It’s been an interesting year of up and downs for most, especially those in Knysna. The Recession surely made it challenging but those who adapted the best and marketed hardest have pulled through – congrats to you! For those in the tourism trade, i hope that you grabbed a slice of the bigger tourist stream that seemed to flow into our town the past 4 months. Definitely more travellers from the East and Europe. Dining at 34 South on Thursday night was wonderfully ambient as it was a full house of happy foreigners. I’m hoping that that’s a sign of a good December and January coming.
On my side, despite some client’s businesses closing, the number of websites i host rose to 35 – thank you. Co.za and .Com renewal fees have yet to change so, until further notice, renewals will remain at R100 and R150 respectively. Hosting will increase from R360 to R400 per year (i.e. R33 per month) which i’m sure you’ll agree remains cheap.
The goal has been to increase Knysna’s professional appearance and internet footprint. Last month, we had almost 65 000 pages visited. These are actual pages rather than “hits” that some like to quote (which adds every item on a page and boosts statistics falsely). Statistics can rise and fall according to topics so, although we continue to grow overall, that wasn’t our biggest month or moment e.g. in September, author Mike Wood’s statistics quadrupled as users favoured what he wrote. And, last week, a single article i posted was seen by more than 10 000.
What separates successful websites from the unsuccessful? How can you improve your website statistics?
We can’t compete with Beyonce giving birth, Britney taking drugs or the US elections R18 billion campaign:) Some of you are happy to use your website as a business card, a static website of old. That’s ok if you’re happy that way but in order to be the best providers of what people are looking for, you have to:
- Blog: Providing the latest news deems you more relevant to search engines.
- SEO: Most of you had an SEO (search engine optimization) program installed into your website for free – use it so that you tailor make the results that search engines deliver.
- Edit: Don’t upload enormous photos as they will only slow down your website. WordPress automatically gives you the option to make them smaller when inserting into a post but if you are utilizing a front page slider/gallery, you must remember to edit them before uploading.
- Ads: If yours is a business website, utilize Google ads so that you jump to the top of the search results.
The goal has never been to “hold you hostage’ but rather have you manage your website. I have shown most of you how for free. If you need to learn or relearn the basics, i do offer a course for local clients that takes 1.5-3 hours. Cost is R400.
I’ve also compiled a 20 page booklet that teaches how to build WordPress websites. That 4-day course is R2800 and can be split over 2 weeks if need be. If you know of any scholars or students that would enjoy adding an extra skill to their life, please have them contact me. I’m happy to teach during the holidays.
These are the 10 most popular client websites for the past year:
Stopping spam is a never-ending battle. Spam is overwhelmingly the majority of email so when you do receive one, keep in mind that the vast majority were stopped before entering your inbox. Nevertheless, a few of us were targeted and received more than normal over the past month. Hopefully i will find a solution soon.
On the bright side, the WordPress platform, the foundation for your website, experienced many changes for the better this year. That meant many updates from my side. As of last week, all your plugins (the mini-programs inserted into your website that allow services such as the weather or comments) are up to date.
If you are a blogger, remember to back-up your posts and pages! You’ll find that under the Tools tab, on the side menu bar, in your Dashboard (after you’ve logged in).