Sunday, 20 August 2017

Nursing Stationery and Office

If you have a friend or family member who is a nurse, or you are one yourself, then these personalized business cards, journals and other office items could be the perfect gift.

They're easy to personalize - just click to visit the product page (opens in a new window) and type over the placeholder text with the details you want. If you like what's already there just leave it as is or you can choose to blank it out if you like, your choice.

I'd love to hear what you think of the designs, so leave a comment if you're so inclined :)

Saturday, 19 August 2017

New - Guitar Cases on Zazzle

I love the new guitar bags / cases just released on Zazzle. Here's a lovely outer-space themed selection I made today:

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Zazzle: making a template text item

Make things as easy as possible for your customers to personalize the products you design by using template text.

If you know how to use template text already - or even if you don't - the 1m30s vid shows a neat trick. Find out how to put the same template text in two places on a mug, so a customer only has to type their text once and see it on both sides!

Enjoy :)

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Review of NiftyGridZPro by Diane Clancy

Many thanks to Diane Clancy for this review:
NiftyGridZPro is a fabulous new tool for promoting Zazzle products. Mark Highton Ridley created an extremely flexible way to showcase Zazzle items in a grid. Right off – there is a free version and a paid version. This is wonderful because you can either just use the free version or test it out to see whether the paid version is right for you.

This is for WordPress sites. NiftyGridZPro is a plugin that is very easy to install into your WP blog. Mark shares detailed information, in a very simple format, to teach you how to install and activate this (and other) WP plugins.
Then the fun begins!! One wonderful feature is there is a way to create grids of products in case Zazzle’s feed goes down. Any of us who have relied on Zazzle rss feed know there are times – sometimes for long periods of time – that it just plain disappears. This has a solution to that problem!

It is so exciting to me that I am able to create fall back grids for when Zazzle rss is down. It was very simple to create another grid, put it into the correct folder, specify the file, and then I know there will always be a grid for the posts that I create!! (You do need access to either your control panel or FTP to use this feature. But there are already default ones in there so you are covered no matter what. No more dreaded blank posts.)

The grid plugin allows you to make lots of choices. You may choose items from a certain shop, from a collection or from the marketplace itself. Of course, you choose which type of product goes into the grid. If none are specified, then any items from the shop, collection or MP go into the grid.
Of course, you specify your own affiliate code. There are tracking codes both for the primary grids and the back up grids so you know where the sales are coming from. NiftyGridZPro is very remarkable because it is easy to change the background colors of the items, the grid color and several other style choices. It is very simple to include – or not – price, shop from where the product comes, descriptions, tags.

It is also possible to have a search button on your product grid. This visitor interaction is very unusual and another great aspect of NiftyGridZPro. This only searches where your grid is set to pull from, so if you are pulling from your shop, you won’t lose your customers! (Due to a Zazzle limitation, when pulling from collections, the search pulls from the Market Place. All this is covered in the comprehensive FAQ.)

Order of the items, size of the grid cells and promo codes are all easy to add. Though personally, I find the default settings very well thought out and useful. It is easy to get the html code to put into a file, either for backup grids or to use on a page. Mark details some of the best ways to work with backup files. He has very clear, simple explanations for each step of the way.
This is one grid page I created These mugs are Bubblescapes. Whereas this grid page features mugs with some of my patterns. So the only real change between these 2 pages is the store I pulled the mugs from. Yet you can see the grid carries very different images on the mugs.
And of course, the grids are responsive so they are perfect for mobile too! And there is an advanced feature you can use for incorporating into pages, but that is just one more extra!

I suggest you get some grids with the NiftyGridZPro going and see how easy it is!! Mark provides help via email or the Zazzle forum and he replies very quickly! I personally am delighted that I chose to get NiftyGridZPro to help with my Zazzle promotions. It has helped get me back in gear!
Diane Clancy, independent Zazzle artist

Monday, 31 July 2017

Got there in the end - small tweak, hah!

