When it comes to starting an online store, there are many things to take into consideration. One of the most important parts of the puzzle is which platform to use to power your e-commerce site.
I work for a search engine marketing agency, AdFicient, and we do a lot of e-commerce work for our clients. Thus what you are about to read is solely based on my experience working with the following e-commerce platforms.
There are two major categories with e-commerce platforms: hosted and self-hosted. Hosted simply means that the company will host your store, while self-hosted means they will provide you with software, but you have to get your own Web hosting.
For stability purposes, I recommend going with hosted versions because you always have dedicated support and chances of it going down due to hosting are slim to none. The downside of hosted software is that you will have to pay a monthly fee, and sometimes it can be pretty high.
Shopify is quickly becoming my favorite e-commerce platform. The user interface of the admin panel is simply gorgeous. Although it has its limitations, there aren’t many things I wasn’t able to accomplish with it.
The biggest downside is the limited ability to change the checkout page. Although you have some control over it, it is minor. So if you’re trying to design the checkout page to be exactly how you want, Shopify is probably not for you. In fact, none of the hosted solutions will offer customizable checkout process so you can jump the the Self-Hosted section right away.
One area where Shopify easily beats is competition is with awesome add-on apps. Just like your smartphone, Shopify has many apps that you can download and install on your store, which extend the default or introduce new functionality. Their entire app process is set up much better than the competition and they have the most available apps, too.
Shopify starts at $29/mo. And if you use their credit card processor, you will only have to pay the standard 2.9 percent + 30 cent rate. If you upgrade to a higher plan, the per-transaction fee is lower.
Volusion is a similar platform to Shopify, except it is about a hundred times less customizable. It is quite locked down, so you cannot do much with it. For starters, the entire website is generated using just one main template file. If that doesn’t sound silly enough, you also cannot retrieve basic information about store, products, categories, or cart contents needed for many remarketing tracking scripts.
Although their support is responsive, they simply are not helpful most of the time. But perhaps that’s because most of the technical questions I’ve asked were not possible to accomplish in Volusion.
You can get Volusion for as low as $15 per month, which is almost 50 percent cheaper than Shopify, but I wouldn’t recommend them.
BigCommerce is similar to Shopify and Volusion, but I would rank it closer to Volusion than Shopify. Although you can customize it slightly, it still lacks the total control of Shopify. It seems like you can implement Google Trusted Stores and Product Feed with their built-in functionalities, but trying to implement a different system would most likely be out of the question.
One area where BigCommerce is better at than Volusion would be the user interface of the admin panel. It looks a lot cleaner and is much easier to navigate.
BigCommerce starts at $29.95/mo. and with that plan you also have to pay a 1.5 percent transaction fee, in addition to other credit card processing fees. In other words, you could quickly find yourself losing money even while making sales.
Out of the three hosted e-commerce platforms, I believe Shopify is without a doubt the best one.
This is an e-commerce platform that has been around for ages. Perhaps the criticism I am about to unleash on it could be attributed to that.
Although used by a large majority of big e-commerce websites, Magento is a platform I would advice most companies against. There are many reasons for this, but difficulty to customize would be my number one.
The platform is like a giant complex dinosaur that just won’t quit. Yes, it has plenty of features and then some, but the user interface is not friendly at all. It is a classic example of a product designed by engineers and developers who do not really understand what makes a user interface great.
Another big issue many stores face is the terribly slow performance that arise on Magento. There’s many different things to fix the problem, but the fact that you have to specifically fix the issue is a big no-no for me already.
Out of the box, Magento is a slow and sluggish platform and until you spend hours or days messing with caching extensions and settings, you probably won’t be happy with its performance.
Comparing WooCommerce to Magento is difficult because WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin so it depends very much on WordPress. You cannot use WooCommerce without WordPress.
WooCommerce is great because it offers ultimate customizability. Anything you can do with WordPress, you can do with WooCommerce. Only WordPress developers will understand what I mean, but using actions, hooks, and filters to make enhancements or changes to functionality is pretty sweet and efficient.
As with anything WordPress, the resources available are endless. You have access to millions of themes and plugins to do exactly what you want. And in the rare scenario where you need something custom, there are many quality developers waiting to work.
