WordPress Page Builders have a controversial history, but things have changed. Read this and learn how Page Builders can help your team.
WordPress Page Builders have a controversial history. Early visual design tools for WordPress were clunky and, behind the scenes, outputted code that was slow-loading and poor in quality. Not only that, Page Builders were often bundled together with WordPress themes, which made it very difficult to change themes or reuse any of a page’s copy and imagery without rebuilding. It’s no surprise that many developers and WordPress veterans avoided Page Builders and opted to hand-code pages using HTML and CSS. These days, things are very different. Page Builders have matured and instead of slowing down content creation workflows, they speed them up and enable more people to be involved in the website building process. This might sound like a “too many cooks in the kitchen” situation, but as companies and teams grow, individuals that make up those teams tend to specialize.
With a visual design tool, like a Page Builder, your copywriter can work on writing while a designer imagines the aesthetics, branding, and visual direction. A marketing team can A/B test and optimize funnels while a translation team works on localization. Anyone that’s involved with the website
Who is your main point of contact for your website development project? It's your Project Manager. Here are the questions you should ask.
Who is your main point of contact for your website development project? If you guessed the Project Manager, you are correct! Once your project is ready to kick off, you will be introduced to your project team, which includes a dedicated Project Manager. The Project Manager will be communicating introductions, status updates, deliverables, requirements, and more. Communication is very important during a website project. The ultimate goal is for the Project Manager is to ensure the client is fully aware of the project life cycle, timeline and status. The Project Manager will be asking various questions throughout the project discovery, development, QA and launch phase, but there are three key questions that you should always ask your Project Manager.
“How will we be communicating throughout the project?”
Typically, a Project Manager will plan how communications will take place between the project team and client well in advance of the project kick-off. Whether it’s via email, Slack, or a weekly status call, there is a primary way communication is delivered. At the initial kick-off call, you should ask the Project Manager to provide information on how communications will
Yours truly interviewed by Kinsta on how I started my WordPress plugin business, what challenges I found along the way and much more. Hopefully it inspires those who are thinking of getting started, the same as others inspired me.
Robert Abela is the CEO and founder of WP White Security, a European based company which develops WordPress security plugins. They also blog about all things related to WordPress security. You can find Robert on Twitter and LinkedIn. This is our recent interview with him, as part of our Kinsta Kingpin series.
Q1: What is your background, & how did you first get involved with WordPress?
In 2013 I was a product manager at a security software company, and we needed a blog for our website to share our research findings. After reviewing a few solutions, we chose WordPress. As a security software company, we were also interested in the security side of WordPress and were quite surprised by how much of an easy target WordPress was back then. We had developed an online security service for WordPress ourselves, but it never really took off.
When we started using WordPress, I also started following the WordPress community and was surprised by the number of people making a living from WordPress. I decided to go solo and start offering WordPress security services – I started cleaning hacked websites and doing security hardening. While freelancing I needed an activity log solution for
All of the latest news from CodeinWP, Themeisle, and Revive Social. What worked and what didn't in 2018. Plus, WCPune.
Welcome to the 47th edition of the monthly transparency report (for December 2018). In this series, I go through what’s happening in the business and discuss our projects, plans, wins and struggles. Click here to see the previous reports. With the new year well under way, it’s perhaps a good moment to look back at 2018 and evaluate the progress we made, the challenges we faced, all the good and bad things, and also discuss what we’re planning to accomplish in 2019.
Let’s get right to it:
Elementor acquires Layers WP and makes all Layers themes available for free
Today, I’m excited to announce that Elementor has acquired Layers WP, a popular WordPress theme company. For those of you who are not aware, Layers is a WordPress theme brand, launched in 2014 by WordPress veterans, David and Marc Perel. With some beautiful themes, Layers saw much success over the years, partnering with Envato and other major players in the market. Back in 2015, Layers won #2 on Product Hunt and attracted a lot of attention. Over the years Layers accumulated over 375,000 downloads worldwide.
With the change of the tide in the WordPress ecosystem and the fast-paced shift towards all-in-one solutions in its market, David and Marc approached us with a proposal. We met in London, and were impressed by the enthusiasm and approach of these two creative entrepreneurs. Both of us found common ground in our approach and vision, and decided to explore the option of an acquisition.
