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WordPress Popover options and ways to make them less annoying

I have many clients who find that their email list is their most important marketing tool. If someone allows you to message then in their email inbox you have a great opportunity to communicate your ongoing brand messages.

The most sophisticated solution requires a member log-in system so the website can know who has signed up already. That’s what NYtimes has, for example. Without a login, the system can’t check the Mailchimp (or whatever) list and see who subscribed because WordPress doesn’t know the email address of the person who is currently visiting the site.

WHO CLICKED A LINK IN NEWSLETTER?
A partial solution is to add a special link in your email newsletter so when someone clicks a link from the newsletter they don’t get the “email wall”.

The Dreaded Email Wall and How to Make it Less Annoying

Another popular solution is to set up a “wall” where users have to give their email to read your content. Sometimes this “wall” can be “leaky” in the sense that you are not strictly requiring signup so users can just “close” the request to sign up. The strongest from of a “wall” is a “popover” where the browser screen dims and a message and signup form appear in the middle of the screen. This completely interrupts the users flow of reading your content and many users hate that interruption. But it can be effective. The name differentiates it from a “popup” which refers to how a ling can open a whole separate browser window/tab.

There are many ways to improve the way an email wall gets the users attention. Of course you want the wall to remember the user’s action from page to page so they don’t get asked over and over again. But another option is simple to have the popover appear at the bottom of the page – not when the page  first loads. Here’s a setting option for the free ITRO Popup Plugin that shows a pixel offset – a user has to scroll that far down a page to see the popover:

itro-Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 5.30.41 PM

I also suggest if you use this option you set display mode to be once per 30 days   or something like that – so if someone “closes” it the popover won’t come back.

I have recently used this more sophisticated plugin: PIPPITY

To try it out is not free – it is @$50 (or google around for coupons) – but it offers some nice features. They do offer a demo mode on their site so you can test it to some degree before buying.


Not sure if you can make the text look like anything or just work within their templates.

pippity

Some features

  • popup trigger only at the end of an article, once the reader has read some content
  • popup appear after a certain number of pageviews
  • Have popup appear only on article pages (posts)
  • Create multiple popup profiles – view and manage them from an easy to use dashboard.
  • includes analtyics for each popover
  • Settings requires a few clicks in a kind of ‘wizard’ and would be simpler laid out in one form but overall I like this tool

See these hovers for explanation of what it can do:

pippity-hovers

 

 

 

SCROLL TRIGGERED BOXES

There are other kinds of notifications – ones that appear at the end of a page and may slide in from the side. These are less intrusive than a “popover”. Also called “toasters” since they can pop up from the bottom of the screen.

this looks like a nice simple option: https://wordpress.org/plugins/scroll-triggered-boxes/screenshots/

DEMO:
(their site is no longer working at http://wecandothatforyou.com/scroll/)

See more:

 

ANNOUNCEMENT BARS

Another way to be less intrusive is to use an announcement bar at the top of the page instead of a popover.

OTHER PAYMENT-BASED OPTIONS

  1. There are some other interesting options at this link: https://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/paywall
  2. But most of them are related to people paying $ for articles – not for requiring email signup. Like this one:
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/leaky-paywall-article-countdown-nag/
    A “leaky” pay wall is basically what NTtimes does.
  3. This gives other options for the paywall – https://wordpress.org/plugins/bitwall/
    1. Pay to access content.
    2. Tweet to unlock access.
    3. Opt in to view an ad before consuming content.
  4. This is similar: https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/pay-with-a-like/
  5. Another fully featured payment system: https://zeen101.com
  6. And another non-free, fully featured landing page and “LeadBox” creation tool: leadpages.net
Posted in Web Design, WordPress | Leave a comment

The difference between “custom content type” and “custom post type” and how to use them

CPT-IN-WORDPRESS-ADMIN“Custom Content Types“ (CCT) or “Custom Post Types” (CPT) are the same thing:  ways to group together similar types of content. “Custom Post Types” is the official name since WordPress started with “posts” but I think it’s more useful to think of them as types of  “content”. They are stored just like posts and pages with a unique ID (what Drupal calls a ‘node’), but aren’t considered the same as a post or a page. WordPress comes with 2 main default content types: posts and pages. Technically these are also CPTs: menus, media/attachments and links (an older default that won’t appear on newer WP sites).

Taxonomies are ways to categorize CPTs. Tags and Categories are the default taxonomies for Posts. If you are building a food website perhaps “color”, “flavor” and “season” would be usefully custom taxonomies. Tags and Categories are very similar but have a different admin interface and only Categories allow for nested (“parent/child”) sub-categories. Only “posts” are in the main default RSS feed but WordPress automatically builds an RSS feed for each taxonomy item and each CPT.

