Dovedale Design produces periodic reports for our clients, analysing traffic and suggesting improvements. Generally we use Google Analytics for the raw data, though some sites also use proprietary packages. All throw up a plethora of data. Undoubtedly they are useful as tools for planning improvements in content and structure. But they do require some analysis and interpretation.
Let’s deal with ‘hits’ to start with. In the early days of the Internet, successful sites were talked of in terms of how many millions of hits they were achieving. However, hits as a measurement tool are useless, since they measure how many file requests are made to the web server. A typical web page will consist of numerous elements, each one a separate file. So a PHP page with, say, a header, a footer, a content section, a stylesheet, half a dozen images, a video, several news items and so on, will easily generate a double-digit number of hits. And as web pages have become more complex, so they generate more hits. There are further complications – a returning visitor might have certain of these files cached in their browser, so these will not be counted as hits. ‘Hits’ still live on in certain stats packages, and are also routinely cited in the context of views on YouTube. But let’s dismiss them for this purpose.
‘Pageviews’ became the next big thing. Pageviews, and pages per visit, are a useful stat, but may require a little interpretation. Yes, a visitor navigating to multiple pages may have been engaged by the content. But consider my opening example: numerous page views COULD suggest a poorly structured site, in which the visitor was seeking specific information, but failing. A well-structured site, easily found by search engines, may also generate fewer page views per visitor as the visitor is directed efficiently toward the information they require. Time spent on the site can be similarly double edged. On the whole, higher page views and higher time spent are a good thing, so not to be dismissed, but perhaps not considered in isolation.
‘Visitors’ and ‘Unique Visitors’ will normally be shown in web stats packages. Unique Visitors should show how many different visitors came to the site during the period. The total Visitors figure should include repeat visitors. It is reasonable to assume more, and increasing, unique visitors indicate success, and this is a good starting-point.
But what if the visitors don’t engage with your content? Google Analytics’ ‘Bounce Rate’ measures the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing no more than one page. This can be considered for the site as a whole, or for individual pages. This is useful. For example, a high bounce rate for the Home page is probably undesirable, suggesting that there is not enough to engage the visitor. A high bounce rate on the ‘Contact’ page may reflect that the visitor has used a search engine as a telephone directory, immediately received the information they require, and gone away happy.
‘Individual Page Stats’ are useful to see whether a broad spread of content is being viewed, particularly the more important pages. Perhaps even more important are ‘Landing Pages’. More pages being found by search engines should create more entry points, and therefore more visitors, though do bear in mind the earlier point, that if they find what they want immediately, they may not push up your pageviews average.
One very useful part of Google Analytics’ package is the ‘Visitors Flow’ graphic.
This gives an idea of how visitors ‘flow through’ your site, and is particularly helpful in understanding which pages stimulate visitors to visit further pages – and which ones – and which pages appear to be ‘dead ends’. This information can be particularly useful when considering site improvements.
We have all experienced sites that have clearly received little recent attention or thought. It is well known that, increasingly, ‘content is king’ when it comes to search engines, and user surveys tend to throw up well-structured navigation as a key measure of satisfaction.
Maintaining a web site should include involve regular analysis of its efficiency, content, traffic, and achievement of goals. With some discipline and thought, data which is readily available can help us maintain a well-structured, engaging site.]]>
WordPress was conceived as a simple-to-use blogging script. If you search the web, you will find plenty of examples of straightforward blogs using WordPress, as well as many that wrap a conventional-looking site around a blog. Equally, however, plenty of complex, high-class web sites which wouldn’t immediately strike you as being WordPress-based, are based on this Content Management System. In short, WordPress offers a lot of power and flexibility for a small or medium-sized business, or for an individual.
However, unlocking the full potential of WordPress as a Content Management System does require some understanding of PHP, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and other aspects of web design. Moreover, there are a few serious pitfalls to be avoided, in particular the possibility of wiping out your content if something happens to the database in which it resides!
A robust understanding of all the other technologies and disciplines that go into creating an effective web presence remains just as important, whether one uses WordPress or not. And, of course, WordPress is far from being the only CMS. I have designed on Joomla, another powerful opensource solution, and have experience on proprietary systems. But, with a little thought, I think there are few design issues that one can’t address via WordPress, and for most projects it would be my starting-point.]]>
Social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter for the purposes of this article) have become increasingly pervasive. Recently I read that one minute of every eight spent on the Internet, is spent on Facebook. If the purpose of a web site is to communicate, then identifying where other people are is a good start.
