Now Accepting Credit Cards Online

August 7th, 2007

A much requested feature from our customers, Danifer Web Services is now accepting credit cards online for invoice payments! There’s still a button if you prefer to use Paypal, but we expect to see the majority of our customers will opt for the Credit Card option.

The payment link is: and will be referenced at the bottom of new invoices. You do not need an invoice number to make a payment, just please provide a brief description of what you’re paying for in the space provided.

Texas Style Wrought Iron Furniture

June 26th, 2007

Ecommerce and online shopping are expanding at a phenomenal rate and small and independent retailers are poised to reap many of the rewards. At Danifer Web Services, ecommerce applications are one of our most commonly requested web site services and we see a lot of small retailers breaking into the market.

Our clients realize that with less than the cost of one month’s rent in a retail store, they can setup their own web site to market or test a new product line or simply reduce the upfront costs of launching a retail outlet.

With an online ecommerce web site, they reduce their risk from long term leases and inventory warehousing while gauging the effectiveness of their product. Rather than start a retail store and build a web site as a secondary marketing outlet, many of our customers choose to launch their web sites first and then build retail locations once the products and the marketing methods have been proven.

One of our recent ecommerce customers, Very Texas (, is an online retail store specializing in Texas style wrought iron furniture. After only a few weeks in development we were able to help this customer launch an online retail outlet while she established relationships with vendors and clients. She was able to open her doors to the public with minimal investment and minimal risk in a very short amount of time.

PayPal Scheduled Outage

June 7th, 2007

I received an email this week from my favorite payment processing gateway, PayPal, notifying users of a scheduled outage. If you are using PayPal to process transactions, this is definitely something to be aware of:

We’re planning to upgrade the PayPal data center on Monday the 18th of June. The upgrade is scheduled to begin at 9 PM PDT and last for approximately two hours. During this time, there will be a PayPal system-wide service interruption. The PayPal site will be unavailable and the majority of PayPal features will not be functioning. You will not be able to process payments during this time.

You do not need to do anything during the data center upgrade. Once the upgrade is complete, you will be able to conduct business as you normally would. However, a small number of merchants may need to reconfigure PayPal’s IP address if was previously hard-coded into their API calls and/or firewall settings. Please see instructions below.

Here’s what you should expect during the service interruption:

If customers attempt to pay you with PayPal during the upgrade they will get the following message:

“The PayPal website is currently unavailable. We are working actively to restore access to the site as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please check the PayPal System Board for possible updates.”
Note: The PayPal System Board can be found at and this will be accessible through the message above.

If your customers click on the PayPal System Board link they will see the following message:

“PayPal is currently performing a data center upgrade. This upgrade began at 9:00 PM PDT and is scheduled to run for approximately 2 hours. The PayPal site and a majority of our features will be unavailable during this time.”
Note: We will be updating the PayPal System Board with additional information as we monitor the upgrade.

eBay sellers will see little impact on their auctions as the eBay website will be unaffected during the upgrade. Auctions will continue as normal. However, your buyers will be unable to process a payment through PayPal during this time.

If you elect to list your item(s) with the “Immediate Payment Required” option there will some inconvenience as the buyer will be unable to process their payment until after the upgrade has been completed.

You will be unable to log into the PayPal system to check your PayPal account status, including verification of payments received.

We will also be upgrading our internal tools, so we will be unable to access your account information during this time.

You will be unable to receive funds through any website buttons or through the PayPal site directly.

After the upgrade, buyers and sellers will be able to interact with PayPal as they normally would.
Here’s what you need to do if you hard-coded PayPal’s IP address:

If you have hard-coded PayPal’s IP addresses into your API calls and/or firewall settings, you may need to reconfigure these settings after the upgrade. Here is the new IP address you will need to upgrade to:

If you need assistance in reconfiguring the IP address change, please contact PayPal Merchant Technical Support at

Rest assured, we will be monitoring the scheduled upgrade very closely to ensure that we return to normal functionality as soon as possible. Again, after the upgrade, you will be able to conduct business as you normally would.

PayPal continually makes improvements to our systems and platforms so we may continue to provide you with the best online payment processing solution.

You are a valued PayPal customer and we appreciate your business.

Best regards,

PayPal Merchant Support

Domain Listing Service Corp. Scam

May 22nd, 2007

Update: If you found this page while searching for Domain Listing Service you might want to know that we get a few dozen hits every day from people just like you trying to find out more about this company. You guys might consider getting together to do something about this. Email me if you have the chance and I’ll start posting your stories on this blog.

I’ve posted the first one here:

I got an email from one of my clients today regarding what looks like someone trying to scam her out of a couple of bucks based on her domain name information.

Here’s what she said:

Hi Keeton –

Okay – here’s a tech-y question that I need help with. I registered my domain name in November with I have the confirmation, etc. that states the registration date, expiration date, etc.

Today I received in the mail a very official looking bill for $65 from a company called Domain Listing Service Corp. It has the listing date as June 18 – June 18. It also tells me all of the inclusions with the website address listing, which I think I have anyway.

I think this is some sort of domain name registry trickery. LOL. Could I fax both the legitimate registration and this suspicious bill and maybe you could tell me what you think?? Don’t want to be “taken” but if I owe this I don’t want to be negligent either.

My response:

That sounds really scammy to me. Send me a copy and I’ll look it over, but definitely don’t pay anything in the meantime. Domain names usually cost between $9 and $15/year and yours is registered through xxx.



I hate seeing this kind of thing, but it happens all the time. Essentially, this company pulled my customer’s domain name registration information (the name and address she used to register her domain name) from the publicly available whois information. They then sent out this mailer to try and convince her to send in a check for $65.

You may have seen similar scams for home mortgages, credit cards, etc. Unscrupulous companies will pull information from a publicly available database and send out official looking letters trying to convince people to buy something they don’t need.

It costs a lot to do a physical bulk mailing, so it makes me sick to think how much money they must be making off this. If you get something like this, check with your web developer or just read the fine print to see if it applies to you.

