Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bigcommerce E-Commerce Platform

The Platinum Web Group - The Platinum Standard for Website Support & Services
Why choose Bigcommerce as your e-commerce platform?
As a web professional, I’ve worked with hundreds of merchants over the years, helping them sell their products online in a variety of e-commerce platforms. With its easy-to-use, intuitive admin controls and powerful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features, Bigcommerce is one e-commerce platform that I am confident in recommending to my customers.
Try them for free and find out why they power more than 30,000 online stores.
Fully customizable
Bigcommerce gives web pros full access to HTML and CSS, so I can customize the design and functionality of your site to give you exactly the online store you want.
Easy to use
You’ll get everything you need to sell online, including a securely hosted site, shopping cart and product catalog. And it’s all simple to set up and manage with no previous experience.
Built-in features
Promoting your store and increasing traffic is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse using Bigcommerce’s built-in marketing and SEO tools. And their analytics features show you the results of your efforts in a format that is easy to understand.
Rock solid security
All Bigcommerce stores are PCI compliant and secured against intrusion using the latest methods, so your data is always safe. And their 99.99% uptime gives you the stability you need to succeed.
No transaction fees
Unlike other services, Bigcommerce doesn’t penalize your success by charging transaction fees, and you never have to worry about hidden costs. What you see is what you get.
95% customer satisfaction
Bigcommerce is extremely customer-focused, with e-commerce experts available to help you via phone, live chat and email. Plus you’ll have access to hundreds of support articles, video tutorials and a community forum that will teach you everything you need to know about selling online.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Rosie the Riveter & Raspberry Fields Farm Granola

Rosie the Riveter starts her day right with Raspberry Artisan Granola
from Raspberry Fields Farm in Marlboro, New York

“The Best Granola I've Ever Had” — Rosie the Riveter

About Raspberry Fields Farm, LLC

Raspberry Fields Farm is dedicated to delivering wholesome and whole foods using old world artisan methods. Our baked products are made without mechanization in small batches for people who savor the taste of whole foods. A return to simplicity – in our work, home, and community. We would like to extend that genuine feeling to you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Match ProStores Products with HTTrack Extracted Image Files

Unfortunately, when product images are uploaded to ProStores utilizing the Multi-Image feature, the original file names are replaced with a program generated alpha-numeric name ending in _s, _m, _l (small, medium, large). If you have a large catalog, matching your image files extracted using the HTTRack Website Copier with the original name/product can be a daunting task. However, it is possible to use an exported product.csv file along with the ProStores Custom Product Feed file to easily match the primary image assigned to a given product.

See the Migration Center in your ProStores Administration for details on all migration options being offered to ProStores merchants.

ProStores Migration Guide

Another valuable resource is the ProStores Migration Guide. It contains a migration checklist, content and links needed to steer you through the process of migrating your store. Be sure to download the latest version.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Saving Your ProStores HTML Pages & Images

Backup your ProStores eCommerce Website with HTTrack Website Copier — Save your HTLM pages and Product Images to your Desktop.

ProStores is shutting down on February 1, 2015. Products eventually reach their natural end of life for various reasons, including changes in technologies and marketplace requirements. This is part of any technology product’s lifecycle. Our goal is to help you make a smooth transition to a new eCommerce solution, and to provide as much visibility as possible during the process.
This video tutorial illustrates how to use HTTrack to download and backup your ProStores pages in HTML as well as your design and product images. This is especially important for ProStores merchants who utilize the Multi-Image feature and don't have copies of their product image files on their computers.

In addition, merchants that added custom pages to the store using ProStores proprietary SSML code will find the HTML rendered versions of the pages useful in recreating them in a new platform as ProStores approaches its EOL on 1 February 2015.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The End of Net Neutrality

The FCC's proposed Internet rules are out — and they're terrible. As we feared, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is pushing a plan that would allow rampant discrimination online. If approved, these rules would mean the end of Net Neutrality. 
Wheeler’s plan would let Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon create a two-tiered Internet, with fast lanes for those who can afford the extra fees and a slow dirt road for the rest of us. These companies would have the power to pick winners and losers online and discriminate against online content and applications. And no one would be able to do anything about it. 
But we have a way to fight back: The FCC has opened up a comment period for us to weigh in on its proposal. 
Add your comment: Tell the FCC to throw out its rules and instead reclassify ISPs as common carriers. This is the ONLY way to protect real Net Neutrality.     
We'll make sure your comments are filed in FCC Docket 14-28.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Quick Update on

I promised I would be blogging regularly on's progress, and while I haven't had the time to write an in-depth post, here's a quick update on some progress made.

I was able to find the original RAW image file for the Linhof 4x5 in Technika III, Type 5 Technical Field Camera as well as that for the accompanying Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar 1:5,6/150mm 1:12 265 lens in a Linhof branded, chrome-faced Compur shutter. Since I had only had the earlier, small 070926_0381.jpg version of the main camera image originally used on eBay, I was now able to open the files in Photoshop Camera Raw at full size, so when uploaded into ProStores I can now have all three image size options available for visitors to look at (200 pixels, 400 pixels, and 800 pixles).

