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Quick Wins for Your Online Store: The Top 7 Strategies


There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Behind the sudden rise of almost any company or organization were many long nights of planning, lots of trial and error, and hours spent grinding away at the tiny details. 

Building your organic social media following will take time. It’s a worthwhile investment, but when you need to drive early revenue, it’s not likely to be the miracle solution. The same is true for search engine optimization or building an email list. These can provide some of the best returns long term, but they won’t improve your revenue tomorrow

Whether you’re just getting started or have been at it a while, a few quick wins can give you a morale boost and provide proof that you have a great idea. Plus, you can use these small pops of revenue and energy to continue to invest in larger, long-term efforts. Here are some ways you can get quick wins for your store.

Google Ads / Google Shopping 

If search engine optimization is a long-term strategy, is there a way to cut in line? Yes, sort of! 

Imagine you sell custom-engraved leather collars for cats. Showing up first on Google for the phrase “custom leather cat collar” would generate a landslide of quality traffic. But while you’re working your way up in organic rankings, you can pay for a spot at the top. 

Costs vary based on the popularity of the keywords you target and how many companies are bidding for the same placement. But you’ll usually pay a few dollars each time someone clicks on your ad (triggered by the keywords you set). That’s why this kind of ad payment structure is called pay-per-click or PPC. 

You can go from zero site visitors to hundreds in a single day. So if you have the budget and just need to drive traffic, consider Google Ads to be the source of your first quick win. 

But be warned: Most PPC campaigns aren’t highly profitable from the start, so it’s best to begin small and use the data gained to determine which keywords work best, improve your product pages, and enhance other marketing efforts to drive the cost per conversion down and your profits up.

You can also use this strategy to test your keyword ideas for long-term SEO targets. Drive traffic with those terms using AdWords and determine which ones produce traffic that converts into customers.

Google Ads setup in WooCommerce

Read our post on eCommerce search ads for beginners to learn more. If you’re ready to get started, the Google Ads and Marketing extension is really helpful. 

Remarketing 

Most customers don’t buy during their first visit. So finding ways to follow up with them can dramatically improve your sales. If you’re not already doing this, get ready for a quick win! For some stores, this one thing alone can turn around an unprofitable ad campaign overnight. 

At their simplest, remarketing ads use tags on your site to track visitors. Then, you can use display ads (like the banner ads you see on many popular websites) to remind visitors to come back and keep shopping! 

These can become incredibly intricate — like exclusively targeting non-converting traffic with a free shipping offer or showing people the specific products they viewed with a temporary discount — but even a basic remarketing campaign can have a major impact. 

If you’ve avoided remarketing because it sounds technical, jump in! Use the same Google Ads extension and you’ll have a head start. 

But not all remarketing strategies are the same. One idea that might work: Just remind them you’re here. Feature your branding, include a few product photos, and add a reminder to “shop now.” 

But here are some ideas that are likely to be a bit more effective: 

  • Create an audience that includes everyone who’s visited your site in the last seven days but hasn’t purchased. Run an ad with a promo code for free shipping. 
  • Show people the exact products they viewed to remind them what they loved about your shop. 
  • Keep an audience with everyone who’s been to your site in the past year. When you have your next big sale, announce it to everyone in this audience with display ads. 

These ads are pretty cheap to run and highly targeted because they’re only served to people who have already indicated they’re interested in your products. Learn more about remarketing with Google. 

Don’t forget —  remarketing works on social media, too. Use the Facebook for WooCommerce extension to install a pixel (Facebook’s term for a remarketing tag) on your site. 

Then, create a remarketing audience for everyone who’s been to your site recently. Facebook will anonymously match visitors with real Facebook users. Now, you can show ads to people as they browse their favorite platform. These marketing messages often seem less intrusive and more appealing than regular banner ads, so mix them in for maximum results. 

Bonus: You don’t have to have an Instagram account to run your Facebook ads on Instagram as well. Learn more about remarketing with Facebook. 

Recurring revenue 

No matter what you sell, you’ll make more money if customers come back again and again. 

Make it easy by offering subscriptions and you could turn a one-time, $40 purchase into a $480-per-year recurring revenue stream. 

There are plenty of ways to do this. You might think of gift boxes or a “fruit of the month” club. But if you sell novelty T-shirts for a niche hobby, someone might want to get a new one each month in exchange for a discount. Does every month sound too frequent? With WooCommerce Subscriptions, customers can choose terms that are the most suited to their needs — perhaps once every three months is a better fit. 

subscriptions viewed by the customer

You can do this with almost any kind of product. Let’s say you sell eye drops that you know last most customers about 60 days. In exchange for a discount, invite them to subscribe so they never have to worry about reordering. Customers will appreciate not running out of their most important items, and if they know a new shipment is already coming, they won’t be as tempted to shop around. It’s a good bet that this will increase your average customer’s lifetime value and your store’s annual revenue.

