August 2011 Blog Archive


Wed

31

Aug

2011

Store News: Export Orders to CSV

As you know, we're always working on developing new features and improving existing ones. We're pleased to announce that we've just released a new feature for the Jimdo online store: starting today, you can export and download all your order information as a CSV file.

 

The advantages:

  • Lots of store users asked us for an automated invoice generator. As it turns out, setting this up is a larger project, but having a good export of your order data is the first step.
  • Once you've got the spreadsheet, it's just a short jump to a text document (try the mail merge functions of Word or OpenOffice) that you're probably already using for your invoices.
  • You have choices: you can export all of your order data at one time, or you can choose to limit it by date or order number if you just need the order info from a specific subset.

How It Works

First of all, exporting your order data only works if you already have orders in your online store. In order to export your orders, log into your JimdoPage and click on the store button (with the shopping cart symbol) in the SiteAdmin on the right. Then click on the button "Export Orders" button and choose which orders you would like to export: all of them, those during a specific time period, or based on the order number. Sounds good, right?

 

Create Invoices with FastBill!

FastBill - Invoices for Jimdo Stores

To make creating invoices from your exported data really easy, we'd like to introduce you to our new partner FastBill.com -- they specialize in automatically creating invoices.

 

Here's how to use FastBill and Jimdo together:

  • Export and save the order data from your store.
  • Log into or sign up for FastBill
  • Start creating the invoices. Click on the Invoices tab, then choose the "Export/Import" button. In the "Import Data" area, select your saved store data.
  • Got it? Now select the two checkboxes: "File is in UTF-8 format" and "This file is an orders export by Jimdo."
  • The field you want will be detected automatically and you can simply generate your invoice by clicking on the ones you want! You'll find them in the "Invoices" section, where you can still edit them.
  • FastBill even made a video tutorial
  • You can test FastBill for one month for free. If you like it and want to keep using it, check out their paid plans.

 

Create Invoices with Mail Merge

Here's the free alternative. If you use a word processing program like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice (a great free option if you haven't bought Word), you can create invoices using the "mail merge" feature. This is a little more complicated and you'll need to have a little patience while you're setting it up.

  • Create a Word or OpenOffice document for your invoice
  • Check that your template has all the required content that an invoice may have in your location
  • Start the merge and insert the variable invoice data (like the customer name, order number, amount, etc.) using the merge fields
  • Don't forget: it's up to you to make sure your invoices are accurate and meet the legal requirements (if any) where you are. We can't offer legal or technical support for mail merge invoices!

 

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Fri

26

Aug

2011

Jimdo Statistics 2.0: Faster, Cleaner, More Stable

The headline says it all: we rebuilt our statistics from the ground up, gave the interface a makeover and turbocharged your analytics! Now the statistics module will be more stable for all JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness users. Your website analytics will now deliver better insights on how visitors interact with your JimdoPage, at a glance. You'll be able to tweak your site to better engage visitors - and to deliver more effective search-engine-optimized content.

How to Activate the New Statistics

Sound good? To activate the new statistics module, log into your JimdoPage, go to 'Statistics' in the site admin bar, and click on "Go to your new statistics interface". Now click on "Activate statistics for your JimdoPage now." If you're already an active statistics user, you may be wondering what will happen to the statistics from before the changeover. No worries, they won't disappear - all your old statistics will be stored until the end of 2011 on your site, where you can download them as an Excel spreadsheet at the click of a button.

 

Here's a sneak peek at the new statistics interface:

What's New?

You might be wondering what's changed. Glad you asked!

 

Cleaner: The graphs are now clearer and easier to understand. Right away, you can spot visitor trends for your website. Of course, you can still filter visits by day, page, browser and more, just as you could before. Plus, the new version has a nifty little function for displaying the details: now you can zoom in on a specific time period.

Faster: The new statistics will load faster than before, even if your site generates a lot of data. Another improvement is the shorter refresh period: statistics are now updated every 24 hours, instead of up to three days in the old system.

More stable: The new statistics feature is built upon Google Analytics, which means it will be even more stable than ever.

Keep in mind: The new Jimdo statistics feature uses information from Google Analytics. In some countries, website owners are required to inform visitors of this fact in the form of a privacy policy. For this reason, a privacy policy may be added to your site when you activate the new statistics feature.

By the way, if you already use Google Analytics on your JimdoPro, JimdoBusiness or free site, you can keep using it -- no change for that!

8 Comments

Tue

23

Aug

2011

Jimdo Spotlight: BikeWrappers

Next in our (somewhat delayed) series of interviews from the Jimdo USA launch party, meet Brent Thomas, chief bike reflector!

