Live Music Archive is essentially a partnership between Internet Archive and etree.org, a community dedicated to providing high-quality, lossless versions of live concerts. You can think of it as a bootlegger’s paradise given the site’s sheer abundance of concert material, much of which focuses on jam bands such as the Grateful Dead, String Cheese Incident, and Sound Tribe Sector 9. Still, there are a host of other bands to choose from — The Smashing Pumpkins, Jack Johnson, Animal Collective, etc. — along with plenty of genres to browse, ranging from jazz to reggae.
SoundCloud essentially serves as the YouTube of music uploading, meaning anyone can upload their tracks to the site before specifying whether they’re available for download or strictly for streaming purposes. Moreover, the site touts an extremely active user community and one of the sleekest user interfaces of any site on our list, one conveniently lined with a navigational bar at the top and direct access to the service’s accompanying mobile apps. Artists might not always offer free downloads of their music, but the labels nearly always do. Fair warning: SoundCloud’s had a bit of financial trouble recently, so you might want to visit the site soon and go on a downloading spree just in case the site goes kaput.
Best-of-Breed: Specialized software that focuses on one particular area or function. If you want to add a shopping cart feature to an existing website, for example, you can add dedicated shopping cart software. Shopping cart software enables purchases, but typically doesn’t provide advanced features such as sales reporting and inventory management.
Of course, with a field as complex as ecommerce, there will always be something new to learn down the line. Keep in mind that you can always refer to this guide at any time if you’re not sure what your store’s next move should be. We also encourage you to check out our library of ecommerce guides and news if you want to immerse yourself even more in the field.
Shopify is another strong ecommerce software option. Their mission is to make selling online as fast and simple as possible. They nailed that, but their SEO has some holes. Weak ranking performance, rigid URL structures and a WordPress plugin that uses iFrames highlights my concerns with their SEO. Moreover, you can’t customize Shopify’s checkout page.
It’s also a good idea to speak to ecommerce consultants and merchants who have experience using the platforms that you’re considering. Ask how each solution compares with other ecommerce platforms. What are their advantages and disadvantages? How much time, money, and work are required to set up and maintain the system? These are just some of the things you should bring up.
The next step is to think about how much you’re willing to spend on your ecommerce platform. When setting your budget, be sure to consider the “non-obvious costs” that come with implementing a new solution. Go beyond the on the surface costs like licenses and development, and consider expenses for maintenance, consultation, set up and the like. Here are some of things you should factor into your budget
Ecwid is a hosted cloud commerce platform used by over 1 million merchants in 175 countries and offers the easiest way to add an online store to any website, social site or multiple sites simultaneously. With Ecwid, you get everything you need to start selling online in minutes. Easily embedded into any web presence and leading POS systems, you can market, merchandise and sell products and services from multiple online stores with mobile management and point-of-sale integration anywhere at any time.
You can see why Shopify scored top marks in this area. Features like these don’t just make running your online store possible – they make it easy and enjoyable too. Put simply, Shopify was designed to help people build an online store. That’s why it’s packed with these high quality sales features, which were specially created to support your ecommerce business.
Load time is a pretty straightforward indicator of how fast your site is. Simply put, it’s the measure of how long it takes a page (or pages) on your site to fully load. A slow site is a killer in ecommerce – potential customers run away from slow sites, and as we mentioned earlier, each second you gain in site loading speed translates directly into sales gained.