Layers were looking to hand over the project to the right company. They wanted to find a complimentary product for their themes, a product that offered an intuitive and easy to use solution for designing a WordPress website. Their selling point was that Elementor could stand to benefit from the
Are you being consistent with your website branding? Learn the basics of branding your website successfully from an expert WordPress website designer.
Your website is a direct representation of your company’s brand. That is why it is crucial that your website is consistent, clear, and does a good job of representing that brand across all platforms and on the website itself. It can be quite easy to stray away from your brand with all of the new functionality or customization of websites these days, but it’s important to make sure that every part of your website, content, and social media all play with the same set of branding guidelines to ensure your user base receives the same level of quality across the web. Your goal should be to ensure that your website is built clearly to reflect your brand. The Basics
Every company should have a style guide. If you don’t, get on that. Within your company, you need to regulate your brand’s outward appearance, but you should also set the guidelines for external companies to use your brand properly. Even more importantly, you need to have a style guide for incoming and existing users and customers alike. Brand recognition is what drives sales and spreads your content around the web and material world.
All brand guidelines should include, at a very basic level, your brand
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Really long, yet I read it all the way through, which is saying something, cuz I have zero time for reading long articles. Great stuff...The kind you should take notes from and keep.
If there is one great investment you KNOW your business should make – it’s improving your site’s conversions. Unlike getting more traffic, which requires performing a long list of tasks, getting more conversions is sometimes as easy as rephrasing a sentence.
In terms of website conversions, there is always room for improvement. A website is THE single source of business for you, and your site could probably generate far more leads and conversions if you just did more tests, added more popups; optimized it for more conversions.
This ‘website FOMO’ is inevitable, but you can meet the challenge and work to keep improving conversions. If you decided to do just that – where would you start?
To help you figure this out, we asked top CROs, marketing and website building experts for their most relevant conversion tips for 2019.
Karina (Director of customer experience at Weglot) shares her vision of her job: "Treat every user with individuality and respect and try to see their issue from their point of view from the start. Kindness, in the end, goes a long way."
Let’s look at a typical scenario: You just downloaded an app you are crazy about trying, and you hit a roadblock. You can’t seem to figure out a step in the configuration and know it’s time to shoot over a quick email to support to see what is going wrong. You have a big chance of either coming across two types of help: Empathetic or textbook response-type of person. Empathetic: “I’m so sorry to hear you are having a hard time with our app, but I would be more than happy to figure out what we can do to make it work for you :)”
Textbook response-type: “Sounds like you installed it wrong. Here is the tutorial to do it correctly, Best.”
Which one would you want to receive? It seems like a no-brainer, but in reality, empathy does not grow overnight. It’s a feeling that you have to learn and nurture within you to come closer with a user the minute they reach out to you.
The truth of the matter is a big part of customer success, no matter the industry, is about connecting with customers, understanding their needs and frustrations, and communicating effectively with them. In short, it’s about practicing empathy — which your
True stories of the every day joys and hassles of running a WordPress business.
Welcome to the 46th edition of the monthly transparency report (for November 2018). In this series, I discuss what has been going on in the business and share my learnings and strategies along the way. Click here to see the previous reports. This month, we talk:
Our Black Friday experience in 2018
There were two main sides to our Black Friday efforts this year: we hosted an exclusive offer over at ThemeIsle.com, and we also published a roundup of the best deals in the WordPress space on this blog. Let’s have a word on how it all went:
This is an interview with the creator of 'WooCommerce Builder for Divi' plugin, which had recently migrated it away from WooCommerce and started selling through Freemius. He immediately saw a staggering 57% increase in gross revenue, right on the 1st month.
Today we bring you a very pleasing success story: Abdelfatah Aboelghit created the great WooCommerce Builder for Divi plugin, and had recently migrated it away from WooCommerce and started selling through Freemius. He immediately saw a staggering 57% increase in gross revenue, right on the 1st month, so we decided to set up an interview with him to find out more: Abdelfatah, thanks for agreeing to answer my questions about you and your WordPress product business so soon, right after migrating it and selling through Freemius.
Let’s get started by getting to know you: where are you based and how did you first step into the world of coding WordPress products?
Hey, Thanks for having me! I’m based in a small village in Egypt. I’ve been in the WordPress coding products business for about 2 years now.
