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Is Magento E-Commerce a Good Solution for Beginners?

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Is Magento E-Commerce a Good Solution for Beginners?

If you are building an e-commerce website, you basically have two options. The first one would be to simply build a static site and add payment buttons for a service such as PayPal. While this may be OK for some people, it is not the best solution, especially not when you are building any kind of serious e-commerce site. You therefore need to use a type of content management system that will allow you to do things such as add and remove products, put some products as “featured” on your home page, etc.


There are dozens of different e-commerce platforms available out there. Some are free, while some cost thousands of dollars. One free e-commerce platform that many people talk about is Magento. It is included in the automatic installers for many web hosts and is touted as the most advanced free e-commerce platform. But is it really the best choice for you? Especially if you are new to e-commerce?


Well, to be honest, it is not. The first thing that you need to know is that Magento is an enterprise class e-commerce solution. Powerful, yes. But it is also very complicated to use for new users. But what about support? Isn’t there a knowledge base or something? Well there are support forums that are provided for users of the software. The problem with them is that there is not much “support” going on there. Mostly users saying “Oh! Darn this doesn’t work” and others joining in with “Yeah! It doesn’t work for me too! Bummer”. Magento staff rarely answer any questions on the forum and there is a reason as to why: the software is free. The support isn’t. If you want support from them, well then you would need to pay for it.


There are also a few other issues with Magento. The first thing is that the admin panel is quite slow. Sometimes it takes up to one minute for a page to refresh after you have made a change. It is not my hosting or my server that is a problem, believe me. I have tried with a cloud server and a shared hosting account. Both have given the same results.


What about customizing it? Magento says that you can customize their software fully to fit your exact needs and make the site look and work just like you want. Well, this is not a lie. It IS possible. Just extremely hard. There are some templates provided with the software, but they will not work for everybody. You can download some free ones or pay for premium templates, but the issue is that many of them are buggy and have problems working. You can also modify the code, as it is open source software. But you better be an expert on the Zend Framework. Otherwise, expect to spend several months (that’s right, months) learning it before you can accomplish anything useful with it. Quite simply Magento is not the best solution for beginners… unless you just want to take the default template and add a few products for your e-commerce site.

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Market Your First Ebook

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Market Your First Ebook

An ebook is a great way for you to market your business, website, or blog to fellow enthusiasts who read your blog. If you have a carpet cleaning business, write an ebook on the 10 things carpet cleaners can clean that you can’t. If you have a technology blog, write a howto book on whatever subject you write about. If you have a computer repair shop, write an ebook on installing a hard drive.

When you start your first website or blog, one of the last things on your mind is to write a ebook. But it can be a truly remarkable marketing tool and money maker as well.

There are two types of ebooks, ebooks that cost money, and ebooks used for marketing, please note how I didn’t say they were “free,” more on that in a minute.

When you sell an ebook to your readers and viewers of your website, you are marketing to them because you want to make an immediate profit from the sale of the book. This is a great way to bring in some cash to pay off some expenses, upgrade your hosting, or to put a little cash in your pocket.

Another popular thing to do is to create a “report” rather than an ebook, this is something that you use to lure people into your products and other ventures. When I say lure, I don’t mean it as a bad thing. When you give them something free, you need to get something in return. Whether that is a click to another one of your websites, or a new sign up onto your newsletter, you need to profit from them in some way.

A great way to do this is to have a free giveaway to market a bigger product. So if you have an ebook on how to repair home theaters and you have every known brand and every possible problem in the book, why not create a mini version with only a bit of general information and then up sell from the free version to the paid, more in-depth version of the ebook.

Marketing your first ebook can be very challenging and difficult. But once you get that first one out of the way and written, the only thing to do is to market the heck out of it. Blast it everywhere you can think of, post it on your Facebook, Twitter, message boards, forums, newsletter, and anywhere else you can, and if you do it write, it will be a profitable and great learning experience.

Image Credit: Designing Ebook Covers

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