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
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
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
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
Brian Krogsgard is announcing CommerceNotebook, which will follow a similar-ish model of PostStatus.
Commerce Notebook is a new site aimed to inform, educate, and provide resources for eCommerce professionals, store owners, and enthusiasts. Welcome to Commerce Notebook!
The goal for this project is to cater to people that know and love eCommerce, so they can do what they do better and more informed.
Who’s behind Commerce Notebook?
Commerce Notebook is brought to you by the same team that’s behind Post Status — a preeminent website geared specifically for WordPress professionals.
My name is Brian Krogsgard (here’s my personal website and Twitter, where I share most stuff). I’m a writer, developer, eCommerce store owner, and entrepreneur. With this site, I’ll share the stories of others in the trenches of eCommerce, as well as my own journeys.
Prior to running my own content-centric business, I was a developer and web consultant. My first eCommerce website build was in 2011. I have worked on — in some capacity or another — a few dozen eCommerce stores since.
Post Status launched on January 21st, 2013 — four years to the day prior to Commerce Notebook. I cover eCommerce within the WordPress landscape on Post Status, and will continue
A sister project to VersionPress is coming in July. It is a fully hosted platform with great staging, speed and developer UX.
I’m happy to announce that VersionPress is getting a sister project: VersionPress.com. It is a hosted WordPress platform (a managed WordPress host if you will) that takes the best ideas from VersionPress and packages them in an easy to use interface and adds things like backups, security and world-class infrastructure. It has full compatibility with WordPress plugins and doesn’t require Git so it’s a perfect place to host almost any WordPress site. The platform will fully launch in July 2017 with pre-orders available today. Go check it out at https://preview.versionpress.com/.
We started working on VersionPress in 2014 to bring full version-control to WordPress. The benefits if this is achieved are immense: undo button for everything, the possibility to merge databases between environments (staging <-> live, developers between themselves, etc.), keeping track of who did what and many others. It feels almost magical.
We also learned that there will be two major challenges:
WordPress plugins. They can do almost anything to the database and boy they do. Even those well-written must be explicitly supported and while we’re building an infrastructure
I know many developers who still hate GoDaddy, but one of the complaints has been a lack of PHP 7 support. They just added it for cPanel hosting plans. Does that mean we'll see it soon for Managed WordPress hosting?
Looking for a way to speed up your website? Here at GoDaddy we are always looking for ways to improve our customer’s experience. For our web hosting customers on cPanel Shared or Business Hosting we just made available the ability to upgrade to PHP 7. Let me explain the what, why and how. What is PHP 7?
PHP is a server-side scripting language designed primarily for web development. Popular website apps that use PHP are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. PHP 7 is the latest version of PHP.
Why should I upgrade?
Are you looking to improve your site speed? Look no further than PHP 7! Benchmarks for PHP 7 consistently show speeds twice as fast as PHP 5.6.
How do I upgrade?
Currently, PHP 7 is available for cPanel customers on either Shared or Business Hosting. We made the upgrade to PHP 7 very easy; however before upgrading, I recommend that you check compatibility on your site to ensure that your website and plug-ins will run as you expect.
Things to Check for Popular Apps
WordPress – PHP Compatibility Checker (Link)
Drupal – Drupal 7 and above is PHP 7 compatible
Joomla – Joomla 3.5 and above is PHP 7 compatible
So, once you checked your compatibility and have decided
James Laws, founder of Ninja Forms, shares data on the impact auto-renewals have had on his business. Even after only two weeks he sees an obvious spike and improvement. Valuable data for any plugin shop or business owner.
140 characters isn’t enough to reply to the inquiries about the impact of automatic renewals on our business. Because of this I thought I would write-up a quick post with the backstory, how we’ve implemented automatic renewals, and perhaps some closing thoughts. Let me be clear. Automatic renewals are not some sort of new business technique that I’m sharing with you. I’m not under some sort of delusion that I am revealing some little known revenue boosting secret. The fact of the matter is that WordPress businesses, like my own, have been behind the curve in a lot of commonly held practices. This is just one of many.
