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
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.
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
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
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)
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)
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
I am currently building SaaS product for WP with JS and this article represents 99% of my feelings while choosing a framework — the one which will be there once the project is complete.
Hey, I got this new web project, but to be honest I haven’t coded much web in a few years and I’ve heard the landscape changed a bit. You are the most up-to date web dev around here right?
-The actual term is Front End engineer, but yeah, I’m the right guy. I do web in 2016. Visualisations, music players, flying drones that play football, you name it. I just came back from JsConf and ReactConf, so I know the latest technologies to create web apps.
Cool. I need to create a page that displays the latest activity from the users, so I just need to get the data from the REST endpoint and display it in some sort of filterable table, and update it if anything changes in the server. I was thinking maybe using jQuery to fetch and display the data?
Interesting article on the slow adoption rate of PHP 7 by web hosts, and some of the reasons why most WordPress sites are still running on PHP 5.x.
TAGS: PHP5, Programming, Webhosting, Wordpress You may be thinking: "Wait, don't you mean what happened to PHP6?"
But no, I am actually referring to PHP7, This may seem quite strange since PHP6 was the version that was skipped, not PHP7.
A QUICK SUMMARY FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT KNOW
PHP6 was proposed sometime back in 2010, but was eventually suspended and never reached production phase. This was mostly due to the core features of PHP6 being deemed too technically difficult to implement; this in combination with multiple other reasons meant the development unfortunately reached a standstill.
Many of the features included in PHP6 were instead back-ported into the PHP5.x branch; explaining why we saw so many new features added with the release of PHP5.3.
The version name PHP6 was omitted by the php.net developers due to the fact that it was a very well established and documented project. There are still vast amounts of information available on the web regarding the PHP6 project; and many conferences were held by the php.net developers in the community regarding the project.
It made very little sense to reuse PHP6 as the name for the next PHP version seeing as the next version was
By building relationships, learning about what makes them choose you and then positioning your value to the return on investment with your clients, allows you to increase your monthly revenue.
Increasing Monthly Revenue On today's episode, Curtis and Reuven discuss Increasing Monthly Revenue with Jason Resnick. Jason is a web developer, freelancer, and consultant. He specializes in establishing e-commerce businesses, aiming to help entrepreneurs and freelancers increase their sales by strategies and implementations. Tune in to learn more how to increase your monthly revenue 10 times in 6 months!
Changing Gears in Business
At the beginning, he was unsure of what business he really wanted to focus on. He figured out how to satisfy his clients as far as problem-solving is concerned. The idea of leveraging his client-based business to build recurring revenue came to him around 2013.
As any other developer, he doesn't enjoy phone calls. However, mutual communication with the clients was the only way to know which direction a project is headed. By setting up 10-15 minute phone calls, he gained the revenues he wanted.
Relationship with Clients
Jason enjoys working with his e-commerce clients and learning from them at the same time. He checks on which areas his clients were struggling with online, and directly manages the implementation of strategies in making new features, improving
By creating memorable experiences, Laura is able to get more referrals and more work from existing clients.
Laura Elizabeth a freelance graphic designer and her passion is helping businesses and individuals tell their stories online. If you’ve followed Laura at all, you’ll know she’s passionate about client experience and creating it memorable for them. She does this because not only will it help her and her client projects be just that more successful, it also helps in creating a lasting memory in her clients’ head that when they hear a friend, colleague or anyone looking for design services, Laura’s name is front and center.
In our conversation, she talks about a few things to make this happen pretty easily. Especially if you need to get content, assets, or feedback from your clients, you’ll want to listen carefully.
Your takeaway from this episode is to be able to put yourself in your client’s shoes. How could you make their experience working with you better and more memorable? It’s important to think as if you were the client working with you.
If you want to make yourself look even more professional and create a level of experience that most don’t Laura has graciously given you an exclusive discount of $50 off her Client Portal product
A funny take on all the pitfalls of client communication, wrapped up in a pirate infographic. What's not to like? :)
You can’t blame your clients for not knowing that negative space is supposed to be empty, or that comic sans is an abomination. But you can't forgive them for assuming that your time is free. Here is our rundown of the worst offenders:
How do you protect yourself against these fiendish customers? Because your time is your most precious resource, you need to track every minute to see where it's going.
Toggl was actually built for doing just that - just follow this link to sign up and give it a try. You'll like it (and your accountant will too).
Once you've got an idea of where your time is really going, you'll be in a much better position to deal with clients who try to steal it.
Below, we've picked out some common client problems agencies run into, and a few solutions we’ve learned along the way.
So who's giving you trouble?
My client won’t stop calling/emailing/talking to me
My client thinks everything is urgent
My client is asking for impossible things
1. My client is really good at haggling!
Every argument they make seems like it's coming from a Harvard economist (and probably is), while your arguments come off as “I like money”.
The reason why people
A great article indeed. Makes a lot of sense for communities like ours.
I’m going to ask you two questions. Pause for a minute and think deeply about your answers before reading further:
What are the best software companies in the world?
