What Is WordPress?

A Complete & Powerful Content Management System

So if you are asking yourself ‘What is WordPress?”, you have come to the right place.  WordPress is a complete content management system (CMS) and website development platform.  We use WordPress to build all of our websites.  In our experience, there is no other CMS that can match the power, ease of use, dependability and feature-rich excellence of WordPress.

WordPress allows you to create incredible websites with near-limitless features.  In fact, WordPress is used by many extremely famous corporations to develop their websites.  Among these are Ford Automotive, eBay, CNN and many others.

Not Just A Blogging Platform

If you are like most people you are probably thinking ‘blog’ when you hear the term WordPress, but this powerful blogging platform has evolved to become an entire ecosystem where in you can build any kind of website imaginable, from a simple static page to a behemoth e-commerce giant with thousands of products.

There are pretty much no limits with WordPress and it keeps getting better with every update.

A Plugin For Nearly Every Application

Nowadays nearly every type of functionality can be implemented on WordPress. If you are an estate agent, plugins can be added to manage your property listings as you want them displayed. If you are a tour operator, you need a reservation or booking system. Many of these applications are run by what is called plugins and although most are free on the WordPress repository and fairly regularly updated, more complex plugins might need to be purchased together with a support package.

Plugins make your website practical for your clients or visitors. The most common plugins are contact form plugins and the information you want to receive from leads or clients contacting you after hours are easy to setup and changed depending on your needs.

You – The Business Owner – Are In Control

In addition to its powerful features, WordPress incorporates an easy-to-use interface that makes managing posts and pages on your website so easy, literally a child could do it.  When you purchase a website designed by us on the WordPress system, we fully train you on how to manage your site from the WordPress dashboard.   From here you, the business owner, have full control over updates to your site.

If you want to add a new page about your company, or simply write a new how-to article to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge to your market you simply go in yourself and do it.  No longer will you have to call a webmaster, wait days (or weeks) for simple tasks such as these.  You shouldn’t have to and with WordPress you don’t.  More complex changes would require a service call, but most of the routine, day-to-day tasks that you will need on your site can be done by you, even if you have absolutely no knowledge of HTML and coding.

 

WordPress is, to us, the best and most complete option when it comes to a website development platform.  We run our very own website (yes the one you are on right now;) on WordPress, and cannot wait to show you how incredible it is.

Check out our other article on speeding up your website using web design with a CDN.

Speeding Up Your Website With CDN’s

Ever since Google brought in their new Algorithms, which incorporate the speed of your site, it’s become more and more important to make your site as fast as possible

There are many options for you, such as minifying CSS / Javascript / HTML, optimizing images, and more – but we will deal with those separately, as they are entire topics on their own.

Ok, now back to the “speeding up” part.

A CDN (Content Distribution Network) is basically lots (generally hundreds) of
web servers scattered all around the world. When you serve up your images from the domain, it will decide where the visitor is located, and direct them to the closest server to them.

How, you’re probably thinking – “how can there be that much difference in speed if its closer to me? Surely the Internets very quick!“. Well, yes an no! The Internet is quick, but can you imagine the distances the data has to take to get to you if you were in the UK like myself, and the data was coming from Australia!

Even a small file like 20kb could take a while (and that’s only 1 of the possible images you may have on your site)

The CDN we use on this site is called MaxCDN.

With WordPress (the Blog software we use to run this site), there is a cool plugin called the “W3 Total Cache” , which makes it very easy to run your site using the CDN with the minimal of effort! They have a great article here about how to set their CDN system up with WordPress

For those of you NOT using WordPress or a system that has a “plugin” to make it easier, fear not – its simple to setup for your own site too! One of the sites I’ve setup using this CDN technology is http://www.cancunandrivieramaya.com/

Previously, this homepage used to take anything up to 8 seconds – but its down to a much more realistic 1 second now!

Admittedly, I have also done other speed tweaks on this site (minifying CSS, etc) … but the majority of this speed increase was just from the CDN system!

