Tag: business

2014-09-18 WordPress Grand Rapids WordCamp Recap

WordCamp Grand Rapids Recap, Sep. 2014 meetup

We talked about what we learned at WordCamp Grand Rapids 2014. We took turns sharing specific things we learned and actions we took as a result of WordCamp.

Chad Warner and Topher DeRosia summarized a few points from talks. Others added their thoughts or asked questions. We also had plenty of discussion about other WordPress topics. Below are the notes.

2014-09-18 WordPress Grand Rapids WordCamp Recap

Talk titles below link to slides for the talk. Here are links to all the WordCamp Grand Rapids 2014 slides.

10 Tips for Turning Your WordPress Website Into a Traffic Driving Machine

Rebecca Gill

  • about page
    • include basic overview, historical overview, testimonials, success stories
  • clear CTAs
    • create clear path
    • align to sitemap
    • offer clear value proposition: tell what they’ll get
  • landing pages
    • one task
    • testimonials
  • make content personal
    • Rebecca includes stories about kids in posts

Core Functions You (Maybe) Don’t Know Exist

Nicole Arnold

  • wp_list_pluck: returns a numerically indexed array of values from the specified field
  • human_time_diff: displays time in human readable format (such as “two days ago”)
  • make_clickable: turns email addresses and URLs into clickable links
  • get_extended: get your content, both before and after the more tag
  • _split_str_by_whitespace: breaks a string into chunks by splitting at whitespace characters
  • is_email: tells whether something is actually an email address
  • antispambot: obfuscates an email address
  • __return_false: returns false

Learn From My Mistakes: 8 Years in the Game

Ian Wilson

  • hiring
    • job responsibilities change all the time; find people who aren’t one-trick ponies
    • designers:
      • find those willing to learn and adapt
      • must speak excitedly and confidently about their ideas, but must realize that design is about client’s audience, not about them or the client
  • only you control scope
    • say no
    • or say “yes, but it’s going to cost you” (wishlisting)
  • hire a coach; Ian attributes 90% of his success to his coach

Q&A

  • how to find time to work on biz when working in biz?
    • hire others to free up time
    • allocate 1 day a month or at least a couple days a month to working on biz

Getting Started: What you should do BEFORE you buy your first theme

Andrea Napierkowski

  • need a new site?
    • has it been 3-5 years?
    • is your type hard to read?
    • do people need to pinch and drag to view on mobile?
    • is it hard to navigate?
    • does it look dated?
  • can’t have a “timeless” site; sites have shelf-life of 3-5 years
  • don’t buy theme before you have content

Design Is In The Details: How Decisions Shape Communication

Michelle Schulp

  • people read websites like a billboard at 60 mph
  • redundancy is your friend
    • include same CTA in multiple places on page
  • “almost” flat design: slight shadows and lines to make it clearer what to click, while remaining minimal

Q&A

  • Michelle doesn’t like sliders because they don’t convert well
    • you should have just one important message, not 5
    • still make sense for gallery (just look at photos, not do anything)
    • don’t use for CTAs
  • how do you handle clients who want to make design decisions?
    • Ask why. Have a productive discussion about better way to accomplish
  • design process
    • start with sitemap and wireframe

Theme Customization Best Practices

Kyle Maurer

  • use hooks and filters when possible, and only child theme templates when you can’t use hooks or filters

Don’t Fear the Code

Kyle Maurer

  • have delivery deadlines in agreement with payments scheduled
  • make sure client can’t drag project out
  • tell client when they need to provide content and review work
  • bill regardless of whether they meet their responsibilities
  • launch regardless of whether they meet their responsibilities

Additional discussion

Remember, you can also find us on Meetup, Twitter (@wpgrandrapids and #wpgr), and Google Groups.

WordPress Grand Rapids e-commerce

WordPress E-Commerce: April 2014 meetup

We talked about WordPress E-Commerce at our April 2014 meetup: digital products, physical products, membership subscriptions, and events. We started with general considerations, then talked about specific plugins and platforms.

If I missed anything, please leave a comment, and I’ll add to the post.

