Joomla and Drupal suck… a guide to website CMS

So you’re about to start building your website, but it’s good before you head out that you do some planning and research for exactly how you want tos et it up. Of course there’s the standard thought process of the colors you would like to use and the site map. But one thing that many small businesses don’t consider is choosing their CMS platform.

CMS stands for content management system and it basically absolves your web developer of the ability to charge you a pretty penny every time you need some changes made. CMS puts the power to make website changes in your hands in a simple interface that’s as easy as updating your status on Facebook.

Web developers were happy when customers wanted CMS platforms, after all, why not design a CMS platform for a client for $10,000 then charge an extra $5,000 for design? Only problem was soon free CMS platforms were launching such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla which basically allowed you to have a ready made CMS platform ready for $0.

So then web developers said “Ok, that’s fine. We’ll just design platform specific website layouts and differentiate ourselves.”

Soon however these platforms had a huge developer database with hundreds of ready made templates, some starting at $50.

Ah, the life of a web developer.

Anyway, the point I”m trying to make is that as a consumer you are in a good space. Pick a good CMS platform and choose the right developer and you could have a beautiful looking website that looks like a million bucks for under $1,500.

So let’s talk about what I wanted to mention – the CMS platform war.

You know how some people are into iPhones and some into their Samsung phones? The whole argument is pretty lame but there’s actually a lamer argument out there.

Joomla vs. WordPress vs. Drupal. Basically imagine a bunch of developers sitting around arguing about which CMS platform is the best. The reason I say this argument is sad is that IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. As long as you pick a fairly popular CMS platform your website will be fine.

Pick a phone and don’t talk to me about why you picked it lol.

However I just wanted to point out that WordPress is the best =)

Here are the facts:

#1 WordPress is the most popular

#2 WordPress has the most extensions

#3 WordPress hosts some of the largest sites on the internet – Rolling Stones, Paris Hilton’s site, McAfee, Nokia. Honestly if it’s good enough for these companies it’s probably good enough for your business.

Now, some people like Joomla and Drupal and that’s fine. At the end of the day it’s no big deal, they all get the job done but here’s a couple of poins to selecting the best CMS Platform for YOU:

What does your developer use?

If you have a developer that currently manages your website who you have a good relationship with. Ask them what they use. As long as it’s not some CMS platform that no one has heard of go with them. They’ll be able to install it for you and make it look good and can support you if you run into any problems.

Do you have experience?

If you’ve used a CMS platform in a previous job or website use that. Trust me there’s no reason for you to invest hours of time learning WordPress if you are all ready familiar with Joomla. Waste of time.

So at the end of the day it’s up to you what CMS platform you use but I think this screenshot sums it up:


That blue line you see winning is WordPress.

The brown line at the bottom that never had a chance is Drupal.

The red line is Joomla, you’ll notice that at one point it was beginning to catch up in popularity but eventually people stopped caring. You have to ask yourself why.

Look I’ve used Joomla a couple of times (one of my client’s websites was made in Joomla) and I have nothing against it, I really don’t care which CMS platform my clients choose however at the end of the day WordPress is the most popular. And you have to remember it’s not just about getting “what’s hot”, a larger user base means more extensions, a larger pool of WordPress developers (meaning better pricing – supply and demand you know how it goes), a larger plugin/extension directory etc.

WordPress… WINS.

P.S. When I say WordPress I’m not talking about WordPress.com which hosts your website for you, I’m talking about WordPress.org, which gives you the entire WordPress platform that you can download and throw straight on to your server.

When Testimonials Make You Look Bad – The Curious Case of QuiBids

I was watching the television today and an ad popped up from some company.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Uj0myI12jw

Now this sounds pretty much like eBay auctions (you can setup an eBay auction)

So if someone really wanted (who is selling these products) to sell iPads and iPods at a starting auction price of $1 why not go to eBay since it all ready has a huge built in audience? In fact if you check the traffic statistics, you’ll find eBay Australia has  an audience of 11 million unique visitors (that’s half of Australia).

But for some reason everyone is putting their product on QuiBids? Hmmm. Interesting, because I’ve never heard about QuiBids.

