One of life’s pleasures is discovering when some small action taken yields a highly positive, or even a game-changing outcome. A web designer could spend many hours creating a modern website with old tools. A single new tool or a single new service could cut the time required to do so dramatically and produce an even better result.
There’s no shortage of tools or services that could make a difference. The problem is that there are many hundreds of them. There are far too many to devote the amount time it could take find one that might make your day or prove to be a game changer.
One or more of these 15 top tools and services could easily make your day; which is why we suggest you give each one a good close look.
That said, may your shopping experience be a happy and profitable one.
UXPin provides designers with a set of advanced prototyping features perfect when designing for all screen sizes. UXPin has also been built for great collaboration, making it possible for everyone on the team to jump into one design and work together in context and in real-time.
These features include:
Team members have ready access to these and other features in addition to being able to exchange design-related information and feedback with team members and project stakeholders in real time.
Click on the banner to learn more about this powerful labor-saving tool.
You’ll find more than a few real time savers among BeTheme’s 40+ core features that range from a huge library of customizable pre-built websites to layout generators, page builders, grid options, and much more.
This multipurpose WordPress theme is fast, flexible, and is an ideal choice whether you’re an experienced designer tasked with satisfying a large clientele or you’re building your first website.
BeTheme is responsive and requires no coding. Click on the banner to browse Be’s library of pre-built websites and learn more.
The ability to save time and increase productivity often requires breaking with traditional tools and techniques, and sometimes certain services. With respect to tools, the Mobirise website builder exhibits some key differences from traditional website builders.
Mobirise is worth a good, close look. Check it out by clicking on the banner.
Uncode is a creative multiuse theme for creatives who need a tool of like this to best serve their needs. Uncode is ideal for building portfolio, blogging, or magazine-style sites or websites for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups.
Uncode’s many features include –
The showcase is definitely not to be missed. Click on the banner to see it.
What you get with LayerSlider is a very comprehensive multi-purpose animation builder that powers millions of sites every day.
Click on the banner to discover additional features.
This service searches sites for broken and malicious links. It checks for proper URL formatting, server response time, SSL certificate validation and more.
Dr. Link Check detects and highlights problems before serious damage is done.
Slider Revolution 6 is truly a powerhouse website content builder. It could really be a game changer if your websites have begun to exhibit a certain degree of sameness that you would love to break free of.
Here are three good reasons to give the 8b website builder a closer look (there are of course more!).
Other reasons include fast Google ranking and lightning-fast website performance, plus your websites will always be 100% mobile-friendly.
Spending hours looking for a special type of image and paying too much for it once you find it is not a good way to save money; or save time for that matter. Stockfresh is a stock photo agency that can do both.
XStore is a king-size WooCommerce theme that has managed to make e-commerce easily. If you’re looking for a potential game-changer you may not have to look further. XStore’s key benefits include –
Plus a few more useful, time-saving goodies.
Many sites have decent FAQ pages, but they are definitely in the minority. FAQ pages have in fact become somewhat old school, especially when compared to what a powerful knowledge base can do to boost business.
With the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin –
Plus, Heroic Knowledge Base integrates with your theme right out of the box.
12. Rank Math
You can totally stress yourself out trying to make your website as SEO friendly as possible, and “as possible” isn’t always good enough. Maybe, it’s time to let Rank Math do the heavy SEO lifting for you.
Rank Math, with its cool, clean and simple UI can provide
Click on the banner to learn more about this powerful and effective SEO tool.
13. Movedo Theme
This premium quality theme by a top-rated author, in addition to featuring a clean modern design to work with, holds more than a few surprises in store for its users – including
Summing it up – Movedo rocks!
If you’re having a string of sleepless nights because you’ve come across just the right font for a particular need, but you don’t know its name or where to find it, we suggest turning to WhatFontis for help.
This amazing pattern recognition-based font identification service can
Or, all the above.
Goodiewebsite is a frontend development platform that connects business owners and web designers with highly competent, experienced web developers. This service is best for –
Goodiewebsite specializes in 1-10 page websites, WordPress websites and simple eCommerce sites.
Any website building tool or service that can help you speed up your workflow or save you money is worth a close look. Some of the tools and services you’re currently using have performed well in the past but are getting a little long in the tooth. You might be more than just pleasantly surprised if you were to put one or more of the above 15 top tools and services into play. As they are among the very best choices for their respective types, any one could prove to be a game changer for you or your business.
The post 15 Effective Tools and Services You Should Pay Attention To appeared first on WebAppers.
Recent research indicates that sustainable and successful cultures of learning stem from well-strategized training functions. Discover advice from practicing training professionals on how to build a culture of learning in your organization.
Keep your team of web professionals upskilled and eager when it matters most.
The importance of learning within organizations across industries cannot be understated. No matter your employees’ level of expertise, there is always more to learn in order to keep your organization operating at its maximum capacity and your employees satisfied in their roles.
According to the 2019 L&D reports from the professional development search engines, findcourses.co.uk, learning and development (L&D) training has a demonstrable impact on employee satisfaction, retention rates, and the year-on-year financial growth of your business.
The report found that companies spending above average on training and developing their employees were twice as likely to have more satisfied employees. 42% of employees cited professional development as their most valuable perk. Whether you have an existing training function or are looking to build one from the bottom up, start your journey by building a culture of learning amongst employees and management to see your organization flourish.
Straightforward techniques like tying learning to internal promotion, emphasizing training for leaders to inspire change, and accountability across organizational hierarchies will encourage a culture of learning and increase your business’ success. Read on to discover how to make it happen!Learn and Promote In-House
It’s not a necessarily intuitive connection, but by tying internal promotion to L&D companies are 22% more likely to report higher satisfied employees and higher retention rates. In a report from Training Journal, they found that by introducing opportunities for learning to employees from their first day on the job, they’ll be able to envision their own room for growth within your organization and be less likely turnover in their positions.
Creating a link between training and internal promotion (and making it explicit to all) will help employees understand that your organization values their development and that they can grow within the company by developing themselves personally and professionally.
Given that the cost of turnover has the potential to kill your business and lower employee morale, it comes as no surprise that companies with reported growth in the last year are three times more likely to report an increase in their L&D budgets.
A well-functioning L&D program that develops employees professionally and within their roles can reduce those turnover risks and keep morale high and productive.Well-Trained Leaders Are Impactful Change Makers
While employees can and should take ownership of their own development, implementing a culture of learning needs to start from leaders in order to maximize its potential for change.
In the report, leadership and management training was the top priority for a whopping 41% of companies surveyed. The need for quality and well-trained leadership is clear. But what can well-trained leadership accomplish more specifically?
According to the 2019 L&D report from findcourses.com, companies with executives highly engaged in L&D were 3x more likely to say their company had a culture of innovation. Engaged leaders are more likely to inspire learning from the top down, and increase their organization’s capability to embrace new and innovative ideas.
No matter if you have multitudes of training options available to your employees if leadership isn’t involved in encouraging and promoting opportunities for learning, or participating in learning themselves – it will be harder for your employees to understand its value.
For leadership to create an effective and sustainable learning culture, training industry.com recommends that leaders should:
With a few straightforward and simple steps, you can use your position as a leader to create impactful change for your employees, that will really stick.Accountability Across Organizational Hierarchies
Following trainingindustry.com’s example, formalizing your organization’s learning process as a leader is an important step in ensuring that your burgeoning culture of learning will stick.
Tying learning to internal promotion is one way to formalize learning, but the list doesn’t have to end there! Making training a requirement is a strategy to ensure that all employees will benefit from learning within your organization. If you’re going down that route, ensure that you make your training bespoke to your employees’ specific needs – to drive home the value of learning at work.
Be specific about the impact of what you’re hoping your employees will get from training endeavors at the outset, allowing employees to take ownership of their learning experience, and ensure accountability on all sides.
With employees engaged from the getgo, leadership encouraging a culture of learning from the top down, and processes in place to deliver tailored and impactful training across the board, everyone within your organization will be accountable for their own experience, with the tools and support they need to maximize their success.
The restaurant industry has a reputation for being volatile. Running a restaurant isn’t as simple as loving food and preparing it for people. It’s vital to have a deep understanding of how the restaurant business works and how to optimize operations to support your goals.
According to IBISWorld, the U.S. single-location, full-service restaurant industry expanded at a compounded annual growth rate of 3.2 percent for the period of 2014 through 2019.
That isn’t the only segment with growth potential. People eat out often. They’re looking for more healthy, alternative dining options when they go to a restaurant and embracing takeout and similar styles of purchasing from restaurants.
New digital apps and services as well as widespread access to data are leading to the creation of new business models. In short, the restaurant industry is going through a digital transformation.
While the potential is real, achieving and sustaining growth isn’t simple. Managing a restaurant is complex and challenging. You need to consider
Digital solutions can make it easier to deal with these issues, empowering you to improve restaurant management and create more value from your establishment. Read on to learn the ins and outs of what goes into managing a restaurant in today’s digitally empowered world.How to create a menu What kind of restaurant do you want to be?
Creating a menu is impossible if you don’t know your goals and intent for the restaurant. Do you want to be a place where families can spend a fun night together? Are you looking to create a cozy, intimate place that’s perfect for date nights? Do you want your restaurant to be the center of the party for adults who are out on the town with friends?
These general vibe questions can give you a guidepost to start from. Even if, deep down, you really just want to be about great food, you’ll need something that distinguishes your restaurant from the competition. What’s the first impression you want people who drive by to get? What demographics are you trying to attract?
Answering these questions is critical to creating your menu. Ultimately, the menu sets the character and feel of your restaurant. If your marketing efforts, decor, and service strategies don’t align with your menu, patrons will feel that disconnect. If your menu isn’t thoughtful and well aligned with what you want your restaurant to be, you may find it difficult to gain traction.
Essentially, a customer should be able to tell what they can expect from your restaurant by reading your menu. If you’ve clearly defined the kind of establishment you want to be, then you’ll be better able to narrow down the options you have when setting up a menu.What does your local market tell you about the menu?
You can’t escape your marketplace. While some restaurants may get by with business from tourists visiting from out of town, most depend on the locals who regularly patronize the establishment. Creating a menu without performing market research sets you up for problems down the line. Here’s some of the research you should perform:
You can’t simply research your way to a good restaurant. However, some strategic market research — much of which you can complete online or with some networking in your local communities — can elevate your business and make restaurant menu planning much easier.What kind of culinary team are you building?
The skills of your chef, line cooks, and other culinary team members will, of course, have a huge influence on the kind of menu you can create. If you’re trying to function as a chef/owner, you probably know what type of food you’re passionate about. At that point, the question is finding line cooks you can rely on and figuring out the best way to fit your passions into your market situation.
If you’ve partnered with a chef, you’ll need to develop a close working relationship with them to ensure you can share ideas and respect one another. Feuds between an owner and chef are never good for the business. Make sure you have a vision of what you’re looking for in terms of culinary staff. Build a relationship with your staff that gives them freedom to use their expertise while giving you the ability to ensure the menu aligns with the business’s needs. In practice, this often means
Getting your staff on board with your menu — and keeping them engaged through ongoing conversations — is key to not only creating a menu in the first place, but also to answering the question of how to create a restaurant menu that stays relevant over time. No menu is static, and a strong working relationship with your culinary staff puts you in a good position to keep your menu fresh and effective over time.Day-to-day menu considerations
A menu is often a living document. Restaurant menu planning isn’t something you do once. The best restaurants regularly update their offerings based on culinary skills, seasonal food availability, and shifts in consumer demands. As you go through the process of creating your menu and managing it over time, a few issues stand out. Staying on top of these practices can help you get the most from your menu.Revisit planning regularly
Your initial menu planning process is a matter of blending your restaurant’s identity with market demands and culinary team skills. You’ll hopefully come away with an effective blend of items to fill out your menu and position your restaurant for success.
That initial menu may be fantastic, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it the same for years at a time. Besides identifying opportunities for specials, you’ll also want to consider seasonal changes to the menu and revisit core menu items periodically.
