So Much More To Consider (DNN Summit 2022)

Feb 10, 2022


When it comes to websites, powered by DNN of course, there is so much to consider. And that consideration goes way beyond the technical bits (though these are super important too). Do you perhaps "think like a dev"? Do you rely on "starter designs"? How is your "branding acumen"? Have you brushed up on "color theory"? Do you wear "the marketing hat"? Have you considered "accessibility"? Do things like "user experience", "CTAs", the "customer journey", and "conversations" come into the picture? Oh, and let's not forget about "SEO" and "SEM"! In this session, we'll touch on why ALL of these should at least be in the conversation. We'll share tactics and tips for "doing things right"!

DNN Summit



0:00 i'll go ahead and get started here uh welcome to gosh this is the last
0:07 presentation slot of the session except for the round table and i hope everybody
0:12 has gotten a chance to post a few questions in the round table
0:18 and if you haven't please go to the reception area and you'll see a link there where you can fill out
0:25 a simple form there to ask any questions of the dnn leadership panel
0:31 so i'll go ahead and get started here um for those of you uh that may have
0:37 intended to be in a different session well surprise you're now in my session this is a bit about it's it's really a
0:44 sponsor slot if you will but i've catered this uh this particular
0:50 presentation to help not only those that may be interested in us and our services but also
0:56 understanding some of the fundamentals of of our business and how it could us
1:02 honestly apply to any any business out there especially those that are building websites because
1:08 there's so much more to consider than just a website even if you're just a website developer
1:15 and maybe you're in an organization or whatever they can apply some of these principles to that organization
1:22 no matter the age of that organization so for those that don't know me i'm david
1:29 poindexter also known as dn and dave um so
1:34 shameless plug please go out to dnn dave on youtube and please subscribe to that
1:41 channel um i need followers i really do need followers um so i'd appreciate that but now i'm a ceo of envisionative we're
1:48 located in the uh charlotte north carolina greater area
1:54 and i am the strategy lead for the dnn leadership team and on the board of
1:59 directors of dating connect and co-president of southern fried dna and yada yada yada yada you can get
2:06 in contact with me with any of those uh social platforms and github and all that
2:12 below as well as our company um thank you so much for those that
2:18 actually went and subscribed that was so fun it's so thoughtful of you so
2:23 what makes up envisionative um or any real successful business i would
2:29 say we actually start with a real solid foundation
2:35 and i'll i'll go into a little bit deeper dive into each of these a bit and you
2:40 know any good business needs some some good building blocks to build things with you know be that either websites or
2:48 advertising campaigns or whatever it is that your service offers or your business offers or products you got to
2:55 have those pieces to put those things together and make them into a nice cohesive
3:01 offering there teamwork is vital um as many of us know it's
3:06 always better to to have a solid team to work with and bounce ideas off of and
3:13 help each other to improve over over time and really kind of give input and offer
3:19 different perspectives the abundance principle is something that
3:25 is pretty near and dear to my heart and we'll talk a little bit about that and always just having that mentality of
3:32 growth you know no matter what obstacles you may face as a business or
3:37 with clients that you have or projects that are challenging or whatever there's always opportunity for growth and
3:44 refining and owning our craft a bit and then also just continually improving
3:50 our processes there's always room for improvement so let's talk a little bit about the
3:56 solid foundation this is actually an image of one of our clients here this local
4:02 their concrete company and i thought it was fitting to use an image that of one of the buildings
4:09 that they were pouring concrete for and you know a strong foundation in a business is
4:15 absolutely vital because you know things really start falling apart if you don't
4:20 have some core values and and all to really kind of stand on
4:26 you know for us some of those core values are integrity um i live and die by integrity if i you
4:33 know if there's something that's you know off or anything like that or you know just questioning the way that
4:40 we do things or you know our motives behind things it's real important to have that solid
4:47 integrity um in business respect for others is very important
4:52 respect for our teammates respect for our clients and their ideas
4:58 being honest with each other you know um sometimes we need to hear
5:05 the truth you know about how we're feeling you know about a
5:10 certain situation or a certain direction that a project is going and we need to
5:16 be able to have that honest communication throughout a project or
5:21 um anything that we're doing together um it just really helps even you know sometimes it
5:26 not so fun to hear that honest truth you know but a lot of times it's really enlightening
5:32 because you just you know you didn't intend for things to be that way but you know it's good to
5:37 hear from the client that oh we came across a little wrong there so it's a two-way street for us you know and being
5:43 really transparent in the way that we uh do business um sometimes we leverage the
5:49 you know in a dnn space it's a pretty small community in the sense of you know
5:54 providers and service providers and in the area and integrators and all that so
6:00 we we love working with others if we are not the strongest or the best fit for a
6:06 certain thing that we need to do we reach out and we work with somebody in the community or another company in
6:12 the community and just being able to be transparent about that so there's no hidden agendas or anything like that we
