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Launch a Traffic Exchange Part 3 - The Scripts in Detail
In this article I’m going to talk about Traffic Exchange script selection in more detail. At the outset I should state that all the traffic exchange scripts I have seen perform well and a lot of my final choice was driven by personal preferences.
I started out looking at a range of traffic exchanges and identifying the features I liked or didn’t like from a users perspective. For instance, clean and smooth operating surfbars, easy to follow menus and home pages were high on my list. Other features I looked at were how easy was it to assign credits, what add-ins appeared available (eg games) and how the site looked and felt. One feature I didn’t like was when the surfbar opens as a whole new webpage as this makes it harder to rotate traffic exchanges in and out of my surfing schedule.
I then did some background research on what scripts were being used. This involved identifying the script being used and then researching the features. A good place to start is www.trafficexchangelist.com This site enables you to identify what traffic exchanges use which scripts.
I should also state that my HTML and PHP skills are limited as was my funds so building a totally customized script was out of the question. The scripts I then focused on were LJ, ACMS, Ventrino, Negomedia and LFMTE.
Initially, LJ looked very good. The script is used by major traffic exchanges such as Hit2Hit, ILoveHits and HitsBoosterPro. However, advice from others indicated that LJ, while being probably the most popular script, was now quite old and a number of more standard features needed to be purchased as add-ons. For instance, adding a downline builder or adding dynamic surf ratios will cost $95 each. Adding a Start-page feature and letter hunt game will add another $100. So the up-front cost for establishing an LJ scripted TE was going to be higher than other options.
I discounted Ventrino because this seemed to require the surfbar to open in a new window – a feature that I have since discovered can be changed (look at fasteasytraffic ,com for instance). So my initial judgment was a little unfair. Having said that, I am not a great fan of the graphic tool page but this is purely a personal preference.
ACMS offers built-up sites ready to go or sites built from scratch (at very reasonable cost). While the sites are customizable, I did not like the look and feel of the homepage and parts of the surfbar. Discussions with ACMS admin indicated that some of this could be fixed through customization. ACMS also offer hosting at very reasonable rates. I seriously looked at purchasing killerwhaletraffic (check it out for a good example of an ACMS scripted Traffic Exchange) but was beaten to the punch!!
Negomedia offer a one-stop service (including access to use their script (includes hover ads and chat), technical support, and webhosting) for a very reasonable $34.99 per month. There is not the up-front cost associated with other Traffic Exchange developments but you are limited by what is available at their site. In the end, I wanted a site with more customization.
LFMTE has the look and feel of LJ scripted Traffic Exchanges and this was a major attraction. The script comes with many standard features that are add-ons for LJ (dynamic surf ratios, OTO pages, downline builder, etc). The up-front cost of the script is very reasonable ($97) and if you have the design and PHP skills you can build the site out of the box (the basic package will operate as a traffic exchange but does need to be customized to your specifications). I am not a designer and my PHP skills are rudimentary so I also purchased the design package at start-up. LFMTE also offer hosting (through LFMTE-Host) and while this appears more expensive than other options, the technical hosting support has been superb.
The backoffice admin area was also a consideration. Questions I asked were wWas this intuitive and easy to navigate and could you fix problems on the site. Some of the sites had demo admin areas to give you a feel for this and that helped me decide.
In the end I went with LFMTE because of its look and feel, its cost and some of the up and coming TEs are based on it (check out Shinelight Traffic and Bootscooting Traffic for instance). The admin area is a breeze and includes a basic autoresponder (or you can link it to your favorite autoresponder). It comes with pre-written responses for repetitive admin functions (these can be easily customized) and includes a HTML editor for your pages.
To date I am very happy with my choice and my first month of operation has been a success. The surfing community is active and growing and I am constantly amazed by the new products and services being promoted. I am enjoying oferring a productive and vibrant surfing environment and am constantly looking at ways to improve the service.
Why don't you check out my Traffic Exchange for yourself and if you join via the link below you will get a three month upgraded membership. This upgrade gives you 1:1 suring ratio, 300 credits per month as well as a generous signon bonus of 500 credits and 1,000 banner and text link impressions. You can earn up to 25% commisisons as well.
Stop Press - the price of LFMTE has just gone up by about 50% - I guess they know they are onto a good thing.
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