eDirectory releases version 9.3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
eDirectory releases version 9.3
Annandale, Virginia – May 16th, 2012 – Arca Solutions, the parent company of eDirectory.com, has launched version 9.3, which introduces new a variety of new features and capabilities in the basecode of the software.

Version 9.3 was concentrated mostly on a number of smaller, but impactful features, mostly those suggested by the customer base. One of the more notable aspects of 9.3 is a new real estate template, which can be used for those trying to create a real estate listing-driven site to showcase properties. The direction of future releases may be concentrated more on creating niche, vertical focused ‘templates’ that work off of the base code, but each offering a different set of features that are most pertinent to their respective focus. For instance, the gallery on the details page uses a slider as opposed to a popup window and the template as a whole only uses the listings, blog and banner modules.

“The Real Estate theme is the first of many beautiful, stylish new directory themes to come. This release makes eDirectory the best solution on the market for creating a professional grade, multilingual real estate site,” said Arca Solutions CEO James Chubb.

9.3 also offers category sitemaps, meaning users can now generate category sitemaps for all languages. Other additions include an email import notification, the date selection tool now supports all languages in the system and the listings section within the site manager has been tweaked to preview listings more easily.

Lastly, an RSS feed has been added to the deals module and the advertising page has been restructured to support both graphical themes as well as the newly released real estate theme. To learn more about these features, please contact a sales representative by calling (703) 914-0770.

eDirectory is a division of Arca Solutions, Inc, a digital media company headquartered in the Washington, DC metro area.

“Your software isn’t cheap..”

Having been at eDirectory for several years now, we’ve run into our fair share of competitors. We’re confident that out of most of the solutions on there on the market, there isn’t a more powerful solution for the price. With a steady growth in the market, we know we’re not outpricing ourselves, but many people come to us and say that our software is over priced, too expensive or outright not affordable.

A few things to consider:

Script Vs. Software One thing that makes me cringe is when people refer to eDirectory as a script. It’s not that a script has a bad notation necessarily. It’s just to me, a script is something you buy for $25-$200, are sent an automated email with a link to download the script, which you have to install yourself. Support is limited or non existent and you’re likely ONLY getting a program that runs business listings.

What are you getting for the price? eDirectory, a software solution, provides our clients with near 24/5 support from a global software organization. Additionally, our software has many features that simply aren’t included in most others, which include, but aren’t limited to:
[custom_list style="list-9"]

  • Daily Deals
  • Classifieds
  • Events
  • Banner Advertising
  • Automated billing
  • Click to Call
  • Send SMS to Phone
  • Advertising Package Builder
  • Multi-site feature
  • Android & iPhone Apps
  • And many, many more…

[/custom_list]
This is what distinguishes us from the $75 script you’re looking at. Enterprise features, elite support and a product dev team pumping out new releases every quarter.

Build Vs. Buy A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with a client of ours at a non profit organization, the American Ceramic Society. They have a directory of businesses in the ceramic industry and use it to not only engage more with their members and those in their community, but to also increase their visibility. For them, eDirectory was their ‘charm’ as they had first tried building the system in house and then tried going with one of our lower end competitors. While this may have been an interesting case because he had tried both an in-house solution and a competitor, I would confidently say that 30% of our clients have at some point come to us and purchased eDirectory after trying to build the solution in house. For every time one of our sales executives is told ‘We’re going to build it in house’ by a prospective client, I tell them to make sure to follow up with that prospective client in 3 months and see if they’re still as committed to developing it on their own. It’s simply not cost effective.

The average PHP developer will cost about $55 dollars an hour. So after you lay out a project proposal and spend time defining your requirements, let’s say you’ve already put in 4 hours explaining to a developer what exactly it is and how it’s supposed to work. You’re already down $220.

Our software costs $1799. So at this point, are you still confident in thinking that this developer can finish the project for less than $1579? If you are, this means your developer is capable of building something in 28 hours what has taken us 7 years and a team of 10 basecode developers to come up with.

Could you do it yourself ? Sure. Would it take 750+ hours. Yes. But why reinvent the wheel? Even if your site needs customization, at least bring the already-invented-wheel to a developer of your choice and have him customize the foundation, which has already been built.

$1799 to invest in a business? With so much developing with the growth in online directories, dining portals and local search sites, and so much advertising opportunity accordingly, is $1799 a cost prohibitive price point to developing a successful online publication? People come to us and share great ideas about how they envision leveraging our software to create unique and information packed websites. It’s like their eyes glow just thinking about the possibility. From experience, $1799 rarely stands between a person or business with vision and ambition from developing a successful online business. If it does, maybe there’s more to consider about that venture before continuing to pursue it.

Feel free to give me or one of my sales reps a call to talk about your directory.

Jared Elder
Marketing Manager
jared at e directory dot com

Top 10 most valuable items to a local search site

  1. An ambitious site owner – If you don’t truly have a stake in the community your local search site is covering, chances are good all the rest are pretty hard to follow. It’s tough to update, write about or maintain a site that has subject matter you’re really not interested in. Think about it.
  2. A well balanced focused – Not too geographically large (a local search site for the entire state of California) but not too geographically small (a local search site for a town of 400 people).
  3. Events – Keep up to date with what’s going on in the community. Whether these are paid event listings or free, a local search site should keep their events up to date and accurate.
  4. A good hook – What makes you better than the next online site that covers your area, or for that matter, Yelp, a local newspaper or other going out guide?
  5. An editorial voice – Your site should provide some type of editorial content where necessary. Whether that’s an academic article, a blog post or human interest story, it’s important to have a focus and voice.
  6. Fresh Content – Google loves fresh content. Search engines in general like to see that you’re updating the website and producing content of some kind on a consistent basis.
  7. Blog – Similar to #5, a blog is likely what’s going to keep your finger on the pluse of a community. Whether you’re reviewing a restaurant, interviewing a business owner or aggregating local news, it’s important to keep the content flowing.
  8. Unique Content – Aggregating news and posting events isn’t enough. You should be doing your own feature stories, interviews or reviews and coming up with editorial and information content that is going to keep people coming back.
  9. Otherwise un-aggregated content – List out specials, sales, happy hours, nightlife, drink specials, lunch specials or dinner specials, things that visitors would otherwise have to go to each business’s website to find.
  10. Data/Listings – A large reason why people came to your site in the first place is to find information about a local business. Whether that’s a telephone number, hours, reviews or menu, it’s vital to keep all of your listings up to date.