Are display ads on the web better than banner ads?

Yes, by far. The advantages are:

  • -No ad creation time or expense - you use the ads you've already created for the newspaper;
  • -Easy upsell - just add a check box on your order form for the web option and forget about having to design a banner ad and/or website for the customer.
  • -It works for the customer - following the age old model, display ads near the content attract the reader's attention. Our customers have been able to upsell 90% and more of their print display ads to the web is by using a billing insert.

Are Our-Hometown.com Customers’ websites profitable?

A study of the orders for subscriptions to the print edition and the orders for classified ads generated by our customers' mostly weekly newspaper web sites that utilize these order forms indicated that the average customer makes a net profit from these orders alone. The study included all costs: our fees, labor needed to upload news and ads, delivery of print subscriptions, etc. Additionally, the study found that at least 75% of the web orders are from customers that, had it not been for the website, would not have ordered.

The study found that many customers are enhancing the profitability of their online editions with sales of display ads on the web. Some offer to upgrade a print display ad to a print and web ad as an inducement to increase the ad size or to sign a long term contract; others sell them outright. These ads are a great value for the advertiser because of the high local traffic, the high visibility (being presented on every page) and the low cost (typicially around 5% of the print ad - all going to the publisher).

A new program that greatly simplifies the selling of display ads could result in web profits equal to 5% of the newspaper's total print display ad sales!

Are there reports about readership?
The system provides you 40 specialized reports by the number one web reporting company, WebTrends.com.
Can I find my website on search engines?
We periodically submit your site to all the major search engines and design your site so as to increase the likelihood it will be found there by readers from your market.
Can I have my news automatically emailed to readers that want it?
After entering his/her email address in a small form available on every page, within seconds of the web publication of each edition, the reader will receive an email that contains:
  • the top story and associated picture from each section of the online newspaper;
  • links to the full online edition;
  • and 4 display ads
Readers are able to easily remove their email from the list at any time.
Can I make websites for my customers?
You can add as many websites under your domain as you want (www.mypaper.com/customername). This includes customer sites.
Can I put display ads from the paper on the web?
Yes! You can put display ads on your web site like they appear, next to your news, in your print edition. Many of our competitors put display ads in directories that make the reader search for the ad. Not our system--the display ads are right there on every page.
Can I run banner ads?
Banner ads can be "rotated" at the top of every page or run in fixed position on every page. See display ads for a more efficient and less time consuming way to make money off of online ads.
Can I run videos on the website?
Yes, we encourage clients to add both news content and advertising videos to their site. Online video represents an enormous opportunity for newspapers to grow revenue and audience. Your staff will have access through our easy to use HTML Editorto add video clips directly to articles or to video galleries. Expanding the possibilities further, Our-Hometown websites are fully compatible with third party video players and servers.
Can people place a classified ad through my website?
Yes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people can easily submit a classified ad with a customized classified order form. The orders arrive via email and you can simply cut and paste the ad into the paper.

How do people pay for their classified ad ?

You can:
  • Bill yourself. You copy the billing info from the email order into your billing system.
  • Credit Card. The reader enters their card in a secure form. We check the number to make sure it's valid, and then you process the card just like you do with a telephone order.
Can people place an order for a print and/or online subscription though my web site?
Newspapers can take orders for just print subscriptions or can also use our online subscription model to charge for access to web content.Our Online Subscription Model generates revenue while simultaneously protecting circulation for the newspaper's print edition. The system limits access to the "fresh news" to paid subscribers while leaving the archives open to the public.Open archives continue to be a major source of traffic from the search engines as they draw in readers that are looking for information on the issues covered by the newspaper.Online only subscriptions can increase newspaper profits by eliminating mailing expense.No late delivery complaints is an additional benefit. Local online only subscriptions are at the same rate as the print edition. This also increases newspaper profits by eliminating delivery costs.
Does Our-Hometown.com provide a national or regional database of classifieds ?
No, but you can link your newspaper's website to one through the "Classifieds" button. While conventional wisdom dictates that readers want access to a large database of classifieds, for the type of markets served by the community newspaper, that is not the case. With the exception of collectibles, community newspaper readers are generally disinterested in making purchases from outside their locality. 
Does putting my newspaper online affect my paid print circulation?
In our experience, in many markets, putting all the news you print on the web will not have a negative impact on circulation. You may lose a few very frugal readers and a few out-of-towners that are unhappy with late delivery via second class mail. On the other hand, you will add print subscribers because you gain access to a much wider audience. Your online edition is like a free sample of the information you print that costs you nothing to deliver.You always have the option using our paid model or you can delay web publication to protect newsstand sales and subscriptions. 
Does the newspaper get its own dot com address?
Yes, your website can be accessed from a URL such as "www.mypaper.com". If your readers bookmark any page within your website, it will contain the "www.mypaper.com" address.The availability of dot com addresses is controlled by other services and you purchase the right to use one of your choosing from them. We will help you in obtaining or transfering your dot com address. 
How are classified ads handled ?
The system has 4 options for your classifieds. When the reader clicks the "Classifieds" button they can see:
  • All the classifieds on one page with headers for the classifications. Newspapers that have a page or two of classifieds usually use this option;
  • A list of all the active classifications that click through to individual pages with ads from the selected classification. Newspapers that have more than two pages of classifieds usually use this option;
  • An exact image of the print page(s) including in column display ads;.
  • A database system provided by an association or national company containing classifieds from many newspapers.
 
