These WordPress tips are not snippets of code or complicated, or mind-boggling. Just some simple ways to get the most out WordPress’s built-in features.Continue Reading
In this video I will give you a preview of this plugin and why I have used it for as long I have. And of course we will look at Conditional Logic, which is one of my favorite features.Continue Reading
If you follow this blog, you likely saw my post called The Renegade Contact Form.
In a nutshell, I did some serious work on it and really focused on what the visitor could or could not do.
But do you know that old saying? Give them an inch….
After quite a bit of work, I thought I had it pretty much tightened up. One experience, which I talked about in the previous post, was the result of equal faults of the reader who contacted me and my less than perfect parameters.
But a few people were still not following my contact form guidelines. And I wondered why.
It all had to do with this one choice.
I am not a member but have a question.
When I first did that, my intentions were that if you aren’t a member and have a question about my membership, you would choose it. But oh Lordy, no. They read it as, no I’m not a member, and I do have a question, and likely it’s a question that doesn’t fall in any choices and of course is spammy. That was the crack in the wall they found. In any case, I never responded to those.
Oh those little details. Well, sealed that crack. We’ll see what happens next.
NOTE: Since this post I have yet to change my contact page again. Yes, maybe this was a bit too radical.
Over a month ago, I made some serious changes to my contact page.
But before I go into that, a bit of history.
My contact page is always a work-in-progress. I consider it one of the most important pages on my site. In fact, I constantly tweak the content as well as the form itself—and have for years.
Recently, a social media rockstar said that he found using more specific options in your contact form doesn’t keep people from using it, but instead, makes the form much more useful. I just chuckled because I had already been doing this for several years. But I digress.
Back to my recent changes. Before I go any further, I suggest that you check out my contact page if you haven’t already, so this post makes more sense.
My most recent changes were prompted by a few things.
More and more, people were of using my form to sell and spam me. Adding a CATPCHA didn’t stop them. I was spending a lot of time wading through three kinds of messages.
1. People who were seeking partnerships. Now I’m not opposed to this. But a lot were coming from people I barely knew or did not know at all. They had not spent time getting to know me, visiting my blog, engaging with me on social media. Those are not typically partnerships I consider.
2. People with WordPress questions. I feel that through my blog, and through social media, meetups, etc., I give generously of my time and knowledge. But when I make it clear that my contact form is not for support and people still use it to ask for free help and consulting, that is where I draw the line. Most of what they ask me for, my clients hire me for.
3. People wanting me to review their plugin or theme. I started getting a ton of these requests and it became overwhelming. I typically will do a review post when I come across a new plugin or theme that interests me or I know my readers would want to know more about. Also, I spend time looking at the ones from developers or theme designers I know and trust.
As a result, since I didn’t want to be rude, or above talking to anyone who contacted me, I spent hours responding and explaining my reasoning to tons of requests.
About a month ago, my patience was depleted. I was fed up. From that, my new contact page was born. When I shared it, I got mixed feedback. Most people thought it was great. Others were a bit surprised while even a few more were truly shocked.
What happened to mild-mannered BobWP?
Nothing. It was time to make the change. I decided to give people specific direction on how they could use or not use my contact form. Abuse it, and you will not get a reply.
It was that simple.
Several people I knew had asked me that I let them know how it goes. So here are the results.
Yes, a lot less people have contacted me through the form
Yes, people who wanted to hire me still used the form.
No, the number of legit contacts have not been any less.
Only one submission was “breaking the rules” and I ignored it.
And the big question. Did anyone pay me $25 for “answering a small question about WordPress”?
Yes, two people so far have asked me about a possible partnership. I respected them for going this route. And I gave them $25 worth of my time to answer why or why not I would consider it.
One person asked me fairly simple WordPress question and I was able to answer it. She was happy with the answer.
