In this issue of Web Widgets News, November 2008...
- More Free Training - Auckland, Tairua and Christchurch
- Changes to our Content Management Interface
- We Use Web Widgets Too
- Legitimate Emails Regarding Your Domain Name
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Natural Filenames on Shopping Categories
- Check Your Hosting Plan
- New Design Templates
- Web Widgets Holiday Hours
- Websites of the Month
More Free Training - Auckland, Tairua and Christchurch
If you missed out on the October training sessions don't despair, we are hosting more.
- Tairua (Coromandel) - Tairua Library Lunchtime Guests - 21st November - 12pm-1.30pm
- Auckland - Onehunga Office - Search Engines - 2nd December - 5pm-7pm
- Auckland - Onehunga Office - Website Builder - 9th December - 5pm-7pm
- Christchurch - Website Builder - Airport Gateway Motor Lodge - 4th December - 2pm-5pm
Please invite anyone along who you think might be interested in getting a website. There is no fee for the training events, but you need to RSVP.
Remember there is extensive help available from our FAQ's which is backed up by phone and email support. Or there is always the option of 1 on 1 training available - usually just one hours training (@ $100+gst) will give you a great jump start in your ability, and greatly improve the results for your time and effort.
Next year we will run more events in other centers of NZ.
Changes to our Content Management Interface
Anyone who has logged into Web Widgets in the last 30 days might have noticed some minor changes to our CMS interface. In the left menu, you will no longer have those Edit/Rename/View buttons popping down under your blue page buttons. Now the equivalent icons hover over the main button. Some early feedback has indicated that our customers prefer the new format. Also our web forms have been changed to make them less dark, easier to read, and much faster to load. And additionally we have added more helpful comments to the right of most form pages. If you have any issues with the new layout or see any error messages appearing anywhere within the interface, or instructions that you think are out of date, we would welcome your feedback.
We Use Web Widgets Too
It may interest you to know that the all the staff here at Web Widgets actually use the Web Widgets system for our own websites (including www.webwidgets.co.nz). For example this newsletter is composed in the very same bulk emailer that you have access too, then sent to selected 'Members' who have become members of our site, just like your site can.
The content of our sites is all managed using the same tools available to you on both PC and Macs, including Internet Explorer (IE7), Firefox, Safari and others (though we still recommend IE7 and Camino). Our staff even have their privately owned websites hosted with us.
What is the point of you knowing this? Well when we talk to people about our services, the features and functions, we aren't talking about abstract ideas. Because we, the developers, the designers and support staff actually use the system, we know what it's like, we are regularly "in your shoes". Those users who have been with us for any length of time may have noticed tweaks and improvements constantly being made. If any of our staff or our clients suggests a viable feature or recommends a better way of doing something then it can quickly be implemented.
For example we have recently added "date pickers" to the events and news pages, as well as to the form field wizard.
So in a sense we are part of your team, and the feedback you give us helps us to do our job better, which in turn helps your user experience with us even better.
Legitimate Emails Regarding Your Domain Name
Although emails from "SRS Plus" are legitimate communications from our upstream .com domain registry, there have been "phishing" emails that mimick other legitimate emails - so be cautious.
Please review your contact details in the link that SRS Plus provide in their annual email, and if there are any changes to make, please forward this request to firstname.lastname@example.org . But as a rule please never ever enter a password, into any website linked from an email, unless the actual password was provided in that same email.
Search Engine Optimisation
The success of most websites depends on it being found by those looking for it. Type a search phrase related to your site in to your favorite search engine and get a squillion results, only some of which might be what you'd expect, and your site - we all want our site to be the first result don't we? The subject of SEO (search engine optimisation) is large and ever changing. Having your site tuned for the best ranking needs careful attention
The Web Widgets system has been designed to make Search Engine Optimisation easy, and with a dedicated section of our FAQ's we aim to have accessable help on the subject. http://www.help.cms-tool.net/seo.html
In addition to the FAQ help we now are hosting an SEO seminar, designed to give our clients (and potential clients) a basic understanfding of SEO and how to achieve it - see details above.
Alternatively we have available an SEO expert who can optimise your site for you, so if you prefer a 'hands off' approach we can still help, though of course charges apply for this service.
Natural File Names on Shopping Categories
Many people have often wanted a way to generate SEO and human friendly URLs for their product category pages. You can now enter an html filename for each category and these more natural looking URLs will be used on all links, breadcrumbs and natural navigation. Note, if you have any existing category links in your menu, you will need to relink those. Please also ensure that your filenames are unique throughout your website, as they will be shared with all other files.
If you have several categories on your website, you may want to consider using our new dynamic "Category Menus". These can be added to your website for just $300+gst.
Check Your Hosting Plan
After you login your current months bandwidth usage is now displayed. This figure includes both 'viewed' and 'un-viewed' traffic thus making it easier for you to monitor your bandwidth with regards to the plan you are on.
Note bandwidth though, is only one of many considerations when checking that you are on the optimal plan... We have also updated our pricing plan pages, so you can get more information about each plan. The addition of new higher level plans are used by only a few high traffic customers. Be assured that as your site grows, we will be there to support your growth with quality infrastructure.
New Design Templates
We have added several new design templates, and re-categorised most of them into new colour based categories.
Please note when checking our the new designs that there is no undo feature. So you would be best to test this on a new trial site, that you can easily "cancel hosting" shortly after.
We have also been working on several new dropdown menu options. You can see a selection of new dropdown/flyout menus under the CSS category. There will be more of these coming soon.
If you experience any issues with any of the new templates or menus, please let us know ASAP. Not all new designs or menus have been made to work with submenus or category menus, but most have.
General information about design templates and their differences can be found at the following link.
Web Widgets Holiday Hours
One of the great things that we all appreciate about the internet is that it 'never sleeps'. This of course include the Web Widgets web site and associated content management system (CMS) and FAQ/Help sites.
We though, being human, do require a break from time to time and summer is one of those times. Our office, phone and email support will be closed from the 20th of December through till the 4th of January. For the remainder of January we will be open but services may be reduced (your response time may not be quite as quick as usual). During this time we will be available for emergency support by mobile phone 021 70 9996.
Websites of the Month
Here's a small selection of our customers newer DIY websites. Some of those we think have done a great job of designing and creating using the Web Widgets tools.
And this month we are showcasing some of our older websites who have recently updated them and want to show off... (do you want to be in this list next month? - Email us to nominate your site)
And Albies latest professional designs this month
Do you have any feedback on our newsletter or CMS products? Please let us know.
The Web Widgets Team
Phone: 09 6220797