Website (re)Design ~ On Trac Coaching

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 Twit­terOn 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.

Tech­nolo­gies: Word­Press, PHP, CSS, Javascript, jQuery

Visit On Trac Coach­ing

 

 

author:

security alert: Twitter hacked

Twitter-Hacked-Fail-Whale

Twit­ter announced on Fri­day Feb­ru­ary 1st they had been hacked in a sophis­ti­cated attack.  Twit­ter said 250k accounts may be affected and have emailed those users.  The stolen data included accounts, emails, addresses, and pass­words. Whether or not Twit­ter con­tacted you it is prob­a­bly a good idea to change your pass­word, both for your Twit­ter account and for any other login that uses the same pass­word. It is not a dif­fi­cult mat­ter to find more logins asso­ci­ated with the same email address, espe­cially for pop­u­lar ser­vices like Google, Face­book, etc.

Wired — Twit­ter Hacked

Optimizing your Website for Social User Experience

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.

Opti­miz­ing your Web­site for Social User Expe­ri­ence

SEO Experiment ~ Hubpages

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.

You can find links to my Hub­pages in my Face­book and Twit­ter feeds.  Don’t want to link to Hub­pages here though!

Blender (we)blog Launched

Website Design Build Host | Blender Design

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.