Integrate Your Website With Email Marketing

Integrate Your Website With Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Direct communication the inbox. The most effective tool that gives personal attention when you do it right. Do it wrong and your email is trashed without being read.

Email Integration

Use a 3rd party email service and create a personal email. Never let the person know they’re one of many on a list. Always personalize the email.

Email Marketing

We hear about this all the time. So what’s the deal with email? It’s a chore to go through the volume of emails. They’re all the same asking you to do something. Sign up or get the latest deal. Nothing of real value. Time is wasted reading them.

Why on earth did you subscribe to this in the first place?

At first email was manageable and interesting, now it’s too much information and it never seems to relate to you and what you’re doing. Unsubscribe immediately. Anything to stop the constant emails. No sooner have you cleared your inbox then another bunch of emails arrive. All day every day.

If this describes how you feel about email then how will you send an email to someone who won’t have the same reaction. Think about the emails you do open. Why do you open them? Because they are relevant to what you want to know about their product or service.

The Recipient

When you compose an email write to a person as you would if you were having an in-person conversation. Always give your emails that personal touch. People want to know that you acknowledge them.

If you address the email to their first and last name this immeditaely signals they’re one of many on one of your lists. No one likes to be addressed as; Hi Newsletter Readers, or Hello Listies, or Hello First and Last name, this is a turn off. And no, it isn’t the new way to do it for 2020.

Email isn’t dead. The “Dead” idea is a clickbait trick to get you to read an article thinking you’ve been doing something and you shouldn’t be doing it now because it’s supposedly ‘dead’.

In fact email is the one way to communicate directly that does get results if you do it right with a personal touch. There’s a human being on the receiving end of your email.

Email Servers

Which one do you use? There are so many to choose from. Each one with different configurations and set up. It would take all day to list them but how to find the right one will depend on the kind of emails you want to send.

In 2003 Congress enacted the CAN SPAM Act implemented a law covering all commercial messages. Email is an electronic commercial advertisement promoting a product or service.

Anytime you send an email to someone to solicit your business or service, and this includes a single email, the email must conform to the specific requirements. Otherwise it’s spam.

Requirements
Don't use false or misleading headers

Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.

Don't use deceptive subject lines

The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.

Identify the message as an ad

The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.

Tell recipients where you're located

Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.

Requirements
Tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving email

Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity.

Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you.

Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.

Honor opt-out requests promptly

Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days.

You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request.

Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list.

The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law.

Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

Permission

Never abuse the privelege granted to you by someone when they give you their email address.

Mail Poet

Out of all the services to choose this is my choice.

MailPoet gives you the option to add the plugin to your website and create whole campaigns or send out a single email to someone from within your website. You can style the email without the complexity offered by other Email Services.

Even though I am operting within MailPoet from my WordPress website, the emails I send will go through MailPoet’s servers and not through my Web Hosting account servers.

How much does it cost to send emails?

It depends on the amount of emails you send on a monthly basis. If you have a small list under 2000 you can use some services without cost. MailChimp allows you to send up to 2000 emails per month. The only problem with MailChimp is you have a limited use for templates and certain functions and there is no tech support with a free account.

Mail Poet WordPress Plugin

MailPoet is a WordPress Plugin that you add to your website from the Plugins area. All 3rd party email clients charge for their services. As with most apps you’ll find there is a limited use for the free version of the app. MailPoet allows you to send up to 2,000 emails per month.

If you subscribe to App Sumo you can get from time to time special deals with a one-time purchase to buy into the full use of the app without having to pay extra. I was able to get the MailPoet deal through App Sumo but it is now closed as the deal only goes for a certain length of time. You can sign up with App Sumo as they have other apps that they distribute and make available.

The MailPoet deal I bought gave me a premium account with 5,000 emails, tech support, use of their servers and access to all the email templates with a one-time purchase of $49. The MailPoet email templates are professional and well designed, and they’re not difficult to use.

Setting Up MailPoet

Access the MailPoet settings to create the templates for a Newsletter, Welcome Email, Latest Post Notifications, and if you have WooComerce installed you can use this feature.

This is a help icon at the bottom of the page. When you click the icon the help menu pops up. 

Get Organized

We’ve heard this before how you need to organize information so you can get it out at the right time to the right people about the right information. This sounds really good but it is easier said than done. Your first campaign is going to take some work on your part. First you need to start out with a plan. Not a calendar with proposed dates but a plan that starts with how you are going to deal with the subscribers, now that you have integrated your website with email.

What is the Purpose of Your Email?

To communicate and engage with an existing customer base.

To promote information about a product.

Provide training

Welcome new customers

What you are doing is called Digital Marketing. This is a combination of setting up an email newsletter and then managing the campaign that corresponds with the above list.

Here’s an excellent workbook about the process; The Digital Acquisition Cycle by Scott Winterroth. I have read this guidebook and the information is invaluable. The book takes you through the necessary thought structure based on the author’s real time experience. “The key ingredient to almost any digital marketing campaign is commitment. You need to sustain your online marketing strategy, even when it is difficult.” Scott Winterroth.

