Time for Business Spring Cleaning!

   Time for Business Spring Cleaning!

Virtual Stacks is Ready to Host & Design Your Spring Cleaning!

How often do you make decisions that reflect who you are and what kind things, ideas and people you enjoy? The way you represent yourself and/or your business plays a major role in the success achieved. You wouldn’t show up to a corporate business meeting with traditional executives wearing your old ripped high school gym t-shirt, would you? No way! The same applies to what your website wears when conducting business. Usually, when making major identity representation decisions, we all tend to seek out graphics and content that:

  1. Catches The Eye – Attractive, Interesting & appeals to an aesthetic beauty.
  1. Kicks Up The Intrigue – Engaging, motivational, anything that not only pulls one in, but also makes them want to stay!
  1. Causes Action – Effectively makes consumers take action in moving forward with what you have to offer.
  1. Makes a Statement – Giving a fully understandable and user-friendly (if applicable) display of purpose, mission or cause represented.
  1. Stays Fresh – Fresh ideas, themes and visual displays that are up-to-date draw the attention of interested parties to any creativity and originality on display!

Business spring cleaning tends to make the DIY fanatic in all of us start new projects and as consumers we need to buy new supplies or services. Make sure your business is a well-known, viable option for what is needed. The best way to achieve this is to refresh your website design and brighten up your digital presence.

Virtual Stacks Systems offers competitively priced web hosting services and the best website design team there is. Call us today to spring into action!

Whether you are a Sanford leak detection company, provider of LMS education tools, VLCD weight loss provider, or landscape design, mobile-friendly web design is key to you beating your competition online.

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Don’t Drop the CSR Ball

Don't Drop the CSR Ball

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day Business World!

As the holiday season winds down, with only a few specially recognized days left, this week we are reminded of the importance of doing good things for one another. Martin Luther King Jr. is honored this week with an American National Holiday for the massive impact he has had on the rights of and good-natured attitudes of everyone around the world. Many consider Martin Luther King Jr. Day a day of community service and outreach. A time to reflect on what we have done for our fellow man and what we can still do as human beings. The same mentality is felt by many businesses and organizations as well; especially online. Make sure your company’s community imprint is deep and, more importantly, felt by as many as possible.

Corporate Community Involvement, or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is a serious and highly judged component of what makes an organization a successful and long lasting entity. The reasoning behind strengthening one’s community involvement is endless and requires ongoing commitment on the company’s part.

Consider these reasons when developing your own company's initiatives and environmental strategies:

    o Corporate owned or partnered non-profits draw more consumer attention
    o Increased competitive advantage
    o Citizens of the world will go out of their way to support the organization funding a good cause
    o The right kinds of employees will seek you out and want to join a great company
    o Your community and consumer environment will fight for you if times get rough

After all is said and done, the real benefit of upholding the portrayal of an 'Organization That Cares' is the feeling of doing what is right with what you’ve created.

CSR Online

Looking through the websites and digital presence of your competitors, and any business entity with a strong website, how well is your Corporate Social Responsibility represented? Globally, all eyes are on the CSR of big businesses. Many small businesses even depend on the digital spread of their cause or reputations to fuel their growth. Take TOMS® for instance; the shoe-wear company that has a committed initiative of giving shoes to underprivileged children around the world with every sale. Their rapid growth comes from their online outreach and the spread of their amazing strategy of affecting change. Their e-commerce dealings allow people all around the world to make purchases and donations. The best part? Their shoes' wear-ability along with the word-of-mouth, especially via social media, form their unique marketing platform.

Virtual Stacks Systems™ provides cheap web hosting and E-Commerce hosting options that facilitate your efforts in getting your message and community involvement recognized on a greater scale. The reality of the state of our world, from poverty to injustice to illness, is that plenty needs to be done on a larger scale than that of the physical reach of a business; no matter its size. Websites, social media pages, and the online marketing campaigns that boast the effectiveness of an organization’s attempts to make the world a better place are statistically more profitable on various levels.

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9 Quick Steps to Build an Online Store

9 Quick Steps to Build an Online Store

WordPress has become the most powerful publishing tool over the years. Now the content management system aims to be the most popular ecommerce solution. With the onslaught of online store builders and site builders out there, WordPress has built a business on providing free tools to do everything that helps build ecommerce online store easily and fast, although it's not always so simple as drag and drop building. If you have ecommerce hosting, WordPress can help you manage and run an exceptional online store with tons of features. For many businesses, WordPress runs entire online store and storefronts easily.

What You Need with WordPress

To build an ecommerce online store that will do exceptionally well, you need a few things to get started.

1. Powerful Web Hosting

WordPress is just a platform. To get your business online, you want a powerful web host that can provide you steady, reliable and fast uptime. When finding the right web hosting company, look for these attributes:

  • Free Web Hosts - Always place advertising on your site. Pick free web hosts carefully. Alternatively, you can find a cheap web host with known reliability and fast uptimes.
  • Disk Space - Get enough disk space to allow your site to expand in the future.
  • FTP Access - Your web host must provide you with access to FTP so you can drag and drop your web pages and other files into your WordPress installation.
  • File Size Limits - Some free web hosts pose file restrictions.
  • Bandwidth - Find web hosts that provide you with a lot of bandwidth within your budget if you plan on hosting a popular online store.

