiosity occupied.
My personal favorites include Intensive Computer Course and Tom The Basics of Scott, which cover broader computer topics.
I also recommend the Harvard CS50 course, and there is no shortage of other computer courses on YouTube.
Read books and ebooks.
Do you prefer an old-school approach? Get a book on the language of your choice for beginners.
Books will introduce you to the basic concepts and inform your coding.
Here are a few established texts for each recommended beginner language:
- HTML / CSS: A Beginner's Guide to HTML and CSS for Marketers
- Python: Python Crash Course
- C: Absolute programming guide for beginners in C
- C ++: C ++ Primer
- Java: Efficient Java
Complete coding projects.
Programming is learned by doing - there is no way around it.
You can read all the concepts and syntax needed to write functional code.
But unless you put what you learn into practice, ideas will not fully materialize in your mind. That's where projects come in.
A project is any program (or website) designed in the language of your choice.
In the beginning, keep projects short term. If you are taking a course, you to get assign tasks to fix a concept.
There are also many programming projects for beginners that you can try on your own. Some classic projects include:
- A time converter, in which the user submits several seconds and your program gives the equivalent in hours, minutes, days, etc.
- A random number generator, which produces a random number between two user-specified values.
- A calculator, in which the user specifies his inputs and mathematical operation, and your program output.
- An address book, where users can submit contact names and then search for contacts stored in your program.
- An alphabetizer, in which the user provides a list of words, and your program sorts them in alphabetical order.
- A hangman game, in which the user tries to guess a hidden word by typing letters, and your game provides comments for correct or incorrect guesses.
- When the user assumes all the letters of your word, he wins.
A quick Google search will reveal even more mini-challenges that require you to apply your skills to real-world problems.
In addition to the practice of concepts, projects offer two other benefits to your learning.
First, they will keep you motivated.
Projects help solidify the "why" behind your coding and set clear and tangible benchmarks for your progress.
Each completed project means one more skill to your credit.
While I was learning, it was very encouraging.
Second, coding projects, especially long-term ones, provide something to show for your work.
It's one thing to put "Python" on your CV - it's another to show that you've created an entire website or application from scratch.
Projects are essential for entry-level programming jobs because they prove proficiency in a given language.
As you embark on longer-term projects, think about things you are willing to invest time in.
Whether it's a personal website, a mobile application, or a desktop tool, you'll encounter an unprecedented amount of speed bumps along the way.
Choosing a project that you like and care about will ensure that you follow through on it.
Another great way to find projects is to work freelance.
You don't need to be an expert programmer to create a useful tool for someone.
Contact a friend, family member, or local business that needs a tool or website that you can create for free - it's a win-win.
Find a mentor and a community.
The resources I have listed so far are all valuable, but they all have one drawback: they are mostly solo efforts.
Having a friend or an online community to provide you with additional advice can be invaluable to your learning.
First, I recommend finding a mentor.
As you progress, you will likely encounter problems that you simply cannot solve no matter how hard you try.
That's where mentors can help.
A mentor doesn't have to be a real teacher - a mentor can be anyone who knows your language, who can explain difficult concepts and suggest solutions.
An experienced mentor can also help you follow coding practices not covered in the tutorials and offer advice on navigating a technology career.
In addition to a mentor, you may want to get involved in a community.
Look for online groups, networking event s and Meetups in your area, and hackathons where you can connect with experienced programmers.
Online developer communities are also a rich resource for beginners. Be sure to check it out:
- Stack Overflow, a forum site for programming questions and discussions.
- GitHub, a code repository for open-source projects with an active developer community.
- Women Who Code, a non-profit organization that organizes events, communities, and job opportunities for women pursuing careers in technology.
- R / learn to program a subreddit (i.e., a microsite on Reddit.com ) for beginning coders.
Consider signing up for a coding Bootcamp.
A coding Bootcamp is a short-term training program that integrates a complete coding program over several months.
These programs are designed to be fast, immersive, and a stepping stone to a development career.
Encoding bootcamps are intensive and expensive - not the kind of thing to get into without any coding experience.
These programs are designed for beginners who are starting a career in development and are willing to spend time, energy, and money to acquire the necessary skills quickly.
While graduates tend to find employment in the technology sector, understand that this is not a guaranteed outcome and that you will be putting aside a good part of your year and savings for such a pursuit.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to dominate a face-to-face learning environment surrounded by peers and teachers as motivated as you are.
A few tips for beginners
There are many ways to practice coding, and some methods and languages will work better for you than others.