Charities web site Justgiving tells us that 15% of all people donating via the Justgiving site come via Facebook. Clearly, then, for a charity it should be a ‘no-brainer’ to set up a Facebook page and work on integrating it: both your web site and your Facebook presence should benefit from it. However, one shouldn’t underestimate the work involved in maintaining one’s presence. From my experience, with Tanzania Development Trust, I know that for a voluntary organisation, resource can be an issue, particularly if it takes a while to build momentum. Can volunteers maintain the consistency and enthusiasm required to optimise a social media presence?
We have all heard stories of teenagers posting via Facebook plans for a party, with disastrous results! But it points to a truth: no sensible music event, festival or gig would dream of setting up without a Facebook presence. Bands and performers use social media to build a fan base and keep it informed of their plans and movements. In these cases, social media often leads the way, with the web site complementing its more ‘buzzy’, up-to-the-minute feel.
Still, however, for those who haven’t invested time in creating a Twitter profile and presence, the overriding view is likely to be that it’s a waste of time. Why should we be worried about what someone had for breakfast? Who cares about what people are tweeting during the ‘X Factor’? Isn’t social media dominated by young people who use it to exchange the minutiae of their lives?
In fact, the most significant growth in recent years among social media sites has been from users aged 50+. This has steadily driven up the average age of users. By 2010, the average age of a Facebook user had reportedly risen to 38, with 61% of users older than 38. The average Twitter user was 39, with 64% of tweeters older than 35.
No wonder, then, that businesses are now exploring social media’s potential. Many major corporations have been seeking to build a social media strategy to communicate and engage with their customers. At a more human level, Twitter and Facebook can be used to drive viewers to a web site. Have you made an interesting post on your blog, an important update to your Facebook site, launched a product on your web site? Then why not alert your followers on Twitter?
Making the most effective use of social media for business purposes is a subject in itself, and heavyweight businesses and brands team up with expensive agencies to try to figure it out. For now, therefore, I shall limit myself to the observation that people like to engage with other people. It’s realistic for businesses with a social aspect (after all, it’s called ‘social media’) to hope to make an impact via social media without such an expensive approach.
In developing web sites for a couple of pubs, I was very much aware of the need to achieve a balance between appealing to the new visitor, probably interested mainly in the food offering and amenities, and the regular crowd, more interested in the social gossip and upcoming events. The former is very likely to be put off by pictures of the pub bore leering into the lens, or the guy who specialises in falling off his bar stool! For the latter, a feeling of real involvement is probably hard to achieve on a conventional web site, even with regular updates and the easiest content management system.
I used to maintain a site for my local pub in Cornwall, The Ship Inn at Mawgan. Since I moved away, the pub has changed hands and the new owners opted to use people they know for their web site. Though the new web site is pretty basic, I have been very much struck by their use of Facebook. In a matter of months, they built up almost 400 ‘friends’. The Facebook site is a useful tool for the proprietors to send out details of forthcoming events and promotions, but it is used just as much by customers, sharing their buzz, reflecting on the weekend’s music, etc etc. An excellent way of building a loyal following, in an increasingly difficult industry!
In a sport that I follow, horse racing, I have been watching with interest the social media campaign for the QIPCO British Champions Series. This new (in 2011) series, sponsored by the Qatari royal family’s business QIPCO, was criticised at the outset for lacking a logical focus: though its end-of-season climax called itself ‘Champions Day’, most weren’t really championship races, they were sandwiched between established championships built around the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France and the Breeders’ Cup in the US, and so on and so forth. However, the horse racing season follows a well-trodden path, its rhythms, rituals and great occasions having endured for decades, even centuries. The 35-race series, running from April to October and sponsoring many of our most historic races, is ideal for the development of a narrative, and the building and involvement of a fan club. And the Twitter and Facebook campaigns have displayed admirable energy.
Equally impressive is the Cheltenham Festival News facebook page. Here, not only does the racing calendar give the structure around which to build a story, but the much longer racing careers of the performers adds an extra dimension, as followers’ passions for individual horses develop over a number of years. It is not uncommon for comments on posts on particularly dramatic races run to dozens, even occasionally to hundreds. This keeps the ‘talking about this’ metric especially high!
