Sunday, August 7

So Much More Than Just Spots To Blog

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Confluent Forms LLC specializes in creating gorgeous, engaging websites with custom content management systems (CMS, software that enables easy management of your website content without a web developer), but we’ve found that Blogger can be a great platform for web development when a custom CMS isn’t needed. Blogger provides a ton of functionality and design freedom for our clients, and not just for blogs!

I know - unexpected, right? Using blog software for a website?

I think that most users do not realize the value and flexibility that Blogger offers, including free hosting, complete customization, personalized domain options, WYSIWYG editor and more. Because Blogger is a Google product, you can also easily integrate with other Google services such as: Google Analytics, Google Docs, AdSense, Picasa and more. All of this is available free of charge while providing a simple, easy authoring environment for the small business owner.

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As a web development firm, Blogger provides us with a different value proposition.


When I pitch a Blogger-based solution to a client:

•I can provide my company’s services to customers at a lower price point while maintaining full creative freedom and giving them a basic but user-friendly CMS

•I don’t need to set up a paid hosting account for my client (avoiding the associated headaches)

•I don’t need to worry, or have the client worry, about security patches or upgrades

•I don’t have to be concerned about uptime and availability

•I can show the client drafts while we develop by keeping the site invitation-only until it is ready to go public

•I can easily transfer ownership and management of the site to my client or keep us both as co-administrators

It can be hard to envision a platform’s potential from a list of features and value propositions, so here is one example of many websites Confluent Forms has done recently for a number of business.  I’ll highlight the unique aspects from a Blogger standpoint as we go.

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Pinch was our first foray into delivering a custom site using Blogger. Our goals for the project were to create a platform that would enable this small town gallery to showcase new artists whose work they carry, engage the dedicated fans of the gallery with updates, and empower the owner of the gallery to easily keep her site fun, fresh, and beautiful with a fully branded presence. All of the content on each and every page within the site is easily updated by Pinch’s owner without needing to know anything about programming.

While still technically a blog, we think this site is unique in layout, design, branding, and organization. Parts of the site required extra customization - the product category landing pages and the change in layout from the homepage template to the interior page template to the categories page template (such as “Ceramics” in the header). To change the layout we used Blogger’s native if/else functionality combined with the ability to determine page types, and to accomplish the category page design we wrote a script to locate the first image in the article and display it as the thumbnail.

I hope the example above has opened your eyes to some of the possibilities of what you can do with your Blogger site or maybe encourage you to give Blogger a try for your website solution. My company Confluent Forms LLC is lucky to have an exceptionally talented designer that isn’t afraid to push us, but even if you don’t have the ability to create an entirely new site template, perhaps this will encourage you to explore the underlying code of your site and to customize some of the small details to match your real vision you have for your site. You will be pleasantly surprised at how simple it can be and how much you can change it to make your website to do what you want it to. Tee hee!

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When I read this off of Google’s Blogger Buzz recently it blew my mind! Not only had I felt exactly like this about using Blogger when I found it for myself but I had also used Blogger for other things and one time I used Blogger to make a website for a job interview thinking they would be awed with my many skills and hire me. Lmao! No kidding though, the kid’s a genius that took action on doing something I toyed with. Timing and execution are everything! I admire David Kutcher’s mind and ideas.

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The materials for this came from Google/Blogger Buzz/You Can Do Some Amazing Things With Blogger; it seems our BlogSpot's are so much more than just spots to blog.

PhotobucketKeep On Bloggin’!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! why pay for something when you can get it free from google....

    ReplyDelete

I hope you like the geekiness and topics that I write about in Wonderland. This is an older blog so I don't write very often anymore, however, the posts from the past are still enjoyable and I wrote on a plethora of subjects so give my Wonderland a try you may like it. Big hug!

BTW I have Comment Moderation turned on for the rude ones who have to leave fake comments with poorly hidden links in them. You ruin it for everyone but you already know that.