25 Top Blogs Any WordPress Site Owner Should FollowWordPress is an extraordinarily popular platform for running websites. A full 28% of the web is built with WordPress, meaning each time you click on a new website there’s more than a one in four chance that its owners use WordPress to manage it. WordPress appeals to so many people and businesses because it’s free, easy to use, and flexible. As intuitive as it is, for anyone using it, it’s useful to have more information on the possibilities available on the platform and the resources out there you can take advantage of. For that reason, a number of WordPress blogs have risen to prominence that all provide a wealth of useful information on how to get the most out of the popular platform. Here are a few of the best ones to follow.
4. CodeinwpCodeinwp is a blog for designers that use WordPress. It highlights useful themes and templates, plug-ins worth checking out, and tutorials for people new to designing for WordPress.
5. WP TavernWordPress Tavern covers news in the general world of WordPress like relevant tech acquisitions and product updates, as well as how to articles and resources useful to WordPress users. If you’re interested in staying on top of not only the updates to WordPress itself, but also those for related products and companies, they’re a good source.
6. WPBeginnerLike the name suggests, WPBeginner is a good resource for anyone new to using WordPress, but the blog also provides information that can be useful to long-time users as well. They cover tips for WordPress security, how to find the best themes, and all the information you should need to get started.
7. WPMU DevWPMU Dev covers a variety of topics on running a successful website with a clear emphasis on using WordPress to do so. They have posts full of tips, tools, and best practices for getting what you need out of your website.
8. WPKubeWPKube is another website that provides various how to articles and highlights some of the best tools available to WordPress users. With reviews for a wide-ranging number of WordPress tools and tutorials, they can help you figure out how to do what you want to in WordPress more quickly and easily.
9. WP SquaredWP Squared publishes round ups of great themes to use for different types of websites and purposes and provides various tips and tutorials on how to do different types of tasks in WordPress.
10. Developer DriveDeveloper Drive is a bit more advanced in the content it provides than some of the other blogs, but for WordPress developers it’s a valuable resource for the more complex ins and outs of using the platform that developers can benefit from.
11. WPExplorerThe WPExplorer blog provides lots of tips and guides on ways to use WordPress including general posts on how to make money with WordPress and more specific how to posts to talk users through the smaller tasks they’ll need to accomplish.
12. WP MayorWP Mayor is a site primarily devoted to reviews of plug-ins, themes, and services. The site also sometimes covers tutorials and WordPress news as well.
13. Chris LemaChris Lema is a WordPress expert that provides general online marketing advice for businesses, as well as more WordPress-specific tips and best practices.
14. ThemeisleThemeisle offers tutorials for WordPress newbies and advanced users, as well as general advice on running a business website well. They also offer a collection of themes, some free and some for pay.
15. TorqueTorque is a fairly comprehensive WordPress blog with content for developers, website owners, and beginners alike. They cover news, themes, and plug-ins and provide a range of helpful articles on ways to use WordPress to get better results.
16. BobWPThe BobWP blog is full of posts providing advice on monetizing a WordPress site. That includes covering marketing topics, WordPress updates, and ecommerce tools that work with WordPress.
17. MHThemesThe MHThemes blog provides information on a wealth of WordPress related topics like blogging, social media promotion, and, well, themes. They’re a useful resource for anyone running a business website, but especially good for those who use WordPress to do so.
18. 85IdeasThe 85Ideas blog is primarily focused on plug-in and theme reviews, but they also sometimes provide tutorials and coverage of events relevant to WordPress users.
19. ManageWPManageWP publishes posts on a wide-ranging array of WordPress-related topics, from business to security to editorials. They also provide some of the more common types of content you’ve been seeing on this list, like coverage and reviews of plug-ins and themes.
20. Lady WordPressLady WordPress offers general advice for marketing and blogging, as well as sharing her expertise on using WordPress effectively through tutorials and informational posts.
21. JustWPIn spite of the “just” in the name, JustWP covers a wide variety of topics, all of them related to using WordPress. For any designers (or amateur ones) they offer plug-in, theme, texture, and icon suggestions. They provide tips for WordPress security, general maintenance, and useful snippets. And they provide how to posts that answer an array of questions WordPress users may have.
22. 87Studios87Studios is another site that offers WordPress tutorials, points people toward great plug-ins and themes, and provides more general tips and education on using WordPress.
