A few weeks ago, Font Awesome launched a series of icons to increase “corona awareness”. The “solid” or filled symbols are free to download. The regular, non-colored or two-tone colored icons must be paid for.
The aim of the series is to provide websites and apps with a means to raise awareness about the global pandemic. In the last updated version, 47 new symbols have been added that depict hygienic activities such as hand washing. Other icons indicate viruses and social distance storage. There are even a few pictures of toilet paper (because these are apparently necessary in this world where panic buying is a new concept).
“Based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, you will find symbols that communicate good hygiene and social distance keeping,” wrote Jory Raphael, head of icon design at Font Awesome. “We can’t be on the front lines and act like the brave medical professionals around the world do, so we hope these icons help communicate some of the most important things people can do to protect themselves and their communities.”
The symbols were originally requested a few weeks ago at Font Awesome’s Github repository. The design team acted diligently to make them available. There are additional requests for liquid and solid soap.
Like all Font Awesome symbols, the series is available as part of a package or individually downloadable in SVG format. Below you can see the current available icons:
Users of Font Awesome’s WordPress plugin should have unrestricted access to the string. The plugin uses the external Font Awesome CDN or kits from the latter. Users can also choose from various icon libraries (which also include the corona symbols). On our website you can also find information about other free plugins for WordPress.
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There’s and endless choice of WordPress themes in all shapes and sizes. Looking for a good free WordPress theme is like looking for a needle in a haystack. That is why we list the best free WordPress themes for you every year. In this article you’ll find our review for the best free WordPress themes of 2018.
Focus points for good free WordPress themes in 2018
For 2018, the most important focus point is: mobile user-friendliness. Search engines, such as Google, attach more and more value to website performance on mobile devices. So, always test a free WordPress theme on a mobile phone. When you do this, pay special attention to the alignment of texts and images, but also check to see if a page opens directly and displays the most important text first.
In the past, there was the risk of finding malware in free WordPress themes. Luckily, the control mechanisms have now improved strongly on the most important market places for WordPress websites, and such practices are being dealt with as soon as they are uncovered. Still, the safety of your WordPress theme remains of great importance. So, only download/buy your WordPress themes at reputable WordPress theme providers.
Nothing comes for free. A free WordPress theme is free for a reason. For example, because the provider hopes you’ll buy one of his products in the future. Or he’ll offer an extended version of the free theme at additional cost. So, make sure the free WordPress theme contains all the features you need, otherwise you’ll end up paying for the theme later on.
Maintenance and support
With a free WordPress theme, you don’t have to expect any long continuing development or good support from the developer. Which makes sense, since the theme is free. So, are you looking for a WordPress theme you can build on for years to come? Then it might be wise to spend a few euro’s on a recommended payed WordPress theme.
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The number of coaches and trainers in the Netherlands is growing. Over the past years we have had various coaches and trainers as customers and have advised them on how to set up their websites. In this article we’ll give you our take on websites for coaches and trainers and how coaches can make optimal use of WordPress.
A number of links in this article are embedded with an affiliate code.
Tip 1. Tell your story
You could look at many of today’s trainers and coaches as modern ministers. They help customers with spiritual and practical questions. Questions you used to take to a minister you now take to a coach. The minister has his pulpit. Trainers and coaches have a blog. In the blog trainers and coaches can elaborate on issues they come across and the answers they have. There is room to go into the philosophy behind their coaching methods.
Tip 2. Stop the sales, go help people!
Services make up a prominent part of many coach’s and trainer’s websites. What are you selling your clients? This is useful when people already know the coach and want to know what they can do for them. We’ve noticed that many trainers and coaches expect that a product website will also attract new customers. Often this isn’t very realistic. There are many trainers and coaches. There aren’t many people who want to be coached by an unknown coach or hire an unknown trainer. A website visitor needs to come to trust that the trainer/coach has the right answers to the questions the they are asking.
So trainers and coaches, use your website to win your client’s trust. Use your blog to share your knowledge so that you can engage your client and help them. Once they feel like you’ve helped them, they will feel connected and commercial transactions will come naturally.
Tip 3. Be patient
Most trainers and coaches probably want the same thing that our other customers want: fast results. They want new clients, now. That’s not how websites work. Most people and organisations that are successful online have been investing for years. They’ve built a faithful following after years of hard work. In the end, this is where your paid work comes from. We advise trainers and coaches to think in terms of a timespan of a few years. Use this time to share your knowledge and help your followers. Trust that the commercial work will come in time.
Rens Kroes’ website
Tip 4. Keep it simple
Most Dutch people will have heard of Rens Kroes. And Karin from Koken met Karin (Cooking with Karin). These women have helped their readers eat better. They’ve been doing that for years. Often they started out selflessly, because they had a passion to help people eat good, healthy food. Typically these food blogs have a very simple aesthetic. The blogs almost look amateuristic. The focus is entirely on the content and this breeds trust.
Tip 5. Be personal
This is a tip we give everyone on the internet. Use pictures and video’s to tell who you are and what you stand for. This way the website visitor gets to know you and comes to trust you and your services.
Tip 6. Spread your services
Not everyone needs personal coaching or wants to hire a trainer. Training and coaching are specific ways to help. There are people who would rather read a book, listen to a lecture or take part in a workshop. We advise trainers and coacher to offer services that fit each budget.
How can coaches use WordPress as CMS?
WordPress is perfect for blogging and coaches can use this platform to share their knowledge and insights.
