Happy new year! We hope you had a good break.
On February 17th, at approximately 5am NZ time, we will be planning a 1 hour CMS outage during which we are migrating our core web services over to Amazon Web Services data center. We expect no down time to websites, but there will be a short duration at that time when you won't be able to edit your website via the CMS. Also, any orders that are received during that time, may be disrupted in some way, but you will receive email notifications ordinarily of orders and receipts.
As there are few new features to brag about this month, we thought we would recap on what we think are our best features, that sometimes many of our customers are unaware we have.
Our bulk emailer makes it easy for you to send your own newsletters similar to the one you are reading now. You can have any level of graphics included or customise the email templates as you wish. Our bulk emailer integrates seemlessly into the shopping cart, which makes it easy for customers to automatically login, check their bonus points balance, and complete a sale without needing to enter all their contact information again.
The automated email campaign manager allows you to start new customers on a standard sequence of emails. You can automatically trigger certain members to join a mailling list based on certain conditions.
It goes without saying that our shopping cart is awesome, with multi currency, multi payment options, multi shipping options, vouchers, discounts, quantity price breaks, member price groups and so much more.
Customers can login to view previous order, repeat orders, and use their bonus points balance to make purchases if enabled. Newsletters can be sent to segmented audiences to remind them of products they might be interested in on the aniversary of a particular purchase.
We now have many users running their show rooms, warehouses, call centers, and shops using our integrated POS system. The POS system allows you to quickly create a sales docket via any internet connected device, (computer, tablet, smartphone or whatever). All inventory changes are shared with the website shopping cart, so neither system ever has the wrong stock levels. Both systems can share the same vouchers and discount codes. All sales history is shared and you can print many useful sales reports to complete your GST returns, or enter daily sales totals data into your accounting system.
One of the best ideas for selling online, is to sell objects which are digital in nature. Eg plans, designs, patterns, photos, etc. These items don't need to be manufactured, warehouses nor shipped. You can always sell your whole back catelogue. Our shopping cart system allows you to automatically sell digital documents, with instant delivery of the digital file to the end customer following a successful payment.
All inventory movements are now tracked in the back end of our CMS. You can now obtain historical stock reports, and this will be really useful in producing your March 2015 EOY financial accounts, where you need to do a stock take. Our inventory reports can now capture details of product location, and supplier details, prices and part numbers.
You can now produce purchase orders quickly for items which are out of stock, or under their target stock levels. You can filter by category, or supplier name. Purchase orders make it easy to manage stock purchases, and to quickly capture stock movements when those goods arrive.
We have over 50 different formats for running blogs or managing galleries or FAQ style information. All of these formats are based on a similar engine, enabling you to deal with large quantities of generic information that may need to be searched, ordered, navigated, etc. Every object in the page lists can have a title, photo, blurb, document or url, enquiry form, and a full paged WYSIWYG editable content, as well as unlimited addititional thumbnail popup slideshow galleries. Your members can also participate in collaborative blogs.
Our business directories are used in many different ways, to manage interactive databases of contact information. The details could be a full business advert, where the customer can maintain their own listing and advert. Or it could simply be used to manage a contact list of club members or the like.
Any ordinary web page can be password protected. Members can be given access to pages by security level, or by member group. Comprehensive online training or club websites can be built using password protected content. Special members can even be given access to manage content, or participate in shared blogs.
Our customised member forms allow you to incrementally collect and retain custom data from your members, for example, you can use them to run annual sports events, competition entries, gym health data, customer surveys, etc. Your members are able to login, review, and update their own data at any time.
We automatically optimise your website to be eye and finger friendly on small smart phones. There are many mobile templates to chose, and these can be further customised with your own colours and graphics. If you already have a mobile responsive design, you can opt out of the standard mobile interface, however we encourage all users to have a separate mobile template, as they load much faster in remote rural areas on low signal 2G connections. Having a mobile optimised version of your website is very important as so many people now make purchases via their mobile phone. It is very hard to checkout if you have popups and small input boxes on a design that was meant for desktop.
It's really hard to get to the top of the google search results, but with our CMS and a little hard work on your part, you can get close to the top, if not to the top for some long tail keywords. The trick is to focus a different page of your website for a different search phrase. This is easy for product and category pages, but often accommodation providers and tradespeople could do alot more to improve their SEO, by splitting up their website into more pages, to focus on different key phrases. Google will return the best page for a phrase, so there is no gain in trying to have 1 page do all, because you will never do as well as your competitors who focus 1 page per phrase.
