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E-commerce site search – understanding customer behaviour

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As someone who dabbles in online shopping more often than I should, I can say first hand that a pleasant user experience can easily turn a one time buyer into a regular, cart-filling devotee. An important part of this experience is being able to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. With major online retail events like Click Frenzy around the corner, you don’t want to have shoppers logging on to your site to make a purchase, only to be frustrated when they can’t find what they want. From experience, I can assure you the next tab opened will be one of your competitors. Most of us associate online search with Google, which sets the bar pretty high for online retailers. Thanks Google! Regardless of your ecommerce platform—whether it’s Magento, WooCommerce or any of…

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Using browser search keywords

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One thing I spend a lot of my working (and playing) time with each day is my trusty web browser. Naturally I want to get things done as efficiently as possible, so it makes sense to reduce the time I need to spend on the most common tasks. One of these is searching. Traditionally, a search engine was used by typing in the site’s address or clicking a bookmark, waiting for the page to load, clicking to select the search field, typing the query, and hitting Enter. That’s two separate page loads, and a whole lot of unnecessary mouse movement and clicking or typing. More recently, browsers have started providing a built-in search box, into which you can enter a query and get results with only one page load. That’s…

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Bug report: “all” does not mean all, for some values of “all”

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We’ve discovered some interesting things about Windows, and they never fail to cause some head-scratching. We had cause to go rooting through a customer’s wordpress installation recently to hunt down the cause of PHP errors, and discovered two WTFs here. The first was the breakage of various scripts in the wp-admin directory. Through means unknown, every array definition was broken by the addition of a file path. If you grok PHP, you’ll recognise that this isn’t syntactically valid: $defaults = array( ‘show_option_all’../../../wordpress/wp-includes/ => ”, ‘show_option_none’../../../wordpress/wp-includes/ => ” ); Python is our preferred in-house language, but breadth of knowledge is more important for a sysadmin. Cleaning up the PHP was a snap, but it’s a mystery as to how this happened in the first place; according to the customer it “just…

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