Because WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you also get all the goodies that come with WordPress. That means blogging on your e-commerce store comes standard and is all very neatly organized. Compare that with Magento where you have to install a blogging extension just to even start blogging.
For me, this is a no-brainer. In 95 percent of cases, I think WooCommerce is a better and safer choice than Magento. Unless you have millions of dollars in your development and maintenance budget, you shouldn’t really touch Magento.
If you use Magento, you will need custom development sooner or later and there’s no way getting around that. In fact, you will probably need a developer on call 24/7 for whenever you want to do any minor change to your store.
So who are the ultimate winners here? I would say it is between Shopify and WooCommerce. If you are a big company with lots of products, clients, and traffic, then Shopify is a safer choice to go with because you will have better and more dedicated support.
WooCommerce is perfect for average and smaller stores that just need a store to sell a few things and sell them right!
Earlier stage: Easy Peasy
Probability puzzle is available on google app store:
it comprises of 3 levels of difficulty, this is the second one:
2- Getting serious:
- well, you are tossing a dice, How many tosses to get a number larger than 4.
Answer: 3 tosses
- what is the probability that some of the people shares their birthday. (for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem (Very interesting,promise)
- what is smallest group size such that the probability of a common birthday is bigger than half.
- on average how many tosses does it take to get two heads in a row?
- someone selects a coin uniformly at random from the jar and tosses it. if it comes up heads, what is the probability the coin is fair?
That is my progress so far.
Originally, written by Dana Sitar (@danasitar) a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more.
In about 14 years of working, I’ve sat through a dozen or so job interviews.
While every job may be unique, the interviews often are not.
Some companies may throw you a curveball or even engage you in a candid conversation — but most job interviews will simply guide you through the same series of basic questions.
It sounds boring (and it can be), but you can actually use this repetitiveness to your advantage!
Before heading to your next job interview, arm yourself with answers to these common questions:
1- Walk me through your work history, Let’s review your resume:
Why is the interviewer asking for your work history with your resume sitting inches away?
They may just want to hear how you frame your work history.
Or maybe they want you to explain any gaps in employment or frequent job-hopping.
This is your chance to paint the picture of your work experience in a more useful and interesting way than the mundane list on your resume.
2- What are your strengths:
Time to show off!
You applied to this job because you believed you could do it. Why was that again?
Prepare ahead of time, and think carefully about this question.
Every interviewee is going to tout their strong work ethic, ability to be a team player, experience in the field and other generic traits necessary to do the job well.
Stand out by showcasing your unique strengths.
What do you bring to a team that most people don’t? What made you shine in previous jobs? Why do your friends love being around you?
Also make sure you know what the company is looking for. Read the job description carefully.
It tells you exactly what they’re looking for — and even includes some buzzwords they might want to hear!
3- what are your weaknesses:
What you really want to say is, “I didn’t come here to talk about that.”
What you might think you should say is, “Sometimes I’m just too excited about my job.”
What you actually should say is… something real.
Everyone enters a job with some kind of weakness. Let the interviewer know you recognize yours, and explain how you’re working to eliminate it.
4- Why are you interested in working for this company:
I’ve had to bluff my way through plenty of food service job interviews asking me to explain what was so special about the giant, hamburger-slinging corporation I was trying to work for.
If I could conjure an answer other than, “You pay money and don’t do drug tests,” you can prepare a few reasons you’d love to work for your potential employer.
What do you love about the company’s mission and the work it does? What about its culture appeals to you? Do you have any special connection to their services as a customer or community member?
5- Where do you see yourself in five years ? ten years?
You might have your life together better than I do, but at 30 I don’t know how to answer this ubiquitous question.
In an interview, I’m not afraid to say, “I don’t know,” and it hasn’t disqualified me from a position yet.
If you want to be (or at least appear) more decisive, mention your future dreams and aspirations. What the interviewer really wants to hear is you have goals and working here will help you achieve them in the long run.
6- Why do you want to leave your current Job/ Company?
Your answer to this question should be pretty straightforward.
But if parting with your current or latest job wasn’t amicable, expecting this question in advance can help you prepare the, er, most “flattering” way to present the truth.
7- Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of?
This is your chance to brag!
