Why WordPress is one of the most used CMS in the industry

At Strathcom, we often talk about our  custom-built WordPress platform. But what exactly is WordPress and why does using it matter?


WordPress's story

First, let’s answer the question: “What is WordPress?” WordPress is a content management system built on PHP and MySQL. It originally started out as a blogging software to replace a discontinued platform. It was built by two developers: Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. In 2003, they launched the new WordPress platform that included a new templates and admin interface.

Because WordPress started out as a replacement for a blogging platform, it was also used heavily as a blogging system. As time went on, more features were introduced to WordPress such as: plugins, an improved admin user interface and theme systems. Slowly, WordPress started transforming from a blogging software into an open source, customizable content management system.

Benefits, benefits, benefits

Benefits of WordPress

On June 17, 2010 WordPress 3.0 was released which evolved the platform into a powerful open source CMS with:

  • Custom post types
  • Custom taxonomies
  • Custom backgrounds
  • Custom headers
  • Theme managers
  • API integrations
  • Multi-site networks

These are few of the great benefits of using WordPress today! Because WordPress is a free open source CMS, it has created a large community of developers who voluntarily contribute to the growth of the platform. This includes bug fixes, plugins, theme building, API integrations, and more. The great thing about this is ANYONE can contribute (not just developers), by answering support questions or creating documentation.

Ease of use

Ease of useWordPress is also very easy to use! There are lots of websites that offer pre-made WordPress sites with themes that have easy-to-use page builders. All you need to do is purchase a domain and you can have a site set up really fast! Most people who use WordPress are building sites without any knowledge of programming or designing websites. Furthermore, due to its super flexible nature, WordPress can be built into any type of site: blog, portfolio, Ecommerce….

A WordPress site can evolve quickly with the correct theme and right plugins. Plugins and themes (free or premium) help produce semantic markup which is very attractive to search engines. WordPress out of the box is very SEO friendly, and with the benefits of 1000s of free plugins at your disposal, you can increase SEO performance with a free or premium set plugin.

WordPress was created with lots of security so it is considered safe to run a site on the platform. But sometimes you want to take extra security measures.There are many of security plugins you can download to increase security.

WordPress is continuously evolving and will continue to do so. It is one of the most used platforms in the industry for the main reasons stated above. The more users WordPress has, the more of an impact it will create in the industry as one of the strongest CMS platforms. So, it is safe to assume that it will continue to be one of the most popular CMS platforms and will also continue to engage users to create great websites!

Think with Google – Online Video Planning

Camera lens with lense reflections.

The Think with Google resource gives us online video planning tips for success with online videos. The first tip is to be mobile-minded. Google’s research found that viewers who watched an ad twice on mobile had – on average – a significant lift of 23% in unaided brand awareness, and 47% in unaided ad recall.

Think with Google also suggests to put YouTube alongside TV. But for most small to medium businesses, this might not be as easy as it would be for big-box businesses. So what’s the alternative? Put YouTube alongside Facebook. Not only are you adhering to the first tip, but you’re also choosing to advertise on a platform where people spend their time watching videos. When was the last time you watched a video on Facebook? The answer is probably yesterday or when you were on your coffee break.

Facebook is also more measurable than TV because you can track conversions from pixels and generate leads right from Facebook through their lead ads objective. In addition to the ability to generate leads, you can also track performance and measure key performance indicators to see if it’s all living up to your expectations.

online video planning tips

You can read the referenced Think With Google content here. If you would like more online video planning tips, check out or previous post about YouTube or give our Online Marketing Team a call; and don’t forget to ask about how you can get $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend!

Hurry and Read This Blog Post – It Won’t Be Available Much Longer!

Act Now! This Won't Last Long!

