Between 1999 and 2007, I designed and managed content for a number of traditional websites for various clients and projects. These were built using a combination of HTML and CSS techniques. I began working with content management systems in 2007, and soon after signed on to manage the online properties of The Philadelphia Zoo.
The Zoo’s website was built upon a custom CMS and contained thousands of pages at any moment. The content was constantly rotating as old pages were removed and new content was created. Most pages included photos or graphics in addition to written content. Launched in September 2007, the website was full of typos and inconsistencies when I took over three months later. Under my management, the website grew in size while becoming cleaner, more professional and easier to navigate, and soon earned more than one million annual visitors for the first time.
In addition to the Zoo’s site, I also began building websites for freelance clients using the open-source WordPress CMS.
Content management systems are a wonderful way to modernize any website. They allow you to host dozens to thousands of pages, all controlled by a set of PHP and CSS code pages and utilizing (in most cases) a MySQL database. With a CMS, you can track changes made by individual users, change the entire look of a website in just minutes and add global functionality including search engine optimization techniques. In addition, all of the content is controlled using a web-browser interface, so no coding experience or software is needed once the site is built.
Analytics And Reporting
Web site traffic monitoring and analysis reports are critical to measuring the success of any website changes, SEO efforts or marketing campaigns. It’s more than just knowing how many people visited your website. It’s understanding where they came from, what content they looked at, how long they stayed, how much content they looked at, and where they finally left.
- identify keywords based upon user searches
- identify under-performing site content
- monitor impact of social media marketing and email newsletters
- monitor links from referring websites
- track changes to Alexa ranking and SERP results
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