Paying for Utilities Online

Written: November 12, 2014

I’m attracted to all types of automatic bill payments, because it means one less check for me to write each month so that I can concentrate on running my business and household. Our garbage provider is Republic Services and they have allowed me to pay my monthly bill by using a Visa card, automatically. It just happens, and then I get an email reminder of the amount due each month, but no action is required on my part. So far so good.

Today I received an email alerting me that Republic Services is changing their payment system, and an invitation to click a link and get registered with the new system.

Republic Services

 

After clicking the link it brought me to a web page telling me that their web site was down:

Sorry

Hmm, this is the classic definition of a Catch 22. I’d love to signup with the new system, but their entire web site is down for maintenance. So what kind of company would issue an email with an inviting link, knowing that their web site was going to be down? Hmm, very poor timing or communication. But hey, Republic Services really knows how to pick up my garbage and recycle bins every Monday, like clockwork, so maybe I shouldn’t expect their IT department to have their act together.

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Learning about e-commerce

Written: November 9, 2014

Most businesses have decided to offer online customer shopping of their products and services, something that we call e-commerce. Today there are literally dozens of ways to get your online shopping up and running. With WordPress having some 70,000,000 users it has become the number one Content Management System (CMS) in the world, so that has attracted top-notch e-commerce vendors to offer many choices for WordPress web sites. I’ve invited a speaker on this topic to present at the November 24th meeting of the Portland WordPress Meetup group.

Portland WordPress Meetup

 

MeetUp

In this WordPress MeetUp we will explore developing an e-commerce website using the popular and free Woo Commerce plugin. Shipping options, bulk discount and the various Woo Commerce Product settings will be covered along with incorporating the Shopping Cart pages into your website.

Meetup

As with her previous popular presentation, “Safeguarding Your WordPress Clients,” Mary Ann will make time for questions at each step in the process and include opportunities for group discussion. After the presentation, slides will be available on a link to Prezi, but you will gain much more by attending in person.

Speaker Bio 
Mary Ann Aschenbrenner is the President of Waterlink Web LLC, a Portland-based website design and development company focused on the needs of small and medium sized businesses. In addition to building successful websites, she tends honeybees, volunteers in her community and is always engaged keeping up to date in this every evolving field.

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Four WordPress Events in the next two weeks

Written: October 14, 2014

I discovered the Portland WordPress Meetup group a few years ago after filling out a free profile at www.meetup.com. The genius behind Meetup is that it helps connect your personal or business interests with other, like-minded people. Our Portland WordPress Meetup started out with just one meeting per month, and the audience was a wide range of people from first-time bloggers, to start-up business owners, to geeky developers.

Meetup

Now our group has gotten into a monthly series of User and Developer meetings, so that attendees can fit into the group that fits their skills and interests. This October we’re having a record four meetings instead of the usual two, because another neat feature of Meetup is that any member can suggest adding a new meeting, assuming that they have a topic, speaker and location. So here’s what’s in store in the next two weeks:

 

Portland WordPress Meetup

Online our Meetup group now has some 1,313 members, although at a physical meeting you can expect up to 50 people attending. The meetings are free, except for your time, so why not learn something new about creating or updating your own blog or web site and attend one of our informative Meetups. There is always time for you to raise questions and get answers, on the spot without using Google.

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Grabbing Your Attention

Written: October 7, 2014

Motion certainly does get my attention, which is why many web sites today have rotating images along with words to draw us in, tell a story, and ask us to click for more information. Such is this case with author Roland Smith, where we promote his latest books on the Home page using a rotating slideshow:

Once we get used to motion on a web page, then all other pages with no motion look kind of plain and out of touch.

I recommend starting with a slideshow on your Home page, then measure with analytics how many visitors actually click through and land on the Read More page, you may be pleasantly surprised. Another good promotional idea that Roland does is to post a blog for each new book, which then automatically updates his Facebook page status and Tweets. Write once, see everywhere, no that’s marketing automation working for you, saving you time from having to login to each social media platform and copy/paste content.


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