Here’s a quick announcement on some of the updates we did in Answers Theme – Question Answer theme in WordPress.
The theme has under gone many tiny changes & improvements. Here’s some of them.
New tab Recently Answered: A new tab “Recently Answered” has been added where you can see the question that has been answered very recently. Also sorting tabs at the top has been revised with different labels (you may change the labels by editing label.php file).
Select category in Ask a Question page: While asking a question, now your site visitors can select under which category they wish to ask their question. As an admin, you may select a default category in case your user select no category.
Display of Answers : The display of answers in a particular question page has been changed to a different, better look. With gravatar focused on left, users can be distinguished differently.
Voting UI: Voting the answer is not revised to different, better look that takes less space and looks more in line with the overall layout.
We hope this upgrade will be useful to you and empower you using this Q/A theme even better.
Note: Please login to templatic member area and download the latest version of this theme. The theme zip file also contains a changelog.txt file that explains the files that has been changed in this upgrade.
Few weeks back we showed you teasers of the upcoming themes at templatic and the theme being released today is one of the last of them. Introducing Store Front the finest e-commerce wordpress premium theme you can use to create your online e-commerce business easily in WordPress. This time the theme is introduced in a bit different structure that many businesses use.
The logo at the top along with wide banner is definitely a cool thing to have. After the menu part, the sidebar on the left starting from the top is nice to have – it feels a bit different than the current boring trend everywhere. Also this widget ready sidebar remains consistent throughout your site showcasing the mini shopping basket and other widgets such as shop categories, ad banner, archives, pages etc.
It transforms your WordPress install into a fully functional Ecommerce store complete with backend administration. Use wordpress to easily manage your store that sells Tangible or intangible/digital goods.
This theme utilizes all the standard features of our other e-commerce themes.
Revolutionary one click auto install of the theme. Activate and your test site is ready.
Different modes of your store: Shopping cart, Digital Goods or Catalog mode
Multiple payment gateways
Bulk product upload
Built in multiple product uploader, auto image resize.
Specify colors, sizes, tax, weight and other specifications per product.
Before pretty permalinks were the norm, we used shortlinks, which are default links created by WordPress to link to your blog posts. For example, before customizing your permalinks structure, the link to the first post on your blog is:
The problem with that is blogs tend to have many entries you can’t keep track of. For example, pretend you wrote a post a long time ago titled, “Goodbye World.” What is the ID number or link for that post now? Is it 498 or 500? You don’t have time to remember all 500 posts and neither do I.
But, once you’ve customized your permalinks to use post titles instead of post ID numbers, the shortlinks get hidden and not everyone knows how to get them back or look for them. Even for people who knows how, it’s time consuming if more than one shortlink is needed, which is why WordPress 3.0 is making it easier to grab shorlinks by adding a Get Shorlink button.
While permalinks that use titles instead of ID numbers are easy to easy to remember and good for search engines, they’re long and some are temporary. For example, what if you needed to paste a link into a Twitter post (which is limited to 140 characters), would you use
The second disadvantage of the longer link is that it could change if you ever needed to change the title of that post. Lets pretend again that you’ve published the Twitter post with the longer link then decides to change the title and URL address of that post two days later to something like, “The Best Post I’ve Ever Written… Yet”. WordPress will update your blog for you, but will not update Twitter so everyone who clicks on the link you previously published on Twitter after the title and URL change will end up at a blank page.
On the flip side, if you had instead on Twitter linked to the shortlink, it doesn’t matter how many times you change the title or URL address, it stays the same. Anyone clicking on the link on Twitter before or after the URL change would be sent to the same page.
How to Enable Short Links
The good news is if you’ve never customized your permalinks structure then you ARE currently using shortlinks. Ta da! If you’ve never customized permalinks for your blog then your permalinks page should look like this:
And when you write or edit a post, the Get Shortlink button should not be present similar to this image:
If you have customized permalinks and the Get Shortlink button is not there when you write or edit a post then you’re not using WordPress 3.0 and should upgrade your blog to 3.0. Otherwise, click on Get Shortlink button to grab…the shortlink :).
