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How To Create a Client Intake Form for Your Web Dev Business

Did you know that by using a multi-step web design client intake form, you can increase your conversions by up to 300%?

That’s not all. As of 2019, forms were still the highest converting lead generation tool for most freelancers and agencies.

That’s the true power of intake forms. If you run a web design business, you should have one for your prospective clients.

Keep reading as we go through what a website intake form is, why you should have one, and three popular digital form builders you can use today.

What Is a Client Intake Form?

A web design client intake form is a questionnaire that businesses use to onboard new clients. You can use one to determine whether a client is a good fit for your web design business. If they are, this form helps you get them on board and tailor a unique strategy for their project.

Web design intake forms aren’t a recent phenomenon — they’re quite popular in medical practices and law firms. Other service providers use them for their intake process, including web designers (like yourself).

If you’re starting out and need new clients to kickstart your business, you should still have an intake form. It’s an excellent way to kick off your web design career and make a lasting first impression on your clients.

4 Reasons You Need a Website Development Intake Form

Here’s why you need a web design client intake form:

1. For Planning and Service Delivery

Forms bring structure to your business and make your onboarding process and workflow seamless. You can use forms to collect vital information about your prospects, like their contact information.

If you’re thorough with your web design questionnaires from the beginning, you can start projects faster. No need to collect client information again after the project begins.

2. To Save Time

Intake forms make your clients’ experiences more convenient. A web design questionnaire cuts the time you’d spend on a business phone call.

Your customer will communicate their needs quicker and express themselves better. If they’re a fit, you can begin your client onboarding process as soon as possible.

3. To Build a Relationship With Your Client

Forms make it easier to build a relationship with the right clients. Since they’ve already shown an interest in your services, you can expect a response if you reach out to them. They’ll be open about their problems and you can tailor solutions for them.

4. To Improve Conversions

Anyone who fills in your intake form is a warm lead. That also means your strategy works and you’re targeting the right people. Website intake forms help you attract your ideal customer and turn them into paying clients.

When To Get Your Client To Fill Out an Intake Form

Ideally, new web design clients should complete forms as soon as possible. You can capture their details directly from your landing page. Also, you can embed a link in your contact or membership page for them to fill out.

7 Must-Have Fields on Your Web Design Client Intake Form

Here’s what your website intake form should include:

1. Essential Client Information

Let your new client intake form collect the basic information you need to create and maintain client profiles.

A good questionnaire includes the following client info:

  • Client name.
  • Company name (if applicable).
  • Client’s email address, phone number, and preferred contact method.
  • URL for their website (if applicable).
  • Days of operation.

2. Client Occupation Information

Once you’ve collected basic profile information, find out more about your client’s business. All of them will have different backgrounds and levels of experience. From this, you’ll learn more about what products or services their brands offer.

It’s vital to let your clients use their own words. That way, you can learn about their brand voice. Also, it will help you choose the right approach with each client.

3. Challenges Your Client Faces

This form field enables your potential clients to speak out about the challenges they face. Let them express their ideas freely. Since your clients understand their own pain points better, let them tell you what solution they want.

4. Your Client’s Goals

What do your clients see as a successful outcome? What do they want to achieve? Let them talk about their goals.

Also, take the opportunity to see how you can help them achieve those goals. If your prospect has out-of-reach expectations, you can find ways to help them manage their ambitions.

5. Budget Information

A budget shows you just how much your clients value the solution you’re offering. This information is vital to whether a client can afford your services.

If they offer a low budget, you can have an open discussion with them about increasing it. If their budget matches or exceeds yours, you can now streamline your plans for collaboration.

6. Competitor Information

This information gives you a chance to get a feel for your client’s industry. You can learn how business works in that space and what strategies to use with the project.

7. Room for Extra Comments

You can never capture everything in one simple form. Instead, let your clients add any extra information. Is there anything relevant your form missed? What would they like to know about you or your services? Let them fill in those details here.

Digital Form Builders for Your Web Design Client Intake Forms

If you have the time, you can build a website intake form from scratch. But if you want to get started right away, an online form builder is an excellent way to create one.

Most form builders feature website intake form templates you can adapt to your business. You can also create custom form templates using a convenient drag-and-drop builder.

Here are some popular form builders you can try out:

  • Typeform helps you design client questionnaires, forms, and surveys that get responses consistently. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require coding knowledge.
  • You can also use IntakeQ to build a web design questionnaire or forms that help you optimize how you capture information from your prospective clients.
  • Besides building forms and surveys, you can use integrations on Wufoo to manage and add e-signatures to documents.

Best Practices for Creating Intake Forms

As you create a new web design client intake form template for your freelance business, here are ways to keep your experience seamless:

  • Keep your forms short and to the point. Make your client intake process as straightforward as possible.
  • Ensure your forms are engaging and user-friendly.
  • Ask the right questions but only ask for relevant information.
  • Always review and improve your website intake forms.
  • Comply with government policy and regulations on data storage and usage. This includes GDPR (Europe) and CCPA (California).

Final Thoughts: How To Create a Client Intake Form for Your Web Dev Business

Once you learn how to create a client intake form for your web design freelance business, you’ll enjoy an exponential increase in your conversion rates. Beyond that, you can use it as a tool to organize your clients, create relationships with them, and work on awesome projects together.

Still hung up on how to build your freelance web development business? Check out the Hostdedi guide on how to begin and get clients.

Explore Hostdedi’ hosting plans and enjoy outstanding web hosting services for your portfolio.

Check out our fully managed hosting plans to get started today.

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How to Detect Slow WordPress Plugins | Hostdedi

There are few WordPress sites that don’t use plugins. That shouldn’t be a surprise considering they’re a must-have for feature-rich building and added functionality. Despite the positives, plugin use can sometimes come at a price. You can experience dips in performance or even potential security vulnerabilities. That being said, it is important to know how to detect slow WordPress plugins — and what to do with that info.

When choosing plugins, there are a lot of factors you need to consider. Installing a bad plugin can have unexpected consequences — from slow performance to your site being compromised. Let’s look at a few things you’ll want to consider to avoid possible damage.

Support and Documentation

It is a great sign if a plugin is supported by its author and has documentation on common issues. Plugins found in the directory have sub-forums where users can communicate their issues to developers and their peers, and developers can share their supporting material with the users. Things to keep an eye on:

  • If the author’s responses are actually helpful. In-depth doesn’t always mean the questions are answered.
  • Frequency of replies. If support requests are being handled, it suggests they care about their users.
  • Speed of replies. The longer it takes to get a reply, the more likely the customer has reached out elsewhere.

While you might be good at resolving technical issues yourself, these red flags can help you figure out whether you should use the plugin.

Each plugin has a page with details, reviews, stats, support, and a download link. Here, you can find out how many people have downloaded the plugin, what people are saying about it, and when its last update was.

Active Installations and Updates

A large number of active installations usually means that the plugin fulfills the needs of lots of users — which is another good sign.

The “Last updated” section is also important, as it shows that the plugin has still been worked on and new features and security patches are being implemented.

Ratings and Reviews

As we explore further we can see ratings and reviews from the plugin’s users. This can reveal if a plugin actually does what is intended or if it has any security or performance issues.

Good plugins get good reviews. If a plugin breaks sites … you’ll likely hear about it here. In fact, bad reviews can be more useful! Just bear in mind the date it was posted. Newer updates may have addressed the problems complained about in earlier reviews.

Useful Tips

The statement “the more plugins installed, the slower my WordPress site is” is not exactly true. It all depends on how well-coded they are and what changes they make to your site. There are ways to analyze WordPress plugins to get rid of the ones negatively affecting your site’s performance or to replace them with something similar.

