4 Great Translation WordPress Plugins

With a lot of the online world being non-english speaking it makes a lot of sense to have a multi language option on your site. Even in Canada and the US the second languages are French and Spanish so not catering to people that speak these languages means lost visitors and sales.  WordPress has a lot of great plugins, some are free while others you have to pay for to enjoy the features that are included in professional versions but sometimes this can really be money well spent.

Today we are going to look at four solid WordPress plugins that will give you the power to get your WordPress site to a place where multi languages are supported. I will break them down by the costs and the pros and cons of using each.

WPML Plugin

WPML

Cost: between $29 and $195 depending on license type

Pros - This plugin is probably the most user friendly and easiest to use so if you aren’t looking for a whole lot of coding to customize your WordPress theme, WPML is probably going to be your best choice.  Also, it allows you to customize the pages on your WordPress site in the languages you want and you can choose to localize your WordPress theme or not.

Cons - This is probably the most expensive WordPress plugins that you could purchase.  That combined with the fact that most other WordPress plugins are free will probably keep you away from using this one.

WP Translate plugin

WP Translate 

Cost: Free to $3.95

Pros – This plugin add the Google Translate widget to your WordPress site which will allow your visitors to select the language they want to view the page in without having to go over to Google Translate.

Cons – This plugin relies solely on the functionality of Google Translate to translate your pages by offering an on page widget that allows you to select your language.  Given that you can use Google translate functionality without this plugin it isn’t the best plugin outside of offering an on page clickable widget.  Also if you are going to buy the Pro version its not really worth it because it offers additional widget positioning and some other uninteresting features like Google Analytics integration.

 Xili-language WP Plugin

Xili-Language

Cost: Free

Pros – One of the biggest pros besides the fact that this is a free plugin is that it works with localizable themes using the themes localized (.mo) files to translate pages on your site.  According to the developers behind Xili the plugin “provides an automatic selection of language in theme according to the language of displayed post, series of posts, page or articles.”

Cons – There is a fairly steep learning curve to developing your WordPress site with Xili.  If you aren’t a developer I would probably steer clear of this one as its highly customizable through coding.  Amateurs need not apply however it you are a web designer or developer you should be able to overcome any hurdles you face.

 Transposh WP Plugin

Transposh

Cost: Free

Pros – This plugin combines automatic translation and human translation so that you can source the best translation of your pages from users with an in-context interface.  This in-context interface works by allowing users to highlight and suggest changes to text they see when on your website.

Cons – This plugin will have a bit of a learning curve to understand how it works with your WordPress site.  The way that the in-context interface works can be a little confusing to use as well and could throw some users off of using the plugin entirely.

What you need to know about the #AmazonCart Twitter Hashtag

As a regular shopper on Amazon I can tell you that the new #AmazonCart is an interesting addition to selling online.  What the #AmazonCart hashtag allows you to do is add products to your cart in Amazon which you can later choose to buy.  This adds an interesting new disruption to selling socially.  No longer is social selling restricted to a Facebook page or simply sharing a product through your social media channels.  If you are selling products partly through Amazon’s marketplace this offers an interesting way to socialize and sell your products socially.

Here are some things you should know about the #AmazonCart hashtag:

  1. Its aimed solely at Twitter users to help sell products socially that are posted from Amazon
  2. Its not a checkout option – If you add a hashtag to a product you like on Twitter you still have to go to your Amazon account to buy the product and complete the sale
  3. When you’ve successfully added a product to your cart on Amazon you will receive a tweet back from @MyAmazon confirming you’ve added something to your cart

The goal of Amazon working with twitter in this fashion is a more seamless experience for the customer cutting down on having to click out of twitter and search Amazon for the same product you’ve found.  Check out Amazon’s video on this ecommerce functionality below.

How to Stop Updates When Your Edit Your LinkedIn profile

Linkedin, is a great way to stay in touch professionally with colleagues and grow your career network.  One of the most annoying things however is getting updates every time you adjust your profile, add a job or position you held or getting liked and calling attention to your updates is something that you might not want people to do.  But how do you turn it off?  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to do that?  Well let’s have a look at how you can.

As you can see below when you go to the “Privacy & Settings” section under “Account & Settings” this is where we will find our answer on how we can edit what we share across our LinkedIn network and with our LinkedIn connections.