How to Display Shortlinks on Your Blog
Maybe your readers have a habit of linking to your blog posts on their Twitter accounts and you’d like to make it easier to for them to do so by giving easy access to the shortlinks instead of forcing them to use URL shortening services like TinyURL and Bit.ly. Well, here’s how:
- Open up your theme’s folder and find the index.php and single.php template files.
– Find The Loop in both files and paste the following line within the loop:
<?php the_shortlink('Shortlink', '', '', ''); ?>
- Save both files and upload it to your web hosting server to see the change made to your blog.
Explanation for the line of code above:
- I’m starting a set of PHP codes.
- Let’s use the_shortlink() function of WordPress to display shortlinks on my blog.
- Within the_shortlink(), there are four options for me to customize the actual display of shortlinks represented by four sets of single quotes.
- First of all, in the first option I want all shortlink display titles, regardless of the actual title of the post or ID number, to be Shortlink. Although it could be anything like say… Peanut, in which all posts would have a Peanut title link, linking to the actual shortlink URL.
- The second, third, and fourth options for customizing the shortlink display are empty because I don’t need them. But if I did:
Second option is for link title, which is different display title. The link title is hidden until you hover over the link you want to click on, then it pops up for you to read. For example, if I use Something Random in the second set of single quotes, when you hover over Shortlink, it would pop up “Something Random,” instead of the actual title of the blog post.
Third option is for placing anything before the actual link display title.
Fourth option or set of single quotes is for placing anything after the link display title.
Here’s an example of all customizable options filled out:
As you can see from the screenshot above, anything you place in in the third and fourth sets of single quotes will be placed directly before and after the actual display title, without any additional spacing if you don’t include the spacing. However, the third and fourth customizable options are often used for adding codes for styling, which would not need additional spacing for it to look like it makes sense.
Going back to the first and second options, see how my display title is Peanut and link title is Something Random? It’d be weird if you use that combination for all posts because they wouldn’t make sense. Especially Something Random, different shortlinks to different posts have different titles, they don’t all have Something Random as the title so leave the second option empty. When you leave it empty, WordPress defaults to using the post titles in the place of link titles.
It’s getting easier and easier to set up online stores. Maybe that’s why more and more people are failing at e-commerce. It’s easy to start, but not easy to sustain or turn a profit. Here’s the beginner guide to setting up an online store with WordPress to start you off on the right foot.
Pick What You’ll Be Selling
Unless you’re planning on competing with Amazon.com selling every product imaginable, which would be a bad idea, get specific. Offline, people go to malls for the convenience of having multiple shops within walking distance so they don’t have to drive around looking for stuff. Online, the convenience is search. People search for what they’re looking for.
For example, Snowboarders aren’t looking for green tea products when they’re shopping for snowboards. So unless you know for sure that people who snowboards are secretly green-tea addicts, don’t try to sell snowboards and green tea on the same website. Getting specific means increasing your chances of showing up for the first few search results on Google or Yahoo. And, being first counts for lots of sales.
Getting specific also weeds out unnecessary competition, which improves your store’s image and product line. Unnecessary competition is having to waste effort on competing with other green tea shops when 98% of your revenue are from snowboards, not green tea.
And how does weeding out unnecessary competition improves your image and product line? Relevance and quality. It allows you to focus on what’s important for the right buyer. For another offline example, anyone who doesn’t care about what they put on their feet can go to Walmart for shoes, for the rest that prefer to pay a little more for better looking shoes, they go to the mall and head for the nearest store with shoes as its main focus. For teens, that would be Foot Locker or Foot Action, where they can get their latest Michael Jordan shoes.
Get Domain Name
Hopefully, now you know what you’re going to sell. Before you can set up a website, you’ll need a domain name, which will cost you around $10. For that, go to Godaddy.com and register/buy one. Buying a domain name is a simple process. If you get stuck, Godaddy has a 24/7 help line.
On the other hand, picking a domain name is tough because there are many choices and many mistakes you can make. Here’s a quick guide for picking domain names:
(Let’s pretend you’re going to sell snowboards.)
