We have been very busy this past week and the range of topics broad. We are continuing our exploration of WordPress themes (premium themes specifically), and most of us have chosen one to work with for our final project which will be a live site complete with good design, content, SEO, and marketing strategy. After trying out 4 or more themes, you find out that they have similar functionality (or can at least be made to with some custom code), but the interface (aka customizers) looks and acts a bit differently for each one. It can be a matter of preference in terms of how much of a blank slate you want to start with. And sometimes, there is just one really cool feature that is built in and sells you on a particular theme. Front end visual builders are the future, with at least one major theme company having gone this route already. It’s definitely a perk to see your changes made live on the site.

We’ve moved into some really interesting territory now in learning about the marketing and business side of development. This week we’ve been creating value propositions, customer personas, and looking at how those fit in with the rest of the business model canvas. Web design and development is so much more than just putting pieces together for display. Having a business plan or model is integral before you begin the process. Knowing who your audience or client is (in detail), how they will interact with your site, and how you will lead them towards a specific experience or action via the site’s structure and design is all part of the strategy.

A look at Google analytics today gave us an idea of how you might track and monitor your implemented marketing strategies. It is really a robust tool, and one that is worthy of dedicated time to learn.