Friday, 30 September 2016

The State of WordPress In Education


WordPress has a massive global reach, which is illustrated by the mere fact that more than 25 percent of all websites are powered by the CMS. WordPress’ flexibility and ability to scale makes it the obvious choice for any website, regardless of industry. One industry that has begun to embrace WordPress is education. Primary schools and universities alike need an online presence to communicate information to students, faculty, donors, and parents. From K-12 to graduate school, WordPress is the best option for any academic institution.
Why WordPress?
It’s affordable.
Proprietary solutions are expensive and require ongoing maintenance and web management. WordPress is free, open source, and provides users with full control over their sites. After the initial site build, the cost to maintain a website on WordPress is nominal.
In 2014 with the help of WebDevStudios, Newark Public Schools made the switch to WordPress. Before moving almost 80 websites, the district was paying almost $100,000 a year in service fees for website management. Since 2014, WordPress has saved the school district $150,000. The main school district website acts as an information hub for students and staff
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13515/the-state-of-wordpress-in-education




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/the-state-of-wordpress-in-education/

SEO Copywriting – An In-depth Guide to Rank High and Wow Readers


SEO copywriting is the answer to one of the biggest challenges faced by many website owners these days. Users now have to create content that appeals to people and search engines alike. After all, we not only want to rank well and generate traffic but also turn that traffic into buyers, customers, and subscribers, right?
These two goals used to be the responsibility of SEO specialists and copywriters and it used to be enough to be either or. However, the way search engines work today, that is no longer the case.
To be successful in today’s online market, website owners and online marketers need to master both sides of the equation and embrace what is known as SEO copywriting.
If you are unsure what hides behind that term, this article will not only explain what it is but also show you SEO copywriting best practices to start using right away.
Sounds good? Then what are we waiting for?
What Is SEO Copywriting And Why Does It Matter?
To get a clearer idea of what we are talking about when we say SEO copywriting, let’s have a quick look at the term itself. For that, let’s look at the two parts that make up the word: “SEO” and “copywriting”.
SEO
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13514/seo-copywriting-an-in-depth-guide-to-rank-high-and-wow-readers




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/seo-copywriting-an-in-depth-guide-to-rank-high-and-wow-readers/

What to Expect from a WordPress Security Solution/Provider


What to Expect from a WordPress Security Solution/Provider There are so many WordPress security solutions and security providers in the market that one has to struggle hard to find and settle with one. There are a lot of things that a security solution or a provider should take care of. This post is about what users need as a security solution. What are they ready to pay for. I am writing this post with three kinds of people in mind.
The USER: If you want someone else to take care of your site’s security, you should read this post to find out about what to expect from your security solution and provider.
The FREELANCER: If you develop WP websites and don’t take on the client’s’ security work, you are are leaving money on the table. You are adding lesser value than you can. Read this post to find out how.
The SECURITY GEEK: If you pay your bills by helping secure WP websites, i.e. you are a security solution provider, then you should read this post with a business point of view to find out what is that you are not providing to your users. What is that they expect you to provide.
The USER
Even if your site is not very prominent or highly ranked, it can still be
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13512/what-to-expect-from-a-wordpress-security-solution-provider




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/what-to-expect-from-a-wordpress-security-solutionprovider/

ManageWP Customer Happiness Report – August


August is a very interesting month since Orion has started its official journey and we have introduced billing from August 1st. In this report you will be able to read more about our Customer Happiness academy, meet some new team members, see our support ticket traffic, read a bit more about some of the mistakes we have made, and learn about our September and October goals. Customer Happiness Team Training
We have started with Customer Happiness Training in August and we are proud to say that 90% of the attendees passed all of the tests. You might have also noticed that occasionally, you received a reply from a Customer Happiness Trainee. We hope that you are satisfied with their replies and here are some of the great ratings that they’ve been rewarded by you.
They are doing a great job! Speedy response and clear advice. Awesome product, awesome team!!
Every time I have used support I have received a timely response that resolves the issue.
Promptness, support, examples and frankness has been above expectations. Thank you Milos.
Here is Milos, with his Customer Happiness trainee colleagues.
What We Can Do Better
Each month there are things that we could have handled better.
Unfortunately,
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13511/managewp-customer-happiness-report-august




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/managewp-customer-happiness-report-august/

