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Product Review: E-shop Shopping Carts

Written by Lee Micai on October 20, 2008 – 2:56 pm -

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This is going to be my first post in a series where I review the amazing products our partners offer. This week we’re going to review E-shop Shopping Carts from our partners at 1and1 Hosting.

Top 10 reasons to choose a 1&1 eShop

1. RatePoint

  • Make customer feedback work for your business!
  • Use this powerful response tool to improve your online reputation and build trust

2. Best prices and no extra fees

Competitively priced and packed with features! You keep what you earn. 1&1 does NOT take any type of commission from sales that you make.

3. Advanced eBay features

The eBay features included in our eShop packages will help you sell items more easily on eBay, cheaper than directly through eBay, AND generate more sales from eBay.

4. Free marketing tools

  • Integration with Google Product Search, Shopzilla, Yahoo!Shopping, and Shopping.com
  • Easy search engine submission to all major internet search engines as well as optimization tools

5. Automatic updates

  • Inventory management to automatically update your shop pages and alert you of low stock.
  • Scheduled publishing to set a time that you want changes for your eShop to go online, useful for your specials and sales.

6. Shop Designer

Simple point-and-click interface to present your eShop products exactly as you want, in very little time and with no programming knowledge needed!

7. Automatic tax calculation

Taxes for the US and Canada are automatically calculated with the 1&1 Tax Server.

8. Cross-selling tools

Suggest other eShop products to your customers based on what they’re interested in, resulting in more sales for you!

9. Communication tools

  • Announce promotions/sales for your eShops with our E-mail Marketing Tool.
  • Feature new items and special offers with a few simple clicks.

10. FREE automatic updates and upgrades

Their dedicated eShop development team works diligently to keep your 1&1 eShop equipped with the latest features and the stable environment you need to support your online success.

Feature-packed, with prices starting at $9.99/month

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Blog Action Day 2008

Written by Lee Micai on October 15, 2008 – 10:52 am -

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Today and tomorrow – depending on where you are in the world – is Blog Action Day 2008.

This year 4M Web Design is participating in Blog Action Day (October 15th) and helping raise awareness about poverty. It’s not too late to register your blog and change the conversation for one day — today!

The story below is about a girl named Jessica who lives in Harts, West Virginia and was featured in Showtime’s documentary What’s Going On? Although Jessica is from West Virginia there are many other stories like hers right in our backyards.

Jesse’s aspirations are not extraordinary. She wants to get good grades, go to school dances, and get into college. Yet these modest goals are nearly impossible against the backdrop of Jessie’s life—a life of hunger, worry and constant sacrifice.

Jessie’s Story

Over 12 million American kids suffer from poverty, and it infects every aspect of their lives—from family relations, to school friendships to dreams for the future. Jesse Staley, a teenager from Harts, West Virginia dreams of graduating from high school and attending prom. While her friends buy prom dresses and arrange after parties, she struggles to feed her sisters and brothers. As other families choose between colleges, hers much choose between medical care and welfare.

As many of her friends live the life a carefree adolescent, Jesse assumes the role of the caretaker in her family. The oldest of three children, she must look after her siblings while her father ekes out a living driving a truck. Her father is a hardworking man, but his 12 to15-hour shifts don’t provide enough income to pay the bills. She begins her days early, after her father leaves for work. She wakes up her brother and sister, feeds them and sends them to school. After attending classes all day, she fixes dinner, helps her siblings with class assignments and puts them to bed–all before starting her own homework.

Although the family isn’t homeless, they have only $120 each month to buy food. Often, there isn’t enough to last the month, so Jessie is forced to turn to charities like Save the Children for help. Her family suffers from the constant struggle to make ends meet. For example, choosing inexpensive over healthy foods has hurt the family’s health; Jessie’s father has a heart condition and struggles against obesity–the result of high fat, processed foods that so frequently make up a low-income diet.

Jessie’s dream of going to college is tempered by fears that her father will need her close to home, especially as he faces growing health problems. It’s a sad fact that in America, where there is no universal health coverage, many families face the same terrible choice as Jessie’s father between working for a living without health insurance or taking welfare in order to receive state-provided medical care.

The Hidden Face of Poverty

Poverty in America has many faces. But the story of Jessie’s family is way more common than many more fortunate people care to realize.

They are not drug addicts.
They are not mentally ill.
They are not lazy.

What they are is one bad break from being out on the streets.

Even worse, they can’t break the cycle.

Consider this: Jessie has more responsibility and works harder as a teen than many twice her age. And Jessie’s father puts in more hours at work than most people in this country.

Hard work is clearly not the issue. If hard work is all it takes, why do so many kids end up stuck in the same vicious cycle as their exceptionally hard-working parents and grandparents?