Email marketing 

Now, earlier we said that building an email list is a long-term strategy. That’s true! So, there are two possible scenarios here: 

1. You’ve been in business for a while and have an ongoing list of customers who’ve given you permission to market to them. 

If you haven’t started any sort of email marketing program, this is a major opportunity for your store. It’s significantly easier to get repeat business than find new customers. So, at the bare minimum, you should be sending a periodic newsletter-style email that tells previous customers about new products or an upcoming limited-time sale.

And it doesn’t have to be all about making immediate sales. Provide updates on what your company’s doing, offer advice for using the products you sell, or share other news that might be of interest to your specific market. The goal is to remind people you exist and capture that repeat business. Someone who purchased three years ago may have completely forgotten you, so start sending regular emails to them. 

If you’re already doing a little bit of email marketing, you can quickly boost your store’s revenue with a more robust, structured, and automated program. 

AutomateWoo abandoned cart email

Most carts are abandoned. But email programs like AutomateWoo can send messages to customers when they leave your site without completing a purchase. This could boost your conversions dramatically! But it doesn’t stop there. Using AutomateWoo, you can quickly grow revenue with other features that include: 

  • Follow-up emails asking for reviews or providing other customer service recommendations. 
  • Automated campaign sequences that include special offers and new product updates. 
  • SMS notifications. 
  • Reminder emails when wishlist items go on sale. 
  • Personalized coupons that increase customers’ average lifetime value. 
  • Referrals so that buyers can become your best advocates. 

2. You’re just getting started with email. 

Strive to be great from the start. Use an email automation tool to minimize abandoned carts and maximize repeat business. 

But that won’t help you get your first few sales. So what do you do if you don’t have an email list? First, pass on the temptation to buy a random list and blast it with marketing messages. These are usually unreliable — they have lots of fake emails and people who aren’t even close to your target audience — and could get you in trouble with email service providers for sending unsolicited messages. 

Instead, find opportunities to partner with existing organizations, non-competing companies, or influencers who do have a reliable email list filled with people in your niche audience. Some of these resources likely send their own regular newsletter and you may be able to negotiate a feature in their next release. Or an influencer might be willing to send an email in exchange for a free product or small fee. By associating yourself with someone your target market trusts, you immediately gain a bit of that trust for yourself. 

Influencer marketing 

That concept of transferring trust is why influencer marketing has become so popular. Influencers have a dedicated audience within their niche — their followers choose to follow because they appreciate their content and trust their taste, opinions, and advice.

And while few brands can afford to hire a Kardashian, there are many influencers with significantly smaller audiences who may be willing to promote your shop for as little as some free products or services. 

Let’s say you sell an item that appeals to fans of a specific sport. Google Ads are great, but sales can be hit or miss because your ads might show up for less relevant terms. Or your ads might run when someone’s looking to buy a gift for a loved one who likes the sport. That’s fine for a one-time sale, but not long term. 

What’s better? Identifying the most loyal fans of the sport, those that will come back and buy from you again and again. 

You might not be able to partner with the sport’s biggest superstar, but you can likely find a popular commentator, blogger, or other influencer with a much smaller audience of obsessed fans. A fairly inexpensive partnership will get you in front of a highly targeted group. Pair that with the remarketing and email tactics mentioned earlier, and you’ve found a bunch of new, loyal customers. 

The right partnership can definitely bring big wins — fast. Learn more about influencer marketing for eCommerce.

Upsells and cross-sells

Since new customers are hard to find, you want to maximize every opportunity to increase the average size of each order. One of the best ways to do this is by suggesting additional or complementary products (a cross-sell) or upgraded versions of an existing product they’re interested in (an upsell). 

With the Product Recommendations extension, you can sort your upsells and cross-sells by category. So if someone adds a toy for a certain age range to their cart, suggestions will appear that are also appropriate for that same age range. It’s easy to categorize things however it makes the most sense for your business. 

product recommendations underneath a product

Ready to increase your average order size? Read more about cross-sells and upsells for eCommerce. Or, get started right away with the Product Recommendations extension. 

More robust product pages 

To an extent, the more information you provide on your product pages, the more likely customers will find answers to their questions and see the evidence they need to be comfortable with purchasing. 

