This is why every ecommerce startup should invest in a good website?

Congrats for setting up your own ecommerce store, working hard for the past few months to set up a well-oiled business.

Well after getting the logo outsourced, the store designed by some relative who does part time coding you think that you’re ready to start your online ecommerce business, then you are totally wrong!

Over more than a decade, we’ve met entrepreneurs wishing to design their own websites and grumbling over the high rates of website designing.

ecommerceIn 2015, building a visually stunning, seamlessly functional and easily navigable ecommerce website is a must, not a luxury.

We understand that you are an entrepreneur operating with limited funds, accustomed to getting things done by yourself but in the ecommerce domain if you thing you can do everything by yourself, it is a misconception that will lead your business to doom.

Here is why every ecommerce startup should invest in a stunning website:

#1. Your web address is the single presence that you can have, so make it count to the fullest – Suppose instead of a website, you are opening a brick and mortar store. Being bootstrapped, the budget will be less, investments needed for the flooring, lighting, rentals and all costing to a minimum $100,000 to merely cover the physical expenses, and probably more.

Even after doing all this, the neighboring Macy’s and Ann Tylor’s will be far better in terms of presentation, interiors, and customer service, you’ll never be able to outweigh them.

While building an ecommerce website, this question won’t arise because ecommerce is a narrow domain, the customers will view you differently, not giving a thought to the Macy’s! There is a better chance to stand distinct online and make your mark even against the most prolific players.

So even the most beautifully website will cost not more than $20,000, compared to the brick and mortar store that I’ll make you $100,000 poorer yet not be as effective. So why not spend these dollars to make an eye-grabbing website that can be developed in a mere few months!

#2. How will you have a stunning ecommerce website? The first step is to go online and check your competitor’s websites, note down the points that you like the most. Once this is done, find out the leading ecommerce website developers in your area, check their portfolios, zero on the ones that you like the most, drop in a mail or pick up the phone and talk with them. Select from the developers that use WordPress.

After hiring the WordPress developers and once the website work starts, hire a professional photographer to click high resolution pictures of each of the product. Conversion rates are best when the images are of the highest quality.

When it comes to deciding the navigability, visit the websites that you like the most, ask the WordPress developers to choose the one that is least frictional and so simple that even a 3 year old can operate without any manual. Address the pain points that the existing players aren’t able to solve, this will differentiate your business from the competitors.

Make your website creative, distinct yet easy to operate and toggle.

#3. Go mobile –Make your ecommerce WordPress website mobile responsive. If the mobile experience doesn’t transform into an unmemorable mobile experience, then you are losing the biggest pie. Invest in a wowing ecommerce website, it’ll get you more visibility, more visitors and customers and ultimately get transformed into more sales.

We just talked you into building a stunning and equally functional ecommerce website, get it done immediately!

6 elements that are a must for every WordPress website

Irrespective of the scope, size or niche of your business, to have your own website is a must. Due to the flexibility, ease of use and alteration, WordPress is the preferred platform for most website owners.

Not having a website lowers the chances of being discovered by the global audience and local customers. A well-designed website enables even the smaller players to compete with the market biggies and gives every business owner a chance to prove his worth. The consumer market is ever so competitive, an aptly designed website increases your chances to overturn the market honchos and make an indispensable mark on the target audience and then convert them into loyal customers.

Essential wordpress pluginsHere are those 6 essential elements that every WordPress website should have. You are losing an essential share of the market pie if these aren’t instilled in your website yet.

#1. Let every visitor know what others think of your business – Reserve a place for your website to display the customer reviews. Display the best reviews over here, it influences the consumers buying decisions. According to a study performed by BrightLocal, in 2012 76% of the buyers’ decision was affected by positive reviews, while in 2015 this number has risen to 86%.

Consumers have become vocal in raising their voice against brands, one negative review can damage your brand, so the existing customers are major lead generators. Either add a plugin wherein the customer can directly write a review on your website or include a third party review plugin such as Facebook or Yelp.

#2. Spread the word about your business using WordPress social plugins – Your existing customers are the best brand advocates, satisfied users will spread word about your service.

