professional logo design
Professional Logo Design

Logos, those seemingly simple little graphics, serve many purposes. They grab attention and set expectations. They foster brand loyalty and communicate values. They convey meaning and set businesses apart from one another. In short, logos help provide a unique brand identity by representing everything from mission to reputation to the actual product or service provided. And they do all of this in a matter of moments. Suffice it to say, a professional logo for your business is a must. Since there are so many things to keep in mind when designing a logo, we suggest considering professional logo design from the get-go.

The Importance of Logo Design

So, how important is a logo for a company? Very. The importance of your logo means you may want to consider turning design over to a professional. This isn’t because your ideas or creative vision for your logo aren’t good enough, but rather because the benefits of professional logo design are so numerous. Turning to someone with relevant experience will help you make the most of your ideas! 

So, the good news is that you don’t need to know how to make a professional logo in order to have one. Here are 6 benefits of using a professional graphic designer when creating your logo:

A Logo is Your First Impression

You can find stats all over the internet that tell you how long (or not long, in fact) you have to make a first impression. There are many studies, all citing various lengths of time, but regardless of whether these studies state that you have thirty-three milliseconds or seven whole seconds, it’s safe to say that you don’t have much time at all. And if that’s the case, your logo has a lot of work to do, and quickly!

Logos Communicate More Than You May Realize

A great logo communicates so much, not the least of which is all that your brand stands for. The better your consumers understand and recognize what your logo represents, the easier it will be to build a brand over time. A professional logo designer will have the experience necessary to truly grasp this and will understand the ways in which subtle changes communicate to your customers.  

Your Logo Will Be Used in Many Places

There’s something to be said for consistency and continuity across all platforms and media types. Of course, you’ll be using your logo on your website, but you need to make sure it translates well from digital spaces to physical spaces. Those physical spaces can be anything from letterhead to a coffee cup to embroidering on a sweatshirt. Professional logo designers will know how to make a logo for your brand that works in a variety of mediums and looks great in each. 

Logos Project a Professional Image

Would you spend your hard-earned money with a company that you don’t trust to deliver on their promise, and to do it well? A good logo should be able to project a professional image, which will help position your business as a brand that consumers trust and love to support. Professional logo designers have a solid understanding of how to make this happen!

You’ll Need Various File Types for Your Logo

This one might sound silly at first, but it’s oh-so-important. The most beautifully designed logo does you no good if you can’t use it where you need it. Opting for professional logo design ensures that you’ll not only receive the rights to all artwork produced for your logo, but that you’ll receive the logo in the formats required to meet your needs. Whether you’re putting your logo on your website, or letterhead, or anything in between, you’ll be covered.  

Logos Must Last

Sure, logos evolve over time but changing them entirely isn’t ideal. Not only would you have to spend extra money to make a major change, but you’d lose brand identity and awareness in the process. Take the time and spend the money now to get a logo designed right so that you don’t find yourself wishing for something different a few months or years down the road.

Professional Logo Design and Professional Web Design Make a Killer Combination

Once you have your professionally designed logo, you’ll need to know how and where to use it for maximum effect. Hungry Media has years of experience in the digital creation space and knows how to build a website or app that takes your business to the next level. Whether you’re starting from scratch or need a website update, our unique approach will help make your vision a reality. Contact us today for more information. We can’t wait to hear about your ideas!

things to keep in mind when designing a logo
things to keep in mind when designing a logo

There are so many things to keep in mind when designing a logo. This is because your logo is so much more than just a picture. It represents not just your business, but everything behind it. Your mission, your reputation, your core values, and of course your product or service. That’s a heavy lift for a little graphic!

It’s so important to be aware of what makes a great logo, especially if you’ll be designing it yourself. Even if you opt to outsource your logo design, you’ll still need to have a grasp on how to make a good logo as you’ll be reviewing the design and sharing your input until your designer gets it just right.

Creating a Great Logo Starts Before the Design Process Begins

Before digging in to how to design an effective logo, you’ve got a little bit of homework to do. Trust us. This short planning phase will pay dividends during the actual creation process.

Know the Brand

A logo is a reflection of your brand. So, before you can create an effective logo, you must have a clear understanding of that brand. If you aren’t quite there yet, don’t worry. Quickly review the importance of branding and take some time to flesh out the most important pieces.

Research the Competition

This is non-negotiable or several reasons. First and foremost, you don’t want to inadvertently design a logo that looks similar to those of your competition. Not only could it open you up to legal action, but you’d have invested a significant amount of time and money only to have to start over.

Additionally, take a look at general trends in your industry and make the decision to either follow suit or go against the grain. There’s no right or wrong, but great logo design should always be a decision that is made consciously instead of by chance.

7 Things to Keep in Mind When Designing a Logo 

What makes an effective logo design? While there are no hard and fast logo design rules, there are still a few tips for creating a logo that successfully meets the criteria we mentioned above. Read on for seven logo design tips and a few extra things to consider when making a logo.

Scalability is a Must

Logos must be recognizable on a small scale. Consider favicons, those little icons that show up on your browser tabs. Your logo needs to be recognizable when it’s that small. If you simply can’t pare down to a single icon, consider creating a second version for use in very small spaces like a favicon, app icon, or social media profile graphic.

Logo Design: Scalability

Simplicity Above All

There are no definitives when it comes to what makes a good logo design. Generally speaking, though, more intricate designs are less impactful. Unless the rest of your logo design is incredibly simple, skip “extras” like extra lines, gradients, shadows, or even serif fonts. In short, pull everything from a logo that doesn’t represent your brand in its simplest form.

Logo Design: Simplicity

Colors Can Be Powerful

Among the things to keep in mind when designing a logo is how powerful color can be. Red elicits feelings of love, passion, danger, or power. Blue brings to mind a sense of trust, security, or strength. Green tends to elicit thoughts of nature, luck, or money. Color can be used as a tool to convey meaning, which is ideal for purposes of logo creation. Just make sure you choose colors that convey what you’re aiming for.

Logo Design - Colors

Typography Conveys Meaning

The best simple logos make great use of typography. Similar to color, typography can convey meaning. Refer to your brand image. How do you want to be perceived, and how can you create a perfect logo in that image? For instance, if you’d like to be perceived as authoritative, consider a simple, basic font in all caps. If you’re trying to evoke a sense of nostalgia or playfulness, perhaps something a little different.

