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Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Build Your Website On WordPress

Whether you’re just getting you business started and you are still learning how to improve your online presence or you have had a site for a while and you just aren’t happy with it, you may have heard of WordPress and might be wondering what WordPress is. Simply put WordPress is a publishing platform used for building websites and blogs. It allows for a highly customizable user interface. WordPress powers millions of websites worldwide, and many big brands use WordPress: CNN, PlayStation, New York Times Blogs, People Magazine, and even Ford- they all use WordPress! A pretty impressive list of users, if it’s good enough for the big boys, it’s good enough for your site. Still not convinced?!?

Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Build Your Website On WordPress

 

Reason 1: WordPress is not going anywhere

As an open-source CMS (Content Management System) it has taken the world by storm – as of August 2011, “14.7% of the top million websites in the world” are powered by WordPress. WordPress is often praised by web designers, web developers, and users alike for its ease-of-use. This is part of the reason it has become so popular, and why its growth just keeps on accelerating. I love stats, so here are a few more good ones: two years ago, WordPress was used by approximately 8.5% of the top million websites in the world, so to jump from 8.5% to 14.7% in one year alone speaks volumes for how popular WordPress is becoming, and how much people love this platform!

 

Reason 2: WordPress is no longer just for blogging.

A long time ago, when someone said WordPress, everyone automatically thought of blogging. While it is still the best solution to use for blogging, it has come a long way and has become a very comprehensive Content Management Suite used to power many different types of websites, including business sites, job boards, sites featuring classified ads, etc.

 

Reason 2: WordPress is cost-effective… it’s free!

It would cost a lot of money to have a custom CMS developed that could do the same thing that WordPress does; so why not save money with WordPress? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, with WordPress being freely available and customizable. Like WordPress, the plugins are generally free as well. These plugins are usually not only free but open source as well. This means that like WordPress, you can edit them if you need to.

 

Reason 3: WordPress is Flexible

A great thing about WordPress is, as I mentioned above, that it’s completely open-source – which means that the source code used to run WordPress is available to the general public. This means that anyone on the planet can modify the code if necessary and customize WordPress even further to be what they need. Often, this isn’t necessary, but it also means that any plugins and themes (templates) created for the platform are also open source! Imagine a world-wide community working together to add more features and functionality to WordPress – you’re not limited to only being able to use specific employees or developers to produce customizations, which means it’s a powerful CMS system ready to do what you need it to, it’s flexible and easy to customize.

 

Reason 4: WordPress is SEO friendly

Search engines such as Google love WordPress because it uses well-written code. If you’re looking to get a head start with Search Engine Optimization, WordPress is the way to go for your website and/or blog. While I am on the topic, adding fresh relevant content to your website is easy with WordPress which is highly recommended as part of your online marketing strategy since it tells search engines that your site is alive and well, thereby increasing your website’s rank and your chances of being found via organic searches.

 

Reason 6: WordPress Has Cheap Premium themes

Themes are what provide WordPress with its design, it’s what connects the CMS to the end-user. WordPress is very flexible and adaptable. While there are some pretty good free themes, I have found that for $70 bucks the good premium themes are simply worth every penny. Most need almost no customization!

 

Reason 7: WordPress Makes it easy to find a solution.

Plugins are basically add-ons that can be easily installed in the WordPress dashboard area to add features that are not part of the core code. If you need a specific feature or features that are not built-in, there are literally thousands of plugins available to enhance WordPress’ functionality. In almost every case so there is likely a solution already developed for anything you need – the possibilities are literally limitless!

 

Reason 8: WordPress is supported by a worldwide community.

Because WordPress is open-source, there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who are working to help make it better. You will find WordPress has a very actively supported worldwide community of WordPress developers, and users! WordPress is updated regularly, with new functionality, bug fixes, and security fixes. Also, because there is such a large community surrounding WordPress, any developer can work on a WordPress-based site to update it, make changes, etc., so you will never be held ransom by any one designer or developer. YOU own your website!

 

Reason 9: WordPress is easy to use!

