Attention to Detail or Learning How to Hate Humble Pie

Written by Tom Cornwell

Having been inrepparttar printing & graphics business forrepparttar 131984 past 25 years, I can attest torepparttar 131985 importance of attending to details, both in work quality and customer satisfaction. E-commerce is not so much different, especially in principle.

A typing error can not only be embarrassing, but also costrepparttar 131986 printer a lot of money, consideringrepparttar 131987 waste in paper, time and labor. Onrepparttar 131988 Internet,repparttar 131989 fix is cheap - sometimes - unless that typing error alters data such as pricing, in which case it can create an expensive mess, or nothing at all - such as 'no sales'.

Last week a fellow wrote to tell me thatrepparttar 131990 links on my pages didn't work! I thought he was out of his mind, but decided to go through and check them out - just in case he wasn't. After wading through a half-dozen pages, finding no problems, I finally arrived to a group I'd put up about a year ago. The links atrepparttar 131991 bottom ofrepparttar 131992 pages surely did not work!

When I originally composedrepparttar 131993 pages, I did a quick 'cut & paste' ofrepparttar 131994 hyperlinks atrepparttar 131995 bottom so I would not have to retyperepparttar 131996 same information over and over. Unfortunately, I copied a bad link; all my hyperlinks were now calling for files in my 'A-drive' rather than those withinrepparttar 131997 directory on my server. I unwittingly pasted them on each ofrepparttar 131998 new pages I'd composed that afternoon and loaded them up torepparttar 131999 server. It probably wouldn't have been much of a big deal, but those pages were describing a couple of books I am marketing andrepparttar 132000 reader simply could not get torepparttar 132001 order pages from those pages - after, of course, they were very interested in doing so!

Now, you would think I'd have double-checked those links at some point soon after, but I was in a hurry to finish and confident that I had done a good job, besides, sales were coming in, so why worry?

The sales were coming in, however, from readers determined to circumventrepparttar 132002 worthless links and buyrepparttar 132003 books any- way. How many sales did I lose from those that gave up after hitting my 'problem' hyperlinks?

Cookies: How to Improve Your Website and Learn From Your Visitors

Written by Steve Nash

Question: How can you improve your visitor's experience of your website AND atrepparttar same time learn how to improve your website (or learn how to increase sales)?

Answer: cookies

Cookies? Yes. Let me explain...


A "cookie" is simply a small piece of text information which a web server stores temporarily with your web visitor's browser. (Note: cookies are *not* programs.) This means your visitor's browser remembers some specific information whichrepparttar 131982 web server can later retrieve.

So cookies simply allow your site to store information on your visitor's computer for later retrieval.

A basic example of a cookie in action can be found here -

Another example isrepparttar 131983 "online shopping mall" that uses cookies to add items to a user's "shopping cart" as they browse. And I use cookies on my own website to make sure a pop-up window loads ONCE ONLY ( ).


Basically, cookies allow you to improve a site visitor's experience of your website. I've listed a few examples to show how this can be achieved: * Cookies can store visitor preferences. This means you can present customised information to your visitor, as per their own requirements. (This is how portal sites like MSN work.)

* Cookies can pre-fill form fields for your visitor.

* Cookies can automatically login visitors to your site

* Cookies can provide visitor statistics and therefore help you understand your visitor's needs. Cookies can provide site metrics like unique visitors, average number of page-views, percentage of repeat visitors et cetera. And cookie-generated statistics are much more accurate than using log files.

(Do remember though, that people sometimes share computers; some browsers are set to reject cookies; and cookies can be erased.)

So not only are cookies an efficient way of keeping track of information, they also help personalise your site visitor's experience of your site.

And that'srepparttar 131984 point with cookies - how can *you* help your site visitor? (No, it doesn't mean how can you invade your visitor's privacy! The use of cookies can be abused by site owners, but this ultimately leads to cookie-blocking software being installed and used; so set your cookies cautiously!)

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