There’s clearly something missing.

What can you do to make a difference?

Many organizations work with poor families in and around the Mercer County, NJ area, one being the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen or TASK.

Having a close connection to the director, I’m his son for those who may not know us personally, I was asked to help them improve their web site and provide technical input on how to efficiently use the internet. To be honest I had no idea what a soup kitchen did until I started working with them. I thought they just served soup!

At TASK, their primary mission is to provide meals to all those who are hungry. Everyone is welcomed into the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. No questions are asked.

Every week of the year, volunteers help the TASK staff serve more than 3,000 meals.

They also offer an Adult Education Program which provides one-on-one tutoring in basic literacy, math, GED preparation, and computer skills, they support self-sufficiency and improve quality of life by providing a full-time, on-site social worker, Medical services, Legal services, Telephone, mail, fax and message services, Hygiene bags, Arts & Ideas and Kids’ Time.

What will you give today?

Right now TASK is in desperate need of food donations due to the increasing number of people coming to for a meal. Delivery hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm and Friday from 8:00am to 1:00pm. TASK is located at 72-1/2 Escher Street in Trenton, NJ.

You may also choose to make a monetary donation or volunteer to help prepare, serve and clean up meals or to tutor in the adult education program.

If there are companies out there that would like to make a more substantial donation, I’ll be more than happy to recognize you for it in a follow-up post. Send me email with the details.

If we all work together to help the less fortunate, we might be able to realize a quote my father said, “At some point in time, I’d like to put TASK out of business.”.

Thanks for your time…

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4M Web Design Launches Web Site for Trenton Roofing and Siding Inc.

Written by Lee Micai on October 14, 2008 – 3:25 pm -

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(Trenton, NJ) – 4M Web Design, is proud to announce the unveiling of Trenton Roofing and Siding Inc’s newly redesigned web site, located at www.trentonroofing.com.

Once again we were contracted through our partners at Rapid Response Computer and Network Service, to re-design a web site, this time for Trenton Roofing and Siding. Trenton Roofing and Siding has worked on many prominent projects. Business and home owners alike who have had Trenton Roofing and Siding Inc. handle their many needs can be found anywhere throughout Central New Jersey.

Trenton Roofing and Siding Inc’s newly redesigned web site offers a flash movie on the homepage as well as information on their Products & Materials used, numerous References, a Contact Form designed in PHP and features a JavaScript photo gallery.

About Trenton Roofing and Siding Inc.

Trenton Roofing and Siding Inc. has gained a well deserved reputation for excellence and reliability, servicing the community for over 20 years.

About 4M Web Design

4M Web Design is a Web Design and Marketing company located in Mercer County, NJ and is experienced in implementing and supporting high quality web sites, advertising and brand identity campaigns.

Posted in Launches | No Comments »

My son Bobby knows computers. I’ll get him to build my web site.

Written by Lee Micai on October 11, 2008 – 11:49 am -

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He can use scissors too; does he cut your hair?

Bad Haircut

We do find that this is one of the most common scenarios we are presented with. Your web site speaks volumes about how you carry your business. Second rate sites do not instill confidence in your customers. Amateurs just don’t have the know how to get the most of the web. It is no good having an attractive site if it does not attract visitors.

So what should I look for in a web site development firm?

Selecting an organization to design and develop your company’s website can be a very difficult choice. There are hundreds of web designers out there offering websites and online solutions. You need to find the company that is right for your business!

When there is such a difference in price, the most general way to look at it is that cheapest is not always the best. Make sure you sit down and see what they are offering, and check out their portfolio, and any additional costs you might be responsible for in the near future.

Here are a few tips on what you might like to assess:

1. Experience – This might encompass their knowledge of your industry, the skills they have developed, or the number of previous web sites they have developed.

2. Ability – Has the developer demonstrated an ability to complete the complexity of your site? Remember, the best indicator of future performance is past performance.

3. Accessibility – Is the developer accessible to you to discuss strategy, plan the site, or even answer questions? Physical closeness often provides a sense of increased accessibility.

4. ‘Fit’ – Do you feel comfortable with the developer and do they have the same sort of values in business as you?

5. Referrals – If there is any hesitation or delay in getting the names and numbers of happy customers, then that’s a red flag.

6. Assess the input – Aside from what you identify what you require, does the developer provide some suggestion based on his/her previous experience and expertise?

7. Price – There is such a range of variables that come into play here that it would be pointless to even start a list. Compare the various quotes you receive and make a judgment call on the best value for money. Suggest a guarantee to your developer. What’s the reaction?

A final recommendation is to be very careful of any unrealistic results that your web development company may promise. This is of particular importance when it comes to online marketing, sales and search engine optimization.

Posted in Web Design | No Comments »

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