What a week it was last week. I released our NiftyGridZPro Zazzle WordPress plugin having tested it thoroughly. Great :)

I then realized we could remove one of the restrictions. I was unhappy that you could only allow user interaction with a grid on pages and not in posts and saw a way to allow it. A fairly simple tweak.

Here's a screenshot of a product grid allowing interaction:

As it turned out, not so simple. After a few false starts, the team got there in the end. Which is nice!

So the only restriction now is that you can't allow your visitors to interact with grids you put in a widget in the sidebar.

See it all in action on the NiftyToolZ blog, here:

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Hush-hush project now released - NiftyGridZPro

We've spent the last few weeks working on a siginificant upgrade to NiftyGridZ. So significant, our new WordPress plugin is called NiftyGridZPro (and replaces the old one entirely).

One limitation with the old NiftyGridZ was that you couldn't allow visitor interaction with the product grids on posts and widgets. Pages were ok but not widgets and blog posts and it turned out to be one limitation too far to be allowed to stand.

When building NiftyGridZ we hadn't realized how great for the visitor it would be to be able to see, say, just two items on a blog post or in a widget but able to see far more by paging through the product grid contents. Or even to search a grid from within the post or widget.

So with the new NiftyGridzPro you have that flexibility. Now you can:
  • display anything you like from Zazzle...
  • wherever you like on your WordPress site...
  • in whatever size grid you want...
  • allowing for the degree of visitor interaction that makes sense with the way you're using it...
  • from simple (inbuilt) search form and grid navigation elements...
  • all the way up to complete stores
Not bad, hey?

What feature(s) would you like to see added?

Examples of what you can do with NiftyGridZPro
Get your free NiftyGridzPro plugin here and try it out for yourself!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Working on the NiftyGridZ logo

I did have a placeholder logo for my new NiftyGridZ WordPress plugin until I could find the time to do a proper one. I spent a big chunk of today working on it. I like how it turned out...

Here it is:

What do you think?

find out more about NiftyGridZ here

Monday, 26 June 2017

Steampunk random character / role generator

I've had a lot of fun making a random character generator for the Steampunk subgenre over the last couple of days.

If you've loved films like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Wild Wild West (Will Smith) and Van Helsing, then you'll be able to picture the Steampunk theme.

Imagine art deco, steam-driven machines, lots of cogs, wheels and valves; bodices, tophats, goggles, waistcoats and sweeping vicorian dresses, cut for an active adventuress. Yup, that's steampunk!

The character names and occupations come from those who are found in the steam-filled, darkened alleyways and drawing rooms across Victorian London and beyond. Names to conjure with, right from the pages of the best stories yet to be written.

Here's a screenshot of it - click to try for yourself! Which name and occupation is your favourite?

* made with NiftyGridZ

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A bit of Boudoir and Bath promo fun

I've now started the little bit of promo fun I promised to people taking part in my curated Boudoir and Bath collection project.

I'm pinning a couple each day from each collection to my Boudoir and Bath Pinterest board.

Now that's all going smoothly ahead I can start work on my next. Monogram Girl About Town will showcase coordinated fashion accessories from the wonderful independent artisits on Zazzle. It's a work in progress while I track down suitable collections meeting your high quality design expectations but still worth a quick look.

Want yours included?

If you're a Zazzler with a suitable collection - or you want to make one - just make sure you use template text for the visitors' initial(s). As long as your designs use text0 or text1 (as the "URL Parameter name") then all will be well. One or the other, but not both.

So if you've got one you think is good for it, drop off a reply with a link in the comments and I'll take a look. Thanks!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Improvements to the NiftyGridZ WordPress plugin continue

I've now added options that let you sort the product grid after its contents have been pulled from Zazzle.

See the official blog for more.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Boudoir and Bath collection promo fun - development

I'm in the middle of working out details of a fun promo project for a planned Boudoir and Bath collections storefront.

I've built the placeholder storefront using my own collections to flesh it out for now, as you'll see if you follow the link above.

If it's more than a week or so since this post, it might even be the real one by then. It all depends on if/how quickly designers over at Zazzle agree to take part.

For the curious, the grid is created by my NiftyGridZ WordPress plugin, the rest of the page is hand-crafted.