Category Archives: WordPress

10 Tips: Increase WooCommerce Conversion Rate with Product Tables

All WooCommerce stores share a single aim: To increase conversions and get more sales. Whatever your wider business goals, that’s what it all comes down to!

If you Google ‘WooCommerce conversion rate optimisation’, you’ll find lots of general advice on how to convert more visitors into paying customers. This usually focusses on improvements to the cart and checkout. These are important, but often forget that you need to convince customers to buy your products in the first place.

In this article, I’m going to do the opposite. I’ll provide specific and actionable tips on how you can convince customers to add more products to their cart using a specific tool: product tables.

WooCommerce product tables are an excellent tool for increasing your sales. By adding well designed table layouts to your store, you can present products in user-friendly ways that make it easier for customers to buy from you.

Source: 10 Tips: Increase WooCommerce Conversion Rate with Product Tables

Bed and Breakfast Themes – 20+ WordPress Themes to Showcase Bed & Breakfasts

Bed and breakfast themes are niche WordPress themes available for the hotel and lodging industry. They’re designed to showcase a single location as is typical with B&Bs, so they need to be powerful and well-designed yet minimalist enough to not be too bloated with features intended for large hotel chains.

This post features a collection of over 20 bed and breakfast themes available for WordPress. These themes are more than capable of showcasing B&Bs effectively through the styles and features they offer. Let’s go over what exactly a bed and breakfast is and what features you should look for before we get into the list.

Read the article: Bed and Breakfast Themes – 20+ WordPress Themes to Showcase Bed & Breakfasts

5 Reasons You Might Want to Switch WordPress Hosting Providers

It can be tempting to think any working web host will provide you with a top-notch experience, but that, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. No two hosting providers are the same, and performance can vary wildly between different hosts. All that means that even if you’re feeling happy with your WordPress host (and definitely if you’re not!), you might not necessarily be getting the best service possible. And that’s why it’s important to look at some metrics that indicate when it’s time to switch WordPress hosting providers.

The good news is that moving to a new hosting service isn’t as difficult as it sounds. So even if you’re ambivalent about your current host, we encourage you to consider these metrics because there’s a decent chance you might be able to improve your site’s hosting situation without much hassle or money.

Because of how important metrics like uptime and page load times are to your site’s success, every little improvement counts. For that reason, whether you’re happy with your current host or not, we’re going to walk you through five reasons you might want to switch WordPress hosting providers and explain what makes each important. Let’s get started!

Read full article: 5 Reasons You Might Want to Switch WordPress Hosting Providers

WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes

For many years, WordPress.com has been a simple way for people to create their own beautiful WordPress website in minutes.

But that simplicity came with a tradeoff — WordPress.com did not offer built-in support for the thousands of third-party plugins and themes that helped make WordPress the world’s largest and most open web publishing platform.

Now, we’ve made a significant change to the WordPress.com Business plan: you can access and add third-party plugins and themes built by the WordPress community. It’s the simplicity, speed, and expert support that you’ve always loved about WordPress.com, plugged in.

People love WordPress because it is totally customizable. With support for plugins and third-party themes, WordPress.com Business users will be able to connect their sites to great email and social media tools, ecommerce solutions, publishing and subscription services, and more.

This is a big step for us, and there’s a lot more work to do — over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be working with partners and developers to help make the experience even easier for you to install and use these plugins and themes on WordPress.com.

And every WordPress.com Business user gets real-time concierge support – live chat with one of our Happiness Engineers and we can help you make the most of these new features.

WordPress is the world’s most popular web platform, and we’re proud to keep this community growing and thriving. Thanks for your continued support.

WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes

Source: WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes — The WordPress.com Blog

44 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

Starting a blog for the first time is an amazing, yet intimidating experience.

Thinking that people are actually going to read – and even share – something you wrote. It’s unlike any other feeling I can describe.

