Many of the web developers I have met in Brisbane use their own proprietary content management systems (CMS) as the base of the websites they build. Their justification for doing so is the same across the board… no bloat ware, you only get the functionality you need, low probability of the site being hacked.
However, I have always been wary of such an approach and do not necessarily believe it is always in the best interests of the client. Whenever I mention the use of WordPress as a CMS for a website, they inevitably start sprouting out-dated excuses of why you shouldn’t. Lack of security, scalability and performance are usually the responses. Another is, WordPress is a blogging platform, not a CMS for a website.
When a platform like WordPress powers at least 16% of the world’s websites, and some very large ones at that, it’s time to sit up and take notice.
This week, Facebook announced they have created integrations with WordPress, allowing website and blog owners to publish their content to the social network with a simple click of a mouse. There is no coding required as WordPress administrators can install the Facebook plugin that allows them to publish content to their Facebook timeline or page.
The Facebook integration is another example of why I am a supporter of WordPress. Following are reasons why I believe small business owners should consider using WordPress, or another commercial or open-source source CMS, instead of using a developer’s own proprietary software.
- Most developers do not have the funding to develop their software. They use the budget of their current customer to build the latest functionality into the CMS, however older clients don’t receive this benefit (unless they pay a lot of money to do so). On the other hand, WordPress and other open source and commercial software have a roadmap for their CMS product and have the funding to implement changes so that all customers can benefit from upgrades.
- Many developers who build websites using their own software, do not allow their clients to take the software when they decide to leave. This means that business owners have to pay for the site to be built again on a new platform.
- Clients that are allowed to leave with the proprietary CMS find it difficult to find another programmer to support it. Usually the software has poor documentation and standards are not always adhered to.
- Proprietary CMS products are not known by large web platforms like Facebook and therefore miss out on any useful integrations or plugins that are released. The developer therefore has to build this functionality in at their own or client’s expense.
- Proprietary CMS and blog software often has missing functionality such as comment spam detection and management. It becomes a nightmare for the business owner and their team to manage the site going forward.
My final advice to business owners is to learn more about the CMS software that your developer uses before you engage them. Think about the consequences of not using popular CMS platforms such as WordPress or other open source or commercial software.
My recommendation to web developers is to not build your own CMS, unless you want to commercialise it. Focus upon building really good websites using a fully functional open source or commercial CMS platform that you support. It will be much more profitable and life will be easier if you do that.
As of November 22nd Google will no longer offer their Gmail app on BlackBerry smart phones. They are also removing the application from the Blackberry app world marketplace so it is no longer available to be downloaded.
For those who already have the app, it will not disappear or stop wording and users can continue to use the service as usual, there will just be no Google customer support team to assist with issues.
Google claim these changes are being implemented to provide a great Gmail experience in the smart phone browser.
BlackBerry users are currently accessing their emails is through the BlackBerry application software and the improvement lies in Google being able to deliver updates through their own platform straight to users.
As the new BlackBerry 6 and BlackBerry 7OS systems use webkit browsers this provides a better experience than previous models and allows Google to update their system more directly instead of relying on the BlackBerry application standards.
This comes after a three day outage last month that left millions of BlackBerry users across Europe, North and South America.
What do you think? Should Google allow users to choose between a browser or an app, or is it okay for them to make this change because they know best?
Consumers, customers and clients alike are heading to the internet more and more often for information about products and services. Gone are the days when people relied on one way communication for information about brands and companies – the internet has revolutionised the world in hundreds and thousands of ways, one of those is marketing.
As consumers head to the web, internet marketing as an industry continues to evolve to match the interest shown by users. One of the most significant shifts in the way marketing is presented is the communication channels. This shift in the industry has also accommodated a shift from one way communication such as,
- television advertisements,
- radio advertisements,
- direct mail, and
To two way communication channels such as,
- content marketing including
- video blogs,
- pod casts,
- infographics and
- social media platforms including
- Google plus,
- As well as blogs.
As internet marketing has grown there has been an overall decline in the efficiency in old forms of marketing as customers are gaining more control over the media content they consume. This has triggered a fundamental shift in the way brands and companies are communicating with their audiences. Traditional marketing tactics do not provide any extra value to the consumer as they are not developed to educate or entertain audiences – they gain consumer attention by ‘beg, bug, or buying their way in’.
Another reason traditional marketing is becoming less effective is because products and services are being pushed, most times rather intrusively, on consumers when they are not necessarily receptive or interested.
In contrast to this, internet marketing is designed to be useful, educational and/or interesting to gain the consumers attention and earn their respect and trust, hence forming a relationship from which the consumer and business both prosper.
This is one of the main reasons internet marketing has become so effective – consumers now go to the businesses for information. They are engaging with products and services when they are interested in the content – for example, a consumer looking to buy pet food will enter a search in Google and will have a list of businesses selling pet food – this consumer is likely to convert into a sale as they are specifically looking for this product.
A few statistics taken from Voliter in relation to the rise of internet and content marketing are,
- 44% of direct mail is never opened.
- 86% of people skip television ads.
