Join ABCI Web Site Team Lead (and owner of Trinity Aviation Solutions ) John Chvatal, together with John and Paula Williams and broker Gene Clow of Great Circle Aircraft as we discuss:
1. Internet Privacy & Google Analytics
2. GDPR and “Right to be Forgotten” Privacy Laws
3. Accessibility and AI and Voice Search
4. Microtargeting & Personalization
5. Ease of Updating (Templates & Automations)
6. Accessibility & Responsive Sites
7. Site Security, “Hackerproofing” and Updates
8. Differences between Free & Cheap Builders vs. Pro Sites
Paula Williams: Okay. Well, welcome to this week’s episode. This week, we are talking about web technology with John Chvatal, he’s our web team lead and keeps us up to speed on everything and we’ll just go around the room and make introductions and I’ll turn it over to John. I know you’ve got many fascinating things to talk about. I’m Paula Williams with ABCI. We help aviation companies sell more of their products and services.
John Williams: I’m also with ABCI, John Williams and I do the back-office stuff, such as security for digits, and CPA kind of stuff. And just to comment with respect to web technology, the very first website I did was for a company that I was a consultant for and I did it all in notepad because none of the high-end languages were available at the time. That was quite interesting.
Gene Clow: And I’m Gene Clow. I’m the owner of Great Circle Aircraft.
John Chvatal: I’m John Chvatal, as Paula introduced me, with Trinity Aviation Solutions, we build websites for Aviation companies.
John W.: And you do not use notepad. [Laughter]
John C.: That’s right.
Paula: It’s been a while. There are a few better technologies on the market nowadays. So, John do you want to just take it from here, or else I have a couple of ideas if we run out. So, there are a few things I’d like to…
John C.: I’ll let you guide the conversation and kind of go from there.
Paula: Okay, that sounds great. I love guiding[?] conversations. [Laughter] I was just reading an article in Forbes, about the impact of web technology on marketing. Five things that their typical Forbes article format, and some of the things that they were talking about really impact our clients like life after cookies. And this is something that you and I had talked about and I’m kind of riding the Google wave until it either peters out or until they come up with another idea because I think that’s too big to fail, and I know you have a different opinion on that. So, I would love to hear your thoughts on that.
John C.: Depending on what the client needs, if they’re a smaller client and they are not going to be doing digital advertising or have no intention then a privacy-respecting analytics program may be a good fit for them. I use Plausible by default with my clients and it is a paid analytics platform. It’s easy for them to see all their analytics. I give out a link to them so that they can sign in and see all their analytics and a very simple-to-understand dashboard. One of the downfalls of Google Analytics is it’s very hard to interpret for people that don’t even do it day in and day out. And even for people like me, it’s sometimes overwhelming. You almost have to have a master’s degree to interpret some of that information.
Paula: Yeah, they have a certificate program. I think it takes like three months to become certified in Google Analytics.
John C.: By default, I start with Plausible Analytics, which is an analytics program and if they need Google Analytics I go ahead and install that. That’s how I manage clients with that.
Paula: Cool. We use Semrush to interpret Google Analytics. So all the reports that we send out are from Semrush because they are thousand times easier to read than Google Analytics. But even so usually people’s first office[?] hour, we spent going through, this is what this means and this is what all these numbers are, and this is what all these charts are in Semrush so it’s still a learning curve.
John C.: One of the things that Plausible hooks up to is Google Search Console which is not an issue with privacy like Analytics is and then you can pull in all the keyword data off of that in Plausible and you can get your traffic sources and all that. So you’re not giving up as much as you would think but like you had said, if people want to do digital advertising then maybe they want to stick with Google Analytics. And it’s possible even to run both analytics programs at the same time.
Paula: Yeah, I have not seen any decrease in traffic or anything else. When a website puts up that little banner that says accept all cookies and things like that. Some of our clients have chosen that option and I recommend it if they are using digital marketing or Google Ads or anything like that just to protect them and also to let people know that they’re setting a cookie. But I have not seen much decrease in traffic on the ones after we put up that little barricade. I don’t know if you have any other experience with folks.