2016 WordPress Website Maintenance Survey


Website maintenance is quickly becoming the next logical step for WordPress professionals around the globe. If you stick to just building websites, once you stop coding, you stop eating. By setting up a website maintenance service you’re getting paid even while away from your computer. But how much money should you charge? What tools are the best? Do you need multiple tiers? Scope of service? Let’s find out. How much is everyone else charging for website maintenance?
– Everyone
Framing The Offer
A total of 186 ManageWP users filled out the survey, and a whopping 92.5% offer website maintenance as a service, either as their core business or as a side gig.
When asked about how many tiers of service are being offered, 40.7% opted for 3 tiers. This makes total sense since it plays into something called price anchoring, which we’ll go into later in the article. But now let’s take a look at how much people charge for their service. All the prices in the survey are in USD, per website, per month.
Single Tier
The single tier maintenance starts at $10 and goes all the way up to $300. The average price tag is $57, and the median is $40. The most commonly chosen price
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13510/2016-wordpress-website-maintenance-survey




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/2016-wordpress-website-maintenance-survey/

Excel VLOOKUP basics and top five rookie mistakes

Back in 2013 John Gagnon wrote a very popular post about VLOOKUP basics and rookie mistakes.

We thought we’d update the piece to reflect some minor changes for accessing the functionality to VLOOKUP words and values in Excel 2016.

An Excel VLOOKUP can be a marketer’s best friend because it can save you hours of work. Give this formula the information you have (a name) and it looks through a long list (list of names) so it can return the information you need (phone number).

The problem is we often struggle to remember how to use the formula – or worse make mistakes.

We’re going to fix that now. This post will explain:

  • How VLOOKUPs work.
  • Using ‘Tell me’ to access VLOOKUP functionality in Excel 2016.
  • Five rookie VLOOKUP moves to avoid.
  • Limitations you might encounter.

Many of the tips are courtesy of John Gagnon, and are accurate as of September 2016.

How to use a VLOOKUP

Remember phone books? Phone books happen to give us a fantastic mental model to understand how VLOOKUPs work.

Basically, the phone book is a long list of just a few columns: names and phone numbers. You pick up a phone book with a clear intention – find a phone number (info you want) for a specific person (info you have).

VLOOKUPs Work Like Phone Books

Once you’ve found the person you’re looking for, you look at over to the second column to find their phone number. Call made, problem solved.

It turns out this is the same principle for how a VLOOKUP works. Let’s breakdown what each piece of the formula to understand what they mean:

VLOOKUP Breakdown

There is an added piece of information needed for a VLOOKUP called a range_lookup. This basically is how accurate you want your results.

Excel 2016: Using ‘Tell Me’ to access VLOOKUP functionality

Excel 2016 comes with a new multi-purpose search box, the ‘Tell me what you want to do’ tool. Click the box, or ALT + Q to jump right to it. From there, if you type ‘VLOOKUP’ or any lookup or reference search term, really, then the function you need will appear in a dropdown menu.

vlook-up

For the purpose of this article, I want to VLOOKUP a value. Selecting this then offers the ‘Function Arguments’ box where you can add in the Lookup_value and Table_array etc.

excel

As you can see, it’s a little more helpful for newer users than in previous editions of Excel.

Five rookie VLOOKUP mistakes to avoid

Realizing VLOOKUPs work the same as a phone book is helpful. It’s also helpful to know the common mistakes. Here are the top five mistakes made by VLOOKUP rookies.

1. Not having Lookup_Value in first column of your table array

VLOOKUPs only work when the info you have (lookup-value) is in the first column of data you’re looking at (table array). To use the phone book, you need to start with a name first. You can’t start with the phone number and find the name.

Lookup Value Must be in First Column

2. Counting the wrong number of columns for Col_index_num

Once Excel has found the value you gave it, it needs to know what give you back. This comes in form of a column number. Make sure to start counting from the first column of the range (table array).

Counting Wrong Number of Columns

3. [Range_Lookup] Not using FALSE for exact matching

Many marketers get the wrong values because they forget one step. Ninety-nine percent of the time we want exact match, which means a value of FALSE (here’s why).

Must Use FALSE for Exact Matching

4. Forgetting absolute references (F4) when copying the formula

The power of a VLOOKUP is it can be copied down to hundreds or thousands of cells. But once you copy this down, the references change leading to errors. To fix this issue convert your range to an absolute value instead of a relative value, so cells don’t move around (as they tend to do).