How are stories entered ?
Our Batch News Conversion service converts your files to HTML, uploads them to your website and indexes and archives them. The service accepts QuarkXPress, InDesign, Pagemaker, MS Word, Word Perfect and many other formats. Regardless of pagination and file structure, the services will convert your files into a sleak and easy to use online format. It works perfectly with newspapers that paginate, have a file for each page or section, use more than one type of software and even for those that paste up. In most cases, publishers simply use the files as prepared for printing without any changes. Non-pagination file formats such as MS Word can result in additional processing charges unless our filenaming convention is used.The systems also contains a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) input form accessed from a browser that is designed for customers who want to upload "breaking news" in between issues or to make corrections on their own. Other services offer only TEXTAREA input forms that limit fonts and other stylistic elements. With our WYSIWYG form you see the story exactly as it will appear. In addition to being able to easily stylize anyway you want, you can drag and drop images directly into the story. IBM PC version is available in full release now. The MAC version is available for OS X machines or higher.
How do I add a photo to a story?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Navigate to the story you wish to edit. In other words, click on the story's headline so that you are viewing the full text of the story.
  3. Click the Edit tab that appears above the story's headline.
  4. On the Edit page, click the Body tab and then scroll down until you see a blue Add New Image button. Click this.
  5. The blue button will be replaced with an interface for uploading your photo. First, select the image you wish to upload by clicking Browse (Windows) or Choose Files (Mac). Next, if you would like to include a caption with your photo, enter the text into the Caption field. Finally, click the Add Image button at the bottom of the interface (you may need to scroll down within the frame in order to see it).
  6. After a moment, the blue button will reappear and a thumbnail of your photo will appear to the right of it. The photo must now be inserted into the body text of the story. Click your cursor within the Body field at the point in the story where you would like the photo to appear. Then, click the Options menu under the thumbnail of your photo and select Insert Left orInsert Right.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the Edit page and click Save Story.
How do I add a subscriber manually or create an account for a staff member?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Users - Add a User.
  3. Enter the person's email address in both the Username and E-Mail Address fields.
  4. Pick a password for the person and enter it in the fields labeled Password and Confirm Password.
  5. Under Role, check the appropriate box(es). If you are entering a subscriber manually, you should only check the box for Subscriber. If you are creating a staff account, you should choose one of the Staff Member options (and also check theSubscriber box so that they will be able to access protected stories).
    • Staff Member - Accounting has access to the Subscription and Classified processing screens as well as the controls for adding subscribers manually or editing a subscriber's information.
    • Staff Member - Advertising has access to edit/delete advertisements on the website as well as creating/editing Advertiser Profiles.
    • Staff Member - Publisher has access to all functions of the Site Settings menu.
    • Staff Member - Reporter has access to the Story Editor only.
  6. Check the Notify User of New Account if you wish the person to receive an email when the account is created.
  7. Enter the person's contact information in the appropriate fields (optional).
  8. If you checked the Subscriber role above, enter the appropriate Expiration Date and Subscription Type for the person.
  9. Click Create New Account.

 
How do I add a video to a story?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Navigate to the story you wish to add the video to. In other words, click on the story's headline so that you are viewing the full text of the story.
  3. Click the Edit tab that appears above the story's headline.
  4. On the Edit page, scroll down to the bottom of the page. There should be a purple tab labeled "Extra". Click this and the controls for uploading a video should appear to the right.
  5. Under the Videos heading, click Browse (Windows) or Choose Files (Mac) to select a video file from your computer, then click Upload to begin uploading it to the story. Most standard video formats will be accepted (AVI, MOV, MPG, FLV and MP4). The video file may not exceed 512 MB in size. We recommend posting videos less than 10 minutes long.
  6. Once the video has been uploaded (which can take several minutes for a large file), the file selection box will disappear and be replaced with the video's filename and file size.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the Edit page and click Save Story.
How do I add an author?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. In the Site Settings menu, select Content -> Manage Authors.
  3. Select the Add New Author link from the top of the page.
  4. Enter the author's name as it appears in your byline.
  5. Enter a comma separated list of any other names that the author may appear as in your publication.
  6. Fill out any extra information that you want displayed on the author's page and pop-up.
  7. Click the Add Author button.
How do I add display ads to the system?

