Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Press Release

Every successful company understands the importance of a well-written press release as it plays a huge role in any effective communication strategy. However, despite its relevance, many companies struggle to curate the perfect press release as it can be rather difficult to create one that captivates and engages the audience. A poorly written or untimely announcement can have detrimental repercussions, forcing your company to regroup and do damage control. Therefore, to help you write an informative yet newsworthy press release, here are the common mistakes you need to avoid. 

Having a Bland Headline 

Nowadays, journalists wade through a plethora of press releases, and many of them get overlooked because their titles do not generate enough interest. The more eye-catching your press release, the better. A bland headline will not spark interest and will most likely have your copy pushed to the side. To capture the attention of journalists, you’ll need to captivate them with a newsworthy title. You’ll want to come up with a direct and concise headline that communicates your message in an effective yet engaging manner. 

Not Including Visuals

Many press releases are blocks of plain text, which deters both journalists and readers alike. Without interesting and relevant visuals, your press release will just be a block of black and white text that journalists are unwilling to read.

If you want readers to stop and take notice, your PR needs to sizzle; this means you need to generate excitement and interest. The best way to ensure this is by including eye-catching visuals that can increase your chances of creating an engaging press release that your audience will want to read. Studies show that today’s market is all about visuals. With the fast pace of the media – specifically social media – we gravitate to visuals first, and that helps us determine whether or not the text included deserves our attention.

Rushing it 

If you’re a rookie, the mere idea of writing a press release can make you quite anxious. This can lead to 2 things: either you won’t give yourself enough time to write well-thought-out content, or you will become overwhelmed and cram too much information, which will lead you to lose the audiences’ interest as a result. Avoid rushing the writing process as this will affect your sentence structure and make you more likely to leave out relevant information. You also don’t want to ramble on and confuse your audience. The information has to be relevant to the reader, so give yourself enough time to devise an outline and identify the message you want to convey and the clearest way to do so. 

Press releases are the fundamental foundation of a successful PR strategy, which is why you ought to conduct quality research before writing it out. For this reason, experts recommend that you consider using a template to provide your readers with a perfectly-formatted press release. Taking a look at some samples will also give you a better idea of the optimal outline to follow to ensure success. 

One Dimensional Formatting

Many people tend to write their press releases in a formal manner similar to that of newspapers. This type of stiff writing has no flow. A lack of fluidity in your sentence structure won’t generate the engaging vibe you need to cultivate excitement. Take a look at some of the most captivating public speakers and pay attention to their rhythms and sentence structure to learn how to intrigue audiences. You want to avoid redundant sentences but, on the other hand, you don’t want your sentences to be short and stiff, either. 

Overuse of Links 

It’s easy to get carried away with embedded links and forget what the initial goal of this press release is. Follow this golden rule moving forward: stick to 2 links maximum for the best effect. In the meantime, don’t forget the importance of keywords and SEO practices to ensure your writing is not only compelling but that also aligns with your audiences’ online search habits. 

Lacking Resonance 

Of course, you will have goals you want to achieve and a vision you want to stick to, but a common mistake many people make is that they become so preoccupied with their vision that they create content that doesn’t resonate with the different audiences intend to target. It’s important to remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all case. You will need to alter your copy for various audiences to resonate with journalists, editors, media publishers, and all the other readers you hope to reach out to. This means customizing your headline and leads accordingly. Some information that may seem relevant to you may not be relevant to a select few of your target audience. 

Making it Too Promotional

As mentioned above, being preoccupied with your vision has its downsides. After all, a PR isn’t about patting yourself on the back; it is about resonating with your target audience, most notably, journalists. Avoid making your press release too promotional and instead, focus your attention on providing your readers with real value. Always ask yourself, “Is this news is relevant to readers?” “Does it coincide with what’s going on today?” Nothing that will put off journalists more and give you bad publicity than an untimely press release. 

Relying Solely on Distribution Platforms

Back in the day, all you needed to rely on was distribution platforms. However, now there are a plethora of other methods to make use of. You need to be active on social media and keep in mind that it has a huge impact on what is deemed newsworthy and clickable. Therefore, you’ll need to optimize your online content by being informed on trends and popular interests, as this generates better results than traditional news articles. As such, include graphics, visuals, and images to increase your chances of being featured in various publications. It’s also a good idea for up-and-coming brands to cultivate relationships with a circle of journalists to expand their outreach and get their name out there. 

Writing a press release may seem overwhelming, but once you understand what is relevant to your target audience, you’ll be able to create a press release that resonates with your readers. To generate and maintain the interest of your audience, you need to provide valuable content that’s suitable for today’s climate. Avoid making the aforementioned common mistakes, and use these tried-and-tested tips to write an engaging and captivating press release. 

Local SEO Hacks: Why Reviews Matter and How to Leverage Them for Businesses

Everything in SEO goes back to this golden tenet: Google provides users with the best experience possible. And every element that contributes to this lofty goal improves your ranking.

As such, reviews — no matter how peripheral they seem — matter. In a conventional white-hat SEO campaign, the strategies revolve around keywords and codes, and reviews may be brushed off. However, this customer-generated content helps advance your site to the top of the results page because it improves customer experience; reviews help them decide. 

Reviews accomplish two goals: compel your customers to take action and fortify your Local SEO services.

For SEO: Reviews Make for Rich Results Listings

Rich results are listings on the results page that go beyond the standard blue link. They have ratings, images, carousels, and more. These were borne out of the need to help users decide whether that listing is relevant to their search. 

The rule is, the more information on the listing, the easier the decision. 

This applies to sites that use markup language for social proof. When Google crawls your site, it recognizes the markup for reviews, which appear as golden stars under the listing. 

These golden stars instantly make your listing stand out from the results page. After all, 84 percent of shoppers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And it doesn’t take many reviews to convince them: 68 percent of shoppers form an opinion after reading between one and six online testimonies.

Using SEO software to management and analyze higher rating (the closer to five golden stars) leads to a higher click-through rate (CTR). This amplifies your SEO efforts — analysts observed a strong correlation between CTR and search rankings. If Google sees that a lot of people are clicking your site, then your site must be providing a great experience.

More importantly, a higher CTR generates a lot more traffic, which means more opportunities to convert and close a sale. 

For SEO: Customer Feedback as Fresh, Keyword-Rich Content

The more content you publish, the more Google’s crawlers will visit your site and reassess your ranking. Every time you make an update on your site, the search engine crawls it and evaluates your site. And thanks to the Freshness Algorithm, search engines prefer fresh content. 