6:18 really like that so to that end we really highly value relationships um be it either a client
6:24 relationship or relationships just with each other internally we really value those
6:30 so that's really what makes up our solid foundation talked a little bit about building blocks and you know as you're starting
6:38 out as a business or a new team within an existing business
6:43 you you kind of piecemeal together some blocks that you could possibly build some structures you know and you see a
6:50 nice little um this is kind of like jingle blocks or something like that not really building a jingle tower here but you know
6:58 you could see how fragile that might look and that may just be the way that we start out
7:03 because we're really just learning how these pieces are going to work together to build whatever offering we're going
7:09 to do and later you want to kind of see this evolve
7:15 to a more solid you know model if you will for our building blocks that
7:21 really can be pieced together and they look really nice and clean as well as
7:27 working well together so that it's not so easy for them to be knocked over or
7:32 you know have some vulnerabilities like you see on the on the left-hand side there
7:41 teamwork is vital as well and this one is you know this one's
7:47 easier said than done because you know we're we're people we're human and we have
7:52 emotions and we have egos sometimes and and all that
7:57 but you know really valuing each other goes back to one of those core principles of respect
8:05 um if we're respecting each other you know then you're believing going into a conversation that another team member
8:12 has something valid to offer and that goes with our clients as well
8:18 we like to be a team with our clients so we do a lot of creative marketing and
8:23 you know advertising type things so a lot of times we we end up being a marketing extension
8:29 for clients you know that may not have a marketing team or maybe they just have a single marketing director you know and
8:37 they need a team to bounce ideas off of and bring ideas to the table with so we really
8:43 value teamwork here and you know notice there this one's kind of become cliche-ish but there is
8:48 no eye in team it was funny we we had an internal conversation just today
8:54 of reminding ourselves you know of this how we communicate it's a we thing it's
9:00 not an eye thing right you know and it's just something we have to keep top of mind
9:08 talk a little bit about the abundance principle and i'll spend a little bit of time on this one because it's so key
9:15 in communities like dnn community where it's open source
9:21 and there's a lot of extensions out there that are used that are
9:26 open source and for many years i mean i've actually been
9:32 in the dna community since its inception and i for quite a few years
9:39 i mean i would talk with people and things like that and i would interact on some of the forms and
9:44 have conversations with people but i was a little more of a consumer and it became apparent to me over over those
9:52 early years that this community was a bit different in that
9:57 there are people that were just so willing to help others when there were
10:04 questions and i was one of those people that need a lot of help and you know
10:10 it just kind of became ingrained to me through experience with the dnn community that
10:16 there's this principle you know of you give and you get as a result of that
10:22 giving you don't give to get so um it's just uh something that's kind of
10:28 woven into the fabric of our community and i see it every day and it's just something that is vital to
10:35 us as a business too so we allow ourselves the ability to contribute to
10:43 open source on the clock so to speak you know for for the company we're paying
10:49 people for that time to contribute to open source and it's really great it's a it's a good experience
10:55 i know i've valued that years over in um
11:01 it's not always something that you can directly attribute a return on you know but
11:08 kind of goes back to the principle it's not the reason why you do it to start with
11:14 so if that is kind of core to the way you think then it can really change your mind
11:19 because you you find out i mean it could really change your perception of it because you find out that you do end up getting
11:26 something that's may not maybe like directly attributable to an roi or something but
11:32 it comes back you know good karma whatever you want to call it what comes around goes around
11:37 that kind of thing so we like to help others we need help sometimes and we are so
11:43 appreciative of community members that are able to help us
11:49 so um this one's a good one as well because a lot of times when we
11:56 run into difficult situations where we may not know the answer to a question
12:03 or you know if something is really impacting a client you know in a negative fashion
12:11 and we just don't quite know how to solve it there's always that opportunity to just
12:16 change that challenge from a challenge to an opportunity and
12:21 you know kind of humble ourselves and it goes back to the community is a little bit here as well like a parallel to this
12:28 you know i don't want to be afraid of admitting that i don't know the answer
12:34 we're not super human right so sometimes we don't know the answer we can't find the answer google doesn't tell us or you
12:41 know or we get misled by some post you know somewhere that led us down a path
12:47 that just didn't pan out in the end well i want to be able to just keep
12:54 going you know i want to find the answer for the client if we don't know the answer we're going to try
12:59 to find it we're going to try to reach out to others in the community and see
13:05 if we can really get that answer and sometimes the answer is we just couldn't couldn't
13:10 figure it out but we try to go into a solution space of okay well
13:16 assuming we can't get an answer to this what do we do you know so we just try to shift to that kind of that kind of
13:23 mentality there and always just be growing it's always something to learn
