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October 20, 2016 in Web Design News, Wordpress News

WordPress stats shock and awe

Whilst reading a round-up of current WordPress stats it really makes you appreciate just how far our beloved little blogging platform has come.

What is rather worrying is that WordPress powers 27% of the internet, but only 40% of WordPress sites are up-to-date.

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January 28, 2015 in Web Design News, Wordpress News

Thank You WordPress Plugin Authors

Today, 28th January, is officially “Thank a Plugin Developer” day. To celebrate take a look at the plugins you use and love, visit the author’s site and drop them a note thanking them.

The average WordPress website has 5 plugins installed, the WordPress plugin directory has over 4000 plugins, these plugins take developers valuable time and craft and maintain. Many plugins are free and it’s to these plugin developers that WordPress has a truly amazing super-power; extendability.

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December 12, 2014 in Web Design News


June 18, 2014 in Web Design News

Five Popular WordPress Ecommerce Plugins and Why You Need Them

plugFive Popular WordPress Ecommerce Plugins and Why You Need Them There is nothing short of a winning lottery ticket that is going to make you rich quickly. Starting an eCommerce website is hard work and has a learning curve for those who can’t fork out thousands of dollars for a web design firm, photographer, and the attendant staff to maintain the site. However, there are great tools to help you be your own staff, and stay on top of your growing business. The “Retail Forecast for 2014” report found that 87% of consumers planning to shop online are planning to shop for the same amount or more as in 2013, with 13% planning to shop less or not at all.

What are Plugins?

Plugins are also called extensions or add-ons, and they work with existing software to perform a specific function outside of the software’s core operating capacity. For example, most people add a plugin to their web browser to stop pop-up ads, warn them about dangerous or insecure sites, or just play Candy Crush – all of which are extensions of the browser’s functionality. Originally an open-source blogging tool, the plugin architecture began to attract online retailers with a low-cost alternative to a dedicated eCommerce website, with plugins and templates allowing for branding and customization. WordPress eCommerce plugins are just part of the roughly 30,000 plugins offered by WordPress.

Extending Your Abilities

By extending the operating capabilities of the WordPress platform, your online store can go from zero to hero in an economical, budget-friendly way.

WooCommerce:

A robust, scalable application WooCommerce is built using WordPress best practices and comes with an enviable user rating that brushes the coveted fifth star. With a wide variety of choices for preferred payment gateways, preferred shipping solutions, and even customizable, brandable themes and extensions, WooCommerce is the plugin of choice for businesses as small as a farmer’s market booth or larger eStores offering tens of thousands of material or digital products. Smart dashboard features and widgets operate with WooCommerce to keep you updated in real time on incoming sales, stock levels, and traffic stats, too requires WordPress 3.8 or higher.

Easy Digital Downloads:

Billing itself as the world’s easiest way to sell digital downloads for free, WordPress the digital downloads management plugin offers everything for the “soft goods” retailer. From music to needlepoint patterns, the plugin carries an impressive 4.8 star rating, with over 300,000 downloads. Offering top-shelf eCommerce features such as promotional codes to eager customers, the plugin has plenty to offer in functionality with complete customer histories, queuing system for multiple downloads, data export, and multiple payment options including Bitcoin. The plugin also comes with many available extension modules, such as software licensing, PDF watermarking, and an iOS sales and earnings tracker.

CAPTCHA:

Only in the original Monty Python skit is there anything funny about large amounts of Spam. By securing your contact, comments and reviews, registration, and login forms, you’re keeping the bots off and the paying customers in. Wasting time on spam is not constructive, and can be a security risk for your store, your data, and your customer’s data as well. With over 108 million downloads by WordPress users, the plugin carries a 4.6 star rating, and has a slew of reviews attesting to the ease and functionality of the plugin. Singing Vikings and breakfast foods are not included.

Contact Form 7:

17 million downloads say something, and Contact Form 7 has no trouble speaking for itself with a 4.4 star rating and plenty of solid reviews by the user base. Simple but flexible, as the developer says, the plugin’s website has an impressive amount of documentation, and exhaustive instructional manuals that will help your through every aspect of deploying the extension including tips and tricks for spam filtering, comments blacklisting, and using with Google Analytics. The plugin is free, but the developer does have the hat out for donations, something that many developers of free apps and extensions do.

