How to Increase Your Ecommerce Conversion Rates

As we’ve covered before, WordPress is a great platform to use as an ecommerce solution thanks to its wide variety of plugins and high adoption rates across the web. If you’ve been using WordPress to power your ecommerce business you know how simple it is. But, as any business owner knows, you can’t just rest on your laurels. You always want to have a better month than last. If your sales have plateaued and your current efforts aren’t yielding the results you want, there are some changes you could start making today to drum up conversions.


None of these suggestions require developer know-how, but you’ll need to be good with creating visuals. Strong writing will go a long way, too. You may want to seek out a contractor to create your assets, but comfort levels are subjective. Here are some great ways you can improve your site to encourage more sales.


Professional Quality Images


High quality pictures of your products are the most important thing to have on your website. How big of an effect do images have on an ecommerce site? Well, it’s pretty sizable. Professionals have found that higher quality images can increase conversions by up to three times. Site visitors use images to establish a couple of things. First, it’s a trustworthiness issue. The more professional of an appearance, the higher the chances a customer will feel comfortable providing you with their private information. Shoppers are careful with their credit cards in these times of identity theft. Secondly, images provide critical information about what they’re purchasing. If relevant information is lacking, they will take their business elsewhere. But, a high quality image that shows the details of a product will encourage a conversion.


Of course, you might be asking “what does high quality mean?” While that’s subjective, good composition (the featured image being centered in the frame) and a crisp appearance (no stretching or pixilation) are the two critical things to strive for.


Make Sure Sales are Highlighted


This may seem obvious, however not every site has a dedicated sales section. Your mileage may vary depending on your specific business, but shoppers gravitate to a “sales” heading. Studies show 47% of people who make purchases online exclusively buy discounted items. And 62% of online shoppers claim when they go to a site they seek out the section that indicates sales or specials. Shoppers have been conditioned to be deal hunters. There are many email based businesses (think Groupon) that are constantly offering big deals, inspiring consumers to buy products or services they otherwise never would have considered before.


That’s not to say you need to have huge discounts. However, providing an easily accessible and prominent section of the site displaying what is currently on sale can trigger behavior that will increase the possibility of conversion.


Put Real Thought Into Your Copy


Great copy, like great product photos, tells a story. That is, they are tools of persuasion. However, good copy doesn’t make the “hard sell.” It’s simply clear, useful, and only as long as it needs to be. Useful copy allows your visitors to make an informed decision. It doesn’t tell them to buy. They come to that decision themselves.


Depending on the nature of your products, you may opt for concise product descriptions that are just the facts. If you opt for longer, make sure you’re using your space wisely. If you want to be thorough, then make sure you’re using your copy to answer every major potential question a customer may have rather than pitching them on the product.


Do You Charge for Shipping?


Maybe this one never occurred to you because it’s generally accepted that, hey, it costs money to send things through the mail. But consumers want no part of it. Free shipping is a make or break factor for the vast majority of customers. Many say if there’s no free shipping, they won’t make the purchase. But even more would agree that as long as there is a free shipping offer of some kind (spend more than $25, let’s say) they will make a purchase big enough to hit that threshold. Consumers have a fascinating response to free shipping offers.


You may have concerns that absorbing shipping costs will hurt your bottom line. Many businesses manage to make this work. The primary reason why so many businesses opt to just deal with absorbing the shipping costs is because customers will spend more on the items themselves, thus producing a value.




As you can see, improving your ecommerce site isn’t as daunting as you might have imagined. In fact, sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective ones. Of course people like seeing nice pictures and not paying for shipping! But there are tangible results showing just how important it is to have these things. If you’re having issues updating your site or dealing with traffic spikes, contact your web hosting company to see what solutions they can offer you.

Top 7 Ways to Increase Site Traffic

The best problem to have in business is having your demand outpace your capabilities. Sure, there are initial growing pains. But once you play catch up, you can reap the benefits. In the realm of a web based business, the worst you’ll have to do is contact your web hosting company about upgrading your server tier plan. So, if you haven’t been hitting your sales and traffic goals, or you’re ready to take things to the next level, let’s take a look at some ways anyone can start increasing traffic to your site today.


Because you’re a business owner (or marketer) you probably don’t want to get caught up in the technical details. If that aspect of running a site doesn’t interest you, you’re in luck. None of these suggestions are dependent upon your technical know-how. You won’t have to open a text editor and stare at your site’s code. WordPress makes everything simpler.  All it takes is strategy and good, old-fashioned tried and true marketing. Here are just seven of the ways you can begin bumping up your site traffic.


