July 2008 News

In this issue of Web Widgets News, July 2008...

  • Better menus for big websites
  • Category menu options
  • Ordering menu buttons
  • Foreign currency payments - Importers and Exporters
  • How to accept American Express on your website
  • Wellington Small Business Expo
  • Beware of Asian Intellectual Property Rights Email scam.
  • Websites of the Month


Better Menus for Big Websites / Popup Menus

If your website has more than 10 pages, your users will probably be finding it hard to navigate. The best way to layout big websites is to use sub menus. Sub menus are a good way to group similar pages. You can create many different submenus and even nest submenus to create a large tree of information. However, if you are using our web buttons, you will be missing out on these sub menus appearing as popup menus, and it may take a few clicks for your users to find the information they need.

Our new CSS powered menus make it easy for your users to navigate your whole website by merely mousing over the appropriate menu button. There are a few options for CSS menus. Mainly horizontal, or vertical, depending on the location of where you need them on the page. Our default CSS menus are grayscale, which work with most variations of websites. However, we also have a couple of other options that allow you to set the background colour yourself.

If these default CSS menus don't work for you, then we can custom design one. Beware the custom option, because without our special magic, it will look quite bad. We charge $350 to design a custom menu for you. If you already have a nice looking banner, we can ensure that your custom CSS menu will nicely match your existing branding.

Once you introduce sub menus into your website, you might like to know how to move pages around. On each menu button, there is a rename option. Click that look for the parent page area. You will see a list of sub menus that have recently been added. Just select the submenu you want to move this page to, and presto, it will have moved. If you want a page to exist in 2 menus, you can click on add a new page, then use a "menu link" to link them.


Category Menu Options

Online shops often like to include their categories in their menu. There are 2 ways to achieve this. If you would like categories in your main menu, you can add category links, and then move the buttons around as you would for any other page.

If however, you would like your categories to be listed in a different format, or different location on your page, this is also now a new feature we have available. No longer will it require manual updates, as these menus can now be dynamically generated. For a simple list of category links, it only costs $100 to add this to your template. For a completely custom design, with colours and popout menus, then the fee is $350.

There is also a new option that allows you to hide categories from your website with a simple tick. Please note that this only hides the categories and not any products within it. So please note that products are still searchable by name.

An example of one of our customers using the new category menu.


Ordering Menu Buttons / Changing Menu Text

There is now a brand new menu management area under the design settings, accessible from the welcome page or the bottom left menu. In here, you can now order menu buttons in one easy location. You can also upload your own custom button graphics, and change which page is the home page.

You can also still order and change menu button text in the "rename" area of each page.


Foreign currency payments - Importers and Exporters

If you import and pay foreign currency, your bank is probably not the cheapest way to make a payment. Banks tend to charge both the sender and receiver a fee of around $20 each, plus their margin on currency exchange is around plus or minus 1%, or even more. So even though you have agreed to pay someone US$100, and you pay NZ$150 + NZ$20 in fees, the customer at the other end might get their US$100 with $10 deducted for "receiving overseas payments".

The same goes if you export, and you want people to pay you in a foreign currency at an agreed price. You don't want to be hit with different fees just because the sender used their bank to initiate the payment.

Elldridge Lynch are a great option for dealing with foreign currency issues. There are plenty of similar companies to choose from.

You don't have to be a big money speculator to use these services, anyone can open a free account.

The benefits of using these kind of systems is:

  • A smaller fee to initiate outward payments
  • No fees on incoming payments
  • Tighter margins on currency conversion, eg +- 0.5%
  • A potential to pick a rate if the market might match it over a few days.
  • For the currencies supported by them, outward payments typically won't incur any fees for the receiver
  • Online service
  • Fast, you can initiate the currency exchange, setup dispersements in one day. At the same moment, if you are making an outward payment, you can initate your ordinary bank transfer to deposit accounts in their local bank account. The FX company take care of everything as soon as the money is identified in their account, eg next business day. And the receiver would have their payment in cleared funds the following business day.

This is a great service for anyone dealing with import / export issues. Web Widgets Ltd use Elldridge Lynch for all our overseas customers and have saved time and money in the process.



How to accept American Express on your website

Some payment providers like PayPal and PayMex support American Express by default. However, if you have a traditional merchant account, you may only have Visa and MasterCard support.

To get American Express added to your existing payment gateway, you will need to first check with your bank or payment gateway that they support the Amex option. Most do.

You need to contact Amex directly on 0800 800 855 to apply for an Amex merchant account. The setup fee is $80 and the transaction fee is a fixed 3.10%. There are no other monthly nor per transaction fees. Note, that you still need to pay any per transaction fees to your payment gateway.

Another way is just to add PayPal or PayMex as another payment option to your shopping cart.

You can override the text of the payment options to clarify to your users which credit cards are supported by which payment options.


Small Business Expo Wellington

It was a pleasure to meet our existing customers and new faces at the recent Wellington Small Business Expo at the end of June. Our wellington contact number is 04 9744490



Beware of Asian Intellectual Property Rights Email scam.

A number of our customers have been approached by an organisation in Asia who says that they have been approached by a third party to register the asian equivalents of their domain names. This is a scam. It has happened for websites who would never have any asian expansion requirements, so it is unlikely anyone would feel the need to register the asian equivalent domain names.

Do not be afraid of any discussion of intellectual property rights. If you really do think you need a particular domain name in a foreign country, please just go and register it via your own choice of registrar, typically via a search engine. I will note however, that there are hundreds of domain name extensions, and there really is no need to register a domain name in a country where you have no future plan to ever have a branch located. You can always use one single .com domain for your international expansion needs, and a .nz or .au domain suffix if you specifically know you wish to target these markets in a very direct way.

The only domains you really need to "lock in" are the .com and .nz suffixes. Other extensions like .net .org .biz etc just are not that important. If thats all you can get when you first register so be it. But the only domains you should be scared about missing out on are the obvious .com and .nz versions.

Please note that this scam has been completed by other international organisations, not just in Asia.

Some international organisations are quite thorough in their methods. For example, they may send you an invoice for registration of names similar to your own. It might seem legitimate to pay the invoice, but it is a scam. They probably will provide a real service to you, but you don't need it. You don't really need all those variations of your domain name, and if you decide you do, then please just contact us and we will register the name more cheaply for you. But to be honest with you, you should only register the .com and .nz versions of your most obvious domain, plus any likely misspellings with those same domain suffixes.

I also note that the domain space is about to increase significantly with hints that many more suffixes will be coming on the market. Do not be in a hurry to register those, unless it seems like a very good idea to you. The top level domains are likely to be very expensive, and so those that do reserve suffixes like .bank or .florist will probably be in a hurry to make a quick return on their investment. It is my current advice that you direct your attention primarily at ensuring your website is found on search engines via good content, rather than wasting money on an infinite supply of new domain names.


Websites of the Month

This month we'd like to show case some of our customers DIY websites. Those whom we think have done a fantastic job of designing their own websites.

Have you got a suggestion for website of the month?  Please let us know.


Best regards,
The Web Widgets Team

Phone: 09 6220797


Posted: Mon 14 Jul 2008