High-quality content is prized because, going back to our golden tenet, it gives users an excellent experience. 

Although you did not generate the reviews, Google still sees these testimonials as fresh content. When users leave a review on your site, the search engine has something new to crawl and index. What’s more, these reviews likely contain keywords relevant to your product, service, or location, like:

  • “I bought these chocolate molds
  • “The best burger I’ve had in Queens
  • “The hotel has a spectacular view of the Thames

Though unintentional, these keywords help Google understand the nature of your business and consequently, create a better user intent match.

For Customers: Higher Brand Trust

Trust is a huge factor in conversion. Without trust, customers won’t take that leap of faith and buy from your brand. Many elements influence brand trust: the age of the company, word of mouth recommendations, and brand reputation.

In the digital space, reviews play a huge role in strengthening brand trust, especially among first-time buyers. 

Looking at this 2019 Trustpilot research, we can observe that three out of the top ten factors that increase brand trust involves online reviews. About 93.7 percent of customers say they trust a brand more if they have positive customer reviews. So if people are saying good things about your products, proudly and prominently put them on your site.

Reviews are a double-edged sword, however. They can also lead to a decrease in trust when feedback puts your business in a bad light. About 88.8 percent of customers say their trust decreases if the company has negative customer reviews. 

Despite this, it still pays to post reviews because the absence of social proof deters picky customers. About 81.0 percent say their trust takes a hit if the company has no customer reviews.

But no matter how tempting it may be, do not delete negative comments and reviews. A staggering 95 percent of consumers say that their trust decreases if the negative reviews are deleted. Even if you have a couple of negative reviews, hiding them may do your brand more harm than good.

 

Here’s how far ratings could go in driving sales: a 2018 TurnTo study reveals that, if customers were comparing two similar products with a price difference of two dollars, 73 percent would choose the pricier product with a higher rating. 

 

For Customers: Creating Fresh Customer Interactions

So what do you do if you can’t delete negative comments? You respond to them.

Reviews are an important point of interaction between the customers and the brand. When you respond to reviews, customers feel heard, and their impression of the brand improves. There’s a good chance for you to restore their trust, even if the customer’s initial experience was negative. 

Here’s a quick guide to responding to negative reviews:

  1. Acknowledge the problem. Begin by acknowledging that a problem occurred and that it resulted in an unpleasant experience for the customer.
  2. Take the high road — apologize. Even if the customer was on the wrong, offer an apology.
  3. Offer an explanation, not an excuse. If possible, provide more information to clarify any misunderstanding. For instance, was there a huge technical issue that delayed shipping?
  4. Take the conversation online. Invite the customer to talk about the problem through messaging, instead of the review page.

Taken in stock with all other elements in your digital marketing, reviews are not as valuable as site structure, user experience, keyword research, and link building when it comes to SEO. These strategies are foundational. However, your competitors are doing all that. 

Once the “SEO basics” are taken care of, what will make your campaign stronger than the competition?

Your reviews offer a golden opportunity to amplify the effects of your SEO efforts — something your competitors may not realize. Reviews provide fresh, keyword-rich content for Google to crawl and enrich your site listing. More importantly, reviews convince people to choose you, which is what SEO is all about.

7 Things You Can Budget for Amidst the Coronavirus

Budgeting is an integral part of personal finance. It may very well be a crucial factor during these times given the current economic climate. 

Although businesses are slowly starting to reopen, no one is entirely certain of the future. What is certain, though, is the need for one to have a solid financial plan. It can help you manage your money better during the pandemic and keep you from getting deeper in debt. 

For simple ways on how to keep your finances in order, follow these recommendations below from the bankruptcy attorneys at Scura

Here are seven ways to budget amidst Coronavirus 

Say Goodbye to Unnecessary Habits

What Coronavirus has done is make us realize that we might not be able to indulge in some, if not most, of the activities we did pre-Corona. Staying indoors has kept us from socializing outside of our homes and frequenting to places that are happy to take our money. Whether these are bars during happy hour or just going to the mall to shop to our hearts content, these habits after Corona might have to take a backseat as most people’s salaries have taken a toll.

As life slowly crawls back to a normal pace, you need to ask yourself, what can you actually afford and what can you put on hold for the time being? Can you survive if you do not indulge in activity A or B? If yes, then you do not need it in your life at least until things come back to the way they were. If you cannot survive without them, these are the services or businesses you need to keep in your life and include in your budget. 

Enjoy Homemade Food More Often

While we are on the subject of leaving behind unnecessary habits, eating take out every day or even a couple of times a week is another thing you can consider placing on hold.

Staying home has probably opened your palette to home cooking and this is probably something you should do more often coming out of Corona to tighten up the load on the money you spend. Cooking homemade food can be drastically less expensive than eating out, and yes that includes take-out. 

The internet is full of fun and delicious recipes that you can easily cook up in no time to serve up a full course meal rather than spend money at a restaurant, say for example, that you could most likely hold off for the moment until your paycheck starts increasing again.

How Fat is Your Emergency Fund? 

While no one knows how life post-Coronavirus will be for sure, most are anticipating that the economy will not be so kind. The possibility of losing one’s job, having a pay cut or reduced hours at work is very high and has actually been happening to many already.

If you are still receiving your paycheck, this is the right time to fatten your emergency fund. Try to be as frugal as possible with your spending and put as much money as you can aside for the time being. This way if you are directly affected by the loss of a steady income, you will have something that you can rely on. 

Look to the Long-Term When Saving

Putting money away shouldn’t only be for short term emergencies that might come up. Think also long term. What will happen a couple of years down the line and the closer you get to retirement? What kind of lifestyle do you envision having and will you have enough money stowed away. 

While you put money away during Coronavirus to have some coins to spare, why not throw some of that money towards your retirement.  

If you already have a retirement account or a Roth IRA why not throw up a few more dollars for down the line. It can be as easy as increasing your contribution amount by a few percentage points. This way your future self can thank you.

Don’t forget alternate investments like cryptocurrencies. Some financial experts predict the price of Bitcoin to shoot up from the current prices to over $1 million in the next five years. You may not want to miss the boat on that one.

Pay off debts with Higher Interests

If you have some money to spare, pay off your debts with high interest like credit cards or personal loans. If you keep paying the minimum balance only, the debt will keep accumulating. 

You can try talking to your lenders to see if they can agree to lower your interest rates to make it easier on your pockets during these trialing times. If you manage to lower your interest rates, you will have some extra money to invest or pay off other low-interest debts. 

