Great March 01, 2012 column by John Coonen, writing on the sea-change brought around by open source content management systems and their impact on the old, static content, static development methods.
Rest In Peace, Web Sites. Long Live CMS Sites!Over fifteen years ago, the switch-over from static Web Sites, to dynamic CMS Sites began. The benefits were undeniable: CMS Sites were easier to update, less expensive to maintain, they empowered collaboration, creativity and it didn't take a programmer to drive. However, the big draw-back for users was cleary the high cost of ramp-up. Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon to lay down $50,000 for a bare-bones system. Ouch.
Still, the businesses and organizations that could justify the expenditure, did so at break-neck speed. The clear ROI leverage, combined with a hefty ticket price became a very fat cash cow for development firms world wide.
For enterprises, a multi-million dollar investment in the right CMS paid back huge dividends, streamlining operations, speeding time-to-market, unifying the message, engaging stakeholders, simplifying processes and creating massive competitive advantages over their arch rivals. They learned how to do more with less effort.
Systems are like that. ;)
OK, so fast forward a decade or so.
The Open Source wave hit us, bringing with it a first wave of community-powered Free Open Source CMS solutions. Joomla! clearly led the charge in the beginning, followed by then lesser-known Drupal and Movable Type, TYPO3, joined soon by a little-known orphan project called b2cafelog, picked up by Matt Mullenweg, and re-branded WordPress (a bazinga! moment).
They came together at just the right time, playing off Tim O'Reilly's perfectly marketed Web 2.0 ideas, just as that movement gained traction, to provide nothing short of "A CMS for the rest of us." Collectively, that first wave of FOSS CMSs, delivered any time of day or night via the magic of a smiley-faced Fantastico button (you don't think I'd forget that, do you?), brought many of the powers of a million dollar CMS to the desktops and servers of non-profits, churches, community service clubs, college dorm hackers, entrepreneurs and other early adopters in education and government.
Stick with me here...
So skipping ahead to the end, it was clear that there would be a very messy battle between the enthusiastic Open Source advocates, and vested and entrenched Closed Source Proprietary brands. This in of itself warrants several book titles, but in the end, I believe the surge of Free, Open Source CMSs, and the battle for position itself, only helped to propagate both sides. Today, CMS is more popular than ever on both sides of the "Source" battle.
So who won the battle? I can honestly say, everyone.
That's not just kumbaya talk either. ;) I'd also say we're either in a long lull, or the "battle" may be over (knock on wood). My sense is, this bloodless war of ideology is over, and all...sides...won. Weird, I know. I think it comes down to the fact that everyone's so damn busy on projects, there's no time, nor compelling reason to fight. We'll see what happens when tech budgets get tight, but I don't see that happening soon.
The biggest winners during the first five years of the battle (2005 - 2010) were end-user non-profits, small and middle tier businesses and organizations. Accessible, self-serve, affordable and fast-adapting "CMSs for the rest of us" introduced the Content Management System's processes of workflow, collaboration, access control, storage & retrieval, user management, and much more to an audience of users that were all too happy to bury FrontPage and Dreamweaver, and get more work done by many staff members, rather than risking the entire web-side of the business on a moody geek with an attitude, hording the keys to the kingdom.
My sense is, starting recently, and in the long run, the big Enterprise CMSs will win out as well. Necessity is the mother of invention, and they've whole new business models and a stonger focus on Cloud technology has empowerd the stalwarts. The talent pool is much bigger as well.
Most importantly, Proprietaries now have a prepped audience that's already educated and sold on the idea of CMS itself. Now, they just need to decide which one fits their needs best. That's a big deal. That means the sales funnel not only widened exponentially, but the time in the sales cycle just shaved months, if not years off the timeline for many would-be buyers, and the Proprietaries didn't have to do a thing to widen the funnel, nor shave the timeline.
The number of would-be buyers who have self-educated via the FOSS solutions is massive. Now, it's up to the Props and quasi-open folks to figure out what to do with that audience. Either way, the universe they operate in is much, much bigger.
Now years later, as some in the FOSS user realm are naturally frustrated by its real and/or perceived shortcomings, some are making the jump, with no help or prodding along the way. Why? Many reasons, including service, security, fast turnaround, privacy concernsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
But look back at the battle, and realize, it's not between static vs. dynamic any more.
That's why it's clear, static sites are for all intents and purposes, dead. History. Finito. The argument is taking place on a much higher plane now. The evolution is not 100% complete by any means, but it's crystal clear, the tombstone has already been engraved for static Web Sites, both feet are in the casket, "great grampa" has done his part, and is now laying down with a smile on his face. Now, it's time get home to get back to work, together.
Rest In Peace, Static Web Sites, rest in peace. Long live CMS Sites!
What does 2012 hold? As Google, Bing and Yahoo! come to grips with the avalanche of social media content, look for a convergence of social media and search marketing in 2012. While empty headed missives and navel gazing observations still fill the social media universe, identifying and extracting the useful while discarding the white noise will continue to be a challenge.
