Discover The Advantages Of Using Content Management Systems To Build Websites

Nowadays webmasters have different options for building websites. Among them, web creation software, Content Management Systems, HTML editors and plain text editors.

Content Management Systems (CMS) make sense for web developers, as well as for their customers. A CMS can free up much needed time for developers and save money for customers, simply by shifting routine content updating from the developer to the customer.

Perhaps the greatest advantage for customers is having the ability to decentralize web content maintenance. This is especially advantageous for large corporations and organizations. A content management system can offer the ability for customers to delegate roles throughout the organization, allowing the experts most qualified to write the content to actually update the web content themselves.

Another benefit content management systems provide customers and web developers is a mechanism for customers to make web updates without compromising the design layout and functionality of the site. Without a CMS, customers are often tempted to purchase web creation software solutions and have updates to their website done “in house”, often by non-technical staff. The results of this are often a broken web layout and a dysfunctional website.

A content management system eliminates this temptation while protecting the consistency of the branding, functionality, and design elements of the customer’s website. In turn, this alleviates the need for the developer to spend many countless hours fixing the customer’s misguided, however well-intentioned, website “redesigns”.

All this allows for customers to update their websites as quickly and as often as needed, keeping content fresh and relevant. This is a vitally important component to search engine optimization. Most CMS’s are also optimized to produce clean HTML code that is easily indexed by search engines, leading to a higher ranking in the various Internet search engines.

Another benefit provided by a content management system is that all content is stored in a database. This allows for content to be pulled into and formatted for any device, such as mobile devices and tablets. This flexibility permits its implementation on a wide variety of today’s digital mediums, as well as future technologies.

Content management systems allow customers to empower non-technical staff with the freedom and flexibility to update content when needed, eliminating the need to purchase expensive web creation software solutions and hiring in-house web developers. By turning over routine content editing to the customer, developers are able to devote more time to design and marketing. Customers save money that would normally be spent on website maintenance. These factors make a content management system a win-win for both web developers and customers.

Why to Choose Joomla Over Other CMS?

Joomla is an open source content management system which is very popular among the website developers for developing highly functional and secure websites. The popularity of Joomla is reflected by the fact that clients can easily hire dedicated PHP programmers from India who can work proficiently on Joomla to create simple as well as complex websites. Joomla means “all together” and this is clearly visible in the working and development functionality of this CMS. Most of the times clients and budding developers ask “why to choose Joomla over other CMS”. Well, my answer would be because it allows the developers to build websites quickly, with a wide range of features and at a comparatively lower price than most of the other CMS.

Let’s discuss in detail why developers choose Joomla over other CMS:
Joomla has one of the largest communities, consisting of supports and developers, which makes it even more popular in the development community as PHP programmers can always take the help from this massive community if they have any issues. None of the other content management systems have such a big following.
Joomla has a very wide and diversified feature set that’s allows the developers all over the world to create a highly functional and robust website without using extensions. The built in WYSIWYG editor is highly user friendly and provides a highly flexible development platform to the developers. The content layout and the extensions library enhance the ease of development using Joomla.
Joomla provides a strong set of more than 4000 plugins and extensions that provide endless functionalities and perfection to the websites developed using Joomla. The endless sources of communities provide a strong support and high-end templates for Joomla development. Joomla has more Templates than both WordPress and Drupal combined together.
WordPress is a great CMS. Very easy to use and operate. But when it comes to developing complex websites then nothing compares with Joomla. WordPress must be used only for blogs and informational websites. Achieving much functionality with WordPress is time consuming, costly and mostly does not ends well.
Drupal is a serious contender of Joomla but by installing a single free extension, K2, a CCK (content construction kit), all the flaws of Joomla are removed and it towers high above Drupal. Drupal’s admin functionality is painful to operate and the frontend, backend distinction very unclear and confusing. Joomla is very clear and user friendly in all these criteria’s.
The most important and significant reason to choose Joomla would be the availability of resources. Although you can find many developers for WordPress and Drupal but the huge number of dedicated PHP programmers in India who are more than willing to work on Joomla will surely change your mind. As the learning curve of Joomla is not very long and once you learn it you can go on experimenting on it forever. This has made it an instant hit and a sort of craze among the developers. This has produced so many skilled, talented and innovative PHP programmers in India that finding the one perfectly suitable for you is always easy.

