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Posts Tagged ‘content management system’

In the SM Era, Do I still need a Website?

May 2nd, 2013 No comments

We are in a Social Media (SM) era. Facebook has over a billion users, and continues to add to their numbers. LinkedIn has hit 200 hundred million members world-wide. You can have your own YouTube Channel. With these, Twitter and so many other SM sites – all available free – do you still need a website?

The answer may be right in front of you. You are on our MHProNews.com website, we need one even though we use all of the SM named and more. But for some businesses, it may be possible to skip having a website, and still stay effective.

Hypothetical Example of a No Website Business

popular logos posted on MHProNewsIf you are the owner of a 15 site manufactured home community that is full and has a waiting list, you can easily make the case that the use of a cross section of SM sites is all you would need for someone to find you on a Google, Bing or Yahoo search.

But let's say the manufactured home community is 75 sites, not 15. You have 10 vacant "pads" and have been losing occupancy. You have 2 homes for sale and a vacant rental unit. Could you still make it by using SM alone? Or could you make it with a page on MHVillage.com, plus these SM sites?

In such a scenario, the odds are excellent that you need your own website.

But we would recommend that you have the SM sites and MHVillage.com as "Google bait" to boost the SEO appeal of your site, to advance the visibility and to act as a focal point to connect all your SM resources.

What kind of website?

Stating the obvious, every company, and each location for a company, is different.

There are many types of web platforms available starting from the so-called "freebie" you can get with your Internet service provider, to the high 5, 6 or even 7 figure web-tech investments made by those in the factory built housing arena. There are operations who spend more making a single studio quality video than someone else will spend on their entire internet marketing presence.

Through our WebTech service division, we are routinely building, servicing and doing proposals for companies online. While 1 size does not fit all – for example, an e-commerce site with tight security is different than what a typical retailer, community or service provider usually needs – still a common recommendation we make is to use a CMS platform.

CMS

CMS is short for Content Management System. I built my first website back in the 1990s, using hand coded HTML. While we and our team's web designer still do some hand-coding, the far better approach for most is a dynamic CMS system!

Take a look at MHC-MD.com or the LouisvilleShow.com websites as two examples or modern CMS platforms.

mhc-md.comThese can be customized to fit almost any business. Once built, they are easy to maintain. Some clients want us to do their updates, but for the majority, you can be taught in an hour or so how to do the basic updates, thus keeping your website maintenance costs low!

My associates or I could change the slider images out on the Louisville or MHC-MD.com websites rapidly, and make the site look dramatically different. In fact, when we start the warm up to the Louisville Show for 2014, you can count on the fact that we will do a number of updates to the site.

With your SM pointing to a CMS style website, you can dramatically improve your SEO.

What's your Budget for websites?

As noted before, you can in theory get 'free' resources or those that are very low up front costs. But often the look is dated, and since studies show that people surfing online decide in 5-10 seconds if they will stay on your site once they land there, it is important to make that first 5-10 seconds a visually good experience!

So to do a quality CMS platform that looks modern and can be maintained by the client, you are normally looking at a range of options, examples:

  • in the low 4 figures range (over $1000 to under $4000).
  • But for some big operations, and depending on the security, ecommerce of other kinds of solutions needed, you can jump to 5 figures (over $10,000) or more.
  • I've talked to operations in our industry that are spending $100,000 to $500,000 a year on IT/Webtech.
  • We do coaching classes with those on budgets under $1000, to help you 'do it yourself' without being all on your own with no one to turn to.

If you:

  • don't have a website,
  • don't know how to make your social media pay,
  • or you want to do an update on your current website,

a number of companies – ours included – will give you a free initial consultation.

To wrap this up, the bottom line is that some today can indeed make it with no website, but for the vast majority, having an website that is integrated with your social media and e-marketing is a must. ##

Editor's note: Social media icons graphic courtesy of Forbes.

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for May and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

5 Reasons Why MH Retailers and Communities Should Be Using WordPress

June 4th, 2011 No comments

WordPress LogoWhether you call your business a Manufactured Home Community, a Land Lease Community or a Mobile Home Park, or call your sales lot a Manufactured Housing Retail Store or Mobile Home Dealership, or anything else for that matter, there are five (5) very good reasons you should be using WordPress as the keystone of your online marketing strategy.

1. Simple installation and setup

No one needs an online marketing solution that is difficult (expensive) to install, update and maintain. If you do it yourself, it is that much more of your time that gets eaten up – and, of course time is money. If you use a professional to do it, that hourly billing on a difficult platform will eat you up.

