Magento Ecommerce Website Launched – www.puravidabracelets.com

Octopus Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd. has recently launched a Magento based E-commerce website for www.puravidabracelets.com. Pura Vida Bracelets is a leading fashion accessory brand, which believes in giving back to the social community. Every bracelet purchased helps towards providing full time jobs to local artisans in Costa Rica and a percentage of every sale is donated to the Surfrider Foundation to protect beaches and oceans worldwide. But there is more to Pura Vida than just charity.  Hollywood A-listers and sportspersons have been spotted flaunting, the simple yet fashionable Pura Vida Bracelets, that include Robert Downey Jr., Neil Patrick Harris and David Beckham, to name a few.
press-celeb-david-beckham-lrg press-celeb-robert-downey-jr-lrgpress-celeb-si1-lrg
puravida-display-banner

Octopus Tech Solutions have powered the website with Magento CMS, the most flexible enterprise class E-commerce platform for online stores. It provides the customer with a hassle free, quick and user friendly platform to do what we loves the most, SHOP!! We have also developed a simple yet eye-catching mobile website so that customers can shop on-the-go.

  • Magento Community Based
  • Mobile site
  • Easy Ajax Based ‘Add To Cart’ functionality
  • Quick, Easy and Secure checkout process
  • Shipping and Payment Gateway Extensions
  • Blog and Newsletter Subscription

How to speed up your WordPress website

Have you ever given a thought on how much time does it take for your WordPress website to load? Have you ever thought that site speed has a direct impact on your business? Today, WordPress is one of the most popular platforms with roughly 20% of the websites on the Internet built on WordPress. There is no doubt that WordPress is one of the most user friendly Content Management Systems(CMS) but one should be careful in order to achieve an efficient and speedy website.

Why is site speed important?

“Time is Money”

 

This is one simple quote which all of us would have heard in some point of our lives, which truly justifies why site speed is so important. You only have a few seconds to catch a visitor’s attention on your website and if that time is wasted in loading of the webpage, the customer is already gone. This directly affects the number of visitors on your website, which in turn affects your revenue. You might have built a beautiful website, with all the right features, design and content but will it be of no use if the customer does not get to see it in that short time frame.

Even Google ranks fast loading websites better, according to its new hummingbird algorithm. So you are losing your customers by not able to hold them once they visit the site and also as your site is lagging behind in the rankings, due to slow site speed.

Here are the most useful ways to speed up your wordpress website :

1. Use an optimal website host:

A very important aspect of getting a fast paced website is a good hosting company. Choosing a wrong hosting company can significantly impact your website’s performance from low site speed to increased downtime during high traffic periods. A shared host can be used if you have limited data on your website and you have a limited number of users visiting the website. It is not wise to go for the cheapest one, the key is to do your research and look for a hosting company which provides value, for the money it asks for.
We would recommend HostGator, which provides both shared hosting services as well as dedicated servers for your website.

2. Using the right Plugins

Plugins for WordPress are meant for improving functionality and making life easier for the users  but they can have a negative impact on the usability of the website if not chosen wisely. It becomes complicated when you are using more than one plugin for similar functions and they both can conflict each other’s use hence affecting performance.  P3 plugin profiler is one of the plugins available that will check all the front end as well as back end plugins and identify which one is affecting the overall performance of the website.We strongly recommend to delete the plugins that are not in use rather than just deactivating them.

3. Optimize your Database

: Another way of improving site speed will be to clean up your database. You can do it manually through phpMyAdmin. You can select all the necessary tables, choose “Repair” and then repeat the same process using “<strong”>Optimize Table.” You can also remove unnecessary or outdated tables that might be existing in the database due to previously installed plugins. We also recommend WP-Optimize which can automatically optimize your existing database.You should definitely take a backup of your current database before using this plugin.