John C.: From a user standpoint, I find them a little annoying because I’m on the internet day in, day out. I’m like, yeah, I know it’s a cookie. I know I am being tracked, but not everyone does. One of the benefits of Plausible is you don’t have to put that up and declare it because it is just, you are not collecting near[?] the amount of data that Google Analytics does. So that’s another benefit if you want a nice clean website.
Paula: Yeah, I think aviation is such a small population though, that a lot of the folks that come to our website have been there before. And so, if they have accepted cookies once, they will never see that again. So for me, and Gene this might be true for you as well, and we have not done this with you. This is something we probably ought to because things have changed since we last updated your website. And that is those laws and rules about privacy. A lot of folks are setting up cookies to let people know we have Google Analytics on your website and you are going to be tracked. And a lot of your website visitors are also returning. So, maybe that is something we should do for you.
Gene: Yeah, that’s interesting because you’re right because I don’t see anything on here that says “Welcome to the website” and “Yes, we’re looking after you”.
Paula: All right. So it will just be like a little half or third of the page that says accept cookies. You have probably seen them on other sites.
Gene: A hundred times a day.
Paula: Yeah. Do you find them annoying? Or do you click accept usually or what is your…?
Gene: No, I just expected and in the end, I am a simple guy so I’m the one that read the article that says the best thing you can do for yourself is to clear out your Google history once a week. So I did that, once a week I clear out my Google history. And of course, that means I have to remember my passwords next time.
Paula: Yeah. And then you get those accept cookies things again.
Gene: Please. Yeah, it is part of life.
Paula: Oh yeah.
John W.: I do it differently. I use Firefox.
Paula: Brave or Braver.
John W.: Brave or Firefox. In either case, I can go in and be very specific about a given website and say “Nah, I don’t want that” and “Okay for this time”, and then, I delete that only so I keep my passwords intact. You can be selective about what you do delete and what you don’t.
Gene: I will look into that because that is interesting, I don’t know if I even have that option on Google.
John W.: You do. It is not a Google thing. It is a website, I mean, it’s a browser thing.
Gene: Oh, right.
John W.: And I use Firefox or Brave, sometimes DuckDuckGo, but…
Paula: DuckDuckGO is a search engine that you use on breaks. So yeah.
Gene: I am on my website and I noticed that we are going to update that picture. I do not know who that young guy is.
Paula: Great. It is a constant battle to keep pictures updated. One of those things.
Paula: Yeah. I mean, some of the data that people are talking about in other marketing worlds, they are saying that 44% of marketers are going to have to significantly increase their spending to achieve the same results because of the cookie change. I have not seen that in aviation at all. People are just accepting cookies, and I think it could be because we have higher value content than other people. We have such a small community. We trust each other. It is like a gated community, the aviation industry, I don’t know what to attribute that to but…
Gene: So, once somebody goes to my website today, just assume that they are being tracked with cookies? Or because I don’t have a statement on there, they are not being tracked?
Paula: They are being tracked because we do have Google Analytics on your website. So technically, legally, we should put that up.
Gene: I don’t look good behind bars.
Paula: Yeah, right. Okay.
John W.: Does he have the GDRP thing on there?
Paula: Oh yeah, yes. He is got Termageddon on a…
John W.: He can request the data to be re-erased so he can do that.
Paula: Right. So yeah, that is all. I have not seen any case of anybody getting sued for this. I do not know if you have, John.
John C.: It is mainly the large companies at this point and this kind of bleeds into accessibility as well. It is generally the large companies. The small mom-and-pop may have a few thousand dollars laying around or something like that, it is not a juicy target. So right now, it’s big companies that have to watch out.
Gene: Deep pockets.
Gene: Mine are [inaudible]…
Paula: Big, juicy pockets. All right. Okay. And yeah, it just to kind of continue that conversation. Termageddon, you know, something that we have recommended I think for a year and a half now. Maybe longer than that.
John C.: Yes.
John W.: And it is on every site of our clear all[?] of our clients, right?
Paula: No, not all of them. Some of them have not chosen to do that. But we do recommend it to everyone.
John C.: And they do have a new cookie consent option. I have not delved greatly into it because I have been pointing my clients to Plausible at this point. So, it is something that’s on my list to do very soon here. Of course, I also use Termageddon on all my clients.
