February 2008 News

In this issue of WebWidgets News, February 2008... 

  • Order Management 
  • New free format editor 
  • Auto responders and vacation messages
  • Printable versions of your pages
  • Website of the Month http://www.stratacreative.co.nz/

Shopping Order Searching and Printing

You can now search for orders by order number or customer name. By using the customer name or email, you can find all historical orders for a specific customer. You can also do this by searching the view members area, then clicking on the shopping basket icon.

The report of orders on screen is limited to the most recent 50 orders. If you want a full order history, you need to use the "Export orders data wizard" function.  This allows you to export all the order information into excel or your favourite spreadsheet. You can then use your spreadsheet to make the required reports.

We have now added a month filter to the "view orders" area, allowing you to review previous months orders. The month dropdown also gives a hint as to the number of orders for that month. If you use the month filter, the list of orders on screen will increase to a maxium of 200. We need to have a limit to the reports on most screens otherwise the system would become very slow to use.

New Free Format Editor

We have added a new "V4" editor for editing your page content. It has a fresh new look and some new improved features. The aim of the new editor is to improve compatibility with more browsers, browser versions and different operating systems. There was also the need to work around some of IE7 popup blocking features.

One new feature on both old and new editors is you can now hyperlink a photo without having to reinsert the photo. Just remember to highlight the photo by dragging your mouse. It is not enough to just click the image.


Auto Responders and Vacation Messages

You can now add auto responders for your email addresses. These are great for vacations and times when you are out of the office for a day or more. Please note that it is not net etiquette to use auto responders all the time as they fill your customer inboxes. This may cause more trouble than it's worth. Also, auto responders cannot be used with catch-all email addresses.

To add or remove a vacation response, please login to web widgets, click on the email option under your domain. Look for the new "Add" auto responder column. Use the tick box to enable or disable your response. You can provide a short message and subject for your auto response.


Printable versions of your pages

Have you ever printed your website, and noticed that some of the text is missing off the right hand side of page? This is because the viewable area on a printer is not the same as a screen. You might note that a screen is typically in landscape mode, whereas a printer defaults to portrait mode.

It is possible to make your pages compatible with printers. WebWidgets can remove any menus or left margins, or remove any background clutter for printed versions of your website.

If you would like your website made print-friendly, please contact us.

Website of the Month

This month Amber McWilliams, Director of Strata Creative Limited (http://www.stratacreative.co.nz/) shares her web-building experience and advice. 

Making our Strata Creative website has been tremendously enjoyable. Because of the many creative areas Strata Creative covers (we offer artistic services in managed theatre, photography, lighting design, production management, writing and editing), we needed a system that would allow us multiple page types for galleries, straight content, and enquiries. We decided on Web Widgets because it had good basic templates and provided the ideal platform for the crisp, clean site we imagined. Using the Web Widgets tools let us develop our site at our own pace, so we could play with ideas before committing to publishing; I loved having the ability to keep tinkering. When we got stuck, the Web Widgets team quickly helped us resolve any issues.

Building your own website isn’t for everyone – it takes time, energy and patience. However, because the Web Widget CMS offers a range of excellent tools and is user-friendly, you can achieve a tailor-made website that looks great and is customized to meet your needs. After only a few months, our site has received lots of great feedback and has already started generating new business. I’m already looking forward to many more hours of enthusiastic tinkering!

Here are a few tips for people thinking about building their own site:

1. Start with your user. Think about the people coming to your site, and give them the information or tools THEY will need and want. This sometimes means eliminating cool things that YOU like but that don’t help your user much. If in doubt, go for simple and straightforward rather than complex.

2. Collaborate - two heads are better than one. Our architecture and design was refined over several sessions, with lots of ‘why don’t we try…’ Using the Web Widgets tools was great because we could sit down together and make changes in the system, so we could see how things would really look rather than having to imagine them. If you need to, get outside help – a session with a professional designer or web architect can infinitely improve your final site.

3. Keep an open mind. There are always lots of possible ways of doing things – be prepared to try some different options before locking down your ideas. 

4. Take the time to find out what your tools can do. Playing with different gallery display pages helped us to get the look we were after; looking at all the menu page options allowed us to get layers into the site without needing a complex customized menu system.

5. Maintain your site. There’s no point building a lovely website and then letting it get out of date. Make the most of the web’s immediacy and flexibility by putting time into updating, refining and refreshing on a regular basis.


Best regards

Albie, Auvasa, Emma, Natasha, Phil and Reuben (The WebWidgets Team)

Posted: Fri 15 Feb 2008