As many have discovered over the last several years with the search engine optimization benefits of corporate blogs, bulletin boards and forums, the extraction of useful consumer and customer information, market intelligence and search benefits is possible. Now, it is possible, to not only appeal to groups and niches with common political, social, economic recreational, spiritual "and almost any other type" of interests, but to also localize results. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn have combined the best of social media with identifiable vertical niches and local search. This means businesses are now able to control marketing budgets and performance in remarkably concise and exacting ways.
For example, an independent life insurance agent offering a selection of life products from a number of insurance companies is able to market a specific insurance product to new parents and newly married couples in a specific income category, in a clearly defined geographic region during specific times of the day over s asset duration of time.
Helping manage advertising leads and campaign performance are a number of Client Resource Management applications that will automate leads aggregation and allow businesses to explore and respond to new opportunities that are arriving via social media. Early adopters will learn how to reach out to and engage with new prospects and customers who will be arriving through online search, social media and other methods, and funnelled into the sales and customer management system. While there are many online and client-side CRMs currently available, experience a great leap forward in 2012 as social media, email marketing, paid search marketing, organic search generated leads and other Ã¢â‚¬Å“looseÃ¢â‚¬Â ends are neatly tied together in an automated CRM.
The amount of social media will increase in 2012. Successful businesses will determine the best way to integrated online, paid and organic search with social marketing campaigns and then filter the resulting data into useful information and then act on the new sales opportunities.
Market IQ manages pay per click(PPC) campaigns for many different clients in many different industries. Inevitably, the question is "how much will it cost when a potential customer clicks the link?"
There is no easy answer.
Google Adwords is sort of an auction. However, the Adwords "auction" has several unique characteristics.
PPC keywords and terms are bid on with the goal to achieve one or more three outcomes. These include:
- Ad placement on a specific particular search results page.
- Where or how high on the page the ad appears.
- How much the advertiser will pay for the click relative to the page and position placement.
Up until recently, landing on page one was mostly straightforward: if the bid is highest and the keywords, geographic location and time of day match account settings, preferences and requirements. There are as many as 15 ad spaces available on a page. The highest bids claimed the top three spots immediately above the organic search results.
The highest bidder no longer claims page one, position one.
Ad Rank was added to the mix. Purportedly to improve the user experience by returning more useful and meaningful results, Ad Rank is calculated by multiplying the advertiserÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s maximum bid by their Quality Score (QS). Google then ranks the ads from highest to lowest based on Ad Rank.
Advertisera with the best quality score pays the least amount. In some instances, advertisers with better quality scores can pay less than other advertisers to have advertisements appear higher up on the page.
Google AdWords success requires more than simply outbidding the competition in an online auction. It is important improve Quality Score and Ad Rank for both economic and performance reasons. As a website developmentcompany and Internet marketing company, Market IQ and other similar companies are tasked with continually producing quality content both within the Adwords sphere and on the client websites and pages. Simply setting and forgetting PPC accounts costs money and opportunity.
Firefox will live to search another day
For the millions of users who have unplugged from MicrosoftÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s atrocious Internet Explorer and plugged into Firefox, they will be pleased to learn that Google has signed a new three-year agreement with Mozilla to keep its search engine as the default choice in Firefox.
Financial terms were not disclosed, according to various news reports, Mozilla said that in 2010, approximately 98 per cent of its royalties come from deals with search companies.
However, even if Firefox fades away Ã¢â‚¬â€œ as many are predicting Ã¢â‚¬â€œ there are other, non-IE choices available. AppleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Safari is available for the Mac and the PC, the ever resilient Opera and even Google has its own browser in Chrome.
Under the new agreement, Google Search will continue to be the default search provider for Firefox users around the world.
This is great news for web developers who have grown accustomed to Firefox, a relatively stable browser, and the many indispensible extensions, plug-ins and add-ons that assist with project design, coding, work flow and management.
Here are a couple of Market IQÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t-do-without web developoment Firefox extensions, plug-ins and add-ons:
A great toolbar with dozens of reporting modules on site and page meta content information, page ranking, search engine presence, social media standing, plus much, much more. While Market IQ is a Victoria web development firm, we must consider the web as a whole and competitive analysis requires that we know about the strengths and weaknesses of our clientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s competitors. SEO Quake makes this process that much easier and our results that much stronger.
Amazingly, Microsoft Internet Explorer has the most users because IE is bundled in most new Windows installs. Because of this many Websites, pages and online services are written to accommodate IE and not Firefox of the other browsers. With IE Tab installed in Firefox, you can view pages in IE's rendering engine within a Firefox tab, all without having to fully load IE.
With a bank vault of passwords, maintaining account order can be a challenge. LastPass is great for encrypting and keeping passwords safe but also easily accessed use. It is also available for IE and Chrome.
Switching between and FTP program and a browser can get tedious. FireFTP integrates the processes. FireFTP loads in a tab and provides all the access FTP access needed without loading a separate program.