Personal Investment is Important 

Do you invest in yourself? Emergency fund and long-term savings aside, if you have some extra money in your account after budgeting, have a personal budget that helps improve your current self today. 

For example, you can take online classes for that course you always wanted to take or buy that book that can help you with your financial planning.

Consider Your Children’s Future in Education 

If you have children, open up a savings account for their future education expenses. College is not a cheap undertaking. A 529 college savings account will spare you the headache of having to pay taxes on it and the money saved can be used on any postsecondary accredited school.

Although Coronavirus has wracked havoc on the economy, proper budgeting will keep you afloat for times to come. With proper planning, you can survive the storm and still manage to save for your future.

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The Importance Of Email Marketing For Your Digital Marketing Efforts

When it comes to running a successful digital marketing campaign, there are many different elements that need to be incorporated. 

From the on-page and off-page SEO, any paid advertising, to help promote your product and brand, to the way you communicate with your audience. This you can complete through social media, content marketing, but also email marketing. 

A reliable and prominent figure within your digital marketing strategy, if you are unsure of the value of email marketing, then we can help.

Here to explain the true importance of email marketing, keep reading to discover whether email marketing is valuable for your business. But also, how you too can begin to incorporate this simple communication channel into your marketing.

What is Email Marketing

If you are new to the ever evolving world that is digital marketing and are about to take your first baby steps within email marketing. Let us first acquaint you with this valuable form of communication popular for its ability to communicate with receptive audiences.

As you may be somewhat aware, email marketing involves marketing and targeting consumers with commercial material with a particular goal in mind. Whether to improve customer loyalty, increase sales or share important information, email marketing is an important way to directly market to a targeted group of people.

With a commercial message in mind, this communication with customers is followed after the recipient consents to receive marketing messages in their inbox. This often follows the completion of a sale or a sign up to a business newsletter. 

This remarketing of material to be truly successful should be separated into different segments. These segments of different characteristics of the email database and added audience insights can allow the business to focus and send material best suited to the participants’ interest.

What can Email Marketing achieve

If you are attempting to determine whether email marketing is beneficial for your business, regardless of how big or small your company is, email marketing is an essential addition. 

With our lives becoming more and more digital, even more so following the COVID-19 outbreak, making sure that your digital marketing strategy is tidy and in pristine condition is more important than ever before. One way that you can do this and be confident that all efforts will not be wasted and that is by incorporating and optimising your use of email marketing. 

As our lives are moving more online and with over 3.5 billion smartphones users in the world, so is the amount of time that we are spending on our devices. With a mobile phone continually in our possession, targeting your audience through this reliable channel should be paramount in this digital age. 

Why should email marketing be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy? A method to contact and reach out to customers while they are out and about, while creating personalised messages that are in line with your marketing strategy. 

Advantages of Email Marketing for businesses

When it comes to the importance of email marketing for your businesses and deciding whether to incorporate this form of communication into your marketing strategy, first you must look at the advantages. What are the advantages of email marketing? And why should you incorporate it into your business? 

From looking at the results conducted and experienced by companies that incorporate email marketing into their strategy, there is one common outcome. That is the unbeatable ROI experienced

When compared to other marketing channels, the Return Of Investment experienced from email marketing came in up at the top in second to the results experienced through the social media channel, Facebook.

Research also conducted has discovered that emails are 40 times more effective when it comes to acquiring and converting consumers. An important feature during these turbulent times.

Along with a higher ROI, what are the other advantages of email marketing? 

Ties together your entire marketing strategy

What should be a foundation within your marketing strategy, when successfully promoting your brand of message, never use one channel alone. Instead, by incorporating all channels together, you can expect to receive maximum success. This point can be seen with the addition of email marketing and its ability to blend with your marketing strategy. While also working to benefit and give them the extra push that they deserve. 

If you are planning on organising a social media contest. Don’t just promote it across social media. Instead promote it to your email subscribers to drive the activity and allow them to promote and share the contest with their friends and family. 

ALSO READ: Press Release Mistakes To Avoid

Connects with larger number of customers

If you are launching a new service or product and are looking to connect and communicate with customers, email marketing should be considered. This it can do through its ability to be received and read by subscribers anywhere, at any time of the day.

With more people with an active email account than those that use social media, email marketing already looks to be a reliable addition. 

Add in a higher conversion rate and ROI. There really is no excuse for not incorporating email marketing into your marketing strategy. 

Longer lifespan

Social media is an important marketing platform for businesses to connect with customers. This fact has been highlighted in recent research that found 91% of marketers claimed social media increased their brand recognition. But, what makes email marketing more valuable than social media? 

When comparing the two, email marketing can embody a longer lifespan. This lifespan can be seen through the permanent placement that the email creates when sitting within the inbox.

While a Tweet on the other hand has a lifespan of 18 minutes, proof that an email has a longer lifespan.

Offers a more personalised message

As previously touched upon, if you are looking to market and communicate with consumers on a personal level, personalising your message is recommended. This is where email marketing can be used to help assist with this task.

Email automation has never been more advanced than it is now. Along with personalising the subscriber names and the subject line, through the creation and segments of email lists, businesses can ensure that their message is going to the most receptive audience.

The email automation software that you choose to use can even filter emails by job titles and locations.

How to begin an email marketing campaign

We have covered the benefits of email marketing to a business and why it should be incorporated into your marketing strategy. From the longer lifespan to its ability to connect with a larger audience while offering a more personalized message. 

Not to be used alone, email marketing is a superb pillar to support and propel your present marketing strategy. But how do you begin to create an email marketing campaign?

We have put together some top tips for beginners looking to take their first steps and grasp the benefits of this effective marketing channel.

When it comes to the importance of email marketing, making sure that you have created a strong foundation can ensure maximum success as you begin to harness and incorporate email marketing into your campaign. 

Here are some the basic foundations that you must cover before starting to send out mass emails.

Choose an Email Automation software

Before you start to incorporate email marketing into your digital marketing plan, first you must review and choose an email automation software for your needs. With many platforms available, you won’t be short of choices. It is recommended that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the different softwares and their functions. Your email marketing campaign is only as good as your software that you choose to use. From Mailchimp, GetReponse to ConvertKit, there are a number of superb email automation softwares to review. 

Email Database

You have chosen your email automation software of choice and have created an effective content marketing strategy that you are confident will be a huge success. But how are you going to get your message out there to your audience? Before you can press send, first you need to build an email database. There are a number of ways that you can begin to grow and invite customers to sign up to receive your emails.

