Upgrade Your Website with WebtreePro
Published by Melissa Saner
Upgrade Your Website with Webtreepro
The Webtreepro franchise website builder is an easy-to-use website content management system that allows for the online management of one, ten, a hundred, or even a thousand websites. This product contains a built-in website content management system, including numerous features ranging from:
On-page editing (if you can type on a keyboard, you can use the editor)
Instant or delayed publishing of content (publish your new ad right now, or schedule it to start on Monday, and end on Friday, or Saturday for that matter)
Search engine friendly page structures
Search engine optimization tools
A built-in form builder
By way of introduction, Webtreepro was designed and built by Primero Systems Inc. We at Primero are dedicated to continually enhancing Webtreepro to provide the most robust, but yet simple-to-use online website builder and website content management solution.
Since 1994, we have developed and delivered business-critical commercial software solutions to a number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as small and mid-sized businesses. In addition, we are franchise industry veterans who saw an opportunity in the franchise community to solve the problem of how to manage franchise brands online. We saw solutions that cost hundreds of thousand of dollars and were highly labor intensive to implement and maintain, requiring intervention from an IT group to change anything. Others were little more than a handful of static pages with no ability to manage content in anything close to real time. And, still others were chock full of promise, but lacking in delivery.
Our goals for Webtreepro included:
- Build a fully web-based application that requires no locally installed software
- Ensure the instantaneous publishing of content on any number of sites, as desired
- Give users an interface that is familiar and very easy to use…no need for any IT involvement
- Price it so that the customer’s decision is easy
Have we succeeded? Our customers tell us we have. Come see for yourself what the Webtreepro CMS for brand control has to offer you and your organization. Better yet, contact us for a demo. If you can spare 30 minutes, be prepared for us to knock your socks off!
0 comment -- Click to Read/Write CommentsContent Management Systems
Published by Ray Fabros
Website Building Tool or Content Management System (CMS)
WWW. Three simple letters that have changed the way we learn, play and work.
This article is not intended to convince you that you need a website. We already have many blogs why you should and how to make it compelling. It’s to help determine what kind of tool you need to build the site that you have already decided you need to build, or even a group of websites.
It wasn’t too long ago that there weren’t many people with the expertise to build a website. Quite often, someone who wanted a website would just have the neighbor kid (always on the cutting edge of technology) build one for him. My how times have changed!
Commercials, emails and web ads blast us with offers to build a website for free using web building tools and dozens or even hundreds of templates. For some, this choice is a viable option. But more than just having a business website, getting exposure for the website and converting the website traffic into actual business relationships are the keys to make it successful.
With anything, the more you hear the same message, the more you begin to filter it out. The same holds true for your website. The longer it hasn’t been updated (days, weeks, months, years), the less relevant it becomes. Just ask Google.
This brings us to the first point of a good website tool. How easily and how quickly can you update the information? For instance, let’s say you’re having a special promotion and want to feature it on your website. The better website builder programs do not require you to learn HTML, create HTML files and publish them to web servers. Instead, they include an HTML editor that is at least as simple to use as a Word processing program. If you can use Microsoft Word, you should be able to update your website. Type and format the text, add an image or two, save and done! This is way better than waiting for the neighbor kid to beat the latest Madden game before getting around to your website.
Successful websites incorporate visual flair and call to actions.
It’s usually easy enough to add a single image, but what about a group of images? Can you add a slideshow without having to upload the images to a web server and then figure out the right code for dimensions and transition speed? What about adding a photo gallery like you might use for a product catalog page?
How simply can you build a form to capture a prospective customer’s contact information? Will it send you an email with the captured data? Does your website builder also provide a way to record the data submission history in case your email gets blocked or lost?
These two features by themselves may be enough for you to consider getting something more than just a simple website builder. Whether it’s called a plug-in, page element or something else, most good content management systems (or CMSs) allow you to easily add various types of content to your web pages.
A business website often starts off by just giving prospective customers enough information about the company so they consider doing business with it. Later on, you may incorporate various marketing strategies like promotions or forms to increase customer sales.
But let’s say you now want to start your own blog or publish a newsletter. As business increases and you begin increasing your staffing levels, perhaps you even want to provide a secure way to make forms and other private information available to your employees. Can you do that with your website builder and is everything integrated?
A good CMS will allow you to use the same website to speak to all of your various audiences. It will allow you to create pages that are not accessible from your main website. Private pages can be secured and require a username and password before access is granted.
Taking a long-term view points out another reason why you may need a CMS instead of a website building tool. What if your business becomes so successful that you are now opening up a second location? It may be easy enough to copy the files from your original site and modify them for the second location, but what if you continue to grow and have multiple locations?
You might need a separate site for each. Although similar, each site can then feature slightly different content; otherwise, if everything was exactly the same, you might as well stick to a single site.
