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How your store’s content should change for the holidays

September 4, 2015 in Blog, Content marketing, Holiday ideas. Leave a comment

A lot of things change around the holiday season. Stores are busier, shoppers are more active, and we all work long hours just to keep up.

It’s likely that you adjust your store’s marketing to match some of these changing demands. But have you given any thought to adjusting your content as well?

The blog posts, copywriting, and even the policies you present on your site are all content that should be given careful thought during the holiday season. Because so much changes during this busy time, even if only temporarily, having ill-fitting content can create a poor customer experience and result in lost sales.

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It’s never too early to start thinking about how you can make sure your store’s content serves its purpose for all those holiday shoppers. Read on to find out how you should update your site during the holiday season, starting with a clearer explanation of why it matters so much.

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Clever ways restaurants can make the most of their website

September 3, 2015 in Blog, Build your business, eCommerce inspiration. 2 Comments

If you’re a restaurant owner, what happens on your website probably isn’t nearly as important as what happens within your four walls. After all, you don’t make money online — you make it in your restaurant.

But what if you could make money online? What if you made improvements to your website that pushed even just 1%, 2%, maybe 5% more customers through your doors? Or elevated you to the top of the search results for that relevant phrase you’ve been targeting for years?

Your website should be more than a placeholder. It should be a money-making opportunity all on its own. With some clever tweaks and experiments, you can make your restaurant’s website work harder for you, increasing both your profits and foot traffic.

In this post, we’ll offer up a few ways you can make your site more than somewhere potential customers go to verify your operating hours. Intrigued? Let’s get started.

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How to create a useful holiday gift guide

September 1, 2015 in Blog, Build your business, Holiday ideas. Leave a comment

In many parts of the world, September means warm weather, back to school for the kids, and a few weeks more of BBQs or weekend getaways to the beach. The holidays are probably the last thing on your mind. Makes sense, right?

If you’re an online store owner, or you work for an agency that creates content for eCommerce websites, the time to think about the holidays is now. Not next month, and certainly not a week before Christmas. Your planning should start several months before the holidays actually happen, because if you wait too long, you won’t be able to adequately prepare your store, your marketing, or your team for the biggest shopping season of the year.

And without adequate preparation, you could miss out on multiple valuable chances to make money.

Today, we’re going to explore how you can create a gift guide that not only resonates with your customers and visitors, but also makes you a serious amount of money. To top it all off, we’ll also offer you a bonus checklist, which will help you organize your thoughts and get you started on your own guide.

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Ready to kick off your holiday planning? Shrug off those sandals and get comfortable — it’s time to take the first step toward creating a useful, functional gift guide.

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6 ways to generate revenue with pop-ups

August 28, 2015 in Blog, Build your business. 5 Comments

Pop-up overlays have quickly become a common practice among eCommerce businesses. However, there are many people that view them in a negative light.

The “pop ups” that you see on websites today are actually called modal overlays. An overlay opens within the same window, does not interfere with user experience, and does not prevent visitors from entering or exiting sites. If used properly, overlays can delight customers and generate significant revenue for your store — but if not used properly, they can annoy your visitors.

Let’s take a look at some effective ways that you can use overlays to motivate more customers to make purchases and further grow your business.

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Lessons learned from releasing WooCommerce 2.4

August 26, 2015 in Blog, WooCommerce. 13 Comments

Just over two weeks ago, we launched WooCommerce version 2.4, the Helpful Hedgehog. From our standpoint, we thought the release went well. However, while we thought this was a pretty good release, we think we can do better.

In the interest of openness, we thought we’d share some of our observations from this release. We also wanted to share what we learned as we deployed 2.4, and we’re planning to do better for the next release.

Let’s start with what went well.

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Questions to ask before recommending a host to your client

August 25, 2015 in Blog, For developers. 9 Comments

As a developer, you’re used to answering questions for your clients, both the easy ones and the tough ones. Some of the answers you give are the same for every client, but some answers are different for everyone.

“Where should I host my website?” is one of those tricky, every-answer-is-different questions. And it should be: every project is different, and no one host fits everyone. So it’s sometimes a challenge to answer that question immediately, or to even come up with a thorough response.

Today, we’re going to give you a list of questions you should ask when the topic of hosting comes up. These are questions you might ask the client, ask yourself as the developer, or even ask the hosting companies you’re considering. They’ll help you make a smart decision and well thought-out recommendation for each client you work with, both now and in the future.

Let’s go over the questions you should ask when you get the hosting question, one-by-one, to find out how you can use the right criteria to suggest the best solution possible.

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How to evaluate a plugin for your WooCommerce store

August 21, 2015 in Blog, Technical WordPress. 6 Comments

Plugins are awesome — that’s a fact. They make incredible things possible with WordPress, and can take your website or WooCommerce-powered store to new heights.

But plugins can also be problematic. A rogue update, an untested bit of code, an incompatibility between two extensions… in the blink of an eye, you can go from fully functional to completely inoperable. And let’s not even talk about how easy it is to get caught up in the desire to install more plugins, which has its own drawbacks.

Before installing any plugin, you should evaluate it against a list of pre-established criteria. This evaluation doesn’t have to take long, and your can set your own criteria, because what matters to you might not be important to someone else. But doing a few minutes of due diligence could prevent hours of headaches, not to mention customer complaints and lost sales.

Today, we’re going to share a few of the things you should do when evaluating a WordPress plugin for possible use with your WooCommerce store. Keep reading to learn more about this process and the steps you should take.

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Storefront 1.5 arrives, brings Right-to-Left support

August 19, 2015 in Blog, Storefront. 15 Comments

TL;DR: Storefront version 1.5 has arrived – upgrade via your WordPress dashboard or try it for the first time by downloading a copy here. Enjoy!

