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Keep those plugins up to date!

Posted by Mark Greentree on December 16, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

pluginsThe greatest part of using WordPress is all the fantastic plugins that are available that help you with simple website elements like forms, widgets, spyware etc.  BUT you have to keep the plugins up to date.

Viruses, spyware and malware LOVE when you let the plugins get out of date as they use the out of date aspects to infiltrate your site.  You can easily stop this by happening by logging into your website once a week or even once a month to make sure all your plugins are up to date.

If you need help with keeping your plugins up to date or just don’t feel comfortable attempting this, Greentree Designs can help – Click here.

Using Youtube to sell your products

Posted by Mark Greentree on December 16, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

Youtube is a great resourse for many reasons when considering how you are going to promote and sell your products on your eCommerce storefront.  If you use Youtube well you can provide inbound links to your storefront with videos you upload to your Youtube channel that highlight particular products you sell and want to promote to the outside world (This will help increase your pagerank and your relevancy with the search engines).  These videos can lead your potential customers directly to your storefront.

You can also embed videos with important information about your products on your product pages to help educate your customers and influence them to purchase the product.

Here is a great video from Volusion on how you can use Youtube on your storefront:

If you’d like to hear more about how to use Youtube –  Greentree Designs can help – Click here.

eCommerce Tips – How to increase your conversion rates

Posted by Mark Greentree on December 15, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

shippingcarriers

You just finished creating your new eCommerce webdesign – Now What?

The best way to make your new storefront successful is to make it as easy as possible for your customers to checkout.

Make it comfortable for your customers. 

To achieve this, simply add as many payment options and shipping carriers so your customers can pick the ones they are familiar with and use most often.

paymentgatewaysLet your customers decide who they want to use that way they breeze through the checkout process without second guessing.

A satisfied customer will always want to return to your store because they enjoyed their user experience that focused on their ease of mind during the checkout process!

 

WordPress Plugins – Social Media Widget

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 29, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

social-widgetscreenSocial media is a great way to increase your page rank and relevancy with the search engines.  The Social Media widget is a plugin that offers every conceivable social media currently available on the internet.

If you just need to drop in your Facebook link or Twitter, the Social Media Widget is easy to use and fast!  Simply drag the Social Media Widget to the widget location you desire, then start pasting your links into their respective locations. The Social Media Widget will add the icon and link for you.  It’s that simple!

WordPress Plugins – Widget Logic

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 28, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

Widget Logic is a classic WordPress Plugin that allows you to be more specific with the placement of certain widgets on targeted pages or posts.  Say you have a category of posts that you want specific links in the right column to display on – Widget Logic can help with that.  You can specify a page or pages with a short bit of code in the form of an array:

 is_page( array( 'resources','book-suggestions','practice-questions' ) )

widgetlogic-screenYou can add as many pages are you want but be sure to paste each between single quotations, i.e. ‘resources’. If you want to list multiple pages be sure to paste each page in between single quotes with each page separated by a comma.

If you want to have a particular widget on all pages of your WordPress site you don’t need to use Widget Logic, just simply drop your widget in the widget location.

Sitetree – WordPress Plugin

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 23, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

sitetree

Do you need a sitemap for SEO purposes on your WordPress site?  We recommend Sitetree.  Sitetree is extremely quick and easy to set up and use.

Before you install the Sitetree plugin we recommend creating a page entitled ‘Sitemap’ and then go to Plugins in your WordPress admin panel and install Sitetree.  After you have activated Sitetree it will ask you click the ‘Enable’ button and then select the location of where Sitetree will dynamically display the archive of content from your site (Choose the Sitemap page you just created).

After you have activated Sitetree add the link for your sitemap to your footer.  Search engines will use your sitemap for indexing and your users will use it for finding content on your site as well.

Formidable Forms – WordPress Plugin

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 23, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

formidableAre you looking to make a Contact Form and just don’t know how or what plugin to use?  We have found Formidable Forms simple and easy to use.

With Formidable Forms, you can add multiple email recipients, clone other forms, add customized css and even export forms as an .xml file for use on other WordPress sites.  Formidable Forms also provides a customizable confirmation email to personalize your communication with your users.

formidable-dndFormidable Forms gives you the ability to drag and drop your input fields with a click of the mouse. This feature considerably reduces the time it takes to make a contact form.  Formidable Pro, a subscription base, allows for more custom fields (note grey buttons under the ‘Pro Fields’ in graphic to the right).