Take a breather: This is one of the more simple job interview questions.
You can probably even tell the whole truth this time.
8- Tell me about a time you made a mistake?
Gah! I’ve been blindsided by this one.
It’s not a problem to acknowledge past mistakes in a job interview — but it can sting to be surprised by this one.
Present a mistake, then follow it up with what you learned or how you fixed whatever problem you might have caused — at work, school or in life.
9- How would your boss and co-workers describe you?
Can you guess the best way to prepare an answer for this question?
Ask your boss and co-workers!
If your job doesn’t offer feedback while you work, ask for it. It’ll help you improve in your current position and prepare yourself for the next one.
10- Describe yourself
I don’t know about you, but I’m a Midwest-raised introvert.
I don’t excel at explaining my special tics to a stranger — without sounding like a weirdo.
But that’s sort of the point. This is a chance to showcase your personality and why it’s a good fit for the company.
You don’t have to lean too hard on your qualifications yet — save that for the next question.
11- Why should we hire you?
By this point, an interviewer knows your work history, experience, qualifications and even a bit about your personality.
What they want to know now is Why should they hire you and not someone else?
Explain what you alone bring to the position and why no one else can do it like you will. Explain how you’ll uniquely fit into the team.
12- What are your salary requirements
If you’re intimidated by the idea of talking about money, you’re not alone.
But ultimately, your job comes down to money, so you can’t avoid it.
Research your industry and position before you start to interview, and determine your comfortable salary range.
Keep that number in mind, along with any accompanying benefits — and be prepared to explain why you deserve them.
13- Describe a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project?
If you have a long work history, bragging about your work ethic might be easy.
If you’re interviewing for your first job — or your first professional job — this could take some digging.
Consider any experience in which you took impressive initiative on a project — in a volunteer role, on a class project, as a part of a student organization or even in a church group.
If you can’t think of one now, start taking some initiative!
14- Describe a time when you disagreed with your boss?
When an interviewer asks about a disagreement with your boss, what she’s really asking is, “How do you resolve a disagreement with your boss?”
Don’t harp on the details.
Focus on how gracefully you handle tricky situations.
15- What are your co-worker pet peeves
This question is less about selling yourself to a company — finally! — and more about determining whether you’ll jive with potential co-workers.
If you can’t stand a Chatty Kathy and hate Happy Hour with the staff, mention it (kindly).
Explain what kind of team you’ll excel with, so you can avoid being stuck with a group you can’t stand.
16- What are your hobbies?
Why does your future employer care whether you’re into basket-weaving or kickboxing on the weekends?
I can’t say for sure.
But I suspect this is just one more way to get to know you and your personality.
Use it to showcase your passion — an employer wants to know what gets you up in the morning, and what lights a fire under you.
17- Describe your ideal workday
Like talking about your preferred co-workers, describing your ideal workday can help the interviewer understand how you’ll fit in — or not — with the company culture.
Go beyond your preferred schedule for the day.
Explain when and how you work best, so they understand you know how to capitalize on your (and, eventually, their) time.
18- How do you work under pressure?
Some people thrive on looming deadlines and a packed-to-the-minute schedule.
Some shut down the second the pressure’s on. Which are you?
There’s not a set right way to manage under pressure, so you don’t have to bluff.
Instead, consider this pending question motivation to learn how to keep your cool and stay productive when work gets tough, so you can brag about your skills in an interview.
19 – What questions haven’t I asked you?
We love this one in journalism, too.
It may sound like a cop-out — Excuse me, but aren’t you the interviewer here?
Actually, asking what questions we haven’t asked is a smart interviewer’s way of learning what’s important to an interviewee.
Take this opportunity to point out uncommon successes and relevant experiences that they wouldn’t think to ask about.
20- What questions do you have for me?
The most common interviewing advice I hear across industries is, “Have something to ask them.”
It didn’t always make sense to me when I was first starting to work. It felt forced.
And, anyway, what questions was I going to ask? I did my research before applying for the job.
But showing your curiosity and interest in the company is important. Ask away!
Prepare for your next job interview by right-clicking the full checklist to save it.
Your Turn: What job interview questions have surprised you? Share them in the comments to help other readers prepare!