Logo Design - Typography

Negative Space Counts

Among our logo design tips, this one might be our favorite. At the bare minimum, be aware of the negative space within your logo. But if you’re trying to figure out how to make the perfect logo, you could also deliberately use negative space to create dual imagery. Have you ever noticed the arrow between the end E and X in the FedEx logo? That’s a brilliant use of Negative Space. Simply making a few small changes to the primary image can turn negative space into something worth looking at.

Negative Space Counts

Contrast is Key

If you opt to use a colored background, ensure it contrasts with the primary graphics well enough for the logo itself to be recognizable. You can have the most beautiful logo in the world, but if it’s difficult to identify, it won’t do you any good.

Contrast is Key

Alignment Matters

Alignment creates a cohesive look. So, while there here’s no hard and fast logo design rule, here, we suggest you aim to maintain alignment within your logo. It doesn’t necessarily matter if your elements are aligned left right or center, as long as they are consistent.

Logo Design - Alignment Matters

Bonus Tip: Don’t Stop When You Think You’re Done

Part of what makes an effective logo design is patience. Once you have what you think is THE logo, take a break. Then come back and keep playing. Swap colors, lines, fonts, and sizes. Maybe what you thought was your final version actually is. But you may also come across an iteration you hadn’t even considered before. You never know. That could be THE ONE.

Don’t Stop When You Think You’re Done

Make a Great Impression with Great Logo Design

There are so many things to keep in mind when designing a logo. One little graphic has less than a second to convey everything about your brand to anyone who takes a peek. Like we said – heavy lifting! But Hungry Media is equal to the task. Our graphic design partners have years of experience creating effective logos that speak to a brand’s unique identity, and we can help you make the most of that logo! Contact us to chat about including a fresh logo design into your website or mobile app.

Best free WordPress plugins

One of the things that makes WordPress so darn popular is its flexibility and versatility. If you can dream it, you can build it with WordPress. Or, more accurately, you can build it with WordPress plugins. Below, we’ll discuss plugins and share the best free WordPress plugins we found for your website.

What are WordPress Plugins?

You can actually think of a plugin like an app for your website. They are just little pieces of software designed to perform a specific task or add a specific feature to your self-hosted WordPress site. There are too many types of plugins to count. You’ll find a full WordPress plugins list (of all 57,000 of them!) in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Nearly any function you can dream of will be available via WordPress plugins. Free and paid options are available for everything from security, to SEO optimization, to adding social media sharing buttons to your site.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin 

Before you try to install any of the cool WordPress plugins below, you’ll need to confirm that you’re using WordPress.org, or you have a paid business account with WordPress.com. Once you have that covered, installing a plugin in WordPress is pretty darn easy. Simply head to the plugin directory from your WordPress dashboard, search or browse until you find the plugin you want, and download. You’ll work through the installation process selecting “Install Now” and “Activate” when prompted. Boom! The plugin is now available to use on your website.

The Best Free WordPress Plugins 

You get what you pay for…usually. Of course, there are plenty of amazing plugins available to purchase through the WordPress Plugin Directory. But! Some of the best WordPress plugins in 2021 are available at no cost. Most will have Premium or Pro versions available or purchase, but in many cases, the free versions of must-have WordPress plugins are all you’ll need. Here are 17 of the best free WordPress plugins for your website.

1. SEO: Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO Plugin

One of the best SEO plugins for WordPress, and perhaps one of the most robust free plugins on the market, is Yoast SEO for WordPress. Even for those who have a good grasp of SEO basics, Yoast offers several valuable functions. The plugin will analyze your copy for keyword optimization and readability, as well as provide suggestions for improvements. Yoast SEO Premium boasts optimization for multiple keywords and automates several of the manual functions offered in the free version.

2. Contact Forms: WPForms

wpforms

WPForms is a 100% responsive drag-and-drop form builder. WPForms Lite allows you to build upon one of many pre-made templates for free. WPForms Pro (paid version) lets you take it up a notch and create payment forms, surveys, newsletter sign-ups, and more.

3. Improve Speed: WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache generates static HTML files from dynamic WordPress blogs to improve the speed at which users are served. This plugin has received fantastic reviews, boasts a simplified user interface, and comes with lovely price tag: $0!

4. Analytics and Insights: MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is a paid Analytics plugin, but they also have a free version called Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress by MonsterInsights. The goal of this top wordpress plugin is to make the information provided by Google Analytics easier to understand. It comes with customized, actionable reports so you can see what is working and what is not.

5. Security: WordFence

Wordfence

Wordfence Security Firewall and Malware Scan uses the newest firewall rules, malware signatures, and known malicious IP addresses to block potentially dangerous website traffic. It can also repair files by overwriting them with clean code and delete files that don’t belong. WordFence Premium, which starts at $99/year, provides many additional features including real-time updates on potential threats.

6. Authentication: Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator, gives you a variety of two-factor authentication methods to ensure unauthorized users cannot gain access to your website. The plugin integrates with WooCommerce, BuddyPress, Memberpress Pro, Digimember, and more.

7. Antispam: Akismet

Askimet

This is one of the best free plugins in 2021! By adding Akismet to your site, you avoid the barrage of spam comments that is all too common online today, saving you time and storage space. The plugin is free for individuals and starts at just $10/month for commercial use.

8. Page Builder: Elementor

elementor

It’s the perfect WordPress website builder to help you create high-end designs with boku capabilities. Elementor includes a drag and drop editor and full open-source approach. This top plugin is great for those who know what they want their website to look like but lack the web development capabilities to build it themselves. Elementor is free for basic websites on WordPress. Premium plugins and WordPress addons start at just $49/year for professional sites.

9. Social Sharing: Social Warfare

social warfare

With over 1M downloads, Social Warfare is one of the best WordPress plugins for blogs. It adds fast social share buttons to your website. This plugin helps you control the way in which your content is shared, so that you can optimally leverage your current traffic while continuing to grow your reach. The free version includes share buttons for all of the top social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. By purchasing a pro license, you can also add buttons for Reddit, WhatsApp, Yummly, and more.

10. Photo Gallery: Envira

envira gallery

This drag and drop photo gallery plugin is easy to use and integrates with many of the website plugins already mentioned above. Envira Photo Gallery is free, mobile ready, and SEO friendly. Its straightforward approach makes it simple for everyday users while also allowing web developers to make customizations, if desired. Additional features can be found in the pro version, which starts at $34/month.   

11. Photo Slider: Smart Slider 3

smart slider 3

If you want to create slider galleries, Smart Slider 3 is a must have plugin. Also, fully responsive and optimized for SEO, Smart Slider 3 gives you loads of ways to get creative with your photo gallery. Every heading, text, image, and button can be easily edited with the intuitive user interface. Additional pro features are available for as little as $35/year.