Promote Interaction on Your Site


It’s more effective to speak with your customers than to speak at them. If you look at the model editorial sites have followed for the past decade, you’ll see that they’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of hosting comments sections. While your site may not lend itself to a comments section, you can install a forum for onsite conversation and leverage social media plugins to encourage conversation off-site as well.


Blog Consistently


Fresh content is what keeps people returning to your site. Even if you run an ecommerce site that stays more or less static, the inclusion of a WordPress blog allows for easily indexed content that will provide SEO benefits as well as useful material for customers. Blogs are also great fodder for conversation on social networks. Speaking of using blogs to begin conversations, that leads us to our next tip.


Promote Your Blog Posts


There are multiple ways you can get your content out there. Leveraging your email lists is a classic and effective method of promoting whatever it is you’re looking to get eyeballs on that week. Traditionally, this is a great way to promote coupons and sales which undoubtedly drive traffic. You can also promote blog posts here occasionally. If people subscribed to your list are already conditioned to follow the links you provide via sales, this is a good way to increase blog traffic, which will elevate overall organic search traffic for your site.


Use Community Discovery Tools


Obviously, you’re eventually going to have reach beyond your existing scope. Email lists and social networks are good, but they use existing connections for the most part. Submitting your content to a site like StumbleUpon or joining a blogger network where you can interact with others in your industry (and cross promote one another) are great ways to reach audiences you wouldn’t have reached before. There is a sense of randomness involved (especially with StumbleUpon) but not all advertising is specifically targeted.


Interact with the Media


Depending on your particular niche, you may find yourself with opportunities to participate in some PR work. It’s always important to have a solid contact form plugin installed on your WordPress site for this very reason. Journalists often reach out to business owners looking to get comments for stories. Twitter is another great place where you can gain traction by interacting with more social circles.


Link to Relevant Content


This tip is actually two suggestions in one. First, yes link to other relevant pages on your own site. It’ll help visitors navigate your site better and focus them so that they follow the funnel into a conversion. But, paying it forward also has its benefits. Link to outside sources as well. Generally, site owners will reciprocate if appropriate. If you build links to sites with higher traffic, that will certainly help you in your search engine optimization efforts.


Use SEO Plugins


WordPress is known for its huge array of plugins that allow you to add functionality to your site without having to know how to code. Increasing traffic isn’t just about performing marketing duties. There are some technical elements to this as well. SEO plugins make this easy. With simple installation, all you need to do is enter the pertinent information into the provided text fields like you do any other kind of content. Check out Jetpack for the most comprehensive multi use plugin.


That’s a solid start to getting a strategy underway to boost your site traffic. Though there were seven tips listed here, there are plenty more for you to discover as you see your visitor count increase. Remember, your WordPress site is easily scalable. With the right hosting solution, you’ll be prepared to easily handle the growth in your traffic.

Why Creatives Should Use WordPress for Their Portfolios


If you’re a creative professional or aspiring artist, having a portfolio website is key to finding work and establishing a reputation. If you’ve ever worked in a creative field, you know having samples to show is just as important, if not more important, than simply having a resume. The work itself is also only part of the story. How you display that work also signals to employers how serious you are. Creative work extends to every aspect of design. That’s why the platform you choose to host your portfolio on should be reliable, adaptable, and aesthetically appealing. Of course, WordPress is more than up to the task. While everyone knows the benefits of WordPress when it comes to running a business, its capabilities as a portfolio platform shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’ve been looking to update your web presence and don’t know where to begin, here are some ways creatives can use WordPress to quickly establish a killer online portfolio. Be sure to find a reliable web hosting provider that will keep your portfolio site running 24/7 regardless of how much multimedia you’re uploading to your site.


Pick the Perfect Theme


One of the most attractive qualities of WordPress is the ability to have nearly any look you want for your site thanks to easily installable themes. Of course, with so many choices, you’re going to need to narrow down your search a bit. The first question you want to ask yourself is, “What am I looking to accomplish with this portfolio?” If it’s simply a repository of your work, you want a clean theme that won’t take away from the work itself. For photographers, a theme like Oshine or Uncode could be what you need. Oshine is minimalist while Uncode offers a wide range of features that you can use (or choose not to use) depending on your specific goals. Ultimately, you’ll want to choose a theme that applies to what your actual field is. If you’re a writer, you have more wiggle room. Any clean theme with a white background and a focus on one piece of writing at a time should work for you. Get creative. Just avoid overcrowding because then you’ll lose reader focus. Guide your visitors to the pieces you want them to read by establishing order.