Hold regular staff meetings to review what’s working and what isn’t. Perhaps an item is selling well but not really contributing to profits due to a pricing problem. Maybe an item is great on paper but is proving problematic in the kitchen and is more trouble than it’s worth.
Understanding these issues can help you not only create a good menu by anticipating problems but also help you to refine your menu over time. Regular menu planning meetings can help you take advantage of these opportunities.Analyze customer feedback
In some ways, restaurant menu planning is easier in light of the digital technologies available today. Think back just a decade or so. How did restaurants get feedback from customers? Would you give them paper-based surveys on their way out of the restaurant and try to log those responses? Most likely, your customer analysis depended on observed trends — such as compliments at the table or feedback to waitstaff — and reviews on sites like Yelp, where the results are often skewed toward the negative.
Digital tools enable you to capture feedback more easily. Mobile apps let you create quick, easy surveys where users can rate your products and service in just a few seconds. The apps automatically log the data so you can create reports. You can also use technology to track sales and inventory more easily — something we’ll talk more about later on — so you can better understand what’s actually being purchased.
You may be able to engage with customers on social media and through similar channels to build relationships and get feedback.
This digital input from customers can be a game changer. Imagine you have a menu item that isn’t selling well. You don’t hear much from customers, but your kitchen team loves it. What do you do? In the past, you had to experiment. Maybe offer a special or promotion to sell more of that item and get customers excited. However, that would only be a short-term fix. It may increase sales but doesn’t help you identify the problem with the menu item. With digital technologies, you can engage users while giving them a promotional benefit. And you’ll get feedback on how to improve the item — maybe it seems too expensive or the portion size is too small.
Digital tools let you gather more empirical data about customer preferences, making it easier to adjust your menu based on more than observed feedback and raw sales data.Experiment when you can
Don’t be afraid to use specials or short-term deals as a way to experiment with new items. It can be challenging to predict how customers will respond to a dish until it’s been on the market for a while. One alternative to wholesale menu changes every few years is periodic experimentation with new items. You can then keep the ones that work and replace under-performing dishes.
Restaurant menu planning requires almost constant tweaking to find the sweet spot. Of course, you don’t want to change your menu too often; frequent alterations to restaurant menu pricing or items can make it difficult for customers to get comfortable with your menu. However, strategic experimentation and occasional small changes are a great way to ease customers into new ideas and continually improve your restaurant menu.Be careful about pricing
It goes without saying that price heavily influences consumer decision-making and expectations. If somebody splurges on an expensive menu item, they want to be blown away by some blend of quality, portion size, or excitement in the experience of eating it. At the same time, overly low prices don’t just hurt your bottom line; they can create a perception of low-quality food.
Finding the right balance is a matter of understanding the feel of your restaurant, knowing what your regular patrons can afford, and pricing in a way that allows for regular visits from customers.
Working closely with your culinary staff is critical here. Your chef will know how much different foods cost. Chefs also manage your supply chain and understand opportunities to create value through items that are affordable but of high enough quality to be profitable. When deciding on a price, it can help to understand how the kitchen prepares an item and how your waitstaff gets the food to customers. As you go through this process, you may learn that some menu items are too wasteful to justify or that others put too much strain on your servers.
Ultimately, choosing menu prices is a matter of blending food quality, cost, portion size, and serving experience along with what customers are willing to pay in order to find a sweet spot that creates profitability.Design with care
Trends in menu design are highly variable, with different practices coming into and out of fashion all the time. While you certainly don’t need to constantly chase after each trend, you do need a menu that’s crafted to create a positive customer experience. Below are some best practices to follow, regardless of what trends are hot at the moment:
Creating a menu is about blending practicality, branding, and customer expectations. Avoid blindly following fads and be intentional about every menu choice you make, whether it’s the design or the food. Once you have a good menu in place, you’re ready to start thinking about backend issues like inventory management.How to manage restaurant inventory Big-picture best practices
Restaurant inventory management may happen in the background, but it’s also among the single most important elements of an establishment’s success. A great chef and ambiance won’t matter if you can’t source food efficiently and avoid waste. Problems in inventory management can gradually erode your profits, leaving you to miss out on cash you could use to grow your business and better position yourself for success.
There’s a great deal to think about when it comes to restaurant inventory management. But before getting into the details, we should take some time to talk about the high-level best practices that can serve as guideposts in optimizing your supply chain. Here’s a look at a few of the most important big-picture best practices and some guidance on how to live up to them.1. Waste not, want not
It’s a bit cliche, but waste is your enemy in the restaurant business. Every bit of food that’s thrown away without being served to a customer is a missed revenue opportunity. Every food item that spoils while in storage creates a potential health code violation.
Finding ways to avoid waste is essential to positioning yourself for profitability. The following are a few ways you can do this.
Improve demand forecasting
Purchasing excess restaurant inventory sets you up for waste. Historically, restaurants were forced to make fairly loose estimates on inventory needs based on observational data about sales and the expiration dates of food items in stock. It doesn’t take too much fluctuation in demand on a given night to leave you with excess food.
The digital technologies available today make it easier for restaurant managers and chefs to log and track transaction data over time. They can get into granular details such as
Ultimately, digital systems let you not only understand what your customers buy but what they’re likely to purchase based on historic trends. This helps you move past observational data into empirical decision-making so that you can optimize demand forecasting and reduce the need to carry excess supply that eventually becomes waste.
Optimize food storage
There’s a great deal to consider when storing food, and it’s vital that your kitchen staff understands proper food storage and management. We’ve all heard the horror stories — restaurants putting hot food into fridges, causing bacteria growth; food prep teams storing chicken or seafood in unsealed containers, leading to the spread of harmful germs; staff leaving moldy bread to rot on the back of shelves — any of these nightmares are bad enough on their own.
Food storage problems aren’t just an issue because of the isolated damage to a specific item of food. Losing 20 pounds of chicken because it was mislabeled and went bad is frustrating, but it’s the kind of mistake that sometimes happens. However, leaving that same chicken in a place where it comes into contact with raw produce means the chicken renders the produce unsafe to serve.
Proper separation, labeling, and storage of food is vital to reducing waste and eliminating the human error that forces you to dispose of food. Create a formal, standardized food storage process and work to ensure consistent staff compliance.
Great chefs can turn less ideal cuts of meat or unpopular vegetables into attractive parts of the menu. When your kitchen staff gets creative about how they use different food items, you can maximize the value of your purchases and minimize waste.2. Work with a bunch of vendors
Simplifying your ordering and stocking processes can be nice for your team. That said, be careful not to oversimplify. If you’re purchasing all of your food from a couple of suppliers, chances are you’re missing out on opportunities. Food costs vary substantially depending on the season, and different suppliers will have access to more affordable items at different times of the year.
Restaurant suppliers can be a great source of food items, and having a few vendors in place to choose from for different goods at different times of year can help you keep costs under control. However, turning to alternative supply options can also be an attractive option. Restaurants can consider a few options beyond typical suppliers:
Partnering with a wide range of suppliers and vendors can help you optimize your purchasing strategies and maintain your ability to supply key foods in the event of a shortage.3. Be aggressive about maximizing efficiency
Maintaining a first-in, first-out program for your inventory is key in not just eliminating waste but also in maximizing the freshness of the items you serve. It can also be a first step in a strategy to minimize excess inventory.
If you’re minimizing waste, storing food efficiently, and leveraging modern analytics software to improve forecasting, you can then reduce the amount of inventory you need to carry in the first place.
For example, you may know through observation that you sell a lot of steak over the weekend, so you place a larger order set to arrive on Friday morning. But do you have historic data that tells you the average number of steak dishes you sell each weekend and how that figure fluctuates relative to seasonal trends? With that data, you could predict how much steak sells when a music festival is in town compared to a normal weekend in winter. On top of that, you could track sales in real time during the weekend to determine if your ordering volume is higher than normal and you need to make a rush order.
Reducing the excess inventory you carry doesn’t just help you eliminate waste. It also reduces the amount of space you use for storage and can keep energy costs down. Smaller freezers mean lower costs to keep items fresh.
These big-picture strategies, and the specific ways you execute on them, can give you a strong foundation for effective restaurant inventory management. There are also some specific tactics you can put in place to make it easier to manage your supply chain.Streamline ordering with restaurant inventory sheets What are inventory sheets?
A restaurant inventory sheet is a form that lists common goods a company uses as part of its everyday operations. For retail stores, this typically means items that are sold to customers. For restaurants, an inventory sheet can be used to track food items used for different parts of the menu. For example, the sheet may list a dish on the menu and the specific items and quantities needed for that dish. Alternatively, you could list the foods you use in your menu rather than itemizing goods in order to simplify ordering.
Quantifying your inventory in a custom form can make it easier to assess what you have when you do cycle counts of goods. Team members can easily record the items in stock and where they’re stored so that food doesn’t end up being forgotten and going bad.
Inventory sheets can also simplify ordering by allowing team members to easily track what you have and what you need. They can then submit the sheet to the person who has purchasing authority to complete orders.Why should you digitize inventory sheets?
Digital inventory forms let users add data electronically and send the information to backend restaurant management systems where it can be put to use automatically. Digital inventory sheets that integrate with your other software systems make it easier to manage purchasing and accounting, creating more visibility and requiring less data entry.
Digital sheets are also easier to customize and change based on your needs. You can more readily adjust them as your menu or inventory requirements shift over the course of the year. You won’t have to worry about frequent print jobs so your staff can keep up with data entry demands.Optimize delivery scheduling
Obtaining goods and moving them into storage lays the groundwork for successful inventory management. If your team gets bulk orders right before dinner service and has to scramble to unload, then they’re probably going to take shortcuts. But if orders arrive way too early, you may find it difficult to get staff to arrive at that time of day to manage storage.
Analyze your typical work day and try to align delivery scheduling with your kitchen staff’s workflow. Ideally, they’ll have time to not only store items effectively but also take care of labeling, organizing shelves so older items are easier to access, and performing cleaning procedures in a timely fashion.
Inventory management is a complex task that touches many facets of the business. Being strategic about your decision-making and the strategies you employ can help you get ahead.How to improve restaurant operations
Staying on top of everyday operations can put a strain on restaurant managers. The cycle of managing inventory, handling food prep, keeping up with customer demands, and cleaning up to prepare for the next day can be staggering. It’s easy to get so caught up in this cycle of work that developing strategies and making changes to improve restaurant operations feels impossible.
But operational inefficiency will inevitably damage your bottom line. It could also frustrate staff and make it more difficult to create positive customer experiences. Focusing on operational gains can help you create value from everyday tasks. The following are five key issues to keep in mind in the process of improving your restaurant’s operations:1. Understanding and controlling operational expenses
Restaurant operating costs can add up quickly and be difficult to manage. Common costs include
This isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list of restaurant expenses, but it highlights just how varied and complex expense management can be. When it comes to managing restaurant costs effectively, it’s best to focus on a few key areas.Gaining visibility
Tracking your costs efficiently makes it easier to stay on top of your spending. Doing so via digital channels allows you to create reports so you can visualize your costs based on different conditions. Working with key stakeholders, such as your chef or restaurant management, can help you get buy-in when you try to get costs under control.Forecasting
Once you have visibility into your expenses, you can use that data to more accurately forecast your costs moving forward. You can use monthly data about salaries to project the costs for the hours each employee will work in the next month. This will help you assess whether you can actually afford the staff you’re keeping around.Purchasing
Completing purchase orders is routine, but that doesn’t mean you can get casual about making purchases. Taking advantage of digital technologies to track purchase orders, taking note of vendor relationships, and optimizing each purchase relative to the costs and delivery timeline can go a long way in keeping expenses under control.
If you need one item that can be provided by two vendors, it’s important to assess which can meet your timing needs in the most cost-efficient way possible. Efficient restaurant purchasing is possible when you have visibility into purchasing history, software reporting on vendor performance, and a strong sense of what you can afford moving forward.Performing calculations
All of the expense management strategies we’ve discussed aren’t really plausible unless you can accurately track your payments and calculate expenses. The good news is that you don’t have to do complex math to handle expense calculations. Instead, the challenge comes in the form of gathering accurate expense data so you can make precise calculations.
