What Is It That Your Business Does Again? The Need To Be CLEAR!

If people are left confused as to what your business does, they'll simply go elsewhere.
If people are left confused as to what your business does, they’ll simply go elsewhere.

In our Small Business Management course, we discuss creating a website for your business — and at EzyLean, we even offer a training course on creating a website using WordPress. We’ve also talked about some of the website “must haves” on this very blog, but one of the things many business owners still get wrong is communicating what exactly their business does.

What Does Your Business Actually Do?

Being able to explain your business in one sentence or less should be like second nature to any business owner, yet I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a business’s website and found myself wondering, “What the hell does this business actually do?”

It seems that somewhere, in the midst of worry about design, functionality, load times, conversion rates, and so on, many business owners — large and small; this affliction is not discerning — forget to answer the most basic of questions and often the fundamental reason a person is on their website: What does my business do?

Take a look at your website. Does it clearly state in one sentence or less what your business does? If we use EzyLearn as an example, we could say, EzyLearn is an online training provider. We could even take it one step further and say, EzyLearn is Australia’s largest provider of online training courses, including MYOB, WordPress and Excel.

Both examples are clear, concise and, above all, they entice visitors to spend time on our website. This is important, because if you leave visitors wondering what your business does and whether you offer the services they’re looking for, they’ll give up and go elsewhere.

Your Business Plan’s Executive Summary

This is where the executive summary of your business plan comes into play. The executive summary of your business plan is used to explain what your proposed business will do; in no more than a paragraph you need to be able to convince the reader that your business idea is worthy of their funding, participation or whatever it is you’re seeking of them.

In essence, your executive summary is your elevator pitch. You need to refine this and whittle it down to a short, pithy explanation of your business and your services. Practice on friends and family if you have to and once you’ve got it, put it straight onto your homepage, or an easy-to-access “About Us” page.

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And remember: the thing about the Internet is that it’s great if you know what you’re looking for; but the majority of people don’t. Always craft your copy like you’re communicating with someone who doesn’t know the first thing about your business or the industry, then go from there.

Eliminating the Guesswork: Knowing Just How to Change Your Website to Get More Business

Believe your copy isn't working? Don't stab in the dark with your changes - try Optimizely, covered as part of our new Digital Business Course.
Believe your copy isn’t working? Don’t stab in the dark with your changes – try Optimizely, covered as part of our new Digital Business Course.

In a recent post we talked about using web analytics to generate more business and we’ve also talked about the value of web analytics to any small business’ website, because it isolates information you can use to increase your conversions rates, among other things.

Because web analytics is something we cover in our Digital Business Course, we’re not going to spend much more time on that here, but we do want to talk about a great new tool that you can use in-conjunction with web analytics: the web optimization software, Optimizely.

Testing Out Different People’s Responses

Web optimization, or A/B split testing, acts almost like a focus group where, without being told, a small number of customers will be diverted to a slightly different version of a web page and their behaviour compared with that of the users on the standard site. If the updated version of the web page results in more clicks, longer visits or more purchases, the updated version will displace the original; if the new version is inferior it will be phased out with very few people ever seeing it.

Web optimization has long been the open secret of high-stakes web development companies, like Google, but Optimizely’s foray into the marketplace makes it possible for small businesses to have the same data and insights available to them as a big businesses — and cheaply.

While Optimizely — which was founded in 2010 by Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen, who were both product managers at Google — may be used by a number of big players like MTV, Disney and Sales Force, it’s most useful for time-strapped small business owners, where making changes to web content has always been a time-consuming process.

If you have been using web analytics and made adjustments to your web content in response to data you’ve received from your analytics software, then you know how tedious the process can be — but importantly you know how much guesswork is involved in making changes to some elements of your web pages, like copy, for instance.

Are Folks Subscribing to Your Newsletter?

If you’re not using web analytics (and you should be!) it goes something like this: you notice users are landing on a particular web page in response to searching at particular keyword, but they don’t choose to sign-up to your newsletter. Why?

