Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Using Online Classifieds To Your Business Advantage

When you hear the words "online classifieds" it usually brings to mind stuff we need to get rid of or a way to score cheap concert tickets. However, when you consider that nearly half (49%) of all online adults worldwide have used online classifieds at some point and that every day, 9% of online users visit a classified site, you should start thinking about how your business or services can benefit from exposure on online classifieds. If you get creative, there are many ways to advertise ethically and wisely. I'll explain those after more interesting data from this study:

According to a recent Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project study, it was also found that consumers have doubled their usage of online classifieds since 2005. Some other interesting info from the study:
  • Classifieds are most popular with those aged 25-44 years. Over half of this population (62%) have used the sites.
  • Those 18-24 and 45-54 years old use less frequently, but the figures are still well over 40%.
  • Fewer than 35% of users aged 55-64 years old use online classifieds.
  • Men are more likely to used a classified site on any given day - 12%, compared to 7% of women.
  • Those with household income levels of $50,000 or more are more likely to use online classified sites than those with incomes under $50,000 (25% vs. 15%).
  • The fastest growing online population using online classified sites are 30-49 years old, and those with incomes over $50,000 per household.
So, how can this help promote your business or service? The #1 online resource for classified advertising is Craigslist ( Here are some actual examples I found of how businesses are using Craigslist:
  1. Realtors: Under the "Housing" section, list rentals and residential/commercial properties for sale.
  2. Automotive: Under "Services Offered > Automotive Services" promote brake repair, oil changes, tune-ups, etc.
  3. Lawyers: Under "Services Offered > Legal Services" place an ad that specifically promotes your area of expertise (bankruptcy, criminal, divorce, etc.)
  4. Gyms: Under "Community > Activities" post an ad seeking those in need of personal trainers or general fitness.
  5. Photographers: Under "Community > Artists" place an ad promoting your photography business.
  6. Massage/Spa: Under "Services Offered > Theraputic Services" announce a "Grand Opening" or promote your massage services, offer promotions, etc.
  7. Tanning Salon: Under "For Sale > Free" offer a week of free tanning on your basic beds or perhaps a free trial on a more advanced tanning system.
While there are some posting guidelines that need to be followed, posting on Craigstlist is absolutely free! Free advertising that is also effective? Yep.

The key to using Craigslist is to post ads frequently. As with any effective advertising, a healthy balance of brand exposure and familiarity are required. Then it comes down to time - how much are you willing to spend if it means growing your business?

If you'd like to try other, popular online classifieds resources, I would suggest (eBay's classifieds site) and, which handles classifieds for Facebook.

Anthony Vita
Web Feat Works

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dealing With Viruses

Computer viruses are getting nastier. One thing I've noticed is how easily your computer can be infected by doing something that seems totally harmless - like opening a video in Facebook or downloading Google Chrome. Yes, both have happened to me and it's time to give a little advice on preventing and dealing with viruses you may receive as well.

Preventing Viruses

If someone were advising you on how to prevent from getting a real disease, you'd probably hear things like: see a doctor regularly, change your diet, excercise regularly, etc. This idea of doing multiple things to prevent infection is the same when it comes to protecting your computer. To do this, it's important to do the following:

1) Never open attachments you're not 100% certain about. I know, you've heard it 1000 times before - never open attachments. But viruses are getting trickier. For example, I recently got a virus after opening a video that came from a friend on Facebook. How sneaky! The video arrived as a "message" and not as a wall posting, so keep that in mind when checking your FB Inbox. If a friend sends you a video, email them first to confirm they really sent it. Sounds like alot of work but would you rather have a virus?

2) Download and install multiple anti-spam software programs. I would recommend the following programs: SpyBot, AVG and Malwarebytes. There is also a nice, free online scan at Windows Live OneCare. Some viruses actually disable your ability to run updates for these various programs - another annoyance. To get around this, you'll need to have more than one anti-virus program handy - the more tools at your disposal the better. I would not recommend Norton or McAfee anti-virus programs as I've found them to be too intrusive.

3) Have one anti-virus program monitoring your system at any given time. While you may download and install multiple anti-virus programs, one is all you need to actively monitor your system. Doing this will help detect viruses as they are launched on your system. I would suggest either Spybot, which uses something called Tea Timer, or AVG to accomplish this.

4) Update your anti-virus definitions daily. Each virus (old and new) has a set of "definitions" along with it. These definitions vary depending on which anti-virus program you're using. But the idea is to make sure you have the latest definitions on your system so if an infection is detected you're able to remove it (works much like a flu or tetanus shot). In the event one anti-virus program can't update or doesn't have the latest virus definitions, at least you have a few other program options. The more programs you have access to, the better your chances of finding a "cure" for your infected files.

If you are in the Web Feat local area (Central and Southwest VA) and need assistance with installing, configuring and scanning your systems for viruses, appointments can be made by request.

Anthony Vita

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Web Feat Now On Facebook

Web Feat has just joined Facebook. Why? According to a 2009 Harris Poll, nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook or MySpace account. 74% of adults between the ages of 18-34 are using these social networking tools. These are staggering numbers!

Here is a link to the poll:

Why not start a Facebook account and see how it can work as a super, online networking event? I'm not exactly sure how Web Feat will use Facebook (FB), but I do know the goals are twofold:

1) Help Existing Clients: I'm hoping this will somehow be a help to our existing client base. While I don't intend to use FB as forum for support issues, I do want to share helpful information, insights or advice about how our clients can get the most out of their websites and the services we are providing.