The best tips for SEO is to work on your SEO filename and SEO meta title, including a unique keyphrase for each page (a different phrase for each page). Hopefully if you do your job right, a few weeks later, a search for a given phrase will find the page you had intended people to find in the top 10 listings. It takes alot more experience to get into the top 3 when the phrase is competitive.
If you have the technical competency to use and customise PHP templates, integrate wordpress plugins, etc, then that is awesome. Like many other mature CMS's, Wordpress is a perfectly good option, but not everyone can do these tasks. To get started with Wordpress requires you pay for your web hosting before you have even finished building your website. If you need to customise a particular theme or integrate and customise a plug in, you may need to seek professional help. Your wordpress professional helper may quickly deliver you a hack or modification to solve your current issue, but what happens when you need to do an urgent security update and old features break, and that developer goes on holiday or has shut up shop?
The main reason people use website builder is because they can try before they buy. We have a robust set of features that most websites need, fully integrated and tested and ready to use from day one. We don't charge for features, we only start charging once you go live with your website, and provide a range of hosting plans that focus on your usage rather than features. This way you can have a fully featured website, and the hosting price grows as your business grows, and not before. We find most of our customers find what they are looking for with us, find it easy to build their website, and manage their online business thereafter. Customers can also trust in the 15 years we have been running that we will keep backups of their website, and urgently fix any show stoppers.
If you require personalised training, please contact one of our consultants, who are based all over NZ. Many of our Auckland team can also provide over the phone training at a scheduled time.
We would encourage all customers to get at least one hour of training at the early stages of building their website, and one more review prior to going live, just to give your website that professional critique, and quick tidy up of the rough bits.
Training topics include:
How to use website builder and shopping cart
How to design websites
How to crop and tidy up photos
How to optimise to get your website higher on google and other search engines
How to setup a facebook page, or other social media account
How to send newsletters
How to use any other feature we offer.
Caching speeds up your computer, but it also causes confusion when viewing changes to your website. Every web master needs to become familiar with this concept. Almost a third of all our support tickets relate to mis understandings about caching. We can't change the nature of the internet, we only educate.
With the introduction of the international CDN hosting service, it's important that we highlight a few issues with regards to browser and proxy caching.
Learn more about Clearing your browser cache
If you require training or professional help getting started with your website, please review their portfolios, specials etc and contact a local consultant. We have authorised all our resellers and design consultants to engage with you directly, and bill you directly for their time.
You can see all the available consultants at the following link from all across NZ.
We have teamed up with the awesome 2talk team to offer you some great broadband options. If you have become disgruntled with your current isp, now is the time to get a great bundled broadband offering.
Did you know that if you refer a friend to use our awesome website builder service, you get a 20% discount off your hosting? If you refer 5 friends, then you will essentially get your web hosting for free! Not only that, but your friends will also get their 2nd month web hosting absolutely free. That's a nice little encouragement for them to check our service out and gives us the opportunity to setup your discount. Both discounts apply for your 2nd and subsequent websites also. It doesn't matter if it is yours, a friend, family or a stranger. Discounts begin once both websites are live. Please make sure you or your friend communicates the referral at the earliest opportunity.
We have an awesome new offer for web designers and awesome business networkers. We can setup any web designer who is interested with all they need to get started as a web designer at no cost:
There are several places you can find answers to questions about how to build your website and add features (which, there are a lot of) and its free for you to look:
If you can't find the answer you need - then get professional help
In 99% of cases the answer to a problem is covered in one (or more) of these places. We always fix bugs fast, with all the users we have we get notified very fast of any real bug - they are not common, so if you are having an issue operating the CMS consider some online training with us - you'll always take something away worth value. In all other cases we are happy to do anything you are having trouble doing yourself for a small fee starting from $20 for 10 minutes.
http://word2cleanhtml.com - Cleans word docs for CMS Editor
GoogleFonts - Online Web Fonts
http://pinterest.com/ - A social networking Pin Board
http://pixlr.com/ - online photo editor
http://www.photoshop.com - online photo editor
http://www.jotform.com/ - online form builder
www.needanerd.co.nz - NZ Wide IT Nerds
www.geeksonwheels.co.nz - NZ Wide IT Geeks
www.ninite.com - absolutely the best way to install new software on a new computer
www.2talk.co.nz - cheaper VOIP calling and 0800 incoming call routing
All those links and more at our new toolbox page: More Toolbox / Links
Here's a selection of some of our recent Go Lives of note.
Please contact us for more information.
From the Team @ Web Widgets Ltd - Free Website Builder
Posted: Mon 09 Feb 2015