Content sharing is another new buzzword, driven by social sharing buttons such as ‘ShareThis’. A recent study of over 300 million people who share and click on links using a ShareThis button, and suggested that sharing now accounts for about 10 percent of all Internet traffic.
Again, the study highlights the pervasive influence of facebook, accounting for 38% of clicks on shared links; e-mail accounted for 17% of shared traffic click-throughs, Twitter 11%, and other sharing tools like bookmarking and sharing on blogs accounts for the remaining 34%
But here’s the rub: it’s not enough to just set up a profile on Facebook or Twitter, integrate them with your web site, and expect amazing results. You need to do the work, in building up a base of followers, and in presenting content. More than anything else, to be consistent. This doesn’t mean tweeting or posting about every little thing. In fact, that may be the worst thing you can do. On the other hand, even if your message is a serious one, you must remember to ENTERTAIN your followers now and again. Just like life, it’s about balance.]]>
In 2011, Google introduced a ranking factor, which became known as ‘Panda’, to its algorithm. This was followed in 2012 by ‘Penguin’, a further update.
Panda and Penguin are designed to identify a number of dubious techniques, such as excessive use of low-quality articles to create back links, and to improve the ranking of higher quality sites.
With Google now taking steps to penalise offending sites, the webmaster of such a site may expect to receive a communication along these lines:
Dear site owner or webmaster…
We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.
We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.
The message from this is, first, that one should focus on producing quality content, both on site and in articles containing links back to your site. And beware of marketers exhorting you to embark on an aggressive link-building exercise.
That said, one needs to distinguish between ‘on-page’ and ‘off-page’ SEO. The former describes the process of ensuring that the basic structure and content of the site are optimally structured to enable search engines to understand the content of the site and index it correctly – and prominently.
‘Off-page SEO’ describes the work that is done elsewhere on the Internet to ensure that your site achieves prominence for desired search terms. This involves predominantly developing a series of links back to your site, employing these search terms, to convince search engines that your site is the most important source for the information or service promised by the link.
An industry has developed around such off-page SEO services, and web site owners will be familiar with e-mails marketing link building services. Literature by providers of such services can claim that as much as 95% of the effectiveness of a web site depends on off-page SEO.
Whilst agreeing fully with the premise that improving search engine rankings should be an ongoing, iterative process, we would place more than 5% importance on getting the structure right in the first place. And we would also stress that the two disciplines should be complementary.
To structure a page correctly, start by considering carefully the terms for which you’d like to be ranked. The business of placing ‘keywords’ as metatags is now largely an irrelevance, with much greater importance placed on the visible content of the site. Write content so as to place key words, phrases and tags effectively. Structure the page layout to ensure that the key message is picked up quickly, with as little irrelevant content as possible getting in the way. If possible, give each page a central theme and set of keywords. In other words, understand the requirements of search engines as best possible. And update content regularly where relevant, employing the same disciplines.
With the web site structure and content on place, look to complement it with your off-page efforts. Recent developments in social media especially have presented opportunities for providers of much more integrated PR-style products and strategies. These can include issuing a carefully crafted press release with links back to your site, distributed widely across the online news services. If picked up by other news services, your links can quickly proliferate. These services often include social media integration tools. Normally you will have to pay for such services, but there is massive potential time saving against creating a library of back links ‘longhand’. Once again, we must stress STRUCTURE and CONTENT: the most effective releases will depend on getting these right.
We do warn clients up front that there are no guarantees so far as search engine listings are concerned. After all, you are dealing with machines! If something doesn’t seem to be working, rethink desired search terms, rewrite some copy, make some structural alterations. A high ranking this month may dwindle over time as the search engine’s methodology alters. All the more reason to look for a web site provider who will work with you to ensure maximum effectiveness over time.]]>
Via Facebook and Twitter, one can easily present a dynamic account of one’s business or life. New contracts, thoughts about business, appeals for assistance or information, thanks to someone who has helped: these are just some of the ways in which social media can be used as a constructive tool for your business.
Having set up your Facebook and Twitter accounts, why not integrate them into your web site? At its simplest, placing buttons on your web page can exhort visitors to visit your Twitter page, or join your Facebook family. Taking it a step further, a ‘Like’ button on a web page enables a visitor with a Facebook account to ‘Like’ that page, in which case a post to that effect appears on his/her Facebook page. A useful way of spreading one’s message!
