When not working on client projects I’ve been very busy over the last month with massive changes at my Volvo site It was very important that I do things correctly because I make a significant part of my income from the site. Miscalculation could have stopped the search engines from sending traffic to MVS and cost me big $. Income from that site goes up and down almost in lockstep with search engine traffic.

I did a trio of big changes in one swoop, and brought up parts of the site slowly over a few weeks as I was able. The process worked well, and I wouldn’t do a whole lot differently.

1 Server Switch

I moved MVS to my dedicated private server from shared hosting:

  • I have more granular control of the way sites work on my server
  • Sites on my server have better uptime
  • Sites on my server are served faster

2 Makeover

I redesigned it with an eye to creating more effective space for ads and better functionality for users. In addition, I gave it a nice blue background (instills trust), and moved things up so that users see more content without having to scroll.

MatthewsVolvoSite new look

MatthewsVolvoSite new look

3 Strengthened the Core

Updated the forum software (phpBB 3.0.2) and the CMS software (WordPress 2.6). These upgrades help with SEO, and they help my forum users by offering more features in a cleaner look.

4 I’m Not Done

I’m always working on my sites, to one degree or another. Evolution is good for me, good for my users, and Google and the other search engines like it too. It actually makes their job easier as I add things like XML sitemap feeds (an invisible file that tells search spiders what’s new).

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2 Responses to “”

  1. David Emanuel Says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Matt, it’s a great pleasure being a moderator for you over at MVS. If it weren’t for you, I would have never considered doing it. I hope 2009 is a truly great year for you. See you around!

  2. Matt Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks David, that means a lot to me.

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