Online Store Builder

Online Store Builder

Get a storefront online with our easy-to-use website builder that helps create your business’s virtual storefront. This service makes it easy to sell your products and services to customers around the globe. Use professionally designed lay-outs, add your products/services, set-up special features, and then start selling online! You can get started in just a few minutes with no technical skills required.

Step One: Choose a design

Using our intuitive online store builder, select from over 1,500 design and color combinations.  You can then choose from 14 category page styles and 11 product detail page styles to find the best layout for your products.  Then, customize your store by adding your logo and adjusting colors, fonts, images, navigation and more.

Step Two: Add your products

You can organize your products in categories and subcategories.  Specify product details, including SKU, description, pricing, options and inventory tracking.  If you want, you can create featured products, sale pricing and coupons – even determining product associations, cross-sells and up-sells.  Finally, use the Store Setup Wizard to walk you through your shipping, tax and payment options.

Step Three: Start selling

When you are ready, preview your store before you publish it live.  Your website will offer secure customer registration and easy-to-use customer checkout.  Depending on your payment set-up, you can accept major credit cards, PayPal Express Checkout and more.  Your store is set-up to ship to USA, Canada, Mexico, and more than 100 additional countries.  You can also view reports to track revenue, orders and website performance.  Yes, it is really this simple!

Let’s Get Started!

Does My Business Need a Domain Name?

Does My Business Need a Domain Name?

Because I represent a website services company (that offers a staggering amount of domain extensions and options), one might think that I will be biased and say: “Of course you need a domain name!!).  Well, that is partly accurate – I do think your business needs a domain name, but not because we offer them.  In today’s market, most consumers are searching for local products and services online.  Even if you do not plan to sell online, or maybe are even in an industry where this is not possible, having an online presence is absolutely essential for your target market to find you.

Consider this:

  • Unless you man your business in person and answer phone calls all day and night, your products and services are only accessible during your set business hours.  Having a domain name (and website) provides the public with valuable information 24/7/365.  Your website can be as simple as providing basic information like store hours, phone number, location, and details about what your business offers…OR, it can be more extensive where they can purchase products, sign-up for services, interact with you through online customer service, or even “get to know you” in your online blog.
  • Registering your domain name also serves to protect your brand.  Even if you do not plan on having a live website, you can park your domain name to ensure someone else doesn’t register and use it instead.
  • What kind of email address are you using right now?  Does it give your customers a professional image?  After all, yourbusinessname@hotmail.com gives a very different perception of your business than info@yourbusiness.com.  Registering your own domain name and setting up email is a very affordable and easy way of having a very professional image.
  • Regardless of how you plan to use your website, having a domain name is essential in promoting your business.  You can offer special coupons, advertise upcoming sales, discuss what is new, set-up online mailing lists, and more!  Add your domain name to business cards, flyers, mailers, etc.
  • You can capitalize on the rampant spending that is happening on the Internet by offering products and services for sale online, and expand your business nationally or globally.

Services to Consider: Domain Registration, Website Builder, Online Shopping Cart, Professional Email

– M. Webby

Getting Started with SSL Certificates

Getting Started with SSL Certificates

An SSL certificate on your website builds a secure, encrypted connection between the browser and your Web server that lets visitors submit sensitive information, such as payment details, securely.

We offer multiple certificate types, so before you purchase an SSL certificate be sure to review your server configuration, and consider how you plan to use the SSL certificate.

After you purchase an SSL, request the certificate in your account. Depending on the certificate type, we verify requests with the domain registrant and possibly other factors before we issue the signed certificate.

When your certificate is issued, download all of the files from your account and install them on your Web server to secure your site. If your website is hosted in the same account, we automatically install the SSL and update the IP address for your website when your SSL is approved.

Profiting from “Domaining” with EWS Website Tools

Profiting from “Domaining” with EWS Website Tools

First of all, we have to talk about what “domaining” is.  You’ve heard of “house-flipping”?  This is one of its relatives in the virtual world.  You are essentially registering domain names – brand new, newly expired, or purchased from another owner – with the intention of turning around and putting them up for resale….and of course in the process you will aim to get some serious return on investment!