Paula: Right. That is how we are managing it for other clients. It’s that cookie consent from Termageddon. So, but that started back and people listening to this may not know what GDPR is. It is basically the privacy laws in Europe and there are similar privacy laws in California and a few other states that require, it is kind of the right to be forgotten. This kind of one of the layman’s terms for that, and that is you have to have a link on your website where people can actually click on that and say “Forget all my data” and then you have to have some mechanism, whether it’s manual or otherwise, where by you delete all that person’s data from your email lists, and your cookies, and everything else, and digital marketing software, and everything else. Termageddon makes that easier.
John W.: For general[?] information, GDPR is General Data Protection Regulation from Europe.
Paula: Right. Exactly. So that I think is another thing that has changed in the last little while.
Gene: John, is there a compliance date on that?
John Chvatal: On Termageddon? GDPR is actively in effect and there is new privacy regulations that are constantly being put up for votes in different states. Right now, the federal government has not made much moves and so individual states such as California have been going at it alone. And so, now there is a patchwork of laws that is tough to navigate and stay compliant and that is where Termageddon really helps. It is going to answer a bunch of questions and they automatically update those terms of service based upon new regulations and laws that go into effect in states and countries. And if there is an action needed, Termageddon will email you, saying, “Hey, we need to collect a little bit more information about how you use this data” and you go in and fill that out, the additional data out, if there is something that pops up and not privacy laws that go into effect.
Paula: Right. I actually did have one lady call me from Europe. We have been sending emails forever and we have been sending email to everybody forever and this lady said “How did you get my email? How did you get my information? I want to know how you got it”. I happen to have it because I put notes and tags in my CRM and she had actually given me a business card like six years ago at an NBAA conference and I put that in as a tag, 2016 or whatever NBAA card. And so, I told her that and I said we actually met. Now that I refresh my memory, I never would have remembered that. And you handed me a card six years ago at an event, and then all of a sudden, she calmed right the heck down and she actually is considering purchasing our services, but prior to that, she was really, really incensed that we had collected her data. So, that is the only incident that I have ever had something like that. People occasionally unsubscribe or report spam on our emails, but I have never had anybody. That is the only experience that I have had that is cause for concern, but of course, that whole GDPR thing is going through my mind, going a thousand dollars a day or something. Whatever the fine is in some of these European countries or collecting data without consent. So, it is just better to be safe than sorry. I think and things.
John W.: That is pretty interesting that she gave it to you personally. So, she could not complain.
Paula: Right. And I told her. Yeah. I mean now you handed me a card in 2016 I am going “Okay, I think I remember you. You were wearing…”. I think she was wearing like a purple dress or something and I mean, I never would have remembered that without the notes. But anyway, just one of those things where if you can do that with software, it is a thousand times easier. But I have become even more obsessive and compulsive about documenting things and I know you are too Gene, and you as well, John, because you are in this business.
Gene: Is this a plug-in?
Paula: Termageddon is a…
John C.: It is a code snippet that you put on the website. So it is not a traditional plug-in, it is just a piece of code that contacts Termageddon servers. It is basically Termageddon’s paid to on their servers and it is plugged right into a page on your website.
John W.: And that is always got the latest stuff whenever they update. It is right there.
John C.: We’d probably be spending $1000 a month in lawyer fees just for someone to keep track of everything too and then, the man-hours of importing everything. It would be nuts.
Gene: So are we to assume that all of the websites in Europe comply with this? For example, [inaudible].
Paula: That is probably, assuming that everybody in Europe is complying with any law is probably… I mean, people jaywalk and I’m pretty sure there are a ton of websites that are not in compliance.
John W.: But on the other hand, if you recall, the assumption in Europe is that you can not do anything unless you are authorized to do it. The assumption in the US is you can do anything unless you are told not to.
Paula: Right, and there is a lot prohibiting it, right? But a different legal framework altogether.
John W.: So, I would assume that everything over there is, unless somebody overlooked, in which case somebody’s got to tell.
