Take your daily dose of (only) relevant news, useful tips and tricks and valuable how to's on using the latest web technologies shaping the digital landscape. We're here to do all the necessary information sifting for you, so you don't have to, to provide you with content that will help you anticipate the emerging trends about to influence the web.

Want to Make Your Website Easier to Navigate? - See How
  If there's one thing that modern website visitors want, that is streamlined experiences. In the hectic environment established by the COVID-19 pandemic, people crave online experiences that are accessible, fast, and simple.  That's why, now more than ever, making website navigation easy and intuitive is imperative to meet your audience's needs. And be careful; just because your website looks good doesn't mean it's easy to navigate.  In this article, we'll see why it's essential to put yourself in your visitors' shoes when crafting your web navigation, and we'll explore some best practices for making your website easier to navigate.    Best Practice #1: Understand How Users Interact with Different Devices   With most people going online through mobile devices, it's essential to look at your website through their lens to create relevant website experiences for them. It's in human nature to look for patterns and seek comfort, so make sure that your menu is easy to find and your pages simple to navigate.  The switch from desktops to mobile devices has caused many websites to build less obvious navigation menus. While the "hamburger menu" is a convenient solution from the point of view of design and it best suits desktop users, it can make navigation menus harder to find for mobile users. That's why a lot of websites still opt for sidebars, a drop-down menu, or tab bars to make sure they don't compromise on website navigation.    Best Practice #2: Build a Clear, Legible Website Navigation   At this point, you want to avoid: - Narrow fonts - Tight scripts  - Unclear titles and text There's nothing more frustrating than getting lost on a website because navigation titles are confusing or vague. Most visitors will not want to come back to this. Your primary focus here should be to deliver easy-to-understand navigation, text instead of icons for menu items, and clear categories for each page.  The design of your page can also contribute to your website navigation being legible. For example, use clear contrast in your navigation menu and try to avoid dark-on-dark or light-on-light combinations.    Best Practice #3: Don't Forget About Search Functionality   Search functionality is excellent for users that expect specific guidance on a website rather than clicking through links. They will leave your site happy and eager to come back later. By improving your search functionality, you provide a safety net for making your site navigation easy—there's no going wrong with it as it fully supports the user experience. Investing in your search functionality can also improve your conversion rate, yet many sites still neglect it.  To help your visitors spot the search bar more quickly, you can put the text inside a box and offset it in a different color from your site's color scheme. Another important aspect is the functionality of your search results page. For example, work on making product searches filterable and adjust your search bar to filter out unwanted categories.  It may seem like a lot of work for a search bar tool, but if your want your website to be easy to navigate, search functionality is a must.    Best Practice #4: Build a Website Map   Sitemaps are like a directory of your website. Besides paving the way for streamlined site navigation, sitemaps are also essential for SEO. So, if you want to kill two birds with one stone, build your website map–you'll give your users more navigation options and improve your SEO functionality.  You can choose from HTML sitemaps, which provide links to the essential pages of your website, or XML sitemaps, which help a search engine navigate your website. You can also choose both options, combine them to suit your website needs, and provide a streamlined navigation experience.    Keeping Up with the Modern Digital User   There's no doubt about it: online users expect top-notch digital experiences and choose websites that can keep up with these expectations. Taking the time to invest in improving your site navigation is the first step in your quest to keep up with digital trends.  At Optasy, we know how vital it is to stay relevant in the online environment with websites that provide future-oriented designs and a personalized user experience. We can help you improve your digital posture and take your web development projects to the next level.    Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.      ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / May 25'2021
Staff Augmentation or Managed Services? How to Choose Wisely
