Several months ago I analyzed the websites of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and gave each a grade: Website Smackdown: Romney vs. Santorum. I promised to do this again once a Republican nominee emerged. I was going to grade both Obama and Romney’s websites, but realized I’m a bit biased in one direction and I thought it would be more fair and accurate to take a look at the website numbers and compare the candidates that way. Plus I was curious to see if page rank, link-ins and web popularity could predict the winner. With one day left in this election let’s see how the candidates’ web pages stack up.
President Obama’s site ranks 1,441st Globally according to Alexa.
President Obama’s main website receives a Google PageRank of 7. According to the Alexa statistics his page has a global rank of 1,441 and a rank of 229 in the U.S. It also shows there are 18,740 other sites linking into it. According to Alexa’s site analysis the typical user, “tends to be Caucasian; it also appeals more to higher-income, childless, moderately educated women over the age of 45.”
Mitt Romney’s Web Page ranks 3,683rd Globally, according to Alexa.
Mitt Romney’s website also receives a Google PageRank of 7. According to the Alexa statistics his page has a global rank of 3,683 and a rank of 597 in the U.S. It also shows there are 7,786 other sites linking into it. According to Alexa’s site analysis the site is, “popular among users in the city of Salt Lake City (where it is ranked #279). Relative to the overall population of internet users, the site’s users tend to browse from school and home, and they tend to be higher-income men aged under 25 and over 45 who have no postgraduate education.”
Just taking the U.S. web page rankings of 229 for Obama and 597 for Romney show Obama as the favorite. President Obama’s website also has more than twice as many sites linking into it as Mitt Romney’s site. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration including the average age of each base, Internet usage for each party, etc. but just looking at the raw web rank and usage numbers, President Obama clearly comes out ahead!
Keywords: Obama, page rank, politics, Romney, SEO, web development, web statistics
The **IT** feature on most websites today is the slider (aka rotating banner). They are easy to install, work on most browsers (thanks to many jQuery plugins), and make a site look new, updated and fresh. CEOs and business owners seem to love them and they are everywhere! The idea is a smart one: in a small amount of web real estate you can showcase several main features of your site. You will often see this type of technology used on news sites featuring a few main stories or on business sites showing a myriad of services or features offered.
One prime example is CNET which features multiple stories in one place. It is almost expected that news websites have rotating stories. Users want to see what’s new and will probably wait and scroll through the information presented until a story appears that is of interest.
CNET's Main Page with Rotating Banner
But what if your site isn’t a news site? What if you are trying to promote yourself or sell products? Is this “every web page must have” feature something you MUST include on your site? Not necessarily. The average attention span of a Web browser is about 8-10 seconds (according to a 2011 Sparklogix article) which gives you very little time to rope your guest in with your slider. Just because it’s the hot thing for websites right now, doesn’t mean you have to get sucked into a trend that isn’t right for you and your site. Here are a few quick tips to help you determine if a slider is right for your site.
Good Reasons to Incorporate a Slider or Rotating Banner
» Multiple Featured News Stories
» Multiple Featured Blog Posts (with pictures)
» Real Estate pictures of properties
» Images of artwork you are promoting
» Images of logos/websites/designs you are promoting
» Slides which do not depend on the previous or next to get your message across
This is not an exhaustive list, but you should get the idea. Any of the above options should work nicely on a site where the slider and content complement each other.
Reasons to Avoid a Slider or Rotating Banner
» Multiple stepped process for your site or product broken into multiple slides …users will not wait for the second slide to see what they need to do next
» Slides for the sake of slides – if you have pictures that have nothing to do with the purpose of your site don’t use them. They’ll turn off your user and drive them away from your site.
» Only having one or two slides, it’s not necessary. Don’t waste the users time with prospects of more, when you don’t have anything else to offer.
» Having too many items to place in the slider and rotating the items too quickly. It will overwhelm the user and keep them from focusing on the main content (see Santorum’s site in the Website Smackdown Blog)
Overall, sliders can work to your site’s advantage – giving it that polished professional feel. Just make sure that the slider complements the site’s purpose and doesn’t distract from the overall intent.
Do you have a slider and wonder if it’s working for your site? Share it with us in the comments below!
Keywords: best practices, design, development, flash, jquery, rotating banner, Slider, user experience, UX, web
This is totally off the subject but after a few political postings, I’m ready for a fun and random posting. This was my son’s Flat Stanley Project from last year. My sister, who was living in Hawaii at the time, was kind enough to show Stanley around and take pictures along the way. I can guarantee that if I could mail myself to Hawaii, I would. I miss the island and hope to go back soon. Enjoy!
Kicking back in Hawaii…
Flat Stanley Enjoying Shaved Ice
Keywords: Flat Stanley, Fun, Hawaii, Photos, Travel
I’ve been focusing on the social media element in relation to the primaries this election year and I thought it would be fun to take a look at the candidates’ websites to see who has the best site presence. I’m only concentrating on the top candidates in the GOP right now, but I’ll revisit this topic and compare Obama’s site to the winner of the GOP (whenever that happens).