Linkedin-Privacy Settings

 

Once you click on it you will need to go to the setting called “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” and you will see a popup with a checkbox that says “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies“.  When you uncheck this your changes we not appear as updates for when you change your profile.  The downside here is that people won’t see when you recommend others and when you follow companies but I don’t think that will be an issue if you are looking for a more discrete way to used LinkedIn.

LinkedIn - Privacy Settings 2

 

This is just one possible option when you are in Privacy and Settings in your LinkedIn account but if you want to not get congratulated every time you update a position then this will do the trick.

ECWID launches version 2.4 of its WordPress Plugin

ecwid_logo_appECWID launched the latest version 2.4 of its WordPress plugin last week to rave reviews so far with over 170,000 downloads as of April 7th.  ECWID also known as “ecommerce widgets” is a platform that is highly customizable and easily integrated with a large number of content management systems today like WordPress and others to name a few.  Some of the big updates to come out of this release are…

1. Add products to pages and posts using a new shortcode – ECWID has come out with a new shortcode to make it easier to customize and add products to various pages on your WordPress site. The code looks something like this…


When you add the product id of your product from ECWID you will be able to add it to your pages and posts making it even easier to connect the products you sell on your WordPress website or blog.

2. Improved SEO on store pages – The team at ECWID has focused further on SEO by adding product attributes to SEO optimized versions of product pages.  The jist of this is that ECWID has really been working with Google’s recommendations to ensure that your products are better indexed for search engines to find and rank them for improved search results

3. Improvements to store layout for mobile devices – In this day in age it goes without saying that ECWID is striving to improve the functionality of its platform on mobile devices.  These changes are automatic, which means that you won’t have to spend a lot of time working to improve your ECWID store.  One example of this is that before if you used horiztonal categories widget on your WordPress site, you may have seen that it did not fit the width of narrow screens when you opened it on a mobile device however now with this plugin it will automatically hide the horiztonal categories widget on narrow screens to make sure it looks good on mobile-optimized sites.

ECWID really has done a lot to ensure that your WordPress site mirrors ECWID and extends the functionality of ECWID in your WordPress site which makes it an interesting solution to consider if you are running an online business.  If you haven’t tired ECWID yet its worth a look and with the option to sign up for a free basic account there is no reason not to check it out.

Product Review: ShopLocket

ShopLocket is a different model of ecommerce solution.  The focus of this platform is that it gives entrepreneurs the ability to life using flexible pre-order solutions, a shopping cart and customer management tools.  With all that said its an interesting type of ecommerce system and one that might not be for everyone.  When I first logged into ShopLocket I was immediately interested by layout and user interface of this solution.

shoplocket_01

As you can see above, its a really simple interface to navigate and use.  This is a great solution if you are trying to launch an ecommerce solution quickly and easily.

So what can you do with Shoplocket?

  • Create products really easily on the fly and setup a pre-order option if you are in the process of launching a product (definitely a different approach than most ecommerce solutions out there)
  • Offers not only the option to sell physical products but also digital ones as well
  • Previews for the checkout page and product page
  • You can collect credit card information during the pre-order process and charge when you product launches
  • You can add product options for various styles, sizes and other variations of your product
  • Run limited time offers for your product
  • Customize your product page and checkout without any coding

If you are an entrepreneur launching a product you can really get your idea setup and ready to sell online in more time at all.  I realize this solution is not a “one size fits all” type of solution and it really does appeal to people looking to get their ideas off the ground quickly.  Check it out today at ShopLocket.com 

Beginner SEO in Shopify

For those of you using Shopify for your ecommerce store you may be interested to know how to start to setup SEO (search engine optimization) for your Shopify store.  I wrote this article for those of you who have a basic understanding of SEO but perhaps you’ve never seen how to do this in Shopify so let’s take a tour and show you the nuts and bolts of these settings in Shopify.

Basic SEO in Shopify

What you will notice on pages, products and posts that you are editing in Shopify is that you always have the option to insert some SEO related attributes to your pages and posts including the Page Title, Meta Description, URL & Handle.

Shopify SEO 01

 With these attributes you can setup a few things on the pages that you are editing.  It falls in line with what Search Engines normally look based on the length on these attributes.  If you are new to running your store in Shopify and have no experience doing SEO this can be a great way to start to improve the SEO on your Shopify store.

Outside of setting up SEO settings on products, pages and posts you can also do this at the site level by clicking on “Settings” in the left side menu and what you will find is that you can edit your Store name, Homepage title and a homepage meta description.  As a best practice it makes sense to keep your terms and description broader and less detailed when you are defining them at the site level.

