Tuesday, February 08, 2005

How I made a website to sell software

I've finally finished the website I've been working on to sell my network monitoring software, PingerThinger. It's at http://www.pingerthinger.com.

PingerThinger is network monitoring software that uses ICMP packets (ping) to monitor IP addresses on a LAN / WAN.

It's been a lot of fun going through the process of getting a program ready to sell. It's taken me about a month and a half to get up a simple website and get PingerThinger ready. Here's what I did (Disclaimer: I've never done this before, so there are probably better ways.)

For the PingerThinger.com website:
  1. Went to http://www.strangebanana.com and found a page layout that I liked
  2. Found a color scheme I liked
  3. Played around until I got something that looked OK
  4. Used the gimp the create a simple logo
  5. Bought a domain from http://www.1and1.com
  6. Set up the subdomains
  7. Set up the email for PingerThinger.com
  8. Read about writing advertisements
  9. Wrote many pages of information including product information, FAQs, about us, downloads, and an introduction page
  10. Got a product testimonial
  11. Spiffed up the product documentation
  12. Took new screen shots to reflect the code changes
  13. uploaded the website
  14. Set up a form for e-mail
  15. Set up a PayPal Premier account
  16. Used PayPal's button creator to create some "Buy it now" buttons
  17. Tested out said buttons
  18. Had various relatives proof read the site
  19. Entered the URL in various search engines.
  20. Put website in wincvs
For the PingerThinger code:
  1. Put it in wincvs
  2. Added in a registration box
  3. Added in a help button that would take users to my website documentation
  4. Fixed some stupid stuff that should have been fixed long ago
  5. Tested, tested, tested
  6. Rebuilt the installer using nullsoft
  7. Generated registration codes, so a user can enter it to register PingerThinger
  1. Wrote e-mail messages for my future customers (e.g. thank you for ordering...)
  2. Set up a separate bank account
  3. Looked at related software to get an idea of pricing.
  4. Looked at posting PingerThinger on Tucows.com or downloads.com .
  5. Posted on tucows.com (it may take a while to show up, there are 1200 programs in front of mine, unless I want to pay them)

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