4. Caching

: The best thing about WordPress is that you have so many plugins to choose from, they are user friendly and to top it up, they are FREE. A Caching plugin is a must-have for every WordPress website as it drastically reduces the load time but it can be quite cumbersome to enable one of these, so one should take a backup of your existing website and consult an expert. W3 Total Cache is one of the best caching plugins and we definitely recommend it.

5. Delete post revisions

: This method is unheard of and yet it is one of the most effective solution when it comes to increase site speed. This is a simple method of getting your site run faster. Every time a post is edited, WordPress saves an old version of it so you can end up having 10-15 versions on your website which slows the website down. The best way to remove these versions is by using a plugin called Better Delete Revision, which does exactly what the name suggests.

6. Image Optimization:

We all want that our websites should look striking in the first go and we need images of highest quality to showcase our product or service. But these images do not have to be large enough to look eye catching. Heavy size images put a huge burden on the load time of our websites so they have to optimized in several lossless ways including stripping meta data and compressing the images. The trending plugin to optimize images is EWWW Image Optimiser and we give it a thumbs up.

You can try implementing these methods and see the results yourself at Pingdom, Web Page Test and Gtmetrix.

There are several other ways which can considerably reduce the load time of your website but require EXPERT level knowledge for which you can contact us today and have a “FLASH” load time for your website

Decoding the ‘Hummingbird’ Code – What Google’s New Algorithm Means to You

Recently Google announced its new search algorithm system which is able to sift through all the information at hand and come back with relevant answers. Known as ‘Hummingbird’, it is expected to be precise and fast just like its name sake and provide better search results for internet users.

How does it Work?

The latest Google Update is designed to make use of its Knowledge Graph that was introduced last year in such a way that the search engine is able to understand the correlations between concepts instead of simply making keyword matches within documents. The Knowledge Graph tool is able to structure information in such a way that a search for, let’s say, Abraham Lincoln, comes back with facts about his contribution to American politics, his personal life and other significant information that is not necessarily available on the same page.

Does this mean ‘PageRank’ Algorithm is Absolute?

PageRank is one of the 200 major elements that influence how the algorithms work. Hummingbird looks at the level of importance the link of a page are deemed to be, as well as a range of other factors such as the quality of the page, the content, etc.

How different is the Hummingbird update from the Penguin, Panda and other Updates?

Penguin, Panda and other updates introduced by Google were actually changes that were made to parts of the old algorithm. Hummingbird on the other hand is a complete replacement. Hummingbird in simple words is a brand new engine, though it is known to continue to use some features from its predecessors.

What is so new about Hummingbird?

Among the many chances brought about in search technology, ‘conversational search’ is one of the most prominent instances. This is especially helpful for individuals making voice searches through their smart phones. For example, questions ‘Where can I find Chinese food in this locality?’ or ‘How do I change my engine oil?’ no longer need to rely on the user’s ability to come up specific words such as ‘Chinese restaurants, Los Angeles’; or ‘change engine oil’.

This platform is expected to provide enhanced support that focuses on the meaning behind the word. This means that Google will actually have the ability to understand your actual location if you have shared it with it and understand the ‘Chinese restaurant’ is a brick and mortar establishment that offers a specific cuisine. With an understanding of all these meanings, it helps Google provide its users search results that are more accurate rather than simply picking pages that contain matching words.

Hasn’t Conversation Search been around for a few Months Already?

Yes and no. While conversational search has been around in concept and limited use through Knowledge Graph answers, Hummingbird facilitates its extensive use by applying this technology to billions of pages on the World Wide Web, hereby bringing excellent search results with respect to relevancy.

What does this mean for SEO?

Every time Google releases a new update, experts start panicking over a perceived end to SEO technology. As a matter of fact, SEOs and publishers need to make the least number of alterations to their strategy considering that most guidelines remain the same.

As long as SEOs, internet marketers and website owners are able to stick to high quality and original content, they will be able to continue to maintain their rankings on Google.

