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Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some of the most common questions that customers ask us about e-Classifieds. For any of the questions listed below that you are interested in, please click on the link for that question, and the answer will be displayed beneath it.

Will you host the program for me?

Yes. If you do not have a web hosting company, we can host the program through Hagen Hosting, our web hosting division. We have also recently introduced new on-demand versions of e-Classifieds that include free hosting of the application. These offer many advantages, such as free installation that is also instantaneous and easy (since we do it automatically for you as soon as your account is created), free tech support and free upgrades for as long as you use the software, lower upfront costs to you, guaranteed compatibility with all necessary modules installed, and freedom from needing technical knowledge or support staff.

Can I change the appearance of the pages?

Yes. All versions of e-Classifieds include a number of variables that allow you to easily change various aspects of the program's appearance. All versions also allow you to change the layout of pages generated by the program through either a template editor or the ability to edit the page header and footer. If you are really adventurous, you can also edit the HTML for the "guts" of the various forms and page displays in the distributed versions, although you should have a strong knowledge of HTML if you intend to do so.

Can I replace the buttons for Posting, Searching, etc. with graphics?

Yes. You can easily change the links in the navigation bar on the pages using the standard HTML code for displaying hyperlinked images. If you want to replace some of the form buttons with graphics, you can replace them with the special form tag for images.

If I buy one of your programs and then decide to upgrade later on, how much will it cost?

Normally, the cost to upgrade is equal to the difference between the price of the version that you originally purchased and the price of the version that you are upgrading to.

If I buy one of your programs and then decide to upgrade later on, will I be able to keep my current ads?

Maybe. In other words, this depends on which version you initially purchased and which version you are upgrading to. The Free Edition uses a format that is incompatible with any of the other versions. The Lite, Basic, and Photo Editions use the same ads format, so you can easily upgrade within these versions. The Standard, Professional, Commerce, and Premium Editions use a much more sophisticated format and also include user registrations, so you probably will not be able to upgrade your ads created under the Lite, Basic, or Photo Edition to these high-end versions. Within the high-end versions, there are slight format differences, but we have developed conversion programs that you can run to upgrade your ads from the Professional or Commerce Editions to higher versions.

If I use your online shopping cart to buy one of your programs, how do you send it to me?

For the on-demand versions, we will install the program for you. For the distributed versions, we ship the programs as a zipped file e-mail attachment. If you do not have the ability to handle zip files or e-mail attachments, we can make arrangements to provide access to you to download the files from a special password-protected directory on our web site.

Will you install the program for me?

The on-demand versions of e-Classifieds include free, instant installation that occurs immediately as soon as your account is created. For the distributed versions, we offer professional installation of any of these programs at various rates, depending on which program you are having us install, and on what type of server you want us to install the program. You will receive the cheapest rates if you are a Hagen Hosting customer. Installations on outside Unix/Linux servers cost more, and installations on Windows NT/2000 servers cost the most of all. Also, the rates are higher for our higher end programs due to their larger size and complexity. Please note that our standard installation fees are for standard installations that require less than one hour. Installations that take more than one hour due to non-standard server setups, server misconfigurations, incorrect permissions settings, or for any other reason will incur additional fees.

Why do you charge more for Windows NT/2000/2003 installations than for Hagen Hosting or Unix/Linux installations?

In a nutshell, we charge more for Windows NT/2000/2003 installations because they often are more difficult and take more time. For example, virtually all Unix servers are already configured to run Perl/CGI programs. Some Windows NT/2000/2003 servers, however, do not have the ".pl" or ".cgi" extensions associated with Perl/CGI programs. In such cases, we have to work with the customer and the web hosting company to have these extensions associated with Perl programs on the server. Moreover, on Unix servers, we can remotely set the file and directory permissions when we install the program, which helps to ensure that all features will function properly right away. On Windows NT/2000/2003 servers, this is not the case, which often means that we have to correspond back and forth with the customer in order to have the web hosting company set the proper permissions on the server, which is necessary for functions such as ad posting, photo uploading, and others to work properly. In addition, since Windows NT/2000/2003 does not have a built-in mail program like the Unix Sendmail program, we often have to spend more time ascertaining the type and location of mail service on the NT server. Out of all of our most difficult installation experiences, every single one has been on a Windows NT/2000/2003 server. We rarely, if ever, encounter serious difficulties in installing the program on Unix servers. Therefore, we charge extra for Windows NT/2000/2003 installations due to the extra time and difficulty involved. Since Hagen Hosting servers are housed in our own network and are properly configured to run e-Classifieds, we charge even less for installing your e-Classifieds software on a Hagen Hosting server.