Mailpoet:

Simple, popular, and free is not a common configuration, but the free version of Mailpoet for WordPress is very impressive in what it has to offer. Sending is limited to 2,000 in the free version, but the robust extension allows drag and drop editing, autoresponders, and stats on opens, clicks, or bounces for each email, plus much more. For larger lists, the premium version offers spam testing your mailing before you send it, premium support to optimize your settings, and a DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Email) signature to improve deliverability. Both versions offer customizable themes and the ability to send via a web host such as GMail or any STMP.

Small is Beautiful

You may be small now, but don’t forget that small business, even when it’s a sole proprietor working out of a home office or garage, accounts for 56 percent of all sales in the US economy, according to the Small Business Administration. And even if you’re starting small, you might be starting at the right time, as an improving economy gives consumers the confidence to spend money again. In a Business Insider report, 87 percent of shoppers plan to purchase online this year, with 36 percent planning to do their holiday shopping online either on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Topping off all that good news is one caveat, this one from UPS – the heavy hitter in the shipping business. Customers want a smoother checkout experience, and 81 percent listed it as their top concern.

Getting your WordPress platform in tip-top shape with simple WordPress eCommerce plugins can satisfy your customers, and you, with a low hassle, high satisfaction experience.


June 11, 2014 in Web Design News

WordPress Drag & Drop Page Builder Solutions

The WordPress Drag and Drop Page Builder is one of the newest additions to the WordPress family.

It enables the user to design the layout exactly as they wish – and you don’t need any technical, design or coding skills at all…

Many design companies are predicting that in the future we will not need front-end developers.

Meaning that anyone who wishes to make a website will be able to do so without any formal training or help.

Here are just a few Paid and Free resources that you could use to create a drag and drop page builder in your WordPress website.
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June 5, 2014 in Web Design News

How casinos have made the transition to the online world

casino-design

A lot has changed in the gambling world. New technology, legislation and the current economic climate are all turning yesterday’s casino visitors into today’s online gamblers, and it’s largely thanks to the huge range of options available today.

Free trials

One of the most obvious advantages of an online casino over a land based casino is the option to play for free. While a trip to a Las Vegas Casino assumes you have had a little practice beforehand, this could end up being costly the humble gambler, whereas those who have never played before can try a little for free online before playing with real money.

Nerves and social awkwardness can also be a nightmare for the first time gambler, all of which can be alleviated by playing online, in which the user can set his or her own terms and create a relaxing home environment in which to play.

Live dealers

While owners of land based casinos may have previously criticised online casinos for their impersonal approach, that has all changed now thanks to the implementation of live dealers. This relatively new practice involves playing against real human beings in an online environment, who are available around the clock in a variety of languages and even costumes.

The concept has been a hit with online gamblers and many online casino hosts have praised its success – Fortune Palace, for example, ran a Live Dealer of the Year 2013 competition.

Contrastingly, loyal land-based casino fans could argue that playing with a live dealer is just one step away from playing in a real casino, but the advantages are endless. Firstly, the aforementioned social awkwardness – nobody can judge you if nobody is watching you – and secondly, the availability of players. With new games being launched every few minutes, there is far less waiting time to play your favourite land based casino games.

The smart phone revolution

A dream holiday to Monte Carlo may sound ideal for some, but the advancements in online casino technology have given users access to their favourite games wherever they are thanks to their mobile friendly interfaces.

When online casinos were first launched, they were designed for computers, but with more and more people gambling on their mobiles, ‘mobile’ versions of sites were launched to incorporate smaller screens, touch screen interfaces and ‘swipe’ motions.

The rise of online gambling is fast becoming the gambling method of choice for many of today’s cash-strapped gamblers. With guaranteed security thanks to third party finance websites, the modern gambler can rest assured that he or she is in more control of his or her money and can play online without the constraints of the land-based alternatives.