WP Sidebars: The Do’s and Don’ts

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Optimise sidebar to drive traffic and increase conversions 
How much do you prioritise the sidebar of your WP website? It’s important to the overall design look and shouldn’t be ignored at any costs. After all, the sidebar can play a crucial role in driving traffic, something which you should probably be aware of. So how do you optimise your WP sidebars?

WP-Sidebars-The-Dos-and-Donts

Talk to reputed WordPress developers and they’ll help you out. Meanwhile, follow our lists of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to your WP sidebars.

The Do’s

You can easily optimise the sidebar if you make use of some tricks; your chosen WordPress developer should be able to help you out.

Recommended or popular posts: This can be generated automatically through the views and comments on every post; use the WordPress Popular Posts plug-in to display them on the sidebar. If you go with recommended posts, you get more control because you choose what to display. Nonetheless, both these widgets can increase traffic and conversions.

Subscription form:  Add a subscription form so that users can sign up for your newsletter instantly. Once you have their addresses, you can regularly send them promotional emails.

Social media links: Let your visitors connect with you on all popular social media platforms. Add social sharing buttons to the sidebar; many WordPress plug-ins can be used for the purpose.

Profile: Add your profile or short biography to the sidebar so as to grain trust and increase your credibility.  Be sure to add a Read More link as well which will direct visitors to your complete profile or the About Us page on your website.

The Don’ts

Too many widgets: While you should add a number of useful widgets to the sidebar, you still should not be cluttering the areas. Be selective and only include the most essential widgets.

Default Widgets: WordPress adds a couple of widgets to the sidebar automatically such as Categories, Archives and Recent Comments. You can remove some or all of these and replace them with other more attractive widgets.

Disorganisation: Popular content and relevant details that your visitors would be most interested in should be placed towards the top. Also whichever order you choose, it shouldn’t make navigation difficult nor distract your visitors.

Ads: Ads may be important for you but you still shouldn’t be putting too many of them.
Get in touch with a reputed WordPress Developer for more sidebar tricks and suggestions. 

Figuring out Keywords for a WP Website

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Here is some advice on researching keywords for your WP site

Properly researching keywords is extremely important if you want your WordPress website to be ranked higher on the results pages. But that is only when you target the best keywords for your business or product.

Figuring-out-Keywords-for-a-WP-Website

A WordPress developer can definitely help you here, but for the time being, here is some advice that would be really useful.

How can you research keywords?

The Tool
The Keyword Planner, part of Google Adwords, is the best way to search for relevant keywords, not to forget that it’s free; the only requirement is a Google account.  Keyword Planner provides you several variations of your keyword, along with competition level and traffic information.  Start the search with any generic keyword, applicable to your niche, and the tool would give you a view of what people in your relevant industry are searching for. Consider the competition and search level pick up a suitable keyword, and then use it for optimising content.

Other than Google Adwords, you can also use SEMRush, Uber Suggest and MOX Keyword Explorer.

High Traffic keywords 
These are the ones that are searched for the most, and so you should optimise your website or WordPress blog for them. That does mean greater competition, but if you use long tail keywords, you can still drive a good amount of traffic.  Another way is to post new and fresh content that includes both internal and external links.

Competitive Keywords 
What keywords are being targeted by your competitors? Keep a track of them by using tools like Ahrefs. This isn’t free, but definitely valuable. Once you sign up, the tool would show you organic keywords being used by a website for traffic generation. You can also see the level of traffic that is being received.

What’s the impact of not researching keywords?

SEO 
Your SEO rankings will fall sharply.  Until your keywords have been correctly optimised, it’s going to be hard for you to be towards the top of SERPs. Yes, that does mean your target audience won’t find you instantly.

Less Traffic
Not being found obviously means that you would have less traffic on your website.

Less Brand Awareness
SEO can impact your brand and increase awareness. But if you are targeting wrong keywords, your website won’t be visible to your potential consumers.

So let’s get in touch with WordPress Developers and optimise your website now. 

Your WP Site Speed: What You Can do for an Improvement

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Reputed WordPress developers can help you improve speed, and so can these tips! 

Your-WP-Site-Speed-What-You-Can-do-for-an-Improvement

We all know how important the speed of a website is. Let’s not get into that for now. Instead, let us talk about what we can do to improve the speed of your WP blog. Below are some of our advice.

Find the right host

Seriously, it is the best move that you can make if you want your website to perform well. Find the best host company and it will impact loading speeds significantly. Though this depends on the size of your business and website, dedicated hosting and VPS are generally more preferable options, especially if you are expecting the traffic to increase continuously.

Choose a hosting plan that is suitable for your business. For instance, if you have an ecommerce website that requires secure data transmission, then dedicated hosting is what you need to keep things smooth. Yes, this may be a slightly more expensive option, but necessary if you want your visitors to stay. After all, we all know what a turn-off a slow website can be.

Talk to your chosen WordPress developer, and they’ll help you select the best hosting plan.

