Website changes

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Madeleine's picture
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Is there one change you are planning to make on your website this coming year? One big change? A new site? New photos? I'm looking for ideas, things I should be changing as it's been over a year since I've made any really big changes.

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Oh, my head is spinning!!! 

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 I have it all set up now, just have to pick a theme I was about to ask you if you recommend any for lodgings.  I will look into the links you posted. THANK YOU!

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 I will email you some other information about plug ins you should install.

 

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 THANK YOU!

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 Here are some video tutorials on basic WP that may help you.

http://wp.tutsplus.com/tutorials/wp101-video-training-part-1-the-dashboard/

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 Thanks Maddie, once again you have given me homework... 

See the thing is when the software you use is totally exctinct, like years ago, that may be a clue to do a redesign, rebranding. You all know me, I am chomping at the bit for this, but it has been so overwhelming to even consider (I have a ton of content).  So this may be the ticket... THANKS CL.

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 That link gives you a pretty good start.

 I used KARMA theme for the luray site I did. I got it at Themeforest.com  The support the Karma guys give is fantastic.

 My only warning would be to check with your provider to see if they can do the initial install of Wordpress. Or if your provider gives you a control panel like "Fantastico"  to install it yourself.   When I do that I haven't had any problems. But when I have a hosting company do it... I end of having to contact them multiple times because things are set up properly and I got error messages.

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Two...

Switch to wordpress to ease changes.

Create two seperate sites, one for each language. We were criticized by someone for having everything under the domain name in English and realized that since we market in French maybe it should go to a domain name in French instead. So, it's on the list of to do in 2012.

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- mobile-optimized site

- update photos

- add interactive reservation request form (tied to terms and conditions)

- add a blog

 

wait, what was the time-frame allowed for all this work? Eye-wink

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Tom
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My list, too.

 

Mobile is a big one.  Already have some of the small-screen format, but navigation is clunky, must fix.

About 1/3 of customers are finding us on a mobile device.

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 You may want to get rid of the FLASH stuff and do it with J Query script.. You may want to consider buying EASY ROTATOR.  It is easy to use and it creates JQuery slide show as alternate to FLASH.

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catlady wrote:

 You may want to get rid of the FLASH stuff and do it with J Query script.. You may want to consider buying EASY ROTATOR.  It is easy to use and it creates JQuery slide show as alternate to FLASH.

Just installed Easy Rotator and it works great and the images change and work on my iPhone exactly as they do on the desktop. I see it even supports touch navigation (swiping with the finger on a tablet or phone). Excellent. Thanks.

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 Glad it works for you Smiling I see you have twentyeleven for your wordpress blog. Easy isn't it?

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catlady wrote:

 Glad it works for you Smiling I see you have twentyeleven for your wordpress blog. Easy isn't it?

It was easy enough. Took a little more than the "famous five minute install" they talked about because they didn't come right out and tell me up front that all the files get installed at the website, not on my local computer, so I spent time looking for "setup.exe" and such, but once I figured that out yes, it was easy!

I looked at lots of their templates but ended up liking the clean look of the default twentyeleven more than the others. I guess that's why they picked it as the default!

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 Kudos to you and your sister, you are a family economic development package. That downtown really needs your help. I hope things start to boom because of you two.Smiling

 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Your room comparison speaks volumes, you have found a wonderful creative avenue for your new venture, well done Arkie!

catlady wrote:

That downtown really needs your help. I hope things start to boom because of you two.

Thanks folks! I have to be careful with the blog as I tend to get verbose and have to work to keep it short and to the point.

Interesting that you mention a boom downtown catlady. Our nearest big town, Jonesboro with population about 70,000, has seen a huge downtown revitalization, not with government money but with $50 million in private investment in the last 10 years, and it's all credited to one man who went to main street, which was nothing but boarded up buildings a dozen years ago, and opened a top-notch restaurant with the first alcohol permit in town (outside their Holiday Inn out on the bypass).

His success at pulling people back downtown, and the atmosphere of dining in a restored old store building, sparked a boom that's still going on today, with the opening of expensive loft apartments, stores, clubs and more restaurants.

I don't expect that to happen here, of course. We're 1/10th their size, but I think we're going to make it better. A lot better, over time. My main challenge is dragging the city council along for the ride, because they're mainly just interested in keeping things going like they always have been, looking only at the present and not the future. We'll see.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Your room comparison speaks volumes, you have found a wonderful creative avenue for your new venture, well done Arkie!

catlady wrote:

That downtown really needs your help. I hope things start to boom because of you two.

Thanks folks! I have to be careful with the blog as I tend to get verbose and have to work to keep it short and to the point.

Interesting that you mention a boom downtown catlady. Our nearest big town, Jonesboro with population about 70,000, has seen a huge downtown revitalization, not with government money but with $50 million in private investment in the last 10 years, and it's all credited to one man who went to main street, which was nothing but boarded up buildings a dozen years ago, and opened a top-notch restaurant with the first alcohol permit in town (outside their Holiday Inn out on the bypass).