To simplify the task for the users to share your brand’s favorite products, include social sharing buttons on your website. Imagine how much publicity your business gets when a customer shares your services or products on his social profiles!

Businesses can also connect with the consumer groups on social profiles, so include the links to most active social networks. The most effective and low-cost way to spread the name of your brand organically!

#3. Keep the WordPress website visually engaging – Visitors now expect websites to be visually stunning, ensure that your WordPress website appears engaging and interactive. The images and videos should be high-quality to take the experience to an all new level and delight the visitors.

Place high definition images about your products and videos explaining how your product solves the problems right on the home page. This distinguishes your business from the competitors and imparts a greater edge.

#4. Make the purchasing experience frictionless – If your business sells products then you should have an ecommerce website that makes the purchase easier. If your customers can’t come to your store, take the product right to their smartphones.

Many people choose second party ecommerce option such as Etsy or Amazon, however it is also another barrier to the purchasing experience. The best option is to include a shopping cart in your ecommerce website and then integrate it with a third party payment gateway. Investing in a WordPress ecommerce website gives the best returns on investment.

#5. Keep the content fresh and relevant – To show that your business is thriving and embraces the latest industry trends, keep the content fresh and relevant. People tend to trust a website with lively business pages more. If not all, the most important pages such as the home page should be regularly updated.

Include a blog that establishes your thought leadership and wherein regular updates about the product launch or feature tweaks can be posted. This also improves the search engine rankings because Googles loves to keep those websites that regularly update relevant content on the top ranks.

#6. Show that there is a person behind the website – The most overlooked aspect of a WordPress website is the lack of contact information. All businesses be it on the internet or the brick and mortar ones often lack the contact information on the website, this makes them loose credibility.

Before and while making a purchase, the consumer will want to get in touch with the back-end person. Include an email id, chat box or a phone number which appears prominently on the website and social media pages. Also include the official address on the website.

9 most effective Drag and Drop plugins to bring your WordPress website to life

The drag and drop plugins bring a dull WordPress website to life. It helps you in two ways by: allowing you to view what you actually create and reduces time taken to build a WordPress website.

drag and drop pluginsThese plugins prevent the effort taken to shuffle back-end and front-end to observe the results and hence makes your work quicker.

So if you are looking to make your work quicker and more productive, here are 9 most effective and widely used Drag and Drop WordPress plugins to select from.

#1. Visual Composer plugin – As one of the most widely sold drag and drop plugins in the market, it is a simple plugin that allows to select whether you want to work front end or backend. It is possible to work with this plugin on every theme and the plugin includes 40 content components to be used right from the box.

Moreover being flexible it allows addition of modules and custom builder components such as grids and icon boxes to name a few. The layouts are responsive and it is available at $30.

#2. Velocity Page – The unique features offered by Velocity Page allows creation of pages in a matter of minutes. Building landing pages which are extremely stunning is also easy. The drags and drops created let you see the drag and drop changes once the page is saved.

You can even operate this when you know no coding. The pricing of this robust plugin starts with $10.

#3. Page Builder by WooRockets – This responsive plugin appears flawless on all devices. Addition of elements such as promotion boxes, freebies, pricing and content tables is possible. The best feature of Page Builder by WooRockets is that you can simply add any widget to a page by simply dragging and dropping it and start editing or working on it.

#4. Themify Builder – There is a live preview of everything edited or added thereby preventing the need to code. Being able to work on every theme this WordPress plugin allows you to work both back-end and front-end.

Extra superfast prototyping plugins include preview of pre-build layouts to show the website to the client or team members before it’s launched. Color themes and short codes are available and the price range starts from $49.

#5. Page Builder plugin by SiteOrigin – This is a free plugin that aids in building and modifying responsive pages. Widgets are used and there is not much hassle in altering the interface or layout of the WordPress dashboard.

There is a live editing tab that lets you see the changes that are being made and if in case you delete or alter anything by mistake there’s the history tab to scroll back and see the changes and get them back.

#6. Drag and Drop plugin by Elegant Themes – To reorganize the content on your existing site, this plugin is perfect. After downloading this plugin, you don’t have to be a coder to shift, remove, include or edit any component on the page. The drag and drop builder appears just beneath the WordPress editor to observe the changes being made.