Here, however, we shall focus on means to ‘stream’ your latest Facebook posts and tweets on your web site. This will give your posts another platform, and give your web site an additional appearance of dynamism, with no extra effort from you, after the initial setting up. There are many ways of doing this, here are a couple of relatively simple ones.
First, a simple example of setting up a Twitter stream, using one of Twitter’s own tools. Twitter’s ‘Profile wigdet’ enables you within minutes to set up a panel (shown right) which displays your most recent tweets. The general shape of the panel is dictated by the widget, though it can be resized. Options include the number of tweets to be included, frequency of updating, colours of the ‘shell’ and tweet backgrounds, and of the text and links. You can play around with these various options on the widget page, until you are happy with the result.
Once you have set your preferred options, hit the ‘Finish & Grab Code’ button, copy the code and paste it via an HTML editor, in the desired position on your site. Now your tweets will appear on your site with no additional effort on your part.
Note, too that you are not limited to displaying your own tweets by this method. You can display someone else’s tweets, or use some of the other features, such as a ‘Search Widget’.
The example to the left is set to pick up tweets relating to one of the world’s most talked-about footballers, Wayne Rooney. It updates very frequently, and befitting his and his club’s global status, the tweets are in a myriad of languages!
The process of setting up such a feed is very similar to that already described. The main difference is that you can choose a search term. This can be anything – ‘London Olympics’,’Tour de France’,’Diamond Jubilee’, but it’s probably better to avoid terms so obscure that they are unlikely to find much traffic.
But what if you want to customise the feed beyond the options available via the widget? Maybe the appearance of the panel would not be appropriate to the overall design of your web page. Maybe you just want the text without any of the surrounding shell. This is a little more involved, but to someone with knowledge of HTML and CSS, should not be too difficult.
Having lifted the tweets out of the Twitter widget, they can now be styled in as many ways as CSS allows. This example shows a very simple presentation, with one effect to hint at the possibilities: the tweets are styled to get progressively fainter, emphasising the more recent ones (though NB this effect doesn’t work in earlier versions of Internet Explorer). Bespoke images top and bottom, a background image, tweets displaying in different colours – the limits are only your imagination, and skill!
Another possibility is to paste an individual tweet into your page. WordPress 3.4 now allows you to paste the URL of the tweet into your editor and does the rest. Alternatively you can visit the tweet in Twitter, choose the tweet you wish to include (it doesn’t have to be one of yours, as the example below shows), click ‘Expand’ and then ‘Details’ and copy and paste the HTML code, resulting in something like this:
A degree in life, not just cricket espncricinfo.com/mcc/content/st… via @espncricinfo
— Lord’s Ground (@HomeOfCricket) June 26, 2012
This is not, of course, dynamic, ie it shows just this tweet, and the default styling is as shown, though there are some options such as ‘float right’, ‘float left’ etc, and you can restyle it with some CSS. The various links work.
And what about Facebook? There are various ways of integrating your website with your Facebook activity. But one of the simplest is to pass your Facebook posts to your Twitter account, which – if you have followed the advice above – will then pass it to your web site.
All you need to do to achieve this is to link your Facebook account to your Twitter account. Facebook has a very simple procedure for this – all you need to do is give your Twitter account name and password, and that’s it. If you struggle to find the relevant page on Facebook, simply go to the ‘Help’ area, type ‘twitter’ in the Search box, and this should take you where you need.
Once you have completed this, then your post is turned automatically into a tweet, and then appears automatically on your web site. Voilà!
Personally, I tweet quite rarely, but both for my personal account, and for Tanzania Development Trust, I find it worthwhile maintaining a Twitter account for the principal purpose of acting as a conduit for Facebook posts. However, a couple of notes of advice on this ‘simple’ approach. First, your Facebook post will be reduced to 140 characters by Twitter. So bear that in mind when crafting your post on Facebook. Secondly, if visitors follow links from the feed, in most cases they will be taken to the Twitter site, rather than Facebook, so make sure that there is a link somewhere adjacent which can take them to Facebook.
Finally, here’s another Facebook tool that can help spread the word and promote interactivity. This comments box can be placed on your site, using a similar method to the ‘Like’ button above. A visitor to your site, if a Facebook account holder, can type and leave a comment, which will appear below, as well as on their Facebook page. You can control the number of posts that show. Presumably you will need to keep an eye out for profanity, comments that require moderation and the like. And you may feel that it’s a bit creepy – Facebook taking over your site – but for some, it may be a useful tool.]]>
Note also that we will tend to quote including aspects such as search engine optimisation (see separate post on SEO), rather than adding it as an extra. We will try to give as comprehensive a quote as possible at the outset, with agreed specifications.