Yahoo! Small Business Web Hosting

May 18th, 2007

I recently had the misfortune of working with a client who had registered a domain name and signed up for web hosting through

Although the domain name control panel was pretty standard and not bad at all, the web hosting starter package that the client had purchased was clunky and achieving the desired results proved very difficult. This client requested a basic WordPress installation with a modified skin that they could use for basic blogging needs.

The only way to install the WordPress Software with the Yahoo! small business starter package was to go through the prepackaged installation process. This resulted in the installation of an out of date piece of software that was shamelessly rebranded by Yahoo! and represented as their own.

WordPress requires a Mysql database to operate, so there was obviously at least one available for use. The database was set up automatically during the WordPress installation process, and included an automated username, password, and access level user permissions. The big issue with this is that when I tried to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress (2.1.3 I think) the account didn’t have the privileges to make all of the necessary changes to the database. The result was a partially upgraded database that caused errors in the program. If this were not a fresh installation I would have needed a backup of the database in order to recover to a more usable state.

That said, I think there are a lot better options when it comes to web hosting than the larger companies like Yahoo!. I think this is still an industry where bigger is not necessarily better. When you choose a provider I would definitely recommend someone who’s been in business a while and has a good track record, but would steer clear of the big guys like Yahoo!, GoDaddy, etc. They’re great for domain names, but there’s really no reason to put all your eggs into the same basket.

What days of the week are the most productive?

May 18th, 2007

I find I get very little work done on Mondays and Fridays. On Mondays I’m answering e-mail and messages that built up over the weekend, and on Fridays I watch the clock all day.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are the opposite. I program, work on customer issues, coordinate projects, etc. sometimes until late in the evening. I get more done on these two days than I would in twice as many Mondays and Fridays.

Wednesdays also seem to be very productive for me, but in a social way. I schedule most of my meetings on Wednesday for two reasons:

  1. I’m already out for my weekly BNI meeting,
  2. I find potential clients more agreeable and ready to commit in the middle of the week.

No real point to this post other than what I’ve written. It made for a good discussion with a colleague earlier today, so I thought I’d write it up.

Tipton Enterprises

May 18th, 2007

I’ve recently taken on a new customer who commissioned Danifer Web Services to build three web sites for his fledgling business. They came out particularly well, and I’m excited to see where he takes them.

Tipton Enterprises (
Sort of a home-base to promote projects and yak about stuff. Pretty much the same thing I do here.

Laptops for School (
A laptop review site, presumably for individuals looking to use them for eductional purposes (this is a really good example of niche marketing).

Guardian Domains (
For all your domain name registration needs.

As you can see, this customer is an internet entrepreneur similar to myself, so wish him the best of luck and check out his projects when you have some time.

A New Look

May 18th, 2007

Being as dedicated to my customers as I am, I tend to put off my own projects while I while I work for other people. The web site is no exception. It’s been in bad need of a face-lift for quite some time now. For those of you who don’t remember, here’s what the old site looked like:

I think the new revision offers a little cleaner and more professional look. I know my customers come here before they hire me, so I definitely want to make a good impression. If this isn’t your first time here, I’ve added some good resources and some discount offers sprinkled about. Feel free to have a look and let me know what you think.

Free WordPress Skins

April 30th, 2007

Free stuff: Get a Free WordPress Skin now. This changes occasionally, so check back.

Recommended: They don’t link to it from anywhere on the site, but you can download all of their templates at once for a discounted rate. Not sure how long this will be active, but definitely recommended if it’s still working.

In the past I’ve relied on designers to modify the default WordPress template to fit a specific need, but lately I’ve been searching for pre-packaged themes that I can download at a reduced price.

One thing I noticed in my search was the surprising lack of quality/availability of WordPress skins. The free ones are not impossible to find, but are a clear cut case of getting what you pay for so far as design, creativity, and functionality are concerned. The pay sites are the exact opposite – decent quality, but extremely overpriced.

One of the few sites that made my bookmark list was

They bill themselves as an independently owned and operated, small time developer of WordPress skins. Although the selection is somewhat limited (they seem to be adding new content periodically) the quality is extremely high for the price.

If you’re in the market for a decent WordPress skin but don’t want to go too cheap, I highly recommend them. And, if you need help installing the software please let me know.

Windows Vista Revisit

April 21st, 2007

As you may have already read, I’m in need of a new computer and have had some difficulty with Windows Vista. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to buy a computer pre-loaded with XP anymore, and my lagging computer issues still have not changed. This post is fueled by the purchase of a new computer, pre-loaded with Windows Vista and is going to be an informal analysis of the problems (and solutions) that have come up.

4/22/07 A quick update for anyone who’s interested. I returned this machine to Best Buy after working with it all weekend. I just couldn’t justify spending $800 on a machine that runs slower than the one I’m on now, and makes more than half of my peripherals obsolete. Instead, I opted to upgrade the graphics card in my existing computer to one with 512mb of ram rather than 64. This basically solved all of my problems, and I’m pleased as punch!

The hardware

The new computer is an HP.

HP Pavilion PC Model a6030n
Prod ID#RX88/7AA-ABA
Windows Vista Home Premium OEM

Purchased for $799.99 plus $60.80 in tax from Best Buy on 04/19/07

From the Computer: Properties Menu
Rating: 3.0 (Windows Experience Index)
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+ 2.5Ghz
Memory (RAM): 1918 MB
System Type: 32-bit Operating System

This system comes with a 320 gigabyte hard drive.

Email issues

I’m going to break out software issues in a category below, but email is so vital a communication tool for me that I wanted to address it separately.

If you don’t know already, Microsoft has replaced Outlook Express with a new email client name Microsoft Mail. The ease of use and simplicity that separated Microsoft Express from Microsoft Outlook are now gone. Microsoft has taken it’s most popular email program and merged it with its most unpopular one, creating one that is awkward, sluggish, and pushy. I screwed around with it for about four hours before I started looking for an alternative email program.