Addition of tabs, buttons, clicks and columns can be done via this widget which comes free with upgrades at $89.

#7. Beaver Builder – This third party drag and drop plugin doesn’t lock the changes made to any theme or design which otherwise happens in most of the cases. You can simply change the themes in the initial design without having to start from scratch.

It comes in two versions, Light and Premium.

#8. Live composer – For all the non-coders, the Live Composer is the best drag and drop WordPress plugin. It is accompanied with professional support and 3 different modules in case there are any technical glitches. It is responsive on all screens and comes in multiple languages.

It is a premium plugin starting from $25.

#9. WR Page Builder – WR Page Builder is simple to operate, has a responsive layout and has a live preview mode thus preventing the need to shuffle back and forth between the screens.

Unlimited styling options are available including – short codes, widget support and works equally well with posts, pages and full page elements.
It is available free and for more upgrades you have to pay.

7 essential WordPress plugins to create amazing landing pages

A landing page is the first impression visitors get about your online venture, so the first thing you should be concentrating on while making the website is the landing page.

landing-page-roiWordPress has a number of plugins to build an effective and amazing landing page that converts visitors into leads. The following WordPress landing page plugins that will help in building an attractive landing page that keeps the visitors spell-bound and boost the sales funnel conversion from a mere visitor into potential customers.

#1. WordPress Landing Pages – Looking for a quick way to create a landing page in minutes? WordPress landing page has a number of attractive templates with a simple setup process. If you don’t like the existing options, then they can even be customized. They do have add-in features such as A/B split testing and tracking the conversion rate statistics.

#2. OptimizePress Premium WordPress plugin – The most widely used landing page plug-in, it integrates with WordPress seamlessly. Although the pricing is high and you have to buy the whole package even for using the landing page. Their customer support team is very active, a blog to solve your queries and a member community enthusiastically helping the fellow members.

You don’t need a technical team to set it up as it can be done by everyone. These plugins are best created to transform a visitor into customer. So if you have some monetary resources to spare for marketing, OptimizePress Premium WordPress plugin offers the best bang for your bucks.

#3. Ultimate Landing Page – This plugin provides both options – creating landing page and coming soon page for a new site. You can introduce Gravity Forms and Contact 7 plugins to merge with the existing pages.

If you are a bit of a coder, then the template can be customized by CSS/JS which can then by integrated with MailChimp to increase your email list. For all those looking to grow their email list and thereby the customer loyalty then this is the best landing page plugin.

#4. SeedPro’s Coming Soon plugin – Are you looking for designs that carry a certain wow-factor? Explicitly designed coming soon pages will create an anticipated buzz among the target audience for your to-be-launched campaigns or websites. It integrates flawlessly with MailChimp and Aweber to reach out to the target customers’ way before the actual launch.

#5. Parallax Gravity Landing Page Builder – The not-so-widely known plugin, Parallax Gravity Landing page builder is a boon for the minimalist design lovers. These templates have a simple interface and it is responsive thus preventing to worry about its look and feel across all devices.

For a customized landing page with more animations, buttons and titles upgrade to the Pro version. In this option the number of landing pages is not limited.

#6. Thrive Landing Page WordPress plugin – Thrive’s landing pages are far better than the free ones as they are tested by professionals and they are known to convert emails. If you want to incorporate a video or any media, it can easily be done.

For the template background, either solid colors or photos of your choice can be added. Marketing tools such as
squeeze pages can also be added. To improve the conversion rate, adding appealing logos, icons and images is possible.

#7. WP Mobile Splash Page Editor – This plugin is used to make awesome mobile landing pages that load quicker for mobile browsers and is meant for users on the go. It is compatible with all WordPress themes and with unlimited styling options creating a picture-perfect mobile landing site is as easy as making your own WordPress website.

Wrapping up – Setting up a landing page with above mentioned WordPress plugins is not a tough task, moreover once the optimal landing page is designed visitors will themselves get converted into leads and potential customers.

