Part 1 of Notes on the topics covered in the WCPHX keynote I gave recently. Full video is embedded.
Effectively competing in a marketplace means you seek out blue oceans.
GravityForms is likely the most successful independently run plugin for WordPress. This case study goes into the 8 challenges Pagely helped solve GF solve to scale/grow their business.
On the importance of optimizing and measuring your page cache hit rates. Ignore or whitelist unique cookies, URL parameters.
Are there Rough waters ahead? Be strategic about competing 2019 - your agility and speed is an asset.
Let’s first sum up our collective feelings regarding 2018 Now looking to 2019 - The fallout of messy Brexit negotiations, US–China Trade Tariffs, slumping global stock markets, an apparent housing slowdown here in the US, privacy breaches on Facebook, the current US government shutdown—these are just a sampling of the major 2018 events that seem to have caused fits and uncertainty for B2B providers and customers. By in large macro-level events like these are out of our hands.
History has shown that through every slump or downturn on the macro-economic scale, fortunes are, and can still be, made by scrappy entrepreneurs. Thus, the trick becomes to focus on what we can control. Inside our businesses and communities we can set the stage to capitalize on changing tastes, new market dynamics, and advances in technology.
Companies react to downturns in different ways. Manufacturers typically ride out an economic rough patch by dumping poorly performing products and laying off workers. Lifestyle/luxury firms typically increase their investment in marketing and advertising to make the most of a dwindling supply of ready buyers. Some make bets to lock in low pricing for consumables
A very much tongue-in-cheek look at what will happen this year. Nothing will be the same!
2019 is upon us and it has me thinking big. And since everyone else out there is telling you what will happen in the new year, I’m going to do the same thing: But with a twist. You see, this isn’t any old set of predictions. No, these will be more like trekking up a mountain to see a soothsayer. But only way better, since you won’t suffer from the fatigue of having to climb thousands of feet just to hear my thoughts.
This old grumpy designer has read literally tens of these “predict the year ahead” types of articles. And I’ve discovered that, although they mean well, they’re neither very fun or useful. So, I’m here to change the narrative.
But before we begin, just a word of warning. These predictions are absolutely huge. Like you’ve never seen before. And they are completely tongue-in-cheek, so don’t wager anything of value on them.
If you want to know what 2019 will bring, you’ve come to the right place. So, settle in with a cup of your favorite beverage and prepare to be dazzled.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t take full credit for this one. Back in
Sharing a few lessons learned in nearly 10yrs of Managed WordPress. TL;DR; Longevity = Mastery
12 years ago, my talented wife and I had an idea for something known today as “Managed WordPress Hosting.” Yes, I’m half of the inventor of managed WordPress hosting, which is now a multi-billion dollar hosting channel, and you’ve likely never heard of me.
That’s because Pagely, the managed WordPress company I co-founded isn’t venture funded, and it’s not on Fortune’s list of billion-dollar unicorns. We were then, and still are very much today - Indie Hackers.
While the lack of fame and community back-pats can get under my skin, it has far from deterred me, because Pagely is very much an anomaly, in the sense that the business employs dozens of highly skilled and engaged employees and spins off ample cash -- from real paying customers.
My wife and I own 85% of the company and the other 15% is optioned to our employees. We’re also debt free, and we’re proud to say revenue has grown year-over-year (YoY) since launch.
So if you’re looking for a post about growth hacking your way to TechCrunch (closest we ever got to TC was a 1 sentence mention in a competitor’s featured PR gush piece) or securing millions in outside
Big Data companies are abusing the trust of their users/customers. Is GDPR enough to reign in these bad actors?
“I’m sorry, so sorry.” In the 1960s, it was a hit song by the 15-year old American singer Brenda Lee, crooning about unrequited love. In the 21st century, “sorry, so sorry” has become the tragic modus operandi for banks, businesses and social media behemoths. Time and time again, mega companies exploit customer data for nefarious reasons, walk away with a slap on the wrist — and occasionally a hefty fine or two — and spit out a “we’ll do better” PR campaign. “Today, we’re renewing our commitment to you — and working to earn back your trust,” Wells Fargo wrote in an ad caption after being busted for opening millions of customer bank accounts without permission.
“From now on, [we’ll] do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy,” Facebook declared after a spree of bad press, tanking stocks, and public backlash over its handling of fake news and selling user information.
