Website technology has evolved far beyond the static html page concept. Today's websites are plug and play platforms allowing the addition of website applications that can further enhance the customer experience and improve the marketing capability of the website. Much the way apps can be added to your smart phone, applications compatible with your website platform can be added without any programming knowledge. This increases usability and reliability and improves website owner access to these tools. Here are some of the most popular (and useful) web applications that we work with.
You may have used live chat on sites you've visited. Typically, the live chat functionality was an additional cost (usually a monthly charge). However, we are using a Chat widget on this site and our customer sites from a company called Tawk.to. Their chat software is absolutely free to use and quite sophisticated. It is also very easy to use. We have it on 50Bubbles.com and we freely apply the software to our clients websites when requested.
This is really part of the content management system however it should not go without mention. A lot happens when you decide to add a page, or change a page name within a site. Consider that many other pages could already be linked to the page you are deleting or moving. A dynamic menu takes care of those changes and redefines all the links when you decide to make those changes making the process of rearranging and building navigation menus simple and intuitive. Additional programs can be added to allow the website some advanced menu capabilities like mega menus (particularly useful with large sites).
Usually the banner section of the home page and sometimes in the inner pages has multiple images and possibly even multiple layers for each slide. This, of course, can be programmed but that puts it out of reach for the typical website owner who might want to add images and change the site slides. We like to use slider management software that allows the manipulation of the sliders without any programming experience.
Image gallery software allows the site image gallery to be accessible without a programmer involved. Images can simply be uploaded and the software will automatically add the images to the gallery in a predefined layout.
CUSTOM FORMS SOFTWARE
Custom forms applications can be used to allow the editing and creation of forms without any programming knowledge. Pre-definied form fields are added to forms via drag and drop. Form software is becoming more and more sophisticated - including the ability to have calculated fields, file upload capability and payment integration.
50Bubbles utilizes a content management system that allows multiple blog streams. The Blog is an application that can be added to any page in the site. This creates a very powerful content solution for businesses who are looking for advanced search engine capability without the technical difficulty that usually comes with the territory. Blogs are inherently search engine friendly and when embedded into the site content structure, they can create a website that has a significant advantage. Blogs are entered via simple form editing tools making it very easy to edit and maintain search engine friendly content. You are in fact reading a blog entry. We have modified our own blog software to be used as standard content creation software because our clients like it so much.
SHOPPING CART SYSTEMS
For clients who want to sell products on the website, shopping cart software is available and like any other module, can be added to any page within the site to create a full featured shopping experience.
Many clients have asked for the ability to have their own forum on their website. A website forum can be added just as easily as any other software.
We just started to build a wiki on 50Bubbles as a means to grow a knowledge base beyond what would typically be an FAQ type page. Adding a WIKI is again just another software program that can be dropped on a page and the WIKI is magically created for you. See 50Bubbles WIKI here: http://www.50bubbles.com/knowledge-base.
While not technically a "program", any YouTube video can be added to a page by simply cutting and pasting the embed code into the standard editor applied to any page of the site. In fact, any site that supplies embed code (like Google MAPS for example) can be added to a page by pasting the embed code into the editor.