Disabling Plugins One By One

One of the simplest ways to detect slow plugins is by deactivating them one by one and reloading the site in your browser. This will help narrow down which plugins slow down your site and how much they impact performance.

You don’t need to use any third party sites or additional plugins to do this (which could further impact performance). That being said, if you have a lot, it can be a hassle to check all of them.

Using WordPress Plugin Performance Analyzers

There are many plugin-based solutions which analyze your WordPress plugins to see if they slow down your site. Here are a few to try.

Query Monitor

Query Monitor is a comprehensive solution that alerts users of PHP and HTTP errors, duplicate database queries, and scripts issues. It also shows page loading speed, memory usage, and much more.

When it gives you a lot of data, it can be hard to interpret what actually pertains to your plugins.

If you have experience with WordPress technology (such as PHP, MySQL, HTML/CSS, and JavaScript), this is one of the best plugins for locating any plugin pain points.

New Relic APM

New Relic APM is server-based monitoring software that identifies if there are any performance issues on your site and helps investigate their origin.

It provides info like CPU and memory usage, server-lever errors, and response times. For WordPress, it also analyzes time spent to process plugins, themes, and functions. It is a very powerful solution though it takes time to get used to it.

New Relic APM is integrated into the Hostdedi platform so it is easy to get started by submitting your license key and configuring what data needs to be reported.


GTMetrix is a speed test site that gathers performance metrics of your site and generates a report detailing the number of HTTP requests, amount of time needed to load the page, and breakdown for each file, image, and script.

Each section provides detailed results and recommends possible solutions. Although this tool won’t specifically indicate what plugin is causing problems, you can still detect slow plugins.

You can use the Waterfall section, select “CSS” and “JS” to be displayed, and hover the mouse over different lines to see files associated with plugins or themes.

Ways To Ensure High Performance

Many people are quick to blame their hosting provider for performance issues. While that may be the case, there are lots of factors that contribute to performance issues. Here are some simple ways to speed up your site.

Remove or Replace Slow Plugins

Using the methods above, it should be easy for you now to detect slow WordPress plugins. Doing a little digging can help you find alternatives for your critically important plugins that cause performance issues. Rarely used or unused plugins can be deactivated or deleted.

Even though deactivated plugins do not affect the page loading speed, it is still recommended to delete them as they might be infected if your site gets attacked by hackers.

Configure Your Plugins

Sometimes plugins come with additional features that are enabled by default. For example, the SEOPress plugin toggles on all the available options when installed:

However, having all of these checked can add valuable seconds it takes for the site to load even if the features are not used at all.

Use Plugins for Optimization and Caching

By using different plugins and trying different ways to load data, optimization and performance plugins can positively affect your loading speed. Caching plugins temporarily store files and images so when visitors browse the site their browser does not have to make that many HTTP requests. This results in better speed and user experience.

Use CDN Services

Content Delivery Networks are a great solution if your visitors live all over the world. CDNs utilize a network of nodes to deliver data efficiently based on the site visitor’s location. Hostdedi WordPress plans have built-in Edge CDN which has nodes all across the globe.

Keep Your Site Up to Date

This recommendation pertains to every aspect of your site — WordPress core, plugins, themes, and even underlying technologies such as PHP and MySQL. The latest updates can provide better speed and performance as well as patch any security vulnerabilities.

Get The Best WordPress Performance With Hostdedi

Now you know how to check slow plugins on your WordPress site. However, you can make every tweak and update and still find your site is slow. A reliable hosting company like Hostdedi contributes a LOT to site speed.

With our optimization and built-in CD  you’ll see improved speeds, but that’s not all we have to offer. We also provide a series of performance monitors.

Plugin Performance Monitor, Sales Performance Monitor, and WooCommerce Automated Testing are included in all our Managed WordPress plans. They’ll help you locate performance bottlenecks and eliminate them.

Hostdedi doesn’t just sell security and speed — we care about it. That’s why we take care of all the plugins and core updates. Managed hosting helps cover your bases so you can keep hitting home runs.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

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5 Ecommerce Fraud Prevention Tips to Try | Online Store Fraud

If you have an ecommerce store, you may be wondering how to make your website secure. Ecommerce fraud scares customers as well business owners. Hence, ecommerce fraud prevention must be your top priority.

With US ecommerce sales reaching around $908.73 billion, these increased ecommerce sales may lead to increased ecommerce fraud. In fact, some predict that financial loss due to online fraud activities will jump from $17.5 billion to $20 billion.

Still, there are specific ways through which you can prevent such ecommerce frauds. In addition, there are many anti-fraud tools available that you can avail and make your platform safe.

Keep reading to learn about ecommerce fraud prevention, and how you can keep your online store safe.

Signs You’re a Victim of Ecommerce Fraud

You must know the red flags that can help you understand the tactics criminals use. Here are some warning signs that you should watch for.

  • Different shipping and billing addresses are used in cases of identity theft or triangulation fraud. Hence it would help if you stay alert.
  • Most of the time, the fraudsters will order several times, and you must check the customer details before delivering goods to them.
  • Another strategy these scammers try is to order several things to the same address while using different cards. If something like this happens, you must ask for a bank transfer to ensure that no scam can happen once the shipment is delivered.
  • Large orders should be a red flag, too, as scammers try to get an enormous reward.
  • You must also observe declined transactions. Once or twice is okay, but if it happens again and again, it could mean that someone is trying to access sensitive data they don’t have permission for.

Types of Ecommerce Fraud

There are many types of fraud that can occur, including the following.

Email Account Phishing

Email account phishing is the oldest trick in the book. The scammer sends you an email that requires sensitive information. Never open such links or give any sensitive information to any stranger. Nowadays, many people receive emails about a shipment that they never ordered and ask for their input. Hence, it would be best if you stay vigilant.

Identity Theft

If someone isn’t aware of such scams and gives their information to these scammers, it results in identity theft. The scammer will buy whatever they like, and you will be the one paying for it. It harms the retailer as the products become old or used; hence, the retailer loses. The credit card company, most of the time, returns the money to the victim, but still, it is a frustrating procedure.

Chargeback Fraud

Chargeback fraud is excruciatingly simple, yet it causes a significant financial loss to the store. What happens in this scam is that a scammer buys a lot of things from your ecommerce website, and once the products are shipped, they cancel the payment. It can also happen by claiming that the delivery never got to them. All in all, the business owner has to bear the loss and investigate it.

Credit Card Fraud

This includes all the techniques through which an individual can commit fraud by using a credit or debit card. For example, a scammer uses a stolen credit card to make purchases from an ecommerce website. It can result in considerable financial losses if the scammer gets away with it. Hence an ecommerce store must have straightforward policies that can tackle such situations.

5 Simple Ecommerce Fraud Prevention Techniques

Learn how to prevent website fraud from happening. Here we elaborate on some ecommerce fraud prevention techniques.

  1. PCI Compliance

PCI compliance is essential. PCI SSC is known as Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. It is a council formed by the biggest credit card brands to make policies to prevent scams from happening. But, of course, you can always opt for secure payment gateways to avoid online store fraud.

2. AVS and CVV

AVS stands for Address Verification Services, and CVV stands for Card Verification Value. These verification values provide standard security measures. AVS tends to ensure that the billing address mentioned matches the billing address written on the file. With the help of CVV, there is a lesser chance of being scammed. Hence it would help to ask for both of these values before delivering the shipment to an individual.

