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Friday, October 05 2012
Site Builder 4.5
We are in the process of finalizing and testing the next system update. This release includes a few system adjustments/component updates and a large number of enhancements in the ecommerce area.  
We do expect that the release roll out to all systems will take a longer than normal for the 4.6 update.
With the section slider component, you can setup content sections using the page editor. A section menu is displayed on the left side. when a menu button is clicked the content section associated with the menu button slides into view. Using the page editor you can add any component type into the sections. The section slider works like the tabbed content and accordion components.
Several minor user interface adjustments have been added. These include hover/rollover effects and counts added to the main editor icons. Ex. The admin home page now displays the number of outstanding orders, number of users/customers as well as your default mailing list size.
We are looking for a few customers that are interested in trying the new ecommerce features and updates. Much of the ecommerce system has been reworked and we are wanting to get feedback from customers before making all the updates generally available. Let us know if you have customers that are interested in getting early access to test the new features.
This update includes many enhancements in the ecommerce area. These enhancement are designed to make it easier to manage products, provide more ecommerce display options and allow better integration with other systems.
Product edit page updates
The main product edit page has been reworked to be more streamlined. The description, short description and text description are now displayed in tabs. This helps make the page shorter and easier to read. For many cases the short and text descriptions are not needed or used by customers. These fields no longer take up extra space on the page.
The edit product list in the store manager now displays your small product image making it easier to manage your products/see your product entries.
Product detail tabs
If you have a lot of information about a product you can now display the additional information in tabs that are displayed at the bottom of the product detail page. Create up to 5 custom tabs with additional information about your product.
Dynamic pricing page updates
The pricing on the product detail page will now dynamically update to reflect the price for the currently selected set of options and addons.
Product options
The product option features has been reworked to provide for more flexibility. All of the same option types are available, but it is now easier to edit and organize your options. Use drag/reorder to organize your options list and option values.
Product skus/advanced options
The new advanced options area gives you more control of your option settings and display. When you add an advanced option, more management features will be available for the product. These advanced features enable you to set the image, manage inventory, configure the weight, and modify the price for a set of options.
Inventory tracking for options
With option based inventory tracking, you can track multiple inventory levels for the same product. Ex if you sell tshirts that come in red, blue and green as well as three sizes SM, M, LG - It is now easier to track the inventory for each combination of options.
red - SM
red - M
red - LG
blue - SM
Inventory import/export
Use the new inventory data options to import and export product inventory levels.  This feature also works with SKU based product options.
Shipping weight for options
If you have products with options that change the weight of the product, you can use the advanced setting to set the shipping weight for a set of options.
Change product image based on selected options
The product image on the detail page can now be configured to change based on the selected set of options. Many customers like to see what the product looks like after their option changes have been made. Ex. If you sell tshirts - you can now set the product image to change to the red tshirt when customers select the red tshirt option. Advanced options must be enable to use this feature.
After settings a SKUID for each option set, go to the more images area, upload your images and set the SKUID that is associated with each image.
Color swatch option type
The color swatch option type lets users click a color box to choose the color that they want instead of selecting the color from a drop down menu.
Copy options
Setting up product options is now even easier with the copy option feature. When editing a product, choose the copy option menu and select a product to copy options from an existing product.
Quantity based pricing setup
It is now easier to setup quantity based pricing by using the quantity pricing entry screen. To setup quantity based pricing click the quantity table icon next to the pricing field. Enter the quantity amount and the unit price for that quantity.
After the next release look for the following updates and enhancements. The 4.6 release will include new layouts and style options to help create a professional/quality website look and feel.
- New layouts
- Many new style options
- Easier design customization
- New components
- Better image management
- Enhanced mobile/tablet support
- Move components in/out of tabs, column and accordion components
Learn more about how to create a website here
Posted by: Support AT 12:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 22 2012
FedEx has recently retired their FedEx ShipManager Direct service. If you are a customer setup with this shipping method, rates will not be available during the checkout process.

Merchants should be able to contact FedEx to get setup with a Web Services account. Once the merchant has a Web Services account, they can setup this option via their Shipping Options area to replace the retired FedEx ShipManager Direct option.


Posted by: Support AT 06:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 08 2012
  • 20 new layouts added
  • New background textures
  • More color options for new designs
  • Larger design selection window
  • Adjust quicklinks bar font size
  • Enhanced design drop down menu for quicker access to design features
  • Default styles for blog and image galleries
  • CSS submenus now default to use menu slide animation
  • Default groupbox spacing/padding
  • New google fonts added
Header/bannerThe header/banner settings area has been updated to let you use a content slider or custom HTML in the banner area. The system will now auto adjust to automatically use the width/height of upload banner images.