  As digital transformation has forever changed the world of business, more and more companies are interested in IT outsourcing. In fact, the global staffing industry, one of the primary suppliers of staff augmentation talent, is estimated to support $490 billion in annual spending. While this trend is growing fast, there is still some uncertainty regarding the healthiest and most convenient way for a business to use outside personnel. This article discusses two of the most popular contingent working models—staff augmentation and managed services—and how to choose the best option for your business needs.   What is staff augmentation, and how can it help you?   Staff augmentation allows companies to expand their in-house team with additional skilled resources to join a particular project. This type of outsourcing model chases once the project is over, and it's suitable for companies that don't need to hire someone permanently.  Staff augmentation is best used for short-term projects and can also be used as a "trial run" for potential full-time employees.  With this type of outsourcing, organizations can leverage specific skills on a per-project basis without going through costly and time-consuming hiring processes.    What is managed services, and how can it help you?   Unlike the staff augmentation model, which enables companies to expand their team with additional skilled professionals, managed services outsourcing practices imply hiring a fully-equipped team of professionals to take care of your specific project.  With the managed services model, you save many resources—time, costs, and effort—as you hire an entire team of skilled professionals who have the right tools and tech to complete your project.  While a service provider will handle your project on its entire length, from beginning to end, your job is to ensure that you select a reliable company that you can trust will deliver positive business outcomes.  The managed services model is the best fit for companies looking for stable and reliable long-term business cooperation.    Which one should you choose?   To help you figure out which one of these outsourcing models is the one you should choose for your organization, let's have a look at the pros and cons of staff augmentation and managed services.    Pros of staff augmentation: - Project control and lower risk. Staff augmentation allows you to gain project autonomy and create outcomes based on specific requirements. You have the power to monitor the project on its entire length and have complete control over the development process, thus reducing the risk of ending up with the wrong project outcomes.  - Flexibility and easy scaling. By choosing staff augmentation services, you gain the flexibility to quickly access missing skills cover staff shortages. You also get to scale your staff according to your current demands without worrying about lengthy hiring processes. - Reduced costs. Contingent working models like staff augmentation provide you the opportunity to work remotely with worldwide outsourced professionals. This allows you to cut the additional costs of office space, hardware and software expenses, as well as get rid of monthly employee taxes.    Cons of staff augmentation: - Not suitable for long-term projects. Staff augmentation is practical only as long as you look for short-term business engagements as projects come and go.  - Increased dependence on third-party talent organizations. This can put your sustainability plans more at risk.  - Lengthy staff integration. New professionals that join specific, complex projects may require some time to get familiar with your products and expectations.    Pros of managed services: - Gain more resources for other projects. Since an entire outsourced team will handle your specific project, you can step back and let them do the whole job. In this way, you'll have more time and energy to focus on other important tasks within your organization.  - Organized project and predictable outcomes. A managed services organization assesses the risks and predicts the results by developing a suitable structure for your project.  - Less time spent on managing IT. If you lack technical expertise and management resources, hiring a managed services company will help you save time and money at the end of the day.   Cons of managed services: - Hard to ensure security. When opting for the services of a provider, you provide access to sensitive data and assets. Therefore, companies that require high levels of data and information security might want to think twice before choose a managed services outsourcing model. - Higher costs. Although hiring a managed services company might be cost-effective in the long run, it's not always possible to get the complete services package at a low price. The costs of handing over your project to an IT firm might be higher than when opting for staff augmentation since managed IT services cover both IT functions and project management.  - Less control and autonomy. If you are looking to internalize your project management process and supervise outsourced staff, a managed services model might not be the suitable option for you.    Wrapping up Although outsourcing is becoming more popular, finding an external reliable development team can be a struggle. There is a plethora of options available on the market, making it challenging to make a choice. A wise choice.  At Optasy, we understand how important it is to have a dedicated team of professionals that can handle a wide range of projects. So have a look at your services and contact us to learn more about how we can collaborate for success.    Image credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash.    ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / May 19'2021
How to Master the Art of User Experience Design