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Clash of the Ecommerce Titans : Magento Go Vs Shopify Vs Bigcommerce Vs Volusion

Ecommerce platforms essentially assist online businesses and shoppers in managing a myriad of functions such as inventory, creation of accounts, wish lists, maintenance of order histories and assessing margins. While the involvement of a solution provider such as Pay Pal may suffice a smaller ecommerce portal, growing businesses that keep innovation as their benchmark, and introduce newer products everyday may need a more robust support.

The most popular solutions offered in this space are by Magento Go,  Shopify, BigCommerce and Volusion.  However, each one of these tools has its own set of pros and cons.

1.  Magento Go

magento go

Considering Magento Go is the most advanced self hosted ecommerce platform, setting up a Magento Go ecommerce website requires expert involvement. Built by the developers for the developers, one needs to have advanced knowledge in HTML/CSS/PHP to optimize the tools of this platform to create a website.

To be able to take advantage of everything Magento Go has to offer, one needs to have a minimum of intermediate expertise in HTML/CSS/PHP. Also, Magento Go as a platform is not able to take advantage of the extensive plug in library offered by other variants of Magento. In this aspect, Shopify and BigCommerce are more preferred due to their relatively more extensive plug-in library. Magneto Go supports shipping outside of the US in a number of countries with its tie-up with UPS

Pros of Magento Go

  • Can be customized to a greater extent.
  • Easy to use reporting and inventory management solutions

Cons of Magento Go

  • Cannot leverage extensive plug-in library that is  offered for Magento Community Users.
  • Demands a steep learning curve for even simply activities such as installing a theme.
  • No in-built blog functionality like Shopify.

2. Shopify

Shopify pros and cons

Among all platforms, this one is the easiest to set up. One does not require much expertise in coding to create a customized portal that is effective. The website can be created without having to write a single line of codes. However, due to the ease in setting up, this platform offers minimum room for customization.

Another flaw in this platform is the fact that they expect developers to use a ‘Shopify’ specific programming language to customize templates. Shopify comes with a very limited template library of only about 200 templates. This platform focuses on shipping products only within the US hereby limiting your delivery bandwidth.

Pros of Shopify

  • Extremely easy to setup
  • User-friendly when one needs to make small customizations
  • Affordable and provides sufficient technical support

Cons of Shopify

  • Limited options for customization
  • Relatively small library of templates
  • Fewer options for reporting

3. Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce pros and cons

This platform is able to effectively compete with Shopify with respect to ease in setting up of online store. This platform too, does not expect you to be an expert in coding to create a customized website.

A big advantage over Shopify is that BigCommerce does not expect you to learn any special programming language for customization of templates. However, getting creative with your design on this platform may not be as challenging as it is on Shopify.

The built-in templates on this platform are also not as aesthetic as the ones offered on Shopify. However, developers are able to purchase third party themes that allow the ecommerce websites to stand out in comparison.

BigCommerce is able to facilitate shipping all over the world.

Pros of BigCommerce

  • Setup is Extremely easy
  • Allows you to use HTML/CSS for editing the themes
  • Provides support for International Shipping

Cons of BigCommerce

  • Built-in Templates are not aesthetic enough
  • The customization features on BigCommerce are more complex than those offered by Shopify
  • They offer limited support for third party applications.

4.  Volusion

Volusion pros and cons

Volusion too is quite intuitive and easy to use. The installation process is quite painless. This platform is written in ASP.NET, making it a Windows based ecommerce solution. With a little bit of research, developers are able to set up a website on this platform within minutes

With basic expertise in standard programming languages, developers can create some extremely appealing ecommerce interfaces using Volusion. With innovative features such as vZoom image resizing and other such plug-ins and templates, the Volusion platform is the most customizable and consequently appealing to online shoppers.

Volusion too facilitates international buying and shipping.

Pros of Volusion

  • Easy to Setup
  • Easily customizable
  • Good for international shipping

Cons of Volusion

  • Ideal only for Windows based ecommerce platforms
  • Does not provide a blogging tool like that one which is available in Shopify
  • Fewer content management features

With every platform offering its own set of advantages and drawbacks, selecting the right platform is a personal decision that needs to be taken in sync with your business goals.

