Author Topic: Creating Site In Catalogue Mode To Begin With  (Read 5744 times)

burgertronic

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Creating Site In Catalogue Mode To Begin With
« on: September 23, 2008, 14:03:47 pm »
Hi, i've taken on a client that want's me to make an ecommerce site, which is a first for me, after some research i decided i wanted to use Joomla/Virtuemart.
I have decided to do the site in two phases, the first being an online catalogue where people can view the products but have to ring up to order the products (It will be replacing an existing online catalogue which is written in HTML and has good search rankings), the second phase is to turn on all the shopping cart functionality so people can buy stuff using the site (6 to 12 months down the track).
I've split it up because i feel i've bitten off more then i can chew and want to spend the time making sure i don't ruin there search ranking, then worry about the rest.

My Questions (If you have an answer to any of them it would be greatly appretiated).

1. Is this a good way to go about a VirtueMart site for a newbie?

2. Is it best to set SSL up imediately or can i do that later when I enable the shopping cart?

3. Can i just place my Joomla site in the public_html folder, like i would for a site that does not use SSL?

4. I see so many posts about problems with sh404SEF, in regards to search rankings will it make a much of a difference?, Is it worth the trouble?, And are most of the problems minor and fixable?

5. Are there any advantages to a dedicated IP?

6. Are there any other SEF modules i should use to ensure decent search rankings?

Thanks...

Syntax Terror

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    • Practical Magic
Re: Creating Site In Catalogue Mode To Begin With
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 13:14:57 pm »
Hi burgertronic, I will give you my thoughts on your questions. Hoping it offers a bit of guidance, since some of the answers will require more thought or research from your side. Depending on my and your level of knowladge. :)

1. Is this a good way to go about a VirtueMart site for a newbie?
My opinion, yes. I have started out with virtuemart in catalogue mode and added an external cart system to it since my client had a similar HTML shop but with links to an external cart. It was relativly easy to set up but all new things take some diving into.
In my signature is a link, you can see it in a live setting, the shop is still in catalogue only mode.

2. Is it best to set SSL up imediately or can i do that later when I enable the shopping cart?
You do not need SSL right from the start, so it has no advantage or dis-advantage to enable it now. Its up to you if you like to get a sneak peek at what will be needed in the future, then go ahead and see what is needed. Does the hosting offer SSL? Dedicated? or Shared? These are things you need to find out first.
Will you only have PayPal and such as payment options in the future? Then think about if you need SSL at all?

3. Can i just place my Joomla site in the public_html folder, like i would for a site that does not use SSL?
Generally speaking yes, tho its best to check with the hosting provider. They will have this information (should have) available on theyr site. It is after all a service that usually runs thru them. (it is possible to go external with SSL)

4. I see so many posts about problems with sh404SEF, in regards to search rankings will it make a much of a difference?, Is it worth the trouble?, And are most of the problems minor and fixable?
Using a tool like sh404sef can be troublsome, it can be hassle free. Much depends on if your hosting allows to use mod_rewrite in your .htacces file. (most do) It is worth the trouble. having a keyword in the URL is an important step in being found, even if only the human viewing the search results page sees theyr keyword in the URL, it triggers a click much more likely. Think how you search, apply that to answering your own question. Would you be more likely to click a clean URL like: www.hexenladen-hamburg.de/Shop.html or something like www.hexenladen-hamburg.de/component/option,com_xmap/Itemid,123/ ?
And about the trouble, If you do run into trouble, yes, its most likely minor, tho the end result will look major (internal server error 500! yikes! but usually a simple as uncommenting a line of code) and ofcourse you can ask for help on the SH404SEF forum. :) There you might find yourself terrorised by me too since I lurk everywhere ;)

5. Are there any advantages to a dedicated IP?
yes, tho I do not have proof I believe search enginges give more value to 'solid' sites, having your own IP indicates a more trustworthy source of information than a floating IP. (spammers use floating IP's for example) It is nice to have a fixed IP but not super-important, if you got the choice... go for it.

6. Are there any other SEF modules i should use to ensure decent search rankings?
as far as modules are concerned, SH404SEF has a build in module for virtuemart which does a good job of making nice URL's containing product names and such, plus enough parameters to customise to you liking.

Of course you do realise that having nice URL's is only a small part of getting decent search rankings. content = king. Frequent updates to content, writing articles, well you catch my drift. Anyone who thinks simply activating a SEF module will get them ranking high will be dissapointed. Not suggesting this is your viewpoint, I am being general here.

And about not messing up your old clients build up SEO points, read into 301 redirects and how to enforce them.

It is higly unlikely that the automaticly generated URL's from any module like SH404SEF will follow the same format as that old plain HTML site, so you probably will have to make custom redirects. This can be done in different ways with different tools, in PHP perhaps, or in your .htacces file, or perhaps theyr hosting offers such functionality in theyr controll panel.

Hope this helps you get an opinion formed of what is best for you :)
I use virtuemart on the websites: Practical Magic & Zauberhafte Geschenke