Here's your chance to test out Webmerge, the datafeed processing software, for FREE.
Richard Gaskin, the product developer, announced earlier this month that Webmerge 2.5 went into public beta, and is available for testing. The latest version comes with new features, improved performance on Vista and Leopard, now works with Linux as well. The shipping version, Webmerge 2.4 is also available as a free download. Both free versions will let you process up to 20 records from your database records and there's no expiry on the trial – – you may take as long as you need to try it out.
What is Webmerge?
WebMerge is Web publishing software that works with database and spreadsheet data (datafeeds), including FileMaker Pro, Microsoft Access, AppleWorks, and Excel. The pages that are generated are HTML and can be hosted on any Web server without the need to setup MySQL databases.
How to Use Webmerge
I've used Webmerge for years in a couple of different ways.
I've created my own datafeed (spreadsheet) of products that I promote and then run the spreadsheet through the software to create individual HTML pages for each product with an index page that lists them all.
Webmerge can also be used to process merchant datafeeds.
To avoid the potential for duplicate content penalties, I do not recommend using or processing merchant feeds exactly as they are delivered, however. When you download a spreadsheet (CSV file), go through the file and choose indiviual products (or categories) that you want to promote and create a new datafeed. You can also add some of your own content to the spreadsheet to further individualize it from lazy affiliates' sites.
Alternatively, rather than upload all the generated pages to your server in one go, you could hand pick and post individually generated pages to your blog.
Note: If you're interested in a datafeed processing solution specifically for WordPress bloggers, check out Datafeedr. The primary difference between Datafeedr and Webmerge, is that with the latter you can quickly create multiple merchant, multiple network categorized datafeed files in the Datafeedr factory, as opposed to having to manually merge separate datafeeds. Too, Datafeedr's service is designed for bloggers, whereas Webmerge produces static HTML pages.
Webmerge is not a product suitable for complete beginners, i.e. those without basic HTML knowledge. That said, the primary advantage to using a product like Webmerge is output and design flexibility – the ability to incorporate datafeeds from merchants and networks that Datafeedr has not yet incorporated into its mix. Too, you have the ability to add commentary to indiviual product descriptions or even additional category fields when you download the datafeeds yourself. And of course, as mentioned earlier, you can create and process your own datafeeds with Webmerge.
If you want to build product catalogs, contact lists, image galleries and more, quickly and easily – check out Webmerge – it's free to try.