My personal choice from the above set of ecommerce platforms will be Shopify, simply because of the ease of setting it up and the cool inbuilt blog feature.

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Google’s New Keyword Planner Tool and How does it Change your Keyword Research Strategy

On August 26th 2013, Google announced the official closing down of its Adword Keyword Tool that has now been replaced by what is known as the Google Keyword Planner Tool.

What is Google Keyword Planner?

This new tool packs in the features of both, the keyword research tool and website traffic estimator – giving marketers a new integrated workflow they can depend on. Users can now find new keywords, more accurate location targeting and find traffic estimates at the same time, giving away the erstwhile cumbersome, and clunky multiple screens that they had to work with.

Google Keyword Planner

What are the Key Features of Keyword Planner

  • The new advanced Keyword Planner tool gives volumes for a specific geographic area you want to see keyword results for.
  • Now, the keyword you get is for all devices. It is no longer possible to ask for device specific target keywords
  • The number of keywords generated is much higher since the results are an amalgamation to Ad Group Ideas, Loose Keywords, Average Monthly Searches and Average CPC.
  • Based on a bid you choose and its daily budget, you can review traffic and bid estimates right next to the keyword results, telling you exactly how much you need to pay for your campaigns.

Google Keyword Planner

How does this Change your Keyword Strategy

Among the first major changes that Google has brought with its tool is that everyone using the tool needs to identify themselves as well as the searches they make by making sure that they only users who are logged in can access the tool.

This makes it difficult for people and other keyword tools that prefer not to disclose themselves when they search Google for information. Also, eliminating the “Closely Related” feature, the new tool makes it quite challenging for marketers to gain access to relevant information.

However, the new Planner tool does have its own set of benefits. Users are now able to upload their own keywords for performance information. Many users have also appreciated the fact that this tool allows you to view different ad groups and general related terms; consequently enabling users to acquire ideas on various types of keywords that can be pursued.

This streamlined variant of the keyword tool helps users optimize the ad creation process.

How to Adapt to the New Google Keywords Planner Tool

While every change brings with it some resistance, maneuvering yours way through this new tool by making a few small changes to your strategy can bring you some effective results.

  1. Start by creating a list of target group of users and their interests. Define their demographics with respect to age, television viewing habits, online habits and other preferences.
  2. Now you can perform a personality specific keyword research with the help of the new planner tool. Make sure you associate each general keyword for each personality you have created.
  3. Find correlations between each keyword with each interest group. For example, for a group of your target audience belongs to the age group of 21 to 25 year old females who love to watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, what else would these women is interested in?
  4. Now go back to the Keyword Planner Tool and start hunting for keywords that are associated with ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ to identify other relevant ideas.
  5. Now start expanding your list of keywords so that you can arrive at a comprehensive list that is related to your product or service offering. Make sure that it is appealing to the target demographic you intend to cater to.

 

By leveraging the use of the right type of keywords, you will be able to develop more functional engagement opportunities through your blogs and other content.

The Growing Need and Future of Mobile ecommerce Websites

With the exponential growth of the Internet, as well as wireless technologies, a natural marriage seems to have taken place between these two disciplines – consequently giving birth to the ‘Mobile Internet’. Internet on the go has subsequently resulted in the developing of a thriving business opportunity in the form of exciting mobile e-commerce opportunities.

What is Mobile e-Commerce?


Mobile e-commerce
is essentially a secure financial transaction gateway that online buyers can make use of on the go. Currently, conventional internet services are being extended to more mobile friendly buying environments, though it is expected that a range of newer services will be introduced to suit the demands specific to mobile internet users and shoppers.