Ads displayed in PDF format for our ad server

Requirements

  • Only one ad per PDF file
  • File name must end in ".pdf"
  • All the display ads you want on your site should sent in a single ZIP or Stuffit file although we'll accept them in a regular folder. The ads running on your site will be replaced with these

For best results

  • As much text as possible should be extractable. You can test this using FILE/SAVE AS and selecting one of the .txt extensions. There should be text in the file (although it will not be laid out exactly as in the ad).
  • Crop the ads - The page or document size should be the size of the ad. In other words, if the ad is 4 inches by 7 inches the size of the page should be 4 inches by 7 inches.
  • All fonts should be embedded
How do I allow free access to a specific story, if my website is password-protected?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Navigate to the story you wish to make free access. In other words, click on the story's headline so that you are viewing the full text of the story.
  3. Click the Edit tab that appears above the story's headline.
  4. Check the Free Access checkbox, which appears just below the Categories selection on the Edit page.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Story. The story will now automatically show a red "Free Access" label next to its headline.
How do I allow free access to an entire category?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. In your Site Settings menu, select Subscriptions - Online Subscription Settings.
  3. On the Online Subscription Settings page, scroll down to the Unrestricted Categories selection box.
  4. Click on the category that you wish to make free access. It will become highlighted blue. If you wish to select multiple free access categories, hold down CTRL (Windows) or COMMAND (Mac) and click on each desired category.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Configuration.
How do I associate a specific display ad with a different advertiser?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Click the marketplace button for the category in which the ad to be deleted resides.
  3. Click the Edit button that appears beneath the ad's small graphic.
  4. On the Edit Ad page, type a new advertiser name into the Advertiser field. If you just type the first few letters of the advertiser name, several suggestions will pop up. Click on the appropriate advertiser name from the list of suggestions. If the correct advertiser name does not appear with the suggestions, call an Our-Hometown representative for assistance.
  5. Click Save.
How do I change the layout of the author pop-up?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. In the Site Settings menu, select Content -> Manage Authors.
  3. Select the Settings link at the top of the page.
  4. Select either Vertical (default), or Horizontal depending on the layout you desire for the author pop-up.
  5. Click the Save button.
How do I change the order of stories within a category?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. In your Site Settings menu, select Content - Articles.
  3. Using the dropdown menus at the top of the Articles page, select the desired Edition date and Category.
  4. The page will refresh to show the headlines of the stories in the chosen category for the chosen issue date.
  5. You may change the order of the stories by clicking on the four-way arrow to the left of each headline and dragging it up or down.
  6. When the stories are in the desired order, click Save Changes at the bottom of the list.
How do I change the website, e-mail address, or phone number associated with a display ad?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Advertising - Edit Advertisers.
  3. Click the Active Advertisers tab, if the advertiser you wish to edit has an ad in the current issue. Otherwise, click the All Advertisers tab.
  4. In the alphabetical list, find the advertiser you wish to edit. Click the Edit button to the right of their entry.
  5. Near the top of the Edit Advertiser page, enter the new website, e-mail address, or phone number in the Phone Number,Website Address, or Email Address fields.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.
How do I change where the author names generate pop-ups?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. In the Site Settings menu, select Content -> Manage Authors.
  3. Select the Settings link at the top of the page.
  4. Select Articles Only for only the authors in article bylines to generate pop-ups. Select Articles and Indexes for the authors in article bylines as well as bylines on index pages (like the front page) to generate pop-ups. Select Custom and enter a JQuery selector string in the text-box to select exactly which elements of your pages containing author name's will generate pop-ups.
  5. Click the Save button.
How do I create a photo gallery?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. In your Site Settings menu, select Content - Batch Upload Image Gallery.
  3. If you have previously created a photo gallery, you can upload additional photos to it by choosing the gallery name from theAssign to Image Gallery dropdown menu.
  4. Otherwise, if you wish to create a brand new photo gallery, type the desired gallery title into the Or Add New Image Gallery field. For example, "May 21st Basketball Championship."
  5. Click the blue Click Here to Add Images button. You will be prompted to select photos from your computer to upload to the site. You can select one file or many, but if you wish to select multiple photos they all must be in the same folder on your computer.
  6. After selecting your files, they will automatically start uploading. You will see a progress bar for each photo, followed by a "Complete" message when each file is finished uploading. When all of the images have finished uploading you may navigate away from the page.
  7. Please notify Our-Hometown when you begin using the Photo Gallery feature so that we can create a Photo Galleries button in your menu.
How do I create a submission form, questionnaire, or survey for my readers to fill out?
The Webforms feature allows you to create interactive forms on your website, with such features as text fields, multiple choice dropdown menus, radio buttons, and even photo uploads. The form results are saved on your website and can also be emailed to a recipient of your choice.To create a form:
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Under Polling & Surveys in the right-hand Site Settings menu, choose Add a form.
  3. On the first screen, you will be setting up some general aspects of the form. You will need to fill out:
    Title - The name of the form, for example "Letter to the Editor Submission". This will appear at the top of the form page.Body - Information or graphics that will appear above the form components on the form page. For example, if you were making a contest entry form, you could put the contest rules in the Description box. Otherwise, the description could be as simple as "Fill out the form below to submit a Letter to the Editor".URL path settings - This menu controls the web address of your form. You will need to expand this menu and then enter something simple in the field, such as "letters" or "letterstotheeditor". Don't use punctuation marks or spaces. In the example given, the form would then be available at www.paper.com/letters or www.paper.com/letterstotheeditor (with www.paper.com replaced with your own website address). Publishing options - This controls whether the form is active or not. If you want readers to immediately start using your new form, expand this menu and check the box for "Published".