5 WordPress plugins to make your website mobile friendly

According to the latest news by Google, the last date to make your website mobile friendly is 21st April 2015. So if you want your WordPress website to bear the brunt of this major Google algorithm update, ensure that your website is optimized for use on mobiles.

mobile friendlyTo gain greater visibility on Google’s search results, ensure that your WordPress website is responsive and mobile optimized, if this hasn’t been done yet, here are a few WordPress plugins to take the mobile experience to an all new level.

#1. WP Touch – This plugin is used by 5.5 million WordPress blogs. Being the complete WordPress solution, it is compatible with all mobile devices.

With this plugin the chosen WP Touch theme runs four times faster than all other competitor themes. For mobiles, they have an “infinity catche” to cache mobiles sites on the mobile device. This makes your WordPress website run even faster on mobile devices. The quicker your website, the more would it be loved by the users, visitors and search engines.

WP Touch is not a free plugin, it comes at a price of $49. But on the brighter side you get access to numerous advanced features.

#2. Jetpack – Jetpack comes with 33 other unique features, with this plugin you can improve both the SEO, site speed and perform certain enhancements. Improvement of multiple aspects of the site performance is possible.

It offers a mobile theme to make your WordPress website responsive thus making it work seamlessly on desktop and other devices. Customization of the themes is possible with tweaks in PHP and CSS. There are some other functionalities to integrate your social profiles and enhance site speed. It is free to download, easy to learn and perfect for beginners to learn and experiment.

#3. WP Mobile – If you are not looking for a responsive theme and wanting to create a separate version mobile version, WP Mobile lets you create one. While in the responsive version the same layout is visible on all devices, in this native mobile format you can control the appearance of the website on different screens based on the target audience. Google doesn’t care if your website is native mobile optimized or responsive so either of the two are alright.

The loading time is optimized and it auto detects the type of device being used so as to appear in the relevant scree size.

WP Mobile is a free plugin.

#4. WP Mobile Detector – If your business is of traditional genre where you simply need to study the audience behavior while they access your site from their mobile device, WP Mobile Detector is the best plugin. Although it is not as feature rich as the previously discussed plugins, it is useful in cases where most of your audience is still using traditional mobile phones.

You get 7 pre-loaded mobile/responsive themes, there is an analytics platform that lets you identify the user’s source and behavior and based on the type of device it automatically loads the theme. The basic version starts from $ 50 and to access the premium version you have to pay a bit higher.

#5. WordPress Mobile Pack 2 – This is WordPress’s own theme that provides similar website experience on any web browser, device and operating system across every platform. Your WordPress website’s responsive format is compatible with every major and minor player in the web sphere.

WordPress Mobile Pack 2 has its own custom themes that are further customizable and it has an analytics platform to check the user’s behavior and measure the WordPress site’s performance.

It is a free plugin.

To integrate these plugins with your WordPress website is an easy task. Reach out to your audience when they are on the go to gain maximum traction. Provide an experience that makes your users come back for more. Make your WordPress website navigation seamless across every device and screen for vying the audience’s attention.

12 must-have tools and WordPress plugins every freelancer must use

A freelancer has to don multiple hats, the idea of being your own boss sounds fancy but then it’s a tough task. He has to be his own marketer, pitch new clients, co-ordinate with the existing clients, work on the assignments and take care of the finances.

WordPress is preferred by freelancers as their online platform, one reason being that there are a number of tools to help them accomplish their tasks more efficiently. These tools make you more productive and save your time from the other distractions.

We present a list of 12 must-have WordPress tools that every freelancing must be using to kick boost his productivity to utilize most of the time spent working.

#1. CollabPress WordPress Plugin – It is always a time wasting task to shuffle between different task managing tools. The CollabPress Plugin places all your projects and task management tools into a single WordPress dashboard. To make your task easier, you can add and edit the projects and generate shortcodes to simplify the tasks.

#2. LastPass Password Management – Be it a freelance WordPress web designer or a blogger, they have to remember numerous passwords. Although Google Chrome saves your passwords, it is not secure because in case of hacking this practice will ruin your website.
This plugin is responsive and works on all devices and securely saves all the WordPress passwords.

#3. Editorial Calendar WordPress Plugin – For a person running a WordPress blog, the Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin is the most useful tool wherein you can schedule the posting of articles, remember the websites where posting has to be done and this helps when a person has to maintain multiple sites or a single site where multiple writers post.