Having high quality product images is critical to increasing Ecommerce Conversion Rates. To quote Peep Laja at ConversionXL:
If I’d have to pick one single thing that would sell a product online, it’s images. 
You *technically could* have an ecommerce site with just images, and no product descriptions (I don’t recommend it). It wouldn’t work vice versa. 
People want to see what they’re getting. The grandfather of boosting ecommerce conversion rates is having high quality photos of your product. The more the better. Show the products from different angles, in context, make them zoomable.
I also replaced the Product Detail page in for the listing Linhof Technika III, V5 with redirect code going to the new listing in If you go to Photographic: Cameras and click on the Linhof link, you'll see new code in action.

I also added a related product to the catalog, a Schneider-Kreuznach Tele-Xenar 1:5,5 / 240mm Large Format Lens in Linhof Synchro-Compur Shutter mounted on Linhof Technika III Lens Board. The Tele-Xenar came with the Technika in an immaculate kit I bought on eBay several years ago. In keeping with the topic above, I'll need to get my Dyna-Lite strobe units out and take some images to replace the place-holder graphic I added temporarily.

This is equally true (or more so) for the three placeholder products I added to the store for Gitzo, Graflex, and Sinar, that I added to the store in order to fill out the Our Brands table displaying Manufacturers' Logos at the bottom of the Home, About Us and Store Policies pages. The OEM table is being fed from the Manufacturers List in the store admin's Product Manager. If the manufacturer was configured with a logo, it will appear in the table automatically (also on the Product Detail page).

You'll notice I fleshed out the About Us page copy, and linked through to it from the Home Page welcome text. I still need to customize the copy on the Customer Service page (standard ProStores at the moment), and come up with some policies unique to my store.

Regrettably, many ProStores merchants skip over these pages, but they are indexed by the search engines and their content is important to Search Engine Optimization as they provide room to repeat keywords, to positioning yourself as an expert in your product line, and show shoppers you are a reputable merchant who can be trusted.

But we'll save that topic for another post!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

1st eBay Listing from

Listed the first real item from our new ProStores,, to eBay today, the DeJUR 8mm Movie Projector Instruction Manual for Model 750 and Model 1000.

The process is simple enough. I used the List on eBay button on the Product Information page, and selected Category 4684, Cameras & Photo\Manuals & Guides. As the manual is for a vintage brand, there was nothing to select under the Recommended Item Specifics Compatible Brand drop down menu, but I selected United States under Country of Manufacture, and added a Custom Item Specifics, Brand: DeJUR.

I left Title & Description, Item Photo, and Listing Upgrades at their default settings (you'll see below that I could have made edits here that would have saved me revisions in eBay later), and skipped over the Listing Designer and Free Page Counter altogether.

I listed the item as a 7 day online Auction, starting at $4.95, with a Buy it Now price of $24.95 (Format, Duration, Pricing).

Under Product Attributes I had to make a selection of which one of the 3 attributes on the ProStores product I wanted to associate with this listing: Download, Printout or Original  (no eBay variations on Auctions). I selected the Original Manual.

Left Return Policy and Item Location at their defaults, and entered Shipping Information, Domestic and International USPS First Class and Priority options.

The Payment Options were set to PayPal by default, but the email I opened this ProStores account with, which is automatically populated in Store Settings > Payment Prefs >  PayPal Payments (and subsequently in the eBay Listing Template), was not the one associated with my PayPal account. I updated it to the correct one in the listing as well as Payment Preferences.

I kept the Submit Listing at the default Submit listing to eBay now and clicked the Submit Listing button.

eBay Listing Confirmation DeJUR 8mm Movie Projector Instruction Manual

Since only the primary image on the ProStores product will be sent over to eBay, I logged into my eBay account and revised the listing to add the additional 3 images, as well as edit the title and description to remove the reverences to the other 2 attributes (Download and Printout) that weren't being offered in this auction. As noted above, I could have edited the title and description before listing it to eBay.

Ebay will flag that the item has been revised with a link leading to the details:

Note that there are two PictureURL: Pictures Added/Deleted entries. In my first attempt I used the eBay Picture Uploader, but after submitting the revisions I still only had one image on the auction!

I looped back and used the Basic add pictures option, this time with success.

Note that after uploading the images, eBay is flagging them with the recommendation to upload images that are at least 1600 pixels on the longest side. This ties into eBay's new Picture Quality Requirements:

eBay now requires a minimum length of 500 pixels for the longest side; setting your camera's default to High or Medium picture quality will ensure your pictures are large enough. For the best possible display of your listing on all eBay pages, take pictures with a 1600-pixel dimension on the longest side.

eBay has a short demo on determining picture pixel size, and have created a Top tips for taking great photos  PDF document as well.

In my case, the images were set to the largest size in ProStores, which is currently 800 pixels, which meets the minimum eBay requirement.

Here are links to the final listings in ProStores ( and eBay:

DeJUR 8mm Movie Projector Instruction Manual for Model 750 and Model 1000 - Free Download
DeJUR 8mm Movie Projector Instruction Manual for Model 750 and Model 1000