We wish to pick out a template for any WordPress site were as simple as we always assume it to be. Many newbie users select templates based on budget and fancy features. In reality, picking a new template is hardly ever like picking a new pair of shoes. You look for an elegant design or a replica of a famous designer model, within your budget. The question is – is that even right?
Make sure you start with a responsive theme
You should never forget the functionalities you need from your website template before you start picking out one. If you are choosing a blogging template or a template for a company profile, you need to remember the convenience of the users to read the content. Therefore, you must pick a responsive template that target users can access from a wide range of phones and tablets. Since long-form content is on a roll in 2017, always choose a template that supports all kinds of reading modes. It should support Google Fonts, and it should support contact forms and sign up forms on all sorts of devices.
Paid vs. Premium: which WordPress theme we like more
Let us dive into one of the biggest confusions most designers face while designing a website for their clients – free themes or premium themes.
Free WordPress themes are undoubtedly significant for the following reasons –
Now, let us come to the huge array of disadvantages that we face while using free themes –
For any designer or developer, these reasons are enough to push them towards premium themes. SEO-Rochester-NY emphasizes the importance of freedom of creation conferred by the premium themes from verified sources.
Here’s why we love premium themes from WordPress –
Why should YOU go for a premium theme?
Unless you are fooling around for a school project, your website is supposed to be one of the smartest investments of your business career. Now, if you want your site to be resourceful and user-friendly, you will need to customize your website from top to bottom. Free themes are not bad, but you will be taking a lot of unwarranted risk by taking on a free theme and customizing it.
Theme prices usually run between $50 and $100. While you may be thinking, “$80 for a theme! I might as well get one for free”. You have no idea, what a great deal you are getting. For a business website that aims at making hundreds of dollars each day, investing on a $100 theme should be no big deal. You need to start thinking about your business as your source of revenue to understand the ratio of investment to return here.
Where will you find a great WordPress theme?
You can try any reputed WordPress theme creators who specialize in premium themes like ThemeForest, Mojo Themes and Elegant Themes. Our experts can also help you find the theme you need as per your website functionalities and features. From blog themes to e-commerce site themes, most premium theme designers have all kinds of WordPress themes and templates in their coffers.
Right now, 8% of the 100 most famous blogs run on WordPress and 2645 of the 1000 most popular websites are powered by WordPress as well. It is rewriting the history of website development and content management with their fantastic, responsive and intuitive theme designs. To enjoy all the features the leading CMS platform of 2017 has to offer, you need to invest in a theme that allows all kinds of customizations.
Author Bio: Hilary Brunt is a digital marketing expert working with the leading SEO-Rochester-NY agency. She has been around since the modernization of SEO and the advent of the era of responsive themes for websites and blogs.
PHP is an integral part of all WordPress sites. It’s the basic script that makes them tick. PHP 7 is an important upgrade to this already powerful language, an improvement that promises a host of performance tweaks. If you are still having doubts about PHP7, I highly recommend giving it a shot. In this article I will explain why PHP is important, give a gist of its awesome features and then guide you through the migration. Let’s dive in!
PHP is a programming language that helps create websites. It is a server side language i.e. it is the language that browsers use to connect with servers to load web pages. Many websites use PHP, but WordPress was actually built on it. Every WordPress site uses it. The reason behind this symbiosis is the fact that PHP is an open-source language just like WordPress. This is the reason why it is important to upgrade to have a well performing site.
PHP7 is a big leap over its previous versions. You might be thinking of all the hard work put into developing your WordPress site, and now asking to redo some of it might be painful. But, the effort out then is just the reason why you should put some now. Few points that stand out are:
• It has great performance. Twice faster than its previous version.
• More freedom over type declarations.
• Improved error handling.
One of the biggest issues that webmasters face before upgrading to PHP7 is that many web hosts still don’t support it. Worse still, they won’t allow you to update if you’re using a shared plan. Finally you are left with two options, either upgrade your plan to something more user friendly, such as a better web hosting service or switch to dedicated servers. The first one is will save you money so let’s see about it.
Before updating to PHP 7, it is important to check if all your site’s components are compatible with this update. Many new versions of themes and plugins are known to be compatible with PHP 7.
The approach we recommend for testing the website’s compatibility with PHP7 is by setting up a local environment. This way, you can make a copy of your website and test it’s compatibility without affecting your live website. There are many methods to set up a local environment. Our personal favorite is using MAMP. It is available for both Windows and Mac.
Once you are done installing it, follow these steps to test your site on a local environment:
• Take a full backup of your website. Take the help of a plugin such as UpdrafPlus.
• Create a local WordPress site using MAMP and PHP 7. It is set as the default option for any site you set up with the service.
• Install UpdraftPlus on this local site.
• Restore the backup of your site that you took in step 1 to this local environment using UpdraftPlus.
• Now check your website for compatibility issues.
This is the best way you to go about testing to see if your site is PHP 7 ready. Having a local testing environment ready can help you the next time you feel like making any major update to your site.
Perform a speed test to see how much upgrading your site actually benefits you. It varies from site to site. A normal site will have a 1.5 to 3 second cached page load time. The un-cached load times will be about 3.5 to 4.5 seconds. Un-cached times are known to provide a truer performance rating. You will be impressed by how PHP7 shaves time. Pingdom is one of the few tools available for measurement for PHP7 vs. PHP5 performance.