WordPress Grand Rapids e-commerce

WordPress Grand Rapids e-commerce

General e-commerce considerations

Brian Richards

Payment gateways

  • Most common: Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net
  • Stripe
    • Brian’s favorite
    • Great for devs
    • Has an iframe option, but people are less likely to trust it because the browser doesn’t show a padlock
    • Easy to test
    • Faster transfers to your bank account than PayPal
  • PayPal
    • Brian’s not a fan
    • Poor documentation
    • Some have experienced delays or holds on funds

Taxes

  • You must charge for physical goods if selling to MI buyers

Shipping

  • Most plugins provide flat rate
  • You can use APIs to get shipping rate tables from shippers

Analytics

  • Major plugins support Google Analytics, and have extensions for other analytics systems

Plugins

Brian Richards

WooCommerce

  • Example site: WPSessions
  • If selling only 1 item, set cart page to the checkout page, so when buyer adds item to cart, they go straight to checkout. Note: this prevents the from editing their cart.
  • Product Data
    • Simple: standard product
    • Variable: variations like size, color. Can attach different thumbnails to different variations
  • Virtual: not physical
  • Downloadable: not physical, but also downloadable
  • A product can be downloadable but not virtual. Example: combo ebook and physical book.
  • Linked Products
    • Up-sells: additional products shown on product page
    • Cross-sells: additional products shown in checkout
    • Grouping: create bundle

iThemes Exchange

Easy Digital Downloads

  • Very easy
  • Many add-ons
  • Only digital products, and great at it
  • User History extension: displays buyer’s path and analytics

More plugins

Chad Warner

WooCommerce

Easy Digital Downloads

s2Member

  • Example site: School Communicators Network (in development)
  • How to restrict page. Show redirection.
  • s2Member
    • Quick-Start Guide
    • General Options
    • Restriction Options
    • API / List Servers

Event Espresso

Gravity Forms and PayPal Add-on

Steve Colthorp

  • Example site: Flowerland
  • Gravity Forms can be more flexible than e-commerce plugins, because it lets you create all the fields you want.
  • Dynamic Population lets you pass values to Gravity Forms using query strings or other methods.
WPGR WordPress Business Workflow

WordPress Business Workflow: Feb 2014 meetup

Our February 2014 meetup topic was WordPress Business Workflow. Four people gave short presentations, then we had an open discussion.

If I missed anything, please leave a comment, and I’ll add to the post.

WPGR WordPress Business Workflow

Work standards

Ryan Hinkle

  • Work standards are important (version control, backups, SSH, etc.)
    • Taking shortcuts can hurt you
    • Work standards can save you
    • They make it easier to bring people on to your team
  • Tools: Git, Vagrant, Bitbucket

How I started my WordPress business

Kurt Hanson

  • How Kurt got into WordPress development.
  • Found his first (low-paying) jobs on Elance, and some jobs led to good clients. Lately it’s been too difficult to compete with low-bidders (especially in low-wage countries). He thinks oDesk is even more low-wage. oDesk takes 9.5%.
  • Before you start, be prepared to go hungry for 1-2 years. If possible, set funds aside before starting.
  • Work with others with complementary skills. He’s been making local connections at The Factory.
  • Bills hourly with 50% deposits (of estimated total).
  • Tools: Photoshop, email, Google Calendar, Firefox, Dropbox, Camtasia, Vegas, QuickBooks.

Contracts and business hours

Chad Warner

Contracts/agreements

  • Scope of Work
    • What’s included
    • What’s excluded
  • Schedule and Completion Date
    • Targets
  • Client Responsibilities
    • What they must provide you
    • What they must do
  • Cost Estimates
    • Estimates, not fixed costs
  • Payment Terms
    • How much?
    • When?
    • Method?
    • Penalties?
  • Domain Registration, Hosting, Maintenance, SEO
    • Specify who controls these
  • Technical Support
    • What will you offer?
  • Legalese
    • Indemnification
    • Limitation of Liabilities
    • Copyrights and Trademarks
    • Attorney Fees

Business hours

  • Protect your time; no one else will
  • Set an autoreply with your work hours and emergency contact info

Discipline and time-tracking

Luke Rumley

  • Be disciplined. Track time. That helps inform future estimates.
  • Don’t allow scope creep. Something has to give: time, money, or scope.

Group Discussion

Pricing

Accounting

  • Topher says you get tax discounts for accepting foreign funds.
  • Save for taxes (25-30%). Make estimated payments. Kurt uses Paychex.
  • Get an accountant. Have them do taxes, advise on deductions, etc.
  • Send 1099-MISCs to anyone to whom you pay over $600.

Legal

Recommended Lawyers: Haans Mulder, Todd Stuart, Mike Lichterman, Andrew Longcore.

Prospecting & Estimating

  • Use a Discovery Phase to get to know each other and decide if you want to work together. Give a deliverable (report/plan). Charge a few hundred if you can.
  • Red flags: prospects who want you to reduce your rates because they tell you their site will be a good portfolio piece, or who offer equity in their company, or who promise future work.

Project Management

WordPress Maintenance