Web 2.0 – It’s a Whole New Website Development Era

Web 2.0 is the new buzzword when you’re planning your ecommerce web site development these days. What exactly is Web 2.0? It’s basically incorporating more interactive and participatory applications and user-generated content.

What does that mean, really? Read on as we take a look at important Web 2.0 technologies and talk about how you can make them work for you…

What is RSS? RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a standard format used to pass information (much like HTML). RSS allows news or other Web content to be available for “feeding” (distribution or syndication) from an online publisher to consumers. As a publisher, you should include your content in an RSS feed that other people can consume. For example, most blogs automatically come with an RSS feed built-in. This way, anytime you add something to the blog, it’s in the RSS feed as well. As a consumer, you’ll subscribe to the relevant RSS feeds that interest you. You can do this by using either a dedicated RSS reader like FeedReader or using the built-in RSS readers that are available in the latest browser versions, or even via Vista’s Feed Headlines Sidebar Gadget. That way, when something new is posted in those RSS feeds, subscribers will automatically know. There’s no need to constantly go back and visit the site to see whether they’ve added any content in the category you’re interested in.

Another part of “consuming” is when sites actually use the content in other sites’ RSS feeds and place them on their own sites. For example, news sites like Google News will aggregate actual news articles from other sites and place them into Google News.

You can display RSS feeds that you’re subscribing to at your InstanteStore for your customers to read as well using InstanteStore’s built-in RSS Feed display feature. Just enter the URL for the RSS feeds from other sites that you think your customers will be interested in. It will be especially good if you you display an RSS feed from your own blog. Web 2.0 sites are all about more interaction with your visitors/customers. Blogs allow your customers to get to know more about you and participate more in your site. The ultimate aim is for your customers to be ambassadors for your site. So I would say quite emphatically that RSS is an important ecommerce web site development tool.

Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking has exploded onto the Internet scene in a big way the last couple of years. What exactly is it that makes social bookmarking so popular? Previously, when you were browsing around and found a site that you were interested in, you’d add it as a bookmark to your browser. This ensures that you do not forget the site when you want to go and visit it again in the future. With social bookmarking, tagged pages are stored on the Web and can be accessed from any computer. This allows users of social bookmarking websites to share links with other users and friends.

Some examples of social bookmarking sites:

Having your sites pages “bookmarked” on such sites will definitely help you get more traffic. As I have previously pointed out in my last article on web ecommerce design, building links to your store is very important in order for your store to rank well on Google and other major search engines. It’s even better if those sites have high page rank (PR). Guess what? These social bookmarking sites are highly ranked by Google.  So if you have a new website that hasn’t been ranked by Google yet, having your link on these high rank social bookmarking sites will definitely help your cause. Sign up with as many of social bookmarking sites as possible, and every time you create a new piece of content on your store or blog, you’ll want to bookmark that page on social bookmarking sites.

Of course, it takes time and effort to have your pages listed on these sites. InstanteStore’s Easy Social Bookmarking feature can help make your life a lot easier by letting you enlist your customers to easily bookmark your store’s pages to social bookmarking sites and share products that they’re interested in with their friends. Social bookmarking is a must-use for your ecommerce web site development.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)

AJAX is a method of building interactive applications for the web that processes the user’s requests immediately. With AJAX, your store’s pages will update immediately without forcing your customers to wait for pages to reload. This very dramatically improves the browsing experience.

If this technology sounds somewhat familiar to you, it’s because you see it being used on your store. InstanteStore uses AJAX for its EasyCheckout module where your customers do not have to click through page after page to checkout. They can do it all on a single page! After filling in their shipping address, your store will dynamically update the customer’s shipping method and price and after re-calculating the grand total, they can just go ahead and pay for their purchase. This will definitely help lower your store’s cart abandonment rate.

After reading this article, I am sure you have loads to do now to move your ecommerce web site development towards making full use of the Web 2.0 technologies that I have just mentioned. Subscribe to the InstanteStore shopping cart software now to help you achieve that goal with less effort!

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