  Websites and web applications are becoming increasingly complex, providing rich and interactive experiences. However, despite these emerging changes, the success of a website still relies on how the visitors perceive it. Is the website accessible and easy to use? Does it provide any value for me? Is it fun to navigate? Your users' interaction with your website comes with these questions in mind, which build the foundation of their long-term decision to become regular customers.    What Does User Experience (UX) Mean?   UX is how a digital user feels when interacting with a website, web app, or software. Today, human-computer interaction should be accessible, efficient, provide value and utility for the user. User experience design is a discipline that aims at meeting all these needs of the modern digital consumer by offering seamless web experiences.    Why Is UX Important?   User-centric business models are increasingly popular nowadays compared to how digital design was approached prior to the codification of user-centered design. Websites were built, and design decisions were made based on the preferences of the client and the designers' creative ideas.  The focus was on the brand and how the website looked, without considering what the users might feel when they would interact with the site.  However, as the Web is transforming at a fast pace—59.5 of the global population uses the internet today—and websites are becoming increasingly feature-rich, user experience designs are a must. The design industry understands the need for optimization as users are interacting with web applications through multiple devices (mobile phones, tablets). Also, businesses also recognize accessibility as an essential requirement for modern digital users.    Key Steps for Creating Top-Notch User Experience Designs   1. Evaluate your current system to learn about your website's current state, existing issues, and possible improvements.  2. Use A/B testing to compare and decide upon the effectiveness and reliability of different user interfaces.  3. Hold user surveys to find out what existing, and potential users of the system think about its design. Remember, the user experience is a subjective one, so what better way to collect insights about it than by interviewing the users? 4. Build user flows to outline how visitors move through your website. This enhances the ease of movement through your platform by ensuring that your users don't waste time looking at what to do next.  5. Develop wireframes and high-fidelity prototypes to convey the overall direction of the user interface.  6. Create design patterns to provide consistency and find the right user interface elements, like module tabs or slideshows, for specific tasks. By doing so, you'll be able to build improved, more familiar user experiences. 7. Do a content inventory so that you can enhance the user experience by changing your information architecture.  8. Get to know your audience, as this is an essential step for creating user-friendly website designs. Create user profiles and personas that support you in delivering experiences that reflect the needs and voice of your audience.  9. Create content style guides that provide UX designers and writers with the correct input for building consistent brand and design elements.    How do you know your project needs UX design?   Identifying the areas where UX design would be of most benefit is important. While all Web systems could benefit from a design of the user experience, resources are not unlimited, and things need to be prioritized in the complex world of web development.  Complex systems with complicated architectures like multi-faceted websites, interaction-rich apps, or e-commerce sites can benefit a lot from UX design. The same goes for start-ups and small companies, which can opt for training existing employees in the art of UX design to save some extra costs. However, creating solid user experiences in the first version of a product can generate more organic traffic and attract more visitors. But start-ups might not have enough resources for recruiting a highly-skilled UX designer.   UX design is also a good choice for projects with longer timeframes. Although UX design is not one size fits all, the concept can benefit long-term website projects by potentially saving time and costs.    Are you in doubt whether or not you need UX design or not? Don't worry, Optasy has your back. Contact us, and we'll do the hard work for you—analyze your website and offer advice and support on your UX design capabilities and opportunities. So let’s have a chat! Photo credit: UX Indonesia on Unsplash.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / May 12'2021
Everything You Should Know About Headless Drupal
  Traditional Drupal websites use Drupal as the end-to-end solution for creating, storing, and displaying content to the end-user. Modern approaches leverage headless Drupal, where building and storing happen on Drupal, but displaying is not.  Headless Drupal approaches make Drupal the backend content repository and build the frontend in different technologies that communicate with Drupal through an API.    Why is the headless approach an effective one? Today, many companies opt for using headless Drupal solutions, and the reasons are not few. If you don't want to sacrifice the user experience but still enjoy the powerful tools provided by Drupal, a headless approach might be the best fit.   Decoupled Drupal is known for its several benefits such as:   More channels to display content on In the hectic digital landscape, your marketing team knows that communicating with your customers on multiple channels is critical. The way companies use content management systems today has to do with their need to push content on various channels, thus increasing their digital presence.  If used properly, headless Drupal can be a source of content for various consumers. It provides content on the frontend site and serves content via API to be consumed on mobile devices, applications, or IoT. This gives great flexibility for headless Drupal users.    Meets the need for intuitive user experiences Bringing together Drupal with a frontend Javascript framework is a smart strategy for making the most out of Drupal's capabilities for content creation and data storage while at the same time create easy to use, fast frontend applications.  