Last week we attended a networking event for EPiServer-users where the featured topic was add-ons: how to use them, what kinds that are available as well as some future trends. We were invited to present QBank and our new connector to EPiServer 7.5. There were several more add-on developers presenting their solutions that we had the pleasure of listening to. As a result we received some valuable insights on becoming a better web editor.
EPiServer themselves opened the event with an introduction to the concept of add-ons. They explained that add-ons were developed as EPiServer themselves realized that they couldn’t give editors all the functions they needed and still deliver the quality they wanted. Therefore they focused on building a solid platform for editors to work with, and opened up for third-party developers do to integrate their solutions with EPiServer. These services are called add-ons.
The event continued several add-on developers presenting their service and how it could help editors in their work with EPiServer:
Vizzit specializes on website statistics, therefore their add-on provide web statistics and the ability for editors to follow up and evaluate their site performance. They shared some surprising insights when it comes to tracking website visits. Surprisingly, 50% of your website receives little traffic, and what’s worse, about 20-25% of your website pages go completely unvisited(!).
What’s more, editors need to consider how visitors find their way to the page you want them to find. How many clicks are leading up to that page? Do they get to that page they way you want them to? Websites are increasing in complexity with added functions such as e-services, so pressure is increasing on editors to keep their websites easy to access and understand. Their final point was that it’s often a complicated task to break down and understand the reports of your website performance and that their aim was to make that as simple as possible. Editors need to realize that they need to monitor and evaluate their sites, and see their websites from the point of view from the visitors.
This made us realize we needed to take a good look at our own website and evaluate which pages get the most attention, and maybe re-evaluate some of the pages that aren’t performing well enough.
Skillo, developers of an add-on for user manuals and documentation, went on to talk about the importance of giving proper education to users of your web solutions. The risk is otherwise that knowledge is lost when employees quit or otherwise move from their positions in the organization.
They also highlighted the amount of time wasted when there are no clear instructions to a web system. Editors often have to stop what they’re doing in order to help others, documentations is often lacking or not used, it’s expensive and time consuming to educate editors and new editors seldom receive any training at all... The list goes on.
They went on to state that an organization on average spend 90-95% of their web investments on licenses and developments, but a mere 5-10% on developing skills and competence. In the years that follow the new web investment, resources spent on licenses are reduced and education receives no funding at all. Therefore, companies often find themselves in a cycle in where they’re constantly losing knowledge of the web solutions, which leads to the organization eventually developing an entirely new web solution when they need to change something, which will most certainly cost more than it would have to educate editors in the current system.
Their add-on consisted of an easy to use manual integrated in the EpiServer-interface which you could use and search for solutions as your daily job with your website went on.
Another interesting speaker was Mogul, developers of SEO Manager, a tool to help optimize your Google search rankings. They urged editors to redirect their current website links if developing a new website. If not, old links showing up in search results will lead nowhere and you will lose valuable traffic to your site.
In conclusion, this event did not only introduce us to several of our users, but also presented some valuable insights into the work as an editor. This event proved great timing for us, as we are currently in the process of upgrading our own website. We, and hopefully you as well, will make sure to consider these tips in our coming work with our new website. Make sure to check back soon to see how it turned out!
If you want to read more about the add-on developers or the event, you can read more at the organizer 7minds' website.