#4. Google Apps – This isn’t a WordPress tool yet it is essential for people working on WordPress. With Google Apps you can directly work online and the data gets automatically saved in Google Drive hence preventing the extra backup work that was required in bulky word processors. It allows you to work offline and get it synchronized when internet is available.

BackUpWordPress and Google Docs to WordPress enable you to publish the content on WordPress without having to copy paste it. These tools directly take the backup in Google Drive.

#5. Asana Task Manager – This is the most popular team collaboration tools. WordPress users must use this tool to collaborate with the team members, clients and to keep a tab on when the following assignment is due.

#6. WP invoice – Many people use third party invoicing tools but the WP invoice saves money and efforts. You can easily create invoices, add a payment system and deliver the bills and invoices to clients.

#7. Google Analytics by Yoast – The Google Analyst by Yoast shows the audience demographics, click-through rates and the blog posts getting the maximum visitors. Based on these data you can craft content according to the audience’s pain points.

#8. Canva Image Editor – Images convey a message thousand times more effectively than words. For all the non-graphic designing people, this tool is the easiest way to create engaging pictures and thereby increase the number of visitors and click-through rates on your WordPress blog. Canva Image Editor is used by most of the WordPress users to generate images.

#9. MailChimp – MailChimp for WordPress plugins enables you to create and send emailers to the readers and clients. You can either send some free content or the regular blog posts to the people who’ve signed up for the email alerts and it is these people who are the most loyal readers of your content. They have a free and premium plan.

#10. Buffer App – Every freelancer knows the importance of social networking, sharing of curated content on these platforms and the ordeal of having to find the best content to be shared here. Buffer is a social media sharing tool that finds niche related engaging content and posts it to the social networks. You can even have the posting scheduled based on maximum engagement and the tool does it for you.

#11. Trello – Trello the task management tool is not a WordPress plugin but is very useful for WordPress users. It is widely popular for the simplicity and simple user interface, you can bring the whole team to this dashboard and assign tasks or create boards for information that is then shared with the client.

#12. Dropbox – A cloud storing tool that can be accessed through all devices. Files, images and documents can be shared with clients through Dropbox. Shuffling your work from one device to another was never easier!

16 powerful reasons to host your business website on WordPress

WordPress is the most widely used content management system (CMS), being used by more than 74 million sites that gather 14.7 billion page views per month (twice the global population). According to a report, WordPress is most used by business websites, irrespective of the size of the business.

simplify-wordpress-businessHere are 16 powerful reasons to host your business website on WordPress.

  • Its’ free – There are no hidden charges, even if your business scales up and the traffic increases. So if your intention is to simply start a blog or launch a business, WordPress will be free for your use. Being open source, you can alter the codes to align with the business needs.
  • Simple to install – Unlike other content management systems, you don’t have to wait for the system to get installed and configure the add-ons. After installation it directly starts running.
  • Flexibly – This is the best part of WordPress. With a number of extensions and third party plugins you can seamlessly run a blog as well as an ecommerce website. It is agile enough to meet all your needs.
  • SEO friendly – WordPress’s framework is comparatively easy to crawl, so most search engines prefer websites powered by WordPress.

The WordPress SEO by Yoast is an inbuilt plugin that simplifies the SEO task for the website.