The result of my search has left me thrilled and giddy. I’ve now officially switched my main email client to Mozilla Thunderbird and I couldn’t be happier. It provides all of the ease of use that Outlook Express had to offer with additional options and features for the core components. Things like fine-tunable spam filtering, account separation, message flagging, easy to use find features and more.

I’m extremely disappointed with Microsoft’s attempt to rule the email world by programming an application that refuses to play nicely with others. I’m reminded of Princess Leia’s quote from Star Wars “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

Software Issues

Some of my legacy Windows XP Software applications that are giving me problems (as of the time of this post) are:

  • World of Warcraft – Running, but not up to standard.
  • Adobe Distiller Version 5.0 – Agreed, it’s pretty outdated but was working fine before the “upgrade.” I’ve heard rumor that Vista will not support any kind of .pdf printing and I’m anxious to verify this.
  • Power Chute Personal Edition v1.3.1 from APC – This is the reporting software produced by APC for my uninterruptible power suppy. The hardware still works, but no nifty reporting gadget. I have not checked with APC for a Vista version.
  • ScanSnap Manager v3.1, ScanSnap Organizer v1.0, and Cardminder v2.0 – These all came bundled with my Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner (a high speed document scanner used in my paperless office). Although the drivers installed properly, the software isn’t functioning and without it the scanner is $400 worth of useless.

    According to Fujitsu, there’s an update scheduled for June 2007, but none available now. For those interested, my Fujitsu ScanSnap model number is fi-5110E0X2.

  • SpamBully, an inexpensive and highly effective add-on to Outlook Express (I wrote a very positive review about this product earlier this year).

    Although SpamBully has released a Vista version of their product for Microsoft Mail, I couldn’t get it to work.

Stuff that worked

It hasn’t been all bad, so here are some of the things I’ve got working and working well:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • My Dymo LabelWrtiter Turbo 330 with original software
  • Adobe Reader 8.0
  • My copy of Microsoft Office XP
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Trillian, my IM client
  • FeedReader, my RSS feed program
  • HTML-kit, my HTML editor
  • Ventrilo, a VOIP client I use for World of Warcraft
  • Putty, my SSH client
  • Google toolbar

My impressions

Windows Vista still isn’t ready for the mainstream. Avoid an upgrade until they’ve released at least the first major service pack.

As an operating system it’s got a lot of nice features, but these are far overshadowed by the Microsoft mentality that “there can be only one.” I bought a new system because my programs were running slowly and I have not resolved this issue as thoroughly as I would have liked.

I’m looking forward to the first real consumer ready operating system from Google or Mozilla. They’ve done such fantastic work with Firefox and Thunderbird that I’d like to see them succeed there as well. I don’t think we’re that far away.

How I’ll approach this in the future

One thing I noticed from this whole ordeal is that the programs that suffered the least were my web applications. I’m currently using Google Calendar for my scheduling as well as an online address book I built myself. I’m not a fan of being over-reliant on web services, but I don’t mind them if I own them myself.

I’ll be looking for more operating system features I can convert to web based utilities in the future.

Google Adwords Customer Service

April 16th, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to contact Google Adwords customer service regarding what I suspected might be fraudulent clicks on my account. I got a pretty generic answer to both of my inquiries, so I thought I would post them for reference. Here they are along with my replies cut and paste directly from my email program:

Hello Keeton,

Thank you for your email regarding your AdWords reports. I understand that
your website logs are reporting less advertising traffic than your AdWords
reports. This discrepancy may occur if clicks to your ad aren’t detected
by your web tracking software. The information below should help you to
reconcile your weblogs to the statistics reported within your account.


All clicks on your ads are directly tracked by our system. Some
third-party web tracking systems may provide inaccurate reports. Many
users have found that the weblogs from their own server are more reliable
for comparisons with our reports.

Additionally, Google’s reporting technology may record clicks that other
web tracking programs may miss. Some tracking programs may not register
clicks that occur while the destination site is down, or they may have
limitations on the kinds and sources of clicks that they detect.

To view numerical data on invalid clicks automatically filtered out by our
system (and therefore not charged to your account), you can run a Campaign
Performance or Account Performance report. Please see our FAQ about how to
run these reports:


The following variables are the most common for those advertisers who are
concerned about a discrepancy between their reporting statistics and those
reported by Google AdWords:

– Google Network statistics: Google displays ads on a growing network of
search and content sites and products. Typically, web tracking software is
not able to recognize clicks from Google Network sites as being Google’s
clicks. These are generally labeled with the third party site name and
they will not be labeled as clicks from Google. If your ads are currently,
or have ever been, distributed to Google Network sites such as,
AOL, Netscape, etc., we recommend that you visit our Google Network FAQ at to determine
whether some of the referrers to your site were Google Network sites.

– Time discrepancies: Time discrepancies between different tracking
programs can throw off estimates of clicks. Be sure to compare the
appropriate time periods. All your account statistics are measured and
reported based on the local time zone you have chosen for your account. To
ensure the highest level of accuracy, there is a delay between the moment
when a user actually clicks on your ad and when that click is reported as
a statistic within your account. This delay represents the time required
to evaluate and report the click as a valid one.

– IP selection: Your system may filter out visits from your IP address;
however, AdWords does not. Also, if you currently use a shared ISP (such
as AOL or Earthlink) you may be sharing one or more IP addresses with
other users. Therefore multiple clicks from the same IP address could be
legitimate clicks from multiple users, and each one would be reported as
an individual, valid click within your account.

If you have additional questions, please visit our Help Center at to find answers to many frequently
asked questions. Or, try our Learning Center at for self-paced lessons that
cover the scope of AdWords.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising


The Google AdWords Team

To access your AdWords account, please log in at:

Original Message Follows:
Subject: Re: [#xxxxxx] Google AdWords Phone Support Follow Up
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 17:41:15 -0500

Hi Elissa,

I’m not having any problems distinguishing between traffic from Google
Adwords and traffic from other sources.