Tip 1. WordPress.com as Software as a Service
WordPress.com is a Software as a Service (SaaS). That means you can set up a website yourself without having to consider hosting and maintenance. WordPress.com is fine to use when you want to set up a blog and it’s okay if it is simple. The advantage of a website via WordPress is that this solution is cheap (starting at $99 per year). You don’t have to be particularly handy and you can get your website online quickly. You don’t have to worry about hosting and maintenance. A disadvantage is that you cannot use all WordPress plugins and themes. And you are not the owner of the website code.
In the following tips we assume that you have used an open-source version of WordPress and that you have installed it via a hosting company on your own server.
Tip 2. Use a free theme
Because of the simplicity of the website you may choose to use a free WordPress theme from the WordPress theme catalogue. The free themes often have a freemium business model: the basics are free. You will pay via a Premium version if you want more functionalities. Advantage is that you can set up a professional website with little money. Disadvantage is that you are responsible for hosting and maintenance yourself.
Tip 3. Thrive Themes voor websites with conversion
Thrive Themes integrate themes with conversion driven functionalities, which gives you everything in one. With themes like Rise and Storied Thrive Themes has a number of themes that are suited to blogging for coaches. Read our blogreview over Thrive Themes.
Tip 4. Use a populair and flexible WordPress theme
We are also very enthusiastic about the Enfold theme/framework. We use it for a great number of the websites we develop. There are various demo’s available for Enfold. One of them is a lifestyle blog that can be easily used for blogging by coaches.
Tip 6. Storytelling
A populair development coaches can make use of is storytelling. Storytelling is being used by more and more newspaper and magazine websites. Consider using the Aesop Story Engine for example.
Tip 7. Take care of good hosting
You will need a good hosting company for any solution that involves installing WordPress on your own server.
WP Engine; we work with the American company WP Engine. Advantage is that you have a professional environment at your disposal where you can make WordPress installations at the click or a button. WP Engine starts at $ 29 a month.
Tip 8. Skip WordPress use an alternative
WordPress is a fantastic systeem for a large community, but it’s not sacred. It has advantages and disadvantages. For a simple blog you could also consider an alternative like Ghost or Medium.
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Tips and tools for professional WordPress website development
We see more and more often that internet businesses choose to use WordPress as standard CMS to build websites. We also come across many freelancers, just starting out, who place their focus entirely on WordPress. In this article we will make an summary of the best tools, techniques and plugins for developing WordPress websites that we have picked up over the years – and that we wish someone had shown us ten years ago when we first started working with WordPress.
Over the years we’ve tested, used and thrown away lot of development tools. Which tools do we still use for developing WordPress websites?
Sublime/ Coda Everyone has their own favorite text editor, but there are two that really stand out for us: Sublime and Coda. An important advantage of Sublime (Windows / Mac) is that it is that it is easy to expand, while Coda (Mac) is already very complete. In both editors it’s possible to change files directly on the server. This makes doing small, quick changes very easy.
Maybe obvious, but maybe not at all. We use Filezilla daily for quick and secure FTP connections with our customer’s servers. Easy to use and ideal for quick changes. We do advise setting up a good version managed GIT workflow for bigger projects.
You can use Browserstack to virtually test a website on any imaginable device. Like all desktop browsers on multiple Windows and OSX versions, but also all known Android devices, iOS devices and tablets. This is ideal for responsive tests, because simulations for mobile devices in desktop browsers tend to lack details. Browserstack also offers a Chrome extension, that you can use to simulate any website you visit on a different platform.
This fantastic Chrome extension makes it possible to record a numbers of steps on your website (for example: “visit homepage, click on ‘contact’, scroll down, fill in form”). The operations in these records are then regularly run by Ghost Inspector. If there are any abnormal results (for example a page is missing or the layout is different) you will receive a notification.
Photoshop Although you can do a lot in WordPress itself, Adobe Photoshop remains indispensable to our work. This is the favorite software package of everyone of our team members who works on design.
Although every website is different, there are a few plugins that we use for every project. That is why we always install them for a new project. If we end up not using them we can always remove them:
This visual block builder is not available as separate plugin, but built into the Enfold theme (Dutch link). Very user friendly and makes it possible to build up content quickly.
The most comprehensive form building plugin we know, with conditional logic, import/export function, various notifications etc. Many themes take this plugin into account in their styling.
Make sure you have this plugin running before you upload your first image. That way you keep everything optimized.
Reduce spam on your website. Really a must-have.
Helps you fine tune your SEO settings globally, and to easily make changes per page, to things like title and meta-description.
There are many plugins for WordPress that simplify the development of your website. The most common plugins are listed here.
Password protected Protect your website with a password to prevent search engines and unwanted visitors from taking a look at your website before it’s ready.
Want to dig a little deeper into the code? The debug bar adds a button to your admin bar you can use to read various server variables, warnings,errors, queries and requests. The Actions and Filters Addon makes it possible to see which hooks were triggered on your page.
This plugin offers many of the same functionalities that the Debug Bar does, but also makes it possible to do targeted searches of the queries that were carried out, for example per plugin or kind of query, as well as sluggish performance.
Custom Post Types UI
With this plugin you can easily make extra custom posts types. WordPress offers a number of posts and pages, but you may need an extra post type at times, for example ‘books’ for a kind of library. When you have set up the post type this plugin will have to remain active. To keep the number of plugins at a minimum and thus your website performance optimum we prefer adding post types via GenerateWP(see the ‘Cheatsheets’ below).
Advanced Custom Fields By default, you have a limited number of fields at your disposal in a message, page or custom post.Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) adds all sorts of extra fields; date planners, color pickers, taxonomy links, fields for extra images, you name it. ACF also works very visually and intuitively, so that you can prepare even complicated custom post constructions without using a single line of code. To then be able to use all the custom fields and show them on a page you can use short codes, or change the templates.
