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From Mike J on 3 Jan '00
replying to secure ordering -- how do you set this up? posted by kay

Definately talk to your service provider about secure ordering. If you live in a metro area with plenty of providers around, talk to them all and find the one that offers the service. In the long run you will just end up paying someone else for the service so make sure they have what you want before signing.

If your local providers can't provide you with the software or support, check out datarealm at www.serve.com . I haven't used there service but they offer everything you should need (frontpage 2000 extensions, ecommerce software, SSL secure server, merchant account partnerships & a lot more of what your provider is already giving you...for $25/month. I haven't dealt with them but to me it sounds right for your site.

Another tip (more of a personal preference actually and the least of your concerns). Get rid of Frontpage and switch to HotMetal Pro 6.0. I started with Frontpage but find anything other than personal sites more manageable with HotMetal. You don't have to worry about frontpage support...that is the biggest thing. There is a free trial version to download at www.hotmetalpro.com .

Now I would like to offer a couple tips on your site.
First, ditch the created with Frontpage button on your homepage. Second, you need to enhance the image of your first page (your store front) with images that represent what the site is about. Use an image editor (easy to use...PaintShop Pro 6) to create images from the pictures of your dolls already on the site. Perhaps a large circular faded collage of several dolls that could be used as a background.

Also, the pink is a good color but it is too soft; you may want to single space the address & contact info with your email address at the top; move the "prices subject to blah blah" onto the bottom of the pages where the prices are actually shown; you may want to have your entrance be ENTER THE DOLL PLAZA or something more "elegant" than just a tiny, boring "enter."

Third, you are using to many conflicting colors on the second page. Choose a matching & eye pleasing color scheme and stick to it to create a consistant image. The same goes with fonts & use of italics...use all VERY sparingly.

Finally, with a friend or co-worker visit your competitors and write down what it is that you like and do not like about there sites. Then make your site better than theres. Of course easier said....

Since you didn't do the design you should see what you want changed. So if it was done recently I would tell the designer what you think...and make him/her do some altering as you see fit.

Good luck & happy new year,
Mike J





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