Can you create a customized 404 page in Weebly?

A 404 page is the page you see if you ask for a page that no longer exists (or never did) on a website. This happens when a page that you had bookmarked is deleted or moved, or if you type in a page URL wrong.

The advantage of a customized page is that you can be more polite than the standard 404 page and also offer the reader some options for finding the right page.

Here’s the Fast Smart Web Design 404 page, for example:

A sample customized 404 page.

A sample customized 404 page.

In the last workshop, someone asked if you could create a custom 404 page on a Weebly site.

It doesn’t look like it. However, readers do get a Weebly 404 page that has a link taking them back to the home page:

The Weebly "Page Not Found" page

The Weebly “Page Not Found” page

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How to check if a website is responsive

A “responsive site” is one that resizes automatically to fit the size of the display you’re using or the size of the window.

If you’re using FireFox , an easy way to test a site from your desktop or laptop is to press Shift+Ctrl+M.

On FireFox, press Shift+Ctrl+M to pick the display size you want to see.

On FireFox, press Shift+Ctrl+M to pick the display size you want to see.

For Chrome or Internet Explorer, make sure that you’re not at “full screen,” then grab the left or right edge and check whether you can still see all the elements on the page.

Drag the left or right edge into the center and check whether the page resizes.

Drag the left or right edge toward the center and check whether the page resizes.

What can I use to update my own site?

Until recently, we recommended Contribute from Adobe to our customers who wanted to maintain their own sites.

The program lets you open your pages, make changes, and save them for later or post them to your live website. You don’t have to look at the code (HTML)–it’s more like working in Microsoft Word than Dreamweaver.

However, Contribute isn’t available under Windows 8 and Adobe doesn’t seem to be interested in updating and maintaining the program.

Our current recommendation is a free program from Microsoft, Microsoft Expression. It looks more techie than Contribute, but you can ignore the code parts and just work on your pages. You can download it at Microsoft Expression Web 4.

How do e-commerce programs deal with fraud?

Each of the e-commerce sites with which we’re familiar have extensive systems for dealing with fraudulent credit-card orders and security issues.

PayPal, for example, offers lots of information in their Help Center. They also have a robust system for managing chargebacks (customers asking for their money back) and unauthorized activities on the account.

The key is to choose a well-known e-commerce platform–they’ll have seen it all and will have good security and fraud-management systems in place. (Picking “Joe’s Shopping Cart System” is probably not a good idea, in other words.)

What are some e-commerce platforms?

An e-commerce platform or program lets you set up an online store with product pages, shopping cart, and account management without programming it yourself.

In the workshop, we mention PayPal, Chase Bank’s Instant Storefront, and Amazon Checkout (Google Checkout is no longer available). Network Solutions, GoDaddy, and 1and1 all offer e-commerce solutions as well as shopping carts that can be added to your website.

Two additional soup-to-nuts e-commerce platforms are:

We plan to do a feature comparison of e-commerce solutions sometime in the next month or so. Stay tuned.

Getting a logo or image for cheap

One of the participants in our last workshop suggested Fiverr.com as a place to get logos (and many other things, like translations and gifts) for cheap. For $5 in fact.

With any program like this, watch out for copyright violations. Although the Fiverr terms of service explicitly says that sellers cannot offer material belonging to others (images, logos, code), some sellers may violate the terms and bad things get through.

If you’re not sure about an image or logo you bought, use Google Images to check. Report any violations to Fiverr’s customer service department.

Can you add an external shopping cart to Weebly?

Weebly offers Google Checkout and PayPal shopping carts, but if you already have another shopping cart, can you use that one instead?

The answer is yes, as per this article in the Weebly support center: Other Shopping Carts. “Any cart will work so long as the vendor allows you to create embeddable product listings / add to cart buttons. ¬†Any such embeddable options can be added to you site via our custom html element. “