Hello Ionic!

We will be sharing with you why we use these incredible technologies.
This week’s topic is IONIC. What is it? How efficient it is? And what do our customers think about it?
Check out for our next posts!

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WP #6: Everything You Need to Know About WordPress – Truths vs Misconceptions

In case you didn’t already know, WordPress is a pretty big deal.

Nearly 80 million websites and blogs utilize some form of WordPress. That’s basically the population of Germany, just for reference.

As a CMS (content management system), WordPress has 59% of the market share. There are also over 44,000 plugins available for WordPress that have been downloaded over a billion times.

So if we say that WordPress is a big deal, you will agree.

But like anything remotely popular, WordPress is often misunderstood. There are false myths and dated rumors we see constantly passed around. Because of our fierce love for WordPress, we wanted to take a moment to set the record straight.

Here is what you need to know about WordPress. The truths, the lies, and everything in between.

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WordPress.com and WordPress.org are not the same, but they are similar

Let’s start with the most confusing. So WordPress itself is a free, open source content management system. Essentially, it’s software that allows people to create, organize, and update websites without having to manually code every page.

Now, WordPress essentially comes in two forms.

First, there is WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a blog hosting service not entirely different from Blogger. It allows a person to setup a free website that operates on a custom version of the WordPress software. This version is limited in what themes and plugins it can use.

A WordPress.com website also cannot be transferred to another host. It’s a bit of an out of the box, package deal.

WordPress.org, on the other hand, is the home of the full, open source WordPress software. If a company is building you a WordPress website, this is what they’re using. This what the site you’re on right now is using.

With the WordPress.org software, you can do just about anything.

Confused? Don’t feel bad. You’re not the only one.

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From now on, we’ll mostly be talking about the full WordPress platform (.org).

WordPress is for a lot more than blogging

Thankfully this doesn’t happen as much as it did a few years ago, but for the longest time, when we told a client we build WordPress websites, their response would be something like “but I don’t want a blog. I want a website.”

As with the .com vs .org situation, there’s good reason for confusion.

WordPress has its roots in blogging. When it was first built, WordPress was mostly for blogging (WordPress.com is still primarily for blogging). And some of the biggest WordPress websites are primarily blogs.

But WordPress today is so much more than a blogging platform. Sure, it has a beautiful and easy to use blogging system built into it still, but there are hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites that don’t even utilize their blogging functionality.

Simply put, WordPress is an all-in-one website platform. It can do everything.

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Which brings us to the next point…

WordPress is usable for websites of all sizes and functions

There are WordPress sites of all shapes and sizes. Some may think that WordPress is only suited for smaller websites with a handful of pages and a blog. This is simply not true.

Sure, we’ve built WordPress sites as small as one page. But we’ve also built WordPress sites with hundreds of pages, posts, and products.

That’s right, products.

If you’re looking to do some e-commerce, WordPress offers a powerful solution with Woocommerce. Woocommerce is technically a free add-on to WordPress, though to get the full use out of it, you’ll probably need to purchase a few premium plugins.

WordPress can also be used to create social network sites, online schools, scheduling systems, and much more.

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WordPress is SEO friendly, but you still need to work for it

WordPress has been built and structured with search engines in-mind. The way the pages, links, images, etc. are laid out is based around how search engines crawl websites. That said, there’s a big difference between being SEO friendly and actually being search engine optimized.

Now, it’s time for some “buts”.

WordPress is secure, but the attacks are more frequent

The WordPress team is always hard at work with new updates, patches, and security adjustments. And for good reason. Because of WordPress’s prevalence and open source nature, the platform is always under attack.

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It’s the same reason why there’s more malicious content out there for Windows and Android devices. Because that’s what the majority of people in the world use.

That doesn’t mean WordPress is insecure. Far from it. As long as you stay on top of updates, take proper security precautions and stay away from bad plugins, you should be just fine.

WordPress is super user friendly, but you may need a developer

When it comes to adding and editing pages, writing blog posts, or adjusting things like the menu, WordPress is about as easy as it gets. Depending on what themes and plugins you’re using, doing more advanced changes may be possible too.

But for the average website owner, you’ll want someone around who can get technical. Especially if you want a customized site. Even if you’re using a templated site, tech support can be a huge asset.

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Lucky for you, we provide for all of your WordPress needs including design, development, hosting, maintenance, support, and more.

Our pricing plans start as low as we appreciate our loyal customers. Visit our contact page for more information.

Have a question about WordPress? Maybe a thought you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below.

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WP #5: 15 Things You May Not Know WordPress Can Do

We all know WordPress as the perfect tool for running a blog or regular website. But due to it’s open architecture, WordPress is much more than just a CMS, with many developers taking it to a whole new level.

