Just launched — Facebook App Contest for Westshore Town Centre! Designed by Creating Excellence and programmed by Blender. This contest exists in the context of Facebook and runs in concert with Westshore’s in mall contest.
Noteworthy features include: mobile friendly, Like gate, Facebook login, Facebook sharing, Tweeting, Pinning.
This project brings together several technologies:
- Facebook SDKs to integrate into it’s social media network
- Pinterest + Twitter sharing
- PHP for server side coding
- MySQL for storing contest entries
Facebook applications are great ways to engage people with your brand or business. Visitors interact with you and can easily share out to their friends.
Web Design Ledger (WDL) has a short article on including a social component within the design of a website to encourage visitor interactions.
Social web 2.0 trends have taken over many of our modern static websites. Nowadays it’s difficult to find a company who isn’t on Facebook or Twitter or Foursquare, or any of the other increasingly popular social networks. It’s important to consider this experience and how you can portray social connection in the eyes of your visitors.
Longtime client Gary Mitchell first hired Blender in 2006. He recently wanted to update and re-brand the website for his core business GEM Communications. His existing website was dated, performed poorly from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) standpoint, and used technologies such as Flash which are no longer suitable for general website design. Gary wanted a modern website that would give him all the advantages the internet offers.
Our redesign stayed true to the appearance of the old, but completely replaced the foundation and back end. Blender recommended using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) so that Gary could maintain the content of On Trac on his own ensuring his website was always up to date. WordPress offers well structured web pages where search engines are concerned and scales well to any size website.
Another focus was an expansion into social media including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. On Trac would have a presence on all three with the website acting as a hub from which content would be shared out.
The success of the re-design will be tracked using integrated Google Analytics for traffic monitoring. Visitors can give feedback through website feedback forms, a blog post comment system, and through social media integration.
Visit On Trac Coaching
Facebook is the most popular social network with 750 million active users, roughly 10% of the world’s population. Like all social networks it connects users together, and if you are a business it connects you to your clients and more importantly to their friends.
Crystal Munro, marketing consultant, hired Blender to build a Facebook application to encourage visitors to “Like” Fix Auto’s Facebook page. Together we created a cheeky plea for support that uses a fun animated car crash to get a visitors attention. Once liked a new page is displayed that will contain special offers as a reward.
You can see the results on my Facebook page, but you will need to “Like” me to see the resulting reward page…
visit Blender on Facebook
For search engine optimization (SEO) an important factor considered by search engines is inbound links — links from other webpages. The best link is one from another website who does not link back to you AND has not designated the link as ‘nofollow’. A nofollow designation tells search engines that the link is either paid or somehow solicited or affiliated. Often these links will happen naturally over time with good content, but what if you are in a hurry? Although at first glance it would seem easy to arrange these links, in practice it can be difficult and time consuming. Especially for really good links.
One way to create our links is to author content on blogs or other community based websites. One such website is Hubpages where you can author your own articles with outgoing links. The catch is that initially your outgoing links are nofollow, but once you achieve a certain level of credibility with Hubpages your links lose this designation.
I am now 12 days in on an SEO experiment on Hubpages. My ‘hubber’ author rating has passed 75/100 at which point the links in the articles I wrote lost their ‘nofollow’ designation. No news yet on whether this is helping my website in terms of SEO, but it is early days. My concern at the moment is my hubber rating peaked at 82 and has since dropped to 78 … must maintain that 75 rating! To achieve my hubber rating I wrote two articles, both original and full of great content. I also read some other authors hubs and made some comments on their work.
Blender has expanded its website to include a (we)blog. The blog will act a platform from which Blender will share news and information with visitors, to Facebook, and to Twitter. Posts topics will include website launches and hi-lights, Blender Design news, and general web design industry news and information.
Built on the WordPress blogging and content management system (CMS), Blender designed a custom template based on the blender website so that the blog would mesh seamlessly with our existing content.
The blog also serves as a technology demonstration to show clients how WordPress can be integrated into a website.