Make sure you are updated

Your WordPress website should always be up-to-date. New platforms and plug-ins versions are often released, and you should always have the latest ones. Good WordPress developers can take care of this, but nonetheless, the point was important enough to be mentioned here.

Does having the latest version affects speed? Sure it does, but there are other benefits as well. For instance, the risks of security issues and cyber-attacks go down.  Updates often address speed issues and security problems, and so are always beneficial.

Reduce HTTP requests 

Around 80% of the time that a page takes to load is spent on downloading various elements like scripts, stylesheets and images. For each of these, an HTTP request is initiated and loading time increases. Streamline all the elements on the page to reduce HTTP requests. You should also place scripts towards the bottom and combine multiple style sheets into a single one. Using CSS rather than images is a better option.

Make use of compression

High quality content matters; videos and infographics have been known to increase conversion rates. But unfortunately, these content types increase loading times. Obviously, you can’t stop using them, but at least, you can compress them so that they load faster. Any simple compression software can be used for the purpose; discuss with your WordPress developer and they’ll help you out.

Optimise images

Rather than compressing size, you should also optimise images. Use image editing tools for the purpose and avoid SRC codes that aren’t necessary.

Start Caching

Caching reduces loading time significantly, so make good use of it. This means that data, information and images are stored in a specified location, and so your visitors don’t have to make requests every time they access your website. 

The Best WordPress Plug-Ins for Ecommerce Website

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Here are some top plugins for a WP based ecommerce store

The-Best-WordPress-Plugins-for-Ecommerce-Website


Do you have a WP based ecommerce website? Which plugins are you using? Selecting the right one of these is vital. Get in touch with WordPress developers, and they’ll help you out. Here are some of our favourites.

WooCommerce

Probably the most popular ecommerce WP plugin that is out there, primarily because of a large number of themes and add-ons that it supports.  Thus, if you want to add new features to your ecommerce website, it is quite easy for you to find relevant plugins. Also, a large number of themes means that you have a variety in terms of how you want the layout and design to be.

WooCommerce allows you to sell both physical and digital products so that is a perk. You can sell the general clothes and shoes, as well as music, eBooks, software and even photos through Envira Gallery’s WooCommerce. Plus, the plug-in offers a number of tools to allow you to manage your inventory.

WooCommerce even has options that allow you to add external or affiliate products to your website. And lastly, it supports several payment gateways; many others can be added through relevant add-ons.

iThemes Exchange

Like WooCommerce, iThemes Exchange allows you to sell both physical and digital goods. If you install an add-on, you’ll even be able to sell subscriptions and memberships but you’ll have to pay a small price. When you activate the plugin, you are directly taken to the setup page through which you can put up your ecommerce website and select options for receiving payments. The entire process is quick and easy. Once the website is up, you can add products and manage your online store through an intuitive user-friendly interface.

Shopp

The primary reason that Shopp stands out among developers is because it uses separate database tables which improve performance, resulting in queries being processed faster. The net result is that the loading times of a website improve significantly.  Shopp allows you to sell digital, physical and virtual goods. Most of their plugins require a separate add-on for this, but Shopp includes features that enable product selling with recurring payments by default; you don’t have to install any additional add-ons to avail this.

Shopp is also preferred because it has been designed according to PCI requirements.  So you get to enjoy security features which enable you to achieve compliance with PCI-DSS.

Shopify

Shopify can be integrated with your WordPress website, and is available as a stand-alone service as well. For those of you who are beginners, Shopify is pretty helpful because you wouldn’t have to worry about payment gateways, shipping and taxes; the platform takes care of a lot of things all by itself. Shopify features a bulk importer and inventory editor which simplify inventory management. Plus, it allows you to link stores with social website as well so you can add products to your Facebook page or display a buy button on Twitter.

Get in touch with a WordPress developer for more advice on setting up a WP based ecommerce website. 

Making the Best Contact Forms in WordPress

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Follow this advice when putting up contact forms on your WP website 

How many visitors do you have on your website on average? If they are playing a role in driving your revenue, then you should connect with them. Contact forms provide a good way to do this. But like the rest of your website, they should be optimised as well.

Making-the-Best-Contact-Forms-in-WordPress


Your chosen WordPress developer would help you out with this. Here are some tips that you can use.

The form length

Keep the length of your form as short as you can – it doesn’t have to be that long. Lengthy forms don’t usually generate desirable results – your visitors want to connect to you in as few steps as possible. So include only relevant fields, keeping your forms short.  This would make it easy for them to fill it up.

Structure

The structure of your form should be user friendly and appealing. Generally, neat and simple forms work the best because users can easily fill them up.  What exactly do we mean by a user friendly structure? Give them enough options for any questions that they may have. Your potential consumers may want to reach out to you for anything: free quotes, some information on your product, promotional offers or anything else. Your contact form should cover all possible options. A good way to go about this is to categorise all problems using department as the basis. This would save their time and they’ll only have to provide details related to the issue which they have at hand.

Relevancy 

You know your products and audience the best. So ensure that your form is relevant to your industry. You may come across many sample forms that are impressive, but every website and business is unique. Other forms may always be relevant, despite how appealing they appear to be.

