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Joomla SEO Performance by Simon Kloostra Simon Kloostra’s book, Joomla! 3 SEO and Performance, is a very focused, short book that is chock full of useful tips and links to resources that Joomla! website developers and administrators may not be aware of. As a long-time Joomla! user and founding member of the Northern Virginia Joomla! Users Group, I find that this book fills a gap on my Joomla! bookshelf.
Simon Kloostra (see his site at joomlaseo.com) is clearly an authority on Joomla! and SEO, but he avoids unnecessary jargon, provides context, and explains SEO in a clear and pleasant style. As of the date of this review, the book is quite current, which is usually a challenge with books. It includes evaluations of and recommendations for dozens of resources to consider for your toolkit.
One frequent question in user group meetings is which commercial template provider is best. This book does get specific and list well-regarded template providers, and also delves into the SEO considerations of template design. This which gives the site developers something more to consider in making their template selection or development decisions.
Perhaps even more valuable is his coverage of ways to maximize Joomla! performance. We have all seen sites that are slower than they need to be; this book explains what to do about it and provides a clear explanation of caching options and ways to optimize both css and javascript files.
Even those with good backgrounds in SEO and Joomla! will find additional insights that will justify their investment in buying and reading this book.

 

 

Published in Joomla News
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 15:40

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

 

The Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS ® (NVAR)'s updated website with its new brand image and colors is now live. 

Ursa Major Consulting was engaged to provide Joomla! expertise in supporting the transition.

A usability study and brand design was done by WM Design Group. NVAR had experienced some lingering difficulties in the upgrade of the site from Joomla! 1.5.  We are happy to support NVAR. The site works hand-in-glove with the NVAR's store and membership management solution.

Published in Website Portfolio
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 15:39

The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian

 

The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian, a law firm specializing in sexual abuse cases, required a website that was responsive to quickly post breaking news of new settlements and media coverage. It was difficult to make changes to their previous site.

We redeployed the website and added new capabilities, including embedded video and transcripts of press conferences, and improvements to search engine optimization (SEO).

The site is built in WordPress with an image rotator and other plugins. We continue to support the Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian with site updates and improvements.

Published in Website Portfolio
Thursday, 25 July 2013 17:12

Website Redeployment for Garabedian Law

The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian, located in Boston, Massachusetts, offers help to those who were sexually abused by teachers, coaches, priests, scout leaders, and others in authority. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has achieved results for more than 1000 victims / survivors and has been instrumental in publishing the names of the perpetrators that so long were kept silent.

Ursa Major supported the redeployment of the website, which had been hosted by Lexis Nexis Martindale Hubbell. When the site was at Lexis, it was difficult for the firm to get website updates made in a responsive manner.  We are now in a position to provide nimble support to the law firm by keeping the website current, so that it reports the latest results achieved for victims and survivors of sexcual abuse. We are also applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best principles to increase website traffic and enable other sexual abuse survivors and their friends and families to find Garabedian Law. 

Please visit the Garabedian Law website at www.garabedianlaw.com and see the compelling videos on YouTube as well. 

Published in Ursa Major News
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 18:00

Website Development

Person showing web services diagramUrsa Major's website development process focuses on understanding your:

  • Goals and Objectives for the Site
  • Audiences and Messages
  • Business Functions Needed
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Marketing Plans

We have experience defining requirements for enterprise level projects requiring integration of custom and off-the-shelf products, and supporting competitive procurement of solutions meeting those requirements, but less extensive website development projects follow a simple process.

Simple Sites

We review your existing site or any background material you can provide, and then conduct a structured interview process with you.  We use a standard questionnaire, customized with what we already know about the project, to save time and make sure that we get the information we need. We use this information to develop a proposal to formalize our agreement. 

We ask you to organize and provide us all content you already have for the site, including any logos, photos or other graphics, color choices, etc. that you want to have included. We review your existing site, including your plans for change, your hosting, and your current site traffic and SEO status, as applicable.

We then proceed to develop an initial site map and wireframe or set of wireframes for discussion and approval. Using that input, graphic design is done and/or a template is selected (if an off-the-shelf template is close to what is desired).  Using an off-the-shelf  template with a few tweaks may provide a great look and functionality for minimal cost.*

The flexibility of content management systems such as Joomla! and Wordpress means that navigation can be prototyped with a subset of actual content examples, while some graphic design decisions are still being made.  Seeing is believing, and navigating real content stimulates further discussion of ways to enhance the site or the user experience.

Upon completion, we will do a full site review to test and correct any errors and ensure that the site meets your requirements. We'll ask that you then do the same, and let us know of any other changes that are needed.  Scope management may dictate that some enhancements be delegated to a waiting list, but the productivity of Joomla! often means that a few extra features may be accommodated on the spot.  We document what we have done and provide orientation and training of your staff, as agreed, so that they can add content as needed without relying on a developer.

We will host your site, recommend hosting, or use your current hosting. If desired, we will be available to support your SEO and site security.

More Complex Projects

While we love the productivity of Joomla! and WordPress, and the wide range of off-the-shelf widgets and components (particularly for Joomla!), some projects may need other tools or custom development. We will evaluate alternatives and provide you with our recommendations, staff the project appropriately, and incorporate the necessary quality assurance and testing into our project management plan. We will demonstrate the site on our test server so that adjustments can be made as appropriate.

Even for Joomla and Wordpress, note that the flexibility of templates varies, and customization of an existing template vs. development of a new, custom tempate presents real tradeoffs. When you're not exactly sure of what you want, letting us know examples of any sites you like (and what you like about them) is very helpful. We will have to help you know what to look for in templates.  These days, the focus is increasingly on responsive design, and many currently available templates are not fully responsive. It all depends on what you need.

We have experience with e-commerce sites. Please contact us with your requirements.

 

Published in Website Development
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