New Year, New Design, and New Outlook for ContentRobot
Wow! ContentRobot will be celebrating our 6-year anniversary this March, so it’s time for a redesign! Here are the top 6 reasons why we are unveiling a new (out)look.
1. Rebooting the Business
It’s a bit painful to admit, but ContentRobot sorta fell into a rut over the past several months. While we launched some good client work, we were somewhat muddled in what we wanted to accomplish as a company.
We are now focusing on the following goals:
- Promoting Our Services: Did you know that we have a hosting service? Did you know that we do quick fixes and migrations along with the bigger projects? We’ll provide more insight into our current and new offerings on a regular basis.
- Sharing Our Expertise: You can learn a lot about a subject if you immerse yourself in it. We have so much blogging experience that we’re busting at the seams to share more about what we know. Look for a meatier blog and monthly newsletter this year.
- Fostering Partnerships: We have had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of talented designers, plugin developers, themers, and affiliates along the way. We’ll be promoting others who offer complementary services on a regular basis both on our site and via social media.
2. Rebranding With a New Identity and Site Design
It was time to freshen up our identity to coincide with our new focus. With that in mind, we:
- Know we love our “lil bot” – so we kept him in the new logo albeit in a simplified form. He’s been out in the wild for a little while, but our site has finally caught up.
- Purposely designed our new site quite differently from the typical design/development company website. To better stand out from the pack, we employed a very graphical and structured grid format. This encourages visitors to delved deeper into the site, while allowing us showcase different content features whenever we want.
- Wanted to rebuild our site using the latest WordPress tools and techniques. We coded this theme to take advantage of custom post types, custom taxonomies, and shortcodes along with some of our favorite plugins like BackupBuddy, Gravity Forms, Premise, and Pippity.
3. Redesigning our Blog-Powered Website
It was not enough to slap a fresh coat of paint on our existing site. We created a new look that allows us to meet several of our business goals by featuring:
- A content-driven strategy allows us to to showcase our expertise consistently in our blog, the new newsletter, and in any social media efforts.
- Highlighting ContentRobot services allows you to get engaged with our company on a variety of levels. Pick and choose what you need from ContentRobot, WeFixWP, BlogOnCloud9, and any of our new products & services to come.
- Launching new products and services allows us to be a one-stop WordPress shop. Look for our own line of premium and exclusive themes to complement our existing lineup.
- Promoting others allows us to feature external services, blogging tools, and WordPress people that we love and use ourselves. Want to be showcased? Let us know.
- Being more social allows use to be more active on Twitter, Google+, and even at real-live industry conferences. While not a strong ContentRobot trait, we know that we need be a little more extroverted this year.
4. Scaling a Two-Person Enterprise
As many of you know, ContentRobot is a two-person operation. As you may guess, it can be quite challenging to scale when there are only so many hours in the day and so little hands on deck. To better manage projects and the business, we have developed a new work methodology that will benefit you — and us!
5. Ditching Old Tools
The best thing about creating a company today is that you can get many tools for little or no cost. While that works for a little while, you do end up running into limitations and missed opportunities.
- Project Management: While we tried tools, like Basecamp, many of them were overly complex. We built our own WordPress-based in-house todo application that we used for many years. While our old mechanism for managing projects worked, it was not efficient. We wanted a system that was simple enough but allowed for easy allocation and/or adjustment of tasks.
- Team Communication: When we were not working face-to-face, we relied on AIM and iChat to keep in contact. Again it was beautifully simple to use, but it didn’t provide any kind of archiving and/or searchablilty of thoughts, decisions, and direction.
- Business Metrics: To manage our sales, advertising, and site traffic goals we used an amalgamation of monitoring services that were patrolled manually. This proved to be time-consuming and we often didn’t keep our stats up-to-date when we got overly busy.
- Social Media: Who’s talking about ContentRobot? It was hard to tell as this was very manually managed/monitored with primitive tools. Talk about an easy-to-neglect strategy that we hope to revive this year.
6. Implementing New Tools
We are implementing a variety of tools that will truly help us manage the business. Enter: smartQ, Flowdock, Geckoboard.
- smartQ is our new project management app. It easily allows us to define different project flows for our various services, move tasks around, and give an overall snapshot of everything we need to manage on a daily basis.
- Flowdock actually takes care of two of our needs – it works as a persistent team chat app that is fully searchable and also allows us to view real-time information from many sources (including twitter/email/rss for starters). Our chat app, which we we are in all day, immediately notifies us of any sales, support tickets, twitter mentions. We now can discuss and act on those items quicker than ever.
- Geckoboard allows us to monitor all of our technology services in one place. We can see and track our site traffic levels, view sales volumes, site up-time, support requests, twitter followers and more – all on one central dashboard.
So there you have it – ContentRobot’s rebooting for 2012. We are ready for any and all the challenges and opportunities ahead. Come along for the ride!