Research

Sitemaps: An Overview

Sitemap: aka website hierarchy, site architecture, or site structure

When creating a new website, especially one with a lot of content, developing a sitemap is an important step. It creates an organizational structure of the site and helps to set the project up for success by identifying exactly which pages live where.

However, sitemaps, as important as they are, don’t get as much attention as they deserve, and we often find they get confused with other website elements. To shed some light on the topic, we’ve created a basic guide outlining sitemap basics and best practices to help you get a head start on your next website project.

Sitemap Basics

A website is made up of a group of individual pages. A sitemap, in its simplest form, is a list of these pages. Sitemaps can be shown in a document or in an app/program and are typically found on a page of your website.

Improving Google Rankings, The First Step: Organic Search, Channel Report

At Upanup we work with companies to help with search engine optimization, which in layman's terms means improving Google rankings. This is an ongoing task that requires consistent efforts to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition. The very first step of search engine optimization is setting up a tool to track the visitor statistics on a site, and getting regular reports that determine strategy and monitor progress.

Google Analytics is the most accessible and popular of several free and paid tools available for tracking your website's traffic. To assist those that are new to the world of search engine optimization, we have outlined below the steps to obtain a basic Organic Search Channel report once you have Google Analytics up and running.

Getting a Basic Organic Search Channel Report Automatically Emailed

1. Make sure you're on the Reporting tab on the top menu.

Google Analytics reporting tab

What Does Your Website Say About Your Business?

Wikipedia defines perception as, “the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to fabricate a mental representation.” We may all perceive things differently, however, we all create a mental representation of a business based on what we see after viewing a website.

I recently searched for a local accountant and this demonstrated to me the way I perceived accountants based on their websites. After conducting a search I immediately eliminated those that did not appeal to me based on their website. In all reality, I may have overlooked the best local accountant, however, the website of my chosen accountant assisted a great deal in my perception of the quality of the service I would be offered.

Security of open source CMS versus proprietary CMS

Recently we have had some questions about whether open-source content management systems (CMS) are more "hack-able" than proprietary systems. The concern is likely being planted by salespeople for a proprietary CMS, but I do realize that the subject does warrant research and a comparative assessment.

To clarify what I am talking about, open-source CMS platforms, like Drupal, Wordpress and Joomla, are free to use, and developers can adjust code at will. The platform is built and updated by a community of developers. Proprietary or closed-source CMS platforms have been built and packaged by a company, and remain in the possession of that company. That company, or their certified partners, are typically the only ones that can provide maintenance and updates.

Over the past ten years, the companies I have led have implemented hundreds of websites on both proprietary systems as well as open-source systems. Here are some of the truths about security and hack-ability as it pertains to all content management systems, both proprietary and open-source.

Is website anxiety holding you back?

Anxiety, fear and stress can dramatically interfere with problem-solving abilities. These feelings can trigger a "fight or flight" response, shutting down the part of your brain than is responsible for flexible thinking. Nobody likes those feelings and most of us do our best to avoid such situations. 

For example, have you ever said or heard someone exclaim, "I'm not cut out for math.” Does that sound familiar? The truth is we all have the same capability to do math, but some of us have Math Anxiety that we’ve held since our days in school. At some point during the childhood or young adult development, there is an event related to math that reinforces and triggers anxiety and stress when asked to do math later in life, making it harder at that moment for that person to think clearly and excel.

Shopify: The Ups, The Downs, The Verdict

Upanup recently had the opportunity to dig into Shopify, a hosted ecommerce solution that attracts users with it's point-and-click startup process, while also appealing to designers and developers with its comprehensive list of tools that can take a storefront to the next level. We recommended Shopify as the ecommerce solution of choice for a project because of the multitude of supported payment gateways, its adequate wiki documentation, its feature base-state, and the degree of customization it provided to our development team.  The platform is also cost-competitive (if not very attractive) when comparing with other leading competitors like Magento, ProductCart and BigCommerce.

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