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Rapid Websites Blog

Rapid Websites now offering E-commerce packages

We have now introduced our new Rapid Websites E-commerce package package for selling your products and services. To build our e-commerce websites we use the popular Woocommerce ecommerce platform. Credit card online payment can be handled by PayPal or Stripe and/or payment by bank deposit can be offered as a payment option. If you require another payment we can also set that up for an additional charge, just enquire for pricing.

Some great features of our new e-commerce package include:

  • Mobile Friendly Design: Both your store-front and your admin work great on mobile devices. Your customers can shop on the go, and you can manage their orders from anywhere.
  • Organize Your Products: Group your products by category, add variations to each product.
  • Inventory Management: Use WooCommerce’s built-in inventory management to track your stock level, hold stock if an order is cancelled, and hide out-of-stock items from your store-front.
  • Shipping Options: Offer a shipping calculator on the shopping cart page, so there are no surprises at checkout. Let customers choose between pickup, local delivery, and shipping.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Benefit from WordPress’s built-in SEO best practices.
  • Create Coupons & Discounts: Make your discounts apply to only one item or all of them.
  • Checkout Options: Allow your customers to create an account on your site or check out as guests.
  • Enable Product Reviews: Let customers post reviews of your products. You can even ensure that those comments come only from verified customers.
  • Analytics: Use WooCommerce reports to monitor your profits and track orders, traffic, and growth trends. Integrate Google Analytics (also free) for more in-depth analytics.

Looking for Free Stock Photography for your Website?

Stock photos can be a great way to add some visual appeal to your website. istockphoto.com by Getty Images is one of the largest online stock photography libraries. They offer a huge selection of photos, graphics and videos for almost any topic. Although they are not very expensive they are not free. If you are looking for free stock photography, there are some good free libraries that have sprung up in the last few years. Generally you won’t get as comprehensive of a selection of photos in the free stock libraries and often the quality will not be on a par with the photos you can purchase for a fee on the likes of iStock, but I’ve noticed the range and quality of the free stock libraries growing significantly in recent years.

At Rapid Websites, our picks for free stock libraries are:

www.pexels.com

unsplash.com

pixabay.com

www.publicdomainpictures.net

New Zealand Specific Stock Libraries

New Zealand Tourism and other regional tourism bodies provide some high quality stock photography of New Zealand places. They generally provide these for free if they are to be used for promotion of New Zealand as a tourist destination. You simply have to request permission to use the images and let them know where the images are going to be used.

Here are some NZ stock photo libraries:

visuals.newzealand.com

resources.wellingtonnz.com/collections/images

Keeping your website secure

At Rapid Websites we take the security of our client’s websites seriously. As standard, we install and configure some of the best available security and backup plugins to protect our client’s websites from attackers. We also now install secure (SSL) certificates in our hosting accounts and set up the websites we build to use secure https protocol. Here are 5 ways to help keep your WordPress website secure:

  1. Keep your WordPress software up to date
    WordPress now automatically self-updates when minor releases such as security updates and bug fixes are released. This is great for keeping websites safe from WordPress exploits and vulnerabilities. We also recommend keeping your website regularly updated with major WordPress releases and plugin updates. In WordPress these days, updates are very easy for a website owner to perform, basically just a click of a button. However it is prudent to make a backup of your website database before performing updates. We make this easy by installing an easy to use backup plugin.
  2. Use strong passwords
    The security plugin that we install will guide you in setting your password to make it sufficiently ‘strong’. We highly recommend a password manager such as KeePass.
  3. Two factor authentication
    For extra security it can be worth taking the extra step of setting up 2 factor authentication.
  4. Run malware scans
    The number one reason hackers install malware on vulnerable websites is so that they can use the infected websites to distribute spam. The security plugin that we install will run scans on your website to detect if anyone has tampered with your website files or installed malware  on your site.
  5. Make regular backups
    Prepare for the worst case and protect your investment in your website by always having your own up-to-date backup of your website. We install a backup plugin to make this very easy, just make sure to use it!

This website is now using our new layout

We have updated our own website to use our new website layout that is available to you as an layout option for the website that we build for you. So this website now serves as a demo of the layout! We can customise this layout to provide a unique look and feel matched to your own brand.

Fantastic new multi-purpose layout available

We have just launched a brand new, flexible, highly-customisable, modern, responsive layout. We believe this will be a good base layout for most websites going forward. Our old layouts are still available and are now all offered as responsive designs (mobile-friendly). You can see all the layouts on the Layouts page.

The following is a wire-frame representation of the home page layout. All elements are optional and can be configured and repositioned as needed to suit your purposed.

Here is a mock-up of an example website based on this layout:

The layout is designed from the start to be mobile-friendly and give a good user experience on mobile phones and devices.

Responsive website design templates now available

New in 2014: We’ve revamped our templates to make them responsive. A responsive website is one that adapts the layout to suit different screen sizes. This means that the website display can be optimised for small screen mobile devices, smart phones and tablets as well as standard computer screens. If a website is not responsive, usually the text will appear very small on a small touch screen and will require you to zoom and pan around in order to read what is on the web page. A responsivly designed website will change the layout when viewed on a small screen so that the page contents can be easily read without zooming.

We’ve Lowered Our Hosting Prices

UPDATE 18/9/2018: We have lowered hosting rates yet again so this information is out of date. See our pricing page for current rates.

On 16 May 2012 Rapid Websites reduced hosting prices. The new rates can be found at:
https://rapidwebsites.co.nz/pricing/#hosting

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Website package deals now available

We are now offering some great package deals to get you up and running with an affordable quality website solution. We have introduced 2 packages – the Starter Package & the Deluxe Package.
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Results of website design pricing survey

As we announced in our last post we have conducted a survey of New Zealand web site design costs. For the purpose of our survey we requested quotes from 24 web design firms from all over New Zealand including Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Whitianga and Napier on the North Island and Christchurch, Nelson and Wanaka on the South Island.
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Survey of New Zealand website design costs

We are currently performing a survey of web design costs in New Zealand. We expect this will produce some very interesting and perhaps even shocking results. Read more »