If you're thinking of choosing a headless Drupal approach for your next web development project, combining these two solutions will offer greater functionality—why not enjoy the power of Drupal's modules and the intuitiveness of a Javascript frontend application at the same time? You can really have the best of both worlds!   Technological reliance is widely spread This means you get to be more dynamic in managing frontend technologies without the need to re-architect large Drupal backends. From a developer's point of view, this is a real blessing.  Many businesses redesign their websites every few years, and separating the frontend from the backend makes it much easier to rebuild. This saves a lot of resources and reduces the expenses associated with rebuilding Drupal websites.    Drupal works best with a headless approach One of the reasons Drupal is often chosen for a headless project is because this CMS has most of the required functionality and API modules. As the Drupal community is committed to continuously make Drupal a reliable API-driven CMS, Drupal is known for efficiently serving and receiving content via APIs.    Microsite manager If you need to create multiple separate websites, a headless approach is the right way to do it. It's a lot easier to build one content engine such as Drupal and use it to deliver content to all microsites. As a result, you'll have all your content in one content hub, and you'll be able to create and close microsites when needed quickly.    What are the challenges associated with a headless approach? Before deciding to opt for headless Drupal development, you might want to consider these aspects:   A headless infrastructure is harder to manage than a traditional Drupal site Keep in mind that headless development can be complicated and complex, and you might need a professional developer or Drupal agency, like Optasy, to help you on the way.    Headless Drupal is more expensive You're likely to spend more resources with a headless approach as you now build two systems. The development process will take longer, and therefore the expenses associated with it will be higher.    You'll have to manage two teams Since headless Drupal requires two separate components, that means that you'll often have to manage two teams (backend and frontend). At this point, you want to ensure that you enable great collaboration and coordination between your teams as data models have to be agreed upon.    Higher maintenance costs As decoupled systems rely only on REST API, maintaining these systems to function properly requires intense testing. Compatibility issues when editing and making changes can arise between the two systems. What is more, security updates are required more often as there will be a need to patch more than one system.    How to decide If you're still torn between traditional Drupal projects and going for a headless approach, seeking advice from Drupal experts might be needed. At Optasy, we offer expert guidance based on your business needs so that you can get the most out of your next web development project.  Photo credit: Nubleson Fernandes on Unsplash.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / May 06'2021
Pros and Cons for Drupal Web Development
  When thinking about web development, there are usually three content management systems (CMSs) that come to mind: Drupal, WordPress, or Joomla. This article highlights the pros and cons of choosing Drupal for your web development project so that you can gain a broader perspective on your website building options.    Top Pros of Drupal Web Development   1. Drupal is very effective for building complex, highly customized websites. As a free, open-source CMS, Drupal offers excellent opportunities for companies of all sizes. It is probably the best choice on the market if your project involves creating a large and complex website with high customizing options.  Drupal also provides flexible content integration and taxonomies. You have the freedom to integrate many types of content into your site and group your content in any kind of configuration that you find is right for your business objectives.  One great advantage of Drupal that developers are pleased about is how easy it is to scale Drupal websites to match specific needs and traffic fluctuations.  As a Drupal user, you will also enjoy the multilingual functionality built in Drupal's core without installing any additional plugins.    2. Drupal has a large community of developers and users. Drupal's extensive online community is one of the greatest things about this CMS. You'll get free support regarding almost anything Drupal-related via documentation, support groups, user forums, and other resources. Another advantage of Drupal's community is that programmers and users regularly build new modules, plugins, or bug fixes that you can access for free.    3. Drupal is known as the most secure CMS.  Websites build with Drupal are less prone to hacking than other CMSs due to its strong emphasis on advanced security features. Drupal's built-in access control system allows users to create roles with special permissions.  Another way in which Drupal is focusing on security is by regularly posting and reviewing Drupal reports which are quickly worked on and updated.    Top Cons of Drupal Web Development   1. Drupal can be more complex than other CMSs. When starting your web development journey with Drupal, you have to be ready to read a lot of documentation. Your learning curve might be steep no matter if you're an expert developer or an amateur user so having a lot of patience at this point is a must. Also, Drupal might not be the most inspired decision if you're a total beginner as it requires some basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP.  