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Solostream Launches a Bold new WordPress Theme

Solostream, a fantastic company who produces quality WordPress Themes just announced a new theme named WP-Bold. WP-Bold is an attractive, clean and modern WordPress theme. It offers multiple featured content sliders and home page layouts, it’s well-suited for an online magazine, news site, community site or any other site that offers a lot posts with images. But don’t just take our word for it, check out the WP-Bold Demo and see for yourself how fun and funky this WordPress Theme is.

My favourite piece of this WordPress Theme is the slider on the home page that features the “featured articles”. When you hover your mouse over the article titles it highlights them and shifts them a bit. I haven’t seen this clean but cool feature on a WordPress Theme before.

WP-Bold WordPress Theme also looks great on a mobile phone! You don’t have to add another plugin to make it mobile friendly or tweak some theme files, it’s ready to go! I LOVE that!

The home page has a few options for you in terms of layout, slider look and feel and the post layouts (see screenshots below).

The footer contains built in widgets. Yes, that is pretty common these days, but there’s something about how the footer layout looks in this theme that makes it really stand out to me. Perhaps its the images in the “category post widget” and the “featured page widget” along the black background that makes it stand out and look sexy.

I’m a full supporter of the Solostream themes and use them on my own sites. I highly recommend their awesomeness!

[caption id=”attachment_3145” align=”aligncenter” width=”550”] Home Page Layout
Solostream WordPress Theme “WP-Bold”[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_3139” align=”aligncenter” width=”550”] Alternative home page
Solostream WordPress Theme “WP-Bold”[/caption]

 

WordPress 3.4 - What’s new and exciting!

WordPress 3.4 has been released!

This new release offers you some cool features like tweaking your theme and being able to preview those changes before committing to them, changing your blogsites’ header and a really simple way to add tweets to your posts.

First let’s look at the new theme features.

Live Theme Previews

Now you can make changes to your theme, or try out a new theme, play around with it and then decide if you want to make these changes public. There are many options to “play” with. They will change based on the theme you are working on but here are a list of some of the options I have seen:

  • Site Title & Tagline
  • Colors ie. header text, background color (the far left and right hand sides - not where your content goes) & link text
  • Layout ie. sidebar on the left or right, or disable the sidebar from appearing on your default pages (this means it will disable it on your whole site. It won’t disable it just on certain pages.)
  • Header Image - change your image or remove it completely.
  • Background Image
  • Navigation ie. which menu (from appearances -> menu) you want to use as your primary navigation/menubar
  • Static front page ie. choose from your latest blog posts appearing on your home page or a WordPress “Page” such as a “Welcome” page.
Once you are ready to make your changes “live” click “Save & Publish” or click “Cancel” if you aren’t ready for any changes yet.

[caption id=”attachment_3062” align=”aligncenter” width=”550”] WordPress 3.4 Live Theme Preview options.[/caption]

Custom Headers

Now you can change your header image on the spot and alter how tall or wide you want your image to be.

This feature only works for themes that have this functionality enabled. Your current theme probably doesn’t have this enabled, but any theme to be released in the near future will most likely include this option!

Better Image Captions

Now you can add html to your image captions. Take a look at the screenshot I added above. It not only has a short description of what the image is but I added a link to download WordPress 3. 4 and I bolded “Live Theme Preview” using html. I did this by adding html code to the “caption” field. Check out the screenshot below for a better visual.

[caption id=”attachment_3068” align=”aligncenter” width=”550”]Better Captions - Please html code in the caption for more interaction.[/caption]

Twitter Embeds

Now you can show off specific tweets and let your blogsite visitors follow, reply, retweet or favorite your tweet right from your blog. Oh and any links in the tweet work! How great is that?
All you need to do is grab the url for your tweet ie: https://twitter.com/TechCoach/status/212998120257241088, and place it right in your post or page. That’s it. See it below in action!

https://twitter.com/TechCoach/status/212998120257241088

Other Updates

There are other updates that are very techie in nature. I’ll spare you the details. Just know that WordPress is faster and better than ever!

What’s the difference between a Wordpress.com blog and a Wordpress.org website??

Dear Sandra,

What’s the difference between a Wordpress.com blog and a Wordpress.org website??
Do I really NEED a .org website, along with hosting & all that other stuff? (I’m relatively new to all this techy business)

I want to have an online business where I sell creative stuff like info products & e-courses/books & all kinds of fun online things…can I do that with just a blogsite?