You guess that maybe there’s too much copy and it’s overwhelming the user so you decide to reduce it. You check your analytics — still no joy. Now what? Do you undo those changes and try something else? Or keep those changes and try something else? What if that still doesn’t work? Then what? Also, how long is a piece of string?

Eliminating the Guesswork

Optimizely eliminates all of that guesswork and for as little as $17 a month, it’s a lot cheaper than retaining the services of a web developer to provide this information just once, never mind for an entire year.

Optimizely is another tool small businesses can use to increase their productivity and increase their sales. If creating web content that’s efficient and highly targeted to your customers is a priority for your business, we recommend you give Optimizely a try.

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If your business is about to make the transition online, you can find more information on our digital business course here, or by subscribing to our blog.

Four Ways Web Analytics Will Generate Sales for You

Using web analytics means you don't waste time on marketing that's not yielding results.
Using web analytics means you don’t waste time on marketing that’s not yielding results.

In a recent post we talked about using web analytics to determine your website’s conversion rate, which can be used to generate sales leads. Web analytics is something we cover in our Digital Business Course, but for those still unconvinced on the usefulness of analytics, we thought we’d break it down a little further.

Jump On Board the Web Analytics Train

If you’re not on board yet, here are four reasons why you should be!

  1. Search engine optimization: like it or not, SEO is still plays a huge part in how your customers arrive at your website. Using analytics you can see exactly what keywords and key phrases your customers are searching. Know this, and you’re able to create content that makes it almost impossible not to sign up for that newsletter, download an ebook, etc.
  2. Socially active: everyone knows that social media can drive traffic and result in leads, but what platform is best? Analytics answers this question without even breaking a sweat. For some businesses Facebook is the must-have platform, but for other businesses LinkedIn is more useful, so why waste your time on the wrong one if you don’t have to?
  3. A/B split testing: by combining the new-fangled world of web metrics with old school metrics like A/B testing, the internet doesn’t combust, but does, in fact, make fine-tuning your call-to-action strategies a cinch — particularly which ones to use and which ones to ditch. We recommend using another piece of software called Optimizely, but more on that later.
  4. Personalise email marketing: ever wondered how to increase the open-rate of your newsletters and emails? Wonder no more! Say a user arrives at an ebook download and then subscribes to your newsletter — does that mean they’re interested in a certain product or service? Probably, so why bother them with irrelevant information? This is a particularly useful given the sheer number of emails most people receive today.

By now you should be asking yourself how and where you can find this analytics train so that you can board it. In our Digital Business Course we recommend using Google Analytics because it’s free and easy-to-use, which are maybe two of the most important things small business owners care about, right?

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For small businesses wondering how you can best transition online, either in part or entirely (like EzyLearn did not so long ago), our Digital Business Course has been especially created to demystify this process.

Web Analytics Made ‘Ezy’

If your business isn't using web analytics then you're still not using your website to REALLY understand what makes your customers tick.
If your business isn’t using web analytics then you’re still not using your website to REALLY understand what makes your customers tick.

Ok, so you’ve got a website and on it you have all this information about your company — who your people are, what you do, how customers can contact/connect with you — and best of all: you get heaps of page views every month! Talk about winning the Internet! You’ve got this website marketing business down, am I right?

Except that maybe you don’t. And for this reason, we’re currently developing a new Digital Business Course to help businesses transition into the online world. A big part of that transition involves understanding how web analytics work, which is the bread and butter of any successful website — and indeed, successful business.

How to Use Web Analytics

To get the most out of web analytics, you kind of need to change the way you view your website. You need to see it as a form of marketing, just like an advertisement in a newspaper or a piece of direct mail. Once you start treating your website the same as you would any other marketing activity, it’s likely you’ll have some questions you’ll want answered.

Your Conversion Rate – Do YOU Know It?

Somewhere on this list — though we imagine that it would be on the top — should be “What’s my conversion rate?” To answer this question, you need web analytics. We recommend Google Analytics, namely because it’s free and extremely easy to use.

Your conversion rate is the number of people who have visited your website and carried out some form of action — signed up to a newsletter, made a request for more information, downloaded an e-book, and so on. In short, it’s any action that involves the exchange of information that you can later use to develop into a sale.