Use snowboards, snowboard, snow or something relevant/obvious within the domain name. For common names like snowboardstore.com, it’s more than likely you won’t be able to register it because it’s already taken. In fact, that’s the case for many common names. It’ll take you a while to find a good domain name that isn’t taken, but keep at it. One exception to this tip is if you already have a catchy name available for purchase and a big budget to promote the online store, then sure… register anything you want.
Don’t use cute misspellings like “snowbor”.
Buy a .com name. Don’t settle for a .net, .org, or whatever else is available. Imagine buying fun.net, spending all your time promoting it, then ends up losing some people who wanted to go to your website, but ended up at fun.com. The .com suffix is most common so buy a .com. Otherwise, you might end up really successful with a .net, but still have to pony up a ransom for the .com version because the owner of the .com name sees how successful you’ve been with business under the .net name and because he knows you want the .com. Save yourself the trouble in the first place.
No dashes. snowboard-store.com? Forget it.
Last but not least, double check to see that your available domain name isn’t misspelled before you register it.
Sign Up for Hosting
There are endless tips on hosting. Below will focus simply on what you need for now.
Do not buy the domain name through your chosen web host. It almost always end up messy.
Don’t pick one web host over another simply because they offer a free domain name for the first year. You shouldn’t get a domain name through a web host anyway, even if it’s free for the first year or the entire lifetime.
Don’t pay annually or bi-annually for web hosting because of the discount offers for those payment plans. Pick a reliable host and pay monthly.
You don’t need a dedicated server or UNLIMITED resources. What your online store needs are basic features for it to function and offer up products until it’s profitable, which then would allow you to spend more on web hosting.
Basically, look for 1 GB of space, 5 GB of bandwidth, multiple email accounts capability, multiple MySQL database capability, and CPanel (your web hosting control panel). In reality, most websites don’t cross the 0.5 GB of space and 1 GB bandwidth mark.
Avoid Windows Hosting Packages, which are more difficult for beginners. Linux or Unix hosting plans might sound strange to you, but go with them instead of Windows Hosting.
From personal experience, I’d recommend HostGator.com. They’re cheap and reliable, really all you need for a new online store that’s going to do moderate numbers. Search Google or Yahoo for Host Gator Coupons and all you’ll pay for the first month is $0.01.
With CPanel (your web hosting control panel), installing WordPress is easy. You can do it through programs available via CPanel. For example, programs like Fantastico and Simple Scripts. Here are several tutorials on how to install WordPress:
One-Click Self-Installation – This is a video example of installing WordPress through the Simple Scripts program in CPanel. Note: Host Gator doesn’t offer Simple Scripts by default, but it does have Fantastico, which is another program that can install WordPress for you.
You won’t have to set each and everything step by step (like you do with competetor theme). Simply activate the theme and this theme auto populates sample products, categories and does the basic settings (you can remove them with single click). It’s much easier now to understand how the theme works and all you need to do is, edit the sample products and place your own. You do not need technical knowledge.
Upload Products and Details
Shopping online and offline are certainly two different experiences. Obviously, offline, you get to see and feel the real thing. With online, you’ll need to get the customer as close to the product as possible, which means:
showing multiple shots of the product from different angles or zoom-in capability
providing product specs if technical information will affect customer’s decision
including actual feedback and/or reviews and ratings if your product requires a little help from testimonials
Promoting Your Store by Adding a Blog
While a big budget opens up many more possibilities or ways to experiment with bringing people to your online store, it doesn’t take a big budget to profit. You’re really limited by your creativity. For this tutorial, I’m going to borrow some concepts from blogging and assume you have little to zero budget for promotion.
First of all, getting specific with what you’ll sell is already like picking a niche for a blog. With niche-blogging, you pick a small to moderate size topic/niche and you stick to it so when someone searches for say… digital photography, you’d show up as one of the first few results for digital photography on Google or Yahoo.
If your blog fall off track because your writing interest changed to digital painting then your chance of ranking highly on search results for digital photography will be less than that of a competitor’s blog that is completely dedicated to digital photography.
There’s no rule barring you from adding a blog to your online store. Actually, you SHOULD add a blog to your store. It’s a way to chat with customers, promote, and get feedback. Gary Vaynerchuk’s winelibrary.com brings in 8 figures per year and that’s largely due to his video blog series at tv.winelibrary.com.