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Starting a blog is hard work, and there are a lot of pitfalls along the way. Especially if it’s your first time. So many pitfalls, in fact, that we’ve come up with a full list of 44 things we wish we knew before starting our first blogs. That way, you don’t have to make these mistakes yourself!

But who are “we” exactly, right? Well, this post is a group effort. It features three bloggers chipping in and sharing their best advice on the topic.

So grab a coffee and get cozy, we’re about to review everything we’ve learned in the past 5+ years. Enjoy!

Read full article: 44 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

New ‘Contact Form’ Experience on Jetpack 5.2

Introduction: Contact Form – Jetpack 5.2

Jetpack 5.2 brings you a brand new Contact Form experience, a better explanation of recommended features, and several performance improvements.

New Contact Form

Jetpack’s Contact Form for WordPress is one of our most popular free features. And with good reason: it’s the simplest and most effective way of enabling your readers to get in touch with you be it for praise, complaints, requests or suggestions.

And now we’ve made it much simpler and faster to use.

[Click on a screenshot to enlarge it]

New 'Contact Form' Experience on Jetpack 5.2

The next time you add a contact form to a page on your site you will see a new visual interface right inside the editor instead of a popup. Enjoy a full editing experience including adding and customizing fields and labels, re-ordering them by dragging, and easily setting email subject lines and recipients.

To edit, simply click on the form itself, and hit the “edit” icon. You can edit or remove the existing fields, or add new ones by going to the bottom of the form and clicking “add field.”

screen shot of new jetpack contact form - Contact Form - Jetpack 5.2

Click on the contact form and then the “Edit” icon in order to add new, change the order of, or delete fields in your form.

 

Simply drag and drop your fields to organize their order the way you want them. Click “Update Form” at the bottom when you’re done to save your changes.

screen shot of new jetpack contact form - Contact Form - Jetpack 5.2

Click “Add Field” at the bottom of your new contact form to add new fields. Click “Update Form” to save your changes.

Recommended Features

When you install Jetpack on a new site, Jetpack recommends activating certain popular features that are most valued by users.

Jetpack has now improved this experience to better showcase and explain what the features and how they benefit your WordPress site.

Performance Improvements

Jetpack has also streamlined and reduced weight (file size) of the plugin as well as fixed bugs and introduced enhancements for stability. All these are under the hood ensuring a smoother Jetpack functioning with each version.

Full Changelog and Thanks

The changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release and if you have feedback please get in touch as always.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade your current version today and Jetpack know what you think.

Jetpack thanks contributors to this release:

Alexandru Bucur, Anthony, Artur Piszek, Ben Lowery, Brandon Kraft, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Donncha Ó Caoimh, Drew Butler, Elio Rivero, Eric Binnion, Filipe Varela, George Stephanis, Igor Zinovyev, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Arestad, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mohammad Jangda, Payton Swick, Richard Muscat, Rob Landers, Stephen Edgar, Thomas Guillot.

Source:

Jetpack 5.2: New Contact Form Experience

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4 Ways to Use Social Media SEO to Improve Your Search Engine Visibility 

A very useful article by Elegant Themes’ Dan Virgillito :

Did you know: 571 new sites are made and 70 new domains are registered on the internet within a minute? And that’s just counting a minute. You don’t even want to contemplate the average number of websites created within a year. Generally speaking, the competition for high search engine visibility is fiercer than ever. Even for established websites it’s a tough ask. That is where overlooked tactics like social media seo can give you a competitive edge.

On the whole, social signals / links don’t have a direct impact on the search engine rank of a website. They’re easy to manipulate, which is why search engines don’t give them a lot of importance. Yet, social media benefits search engine rank in unexpected ways.

Specifically, social media seo works in the following ways:

  • Webpages that gain social traction are indexed faster in search engines. The catch is that audience sharing the content must be active and earned.
  • The likelihood of other websites linking to your content increases when it gets shared and promoted on social media. Links are a major driver for search engine rank.
  • A strong presence on social media could boost brand awareness and positive reputation. The more popular your website, the more it will be searched for.

