Welcome to the YourCityGuide.net Tutorial!

For support at any time, please send an e-mail to support@yourcityguide.net

When you make changes to your site, if you don't see them immediately don't forget to hit the "REFRESH" or "RELOAD" button on your browser

 

IMPORTANT:  BE SURE TO READ THIS AND TAKE THE NECESSARY ACTIONS!

  1. Sign up for Paypal (if you haven't already) - It's free!  Plus it is your means of accepting credit cards.  Just go to www.paypal.com and get a business account.  Then be sure to verify the email address you use with paypal, with your email address on file under "Edit Site Settings"

    Some website owners wish to offer an alternative to Paypal for credit card payments.  We highly recommend 2Checkout  (https://www.2checkout.com/index.html) for this purpose.  There is no merchant account required.  There is a small setup fee plus a percentage of each sale, view their website for current rates.  If you wish to use 2checkout on your website...sign up for an account and then contact us for more information on integration, etc.
     

  2. Verify Website Settings - In the site manager menu, click "Edit Site Settings". Be sure that all information is correct, set your listing prices, setup your 'In the Spotlight' site.   Especially be sure that the Paypal address is the valid email address you have set up on your Paypal account or customers will not be able to properly pay.
     

  3. Set up the Localities for your City:  In order to allow your website visitors to narrow their business directory searches down to a particular part of town...you need to set up "Localities" for your city.   You can set up as many or as few localities as you would like, however at least 7-10 are recommended to all your website visitors to really go local with their searches.   We also recommend dividing your town into easily recognizable neighborhoods or areas so people can identify them easily.  After you add your localities, you must assign each of the zip codes (up to 10 for each locality).  We have provided a link to a handy US Zip Code map to help you with assigning them.   Even though this process may take 20-30 minutes, it is a crucial element of your city guide and should not be skipped.
     

  4. Set up an @yourdomain.com e-mail account (if desired) -  If you would like to use any @yourdomain.com email address for your website, we can create up to 3 of them for you.  Simply email us at support@yourcityguide.net and include the email addresses you would like added, plus the passwords you would like for each account.  We can also forward the mail sent to the new account to any existing account you may have.  If you would like that service just let us know and indicate the address all mail should be forwarded to.

    To check your email, you may either log onto webmail at http://mail.yourdomain.com (replace 'yourdomain' with your domain name)

    ...or you may set up the account in your email program.  Use the following settings if you wish to do this:

    Incoming (Pop3) Mail Server:  mail.yourdomain.com  (replace 'yourdomain' with your domain name)
    Outgoing (SMTP) Mail Server:  mail.yourdomain.com  (replace 'yourdomain' with your domain name)
    Username:  New Email Address
    Password:  Your Password

    Check the box next to "My Outgoing Server Requires Authentication" and keep the tick next to "Use Incoming Server Settings"

    If you have any problems at all...just email me at support@yourcityguide.net

     

  5. Set Banner Ad Prices - There are many banner spaces on your website you can sell to earn additional income.   Click "Manage Banner Ads" and set the price of each banner.  Don't change the banner or links until you sell a banner as they will help you sell them.
     

  6. Sign up for Commission Junction & Ebay Affiliate Programs - Your website is programmed to earn you additional money without doing anything.  All you have to do is sign up for a free Commission Junction & Ebay Partner account and input your respective ID's in your site settings.  Click on the "Commission / Affiliate" link for full instructions.
     

  7. Give away free or discounted listings to businesses to build content - We STRONGLY advise you take a major step in building the value of your site by either giving away or heavily discounting about 25 or 50 listings just to make a good 1st impression on your website visitors.  If they come to the website and you only have 1 or 2 featured businesses and 2 coupons, they won't come back!  If they visit your site and see a ton of businesses and great coupon/savings card deals, they WILL COME BACK!

