Sherman Hu’s WordPress Tutorials site has just received a massive facelift.
It might be thought that this facelift was due to recent perceptions of the site.
Unfortunately the timeline just doesn’t reflect on the recent situation.
I have known about the revamp happening with the WordPress Tutorials site since 2nd November when I first joined their site, and honestly little has changed in the overall design since then. This is something Sherman has had in the works for a couple of months.
Blogging isn’t just about the written word. An important factor is testing and tracking your results, and not assuming that existing concepts in design and content work for all niche markets, and all audiences.
I am sure that Sherman’s initial decision to change the design was based on tracking his traffic and conversions.
You might have noticed on this blog I started with a very plain design, and over the last few weeks I have been making some subtle changes to test retention, pageviews etc.
I have been testing different colors for active hyperlinks, and adding additional navigation features such as tag clouds and related posts.
Those features were also added as a benefit for pagerank retention.
All these small changes add up. My page views per visitor are gradually increasing, and soon I will be experimenting on different layouts to increase subscription rates.
The things I am testing on my blog are very imporant for a business based blog.
The training and support forum of WordPress Tutorials are specifically aimed at a target market, that of business bloggers. Even if you intend to outsource the design of your blog to a specialist designer, that is still only a partial solution.
A typical WordPress consultant is either a designer or a programmer. They are not a specialist in marketing and search engine optimization.
WordPress Tutorials provide a unique service to current and future business bloggers.
Now to be Critical
The forums could be more lively – I love forums with lots of discussions going on. It is however a good indication of how complete the videos are. The questions that do get asked on the forum are very specific in nature, and get answered extremely quickly.
I would like to see searchable transcripts or a folksonomy/tagging system for the videos. Currently they are broken down into quite short topics. I love tagging systems that allow me to get to the information I am interested in with one click.
As an example it is currently hard to isolate videos which have specific information related to SEO.
Overall, WordPress Tutorials is a business expense well worth investing.
Bonus: I am an affiliate for WordPress Tutorials, but I would like to add a little extra value if you signup using my affiliate link. For as long as you remain a member you will receive free Gold access to my Custom WordPress Plugins membership site which should hopefully launch before the end of the year. I am an active member of Sherman’s forum now, so am happy to answer questions related to WordPress there, but if there are subjects you don’t want to discuss in a forum, I will also be at your disposal via email.