Sending Emails Builds Relationships

The inbox is where you have an opportunity to speak directly to the person. Now it’s time to stop and figure out why you want to send emails. Is it because it’s what you’re supposed to do? If it is this won’t work. The person you’re emailing is intelligent and they can figure it out from the subject line of the email to the greeting and the first sentence.

Integrating your website with Email Marketing will require effort. It’s no use outsourcing the project, you’ll never be satisfied with how it’s done by someone else. Only you can do it because you’re the person behind the email offering your service or product. Once you’ve set up the logistics of MailPoet you’ll find yourself prompted by the excellent tutorials, helpful tech support and well designed templates.

We Are Connected

We Are Connected

Thanks To The Internet

The times we are facing will change everything in our lives, no matter where you live. Life as you once knew it will have to be revised. There’s no getting around it. We are now dependent on the Internet to stay connected. It was something we didn’t anticipate. But here it is.

Schools may not open. People will work from home instead of in an office. Conventions and events will stream online. Universities and Schools will have to use online tuition. I have been working from home for the last ten years, by choice. When I started an online Web Consulting and Design business I found many people were not willing to pay attention to any of the things that would indeed connect them in business. Those that did pay attention to the vast resources the Internet could bring their online businesses benefitted.

The most successful business is one that can survive through the problems. The problem of a global quarantine is disastrous, and definitely shouldn’t be around. This business that will survive is Amazon. No matter how much criticism is leveled at this company, let’s look at the real picture. It’s the number one sought after service because the idea behind it serves the need.

Building an Online Infrastructure

It starts with a simple idea and a website. The website is the publishing platform, the communication tool to connect with people. But because of the way we live we are now paying for it in the most unexpected way, disease. Viruses and disease is not new on our planet. What is new is blatant ignorance about the subject.

It’s essential to know the difference between fake news and real news. The problem is we’re saturated with information and we don’t pay attention to what we are doing. Sign up, register, login, subscribe are now reflex actions.

Manipulated information is part of the problem. It spreads panic and fear. What is even more alarming is those who claim to be intelligent, pretend there is no virus and they are too young to get the virus.

Well, the virus doesn’t know your age. Children, teens, adults, young and old will get the virus, unless they take the proper precautions and social distance themselves from contact. It’s just that simple. If you don’t make yourself available to contacting the virus you won’t get it. Going through childhood I contracted a variety of viruses. We were quarantined and that was that. The virus eventually stops mutating because there are no more hosts to feed from.

This is common sense. When you were sick you stayed at home. You didn’t go to work and you didn’t loose your job because you were sick. An employee was a valued person, not a commodity to be replaced by another hourly employee because the business owner didn’t want any loss in revenue.

Misinformation and Scammers

One of the most problematic situations to cope with when you use the Internet. We are all using the Internet now more so than ever. You will also find the scammers. Websites are springing up with all sorts of offerings. Courses, information, asking for donations to help people, setting up funds. And if you’re not careful your funds could go to someone who pretends to be an organization that is legitimately going to help those in need .

Number 1 Rule

Never donate to a cause because it’s convenient or because it looks like it’s a worthy cause. Do the research to make sure the organization is legitimate. The dark side of human nature is ever present in the most unlikely places. People will take advantage of you no matter how intelligent we might think we are.

Number 2 Rule

Anyone can say anything about anything on the web. There is no filter. I can tell you the most outrageous lie if I want to. How do you know I am giving you the correct information.

The lazy way is to just accept what people say without any kind of filter. For example; did you know that WordPress is going to be discontinued tomorrow. That is ridiculous since 60.5% of websites are powered by WordPress. The red flag should go up instantly after reading the statememnt. It’s usually made by someone to discredit WordPress so they can persuade you another software is better.

The buck stops with you

Work From Home

If this is an option, take it. I have been working from home for a number of years. My work as a Website Consultant and Designer building websites is done online. Online interaction is one-on-one with discussions and instructions when necessary. This way of working is cost effective and happens in real time. You get to see how your website comes together and how it works.

The New Normal

Change is inevitable. If things don’t change we’d still be living in the Dark Ages or as they did in antiquity. Thank goodness we aren’t. What doesn’t change is our social interaction. In this time with the Coronavirus we have to know it is not going to last forever. A temporary ban on social interaction won’t collapse anything. The whole situation will bring new innovation as to how we as a worldwide community have to alter some of the things we do.

Bring Back Travel Vaccinations

Eventually a vacine will be developed for this virus and it will be contained as it is a more serious virus than seasonal flu. I’m not an expert on viruses, but I know enough to realize this is a mutative virus and the body will develop immunity. Just as the Polio vaccine did and the worldwide epidemic was stopped. Some people did get the disease because the vacine wasn’t available.

Vaccines used to be enforced for travel. When you went overseas you could not board the plane without proper vaccination documentation anywhere in the world. What happened? This was relaxed some years ago it should return.