Point in fact, social media seo interaction certainly influences search engine visibility.

But it requires more than just creating a social media profile. Here are 4 tips to help you benefit from social media seo.

1. Fill Your Social Media Profiles with Relevant Information

Include as much relevant information as possible about your website while filling out your social media profiles. Most importantly, include the name and URL of your site, as well as the keywords you want to rank for in the description and the updates you post.

So when people share and engage with your social media updates, they’ll basically aid your brand awareness efforts. For instance, Dom & Tom Inc included important information about its blog post in the update it shared on its Facebook page, leveraging social media seo.

optimizing profiles for social media seo

Source: Facebook

The SEO title of the post is mentioned in the description. This will also get passed around when social media audiences share this update and tag their peers in the comments section.

Potentially, it could result in searches like “things to keep in mind when building apps for kids Dom & Tom” or “Dom & Tom tips for building kids apps,” bringing an indirect increase in Dom & Tom’s search engine visibility.

2. Striking Up Conversations Is an Integral Part of Social Media SEO

Undoubtedly, social media provides an easy way to start a conversation with your target audience to offer value and address pain points . Launch inquiries, post useful tips, start a general discussion and reply to the audiences’ comments with helpful tips.

Then, engage people in the conversation directly. Such engagements are key to creating and retaining an interactive community. Social media seo would encourage your existing customers to return while helping you develop authority for potential ones. Not to mention, a satisfied audience would be willing to spread the word about your company.

For instance, WordPress.com engages its Facebook audience by answering their queries in the comments section.

social media engagement and seo

Source: Facebook

When implementing this tactic, you can also capitalize on the immediacy of response, which 72% of customers listed as critical. Fast response will increase the willingness of people to recommend or praise your brand on social media.

Indirectly, it will result in SEO gains when someone mentions your name on their blog as a helpful resource.

3. Partner with Social Media Influencers

By and large, social media influencers can multiply the visibility of your social media content. Though increased readership won’t directly boost your search engine rank, you’ll create a gateway to more links in the future through this social media seo tactic.

For instance, if an influencer with 5 times bigger following than what your social media efforts can muster shares your content, it would be a boon for your visibility as the influencer’s audience start Googling you up. As a result, your published pieces will have better value after syndication.

Therefore, start connecting with relevant influencers to build a cycle in which they promote your content and talk about your brand. For instance, Kissmetrics partnered with Jeff Bullas and Ann Handley, two of the most respected content marketers, for a webinar.

social media seo influencers

Source: Facebook

The update was shared on social media. Both influencers also informed their audiences about the collaboration. On the whole, it resulted in increased brand awareness for the Kissmetrics brand.

Note: In such influencer-based collaborations, you’re likely to earn nofollow links from the influencers’ social media pages and dofollow links from their websites when they mention your name.

4. Create & Push Captivating Content

Eventually, social media seo comes down to developing compelling content and experiences that your audience will love to discuss and share. Ensure that your video, infographic, visual, text, etc. is unique and in line with the social experience.

Once your content sees some engagement, push it via social media advertising to create a healthy buzz. The incoming traffic will likely result in increased engagement, which could result in more external links. Actually, it’s quite rare to see a highly linked-to page with no social media shares. You can even use hashtags for better reach.

Check out the content shared by Blugraphic on its Facebook page.

Shareworthy content is essential for scial media SEO benefits

Source: Facebook

In one of the posts, they’ve made an album for Giraffey Free Uppercase Condensed Typeface. Other updates include videos and animations in actions. This is the kind of captivating content that social media audiences love to see and share.

Final Thoughts

While standard SEO practices continue to be the first preference when it comes to increasing search engine visibility, it seems that social media seo is fundamental for building authority. Therefore, put some effort into optimizing your social media profiles, connect with the right influencers, and post quality updates on each social media network. You will be surprised to see the ROI these endeavors bring overtime.