Constant Improvement

But the real genius of analytics lies in how it allows you to isolate problems with your website’s content and refine them. For instance, if you have a rather average conversion rate, but a high bounce rate (the number of people who leave your website within 30 seconds of landing on it), there’s a good chance that’s there’s something wrong with the keywords you’ve selected for your SEO. Or you’ve selected keywords that your website’s content doesn’t address properly. Either way, you need to fix this.

Finding Out How Your Customers Think

Once you do, you should see you bounce rate drop off and your conversion rate increase, which means more opportunity for more sales. And just think: if you didn’t have analytics, you’d have never known. This is what makes web analytics invaluable for small business owners, because it gives you rare insight into what makes your customers tick — what are they really looking for, and how can you adapt your business to meet their needs? — and provides you with the opportunity to meet those needs.

In essence, small business owners now have the same resources at their disposal as large multi-nationals, who typically spend bucket-loads on research and development, focus groups, and the like, trying to ascertain what exactly their customers are looking for — and even then, often don’t get it right.

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At EzyLearn, we use web analytics extensively to ensure we’re constantly meeting the needs of our students and potential students. Through web analytics data, we ascertained that a number of small business owners were looking for a cheaper alternative to MYOB, so we developed two new cloud-accounting courses: the Reach Accounting Training Course and a Xero Training Course to satisfy that need.

For more information or to receive alerts about our forthcoming Digital Business Course, subscribe to our blog by clicking here.

How Would You Like to Earn a Share of $237 Billion?

Want a share of $237 billion? If you're in business it's up for grabs!
Want a share of $237 billion? If you’re in online business it’s up for grabs!

If you spent money on Christmas pressies recently, you’re a small part in the continual climb of online trading in this country. Did you know that in 2012, the value of online trading in Australia reached $237 billion dollars? This represents a 25 percent increase year-on-year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This increase in online revenue reflects the growing number of small businesses moving their operations online, either in part or entirely — and it’s largely thanks to new technologies facilitating e-commerce for small business.

The Growth of Online Businesses

Prior to 2006 the online marketplace was all but monopolised by the eBays and Amazons, organisations that had the resources to create the necessary infrastructure needed to allow customers to shop entirely online. After 2006, when we first moved our MYOB training courses online, offering a completely online shopping experience was just starting to gain popularity among the small players like ourselves; in the years since, it’s now pretty much become the norm.

As platforms like WordPress have made it possible to create and maintain a website without any design or HTML knowledge, theme clubs like Woo Themes, which provide web-themes to suit a range of different business types, now even include ecommerce plugins that can be linked with a PayPal account.

By offering you services online, you’re opening yourself up to an entirely global customer base, allowing you to offer new or different services than you did before. Since we moved our business online, we’ve also been able to build on our business — this year we added the highly popular Small Business Management Course to our suite of training courses, for example.

For some businesses, moving online is more of a necessity, a way to stay competitive in a world with ever-evolving technologies. For example, new cloud accounting software like Reach (and we offer a course in Reach Accounting too) makes it easier for small businesses to manage their own books, without needing the services of a bookkeeper.

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For many bookkeepers this could spell doom and gloom, or it could provide them with the opportunity to venture into the business of training people on how to manage their own books. As a bookkeeper looking to extend their services into training as well, by setting up a website with an e-commerce facility, you could partner with us to sell vouchers to our training courses.

With a share of $237 billion up for grabs, now is a good time to consider offering your services online, particularly when it’s become so darn easy! We even offer WordPress training courses, which covers setting up ecommerce, so you’ve no excuse for missing out!

What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

Get the functionality of WordPress.COM at your very own site
Get the functionality of WordPress.COM at your very own site

Although we are best known around Australia for our Online MYOB Training Courses with lifetime access and all versions of MYOB AccountRight Plus many students enrol into our WordPress training course so that they can create and change their own website.

We received a call from a prospective student this week and he asked about whether we offer training on WordPress.com or WordPress.org so I thought we should take some time to explain the difference and why we offer the training we do.

