Every now and again it pays to give your house a good old clean out, and the very same applies to your website. It may well be functioning well and converting at a reasonable rate too, but no business can stand still, and just as you would seek to refine your business offline, your online presence also needs some reconditioning from time to time.
Some of the ways to improve your website involve updating how it looks, and others in the way in which it operates. Both of these are equally important, as you want a website that looks great, but which also works perfectly too.
Give It a Fresh Appearance
The most obvious way to give your website a new lease of life is to give it a makeover, or a new appearance. Depending on how far you want to go with this, it could mean simply making changes to the colour scheme of the theme that you are using. For further reading, how often should you update web design?
Alternatively, you could go for a complete website redesign, which might tie in with a relaunch of your company’s branding, for example.
The more comprehensive you want the changes to be, the more sensible it will be to employ a web design agency as they can ensure your changes get made correctly, and that the functioning of your website is not compromised.
If you own, manage, or otherwise look after a website, then you need to think about some form of digital marketing. Although digital marketing is extremely important in the modern world of online business, it’s amazing how many people don’t have a clear strategy outlined for their site.
If you don’t have a well-defined digital marketing strategy including a top-flight keyword strategy, the chances are that your website will be suffering. You probably won’t be getting as many visitors as you could be, and you almost certainly won’t be getting the best return no your marketing investments.
With this in mind, I’ve put together a short list of the main reasons why you should develop a digital marketing strategy for your business as soon as possible. They include:
- A well-defined strategy will allow you to direct your marketing expenditure
If you’re spending significant amounts of money on marketing, then you should be aiming for the best return on your investment possible. Without a clear digital marketing strategy, it can be hard to decide where to spend your money.
However, if you do manage to implement a clear marketing plan, you will find that you are able to identify profitable ways to spend your budget. You might be pleasantly surprised how much more return on investment you can get when you maximise your efficiency.
- You will be able to target more markets
Without a clear marketing strategy, the chances are that you’re not making the most of the digital marketing streams available to you – if you’re performing any marketing at all. Some of the different areas you should be considering include:
- Social media marketing, including both paid and unpaid variations. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are extremely powerful when harnessed right.
- Google Ads marketing, which basically involves paying for ads which are placed at the top of the search engine results pages, among other places.
- Search engine optimisation (SEO), which should be a major focus. If you can get a well designed search engine marketing strategy into place and get your website to rank well on the major search engines, you should see your visitor numbers skyrocket.
As you can see, there are numerous different platforms to consider when you’re developing your digital marketing strategy.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, with a huge percentage of websites using it to publish, edit and maintain their content marketing for your wordpress site. However, one of the keys to building a successful WordPress website is choosing the right hosting provider.
A lot of beginner web developers fall into the trap of using cheap web hosting that offers shared services. Unfortunately, these packages are usually unreliable and insufficient, especially if you want to scale your website and become a powerhouse in your niche.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a short guide to choosing the perfect web hosting provider for your new WordPress website.
Start By Identifying Your Needs
Think about what sort of website you’re planning on building, how much and what sort of content you’re planning on creating and how much traffic you envision having. If you’re planning on creating a small niche website with a limited number of visitors, then you probably won’t have to spend a lot on hosting. However, if you want to create a large site with a lot of visitors and a lot of content, then you will probably need to purchase dedicated hosting, or at least a VPS.
You may have heard the phrase ‘Google loves content’, and to a degree it is true. When Google sends its spiders out into the online web, one of the most important elements on a website that they crawl is its content. For SEO purposes we obviously want to have content on our websites but there is more to it than just posting up random articles and blog posts.
To ensure that what you create serves a greater purpose than just being a ‘good read’, you need first to decide on a content strategy. Such a strategy will allow you to create a vision for your content which will cover its journey from creation, purpose, format, and management. In this article, we will take you through some of the key considerations when deciding on your content strategy.
Determine Your Vision
Business Advice suggests before you so much as type out the first article title, you need to decide on what the overriding vision is for your business and website, so that your content can contribute to it. This part of the strategy should consider some of the longer-term goals you have, such as building an instantly recognisable brand or primarily selling products on an e-commerce site. These are just two of many possible goals.