Signed,
Leila Khani
www.holisticgypsy.com

Dear Leila,

Excellent question.

WordPress.com is for free personal blogs.
WordPress.org is where you can download WordPress and install it on your own .com

You do not want to put a business blog on wordpress.com as 1) it’s illegal 2) they disable functions on wordpress.com like adding html code for forms ie. email marketing and registrations, in widgets and 3) if they find out you are creating a business and making money while they pay for your hosting they will shut you down.

So you will want:
1) a .com or other domain name - Godaddy sells them for about $10 a year

2) Hosting - think of this as a storage facility for your site. It’s where all the files that make up your site will sit ie. images, files, coding etc. I suggest liquidweb’s standard webhosting package or Bluehost’s professional webs hosting

3) Have wordpress installed

Now you can sell any of the items you mentioned on a blogsite! You can use any shopping cart you’d like or even the WP eStore plugin which will securely deliver digital products for you.

Let me know if you have any other questions. My company does support entrepreneurs by setting up blogsites, ecommerce, formatting ebooks and a ton more! So let me know if you need any help.

Have a great day and enjoy your new blogsite,

How to backup/download your 1ShoppingCart mailing lists

So you want to backup or download all of your contacts stored on your 1shoppingcart account? You are in luck. In this article I will give you the step by step way to download a csv files containing your contacts’ information such as the very important name and email address.

First I’ll show you how to download all of your prospects and all of your customers, either separately or all together. I suggest you download them separately if it is important for you to know what list each name and email is associated with.

Then I’ll show you how to download all contacts on a specific autoresponder list (or you can choose multiple autoresponder lists if you don’t need to know what specific list they were on). For eample, I had an autoresponder set up for my affiliates that I downloaded and a few autoresponders for those who bought my book, that I downloaded all together.

Backup/download your Prospects and Customers
  1. Log into 1sc
  2. Go to Contacts -> Search, Edit, Add
  3. Scroll down to Specific Search Options, change Contact Type to Prospects or Customers
  • You can leave it set to “All” if you don’t need to have these lists separated.
  • Customers are contacts who have purchased something from you.
  • Prospects are contacts who have signed up for a mailing list but may also be customers.
  • Click search
  • Scroll down to “Hitlist Action” and choose “Export List to CSV”
  • Verify/change the email address
  • Change the job label to “Prospects” or “Customers”. The label will be the “subject” of the email that is sent to you.
  • Click submit
  • A download link will be emailed to you. Be sure to download and save that file right away.
  • Backup/Download Autoresponder Lists
    1. Log into 1sc
    2. Go to Contacts -> Search, Edit, Add
    3. Scroll down to “Autoresponder or Newsletter:” and select the autoresponder you need to save (do one at a time as the csv file does not distinguish which contacts go with which autoresponder).
    4. Click search
    5. Scroll down to “Hitlist Action” and choose “Export List to CSV”
    6. Verify/change the email address
    7. Change the job label to the name of the autoresponder or something that else that is more helpful to you. The label will be the “subject” of the email that is sent to you.
    8. Click submit
    9. A download link will be emailed to you. Be sure to download and save that file right away.

    Now with these lists you have to be careful not to break CAN-SPAM laws. I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, so please don’t ask me for any legal advice. :)  I will say this: if someone did not sign up for your newsletter, ie. they signed up as an affiliate only, do not add them to your new newsletter list. That’s just not cool, nor is it legal.

    You can import your contact lists into other newsletter systems like AWeber and MailChimp. Just let them know that the contacts gave you permission to email them from your original system, they might ask for proof and they might ask them to double opt-in no matter where you got the list.

    1ShoppingCart Increased Their Rates!? Alternatives For You

    Disclaimer: I will receive a small commission for the referrals I make in this blog post. They won’t make me a millionaire but they will help pay for my dog’s eating habits
    :)

    If you are a 1shoppingcart customer currently paying $99 a month for the “Professional Monthly” service you will (or may have already) receive(d) an email from them 7 days before your next renewal stating:

    Effective [immediately] your rate for the Professional Monthly service will be $129.

    That’s $30 USD more per month and for what? Here’s what:

    3 additional User Access seats (a $25 value) – Security and control. User Access allows you to provide access to contractors, staff and outside help with confidence.