The reasons companies lie are obvious. The first is financial pressure: Stock prices and investors don’t always respond well to transparency. Second, ego. With no incentive to admit errors, businesses are sticking
In this episode Carrie talks about: - How being yourself and embracing who you are is the way to provide a great experience for clients. - Working in a cube farm and feeling the soul sucking drain from days spent working in an environment that wasn’t challenging her. - Building something for one audience and having another one show up. - Writing an opinionated book that shows the real world of freelancing.
Today’s guest is Carrie Dils. Carrie is a freelancer, podcaster, writer, educator, and web developer. She runs a very popular blog where she shares her experiences as a business owner and teaches others how to build their own freelance businesses. Carrie didn’t start out as a developer. She came to it from a far more traditional business – a local coffee shop.
When Carrie left the corporate world early in her career, she visited a coffee shop that she fell in love with, and decided to recreate the experience in her home town.
After almost a decade working at Starbucks trying to build experience, she realized she wanted nothing to do with owning a coffee shop. Still, she was able to glean a lot of the details of running a business from the experience.
She first realized she was in love with freelancing when a radio station paid her $20/hr to make banner ads. She could work when she wanted, from wherever she wanted, and that was enough to get her hooked.
Despite the loving the freelance life, Carrie often found herself in situations where her clients wanted to hire her. However, it was through taking some of these opportunities that she realized just how much it meant
OptinMonster now offers a free plan. Capture up to 100 leads/mo., 5,000 pageviews per month. Downside is it just comes with very basic features & targeting.
Part of a developer's job often involves integrating 3rd party services. But now it looks as though some of those providers are changing the game on us.
For years, web designers have relied on free tools from the likes of Google, Facebook and other large companies to enhance the things we build. We have happily used these offerings to analyze site statistics, serve up fonts and integrate social media. Just about any type of high-end functionality these companies have to offer has been readily available to us – usually without any upfront monetary cost. But things are changing. Google, for one, is now requiring us to add billing information to our accounts if we want to continue to use their Maps API. And the recent revelations of the whole Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal have shaken the very foundation of trust when it comes to securing user data.
Of course, those aren’t the only examples of the changing landscape that one can find. But they do represent a sort of bait-and-switch of the ideals that these companies like to preach. And it leaves a sour taste in the mouth of those of us who have helped to spread this technology in our web projects.
There Was Always a Catch
Whether or not we realized it at the time, many of these “free” services we have added to websites had a cost attached to them. The companies
Jason shares a few good reasons NOT to include a sidebar next to your blogs. I'm curious if anyone else has tested this and is willing to share some conversion metrics.
Sidebars can have their purposes, but in most cases there is probably a better way to give your users the same functionality and create better conversions. The post + sidebar layout is fairly common across WordPress themes. With widgetized areas allowing site owners the ability to add all kinds of functionality, ads, Twitter feeds, and more along the side of their site.
Often times at the expense of pulling the users attention away from the content they landed on the site to view in the first place.
Typically sidebars are used to drive users to additional content or serve up ads, if that’s your revenue stream. But you also want users to view your content. Not bounce off to a third-party advertiser, right?
Sidebars distract users from your content
Most sidebars are going to be laid out at the top of your page alongside the beginning of your content. Best case scenario: Someone reads your entire article and scrolls back up to view your sidebar.
Just kidding. That doesn’t happen.
So rather than showing your user related posts in a sidebar before they’ve even read the current post, you can add them after your post when a user is ready to move on. Or you can include a link
Interesting comparison of how other CMSs implement content blocks. With Gutenberg on its way, I found this very interesting.
Imagine a very simple blog. Blog posts are just a title and a paragraph or three. In that case, having a CMS where you enter the title and those paragraphs and hit publish is perfect. Perhaps some metadata like the date and author come along for the ride. I'm gonna stick my neck out here and say that title-and-content fields only is a CMS anti-pattern. It's powerful in its flexibility but causes long-term pain in lack of control through abstraction. Let's not have a conversation about CMS's as a whole though, let's scope this down to just that content area issue.
Now imagine we have a site with a bit more variety. We're trying to use our CMS to build all sorts of pages. Perhaps some of it is bloggish. Some of it more like landing pages. These pages are constructed from chunks of text but also different components. Maps! Sliders! Advertising! Pull quotes!
Here are four different examples, so you can see exactly what I mean:
I bet that kind of thing looks familiar.