Paula: And I am sure, there are Mom-and-Pops that just have never considered it in Europe and everywhere else in the world and that would just be a negligent thing, But like John said, I don’t think anybody’s going after anybody that does not have big pockets. At least, I have not heard about that but still better safe than sorry. Another big topic from that Forbes article, that I thought was a good one, is voice search and AI-driven search and web technology and how it manages that. And a lot of that is not really even technology. It is just: is your website constructed well and organized well and laid out properly and accessible and all of those things that we always talk about and another thing that we found as far as the voice search goes, are your titles and subtitles, are they questions? And then, you answer the question that you asked in the title that really helps with voice search statistics and things like that.
John W.: So, you say, are they questions not just are the words question but is there a question mark at the end of it?
Paula: Is it formatted as a question and answer? Because things that are formatted as a question and answer are super easy for Siri or Alexa or whomever.
John W.: Unless you don’t put the question mark at the end of it.
John W.: It is a statement.
Paula: If it is formatted as a question, then it’s really easy for Siri to say “Here’s an answer to your question, I found it on the web”.
John W.: Easier. Without grammatical inferences, it will follow AI.
Paula: Right. So all of the websites that we worked on in the last six months maybe, we are trying to use that as a principle of that question and answer format so that it is easily voice-searched and easily AI-searched.
John C.: Yeah. That would be like, one example would be a FAQ page or Frequently Asked Question page and that is kind of where a good copywriter and you participate in coming up and answering the questions. And then having someone knowledgeable in marking up the page with code, saying this is a question and this is the answer to that question. So that it allows Google and other search engines to find those questions and answers, and maybe display them at the top of Google search results. You might ask “What time of day or when is the sunset today?” and you come up with a little graphic at the top that says sunset is at 9:08 this evening. So, that’s just a special little box of information that Google provides. Well, Google also shows questions and answers to common things and so if you can win a spot up at the top, it is called the knowledge panel and you get a lot of visibility for your business. So the important thing is that we are working with the copywriter and the web developer to pull that off.
Paula: Right, and make that super easy to see. Another thing that we have seen a lot more of, I think over the last few websites, is mixed media. Everybody wants video and I know, like the Wings of the North video that you guys produced recently. The video really puts that website over the top, I think. It is a very high-quality video, it is embedded very well in the website and really, of course, websites are built for visitors, not just for search engines that really send it over the top. And then, the search engines are now parsing videos in a lot of cases, especially if they are embedded from YouTube or somewhere where they have subtitles and other things where those are indexed better than they used to be.
John C.: Yeah, back in the early 2000s, there is such thing as keyword stuffing and so they would literally put a whole bunch of HTML text and then turn that text white so it blends[?] in the background. And visitors are none the wiser of those keywords that are there hidden. Search engines will see all those keywords and all of a sudden you can pop up, pop that page up in the rankings and in the search results but that was gaming the system and Google has since put a stop to that. And as their algorithms get better, if you can write for the person and the person is really happy with what is the contents of that page, Google[?] will reward you and if he can mark it up properly so that search engines can get a little more of a leg up on what that content is about like, frequently asked questions, the question and answer that’s called schema. So he can give that little extra nudge and help Google, sometimes the whole combination of copywriting and a good web developer can do a lot of wonders.
Paula: Another thing that they talk about is basically micro-targeting things like hybrid events and things like that. Like, CES. If you look at their website, typically, if you go to a CES event like a consumer electronics expo, there are QR codes on everything. There is nothing there that does not have a QR code on it and every one of those QR codes pretty much goes to a specific page that is about that event and about that product and here is the deal that is available for the next 24 hours, and things like that. And that really depends on being able to edit a website quickly and cheaply, which kind of goes to some of the builders that we have been talking about recently that video yesterday about that website builder, that is kind of next generation.
John C.: Yeah, a lot of the builders nowadays, they are very popular that’s meant for more web designers when you’re working on a page by page basis. Instead, if you back up a little bit and create templates for pages and then you can fill in the title, maybe the featured image, a description about the product, maybe the price, the product, or whatever is required. An example would be a new aircraft listing and I will be able to fill in how many hours are on the airframe, how many hours are on the engine tool time, tools[?] since major overhaul, all of that information. If you can create all those custom fields on the back end, you can just pop in those little bits of text on the front end. It can be programmed to display that information in a formatted manner and the benefit there as well is you can keep pages looking super consistent. And also if in the future, you want to change the layout a little bit, well since those are custom fields and data is entered on the back end rather than on each individual page, you just move those. As a web developer, I can move those fields around and create a new look without having to go in at each and every page. So keep brand consistency. Going forward it is easy to manage and update and change the look and feel of the site of something if it is needed.