From a signup form that you place on your website to receive the latest news, or the gift of an exclusive discount for signing up to the newsletter. Some websites choose to create gated content that becomes visible once the reader signs up to their newsletter and agrees to be contacted with relevant marketing material. How you choose to build your email database is up to you and should be in line whether to help drive sales or increase visibility of content. 

Create relevant content and segment accordingly

Before you are able to start harvesting the fruits of your labour, first you must create relevant and engaging content. From the subject line, personalisation of emails, while catchy and easy to read emails all paramount for maximum effectiveness.

From making sure that your email is punchy, it is also recommended that you take the time to make sure that you are targeting the right group within your audience. 

Segmenting and sending targeted emails to a particular group within your audience can ensure that is openly received. The more relevant the content, the higher the conversion rate.

Summary

A powerful and important addition to your digital marketing strategy, for those looking to propel their marketing efforts, email marketing is recommended. By ignoring the rumours that email marketing is dead, instead you can create an effective and powerful marketing strategy that can get your brand and message seen and heard by a receptive audience. 

Coming in second to Facebook for high ROI results, within this blog we have covered the importance of email marketing and its many benefits.

With a little bit of investment and time put aside, you too can begin to see the benefits of this more personalised communication with interested audiences. 

If you have yet to try your hand at email marketing and witness the benefits for yourself, by reviewing our 3 top tips for incorporating email marketing into your strategy, you too can put your best foot forward.

Have you embraced email marketing and witnessed any instant noticeable results? We would love to hear from you and discover your first hand experience of email marketing. Comment below and share your experience of email marketing with us today.

Featured Bridges For April 2020

For more than ten years, BridgeURL users have been using our service to create interesting and useful bridges to share with their family and friends. We have had PR agencies use BridgeURL to share their latest campaigns with their clients. We have had airplane staff use BridgeURL as a bookmark for all their internal login pages.

Now, each month, BridgeURL will feature the most interesting and popular bridges created using our service. We will of course not be highlighting the NSFW ones and those that are meant to be confidential. If you are the owner of one of these bridges and want this to be removed from the list, please feel free to get in touch with us.

List of experts/studies/analyses challenging Covid-10 panic – http://bridgeurl.com/list-of-experts-studies-analyses-challenging-covid-19-panic-3

Coronavirus Fall 2020http://bridgeurl.com/corona-virus-fall-2020/all

Coronavirus Come Aiutare (Italian – Coronavirus – how to help) – http://bridgeurl.com/coronavirus-come-aiutare/all and http://bridgeurl.com/coronavirus-come-aiutare-1/all

Stay home and readhttp://bridgeurl.com/stay-home-and-read/all

Arteries for anatomy presentation – http://bridgeurl.com/arteries-for-anatomy-presentation/all

The Vegan diet and the environmnet – http://bridgeurl.com/the-vegan-diet-and-the-environment/all

Telling time to the nearest half hourhttp://bridgeurl.com/telling-time-to-the-nearest-half-hour/all

David M Kessler Fine Art on Abstract Painting – http://bridgeurl.com/david-m-kessler-fine-art-on-abstract-painting/all

Rope access training linkshttp://bridgeurl.com/rope-access-training-perth/all and http://bridgeurl.com/rope-access-training-brisbane/all

 

Best Coming Soon Plugins for WordPress

Site maintenance can be tricky, but with the right tools, you can do pretty much anything. WordPress plugins are useful tools for web developers when it comes to site maintenance. Over 55,000 WordPress plugins are at your disposal. However, to save you some time, down below is a list of useful and powerful WordPress plugins for site maintenance and increasing traffic.

If you are upgrading or resetting your WordPress site or doing maintenance, WordPress plugins that display visual notifications can come in handy. These plugins are used to separate the maintenance part of your site and the content that your users see. Use these plugins to create “maintenance” pages or “coming soon” pages and improve your site’s looks by notifying your users of the site’s progress. 

Doing this will improve your SER, SEO, and user experience. No matter the type of business, these are very important aspects that you should look after. 

Site maintenance can be time-consuming and/or even expensive. If you do not maintain your site, users will have a bad experience and things will get worse sooner than later. Keep in mind that it can take you several days or even months to redesign a site, so it is best to let search engines and the users know what is going on by putting the site “under construction”.

Businesses cannot afford these basic mistakes, as mistakes cost money. If you do not notify your users and search engines about your work, all of it will become worthless. 

Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode

Create simple and fully customizable “Coming Soon” or “Maintenance Mode” This plugin packs many useful features and it won’t waste your time, instead, it will save it. It is very easy to use and you can choose from many different themes, which will surely fit your business perfectly. No need to look any further, as this plugin excels at helping you build pages faster. 

Features

1 Million+ Free Images – free HD images + Instagram filters

120+ Remarkable Themes – fully customizable designer themes 

Get Things Done Faster – easy to use 

Best-in-class SEO Setup – rank higher in search results with built-in tests  

Easy Access for Clients – Secret Access Link feature lets clients see their site while the work is still in progress.

SEO Snippet Preview – access a real-time preview of how the site will look in search results

SEO Analysis – 20+ tests on different aspects of SEO 

Google Analytics Tracking ID –see your site’s stats and track the site through Google Analytics

Themes

Preview and activate themes from the plugin’s settings, no need for any additional downloads.

List of themes

Design – Layout

The drag & drop builder features 10 fully customizable modules and is easier to use than other WordPress builders. Content Overlay adds a transparent background to the content section. You can choose from 47 introductory animations.

Design – Background

Use a static image background or an animated video background from 400,000+ images gallery, or, upload your own. Background Image Size is displayed in the original size, so resize images to cover the entire screen. There are 27 filters and 9 predefined positions for your background images. Set any background color instead of images if you like. Add YouTube videos and they will be played muted and looped, without any additional effort.

Design – Logo

Your logo reflects your product, so position it wisely. Select logos from the Media Library, or upload your own. Maximum height and width are calculated automatically, making it easy to resize them. You can use the Logo Title for SEO purposes.

UnderConstructionPage Plugin

UCP is a WordPress plugin, which will help you create and configure “Under Construction Pages”, “Maintenance Mode Pages”, “Coming Soon Pages”, and “Landing Pages”. Thanks to its efficiency and simple interface, the plugin comes highly rated and is used by many web developers.

The paid- PRO version has more than 50 additional features. They include the drag & drop builder, and over a million HD images. Also, there are more than 200 available templates, and it even supports affiliate & traffic tracking that comes included with advanced access control. If you got money to spend, you can go for the “Agency” version, which offers more features and you will definitely get your money’s worth.