12. Photo Compression: Smush

smush

When you’re looking to optimize load times and storage usage, compressing images on your website can be very helpful. We count Smush among the best free website plugins because of its robust capabilities, which include lossless compression, off-screen image deferment, bulk compression, incorrect image detection, and so much more.

13. Learning Site Builder: Lifter LMS

Lifter lms

LifterLMS lets you create and sell an unlimited number of free online courses without a maximum student capacity. As your learning site grows, you can purchase add-ons for anything from e-commerce, to email marketing, to private areas for 1:1 coaching.

14. Directories: Business Directory Plugin

business directory wordpress

You can create any type of directory imaginable with Business Directory Plugin. You’ll be able to offer both free and paid listings to any person or business. Membership, medical, business, and book review listings are just a few of the directories you can create for free. Add-on packages are available for purchase and start at $99/year.

15. Fundraising: Give

GiveWP is a powerful platform designed for accepting online donations. This free WordPress plugin is a perfect complement to any crowdfunding campaign, as it allows you to accept charitable gifts via customizable donation forms on your website. It also provides reporting options and integrates with quite a few third-party services. Add-ons such as the ability to accept recurring donations, payment gateways, and marketing tools can all be purchased individually or in packages.

16. Ecommerce: WooCommerce

Woocommerce wordpress

If you’re looking to build an e-commerce site on a WordPress platform, WooCommerce is your go-to. It’s by far the most popular open-source solution, and one of the best plugins in 2021 because it’s free and completely customizable. The variety of themes available, the ability to create custom pages in minutes, and a number of built-in tools and integrations definitely set WooCommerce apart from its main competitor, Shopify. And as a bonus, you can use their mobile app to manage your store on the go.

17. Mailing List: MailChimp

When you need to collect users’ contact information and create a mailing list, you will definitely benefit from the MailChimp plugin. It allows you to add a sign-up form to any post or page on your site. This one is completely free, and of course integrates with your MailChimp account.

Plug Into Hungry Media and Launch a Killer Website

Regardless of whether you’re brand new to website creation or a seasoned web designer, everyone can use a little help from time to time. Hungry Media has a wealth of knowledge and years of experience building WordPress sites. Whether you want to learn how to use one (or more!) of the best free WordPress plugins around, or you’re looking to build a brand-new site or app from scratch, Hungry Media can help. Just like WordPress, if you can dream it, Hungry Media can build it. Contact us today for more details!

Web Designer vs. Web Developer: Differences
Web designer vs web developer

While web developers and web designers work together to make websites both beautiful and functional, they play very different roles within the process. So, what’s the difference between a web developer and a web designer, and which should you hire for your project? Let’s first start with the basics, shall we?   

Web Designer vs. Web Developer: Who Does What?

Before you decide which type of professional is right for your project, it’s important to understand the difference between design and development as well as the roles played by a web developer vs. designer.

When considering the meaning of design vs. development, think about it like this: web designers are the creative visionaries; web developers are the engineers. Of course, the difference between a web designer and web developer isn’t quite that simple, but that gives you the general gist.

Designers may have some of the skills required to actually build a website, but their expertise lies in determining what that website should look like, how it should function, and why that is the case. A developer, on the other hand, is the one in charge of making that creative vision a reality. They have the technical knowledge needed to build a fully functional website in the image intended by the designer.

That said, web design and web development are pretty broad fields. They cover all aspects of creating a website, after all. Within each field you’ll find a few specialties.

Types of Web Design

Graphic Design

While not “web designers,” per se, graphic designers create images for use in websites. They utilize specific software, like Photoshop, to bring your vision to life.

UX Design

User experience (UX) design is concerned with effectively and efficiently meeting the needs of the website’s target audience. Broadly, UX designers consider how a user will feel while interacting with a website, and then they act on that knowledge to provide the best experience possible.

UI Design

User interface (UI) design is primarily focused on how to make the UX designer’s vision a reality. UI designers figure out how to use visual elements – elements of the interface – to communicate intended meaning to the user.

Types of Web Development

Back End Developers

Back-end developers handle everything behind the screen. This includes building and managing technology which allows a website to function, such as servers and databases.

Front End Developers

A front-end developer creates the exterior look of the website. They essentially turn all of the back-end data into something that users on the other end of the screen can easily understand.  

Full Stack Developers

Full stack developers are able to work on both the front and back end of a website.

Web Design vs. Web Development: Which Do You Need?

Now that you understand how the roles of a web designer and web developer differ, which one should you hire?

Hire a designer when you need:

Hire a developer when you need:

  • To make your distinctive vision a reality
  • A mobile-first strategy
  • Unique effects such as hovering, scrolling, etc.

Hire a design and development team when you need:

Tips for Hiring a Web Developer or Designer

Regardless of who you choose to hire, it’s important to be clear about what you need this person or team to accomplish. Before you start looking for a web developer or web designer, have the following ready:

  • A basic mockup of your idea, if you have a clear (or even a rough) vision.
  • A list of colors, font styles, textures, etc. that work for your brand.
  • A list of “must-haves” for your website.
  • A deadline.

Hungry Media Has It All!

With Hungry Media you don’t have to decide whether you need a web designer vs. a web developer. We’ve got it all and can work with you through each of the steps involved in building your dream website or app.

Whether you’re looking to optimize what you’ve already got or start something totally new from scratch, our unique approach allows us to uncover your needs in detail and provide you with the best options to get your project across the finish line. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with all of your web design and development needs.

Become a Web Designer
Become a Web Designer

Despite the fact that it’s been growing for years, the web design space continues to expand today. What does a web designer do? Designers use a combination of creativity and technical knowledge to ensure a website is visually appealing. While web design does require a special set of skills, becoming a web designer is well within the realm of possibility for those who are interested.

Work Environments

There are several possible work environments and career types within the web design world. If you want to become a web designer, consider which of the following will work best for you.

Freelance Web Designers

Freelancers manage their own business in addition to doing the actual design work. This offers an incredible amount of flexibility and freedom but comes at a price – namely the pressure of running one’s own business.

Agency Web Designers

The variety of work done by web designers employed by an agency can be similar to that of a freelancer, however agency designers are responsible for design only. This means no stress of running a business, but no real say in the jobs they take on, either.

In House Web Designer

An in-house designer works for a single company and their website(s). The variety of projects will likely be narrower than freelance and agency designers, which can allow for development of expertise in a particular niche. This can be a great opportunity if you’re interested in learning how to do web designing for a specific type of website (i.e., membership sites) or a particular niche (i.e., property management websites). The more experience you have in a specific area, the more marketable you’ll be to those looking for that type of designer.