As we explain on our home page, we seek clients that want us to work with them, so we would expect to expect to enter into an agreement for hosting and a certain amount of maintenance. Do you have your own domain name? If so, it can be transferred easily; if not, we can help you choose and purchase an appropriate address (actually these aren’t particularly expensive…)
“But you haven’t answered the question!”, I hear you say. Well, quite…
So let’s consider a ‘basic case’. (Larger sites, with more functionality, would obviously cost more, and we would be glad to discuss your specific requirements.)
A relatively basic ‘brochure site’ with say five pages, would probably cost around £800 to build. This would be assuming a ‘normal’ amount of text (up to ~800-1000 words/page) and images (3 or 4/page), provided promptly by the client, in a state ready to use. For such a site, we would charge £300 a year to host, or £400 for a content management system, including an agreed amount of time every quarter for maintenance and updating.
A site built on a content management system or around a blogging platform would cost a little more, as these require database servers, which cost us money. However, their greater flexibility makes changes and updates simpler, probably saving money in the long run. Similarly, additional effects, requiring additional coding, image manipulation etc, would add something to the cost, as would enhanced mailboxes.
We know that there will always be someone offering to build websites for less, but please consider carefully the benefits of working with someone who genuinely wishes to help you develop your business. Also consider the benefits of designing a site from the outset with search engine optimisation in mind, not an afterthought.]]>
However, this post is more about whether a Web site owner should consider including a blog as part of their web site. Integrating the blog into the Web site, or more likely wrapping the Web site around the blog, is not hard to do, and the results can appear seamless.
There can be several advantages to the Web site owner. The rest of the Web site can be structured with pages which deliver content and services in a conventional, carefully structured way, complemented by more newsy contributions designed to reinforce the site’s messages. The conventional pages can also benefit from content written as posts, giving them a more current, up to the minute feel. And search engines like blogs: the regular updating of content scores well with their algorithms.
Consider this Web site for a moment. Though it may not look like a blog, and does not feature a blog (not yet anyway) it is written on a blogging platform, WordPress. These FAQ posts are in fact blog posts, styled to look like pages. This enables the owner (me, in this case) to edit them easily, and also to create effects such as featuring them in the sidebar of my home page.
“Robert encouraged me to consider a blog to complement my published work, and this has indeed given an added dimension to my writing.
Since the site went live, Robert’s assistance has given me confidence to become a regular blogger – something I could not have imagined a short time ago. I look forward to further collaboration over the site.”
Adrian Clark, www.britishandirishart.co.uk
Perhaps more relevantly, have a look at a Web site I created recently, www.britishandirishart.co.uk. Here, my client wished to showcase his writings on the subject, published in book form and articles in journals, and also to share more current thoughts gleaned from visiting exhibitions, researching future articles, talking with others and so on. Note that, in addition to a page given over to the blog (which we call ‘News’), the most recent blog posts are highlighted on the front page.
“OK”, I hear you say, “but I don’t have time to be blogging endlessly”. Well, you don’t really need to. Consistency is more important: you can, to an extent, set your readers’ expectations. If you feel that you are only likely to have time to contribute one blog a week, that’s OK – so long as you do so consistently. It will bring the benefit of keeping your site and its content more current and therefore more interesting.
And finally, of course it’s not appropriate to everyone and every Web site – for example, I don’t have a blog page on this site. But I would urge anyone considering a new Web site to consider whether inclusion of a blog page could enhance the site.]]>
Since 1975 TDT has channeled donations from its parent, Britain Tanzania Society, to development projects in Tanzania. It has also worked successfully with a number of other charities and trusts which share its vision, funding or contributing to projects suggested and overseen by TDT.
Here I examine some of the actions we are taking to enhance our web presence. A strategic review in 2011 highlighted the need to broaden our funding, and to attract donors from outside our ‘traditional’ sources. Younger fund raisers, without a natural connection to the trust, did not seem to be ‘finding’ us. An easy litmus test is given by the thousands of sponsored climbers each year on Kilimanjaro: why did relatively few donate to a charity so clearly dedicated to good works locally?
