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Help with website development please(7 Posts)
I am about to start working with DH in his animation/ design business. It will be part of my role to increase the companies social media presence, as DH doesn't have time to do this. It's going to be a steep learning curve for me and I could do with advice for books/ tutorials and software for building a website and setting up a couple of blogs. We have Macs and PCs and have Muse and Dreamweaver software already installed. Help oh wise geeky ones.
Blogging can be done on existing web services (I'm not a blogger, and not a fan of FB or Twitter, but there are several bloggers, on MN, and a topic is dedicated to it, I think... so feel sure you'd get many hints and tips just reading through some past threads, and then ask things that haven't already been answered).
While I can see there may be some benefits for businesses to use Twitter and FaceBook, I have seen some firms offering inclusion in competitions (or discount codes, etc) to those who 'follow them' or 'like them' on social media, and personally feel it is a barrier to those who have no wish to participate on those sites. Sending in an e-mail, or completing a web form seems more "open" to everyone, and I treat those requiring use of Twitter or FB with the same enthusiasm as some firm using a premium rate number to charge callers 2 quid a minute. Sorry, just my personal views... I'm not impressed by those pushing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) either... I will keep my views on that close to my chest, however.
I suppose it will depend on what type of business is involved as to how a Blog might work, and in truth, if you 'publish' useful info, then word of it will spread because it will be valued. Facebook and Twitter to me seem to have already been polluted with a capitalist agenda (as have some blogs, by the way) and I am happy to not be a participant.
SitePoint books I have found good in the past - I've had them on PHP, CSS, that sort of thing, so coding sites. You can often download a sample chapter to get a feel for a book, they can often do book bundles so several books related to each other, they also do online learning courses.
My word, that's a tall order, wiggly.
In your position I would focus on the basics first. That is, have a good enough website up and running as fast as possible. You can improve or replace it as your skills grow.
If you can do this quickly with Muse, do so. My choice would be to install Wordpress in your hosting space, purchase and install a theme, and create 2-3 simple pages of content while you get your bearings. You may even be able to install WP through a one-click service at your host.
While you're doing this, by all means set up your Twitter account, and Facebook, if it will reach your audience. These are both a bit over-rated IMHO but if you have something to say, you won't lose out by trying them. You can add a Twitter feed widget to your website - this helps customers to know your business is alive and functioning!
In terms of learning web development skills, you can opt for books, classes, videos etc. It's worth learning the basics if you want to self-build your site. It will take time though!
As your DH is a designer, you might both enjoy this book to start you off - it has quite a designer feel to it
I agree with nannynick's sitepoint suggestion.
Can I also recommend Lynda.com for video training on every aspect of web development/social media promotion you can think of.
Thanks for replying everyone, sorry I didn't check in earlier, I thought I wasn't going to get any replies.
The website would mainly be a portfolio site to show DH 's artwork and animation ( he has one but it is out of date and a bit functional)it wouldn't be directly selling anything. The Facebook page is just a good way of keeping in touch with colleagues and contacts, the freelance animators DH has worked with and employed are all young and move jobs and flats all the time, Facebook seems to work as a way of finding out who is doing what where etc. ( if you ever post on it unlike DH
The blog would be a for DH to show his more creative, personal work. He used to self publish small press comics donkeys years ago and it would be the equivalent of that rather than anything commercial, really to improve his creative street cred.
DH has really been quite successful over the years, even won awards but he is far too shy and reluctant about promoting himself, using workload as an excuse. This is what I am supposed to be helping with!
Maybe more a video/photo blog would work. Wordpress could work, see www.mydaddycooks.com as an example of how Wordpress can incorporate videos.
There are some beautiful portfolio/creative themes for WP at themeforest. Whether you emphasise WP as blog or as CMS, you can slot stills or video into them quite easily (though theme installation takes patience ).
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