As web platforms and software grow at exponential rates, site owners are faced with a plethora of potential features. So, what is out there?

Web site features are limited only by imagination. Here is a brief categorization of some of the major fields of web site features, including stores, auctions, forums, articles, directories, news, and entertainment.


Online stores can be used to sell products on web sites and also easily interact as a point of sale service.


Catalog type ecommerce sites provide listings of categorized products that can be purchased for a fixed amount. Usually a shopping cart is employed which allows visitors to select multiple items for purchase.


Auctions like EBay allow visitors to bid on items, whereas the highest bidder wins. These auctions have a time limit and also sometimes have a buy now button. A buy now button is a button that allows a bidder to end the auction and guarantee purchase by paying a set fixed price.


Forums are message boards that allow your visitors to post messages on your web site and interact with other visitors. An advantage of forums is that can they can bring visitors back to your site time and time again to post and follow conversations. If done correctly, forums can also provide large amounts of content for search engines to spider. The down side of forums is that they can make your site look bad if no one is using them, and it can be tricky to get people to use them. Also, it is wise to have forums moderated so that people play nice and don't trash talk your own site.


Articles are a concise way to convey information and provide a reason for web surfers to come to your site. In addition to providing a valuable resource to your web visitors, articles also provide content for search engine bots to spider. Adding articles to a site is essential in many SEO strategies.


Directories categorize other web sites, businesses or just about anything. Some directories are huge, like Yahoo!, while others may be very small and specific only to a small target audience. Smaller directories can often be quite useful to web visitors, particularly if the directory includes editor reviews, ratings and/or recommendations.


News sites generally have articles on current events. They are generally updated often and have search functions by which archives can be retrieved. An advantage of a news site is that often audiences return daily. A disadvantage is the need to constantly update the site.


Video - Video can be delivered over the Internet in a variety of ways. Some of the most popular methods are Flash, Windows Media Player, and Quick Time, though there are many others. Short clips are generally broadcast over the Internet due to bandwidth restrictions, yet as broadband penetration continues to increase more and more sites are broadcasting full-length shows and movies.

Music - Like video, music can be broadcast in a variety of forms. Many band sites are now allowing downloads of their songs in MP3 format or samples. This can be a huge promotional tool.

Games - The Internet has provided gamers a huge variety of options. Games can cost any where from free, to pay as you go, to a one time payment to subscription fees. Game sites often have loyal followings that come back time and time again, making the audience prime for advertising.

E-Print - Stories, blogs and articles are all ways people use web sites to share their ideas with written word. Many sites provide downloads of printable posters, petitions or coupons, blurring the line between print and Internet.

Many sites will utilize many of these different web site features to create powerful and complete media experiences. Many businesses have yet to fully explore the possibilities of their web sites and the Internet. As television, print and radio collide, the Internet's role in business, information and entertainment will only increase. By using different types of web site features, many web sites will gain huge advantages over their competition. ||
No matter what you might have to sell, doing it through an eBay auction can be a fun, fairly easy, and profitable way to sell merchandise once or for a "second job". Online auctions have become a popular way for people to find unique merchandise, such as old books and toys, or hard to find clothing and furniture. You can buy just about anything through an eBay auction! Instead of trying to hassle with a garage sale, try selling your merchandise on eBay. You might find that you can earn quite a good living at it!

Though it is an easy way to unload your stuff, there are a few techniques involved with having a successful eBay auction. Simply posting a picture and a price will not bring the bidders to you. Make sure the merchandise you are selling is in excellent condition, and if it is not, say so in the description. Honesty is by far the number one rule of thumb to follow, because deceiving customers can get you negative ratings, which will spell doom for you if you intend to auction a lot of merchandise on eBay. It is also important to be knowledgeable of what your are selling, not only so that you can create a thorough description of your product, but so that you can answer any questions that potential customers might have quickly.

In addition to being forthright regarding the condition of your merchandise, you must be up-front when you explain your sales and shipping policy on your eBay auction. Providing complete information about your shipping rates, as well as your refund policy, will help make sales go smoothly, and customers appreciate that. Gaining repeat customers is important if you want to have continued success with your eBay auctions. So, on top of offering complete information, you will want to provide excellent customer service to your customers. Respond to questions quickly, and with a friendly tone.

