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nopCommerce Tutorials, Tips & Tricks

Running nopCommerce on Linux VPS - Part 1

One of the biggest advantages of running nopCommerce on Linux is the low cost. It is a known fact that Linux hosting is way cheaper than Windows hosting. A shared Windows hosting plan with only 512MB of memory will cost around $7-$8 a month. Whereas for $10 a month you can get a Linux VPS hosting plan with 2GB of memory and SSD storage. The SSD storage has the added benefit of increased download speed compared to HDD hosting. This is why running nopCommerce on Linux is such an attractive option.

If you are interested in running nopCommerce on Linux, this tutorial will take you through the installation steps while explaining in detail the purpose and concepts behind each of the steps. By the end of this tutorial, you will have a good understanding of how nopCommerce is installed on Linux.

Preparation

To begin this tutorial you will need the following:

  1. Linux VPS Hosting
    You will need to have access to a Linux hosting account. Here are three recommended hosting providers. I have first hand experience with all of these 3 hosts, and I highly recommend them. As a guideline, if you are hosting a medium traffic site with around 5000 monthly visitors, I would suggest starting with 1 vCPU with 2GB RAM. It’s easy to monitor the resource usage with some Linux commands, so you can start with the basic setup, and add more CPU / RAM as you see fit. Go ahead and sign up for one. Note that all of the links are affiliate links.

    1. RackNerd: https://my.racknerd.com/aff.php?aff=3844 . At the time of writing, they have this awesome deals where you get 2 vCPU and 2GB RAM at only $24.98 per year (yes, just around $2 a month).

    2. InterServer: https://www.interserver.net/vps?id=640958 . Make sure you use the coupon code VPSPENNY at the checkout to receive 50% off the first month.

    3. Vultr: https://www.vultr.com/?ref=9031284-8H . Receive $100 in free credit for trying out their platforms.

  1. An SSH Client
    To connect to SSH, my favourite tool is MobaXterm. I will be using it throughout this tutorial. But you can use whichever SSH client you are most comfortable with.

    You can download and install MobaXterm here.

  2. Read nopCommerce's documentation
    This tutorial will explain nopCommerce’s official documentation on Installing on Linux in detail. Please read the original documentation. You do not need to do anything yet as I will walk you through those steps with detailed explanations in this tutorial.

 

nopCommerce How To: Increase Sales by 40%

You are leaving money on the table! Or at least that's what 80% of e-commerce store owners is doing.

You see, most business owners spend majority of their time trying to figure out how to get more traffic to their store. That's a natural (and often time most logical) way to increase the sales of any business, but is that the only way?

Before we dwelve into that, it must be agreed that there's nothing wrong with getting more traffic. Afterall, who (in business world) hates more traffic?

However at the same time, that is a dangerous thinking, because traffic is expensive. If your only way of growing is to get more traffic (read: buy traffic), you will quickly find yourself overspending.

Is there a better way? The next best option people can think of is usually Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

But there's one caveat with CRO - it takes lots of time, data and trials & errors before you can find the 'holy grail' that would actually make a difference. Plus, successful CRO campaigns require a lot of expertise. 

Put it short - CRO is often a big buys game.

So is there a way that is faster, easier, less resource intensive that doesn't cost a bomb?

Yes of course! And "Do you want fries with that?" 

4 Myths about CDN (Content Delivery Network)

nopCommerce CDN plugin

Over the past 2 years, site loading speed has become an important factor for SEO. Google is placing so much attention to it that they actually published the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to help people guage their site speed. Site speed is even more important for e-commerce platforms like nopCommerce, because buying decision can happen in split second. Often time, if an e-commerce site is not loaded fast enough, potential buyers may leave the site resulting in loss of sales.

And lost of sales is the last thing every site owners wished. That's why CDN (aka Content Delivery Network) has gained popularity over the years. 

So what exactly is a CDN? CDN is a network of servers located around the world that take care of one thing - to ensure fast delivery of static content such as images (JPG, PNG, GIF), CSS and JavaScripts.

So why is it so important? If you think about it, static files actually makes up about 80% of a web page. If static files cannot be delivered in a consistently quick manner, site speed will be greatly affected.

But most site owners are not convinced to deploy CDN on their e-commerce stores, usually due to the following reasons...

Free SSL for nopCommerce

You probably know that SSL / HTTPS is one of the "must-haves" for all e-commerce stores. Not only does it offer an extra layer of protection to the store users, it also results in higher SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking!

Yes, Google actually takes this into account. So it's very important to implement SSL / HTTPS on your nopCommerce stores.

