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  1. #1
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    I've always envied dynamic sites, and I see one (or 2 or 3 or 4) in my future!

    So far I've gotten the free trial (that's a tease! I'll buy the program today) Been lurking here to get a general understanding and I love it!

    I expect to be here alot and probably be a pest in the beginning, ya know, an old dog learning new stuff...

    So far, I understand the basics I think, I have my data feed, know how to clean it, have a pretty good idea of generally where I'll be going, where I will get in *trouble* is with names and tags, I always do!

    My first questions before I procede:

    1)Aprox how much space (mb & bandwith) shall I expect my site to take? I have 75 mg and 1000 mb so far, it can be increased if need be. The one I'm redoing is pretty graphic heavy because I hand coded about 300 or more pages.

    2)Will I have to make folders for the pages generated by webmerge or does it make them?

    3)I'm assuming these files need to be uploaded with the main files, can I save them right to the site in my editor? (ex. site, images, webmerge pages)

    Bear with me, I can be pretty dense till the light goes on in my head!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Ms. Woodtick;

    Welcome to the WebMerge family! We will try to provide help as you need it, however, in general "WebMerge works best for those who help themselves." Experimentation with WebMerge and doing lots of test runs offline to see how making one small change affects your output is the key.

    In response to your questions:

    1) The amount of space will depend mostly on how many records are in the datafeed that your are processing, i.e., how many webpages you are generating (one record = one webpage). If you only have a couple of hundred records, you shouldn't have any problem. But if you go for large, 30,000 record datafeeds, then you will have to increase your online space. BTW, am I correct that you meant 75 MB of space rather than 75 mg?

    2) WM does not automatically make folders. This is dependent on the field that you use to create the filename for each webpage. For example, if you use a "PRODUCTID" field, then all the webpages will be created/dumped into the same folder (which is what most people generally do).

    If you want folders, then you need to specify that in the "PRODUCTID". For example, "woodtick/1234" would create the file 1234.htm within a folder called "woodtick". This gets rather complicated. There is more information on this in my online tutorial (look below for FRANK 's and FRED's tutorials.

    3) Yes, the pages that you create will need to be uploaded. Upload just the generated pages, not the templates or your WM settings file. I find it best to mirror the structure of my online site on my home computer with respect to folders that contain images. That helps to keep things relationally correct.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Frank!

    Yes, I have already bookmarked your tutorial. I notice every time I read I pick up something new, so there's hope for me!

    duh, yea, 75 mb. I have my own reseller hosting space, so my site allowances are changeable. It would be simple to upgrade any.

    the original woodtick has a few thousand products shown, all manually inserted by me

    thewoodticksworkshop is the one I plan to use webmerge on for a start. Basically I'm redoing woodtick this way to experiment without sacrificing sales. I'm hoping woodticks workshop will kick butt in the future!

    So far I'm figuring this will be a 4 tier site (ambitious, aren't I?)
    example:tools/powertools/planers/then individual products.

    Am I heading in the right direction?

    I know this is going to be a long, involved process until I learn to do it right. Time isn't super important, it took me over 2 months to insert all the pages manually the first time!

    I'm really getting excited about this!

  4. #4
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    I think the process with go much faster than you think. If you work through FRED's tutorial and mine, you will be get the hang of it pretty quickly.

    You are definitely headed in the right direction. The key to a good four tier website is having good "CATEGORY" and "SUBCATEGORY" fields in your datafeed.

    By the way, make sure that you do not have duplicates in the SUBCATEGORY field. Avoid tools/powertools/planers/ and tools/handtools/planers/ where "planners" is your subcategory since this will create overwrite problems of your subcategory index pages. Instead use something like tools/powertools/pt-planers/ and tools/handtools/ht-planers/

    Having said that, if you use the folders creation option, you can avoid this problem. But don't worry too much about that for the moment.

    Having a reseller account is great for doing this kind of work, especially make instant adjustments to web space when you need it. Do you, by chance, have telnet or SSH access to your accounts? If so (or if you can set it up) it will make uploading your files much less time consuming, i.e., by zipping the files, uploading the zipped file, and unzipping them online.