My concern is that the total amount of traffic I received to that website
(from Google, organic search, bookmarks, and all other sources of traffic)

is less than what Adwords is reporting.

Do you have another explanation? This is starting to look like an error
about $1000/month, so I really would appreciate a second look.

Thank you,


—– Original Message —–
From: “AdWords Support”
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 4:32 PM
Subject: [#xxxxxx] Google AdWords Phone Support Follow Up

> Hello Keeton,
> I just left you a voicemail regarding your question about the
> between the clicks on your campaign management tab and your web server
> logs.
> Unfortunately it is very difficult for us to troubleshoot this issue
> because our team cannot be sure that you are looking at the same data
> AdWords displays and we do not have the bandwidth to analyze your web
> server logs. I apologize for this and in the future I would highly
> implementing Tracking URLs and Referrer Headers to have more insight
> your web server logs and how they relate to your AdWords account. I will
> explain both in more depth below.
> I. Tracking URLs
> In many web server logs, a page visit entry would be identical whether a
> user clicked your AdWords ad on a Google search result page or your
> website’s listing in the Google free search results. In order to
> distinguish which clicks come from your AdWords ads, you can give your
> a tracking URL.
> To take advantage of tracking URLs, place a parameter at the end of your
> destination URL. For example, if your URL is, your
> tracking URL would be
> It’s important to test each new tracking URL in your own web browser to
> verify that it’s linking properly to its specified page. If you find
> a tracking URL isn’t linking properly, you might want to eliminate the
> forward slash after the domain. For example, instead of
>, try using
> Once you’ve created your tracking URLs, you can look in your web server
> logs or your third party tracking software to get traffic data for your
> ads. If you’re using your web server logs, look for the tracking URL in
> the GET entry to identify which website visits came from your Google
> AdWords ads.
> II. Referrer Headers
> After distinguishing in your web server logs which website visits came
> from your AdWords ads, you can use your web server logs’ referrer
> to see where the ads were when they were clicked on.
> Referrer headers show the last page the browser loaded before loading
> website and usually indicate the site users were on when they clicked on
> your ad. For example, if a user searches on your keyword on
> then clicks on your AdWords ad, the referrer header would most likely
> ‘…’ Conversely, if the clickthrough had come
> your ad was appearing on AOL, the referrer header would read
> ‘…’
> Keeton, please let me know if you have additional questions. Have a nice
> evening.
> Sincerely,
> The Google AdWords Team
> —————-
> Learn from other AdWords users. Ask questions, share answers, and post
> your favorite AdWords tips. Find out more at

How to Get a Real Read Receipt for Your Email

April 5th, 2007

This week we continue to launch our series of web-based services. Following in the footsteps of our online contract utility, we’ve also released, a web based email delivery notification service.

email delivery receipt

The idea behind the site is to address the flawed read receipt feature of Outlook, Outlook Express and other message programs that allow the message recipient to decline sending the receipt. This is done by storing the message online and emailing a password to the recipient. When the password is used, voila! The original sender is notified that their message has been read.

It’s shockingly simple, and I’m hoping it will take off. Since it’s just been released, please let me know if you find any bugs.

Web Page Notification Script

April 4th, 2007

There’s been a lot of response to our post regarding the web page visit notification script that we talked about last October. We’ve had so many requests for it that we’ve finally made it available for download.

This is the first time we’ve offered a downloadable product on (although we do it on lots of other sites) and is the first script we’ve made commercially available. If you use the page visit notification script on your site, please let us know how it worked for you.

Texas Wesleyan Small Business Workshop

April 3rd, 2007

Over the weekend, I attended a free workshop put on by the Texas Wesleyan University School of Business entitled How to Start or Run a Small Business. The workshop was led by a gentleman named James Johnson and was located at the Best Western Inn & Suites at 2000 Beach Street in Fort Worth.

This is the first workshop of its kind that I’ve been too, and overall it was a positive experience. The workshop was offered last Saturday at either 9:30AM or 1:00PM. I attended the morning session along with a hundred or so other quests and we received a pamphlet of information and a lecture from Professor Johnson regarding the ins and outs of business start-ups.

I went to the workshop with three goals in mind. Although I wasn’t entirely successful, I took away enough to make the experience positive, and to make my next attempt more worthwhile. My goals in attending the small business workshop were:

  • Get some free advice on running a small business (duh);
  • Network with a group of individuals interested in starting their own businesses (who may need websites);
  • Introduce my visiting cousin Emily to the Texas Wesleyan School of Business as a potential major when she goes to college.

As far as the free business advice is concerned, you get what you pay for. The speaker at the seminar was very knowledgeable about starting a running a business, but with limited time was only able to speak in generalities. The positive side of this was that I took away a list of topics (some of which I had not considered before) that I could research on my own. In addition to the generalities there was enough time for some specific and helpful information that included (from my notes):

  • Some of the major tax benefits of owning your own business,
  • The five most popular business start-ups (importing is on the list, FYI),
  • How to mathematically price your product,
  • An introduction to the most common types of business arrangements (sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations).

Because the seminar was free, I expected to receive sales pitch and was not disappointed. Throughout the presentation, the speaker referred to materials and services produced by the university that you could buy or register for in the hallway. He also encouraged attendees to sign up for various classes the university offered throughout the presentation. Again, since the workshop is free, I expect the university to push their own agenda and do not fault them for it. Some of the materials and classes would probably be very useful to many of the audience members.

In trying to turn the event into a networking opportunity, my own mistakes led to failure. I was afraid that going to the early class on Saturday morning would mean fewer network opportunities, but I was incorrect. The room was filled with a hundred or so individuals (although the speaker alluded to a slightly larger afternoon class).

My mistake, and one that I will not repeat, was failing to arrive early. By the time we got there, the room was full, and there were no opportunities to talk to the people around us before the presentation started. In addition, the structure of the facility was such that at the end of workshop there was no reason for people to mill around and network. I did meet one individual in the parking lot, but I think I would have done better by arriving 20 or 30 minutes early so I could talk to people as they arrived. I feel like the potential was there, but I did not make the best use of it.