WordPress is a system for creating and maintaining your online presence. Some people consider a Facebook page or a Linkedin profile to be an online presence and it is, but if you are a business owner you can create an online presence that you own and it’s based around your domain name. When you register a domain name you then point it to a website hosting account (they call this DNS Management) and this is where the difference between WordPress.COM and WordPress.ORG comes in. When you have your own domain name and website hosting you install the WordPress.ORG software on your own website and everything you put online is at your own domain. It helps to give your domain name more value.

[quote]WordPress.COM is a service were you can create an online profile at their website and it eliminates the need to buy a domain name and organise your own hosting, but it means you forego the goodwill value of owning your own domain name.[/quote]

Having said that, WordPress.COM functionality can now be built into the WordPress.ORG software you have on your own website using a service that WordPress call Jetpack. Jetpack enables dozens of extra features, including statistics about your website visitors, and connects your own website with the WordPress.COM service.

If there is one suggestion we have for small business owners who are looking for a website, go with a WordPress driven website because:

  1. Gives you the ability to easily change the content on each page when you want
  2. There are thousands of WordPress website designers who can help you if you need it
  3. You can incorporate social media and blogging very easily
  4. Social Media and Blogging will help increase your “relevance” in Google search results
  5. WordPress websites use themes that you can buy cheaply to create a professional website

Video PlayerWe’ve chatted with Paul from BYO Web and he will have some exciting information about WordPress website owners and the ability to easily add an e-commerce shopping cart to your website. Make sure you subscribe to receive future issues of our blog, and watch out for Paul’s exciting WordPress news.

By the way, if you want to get a free training video lesson about how WordPress websites are structured please check out this free WordPress Training video.

 

The 7 Website Must Have’s

Website building should include 7 key elements
Website building should include 7 key elements

We made the decision to use WordPress for our website because it’s easy to use, inexpensive yet looks professional. It’s great for blogging and bringing visitors to your website and is also really flexible — with an abundance of features, layout options and plug-ins.

Yet, when it comes to websites, there are still thousands — yes, thousands — of business owners who don’t have one. These are people who still believe in phone books.

Phone Book Uses

Phone books are pretty handy things. They’re handy for fashioning into a makeshift monitor stand to prop up your laptop. They’re handy for wrapping glassware and crockery when you’re moving house. They’re pretty darn handy for killing really big spiders. And if you’ve got a stack of them collecting dust in your garage since, say, 1982, then why not build a fort? Surely that’s pretty handy for someone, somewhere — the kids, maybe?

Phone books are not particularly handy, however, for finding a telephone number or business listing in 2013. Why flick through some-seemingly million pages searching for something you could easily find with a click of your keyboard, a glide over your tablet device, or a quick chat with Siri?

Get a Website

If you’re a business owner and you don’t have a website, our strong advice is: get one! Today, when people are searching for a business, product or service they invariably Google it, so for anyone in business, a website is an essential online marketing tool.

Again, we highly recommend WordPress. Business owners can manage their own content, which gives you enormous flexibility and it comes with a host of attractive themes and options. We offer an online WordPress training course, designed to help you understand things like SEO, working with plugins (including mobile sites and RSS feeds) and much more.

The 7 Website Must Have’s

If you’re a business owner and you already have a website but it looks like a 90’s relic with loads of Clipart, an endless-scroll of 10-point, Times New Roman copy, punctuated periodically by headings that are underlined, in bold and capped off with 73 exclamation points, then it’s time for a makeover.

There are 7 things you must do when building or renovating your website:

1. Establish Goals: Like anything in business, you need to establish some goals for your website. Things like: Why will people visit my website? What information do I want to provide? What do I want people to do next? You need to answer these questions before you begin.

2. Don’t Forget to be Mobile: The Internet is literally in the palm of your hands; so don’t forget to consider a mobile strategy during the planning stage. You’ll need to consider the main reason people will be visiting your site — for information about your products and services, to purchase your products and services, or something else — and build that into your mobile site, make it the most prominent feature.

