Author Archive: Steven Snell
Steven is a web designer and blogger from Pennsylvania. He has managed projects such as the Vandelay Design Blog and DesignM.ag and provided content as a freelance blogger for many of the leading design blogs. Steven's profile at Google+.
E-commerce is obviously an enormous industry. But major players like Amazon and Wal-Mart aren’t the only ones who can make money by selling products through their websites. Many bloggers and website owners are interested in using e-commerce on a much smaller scale to sell their own products. But the technical details of setting up an e-commerce website trip up a lot of people who would like to sell products from their site.
Perhaps you already have a blog or a website and you’re not looking to create an entirely new website on an e-commerce platform. You’d rather be able to just sell some products in a simple way from your existing site. Several years ago most site owners who wanted a simple e-commerce solution were pretty much limited to using PayPal’s buy now buttons, which could get the job done, but lacked many important features, most notably automatic delivery of digital products.
In recent years a number of e-commerce systems have been developed specifially to make it quick and easy to start selling products from your existing website or blog. Many of these systems have been designed primarilly for digital products, but most can also support sales of tangible products as well. E-Junkie is probably the most well-known options, but today I want to cover another option that I think is a great fit for those who want to get started with selling their own products from a website or blog. DPD (short for Digital Product Delivery) is a simple, affordable option that also offers some impressive features. In this article I’ll go through the process of getting started with DPD and setting up your first product. I’ll also cover many of the additional features that make DPD a great choice.
Membership websites are often considered one of the best approaches for making money online. The recurring revenue generated by a successful membership website is an obvious reason that these sites are so desirable, but the truth is that running a membership website is not easy. Many customers are hesitant to sign up for on-going payments, so you’ll need to offer something that makes the recurring fee a worthwhile expense for your members. And in order to keep members you’ll need to work to add new, and valuable, content on a regular basis.
While getting and keeping members is certainly a challenges, it’s the technical aspects of setting up a membership site that present the biggest problems for most entrepreneurs who are looking to go this route.
A membership website needs to be able to do a few key things:
- Allow new members to sign up
- Process payments at the time of sign up and any recurring payments
- Integrate the member accounts with the appropriate payments
- Restrict access to protected content for anyone other than active logged in members
- Provide active logged in members with the appropriate access to protected content
There are obviously other functions as well, but these are the basics. So if you want to start a membership website, how do you go about getting this set up? Of course, you could use a custom solution, but that would be very costly and/or time consuming. For the vast majority of people setting up membership websites the best option is to use an existing script or plugin that provides all of the needed functionality.
Finding the right option to power your membership website can be a challenge, but the good news is that there are more quality options than there were just a few years ago. Here are some of the leading options:
aMember Pro – aMember is a powerful, feature-rich solution that can integrate with a wide variety of content management systems. It’s probably the most popular option, in large part because it can be used with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, phpBB, vBulletin, and much more. The down side of aMember is that it can be a little complicated to set up and it can be much more than is needed for some projects. The current cost for aMember is $179.95 for lifetime access with 6 months of free updates.
Do you want to make more money from your business and save time while doing so? You can do this by purchasing pre-made, professional resources that can be customized to fit the needs of your business. Vandelay Premier offers a wide variety of such resources that can save you time and increase your efficiency including pre-made graphics, html templates, and even legal forms and business documents. While all Premier files are available as one-time purchases, more often than not, a Vandelay Premier subscription–which gives members unlimited access to our entire library of high-quality resources–ends up being a better bargain for most. And this holiday season, you can get an even better deal on Vandelay Premier. Right now, save $30 on an annual subscription to Vandelay Premier. So you can enjoy the entire Vandelay library for a full year for as little as $49.
When designing a website, one of the most common challenges is to develop an effective color scheme. In many cases the sites color scheme will be determined, or at least influenced, by the existing branding of the company. However, when you’re facing decisions on color there are plenty of options. While it is always an important part of the design, color can be used to make a website stand out and attract attention.
Here you’ll find 25 examples of web designs that use a lot of color.
For those who primarily focus on web design, designing for print can be a little bit intimidating at first. If you’ve been wanting to design your own business cards but have been hesitant to make the jump to designing for print, you may find it to be helpful to follow a tutorial. There are a lot of tutorials available that will lead you through the process of designing a print-ready business card. Following a few tutorials will teach you the basics, and then of course you can use that knowledge to create a more personalized design of your own.
Here you’ll find 25 different tutorials (for Photoshop, Illustration, and even InDesign) that teach the essentials of business card design.
Business cards are a great resource for anyone looking to market or promote their business. While social media, blogging, and online marketing get most of the attention these days, some old-school in-person networking can also do wonders, and business cards are an essential resource for effective networking.
If you need to save some time or don’t have the experience to design your own cards, templates can be a great option. Many printing companies offer templates to choose from (although the quality will vary greatly), and you can also find others available from different sources. In this post we’ll feature 33 templates, 10 are free and 23 are premium. The premium templates generally cost less than $10 and can be well worth the expense.
This post was originally published several years ago. As technology and trends have changed over the years, the content of the post became outdated. So we’ve updated the post with all new examples that will be more relevant for modern design and development.
jQuery Image Gallery/Slider Tutorials:
This tutorial by Jake Rocheleau is a re-make of a popular tutorial originally written by Soh Tanaka. Jake has updated the code used in the tutorial to include some new user-requested features.
In recent years as it has become easier and less costly for people to set up their own websites, more and more websites have been used for providing information about weddings. Because WordPress is free and simple for anyone to set up with most web hosts, it is naturally a popular choice for engaged couples wanting to provide information regarding their wedding.
Wedding websites typically include many of the same features and content types, including bios of the couple, engagement photos, directions to the wedding and reception, hotel information, and sometimes the option to RSVP through the website. Sites are also used in some cases to showcase wedding photos after the big day to share them with attendees and those who were unable to attend.
With WordPress, setting up a basic website to provide this type of information is pretty simple, and a number of themes have been developed specifically with weddings in mind. These themes often include some enhanced functionality, and they typically feature a design that fits well with wedding websites.
In this post we’ll take a look at 18 WordPress themes that are great options for wedding websites. Most of them are premium themes that must be purchased, but there are some free themes included as well.
A responsive theme available at ThemeForest.
WordPress users know that there is no shortage of themes available to use for your own websites and for client websites. With new themes being released on a daily basis it can become a real challenge to stay up-to-date and to know what is available. Our goal with this post is to showcase a number of recent theme releases that may be of interest to you.
Whether you are looking for a theme for your own website, looking for a theme to use on a client’s website, or just interesting in seeing what new themes have been released, you should be able to find something of interest in this collection of themes. You’ll find 30 different themes here, along with pricing information and where you can find them.
Available at: ThemeFuse
If you’re looking for an e-commerce platform to use for an upcoming website, Shopify is an excellent choice. Shopify is a hosted system that makes it easy to get your online shop up and running very quickly. Part of the appeal of Shopify is the selection of beautifully-designed themes that are available. Although custom design is always an option, it’s not a necessity with the quality templates that are available for reasonable prices.
Shopify includes a wide variety of features, including a powerful content management system, blogging engine, integration with more than 70 payment gateways, unlimited hosting, coupon codes, and more. They also offer 24/7 support and since they provide the hosting you won’t have to worry about things like security and PCI compliance.
Shopify is also a great option for designers. They have a partner program that allows designers/developers to make money by creating themes and add-ons, and by referring clients to Shopify.
Here you’ll find a collection of 40 themes that are available for Shopify users.