This step is for people who found some errors while testing the themes and plugins. Now, you have two options – the first is to simply update these unsupported elements in case they have new versions. Then, test again and check if the errors still exist. Some plugins may still be in the beta stages.
The other alternative, in case there is no update, is to change the offending themes and plugins. You can look for elements with similar functionalities and design as the older ones would have been selected with specific reasons in mind. WordPress has a huge database. So it wouldn’t be difficult to match make unless you were using a very specific plugin. As for themes, a quick Google search will help you find good alternatives for specific niches.
Now that your site is free of any compatibility issues, it’s time to make the big leap. Yes! Im talking about moving your website to the new host that you have selected in step 1.
I know I make moving our WordPress site to a new host sound like a tall order. It is. But it doesn’t have to be. If you need help, many modern web hosts offer free migrations or tools for customers. It’s another factor you can look for while choosing web hosting options. For technically strong people, you can always migrate your site manually, if you don’t mind taking an extra few steps. The process may take a while though. But the end result should make you grin end to end.
PHP 7 isn’t merely an upgrade from PHP 5, it’s a giant leap forward in terms of performance and technology. If your site is one of the majority WordPress sites that use PHP to run their applications, you are missing out on something big by ignoring this great update.
You are lucky to be a WordPress user as all it takes is just three simple steps and some technical brain stuff to upgrade your website to PHP7 and reap the rewards.
Improving WooCommerce Checkout Page design for Conversions
The checkout page is the final destination for buyers, where all the designing and marketing efforts have to bring out the benefit for the merchant. The potential buyers fill the details, pay the money and finish the order. The process seems to be simple enough, but it involves a continuous effort of understanding user behavior and modifying the design accordingly.
The improvement of a WooCommerce checkout page depends on the specific business needs, how its target users react to an option, and what are the prevailing trends. For most of the business, the defined trends work perfectly fine, but for others, it may be useless.
For example, a common trend is to simplify the checkout by removing the extra fields. You can easily do so with plugins like WooCommerce checkout field editor. This pluginallows you to reduce some fields or replace them with easy-to-answer options.
Running an online store is quite different than a physical one. In a local brick and mortar store, you personally interact with the buyers, so you have an ample amount of time to convince them until they leave your shop. But, on the checkout page, you are unable to know why exactly a user is abandoning a cart. So, you have to keep on improving the user experience by trying and testing different options. Following are some of the valuable tips that may help you enhance the WooCommerce checkout page design for a higher conversion rate.
1. Create visual context
Visual context is a significant part of designing checkout for better conversions. Improve navigational help towards the call to action through appealing icons, images, and options. Make the users feel comfortable with the design so that they can easily fill billing and shipping details.
The visual form of content is more impressive and important than text. With a visual context, a user can easily distinguish each step of a checkout process. For example, displaying the processes with breadcrumbs can help them know the progress of checking out. You can unleash the power of visuals in a different context that can ultimately improve conversions.
2. Display checkout buttons at multiple positions
The core idea of a checkout design is to create ease for the users in finding the call to action. Ultimately, the users will have to take action. The users’ inability in finding a checkout button may increase cart abandonment rate. To serve them successfully close the deal, try to add call to action buttons at the top of the checkout page as well as the bottom.
Most online users are quite accustomedin finding a checkout button at the end of the page. But, displaying the same button on the top facilitates them to complete the order without scrolling down. The result is a swift and hassles free shopping experience.
3. Show credit card logos and security signs
The online buyers are extra careful in sharing details to the eCommerce websites since most of them are not secure and trustworthy. To make them trust your web shop and make the purchases, display security seals on the checkout pages and logos of the payment options.
WooCommerce is a secure platform, but hackers are always in pursuit finding new ways to access your user data and avail and compromise their funds and privacy. You can strengthen the security by installing reliable extensions and SSL certificate, so the users know that they are browsing a safe and secure shopping platform.
The unavailability of payment gateways is also a barrier in getting higher conversions. Most online users either have restrictions on paying cross border fees or worried for the foreign exchange conversion. It may stop them from completing the transaction. To help them easily pay for your products, you can configure multiple payment gateways and display their logos on the checkout page.
4. Add continue shopping button
It is not uncommon that users spend a few moments for the final look at the checkout. They may add new products to the cart or miss adding a few they needed. This is most annoying when the this thought returns during the final stages of the checkout. Now, for them, going back means erasing the information they have already entered. Right there, add a ‘Continue Shopping’ button and help them buy anything else while keeping the selected products in the cart.
Adding a ‘continue shopping’ button gives them a chance to select more products without losing the data. For example, a user selects 2 shirts for kids. But, at the checkout page, he comes to know that he will have to incur shipping charges for his limited shopping. If he decides to wave off these charges by shopping for himself, he will need a ‘continue shopping’ button the most. Similar scenarios happen all the timewhere the customers needs a direct access to shopping page while retaining the cart and the entered information.
A pro is to use different colors for the checkout and Continue Shopping buttons. This will help users to distinguish the functionality of each button and can take the required action.
5. Make the user registration optional
A user is not necessarily interested in your business, as most of them like to make purchases without signing up for an account. Prompting them to create an account before completing an order is a riskymaneuver. Make it a voluntary task to let them continue shopping either as a guest user or a registered one.
