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Reasons why I love WordPress to maintain websites:

  1. Plugins
    • when a a new social media sharing option arises, like Google+, it is easy to make a site-wide change.
    • customize and tweak functionality of your website without messing up your design
    • ease of use for posting updates
  2. Updates
    • Just like your computer needs an update, your website content management system needs an update too.  WordPress security updates are released to protect your site and in newer versions of the system are easy to update
    • As technology evolves, WordPress continues to update the layout and user experience of the back-office dashboard.
  3. Themes
    • There are a variety of looks for a website.  Many themes are rather pre-built, while others are a blank skeleton system.  Whether you want something that is already done or something that can be highly customized, you’ll have a thorough system that you can change your look and layout without loosing your content.
    • Mobile themes can make your website look good on small devices without pinching and zooming.  A combination of a theme and a plugin will help your site look right and work.
  4. Community
    • The WordPress community is strong.  There are many developers that can create or modify existing plugins, themes, and other customizations for your website.  There are events around the globe for less than $25 to attend during which you’ll have a chance to meet even Matt Mullenweg (founder of Automattic, parent company behind WordPress.com).  See a complete listing of WordCamp events and find one near you.
    • Many WordPress consultants share valuable content freely on their own websites or via podcasts.  If you are ready to learn more about managing your site, check out my favorite WordPress training community.
If your website is built on any other CMS, it can be updated though not as easily as WordPress.  If you are still on HTML, simple updates like adding a Google+ share button to your site are going to take a bit longer.  And finally, if you are still using a flash-based site or a splash page, your site is likely getting no traffic.  Sites on flash really won’t display nicely on mobile devices, if at all.
It is vital to keep your website functioning and standing out in search rankings.  Updating your website with current information is key to ranking higher on search results pages. Maintaining your website with system updates and fresh content will help your site be discovered.
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Measuring and tracking visitors on your website is very similar to observing how customers navigate through a physical store.  If you don’t pay attention, you might not know when things are going horribly wrong.  If you do pay attention, you might figure out what is selling well or what is drawing them further into the store. Knowing how to measure and track mobile visitors is vital to your

The idea of “going mobile” is hot lately. Many people use the term to mean making their website mobile device ready, but it can mean much more than this.  In yesterday’s post, we covered how to make your site more friendly for mobile visitors.  But, do you know how many visitors are actually viewing your site from a mobile device?


Google Analytics 


To measure all traffic to your website, your website should be running Google Analytics.  You’ll get a great overview of what activity is happening on your website.  What is key to measuring mobile visitors to your site is to view the Visitors –> Technology –> Mobile

Google Analytics Measures Mobile Visitors

 

By viewing the mobile browsers specifically, you can see what mobile devices were being used to display your website. It’s also interesting to note, you can see what versions of these devices people are using in some cases.  Compare your results with overall page stats, and notice what devices visitors are using.

Measure Mobile Visitors

By knowing how your site looks on these devices, you’ll be able to better serve your visitors.


WP Touch 


By adding unique tracking code to your mobile template, you’ll be able to measure the visitors even further.  If you are using a mobile template, like WP Touch, it will be important to add your Google Analytics tracking code to the mobile theme as well.

Thankfully, the team at WP Touch has made that tracking insert very easy.  Just go to the WP Touch settings and add in your Google Analytics code.

Google Analytics in WP Touch


Knowing who is viewing your site already is vital to knowing how to make your business’s presence online more friendly for visitors. While everyone else is in a rush to “go mobile”, be sure you are ready for what is already happening. Get your website set up and track your traffic now.

 

 

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I’ve been asked by clients and local business owners about how to test websites on mobile devices.  Knowing how your site looks on different platforms is crucial as visitors are already looking at your websites from iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.  It may not look anywhere near the same as browsing from a computer.

The problem is, you don’t have every one of those devices on hand to check your website with. There are no perfect tools, but many great ways to approximate how your site displays. Here are my picks for various platforms:


Smart Phones and Tablets


For testing the most mobile devices online in a computer browser, I recommend OfferMobi.  I’ve hunted everywhere for a website that can display any Android simulators in a browser and was thrilled with the results.

How to test your website on mobile devices

 

 

 

Testing your website on many mobile devices is much easier with this site.


Feature Phones


Feature phones are still gaining ground in the mobile browsing space.  Many mobile users still have the free phone that comes with their 2 year contracts.  Often these phones have a limited web browser built-in.  At best, the text of your website should display on the screen for visitors along with basic navigation.  Images might not be supported depending upon the device and the browser.

It’s more important to test your site on smart phones, but it can be useful to view on feature phones as well.

To test your website, I recommend MobiReady. It is a simple browser test for less “smart-phones”.


I’ve been working on a big project for 5 months with GFYD Member team leader, Kimberly Bohannon. We’re launching something that will help brick and mortar business owners get their websites ready for mobile devices, stake their social media presence, and attract more local clients and sales. Big news coming very soon…

 

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GFYD Facebook Fan PageThe inevitable has happened, last week Facebook went down.  For most users, this was a minor inconvenience.  For social media managers, like me, this was a near tragedy.  I was on a deadline to invite many people to the launch of GFYD’s Facebook Fan Page and teaching webinar attendees how to create your own custom Facebook Fan Page tab with The Fan Page Factory.  Not only could I not perform my work, but I also couldn’t find out what my friends were planning for the weekend.  In the interim, I wandered off around unknown parts of the web to read blogs and other industry news.  I wanted to leave a comment on a blog, and found the post comment feature broken because the site was using Facebook Connect to allow me to post a comment.  The “like” and “share” buttons across the web all stopped for a few hours.   In the end, Facebook had to reboot their system.

During this interruption, or other interruptions like Twitter going down, we are reminded how valuable our network connections and home-base really are.  For a rare switch, many of us ranted in Twitter about Facebook being down, rather than the other way around.  But – we were still able to connect.  As many connections as I can have on multiple platforms, the better.  I can still find and connect with them in many places and continue our networking.

More importantly, the importance of having your own place for your own original content is important.  Just like our servers or computers, even the big companies suffer failures.  But, having your own content on your own website ensures you have a space that is yours to control.  Free blog places like WordPress.com are acceptable to just get started.  But to really have full control on backups, content, and a customized look, you need to have your own website on your own server.

I recommend WordPress self-hosted.  I love my host: Hostgator.  If you need help getting your site created or want to learn how to do this yourself, check out what my team is doing at GFYDMember.com. We are helping you build your own website and network in social media.

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