3. First Impressions: Your website is your brand, your personality, and your reputation all rolled into one. If your website resembles the shambolic mess we described above, that’s how people are likely to view you and your business: as a shambolic mess. Photos from online photo libraries, like iStockPhoto will give your website a professional finish, but don’t forget to add a bit of you into your website. Too many stock-standard images and you run the risk of seeming generic, uninspired, bland. And bland is boring.

4. Keep it Simple: Don’t overwhelm your visitors with too many links, too many choices. This isn’t a Pick Your Own Adventure novel, it’s a website. Ensure your menu and links are intuitive and consistent. If you want to point people to the “contact us” page in your copy, use the same language that’s in your navigation menu — this will eliminate confusion.

5. Use a ‘Call-to-Action’: Your visitors are here for a reason; capitalise on that. Make sure it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for — display contact details, proceed to checkout links, or your mailing list prominently — and encourage them to take the next step.

6. Less is More: The endless scroll of copy has got to go. It doesn’t matter how multifaceted or interesting your business is, people won’t read it. They don’t care. If you can’t whittle your business and services down to two or three (short) sentences, get someone else to — we recommend you use a professional copywriter.  

7. The Need for Speed: Load times are critical. If people can’t open your page within ten seconds — that includes mobile devices — they’ll try a website where they can. If you’re taking your own photos to include on your website, remember that huge files require huge download times. Make sure to reduce the image sizes to a few kilobytes rather than a few megabytes.

You can master the skills to build a fabulous website a lot sooner than you think! Check out the details of our WordPress Course Outline

Get a WordPress mobile site because Google says 75% need it

Google Smartphone mobile usage stats - get a WordPress websiteWe recently wrote about WordPress plugins that are available for websites built using the WordPress CMS (Content Management System) that enables the website to be viewed better on a mobile phone and statistics provided by Google (which you can check out and dive into yourself) show that we are one of the world leaders in mobile phone adoption.

Interestingly just under 25% of Australian smartphone owners used the website browsing capabilities of their phone to perform job searches!

We made the decision to use WordPress for our website several years ago (and build a WordPress Training Course) because it is:

  1. An open source solution
  2. Used by millions of website owners around the world
  3. Supported by plugin and themes developers

With the importance of Google searches to bring inquiries to your business and the adoption of Smartphones every business needs to have a website that:

  1. Looks Professional (using inexpensive WordPress themes)
  2. Can be viewed easily on a smartphone
  3. You can update yourself!

Check out the Google OurMobilePlanet website and get all sorts of interesting stats for yourself.

 

Every WordPress website can look great on a smart phone

WordPress Plugin WPTouch shows your website on smart phoneIf you have read our blog on your Smart Phone lately you might notice that it is reasonably easy to read on a smart phone. The images in this blog post show the difference between a WordPress website and a WordPress website that uses a free plugin that makes them easy to read on a smart phone, it’s called WP Touch.

We mentioned the great service from Google earlier this week that shows you what your website looks like on a mobile and how it’s also linked to the partnership that Google have with MYOB Atlas in Australia.

We mentioned also that WordPress is a free software program used by Millions of website owners around the world. We installed a simple free plugin to create a much better reading experience (see the image on the left).

Our online WordPress course with LIFETIME access shows you how to install Plugins to get much more functionality out of your WordPress website and blog system.

The best part of WordPress is that it is used by Millions of developers around the world, who are developing Plugins, themes and many other exciting tools to enable you to create great websites, cheaply.

How do you look to others?

There are some pretty interesting stats that should convince you that having a website that displays nicely on a smart phone is worthwhile.

  • 2/3 smart phone owners use their phones back-light as a torch
  • 2/5 people use their phone to avoid a social encounter
  • 56% of smart phone owners use their phone to browse the web in bed at night

These are actually important facts to consider when you get your website designer to make modifications to your website and Google have created a fantastic online tool that helps you understand what we’re talking about. This tool also helps to answer some rudimentary questions that you should be able to answer about your website design strategy.

These are some interesting questions:

  • Can you read text without zooming or scrolling
  • Can you search the site
  • Is your address and phone number easily visible
  • Can you click to call?

See What your website looks like.