3. Required Signature on Delivery

Another simple yet effective ecommerce fraud prevention practice is the requirement of a signature on delivery. It helps in the prevention of several ecommerce scams, such as identity theft. Although this will cost you a bit more, it will make your deliveries safe and more secure.

4. Use HTTPS for Better Security

HTTPS provides an extra security layer to the website that isn’t included in HTTP. So it would be best if you chose HTTPS to avoid hackers from entering your system. Another advantage of using HTTPS is that it also helps in SEO for ecommerce, as most of the search engines prefer websites with HTTPS, among others.

5. Safer Passwords

At least as an ecommerce store owner, you must share the burden of security with your customers. Therefore, you need to have a standard requirement for creating passwords so that hackers can’t access them. Right now, the industry standard for a secure and robust password is eight characters, one capital letter, and one special character. Also, you can opt for a randomly generated password that is very difficult to hack.

3 Longer Term Ecommerce Fraud Prevention Techniques

Above, we discussed some ways you can prevent fraud from happening at the moment. However, these long term ways will help you in the prevention of online store fraud. These solutions will take time, but they will provide excellent security to your ecommerce websites.

  1. Training Customer Support for Ecommerce Fraud Prevention

Ecommerce customer service plays a critical role in ecommerce fraud protection. It helps in identifying ecommerce frauds that can hurt your business. You must always train your staff about the scams that may happen so that they make sure to double check all orders before dispatching them. Most scammers target customer representatives, so the staff must have some anti-fraud training workshops.

2. Regular and Consistent Site Security Audits

If you are keen to discover flaws in your security system, you need to conduct security audits regularly. It will help in highlighting improvement areas to secure your website.

You need to observe the following consistently:

  • Regularly update the shopping cart software and plugins.
  • Check if your SSL certificate is working or not.
  • Check whether your ecommerce store is PCI compliant.
  • Always back up the online store.
  • Use stronger passwords for admin accounts.
  • Use excellent and safe hosting services.
  • Remove all broken links and inactive plugins.

3. Avoid Collecting Too Much Sensitive Customer Data

Another way to protect your store and customers’ information is to collect only the necessary information. Unnecessary collection of details should be avoided so that even if a hacker enters your system, he won’t have anything significant to steal.

Ecommerce Fraud Prevention Tools

Here are a few ecommerce fraud prevention tools that you can use to protect your ecommerce website from threats.

  • Subuno
  • Riskified
  • Fraudlabs Pro
  • Dupzapper
  • Kount

Good Hosts Keep Your Ecommerce Store Safe

In the end, we would tell you to always look out for such frauds and keep your websites secure. Having a secure host for your ecommerce store can help too. If you’re looking for a highly secure host, consider Hostdedi.

Hostdedi offers fully managed WooCommerce hosting to keep your store secure, fast, and scalable.

All plans come with premium plugins to help harden your WordPress site’s security and keep your data safe.

Furthermore, regular night audits identify the weak areas in your system and will work to strengthen them.

And award-winning customer support means we’ve always got your back — 24/7/365.

Check out our fully managed WooCommerce hosting plans to get started today.

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How To Build Relationships With Clients — Strategies That Work

Are you searching for a cost-effective and sustainable way to increase your profitability?

Look no further than the customers you already have.

Maintaining good relationships with your clients encourages them to stay with your brand for the long haul.

Younger clients also rely on friends, family, and social media recommendations before trying a new service. So by building better relationships with clients, you get new customers as well.

To grow your bottom line and achieve business goals, let’s see how you can build good client relationships:

Why Is It Important To Build Relationships With Clients?

How To Build Relationships With Clients

Make a Great First Impression

Establish Trust

Make Time for Your Clients

Be Transparent

Solve Problems

Best Practices for Client Relationship Management – Staying on Track

Final Thoughts: How To Build Relationships With Clients — Strategies That Work

Why Is It Important To Build Relationships With Clients?

Customers have a lot of choices today. They can get several freelance web developers or web designers after a brief Google search.

You can stand out by acquiring clients’ trust and providing a great client experience.

If you build a good long-term relationship with your clients, they come back to you. Otherwise, 89% of consumers leave businesses for their competitors because of a poor experience.

Landing new clients can also cost you 5 times more than retaining your current clients. You can keep your customer acquisition costs low by strengthening ties with your existing clients.

Strong client relationships pay off in the long term with repeat business. You get referrals to new customers and widen your network.

How To Build Relationships With Clients

  1. Make a great first impression
  2. Establish trust
  3. Make time for your clients
  4. Be transparent
  5. Solve problems

Here’s how to build relationships with clients from the get-go:

1. Make a Great First Impression

Make a great first impression at your client meeting by preparing well.

Study your client’s business and understand what they do and how they do it. This will help you showcase your expertise.

For example, if you are a web developer, you can research your client’s business and competitors in the market to offer in-depth suggestions to the client. This will convey that you have done your homework.

2. Establish Trust

Trust can be a key factor that can influence your client’s buying decisions. It can decide whether your client wants to keep working with you.

Build trust by taking a genuine interest in the client’s project and delivering outcomes.

Stick to commitments. Call, email, or message your client as scheduled. Respond to clients’ questions and concerns with honesty and sincerity.

Convince your client that you’re reliable and trustworthy at the outset.

3. Make Time for Your Clients

Your clients want you to prioritize them. Agree on a mode of client communication, whether it’s email or phone calls. Whichever mode you choose, respond to clients in a timely fashion. 

Agree on how clients can reach you in case of an emergency. For example, suppose your client’s website malfunctions and customers storm Twitter with reports of problems. You should have a communication channel to deal with such problems.

By being available for your clients, you show that you are genuinely vested in the partnership

4. Be Transparent

Discuss the frequency of project updates and communication at the start. You can send the updates weekly through email or update milestones on a shared spreadsheet.

If you encounter unexpected delays and challenges, communicate with your client and explain how you’re working on getting timelines back on track.

For example, let the client know if you run into a major bug and need extra time.

Have clear pricing policies. Be upfront about payment terms and conditions.

5. Solve Problems

Solving problems for your clients is key to running a sustainable business.

Listen in to your customers’ biggest challenges and provide targeted solutions. Think about how you can help them save time and make more money with your solutions.

While offering your solutions to business owners, avoid technical terms and jargon. As a problem solver, you must make their life easier. Try to keep things simple.

Best Practices for Client Relationship Management: Staying on Track

Once you’ve won over your customer, you’ll want to stay on top of the relationship. No guide on customer relationship management is ever complete without a plan for long-term management.

Here’s how you can do so:

  • Check-in frequently — Besides sharing project updates, meet your clients one-on-one. Ask for feedback on what you can improve. Use the opportunity to address any concerns they have. Finally, take concrete steps to make changes based on client expectations.
  • Anticipate customer needs — Once you’ve worked with a client for a while, get proactive in anticipating their needs. Go above and beyond expectations by meeting those needs.
  • Automate and simplify — Make the customer experience as easy and simple as possible, whether it’s onboarding or project updates. Use systems to simplify processes like document sharing and email tracking. Set up easy online solutions for payments.
  • Reward loyal clients — Surprise long-term clients with discounts and incentives for referrals. Also, consider a customer loyalty program. It doesn’t have to be difficult to create one.

Final Thoughts: How To Build Relationships With Clients — Strategies That Work

Building strong business relationships can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace while helping you build a profitable and sustainable business model.

Investing in customer relationships gives you rich dividends over time. Your clients will reward you with their loyalty, repeat business, and prized appreciation by referrals to new customers.