This neat WordPress plugin comes in handy when your site is under maintenance, as it can hide the site behind the “Under Construction Page”, notifying your users of your work in progress.

With this WordPress plugin, you can collect leads and subscribers via opt-in boxes and popups. MailOptin plugin comes integrated for of charge, and it “plugs in” to MailChimp, or other autoresponder services, allowing you to easily collect emails.

Features

Under construction mode – on / off

Automatic End date & time – automatically disable “Under Construction Mode” on a pre-set date

Google Analytics Tracking ID – enables Google Analytics tracking 

Themes –200+ available themes 

Custom CSS – customize any page aspect

Opt-in box, opt-in popup – collect emails and synchronize with MailChimp or other autoresponder services

Login Button – displays links to the login form, and or WP admin if logged in

Social icons – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Skype, WhatsApp

Whitelisted User Roles – user roles who see the actual site, and who won’t see the “UCP”

Whitelisted Users – users who see the actual site, instead of the “UCP”

UCP WordPress plugin is compatible with the following caching plugins: 

W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, Endurance Page Cache, WP Fastest Cache, Swift Performance Cache, SiteGround SuperCacher, and Hummingbird cache.

Maintenance – By WP Maintenance

This WordPress plugin grants the site’s administrator access to site maintenance. The administrator can close the site for maintenance by enabling the “503 Service temporarily unavailable” page, and/or by creating a (temporary) page with authorization, which of course, can be edited in the plugin settings. You can customize your appearance on all devices by adding a logo, background images, or using a color for the background.

WP Maintenance supports collecting leads and subscribers through opt-in boxes and popups in content. MailOptin plugin is integrated into Maintenance (for free) and it can connect to various autoresponder services.

Amelia – free events & appointments booking calendar, adding events and bookings calendar to your maintenance page made easy. Start taking appointments and improve your work.

Features

Fully supported and retina ready HTML/CSS layout

Full-screen background 

Blur effect for backgrounds

Add your logo

Customizable titles, colors, fonts, icons, backgrounds, and headlines

User login (frontend)

503 Error on/off

Google Analytics support

Exclusions for selected pages (Maintenance mode)

WP Maintenance

The WP Maintenance plugin allows you to put your website on the waiting time for you to do maintenance or launch your website. Personalize pages, pictures, and countdowns, etc. The plugin is open-source, which means that it is completely free! Of course, you don’t get all the pro features, but this is good enough to create simple coming soon pages in WordPress. You can find the ‘WP Maintenance’ menu in the WordPress admin panel.

Features

Choose from various texts colors and fonts

Upload logo picture

Upload background picture or pattern

Slider

Countdown

Google Analytics ready

Social Networks ready

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If you are running a business that solely depends on your site’s performance, you cannot afford to skip maintenance. With the help of various plugins, you can easily create “Coming Soon” pages, which will transform your whole site, and boost your SEO & SER. If you skip the maintenance part, search engines (Google, Yahoo) won’t be able to do their job, and your site will rank lower than its competition.

These plugins offer you endless designs to choose from and surely, they will suit your needs. A well-designed page makes your site look confident and worth paying attention to. As these plugins are easy to use, they are web developer’s first choice when it comes to web development and maintenance in general.

How To Make Your eCommerce Startup A Social Media Brand

Establishing a loyal customer base for an eCommerce business is extremely profitable. Given the low margins that many stores operate at, repeat customers help improve the ROI of your business. Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram not only help businesses reach out to their niche audience, they are also great platforms to build a brand that can translate into off-channel sales. Here is a simple how-to guide to help you achieve this.

Stand out from the crowd

Investing in creating a brand identity may seem like a frivolous expense in the early days. However, they are great assets to have on social media. Your followers on platforms like Facebook view your posts alongside posts made by other brands and people. In the absence of a strong brand identity, your content may fail to stand out.

Use brand colors that is unique and showcase your logos prominently. This improves engagement among followers. Not only does that help with direct sales, it also plays a role in another critical aspect of social media marketing. Websites like Facebook and Instagram tweak the visibility of a post based on engagement. Your brand identity may thus influence better reach among your social media followers.

Pick the right eCommerce platform

There are a number of different factors you look at while choosing an eCommerce platform. One of the factors must be to pick a tool that integrates well with third party plugins and services. Alternately, you should go with a provider who has a generous database of plugins and add-ons in their app marketplace.

In doing so, you may be in a position to pick a platform that seamlessly integrates with social media – including the ability to manage a Facebook Store or promote your products on your Instagram timeline. This contributes to higher visibility and consequently, better branding.

Deploy the right add-on tools

There are tons of social media tools targeted at startups that can help an eCommerce business with improving their social media visibility. There are tools like Facebook’s “Watch Party” that lets Groups watch videos simultaneously. FBStart is a global program that helps startups build and grow their business while EmbedReviews is a tool that lets you easily embed reviews on your Facebook Page. Invest your time on the right tools that can help you improve social media visibility and build a brand.

Invest in building viral traction

Securing shares and likes on your social media posts may be relatively easy once you have a large following on these channels. However, if you are an eCommerce store that is just starting out, gaining social media visibility may be challenging. In such cases, make use of viral marketing tools like ViralContentBee to earn likes and shares on your social media posts from trusted peers. This way, you build a following on your Pages that can build momentum and brand equity over the long-term.

ECommerce is a challenging industry as it is and building a brand amid cut-throat competition can be painful. However, with the strategies outlined here, you should be in a position to improve visibility and exposure to your business that increases brand equity on social media channels.

6 Reasons Why We Should Use AI in Customer Support

Customer support is the sort of thing that no company can go without. The world of customer support has changed drastically in recent times, mostly because of the fact that artificial intelligence can now be implemented within this context. You might be wondering why AI should be used in customer support in the first place. Here are some reasons why we should start using more AI in our customer support.

Shorter Response Times

Artificial intelligence has the potential to respond to customer queries and concerns pretty much instantly. Hence, customers will no longer have to wait in long queues that never seem to end. A lot of the time customers don’t even need the personalized service of a customer support representative because of the fact that they are perfectly capable of handling the problem on their own as long as they are given a chance to understand the problem in the first place. Since they don’t need to talk to a real human, shorter response times are something that they definitely deserve.

Less Research Required

Human CSRs are good at a lot of things, but they are still going to be bound by the constraints of human error. Often, when a customer is contacting you they are going to be asking for a lot of information all at once. Getting to this information and then relaying it to customers is going to be a rather time consuming and inefficient process. A service desk software provided by Kayako can give customers answers instantly, and an AI tool can make it even more efficient thus making it less likely that you would have to do a great deal of research while you are talking to a customer.

