Below is a quick guide to help you get your website e-commerce ready as we work to make our Craft Wine online sales network as robust as possible.
Site Speed: Site speed can be one of the most important things about your website. If your site is slow google will downgrade it in the search results and it will make it less likely that people will purchase from you once they get to your site. There are a few free tools you can use to measure your site’s speed. I like GT Metrix because they will give you a comprehensive report on what is slowing your site down, the usual suspects are image optimization and page caching which can both be fixed with plugins.
Check your site for broken links: Particularly in your header and footer menus but you should check all of your links regularly.
Social Share & Follow Buttons: Social share buttons are buttons on blog posts or products that allow visitors to your site to easily share the content on their social networks. Social follow buttons are buttons on your home page or in your header/footer area that lead site visitors to your social media pages.
Contact Page: Make sure your information is up to date and your form works correctly. You should test your form monthly and make sure you monitor the email account set to receive messages.
Website Security: Security is very important on a website that processes payment info. For a WordPress website, make sure you have an up to date SSL through your hosting company and use plugins that limit spam and block bots that try to infiltrate your site. Self-hosted websites like Squarespace and Wix have security built-in and it is reflected in the monthly fee.
Ecommerce: Now is the age of digital commerce, if people can’t purchase through your website your ability to sell your product is compromised. There are 3rd party companies likeVinoshipper and others that act as intermediaries for purchases and that will work but if you are selling through a third party to customers you could be selling directly to, you are losing money. It is better to have an eCommerce system on your own website as well as an intermediary like Vinoshipper that will allow you to sell to states you can’t ship to with your own license.
Mobile-Friendly: Make sure your website works well on phones and tablets as well as a desktop computer.
Browser Compatibility: Make sure your website works on all browsers, Chrome is the most important but also Safari, Edge (formerly Explorer), and Firefox.
Site Accessibility: Make sure your website complies with ADA laws for accessibility, meaning if someone has a disability that would prevent them from purchasing through your website you need to fix it. You can use this accessibility tool to find out where you stand.
SEO: Install the Yoast SEO plugin or any other SEO plugin to optimize for SEO. Make sure every page has a unique title, a meta description, and is optimized for keyword usage.
Protect Yourself From Spam: If you’re using WordPress make sure you have an anti-spam solution, it makes comment management easier and your website safer. Self-hosted websites generally have this built-in.
If you have questions or need help with any of these items, please email me at jennifer at winebulletin.net.