Another obstacle in handling Drupal as a beginner or casual user is its interface. As it was built with professional web developers in mind, Drupal's interface is not very intuitive and user-friendly.    2. Drupal requires time and effort.  To install themes and modules that match your site's needs, you'll have to invest some time in research. Also, many Drupal modules need to be purchased so take into account that you'll probably have to invest some money for higher functionality.  As Drupal has many custom-coded themes, you'll probably need to hire a developer to create the theme that your website requires.  Drupal does not support backward compatibility, which means you can' perform legacy installations. This translates into you having to dedicate more time and work on additional upgrades.    3. If not optimized accordingly, Drupal can have performance issues.  Like all digital platforms, speed and accessibility are what sets the leading ones apart. Specific tools like a third-party module or plugin are designed to improve configuration and accelerate Drupal websites. However, this requires extra time and effort that you have to be willing to invest in your web development project.  Drupal's module compatibility sets this CMS apart from other similar platforms. Still, it's essential to keep in mind that if you're running multiple modules with their own code, you risk having the wrong combination in place. And a faulty combination of modules might lead to Drupal core crashes.    Conclusion Like all things on earth, Drupal has its advantages and disadvantages. If you're still unsure whether you should pick Drupal for your next web development project, contact Optasy for professional support. We are happy to provide all the necessary information so that you can rest assured that you have made the right decision for your business.     Image credit: Tumisu on Pixabay.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 29'2021
What Are the Key Benefits of Drupal Commerce?
  Custom eCommerce development is undergoing continuous changes. As this environment keeps transforming and evolving, different challenges arise, and businesses face new issues.  Building custom eCommerce functionality into your Drupal site can take up many resources, especially when it comes to scaling your website by adding more features and improving its functionality.    Top challenges of custom eCommerce systems   Let's have a look at some of the biggest challenges you may face with a custom eCommerce system.   Implementing new features can be a slow process. It's difficult to have a proactive mindset when working with custom development since everything you add to your site needs to be built. There are no frameworks or other time-saving options that could help you accelerate your workflow.  Not being able to integrate third-party platforms can be costly. Open-source solutions are a blessing when it comes to integrations. Whether it is a new payment system or a marketing tool, being able to quickly integrate third-party platforms is a must for any successful eCommerce website. When opting for custom development, the lack of underlying frameworks makes it harder, more expensive, and time-consuming to build any type of tool.  Sacrificing the front-end experience. As custom development is created mainly by developers, the design and presentation of a website rarely come as a priority. Building code and building design are different things, and not many developers are skilled at both. Unfortunately, missing the point when it comes to good UX and design might seriously affect your business performance, as customers expect top-notch front-end experiences today.  Not having a community. One of the best things about Drupal is its community. If your website is fully custom-made, everything you need, any issues you might run into can only be solved by your team of developers. All the community-made modules for extending your site's functionality are a great advantage offered by the Drupal community.  With the custom eCommerce development approach, you don't get to leverage that benefit.   Depending on an internal development team or agency. A company using custom development is tied to the original development team that has built its website. It's a real challenge to hire new developers when you don't have a predefined framework, and supporting them in learning how your eCommerce components were made can prove to be highly expensive.    Top benefits of Drupal Commerce    This Drupal-native eCommerce module is a popular choice among eCommerce businesses since 2011.  It is widely known for providing secure, scalable, SEO-friendly, and highly optimized Drupal frameworks that work for specific needs and business requirements.  Let's have a look at the key benefits that Drupal Commerce provides for online stores.   More straightforward setup and development. Drupal Commerce has out-of-the-box modules that don't require too much hassle to install.  Combines commerce and content. Being able to manage your content approach on your eCommerce platform easily is a must. With Drupal Commerce, you can handle complex content marketing strategies and build custom landing pages that keep your visitors engaged. Customization and scalability. Drupal eCommerce's architecture can be highly customized for specific business needs. However, all its extensions follow a general standard, making it easier for developers to handle the software more efficiently. Drupal eCommerce can also scale to meet the demands of all-sized businesses.  