Being a developer? No way ..
Recently I have reaslised I am becoming one of those SEO people that I hate, someone who talks the talk but can’t really do it – when I was younger I got into the game by being able to develop decent converting ecommerce websites with a custom built CMS, using a pre-built shopping cart – well, this one – http://www.thechocolatestore.com/ultradev/.
Anyhow, over the past 5 years, I haven’t been really building websites, I have been improving my skills in analytics, SEO and generally becoming what I hope is someone who “gets” the online marketing mix, better than most.
So I decided to do something about it – I still have some hosting from a company called WinServe Windows Hosting – they are pretty cheap and pretty good, what I am using is very much the budget offering, and with a wierdly high number of domains I kept accidentally re-registering I am playing, trying to get back the skills not only to be able to build cutting edge sites but using an on the market CMS – this is something I never did before, choosing to build my own.
For this I chose Umbraco, the reason for this is that the output is utterly predictable, it uses XSLT files and quite a simple management to allow you to (in theory) rapidly build your own sites, as you want to with minimal programming knowledge. Umbraco 5 was round the corner and I have been playing with both 4 and 5 getting quite good results on my own laptop, unfortunately I have been struggling on a live server…
Failing so far, to get a live website working with Umbraco – I am not sure my next steps! I suspect its hosting configuration issues, but I don’t want to bother the host until I am sure …
So my next step which is to investigate and manage to produce adaptable web design, which I think is the future of the web…! In case you don’t know what this is, it is quite simple web design that adapts and re-shapes itself to the screen it is on, from mobile to tablet through to desktops – this is harder to do than it sounds but some websites work brilliantly, I think my next post will be a showcase list of adaptive websites i have seen.
Also I really want to get back into testing code – I have been lucky that in the past couple of years I have been working with some awesome people like Roger (@wodlander / socialdevdesign.com who not only love to test, but are brilliant at it…
But like I say, if you consider yourself an online guy, make sure you can at least do the basics, and I think the basics include video, mobile and analytics today, if you can – you will typically sound less daft when your job title is “Online Marketing … ”
Update – After failing with Umbraco, I have switched over to learning how to use WordPress – so far I am seriously impressed, it doesn’t fail to deliver amazing results. I will hopefully write a bit of a Gerry style guide to WordPress sometime in the future.