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How to change Magento Admin URL / Path

Change Magento Admin URL for added security

Security is massive issue for ecommerce websites. Hackers are forever coming up with new ways to hack into presumably secure areas, with this in mind we need to do everything we can to minimize the risk of this happening to our websites. Magento is one of the best ecommerce platforms on the market, but with such a large amount of users it can also be a target for hackers. A simple security update you can make to your Magento ecommerce website is to change the default URL for the Magento Admin Panel. This is a quick way to give a little extra security to your ecommerce website.

Follow our simple guide below for added Magento security:

NOTE: Before we start, please DO NOT use the web interface that is built in to the Magento Admin Panel to change the admin path, this can cause numerous errors!

Step 1 – Get Local

Locate your local.xml configuration file, you can find this in the app/etc/ directory under your Magento installation. Open the file with your favorite text editor and locate the following code segment:

Change magento admin path

Now, all you have to do is swap the word admin for whatever name you like for your new Magento admin path. Choose something personal which would be impossible to guess. You can use letters and numbers but no special characters.  Save the file and if necessary upload it back to the app/etc folder.

Almost done…

Lastly we just need to delete the cache so that the changes will show online. Use your favorite FTP client (we like Filezilla), return to the Magento root directory and then delete everything from the var/cache/ directory. DO NOT delete the var/cache folder itself, just contents of it!

And that’s it – simple security in minutes.  We hope this helps improve the security on your website, if you have any other handy Magento security tips please feel free to post them below, we’d love to hear from you.

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Ecommerce website
Easiest way to move a Magento Ecommerce Website

Moving your Magento Ecommerce Website

It happens to us all at one point or another, be it bad service from our web hosting company or just a better deal elsewhere, sometimes you just have to move your ecommerce website to a different hosting company.  This can be quite the daunting task with your whole online business at risk if something happens to go wrong. Many ecommerce website design companies will do this for you, but if you are going to attempt this yourself please read our easy guide detailing how we here at Unltd Ecommerce move our sites.

Before we start I would just like to state, we are not saying this is the only way to move your website, or even the best.  This is just the tried and tested method that we used when moving all of our clients websites from our old hosts to the awesome new company.

Preperation for moving your ecommerce website

Ecommerce websiteFirst things first, download your entire website to your computer using your favorite FTP client.
Now we are going to back-up our database.
First we will login to our Magento admin panel, visit the “Cache Management” button and Refresh all of the Caches for your website.
To complete the back-up of the database we can either:

1) Go to System > Tools > Backup and create a back-up and download it as a zip to your computer or

2) Use a MySQL tool like myPhpAdmin or HeidiSQL to Export your entire database as a .sql file.

Set up your new ecommerce website

Now we need to install copy of Magento on your new web server and go through the Magento set-up process as usual.
Most web hosting companies these days give you a temporary address for your website which you can use whilst waiting for your domain name to circulate.  This is perfect for this process as it allows us to leave our existing website live online whilst we completely set-up the new version of it on and new server.

Now with your empty version of Magento installed and working on the new server you can upload the backed up version of your ecommerce website that you created at the start of this tutorial. To do this simply connect using your favorite FTP client, highlight all of the backedup files and folders and press “Upload” (If asked be sure to select “Overwrite”).

Moving your Ecommerce website database

Now we have all of the files in the correct place we just need to move your database over too.
Login to the database of your new web server and delete all of the tables Magento has created.
Once they are all gone you can select “Import” and select your .sql or zip file created above.
Press import, cross your fingers and as soon as the import is completed your can check your new website online.

It really is that easy, all that is left to do is change the DNS server addresses for your domain name to point to the new server. Once this is done you can go to your Magento admin on your new server and change the websites URL in the Configuration > Web section. Simples.

I hope this helps you move your ecommerce website with ease. If you want to hire a professional ecommerce website designer to complete this for you be sure to get in touch.

That just leaves on last thing which is the database

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A/B testing for your ecommerce website

How to Increase Your Ecommerce Website Sales by A/B Testing

The only purpose of an ecommerce website to exist is to generate revenue and make sales. But this is also the biggest headache for business owners. After you get your website designed and up you need to make changes on a regular basis in order to increase your online sales.
The process of selling online requires testing what works and what doesn’t on a regular basis and this process is much like the old trial and error method employed by engineers, scientists all over the world. In order to build an efficient sales machine your ecommerce website must be optimized regularly.

