5 vital SEO tips

So you have your online store but just can’t seem to get good ranking in Google’s search results. Well, if you’re a DIY search engine optimiser then what’s best way to fix this?  To most people, why sites rank well on google is a mystery,  so here are basic some tips on just what it is you need to do….
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Great review…

We had such a nice review the other day, that I thought I would share it…

“The software has a beautiful feel to it and is laid out so well.  I have tried and used quite a few DIY store builders and I must admit you have impressed me!”


Automated online payments with Payment Express

Link to http://www.paymentexpress.com.au

Spiffy Stores now accept payments through the Payment Express payment gateway!

Payment Express is a Visa and MasterCard certified solution, developed by DPS, which facilitates electronic payments seamlessly from multiple access points i.e. Web, EFTPOS, Billing, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), CRM, Vending, MOTO (Mail Order / Telephone Order) and Wireless.

DPS are certified with banks in Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Singapore, South Africa, USA and United Kingdom.

Of course Payment Express does require a merchant account, but they have developed a relationship with their banking parters to streamline the application process for you. They are currently offering free setup, with a low $20 a month fee and a 40 cents per transaction charge, making them one of the most affordable payment gateways in Australia.

It’s easy to accept payments through Payment Express in your Spiffy Store. After you’ve signed up with Payment Express, you just go to the “Checkout & Payment” section of your preferences, select “Payment Express” as your payment gateway, and then enter your Payment Express login and password, and it’s all set up for you instantly!

Multisets and Bags in Ruby

I’ve been looking around for an implementation of a Multiset/Bag in Ruby to ease the pain of recording some of our statistics.

Some of the statistics we gather are most usefully stored as some form of “super” Set in which each unique element is stored together with a count of the number of times that element has occurred. These statistics are likely to have a large number of repeated elements, so this makes sense as it saves on space and processing.

So, after an extensive search, I was surprised at the paucity of solutions for this problem.

Eventually I hit upon


It does exactly what I want, but I decided that I would add the following custom functions. These two functions return all the items in a Multiset with the highest/lowest counts.

class Multiset
  # Return all the items with the maximum count
  def max_values
    max_value = @items.values.max
    @items.select { |k, v| v == max_value }.map { |i| i[0] }

  # Return all the items with the minimum count
  def min_values
    min_value = @items.values.min
    @items.select { |k, v| v == min_value }.map { |i| i[0] }

Tiny glitch on the orders list screen

sneak-preview-ordersIf you haven’t noticed that the “show all” link on the Orders page is broken, you’re in the minority.

We’ve received tons of emails letting us know about it. Rest assured that we know it’s broken and it will be fixed very soon.

This little glitch is because of some new features that we’re working on bringing to this screen that should make it a lot clearer when there’s an order that needs your attention.

We’ve focused on whether action needs to be taken on an order, so rather than highlighting the fact that an order, has been paid for, we’re highlighting things like orders that are paid for and not shipped, and new orders that require a payment to be processed.

This, along with some other tweaks should resolve a few issues we’ve seen where orders are left open, items aren’t marked as shipped, and payments not marked as processed. Hopefully it will really help people that have stores with a lot of small orders and small shipments keep on top of their workflow.

Update: 24th May, 2009
This bug has now been fixed!

New dashboard stats coming soon

Dashboard stats sneak preview

We thought we’d give you a sneak preview of the new built-in statistics we’re developing.  The new dashboard statistics are currently being developed in Silverlight, just like the ones you’ve currently got.  The difference however is that these ones are way prettier, and a lot more useful!

I have to confess that I’m a bit obsessed with stats, so can’t wait to launch these.  You will soon have access to all-important conversion rate statistics, as well as a more complete view of where your visitors are coming from, and your most popular pages.

After the new dashboard stats go live, we’ll be developing more comprehensive statistics to allow you to track all kinds of important (and sometimes not so important) stuff!

EDIT:  Before you ask… no we don’t yet know when these will be released!

Ten cool things we can do when IE6 is dead

I’ve been busy working on a couple of new themes, and can’t believe how annoying IE6 is.  Hours of annnoying bug fixes later, and I just can’t believe that any company can write software so crap.  Why are people still using it?

Internet Explorer 6 has always been crap when it comes to building websites. While many of its issues are Microsoft’s fault for ignoring web standards, newer problems have arisen simply because of its age. It’s now eight years old, and many of the cool new tools on the web just didn’t exist when it came out.

Even if not all of IE6’s problems are its own fault, I know I’ll be joining the millions of web designers & developers dancing on Internet Explorer 6’s grave… when it finally dies the slow painful death it deserves. Until then, designing pages around IE6’s shortcomings is a fact of life.

Still… if you’ve ever wondered what sort of cool stuff you’ll be able to take advantage of when IE6 is gone, Sitepoint’s James Edwards has a list of the 10 cool things we’ll be able to do once IE6 is dead.

We hate you, Internet Exploder. You will not be missed.

Shipping notification emails & packing slips

Shipping Notification Email

We’ve been working hard on getting the shipping side of processing your orders sorted out to make it as streamlined as possible for you.

Now, when you mark an order as shipped, a notification email is sent out to the customer to let them know their items are on their way.

You can also add a tracking number so they can track their shipment.  A new Order Shipping Report is also created instead of the old Fulfilment Report, which also allows the printing of Packing Slips.

Very soon you’ll also be able to customise your emails as well, so you’ll be able to completely re-brand all aspects of your store! Check out the preview of the email to the right.


Support for eWAY payment gateway added

Spiffy Stores can now accept payments through the eWAY payment gateway.

eWAY is the leading Internet payment gateway provider operating in Australia. Connecting your Spiffy Store directly to your bank to process your customers online credit card payment in a few seconds.

Using a payment gateway like eWAY allows your business to securely trade 24/7 all over the globe, truly automating the accepting website payments component of your business, and cutting out the pain of manually processing transactions.

It’s also super-easy to use eWAY as your gateway provider.  After you’ve signed up with eWay, you just go to the “Checkout & Payment” section of your preferences, select eWAY as your payment gateway, and then enter your eWAY customer number.  You’re then ready to start accepting real-time credit card payments!