Shopify SEO 02

Interesting SEO Apps for Shopify

Another part of Shopify that people will find interesting can be found in their App store.  The Shopify App Store allows you to download and buy apps that integrate with your Shopify store.  When I searched for SEO related apps on Shopify’s App Store I found a number of apps that fit a wide variety of needs but a few that really stood out are…

Plug in SEO – This app which i’ve used before lets you get a rating on your site in terms of what you need to improve on your site to improve your SEO.  Its a fan favorite with a lot of positive reviews from the Shopify community and its free to use.  Click here to get it

SEO Meta Manager – This little app has a lot of bells and whistles that will  help you to streamline your SEO efforts.  I wouldn’t rate this as a beginner app and will have a bit of learning curve for those of you that have never looked at SEO improvement techniques before.  That being said this is a paid app that costs $50 but according to people that use it its an invaluable app if you want to improve your site’s SEO.  Click here to check it out

Product Review: Drip

Drip

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about using Drip to turn visitors on your website from visitors to customers.  Ultimately Drip is a conversation improvement tool for your online business but with that said how does it work?  Let’s check it out in action.  One of the first things that you will notice about Drip and one of the things that I like is that you get the guided tour from the time you sign up.  They show you just how to use their software quickly and with easy to understand terms and phrases.  Outside of that the UI they’ve developed is very easy to navigate and find what you are looking for as you can see here.

Drip 01

Now for those of you that are used to using tools like Aweber or MailChimp to manage your email marketing in the past you will find Drip easy to use because as you will see you still do things like create a campaign to track some specific marketing action, you can create goals to track your successes and integrate with third party analytics platforms like Google Analytics to capture relevant information about your visitors.

Customization and Customizing Drip Campaigns for your business

One thing that I must praise about Drip’s software is that it is so easy to use.  If you are a long time marketer or general business user you will find the learning curve on this pretty easy and straight forward.  However, if you aren’t finding it that easy to use Drip does also offer all of its customers, even trial users access to its 5 day email course that walks you through the basics of working with Drip.  Which is not only beneficial to Drip’s user base but also Drip allowing the company to empower these users to use their system even more successfully.

Drip 02

As you can see in the campaigns section of Drip there is a lot of customization that you can do to your campaign.  What you will like about having campaigns in Drip is that pretty much all of the customization is straight forward, no coding skills required, just some content, position your form and control any of those custom elements you want to add and you are ready to go.

Setting up Goals

Setting up goals with Drip takes almost no time at all.  Considering its one of the key measures that you will want to track in Drip its very useful.  With a few key pieces of information including a specific URL like a thank you page or an order completion page on your website, a dollar value per successful conversion and depending on your preference you can choose to count conversions either by a maximum of one conversion per person or to count every conversion.  Have a look at the screen for creating a goal in Drip to see what I am talking about below here.

Drip 03

Analytics

Drip has your “run of the mill” analytics when it comes to measuring engagements with your visitors and customers.  You can use everything from Dashboards to setting up goals and developing split tests to see which version increases conversions.  Now when it comes to developing custom analytics for those of you looking to do more advanced analytics this product offering won’t offer everything.  Chances are you will need to export data to excel and modify it accordingly.

Pricing

As far as cost goes Drip is fairly affordable starting at $49 per month for their Basic package all the way up to their Business package for $149 per month.  The real difference in all these packages are that the Basic package is great for small businesses because it covers up to 500 new subscribers per month has unlimited autoresponder sends so you can market to your existing subscriber base and allows for a maximum 25,000 broadcast sends via one time broadcast email campaigns which is a lot for small businesses to use up.  I’ve included the pricing you can find on Drip’s website for you to compare.  The interesting thing is that when you get to the Business package you are able to remove Drip branding from your website and Drip’s interface and you can integrate it with Salesforce CRM so unless either of those reasons apply to you I would not suggest this package.

Drip Pricing

Conclusion

If you are looking for a solution that integrates easily with your website,  allows you to customize the look and feel of your engagements with customers, provides some pretty straight forward analytics and is a relatively cost effective solution.  If you are interested in checking out Drip for your website I suggest checking it out for a free trial.  They do ask for credit card information for a trial account but you can cancel it at any time when you are reviewing it.  Click here to check it out for yourself.

Deep Dive on Shopify Mobile

Shopify Mobile app on ipad

I’ve written about Shopify a lot over the past little while and their team continues to amaze releasing a world class ecommerce solution to fit many businesses around the world.  Shopify recently released Shopify Mobile which allows business owners and their customers to do business quickly, easily and in a more “accessible” way.