Custom Page Templates are special files for WordPress that control how content will be displayed. They are used only with pages in WordPress, not with posts or CPTs.

Here’s a breakdown:
CPT data types

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Menus, Attachments (Media), and Revisions (technically CPTs but not as useful to think of them in the context of this article)
  • Common Custom Post Types added by plugins or themes:
    • Forms (like Gravity Forms)
    • Events
    • Products
    • Quotes
    • Sliders
    • Portfolio items
    • FAQs

tagsUsed to structure and relate CPT data

Used to display CPT data

  • “Archive” (an index or overview page that commonly shows 10 recent posts at a time. for a simple blog this is the homepage. But every taxonomy term will have an archive page and WordPress also builds archives pages by date.
  • “Permalink” or “single”: shows one post
Posted in WordPress | Leave a comment

PressThis 2.0 › WordPress 4.2 “Powell”

Really excited about the new “Press This” in WordPress 4.2 – just released today. Here’s how it look (and a “meta” screenshot of me making this post).

press this wordpress 4.2

But I found a bug already – dragging an image into the browser uploads to media library but “add to post” button doesn’t actually add it to the post. This was always an issue with the older PressThis – it opened up the ease of adding images to media library from an external web page but would not allow adding images directly to media library/this post. Well there is also the nice new “undo” button….

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 3.37.56 PM

 

 

You can now also save PressThis as an “app” using the “Add to Home Screen” button on an iPhone. then you enter a URL to “scan” for content. It works and is a great shortcut but I found it only grabbed images – not the page title. And of course you can’t preselect text from the source web page to start your post – that’s a great feature of the full PressThis bookmarklet.

The first part of the intro video is all about PressThis:

Source: WordPress › WordPress 4.2 “Powell”

Posted in Web Design, WordPress | Comments closed

Safari 7.1.4 Where is “Empty Cache”

Speaking of food metaphors…. an Apple moved the cheese.

Trying to clear cache in Safari 7.1.4? It’s no longer under the “Safari” menu.

Here’s how to clear the cache in the new Safari. Select “Preferences” from the Safari Menu and then follow these steps…

  1. Select the “Advanced” tab and check the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” boxsafari 7 1 4  settings
  2. Note the “Develop” Menu. Select “Empty Caches” from the Develop Menu.safari develop menu

 

The keyboard shortcut didn’t change but this hardly seems a step forward IMHO.

Posted in Product Reviews | Leave a comment

Fake reviews at Yelp, Amazon Books – authenticity engine details

An interesting new report from PBS NewsHour about fake reviews on Yelp and Bazaarvoice:

They don’t mention the services that sell Facebook friends and other social media followers but that’s in the same dishonest ball park.

Reminds me of Amazon’s decision to delete thousands of book reviews that generated an uproar — the company never offered a public explanation for the sweeping purge back in 2013.

 

Giving raves to family members is no longer acceptable. Neither is writers’ reviewing other writers. But showering five stars on a book you admittedly have not read is fine.


Amazon has not said how many reviews it has killed, nor has it offered any public explanation. So its sweeping but hazy purge has generated an uproar about what it means to review in an era when everyone is an author and everyone is a reviewer.

Is a review merely a gesture of enthusiasm or should it be held to a higher standard? Should writers be allowed to pass judgment on peers the way they have always done offline or are they competitors whose reviews should be banned? Does a groundswell of raves for a new book mean anything if the author is soliciting the comments?

via Amazon Book Reviews Deleted in a Purge Aimed at Manipulation – NYTimes.com.

Posted in Product Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

Notes from WooConf 2014

wooconf-ariWooConf was full of interesting talks and it was great to meet up with Woo-enthusiasts… I liked that part of the presentations were technical and part were marketing driven – my goal is to help my small business ecommerce clients understand how to use marketing tools to optimize the performance of the websites I build for them. I’m not primarily a marketing guy so some of this is new territory for me.

SAAS Marketing Tools

  • GraphFlow: recommendation engine
  • Improvely: Conversion Tracking & Click Fraud Monitoring
  • Vero – Track behaviors and trigger all kinds of email autoresponders
  • Raven: online marketing reports – integrate all kinds of reports in one place
  • SharpSpring: marketing automation

Other tools

  • Elto marketplace for Woo and other dev tasks like site speed
  • Measure site speed with GTmetrix
  • Tip: Sliders are not good for conversion rates
  • Plugin to sort products in many ways — maybe useful if you have lots of products

Notes on talks

chris-lema-wooconf

Chris Lema

 

 

 

 

Posted in Web Design, WordPress WooCommerce | Leave a comment

Creative WordPress Archive Pages – Posts in Grids

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.01.49 PM

“Snazzy” Archives at thinkimagine.com

I use “Snazzy” Archives (wp.org page) and you can view mine but it is more interesting when you go back in time to view months where I have more posts. It has not been updated in a while but it still works great.