13:28 and kind of along the same lines is you know our internal processes or our processes
13:34 that we have in place to work with our partners or our vendors
13:40 and our clients how we communicate you know those kind of things just always
13:46 being willing to refine and you know admit that yeah i thought that was going to work
13:51 out much better than it did but we need to tweak that a little bit and you know not being so stuck to i
13:58 mean we are a boutique agency if you will we're small enough it's where we're able to be a little
14:04 more nimble with these kind of things and not be so stiff you know with these but you know as we've grown
14:11 we've needed those processes if we have a new hire that comes in or we need to you know educate them on how we do
14:17 something whatever it's nice to have it documented we are by no means perfect in
14:22 this area but we're always willing to tweak and improve and admit when something's not working
14:28 and there's also this aspect of some people operate in different ways
14:34 so what works for one client will not necessarily work for another client we
14:40 we have some clients that they live and you know die by their email or someone that we have other
14:46 clients that you're just not gonna get an email response you're gonna have to pick up the phone and give them a call
14:52 and for us to be adaptable in that way so you know our processes are
14:58 not so stringent that it doesn't you know allow for those flexibilities and communication and
15:05 things like that and use that as a small example but this goes into many different aspects of the business
15:11 so let's kind of bring that we've now got the foundation kind of laid and what the core values and the you know of the
15:16 business are um and some of the different uh pieces to the puzzle for us
15:22 let's kind of bring it a little bit into our world right we've been asked by a client to you build a website
15:29 well those requests come in many different ways different new shapes different
15:34 forms and it it is beyond the technical bits
15:40 right it's not in the end just a bit of code like you see over there on the right and
15:46 you have a website now there are plenty of companies out there that will approach it that way
15:52 um nothing necessarily wrong with it it's just we know there's so much more to the puzzle so we do like to ask the
15:59 questions that are you know sometimes you're constrained by budget or you're constrained by
16:05 other factors or timeline or things like that and you're just not able to go into all these different
16:10 areas that i'm going to touch on here but those things still exist and they still probably apply in some shape form or
16:17 fashion so it's nice to have the conversation a lot of companies will use more of a
16:24 cookie cutter kind of approach and it's not a bad business model in the sense of you know
16:31 generating revenue for a business but is it what the client actually needs in
16:37 the end um we love to build uber
16:44 beautiful sites you know just stellar designs but we rarely ever actually get to do it
16:51 because it's more about what is needed for the website versus what
16:57 could be done or what we enjoy doing so just being willing as a business to recognize the
17:03 actual need know the audience and actually deliver that you know rather than something that we
17:10 just want to do or the only thing that we know how to do you know kind of in the cookie cutter kind of approach
17:18 so one of the things we like to talk about right up front
17:24 is establishing a budget early on sometimes this is known
17:30 by the client sometimes it's willing to be shared sometimes it's not for various reasons
17:36 and that's okay but at the onset of a project we really all need to understand what we're doing
17:43 and what our limitations are are we going to be driven by a budget
17:49 or we can be driven by a timeline do those two line up
17:54 together and sometimes we have to kind of read between the lines you know of what the
18:01 actual ask is and we have to think okay well what
18:06 what is it that the client really needs or is really asking for even
18:12 though they're not directly asking for it and we have to again be honest with
18:17 ourselves in some of these situations and know that sometimes we just
18:23 have to say no because it may not be the ask is not the right
18:29 questions you know coming coming to us in order to be able to deliver what we ultimately know is
18:35 needed um i would love to share some specific examples but for obvious reasons i'm not going to do that but it's like
18:42 it's just something that it's okay as a business to recognize you know that it's a setup
18:50 for disaster or it's you're ultimately not going to be
18:56 um delivering what needs to be delivered um in in in the situation sometimes we
19:03 get this wrong too sometimes we have taken on a project that we really you
19:08 know should have probably not engaged in but we just didn't have the foresight to
19:14 know um you know most of our projects go just nice and smoothly you know yes every project has its bumps along
19:21 the way and we'll learn from those uh mistakes along the way but
19:26 um you know it's it's not a pure science but just being able to read between lines and knowing
19:33 what is really being asked for a project if the budget isn't there to
19:38 get the project to that level in a way that we do it and what we do
19:43 well then it's okay it's okay to say no it's okay for your business to say no as well
19:49 with things like that it you'll be happier in the client in the end will
19:55 hopefully get what they need you know from a different provider that could potentially do what they're asking
20:01 and achieve those goals within that particular budget so really talking about the budget up front is is
20:08 really nice for all parties really so let's talk a little bit about branding because for us
20:15 when it comes to a website i can't tell you how many requests we get of okay i've got this website client
20:21 already has a website or we already have a website and we just want it to look different we're