If I buy a distributed version of e-Classifieds and then encounter difficulties in installing it, can I still have you install it?

Yes. You can have us install it anytime after you purchase it. The same installation fees apply.

What type of support is included? Do you include free phone support?

We include free, unlimited technical support for the on-demand versions of e-Classifieds through our online ticket system, for as long as you continue to use the application. We do not include free telephone support. Telephone support is available at our normal hourly support rates as specified in our online control panel.

Will you customize the program for me?

Maybe, depending on our schedule and the nature of your request. Please note, however, that we charge $150 per hour for customized programming. In many cases, it will be less expensive for you to purchase one of our higher end programs that contains more features and is more flexible than to purchase one of our lower end programs and then have us do a lot of customization work on that version.

Can I edit the program files using FrontPage?

For the on-demand versions, you don't have to worry about this, as you never access the program files directly. For the distributed versions, FrontPage has become notorious for messing up scripts, so we strongly advise you to avoid editing this program or any other program in FrontPage unless you absolutely have to. Actually, one of the best tools for editing files is plain old Notepad in Windows. If you're using another platform, any text editor that can save files in ASCII text format should work fine. If you absolutely must use FrontPage to edit these files, then you should read the answer to the following question.

I am using FrontPage. How do I make sure that the files are uploaded in the ASCII format?

For the on-demand versions, you don't have to worry about this, as you never access the program files directly. For the distributed versions, when using nonstandard files, such as Perl or PHP programs that will be published to a Unix server, FrontPage needs to know how to send the files to the server. As CGI scripts and Perl programs are standard ASCII, their extensions need to be added to the service.cnf file found in the _vti_pvt directory located under the root web which is most commonly found at drive:\webshare\wwwroot. To set additional ASCII extensions, open the file "service.cnf" using an ASCII text editor such as Notepad. Find the entry "vti_txtextensions" and append the file extensions for your scripts or Perl programs. For example, in "vti_textextensions:SX|.*.txt.bas.c.h.pl.cgi.", we have appended ".pl.cgi." Please note that the ending period is required.

Can I edit the forms and other HTML output of the program, and how easy is it to do so?

Yes, for the distributed versions, since you have access to the program files. Most of the distributed versions include one file or directory where most, if not all, of the HTML output, e-mail message output, and even error message output is stored for the program. This makes it easier to find the HTML output that you want to change. It also makes it easier to translate the program to other languages. Editing the HTML output for most forms and pages is not too difficult, although for certain pages, such as the classified ads search results pages, this is more difficult because there is program code intertwined with some of the HTML. This is necessary because these pages are generated dynamically and vary according to the type of search conducted and the ad results.

Do I have to keep your e-Classifieds logo on the pages?

Can I translate the program to another language, and how easy is it to do so?

Yes, for the distributed versions, since you have access to the program files. Most of the distributed versions include one file or directory where most, if not all, of the HTML output, e-mail message output, and even error message output is stored for the program. This makes it easier to translate the program to other languages. Editing the HTML output for most forms and pages is not too difficult, although for certain pages, such as the classified ads search results pages, this is more difficult because there is program code intertwined with some of the HTML. This is necessary because these pages are generated dynamically and vary according to the type of search conducted and the ad results.

The distributed Premium Edition also includes support for running the program in more than one language at the same time, and users can even choose which language to view the program in. Users can also choose to view only the ads posted in a particular language, or to view all ads. In its default format, it comes in English, so if you want to add other languages, you would need to translate the output for these languages.

Does the license allow me to have more than one installation of the program?

No. Each license authorizes you to install one copy of the program on one web site. If you wish to install additional copies, you must purchase an additional license for each installation. This is true even if the additional installations will be contained on the same web server and are part of the same web site. Additional licenses are available at a discount off the normal price of the program.

Can I customize or modify the program files?

The on-demand versions do not provide access to the program's source code. For the distributed versions, you are free to edit the source code as necessary to suit your needs for your licensed installation, as long as you don't sell, give away, or otherwise distribute the revised program. The license expressly prohibits using either the original source code or the modified source code to create derivative works that you sell, give away, or otherwise distribute.

Do you offer discounts for educational, non-profit, or other organizations?

No. We feel that our prices are already extremely competitive, and we would be unable to stay in business and to continue to improve these programs by offering further discounts. If you are unable to afford even our Lite Edition at just $4.95 per month, you may want to download our Free Edition.

Do you allow purchasers to purchase the program under terms such as "Net 30"?