Making WordPress into something more than a CMS is typically done with themes and/or plugins. In this article we’ll show you 15 alternative uses of WordPress (plus 2 bonuses). We will be taking a broad look at what’s possible with WordPress, in the hope of inspiring you to use it in a way you hadn’t thought of before. For each use, we will show you a working example, and how it’s done.

1. Amazon Shop

WordPress Amazon Shop

Combining WordPress with WooCommerce makes for an excellent ecommerce solution. But what if you could take it a step further by adding Amazon as your supplier. You could start selling without having your own stock to worry about.

All you need is this plugin called Amazon Shop and an Amazon affiliate account.

2. Forum

WordPress Forum Theme

WordPress as forum software, who would have thought? The guys at EngineThemes (you will see them mentioned several times in this article) have a great thing going on. They managed to turn WordPress into a very good forum app with a theme called ForumEngine.

It’s basically a modified version of WordPress posts + comments, combined with front-end controls and easy administration. And they know how to make slick designs.

If you’re interested in using WordPress as a forum, you should also check out bbPress from the creators of WordPress.

3. Coupon Site

WordPress Coupon Theme

Coupon sites are a perfect way to generate affiliate commissions, provided you don’t use shady tactics to draw in visitors. AppThemes made an excellent theme called Clipper which offers integrated coupon management at a very advanced level.

4. Directory

WordPress Directory Theme

This is another one of those themes where you can’t imagine WordPress is running the show. This directory theme called Directory doesn’t only allow you to make an impressive homepage, but incorporates many specific directory features on it’s listing pages.

5. Twitter Look-alike

WordPress Twitter Theme

Often referenced as “Twitter for WordPress”, the P2 theme is an excellent way to enable short communication in teams or companies. It’s the theme Automattic (the makers of WordPress) use themselves for internal communication.

Due to its inline commenting, someone can post on a topic, after which other users can respond in a very convenient way. There’s not much more to it, but it’s great at doing what it needs to do.

6. Job Board

WordPress Job Board Theme

Another theme from the geniuses over at EngineThemes is this theme called Job Engine. To us, this is the best example of what WordPress can be. Because of it’s front-end controls, you don’t actually need to use the WordPress Dashboard anymore. It has Ajax filtering, infinite scroll and a slicker than slick layout.

7. Issue Tracking

WordPress Issue Tracking Theme

This theme called Quality Control makes great use of WordPress functionality by turning it into a quality control tool. Posts become issues, and comments become status updates. It has an integrated ticket system, which can be filtered on priority, status or milestone. It even allows for assigning tickets to a specific user, making it a full featured issue tracking tool.

8. Booking System

WordPress Booking System Theme

This booking plugin called Booking System Pro can be used for many different sites. Hotels can use it for room or location bookings, or restaurants can use it for table reservations. It can be configured in various ways, including hotel room booking with features such as late checkout. Combine it with WooCommerce and you can accept payments for bookings as well.

9. Memberships

WordPress Membership Plugin

Membership plugins are some of the most popular plugins for WordPress. Because of WordPress’ convenient user system, it’s quite easy to combine it with different membership levels. Add some payment options to it, and you can start selling memberships.

This plugin called s2Member can protect your whole site, or even allow for pay-per-article. And unlike most of the themes/plugins listed here, this one is free.

10. Customer Feedback

WordPress Customer Feedback Theme

Let’s bring in the guys from AppThemes again. They made a theme called Ideas for collecting customer feedback, where a user can submit an idea or suggestion for others to vote on. As a developer, you can filter by the most popular ideas to work on, as well as having the ability to comment on it immediately.

11. Support Desk

WordPress Support Desk Theme

There are many knowledge base themes available, but with this theme called SupportPress it’s even possible to have your own ticketing system. There’s even the ability to enable chat functionality (plugin based). You can include documentation, FAQs and an integrated forum, all in one theme.

12. Real Estate

WordPress Real Estate Theme

With real estate themes, WordPress is really stretched to the max, and this real estate theme called Real Homes is a perfect example. It allows for a Google Map with objects for sale or for rent. There are numerous ways of filtering the offered properties, and the listing page itself is a real beauty. You can put up the property agent’s information, or use a contact form. It’s a very well thought-through theme for selling houses.

13. YouTube Look-alike

WordPress YouTube Theme

While there is no theme that gives you the exact YouTube look, this theme called Video Pro gives you plenty of ways to show your videos and increase engagement. YouTube itself of course allows for direct uploading of videos, but offering that on your own site isn’t feasible for most of us.