His success at pulling people back downtown, and the atmosphere of dining in a restored old store building, sparked a boom that's still going on today, with the opening of expensive loft apartments, stores, clubs and more restaurants.

I don't expect that to happen here, of course. We're 1/10th their size, but I think we're going to make it better. A lot better, over time. My main challenge is dragging the city council along for the ride, because they're mainly just interested in keeping things going like they always have been, looking only at the present and not the future. We'll see.

It is surprising what can be done by one person with the passion to do something. My City Manager believed me when we talked on the rail-trail. Once she became City Manager she dragged the Council behind her, convincing them that we could do what we set out to do, assembled a cadre of willing slaves volunteers, built an office full of brains who could write grants, and we are on the move. (she keeps giving me credit - but THEY had to be willing to make the seeds that were planted grow. An alien could never have done it.)  We have 2 capital campaigns at the ready - raising $100k for the match for our band shell and then raising about $5 million for our Community Multi-purpose Building. We have 6 new businesses in town and another in the works. We just got a grant for $11k for a feasibility study to buy a huge old building in the center of town and turn it into a business incubator. Yes, I firmly believe you WILL succeed in revitalizing your town.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

catlady wrote:

 Glad it works for you Smiling I see you have twentyeleven for your wordpress blog. Easy isn't it?

It was easy enough. Took a little more than the "famous five minute install" they talked about because they didn't come right out and tell me up front that all the files get installed at the website, not on my local computer, so I spent time looking for "setup.exe" and such, but once I figured that out yes, it was easy!

I looked at lots of their templates but ended up liking the clean look of the default twentyeleven more than the others. I guess that's why they picked it as the default!

I have to say you have me hook line and sinker, I have tweeted your article. Your room comparison speaks volumes, you have found a wonderful creative avenue for your new venture, well done Arkie!

Madeleine's picture
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Does the JQuery work with everything? All of the different webpage viewers?

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Yes that is what most folks are switching to..this software makes it easy for anyone to create without having to know the coding etc etc. You can just create and then copy and paste the code where you want the slideshow. Lots of options. It operates within Dreamweaver which is what  I use for some of the old sites I have still in html.   Everything I do now is in Wordpress and there are lots of plugins to do slide shows for it.  You may want to consider...going to WORDPRESS if you want to do it all new.

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May I ask how the event calendar feature worked? You knew I would ask, I said I would. Are you keeping it or 86?

I am in a funk now as I am using Expression Web 4 and style sheets and changes I make don't work well - I need to learn this product, I need to get this thing sorted out, HOWEVER, we are for sale and I don't want to rebrand the website in the least...

My one big change (for 2012 which I did recently) was adding the blog to the website directly, now that blogger allows that, to get more bang for my SEO buck that way.  I was determined to use the GOOGLE product being proactive on that "Google will reign of all search engines" theory, which proved correct.

http://blog.claibornehouse.net/

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 Since you use Blogger so much.. you should just consider using WORDPRESS as your site. You already know how to do the blog rather than sticking with old html. Smiling

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catlady wrote:

 Since you use Blogger so much.. you should just consider using WORDPRESS as your site. You already know how to do the blog rather than sticking with old html. Smiling


Talk to me. How would the transition go? I know you have done this, so I am very interested in finding out more. Post some links if you don't have time to explain it... THANKS!  I will do some research as well, I had thought about this a year or two ago.  I feel really constrained by the old html.

my first google seach gave me this: http://wpsitebuilding.com/

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duplicate

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Joey Bloggs wrote:
Talk to me. How would the transition go? I know you have done this, so I am very interested in finding out more. Post some links if you don't have time to explain it... THANKS!  I will do some research as well, I had thought about this a year or two ago.  I feel really constrained by the old html.

my first google seach gave me this: http://wpsitebuilding.com/

I think you would find the transition relatively easy.  I am using wordpress for a site now, a very basic one.  I got a tutorial of about an hour from someone here who works in wordpress.  She had the recommendation to buy a template from one of the companies that do that - they have fewer bugs and they're really not very expensive.  We used Organic themes.  We also bought a calendar widget for that site - calendarwiz makes a great one.  I don't use one on my inn's site.  I haven't switched our website over because DH refuses to learn wordpress.  He's such a curmudgeon about these things.  If I were building from scratch though - that's the way I would go.

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 Your site looks great! What is the template theme name. Very nice looking. Good Job!

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catlady wrote:
Your site looks great! What is the template theme name. Very nice looking. Good Job!

We used Organic Non-Profit.  I think you can buy the whole suite of organic themes for less than $50.  We used several widgets and added calendarwiz.  It works pretty well for us.  

Madeleine's picture
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How the calendar worked for me and guests? I don't think it made the least bit of difference. Will I do it again? Yes. But I'm starting from scratch as the calendar I have now has all kinds of random holidays/moon phases/weather stuck on it that I cannot delete. So, I will create a whole new calendar and not try anything fancy!

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