The first time visitors of your WooCommerce website may not trust you as much as a regular user. So, making the registration compulsory may prevent them from converting into loyal customers. Offer them to carry on shopping without sharing their personal details. Once they get a positive experience out of your checkout page they will come again to purchase for more and most likely register
The primary purpose of the checkout page is not getting users to sign up for registration. Make it as smooth and distraction free as you can, and the users will definitely return. Give your users the freedom to checkout as a guest or let them register as they please.
WooCommerce is getting famous for its simple anduser savvy interface. It has facilitated merchants to modify their store designs with simple plug-in installation. You can improve the design with visual context, remove the irrelevant fields and use minimalistic attributesto allow users continue shopping. Applying any feature or function to your WooCommerce checkout page requires a thorough understanding of the users and the calculated results after its implementation. You can surely try the above tips to enhance conversion ratio of your eCommerce website.
Paul SImmons holds expertise in Ecommerce web design and development, and has successfully delivered projects in Magento, WordPress, Shopify, Woocommerce, Joomla and other CMS/shopping cart platforms. His work can be found on FMEAddons, a leading ecommerce web design and development agency. 7 years + experience in Magento, WP and custom work.
Are there effective SEO strategies that are underestimated by the marketers? Well, not rightly so, since the industry has matured with time. Presently, there is quite a bit of transparency working that helps in sharing and uncovering every successful SEO tactic to ensure minimal left-outs. The concept of reverse engineer plays a crucial role in the process, investigating the source behind a highly successful site.
After conducting a thorough marketing research, it has been noticed that a lot of people are living, with a false mindset in regard to SEO marketing concepts. Falling for these illogical SEO traps could prove to be fatal for your business. Let us analyze the scenario:
Misjudging The SEO Concept
Many tech-savvy companies, as well as, start-ups are of the opinion that the SEO approach is primarily used for developing an effective marketing campaign, as per the requirement of the targeted audience. After all, Google’s engineers would never be offering any kind of extra advantage to those who are into Manipulative SEO in comparison to those who simply make those great stuffs. Due to Manipulative SEO, a lot of people start to ignore learning SEO in details. They even overlook the importance of recruiting a professional SEO agency in Mumbai or other places. Neither do they try to invest in legitimate SEO practices to improve the potentially of their site’s traffic generation ability. Well, it may sound weird, but it is taking place more commonly these days.
Spams Don’t Work; Or Do They?
A lot of White Hat SEO users stay away from spam. They think that spam will never work and would result in banning the site. It is not their fault. Over the last few years, Google’s SEO guidelines have made it really difficult for spammers to make use of the process, with the perfect outcome. However, it is also a fact that after reaching a certain height of SEO marketing, a little bit of spamming can prove to be effective in making your page retain the TOP 10 spot on notable search engine pages. And the funny part? Google never makes a strong move to wipe away the spam completely! Crap content and spam-linked networks continue to pop up on sites and search results. What would you tell about this scenario?
Non-spams Take Time, But Definitely Work
SEO marketers using gray and black hat techniques never accept the credibility of non-spam SEO strategies. They try to poke and make fun of SEO approaches that follow the White Hat route. Remember, White Hat SEO approach can take a bit of time to establish its credibility and gain momentum, but in the long run, it stands nil chance to get banned from reputed search engines.
Before signing off, I want to raise awareness: what is it that really counts for an effective SEO campaigning? Can illogical steps be applied sometimes to make a site SEO-friendly or should you follow only the legitimate approach? Only the future would tell.
Author Bio: Walter Moore is a SEO expert and entrepreneur. He runs a blog where he talks about solid SEO practices, new updates and trends and also recommends great sites and services like GingerDomain.com. He enjoys sharing his experiences and knowledge with his readers.
Being a website owner or a blogger, you should always know the behavior of your web visitors whenever they visit your site in realtime. By tracking the action of your web visitors on your site, you can generate better user experience for them, which in turn, boosts your conversions as well as sales.
However, getting the insights about how web users interact with your site can be a challenging task,but with the use of available website builders or user friendly CMS platform like WordPress, you can simplify your work efficiently. WordPress comes with a ton of Heatmap tools and plugins that will help you see where your realtime users click on your site, how they interact, and how they scroll your web pages.
This is a great way to know which areas of your site have got most clicks and views. These tools can help you engage more users towards your site by improving its usability and readability. So, if you have big goals for your web business, make sure you integrate heatmaps to know where you visitors are paying more attention.
If the spots are brighter in color, then it means they are high-click zones. And if the color fades out, then it means they are low click zones. In short, this technology can help you know whether your potential visitors click on your targeted areas or not, such as logins, purchases or downloads.
So, with that concept in mind, we bring you a list of 10 most trending heatmap plugins that will help you get detailed insights about your WordPress site on the fly.
With more than 10,000 active users, Clicky Analytics has become one of the best heatmap plugins for WordPress sites. It can help you track and collect the number of clicks within your web page. The plugin generates the heatmap on the basis of an individual web page.
It gives a complete information as well as graphical stats about your real-time web visitors, their number of visits, the number of clicks, organic searches, bounce rate and a lot more directly on your WordPress admin panel.