As more and more clients are looking to Hire dedicated PHP programmers from India therefore it is required from the clients to know what they want from their dedicated PHP developers before they go looking for one. If it is a complex website or a website with wide features and functionalities then going for a dedicated PHP programmer who is also an expert in Joomla would be the best option for clients.

Discover How to Train Your WordPress Clients Without Wasting Your Time!

We all know that giving support to your clients creates lots of trust, not to mention possible referrals and extra cash on your wallet. But unfortunately, we also know that it can be a very time-consuming task.

Dealing with customers training was one of my most time-consuming works during all my career as a web developer and designer. I spent a lot, and I mean A LOT, of my time training them in how to use WordPress, how could they post a new page and alter an existing one, how could they add a new image in their media library, how could they create a new category… And many more “how-tos” you probably know.

I received constantly many phone calls, endless emails, so I even made a PDF document with the basic tasks outlined, along with nice screenshots and easy-to-follow instructions. But then, WordPress upgraded and all my screenshots became outdated, so I needed to create them again, and again…

Heck! I actually spent more time training some of my clients than actually delivering them their sites!

Many of my clients were not that ‘internet savvy’, so I had to break down every single step with non-technical language, and that can be really time-consuming.

I tried to find a solution. You know, the type of manuals you just change some names and there you have it! (Although it’s getting difficult to find these ones, I searched for one free WordPress manual on Google and got no relevant results) The problem was that even with the manual they kept calling me and emailing me with new questions and problems that apparently the manual did not cover, or covered it with technical or non-specific language.

I almost decided to completely remove the free customer support from my webdesign packages. Fortunately for me (and my clients!) I did not have to, I found a plugin that trains my clients in my place.
How awesome is that?

It has more than 35 video tutorials, fully customizable with your own logo, and also a nice PDF (available also in doc format for further customization) with over 80 pages and screenshots!

The plugin’s called Video User Manuals and guess what? You don’t have to worry for WordPress updates, you have access to updated videos and the updated handbook, without even requiring you to do anything! (I can hear you sighing)

You just install that thing in your client’s site as a plugin (Did I mention you can install it on unlimited sites?) and whenever they need a piece of advice, they just need to open plugin’s tab and that’s all, you don’t have to worry again for giving technical support to your clients.

It works like charm. You buy your membership, save countless hours of time and then invest it building more websites and earning more money.

A win-win situation I think.

Creating Websites That Can Sell For Millions Of Dollars

Getting over the $1-million hump may seem to be an easy task, if we go by the claims of self-proclaimed online millionaires. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. Turning your website into a virtual million-dollar cash cow is not a straightforward and simple undertaking. You have to put your heart and mind to the tasks at hand. It requires a great deal of patience and persistence to get to your expected target. The reason why a lot of people turn out websites with price tags that only run for a few hundreds or thousands of dollars is because they plunge into their online venture without the proper frame of mind.

You are off to a good start if you are able to create a website that turns in consistent and stable income while giving you a lot of spare time to do other things on the side. On the other hand, there may be some things that you are not doing right if you are going for multiple sites to reach your desired level of income from your online business venture.

Elements of a Million-Dollar Website

The price tag of a Website is normally pegged by determining its monthly earnings. A high-value website normally gets a price tag which is equivalent to its normal income or revenue for a 12 to 18-month period. Thus, if you have a website that generates a monthly income of $8,000, then you can offer such website for sale at a price of $96,000 to $144,000. The selling price naturally increases by the stated time variable as the earning or revenue of the said site increases.

Using this price template, you can easily see how much income your website should generate in order to hit the million-dollar mark. For instance, if you want to create a website that will give you revenue of $1 million in a year, then you must create a site that can generate a monthly income of at least $30,000. Setting the required income level is a nifty way of ensuring that you are within the range of your target selling price of your website.

