The two of the most frequently asked questions we got after our new website launch a week ago, were: how did you do the nice URLs in APEX and who are those handsome men working at FOEX now? Ok, maybe we didn’t actually get the second question, but the first one certainly stirred up some interest from the APEX community.
We’ll get to that in a second, but first let’s start with:
Why we needed a new website?
The main reason for a new website was to support and grow our marketing/sales funnels. We felt that our old site did a good job getting us so far, but knew that if we are to achieve our objectives, we need to step up and improve the design & content explaining who we are, what we do, and why you should talk to/about us.
Both objectively (conversion rate) and subjectively (friends, business partners and prospects telling us) we could see and hear that there was room for improvement for our online presence. The website would be just one piece of a bigger puzzle we needed to solve, but nevertheless, an important one.
We wanted a beautiful, responsive website to improve user experience, provide relevant information, promote the business and inform prospects and clients alike about what we do. Since Oracle APEX stands as the foundation for the FOEX Plugin Framework and of everything that FOEX does business wise, it was clear that our new website should be built using it. This allowed us to have full control over every aspect of the website and store the data in our Oracle database.
The end result? Well, you can see it yourselves:
The tools we used:
- Oracle APEX – suffice to say, we understand the value and growth potential that this development platform has for the future. To summarize: We are strong supporters and believers in the future of Oracle APEX [Tweet this]
- ThemeForest – as we wanted a responsive website template that could be used for both our website and our blog.
- WordPress – as a CMS for our blog.
- Google Analytics – to keep track of our unique visitors, page views, goal completions and many other metrics that help us. understand how to constantly improve our marketing activities.
- TheStocks – for some of the images you can see on the website.
- Photoshop – as we needed to edit or compress larger images to maintain the speed of our site.
Overall, it’s been a great experience for us, as everyone had the chance to contribute and pitch their ideas. Some of them are already implemented, others have been postponed for future updates, but all in all it was a very rewarding project for the entire team.
Although not planned, there have been some immediate benefits of rebuilding our website. Having that said, for the first week after new website launch (drum roll please):
- the percentage of returning visitors for the new website more than doubled, compared with the same time period a year ago;
- our overall bounce rate dropped by more than 10%;
- the average session duration increased by 25%.
Apart from the website, we also worked on aligning the other marketing assets. You’ve probably noticed already some changes to our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts prior to the website launch. Additionally, we’ve improved our sign up communication emails (if you don’t have a FOEX workspace already click here and request one for free) and the structure and design of our case studies.
There are more materials in development at the moment, which we plan to add to the website in the near future. Among them being: new case studies, whitepapers, how to’s and improved demos. More details will follow in other articles. Now, getting back to the initial question which we were asked after launching the new website:
How did you make those URLs in APEX?
The solution was quite simple and our CEO, Peter Raganitsch, answered this question on his blog: “[…] Instead of using the regular APEX links, e.g. f?p=112334:238, we wanted to have nice URLs. Luckily we already know which options are out there (if you don’t, please read up in this article series) and decided to go with ORDS and RESTful services.
So we renamed ords.war to en.war and deployed that on our tomcat server. The workspace for our homepage is called “foex”. Putting it all together leads us to www.tryfoexnow.com/en/foex […]”
Our website has been live for about 11 days now, what do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below or tweet @FOEXplugins. How does the new FOEX website look? We are very happy with it, but would appreciate your feedback.