No. Due to overwhelming demand for these programs, and the fact that we have been taken advantage of when we extended credit to certain purchasers in the past, we do NOT offer terms such as "Net 30" or other terms that would allow only a partial or no payment before receiving the program. Under all circumstances, we require full payment up front before we will distribute the program. The payment methods that we offer include credit card (Visa or Mastercard), certified check, cashiers check, international money order, or wire transfer. No other payment methods or plans will be accepted.

Do you offer a free demo?

Yes. You can download the e-Classifieds Free Edition and install it on your site. It lacks many of the features of our commercial versions, but it will allow you to determine whether the distributed versions of e-Classifieds will run on your web server. Of course, you don't even need a server if you purchase one of our on-demand versions.

Can I add banners to the pages?

Yes. All of the commercial versions include a built-in banner rotator. If you would prefer to use another banner program that you are using on other parts of your web site, you can also do so by simply adding the HTML code that calls these banners into the template editor or header variable that you define in the user configuration file or the online Control Panel for e-Classifieds.

I know that all versions of e-Classifieds come with their own built-in banner rotators, but I want to use my own outside banner program with the classifieds. Can I do so?

Yes. We have successfully integrated the WebAdverts program, for example, with the classifieds program by following the instructions provided by that program. You can also integrate most banners into the classifieds by simply adding the HTML code that calls these banners into the template editor or header variable that you define in the user configuration file or the online Control Panel for e-Classifieds.

Can I integrate my own referral program into the classifieds?

Yes. This will usually require some customization, but it is possible to integrate referral programs with the classifieds so that your affiliates can still get credit for ads that are posted by users who came from the affiliates' web sites.

Can the classifieds tie into my own back end payment processing software or an outside web site that handles payment processing?

Yes. The Commerce Edition, Premium Edition, and Corporate Edition contain built-in support for integrated, real-time credit card processing. You need to have an account with one of our supported vendors in order for this to work. The Commerce Edition supports three vendors, the Premium Edition supports six, and the Corporate Edition supports ten. If you are using another credit card processor, we may be able to add support for them if they are able to affirmatively answer several specific technical questions regarding their system.

Will your programs work with PayPal, Clickbank, or other similar services?

Yes. A number of versions of e-Classifieds have built-in support for these services. It is important to keep in mind, however, that services such as PayPal and Clickbank do not give you the same functionality as the integrated, one-click, real-time credit card processing features of our higher level programs. For example, while Clickbank and PayPal are useful methods for entry into the world of charging users for posting ads, they have certain disadvantages, such as requiring your user to leave your site in order to make the payment, which is not only less professional looking, but also means that it is less likely that the user will actually make the payment due to the extra steps involved. Due to the nature of these services, you may also lose a much higher percentage of your revenues on each sale than you would if you had a true merchant account and were using the integrated, one-click, real-time credit card processing features of our higher level programs. Therefore, if you want a serious e-commerce web site, you should consider obtaining your own merchant account, which allows you to keep a greater percentage of your revenues and to use integrated, one-click, real-time credit card processing that doesn't require the user to go to an external web site in order to make the payment. This has a number of advantages, such as being far more professional looking, allowing you to keep a much larger percentage of your revenues, and making it easier for users to pay for the services that you are offering, thereby making it more likely that they will actually pay. A number of e-Classifieds versions contain built-in support for such integrated, one-click, real-time credit card processing, including the Commerce, Premium, Corporate, e-Personals, e-Jobs, e-Properties, and e-Vehicles editions. You need to have an account with one of our supported vendors in order for this to work. The Commerce Edition supports three vendors, the Premium Edition supports six, and the Corporate Edition supports ten. If you are using another credit card processor, we may be able to add support for them if they are able to affirmatively answer several specific technical questions regarding their system.

Can I create my own categories or classifieds sections instead of using the defaults?

Yes. All of the on-demand versions of e-Classifieds allow you to easily add, modify, or remove categories through the online control panel. For the distributed versions, the Lite, Basic, and Photo Edition allow you to easily set the categories in a variable contained in the user configuration file. The Standard Edition allows you to create categories and subcategories using online forms. The Professional and Commerce Editions also allow you to modify the categories. In addition, those versions allow you to create new classifieds database sections by copying and editing a few files. This is fairly easy if you maintain the general structure of the database for one of the existing sections in these new sections. The Premium Edition includes an online wizard for adding, modifying, or deleting these sections. It also is much easier to create a customized database in the Premium Edition. If you want to create a customized database in the distributed Professional or Commerce Edition, this is more difficult, although it can be done. You may prefer to hire us for creating customized databases, depending on our availability, although it probably would be less expensive to upgrade to the Premium Edition and to create them yourself, since doing so is much easier in the Premium Edition.