Hitting the Million-Dollar Mark

There are actually thousands of options and ways by which you can create a million-dollar website. This six-figure virtual cash cow can be an expert content or news site that generates substantial revenue through paid adverts. It may also be a reputable discussion forum where you can charge forum members monthly fees or some kind of gaming site where you can collect fees every time members play a particular online game or earn income in exchange for the access to your Website.

The opportunities to monetize your website are endless, and you only need to establish your goals and objectives in order to get a good grip of the direction that you want to take in your online business venture.

Location Maps for Websites

Adding a location map to a website is a great way to promote a shop, or business premises where customers may buy services or products. A location map assures potential visitors that a business is local and helps them to easily find their way. This is a good way to do something to stand out from the competition and help customers to find your business.

Even though satellite navigation systems are now widely available, many people when looking for directions will just get out an A-Z map, or go to a route-finder website. Google have a great free map system which can be used to show customers a business location. To find your business location, just go to the Google maps page and enter your business post code. If you have a Google account, you can create a name location and insert a pointer to show the exact location. Then copy some html code which will enable a link to be added to a web page. This is a very quick and easy method of showing customers the location of your business. If you do not already have a Google account, just register as a new user.

When potential customers search online for a business in a specific geographical location, some of the listings will include a location map. You can add your own business to Google Maps, so that it will be displayed with a map in the search engine results. Websites which are listed on Google Maps are displayed with a small map in the search engine listings. Therefore, when a potential customer searches on the internet, they may be attracted more to the result which shows a map, as they can clearly see that the business is local to them. There are so many business listings on Google and it can be difficult to get your business noticed when there are many others offering the same service. A listing on Google maps can help a business stand out.

If you wish to add a business listing to Google Maps, so that you may be found in the search results, this is quite easy. It takes around 2 weeks to get listed on Google maps. It is well worth doing, as local businesses are listed above the general search results and this can greatly increase your website traffic. In order to get listed, submit your business name, address and phone number. This information will be validated prior to approval in order to ensure that only real and local businesses are included in the listings.

BIRT Reports: Playing a Vital Role in Business Scenario

Reports play a vital role in any Business Scenario. They are important to not only understand what is happening in your business but also to get an idea about management’s strategic plan for the coming year and how well the company is doing. Any organization that implements web reporting realizes the need for standards and controls in reporting infrastructure and content development, especially those implementations with large numbers of complex reports to maximize productivity and minimize training. BIRT, the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools project can create a controlled and easy to use reporting environment an organization.

The Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) Project a freely available, open database reporting technology that consisted of two major components, the report designer and the report server – which when combined allowed the user to create graphically rich reports that can be deployed from a central web server into a standard internet browser. Each BIRT report is made up of a series of components which can be highly graphical and interactive and whose behavior changes based on content.

The BIRT reporting technology was designed to live in a world of other systems; it is extensible, programmable and integrates well into existing applications and infrastructures. It can be implemented as a stand-alone service, embedded in web applications, or deployed as an end-user reporting portal. Anyone, with a reasonable working knowledge of the database against which they want to report can write reports that contain lists and graphs and that can allow the user to filter the data by any columns that the report author allows. In order to create a BIRT report one required a copy of Eclipse. This turned out to be a freely available, open source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) into which one installs the BIRT designer components.

A BIRT design specifies the data sources to access, the data values to display and how the information should be visually presented. Deployment technologies read BIRT design files, query the specified data sources and render the interactive BIRT output in any browsers.

As a Business moves from traditional banded reports to highly interactive, rich content, and navigable reports, it is important to understand the best design and development approaches to assure reuse, developer productivity and that the reports provide the most compelling user experience. The freely available BIRT reporting tools allow intermediate level users to create and deploy graphically rich, parameter driven reports. The report designer does need a good understanding of the source database and these reports are not capable of using the advanced, real time tools, but still offer an easy to use reporting environment with a result that is easy to deploy across the enterprise.