Inital App Setup

The initial setup of the shopify mobile app is fairly quick and easy and takes a couple of minutes to get it running on your iPad or iPhone.  Currently Shopify Mobile is only available on iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone so if you do have an Android device you won’t be able to harness the awesome power of this app currently.  I haven’t heard of any plans or dates as to when they will release an app that is compatible for Android but I have to believe its coming soon.  When you install the app and click into it you’ll be asked for some fairly generic information including site URL, username and password which looks like this…

Site URL screen in Shopify Mobile App

Once you enter your Shopify store’s URL you’ll be asked to enter your username and password.  Once you’ve done that successfully you’ll see the following screen that tells you your store is ready. Touch this button which takes you to the main dashboard for your store.

"Your Store is ready" screen in Shopify Mobile

The dashboard is fairly generic showing you a bird’s eye view of how you are doing with respect to orders, revenue generated on your Shopify store, visitors, top search terms on your Shopify store, low inventory for those of you selling physical goods and more.  Shopify has done a good job on keeping their mobile app interface uncluttered and yet still relevant to what people want to use it for, in the case running your business at a glance.

Main dashboard screen in Shopify Mobile app

On the upper left hand side of the screen you will notice three white horizontal bars which take you to the menu for the app.  The menu contains a number of useful views of your Shopify store such as customers, products, customers, settings (which include being able to set push notifications when new orders come in and currency formatting) and the ability in a single touch to open your Shopify store in Safari.  As you will read in my beefs section in this post below you cannot create products which does suck but the fact that you can access your store through the Safari web browser may have been a way to keep people happy in using this app because doing that does give you the ability to add products and then edit them in the app.

Shopify Mobile App navigation menu

Now, let’s look at a few reasons why you might love using this app and Shopify in general and why you might not.

What I like about Shopify Mobile

  • Clean and uncluttered user interface – I really liked just how easy it is to use and everything is accessible from one or two touches at most.
  • Use it on the go – Gives you what you need to run your business successfully from pretty much anywhere
  • Push new order notifications – Its great that when you receive new orders your iPad or iPhone will automatically update you that you’ve got new orders using push notification.  Its a small thing but a good thing to have.

My Beefs with Shopify Mobile

  • It was only developed for iOS – The intial release of Shopify mobile was only developed for iOS devices like iPhone and iPad. Hopefully there is an Android coming soon.
  • It doesn’t allow you to create products – after reviewing the app further it isn’t possible to create products from scratch. Now for you can do things like add product variations, changing pricing, adding photos and more but sadly no new products.  If you do need to add products you will have to do it through the safari web browser.
  • No custom Analytics capabilities – You can’t show or develop custom analytics on the dashboard.  If you run a more sophisticated business this app might not have enough for you to solely rely on this app.

With all this said if you want to create a Shopify store today go ahead and do so and when you do you can check out this app on your iPhone or iPad to see if its something you can use in your business.  If you already have Shopify today click here to download my free eBook called “Shopify Made Simple” to help you develop your Shopify store.

WordPress releases some style with version 3.8

Well its a new year and there is a lot going on, maybe a few resolutions, some of which are already broken.  in the last month, WordPress recently released version 3.8 of this CMS solution.

WordPress 3.8 is named after bebop innovator Charlie Parker. Now I don’t get the reasoning behind naming this release for a bebop innovator but hey its a solid release regardless of its code name.  Click here to read more about WordPress 3.8 aka “Parker”

If you haven’t had a look at this version of WordPress then its high time you did for a number of reasons including:

  • Mobile design enhancements
  • Color themes, fonts and styles to make WordPress more usable
  • Theme management

What I really like about this release is that it has made WordPress highly usable on mobile devices.  I personally use my iPad and iPhone to update content on Website-Experts.ca so knowing that WordPress has my interests in mind makes WordPress administration even more accessible, easier to use and allows me to update from wherever possible.  Outside of this obvious win, I can also customize the color scheme of the WordPress admin area if I want to and the typography and menu navigation enhancements that have been added just feel a little bit slicker and more organic.

Lastly as with previous releases of WordPress they’ve done it again creating a new theme for a new year called “twenty fourteen” and if you haven’t seen it you can click here to view this magazine style theme or update your existing WordPress to version 3.8 to check out this new theme on your site.