Choose a Plugin Instead


Suppose you already have a site established for some other purpose or you don’t want to choose a whole theme dedicated to just a portfolio. A portfolio plugin can add a portfolio section to nearly any theme for quick installation (or removal, if you so choose). Some portfolio plugins include Essential Grid, which adds grid layouts to your site for both text and image samples of your work. You can include as many rows and columns as you’d like, custom colors, content sources, layouts, and more. Media Grid is another solid choice if you’re looking to arrange photos, videos, or audio in a fully customizable grid layout. There are more portfolio plugins out there, so check them out. They’re a convenient way to turn an existing site into a showcase of your work


Carefully Select Your Content


Now we’re getting to the part you’ll probably spend quite a bit of time on. After all, this is what you’re going to be building your brand on. It’s time to choose the samples of your work that best represent you. You’re not going to want to throw everything you’ve ever done on your site. It’s important to choose work that is relevant, recent, and high quality. Show off what you’re most proud of. Also remember that context is everything. Whether you’re a writer, artist, engineer, or developer, you have to tell a story with your portfolio. Work presented without context isn’t as effective as work samples provided with an explanation as to how it fits into your overall body of work. Write short contextual descriptions for each work you present in your portfolio so potential employers can better understand your process and the way you work. Generally, a single page of your very best work is enough when it comes to a portfolio. Just like with a resume, few people will spend time combing through your entire history. Put your best foot forward.


Establish a Method of Contact


This is a small (and obvious) point to make, but it is important. Now that you’ve spent all this time presenting your work, having a way for visitors to reach you for employment opportunities wraps the whole thing up. After all, what good is a portfolio if it doesn’t get you more work? Consider installing a contact form plugin so you can collect pertinent information from visitors at the initial point of contact. Alternatively, you could just provide an email address, but then you have no real filter or introductory information. Whatever you choose, make sure your preferred method of contact is prominently displayed on your site.


Set up your portfolio site today. With WordPress, it’s easy and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Why Your WordPress Web Hosting Company is an Important Business Partner

If you’ve ever run a business you know one of the most important things you need to keep track of is your time. Yes, time is money, but it goes beyond that popular idiom. There is only so much time in the day to get things accomplished. If you’re in the business of selling goods and services, you probably don’t want to get bogged down in the technicalities of deploying a website. Sure, you have a creative vision. But the “under the hood” concerns like bandwidth, software upgrades, and other hosting duties probably seem more like an overwhelming hassle than interesting projects to tinker with. Who has all that time? This is where your WordPress web hosting company comes in. You may not think of your web hosting company as a business partner, but it may be time to readjust your way of thinking. When it comes to running your business, a web hosting company is more than just another vendor.


You may be asking yourself what makes working with a web hosting company better than going it alone. After all, can’t anyone just throw up a site and only have to worry about renewing the domain name every year? Technically, yes. That doesn’t mean you should. Especially if your site is where you run a business from. Let’s look at some of the advantages of using a dedicated web hosting company for keeping your WordPress site online.


Why can’t I just use


This often seems like the million-dollar question. Why not just use the practically free hosting that comes with and call it a day? Well, if all you’re doing is keeping a basic site online to blog on or have people contact you through, that might be the solution for you. Thirty or so dollars a year and you’re done. However, for a site that you want to give a professional appearance, purpose, and performance, you’re going to want a dedicated host that you place your site on using the tools downloaded from


The “free” version of WordPress is simply too restrictive when it comes to operating a business. Your choice of themes is restricted so you can’t get the exact look you want. Only a handful of plugins are available to install on Only a dedicated host can have access to the thousands of plugins available. Additionally, if you have a little know-how or have a developer, you can’t access the code to make any customized changes to your site. With a web hosting company, they can do the heavy lifting of getting the site installed and you’ll have access to all of WordPress’ functionality.


What about security?


Security is key when handling sensitive private data that customers are trusting you’ll keep safe. It’s been stated many times because it’s true, but consistently upgrading your WordPress core installation is the major key to remaining secure. A good web host will perform these updates for you so you don’t have to worry about it. Having to stay on top of the latest WordPress patches is a part-time job unto itself. Or, it can be an added expense of hiring a developer to always be at the ready to make these changes. You may not need that kind of overhead if you only make occasional under the hood changes to your site. That doesn’t even take into account having to then follow-up your software updates with updating all your plugins as well. Don’t get yourself bogged down in the technical aspects of running your business site. Partnership with a web hosting company will give you peace of mind and site stability.


