Content Delivery Network

We just enabled our new content delivery network for all Basic, Professional and Enterprise Shopify accounts.

What is a CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations around the Planet to deliver content more efficiently to users. The server selected for delivering content to a specific user is based on proximity. For example, the server with the fewest network hops or the server with the quickest response time is chosen and will service the users requests.

This means that Shopify stores should come up almost instantaneously all around the globe. Quick response times have shown to increase the conversion rates in ecommerce and we are bringing this feature to all our subscribers at no additional cost.

Shopify is the only ecommerce software which offers this feature. Take a peek at the ping times from different places. Wikipedia on CDN.

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Earth Week: Green your Shopify

Going green: it’s not just a trend anymore. People are finally realizing that we need to make some serious changes in our lifestyles, for our own health and that of the planet. And these Shopify stores are ahead of the curve. Read on and see what your fellow Shopifyers are doing to help others be green!

Jewelry: The Elva Fields shop has a unique and brilliant approach to jewelry. She scours markets both near and far as well as auctions and shops for unusual vintage and antique pieces to use in their beautiful jewelry lines. The finds are then lovingly reconfigured and incorporated in unexpected, timeless designs. It’s one of the best worlds of recycling: with a fraction of the energy output consumed by making new jewelry, she makes new, creative and desireable designs for her customers to enjoy.

Carbon Credits: The Simple Footprint Project in Maple Ridge, BC allows you to purchase carbon offsets – home offsets, personal offsets, travel offsets and several more offsets for a wide range of habits and lives. “In 2006, this project developed over 200,000 tonnes of carbon credits in the District of Maple Ridge over an area of approximately 83 hectares, and involved the planting of over 25,000 indigenous Douglas firs, Sitka spruces, Western red cedars, Western hemlocks and cotton woods.”

Skin Care: Ottawa’s Oresta Organics carries a wide range of well respected organic skin care products, from Pangea to Simply Divine Botanicals and others.

Gardening: Australia’s Productive Gardens carries a full line of items designed to help you grow your own organic garden. They carry a wide range of natural pest and disease control products, organic fertilisers, tools and gadgets, seeds and more.

Clothes and Unique Items: Love Eco carries well designed and high quality eco-alternative products – and what’s more, they’re fun! They carry funky wool felt lampshades – made from recycled wool hats!, cool chicken doorstops made from vintage fabric remnants, plush bamboo sheets and towels, and lots more. Not only is their stuff ecofriendly, it’s also unique and eye-catching. Nice!

Soaps: New Zealand’s Clean Earth Soap is hand made from moisturizing olive oil and certified organic coconut and palm oils. They’re then scented with lovely essential oils and enriched with clays and plant butters to be oh so soft on your skin. All of their soaps are made in small batches at their home-based business and contains no animal ingredients, detergents or foaming agents.

Gifts: If you’re hankering after a gift basket or know someone who is, Gift Baskets King carries a wide range of gift baskets including all organic baskets. They even have “luscious organic, nut-covered Chocolate English Toffee. Yum!

Activism: Cool People Care is saving the world, five minutes at a time. And they have a store to prove it, selling everything from cool shirts to fair trade coffee to reusable mugs.

Finally, for Clothing: Therapy Clothing’s tagline is “Dress well. Eat chocolate. Live green.” And they provide you with the means to deal with at least two of those requirements, by selling an entire line of stylish green clothing made with sustainable fabrics such as bamboo and organic cotton.

Do you have an eco-Shopify shop? Let us know and we’ll add it on!

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Asking For Trouble's Guide to Setting Up Shop Online

Shopify customer Asking For Trouble has written a great post on her blog about considerations for setting up shop online. She explains, in plain english, what you’re going to encounter when you’re setting up shop with companies like eBay, PayPal, Etsy and of course Shopify.

“So, you’ve made your products and you want to get them out there for people to buy. What’s the best option for ecommerce? Well, as with most things online, it depends on a lot of different things. There are many different ecommerce options and each have their own pros and cons. Which one suits you best will depend on your range of items, your technical ability, your product prices and your pocket. There’s no ‘best’ solution, just the best solution for you.”

It’s an excellent overview for people just getting started with ecommerce and explains everything in uncomplicated terms. Great work!

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Spare Change, 04/22/08

Welcome to the Earth Day edition of Spare Change. And you, online merchants, can pat yourselves on the back this Earth Day: According to an article from Green Living Online, online shopping has a slight edge over shopping at storefronts, environmentally speaking. While shipping can be a concern, the reduced requirement for physical space for online stores, as well as the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when consumers don’t get in their cars to go the mall, means that online shopping is a bit healthier for the planet. When you further consider that online shopping reduces the requirement for printed materials (if your entire inventory’s online, who needs signage, flyers, a catalogue?) ecommerce is definitely on the side of a planetary “win”. As far as Shopify goes, one of the steps we take to be planet-friendly includes lake source cooling at our data center, using water from lakes to cool the building, saving tons of carbon emissions each year.

In other news, an article on ashop commerce talks about Using Shopping Comparison Sites as a New Sales Channel. “Shopping comparison sites serve as a powerful tool to connect buyers with products. Additionally, these sites enable merchants to feed a list of their products and prices, which are displayed alongside similar products from other merchants when a buyer searches for an item online. For instance, if a buyer visits and types in “Cell Phones,” he’ll see various styles of Cell Phones from a variety of vendors—from major retail stores to smaller players. A buyer can easily compare products, prices, ratings, and shipping costs before settling for the best deal.”

One of the biggest challenges for the online vendor is the issue of the customer wanting to touch or try on or inspect a product – so far not possible online. Read about one company’s innovative approach – sort of a combination of ecommerce and Mary Kay parties. talks about the decline in growth of Google’s paid ad clicks and what it really means.

And finally… Shopify was in the news yesterday. “This system, designed using the dynamic Web language Ruby on Rails, is designed with simpler sites in mind.” Read more at the Globe and Mail. Great work, Shopify gang!

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Reminder: Submit your Web Design for ROI questions

Just a reminder to submit your questions for our Feature Interview with the co-author of Web Design for ROI, Lance Loveday.

As an added bonus, we’re giving away copies of this very useful book to two people who submit their questions by by tomorrow, April 22 via comment or email to shannon at jadedpixel dot com. Don’t miss your chance to ask an expert about what you can do to help turn your browsers into buyers.

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