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WordPress 5.0 is now here, which means the new Gutenberg editor is now a part of our daily lives. This update to WordPress’ editing interface will forever change the platform and the way we create content. As such, it’s a big transition to make, particularly if you’re not well prepared.

As with many other new additions to WordPress’ core, testing the editor before it goes live will get you better acquainted with the multitude of new features. What’s more, you can do this via your own computer using a tool such as Local by Flywheel.

In this article, I’ll discuss why you should test the new editor on your site, and talk you through how to do it in four steps.

Here’s how to test the WordPress Gutenberg editor on your site: 

Let’s get started!

Why you need to test the Gutenberg editor

As you may be aware, the existing TinyMCE editor has been overhauled. The new editor uses “blocks” to create content – pre-built elements that can be added to your pages with ease. These changes will simplify the process of editing your site, along with attracting a whole generation of new users to the platform.

Of course, such a huge change requires a lot of testing – by developers and users alike. However, this will put you in a much better position, as you’ll be able to get to grips with all of the new features Gutenberg has to offer before making the commitment. There’s a lot to pick up, so spending the time getting to know the new editor will ensure that business remains as usual, with as few roadblocks as possible.

Testing the waters will also benefit the wider WordPress community, as there are several ways you can help shape the editor moving forward. For starters, there’s a dedicated section of the WordPress support forum, where you are encouraged to discuss what works and what doesn’t.

You can also carry out up to three usability tests, which are almost identical but increase in complexity. However, these aren’t obligatory, and you’ll probably have more pressing concerns initially. For example, making sure the new editor works on your own site.

How to test the Gutenberg editor on your site with Local by Flywheel (in 4 steps)

Fortunately, the process of testing WordPress 5.0 and the new editor is a breeze with the right tools. Let’s start at the very beginning.

1. Create a testing environment using Local by Flywheel

You’ll very rarely want to push the changes you make during testing to your live site. Instead, you can create a sandbox environment on your own computer to do so, without affecting the live website. Of course, this means you can carry out tweaks without disrupting the User Experience (UX).

As for the tool you’ll use, Local by Flywheel makes it incredibly easy to install WordPress on your computer, clone your site, and even push your local site live when you’re finished.

There are versions for both macOS and Windows, and Flywheel users have ‘batphone’ access to their server. In other words, you can push a site direct from your local environment to your live Flywheel server.

Rather than explain how to set up and run Local by Flywheel here, there’s a great blog post offering three simple steps to getting up and running. I encourage you to read it in full, then meet me back here!

2. Clone your live site using a plugin

Once you’ve installed Local by Flywheel, you’ll want to import your live site’s content to it. While there are a number of different ways you can do this, a great approach is to use the Duplicator plugin:

This essentially creates a “package” – i.e. a copy of your entire WordPress site and its database. Of course, this is perfect for creating a local version of your site.

After installing and activating the plugin on your live site, head to Duplicator > Packages within your WordPress dashboard. From the Packages >> All screen, select “Create New” from the right-hand side:

Next, give your package a suitable name. Leave the other settings as they are, then click “Next” when you’re ready:

Duplicator is now ready to run a test to confirm your content can be exported without issue. If all goes to plan, you should see a screen with several “Good” confirmations. From here, select “Build”. Duplicator will then begin putting together your package, and could take a while depending on the size of your website.

When the process is complete, you’ll be sent to a confirmation page featuring two downloadable files:

Rather than walk you through this step-by-step, click the “Archive” button to get your files, then read through the “How do I install this Package?” instructions, as they’re comprehensive and thorough.

3. Migrate the live site to your local environment

At this point, you’re ready to import your live site’s data into Local by Flywheel. To do this, simply drag and drop the Archive ZIP file anywhere onto the Local by Flywheel interface.

You’ll then come to the Import Site From Archive screen, where you can now add a name for your new local site:

When you’re ready, click “Continue”. You’ll then be asked to choose your environment settings, which you should leave as “Preferred” for now, then click “Import Site.”

Local by Flywheel will now import all of your WordPress files and database – this could take some time, but be sure not to close Local until the process is complete.

Once the import is complete, clicking “View Site” lets you preview your website:

If the process has been successful, you’re now ready to test out the new editor!

4. Update to WordPress 5.0 and begin testing the new editor

At this point, you’ll have successfully imported your live site into Local by Flywheel. The penultimate step is to make sure WordPress is updated to the latest version – of course, this is now 5.0, which includes the new editor. This process is as you’d expect, and the same as any other update you carry out. In fact, you may not see any new screens at all after the update.

Even so, while you’ll want to read up on the general feature set, the concept of blocks is an important one to focus on. They are literally the building blocks used to create your website, and each content type has its own.

