Posts in: Announcements
31/03/2008

We are glad to announce that the web-to-print pricing has changed with the addition of one more digit (zero) effective from 1 Apr 2008, which is pretty much now.

The new web-to-print pricing per order is as follows:

  • Australia – $2.200
  • EU – €1.300
  • New Zealand – $2.500
  • UK – £0.850
  • USA – $1.700
  • Other countries – US$1.700

The old prices can be found here.

We are all off to Bahamas due to the windfall of money after the price increase.

bahamas.jpg

Signed:
ZetaPrints,
1 April 2008

02/12/2008

Reports on your web-to-print orders already contain most of the information stored in the database, except the texts entered by users into web-to-print templates. It may be difficult to reconcile orders if they are placed by one person for the whole office. From now on, reports contain top 5 fields from every order added to the right of PayPal transaction columns. You may need to re-shuffle and merge some columns to add some sanity to the data if field names do not match across templates.

12/03/2012

We added a “decline” order option to our Order Approval extension for Magento. Read the rest of this entry »

06/06/2007

Zetaprints services are running from a new datacenter now. The IP address has been changed, all data migrated and the old site shut down.

Downtime report

The downtime was just over 1 hour against expected 30 minutes due to slower than usual connection between the sites. No more downtime is planned, but the new cluster is smaller than at the old data center. You or your customers may experience delays with getting previews refreshed in the next 24 hours while the hardware is being shipped to the new site.

Possible issues

It is possible that some files got mixed up, went missing or were replaced with older versions. The chance is negligible, but cannot be discounted. Please, check all order files carefully until Monday and report any issues.

Thank you everyone for your patience!

20/05/2008

Sorry, we had a break. All web-to-print development was stopped due to loss of direction in the team. Now we are back on track with renewed energy and clear goals. Web-to-print rocks!

User registration improved

Users registered by printers are expected to click on the link and enter their details themselves.

Printers can enter new user profiles and type in their details, including passwords. Despite that, new users were still required to click on the link to log in. It was an unnecessary step, now removed.

Transparent images

Transparent images were handled inconsistently by our web-to-print software resulting in loss of transparency in most cases. It has been fixed in the latest update. Some minor issues still remain:

  • TIFF and GIF files may appear on the screen differently as thumbnails. There is a colour shift in the palette for indexed colour.
  • TIFF files with ZIP compression are rejected. However, ZIP layer compression is OK.

There are many flavours of PNG, GIF and TIFF files when it comes to transparency handling. Check before using them in your image libraries and let us know if something does work as expected.

WMF files are not allowed

Sorry, not any more. There were too many security issues with them and they are not used that widely to be of a concern.

More changes to come

You will see more changes to our web-to-print user interface in the coming days. They will be deployed one by one and your feedback sought before moving further.

1. Changes to the page layout – cleaner, more space

2. Changes to uploaded files handling – cropping, rotating, resizing, deleting, etc.

3. More interactivity – scripting and asynchronous processing will be added here and there

29/01/2008

We may need to take our web to print system down to make a major update in the next few hours.
Apologies to European customers. They may be affected most. Please, let us know if you planned any demonstrations or can’t tolerate any downtime today. Email support@zetaprints.com.

Keep an eye on announcements to track the progress.

In this update

* major performance improvements
* change from all-pages-at-once to per-page preview updates
We will enable the new per-page previews for “web to print” templates with 3 or more pages to begin with. Then drop it down to 2 and then remove all-at-once completely.
Please, voice your opinion on the changes.

Known issues

Old “Saved orders” and “drafts” may not display correctly in the format. There are only several hundred of them. Some are too old and unlikely to be used. Any new orders will display correctly.

27/04/2009

We are still adding final touches to our new open source e-cards plugin, but here it is nonetheless.

It can be embedded into any web page just as I embedded it here.
Embedding string:

Variable parameters

Width: set to width in pixels or % (in 2 places)

Height: set to height in pixels or % (in 2 places)

Data source: this is an address of RSS feed for the catalog you want to show. The catalog needs to be public.

What for?

Don’t ask. It’s one of those pet projects. Maybe there is some use for it.

The most obvious is to promote your products. Build a catalog with a few simple templates that work well in small size and are fun. Embed the plugin on your site. Ask others to embed it. The user may want to click through to your site and actually order something after playing with these small designs.

Your suggestions on what features to add are welcome.

13/02/2012

Our main website about web-to-print and about dynamic imaging got a facelift. It is now using the same theme as our web-to-print help area.

We also re-arranged the way we call our software packages, but the substance is still the same.

Dedicated web-to-print and dynamic imaging

The most significant change is the Enterprise web-to-print offer. If you think you are big enough to justify a separate deployment of a web-to-print system as opposed to our standard SaaS offering we are happy to give you one. There is no definitive price tag because every deployment is different, but it makes sense to do if you pay us more than $4000 a month.