As a web developer, you can also build better relationships by helping them with their website’s management. Hostdedi can help you do that.

StoreBuilder by Hostdedi helps freelancers like yourself build better sites and stores. Get scalable and secure hosting for your sites and award-winning hosting support with Hostdedi.

StoreBuilder by Hostdedi helps you create beautiful online stores quickly. Check out StoreBuilder today — it’s the fastest and easiest way to create an online store with WordPress.

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How to Create a Test Plan for Your Ecommerce Website

It’s more important than ever to make sure your ecommerce website is functioning correctly and is as user friendly as possible.

Recent ecommerce trends have shown an increased presence of online stores on the internet therefore, creating more competition.

One of the best ways to make sure your ecommerce website is standing out above your competitors is to have a solid test plan in place.

Keep reading to learn more about ecommerce test plans, what they entail, and how to create a test plan for your ecommerce site.

Why You Need a Test Plan for Your Ecommerce Site

Testing any website is important, but it’s especially important when it involves your business and increasing your revenue. A test plan is a plan to methodically test, review, and improve and fix functionalities on a website. This is especially important if you have an online store.

There are many benefits to having a test plan for your ecommerce website. Whether it be monitoring your top ecommerce metrics, getting ready to release a new ecommerce website, or making improvements to an existing site, having a test plan for your ecommerce site is a key activity for a healthy website.

A test plan can help you stay organized and purposeful when testing in order to make sure everything is working correctly and that the user can easily navigate and interact with the website. The lack of testing or not having a clear plan to test your site could lead to a site malfunction, which means you could lose potential sales.

Types of Tests to Include in an Ecommerce Test Plan

There are many different types of testing methods that can be included in your ecommerce test plan. Here are four main testing methods that can be used for an ecommerce testing plan.

Ecommerce Performance Testing

This type of testing is good for making sure the responsiveness of your website is fast enough. You’ll want to make sure your site is high performing.

Performance testing encompasses a wide variety of checks, including responsiveness, ecommerce load testing, and simultaneous session performance testing. Hopefully your site load is, at some point, put to the test with heavy traffic. 

The key to being able to handle a heavy load is being prepared for it. This type of testing is usually successful when it is imitated with a script that pushes traffic to your site all in quick successions. Luckily, Hostdedi has a performance tool that can assist you in this type of testing with the ability to monitor the site performance.

Security Testing for Ecommerce Websites

It’s very important to make sure you provide a safe and secure shopping experience for your users. Ecommerce site security is important. Site visitors won’t buy if they’re worried their data will be compromised.

Before you include security as a part of your test plan, you will first want to understand what the security requirements or needs are for the ecommerce site. There are a few different security measures that can be applied to make sure your site is secure.

Whether it’s confirming your customer’s account data is secure or the application systems are up to date, with security testing it is efficient to use scripted testing because it gives a more accurate report of a real world scenario.

Most of the time when someone is attempting to “poke holes” in your website’s security, it’s going to be through the use of some sort of scripting.

Since there are many security testing applications out there for performing these types of testing, we recommend finding one that will work for your ecommerce security needs.

User Acceptance

Having a couple of users test very specific portions of a website ensures that your important functionalities are working properly. This is critical to making sales.

In the later stages of the test plan, it’s a good idea to include user acceptance testing. User acceptance testing is a manual process of having users visit specific portions of the site that are of importance to you.

These users complete tasks on the test plan list and compare the expected outcomes to what is actually taking place in the website. As the users look at the different functionalities, they are noting whether or not the outcome is working as expected or if the developers need to review the malfunctions.

Some portions of a website that you might have users test include product descriptions, adding an item to the cart, confirming search engine accuracies, user friendliness, and secure check out process.

End to End Testing

It’s a good idea to have your online shop walked through as if the user were a customer. This type of testing has many benefits.

End to end testing is a very thorough way of confirming the user’s experience throughout the entire ecommerce website. This type of testing confirms everything on the website is working from the beginning of a customer’s path, through the many different site clicks, to the purchasing, and post sale.

Unlike user acceptance testing, this type of testing has someone test from the homepage and navigate through the entire website as a customer would until they get a post sale confirmation.

Manual Testing vs. Automated Testing for Ecommerce Sites

When it comes to testing ecommerce sites, you can perform tests manually, or you can automate the process.

Manual testing is time consuming. Either you have to do the testing yourself or hire testers to go through your ecommerce site. Automated testing can be tricky to set up and run successfully. It can also be expensive and hard to scale as you grow.

Depending on the size of your site, you might prefer to have some of the testing done via automated script. Keep in mind there are certain things you will still want performed manually.

If you own one of the top ecommerce sites for example, you’d need to automate your ecommerce test plans to cover the breadth of testing needed. Larger ecommerce sites will especially benefit from automated testing, but ecommerce stores of all sizes, including WordPress online stores, can enjoy the benefits of automated testing.

How to Create a Test Plan for Your Ecommerce Website

Creating a test plan for your ecommerce website is fairly straightforward. It could even be as simple as creating a checklist for ecommerce website testing. Start by outlining the top test cases that are critical to your ecommerce site.

The test plan usually consists of test cases that range from functionalities to site experiences that are the most important to you.

Examples of ecommerce testing test cases to feature in your test plan include:

  • Customers can log in
  • The cart page loads
  • A single product page loads
  • The main shop page loads
  • A customer can add a product to their cart
  • A customer can reach the checkout page
  • A customer can checkout as a guest
  • A registered customer can checkout

For each test case, you should also document the expected outcomes. This way it’s clear when the test results align with your expectations.

Some of the common places that are tested in a test plan are the landing page (aka homepage), product descriptions, search engine, creating an account, signing in, cart interaction, purchase experience, post purchase experience.

Once you have a list of critical test cases you might consider labeling what should be performed manually and what, if any, test cases that should be tested with automated scripting.

You will want to examine the test results after performing the tests. The results you get from testing, depending on the type of testing you decide on performing, will typically come from user notes or a script output. After testing you will want to go through the output and fix any test results and repeat those tests until they pass.

Hostdedi Makes Ecommerce Testing Easy

You can do all of this hard work yourself, or you can let the experts take care of ecommerce website testing for you.

Hostdedi can help make it easy for you with our built-in automated testing, which is included in all of our WooCommerce hosting plans. With nightly tests and results that show up right in your WordPress dashboard, you’re always on top of things with no effort at all.

With Hostdedi’s WooCommerce Automated Testing our customers can feel confident knowing they are being alerted to issues on their ecommerce website.

Try Fully Managed WooCommerce Hosting from Hostdedi

The ecommerce hosting solution that you choose directly impacts the success of your business. 

Hostdedi WooCommmerce hosting provides exclusive tools that can help you monitor your site’s performance and sales, such as Plugin Performance Monitor and Sales Performance Monitor.

The Plugin Performance Monitor informs you of performance changes before and after a plugin or theme is installed. Sales Performance Monitor watches your online store’s sales analytics and informs you of trends, such as your sales slowing down.

Check out our WooCommerce fully managed hosting plans to get started today.

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What is the WordPress Block Editor? How to Use WordPress Blocks

So you’ve heard about this magical thing called WordPress and you want to know what all the buzz is about. WordPress is a website-building tool that enables almost anyone to jump right in and start making highly functional and beautiful web pages.

A great place to start your WordPress knowledge is with the WordPress editor so, bravo, you have come to the right place.

In this blog, we’ll cover how to use the WordPress block editor. Make sure you have an account with WordPress so you can jump into the block editor to follow along.

Without further ado, let’s jump in.

What is the WordPress Block Editor?