And if I want to expand my web presence?


Scalability is something that will be of concern if your business really takes off. Of course, this is a great problem to have. Having that kind of traffic and order processing is a goal. However, if your site can’t handle the load, that could provide your customers with a poor experience. Your web hosting company will handle all bandwidth problems for you. Need more server space? Done. This is when that partnership comes into play. No more need to find yet another vendor to handle expanding your site’s capabilities. You may also find you want to launch smaller satellite sites for SEO purposes or to fill niches you’re trying to reach. Your web hosting company can handle all of that so your costs remain low and everything is under one umbrella.


While the technical aspects of running a site may not appeal to you, it’s important to have a partner who can help with the essentials. WordPress is an easy to understand and use solution for nearly any kind of user. Keep the simplicity going by partnering up with a dedicated WordPress web hosting company to handle all your technical backend needs.


The Top WordPress Plugins to Install for Security

WordPress has been in the news quite a big the past couple of weeks. Tech bloggers have been reacting to the latest update to WordPress, version 4.6.1. New versions of WordPress come out with fair regularity, but this time the company is strongly recommending that site owners perform an update to their core install as soon as possible to patch up two critical security vulnerabilities that could be exploited. Without getting too technical, malicious attackers could upload an image file to WordPress and then execute damaging JavaScript into the software. The other vulnerability had to do with a package uploader.


As we’ve covered before on the blog, there are many steps you can take to keep your WordPress installation safe from hackers. Updating your core installation to the most recent WordPress version is, as always, the most important thing to do. Your web hosting company can assist with this. However, there are additional steps you can take beyond diligent updates to make sure your information and information that belongs to your customers remain secure and private. If your login page has been properly secured and your passwords are strong, it’s time to look into the next step of proper WordPress security management: plugins.


While keeping your current plugins up to date is part of the best security practices for WordPress, that’s not the whole story. There are actually plugins you can install that are developed for the purpose of keeping your overall WordPress installation more secure. Let’s take a look at some of the plugins other WordPress users are installing in order to up their security.




Wordfence has been making the rounds as one of the premier WordPress security plugins. Simliar to how JetPack is considered the name to beat in the WordPress analytics space, Wordfence has a similar reputation when it comes to security. Wordfence has many features wrapped into a single plugin. One feature is a built in WordPress-specific firewall. The firewall is self-updating so as new threats are documented, the software will patch itself to be prepared. Essentially, the firewall will identify malicious activity and block it before it can access your site. Wordfence also has a blocking feature. It is Wordfence network wide, which means if another site with Wordfence is attacked and the attempt is blocked, all sites using Wordfence will automatically block the offending IP address and domain name. The blocker will also root out “crawlers” or other kinds of bots that may look to scrape data from your site. There is also a login security feature which enables two-factor authentication to make it harder to forcibly enter the site by spamming login credentials. Much like with antivirus software, there is a scanning feature that will seek out any form of corruption in your themes, plugins, and core files. It’ll even monitor your DNS.


Sucuri Security


Here is another big name, trusted security plugin for WordPress with a list of features. Sucuri Security is the creation of the famed security company Sucuri. The plugin also provides constant monitoring and auditing to ensure your site is always guarded. It pulls in information to successfully blacklist suspect sources. You’ll recognize some of the names it aggregates information from, including Google, Norton, and McAfee. If a threat is recognized, the plugin will send you an email right away to notify you. The plugin will defend against many different categories of attacks. While developers will really be the ones that understand the nuances of each different kind of attack, take solace knowing you’ll be covered on multiple fronts. As a last ditch failsafe, Sucuri keeps your activity logs stored in the cloud so if a breach does occur, you can still recover everything.


BulletProof Security


BulletProof Security is an all-in-one package plugin as well that performs multiple functions. The hallmark of this plugin is the ease of use. It boasts a “four-click” set up that lets you set it and forget it. For users that aren’t interested in dabbling in the guts of a site, this is an attractive plugin. The plugin offers a firewall, login verification, database security, and more. If too many failed login attempts are made, the login functionality will be disabled. It also scans for spam traffic and scanners. Like with Wordfence, it will scan your site for core vulnerabilities. For more advanced users, there are plenty of more features that may interest them. Check out the documentation and see what they have to offer.


WordPress is the easiest CMS platform to use when creating a site. Unfortunately, because it’s so popular and supported, hackers know there may be value in trying to find openings in the core WordPress code. By practicing good security habits, such as constantly performing updates, and installing a security update, you should be able to rest easy knowing your site is safer.