When you choose a free web host, you may not get all of the features that you want. You'll also still end up paying for your domain name. Your online store has to have a high quality TLD in order to do well across different markets. Picking a domain name should relate in some way to your brand or products. This makes it easier for your online store to get traffic from search engines, but if you have an original name, you can still build traffic and create a popular online store.

 2. Install WordPress and WooCommerce

WordPress is free to install. With our web hosting packages, WordPress is installed with just one click from your dashboard. WordPress installs fast and allows you to start building your online store within a few seconds. Once your WordPress is installed, you can begin building your online store and product catalog. There are still a few things that you'll need to be completely set up and ready to start accepting orders.

Once you install WordPress, you can install WooCommerce, which is a free ecommerce plugin that works with ecommerce store themes.

3. Payment Processor

All stores need a payment process. Most use PayPal or Google Checkout, but there are a number of ways to ensure that you have a secure checkout. This is important to keeping your customers and allowing them to trust your store. Most online stores provide multiple payment types including all major credit cards, PayPal and even Bitcoin, in some cases.

4. Delivery and Fulfillment Service

While it's not necessary, these types of services help if you have a ton of products. If you have a large warehouse already, then you probably already have some way to process orders. If you are a small business order, delivery and fulfillment services can make it easier to get your products delivered on time and provide storage as well.

5. Premium Themes & WooCommerce

There are free WordPress themes that work pretty well for ecommerce, but premium themes also have some extra features. WooCommerce is a plugin that you'll install after you finish your WordPress installation. However, premium themes typically have more support for WooCommerce and allow you to use things like Visual Composer to drag and drop parts of your site's design to customize the way you want.

How All These Elements Work Together

While WordPress may be more of a management platform, but there's no reason not to use it for ecommerce especially with the addition of WooCommerce. Businesses have always combined WordPress storefronts with the actual store and product catalog. That's because WordPress allows you to easily manage images, navigation, pages, text and other content simply and easily.

Now that WooCommerce works fairly easily to build up your online store, you can simply add a way for customers to check out that is secure. There are a variety of options that allow you to accept payment. You want to be able to accept multiple types of payment from credit cards to PayPal. WooCommerce also has a built-in checkout feature, and you can buy the WooCommerce Checkout extension plugin that allows you to keep track of what's being bought on your site.

If you are selling digital goods, then you want to use a good delivery service. It can get messy trying to host your own digital good for download and delivery. Multiple services like FetchApp, PayLoadz and and Sellify are a few different options that make the process easy and efficient.

Building Your Store Quickly

Once you have all of these elements up and running, you should be able to drag and drop your content in your online store. One of the first decisions you have to make is whether you want to have a storefront online or if you'd rather have a homepage for your business with a link to your store.

If your business is all about your store, then it's better to have your homepage automatically take people to your online store. It also has to fit in with your audience. for example, if you are selling t-shirts, then your store is all about retail. Your homepage should load a store and navigation to how your visitors can find more t-shirts.

However, what if you are a t-shirt designer who is known for art and just recently started making t-shirts or prints? The choice is yours. Most artists will likely keep their homepage dedicated to displaying art and event information with a link to the store. Others may set up a completely different site for the store and keep another site for their artist homepage. The two sites can link to one another and be marketed together.

1. Start with the Basics 

Your online store should have the basics already created. You need to have a homepage or storefront, navigation bar, content pages and blog. You'll add in product pages later with your products. Your content should focus on branding and marketing your products. Your navigation needs to be effective and easy=to-use. If you decide to have a blog, you should start getting content up on the blog before your site goes live.

2. Build Out Product Pages

You need to maximize your product's sellability by including production descriptions, bullet lists with specifications, images and sku numbers. These are the basics to creating a dynamic product page. Images are necessity to selling online. Pricing details should be clearly displayed with quantity and color options. You can use tabs to organize your specifications, product description and other information like return policy or reviews.

3. Set Up Your Store for Success

Stores on WooCommerce have a variety of options to market and promote products. You can set up all kinds of hourly, daily, weekly and monthly deals. You can also add complimentary product images on product pages to get your customers interested in companion products and upgrade their purchases. Once you have these extras, the last key is the checkout.

4. Simple Checkout Process

Your online store needs to have a simple one or two-click checkout process. Most newer shops should not try to make customers register at first. Instead, you can provide them with a guest checkout option and an optional way to sign up during the checkout process. Lowering your bounce off rate in checkout is essential to doing well and selling more products. In addition, customers need to know that you have a secure checkout. SSL certificates, Truste, WebTrust, Better Business Bureau rating and displayed payment methods at the bottom of your store page can make this more clear.

Setting up your business on WordPress is a rather quick process, but a lot goes into creating the ultimate ecommerce online store. If you want help creating your ecommerce storefront, you should talk to the ecommerce team at Virtual Stacks at 1-877-368-4448.

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