    We have provided an easy link below for businesses to signup for any free listing promotions you run.  You can give them permanent free listings or just give them a full year, it's up to you.  Feel free to add this link to your site, link to it from your homepage, send emails to local businesses with the free listing offer, etc, etc.   The key is getting a good number of ACTIVE businesses on your site to listing coupon/savings card offers, fill out their description, add items, and more to make build your websites content....SELLING LISTINGS BECOMES MUCH EASIER WHEN THEY SEE ALL THE OTHERS PARTICIPATING ON YOUR WEBSITE!  For more info on marketing please visit our operator center by logging in at www.yourcityguide.net.

    Free Listing Link:  http://www.yoursite.com/offer (replace yoursite.com with your actual domain name)
     

  8. Sign up for your FREE Sitemeter Hit Counter/Tracker & Add the code to your settings -  We have partnered with SiteMeter so you can track the traffic coming to your website.  Just go to www.sitemeter.com and sign up for a FREE Basic account.  After successful sign up, you will be logged into your account.  Click on "Manager" and them "HTML Code" and copy the "Javascript HTML Code" (highlight text > right click > copy).  Now all you have to do is log in to "Site Manager" on your city guide and click on Site Settings and scroll down until you see "SiteMeter Code".  Just paste the code into that box and submit the form and your stats will be tracked from that point on. 

    Tip:   When you are logged in at SiteMeter, if you click on "Manager" you have several options that may be desired.
    -    "Stats by E-mail"...have your stats emailed to you at the time interval you select.
    -    "Password"...change your password to an easier to remember one
    -    "Meter Style"...Change your meter style if you want visitors to see the hit count.
    -    "Privacy Level"...Set it so that visitors clicking on your meter cannot see your statistics
    -    "Starting Count"...Pad your stats for visitors by starting with a higher starting count.

    Also, if you want to add a copyright to the bottom of your website, simply enter a line break and type it below the SiteMeter code.  An example is
    Copyright 2008 YourCityGuide.net. All Rights Reserved.

     

Community Savings Card Information (Optional but Recommended)
(a.k.a. - The Fastest Way To Make Your Site a Success!)

Important:  The Community Savings Card links & pages are not activated when we upload your website.   If you decide to order the cards to take advantage of this great marketing angle, simply go to "Site Settings" and next to "Activate Savings Cards" select "Yes".  If you have any Featured Businesses, we suggest you use the "E-mail All Members" feature to notify them of the program.

Introduction - We have implemented an incredible way to spread your websites popularity like wildfire....it is called the "Community Savings Card".   The concept is simple but brilliant.   The Community Savings Card allows local customers to take advantage of great discounts offered by your participating Featured Businesses, and all they have to do is show them the Savings Card, which is completely FREE!  No more coupon clipping!  When you activate the Savings Card program on your website, all of the coupons offered by your Featured Businesses will also be their Community Savings Card offer(s).     Keep reading to find out how the Savings Card will not only drive traffic to your website, but also make it easier to sell Featured Listings and create a buzz about your city guide throughout your town. 

How can it increase my sales/traffic? - This is the best part!  Let's say you purchase just a minimal amount of cards to start out with.  After giving away some free or discounted listings to get some great Savings Cards deals on your website from local businesses....you start giving them away EVERYWHERE!  Leave them on the counters of businesses, hand them out on the street, leave them in restaurants, put them ANYWHERE you can think of.  The card is FREE and promotes your website by offering them deals and discounts for local businesses.  How do they find out where they can save?  They simply hang on to the card and visit your website and check your "Community Savings Card" page that lists all of the great deals they can get simply by showing their savings card.

People talk, and so it won't be long until they're telling their friends about the Savings Card.  You can even pick out some of your "Featured Businesses" to be "Pick up points" for the cards....it will bring customers to them....so of course they'll want to do it.  The whole thing snowballs, all the while bringing you traffic, plus it is a great selling point to sign up PAYING FEATURED MEMBERS!  They don't want to be left behind! 