The WordPress block editor is a tool for editing and building out web pages. Think of the WordPress block editor as the building blocks of the webpage. It’s highly effective with a helpful user experience.

The WordPress block editor can be broken down into three parts: top menu, settings menu, and the main content area. Each segment has elements that enable website editing and building in different ways. Each element of the site — such as paragraphs, headlines, videos, and buttons — can be considered a “block.” Framing your view of the editor down to individual building blocks makes building easier.

How Do WordPress Block Editors Work?

WordPress Block editors are usually third party additions using the Gutenburg blocks editor, enhancing it to further extend its capabilities.

There are plenty of different WordPress blocks. They come in many different types to help meet any need one would have to make a stunning site.

Types of WordPress Blocks

  • Audio Block
  • Blog Post Block
  • Button Block
  • Calendar Block
  • Gallery Block
  • File Block
  • Group Block
  • Heading Block
  • Code Block
  • Custom HTML Block

Let’s look at some examples of popular WordPress editor plugins.


WooCommerce blocks help you add products to your website. It’s easy to use and offers a user-friendly interface. It is a great addition to any developer’s toolkit and saves time in the workflow. If you run an ecommerce site, Woocommerce Gutenberg Blocks is a must — and it’s free!


Kadence blocks are extremely helpful when working with complex websites with lots of content. Kadence prioritizes performance and functionality while building stunning websites.

How to Use WordPress Block Editor

Using the WordPress block editors can be broken down into several steps depending on what you want to accomplish. Below, we’ll walk through the basic steps to find and add blocks to your site.

1. Click the Plus Icon & Select Your Block Type

Once you’re in the WordPress block editor, usually your first step will be to find the plus icon on the top left, or if your cursor is clicked on a certain part of your site, a plus icon will appear on its right hand side.

Once the plus icon is clicked, a menu will open with different block options. As mentioned earlier, there’s plenty of different blocks to fit any need.

In this stage, you might have to search for a specific block. Once you’ve found the right block, go ahead and click it.

2. Place Your Block

Now it’s time to move your block to where you want it on the page. If you used the plus icon on the top left, then you might have to move your block to its proper location.

Moving your block can be done by using the up and down arrows on the editor’s pop up menu (shown below). Another option to move any given block would be to click and drag on the editor using the “drag” icon which looks like a set of two lines of dots parallel to each other (shown below).

3. Customize Your Block

Now all that’s left is customizing the block to fit your site’s theme or branding. In this case, you can customize a paragraph block by changing the text color and font size.

Not only can you edit blocks using the floating bar, but you can also edit blocks using the right menu, otherwise called the Settings tabs.

Let’s walk through some of those customization options in the settings tab.

Each settings dropdown tab helps facilitate more customization on subjects like typography, spacing, effects, and even animation. The setting tab is where the magic happens. You’ll spend a lot of time tweaking your design to perfection in this section of the WordPress block editor.

WordPress Block Editor Pro Tip

Keep an eye on the list view, which can be opened by clicking the list icon on the top right. This will help with structuring the site and making it responsive to different screen sizes. Responsive design refers to how a website is designed and structured to respond to the size of any given screen size.

How to Disable WordPress Blocks & Other Options

WordPress lets you disable blocks, which can be useful in many cases such as:

  • Disabling blocks that you never use to cut down on clutter.
  • Disable blocks to restrict a third party editor on your site from using specific blocks.

You can limit access to certain blocks using a plugin called Disable Gutenberg Blocks.  Using Disable Gutenberg Blocks to disable blocks is super easy. We break it down into quick steps below.

  1. Download and install the plugin.
  2. Head over to settings and then the Disable Blocks option.
  3. Hover over any given block and click the option to disable.

When a block is disabled, it will be greyed out indicating its status. And that’s it — it’s a very quick way to disable blocks.

The only issue is that these blocks disable globally. If you would like to disable blocks to only specific editors on your site, be sure to use a plugin called Advanced Gutenberg. Disabling blocks using Advanced Gutenberg only adds about two extra steps: making a profile and disabling blocks for each user accordingly.

If you have serious issues with Gutenberg Blocks, do not fret. There is also a way to disable it and revert to the classic WordPress editor.

To disable the Gutenburg blocks, we’ll need another plugin: Classic Editor Plugin. It was developed by core WordPress contributors and will make the process easy. It works automatically after downloading and installing the plugin.

The Classic Editor Plugin also gives you the option to work on both editor versions.

To do that, head over to the settings page, then to the Writing page while in the WordPress admin. You will see the option labeled “classic editor settings.” Don’t forget to click save.

Another option is to disable Gutenberg Blocks with the plugin mentioned above, the Disable Gutenburg Plugin.

Now You Know

Now you’re well versed in how to use WordPress blocks and the WordPress block editor. Hopefully you have a better idea of what the WordPress block editor is and how to get started. Jump in and give it a try yourself.

And if you’re in the market for someone to host your WordPress website, consider Hostdedi fully managed WordPress hosting.

Managed hosting is critical in running a site long term — and it makes it easier on you. Let Hostdedi take care of keeping your site fast, secure, and high performing.

Check out Hostdedi’ fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

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How to Export WordPress Users with WP All Export

Whether you’re trying to create a mailing list or move users from one WordPress website to another, WP All Export allows you to quickly and easily export what you need. You can:

  • Target specific groups of WordPress users with precise filters.
  • Include as much or as little user information as you like.
  • Rearrange, combine, or even customize user data fields using a convenient drag and drop interface.
  • Export your WordPress user data to a CSV file, Excel spreadsheet, or a custom XML file.
  • Download a special export bundle file that makes migrating users quick and painless.
  • Automatically export WordPress users on a schedule and integrate your exported data with external applications using Zapier.

This article covers everything you need to get started, and you can follow along on a free demo site here.

Create a New WordPress Users Export

Exporting WordPress users is easy. To perform a simple user export, go to All Export > New Export. This will bring you to the New Export screen:

1. Select Specific Post Type.

2. Choose Users.

3. Click the blue Customize Export File button at the bottom of the screen.

Customize the Export File

The Drag & Drop interface allows you to select, arrange, and modify the fields for your user export:

In this example, do the following:

  1. In the Available Data panel on the right, expand the Standard data section.
  2. Drag the Display Name, Last Name, and First Name fields into the column selection area.
  3. Click the blue Continue button.

WordPress User Export Settings

The Export Settings screen can be used to schedule your user exports and also for managing advanced settings. In this case, we’re going to skip these options by simply clicking the green Confirm & Run Export button.

Complete the User Export

When your export process has finished, WP All Export will present you with this screen:

To complete your export, click the CSV button in the Click to Download section. This will download a CSV file to your local computer.

That’s it! That’s how simple it is to export WordPress users with WP All Export.

Working with Other User Export File Types

To export WordPress users in one of the Microsoft Excel file formats, do the following back in the Drag & Drop Interface:

1. Expand the Export Type section.

2. Choose Spreadsheet.

3. Select the desired Excel format.

If you wanted to export an XML file, you:

1. Expand the Export Type section.

2. Choose Feed.

3. Select the desired XML format.

XML exports can be either simple or custom.

Filtering WordPress User Exports

In some cases, you only want to export a subset of users. To achieve this, you must add filters in the bottom section of the New Export screen (the first screen in the export process):

For example, to select only users from Texas, you:

  1. Expand the Add Filtering Options section.
  2. In the Element box, select “billing_state.”
  3. In the Rule box, select “equals.”
  4. In the Value box, select “TX.”
  5. Click the Add Rule button.