Once you’ve added a blog to your store, it might look lonely and dead with few posts here and there about what’s going on with the store because that’s probably what you’ll write about in the beginning during your adjustment phase. But soon, you’ll realize your blog is a pretty persuasive communication channel. Customers get to see and hear from you. They’d come back just for the blog even if they aren’t looking to buy new products, if you have good content and are passionate about the topic.
From the blog following you’ve developed, you can start a newsletter for blog readers who want more content or special content and announcements from you. With the newsletter, now you have permission to actually tell customers about new products that are coming. For regular blogging, keeping the reader’s trust while trying to plug your products for sales is a delicate balance. With the newsletter, even if you don’t have enough content for a high quality blog post, you can simply send out a newsletter with a few tips and a plug for a new product. But of course, the blog and newsletter will only work if it doesn’t seem like all you’re doing is pushing your readers to buy more stuff from you.
Besides newsletters, you can look into linkbaits and leveraging social media. A linkbait is simply an article or blog posting that other blogs of the same topic wants to link to. For example, you’ve managed to interview the top 10 snowboarders in the world through email for sharing on the blog, which is attached to your snowboard online store. The more blogs link to your interview article, the more people come to your blog to read it. The people who came to your blog for the original interview that keep coming back for more from you will eventually buy from your store because they are familiar with you.
For those with a little money spend, depending on the topic of your store and blog, you can create blog posts tailored specifically for social media sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, or Facebook. Take StumbleUpon for example, it’s advertisement program allows you to test advertisement campaigns for as little as $5.
You simply create a linkbait tailored for StumbleUpon audience, usually blog posts with more visuals because Stumble Upon users are impatient people that like to look at cool and pretty stuff. Sign up with Stumble Upon to advertise that linkbait. Configure your settings for when your campaign will start and who should see it.
Who should see it is important, you want potential buyers, not random nobodies whose going to waste your money advertising to them and not buy anything. Most people fail with StumbleUpon campaigns because they forget to select who to advertise to.
Important, with StumbleUpon, you’re advertising blog content you’ve created, not products or services from your store. To people viewing your advertised page, it’s like any other page, but you’re actually advertising a linkbait by paying StumbleUpon to to show your page to its users. While StumbleUpon users aren’t there to buy from you, they will come back to your site if you have great content, which eventually leads to purchasing a product from the store.
More Free Ways to Promote Your Store
Guest blog on someone else’s site and link back to your store.
Go on relevant forums or message boards. Post information people are looking for and link back to the store in your profile’s forum signature area.
Constantly promoting the blog and store aren’t enough. You need to track everything you can track, see what you’ve come up with, and make necessary adjustments. That means using tools like Google Analytics and CrazyEgg. For testing what version of which pages will perform better, use Google Website Optimizer.
For an example of tracking and adjusting, you can look at the statistics to determine which product page on your site people are coming to from Google and what search term they’re using to get from Google to your top ranking product page. If they’re looking for chinese chairs and your product page is selling a Japanese-inspired chair, you have a problem and that is a whole bunch of people are coming to your product page, but not even one chair is sold.
For another example, you need to track what people are searching for within your store by using Search Meter. That way, you’d know what product you’re missing or what should be the new product in the coming days or weeks.
News Flashis the latest blog/magazine style theme and the special thing about it is that the structure of this theme has been requested by existing club members. This structure has become widely famous and many blog / magazine sites use this theme structure for the convenience and the accurate usability for website users and web masters. You will love attention of detail, colors and this old but popular structure of a theme. Check Live Demo of the theme and see the theme live in action.
The header of the site can accommodate full width banner of any height – really useful when you wish to show a big suggestive header graphic. The main banner area contains an elegant, lightweight image slider for featured news. The archive, single and gallery – all inner pages of the theme has also been designed with care. Plus, the theme comes with 7 elegant color schemes to choose from. We’re sure, one of them will suit your target niche users for sure.