    Upsell Express; multi-step (a $49 value) – Create upsell and downsell channels and increase your average order value with single-click sales.

    Well big deal! I didn’t ask for these features and I don’t want to pay another $30 a month for them either. Do you?

    Here are some alternatives:

    1. Stay with 1sc but downgrade your account from Professional to another level.

    You will lose your list of affiliates, affiliate software, digital downloads and upsells. If that’s not a big deal to you, then you can downgrade your account and not miss a thing. If you still need affiliate software and digital downloads see option #3 below.
    To downgrade your account you will have to call them. 1-888-792-1961, Mon-Fri, 8am to 8pm EST.

    2. Stay with 1sc but upgrade to the annual account before the price goes up May 1st, 2012 and save $549.

    You are currently paying the monthly rate of $99/month right? If you upgrade to an annual plan before May 1st, you’ll pay $999 for the year. If you don’t upgrade to the annual plan and stay with the monthly charge of $129, you will end up paying a total of $1548 this upcoming year!

    To update your account log into 1sc, then go to My Account -> Renew/Upgrade and choose “Professional Annual $999.00”

    [caption id=”attachment_2973” align=”aligncenter” width=”519” caption=”Upgrade to the Professional Annual plan and save $549”][/caption]

    3. Downgrade your 1sc account (option #1 above) and use these WordPress plugins instead of 1sc's affiliate software and digital download service.

    WordPress Affiliate Platform Plugin monitors clicks and conversions, add your product/company Ads, banners and links. It integrates with PayPal, eShop, Shopp plugin, WP Shopping Cart, GetShopped/Instinct’s, PHPurchase/Cart66, WooCommerce and E-Junkie (it does not integrate with 1sc). It’s quite a deal at the flat rate price of $49.95 and works fabulously with the WordPress eStore plugin.

    WordPress eStore plugin will deliver your digital products to your customers via a “thank you” page and email sent to them immediately. All download links are secure, meaning the link will be encrypted so no one will know where your digital products are stored on your site and you can specify how many hours the generated download link is valid so that product download links are not shared around the web. It integrates with PayPal, 2Checkout and Authorize.net to gather payments and AWeber, MailChimp and GetResponse to gather email addresses. This plugin is available at the flat rate price of $49.95, or you can buy both the WordPress eStore plugin and the  WordPress Affiliate Platform Plugin for a flat rate of $79.95.

    How do you feel about 1ShoppingCart’s new Professional package?

    Don’t Miss a Meeting Next Week Due to Daylight Saving Time!

    On Sunday March 11, 2012 most of Canada, Mexico and the United States will change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time. Whereas other parts of the world ie. Europe, don’t change their clocks to observe Daylight Saving Time until March 25th.

    Make sure you have the right time for your meetings next week by using one of my favourite tools: World Clock Meeting Planner: http://timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html

    Once the time change is in place you can “Google” the word “time” and the name of the city you need to know the time for, ie: “time London”. This will give you the current time in that city.

    WordPress Themes - How, What and Where when researching new themes

    As you can imagine my team is constantly looking for new WordPress themes for our clients. Whether our clients are creating a brand new site or looking for a fresh new look for their existing site, it is always time consuming to research a new theme.

    Before researching new themes you might want to take some time and answer the following questions:

    • What’s your style? Simple? Classy? Fresh? Funky? Cartoony :) ?
    • What are the needs of your target market?
      • Do they generally have poor eyesight? In this case stay away from dark backgrounds with light coloured fonts. Don’t worry about the font size, this can be customized in any theme.
      • Do they get distracted easily? My ADD Coaching friends tell me that their target market requires simple and fresh sites with just a handful of clicking options and minimal images. In this case you want the opposite of what a typical television news station site has going on!
    • Will you need a site that neatly displays videos? Then look for a site that features videos.
    • Are you a photographer? You’ll need a site that shows off your creative work. A clean simple theme would be ideal to show off your colourful and detailed images.
    • Are you a retailer, spa or salon? Then I suggest choosing a theme that will show off images of your store, spa or salon. Those researching spas tend to look for a spa that is clean and zen-like. So you’ll want to convey that on your site by featuring photos of spa.

    Below are my go to sites for new themes. (They are linked with my affiliate links. I will receive a $10-$30 commission if you buy one.)