When you travel you are subject to pick up viruses and germs. When you eat you ingest bacteria. The body has a built in system to kill unhealthy bacteria. The compromised immune system comes from bad eating habits and a totally unhealthy lifestyle. We all think we are so healthy! Think again. We have tampered with the food we eat and we’re paying for it.

Contracted While Traveling

True story: I contracted small pox traveling from South Africa to the United States in 1983. This is a contagious disease. There was no vaccination requirement at that time. I was quarantined at home for a few months. The health official was my primary care physician who visited me at my home. Fortunately the fever was lowered and I did not have to transfer to hospital. 

How Did I Get Smallpox?

An airplane is a confined space. People travel when they’re not well. In my opinion, the ventilation system in an airplane is not cleaned. The inside of the airplane is, after the passengers have left the plane. Airlines have too many flights and no time to clean the ventilation system of an airplane in between flights. This is how viruses spread when people travel.

Value being able to Connect

Without the Internet we would be completely isolated, thank goodness for the web. It’s a remarkable invention. Technology has propelled us forward not backwards. Eventually life will return to what it was but we’ll have learned through this experience. Keep vigilant, in order to function you need a healthy body. Look after it well, it’s the only one you have for the duration of this lifetime. Remember a virus doesn’t know how to tell the difference between a child and an older person. Everyone is vulnerable.

We Are Connected. smile

Website Creating the Inside View

Website Creating the Inside View

Before Creating A Website

What the sales copy doesn’t tell you.

 

Website Creatingthe Inside View

The inside of a website isn’t mysterious, it’s just an organized content management system that operates when you know the commands. All software works this way. Once you know how to operate it, the mystique disappears.

The problem with creating a website; the initial information before setup.

It’s true anyone can create a website. This is usually the developer or the designer’s territory. But now website software is built for the user as well. There are two ways to go about creating a website, have someone create the website for you, or create it yourself.

Now not everyone likes to do it themselves. Whichever way you want to create your website you still need the foundational knowledge before the website is created. The foundational knowledge is the inside view, it’s not the sales view, but the information you wish you’d had before the startup that you now have to undo.

If you haven’t started a website don’t jump into the first easy-to-use, free, website… here’s the foundational knowledge based on my experience buildling websites since 2006.

Website FoundationalKnowledge

The foundational knowledge is the know-how-it-works. This is what the advertising doesn’t tell you, and what you find out after you’ve bought into the freebie website with ads. Or worse still, your website just crashed because there’s insufficient memory to properly display the website.

This website is powered by WordPress. You’ve no doubt heard about other software for a website, Wix or Squarespace. Wix is a free software with ads, but if you need your own domain name or want to do business online, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the plans. The least expensive plan without any ads is $13 per month. This plan gives the website 3GB storage. This isn’t enough memory space for a website.

The same is true for a WordPress website hosted on WordPress.com. WordPress.com also requires an upgrade to remove ads from the website. You don’t want to have ads on your website. That’s the problem with free, it means use someone else’s platform and live with features not needed. Why would you advertise your competition? They pay for their advertisement to be on your website because it’s a relevant match advertisement.

  • WordPress 62.5%
  • WooCommerce 15.5%
  • Wix 2.3%
  • Weebly 1.6%
  • Squarespace 1.5%

Source: W3 Techs
Web Technology Surveys – 2020

  • Blog
  • Website Building

MisinformationOutdated

Before you take the time to read make sure the information is current. Check the date, last year’s information is considered current. If you can’t find a date the information is most probably ‘evergreen’ meaning it might be factual and doesn’t go out of date. But even the ‘evergreen’ article will at some point be outdated.

Tech information on the Internet isn’t always updated and revised, unless the owner of the website is meticulous and cares enough about the content on their website to be current and not outdated.

The fast pace of uploading and publishing content is always going to be at top speed. Don’t be in a hurry to jump at the nearest cheap bottom line price. The website you create should be long-term. You want your presence on the web to generate business. For this you need a professional website that will accommodate the growth you envision for your company, or as an individual practitioner. 

Website Roadmap
  1. Website Software
  2. A Professional Website
  3. Website Theme Choice
  4. Website Hosting
Website Problems
  1. Have to know code.
  2. Free website
  3. Discontinued Theme
  4. Cheap Hosting

WebsiteSoftwareWhich One?

The truth of this is in the usage. The best website software to use is WordPress, this is based on my experience using the Blogger software, the Microsoft Small Business Software (now discontinued). WordPress came out the winner having the most flexible layout and I didn’t need to know code to use it. The WordPress core software is provided by a reputable Hosting Company. WordPress is the remarkable invention of co-founders Matt Mullenweg and David Little. WordPress started as a fork from b2cafelog a blogging software that needed improving. They modified the software so well that it grew to become the most used software for a blog and a website.

The WordPress core is open source software. Developers from all over the world contribute to the code. The result is a versatile software with the flexibility to add functions as needed. WordPress has created a higher standard for websites. This is good news because this is exactly what you want for your website. Longevity and flexibility. WordPress is not going to suddenly be discontinued and they won’t raise the price and make it proprietary code.