What I want to talk about today are the tools we offer that can help you tap into the very lucrative industry of domaining…Let’s go!domaining

1) First, I recommend you sign-up for a FREE ACCOUNT with us.  There are no purchase obligations and no credit card is required.

2) If you have your eye on domain names that are already owned, then DOMAIN MONITORING is a great service that informs you of registration changes by anyone from any registrar!  You will get an email notification of these changes within 24 hours, and they can help you determine if availability is in the near future! This is an excellent and very affordable tool for your domaining efforts!

3) Take domain monitoring to the next level with our DOMAIN BACKORDER service!  This service will monitor the domain name of interest, and then attempt to snag it the INSTANT it becomes available.  The fee includes a year of registration when the the domain is secured, and at any time, you can reassign the service to a different domain name you are attempting to register.

4) For the SERIOUS domain investor, let me draw your attention to our INVESTOR’S EDGE service.  This is a monthly subscription to some serious domaining tools!  This service allows you to browse over 95,000 soon-to-expire names, which are updated daily.  You can then select any and all the domains you want to attempt and capture, each for a small fee.  In this case, the fee is non-refundable, but does include the cost of a one-year registration if it is secured.  This process gives you the ability to snag domains in a way that most others cannot – perfect for domaining!!

5) Beyond that we offer some great domain registration tools at exceptional prices!

6) When domaining it is a good idea to think about what will show up when someone visits one of those domains.  There are several options here and what works best for you will be dependent upon several factors.  I will break down some of the main options here:

  • FREE with our domain registration services is the ability to forward that domain and even mask where it is going with our DOMAIN FORWARDING AND MASKING services.
  • FREE with domain registration is an EASY-TO-USE WEBSITE BUILDER where you can include basic domain information, or you can even use a FOR-SALE template!
  • If you are aiming to have and build web traffic, either because you are seeking to earn revenue with Google AdSense or are trying to increase the value of the domain so that you can set a realistic but higher price point when selling it, our QUICK CONTENT service is a paid service that is a great way to have targeted professionally-written articles that help keep visitors on your site.  The articles stay current and are updated every two weeks – this keeps your site fresh and helps improve search engine rankings.
  • You can also create do-it-yourself landing pages to help with your domaining revenue.  If you are new to this, but are interested in learning more, READ THIS ARTICLE about building your own website without needing HTML knowledge.  Based on this information, you can create websites using themes that are intended to serve as landing pages – either to focus on the sale of the domain itself, or to flesh out more extensive information.

Aside from domaining tools, take a look at our SERVICE CATALOG to learn more about the services we offer for your business.  Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any questions!

Take care,
M. Webby

Accept Credit Cards on Your Website

Accept Credit Cards on Your Website

I probably don’t have to tell you why it’s helpful to accept credit cards on your website. Instead, what I want to focus on today is a number of different options you have when it comes time to set-up the service and accept credit cards.

Let’s start with some basics – we can look at two broad categories:

Accept Credit Cards…

1) by getting your very own merchant account
2) by using a third party company who processes the transactions for you

Then it gets a bit more complicated because of the sheer number of providers in each category. I am not going to provide a comprehensive list here…I have a different kind of fish to fry. accept-credit-cardsInstead I am going to describe several options under each category that I have found to be useful options for myself, and for clients.

The general rule of thumb when you want to accept credit cards is that if you get your own merchant account, initial and monthly fees are likeley to be higher, but per transaction fees tend to be lower. Likewise, if you use a third party company to process the transactions for you, then intiial and monthly fees are little to none, but per transaction fees tend to be higher. This indicates that if you have a high volume of credit card transactions each month, it is probably worthwhile to have your own merchant account to accept credit cards. Having your own merchant account also gives you more control over customer service and refund decisions, but also holds you more responsible for fraudulent transactions. Obviously, the alternative is to use a third party company if you want to simply test the waters and take it slow. This can have several benefits, but keep in mind that the 3rd party company has control of the money, and in some cases may refund against your consent – leaving you standing in the cold if you have already provided product and/or services!

