Friday, February 18, 2011

Drag and Drop Site Builder Updates

We are excited to release an updated version of our Drag and Drop Site Builder. It will include a number of new features, usability updates, and some bug fixes.

The major feature improvements are ImagePerfect, photo slideshows, faster editing (with a few new tools) and six new themes.

New Features

New features in this release include:

  • "Header Image" header
  • New slideshow element
  • Improved text editing
  • Now allows linking to external websites in navigation
  • Optimized site publishing
  • Better image resizing and compression
  • Support non-icc CMYK jpegs in IE
  • Adjustable page title to improve SEO
  • Removed thick element border while editing text
  • Better support for IE PNG filters in custom themes
  • Added "Remove Formatting" button to text editor
  • Option to upload a file when linking to a file
  • Option to hide site from search engines results
  • Added default robots.txt
  • Added sitemap location to robots.txt
  • Now stores larger versions of images, adapt lightbox
  • Added image gallery "rectangle" aspect ratio

Usability Updates

Usability updates in this release include:

  • Improved button styles
  • New divider line
  • Ability to edit custom HTML with one click
  • Improved dragging/sorting behavior
  • More responsive dragging/sorting in all browsers

Friday, January 21, 2011

Does Green Marketing Really Have Value?

Websites hosted at IPOWER are powered by 100% wind energy. Our customers can add an eco-friendly badge to their homepage. Login here to get your badge.

IPOWER's Gone Green?
You bet. Granted, we're a web hosting company; everything's online. There are no earthly resources to expend ... except all that electricity. And so, for the last two years, we've been offsetting all of our electricity use with wind-generated Renewal Energy Certificates, becoming a "Green Power Partner" of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

These Renewable Energy Certificates prevent the release of 2,660 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year. The estimated yearly benefit to the environment is equivalent to planting ~2,390 acres of trees or not driving 6.1 million miles.

Your Website Is Green, Too
You have a choice in where you host your website, and with IPOWER, you're electing to host your site in an eco-friendly data center. If you'd like to spread the word, add one of three "green" badges to your site.

Is Green Marketing Effective?
Promoting environmentally friendly products or services can be a double-edged sword; it can be highly effective if done correctly, but it can potentially backfire if done disingenuously. Learn more >>

Green Marketing Resources
So how can you employ effective green marketing techniques? By learning from others: emulate the success stories, avoid the pitfalls. We've put together an eclectic group of green marketing resources, from case studies and expert advice to green WordPress themes:
  • Promote Your Green Website:
    We've experienced a tremendous amount of success with our own green marketing efforts, and we've heard from many of you who've received overwhelmingly positive feedback after adding one of our eco-friendly badges to your websites.

  • Install Green WordPress Themes: Give your WordPress site or blog a green makeover; these ten WordPress themes are perfect for green businesses and environmental non-profits.

  • Study History: Just last week, CBC's radio program, "The Age of Persuasion," explored the history of green marketing, examining what has worked in the past, as well as what hasn't. The program is 26 minutes long >>

  • Follow Five Simple Rules: Green marketing expert Jacquie Ottman, outlines her five simple rules of green marketing and highlights several case studies that put the "rules" in action, in this five-page .pdf article.

  • Tell a Story: In this September 2010 article, Shannon Arvizu points out that "Most clean tech marketing strategies lack a potent emotional or narrative component. Conventional green marketing [is limited to] facts or statistics ... [which] is not necessarily the most effective way of communicating the value of a green product to consumers."

  • Don't Forget "Regular" Marketing: In this June 2010 article, Beth Zonis reminds us that "it's important not to get too carried away with the green-ness ... of your offering, at the expense of explaining how well it solves your customer's needs."
Tell Us What You Think
Share your stories with us. Is green marketing something that can help your business? Have you had success with it in the past?