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Four ways to make managing your store’s updates easier

May 19, 2017 - 6 Comments

One of the most common things we hear from customers contacting us for support is that you really, really hate updating your store.

We get it. It’s not fun. It’s kind of nerve-wracking, right? You don’t always know what things are going to look like on the other side of the update.

But updating WooCommerce, its extensions, and WordPress itself doesn’t have to be a pain in the you-know-where. It might never be a pleasant experience, but if you know how to handle it, you can all but eliminate those “my product pages look weird” and “this plugin isn’t working right” experiences.

Today we’re going to show you four ways to better manage updates to your WooCommerce store, and how handling updates in these ways can save you time, keep your store running smoothly, and completely eliminate the pounding headache you seem to get every time you see the phrase “an update is available” in your WordPress dashboard.

Let’s get started.

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How to create and use backups with WooCommerce

May 18, 2017 - 15 Comments

Backups — it’s a daunting word, isn’t it? Just hearing it probably makes you think of your valuable time wasted on a bunch of complicated, manual processes involving databases and FTP directories.

But all of this is a myth we’re happy to bust. The truth is this: thanks to modern plugins, it’s now fast and incredibly easy to make backups for WooCommerce — and restore them if the need arises.

You already know you need to be making backups of your store and its data. But what you might not know is how to create and manage those backups without giving yourself a headache.

Today we’re going to show you how. Read on to find out how you can get your store backed up for any situation with Jetpack, and how to properly use those backups in the event of an emergency.

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How to unlock the power of WooCommerce on mobile

April 18, 2017 - 9 Comments

As manufacturers pack more power into mobile devices — and they become readily available worldwide — our tendency to use them for everything possible has risen dramatically.

Why pick up a laptop or sit in front of a desktop computer if you can accomplish the same task on your cell phone? Larger screen sizes and improved hardware mean they’re just as easy to use for games, research, note taking… and shopping online.

But a consumer viewing your store from their phone is much different than them buying from it. An iAquire and SurveyMonkey study found that 40% of mobile users will leave a website and go back to their search results if the first site they visit isn’t mobile-friendly.

Imagine reducing your bounce rate by 40%. Now imagine what keeping more of those visitors on your store might do for your sales.

If your WooCommerce-powered store isn’t accommodating to mobile visitors, you’re leaving money on the table. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to improve your store — without undergoing a costly redesign — that will help you keep more shoppers on your store, plus potentially improve the number of purchases they make.

Let’s take a look at how you can unlock WooCommerce’s hidden power for mobile shoppers using built-in design options, ideal payment gateways, and a few amazing extensions.

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The benefits of Jetpack for your WooCommerce store

May 26, 2016 - 9 Comments

Jetpack is one of the most versatile free plugins available for WordPress. Its built-in offerings range from statistics to a content delivery network to automatic social sharing of new posts, and much more.

If you’ve used WordPress for a while or are familiar with it outside of the realm of your online store, chances are you’ve had an encounter or two with this powerful plugin. But have you tried using it in combination with WooCommerce?

In combination with WooCommerce, Jetpack can bring store owners easily-integrated attack protection, downtime alerts, content sharing, and a slew of other features designed to make your life easier. It’s the equivalent of strapping a rocket to your store — but a lightweight one. 😉

Let’s explore why we think Jetpack is well worth your while, and how it can help you soar to new heights. We’ll start with a quick overview of why we here at Woo use it, and recently hooked into it for our alpha release of WooCommerce Connect.

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How to prepare your WooCommerce store for any release

May 25, 2016 - 21 Comments

With the release of WooCommerce 2.6 on the horizon, we imagine you’re all excited to explore the newest features available for running your online store. And a bit apprehensive, perhaps, to go through the update process once more.

The beauty of the open source world of WordPress development is that it allows virtually anyone to create virtually anything for this platform we call home. The downside is that it’s nearly impossible to predict what will happen when you put any given combination of those thousands upon thousands of creations in different environments under different circumstances.

We pride ourselves on thoroughly testing WooCommerce and its extensions, but the unfortunate reality is this: conflicts still happen. That’s why we recommend being prepared in advance for releases and major updates, so in the event of an issue, you can roll right back.

“But how do you get prepared?” We’re so happy you asked. Here’s how to efficiently set up backups and testing for your WooCommerce store so you’re ready for anything.

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First things to consider with WooCommerce & speed

March 23, 2016 - 8 Comments

Humans want things to happen fast. We expect short waits in line, fast food, entertainment on demand — all in all, instant gratification.

It’s this mindset that leads us to anticipate websites that load and deliver content quickly. If we don’t get what we want, we can always go somewhere else and find the same thing.

This means that your WooCommerce-powered store has to be fast to gain as many paying customers as possible. If your site is sluggish or its pages take a long time to load, visitors will abandon it for your competitors, and you’ll miss out on countless sales.

To help you achieve the necessary goal of having the fastest, most efficient online store possible, we’ve compiled these first steps to speeding up WooCommerce. From image compression to up-to-date extensions, these are a few ways you can streamline your store for optimal performance.