To apply multiple filters, just add more filter rules. For example, to select users from Dallas, Texas who have been active since January 01, 2021, you would set your filters as follows:

Handling WordPress User Passwords

To export WordPress user passwords, simply include the User Pass export field from the Available Data > Other section of the Drag & Drop interface:

Note that what gets exported are the hash values for the passwords, not the text versions. This is a security feature in case the export file is intercepted.

However, if you import the hashed passwords back into WordPress, users will still be able to log in using their old passwords.

Other Advanced Options

Custom Fields

WP All Export allows you to export any fields associated with users, not just the built-in WordPress fields. This means that if you have enhanced your user information with custom fields or through an add-on, extension, or plugin, you can export these fields, also.

Function Editor

If you need to manipulate the outgoing user data during the export process, you can create PHP functions to assist in this manipulation. For example, if you want to create a new field called “Days Since Active,” you can use PHP to calculate how many days have passed since each user was last active.

Scheduling Options

If you need to run a user export process on a schedule, you can do so through the Scheduling Options section of the Export Settings page. This is particularly useful if you need to keep an external system synchronized with your WordPress user data.

For example, to export WordPress Users every Wednesday at 1:00 a.m. Chicago time, you:

  1. Expand the Scheduling Options section.
  2. Choose Automatic Scheduling option.
  3. Choose the Every week on… option.
  4. Select Wed for Wednesday.
  5. Select 1:00am in the edit box below the What times do you want this export to run? prompt.
  6. Choose the UTC -5 – Chicago (CDT) timezone option.

Advanced Settings

Exporting an especially large user file? No problem. WP All Export provides an Advanced Options section on the Export Settings page. These options allow you to break exports into more manageable processing chunks, or to limit exports to only new or changed users since the last export, etc.

Finishing Up

As you can see, WP All Export makes it easy to Export WordPress Users. Give it a try with the steps outlined in this article.

With Hostdedi WooCommerce Hosting, Better Is Built In

Hostdedi offers fully managed hosting for WooCommerce designed for fast, high-performing stores. Hostdedi also:

  • Offers high performance and site speed.
  • Dynamically scales and optimizes.
  • Secures your store with always-on monitoring.

Check out our fully managed WooCommerce hosting plans to get started today.

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This Account Has Been Suspended: What to Do & How to Fix It

One of the most disturbing things to see when logging into your site is a banner saying, “Your account is suspended, contact your hosting provider for more information.”

It’s inconvenient if you have a personal blog with little to no visitors. It’s a complete disaster if you host multiple ecommerce stores for your clients. Getting hammered with calls from your clients whose sites are not working is stressful. Each minute their store is unavailable, they are losing revenue — and so will you if you are unable to fix it.

Knowing what causes suspension and how to deal with it is as important as knowing how to prevent it.

Keep reading to learn what to do if your site has been suspended.

“Account Suspended” Meaning

What does “account suspended” mean? You get this message when your host suspends your account. There are a number of reasons why you may be getting a “this account is suspended” message from your hosting provider. There are two main reasons why it happens — a violation of a policy or being involved in malicious activities. You may have violated the Acceptable Use Policy or Terms of Use, which results in a suspension or even termination of your account if nothing has been done to rectify the situation.

Common Ways to Get Your Site Suspended

Here is a list of typical reasons your account may be suspended.

Your Site Contains Malicious Software

Malware, short for malicious software, is one of the most frequent reasons why hosting companies suspend websites. It poses a serious security threat for both your site visitors and the server your site resides on.

Therefore, to limit the effect it can have on their network, hosting companies take down the website as soon as possible. They then inform the client about it, requesting them to clean up the infected files or to handle links leading to phishing pages.

Trademark or DMCA Infringement

If you happen to use someone else’s work on your site, inadvertently or not, this will draw the attention of trademark and copyright protection services. Such incidents will be reported to your hosting provider with the request to remove the infringing content. Examples of such content can be logos, photos, music, or even names.

Acceptable Use Policy or Terms of Use Violation

Very few people actually read Terms of Use or Acceptable Use Policy in full and thoroughly, as they are written in judicial terminology and are hard to read. However, they list the guidelines that users must stick to if they want to have services with the hosting company. That being said, any content that violates laws or is inappropriate will not be welcomed.

While some points are clear, such as gore content or calls to commit hate crimes, some cases are disputable. For example, some hosting companies may not allow firearm store websites on their networks. While guns are not illegal, some may look at such stores as encouraging and promoting violence.

Another example is sending mass marketing emails. It is not illegal per se, but some hosting providers consider it spam and may suspend your account if they find you exceed the limits.

Past Due Bill

Like any business, your hosting company wants to get paid for the services it renders. Naturally, the inability to pay on time will lead to interruption of these services. In most cases, it will be account-wide so if you have multiple sites hosted, all of them will be affected. Prolonged suspension in this case will eventually evolve into termination, as storing data takes up server space, which is not free.

What to Do If Your Site Has Been Suspended

The best way to start fixing your site’s suspended status is by contacting the support staff of your hosting company — the fastest way is to call in or start a live chat conversation. They will check the reason why your site is suspended and suggest an appropriate solution for each situation.

Clean Up Infected Files

Generally, if your site contains malware, you’ll receive a ticket in which a security engineer will give you a summary of the incident, which will likely include:

  • Affected domain.
  • The path to the infected file/directory.
  • Steps they took to deactivate the threat.

Now you need to follow the instructions given by the security team — clean up the infected files, make your website secure, and ensure it does not happen again. The easiest way to handle it is to restore clean versions of the files from a backup, but make sure this backup is not infected as well.

Once your site is no longer affected by malicious software, reach out to your hosting support team so they can verify it and reactivate your site.

Remove Any Infringing Content

As in the previous case, you may be alerted of such incidents via tickets/email. Even though websites are not suspended immediately, it might be possible that you missed their notification. The solution here is fairly easy — remove the infringing content or replace it with public domain content.

As soon as your website does not display any infringing content, it should be put back online after you report back to the support team that the incident is over.

Remove Any Terms of Use Violations

Removing suspension caused by a Terms of Use violation depends on the context around it.

If there’s a comment in your blog that contains harassment or defamation, you will be requested to delete it. If someone posts personal information of someone else’s, you will need to remove it to have your site re-enabled.

If your site has been suspended, check your email for an alert, which may give you the reason behind the suspension. Then, get in touch with the support team and request access to your website to make changes to the problematic content.

Past Due Bill

As a rule, hosting companies send several notifications of your account being past due before suspending the account. If that happens, the only way to rectify the situation is to pay the bill. Usually, it is the only thing you can do in your customer portal while the account is suspended. Some providers have an option of taking credit card payments over the phone in case you cannot access the billing panel immediately.

After the bill has been paid, the services should be back online within a few minutes.

Ways to Prevent Suspensions Before They Happen

Being able to identify the issue and fix it might be good, but preventing it in the first place is better. Here are a few tips which might help you avoid suspension of your account based.

Secure Your Site

One of the best practices for securing your website environment is changing passwords frequently for everything — for MySQL, WordPress admin, and FTP access. Using a password generator will ensure the password cannot be subjected to a brute force attack.

Make sure to review permissions for your directories and files — directories should be set to 755 and files set to 644. Typically support can check and apply the correct permissions to all the core files.

Update your WordPress core to the latest stable WordPress version. The same goes for plugins and themes. It eliminates security risks associated with known vulnerabilities for old versions.

Most hosting companies offer add-ons or plugins that can harden your website’s security. It might be a good idea to review what they offer and actually purchase the security package.

