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2018 Last Months Post Meetup Notes

WordPress Notes and Links: April 2018

FOUR presentations in one meetup? Is that even possible? Apparently, it is, because, at the April 18th meeting, we had four informative talks take place. First, there was WordPress news to cover.

WordPress News

  • Next month on May 27th, WordPress turns 15! There will be events happening all over the world to celebrate. WordPress Las Vegas will hold its usual Meetup on May 16th. But for the anniversary celebration, there will be a special meetup taking place at Work In Progress from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. We could use donors for drinks, etc. So if you would like to get involved and sponsor any goodies, please contact John Hawkins. Details on the very special WordPress 15th Anniversary Las Vegas event can be found here.
  • We keep talking about it. It’s not going away. So stay informed. Read this blog post on Gutenberg and learn how to create a Global Options Component.
  • Are you keeping up with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? Here are some informative articles you should check out.

Recommended Themes, Plugins, and Platforms to Power Your Membership Site

Alex King builds websites and marketing systems for entrepreneurs and businesses with big goals. He walked us through themes, plugins, and platforms that are powering his membership site, which is making $10,000 a month.

  • The membership site was built for his girlfriend, an online influencer.
  • It launched July of last year, but it took a profitable turn in January of this year.
  • Average daily sales for a 90-day period is about $367.65, but keep in mind that there is also a $40-$100 spend in Facebook advertising per sale.
  • Some of his favorite tools:
    • WordPress Website Builder – Elementor Pro
    • Theme – OceanWP (pairs well with Elementor)
    • Email Marketing – ActiveCampaign
    • Membership – BuddyBoss
    • Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate WP
    • Learning Management System – Learn Dash
    • Facebook Messenger Bot: Many Chat
    • Merchant – WooCommerce
    • He uses his own server, but he recommends Kinsta

Keep in touch with Alex on Facebook. See his slides below.

eCommerce for Non-Developers

Richard Sheffield and his wife run and own a brick-and-mortar shop named Sheffield Spice & Tea Co. The business was open for two years before it had a website. Today, the website (powered by WordPress, of course) both supports the physical location while also providing online sales. Here are Richard’s tips when you first begin to set up your eCommerce site:

  • Attend meetups for novices and ask lots of questions.
  • He doesn’t invest in paid advertising and believes his best exposure has come organically via media coverage.
  • Have a business plan. He recommends using Business Plan Pro.
    • Lay out a blueprint of your business from concept to startup to operations and growth
    • Revise your plan periodically.
    • Choose a platform for your website. (Talk to developers when attending meetups and get recommendations.)
    • Consider and compare website firms and/or agencies. Things to take into account:
      • Startups vs established businesses
      • What is their history?
      • Uptime? Security? Hack history?
      • Responsiveness
      • Content support

After talking to nine to 10 developers, Richard learned that WordPress and WooCommerce were the right solutions for him. He hired Mike Cremean and Quadshot Software for a full site design. The price was affordable for his budget and he had his site up in three weeks. His plan includes hosting, updates, and maintenance; and Richard handles all the content. Once you have your eCommerce site set up, here are more things to consider:

  • Google Analytics and SEO
    • Track your analytics
    • Use Yoast for SEO (it tells you what to do to improve your content)
  • Social Media—Will you do it yourself or do you need to hire an agency?
  • Rely on plugins, email marketing, and digital coupons
  • Go to meetups

FacetWP

Robert Gillmer spoke about FacetWP. It’s a premium plugin ($100/year) which can filter results on the fly, based on any number of criteria. FacetWP is comparable to the filters on Amazon, where you can filter search results by manufacturer, price range, etc. But it can also be used for non-eCommerce sites, especially content-heavy ones. Specifically,  he’s used the plugin on the websites for DanceVision.com and Cadmus GroupHere’s how Robert says FacetWP can be used for content: 

  • First, set up facets (under settings).
  • The query builder generates your facet results. You’ll see the code but you don’t need to write it. Just build your facets using the query builder.
  • It’s a powerful way to take your content and give your users the ability to hone in on what they’re looking for.
  • Use ACF to create fields without using a lick of code.
  • Now, FacetWP can filter based on those fields.
  • One of the things that impressed him the most: he reached out to them and within four hours, they provided the support he needed.
  • Audience question: can you use it to filter database content? Robert thinks so but it’s heavy duty. You probably could not through Excel and you would need to go into MySQL database table.

Find the monthly archive for FacetWP here on GitHub.

Gravity Forms

John Hawkins talked about Gravity Forms and how it can be used for more than just a contact form. Gravity Forms is a paid/premium plugin with three tiers of service. To use it in conjunction with Stripe, the Elite License is required. Here are some things that John likes about it: 

  • Fields are drag and drop. Easy!
    • Not a lot of work is necessary to create the form. You can drag and drop your fields to be included in the form.
    • So basically, there’s no code!
  • You can create a form in Gravity Forms that allows people, like your website visitors, to submit a guest post! How cool is that?
    • When the post gets submitted, it’s in Draft mode waiting for you.
    • If the guest post submission includes an image, it’s automatically added as featured image.
  • You can use Gravity Forms for eCommerce. Here’s an example:
    • Use the Stripe add-on.
    • When creating the eCommerce form, go to Forms – Settings – Strip Settings – get test publishable key and test secret key. Once you do that (and you only need to do it once!), you can go to your forms and set fields for the payment/merchant aspect of Stripe.
  • You can use Gravity Forms to create a Membership site. Here are some ways to do that:
    • You can offer special membership price for a member who is logged in without code!
    • On the advanced tab, you can set a parameter/variable name.
    • Can use Restrict Content pro to create the code to restrict the prices to members logged in vs users who aren’t logged in.
  • Bonus tip: Is your Gravity Form too dang long? There is a built-in setting under Appearance. You can add Custom CSS Classes and align fields left and right.

Next Meeting

Las Vegas WordPress Meetup meets every third Wednesday of the month. All levels of WordPress users and developers are invited to attend. Our next meeting is Wednesday, May 16, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. at InNEVation Center (third floor), 6795 Edmond Street. RSVP here.

But don’t forget about the WordPress 15th Anniversary Meetup on May 27th. Scroll back to the top of this blog post for details and a link to RSVP.

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