The only real drawback to this event, and one that I can not find a silver lining for, was the facility. The Best Western hosting the event was definitely past its prime in need of maintenance. Large rainstorms earlier in the week meant buckets in the hallway to catch water and dirty brown ceiling tiles which lent an atmosphere of depression that was directly counter to the positivity the speaker was trying to produce. The audio system was non-functional and technical difficulties ate into the class time. Coffee service was not provided, but there was a water cooler. This last part was not as much a concern for me because I brought my own from Starbucks and recommend others do the same.

I do understand that the university can only afford a certain quality of facility in order to make such workshops profitable, but I feel they did themselves a disservice by not choosing a cleaner and more presentable location to represent themselves. I personally would have shrugged it off, but I had to explain to my visiting cousin afterwards that she should expect more from a college facility and that this was not typical.

One a scale of 1-10, I rate this experience a 6. I think with more effort on my part, I could have turned it into a 7 or an 8. I did learn some new things, and I did generate one new lead, so I feel it was worth my time. If you have a free Saturday morning and you can handle some of the negatives I mentioned, I recommend it – either for potential business owners, or as a possible networking event.

Online Signature Utility

March 30th, 2007

At Danifer Web Services, we strive to invest half of our time into building websites for clients and the other half into our own projects. The latest project of ours to come off the line is It’s a free, online signature utility that individuals can use to create and send their own contracts and agreements to be signed online.

free online signature utility

This site was developed after we realized the countless number of online documents, terms of service, etc. we’ve signed for other larger online service companies like MSN, Google, Yahoo!, and more. The idea behind is to bring the same benefits of online signatures and electronic contracts to individuals who may not have the resources to incorporate them into their websites.

We think this kind of thing might be useful for:

  • Web designers writing client agreements and non-compete contracts,
  • Home inspectors who require a signed customer agreement to meet insurance requirements,
  • Larger online transactions for ebay and craigslist users,
  • personal loan agreements,
  • and more!

If you have a unique way to use the service, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list. Thanks for checking it out and as always feedback is appreciated!

Windows Vista Shut me Down

February 8th, 2007

Things over at Danifer Web Services have been ticking along nicely, so we decided to reward the office with a round of new computers. The machine I picked out for myself was a Gateway GT5405E. Things were running well on my old system, but you never can have too much computing power at your disposal.

Now I’m a pretty technical person – I operate this business and have built the last three systems I’ve owned, but Windows Vista is beyond me.

To start with, I’m not a huge fan of graphics and fade effects etc. unless they have some sort of purpose. Vista comes with all sorts of fly-in windows and whatnot that make it really cool looking for the first three hours. After that, you’ve got all your programs installed and you wonder why your brand new system is running slower than your old one!

Not to mention the fact that Vista is a really bloated operating system, here’s a list of stuff that broke or that I had a problem with:

  • Adobe Distiller (which I use to print .pdf documents) is no longer supported.
  • Outlook Express has been replaced with Windows Mail. Microsoft seems to have overlooked the simplicity aspect that has made Outlook Express so popular and added in lots and lots of features that I will never use.
  • Since Outlook Express is discontinued, my recommended spam solution is also out of service. This means I have to rely on the Micorsoft built in spam filter which doesn’t work as well and by it’s own mass-market nature will be thwarted by spammers within weeks.
  • My hobby game, Warcraft makes the video driver report an error.
  • When I tried to downgrade to Windows XP from my existing copy, I find out that the XP CD doesn’t contain the drivers it needs to recognize the newer SATA hard drives. There’s a workaround to this, but I’m not going to pay $700+ for so I can stand on my head and dance in a circle and pray for a working computer.

Long story short, I took the machine back to Costco and I’m on old reliable now. Since you can’t buy a pre-loaded Windows XP machine at any major retailer (thanks again Microsoft) I’ll be combing ebay for my new box.

Windows Vista might turn out to be a fantastic operating system. Windows 98 did it, Windows XP did it, so why not? The problem is it’s going to take a while.

If you’re considering an upgrade you might want to hold off for six months. Let the rest of the computer buying public take the hit and work out the kinks for you. That said, you might not want to share this article with anyone ;)

DieselEarth Redesign

February 6th, 2007

DieselEarth, my diesel/vegetable oil alternative fuels blog has recently undergone a redesign. I still haven’t updated it to the new WordPress 2.1, but at least for now it looks a little more professional.

This little website is one of about 30 or so that I own and operate. It’s getting between 50 and 100 visitors a day, mostly concerned with the areas of diesel engines, vegetable oil as an alternative fuel, bulk vegetable oil, and more often than not asking themselves “how much does vegetable oil weigh?

I’m hoping with the new redesign to attract a little more ad revenue and possibly a writer who’s willing to contribute for free. This site has a lot of potential, and I’d like to see it developed a little more.

February 4th, 2007

This week, I teamed up with Kate Barlow of KGB Planning & Research which is a marketing strategy consultant from one of my networking groups.

Kate and I hit it off swimmingly, and found that our different skills complimented each other very well. I think she’s going to be a good source of local referrals for me, and I hope to reciprocate in kind.

In addition to being a swell person, Kate has also signed on to be a member of our SiteShare program. She’s already writing and sending out a monthly marketing newsletter, and liked the idea of posting the same information on a website she could refer her clients to.

The domain registered is and is my first attempt at marketing a .info domain. Until now, I’ve mostly stuck to .com, .net, and one .org, but marketing is a pretty high-demand keyword in a domain name and it was tough even to get one that was easy to remember and made sense ending .info. will be a free online resource for DFW business to business marketing tips and strategy.

View a Godaddy Website Without a Domain Name

January 30th, 2007

Just a heads up for anyone working with a shared linux hosting account hosted by GoDaddy. I’m trying to view a client’s web site before the DNS kicks using some sort of IP address/username combination like I’m used to with my other vendors.

Usually you can access the client’s website pre-DNS by going to and preview the site before the DNS propagates.