    Finally, click Save. On the next screen you will actually set up the various fields of your form.
  4. After saving the settings on the first page, you will be directed to the Form Components page. This allows you to add the various text fields, checkboxes and so forth that your readers will have to fill out. To add the first form component:
    1. Type the name of the component into the "New Component Name" field. For example, a good first component would be "Name". Other common components would be things like "Address", "City", "Phone Number", etc. Or you can enter something more elaborate like "Favorite football team" or "Describe your dream vacation". Whatever you enter here will be shown next to the text field, checkbox, etc on the actual finished form.
    2. The next item to the right is a dropdown menu (defaulted to "textfield") which allows you to choose how this component is displayed on the finished form. The different options are:
      1. Textfield (default) - a small text box, useful when a reader needs to enter their name, address, city, etc.
      2. Date - allows the reader to select a date from a calendar interface
      3. Email - a small text box specifically designed to capture a user's email address
      4. Fieldset - advanced, do not use
      5. File - allows the reader to upload a file, such as an image
      6. Grid - creates a grid of radio buttons, with choices along the top and questions down the side. Could be used to create a survey-style "Strongly agree, somewhat agree, do not agree, strongly disagree" section of your form
      7. Hidden - advanced, do not use
      8. Markup - can be used to insert an image, additional instructions, or other non-interactive elements in the middle of your form
      9. Pagebreak - useful as a divider between form sections, if your form is on the longer side
      10. Select - can be used to create a set of checkboxes, a dropdown menu, or set of radio buttons
      11. Textarea - a larger Textfield, useful if a reader will be entering a lot of text
      12. Time - allows the reader to select a time (hour, minute, am/pm)
    3. Once you have selected the proper component type, decide whether you want the component to be mandatory or optional. If mandatory, check the box in the mandatory column.
    4. The "Email" checkbox controls whether the results of that component should be emailed to you. Typically this should always be checked.
    5. Finally, click Add to the right of the New Component you just entered.
    6. On the next screen, you will be asked to configure the component you just entered. For something like a Textfield, all you will need to do is scroll down and click Submit. Other components, such as Select, will require you to enter some information. For example, for the Select component to work correctly you will need to type what the various choices should be, and whether a reader can select multiple choices or just one.
  5. After clicking Submit, you will be returned to the components screen and can repeat step 4 to add additional components.
  6. When all of your components have been added, you can use the four-way arrows to the left of each one to drag them up and down. With this method you can position them in your desired order. Remember to click Submit when you are done to save your changes.
  7. Next, click the Email tab above the list of components. This page allows you to set up email notifications of form submissions, to the email address of your choice. The page will ask you for a recipient. Type your email address in the provided field and then click Add. The page will then allow you to customize the subject line, from line, and so forth of the email notifications, but this step is optional and you can simply scroll down and click Save E-mail Settings to accept the defaults.
  8. Next, click the Form Settings tab at the top of the page. This page allows you to customize a few final aspects of your form. Specifically:
    Redirection location - This controls what happens after the user fills out the form and presses Submit. They can either be A) shown a short confirmation message in green on its own page (Confirmation Page), B) sent to another page of your website, or even an external website (Custom URL), or C) shown a short confirmation message in green at the top of the form page (No Redirect). In the cases of choices A and C, you can enter the desired confirmation message in the Confirmation Message box at the top of the Form Settings page. A good option for a confirmation message is always "Thank you for your submission."
    Submission Limit - If you want each user to only be able to submit the form once (for an opinion poll, for example), then you can use these controls.
    Submission Access - This section is useful if you only want your online subscribers to be able to submit the form (in which case you would check the "subscriber" box and uncheck the others). Otherwise, if you want everyone to have access, leave the "anonymous user" and "authenticated user" boxes checked.
  9. Click Save Configuration at the bottom of the page. Your form is now complete. If you did not check the box for Published back in step 3 (Publishing Options), go back to that page and do that now.
  10. You can now create a button in your website's menu to link to the new form, or even design a banner or other graphic to promote the form. Remember to link to the URL that you chose under "URL Path Settings". The Our-Hometown staff is happy to help with this step.
  11. Finally, note that you can view your form results on the website at any time by going to the form page and then clicking theResults tab at the top of the page. This is true whether or not you are also getting email notifications of form responses.
How do I create advertiser profiles?
 To create an advertiser profile:
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Go to your Advertiser Index, or alternatively go to Advertising - Edit Advertisers in your Site Settings menu (and click theAll Advertisers tab at the top of the page).
  3. In the alphabetical list, find the advertiser you wish to enable a profile for, and click the Edit Advertiser link to the right of their entry.
  4. On the edit page, you can enter information into any of the appropriate fields under General Information and Additional Information (Hours, Products, etc). You do not need to fill in every field; empty fields will not be displayed. Note: You can also add two images to the profile page: a Thumbnail Image and a Tile Image. The Thumbnail Image appears in the middle of the profile page and the Tile Image appears at the top. The controls for uploading these images are at the bottom of the edit page.
  5. About halfway down the page, you will see a control for "Advertiser Profile: Yes/No." Make sure to click the button for "Yes."
  6. Finally, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save. The advertiser's profile can now be accessed either on the Advertiser Profile Index page or by bringing up the advertiser's current display ad and clicking the link to the profile which appears above their large ad.
 