  5. #5
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    Great! My feed looks good, no dupes. I'm almost ready to stop being a chicken and start doing some pages.
    A couple more questions then I'll be off experimenting-
    My source-would that be a folder with all my datafeeds (ok, I only have 1, but that's just right now)

    The images in my feed look different than yours, no http image path. will these work? I'll assume they do, this is an example right from affiliate.

    offerings_id producttitle productdescription1 smimage smimagewidth smimageheight stdimage stdimagewidth stdimageheight segmentname categorytitle grouptitle
    1417 3M Spray Mount Great for temporarily bonding patterns and layouts directly to wood. 61242s-80.jpg 40 80 61242.jpg 60 120 Adhesives, Sanding and Finishing Adhesives, Glue, and Gluing Accessories Contact


    Man I feel like a total idjiot!

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    First, what Frank said

    Second, in trying to determine the storage requirements, you can be pretty accurate once you have your templates done.

    After adding up the sizes of images you'll be serving up yourself, you can multiply the number of records in the data feed, by the size of the template file. Don't forget to add a little to the size of the template for the content that gets put into the finished file.

    example:
    detail template = 8k
    data to be inserted = 800 bytes.

    Total = 8.8k then multiply by the number of records (say 5,000 as an example).

    8.8k x 5,000 = 4.4 Mb

    Don't forget your index pages, and they'll be larger in size, but you will have fewer of them.

    Just wait until you have feeds with 40,000+ records. Your hosting provider will love you

    Fred

  7. #7
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    First, what Fred said

    Your image field only needs the http:// when the images are located on a remote server other than your own (which is usually the case for most affiliates, but is NOT your case).

    Assuming that your images are located in directory called /images (on both your computer and website), you can configure you product template for the image to be /images/[WM-Field: dimension_image].

    Later you may want to add a link from the small image to a large image, or to a "buy it now" link. However, first just try to get a basic templat working. Add the bells and whistles later.

  8. #8
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    lol, they love me already and I can always upgrade if I want to. I have lots of space left because I've only sold a few hosting spots, the rest I use for my own static sites and one post nuke.

    Calculating as you've said, it shouldn't be much more than it is now, I mean 1 image per page as opposed to 20. Now I expect my bandwith demands to rise. *sigh*

    Now if I can figure my other 2 questions out and one more:where to put the source files up with the site, I can get rolling I think!

  9. #9
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    Your source file stays on your hard drive. You do not upload it. You use WM and your templates to access that datafeed offline to create your 3,000+ webpages. Then upload those pages (nothing else).

  10. #10
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    You guys are great! The fog is starting to lift in this fuzzy head (for now at least)


    Expect me back wailing tomarrow and hope I don't!

  11. #11
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    Although your template files do not need to be on your server, I always upload the template files anyway so I have a backup of everything need to re-create the site on the server.

    Then, if for any reason I lose them on my PC I can just retrieve them from the server.

    I backup to DVD but sods law states if you have a hard drive failure or have to reinstall windows, it will happen just before you were going to do another backup.

    So I upload them everytime I change them, just to be sure.

    Also means if you go to change a template and totally mess it up, at least you can retrieve it from the server and go back to your last working version and start again.

    Same goes for Dreaweaver templates and any raw photoshop files used to create a site.

  12. #12
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    quote
    ========================
    I always upload the template files anyway so I have a backup of everything...
    ========================

    Not a bad idea as long as you are not concerned about any unauthorized acess to them online (which, I admit, may be less probable than a hard drive crash).

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ms. Woodtick:
    The one I'm redoing is pretty graphic heavy because I hand coded about 300 or more pages. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ouch! That gives me repetitive strain injury just thinking about it.

    With the assistance of the smart folks here it seems you're well on your way, but please do keep the questions coming to help you get up and running with WebMerge. I hate to see people hand-coding that many pages, and hopefully you'll never need to do that again.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  14. #14
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    How do think I feel???? *sigh* all the time I've wasted on all those pages!

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