Once you have determined the vision or goals, you are more able to plan your content’s direction of travel as it were. In other words, you’ll know why it’s being created, and what its purpose should be.
Who Are Your Audience?
If you were to start playing country and western music to a crowd of heavy metal fans, you are not likely to achieve much, other than emptying the arena you were playing in. The same applies to content online. it needs to match what your audience is looking for, and the only way to do that is to define what your audience is beforehand.
Responsive websites. What are they? Do I already have one? Do I need one? Trying to build a strong online presence can be very difficult if you don’t have a technical background. Lawyers and law firms trying to get an edge on their competitors ask themselves questions like this everyday. Let’s try and answer a few of them.
As lawyers, your website is the most important component of your online presence. If it isn’t well designed, your image can be harmed. After all, a company who can’t put a bit of time and effort into building an attractive website isn’t one who people are going to want to work with.
This Is One Of The Reasons Why Responsive Design Is Essential
The modern world is dominated by mobile devices. The percentage of internet searches on mobile devices recently rose above the percentage of searches performed on computers and laptops. This alone should be enough to make you see how important a responsive, mobile optimised website it.
Basically, if your firm’s website doesn’t look good on a person’s device (be it a phone, a tablet or a computer), they won’t hang around to see what you’ve got to offer. You need to make sure that your site is attractive on all devices. Responsive design lets you do this.
How Does Responsive Design Work?
To put it simply, a responsive website is built to adapt to different device sizes. Different elements will be positioned and sized according to the type of device and the screen size, making sure that they always appear attractive and easy to read.
Online marketing is arguably the most important marketing stream for modern law firms. However, it can be hard to get right. Some forms of online marketing, such as Google AdWords, can drain your marketing budget at a rapid rate, which means that you need to be careful how you do things.
Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable digital marketing strategies that lawyers and law firms can benefit from. To get the most out of these, you need to fine tune your own online marketing strategy, changing the way you do things so that you’re getting the best return on investment possible. Consider the following tips to help you along the way:
- Make sure you focus on SEO
SEO is probably the most effective form of digital marketing for law firms. Although it may seem expensive at first, it’s important to realise that your SEO efforts will net long term results. Things like content creation, guest posting and link building will continue to drive traffic to your website for years, which means that they’re definitely worth doing.
- Be careful of search engine marketing
Search engine marketing – including AdWords marketing – is relatively ineffective for law firms. Most law-related keywords are worth a lot of money, which means that you will be paying a small fortune per click. This can quickly drain your marketing budget without netting a lot of results, especially if you’re not careful.
- Blog regularly
Blogging regularly will show potential clients that you’re familiar with a range of law related topics, that you’re not too busy to spend time on important things and that you’re an authority figure in your field.
- Make sure you use strong calls to action
If you do end up using search engine or social media marketing, then you need to think very carefully about the structure of your ads. Make sure that you use strong calls to action to encourage people to contact you.
Even though WordPress did not get much recognition when it first came out several years ago, it quickly blossomed into a critical online platform that has given the humble website a run for its money. The following are some of the main reasons it’s gaining rapid popularity with bloggers and especially in eCommerce.
Affordable and Easy to Use
If this is your first time starting a business, online or off, then money must be tight. However, since today’s consumers are typically dependent on online reviews and eCommerce websites, it’s always a good idea to take your brand online. But rather than hiring a web designer to maintain and create a website, you can just maintain a WordPress account and place all the information for your products and services there.
For successful blogging your blogging platform is very user friendly, so you can add more pages on your own as well, without downloading additional software. This way you can save money and use it to make your business more profitable. Of course, once it takes off, it would be a good idea to hire someone experienced in WordPress to manage your account for you.
Time Management Capabilities
Even if you are a great writer, your blog will hold no water if it’s not updated on a regular basis. This won’t be a problem if you host it on WordPress though. All you have to do is add the content you want and just schedule the posts according to the time and dates you want them to be published.