This is maybe my favorite thing about WordPress. You don’t have to be a technical genius to learn how to use WordPress. I always tell my clients: if you know how to use Microsoft Word, (and let’s be honest who doesn’t?) YOU WILL be able to easily update the content on your WordPress site. You don’t have to be a web designer to update your content. That’s the magic of WordPress! Beyond editing content, WordPress offers a backend administrator interface that’s visually easy to navigate and very effective. Everything is organized in a logical manner, so it’s easy to find what you are looking for, whether it is adding/editing a page, Adding/editing a post or article, uploading images, managing users, etc. WordPress is the best Content Management System to use to build your website!

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_P_Mon/1320866

 

Sites

Why Your Business Should Upgrade to a Responsive Web Design Sooner Rather Than Later

Why Your Business Should Upgrade to a Responsive Web Design Sooner Rather Than Later

Why should my business have a responsive web design?

Responsive web design has become the go-to solution for businesses that want a user-friendly interface and higher customer retention. If your company has come this far without taking advantage of all the benefits it has to offer, you may have already begun to see lower visitor numbers and a disappointing conversion rate.

 

As a responsible business owner, you’ll probably need convincing before paying to upgrade your web presence to one that includes responsive design. However, by opting in you’ll soon see a return on investment that will make it worthwhile. In a nutshell, responsive design is just better than what has gone before and in order to keep up with the competition, you’ll need it too.

 

Responsive web design is crucial for the majority of businesses because it allows your users to achieve their goals quickly and smoothly. The important elements of your website can be pulled up on a smart phone and appear as a fully functional version of the original, complete with all the utility you’d offer to customers on a laptop or desktop computer. If you fail to provide a mobile-friendly experience like this for your visitors they won’t hang around, they’ll simply click away and complete the action or purchase on a rival site.

 

Unhappy customers are not good for business and neither is going up against a major search engine. Google have recently confirmed what many insiders have suspected for some time – sites that are not optimised for multiple users will slip down their search rankings. Google bases their rankings on how useful a page is for the query a user has entered, plus the utility of the site – for example, can a user complete the action they would like to?

 

Your page may be completely relevant to their search, but if visitors cannot access the content easily across a number of devices, your site may receive a less than positive review and be placed lower in the search results. If your company is reduced to a second or third page entry you’ll lose a considerable amount of traffic, as people naturally select links from the first page.

 

Google have also pointed out that companies which have a single responsive website – rather than one standard and one mobile version – are far easier for their bots to discover, because there is just one URL.

 

If your site is responsive and ready to service mobile customers, you can take advantage of many tools and helpful apps like the click-to-call button, this enables a web user to make a voice call to your company immediately. Potential customers can also read reviews about your business or even find you in a busy place using Google Maps, both keenly relevant to the needs of mobile users.

 

Branding is one of the ways in which we build a relationship of trust with a customer and keep them coming back for more of the same. This is pertinent to responsive design for two reasons, firstly, people do not feel confident in a site they cannot easily navigate and second, in order to create a uniform brand you’ll need responsive design to produce a consistent web appearance; however your clients reach you.

 

In today’s market there are only a handful of reasons why a company may choose to stick with static design on their web page. Those who do not rely in any significant way on web traffic to drive sales, or those who have few competitors, or those who have already looked into responsive design and found it was not right for them. For everyone else, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, responsive design is the only way forward for your website.

 

Responsive web design features

Until recently web designers created different pages depending on where they would be viewed, a tablet for example has a different screen resolution to a laptop, and so the content would be optimised for viewing on that particular device.

 

However, responsive web design has revolutionised the way in which users look at the internet, it has created an across the board experience allowing us to view pages on a PC, smart phone or notebook in exactly the same way. When they build a site, designers use the same coding on any number of resolutions, giving every device the same degree of functionality.

 

Responsive web designers believe that their clients’ web pages should be accessible to every visitor, giving them an optimal experience, regardless of the device they using. This kind of intelligent response to a web user’s actions keeps your company relevant in an ever changing online market place; it boosts your e-commerce figures and makes visiting your site an enjoyable experience.