Why Marketing Professionals Should Set Their Clients Up with WordPress Sites


Executing a digital marketing campaign, as anyone who has worked on one before can tell you, is challenging. There are many obstacles that can come up when first assessing the client’s needs and deciding where to even begin. The primary issue is generally the client’s website. Sure, social media accounts and email lists are important. But, it’s where those accounts all point to that’s going to determine whether or not measurable conversions go up. Increased traffic is nice, but if the bounce rate nears 100% it isn’t very useful.


This is where WordPress can help make a marketer’s job much easier. While WordPress is an excellent solution for any kind of web-based business, let’s look at how marketers specifically can use WordPress in a variety of ways to get better results from their campaigns.


Homepage Overhaul


Is your client running a site on proprietary CMS that reminds you of a labyrinth with a tendency to break every time you log into it? Is there even a CMS? A marketer’s worst nightmare may be a site that exists only as code with no easily accessible content management system to do quick and easy edits. Position doing a site migration for the client and rebuilding on the WordPress platform. A WordPress site is much easier to use for all parties involved. Blog posts, image uploads, and copy updating is as simple as can be on WordPress. If a team of people are working on the site, ease of use will keep all edits streamlined. This can solve the far too common problem of a site being set up by a developer years ago and then no one on the client’s team having the credentials or technical knowledge to make any substantial changes to the existing site.


Landing Pages


When speaking about landing pages, there are really two different things that can be discussed: specific pages on the client’s main website and single page external sites built primarily for marketing purposes. For both scenarios, WordPress is the way to go. By definition, a landing page is a specific page traffic is funneled to in order to accomplish some sort of conversion; whether it be generating leads or making a sale. WordPress allows you to quickly make new pages on an existing site by simply copying the theme in use and providing easy text entries for writing any new content. As far as creating all new sites for a client, WordPress is attractive as well. With cheap web hosting being your only real expense, you can quickly build and launch single page sites and use lead generation plugins, such as forms, to measure conversions. Or, if search engine optimization is what you’re working on, these single page sites can point to the main site to boost the traffic or link values you’re looking for.

Social Media Integration


Circling back to social media, WordPress makes integrating with the most popular social media platforms as easy as can be. One feature that many WordPress users take advantage of is the easy installation of social share buttons that appear on each post. If a visitor finds value in the information you’re providing, they can easily share it on all of their social networks with the click of a button. This is an easy marketing win. You can also install widgets into WordPress that will display the clients’ social media activity onsite so visitors can know where they can get their breaking news and information. When visitors come to the site logged into their social media accounts, it also allows for easy comment section posting. Visitors may be deterred from participating if they’re forced to fill out a lengthy log in form each time they want to leave a comment.

Client Independence


This can be a double edged sword and depends upon how you like to run your marketing business. Some marketers want to make all site edits themselves so they can retain tight control over their efforts while others want clients to have the ability to access their own site to do their own edits. The choice is yours, but if you value client independence, WordPress is the easiest content management platform to learn which is why it’s so popular. You could do a quick training for clients, showing them how to make edits on their site whenever they wish.


If you’re already running your own sites on WordPress, it’s time to spread that knowledge to your clients. Explain to them how WordPress can greatly help in the expansion of their online business. As a marketer, time is money. You’re juggling multiple clients that all require hours of attention each week. WordPress gives you an easily executable and scalable solution for every client right out of the box. Work better by working with WordPress.

How to Secure Your WordPress Site

Hackers. This one word can bring to mind many things. Offbeat heroes in some big budget blockbuster movie. Insidious masked men in underground bunkers. Maybe even the guy who played Newman on Seinfeld playing a programmer in Jurassic Park. However, if you rely on a website to be the customer facing front of your business, hackers are something you may find yourself concerned about from time to time.


It seems like every few weeks there is another news story about some major business experiencing a security breach that has exposed a huge percentage of customers’ personal information (including credit card numbers) to people with less than noble intentions. If you accept credit card information on your site, this most likely gives you pause. How could this happen? How can I be sure my customers’ private information isn’t at risk? Even if you don’t collect credit card numbers, your own personal information may be exposed. What if someone with a lot of time on their hands just wants to knock a few easily exploitable sites offline?


The first thing that should be pointed out is that you don’t have to take on the work of securing your site alone. A full service WordPress web hosting company will perform these security checks for you by doing the regular software updates that are required. If you don’t have much technical experience, or you’re simply concerned about your site security, contact your web hosting company and inquire about what’s being done to keep your site safe. Let’s look at some best practices when it comes to WordPress security.