Design menuThe design options popup menu has been enhanced to provide direct links to more design areas (design library, design settings, design manager, web developer tools...). The menu is also available by clicking the right most design tab ("..."). This menu allows you to easily navigate between design areas.

Design manager - Design Explorer (coming soon)The design manager explorer allows you to edit and customize your design before making the changes live on your site.Content sliderThe content slider has been updated with direct links to edit the slider text.

Photo galleryThe photo gallery has been adjusted to allow you to upload photos directly from the page editor. Edit a page with a photo gallery on it and click the upload button above the gallery display.

Google mapsThe system has been updated to use the new Google maps API/service. You are no longer requied to user a developer key when setting up your map.

QuickEdit barA new QuickEdit bar option is available. The QuickEdit bar is positioned at the top right of your website. It allows to you easily scroll up and down the page as well as toggle between edit/view modes.

Ecommerce group coupon supportAutomatically generate sets of coupons for group based coupon promotions such as GroupOn.Ecommerce administrationYou can now setup admin user accounts and give the account access to manage your store products. To configure admin access, go to the user accounts - administration users area.

Misc updates

  • Page properties : advanced settings - set the page url (page name)
  • Design manager enhancements
  • Ecommerce - Canada post shipping
Posted by: Steve AT 07:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, September 11 2011

Included in the latest release is the option for ecommerce account holders to setup an affiliate program. Using this feature the merchant can setup a commission rate to be earned by the affiliates and banners for the affiliates to display on their websites. Orders created by visitors who reach the site via these banners will be tracked and an affiliate payment will be computed. The merchant can keep track of their affiliate payments via their website admin.

How it works:

The merchant creates an affiliate program with a percentage based commission via the affiliates area in the Store section. They setup an affiliate commission rate and write up how the affiliate program works in the program description area. Then they add banners that the affiliates will have to choose from to display on their website.

Affiliates are created via the User accounts system. This can be done via the normal user account to a group methods: manually enter the affiliate user, create a form that sets up the submission as a user in the group, the standard create account option

Once the affiliate user is created, the affiliate logs in via the My account area and clicks the affiliate tab. They can see details of the affiliate program and grab HTML to display the merchant's banner on the affiliate website. Sales completed by customers who reach the site by clicking the banner will be tracked and commissions will be applied to the affiliate.

The merchant can view the amount owed to the affiliate and register a payment by finding the user in the user accounts area (affiliate group) and clicking the affiliate tab. The merchant would still need to actually send the payment to the affiliate.

Posted by: Steve S. AT 08:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 19 2011
Rand from SEOMOZ discusses the future of link building in the ever changing world of SEO.  I have found seomoz to be one of the best places on the internet to find great website optimization tips.  Watch the video to see what working now and what's not.

Posted by: Steve S. AT 10:37 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 04 2011

USPS recently updated their Web Tools service which is used to calculate shipping rates.  Merchants who use the USPS automated rate calculator may have reported issues with rates not calculating on order submitted recently.  This was due the USPS changes.  A update was released today to adjust for the changes made by USPS.  Rates should currently be available and working again.

Please remember that when no rate is available whether it be due to this issue or when the shipper is unavailable to return a rate, the manual shipping/calculated at ship time option will be displayed to the shopper during checkout.  This allows the shopper to place their order and for you to calculate the shipping fee after the order has been placed.  Most merchants can use the Add Charge button on the order details screen to bill additional fees to the credit card on file for the shopper.  The Add Charge button is only available though if this is compatible with your gateway.

To comment on this blog just click on "comments" below, A form will open up below where you can enter your comments.  Commenting on this blog and then entering your website link will help promote your site and help it move up in the search engines.

Don't forget that eDirectHost Website Builder can help you build your own website.

Posted by: Steve S. AT 09:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, September 02 2010
eCommerce shopping cart reports are vital to track you sales and success.  Within the eDirectHost website builder you can click on the "store" tab and then click on "eCommerce Reports & Analysis" on the bottom right side.  In here you can view your sales report by date to see if sales are up or down from previous date ranges.  You can also click on "sales by product" to see which products have been selling the best, you can also look at this over numerous months to see if your selling more or less and even see if it's a seasonal product which only sells certain months.  If you setup your products with a cost amount the system will even give you a "sales profit/cost report" which will help you see which products are more profitable and this may help you determin if you need to change your focus on a certain product or product line.

There are many more reports like sales by credit card type, state, product count, sales tax and more.  The tool is there and it's included in all of our plans for free so check it out.

To comment on this blog just click on "comments" below, A form will open up below where you can enter your comments.  Commenting on this blog and then entering your website link will help promote your site and help it move up in the search engines.
Posted by: SMS AT 10:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email