The plugin adds Clicky Web Analytics tracking code in each of your web pages to let you track your visitor’s behaviors with ease.
Crazyegg is an amazing WordPress tool that can help you track each and every mouse click on your web page. It allows you to see what your visitors are doing on your site in real-time.
The tool comes with a ton of exciting feature such as click data heatmap, overlay for a number of clicks on a particular area of your web page, scroll-map tracking, and you can even know where your visitors are coming from (based on referral sources).
The best thing about Crazyegg is that it offers a free WordPress plugin that you can integrate into your blog to get the most of it, without any external resources.
Get complete insights about your web visitor’s behavior whenever they access your website using SumoMe tool. It is a great heatmap plugin that will help you know where your users are clicking on your site so that you can improve its usability and let your visitors spend more time on your site.
With its in-built functionality, you can track the number of clicks on each web page and also introduce some innovative ideas to know how your visitors are spending their time on your website. This information will let you improve the User Interface of your WordPress site with ease.
Clicktale is one of the most incredible mouse-tracking tools that offers a ton of rich features, such as data-driven heatmaps, conversion funnels, session playback, interactive stats about your visitor’s behavior and a lot more.
The plugin displays the clear picture of a consumer journey on your WordPress site. You can detect what your visitors are doing on your site so that you can give more reasons to stay longer and generate more conversions for your business.
Tip: Clicktale offers a free plan that serves up to 400 page views/per month.
If you want to optimize your conversion rates, then you will need to integrate a tool that can help you track the mouse-clicks on each of your web pages. SessionCam is an ultimate WordPress plugin that comes with a whole gamut of heatmaps, tracking and reporting tools to let you see user activity on your site in real-time.
It is a responsive plugin that works across multiple devices and screen sizes. With the help of this information, you can improve the areas where you are getting least clicks and also add CTAs to drive more attention – this can boost the UI of your WordPress site with ease.
Ptengine is a free heatmap and analytics plugin that helps you track and collect information about your potential web visitors on the go. You can integrate this plugin into your WordPress site to know where people are clicking on your website.
It comes with some of the advanced features such as scrolling rates, data-driven heatmaps, multi-device monitoring, and well-detailed statistics about how your visitors spend time on your site.
Mouseflow is another powerful heatmap and analytics tool that track the mouse movements of users such as clicks, scrolls, form filling and other keystrokes to let you know how they are browsing your site.
The tool comes both in free and paid plan. The Paid plan starts at $10per month, in which you will get unlimited pro features such as responsive support, page tracking, clear heatmaps, well-crafted details on each of your web visitor.
Lucky Orange is beyond a heatmap plugin. It also offers a chat functionality on your WordPress site. It lets you track your user’s movement in the form of visual representation so that you can interact with them in real-time.
The plugin helps you display heatmap of clicks and scrolls on your WordPress website in a matter of few minutes. You can also identify how users are interacting with your CTAs, forms and other elements within your site.
Find out how your real-time web visitors interact with your WordPress site using heatmap.me plugin. With this tool, you can see the heatmaps of clicks and scrolls on your web pages to know where your visitors are spending most of their time such as menu, sliders, and forms.
By collecting the data related to user behavior, you can improve the user experience of your sites to give more values to your real-time web visitors.
ExtraWatch Pro helps you monitor your web visitor’s action via clicks and scrolls on your site. You can see your visitors in real-time, click on heatmap data to know where your web visitors are clicking. It also helps you track your conversion rate as well as bounce rate. You will also get the Anti-spam tool to let you keep your site safe and secure.
These are the top 10 heatmaps tools and plugins for WordPress that gives you complete details about your user’s mouse movements like clicks and scrolls, All the plugins listed in this blog post can help the conversion rate of your site with ease.
Lucy Barret is a Web Developer with over 5 years experience. She is currently employed at a HireWPGeeks and handles all major projects. She is also a passionate writer and loves to write technical articles. Follow her on Twitter.
Website designing is not child’s play. It definitely helps to have a couple of smart tools to help you with the design process from time to time. You will especially feel the need of tools when you are designing a responsive website within a short period of time. Adding tools and plugins to your repository will make the designing process more precise and less time consuming.
That being said, here’s a list of the top 40 tools every designer must have to make the design process faster, smoother and error-free.
These 40 tools are amazing for making the entire website designing process rewarding. Most of these tools are either free or they come with free trial versions. You can easily use a combination of more than one tool to create a perfectly working, responsive website within a couple of hours.
Forget hours of debugging and optimizing HTML codes. A couple of these tools can cut your work hours down to a bare minimum, by eliminating errors.
Author bio: Isabella Rossellini is an experienced web designer and freelance writer. She has worked with various clients. In her spare time, She likes to update her blog with web design and finance related articles.
The true mojo of a great WordPress website lies in its visual appeal and the smooth functioning when it comes to a visitor’s choice of revisiting the website. Everything can be in its right place, yet the magic might fail. As a website owner, you would want a lot of people to visit your site again and again. And why not! You have shredded the last piece of your mental creativity to infuse all your efforts into your dream website.