Let’s get down to some recommendations of each category…

1) Actual Merchant Account:

One of the first companies I recommend when face to face with clients who want to accept credit cards is Charge.com. They have been in the business for as long as I’ve been working with people building websites (I’ve been doing that since 1999), and I’ve noticed that as of 2012, they stated they were in their 18th year as the #1 credit card processor. Aside from longevity, what keeps them high on my list is their low cost and ease of use. Take a look at their rates and compare them with others – if a merchant account is the way you want to accept credit cards, then Charge.com should get a thorough consideration. I highly recommend them!

If Charge.com doesn’t provide what you are looking for, you can take a look at some of the plans we offer in conjunction with Frontstream Payments. There are three different types of accounts you can select from – a Standard Merchant Account, one for Special Industries (adult sites), and one designed for international customers (your business based in the U.S. or Canada).

2) 3rd Party Processor:

The options seem almost unlimited when it comes to using a 3rd party processor to accept credit cards. Here are some of my favorites though…

I have to begin with PayPal – you may already have an account with them, but they have proven themselves over the years to be a powerful ally when it comes to getting paid online. Nowadays, with their smartphone credit card readers, customer financing options, support of numerous shopping cart systems, and many other check-out options, PayPal is a common choice when you are ready to accept credit cards. I want to add though that it is not uncommon to see a PayPal payment option on websites that also have a merchant account. So having PayPal as a “tag-along” is not a bad idea!

Next up is 2CheckOut.com, which has arguably some of the best rates in this category. They have a simple pricing model that makes them easy to use, incredibly low start-up fees, and a fairly intuitive method to incorporate the service into your check-out process. Many third party shopping carts are already geared to work with 2CheckOut.com.

The last I will mention works a little differently. They are called CCNow.com and have been in business since 1999. I have watched their suite of services grow remarkably over the years. Their primary service has been to BE the shopping cart for you, but now they offer optional open-source carts, auction payment services, and even Disc on Demand CD/DVD fulfillment. Their focus has always been on tangible goods (physical products that are shipped), but they now have some digital goods and services exceptions – so if your site fits that category, get in touch with them and see if they can work with you.

To keep it real here, remember that as enticing as some of these 3rd party options are, don’t forget about the loss of control when it comes to some refund decisions, and how not having a true-blue merchant account all your own can possibly give the impression that you are not as solid and grounded as your competitors who do have their own merchant account. At the same time, there are many businesses that are quite successful using these 3rd party processors to accept credit cards, and have less hassle with the added responsibilities that having a “real” merchant account brings.

Take care,
M. Webby

Online Shopping Cart Builder – Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

Online Shopping Cart Builder – Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

Selling your products and services online doesn’t have tOnline Shopping Cart Buildero be difficult.  Using an Online Shopping Cart Builder can help you get a website up and running quickly and easily…and it is an affordable solution when considering the technical requirements and maintenance necessary for more custom options.  With this service, you can simply “point and click” your way to a professionally developed shopping cart focused website.

This article is intended for sites that intend to sell goods or services online…if you just need a website builder to create an informational website, look into our Online Website Builder (there is less you need to know, and it is more affordable).  Also, for those of you who are prepared to take on a bigger learning curve to get an incredible website with more flexibility and options, take a look here.

Now, let’s talk about how to get your shopping cart website online using our Online Shopping Cart Builder service! 

  1. We have to begin by getting your Domain Name Registered – even if you are not ready to proceed with the website.  Domain names are not very expensive and it would be a shame if someone else were to register the domain before you could – it happens!
  2. If you intend to accept credit cards by way of a Merchant Account (learn more about accepting credit cards here!), then you will need to secure your site with an SSL Certificate.  You can learn more about SSL Certificates, or buy one now.  Keep in mind that if you plan on accepting credit cards only through a third party service like PayPal, you do not need to have an SSL certificate – this is because the transaction is processed securely on their servers.
  3. Now we can talk about the actual Shopping Cart Program.  You can get started there now, or continue to learn more about our Online Shopping Cart Builder below.