  • Utmost safety and security – Being the most widely used CMS, it is greatly targeted by hackers. They take stringent security measures (constantly update their softwares), you too can practice it by not downloading a WordPress plugin from an unknown site. From the release of version 3.7, they have an auto security update feature.
  • Customization – With the plethora of features and plugins available, you can change the entire look and appearance of the website. They have more than 34,000 plugins, you’ll never be short of choices.
  • Ample support – WordPress has a strong community that helps fellow users solve their queries and pain points. If you are struck on any point, there are ample resources and forums where questions can be posted and answered.
  • Easy multimedia hosting – With WordPress it is easy to add a multimedia file in a post or page and editing of files and images is dang easy.
  • It is responsive and mobile friendly – You don’t have to employ special workforce to make the website responsive, it is already mobile friendly and works flawlessly on screens of every size.
  • Integration with other platforms – It is easy to integrate a WordPress website with MailChimp, AWeber and numerous payment platforms to give an additional enhancement to your online business.
  • Easily manageable – To keep your website renewed and safe WordPress has an auto-update that notifies in case of theme and plugin updates. You don’t necessarily need a technical aid, it can be easily managed by a non-technical person.
  • Easy way to make money online – WordPress offers numerous solutions to start your online business, be it blogging, personal website/business website or an ecommerce store. Many entrepreneurs have made successful empires with their online businesses and so can everyone out there.
  • Saves many bucks – With WordPress, if you are in the bootstrapping phase you don’t need to hire a special developer. Iterations can be made by yourself and there are numerous resources to help you learn the coding.
  • You don’t have to stick with a single hosting provider – WordPress works perfectly with every server, so in case if you are tired of a lousy hosting provider or feel the need to upgrade to another one then it switch can be easily performed.
  • Resources to make the website look fresh – If there is a festive season round the corner and you feel like including some free ebooks or promo codes, it is as simple as a breeze.
  • Scheduling posts in advance – Running a business includes multiple tasks, so WordPress offers the option of scheduling the posts. So you can optimize the times when the website gets the most number of visits and schedule the posting of a blog accordingly.

WordPress is one of the best platforms for business. If you are looking to build a strong online presence or looking for a switch, WordPress is the ideal and the most powerful option.

5 split testing tools to generate awesome conversion rates

Congrats for developing the best website out there, you truly deserve it after spending hour on choosing the best designs, researching on the best industry practices and shelling out monetary resources for the same. But then what is the guarantee that those practices will turn out to be the best for your website?

There are resources out there suggesting the best practices for developing and designing a website, but the effectiveness of each of those is different for each business. What gave excellent results for one niche will not necessarily reap the same for your business.

ab-testing

So to check out the effectiveness of the suggested best route, you have to try out each of the mentioned practices, divide the designs into two or more groups, test them on a separate group of audience by funneling one group to one version and the other percentage to the other iteration and measure the response, engagement and click rates that each of the version gets. we help you decide from the following 5 split testing WordPress plugins to choose the right one for your website’s A/B testing.

  • Nelio A/B testing – This plugin helps optimize the website design, content and mends the conversion rates.

Every aspect of the website can be optimized, right from the small text size tweaks to the bigger changes such as testing headlines, themes, call to actions, widgets and layout options on two types of posts. An add-one, they provide heat maps to see where the visitors’ attention lurks the most.

Also, the system integrates the controls into your WordPress admin panel, preventing the need to learn any new controls. These testings’ are hosted on the Nelio servers so that you don’t face any system slugs or slowdowns while the testing is getting done and results being generated.

They offer a 14 day free trial period and at the end if the results are satisfactory you can switch on to the paid subscription plans.

  • WP Experiments – You can set multiple A/B testing on your WordPress website, to come to know the elements of the website and post that make the best conversions.

This includes content variation (wording, images, styling and formatting) and coding changes by altering and including a custom JavaScript code for varying the website experiments.

This plugin’s specialty, while the tests are running it automatically lowers the number of times the poorest performing options are shown to the audience.

This comes with a 14 day trail version to check the effectiveness of the optimization process.

  • Title Experiments – This WordPress A/B testing plugin is the lighter version of WP Experiments created by the same developers of WP Experiments.

You can test the blog post headings to see which ones grab the maximum attention of the readers.

Apart from split testing tools, it helps in making you a better title editor, a skill that’ll definitely help you.

  • Simple page tester – It allows you to optimize an existing page or post to be either tested against a modified copy, an existing page or a new one.

The free version presents the data about the number of visitors each of the testing page has received. To get more insights about the conversion rates you’ll have to buy the premium version.

  • WordPress Calls to Action – Create calls to action with this plugin and these can then be tested against each other to find the ones that receive the most attention.

These A/B testing includes – social media plugins, templates, mere links and calls to action that can then be customized via the appearance settings. It also allows addition of custom message that can be done with WordPress editor.

These CTA’s can be inserted in the blog posts and other web pages.

Wrapping up – The above mentioned WordPress plugins will help you make minor changes such as A/B testing for titles or to deep dive into optimizing each element of the website.

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