While MerchantTutorials.com is a sponsor of the Miva Merchant Conference 2011, unfortunately I won't be at the conference itself. It'll be the first I've missed in years. The reason is simple - the cost of a plane flight from my new Kauai, Hawaii, home on those travel dates is just too high. That's what I get for moving to paradise without being rich, I guess!
I will be following the Tweets of attendees, though, if they use the #mmconf11 hashtag. You can see a live feed, constantly updated, of these Tweets here. Here's an easy-to-remember URL, too: bit.ly/mmconf11
Also, if you work on your own site or others, check out the SEO Dominators Club and if you like it, use coupon code MIVA during the conference to get 50% off! If John Limbocker is at the conference, hit him up with questions.
Enjoy the conference and be sure to wear a Hawaiian shirt in my honor on Friday!
Pamela Hazelton, one of the longest term Miva Merchant developers in our community, has released her seventh Miva Merchant guide in electronic form. It's available FREE now, with the hard copy being a meager $29.95 if you want it. Learn more here:
The biggest frustration, I believe, for every true professional website designer/ developer/ consultant is how easily people with little or no experience can claim to be experts in their chosen fields. Project after project is lost to low-quoting teenagers, amateurs and straight-out scam artists.
Here is a perfect example of a SEO firm that proves they are clueless when it comes to SEO. The following article was written by Jason Bland, VP of Adviatech,
Apart from the misspellings and grammar errors in the article, Jason claims, "Some problem languages for shopping carts include .cfm (Cold Fusion) and .mvc (Miva Merchant). Both file types are not easily indexed by the search engines so this should be considered before starting your shopping cart project." This is completely false. All you have to do is search in Google for "mm5/merchant.mvc" to see 939,000 results just for Miva Merchant version 5.5.
Google is not stupid. To claim they have trouble indexing any widespread "language" shows SEO ignorance.
How else do you tell the scammers and amateurs? Promises of "number 1 in Google," they require you to link to their site or any other site, they talk about "link farms," or they hard-sell you. Also look for testimonials with names like, "Bob P.," "Alice J.," etc. If someone gives a testimonial, they will stand by it by name, and you should check them out.
By the way, if you want to learn SEO techniques yourself, check out John Limbocker's SEO Dominators Club. Use coupon code MIVA for 50% off.
In honor of the new Wombat Miva Merchant release, I've redesigned my logo and site, created a new tag line, as well as renamed the subscription levels to names that make more sense (thank you David Lasker for coming up with the new level names).
Basic, Intermediate and Advanced never really applied, since it's more about more topics, not higher level learning. For example, the Advanced tutorials have third party module topics. That's not advanced, it's just more. So here are the new level names:
- Basic is now Core
- Intermediate is now Essential
- Advanced is now Unlimited
I've created many new Wombat videos that I'm working on getting up onto the site. Right now you can see all the new Core tutorials at Miva Merchant here. Subscribers will start seeing newer videos over this weekend. If you have any topic requests, let me know, please.
I have so many To Dos now even before the second day ends of the Miva Merchant conference, I'm not sure where to start. More than any previous MM conference, this one has been practical, useful, and fun. There's still one more breakout session, then tomorrow, and I'm ready for next year!
As far as Merchant Tutorials is concerned, here is what is on my list for the next few weeks:
Wombat Tutorials: I'm creating a store from scratch again with Wombat, so look for dozens and dozens of new tutorials on the new stuff.
WordPress (blog software) Tutorials: Okay, there are tons of these online, but I think adding these to the Advanced tutorial area would be helpful. I know the stuff - might as well give you something you can use.
Social Media Tutorials: One thing that keeps coming up in this conference is social media. Whether it's using it for direct customer engagements, or to enhance your SEO efforts, it's something that you MUST take part in these days, or be left behind. So I'll do some tutorials about Facebook, Twitter, Twitter tools, LinkedIn and more.
"How to shop on this site" Videos: Seeing some sites at the conference, I realized that some sites are more complicated than others. Have a site that has accounts, gift certificates, order status, etc., and know your customers are not utilizing it like they should? I'm going to add a service to create videos that can be opened from a Help link or something similar on your site, that shows people how to use your site. Contact me to get more info.
Also on the list - contact the many people whom I've gotten to know a bit here at the conference, integrate the many ideas I've learned here into my site/business, and write more blog posts to share what I've learned. So come back!