The beta testing has begun for the store pages on realMendocino.com. In a great moment of general dopeyness, I put out a note on Facebook saying I was looking for a few good beta testers, and then went camping for a week, far from wi-fi or cell service. But, a couple of folks did set up mini-sites while I was out, and they both look pretty good.
Joshua Grindle Inn, one of our local B&B inns; and Liquid Fusion Kayaking, a kayak business which offers tours, rentals, and classes; both set up very nice pages without any help from me. The slightly odd thing about this is that both of those businesses already have their own substantial sites. The store pages were originally conceived as a quick web presence for businesses who aren’t online at all. But I was also striving for versatility and adaptability, too. It’s fine, and probably wise, for folks to use them as part of a multi-pronged web marketing strategy. It also gives me ideas for new features to include in the mini-sites.
Somewhere along the way, I resolved the technical problem I blogged about a while back. I was trying to use subdomains to access the main script which generates the store pages, so they have URLs like liquidfusion.realmendocino.com rather than realmendocino.com/stores.php/23 . Better for business cards and such. For some reason, I was thinking I needed to use a redirect for this, but the redirect wasn’t getting indexed the way I wanted. And then, in a blinding flash of “DUH!”, I realized I didn’t need to use a redirect at all, just put the store script in an include file.
But anyway, if you have a Mendocino Coast business or service and are interested in a mini-site, check it out. Just go to any of the directory pages on realMendocino, such as this guide to Mendocino lodging, scroll down to the bottom, and click on “add my site”. From there, you can set up an account, add directory listings, and yes, create a store page. If you’re near my office, I’ll even peer over your shoulder if you’d like, and gleen info about any difficulties you might have.
Store pages are free during the beta testing phase. After September 1, they’ll be $100/yr or $30/quarter.