I thought that maybe I was missing something until this “testimonial” decided to convince me that it was the real deal.

“I got a Mac Book pro laptop for 60 cents!”

…?

…… ?????!!!!

So the hired actor says it can be done!

Wait, so if you website is so successful and thousands of customers are getting great deals… then why do you have to hire an actor to use as a testimonial?

Also I find it hard to believe that iPads are selling at 95% off the RRP as Apple can barely keep up with demand for many of their products.

I decided to check out QuiBids on Google, did you know they are the best online auction site!

Says who?

Of course it’s no surprise that Channel 9 will take on any advertiser at this point as per my recent post.

Apparently what QuiBids fails to mention is that even if that testimonial was a real person, you don’t actually get an iPad for 60 cents, rather it costs 60 cents to bid on the iPad, so that person might have gotten the iPad at let’s say $200 but paid only 60 cents to bid – and remember that it costs you 60 cents every time you bid. So it’s like an eBay auction, except you pay even if you don’t win!

Seriously guys, if a company comes to you with some random website product and the video contains a hired testimonial, my advice is to vet these guys.

Here you can see what others are saying (and it ain’t pretty)

The Intellectual Property Swindle

Imagine if you hired an electrician to build a sound/lighting system in your living room.

Now further imagine if once the electrician finished his work, he turned to you and before taking your cheque casually said:

“Hey, by the way, just wanted to make sure we have an understand… you are not allowed to turn on your lights between 7 – 9pm.”

“What?” you ask, confused, surely you had heard him wrong. This man just installed YOUR sound system in YOUR home and is now telling what you can and can’t do, perhaps it’s a… safety issue.

“Why not?” you ask.

“It’s all part of the contract,” he says to you handing you a piece of paper that you signed.

Standard procedure buddy

He’s not wrong. There in black and white it says:

“Upon installation of said sound system, the end user shall not use the designated sound or lighting system between the hours of 7 – 9pm. Failure to do so will incur a charge of $100 for every hour the light stays on.”

What the hell!!??

What if you’re having guests over and want to watch your holiday videos? 7 – 9pm is when most people have dinner, and now you have to eat in the dark!

Of course, if an electrician did this it would be ridiculous but video production companies do this all the time.

They’ll say “Here is a video, but here is how you can and can’t use it. You can use it on your website, but not on television and not in a presentation. You can burn it on DVD but only make a maximum of 500 copies.”

We all know companies have lots of ways to make extra money and this is just one of them.

But why am I telling you this? After all aren’t I part of a video production company? Surely it’s in my best interest to include a clause restricting you from keeping your rights to use the product.

If anything I should be making sure you know as little about this as possible.

Surely it would be in my best interest to keep this practice going.

Here’s the thing, I do things a little differently at Head Studios.

You ready for the crazy theory?

If you pay for work to be done, the work belongs to YOU!!

I don’t care if I’m part of a video production company, this just makes sense to me.

It doesn’t mean that now you’ve created a video you should be paying me every time you want to use it in a presentation, or on television. Go ahead and do what you like with it. Because I want you to be successful, because if you are chances are you’ll come back wanting more work done, perhaps advertise your video on YouTube or some high quality websites, perhaps help you build a sales pipe line and a bunch of other stuff or perhaps refer some other clients. Something about the theory of abundance comes to mind here (even if you’re not a new age guy look it up).

I believe it’s more important to focus on producing results for the client, rather than walling the client inside an ecosystem that he can’t control, trapping him in your services so even when something better comes along the client is trapped with you.

Sure there are some services like Apple for example that doesn’t allow users to make changes to their iPhones, but guess what, they do this so the client doesn’t screw something up, not because they’re trying to hark more money out of them.

This sort of reminds me when web designers were charging clients $5,000 for websites that they created from $35 WordPress templates. The jig lasted for a while but is slowly coming to an end. I guess you can make a lot of money from people’s ignorance.

Anyway this post is for next time you choose to engage a video production company:

MAKE SURE YOU OWN THE RIGHTS!

