WordPress

Site Shack began using WordPress as a means of building websites in about 2005. We were first introduced to it as a blogging platform soon after its launch in 2003. Since that auspicious date, statistics indicate that WordPress is used by 60.2% of all the websites whose content management system is known (source: w3techs). This is a staggering number. We figure that Site Shack has maybe contributed fifty or sixy of those sites -- some still alive and well.

Site Shack owner Judy Wilson also teaches WordPress classes for Nashville's Skillery. You may check our Home Page for news of upcoming classes. If you'd like to sign up for notifications of upcoming classes, you may email us at info@site-shack.com or fill out the form at our training page.

Drupal

Site Shack was introduced to Drupal in about 2006 or 2007 and it has well served Site Shack and our clients ever since as a highly robust Content Management System (CMS).

Like WordPress, Drupal runs as open source software and was first released in 2001. As of June 2014 1,068,353 people in 230 countries* speaking 181 languages power Drupal.

Probably the most important thing to mention here is that Drupal is more complex than WordPress and as such, has tremendous capacity and scalability. A Drupal website may also prove more challenging than WordPress for end users to maintain. This is not to say that smaller, simpler sites will not benefit from Drupal but for the average 5-15 page website, WordPress or Squarespace are usually our development tools of choice.

Squarespace

Squarespace is a recent but welcome addition to Site Shack's toolkit. Unlike the self-hosted WordPress and Drupal platforms that we routinely use, Squarespace is a "Software as Service" platform. Essentially, this means that your website lives on Squarespace's host environment and thus automatically receives the usual security updates and patches (not to mention lots of new features). This spares the owner the maintenance work and cost associated with owner (or self) hosting.

For Squarespace's reasonable (we think) annual cost of $8.00 to $24.00/monthly, the Squarespace owner gets an extremely polished, professional Content Management System (CMS) with which to build her website.

Training

Site Shack owner Judy Wilson once (literally, once) performed as a stand-up comic in a San Francisco comedy club, dispensing some hilarious sketches and earning a lengthy round of applause (or so she thought). Even better, the experience banished her stage fright once and for all.

These days, she teaches classes in WordPress (including WordPress SEO), Squarespace and Website basics for Nashville's Skillery, bringing a little comedic fun to all the learning. But aside from the occasional humor, she means to see that you learn the subjects she teaches.

Her promise: You'll walk out of the room every time with new skills and valuable knowledge. The Internet is the world we inhabit, so much of the time. Why not learn a little more about how a small but important corner of this world works?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When was the last time you performed a mock search on Google, using a search term (or query) that you imagine someone in your target audience might use to find your company or product?

As you perform this search, are your fingers crossed? Or are you pretty sure that your website will pop up on the all-important first return page (aka “SERP” or "search engine return page") for these words? Numerous studies of user search practices show that the first SERP receives about 90% of user clicks.

In other words, approximately 90% of search engine users will never click to the second page to continue a search. The typical user will stop, enter a new search term and begin again.

But how to get your website to that first page? Is there a secret method, known only to highly paid SEO magicians who for a sizable exchange of tricks for cash will catapult your completely ignored website into the ranks inhabited by the big money names?

EMMA Email Services

eMail Marketing? Are you serious? We're drowning in email. C'mon. Who needs it?

Maybe you do. Consider this:

  • 91% of consumers check their email at least once a day.
  • Email is the most popular activity on smartphones among users ages 18-44.
  • Over half of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up.
  • 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices.
  • The #1 email client for Gmail users is the iPhone’s built-in mail program, with 34% of all Gmail opens.
  • 32% of marketers do not have a strategy in place to optimize emails for mobile devices. tweet this.

Source: blog.expresspigeon.com/2014/01/06/email-marketing-statistics-2014

But that's not all!

Social Media Strategies

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, VK, Flickr, MySpace, Meetup, Tagged, Ask.fm, MeetMe and Classmates — otherwise known as the top 15 social media sites in the world, in order of popularity.

But where do you fit into all this commotion? Or maybe you're already there, jumping up and down — trying to be seen and heard? Hey! Is anyone listening?