But this theme has the option for visitors to submit any link they like, so you can incorporate the video into your site right away. The theme offers extended sharing and liking functionality to allow for proper engagement.

14. Quora Look-alike

WordPress Quora Theme

This will be the final mention of EngineThemes, but these guys just make great app themes and really show what alternative uses WordPress is capable of.

For those of you who don’t know Quora, it’s a site where people can ask questions for others (mostly experts on the topic) to answer. With this theme called QAEngine you can build a site just like that.

Questions can be marked as answered, and answers can be up voted or selected as the best answer. This focus on engagement makes sure you are getting the best quality content, something which you might not be able to come up with yourself.

15. Classified Ads

WordPress Classified Ads Theme

Classified ads are still very popular, so of course there’s a great classifieds theme called ClassiCraft to convert WordPress into a classified ads site. This theme has great usability, and allows for multiple ways of monetizing your site by offering premium ads. It allows for showing a map alongside each listing and a contact form.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways in which you can transform WordPress. The familiarity you might already have with WordPress makes working with these themes and plugins a breeze, and you can do almost anything you want with it.

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As there are tons of different uses and themes around, please don’t hesitate to use the comment section to share your suggestions or thoughts.

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WP #4: The Best WordPress Plugins for 2017

Many of our users are business owners who often ask us for plugin suggestions. Having the right set of tools can help you take your business to the next level. In this article, we will share the must WordPress plugins for business websites in 2017.

Business tools for WordPress Site Owners

1. OptinMonster

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most popular conversion rate optimization software. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers. If you want to grow your email list, then this is a must have WordPress plugin in 2017. Read these case studies to see how much success other businesses are having by using OptinMonster.

2. WPForms

WPForms

As a business owner, allowing your customers to contact you should be your top priority. WPForms is the most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, order forms, payment forms, and other type of online forms with just a few clicks.

There’s a free WPForms Lite version available for those who are looking for a simple solution.

If you want more advanced features, then get the Pro version. Use this WPForms coupon to get 10% off your purchase.

3. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the most comprehensive and free website analytics tool in the market. In layman’s terms it allows you to see where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing on your website.

You can then optimize your site accordingly to improve your earnings. WPBeginner has detailed guides on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress and how to use Google Analytics.

4. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing service providers. It allows you to build an email lists and send emails to your subscribers.

It is by far the most beginner friendly platform, with quick and easy setup. It comes with built-in tools to add signup forms and also works well with lead generation software like OptinMonster.

5. Sucuri

Sucuri

Security is going to be a big concern for online business owners in 2017. Sucuri’s web application firewall is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site.

They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack.

If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then add one today.

6. BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy

While we’re talking about security, there’s no better security than having a reliable backup system.

As a business owner, you cannot afford to lose your business and customer data in case of a hardware failure or an attack on your host’s servers. The first thing you should setup on all your WordPress sites is a backup plugin. We recommend using BackupBuddy because it is one of the most reliable and easiest way to backup and restore your WordPress sites with just a few clicks.

7. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. It allows you to optimize your WordPress site for search engines.

It not only helps you add meta tags, it optimizes your site as a whole. You will find a complete step by step guide on how to install and setup WordPress SEO by Yoast in WPBeginner.

8. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache

Speed is one of the most important SEO factors. Faster websites rank higher in Google, this means more visitors for your business website and more conversions.

W3 Total Cache allows you to serve compressed and cached files to your visitors. This reduces the load on your server and your website becomes faster.

9. MaxCDN

MaxCDN

Images and other static content on a website take the longest time to load. If you want to make your website even faster, then you will need to use a CDN to deliver your static files. MaxCDN is the most reliable CDN service, and it integrates easily with WordPress.

10. Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery

While you can easily create image galleries in WordPress without using a plugin, these galleries are fairly basic. Envira Gallery allows you to create beautiful responsive galleries in WordPress.

You can create multiple galleries, add them anywhere on your site, create albums, open images in lightbox popups, and much more.

11. Soliloquy

Soliloquy

Sliders on your WordPress landing pages allow you to easily display your featured content, products, and announcements in a beautiful interactive way. Soliloquy is the best WordPress slider in the market. It allows you to easily create your own beautiful sliders and add them anywhere on your WordPress site.

12. Buffer

Buffer

Keeping your followers engaged on social media requires you to frequently post updates. Buffer allows you to easily schedule your posts for the entire day.

This allows you to keep your social media accounts active while you work on other things.

13. IFTTT

IFTTT

As a smart business owner, you need to make the most out of your time, but you cannot be everywhere all the time.

This is where IFTTT comes in. It allows you to put the internet to work for you.