Paula: Right. I think that makes a lot of sense, especially for some of those things where maybe you have a temporary show or something like that. And you want to say, I want all of these products to be 20% off as a special [inaudible] banner or whatever, and then you can put a [inaudible] header. You can put a timer. You can do all kinds of things on those particular products and then after that timer expires, it goes right back to what it was before, and you kind of look. And unless somebody had that QR code, they are not going to see that special. So that gives you a whole lot of marketing tools in your quiver or arrows in your quiver I guess, if we are not going to be mixing metaphors, that really help you make really good business decisions really quickly and that was not possible 5 or 10 years ago. You just have to have people doing data entry for weeks before a show, and weeks after the show to clean up after it.
John C.: Or if it was possible, you will be spending 20, 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars on a very custom design. Custom design website that does hand-coding[?] and all the custom fields are coded, and, nowadays it is much easier to do some of those customizations. Well, I mentioned accessibility. Everything is interconnected with accessibility. The more I learn, I thought, well okay, let’s throw a little attribute, a few attributes on easy, HTML elements and call it good. But no, you have to have a good copywriter, a good strong branding, and the colors that you select for the website. Readable font, make sure the font is big enough and make sure you do not put a dark font on too dark of a background. There are so many considerations that go into making a website accessible and not only is that beneficial to people that maybe have poor eyesight, but it is also beneficial to search engines. So you are not only talking or making it easy for blind people or low-vision people to view your page but also it is helping with your SEO.
Paula: Right. And a lot of the things that you do for accessibility also work on the small screens too. Some of our playschools[?] have maybe 80% of their website traffic is mobile, which is a big surprise and that has changed over the last few years. Most of the people that are in their demographic or their target market are younger folks and they spend more time on their phones than they do on computers by a long shot. So it is really important to make sure that pages are accessible and things for that reason and mobile-friendly, which is related to accessibility.
John C.: Yeah, and that is in the web development space, that is called responsive web design. So instead of developing multiple pages for different device sizes, you can cause three columns wide page to collapse to one column on mobile and so you are not wasting money on developing multiple versions and you had to upkeep all that and each individual make sure everything is in sync. And now with responsive web design, it is possible to serve a wide variety of device sizes.
Paula: Right. So, and I am not sure whether it would be considered responsive or accessible, but for a lot of the new sites and things like that, they have a little button where you can increase the font size on your phone. I will admit to using that sometimes and it makes it a whole lot easier to read. So, if your website can accommodate that then people are a lot more likely to spend more time on your website, rather than picking up the phone calling you or going to a competitor’s site because it is easier to read. So, that’s very important.
John C.: I may be getting into a little bit of the weeds here but, like font size that you select and browsers and pages. You are probably most familiar with pixels and that is a static size and in order to make it accessible and responsive and all that, ideally, you make it based upon a percentage. So, let us say you are on device width[?] that is mobile size, maybe you want to scale down to 14 pixels, so that the font is not super big, and you have only one word on each line. That has been a challenge in the past to deal with but when you start using these new measurements for fonts, it is possible to scale and work much better.
Paula: Right. One last topic and then I was going to circle back to the difference between some of the free and cheap website builders versus professional web design and usually, that has to do with all of these things. But the last one I wanted to talk about before I go into that was security. And you and I have talked about it since things have been happening in Europe. You and I both work with people in Russia and or Ukraine, and things like that and there has been a lot of activity on the web among different groups of developers and things like that, that are building robots, and it is nothing personal. It is not like they are going to go out of their way to hack your site, but a lot of sites are getting compromised because of various bad actors running around, trying to break into things and or disrupt the internet. So, there are things that we are doing to make sure that we are keeping our clients’ sites safe. One of which is updating everything practically twice a week. And you and I keep sharing information about things that we find out, that we need to change about sites, and this one is at risk because of this, and we need to come up with an alternative for that and all of those kinds of conversations.
