Hi everyone, welcome to podcast #38! Today we are looking at websites and what’s working now. There have been a lot of changes in the last 18 months so we wanted to look at current state of play! Over the next few podcasts we will look at the top 10 things we think you need for online marketing and a successful website. Today we look at;
- website set up
- plug-ins to enhance your website
- website systems you can use
What Did Andrew & Heather Learn This Week?
Andrew – has been looking at response marketing and the sorts of things that can be done with text messaging. Particularly, he has looked at systems that will now allow you to have an interactive Q & A session with customers. It is an automated system which picks out certain words to give an intuitive response to people. Much more than simple gathering of name and number! This could be used for events or even on your website as an automatic response.
Heather – caught up with Fiona Lewis who is a co-author along with Heather and others on ‘It’s that Easy – Marketing 3.0’. They had a conversation around SEO and agreed that as we have known it, SEO is dead. Content creation and content marketing is really the new SEO. The key is giving good value over time with the content you give out. This trend really is spreading across the world, more people are catching on that quality content is the key!
3 Website Must-Haves
1. Website Setup
This is really a fundamental – your hosting (the server that stores all of your files) and registering your domain or URL. Many companies will do both or you can get them from different companies. An important thing to remember is that you should own your URL yourself and know where and how it is hosted. It’s almost like having a house; the plot of land is where you will host the site, the address is your domain then the house you build is your website.
We caution that while it can be easy to use companies that offer to own and build your site, it is better to have more control and have ownership of the page yourself.
We also suggest that when you buy new domains, you log into your account with the domain registry first then buy from within your account. We have seen a lot of people who have domains under different logins which gets confusing!
If doing business in your own country, the rule of thumb is that your should by the domain extension for your country (e.g. .com.au for Australia) and do business through that site. Globally, a .com is best. URLs are usually $10-$20 per year. Beware of companies who may target you for renewals as a ‘middle man’. They are trying to get your business when it is generally cheaper to go through to where you currently hold it and renew there.
A warning about cheap hosting: this = limited support! This means you will need to do upgrades and back-ups yourself. Think about what it means to you to have a site that is safe and hack-proof and look at your options!
So where can you go to own these things yourself?
- GoDaddy – domain registration and hosting
- Hostgator – domain registration and hosting
- Namecheap – domain registry
- Crazy Domains – (Australia)
- Net Logistics – (hosting in Australia)
2. Website Systems – Proprietary Platforms
These are the website platforms which you pay a subscription to and they have everything set up for you. They are known as ‘Open Source’ – widely used and providing free software and plug-ins. With plug-ins this is how you build different functionalities into your site. Many will integrate with other programs. Here are some of the most popular
- Drupal – more for corporate sites as quite complex.
- Joomla – again a little more complex to manage.
- WordPress – our favorite! Easy to use and many plug-ins available
- Volusion – great for online stores
- Shopify – online stores
- Big Commerce – online stores
- Woo Commerce – great commerce plugin for WordPress sites (check out Woo Themes also)
- Kajabi – membership sites
- Wish List – membership site plugin for WordPress
3. Best Plug-Ins
- Akismet – anti-spam plug-in that will stop spam comments. This is free!
- Login Lockdown – protect your site against hackers by locking down from the login page if there are too many failed logins.
- Disqus – powerful comment-enabling plug-in that is engaged with all over the world. Can promote your site to other sites that use Disqus.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – helps you to keyword optimize your pages and will suggest words for you.
- Google Analytics for WordPress – allows you to easily link your analytics account to your WordPress site.
- Twitter Facebook Social Share – allows you to have buttons for most social accounts you want people to share with.
- Dynamic Widgets – allows you to control what displays on your right side-bar of your website.
- WP Smush.It – shrinks images so you have faster website load speed. Important for keeping visitors there!
Fiverr Gig of the Week: We found 5 people who will set up plug-ins, domains and hosting on your website for you (click on the pictures below to go to their fiverr pages)…If you would like the plug-ins we talked about set up, just send them to this page!
Got questions or comments? Please add below! Stay tuned for our other 7 essentials for your website in further episodes.