Third-party integration. One great benefit of Drupal is that its modules were built with integration in mind. Interaction with third-party tools like payment gateways, analytics, or SEO is much easier and can be done quickly.  Community support. With Drupal, you can take advantage of a multitude of modules made by users from the community. If you need advice on anything related to Drupal, you have a community of highly skilled developers to answer you.   All things considered, whether you choose a custom eCommerce system or you opt-in for Drupal Commerce, you need a strong and reliable team of experts to have your back at all times. That team can be Optasy, an agency formed by Drupal experts with 10+ years of experience building and maintaining successful Drupal projects. Have a look at our services, and let us provide proactive Drupal support in your Drupal journey! Image credit: mohamed_hassan on Pixabay.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 26'2021
5 SEO Best Practices When Building Your Magento Store
  The eCommerce market is getting more competitive. As the digital world expands at a rapid pace and online stores become the norm, eCommerce retailers must find new ways of differentiating their brands from the competition. A reliable method of building a solid online presence is search engine optimization (SEO).  To generate more organic traffic on your website, you need to improve your search engine rankings. With the right SEO strategies in place, you will not only rank higher on Google but also get more value from your Magento eCommerce store.  Keep reading this article to discover five SEO tips for driving better search engine rankings and organically grow your business.   Tip #1: Optimize Meta Tags.    Title tags and meta descriptions help search engines understand the content on a page. Optimized and well-written meta tags can attract more visitors to your site and increase your organic traffic.  SEO-friendly page titles have between 50-60 characters and include the main keyword from a particular page that you target. When it comes to meta descriptions, their length should be between 50-160 characters and incorporate primary and secondary keywords. Although inserting keywords is essential to improve your SEO, it's also important to pay attention to the way your description sounds. It shouldn't be forced or unnatural.    Tip #2: Realize an SEO-Friendly URL Structure.   When working with Magento, it is advisable to use the following URL structure for your pages: name/ for product pages for category pages for sub-category pages   To remove the "index.php" part from your URLs, you need to enable URL rewrites. You can do this by clicking on Stores - Configuration - General - Web, then enter the Search Engine Optimization tab and then click on YES in the Use Web Server Rewrites section.  By doing this, you'll create cleaner, more readable URLs, which will make it easier for you to complete a website migration in the future if that will be the case.    Tip #3: Spend Some Time on Product Descriptions.   As many eCommerce sites sell products manufactured by other companies, the product description they receive from the manufacturer is often the one actually used on the site. Consequently, product pages may end up containing little valuable content that doesn't provide significant insights to visitors. Also, Google doesn't usually rank these websites very high, so you need to start creating your own unique product descriptions.   Tip #4: Accelerate Your Site's Speed.   Today, speed and accessibility are what digital customers are looking for. Around 40% of people abandon a website that doesn't load in less than three seconds. A ranking factor used by Google for mobile is page speed, so it's essential to take all the measures to accelerate your loading speed. Here are some tips for this: Migrate to a new host. Try searching for a Magento hosting package as it will be optimized for Magento's infrastructure and capabilities.  Use browser caching. By doing this, users that visit your website won't need to download the same files each time they enter your site, which improves load speeds.  Don't forget about a content delivery network. There some free options on the market that you can use with confidence.    Tip #5: Leverage Magento SEO Plugins.   Fortunately, Magento has high-quality extensions for boosting your website's SEO, like ReloadSEO or SEO Suite Ultimate. Investing in SEO extensions is a great way of taking your SEO efforts to the next level and improve your SERP rankings and organic traffic.  Or you could let a team of experts like Optasy do the hard work for you. We can help you build your SEO-friendly website and grow your business in the digital world. Don't hesitate to contact us for more details.  Photo credit: Myriam Jessier on Unsplash.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 22'2021
These Magento Extensions Will Boost Your Sales - Part Two