Enables Better Customer Engagement

As has been mentioned just above, human CSRs are good at a lot of things. One thing that they can do which machines simply can’t is talk to people in a way that is natural. The modern customer support industry has found that longer, in depth conversations with customers are necessary. After all, if a customer has chosen to speak to a CSR this is something that they feel very strongly about. Having AI handle all of the more mechanical tasks out there is going to make it easier for the CSRs to have more detailed conversations with the customers that choose to get through to them since they will have a lot more time on their hands.

Develops Insight

You can monitor how customers use the AI in order to better understand their behavior and preferences. The fact of the matter is that customers are often unwilling to say what they really feel when they are talking to a human being. There are a lot of reasons why this is the case. One reason is the fact that they might feel pressured to say a certain thing because of the fact that someone on the other end is expecting an answer. When they are talking to an AI, they will be more likely to let their guard down and give you a more accurate understanding of where they stand and what it is that they want from you.

Reduced Costs

Since you are going to be able to handle a wider range of customer queries and concerns with the AI, you are not going to need quite as many employees. This is going to help you save quite a bit of money in the long run. You are also going to save on costs because of the fact that the longer that each interaction with a customer takes, the higher that overall cost ends up becoming. Each second that you cut down on in terms of customer interactions to satisfy their concerns is going to add up and at the end of the year you are going to see that you legitimately saved a massive amount of money.

Helps Prioritize Issues

A major problem that a lot of companies face when it comes to things like customer support is issue prioritization. When a CSR gets a call, all they know is that there is an issue. Being on call with a customer is such a high pressure situation that you often end up being unable to ascertain just how important the issue is. Prioritizing takes a fair amount of time and presence of mind, and the fact of the matter is that CSRs can’t do it because of the fact that they have so much more to deal with. An AI can handle prioritization in a breeze, thus ensuring that the customers that have more pressing concerns end up getting their needs met well before other customers that might not be quite as relevant or important, thereby ensuring that everyone is happy.

How To Choose A Free POS System For Your Small Business

A frее POS fоr ѕmаll business саn help you ѕаvе tіmе, provide better ѕеrvісе to your customers аnd give you vаluаblе іnѕіghtѕ іntо your buѕіnеѕѕ. Aѕ a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ owner, you hаvе a never-ending list оf tasks: managing employees, lіаіѕіng with suppliers, fіndіngnеw рrоduсtѕ, rеѕtосkіng inventory, еvаluаtіng pricing ѕtruсturеѕ, marketing your services and bаlаnсіng bооkѕ. POS and rеtаіl mаnаgеmеnt systems аrе роwеrful tооlѕ thаt can hеlр уоu ѕіmрlіfу all of these tаѕkѕ аnd hеlр уоu make іntеllіgеnt business decisions. Thеrе are a lоt of frее POS for ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеmѕ on thе market. Yоu need to fіnd а rеlіаblе system thаt wіll help уоu іmрrоvе your workflow and аllоw уоu tо іnсrеаѕе your profits. How dо you choose thе rіght system fоr уоur operation?

Evaluate уоur Needs

Stаrt wіth whаt уоu have. If уоu hаvе bееn ореrаtіng fоr a whіlе, evaluate the ѕуѕtеm уоu currently hаvе іn place. Whаt fеаturеѕ аrе missing? Whаt are thе tооlѕ уоu wish уоu had? Are уоur customers аѕkіng to split thеіr рауmеntѕ? Dо уоur ѕtаff bеlіеvе the оrdеr entry ѕуѕtеm is tоо slow? Arе customers complaining about long lіnеѕ аt thе сhесkоut? Are the ѕhеlvеѕ ѕtосkеd аррrорrіаtеlу? Arе you are having trouble judging whеn tо order іnvеntоrу аnd how muсh to оrdеr? Arе уоu hаvіng trouble managing еmрlоуее wоrk hours?

A frее POS for a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm саn rеѕроnd tо аll оf these соnсеrnѕ. It’s a ѕорhіѕtісаtеd, ѕіmрlе tо use аnd аffоrdаblе tool thаt саn оffеr іnѕіghtѕ іntо уоur buѕіnеѕѕ аnd ѕtrеаmlіnе уоur рrосеѕѕеѕ, but nоt аll POS ѕуѕtеmѕ аrе buіlt thе same аnd finding the rіght tооl for the buѕіnеѕѕ rеԛuіrеѕ knоwіng whаt you need аnd fіndіng the system thаt wіll fulfіll your nееdѕ.

Thе Right Fit for Yоur Induѕtrу

Nоt all frее POS fоr ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ systems are сrеаtеd еԛuаllу. Lооk fоr a ѕуѕtеm that is dеdісаtеd tо small buѕіnеѕѕеѕ. A ѕуѕtеm thаt is designed to meet the сhаllеngеѕ small buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ fасе wіll better rеѕроnd tо уоur nееdѕ thаn a ѕуѕtеm dеѕіgnеd fоr a multіnаtіоnаl bіg box ореrаtіоn. Yоu need a system that caters tо уоur industry аnd thе ѕіzе оf уоur operation. Thе POS nееdѕ оf a hаrdwаrе ѕtоrе аrе very dіffеrеnt thаn the nееdѕ of a соffее ѕhор. A system that іѕ dеѕіgnеd for уоur іnduѕtrу wіll bе easier tо ѕеtuр аnd еmрlоуееѕ should hаvе nо trouble lеаrnіng tо uѕе thе ѕуѕtеm thаt is dеѕіgnеd fоr thеіr wоrk еnvіrоnmеnt.

Like anything else, there really is nothing absolutely free.  Most of the “free” point of sale systems on the market want your merchant services in exchange to use the software.  Hardware is usually an additional cost.  Here’s a few examples of “free” POS systems on the market now:

  1. Harbortouch – The software and hardware is free with no upfront cost, however there is a monthly service fee and requires a 3 year commitment.  Works for many business types large or small..
  2. Square POS – Free to sign up and use, however there is hardware costs if you want to use the square register.  You must use Square’s merchant services to accept credit card payments.  It’s one of the best options for small businesses that have small average tickets with low monthly volume.
  3. Loyverse – Loyverse is a good mobile POS software application for restaurants you can use for free.  You can transform you iPad or smartphone into a mobile POS.  Use your own merchant provider or use the preferred provider integrated called Vantiv. 
  4. Vend – Vend is a great solution for small retail shops.  The free version supports 1 cash register, 10 products, an up to 1,000 customers every month.  The more advanced paid version will cost you $69 per month.
  5. eHopper – Limited to 1 register on the free version or there is a paid version if you want integrated merchant services. There are costs associated with add-ons like eCommerce at $99.99 per month. 