Make Sure Your WordPress Core Installation is Up-to-Date


Without question, this is the first action one should take when looking to keep their WordPress site secure. If you read any official WordPress documentation or go to any forums seeking answers to bug fixes, the first suggestion is always to make sure you’re using the latest build of WordPress. While updating your site may cause some initial trepidation, having the most up to date software means former exploits used to gain access to a site have most likely been fixed. Because WordPress has so many users, the community often works together to quickly identify and offer solutions to bugs and security exploits.


The Same Goes for Your Plugins and Themes


If keeping your WordPress core installation current is 1A for keeping your site secure, consistently updating your plugins and themes is 1B. Malicious hackers use familiarity with source codes and the repetition of break-in attempts in order to finally gain access to a site. While updating your WordPress core cuts off most of those entry points, an outdated plugin that has been successfully cracked can still be used as an exploit. Not only should you update your themes and plugins, but it would probably be wise to delete any plugins or themes you still have sitting in your installation that you are no longer using. While you may be diligent in updating the plugins you use, you may leave plugins you’re no longer using to fall behind in updates. Better get rid of any possible backdoors just to be safe.


Fortify Your Login


One benefit of WordPress is that it’s easy to find “the door” so to speak. Need to login to your site? Add /wp-admin or /wp-login.php to the end of your site’s URL. For most users, that will get them to the login screen. However, because everyone knows this, anyone looking to get into your site can go to that address and spam the login form until they gain entry. Try establishing a different login URL and making a note of it somewhere in order to make entry more difficult. You can also try plugins that create a lockdown if too many failed attempts are made to gain entry to a site via the login page.


Use Captchas


Yes, captchas can be obnoxious when you’re trying to do things online. But they’re so widely used for a good reason. They are a good deterrent for spam bots that will try to brute force their way into a site through automated login attempts. The need to read, evaluate, and enter a unique captcha message on each attempt will thwart simple bots that are used to gain entry to sites. While they aren’t a guaranteed solution as anyone who has tried to buy hot concert tickets online can attest, they will stop at least a good chunk of malicious login attempts.


Be Diligent


These are some basic suggestions that you can implement to keep your site safe. Keep on top of the latest WordPress news in order to be aware of what other users are seeing as far as security goes. Be sure to contact your web hosting company in order to see what security options they offer so you can have peace of mind knowing that your site is safe.

Why WordPress is the Platform of Choice for Independent Contractors

It’s been said many times on this blog and across the internet that WordPress is the best platform to use for running a business. If you need more convincing, just check out this excellent article in Entrepreneur. The magazine devoted to business excellence has given its stamp of approval. But, up until now the focus has been on running a full business operation with WordPress as the backbone. Many times this has taken the form of putting up an ecommerce storefront or an informational blog to encourage some other measurable conversion. Let’s not forget, however, that “business” can mean many things. Not everyone is looking to sell products on a site. If you’re part of the ever increasing independent contractor population, you know that running a business looks a little different to you. The good you are selling is your skillset. There are plenty of reasons why using WordPress as the home base for your personal brand is the way to go. Let’s explore how WordPress can benefit your freelance career.


WordPress Eexpertise is a Desirable Skill


Let’s begin with a benefit that may not be obvious. Beyond showing off your work, references, and C.V. on your site, your WordPress build will demonstrate one other very important skillset employers are looking for: expertise with WordPress itself as a content platform. There has been an increase in requests for “experience in WordPress” as a job prerequisite on sites like With nearly a quarter of all the sites on the web using WordPress as their content management system, employers want to know that the people they are hiring know their way around the backend. Whether you’re looking for full time employment or a contract gig, knowing your way around WordPress could be the skill that lands you the job. If you become skilled at installing your own plugins, updating your own software, and performing any kind of general maintenance, you’ll be an even more attractive candidate. This is especially true if your prospective employer is looking for someone with developer skills.


It’s the Ideal Portfolio Platform


As an independent contractor, you’re constantly thinking about your budget. You always have to be prepared for lean months where maybe work isn’t so plentiful. The great thing about WordPress is that other than paying for cheap web hosting, keeping your portfolio online doesn’t really cost much of anything. Without an online presence, you’re not going to get very far. Luckily, this necessary expenditure won’t break the bank with the right web hosting provider. WordPress also allows you to easily update your site even if you don’t have traditional developer experience with HTML and CSS. Whether you work in graphic design, content marketing, social media, or whatever else, you can easily upload your work in the WordPress backend and have a professional looking site in no time. Let the theme you select do all the heavy lifting for you. There are themes available for any kind of image you’re looking to portray, regardless of whether you need it to be text or image heavy.