Before that, I was a pharmacist, but I’ve always been obsessed with creating websites for me and for my friends, using WordPress. I didn’t know how to write code at the time, until one day me and my friend wanted to build a very complex website which I couldn’t build with the available plugins, so we had to talk to a developer to do it for us. The developer
Just finished building a client site with WordPress? Great. However, the job's not done. It’s not just a matter of providing your client with a login and a wave goodbye. It even goes beyond teaching them to edit content. Here are some things clients need to know in order to keep their site running smoothly.
Handing a newly-built website over to a client provides a feeling of great satisfaction. It means that you can cross another item off of your to-do list. And it’s nice to see that all of your hard work has paid off, too. But if that shiny new website was built with WordPress, there’s more to the process. It’s not just a matter of providing your client with a login and a wave goodbye. It even goes beyond teaching them to edit content. There are some things clients need to know in order to keep their site running smoothly.
As web professionals, it’s our duty to educate clients on all of the responsibilities involved. Otherwise, you may receive a panicked phone call about a “broken” website.
So, before you hand over those keys, here are the things new website owners need to know.
WordPress Requires Regular Updates
If you’re not maintaining your client’s new site, they’ll need to be keenly aware of WordPress updates. While this is common knowledge for designers and developers, clients may have no idea of this requirement.
The danger, of course, is that a security hole will be found in WordPress core, a theme or plugin. Left unpatched,
Is it time for your company to redesign your website? Here are 13 reasons why it might be.
Every year, I like to recommend that clients conduct a website audit or have a developer perform one. The landscape of web development ebbs and flows and the internet changes so exponentially every year with upgrades in both physical hardware and coding languages that there’s a lot to take into consideration for your company, your users, and the growth and future of your business. The question always ends up being, “Are you prepared for the next couple of years, or is it time for a website redesign?” Here are 13 reasons why it’s time.
1. Your Branding Has Changed
The most obvious reason for a redesign is that your company’s identity has changed.
Circumstance: You throw some dollar bills at a new logo or a new suite of fancy printed materials. That’s fantastic, congrats, but your website still reflects your old logo or brand materials.
New identity updates are a great time to unveil a sparkly new website to go along with it. In an ideal world, you roll out everything all at once. But in the real world, you can roll your brand updates out in phases. Either way, get it done; update your brand 100% or not at all. Discrepancies can hurt your bottom line
How TranslatePress more than doubled its revenue in the past 4 months, lessons learned & future goals.
The last 4 months were quite impressive. Since our last transparency report TranslatePress grew from 4500$/month in August to over 8500$/month at the end of November. Then, in the last month of 2018, TranslatePress sales passed the 10000$ monthly recurring revenue mark.
This is HUGE for us and a solid confirmation that our efforts are focused in the right direction.
Besides this, the free version active installs grew to 30K.
Below we’re going to go into what happened in the last 4 months, the things we focused on as well as revenue breakdown. Welcome to Transparency Report #2.
Development, Better Processes and Speed Improvements
Development wise the last period was focused on two main things: (more) speed improvements as well as getting TranslatePress to work for a lot of edge cases.
Speed is critical, so we’re constantly looking to make TranslatePress as fast as possible. To achieve this we’re basically caching operations that are intensive.
Less load on your multilingual site means more traffic (due to better SEO) and an increase in your conversion rate.
Apart from this, new features were put on hold in order to fix edge case bugs, making sure TranslatePress works
2018 was more than busy year at Kinsta. Here is everything that happened!
Wow, 2018 has been an incredible year for the team at Kinsta. We are growing faster than we ever thought possible and have been pushing out new feature updates at an astounding rate. Like you might have guessed, we have many new faces that have joined the team, from developers to support engineers. Together we are on a mission to continue building the best managed WordPress hosting platform in the industry. We want to first thank all of you for supporting us thus far and trusting us with hosting your businesses, blogs, and ecommerce sites. We wouldn’t be here without you, and your feedback and suggestions have been invaluable to our team.
Daniel Carcamo tried submitting his premium theme for sale on the ThemeForest marketplace. He uses this guest post to share the entire experience, as well as his conclusions about WordPress product businesses and marketplaces in general.
Building your own Multi-Purpose theme from scratch can be a very tough project to take on. Getting it approved on ThemeForest? That’s a whole other layer of challenges that you’ll need to tackle. In this guest post, I’m going to share my entire experience of submitting a theme to ThemeForest’s marketplace. In February 2017 I started playing around with the idea of building my own Multi-Purpose events theme to be sold on ThemeForest. I knew, from the experience I gained of selling my own events plugin on CodeCanyon, that a complete solution was needed for customers who did not want to mix a plugin and a theme, but instead, wanted a complete solution in one single product.
