Tag Archives: optional

Designing an Enticing Landing Page (Optional)

NOTE: At this point I am going to declare that proceeding further requires some basic HTML skills and aptitude.  I will not be explaining HTML code elements from the ground up and if you already don’t know what a <DIV> statement is or does (you don’t have a clue) then I’d suggest STOPPING HERE, not going further until you 1) spend a good week or two heavily studying basic HTML design elements, or 2) you seriously consider NOT making a landing page (a nice extra step) and sticking with modifying the basic design template you’re given by default, 3) you invite a friend that knows a bit about HTML to help you, or 4) you hire a professional.

The reason this is optional is that rarely do I see a GPT site take advantage of this rare opportunity to really SELL your site’s visitors (prospective members)  Why have their first impression of your site be the remainder of the functions left over for them to see before they become a member?  Yes, you could make that work as well (and I have in the past) but I found that it’s just a whole lot of code that is unnecessary (trying to make one single page look good for both members logged in and visitors not registered yet)

Also think about it this way, this is likely your ONE (1) chance to make a good impression!  Why confuse the first time site visitor with random thoughts from random members in your shoutbox (chat area) and other functions and terminology they may not understand (or worse, some may pick up on a few terms that instantly equal ‘SCAM’ in their mind!)  What I suggest is a landing page with all that you can say to sell your site and close the deal towards visitors becoming members.

You may ask if we can extend the referral system to this extra landing page and the answer is a resounding YES! (as in – yes, your referring members will get credit for their potential referred visitors registering while first landing on the landing page.)  You may also ask if we can make this page the default landing page for all logged out people?  Yes!   I’ll show you how – first lets start planning the landing page.

Below is How I Planned and Built  My Own Landing Page:

Ok, we should think of a good one or two keyword rich page name that would induce a sense of excitement (or at least much better than naming it ‘LandingPage’)  Hmm, in this scheme then know that the name of this landing page will also become part of every member’s referral link so we’d want it short and to-the-point – hmmm…  You can call your page what you want but I’ve come to an epiphany that the words ‘Earn’, ‘Free’ used together may be best for my purposes (and yes, if you like that too then go ahead and use it)

[on an off note – I’ve been using these two very effective words for many years but if you really think logically then they are contradictions.  If you have to EARN something then it isn’t FREE (anyways, it’s worked for me)]

If you haven’t yet logged in to your ShiftCode GPT Admin panel yet then please do log in now.  Go to Files & Templates(lower right navigational menu) > Pages and you should be looking at a center section that lists all the various pages of your site coded in red and blue.  If you only have red items don’t worry because red means that the pages are default parts that have come with your site and blue means those pages that may have been custom created.  Our new landing page will be coded blue because it will be an added custom created page.

Before we dive right into things I’d suggest that you take a look around by clicking on a few pages just to get the hang of things (only I wouldn’t suggest clicking on the page save icon that looks like this Page Save Icon (a floppy disk) until you know exactly what you are doing)  For example this (below) page is normally the page that everyone (unregistered new visitors, logged out members, and logged in members) see by the default standard (which is a lot of circumstances for the code of one single page to handle):
Default Home Page for Everyone!
Why keep the code so complicated on one page?

Not only is it complicated for the coder to keep track of but it also takes up valuable site speed with a lot of conditional (is the viewer a member or not?, etc) code.  Why not just make a separate page for all people who are not logged in to come to – and that’s why this article is here.  Creating that landing page.


Actually Building the Landing Page

Click on the ”+ Add Page‘ link towards the top left of the center section.  You now should be seeing a page building area that looks similar to this (below):

Page Building

Getting right to the task let’s set our new ‘Path‘ to ‘earnfree‘ (I suggest all lowercase in this path – it IS case-sensitive) We’ll also go ahead and ‘Name‘ our landing page name to a descriptive title such as “Earn Online for Free” Yes, if you are going to name your path and landing page something else then that is fine here only replace each with your own ideas (though let’s be clear here that it is totally fine for you to use what I suggest if you so choose)

This (below) is what we’ll end up seeing (I’ll continue to explain each in turn below):

Page Creation

That Translates Into These Simple Choices

Path:

earnfree

“Path” really can be almost anything at all that you want to put there (some people simply use the word ‘home’ here)

Name:

Earn Online for Free

“Name” is the text that will become the page title (NOT the name of the file) so you would treat the ‘Name’ entry as needing a keyword rich description in words of your site (keeping it 128 characters or less is best)

Template:

None

“Template” entry you will want to change to ‘None’ or if you are advanced then you would design a separate template just for this landing page (not covered here)

I prefer not to design a whole template for just one page so I set the template for the page to ‘None’ and I code my design elements into the page itself.

Edit Mode:

WYSIWYG or Textarea
(depending on you & your confidence and skills)

“Edit Mode” will depend upon your skill and preferences.  ‘WYSIWYG’ stands for ‘What You See Is What You Get’ and this mode acts somewhat like an onscreen word processor (best for newbies and novices)

If you are a wiz at coding or if (like me) you prefer using an external application for designing your code (I use both the CodeLobster code editor (they have a free fully functional download version) and a really old (the last before Microsoft discontinued it) version of FrontPage HTML editor (no longer provided or supported)  I create and edit the code in the editor and then copy and paste it into the page editor in Textarea mode the ShiftCode admin panel and then I save the page.

Really any HTML and/or code editor (Google “code editor” or “html editor”) you prefer would do the trick here (if you are drawing a blank then go ahead and use the WYSIWYG mode)

Access:

Everyone

“Access” (Everyone, Members Only, Guests Only, etc.) in this instance should be set to ‘Everyone’ meaning everyone including non-registered guests, non-logged in members, and logged-in members will be able to surf to that page (you’ll see why later on in this article)

NOTE: Again, At this point I am going to declare that proceeding further requires some basic HTML skills and aptitude.  I will not be explaining HTML code elements from the ground up and if you already don’t know what a <DIV> statement is or does (you don’t have a clue) then I’d suggest STOPPING HERE, not going further until you 1) spend a good week or two heavily studying basic HTML design elements, or 2) you seriously consider NOT making a landing page (a nice extra step) and sticking with modifying the basic design template you’re given by default, 3) you invite a friend that knows a bit about HTML to help you, or 4) you hire a professional.

TO BE CONTINUED