When a software creates an environment where everyone benefits from it’s use, the developer, the designer, and the user, then it stands out and this is why 62.5% of websites are powered by WordPress as opposed to 2.3% by Wix.

Large Corporations, Governments, Educational Institutions, Schools, Restaurants, Individuals, Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Individuals, all use WordPress for their website.

Adding to the excellence of WordPress is the availability of Plugins. A plugin is designed by a 3rd party developer and if it passes the grade is offered in the WordPress Plugin Repository. If you’re serious about doing business online you will need a profressional website.

A Professional Website

Premade Theme Layout

Designers and Developers use this Theme.  Anyone can create a website using this theme. You don’t have to know how to code to create your website.

There are 125+ Premade Theme Layouts designed by Elegant Themes designers. Using these layouts is like hiring a professional designer. Even if you’re a total beginner you can create a professional website.

The Divi Theme is the world’s most used Theme, and has the flexibility to style a website to suit the subject without emptying your wallet.

WebsiteThemeWhich One?

The WordPress core software is the shell onto which a Theme is built.  The Theme is the decoration or style relating to a subject or topic. Today the WordPress Theme market is saturated with every kind of theme you can think of. The technology of website styles changes all the time. What looked good in the 1990’s doesn’t look good in 2020.

WordPress recently rocked the boat and introduced a new Classic Editor. The section where you input the content that goes onto the web page. The introduction of the Gutenberg Block Editor is the biggest change WordPress has made since it was launched in 2003. The result is now what is called a Block Editor, or Page Builder system to help you put content onto the page.

Themes styled with the earlier Classic Editor are now outdated and will cause the website to operate on an older version of WordPress. Theme developers will need to update their themes or discontinue that theme. This is a definite consideration before you use the inexpensive theme that you found on the web. Is it compatible with the most current version of WordPress 5.3.2? Updates to the WordPress core softwear happen regularly. In a few months WordPress will be up to 5.3.3.

There will always be an updated or improved version particularly with a website. Always make sure you can update the Theme and WordPress when needed. An outdated website will be hacked and this is what you don’t want to experience. Once a website is hacked, it’s dropped from the search engine. The website will then take a long time to get back into the good graces of the search engine.

Best Practice: always use an updated version of WordPress and WordPress Theme.

You want a theme that keeps pace with WordPress. Not only do they keep pace with WordPress but they integrated their unique Page Builder into the Gutenberg Block system. This theme is the Divi Theme.

The Divi Theme

The Divi Theme is your creative partner working by your side as you come to know how the sections, rows, and modules work. You are using one of the most used themes in the world. Even the designers and developers use this theme. The Divi Theme has built-in styling features and you can add content directly onto the page using the advanced Visual Builder.

Whenever there is an excellent product there are always those that will downgrade the product, claiming it’s slow and has too many things wrong with it. This is professional jealousy. The person, feeling the competition, criticizes the product with the intent to purposefully misinform you, so you’ll buy their product instead.

Are You Hands On?

As the owner of a website you need to decide how hands on you want to be with the website. You might not have the time to do this yourself, in that case you should have your site managed by someone, and be prepared to pay them for this service. The back end site management is called site maintenance. The front end of the site management is called front end where you add content to the site. This is the part you should operate as the owner of a website.

The front end has a learning curve, as with anything we use, we have to learn how it works first. With the Divi Theme you have full control over the front end and you’ll be able to change an image, add content, and if you want, change a style. 

Not having to use code is the best way to create a website. Website code runs in the background while you’re using it on the front end. If there’s a problem with the code, you initiate the built-in support ticket and the tech support developers fix it for you. This is how it should be. Code is complicated, and unless it is your passion… don’t mess with it.

Learning Divi

No one likes learning something by themselves. This is why YouTube is so popular. Whenever we want to know how to do something, we search for a video on YouTube.

But you can’t ask the video questions. You can ask questions if you have someone teach you. You can have one-on-one training with a Divi enthusiast, and learn to create a website using Divi.

Where toHostYour Website?

The answer to this question depends on who you talk to. The Hosting Company is one of the most important choices you will need to make. It’s the second most important thing next to the domain name of the website.

The cPanel

This is where you will manage your website. Not the WordPress login to the live site but the back end of the website where it sits on the Hosting Company servers. Your website will be on a shared server, unless you’re a large operation and have a dedicated server for the website.

The cPanel is not complex, but it is unfamiliar. Developers are at home in the cPanel because they deal with the FTP (file transfer protocol) and generally manage the back end of the website. If you’re not familiar with FTP protocol, subdomain management, memory upgrade, and SSL certificate instillation… then you will need tech support.

If you like doing this yourself, you will be able to find your way around the cPanel and make minor changes, but if you run into a problem you don’t want to change or delete files in the database. What you need is a Hosting Company with reliable tech support, and at all hours of the day and night. When something goes wrong you need to fix it as soon as possible. Downtime means loss of business and reputation. If you’re operating an online business this is what you don’t need.