Normally, when you need a website with an events functionality, you have to add various plugins to achieve it. This, in turn, can make your website slow and bloated, which is why I decided to build an event’s theme that had everything built into it.
By April I had already assembled my team of programmers and got to work. After weeks and weeks of testing and testing again, I felt that we had reached a point where we could submit the theme to ThemeForest for a review.
First Submission (Hard
Understanding how web design is changing allows us to be proactive, instead of wondering what happened when it's too late. In this article, I share my own thoughts on web design in general.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the changing landscape of web design and development, and I believe there’s already a fast-moving shift in how customers are approaching getting online. I may elaborate more later, but here are the overall thoughts. You Don’t Need to Code to Make a Career Out of Web Design
I’ve gotten a lot of pushback on putting this idea out into the world. You don’t need to code to make websites. With the advent of page builders and services like Squarespace, you don’t need to necessarily know HTML and CSS – at least not to get started. Will it make you better? No doubt. Do you need it to get that first (or first 50) website out there? Absolutely not.
You could focus on other skills instead: content creation, UX, color and font theory, etc. In my eyes, we’re seeing a shift much like the one WordPress brought about in the mid-2000s. As more people shifted to using WordPress as a CMS, there were the people who claimed that WordPress will never be as good a CMS as one they could make themselves.
Now, it would be ludicrous (in most cases) to code your own CMS from scratch, especially for a simple informational website. If
Not directly in the purview of WordPress, but Slack has become a huge distraction and I know we use it heavily in the community. Here's how I'm reeling it in.
One of my goals is to read 21 books this year, and I’m doing super well so far. After finishing the super dense (and very thought provoking) Homo Deus, I’m flying through It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. While the hubris of Jason Fried drives me crazy, I’ve read all of his and DHH’s books, and they’ve all been excellent. So I suppose the hubris is well-deserved. In any case, I’m almost done with that book and I’ve decided to take my first action: turning off Slack notifications. Slack Kills Productivity
This might sound crazy to people in my space, as Slack has become the de-facto standard for communication for the lot of us. But it’s also a HUGE distraction. In the book, Fried and DHH talk about how distractions kill productivity, and just because I’m not in an office, I’m not immune. Slack makes it very easy for people to take you out of the moment – it’s the virtual knock on the door and, “hey you have a minute?”
I should note that they don’t call anyone out by name, but I’ve definitely felt like they were talking to specific people or companies at certain points.
The inside scoop on the new image optimization service, Optimole, plus ThemeIsle's latest theme, and insights into Facebook ads.
Welcome to the 45th edition of the monthly transparency report (for October 2018). In this series, I go through everything that’s been going on in the business – especially the behind-the-scenes stuff – that you might be interested in. Click here to see the previous reports. Here’s the TOC of what’s to come:
1. A year ago I said we wouldn’t build another new theme. We just did. Here’s why
2. Does page speed really matter for SEO? TL;DR: it does
3. What type of WordPress content to advertise on Facebook?
1. A year ago I said we wouldn’t build another new theme. We just did. Here’s why
As I was looking through some of the more popular transparency reports on the site, I stumbled upon this. It’s the one where I discussed the future of Gutenberg and tried to figure out what’s the best path for a theme store like ours to follow.
I concluded that we wouldn’t build another new theme, but instead focus on making our existing themes into household names.
It’s roughly a year and a half since that report got published … and we’re just about to release a new theme. What gives?
A couple of reasons:
a) I read
Two new roles in the WordPress project. Congrats to Josepha Haden and Joost de Valk.
Today I want to announce two new roles in the WordPress project, and the people who will be filling them. Both of these roles will help me lead the project more efficiently while also making better use of both of their individual talents to benefit WordPress and the web. First, Josepha Haden ( @chanthaboune ) will take on the role of Executive Director. She will oversee and direct all contributor teams in their work to build and maintain WordPress. Josepha has done a lot of great work in WordPress over the past few years, so many of you will already know her. I’m sure you’ll all enjoy working with her as much as I do.
Secondly, Joost de Valk ( @joostdevalk ) will take on the role of Marketing & Communications Lead. You might know him as a long time core contributor and plugin author. His role will be to lead the marketing team and oversee improving WordPress.org, related websites, and all its outlets.
