The new edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter is out. It includes the follow short stories:
- It’s All About YOU (including Paul Simon quote)
- New Marketing in Another New Era
- Whipping Up Lower Cost Websites (fresh offer)
- Make Your Marketing More Effective
- New Custom-Designed Client WordPress Websites
- Is Your WordPress Website Safe? (new services)
- New News About NewMarU (update on our educational site)
- Luscious Links: More Useful Info, Just a Click Away (valuable!)
- Quick Hits: About the New Enews Format
If you’re not already a subscriber, you can read it online by clicking this link.
One of the most interesting moments at Webmaster World was the endorsement of WordPress by none other than Google’s Matt Cutts. For those who may not know, Matt has become the wonderfully laid-back and articulate “voice” of Google at Webmaster World. (photo by Andy Beal used under Creative Commons license.) As detailed in the video interview linked below, Cutts unexpectedly told the PubCon audience that by designing and producing a website in WordPress you, in essence, make it defacto search engine friendly. Especially with the latest version 2.3.
I was very pleased to hear this because I’ve recently upgraded my golf blog, TheJoyofGolfing.com to WordPress 2.3; and then in the same week, ComBridges has also recently taken over site updates for a client who has a more static page (non-blog) website that was already produced in WordPress. Our company is also currently using it to add an integrated blog to a pre-existing design. These are options that, frankly, I didn’t realize existed with a “blogging” platform previously.
Bottom line, I have become increasingly impressed with the WordPress website publishing platform. In addition to a well-thoughtout and feature rich back-end interface, there are options for everything from Google AdSense to static pages that make it more than just a blogging tool. And the real capper is the excellent array of third-party plug-in tools which have been written for the open source WordPress platform. For example, as a search engine marketer, I was thrilled to find out about the “all-in-one seo” plug-in for search engine optimization. I’ve gotta believe that WordPress is now the state-of-the-art website publishing platform. Personally, I feel empowered by its features, stability and extensibility.
And then today, I got word that Yahoo has written a very impressive plug-in of their own which helps website and blog authors to almost extemporaneously add links and pictures. Yahoo’s is kind of a “smart” plug-in that has the capability to suggest links as well as pictures (via Yahoo-owned, Flickr). Click here to watch a video demo of the Yahoo Shortcuts for WordPress.
Below, you will find that interview with Matt Cutts. It includes similar comments about WordPress’ search engine friendly “nature” as well as other sage search marketing advise. Note, this endorsement is particularly interesting (as one commenter to this video points out) given that Google owns a competing blog platform (which I am using here), Blogger.
Note, as mentioned, WordPress can also do “flat” pages so it isn’t necessarily just a blogging platform. It’s really a website development platform or even a lightweight CMS (content management system) as well as a blogging platform, or some combination of the above, depending on your needs.
The only trouble is that now I’m going to have to convert this blog over to WordPress. Fortunately, I don’t think that’s too tough…
One of my designers and I have had this discussion for a while. He thinks it’s too clunky to add the obvious “click here” text to website links. I think people respond better when you tell them what you want them to do. OK, I agree it’s less “cool”… less elegant even, but what works better, well, exactly, it WORKS better.
And, I’m always delighted to be proven right. (who isn’t?) So, I appreciated a link forwarded in an e-newsletter for web application developer interactivetools.com pointing to this overview of the bottom line about “click here” text, “Does Telling Someone to “Click Here” Actually Matter?”
This post includes the link to this original post from MarketingSherpa, “Test Results: Simple Word Change in Email Hyperlink Raises Clicks 8.53%”. Oh, I mean, click here for original post from MarketingSherpa. 😉
All of which reminds me of my favorite book on web interface/interactivity design which has one of the best titles ever: “Don’t Make Me Think”, click here to learn more
Yesterday, I started experimenting with Ning, and I was impressed. It’s amazingly powerful for such an truly easy-to-use system. Now, (no kidding) virtually anyone with an ounce of web-savvy can create their own social networking website. This is Web 2.0 at it’s best. (Oh, and I should mention this company is backed in large part by Marc Andreesen.)
But why take my word for it, when Ning’s attractive and articulate CEO, Gina Bianchini is virtually right here to demo it for you:
There are many ways to look at the launch of Google’s new Apps platform, but for me, it looks like a pretty cool and very low cost ($50/year/user) way for a small business to do a web site without traditional hosting, and with a bunch of neat features.
Because it supports direct domain (as well as sub-domain) hosting and includes integrated e-mail as well as a bunch of features (from Google Page Creator for creating web pages to calendars and other forms of collaboration), it’s quite powerful. More info here specifically for small businesses.
I think the biggest challenge will be having small businesses understand the scope of what’s being offered.
On the other hand, the bigger business story for larger enterprises and the broader IT market is that Google is Challenging Microsoft (NYTimes) with a service that offers email and more for $50/user vs $225/user annually using Office and Exchange.
My favorite and most highly recommended book on the subject of web usability (or in plane folks speak, the science and art of how to make web pages more useful) is Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think.”
But, arguably the “grandfather” of books on this subject is Jacob Nielsen. Another interesting info-tidbit is that people are now studying how people read web pages with eye-tracking visualizations like the one shown here. Nielsen’s comments on a new eye-tracking study include the discovery of an interesting “F” pattern.
His insights also include the not so eye-opening (common sense) insights that web designers and writers should realize that: “Users won’t read your text thoroughly in a word-by-word manner.” And, “The first two paragraphs must state the most important information.” As well as the suggestion to “Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content in the final stem of their F-behavior.”
If this is news to you, you might want to read more…
TechCrunch‘s Michael Arrington does an amazing job of keeping up on the latest Web 2.0 applications. I just found his overview of the Web 2.0 companies that he couldn’t live without. It’s a great list of the leaders in the way cool, AJAX-enabled software as service world. (I’ve featured other Web 2.0 lists and definitions earlier.) The TechCrunch list highlights leaders from the WordPress blogging/publishing platform, to Bloglines web-based blog reader (which I use), to NetVibes (an amazing web desktop), to OmniDrive (free online storage that is supposed to go live as public beta tomorrow 4/17), and more. Good stuff! Thanks, Michael.
TemplateMonster.com has the best web site templates that I’ve seen online. Well done. Both HTML and Flash versions. A great resource, design short cut. I’m impressed.
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