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10 WordPress plugins we greatly admire

August 18, 2015 - 86 Comments

With so many plugins available for your self-hosted WordPress site, it can often be really tough to choose the ones that best suit your needs. Currently, there are nearly 40,000 plugins in the official repo, not to mention countless premium plugins available for purchase from a host of different companies.

There are a number of ways you can work out what the best choices are for your website, but we thought we would help you out by providing you a few plugins from the WordPress community that we admire. We admire these plugins only for their usefulness, but also for the way they are built and maintained.

Some of these plugins are freely available, while some carry a price tag. But one thing that they all have in common is the fact they are all incredibly well built and perform their respective tasks in the best way possible. Some of them are also included in our WooBenefits — tailored discounts offered exclusively to WooThemes customers.

So, without further delay… here’s the list!

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Why child themes are so important

July 1, 2015 - 3 Comments

We recently released our first premium Storefront child themes, Galleria and ProShop. These, coupled with the two child themes already available for free on wordpress.org (Boutique and Deli) takes our total up to four, a number we hope will grow rapidly in the coming months.

But you may have questions about this. What is a child theme and why should you use one? How do they change the look of a WordPress site? And how should you go about modifying a child theme to preserve all your changes even when there’s an update?

proshop-galleria
Two Storefront child themes.

We think we can help. Here’s a little more about how child themes work, why you should use them, and what you should keep in mind when modifying them.

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Tools for WordPress Contributors

December 19, 2014 - 14 Comments

Contributing to WordPress is an exciting and rewarding task – no matter how you go about it, it’s incredibly satisfying knowing that you’re giving back to a platform and community that dominates nearly 25% of the internet. That being said, it can be very tricky to know where to start with contributions. There are so many different avenues that you can go down when contributing that it would be incredibly helpful if you had a guide to show you the way.

Well, you’re in luck – here are a few tools that are designed to help new (and old) contributors find their way in the world of WordPress.

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Tips for organising a successful WordPress Meetup

November 18, 2014 - 1 Comment

Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis. Anything that brings together 2 or more people to share their WordPress experiences counts – there’s no minimum number of attendees or required format.

make.wordpress.org/community/meetups/

If that’s the definition of a WordPress meetup, how do you go about organising one?

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Q&A With Tom Ewer: Beginner Blogging

October 8, 2014 - 2 Comments

We know this guy called Tom who’s really good at blogging. He’s a guest blogger for WooThemes and recently launched a free online course called Beginner Blogging to get people set up for success with WordPress. We chatted to him to find out if it’s true that anyone can blog.

tom-ewer-1

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5 amazing uses for Sensei (number 4 will blow your mind)

June 27, 2014 - 7 Comments

Sensei, as I’m sure you’re aware, is a great (arguably the best) tool for teaching anything online. What you may not know though, is that you (yes, you!) can use it right now even if you aren’t running an online school.

Here are five ways that you can use Sensei today to share your knowledge with the people who need it:

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12 Fantastic WordPress Plugins You’ve Never Heard Of

April 9, 2014 - 21 Comments

WordPress offers a vast diversity of plugins that can enhance your website. But those same plugins often suffer from technical errors and weak support. There are a lot of okay plugins floating around out there, but you shouldn’t settle for mediocrity – if you’re going to put the time and effort into creating a website, you should strive to find only the best.

Luckily, there are a lot of good choices out there. Many of them are well-known plugins and themes. However, if you dig a little bit deeper you cad find some real the diamonds in the rough.

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Beginner Bloggers: How To Get Started With WordPress (A Quick and Easy Guide)

March 25, 2014 - 6 Comments

There’s a lot of advice out there when it comes to getting started with blogging.

That advice is frequently aimed at those looking to start a self-hosted website using software from WordPress.org, which may be more work than you’re looking for at this stage.

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6 Dead Simple Security Rules Every WordPress User Needs to Know – Part 1

March 20, 2014 - 6 Comments

Today’s guest post is from Brennen Byrne. He’s the CEO at Clef, a company which has developed mobile app that replaces usernames and passwords with your smartphone.

Security can be a hard and scary topic especially for new users. The details are technical, getting them right is tricky, and one mistake can lead to disaster.

WordPress has an amazing security team working hard to protect their nearly 75 million sites, but at the end of the day, you're the one who is responsible for the security of your site. If you get hacked, you're the one to pay for it.

So what can you do to protect yourself without getting into all of the messy stuff? Here are 3 simple Rules to keep your site safe

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How to Avoid Getting Overwhelmed as a Startup WordPress Developer

March 13, 2014 - 8 Comments

overwhelmed WordPress developerWhen first starting out as a WordPress developer, it’s easy to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. There is simply a lot to keep track of with regards to site customization and this can make it difficult to determine what elements you should use and what ones you should avoid.

You may even be tempted to use as many relevant plugins and widgets as possible, but doing so can slow down site performance. Slowing down performance is a major deterrent to visitors, so it all comes down to your best judgment. And that can put the pressure on.

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