 

In technical terms there are three key features of responsive web design, the secret ingredient is generally considered to be media queries. These are filters added on to the CSS or Cascading Style Sheets, affecting the look and feel of any individual page. CSS is a highly useful tool for web designers, but by tagging on a media queries adaption, the process of resizing, rendering and orienting a page becomes far easier.

 

Another linchpin of responsive design is the flexible layout, this is based on a grid formation, ideal for formatting margins, positioning the key elements of a page and getting the spacing just right. This means a designer is not limited to a certain number of columns, they can choose as many or as few as is appropriate for the page. A flexible layout also removes the need to work out the layouts and text size based on pixels.

 

Instead, designers use percentages which enable them to adopt a far more fluid approach to producing each page. Pixels work well in photographic images, but are a clumsy tool to use over a number of devices. One pixel may be expressed as three dots on a phone, but ten dots on a desktop, changing the quality of an image considerably between devices.

 

The third component of responsive design involves the use of CSS or a dynamic resizing function to create flexible images, videos and other content. Text can flow relatively easily as the containing area resizes, but in order to spread this across more complex segments, web designers need to use different techniques. Dynamic resizing gives a web designer greater control over how a page behaves and enables them to add or remove components as needed.

 

Taken a whole, these multiple technologies mean visitors can enjoy the feeling of familiarity, regardless of what device they happen to be using, or will be using in the future.

 

When a mobile user changes from landscape to portrait mode, the intuitive design will ensure the page gets bigger or smaller. Furthermore, each element, be it an image, textbox or video will also resize itself to correspond with the different dimensions.

 

If you have ever tried to access a website and discovered that it was almost impossible to navigate around without shrinking and enlarging the text or buttons, you’ll understand why responsive design is considered good practice for the majority of website owners.

 

Responsive web design Vs Mobile web design

Until quite recently, mobile web design was considered far more relevant to modern consumers than it’s responsive counterpart, this approach sees designers using smart phones as a starting point and upgrading the technology progressively, through to notepads, desktop computers and beyond. This method meant that companies needed two websites, one for their mobile pages and one for PC users.

 

In the early golden years of mobile web design, there were a number of reasons why experts thought that web applications should always be designed first for use on a mobile device. Most important of these was the prevalence of smart phones and the fact that their popularity was continuing to skyrocket. By creating a platform that favoured these millions of users, companies could promote their service or product to what was seen as the next generation of computing consumers.

Secondly, mobile design was said to foster a cleaner concept without room for extraneous elements or unnecessary page clutter. In a screen the size of that on a mobile phone, there simply is not enough room to crowbar in extra buttons and widgets – instead, a design team had to focus on what was actually needed. By giving users a clear route to what they want, it was assumed that their experience would be better, faster, leave them more inclined to return or convert them into a paying customer.

 

Mobile applications were thought to have far more utility than PC based software, what users expected from their laptop paled in comparison to the capabilities offered on smart phones. From a digital compass, to gyroscopic effects, touch screen inputs and voice control, designers hoped to build on these tools to produce modern web design that was not limited by the constraints of a PC.

 

Although there are pros and cons for the adoption of a mobile site to run parallel to a main site, responsively designed pages are ideal for retailers who want a robust, homogenous website with plenty of utility for every user. A single site also simplifies marketing campaigns; there is only a need to manage one site and one SEO strategy. Therefore, a website which features responsive design can save companies time and money, but also provide a seamless, convenient way for customers to shop.

 

Responsive web design statistics

When a team of designers build you a responsive website you know it will adapt intuitively to whatever device it is accessed from, but where is the evidence that proves this is a factor in commercial success?

 

The content marketing company, Brand Point, found that over 90% of consumers buying decisions are affected by visual elements. In other words, if people land on your site and like the look of the place, they are more likely to stay and buy.

 

Screen resolutions are changing all the time as new devices reach the market, web developers Spyderweb found that in 2010 there were just 97 unique screen resolution sizes, but by 2013 that figure had leapt to 232. The only way of tackling this increase is to have a responsive website that is optimised for every customer, whatever device they favour.

