X-Cart:Adding CMS/blog to your store

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Revision as of 15:11, 18 April 2011 by Vladimir Gurinenko (talk | contribs) (Spellchecked and copyedited.)
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Why need blog

Current e-commerce industry involves not only selling goods, but also creating and maintaining communities around your store. This approach - when your website provides not only an opportunity to your visitors to buy goods, but also includes sections, where they can learn more about your company, communicate with other visitors, share their own ideas about the shop and so on - works much better than the traditional one - when your website is merely a storefront, and nothing else, as it creates a group of people united around your store.

When there is a community, it is easier for the owner of the store to meet buyers' expectations, as the owner is aware of buyers' needs and wishes. On the other hand, buyers know that sharing their opinion counts, because they know that the owner takes it into consideration. Finally, the bigger a community is, the faster it grows; that means more customers in the future and, hence, the growth of your sales and profit.

Now, what can you do in order to create a community around your store? The simplest way is to start a blog. This might sound funny, but indeed it might help you at the first steps.

You can write whatever you find interesting. It can be from occasional posts describing how your company looks inside, including photos, to regular reports on your achievements, milestones and future plans. The more people know about you, the more they trust you.

This brings us to the idea of creating a blog. Surely, you can create it on blogger.com, www.livejournal.com or whatever else, but why not just build one up right near your web-shop? Your personal blog near your storefront is a major advantage, as your customers do not leave your website to have a look at your recent updates; plus, the design of the blog perfectly matches the design of your shop. Basically, your entire website should be that cozy place where people sharing similar interests meet and communicate; and at the same time, they can buy products recommended by others with just a couple of mouse clicks.

Major blog engines on the market

So, now we need to decide what software to choose to run a blog. Frankly speaking, at this moment we have three blog-script monsters:

All of them are free and amazing, but it is needed to understand pros and cons of them. The full comparison of all those CMS will not be given here, only few notes: Note: you can easily find the detailed comparison in the web, for instance: http://www.goodwebpractices.com/other/wordpress-vs-joomla-vs-drupal.html

System Advantages/disadvantages Conclusion
Wordpress + Wonderfully easy to install and start blogging right now, even for not IT person.

- Its architecture keeps developers from its customizing. It is possible, but still quite hard.

Extremely user-friendly, but quite developer-unfriendly. Great for personal blogs, but for large and medium projects it's better to find a replacement.
Drupal + Huge great community, tons of modules already done, architecture allows to customize Drupal as much as you need, very powerful application.

- Complex for end-user. Requires certain programming knowledge from developer.

Awesome for big and medium projects especially if you are going to continuously update or extend them.
Joomla! + Great community as well, huge amount of themes, requires average developer's skills, quite flexible for extension.

- Still quite complex for end-user, but easier than Drupal. Even it is flexible, it does not provide Drupal's flexibility.

Fascinating for medium projects which are not going to be hugely extended.

Setting up blog with your store