How to Become a Web Designer

Formal Degrees Are Not the Standard

While formal web design degrees are available, they come with an innate problem: the industry evolves faster than the educational system. It’s very challenging to surmise, today, what knowledge is required for web designing, tomorrow. Much of what is learned in a formal web designer education could be out-of-date by the time a student completes his or her degree.

For those interested in how to study web designing, we actually recommend online classes (from sources like Udemy, Coursea, and Lynda) which can better teach you what to know about web design in the current market. In our experience, online classes are the best way to learn website design because they make better use of time and money.

Continuing Education

What do web designers do to keep themselves up to date on current trends and industry changes? They never stop learning. When you become a web designer, you’ll need to continuously educate yourself on changes in technology, trends in digital marketing, and any new web designer skills you can learn. Again, so many of the things to learn for web designing can be found within the online courses we mentioned above.

Skills Needed to Become a Web Designer

Web designers play a pivotal role in all aspects of a company’s business. From marketing, to commerce, to customer service, they have a hand in it all.

In all honesty, the question shouldn’t be about how to become a website designer, but how to become a good one. Web designer skills are wide-ranging, so the more you know, the more value you’ll provide to clients or an employer. That said, here are a few important things to learn for a web designing career.

Technical Skills

Skill-wise, what do you need to be a web designer? That’s a tough question to answer because there’s no hard and fast rule. You don’t need to be an expert in all areas to be successful, but there are a few basics of what to know about web design before you jump into the market.

Graphic Software and Design Tools

Just like any industry, web designers use a common set of tools and software to get the job done. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with these tools such as WordPress, Photoshop, stock photography options, etc.

 

Programming language

HTML, CSS, Javascript. Having at least a basic knowledge of web development languages will improve an aspiring designer’s marketability. Designers don’t need to understand the nitty gritty. That’s what developers are for, after all. But a general comprehension of how each major programming language is used, as well as their limitations, can make collaborating with a developer so much easier.

SEO Knowledge

Part of creating a successful website is making it visible to search engines; therefore, a clear understanding of SEO basics is a must for anyone who wants to become a web designer. Even the most beautifully designed site won’t serve its purpose unless it’s target audience can find it.

User Experience Principles

Today’s web design has to focus on user experience (UX). As you become a web designer it will be important to understand the components of UX web design. This includes demographic research, defining user personas, and generally understanding the user in order to develop a site that works best for them.  

Graphic and Visual Design Theory  

To become a web designer, you’ll need a basic comprehension of design theory. Conveying meaning or eliciting a specific feeling can be done by using different fonts, colors and layouts. Understanding and executing upon these concepts is a key part of the web designer’s job.

Conversion Focus

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) involves designing websites in a way that motivates users to complete a desired action – such as filling out a form, making a purchase, or sharing on social media. A site that is optimized for conversions will be much more effective, and a designer who understands CRO concepts will be much more likely to land a job than one who does not.

Soft Skills

It may surprise you to know that some of the skills needed to become a web designer aren’t computer skills at all. Soft skills are important for any person in charge of web design, and they are especially important for freelance designers.

Communication

Communication is key for a web designer. You’ll be working with concepts and within frameworks that most are unfamiliar with. To be effective, you’ll have to communicate what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you need from those around you.

Time Management/Project Management

Staying on top of the moving pieces within a single web design project, let alone more than one project, is truly a skill. Those who want to become a web designer will definitely need to master time management and project management skills in order to be successful.

Customer Service

As a web designer you provide a service. The key to great customer service is empathy. Work to keep in mind where your customer is coming from and what they are trying to accomplish. A combination of empathy and communication skills will put you well on your way to providing top-notch customer service, always.  

What if you DON’T Want to Become a Web Designer?  

In that case, don’t you worry! You don’t need to know how to be a web designer in order to run a successful website.

Hungry Media brings powerful and affordable digital design solutions to any project. Our team of web designers takes pride in creating incredible products that meet the needs of every individual client. Whether it’s a website, mobile app, digital refresh, or anything in between – if you can dream it, our team can build it. Contact us today to get started. We can’t wait to meet you!

Become a web developer

Technology is a huge part of our day to day lives. Seriously. Think about how much of your life is controlled by your smart phone, alone. From navigation to communication to shopping, we use internet technology for everything.

Every app, website, or piece of online software we use was built by a web developer. The digital world of a web developer can sound a little complicated, but it’s not as bad as it seems. Just like any other job, someone who wants to become a web developer simply has to have a solid foundation upon which to build.

What does a Web Developer Do?

Web developers are responsible for creating and maintaining websites and applications using a variety of programming languages and technology. Developers blend the creative vision of the designer with their technical expertise to create a website. They take care of everything from the functionality of the site to ensuring it’s security. Since there’s so much technical knowledge required to build a website, web developer certifications usually focus on one of two areas.

Front-End Web Developers

Front end developers bring the web designer’s vision to life by building the exterior look and feel of the website. Essentially, front-end developers turn back-end data into something the user can interact with and understand. A few more front-end web developer requirements are an ability to:

  • Ensure the mobile responsiveness of a website
  • Understand and utilize SEO basics and best practices
  • Develop tools to improve user experience

Back-End Web Developers

Back-end developers are concerned with everything behind the scenes. They focus on building and maintaining the tech required to power the front end – namely the server, application, and database.

Backend developers are also responsible for:

  • Creating and managing databases
  • Developing and utilizing content management systems
  • Testing and debugging backend elements  

Full Stack Web Developers 

Full stack developers are experts in both front- and back-end development. They’re in high demand, as they tend to be well versed in business practices and user experience, making them a valuable asset to any team. Most full stack developers have worked in the industry for years, having gained experience and knowledge in a variety of roles.

How to Become a Web Developer

There’s no specific web developer degree or educational path required to become a web developer. In fact, it’s not even required that you have a formal web developer education in order to work in the web development field.

There are several options aside from formal education to help you learn how to become a web developer. Programs and coding boot camps such as CodeAcademy and App Academy are kind of like “web developer schools.” They provide web development training and teach the coding skills needed to pursue specific career opportunities.

Additionally, those hoping to learn web development should have a working knowledge of common programming languages, libraries, and frameworks in addition to common technology. Career Foundry has a list of 50 web development buzzwords all new programmers should learn.  

Web Developer Skills Needed

While web developer job requirements can be flexible and a formal education isn’t a must, a set of specific skills is. Here are the basics of what is needed to be a web developer. This is what you’ll want a grasp before you begin your development career.