When it comes to testing, I recommend looking closer at the following:

  • Looking at whether the functionality of your primary theme is intact.
  • Testing the features and functionality of each installed plugin for any issues, and fixing them.
  • Determining whether your posts and pages can be converted to blocks adequately.
  • Testing out the content creation process and fixing any concerns you have.

At this stage, it’s important to mention that you don’t have to upgrade your live site to WordPress 5.0 straight away. You can essentially test for as long as you need in order to get things perfect.

However, if it transpires you’re not yet ready for the upgrade to the new editor, you can install the Classic Editor plugin, which ultimately gives you WordPress 5.0 and the previous editor. The good news is that this version will be supported for the next few years.

Conclusion

WordPress 5.0 is now here, so you’ll need to work fast to test the new editor out with your live site (if you haven’t already done so). It’s a massive change to the platform, so it’s in your best interests to be as prepared as possible.

In this post, I went over how to test out WordPress 5.0 and the new editor on your site in a snap using Local by Flywheel. Let’s recap the steps quickly:

  • Create a local site using Local by Flywheel.
  • Backup or clone your live site
  • Migrate your files to your local environment.
  • Update to WordPress 5.0, then thoroughly test the new additions.

Do you feel fully prepared for the transition to WordPress 5.0? Let me know in the comments section below!

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As a WordPress user, you’ve likely heard talk of the Gutenberg editor and WordPress 5.0 for the better part of this year. This exciting feature comes in the form of the latest WordPress update, “Bebo,” available starting November 6th, 2018.

This isn’t just any old update, however. The Gutenberg editor introduces a brand new WordPress publishing experience that’s pretty different than what you’re probably used to. It’s exciting, but there’s also a lot to think about as you get ready to update your site. To help make it all a little easier to understand, I’ve put together this guide to help you get started with Gutenberg!

A preview of the editor.

Here’s everything you could possibly need to know about WordPress 5.0 (AKA Gutenberg!):

What is the Gutenberg editor?

This all started with a little something called “Project Gutenberg” in June, 2017. While WordPress updates frequently, there hadn’t been any major updates to the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor in quite some time. And while the editor worked, it wasn’t always as flexible and customizable as users needed it to be.

In any given post, a publisher might include shortcodes and custom fields and meta boxes and custom code and on and on…all in an effort to make the built-in editor do more.

A view of the old editor.

Beyond these techniques, there’s also been a rise over the last few years of drag-and-drop tools in the WordPress community, giving users more visual control over the design of their pages and posts. These resources also made it easier for beginners or less-technical users to start publishing great content, without having to learn how to build a shortcode right off the bat.

Enter: Project Gutenberg.

It’s an effort to redefine the entire WordPress publishing experience, all starting with the post editor and introduction of blocks in WordPress 5.0.

Beyond the general look of the editor, there’s one major difference: the introduction of blocks. Now, creators will be able to add blocks of content to their post, whether that content comes in the form of words, visuals, buttons, videos, you name it.

You’ll still be able to add everything you used to in the editor – you’ll just be able to visualize it better.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the Gutenberg editor.

Pros of the Gutenberg editor:

Customizing visual content is much, much easier.

As the publisher of a WordPress blog and frequent user of the post editor, Gutenberg is incredibly exciting. It provides so many options to create interesting layouts and custom content configurations, without needing to dive into the code every time.

Plus, with rich content being easier to create, I think we’ll start to see more variety between WordPress sites. While there’s nothing wrong with sharing the same layout, it’ll be creatively refreshing to see some differences.

More white space  = a better writing experience.

For fans of blogging on Medium (or even just typing in Google Docs), Gutenberg offers a cleaner writing experience in WordPress. It’s a breath of fresh air.

This may look like a mobile view, but there’s actually that much empty space!

New alignment options allow for interesting visual layouts and flexibility.

Gutenberg is introducing two new alignment options: Wide and Full Width. For creators looking to maximize the impact of the content on large screens, this is pretty exciting stuff. For more details on using the new image alignments, I recommend this guide from Rich Tabor.

Gutenberg starts to standardize how plugins and themes interact with posts and post meta.

Traditionally, themes and plugins might try to accomodate for the limitations of the old editor, in order to help users get the desired post effect. With Gutenberg, however, themes and plugins can focus on just being themes and plugins, instead of trying to make up for the differences.

You can create custom blocks.

This one is exciting for a couple of reasons. First, because site owners will be able to develop their own, on-brand blocks for maximum creativity and consistency across posts. But second, this opens up a whole new market for developers to create custom blocks to share with the WordPress community. Personally, I’m really excited to see what creators dream up in this space!

Cons of the Gutenberg editor:

Accessibility isn’t fully built-in yet.

One of the largest drawbacks to Gutenberg today is that it isn’t accessible yet. While it would be nice for it to launch as a fully-accessible version, at least it’s in one place for the community to work on.

It’s new, so there’s definitely a learning curve.