Ecommerce Website designA/B testing is a tactic utilized by marketers to increase the conversions and sales. A/B testing involves testing the various elements of a landing page or ecommerce website and run tests using a slightly altered version with the original “control”.

You can test almost any feature of a landing page and test how a different version performs. If you are selling products through your ecommerce website then most probably your product page uses various landing page elements such as a headline, product description, buy button. You can test all of these elements by tweaking one or all of them and measuring the conversions as compared to the older version.

And the best part is that in order to do split testing you don’t even need to change your ecommerce website appearance permanently. You only need to install a code on your website and then half of the visitors will see your original version and the other half will be shown the test copy. So if a new version of your web page doesn’t works better you will have your older page intact.

Many times even minor tweaks such as changing the headline, adding some more product information, changing the colour of buy button can have drastic impact over conversions. In this case study it is mentioned that how changing a single word increased conversions 161% . Here they just changed the phrase from “Request Quote” to “Request Pricing” and the click through rate increased from 0.54% to 1.4%, an increase of 161.66%.

Tools for A/B testing

Although there are a lot of companies offering split testing services but Visualwebsiteoptimizer.com, Optimizely.com and Google content Experiments are the most popular ones . Among these Google Content Experiments is free and the other are paid tools with monthly subscription plans.
In our next post we will discuss more about increasing conversion rates and sales . Please leave your comments below and share this article if you enjoyed it.

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ecommerce website design
Optimise your ecommerce website

Why eCommerce website businesses need to optimize their websites regularly

Maintaining an ecommerce website is not an easy task in itself. Often businesses get an ecommerce website designed to sell their products online but after launching it they face many problems and one of the most common problems is lack of sales or conversions. If you are facing this problem then you are not alone. In the starting having few sales is completely normal.

But with time if sales are not increasing then you need to identify the problems with your Landing Pages and Calls to Actions. Many people falsely believe that website optimization is a onetime process or you just need to optimise your ecommerce website for search engines. In reality the most important aspect of optimisation is optimization for visitors.

Many times there is something which is stopping visitors from converting into buyers. You need to identify that why your traffic is not converting . One reason may be that your website design is old. I regularly came across many websites where homepage was designed in 2008-2009 and since then has not been updated. On Internet people expect to get the latest news and products/services and they are not going to be impressed if your homepage has not been updated since last 4-5 years.

Another important aspect is Landing pages and Calls to action. Every page on your website must ask users to accomplish something. This may be signing up for your newsletter, joining your email list, or making a purchase make your call to action bold and visible to your visitors. You must regularly review pages on your website, improve them , add more calls to actions which are relevant to your users and explain them the benefits of their action clearly.

Advertisers have known the value of testing and optimising the ad copy or a sales letter for a long time and with Internet you can test various versions of your ecommerce webpages, for minimal cost and by continuously testing and optimizing you can find what works with your readers and improve your site accordingly.

For starters Google Analytics must provide enough data on user behavior to start with. If you are already using Google Analytics then try to analyze your most popular pages and figure out why they are popular with users. When you identify the cause then use it on other web pages as well.

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pinterest
How ecommerce websites can use Pinterest to increase sales

Do you use Pinterest to promote your ecommerce website?

Pinterest is the youngest and fastest growing social network. When most of the people were thinking that there is no room for a new social media site, Pinterest surprised everyone and became one of the fastest growing social network.

What separates Pinterest from other social networks is that it’s an image based network. You can share pictures and images of all types on Pinterest. Another thing is that unlike Facebook and Twitter it is indexed by search engines.

Now being an image sharing network is in itself a big advantage for many businesses such as those operating in Retail, eCommerce and Fashion industry.

You can directly share a product image from your website to Pinterest and that picture will link back to your website. Just make sure the pictures you are sharing are going to attract visitors.

Beauty product retailer Sephora has very interesting insights to share. They are saying that their Pinterest followers spend 15x more than Facebook followers and cost of acquiring Pinterest followers is 5 times less than acquiring a Facebook follower .

John Davis of LLsocial.com says:

“For retailers, the path to purchase from a social network is no more direct than on Pinterest. ‘See it, like it, buy it’ happens frequently … Even in cases where the path to purchase is not as direct, rarely do you have a social network where linking to for-sale items is done so frequently. You have clear social proof of the desire for the item, you see a picture of it, and you are only one or two clicks away from being on an ecommerce site.”

