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  1. #1
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    or BuyitBomb...would just like some opinions as to which is the best of these three options for a newbie who wants to add merchants easily and have things as automated as possible.

    TIA

  2. #2
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    The answer is- it depends.
    What kind of site do you want to build? Static or dynamic? How many pages? etc.

    For large static HTML sites, best to use Webmerge. For a smaller but automatically updating
    site, Buy-it-Bomb is not a bad way to go, because you can easily set it up to update SSI inserted text via Cronjob. However, you have to manually create the pages when you first set them up, so it's not ideal for a larger site. Unlike Webmerge, which will create thousands of pages for you in seconds. (Although it may take you weeks to figure out how to use it).

    Overall, I'd have to recommend Webmerge, since it is the most flexible solution.

  3. #3
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    I recommend webmerge. DB to HTML Express works well too but FourthWorld (Webmerge Developers) update more frequently. Never used Buy-it-Bomb.

  4. #4
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    Thank you both. Anyone else? I'd really like to hear from someone who's used DB to HTML Express. Webmerge looks promising but I've heard that it can take a real long time to upload the pages if you have a lot of feeds/products. I plan to probably use at least a dozen feeds before I'm done, including Amazon, Overstock, and Alibris - so many many products, to say the least. Can Webmerge handle this?

  5. #5
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    As Laertes said, it all depends on what you are trying to get. I know I go on about this script so much, but its worth every cent, and (from personal experience), it will import from pretty much any feed (details on that link in my sig.).

    There is a long post about LinksSQL on a thread a couple below this one.. may be worth checking out

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Okay, thank you, looks like I'll likely be giving Webmerge a try. As for LinksSQL...I'm a poor man: along with all the neccessary plug-ins, it's just too expensive for me right now. I'm using PowerSeekSQL right now for a directory - while it has its limitations, it'll have to do for now.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Strangely, I would also say - it depends. For all of the reasons above. From what I have seen, the folks that can figure out PHP and Perl, are the ones that can figure out WebMerge.

    There are tools for learning both (many more for PHP and Perl etc.). So again, it depends.

    There are tons of free feeds out there, so that shouldn't be a showstopper for you. I think Webmerge is on sale for a few more days (there is a link on my site to purchase), so you might want to go that way.

    Fred

  8. #8
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    ...or WebMerge WITH BuyItBomb! Use WM to create sites for merchants you can get datafeeds for and/or use WebMerge to create pages designed around a specific theme, load multiple merchant data into BuyItBomb, and use SSI to write the data based on keywords to the generated static WM pages.

  9. #9
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    Well, my site isn't specifically a merchandise site, it's really a portal that has descriptions and links for thousands of things, with an option to buy what can be bought. In other words, I don't really see the need to create thousands of static shopping pages in addition to the thousands of pages I'll already have - so is there really any reason then not to just use something simpler like BuyitBomb...? or would Webmerge still fulfill some other useful purpose better?

  10. #10
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    BuyItBomb makes it very easy to add merchant products to your existing pages.

    Just find the products you want to sell and then use simple SSI includes to add them to your pages.

    You can also syndicate the products in RSS format and add them to your site in using tools like BlogBomb.

    BuyItBomb handles all of the tedious tasks of downloading datafeeds, converting them to a usable format, searching them etc so you can focus on creating content for your site. Once you setup a datafeed, the work is done. You just set a cron schedule and it is updated on a regular basis with no intervention.

    As far as creating entire sites, WebMerge and LinkSql have an integrated solution, but BuyItBomb can be mixed and matched with other general purpose products that can be used for other projects.

    Products such as PageBomb and LinkBomb, give you fantastic capabilities and with BuyItBomb can create entire merchant sites.

    Take care,
    Bo

  11. #11
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    Has anyone tried FLATTEXT Database Scripts from:

    http://flattext.com/index2.html

    or CSVread & CSVread Xtra at:

    http://www.ezscripting.co.uk/csvread/

    ???