Like any update to functionality, there will be a slight learning curve for anyone using the Gutenberg editor for the first time. But remember: We’re part of the WordPress community, one of the most helpful places on the internet! If you get stuck, someone will help.

It also takes advantage of some great new technology, including bleeding-edge JavaScript using React. If you aren’t familiar with developing in these languages, however, learning how to work with them to rebuild custom site elements for Gutenberg is going to take some effort.

You need to install a plugin to “opt out” of Gutenberg.

If you’re someone who builds sites for clients, and want to opt-out of the update for the time being, you’re going to need to install the Classic Editor plugin on every single site. It’s a fair bit of work to NOT update something, but crucial if you want more time to test before updating to Gutenberg.

No markdown support.

For publishers who’ve enjoyed typing in markdown in the past, you may be surprised when the new editor automatically converts it into blocks. This could take some adjusting to.

It might not be fully compatible with your themes, plugins, or existing published content.

Because Gutenberg is so different than the past editor, there’s a chance it conflicts with your site’s set up or published content. This means there’s a lot of testing that needs to happen to ensure everything works together.

If you’re a developer, Ahmad Awais has developed a great toolkit for building Gutenberg-compatible plugins. If you’re concerned about your own site, I recommend updating to WordPress 5.0 in a test environment first, so you have time to test your site’s configuration. (Keep scrolling for more information on testing!)

If you’re worried about the cons, one thing to note: Once WordPress 5.0 is launched, that’s not the end of development on Gutenberg. Matt Mullenweg, Founder and CEO of Automattic, mentioned at WordCamp Portland 2018 that updates will continue to roll out every couple weeks, to continue making improvements.

Now that you know a little more about Gutenberg, let’s dive into how you set it up on your site!

How do I get the Gutenberg editor?

When you’re ready to use the Gutenberg editor, all you have to do is update your site to WordPress 5.0. Then just head over to edit a post, and you’ll see Gutenberg waiting for you!

If you’re using a managed WordPress host, you’ll want to check how they’re planning to update sites on their platform. Flywheel will be waiting until late January, due to the scale of this update and the time of the year.

Before you update to Gutenberg, I highly recommend experimenting with it in a test environment. This will give you the opportunity to see how your existing content reacts to it, and to make sure your plugins and theme are compatible.

How to test the Gutenberg editor

In order to safely test the Gutenberg editor before installing in on your live site, you can use either a staging site or a local environment. Local by Flywheel is a free local development environment that’s perfect for this.

While a copy of your site is in the staging or local environment, go ahead and update to WordPress 5.0. Then, look around!

Here’s a checklist of things you should look for while auditing your site’s reaction to Gutenberg:

  • Are published posts displaying content correctly?
  • Do published pages look right?
  • Can you customize your theme as expected?
  • Do your plugins work like they’re supposed to?
  • When editing a post, does Gutenberg override any setting you’re used to?

Depending on the size of your site, the amount of content you’ve produced, and how you like to work, this audit may take some time. In the meantime, if you would like to update to WordPress 5.0 without using the Gutenberg editor, you can install the Classic Editor Plugin. This plugin will be officially supported by the WordPress core team until December 31st, 2021, so you have plenty of time to experiment between the editors and make changes as needed.

What’s next for Gutenberg?

As I mentioned, this is only the beginning for the future of the Gutenberg editor and the WordPress publishing experience as a whole!

As far as the editor stands today, you can expect more updates and support for Gutenberg as developers continue to test and iterate on it. Beyond the post editor, updates will likely come to page templates and even full-site customization.

Within the WordPress community, I’m excited to see how plugins, themes, and custom blocks start to play together to create incredible publishing experiences and published content. There are already some great resources for anyone ready to dive into Gutenberg blocks, like:

How are you feeling about Gutenberg? Are you excited to experiment with blocks? Are you nervous about the transition? Share any additional resources in the comments, so we can help each other learn!

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Some websites require expansive and elaborate structures, multiple pages, and comprehensive navigation. However, this is far from universal. In fact, some of the most successful sites when it comes to generating conversions only consist of a single page.

A one-page website works similarly to a landing page, in that it contains everything relevant to your product or service without needing to click elsewhere. Such a site comes with plenty of benefits, as it enables you to create a linear narrative that leads your visitors through your conversion funnel.

In this article, I’m going to look at the advantages of creating a one-page website. I’ll also discuss the requirements of such a site, and show you how you can do it yourself. Let’s get started!

What is a one-page site?

First and foremost, a one-page site is not strictly the same as a landing page. This specifically refers to a single page on your site devoted to a particular topic, such as a product or service. Furthermore, a site can contain any number of landing pages.

In contrast, a one-page site is what it sounds like – an entire site on a single page. This means everything you would otherwise spread out across multiple pages, such as information about your business, product specifications, contact details, and image galleries, are all available in one place.