An image is worth a 1000 words this is the secret of success with Pinterest. A well designed image impacts your consumer instantly and this brings them to your website.

PinterestIf you have an ecommerce website or selling any other kind of products online than chances are high that you are already using images of your products. So why not use these images in generating even more revenue for your business.

In order to do this you need a well defined Pinterest strategy. Have a look at what others are doing. Most of the companies have built a large following on Pinterest by creating multiple groups, sharing their own and others images and engaging their customers. You can copy the same strategy and start building your Pinterest strategy today.

Free Pinterest Pin-it Button for Magento

Start making the most of Pinterest today and add this handy and FREE Magento plugin to your website to allow users to Pin your products to their Pinterest wall at the click of a button – Magento Pinterest Button

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social-media
7 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing has become an essential activity for businesses small or large and be particularly useful as a free form of advertising for your ecommerce website. Many small business owners realize that they need to integrate social media into their marketing campaign but are not sure of what to do. Many small business owners lack time and experience to do social media marketing. Here are the top 7 tips for effective social media marketing:

  1. Identify your goals: This is the first step to create a successful social media campaign. Identify your goals and needs. You must have a clear idea of what you want to achieve on social media. For some it can be more likes, shares, retweets etc and for others it can be increasing sales, revenue or finding new customers.
  2. Plan: After you have identified your goals plan how you are going to achieve this . Analyze how much time you can use for social media. And don’t forget to have a deadline in order to achieve specific goals.
  3. Select a social media network: Social media networks are different from each other. For example Linkedin is best suited for B2B marketers and Facebook has audience of all types. So, decide on which social network your audience hangs out. Marketing to the wrong audience on the wrong network is not going to produce any results.
  4. Focus on one network at a time: If you have decided to promote your products/services on more than one network than focus on 1 network at a time. In this way you are going to execute your marketing campaign successfully.
  5. Follow  80/20 rule:  You must share 80% of content from industry related sites and 20% of your own content. Social media is not about talking it’s more about listening. So don’t over promote your business.
  6. Engage your audience: Listen what others are saying and participate in social discussions. Engaging your audience, answering their questions and removing their doubts is the best way to gain their trust and build a loyal following.
  7. Monitor  Analytics: You must monitor your campaign on a regular basis. Set a metric on how to measure ROI of a marketing campaign. ROI can be in different forms such as increasing number of followers, increasing website visitors or generating more traffic or sales. Monitor your analytics carefully and make improvements as necessary.

These are just few of our Social Media Marketing tips. There is a lot more to social media. If you follow above tips you can use social media effectively.

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ecommerce online
Ecommerce online tips for success

Ecommerce online tips for the success of your online store

This week we have some great Newsletter tips for marketing your ecommerce  online website

So, you have an amazing ecommerce online store designed and filled with your products. You are making a few online sales but how can you be more proactive to increase your sales online?This week we are talking about one of our favourite e-commerce online add-ons, it is such a simple addition to your website but in our 10 years of ecommerce development, we have seen this make a huge impact on how our customers do business online. I’m talking about The Newsletter!

Connecting with your customers, both old and new can be a great sales tool.  Just by adding a simple “join newsletter box” to your homepage or a “tick to join newsletter” on your ecommerce checkout page can make the difference between having a customer who buys one of your products and having a loyal customer who frequents your online store and passes information on about it to their friends.

So where do I start I hear you ask? First of all, ask your ecommerce web developer to add your newsletter sign-up form to your ecommerce website and you will soon see your mailing list grow.  Then, you need to design an attractive first newsletter that will help bolster your companies brand and also make for an engaging read.  Even if it only reaches a handful of clients to begin with, these are all potential long term customers who have the potential of sharing the information you send to them.

What should my newsletter contain?
Ecommerce Online MarketingStarting with a clear offer for your customers to use with your online store is always a good idea to get the ball rolling.
By giving a specific special offer to newsletter members gives them the feeling that they are getting a better deal than everybody else, this is a great way to attract people back to your website to buy.

We have used this method for clients for years with great success. The latest example of this is Pamper your Pooch (Dog Shop). This company create new discount codes every 2 weeks and send them out to their newsletter members to use online.  Using the discount codes has been a great way of tracking the success of each newsletter, excellent for finding out what your customers like to receive the most.

As well as special offers your newsletter could be used to build awareness of new product lines, special products available for set periods or even online competitions. The main aim of this process is to build a relationship with your customers, so that they have brand loyalty towards you and continue to purchase your products – keep this in mind when creating your newsletter and you will be fine.