You put up great content, and you update the old ones; not to forget that you have got your SEO game on point too. But, why is it so that in spite of the huge bounce rate, there are fewer conversions. We believe that the following reasons lead to lesser page views.Your website loading time is slow. To fix this issue, you must give thorough research before finalizing web hosting company.Your target audience has lost the enthusiasm to re-visit your site or for that matter, recommend it to other users. No matter, what factor could be playing the culprit here, you and your website are at the receiving end of this nightmare.You have failed to interlink the pages in your website with each-other and hence the users are not redirected towards the purpose.Displaying related posts at the end of your website posts is an important strategy. This will further redirect site visitors to more content on your site, giving the site an extended site visit time by every other site visitor.Page views tend to get lower when the social engagement of the website is not capable enough of internet exposure. You post content that isn’t binding enough and fails to entertain the visitor to lead them to stay.
Now that we are aware of the possible reasons for less page views, it’s time to get to the solution rundown as well. With so many tools and tips at your disposal, we hope that following these 7 ways will boost the page views of your WordPress site.
Give your website design a thought
If you are doing everything right, and the problem exists; chances are that your website designing and formatting need levelling up. They say that the first impression is the last one, too; and that goes for your WordPress site as well. The internet audience is a rude species, given the humongous amount of online content which is available for them to consume. If you fail to impress them on the first visit, they are gone.
So, if your site is experiencing fewer page views, you must consider getting a fresh formatting. Change the sidebars, or entirely change the theme. Give all the essential, trendy elements for your website so that it can drive in more and more audience. A functional and trendy UI will work just the right way to charm your visitors.
Load your website faster
This is the most important factor in this list that determines the whole game of page views. Online visitors are in haste and will wait for 2-3 seconds, on a maximum scale – in order to check out whatever you have to offer. If your website crawls like a snail, they will hardly stay to see what’s under the curtain even if it’s worth the wait.
Create compelling content
Ever gave a thought to the factors that make your website standout in the crowd? Does your website really standout? If the answer is in the negatives, your site endeavours are in deep sinking waters. Don’t just put up content for the sake of some words – they are what your website is all about. Make sure that the content you craft appeals to the masses that are relevant to your industry or sector.
Understand your audience expectations and then get to the action part. Present the information in a way which is less tedious to go through and in fact has a playful undertone. Infuse elements like infographics, short videos, and slideshows to hit the visual appeal nerve of your target audience. Do not overdo the length of your content.
Cleverly engage the audience
Now, this is a huge bird to catch because it comprises of several points that have to be taken care of. It gets imperative to hold your visitor for a while onto your website and prompt them to explore the maximum amount of sections and pages. These tips can help.Always keep your best posts as featured content on your site. If they have been hugely shared by users on social networking sites, they will leave a good impression on unique visitors.If you interlink the pages in the right manner, your task is half done. You can send them to your blog page or just some other relevant link from your own site.Make website navigation easier. If a new viewer visits your site and gets confused when they can’t find your sidebar (because you got too creative with the sidebar’s position), they will run away.So, you post two times a day and just get away with doing so, if you don’t find time. That is the worst thing that you can do to your website. Make sure that you engage your existing audience regularly to earn their loyal engagement and site visits.
Always use excerpts
If you haven’t, you must consider getting excerpts on the home page of your website or the blog site. In WordPress, each post has an excerpt section that can do wonders into driving the viewer to click the link to your page from the search results. If you handcraft the best excerpt, this can be huge help to your site’s page views.
SEO of the website
You can never get away with a bad SEO strategy for your precious WordPress site. Get Yoast SEO plugin for your site to help you optimize the content of your website pages. This plugin will take care of all the important post elements that will help the search engines to produce your site in the search results whenever someone is looking for related information.
After you have made all the right moves, it is important that you distribute the content of your site in a manner that it reaches the right audience. Using social networking platforms along with tried and tested social sharing plugins will help the users reach your website, thereby increasing the number of page views.
Employing the best user-oriented website strategies is the key to satisfying the site visitor to utmost content. If you succeed in impressing a few unique visitors for regular engagement, then you will definitely nail the high points that we have mentioned in the list above. Also, increased page views will mean a higher probability of increased website conversions. All you will need to do is identify your target audience and act in accordance with the list to achieve substantial user engagement for your wonderful WordPress site.
So, if you think these points were helpful for you, let us know in the comments below. Also, feel free to share any tips that we might have missed. We always appreciate your feedback.
Catherrine Garcia is a passionate blogger and a freelance Web Developer. She along with her group of freelance developers, are experts of creating Websites on CMS.
You can be a blogger for years and yet go on without knowing the difference between a WordPress plugin and a theme. Well, we have met quite a few bloggers and WordPress users in real life, who have no clue about the differences between WordPress themes and plugins.
Let is read this account from a designer who learnt the existence of the two separate identities in the hard way –
“When my website gave up on me” – this is an account by Neil Winston, who started only a couple of years ago as a website designer. When he built his first website, he almost“built it by fluke”. He had no idea what the plugins were and how they could be used to complement his WordPress theme. Therefore, when he started off with a fashion designer’s website, he chose a theme that was around $40.99. He had found the perfect theme for a bargain price, or so he thought. It had drag-and-drop editors, built in revolution sliders and gallery options. It was perfect for a website designer.
He spent over 4 weeks fine-tuning each feature and then handed the site over to his clients. The clients were happy and left satisfied.