Only one $25 small-question request went sideways. Someone was having some issues with their hosting service and their domain. He sent his request late at night. Before I could respond, the next day he had put in a complaint to Paypal that he did not get the services he paid for. Wow! After a couple of emails I refunded his $25 and asked him why he didn’t just ask for a refund. More emails ensued and finally he was placated.
After that, I revisited my form and realized that I hadn’t been clear enough on how to use that $25 option. So I made some changes. In hindsight, my lack of clarity was part of the problem, but I’m still amazed at the action he took and at what appeared to me to be unrealistic expectations.
So in the end, I am happy with the results of my contact page. Should everyone do this? No. You need to understand what your goals are and what results you are looking for.
Do I think it will turn some people off? Maybe.
But I’m willing to take that chance. Likely, in the end, they would have not been the right person for me, and likewise.
And you never know, with as many times I have tweaked my contact page, I’m not completing convinced that it’s perfect. The next time you visit you may just find something new.
I’m a big fan of Gravity Forms, and even a bigger fan of conditional logic. For devs and designers who use Gravity Forms, I’m sure it’s a no-brainer for them to take advantage of it. But there are a lot of WordPress beginners and average users who also use Gravity Forms but have never touched, or are even aware of it. Why? Because, it sounds scary. It’s sound like some kind of a coding thing.
Well, it’s not.
In this video I just touch the tip of the iceberg in what you can do with this feature. But this a good start to not only help you clean up your form while directing people to do specific actions when filling out the form, but also the beauty of conditional logic when it comes to notifications.
If you are a Gravity Form user, and have never used conditional logic, this video is a must-watch.
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If you are a Gravity Forms user, you probably noticed there was a recent update. What you may not have noticed, is what came with the update. So let me give you a short walk-through of the new features.
A New Look – User Interface Sees Some Changes
You have probably seen this even happening more since the latest WordPress version. Plugins are following the trend and tweaking their own look as well. Besides a font change, subtle changes can be found.
There is nothing worse than deleting a form and then, seconds after, realizing you have also deleted all the entries with it. Ugh! Now you can simply Trash any forms you aren’t using, and if needed, you can then restore.
Uploading Multiple Files
If you use the File Upload field, this is pretty cool.
The really great feature is that this uses the drag-and-drop feature just like WordPress. And it gives you a field to limit the number of uploads someone can do, and the size (maximum size is dependent on maximum file size in WordPress).
Knowing Who Might Also Be Working on a Form
WordPress has this thing called Heartbeat API. And you may wonder what the heck that is. If you have multiple users on your site, you might have noticed that if another user is working on a post, and you try to do the same, you are notified. Now Gravity Forms is using the Heartbeat API.
That’s Not All
And here are some other improvements and features you will find that I have taken the liberty of copying from the Gravity Forms blog.
Enhanced Entry Search
You can now search entries for the value of specific fields as well as use operators such as “is”, “is not”, “contains”, etc. The operators available will depend on the field type selected.
Enhanced Entry Export
The Entry Export now allows you to apply Conditional Logic so that only the entries that meet certain criteria will be exported.
Page Confirmation Query String
When opting to redirect to a WordPress Page for the Confirmation you can now pass custom query string parameters as you can with the Redirect Confirmation.
Notifications can now be set as active/inactive as well as duplicated.
Confirmations can now be set as active/inactive as well as duplicated.
Post Category Field Hierarchy
The Post Category Field when configured to only show selected categories will now maintain the category hierarchy automatically.
Form Scheduling now allows you to display a custom message when the form cannot be displayed because the Start Date has not yet begun.
The Form List page that lists all of your Forms now supports sorting on the columns so you can sort by id, name, etc.
Gravity Forms now supports being installed within the MU-PLUGINS folder on WordPress Multi-Site installations.
Now that is some pretty great stuff for a new version…. if you aren’t using Gravity Form, I highly recommend it.
Whenever I do one-on-one or group training, workshops or even presentations, I see the random flashes, the light bulbs that turn on when someone finally “gets it.” And it isn’t always something earth-shattering. Often it’s that tiny problem that’s been bugging you forever.
