August 2009 News

It was great to meet so many people at the recent Bizzone expos in Wellington And Christchurch.  We have a jam packed issue of Website Builder News, August 2009...

  • Free Training Sessions
  • New V5 WYSIWYG editor - Live
  • Brand new templates
  • SEO Tips - Picking the right keywords
  • Bulk Emailer and Customer Database Upgrades (multiple groups)
  • Shopping Cart Upgrades
  • Understanding why you get logged out
  • Blogs and new Forum updates
  • Customer Survey Results
  • Social networking links and suggestions
  • How to help us promote Website Builder and get a 20% rebate
  • Websites of the Month


Free Training Sessions NZ Wide

Our free training sessions will teach you how to use our website builder to build your own website or online shop. The course covers all the basics with some tips on bulk emailer, shopping carts, and search engine optimisation included. Nearly all our recent events have been booked out, so please make sure you book early.

  • Auckland - Website Builder Introduction 2 hours - 20th of August  1pm - FREE
  • Auckland - Website Builder Introduction 2 hours - 10th of September 1pm - FREE
  • Auckland - Website Builder Introduction 2 hours - 21st of October 7pm evening - FREE
  • Auckland - Search Engine Optimisation - shopping carts and web design - $50 - 30th of September 1pm.
  • **Rotorua** - Website Builder Introduction 2 hours - 29th August 10am - FREE
  • Wellington - Website Builder Introduction 2 hours - 9th September 10am - FREE
  • Wellington - Search Engine Optimisation - shopping carts and advanced web web design - $50 - 9th of September 1pm.
  • Christchurch - Website Builder Introduction 2 hours - 27th October Evening 6pm - FREE
  • Christchurch - Website Builder Introduction 2 hours - 28th October Morning 9am - FREE
  • Christchurch - Search Engine Optimisation, shopping carts and advanced web web design - $50 - 28th October 1pm
  • **Dunedin** - Website Builder Introduction 3 hours incl shopping carts in detail - 29th October 9am - FREE
  • **Dunedin** - Search Engine Optimisation and advanced web design 3 hours - $50 - 29th October 1pm
  • More Locations and Times - Book Your Training Here

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 - usually just one hours training (@$200+gst) will give you a jump start in your ability and greatly improve the results for your time and effort.  

Please make sure you do attend any training that you have booked for. Please feel free to invite friends along too.


New WYSIWYG V5 Editor - Now Live

Our new toolbar for our free format page editor (the word style editor) is now live. This new toolbar introduces some new functions, however the greatest gains are in the ability to right click on elements in your content. Another key change is that we have limited the width of the editor much closer to the width of most content pages. There is an option in the toolbar to expand the window if needed. Other new benefits include

  • integrated spell checker (may require a 1 minute install of a plugin)
  • integrated search and replace
  • insert plain text or from word more easily without using notepad
  • view guidlines for tables
  • right click control of table rows/columns, cell formating and image properties

Please let us know if you experience any errors with the new editor or it's popups.


Brand New Templates

We have fast tracked some fantastic new templates into our signup wizard, and we will be continuously adding more. We have also made it easier to get to the templates you want with a colour search, category links and keyword search.

Link: Checkout the new templates


SEO Tips - Picking the right keywords

It has never been easier to pick the right keywords. Googles own keyword selector tool is now available for public use without logging in. Search for what you think your keywords are, and see what google suggests as alternatives and the search volumes included. Pick the best phrases and dedicate each page on your website to a different phrase, optimising the first paragraph in your page header to that phrase, and also the meta title (browser title bar) in the rename area of each page. 

Link: Use the google keyword selector tool to pick better words


$75 Free Advertising Credit For Google Adwords

If you don't yet have an adwords account, don't forget that Google has a special offer until end of August giving you a $75 credit. This is a pretty good deal, so we're promoting it with no commission for your interest. Please remember when optimising your keywords for adwords, that it is most cost effective if you are more "explicit" with your keywords, eg phrases of 3 words or more. Using less words might get you more clicks, but may not be value for money when you compare those clicks to revenue earned.  Signup to get your credit here:


Bulk Emailer and Customer Database Upgrades

Now you can do multiple searches to add different groups of members to a single mailout. Each member will only get one copy of the newsletter, irrespective of how many times they match your search.

You can now add birthdates and gender to your member database. These can be useful for gift merchants or targeted bulk emails.

Learn more about the Bulk Emailer


Shopping Cart Upgrades

We have been busy upgrading our shopping cart with lots of new features and making the setup area easier to navigate, and giving you more control over categories and product pages. One issue some customers may notice immediately on their website is that the logic for how we display categories has changed. We now display categories in the same format as the products are displayed. If you previously had 3 column layout for categories, then we have locked this in for you. If you previously had bullet points, then you may notice the change...