How do I delete a display ad?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Click the marketplace button for the category in which the ad to be deleted resides.
  3. Click the Edit button that appears beneath the ad's small graphic.
  4. On the Edit Ad page, click Delete. You will be asked to confirm your decision. Click Delete again when prompted.
How do I delete a story?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Navigate to the story you wish to edit. In other words, click on the story's headline so that you are viewing the full text of the story.
  3. Click the Edit tab that appears above the story's headline.
  4. If the story contains any photos, click on the Options menu beneath each photo's thumbnail and select Delete Image.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Delete Story. You will be asked to confirm your choice. Click Delete again when prompted.
How do I edit an existing author’s information?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. In the Site Settings menu, select Content -> Manage Authors.
  3. Find the author you wish to modify and click the Edit link next to their name.
  4. Change, add, or remove any information you desire.
  5. Click the Save Changes button.
How do I edit the text of a story on my website?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Navigate to the story you wish to edit. In other words, click on the story's headline so that you are viewing the full text of the story.
  3. Click the Edit tab that appears above the story's headline.
  4. On the Edit page, click the Body tab and you will see the Body field. You may edit the text of the story within this field just as in any standard word processor. By clicking back to the Details tab, you may also edit the title (headline), subhead, author(s), and teaser of the story by entering new text in the appropriate fields.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the Edit page and click Save Story.
How do I let an advertiser edit their own profile?
To grant access so that an advertiser may edit their own profile:
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Go to your Advertiser Index, or alternatively go to Advertising - Edit Advertisers in your Site Settings menu.
  3. In the alphabetical list, find the advertiser whose account you wish to set up and click the Edit Advertiser link to the right of their entry.
  4. On the edit page, scroll down to where it says "Advertiser profile: Yes / No" and check the bubble for "Yes" if you haven't already done so. Then, click the tab on the left side of the page that says "User Account". Enter the advertiser's email address in the User Account field. Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.
  5. Our system will automatically send an email to your advertiser which includes an automatically-generated username and password. You may also wish to send a separate email containing the following instructions (certain details may need to be edited):
How do I move a display ad to a different category?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Advertising - Edit Advertisers.
  3. Click the Active Advertisers tab, if the advertiser you wish to edit has an ad in the current issue. Otherwise, click the All Advertisers tab.
  4. In the alphabetical list, find the advertiser you wish to edit. Click the Edit button to the right of their entry.
  5. Near the top of the Edit Advertiser page, select a new category from the Ad Categories dropdown menu.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.
How do I move a story to a different category or a different issue date?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Navigate to the story you wish to edit. In other words, click on the story's headline so that you are viewing the full text of the story.
  3. Click the Edit tab that appears above the story's headline.
  4. On the Edit page, scroll down to the Editions/Categories section.
  5. To move the story to a different issue date, select a new date from the Editions dropdown menu.
  6. To move the story to a different category, click a new category name in the Categories menu so that it is highlighted blue.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the Edit page and click Save Story.
How do I post a brand new story to my website?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. In your Site Settings menu, select Content - Articles.
  3. On the Articles page, click Add a New Story.
  4. You will be shown the standard Edit page, except all of the fields will be blank. In order to successfully create a story, the following fields must be filled out:
    • Title: the headline of the story
    • Editions: the issue date that the story should be posted to
    • Categories: the category that the story should appear under