Tell us about your experience at the Jimdo launch party.
First off, I had a really good time at the launch party. You guys were gracious enough to invite me and enjoy the party (good food with even better butter, Christian). It was nice to meet a few of the folks that are behind the scenes that make my business possible. And of course to show off my wares...


What were some of the reactions that attendees had to your bike wrapper product?

The reactions were very similar to most folks that see BikeWrappers for the first time. They start with a look of curiosity and intrigue. This usually leads to the question, "What exactly are BikeWrappers?", which is a very normal reaction since there is nothing else out there like it and is a brand new cycling product on the market. As soon as I give my quick little pitch, there is a moment when it clicks for them and they say, "Ah, that is a great idea..."(or hopefully something to that effect). Once they now know what the product actually is and because it is such a visual product, I make sure to show the product on a bike(thanks for the models, BTW) and it makes even more sense for them as they see how it is actually used. Lastly, it is usually a video of the product in use really makes it click. It is tough to visually show reflective properties in a lit environment so any video of them being used usually gets the reaction, "Wow, those are really bright". The folks at the party were very receptive to the BikeWrappers and since it was a very diverse crowd there, have several BikeWrappers that went back home to their respective countries in Europe. So thanks to the Jimdo party-goers!

How long have you been running Bike Wrappers and how has your business evolved over time. How has Jimdo shaped its evolution?

I have been running BikeWrappers on Jimdo for a little less than a year. I actually started with a Flash based website builder, which I quickly left for a variety of reasons. After doing a lot more research and several very good referrals for Jimdo, I started up Jimdo and have been happy ever since. I am by no means very technically proficient person. I have somehow come to be the go-to computer guy for my folks whenever they have a computer problem, but that is pretty much the extent of it. So knowing this, Jimdo is extremely easy to use, customize, manage, and had all the features on my checklist of things I needed for the site. Not only that, but their customer service has been great and was nice to meet Powen in person after all of his help. As far as the evolution of BikeWrappers and Jimdo, one of the biggest and best features that I use is the inventory management feature. I initially started off just selling online and then grew into selling into retail shops(and expanded the product line and variety) so have really relied on this feature to run the business.

 

San Francisco is definitely known for its share of bicyclists. What tips, whether safety or otherwise, would you like to share for keeping the streets safe and friendly for all?

You can say that again, SF definitely has a great bike culture. Well, first off I would say to be a very defensive cyclist. Assume that most cars and people don't actually see you and bike accordingly. One thing for certain is that when a bike goes against a 4000 lb.vehicle (~1800 kg for you European folks)...the car always wins. Next, I would of course recommend that cyclists make sure they are seen. Have some good lights on the front and back of your bike....and have a set of BikeWrappers. What kind of business owner would I be if I didn't give a shameless little plug for the product here... Also, when it is rainy or wet, slow the biking down a notch. It takes longer to brake, roads are slicker, motorists don't have as good of visibility, AND watch out for those MUNI tracks.

You're working on a similar product for dogs, too? What can you tell me about Dog Wrappers and the reason behind creating this product?

Yep, DogWrappers are the second product line that I have come out with. They are reflective leashes and collars for the pooch and the inspiration behind DogWrappers is pretty simple... I am a dog lover and have had one or two consistently for a good portion of my life. After launching BikeWrappers, I had heard that there are an estimated 1 million dogs hit by cars every year in the US and that is pretty much all it took. I wanted to make a product that would help make our four-legged friends safer and would fit into the 'Wrapping' brand and just like that DogWrappers was born...

 

Would you like to be in our next Jimdo User Spotlight? Leave us a note in the comments!

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Fri

12

Aug

2011

#JimdoRoadTrip - Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Chico 2.0, Sacramento

Salem, Oregon

In front of the Capitol in Salem
In front of the Capitol in Salem

We couldn't drive through Oregon with stopping in the state's capitol -- so the Jimdo road trip team headed from Portland to Salem, where we spent a Monday morning.

 

In addition to visiting the SBDC and Chamber of Commerce (read more about those in the previous road trip blog post), we chatted with Tim Fahndrich of The Third River, a local Salem web design shop.

At McDonald's
At McDonald's

No trip through America would be complete without going to at least one McDonald's -- so here we are, enjoying fruit smoothies and ice cream sundaes.

Meeting a Jimdo User - Shaun Brady!

Our road trip was a little spontaneous, so when we put out the call to users in northern California and Oregon along our planned route, we knew that many of them would be busy or have plans already. Lucky for us, Shaun Brady was back visiting his hometown Salem right when we were passing through! Shaun currently lives in Japan, where he's teaching English. He heard about Jimdo from Danny Choo, a popular Japanese expat culture blogger. When the time came to start his own website, Jimdo was there!

