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Archive for January, 2013

10 Jan
Posted by Konalee

Lifeline WA Introduces Online Crisis Chat

Lifeline WA is part of the national Lifeline network, the leading provider of suicide prevention assistance in Australia. They deliver services that aim to prevent suicide, support people in crisis and create opportunities for emotional well-being. In addition to The Crisis Support helpline—a 24/7 phone service operated by trained and accredited Telephone Crisis Supporters—Lifeline has created an online chat service.

The online chat enables short-term support for people who are overwhelmed and having difficulty coping or staying safe. Users can confidentially chat one-on-one with a Lifeline Online Crisis Supporter using instant messaging technology. The chat is available 8pm–Midnight AEST and operates 7 days a week.

iinet are Lifeline WA’s technology partner and have supported the landing page with the aim of raising awareness of the national online crisis chat. Lifeline WA are in the process of creating their own online crisis chat program which will better suit the needs of Western Australians in crisis.

Instead of having LaunchCake, we decided to make a LaunchDonation! You too can make a difference by supporting Lifeline WA https://www.lifelinewa.org.au/donate/ . Lifeline WA relies on corporate and community funding to deliver its core suicide prevention and crisis support services.

Online Crisis Chat Landing Page

9 Jan
Posted by Jane and Jayde

Should I put up a holding page? Questions, answered…

We get asked about holding pages all the time and whether they are worth the investment and often it depends on your business, competition, product and strategy. We launched a flurry of landing pages just before the Christmas break and were asked to quote an unprecedented amount last year. Here are the top three questions, answered.

Is it enough to simply put my logo and address up there?

If you are a physical business like a doctor, coffee shop or dentist this might be enough. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (etc) you would be crazy not to add these to the page and encourage people to interact.

What else should I think about adding to my holding page?

We recommend that the very base you start with is;

  • Social links – This enables you to lead people to a place where they can interact with you now.
  • Google Analytics – There is nothing more powerful than seeing how people are finding your business and what sites are sending people your way. As you build your site you might want to consider adding pages and content to rectify challenges or benefit from opportunities presented by Google and referrers.
  • Newsletter signup – If you have the opportunity to build a crowd before you launch your site (especially if you are in e-commerce), why would you pass up on it? We can setup HelloStarfish or link with most other newsletter systems to streamline the storage of your mailing lists for you. Building a crowd before launch means you start business with a bang!
  • Top notch content – It doesn’t have to be a novel (it’s best if it isn’t actually!), but a well-written paragraph synopsis of your business and/or a fabulous photo of your product/s is worth it’s weight in gold.
Should I have a content-management system, like WordPress?

If you plan on having your landing page up for longer than 10 weeks and you want to change your content at least monthly – we suggest you do. However you need to be really strict with yourself about what you really need to edit otherwise you may as well be building your website. Probably the best example of a well-suited landing page with a WordPress content management system is The Globe. They designed a page that was going to be an image banner and synopsis and we suggested that we build in a banner manager so that they can add their projects to showcase as they launch them.

Is it better to keep my old website up there for now?

If you have a huge site and the content is still, for the most-part, relevant then keeping your old site up there whilst you make the new one is probably a good thing – especially if you have lots of content and pages. The reasoning behind this is Google. If you go from 70 pages to 1 page then you are considerably reducing your ‘Google juice’ or footprint. You can make a huge number of dead links too unless you redirect all your old pages to the home page and your relevancy on searches can drop very quickly. We will address redirects in a future blog.

So how much is it going to cost me?

There is no magic number but you should be expect it to be over $300 and under $3000 unless you are being super simplistic or building a mini site. The best way to find out is to call and have a chat with the digital people in your life. If you don’t have any – feel free to call us and we would love to have a cup of tea and a chat.

To make up for way too many words, here are some pretty holding pages designed buy our team and some of our clients.

8 Jan
Posted by Davel

A Fresh Looking Holding Page

Fresh Look IT have a solid history and well established client base, and are getting a brand identity makeover by our good friends at The Globe that is going to make them stand out from their competitors. While their full website is being created, this holding page (designed by The Globe) introduces the new branding and gives a web presence with a way to keep in touch. They’re certainly challenging the branding status quo in the professional IT services sector, and their new look is really…well, fresh.

landing_freshlook

Since we launched the holding page on the same day as Achievement Matters and The Globe, we decided having three LaunchCakes was a little bit ridiculous—even for us. To solve this problem, we came up with a variation on the LaunchCake concept.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you…LaunchShake!

7 Jan
Posted by Scott Shorter

What makes WordPress websites great: SEO and Social Media

This blog is an outline of the reasons why WordPress is a great CMS for SEO, Social Media, and counters to arguments against WordPress in regards to hackers and security. It is written by the fabulous Scott Shorter, Director at Scott Shorter – Search Engine and Social Media Specialists who holds a B.Comms – BSc (M), Multimedia & Internet Computing from Edith Cowan University.