You can absolutely pull this off by putting all those blocks into a single content field. Hey, it's just HTML! Put the HTML you need for all these blocks right into that content field and it'll do what you want.
There's a couple
An interview with Aaron Campbell, head of the WordPress Security Team, on his recent WordCamp Lancaster talk.
Our brains are capable of some amazing feats. Yet, they work in different ways that can reflect in our personality. For instance, some of us gain contentment from putting ourselves out there in the crowd, while others prefer a quite room all to themselves. We’re a species of extroverts and introverts. One is not better than the other – just different. However, when running a design business, you might think that being an extrovert is preferable. If you’re predisposed to going out and making new connections, that would seem to be an advantage over those who aren’t as keen on networking. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Consider that some of the world’s most successful people are introverts. We’re talking about the likes of Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and JK Rowling – to name just a few. They’re proof that you don’t have to be extroverted in order to find success.
Recently, I attended a talk at WordCamp Lancaster (US) that really shed some light on the subject. Aaron Campbell gave a fascinating presentation on succeeding as an introvert. Campbell, who leads the WordPress Core Security Team, spoke from the heart – having
WordPress and the whole ecosystem is evolving. Dokan is a Multivendor Marketplace solution for WooCommerce making a big move by moving beyond extension model and now all modules will be packaged centrally. This article gives an in-depth information whats changing and how it's going to affect users.
Back in the days when we released the first version of Dokan, it was actually a Premium Theme. If you know Dokan only for a year or two, I know how ridiculous it sounds. But, that’s how it all got started. Soon we realized Dokan could do more, and to be able to grow we need to change dramatically, we evolved to a fully functional Plugin. Later we created many addons that adds even more functionality. Currently, there are over 18 official and 3rd-party addons. But the current process is – you have to buy a Dokan Pro license and buy Addons separately. We are changing this to help you, the Dokan user (the most important segment) grow, at the same time, we (weDevs) could push Dokan to new heights. Dokan Pricing Before?
Currently, there is a free core version of Dokan available at WordPress.org, that will remain the same. You get all the awesome feature, which is even comparable with other premium solution (you could look at this comparison if you have not yet). If you want to upgrade now you have this packages for you to upgrade –
What Is Changing?
In short, we are combining Dokan Pro and our addons. So, now you don’t have to buy Dokan Pro & Addons separately,
Took me quite a while to wrap my head around these concepts as a technical person, but when I did it literally launched me and my business.
Brennan has run the freelance gamut at this point in his career. He’s worked for someone else, been a solo freelancer, he’s built an agency, he’s built a software product. One overarching theme of his career is the power of personalization. Early in his career, he saw how high-touch sales worked to close a deal on a phone call when he worked at a boiler room type of company. Then again when selling leads to mortgage brokers he saw how much more they would pay for leads that had already seen who the broker was.
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As Brennan built his agency and became a “salesman-in-chief” he recognized that even though he was providing clients with the same services, depending on who he was talking to he would tailor his language to suit their own. No one was paying them for Ruby code, they were paying them to build an aspect of their business that achieves goals.
Now Brennan has built a Saas product called RightMessage to address the question “How can you scale one-on-one conversations?”
By understanding who your leads and prospects are, understand the language they use, and be able to present back to them what their lives could look like with
Ruben Gamez, the founder of Bidsketch, has built a business around strategic content marketing and he’s doing it again with DocSketch. Wondering what the ROI of content marketing is? Then this episode will show you how to maximize your efforts and increase the chances for your service to get the most ROI.
Ruben Gamez, the founder of Bidsketch, has built a business around strategic content marketing and he’s doing it again with DocSketch. Wondering what the ROI of content marketing is? Then this episode will show you how to maximize your efforts and increase the chances for your service to get the most ROI. Ruben saw a gap in the market when trying to help someone. He filled that gap through particular content around an ideal client to see if it’s something viable. Almost a decade later, Bidsketch is a multi-million dollar company.
Putting a time and cost investment into testing and building content has proven what works and doesn’t work when it comes to converting leads into customers.
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As a result of their testing, Ruben found how educated leads were more likely to convert from trial to customer than if he offered the trial right up front.
So they went against the grain of conversion optimization and put a layer of friction in.
In this episode, Ruben generously shares how he’s building DocSketch from the ground up and insights into the freelance and consulting space.
Ruben shares with you:
How to get more freelance clients
How to get quality feedback