To add to the above, what if you begin franchising and now have dozens of locations, each wanting its own site? Or maybe you want a separate site just for franchise development? Can you leverage your existing original site to quickly and easily create all of the new websites?
A CMS will let you quickly duplicate the main site as often as you wish. With the right settings, content on the duplicate sites can be managed by your new store owners or franchisees as you wish. Unique content, such as location information, can be dynamically implemented into the new website. You can even set up a review or workflow process to review any changes before they are published. Specific pages or page content can be automatically designated to appear on specific groups of sites. For instance, locations on the West Coast can show different content than locations on the East Coast or in the South.
With so many hands in the pot, there needs to be an easy and simple way to manage all of the users and their abilities within a website: adding a user, handling the actual login process, deleting a user, resetting a password, specifying which content is visible to that user. It’s dizzying just to describe all of the possible scenarios, much more to actually manage all of it.
A CMS makes it easy to manage all of the above with a well-designed administration module and simple user interface.
When dealing with so many sites, and different people being able to modify different pieces, another important facet must be considered: brand control. Maintaining a consistent message, look and feel becomes extremely important.
Your marketing department may want something on the website that’s different than your operations or franchise sales personnel. Franchisee A may prefer the colors pink and purple instead of the standard red and blue in your logo. How can you manage all of this without being a headache to them? Again, this is one of the important considerations when evaluating different content management systems. Does your website allow you to easily control what can be changed by whom, and what cannot be changed?
A workflow approval system can prevent undesired content before it is even published. Otherwise, if you are the franchisor, does your CMS give you the ability to change out content on a franchisee’s website that does not meet with your approval?
Always use the right tool for the job. You don’t need a sledgehammer to drive in a small nail. Likewise, a cuticle cutter isn’t going to cut through sheetmetal. The same applies to whatever tool you choose to use when building your website. If you don’t need all of the extra features, you may not need a content management system. However, if you want your website to do everything, you may wish to consider a CMS.
So first, you need to figure out what it is you want your website to do for you now, and even months or years down the road. Then, make sure the tool you select can get the job done. You can’t select the right tool unless you know what your objective is.
Finally, even the right tool for the job is only as good as the one using it. After you’ve used your selected tool to build your website, take a moment now and again to add something new to spice it up. You may discover that the CMS you have already offers so many more options than you’re currently using. You’ve already made the investment of your time and other resources; do your best to make it count.
0 comment -- Click to Read/Write CommentsWorking in a Virtual Enviromemt
Published by Melissa Saner
Working in a Virtual Environment
In a virtual office environment, management has the challenge of ensuring that employees feel as though they are a valued member of a team, part of a company and not isolated from their coworkers. Engendering and fostering the company culture takes on an elevated level of importance. These challenges and the methods used to address them must continue to evolve with the times, as technology and the social media environment changes.
Communication is the key.
There can never be too much communication. It is the number-one challenge. Skype, a free tool, first and foremost, is my choice for reaching out to employees during the work day. An incidental communication over Skype can often be just as easily achieved via email. However, email does not accomplish the level of personalization I am looking for. By using Skype, I have the chance, either via type chat or voice, to accomplish the business reason for the communication, as well as to have a personal one-on-one connection.
I routinely hold quite a number of meetings, especially with my managers. These meetings are planned on a weekly basis, but are also often impromptu. And, I encourage my managers to hold frequent meetings with their teams. Most of these meetings rarely last more than 15 to 30 minutes. In that time, however, not only do we have the opportunity for discussion, brainstorming, planning and problem solving, but the voice conversations help maintain personalization, and we have time to engage in some chitchat. Sometimes, by the time a scheduled meeting takes place, the business reasons for that session have come and gone. But the personal connection to be gained by still holding that meeting should not be discounted or underestimated.
New hires, company updates, goals and achievements, as well as employee birthdays, marriages, and family additions are typically announced company-wide via email. This often causes a build-up in the email box, but it is a build-up filled with humor and warm regards for each other.
Work anniversaries are always recognized by senior management, starting with the very first anniversary. We let folks know that their efforts and dedication are noticed and appreciated.
In the locations where employees live in proximity to each other, they are encouraged to periodically work at a coworker’s home office. Lunch meetings and occasional get-togethers that involved the entire family are scheduled.
An additional element that we introduced several months ago is a closed company Facebook page. Employees are encouraged to post vacation photos, business trip photos, stories and notifications. This has been a bit slow to gain legs, but I do believe that with some extra encouragement, this can be a great social gathering place.
We are also experimenting with the use of web cams in our meetings. This particular tool may also take some time to take off, as some of us like working in scrub clothes, with no make-up on (and unruly hair).
There is no sure way, no right way, and no wrong way, to keep virtual employees feeling valued and included. Communication remains key to achieving this goal. Communication is something that all must strive to improve upon.
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