This is one of the reasons digital technologies are so valuable in today’s restaurant world. If you have a digital point-of-sale (POS) system, it can automatically log your transaction data. If you have a web-based inventory management and purchasing system, you can get complete visibility into supply chain costs. If you put your staff scheduling and payroll solutions into accounting software or a spreadsheet, you can calculate staffing costs fairly easily.
When you use these tools in conjunction with each other, you can fairly easily calculate your costs to inform your operating strategies. Once you have a clear idea of your restaurant’s operating expenses, you can identify pain points that are hurting your ability to generate profits and target them for improvements.
For example, imagine you’re at the end of your busy season and preparing for a few months of slow business. If you don’t have precise expense tracking in place, you’re left estimating what you can afford, something that can leave you with a cash flow problem as revenues dip. To avoid that, you could simply let go of most of your staff and reduce inventory. However, the time that you gain during the down season can be perfect for work on special projects, staff training, and menu development. If you let go of too much of your staff or cut down on spending for supplies, you limit your ability to capitalize on that opportunity.
If you have a clear sense of your historic expenses and revenue, you can use that information to better develop your operational strategies for the down season. With the right data, you can
While many of these projections depend on historic data, you don’t always need years of information to pull from. Even being able to look back at a month or two of information can be valuable in turning observations into hard and fast conclusions based on real-world data. Over time, that information becomes more valuable because you’ll have access to information gathered over years.
Effective expense reporting and calculations pay operational dividends as you work to refine your business processes over time.2. Improving customer service
If you’re working in the restaurant business, you know your customers are essential to your revenue. Successful restaurants rely on return business from loyal customers to stay in the black and grow over time. If you aren’t creating memorable, consistently positive customer interactions, you’ll eventually run out of people to serve and come to rely almost entirely on travelers who happen upon your restaurant.
While this kind of model may have been feasible in the past — sell a lot to tourists during busy travel seasons and use that revenue to carry you through the down times — it’s no longer feasible. Now that Yelp reviews are built into navigation systems and social media, restaurants can’t hide from bad word of mouth. Too many bad reviews mean that travelers using their phones to search for a restaurant will see the negative feedback and stay away.
Working hard to drive positive customer experiences is absolutely critical. And it isn’t easy. Some customer evaluations will inevitably be subjective. The vast majority of customers may love a dish, but one or two will leave bad reviews. Your waitstaff could be widely popular among patrons, but a few customers could have a negative experience for reasons outside the servers’ control. Mistakes happen, and different customers look for different things from restaurants. While you can’t prevent any sort of negative experience, you can put your restaurant in the best possible position for success. Here are some steps you can take to do this.Getting customer feedback
The best way to understand how to create stronger customer experiences is to ask your patrons what they want. Feedback is a great way to understand what you’re doing well, what you need to work on, and whether or not customers are leaving your establishment happy.
Of course, surveys have been historically difficult to perform. Asking customers to fill out a sheet of paper on their way out of the restaurant — or sending it to them in the mail — results in fairly few responses. A small sample makes it difficult to figure out whether the feedback represents your operations as a whole or simply reflects an isolated incident. On top of all this, you don’t just need to collect the data; you also need to manually organize and analyze it.
Digital survey solutions make life easier. Digital forms, such as the survey forms we provide at JotForm, can go a long way in making data collection easier. You can use prebuilt templates or create your own options to get feedback from customers. Embed the form on your site, send it to patrons in your loyalty program, or email it along with receipts sent to patrons digitally. You can even use a tablet as part of the payment process and include the survey there.
Because digital surveys are so user friendly, customers are more likely to complete them. And the standardized responses you get from these surveys makes it easier to track the data via web apps and to view the results and analyze trends.
All told, digital surveys make it easier to collect and use customer feedback so you can make informed operational changes to fuel stronger experiences.Training staff to escalate incidents
Negative incidents with customers can leave waitstaff scrambling to handle the conflict while keeping up with their other demands. Training staff in common methods to diffuse conflict and satisfy frustrated customers is a great first step in creating consistent positive interactions. Sometimes, though, nothing a server can do will change the customer’s behavior. In these cases, it’s important that your staff can identify early signs of a growing conflict and quickly escalate it so managers can step in.
Turning negative situations into positive or even neutral experiences can be valuable in retaining customers.Handling online reviews with care
Negative feedback online can be tough to swallow, especially if it feels like a reviewer may have an agenda. However, responding aggressively or adversarially to reviews or social media posts will ultimately make you and your restaurant look bad. Work hard to avoid getting defensive. Instead, try to turn a negative review into an opportunity to recoup business by apologizing, trying to understand the customer’s complaint, and offering them an incentive to give your establishment a second chance.Ensuring clear communication and expectation-setting
Few things fuel a negative experience more than customers expecting one thing and getting another. Make sure you use standard language to describe your dishes and ensure your staff knows what each item contains so they can answer customer questions accurately. It’s also important to make sure your servers understand how to communicate allergy concerns to kitchen teams and how to advise visitors on food safety issues.
Creating positive customer experiences is never easy, but it’s too important to push to the back burner.3. Dealing with cleaning needs
Cleanliness isn’t just a matter of presentation. Yes, it’s essential that your seating areas and dining room are clean enough to make a good first impression and ensure customer comfort. But it’s also a major part of food safety.
Though it’s critical, cleaning is thankfully fairly straightforward. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
First impressions are powerful. A dirty, dingy restaurant can push customers away and create health risks. Even if you aren’t going for a high-end vibe in your establishment, don’t sacrifice cleanliness. There’s a difference between casual and dirty.4. Deploying a modern POS system
We already mentioned that you can use modern POS systems to build surveys into customer checkout processes. But if you’re asking, “What is a POS system in a restaurant?” improved checkout capabilities are only the tip of the iceberg. A digital POS solution can transform how you operate, and it does so in a variety of ways, including
In practice, a modern POS platform can transform your restaurant operations by solving many problems between the front-of-house and kitchen teams, creating visibility and easy communication. This pays dividends over time by fostering stronger customer experiences and creating greater visibility into everyday operations.5. Handling online operations
Consumers have done more than just embrace online interactions with brands. They now want blended experiences where they can seamlessly move between physical and digital channels. Restaurants have an opportunity to engage customers through digital channels to better meet their needs. But to do this, you must get online operations right in these three key areas:1. Reservations
Create a digital reservation form and add it to your website or mobile app. You can integrate this form with a digital POS solution to simplify booking management and make it easier for customers to reserve a table. Alternately, use the form for staff members so they can file a reservation easily.
JotForm’s restaurant reservation form can serve as a template that helps you schedule reservations in a convenient way while logging special requests. Our templates are customizable so you can adjust the form for your specific needs.2. Take-out and delivery orders
Takeout is becoming a new normal for restaurants of all types — so much so that many traditional restaurants are getting into the prepared food business so customers can pop in and buy a dish to go. Accepting orders online, sending instructions to the kitchen, and giving customers a clear idea of when to expect the order to be ready is critical.
And takeout is only a starting point. Many restaurants are also partnering with delivery services to use outsourced drivers for deliveries.
This is an area where JotForm’s digital restaurant order forms can pay off, giving restaurants access to easy to customizable digital forms they can use to track customer orders and ensure positive take-out or delivery experiences.3. Catering orders
Many restaurants maintain catering operations as a side gig, and the catering services often become profit centers that operate in parallel to the restaurant. Catering can be great for publicity and brand awareness, but it’s also complicated.
Digital technologies overcome longstanding barriers to efficient catering operations. Letting customers book your services online and empowering teams to manage catering schedules digitally makes everybody’s life easier.
Whether you’re planning for a big event or preparing a few platters for pickup, an online form that handles orders and simplifies scheduling is invaluable. JotForm’s custom catering order forms let you set up fields for the catering products you offer, making it easier for customers to schedule services and simplifying backend management for your team.
Whether customers interact with you online or are regular visitors to your establishment, improving operations to better meet their needs is critical to the long-term success of your restaurant. Great food may get you off the ground, but positive experiences bring customers back over and over again. Using digital technologies and focusing on operational best practices can position you to not only put your restaurant on a path to success but also sustain growth over time. To get there, however, you also need to get your staff on board.Training and staff management
Staff can be one of a restaurant owner’s biggest assets. A great chef can help you stand out in the marketplace. Efficient line cooks can keep the kitchen humming efficiently. Front-of-house workers can forge strong customer interactions and smooth over any rough customer experiences. Managers can help you stay on top of finances and keep your establishment running smoothly.
If your restaurant staff is happy and productive, then you’re probably going to end up in a good place. If they’re unhappy and quitting on you, then you’re going to struggle to maintain consistency in your products and services.
When thinking about how to manage restaurant staff, it’s important to look beyond the basics and consider the role your staff can play in creating value for your business. Ultimately, an engaged, skilled staff can help you advance your business.What kind of staff do most restaurants need?
Restaurant staffing demands will vary substantially depending on the size of your establishment and customer base. However, there are a few roles that just about every restaurant needs to fill:
This is a (by no means exhaustive) peek at a typical restaurant’s staff, but it only scratches the surface of what’s possible. These are the essential roles in a restaurant. Many establishments will also have bookkeepers, accountants, decorators, purchasing specialists, or professionals in similar roles.
The key here isn’t so much that you need all of these roles but that a restaurant relies on a lot of people working together and working really hard to stay on top of everyday tasks. If you don’t invest in your staff, things can fall apart quickly. It’s important to be strategic about hiring and retaining workers so your human resources processes align with your operational needs.How should restaurants handle typical HR tasks?
Hiring, staff retention, training, engagement, and termination are critical HR tasks that can sometimes slip under the radar in restaurants. Here are some tips to help you handle these complex processes.Hiring
Expand your candidate pool
Restaurant staff hiring is harder than it may seem. Working in a restaurant requires social and relational skills that are difficult to measure. Waitstaff need to be willing to serve with a smile, even when faced with unfriendly guests. Managers need to deal with complex scheduling and oversee roles that often face high turnover. When it comes to kitchen staff, the phrase, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” is a cliche for a reason. Not everybody can handle the stress of working in a restaurant kitchen.
Posting a job ad on your website and in the local newspaper isn’t enough. By expanding your reach to more candidates, you can interview a wider range of prospects, and you’ll be more likely to find individuals with high potential. Here are a few strategies to consider:
Widening your hiring net will expose you to more promising candidates for a variety of roles in your restaurant.
Don’t neglect job descriptions
A good job description will help a candidate understand your job while showcasing why your establishment is a great place to work. Take the time to refine your job description. If you put a positive spin on your opportunity, this can go a long way in attracting candidates. Formulating the job post isn’t just a throw-away task; it’s a key marketing tactic.
Standardize your restaurant staff hiring processes
Staff-related issues open restaurants up to accusations of discrimination. There’s no way to sugar coat this. If a candidate thinks you didn’t provide a fair chance for a job due to discrimination, you can face accusations of wrongdoing and potential investigations.
One of the best ways to avoid these kinds of problems is to standardize your processes so that, as much as possible, every job candidate for a certain role has the same experience. Things to standardize include
This may sound overly rigid, but sites like Glassdoor don’t just review what it’s like to work with companies; they also give individuals the opportunity to share their experience applying for jobs with businesses. If candidates feel mistreated, they may share that with others. If you ask something unusual from them, other candidates may find out about that when reading about others’ experiences.
Standardization protects you while making restaurant staff hiring a bit easier because processes are defined and you’ll get roughly the same information from all applicants.Retention, engagement, and training
These three issues are deeply linked.
Retaining skilled workers helps you create a stable, productive, and efficient operational climate for your restaurant. It’s easier to provide consistent service and grow your business when you aren’t fighting against constant turnover.
You can’t retain workers if they aren’t engaged. Employees who are engaged in their work tend to feel that what they do has a purpose and are therefore more motivated to strive for excellence each day.
Restaurant staff training is the glue holding retainment and engagement strategies together. By investing in your staff, you can help them grow their skills, move into more fulfilling job roles, envision a long-term place in your business, and feel valued in their work.