The last major release of Storefront saw us add many accessibility improvements and achieve the “accessibility ready” tag on wordpress.org.

That release went a long way towards making Storefront a more rounded solution for store owners looking to make their online shops accessible to the widest audience possible. Storefront 1.5 carries on that theme of enabling, and achieves another coveted tag on wordpress.org.

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Introducing Storefront 1.5

Here’s a look at some of the biggest chances in Storefront 1.5.

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10 WordPress plugins we greatly admire

August 18, 2015 in Blog, WordPress tips & tricks. 85 Comments

With so many plugins available for your self-hosted WordPress site, it can often be really tough to choose the ones that best suit your needs. Currently, there are nearly 40,000 plugins in the official repo, not to mention countless premium plugins available for purchase from a host of different companies.

There are a number of ways you can work out what the best choices are for your website, but we thought we would help you out by providing you a few plugins from the WordPress community that we admire. We admire these plugins only for their usefulness, but also for the way they are built and maintained.

Some of these plugins are freely available, while some carry a price tag. But one thing that they all have in common is the fact they are all incredibly well built and perform their respective tasks in the best way possible. Some of them are also included in our WooBenefits — tailored discounts offered exclusively to WooThemes customers.

So, without further delay… here’s the list!

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Why we created the WooCommerce Showcase

August 13, 2015 in Blog. 15 Comments

Many times out of ten the reason I buy something, or into something, is because of proven positive impact. Reviews impact sales more than price, social proofing sells and seeing live examples of the thing you are considering is a dead effective way to build confidence.

So where can one find great examples of WooCommerce?

Great question. Despite WooCommerce powering a staggering 30% of all online stores, until last week we didn’t actually have a curated space where we showed off our favourite examples. As so often happens, this suddenly came up a bunch of times and we realised it was time to hop to it.

Particularly: developers and agencies wanting to easily show their clients WooCommerce in action, aiding in the pitch to use us over other platforms. Game on.

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How The THX.co is using WooCommerce to encourage giving to non-profits

August 12, 2015 in Blog, Customer stories. 2 Comments

People use WooCommerce for all sorts of things. Here’s the story of The THX Co., an innovative eCommerce store that, by design, encourages customers to donate to non-profits in need as they shop. Hello, THX (“Thanks”).

We chatted with Brett Malden, director of the social enterprise’s brand experience, about how it all came together and the process of building their store with WooCommerce.

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WooCommerce 2.4: meet the Helpful Hedgehog

August 10, 2015 in Blog, WooCommerce. 121 Comments

TL;DR: WooCommerce version 2.4 is here – upgrade via your WordPress dashboard. To make the process as smooth as possible, make a backup, update your extensions, view our upgrade guide and then upgrade WooCommerce.

Today, we’re marking another step in the WooCommerce journey: the release of WooCommerce 2.4, the Helpful Hedgehog.

In our last release, we focused on the front-end of WooCommerce and so named the update “Handsome Hippo.” With this update, we’re focused on making store settings more intuitive for store owners by creating a brand-new onboarding wizard, simplifying setup for standard shipping options and improving how WooCommerce handles products with many variations.

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How Nick and Erick are helping people sleep better with WooCommerce

August 7, 2015 in Blog. 3 Comments

Did you know we spend a third of our lives sleeping? For the average person that means about 25 years of your head resting on a pillow that probably looks like a pancake. Meet Nick and Erick, who are changing the world one good night’s sleep at a time. Noble much.

Our new WooCommerce Showcase is full to the brim of beautiful online stores and we’re looking forward to sharing stories of the amazing storeowners behind them. Today the spotlight is on HIBR – pronounced like hibernate, without the ‘nate’ – which was dreamt up, designed and built by Nick Ondrako and Erick Arbe:

Getting a great night’s sleep allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and energized to create those special moments in life. This is not your parent’s memory foam – we are using the most cutting edge formulas, designs, and combination of materials to build the ultimate pillow.

 

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How Jill used WooCommerce to create the “Netflix you have to wear pants for”

August 5, 2015 in Blog, Customer stories. 5 Comments

Jill Bourque’s many years as a performer in the independent theater scene allowed her to identify  a need she knew had to be filled: empty seats were costing theaters and live performers.

To solve this problem, Jill created RushTix, a curated membership site for live performances and events. Through the site, Jill creates a connection between live event organisers (who need to fill seats) and curious event-goers (who are looking for an affordable way to regularly see live performances and events).

Using WooCommerce, she built a simple solution and has been growing her business ever since. Here’s how she created and grew “the Netflix you have to wear pants for.” 

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WCEU: A weekend of firsts and the unexpected

August 4, 2015 in Blog, Team news. Leave a comment

WCEU 2015 was my first WordCamp. I was the first to sign up, and I had no clue if anyone would come with me or how many of us would go.

As the countdown to Sevilla inched closer, we had a Euro meetup of 12 and a planned Woo house wouldn’t hold us all. Anyone on the fence about attending then gave into serious #fomo.

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WCEU also marked the first time meeting fellow Ninjas in real life. How would that go? Will people like me? Is everyone as awesome and smart as they are online? These are questions that a lot of us have when we work remotely and only interact with coworkers via Slack and Google hangouts.

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Consider these 7 things when setting up shipments

July 30, 2015 in Blog, How to sell online. 13 Comments

You started your eCommerce business and it’s taken off. Products are selling and customers need to receive it all. How are you getting everything from point A to point B?

Shipping can get frustrating fast. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Having worked with thousands of store owners like yourself, we’ve seen the pitfalls both new and experienced businesses make when it comes to shipping.

We’ve collected the top seven things you need to give love and attention to when you’re getting started with shipping to save you time, money, energy, and stress. Read on to find out what they are!

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