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  1. #1
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    I'm kicking around the idea od adding a feed to my site and would like some advice.

    I know basic html and am fairly good with Excel, but that's the extent of my programming knowledge (if you can call that programming...).

    I'm getting the feeling that WebMerge is well liked, but has a learning curve. What kind of time investment am I looking at to get started?

    I'd like to simply create catalog pages that would be an add-on to my site. I don't need to worry about traffic (Google already loves me) or anything fancy, just some static pages that I can refer somebody to if they want to go searching for something.

  2. #2
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    If you do a datafeed, you're going to have dynamic and not static pages. You don't want to manually create those pages!

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
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    Uh, not necessarily. WebMerge creates static pages, not dynamic.

    There is a learning curve, how much depends on what level you are at.

    I would suggest reading the Web Merge forum, downloading the trial version and going through the posted tutorials.

    I gave up and am using something different with more flexibility. There are as many ways to build a site with databases as there are people doing the building.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
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    If you are going to put in the time anyway, why not learn some simple php & mysql. It will stop you from making yet another cookie-cutter, hard to navigate, web merge site.

    Seriously, if I could offer one bit of advice to anyone starting right now, webmerge is a deadend, and that knowledge will not transfer over. Take the small extra amount of time and learn php and mysql, that knowledge will only continue to produce for you and not lock you into a dead site.

    Chet

  5. #5
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If you are going to put in the time anyway, why not learn some simple php & mysql. It will stop you from making yet another cookie-cutter, hard to navigate, web merge site.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's the way I went and it does offer you lots more flexibility than webmerge.

    Oscar
    My DataFeed Scripts - php datafeed scripts for your site
    Shareasale datafeed scripts - to display Shareasale datafeeds
    Linkshare datafeed scripts - for multiple Linkshare merchants

  6. #6
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Used Webmerge - took about a week or 2 to get the hang of it - I have not done php (yet) but it seems it would be of more value all around to learn it.

    Just my perception: If your site ranks low and has little to offer before a database, you may be spinning your wheels by adding 1000's of pages largely ignored by the major search engines. Those more experienced please comment.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  7. #7
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CheeseHead:
    ... If your site ranks low and has little to offer before a database, you may be spinning your wheels by adding 1000's of pages largely ignored by the major search engines. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    On the other hand...Google (especially) likes to see new material added frequently. In my pre-database phase Google came by every week or so. Now it is a daily thing.

    Ranking low doesn't always mean a failure. I have several pages that I can't seem to get placed above page four. I get hits from those pages on a regular basis (just not as many as I'd like).

    Webmerge is a good way to get started with feeds. You must learn the ins and outs of what database marketing is about. A server-side application is a natural extension of the learning process.

    Just having a set of pages built from a database (whether from WM or dynamic) isn't the total answer. You need all of the other skills. Like SEO, SEM, design, navigation, etc.

    Perhaps the most overlooked skill to acquire is the ability to write the words that will trigger the searcher to become the buyer. With dynamic pages this is even more important if you want to stand out.

    So? I'd say go with some database pages. If you want a tip on this just shoot me a PM.

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the input.

    I agree with the part about a database alone not simply helping a web site. I've got a PR of 7, so fortunately, I'm not having to worry about traffic.

    For me, this is a profitable hobby and I'm looking to keep my time committment down. So there's a tradeoff between what I could make and the effort I'm actually willing to put in. This is a variable that depends on each individual.

    If I go the PHP and MYSQL, are the books and/or programs that I should look at. Also, how high level is this stuff. I've only programmed in basic html, so while I have no computer phobias, I don't want to feel overwhelmed either.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    There are obviously two schools of thought here, and both valid - for different reasons. Both have learning curves, and both have benefits, again for different reasons.

    I would investigate both. The data-feed forum, and WebMerge forum, as well as coding. I do PHP too, and it is awesome.

    But a lot can be said about static pages too. Contrary to what was said earlier, static pages don't have to hang around forever, or for a long time. I have everything set up to refresh on a regular basis. There are also some folks that are using PHP and WebMerge to create pages, and maintain them regularly.

    Hope I haven't confused you too much.

    Fred

  10. #10
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    I going throw another piece of wood into the fire, just because I'm thinking about it.

    How applicable is PHP outside of affiliate marketing? I'm a stock analyst/market strategist and I do alot of work with financial web sites, from the content side (as opposed to the development side). I have no desire to move over to the programming side (I'm a writer, not an a IT person - no offense meant to you IT folks!). So what kind of value add, if any, am I going to get out of learning PHP?

    Just trying to weigh my options.

  11. #11
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    PHP was not made specifically for affiliate marketing.

    It can be used for nearly anything you can think of related to web sites, it's just another option besides java, asp, perl, etc.

    It won't help you create(write) content, it can help you format, manipulate, keep track of, change, or display content.

  12. #12
    http and a telephoto
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    Lots of open source cms are written in php, so you would be able to extend your knowledge to content sites.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    What Canadian eh said. EH!?

    Fred

  14. #14
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    You could even have your entire site made up in php. Several of the cms that Loxly alluded to are made specificly to seperate content from design.

    PHP-nuke is one of those.

    Again, you don't really need it until you want to automate a site. Then it rapidly becomes necessary...

    Take the free trial of WebMerge. Use it a while. Then re-evaluate your needs.

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  15. #15
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    LOL, there are so many content management systems out there now that I rarely mention any by name! phpNuke, postNuke, Mambo, the list goes on and on. Just go to http://sourceforge.net and have a look around. There are enough open source php programs to keep you happy for a very long time.

    I agree that downloading the WebMerge trial is a good thing to do, it may be perfect for you. It depends a lot on what datafeeds and merchants you are going to use. If it is a network datafeed, other than Shareasale, though, don't bother using WebMerge unless you also learn to use a redirect script.

    Depending on your merchants, you may not need a program at all other than an html editor, if they offer the Product Showcase Creator or their own version of that type of page generator. Again, Shareasale has that available, and of course the list of merchants at affSolutions.

    So it all depends on what you want and what merchants you want to promote. You initially said you wanted to add "some" pages, and that didn't sound like you wanted to add thousands of pages, so take a look around the forums and see what else you can do.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  16. #16
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    Learning PHP would be like learning Spanish or Italian.. maybe it's not apparently useful right away.. but it's ALOT of fun. Trust me, when you get your first "Hello World" up there, you'll feel like you've just discovered a baby you never knew you had.

    PHP really is amazingly simple to get into.. yes it can get very complicated, yes there are limitations to it, but there are so many free resources, and the community is pretty friendly (for the majority).

    And of course, you'll appreciate all our sites even MORE

    PHP and MySQL are also free, run on both windows and linux, and are always being improved upon.

    Alrighty, my preachin is done.. y'all have a fine day now, y'hear?

    --edit
    oh yah, WebMerge is pretty nasty, sorry. Put it this way, do you want to learn how to use a pocket translator, or speak the damn language ? Either way you can ask for the toilet.. but will you understand the directions to it ?

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