Joomla Beginners Guide: Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid
Mistake number one:
Not planning out your content before you start building your Joomla CMS framework.
One of the things that is really nice about Joomla CMS is the fact you can easily and quickly get a Joomla site set up with a beautiful template and an average set of components in relatively little time. Because of this it can be very easy to get caught up in the coolness of the tools and forget that your “content is king”. There are a lot of buzz words out there so fear not if I use a few that you are unfamiliar with. First you need to assess your “Digital Strategy” and what this means is where your web site fits in with all of the other marketing or communications. Once you have high level target goals for your site you can then map out the important elements that will communicate and convey the presentation that will help you achieve these goals. All of this really needs to happen before you even think of installing Joomla or any one of its over 9400 extensions.
Mistake number two:
Adding features because they are cool not because they have value to your customers.
Because joomla website design has so many features and options it is easy as a developer to get caught up in the WOW factor of “Kewl… look what we can do here with this extension”. Before you know it you have a ton of gadgets’ and gadgets that serve no real purpose to the end user visiting the site. If you are not able to keep your navigation paths simple and easy to follow WITHOUT distractions, then you can easily lose your visitor as they will be off playing with something that has no value to your conversion rate or desired navigation path.
Mistake number three:
Not thinking through your keyword messaging.
When you plan out a new site you start with defining the “information architecture” which means the way information is being presented and displayed to guide the user through their experience on your web site. So one you have this you then create the article content for each of these areas or in many cases there is content already created that you want to include and then link to it. Either way though one of the things that is over looked is the relevant keywords for your targeted audience. The reason these keywords are so important is that you will need to use them in nearly every aspect of inputting your content. You will craft them in to category and sub category names, alt image tags and tool tips, Meta tag descriptions and even more importantly the body of the article copy you are linking to. When this step is bypassed or added in later it is much more time consuming and rarely as effective as incorporating them into the entire site strategy.
Mistake number four: Content consistency.
One of the key elements that will keep your site looking nice and vastly improve your end users experience
is to make sure your content is laid out consistently and that things like image sizes and spacing around images is the same. If you are going to have some images with rounded corners and then others without or cartoon illustrations vs. real images as the user progresses through your site you will lose the consistency and reduce the potential impact or WOW factor you can impress your visitors with.
Mistake number five:
Not planning for ongoing maintenance and security.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your investment is to plan for regular updates of your technology platform and content. There are two real values here by making this investment; One after spending all of the time and money building your site and getting it right you do not want all this compromised or vulnerable to the ever so witty hackers of today. Cyber crime has increased over 7000% since 2006 and is not expected to slow down any time soon. The second value is that you need to keep your visitors enthused about your content and messaging. For example as a development company folks come to us for cutting edge technology and if we were to let our site get out dated as we have in the past (because we are often busy building our customer web sites) how can they feel confident they will get the latest technology if the site they visit is an “antique” (aka a web site more than 2 years old). Keep your content fresh and your systems up today and you will always be in the best position to respond to your customers effectively and better protect yourself from cyber criminals.
Guest Blog Post By: William Smith