WordPress, code, design, business

Things Often Overlooked When Launching a New WordPress Site

I’ve been blogging on the new churchthemes.com blog lately. My goal is to make one new post there every week or two. I just published a general WordPress article with my thoughts on things every WordPress site owner should check before they consider their site done. It touches on security, backups, spam and more.

I’ve noticed that many people overlook these things, though they are relatively simple to do. Maybe some awareness is in order? Please read the article and post a comment with your thoughts.

Link: Eight Things You Should Do After Building Your WordPress Site

An Alternative to Google Alerts and Mention That’s Better and Free

When we launched churchthemes.com I wanted to stay on top of what people were saying about the business, our WordPress themes and about building church websites in general. That way I could chime in with my own thoughts when helpful. The Internet is huge so it would be impossible to track all this blog, forum and social media chatter manually. I quickly found Google Alerts and Mention but neither satisfied.

You might be surprised that I found the best solution to be a regular Google search with one little known option switched on.

Offer Refunds for Your WordPress Themes and Plugins

I prefer stores with refund policies that give me peace of mind before buying. Amazon, Target, Home Depot — they’ll take back pretty much anything without a hassle. This not only benefits the customer but it benefits the store as well. Any loss from refunds is built into the cost of doing business so their is no real loss. They don’t just break even either. They make more money by maintaining happy customers. Happy customers come back to buy different things and often share with others how much they like a store.

I believe every commercial WordPress theme and plugin seller should have a money back guarantee and offer easy refunds because it benefits both the buyer and seller.

Bootstrap Marketing: Ask Blogs to Write About You

Several years ago my bank gave me a hard time with my business credit card. Paying my bill online became impossible. You know how it goes. Dial an 800 number, listen to jazz music and advertisements, talk to a couple people then get assurance that tomorrow things will work. Repeat seven more times! Finally, tiring of spending my life on the phone, I sent an online message saying if they don’t get this fixed, I’m leaving.

Your account has been closed. We’re sorry to see you go.

What!? I didn’t say to close my account. Don’t you people understand a thinly veiled threat? Moments later I was done being upset and felt absolutely liberated. My wife and I were in the midst of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at this time. This guy suggests cutting up your credit cards and even running your business on cash. Hey, that’s what “I” just did. Fantastic! Business just became more frugal.

WordPress Saves You Money on a Website

A few days ago I was checking up on what some hosted website building services are doing. They’re something like WordPress as far as being “do it yourself” content management systems, but proprietary and hosted by their makers. Some are good solutions. I ran across one that is perhaps good but their marketing strategy was interesting. They had a page detailing all the reasons not to use WordPress, possibly because WordPress solutions are significant competition.

I disagreed with much of what was written but one reason in particular stood out — the cost. Their premise was that WordPress is low cost and therefore a low quality solution that should be avoided, lest hidden costs and difficulties arise.

Behind churchthemes.com

We launched churchthemes.com and the Resurrect WordPress theme earlier this week.

There is not yet a blog at churchthemes.com (it was a greater priority to launch ASAP). If we did have one, I would have made an official-looking launch post. Instead, I want to share here on my personal blog about what’s behind the project. In short, I want to speak my mind about starting a business, development philosophy, pricing models, web hosting and marketing. And I want to tell it a bit like a tale.

It all started about one and a half years ago…

Online Test for Browser Touch Capability

One of my WordPress themes does something different for touch-enabled devices in order to give the user a better experience. Occasionally I will get a support request asking why this difference is showing when they are not using a touch screen. The reason is almost always that the user has software installed that causes browsers to think they have touch capabilities when they don’t. SMART Board software does this but I have had reports of others. When the software is removed, browsers behave as they should.

This morning I went searching for an online test to detect touch capabilities outside of my theme. This could help determine if it is the user’s system thinking it is touch-enabled and not an issue with the theme itself. Lo and behold, I found none! When that happens, you’ve got to do it yourself, so I whipped up a very simple JS Fiddle using Modernizer, a feature detection library. I’m posting it here in case some other fellow out there in the future goes searching for what I did not find.

How to prevent spam in WordPress

I sell WordPress themes so naturally one question I repeatedly get from customers is…

What can I do about all this comment spam?

Automated spam is nothing new and since most WordPress sites allow commenting on at least blog posts, they become a target. Fortunately, there are simple measures that can be taken to keep this from becoming a massive problem. What follows is a two-fold approach that myself and others use to cut out nearly all spam with relatively little effort.