At least one website you visited today is powered by WordPress. In all likelihood, most of your favorite sites utilize the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). Perhaps your business runs on it too.
According to WordPress, across its network of sites, “Over 409 million people view more than 15.8 billion pages each month.” Furthermore, “Users produce about 43.7 million new posts and 58.8 million new comments each month.”
More content is created than audiences can handle. The challenge for entrepreneurs, then, is to find an underserved segment of consumers that would love nothing more than what you have to offer, whether it is blog posts, products or services.
Fortunately, you won’t need to build everything from scratch. In fact, a powerful website is possible even if you are a non-technical founder. To take your business to the next level with WordPress, here are seven outstanding plugins you will want to install immediately.
There is more to your audience than pure page views. Metrics such as engagement time and return rate are now tracked more closely as we enter an age of holistic analytics.
Chartbeat’s real-time analytics suite enables you to better understand reader behavior to make smarter decisions about what you can do to both capture and offer the most value during audience visits. With it, hopefully, you can begin responding to reader activity with solutions to keep them on site longer, visiting more pages and converting more often.
Spam’s persistence threatens to ruin the web. It is everywhere.
While smart filters and blockers protect you from getting duped by the seemingly honorable Nigerian Prince and his innocent business proposal, you might not even be aware of the spam that lives within your own website.
Built by the team at Search Engine Journal, LinkPatrol aims to help site owners analyze, manage and fix outgoing links to ensure your readers only end up clicking things that add to their reading experience and so you avoid getting on Google’s bad side, which can be pretty ugly.
Email has always been the ugly stepchild of marketing. It’s not as ego-inflating as public relations, and it’s surely not as novel as social media. That said, email marketing holds a valuable seat at the table due to its very intimate opt-in nature, which makes you confident that your lead is genuinely interested in engaging with your brand further.
A product of Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster allows you to instantly build and deploy compelling opt-in forms for your site. Advanced capabilities include page-specific targeting, A/B testing and built-in analytics.
While a simple (and free) Google form can do you a lot of good, many businesses choose Polldaddy to take advantage of its more powerful and sophisticated survey capabilities.
With it, you can learn a thing or two from your audience when you build engaging surveys which ultimately give you the sorts of responses you need, in an easy-to-manipulate way, to make better informed decisions about product development, customer success and more.
Built by my company, Shareaholic’s fully integrated content marketing suite includes a Related Content app and Social Share Buttons. These tools make it seamless to boost reader engagement and social media traffic.
By algorithmically surfacing contextually relevant articles your audience is most likely to engage with, the Related Content app works to drive targeted traffic to the best content within your website. Those recommendations lead to longer visitor time-on-site and increased page views per visit. Shareaholic’s customizable Share Buttons also stand out, encouraging your users to become active promoters of your content.
For product-based businesses, WooCommerce is perfect. You can take an average WordPress site and turn it into an ecommerce machine.
WooCommerce is developed by the folks at WooThemes, a veteran within the WordPress community. The plugin’s flexibility and expansive extension store allows you to sell anything. Best of all, it helps manage payments, shipping options, inventory management, reporting, marketing and tax, so you can worry about the fun stuff, such as designing your next blockbuster product.
In an increasingly mobile world, we all have to remember the importance of responsive design. A report from eMarketer suggests, “4.55 billion people worldwide will use a mobile phone in 2014.” By 2017, 33.8 percent of our global population will be smartphone users.
A significant number of your visitors already spend a large chunk of their time browsing the web on their mobile devices. Fortunately, solutions such as WPtouch help make your site fully responsive, for both smartphone and tablet users. WPtouch also offers a wide variety of extensions so you can further enhance the mobile browsing experience for your visitors and capture more value from your hard-earned traffic.
INSTAGRAM LAUNCHES A LITE APP FOR LOW-END ANDROID DEVICES
Instagram has released a lightweight version of its Android app that should be easier to install and browse on devices short on storage space and on spotty connections.
TechCrunch notes that the new app, which weighs in at just 573KB, is 1/55th the size of the original app at 33MB. Naturally, you’ll find it a little lighter on functionality too: there’s no messaging or the ability to upload videos right now.
The launch is part of Facebook’s approach to reaching the next billion people who will come online for the first time in developing countries, mostly using low-cost mobile devices with limited access to connectivity and data.
