Archive for the 'Website Design' category

Internet Marketing - a Great Way to Learn

am2 Silver

 

I’ve been in AM2 Gold for quite a while now - over a year and a half. In that time I’ve learned a great deal about internet marketing.

AM2 Gold does come with a pretty hefty price tag - worth every penny if you ask me.

Now there is a secret way to get in and for a whole lot less money too.

Even if you don’t buy in, you get to watch three free videos, so I suggest you go check it out and discover what a small group of us already know.

Changing the Way Websites are Ranked

The traditional measure of a website’s success, page rank and page views, is starting to give way to measuring how long visitors spend on a site. I was put on to this by the Learning Centre forum, and found the complete article on the CBC website.

There are two many reasons for the shift. One is increasingly rich media, the other is Ajax.

As visitors spend more time on a single page watching a video, they spend less time (presumably) exploring other pages. Certainly the time spend watching a video is a significant measure of the success of the video, and therefore the success of the website.

Ajax allows a webpage to be updated without navigating to another page. It is a kind of virtual page view, but this is not measured by traditional tracking software. However, a lot of time spent on a page interacting with the site via Ajax is certainly significant!

The problem of course, is that websites can be left open but may not be viewed. I have closed down my computer at the end of the day, only to find a browser opened to some page I was checking out that morning and forgot to close!

No system is perfect of course. Measuring time spend on a sight is certainly important, and I know that I look at the average time spent on my site as a measure of success.

Improved WordPress Template

When I first set up this blog, I used a template adapted from my travel information website. That template isn’t perfect, actually it has some major problems that need to be adjusted, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere! There are things I like about that template too.

Sooner or later though, the template for this site had to change, and that time turned out to be yesterday.

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Another WordPress Template Adjustment

The template I have been using for this and some of my other blogs had some serious flaws. The biggest was that you could not see hyper links! This has been corrected, by making some changes to the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) file.

While I was at it, I addressed another big problem: confusion over how to make comments. A number of people were telling me that they could see if comments had been made or not, but did not understand how to read the comments or leave their own. This lead me to suspect that the “Read more” link at the end of posts on the main page was not being used. When I look at my server logs, I can see that few people navigate beyond whatever page they land on.

As I made changes to the style sheet, I also felt the need to make adjustments to the layout, to make navigation more obvious. The template started to look messy, so I have moved a few things around.

I hope you will agree that this results in a website that is easier to read and easier to navigate.

I have also made the ads easer to see. As long as people take advantage of them, there will be a revenue stream from this website (and my other websites) which makes it all worth while. So I have changed the colour scheme of the ads so that they show up more. I hope they catch your eye, without distracting you too much or annoying you. I see some websites with bright red titles in the ads - this is ugly, and screams “click me, click me!” which makes me want to do the opposite. I hope I have come up with a tasteful and attractive alternative.

What do you think of the changes? Feel free to leave your comments .

For comparison, you can visit my travel information website. I have not yet changed that template, partly due to time constraints, and partly to see how the changes go over on this website. I might make further adjustments, based on your feedback.

I invite you to tell me just what you think about the layout, colour scheme and navigation of this website, so do please comment !

WordPress Template Tweak

Wordpress-Template-TweekI’ve been reading other people’s blogs about blogging lately, specifically about template design. This is, in part, because I have not been entirely happy with the finer points of the layout for my travel information website. I already had some changes in mind, and I wanted to get more ideas about the finer points, especially ad placement, since I was going to eliminate the box where one ad had been carefully hidden from day one.

Obviously, hiding your ads is a bad idea if you want your site to make any revenue!

Read on to find out what changes I made, and what I think of the result.

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Great Article Comparing Content Management Systems

Here is a useful article comparing Drupal with WordPress, and a few other content management systems as well. It is a more in-depth companion to my article comparing Drupal and WordPress. The chart comparing CMS systems outlines about what I found in my own research. For example, WordPress is easy to install, but is less scalable. Drupal is harder to install, but provides more control and more features. Then there is Typo3 - many features but very hard to set up.

Controlling the ‘Read More’ Message in a Wordpress Template

Wordpress displays the latest articles on the front page of your blog – which can result in a very long first page!  You can use the <!–more–> tag to control what is displayed on the first page.  This blog has a separately written summary of each article for example. You may also want to control the message that links to the full story. 

This article explains how to control the “read more” message in your Wordpress blog.

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Customizing Comments in Wordpress a Template

In Wordpress, Pages are designed to be static, with their own menu system that is quite separate from posts. When editing the page, you can allow comments in the Discussion options, however, many templates will not display comments for a page.

This article explains how to add comments to a page, and how to modify how comments are handled when the allow comments option for a page has been disabled.

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Working With Colour

Choosing a colour scheme for any graphical material is an art, but there are hard facts you can go on - good news for people like me!  I know what I want to accomplish, but I don't have a tallent for choosing colours.  So can I produce a colour scheme that works?

You bet I can!  And so can you.

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