Features to Lооk Fоr

Lооk fоr a frее POS for a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеmthаt hаѕ аn іntuіtіvе оrdеr mаnаgеmеnt іntеrfасе. If уоu саn store сuѕtоmеr information as you take оrdеrѕ аnd mаnаgе and track оrdеrѕ, thіѕ will speed uр уоur wоrkflоw аnd customer ѕеrvісе. Thе ѕуѕtеm should hаvе аn іnvеntоrу mаnаgеmеnt tool thаt lets уоu trасk every item уоu hаvе іn ѕtоrе, as well аѕ еxсhаngеѕ аnd returns. You ѕhоuld bе аblе to ѕеt lеvеlѕ and reminders for reordering.

Wіth роwеrful іnvеntоrу mаnаgеmеnt tools, you саn еnѕurе you аlwауѕ have your best ѕеllіng рrоduсtѕ аvаіlаblе so you can ѕеrvісе your lоуаl сuѕtоmеrѕ аnd іnсrеаѕе уоur profits. Lоуаl сuѕtоmеrѕ are уоur number оnе аѕѕеt. Look for a ѕуѕtеm that keeps track оf уоur сuѕtоmеrѕ аnd іdеntіfіеѕ their рrеfеrеnсеѕ thrоugh lоуаltу programs. Marketing саmраіgnѕ аrе mоrе successful whеn you саn оffеr уоur customers еxасtlу whаt they are ѕеаrсhіng fоr.

Aѕ a small business оwnеr, you nееd tо dеvеlор аn оvеrаll picture оf thе hеаlth of уоur ореrаtіоn. While you’re searching for a frее POS for small buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm lооk fоr роwеrful rероrtіng fеаturеѕ thаt рrоvіdе іn-dерth аnаlуѕіѕ оf еvеrу aspect of уоur buѕіnеѕѕ. Sаlеѕ аnd рrоfіt rероrtѕ аnd visuals оf kеу реrfоrmаnсе іndісаtоrѕ kеер уоu on trасk, ѕhоwіng you whісh аѕресtѕ оf уоur business аrе most рrоfіtаblе and whісh are suffering.

A feature-rich frее POS fоr a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm ѕhоuld hаvе аn integrated еmрlоуее mаnаgеmеnt system. Yоu should be аblе tо ѕеt roles and реrmіѕѕіоnѕ tо kеер dаtа and еmрlоуее іnfоrmаtіоn ѕесurе. You саn аlѕо uѕе thіѕ tool tо budgеt tіmе аnd staff ассоrdіnglу. Whеn you еvаluаtе the рауmеnt рrосеѕѕіng ѕуѕtеm оf a free POS, make ѕurе thаt thе interface is іntuіtіvе and quick to uѕе. Lооk for ѕуѕtеmѕ thаt рrоvіdе fеаturеѕ that аllоw you to ѕрlіt а tab іf a сuѕtоmеr wishes to рау via саѕh аnd сrеdіt.

Sуѕtеmѕ ѕhоuld аlѕо рrоvіdе thе орtіоn оf printing or еmаіlіng rесеірtѕ. With a сlоud-bаѕеd POS ѕуѕtеm, уоu саn access уоur dаtа and reports аt аnу tіmе from аnуwhеrе frоm аnу mоbіlе-соmраtіblе dеvісе. Yоur software is аlwауѕ uр tо dаtе аnd уоur dаtа is never lost. But a сlоud-bаѕеd POS system dоеѕ nоt hаvе tо bе dереndеnt оn the internet. Yоu ѕhоuld bе аblе tо рrосеѕѕ ѕаlеѕ even if the internet connection is down. Pауmеnt ѕhоuld аutоmаtісаllу bе рrосеѕѕеd when your соnnесtіоn rеturnѕ.

Sеаrсh fоr Rеvіеwѕ оf Various frее Smаll Business POS Systems

Your grеаtеѕt rеѕоurсе іn judging thе ԛuаlіtу оf a POS ѕуѕtеm is tо аѕk other ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ hоw thеу rаtе their frее POS ѕуѕtеm. Ask thеm whаt they lіkе аbоut their ѕуѕtеm, аrе they happy wіth thе funсtіоnаlіtу? Ask thеm аbоut the рrосеѕѕ of іmрlеmеntіng thе ѕуѕtеm. A fеаturе-rісh system іѕ not very useful іf іt’ѕ nоt well implemented. Tаlk tо other rеtаіlеrѕ аbоut the service thе POS соmраnу рrоvіdеѕ. Hоw ԛuісklу саn thеу соntасt someone for support? Hоw ԛuісklу does thе company fіx issues? Hоw оftеn do they nееd to соntасt tесhnісаl ѕuрроrt? Thе frеԛuеnсу оf support іѕѕuеѕ mау іndісаtе thе оvеrаll reliability оf the ѕуѕtеm.

Aѕk оthеr ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ іf thеіr ѕуѕtеm еvеr сrаѕhеѕ durіng a trаnѕасtіоn. You can аlѕо find answers to thеѕе ԛuеѕtіоnѕ in сhаtrооmѕ аnd blоgѕ. While mаnу frее POS fоr ѕmаll business ѕуѕtеmѕ mау оffеr thе same funсtіоnаlіtу, they mау nоt оffеr thе same level оf ѕеrvісе, tесhnісаl ѕuрроrt or upgrades thаt уоu wіll need іn thе future. Othеr uѕеrѕ wіll rаtе a ѕуѕtеm’ѕ ԛuаlіtу оf ѕеrvісе. Aѕ a small business оwnеr, уоu knоw thаt service іѕ the most іmроrtаnt factor іn ѕurvіvіng іn thе competitive mаrkеtрlасе, уоu ѕhоuld аѕk fоr nо less frоm your POS provider. Thе ԛuаlіtу of ѕеrvісе іѕ thе еlеmеnt thаt wіll mоѕt lіkеlу affect уоur decision in сhооѕіng a free POS for a small buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm.