Another great option is the JetPack Infinite Scroll + Masonry and some detailed notes on making a responsive Pinterest-like Grid of posts.

Dynamic Grid: WordPress Posts Feed Slider

Dynamic Grid: WordPress Posts Feed Slider

This plugin offers an animation option to the grid of posts

  • I also found a Query Posts plugin that spits out fairly raw content for you to style with CSS
  • Reviews of a few post grid plugins
  • Grid Layout Shock offers free and paid version of it’s post grid plugin
  • Also minimal listing of months/years can be useful too if you don’t want a big preview image
Posted in Web Design, WordPress | Leave a comment

Review of WordPress Face Detection Cropping Plugin: My Eyes Are Up Here

What a great name for a plugin: “My Eyes Are Up Here

It helps get around the problem of WordPress cropped thumbnails that always take the center of an image – but sometimes you have a a face or other point of interest that is not in the center.  From an aesthetic point of view, if you’re using the rule-of-thirds when you frame your shot, the subject is always off-center — but ultimately  depends what the image is.

 

face not centered testSo here’s a test image with a face that is not centered:

 

 

 

 

 

 

and here’s before and after shots of how the media editor looks….

… I clicked  the “detect faces” button and it said “No faces were found” – so that’s too bad but… I added a “hotspot” manually and clicked the “finish adding hotspots” button

Before pressing "add hotspots"

Before pressing “add hotspots”

after pressing "add hotspots"

after pressing “add hotspots”

this view from the post editor is pretty cluttered since the theme I’m testing in has lots of extra sizes. It’s a bit confusing but once you know what to look for it is a nice time saver.

Note this all appears in both the ‘media’ part of the WP admin area as well as when adding an image directly to a post like this:

View from within the post editor

View from within the post editor

 

 

Here’s a comment from the wptavern review: “If your theme makes heavy use of featured images with human subjects, this plugin will help you to get the desired crop around faces and avoid the dreaded crotch shot”

Thanks to the folks at interconnectit for providing this free plugin.

Posted in WordPress | 1 Response

Notes on WordPress 4.0 – “evolutionary”

Evolutionary but not revolutionary. It’s a big new number but a “regular” number of new features—some really useful, however. The other good news is that fewer big changes means fewer chances of breakage while updating.

WordPress 4.0 “Benny” has been released today. Here’s the intro video

 

Features

new media library uses space more effectively: infinitely scrolling “grid view” added to the “list view”

new plugin views use space less effectively but provide more info:

 

TinyMCE  editor: New behavior of the editor is really useful – having the top bar be “pinnable” so it’s always visible is key for pages with lots of content. There are other improvements to keyboard and cursor interaction with TinyMCE views.

Looking forward to using it and to WordCamp in October.

Other features:

  1. Previews of oEmbed URLs in the visual editor and via the “Insert from URL” tab in the media modal.
  2. Select a language when installing WordPress
  3. Widgets in the Customizer are now loaded in a separate panel
  4. Improvements to formatting functions

via A Guide to WordPress 4.0 – Tuts+ Code Article.

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Alternatives to Hello Bar: WordPress Notification Bar Plugins

Hello Bar is a SaaS which charges based on the number of clicks the bar receives. If your bar receives 7,500 clicks per month, HelloBar would cost you $50/month. It’s a great service and includes it’s own analytics but many sites will benefit from a simpler option without ongoing fees.

Foobar ($14)

Foobar is my favorite alternative to Hello Bar. $14  is a one time payment at CodeCanyon and it features a powerful customization panel. Customizing colors, font size, shadows as well as social icons and much more. You can save multiple Foobars and assign to to specific pages. It’s great also for occasional ’emergency’ notices also.

attentionGrabber (free)

Foobar was my favorite, but attentionGrabber is nicely designed visually. The transition effect is smooth. Like Foobar, you add official Twitter and Facebook button next to the post link. So with regards to the backend and in terms of design attentionGrabber is the best.

see also:

  • Mintbar – an open source notification bar.
  • Smart Bar by SomoMe – this is just for email signup but they have interesting related products.
  • AddThis Welcome Bar – this bar appears based on which social media site your visitors are coming from.
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