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Issue 080 - May 29, 2008



1. Huge Sale Extended Two Weeks (ends June 12th)
Huge Sale Extended Two Weeks (ends June 12th) We've been hearing all sorts of great feedback about the current sale. Many of you have told us that these prices make it possible to offer our products to your clients. We've heard things like "this is great, I can now use CMS Builder for all of my projects where before I could only afford it for a select few."

So due to the overwhelming feedback we've received for this special we've decided to extend it another two weeks. If it turns out that these prices are a better fit for everyone, we'll stick with them when the sale ends.

If you purchase now you can save as much as $160 on CMS Builder, $150 on Article Manager, and $100 on Listings Manager. Usually you would need to buy 5 or 12 licenses to get these kind of discounts.

Special Prices until June 12th

CMS Builder $299.95 $139.95 Order
Article Manager $349.97 $199.95 Order
Listings Manager $299.95 $199.95 Order

If you would like to place your order or have any questions, you can always give us a call (toll free 1-800-752-0455), send an email (sales@interactivetools.com), post your questions in the forum, or message us through live chat.
2. Introducing 6 Month Payments Plans
Introducing 6 Month Payments Plans Last newsletter we introduced a new payment plan where you can purchase any of our products for three equal monthly payments. We're now introducing a new six month payment plan. For example, with a six month payment plan you can purchase a license of CMS Builder for only six monthly payments of $27.99.
Payment plan prices for 3 and 6 months are listed below:
CMS Builder 3 payments of $51.31 6 payments of $27.99 Order
Article Manager 3 payments of $73.31 6 payments of $39.99 Order
Listings Manager 3 payments of $73.32 6 payments of $39.99 Order


Payment plans are a great way to minimize your up-front costs, such as when you've only received an initial deposit. If you're a web developer, your price sensitive clients can get up-and-running with our products at a minimum budget.

To get started with a payment plan, simply visit our order page. As always, you can refund at any time within the first 90 days.

3. Developer Spotlight: Hess Collective
Developer Spotlight: Hess Collective Eric Hess of Hess Collective tells us he's already successfully used CMS Builder to power five of his clients' websites. Eric was kind enough to talk to us about his thoughts on CMS Builder and his web design business.

Hi Eric, tell us about yourself and the services you offer?

"I used to work for Adobe Systems off and on for 13 years, that ended about three years ago. At one point I was the European Product Manager for Illustrator, Photoshop and their related Creative Pro graphics applications. I got into developing websites as a way to use Adobe’s tools -- I needed to make sure I was well grounded in the challenges that real-world users were facing so I could help guide the development of new features and functionality in our applications. Of course, that was back in the days of Illustrator 10, Photoshop 5.0 and Image Ready 1.0. My web design business just fell out of using the tools and doing some pro-bono work for a couple of non-profits in the Seattle area. Years later it’s grown into a nice little side business for me."

Where are you located?

"Seattle. My web design business is located in my studio in the back yard."

Do you do this full time?

"I’m fortunate, my web design business is really an avocation... a way to pay for my technology addiction and my sailboat."

Do you have any staff?

"I don’t have any staff, though I do love collaborating with local designers, which I’ve done on a number of occasions for both web development and print design work.

And if you haven’t figured it out yet, I am not a "real" web developer, I’m just a design savvy guy who thinks he can write code. I’ve never read a single book on web programming, never took a class on HTML, and seriously cannot tell you the difference between PHP, ASP, SHTML, DHTML, Java, JavaScript, or any other web programming language. I can tell you that a colleague of mine who was seen reading a C# book at a bar did not pick up the waitress... Thank God I’ve got your tools backing me up."

What are your tips for clients and developers building sites in a slow economy?

"Good customer service is the key to a solid business, no matter what the state of the economy. It also helps that I price my work at reasonable, if not slightly lower than average prices. Also, all of my clients know they can drop me an email and ask a question at any time. This approach makes it easier for me to have a long term relationship with my clients, and one that’s built on trust. I had some downtime earlier this year so I contacted a couple of my older accounts, let them know about the new features and tools available from InteractiveTools.com, and got orders for upgrading their old sites... one Article Manager 1.x to 2.x upgrade and one Listings Manager to CMS Builder upgrade."