2) Generate leads: I'm interested in seeing how viral marketing can work. I don't consider myself a salesman by any means. With over 11 years experience in Internet business, I feel more like a consultant.

I am documenting FB progress in this blog so I can discuss what works, what doesn't and any other observations along the way. Other businesses wondering how FB can benefit them may find it of interest as well.

Here is a link to our FB account:

Anthony Vita
Web Feat

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Your Website In The New Economy

There is no doubt, our economy is in bad shape. I don't believe we're seeing a temporary phase or a short slump....this is a new economy. The economy overall is making a long term adjustment to many years of wasteful spending and too many unnecessary buying options....and it's not over yet. I think the true survivors will be those who have been making sound financial decisions all along and understand how to spend practically under difficult financial times.

So how does this affect your website?

I always thought having a website is one of the best investments one could make. Websites have been, and continue to be, much more affordable than traditional advertising such as newspapers, magazines, television. Why spend $300 a week or month on newspaper advertising when you can spend a fraction of this price on your website? At least your website doesn't have a shelf life or expire, like newspapers or magazines.

Spend $300 on a magazine ad and within a month that magazine has expired and likely in a trash can. Spend $300 wisely on your website and it can continue to generate leads and increase profits for years to come. The difference is staggering.

Think about it - your website is available for anyone to see 24/7, 365 days a year. What other types of advertising have the same profit potential, particularly the cost?

The bottom line - consumers are still actively using the web to search for products and services. It's no coincidence that brick and mortar stores are either closing or experiencing very tough times while online retailers like continue to report record sales in late 2008.

This is a good time to boost your web presence by either getting a website, revamping it or using Google to maximize targeted click-thrus to your online business.

In future posts I will give specific details on how investing in your website can maximize profits for your business.

Web Feat


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who Really Owns Your Domain Name?

When it comes to domain names, there are certain things you (as the owner) need to be aware of. It is so easy nowadays to buy a domain and have it online within minutes. Sounds great, doesn't it? For the short term it is.

The problems I've seen with domain names have nothing to do with how much they cost or the website behind them. The real price you pay for a domain comes when it's time to renew, or worse, when you want to move the domain to another host or registrar.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a domain is using the wrong contact information. For example, a restaurant owner has their web designer register the name "". The designer buys the domain and adds THEIR name to the registration information instead of the owner. Big mistake. Why?

Well, if the restaurant owner and designer part ways for whatever reason the domain name is legally owned by the designer. Even if the owner and designer part on good terms, it could be a headache for the owner to renew or move his domain name. Let's say the designer moves across the country and changes careers - needless to say he may become hard to track down in order to administer the domain. If the owner and designer part on bad terms it could be extremely difficult or impossible for the owner to get his name back.

One thing to remember...if you have a domain name, it is VITAL to have your name associated with it right from the start. In order to do ANYTHING with your domain, your name must be associated with it otherwise the registrar won't even deal with you.

Registrars will ONLY deal with the person listed in the contact information for the domain. I have witnessed firsthand the "horror stories" of clients who either lost their domain or experienced extensive downtime while they attempted to figure out who actually owned their domain. If the contact information had been correct from the start there would have been no problems at all.

If you would like to know who owns your domain, a good place to start is here: Enter your domain name in the "Whois Lookup" field. The very first thing it tells you is who's providing the registration service. Then you can see all the contact information associated with your domain.

The Registrant and Administrative Contacts are the most important ones check. If these two contacts do not have your name and you are (or should be) the owner of the domain, I recommend fixing this now while time is on your side instead of waiting for a crisis (which will happen eventually).

Should you need any assistance with this, please let me know!

Web Feat


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Web Feat and Web Site Maintenance

In addition to web hosting, Web Feat provides many other services - one of those is "Website Maintenance".

Keeping the content on your website fresh and current is a good way to increase and keep traffic coming to your website. When it comes to updating their websites, people ususally...

1) Do it themselves.

2) Hire a professional to make regular updates.

Using a professional is the best way to go because they will make it their job to ensure your site is updated and/or provide you with the tools needed to update your own website.

That's one of the things I like about helping clients maintan their sites - we can build a web-based control panel giving clients the ability to update their own site. So, although they set out to hire a professional, they are actually getting to "do it themselves" - a best of both worlds scenario.

Having the ability to update your own website is the best way to go. It may cost a little more upfront, but once your site is built, you can make changes without incurring any extra costs.

On the other hand, there are those who simply don't want to make their own changes - and we can help them too. Once we understand how and when the content on your site needs to be changed we can customize a maintenance plan to your needs.

If you have any questions about how Web Feat can maintain your website, don't hesitate to let me know,

Anthony Vita
Web Feat

Monday, September 15, 2008

Through The Storm

With Hurricane Ike having recently pounded Houston, TX there were some concerns here at Web Feat since we have a few servers in that location.

However, the datacenter and it's staff were more than prepared to handle the storm. When the power went out, backup generators kicked in and it was business as usual. While utility power has yet to be fully restored to the datacenter, everything should return to normal within a few days.

So far there has been no downtime as a result of the hurricane and we owe it all to the excellent and dedicated staff in Houston. This is the main reason why we have our servers hosted with a reliable datacenter instead of trying to handle it locally, on our own.

Web Feat prides itself on peronalized customer service and support and we feel totally comfortable dealing with clients on any issues involving their website and email. When it comes to datacenters, Internet backbone providers, facility security, etc. we leave that to professionals who feel comfortable delivering that service.

In the end, our clients receive excellent support all around, while keeping the price very reasonable.

Web Feat