20:28 tired of this design we just need a new design
20:33 we look at the website and we go huh well um tell me a little bit about that
20:40 logo there like how long has that been in play have you considered
20:46 any newer kind of more modern colors for that logo or
20:52 have you considered actually making it a logo um a lot of clients actually think that their logo is a
20:58 a word mark or a photo with a with their name plastered
21:03 across it you know so as a branding company you know we this is kind of where the design
21:09 flows from from the very beginning is really understanding if the brand is established
21:16 does it need any tweaking as we start looking at the design of a new website
21:23 um because if we don't get that right it's kind of like this may sound a little bit harsh but
21:29 it's like sometimes putting lipstick on a pig um it's
21:37 we can try you know yeah we could probably make it better um but is it gonna be done right so kind
21:45 of goes back to that budget thing can we do it right is there the openness there to do it
21:50 now that doesn't say that every single project that comes along we're like you should do a rebrand no i mean sometimes
21:56 it's just not required sometimes it's a solid brand that's really fine the way it is
22:03 no no color tweaks no styling changes needed it's really a logo they really
22:08 have an icon they really have a solid name they're not putting ink in their logo or something like that
22:15 you know i mean inc and i kind of laugh because a lot of clients believe that their
22:21 literal name actually has to be a part of their brand and while it is a part of the bigger brand picture it doesn't necessarily be
22:28 the the visual aspect of it so i talked a little about logo but brandon goes way
22:34 beyond just logos so um let's talk a little bit about the voice of the website
22:41 how many times have we gone to a website and it just feels disconnected you know you go from one
22:47 page to another and it's like did the same person
22:53 write this content um you can tell it was maybe evolved over time you know it was iterated on
22:59 over time but somewhere along the way there's just a disconnect and the voice didn't sound the same
23:07 you know across the site so for us voice is really important and that's where our copywriting services
23:13 come into play and being able to make sure that there is a
23:18 solid and established voice for not only the website but really for the client in general because
23:24 for many businesses the website is really kind of the first place you know of that contact with a
23:31 with a client so voice is very important same um
23:37 same breath there um as i take a breath um
23:43 oh wait hold on there we go i had to do that um what is the line here you know
23:52 if is it just a straight up e-commerce site are you really trying to lead people to
23:57 understand why they may would need that product and kind of funnel them in
24:05 you know to that decision um just hitting them with a grid of products
24:10 right from the get-go is maybe not the wisest strategy because you're not telling a story you're not really
24:17 painting a picture think about some of the major brands you know that
24:22 have stellar websites you'll notice that there's a clear
24:27 user journey or a path that they're going along and that's that's undergirded by a strong
24:33 understanding of what the story is what is the storyline what is the messaging that needs to happen there
24:39 what do you want people to take away from that when they go to that page and this applies to every page of the site it
24:45 doesn't mean that there has to be a ton of content either
24:52 we do believe less is often more in this so
24:58 it's very important just how what that voice sounds like and how you're delivering the message
25:06 so let's go into strategy a little bit and this is where gosh i'll probably talk a little bit too much uh here
25:12 but um when we're thinking about you know this is not obvious to
25:19 those that aren't in this world um but you know if you if you're
25:25 someone that needs a new website and let's say you're a new business net new business you're just starting
25:30 out you haven't thought through really a lot of what your business model is and
25:36 but you know you've got this great idea right and you're excited about the business
25:41 and you know you need to do it right and your version of write is
25:46 a little clouded because you don't know exactly what right is yet and
25:52 but you need help you need to get there well here are some of the things that we think about
25:57 whether we vocalize that with you or whether you know you're ready for those kind of
26:03 things but we do think about these things regardless so one of the things that we think about
26:09 with websites is who are the users of that website
26:16 and in most cases you know a client may say well i mean that's our clients no
26:21 yeah yeah but let's dig a little bit deeper what what are those users like who are they
26:27 really who are they and you know that goes into a lot of research about
26:34 what is the real persona of the person that you're going you know really understanding your target audience
26:41 is it a 20-something um you know
26:46 demographic with um i don't know with a certain level of income
26:52 or things like that you know and what is their what are they thinking when they get to your website i mean you may think
26:58 well gosh that's that's going deep there i don't know what they're thinking well
27:03 imagine it like if a person was let's say you're a
27:09 real estate company and you focus on a certain
27:14 level of you know inventory with your houses or apartments whatever
27:20 it is you know what stage of life that person probably needs to be in order to be able
27:27 to even afford you know that level so if you're in new york city and
27:33 you're trying to sell apartments there well if somebody only has a budget of 200 000
27:40 yeah that's not the right user for your site right because
27:45 this is not going to cut it in manhattan so you know that they need to be a
27:51 certain level so really we think about user personas in the sense of defining who that those ideal