5. Extra spaces or characters

Occasionally when data is copied from one source to another, a few leading or trailing spaces tag along. This causes issue during the match, so use TRIM to delete any spaces added to the cell (except for any single spaces between words).

VLOOKUP 201: The John Smith problem and going left

After you use VLOOKUP enough, you’ll encounter its limitations. For example:

  • It only returns the first match it finds, even if there are hundreds of possible matches.
  • It can only return a value in the table array to the right – it can’t go left!

(There are simple solutions to these problems, creating unique keys and pasting – but we’ll save those for another time.)

Back to the phone book for a moment. How many John Smiths are listed? Probably more than one. But with a VLOOKUP, only the phone number of the first John Smith is being returned! You’re probably calling the wrong guy.

To make sure you’re calling the right John Smith, you need to bring in additional information. Commonly for phone books it’s an address (e.g., John Smith at 123 Acme Lane or John Smith at 765 NW Jones St.).

Again, it’s the same for VLOOKUPs.

Let’s say you want to know match type by keyword. Your match type column would be identical (all “broad”, in this case), and your second variable (keyword) would differentiate the data.

Create a new table with both pieces of data in columns, and insert “&” in the table_array field of your VLOOKUP. Then the VLOOKUP knows to return the combined data for your result.

What are your most common uses for VLOOKUPs? Is there anything about VLOOKUPs that stump you?



source https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/09/30/excel-vlookup-basics-and-top-five-rookie-mistakes/

The natural evolution of digital for brands: becoming more human

It used to be that digital interactions portrayed in the Jetsons, on Star Trek and through KITT on Knight Rider were make-believe preserved for the television and big screen.

However, with the rise of digital personal assistants in recent years like Cortana and Siri, and intelligent bots, what was once science fiction is quickly becoming fact.

We are on the cusp of the next big shift in computing—a shift that is fueled by the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and built around the one act that comes most natural to us—conversation.

We are optimistic about what technology can do, and this is rooted in a belief that every person and organization should be empowered to achieve more. It’s important though to set some context on how we’ve arrived at this new reality to help answer why you should care and what you should do as a marketer.

Every decade is marked with a shift driven by technological innovation. From the proliferation of PCs during the 80s to the emergence of the Web in the 90s to the rise of mobile and the cloud in the last decade – we have expanded our commerce, improved our communication and strengthened our connections.

But while these advances have helped the world become smaller, in many ways they’ve added layers of complexity, and more significantly, they’ve put the onus on us, the user, to adapt our behavior and expression so that we can be understood by the machines.

But what if we could just talk and interact with technology in exactly the same way we do with other people? Call upon it when we genuinely need support and not have to change the way we behave in order to reap the benefits?

We envision a world where digital experiences mirror the way people interact with one another today. A world where natural language will become the new user interface. A world where human conversation is the platform—the place to discover, access and interact with information and services, and get things done.

Computing is becoming more human

The mobile first, cloud-centric world of computing is driving this new platform of engagement. With the ability to understand tone of voice, interpret emotions and remember conversations, the nature of AI is no longer about man vs. machine, it’s about machines complementing and empowering people to do more of what really matters to them.

One of the major trends that has set the stage for an era of people communicating with their devices is the growth in people communicating through their devices.

With more than 3 billion people using messaging apps every day, consumers are spending five times longer on average using messaging apps than they do on all other mobile apps.

And, what’s more, we’ve reached a point where natural language is the new universal user interface with technology. Search intelligence is now embedded across platforms and services, harnessing intent understanding and using a vast base of semantic knowledge.

When coupled with machine learning that’s infused throughout all of our digital interactions, technology is becoming more human. People and machines are able to sustain conversations with personal digital assistants and intelligent bots in such a way that the meaning, intent and even emotion behind the words are as comprehensible as the words themselves. And we’re nearing a time when this will be scaleable to every individual and every business.

Conversations are the new platform

Imagine if brands had the opportunity to engage with consumers in ways that were not only relevant and personal but also in an environment where their added value is proactively sought out by the individual themselves. In the realm of conversations as a platform, this is the new reality.

Picture having a sudden craving for pizza. Just by telling the personal assistant on your phone “I would love a thick crusty four seasons pizza right now,” you’ve initiated a conversation to seek options or gone directly to your preferred pizzeria.