My 23 WordPress that once you discover them, life becomes a little easier:
- Don’t use a widget because it’s cool and shiny. Use it because it is useful to your reader.
- When you do a return in a post or page, you always get a double space. If you want it single, simply press <shift> <return> on your keyboard.
- If you are looking for a WordPress developer to create your custom site, your first question should be: “Do you understand and know php?” If they claim to be a developer (not a designer), but their answer is no, run!
- Creating a powerful password for your admin login is the first step in making your site more secure. The second is to change that password monthly.
- If you have unused plugins or themes installed, and have not activated, delete them. This greatly beefs up site security.
- Whether it’s your WordPress blog or website, make sure that people are able to contact you. Don’t hide your contact info in size two font in the footer of the page. Make a separate, highly visible contact page.
- If you have chosen to block search engines in your privacy setting during the construction of your blog or website, remember to turn it back on when you go live. Because that little sucker blocks them good.
- Remember, it’s WordPress. Capital W, capital P, no space between. If you land on a site and they call themselves a WordPress expert, but spell the name wrong, beware.
- When inserting a photo into your post or page, make sure the title and alt (alternate) tag have descriptive words for the image. There are several reasons for this including it’s what Google looks for when it’s indexing images on the web and the big G doesn’t like a site with alt tags missing.
- Keeping your plugins up-to-date is just as important as keeping your WordPress version up-to-date.
- Do you want to change your homepage to a static page rather than your blog? Can’t figure out what to do? Create a page for your homepage and one for your blog. Then go to settings >reading and change the settings on the “front page displays.”
- If you are self-hosted, back up your database and all your files regularly. Hear that? Back up, back up!
- Think about the theme you choose for your blog or website. Does it meet all your needs? Does it allow your site to grow as your business grows? Because if you decide to switch themes down the road, chances are it’s not a simple one-click process.
- If you fly off the handle or rant in a blog post, remember, the moment you hit that publish button, it appears on the web and to your RSS subscribers. If you are angry when you write a post, it’s always best to save it as a draft and revisit it later for one last look.
- Use a photo to provoke emotions in your blog post. Not only will you attract more readers, but they will remember your content longer.
- If you have only one row of tools when you are creating a page or post, simply click on the far right button, “show kitchen sink,” and you will get a whole second row of tools.
- If you are still using the default “admin” for your user name, it’s time to get rid of it. Create a new one, then delete the old one, assigning all posts and pages to your new user name. Otherwise you are giving hackers 50% of your login info.
- If you cannot find an option on your edit post or page window, check the tab “screen options” in the upper right corner. That feature may be hidden.
- To expand your editor window, grab the lower right, ridged corner and drag it.
- Remove or replace the default blog tagline under your general settings. Otherwise, people will see that generic message that says, “Just Another WordPress Site.”
- Be careful when you underline text. Readers still have a habit of thinking any underlined text is a link.
- Remember to turn off your comments on static pages. No one wants to comment on your about or contact page.
- And lastly, don’t be taken in by over-promises. Like most worthwhile things, WordPress has a learning curve.
I have been using Gravity Forms for a long time. It is by far one of my favorite premium plugins. With its flexibility and amazing features, the sky is the limit when it comes to creating forms for your WordPress website or blog. But I wanted to share with you their Add-Ons. When you think a premium plugin can’t get any better, well, throw these into the mix.
The add-ons only come with both the Business and Developers license. With the Business License, you get Aweber, Campaign Monitor, MailChimp and Picatcha. But with the Developers License you get them all. And to be honest, I cannot tell you how many times these add-ons have saved me headaches and time.
Check out my list below and see all that you can get. Trust me, if your site is your business, or you do sites for clients, these are more than worth the extra bucks. And if you are ready to buy Gravity Forms I would appreciate a click here on my affiliate link.