Images and Colours

Colours and images always have an impact.  Your contact form should represent your brand, so preferably you should use the same colours that you use for your company’s logo.  The form should also be aligned to the theme and shouldn’t seem out of place on the page.

If you want, you can even put up some images as well; for instance, you could post pictures of your support team. This gives your visitors a feeling that they are talking to humans and not just connecting to a website.

File Upload

Enable file upload so that users can explain their problem more precisely while enjoying some convenience.  After all, it is easier to send a picture rather than explain teeth problem in lengthy paragraphs.

Captcha

While you may receive spam submissions this way, you should still remove captcha because they annoy users. As per the numbers, this increases conversions by around 3%, so why have it on the form then?

Response Time

Be sure to mention an expected response time on the form and ensure that you follow it as well!
Reach out to WordPress developers for more help with your blog.

Great Tips if You’re New to WordPress

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New to WordPress? Here are some useful tips for you, the most effective of which is to take advice from WordPress developer.

So you have just started out with WordPress site. How far have you progressed? Take help of reputed WordPress developers, and they’ll make things easy for you.  Here are some tips that can help you out.

Great-Tips-if-You-are-New-to-WordPress

Avoid cluttered sidebars

Cluttered sidebars are a huge no. So don’t shove all stuff onto it. We’ve seen so many websites with sidebars filled with social media icons, recent tweets and even ads. With so many elements, it becomes so hard to find those useful links which your visitors may want to click on.
Get rid of all undesirable elements from the sidebar and only keep the most useful links. You can remove items from the Appearance and Widgets section.

Sort out your Media Library

A WordPress Media Library can be of real help. All your media files go into one integrated folder; now you can easily search for the file you want by just using relevant keywords. You’ll have to change your settings to enable a single storage folder for all files.  Go to the Settings and Media menu and uncheck the box next to Organise my uploads into month – and year based folders. 

Clean up permalinks

Your website can’t help you much unless it’s towards the top of search engines results pages. While there are tons of ways to work on your SEO, one simple thing that you can do is to clean up permalinks making it easier for search engines to find your website.

The permalink field is towards the top of editing page; revise the links before publishing the post. Use words intelligently, and remove unnecessary ones. Ideally, your link should give some idea about what the post is about, but it shouldn’t be too long or stuffed with keywords.

Target titles and page descriptions

When posts are shared on social media, the service pages use the page title and description along with the link. The same titles and descriptions are used by search engines as well. Since people read them before viewing the page, they should be enticing enough to make them click on the link. Optimise them well and make them sound interesting.

Use images to an advantage

Images not only make your content more appealing, but also help with SEO optimisation. Whenever you upload a new image to the website, you get the option of providing an image title and different text fields. Use titles and texts that are related to your content, and optimise them with keywords as well.

Compel a response through landing pages

Grab attention of your visitors using a landing page.  Such page is without any navigation and has lots of white spaces so that visitors can focus on what you want them to do. Many of the WordPress themes already have a built-in template for the landing page, but if not, you can set it up through various tools.

Want more WordPress related advice? Reach out to a WordPress developer for more suggestions. 

WordPress Uptime: Why is it Important and What Can You Do?

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Your website’s uptime is important, so keep a track of it 
A 24/7 running website is absolutely important if you want to build and retain your customer database. Website uptime is a crucial factor that affects your brand image and your online business. In case your website is down when your users try to access it, your overall credibility will be affected, and you may even lose your users.

Your website’s uptime is important, so keep a track of it

If you choose reputed WordPress developers, this probably wouldn’t be an issue, but you should check the uptime of your website and make sure that it is acceptable.

What if you fail to maintain the acceptable uptime?  

You’ll lose potential clients, which we have already mentioned, but there is more to it.

Poor Rankings

If your website goes down several times daily, search engines wouldn’t trust the site anymore, which would affect your rankings.

User Experience

Downtime negatively affects user experience. For starters, your consumers will lose trust in your brand and you, and eventually, they may turn to competition as well.

How can you track your website’s uptime?

Okay, so you now know that it is important to keep your website up and running, but how do you do this? WordPress offers a number of plug-ins that can help you out with this. Talk to a reputed WordPress developer and they’ll guide you more about them.

Jetpack

Jetpack is probably one of the easiest ways through which you can check the uptime of your website. Plus, it is free to use so that makes it all the better.

Ask your chosen WordPress developer to install the plug-in for you.  Once done, visit the Jetpack Settings page and enable Call Monitor; now you will get a notification whenever your website suffers a downtime.  Even if you don’t always check emails, do enable email notifications on your phone so that you can keep track of your website’s performance.

By the way, Jetpack has a premium version as well, which is worth the price. But if you don’t want to spend, the free version should suffice.

Pingdom

Pingdom is already used by millions of users - the service keeps you updated about your website’s uptime and notifies you every time it goes down. You can either choose to be alerted through SMS or email. Pingdom also generates a detailed report that gives you a better idea of your website’s performance.