 

Customers are driven away by high wait times and pages that take too long to appear; even way back in 2009, 47% of people expected a load time of just two seconds on a webpage. In a study carried out by cloud service providers, Akamai, it was also found that 40% of web users clicked away if they had not gained access to a page within 3 seconds. That is a pretty slim window of opportunity, and it’s fair to assume that people’s expectations have increased since this study was compiled.

 

Although external factors like a lack of Wi-Fi or 4G can also affect wait times, the importance of speed for business sites cannot be underestimated. Wed designers can write code for your responsive site that makes it selectively load the elements needed, or even bring in graphics at a later stage.

 

Design matters because it can have a huge impact on the number of new visitors to your pages, these are people who have reached you through typing in a specific search criteria and decided to click on the link to your site. Web designers, Domain7, have reported that in the case of their client Regent College, there was a leap of 99% in unique visitors after a revamp of their responsive web design.

 

If your mobile pages leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth of your visitors, they are far less likely to view your entire organisation favourably, and they’ll tell their friends. Industry experts at the Search Engine Journal discovered that 57% of people would never recommend a company that had poorly designed pages, strengthening the case for a consistent web strategy that performs the way your customers want it to – wherever they happen to be.

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Duncan_Maund/1375090

 

SEO Tips, SEOTips

Local SEO Industry: Current Status and Future Projections

 What Is SEO?

This is a common question that most people especially those who are either new or not familiar with online marketing might be asking. SEO stands for search engine optimization. In layman’s language, it the process of capturing traffic from search engines such as Google listings. Through this read, I am going to give you facts about the SEO business, current market status of SEO as well as the future projections in this field.

 

The Major SEO Players

Like any other industry in the world, the online SEO business has its players. This includes SEO local tools providers such as small digital agencies, SEO free lancers and web-designers among others.

 

Returns for SEO Players

The major reason as to why people get into business is to profit and expand their economic status. In the field of SEO business, the rates of returns are promising. This is because a recent research on SEO returns for a period of 12 months shows that at least all the players had something to take home. However, the returns are varying depending on a players’ hardwork and skills in the field. For example, according to this research, 34% of the interviewed SEOs said they received an amount less than $ 30,000 while another group of respondents, 17% said they received returns that were above $ 500,000.

 

From the above statistics, it is evident that the size of an organization played a role in the determination of the amount of returns received. It beats logic for one to expect a large organization to receive low amounts of returns and vice versa. In addition, the presence of part time SEOs as well as the entry of newbies into the market could have let to the low rates of turnover due to low operation capacity. However, it is hard to predict the course the SEO market is likely to take due to lack of clear shift in SEO earnings since the year 2011. However, the demand for local SEO services seems to be growing day in day out and this is attracting more players thereby tightening the competition among SEO service providers.

 

The Emerging Issues with the Current SEO Returns

With the above distribution of returns, several questions emerge. This includes the following:

 

• From the statistics, a large percentage of SEOs receive a low income something that suggests low pricing of SEO services.
• It is also possible that small and medium businesses do not understand the value of SEO services provided to them.
• The low SEO income earners, those who received less than $ 30,000 annual returns are also being doubted if they can provide quality services while earning that low.
• It is also unknown if most SEOs will still be in operation if their income remains static.

 

The Current SEOs Income Per Customer

Just like the annual SEO returns, SEO income per customer also varies. This is because there are those clients who would pay less than $100 a month while others will pay more than $5000 a month. This variation in income per client can be attributed to the type of services provided as well as the depth of services. The size of business a client is seeking SEO services for also play a role in determining the amount to be charged. For example, small businesses are charged less simply because their requirements are much smaller as compared to large multi-location franchise businesses.

 

Research also shows that some SEO service providers operate on high volume basis. Such SEOs provide simple SEO services at very low monthly rates. As a result, such SEO service providers end up having a high customer churn with a large dedicated network of sales team.

 

Similarly, some SEO service providers provide services that are more comprehensive in a much more professional manner customized according to the client thereby leading to a low number of clients.