To set this kinda system up on your site , you would need to create a “Push Zone”. All this really does, is setup a new FTP account which you can login with. Once in, you upload your images / CSS / Javascript files, then give it a while to propagate the files around the world (this can take a while, so please be patient – I tend to upload them and leave it for a few hours, then come back to what I was doing)

Then, simply change the URL’s from your “real” domain, to the new CDN one! Simple as that, and it can make or break a site. I wish I’d known about this technology a long time ago, as it would have saved me a lot of hassle!

For arguments sake – I’ve done a quick test on GT Metrix, which is a cool tool that lets you test your site, and also get suggestions on speed.

Here is how our homepage did WITH the CDN fully operational.

..and here is how it did WITHOUT the CDN:

As you can see, there is 0.70 seconds difference, which on a page like this, is pretty darn amazing! Google generally recommends you try and keep your page loadtime down to 2 seconds or less, so 0.5 seconds is well within that margin!

Well, that’s it for this article… I hope its shed some light on the matter. Feel free to post comments if you have any questions!

Check out this company called Jump Online, they offer Glasgow Web Design services to local businesses. Thank you to them for helping us create this article!

 

Keeping Up With SEO

A client asked me this recently and it’s a fantastic question! After we optimize a client’s website, I’ll always say that it’s important to keep up with SEO even after launch. Simply put, things change online so quickly that it’s imperative you – and your website, blog, social media presence, etc. – keep up.

So….how can you keep up with SEO without becoming overwhelmed?

Check your GA monthly.

Set up your Google Analytics so that you get monthly reports emailed to you directly. Pay specific attention to the keywords visitors use when they come to your website; are they the same ones you optimized for? Are you even seeing the keywords you optimized for in the list? If you’re still not seeing the keywords you optimized your website for 6 months after you did initial SEO, go back and rework things.

Do keyword research annually or even bi-annually.

Google and the search engines change, and so do what your visitors are searching for. By updating your keyword list at least once a year, you’ll be sure to optimize for all of the keywords your audience is using.

Blog and use social media regularly to drive traffic.

Pay close attention to “hot” keywords and phrases your audience will be searching for depending on the season or time of year and incorporate them in the content you create. Blog posts can be especially helpful, as you can create content quickly around a hot, new subject and almost instantly have a blog post show up on Google.

Decreasing Your Bounce Rate

A while back, I wrote about what a good bounce rate in Google Analytics was. What it boils down to is that there is no good bounce rate, because every website or webpage is going to have a different goal. Some sites/pages will have a higher bounce rate because they are more informational; while others are going to have a low bounce rate because they are just one page of many that users want to read through. I read this awesome article too.

Maybe you want a high bounce rate

A high bounce rate is only a problem when people leave your website without doing what you want them to do. Depending on the webpage, it might lend itself to having a high bounce rate. For example:

  • Blogposts tend to have high bounce rates because they are so targeted and answer a singular question the searcher has.
  • Landing pages (from a paid campaign or other type of landing page) force users to make a simple choice: convert (sign up, buy, call, contact, etc.) or leave the page.
  • Well optimized pages that give searchers all the information they need.

So the first question is: is it a certain page that has a high bounce rate (if yes, see above)? Or, is it your entire website?

Maybe you want your bounce rate a little lower

If visitors simply aren’t converting on your website (and a high bounce rate is to blame), there are a few things you can try.

  • Optimize. Whether it’s a landing page or just a regular page on your website, users may have found your website and been led to believe it was something it wasn’t. It simply wasn’t well optimized. Perhaps it’s time to go back to your keyword analysis and reevaluate what you’re optimizing for.
  • Create more pages. It might be that your page is optimized for too many terms. In this instance, users may or may not find what they need because the page has too much information on it. If this is the case, it’s time to create more targeted pages that are optimized for more specific keywords.
  • Don’t forget your call to action. Did you forget to keep it simple, stupid? Make it easy for your users to take the next step and contact you, buy now, or sign up.

So you see, it’s not always about making your bounce rate lower, sometimes you want it to be higher!

If you’re looking for some help with your SEO on your website then visit Jump Online for Glasgow SEO services.