The problem arose when they returned after 4 months. They were rebranding their label and wantedto change in the old theme. Therefore, when Neil tried out new themes he found that the sliders had disappeared and the drag-and-drop editor morphed itself into a bunch of shortcodes. Even the gallery was all hotchpotch. He was in a fix! He had a deadline to meet and there was no way he could tell his clients that he knew nothing about WordPress. So he turned to BigDropInc.com.
What actually happened to Neil’s website?
Neil was not a hardcore developer so it took him some time to understand that themes and plugins are completely separate entities. His website theme was quite awesome at first, since it included quite a few functionalities including drag-and-drop editors and listing charts. The moment he shifted to a new theme that didn’t have the supporting codes, these features were not integrated and were merely represented as shortcodes.
What’s a theme?
If WordPress websites are like houses, then your theme is like the exterior. It controls the visual parts like color, layouts, and design. In a WordPress site, the theme controls the “display logic”. The theme takes care of information organization and representation in front of your visitors. It takes care of your pages, posts and sidebars.
If you are currently operating a blog page, your theme will control all aspects like the header, footer and post display. It will also control the images and the snippets of posts displayed on the sidebars. Even the author detail displayed on each post comes with these themes.
What’s a WordPress plugin?
Now, going back to the house metaphor – if themes are the exterior, the plugins are the interior upgrades. For example – modular kitchen, mahogany polished antique furniture and marble bath fittings are an upgrade to your home interiors. Similarly, the plugins upgrade the interior functions of your website.
Plugins can modify core codes of WordPress themes in quite a few ways. You can add, remove and change codes to modify website functionalities.
Why are some of us still confused?
Sometimes the line between plugins and themes is not as defined as we would want them to be. There are themes that help with SEO and then there are plugins that help with visual properties. There are quite a few themes that we see today, which lets users to add listings and pricing tables to their own websites.
We are not saying that it is unethical to use such themes and plugins that blur the line between the two entities. All we are saying is, if you use a theme that takes care of functionalities other than visual appearance, you may face the same problem as Neil. His website started acting crazy because his first theme of choice had added functionalities. The moment he made his shift to a newer theme, these features fell apart since the new theme did not have these built-in functionalities.
Therefore, using plugins that act on visual traits are all right. Since you can carry over your plugins to a new theme.Nevertheless, if you use a website theme that also modifies functionality, you may be calling for trouble. You should ideally look for a theme that concentrates on optimizing the visual aspects of your websites and leaves the functionalities to your plugins.
Do codes in themes perform better than plugins?
Well, we do not blame you if you believe this to be true from time to time. We keep hearing how plugins can cause performance issues and we end up thinking that maybe codes are better off with themes. The action of plugins should be as minimized as possible.
However, this belief is quite baseless. A plugin code is executed quite similar to a theme code. The only difference is the timing. They are executed at the same rate and none of them has any advantage over the other. So one thing can be said for sure, that themes are not better than plugins when it comes to executing codes.
Why are plugins better than themes?
You may think, this is like comparing apples to oranges. Or like comparing 0’s to 1’s. However, we say, it is quite possible in the binary world. So if you ask, “are plugins better than themes when it comes to functionality?” we will answer it with a “Yes”.
Here are the reasons why –
1. Your plugins will help you to convert your codes into chunks. This is necessary when you are working on a large project. Debugging and maintenance becomes a lot easier when you break your code down to small chunks. In fact, since you can maintain each plugin individually you can always track down the ones that are malfunctioning.
2. If your functionality is plugin based, you can simply remove or monitor it by modifying the plugin. If your plugin relation features are breaking down, you will not have to delve deep into the core code. You can simply open the plugins directory and deactivate and remove the concerned plugins. Plugins create a compartmentalization of labor that is necessary for efficient management of website.
3. Changing themes are challenging if your website functionality resides in the theme code. Most of your functionality should reside with the plugins. When you shift from one theme to another, you will be able to easily migrate all functionalities to your new themes. If you have all shortcodes inside your plugins, you can just upload a new theme and activate the plugins.
4. Have you ever seen a designer add customizations to functions.php and style.css? This is possible because they can add new improvements without having to migrate each and every change manually. It is ideally possible to update and enhance your plugins separately. You can add them to new themes, remove them from old ones and even update them without touching the theme. Storing your website shortcodes inside plugins can also mean, updating them from time to time without creating a butterfly effect on the theme core code.
5. You can run a 100 plugins on your website without any impact and we are not making this up! Plugins do not slow your website down. They do not perform queries on your website database and they do not load resources. Many active and super successful websites currently run over a 100 plugins all the time. Maintaining so many plugins is also possible since they can be accessed through the plugin directory. You can directly see their performance, database usage and functionalities from one platform.
So if you are still confused about plugins and themes, and would rather have a theme with all the shortcodes, think again! A plugin can only be evil when they are built incorrectly. If you are choosing a WordPress plugin from a reliable website/directory or WordPress plugins library, be sure to read the reviews thoroughly before adding it and activating it.
If you are looking for a theme for your website, we would suggest you stick to one that has minimum functionalities. Lots of shortcodes within the theme core code won’t do you any good when you have to change themes. There are plugins to take care of all functionalities including listings and inventories. So why burden your theme code with unnecessary frills? After all, you can add as many plugins as you want and your website will still run as smoothly (if not more) as it did before.