In my opinion, WordPress is the simplest solution for the needs of clients like manufactured housing communities and retailers. It is much more cost-effective than comparable solutions for use as a Content Management System (CMS) and is just plain easier to administer.

2. Ease of Use

Most CMSs don’t require you to learn HTML or PHP code to use them. That is their beauty. Anyone who can create a letter in MS Word, OpenOffice or any other word processor can create or update a web page using a CMS.

What makes WordPress stand above the rest is the simple, clean interface used to create or update a page or post. The community responsible for the maintenance of the WordPress application has spent hundreds of thousand of hours developing the platform.

Because of the community development model, there is no direct profit motive to blind the development team to flaws that need correction. Likewise, there is a tremendous pool of talent constantly working to improve the product.

3. Out-of-the-Box Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It is the very nature of WordPress’s roots that cause it to be a superior SEO tool right “out-of-the-box.” With all it’s inherent benefits, plugin developers have added their own contributions to WordPress’s SEO abilities creating the world’s premier CMS when it comes to building your Search Engine Ranking.

4. Flexibility (there’s a plugin for that)

Just there are WordPress plugins to help with SEO, there are WordPress plugins that extend the platform to do a myriad of things unimagined by the original developers at WordPress’s conception.

You’ve see the Apple ads – “There’s an app for that” – with WordPress it’s “there’s a plugin for that.”

There are so many plugins for WordPress that you’d be hard-pressed to find something it can’t do.

Most plugins are simple enough for most users to install and configure and are certainly within the skill set of any WordPress developer.

5. Saves you money while it makes you money

The best things about WordPress is that it is Open Source, which means you can you use it freely without any cost or licensing fees. The same holds for many themes (templates) and plugins.

If you require a special plugin or theme, they can usually be acquired at a reasonable cost. And the sheer ubiquitousness for WordPress ensures that if your web developer quits the business, gets hit by a bus or moves back to South Africa, you will find it fairly easy to find someone to take up the job.

So let’s go over the benefits of WordPress one more time:

  • Simple
  • Easy
  • Powerful
  • Flexible
  • Open Source

I’ve been in the web development and marketing business for fifteen years and that checklist is something I waited to have in one product for a long time.

To paraphrase former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, “WordPress and you… perfect together.”

WordPress, Joomla! lead among Open Source CMSs again – even better solution for manufactured housing websites

January 23rd, 2011 No comments

The Water and Stone 2010 Open Source CMS Market Report is now available. According to Water and Stone, “The Big Three – WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal – remain firmly in command of the market,” and “WordPress has taken the lead in brand strength after a strong growth year.”

What does that mean for MH manufacturers, retailers, community owners/managers and suppliers? It means they will be around for a long time to come. And that means superior support for the software your website runs on – IF you’ve chosen one of the market leaders.

Orange Cat offers it’s clients development on the WordPress and Joomla! platforms as we feel they offer most power and flexibility in Internet marketing. Drupal is a popular alternative to Joomla! but we feel Joomla! offers our customers more options, templates and plugins and a more vibrant support community.

WordPress is the simplest of the three to administer and recent upgrades have added enough features where we can now consider using it in a wider range of customers applications.

You can download the Water and Stone 2010 Open Source CMS Market Report here.

The Human Factor to a more effective website

November 17th, 2010 1 comment

Bob Stovall's November Article illustrationThis post is a follow-up to my November Article, Making Websites More Effective and covers an aspect of an effective website – and therefore a more effective online marketing and lead generation strategy – that I think is critically important.

In the article, I considered how using the latest technology would make your online presence more effective.

But the other side to the story is that if the website is hard to update, or if you have to hassle with a less-than-cooperative web designer every time you need to update it, you just won’t do it.

I’ve seen dozens of good websites fall by the wayside as a customer service or lead generation tool because the web designer disappeared or was just plain too difficult to work with.

You know from dealing with your customers and prospects that making it easy for them to buy is an important step in the sales process. Make it painful enough and they will disappear forever taking their money elsewhere.

The same is true for you as a businessperson. If vendors and suppliers make it difficult enough for you, you give up on that vendor or supplier or maybe on the whole project.

This is one reason that we now produce all of our client’s web pages using Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla! and CMSBuilder. Using a CMS takes the adversarial relationship with an uncooperative web designer out of the equation. It also makes it easier and less expensive for you to make simple updates to your website. But you can read all about that in the article.

Your job is to make buying easier for your prospects – my job is to make your website, email marketing and social networking easier.

We’ve made a special offer at the bottom of Making Websites More Effective to save you some serious coin. I hope anyone in need of our services will take advantage of it.

That’s it for today! I hope you and your families have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving and I’ll see you in Louisville!