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Hi there, hope you're having a great Friday!
This is Colm and Simon from CommerceGurus, with a handpicked weekly roundup of eCommerce articles.
Like many people I've had more time on my hands lately. It got me thinking about what I could do to help in a small way during this current crisis.
Small, local businesses are the lifeblood of towns and cities in every country. We've seen more and more start selling online, or change their entire business model to an online one.
I thought I'd create a simple directory of local independent producers who are selling online in my own country, Ireland.
So, I did.
I bought the domain (Namecheap) and hosting (A2 Hosting). And began building the site locally.
I used as its base, underscores, which is a minimal framework for starter themes.
Rather than adding a mobile hamburger menu I simply fixed the 3 navigation links to the bottom of the screen on smaller devices so they're easy to reach for thumbs.
I created a custom post type called "Stores" and used Advanced Custom fields to add some options.
- Store name
- Thumbnail (I used a featured image)
- Website URL
- A yes/no toggle if they offer collection
- A free text field where I could enter if they are limited regarding the areas they can deliver to.
In order to immediately filter through the results by category I used the excellent FacetWP plugin.
FacetWP also has an addon for a flyout sidebar on mobiles. Rather than developing anything from scratch I used this too.
For the About page I just used the standard Gutenberg block editor in WordPress.
And for the Submit a site page, WP Forms, the free version.
To keep the speed nice and fast, I tried an images plugin I had never used before called Sirv which I'm really happy with so far. It has its own CDN so the results are much faster than when coming from your own server.
Also, I added Autoptimize and WP Fastest Cache, which we reviewed recently in our Caching plugins roundup.
The speed scores were great.
On Google PageSpeed 95/100 on mobile. And 100/100 on desktop.
And the result?
Here is the site
I sent it to a couple of select friends for feedback and didn't expect it to get shared to quite an extent so quickly. It had over 1,500 visitors on the first day and 3,500 by the end of day two.
75% of the visits were from mobiles. 25% desktops.
I heard directly from one of the stores that the link directly helped with 3 sales already which was great to hear!
What have I learned?
Sometimes it's nice to break out of your current bubble and do something different.
If you have a hunch for an idea and it can be created in a short space of time, go for it. Even if nobody visits, you've only spent a weekend on it.
Brian Dean is back with another monster post, this time about technical SEO and why it's such an important topic in 2020.
This one will take a while to get through to have that pot of coffee ready. As usual, it's full of brilliant suggestions and screenshots.
If you want to make SEO a priority for your store this year, Brian Dean's posts should be the first ones to go through.
Learn about Technical SEO from Brian Dean
If you're looking for something new to listen to in the background while working from home, I'd recommend you give this podcast a listen.
Privy CMO Dave Gerhardt talks with experts each week in eCommerce marketing to help you sell more and build a successful online business.
The Kettle and Fire episode about their email confirmations is especially good.
Listen to the eCommerce Marketing Show
One of my favorite typefaces over the past few years is now finally available on Google Fonts. It's called "Inter" and it's an exceptionally clean typeface designed for web interfaces and is available in nine different weights.
It's also a variable font, which means that each variation is incorporated into a single file, rather than needing to load a separate font for each style.
So what do you think? Would you like to see our Shoptimizer theme use Inter rather than IBM Plex Sans?
Check out Inter on Google Fonts
That's it for this edition. Simply reply to this email if you have any questions or suggestions, we read every message. Stay safe where ever you are in the world.
Colm and Simon from CommerceGurus