One of the coolest parts of running a business right now are the easy options for website design and development. And most recently, the reliability of that website not crashing when featured on a major television show or website. Creating a website as a new business, or even a redesign for an established business, really is at anyone's fingertips - no design skills or coding needed. Unless you need and want the guidance of course, or to pay someone to make a template-based website for your business.
Thanks to giant website platforms like Shopify and Wix, creating a business website can be done from your mobile phone while riding shotgun in your car on a road trip (yeah...I've done it). Back in the early 2000s, creating a shopping website was possible, but not nearly as easy as it is today thanks to these companies, nor with the beautiful templates attached. Back then, you definitely wanted to pay someone to visually design you a website from scratch, rather than look like one of many stiff and weird looking website templates.
But Shopify has taken it a step farther, and rumor has it, is the new "It Girl" for an ecommerce shopping based website platform withstanding heavy traffic from big press exposure or flash sale days. Two members of Tin Shingle were featured on major morning shows. Both used Shopify for their websites, and both had no worries going into the experience that their website would crash. This used to be unheard of, as we had to write an entire article about how to prepare your website for a big, really big, sales day if you got big press where you might have 3 sales/minute for several hours at a time.
Shopify seems to be handling big traffic bursts for their small business customers because they put a lot of infrastructure work into making sure their server grid could handle the influx of sales that happen around Cyber Monday and Black Friday - the biggest shopping weekend of the year. This stability for quick traffic bursts pays off for every other day of the week that a small business in their network may experience the #SharkTankEffect from exposure on the TV show The Shark Tank, or a feature on Kathie Lee & Hoda, or a style roundup from Adam Glassman of Oprah on Good Morning America.
When Hope Lawrence of Hudson Henry Baking Co. was featured on the Today Show's Kathie Lee and Hoda, she had no forewarning. She'd been in email talks with the producers, but no air-date was given. As she was prepping for the possible exposure, we asked her if her website was ready. Her response was simple: "Yes, it's on Shopify, so I'm not really worried." Okay...we held our breath and waited until after the show to ask if her website handled it. But after the show, Hope was buried under many successful orders, so yeah, her website handled it!
Same thing with Kami Darnel of Simple Sarongs. Kami had been in talks with Good Morning America and knew that Oprah Magazine's Adam Glassman was going to be displaying her button-up sarong in a summer fashion segment. She didn't know that he'd be calling her design "genius!" But Kami did make a backup plan for her website. Weeks before the air-date, Kami created a micro website just for people to buy her sarongs. Simple. Just click and buy. What happened next? Adam called her design genius on live TV, gave it plenty of air time, and the orders poured in. No website crash.
Moral of the story? Shopify is gaining an edge in the free website arena as it delivers a demand for stability when business owners WILL have their 15 minutes of fame, that can equal hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. It used to be that business owners had to sound alarm bells at server companies, and hammer the point into them that the traffic from the now defunct Daily Candy would be huge (yes, I've had to do this).
Hello new It Girl, Shopify!