FacetWP This plugin allows you to create different filters to expand the search option for messages, pages and custom posts. This way your visitors are not only able to fill in key words in the search bar, but can also click on taxonomies (categories or tags) in a drop down or a selection box, to further specify the search results. Very interesting for large databases, with, for example, thousands of articles. You can put FacetWP to work, just like ACF, by using short codes and templates.
Would you rather improve the standard search function in WordPress? Then SearchWP is our favourite This plugin indexes all of WordPress so that the results can be shown quicker. You can set the index to your own preferences. Choose, for example, which types of posts will be searched, which fields in a post are important or in fact irrelevant, whether or not to search for partial matches and much more.
P3 Profiler Is your website getting slower and slower? Use the P3 profiler to measure which plugins have the most impact on your load time. Sometimes it can help to get rid of a few plugins, to improve your website speed. Another solution is to choose super fastPremium WordPress hosting (Dutch link).
Broken link checker Before going live check to see if all the links on your website still work. Not missing anything, all external pages still available? You’ll get an e-mail if a link doesn’t work. You can even choose to have the check done regularly.
Redirection When you place your website online will you be replacing an old website?The older website has built up value in the search engines. To maintain as much of this value as possible you can redirect all the URL’s from the old website to the corresponding pages on the new website. This is a lot of work, but it is worth it. You can use the Redirection plugin, but in some cases a .htaccess file as well. Sometimes you can use one redirection rule to reroute multiple pages by using regular expressions (see the ‘Cheatsheets’ below) Dutch link.
There are many resources online dealing with developing websites, CSS procedures, WordPress tweaks, typography etc. Below you will find a handy overview of cheatsheets we’ve saved in our favorites. Always good to have on hand.
Golden Ratio Typography Calculator
Can’t figure out why your text is not very readable? Check your line spacing and font size with this tool. It will calculate the best line spacing, font size etc. based on things like the width of your content area.
Can I Use
Just found a nice new CSS-feature? Want to use HTML5? Usecom to check and see which browser can/can’t use this code. Sometimes caniuse.com even gives fallback tips for older browsers. Look up ‘border-radius’ and then check the tab resources for an example.
com/ RegExr Website finished and you want to quickly add a few redirect rules to your htaccess file? Or are you programming and need to filter by pattern? If you are not familiar with regular expressions they can be headache inducing. txt2re.com helps by entering a string you want to match (for example an e-mail address, URL, telephone number or just a sentence). The tool generates suggestions of what a regular expression should look like. RegExr turns it around: input your regular expression and a piece of text and the tool shows you which parts of your example text match.
A fantastically simple website that gives you the HTML code to embed things like YouTube URLs responsively. Also works for Vimeo, DailyMotion, Google Maps, Instagram, Vine, Getty Images and a normal iFrames.
Is the syntax of your website built according to the standards? The validator from W3 helps answer this question. Don’t let all the warnings scare you, a website that is 100% perfect is still just an illusion, especially when you work with themes and plugins. And yet, making fewer mistakes in your code makes your website more findable by search engines. A first tip: tick the box in WordPress ‘Automatically correct invalidly nested XHTML’ under General > Writing.
Need an extra custom post type for your website? Or want to add additional taxonomies to your page? GenerateWP walks you through a wizard and then gives you the code to place in the functiphp of your theme, super simple!
A helpful overview of all API’s available for the WordPress core. Your code will be much more durable if you use these kinds of APIs. For example, by writing and and reading files via WordPress’s File system API your code will be better compatible with various server platforms.
This website makes an attempt to inventory all the hooks for WordPress. You will also find all the actions and filters from a growing number of plugins and theme’s. This website has become a great resource for the better known plugins.
Wcom/ WP Sniffer
These two tools help you browse other peoples WordPress sites. You can see which theme is activated and what kind of plugins are running on the website. The picture it paints is not always complete, but it can help you find a underlying theme you like.
Google Fonts/ Adobe Typekit A few years ago it wasn’t possible for all web browsers, but these days, in theory, it is possible to use almost every font on your WordPress website (which doesn’t mean that all fonts are ideal, load quickly or are readable on your website). Google fonts offers a growing selection of free fonts that you can use. If you are looking for a very specific font then Adobe Typekit may be a better option. You will pay an annual price, depending on the font. Lastly, you can turn your own fonts into web fonts. With the Webfont generator by Font Squirrel, for example.
To keep the ball rolling for larger projects there is almost no escaping teamwork. The following tools really help us develop our WP websites in team.
The complete suite of Google services is also provided for companies under the name ‘Google Apps’. E-mail, agenda’s, hangouts, analytics and contacts all run on user-friendly Google software, but under your own domain. Various extensions for Gmail (like Labelizer) make it possible to share e-mails within your team by using labels. We use this tool as task system at the moment.
LastPass (Enterprise) Indispensable when it comes to the safe keeping of your login details and those of your clients. Thanks to LastPass Enterprise we can also easily share logins within the team or change them safely. Very affordable and used by large companies like MailChimp and
GitLab To keep self-written code orderly and simple, we use GitLab as a version management system. GitLab is really a kind of open source GitHub alternative you can host yourself. By using GitLab multiple team members can work on the same project without getting in each other’s way.
Toggl A good timesheet isn’t just something your customers will appreciate; it helps you get better at estimating where the most time goes in a project. That’s why we use Toggl to track the hours we spend on a project. That way we can see, per project, if we are on schedule with our hours or if we need to make changes. Above all, customers gain insight in the time that was spent and how. Time tracking isn’t fun to do, but it is important.