Back in Chico

As we made our way back toward San Francisco, we decided to go to Chico again. Besides being a pretty cool city, we decided to accept Kent Hinesley's invitation to attend Chico's Internet Advertiser meetup. There was a great turnout -- about 20 people from all sorts of different backgrounds -- launching new businesses, SEO experts, social media specialists, and more. They were nice enough to let these out-of-towners spend 10 minutes demonstrating Jimdo. Guess what? They voted us the best tool of the meeting! We won a $20 gift certificate to Left Coast Pizza (where the meeting was being held), and we promptly spent that on pizza and beer ;-)

 

We couldn't leave Chico without saying hi to our new friends at Trails Ventures. We peeked into their office and got to see the new graffiti mural going up on a wall there. Watch out for the shark!

P.S. I promised Rick Hubbard I'd post his picture with Christian -- it's in the gallery above.

 

More Photos from Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, & Sacramento

Don't miss part one and part two of the Jimdo road trip blog series.

4 Comments

Sun

07

Aug

2011

#JimdoRoadTrip - Chico, Redding, Medford, and Portland

Onward!
Onward!

Whew! The last few days have been quite a whirlwind trip through northern California and Oregon. We've driven about 700 miles and stopped in four cities: Chico and Redding in California, Medford and Portland in Oregon.

 

Along the way, we've had the chance to talk with a lot of people doing great things in each of these cities. There have been enlightening discussions with local chambers of commerce, small business development centers, and even business owners and local web startups!

Chambers of Commerce

While talking to the representatives from the chambers of commerce in Chico, Redding, and Medford, we've learned that they're really important for local businesses and communities. Not only is it an opportunity for business owners to meet each other, chambers help educate their members about business topics and even provide resources for starting or growing your business!

 

Small Business Development Centers

Small business development centers are a partnership of the federal Small Business Administration and local college and universities to help people in communities around the United States learn about starting businesses.

 

We had the chance to meet with some of the staff at the Northeastern California SBDC in Chico as well as consultants in Medford and Portland. They help people at every stage of starting a business -- as well as with every aspect of it. If you're thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, definitely find your local SBDC to help get started.

Business Owners and Startups

In Chico, we were lucky enough to connect with Kent Hinesley, an SEO consultant. He introduced us to Van Tucker and Derek Sine, founders of Trails Ventures. We had the chance to show all of them a little bit of what Jimdo can do -- they loved it! -- and also learned more about their work as web developers, designers, and marketers with local business. Thanks to all those guys for their friendliness and being willing to tell us a little more about their hometown!

 

We have gotten great feedback from other business owners along the way about what's most important to them and where Jimdo can improve. We're taking it all down, and when we get back in the office this week, we'll be talking with the Jimdo development team about how we can start implementing changes to help our users succeed online!

 

Still, we're only halfway through our trip, so remember to follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #JimdoRoadTrip and leave us comments in the blog!

Don't miss the first post of our road trip adventure and read about the rest in part three.

3 Comments

Wed

03

Aug

2011

In Search of America's Small Businesses #JimdoRoadTrip

The Idea - Meeting Small Businesses in Small Cities and Towns

We opened up our office in San Francisco this spring to get to know our U.S. users better. After a few months here, we decided to get out from behind our computers and back to our small town roots (remember, Jimdo started on a farmhouse in northern Germany).

 

We're traveling north on I-5, stopping at small cities and towns between San Francisco and Portland. Along the way, we're meeting small business owners, entrepreneurs, economic development organizations, local web designers, and of course, Jimdo users. We want hear directly what Jimdo's doing right, what's working and not, and how we can make Jimdo better. We want to make sure we're doing right by local businesses and the communities they're in.

 

The Route

In California, we're stopping in Chico, Redding, Roseville, and Davis. In Oregon, we're visiting Medford, Eugene, Corvallis, Salem, and Portland.

 

If you live somewhere along this route, get in touch with us (leave a comment)! We'd love to meet you, learn about your business, your organization, and your town.

 

The Jimdo Roadtrippers

The intreprid travelers on this tour are Christian, Powen, William, and Brent. Check out the photos below as we set out on our journey!

 

Follow along as we report on the people and towns we encounter in our travels in Jimdo blog, and catch the in-between fun and pictures on Twitter via the @Jimdo account and the #JimdoRoadTrip hashtag!


Continue reading about the Jimdo road trip in part two and part three.

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