Retainment, engagement, and training are highly complex issues, and best practices often vary based on your specific restaurant and business model. That said, here are some tips to help you start thinking about your staffing opportunities:
Helping develop employees can go a long way in keeping them happy and productive. But sometimes, a worker simply isn’t a fit for your restaurant. Termination is never easy, but it’s sometimes necessary.Termination
Our advice here is similar to what we highlighted in hiring: Standardize your processes, and clearly communicate expectations to protect yourself against legal problems. Set clear and firm policies for
Termination is always a difficult process, but standardization and clear communication make it more manageable.How do you build scheduling?
Restaurant staff scheduling is often complex, as employees often need to spread work over varied shifts based on their availability. Digitizing your restaurant scheduling process can make life much easier. You can use digital tools to
Dedicated scheduling apps make all of this easier, saving you from excessive manual data entry as you work to craft schedules that align with your needs.Conclusion Achieving management excellence in a digital world
Restaurants must provide excellent food and service to stand out in a crowded market. Your ability to manage your establishment and keep staff happy is a key part of this process. As digital technologies become mainstream in the sector, you have new opportunities to leverage data and get ahead of your competitors.
Whether you’re seeking custom forms or advice on how digital documentation and records can help you run your restaurant better, JotForm would be happy to help. We pride ourselves on making digital documentation easy through customizable form templates that help you get the information you need to run your restaurant and keep it organized. Contact us today to learn more.
Content access levels refer to sets of content permission allowing you to decide which content your members could or couldn’t see.
It helps deliver premium content to your members and customers easily. You can also ask users to pay and upgrade their member levels to view restricted content.
Membership plugins instantly come to mind when you seek out a WordPress access levels solution. Do you know that you can also manage users’ access permission with a password protection plugin?
In this tutorial, we will look at how to create WordPress access levels using both membership plugin and password protection plugin, namely Simple Membership and Password Protect WordPress (PPWP) Pro.Create Access Levels Using Simple Membership Plugin
Installed on over 40 thousand WordPress sites and receiving a 4.4-star rating, Simple Membership clearly solves a problem when it comes to creating and controlling the content accessibility.
Once registering and becoming a member on your website, visitors will be assigned membership levels. To start using the plugin to add access levels for these members, you need to take the following 3 steps:Step 1: Install the Simple Membership plugin
1- Go to Add New under Plugins in your WordPress admin dashboard
2- Type “simple membership” in the keyword box
3- Click Install and Activate buttons
Upon installation and activation, the plugin will be inserted directly into your admin navigation menu.Step 2: Add a new membership level
1- Head to WP Membership in the left sidebar
2- Choose the Membership Levels section
3- Click on Add New
4- Fill the new level’s details such as its name and the access duration then choose the default role
The duration time controls how long members of that default level have access to the protected content. You can generate numerous membership levels on your WordPress site, e.g. Customer, Shop Manager, and SEO Editor.Step 3: Protect pages and posts using Simple Membership plugin
The next step is securing your content and authorizing members of specific levels to access it.
1- Visit Pages or Posts and choose your desired post or page
2- Find the Simple WP Membership Protection section at the bottom of the post’s edit screen
3- Tick on “Yes, Protect this content” option
4- Select the membership levels granted access to this content
5- Save your changes
Now, your private post becomes visible to logged-in users with the right membership levels only. Others will see a message saying that the content is protected when attempting to view it. They must upgrade their membership in order to access the post.
Besides membership plugins, you can also create and modify access levels for users with password protection plugins.Why Creating WordPress Access Levels with Password Protection Plugins
When you use a password protection plugin to create access levels, users don’t have to sign up or log in to see the secure content. They just need to enter the correct password and unlock the protected pages or posts.
It makes sense when online course providers create membership websites since they help control students, manage teachers, and secure learning materials. For small businesses, it’s too complicated to create a membership site and take a bunch of settings and configurations
There are not many password protection plugins providing content access level functionality. Password Protect WordPress Pro proves the most powerful tool. Those using the higher-level password are able to unlock the lower level content.
You can both modify permission levels for your content and edit passwords in only one place too.
There are 3 steps you need to take when using the plugin to apply access levels to your content. Firstly, set up category access levels. Then, password protect levels. Finally, manage your passwords.How to Create Content Access Levels Using Password Protect WordPress (PPWP) Pro Organize your categories by levels
Instead of securing and assigning levels to individual posts, you can sort them by categories, get up these categories by levels, then password protect these levels.
Not all categories are equal in value. Some low-level categories can be offered for free whereas other higher-level ones ask for users’ payment or subscriptions. Those having access to the higher-level category are definitely able to view all content in lower-level categories too.
To assign permission levels to your categories, firstly, create a base including all categories that you want to restrict access to. These 6 steps show you how to do that:
1- Head to the Access Levels section under Password Protect WordPress menu and open a popup screen
2- Click “Add New”
3- Fill in the form with the base name as well as its description
4- Select the post type. It can be Posts, Products, or any custom post types.
5- Choose base categories from a dropdown list
6- Set a level for each category. In the example above, Classic category will have a higher level than Story or Block categories.
Once unlocking the Classic category, users are allowed to view all content in Story or Block category without having entering passwords.
You should notice that each category must belong to a level only. Additionally, if you don’t set levels to any category in the base list, it will be assigned the Level 0 – the lowest level – by default.
It’s possible for you to choose WooCommerce product categories or any other custom post type categories and assign access levels to them.
After setting levels for base categories, start password protecting them in the Manage Password tab.Password protect multiple Post & WooCommerce Product categories
Other password protection plugins permit you to lock one category at a time. Access Levels extension, meanwhile, enables you to password protect various categories at the same time by levels. In other words, if you shield a level with a password, all categories belonging to that level will be protected simultaneously.
To password protect WordPress post or WooCommerce product categories by levels, follow the guide below:
1-Go to the Add New Passwords tab in the Access Level popup screen
2- Enter your password
3- Fill in the level of which you want to password protect categories
4- Decide password types. Global passwords mean any person with this password can see the private categories. In case you choose password roles, only certain roles using that password are able to open the content.
5- Provide password usage limits, which will be explained in below
6- Type password expiration time in the Password Expiry box
From the example above, all posts within level 3 categories are secure with a password now. When users enter the password to unlock one of these posts, they can access other posts in that category as well as posts of categories in levels 1 and 2 automatically.
Once adding a new post to a protected category, the post will have the protection you specified for that category. This post will have the same passwords as other posts in the category as well as posts in other categories of the same level.Manage your passwords
The ultra-cool is that you can manage and customize your password easily using PPWP Pro.Expire passwords by usage or date
You can set usage limits or expiration time for each password. This means your passwords will become invalid after a certain usage or a period of time. It proves useful in many cases. You can provide users with the password for free in a given time then expire it. Users should pay in order to keep accessing your premium content.Set multiple passwords per level
Password Protect WordPress Pro enables you to create as many passwords for a level as you would like to. So you can set different passwords and share with your users.
What’s more, you can apply user roles for passwords. While the global passwords authorize all types of users to enter the password form, user role passwords let specifically logged in user roles to view the private content.Make Use of WordPress Content Access Levels
Access levels allow you to deliver premium content to users efficiently. You can create access levels for your WordPress content using either membership plugins or password protection plugins.
Simple Membership helps restrict non-logged in members from accessing your private content. However, setting up a membership website and creating member levels might take you a lot of time.
Password Protect WordPress Pro and its Access Levels extension make it easy for you to create levels for categories and then password protect them. Those who can open content in a category are able to see the content of other categories of the same level as well as lower levels. You can password protect a level with various passwords as well as managing all your settings in one place.
Still have a burning question about how to create content access levels on your WordPress site? Just say the words in the comment section below!
In any build, using the right tools is probably one of the most crucial elements that can determine whether it will be done correctly and excellently.
Every webmaster should build with the proper tools to create a website for success. Many website developers, both amateurs and professionals, turn to the most popular CMS platform, WordPress, in building their website. With more than 55,000 plugins in its hugely extensive library, WordPress leads other CRM brands in giving the most options for customization without the fuss. WordPress works even for beginners because you need not know coding or an impressive backend experience to create a stunning WordPress site. As a matter of fact, among the top 500 websites, 33.5% are WordPress users.
But a site should be beyond stunning. There is more to a website than its design, functionality, and content. While all these things are direly important too, and can even make or break the success of your website. All these elements, though, need to point to a clear goal—leads generation and conversion. If nobody can find the website, then how can they ever convert from mere visitors to avid patrons?What is Lead Generation and What Good is it For Websites?
Lead generation aims to gain people’s attention and get them interested in your brand or business, with the aim of converting them into subscribers and customers. It uses strategies such as building an email list, lead magnets, contact forms, and landing pages. SEO strategies are successful if they can bring the people into your website, cause them to stay, and finally urge them to buy.
The websites that these consumers look for add value to their lives by being able to give some solutions to their latest search intent. The market is fickle, and the trends continually change and adapt to the ever-evolving market, so webmasters look or CMS platforms that can deliver a lot of customization options, produce mobile-responsive content, fully integrated with email service. Here are some of the best WordPress plugins for a lead generation this 2020 that meet these demands:Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a CMS platform that helps you attract traffic to your website by optimizing your site for search engines. SEO experts love Yoast because they don’t have to think about all the backend requirements to optimize the site. They can focus more on front-facing aspects of the website, like the right keywords to get the right visitors and convert them into leads customers.OptinMonster
OptinMonster is an optin form builder tool that helps you build multiple types of forms such as lightbox popups, floating bars, slide-ins, and sidebar forms, for your website. It’s one of the most popular lead generation software that integrates your forms with email marketing tools such as Mailchimp, AWeber, InfusionSoft, Constant Contact, and GetResponse. It has an Exit-Intent Technology that pops up upon the visitor’s sign out or exit, to discourage cart abandonment, or to at least get their email or click a social share button. Other features include A/B testing, page-level targeting, and built-in analytics that webmasters find very useful and convenient. OptinMonster works on every website, like WordPress, Shopify, HTML, and others.JotForm oEmbed
JotForm oEmbed is another tool for making contact forms that can be fully integrated with email marketing tools. It is easy-to-use for newsletter signup form creation and to continue building your newsletter’s email list. You can boost your email list by creating signup forms to join your mailing list, or through an email signup checkbox to your regular contact forms for a more automated system of adding contacts to your list. You can also embed your lead generation on any page of your WordPress site.Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads boast of helping you build your mailing list fast, right from your website. It comes with a simple drag and drop editor to create optin forms, and allows you to choose what kind of forms you want to build—popup lightbox, 2-step optin forms, sticky horizontal forms, just to name a few. You can do A/B testing of your forms; however, it has fewer targeting options than Optin Monster and may cause web slowdowns if it’s not compatible with your web host.MailChimp for WordPress
MailChimp for WordPress is created by a WordPress plugin company called IberiCode, which allows you to add more subscribers in your email list beyond 2000 subscribers directly from your WordPress website. You can make basic optin forms or integrate them into your comments, contacts, or checkout forms. It offers both paid and free additional features like MailChimp Top Bar, MailChimp User Sync, Captcha, and MailChimp Activity.LiveChat Inc.
Adding a chatbox on your website is made easy by LiveChat. It enables you to be “there” for your visitors right away, assist immediately, and propel conversions more successfully. It works well for visitors because issues can be resolved in no time. It can also be integrated with email marketing tools, so it’s easy to get information from your potential leads for quick follow up.Yoast Comment Hacks
Make your blog more engaging by adding a way for them to interact with you and other readers quickly. You can immediately answer questions, encourage healthy discussions, making your readers engage with you on a more personal level. It helps you build trust and establish authority all at the same time, especially if readers are leaving positive comments on your page. It helps for better chances of lead conversion and sales.Conclusion: Make Lead Generation a Priority
Don’t be too focused on just the aesthetics of your website. What good is a well-designed kitchen if no one is ever going to cook in it, and no food gets served through it? What good is a mall with all the best shops in the world, if nobody ever drives by to shop? It’s the same with your website. You need people to find your site, people consuming the content on your website, and people converting from mere observers to active buyers. It is not impossible to have thousands in website traffic, sales, and repeat orders coming from your newsletters and visitors on your website and social media pages getting hooked into your website if you build things correctly. Build your website with the right tools to get to the right people and get the most conversions in your target niche. Make lead generation a priority today.