  Our last article discussed some of the critical Magento extensions for marketing and customer experience. This blog post contains valuable insights into other essential Magento plugins that target financial, shipping, and analytics aspects. Keep reading to discover how these extensions can improve your conversion rates.    Magento extensions for payments    Stripe Payments This Magento extension is used for processing credit and debit cards, as well as mobile wallets. If you want to position yourself as a trustworthy seller and deliver safe and secure payment options, Stripe is a must-have.  Benefits: Great integration. Stripe recognizes and accepts all major credit and debit cards and a wide range of currencies. Modern features. With Stripe, you can also use mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.  Compatible with a multi-store scenario.  Provides secure payment processes by using advanced machine learning algorithms.   OneStepCheckout This is a very handy extension that simplifies the checkout process of your Magento store. Shopping cart abandonment is a real problem for online retailers nowadays, and the Magento eCommerce platform offers an overwhelmingly complicated checkout process.  By installing OneStepCheckout, you'll make it easier for your customers to complete a purchase and increase your conversions. Benefits: Accepts all major payment providers. Cost-effective checkout solution. User-friendly and responsive design. This extension looks and works great across various screens and devices. Highly customizable. Adding and removing fields is easy with OneStepCheckout.   TaxJar Sales Tax Automation Sales tax can be a burden for many business owners. Fortunately, TaxJar can do it for you. With its automation capabilities, this Magento extension helps you prepare returns and calculate your taxes more efficiently.  Benefits: Real-time sales tax rates and calculations. Access TaxJar's APIs and real-time sales tax rates at checkout without compromising on the performance of your website.  Seamless and automated filling. With TaxJar's AutoFile feature, you can rest assured that your returns will be submitted correctly, on time.  Global rates. You can also use Tax Jar for taxes across multiple countries with accurate rates.    Magento extensions for shipping   Delivery Date FIne-tuning the delivery schedule for your customer needs will definitely boost your store's credibility and profitability. With Delivery Date, there will be no more missed packages due to the ultimate shipping customizability feature.  Benefits: Flexible. Allows the customer to select the date and time of their delivery.  Delivery notes. Customers can leave comments and provide additional instructions for the delivery.  Exclude dates. Delivery Data allows you to exclude any date from your delivery options.   ShipStation ShipStation powers shipping efficiency of all sizes. Order management is essential for large eCommerce stores, and it can become challenging. This Magento extension supports businesses in managing their shipping without headaches. Benefits: Returns are easy. Returns and refunds are streamlined for better customer experiences. Centralized orders. With ShipStation, you get to keep all your orders and shipment details in one place.  Order confirmation.    Shipping Suite This complex Magento extension provides customizable shipping and logistics for eCommerce stores. Shipping Suite is a 3 in 1 solution that allows you to take complete control over your delivery process through 3 innovative shipping management tools: shipping table rates, rules, and restrictions.  Benefits: Shipping approximations. Your customers are well informed about their shipping in advance thus reducing cart abandonment.  Highly customizable. You can choose which delivery providers to use and select the rates based on location.    Magento extensions for analytics   Google Analytics plugin for Magento 2 Easy yet powerful, this extension helps retailers track their web store's traffic more efficiently.  Benefits: Better customer insights. This extension allows you to track your customer's activity in your store.  Enhanced marketing. With better customer visibility comes better monitoring of your marketing campaigns.   Improved personalization. By understanding your customer's behavior more clearly, you can act upon personalizing their experience on your site.    Advanced Reports This Magento extension helps marketers with data visualization and management. It includes several reports and monitors different sales performance metrics in your store.  Benefits: Specific reports. You can analyze your reports based on categories. Payment and discount tracking. With Advanced Reports, you'll be able to see how your discount codes are performing and which payment methods lead to the most conversions.    Magento extensions for security As security is getting more and more critical in the digital environment, security extensions are a must to keep your online store secure.    Two Factor Authentication  Through this extension, you can improve your protection against fraud and identity theft. The Two Factor Authentication (TFA) algorithm adds an extra layer of security to your website and reduces the risk of cyber theft. Benefits: High compatibility. TFA works with several operating systems.  High security. The secure code sent to your configured smartphone to complete the log-in process is only available for 30 seconds. This prevents someone from hacking your website.  Failsafe. With TFA, your eCommerce site will be secured even if the security of your passwords is jeopardized.    Fraud Prevention To avoid fraudulent purchases and payments, installing this Magento extension is a must as it helps you track and block suspicious payments. Benefits: Automatic fraud detection. The extension automatically blocks purchases that match previous suspect purchases.   Custom blacklisting rules. You can create blacklist rules based on various customer attributions like name, address, ZIP, or IP address.    Conclusion Magento is a reliable choice for building and managing robust eCommerce stores. However, to make the most out of its capabilities, installing Magento extensions is necessary. You're now familiar with the most popular and useful plugins for enhancing and securing your website.  If you're still unsure which extensions you should select for your site, send Optasy a message. We'll gladly support you in your journey towards building your successful eCommerce business.   Photo credit: geralt on Pixabay.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 19'2021