No matter what or how you learn, however, remember these tips:
At the top of this message, I said that anyone could learn to code.
That doesn't mean it's easy.
Coding forces you to deal with problems in a way you didn't before.
Some topics may seem completely crazy to you but essential to the language you are learning.
Problems that may seem easy at first will end up being much more complex to implement than you expected - you'll spend hours hacking into a mission to no avail.
And we can't forget debugging - you I'll quickly learn that computers are very picky and will only do what you tell them to do. Tiny typos like a missing semicolon or an incorrect operator will damage your entire program, and it's up to you to find the culprit.
All of this can be uncomfortable and discouraging, and that's normal.
Do yourself a favor and progress slowly and steadily, giving yourself time to let it all sink in.
Even the best programmers used to be where you are, and everyone has to learn the same things to get started.
Take it slow, stick to the goals you set, take breaks, and you'll be fine.
Know your tools.
You're going to spend a lot of time looking at your screen, so make sure you set aside some time to familiarize yourself with your coding tools.
All languages for beginners require a text editor, the software you use to write your code.
Text editors include features that make coding more manageable, such as color-coding, semi-automatic input, search and replace, and dark mode.
Notepad ++, Sublime Text, and Emacs are popular text editors for beginners.
You should also learn how to navigate the console, text-based interface based on your operating system.
The console allows you to search for files and execute commands faster than the standard graphical user interface (GUI).
Familiarize yourself with its use, including basic UNIX commands, because you will do things impossible in the GUI.
Familiarize yourself with the basic principles.
As with any subject, the beginnings of learning a programming language concern the essentials.
You can start by learning the binary, data types, and how to print on the console.
From there, you will explore topics such as variables, functions, conditional logic, arrays, and objects.
It is essential to understand each of these concepts before you progress because everything you learn in computer science is based on topics that come before.
If something doesn't make sense, examine it until it does - don't think it will make sense in the context of future lessons.
If you learn from a tutorial, make sure you understand what each activity is intended to teach you.
Complete all the exercises to see first-hand how each topic applies to coding.
As mentioned, be patient - you can't embark on an ambitious project until you understand the fundamentals.
Write clean code from the beginning.
Here's one thing an online course may not teach you: in addition to learning how to write your code, you also need to practice writing well.
What does this mean? For a given calculation, there will be more than one way to program it.
You should always try to write it as concisely and legibly as possible.
Developers usually work in teams, so others will often read your code.
If it's hard to decipher, other developers won't look forward to working with you.
Even if you decide to become independent, writing your code ensures that you understand your code.
It's best to get used to clean coding now, as it will save you hours trying to decipher your work after you haven't looked at it in months.
You may be wondering why a clean code is so important to learn at this stage.
You are a beginner.
Shouldn't write functional programs to be the main goal? Well, it should be.
However, it's all about establishing good habits early.
If you do the extra work now, you'll save yourself (and others) a little bit of sanity.
An excellent way to do this is to keep your lines and functions short.
I recommend limiting each line of code to a maximum of 80 characters and each function to no more than 15 lines.
While limiting at the beginning, these rules will train you to favor the efficient code over the first idea that comes to mind.
Also, enter the comments routinely.
Comments are segments of code that are not processed by the computer, so you can write whatever you want in them - programmers use comments to clarify their purpose.
Find out how comments work in your language and, at the very least, leave comments at the top of your functions explaining what each one does.
Google is your friend.
There is no shame in searching for solutions to problems on Google.
Professional developers do it all the time.
If you are having trouble, someone has probably been in the same situation and posted a question on a forum.
You'd be surprised how specific your queries can be and still find a solution.
Moreover, it is quite satisfying to close 20 Stack Exchange tabs after finally fixing a stubborn bug.
Coding is more than just code.
To finish up, I want to share another valuable tip from my first computer course.
From a beginner's point of view, it may seem that learning to code means learning to write code.
This makes sense: when we imagine a computer programmer, we see someone writing code on a computer - it's called "coding" after all.
Once you get started, however, you will learn that this is not the whole story.
You will spend much more time thinking about what to write before you write it.
This is because coding is more about solving problems than knowing the syntax.
Learning to code is learning to think like computers, deconstruct problems in their components and solve them with the tools provided to you.
So, yes, you will learn how to write unique code and eventually build incredible things.
But first, you'll develop the thinking skills to get you there.
During my years of coding, this new approach to problem-solving has changed the way I approach technical challenges and how I approach problems in general.
I hope you will experience the same.
I wish you the best of luck on your trip. You have this!
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