WordPress has a huge community that is rapidly growing. Whether you run a blog or business, you can always stay up to date and get help from people.
Let’s say you are creating your first website and have the least knowledge of WordPress or its environment. You may want to customize your theme or plugin or modify something on your site. But, how would you do?
Well, it’s very easy. Tanks to the WordPress community.
There are over hundreds of WordPress as well as WooCommerce blogs available that provide free resources so that you can grow your site and business.
That’s why we handpicked 7 WordPress blogs that you can follow in 2020.Themeum
Themeum is a state of the art WordPress theme and plugin development company. The company hopes to make the web a better place with WordPress, amidst a keen focus on small businesses and individuals.
Themeum’s blog provides visitors with frequent updates of the WordPress community along with quick-start guides and tutorials. Themeum’s flagship products, Tutor LMS and Qubely are fan-favorite plugins.
These products get regular update posts as well as use-case tutorials. Their blog posts are well-written and cater to everyone involved in the WordPress community. The articles in the blog are informative, well-written, and can be followed by anyone from a beginner to an expert.CyberChimps
CyberChimps blog may serve as your encyclopedia for the latest WordPress themes and plugins in the market. It will not just provide you with lots of collections of different types of themes with an overview of their features but also give you an idea about how to use them. If you are interested in any theme, the blogs will direct you to a landing page where you can directly purchase the theme or add it cart for a later purchasing decision.
You will also get experts’ views on the latest WordPress related topics like beginners’ guide or theme comparison. You can easily use it as a free tutorial for WordPress. You may also get tips and insight on digital marketing to boost up your business.CompeteThemes
The Compete Themes blog will teach you how to build, customize, and optimize WordPress websites. You’ll find detailed guides on how to replicate popular websites from scratch, curated lists recommending the best themes and plugins, and some of the most thorough WordPress tutorials on the web.
Make sure to check out their guide on customization WordPress, in particular, which has 31 different ways to customize the appearance and functionality of your WordPress website.WPBlog
WPblog is a WordPress resource website where they publish amazing WordPress tutorials, honest reviews, in-depth comparisons, and insightful interviews from popular WordPress personalities. They are relatively new in the WordPress community but their consistency and conviction to educated the WordPress community have quickly made them popular among WordPress users.
What makes WPblog different is the fact that they produce content for the next generation. WordPress users now want to build their sites using drag and drop functionalities. These people don’t want to read lengthy, boring tutorials. WPblog aims to inject fun in WordPress so that visitors enjoy reading their content.
The Scan WP blog is the blog on the known Theme and plugin detector. They publish many posts with top theme lists, top plugin posts, FAQs, WordPress code snippets, tutorials for beginners (for example this posts about how to start a blog) and pros (like their popular post about building a WordPress theme from scratch, using nothing but code), tips for doing SEO on WordPress sites and much more. There are hundreds of posts on the blog for you to enjoy and learn more about WP, regardless of your level of experience.
The MuffinGroup blog offers through its articles tips, tricks and all of the stuff you should know about WordPress and web design. You can check their latest article on how to embed Google reviews on your site.wpDataTables blog
The wpDataTables blog is a simple and efficient blog, with no ads and shiny graphics. It focuses on WordPress and web dev articles that keep WordPress developers and site owners up to date. You can check their latest article on WordPress popup plugin options.
We hope you like the list of best WordPress blog. If you ding this tutorial helpful, do share it with your friends.
YouTube is one of the biggest social media platforms, with over 2 billion monthly active users, second only to Facebook. Additionally, nearly 81% of 15-to-25-year-olds in the US use YouTube, and about 58% of people above the age of 56 years use it too. This makes it a great platform for brands to reach out to their target audiences.
However, building your reputation and subscriber base on YouTube is quite challenging due to the humongous number of videos that are uploaded onto the platform daily.
In fact, nearly 500 hours of videos are uploaded every minute onto YouTube, and this makes it extremely difficult for any new or small business to grow on the platform.
This is where you can take advantage of YouTube influencer marketing. The platform has many micro-influencers who have a highly engaged subscriber base. You can tap into this audience by partnering with them.
Micro-influencers tend to charge lower fees due to their smaller audience sizes, and this can be great for startups and small businesses, which often have budget constraints.
However, creating an influencer marketing campaign for YouTube is no easy task. There are several steps involved and it can be difficult for beginners to navigate them.
So, let’s take a look at how you can partner with YouTube influencers to grow your brand.How Can You Partner With YouTube Influencers?
Let’s take a closer look at how you can partner with YouTube influencers to grow your brand:1. Decide on What You Want to Achieve From the Campaign
Just like all other influencer marketing campaigns, when you’re looking to partner with YouTube influencers, you need to set your campaign goals first.
This is essential because you need to have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. Without it, you’ll be aiming in the dark, and your efforts won’t be aligned towards achieving the goal.
Setting your goals helps you decide on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you need to track. They enable you to find out how well your campaign is progressing.
Lastly, the goal will help you determine the ideal YouTube influencers for your brand. Each influencer can help you with different goals like growing brand awareness, increasing engagement, driving sales, lead generation, etc. So your goal affects the choice of influencers too.2. Look for YouTube Influencers
Once you’ve decided on the goal of your YouTube influencer marketing campaign, you need to start looking for relevant YouTube influencers for your brand.
This step is critical because it’s important that you find the right influencers. Remember, influencers are viewed as an extension of your brand, so whatever they do can affect your brand image.
So, what should you do?
You should look for YouTube influencers who have genuine engagement and share the same values as your brand.
For this, you can search for keywords related to your industry and see who’s posting relevant videos regularly. You can then go through their profiles to find out if it’s worth partnering with them. Don’t just look at the number of views their videos generate but also go through their comments and analyze their quality.
However, a manual search can be quite challenging and you may not be able to find influencers with ease. Additionally, it can be difficult to determine the demographics of their subscriber base. Without this, you won’t know if the influencer’s audience matches yours. In such a situation, an influencer discovery tool like Fourstarzz Media can be helpful.
It’s got over 750K influencers, and you can get detailed reports on each of them, which shows you all the details from their audience demographics to engagement rates.
You can filter the influencers based on their niche, platform, reach, engagement rate, country. Fourstarzz Media also offers advanced search features like hashtag search, name search, audience interests, and more.
Image via Fourstarzz Media3. Reach Out to the YouTube Influencers
Once you’ve found reliable YouTube influencers, you need to reach out to them with your pitch for a partnership. A great way of doing this is by building a rapport with them first. You don’t want to make the influencers feel like you’re connecting with them just for promoting your brand.
Remember, they are creative people who love to have their work recognized and appreciated. So you should start building a relationship with them before you pitch your idea for a collaboration.
You can begin by commending their work or giving your views on some of the kickstarter video that they’ve created. Once you’ve established a good relationship with them, you can send them an email with your pitch.4. Draw Up a Contract
Once the YouTube influencers have agreed to work with your brand, you need to draw up a contract for the collaboration. This contract should detail the deliverables from both parties so that there’s no conflict at a later stage. At the same time, it serves as a guideline for both to work together too.
For this, both the brand and the influencers must agree on how the campaign’s success will be evaluated. Being transparent with the influencer can help you win their trust, and this can motivate them to do better for your campaign too.
The contract should elaborate on the type of collaboration and video too. There are a variety of videos that YouTube influencers can make for your brand. These include product reviews, testimonials, Q&A videos, how-to videos, demos, tutorials, and more. This can help you define the campaign better too.
For instance, Sarah Louise Porter is a YouTube influencer who partnered with Poundland to promote their range of makeup items. She created a tutorial video to show her audience how to use the items.5. Execute the Campaign
Once the contract is signed, you can start the campaign. While you may want to be in control of things to ensure that the video created by the influencer is top-notch, you should refrain from doing being too controlling.
Make sure you give your influencers enough creative freedom. They know exactly what works with their audience and what doesn’t.
So, what should you do?
You can provide a few guidelines to the influencers on how you want the video to be but leave the rest to them. Trust your influencers to come up with high-quality videos related to your brand and products using video creation tools. Once they’ve created the videos, you can discuss changes with them, if any, before uploading it.6. Measure and Analyze
The last step of a YouTube influencer marketing campaign is that of measuring the progress of your campaign. Based on your campaign goals, track the relevant KPIs.
For this, you need to go through video analytics. This can give you an overall picture of whether your campaign is progressing the way you want or not.
Based on these analytics, you can determine the future course of your campaigns and identify where you’re excelling and where you’re lagging behind. Accordingly, you can modify your approach and optimize your YouTube influencer marketing campaigns.Final Thoughts
YouTube is one of the biggest social media platforms, and you can leverage it to promote your brand via influencer marketing.
All you need to do is decide on your goals and find the right influencers for your campaign. Once that’s done, you can reach out to them for collaboration.
Make sure you draw up a contract for the campaign and give enough creative freedom to your influencers. Lastly, track the progress of your campaign and analyze it so that you can figure out where you can improve and optimize it.
Do you have any questions about partnering with YouTube influencers? Let us know in the comments.
Are you looking forward to building a website from scratch, and yet you don’t exactly know how? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
It doesn’t matter if you wanted to start a blog or create a website for your business. Setting up a site is much easier than you think.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the nine steps on how to build your first website from scratch:Register a domain
Before you purchase a domain, you first have to know what a domain is.
Just like your real-life address, your site must have an address online, as well. It should look something like this: www.yourwebsite.com.
Also, before you register, you need to think about all the possibilities your brand represents, as well as what you do. If you want to create a personal website promoting yourself, then you should create a site under your name.
You also have to be creative with your domain name. Whenever you try to get one, make it respectable in all kinds of industries. It should also be related to who you are, and what you do.Choose a web host provider
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of web hosting providers out there. That’s why choosing the right web hosting provider that will suit your needs can be a difficult decision.
Here are some popular web hosting provider options:
Just keep in mind that whatever web host you choose, you’ll find a lot of guides online on how to build a website from scratch using their platform.Select a website-building approach
There are three primary ways you can build a website. If you’re a beginner, one of the easiest ways to launch a site is to use a website builder. You can check out what other people say about your preferred website builder by typing in something like “Wix review” on Google.
If you’re a bit tech-savvy, then you can utilize a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla.
Meanwhile, if you’re an expert in coding, then it’s possible to utilize HTML or PHP as you build your site from the ground up.
Just keep in mind that every approach will have its unique sets of advantages, as well as challenges.Look for some inspiration
The next thing that you need to do is to look for some inspiration.
Inspiration comes from all kinds of things and places. You can browse through platforms like Pinterest to look for your next brilliant idea.
From there, you can start gathering certain elements that you think will work best for your brand. And then try to apply it on your website.Prepare valuable and engaging content
Now that your site is in shape, the next thing that you need to do is to come up with valuable and engaging content.
It’s also ideal that you gather all the copies and texts that you plan on using before you start building your site. This may involve your site’s tagline for the header, enticing call-to-action, web page content, product descriptions, and more.
It also helps that you update these content regularly to keep Google happy and your readers on their toes. Ideally, showcase your best and most up-to-date work.
The rule here is simple: Always choose quality over quantity.Develop a sitemap
Your sitemap serves as a blueprint of your website’s architecture. It should include all the pages that you’re planning to create, as well as how they’re interconnected with one another.
Google loves it if there is a healthy ration of inbound and outbound links, as well as internal links. Doing so can have a positive impact on your search engine optimization efforts.Pick the best fonts for your site
If there’s something that you shouldn’t overlook in the process of creating your site, that should be your fonts.
Typography does have a lot to say, evoking more than just words.
If you’re not experienced in site design, understanding typeface can be a bit of a challenge, especially in picking one that will fit your brand the best.Think about hierarchy
Your site should be organized as much as possible. Ideally, you want to place your most eye-catching content above the fold ? the visible part of your website that doesn’t require scrolling or clicking.