Check ’em out – Formidable Forms

 

New eCommerce Design Project – Parakeet Feet!

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 22, 2014  /   Posted in eCommerce Design Projects, Latest News
screen-parakeetfeet

eCommerce Design Project – Parakeet Feet

We recently converted Parakeet Feet’s WordPress design into a full fledged eCommerce storefront using Shopify.

About Parakeet Feet:
Parakeet Feet is a family-owned business with a flagship storefront in Ithaca, NY. Parakeet Feet sells terrific children shoes, clothing and accessories from brands like Beatrix, Charmit, Jambu, Hatley, Livie & Luca, Kamik and much more!

About The Parakeet Feet Project:
Parakeet Feet needed an eCommerce platform that would help them sell their products online and from their brick and mortar store located in Ithaca, NY.  We recommended Shopify (We just finished work on another Shopify project – svobodastyle.com) as they had the tools, excellent tech support and competitive prices.

Shopify’s tech support is phenomenal.  We had some functionality questions we needed assistance with  so we enlisted Shopify’s Live Chat built into the Shopify admin panel.  The tech was able to answer our question instantly.  They were friendly and prompt – can’t beat that!

Shopify allows you to install third party apps to make the admin panel robust and extremely useful.  Here are some that we recommend:

 

All In One SEO pack – WordPress Plugin

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 22, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips, WordPress Websites

Are you looking for a WordPress plugin to add your SEO Meta data?  We recommend the All In one Seo Pack by Michael Torbert, click here to download.  The plugin is easy on your admin panel, quick to load and a breeze to use!

Some of the benefits of All in one SEO pack are as follows:

  1. Ease of use.  To add your Meta data for your homepage, simply go to the General Settings/Homepage Settings of All in One and add them to the top section
    allinone-homepage
  2. Another great feature is say you’ve already created a website and didn’t have time to tag out the pages or posts.  You don’t have to go into edit every individual page and add the tags you can edit them directly in your page or post listing.  Just click on the little pen icon, example in red circle, drop in your tags and you’re done!
    allineon-pages

Navigation – The first Item on your to-do list when building a website

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 11, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

Navigating websitesSo you are ready to start thinking about a website?

What should be the first thing you should communicate with your users – NAVIGATION.

Think about it, you want your users to be able to find what they came to your site in the first place.  You do that with a well thought-out, intuitive navigation.

First you consider your audience or who your audience might be.  For eCommerce websites that means you want your navigation to be product focused.  This means you want to categorize what you are offering in clear/concise manner.  You can do this very easily by creating a category structure that allows your users to navigate through your site with little or no thought.

So you’re selling shirts.  Are you selling male and female, boys and girls products?  Then your navigation should reflect that.  Organize your inventory by breaking it down or departmentalizing it.  This will prove effective with search engines as well.

Say Sally is looking for shirts for her daughter theorectically she will find your site because your categories are labeled rich in search engine keywords that adequately define the product they are searching for, i.e. girls, shirts, short sleeve etc.  But don’t stop there, make categories that allow you to shop by size, by brand, even by price.

Rollover menu/Dropdown menus

You want to display your content pages or products or categories and don’t know how to organize them so that they’re easy to find, navigate – rollover menus are a great way to display these pages without weighting down your look and feel.  The menu items in a rollover menu on first glance look hidden but don’t be fooled, the search engines can read every link in your menu.  So all the keywords you have embedded in your product categories, page names will get served up faster since they will be placed in a rollover menu at the top of your code.

Search engines read websites read through your website code top to bottom. It is imperative you have the most important navigable items at the beginning of the code which you will be presenting via the top navigation area in the header of your website.

The Search Box

There are those that may utilize your well thought out navigation or skip it altogether.  This means you also must provide an easy to use and see search box.  Place it above the browser fold in your header or atop your left or right column of the content area.

For an eCommerce store or even a content driven website, information will only be found successfully if your meta keywords are embedded well for the search box to deliver to its users.

The footer is important too!

The footer can often be overlooked because it is at the bottom of the website.  Don’t be fooled, the footer can be very helpful.  Say you happened upon the bottom of a long list of products or informational page.  You can save your users time from navigating back to the top of the site by creating a footer that reiterates the header and other useful information. It is a great practice to serve up your parent categories in the footer along with company links like policies, about us, contact etc.

Focus groups have found when challenged to use a website if they do not find what they are looking for in seconds they will leave the site almost instantly.  This is a harsh reality so make sure you keep that in mind when creating your website.

Good Luck!

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