The benefits of creating a one-page site

You might be wondering why you’d ever want to cram so much information into a single page. Good question! Before moving on, let’s look at some of the main benefits of using a one-page site:

  • Easier to create and manage. Since you don’t have to worry nearly as much about site structure and navigation, it’s much less time-consuming to put together and maintain over time.
  • Helps you tell your story. Using a single page enables you to create a linear narrative over which you have full control.
  • Simplifies your message. By collecting everything important in one place, users can get all the information they need without needing to leave the site.
  • Helps increase conversions. You don’t need to worry about funneling users to the right page since the site effectively is the conversion funnel.
  • Optimized for mobile. Having a responsive site is more important than ever, and one-page designs are perfect for any screen size.

Obviously, one-page designs aren’t ideal for every site. For example, any site that requires a complex structure or frequent updates, such as blogs, stores, or community sites, would not work well on a single page.

However, sites such as business sites, freelance portfolios, and product showcases are perfect for this type of design. This is because they let you focus your message and highlight all your relevant information without losing your visitors’ attention.

How to create a one-page site (and what it should include)

If you’ve come to the conclusion that a one-page site is exactly what you need, it’s time to get planning. Before you start putting together your site, you need to carefully consider exactly what you need to include.

To help you along, I’m going to cover a few of the major considerations you need to make before and during the creation of your site. Naturally, your site’s requirements will affect what type of content you need, but the following points will apply to nearly every one-page site. Let’s get to it!

1. Create a strong narrative

A good way to think of your one-page site is as a story. As such, it’s important to consider the story you want to tell, whether the site is for you as a person, a brand, a business, or a specific product. In this sense, a one-page site is almost literally a conversion funnel. You build awareness and desire at the top, before drilling down to the specifics the further down you go.

Defining your site’s narrative first makes it much easier to decide what content you need, and how it should be laid out. For instance, you could use the design to literally tell a story, like this amazing example from Every Last Drop, which changes as you scroll further:

Throughout the remaining sections, I’ll discuss some examples of how you can do this more specifically. However, you should naturally make sure that your site’s structure and story match your specific requirements.

2. Add an attention-grabbing header

First impressions are extremely important. If you don’t manage to catch your visitors’ attention, they’re likely to simply bounce off your site, never to return. A strong, attention-grabbing header section is a mandatory aspect of any one-page site.

Creating a good header that will make people want to keep scrolling is an art form in itself, but a high-quality and attractive hero image is a good place to start. A good example is this illustration from Angry Bear:

You should try to keep the text to a minimum here, and focus on communicating a single, powerful core message. You need to make it clear what your site is, what the benefits to the user are, and give them a reason to keep scrolling. Sergio Pedercini’s site shows how this can be done:

This is also a good place to include a Call To Action (CTA). Adding a CTA to the header makes it more visible and increases the likelihood of click-throughs. You’ll want the CTA itself to stand out visually, while the message should be clear. For a good example on how to accomplish this, check out Brandy:

This stands out without clashing with the rest of the design. Implementing a CTA like this one will be massively helpful for increasing your conversions.

3. Showcase your products or services

When you only have a single page at your disposal, it’s important to use the space well. This means no matter what your site is dedicated to, you’ll want to showcase it clearly. For example, if you’re a freelance web designer, you’ll want to highlight your design skills and previous projects.

Similarly, if you sell chocolate bars, you’ll want to showcase them in all their glory, like KitKat does on their site:

The best way to do this is naturally to include visuals, such as images and videos. The KitKat site also uses dynamic elements that change as you scroll, which adds extra flair, and makes it more fun to interact with the page.

It’s also important to add relevant information throughout. A terrific example of this is the 100 Years of National Parks Service site:

As you can see, this page uses short, clean paragraphs that explain everything you need to know without getting too wordy or cluttered. By sticking to these shorter snippets, you can still communicate all relevant details without boring the user.

4. Include human elements

People trust people, so while it’s important to show off your work and accomplishments, you also need to include some human elements. This could mean including a section on you or your team members, like Central Coast Elite:

It’s also a good idea to show off your current and past clients. This example from Playground Digital Agency shows how this can be done:

However, it’s usually an even better idea to include client testimonials from those you’ve previously worked with. Purple Orange shows how this can be done by simply adding quotations:

These may seem like small touches, but they help to make your site more trustworthy and personal. At the end of the day, visitors are more likely to get in touch if they have a sense of the people behind the brand. Speaking of which, let’s look at that next!

5. Implement a contact form

Once the user has devoured your entire site, they’ll hopefully be keen to reach out to you. Whether it’s to ask you a question or inquire about your services, you need to make it as easy as possible. This blog has discussed the importance of contact forms before, and one-page sites are no different.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to help you implement a great contact form in WordPress. One of the most popular plugins for the job is Contact Form 7:

This lets you easily put together a simple form and add it anywhere on your site using a shortcode. The question is what you need to include in your form, which will naturally depend somewhat on what the goal of your site is.