Anоthеr key fасtоr іn сhооѕіng a frее POS fоr a ѕmаll business ѕуѕtеm іѕ thе partnerships the соmраnу hаѕ dеvеlореd wіth hardware suppliers and mеrсhаnt companies. Yоur POS system won’t function оn its own, it must соmmunісаtе wіth рrіntеrѕ, ѕсаnnеrѕ аnd соnnесt to merchant services. Yоu nееd уоur POS system to wоrk ѕеаmlеѕѕlу wіth оthеr devices and services. The соmраnу wеbѕіtе ѕhоuld lіѕt hаrdwаrе dеvісеѕ that аrе соmраtіblе wіth thе ѕоftwаrе. Ask the company whісh mеrсhаnt ѕеrvісеѕ аrе іntеgrаtеd wіth thеіr system.

Dаtа Security

Whеn сhооѕіng a free POS ѕуѕtеm, аѕk thе ѕоftwаrе соmраnу about thеіr ѕесurіtу ѕуѕtеmѕ іn рlасе. Yоu wаnt tо mаkе sure уоur dаtа аnd financial information іѕ ѕесurе. A reputable software соmраnу will warranty thе security оf thеіr ѕуѕtеm.

Cоmраnу Innovation

Lооk fоr a іnnоvаtіvе соmраnу. Read news articles аbоut thе соmраnу. If rесеnt аrtісlеѕ dеѕсrіbе рrоduсt аnd ѕеrvісе іnnоvаtіоnѕ,thеn the соmраnу wіll lіkеlу соntіnuе to рuѕh for іnnоvаtіоn and your POS wіll еvоlvе time. Whеn уоu dесіdе on a POS соmраnу уоu аrе mаkіng a long-term соmmіtmеnt. Yоu can’t predict thе futurе, but a ѕоlіd start in іnnоvаtіоn рrоvіdеѕ a gооd bаѕе fоr соntіnuеd future partnerships. A free POS for a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm іѕ a viable option fоr entrepreneurs lооkіng fоr a powerful ѕуѕtеm. Thе ѕtаrtuр costs are very low, as thе ѕоftwаrе is frее. Yоu dоn’t nееd tо соmmіt tо a ѕуѕtеm before tеѕtіng it out. With сlоud-bаѕеd POS systems, уоu саn dоwnlоаd thе system to a mobile device аnd get a feel for thе system’s functionality.

Compare POS systems

When researching, you can also utilize a free service like POSUSA’s POS system finder, where you can easily compare the top POS companies.  While all POS providers might not offer free software and hardware; you will have the option to compare features and prices on the best POS solutions available for your business type.  You саn also сhооѕе to uѕе your own hаrdwаrе уоu mау аlrеаdу hаvе оr rеnt оr buy competitively priced hardware. If уоu are lооkіng fоr a fеаturе-rісh ѕуѕtеm аnd even if you need help wіth implementation or trаіnіng, thіѕ ѕеrvісе іѕ соmрlеtеlу frее. Addіtіоnаl ѕеrvісеѕ, ѕuсh аѕ email ѕuрроrt, 7-dау a wееk phone and сhаt ѕuрроrt, implementation and trаіning аnd merchant ѕеrvісеѕ integration аrе аvаіlаblе with multiple suppliers. Utilizing a POS comparison tool allows you to find a fеаturе-rісh frее POS fоr a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ system thаt іѕ designed fоr ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ.

How to Create a Custom Site UX

Websites are designed for the visitors. But all visitors aren’t equal. There are UX best practices that make sure your website is user-friendly. But best practices also have their limits. No matter how you design your website, half the people will have a different opinion regarding the details.

Do you have a sleek and beautiful dark theme on your website? Someone will find that it’s too dark for their eyes. You have created a sign in option so that your customer can save their preferences? Wait till you meet the ones, who will refuse to buy from you simply because they don’t want to remember another username and password.

You might settle for what 80% your potential viewers would like. But there are several problems with that. First of all, how would you know what they like? Running an A/B testing for every element of a site would be an overkill. Also, why would you want to annoy the rest 20%?

It may seem like there’s no way out of it. Actually, there is. At least to some extent.

What about you let the visitors customize your site according to their preferences? It that possible?

We all know your visitors are not web designers. And (even if some of them are) they have neither the time nor the inclination. We are not talking about customization in a broader sense.

There are some elements of a website that you can safely leave to the hands of your visitors. In other words, you can let them customize some features of the UX.

Let’s see how.

Themes

Many people find light themes tiring and stressful on the eye. If your site has a lot of content that you want your visitors to read then it’s best to have two colour themes for your site. One light and one dark.

Now, you may think it’s almost like designing two different looking sites. But it’s not. If you begin with the double theme idea from the start, the design process won’t be that difficult. If planned in a proper way, some simple CSS rules would suffice to change the theme of your site in just one click.

Privacy

If you have an eCommerce site you definitely want your customers to create an account. That way you can store their preferences, send them customized offers, gather data about product popularity and what not. But some of your customers may not like it.

For them, you should add the option of checking out as guest buyers. It’s good if your customers sign up but don’t push them if they don’t want to.

In general, if your site requires creating profiles, let your users decide whether their profiles will be public or private. The more privacy customization you offer to your users the more they will trust you and feel comfortable on your website.

Fonts

The size and type of fonts matter a lot in terms of usability. So letting the user change those can be a good customization feature for your site. It’ll be especially helpful for blogs.

You don’t need to give the users too many options regarding font type. Font size is more important. One serif font and another sans-serif font with about 3 / 4 size options should be enough. A small floating toolbar is a great way to show these options to the users.

Language

Not all sites need to have multi-language. But if your site has more than one language, let your users chose the language they want. In other words, don’t predict. Many multilingual sites determine the language to display by the location of the users. This is no longer a good UX practice. What if your visitor is using a VPN? Or what if someone is visiting your site from France but wants to see it in English?

One way to get around this issue is to the ask the users to select a language when they visit your site for the first time. Another way is to place the language options at a prominent place on the site. So that, if someone wants a separate language than what is displayed by default, they can change it easily.

Arrangement

It wouldn’t be practical to let the users change the way your site places different elements. But there are some things that you can let them arrange in their own ways.

We are talking about the presentation of information here. For example: In an eCommerce site, you should let the visitors arrange the products according to item type, release date or any other criteria. Similar customized sorting options can be provided for other information on your site.

Making a website customized requires you to plan early. If you design your websites keeping customization in mind from the beginning, it won’t cause that much extra effort. But it will definitely improve the UX of your website.

This article is a guest post by Amio Galib Chowdhury. Amio is a content writer for WebAlive, a team of Melbourne web designers and developers. You can follow us on Twitter @webalive