The last thing you want is to advertise on television only to get a bill from the company that produced your video for an additional $10,000 (exaggeration, you get the idea) because you’ve used the video in a way that you weren’t supposed to.

Just like the lighting/sound system. You paid for it you should be able to use it however you want (that means having dinner with the lights on and watching movies with friends whenever you feel like it).

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger talked to me..

Ok, the title is not really true, but I hope it got your attention.

So recently I happened to catch a piece of 60 Minutes about Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was actually my house mate watching it, but I could hear his thick accent come through. What a life this guy has lived. Love him or hate him he’s definately a larger than life individual (even without the huge muscles). One of the people to truly personify the American Dream (there’s a lot less of those around these days).

What I find interesting about Mr. Schwaznagger is how he was able to succeed despite breaking all the rules.

I mean let’s think about it. He became a multi million dollar movie star, on top of the game, all this despite:

  • Having an accent you could barely understand
  • A huge body that broke all Hollywood physique stereotypes (I mean… too big)
  • A last name that I still can’t type correctly
  • Coming from Germany, a country that the U.S. had a huge military confrontation with (did I mention his dad was a Nazi party member)
  • Very few if any connections in America

So what the hell happened? How was Mr. Arnold able to flip the script as it were, and totally redefine Hollywood?

Here are a couple of thoughts that I can name:

  1. Don’t bother working to fit in
    It seems these days, everyone wants to be somebody else rather than embracing what makes them unique. When Arnold went to his agent in Hollywood, the agent (and probably everyone close to him) recommended he change his last name to be more readily accepted by the movie going public. Arnold refused to compromise and interestingly enough, if you ask me, having a name like that is actually an advantage because I would say to my friend “Wow, did you hear about that film with the guy that has the long name?” “Yeh…” “We should go watch that”. Viral marketing :P
  2. Insane (work ethic)
    Arnold’s work ethic was second to none. When he put his sights on becoming Mr. Olympia he went out and did it.
  3. Finding the right role
    Sometimes we try to put a square through a round hole. Some might accuse Arnold Schwarzenegger of being less an actor and closer to a robot… so he played a robot lol.
  4. Keep your brand
    Unlike actors like Johnny Depp who play a range of characters Arnold Schwarzenegger basically plays the same guy in every movie (don’t tell me, you know it’s true). This might seem like not the way to practice the acting craft and I’m sure some out of work actors may agree. However when you go to an Arnold film you know what to expect and so he builds a loyal following of fans.
  5. Try new things
    So this might actually appear to contradict the previous point, but don’t be afraid of trying new things – keep it fresh. Arnold switched it up completely in Junior, a film about him getting pregnant. The film got lousy ratings but I think it speaks for Arnold’s outlook, he’s never afraid to try something completely different. I mean look at his career – body builder, action star and now politician. Pretty random if you ask me.

What do you think made Mr. Arnold so incredibly sucessful?

P.S. And yes I know he slept with his house maid, which is not cool, however I wanted to focus on this guy’s success rather than his failures.

Intent Group – SEOs are douche bags

I did a blog post a while ago about this, but I thought I would bring it up again to drive my point home.

Have you heard of SEO? It stands for ‘search engine optimization’ and if done correctly, can propel you to the top of Google search results (where it’s very important to be) for your industry’s search terms. Do you know how much extra business you could generate from having your name come up first when consumers/companies search for your industry? Many people use Google and there is no doubt that doing SEO on your business can impact the bottom line in a significant way.

However in this blog post I wanted to talk about the general douche baggery of SEO consultants.

You see my expertise is not in SEO (all though I’ve read a number of books on the subject) and I have had to deal with a number of SEO people throughout my business life.

The problem with people in the SEO industry is that there is no real qualification that you need to claim to be an ‘SEO Expert’ and what that leads to, as in many industries with a similar problem, is a lot of people taking that title that maybe… well don’t really deserve it. You’ll know these type of people when you see them, as they usually have a lot of hot air about them (arrogance). These fake ‘pretenders’ let’s call them, will usually strive to make what they do seem complicated… or even mystical, rather than trying to simplify things for you. You see, the more complicated they can make their job seem, the more money they can charge for their services.