Programming Languages

A programming language is basically a set of commands that tells the computer what to do. High level languages use logic and symbols, making them relatively easy for humans to read and comprehend. Low level languages such as machine code are those directly recognizable by computer. Which language(s) or framework(s) a developer specializes in is dependent upon their career track and/or specialty.

  • HTML – Hypertext markup language is the foundational element of the internet, and it is used to specify the formatting of a text file. Basically, HTML determines what the text on a website looks like.
  • CSS – Cascading style sheet languages are created to style documents written in markup languages. This includes things like color, font, borders, etc. CSS can also be used to optimize for responsive design, telling the computer to adapt what the screen looks like based on the device used.
  • JavaScript – JavaScript is a text-based language that builds off other basic programing languages. It is required to create interactive, dynamic web pages and apps. Actions such as real-time communication and loading emails all rely on JavaScript.

Responsive Web Design

Today’s web design must be mobile-responsive, if not mobile first. For this reason, responsive web design skills are a must for today’s developers.

Version Control

When building a site, it’s important to understand and manage its progress. Version control software allows developers to track changes in their code over time. Git is currently the most popular version control tool available.

Browser Development Tools

Each web browser is a little bit different. Developers should have an understanding of how pages are rendered in a particular browser so that they can maintain functionality and improve performance.

Libraries and Frameworks

These are set of prewritten code which can be used to help developers reach the same end goal without having to write quite so much code to get there. Libraries contain a collection of useful code that can be accessed at any time. They are smaller and more job-specific than frameworks. A framework contains pre-made tools and components that help a developer write code faster. Popular frameworks include Bootstrap and Rails.

Database Languages

Database languages are used to build and manage – you guessed it – databases. Databases don’t understand the same languages that websites and apps are programmed with. Structured Query Language (SQL) is an example of a standard language used to access data in databases.

Related Careers

While in your pursuit of a web development career you may come across some additional paths. Each of the careers below reflects a specific type of developer or someone who works closely with web developers. They may be something you’re interested in now, or find yourself working toward in the future.

UX Designer

User experience (UX) design aims to understand and optimize the way a website or app is experienced by the end user. These designers must be competent in analytics and understanding human behavior and expectation, as well as possess basic design and development skills.

Mobile App Developer

Mobile application development is a hot career path at the moment. New companies and products are showing up in the market every day, and it’s expected that these companies will have an effective mobile first strategy at the least, and an easy-to-use mobile app at best.

Web Administrator

One of the oldest known roles in the tech sector is a Web Administrator. These professionals have experience with internet protocols and technology, and they usually work to manage internal and external web-based technology for a single corporation.

Information Architect

Information architects focus on the organization of a website and how efficiently and effectively information can be accessed. The architects create the structure and navigation functionality of a site.

Database Developer

Collecting and analyzing data is important for any business using web technology. Database developers create back-end workflows and integrations to help capture data which will help drive decisions down the line.

You Don’t Have to Become a Web Developer to Create a Fantastic Website or App

You don’t need to know how to be a web developer to get your project off the ground. You can let us take care of that for you. Hungry Media has been in the digital creation space for years. Our experienced team of designers and developers will help make your vision a reality.

Our unique approach allows us to dig deep and really understand what you’re looking for before we start building your dream website or app. We’ve worked with companies and brands in all sectors and across many industries. We can’t wait to hear about your idea. Contact us today to get started!

Monetize your website
Monetize your website

One of the first things many people question when they start creating web-based content is how to build and monetize a website. The good news is that learning how to monetize your website requires more consistency than skill. There are several ways to build an online income, and there are also several things to take into consideration before you begin to monetize your site.

Let’s start with a basic question. What is website monetization, anyway? It’s the process of converting web traffic into some sort of revenue. And while the answer is an easy one, the process isn’t quite that simple. Here’s what you need to know about monetization for websites.

Before You Monetize Your Website

Think about it this way. You’re not monetizing your website. You’re actually monetizing internet traffic. So, before you try to figure out how to make a monetized website, think about how to bring users to it. While there are certainly ways to make money without a large amount of traffic, the return on your investment will increase as your number of engaged users does the same.

Use SEO

First and foremost, users have to be able to find you. So, your site must be optimized for search engines. An understanding of SEO basics is more than enough to get you started here. Research keywords and use them strategically. Create descriptions to use in alt tags. Utilize title tags for your pages. All of these little actions will drive users to your site.

Design for User Experience

User experience design can go a long way to retain your users. When the people who visit your website find the experience pleasant – or better yet, don’t “notice” the experience – they’re likely to return. This is huge for your visibility, as it’s so much easier to keep users around than to find new ones. SEO and UX design are the one-two-punch of increased website traffic.   

Be Mobile Friendly

Don’t even consider ways to monetize your website if you don’t have a mobile-first strategy, or at least a responsive design. More users access your website via mobile device than desktop or laptop. So, trying to monetize without first striving to capture mobile users is a waste of time and money.

Provide Quality Content

Unique, valuable content is key to keeping users once they find your site. Even if a user never comes back, you’re a step ahead if they found your content to be relevant and helpful. If they find you, but the content you’ve provided them doesn’t meet their needs, they won’t stick around long enough for your monetization strategies to be effective.

Build a Social Audience

A social media following is almost a must when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Aside from a Google search, social media channels are the most common way for new users to find you. The Balance has some fantastic tips for growing as social following.

How to Monetize Your Website

There are plenty of website monetization tools and tricks to consider as you try to earn an income from your website. As you work to decide which is best for you, keep in mind that you’re aiming to monetize website traffic, as opposed to the site itself. Think about your users and the way they interact with your site.

What do they do when they’re on your site? How long does each visit last? Are they sharing your site with friends? Do they comment on your posts? If you can really figure out what makes them tick, it will be that much easier to determine the most effective ways to monetize your website traffic. 

Paid Membership

One of the simplest ways to monetize your website is to charge a fee for access to your content. You have to be very careful with this, though. There is so much free, often valuable, content available across the internet. You’ll need to make sure that the content you’re charging for is really special. Many websites opt to set up a paid section and pack it full of high-value extras not available on their free pages. This way you’re not alienating those who can’t, or don’t want to, pay, and are providing worthwhile content to those who do.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods to monetize your website these days, and for good reason. The bottom line is that you receive a “commission” for sharing another brand’s content or product. This is a favorite because there are so many ways to go about affiliate marketing while remaining authentic to yourself and your brand. Here are a few ideas:

  • Product Reviews – Try a product out and provide a comprehensive, honest review.
  • Tutorials – Use your experience to teach your audience how you use a particular product.
  • Recommended Tools and Resources – Create a list of your favorite tools, products, and resources.
  • Sponsored Posts – Write a blog (or social media) post centered around a particular product.