Other improvements and options include:

  • More fine tuning of each step in the shopping cart process, all new options available from the shopping "setup" area.
  • Hide or fine tune the placement of image, summary text and price in the header and footer of product detail pages
  • Hide or fine tune the placement of image and summary text in the header and footer of category listing pages.
  • Control the layout of categories, 1 column+titles and text, links only or images and titles in a 2,3 or 4 column layout.
  • Hide buy buttons from any shopping page template
  • Prompt for text on a product basis when checking out

These changes are in addition to the items we updated last month, just to recap

  • Show items other people purchased
  • Colour swatches and size dropdows in addition to a 3rd custom options dropdown


Understanding why you get logged out

From time to time our system might log you out, due to internet glitches or system overloading or system upgrades. Our users normally have much longer sessions than other websites, and it is likely that everyone will experience this issue at some stage (we do ourselves, we feel the pain). Please understand that we are also in a 24/7 business that does not allow any downtime. There are a number of factors that are outside our control that cause log outs, and we are constantly striving to improve how our system deals with those problems, while at the same time ensuring security over your website. We are looking at introducing a auto opt in function for those who choose to use it. This may be about 2-3 months away. Normally the best thing you can do to prevent logouts following a previous user session, is to close all your browser windows, and then start a new window and login again. There are more things you can do that will lesson the likely hood of logouts on the following login page:


Blogs and new Forum updates

We have added a new blogging feature. Under forums you can add a Blog, which is used like a normal news page where you can make your posts. Then customers or members can place comments on the end of those posts. We have also made it so you can make edits to your customer forum messages, and improved the editing interface for forums. We will endeavor to add new variations of our forum functionality, but for now you are welcome to link to any 3rd party forum solution if you require enhanced services.


Customer Survey Results

Thank you to everyone who completed our customer survey. We hope you will see plenty more updates to our service following your feedback.

Especially thank you to all those who provided great testimonials. You can read them here: Testimonials

For your interest, we will give you a small summary of what we learned.

  • Most of you use Xtra, Vodafone or Telstra to connect to the internet. Next time we might ask if you are happy with the service received by them...
  • The majority of you have "fast" broadband, but most have broadband of some form. About 7% are on dialup.
  • On average you spend 4 hours online per day.
  • The average demographic of our customers is 60% female and mid 40's, you are typically the CEO of your business with about 3 staff
  • It takes about 26 hours over 30 days to build your website
  • Our hosting fees and design fees appear to be in line with market rates
  • The main issues customers have is logouts, and we will work hard to fix this issue.
  • More design templates are wanted and these are on their way
  • More DIY SEO instructions, SEO tools and SEO training is wanted
  • Online accounting services or integrated services, are of interest to many, we will see what we can do in that space.
  • Heaps of your very useful suggestions to improve our product will be added in due course, this will take some time to get them all.
  • No radio stations on magazines really stood out, but everyone seems quite active on facebook and and trademe.

We have slowely been combing through the detailed content of the survey, and if there were any particular issues that you wanted us to address, please allow us a few weeks to get through them all. Thanks again to all those who took part. We will run another survey next year.


Social Networking

Social networking is a great way to promote yourself and your brand and get connected. It really does require ongoing active participation in each network to make the most of it. I will include some links to social networking pages we're involved in. If you want us to join yours, feel free to invite in the normal way.


Help us promote our Website Builder (20% referral discount for your troubles)

There are many ways for you to help us promote website builder. If you would like any brochures or business cards, please contact us and we will send you a bundle. Please let us know how many you require.

If you would like to promote website builder from your website, you can now easily add an affiliate page using the "add page" button. This page will allow you to write your own introduction about how wonderful our service is and will include a link with tracking codes so that you will receive the 20% referral discount automatically.

Alternatively, please encourage your friends to just signup directly for a free trial, or to come to one of our free training courses. Once they have signed up for a free trial, please don't forget to contact us and let us know so we can link your referral.

Or if you are finding work a bit slow in this recession, why not start your own business selling websites. Did you know that we really like customers who want to resell our services and add their own value. If you have SEO skills, business skills, graphic design skills or just super enjoy building websites with our free website builder, then we encourage you to start a business doing it. You will not be stepping on our toes at all. We want to support you in your business endeavors and will give you access to special advanced training courses and support, so that you can in turn provide better support to your customers. Using our affiliate scheme or our official reseller scheme, you can also make ongoing revenue from web hosting. But we encourage you to correctly place a commercial value on the time you put in to helping your friends start websites. We hope we are providing you with a great new opportunities during this recession. 

More information about affiliates and reselling here


Websites of the Month

Wow what a month, we had 55 go lives in the month of July. August already looks set to be another chart topper. Thank you to everyone who has helped us promote our service.

Here's a selection of our customers DIY websites. Some of those we think have done a great job of designing and creating their own website using the our Website Builder tools.

And view our updated portfolio of professional designs this month.


Do you want a more professional look and feel for your website? A more professional look will instill greater trust in your customers, and encourage them to stay longer on your website or make a purchase. Please use our online quote or contact us.


Do you have any feedback on our newsletter or CMS products? Please let us know.

Best regards,
Web Widgets - Free Website Builder Team
Phone: 09 622 0797


Posted: Thu 20 Aug 2009