    • Body: the full text of the story
      • Note: The Body field can be found by clicking the Body tab at the top of the Edit page.
  5. If you wish to highlight the story as a Breaking News item, scroll to the bottom of the Edit page and check the box next to Breaking Story.
  6. Finally, scroll to the bottom of the Edit page and click Save Story.
How do I process classified orders?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Classifieds - Classified Processing.
  3. You will be asked to log in again as you switch to a secure connection. Enter the same username and password as in step 1.
  4. On the Classified Processing screen, by default you will be shown only the orders that have not yet been processed. The most recent orders will be at the top of the list.
  5. Clicking a person's name will allow you to send an email to that person, if necessary.
  6. Before processing each order, we recommend charging the person's credit card. If the card is declined, you will know to Cancel the order in the next step. At the very least, you should copy the person's credit card information down because it will be removed from the server upon processing the order.
  7. Use the Pick Action menu to choose the action you wish to perform on the order. The choices are:
    • Process Order - In other words, Approve Order. The person will receive an email saying that their order was accepted.
    • Cancel Order - The order will be marked as canceled. The person will receive an email saying that the order was canceled and to contact the newspaper if they have any questions.
    • Void Order - The order will be marked as canceled. The person will NOT receive an email.
  8. Once you have picked an action for one or more orders, click the gray Process Orders button at either the top or bottom of the order list. This will run the chosen actions on all of the orders that you have marked.
  9. Copy the text of the classified message and provide it to the proper staff member of your newspaper for placement in the next issue.
  10. If you wish to view orders that you have processed or canceled in the past, you can check the appropriate boxes at the top of the order list and then click Filter. You can also search your orders based on the subscriber name by typing it into the search box and then clicking Filter.
How do I process subscription orders?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Subscriptions - Subscription Processing.
  3. You will be asked to log in again as you switch to a secure connection. Enter the same username and password as in step 1.
  4. On the Subscription Processing screen, by default you will be shown only the orders that have not yet been processed. The most recent orders will be at the top of the list.
  5. Additional details about a subscriber, including their e-mail address, can be viewed by clicking their name.
  6. For online subscriptions, each subscriber is automatically granted 30 days of access to the site upon submitting their order. This is the expiration date labeled Before. The After date is the expiration date that will be set once the order has been processed. If necessary, you can type in a different After date before you process the order.
  7. Before processing the order, we recommend charging the subscriber's credit card. If the card is declined, you will know to Cancel the order in the next step. At the very least, you should copy the subscriber's credit card information down because it will be removed from the server upon processing the order.
  8. Use the Pick Action menu to choose the action you wish to perform on the order. The choices are:
    • Process Order - In other words, Approve Order. The subscriber will receive an email saying that their order was accepted and the After expiration date will be applied.
    • Cancel Order - The order will be marked as canceled and the subscriber will immediately lose access to the protected areas of the website. The subscriber will receive an email saying that the order was canceled and to contact the newspaper if they have any questions.
    • Void Order - The order will be marked as canceled and the subscriber will immediately lose access to the protected areas of the website. The subscriber will NOT receive an email.
  9. Once you have picked an action for one or more orders, click the gray Process Orders button at either the top or bottom of the order list. This will run the chosen actions on all of the orders that you have marked.
  10. If you wish to view orders that you have processed or canceled in the past, you can check the appropriate boxes at the top of the order list and then click Filter. You can also search your orders based on the subscriber name by typing it into the search box and then clicking Filter.
 