Oh, by the way, if you opt to get the full report about your website you will get re-directed to MYOB’s Atlas website and hosting solution (we were not actually presented with a report) 🙁

Your domain, your email

Domain names and email addresses from Domain Name BeginnersWe are constantly amazed at the number of businesses that are enrolling their staff into our online MYOB training course that use a Yahoo or Hotmail email address.

From my experience in the last 15 years domain names have come down from $135 per annum when I used to buy them from Melbourne IT to  just $25 per year from companies like NetRegistry. Hosting can also be very inexpensive for micro and small businesses.

When you enrol into the WordPress online training course you can:

  • Choose the micro business hosting option (through 123ezy) for only $100 pa and that enables you to setup your own email addresses as well as a WordPress website. Plus,
  • They’ll install the WordPress software and
  • We’ll provide you with a premium WordPress theme for no extra price!

Oh, and when you use WordPress you can have a mobile phone ready website in less time than you think by using a free plugin. This means that your website will look professional even on the small screens of iPhone, Android and other Smart Phones.

All you have to do is add the words and pictures and you can have your own professional website (and blogging system) and professional email address.

If you are interested in enrolling into our online WordPress training course with LIFETIME student access feel free to enrol here.

PS: You might be interested to know that the blog post you are reading is created using WordPress and distributed using Google’s Feedburner and we demonstrate how to do all of that in the course.

Did you know that WordPress is free Website Building software?

EzyLearn Online Training Course Website for MYOB, Excel and WordPressMany people think that creating a website is complicated and expensive but it’s not and here’s why. WordPress is an open source program which means that anyone is free to download and use the software (for building websites). 

The only complicated parts of using WordPress to create your own professional website is installing it on your hosting and using the right combination of words and images to encourage people to call you, complete a form or order from you. Even getting a professional new logo for your business is now cheap and fast using crowdsourcing.

Our online training website where we deliver one of Australia’s most popular MYOB Online Training Courses is built using WordPress and we have a WordPress course that teaches you how to use the software.

The other piece of great news for small businesses that want a website is that you can choose from thousands of professionally designed “themes” that cost from zero, free and zilch to a modest amount like $50-$200.

For tricky parts including buying a domain name (use companies like NetRegistry or MelbourneIT) where you can buy a domain name for less than $20 pear year and hosting you can find from thousands of large and small providers.

NEW: We use and recommend Rose Hosting and SiteGround

The hardest job when you have a company website is that you should be adding to, editing and improving your website every week by creating new and relevant content that Google Search Engines collect and then share freely with people who are looking for you. That’s called Content Marketing!

Do you need more customers, more people, or more time?

Professional bookkeeper and online WordPress training course and hostingI was going through our EzyLearn blog library of articles today. In doing so, I was reminded that we started blogging back in 2007.

This was one year after we closed our three Sydney-based computer training centres to focus solely on online training courses.

After reading some of the old posts, I again realised just how much work is involved in maintaining a blog!

The Necessity of Blogging

When I analyse the workload of the EzyLearn team members and the hours we spend creating step-by-step training workbooks, training videos, knowledge reviews and assessment tasks, I realise that it is all very necessary.

Back in 2007, blogging wasn’t new. In fact, many people had heard of it but most small businesses (or large ones) weren’t really doing it much.

We at EzyLearn wrote a workbook to teach people how to use WordPress and it highlights one of the most important parts of being a training organisation. This being, to study what is new and understand how it will affect businesses and employees that use technology into the future.

This blog you are reading right now is read by a lot of other people and it highlights:

  1. Our commitment to keeping you informed
  2. The range of skills our team has
  3. The number of customers who come to us as a result of reading this blog

Why Blog?

Why am I talking about this? One of our most popular online courses is the MYOB Bookkeeping Course and a lot of people who complete this course want to start their own business.

These same people are keen to build their customer base enabling them to work their own hours, use their brains and earn a good living.

Having a website with built-in blogging functionality based on the WordPress Content Management System is a fantastic way to tell people what you know and drum up new customers. It enables you to keep in contact with people, keep giving them information with no strings attached, and remain top of mind.

Blogging and “content marketing” just takes a bit of time to learn and then keep up to date, but you’ll end up with more customers and won’t have to pay for Google Adwords! 🙂

Read more about why we do content marketing

Is your WordPress website secure?