The Many Advantages of Mobile e-Commerce

 

  • Added Convenience: With instant accessibility to a range of financial services, it is possible for users to make electronic payments anytime of the day, from any corner of the world.
  • Added Flexibility: Depending on your individual requirements, mobile e-commerce let you customize your method of access and payments.
  • Enhanced Security: Mobile e-commerce websites are designed to provide highly secure gateways for financial transaction. The added control given to users help ensure maximum security during payments or transactions.
  • Leveraging Familiarity: Mobile users tend to use handsets that are over a period of time personalized to current information and a format that the user is comfortable with. With consistent developments in the phone user interface, it is will be possible for mobile e-commerce websites to leverage this familiarity to go beyond conventional engagement methods.

Business Sectors that can Optimize the Mobile e-Commerce Platform

 

Online Shopping Sites

The widespread usage of mobile devices as given rise to the existence of mobile applications and platforms, which in-turn is driving growth of online shopping. Purchasing, ordering, paying and tracking shipments for physical goods and services from online shops are now made even more convenient.

Competitive companies with the help of mobile e-commerce for shopping have been able to leverage QR code and bar-code technologies to allow shoppers to gain access to product displays, reviews, price comparisons and other vital information that influences buying decisions- on the go. On the other side, consumers now can seek greater value in their purchases; with a greater variety/choice of goods which can be accessed easily across all age groups. This has also led to increased interest and greater conversions for online stores; wherein the retailers can also drive in more brand awareness among their targeted users.

Further, these applications are also being used to confirm receipt of payments for goods purchased in the physical world, hereby significantly simplifying the job of the cashier.

The Banking Sector

As an extension of internet or home banking, this sector is able to leverage technologies such as digital signatures and certificates to let users manage personal account information; let them transfer funds into bank or prepaid accounts; receive regular reminders for bank information or due payments and to manage electronic payments of invoices.

Investment and Trading

With access to brokerage and trading applications, it is now possible for users to gain the most recent information on stock prices, event notifications, current portfolio values, and confirmation of trading orders. With digital signatures one can also gain overall assistance in effective investment management.

Ticketing & Reservations

¬Mobile e-commerce facilitates easy electronic bookings, purchases, invoicing, payments and receipts for events, travel and other forms of transaction that require tickets. Many applications are widely used by public transport agencies, ticketing reservations, theme parks, airline companies and event managers, and much more.

Online Gaming

This sector holds promises of exhibiting maximum appeal among mobile e-commerce users. Mobile applications help streamline payment mechanisms, signing of contracts and interactivity in betting features where applicable.

The Future of Mobile e-Commerce

With newer players constantly entering the market to compete with traditional players, the competition in this space is projected to increase tremendously over the next few years. Significant investments are expected to be pumped into the mobile e-commerce space.

It is expected that by 2017, 71.5% of mobile commerce will come from tablets in spite of the higher penetration of smart phones. With mobile users share in online shopping predicted to go by another 10% by 2017, there is no doubt that this platform is here to stay!

Octopus Tech Advantage 

we create visually appealing mobile ecommerce websites which have a smooth flow and a quick checkout process to help improve sales, are you looking for one such mobile website? contact us today.

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One Page Website Based on WordPress Launched

Octopus Tech recently launched a single page website based on the popular WordPress CMS.

The template for 20icons.com included a smooth jQuery scroll which can be handled from the navigation menu and also when you go down on the website a scroll up button appears on the bottom right to go UP easily.

20icons.com develops beautiful mobile applications and wanted to have a visually pleasing web interface to showcase their work to the world without too much of noise and we delivered just that.

Octopus Tech used the following technologies to develop 20icons.com:

  • Platform : WordPress CMS, WordPress Plugins
  • Scripts : jQuery, Javascript
  • Database : My-SQL
  • Development : PHP, HTML5
  • Turn-around time : 7 days

Octopus Tech is a web development and design company and we provide custom wordpress solutions to our clients, If you are also looking for one, don’t hesitate and contact us today.