Web Space

How much web space does the Hosting Company provide? This ranges from 3 GB to 10 GB. Obviously 3 is less than 10, you do not want to be limited in the amount of web space. 3 GB is not sufficient space.

Website software is continuously upgraded, improved, and debugged. No software works perfectly all the time. But when you need to press the Update button you don’t want a server error message telling you there is insufficient memory to support the update of the Theme. An outdated Theme is one ready to be hacked!

Reliable Tech Support

Depending on the Hosting Company you’ll get variations. In some cases there will be an extra charge for tech support. In most cases though the tech support is built into the monthly amount with Hosting fees. How do you know if the tech support is any good? Ask around and people will tell you of their experience. Since Hosting Companies are essential to having a website, you’ll get instant feedback. Hosting recommendations provided are based on my using those services. I’m so satisfied with their service I am part of their Affiliate program.

Three Different Kinds ofWebsite Hosting

DIY

DIY means do it yourself. A developer builds a theme on their computer, with special software, and then uses FTP (file transfer protocol) to upload the Theme to the Host server files. All the files in a website are stored in a database. 

Managed Hosting

If you’re not hands on this is a good hosting option. For a fee, the Hosting Company maintains your website, keeping it up to date, and fixing any issues that might occur. Managed Hosting Company I recommend.

WordSpaces

Some DIY + Tech Support

This type of Hosting is good if you want to learn cPanel basics such as email setup and forwarding, but you don’t want to go into the database and root directories. Some DIY+Tech Support, I recommend.

SiteGround

Website Roadmap

Website Software – WordPress

Professional Website – Premade Layout Pack

Website Theme Choice – the Divi Theme

Website Hosting – do it yourself, managed hosting, do-it-yourself with tech support.

The website journey is like a roadmap, you have to follow the road to reach your destination. You can go cross-country, but the terrain is more difficult and might not reach the desired destination. In this case your destination is a website.

No one ever got anywhere without knowing where they were going. With the inside view, you’re now able to decide how you’re going to create your website.

Divi How To

Divi How To

The website from the front end looks gorgeous! How do they do it? Today, without a website, you’re not relevant or legit. It’s a harsh judgment. Not everyone knows how to build a website. Well, that’s changing. It’s possible when someone shows you how to.

How To

When you see how its done with tech stuff, you find out the tech guys best kept secrets. If they don’t want you to know then there won’t be a help menu and you’ll have to rely on them to do it for you. That’s not acceptable anymore. Maybe it was in the last decade. But now you have access to the how-to, at least on this blog you do.

If you’ve been on this website you’ll know that I’m in love with the one theme that teaches you how to do it for yourself. It’s the most advanced theme of it’s kind and here’s the big secret; the developers and designers also use it! It’s the Divi Theme made by Elegant Themes.

This article shows you how to with the Divi Theme. Building a website isn’t easy, if it was everyone would have done it and we’d be doing something else. It’s a complex set of components that must work together to create the website. But when you see the how-to in action then the complexity disappears and you can build a website yourself. We tend to think only a designer can design a website. This is not true, with the right tools you can design your website the way you want with built in settings inside the modules.

A website is a content management system and you can put into it whatever you need to function. WordPress is the ideal software for a website, it’s flexible and you can add functions to it as you need them. You will need a WordPress theme and the one I recommend is the Divi Theme. It’s the most versatile theme, and yes, it’s also for beginners and you don’t have to know how to code to use the Divi Theme.

The Theme Marketplace is jam packed with WordPress Themes, each one looks better than the last one you looked at. One theme isn’t better than another. It all depends on your willingness to want to create your website yourself, or have someone help you create it.

The Web Page

There are three parts to the webpage. The header, the body and the Footer bars.

The Screen

Contant is viewed on different size screens. The Theme adjusts the content automatically to fit the screen size.

Enable the Theme Settings

After uloading the Divi.zip file you’ll need to go to the Theme Options area to enable the settings. Without doing this the theme won’t work. It might sound obvious but sometimes a setting not enabled can cause a problem. 

Divi Theme Options Area

The image on the right is the Theme Options area.

At first all the settings will read disabled. Click disable and the blue ENABLED button will appear. This tells you that you just enabled that setting. When you return to this area you won’t have to remember whether you did or didn’t enable the setting. 

If you didn’t enable the setting it would be greyed out and read DISABLED.

Locating The Built In Help Access

There is a help menu built into each module. Open the module and locate the ? symbol at the bottom of the module. Click on the symbol and the Divi Builder Helper will open with a video tutorial of that module.  smile The video tutorial is published by Elegant Themes. This is exactly how I learned to use the Divi Theme when I first started using it when it came out in 2013. I would stop and start the video as many times as I needed. After a while I got it.

Did you know that no one knows how software works until they start using it?

Accessing Built In Help

When you click on the ? symbol the built in instruction video will open and you can watch the video. It is directly related to the module you’re using. In this example we’re looking at the Divi Toggle Module Settings Instruction Video.