In this video tutorial (transcripts prepared), I am going to show you step-by-step how you can get SSL cirtificate for FREE! I'll also show you how to install it on your server (taking Azure App Services as example).

Free SSL for nopCommerce

nopCommerce Speed Optimization for SEO

I've recently asked by many of you how to make nopCommerce optimized in terms of loading speed.

The reason why so many people are concerned about page loading speed is because

  1. Users can get distracted if a page is not loaded fast enough
  2. Google has placed much importance on page loading speed in the SEO ranking factors

To answer the question once and for all, I have prepared a free e-book for you all who are interested in the topic of nopCommerce speed optimization.

Debugging nopCommerce - Common nopCommerce Exceptions and Their Fixes

Being an nopCommerce MVP (AKA nopmvp) myself, if often see people asking, repeatedly, about the similar questions. These questions are related to nopCommerce / C# exceptions, and can actually be solved relatively easilly if you know what the error messages mean. Unfortunately, many developers are not trained to properly read C# and ASP.Net exceptions and make sense of them.

So, in this blog post, I'll try to lay out a few common exceptions that nopCommerce developers face, and provide insight on each of them.

nopCommerce SEO Pitfalls and How To Solve Them - Part 2

We at Pro nopCommerce like writing blog posts and tutorials about nopCommerce themes, nopCommerce plugins and nopCommerce customizations. But sometimes we can get overwhelmed by works that we have very little time to write blog posts ourselves!

In view of this, we are happy to feature Robert Bourne in this blog post, who happens to be our first guest blogger! Kudos to Robert!

Below is what Robert has to say in our second installment of nopCommerce SEO Pitfalls and How To Solve Them.

5 Tips for nopCommerce Conversion Rate Optimisation

nopCommerce is a great platform for quickly (and cheaply) setting up a new e-commerce store. As you get started, seeing new traffic on your website is always exciting; but there is nothing more disheartening for a business than watching those visitors leave without becoming new customers.

5 Tips for nopCommerce Conversion Rate Optimisation

How can you convert those clicks into cash? Enter Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Check out these five great tips for enhancing your site's conversion rate.

How e-Commerce Can Win Customers and Make Profit

nopCommerce is a great way to get started cheaply and easily with your online retail route. But merely getting your nopCommerce stores up and running is not good enough, even with a beautiful nopCommerce theme. You need to win customers and make profit!

nopCommerce Stores Win Customers and Make Profit

Every successful e-commerce business has one thing in common: happy customers. But how each business interacts with their customers is unique. In 3 years, the annual revenue for online retail will hit $370 billion. How a business passively or actively engages with their customers will determine how big a piece of the pie they'll take.

For e-commerce businesses, customer satisfaction is becoming more and more paramount to good reputation, success, and revenue. Here are 3 e-commerce best practices to engage your customers and increase conversions.

Migrating Old (Existing) URLs to nopCommerce URLs

Being a popular e-commerce platform, it is very common for store owners to want to migrate to nopCommerce for its powerful features.

One common problem developers face is to migrate old, existing links (from some other e-commerce platforms) to new links (nopCommerce). Especially for old sites which are already getting tons of traffics and are having very good SEO rankings, it is very important to make sure the old URLs are 301-redirected to new nopCommerce URLs.

If it's static URLs (e.g. those for content pages), you can already use IIS URL Rewrite to do the migration manually. But the problem arises when it comes to product and category urls. Because the URLs are dynamic (and there are tons of those URLs), it is usually impractical to manually add URL Rewrite entries one-by-one.

Take the following URLs for example:

  • http://oldsite.com/product-slug-one-p1234.htm
  • http://oldsite.com/product-slug-two-p4567.htm
  • http://oldsite.com/category-slug-one-c12.htm
  • http://oldsite.com/category-slug-two-c34.htm

If you look at the URLs, they are pretty dynamic. Product URLs follow a pattern of {product-slug}-p{product-id}.htm. Category links also follow a similar pattern.

And to make the problem worse (which happens very often), old product IDs (and category IDs) do not correspond to new product IDs. That means in old system, product ID 1234 is product ID 4321 in new system.

So the question now is - how can we make sure old URLs, such as http://oldsite.com/product-slug-one-p1234.htm, will be 301-redirected to new nopCommerce URLs, such as http://nopcommercesite.com/product-one-new-slug?

Hello, welcome to pro nopCommerce!

I am Woon Cherk, an nop mvp; and this blog is the place where I share my experiences developing nopCommerce themes and nopCommerce plugins. I also give out free nopCommerce plugins and free nopCommerce themes from time to time, make sure you subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to get updates and freebies! Click here to read more about me.