Creating your own website can be an extremely rewarding process. However, it can also be somewhat difficult if you don’t really know what you are doing. WordPress is the most popular option for beginners to set up their first website. In this article we will look at the two types of WordPress websites you can set up, along with how you should go about setting them up.
If you want to set up a simple blog or informational website, WordPress.com is almost definitely your best option. It is free, extremely easy to set up, and very simple to use. This platform offers everything from free hosting to a free domain name (within reason).
However, there are a few cons when it comes to using WordPress.com over WordPress.org. These include having .wordpress.com attached to the end of your domain name, a difficulty in monetising your site, and a significantly reduced customizability compared to open source website building platforms. Setting up a WordPress.com website can be done in just a couple of steps:
- Head over to WordPress.com and create an account. During the account creation process you will be asked to create a domain name and website name.
- Once you have your domain and website address, you are ready to start installing WordPress plugins and building your site!
- Although limited, WordPress.com does offer a few different ways of customizing your blog, including using different themes and colour schemes. Choose one which suits the image you are trying to create.
- Start creating content, learn some WordPress SEO techniques and encourage people to visit your site!
Yes, it actually is this easy to start designing a website with WordPress.com. This is great for people like hobby bloggers or parents looking to document their family lives.
According to Web Design Perth, if you have decided to undertake the web design of your site in-house, either by yourself or one of your team, then you need to seriously consider the benefits of using WordPress. By this, we mean installing WordPress (available from wordpress.org) on your domain and building your site there, and not going to wordpress.com. You can build a site at wordpress.com, but it effectively remains their property, which is not recommended, especially if you are building a business website.
With WordPress (WP) installed on your domain, and ideas in your head about your WordPress front page design, here are the many advantages of using it to build your website.
#1 Easy to Use and Update
One of WP’s greatest assets is how easy it is to both use and update. Often this is achieved by simply clicking a link in the WP back office. You don’t need to have any special skills or knowledge of HTML coding to create and build a great looking site. The back office that you’ll use for WP is very easy to understand with the use of menus and sub-menus for the various functions that you can operate within your WP site.
#2 Great Looking Themes
Whatever niche or industry sector your business is in, there will be themes available that can give your website the look and feel you want. Some of the better ones may cost, but generally, this is not going to be any more than $100 which is a small price to pay for a stunning looking website.
#3 Plugins For Added Functionality
The number of plugins which you can use with your WP website is vast. They enhance your site for visitors and for you and your team in relation to both building and maintaining the site. Some the functions that plugins can add include SEO, security, design, email marketing, multimedia players, visitor interaction, and payment processing to name a few.
Most digital marketing experts will agree that search engine optimisation is one of the most cost-effective and profitable ways to spend your law firm’s marketing budget. Things like Google AdWords and search engine marketing aren’t necessarily going to be very profitable for lawyers like they are for many other businesses, which means that they should be used with caution.
Building quality content is one of the cornerstones of an effective SEO strategy. Regular blog posts are a very good example of content which has the potential to boost your website’s search engine rankings, especially if they are well written and accurate. In this article you will discover why you should write blog posts, how they can benefit your firm and what sort of things you should include in all your posts.
Why should I be writing regular posts for my firms website?
To put it simply, blog posts are a great way to add more written content to your website. High quality written content is one of the main ranking factors that search engine bots look at when they are ranking your website, and it’s something that you need to focus on.
Regular blog posts will help increase the number of keywords that you’re ranking for, will help portray your website as an authority figure in the world of law and will help encourage more people to visit your website more regularly.
If your CMS of choice is Joomla then you are in good company, with over 30 million websites using the platform, not to mention a developer community of around 200,000. You’ll already know of Joomla’s advantages in terms of features and extensions but how familiar are you with Joomla’s security.
As with other platforms such as WordPress and Drupal, websites built using Joomla are viable targets in the eyes of hackers and cyber-saboteurs, so if you haven’t made the time or effort to protect your site, you are leaving yourself wide open to an attack.