14. Quick and Easy FAQs

Adding FAQs section in WordPress

When launching a new product or website, you may need to add a FAQs section in WordPress. You can add a new page with all the frequently asked questions (FAQs), but in most cases FAQs grows as your product evolves and as your customer base grows.

By adding the FAQ section, you can significantly reduce your support overhead and improve conversion.

15. Insert Headers and Footers

Insert Header and Footer

While managing your WordPress sites, you may sometimes need to add code snippets to your WordPress site’s header or footer. This means you will have to edit the theme files which could get messy and break up your WordPress theme. Insert Headers and Footer allows you to easily add code snippets to your WordPress site without editing your theme files.

16. CSS Hero

CSS Hero

WordPress themes rely on CSS for the visual appearance of your website. If you want to make customization to your theme, then you will have to learn CSS. This can be time consuming for a business owner.

CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize any WordPress theme without writing a single line of code.

17. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

As a business owner you may soon realize that placing things differently on your pages can result into more conversions and sales. But how do you create those landing pages without learning to code?

Beaver Builder is a powerful drag and drop page builder tool for WordPress. It allows you to easily create your own page layouts using a simple user interface.

18. Google Apps for Work

Google Apps for Work

Google Apps for Work is a suite of web applications like email, docs, spreadsheets, etc. Created by Google, this powerful suite of office applications is cheaper, easy to deploy, and hassle free. Most importantly, it allows you to use your own business domain name for emails.

19. Freshbooks

Freshbooks

Freshbooks is a cloud based accounting software for professionals, freelancers, and agencies. It allows you to easily send invoices to clients, receive payments, and manage your finances.

20. SEMRush

SEMrush

As a business owner, you need data to find out what your competitors are doing for their websites. SEMRush allows you to look at the keywords where your competitors are ranking. You can checkout their paid keywords as well as their organic traffic. This way you can optimize your own content and marketing strategy.

21. All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets

All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets are special markup that you can add to your content and describe your content more precisely to search engines. This information is then used by search engines to show your content differently. For example, star ratings below your product listings, maps when someone searches for your business, and so on. All in One Schema.org rich snippets plugin provides you an easy user interface to generate that markup and use it in your WordPress posts and pages.

22. BirchPress

BirchPress

If you need a solution for your business website where your users can book and pay for appointments, then BirchPress is the solution for you. It allows you to easily add a complete online booking system to your WordPress site.

 

23. Testimonials Widget

Testimonials allow you to showcase your past clients and their feedback about your services or products. People love to hear what others have to say about your business. It helps you gain trust and build lasting relationships with your clients. Testimonials Widgets makes it super simple to add customer testimonials on your WordPress site.

24. Slack

Slack

Slack is a team management, productivity and communication tool. We use it to communicate with our team spread across different timezones and locations. Slack is more convenient than email, and it can integrate with tons of other online tools you may be using.

We hope this article helped you find some of the best WordPress plugins for your business website.

 

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WP #3: What is a plugin?

A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. In the WordPress community, there is a saying that goes around: “there’s a plugin for that”. They makes it easy for users to add features to their website without knowing a single line of code. There are thousands available for free to download at the official WordPress plugin directory. Aside from free plugins, there are tons of amazing commercial ones available from third-party companies and developers.

Adding a new WordPress Plugin

As a site administrator, you can install/uninstall plugins from the admin area. You can also download and manually install them using an FTP client.

Because the vast majority of plugins are free, it is important to note that they usually do not come with tech support. For this reason it is important to be careful when choosing which ones you want to install on your site. Although there are plugins that can do virtually anything, some are much higher quality than others. In order to choose the right ones, you should ask yourself a couple questions. How long has it been since it was updated? Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress? Are people getting answers to their support questions? What type of rating does it have?

There is a myth that WordPress plugins slow your site down. It is not true. Only the number of bad ones will slow down your site.

 

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WP #1: What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL, installed on a web server.  In non-geek speak, it is a website creation tool probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website CMS in existence today.

Who uses WordPress?

You’re in good company if you use WordPress to publish on the web. Many famous blogs, news outlets, music sites, fortune 500 companies and celebrities are using WordPress.

For example, famous blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch are both on WordPress. News outlets like The New York Times’ blogs and CNN’s on-air personality blogs all use WordPress, too.

If you’re ever curious about about who uses WordPress, head on over to the WordPress site showcase and you’ll be impressed by the number of well-known sites and famous people using WordPress to power their websites.

 

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Hello WordPress!

We will be sharing with you why we use these incredible technologies.
This week’s topic is WORDPRESS. Why is WP? How efficient it is? And what do our customers think about it?
Check out for our next posts!

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