We all know that companies use these tactics to try to get us to act on a sale, and we do! We all know that 99¢ is really $1.00, but it works! Our brain tells us we need to act before it’s too late. Marketers are using our own instincts against us, and there is nothing we can do about it!

reptilian brainIt all has to do with the Reptilian brain, millions of years of evolution, and a time when not getting that meal when the opportunity arose could mean death. It’s not that dire anymore, but we still have the faculties that cause us to make decisions based on urgency and abundance. I could talk about this for hours, but instead I’ll refer you to influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini and Neuromarketing by Patrick Renvoise, two great books that teach you how to use those faculties to your advantage.

One way Strathcom has incorporated this into our new website platform is a tool we call Silent Salesman.

When a user goes to the VDP (Vehicle Detail Page) of a vehicle they are interested in, they will still be met with the standard photos, description, pricing etc., but now they will also see how many people have viewed that vehicle and how many inquiries have been made on that vehicle. The more interest that is shown in that car, the more the user is going to want it. The more inquires the user sees for that car, the more it will trigger the reptilian brain to act in fear of missing out. It seems like a small feature, but it has tons of power.

silent salesman image

This is just one tool that Strathcom can add to your toolbox to sell more cars. If you’d like to know how you can enable the Silent Salesman tool on your website, drop us a line at info@strathcom.com. Sell more cars before the customer ever walks into your dealership!

Google Announces Allo & Duo – What does that mean for Google Hangouts?

With the announcement and upcoming launch of Google’s all new mobile-only chat app Allo and Duo, will that be the end of Google Hangouts? No way!

Google has confirmed that Google Hangout is a separate “standalone product” and it will continue to run with no interference from Allo and Duo.

Meet Google's new Allo & Duo app!

Continue reading “Google Announces Allo & Duo – What does that mean for Google Hangouts?”

AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Ideal for Automated Tasks

Throughout my time at Strathcom the Dev team has been presented with many interesting challenges. We have conquered some of them elegantly so that they won’t become a serious debt down the line and patched others with hopes of finding better tools to solve the problem later. My goal is that by sharing some of our successes and failures, you may be able to avoid the same pitfalls or find the right tool for the job before you. Let’s start with a recent experiment with AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Almost like clockwork small seemingly one-off tasks come up again and again. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have templated out the task so it only takes a few minutes to get it running. Your solution may even scale and tear down automatically. Even if you’ve done an absolutely fantastic job, what if you could get all of that in a system that had nearly nothing you need to manage? This is how we automated some of our maintenance tasks so that we never have to think about them again. They are easy to understand and, more importantly, maintain.

Using AWS Elastic Beanstalk to automate my task

Simple AWS Elastic Beanstalk setup

My ultimate goal was to be bottlenecked by a fear of bringing down one of our database servers. The prospect of being able to do that without affecting the end users experience was very attractive. I suspected that I could write a small uWSGI worker in one of our services and utilize all of the classes within the project that I needed – completely self-contained. This ended up taking about 100 lines of code including all setup and documentation. The endpoint itself is around 5 lines. Most magical of this setup is that you can put as many messages in the queue as you want and spin up instances to fit the time frame you need. In my case, I was able to pre-cache and size all of our new images for our users in about 4 hours (292k~).

Once the initial pattern was proven it was duplicated to deleting and redownloading corrupted images and in the future it will enable us to painlessly cleanup orphaned images. Most important to me it uses only existing production classes and code. If bugs are found in that code path we are one EB CLI command away from giving the workers the fix as well.

That’s So Maven

Customers want what they want. Companies can either adapt to ever-changing consumer demands or be left in the dust!

One example of changing consumer demands is in the automotive industry. As time goes on, fewer and fewer people become interested in getting their driver’s license despite owning a vehicle. According to the Federal Highway Administration, between 1998 and 2008, there was an 18.1% drop in the number of teenagers who got their driver’s license, and this number still continues to decrease.

Thanks to a new generation of car buyers, companies like Uber, and Google’s driverless cars, the automotive industry is changing and automotive companies are changing too. Most recently, General Motors announced their new car-sharing program: Maven.

“With more than 25 million customers around the world projected to use some form of shared mobility by 2020, Maven is a key element of our strategy to changing ownership models in the automotive industry,” says Julia Steyn, General Motors VP of urban mobility programs.