How easy is it to create my own categories--do I have to manually edit a bunch of HTML pages or program files?

It's very easy, and you don't have to manually edit a bunch of forms, HTML pages, or scripts. In fact, for the on-demand versions, you can easily create new categories through the online control panel. For the distributed versions, the Lite, Basic, and Photo Edition allow you to create new categories by editing a special variable contained in the user configuration file. For the Standard Edition, you can create categories and subcategories using a simple online wizard. Since the distributed Professional and Commerce Edition use multiple classified ads databases, you will need to edit the categories in several places, but it still is not that difficult. The Premium and Corporate Editions contain not only the most powerful databases, but also the easiest online wizards for modifying the database categories.

What is the maximum number of categories that I can create?

There is no limit on the number of categories that you can create.

What is the maximum number of ads that the system is capable of handling?

This depends upon the version of e-Classifieds that you are using. The Corporate Edition has virtually unlimited scalability and can handle millions of ads. The Premium Edition, e-Personals, e-Properties, e-Vehicles, and e-Jobs can handle up to around one million ads. The Commerce, Professional, Standard, Photo, Basic, and Lite Editions can scale to about 100,000 ads. There are no hard or absolute limits on the number of ads that any of these versions can handle, but the numbers listed above are approximately the upper limit in that if you exceed that number of ads, system performance may start to degrade, resulting in slower response times during searches. In order to demonstrate the scalability of e-Classifieds, we have set up a high volume demo of the e-Classifieds Premium Edition that contains 100,000 ads. Even with all of our Fortune 500 customers, few, if any, customers ever come close to exceeding this number of ads in their classifieds section, so it's an excellent way to demonstrate how scalable e-Classifieds truly is.

How much server space do the programs take up in their initial installation, or with a number of ads?

In the initial installation, the programs take up a relatively small amount of server space, ranging from a minimum of 56k for the default installation of the Free Edition to a maximum of about three megabytes for the default installation of the Premium Edition. The amount of server space taken up by the program once a number of ads has been posted will vary, depending on the maximum number of words that you allow in your ads, but a rough estimate is approximately one megabyte of additional disk space for each 2,000 to 3,000 ads.

How many affiliates do the Commerce, Premium, and Corporate Editions allow?

There is no limitation on the number of affiliate sites that you can set up in the Commerce, Premium, or Corporate Editions.

Will the distributed versions of your programs run on a server running Windows 95/98/ME?

Although our programs were designed to run on web servers running either Windows NT/2000 or Unix, we have received anecdotal evidence from customers that they will also run on web servers using Windows 95, 98, or ME, as long as you turn off the "flock" variable for file locking (Windows 95, 98, and ME do not support the flock function). You can access or install the programs on a remote server from your local Windows 95/98/ME machine without any problems whatsoever.

Will the distributed versions of your programs run on a Macintosh server?

Although our programs were designed to run on web servers running either Windows NT/2000 or Unix, we have received anecdotal evidence from customers that they will also run on Macintosh servers running OS8 or OS9 and the Web Ten server. Although we have not tested e-Classifieds on a Macintosh running OS X, e-Classifieds should run just fine on a Macintosh server running OS X, since that operating system is based upon FreeBSD (a Unix variant). Installation and configuration of the program on these servers is virtually identical to that on Unix servers. You can access or install the programs on a remote server from your local Macintosh computer without any problems whatsoever.

Do you ever waive the setup fees for the on-demand versions?

No. Our prices are extremely competitive already, especially given the feature set of the on-demand versions, as well as the fact that these prices include not only the application, but also the installation of the application, free hosting of the application forever, free maintenance forever, free tech support forever, and free upgrades forever. If we were to waive the setup fees of any of the on-demand applications, we would not be able to cover our costs, would lose money on them, and thus would ultimately not be able to stay in business and continue providing these products. Therefore, we cannot and do not ever waive the setup fees for any of the on-demand versions. If you truly cannot afford the setup fee for the on-demand version of e-Classifieds that you are interested in, you could always start out with a less expensive version and then upgrade later, as you would receive a full credit for the setup fee of the previous version when you upgrade to a higher level version.

Our legal department has some issues with your End User License Agreement or Terms of Service. Do you ever negotiate or change these terms?

