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Starting the day with a client meeting always puts me in a high flying mood. Especially when meeting with artisan business women who love what they sell and do. And today is no different. I am meeting with Jackie from Aufaitliving.com.au to help get her eshop up and running. Jackie, like a lot of hipster entrepreneurs, is making loads of sales via Instagram and the local Village Markets. But also like most hipster entrepreneurs she needs to start getting her ecommerce smarts into gear to help keep up with the pace of her growing business.

So here’s the dilemma! Jackie has a super sexy website, built to showcase her brand and business offerings, but not for making loads of sales or for easy uploading of products and posts. The site has been built in WordPress, which we love, but the designer has not taken into consideration Jackie’s current or future business needs, available time, as well as her level of tech smarts.

  • Her site is built in WordPress – tick
  • It has been created using a Premium theme which is updated and supported – tick,
  • It looks great and showcases her products – tick.

But the downside is;

The WordPress theme has been unnecessarily customized by the designer, creating a complex looking backend. Short version of this common problem for start-ups, not only would Jackie need to have advance WordPress skills, she would also needs to learn some basic programming. This is not on her list of fun things to do. Jackie came to me via a referral from another successful ecommerce client. She hoped that I would upload her products for her and thus fix her problem. This sounds like the easy solution, but in the end it would end up becoming expensive and would see Jackie having no control over an integral part of her business.

The ultimate solution we came to today was to rebuild the site without any complex programming, whilst still keeping her sexy brand style. This will see her being able to easily update her site and make the shift to the benefits of WooCommerce – and there are loads.

The lesson here for artisan or online shop start-ups is to prepare a brief for your designer outlining your current and future business needs as well as your level of technical ability and available time. Have your site built with a Premium WordPress theme that is regularly maintained with updates. WordPress is Open Source software which ensures there are always loads of free tutorials online to help get you started. Using WordPress also keeps you independent from Web developers who often use programing that only they can update. Independence with your online biz is crucial as you may outgrow or fall out with your web designer and want to move on.

Here is a 5 useful tips to consider when getting started;

  1. Prepare a website brief for your ecommerce,
  2. Outline your level of technical ability as well as your time,
  3. Use WordPress only with a Premium fully supported theme,
  4. Teach yourself the basics online (and they are simple), like how to post products and articles, and
  5. Get yourself an ecommerce business partner who can assist with marketing strategy as well as back end updates, posts and content.

Keep it simple peeps! Make your site child’s play so you can keep on with the fun stuff.

P.S. If you are wondering what Open Source software means, here is an extract from Wiki.

“The open-source model, or collaborative competition development from multiple independent sources, generates an increasingly diverse scope of design perspective than one company development alone can sustain long term.” source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software

P.P.S. I love the words collaborative, independent, increasingly diverse – well done Wiki. Kinda sum’s up cool hipster entrepreneurs, so why not have a website to match.

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