However, my main recommendation is to stick with the one-page mindset: keep it short and clear. Only include the most crucial elements, such as their name, email address, and a brief message. This makes the barrier for initial contact as low as possible, which should help you drive more conversions!

Conclusion

Sometimes less truly is more...

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Content marketing is the most significant inbound marketing strategy businesses should invest in. It lets you boost your visibility in the SEPRs, position yourself as an authoritative source of information, and earn your customers’ love. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the importance of blogging. Even though 92% of businesses consider content marketing a significant online asset, only 30% of them have an integrated content strategy.

If you’re lacking one too, here are a few reasons why you should take your blog seriously.

Understanding your market and customer intent

To explain Flywheel’s hosting features, we identified our target personas and then created content specifically for them, such as this landing page for freelancers!

One of the greatest mistakes content marketers make is casting their net too wide. When pursuing your blogging career, you need to know who your target audience is. You need to segment them and determine their age, location, education, experience in the industry, expectations, and the problems they face. This way, you will be able to understand what they really want and create content that resonates with them. Most importantly, you need to track your customers’ engagement with your content to see what forms work and then focus on those types in the long-run.

Optimizing for search engines

Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about the difference between SEO and content marketing. However, there is no need to separate these two aspects of digital marketing, as they go hand in hand. Creating valuable content around your keywords is the most effective way to rank high and drive organic traffic to your site. On the other hand, producing content without optimizing it for search engines is purposeless, as you won’t be able to put it in front of the right audience.

Now, the first rule of content optimization is to create authentic, insightful, educational, and highly engaging posts. Each piece of content you publish on your blog needs to bring value to your target audience. Once your readers see the value your content delivers, they will share it extensively and even link to it. This will boost its online visibility and improve your backlink profile, which is, after all, the main purpose of SEO.

Here are a few quick tips you need to consider when making your content SEO-friendly:

  • Instead of exact match keywords, focus on implementing conversational, long-tail keywords that align with the intent of a reader.
  • Optimize title tags, meta descriptions, URLs, alt text, headers, and the body of the text for your major keywords.
  • Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly. In their recent blog post, the Mindarc digital agency from Sydney emphasizes that simplifying navigation and conducting A/B tests regularly is the backbone of mobile UX.
  • Diversify your topics to avoid getting penalized for having duplicate content.
  • Link internally to pass the domain authority from popular pages to less authoritative ones.
  • Track the performance of your content on search engines constantly.
Boosting customer engagement

For any business, irrespective of your size, customer engagement should be a priority. If planned strategically, your content marketing strategy improves your conversations with your customers, helps you nourish stronger relationships with them, and connects with them on an emotional level.

For example, studies show that long-form, 1500+ word articles perform much better than short ones. Apart from old-school articles, see how other types of content resonate with your target customers, such as infographics, videos, graphs, podcasts, and quizzes. No matter what form of content you focus on, make sure it’s interactive, authentic, and easily digested. And to engage people in conversation on your business’ blog, enable comments and keep asking them for their opinions and insights.

Building trust

Attracting new customers and retaining them is now more difficult than ever. To get them to choose you over your rivals, you need to position yourself as a credible and authoritative online resource. And this is where your blog posts shine. You should focus on providing actionable tips and discussing industry-specific topics relevant to your readers. Make sure your posts are informative and can help people solve the problems they face. This way, they will be more willing to buy from you, as they will perceive your brand as trustworthy and helpful.

Communicating brand values and mission
“Design matters” is a core value of Flywheel, something that resonates with both customers and employees!

To boost brand awareness, you need to create an engaging narrative around your brand, tell its story, and give your customers something they can relate to. That’s where incorporating storytelling with your branding efforts shines.

Blogging gives you the opportunity to develop a unique brand tone and voice and communicate your goals, missions, and core values to your readers. By giving your customers something they can connect with on an emotional level, you will boost their loyalty to it.

Humanizing your brand

This is a screenshot from Flywheel’s About page, where we wanted to show off the real people who make up our brand!

There are thousands of businesses similar to yours in the online world. What really sets you apart from them is the people. Yes, I mean both your staff members and your customers. This is something you cannot afford to ignore. Use your blog to talk about your corporate culture and let your customers meet the people behind your brand. Publishing behind-the-scenes photos on both your blog and social networks is a great way to humanize your brand.

You can write about your customers, too. For example, if you’re a B2B business, why not write success stories about your loyal clients? This is a great way to keep them loyal, as they will be grateful for promoting their brand. On the other hand, by emphasizing how your product or service helped them grow their business, you will build trust among your target customers.

