Writing is a huge part of building a great website and also the point where most sites fall short. Writing content isn't easy for most developers, they are good with the technical end and years ago with Visual Basic, I remember contests where it would challenge developers to write a function with less words last guy. Kind of like the show Name That Tune, where contestants had to identify a song within a few beats. Writers do a similar thing with landing the hook in the first sentence of a book. The challenge is can you grab the reader's attention and hold it with the first sentence. I've come up with a great one for a book I'll finish someday so I'm not going to reveal it here. One of my favorite comes from British historian and author Stewart Colette in his book Mumba. Here it is, "When you fall in love after the age of thirty, it's usually with someone else's wife." And, the Snoopy classic, "It was a dark and stormy night".
I enjoy writing without all the syntax and code sometimes, simply just to paint the picture with words is a true art, almost a lost art. Programming is art form, too. It's satisfying building a site and seeing it all come together, both form and function. The only drawback to coding is that the language changes often and web programming is an incorporation of many languages. For people outside the industry this would be like having to do your job in Russian and Italian starting next month. It has stabilized in the last 7 years and that's made development very productive.
I've gotten off on a little bit of a rant, point being, well two points, first I'm giving TechnologyGroup.com a new updated look to show a little of what I can do while I'm looking for a new gig. And secondly, I'll be adding a bunch of tutorials and code snippets to help other developers. Here's my portfolio and the rest will be under the Resources menu item I'll put up shortly with the others I'm working on. Please excuse the 404 if you get that in the meantime, I'm working on it live.
When you think about it, you learn everything from other people, so why not give something back. There's a lot to learn in web development, you have to be a designer, graphic artist, software developer, marketing professional and author to make something worth going to. I am a one man band that enjoys getting it all done. If you're looking to have some work done, I'm looking for a good client. Feel free to call or send a message and let's see what you have in mind.
Brand Building is Web Development
When setting out to develop a new website for a client the first thing to consider is their brand. Defining a brand is a lot like writing a business plan for an organization. Who's their customer, what is their demographic, current corporate culture and visibility across all media along with consistency regarding these representations. Sometimes a client expects development of a website to be just stamping out code, but it's much more artistry and expertise than that going on to get it right. I wouldn't just start nailing boards together if I were a builder, the site, direction, watershed, parking, permits and a 100 other items need to be considered before breaking ground. The same holds true for web development and I would recommend reading up on these sites listed below about building your brand before developing the wrong site for your business.
First, have or get the right domain name. Brandgy.com can clue you in as to why that's so important. Learn about branding your business with these no nonsense guides available through HowToBuildABrand.org These folks out of the UK know what they are doing and it's explained in a way that you can see how it effects other facets of your business. SearchEngineJournal.com puts the technical edge on your brand strategy. Their site maybe a good read for the more technically inclined, but getting found is what it's all about going forward into 2018 and beyond.
There are a lot of developers out there that are looking for a language and trusted technology that they can build a career with, and whether you're new to web development or out to create your own Amazon site, you can't go wrong with DNNSoftware's CMS, formerly know as DotNetNuke, and DNN Dev's life saving power tool XMod Pro.
With just these two elements, one can build a digital empire.
Don't take my word for it, go search their sites out and take a look at the client list that builds with both of these components. It's more than impressive, and a lot of these sites are built by a single developer or just a small team. And, even more impressive are the people who started it all, built these platforms and the community they've fostered.
I've been developing with DNN for 8 years and I'm still grateful to Shawn Walker of DNN Software and Kelly and Malinda Ford at DNN Dev. I honestly can't say enough good things about either of them or the products that they've built.
There's a lot of talk about traffic and SEO and I wanted to mention a few key points on building volume. First, your sites needs to built correctly so search engines can read it. That's a technical discussion for a later date, but needs to be in place for other methods to work. Setup Google Analytics and a few others so you can triangulate and see what's actually working. Without a measure your're driving blind. If you don't have a blog, add one. It will be the most read page on your site and you can feed it directly to social media. The Post Viewed tag in the lower right corner of each article here is misleading, it's not how many times it's been viewed, it represents how many times the Read More tag has been clicked. For the record, the main page of this Tech Notes blog gets viewed between 3k to 7k times on any given day.