- 200 Million (Americans) have registered on ‘Do Not Call’ lists
- Traditional or Outbound marketing is 62% more expensive than inbound marketing
This last point highlights one of the other major reasons there is a massive incline in inbound marketing: it’s cheaper. Not only does it cost less than traditional marketing, it provides a better return on investment.
Blogs have the best ROI and lead generation with social media and SEO being second and third respectively. Direct mail and trade shows are at the end of the list.
It is clear the way we interact with businesses is transforming on a fundamental level – but this is a positive change for both consumers and businesses alike. Consumers are able to ignore and avoid sales-y and intrusive marketing and find entertaining and educational information relevant to them when they are interested. Businesses are now able to focus on the quality of their products and services and devise ways to creatively earn attention and target their audiences more efficiently.
Voltier Digital VIA Mashable
There are many people still asking the question “what is a webinar”? So, we thought it an important post to discuss what webinars are, how to become involved in a webinar and how webinars work.
Webinars are a flexible, interactive and cost effective tool for communication, allowing people to conference or train together over the internet. Webinars are also used to market and sell products or services.
Some of the main advantages of webinars are they have the ability to reach a larger audience, costs are reduced and participants are able to digitally record the event to enable future playback.
Where does the term Webinar come from?
For those who are interested the term “webinar” was coined last century – 1998 in fact, when Eric R Korb used the term to brand the online meeting service he created for his company. The term webinar is short for “Web-based seminar”. There have since been varying versions of the term “webinar” and among those commonly used are online workshops, online seminars, live meeting and web conferencing.
Join a Webinar
Since 1998 webinars are more commonplace, with people feeling more at ease when being invited to attend one. All you need is a computer, internet access and a phone line for listening to any teleconference portions.
For those who have not yet received an invitation to attend a webinar, a good way to become familiar with one is to invite yourself! There are a lot of free webinars to be found on the internet. Often these are promotional webinars to market and sell products and if you do your research you can find one to join on a subject matter you enjoy. Once you’ve booked your place on the webinar, set yourself up with a coffee (or tea) have some pen and paper at hand and along with some good quality earphones – join in. Typically webinars are one-way from the speaker to the audience however some may include limited audience interaction.
Hosting a Webinar
If you want to host a webinar of your own, it is important to choose a company which can accommodate both your budget and your requirements.
Webinar hosts usually offer a variety of services such as programing, producing and delivering the webinar. There are also different formats e.g.: live webinar, pre-recorded webinar or your webinar host can fully produce, present and moderate the webinar. The latter is commonly used for people with limited public speaking experience.
If webinars sound like something you would like to do and if you are interested in having a webinar hosted, Keyword Intent are more than happy to discuss the best options with you.
Amazon has reached a new milestone with with their Kindle eReader where ebooks have surpassed hardback and paperback sales. For every 100 hardback books and paperbooks sold, Amazon is currently selling 143 and 115 ebooks respectively.
TechCrunch report that these numbers exclude “free” Kindle books. Amazon achieved it’s first ever $10 billion quarter due to their aggressive marketing and promotional activity for Kindle related digital products. The total number of books available in Amazon’s Kindle store is now over 810,000 titles, with 670,000 of them being priced at $9.99 or less.
Developers are usually in two camps of whether WordPress should be used as a CMS or not. For those who are in the camp of “WordPress is not a CMS” must now eat their own words.
Even though WordPress was originally built as a blogging platform, with many development deploys since then, it has now become a fully functional, robust content management system.
WordPress announced today that they won the Overall Best Open Source CMS Award in the 2009 Open Source CMS Awards. Last year they weren’t even shortlisted within the top 5, however this year they are rubbing shoulders with Joomla and Drupal.
WordPress is an excellent CMS product for small and large businesses alike. From a SEO perspective, most WordPress templates with a little bit of tweaking are search engine friendly, allowing search spiders to crawl the content of the site. The ‘All In One SEO Pack‘ is a useful plugin allowing meta data to be customized for each and every post.
The blogging functionality of the site allows website owner to post news, blog posts, media releases and more. Fresh content encourages search spiders to visit more often and thanks to WordPress, content can be added easily.
Congratulations WordPress on your win!
The British found it quite hot last week as they experienced a heat wave and in a bid to keep cool, they hit Google enmass. The term “paddling pools” was one of the fastest terms sending traffic to HitWise’s Shopping and Classifieds category.
Other fast moving retail search terms included:
“swimming pools” (3rd)
“air conditioning units” (4th)
“air conditioning” (7th)
“air conditioner” (12th)
The chart below shows that the seasons certainly do have an impact on our search behavior and buying habits. You can see that the traffic for these search terms have been the highest since 2006. (Closer to 0% is higher than 0.015%)
Mozilla Labs has been working on a new plug-in called “Weave” for Firefox that allows users to log into any website account that supports OpenID. Users don’t even have to have an existing account with the website, thus making it easier for site owners to increase sign-ups.
From a users’ perspective, it makes the logging in or signing up process much easier than ever before.
To enable this function, the user simply logs into their browser so that Weave will know who you are.
Weave also supports normal username and password logins to create a single login experience. It allows the user to select whether they want to be automatically logged in next time when they click the login button on the related website.
Love the work you are doing Mozilla – keep up the excellent work!