I’ll be judging the sites based on four criteria:
- First Impression – (Max 20pts)
- Donation Accessibility (Max 20pts)
- Content (Is it worth reading?) (Max 30pts)
- Site Design (Max 30pts)
Total Score Possible: 100pts
Keywords: blogs, design, donations, politics, ratings, Romney, Santorum, user experience, web design, web development
According to ABC News, Rick Santorum broke a record on Twitter by being the most talked about candidate on Super Tuesday…ever! There were over 40,000 tweets about the candidate within a 24 hour period.
GOP Twitter Followers – The Numbers
Lucky for Santorum that people are talking about him on Twitter because they sure aren’t following him. To date, he only has 158,582 followers. Though this is much better than his 28,000+ Twitter followers since we checked back in September, he’s still far from his competition. Mitt Romney currently has 368,102 and Newt Gingrich still leads the pack with 1,446,272.
GOP Facebook Likes
Facebook followers seem to be a little better for the candidates. Romney leads with over 1.5 million likes, followed by Gingrich with 293k and Santorum with about 172k.
Perhaps it’s the fact that the GOP appeals to a more mature group of people who aren’t actively using social media, or maybe it’s that the party hasn’t embraced one candidate yet, but regardless of the reason they are all far behind Obama. Obama has almost 13 million Twitter followers and over 25 million Facebook likes.
Social Media Fundraising Lessons
Though social media can’t win an election, it can rally people together in a very efficient and cost effective way, and it can also raise the money needed to run an aggressive campaign. Let’s take the 2008 election as an example. In February 2008 alone, Barack Obama raised 55 million dollars. Of that, 45 million was raised online.
Now, let’s take a look at the 2012 dollar amounts. According to the New York Times, Barack Obama has raised over 151 million dollars with 53% of that coming from donations less than $200. Compare that to Romney’s 63 million dollars in donations with only 12% coming from the less than $200 category. Obama’s “small dollar” donations not only make up more than half of his donations, but they exceed the overall total raised by any other candidate in the race.
If Romney plans to win the primary and compete in the run for President of the United States, he’s going to need money. If he plans to raise enough to compete, he may want to think about taking a minute away from his high dollar donors and try wooing his working class online followers who could make all of the difference and be the true game changer.
Keywords: facebook, fundraising, GOP, Marketing, Obama, records, Romney, Santorum, social media, Twitter
In short the answer is NO!
A splash page (sometimes referred to as a splash screen) is an introductory page to a web site which usually contains animation, video, music and/or graphics that are supposed to make you fall in love with the site. Really?
In the past two weeks, I’ve come across three sites that were still using “old” splash pages (something that should have been done away with 10 years ago)…and one newly designed site with video that didn’t load correctly – ugh.
I feel the only time you might consider using a splash page is when you have different versions of the site – say a Spanish or English version or a multi-country option. For example the Fed-Ex site offers a map of the world and a chance to choose your country.
Ikea also offers a country selection option.
The difference between the above examples and my problem with most “splash pages” is that FedEx and Ikea actually provide interaction and purpose with their pages. FedEx and Ikea are not trying to impress their visitors with cutesy music and animation – they are trying to get their users to the right place on their site. That’s a reasonable use! When I go to Ikea’s site, I’d be lost if I ended up on the Turkish version.
Websites should be designed for the user and not the designer. This doesn’t mean that you can’t provide fun, clever and creative content, you just have to make sure you don’t annoy your user in the process. When I go to a site, it’s usually for a purpose. For example, I was trying to get to a local restaurant’s menu, so I Googled it and found the site, but when I clicked on the link late at night after everyone was asleep, LOUD music started playing and a photo slide show intro came up – ugh! All I wanted was to look at what the restaurant had to eat and see what time it opened on Sunday! If you have to place the words “Skip Intro” on your splash page, YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE IT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! In spite of the bad intro page, this is a great restaurant (Mi Tierra) and if you are ever in San Antonio you should try it.
Remember, in today’s busy world, people are in a hurry and they want to get their information quickly and without a lot of hassle. Most splash pages keep users from getting to what they came to your site for – hours of operation, directions, reservations, recipes, advice, etc. Don’t stand in their way.
And if you think you have a “splash page” that is so fun and amazing and that your users have to see it, create a link to it off of your main site and give your users the option to view it after they’ve gotten what they came to your site for in the first place.
Keywords: splash page, UI, user experience, users, UX, web design, web development
1. CSS Zen Garden
When I first started my business, a friend and former colleague turned me on to this wonderfully inspirational site called csszengarden.com. I still go there for inspiration. I loved the idea that one web page could look so many different ways just by changing the CSS. If you are looking for some inspirational designs and want to see a variety of styles, then you will enjoy CSS Zen Garden.