For more information about ecommerce online and newsletters you can contact the design team at Unltd E-commerce, they have years experience working on projects like this and are always happy to help.  Visit their website at http://www.unltdecommerce.co.uk or email team@unltdecommerce.co.uk

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Magento table rates for UK delivery

Set up Magento table rates for UK Delivery

We had been working on a Magento ecommerce website this week which called for the use of Magento table rates for UK delivery.  The client wanted to be able to set different prices for the different postcode areas in the UK.  Our postcode area table is just 127 lines, covering the first 2 characters of the postcode (not the 3000 line table covering every possible postcode area).  Using this short version makes it easy for our client to handle and quick and easy for us to set-up.

The problem is, Magento table rates is set-up to check the postcode exactly against the table rates database. For example, our database has the “CM” postcode area listed, but if a customer enter theirs full UK postcode against this it will not match and therefore they will not be able to select the shipping option.

We have worked out a way around this, changing just one line of code in the Magento code folder.  What’s more, we are giving you our magento tablerates CSV file for free to help you get your magento table rates shipping set up for the UK postcode areas. I know, we are nice, feel free to send us gifts and flowers to the usual office address!Magento table rates for UK

Here is what you need to do:

1) Download our tablerates CSV file here

2) Using FTP locate this file in your magento install – app/code/core/Mage/shipping/Model/resource/carrier/tablerate.php

3) Open this file in your favorite editor and scroll down to line 123

4) Change this code - ‘:postcode’ =>$request->getDestPostcode() to this – ‘:postcode’ => (substr($request->getDestPostcode(),0,2))

5) Upload the updated file

6) Go to your admin panel,  Configuration / Shipping Methods / Table Rates

7) Enable Table Rates and select the file you have downloaded above in the Import box.

8) Press save and your good to go!!

We are using Magento 1.7 for this and it has worked perfectly, I have not tested this on older versions.
I hope this is of some help, so you are not all sat searching for hours trying to find a fix for this problem.
If you have a better way of doing this or improvement on our method, please let us know below….

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magento-error3
Error – Exception printing is disabled

There has been an error….

Over the last 7 or 8 ecommerce websites we have developed in Magento, we noticed the following error – Exception printing is disabled.  Sometimes this error occurs when you install Magento but today it happened out of the blue.  The website does not display online and you just see the Magento error page stating:

Exception printing is disabled by default for security reasons

Exception printing is disabled

When we first saw this message (after the initial panic), we jumped straight to Google to try and find a quick fix and the reason for this error occurring.  Unfortunately, after searching for Exception printing is disabled, there was very little help to be found online for this.  Luckily, one of our guys here in the office had seen this before and managed to work out the solution in just a few minutes.

If you are creating your ecommerce website design yourself and come across this problem, here is our way of fixing the problem:

  •  Connect via FTP and locate the ERRORS folder within your Magento install
  • Find the local.xml.sample file and change the name of this to just local.xml
  • Now when you visit the live website you should see a page full of error messages (it’s all good, this is how we found the error in the first place!)
  • Now get back into your FTP client, find and open the following file – /lin/Zend/Cache/Backend/File.php
  • Locate the following line – protected $_options = array( ‘cache_dir’ => ‘null’,
  • Change this to – protected $_options = array( ‘cache_dir’ => ‘tmp/’,
  • Save this and upload it back where it came from
  • Now just go to the main Magento folder and create a folder named “tmp” – Simples!

I hope this is of some help to you all so you don’t have to spend too long trying to fix this error.

 

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offices
What a week for Unltd Ecommerce

The Unltd Ecommerce offices have been hectic this week with the arrival of two new clients and one other ecommerce website launch just around the corner.  Everybody at Unltd Ecommerce would like to say a big “welcome aboard” to Boyles Pet Housing, we are looking forward to working with you and creating an amazing brand for your company.  Boyles are a great company creating a wide range of pet housing including rabbit hutches, dog kennels and even chicken coops.  Boyles will be offering a bespoke build service which is a great way to get the perfect home for your pets. Watch this space for the all new website and corporate branding coming very soon.

If you are looking to improve your business online please give Unltd Ecommerce a call, we can help with everything from affordable ecommerce websites through to stunning branding and SEO.  Call now on 020 3544 8132 or drop us an email to info@unltdecommerce.co.uk

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