Source: 4 Ways to Use Social Media SEO to Improve Your Search Engine Visibility | Elegant Themes Blog

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Improved Stats and Distraction-Free Editing-Jetpack for WordPress

It’s often the little things that count — especially when it comes to your stats and writing. Based on valuable feedback from the community, Jetpack has just launched a few improvements that they think you’ll really love.

Site Stats

  • Today First: Now when you visit a site’s stats, you’ll see the Days view first, with data displayed for the last 30 days. A quick click on the arrow will take you to yesterday’s stats, or you can click on any bar to view full stats for a specific day.

switching-days-stats2 - Improved Stats and Distraction-Free Editing — Jetpack for WordPress

  • See More Information at Once: To better work with wider displays, we’ve extended the display area and have included three columns of statistics. The Weeks and Months views now also display up to 30 periods (if that data is available).
  • More Insights: Click the arrow next to a stat’s title for summaries of various periods, including a new All Time tab, list of Likes, and device previews. Clicking the Insights tab will show you detailed historical data for the entire site.Improved Stats and Distraction-Free Editing — Jetpack for WordPress - all time views - 1
  • Other improvements include an Average per Day view, Follower Totals, and the option to Download a CSV of your stats data.

Distraction-Free Editing

We’re proud to unveil some design changes to the WordPress.com editor that are available to all Jetpack users. It has the same great features you’ve come to expect, but with a cleaner, more refined experience — and a few new improvements, like a distraction-free writing mode.Improved Stats and Distraction-Free Editing — Jetpack for WordPress - 3

For those interested in the behind-the-scenes work that went into these improvements, you can read the full interview with Matías and Joen, the two designers who helped build this new experience.

We really hope you enjoy these new features. Feel free to contact us with any feedback or questions.

POSTED ON BY RICHARD MUSCAT

Source: Improved Stats and Distraction-Free Editing — Jetpack for WordPress

10 of the Best Shopping Cart Plugins for Your WordPress Website

 

Choosing a shopping cart plugin for your WordPress website is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make. After all, a faulty or poorly designed plugin that delivers a subpar user experience will chase users away. The effect on your bottom line doesn’t bear thinking about.

Fortunately, contemporary cart plugins are more than simply a passive way for customers to hold products while making their final purchasing decisions – modern solutions boast sophisticated, polished features. In this post, we’ve selected ten top shopping cart plugins that all seamlessly integrate with your WordPress site.

If you’re ready to take a look with us, let’s get started!

What to Look For in a Shopping Cart Plugin

WordPress shopping cart plugins are simply a way to enable the sale products through your WordPress website. While the exact features you need are going to be based on your own requirements, there are a few ever-present features that matter:

  1. A slick, easy-to-use interface.
  2. Top-flight support for many of the top payment gateways (such as Stripe and PayPal).
  3. Suitable customization options.
  4. Compatibility with your chosen theme.

Payment gateway support can’t be stressed enough. You’ll want to ensure that your plugin choice supports as many payment gateways as possible, without compromising on features.

As for compatibility and customization, you’ll want a suitable theme that can offer flexibility and power. Divi includes the Shop module out of the box, which offers integration with WooCommerce. In addition, the theme also comes bundled with the Divi Builder – an intuitive front end editor that can help make your website stand out.

10 of the Best Shopping Cart Plugins for Your WordPress Website

Before we take a look at our list, you’ll notice that some popular choices are missing. This is down to the criteria we’ve used to make our selections – some plugins simply couldn’t meet our standards when it came to reviews or ratings, while others hadn’t been updated in a while. What’s left is our pick of ten of the best shopping cart plugins for WordPress. Let’s take a look!

1. WooCommerce

The WooCommerce plugin.

First on the list is our recommended e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce. It enables the sale of digital and physical goods, and shoppers are offered the option of instant downloads. The sale of affiliate goods from online marketplaces is also supported. Flat rate and free shipping options are provided, as is the option to create real-time payment calculations.