Your Site is a Cost Effective Lead Generator


Even if you aren’t necessarily interested in hosting a portfolio online, you still need a cheap and easy to maintain home base on the internet to reach customers. More importantly, you need a way for those potential customers to reach you. WordPress makes this easy with a nearly endless supply of lead generation plugins to choose from. At the very least, you’re going to want to install contact forms on your site. This is the most tried and true method of bringing in new business. It acts as a robust enough introduction of the potential client without bogging them down in a survey-length experience that may cause them to just close out the window and move on to something else. WordPress also has excellent social media integration, which is fantastic for lead generation. You can set up your site as a feed that shows all your social media activity and have your social media posts lead back to your site. This is also useful for setting up some basic analytics to see where you’re deriving the most traffic from. The key to succeeding in business these days is having a brand. With WordPress you can express yourself and allow people to easily contact you to hire you.


If you’re an independent contractor, you need a site that is cost effective and easy to make changes to. You don’t want to get caught up in tweaking your site when you have client work to worry about. WordPress allows you to easily establish an online presence, grow your business, and solidify your brand without headaches or breaking the bank. If you haven’t considered running your freelance business from a WordPress site, it’s time to see what you’ve been missing.

How Data Aggregation Can Help You Get the Most Out of Your WordPress Site

There are certainly stages when it comes to building a successful website. Whether it’s an ecommerce site or a landing page for the promotion of your personal brand, an effective strategy often looks the same. A professional appearance with valuable, specific content is always the first recommendation. Luckily, WordPress takes a lot of the guess work out of that process thanks to the ease and variety of themes available. Let’s say, though, that you feel like business has plateaued. You’re still getting positive results but the needle isn’t moving in the direction you would like. You’re confident in your content so you’re not entirely sure what could be going on.


Have You Checked Your Visitor Data Lately?


If you haven’t, let this be a reminder that it’s critical to do so. While conversions are usually at the forefront of a business owner’s concerns, it’s user behavior that could provide some actionable guidance. The story isn’t just in the sales. Getting a glimpse at who is visiting your site, from where, and how they’re navigating your site can give you the answers you’re looking for when it comes to increasing sales. Take, for example, the realization that a high percentage of visitors are leaving your site during the checkout process. With that knowledge, you could make the decision to simplify your shopping cart and develop a one-page solution. This has a proven track record of success. It’s these kinds of solutions that taking an analytical approach can bring.


Google is Your Friend


If you’ve never seriously taken a dive into your site’s visitor data, it can seem daunting. While we’ll get to plugins and such that will help you conduct your research, nearly everyone can agree the place to begin is with Google Analytics. While there is a bit of a learning curve involved when becoming acquainted with Google Analytics, the most useful features aren’t terribly complicated to get a hang of. Your basic WordPress dashboard will show how many visitors came to your site on what days and a few other basic things, but Google Analytics provides you with the answers to so many more queries. Nearly any combination of queries can be formed. If you want to see how many visitors made it to your site last week from that blog post you wrote for Medium, you can find that. Looking to expand in Asia? Funnel your data down to visitors from that region of the world. You can even make more informed decisions about where to put more of your resources. Based upon visitor habits, maybe that Facebook ad campaign you’ve been debating launching would be best focused in western Europe where you’re seeing more engagement. In the long run, having access to all this information can actually save you money. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without Google Analytics.


Expand Your Toolset


Now that you’re comfortable searching around in Google Analytics, you may want to dive into some other useful tools. Jetpack, which has been recommended before for its wide variety of features, offers some great data aggregation. You’ll also have the added benefit of regulating spam, avoiding malicious code, and better social integration which opens up more data aggregation channels.


W3 Counter is a free statistics plugin which might be a good tool to start with. However, the “free” part may be why you find it limiting. Nonetheless, it can provide some useful insights such as page views categorized by time, top countries and top languages, IP addresses/browser/OS information for visitors, and what search terms are leading visitors to your site. You can also check bounce rate, which is the percentage of visitors that leave your site shortly after arriving.


WP Power Stats has many similar features to other stats plugins including visitor devices, reference sites, browser/OS, country of origin and more. What sets it apart is it is lightweight so it won’t bog down your site and there is an emphasis on privacy. Any data collected by WP Power Stats will only be kept in your host and can’t be accessed by third parties without your permission.