“Hire Me” Page 

This one is so simple that it may not even cross your mind as a way to monetize your website. Add a page with a “hire me” button or form. Even if your website is your hobby, there’s no harm in putting it out there. You could offer your services in the form of anything from writing to photography to tax services.

Take donations

Similar to a “hire me” button, you could add a link to accept donations. If your content offers value, and you need the support, your users may be more than happy to contribute. If you opt to go this route, we have some great tips to help make fundraising for business a success.

Sell a Digital Product

Digital products are a huge hit these days. Regardless of the type of content you create, you can come up with some sort of digital product to sell at a relatively low cost to your audience.

  • E- book – An ebook sharing some of your favorite tips, tricks, stories, anecdotes, or anything else you can compile might be a hit with a devoted following.
  • Online course – Similar to the e-book, you could develop a video-based course surrounding something that you’re great at and have passion for. It could be anything from how to make amazing sushi to the best way to train your dog. The sky’s the limit, and if your content is valuable, people will be more than willing to pay to learn from you.
  • Digital downloads – Depending on your niche, low-cost digital downloads of things like checklists, how-to guides, photo filter packs, website themes, and so much more can add up quickly.

Merchandise

You can make products yourself or outsource production, but either way, getting creative with merchandise can go a long when trying to monetize your website. Coffee mugs with your favorite saying, t-shirts highlighting your brand, even simple sticker decals – could all be favorites among your loyal audience.

Display Ads

And then, of course, there’s the obvious. Sell advertising space. You can go about this in two ways. Either way, using display ads means that a third-party company will be placing advertisements on your website for your users to see – kind of like an internet billboard.

If you don’t have a detailed understanding of how to get advertisers on your website, you can use a service like Google AdSense to do the marketing and ad placement for you. Or, of course, you can do the sales and placement work yourself, if that’s your thing.

What to Avoid When Trying to Monetize Your Website

While there are no hard and fast website monetization rules, at the end of the day your users’ experience has to remain a top priority. Otherwise, you’ll lose the audience that provides you with income.

That said, just be careful not to go overboard. Too many sponsored posts, requests to purchase your e-book, or ads that slow down your site can all be detrimental to user experience, and thus potential monetization. You want your users to feel as though they’re getting something from you, not the other way around.

Hungry Media can Help Monetize Your Website

One of the statements we hear most often is “I want to monetize my website, but I don’t know how.” Hungry Media does! We can help you build a website, implement strategies to monetize web traffic, and even create a complementary mobile app if you want. If you can dream it, we can build it, and we can’t wait to turn your dream into a reality. Contact us today to get started!

CRO
CRO

Websites serve a variety of purposes, but one thing’s almost always true about a website. It exists as a means to improve the bottom line of the company it represents. In this sense, websites are a key component in the sales funnel.

Regardless of whether the focus of your site is to make sales, collect contact details, or disseminate information to your users, you want it to be effective, right? Otherwise, what’s the point of paying for it? Enter: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). What is CRO, you ask? Read on for a crash course.

Website Conversion Defined

In terms of internet marketing, there are two main ways you can improve the performance of your website. You can drive more traffic to it, and you can better leverage the traffic you already have. The former is the focus of SEO. The latter is what we mean by Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

What is a Website Conversion?

A website conversion is when a user takes a predetermined, desired action on your website. Each step that moves a user through the sales funnel is considered a conversion, meaning they are that much closer to becoming a customer. Examples of these actions include filling out a form, sharing a blog post, or making a purchase.

What is a Conversion Rate?

Your conversion rate is the percentage of users who take one of the pre-determined, desired actions.

What is a Good Conversion Rate?

One of the best responses we’ve read says a good conversion rate is one that’s better than it is now. It’s a fair answer, as it essentially states that the goal is to constantly improve conversion rates. And honestly this might be the best answer, as there are several factors that impact CRO metrics including your industry, traffic source, price point, and type of conversion, just to name a few.

For a point of reference, according to Invespcro.com, an average conversion rate is 2.35% and websites that rank in the top 25% have conversion rates of 5.31%.  

What is CRO, Exactly?

It can be a bit challenging to specifically define CRO, as it encompasses a variety of marketing methods and tactics. But, generally speaking, conversion rate optimization increases the number of users who take a desired action. Typically, CRO marketing will focus on ways to capture more users at each stage of the sales process. This is often achieved by conducting A/B testing to determine what actually works and what doesn’t.

The cool thing is that there is usually a pretty decent ROI when it comes to CRO, meaning simple changes often have a big impact!

Why Does Conversion Rate Matter?

There are many more steps involved in converting online shoppers than in-person customers. CRO allows you to optimize each step of this process. Think of conversion optimization as the sales associate who helps direct you to what you need and answer your questions along the way.

And let’s be honest, existing customers are where it’s at! You’ve already got them. You probably worked hard for them. They’re captive. And they’re at least a little bit interested in what you have to offer. It would be silly not to make the most of their presence!

That’s not to say that implementing some SEO basics isn’t important, too. Seriously, what is CRO without SEO? Or vice versa? It doesn’t matter how many people visit your website if it’s not effective, and it doesn’t matter how effective your site is if nobody sees it.

That said, you’re definitely going to get significant bang for your buck when you optimize for conversions. Plus once you begin improving conversion rates, you’ll wind up with a bigger return on your SEO investment. It’s the one-two punch of digital marketing!

How to Calculate Conversion Rates

Luckily, determining your conversion rate is pretty simple. In fact, it probably takes longer to determine what a “conversion” looks like than it does to actually calculate your conversion rate.

And that brings us to an important point – what does a conversion look like on your site? Some examples include filling out a form, signing up for an email newsletter, sharing content on social media, or making a purchase.

Once you determine the key points of your sales funnel, the conversion rate formula is simple:

(Users that converted ÷ Total number of users) X 100

That’s it. See? Simple.

How to Improve Conversion Rates

Here’s where things get more complicated. Sorry!

Improving conversion rates is part science, part trial and error. There’s a ton of nuance involved in implementing an effective CRO plan. That said, there are still a few basic steps that every business should take when embarking on a CRO journey.

Analyze – Think about your audience. How do they interact with your site? Do they spend more time on one page than another? Do they click the “share” button for Facebook more often than for Instagram? Really delve into the details here and you’ll easily find the areas that could benefit from a little CRO.