This is especially handy because you can move files from one server to another, configure them and view them via the IP address/username combination and move the DNS after you’re confident the new server is properly setup. If executed properly, this prevents downtime and no one knows you’ve made any changes.

The problem? You can’t do this on GoDaddy. Without DNS setup, you can’t preview your site in a new location. Right now I’m not sure why. The answer is simply to add a new A Name record pointing to a subdomain, but it’s just one extra step you have to take.

Configure your A Name records so that

old IP address points to
new IP address points to hosted at GoDaddy.

and work under the subdomain until you’re ready to make your move.

Home Care How

January 28th, 2007

Sometimes I stay up all weekend to finish client projects and to work on my own. This weekend’s Mountain Dew rush resulted in, which is authored by a long-time member of our SiteShare program. The focus of the site is as a how to guide for caring for elderly and invalid in their homes. I’m pretty excited about it as this author’s other SiteShare projects have all done very well.

Paypal Improvements

January 25th, 2007

Paypal is fast becoming one of my favorite vendors. They’re trying to stay ahead of the game with Google fresh on their heels and keep the bulk of highly profitable online payment market.

And they’re doing a good job!

More and more I find myself using their services. Here’s why:

  • They’re good for online invoicing of customers. Their online invoicing tool lets my customers pay bills with their credit card (a must for most) and makes a paper invoice unnecessary. As an added bonus, the credit card processing fee is competitive and the turnaround on customer payments is generally only a day or so.
  • They’ve integrated efficiently with the post office if you have to ship a hundred or so packages.
  • They offer a debit card like my bank.
  • Their newest tool allows me to randomly generate credit card numbers good for a short period of time which not only cuts down on fraud, but can also keep unscrupulous merchants (Bally’s total fitness – I’m looking at you) from billing me month after month.
  • Any accountant would be thrilled with the automated reports and Quickbooks compatibility.
  • And to top it all off, my balance is currently earning 5% through their money market program.

Not to sound too much like a shill for Paypal, I’m just very impressed! Definitely blog worthy.

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

Google Custom Placement Packs

January 25th, 2007

An interesting email from the guys at Google regarding

Dear Publisher,

After a recent review of your site, we would like to include in our custom placement packs program. Custom placement packs are selections of individually-reviewed sites designed for our largest brand advertisers.

We would like to feature your site more frequently in these advertiser packages, but to do so, we need you to place more image and text-enabled medium rectangle ad units (300×250) on your site. Visit to see a sample of the medium rectangle unit.

The medium rectangle is the most demanded size among our brand advertisers that utilize these packages for both text and image ads. These advertisers want to ensure they reach visitors on high quality sites like yours, and are willing to bid more for ads prominently displayed on these sites. They require that the units be placed “above the fold” on a page so that the ads are immediately visible to your site’s visitors without scrolling down.

If you decide to add medium rectangle units to your site, please notify us by replying to this email so that we can begin featuring your site in more of our advertiser packages.

We also recommend you use the newly launched ad placements feature to define your ad slots to advertisers so they can bid on specific placements on your site. For instructions on how to create ad placements, please visit .


Name Removed

AdSense Support

I wonder if this is a general push for the AdSense program, or if I’ve crossed some sort of threshold. If you have any insight, please let me know.

New Websites and New Customers

January 18th, 2007

When I’m not posting to the blog it’s a good thing. Not so much for my readers, but for me. It means I’m busy building websites, working with clients and generally shaking my tail feather to make ends meet. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Import GrowthSourcing and Strategy for Small Businesses
This is a website I setup for one of the subscribers to my international trade newsletter. I put the call out for individuals who would be interested in a no fee website which they could use to establish themselves in the international trade arena and to promote their own projects. They get a no-cost, custom website that they can manage on the condition that they post on topic on a regular basis. The individual who claimed this one runs a tea import business out of the San Diego area. I highly recommend checking out the site to hear about some of the trials and tribulations smaller importers face on a daily basis.

The Scrapbook PadColleyville’s Largest Scrapbook Store
A new customer and owner of The Scrapbook Pad, this website was fun to make and the owner a joy to work with. I hope I get a thousand more customers like this one! If you’re in the area, check out their store at:

5611 Colleyville Blvd. #140
Colleyville, TX 76034

Mulgore Armailte Society – a World of Warcraft Horde Guild
Because I don’t work all the time, this is a website designed for my latest obsession – World of Warcraft. The website is run by my wife who is far better at community building than myself and is something of an online meeting place for MAS guild members.

Eye Tracking and Usability

January 7th, 2007

A really fantastic article regarding eye motion and web page layout. The article states that users perceive a web page in an “F” Pattern, first and second in a horizontal movement across the top two paragraphs of a page and then in a vertical movement down the left hand side.

This means it’s extremely important to place your most important content near the top, while your secondary points are clearly delineated by headers or bullet points.

On my site,, I place my Google Ads where they will get the maximum amount of attention (because more clicks on those ads means more money for me). Compare this article to that site’s homepage to see why that position is worth more money.

Spam Bully Review

December 10th, 2006

Spam Bully LogoI run more than 20 web sites, and consequently I get a lot of spam mail.

Tip: if you publish your email address in plain text on a website, you can expect to triple your incoming spam.

The solution I’ve been testing over the last few days is Spam Bully and I have to say I’m very pleased!

Along with a variety of filters including a Bayesian flter (a learning filter that adapts itself to your user preferences), it comes packed with some really cool stastical analysis reports for your incoming mail. It’s reduced my morning email time from 30 minutes down to less than five, and it integrates seamlessly with Outlook Express. It doesn’t hog memory like some of the other client side spam filters, and virtually ever option I can think of is configurable to my preferences to reduce the chances it will trash something I need.

Spam is becoming a real problem and unfortunately there are more spammers than there are ways to combat it. I don’t expect we’ll win the war, but tools like Spam Bully are certainly worth $29.95 to make my life a little easier.