Who are the best software engineers in the world?
Did you come up with a list of names? If so, how many names are on that list? Three? Five? Maybe ten, at most? There are thousands of software companies and software engineers doing incredible things, but when I ask you for the best, I bet only a select few names pop into your head. Why these names and not others?
It’s because these companies and developers not only do great work, but also spend time telling you that they do great work. I’d bet that for every company and programmer on your list, you’ve read their writing (e.g., blogs, papers, books), seen their presentations (e.g., talks, conferences, meetups), and/or used their code (e.g., open source).
For example, if your list of programmers included Linus Torvalds, it’s probably because you’re familiar with Linux or Git, both of which he developed as free, open source projects. If you had Dennis Ritchie on your list, it’s probably because he was one of the people responsible
With left-pad removed from NPM, applications and widely used bits of open-source infrastructure were unable to obtain the dependency, and thus fell over. Thousands, worldwide. Left-pad was fetched 2,486,696 downloads in just the last month, according to NPM. It was that popular. To 'fix the Internet', Laurie Voss, CTO and cofounder of NPM, took the unprecedented step of restoring the unpublished left-pad 0.0.3 that apps required.
And so the internet broke.
People confirmed their biases:
And people got angry:
Everyone involved here has my sympathy. The situation sucks for everyone, not least Azer (who owes none of you ingrates a damn thing!). But reading the GitHub thread should leave you thoroughly exasperated, because this problem is very easily solved.
Bundle your code, even if it’s not for the browser
Just to recap:
left-pad was unpublished
Babel uses fixed versions of its dependencies, one of which (transitively) was left-pad
When you install Babel, you also install all its dependencies (and their dependencies)
Therefore all old versions of Babel were hosed (until left-pad was un-unpublished)
People blame Azer
The key item here is number 3. Suppose that instead of listing all those dependencies in package.json,
You really can succeed long-term in the freelance design business. It takes a little luck, along with the right approach.
Being a freelance web designer is a path many of us have chosen. The independence you gain from starting your own business is quite a big selling point for making the leap. But along with that independence is a whole lot of responsibility. Frankly, being a freelancer is hard. While anyone can wake up one day and make the decision to go it alone, not everyone is going to flourish. According to recent statistics in the US, about 33% of small businesses fail within two years.
Now, not everyone included in that statistic would be considered a freelancer – but you get the point. It’s easy enough to start out in this business and quite another to actually succeed over the long haul.
As of this writing, I’m entering my 18th year in business. In some ways it’s hard to believe that many years have gone by. And I also realize that it has taken some great luck to get this far into it. Still, there are factors beyond luck that will help you get there.
Here are some things to consider if you want to be a freelance web designer for the long-term:
Commit to the Freelance Lifestyle
Well, nobody’s going to mistake the freelance lifestyle with a Jay Z video. But it certainly
Sean takes us through a few key takeaways from this useful book on business management / teams.
I recently finished reading a book called Extreme Ownership. It’s a business book by two Navy SEALs who led the most highly-decorated combat units in the Iraq War in which they share key battlefield lessons, distill them into core principles and map them to specific business scenarios to show how they apply in the boardroom. I had a handful of interesting takeaways from reading this book and noticed a fair amount of idea overlap with another military business book that’s a bit of a North Star at Pagely, Turn the Ship Around. I’ll distill the key Extreme Ownership principles of the book below and share how we’ve implemented some of this thinking at Pagely with the hope that it gives you some ideas on how to apply these concepts in your venture. The Concept of Extreme Ownership
The book is divided into three parts. The first section lays the groundwork of the philosophy of Extreme Ownership and presents a compelling argument that quality of leadership is the primary determinant for team effectiveness (trumping even team composition). Put simply, Extreme Ownership is the opposite of “it’s not my job,” it’s taking ownership of all aspects
Tough News: We’ve Made 10 Layoffs. How We Got Here, the Financial Details and How We’re Moving Forward
Ouch! Hate hearing that. Poor judgment affected lives. Happens often of course, but I hate seeing it nevertheless.
Tough News: We’ve Made 10 Layoffs. How We Got Here, the Financial Details and How We’re Moving Forward
The last 3 weeks have been challenging and emotional for everyone at Buffer. We made the hard decision to lay off 10 team members, 11% of the team. I’d like to share the full details of how we got here, and the way we have chosen to handle this situation to put Buffer in a healthier position. I believe most startup founders are, by nature, optimistic. We want to solve problems and we believe in going from nothing to something. The attitude of most successful founders is that something previously unproven can be made a reality. Most of us have experienced doubt and skepticism and have pushed through it.
Optimism has seen us through a lot of mistakes at Buffer, like the countless new features and products we spent months building only to realize we need to scrap them. Content suggestions and our Daily iOS app are just a couple.
But after a certain point in a company, the mistakes we make don’t just affect the product features. They affect people’s lives.
And no amount of optimism could prepare Buffer for last Monday, when we had to tell 10 talented teammates that their journey with us was over.
It’s the result of the biggest mistake I’ve made in my career