Plan – Take time to come up with a written plan for website conversion optimization. What actions are most important for your users to take? What are the current conversion rates for those actions? And what changes have the potential to improve them?

Test – Once you’ve determined your hypothesis – i.e. “making this change will increase the number of users who convert in this spot” – you’ve got to test it.

When we discuss testing for CRO purposes, we use the term A/B testing. This is simply the process of testing your hypothesis. Essentially, you’ll create two versions of your webpage. An equal number of users are directed to each version and you get to see how well they each convert.

You can have all sorts of fancy CRO tools and develop a kick-butt plan to make improvements, but executing the plan isn’t a one-and-done type of task. Consumer behaviors and preferences evolve, so you’ll need to develop and test different hypotheses on a regular basis.

CRO Made Easy with Hungry Media

Conversion optimization is part gut instinct and part science. If you’d like a partner that can help you dig deeper into the nuance of Conversion Rate Optimization, Hungry Media is ready to help!

Whether you’re looking to build an optimized site from scratch or simply need guidance as you consider a website update, we’ve got you. We have years of experience working with startups and small businesses in a variety of sectors. Contact us today to learn how we can help you make the most of your website, too!

What is a Vision Statement

Running a business is no joke! Effectively meeting the needs of your team and your customers, while managing your bottom line, can be a tough balance to strike.

The good news is that a clearly defined purpose goes a long way to structuring your company for success. Many new companies have mission statements, but fewer seem to have vision statements. How do you differentiate your mission vs. vision statement, and why the heck do you need both?

What is the Difference Between Vision and Mission Statements?

Mission and vision statements serve similar, yet distinct, purposes. Both set the stage for business success, especially when used in conjunction with one another.

What is a Vision Statement?

Vision Statement Definition (per Wikipedia): An inspirational statement of an idealistic emotional future of a company or group.

In other words, your vision statement is the place for you to dream. It defines where you’re headed and what you want to become.

Among many other “big picture” ideas, your vision statement can include:

  • Overarching goals
  • Dreams for your company
  • The broadscale problem your company addresses
  • Who you want to inspire

What is a Mission Statement?

Mission Statement Definition (per Merriam-Webster): a statement of the purpose or goal of a business or organization.

In essence, your mission statement clearly defines and describes the way in which you execute daily operations. A mission answers the following questions:

  • What do we do?
  • Who do we serve?
  • How do we do it?

Benefits of a Vision Statement

There are many benefits of a vision statement, from the overarching and theoretical all the way down to the nitty gritty, nuts and bolts stuff you do every day. If you’re just starting your business, we hope you are beginning to see how a vision statement will be helpful.

But what if your business is already successful and you’re happy with where things are? You may be thinking, “Why do I need a vision statement at this point? We’re all good!”

Regardless of where you fall, here’s where a vision statement can help:  

  • Guidance Over Time: Keeping your eye on the prize isn’t always easy, and it’s not uncommon for a business or business owner to lose their way every once in a while. A vision statement provides a stable framework to both work within and guide you back if you find you’ve veered off course.
  • Inspiration and Growth: Building a successful, sustainable business requires that you (and your team) remain inspired to innovate and grow. Vision statements are perfect for this purpose! Because they include broad, lofty goals, there is usually no limit to the ways in which those goals can be achieved.
  • Brand Building: Let’s not forget the importance of branding, here! Your company’s unique brand identity speaks to your mission and vision as well as how you execute upon each.

How to Write a Vision Statement

First Thing’s First

Before trying to flesh out a meaningful vision statement, take some time to list your core values and beliefs. Start by considering the following:

  • What characteristics – in yourself, in those around you, or in a business – are important to you?
  • Where do you draw the line, ethically?
  • What makes you happiest?

Write down anything that comes to mind right away. Then take a peek at a comprehensive list of values and beliefs to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

You’ll have a much easier time developing your vision statement if you have a good grasp on what, exactly, is important to you.

Crafting a Vision Statement

Since your vision statement is a big picture view of your overall goals, this isn’t the place to get specific. This is where you capture your hopes and dreams into one or two sentences. NBD, right? Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be daunting. Start with the questions below.

  • In an ideal world, what would your company be known for? This one is pretty theoretical, and it will probably tap into those values we discussed above. That’s great, especially if your company exists because it’s your passion.
  • What are your ultimate goals for your company? Here’s where you’ll get more objective. Do you have a financial goal, a goal related to your customers, a goal related to the size of your company? While you probably won’t use the goals themselves in your vision statement, keeping them in mind will help you craft it.
  • Who are your stakeholders? These are the people for whom and with whom your company exists. Stakeholders can include team members, customers, investors, or even the community at large.

Our suggestion is to write out your answers without thinking too hard or censoring yourself. Tip – if writing isn’t your strong suit, record yourself answering the questions, and then transcribe the recording afterward.

Once you’re confident you’ve captured it all, read through and pare down from there. Combine sentences, remove redundancies, and consolidate similar ideas until you’ve got yourself a few sentences you believe truly capture where your company is headed.

A Note on Mission Statements

Once you’ve crafted a kick-butt vision statement, it’s time to work on your mission statement! Aim for a single sentence that incorporates the “who, what, and how” of your business. If you’re stuck, here are 8 Questions to Consider When Writing a Mission Statement.

Mission and Vision Statement Examples 

Sometimes starting from the end and working your way backward can help. If after reading this you’re still a little unsure, check out these examples from well-known companies.

Notice that they each capture the company’s distinguishing culture and values. Additionally, you’ll see the distinctive ways in which these companies position their mission vs. vision statements. Simply put, there’s no right or wrong, here. Each statement is as unique as the business it represents.

Envision Yourself with Hungry Media

Regardless of any operational changes that may (and will!) occur, a solid mission and vision statement will help keep your business on track and headed towards the future you have envisioned. It’s worth the time and effort to develop both.

Need help crafting a vision statement? Have a clear vision and ready to execute? We’ve got you covered either way, and we can’t wait to meet you! Contact us today to get started.

Shopify vs Woocommerce
WooCommerce vs Shopify

WooCommerce vs. Shopify

They are two of the most popular and easy-to-use eCommerce platforms available. Both allow you to build an online storefront without hiring a professional designer or developer.

What is Shopify? Shopify is a user-friendly, all-in-one eCommerce platform that allows you to set up shop without having to manage the technical aspects of website design and development.

What is WooCommerce? Easy to use and fully customizable, WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. 

Here’s the thing about trying to compare WooCommerce and Shopify: while they are intended to accomplish the same goal, they function very differently. In fact, this comparison is reminiscent of our Squarespace vs. WordPress debate.