Also, you have to accept the fact that most readers will just skim through your content. Internet users’ attention spans continuously decreases, so most users will likely pay attention to only two places on your site: Above the fold and below the fold.
All of your most important information should be put there. In the middle, you can place your less crucial content, like videos and images.Optimize your website for search engines
SEO or search engine optimization is the process where you optimize your site’s pages so that it can rank higher on search results.
The more visible your website is on the search results, the more likely you can drive traffic to your site. And you can turn these traffic into paying and loyal customers.
There are a few ways that you can improve your search rankings. First, you must pick the right domain name, put alt text to your images, as well as create keyword-rich titles and descriptions for your pages.Over to You
Nowadays, it is imperative for every business to have an online presence. Hence, you’ll need to have a website.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend a hefty amount and hire a web developer in order to have a site. That’s because there are website builders that let you DIY your site.
Hopefully, you can use the points that we’ve made in this article as a guide so that you can build a beautiful and functional site for your business. Good luck!
Shopping ads are a sure attention grabber when you are browsing online. Every retailer wants its shopping ads to come up on Google, which is one of the most popular spaces online to host your products and services.
The more your Shopping ads are popular, the better sales you achieve. To obtain visibility for your products online, Google Shopping is the best way. Google Shopping is meant for retailers to promote their products online. Getting your eStore products to Google Shopping is made easier with a Google Product Feed plugin. If you own a WooCommerce store, then take a look at the popular WooCommerce Google Product Feed plugins that take your products on Google Shopping.Why Google Shopping is important for Retailers?
You have your eStore up and ready for selling. Now you need to strategize your selling. To do the same, you need to focus on making use of targeted selling using technology. This is where Google Shopping comes into the picture. Google shopping serves only relevant ads that will propel the on-page promotion of your store. Shopping ads have outperformed all kinds of marketing strategies in convincing a larger crowd.How does Google Shopping help retailers for Higher Conversion Rates?
To get your products on Google Shopping, you need a Google Merchant Center account, Google Analytics, and a Google Ads account. With your store products displayed on Google Shopping, it gives you a popularity edge compared to the rest of the competitive ones in the market. The Shopping Ads on Google Shopping contains the image of the product, the URL of the page, the availability of the product and the price. To reach the business goals and to augment their conversion rates, the retailers have been making use of Google Shopping in an optimal way.
To get your products on Google Shopping, you need to create a Google product feed. If you own a WooCommerce store, then you need to either manually create a Google product feed for the Google Merchant Center or automatically generate it with the help of WooCommerce plugins.Creating a Google Product Feed
Google Merchant Center helps retailers to create Google Product feed with the help of predefined templates in it. There are several ways to input the Google product feed into the Google Merchant Center.
Google Sheets can be downloaded and then the data corresponding to your store can be fed into the Google Sheets. Once the data is filled, the sheet can be uploaded to the Google Merchant Center.
Again this is indeed a tedious job to be done and time-consuming. Once you save time in creating feeds and uploading and doing hassle-free management of your feeds, you can invest in growing your business.WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugins
WooCommerce has several plugins that will help you generate feeds in an error-free manner. As Google product feed is the basis of generating ads for Google Shopping, it is important to keep it intact, data-rich and accurate.
There are several WooCommerce Google Product feed generating plugins, which will assist you to automatically generate feeds for your Google Shopping. Let us take a look at the same :ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin
Automatically helps you generate your Google Product feeds from your WooCommerce store in an effortless manner. The plugin is easy to work with and has very simplified navigation to help the retailer navigate across the google product feed creation method swiftly. The plugin is comparatively low priced but worth the investment.
Here are some noteworthy features to look for in the plugin :
Get all your products automatically on to Google Shopping using the smooth integration with the plugin. The plugin helps to connect with the Google Merchant Center on the go. Other than the ideal functionality of generating product feeds, the plugin has various other features that make it stand out in the crowd.
The plugin allows real-time feed generation to help your products show up in Google Shopping. The plugin can generate feeds not only for Google but also for Bing as well as provide Google Product Reviews data too. Here are some of the major highlights of the plugin:
The plugin supports multiple channels for product feed like Facebook Remarketing, Vergelijk.nl, Bing Ads, Pricerunner,Billiger.de. Etc. You can easily provide comparison studies for shopping engines, rule-based mapping, and filtering. The plugin supports generating unlimited feeds. Here are some features that make the plugin popular :
The plugin is the premium version of Woocommerce Google Feed Manager and can support multiple channels like Bing, Connexity, PriceGrabber, Amazon, etc. Here are some features to look out for :
The above-listed plugins are the popular ones who can help you generate your Google product feeds for the Google Merchant center accurately. Once you get the google product feeds done, you can simply upload it to the Google Merchant Center. With the help of Google Analytics, you can even find out your target audience and concentrate on the marketing strategies to approach the target audience. Ultimately using Google AdSense and Google Analytics with the data from Google Product Feed, you can target the market and sell your products on Google Shopping.
Nonprofits need patrons of all ages, sizes, locations, and giving levels in order to effect real change.
However, many nonprofits are stuck using old methods of donor acquisition, such as canvassing and phone calls. While traditional methods still work, technology is giving nonprofits a greater reach. Since 2016, online giving has experienced growth of 17 percent, and that number continues to grow. As new technology emerges to make online giving easier, nonprofits that want to reach new donors are turning to more modern methods of attracting donors.
All organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, are facing the challenge of staying relevant and financially solvent in an environment of rapid change. To keep up, you need to reach an online, mobile, and connected audience.
But how do you go about doing this?
PayPal’s worldwide payment system and JotForm’s easy-to-create forms can work together to help your nonprofit reach more donors. You’ll be able to spend less time on busywork and more time doing good.
“The networked world around us has placed donors squarely in the role of key navigators of their own philanthropic course.” — Charitable Giving Report: How Fundraising Performed in 2018
It’s no secret that nonprofits face daily challenges, including issues with staffing and funding. Nonprofits can be highly complex, especially when it comes to finances. You’re expected to run your charity like a business, but how do you sustain operations with a smaller, less reliable budget than your for-profit counterparts? And on top of money worries, you have to keep up with technological changes.Giving across mobile and the web?
Traditionally, fundraising was heavily location based. Giving was done at a prearranged time and place, like an auction or a dinner. In contrast, philanthropy now occurs anywhere, anytime. More than 20 percent of PayPal donations are made using a mobile device. Nonprofits need to reach this audience of smartphone and tablet users. However, staffing pressures cause many nonprofits to struggle with upskilling and modernizing their organizations.Lack of IT skills
Every organization needs information technology (IT) skills, yet IT teams in nonprofits are a third of the size of teams at equivalent for-profit firms. Lacking dedicated IT staff, most nonprofits have to get by with little or nothing at all. In fact, Microsoft reports that of the 4 million charitable nonprofits around the world, 98 percent have fewer than 50 people on staff, and half have no IT budget.
“The … nonprofit sector is resilient, collaborative, innovative, and determined to address the most complex and enduring problems in our country.” — leader of a human services nonprofit in Minnesota
Demand for the services nonprofits provide is rising. Eighty-six percent of nonprofits say they’re facing higher demand. However, more than half of nonprofits say they can’t meet that demand. In low-income communities, that number shoots up to 65 percent. Meanwhile, nonprofits are struggling financially. In 2017, only half of nonprofits achieved an operating surplus, and only a quarter had cash on hand to last more than six months.Technology adoption pressures
For-profit companies that are flush with resources can afford to take risks, such as investing in research and development or buying new technology. Nonprofits with less cash need to take lower-risk options. As a result, nonprofits are less likely to keep up with the latest technology. Many fall behind in technology adoption, leaving them vulnerable to a variety of problems.
Unpredictable payment schedules can severely impact a nonprofit’s viability. When their cash flow isn’t consistent, charities often have to dip into their reserves. Sixty-two percent of nonprofits report “financial sustainability” as their top operational/financial challenge. One in five also report “cash reserves” and “cash flow” as major concerns.
In light of these challenges, how are advances in technology affecting the nonprofit sector?How PayPal is impacting the nonprofit sector What is PayPal?
PayPal is a global electronic payment system. Based in the United States, the company handles money exchanges as an alternative to checks, money orders, and other electronic cash options.
Initially, PayPal found success as an online wallet. Users were able to securely and easily dip into their funds and shop online. PayPal partnered closely with auction sites like eBay, and transactions were often “one click.” This type of transaction — where users don’t have to type in financial information — offers security, speed, and ease of use.How large is PayPal’s influence?
In 2018, PayPal processed $578 billion in payments. For comparison, in 2018, Apple was worth about $1 trillion and Facebook was estimated at around $500 billion. The amount of payments PayPal processes each year is truly staggering.
PayPal handled $7.3 billion in donations for nonprofits during 2016. The company operates in more than 200 countries and has over 8 million users. This global reach means PayPal is able to cover all donors, big and small.
PayPal also handles donations of all sizes. The average donation processed by the service in 2016 was about $80. However, people have donated as little as $1 and up to more than $200,000 through the web service.
PayPal not only processes donations for nonprofits, but it also gives to nonprofits:
Let’s take a deeper look at PayPal’s size, reputation, and results in working with nonprofits.Why you should use PayPal to accept donations
PayPal’s multibillion-dollar size means it can reach both domestic and international audiences.
A few facts from 2017 illustrate PayPal’s sheer size. In that one year, PayPal handled
Along with its immense size, PayPal has built trust among consumers. Research shows that the PayPal seal is one of the most respected indications of online security. In fact, 28 percent of donors surveyed said they wouldn’t have made a payment if not for the PayPal option.
Many nonprofits are already benefiting from the trust consumers have in PayPal. Currently, more than 600,000 nonprofits use PayPal, and the company handles $10 billion in payment volume for nonprofits. Additionally, PayPal initiatives can increase donations to nonprofits.
With its dominant global reach, PayPal has the power to directly boost your fundraising results. But is it really that easy to donate via PayPal?How ease of use promotes giving
PayPal has built ease of use into its DNA. The service was originally intended as an easier and more secure alternative to money orders or checks. Founded in 1998, the payment processor comes with a bevy of features developed over its 20 years in business:
Not only is PayPal easy to use, but its global reach, variety of products, and multiple forms of payment increase your nonprofit’s legitimacy in the minds of potential supporters.
In addition, PayPal partners with several other fundraising software providers, such as blackbaud, Network for Good, Classy, and Fundrazr. These partnerships open the door to new avenues of fundraising, like crowdfunding.
Do you have a worthy cause but no platform on which to raise funds? These crowdsourcing platforms and fundraising technology integrate with PayPal and social media. They bring together all your web presence metrics, donor accounts, and social media performance into one powerful widget.
While PayPal has plenty of exciting features and partners, it also has a financial incentive — lower fees for charities.Charity rates for nonprofits Commercial businesses vs 501(c)(3) organizations
The standard rate for a PayPal nonprofit business account is 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per domestic transaction. For example, if someone donated $100 to a business or non-registered charity through PayPal, the organization would receive $96.80.
However, PayPal offers a lower rate if you qualify as a 501(c)(3) organization. If your nonprofit meets the Internal Revenue Service definition of a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, you can receive a discounted charity rate of 2.2 percent plus 30 cents per domestic transaction through PayPal. If your organization receives more than $100,000 a month, the percentage drops to 1.9 percent. From a $100 donation, for example, a minimum of $97.50 would end up in the charity’s PayPal account.
In addition to the charity rate, reasons to choose PayPal for your nonprofit include faster transfer time and cheaper fees. PayPal advertises that the money is available in your account within minutes of completing the transaction. Transferring the funds from your PayPal account to a checking account incurs no fees, and the solution is cheaper than processing checks or credit cards.
Based on large-scale research among U.S.-based organizations conducted in 2016, PayPal found that
Follow the steps below:
Using PayPal’s reporting and dashboard functions, you get access to powerful, actionable information. You can analyze revenue sources, automate time-consuming bookkeeping tasks, and accurately settle and reconcile transactions.