    When you begin researching themes be sure to click on “live preview” or “demo” to see the theme in action. It’s so much better than looking at screenshots.

    • Solostream - I love their themes. At first look the themes might seem like “TOO MUCH” however you can remove pieces from the theme when you use it, such as advertisements, some of the widgets in the footer and sidebar.
      Their themes tend to have a nice clean white background which I think is easy on the eyes.
      I’m using the WP-Glide theme on www.WPBlogsites.com. I’ve removed some pieces and customized the colours.
    • iThemes - iThemes offers over 100 themes and in a variety of colours. You’ll find everything from business themes to wedding themes to photographer themes to themes created for e-commerce.
    • ElegantThemes - I’ve recently fell in love with ElegantThemes as their themes are clean, simple and fresh. They are perfect if you are looking to remove the “fluff” and only put the “necessities” on your site. I call this “blog detoxing”. :)
    • ThemeForest - Their themes are really cool too. You’ll find a great variety there. Their themes average $35 each. Just be sure you are researching WordPress themes as they also offer templates for other platforms.

    So there you have it! What to consider before researching a new WordPress theme, what to do when researching a theme and my favourite places to research new themes and why! Enjoy!

    If you have any questions be sure to ask me in the comments below.

    Paid Leads, Higher Retention and Higher Conversions. Who is in?

    What business owner doesn’t want paid leads, high retention and high conversions? Of course you want it all! So here’s what I’ve been researching my heart out on and I’m bringing the knowledge back to you. Nano continuity sites is where it is at! Enjoy!

    A nano continuity site is a small membership site with low work on your side but great value to members.

    Traditional membership sites offer a ton of content a month however this is overwhelming members and overwhelming the membership owners. Imagine trying to pump out new content each month?

    With a nano continuity site you offer something of value every week or every other week. What you offer is on a smaller scale then what you would offer in a traditional membership site. Some examples are:

    • book reviews every other week
    • a list of available jobs for your target market
    • a list of businesses that are for sale
    • a mini lesson on how to build your dream business every week

    Your creativity is the limit.

    Nano continuity sites are priced low ($4.95-$9.95 a month). The low price becomes a “no-brainer” for buyers and therefor converts faster and better than traditional membership sites. Retention is also higher as no one wants to miss out on something just because they wanted to save $5 one month.

    Your nano continuity site becomes a great way to gather paid leads and it’s a great place to point new newsletter subscribers or promote when you speak at events, both online and offline.

    I LOVE this type of membership site so much that I created my own: Plugged In Playground. My nano continuity site offers a full plugin review every other week. Members get:

    • A full review of a really awesome plugin (video).
    • The full step by step installation instructions (video).
    • The full list of benefits and features the plugin provides (video).
    • The direct link to download or review the plugin.
    • The opportunity to ask questions and get your answers underneath each of the videos.

    Check out the Plugged In Playground at http://wpblogsites.com/playground/

    If you want to create your own nano continuity site check out Ryan Lee’s Nano Continuity Training Program. It’s the program I used to help put together my nano site.

    If you need help setting up your nano continuity site my team is here to help!

    Watch the best WordPress Plugins in Action Before you Install Them on Your Blogsite!

    Are you wasting time researching and playing with WordPress plugins and getting no where fast?

    Do you avoid adding new WordPress plugins to your site because you are not sure what it is they do exactly and you are afraid to add them to your live site?

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could watch a full plugin review of WordPress plugins hand picked by Plugin-Aholic Sandra De Freitas, including…

    • a demonstration of what the plugin does
    • what benefits it offers to your business and your users
    • how to install it
    • how to configure it
    • a place to ask your questions about the plugins

    What if you could view the plugin videos on your computer but also on your mobile devices such as your iPhone and iPad?

    Sound good? Is it the answer to your  dreams?

    For only $4.95 a month, it can be yours! ;)

    Check it out at http://wpblogsites.com/playground/

    Episode #3: My Top 3 Favourite WordPress Plugins

    In this episode I covered 3 of my favourite plugins. I demonstrate each plugin, tell you why I like them, how to install them and how to configure them.

    Are you ready to stop wasting your time researching and playing with plugins? Do you want expert advice on the best WordPress plugins around? Check out Plugged In Playground where we review a new plugin every other week.

    Watch live streaming video from wpblogsites at livestream.com