May 2nd, 2013 by Kyle West
This morning at 10:46AM EST your website was dramatically improved. It’s faster, it’s easier to find parts, messages are more clear, and it’s better optimized for SEO. You’re going to sell even more parts.
We’ve made changes that are sure to help your customers find the parts they are looking for as quickly as possible.
<h1>tags have been optimized for better SEO.
This page has long been the bane of Matt’s existence and today we replaced it with a much better version.
Gone is the all-text page with links to subcategories. In it’s place we show all the product groups within that category with filters on the left to narrow by subcategory, brand, and vehicle. Once you start filtering, you can also remove the filters to see more parts.
You may now select and link to a particular vehicle with a SEO Friendly URL like
On top of that we’ve replaced the old vehicle page with a new one that gets your customers right to the parts.
One of the easiest ways to get customers to the parts more quickly is to put more parts on the page. We didn’t add any extra parts to the page, but we replace the old list-style layout with a new grid layout to get more products to the top of the page. In the old version I could see 5 parts before having to scroll. In the new one I can see 16!
When your customer lands on a product page without selecting a vehicle, your site will prompt him to select his car.
Once, he does we’ll send him right to the part he needs or show a list of available parts when there is more than one.
If you customer is looking at a product, selects a vehicle, and finds out it won’t fit your site now shows a link to parts that will fit his vehicle.
<title> tags and
<h1> tags have been optimized for better SEO. They update based on which page the customer is browsing and what filters are selected.
December 12th, 2012 by Kyle West
File this one under why didn’t we think about that 6-years ago. After a couple customers brought this to our attention, we added coupon to your order detail screen. Now you’ll know if your customer used a coupon or not.
Note: Coupons will only be shown on orders created after today at 2PM EST (12/12/2012).
November 7th, 2012 by Kyle West
After making major improvements to how we calculate shipping, we set our sights on helping you market your shipping promotions. We’re now including shipping rates in your Google Shopping Data Feeds.
These rates will help you stand out from your competitors and generate more traffic to your site. For more information please check out our Google Shopping support article. If you’re not already using the Marketing Toolkit Data Feeds, now is a great time to get started.
November 1st, 2012 by Kyle West
We just released a major shipping overhaul that we’ve working on for over a month. We’ve improved every aspect of how RPMWare calculates shipping for your customers.
Shipping adjustments received a major makeover based on your feedback. You can now easily offer things like Free Shipping on a particular brand, or $150 Fixed Rate Shipping on large items like hoods and turbo kits. Please review our shipping adjustments guide for all the details.
Before today’s release shipping adjustments would apply to every shipping method you had available. That made it impossible to offer things like “Free Shipping on AEM” without also displaying $0.00 UPS Next Day Air to your customers.
By popular demand we’ve integrated support for these United States Postal Service shipping services:
We optimized every step of interacting with the UPS, FedEx, and USPS APIs. The details are pretty geeky, but the end result is faster, more accurate rate quotes with fewer errors.
April 17th, 2012 by Kyle West
Our awesome host, Rackspace, is conducting some routine maintenance on our servers tomorrow. They will be upgrading firmware and replacing batteries in our RAID controller.
We’re expecting a short outage. The maintenance window is scheduled from 1:30 AM EST until 2:20 AM EST; however, the actual downtime should be much less than one hour. If you have any questions, please open a support ticket.
November 17th, 2011 by Tom Masiero
Here’s a simple and cost effective way to register a domain, setup
@yourdomain.com email, acquire a dedicated phone number, and setup an analytics tool for free. I know you may be thinking Tom has been hanging out with Matt and the Data Guys getting high on spreadsheets, but I’m serious. These next four steps lay the groundwork for your success online.
If you already own a domain name, you may skip this step. You’ll be able to use your existing domain name with step 2.
Head over to Google Apps and create a new account. Once you’re logged in, follow this link to purchase a domain from Google. The price is $10/year and guarantees you’ll be the only one able to use the domain. C’mon now, hurry up and lock down your super top secret domain name.
Google Apps is a web-based suite of applications specifically for your company. You can use all the Google tools such as GMail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs and a bunch more all from your own domain. GMail is incredible. You’ll be able to send professional emails from your own domain name (email@example.com). You can even setup groups like firstname.lastname@example.org that forward to a number of users.
Once you complete step one you’ll be sent back to the Google Apps sign up page. Google offers a couple different packages but you shouldn’t need any of the extras. Click
Google Apps (Free), then
Get Started and follow the setup instructions.
