WordPress Plugins

There are a number of essential plugins if you are running a WordPress site.

Askimet is the span tool that comes with WordPress.  There are others available, but I have found that Askimet works just find in most cases.

The next tool you should have is an SEO plugin.  All In One SEO was almost an industry standard, but recently more and more people are going over to WordPress SEO by Yoast.  I find it easier to use and also the way it analyzes your posts in order to optimize them for the focus keyword is brilliant and very helpful, especially with my clients.

The next essential tool is a plugin that backs up your database automatically.  This is essential in case you have server problems.  There are many good WordPress plugins that handle database backups.  I use to use WP-DBManager, but the creator is no longer full time working on his plugins so I worry about security.  So I am actually in the process of testing a few backup tools.

If you have any suggestions on key WordPress Plugins – let me know.

Back from Holidays

I just got back today from a week in BC.  It was really amazing week.  We left last Sunday and headed to Lake Louise where my boys Snowboard with EvolveSSX.

Then we headed west through the Rogers Pass.  The mountains are truly breathtaking and we had a couple hours of daylight to enjoy their magnificence.  We stayed Sunday night at Salmon Arm in a great hotel – the Holiday Inn Express.  Beautiful suite, clean and comfortable rooms, and a nice hot breakfast all included.

The next day we were off for Whistler – through the back country.  A truly breathtaking scenic drive that everyone should do at least once.

Three days at whistler was plenty to tire out my legs and leave them burning on the last run down the mountain.  So we headed out to catch the Ferry and over to Vancouver Island.

It was X-mas for my in-laws and we really enjoyed the scenery and the great weather as well as spending time with family.

Then back home, via see and land – it is remarkable the scenery and grandeur we have in Canada.

 

Website Design – WordPress? Html? or ??

I like to think I keep an open mind about most things.

Working for a variety of clients in many industries, you get to hear all kinds of opinions.  Not that I believe it all.  But I need to not dismiss the thoughts, beliefs and ideals of the people I work with (no matter how dillusional they seem to be).

web design strategyOne area that there is lots of discussion is around the tools and underlying format to use when building a website.  This debate has been going on for some time.  I remember the discussions I had with my brother-in-law years ago as we debated Front Page vs. Dreamweaver and the resulting code created by each.

I went through a phase where I developed many sites using Dreamweaver’s revolutionary templates with editable areas.  I have tried php based sites, using content management systems like Joomla and Drupal, and have done lots of sites with static html. One area that I have always tried to use very little is template based sites.

WordPress I believe has revolutionized the web design industry.  Not that it solves each and every need in web design, but it has morphed into a tool that does a superb job of quickly and efficiently building a high quality customized site.

A year ago, if you would have asked me, I would have said that unless there is a very specific and unique need for something more complex – WordPress is the solution for every business big and small.  And with the additional power of WordPress MU (I am currently working on two projects that use MU and it is amazing the power WordPress now has) – I could easily slip into that dream world of ‘WordPress Every Site.’

BUT . .. .

That infamous But.

Recently I have been having some reservations about WordPress.

Now if you are an active business, expanding, looking for new prospects and client through the latest marketing channels – which MUST include the internet – then I 100% support a WordPress site for you.

Where I am having some reservations is with the small operations.  Those part time businesses, hobbies, even consultants.

The reason for this is the fact that even though WordPress is a great tool, easy to set up, get going, and optimize – WordPress does NEED regular maintenance.  And with security, privacy and online brand awareness becoming a larger factor – can even small operations put their site at risk.

WordPress continually gets better, and the plugins and themes continue to evolve along with it.  GREAT for those of us who actively use their sites and want to tweak and optimize until the cows come home.

Not so good for the (and forgive the stereotype) 56 year old Luddite who just wants to have their business on the net so no-one laughs at them for not keeping up with the times.

I set up a nice WordPress site for them today – and six months or a year later when they need some help and I open up the dashboard I am overwhelmed with little red update dots!

So what is the solution for these small operations?  Static Html – possibly but I don’t like to put a fixed box around anyone.

Maybe it is WordPress.org or Blogger, or Hub pages or some site like that.

Or maybe someone will come up with the ultimate solution . . .

What is an E-Marketing Strategy?

E-Marketing – wikipedia defines it as ‘digital marketing or online marketing – where your market or promote your product or service over the internet.’

Creating your E-Marketing strategy begins – like any other marketing strategy – with your target market and your USP.

From there you have to determine your customers buying behaviour related to the internet. How do they interact online? What actions are they taking – related to the internet – that leads them to purchasing your product or service.

The review of the online buying behaviour should allow you to determine which online tools will be most impactful to your target market.  This is where you determine if you are going to use banner ads, paid search, social media, search engine optimization, email along with your website to draw your customers in and move them along the buying chain.

From there you move to the tactical level of E-Marketing strategy.