Best Magento Extensions To Boost Sales Of Your E-Commerce Website

Turning to the top 100 thousand busiest sites on the internet, according to Alexa, a February eCommerce survey found the largest market share of eCommerce software continues to be with Magento.

This is not surprising as its open, modular architecture, extremely flexible platform, makes customization and adding new functionalities much simpler and manageable. And despite the fact that it has been around only a few years, it has been gaining more and more popularity among web designers and e-commerce website owners.

Here we look at best Magento extensions that can help your business acquire, convert and retain more customers.

 

GoMage Advanced Navigation

GoMage’s Advanced Navigation extension is designed to optimize your Magento store, by improving navigation and product filtering which in turn allows customers to quickly find what they are looking for. With its integrated ajax filters, selected data gets refreshed promptly, or certain attribute filters can be hidden, allowing customers to experience a more agreeable shopping experience, rather than waiting for the entire page to refresh.

AheadWorks Blog

By easily integrating this Magento Blog extension on your Magento website, you create an effective platform through which you can interact with your regular customers or even casual visitors. By encouraging visitors to engage in a two way conversation you can leverage this platform to provide official information about your store, promotions, upcoming deals, and products. This platform can also be used as an effective tool to ‘interact’ and find ‘live’ feedback from your customer.

RewardPoints

An inbuilt reward program can really act as an effective marketing tool that not only promotes specific products, but also encourage customers to come back and spend more on your site. With Reward Points extension of Magento, you can set exactly the number of points that a customer can earn for some actions they perform e.g.: Sign up, purchase products, review or tag products, take polls etc. and in turn they can redeem these collected points while purchasing a product to get additional discounts.

M2E Pro

This free extension (did I say FREE..o yes!) helps in completely integrating your Magento website into the eBay platform. With the ability to import eBay transactions and create Magento orders, you can easily manage all your product listings, synchronize stock levels, product details, pricing structures and many other tasks that reduce time for listing maintenance. By reaching out to a wider audience through these platforms, both eBay and Amazon, your business can significantly improve sales.

 Mega Menu

Consider these statistics. On an average, a customer stays on a particular web page for no longer than 20 seconds. It is thus important that your web design allows users to navigate through your pages with the minimum number of clicks possible. With the Mega Menu magento extension, you can help your visitors find the information they need as quickly as possible, consequently ensuring a higher sales turnover.

Daily Deal Extension

With the help of the Daily Deal Magento extension, you can easily manage one or more deals on products that you intend to release on your website. You can set up your promotion time – create daily, weekly and even monthly deals that can be displayed on your daily deal page, sidebar or product page. The more often you display deals, the more your customers will be encouraged to visit your website regularly!

Amasty Gift Extension

This magento gifts extension allows you to attract a wide customer base that is evidently more enticed by free gifts than big discounts. With this extension you can introduce free items to the cart, offers ‘buy one get one free’ offers and release a number of exciting gifting options to keep your customers interested!

 

With the support of these powerful and simple extensions, you can make sure your e-commerce business propel growth and realize revenues.

 If you have some custom magento extensions to be made or are having problems customizing an extension or the core functionality of magento, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will surely help you out.

Logo Design -”BON GATEAU – The European Patisserie”

Octopus Tech  provided “BON GATEAU – The European Patisserie” a brand new logo for their bakery.

They came to us with their idea and their preferred color schemes and After a couple rounds of discussion we gave them the following options to choose from :

Bon Gateau Logo DesignThinking of a new logo design for your business, Feel free to contact us today.

 

IOS 7

Apple recently announced and previewed the NEW IOS 7.Apple brings a bright and colorful experience with all the new features incorporated.

There are bunch of new features and completely new UI design for the new IOS 7. However, The basic functionality hasn’t changed so all you previous apple users won’t be facing any difficulties in adapting to the new IOS 7 but definitely you will find it more appealing, interactive, fluid and responsive.

Here are some of the screenshots officially released by Apple.

 

All in all, Apple has delivered again what the user wants. The new  IOS 7 is one to look out for!!