In addition, WooCommerce also offers a number of free and premium extensions to enhance both yours and your customer’s experience through features such as recurring subscriptions, memberships, bookings systems, and more.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to sell both digital and physical goods.
  • Offers a number of free and premium extensions to enhance WooCommerce’s functionality.
  • Offers the option for global shipping.
  • Supports bank transfers, cash on delivery, and PayPal.

Price: FREE | More Information

2. eCommerce Shopping Cart

The WP Easy Cart plugin.

eCommerce Shopping Cart is a streamlined shopping cart plugin that slickly integrates with your WordPress website. It’s similar to WooCommerce in that it lets you sell both digital and physical products, along with gift cards.

There are a number of payment options available, and the plugin includes several in-built marketing and promotional tools – such as offering coupons. What’s more, eCommerce Shopping Cart includes baked in analytics and social sharing options for each item.

Although the plugin is free to download, you’ll need to purchase a license, which starts at $50 per site.

Key Features:

  • Supports almost all of the most popular payment services.
  • Offers tiered pricing, B2B pricing, featured products, and more.
  • Supports global shipping.
  • Includes marketing and coupon tools.
  • Integrates c-commerce conversion tracking.
  • Offers social sharing options.

Price: From $50 | More Information

3. Cart66

Cart66 WordPress Plugin

Cart66 stands as perhaps the most secure e-commerce WordPress option available – for a start, it helps to ensure online stores are PCI compliant. It supports both digital and physical products, and enables customers to create accounts when purchasing items.

Cart66 also includes a recurring billing engine that plays nicely with its 102 supported payment gateways, and enables you to include taxes and discounts at checkout.

Cart66 offers a 14-day free trial, but after that, the plugin starts at $9.99 a month.

Key Features:

  • Enables customers to create accounts, including storing credit card information and order history.
  • Offers a built-in email center that keeps you in touch with your existing customers.
  • Includes a recurring billing engine.
  • Supports over 100 payment gateways.
  • Offers incredible security and support, including PCI compliance.

Price: From $9.99 per month | More Information

4. Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart

The Ecwid plugin.

Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart is relied upon by over a million sellers worldwide.  It’s an e-commerce solution with support for more than 40 payment options, and 45 different languages.

This plugin stores your data entirely in the cloud, with unlimited storage, automatic upgrades, and backups. It also offers mobile iOS and Android apps free of charge, which enables you to turn your device into a Point Of Sale (POS) station.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to store your data in the cloud.
  • Offers iOS and Android apps free of charge.
  • Includes support for Facebook.
  • Provides a secure HTTPS checkout, and more than 40 payment options.

Price: From FREE | More Information

5. PayPal Shopping Cart

The PayPal Shopping Cart plugin.

PayPal Shopping Cart is an e-commerce solution that lets you place PayPal branded Add to Cart and View Cart buttons anywhere on your website. Payments are (of course) handled by PayPal via credit or debit card.

While the plugin is free, transaction fees will apply. There’s also a PayPal Pro offering that extends the functionality of the plugin, and enables some basic customization of the buttons, along with more options for setting taxes and discounts.

Key Features:

  • Offers a quick cart button creation feature based on your item’s details.
  • Supports 25 currencies and 18 languages.
  • Includes two button styles, and a choice of shop and payment URLs,

Price: FREE | More Information

6. WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart

The WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart plugin.

WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart does what it says on the tin – it offers a simple, minimalist shopping cart for your site. The plugin integrates seamlessly into any page, post, or sidebar of your WordPress site. Like some of the other choices in this list, it enables you to sell both physical and digital products including audio files, PDFs, photos, videos, and more.

WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart is free, but transaction fees do apply.