  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by imno007:
    Well, my site isn't specifically a merchandise site, it's really a portal that has descriptions and links for thousands of things, with an option to buy what can be bought. In other words, I don't really see the need to create thousands of static shopping pages in addition to the thousands of pages I'll already have - so is there really any reason then not to just use something simpler like BuyitBomb...? or would Webmerge still fulfill some other useful purpose better? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    As a general-purpose database-to-web publishing system, chances are you'll find many uses for WebMerge the longer you work with it. In addition to our hundreds of affiliate customers we have folks who use it to quickly publish company directories, literary webzines, "microsites" within larger corporate web sites and intranets (including some customers at the US Library of Congress), and a few who use it for blogging.

    If there's anything you want to do with it that isn't currently supported just drop me a note and I'll see if I can add a tag for that in the next release.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  13. #13
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    I found Webmerge impossible to fathom. The concept is great, just the development has stopped about three steps short of not being a beta program.

    There were too many inconsistencies with it to persevere. I look forward to the day when there is a user-friendly version of it produced, or when there is a user friendly alternative available.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador ktmkiddy's Avatar
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    I've just made a 2500 page web site in a week, and that's including using web merge and a data feed for the first time !!

    I think you and Richard should have a friendly chat, web merge really is newbie friendly and with a little bit of thought you can make some nice SE friendly pages etc.

    Malc - www.cheapautotools.com
    Adverts

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by matte:
    I found Webmerge impossible to fathom. The concept is great, just the development has stopped about three steps short of not being a beta program.

    There were too many inconsistencies with it to persevere. I look forward to the day when there is a user-friendly version of it produced, or when there is a user friendly alternative available. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    For a "BETA" it works pretty damn well...I can't wait for a "RC" version then as it will most likely not only build thousands of web-ready pages in minutes from one single template file but will also wash my truck windows AND drive my truck down to All Tune and Lube to get my oil changed!!! Richard...you're slackin'

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    For some, WebMerge is a challenge to master for the first time. While you don't need any programming knowledge to make it work, a basic knowledge of HTML, and how the Internet works in general are prerequisites. To me, it seems easier if one can visualize the pieces that you're trying to put together.

    I wouldn't call it beta - it works for what it does. It is consistent, and hasn't broken. matte (above) may be one of those that can't visualize what is going on (or needs to), he is probably very frustrated. For some, it's a challenge.

    I have talked with several who arrive at that "breakthrough" moment when it all comes together, and each has said there was a learning curve. Some get it right away, and some don't.

    Listening to those folks, I have made some revisions to my site, including the Index Template area, in order to help beginners visualize everything. Hopefully, those new to WebMerge will find it just a slight bit easier to learn. I have also completely changed the layout, utilizing two-column CSS. Next - XML feeds, and PHP...

    Fred

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by matte:
    I found Webmerge impossible to fathom. The concept is great, just the development has stopped about three steps short of not being a beta program.

    There were too many inconsistencies with it to persevere. I look forward to the day when there is a user-friendly version of it produced, or when there is a user friendly alternative available. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's challenging to make the program as flexible as our customers require and still keep it simple enough to do productive work within minutes of installing the package. But that's definitely the goal, and I'd love to hear more about your views on the program if you have a few moments -- feel free to call me toll-free at 800-288-5825 at your convenience. I'd love to get your feedback and see what I can do to tailor the program for your learning style and workflow.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by buy_online:
    For some, WebMerge is a challenge to master for the first time. While you don't need any programming knowledge to make it work, a basic knowledge of HTML, and how the Internet works in general are prerequisites. To me, it seems easier if one can visualize the pieces that you're trying to put together. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's an interesting notion. I've been playing with ideas for making the interface also act as a sort of workflow diagram, but I've been unable to find research that suggests that interfaces like that actually aid learning. If I can justify the time it wouldn't be technically hard to do.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I have talked with several who arrive at that "breakthrough" moment when it all comes together, and each has said there was a learning curve. Some get it right away, and some don't. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's not easy to pin down: I get emails from grandmothers who rave about how easily they set up their first site, and I get emails from programming gurus who find it hard to use.

    But if I do my job well, with each version the range of people who "get it" right off will be ever larger.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

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