Crexendo Brings Website Contest to CSU Fullerton Students

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If college students can build and run e-commerce websites using Crexendo tools and training, what can a business professional do? Read this story of how one Web marketing company is putting its money where its mouth is.

Crexendo VP of Web Marketing Parker Garlitz gets contest participants ready to compete.

...even students who don’t win will get valuable experience to draw on in the future and a terrific gem to add to their resumes. And they will still have a fully-functioning website.

Most people in this country go straight to the Internet when they need information. That means an effective website is critical to a company's success. In an effort to help college students understand that reality and teach them how to create and implement effective Internet marketing strategies, a Web marketing company called Crexendo is holding a website and online marketing competition. Crexendo Business Solutions, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, will give free digital marketing tools to Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) students who want to compete; the tools include access to Crexendo web hosting, content management system (CMS) software, and a proprietary e-commerce platform.

“We’re giving each student everything needed to build and promote an e-commerce website,” said Crexendo President Clint Sanderson. “We want to give college students real-world entrepreneurial Web design experience, Web marketing education, and experience in the post-collegiate business world.”

Students will plan and build a website promoting a real-life product or service, and then use the website and SEO training—including link-building techniques—they’ll get from Crexendo to draw visitors to their site. The training is part of the contest and free of charge.

John Bradley Jackson is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at CSUF. He said, “The best case scenario is that a student will win some of the prize money and walk away with a fully-functioning website. But even students who don’t win will get valuable experience to draw on in the future and a terrific gem to add to their resumes. And they will still have a fully-functioning website.”

Prize money pay-outs will be $7,500 for first place; $5,000 for second place; $2,500 for third place; and six runners up at $500 each. Judges from Crexendo and CSUF will evaluate websites on Appearance (15%), Mechanics (35%), Marketing (25%), Overall Idea (25%), plus a bonus category called Traction, wherein contestants can earn up to 10% extra points for actual leads or sales their websites generate.

Crexendo held its first university competition at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah this past spring. CSUF has already seen hundreds of students sign up for the free web tools and contest. The website competitions are part of the new Crexendo University Program (Crexendo U.P.) and are open to all students at participating colleges and universities.

Crexendo instructor and VP of Web Marketing Parker Garlitz said, “This contest allows students with an entrepreneurial bent to create a website without the large amounts of capital that other types of businesses require. It’s a simple step that almost anyone can take but few do. With this contest, we hope to introduce college students to the exciting world of Web marketing very early in their careers. Web marketing skills are something students can use no matter what career they pursue.”

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Dean Wright

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