The bot you choose to talk to will place the order for you and arrange delivery and payment within seconds. In essense, you expressed a need, an emotion and took the initiative to engage with a particular company through their bot and you got what you wanted with more speed and ease than was previously possible.

This example illustrates how brands need to be ready for the engagement opportunities within this conversational exchange.

Marketers must think strategically about the best framework for building bots that cater to natural language and play into conversations across all platforms.

From there they must figure out how to connect these into their existing cloud, CRM and other elements of their digital marketing ecosystem. This is a business strategy that will require input across functions – starting with the CMO and throughout marketing, sales and IT – in order to offer a customer experience that is consistent with other more traditional digital engagements as well as being timely, relevant and serendipitous.

It’s a time of fundemental change in the digital technology experience. Conversations as a platform, A.I. and emerging search technologies are advancing this next frontier in ways that will simplify and enhance our lives and will be critical to every future marketer’s success.

To put a twist on these three timeless words from the Cluetrain Manifesto, it’s not just “markets are conversations,” but the future of “marketing is conversations.”

Ryan Gavin is General Manager, Search and Cortana Marketing at Microsoft.



source https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/09/30/the-natural-evolution-of-digital-for-brands-becoming-more-human/

WordPress Security X


Tweet Follow @getButterfly When dealing with WordPress security, we need to start from the bottom of the stack and go up. There’s usually not much to do up there, except for security analysis.
I’ll call these security layers.
Note that this article is the tip of the iceberg only. There are many more tricks and possible configurations for your site to prevent attacks. Also note that, given the time, hardware technology and server knowledge, any site can be hacked.
Layer 1
We’ll start with the hosting provider and we’ll check our server software, which can be either Nginx or Apache. We need to make sure we have the latest version (or a newer one, at least). If the site is on a shared server, we can contact the hosting provider by using the integrated chat service, raise a ticket and post a question on the public forum. If the site is hosted on a VPS server, we might have more options to select the server software type and, maybe, version. If the site is hosted on a dedicated server, it’s up to us to upgrade the server software — or hire a Linux expert.
See server software usage comparison in the images below:
The next check is server encryption and
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13509/wordpress-security-x




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/wordpress-security-x/

World’s Most Complete WordPress Widget Management Plugin Yet


Widget Options is the best WordPress widget control plugin yet. Below are the features that make Widget Options the world’s most complete and user-friendly WordPress widget management plugin. Easily show or hide widgets on specific WordPress Pages via checkbox options elegantly integrated on each widget, no coding required.
Time to limit sidebar contents on mobile devices! Using Widget Options you can show or hide any widgets on mobile, tablet and/or desktop. Finally, you can now display different sidebar contents for every device!
In need of better widget content alignment for each widget? You can set different custom alignment for each device at ease using Widget Options.
Geeky enough to use custom PHP conditions? Display Widget Logic is also integrated and you don’t need to add separate Widget Logic plugin. Get them all done.
Assign widgets as column, no need to register separate sidebars for each column. Using Widget Options you will only need one sidebar widget and easily assign columns for each widget content.
Show or hide widgets per user roles! You can now serve different sidebar contents for your site visitors and members. Time to give more importance on your registered
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13508/world-s-most-complete-wordpress-widget-management-plugin-yet




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/worlds-most-complete-wordpress-widget-management-plugin-yet/

Create Genesis Testimonials Slider Easily using Focus Slider


In this article I’m sharing you how to easily create full width Genesis testimonials slider section using Focus, a free WordPress slider plugin. Below are the summary of the steps we’ll be doing :
Create Testimonials custom post type.
Install Focus WordPress Slider
Add custom hooks and actions to manage slider display
Change styling – colors, fonts, etc.
Genesis Testimonials Slider Powered by Focus WordPress Slider
Follow the instructions below to create your full width Genesis testimonials slider.
Step 1 – Create Testimonials Post Type
On this tutorial, we won’t be using any CPT Plugins, but if you preferred using any; just go ahead on the next step.
Add the code below to your genesis child theme’s functions.php to create the custom post type we need.
Step 2- Install Focus WordPress Slider
Go to Plugins > Add New then search ‘focus slider’ or download the plugin manually here : https://wordpress.org/plugins/focus-slider/ then activate the plugin after installation.
Step 3- Manage Genesis Testimonials Slider Display
One of the best compatibility with Focus WordPress Slider with Genesis Framework is that it can be perfectly configured
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13507/create-genesis-testimonials-slider-easily-using-focus-slider




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/create-genesis-testimonials-slider-easily-using-focus-slider/

Six most important search marketing news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week we’ll mostly be talking about Penguin 4.