Press the play button and the instructions will show you how to use the Toggle Module.

All of these videos are also on Elegant Themes YouTube Channel. There are also related articles to help you even further. This is how I learned to use the Divi Theme.

Premade Layouts

One of the most helpful elements when creating a website. You can choose any layout that fits into your idea. The layout is meant to be used as a guide.

There are 100+ Theme Layouts in the Divi Library and a new one is added each week and there is no extra cost, they come with the Divi Theme.

Accessible Content

As technology advances so do the effects of what you can do with content on a web page. This text box flips when you hover your mouse over it!

Is the Content Accessible?

Everyone uses the web including people with disabilities. Make sure your content isn’t overly animated or decorated. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Even if it looks cool to you.

Acessibility

We tend to think everyone is the same as we are, but there are people with disabilities that access the web. You want to make sure your content is suitable. Keep it simple and clean with as minimal distractions as possible.

Animation on a web page attracts attention. It’s great when it’s subtle. Annoying when it’s overdone. The last thing you want to do is annoy the person visiting your website. They get off as fast as they can and don’t return.

Creating a Website is a Process

If there’s so much information about WordPress and creating websites, why is it so difficult to create one? It’s because the information isn’t presented from the how-to-do it’s presented from it’s easy and click here to get started. This is the number one reason why websites fail. The initial setup doesn’t follow the roadmap. Yes, you need a roadmap. It’s that much harder to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.

Bringing Your Idea Into the Website

The idea you have for your website has been living inside you. You might be fairly sure what you want. You will find a lot of readymade themes to use. This is fine if you know how to use the theme and there is sufficient documentation to help you if if you get stuck. 

The majority of WordPress Themes don’t have as extensive support as the Divi Theme offers you. This makes a big difference when you want to get your website going so that it works for your business project, or service. Before you settle on a theme you need to have two other elements first. The Domain Name and the Hosting Company in that order.

The Domain Name

This is the name of your website. Do the work and make sure the name you choose isn’t taken. Search the main database Whois.com to find out. If the .com extension isn’t available but the same name is available to use with .org – don’t use that name. It’s “confusingly similar” and will result in the company with the .com name coming to you and wanting to know why you are using their name.

The Hosting Company

The real information about them; some are good and some aren’t. Don’t go with cheap hosting. Before you sign up for web hosting find out what version the Host servers are running on. Those servers will host your website. You want to have sufficient memory and not have your website crash beause the Hosting Company doesn’t give you enough memory.

The Hosting Company should be on 7.0+PHP. This will accommodate the memory you need.

The version is based numbers. Software updates regularly. WordPress core and the WordPress Theme will update fixing bugs and adding new features. When there is an update you will see a series of numbers. For example: the WordPress core software updated current version is 5.3.2 – the next time WordPress core updates the version numbers will change to 5.3.3.

If a Web Hosting service only operates websites at 5.0 they won’t be compatible with the updated WordPress version of 5.3.3. Since all Web Hosting companies supply the WordPress core software they have to keep pace with WordPress core updates.

The Theme will also have version numbers. These are different from the WordPress core version numbers. The WordPress Theme you use should update regularly, not once a year when the license comes up for renewal. The Divi Theme is regularly updated and all you’ll have to do is see the notice in the Updates area and then press the Update button.

Read More About What Divi Does 

Redoing A Website With Divi

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Write in Real Time with the Divi Visual Builder

Write directly onto a web page in real time? See your words flow onto the page as you type them into the module? Style the module with a different color and shape? You see it as you style it. Unheard of. Impossible... until now. Enter the Visual Builder experience...

Build Your Website Right The First Time

Why don't we do it right the first time? Because we don't have the right information. The right information only comes from someone who has made the mistakes themselves and is willing to share their experience so you can do it right the first time.The First Mistake -...

Can You Build Your Own Theme?

Yes! How so? The Divi Theme Builder will come out October 17, 2019.  Something we always associated with a designer or a developer is now going to be available for us users. The long awaited Divi 4.0 is about to launch. It will change the way you think about websites....

How To Use Images In A Website

The images used in a website are far more important than how easy it is to upload them. One of the biggest problems with websites is the images. The web is a great place to view awesome pictures. How do you get awesome images? Everyone thinks all you do is upload the...

Break Out of the Blog Box

Page Builders changed blogging. Writing content into a blog post takes on new meaning. The story unfolds in bite sized quality content, a balance of content and images. Visible. Accessible. Interesting. One of the best softwares to use for a website, especially if you...

A Better Way to Blog

After the much anticipated update of the WordPress core editor, Gutenberg, you still need to write a blog post, or two. At the same time of the update, the Divi Theme came out with a better way to blog using the Divi Visual Builder. The Divi Theme provided the...

GDPR and Your Website

The European Union General Data Protection Act is in effect May 25, 2018. The Information provided is a courtesy and is not legal advice.The user now has complete control over their data and has a say in how it may be used.As a website owner you must explain to the...