We’ve been excited about these new themes. While you’ve seen preview to our earlier themes – some of them are not yet released. You’ll be pleased to know what’s coming in between. Here’s preview to two of new themes.
This is a blog/magazine style theme and the structure of this theme has been requested by existing club members. You will love attention of detail, colors and this old but popular structure of a theme.
The News Flash theme is releasing some time next week. We’re sure you will love building magazine sites in different niche using this.
(click on screen shots below to view actual size images)
Here’s Productz. A different kind of theme, that has been never introduced in WordPress community ever before. This theme is targeted for those who wish to showcase more than one product on a website. You might be an iPhone app seller or maybe you are selling some ebooks. Or you might want to showcase 10+ softwares you have created at your company. You can also showcase fonts, music CDs, handi craft items or literally any product on your wordpress site using this theme.
You’d say whats so new about that? There are themes available in market that I can use to represent a product. Right you are. But what if you want to showcase 5 products in same way, on same site? :) Productz theme is your solution.
Following is a screenshot of an Inner page of this theme.
Take a careful look again at above screenshot (click above image to zoom). Its not a homepage. It’s inner page. At top, you can show screenshot / video of your product along with content description and call to action button / links. You can specify different screenshots / different content for each of your products. There’s no limit how many products you can showcase.
below the first fold, you will have a widget ready sidebar where you can add widgets of your choice after the sub navigation. The sub navigation in product sidebar is a treat. It’s something no one have ever introduced in premium theme ever before. The sub pages will be shown for a particular product if you want to add more than one pages for a particular product. For example, if you are selling a software script, you might want to add different sub pages like – Features, FAQ, Product Tour, Technical specifications etc. You can do that easily using this theme. Not only that, you can also choose to different icons of your choice to show along with the menu item.
In short, you will be able to start a website like templatic using this theme.
Note: You will be able to showcase any number of your products using this theme. However, it does not have product selling feature built in. We suggest using e-junkie to handle your selling & product delivery. We also have several e-commerce themes on sell just in case you wish to use them.
The theme is ready to release as well. But before we launch, we’d like to take your opinion / critics on this one so we can make it even better.
While we’ve taken care to include every important section in the themes, you are the actual user and who knows your requirement better than you? Though the themes are in final stage, we’d love to consider any important changes you suggest which are beneficial to rest of the users as well.
We’ve modified our products before, we’ll modify these themes as well if need be. Just let us know your opinion / suggestions via comments here.
Templatic’s one click auto install has really simplified the process of installing the theme, taking away hassles of making endless settings and confusion. (read the original announcement of our revolutionary Single click auto install feature)
You’d glad to know that we’ve taken it even further by improving the auto install procedure. This particular update is for advanced users who want to setup the theme for themselves.
Here’s how it works.
Once you activate the theme, you will be presented with an option whether you want it to auto install the theme for you?
If you click yes, it will populate sample data, categories, widgets and other options for you.
Once you auto install the theme, it will give you an option whether you would like it to remove the data it has inserted?
Awesome. Isn’t it? Head over to templatic members area and download the latest version of the theme(s).
Choose the theme you’d like to test and wait a few moments for the new window to load
Enter your username and email, then hit “Register”
An activation link will be sent to your email address. You must activate the site by clicking on that link
Once you activate the link you will be given an randomly generated password with links to login to your admin account
Make sure you’re logging in to your specific test site and not test.templatic.com/wp-admin. If you cannot see any admin options that is likely because you logged in to the overall test site and not your specific test site
Once you enter your credentials the test site will automatically load your theme and dummy data. This can take up to 1 minute
Go to wp-admin -> Settings -> Permalinks and set permalinks to the “Post name” setting.
Test site limitations (that won’t be there once you purchase the theme):
Appearance -> Editor and Plugins sections are disabled
Emails from most themes won’t work on the test site, i.e. the theme will create the email but the server won’t send it
If you’ll have any questions during testing feel free to contact us at any time
You’ve been waiting for this one. Emporium is yet another e-commerce theme in our collection with clean, crisp and elegant look which is perfect for any kind of e-commerce outlet. This latest WordPress ecommerce theme shares the same features of our earlier themes in the same niche but with totally different look & feel.