Be sure to tell your website visitors where to get their Savings Card - We have given you a spot on the "Savings Card" page to tell your website visitors how to acquire your Savings Cards.  We suggest starting by allowing them to send you a self addresses stamp envelope (be sure to include your address so they know where to send it!) to receive their "Savings Card".   However, it is a fantastic idea to approach some businesses about becoming a "pickup point"...it drives customers right to them, something they should welcome!  When you have some pickup points, list them here as well...just go to the "Edit Page Content" page to edit your Discount Card page.

How Much are the Savings Cards?  These cards are incredibly affordable and of amazing quality.  Please log into your account at www.yourcityguide.net for prices and for ordering information.

We have much more information on the "Savings Card" on our marketing website...just log in to the operator center at www.yourcityguide.net for more info.

 

 

EDIT YOUR SITE SETTINGS:

To edit general settings such as your email address, phone number, price for your site and more...just click on the "EDIT YOUR SITE SETTINGS" link.  Be sure all information is correct and edit anything you need to edit before submitting the form.  There is a short description of each of the fields in the form to help you out.

 

 

SET UP YOUR LOCALITIES:

Setting up localities for your city is one of the most important things you can do to improve your city guide.  It allows your website visitors to narrow their business directory searches down to the areas you define here.  So they can not only find Barbers, but Barbers in their area or neighborhood.  The more you can narrow it down, the better your website will be, but it is completely up to you!

Your localities should cover all areas of your city.  Once you have decided on and added the localities you want to use for your website, you will need to assign the zip codes in your city to those localities.  They can overlap if they have to, meaning you can have the same zip code as part of more than one locality. 

Here is a great reference for assigning the zip codes to your localities.  It is a zip code map overlay on Google Maps:
http://www.usnaviguide.com/zip.htm

LINK MANAGER:

REORDER, EDIT, AND DELETE LINKS

The links on your website are able to be reordered how you like them.  Just click the to move a link up, and the to move a link down down.  Click the button to edit the button title. 
If you wish to completely delete a page and link, click the
Go to fullsize image button.  Be careful as this is permanent! 

ADD A NEW PAGE TO YOUR WEBSITE

You can also add new pages and links to your website.   This is one of the most important features of your website, as it gives you the opportunity to personalize your site for your community.  Add as many pages as you would like.  There are 3 types of pages you can add to your website:

  1. "Editable Link/Page" - Use this if you want to add a blank page to your website that you can add content to using the WYSIWYG Editor (What You See Is What You Get).  If functions just like Microsoft Word and allows you to customize your text size, color, add pictures, and more. (see the next section of the tutorial for more info on the WYSIWYG Editor).  Want to add a "Community Pictures" page?  Just use the "Add Editable Link/Page" form to enter the Link Title and it is created instantly.  Then just click the "Edit Page Content" link (next in the tutorial) to use the WYSIWYG editor to add content.   You can create a page about anything, user your imagination...content only makes your website better.

    Add Page with No Link - Use this link above the form if you want to add a new editable WYSIWYG page but DO NOT want to have a link appear in your navigation menu for that page.  You would do this if you intend to link to your new page from somewhere else within your website and not clutter up your navigation.  After you create the page, you can edit it and also view the URL so you can link to it within the Edit Pages in Site feature.
     

  2. "External Framed Link" - Use this form if you want to add a link to any external website.  An external website is any website that isn't yours, for example the local Chamber of Commerce or local Visitors Bureau website.  When you add a link using this method, it will display your logo and links at the top of the page, and display the external page in a frame below them.  This serves the purpose of allowing the user to browse the external site, but still keeping them on your site and allowing them to navigate back if they choose.  No sense driving them away...right?
     

