Tag Archives: website code

On the hunt for a new website provider

I went in a couple of business courses earlier this about improving websites and SEO which I found extremely useful but also a little disconcerting, in that they highlighted how many issues we still wanted to resolve. Our ecommerce website – www.comacodirect.com has now been running for 5 years. At the time our choice of provider seemed an appropriate one but 5 years is a long time… Also if I’m being brutally honest it has never quite delivered the results we had hoped for. The majority of our sales still come via other online sales platforms.


The Comaco Toys website as of early August 2014

So what do want a revamped site to do? Well we need fast download speeds for a start, our current provider is steady but slower than average. We would like the facility to export our listings to other sales platforms, currently this is all done manually and it is a time consuming task! We would like the facility to be able to write meta tags for all pages on the site; we need a responsive design which will adjust for mobiles and ipads; and we want an integrated blog so that this one can be quietly retired.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to find a provider who will give us the maximum confidence that the site will have improved SEO and better sales will follow. A tall order? Possibly. Obviously the content of the site is ours, but this can only get us so far if the design is not up to spec.

And where do we find this miraculous provider? I don’t know yet. Magento has certainly been mentioned to me more than once and I am hoping to get some further advice through the Highlands and Islands Digital Health Check for businesses, although they haven’t replied to me yet. Clearly though it is something that needs to be up and running by October for the run up to Christmas.

Watch this space!



SEO Shenanigans

Ok I admit it. This blog was basically started as I was told that we needed it for SEO reasons. The fact that I’m posting this on the blog proves how few potential customers for Comaco that I actually expect to read this.

The problem we have this is a small business and we do not have vast amounts of money to invest in building our online profile. I recently met some very nice SEO people who quoted me a small fortune to pimp things up on the web. I’m sure they could have achieved some positive results but the total cost would probably have ended up rivalling our annual budget for new stock.

Consequently I am stuck again with trying to make sense of webmaster double speak and doing what I can on my own. For example here is part of a comment someone has just sent regarding an earlier blog post

I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article…

I’m sure this will mean something to many potential readers, but personally it makes me want to throw my hands up in horror and go back to quill and ink. Latent Semantic Indexing for goodness sake! Isn’t life just too short? Oh well…

Rotating banners

As you might have gathered from the recent instigation of this blog, we at Comaco have lately been trying to raise the profile of our fine online shop a bit. This seems only sensible as we have lots of new toys coming in at the moment. The website design itself was in need of a bit of a spruce up so we opted to move from our old static banner to a funky rotating one showing a range of our products.

Being something of a traditionalist, I still tend to use Internet Explorer by default and last night the new bannner with changing pictures and captions looked to be working fine in IE. However I later happened to look at it on my phone in Chrome and discovered that the captions were actually showing below the pictures, instead to their right as they should be. This was something of a problem since captions now appeared in the middle of the product listings and this looked very untidy indeed. Back on the PC I confirmed that this was indeed how the site looked in Chrome, and what’s more it was exactly the same in Firefox. For some reason though, the banner showed absolutely perfectly in IE. I don’t have any idea why.

After much messing about this morning looking at code for pictures and text, I finally managed to get the banner looking right on all browsers. I’m hoping it looks pretty good but please feel free to let us know what you think. I’ll just try and remember not to use IE next time I am doing any work on the website!