Why Invest In Your Website?

It’s not that rare to hear someone claim that the look of your website isn’t the focal point of having one. While this is true – content is crucial, as even the worst-looking websites in the world can thrive if the content is good enough.

The catch? Most of them can’t.

Your website is your identity, and if it looks horrendous when it loads, the likelihood is that someone will make a snap judgement about your content, your services and your willingness to put effort into your online presence. This sounds harsh, but realistically, companies should have been investing in high-quality websites ten years ago. In the second decade into the new millennium, there’s no excuse.

So what makes a good website, and how do you invest in one? For starters, you’ll find that user experiences are going to improve when everything is neat, clean, well-organised and easy to use.

Investing in your website is simple – hire good web developers, make sure your servers are high-quality and never prone to more than .1% downtime (whether you choose a Rimuhosting.com VPS or a GoDaddy.com Hosting Plan for as little as $7.64/month), and hire some staff to run the site, if you’re a large enough company. A good team of staff will be comprised of a web administrator, someone on content, someone promoting the site (you can combine these last two roles, if you wish), and someone working on helping users who may have any queries.

Lastly, think of your website as the modern equivalent of a shop front. If it looks like something years out of date, without a door handle and with all the products lacking price tags, then you’re going to run into trouble. So keep everything clean and appealing, and it’s going to be a lot easier to generate a client/consumer base that appreciates and is loyal to your dedication to your and their online presence.

Launching CronBlocks.com – Dynamic content for your website

Update: Want to use CronBlocks.com with WordPress? Check out the plugin!

It’s been a while since my last post, but it’s been for a good cause. This week I launched CronBlocks.com, an app that allows you to insert content on a web-page according to a given schedule or visitor’s geo-location.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to www.cronblocks.com and click on Plans to sign up – there’s a free plan if you just want to see how it works. Check out the premium plans once you’re satisfied it’s what you need.
  2. After signing up, and activating your account (you’ll get an activation email), click on the Channels link. The Channels allow you to control where on your page you want the content to appear.
  3. Configure your channel to run by server (EDT) or client time – I recommend client time since you’ll probably be receiving people from across several different time zones.
  4. You can choose to copy the JS snippet at this time, or leave it for later – it’s the JS snippet that you’ll use on your website to show the content
  5. Once you have the channel set up, you can create your scheduled blocks for that channel. Blocks are the actual content that’ll show on your page. You can create as many schedules for a block as you want/need – either by months/days or by day-of-week. And you get to set the time you want them to show, too.
  6. If you have multiple blocks to show that overlap a given time slot, you can set them to have different priorities (weight). Higher weights trump lower ones. Think of it as stack, with heavier items being served first. Overlapping items with same weight will be picked randomly.

And that’s all there is to it. Your site will show whatever block is set up for that given timestamp.

What uses do you have for this? Well, for starters, you can segment your ads by time – sell your “prime time” for a higher price than other times (for those of you who don’t use ad networks). You can also include some JS in your block to make it refresh every 15 seconds or so. Basically, your imagination is the limit.

I’ll create new posts in the future with more examples. In the meantime, here’s a test block for you.

Cheers,
Vinny