However, we needed to be realistic about costs and resources, and take into account the entirely voluntary nature of TDT. Our thoughts turned naturally to the Web, as a low-cost means to engage with a mass audience. I have taken on responsibility for the development of our Facebook page, and delivering enhancements of our web site, in particular ensuring a flow of new content to the front page. I have been developing this post over time, sharing some of the lessons I learn through this process; I hope that others might find the information useful.
Our first step was a ‘no-brainer’: we needed to experiment with social media. Our brainstorming identified this as a means of tapping a younger audience. But as I explain in another post (click here), the demographics of social media have developed, with average ages climbing, and the fastest growth in numbers among ‘silver surfers’. Thus there is a varied and huge audience out there (Facebook says more than 50% of its 750 million active users log in on any given day! Also, I have read that 1 of every 8 minutes spent on the Internet, is spent on Facebook); the question is, how to engage it?
Charity fundraising site JustGiving has a page of hints on fund raising. Among other things, it tells us that 15% of all visits to JustGiving resulting in donations, come from Facebook. Also among its hints, was a quotation which seems to me to describe fund raising via social media in a nutshell: “Fundraising is a story. You have to tell that story, to a group of people who will be interested, interact and support you.”
In developing our facebook page, we have always kept both parts of this quotation in mind: it has to tell a story, and we have to develop a constituency of friends interested in our activities, and Tanzania as a whole. A visit to our page (you can click on the image alongside) should show that we have been putting in place the basis for a much greater dialogue with interested parties, which we intend will result in greater recognition of our ‘brand’ and ultimately in more people fund raising on our behalf.
We have also opened a twitter account (@tanzdevtrust), but this is used mainly at present to channel Facebook posts to the website.
Since it was set up a few years ago, our web site (www.tanzdevtrust.org) had been maintained admirably by our Chairman, with information on the way we work, projects funded, and on Tanzania as a whole. However, we now realised that it would need some significant tweaks to be used as a fund-raising tool.
We researched a number of ‘best practice’ guidelines for a fund-raising site. However, resourcing constraints mean that changes in our web site will be more evolutionary than revolutionary, at least until our committee is joined by a communications/website manager, which we are currently looking for (could it be you?).
Here are a number of the ‘best practice’ bullet points. Some we do at present, some we shall be addressing. Others may need impetus from a new communications manager.
In late-2012, we can report progress. In the financial year 2011/12 we have had more sponsored Kilimanjaro climbs as in the whole of the previous four years – maybe coincidental, but providing additional news flow to leverage. A generic Google search for ‘Tanzania charity’ now produces two references to TDT and its parent BTS on page 1. Average daily hits on the web site are up by over a third. Our Facebook family is growing steadily, and has now passed 150. Our last two financial years have both been records in terms of project spend. These last two things are not really linked, but the momentum is certainly there…]]>
Clear, interactive graphs are a very effective means of bringing a web page to life and delivering information.
We display here a few examples of available chart styles and functionality.
The line graph, area chart and bar chart all display a time series of values. Of particular note is the way in which viewers can navigate around the graphs to change the dates.
Consider the top graph. You can change the start and end dates in one of four ways:
Graphical presentation will automatically rebase to the start of the period, though the values seen in the panel if you hover over the performance graph are the underlying data series values.
The combination graph, showing income sources and project spend of Tanzania Development Trust, shows how much information can be presented in a small area – try moving your mouse over the graph and see the underlying values appear. Try this on the other graphs, too.
The icons to the top right of the first two charts enable the chart to be printed, or downloaded in various forms including a jpeg or PDF. These can then be used in your own documents or reports.
These graphs can be updated in several ways: by placing data in a database; by ‘reading’ data from a CSV (Excel) spreadsheet; by hard-coding values into the program.
For investment web site www.harlynresearch.co.uk, the client loads CSV sheets to the server each week with updated data. This is then ‘read’ by the charting program, and the graphs updated.
Also on www.harlynresearch.co.uk are a number of tables produced by a program which ‘reads’ data from a spreadsheet placed on the server. Again, the client can upload fresh data when he wishes.
Below is another example of a table produced from an Excel CSV spreadsheet. This lists London walks led by Blue Badge Guide Sue Jackson, and features on her web site www.londonhistoryguide.com. The PHP code is written to ignore walks that have already passed, so only upcoming walks are shown.
If you would like to explore how we can enhance your web site presentation through a combination of graphs, tables and text, please call or e-mail us.]]>