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03 May

Posted by Roger Martin

When thinking about an upgrade to Magento 2 it is important to understand what is involved and what advantages upgrading to Magento 2 actually offers. The expected landrush to upgrade to Magento 2 through 2016 and early 2017 has not materialised. The current thinking is that it will happen through Q3 of 2017, as the platform reaches full stability and the developer community has enough experience to manage the upgrades successfully and in an economically viable manner. The Magento platform has always been promoted as the most flexible ecommerce platform in the world, accessible to all due to its foundations as an open source project. Whilst this has been a major strength, the process of moving towards Magento 2 and the focus by the new owners to grow the Enterprise channel and ac...

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21 Apr

Posted by Brendan Gilbert

Goal tracking on Google Analytics is a vital element for any online commerce business. Through measuring the effectiveness of your site in gaining conversions, marketing teams can see what content converts and what elements need improving. For Magento websites, this goal tracking process is relatively easy to complete. All you need is a google Analytics account, access to your Magento admin area and access to either the html code or a developer. Here’s our simple 3 step guide to setting up Goal Tracking on a Magento site: 1. Add Google Analytics Tracking code to your site The first step in implementing any goal tracking on your site is to add the Google Analytics tracking code generated for your Google Analytics profile. All you need to do is add your Analytics account ID ...

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06 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

Magento 2 training for free has been announced by the Magento U team to help ease the transition from Magento 1 to the new Magento 2 platform for both merchants and developers Four courses have been made available on Magento U – Fundamentals of Magento 2, Core Principles of Magento 2, Managing your Magento Store and Responsive Web Design (RWD) in Magento 2. The courses are all based on Magento Community Edition v2.1.0, which as we discussed in our Magento 2 Reflections blog post, was not the most stable platform. Version updates since the launch of the training could mean some of the elements talked about in the courses may have changed slightly. Those interested in these courses best hurry though, as the courses are only available free of charge until the 31st March. This o...

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06 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

Magento 2 development began in earnest back in the Spring of 2016, as our first Magento 2 client was commissioned, ExpressCo Direct based here in Northampton – with 9 storefronts to build out on a single Magento 2 plarform. After monitoring the feedback from other developers and their early experiences of Magento 2 development, we were ready for a learning curve. And it proved to be a steep one! Magento 2 - Plagued by initial bug ridden release We got to work using version 2.0.3 on the first install. Coupled with our lack of experience, which was the case for every developer at the time, it was an experience to say the least! This version was heavily bug laden and not production ready. The Magento development team had clearly released it too early and were hoping that the Magento...

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03 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

These are the reflections and experiences on the Magento 2 ecommerce product to date, complied in March 2017 based on our experiences as a long time Magento developer agency and solutions partner. Its not all negative and we are hoping for happier times ahead, but we think its important that our experiences are put on record for the avoidance of doubt for our existing clients and future prospects.   Magento 2 - Launch aftermath 18 months after the launch of Magento 2 we are in March 2017 and after the glitzy go to market launch of Magento 2 (M2), it is fair to say that it was all sizzle and no sausage! Star Digital, a veteran of many Magento ecommerce builds in both Community and Enterprise versions, got fully behind the M2 platform launch, attending all of the partner ...

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17 Nov

Posted by Roger Martin

It’s been a long wait, announced as far back as 2010, and released in a usable format early in 2015. If you talk to our certified developers they're glad that the pre- release window has given them time to get to grips with the new platform! It’s been buggy, and a reasonable learning curve, but the team at Star Digital have successfully completed the Magento 2 Trained Solution Partner programme and have got the recognition badge. Our strategic team made sure that the developers and solution specialists were prepared for this rollout, and anticipate that there will be a lot of demand for the new platform with existing clients looking to upgrade, and new clients migrating from other platforms or entering the commerce market for the first time. With our track record of B2B c...

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07 Oct

Posted by Roger Martin

As I write this at Star Digital HQ in October 2015 we’ve been developing web sites for clients using the Magento platform for 7 years now. So are we getting the 7 year itch? In that time we’ve seen the product grow from a virtual beta to one of the most in demand ecommerce solutions for mid size B2B and B2C retailers on the planet. It hasn’t come without its own set of problems. The key issues and learning we have had over the years have been as follows; •    Quality of hosting •    Understanding how to optimize properly •    The variability of quality in the extensions market •    The importance of staff training •    The importance of creating a full functional specification •    Managing customer UAT expectations •    Staying on...

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30 Jul

Posted by Leanne Town

A question that we get asked regularly by our clients when building an ecommerce website is whether they should use PayPal or direct card processing for their online payment processing. The simple answer we like to give is both! But for smaller companies, and those just breaking into ecommerce for the first time we always ask them to look at the advantages PayPal offers. When thinking about online shopping it is important to remember why people actually shop online. It is amazing how far online shopping has come; it is now a part of every-day life compared to when it was first available. The main advantages of online shopping are convenience and price; and now with the advent of mobile ecommerce it’s becoming uber-convenient! So where does PayPal fit into this scenario then? ...

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25 Apr

Posted by Lorna Casswell

Whether you’re looking at having your first website built or your tenth, there are some things you need to consider before signing off designs or builds to ensure once it’s launched your new site really works for you. In today’s blog post we’ve listed a few things you should consider if you’re about to have a new website designed or built. Will it work for your customers or visitors? This sounds obvious we know, but the thing is many websites sites look great on first view, but when crunch to comes to crunch, they just don’t work in the real world. For example, an image-heavy website may really showcase your products or services, but if text and information is on the thin side, this will have an impact on a person’s buying decision. If you have a website already you...

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13 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

The simple answer is “Yes”. At STAR we’ve been advocates of responsive websites for a long time. We know they’re a great fit for pretty much every business, and with mobile set to get even bigger in 2014, having one seems like a no brainer. [caption id="attachment_606" align="alignleft" width="614"] STAR has recently delivered the fully responsive Magic Shine website[/caption] If you’re wondering what the benefits of responsive websites are, then take a look at today’s blog post… Responsive Websites Provide an Excellent User Experience (Meaning More Sales) We all know how frustrating it can be when viewing a website that has not been optimised for mobile on a smart phone or tablet device. All that pinching, zooming and swiping means we often leave the site feelin...

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06 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

Around this time last year we were accepted onto the Magento Partner programme.  Star Digital are silver solution partners and we wanted to let you know what that means for your business and website. To be a Magento solution partner we have to demonstrate a number of things. We have to be able to design websites that are attractive, and that will work in the way users expect them to. We then have to show we can develop Magento sites, which in simple terms means we have to show we can build them with any necessary, or bespoke, functionality. We also have to consider the marketing of the website – by making sure a website is suitable for SEO optimisation for instance. Not only do we have to show all of the above, we have to prove it by showing we have successfully implemented and la...

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30 Jan

Posted by Lorna Casswell

A few months ago, in October 2013, three of the developers at STAR Digital were awarded Magento Certified Developer status. Magento certification is no easy feat to achieve, and being awarded it is representative of the amount of Magento experience and knowledge the STAR Digital team has. In order to achieve Magento certification, developers have to study the principles of the Magento ecommerce architecture and evidence their competence by taking an exam under strict supervised conditions at an approved exam centre. Jake, Scott and Callum, the first of our developers to sit the exams, all have years’ worth of Magento experience between them, and yet they all studied for months before taking the exam. At STAR Digital we know how important it is for everyone to keep pushing themse...

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