Thankfully there are a number of very impressive security extensions designed specifically for Joomla sites which can protect your content, data and other information, and prevent your site from being infiltrated. Here are 5 of the best which can keep your Joomla site safe.
JomDefender: This extension prevents ‘drive-by’ hackers from identifying applications within your site which are vulnerable by keeping them hidden and protected. It also has security features which make it very difficult for hackers to gain access to your site via the login page by requesting two unique passwords instead of one, and thus making it twice as difficult for them to break in.
Even if you are a whiz at using ExpressionEngine, you can benefit from it a lot more if you download a few add-ons for it. Add-ons can be designed specifically to facilitate the content creation process, help with the website SEO and internet marketing strategies – or some other functions for those using this CMS.
Here are some of the best ones that are a hit with seasoned developers and newbies alike:
As the name implies, this add-on is a field type that can aid you in making matrices for your content. As an administrator you can use this to add several rows for similar content to streamline content management and without duplicating fields or using difficult templates. Some of the things you can do with it is rotating a hero section on a homepage or a personalized field that requires an image, title, URL and link text. You can also allow other admin to make hero messages as per requirement and allot minimum and maximum figures.
Make your mark on the World Wide Web with WordPress
For those who are unaware, WordPress is a CMS or Content Management System that is a good alternative to a fully functioning website. As a website’s content grows, so do challenges on how to represent it to target readers. However with a content management system such as WordPress, you can manage as many pages as you need with the range of options it has to offer.
Attract search engines
Straight out of the box, the content management system comes ready to cater to search engines. Besides guiding them through pages, posts and categories, it can help them collect the information they need to propel your site to the top of search engine results.
Of course, that would not be possible without utilizing the in-built digital marketing tools the CMS comes with. This includes htaccess which can be used to create static URLs called pinging and permalinks to name a few. This is a configuration file that can be used to change a server’s settings for the directory it is based in. Permalinks are used by other bloggers who wish to connect with your blog and you can also use it to link a blog to an email. However, you should not change the URL of the posts if you want this to work. Since WordPress allows users to create permalinks with keywords search engines prefer, creating them will be worth your while. Read more about WordPress SSL
Asking whether a content management system (CMS) is better than a static site is a bit like asking whether boots or shoes are the better footwear. The answer is very much dependant on what they are being used for and what the user wishes to do. With footwear, obviously boots are better for hiking, but sandals are better for walking on the beach. When applied to building a website there are circumstances where a CMS is more appropriate and others when a static site would be the best option.
The first difference is the actual building of the website in the first place and how it is done. A static site needs to be designed and coded from the outset, therefore unless the website owner has programming and design skills, this work will need to be contracted out. The programmer you hire will need to have a comprehensive knowledge of HTML and must be happy and willing to work in conjunction with the designer to ensure the functioning and the look of the finished site meets your specifications.
WordPress is an online, open source site creation instrument written in PHP. Web designers, free-lancers and at-home-tinkerers all love it which is the reason it is the most popular CMS in the World today. However, in the non-nerd talk, it’s likely the simplest and most effective blogging and site Content Management System (CMS) in presence today.
The Benefits of Using WordPress
The Programming is Free
How often have you been given something for free that is completely utilitarian and ready to use? With this free Content Management System (CMS), if you need to upscale your website a little more with premium topics or new modules, you will save a great deal over what you would have paid for a professionally made website.
WordPress has a Web Search Tool (SEO) Points of Interest
Web search engines love websites that are easy to list like WordPress is says the guys at SEO Sydney Pro, and that have regularly overhauled content. That is where blogging comes into play. Just by maintaining your business or individual site and writing your blogs in a way that is characteristic of you, you’ll be delivering the kind of crisp, applicable content the search engines will love. You need visitors to discover your site, so you have to ensure it can be found.
The best way to do that is to concentrate on SEO. SEO is the procedure of making the kind of changes and adding conformity to your site that search engines like so they’ll rank your website higher.
