Web Trend for 2010: Blog Sites

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Goodtree & Co., Inc.

wordpress-icon.gifCary, NC – We try to overhaul our website once a year. Wipe the slate clean a tell our story without any preconceptions. This year, we decided to go with a blog site, a CMS powered by WordPress.

The advantages are easy to enumerate:

  • Low cost set-up
  • Easy to maintain
  • Professional look out of the box
  • Well-connected to search

Here’s a little more detail in case your business is thinking about a new site in 2010.

WHAT’S A CMS?

CMS stands for Content Management System. It allows users to add content with little or no programming skills. Need to change a page? No problem if your website is built around a CMS. Enter the info and hit publish.

WHAT’S WORDPRESS

WordPress is the Number One blogging platform in the world. It’s open source (that means free) and has a large population of developers supporting it with upgrades to the code and special add-ons to accommodate almost any functionality.

THE GROWTH OF WORDPRESS

Over the last couple of years, more and more developers have been seeing the possibilities of WordPress as a CMS. Around the world, programmers have been extending the uses of WP to include video content, maps, e-commerce, real estate, social networking and portfolio sites.

For the end user, most of this activity is visible in the growth of themes. Themes are skins over the WordPress installation that create an instant look and functionality for your site.

THEMES GO PREMIUM

A couple of years ago, most themes were free. They were an improvement over the standard WP theme (called Kubrick) but support was sketchy. As WordPress grew, free themers had a difficult time keeping current with the code. What looked pretty cool last year barely worked twelve months later.

In the last six months, the development community has switched over to Premium themes. In short, you now have to pay for the best themes. But competition has undercut the pricing – just last summer, we bought and installed one of the first really robust premium themes (called TV Elements). It cost about $100.

Now, great themes have fallen to about half that price. The theme powering this site (called Display) cost less than $50.

$50 doesn’t seem like a lot for a top notch theme with about 90% of the coding baked in.

SAVE THOUSANDS

The bottom line for business is that the growth of WordPress as a CMS and the development of premium themes has lowered the cost to business for a truly modern website. Development time is quicker and many businesses can now afford a slick look that would have previously been out of reach.

Can you do this yourself? Probably not. Not unless you’re a closet hacker. But the important point is that you’ll pay a lot less for development and get a world class site.

SOME EXAMPLES

This is not your Daddy’s blog. WordPress can now be easily configured to powered the most complicated websites. The New York Times runs on WordPress.

We predict strong growth for WordPress sites in 2010. Even compared to CMS stalwarts like Joomla and Drupal, WP offers a compelling value.

Here are some examples of our recent work with blog sites:

CONTACT US

If you have more questions about blog sites, WordPress or content management systems, feel free to contact us.

Comments (4)

Jerry Morse
The Morse Company - Janesville, WI
BBA,GRI

I created a Wordpress Blog Site.  How do I get it on the Search Engine Ranking System?

Jerry

Jan 18, 2010 07:59 AM
Hal Goodtree
Goodtree & Co., Inc. - Cary, NC
Web 2.0 for Business

Jerry - The short answer is: create a steady stream of content about the keyword(s) you hope to dominate.

Let's say you wanted to dominate search for Chapel Hill, NC. The trick would be to create a lot of posts about all things Chapel Hill. Not just houses for sale, but parks, coffee houses, schools. You get the idea. Make sure you use "Chapel Hill" in the body of every post. Using it in tags, titles and categories is good, too.

 

 

Jan 18, 2010 08:14 AM
Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA

The other comment I would make to Jerry is to use AR as your Google referring page. Hal's comments about what to write about are perfectly calibrated to make your site strong once Google starts paying attention to it. AR is the best way to make that happen. When you write about schools, for instance, also write a companion post on ActiveRain that points to your new blog. Google will follow.

Jan 19, 2010 12:50 AM
Hal Goodtree
Goodtree & Co., Inc. - Cary, NC
Web 2.0 for Business

Thanks Dave!

Jan 24, 2010 02:04 AM