 

Due to the above statistics, it therefore becomes essential for any SEO service provider in the current market to operate in a manner that matches his/her setup.

 

Handling Capacity of the Modern SEOs

Currently, SEOs are handling more clients as compared to the previous years. Statistics show that about 40% of the SEOs in the market handle at least 11 clients while 23% SEOs handle at least 21 clients. Such large numbers of clients to handle lead to more audits to be done, lots of tasks, research, reports and even more calls from the clients to be attended to. The high numbers of clients also demand a high level of efficiency so that the clients can be assured of quality services.

 

Market Structure for Most SEOs

SEOs have been using several marketing techniques to promote their businesses. Offline marketing channels such as word of mouth has been cited by most SEOs as the most effective marketing technique. This can be attributed to the trust level, business reputation as well as relationships build during the offline campaigns.

 

Alongside offline marketing, SEOs also practice online marketing such as the use of LinkedIn and social media. However, most SEOs have cited LinkedIn as the best option as compared to the social networks because it is better placed for lead generation and networking.

 

Services Offered by SEOs

Majority of the SEO players offer onsite optimization with 91% of the SEOs practicing this. Google+ optimization has also a good number of SEOs practicing it as 86% claimed to be offering this service to their clients. For affiliate marketing, only a small percentage (11%) of SEOs are offering this service to their clients.

 

Other services offered by SEOs:

 

• Content creation/optimization
• Link building
• Citation building
• Social media marketing
• Website development
• PPC
• Mobile site development
• Video marketing and mobile marketing.

 

The most demanded service by SEO clients is onsite marketing, while the least demanded service is affiliate marketing. The other services are somehow averagely demanded. However, most small and medium businesses do not understand the opportunities that video and mobile marketing can unlock to them and therefore tend not to use these services. SEOs therefore need to educate their clients on these marketing channels so that they can go for them.

 

When asked about the online SEO services SEOs feel are effective, 82% of them said that the General search is the most effective for generating leads. Local search appears to be the second best after 62% of the respondents in an SEO survey voted in its favor. PPC is the 3rd with 53% while social media is the 4th with 26%. Daily deals appear to be an appealing to most SEOs because only 1% voted in favor of it.

 

Tedious SEO Tasks

55% of the current SEOs in the market find link building to be the most tedious and time-consuming work. Others, though 15% only believe that content writing is the most tedious and time consuming task among all the tasks they do. It therefore emerges that to the 55% who find link building tedious, this task is also boring to them.

 

Future Projections

This is an outline of what we expect in the near future as far as SEO business is of concern.

 

Expansion of SEO Businesses

Compared to the previous years, SEO businesses has been growing and expanding steadily. Most SEOs (about 93%) are not only optimistic about expanding their businesses, but are also expecting to grow their business. In what seems to be a determined move to grow their businesses, most SEOs (82%) are willing to recruit more staff members so as to realize their desired levels of growth.

 

The social media is also expected to grow and be more effective even than the local directories. This is because most SEOs believe that social media can perform better because of recommendations from friends. Mobile usage is also expected to grow further and become relevant for local businesses.

 

Upsurge of Confidence in SEO Business

Unlike other businesses, the SEO business is showing a positive growth of confidence among the players. Despite this being a dynamic and innovative industry, most SEOs are still willing to recruit more staff to help drive their businesses ahead. 84% of the sampled SEOs in the SEO research are also optimistic that the SEO business is going to be more profitable starting this year 2013.

 

Confidence is also running high that if the SEO players increase the understanding of SEO/social among the business owners they serve in future, they will not only increase the business owners’ rate of investment, but also make them transfer their marketing budgets from other channels to the digital channels.

 

Ajay Prasad is the Founder and President of GMR Web Team, a leading Internet strategy, marketing and development firm. Ajay guides small and medium size businesses in designing their online strategy, marketing and development campaigns for maximum impact. Ajay focuses on a client’s products and services and their target market’s needs to achieve the best possible results.

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ajay_K._Prasad/318786