Ignore Web Development Mistakes at Your Own Risk

The difference between a successful web development company having a proven track-record of developing effective websites and a company that is not known for the efficiency of its websites is quality. This quality is determined by whether a particular web development company takes time out to right the wrongs made during custom web development or not. The fact of the matter is that that no development company can afford to ignore the mistakes made during the process of development. If it knows that its developers have made a bunch of coding errors and ends up ignoring this fact, they are doing irreparable damage to their reputation.

Apart from their reputation which takes a big hit, so do their clients because they are delivered a substandard product. Here are two negative outcomes of ignoring mistakes.

Failure to Ensure the Requisite Results

A client comes to a web development company with a set of requirements in mind. It is through the satisfactory integration of their requirements in the website/web application that the client can achieve his predetermined goals and objectives. Any mistakes, in the process of web development, can contribute towards the failure of the project and a situation where the end product is unable to achieve the desired results. For many businesses, such a situation results in a loss of revenue as they are unable to optimize the use of the application. The blame for all this can be laid at the door of the ‘mistake/s’ that were ignored by the company in charge of developing the web application or site.

Delay in Project Delivery

Why is it that some companies choose to ignore the mistakes done at the development stage? One of the reasons for this is that they don’t want to miss out on the project delivery date. They think that if they spend time trying to sort out the problem, it will lead to project delays. So, they spend time trying to hide the mistake and trying to work around it. But, instead of helping them save time, such a solution actually ends up taking more time. What’s more, such mistakes don’t remain hidden for a long time and can rear ugly their ugly heads at a later date during project development. This leads to even more delays. So, ignoring mistakes doesn’t pay in the long run. In trying to save time, such companies end up losing more time.

Trying to ignore mistakes is like a disaster that is waiting to happen. This is why it’s of paramount importance that, if mistakes do happen during the process of custom website development, they are sorted out at the initial stages itself.

Optimizing Your Site for Mobile Browsers – Is It Worth the Effort?

You’ve just polished off a masterpiece of a web development project. It’s HTML valid, looks good across all the major browsers, and even ranks well with PageSpeed. Your site really is ready for the world. But, will it scale to the increasing demand from smart phone users to be optimized for mobile browsers? Do you need a magnifying glass to read the content when a user first loads your site on his/her iPhone?

While it’s true that most mobile browsers do what they can to make websites designed for Desktop browsers available and functional, it’s not always a good user experience. If we try to avoid horizontal scrolling on Desktop browsers, what makes us think that mobile web users won’t mind the left-to-right scrolling?

There’s no doubt that there’s a huge user-experience advantage in optimizing your site for mobile, but is it worth the effort? I didn’t used to think so. In fact, until recently, I avoided mobile devices at all cost. The inaccurate touch screen keyboard, constant battery recharging, ridiculous monthly fees, not to mention the seclusive nature of all those teenagers who have replaced social interaction with hundreds of daily text messages.

But then I found myself out of town, in an area without a WiFi connection within 50 miles. So although I had my trusty laptop, email or web access wasn’t a possibility. I hadn’t found out that one of my web servers crashed until I returned the next day!

The day I returned, I visited my local Verizon, signed up for a data plan and purchased an iPhone. I configured my email account in 30 seconds, downloaded a few apps, then started browsing the web. Before I knew it, I was reading blog posts and articles in bed every night on my iPhone. I’d never though it possible, just a couple weeks earlier being entirely opposed to the very idea of owning a smart phone!

So, to answer my original question, is it worth it? I’d have to answer yes. I love the mobile interfaces provided by Google, Ebay, Amazon and so many other sites that I traditionally use on a desktop computer.

If you want to ease into the process, I would suggest checking out jQuery mobile. jQuery mobile is designed to enhance your existing markup for use on a mobile device.

It’s a simple matter of downloading the jQuery mobile library, then conditionally referencing on your page if a mobile browser is detected.

I’ve created a quick function for detecting the presence of a mobile browser. Although it is a ColdFusion function, it should be easy to migrate to any other language.

Visuals Focused Website Design Is Never Very Popular

There are plenty of web development companies that work by the maxim that website design is all about visuals. Although, they come up with visually striking websites, none of their websites become really popular. For many, this comes as a surprise, but this is irrefutable proof that successful websites are never entirely dependent on the quality of their visuals.