What do you mean you haven’t seen the first three? Well don’t worry, I’ll bring you up to speed. In the first instalment, a terrible tragedy befalls a young penguin at Camp Crystal Lake while the teenage camp counsellors weren’t paying attention.

Then 21 years later, the Penguin returns… hang on I may have the wrong Wikipedia tab open here… I’ll get back to you.

Penguin 4.0 news round-up

As Google confirmed last Friday, Penguin 4.0 is now being rolled out. The spammy link punishing update now works in real-time and will only penalise offending webpages rather than the entire domain.

Penguin recovery time:

It seems Penguin recoveries are happening right now, as Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed on Twitter…

It’s also worth noting that Penguin 4.0 has been coming together gradually over time, with the main component rolling out on the 23rd.

Expert view on Penguin 4.0

This week we talked to a few SEO practitioners to get their expert views on Penguin 4.0. and for some advice for those who wish to avoid being affected by Penguin.

Kevin Gibbons: Focus on building a brand, not links. Aim to tell your story via content, data-driven analysis and knowledge – and amplify to a targeted audience via multiple channels; social media, paid search, digital PR etc…

Gerald Murphy: Data analysis is even more important to SEO. This most effecient way to analyse this update is to breakdown links by category, sub category, and page level, and then compare this with data, such as, visits, average blended rank, and revenue, for example.

Nikolay Stoyanov: Forget about shortcuts in SEO! There aren’t any. The only way to stay on the safe side and secure your brand, visitors and sales is if you do white hat SEO. Write well researched and useful content and build quality links to it.

Just 36% of people entering the tech industry are women

As Luke Richards reported this week, the technology industry is lagging behind many other sectors when it comes to the proportion of women taking up entry level positions.

McKinsey’s report, Women in the Workplace, surveyed 132 companies which collectively employ more than 4.6m people. It shows that while 75% of CEOs in corporate America are saying gender equality is a top ten priority, tech is still woefully behind.

women underrepresented

More online product searches start on Amazon than Google

As reported by Graham Charlton this week, Amazon is beating Google for product searches.

The second annual State of Amazon study by BloomReach found that 55% of consumers start their online product searches on Amazon, compared to 28% who opt for a search engine.

The survey of 2,000 US consumers found that Amazon’s share of the action was up 11% year on year, and the figures down for search engines and other retailers.

amazon beats google

Google AdWords introduces cross-device remarketing for TV ads and offline sales

Google AdWords has released a new product designed to “close the loop between TV and digital” with Brand Lift.

According to the AdWords blog post, Brand Lift will be able to show marketers how TV ads increase Google and YouTube searches for brands compared to YouTube campaigns.

updated-tv-lift

There’s little to set up, you just need to be running Brand Lift on both your TV campaign and YouTube campaign, and Google will report the searches for your brand.

Google is also introducing location extensions and store visits measurement for the Google Display Network to help marketers “close the loop between online ads and offline sales.”

As people browse specific websites or interact with their apps, brands will be able serve ads that show a business address, Google Maps directions or photos.

AdWords announces improved remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA)

In a busy week for AdWords, the paid search platform has announced improvements to RLSA to give you more flexibility on how you adjust search ads, bids, and keywords.

  • Reach your customers across devices. If someone visits your website on their laptop or tablet, you can now reach them with more relevant ads when they search on their phone.
  • Keep site visitors in your list for 540 days. This longer membership duration makes it easier for businesses with seasonality or high consideration products to reach their customers
  • Add your remarketing lists at the campaign level later this year, making it faster and easier to use RLSA. This will work for Customer Match too.


source https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/09/30/six-most-important-search-marketing-news-stories-of-the-week-2/

Revealed: Why Building Your Email List is so Important Today!

Are you thinking about building an email list, but not sure why it is so important? Many bloggers and business owners don’t see the importance of building an email list right away until they see the impact email lists can have on website traffic and revenue. In this article, we will show you the top reasons why building your email list is important (with real case studies). We will also show you how to start building your email list – step by step.