John C.: Yeah. I pay attention to RSS feeds for reports of security vulnerabilities and plugins. And so, once I see something that I know we use on sites, I go in and update as soon as possible, and I will be outside of the regular routine updates that we do, and we used to be where I would for sure do it at least once a month, if not twice a month and now with current world happenings, I have been, for sure, getting it once a week like Paula said. And it is very important having someone be able to go in and fix something if something breaks along the way of the update is very beneficial. That is kind of the reason why I used to only do updates, less frequent updates is because, you could be super detailed on making sure everything works. So that was a past era. Now, we are in a heightened sense of watching out for security threats and all that.
Paula: Right. Your[?] website people are at DEFCON 3 or whatever we are. And John, you put a whole list of things in circle [?] yesterday about ways to keep things safe. I do not know if you wanted to touch on that, but…
John W.: Well, no, I mean it is just a consolidation of things I have been reading.
John W.: Basically, you need to update everything as soon as there is one out.
Paula: Mm-hmm, absolutely.
John W.: That is just the start. I mean there, we can go and do an hour’s worth of discussion.
Paula: Okay. Yeah. And I think it is all pretty basic from a consumer point of view. But from a web developer’s point of view, there’s a lot more to it than that. So, I am really happy that we have you watching those feeds and we are watching hopefully different feeds so that we are getting a different view of different things going on. I think the biggest change that I’ve seen, and people ask me all the time, what is the difference between going to Wix or one-on-one my website or one of those free or cheap website builders versus having professionals build and maintain your website? The biggest thing I think is that when you use one of those builders, it is kind of frozen in time with the technology of the day that you built it, and also it is fairly restrictive in terms of what you can and can not do to protect your site, to update your site, to do some of these things that we have been talking about today.
John W.: And to make it searchable.
Paula: Right. And so then, if you want to change any of these things that we are talking about, you have to go back and redo the whole thing. And, I know you and I have both jailbroken to a lot of those cheap and free websites where we had to, basically, import the data into modern technology and go from there.
John C.: And one of these builders is Squarespace’s. It is next to impossible to do more of the advanced SEO stuff like frequently asked questions, and schema markups so you appear hopefully, crossing fingers, at the top of Google search and that special knowledge panel.
Paula: Yeah, that is true. And the things like voice search, things like security, the things like GDPR compliance. All of that stuff is just about impossible to do on an old site. So, that is a problem with a lot of those old sites and it ends up being not cost-effective if you have to redesign and rebuild your site every year or every two years whereas when you have a professional firm maintaining your site, we can usually make small tweaks that take an hour once every couple of months and you are in compliance with GDPR, you have an FAQ that is formatted, you have other things done that we can not just go into one of those Squarespace sites and do. And we have done, and I’m guilty as well if you are doing a website for an event that is only going to last six months, you have got a little league team that needs a website for the season. Things like that then those Squarespace sites make sense or for a wedding or whatever, I mean, those are cool but if you are running a business from a website then I think you really do want to be serious about the investment and consider some of these things that we’re talking about, right?
John C.: Yeah. I think the difference is if you are like a church or something like that, you need the community to jump on and look at when is the next service? Or when is the next community function and all that? Well, a website builder like Squarespace might be a cheap option because people already know about that organization so they know the website URL.
John C.: So they can just type it in and go direct.
Paula: Yeah and nobody is going to sue a church for violating GDPR.
John C.: Yeah.
Paula: I hope not. Anyway.
John C.: That will be kind of a bad look.
John C.: Yeah. The idea of a website as well for business is to get found through Google search and so if you cannot leverage formatting of page elements, an SEO, and good copywriting. It is tough to get those website builders that[?] rank well, like Squarespace.
Paula: Right. Exactly. That is absolutely true. Did you want to share something? Is that…?
John C.: That wasn’t me.
Paula: That was me. Okay. We will edit this so it will be fine.
Gene: At what age does a website become frozen in time? Have we had a significant change in the last 18 months or 24 months that says “Hey, it is time to come here and rethink the age of the website”, and what we can do differently today? Where is that spot?
John C.: At this point, WordPress is dynamic and is constantly being updated. And if you pick a good theme, it is constantly being updated and new features are added. Where it does come out of date, possibly, maybe the design is old. Maybe you need to update the branding a bit, maybe refresh the logo or something, or maybe refresh the copywriting. Maybe you are not ranking for a keyword that you used to, or maybe you are ranking for a new keyword. Maybe you want to create new pages. Target those keywords so it is setting a good foundation that you can build off of for years to come. It would be the main benefit of going with a professional.