Let me give you one specific example I came across recently.

I was browsing the internet (as everyone does) and saw an advertisement (as you do) for an SEO ‘webinar’. A webinar is basically an online training course, and this training course would be taught by someone named ‘Daniel Hayward’ who it seems from the advertisement is a marketing genius (have you noticed when people advertise themselves they never fail to mention that they’re the best in the industry)? Anyway Daniel claims to have built a list of 1.1 million opt in consumers (that’s a big number, and congratulations to him if it’s true and he did it ethically).

Now don’t you think it’s fair for me to do some research on Mr. Daniel Hayward before I register for his seminar? After all, we should do a little bit of digging to find out a little bit more about a person instead of taking his claims at face value right?

So why am I writing this blog post? What inspired me to once again vent my absolute annoyance at this industry?

So I went to this gentleman’s LinkedIn profile (since I couldn’t find a website). You can tell a lot from someone’s LinkedIn profile; most notable where they work and their accomplishments (I assume that’s the first thing people fill out when they get one of these accounts).

So what do we find on Daniel Hayward’s account? Well let’s take a peek inside…

So Daniel Hayward claims to be the BIGGEST in-house SEO company, not just in Sydney but Australia… pretty big claim. Especially when you consider the fact there’s no such thing as an in-house SEO company.

Let me explain.

The definition of in-house SEO is:

All the advertising activities that are done by one or more people within the company, with nocontribution from a specialized agency. (http://en.mimi.hu/marketingweb/in-house.html)

Basically when you bring SEO ‘in-house’ for your business you are effectively shunning a traditional SEO company/agnecy and hiring a full time SEO employee. So as you can see, bringing your SEO activities in-house is an alternative to hiring an SEO company. Basically this person is claiming to be the biggest company that provides a service that no company provides. It’s like me saying I have the biggest video production company that is run entirely on cheese… technically it’s true (because I eat a lot of cheese), but at the same time it’s not a thing.

But let’s not judge too quickly, let’s go check this company out and see what they’ve done, after all I’m sure the biggest ‘in-house SEO company’ in Australia would have a website. I’ll try Google and see if I can find this so called largest company.

Google search…

The first result is a Facebook page with… 174 fans. Wow… I’m just a little player and even I have more Facebook fans.

And if you were to look at their page it would seem they do Bali rentals:

By the way what better way to make a first impression than a stretched logo:

And it’s good to know they have a free @live.com account to field any enquiries.

 

But this is just their Facebook page. I’m sure the biggest SEO company in the world has an awesome website so let’s click through to intentseo.com.au and see these guys kick out of the ball park with some…

Current as of 7th October, so don’t email me if the website is in fact live. The point is it should have been live before you claim to be the biggest company in Australia.

Wow…

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what I mean by SEO Douchebaggery. Now let me say I don’t know this Daniel Hayward character, I’m sure he knows his stuff when it comes to SEO and I have no doubt he’s a lot smarter than me (as far as search engine optimization goes) but do you really have to make these wild claims without thinking someone is going to call you out on it?

Anyway I’m out, speak later.

—-

By the way, I just wanted to mention that E-Web Marketing is a great company and I do not have anything but positive things to say about them. I actually dealt with them personally at one point, however if someone is associated with them and I have an opinion on it I will say, so I’m callling this person out.

—–

Update: later on in the day

I noticed a new ad has been put up and now the 1.1 million subscribers claim is missing.

Also it seems the LinkedIn profile for Daniel Hayward that I had may have been the wrong one (all though it still states Intent Group, but now he is CEO of Deals Daily)… which sounds familiar. However when I went to the page I found:

So I don’t know. Maybe this guy is the real deal… albeit with a bad hosting provider.

Personal Letter to Mr. Daniel Hayward – do not read below this point if you are not Daniel Hayward :p

I am not into making up half truths about people or businesses. If anything I have written in this article is factually incorrect or you would like to place a rebuttal feel free to write me (facts only) to – kosta [ at ] headstudios.com.au and I will be sure to publish it below.