Honestly, the comparison isn’t “Is WooCommerce better than Shopify (or vice versa)?” But rather, “Which is better for you?” 

That said, let’s get to it!

Build Time

While both platforms are relatively simple to use, there is a significant difference in the amount of time and effort required to actually create your online store. 

Shopify’s build is geared towards the everyday user. One of the greatest benefits of Shopify is that even their most basic plan includes everything you need to get your eCommerce site up across multiple channels. The setup wizard makes Shopify an easily accessible option for beginners, and the drag and drop interface makes design simple and intuitive.

WooCommerce requires a bit more effort up front. Before you set up your online store, you’ll need to select and pay for a domain name, sign up for hosting, install WordPress and download the WooCommerce plugin. Honestly, these steps can be executed in a matter of minutes, but they do add an additional layer of semi-technical work to get through. Once you install the plugin you’ll find an online setup wizard that walks you through the customization process. 

If you’re building your site from scratch, Shopify is going to have a faster setup. However, if you’re already using a WordPress site, all you’ll have to do is install the plugin and get to customizing your storefront.

Design and Themes

Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer sleek professional themes that meet the needs of your mobile-first strategy

Shopify has a theme store that comes with over 180 different themes. Some are premium but many are free, and most come with options to customize. In addition to Shopify’s store, sites like Themeforest provide additional paid theme options. 

When it comes to customization of a WooCommerce site, the sky’s the limit. There is a seemingly endless number of themes to choose from when beginning your design journey. The best place to start is Woo’s own online theme store called Storefront

Plugins and Integrations

No matter how robust the platform or plugin, you’ll always need third-party tools and services to grow your eCommerce business. For example, digital gift cards optionsanalytics integrations, and shipping tools can all be purchased from a variety of online extension stores.

Shopify has an app store for this purpose. They have hundreds of options covering several features. WooCommerce has their own marketplace as well, but since they are an open-source platform the options don’t stop there. There’s almost no comparison in terms of extras when it comes to Shopify vs. WooCommerce. WordPress extensions are available for anything and everything you could possibly want, and most of them are WooCommerce compatible.  

In short, your additional options are significantly greater with WooCommerce than Shopify.

Payment Options

You’ve got to collect money in order to turn a profit, right? So, it’s pretty darn important that you accept payments online and that your customers have a variety of payment options to choose from. 

WooCommerce and Shopify both work with over 100 payment gateway options. These are either built in or added through integrations. Some examples are Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Square. Each gateway will charge a transaction fee. Keep an eye on these as you make your choice.

Shopify has its own payment solution called Shopify Payments (Powered by Stripe) plus third party options. Shopify charges a basic transaction fee, and if you use a third-party gateway, there is an additional fee on top of that. 

WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payments automatically, and it supports many other popular payment services. But Woo doesn’t charge you an additional transaction fee for using a third-party payment gateway. 

Security

Online stores must be security-conscious. Taking care of your customers (and their personal information) serves to build trust. We can’t underscore the importance of branding, and trust goes a long, long way to create a positive brand image. Plus, let’s be honest, protecting your customers’ personal information is just the right thing to do. 

At the bare minimum you’ll need a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, which safeguards your website so that internet bad guys can’t access your customer’s personal information. In order to process online payments, you’ll be required to maintain compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS).

Because Shopify is fully hosted, security is the platform’s responsibility. Your store will come with a free SSL certificate and is PCI-DSS compliant from day one. They also take care of making sure the site meets industry standards and that any potential security threats are addressed immediately.

The main bummer with Shopify, security-wise, is that backing up your storefront, which you should definitely do, requires a plugin. One of the benefits of WooCommerce is that it’s sites can be easily backed up to any hard drive.

Now, WooCommerce doesn’t technically have any security measures built in, but this doesn’t mean your store can’t be secured. You’ll have to source your SSL certificate first, and then tackle PCI compliance by following a few easy steps.

Customer Support

While both platforms are fairly easy to use, it’s always good to know there’s someone available to back you up if you need. 

Shopify provides 24/7 support – via live chat, phone, email, and Twitter – as they well should, since your online shop is completely dependent upon their platform. This is incredibly convenient when you have questions or need a helping hand. 

WooCommerce, on the other hand, handles support a little bit differently. Because it’s self-hosted, your primary support system will be your hosting provider. The official WooCommerce website also has a ton of documents and tutorials on demand, as well as the ability to submit general support tickets. 

An upside to WooCommerce is that it’s very popular, which means that both DIY and professional problem-solving options are easy to find and inexpensive to source.

Pricing

Obviously, cost is an important consideration anytime you make an investment in your business. Because they function differently, it’s not surprising that WooCommerce and Shopify use different approaches to pricing.

Shopify’s plans include many of the basics you need to get your store off the ground – a domain name, SSL certificate, and web hosting. A basic plan starts at $29/month with two upgrade options available, priced at $79 or $299/month. 

This price does not include third party tools or add-ons that you may need in order to upgrade functionality or help keep up with your growing business.

The WooCommerce plugin is technically free, but there are still costs associated with building and maintaining a WooCommerce site. Your domain name can cost as little as $10 per year and an SSL certificate goes for about $70 annually. Web hosting starts at about $8 per month.

Don’t overlook one important feature when comparing Shopify vs. WooCommerce – transaction fees. Both Shopify and WooCommerce charge a payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. But, if you opt to use third party payment gateways, Shopify charges an additional 2% per transaction. WooCommerce sites are subject to standard processing fees, only. 

In short, it’s much cheaper to start with WooCommerce than Shopify. However, there are more places to spend when you’re using WooCommerce. Paid add-ons such as premium themes, plugins for SEO or security, and social integrations will definitely make your shop stand out, but they’ll also impact your bottom line. 

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: What Now?

Both Shopify and WooCommerce have a place in the online shopping world. Which one is right for you depends on your ultimate goal.  

Our suggestion is to start by writing a mission statement. How do you see your online store growing in the next five years? What are your short-term goals, and what are the next steps once you achieve them? If you know where you’re headed, it’s much easier to figure out how to get there. 

Set-up Shop with Hungry Media

We know, even after reading all about WooCommerce vs. Shopify, the decision can still be overwhelming. Sometimes, simply determining a starting point is all you need, and sometimes you’ll want support throughout the entire process. Regardless of where you stand, Hungry Media can help. Our unique approach to design and development ensures your needs are met and your eCommerce site is set for success. 

Reach out today to get started. We can’t wait to help you make your big idea a reality!