Gene: Okay, so that answers the question as long as it is not something you did in notepad, or I can not remember what that program was I used before, WordPress is[?] that long ago. As long as it is dynamic and it is a continuously updated program by the manufacturer of that program.
John C.: Yeah, and also the individual marketing needs change.
Gene: Yeah, got it. Okay, right.
John W.: To that end, I know that we had changed some keywords within the past month and they made a huge difference in some things. So it is nice to be able to go and just do that rather than redo the whole website.
Paula: That is absolutely true. And to be honest, Gene, I think it also depends on the technology. So, if you were to build a website in Squarespace or one-on-one on my website or something along those lines, and then the laws were to change and say we are no longer allowing cookies or whatever the situation is. It is harder to make those edits so it becomes out of date much quicker than if we just do WordPress and then we are just able to update it with a plug-in and those kinds of things. So it’s which is exactly what John just said. I’m just saying it differently.
John C.: I would be remiss to say to mention that WordPress has over 40% of the websites online today are WordPress. So it is by far the most popular platform for building websites.
John W.: Yeah. It used to be 70%.
Paula: I think that is a consideration that a lot of people do not have is you look for the best technology to build your website in but you also want to consider what is going to be the best to update in the future and what can I find people who will have the skill set and that technology? So some things like Drupal and other things that people choose for a reason because it has X feature or the Y feature. But then, they get into trouble because three years later, five years later, whatever, the person that built their website, they are no longer in a relationship with or they can not find that person because they got lost in the pandemic or whatever. And then we end up having to pretty much recreate their website from scratch because it was built in a technology that they no longer have access to or have access to people who have that skill set. So it was another consideration.
John W.: Which is what you folks did to me.
Paula: Yeah. We jailbreak yours, I think, or jailbroke I guess? I am not sure if that has a past tense of jailbreak.
John C.: In the case of Drupal, I believe it is under 10% of the market share.
John C.: Drupal has, I think it’s probably around 5 or 6% at this point and all the other major website builders are 2, 3, 4, 5% somewhere in there. And then the rest of the websites online are often custom coded. You spend a couple hundred thousand dollars on a website and coated fully custom.
John C.: So WordPress is kind of a nice sweet spot between DIY and professional.
John W.: We had a client once it had a two hundred thousand dollar website. It was beautiful.
John W.: But they never made a sale in all the time they had it up because it was not done with respect to marketing and sales.
Paula: Well, and we could not do analytics on it. We could not update it. We could not do anything, but it was all Flash. So that was many many years ago. And they had spent so much money, having custom video and everything else integrated into this beautiful Flash website. We saved as much as we could because she did have some of the raw video and things like that, but it was pretty tragic since she had spent so much money and did not know or care about the technology behind it and I guess you should not have to, other than the fact that you want to make sure that there is going to be a technology that is going to last a while. Flash became a security problem. Most browsers would not support it. I am not sure what year that happened but the website became completely unsustainable and non-functional and there was nothing to do but rebuild it from scratch and that was tragic. That was probably the worst I have seen.
John C.: In the case of Flash, Apple iOS, the iPhone, and iPad are roughly 50% of the market share when it comes to mobile devices. They never supported flash because it was a battery hog that use a lot of juice to process those animations. And so that was when we moved over to HTML5 video which was much more efficient and so basically all websites work with that video encoding technology.
Paula: Yeah, absolutely.
Gene: The interesting thing and I will bet this happens to a lot of us out here is that we do not spend any time on our websites.: We do the day-to-day things that keep the business going. And then, I join in on a conversation like this, I look at my website and of course, that is really mine, huh? Yeah, so no, it is almost like you need a monthly reminder on the calendar it says “Hey, open your website. What does it look like today?”.
Paula: Whoa, sorry Gene, bye. Anyway, Paula Williams, ABCI. We help aviation companies sell more of their products and services.
John W.: John Williams, ABCI. I know the backing stuff for security and CPA[?] sort of stuff.
John C.: John Chvatal with Trinity Aviation Solutions. I look after your websites and help the aviation businesses
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