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Archive of posts with the Business topic

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for Google Analytics

by Drew Strojny on November 20, 2014 / Leave a comment

Google Analytics offers a multitude of data-related features for websites serving nearly any imaginable purpose and targeting all kinds of audiences. And best of all, you can start using it today, free of charge!

There are numerous helpful tutorials on the Web that show you how to use the different tools in Google Analytics. At the end of this post, we’ll direct you to some Google Analytics-related articles that we think are relevant and practical for WordPress users.

But before you start perusing the pie charts, line graphs, and spreadsheets available in the application’s UI, it’s important to figure out what to monitor. Otherwise, you could face information overload – not to mention a lot of time tracking metrics that have little to do with your goals.

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Selecting an effective business WordPress theme

by Scott Rollo on November 6, 2014 / Leave a comment

Identifying the perfect WordPress theme for your business website requires time, tenacity, and – this one might surprise you – restraint.

While there’s a seemingly endless array of gorgeous WordPress themes at your disposal, choosing one isn’t a decision you should base solely on aesthetics. A business website, after all, doesn’t exist just to look nice; it’s a tool that should help you generate revenue.

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To choose a custom WordPress theme… or not.

by Drew Strojny on October 23, 2014 / Leave a comment

Earlier this year, we published a post about how to find the best WordPress themes, whether free or premium. That post speaks to some of the issues you’re likely to encounter as you scour the Web for themes. It provides guidance on subjects like:

  • where to search for free themes and how to identify the highest quality (and most secure) choices among them
  • the difference between theme marketplaces and independent theme shops
  • how to gauge the quality of a WordPress theme provider

However, one thing we don’t cover in that post is why you might prefer a readymade free or premium theme to a custom WordPress design, or vice versa. There’s the obvious response to that question – that everyone would prefer a custom theme if they could afford it – but we think the initial cost difference isn’t the only issue. There’s so much more to the story!

Whether to invest in custom design is a question many bloggers, freelancers, and small businesses using WordPress wrestle with. Let’s look beyond upfront cost and consider all of the factors that should influence this important decision.

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Is managed WordPress hosting worth the extra cost?

by Drew Strojny on July 1, 2014 / 4 comments

Managed WordPress hosting

Given WordPress’s status as the web’s most popular self-hosted blogging platform, it’s no surprise that the managed WordPress hosting business is booming.

For a monthly fee up to seven times the cost of shared hosting, many providers offer feature-rich hosting packages built especially for WordPress users. The question, of course, is whether extra features warrant the extra cost.

Here, we’ll discuss why you might opt for managed WordPress hosting. We’ll also look at some popular shared hosts, compare their plans to WordPress-centric alternatives, and help you determine which hosting arrangement best suits your needs.

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How to be more productive

by Drew Strojny on January 3, 2014 / 8 comments

Girl sitting in a cafe trying to be productive

For the past month I’ve been learning how to be more productive. It’s amazing how unproductive I can be with readily available distractions. First, I broke down the core things I do online (mostly related to work and the internet) into three broad categories based on what I was actually doing.

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Increase your conversion rate with stories

by Drew Strojny on October 31, 2013 / 3 comments

You’re in a new city and looking to grab dinner. You walk by a busy restaurant. You see customers laughing and having a good time. You glance at the restaurant across the street and see one couple by the window. Otherwise, the place looks deserted. Where are you eating?

This is commonly referred to in psychology circles as social proof. In summary, human beings seem to be hardwired to look to their peers for guidance. This groupthink probably served us well in prehistoric times. You see others in the group start to run, so you start running too. If you stop to look, you might be dinosaur lunch.

So, what does social proof have to do with increasing conversion rates?

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Where are the weak spots in your business?

by Drew Strojny on October 3, 2013 / Comments are closed

You might be aware of weak spots in your business, but are you being honest with yourself about them?

When you first start a business, it’s usually just you, or maybe you and a co-founder. You do almost everything: sales, marketing, product development, design, customer service, budgets, hiring, etc.

To have a moderately successful business, you need to be good in at least a few of these areas, but it’s really rare for any person to be great in all of these areas. It’s a common scenario: a developer who builds great software and provides stellar support, but doesn’t know much about marketing. A marketer who knows how to sell and drive business, but really doesn’t understand product development or design.

To be a great business over the long term you need to be great in all of those areas. Otherwise, you’re struggling against your competition with a hand tied behind your back. This is one reason why multiple co-founders with complementary skills can work so well. But, what if you’re a single founder or you have co-founders with similar skills?

Most business owners eventually become somewhat aware of their business weak spots over time. For me, this meant going through two distinct phases.

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What makes you different?

by Drew Strojny on September 5, 2013 / 4 comments

You might be talking about what you do, or how you do it, but are you talking about how you do it differently?

Earlier this week I was confirming a sponsorship for The Theme Foundry. I was responding to this question over email: “What are the key things you want me to say about your business?”. I gave it some thought and came up with the following:

  • We’ve been selling WordPress themes since 2008 and have over 30,000 customers. We’re obsessed with building the best WordPress themes, and plan on being around for a long time.
  • We work with world-class designers like Jon Hicks, Veerle Pieters, Dave Ruiz, and Ryan Essmaker. It’s rare to have your website template designed by one of the best in the world.
  • We take pride in the details and value quality over quantity. That’s why we have a small focused collection of WordPress themes. We truly care about building great products.
  • We’re an exclusive partner with the official hosted WordPress provider, WordPress.com, and we sell our themes on that platform. This means each and every theme goes through a stringent audit process from some of the best themers in the world. You can rest assured our WordPress themes are well coded and secure.
  • We practice whole team support. You’ll get fast and friendly customer support in our Help Center from the people that actually build our themes. You won’t be interacting with a part time support rep. If you have a question about the new Backbone.js powered fast page loading in Collections, you’ll likely chat with Zack, the guy who actually built it.

After sending the email, I sat back and thought about it for a minute. Wait! Why aren’t we talking about this on our website!? Each one of these unique characteristics is a selling point. It’s a difference maker. It could convince someone our themes are right for them.

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You don’t need sharing buttons

by Drew Strojny on July 31, 2013 / 5 comments

Sharing buttons seem like an obvious way to increase engagement, but do you really need them?

We often hear from customers who want to integrate sharing functionality into their WordPress powered website. They’ve heard it’s important to give readers options for sharing their content. This often takes the form of countless buttons plastered on every blog post. This makes some sense on the surface, but I seriously question how important it is to provide sharing options.

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Website navigation menus: Why less is more

by Drew Strojny on July 24, 2013 / 6 comments

Your navigation is an important part of your website, and it might be hurting more than it’s helping.

You’ve got lots of important information to share on your website. Organizing it all can be a challenge. So you slowly start adding more and more menu items. Drop down menus become your best friend. More menu items are better, right?

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