WordPress or Drupal: Which should you choose?

Posted by Masen

Both WordPress and Drupal are powerful, mature content management systems with worldwide support and large websites counted among their users. So, which should you build your next website in?

We’ve built very large websites, as well as many smaller ones, in both WordPress and Drupal. There are things that we like about both of them, but since WordPress has rapidly jumped into the lead in terms of total users, following are the top 3 reasons for and against using WordPress for your website.

Reasons For:

  1. Easy upgrade path. WordPress has upgrades wired. Drupal and other content management systems (Joomla, anyones?) require almost a complete rebuild of the site every time they do a major release. Minor releases may not be that difficult to implement but, to date, it has been untenable to stay up to date with the other platforms and therefore websites built on them inevitably get out of date and vulnerable to security breaches, performance issues and other problems over time. For better or worse, WordPress has maintained tremendous consistency in its database structure, template system and other aspects that have made updating the software over time possible, if not always easy.
  2. Massive third-party development. Because the WordPress universe is so much larger than that of either Drupal or Joomla (WordPress holds 30% of the worldwide market, compared to 1% for Joomla and 7% for Drupal), there are many more plugins, themes and services available that work with WordPress. This adds tremendous value to your ability to improve site functionality over time.
  3. Stronger Developer & User Support. Because WordPress dwarfs the other two in terms of its user base, there are always developers who can help and users are much more likely to have been exposed to it, reducing development, training and maintenance costs.

Reasons against:

  1. The constant updates to WordPress and plugins creates an upgrade burden on site owners. If you don’t update, you fall behind and can fall prey to bugs and insecurities. If you do update, you occasionally will run into conflicts created by the latest version of WordPress or a plugin that causes issues with your site. Essentially, you have to factor in more maintenance costs. Arguably, however, the other platforms have this same cost it’s just that it’s so much higher that most people never do the upgrades and therefore inevitably their sites have problems or get hacked
  2. There are way MORE plugins for WordPress but many of them are not that mature. There are a few vertical markets that have deeply committed to Drupal and make modules for that platform for which analogs do not exist in the WordPress world. For those few industries, it’s a no brainer to go with Drupal. This probably doesn’t apply to you and, if it does, you’ll know because you’ll be talking to a vendor who requires you to use Drupal in order to buy their product.
  3. Due to it’s much greater popularity, WordPress is a bigger target for hackers, just like Windows is a bigger target than the Mac for viruses. On the other hand, the greater amount of security activity has arguably led to a more secure platform over time. Either way, the greater risk can be overcome with keeping WordPress up to date and utilizing good security plugins and practices, just like you maintain a good Virus checker if you live in the Windows world.

So, which platform should you go with? For most developers and site owners, WordPress is a clear choice for its clear upgrade path, large third-party marketplace and stronger developer, as well as user, support. In rare instances, if you are looking to build a large proprietary web platform or you are interested in vertical market software that requires it, Drupal might be the right choice.

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A Scientific Approach to a Better Online Lead Generation

Posted by Masen

a-b split testingHistorically, if you wanted more leads from your website, you would hire a consultant or an agency to help make your website “better.” You would design a more attractive website, write marketing copy that was more compelling or work on your SEO to try to increase the number of visitors to your site. All of these are valid approaches to improving website performance, however, there are problems with this approach. What is a “better” design and who is it more attractive to? Have you come across websites that you loved but your spouse or parter hated? How about marketing copy that turned you off but got a friend or associate so excited, they couldn’t stop talking about the product or service?The problem with “better,” is that it’s relative.Measurable results are the alternative because by quantifying your results, you can see with clarity whether a particular approach is moving you closer to your business goals. So, what’s important to measure in the context of online marketing or lead generation? That depends on your business goals, however, if one of them is to obtain more customers, here are some typical factors.Unique Visitors is the number of unique individuals that came to your website in a given period like a week or month. Calls to Action are requests for the visitor to do something, like call your or fill out a contact form or request-for-quote form. Conversion rate is the percentage of unique visitors who take a particular action. For example, the conversion rate for your contact form would be the number of people who filled out the form divided by the total number of unique visitors. If you had 100 unique visitors and received 10 contact form submissions, your conversion rate would be 10%. Your Acquisition Cost is the total cost that you spend to acquire a customer, in this case through your website. Say you run a Google adwords campaign and spend about $1 per click for those 100 unique visitors. Next, assume that it takes 10 leads (contact form submissions) for you to get a single customer. That means your acquisition cost for a customer is $100.Conversion rate is a measure of how effective your website is at turning visitors into prospects. If you increase your conversion rate, your site is performing measurably better than it was before. With a handle on your conversion rates, you can begin to make changes to your site and see if those changes improve your conversion rate or not. This is basic testing and, to speed up the process, you can use A/B testing where you test a single change to your website against the status quo. For example, you could A/B test a new primary image for your site’s slide show. A/B testing is straightforward - your website developer implements software that dynamically switches your site’s main slideshow image between the two options you are testing. One-half of the time, a visitor will see image A and one-half of the time a visitor will see image B. At the end of some period, you compare your conversion rates for visitors who saw image A with those who were given image B. In this way, you can clearly determine whether the new image made a difference in the effectiveness of your website’s lead generation.How do you decide what to test and how much to test? This is where experience, knowledge and a good grasp of your customer base comes in. You have to start somewhere, so you start by making changes that you think will make your site “better.” The difference is that you don’t assume these changes are better, you test them to prove it. In some cases your educated guesses will turn out to be beneficial. In a surprising amount of instances, they won’t. Once you get the hang of A/B testing, you quickly realize that you can literally test EVERY SINGLE change you might want to make. It can become easy to start doubting yourself and want to run tests on everything. This is impractical. Instead, start by testing a few large and noticeable changes, like your headline or hero image. Later, once you believe you have found the best version of those that you can create, begin to test smaller changes.Optimizing your conversion rate is an important first step before beginning a search engine optimization or pay-per-click campaign designed to drive more traffic to your site. If you spend a lot of money driving traffic to a poorly optimized site, your acquisition cost for a customer increases, sometimes dramatically. So, to get the most bang for your marketing buck, start with A/B testing and optimize your conversion rates. Then move on to strategies that will drive more traffic to your site.