There are two main reasons for standalone deployments:

  1. reduced cost on large volumes
  2. security of supply

In other words, what are you going to do if your SaaS web-to-print provider stops providing the service to you tomorrow?

For some businesses it would be a complete disaster. Having the source code and controlling the hosting adds that level of security and independence.

The software can be deployed on your own servers, but our preference if you rent virtual servers on Amazon, RackSpace or other established cloud operator. Talk to us about your big project.

20/06/2011

Attention customers of ET Graphics in New Zealand.

As far as we know, ET Graphics is no more. They have been liquidated. A number of other printers picked up the tab where they left off.

We suggest you contact ABC Signs. They are good guys and will be more than happy to serve you online using the same web-to-print system (which is us). You won’t even need to register again – your details are still there.

We do not know who bought ETG, but since they neither the liquidator nor the new owners didn’t even bother to update their website and still send all the former customers to us we put this message up. Speaks volumes how much they value you, doesn’t it?

Feel free to reach us directly on support@zetaprints.com if you have any questions.

30/11/2011

We added a new feature to the web-to-print portals that allows you to get the print-ready files from saved orders faster.

A saved order is an order that has not been completed. The user may come back and complete or delete it. All saved orders, that haven’t had their print-ready output files generated yet, will have a “Generate files” link right there on orders list page.

You just need to click the link and you’ll be sent to the order details page with the output files already generated and links to them available.

Magento web-to-print orders

Magento web-to-print orders added to cart, but not checked out with a payment remain as saved within your ZetaPrints portal. You can locate them via Order Details page in Magento and then use this new link to generate output files.

 

17/01/2012

Our web-to-print extension for Magento was tested fully compatible with the latest release of Magento ver. 1.6.2.0. You should have no problems upgrading your web-to-print Magento store.

These extensions were also confirmed to be compatible with Magento ver. 1.6.2.0:

Should any problems occur, don’t hesitate to contact our support service.

31/12/2011

We’ve updated the compatibility of our Order Approval extension and its latest release (0.2.0.0beta1 ) is compatible with Magento v.1.6.1.

This extension allows you to organize an approval process in a Magento store and prevent certain customers from checking out until their orders are approved by a nominated approver.

How it works

The store administrator nominates one approver per customer. After that, any purchases made by a customer with an approver have to go through an additional approval step. Any items can be added to cart, but only approved items can be checked out.

When a customer tries to checkout, the extension checks for any new unapproved items and sends an email to the nominated approver. The approver can log in, view the list of items and approve the purchase.

Customers without a nominated approver can check out as usual.

Web-to-print compatibility

The extension remains fully compatible with our web-to-print extension for Magento.

11/10/2011

Just a quick plug to let you know we are progressing with web-to-print datasets in Magento.

They will still be managed within ZP and show as comboboxes on the product page, so there is no change to the interface at either end.

More info is in our issue tracking for Magento web-to-print: http://code.google.com/p/magento-w2p/issues/detail?id=669


 

21/11/2011

We made a pretty cool upgrade to the Magento image editor that comes built in our web-to-print extension for Magento. Cropping images just became a lot easier and more intelligent.

Your web-to-print templates contain variable images that come in all shapes and sizes. Users will now be able to adapt any image they’ve uploaded in a way that is relevant to a specific image field shape and size requirements.

The new “Fit-in-field” tool we’ve added is basically a smart crop tool that has its selection area shape locked to a proportional shape according to the image placeholder of the template.

We split the image editor toolbox menu in two sections:

  1. Adapt for this field and
  2. Global changes

The top one introduces this new “Fit-in-field” tool and any image edits using this tool are used for the active image field only. This means that the same image can be cropped differently for different image fields in a single template.

Global changes” section, on the other hand, holds the old and familiar tools which change uploaded images for all fields in all the templates.

Yet another user-friendly feature is the horizontal shortcuts menu that is included in the “Fit-in-field” tool interface and allows users to quickly fit their uploaded image in the variable image area of the template they’re personalizing.

This new image editor feature is included in the latest beta (1.9.2.0beta15) release of the extension and is activated by default.

10/06/2007

Zetaprints has launched a new web-to-print help site located at http://www.zetaprints.com/help/.

The individual topics will be linked to from the main system over the coming days. The old help site will remain available in the meantime.

User contributed content

The new help site is built on a popular publishing platform called WordPress. It is very easy to provide and manage content using only a web browser. It is open for anyone to write an help article or leave a comment or a suggestion to an existing article after a quick registration process.

You are very welcome to register and submit your tips and tricks on any relevant topic, not necessary Zetaprints system directly. Here are some ideas for you:

  • CorelDRAW tips and tricks
  • PDF issues and secrets
  • Domain name registration
  • Zetaprints shortcuts and exploits
  • Marketing and business advice

See you there!

18/01/2007

This blog is about to publish a series of articles from Asian designers on the state of graphic design and printing in their countries. I saw two draft articles from our Malaysian contributor and am eager to see the final versions here.