Content Management Systems

Working as a search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist for a number of different web developers, I’ve seen my fair share of content management systems (CMS). In my experience there are three main types of CMS:

  • Open source
  • Proprietary (created and owned by the developer)
  • Third party (which are purchased on a license)

There are various benefits and drawbacks for each type of CMS and coming from a search perspective we try our best to work with all three. As a guest writer for Clever Starfish, I would like to outline why, in my experience, WordPress makes for a great choice in CMS.

Open sourced CMS

There are a number of open sourced CMS’s available; the most well-known are Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. My personal favourite of these is WordPress for its ease of use, SEO readiness and available features.

WordPress is an open sourced CMS, which means it is an open platform that allows programmers throughout the world to continually develop for and contribute to. The popularity of WordPress means there is likely to be more developers contributing to it than any other CMS, which results in an outstanding level of refinement and extension availability.

Top CMS usage chart

WordPress and SEO

A standard install of WordPress is a great CMS for SEO, with Matt Cutts, one of the world’s most important Google representatives, stating:

‘WordPress takes care of 80-90% of [the mechanics of] search engine optimization.’

The level of on-page SEO on a WordPress website can quickly be taken to the highest degree via specialist SEO extensions following a standard install of WordPress. These extensions save both time and money because they are free and kept up to date with the latest Google algorithm updates by the wider community of WordPress developers.

WordPress and Social Media

WordPress is also a future-proof decision when you consider the rapid pace of social media evolution. WordPress is always at the forefront of what’s hot because of its hundreds, possibly thousands, of social media-ready extensions, with new extensions developed within hours of a social media change. This allows your WordPress developer to build faster, higher quality and more advanced functionality for a better price.

Security and WordPress

I often hear the counter sell that open source CMS’s are an attractive target for hackers due to their popularity. As a generalised statement, this is a one sided spin with half the facts of the story missing.

It is true that open source CMS’s are an attractive target for hackers, but primarily this is only true if your CMS is not kept up-to-date. WordPress’ attraction to hackers comes from vulnerabilities (all CMS’s have vulnerabilities) in out-dated versions of WordPress being left open. This means hackers are able to use the same vulnerability on another website that uses the same out-dated version of WordPress. However, this concern can be easily avoided by making sure your developer applies updates on a regular basis. If this is done correctly, the risk of being hacked is arguably no greater than if you were using any other type of CMS.

Putting security in perspective

The risk to WordPress security can be put in perspective when you consider that Matt Cutts (one of the world’s most important Google representatives) uses WordPress for his personal blog, as does rap mogul Jay-Z and renowned comedian Russell Brand. National burger chain Grill’d also uses WordPress for their corporate website.

Backups

It is important to understand that no type of CMS is hack-proof. If a hacker is unable to gain access to your website via the CMS, it is still possible for them to gain access through other avenues. This means it is essential that you make sure you have adequate backup procedures in place as a backup is often the quickest and most cost effective way to recover from an attack.

Final word

WordPress is a great CMS to use as a base for SEO and the Starfish crew are undoubtedly clever people for using it! Pay attention to your updates, backups and enjoy your future proof decision to go with one of the world’s most flexible and friendly CMS’s!

By

4 Jan
Posted by Jane

Marketforce freshen the Decmil brand: new responsive WordPress site goes live

In another collaboration with Marketforce, we are proud to launch the Decmil Australia website.

decmil_home

Decmil Australia has delivered specialist building and civil construction services to the oil, gas and resources industries for more than 30 years. As part of the wider Decmil Group Limited, their long held reputation is built on sound, professional and trusted relationships with their clients.

They commissioned Marketforce to freshen up their well-established brand a year ago. At the same time they noted that the website needed to be brought up to the same level. Our team met with the Marketforce designers, planners and account managers and went through the already completed print resources as well as the print style guides.

The final decision was made that they wanted to go with a fully responsive site that showcased the new colour palette and fonts.

decmil_responsive

This website has some fabulous features in WordPress including;

  •  Responsive banner managers: The home and landing pages all feature banner managers where photos, text and links can be added by the client in a heartbeat. As long as the heart of the image is centralised – the whole banner will shrink and display appropriately on a tablet or smartphone. Check it out by grabbing the corner of the browser and shrinking the window.
  • Landing page templates: The website features dedicated landing page templates that allow the addition of feature boxes to promote pages within. This makes the site far easier to navigate, particularly when coupled with drop down navigation.
  • Blog: Although on the outset, a blog doesn’t seem to be a fabulous feature but in our experience it is one of the most vital parts of any website. After all, here you are reading ours.
  • Flexible content modules: In cases where you are dealing with designing and building a site with less than 30% of the content, flexible content modules are a saving grace. We had the responsibility of adding in the content for the first level pages and the rest was completed by Marketforce and the team at Decmil. Without allowing some flexibility, it is pretty easy for bumps in the road to lead to delays – particularly as content is the key to this website.

decmil_capabilities

decmil_capabilities_page

decmil_news

We celebrated this launch with a delighfully simple chocolate cake. Jayde, the lead on this project was in Melbourne and skyped in for LaunchCake but was unable to cut the cake long distance so our very talented designer, Trevor – cut the cake!

photo-3