Over to you

Creating quality, relevant, and educative content and publishing it regularly can help your business in multiple ways. Apart from boosting your online exposure, rankings, and traffic, it lets you build a solid brand image and nurture close relationships with your target customers. This is why you need to update and optimize your blog regularly, as well as keep track of the latest industry trends.

Next step: Monetize your blog (this free ebook can help!)

If you’re ready to become a serious blogger and start making money online, you need to monetize your WordPress site. It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually easier than you might think to get started. All you need are the right techniques, some tools you trust, and a little creativity (which as a blogger, you’re great at)!

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When you’re setting up your designer website, there are an endless number of WordPress themes to sort through. It can feel overwhelming to scroll through the options and try to decide which theme is best for your site. For designers, it’s essential to have a theme that is customizable, is aesthetically pleasing, and that reflects your own personal style.

To help you narrow down your options and simplify the decision-making process, I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorite WordPress themes for designers.

  1. Adios
  2. Divi
  3. Calafate
  4. Werkstatt
  5. Verko
  6. Jevelin
  7. Oxygen
  8. Agency Pro
  9. Mint
  10. Uncode
1. Adios

If you’re looking to showcase your work with a creative portfolio, Adios is an excellent choice. This theme is stylish and professional but also easy to use and is suited for both individual designers and agencies. This theme has a drag-and-drop page builder that requires no coding skills whatsoever. You can choose from a variety of demo websites and then customize the theme to match your personal brand. If you’re looking for a modern, sophisticated, design that is also user-friendly, Adios is a theme you should consider.

Price: $59

2. Divi

Divi is an extremely popular theme for designers, and for good reason. It’s an all-in-one theme that lets you build nearly any type of design for a totally unique website that reflects your personal style. Divi features a visual drag-and-drop page builder and comes with 20 pre-made layouts to help you get started. With all of Divi’s options and features, it’s likely the only theme you’ll ever need. Divi is definitely a theme to keep in mind as you consider your options.

Price: $89

3. Calafate

Calafate is a vibrant and artistic theme created with designers in mind. You can use it to build a beautiful website or portfolio quickly and easily, and no coding is required. The theme has an attractive grid layout, with plenty of room for you to express your creativity. It also includes a WooCommerce platform that allows you to promote your products or design services, set up checkout pages and process payments all in one place. Calafate is ideal for designers who want to showcase their work and market their services.

Price: $69

4. Werkstatt

Werkstatt is a gorgeous creative portfolio theme that is specifically geared toward designers and design agencies. The theme includes a large library of website demos and 15 portfolio designs for you to choose from. Werkstatt has an array of templates for your homepage and portfolio, and also has templates for about pages, contact pages, blogs, and articles. In addition to displaying your work, you can easily incorporate a blog with your Werkstatt site if you choose. The theme is drag and drop and is easy to customize to suit your personal style.

Price: $59

5. Verko

The Verko theme has a minimalist look and you don’t need any coding knowledge to build a website with it. There are unlimited options for designing your online portfolio, landing pages, blog, newsletter, and much more! Verko is a stunning theme that gives designers an edge when it comes to growing their freelance business or agency. If you are looking to market your design services or products, consider giving Verko a try.

Price: $35

6. Jevelin

Jevelin is an attractive, multi-purpose theme perfect for designers who want to build a stylish, high-quality website. It has a bundled page-building feature that makes it easy to customize the theme to meet your needs. There are a variety of different demos geared toward designers, such as the Portfolio, Creative, and Photography demos. Jevelin has many options to offer designers whether they are looking to build a striking online portfolio or a business website.

Price: $59

7. Oxygen

Oxygen is an extremely flexible theme that offers tons of options for designers. There are endless layout options for everything from blog posts to product pages, advanced visual features, and a wide variety of website builder elements. Oxygen is also highly compatible with plugins, including those for eCommerce and form building. This theme is an excellent option for building a sleek, attractive, and highly responsive design website.

Price: $129 for Standard plan

8. Agency Pro

Agency Pro is a fast-loading, attractive, and easy-to-use theme that makes website building a breeze. You can quickly customize the theme’s settings, colors, images, headers, and more to get your site up and running in no time. There are many different layout and template options, and the site is extremely mobile responsive. Agency Pro is a hassle-free option for setting up a stylish designer website.

Price: $99

9. Mint

If you are looking to set up a design blog, portfolio, or eCommerce website, Mint is a theme to keep in mind. It features eight high-quality demos, five blog layouts, and four feature slider layouts that you can customize as needed. As an added bonus, no coding is required, so you can create an amazing designer site with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Price: $47

10. Uncode

Uncode is a sleek, modern WordPress theme with many demos geared directly to designers and other creatives. There are a huge number of layout options, an extensive media library, and even adaptive images that automatically re-scale to fit your visitors’ screen sizes. Uncode is perfect for designing a stunning, pixel-perfect site that will wow your visitors.