Teamwork Projects For project management we used to use Basecamp Classic, a relatively old system (in internet terms). At a certain pointBasecamp Classic stopped meeting our needs because it wasn’t further developed. Teamwork Projects made it possible to transfer our entire archive from Basecamp Classic, so that we could keep all the history of our projects. Colleagues and customers can get access per project. There are to-do lists, where each task can be assigned to a colleague or customer. You can confer with all involved parties per task. You can share files, messages and important milestones.
The WordPress landscape is constantly under development. To stay informed regarding new features, as well as upcoming changes, we recommend you put these websites in your bookmarks or subscribe to their mailinglists.
Now that we have covered all kinds of tools, techniques, plugins and tips for WordPress, we would like to emphasize the most important tip we like to give WordPress professionals: keep it simple! Especially when you’re thinking of using a technically clever solution, always ask yourself: ‘is this not already lying around somewhere?’. Often the answer is yes, and your customers will be happy they don’t have to pay for re-inventing the wheel. This will also enable you to spend more of your budget on making sure the content of the WordPress website is just right, and that is often more valuable to your client.
Do you use tools we haven’t named? Let us know in a response below!
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In one week, three different people enthusiastically suggested ThriveThemes to us. It was time for a review: did we miss something? (Yes, we did!)
ThriveThemes is a company that offers themes and plugins that help you achieve a higher conversion on your website: like inviting your website visitor to become a reader of your newsletter. This way, you build a relationship with your readers, which allows you to convince them to become one of your customers. This makes ThriveThemes a good provider, especially if you want online results and you’re not afraid to do a bit of marketing. Below we will briefly discuss their themes, content builder ad leads plugin. These three elements form a complete and conversion-focused WordPress platform.
Some links in this article contain affiliate code. When you are a customer of Sowmedia you can use Thrive for free.
The themes from ThriveThemes have simple designs, and focus on conversion. If you are looking for a theme that contains the latest innovations in design, then ThriveThemes is not what you are looking for. Are you looking for a fast website, that is easily made and focusses on online results? Continue reading.
The advantages of a Thrive theme:
Light code and automatic image compression that allow your website to load faster. They use Kraken.io for this, which normally costs $9,- per month, but is included, so it’s a nice cost reduction and one plugin less.
You can indicate “targeted focus areas”. This means, elements that stand out, such as a special offer to your visitors. Or forms that generate more clicks, which you can link to your favorite mailing list.
The readability of the themes has been optimized with enough white space and large, clear, legible letters.
The themes contain a landing page in the same design style, but without any of the website items. So, the header, navigation, links, sidebars and footer widgets don’t show, to keep the visitor from being distracted.
Completely mobile responsive and suitable for retina. Fonts, columns and icons scale nicely when changing screen size.
Fast loading social sharing buttons
Fast loading related messages, because they don’t generate while visiting the message, but while saving the message
The Thrive Content Builder allows you to edit your website at the front end. This means, you can see what a text is going to look like while you’re typing. So, What You See is really What You Get. At first, it takes a bit of fidgeting to get the element in the right place. But practice makes perfect. You can use the Thrive Content Builder in any theme, so also when it’s not a theme from Thrive. For people with HTML knowledge, it is possible to see the entre code in HTML. You don’t really need this, but it can give you more insight, which is nice if you know how to work with HTML. The HTML code is very clean, by the way.
The elements included in the Thrive Content Builder are:
Lists with bullet points in various designs
Embedding Responsive Video
Easily building HTML tables
Feature Grids (blocks with images or icons)
Content Tabs & Toggles
Option to add Google Maps code
Stars for reviews
Automatic table of contents in a page
Adding your own HTML & CSS
As you can see they have again chosen to not offer every functionality imaginable. If you are looking for a content builder with more and more enhanced functionalities, we always recommend Enfold or one of the themes from Elegant Themes. Are the abovementioned elements enough to show all your content, then the Thrive Content Builder is definitely recommendable. The great advantage of the Thrive Content Builder is that you immediately see the result. So, you don’t have to switch back and forth between the front and the back end. Also, it’s nice that the Thrive Content Builder offers several landing pages. These are pages without the regular elements, that focus entirely on getting results (for example: signing up for a course, newsletter, etc.). Sadly, it is not very extensive and the design can be a bit plain. So, I particularly recommend the Thrive Content Builder to those who are now using a rather user-unfriendly theme that doesn’t offer any nice conversion-focused elements.
Below I will show a short video on how to make a new page with the Thrive Content Builder.
With Thrive Leads you can create different opt-in forms and/or special offers with a drag and drop editor. Even if you are not using a Thrive Theme or Thrive Content Builder, this can be a very nice supplement to your current WordPress website. With Thrive Leads you can generate leads more easily by using ‘forms’. There are various forms:
A lightbox that opens on your page
At the top of your page a clear deal or offer.
In-Line Forms A form at the bottom of your page.
2 step opt-in form
This form will show in a light box, when you click a button.
This form slides into your page.
This way you place a form in a widget.
Targetting with Thrive Leads
hrough targeting, you can indicate where and when you want a form to show. For example, with all messages/pages, or just with a certain message category or only with a certain message/page. This is convenient, because you can create an offer that is relevant to the content shown. In Thrive Leads, you can see which are your most important messages (the ones that create the most traffic) and for those messages you can make a specific offer (also called “content-upgrade”).