Making its apps more easier to download and perform well on low-end devices is key to growing its user base around the world. To that end, Facebook made Lite versions of its apps for its social network and Messenger available years ago. Twitter has one too, and Google recently launched an optimized version of Android – complete with a suite of its essential apps – to address these needs in emerging markets.
Instagram’s been on a roll lately. It added 300 million users in a little over a year to reach 1 billion last week, and has tacked on loads more features to its service recently, including group video calls, support for longer videos in what it’s calling IGTV, tools for curating saved posts, and improving discovery.
Source: The NextWeb
SCAMMERS ABUSE MULTILINGUAL DOMAIN NAMES
Cyber-criminals are abusing multilingual character sets to trick people into visiting phishing websites.
The non-English characters allow scammers to create “lookalike” sites with domain names almost indistinguishable from legitimate ones.
Farsight Security found scam sites posing as banks, loan advisers and children’s brands Lego and Haribo.
Smartphone users are at greater risk as small screens make lookalikes even harder to spot.
The Farsight Security report looked at more than 100 million domain names that use non-English character sets – introduced to make the net more familiar and usable for non-English speaking nations – and found about 27% of them had been created by scammers.
It also uncovered more than 8,000 separate characters that could be abused to confuse people.
Farsight founder Paul Vixie, who wrote much of the software underpinning the net’s domain names told the BBC: “Any lower case letter can be represented by as many as 40 different variations.”
And many internationalised versions added just a tiny fleck or mark that was not easy to see.
Eldar Tuvey, founder and head of security company Wandera, said it had also seen an upsurge in phishing domains using different ways of forming characters.
In particular, it had seen an almost doubling of the number of scam domains created using an encoding system called punycode over the past few months.
And phishing gangs were using messages sent via mobile apps to tempt people into clicking on the similar-looking links.
“They are targeting specific groups,” Mr Tuvey said.
And research had established people were three times more likely to fall for a phishing scam presented on their phone.
“To phish someone, you just have to fool them once,” Mr Tuvey said. “Tricking them into installing malware is much more work.”
INSTAGRAM’S NEW LONG-FORM VIDEO HUB IGTV TAKES ON YOUTUBE
Prepare to spend a lot more time on Instagram.
The Facebook ()-owned platform is rolling out a new hub for long-form, vertical video. Instagram announced the new feature at a press event on Wednesday.
The hub, called IGTV, will live within the regular Instagram app. It will also get its own standalone app in the coming days.
Anyone will be able to post to IGTV, but Instagram users with 10,000 followers or more will be able to post videos up to an hour long. Users with fewer followers can post up to 10 minutes of video. Instagram video posts were previously capped at 60 seconds.
The company has tapped celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West and Selena Gomez who will be among the first to upload longer-form content to their accounts on Wednesday.
In addition to IGTV, CEO Kevin Systrom announced a company milestone: 1 billion monthly active users now use Instagram, up from 800,000 active users in September.
IGTV is reminiscent of Snapchat’s Discover page, which features stories from publishers and creators, and curated posts from itscommunity. Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, launched Discover in 2015 with a number of media partners, including CNN and Buzzfeed. It paid licensing fees to publishers up until recently when it reportedly shifted to an ad-based model only.
“Ads will not be part of IGTV at launch, but we’ll be exploring and test ways to help creators monetize after launch,” a spokesperson told CNNMoney.
Analysts are also comparing IGTV to Google-owned video platform YouTube.
According to media and technology analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG, Instagram users were already using its Stories feature to link out to YouTube to direct followers to longer-form videos.
“Now, Instagram can keep that in-house, and drive greater engagement and time spent,” Greenfield told CNNMoney. “I think this is a natural evolution from pictures to video, to stories and now to long-form video to capture as much human attention as possible.”
Instagrammers are spending more time than ever looking at photos, videos and memes, the company previously told CNNMoney. Users under the age of 25 now spend more than 32 minutes each day on the platform, while users age 25 and older use the app for more than 24 minutes.
While IGTV may lead people to spend more time on Instagram, Systrom previously promised to roll out a tool that will tally time spent on its app.
“Any time should be positive and intentional,” he tweeted last month.