By the end of this article, you will have answers to all your questions about building an email list.

Why Build Email List

What is an Email List and Why is it so Important?

An email list is a list of names and email addresses of people who gave you permission to send them updates and promotions from your business via email.

Why is this so important?

Because these subscribers joined your email list from your website and verified their identity by clicking on a link (double-optin). They are extremely interested in what you have to offer.

According to Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in USA.

In our business, email lists get 10 times higher conversions than social media campaigns. This makes sense if you think about these five advantages of email as a communication channel:

Email is Personal – Email allows you to land into a user’s inbox. There is no ranking system limiting your reach. It is very direct, personal, and casual.

Email is Purposeful – To get your email a user needs to signup for your email list and confirm their email address. Someone doing this much work is obviously interested in hearing from you, and they are much more receptive to your message.

Email is Targeted – As we mentioned earlier the user has already shown interest in your products / content. Since you already know what they like, you can deliver them highly relevant content and offers to get better results. This is called segmentation, and we will cover that later in the article.

You Own Your Email List – You do not own Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Your social media campaigns and SEO efforts can go to waste when these platform change their policies. On the other hand, you own your email list, and it is not influenced by decisions of other businesses.

Email is One-on-One – People read email in the privacy of their inbox. The message is not on a public timeline or newsfeed. They can ask you questions directly in private with confidence. This helps build trust and connection.

This is precisely why every smart business in the world has an email list.

Big name brands learned this lesson a long time ago, and that’s why they spend thousands of dollars on social media campaigns to get people to sign up for their email lists.

They understand that email marketing is the best long term investment with a much higher return. Because people will continue to get their message at a very low cost for a longer period of time.

Social Media vs Email Marketing

Social Media vs Email Marketing

Now you’re probably thinking, wait a minute. What about social media?

A lot of social media experts and consultants, in an attempt to sell their services, downplay the importance of an email list.

In fact, we have even been asked isn’t email marketing kind of dead with social media taking over everything?

The best way to answer this question is to look at the information Twitter and Facebook ask you before you create an account:

Twitter and Facebook Signup Forms

Yup, it’s an email address. Because these companies know that emails are the most direct and reliable way of getting in touch.

All social media platforms are building an email list because they are smart business owners. This helps their valuation when selling their business.

While social media is a great way to reach your audience, it’s important to keep in perspective the timely nature of social media platforms.

They come and go.

Not too long ago we had MySpace, FriendFeed, Google Buzz, Plurk and countless others. Most of them are either dead now or irrelevant.

Today we have Facebook and Twitter, but not everyone is as hooked up on these sites. Some prefer other places like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, etc.

But studies show that at least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis.

We are not saying that social media is not important. It is, and you should explore every opportunity to reach out to your audiences.

However you should spend more time and effort into something that guarantees much higher results.

What You Need to Start Building an Email List?

Hopefully by now, you should know why building an email list is so important, and why ignoring it would be a HUGE mistake.

So let’s take a look at what you need to start building your email list.

3 Things You Need to Build an Email List:

  1. A website or blog.
  2. An email marketing service.
  3. High-converting opt-in forms

All three of these are fairly easy to setup, and none of them require you to know how to code.

For the sake of this article, we will only be focusing on the last two items in the list. If you don’t have a website or blog yet, then see our step by step guide on how to start a blog.

Choosing the Best Email Marketing Service

Best email marketing services

There are tons of email marketing services online. Often beginners use the free options to save cost, which is understandable. However, some of those free platforms are not the best option. Why?

Services like FeedBurner or Jetpack Subscriptions offer blog subscription via email. This allows your users to receive an email update every time you publish a new blog post.

The downside to a blog notification service like this are:

  • You will have to create a blog post to send an email. This means that information you want to share will have to be publicly available first. You can’t send out private email newsletters.
  • You can’t personalize the email message. It will be delivered in the same format often with no branding or personalization.
  • You can’t categorize subscribers by interests, demographics, or content type.
  • There is no reporting. You don’t know how many people got email, what percentage of users opened it, and how many of them clicked on links.
  • If you later tried to move to a paid service, your users will have to re-confirm their subscription. Many of them will not do it, and you will end up losing subscribers.

This is why we ALWAYS recommend using a professional email marketing service. Yes, they cost a little bit of money, but they are an investment in your business which pays huge returns.