Author Bio: Evans Walsh is an author, blogger and designer. He started off as a freelance website designer is the late 90s. He has seen the rise and fall of many website design trends, including the minimalist design of the 90s and the glam trend of the 2000s. He has collaborated on several design optimization projects with BigDropInc.com over the last couple of years.
Running an online business is like keeping an eye on every web design trend that put forth an ultimate level of comfort in searching for products. The common search method includes typing a word or phrase related to a product a user need. And, the website returns with a variety of search results, which may or may not match the users’ requirements. The visual search comes to rescue the users who are looking for their desired store items, but unable to find enter the right key term.
The online store often focuses the quality and presentation of its products, but forgets to each the users in finding an item they are craving for. To improve the user experience, the eCommerce websites clarify the call to actions, educate users, or simply add custom options for product personalization.
The addition of such a valuable feature either requires code modification or installation of an extension either you use WooCommerce, Magento, WordPress, or PrestaShop. The WooCommerce Product Addon is a recommended solution for adding consumer-centered options that allow them to personalize the end product. By adding custom options, you can define different product attributes to facilitate the visual search. For example, a user uploads image of white frock with tussles for 10-12 years old kids, the visual search will only return with an exact match if you have defined the attributes.
What is visual search and how it works?
Visual search is an amazing technology that allows a user to search an online store by an image or short video. Finding a product becomes difficult in an online store that rack hundreds of items and each varies in color, style, and design. A visual search takes an image and matches it with the product gallery to come up with the most matching results.
The excessive use of mobile technology and social media, the users are more attracted towards the visuals of a brand. And, they often remember a favorite product by its appearance. Defining such an appearance in words is difficult, which makes it hard to enter the query that lands them on their required product pages.
The visual search relieves the users in memorizing the name, style, model, make or additional features of a product. All they have to do is take a snap, upload it to an eCommerce website and find the available variety. You might agree to the fact that you come across a lovely shirt that is in use by one of your Facebook friends. It is not right to ask him, so you take the picture and visual search it at your favorite store. And, you find an exact match.
Should you incorporate visual search in your store?
The visual search technology is a step forward in enhancing the user experience. In general, a potential buyer is not aware of the product classification. It is often difficult to click the right category and find a list of relevant products. For the same reasons, the search option by word was introduced. It is quite successful to the extent of user understand. A user can enter a query as long as he has sound knowledge about a product. In contrast to this, the visual search seems to be quite rewarding.
The decision either you should incorporate the technology of visual search into your store depends on you. If you are dealing with a set of products that are attractive, catchy and frequently followed by users, then you need to consider it soon. For instance, a ladies purse shop must provide such an opportunity to allow the users to find a variety of purse that matches in style, color, and design with the one they are looking for. Following are some of the benefits that may help you decide the implementation of such a technology to your online shop. You can also try Shopify plus to open an online store.
It’s more natural
An online store lists products with relevant images. The users who directly reach a landing page may not face the difficult. But, a great majority visits the eCommerce websites to browse the categories or enter a word or phrase about the product. It could be a painstaking job for the person who neither knows the name nor any attribute of the product he needs.
Browsing products through images is a natural process. It gives the users the real understanding about the fabric, makes and manufacture of the product. By allowing them to search by images of their own, they can screen out all the irrelevant products and reach the items they need the most.
Increased accuracy in real time
If you want your users to find exactly what they are looking for, the visual search technology is here to relieve them. The eCommerce websites are optimized for a set of keywords, and common phrases. What if the user types something out of the context? What if a user is completely ignorant of the common words that are in practice for a specific product? He will input a self-coined phrase and get disappointed to the list of irrelevant products.
The user of keywords is quite successful to grab higher search engine rankings and reach a well-educated community. You might be busy in adjusting the common search terms in the product page title, description, and meta details, whereas a set of users might be struggling to enter a term relevant to the product.
It streamlines product images
We often populate landing pages with as much product images as we can, just to provide a better picture to the audience. By implementing the visual search technology, you can get rid of most of the similar images on product pages that are overburdening the store uselessly.
Remove the excessive images and provide one clear image that may match to the one a user is expected to upload. The user, most probably, will have an idea what the product, so showing a few images can do the game rather than creating an entire gallery. The creation and maintenance of product image galleries are among hectic jobs. It may cost you numerous valuable hours of your staff. To cut short the entire process, you can replace multiple similar images with a glorified one.
It is a modern day need
The online shopping is a multi-billion dollar industry and is expected to expand with the increased use of mobile technology. The ease of capturing images on smartphones and easily sends it to friends has resulted in a magnanimous growth in eCommerce. The visual search can be another sensation by allowing the users to capture their favorite items and find them without any hassle.
The mobile and smartphone users can avail the opportunity to easy and fast search. They can roam around their schools and college, and quickly take a snap of a dress, shoes, or anything they like. Upload the image and get matching products on the go.
We, the human beings, are always attracted to the visuals. A product that is defined in a text may not be as appealing as in a quality image. The same happens in real world. The eCommerce websites try to reach a concerned audience, but they get mesmerized by the products they see practically. With a visual search, you can allow them to grab that product in the picture and get a matching piece for themselves. It removes the hassle of asking the details. It is a way forward in taking care of your valuable customers. They will feel obliged by such an option and would like to revisit.