Price: $59

These WordPress themes are excellent choices for designers looking to showcase their portfolio and market their products and services. Have you tried any of these themes before? Are there others you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Now that you have your theme, use the best plugins for designers!

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Who doesn’t love a good discount, right? And with Black Friday right around the corner, there are some incredible deals out there for web designers that you won’t want to miss.

From themes and plugins to tangible goods, you can find deals on just about anything this year. To help you prepare for this weekend of discounts, we’ve rounded up 2018’s best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for web designers. Happy shopping!

Black Friday deals on software and assets Content Snare

Content Snare helps agencies get content from their clients on time, in the right format, and without email. Spend less time gathering information and more time doing the things you love.

Content Snare Black Friday discountGet 50% off your first 6 months on any monthly plan with code “BLACKFRIDAY18.”

Offer valid from November 16th until November 26th, 2018. 

YouWorkForThem

YouWorkForThem is a fantastic resource to discover new fonts, graphics, photos, or videos! This Black Friday, they’re featuring the typography work of The Northern Block at an exclusive discount. The NorthernBlock has nearly 100 of slickest, most powerful and versatile modernist typefaces with a clean, geometric aesthetic.

YouWorkForThem Black Friday discount: Get 20% off all purchases at YouWorkForThem with the code “FW202018” at checkout.

Offer valid from November 18th until November 30th, 2018. 

SMART SLIDER 3

Smart Slider 3 is the perfect responsive slider for WordPress. Make beautiful and powerful sliders, carousels and blocks with the next generation visual editor. Say goodbye to confusing, hard-to-use tools. Say hello to a whole new way to work with sliders. Smart Slider 3 pushes the boundaries of what sliders should be.


Smart Slider 3 Black Friday discount: Get 40% off all plans with the code “BLACKFRIDAY18” at checkout.

Offer valid from November 23rd until November 26th, 2018.  

Black Friday deals on tangible goods Zeller Writing Co. 

For those of you who love hands-on design, Zeller Writing Co. is a fantastic site to find writing utensils, ink, paper, and more. Plus they have lots and lots of color options, so your design possibilities are endless. 
Zeller Writing Co. Black Friday discount: Get 20% site-wide with the code “ThanksFlywheel”.

Offer valid from November 22nd until November 27th, 2018. 

Baron Fig

If you’re looking for a new notebook to sketch in, look no further. Baron Fig sells the Confidant notebook, which opens flat and comes in three paper patterns: blank, ruled, or dot grid. Plus, for every Confidant notebook they sell, they plant a tree!
Baron Fig Black Friday discount: Get free US Priority shipping on orders of $50 or more by using the code “FlyShip18” at checkout.

Offer valid from November 23rd until November 26th, 2018. 

Black Friday deals on WordPress hosting Flywheel

Flywheel is a delightful platform that helps creatives do their best work. We make it a breeze to create and develop WordPress sites, handle hosting, manage projects, and ultimately scale your business.

Flywheel Black Friday discount:  Score 3 months free on all new annual plans, plus free migrations, free SSL certificates, and free malware cleanup when you use the code “flyday18” at checkout.

Offer valid from November 23rd until November 30th, 2018. 

Black Friday deals on WordPress themes and plugins TemplateMonster

TemplateMonster has a huge selection of WordPress themes (over 1,700!) so you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for here. To help you sort through everything, you can search by theme categories, features, compatibility, and more.
TemplateMonster Black Friday discount: Get 50% off any product – no coupon required!

Offer valid from November 19th until November 29th, 2018.

Anariel Design

Anariel Design is a premium theme company that is known for its unique designs and stellar support. Every pricing plan includes access to support, updates, and all themes, so no matter what you go with, it’s definitely worth the money.


Anariel Design Black Friday discount: Use code ANARIELBLACK2018 to receive a 20% discount on high-qualityWordPress themes for charities, restaurants, and bloggers by Anariel Design. This discount can be applied to any of their three pricing plans that include access to our whole theme portfolio, updates, and support.

Offer valid from November 20th to November 27th, 2018.

MH Themes

MH Themes offers excellent themes for any content-heavy site. Aimed at online magazines, news sites, or other editorial projects, these themes will help your content stand out, plus you’ll receive great support if you ever need help.

MH Themes discount: Get 25% off their Lifetime package by contacting MH Themes and mentioning Flywheel.

Offer valid from November 20th to November 27th, 2018.

ProteusThemes

ProteusThemes’s mission is to help you deliver beautiful and powerful websites faster. They strive for simplicity, thoughtful niche designs, and essential features small business owners really care about.
ProteusThemes discount: Get 50% discount on the ProteusClub, which includes 21+ niche-specific WordPress themes, or buy any of those WordPress themes individually for half the price. Use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY50 at checkout. 

Offer valid from November 23rd until November 26th, 2018.