 

How to Setup a Shopify Facebook Store

Shopify recently released an app that you can use to add to your Facebook page and sell your products from Shopify on your Facebook page.  Selling on Facebook is really starting to take off lately as various ecommerce platforms like Shopify and ECWID release integrations with Facebook that allow you to sell socially through your Facebook page.  I wanted to show you just how easy it is to set this up in your Shopify store.

Step 1: Install the App – To do this you will need to log into your Shopify store and click on “Apps” under “Configuration” in the menu.  Search for the “Facebook Store” app and click the “Get App” button.  Doing this will start installing your Facebook store in Shopify.  It will ask to access your Facebook profile associated to the Facebook page that you run for your business.

Step 2: Setting up the Facebook Store – Now let’s get to the more interesting part and talk about how you can setup your Shopify Facebook store.  There are a number of interesting features that you can setup on your Facebook store in Shopify including Like Gating, adding Google Analytics tracking, customizing the banner and logo for your Facebook store as well as some other customizations to products shown and how they are shown.  As you can see below its very easy to setup, make changes to and update.

Shopify_FB_01

 

Like Gating

Like Gating is an interesting concept in that if you are looking to build followers to your Facebook page, Like gating makes sure that only people who like your Facebook page will be allowed to shop on your Facebook store.  This does have its benefits but if you are simply looking for a way to sell on Facebook then you might decide not to turn it on initially and focus on selling however it you are looking to build a bigger social presence like gating might help get you more followers and more sales through Facebook.

Shopify_FB_02

 

If anything, having a Shopify Facebook store simply enables you a new way to sell your goods and services socially and because the app is free it makes sense to try and test it out of you do have a Facebook page setup for your business.

5 Ways to Kick More Butt Selling Using Shopify

Shopify recently released 5 more features to help ecommerce store owners sell more products, understand your store’s performance through analytics and build your own reports and help reach out to customer that abandon carts on your Shopify store.  Keep in mind that some of these new features are not available on all versions of Shopify right now so I am going to break it down by the versions you can find these features in specifically.

  1. Abandoned Checkout (Cart) Recovery
  2. Shopify Reports
  3. Advanced Report Builder
  4. Unlimited Email Forwarding
  5. Future Publishing

Abandoned Checkout Recovery (Available on Professional and Unlimited plans only)

Now you might think that this is already available in Shopify but the truth is that you can only view shopping cart abandonment and you can’t do anything about it until now.  Now, you can actually do something when someone abandons a cart on your Shopify store assuming that they’ve added their contact information.  From there you can decide whether to automate the outreach process on abandoned shopping carts or manually review and do this one by one.  It depends the volume of transactions that take place on your store on a daily basis but in doing this it does mean that you have an opportunity to close more business by going back to customers that were interested enough to start the checkout process.

Shopify Reports (Available on Professional and Unlimited plans only)

Shopify reports allow you to see a number of things at a glance, specifically…

  •  Report on products, orders and payments
  • Measure sales by amount or count of products sold
  • See which products are selling on your Shopify store and which ones aren’t
  • report historically month to month on sales

For those of you who still aren’t impressed than you will want to check out the advanced report builder in the next section that allows you to do some more advanced analytics.

Advanced Report Builder (Available on Unlimited plans only)

If you are looking to take your Shopify reporting to the next level the advanced report builder allows you to do that by building out more custom reports.  It really takes off where standard Shopify reports end allowing you to drill into the specifics of the data on your Shopify store.  Keep in mind that you will only start to see this when you upgrade to an unlimited plan with Shopify.

Unlimited Email Address Forwarding (Available on all plans)

This concept is simple.  In a lot of cases today you might have multiple email addresses for different inquiries like Sales, billing, general and more.  What if you are really a one man or woman operation? What if you manage all the requests for your company’s business?  Being able to forward and funnel all requests to one email is sometimes a neccessity because you don’t want to constantly check 5 different email addresses and having the unlimited email address forwarding can help solve for this problem.

Future Publishing (Available on all plans)

This in my mind is simply the ability to schedule a blog post, product, page or collection on your Shopify store in the future.  The interesting thing here is the concept that it serves.  If you have a product you are launching than being able to schedule it to go live on your ecommerce site is very very useful.

It’s important to keep in mind that depending on your online business model that not all of these features will benefit you so finding the right fit of technology for your business should be the overall goal to ensure you are using the right technology.  For instance, not everyone will benefit from the advanced report builder functionality so keep this in mind when you look at Shopify monthly plans to buy what you will consume and use.