The benefit of professional email marketing services are:

  • You can send private mass emails to your subscribers.
  • You can see subscriber activity and group your subscribers based on actions they take.
  • You can run A/B split tests to see which email subject line, content, and offers work best with your subscribers.
  • With reporting tools, you can see which country you have the most subscribers from. You can adjust your timezone preferences, and send emails at the right time.
  • Last, but definitely the most important, you can see the email addresses of all your subscribers.

There are hundreds of professional email marketing services available, but we have compiled a list of the best email marketing services.

For small businesses, we recommend using Constant Contact because they are one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing services in the world.

They offer a 60 day free trial. This gives you plenty of time to setup and start seeing the results. At the end of 60 days, your email list would likely be paying for itself (cost $20 / month). Start your free trial.

Constant Contact

Because we know people often like to see options before they make a decision, we also recommend AWeber. They are another popular email marketing service provider, and they offer our users a 30-day free trial.

Once you have signed up with an email marketing service, the next step is to add opt-in forms to your website to allow your users to subscribe.

Growing Your Email List and Getting More Subscribers

While choosing the right email marketing service is important, getting more subscribers is even more important because this is how you make money.

The biggest mistake beginners make is not strategically placing high-converting opt-in forms.

While some WordPress themes come with built-in sidebar widgets, they don’t convert as well. Your email marketing service may also provide you with codes to embed in your theme, but that requires you to know how to code.

This is why we recommend our users to use OptinMonster. It is the most powerful conversion optimization software that helps you convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers.

You can easily create high-converting optin forms such as lightbox popups, floating header and footer bars, slide-in scroll boxes, fullscreen welcome mat, after post and inline forms, and more.

Add beautiful signup forms

But what makes OptinMonster really powerful is the behavior automation and personalization features. OptinMonster allows you to automatically show different opt-in forms based on where the user is coming from, which page they are visiting, and what they are doing on your website.

For example, the Exit-Intent® feature track your users mouse behavior and show them a targeted opt-in form at the precise moment they are about to leave. This helps you convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.

This is important because over 70% of people leaving your website will never return.

That’s why influencers like Michael Hyatt, Neil Patel, and Social Media Examiner use exit-intent on their websites. It helped Social Media Examiner add over 95,000 new subscribers in 7 months.

But for smaller businesses, this is even more crucial. Nicolas Gagne, a small business owner, combined Constant Contact with a single exit-intent optin to grow his email list by 500%. This helped him triple his revenue from his online store (see the full case study).

There are tons more case studies and OptinMonster reviews that you can read as well.

Get started with OptinMonster today — Use the coupon WPB10 to get 10% off.

Note: OptinMonster was started by WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, because he wanted to get more email subscribers, faster. It helped us increase our email signups by 600%. Due to popular request, we released this tool for public, and now it’s the most recommended lead generation software in the market.

List Building Strategies and Resources

Email Marketing Strategies

Having the right tools is crucial, but knowing how to use them properly is what makes the most difference.

In your email marketing strategy, the most important thing you should plan out is segmentation. This is the process of grouping your subscribers, so you can better personalize your emails based on interest. It helps you get higher open rates and click-through rates. This definitive guide to email marketing has all the information you need to segment your email list like a pro.

Content Upgrades are the highest converting opt-in forms. It’s a technique where you give your users bonus content at the end of your popular blog posts. These usually convert 5 times higher than a regular opt-in. Here are some content upgrade ideas that you should check out. We have written a guide on how to add content upgrades in WordPress.

If you’re not sure how to create an opt-in form, then use this 63-point checklist for creating a high-converting optin form.

You may want to check out Kevin Duncan’s article on 16 ridiculously simple ways to get more email subscribers in less than 5 minutes.

In case you want more ideas, Mary Fernandez also shared 73 proven and simple ways to grow your email list that should get you going.

Conclusion

It does not matter what kind of business you run, what kind of website you have, or what industry you are in.

If you have a website, and you want to turn your visitors into returning customers, then you need to get them in your email list.