Designmodo

Designmodo is a selective marketplace for digital products. You can find anything ranging from icons to mockups to UI kits. Check out the Designmodo Shop for some easy-to-use drag and drop website builders, frameworks, and generators.


Designmodo Black Friday discount: Get a 35% discount off any theme or bundle.

Offer valid from November 23rd until November 28th, 2018.

Press75

Press75 focuses on designing and building simple, well-crafted WordPress themes, helping you create beautiful websites with a few clicks. Save time, money, and overhead with Press75 themes. 
Press75 Black Friday discount: Get 40% off any purchase by using discount code “BlackFriday” at checkout.

Offer valid from November 23rd until November 30th, 2018.

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The holidays are right around the corner, and as an eCommerce site owner, there are a million things to do. You’ve already been planning your holiday sale and prepping your stock. Before you start making your list and checking it twice, don’t forget to prep your website!

Especially if you’re running a big holiday sale, you want to make sure your site can handle the traffic as everyone does their holiday shopping over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We all know the little details are often the ones that are overlooked, so let’s get started with some of the basics!

Here’s what we’re going to focus on for your holiday sale:

Revisit your marketing strategy

How are you spreading the word about your Black Friday sales? What’s your strategy for bringing in new customers or retaining current clients? Especially with the heavier traffic websites see around the holiday season, it’s important to start thinking about how to increase your conversion and retention rates.

For example, collecting contact information before a purchase is made is a great strategy to work leads down the marketing funnel, bring past visitors back to your website, and ultimately increase your sales. To collect contact information, think about prompting your visitors to sign up for an exclusive ebook, your newsletter, the latest deals, the list goes on!

Another example may be creating a callout where your visitors can create an account to save items to their cart. This not only gives you an email, but you can do some further marketing efforts to reduce cart abandonment, suggest similar items, and follow up with special promotions.

Think about the most natural transition for your site visitors. What benefit are they receiving for giving you their email address or contact information? Do you want to create a specific Black Friday strategy? Are you tying it into your overall lead flow? These are important questions to consider as you try to convert visitors into repeat eCommerce customers. From there you can shape your strategy based on your ideal target audience and collect more leads.

Create a knock-out marketing strategy for your business! Edit your site content

All the little details really add up. The better your user experience is, the more sales you can expect to make this Black Friday. But with more sales comes more preparation. You want a clear and easy way for your customers to discover your Black Friday deals. Are your product prices and descriptions up to date? Does your discount code work correctly? How does your website respond when you run out of stock on an item?

There are two simple things to do here. First, make sure your website details update as you start to sell out. Second, you can still collect contact information to email potential buyers when the item is back in stock.

By thinking through your site content, you can identify opportunities like this for a better user experience.

Lock down your site security

With all the buzz about website security, your site needs to be ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Having a plan in place for both reactive and proactive measures can make or break your success. For example, with a hosting company like Flywheel, we handle a bunch of security concerns for you, so you can sleep soundly knowing your site can handle anything thrown its way. 

But let’s look a step further. Especially with eCommerce, you need to encrypt everything from passwords to credit cards. This is where your SSL certificate comes into play. Adding an SSL cert to your new site or checking your current certificate is extremely important.

There are countless resources out there to add an SSL certificate to your website. Let’sEncrypt, DigiCert, and VeriSign are all great options with various pricing and complexity options. Here at Flywheel, we’ve partnered with Let’sEncrypt to provide free SSL certificates with every site, and it just takes the click of a button to add one!

Especially during high-traffic times, you’ll want to make sure your site is on lockdown.

Work with your hosting partner

Don’t forget that you’re a holiday shopper, too. Did you get your domain name or hosting plan around the holiday season? Make sure to check if you need to renew before your site accidentally goes down right before the big sale.

You should also review your hosting plan to make sure you have enough resources. Is your site going to go down if you reach your traffic limit? Will you be charged if your traffic spikes over your limit? Don’t overlook this point or it could really cost you.

Luckily, if you’re on Flywheel’s managed WordPress hosting platform, we don’t ever charge for traffic overages. Even during your busiest seasons and sales, you don’t have to worry about crazy overage fees or downtime.

Discover 3 reasons managed WordPress hosting is perfect for your business! Conclusion

Are you feeling prepared for the holiday rush? With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday sales around the corner, you can use these tips to make sure your site is ready to handle the eCommerce and holiday rush! What’s your strategy for your online store during this Black Friday sale?

Looking for even more advice? When you’re expecting the holiday traffic increase, it’s best to plan ahead to make sure your eCommerce site it ready to handle the surge of shoppers. This guide will go more in-depth with some of the tips we’ve covered plus explore how to create a great user experience and boost site performance. The best part? It’s totally free to download below!

Free ebook: The ultimate holiday eCommerce planning guide





This article has been updated from its original publish date on November 21, 2017.

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