Appearing higher in indexed lists means more visitors will discover your site. There are some basic methodologies that can help your SEO. Having more substance gives web crawlers more items to rank, which in turn helps a prospective client to find your website. It also implies you have more important substance in your information so individuals will find the information they are looking for and become customers. Utilizing WordPress is a great approach to enhance your SEO more easily
Drupal is a free software package used as a content management system which can be improved by installing modules and by personalized modification. It functions as a publishing platform for different industries to run an online store. Utilizing its e-commerce feature has helped many organizations generate more income in the past decade.
It is well-designed, renowned, and flexible. Drupal consists of an extensive collection of elements that are considered to be extremely important for the purpose of generating profits by webmasters, administrators, and marketing experts.
Here are five easy ways through which you can generate revenue using Drupal:
E-commerce is the demand of the information age we are living in. Drupal E-commerce mainly consists of small modules which simplify the task of setting up a shopping cart, reviewing product and using checkout pages. Furthermore, it also manages balances, taxes and discounts, and facilitates in the organization of inventory and lists of products.
This feature provides you with detailed reports, history of orders, and reviews. Even with all these added benefits, Drupal E-commerce is free of cost, unlike its other competitors. It guarantees a picture perfect e-commerce experience for both customers and users alike.
If you are new to building websites you may not realise you don’t have to go with the Content Management System (CMS) your web hosting company promotes. In fact, many offer the option of installing others, often free, CMS that is easier to use and needs much less of a learning curve than others. For instance, you can usually install WordPress, which is one of the simplest and easiest to use.
You might want to have your digital agency set it up for you so you don’t have to worry whether it is done correctly in the first instance. But then you would want the convenience of being able to make simple changes or additions yourself, rather than having to contact them to do it – and have to pay extra each time.
It is really easy to add posts or pages to a WordPress site once it is up and running with everything on it that you need. You simply go into your administration area and click on Page or Post, then copy and paste what you have typed into the page that appears. Or you can type it directly onto the page because it works just like Word on your computer. This is what is called a “what you see is what you get” or “WYSIWYG” editor.
If you have had anything much to do with websites, you’ll know that it is possible to create something as simple as a blog with no knowledge of HTML. But when it comes to a business website or an online store, it’s not quite as simple. A website designer is the best one to create such a website, but you’ll still need to be able to change things or add more product in the days and years to come.
Rather than depending on the web designer to make small changes, it is far better to use a content management system (CMS) that you can understand; one that does not require any steep learning curve or knowledge of HTML. This is possible by using certain software that has been offered up by the many creators for free. It allows anyone to get into the ‘back-end’ of their website, through an admin link, where they can easily remove outdated content and add new, be that images or text.
It is an exciting time to set up your very own ecommerce store. Few people have the time or expertise to do this on their own, so don’t be afraid to bring in expert help. While it will cost you, it will save time and a steep learning curve. Besides that, professional help will ensure your new online business store looks professional and works properly.
When dealing with the public on a commercial basis there are several things to put in place on your website to protect you and to help gain trust so your visitors will become customers. It’s important to be transparent and part of this is to have all your policies clearly explained and in a place where they can be found easily.
The reason Joomla CMS is trusted by literally millions of websites online, is because it is one of the very few that can be used to create, edit, publish and manage content. This is why it is considered a good alternative to employing a full time web design professional. The following are some of the main reasons it is so trusted:
Easy and fast editing – If you are not using a CMS and want to make some edits on the pages of your website, Joomla has your back. Using another CMS may not ensure data integrity the way Joomla can. It does this by locking the content so that no one is able to access or make changes to a document that is being edited apart from the approved person. Since the software uses powerful editors to make changes, the person editing a document will have no trouble making adjustments. In fact, a simple document will seem just like a Word file when it is being changed.
Customizable Core – Even though Joomla’s core is called hackable, that is not a cause for concern. It just means that it can be customized by anyone who has a modicum of knowledge regarding PHP. That’s because this open source software is very clean and quite well documented. It is ‘hackable’ so adjustments can be made to optimize it for a specific reason.