Archive for August, 2014

Magento vs Shopify – which one is ahead of the pack

Wednesday, 20 August, 2014

The long-running battle between the two e-commerce giants, one side Magento and the other side Shopify is rather a confusing one and especially to those who are joining the revolution in the world of e-commerce. The internet is crowded with plenty of e-commerce platforms, out of which Shopify and Magento have impressively established their superiority over others.

However, comparing both of them is a bit complicated task owing to the fact that both are the winners of their own category. Both of them have bespoke designs that give you immense power to create catchy slogans and attractive logos for your website. Also, both of the platforms also have their own pros and cons and selecting the right top dog of the market means undermining the quality of the other. But, for those who are newbies of this field or the designers who are planning to upgrade their designing skills, it’s crucial to know about the significant benefits both of the platforms has to offer because then only they decide about which e-commerce platform is perfect for you.

shopify vs magento comparison

So, without further ado, let’s check out the comparison overview  between both of the platforms.

1. Shopify vs Magento-Backend Design

Shopify is a user-friendly e-commerce platform, which gives easy-to-follow instructions to guide the user in the process of building the online store. Its set of easy to understand tools and coding background help you in creating amazing designs, SKU, payment gateways, and anything which could assist you in positively influencing the fortunes of your website.

On the other hand, Magento is rather a messy monster, developed by using a set of complicated coding structure,  calling to have a deep familiarity with the technical skills. So, for beginners it might be a difficult option to start with.

As far as the level of customization is concerned, Magento can go to a great length as compared to Shopify. The reason being Shopify is a service platform, thereby restricting the customization of extensions and plugins after a certain extent.

2. Shopify vs Magento- Cost Structure

While considering the factors like hosting, taking the SSL certificates, and deciding upon hiring the services of an IT guy who can keep your website run and optimized over a specific period of time. One can be pretty sure that Magento costs you more as compared to Shopify. Shopify wins the race with the amount of $179/mo, which isn’t that bad to receive an impressive amount of traffic. Of course, you’ll go on adding $20/mo more to get the module of your choice and additional $40 to add all the fancy features, you have yen for. After adding all the amount, it will still seem to be relatively affordable as compared to Magento.

3. Shopify vs Magento- Features

For developers and web designers, who love to play around catchy features, design development and analytical tools, they are definitely going to love Magento as compared to Shopify. Magento is backed by a rich collection of tools to offer additional benefits to its customers- both in front and backend. Shopify, on the other hand, also has developed a design that provide special features to customers but that is somewhere limited as compared to Magento.

4. Shopify vs Magento- Design Aesthetics

The potential of Shopify is identified well on areas where it starts providing designing ease and convenience to the e-commerce providers. Even those with extremely basic knowledge of designing and technical skills, can create a store that’s contemporary, easy to use, and functional. Small scale businesses and web designers love Shopify, allowing them to create a dynamic platform in no time. Magento might have a myriad of themes in its store, but they are not as high in quality, and it’s also restricted to alter only the CSS of the website. On the other hand, with Shopify you can not only change the CSS but also HTML and scripts as well.

Conclusion

Well, with just little tweaks and twists, we can say that both of the platforms are equally capable and proficient enough for building a robust e-commerce store. Ultimately it boils down to your designing instincts that will dictate which way to go.

This guest article was written by Danial Wright, who is an enthusiastic blogger cum magento developer. Currently he is working for Magentax Ltd, a Magento Development Outsourcing company. He loves to write blogs and tutorials for Magento beginners and professionals.

Photoshop Tips to Make PSD to HTML Conversion a Hassle-Free Experience

Tuesday, 12 August, 2014

Observing the constantly increasing competition, it’s not surprising to see website owners seeking for ways that helps them survive the growing competition. Many site owners running a HTML website are opting for PSD to HTML conversion, in order to keep their site updated as per the latest design trends and customers needs. There are several reasons that makes a website owner choose this conversion.

First of all, the transformation helps a site owner give a fresh “look and feel” to their existing site, by designing a PSD with a new web design and unique approach. Secondly, since the transformation is mainly done with help of manual coding, you get a final theme that contains clean code that search engine crawlers can easily read. This means your web pages will easily get index by search engine bots, which leads to higher search engine ranking.

If you’re a designer and created a pixel-perfect PSD but can’t code, certainly you’ll choose to send your PSD files to some developer who can convert them into a fully-functional site. However, often we forget to pay heed to certain factors when designing the PSD or handing them off, which later creates issues and increases production time. Through this post I’ll be discussing about the 3 most important tips that will help you get enviable results from the conversion process.

1. Merge Layers Without Flattening

When designing a photoshop design designers tend to create different layers, empowering them to work on a particular design element without affecting the other design elements. But in certain situations, designers are required to merge the layers or make them flattened. While merging the layers merely combines the layers you’ve created into a single layer, on the other hand, flattening combines the layers into a single background layer to reduce the file size.

But you can’t combine the combine the layers in PSD to HTML conversion, as each and very layer contains some vital information for developers. For instance, the font layer determines font sizes, font families and other key elements. Flattening the layers will probably make it difficult for a new developer to work on the project in the absence of one who started the conversion process.

So, if you wish to merge the layers make sure not to flatten the layers. For this purpose, you can use a keyboard shortcut that is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E. Sing the shortcut you’ll get new merged layer, but you’ll be able to view the original layers as well (that is present below the merged layer).

2. Hand-Off Organized PSD Files

Handing off unorganized PSD files can infuriate your developer and can substantially increase their time and effort – in looking for particular graphic layer, font layer and other layers. Besides, shoddy PSD files can give the developers a hard time in understanding how the actual website will look like once the design files gets converted. Your development partner will most likely have to spend more time in locating a particular layer, which will exceed the development time and eventually increases the cost of your project.

Organizing your layers by giving them names, and grouping them logically in terms of header, footer, sidebar etc. will make it easier for the developers to work on the PSD files without putting in much time and efforts. Also, make sure to arrange the groups of layers in accordance with the flow of your photoshop document. For instance, the header group generally comes at the top, footer group comes at the bottom of the page and so on.

Lastly, show the elements on grid; grid also referred to as vertical set of guidelines identify the shape of the elements and how they need to be placed. Not placing the elements on grid leads to additional steps when converting PSD files to HTML format.

3. Create Rollover Effects For CTA’s

CTA’s (call-to-action copy) have become indispensable part of a website. It helps determine how to place your call to action elements on a site. Adding call-to-action elements encourage visitors to solicit an action. These elements comprises of buttons, boxes etc. However, the most coveted form of call to action in sites  is available in the form of call-to-action buttons. These buttons can get a hold of the visitors’ attention and entice them to hit the button. However, apart from CTA’s there is another factor that can elevate the click-through-rate of your site, called the rollover effect.

A CTA just comprises of an image containing a link. In contrast, the rollover effect tells that when an image is hovered by a user, some change occurs to the image – be it the color that is changed, lighting or saturation and so on.

No doubt, relevant content and good images are suffice to grab readers interests, however, when a link is rolled over and seeing it to be clickable can be an added advantage to your site that boosts the click-through-rate.

Conclusion

If you too are contemplating going for PSD to HTML conversion, then make sure to read the aforementioned tips when designing a photoshop design. This will help come up a great PSD that your service provider can easily convert into a functional HTML website.

This guest article was written by Samuel Dawson, who is the Web Developer cum blogger. He is expert in handling the process of PSD to HTML conversion with vast experience in web design technologies. Presently, he is working with Designs2html Ltd, a Markup conversion company.