Anatomy of a Website
Actually as you can see above, this is the anatomy of two websites.
I started the Automation Primer in 2011. It has been on the WordPress platform from the beginning.
It has also always been hosted on GoDaddy.
When I restarted my company about a year later, I had a local company create the basic site. She used a platform called Dreamweaver. Since I didn’t have the software, I couldn’t change it.
My daughter moved back to Nashville soon after, and started a branding company called Huckleberry Branding. She created the current site, and hosted it on WordPress. Part of the reason was so I could work on it too.
I put what’s called a “lead magnet” or opt-in incentive on my blog site early on. You can see at the bottom of the main page, Mastering the Machine. That’s it. I used MailChimp to collect e-mails. There really wasn’t anything to sell back then, so I didn’t do much with it.
I added another one a few months ago, PLC Structure and Tag Templates. ConvertKit was the email system I used for that. Though I have to pay for it, I decided to compare the two platforms. I have since imported all of my MailChimp contacts to ConvertKit.
Akismet is an anti-spam plug-in. I works quite well. Without it I would have to wade through the spam that comes in, it’s crazy.
YouTube is where I have put all of my videos that I show for free on this site.
Divi is the theme my daughter’s company chose for the business site. Apparently it is a pretty powerful them. I still don’t know how to use it.
When I decided to have classes on my business site, her company installed LearnDash. LearnDash is what’s called a Learning Management System, or LMS. It handles the progression through courses for students. Higher quality videos are hosted on Vimeo. I understand why. The quality of the videos on YouTube are not as good. This may be my fault for not uploading at the highest quality.
Memberpress is the membership site software I decided on when I started the Automation Academy. This also is not free. Membership sites are expected to have a good member’s forum, so I have chosen InVision for that.
WooCommerce is the plug-in that handles financial transactions. I have had it since I started selling my books and training equipment online. It connects to PayPal, which I have also used to take payments for classes.
There are more plugins used on these sites, but this gives you an idea of how complex a website can be. The sites also connect to each other in various ways. The blog refers people to the business site, and vice-versa.
Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), AdWords, all are also important considerations.
I am well along my way to developing the Automation Academy. Whether I like it or not, online engagement is what I need to do. I have also hired a marketing company for my Linked In business page.
I joined the Membership Academy to help me learn how to do this stuff, and even paid for a coach back in April to teach me more about online marketing and business.
Raelyn Tan’s e-mail templates have helped with my engagement sequence. An intern has turned some of my material into pdf content for the website. I plan to open the site October 1 with a “Founding Member’s Launch”.
Honestly, I’m not very good at marketing. I am also struggling to get my material done in time for the launch. Even my daughter has gotten frustrated with me because I change things.
This stuff looks so easy from the outside. All of the gurus make their pitches and tell you that all you have to do is build a site, write a book, create a course or whatever. Their courses are all about telling others to do those things, who are the people succeeding in creating actual useful content? I feel like my subject is very important and can improve people’s job prospects and lives. But I am not very good at selling that vision to others.