Key Features:

  • Enables you to whip up an Add to Cart button with a variety of shopping and pricing options at your disposal.
  • Lets you sell a wide range of media types, along with physical goods.
  • Offers a minimalist approach. It’s light on code, helping to keep loading times to a minimum.

Price: FREE | More Information

7. Ecommerce WD

The eCommerce Shopping Cart plugin.

Ecommerce WD provides a user-friendly setup, paired with some advanced functionality including smart sorting, filtering, and searching of products. It works with PayPal out of the box, and enables you to set tax and shipping to groups of items, rather than on a product-by-product basis. It also offers a guest checkout feature, and social media integration for your products.

Ecommerce WD has a free tier, with premium versions offering additional theme support and other perks.

Key Features:

  • Enables users to create an unlimited quantity of categories and products.
  • Lets you find information via a sophisticated search feature.
  • Enables you to create tax types and shipping methods by group rather than by product.
  • Offers template customization and social network integration.
  • Includes guest checkout functionality.

Price: From FREE | More Information

8. Selz eCommerce Shopping Cart

The Selz plugin.

Selz eCommerce Shopping Cart is suited to the non-coders, and integrates with almost every WordPress theme. It’s a robust, full-featured shopping cart solution for the sale of physical products, services, and digital downloads.

The plugin provides secure download links for all digital items sold, and your store’s functionality can be bolstered via a variety of free and premium apps including PayPal support and MailChimp integration.

Finally, Selz eCommerce Shopping Cart is free, although transaction fees apply – and you only pay when you make a sale.

Key Features:

  • Offers secure download options for digital goods.
  • Supports delivery options for physical product sales.
  • Provides an app store to help enhance your store’s functionality.
  • Supports one-click selling and sharing for Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
  • Includes a Facebook-specific store template.

Price: FREE | More Information

9. Easy Digital Downloads

The Easy Digital Downloads plugin.

Easy Digital Downloads is an e-commerce plugin solution aimed at – you guessed it – digital downloads only. The mantra of the plugin is to simply offer everything you need and nothing you don’t. It’s minimalism at its finest!

Amazon, PayPal, and test payments are supported right off the bat, and there are numerous premium extensions to help enhance your store further. Finally, Easy Digital Downloads is entirely free – meaning no transaction fees apply to your sales.

Key Features:

  • Includes a test payment feature.
  • Offers users their full purchase history, along with the ability to re-download files.
  • Enables you to set variable prices and multiple price options for each product.
  • Offers CSV and PDF data export options.
  • Includes a robust promotional code system.
  • Lets you offer customizable purchase receipts.

Price: FREE | More Information

10. Jigoshop

The Jigoshop plugin.

Finally, we have Jigoshop. This is a dynamic e-commerce solution, which positions itself as a powerful alternative to WooCommerce. The plugin enables a high level of user control, and the sizable development team regularly cranks out updates and fresh features.

Like WooCommerce, Jigoshop has a large number of extensions to help enhance your store. The plugin itself is free, although some extensions have a cost attached.

Key Features:

  • Lets you sell both digital and physical products.
  • Includes functionality to group your products.
  • Offers affiliate product support.
  • Enables stock management and advanced reporting.
  • Offers over 100 extensions, with more available each month.

Price: FREE | More Information

Conclusion

With so much to lose by choosing the wrong shopping cart plugin, selecting from the myriad of choices available can seem like a daunting exercise, especially when so much of your e-commerce success depends on you choosing the right one.

The ten shopping cart plugins we’ve listed above all provide the basic features you’ll need to get up and running, but each also has their own unique features. If you take the time to investigate the functionality of each solution, we’re sure you’ll find one that suits your particular e-commerce needs.

Do you use any of these shopping cart plugins, and if so, how are they working out for you? Let us know in the comments section below, and be sure to subscribe to the comments so you don’t miss out on the conversation!

Article thumbnail image by Profit_Image / shutterstock.com.

Source: 10 of the Best Shopping Cart Plugins for Your WordPress Website | Elegant Themes Blog