WordPress Training Course malware scan toolThis is a general announcement to anyone with a WordPress website. We have a WordPress Webmasters course to help small business owners setup their own website or blog and also to help individuals learn about WordPress so that they can earn a living creating websites, blogging and participating in social media.

You may recall that this EzyLearn Blog was actually affected by a WordPress Malware attack back in mid November 2011. It’s a known fact that there are occasional vulnerabilities in all sorts of software and that includes online software (they call them scripts rather than programs), like WordPress.

The recent issue with WordPress was caused by the TimThumb.php script for inserting, cropping, editing images etc and rather than go into the details here are some links that you’ll find interesting.

Why are we writing this post? Because it highlights the importance of using a theme club or theme maker that constantly updates the themes they create.

We recommend ElegantThemes and Woothemes and they both wrote articles about the vulnerability when it was discovered and provided updated themes with the risk removed.

See the articles from ElegantThemes and WooThemes.

If you want to learn more about our WordPress online Training Course contents, pricing etc please visit our WordPress Course website: www.wordpresscourse.com.au.

It’s time to thank YOU

It’s only days before Christmas 2011 and from all of us at EzyLearn HQ we want to thank you for watching our training videos, using our training worbooks and completing our knowledge reviews, reading our blog posts and telling your friends about us. I personally also want to thank the core EzyLearn team for enabling us to grow and provide a great online training solution for thousands of Australian’s and international students.

Thank you Frankie, Yvette, Richard, Jacci, Ross, Amy, Luke, Iroshini, Warren and Allison. Also a big thanks to Simon, Scott, Amy J, Faisal, Jennifer, Nicholas and Mathew. You have made a real difference to EzyLearn this year and to our students and the hard work you’ve done will reward students for years to come.

This year has been one of our best years because we made a commitment to be the best online training company for

  1. MYOB accounting software and bookkeeping
  2. Microsoft Excel & Microsoft Word, and
  3. WordPress website Content management system and blogging platform.

Other training companies spend their time and energy trying to provide hundreds of courses with the aim of trying to get anyone they can. We decided to focus on our core skills and give everything we could. We also tried to make our online training courses affordable and inclusive so you don’t have to worry about your availability or skill level.

Here are some highlights during the year:

Creating a WordPress blog post

online WordPress training course - blogging and website designSocial media has gripped us all this year and if you are a business that didn’t know about websites, blogging, Facebook pages and Twitter you were considered lost. We’ve used WordPress to create our own websites for years and this year we introduced the WordPress Training Course.

You might find it interesting that we were writing blog posts about WordPress back in 2007 and even earlier, but this year we expanded our content significantly and included Google Analytics, Feedburner and other skills in it.

LIFETIME student membership

In January 2011 we introduced lifetime access to our online MYOB Training Course. This gave students access to all courses (Setup, Day-to-Day, Bank Reconciliation, Payroll Introduction) and it also provided them with a safety net and a resource when they are in the workplace. Rather than say thank you and goodbye once our students have completed their online course we welcome students to come back as often as they need.

A significant benefit to this offer is that students get access to all new content that has been created for the course or updated content for the existing material. An excellent example of this is our online Microsoft Excel course. We have training material since 1999 on Excel version 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010 and as we create new content for Office 365, existing students will have access to the new material for no extra charge.

Welcoming Entrepreneurs as Business Partners

Our Business Partner program has enabled other dedicated professionals to use and promote our training material as part of their own business activities. This has enabled us to focus on the delivery of training materials and management of a learning platform while other business owners earn money by their promotional and sales activities.

We are 100% dedicated to this program going into 2012 so if you are interested please ensure you make contact with us.

Testing your MYOB knowledge and skills

Online training assessments and tests for coursesOnline training is still relatively new for many prospective students so we introduce the concept of knowledge reviews and skills tests to demonstrate how they are a learning tool as well as a testing tool.

We created a significant volume of new tests and quizzes as part of our online training courses this year and as a demonstration of their efficacy we introduced a free public MYOB skills test to see how much you knew about MYOB. It was also a great way for students to discover a new way of learning something online.