Paul Simmons is an eCommerce web development enthusiast. He has lots of themes and extensions to his credit that are developed for the prominent platforms, including WooCommerce, WordPress, Magento and Joomla. These days, he is overlooking the web development team at FMEAddon.
WordPress is an awesome blogging platform, and a huge number of individuals begin their WordPress blog journey every day – whether it’s self-hosted on a web server or as a free WordPress.com blog. Blogging seems to be the trend that isn’t going away for at least the next decade.
Like an individual, blogs too have their own identity, which is visible as the content on your blog. It is very easy to find if a particular blog that you are reading is being run by a new blogger or an experienced one. You may be putting up the right content but bam! No success yet.
There are many things which we can do to make our blog appealing and in this post, we will discuss the best of the many tips that you can utilize for your blog’s success. To do blogging the right way, read on.
Craft attractive and appealing Content
Composing new and appealing content should be your priority as a blogger. This is your only sure shot attempt to pull the positively good activity towards your WordPress blog. If your content is not good, its purpose is half way defeated. Apart from good content, it is imperative for your blog to stay fresh and the old content be updated at regular intervals of time.
Apart from this, also make sure that your content has visual appeal. A great infographic, a presentation slide or just a simple video will work the deal for you.
Get your Blog noticed
In today’s competitive world, creating a trendy WordPress blog won’t be enough. You will need to do thorough research about your targeted blog audience. You must know what array of online audience will be interested in the type of content your blog sports. The demographics, the section of the online audience, and the purpose of their visit has to be monitored in prior.
The most fundamental and essential element to get your site noticed is to actually work on the distribution of its posts. There are countless online platforms available for sharing the published blogposts so that your blog gets all the fresh exposure.
Tune in with other bloggers
There are very strong probabilities that you aren’t the only one blogging about your topic on the Internet. So, find some bloggers and begin taking part and commenting on their web blogs. Most bloggers allow unanimous comments on their blog and if that isn’t the case, follow the blog by registering to their email newsletter. Also having best email marketing service providers for your blog can help here too to get you lot of leads. collecting leads from your blogs is always good.
You’ll get a few guests from their blog, as well as build an affinity with the creator to consider a link building relationship.
Another essential component to get your WordPress blog noticed is to get in touch with like-minded and relevant members of the blogging community. This community can comprise of the bloggers that write about the same niche as yours. They can provide you valuable inputs about how to improvise upon the blogging work.
Make share that you engage in their blogging platform as well. It will spread a decent informal exchange and bring more readers to your WordPress site when their readers learn about your blog through comments.
A decent blogger is the one who uses the feedback from its readers to make their WordPress blog engaging. It is important with a view to retaining loyal followers and readers.
Moreover, if you use the feedback of your clients and followers, you will get to understand what areas require more effort. This will help you to get experiences about your readers on how they think, feel about your blog. It will also help you learn more about new blog audience and to roll out improvements in an expected manner.
Take part in the Online Community
Participating in the online community helps you bring traffic to your blog or site. All you need to do is take part in discussions and online forums to promote your blog and to draw in clients and followers. Taking part in online discussions will help you make your site inventive and imaginative. Reddit is a great online community that can come to your use for such interactions.
In today’s time, guest posting on other famous blogs is an effective and efficient promotional form for bloggers from around the globe. Popular websites keep looking for guest bloggers with an expectation of unearthing great content for their site along with gaining linkbacks.
All you will need to do is get in touch with sites that are seeking guest posts. Once they are up and ready, you can send them the content. This will bring a new-found recognition and new followers for your blog as well. Submitting your blog details and links to various websites is a good move to make as well.
Utilizing Email Signatures
To bring traffic to your WordPress blog, use your email signature with links to your blog. If you are using WordPress as a blogging platform, you are well aware that you can post awesome author bios at the end of the post. If not, consider getting a plugin to help your readers and guests to get in touch with you to give you feedback and remarks.
Using these email signatures gives the followers an approach to remain connected with the blog owner. It makes them feel that you esteem their proposals and their needs are more vital to you. By doing this you will draw the individuals from various areas which can make your blog well known.
Inspire your readers to comment
If a reader comments on your post, they clearly have something to state. This might just be a sudden flair but that is what needs to be tapped. Whenever you reply to a new comment on your blog, you leave an impression that the comment matters to you. By answering to your readers, you encourage a relationship that can be fruitful for the popularity of your blog.
Once the readers know your state of mind as a blog owner, they will begin sharing the post on their own social media accounts and feeds.
Social Sharing of the blogposts
Social sharing plugins on the Internet can do miracles to multiply your blog’s popularity. Basic social networking platform like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ communities, and Instagram are the easiest way to share your blog. You can also go the extra edge by using other great blog sharing platforms like StumbleUpon, Triberr,Blog engage etc.
One of the reasons as to why a successful blog is such a huge challenge is the fact that the Internet is over-crowded with millions of blogs on different blogging platforms. Many bloggers give up to this challenge after a couple of months because their blog isn’t that popular the way they expected it to be.
Being a blogger or site owner, it becomes imperative to make your blog prevalent and easy to use. If you need to drive heavy traffic to your blog, then you ought to take a look at these strategies specified above in this blog. You will get links eventually, and as your blog get older, it will gain more and more trust. After all, running a purposeful, popular and money-minting blog isn’t as easy a pie.