Your organization can also view a real-time transaction log on its PayPal account. The log displays the transaction date, payer name, mailing address, email address, and gross and net transaction amounts. This information is invaluable for building a database of supporters.Getting even more value from PayPal with better forms
Your donors are impressed by your website. Perhaps they’ve even attended one of your events. With their credit card at the ready, they’re viewing your online donation form. Will they be able to fill it in quickly, or do they have to jump through too many hoops?
An online form must strike a balance:
Electronic forms have been around since the internet and commerce collided in the ’90s, yet much has changed since then. For example, almost a third of online commerce is now done on mobile devices. You need a form that your mobile-connected donors can easily use, and you need a solution that is best-in-class, adaptable, and fast.Why you should use JotForm for your donation forms
JotForm offers many features to assist your nonprofit. Here are some of the basics:
In terms of visual design, JotForm has worked hard to make its platform both easy to use and powerful:
Using simple, easy-to-use templates, we’ll make sure you get a great “donate” button. Why is this so important?
You want to encourage website users to donate without feeling like they’re getting a sales pitch. How do you do this in a way that complements your beautiful website? Finding this balance requires evaluating size, visual balance, taste, and color.
Here’s an example of how that might look:
See the donate button? It’s not buried in a menu or standing out too much. In fact, Invisible Children got the prominence of the donate button just right.
Along with the size, consider the location and visibility. As you scroll down Invisible Children’s page, the donate button stays anchored on the side. Its location to the right indicates forward movement and progression. The semi-transparent button harmonizes with the captivating video display. It stands out without overpowering the page’s content.
These details may seem rather insignificant, but the aesthetic of your website and forms can influence a donor’s opinion about your organization. By paying attention to the details, you can improve your reputation in the minds of current and future patrons.Forms that match your website
With more than 10,000 free templates, JotForm is sure to have something that fits your nonprofit’s look.
If you don’t want to use a template, you can start with a blank slate and build a personalized form from scratch. Drag and drop the various fields into your form from the sidebar. You can include event registrations, volunteer registrations, or donation entries as you go.
Whether you’re holding an auction, throwing a party, or gathering volunteers, you can design a form that suits your purpose.Getting started with PayPal and JotForm
JotForm allows you to use a variety of PayPal tools, so you can sell products, offer subscriptions, or collect donations in custom amounts through your form. Your nonprofit then receives funds in its PayPal account.
Integrating your form with PayPal Standard is easy and only takes a few steps:1. Add PayPal to your form from the Payments tab on the left under the Form Elements menu. 2. In the payment wizard, enter your PayPal account details. 3. Choose whether you will sell products, sell subscriptions, collect custom amounts, or collect donations. 4. Assuming that you want to collect donations, continue to the next page.
Enter the details, including the type of donation, the amounts, and any extra details you want to collect, such as the donor’s email or address.5. Save, and you’re ready to start raising funds.
Be sure to test your PayPal payment form before it goes live. Check out our How to test your PayPal payment form guide for more information. If you have questions, we have multiple ways to help. You can quickly check our FAQs, read over the User Guide, or contact support.Using JotForm in other applications
While most people will find your donation form via your website, you can make the form available through other channels.
Using JotForm, you can set up your form as a standalone entity. It won’t have the restrictions of an embedded button, and the form can be accessed from anywhere. For example, you could add the form link to an email campaign or share it on social media.
Using these tools is a breeze with JotForm’s simple and powerful integration tools.JotForm caters to all types of organizations
Businesses of any size can use JotForm’s online Form Builder. Signing up is free and simple. Nonprofits that want to get started quickly can use one of the many form templates.
Organizations that need a custom form can build one with JotForm’s drag-and-drop elements and integrations. JotForm’s analytics show who uses your form and what works. Data is stored securely for you to retrieve, share, or export to a document or spreadsheet.
If your requirements are more complex than the average user, JotForm can accommodate them. You can connect your online forms with hundreds of applications by integrating with IFTTT, a free, online applet creator. This integration allows you to create actions within other services using the responses submitted in JotForm forms.
This applet feature brings new levels of connectivity. When a user submits a form, applets can trigger other actions, such as
The only limit is your imagination.How JotForm and PayPal make helping others easy “Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.” — G.T. Smith
As a nonprofit, you don’t want hassles when it comes to fundraising. You just want to do good.
Navigating online fundraising can be tricky. Technological advances have opened new doors and revenue streams. Initiatives like crowdfunding, social media, and microlending bring opportunities. However, they also bring pain points that require additional technical knowledge and effort to solve.
If it sounds complicated, you might be tempted to avoid all the confusion and opt out of web fundraising entirely. However, you don’t want to stop raising money because of a knowledge gap. More and more of your donors are moving online, and you need to follow. To make this transition easier for everyone, get the right tools to quickly and simply raise necessary funds.
By working with PayPal and JotForm, you have a better chance at success. Let the tech companies take care of security, donor insight gathering, and reaching out. Using the right form and the right financial platform, you can drastically streamline your process and make donating easier.
Why not give it a try? You could boost funds and make your life easier while doing it.
You might say it’s 2020, why are we talking about a game that’s almost twenty years old? You can consider it a reminder to revive our memories and a tribute for such a great game. The hack-and-slash action role-playing game, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone was released on November 16th, 2004, and as you might expect it was set in the Forgotten Realms universe.
Let’s talk about some characteristics which make this game outstanding. Demon Stone runs parallel with the stories told in the book. The script of the game was written by R.A Salvatore, one of the most important writers of Forgotten Realms and also the creator of the legendary character Drizzt.
A fun fact about the game, it features the voices of Charles Xavier of X-Men series, Patrick Stewart as the Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun, and Michael Clarke Duncan of Green Mile as Ygorl.
Beyond dispute, the most exciting thing about Demon Stone is the fact that you can play Drizzt Do’Urden, not as the main character, but as a special character in some scenes which is quite thrilling for fans.Drizzt Do’Urden in Demon Stone Ganging up on the Troll King Demon Stone Characters and the Storyline
In the game, you have control over three main characters, Rannek, Illius, and Zhai. Rannek is a human fighter from Nesmé whose town was ravaged by trolls in the past, stumbles across a battle of two orc armies. He finds himself defending wood elves against orcs with his deadly sword skills and eventually meets the half-drow Zhai.Human Fighter Rannek
Zhai is also a half wood elf and the favorite character of most fans with her stealth moves. She can be invisible in the shadows, sneak up on enemies and combats very swiftly using twin daggers with her signature single move execution. What else can we expect from a video game character, right?Half-drow, Half-wood elf rogue Zhai Zhai becomes invisible in shadows Boom! She’s doing her thing with twin daggers! Now, how cool is that? Just can’t get enough of Zhai
Our last character is Illius, apprentice of one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Forgotten Realms universe, Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun. Illius uses his staff and his powerful magic as he takes on the numerous enemies featured in the game.
The characters find themselves fighting side by side in an adventure. The story grips you right away. It goes way back to the war between two villains, the Githyanki general Cireka and Ygorl the Slaad-Lord. Eventually, the great mage Khelben Blackstaff finds a solution by sealing their spirits within the Demon Stone.Githyanki general Cireka Illius’s Mentor Khelben Blackstaff
However, our characters accidentally set them free and the adventure actually starts here when they decide to find a way to imprison them again. And that’s when the well-known legend of Forgotten Realms Drizzt Do’Urden comes forward. Our heroes seek Drizzt’s help to complete their quest. It is quite exciting to fight playing Drizzt Do’Urden in front of the Mithral Halls. The cut scene conversations among our characters are also quite enjoyable, helping you understand the story.Drizzt Do’Urden with his trusted panther Guenhwyvar Drizzt is talking to Zhai
Apart from being a fantasy role-playing game, we can define Demon Stone as an action game mostly. You can switch between the characters any time you want. At the end of each chapter, you can add new skills to the characters with the points you’ve collected and you can purchase new weapons, and armors that are reflected in the characters’ appearancesOur heroes
As you advance through the game, the characters’ special abilities also gradually advance. You can choose to use these for a single character or wait for all of the characters’ abilities to fill up so you can use it as Team Super Power and kill the surrounding enemies. You can come across various creatures told in the Monster Manual of Dungeons & Dragons.Game Visuals and Graphics
Visually this game was ahead of its time with its atmosphere and character graphics. You can see other characters fighting in the background using their abilities while you play with the one you selected. Also, you can see ongoing combats in the far background in some scenes. Shifting camera angles also creates cinematic visuals and a unique atmosphere.
Despite the fact that it was released in 2004, Demon Stone still captivates us somehow even today. While playing this game, you will find yourself combating and wondering in the Forgotten Realms living through a great adventure. If you’ve never heard of it or never played it, it’s not too late to check it out.Bonus: Best Drizzt Do’Urden Illustrations Drizzt and Guenhwyvar Drizzt with his sword Icingdeath Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden Drizzt Do’Urden
If you like fantasy role-playing video games, you should check out our World of Warcraft article!
Dark mode is more popular than ever. More and more web designs, apps, and products have started offering a dark mode option to their users – catering for a unique stylistic demand in the market that has been, until now, a desire exclusive to coders.
Where typical UI’s have focused on using dark colors on a white background (similar to a printed book), dark mode offers the reverse, flipping a traditional design fundamental on its head.
But what has driven dark mode’s popularity in web design? As technology has changed the way users interact with websites -both in the device they use, and the amount of time they spend interacting- various changes in preference have emerged. Parallax designs are one example, as they helped to cater to mobile users to scroll through content with ease. Similarly, dark mode has catered to new user desires, some of which are unique to the current era of technology.
This has led to countless websites and even major products offering dark mode. Both Twitter and Facebook IM have begun to offer it, and it has even been adopted by Mac OS and Windows. It’s no wonder that if these giants have adopted it, that web designers haven’t taken long to follow suit. After all, as this article will explain, dark mode may be the ideal choice for any website that requires lengthy engagement.What is dark mode?
Dark mode (sometimes known as dark theme), is a dark background with light text. In essence, it is a partial inversion of your typical black text on a white background color scheme. However, it isn’t a complete inversion, as dark mode backgrounds are almost never black. MacOS’s, for example, uses grey text on a darker grey background.
Dark mode was typically the choice for coders, who spent long hours of the day staring at code. They found the dark mode more enjoyable so it became more readily adopted. Now, as user preferences are shifting, more and more websites are either experimenting with the design for aesthetic reasons or catering to their reader’s demands. Everything from typography to logo design, to layout, are being considered with dark mode in mind.
Either way, dark mode is well on its way to becoming a widely used, mainstream choice with its prevalence growing alongside its adoption by popular new technologies, such as VPN’s, SaaS platforms, and cloud services. But as we’ll see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this.Advantages and disadvantages of dark mode
There are two benefits of dark mode that are touted above all others. The first is that dark mode is less bright, so it demands less of your battery and consumes less electricity. This, in turn, makes your phone last longer and is better for the environment. But the second, and even more important benefit is that dark mode’s lowered brightness is much easier on the eyes, reducing both eye strain and helping the bodies natural release of melatonin, which leads to better sleep. All in all, longer phone use and better health isn’t exactly an unappealing prospect.
However, many of the health benefits are unproven due to a shortage of rigorous scientific studies. One researcher from the University Cambridge noted that a dark background does reduce glare and eye strain, but it is unclear whether reading text on such a background is better than the traditional alternative. Many studies have had similar concerns. Some have found that reading dark characters on light backgrounds is far better for legibility for readers of all age groups. Others have found that light backgrounds lead to increased perception of detail.
But despite these various points for and against Dark Mode, perhaps the most important consideration is whether it is approved of by Google. Luckily, we have a clear response. When asked whether Dark Mode would affect a websites SEO, Google’s John Mueller said:
I think this is totally cool. I really like the trend to dark mode websites or dark mode apps in general. It’s something that I wouldn’t have expected a few years back, that people would want to have kind of this dark mode/light mode setup.
With regards to SEO that’s absolutely not a problem. Usually, people implement this using CSS, and the way you implement things in CSS doesn’t affect how we would pick things up for indexing. So go for it, I think that’s really awesome.