Maven will be launched in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but there are plans to expand the service in the future. It is free to join, every vehicle includes a fuel card, there are both hourly and daily rates, and insurance is included.

Here’s how it works:

  1. With your phone and the app, find and select a registered car in your area
  2. Start the engine (can also be done from your phone)
  3. Drive
  4. Fill up with the fuel card
  5. Return the car

GM isn’t the only manufacturer positioning itself for the change; BMW has DriveNow, Audi has Audi unite, and Tesla has recently announced Summon: an app that actually allows you to use your phone to summon your Tesla.

In a world where technologies and trends are always changing, the automotive industry is one industry that seems to be staying ahead of the curve.

Does Your Dealership Have a Behavioural Exit Intent Strategy?

Bounce Recovery – Convert More Users before They Leave Your Site

It’s a well-known fact that most users coming to your website don’t convert. Whether it’s because they are just starting to consider upgrading their current vehicle or simply researching what the latest tech features are, they are not always likely to fill out a ‘book a test drive’ form.

So if you’re spending all this money to make a kickass website with unique content, real photos of your inventory, how-to or introductory videos the latest and greatest auto features, what are you doing to convert all of those users before they leave your site?

Enter Bounce Recovery! Our Bounce Recovery technology will learn what your users are doing on your site and detects “exit intent”. We don’t target these customers with gimmicky offers and creative. We target them with relevant manufacturer incentives and price updates on new and used vehicles. We create offers that are designed to look and feel like your website, and at the end of the day, generate a lead that you may have otherwise not received.

Bounce Recovery2

How does this tool work? Every month we will take care of updating the manufacturer incentive and on top of that, we will also take care of updating your customers via email when the incentive changes each month.

This is a simple solution that requires no additional effort on your part. It can integrate with your CRM, is CASL compliant, can be used to create different messages for different pages, and it can be used for New, Used and Fixed Ops. It will grow your database and give you another opportunity to reach out to prospective clients who may not realize that there’s a new incentive that comes out every month.

Here is an example of what your potential customers could see in their inbox at the beginning of each month with the new incentive:

Bounce Recovery3

If you’re ready to start converting some of those users who are leaving your site, then give us a call so we can start helping you to build up your client list and generate more leads!

Turn Even More Website Visitors into Leads

Advertisers love the ability to follow around potential customers with remarketing ads because it’s a great reminder to customers of their ever growing list of wants, as the advertiser patiently waits until your will power is at its lowest and for you to finally return and make your next purchase. You may even be running these images ads for your own dealership.

Today, this is how most people search for new vehicles.

Now, what if I told you that you could have this same stalking ability but get your business in front of audience that is actively shopping for your products a second time? No more passive approach to remarketing, patiently waiting until a user is ready to continue down the purchase path. You can skip the waiting and now entice previous website visitors when they’re actively on the hunt again. How can this be? Well…

Continue reading “Turn Even More Website Visitors into Leads”

Changing The PPC Game with Google Customer Match

In the world of Google and PPC, there are currently only 4 ways you can target potential customers. These include:

  • Keyword searches
  • Past site Visitors
  • In-Market Audiences and;
  • Affinity Audiences

Recently, Google – in their infinite wisdom – decided to throw another targeting method into the mix and it is sure to float the proverbial boat of car dealers across the world.

Modern advertising involves targeting the individual.

Continue reading “Changing The PPC Game with Google Customer Match”

Turn Pictures into Cash with Instagram Ads

Since 2013, many big brand companies have been taking advantage of Instagram’s 400+ million member community by sharing high quality, image-rich content while driving results that matter. Thanks to the great success of these campaigns, Instagram has opened up their advertising product to all advertisers, internationally. No brand, budget or idea is too small to take advantage of this next wave of social media advertising.

Turn Instagram ads into happy customers and increased revenue!

Continue reading “Turn Pictures into Cash with Instagram Ads”