We live in an increasingly shrinking world where everything is just a few clicks away, but we miss out on a lot of information from non-English speaking countries. I’m excited to learn about the Asian design and printing industries and their specifics.

Why would you care? Probably there are two main reasons:
1. You may start noticing and using Asian resources for the benefit of your business.
2. You may want to know why some of your competitors and customers are already using them. (they would be your former customers then, probably)

Happy reading!

28/11/2007

A large and important upgrade is coming up at approximately 17:00 – 19:00 GMT (London, UK) time on 28 Nov. A short disruption for up to 15 minutes is possible to upgrade and restart all machines in the cluster as they all have to be upgraded simultaneously.
We apologise for the disruption, but this update has important bug fixes and a new automated billing system.

Bug fixes

It was possible for customers to download output files without actually paying for them. We believe the number of orders being cheated this way is tiny, it is still unacceptable.
Multiple user interface improvements and fixes.

Billing rules formalised

ZetaPrints fundamental rule is “No order – no charge. The printer pays when they get business”.
This is a bit hard to determine if an order resulted in a “business” or not from our end, but after extensive consultations with customers we arrived at a clear formula what is billable , what’s not:
– any orders for password-protected templates are billable when the order is placed
– any orders for public templates are billable when any of the output files is downloaded
There is a new interface to see a list of billable orders for the current month and past 6 months.
Read more in a new post on Billing rules in the help section.

06/06/2007

We had an unexpected service outage today caused by a human error.

There was some misunderstanding between Zetaprints and our hosting company. As a result our computers were pulled off the racks, packed up and left for a courier company to pick up for shipping to the new data center. Another local outage disconnected the office from the Internet.

It took about an hour to figure out what happened. reverse the situation and plug everything back in.

I personally apologise for the downtime, which was pretty much caused by my confusing instructions to the hosting company.

Unfortunately, there will be another outage later today when we do switch the IP address to the new data center. It’s hard to predict how long the outage will last. The timing will depend on propagation of DNS information, which is beyond anyone’s control. There will be a notification screen to inform the users of the situation.
The worst case scenario can be several hours and will probably affect European and U.S. customers from around the East Coast.

Cheers,
Max

25/09/2008

We spent a bit of time on improving our web to print help site and added a page for your suggestions.

Did you see a cool design somewhere and now want to make a template with something like that? It may be too hard. It may be impossible. Let us give it a try for you and then post a short tutorial on how to get it done.

Did you have troubles with ZetaPrints interface and think it should be better explained? Tell us where you stumbled and we’ll post an article to help you through.

Sourcing designs

We’ve got thousands and thousands of designs submitted by freelance designers. Some of the good, some not. Soon you will be able to browse them and add the ones you like to your catalogs. The main problem here is the pre-press quality of the designs as most designers concentrate on the visual aspect and totally ignore the technical side of making the final product.

We need help with writing detailed product guides and pre-press techniques that explain what the final output should be like, all the pre-press stuff, what information it should contain (fields), etc. Then let the designers try and pitch their designs to you.

25/08/2011

We are a recommended solution provider for web-to-print and dynamic imaging on Amazon Web Services now.

All our hosting is with AWS at the moment. It is not the cheapest one, but we get the best value for money there. AWS has the best management tools and the widest range of cloud products for now.

We learned a few things about the cloud while building our web-to-print solution. Talk to us if you are after a cloud based solution for your w2p or dynamic imaging needs.

12/01/2012

We’ve released a new stable version of our web-to-print extension for Magento. The release holds important fixes and we strongly recommend upgrading, specially if you don’t have our new fancy image editor in your web-to-print store yet.

Note. The release is compatible with the latest Magento 1.6.1 storefront.

Should any problems occur, don’t hesitate to contact our support service.

12/04/2011

Web to print in South-East Asia Pacific has become a notch easier to set up thanx to an awesome Linux support company that keeps maintaining and updating free Magento AMIs on Amazon.

Free Magento AMI in Singapore

Look for ami-a81c65fa or look by owner ID 859714128294

Free Magento AMI in US East

Look for ami-b86c91d1 or look by owner ID 859714128294

Magento AMI in other zones

Contact the image owner via their Magento Hosting web page.

Web to print and other extensions

The newly updated AMI’s run Magento 1.5.0.1, mail, ftp, webmin and some other goodies to help you get started. No extensions are installed by default, but they are easy to add.

Go to the instance home page right after launch to get your access details. Follow web-to-print installation instructions, if you want our web-to-print at all. Otherwise enjoy the freebie.

15/08/2007

ZetaPrints has made an important addition to its web-to-print functionality – you can generate GIF, PNG and JPEG files alongside PDF. Read the rest of this entry »

26/03/2007

Thanx to all our customers who helped with translation. Any owner of a Printer account can now switch the default language. There are still clumsy phrases here and there, but we’ll be ironing them out in the coming weeks.

How to switch language

switch.gif

Russian interface

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German interface

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Would you like your web-to-print system to speak your language?
Your help is very welcome.