Why did you choose CMS Builder over other products and free solutions?

"I am not a web developer per se, I’m just really good at hunt n’ peck and copy & paste. The combination of Support, Community, and GREAT tools has made InteractiveTools.com my vendor of choice. CMS Builder provides me with an exceptionally flexible and easy to use foundation from which to begin. The elements I love about CMS Builder include:"
  • It manages my MySQL database including the creation of all the tables and fields for me (this is big for someone without any formal programming / engineering training).
  • It makes creating a whole host of page designs possible. My page design can reflect the wishes of my clients (for better or worse) rather than the limitations of the content management tool.
  • The User Community and Support Staff at interactivetools.com.com are fantastic. I’m frequently getting new ideas and picking up snippets of code from the user forums, and sensible guidance from Support.


What CMS Builder powered sites have you built so far?



How long does it take to set up a new section?

"How about updating an existing website with static content to a fully CMS Builder managed site in just 3 hours, and that even included installing CMS Builder!!"

What is your advice to other developers who are thinking of getting started with CMS Builder?

"Plan a 2 Martini lunch – you’ll now have enough time in the day to enjoy it! Oh, but more seriously, use the Support Forums; CMS Builder is really flexible, and lots of new ideas have already been explored and shared in the Forum."

What other benefits of using CMS Builder really stand out for you?

"Besides the 2 Martini Lunch? How about the 4 PM Happy Hour? It all comes down to saving time. Being able to complete a project more quickly allows you to get on to other tasks, whether that be more time to dig up new clients, more time to complete more projects, or more time to spend with friends and family. And if you bill out your development projects on a fixed price basis rather than hourly, you’ll see your revenue per hour invested suddenly shoot through the roof; just like gas prices."

What are some of your favorites web development sites and resources?

"Ugh... I have to admit, I don’t have a single development site bookmarked in my web browser. I have a three step approach to figuring out things I don’t know (and there are a lot!).

#1. Use Google and do a couple of quick searches

#2. Browse the Forums at InteractiveTools.com

#3. Submit a help question and wait patiently for Theo, Ross, Mike, Donna or Jake to respond (it’s the perfect excuse to hit that 2 Martini lunch).

oh... and #4: just give it a try, many times I’ve solved a problem without just by trying out a few different ideas...

The solution you need is certain to materialize."



You can find Hess Collective on the web at http://www.hesscollective.com/ or find Eric in the forum under the name HDBC.

You can try CMS Builder for a special price of only $139.95, or purchase it over 3 or 6 monthly payments. Learn more about CMS Builder or visit our secure order page to get started now.

4. Humans now answer the phone at interactivetools.com
Humans now answer the phone at interactivetools.com Many of you have told us how much you hate our automated voicemail system. So good news, it's gone!

We've replaced all that technology with a simple multi-line cordless phone system. No more voicemail prompts! Now when you phone in multiple phones will ring around our office, a human will answer your call, and we'll help you out however we can.

And... Thanks to some new amazing technology from onebox.com, when we miss your call your message will go straight to our email as an MP3 (faxes arrive as PDFs), allowing us to respond even quicker and track it with the rest of our emails and support tickets.

If you're interested in this service you can check it out at onebox.com. It's called "Onebox Unified Messaging", costs $12.95 a month, and is totally web based. I signed up and had a new 1-888 number for voicemail and faxes in minutes. Last time I made a change with our local telco, it took 3 months, so we're impressed!

So give us a call anytime. We're here to help, and from the moment we pick up the phone you'll be talking to someone who can help - not a voicemail robot. :)

Cheers,
Dave Edis

5. Developer Resources
Developer Resources Here are a couple of useful resources for web developers and designers. Send me an email with YOUR favourite resources - I might be able to feature them in a future newsletter.
Lightbox Matrix
Lightbox matrix is a useful website that compares all of the various scripts that display images and other objects using JavaScript and CSS popups.

Typetester
I've featured this in a previous newsletter but find it to be a fairly useful tool. Typetester makes a web designer's life easier by making it extremely easy to compare different font types.


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