23. WpekaLike many of the sites on this list, Wpeka pushes out content on WordPress tutorials, themes, plug-ins and products, as well as posting interviews with various WordPress experts.
24. WP SuperstarsThe WP Superstars blog is filled with how to content, reviews, and theme and plug-in roundups. They also highlight deals to help WordPress users find the WP tools they need for less.
25. WPShoutWPShout focuses on in-depth WordPress tutorials for developers. In addition to posts and quick guides, they have more in depth courses for those prepared to go a bit deeper. WordPress is one of the most important tools in the online world and those who learn how to use it well can go really far with it. Give these sites a look to learn the different ways you can start to get more out of your WordPress blog.
Monday, June 26, 2017 by Casey Kelly-BartonWe’ve looked at the importance of competing on value rather than price, and now here comes a seemingly counterintuitive idea: giving your customers stuff for free. Should you try this promotion tactic? Maybe. Exactly what to hand out and how to do it will vary based on your goals and what you sell. In another post, we covered freebie options for service providers and B2B businesses. Right now, let’s look at some common freebie tactics for online retailers to see whether they’re right for you, and how to use them wisely.
Email list signup giveawaysOffering people a free item in exchange for joining an email list is a tradition as old as e-commerce. Most advice on list-signup freebies focuses on information products like special reports, but retailers can use freebies to build a list, too. The best-known retail example is Bed Bath & Beyond’s instant 48-hour, 20% coupon for new list members. If you run a stationery, organization or craft store online, you can offer free printable downloads in exchange for joining your email list. And yes, retailers can offer free information, too. If you sell homemade, allergen-free dog treats, you might write a list of tips for helping dogs with allergies thrive. Format it for easy printing and be sure to include your business name and logo.
In-store freebiesCostco knows how to leverage freebies. Shoppers join to buy food in bulk but they get surprisingly excited about the tiny cups of free food and drinks on offer. If you have a physical store or vend at fairs, think about small items you could offer for free to get new customers to try your products or treat repeat customers to a token of appreciation. You may have to make your samples “first-come first-serve” or “the first 50 shoppers” so you don’t unbalance your budget, and be sure to promote your giveaways in advance and in real time on social media for the most mileage. Also, limit in-store freebies to times when you have something new to promote, so you don’t have people coming around all the time for free stuff without ever making a purchase.
Bonus items with purchasesFree extras with purchases are an easy way to get your existing customers to try new products. This is actually how the grocery delivery service I use got my entire family hooked on Coke Life; free samples kept arriving with our orders and now we buy some every week. Online beauty retailers like Sephora and Paula’s Choice do something similar by letting shoppers choose their freebies from a menu during the checkout process. [bctt tweet="Free extras with purchases are an easy way to get your existing customers to try new products." username="hostgator"]
Swag bags, silent auctions and door prizesWhether it’s a PTA fundraiser or the Oscars, it’s not an event without swag bags. These goodie bags, along with silent auction items and door prizes, are typically contributed by local businesses at the request of volunteers. If a group asks you to contribute your merchandise, take these steps to make sure your donation benefits your business as well as their event.
- First, make sure the cause is something you genuinely support and that the event audience matches your customer profile. Over time, your business may get lots of donation requests and you won’t be able to fulfill them all, so choose strategically.
- Next, make sure your business name and contact information is on your products. Order stickers if you need to and put them on everything you donate. I once got a full-size tube of Mary Kay hand lotion in a swag bag, and I loved it. Unfortunately, by the time I got the bag contents sorted out, the representative’s card was nowhere to be found, so I didn’t know who to repay for their generosity with an order.
- Finally, if you’re contributing a door prize to an event, make sure in advance that your prize and company name are announced as part of the drawing. Ask that the MC show off what you’ve donated and tell people where to find your table or business cards at the event.
Giveaways to social media followersGiveaways on social media are a good way to add followers. For example, maybe you hold a giveaway drawing for Facebook followers who share your post on their personal page. You can sweeten the deal with a promo code for everyone who participates. For example, maybe you do a drawing for a candle from your home décor collection, and after the drawing, give everyone who shared your post a coupon code for your shop as a thank-you. [bctt tweet="Giveaways on social media are a good way to add followers." username="hostgator"]
Reviewers and influencersGiving samples to reviewers and influencers can expand your audience without spending a lot on advertising. The trick is to choose recipients carefully. Their audience profile should match your customer persona, and you should understand their review policies before you send anything. If they agree to do a review or testimonial, send something great. Then promote their review (assuming it’s good) all over your social media and on your product page. You may get requests for samples from reviewers whose audience is too small or doesn’t match yours. It’s OK to say no, thank them for their interest, and direct your promotional efforts elsewhere.