Act on Your Findings


With all these tools at your disposal you’ll be able to make more informed decisions. Be sure to work with your web hosting company to discuss scaling solutions. You may see an increased need for bandwidth as you add more trackers and see more visitors. Hey, needing more horsepower to ensure all your new visitors have a smooth experience isn’t a bad problem to have! You may be surprised by the information now at your fingertips. You never know when a new market for you to move into will present itself.




Free vs Premium WordPress Themes

Whether you’re a blogger, designer, non-profit, entrepreneur, or if you’re a small business, web developers have already crafted different themed WordPress websites for you that are ready to install. All you really have to do is scroll until you land on one you like. With thousands and thousands of different WordPress themes and it wont be hard to find one that suits your needs. So just sit back, relax, and have a look.


Choosing a theme is important because this is what brings a WordPress site to life. It either pleases or displeases the viewer and ultimately leaves an impression—so you want to make a ‘fitting’ choice. When ever you’re searching for a theme you want to make sure you don’t download something malicious so just be careful where you go. There are a lot of great third parties to choose from like Theme Forest or Colorlib but you can also just use‘s Theme Directory. On July 18, 2008 WordPress launched their official WordPress Theme Directory and made it super safe-n-easy. WordPress has already done the hard work for you and filtered out the unworthly themes. They could have missed some though, so if you’re looking for that unique ‘one’ don’t be afraid to branch out! Now when going to install a WordPress theme for the first time you’ll see the default package comes with built-in default themes. For example with WordPress 4.5.3 you will find countless free themes like Zerif Lite, Sydney, or Athena. The thing about these themes though is that they are geared more towards personal use for students, photographers, fashion, travel, or moms. This works great; because most of the time people don’t want to spend a whole lot of time and money to get up and running. As fast as possible is always better!

S.W. Lam, chairman of Hang Fung Gold Technology Group sits on a bath in a jewellery store popular with Chinese mainland tourists in Hong Kong, 19 September 2006. The 300 million HKG (38.5 million USD ) showroom used two tonnes of gold to build and will be used as a tourist site to help woo customers in their gold purchases. AFP PHOTO/MIKE CLARKE

Moving on to Premium Themes that unlock a ton of doors you didn’t even know about! These can be found just as easily as you can find the free ones. Commercial or premium themes can be downloaded from developers or WordPress club sites ranging in price from $15 to more than $500. These themes are not conventional/simple themes; they have many professional and commercial features. The design of these themes can be altered according to your business and what you need. Some of these commercial themes even contain various professional Plug-ins and utilities like payment gateways which you can sell your products and services instantly with no hassle involved.

Here are some of the features a premium theme may have:

Incredible Quality

The design of these themes are of the highest-quality (besides completely custom). Some developers even claim they contain a pixel-perfect eye for detail which comes across in their aesthetic brilliance.

Contain Cutting-edge Features

These premium themes contain advanced features like Shortcodes and page templates with different colors that allow a user to have full control over their site and it’s pages can be manipulated according to the need.

Unparalleled Support

As these themes are commercial, developers know their responsibility and credibility and they provide top-notch support to their customers. The majority have a dedicated support staff who is ready to answer your query 24/7/365 which means your site won’t run into issues and if one ever comes up it’ll get taken care of in a timely manner.


These premium themes come with full-fledged documentation and you are at liberty to alter the theme’s CSS, header graphic/logo, images, icons and color scheme within seconds.


Because of the unmatched features you will find these themes can get very expensive. The lower the price, more than likely you are to get less features and the higher the price, the more likely you are to get more.

You will have to remain cautious even if you purchase a premium theme as the code of developers always differs. In this case you can rely on the word of mouth publicity or research how much experience a developer has in designing and packaging these sites.

The golden rule remains to fully inquire about any premium theme whether you are satisfied in using it before you put up the money or if you require lifetime support. Do your research for sure so you’re not disappointed.


If you need some help with what to ask or do, here are some to read over before you make a purchase:

  • What is your support policy? Some developers/companies offer only one year support while the majority of them offer lifetime support.
  • Check out the feedback of the theme! It’s always good to find other people who have used the theme you’re interested in before. That way you can read the reviews, find any issues/bugs and also—how they made it their own!
  • Carefully, read the terms and conditions of the theme look for any restrictions.
  • See if you’re eligible to participate in the support forum.

Now that you have some tools to help you The Team here at has no doubt you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for theme wise. 🙂 We’re always here to help if you ever have any questions so just let us know!