27:58 types of users are for site so that then we can really know what they're thinking when they get there and
28:04 we we literally even you know kind of act this out a bit in in actual user personas so it's really
28:11 kind of a fun exercise to refine that and this needs to be iterated over time
28:18 as you learn more about your clientele and who is succeeding on the site who is
28:23 not succeeding who's balancing who's not understanding what you expect their user
28:30 journey on the site to actually be so that you can get the desired outcome of their
28:37 experience on the site so in the case of the apartment hunter
28:44 maybe you want them to fill out a form after they look at a certain property
28:50 and contact you to schedule an appointment that could be one of the desired
28:55 outcomes so then that impacts our design of it because we want to make sure that the
29:01 voice is appealing to that user persona we want to make sure the messaging is
29:07 right to lead them to those properties and when they get to a property
29:13 having a clear understanding of what they can do once they've seen it or they're starting to get interest
29:20 so being able to have that clearly mapped out as a user journey is very important
29:28 also knowing kind of how we are going to collectively measure
29:34 success is very important as well because
29:39 if we don't know what our measures of success are then how in the world are we going to
29:45 know if we're succeeding you know you as a client or us as an agency trying to help you out so
29:52 for us to all understand what our measures of success are then that's really important so
29:59 let's take a um we have a client that's a leader in pool financing
30:06 and one of their measures of success is actually getting an application
30:13 on their website so by golly we're going to design everything to flow to that application
30:20 so they can actually get somebody to apply on the website for
30:25 one of our clients that is a a sewage and pumping company a sewer and
30:32 pumping company it's a fun business um but you know for
30:37 them it's to give them a call and schedule an appointment so that's a little different
30:43 than trying to get someone to fill out a complicated application online
30:49 versus picking up a call so it's a different strategy that goes into that
30:55 so we think about the user experience truly because
31:00 it's not just some term ux oh we do ux yeah
31:06 maybe we do maybe we don't do we really know what we're talking about with that well
31:11 to do user experience you know properly you got to be willing to actually test
31:18 with users to see if your hypothetical design is going to
31:23 translate to users or is it going to leave them completely confused and not know what to do or not
31:30 understand what they're even looking at sometimes we project our you know thoughts about
31:37 what's easy and what's not you know as let's just say if we have a developmentality development mentality
31:44 we may be just thinking literally about accomplishing that feature that's being put on the website
31:50 well that's not really enough sometimes sometimes we need to be able to be honest and say well
31:57 you know using a drop down there actually works better because of
32:02 x whatever the reason is because we see a drop-off rate when people hit the spot in the application
32:10 so you know there's all kinds of things that we can do to improve that and it's not a one and done kind of scenario
32:16 either but we can't just use that term loosely thinking about things like sales funnels
32:22 or funnels you know you if you hit people right from the beginning here by my
32:28 online course that i'm selling it's like yeah but you haven't really told me anything about why i would even be interested in a course from you
32:35 well that's not gonna work you're gonna have to explain who you are and
32:40 why you're passionate about you know educational material in this particular subject
32:46 and then eventually you present them with those courses that you're selling online and they'll already be a little
32:53 more interested when they get there you're not just hitting them with the five thousand dollar online course fee
33:00 for real estate or whatever it is so funnels are important and i'm going to move on off this slide
33:06 in just a minute but some of the other things is when it comes into content
33:11 how many times we've been asked to actually design a website when there is no content
33:17 for the website from the client so if we're creating that together let's
33:23 have a plan to create that together to write it to take photography if it's needed or
33:28 design the graphics that are needed whatever rich media that might be needed on the site like a video you know
33:35 production needs to be done explainer video or whatever it is or virtual tour if you're a
33:41 brick and mortar business with actual product in there maybe you want to do a virtual tour well how in the world can
33:46 we effectively design a website when we don't know what that content is going to be
33:52 so we do have a content first mentality when it comes to websites and it's
33:58 it just in the end you'll you'll have a better product in the end if you
34:03 go through the hard exercise of figuring out some of this content beforehand you don't have to figure it all out for
34:10 it but it's it's one of those things the more we know the better we can do
34:16 then and really only then can we effectively start talking about design
34:22 of a website so we've gone through a lot at this point and
34:27 you know when we are thinking about design it's not going out and purchasing a
34:33 template off of theme forest or any of those kind of sites
34:40 and trying to plop the logo in there and put a color palette that matches your branding
34:46 can that work yeah it can but again that design was not created
34:51 for the content that you have so trying to fit everything into a box
34:57 like that is just not the way that we approach design um and we believe to really effectively
35:03 design a website you need to be thinking about the various types of pages that you might want to have on a website