These Magento Extensions Will Boost Your Sales - Part One
  As one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, Magento empowers retailers to build engaging, shoppable customer experiences in the digital world. By leveraging next-generation technology and a massive extension library, Magento helps B2B and B2C organizations create highly personalized shopping experiences for their customers.  Since the level of customization is so high for Magento users, they can often find it hard to choose from so many options and decide which plugins and extensions are truly efficient for their business needs. That's why we've created this article, to shed a light on some of the most useful and reliable Magento extensions that can help you make the most out of your Magento eCommerce website.    Magento plugins for marketing    Facebook Pixel for Remarketing This Magento extension collects data from your customers that browse your products and then runs your ads to those users when they enter the social media platform. You want to keep your product in front of your customer's eyes and here's where retargeting and remarketing play a crucial role.  Benefits: Automatic. Collecting user details is done automatically by Facebook Pixel—no installation is required on your end.  Easy exporting. Facebook Pixel lets you easily export products you want to promote on Facebook. Event tracking. You can personalize the way your customers interact with your brand and content by tracking events in your store and sending that information to Facebook.    Omnisend If you're searching for an all-in-one omnichannel marketing automation tool, then this suite is the right choice for you. Keep in mind that this is not a typical email marketing tool. Omnisend allows integrating multiple channels (email, SMS, web push notifications) in the same automation workflow. This extension can be integrated via an open-source plugin developed by a 3rd party.  Benefits:  Robust automation. In the era of digital workspaces, being able to bring all your channels together and integrate several channels in the same automation workflow is a must.  Easy message building. The visual email composer offered by this extension allows users to use a template or build their content from scratch in minutes. Streamlined targeting. By using segmentation based on profile data, shopping behavior, and customer engagement, targeting is much easier to manage.  Contact capture. With the help of landing pages, embeddable forms, and dynamic pop-ups, you can capture contacts more easily.    Mconnect Customer Specific Product & Price Personalization is a big deal in today's digital world so this extension should be part of your arsenal. How does it work? Let's say you want to personalize a particular segment of customers to receive a specific sale. With this extension, you can update it so only particular customers see your sale prices. The same way goes for on-site product listing so you can show customers only the products they are interested in.   Benefits: Persoalization, personalization, personalization. If you want to thrive in today's competitive digital landscape, your site content and your omnichannel campaigns must respond to your customers' needs. Customization. With Mconnect Customer Specific Product & Price, your customization capabilities are endless and will allow your store to respond to customers with products, prices, and relevant content.  Priority for prices. You have the power to decide which price gets priority for a particular segment.   Magento extensions for user experience   Yotpo Reviews According to a recent study, 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customer product reviews are an invaluable resource for developing customer trust. Yotpo's Magento extension supports you in collecting and publishing reviews on your website from customers that have made a purchase from your store.  Benefits: Social media integration. You can easily share your reviews on social media. Product images. Any customer can upload images with the items they've purchased for more credibility. SEO boost. Use snippets, Google Seller Ratings, and Product Listing Ads to boost your reviews index.   LoyaltyLion Any successful eCommerce marketer knows that a loyalty program is essential to transforming customers into a community. This Magento extension improves the customer experience by allowing you to provide referral codes and rewards to your customers thus encouraging them to share your services with friends and family. Benefits: Loyalty points. With this extension, your loyal customers have the opportunity to earn activity points which they can use later to claim special rewards. 100% customization. You can personalize your shopping program so that it fits your business and customers. Loyalty tiers. Your most loyal users will earn the best rewards which will motivate your shoppers to interact with your brand on a constant basis.   These are the most powerful Magento extensions for eCommerce websites that target marketing and user experience. We'll be back with part two of this article to discuss more details about Magento extensions for payments, shipping, analytics, and security. If you want to expand your Magento web development capabilities and empower your website to build robust digital experiences, check out Optasy's leading services in developing thriving web experiences.   Photo credit: geralt on Pixabay. ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 16'2021