Gravity Forms Add-Ons
Gravity Forms is by far one of my favorite premium plugins for WordPress. It's an amazing tool. That's not it though. With some of their licenses come these incredible add-ons that make it well worth the price. If you would like to learn more about Gravity Forms: http://bobwp.us/iQQl3M (aff link)
Integrate Gravity Forms with Zapier and instantly integrate any of your forms with over 200+ online services!
Gravity Forms and Authorize.Net make collecting credit card payments quick and painless! SSL Required.
Easily integrate Gravity Forms with the AWeber email marketing service, allowing form submissions to be automatically sent to your AWeber account.
Campaign Monitor Add-On
Easily integrate Gravity Forms with the Campaign Monitor email marketing service, allowing form submissions to be automatically sent to your Campaign Monitor account.
Add coupon based discount capabilities to order forms created with Gravity Forms.
Easily integrate Gravity Forms with the FreshBooks invoicing service, allowing form submissions to automatically create invoices or estimates in your FreshBooks account.
Easily integrate Gravity Forms with the MailChimp email marketing service, allowing form submissions to be automatically sent to your MailChimp account.
Integrates Gravity Forms with PayPal Payments Standard, enabling end users to purchase goods and services using Gravity Forms.
PayPal Payments Pro Add-On
Integrates Gravity Forms with PayPal Payments Pro. Enabling users to make payments directly on your site. SSL required. NOTE: This Add-On is for newer PayPal Payments Pro accounts that utilize PayPals PayFlow API and is not compatible with PayPals legacy PayPal Pro API.
PayPal Pro Add-On
Integrates Gravity Forms with PayPal Pro. Enabling users to make payments directly on your site. SSL required. NOTE: This Add-On is for PayPals legacy PayPal Pro API and is not compatible with PayPals new PayPal Payments Pro accounts which utilize the Payflow API.
Fight spam with the image-based CAPTCHA service Picatcha which makes it easy for humans to read but harder for bots to crack.
The Gravity Forms Polls Add-On allows you to quickly and easily deploy Polls on your web site using the power of Gravity Forms.
Quiz your visitors using the Gravity Forms Quiz Add-On to create custom quizzes quickly using Gravity Forms.
Quickly and easily integrate signature capabilities into any form. Touchscreen device compatible!
Likerts, Rankings, Ratings and more! Quickly create surveys using the power of Gravity Forms.
Integrates Gravity Forms with Twilio, enabling SMS notifications when a form is submitted.
User Registration Add-On
Use Gravity Forms to create advanced user registration forms that replace the simple WordPress registration form.
Gravity Forms and Stripe allows you to quickly and easily implement credit card payments!
For sometime I have recommended to people that you should use your WordPress blog as your social hub. Particularly, a self-hosted WordPress blog.
In today’s post I am sharing a recent recording of a webinar. What will you learn in these 60 minutes?
- Why you should make your blog or site your social media hub
- Pros and cons of WordPress.com vs self-hosted
- Tools for managing and promoting your blog
- Tips, widgets and plugins for getting more comments on your blog
- Ideas on how to promote your blog on Twitter and Facebook
- Do’s and don’t’s of effective commenting
So why am I sharing a recording of a webinar I normally provide access to only if you registered? As of today I have decided to no longer do my free webinars. Most of these webinars evolved from free workshops that I have done locally for the last 2-3 years. Now I have to focus on some other larger online training projects. So I figured “why not share these with my readers”?
Gravity Forms is one of my favorite premium plugins. If you purchase the developers license, you also get a bunch of goodies, or what is called “addons”. One of these is the Paypal addon. In this video, I will show you how easy it is use for people can purchase services or products directly from the form you created.
It sure beats the heck out of those ugly, yellow Paypal buttons.
So if you have a developers license, or someone installed it on your site, check out this video. And if not, you might even decide to upgrade after watching this. (if you do, here is my Gravity Forms affiliate link)