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Preparing Images for Your Ecommerce Shopping Cart

We all know that good quality images help to sell a product. But how do you go about getting images that are consistent and make your site look professional. Having built numerous ecommerce websites, I’ve discovered a few things that I’d like to share. First, you should be aware that multiple images are better than a single image. I recommend having at least one image of just the product, on a cut-out white background, that is used as the primary image. All of your primary images should be the exact same dimensions (800×800 pixels is a good size for most computer screens). Keeping both the height and width the same (a square image) insures that your images will line up properly on a page, which is much better than the amateur looking sites that have some horizontal and some vertical images. You can (and should) have secondary images, showing the product in context. Those secondary images can have a different aspect ratio, as they are not displayed on category pages, so it doesn’t matter if they are vertical or horizontal. Here’s how you create quality images for your ecommerce website.  […]

Google Mandates Secure Sites – HTTPS

It used to be that websites that were not taking payments online did not need an SSL certificate. After all, you weren’t transferring any confidential information, you were simply displaying text and graphics to your visitors. If you had an online store, you were strongly encouraged to use SSL to keep your customer’s data safe. But given the world we live in, this has changed.  According to Google, ALL websites, even if you are not collecting any information, must be secured.

By the end of this month, October 2017, Google has officially broadcasted, that websites using SSL certificates, would gain boosts in Google rankings to make small steps to keep everyone safe on the web. Google will not only penalize you for not having a secure site, it will soon publicly shame your credibility and label your site as unsecure. Some browsers, notably Firefox and Chrome (in incognito mode) are already doing this when displaying a login form. Google will make a much bigger deal about those sites without SSL. A red caution warning “Not Secure” will display next to the URL in Google Chrome browsers. What does this mean to you? It means it is time to add an SSL certificate to your website if you don’t already have one.

How can I tell I am visiting a site with SSL?

First of all, you can tell by your browser.  It will display the site URL as https://www.sitedomain.com.  Secondly, there is usually an icon or symbol in place (often in color green) such as a padlock that provides a safety signal.  Often, clicking on that icon will reveal information about the type of SSL that in place for further verification.

What is SSL?

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security protocol that offers a degree of insurance and protection against hacks and malicious intrusion. Technically, SSL provides encryption of customer data.   Browsers see the SSL Certificate and secure URL structure to interpret that a website is “safe” and provide a degree of comfort to site visitors.  SSL is especially beneficial for first-time visits to an unknown site.  Site visitors can have a degree of confidence that […]

Why and How to Publish a Book

Since the release of my latest book, I’ve been asked numerous times about how to get a book published. It’s no secret that having a book makes you an authority on your subject matter. In fact, the word author is contained within the word authority. Both words are derived from the latin word, Auctoritas. In ancient Rome, Auctoritas referred to the general level of prestige a person had in Roman society, and, as a consequence, his clout, influence, and ability to rally support around his will. Today, the #1 authority builder (no matter what niche you are in) is to have a book. Having a book is almost a prerequisite for being a public speaker (another powerful authority builder).

The reason for being an author and a public speaker is not to make that your career. Very few authors and speakers make a living through their writing and speaking. but lots of people greatly expand their business because they are an author. Quite simply, a book is the best business card you can have. Imagine that you are selling swimming pools. You hand your prospective customer a book about “10 things to be aware of when hiring a swimming pool contractor.” You are the author. You tell them that regardless of who they decide to hire, you believe that this is information they will probably find useful. Guess which pool contractor is likely to get the job?

Having a book used to just be a “pipe dream” for most people and something that everyone wanted to do “one day”. But now there are countless ways of getting a book of your own. I am not going to talk about traditional publishing, as that is unlikely for most people simply looking to establish credibility and becoming recognized as an expert in their field. Here are the publishing methods that I will talk about:

  1. Vanity publishers
  2. Publishing through Create Space
  3. Being your own publisher

I have used all of these methods (as well as traditional publishing). This is what I recommend: […]

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