I really like the feature set of your Corporate Edition, but I want it in a distributed format. Are you willing to sell the Corporate Edition as a script?

No. The reason why most people like the feature set of the Corporate Edition is because of all of the advanced features that it has, which are made possible by the fact that it is an on-demand application. Many of its more advanced features simply wouldn't be possible to provide in the old fashioned script format, due to the fact that they depend upon sophisticated libraries and modules that aren't present on most web servers, as well as the fact that we have created a custom, finely tuned server environment that is specifically designed and optimized for the Corporate Edition. Such an environment simply wouldn't be available on outside web servers. This is why we are moving toward the on-demand model, because we were frustrated at having to "dumb down" our old scripts in order to work on the least capable, lowest common denominator servers out there, and we knew that we would never be able to create the types of applications that we wanted to unless we could ensure that they would always be running in an optimal environment with the most sophisticated modules and libraries already installed on the server. Most servers don't have the more advanced libraries and modules, and even when they do, the fact that they have different versions leads to reliability problems with scripts that try to use them. Moreover, none of them have our custom libraries and optimized environment that enables the usage of the most advanced features and that ensures the greatest reliability and security. That is an inherent limitation of the old fashioned scripts model that our old scripts, or any product sold as a "script", is subject to. To put it another way, a mere "script" could never hope to match the features, sophistication, and reliability of on on-demand application such as the Corporate Edition that was designed and built from the ground up to work on a specific server. Thus, it would be impossible for us to sell the Corporate Edition as a mere "script" because it would lose much of its functionality and wouldn't be the same program.

I like your on-demand versions, but I want to buy the software outright and own the software, like I would with your distributed (script) versions. Can I do that?

The idea that you "own" the software if you purchase a script, whether from us or anywhere else, is a myth. All software is licensed, so even when you purchase a script (distributed) version, you do not "own" the software. You own a license to use the software in accordance with the terms of that license. This is true for all scripts, whether purchased from us or anywhere else.

I like your on-demand versions, but I already have hosting. Why should I buy an on-demand version if I already have hosting?

The on-demand versions are about far more than the free hosting of the application that is included with them. The most important advantages of the on-demand versions are the fact that they can include far more sophisticated features due to the fact that they can depend upon advanced modules and libraries being present on the server, and on consistent versions of all needed modules and libraries. This simply is not possible with old fashioned scripts. This guaranteed and consistent module availability also ensures much more consistent and reliable operation than would ever be possible with an old fashioned script, since different servers may be missing important libraries and modules altogether, and even when they do have them, they often have inconsistent and incompatible versions of those libraries and modules. The on-demand versions also have other huge advantages over scripts, such as including free installation, free maintenance forever, free technical support forever, and free, continuous, and automatic upgrades forever.

I like your on-demand versions, but I want to run them on my server. Is that possible?

Most people don't actually have their own server. They have outsourced the hosting of their web site to a web hosting company. Even for the few people who actually own their own server, it is usually located in a datacenter, which means that they have still outsourced the hosting of that server and their web site to the datacenter company. For those few people in the world who not only have their own server but who also host it themselves in their own home or office, they have still outsourced various aspects of its operation, such as power provision, Internet connectivity, power backups (if they even have power backups), data backups (again, if they even have data backups), etc. Thus, in reality, everyone who runs a web site has already outsourced at least some, if not all, of the various components of the hosting of that site, so having us host your on-demand application is no different from the outsourcing of some or all aspects of your web site hosting that has already occurred. In fact, in most cases (and especially if you actually are attempting to host your own server from home or your office), our hosting of your application will be far more secure, reliable, and cost effective than the alternatives. That is because hosting of the on-demand applications is our specialty, so we have dedicated professionals who monitor our servers and networks 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and we use enterprise grade equipment that far exceeds that used by most hosting companies, let alone what you would be using if you hosted your own server at home or in your office. We also have power backups, data backups (including full daily backups and weekly offsite backups), multiple levels of security, network capacity, and redundancy features (including the usage of multiple datacenters) at a level that far exceeds what most hosting companies offer, let alone what is likely available if you are trying to host your own server in your home or office.

You say that installation is free with the on-demand versions, yet there is a setup fee. What is the difference?

With our old scripts (and with most commercial scripts on the market), there was both a licensing fee and a separate installation fee. With our new on-demand versions, there is no separate installation fee. The setup fee is the licensing fee for the software.

Does e-Classifieds support Arabic fonts, Chinese characters, or other types of non-English or non-Latin characters?

Yes. We have had many customers over the years who have translated the text into Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, and other non-English and non-Latin fonts.

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