I don’t think dark mode would be a ranking factor. So … if dark mode is really, really popular then maybe we would need to highlight dark mode sites in search when people have their phone set up to dark mode. But I don’t know if that would actually happen, or if it will really go that far.How marketers and website builders can use dark mode to their advantage 2020
Whether you believe dark mode is better for your eyes or not, it’s important to understand that there is a real demand for dark mode in your readership. A sizeable portion of visitors to your website will wish to have a dark mode option, so the most simple way to use this to your advantage its to provide them with the option.
Naturally, this is useful if Google does start catering results based on preferences, but for now, it’s just catering to demand. If big companies like Apple, Windows, and Facebook are doing it, why should you be any different? In fact, just by offering the option, you distinguish yourself from your competitors who have failed to see the change in user preferences. A boost to your marketing efforts without any extra cost to your budget.
If you’re coding your website from scratch, this shouldn’t be overly complicated, and there are plenty of guides online. However, if you’re using a platform like WordPress, you want to make sure any changes you make fit with their other functions, such as a content editor.
You could also experiment with letting your dark mode “switch” on, depending on the time of day that the user was accessing the site. For example, if a user was accessing at night time, then it’s far more enjoyable for them to view it in dark mode, as it helps to aid their melatonin release and send them to sleep. Likewise, providing them with a bright mode during the day or early morning will help them wake up.Conclusion
Dark mode’s popularity isn’t likely to stop any time soon. Both aesthetically and practically, it comes with a lot of benefits that people enjoy. Incorporating it into your web design choices as we move into 2020 will put you ahead of the curve and make your website stand out.
World of Warcraft is one of those games that has left its mark on the last 15 years. When it was announced that the already popular RTS game Warcraft 3 was getting a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) adaptation, little did we know that it was going to change video games forever. The game was a huge success when it was launched in 2004, and since then it has drawn millions of players to its fantastical world. The art of World of Warcraft is one of the (if not the most) most important aspects that made the game so successful.
The ‘world’ in World of Warcraft become many people’s passion and changed their lives. When people are so passionate about something, in this case, the world they play, their characters, the heroes and villains of the franchise, it inspires something spectacular. The need to express their commitment and passion in the form of art.
So, we went out and gathered the best art pieces created by fans and designers over the course of 15 years. There was a lot. Art of the world, iconic characters and most people decided to draw their own characters. We compiled the ones that brought back the most nostalgia to us. Let’s go over the top 110 pieces of World of Warcraft art.World of Warcraft Art: Player Characters
Now, some people are passionate about their characters. I’m certainly not, as I’ve been constantly switching between what looks cool and feels fun. Some of those people who grew a special bond with their characters also happened to be talented artists. The results haven’t disappointed us, let’s have a look our top picks of World of Warcraft character art:This is probably our favorite. A Nightelf Hunter with his owl. It’s simple, but the artwork has something great in it that we can’t put our finger on. A Nightborne Huntress with her pet wolf hawk. Who said Worgens couldn’t be as cool as Night Elves? If you’re not convinced by the previous image, then this artwork should do the trick. Two friends enjoying a cool evening in Northrend. This is also one of our favorites. A Human Rogue depicted as realistic as World of Warcraft can get. Nothing flashy, but so many great details. If you’re looking for something flashy, then this human warrior should win over your heart. A Human Deathknight, nothing too special about it but the art style is really unique and a fresh breath. A Night Elf demon hunter probably with a name that contains a variation of Illidan. It’s not all elves and humans. Dwarf Shamans are pretty cool too. A space goat, I mean a Draenei Warrior depicted with one of the most famous warrior armor sets. A Night Elf Huntress with her pet spirit beast. Other than Night Elves, Human Deathknights are pretty popular too. But, their popularity seems warranted. A Troll Druid channeling the power of nature. A Tauren Warrior in her racial attire. A Night Elf Rogue that is probably plotting something sinister. A Blood Elf Demon Hunter A Pandaren Monk taking care of a Puny Marmot! The pawfect duo of a Pandaren Deathknight and a Vulpera Priest. An Undead Deathknight in an eerie background. An Undead Priest, casting a light spell, which hurts them anytime they use it. Talk about dedication. A Void Elf Priest, who needs armor when you control the void itself? A Void Elf Mage Some artists forge a bond with not only their characters but with their guildmates. This Blood Elf party shows that kind of dedication. A classical portrait of a Blood Elf Paladin Deathknights are awfully popular, this artwork shows why. A Pandaren Monk, careful she’s blind, not deaf. The newest addition to the game, a Vulpera Male who’s ready to hit the road. A perfect artwork of a Blood Elf Deathknight. Realistic, simple, but well painted. A Night Elf Rogue, getting ready for some action. Another take on an Undead Priest An Undead Rogue, nimble and ‘dead’ly. The art style is also quite unique and really well done. A Troll Warrior welcoming you to the jungle. Not sure which one is scarier, the giant hammer or those long, sharp teeth. A Zandalari Troll, with his sights on gold. Literally. An Orc Warrior that’s spinning to win. An Orc Warrior handing out justice in Outland. World of Warcraft Art: Environment
One of the most alluring aspects of World of Warcraft is its incredible environment. Anyone who has played the game has various memories in different maps, some even have favorite spots where they go just for sightseeing.
Now there’s much more to World of Warcraft then player characters and beautiful scenery. The franchise boasts an astonishing number of leaders, NPCs, races, and more. We’ve compiled a couple of them but actually there were many, many more.Pandaren vs. Zandalari The final meal at Karazhan before Moroes guts your entire party Medivh Warden Maiev Lovecraft and Warcraft both have their fair share of tentacles. Queen Azshara with her updated depiction. Jaina Proudmoore, one of the most loved characters in the entire franchise A sad, sad little tree. Probably ran out of mana. Everyone was skeptical about Pandaren joining the game, until they saw this piece of art. Thrall and Cairne rescuing cute little Horde babies. Hakkar the Soulflayer before he corrupted the entire player base Anub’arak waiting menacingly before getting looted by a random group of players. Tyrande, Malfurion and the star of the Traveler Novels, Aramar Thorne enjoying the view. This is cute Please let us play as Kvaldir or make me forget this piece. Lunara, the Daughter of Cenarius Bwonsamdi, everyone’s favorite Loa until they die in Zandalar and get mocked by him. An Orc Blademaster doesn’t need too much explanation The travelers in the Traveler novel floating through the Thousand Needles Your domesticated Troll Druid waiting for you to pet it.
We had a great time while compiling this list of our favorite World of Warcraft art. The nostalgia that all the artwork we checked while selecting the very best was quite overwhelming. On top of the nostalgia, what overwhelmed us was the sheer amount of fan art created for the various elf races in the game. People love elves, believe us. We hope you enjoyed going through this list as much as we did.
Also, if you like to get lost in these types of fantastic artworks, you should check out Dune Art article too!
Which artwork was your favorite? If you believe that we have missed your favorite piece, let us know unless it’s an elf.
It’s a widely known fact that WordPress dominates the Content Management System scene. The amount of websites that run on WordPress far outnumber those of its competition, totalling to about a third of all known sites.
That kind of ubiquity, of course, comes with severe exposure to cyber threats. WordPress is, unfortunately, the undisputed winner in terms of hacking, too. DataProt’s research into WordPress reveals that a whopping 90% of WP users request malware cleanups (while only 4% of Joomla or Magento users do).
It’s clear, then, that WordPress takes the lion’s share of the cyber danger. But what kinds of attacks on its websites are the most common? Knowing more about the most utilized types of cyber attacks can help WP website owners prepare for them.
To that end, let’s take a look at the most common WordPress attacks in 2020, as well as how to guard yourself against them.1. Cross-Site Scripting
Cross-site scripting (XSS for short) is an injecting attack wherein the hacker inserts a malicious piece of code into a website. They usually manage to do this through an application that requires the user’s input to produce its output.
Once that nefarious piece of code creeps into the website, it can be used in a number of ways. The hacker may take session cookies and impersonate a user, access API’s that connect to other applications, spread worms, and more. That said, it’s most commonly leveraged to redirect people to websites where the hacker can snatch their data.
Protection against an XSS incursion varies depending on your circumstances. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider:
Much like an XSS attack, SQL injecting involves the insertion of a malicious code string into a website. The attacker does so by cramming structured language queries into cookies, forums, HTTP headers, or other web input pages.
The difference between the two lies in utility. XSS finds its purpose in sending unwitting users to malicious websites. Meanwhile, an SQL strike will tend to aim for the targeted website’s database, allowing modification and unauthorized access to data.
Beyond sanitizing input, one of the best precautions against SQL injection is to insist on prepared statements in your code. These strings set parameters for the user’s query before executing it so that it denies any unwanted input.3. URL Hacking
A URL hack works on more or less the same principles as an SQL or XSS injection. Here, the hacker can relay a malicious piece of code through the URL bar. They can thus reveal sensitive data and edit the code.
From there, the attacker may opt for many different ways to damage your site. For instance, they could create a redirect that leads to one of their websites. Maybe they would insert malware into your website or reveal sensitive info.
Logically, the remedy for this threat is in the same vein as the previous two. Sanitizing (AKA escaping) user input and relying on parameterized statements will go a long way to ensuring that attackers can’t pull off a successful URL hack.4. Brute Force Attack
For hackers striving to find your username and password, brute force attacks are a fairly handy tool. It’s a pretty straightforward idea: simply guess the correct string or phrase through trial and error until you get it right.
As you can expect, this method takes thousands of attempts to pay dividends. It’s like trying to guess a word someone’s thinking of by going through every single word that exists. Naturally, hackers use computer programs to make this process much faster, but it still takes plenty of time, sometimes years, even.
Despite the needed effort, brute force attacks are nevertheless a very real threat. Luckily, there are practical steps you can take to stop this kind of attack dead in its tracks. Here’s some useful advice:
A very common cybercrime tactic, a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack serves to put your website out of working order. The plan is to send so much traffic your way that your site can’t deal with all the requests it’s getting, effectively shutting it down.
The attacker employs a (sometimes massive) group of malware-carrying computers (dubbed a botnet) to accomplish this. They may carry out the attack for a variety of reasons, ranging from financial gain to simple bragging rights. However, a DDoS invasion tends to come hand-in-hand with other forms of attack, usually serving as a distraction while the real operation takes place.
DDoS attacks are preventable with the proper security measures. A content delivery network (CDN), for one, can spread traffic across a multitude of servers. There’s also the intrusion prevention system (IPS) or web application firewall (WAF) that monitor incoming traffic and look for anomalies indicative of a DDoS operation.6. Malware
Malware is a sort of umbrella term that describes a diverse sort of software. What they all have in common, though, is their purpose. Their general goals are to, in some way, disrupt, manipulate, or damage a database or system.
To these ends, hackers will utilize an array of worryingly creative programs and strategies. Trojans, worms, spyware, ransomware, adware – the list goes on, and this malware can do anything from spying on you to stealing your data or encrypting it and demanding money to give it back to you.
Given the broad scope of the danger, there are also plenty of ways to ward off the malware menace:
Through a privilege escalation attack, a hacker will take any steps they can to accumulate the privileges they have on your website. Their objective is to gain access to as much information as they can, constantly trying to attain higher authorization. They may go about this by manipulating access tokens or bypassing user account control (UAC), for example.
Two types of privilege escalation attacks exist. Vertical focuses on gaining as much clearance possible, the higher the better. Horizontal, on the other hand, takes advantage of comparatively lower privilege levels spread across a number of accounts.
The problem with this kind of attack is that it can come from anywhere in your network (typically its weakest spot). The best way to ward off privilege hoarders is to constantly monitor your systems (MalCare would be helpful here). Deleting old plugins and themes will also wall off easier points of entry for hackers.Wrap-up
To sum up, these are the most common attacks plaguing WordPress users:
While there are certainly many of them to worry about, they are all preventable to a great degree. As long as you stay on top of the right prevention measures, you won’t have to worry about these attacks any time soon.