A focus on visuals shifts the website designer’s attention from the various other facets that also play an important role in the popularity of a website. No doubt, visuals are important in attracting the attention of visitors, but once they are on the site, there are plenty of other factors that take over. Take for example the case of readability. This is also an important part of website design. Some designers sacrifice the legibility of the text for impressive visuals. They aren’t too concerned whether the website visitors are able to read the content on the website or not. This is where they make a big mistake. Visitors come to particular website to get more information and if this is not made available clearly, they don’t like that site and won’t come to the site again.

Another problem that might arise as a consequence of excessive focus on website’s visuals is that the message of the website can be lost or visitors will be unable to discern the message after being struck by an onslaught of visuals. A website delivers its message through a mixture of text and visuals. In fact visuals are used to enhance the message of the website, but unnecessary amount of visuals tend to hide this message leaving website visitors confused as to what the website is trying to say.

Yet another problem that excessive visuals can lead to is a lack of navigation convenience. Many-a-times visually extravagant sites tend to use visually innovative navigations buttons that a website visitor is not able to understand clearly. This defeats the purpose of the website as visitors take one look at these inconvenient buttons, appreciate them from the design angle but then close the site and go on to some other site that is better designed.

Bombarding visitors with striking visuals as soon as they land up on a website is never good news. The days of website visitors appreciating the visuals on a site and going through it purely on the basis on the visuals offered are long gone. What the website visitors are looking for now is an optimal user experience that helps them get what they need.

Hand in Hand: Web Development and Search Engine Optimization

Here’s a common practice we see with many businesses wanting to have an online presence: The client commissions a web developer to build a website from scratch. The developer completes the project and turns it over to the owner. The client then contacts a SEO specialist and finds out that there are some things that should be changed in the way that the site is built to make it more appealing to and easily readable for search engines and its bots. The client then contacts the developer to make changes to the site.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with that scenario. First off, if the client hired a freelance web developer, the former cannot be assured that the latter would be free by the time the client decides that there should be changes on the site with regards to search engine optimization. Another reason, what if the site is built around Flash and JavaScript? Then the SEO specialist tells the client that the way the site is built would not be able to rank well. It could mean starting from almost square one again.

My point is that before you commission someone to build a website, make sure that they are privy to on-page optimization. This is the part of SEO concerned about how the website is built and how it would be read by search engine bots. If they are not familiar with it, you can either look for another developer or have an SEO specialist work side by side with the developer.

Now, if you are already in the process of having a website built and you do not have the budget to hire a full-time SEO guy or gal, here are some tips to serve as a guideline to help you make your site more search engine friendly.

1. Have only one URI for your homepage. Yes, URI because a URL is a URI but a URI is not a URL but I digress. What it means that if I visited www(dot)yoursite(dot)com/index.html or www(dot)yoursite(dot)com/index or http: //yoursite(dot)com, it should point to only one page. You can set it with the www or without it, with /index.php, /index.html, or plain /index too but stick with only one. Your web developer should know how to do this.

2. When it comes to page size, keep it below 150 kilobytes. If you said that some websites have page sizes way more than that, it is because this sort of limit only applies to sites without significant authority. Yes, like the site that is yet to join the World Wide Web.

3. Content is king. While it can be appealing for a website to have all sorts of bells and whistles, if it has no readable content for search engine bots (written words/text), it would not rank well. So try to stay way from Flash intros.

4. Don’t drive people away. Yes, people (generally) love music and music is meant to be shared. But please, we don’t want our speakers coming to life without any warning. It can be very frustrating if you auto-play some sort of background music on your homepage. In this age when multi-tabbed browsing is the norm, it could be very frustrating going from tab to tab to see where that music is coming from.

Aside from these four, there are other things to consider in making your website more appealing for search engines. Do not be overwhelmed though since if you made the right decision in hiring a web developer or a web development team, they would know at least the basics of incorporating SEO tactics in web development. Then you can just pitch in the new things you learn along the way like the four pointers above.