Partnering with Bookkeeping Industry groups

A significant number of our online training students complete their training to perform bookkeeping tasks as an employee or as an independent contractor. To demonstrate our commitment to “would-be” MYOB Bookkeepers and provide you with reputable accredited MYOB courses we became an accredited training provider of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. EzyLearn is also a member of the Australian Institute of Training and Development, the Australian Web Industry Association and the International Coaching Federation.

We join these associations to support the online training and coaching industries, demonstrate our commitment to professional industry ready courses and keep abreast of all new training techniques and technology.

More than just an online training course

Support is an important aspect of online learning and it is also a source of significant costs for organisations like EzyLearn. In balancing the costs of maintaining our current team members will the benefits of some rudimentary customisation of our courses we introduced EzyLearn Q&A. With a separate Q&A service for Microsoft Excel, WordPress and MYOB.

We’ve subsequently called this service EzyLearn ANSWERS. It’s a way of providing new training materials based on questions from our students. Students ask questions relating to their needs and our software specialists create a short answer to lead students to a solution. We use this service to increase the breadth of topics covered in our courses.

More team members to serve your needs

This year we added 8 new team members to help create new training content, manage our online learning site, answer questions and provide support. Most importantly it has helped us significantly reduce the time it takes between when you complete your course and when you receive your certificate.

You’ll meet more of these team members during 2012 and we hope to bring more people into EzyLearn to support your learning needs.

Faster loading videos and better online learning tools

We listened to the feedback from our students to improve as much as possible and to complement the addition of new team members we significant upgraded our video hosting capacity to ensure faster and easier viewing and navigation of our online training video tutorials.

This technology update enabled students with new devices like iPads and other Apple products to view our training videos and participate in mobile elearning regardless of their chosen devices.

Training for office administration for small businesses

virion small business telephone systems using voipThis year we formed a partnership with virion business grade VoIP to provide online training tools for their installation partners. As part of this project we included some new training materials to help office admin staff not only configure their new VoIP telephone systems, but we also provided spreadsheets for them to use as part of their phone bill analysis reports for customers to demonstrate how much money they could saving using Voice over IP.

We started looking at VoIP solutions for our own business in 2008 when we tried out the features of MyNetFone. In our constant search for better technology and support people we discovered the VoIP solution dedicated to small businesses, virion.

In 2012 we will strengthen this relationship by providing more in-depth training videos and tutorials. Our commitment to online training is focused on providing students with the tools they need to be efficient and productive in small business across Australia as well as provide these small businesses with the tools they need to operate great businesses.

Conclusion

If you think we have made a lot of improvements in 2011, just wait until you see what we have planned for 2012. We will:

  • create more training content for our MYOB course and WordPress /  Webmasters course
  • implement more services to help support your online learning
  • help you find more customers (for small business owners using your website and Google adwords, Analytics and SEO)
  • provide more tools to help you find a job (for job seekers by helping you write better resumes, perform better at interviews and be more confident in your work)

Thanks again for reading and following our progress we want to demonstrate your successes in our 2012 blogs posts.

All the best from the EzyLearn Team.

Sincerely,

Steve Slisar

We’re under attack!

TIP: WordPress Training Course

Google Webmaster Tools - Malware Report for WordPress Training Course

We’ve just experience a cyber attack and what do you think caused it? An out of date plugin for our WordPress Blog.

It’s a terrifying feeling knowing that your website visitors see a huge alarming warning asking them to go no further or risk being compromised. Luckily we have a Google Webmaster Tools account that provides some information about the potential cause. When we removed the offending plugin, we were able to use Google Webmaster Tools to get Google to go and re-visit our site and confirm that there is nothing wrong with it.

It’s a lesson in only using plugins and themes that you want to use and removing the rest. We used our blogging site to get to know some great new WordPress tools but now we’re keeping it clean and lean!

If you are a website owner and you haven’t signed up to Google Webmaster Tools, do yourself a favour and get to know it. If you want to learn about using WordPress to create your own website or blog site come and visit our Online WordPress Training Course website.