I have recently had a play around with the Magento multi store functionality and was really impressed. Plenty of e-commerce websites have multiple stores (often with the same catalogue) so they may target their pages at different search terms or have one at the high end of the price scale and use another as a stack them high and sell them cheap operation.
The Magento multi store functionality takes away a lot of the pain as the multi store runs from one backend, can share the product database and gives the owner the benefits of having 2 stores (more traffic, double brand etc…) whilst only having the admin of only one store.
Obviously there are things that the merchant needs to be careful of such as duplicate content, making sure category pages and product pages are aimed at different search terms then the other site, but overall I would recommend any merchants that run two sites independently outside of Magento, to consider switching over to Magento multi store setup, makes life easier!
It seems the Magento Multi Store functionality is working well for Super Size Guys.
Sage Pay is a payment processor (basically a company that take payments on an ecommerce website) which have approximately 30% of the payment processor market, by far the biggest player. However, their large market share is not due to Sage, they bought out Protx. Protx build a great reputation for reliability, secure systems and good customer service.
However, it seems the good work is being undone by Sage Pay as they have had numerous periods of live transactions being down, meaning if an ecommerce website relies on one payment method then they are screwed and none of their customers can buy anything on their website.
Sage Pay was down this morning resulting in numerous failed transactions, this is the 3rd period of being down since early December 2010. I’m now looking into other possibilities for a payment processor.
Have you been let down by SagePay? Join the Facebook Group!
Other alternatives are:
Any other payment processor providers I have missed out? Any other Sage Pay customers with their experiences, leave a comment!
Never been that big on using templates for a website. Most the templates are quite poor visually and never seemed appropiate for a professional website. Always been a fan of using a pro graphic designer.
However been introduced to Studiopress templates for the WordPress CMS and I have to say I have been very impressed by them! The great thing about Studiopress is that it comes with a framework which makes the on-page SEO super easy. Quickly knocked together an example laser eye surgery website, not bad for a template, but would probably still have to use a graphic designer for parts of the design (custom logo etc…)
Would love to see some great templates produced for Magento!
Just seen a great article on SEOmoz about some SEO points that you should check on your ecommerce website. Seen some awful ecommerce packages from an SEO perspective out of the box and even with large open source shopping carts like Magento, you will need the use of extensions for some parts.
When I venture onto my Google reader to catch up on the industry gossip, developments (seo, ppc, affiliates etc…) I like to pay particular attention to the latest changes in SEO and although the main parts of SEO have not changed that much in recent years (onpage + links = good rankings). I keep seeing rumours that Google will soon take action against those keywords domains which rank so highly.
In terms of taking action that probably means devaluing keyword domains a bit. Whilst searching for products over Xmas there were tons of keyword domains that in my opinion were clogging up the search results. Basically doing poorly constructed best buy tables and passing you onto the merchant. Poorly constructed because the affiliate probably has tons of similar sites and rather than make one great resource puts their effort into tons of little sites which add little value to the search user.
Should be interesting times….
You need links to rank in competitive markets – read this short guide for useful tips and tools on link analysis….
Up for an affiliate challenge? Why not try this, but I would do it with more tools to try and streamline the process. 100 sites x 100 pages = 10,000 pages!!!
Where to go for New Year? With the bleak prospect of staying in Costel Del Porto we decided to get away for a few days over the New Year and after thinking of either Rome, Venice or Paris we went for the city of Paris.
We decided to experience the Eurostar (return from little Sutton to Paris), we caught a Virgin service from Liverpool Lime Street on 30th December down to London, arriving just before 8pm into Euston. We jumped on the tube to Kings Cross and stayed at the nearby Alhambra Hotel. Bit of a grim hotel for the night before the early morning train to Paris. We made a bit of a night of it in London with a few drinks in Camden including a brief visit to the Dublin Castle.
Up at 5am for the Eurostar to Paris, we slept most of the 2 and a half journey into Paris before getting the metro to Bastille and to our hotel. With prices for most hotels over New Year in Paris being the wrong side of £250 we found a gem of a hotel in the lively Bastille district of the city. Le 300 was a reasonable £115 a night and within walking distance of the metro.
Working out the metro:
We visited the Eiffel Tower and some Christmas Markets after leaving the hotel. Unfortunately had to queue for 2 hours in the biting cold before we could board the dodgy old lifts to go upto the 2nd level of the tower, the highest level was closed due to fog! The 2nd level shown some views over the white city! Quite impressed by the Eiffel Tower, but maybe they should cap the amount of people that go up the tower every day as a bit crowded at the top! New Years Eve was spent in numerous lively bars and a nice meal (which I seemed to have about 15 dishes for!) in Place de la Bastille with one bar charging 16 a pint!
View from top of the tower:
Top of the tower:
New Years Celebrations:
New Years Day we decided to go and have a look at Notre Damn Cathedral, quite an impressive building but there were huge queues and as I didn’t want frostbite we decided to grab a few drinks. There is a great little alley of bars and restaurants just over the road from the cathedral, we stopped off at a little piano bar where I proceeded to drink the barrel dry and Rachel tried all the cocktails the pub had to offer. Bit of a chilled out night after the excessive of the previous night, we had a few drinks and had a meal in a little Thai restaurant.
The next morning we were back on the Eurostar and after a short stop and Chinese meal in London near Leicester Square to were on our way to Little Sutton with a few little drinks on the train and a nice chat with a Merseyrail enforcement officer.
Drinks on way home:
Bit of a lazy blog post, recommending you read a few SEO articles from other sources in my Google Reader.
SEO Reputation Management – I’ve worked on a few projects for clients where we are tasked with clearing up negative search results. Have a look a this strategy for doing this. Article on SEO Reputation Management.
Crap Clients – Spoke to a few of this kind of client. Want work done but don’t want to pay? Pete Glaeser (spoke to him at A4U London in 2008, pleasant cheap!) gives the indicators of a crap clients.
I travel quite a bit and take my notebook with me and occasionally will need to access work stuff (FTP etc…) and usually on unsecure wifi connections. I decided to look for a VPN (proxy) which would let me do work things on a secure connection and also let me watch the footy highlights on the BBC website.
On my last trip to India I signed up to Overplay and they were fantastic. I was able to able to pay just $9.99 for the month via Paypal and it was so easy to set up and then connect to the UK servers to watch the footy highlights or do any work stuff on a secure connection.
I know a lot of ex-pats use similar services to watch TV whilst abroad and especially in countries like China where certain things like Facebook are blocked. Will be signing up again when I next go away…
Just watched Secret Millionaire which is following Chris Brown (MD of Sunshine.co.uk and ex-affiliate).
Interesting stuff – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhSKmTj79u0&has_verified=1