Please join me in congratulating Josepha and Joost. With these changes as well as the 9 focuses for the year, I am excited about what 2019 (and beyond!) has in store for WordPress.
Creating an affiliate business with WordPress is a challenging task. Where do you start? Which tools do you need? Which are the best affiliate programs to promote? This week we take you through setting up a WordPress site for your affiliate business.
Creating an affiliate business with WordPress is a challenging task. Where do you start? Which tools do you need? Which are the best affiliate programs to promote? These are the kind of questions that keep bombarding you left, right and center. This post contains some affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. See the disclosure for more details.
Turns out you can create an affiliate business with WordPress in a jiffy and without breaking a sweat. Most definitely, we won’t ignore the fact you need to put in work to realize results because you can’t get anything for zero effort.
And in this post, we show you exactly how to set up an affiliate business with WordPress easily and without breaking the bank. Read on to learn how you can create your own profitable affiliate business with WordPress.
What is an Affiliate Business?
Affiliating is a business model that involves promoting somebody else’s products and earning a commission whenever you make a sale.
Say you’re promoting WordPress themes, for instance. If you send prospects to a theme shop and someone ends up buying a theme, you earn a commission for that sale. Are you
I finally got to interview one of my favorite WordPress influencers - Miriam Schwab - CEO & Founder @ Strattic, a serverless security solution for WordPress (& other CMSs) & CEO @ illuminea, a top WordPress development agency. In this interview she's inspiring, as usual.
I’m super stoked to finally be interviewing Miriam Schwab, who is the CEO & Founder of Strattic, a serverless security solution for WordPress & Open Source CMSs. She’s also(!) the CEO of illuminea, a top WordPress development agency, and an inspiring woman in general. Miriam, thanks for agreeing to answer my questions! I know you’re a very busy woman, so let’s get started right away by getting to know you a bit – where are you based and how did you get acquainted with WordPress in the first place?
Hi! I’m based out of Jerusalem, Israel. I first encountered WordPress when I decided to leave my job in the field of intellectual property and go freelance. I started out providing copywriting and translation services, but my love for technology got me interested in the field of website building. In those days, the websites were generally either plain old HTML and CSS, or built on very expensive proprietary CMSs that only enterprise companies could afford. I started building websites for clients since there was a need, but I quickly realized my clients needed their own CMS so I didn’t have to be on call for content editing (please just add
Going to conferences can be a costly endeavor if you're paying for it out of pocket. In an attempt to justify the expenses (and track where my income is actually coming from), I've devised a plan to tie ROI to conferences.
As I start to plan my travel for 2019 (something I should have done in December), I’m thinking a lot about where I want to spend my time and money, and what will be the best for my bottom line. In general I try to tie real, tangible dollars to the conference I go to (in most cases). Because I’m using my own money, while education is a good metric for attending a conference, my goal is to recoup at least some of the cost. Here’s how I do that. First, let me say that this model might not be for everyone, but if you’re paying your own way, I think it’s important to determine what makes spending the money a win for you. With conferences like An Event Apart or Podcast Movement, what you learn can definitely be the ROI, because you take what you learn and apply it to your business, making you more profitable. For me, I measure success 3 different ways:
What I learn
Who I meet
Direct deals that happen as a result of me going to the conference
Let’s break these down.
What I Learn
If I’m going to sessions, I make sure I get some tangible, actionable advice from them. I take notes, ask questions, and when I can, I talk to the presenter. This requires
The importance of the feedback loop in product development and how to obtain that crucial usage tracking data, even inside the open-sourced, but quite confining, WordPress sphere.
A product’s users and their experience-based feedback can reveal more about the quality and the relevancy of any given product than that product alone ever could. The question is: Are you, the product creator, making sure to collect usage tracking data about your product, and, are you truly making yourself available to interpret, accept and act upon it? Unfortunately, many WordPress plugin and theme developers actually do their work while wearing a blindfold, and they have no means of learning how their work improves or deteriorates the product. As such, they don’t understand how their work is influencing the product’s success in the ranks of its target audience.
It turns out that there’s actually an easy way to obtain that crucial usage tracking data, even inside the open-sourced, but quite confining, WordPress sphere. A service called Freemius helps WordPress plugin and theme sellers by handling everything that has to do with managing a product’s licensing, subscriptions, sales, software updates, and much more. Among all the business aspects it handles for WordPress products, it also generates comprehensive data about who is using the product, who isn’t