Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mother of All Software Please

The newsletter, Dr. Ralph Wilson's Web Marketing Today, that I subscribe to listed all the software thats being used in putting their site up. Some extracts:
Most webpages are standard HTML constructed with templates and Server Side Includes (SSIs) using HotDog 5.5 from Sausage Software and MS FrontPage 2003 webpage editors, and uploaded to the site using WS_FTP from Ipswitch. The site is hosted on a fast Sun Solaris server from ViaVerio and located in Dulles, Virginia. Since December 2003 I've been using a Perl content management system, Article Manager from Interactivetools, to handle and display Web Marketing Today Free Edition articles, producing static HTML pages and an RSS feed. If I were to start again from scratch, I'd look for a search-engine-friendly content manager to run the entire site, but to do that now would render useless altogether too many incoming links to nearly 10 years of article URLs on my existing site. A variety of _JavaScript programs attempt to make the site more intuitive and user-friendly.

Contact forms are powered by FormHandler.cgi, from the CGI Perl Cookbook, modified to plug security holes. My article syndication system runs with Botranger's Master Syndicator. I monitor search engine optimization and tweak pages using WebPosition from WebTrends. I examine linking patterns with OptiLink from Windrose Software. I study site traffic patterns with ClickTracks Pro, page tags version. I use Offermatica and Vertster to do A/B split testing to optimize conversion rates on my site.

I use SitePal animated talking heads on my site introduction pages to capture visitor attention. Site audio (sparse on but used extensively on another site) is powered by SonicMemo. (I had very good experience with Audio Generator, but switched to SonicMemo because it requires only a one-time fee.) I use pop-up windows from DPG (which appear once and only once) to increase my newsletter subscription rate. The site carries contextual text ads from Google AdSense.

Web Marketing Today Free Edition is edited in MS Word 97 (which produces pretty good, clean HTML, compared to later versions of Word) and then set up in the HTML e-mail newsletter template using MS FrontPage 2003. I send it out in both text and HTML/text multi-part MIME formats using AutoResponse Plus from ECom24, using a MySQL database backend and a dedicated server and IP address. I employ a Habeas license, with its header and whitelist, to increase deliverability, which I track with DeliveryMonitor from AWeber Systems. I monitor blacklisting using Blacklist Monitor from MailWorkz.

My subscription system for Web Marketing Today Premium, as well as database lookups in the Web Marketing Info Center and authorization for password-protected areas of the site, are powered with custom-built ColdFusion applications, which access data in MySQL databases. I e-mail newsletters to my smaller WMT Premium subscriber list using Gammadyne Mailer, a desktop mailer which is able to access e-mail addresses from and write to my online MySQL subscriber list, as well as desktop databases and spreadsheets.

I re-index my entire site every night using Swish-e, which powers my site search system. My shopping cart is ShopSite Pro which handles digital downloads for my e-book and seminar ticket sales. VeriSign Payment Systems Payflow Pro is my payment gateway and Ultimate Affiliate Software from is my affiliate program. I manage my orders -- both digital and tangible -- using Stone Edge Order Manager. My accounting system is run with QuickBooks.

But here comes the clincher :

I hope that helps you get a picture of how one siteowner uses software to manage a rather complex online business. Wouldn't it be nice to have just one software tool that would do it all while I went hiking? In my dreams! :-)

Anyone out there who's dreaming of such a single package?