Once you have made a sale on your eBay auction, it is important to maintain the same friendly and professional rapport with your customers. Remember that repeat customers and good reviews can make your eBay career successful! It is important that you inform your customers of the progress of their purchases every step of the way. First, contact them to thank them for making the purchase, including any payment information. Then contact them to let them know that you have shipped the merchandise, how it shipped, and when you expect it you arrive to them. You might also want to include any tracking numbers so that your customers can see when their packages are due to arrive to them.

It is vital that you conduct your eBay auctions and business transactions with the utmost professionalism. In addition to honesty and communication, that means that you should wrap and ship any merchandise that you sell in a way that it will not be damaged, and that it will show that care was taken in the preparation for shipment. Include a "receipt" that shows what the customer purchased, the price paid, and even include a thank you note, which is always a nice touch. Again, customer satisfaction and feedback can make or break your eBay auction experience and seller reputation.

Customer feedback and ratings on an eBay auction can mean that either you will be a highly sought after seller, or that no one will want your stuff at all. Take those ratings seriously, because the buyers on eBay certainly do! That is why it is so important to work to satisfy every customer, even the difficult or demanding ones. If that means negotiating the price of certain merchandise, or doing something else a little extra for a customer, then you need to do it. If you want to turn your eBay auction into a successful business endeavor, your pride might have to take a back seat. Try to remember that the buyer is taking just as big (if not bigger) of a chance as you are in shopping for merchandise on an eBay auction. Therefore, the easier you make it for them, the more often they are likely to be your customer.

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Making your own candles is a favorite craft and hobby many individuals. They find the process to be enjoyable and relaxing. Candle makers have been know to turn to their hobby in times of stress. For some candle makers, once they learn the basics they are ready for new challenges. Purchasing books on candle making can provide you with everything from basic instructions, tips, and creative ideas to make beautiful candles. Most candle making books offer wonderful illustrations as well as step by step instructions.

The type of book you want to purchase will depend on your candle making experience, the types of candles you are interested in making, and if you are making candles for fun or to sell. Take the time to explore what each book has to offer you before making a purchase so that you won’t be disappointed. You might also check with your local library for books on candle making. If you find one there you really like then you have the option to purchase it. You can also find great discounts on used candle making books online at Ebay and Yahoo Auctions.

“The Candle Maker’s Companion” by Betty Oppenheimer and Deborah Balmuth is considered to be the “must have” candle making book. It offers information for everyone including beginners and advanced. Another great choice is “The Encyclopedia of Candle Making Techniques”. This book has gotten rave reviews for providing quality information in an easy to understand form.

For those of you who have a solid foundation of basic candle making processes, consider trying “The Complete Candle Maker Techniques, Projects, and Inspirations”. The book offers great photos of forty different candles you can make. There are step by step instructions to help you make any of them that interest you. This book includes great tips and points as well to help candle makers avoid the common mistakes that affect the results of their candles.

For those of you who enjoy making candles for special occasions and holidays, the book “Creative Candles: Over 40 Inspiring Projects for Making and Decorating Candles for Every Occasion” by Sue Spear is a great book to consider for your collection. This book features candle making ideas for Halloween, Easter, and Christmas. There are also ideas for creating candles to use as center pieces and for wedding decorations.

If you are interested in doing candle making with your children, “Great Candles” is especially designed with fun candles that are easy to do with them. The book is also written in a way that children will be interested in reading it as well. The internet is a great resource to find other great candle making books to meet your expectations.

Candle making is a great pastime. You can educate yourself on the areas of candle making by exploring various books. There are books designed for all candle making levels of expertise as well as on particular themes of candles and types of candles. The market is flooded with resources in the area of candle making, so the process of tracking down a few good books on the subject should be easy as well as fairly inexpensive. Remember to check the library, local book sales, and yard sales for these books as well. Compare prices online to make sure you get the best price for the ones you are interested in.

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    October 2011



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