A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Resource for Crafters

What can I say? As someone that sells handmade items, I was impressed with this site. Low cost, unlimited listings, and high traffic - oh yeah, worth it. I poked around at other listings and noticed quite a few were selling items because it actually shows the number of items sold by each crafter. This to me is valuable, but I did want to note one small thing. There is an option to have them host your store, so those with higher numbers of items sold have their items all listed with this site. Even still, those numbers aren't bad at all. Since there is a direct link to your website, I have to wonder how many have sold items directly out of their stores.

It's $6/month and I've put some of my items up to test it out. I'll be listing at least one item per day for the next 2 weeks just to see how this site measures up. I really love the fact the number of items you can list is unlimited, and it's just a monthly cost.

Name of the site is Arts eFest. Stop by and take a look at what Prairie Soy Candles has listed if you have a few minutes. *wink*

Saturday, April 15, 2006

MSN Webhosting NOT worth the hassle

A few days ago I posted about playing with the new MSN webhosting and domain service. Wow, I am SO not impressed. First off, you have nothing more than a site builder to use to build your site. Alright for beginners, but forget about adding anything like PayPal buttons or a store. Why? You can't upload your own files. You have NO choice but to use the site builder. ICK ICK ICK!

Second, after realising how crappy and limited the hosting was, I thought I'd just take the domain name and host it somewhere else. NOPE - cancel the hosting and the domain gets cancelled. GRR! Mayjor bummer because I really wanted that domain name. It was going to be my playing site as I get more into graphics and web languages (php and the like). For the first time EVER, I actually registered a .net with a REAL hosting and domain company (GoDaddy) because I wanted that domain so bad.

Lesson learned. Beta is a BAD sign, even for big companies.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Mommy's Helper's - New Look

Now this has been a long time a coming! I've been wanting to do this for such a long time but it kept getting put off onto the back burner! Luckily Kara has this new found love of learning graphics so this was the perfect opportunity for both her and I!

So, check out our new header today ... Let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

New Syndication Format

Some of you may have noticed lately that you haven't been receiving your Bloglet updates from here. I'm not sure why it's not working and I've been trying to get it fixed for quite some time now. In the meantime I had been testing another service for myself called FeedBlitz. This service is basically set up the same way as Bloglet but way better features (and I don't think I've not received an update for over a month now). Another great feature that FeedBlitz had was the ability to import our Bloglet subscribers right to FeedBlitz so each of you don't have to do a thing. Those of you that were subscribed to Bloglet have been automatically switched to FeedBlitz.

If you'd like to recieve an email each time A Tale of 2 Wahms is updated please feel free to subscribe with our FeedBlitz box on the sidebar.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Microsoft now as webhosting

You knew it was going to happen sooner or later, and now I'm just waiting for Google to jump in the game as well. Microsoft's web hosting probably has been around for some time now, but I just stumbled on it the other night. Decided I needed to test it out to see how it looks. So far, I'm not all that impressed with their free option. Reminds me of the old Geocities/yahoo site builders but with nicer designs. I guess maybe my problem is the lack of control since I haven't used a site builder for well over 3 years now.

At least the domain is free, but now I wonder if I can even move it over to a better host that will give me more control. As far as websites for beginners goes, I guess this isn't too bad. Pretty simple to understand and build a nice site. However, I'd totally lacking control in many areas. I hate that.

Off to do more testing on it, because I might find it's not so bad after all. We'll see though.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Successful Online Parties

Online parties can be a blast, and can be very profitable if you know what you're doing. While they are very simlar to home parties, there's a big difference in promotion and presentation. If you've been thinking about hosting a party online, but didn't know how to get started, Direct Sales Helpers has the perfect solution.

Introducing: Direct Sales Helpers Virtual Classes

On April 17th, we'll be starting our first online class taught by resident expert Val Selby. She'll be using our brand new ebook, "Successful Online Parties" to teach you how to set up your first online party. In addition, you'll learn how to gain the most visitors to your party and earn the most sales.

For details on registration, visit:

Only 50 spots are available, so be sure to register as soon as possible!

To your success!


P.S. Interesting in just the ebook? For details, visit:

Monday, April 03, 2006

Shopping Carts

After seeing quite a bit of talk about Zen-cart, I decided to look into it a bit more. On Friday my To-Do list read "Check out new shopping cart" somewhere near the end. I had planned to do a few other things after I gave it a look, but I never got that far.

Somewhere around 5pm, I had finally finished uploading files - yes you heard me right, I spent the entire day just UPLOADING files. I'm not expert at php, but I do know enough to install things like message boards and article directories. Never in my online life have I ever seen so many files for one php script. Not that I've done all that much outside of the message boards on several sites and the WAHM Article Directory, but wow. I couldn't believe it took so long just to UPLOAD.

After I finished uploading, the real fun with installing and customizing began. It never fails, I always end up installing it twice because I messed something up the first time. Even still, installing was the easy part of this shopping cart. I had it finished in less than an hour. It wasn't until I started to customize it that my real headache began.

Most that read this blog know I don't usually work on weekends outside of lightly checking email. This weekend was the longest I'd worked in a very, very long time. I just couldn't leave it alone, and I hadn't planned on taking up this much time with it since I have other things that need attended to. But the more I played with it, the more I fell in love with this shopping cart (and the more I saw WHY there was so many files!). Somewhere around 9pm last night I said "Hey, I think I'm done!". To which my other half replies "yeah right". Gee thanks for the support. Anyway...

For the past 3 years I've used nothing but Mals-e for anything related to online shopping. It served it's purpose for me, and I'll still recommend it to those just starting. I can't imagin having zen-cart thrown at me 3 years ago. I would have had a complete breakdown, I can tell you that right now! But for those that can handle the scripts and want more "toys" with there cart, zen-cart is awesome. As much of a pain as it was to set it all up, I really am in love with it. I was able to edit just about everything and create a new online store for Prairie Soy Candles.

Some of the features I like the most are:

- Built in exact shipping costs directly from UPS and USPS (ZERO guess work on shipping costs!)
- Ability to accept PayPal OR other payment proccessing (including credit cards)
- Write reviews option
- More coupon code options
- Ability to update options with one click (I add new scents almost every week, so it's SO easy for me to just add the scent to the scent list, click "update all products" and have it show up in the dropdown list for ALL the products)
- Customer list and order history (in the admin area I can see my customer information along with the last date they ordered and what they ordered)

There's more and I could go on forever but I won't. All I can say is wow, I'm happy, but I don't know as I'd go back and do this again lol.