A/B testing with Thrive Leads
With the A/B testing engine you can test different forms/offers. You can test different designs & content. You can test triggers, for example a popup after 3 seconds, or when the visitor as scrolled down 50%, or when it looks like the visitor is about to leave the page. Also, you can test the results of different form types. For example, a lightbox popup vs. a Slide-in form. The great thing is, that you can configure this all at once and then Thrive Leads automatically lets you pick a winner, as soon as enough data has been collected. In the video below, Thrive Leads is explained further.
Want to try ThriveThemes?
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Do you want to try ThriveThemes, Thrive Content Builder and/or Thrive Leads? When you are a customer of Sowmedia, you can use the whole package for free. Call us (010-4654444) or send us an e-mail. Not yet a customer? Get our premium hosting and you too will get the whole package for free. This way you save $147,- per year. Place a comment on your experience with Thrive below. We’d love to hear from you!
For a few years, we’ve been commenting the best places to buy WordPress themes. In the past, we tried to make a complete list of all the selling websites. That’s no longer possible. WordPress themes are now sold by tens of thousands of sellers on thousands of websites. An article like Where can I buy the best WordPress themes in 2013 (Dutch) can no longer be rewritten; we needed a new angle.
That is why we’ve selected a couple of websites that stand out to us. Websites we personally go to when we need a theme. This means we’ve kept a few well-known theme-providers out of the picture, because we didn’t think their WordPress themes to be attractive enough. On the other hand, we’ve included a few small providers with very appealing WordPress themes.
Read about the pros and cons and tips for using Themeforest
In the past few years, Themeforest has become one of the most popular marketplaces for WordPress themes. Themeforest is part of Envato. This Australian company launched several marketplaces for online products in 2006. Themeforest was one of them. At Themeforest, you could buy templates/themes for various CMSs, WordPress among others, but especially the sale of WordPress themes increased strongly. Now this is by far the largest source of income for all of Envato.
Largest offer;more than 5.600 WordPress themes, so the widest range of quality themes.
Price; themes never cost more than $60 which makes them relatively cheap.
Flexible; many WordPress themes are sold as construction kit/framework (so-called multi-purpose themes). Themeforest themes are leading with this concept.
Strict quality criteria for authors (theme sellers).
Tools; Envato offers many development tools to authors. This increases the quality.
Not user-friendly; ThemeForest WordPress themes are often very elaborate. Theme builders keep adding more functionalities to compete with other providers. These functionalities can be convenient, but they also make many WordPress themes very complicated to use. It becomes harder to learn how to use these themes and the strength of WordPress as a user-friendly CMS is under threat. It makes the themes more suitable for experienced users and less for beginners.
Updates & support; with ThemeForest you pay a one-time fee per theme per website. After this, you get unlimited support and updates for this theme. On the short run, this looks like an attractive deal to users. On the long run, it doesn’t. What this means, is that new customers pay for the updates & support of old customers. When the demand for a certain theme decreases, providers will soon lower their budget to keep providing good maintenance & support. So, sellers have very little interest in providing long-term support for WordPress themes.
Little consistency; every WordPress theme has a different working method, for example for configuring theme settings. This makes using WordPress themes more complicated than necessary. By the way, WordPress is working on improving this, but in our opinion Envato should show a little more initiative here.
There are thousands of sellers on ThemeForest alone. So how do you make sure you can still see the forest for the trees?
Look at the popular WordPress themes. The sales numbers are an indication of the quality other buyers attribute to these themes. Also, the seller will have a higher budget to keep updating the theme.
Look at WordPress themes of popular suppliers. On the seller’s pages you’ll find a Portfolio tab. This leads you to the themes of this particular supplier.
Judge themes on: release date, last update and the number of sales. Find out what others say about the theme (under comments) and what kind of support is included.
Don’t be misled by the number of functionalities. If it has many functionalities, this doesn’t always mean the theme is better.
Nick Roach from Elegant Themes started making free WordPress themes in 2008. Due to popularity, he also started selling the WordPress themes. Now this company from San Fransisco employs over 20 people. Elegant Themes has always distinguished itself by offering the most themes at the lowest price. For $69 you can use all of their (87+) themes for a year. This way you have access to themes that allow you to make a wide range of websites.
Elegant Themes’ Flagship is their theme DIVI. DIVI is somewhat comparable to Enfold, the theme/framework that we use to develop many websites. This allows you to build your website block by block. You don’t have to be able to program to construct a very flexible website. Currently not many new themes are being published, but DIVI is continually being developed.
An interesting feature of Elegant Themes is that you can try it out. You need to buy it first, but they have a money-back guarantee. You can ask for a refund within 30 days.
TemplateMonster offers several online products, among which are website templates and WordPress themes. The TemplateMonster themes are very popular, because they look good and are customized for specific audiences. The TemplateMonster themes are not market leaders when it comes to technical innovations. For example, it took TemplateMonster rather long to switch to responsive design. Now, all new themes are built on the CherryFramework. Just like Enfold and DIVI, TemplateMonster offers the possibility to work with a page builder. However, the MotoPress Drag and Drop Editor has to be purchased separately ($29).
We advise you to buy a theme from TemplateMonster when you really like the design and you don’t have the desire or the ability to do much fine-tuning. TemplateMonster offers all kinds of additional payed services, such as installing themes and adaptions to plugins and design. This makes the TemplateMonster especially suitable forbeginners.
This new marketplace distinguishes itself from, among others, it’s older brother ThemeForest, because it allows providers to also sell their WordPress themes without restrictions on their own website. Furthermore, the WordPress themes on Creative Market are sold based on a GPL license. This means that after buying the theme, you can use it any way you want. With ThemeForest you’re only allowed to use the theme on one installation. That is why several smaller theme providers that have their own marketplace also sell their themes on this website.