New vBulletin Versions Released

November 28th, 2006

The latest security update from Jelsoft for their Vbulletin product:

November 24th, 2006

* New vBulletin Versions Released
* Your License Information
* Contact Us


The discovery of a potential cross-site scripting (XSS) issue in the administrators control panel has necessitated the preventative release of new versions of vBulletin for the 3.6, 3.5 and 3.0 series.

Due to several mitigating factors, this issue is hard to exploit and careful browsing by administrators can prevent it entirely. Nonetheless, we strongly recommend that all of our customers upgrade or apply patches as soon as possible.

We have posted instructions on the announcements forum detailing procedures to upgrade or patch each affected version. Please follow the relevant links below.

Note: While we have supplied patches and updates for all affected vBulletin versions, we do recommend that all customers upgrade to 3.6.4, as this is our latest stable release.

Upgrade information and patch for 3.6.* series

Upgrade information and patch for 3.5.* series

Upgrade information and patch for 3.0.* series

If you absolutely cannot apply the patch or upgrade…

We strongly recommend you actively take steps to address this issue. However, if this is not possible, we recommend that administrators only log into the control panel when work is necessary. While you are logged into the control panel, do not click unknown links. Log out from the control panel using the link in the upper right of the screen immediately after finishing your work. If you are unexpectedly presented with the control panel login screen after clicking a link, do not login.

WordPress Comment Spam

November 28th, 2006

A question from one of my clients regarding comment spam on her WordPress blog:

I have a quick question for you — been getting tons of crappy posts to my website. Is there a way to adjust some of the wording so it kicks out the pill and sexual content posts? Some of this are beyond nasty.

Thanks a million,

Before all your memories yellow and fade… Scrap-To-It!

My reply

When it comes to comment spam, there are a couple of settings in the WordPress control panel. You can turn off the comments all together or require approval from you before they get posted. I normally set mine to require approval, but it depends on how much comment spam you’re getting and how valuable it is for people to be able to post comments.

MarketingSmallBusiness is for Sale

November 17th, 2006

If you’re in the market to buy a content driven marketing blog, check out this auction over at

View Auction

Here are the details:

PR3 – Business networking site – All original content is a content driven web site related to small business marketing and networking.


This site contains 19 professionally written; original articles related to small business marketing and networking that have not been republished or distributed elsewhere.

The contributing author is available to do follow-up work on a paid basis, but that is not included as part of this auction.

Traffic is fully indexed by Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. It averages about 20-25 unique visitors per day*.

You can view traffic statistics at:
username: guest
password: guest

* Our traffic numbers are not inflated with bot visits, paid traffic, or links from our other websites. Our statistics program does not count the majority of visits that would artificially inflate traffic.


We started using Yahoo!’s YPN program to monetize in September. Earnings are as follows:

Sep 2006 – $0.09
Oct 2006 – $6.79
Through Nov 17, 2006 – $2.38

You can view a screenshot of the most recent earnings at:


The domain name is registered through GoDaddy. It was registered as a new domain on 7/14/2006 and is included as part of this auction.


This site is powered by a fairly standard WordPress installation. All content is contained within the WordPress database.


The buyer will receive a copy of the site contents, database, and domain name. The winning bidder will be responsible for their own hosting and moving the website to a new home. I’ll be happy to set up one year’s worth of hosting and move the site for you for a one-time fee of $200.

How Can Email Advertising Help My Business?

November 7th, 2006

If you don’t stay in front of your customers, your competitors will.

Your existing customers are your best future customers. They’ve purchased your product or service once before and are the most likely to need it again. If you don’t take the time and effort to make yourself memorable, you may not earn their business the next time around. Staying at the forefront is critical to success.

If your customers don’t remember your name when they go to shop, you’ll have to compete for their business all over again!

That’s where email marketing comes in.

I’m not talking about sending thousands of spam messages peddling Viagra and knock-off Rolex watches. I’m talking about sending valuable information about your products and services to individuals that have already taken the time to establish a business relationship with you.

What’s the return on investment?

When you send an email newsletter or bulk mailing to your existing client base, you can typically expect a 1% to 5% response rate from your subscribers. That means that if you send out a thousand emails to existing or potential customers, you’re likely to generate anywhere between ten and fifty qualified leads. From there, you’ll have to do your own math based on your business.

For my business (Danifer Web Services) I find that out of ten leads I’m likely to generate one sale. Out of fifty, I’ll generate five. From each sale, my profit margin is anywhere between $300 and $2000.

That means for the 15 minutes it takes to put together a monthly mailer advertising my latest special or value added service to two thousand subscribers, I can expect to receive between $2500 and $10,000 worth of business. Not too bad, right?

How can I build a subscriber list?

  • Networking is a great way to get started. Sign up with your local chamber of commerce and attend some of their “get to know you” functions. Collect business cards from interested individuals and plug them into a database.
  • If you have a restaurant, bar or retail outlet, put out a fishbowl and encourage visitors to drop in a card for a chance to win a small prize.
  • Have a website? Consider adding a newsletter sign up form like the one at the bottom of the page.
  • Try giving away something for free like a white paper related to one of your products. By signing up for the information, you pre-qualify individuals who are interested in what you have to offer. Here’s an example from one of my sites where I give away statistical website information in exchange for email subscribers.


Email marketing is a low cost, highly effective advertising solution for businesses on a budget. My own marketing is limited to this and to the networking I do at local business events and returns 90% of my customers.

If you’re interested in setting up an email collection service or sending out a newsletter, please feel free to drop me a line anytime.

RPG Laboratory

October 26th, 2006

Yesterday I launched, a Drupal-based blog hosting sister site to 1KM1KT. The primary audience members are developers for role playing games. Since 1KM1KT was already hosting completed RPG projects and a discussion forum, I thought the members might appreciate and contribute to their own individual RPG development blogs.

RPG Laboratory Logo

I decided to make a separate website for them rather than add on to 1KM1KT for diversification purposes, to track statistics independently, and to appeal to a similar but equally targeted audience. Most of 1KM1KT’s traffic are individuals looking for free downloadable rpg games. RPG Laboratory will instead focus on game developers and development.