Divi and WordPress

The match between Divi and WordPress is a good from start to finish. No matter what you read about the "end of WordPress," or the "end of Page Builders and Themes," it isn't for real. Here are some facts: WordPress is the most used website software worldwide 30% of...

Blogging

The Blog is the humble web log that started some time ago and now we write posts and call it a Blog. The last ten years or so have given us a lot of telling. Long articles proving what we need to do. Endless lists of things to do right away to have instant success. We...

Need more information about websites? Get the Roadmap or have a Consultation with me. I’ll show you how based on my experience working with the Divi Theme. No other theme compares and I’ve done the comparing and used the other themes. 

The Journey

No matter where you are on the journey with your website, just starting out, need a revision, have to change themes, plugins don’t work, you have to know how to…

Why Some Plugins Work and Others Don’t

Why Some Plugins Work and Others Don’t

Which plugins should you use? There are so many how do you know the plugin will work? You don’t until you use the plugin. Some plugins will crash your website. This is because they are in conflict with the theme. How do you avoid this problem?

About Plugins

This article will give you information about plugins based on my experience of using plugins with WordPress since I started using WordPress in 2006. The links to purchase the plugins are my Affiliate links. I constantly use these plugins on my websites. They do specific functions I couldn’t do without them. They’re so good they’re worth recommending.

WordPress gives you the advantage to add specific functions into WordPress known as a Plugin. A Plugin is a package of code and is developed by a team of developers. For a Plugin to work sucessfully, it has to be compatible with WordPress and the WordPress Theme. All you would need to do is add the Plugin to your website and activate the settings, and the plugin does the work intended.

There are over forty-four thousand Plugins in the WordPress Plugin Repository. That’s a whole lot of plugins! All plugins are required to go through testing before being allowed to be offered in the WordPress Repository. The Plugin Repository is accessed from your website Dashboard in the Plugins area. The Plugin Repository is linked to your WordPress website. When adding a plugin, go to the Plugins section, select Add New, or Upload a Plugin.

How are Plugins Made?

Plugins are created by developers, the people that know how to code. Plugin Developers are problem solvers. Many of the things you want to do in a website aren’t simple to implement. The Plugin Developer creates the plugin code package to add specific functions to the website.

Before you add a plugin to your website you do need to research the plugin beyond the sales copy, which by the way is just advertising. The Plugin will appear to be the perfect solution for what you want. Is it? Always do some research. Read the reviews about the plugin. Who is the Developer? When was the plugin last updated? Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress (which is updated frequently). Is there tech support available if something goes wrong with the Plugin? Sometimes the Plugin is offered free, but tech support requires an upgrade.

Because there are so many which one should you use? This depends on the WordPress Theme you’re using. Not all Plugins in the WordPress Repository are compatible with all themes.

The question to ask; does this plugin work with the Theme you’re using?

Today, technology updates faster and there are more people using the software. You want a smooth integration with Plugins and this isn’t always possible. There will be problems along the way. The key to less Plugin issues is to use Plugins specifically made for the Theme you’re using.

Plugins I Use

The plugins I use are compatible and specifically developed for the Divi Theme. It’s no secret I use the Divi Theme and love using it. I also don’t know how to code with HTML but I can copy and paste a CSS style into the appropriate field (following a video tutorial, which anyone can do). The Divi Theme is produced by Elegant Themes in 2013, since it came out I haven’t needed to use any other theme. 

I will only add a plugin to a website if it’s necessary and it has a specific feature. For example; the ability to add more information to the main navigation menu with images and text. This is something I could not do without a plugin.

At some point there will be a problem even with the most perfect plugin specifically built for the Divi Theme. When that happens the test is; the developers tech team fixes the problem, with no extra charge asap.

This may or may not happen depending on the Developer. Some Plugins are developed but not kept up and the Developer goes out of business and the Plugin is no longer available. Other times the Plugin becomes obsolete and is discontinued. Usually another Plugin better than the first Plugin will come in it’s place.

Why You Should Be Prepared to Buy a Plugin

It’s great when it’s free, but as you’ve most probably come to know by now, free means upgrade for a fee. Any Plugin might have conflict even if you paid for the plugin. Plugin Developers are a 3rd party development team and not part of the Theme Development Team. Remember, there’s three sets of code that work together, the Plugin code package, the Theme code package and the existing WordPress core code. If the Plugin Developer is good, their Plugins will work well for what they’re designed to do.

Plugins Included with The Divi Theme

Bloom

Included With Elegant Themes Membership

An email opt-in plugin with design features that creates popup modules and fly-in modules to request visitors to your website to subscribe to your newsletter.

Split testing and growth measurement dashboard tells you how people respond. Did you know; email is the most direct way to connect with your audience and customers.

Monarch

Monarch

Included with Elegant Themes Membership

Social Media changed the way we communicate. Now you can arrange the social sharing buttons in a floating sidebar or an inline style at the end or beginning of a blog post.

This plugin is lightweight and integrates with all the social media platforms that you want to connect with.