Until recently, most themes from the WordPress Theme Directory were viewed as unattractive and outdated. This has changed enormously, however. More and more, we run into nice themes that can be downloaded for free from the Theme Directory. This is because of the business model that is used by many of the suppliers. The basic version of the WordPress theme is free, but if you want extra functionalities, you can buy a professional version. Especially when you need to control your budget, we recommend you first look through this Theme Directory for a suitable theme.
ThemeTrust was founded in 2010 by the internet entrepreneur Henry Jones. The company (about 4 people) offers a nice range of 20+ themes. Their setup is minimalistic and their functionality is simple, which makes them highly suitable for beginners. The ThemeTrust themes can be used for more than one purpose, but we think the look and functionality of these WordPress themes are mostly suitable for business purposes
Press75 may be one of the first premium theme suppliers. The company was founded by Jason Schuller in 2008. Jason wanted to offer minimalistic no-nonsense themes: the theme has to determine the website’s layout; the functionalities should be configured through plugins. Despite the great start his company made, he could not compete with other suppliers that overloaded their themes with functionalities. In 2014 Jason sold his website to Westwerk Design, a web agency in Minneapolis. What appeals to us most in these themes is their neat design and simplicity.
Organic Themes is a company from San Diego that sells WordPress themes since the beginning of 2010. Now, Organic Themes employs four people. The company has always worked closely with WordPress.com. They have contributed greatly to the availability of quality themes on WordPress.com. Which has benefited them enormously. They claim to now have over 50.000 customers, one of which is us. What we really like about these WordPress themes is the way they combine design and simplicity.
The man behind Organized Themes is Bill Robbins, originally a preacher. With this background in mind, you can understand the way these themes are set up especially for small foundations and churches. The themes are visually attractive and are limited when it comes to adjustment options. This makes them suitable for beginning users and small foundations/churches. The themes include a GPL license.
ThemeFuse was founded in 2010 by four men in Bucharest, Romania. Besides purchasing WordPress themes from ThemeFuse, they also offer customization for each theme. The company also tries to stand out by offering excellent support. We really like the original design of their themes. They’re not completely different from standard themes, but they are different from those of other suppliers. What separates their themes from the others is that they focus on a specific audience/functionality.
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WordPress themes and plugins for the hotel and catering industry
If you are the owner of a hotel, bed-and-breakfast, restaurant, café or any other business in the hospitality sector, you can use WordPress to make a beautiful website. But which themes and plugins should you use? In this article, we’ve listed the pros and cons of some popular themes for the hotel and catering industry and recommend some additional plugins to make your online service successful
Some links in this article contain affiliate code.
WordPress themes for the hotel and catering industry
Online you can find thousands of WordPress themes for restaurants, coffee shops, diners, bed-and-breakfasts, etc. But which one is most suitable for your company? We’re giving you an overview of the most popular WordPress themes for hotel and catering businesses.
Enfold is our favorite WordPress theme, and is also suitable for restaurants. With the floorplan and reservation form, your customers can book their own table in your restaurant. Furthermore, Enfold can be expanded with many plugins.
Floor plan with reservation form
Many settings options
No digital menu
No ordering module
Booking module does not block the times that are fully booked
Restaurant Theme from Organic Themes is simple and to-the-point. The fact that you can make a very elaborate menu with this theme, makes it very attractive. The contact form is limited and depends on the Gravity Forms plugin, which is not included ($ 39 per year).
Hotel California is a very complete WordPress theme for hotels, hostels and bed-and-breakfasts. The theme offers the possibility to show different rooms, that can also be booked. It includes a calculator, so visitors can quickly calculate the price of their stay.
Grand Restaurant offers lots of space for photo impressions. The theme contains a menu for your products, including ordering options when you’re using WooCommerce. Also, the theme has a simple reservation module.
Design offers space for photography
Simple booking and reservation module
Ordering products via webstore
No payment module
Booking module does not block the times that are fully booked
With Piquant you can choose from different website layouts for your restaurant/café. You can describe your recipes and ingredients, and have your visitors book a table. Visitors can also purchase products online, using WooCommerce.
Practical menu description
Booking and reservation module for tables
Elaborate descriptions of recipes and ingredients
No payment module
Booking module does not block the times that are fully booked
WordPress plugins for the hotel and catering industry
Hotel and catering businesses often need additional functionalities on their WordPress website. Think of a booking system for a bed-and-breakfast, a reservation module for a diner, an online menu and payment methods for a take-away and ordering forms for ordering online. Not every theme contains all the functionalities you need. That is why we describe a few plugins you can use as an addition to your WordPress theme to complete the website for your restaurant or café.
WooCommerce adds a webstore functionality to WordPress. This allows customers to buy meals, but also to pay for the reservation of their room or apartment. Plus, there are loads of plugins and extensions for WooCommerce, so it has many possibilities.
Free base product
E-commerce integrates with WordPress
Many plugins and extensions
Many themes are compatible with WooCommerce
The base product is free, but the extensions are usually not
Our favorite plugin for building webforms is so extensive that it can even be used as a basic ordering system. Are you subletting a few rooms per month? Don’t get into an entire webstore package, but start out with Gravity Forms. With a few clicks, you create an ordering form, place it on your ordering page, and you’re ready to go.
Just like with Pinpoint Booking System, you can use BirchPress Scheduler to handle the reservations and payments of the tables or rooms on your website. Additionally, BirchPress offers synchronization with an external schedule, so you can also see the reservations, for example, on your phone. This plugin is exceptionally suitable for restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts.