Perhaps, the coolest application is Google Voice. Your Google Voice account (one for each user in your domain) comes with a dedicated phone number in an area-code of your choosing. You can direct calls to as many phones as you like and even place and receive calls directly from your computer, iPhone, or Android phone. gives you a virtual phone # that you can direct to forward to as many phones as you like or use with a headset via your computer. It’s a great tool and one that I have taken advantage of for the past 4 years.
Our last step is the most powerful, and most underused application in the suite. Google Analtyics collects information about every visitor to your website and provides reports you can use to improve your online store. It’s an amazing tool but also very easy to be intimidated by. Over the next couple of weeks I will show you how to interpet and act on these reports. In the meantime, it’s easy to start collecting data. We have all the instructions in our support portal.
Be sure not to miss my next post as teach you how to create a simple SEO strategy that works.
August 17th, 2011 by Kyle West
If you haven’t already, please take 30 seconds to answer our quick survey. Your opinion guides the future of RPMWare and we take your feedback very seriously.
One of the survey questions (How would you feel if you could no longer use RPMWare?) has inadvertently caused some concern about the future of RPMWare.
I want to make it absolutely clear:
We’re not going anywhere. RPMWare is profitable, growing, hiring, and intensely focused on improving our product to ensure things stay that way.
If you’re interested in the origin and purpose of the survey: read more about Survey.io here.
July 5th, 2011 by Kyle West
I just wrapped up my quarterly all-nighter and am excited to show off RPMWare’s new facelift. I think you’ll be equally excited about the Free Marketing Toolkit Data Feeds to Google, Bing, and Street Performance.
The RPMWare Data Feed (login required) has been a huge success for many of our customers since we launched it earlier this year. I get emails every day about how well it is working.
We never charged to process and deliver the items you manage on your own, but we did forget to create a $0.00 plan so you could do so without paying us. Whoops. We fixed that. Go activate your data feed and get indexed on (at least) Google Product Search – it’s free.
Note: the feeds upload nightly at 3:00AM EST
We moved a lot of stuff around to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Here’s a roadmap if you get lost.
Website Configuration(name, google analytics, domains, etc.) is under the
DNSis under the
Maintenance(to rebuild your catalog) is under the
Featured Productsare under the
Sitemapis under the
FileManagerhave been combined under the
Yep. It’s orange now. I have no idea why it was blue before. We’ve also laid the groundwork for customization down the line (use your own company colors and logo). If there is enough demand I’ll get it in.
We’re using fewer images and more CSS3. If you’re not a geek like me that just means fewer images to load and a quicker website.
April 6th, 2011 by Kyle West
In case you didn’t know, everyone at RPMWare is nuts about data. So, after I released some changes to speed things up last week I made some popcorn and started watching the logs and stats. I was expecting a small but significant reduction in average response time but the opposite happened: response times crept up from 800ms to 1,200ms.
As I dug deeper into the logs I started to realize that my code was not to blame. The issue was with our GoDaddy powered DNS.
Back in 2008 we moved all our static assets (images, css, etc.) to Amazon S3. Following Amazon’s best-practices we also setup a CNAME record in our DNS to point
media-images.rpmware.com to S3. That worked perfectly until GoDaddy recently updated their DNS manager. While our CNAME still existed in their UI, it did not exist in our zone file. That caused millions of requests for images to hit our servers rather than S3.
I just fixed the CNAME and here’s the result:
Our average response time is now 295ms (down from 800ms). I expect that number will climb a little under peak loads, but it is still a huge boost for all your sites.
Amazon recently introduced SSL in CloudFront (their CDN) so there is no reason for us to continue serving images from S3 (CloudFront is faster). We’ll be serving all images from CloudFront within the next 24 hours.
GoDaddy has served us well but we’ve grown to the point we should be using something more robust. I’ll be moving all our DNS records over to a more capable host in the next week or so. I don’t expect any downtime during this migration.
Any questions? As always shoot us an email, or (even better) leave a comment!
April 1st, 2011 by Kyle West
I’ll be honest up front: this one isn’t going to melt any tires, but it is a significant performance boost.
Back in 2009 we moved all images to a CDN (Content Delivery Network) and dramatically sped up image serving.
Today we released new code that reduces the number of requests by an average of 18% per page.
You all know we’re speed freaks at heart; we’re always looking for ways to speed things up and we’re going to keep it up. We hope you and your customers enjoy the new, snappier, website.