35:10 because it'll have different functionality it may have different design needs in that particular section
35:16 of the site versus another section of the site just because of the features or
35:22 what the content really looks like or how it's structured we like to think about color really
35:28 think about color because color matters whether you know it or not
35:34 um there are certain colors that are harsh or cold you know and not as in warm and
35:41 inviting but all of this is not a one size fits all either um what works for one
35:48 company will not necessarily work for another company um because it all goes back to what is
35:53 the voice what is the message well what do you need to support all that
35:59 typography matters design patterns are we going to create our own design patterns or we're going
36:04 to leverage some other framework and really get into some of the technical stuff here now a little bit as
36:09 it relates to design but are we using bootstrap for css framework or are we
36:15 going for more of a kind of a material design approach or are we trying to roll our own
36:23 accessibility is a big deal when it comes to design and making sure that
36:28 the colors are making it such that the contrast with the
36:34 typography and the content that's on the page is it a high enough contrast for
36:39 accessible visitors and you know it goes way beyond just that but i'm using that as an example
36:46 user testing on design is really important as well oh my goodness let's talk about some
36:53 security here i hope everybody knows who bon quiqui is if you don't please search
36:58 that on youtube and you've got to look at the skit from mad tv it's hilarious so
37:04 um you want to make sure wherever you're hosting your websites
37:09 that security is top of mind and it again it's not a pure science
37:16 but if the company that you're hosting with is not
37:21 talking about some of these cyber attacks that are happening these days
37:26 and how serious it is and how easy it is to happen to any of us
37:32 um that that's really important it should probably be a flag you know for you
37:37 so we just make sure that any clients that we're hosting their websites that this is top of mind
37:43 we've unfortunately been bit just like a lot of other people have been bit by these awful attacks
37:51 and we learned a lot from it so it goes back to our process improvement things like that we've done a lot
37:57 to make sure that sites are as secure as they could possibly be and that we have clear strategy
38:04 for backup and recovery and all that should the awful actually happen
38:14 so then we get into the development aspects of it and
38:20 there's a lot we can talk about here but this can't be where we started we had to establish all that other stuff
38:26 before we could even think about developing it because if we would have started developing it
38:32 before we designed it we were just going to get our structure in place you know because we like these
38:37 development patterns or whatever yeah i mean we could but we would end up you know reworking things
38:44 because designers want something different than developers usually and
38:50 we like to make sure the left hand is talking to the right hand so development team is usually involved in the process
38:57 of design so before we're presenting designs the
39:02 developers are looking at it going uh that's gonna be tough you know and it
39:07 kind of a lot of times bubbles back up to the budget conversation right so if
39:14 budget was our driver and we know that we have a particular mark that we're going for from a budget standpoint well
39:21 we can make some decisions along the way that would help reach that budget and not
39:26 blow the budget right so if we know we need to do a little tweak in the design to just make sure we
39:31 don't end up with that huge can of worms from a development standpoint we're going to do that and try to catch
39:37 as much of that as possible early on before we get too far along
39:42 so what tooling are we using that's really important for us not reinventing the wheel on some of our
39:48 tooling the design can change the code can change but how we're actually interacting with that
39:55 is very important to us so we invest a lot into that whether or not we're using a framework
40:00 or not sometimes this doesn't matter to the client a lot of times it's a decision that we make
40:06 and we do have some preferences in this area but we're always kind of looking at that and looking at tweaking
40:13 it sometimes we will use a framework sometimes we won't use a framework to do something what is the architecture of
40:19 our code are we integrating with other services are we
40:25 structuring our content and some kind of like you know structured content kind of solution and usually that is that answer
40:31 is yes for us but there are certain sites especially one that's already established and
40:36 already has a certain set of extensions if it's a dnn site that's being leveraged that we really
40:42 can't do that or if we're on a wordpress site and they're not using
40:48 some kind of structured content sometimes we can and sometimes we can't it just kind of depends on
40:54 what the state of the website is but we do try to go down that path as much as possible
41:00 we're ever evolving our source control as it relates to any other code that we're creating
41:07 be that the theme of the site or the structured content solution of the site or any custom extensions that
41:15 we're writing we're making sure that those are in a proper source control environment that the client has access
41:21 to as well are we
41:26 reinventing the wheel or going through manual steps when we don't have to we're trying to get better and better
41:32 about this but continuous integration is important as well as looking into continuous deployment sometimes
41:39 for sites where we can do that where from a development standpoint we get finished with a some changes that are
41:45 done and essentially clicking a button and everything gets built
41:50 automatically and deployed automatically depending on which steps we took during development um that's just