  3. "RSS Feed Page" - The last kind of new page you can add to your site sounds complicated, but it really is not.  It is called an RSS Feed Page.  An RSS feed is basically a data stream that is provided by certain websites (local newspapers often offer them) that you can display within your existing website design and they appear as part of your website.   They are constantly updated by the provider so you have fresh content on your website and don't have to do anything.  The news and recipes on your homepage are examples of RSS feeds.  I've given you the opportunity to add RSS Feed pages to your site as well. 

    It's easy to find RSS Feeds...just go to http://www.rssmicro.com and find a feed you want to add to your website.  When you find the one you want, just copy the
    green url
    (including the http://) - see screenshot below.  Then paste it into the Add RSS Page form in Link Manager.  Add your Link Title, submit and you're done.

 

EDIT PAGE CONTENT:

This is where you will edit the content on the pages of your website.   Just click the title of the page you wish to edit and you will be taken to the editing page.

WYSIWYG Page - This method uses the "What You See Is What You Get" Editor (shown below).  It is very easy to use and operates like Microsoft Word or other word processing software.  You can edit text size, color, insert pictures, and more.  The text on your homepage is editable in the WYSIWYG Editor, as is any new page that you set up as an editable page.   We have put a Quick Reference Table for the WYSIWYG Editor button on the editor page,  but you can also Click here for Flash Tutorials and Button Explanations for the WYSIWYG Editor

External Link & RSS Feed Pages - When you edit these pages you are actually just editing the URL of either the external link or the RSS Feed.  Click the link title you want to edit and on the next page you can edit the URL.  Be sure to only edit the link portion of the above full URL:
Examples:   frames.asp?url=http://
www.yoursite.com  (Only edit the part in red)
                      rss.asp?url=http://
www.yoursite.com  (Only edit the part in red)

 

MANAGE BUSINESS DIRECTORY:

This section allows you to review submissions waiting for approval plus view, edit, and delete all of the listings already appearing on your site.  You can also easily contact any of your members from this page by clicking their email address. 

Pending Featured Listings

Review - Once you have verified that payment has been received, log into site manager and click "Review" next to the listing you would like to review and/or activate.  Verify all information, enter a listing expiration date, etc...then submit the form make the listing go "Live" on your website.

Delete - Click this button only if you want to permanently delete this submission from the queue.  CAREFUL...THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE!


Active Featured Listings

Auto E-mail - Use this feature to resend the confirmation email containing a customers username and password.   A quick and easy way to get that information to someone who has lost their username and password information or didn't receive the first e-mail.

Edit - To Edit one of the listings, just click the "Edit" button to the right of the listing you want to edit.  You will then be taken to a form that will have all of the listing information in a form for you.  Just edit the information you want to change and click "Update".  It will instantly be updated in the listing.

Delete - To Delete a listing from your site, all you need to do is click the "Delete" button next to the listing you want to delete.  It will ask you "ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DELETE THIS LISTING?"  Either click "OK" to delete it or "CANCEL" to cancel the deletion.


Non-Featured Business Listings

 This area allows you to edit/delete the Non-Featured Yellow Page Listings on your website in case the need ever arises.  Just enter all or part of a business name into the search box and submit.  You will see a listing of matching businesses, along with Edit and Delete buttons just like with the Featured Businesses. 
 

 

ADD A NEW LISTING:

If you sign up a business in person, or for any other reason need to add a business yourself, simply use this feature to do so.  There is also an option to add a free yellow page listing.
 

 

ADD/DELETE CATEGORIES:

Allows you to review your website categories, add new ones if needed, and delete existing categories.  Generally speaking most businesses should fall into the existing website categories, but this gives you the option if you feel the need to add a new one.
 

 

MARKETPLACE / CLASSIFIEDS:

This is where you manage the items for sale posted on your website.  You can view all items posted by both Featured Businesses as well as Free Classified users.  Just click on "Manage your Marketplace" to go to Marketplace manager.  You will see a listing of items in your marketplace.  To delete an objectionable, fraudulent or out of date listing, just click 'Delete' next to the item in question.   Click an item name to view the full item description page.  Finally, if you want to view or delete a Free Classified user for any reason, just use the link provided.