When I started thinking about my favorite sites, I went to unmatchedstyle.com to look at all of them! This is a great site to see some of the latest and greatest in web design. The submitted designs come from all over the world and cover a wide range of businesses from personal to big-time! I consider most of these designs (and designers) to be “cutting-edge” and hope that you will enjoy this site as well. While you are there, you can also vote for your favorites!
3. CSS Winner
CSSWinner.com rounds out my top 3 favorite sites for inspiration. This is much like unmatchedstyle, in that they feature submitted designs that show a range of different sites covering a wide range of topics/products. This site picks a daily and monthly winner, so you can see what voters like in design concepts. This site showcases so much talent, I could spend all day looking at these amazing designs.
If you are a designer or developer looking for more inspiration, take a look at these three sites and get inspired! Do you have a favorite site that you use for inspiration? Let me know, I’d love to hear.
Keywords: CSS, design, HTML, inspiration, web design, web development
Welcome to the new – new epoff.com for 2012. I’ve been thinking about redesigning the site for about two years. After gleaning inspiration from other designer and developers, I finally decided on a rather narcissistic (and retro) approach, planting myself front and center with two of my loving animals. After a very crazy year full of unwanted surprises, I decided that 2012 would be less stiff and more fun and I wanted to express my style with this style.
I started with the wallpaper background. I found real wallpaper with this design and thought, “This is it!!” So, I took that idea, changed a few things and had my 50s inspiration!
More 50s Inspiration - My Dad's 1956 Ford Fairline Crown Victoria
I also decided I wanted to showcase a few of my designs on the front page, and I thought an old-time TV with rabbit ears was the way to go. I added in a turquoise couch (inspired by my former kitchen), and lovingly placed “cartoony” versions of my cat and dog on it. I added myself watching my designs (as this is what I do everyday – I just sit back and look at all of my designs and pat myself on the back). I pulled from my previous colors (from the Notepad theme) and I had a theme that was fun, yet sophisticated (well, at least I think so). I also added a few turquoise accents on all of the pages too. The calendar image for the dates on the blogs came from my memory of the hanging calendar we had in out kitchen when I was growing up.
The vinyl record social media icons were the last piece to pull everything together and give it that true retro feel. As I started designing a record, I thought, “I bet these are out there somewhere!” Sure enough, I found these great icons available from someone I wanted to give credit to, but unfortunately it took me so long to get the site up, that person’s site is gone. So vinyl-record-social-media-icon-guy … I salute you…wherever you are!
Hopefully, I’ll be adding more 50s-60s inspiration elements in the future. Thanks for stopping by the site.
Keywords: blog, colors, retro, social media icons, style, theme, web design, web development, wordpress
Today many sites such as Wikipedia and Reddit are going dark to protest the government’s latest efforts which would censor much of the Internet. Google too has joined in and all are asking you to sign a petition and/or contact your U.S. Representative to help keep the Internet free and open. The bills were meant to help prevent piracy and copyright infringement, but the bills go too far and would impose harmful legislation on websites and businesses. Google has an petition available on their site which is very easy to fill out. Please take time to sign it. It is very appreciated: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/
Keywords: censorship, Google, legislation, petition, PIPA, SOPA, wikipedia
By Murray Newlands
Looking for a fun party at this year’s BlogWorld & New Media Expo in Los Angeles? Looking to have a drink, learn from a live blogger panel discussion and network in a relaxed, fun environment?
You’re invited to BlogUP, the blogger party that is guaranteed to be a good time!
The BlogUP is a unique networking event that enables like-minded bloggers to meet face-to-face. The party is a relaxed way to network and make connections for future collaborations that will help each other grow in the blogosphere.
Unlike other blogging meets, all guests must currently maintain a blog and there is to be absolutely no solicitations. This is simply an event for bloggers to network and discuss collaboration.
This year’s BlogUp party:
- “Content Monetization and Blogs—a Viable Combination?” panel discussion featuring leading blogger speakers
- Launch of LA Blog Club
- “What Is Personal Branding?” by Jim Kukral and Murray Newlands Book Release and Signing
- Complementary Drinks and Appetizers
Thursday November 3rd 8:00 p.m. til 10:00 p.m.
ICON LA Ultra Lounge
1248 Figueroa Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Admission: Any BlogWorld pass gets you in to the party! Use code MURRAY20 to get 20% off a ticket to BLOGWORLD
ALSO to find out about ongoing Blog Club events here LA Blog Club
INTENTclick contains content rich sites in specific performance driven categories, and is able to deliver to these sites the highest monetization levels available in the market.
About Murray Newlands
My name is Murray Newlands and I’m a successful marketing blogger, founder of London, San Francisco and Los Angeles Blog Clubs and author of many blogging eBooks interested in bringing like-minded bloggers together for an evening of fun.
This year’s party is going to be a blast and I’d love to meet you, so please come!
Keywords: Blogging, BlogUp, LA, networking, Party, World Media