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Posts Tagged ‘Joomla’

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.”

Need to do updates on your own manufactured home website?

February 27th, 2011 No comments

You’ve just had your website reviewed and you just need to tweak a few posts or pages to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So, what do you do next?

Well, you could just call or email your web developer and ask him or her to make the changes for you. Then next week, when you notice something else that needs updating, you can do it again.

But there’s another way.

Using professional-grade CMS Builder software, your current website can be retrofitted so you can easily update your own site. If you can login to a website and if you’re familiar with working in a word precessor, such as Microsoft Word, updating your site is within your grasp.

Even if you never touch the website yourself, your web developer will make your changes in less time and with less chance of making unwanted changes to your template. That’s a important consideration these days when the person maintaining your site is often not the person who designed it.

If you sell or rent homes, lots or land, CMS Builder has optional List Manager (LM) module that is a huge improvement on their old, standalone listing system.

No matter who designed your site, if it not a modern Content Management System (CMS) now, it can be in just a few days.

CMS Builder logoThe beauty of separating your content from your website template (what it looks like) is that if you decide to change the look of your site in the future, it is a simple precess to change the template than to rebuild the entire site, content and all.

And having the ability to make updates to your site on a regular basis will extend the useful life of the site.

We can retrofit your site using CMS Builder for far less than the price of rebuilding it. Give us a call at (847) 730-3692 and find out more.

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!

Social Networking ripples can cause much bigger effects for manufactured housing

October 21st, 2010 1 comment

I live in Danville, Kentucky – a town of about 15,000 that has been named “one of America’s Best Small Towns.” As charming as our little town is, every so often a trip to the “big city” is in order. What this has to do with manufactured, or any factory-built housing will become apparent. This past Sunday was my wife’s birthday. We decided to go for dinner at Sutton’s Italian Restaurant in Lexington, KY. Sutton’s is a client of mine (we did their website) and this was their new location. I really like to keep up with what my client’s are doing as having knowledge of their operations helps me do a better job of marketing for them.

We ordered some wine, recommended by owner Gordon Lewis, a locally produced Merlot from Jean Farris Wineries. Notice how the locally-sourced product was the one recommended. It was a very good wine, the best Merlot I have ever had – and I’m NOT a big Merlot fan normally.

So far, so good. It’s the next succession of events that I wanted to point out. We ordered an appetizer. One of our favorites in Italian restaurants is calamari with marinara sauce, so we decided to go for that. Well, the calamari was super! It mixed in was a special treat. Banana peppers (peperoncini) which had been sliced into rings like the calamari and fried along with them. Exceptional.

So I took out my iPhone and photographed our half-finished plate and posted it on Facebook. Within minutes, a friend who didn’t know of the restaurant’s new location asked me where they were.

He’ll be checking out the new location shortly with his entire family. Now, my question is… how much benefit will Sutton’s receive from a picture, a caption and about a minute that it took me to post it to Facebook? Five people will eat there as a direct result. How many more read the post, now know the new location and will find their way there over the next few weeks?

And what’s it worth if they like it, return and tell their friends?

Even if the restaurant has no idea where those customers originated, they benefit from that small bit of social networking. It happens that Sutton’s has a Facebook page of their own, so those reading my post can easily find them on Facebook. And or course, their Facebook page has a link to their website.

So round and round it goes, a small ripple in the pond of information creates a much larger result. Sutton’s pays their employees who then spend the money in the local economy and the additive value of a dollar spent adds to Lexington’s GDP.

More ripples in our various ponds are what will get the economy moving again on a local, national and global basis. It’s not hard. Go make a ripple today, even a small one. It will will multiply as the circle widens.

And don’t forget to post every new thing your business does on your website, your blog, your Facebook page, your LinkedIn status and tweet it on Twitter to boot. Have a new home on your lot or in your community? Install a new home? Performed some community service? Hire a new sales person, customer service rep or installer. Each of those is a small stone causing a small ripple that grows and grows and…