The easiest freebie: shippingOnline shoppers expect free shipping now, even though intellectually we all know shipping costs are built into product pricing. Offering free shipping can be a tie-breaker for shoppers considering other retailers, and even small shops can make free shipping work as long as you set the conditions carefully. For example, express and international shipping can be breathtakingly costly, so maybe limit your free offer to domestic standard shipping. You can also offer a free gift wrap and card option during the holiday shopping season to make gift-buying easier for your customers. Remember that you need a goal for your giveaways, whether it’s building your email list, expanding your social media following, introducing new products or strengthening your relationship with your current customers. The one goal that should underpin every free promotion you do is getting people to appreciate the value of what you sell. That way, people who get something from you for free are more likely to become repeat customers who shop with you because of your products’ value, not just their price.
You heard you needed a Facebook presence, so you threw together a page for your business. When it came time to load an image, what did you choose? If you were in a hurry to get something up, you probably just tried to find any image related to your business that seemed like it could work. Maybe you cropped a stock image to be the right size or picked something generic but basically relevant. If you just went for an easy image that fit, you’re missing a real opportunity. Your Facebook cover photo does matter and you should invest the time or money to create one that really communicates what your business is. If you’re still skeptical, here are a couple of reasons to reconsider.
Facebook is where a lot of your audience is.Facebook has over 1.65 billion active users, over a billion of which visit the website every day. With numbers like that, chances are a lot of your customers and potential customers are spending time on Facebook. [bctt tweet="Chances are a lot of your customers and potential customers are spending time on Facebook. " username="hostgator"] And a lot of them are interacting with brands while they’re there. 52% of people using the popular social media platform have said they’ve liked brands on Facebook before. Facebook therefore shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought. It’s a place for you to directly connect with your customers, which is extremely valuable to you. More importantly, for a lot of your customers, it may be the main place they see and interact with your brand. The face you put forward on Facebook will have a significant impact on how your customers see you.
Your photo is the first thing they’ll associate with your brand on the platform.If you look at any Facebook business page, you’ll immediately see that the photo dominates the page. It’s the first place your eyes are drawn to. When someone finds your business page on Facebook, that image will be the first thing they notice and associate with your brand. You need to make sure whatever you use represents your brand well and makes your page look good.
What Makes a Good Facebook PhotoYour Facebook cover photo has a few main jobs it needs to do.
It should match the style of your website branding.To start, your Facebook cover photo is a branding opportunity. You can use it to forward the view of your brand that customers will find in other places, in particular, your website. Chewy.com’s Facebook cover photo echoes the website’s blue and white color scheme, prominently features the brand’s logo, and includes the brand’s tagline “where pet lovers shop.” At a glance, it clarifies who the brand is, who it’s for, and the kind of items they sell. And for anyone that goes from the Facebook page to the website, the visual relationship between the two is clear.
It should communicate something about what your business does.Your Facebook cover photo isn’t just a branding opportunity; it’s a chance to show off what you do. ModCloth’s cover photo shows models wearing several dresses, skirts, and tops available for sale on their website. The photo demonstrates the company’s style, makes clear what they do (sell clothes), and doubles as a selling opportunity – several Facebook followers commented on the cover photo to ask where they could find the outfits to buy.
It has to look good.Any image associated with your brand has to do one last extremely important job: look good. Adagio teas makes use of the beauty of the setting where their teas are grown to make their Facebook page look great. The photo’s both beautiful and relevant to what the company sells. With Facebook cover photos though, there’s a bit more you need to consider to make sure you come up with a cover image that looks good to all your users. You see, your image can’t just look good on a desktop; it also has to look good on mobile devices, and Facebook sizes their cover images differently. You need an image that works both at:
- 828 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall on desktop, and
- 640 pixels wide and 360 pixels tall on smartphones.
Sunday, June 25, 2017 by admin
Announcing Our New Dedicated Hosting PlatformVery excited to announce our new Dedicated Hosting Platform with high performance options including up to 16 cpu threads, 32GB Memory and 1 TB SSD Storage. HostGator has amped up their Dedicated Platform to meet the increasing demands of doing business online. With Dedicated Server options that literally double both the processing power and memory available on our current platform.
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