Dynamic content isn't just tailoring your site to your unique visitors, it's generating relevant and fresh new content for your site. Having this dynamic content is what is going to improve your SEO score and the quality of traffic you receive. There's no way to short cut this process. Some of the most intelligent minds at Google are continually working the algorithm to weed out the junk and click bait. If you write compelling articles and add epic content regularly, your numbers will begin to perk up. If you work it, expect about a 25% increase in qualified traffic and that will be significant to any business that you're in. Google has some great webmaster tools here. Give the PageSpeed Insights test a try and see how your site scores. Your site may need more work than you think. Keep it fresh and keep it growing, make a bigger target.
There's a insightful article on The Wall Street Journal about the continued closings of retail stores. The Business Insider had an article earlier about the same topic. It's all the more reason to get your business online or tune it up and expand your marketplaces, no matter what type of products you sell.
The article focuses on retail outlets declining and how more people are finding the convenience of online shopping. What the article doesn't say is that the shopping habits of retail are being carried over into all business classes. B2B (business to business) decisions are being made the same manor. If your business isn't found or engaging enough, customers are going elsewhere at light speed. To further that statement, the experience they find while using your site, is exactly how they perceive working with your organization to be. It's your corporate image. It's your credibility and it tells how well run your organization is, be it corporate, a government agency or a charitable organization.
Not many people will ever see your place of work, but chances are they will visit your website at all hours of the day. Just ask your analytics guy. People follow up in the evening, weekends and at all hours of the day outside of normal business hours. It's how research is done. The more advanced will employ secondary research groups to dig deeper, but generally what they see in the search results or after trying a few URL's (domain names) is it.
Two key points for making more money. Get a great domain name for your business and keeping acquiring them while they are inexpensive. Some businesses own hundreds of thousands of names. Disney has about 20k names, some pharmaceutical companies own even more. The internet isn't going anywhere and isn't going to be replaced anytime in the next 30 years. Names you could have bought 10 years ago for a few thousand will never be available for sale again for less. Buy words in English and .com extensions. These will always be the best most memorable search friendly names that bring affluent customers to your door.
Build a scalable and dynamic website. Keep adding relevant content and you'll keep driving targeted traffic. If you sell widgets, you want to attract people buying widgets. Your website needs to the best you can present for your market and dynamic. Dynamic is fresh, evolving content and interactive. Interactivity is how you listen to your customer's needs. This is how to communicate, make it easy and make it fun, gamify it.
Read more on web development and building your user engagement here.
TechCrunch has a great article on the growth of enterprise software featuring a 3 trillion dollar opportunity, but it's bigger than that and there's so much room for small business and start ups. In short, mobile collaboration for your workforce with direct integration to product partners and stakeholders is the only model to develop for, anything else would be a disservice to your client.
Just five years ago, we wouldn’t have imagined that a farmer or construction worker could be an information worker. But with products like Farmlogs, Planet Labs and Airware in farming and agriculture, and PlanGrid or Skycatch in construction, all new demographics of the workforce are being supported by information technology. And this is just the beginning. As every employee on the planet is enabled by a smartphone, the addressable market for enterprise software grows from about half a billion people to the billions of workers leveraging mobile devices to do their jobs.
Every job is software-enabled, every industry is digitized. Read more at TechCrunch.com
I've been digging into futuristic technology and uncovered an article by Mike Edelhart on Yahoo/Tech news entitled, 9 Technologies That Will Soon Be Inside You. It's interesting news and there just might be some up and coming products to invest in.
I have to admit some of these tech products freak me out. These aren't ideas, they're working prototypes and the concepts, along with the business models, makes sense for each. It's easy to be comfortable with these, we already have several medical implants.
Here's the list: implantable smartphones, healing chips, cyber pills, implantable birth control, smart tattoos, brain-computer interface, meltable bio-batteries, smart dust and the verified self. Is this the biblical mark of the beast? Read the full article with the slide show here.