41:57 something to smart because if you're repeating the same thing over and over and over again and it's taking you x amount of
42:03 hours to do that it makes sense to automate some of that so automating that
42:09 build and deployment type environment is very important
42:16 uh let's see here so some other things to be thinking about with websites is social media and how
42:22 that's going to interact with your website um you know maybe it's just something as
42:28 simple as you're going to have people that are sharing
42:34 a website a url of your website onto social media
42:39 well when they do that have you ever looked to see what that actually looks like is it pulling in
42:45 a dnn logo or is it pulling in the image that you want it to pull in the preview
42:51 of that social post does it look right on facebook does it look right on twitter does it look like
42:56 right on some of these other platforms that's something we need to be thinking about when we're building websites and
43:02 that's a fairly small development effort to make sure that those look really great and also gives
43:09 you a way to control that as an administrator of the website
43:14 or are we doing some more advanced integrations you know with social media sometimes we have uh those
43:22 seo this is something that so many think it's just a putting a
43:28 description and a title on a page and while titles are incredibly important in seo
43:33 there's so much more to seo there's understanding where you live in the marketplace as it
43:40 relates to search engines um if you are
43:46 running a plumbing business for instance well we know that those are a dime a
43:52 dozen out there and it's a very competitive space so really understanding what your key
43:59 differentiators are as it relates to searches out there what those are
44:06 that ultimately is going to translate to certain keywords and also what geographical area
44:13 you are servicing knowing all that is incredibly important because
44:18 when it comes to eventually you're going to probably want to do some search engine marketing
44:23 well you need to know what you know one your budget is going to be willing to to be for that but also know
44:31 what you actually need to to be able to invest in that another in order to succeed or have success
44:37 in conversions from that so there's a lot of things that can be done on site
44:44 uh you know on the actual physical site that that actually impacts seo
44:49 and it kind of comes back up to also some of those things we talked about earlier
44:54 having a good voice having a clear message a unique voice by the way you know and unique
45:01 content that's going to not be shown up as duplicate content
45:06 so let's say you're running a dentist's office and you decide to go and hire a company that
45:12 is an expert in your type of business and they build you a website
45:20 and you get their whole package of wonderfully written content
45:25 and really a lot of is wonderfully written a lot of times what you probably don't realize is that
45:32 every other client of the company has some version of that exact same content on their website
45:38 well guess what that's going to do for your search engine results
45:43 not so good and you know recovering from damage that can be done by
45:49 duplicate content like that is a as we would say in the south a tough row to hoe
45:56 so a lot of times it ends up being almost a do-over you know on a new domain on a website to really be able to
46:02 truly recover from some of that and maybe you've hired a you know a search engine optimization company that
46:09 they are experts in search engine optimization but yet they have
46:14 putting on their black hat you know instead of the white hat when it comes to seo and they have
46:20 stuffed links in all kinds of places that shouldn't be links just to get backlinks and this is
46:25 some of the off-site type seo activity that can happen to generate interest in
46:30 your website but yet it's damaging because it's low quality backlinks so all of that kind of
46:37 comes into play too or they're writing stuff in your gosh we've even seen stuff like
46:43 where remember back in the days when in dnn where they we had the vulnerability with
46:49 user bots you know our bots that were actually making users well one of the goals of that was to be able to get to
46:55 the biography page or the bio piece of information on a user profile page
47:01 and stuff links into it for other websites well uh
47:06 yeah that caused a lot of us a lot of pain being able to deal with all that but
47:12 they were trying to put back links out there so there's so many wrong ways to
47:17 approach seo and we would love for our clients not to not to go down that path
47:22 or not even have to recover from going down that path without realizing that that was what was
47:28 happening because it can do a lot of damage to your domain authority analytics also comes in play in this
47:34 area as well and then we get into digital advertising and really if we've done all of these things
47:41 right and it's getting to a product that's worth talking about worth referring
47:47 people to and you know when that type of user comes to the website
47:53 that you've actually made it so that they can convert you know and go to some of those
47:59 goals that you've set for their conversions then you can start looking at search engine
48:05 optimization you know when it comes to search engine marketing and being able to really drive traffic
48:11 there because you're confident that when they get there they're not going to be confused they're not going to bounce because of poor user experience or a
48:19 design that's just not appealing to them so having all that strategy in place and
48:24 building off of that strategy is super important and then you can look at things like over the top um
48:31 advertising on you know connected tv and things like that being able to run uh you know commercial out there in in
48:38 that environment really be able to to funnel people there or building landing pages on your site that
48:44 already established some of the principles if you you put in the place with the rest of the site that