Use Copyright-Free Content

To avoid a Trademark or DMCA takedown you should be mindful of what content there is on your site. Do not put copyrighted content on your website, or if you cannot do without it, seek permission first. The best way for music or video clips would be to contact the content owner via email asking for formal permission. Photos can be bought on stock photography websites to be used freely on your site.

The free alternative is to use public domain or copyright-free content — no one can send in DMCA infringement notices for something they do not own.

Learn the Terms of Use

When choosing a hosting company, as a pre-sale question you can ask if they allow hosting contradictory content such as related to guns, or even dating sites, which can sometimes be suspected of human trafficking.

If your site is already hosted and you want to avoid being suspended for violations, it is a good idea to watch over sections in which other people can leave comments or feedback. If not modded properly, these sections can contain links to phishing sites or offensive remarks.

Pre-Pay Your Account

If there is an option to set up automatic payments, do it. It will save you a lot of trouble logging in every month to pay the bill.

Also, make sure to check your inbox as often as possible, as hosting providers send out several emails before your account gets suspended for non-payment. If you are late on your payment, you can reach out to the billing department to obtain an extension.

Alternatively, if your budget is calculated for a year upfront, you can take advantage of the yearly billing cycle. At some hosting companies it also involves discounts.

However, if your hosting company allows only month-to-month billing, it should be possible to top up your balance for several months ahead.

Protect Your Business With Hostdedi

In the highly competitive world of business, having your website suspended cuts into revenue. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to keep your site up, performing, and secure.

With Hostdedi fully managed hosting, we help you do just that.

  • Security is the cornerstone of our company. We’ll protect your websites from any kind of malicious activity.
  • With the help of their expertise and 30-day daily backups, our professional support team will mitigate if not eliminate the threat of hackers’ attacks.
  • Our friendly billing team managing one of the most flexible billing systems will never let your business go down.

We got your back. Check out our Fully Managed WordPress plans to get started today.

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Ecommerce Platform vs. Marketplace: Making the Shift to Your Own Site

The ecommerce industry has gone through rapid changes and enormous growth over the past couple of years, especially since 2020. Lots of sellers decided to incorporate their online store in bigger marketplace platforms.

Many also decided to find their own way by starting an online store apart from giant industry leaders like eBay or Amazon. Others have transferred it from a marketplace to their own website.

Keep reading to learn more about what online marketplaces are, the differences between an ecommerce platform vs. marketplace, and making the shift to your own online store.

What is an Online Marketplace?

An online marketplace is a platform that offers space for multiple sellers to present their products and services to potential buyers. Popular examples of online marketplaces include Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and many more. The platform is not in charge of the seller’s inventory or invoicing the customers — it is there for administration and connecting both sides.

On the other hand, having an online ecommerce store means you’re the sole vendor of a unique online store on your own website. You’re separated from the marketplace and in charge of your inventory as well as selling all of your products. This is the biggest difference between an ecommerce platform vs. marketplace.

Ecommerce Platform vs. Marketplace: Advantages of Your Own Site

Being in a marketplace simplifies many things every seller has to deal with: easier startup, not having to source customers, powerful logistics capability, etc. However, taking the easiest path has some drawbacks too.

Let’s examine having an ecommerce platform vs. marketplace — and discuss the benefits of owning your own ecommerce store.

You’re In Charge

When focused on creating your very own site, you have complete control over every aspect of the business. You get to create the rules, set custom selling scenarios, choose features, etc. Plenty of ecommerce platforms where you can build your store allow adding some new features using extensions and modules.

You Can Stand Out…

In a marketplace, you have to deal with a high level of competition. There can be hundreds of other sellers with the same or similar items making it difficult to showcase your store and how you’re different.

… And Personalize Your Store

When you’re one of thousands in an online marketplace, it is hard to be unique. Most marketplace platforms do not offer profile personalization. With your own store, you’re able to use templates or design your site the way you prefer. You can also hire a developer to create a custom design for you. This can help you provide your customers a great, unique experience when visiting your store.


Being in the same space as all your competition makes it hard to predict your potential profit. It can get tricky to deal with fees. Most marketplace platforms make you pay to list your product — which means you have costs before you even make your first sale. Aside from that, you pay a fee for every transaction, too. The prices depend on the platform you choose. You aren’t paying those costs when you own your own store.

It’s Hard To Get Loyal Customers…

Even when people buy something from you, that doesn’t guarantee they will come back and turn into loyal customers. Shoppers tend to search and focus on products they need, not sellers themselves. It’s a lot of work to develop a unique brand while building a loyal customer base in a marketplace setting.

…And Communicate To Them

Online marketplaces don’t give sellers direct access to their shoppers. You’re unable to develop a rapport with them. The only thing you can do there is communicate basic information about that particular trade. This restriction makes it impossible to try out marketing strategies or inform shoppers about new special offers, arrivals, or other useful news. The marketing element of ecommerce is missing.

You Can See Who Your Buyers Are

When you own your ecommerce site, you can analyze your customers, their behavior and gain other relevant insights. The data and statistics you get can help with improving your marketing campaigns as well as adjusting your products to their specific needs.

How To Go From Being On A Marketplace To Owning Your Own Store?

Transferring from a marketplace and running your own online store is certainly a challenging process. Let’s check some steps that might help you with that!

Choose An Great Ecommerce Platform

With the right platform, you’ll get a simple solution with countless useful plugins and features that help you establish your online business the best way possible.

StoreBuilder is an intelligent site assistant that helps you launch a WooCommerce store way faster than any other option in the market. The best part? It’s really simple and everyone can use it! Learn how to get started with a WordPress online store here.

Start Diverting Traffic To Your New Web Store

Update your marketplace info! Don’t forget “about me” or other sections where it’s possible to share information about your business. Add something about your new site, present it well, and inform your customers about some interesting offers, discounts, or content they can find there.

Of course, pay attention to the terms and conditions. Marketplaces do not want traffic diverting from their platform, so you’ll want to be extra careful. Explore legal spots to present your shop in a unique way that won’t cause you to be in violation of your account terms.

The chances of landing a sale get higher because:

  • You can communicate to them through features such as live chat — which automatically improves an overall shopping experience.
  • No more marketplace fees, so you can offer your customer a discount when buying directly from you.
  • They’ll only see suggestions of other products from your site, not similar things they can find in other seller’s stores (which is the case with the marketplace).

Include Marketing Materials In Shipments

When packing orders from your marketplace store sales, add things like your business card, a discount code (if they’re willing to make a purchase on your site), or even a QR code that will take them directly to your store. Advertise your new store and let your customers know there’s a dedicated store for the products they’re looking for.

Don’t Forget The Newsletter

It can be really tricky to notify both old or new customers you’re transferring or opening an additional store on your own because of marketplace policies.

Creating a mailing list is a great way to personalize your communication, and allow your customers to come with constructive criticism, feedback, or anything else they’d want to share with you.

To make the transition seamless, let your customers know what’s going on in advance.

Marketing Campaigns (For Existing Customers Too)

You want to drive more traffic and attract new customers to your site — but, don’t forget the old ones too. It’s definitely cheaper to send them reminders that you’re still there than investing a lot of money in advertising and trying to gain trust with new ones.

Reaching out to them on social media, email, or other ways is a great way to give notice about the upcoming transition to your new online store. After all, they’ve already made a purchase from your store already.

You can generate excitement, thank them for being your customers, and invite them to celebrate with you. This is a great way to reward them with discounts if they invite their friends to your store, and create ambassadors for your brand.

