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Moving your old tired website and static content to a new CMS

Web guru and author of ‘Google Juice’ Scott McIntosh puts the topic of website content very simply when he writes: One thing the Google bots take note of is fresh content.

 When they revisit a website or blog, they read everything and match it with the previous results from that blog or website. If they see something new, they are pleased as this means someone is taking the time to update that site. Most businesses can come up with new content fairly easily. This can include :

  • details of new services or products
  • success stories and customer testimonials
  • company news and  forthcoming events
  • special offers, discounts and price information

And yet looking at the websites of otherwise strong local companies you can see information that never changes, is out of date or simply not finished – the dreaded ‘this page is under construction’ that makes the website sound like some half built, never to be finished kitchen extension! Talking to business owners, one of the main reasons why websites remain out of date, unchanged and incomplete is that they often used a web developers to create their website in the first place. These developers are either now nowhere to be found or charge so much to change content that it is not cost-effective. But customers looking at these websites often assume the company is sloppy, lazy or just past its best. If this reads like your website, my advice would be start over, but this time using a Content Management System [CMS] – simply, that’s a system that allows you to easily add, amend, and remove content without going back to a developer.

What is Joomla?

There are many such systems available. One of the best, and most popular, is Joomla. There are probably many technical reasons for this but let’s look at the advantages to a company that simply wants a cost-effective website that will mean more business. Joomla’s suitability largely comes down to two things:

  • it’s already hugely popular; and
  • its ‘free and open-source’.

There are already almost 2 million Joomla-based websites worldwide. That demonstrates that businesses find it a great tool to creating effective, sales generating websites. It means there are already tens of thousands of free or low cost templates for you to select from. It also means there are lots of users offering advice and guidance for any questions you might have.

What is Open Source and how is “Free” possible?

‘Open source’ essentially means it has been created by developers across the world and is not owned by a profit-hungry software company eager to charge for each update and add-on.

Open Source Joomla CMS

This means many of the elements of Joomla are free or low-cost, and, because of its huge popularity, developers are always working on new functions. And other developers are working on improving these! In all, there are over 6000 add-ons – more that enough to meet the needs of any website. These add-ons mean you can add new functions to your website easily and inexpensively. What add-ons is a business likely to need?

  • Social media, blogs, articles etc are a great way to update content and Google loves them. But even fairly recent websites probably didn’t include this function. With Joomla, it can added at any time.
  • Email newsletters – The buzz word with customers is ‘dialogue’ so email newsletters will help you keep talking to your customers. Easy to access stats will show you whose listening.
  • News feeds – these will update your site daily and customers will recognise your site as a great point for news about your industry or sector.
  • Ecommerce – adding the ability to sell from your site used to costs tens of  thousands. Now it could hardly be easier, and could be a great source of additional revenue.
  • Calendars and events – if you are visiting trade fairs, shows or providing training events and courses etc, this will be a great way to let your customers know – and even book online.

That is just a small snapshot of Joomla’s almost limitless ability to let your site – and business – grow. With a 200,000 strong community of developers and contributors, the list of additional functions will meet any new technological advances. And remember many of these add-ons are FREE. And the very basics – adding copy, uploading a new product photo, amending a special offer price, even adding pages and changing navigation – can all be done by anyone with basic computer skills. That means you can get the whole team to take ownership for the site, not just you.

Getting support with Joomla

It’s likely you will need a Joomla Design company to set things up and do some initial training. But, unlike your last web developer, if your Joomla web design company ‘move on’ there are hundreds of Joomla specialists you can get advice from, including use of forums and fans who will happily provide further support. Opace Technology Solutions are a successful Web Design Birmingham company who specialise in delivering website design and internet marketing services to clients, including open source software consultancy and technical services covering platforms like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress and Magento.

Image credit – Olga Berrios


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