Plugins Worth Considering for your Divi Website

Divi Blurb Extended Plugin

Divi Blurb Extended Plugin

Did you notice when you hovered over the Zip file image it flipped into another view? I use this plugin on all my websites. It has extra features and options that make the blurb look interesting.

The developers of this plugin, Elicus Technologies created an enhancement to the existing Blurb Module inside the Divi Theme.

This is my Affiliate link with Elicus Technologies; Purchase Divi Blurb Extended Plugin here.

Divi Post Extended Plugin

Divi Post Extended Plugin

Developed by Elicus Technologies

This blog post layout uses Divi Post Extended Plugin with the Stellar layout. If I didn’t have the Plugin, I would have to do a lot of HTML work to get this layout. This Plugin also comes with a Widget which you can pull in blog posts into a sidebar and the footer area. Here’s an example of a blog post with a sidebar using the Stellar layout. 

This is my affiliate link with Elicus Technologies;  purchase Divi Post Extended here.

Divi Blog Extras

Divi Blog Extras

Plugin Developer Elicus Technologies

With this Plugin you can arrange the blog posts on the Blog page from a choice of six styles. I use this plugin on all my websites to style the blog page.

Take a look at the Blog page on this website to see how the posts are pulled in and displayed using this Plugin. The Blog page has an attractive layout and this is because I can select one of six styles to display the blog posts on the Blog page.

This is my affiliate link with Divi Extended;  purchase Divi Blog Extended here.

Divi Mega Menu Pro

Divi Mega Menu Pro

Developed by Tim Strifler | Divi Life

This plugin gives lets you place additional information in the top navigation menu when you hover over a menu tab. The header of a website is one of the most complex areas and is best left alone!

Without this plugin you only have the option to display the main navigation menu as tabs with a drop down list of items. This plugin isn’t in use on this site but soon will be.

This is my affiliate link with Divi Life; purhase Divi Mega Menu Pro here.

 

Divi Overlays

Divi Overlays

Developed by Tim Strifler | Divi Life

The Divi Overlay Plugin gives you the ability to put a popup form from a link in a button or text. This plugin is in use on the Homepage.

In this example if a visitor clicks on the button Free Live Consultation a contact form will popup without the visitor having to leave the page. The contact form can be styled and modified as well.

This is my Affiliate link with Divi Life; you can purchase Divi Overlays here.

The Divi Community

The Divi Theme changed the way we build websites. It’s for anyone to use. Even if you’re a beginner and have no experience with WordPress you can use the Divi Theme.

The popularity of Divi gave rise to the Divi Community. People who use the Divi Theme, Designers, Developers, and Users share their knowledge and products about Divi.

Connect with the Divi Community on Facebook, and Meetup. Join the Divi Nation and participate in website building with professionals and beginners.

Join the Divi Chicago Meetup Group. The Divi Community is in Chicago! Everyone welcome at all levels, beginners too. Feel free to bring something to share or questions to ask.

How Many Plugins Can You Add?

As many as you want. But if you add too many you could bloat the website and weigh it down causing the site to load slowly.

If you wanted to sell products on your website you can add the WooCommerce Plugin. The WooCommerce is free to use initially but it is adequate for a start up business. As your business increases you add specific features you need. If you wanted to add courses to your website you could add LearnDash. Almost any function you can think of you can find a plugin for it.

Questions to Ask About Plugins

Find out as much information about the plugin as you can. Do others use it? What is their feedback?

Is the Plugin updated regularly?

Avoid Plugins that haven’t been updated in a while.

Is there tech support and tutorial documents?

Is the Plugin compatible with the WordPress version you’re using (you should be using most current one).

Is the Plugin compatible with the Theme you’re using?

Is the Plugin necessary?

Sometimes you might purchase a Plugin and some time later the Theme updates and adds the feature the Plugin provided. Developers know this and it’s part of their work. They might discontinue that Plugin or develop it further with additional features. You can continue to use the Plugin, but if you’re not going to continue to use the Plugin you should delete it from the website.

Plugins Are Essential

This is one of the most outstanding features of the WordPress software, being able to add a specific function to a website to enhance the website even further. A WordPress website can expand to a membership site, an information portal, an online store. Anything you want to expand into with your idea can be accommodated and added to a WordPress website with Plugins.

All Plugins should come with sufficient documentation to help you set it up. If you get stuck on the settings you can always contact the Developer, they’ll be more than glad to help. They want you to be satisfied using their Plugin.

Your plugin adventure is about to begin as you start to develop the idea behind your website. Research the options and always be prepared to ask questions. If you have more questions contact me, I’m always willing to answer questions. These Plugins work with the Divi Theme.

Purchase the Divi Theme

To use the Divi Theme you must be a member of Elegant Themes. This is one Theme Company you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll be going out of business or discontinuing their Theme. The Divi Theme is the world’s most popular Theme for a simple reason; it’s the ideal WordPress Theme that accommodates all types of users, even beginners. 

This is my affiliate link with Elegant Themes. I’ve used the Divi theme since it came out in 2013 on all my websites. It’s that good!