Elaborate plugin with many settings options
Link to external schedule feed
Many payment modules possible
It takes some time to get to know the plugin
Payment modules via WooCommerce are versatile, but complex
Booked Appointments is a lesser-known, but a very nice plugin with a clean design, that may be exactly what you need for some target groups. Visitors can pick a date, schedule a time slot, and then leave their contact info. Optionally they can even make a payment with a WooCommerce payment module.
Plugin has a clean design
Compact display of schedule and dates
Can be synchronized with an external schedule feed
Many payment modules possible
Form fields are configurable
External schedule feed is read-only (reservations are not saved into the schedule)
Plugin is not easily extended with add-ons
Do you have another tip? Please tell us below!
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Are you a photographer, a designer or an artist eager to show your portfolio on your website? In that case, WordPress can help you set up a dazzling website without too much effort! Many WordPress themes will do fine, presenting your portfolio. In fact, most themes have a built-in portfolio function.
However, when you want your portfolio to take a prominent place on your homepage, the following themes really stand out:
Our Top 40 Selection of WordPress Portfolio Themes
Your wedding is the most beautiful day of your life, and with WordPress you can easily make a website for your wedding. There are beautiful wedding themes available for WordPress. But which one should you choose? In this article, we gladly give you a pro-con list of popular wedding WordPress themes that can complement your wedding day.
Some links in this article contain affiliate code.
With WordPress, it’s very easy to make a beautiful website for your dental practice. Including for dental hygienists, dental surgeons and/or ENT specialist this online business card has become indispensable. In this article, we’ve listed the 12 best WordPress themes for dentists, dental hygienists and dental surgeons.
What’s important when looking for a WordPress theme for dentists?
When selecting the right themes for dentists and dental hygienists, we’re obviously looking for reliable and clean WordPress themes. Also, you want the possibility to introduce your team, and make an appointment via the website. Finally, you may want to sell products via your dentist website, so we’ve also checked out this option.
Some links in this article contain affiliate code.
Organized contact form on the page to make an appointment
Skew slider adds a playful effect
Possibilities for webstore integration
Design not fully worked out (dark letters on the slider)
No booking form with date planner
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One of the benefits of WordPress is the incredible high availability of free WordPress themes. But how can you see which WordPress themes are good and which are not? That’s why we’ve made an overview of the best 100 free WordPress themes for 2017.
What to look for when picking a free WordPress theme
Not every free WordPress theme is published with good intentions. In the past free WordPress themes have been distributed containing hidden malware. Therefore it is good to always choose WordPress themes from developers with good reputation from trusted WordPress marketplaces.
Also, keep in mind that WordPress theme builders often offer free versions of their themes hoping that you purchase a more extensive version later. This is called the freemium model; the basic version is free but you must pay for the extras.
Finally, a free WordPress theme is always a ‘gift’; when you are not quite happy with WordPress theme, then you probably should not count on much support from the developer. Are you looking for better support with your WordPress theme? Then we suggest to take a look at our list of online marketplaces for paid WordPress themes.
https://www.wpupgrader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/best-free-themes-wordpress.jpg6421690sowmediahttps://www.wpupgrader.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/logo_pink-1_resized.pngsowmedia2017-04-04 14:56:452020-03-13 16:58:09The best 100 free WordPress themes for 2017
On april 2013, Vienna based Kriesi produced a new WordPress theme: Enfold, which proved to be quite profitable to the renowned developer. With over 100,000 sales already, it has grown to be one of the best selling WordPress themes available today.
What is it, that makes Enfold such apowerful theme? And would it be interesting for your WordPress website to switch to Enfold? We decided to do a thorough analysis on this populair theme for you.
Watching the Enfold-demo, you wouldn’t label this a winning theme right off the bat. Although the overall design and photography used in the demo may be okay, the layout isn’t much of an eye-catcher. It is actually quite traditional, having a logo on the left side, followed by the menu next to it, and placing the header underneath. Nevertheless, this may just be one of those strengths that sets this WordPress theme apart as a multi-purpose one.
The theme itself is crisp and minimalistic, fully in line with webdesign trends of today. The chosen font seems a bit too delicate though. In one way this makes it possible to use a relatively large body of text without it optically looking cluttered. Then again, you may at times want to use less words to say more, in which case you would want a bulkier font. We’ll come back on how well you can adjust this feature later on.
Added to that, it is also retina-ready. This will, for instance, cause your icons and other graphic elements to come out crystal clear on high resolution monitors.
Enfold theme installation in WordPress
Once you have purchased Enfold, you can immediately download the installation file. A simple procedure that works as follows: Within your WordPress environment, go to Appearance > Themes. Then click on ‘Add New’ and then ‘Upload Theme’. Search on your computer for the proper installation file, then click ‘Install Now’. Once you have done so, click ‘Activate’ and your installation of the Enfold theme is complete. In our experience, anyone can complete this process within any standard WordPress website without much difficulty.
At ‘Theme Options’ you can make sure your theme is automatically updated. We recommend you to do so, as Enfold regularly adds new and interesting features.
With the installation of Enfold, the LayerSlider WP is added as a bonus: an advanced slider plugin for WordPress that enables you to make beautiful visual slideshows.
Adaptability of WordPress theme Enfold
After having installed Enfold, you have direct access to the page via ‘Theme Options’. This option page consists of nine tabs, each showing multiple settings. The ’General Styling’ tab provides you with 18 predefined color schemes. These generally consist of matching pastel colors that compliment the crisp, minimalistic look. There are also some predefined settings that offer a brighter use of colors for your Enfold theme.