48:50 are key landing page for certain services or offerings that you have or
48:55 things that are that you're offering to the public you would be able to do that so much more effectively at this point because
49:01 you have established a good foundation to build off of building funnels and
49:07 really putting gold conversions when it comes to your analytics and understanding are people actually
49:13 converting so if your goal is for them to pick up the phone call you know pick up the phone and schedule you to come out and you
49:20 know fix their sewer problems well how did you know they called well you've got to have something in place to
49:27 actually measure that click when they are on their mobile device and they click that ad that
49:32 you're putting out on google you know for them to be able to call you so we have mechanisms to be able to do
49:39 that and actually track the version so that we can actually measure that success
49:45 and i hope that you're not feeling like this at this point and that you're feeling much more like
49:51 this really nice and happy and you know maybe some of this stuff is a little more than what you would
49:57 normally think of when you're thinking of hey can you build me a website or can you design me a website um but
50:05 maybe there's some nuggets of information here that can help you in your business or maybe it um maybe it'll
50:11 attract you to actually contact us to so that we can help you so we would love to do that what
50:17 questions do you have i haven't been monitoring too much of chat over here but i'll take a
50:23 gander over here and see if we have any questions
50:30 dustin i don't know if you're connected now or not or if you've seen any questions that have come up that i may
50:35 have missed ah thank you ed for the uh comment there
50:41 um appreciate that let's see
50:48 i see some familiar faces in here
50:55 is that you dustin yes yeah i wasn't sure if my uh mic was on
51:02 i was saying that i've been kind of keeping an eye on the chat i've seen a lot of comments not exactly
51:07 questions uh and i just looked at the q and a some people have been putting them in there uh in various sessions but not not here
51:16 i know we're getting close to the hour here do you have so questions uh feel free to
51:23 you know to ask or come on camera we'll uh chat about it but uh if not i really appreciate
51:30 everybody's attendance and i hope you've had a great evening it's been a good one
51:39 i see some comments like boom and beans
51:45 yeah that that one came in right when you did your uh the prince you know oh
51:51 gotcha that one yeah there you go your little sound effect there that's nice you have a board [Laughter]
51:58 radio shock jock thank you i'll see it coming let's see 200 dollars
52:04 will not cut it from my there's an etsy side business oh yeah i think that was about when you were talking about budgets and things you
52:11 know and that's interesting um that you mentioned that alexander because like you know
52:16 having the most expensive experience you know in building a website may not be the right place for you to start you
52:23 know some sometimes you just don't have that kind of budget and it's okay
52:29 it's all right it's okay to start with a a dancy site or a godaddy builder or
52:35 your website builder site or whatever maybe that's just all that you can do it's okay
52:40 but the the thing that i'll say is you'll eventually you know come to know that
52:46 could it be better yeah so i mean just continuous improvement and you may not be at that stage yet it's okay it's
52:53 totally okay we actually refer quite a bit of people to you know go to some website builder you
53:01 know kind of experience because that's what they can afford it's okay it's not it's not a big deal you can build some
53:07 beautiful websites like that by the way will it be the absolute most effective no maybe not you know but who knows
53:14 maybe you're really creative with that platform and you can really make a good experience it's there's no shame in it
53:20 that's for sure we do try to not waste people's time
53:27 when it comes to this type of thing so you know if we find out we have that one of the reasons we want to have that
53:32 budget conversation early on is hey if you're looking for a 200 website or a 500 website we're probably not the right
53:38 match for you well we're not the right match for you but you know we can we can help point you in
53:44 the right direction and maybe that's where you need to start and then come back to us in a couple years or a year from now when you know
53:51 when you're at a different level with the business you can actually take it to the next level
54:00 okay i'm not seeing anything in the q and a over here at all so either i bored you all to
54:06 complete death or i was so incredibly knowledgeable and sharing all this stuff that you're just mesmerized and amazed
54:12 at all that you've learned well of course that's it
54:20 awesome well thanks a lot everybody
54:31 thanks everyone for attending the session uh thank you david for giving a wonderful discussion a lot of
54:37 good thoughts to take home and spur some discussions perhaps with clients later on down the road
54:43 i want to thank all of our uh sponsors for making all this possible and uh thank you all for attending
55:47 bye


Southern Fried DNN: DNN Summit 2022 Recap + Community Project Highlights
Feb 17, 2022

This month, we'll be recapping DNN Summit 2022 and then we'll take some time to highlight a few exciting community projects. Trust us, they are worth knowing about and getting involved with!

DNN Summit 2022 - What To Expect
Dec 12, 2021

I speak with the Board of Directors for DNN Association about the upcoming DNN Summit 2022. We'll learn what this wonderful DNN Community conference is all about and why you should seriously consider attending.

DNN Summit 2018 Talks #4 - Geolocation/IoT, Blogging and Module Dev
Dec 18, 2017

This is a talk I’ve recorded on December 7th, 2017 with David Poindexter, Dennis Shiao and Scott Wilkinson about the sessions they will be presenting during DNN Summit 2018.