Over at geek ramblings there’s a collection of 14 sites that use WP as a CMS. I need some help.
An Unofficial Guide to Destination Marketing and Web Design
I’m always looking for examples of non-bloggy looking WordPress powered sites – particularly official destination promotion sites. Anyone know of any?
Update: The Ultimate CMS – Photo Gallery with Google Map
A simple/solid CMS and your own hosted photo gallery – ALL FOR FREE
Marry the two back-end applications with the WPG2 plugin. Now you just need to theme it to your liking – heck, you might have money leftover to hire a theme designer. Is that too cool or what?
Update: Surprisingly, the most well-developed sites are Christian related. Interesting. Could it be that they are on a low-budget which drives them to this solution? Why are there so few official tourism sites? High budgets may explain this.
Update: I’m starting a related link dump here for my own purposes.
Update: If anyone cares, this post will attempt to establish a new paradigm in destination marketing and web design.
Design and Philosophy
Using WordPress to Publish a Magazine or News Site – One of the posts that got this ball rolling.
Exploring the Pseudo-Static Pages of WordPress – “Uh, why are we using blog software?”
Using WordPress as CMS – Article series.
Customizing WordPress Templates – an excellent list of general design changes necessary to make a non-blog site. Only drawback to sole use of the page system is the lack of category tags. What I’d really like to know is how to make unique sidebars for page “nodes”.
Would You Visit These US States Based on Their Web Sites? – All the US States, with screenshot.
Building Rockin’ Cool Church Websites: Master Story List – This is seriously cool.
Destinations and the benefits of blogging – “Analysts cite blogs, social networking sites and natural search engine optimisation as massive opportunities for the travel industry, with some going as far to suggest that they should form part of every organization’s online marketing strategy.”
Online Travel Planning Popularity Varies – DMO’s should : 1) have a good website, 2) incorporate travel2.0 features, 3) recommend travel literature, and 4) convert traffic to travel product sales.
Governor Edward G. Rendell announced Monday that Pennsylvania will become the first state in the nation to capitalize on the Google Earth platform by using a new, cutting-edge technology to make tourism an interactive experience from anywhere in the world.
The Governor said the state will provide a $285,000 grant to support an unprecedented partnership between Google Earth, Carnegie Mellon University, NASA, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office and the National Civil War Museum that will allow ‘virtual tourists’ from all corners of the globe to immerse themselves in Pennsylvania’s Civil War trails.
WordPress as CMS – Drikatruu Jelly
Empowering Services – “My fees are $750 to set-up the site and train the client to maintain it.” Gads…I can do that….for less?
ACMS WordPress Theme – ACMS (not a blog) is a theme that turns WordPress into a Content Management System. A little template and CSS tweaking could make this wheel work for most.
Socialize your site for better insights – “How many times have you sat around with friends, colleagues or family talking about something you’re passionate about? Golf, shoes, cars, food: whatever it may be, these conversations undoubtedly contained valuable information that relevant companies would like… no… love to know. While this information is out there and can present incredible benefits to businesses, companies have never been able to tap it on a massive scale.”
Customer Reviews Increase Web Sales – Nearly all survey respondents thought ratings and reviews were either extremely helpful or very helpful “as consumers.”
Allowing User Generated Content on Destination Sites – “You have to decide whether you are serving your members or the visitor. In Atlanta, we’re serving the visitor.”
Content Time Comes at Search’s Expense – Content is King.
- Provide too many options or choices – Simple drill-down navigation, logical taxonomy
- Provide too much information – Stay on topic, focus on the mission
- Provide too little information – Give people what they want
- Provide too many distractions – Skip scrolling text, flash movies, useless decoration
- Provide too many barriers – reduce the number of clicks to reach any location, bread-crumbs, speed
- Provide too many ‘red flags’ – Transparency is key
- Provide detailed forms – if we had 10 million visitors, would we really need their info?
- Provide unusual design layouts – pick a simple and proven layout
- Provide confusing information – Plain language, glossary
- Provide too many reasons to look elsewhere -“Consider how your site compares to competitors in your market – not just on product / service range or price, but on functionality, usability, content and relevancy.”
How to Plan Manpower on a Web Team – It’s easy if you only have yourself on the team.
- Building Viral-Worthy, Authoritative Content (40%)
- Developing New Features/Designs (25%)
- Keyword, Industry, & Competitive Research (10%)
- Participating in Online Communities (10%)
- Testing/Refining Based on Visitor Data (10%)
- Manual Link Building (5%)
- It’s Free – that depends on your situation
- Search Engines Love Blogs – a proven fact
- They Provide an Avenue for Customer Interaction – Oh no, not interaction! What if they say something bad? The horror!
- You are Likely to Sell More Products/Services – $$$
- They Facilitate Viral Marketing – “I thought people didn’t like viruses?”
- They Position You as an Expert – I can edit Wikipedia too.
Packaging a Nation – “Now destinations are valued for their people and their intellectual capital. Every place is in competition with every other place. So you need a brand strategy.”
Marketing on a budget – There’s a reason why Neil Patel is tops in his field.
Canadian Travelers tell their Canadian Travel Stories – “You snapped it in a terrific shot. You couldn’t wait to blog about it. Or maybe you caught it on film. The point is you got it. You posted it. Now we want to recognize you. Can’t win if you don’t enter.” – UGC = Free and Credible Content.
How to Sell the Value of Social Media To Your Boss – Marketing via the web in the new internet era is exactly the same as before, only the tools have changed.
- People are talking about us or our industry. – People have always talked about the Adirondacks, now they are doing it here. Remember books? That’s like a long blog post.
- Their conversations are highly visible and influential. – Everyone wants insider information.
- We have no unique voice and are not part of the conversation. – Join it, Lead it, Mold it, Aggregate it.
- Our competitors are moving faster than we are. – The competition is only as good as we let them be.
- We can start small and work our way up. – A scalable strategy. Information architecture which creates an efficient and effective framework for growth. A taxonomy both unique and easily understood that defines the scope of the topic.
Thinking in the Right Terms: 7 Components for a Successful Web Site Redesign – Excellent tips for thinking about long-term development.
WordPress vs. an army of clunky content management systems – The Frankenstein analogy and description of “conversations” is spot-on. This is such a common story out there.
Examples I Like
Nasa Ames Research Center – Uses categories to parse information nodes, each has a unique sidebar. The scientist geeks choose WP.
Ford Motor Company Global Auto Shows – Crappy permalinks, but I like the look.
Grace | DC – Clean and simple homepage, well developed use of the page system. Unique sidebar for page nodes.
Maldives Tourism – Official?
Nottingham Road Tourism Association – Don’t really like the default bloggy look.
Tourism in Dubai – I think she’s just trying to sell the book, but it’s a start.
Visitor Information for the Plattsburgh Beach – What the hell? That post has a top SERP ranking for this search: “powered by wordpress” visitor information – pretty funny. Right up there here too. Update 7/27 – Now this very post is in the top 10.
Sicily Guide – not official.