How it all began
A little over three years ago I was at Pressnomics 2 with my business partner. It was our first ever business conference and we went to it with absolutely no agenda. When we got there we heard about all the people who were trying to make deals and partnerships and felt like we were really unprepared for such conversations. That was all during the first day, but by evening we had regrouped and started thinking a little more strategically. The pursuit of the big thing was in full swing and I can honestly tell you that there are relationships
Ready made templates to use with your client. Remember, your time should be worth much more than a cup of coffee.
If you’ve been in the design business for a while, you’ve likely heard this from potential clients before, “you’re too expensive!” or something to that effect, anyhow. So what do you do?
You’ve got a few options! Here are some handy-dandy email scripts I’ve created that you can copy+paste, and tweak to send to those potential clients!
Note: These scripts are not intended to be used verbatim, but to be edited to fit your own situation and level of professionalism. Use these scripts as a starting point, but tweak them to work for you!
Option One – Educate Her on Why You’re Awesome
I realize that this is a large investment, but I can assure you that I am delivering top-notch service that you won’t receive with a low-cost alternative. My clients have seen results such as ____ and ____ because I work with you to really make sure that you’re receiving a design that works for you and your brand. I’m not just creating a _____, I’m helping you achieve your goals.
If you don’t have the funds available at this time, I understand. Please keep me in mind for the future. If you are able and willing to invest
Insightful post by Kenny Lange with many great points. "Teach people how to treat you like a partner in their business by becoming a consultant for your clients"
The problem is you can quickly find yourself pigeon-holed as “” who updates the client’s site. This means that client’s see you as nothing more than someone who knows how to do tasks they either don’t know how to do or don’t have the time to do themselves.
18th March marks 4th birthday of weDevs. To celebrate this they are running their biggest ever sales discount, and giveaway. Any user could select what product they want to get in the giveaway for free. Check their diverse range of product.
It has been 4 years since we launched as a company and we are humbled to see where weDevs has come. On 18th March 2017, we are celebrating our anniversary with a bigger plan to give back as a display of respect for our well wishers. We have designed a giveaway for our clients and a discount for anyone who wants to get any solution from us. But on that soon, I am getting a little emotional here and so I will talk shortly about the journey.
How we came to be
At the very very beginning, in 2008, before we even became a company, we only were a blogging site. We developed small themes, plugins and covered reviews, tutorials. Which is why we still blog very passionately on tech. It is during this time where we picked up our love for WordPress and Open Source development from the community. After some experience and learning, we started as a startup company in 2012 and offered premium plugins. Our company took off like a rocket!
We never thought we could come all this way. Now, after 4 years, we have become one of the biggest WordPress companies of the region holding a 30+ member and several departments with 4 major plugins. We have launched WP ERP, the first ever complete and free ERP system
While we'd all like to believe that we can create a bulletproof site, the truth is that eventually, something's going to break.
I know – the headline sounds dire. And, to some degree, it is. But I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I feel like we, as designers and developers, should have an open dialogue. Recently, after a spate of websites I maintain faced a variety of problems, I came to a stark realization: Every website I’ve ever worked on is probably going to break at some point.
We’ll get into the reasons why in a second. But, let that last statement just sink in for a moment. Now, do you get that sinking feeling in your stomach, too?
Is it true? How can this happen?
Sadly, I do believe it’s true. And I actually wonder why it took me so long to figure it out. Maybe you were a bit more on-the-ball and realized it long before I did.
As to why a website is going to break – there are a number of reasons for that. Just a few of the possibilities include:
CMS Core/Plugin/Theme Conflicts
Any website that is built on a content management system like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla! are bound to run into a mischievous software update sooner or later. Different parts could then conflict with each other – resulting in anything from a small display issue to an inaccessible
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,
We often wrestle with pricing when introducing a new product or service. This article by Saylor Bullington provides a high-level summary of different pricing strategies along with guidance on why that approach might be chosen.