Focus On Social Media

Being active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or others is an excellent way to build a unique brand. When you’re on the marketplace, it’s way harder for you to stand out and present your offerings differently than the rest. With that in mind, social media is a great way to engage your audience as well as keep them informed about everything that’s been going on on your site.

Create Free Content

Having an online shop is not only about selling stuff — it’s about giving your shoppers a unique experience and building a strong loyal customer base. How can you do that? Free content. Blogs, YouTube channels, and various tips and tricks are all features that bring extra value to your site. This tells your customer you’re not there just to sell, but to offer help and provide them with useful information.

Stimulate Sales

When you want to activate both existing and future customers on your new website, definitely consider giving them some limited-time offers, exclusive memberships, loyalty programs, special deals, something else they may be interested in. Not only can it help with one-time purchases, but it can also bring significant attention to your newly created online store.

Starting your own site also gives you a chance to rethink your prices since there are no more marketplace fees. You can lower them and still net higher than when the same items are listed on a marketplace.

Boost Your SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the key elements of a successful ecommerce site. You want your products to hit the right keywords and rank well in search results to attract more organic traffic — which includes visitors that found your store through search engines without paid ads.

Good ranking leads to spending less money on advertising and brings long-term benefits for the credibility of your brand.

Being a part of a marketplace platform certainly has some benefits, especially for beginners who are about to launch their brand.

However, if you’d prefer to present your offer in a rather unique way and build an online business on your own, the time has never been better for that.

The journey starts with choosing the right ecommerce platform — which is where StoreBuilder shines. Plenty of platforms may offer starter themes, but we help you create your very own unique homepage that stands out from the crowd.

Check out StoreBuilder to get started today.

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StoreBuilder is Better Than Shopify | Websites Like Shopify

You can buy pretty much anything online. It’s fast, easy, and it’s quickly becoming the preferred way to shop.

Ecommerce sales jumped from 13.6% to nearly 20% over the past two years. Projections show it’s only going to keep growing.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking to break into ecommerce. You’ve probably heard of options like Shopify that are supposed to make it quick and easy to get started.

But is it really?

While it may be well known, Shopify is not your only option. In fact, there are many Shopify alternatives, and many websites like Shopify to choose from. Some are even better than Shopify.

We’ll do a deep dive comparison of one in this blog: StoreBuilder.

Keep reading to learn more about StoreBuilder, Shopify, and all the considerations you need to make before creating an online store.

Websites Like Shopify: Meet StoreBuilder

Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce platform that hosts your online store. You can use its templates to build your store too. The platform handles all the hosting and technical aspects of your site.

On the other hand, StoreBuilder is just like it sounds — an online store creator. From a high level, StoreBuilder is a website like Shopify in that it creates ecommerce stores for users. Using an intelligent wizard, StoreBuilder makes the site creation process easy, and with no coding required.

StoreBuilder is open source. It’s based on WooCommerce, which is an ecommerce plugin for WordPress. StoreBuilder also comes backed with fully managed hosting from Hostdedi.

Both Shopify and StoreBuilder can be used to build an ecommerce website, and take care of hosting it too. But there are some key differences between the platforms — some of which make StoreBuilder better than Shopify.

4 Ways StoreBuilder is Better Than Shopify

Now that you have a high level understanding of StoreBuilder and Shopify, let’s break down some of the features and differences between these two options.

StoreBuilder is Open Source

Why is open source such a big deal when it comes to ecommerce? Simply put, there are zero licensing fees when you use open source.

You may be wondering, is Shopify open source? Shopify is a closed source platform. With Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions like Shopify, you can be subject to monthly or annual fees. But that’s not the only reason selecting an open source ecommerce solution is important for your online store.

When you are building an online store, it takes time and effort. If you spend the time creating an online store, you don’t want to have to rebuild it in the future if you switch platforms. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you’d have to do if you left Shopify.

With a closed source option like Shopify, you have to rebuild your site from scratch if you choose to move your site elsewhere. With Shopify, you’re using the space until you stop paying for it.

On the other hand, StoreBuilder is open source. When you’re using StoreBuilder, you’re running off WordPress and WooCommerce. These open source platforms allow you to migrate to another platform easily if you choose to do that. With StoreBuilder, you’re creating an asset you can bring anywhere.

No Hidden Fees With StoreBuilder

Knowing what you’re paying for is important if you’re going to be successful in ecommerce. A low cost plan that seems too good to be true can be just that. And with Shopify, all the fees and add-on costs really add up.

Shopify has two main types of fees: plan fees and selling fees.

Your plan fee is the monthly or annual cost to use the Shopify platform. Then there are transaction fees and credit card payment fees. These cut into your profits on every hard-earned sale you make.

Related reading: 8 Best Online Payment Methods for Ecommerce Stores >>

You can avoid some of these by using Shopify Payments, which isn’t available in all countries and may not be the preferred payment processor of your customers. PayPal, for example, is Shopify Payments’ main competitor. You can get someone all the way to the “Submit Order” page and have someone abandon their cart if they can’t pay you the way they want to.

Want a faster theme with Shopify? It’ll cost you. Want the best apps to build your store? You’ll have to open your wallet again. Suddenly, your cost effective plan is jumping from affordable to regrettable — and fast.

With StoreBuilder, you’re not paying a license fee or being charged piece by piece. You have an entire library of free plugins and themes at your disposal.

Sure, there are paid WooCommerce themes and plugins, but there are also free versions of pretty much everything. Nothing you need is going to break the bank. Hostdedi plans come with a curated library of both premium and free plugins and extensions that are tried and true, including Kadence Theme Pro, Kadence Blocks Pro, and more.

Plus, StoreBuilder pricing is upfront and actually cheaper than Shopify.

StoreBuilder Scales for Traffic Spikes

We all have slow days now and again. Sometimes we have days when customers are banging down your door. When you’re running an online store, being able to meet demand is one of the biggest ecommerce challenges.

Get an unexpected boost in traffic? With StoreBuilder by Hostdedi, you’re autoscaled for free. We give you what you need to get you through the storm — and then put you right back to where you were once the influx of customers slows down.

With Shopify, autoscaling isn’t an option. Your site can only handle so much traffic, and then you’ll be directed to Shopify Plus options. That’s an expensive upgrade for a temporary influx of visitors. It doesn’t make sense to upgrade for a day when you historically don’t need that level of bandwidth.

StoreBuilder Has Unrestricted Customization and Portability

The beauty of using an open source solution like StoreBuilder is that you can edit every single detail. Your site is your canvas.

Unfortunately, the same is not true of Shopify. Shopify uses templates that are not completely customizable. That’s why every Shopify site looks the same — limited template offerings.

With StoreBuilder, your beautiful site will be up and running quickly. You can make every facet of it truly yours. You don’t need to learn to code. You don’t need to be a web developer (though, it wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings). You load your assets, select your options, and you’ve got a unique store that’s all yours.

Thinking about switching providers? Not an issue — you make it, you take it!

StoreBuilder runs off an open source platform. You never have to worry about losing all the work you put into your site.

Bottom Line: StoreBuilder is Better Than Shopify

You have many options when it comes to ecommerce. If you’re looking for websites like Shopify, consider StoreBuilder. We may be a bit biased, but we think StoreBuilder is definitely better than Shopify.

After all, your store should be your store in every way possible.

  • You want a price you’re comfortable with? Check.
  • Want the ability to make everything fully yours? Check.
  • Want to avoid having to change plans to meet demand? Check.

Come check out why StoreBuilder is the fastest, easiest way to create an ecommerce store — and you can do it for FREE for 30 Days.

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