How do I remove a photo from a story?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Navigate to the story you wish to edit. In other words, click on the story's headline so that you are viewing the full text of the story.
  3. Click the Edit tab that appears above the story's headline.
  4. On the Edit page, click the Body tab.
  5. In the Body field, click on the photo that you wish to remove. You will know it is selected when small white squares appear around the border of the image. Press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  6. Scroll down to the Images area (where the blue Add New Image button is located). Find the thumbnail of the photo that you wish to remove. In the Options menu beneath the thumbnail, select Delete Image.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the Edit page and click Save Story.
How do I send an announcement of a specific story to my e-mail mailing list?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. Navigate to the story you wish to announce to your mailing list. In other words, click on the story's headline so that you are viewing the full text of the story.
  3. Click the Shout It Out tab that appears above the story's headline.
  4. You will be shown a preview of the announcement e-mail. Verify that everything looks correct, and then click Send Update.
 
How do I update a subscriber’s information (address, expiration date, password, etc)?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Users - List Subscribers.
  3. Find the person you wish to edit in the alphabetical list, or enter their name or email address in the search fields at the top of the page (and click Search Users).
  4. When you have found the person's account, click the Edit button to the right of their entry.
  5. On the Edit page, make your desired change, be it a new email address, a new password, an updated address, an expiration date change, etc.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.
How do I update my classified order forms?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Classifieds - Classified Form Settings.
  3. If you need to update your pricing information or form instructions, make the desired change in the Classified Order Details field.
  4. If you wish to have order notification emails go to a new address, enter it in the Classified Order Email Address field.
  5. If you wish to offer a selection of classified categories on your order form (such as For Sale, Help Wanted, etc), enter these options in the Classified Categories field, one per line.
  6. If you wish to offer a selection of paper editions (perhaps Tuesday Edition, Sunday Edition, etc), enter these options in thePaper Editions field, one per line.
  7. If you wish the form to ask for the issue date that the ad is first supposed to run, check the box for Ask for Date of Insertion. If your policy is to automatically insert the ad into the next available issue, leave this box unchecked.
  8. If you wish to allow a user to place the same ad multiple times in a single issue, check the box for Ask for Number of Insertions.
  9. If you wish to allow a user to specify the total number of issues in which their ad will appear, check the box for Ask for Number of Issues.
  10. If you wish to allow additional credit card types on the order form, highlight the appropriate ones in the Acceptable Credit Card Types field. If you wish to highlight multiple credit card options, hold down CTRL (Windows) or COMMAND (Mac) and click on each desired card.
  11. To save any changes made in the fields above, click Save Configuration at the bottom of the page.
How do I update my Reader Poll question?
  1. These instructions assume you already have a Reader Poll set up on your website. If you would like to begin using the Reader Poll feature, please contact an Our-Hometown represenatative.
  2. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  3. In your Site Settings menu, select Polling & Surveys - Add a Poll.
  4. In the Question field, type the question for the new poll.
  5. Enter the possible responses in the Choice fields. If you require more than two responses, click Add Another Choice.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Save. The previous poll will be disabled and your readers will be able to start voting on the new poll immediately.
How do I update my subscription order form?
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Subscriptions - Subscription Form Settings.
  3. If you need to update your pricing information or form instructions, make the desired change in the Subscription Order Details field.
  4. If you wish to have order notification emails go to a new address, enter it in the Subscription Email Address field.
  5. If you wish to offer additional subscription length options, highlight the appropriate choices in the Subscription Lengthsfield. If you wish to highlight multiple subscription length options, hold down CTRL (Windows) or COMMAND (Mac) and click on each desired length.
  6. If you wish to offer additional subscription types, such as Print Only or Online Only, highlight the appropriate options in theSubscription Categories field. If you wish to highlight multiple subscription type options, hold down CTRL (Windows) or COMMAND (Mac) and click on each desired type.
  7. If you wish to offer additional choices on your form, such as a Senior Discount, you may type each choice into theSubscription Options field. Each choice should be on its own line. For example, if you typed "Senior Discount" into the field, it would show up on your order form as a checkbox that users could select.
  8. If you wish to allow additional credit card types on the order form, highlight the appropriate ones in the Acceptable Credit Card Types field. If you wish to highlight multiple credit card options, hold down CTRL (Windows) or COMMAND (Mac) and click on each desired card.
  9. If you wish to allow your potential subscribers to enter a subscription code in lieu of a credit card number (useful when offering free online subscriptions to your existing print subscribers), enter the code in the Valid Subscription Pattern field. This is an advanced feature, so please contact Our-Hometown if you have any questions.
  10. To save any changes made in the fields above, click Save Configuration at the bottom of the page.
How do I view metrics (traffic statistics) for my display ads?
To view metrics for a single advertiser:
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Advertising - Edit Advertisers.
  3. Click the Active Advertisers tab, if the advertiser whose metrics you wish to view has an ad in the current issue. Otherwise, click the All Advertisers tab.
  4. In the alphabetical list, find the advertiser you wish to view. Click the Edit button to the right of their entry.
  5. On the Edit Advertiser page, click the View Metrics tab at the top.
To view a summary of metrics for all advertisers:
  1. Log in to your website by clicking the Login button at the top of your newspaper's homepage.
  2. From your Site Settings menu, click Advertising - View Display Ad Metrics.
How do people pay for their classified ad?