Establishing a pricing strategy reflective of your value that clients agree is fair, is difficult. Here are three different pricing strategies to consider when establishing one for yourself or you company. First Things First: Pricing Strategy Considerations
Before establishing price points for either your goods or services, there are multiple factors that need to be considered:
Who is the target audience your product appeals to?
What are your production and distribution costs?
Who are your competitors and what are their pricing models?
What is the true value of your services? How much time or money can it save your clients or customers?
What is the True Value of Your Product or Service?
It’s helpful to evaluate what your product or services are truly worth. Begin by asking yourself a few questions:
Do you offer a more valuable experience than competitors?
Is there something you offer that others don’t?
What is unique about your business?
How many years have you been in the business?
Examine the value of your business and keep it in mind while exploring different pricing strategies. Check out this great webinar from Chris Lema with 7 tips for value-based pricing.
Your brand tells a story that should outlive your company. Some insight on how to make that happen.
We often cover a variety of digital marketing topics here at Pagely, but rarely do we (and others) mention the importance of branding. That ends today, as we draw from our own experience and the advice of others to help illustrate the importance of positioning your brand in a competitive space. Branding Tips from the Experts
Every brand has its own strategy for standing out, and how you position your brand can change over time. Using notable quotes from experts in brand marketing, here are a few effective ways to position your brand.
1. Create Value through Genuine Connection
If you want your audience to choose you over your competitors, you need to give them a reason to. As SapientNitro worldwide chief creative officer Gaston Legorburu so eloquently expressed “it’s not about having consumers adopt your values: “it’s about them relating to them and making connections,” he continues. “Really successful brand strategies are the ones where there’s a gift – a value set – and it really connects.”
2. Never Lose Sight of the Brand
Every business has a life-cycle that eventually comes to an end, but brands should always endure. Even
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is one of the best free tools for helping you plan your SEO.
SEO competitor research is a process that reviews existing and future competitors. This is something that has been done in traditional marketing for a very long time. When you weave SEO into the competitive research mix, you will expand your existing traditional competitors with additional online competitors. You might be asking why you would have both traditional and online. That is a great question.
Many times the people/websites you compete with in real life are not the same people/websites you compete with online. This is because not all traditional competitors will be good at SEO and online marketing. As you remove out under performing traditional competitors, you’ll replace them with online competitors.
Your online competitors are really important, because it is often these websites and blogs that are creating unknown havoc on your efforts. This is because they are competing for the same search traffic and you might not even be aware of it.
Online Competitor Research is Super Important!
You can’t do a well organized SEO campaign without having strong competitor research in the mix. You have to have a solid understand of what is happening around you so you can ascertain
Taking a look at the labels we give ourselves and their importance to the consumer.
In the professional space, a title says a lot about your skill set and qualifications. Of course, some professions have official designations like Doctor, Esquire and so on. When it comes to web design, we don’t really have those official titles. Often, we refer to ourselves as whatever we feel is most appropriate. A lot of us are called ‘web designer’, ‘web developer’ and some even go by ‘full-stack web developer’.
I’d like to think that most of us in the industry are pretty honest about our skills. We know our strengths and weaknesses. We generally wouldn’t call ourselves something we’re not. I think that level of honesty is actually one of the cooler aspects of the web design community at large.
Even so, I do struggle a bit with the terminology I use to describe myself. How do we know what’s appropriate?
What’s in a Name?
My career started out designing and hand-coding static HTML websites back in the day. In the many years since, I’ve evolved into creating custom WordPress themes out of my own PSD mockups, integrating goodies like custom fields and hacking away until everything works the way it needs to.
Don't chase the shiny object, do what works until it can't be done anymore.
If you look at your business, how much of it is by word of mouth. Meaning, how much of your current client list is a referral by either a past client, colleague, friend or family member? 50%, 75%, 100%?
It’s safe to say that referrals are working for you right?
