Sunday, June 13, 2010

Company Website Revamped

After the company website has been hacked a couple of months ago, I have quickly migrate the content from Joomla 1.1.x to Joomla 1.5.x.  It only took a few days, but I had to drop a few plugins and hack a very scripts.  The abundance of plugin in the open source ecosystem is both a bless and a curse.  It is a blessing because at the moment, the ecosystem allow small business to move into market quickly and cheaply. However, often times the plugin may not be of the best quality, such as poor code which allow hacker to remotely exploit the website.  Furthermore, for less popular software/plugins, the development may cease and may not have compatibility issues with other components you relied on.  This is the case for a lot of the Joomla 1.1.x plugins we have been using.

After successfully migrating to the new platform, I still not happy with the layout.   Luckily, Joomla 1.5.x came with some very professional template and I have based our new website on one of the templates which came with default package.
The new platform also came with some new features which used to be a plugin in the previous version and therefore allow me to retire a few of the plugins such as the LxMenu plugin for Joomla 1.1.x.

The most tedious process is cleaning up the platform for the new platform.  The old website use to have a plugin allowing the display of "tabs" to hold the content.  I decide not to use the "tabs" display format because I believe this is not good practice for the web.  For example, when user search for text, the browser may find it, but because it is not on the current tab at the top, the user may not be able to see it, which may confuse some user.
The website has been up and running with this new template for a good few weeks now, however I don't think we have complete the clean up of the content yet.  There are still pages with dead images, links or old content formating code.  
With our current state of business, I don't think we can afford to hire a full time web-developer/designer.  I could delegate some of the work to my colleagues, which I already have for the simpler task.  However, to take-over the maintenance of the website, I don't think we have an employee with that kind of skill set yet.
In order to justify hiring a web-developer, I need to find a way to turn our website into a revenue generator.  
At the moment, we are getting roughly 70-80 visits a day. Since we are a very niche market company, I don't think our goal is just eyeballs.

Perhaps e-commerce?  With niche market products and a small market, will e-commerce work?