Greylisting for Your Email

October 20th, 2006

A friend of mine recently turned me onto a service called greylisting for my mailserver. His comments are great, so I’ve just pasted them below. Thanks to the guys at GreatDaneHosting!


You need to look into greylisting for your email. The first time you get an email from a specific email address, the mail server tells the remote mail server to resend in 30 minutes. Most spam servers don’t bother. Once the email has successfully been resent to your mailserver, it goes on a whitelist, so future emails are not delayed.

If you can handle the delay in email, which most people can, then it is a very effective way to cut down spam. You can manually add email addresses to your whitelist, so they won’t be delayed the first time.


Make a Contact Page on Your Site

October 19th, 2006

If you want to email me at, there’s only one page where you can find my email address. The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. By having a contact page, I can avoid putting my email address on every web page where I encourage customers to email me.

    This is nice because if I have the need to change my email address, I can do it without much difficulty. It’s easier to change the address on one page than it would be to find every instance where I’ve used an email address and change them manually, and the extra step needed to get a hold of me is fairly inconsequential.

  2. I get a LOT of spam and the only effective way to control it is to regularly change my contact email.

    I think contact forms are annoying, so I like to publish my address in the format so interested parties can email me using their method of choice. I find that when I’m faced with a contact form on a website rather than an email address, there’s about a one in five chance I’ll just decide it’s not that important that I get in touch with that person and I would hate if my customers felt the same way.

The problem with number two is that spammers are now using email scrapers that will visit websites looking for email addresses to add to their spam lists (that’s why you see people using email addresses and spelling them out like “name at”).

One way I’ve found to control the email scrapers is to publish my email address using javascript which most bots can not read. You’ll notice if you turn off javascript on your browser my address on the contact page will disappear. This is a little more complicated to implement, so it’s nice to have it on one page instead of dozens.

Web Page Visit Notification Script

October 18th, 2006
Edit: Due to the large number of requests, we’ve made the web page notification script available for download at:

On the back of my business cards, I include a URL that users can visit to view special offers, get discounts on my services, and basically just get cool extra stuff for free. The idea is to gauge who is actioning on my business cards when I give them out – meaning I want to know if people are taking the time to look them over, absorb the information and bothering to visit the website.

Basically, I created a new page on my site and included the noindex, nofollow metatags so it wouldn’t get spidered by the search engines. I don’t link to it from any other pages on my site, so the only way to get to it is to manually type the URL into your browser. On this special page I included a script that sends a quick email notification to me whenever it is loaded in a browser. Basically, an email notification of web visit. The email it sends looks something like this and can be easily customized for a variety of applications:

A request has been made to your specified web page.

Site Visited:
Viewed Page:
IP Address: IP Address
User Agent: Useragent info here
Time: October 18, 2006, 7:26 pm

Of course you can always get this information from your log files, but I don’t know anyone who has time to read those everyday, and I wouldn’t expect someone outside of my field to know where to find them. I’m billing this more as a low tech tool for clients to get real-time feedback from their website in an email format that most of them are comfortable using.

This was a pretty simple tool to setup and I’ll be pitching it to clients as a good way to feel out some of their marketing efforts. Since the script can be shared via a php include statement and includes custom page/site info for each page visit notification, it’s easy to host the script in a single location and call it to wherever it is needed, so use on more than one page is very simple.

I’d like to see clients use this to judge the effectiveness of things like bulk mailings, word of mouth advertising, TV commercial spots, and other offline and online marketing efforts.

Windows Shortcut Keys

October 9th, 2006

I’m sure these have been posted all over the net, but they’re a good reference nonetheless. From the List of the keyboard shortcuts that are available in Windows XP.

  • CTRL+C (Copy)
  • CTRL+X (Cut)
  • CTRL+V (Paste)
  • CTRL+Z (Undo)
  • DELETE (Delete)
  • SHIFT+DELETE (Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin)
  • CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
  • CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
  • F2 key (Rename the selected item)
  • CTRL+RIGHT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word)
  • CTRL+LEFT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word)
  • CTRL+DOWN ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph)
  • CTRL+UP ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph)
  • CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Highlight a block of text)
  • SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document)
  • CTRL+A (Select all)
  • F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)
  • ALT+ENTER (View the properties for the selected item)
  • ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)
  • ALT+ENTER (Display the properties of the selected object)
  • ALT+SPACEBAR (Open the shortcut menu for the active window)
  • CTRL+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
  • ALT+TAB (Switch between the open items)
  • ALT+ESC (Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened)
  • F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)
  • F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
  • SHIFT+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)
  • ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the System menu for the active window)
  • CTRL+ESC (Display the Start menu)
  • ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)
  • Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)
  • F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)
  • RIGHT ARROW (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)
  • LEFT ARROW (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)
  • F5 key (Update the active window)
  • BACKSPACE (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
  • ESC (Cancel the current task)
  • SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive (Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing)
  • CTRL+SHIFT+ESC (Open Task Manager)

Web Development Stereotypes

October 8th, 2006

I borrowed this from a sitepoint article entitled “Survey Exposes the Four Web Dev Stereotypes – Which are You?” Read the full article here.

  • The “Guru” is strongly motivated toward technical excellence, actively tracks new technological trends, and is interested in learning how to use them to improve the quality and functionality of web sites.
  • The “Entrepreneur” is strongly motivated toward building and retaining an audience, and is less interested in using technologies just because they’re new.
  • The “Designer” is strongly motivated toward the timely delivery of visually appealing web sites that meet the business requirements of clients.
  • The “Corporate” is strongly motivated toward reliable, stable performance; the “Corporate works in a larger organization, and faces the unique mixture of constraints and opportunities that the corporate environment offers.

FYI – I had trouble pigeonholing myself into one of these categories. I’ll probably need someone else to do that for me. I do, however, recognize each of these four elements as critical to the success of a web project. I guess if I had to choose, I would lean toward the Entrepreneur and away from the Designer stereotypes.