Over the years, the tools of the IT industry have changed and a rapid evolution is taking place in the world of technology as businesses move from in-house operations to virtual platforms. Businesses that can’t keep up with this evolution are doomed to fail, which is why even small, local businesses are rushing to create some sort of online presence.
When building an eCommerce website, choosing the right tools is an essential step. By knowing what you want to accomplish and how you want your site to operate up front, you can begin with everything you need and won’t waste time reinventing the wheel, or, in this case, reinventing website design.
What Does Your Site Need to Accomplish?
Before you begin the design process, you’ll need to determine the purpose of your site. If you plan to sell directly from your website, you’ll require a few more tools than a purely informational site. Deciding exactly what you want to be capable of doing will help you gather the right tools before you begin building. If you don’t think the entire process through, you’re likely to hit roadblocks as you design when you realize you don’t have everything you need.
What Tools Do You Need?
The tools you need depend on the type of site you want to build. An information-only site, for example, will at the very least require a reliable web host, a good domain name, a site-building program and a deployment program. As an eCommerce vendor, you’ll need all that as well as excellent navigational tools, a search form for users to find products and a means of collecting payments.
These tools can be found in a variety of places. Sites such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor provide tools for building online forms for mailing lists, while PayPal, Google Wallet and 2Checkout provide checkout options that can be embedded in your site. As you plan your design, you’ll realize which tools you’ll need for your site to be functional.
How can You Integrate?
The move to virtual platforms serves an important function for most business owners. Programs that are web-based are accessible from anywhere, and when you use these tools to build your online presence, you can create your website from any location. Using cloud-based programs to design your site gives you the ability to make changes as needed without having to get back to an office.
Windows SkyDrive provides a storage option that integrates seamlessly with the rest of your Windows system, and Azure provides web and mobile development tools. If you’re working with Windows-based hardware at your company, these tools allow for ultimate integration.
As cloud technology continues to evolve, the tools are rapidly advancing, and the in-house systems we relied on in the past are now available on the cloud, such as Windows Server. Researching the available tools as you plan your site can help you find cutting-edge components and integrate them into your site from the get-go. The more streamlined and simple your site design, the easier it is for people to navigate, and with the right tools, you ease the process for both yourself and potential customers.