It is also possible to adjust the type of font on this tab. Standard fonts are provided, but a selection of Google fonts are available too. Surprisingly, it is not possible to change the default font size, which is a drawback for websites with little written content.
Other than this, Enfold offers its users to choose either a stretched or a boxed lay-out. The stretched lay-out provides an increased space for wide, panoramic photographs. Alternately, a boxed lay-out makes it easier to build your website in full-length, which will have a more traditional feel to it. Despite the fact that these two settings are the only lay-out options, each one does give your website a radically different look.
And that pretty much sums up Enfold’s adjustment options. Users that like to really have a go at their WordPress site so as to drastically revamp it, will quickly be done with Enfold. Those wanting to style their site to the point of giving it a distinct look and feel, will have to resort to add their own CSS coding within the Enfold theme.
Page Editor of WordPress theme Enfold
Editing pages is a delight within Enfold. The theme offers an built-in ‘Advanced Layout Editor’, allowing you to build pages by simply and intuitively dragging-and-dropping elements.
And so you can start out by simply arranging a page into one or more columns. You can vary the column-width from full width to 1/5th of your website. And then you have the option to alternate columns, creating all sorts of optional layouts. In the example on the right, the page layout starts off with a row divided up into columns sizes 1/5th, 3/5th, and again 1/5th, followed by a section divided into columns sized 1/3rd and 2/3rd. At the bottom there’s a full-width column.
Each column can then be filled with content and media elements. You can add title sections, paragraphs, icons, information boxes, buttons, forms, tables, images, slideshows and much more. Each element can be tweaked and adjusted as you see fit. And when altering text content, you’ll notice the old, familiar text editor of WordPress reappearing. Since this page builder is personally developed by Kriesi, the simple drag-and-drop mechanics operates flawlessly with the theme, giving all elements an immediate, stylish look on your actual website. The benefit of this is that you’ll be able to get a fancier result faster than by building your pages with a separate page builder plugin, like Visual Composer. The latter does offer a more elaborate range of content and media elements. Still, content elements you will mostly use, are provided by Enfold, so the additional features of Visual Composer will hardly be missed. Enfold’s page builder simply does work a lot faster than Visual Composer.
The fact that Enfold’s layout editor is only available for pages and portfolio items, is somewhat of a surprising set back. The inability to use the page builder is an immediate restriction when writing and editing blogs and/or news postings. From Kriesi’s forum we learn that the page builder can be can be activated for Posts by simply making a few code alterations. And yet, we feel the Austrian theme builder did miss an opportunity here to make Enfold a true all-star.
Enfold offers various ways to present your personal portfolios. As each portfolio-item is appointed its own page, you’ll have the advantage of being able to refer to separate portfolio items and share these on social media for instance. It is obvious that Enfold’s portfolio is developed for graphic purposes, since the divers portfolio set ups will primarily stand out when presenting high quality imagery. Audio or text portfolio seem less suitable within Enfold.
Enfold offers display support from Internet Explorer 8. This means that this theme works equally well with older browsers. Additionally, Enfold allows for the implementation and display of common WordPress plugins, among like WooCommerce (WordPress web shop), Gravity Forms (forms builder) and WPML (for multilingual websites). So in essence you can start a multilingual webshop with WordPress, Enfold, WPML and WooCommerce without having to type any code. Naturally, this sounds a bit easier than it is. Of course, installing all these packages requires quite some time. Also keep in mind that it will slow down your website, so make sure you make use of quality WordPress hosting.
From the base up, Enfold is geared for search engine optimization (SEO). By virtue of a proper implementation of guidelines as provided by Schema.org, the theme’s coding clearly indicates the purpose of each content element. And such implementation is highly favored by search engines. Other than that, the code is also clean and tidy, using breadcrumbs to clearly point out where you find yourself on the website. Naturally, the effect of this kind of SEO support by Enfold will stand or fall by the way you progressively style your website from there.
Enfold as a framework
Sowmedia uses Enfold in both smaller and bigger projects. When working on bigger projects, the basic styling is abandoned and the css will be customized in line with our clients preferences. With the smaller projects we aim to work within Enfold’s own styling options as best as we can, adapting the css as little as possible.
What follows are a few projects wherein we used Enfold as a framework and then abandoned the basic styling.
Bata Industrials is the market leader of industrial shoes within the Benelux and a division of the world’s biggest shoe manufacturer (Bata Shoe Organisation). Bata Industrials is based in 35 countries world wide. Sowmedia was assigned to develop websites for each country one-by-one.
ICT Automatisering is a stock market listed company that offers software solutions within the information and communication
technology. ICT Automatisering operates in a wide ranch of branches, varying from healthcare to the high tech industry. Sowmedia developed the WordPress website for ICT Automatisering, taking Enfold for a framework.
Portbase connects multiple companies in the both the Rotterdam and the Amsterdam
harbor by virtue of overarching company ICT services. Via the Port Community System, Portbase offers over 40 different services to approximately 3,600 clients in all sectors of the Dutch harbor industry.
With Enfold, Kriesi built an extensive and solid WordPress theme that rightfully won many WordPress users over. Besides, the theme is being actively developed, so users are habitually presented with new functionalities.
The biggest strength of Enfold, however, is the user-friendly and extremely fast layout builder. This makes building and filling pages a breeze. The only disadvantage being, that it cannot be utilized in the Post section. Other than that, Enfold’s Theme Options are sufficient, be it not overly elaborate. Customization is rather limited since you cannot adjust font sizes, making custom CSS the only way to give the layout a good spin. When accepting the theme as-is, you’ll probably still working with one of the best tools out there to build your own professional website.