We hope this article helped you understand why building an email list is important and helped you get started on the right foot.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Revealed: Why Building Your Email List is so Important Today! appeared first on WPBeginner.



source http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/why-you-should-start-building-your-email-list-right-away/

Addressing the WordPress Is Not Secure by Default Argument


Addressing the WordPress Is Not Secure by Default Argument WordPress being an open source script has its code publicly available. It means anyone willing to contribute can build on top of others’ work. This is how WordPress software gets developed. The WordPress security team cannot always be on top of security vulnerabilities because it is difficult to address something which is not even discovered yet.
Some people say that WordPress has built in features which are not inherently secure which some day end up plaguing the site security. Careful there. This is not what I said; it’s a speculation that I have had read many times over. You must be wondering why these known vulnerabilities are not fixed in the first place? Core developers must devise a plan to fix issues like WordPress version number, limiting login attempts, etc. But, that’s not the case, is it? So, there must have been a strong reason for not doing it till now. I believe it is not as simple as it sounds.
That’s what I want to address today. The fact that WordPress is secure. The argument about WordPress is not secure by default is way off. In this post, you will learn how hackers attack WordPress
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13506/addressing-the-wordpress-is-not-secure-by-default-argument




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/addressing-the-wordpress-is-not-secure-by-default-argument/

From 0 to $4000+/month with a new WordPress plugin


Lessons learned from launching Paid Member Subscriptions, our free membership plugin Over the course of 10 months Paid Member Subscriptions grew from 0 to $4000+ in monthly revenue, from a minimum viable product (MVP) to a fully fledged membership plugin that can compete with the already existing options.
This article goes behind the scenes of building and launching a new WordPress plugin. Keep in mind that this is just our path, by far a recipe.
It’s purpose is to highlight the ups and downs faced along the way, challenges and decisions we had to take, initial assumptions (some of which turned out to be completely wrong) and perhaps be of use to some of you dealing with WordPress plugins on a daily basis.
A little bit of background
Our WordPress product journey started in 2011. We had been doing consulting work for a couple of years, while also blogging over at Cozmoslabs about various WordPress development topics.
It all began with a blog post. After noticing the limitations of trying to extend the default user registration in the front-end while also adding custom user profile fields, my colleague Cristian decided to write a detailed tutorial on the subject. It got a lot of
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13505/from-0-to-4000-month-with-a-new-wordpress-plugin




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/from-0-to-4000month-with-a-new-wordpress-plugin/

Lessons Learned from My First Commercial WordPress Plugin


I launched my first commercial WordPress plugin, WP Social Media Slider, about a year and a half ago. I’d never released a commercial plugin before, so there was a lot of trial and error. Throughout the process I learned (and am still learning) some extremely valuable lessons that will affect my future WordPress plugin development. If you’ve already traveled this journey you may feel like a lot of these lessons are no-brainers; I certainly feel that way as I look back at them. Hopefully, however, there are a few of you who are considering getting into premium WordPress plugin development and are wondering what to expect and how to proceed. Hopefully the following lessons will save you some time and stress, just as they’ve done for me.
1. Releasing a commercial plugin is a lot easier than I expected.
I’ve been writing plugins for my clients’ sites here and there ever since I began working within WordPress. I love using plugins for two main reasons:
They keep functionality modular
They make functionality shareable (at least between your own sites)
As I prepared to delve into the world of commercial WordPress plugins, I had a bit of uncertainty regarding how
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13504/lessons-learned-from-my-first-commercial-wordpress-plugin




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/lessons-learned-from-my-first-commercial-wordpress-plugin/

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Fix Hacked WordPress Websites


The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Fix Hacked WordPress Websites More often than not, I get to read about certain data loss horror story from WordPress users. “I was about to publish an article when my website crashed — I was unable to log in! Now I can’t get my data back no matter how hard I try!” Or, more relevant to the WordPress, “I was scrolling through my site logs where I noticed an unusual traffic spike or an overwhelming amount of spam content.” These are the pretty obvious signs of a hacked website, and something needs to be done about it.
Sometimes people report spam links being added to their content without their consent. If you ever face any such signs, that would mean your site was hacked, and you need to fix it. That’s what this post is about. I am going to talk about certain steps that you can take to fix a hacked site. Let’s get started.
Hacking Is So Mainstream
The concept of hacking is not something new. How many of you have ever password-protected a computer to restrict young siblings from using it? And, how many of you have guessed the password and successfully plunged into the same old computer that you have
Source: https://managewp.org/articles/13498/the-complete-beginner-s-guide-to-fix-hacked-wordpress-websites




source https://williechiu40.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-fix-hacked-wordpress-websites/