 

BANNER ADS


Another profit generating feature on your website is the ability to sell banner advertisements.  Your website is already preloaded with banner ad spaces ready to sell.  Banner Ad Manager allows you to upload advertiser banners, set prices for ad space, even create your own banners online.

ONLINE BANNER MAKER
There is a link at the top of Banner Ad Manager to Create your own banners.   Use the online banner maker to create impressive banner ads for your clients. You can preview the banner as you go, and finally save it to your hard drive when finished so you can upload it to your website. 

UPLOADING A NEW BANNER IMAGE
In Banner Ad Manager you will see a form for each banner on your website.  At the top is a description of where the banner is located (ex. Homepage 1st or Business Directory Bottom).  Find the location you would like to upload a new banner to, and click the "Click Here to Upload a Different Banner" link.  You will be walked through the banner upload process. Be sure the banner image you upload is the correct size.

CHANGING THE PRICE OF A BANNER
You obviously have complete control over the pricing of your banners.  I have set default prices which you can feel free to use or change to your liking.  If  you would like to change the price of a banner, simply scroll down to the location you would like to change, edit the price, and submit the form.

RESETTING THE "ADVERTISE HERE" BANNER
If you have uploaded a banner ad and would like to display the "Advertise Here" banner again, simply follow the instructions in the Banner Link URL and Banner Image URL boxes and submit the form.

 

 

BUSINESS CARD BILLBOARD MANAGER


Your homepage has a unique feature called the "Business Card Billboard".   It allows you to upload up to 15 business cards which transition frame by frame for your visitors to see.

Be sure to leave the first frame, as it introduces the Business Card Billboard.

HOW TO CHANGE A FRAME (UPLOAD A BUSINESS CARD)
Uploading a business card is simple and works just like uploading a banner ad.  Simply click the "Change" link next to the frame you want to upload a business card for.  Your business card image should be a jpg or gif  and using a scanner is your best option.  Simply follow the instructions to upload the business card image.

For best results, your business card image should be as close to 350 x 200 pixels as possible.

 

COMMISSION / AFFILIATE:

Earn Money the Easy Way!   We have preloaded your website with several affiliate programs designed to earn you a commission if someone clicks through from your website and makes a purchase.  All you have to do is sign up for the free program!  Plus we give clear instructions on how to sign up for new affiliate programs and add their banners or create links on your website.  Visit the Commission / Affiliate link for detailed instructions.
 

 

BILLING:


Billing Manager allows you to view the expiration date of all your Featured Businesses.  We've made it easy for you to track the status of your Featured Businesses, and have even provided a "Billing E-mail" link to send expired businesses, or businesses whose Paypal payments have been cancelled, a billing notice.  Just click that link, and on the next page, we've pre-populated a form.  You can just hit send, or change the wording if you wish.  Upon submitting the form, the business will be e-mailed the notice containing a link for them to renew their subscription.
 

 

MAILING LIST:

Keep up with your website visitors and keep them coming back!  Your website comes with a mailing list signup form in the right hand column of every page on your website.  Use the mailing list manager to view your members and send out emails to all of them.   Use the same username and password to login to Mailing List Manager as you do to access your Site Manager.
 

 

E-MAIL ALL MEMBERS:

If you want to e-mail all of the members of your website at one time, we have made it easy for you.  Simply click the "Email All Members" link.  On the next page is a text box containing the e-mail addresses of all the Featured Businesses on your website.  Simply highlight them, copy, and paste them into your favorite e-mail client (Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora).
 

 

COMPACT AND REPAIR DATABASES:

If you notice any errors or slow loading of certain database pages...you might try using the "Compact and Repair Databases" link and performing this function.  It is also a good idea to compact and repair your Business Directory database every so often just to improve load time and performance.