Tom Bennet

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Migrating Bennet.org to Hugo & Netlify

September 4, 2017

In the three and a half years since I launched this website, a lot has changed. Since I last wrote, I’ve refactored my CSS, switched hosting provider, changed my development toolset, migrated to HTTPS, moved to GitHub, and lots more. In fact, until recently, the only thing that hadn’t changed was my approach to actually adding content: while on other projects I’ve experimented with a variety of CMS and frameworks, this website has remained firmly hand-coded.

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Manipulating the Data Layer: JavaScript variables & Enhanced Ecommerce

August 7, 2017
— for Builtvisible

This post sets out to solve a very specific problem: namely, how to balance the competing demands of a platform-agnostic Data Layer and the Enhanced Ecommerce plugin for Google Analytics. This might sound niche, but you’d be surprised how many large ecommerce websites using Google Tag Manager eventually run into this challenge.

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How to Measure Performance with Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics

June 13, 2017
— for Moz

Data-driven marketing means understanding what works. This article explores the ways in which the Custom Dimensions feature can supercharge your Google Analytics reporting setup with actionable insight into the ROI of your marketing activities. I run through several practical examples before diving into the various options for implementation.

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One Weird Trick to Avoid UTM Parameters

May 30, 2017
— for Builtvisible

Aside from the duplication issues which are inherent to URL parameters, UTM tracking is a pain for marketing teams to implement and maintain. I’ve recently experimented with an alternative campaign tagging method; by combining hash fragments with GTM lookup tables, you can retain many of the benefits of UTM parameters while negating (most of) their drawbacks.

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Go static: 5 reasons to try JAMstack on your next project

March 13, 2017
— for Builtvisible

Whether you’re building a blog, setting up an ecommerce site, or developing a JavaScript-powered single page app, the days of defaulting to WordPress for all but the simplest projects are over. Static site generators and ultra-fast CDN-based distribution are powering a new generation of websites, and the time to embrace this is now.

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Google Analytics: A Guide for Beginners

March 8, 2017
— for Builtvisible

A comprehensive guide to the basics of Google Analytics. This resource for beginners explores the fundamentals of digital tracking, the Analytics account structure, the new reporting interface, and key concepts behind meaningful reporting.

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New Website: Tom’s Carnivores

March 6, 2017
— for Tom’s Carnivores

In the year since I wrote it, my guide to building a Raspberry Pi-powered terrarium has been read over 15,000 times. I’ve now moved it to a new website: Tom’s Carnivores, at www.carnivorousplants.co.uk. I’ve been fascinated by Venus flytraps and pitcher plants since I was little, and I plan to build this site into a modern resource for today’s growers.

It’s also an exercise in modern web development - I’ve opted for a JAMstack approach, using the static site generator Hugo with npm as my build tool. Code is hosted on GitHub and deployment via continuous integration is handled by my web host Netlify. Look out for my Highcharts-powered data visualisations, which are launching imminently.

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Getting Started with Content Grouping in Google Analytics

February 2, 2017
— for Builtvisible

This tutorial explores the Content Grouping feature in Google Analytics, running through common use-cases, the various ways it can be implemented, the difference between content grouping and custom dimensions, and solutions to some of the most frequently encountered problems.

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