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Custom Designed WordPress Theme versus an Off-the-shelf Theme

Posted by Masen

The graphic design, or look and feel, is the first impression every visitor gets from a website. It’s a critical component in establishing credibility and inspiring people to stick around. Poorly or generically designed websites have higher bounce rates than professionally designed ones. (more…)

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About WordPress

Posted by Chloe Spencer

Believe it or not, your WordPress website has secrets, shortcuts and tricks you never even knew about. WordPress has a plethora of special features, and the hard part is not using them, but knowing they all exist. There are so many great little tips and tricks for WordPress that many of them go unnoticed by WordPress newbies and veterans alike. Read on to discover 5 things you may have never known about your WordPress website until now.


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5 Web Marketing Secrets for Small Businesses

Posted by Chloe Spencer

Owning a small business is a big task. Initial planning, hiring employees, creating budgets, and marketing is only the beginning of the immense workload on the shoulders of new small business owners. But even if you're not a startup and you've had your business for a while, marketing is an on-going hurdle you must jump over on a regular basis. Here are a few tricks of the trade that can help any business with their online marketing… (more…)

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Joomla vs WordPress

Posted by Chloe Spencer

The ongoing Joomla vs WordPress war still rages, competing for the title of number one CMS. Both are very popular, very powerful Content Management Systems, but with slightly different approaches to managing content and geared towards a slightly different audience. So what it comes down to is not so much which one is better, but which CMS is better for you. Read on to find out whether you should build your website using WordPress or Joomla. (more…)

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The 7 Deadly Small Business Mistakes

Posted by Chloe Spencer

Starting a small business is a big and daunting task. Small business owners often make common mistakes, especially in the beginning. As a result, startup after startup goes up in flames. Many of them were great ideas but they were never able to prosper because they were cut short by preventable pitfalls. Read on to find out the top small business mistakes and how you can avoid them.


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6 Benefits to Using WordPress As Your Website’s Foundation

Posted by Masen

WordPress is used to create 1 in 3 websites on the Internet today and that percentage is growing every day. If you are not already aware of WordPress and how it can act as a great platform for your small business website, then read on. This article will discuss what WordPress is and what its benefits are. WordPress is the world’s leading Content Management System, or CMS. A CMS is just a fancy term for a program that let’s you edit your own website. (more…)

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5 Tips for Email Marketing

Posted by Chloe Spencer

Email marketing can be a great way to reach customers, but it can be very difficult to capture your reader's genuine attention without looking like spam or a sales pitch. Who wants to put a ton of time and effort into email marketing when their emails are just going to get ignored, deleted or caught in a spam filter? There's a few tricks to successful email marketing for small businesses, which if done right can increase not only your conversions but also your website traffic, search engine rankings, etc. Plus, it's one of the most effective free-of-cost marketing tactics out there. Read on to discover the top 5 tips for email marketing geared specifically toward small business owners.


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Principles of Social Networking Success

Posted by Masen

Would you like to grow your FaceBook likes? Do you want more Twitter followers? Regardless of the social network you are targeting, these principles will help you grow awareness and increase traffic to your website and business.

Add Value

The number one principle is to always add value. Whether you are writing a blog post, an email newsletter, a tweet or a FaceBook post, always try to say something that would be of value to your target reader. There are a variety of ways to create value. You can provide inform people regarding current events or happenings in your industry. You can educate them about your category of product or service. Or you can provide entertainment (this is a tricky one, of course, because not everyone finds the same things funny). (more…)

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