So why are you trying to find other avenues to bring in clients? Do you already have a predictable and proven referral system built that brings you a steady flow of leads into your business?
Do you already have a predictable and proven referral system built that brings you a steady flow of leads into your business?
My guess would be “no”. That the referrals that come into your business happen randomly without any predictability.
Instead of chasing the “new thing” whether that’s Facebook ads, the newest social media platform that’s taking the world by storm, or spending a bunch of money on landing page software, how about doubling down on what’s working for you right now.
Your referrals trust you because they are getting recommended to you by someone they trust. You don’t have to fully convince them of your skills because you have already been vetted by that lead’s friend.
Struggling to get great clients? Are you talking with your competiti....er, I mean colleagues and friends?
Running a successful business is hard. Business is about people. Having successful relationships is hard. “It’s the hard that makes it great; if it wasn’t hard, everyone would be doing it.”
Just because someone else does the same kind work you do doesn’t mean that they are your competitor.
What happens when you can’t take on any new work? You refer it to someone else, right? Surprise! That’s what they do as well.
Don’t you want to be on as many other people’s referral lists as possible? You can only do that if you get out from behind that desk and network. Allowing other folks to learn more about you and what you are all about.
EPISODE TAKE AWAY
Make a list of people that you follow on social or have met in person
Send 3 of them an email just introducing you and starting the conversation (remember to provide value to them, don’t just sell)
Important Mentions in the Episode
Episode 4 (not 3)
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
This seems to be the biggest problem with most. They start working with crappy clients, they know it, and feel stuck.
This is a question that I often get because I talk a lot about defining your ideal client in order to build recurring revenue in your business. To change the type of client you work with is hard. Maybe almost as hard as it is to have your dog answer the phone for you. It’s tough because you already have clients that need your concentration and time to work on their projects.
It’s tough because you have clients that don’t fit into your ideal client (anymore).
It’s tough because you are scared that if you shift focus, there will be a bunch of work that could be “missed” out on.
I want to share with you the most effective and best way to be able to start redefining your ideal client and/or projects so that you can build a sustainable freelance business. How do I know? Well because I’ve done it. I went from being a general web developer to an eCommerce specialist in a few short months.
For the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that you’ve done your homework and that there is a market fit for your solution to your new ideal project and/or client.
Bonus: Get The Secret 5th Step to Change The Type Of Clients You Attract
If I can
You are already building the content, it's just now time to put it into a nice format for everyone to see.
You have clients, right? I assume they are asking you all sorts of questions and you are answering them. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t have those clients for long). They are looking to you as someone who holds answers. Someone who knows what they are talking about.
Someone who is an authority.
You have the experience in your field that clients are willing to pay for.
This episode will give you some ideas on getting that experience and those answers out from the emails and phone calls and onto the web.
EPISODE TAKE AWAY
Open your email.
Pull out any and all questions folks ask you.
Jot them down and see if there are any repeat offenders.
Then take your response to those questions and draft up some blog posts and schedule them out.
Important Mentions in the Episode
Chris Marr (Twitter)
Enough about trying to get in new leads, leverage your existing leads, clients, past clients, and colleagues to get those better leads.
There’s no shortage of “How to get clients?” posts and articles out there especially around lead generation. Some of it I’m not sold on because it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors which result in bad leads, if any at all. If there’s effort put in there are many others that do work. I’ve done a lot of these methods and even give away a method I use successfully that hundreds of folks now use as well.
There’s a part of sales that is sorely undervalued and underutilized in the freelancing world. That’s warm outreach!
Warm outreach is the method in which you communicate, whether that’s email, phone, or some other means to people who know you.
Notice how I didn’t use the word “leads” and instead used “people.”
By “people,” I mean those colleagues and folks in your business network.
Your NEW Warm Outreach Process
When I say colleagues and network, I’m referring to past and current clients, friends of yours in business, and yes, people who have the exact same work as you.
When I started out, I was in no way, shape or form going to go knocking on doors to get business. I won’t even