You can:

  • Bill yourself. You copy the billing info from the email order into your billing system.
  • Credit Card. The reader enters their card in a secure form. We check the number to make sure it's valid, and then you process the card just like you do with a telephone order.

How do readers find old stories?
In addition to being able to search by keyword from every page on your site, readers can easily access the archives to view a list of each of your issues by publication date.
How do you edit an advertiser profile?
    1. In a web browser, go to our website at www.our-hometown.com and click the Login button at the top of the page. Enter the username and password provided by our system.
    2. Once logged in, you will be returned to the homepage. Navigate to your advertiser profile. The easiest way to reach it is to go to the Advertiser Profile Index page and click on your business' name.
    3. If you successfully logged in, there should be an Edit tab at the top of your profile page. Click this link.
    4. On your edit page you can enter or change information in any of the appropriate fields (for example Hours, Products, Specialties, etc). You can also upload up to two images to your profile - a Thumbnail Image and a Title Image, which are described on the edit page. If you enter your business' street address, a Google Map of your location will automatically be displayed on the profile page. All of these changes will show up in your profile immediately upon clicking Save at the bottom of the edit page.
How else can readers find online display ads?
The system includes a "shopping page" that contains all the online display ads or if you have more ads you can classify them by marketplace: Real Estate, Automotive, etc.In addition, the ads can be found on the search engines based on the words in the ad.
How is hosting handled?
Your newspaper is hosted at a secured facility with an OC-3 communications backbone, redundant connections, an on-site UPS and diesel backup generators.Disk backups are taken 3 times a week to two off site facilities. There are no limits on traffic to your site or content downloaded.
How much space comes with the account?
Because we encourage you to make all your content available to online readers, we do not impose any charges or limits on the amount of storage space available to you.
Is the system easy to use?
The batch news conversion utility was designed in conjunction with publishers of small to medium size community newspapers to leverage the newspaper's content with minimal effort on the part of the publisher, editor, and sales and creative staffs. Here is the time budget allocation of a typical weekly newspaper once set up:
Newspaper FunctionWeb dutiesEst. Time Spent Weekly
EditorUpload all files used to print the paper to the system.15 minutes
Sales StaffEach time a print display ad is sold, give the newspaper website address and offer to run their print display ad on the website for 5% to 20% more. The publisher sets the price, but typically the upsell ranges from 20% of the print ad for small display ads to 5% for a full page ad.1 minute each print display ad sale
Ad Creative StaffSave pdf of all display ads upsold to the web during the week. Upload to the system weekly.2 minutes each web display ad sale
PublisherAssure paper and display ads are uploaded. Assure sales staff ask for the web order when selling display ads. Assure stock fill ads are run periodically in print. Spend 10 minutes a week promoting web site.15 minutes
If you choose to enter all the stories individually with the WYSIWYG input form, the amount of time the editoral staff will spend depends on the number of stories and the electronic format in which the stories are stored.In comparison to managing your own website independently or using a competitive service, you will always save time with Our-Hometown.com.

Can more time be spent?

Of course...but it's entirely unnecessary. You could update the system every day, upload local directories, include community information, etc. The list of possible additions and added work on your site goes on and on.However, the system works just fine with the effort levels described above and should cover internal and external costs and generate a small profit within 6 months.
Print or Web, which do the readers prefer ?
The existence of your web edition doesn't change the fact that most people consider paper is the most convenient display media. Many people still prefer to read their news from a paper not from a computer monitor. Most readers use online newspapers for the archives (see below) and for convenience while they are sitting at their computer. Publishers that are concerned about affecting circulation often use our paid online subscription model.
Should I put all my news online ?
We highly recommend putting most, if not all of, your news, letters to the editor, editorials, schedules and other content that appears in your newspaper on your website. The more information you provide your readers, the more valuable is your site. Additionally, the more pages you have, the higher your chances of being found on a search engine. Even though we suggest you put all or most of your news online as soon as it is available, you are not required to do so.
What about email addresses? will they contain mypaper.com ?
Yes, we can set up one or more email addresses with your dot com address.
What is an Advertiser Profile?
An Advertiser Profile is a page on your website devoted entirely to one of your advertisers. The page can display detailed information about the business, show a Google Map of the business' location, and display up to two images, such as the business' logo. You can also grant access to your advertisers so that they can update their own profile at any time.Note: Please contact Our Hometown when you wish to begin using Advertiser Profiles. We will help you set up an Advertiser Profile Index on your site and also help configure your site so that the Google Maps feature will work correctly.