What should you include? Reviews, great product descriptions, detailed specifications, return policies, contact information, and images

If you only have one image for each product, adding a second could lead to a quick boost in sales. People want to see most products in a variety of applications, angles, lighting, and more. They want to see the perfect studio-quality version and the real “lifestyle” version. Show your products in more than just one light (literally) and watch conversions improve. 

People usually trust the opinions of others, even strangers, more than yours because they know you have a bias. Including reviews can work magic for your store. Try Product Reviews Pro to accept more robust reviews that include things like pictures and video clips.

product review with images

Great product descriptions go well beyond technical information, but they’re also not just packed full of fancy, meaningless words. There’s a strategy behind all of this  — one you can master. Learn more about the psychology of great product descriptions.  

You’re ready to win online

If you’re using WooCommerce, you’re already on the right track. If you’ve been in business for a while, adding new ways to reach back out to customers — through remarketing ads or email automation — could boost your conversions right away. 

And if you’re just starting out, implement these things from day one to make the most of your opportunity. You can drive quick traffic with Google Ads or garner instant credibility with an influencer’s endorsement. But no matter what you do, understand that no eCommerce store is an overnight success. Keep learning, growing, and improving to find your winning combination. 



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News – The Month in WordPress: February 2021 – WordPress.org


You don’t have to be rich to have an online presence. You don’t have to find loopholes in proprietary platforms and hope that they never change their terms of service. You own all of the content that you create on a WordPress site and have the liberty to move it to a new host if you need to, or switch your theme if it fits your mood.

That was Josepha Haden Chomphosy on WordPress is Free(dom) episode of the WP Briefing Podcast, speaking about the four freedoms of open-source software. Those four freedoms are core to how WordPress is developed. A lot of the updates we bring you this month will resonate with those freedoms.


WordPress now powers 40% of the web

W3Techs reported that WordPress now powers 40% of the top 10 million websites in the world! Every two minutes, a new website using WordPress says, “Hello world”! For the top 1000 sites, the market share is even higher at 51.8%. Over the past 10 years, the growth rate has increased, which is reflected by the fact that 66.2% of all new websites use WordPress!

WordPress release updates

February was an eventful month for WordPress releases!

Want to contribute to upcoming WordPress releases? Join the WordPress #core channel in the Make WordPress Slack and follow the Core team blog. The Core team hosts weekly chats on Wednesdays at 5 AM and 8 PM. UTC. You can also contribute to WordPress 5.7 by translating it into your local language. Learn more on the translation status post.

Gutenberg celebrates its 100th release with version 10

The 100th release of the Gutenberg plugin — Version 10,  launched on February 17th, more than four years after the project was first announced at WordCamp US 2016. Matias Ventura’s post offers a bird’s eye view of the project over the last four years. Version 10 adds the basic pages block and makes the parent block selector visible in the block toolbar. Version 9.9 of Gutenberg — coincidentally, the 99th release of the plugin, which is also the latest Gutenberg release that will be featured in WordPress 5.7, also came out in February. Key highlights of the release include custom icons and background colors in social icons, a redesigned options modal for blocks (which is now called block preferences), and text labels in the block toolbar. 

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Full Site Editing updates

Full Site Editing (FSE) is an exciting new WordPress feature that allows you to use blocks outside the post or page content. The main focus of the Core team for 2021 is to merge FSE into WordPress core. Here’s the latest on the Full Site Editing project: 

Decision-making checklist for in-person meetups

The Community Team has published handbook pages and a decision-making checklist for organizers to restart in-person meetups at areas where it is safe to do so (e.g., countries such as New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan, where there are lower COVID-19 risks). However, WordPress meetups and WordCamps in most parts of the world will remain online due to COVID-19.


Further Reading

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it using this form.

The following people also contributed to this edition of the Month in WordPress: @adityakane @chaion07 @courtneypk @kristastevens and @psykro.



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Powerful New Bookings Automations from AutomateWoo 5.3


If you allow your customers to book reservations, appointments, or rentals from your website, then you already know that keeping customers informed and updated about their booking is one of the most important and challenging tasks. Luckily, we have a brand new solution that will make your life easier, and your customers happier:

AutomateWoo + Bookings = 

AutomateWoo 5.3 has dropped, and it includes a powerful, custom integration with WooCommerce Bookings. 

Whether you want to improve your customer experience, decrease cancellations, or even upsell customers after they book, AutomateWoo can help.

follow-up and confirmation emails in AutomateWoo

Send custom confirmation emails

AutomateWoo gives you more flexibility when sending customers a pre-booking confirmation email.

confirmation email based on a "booking status changed" trigger

For example, you can set up different emails for different products.

Collect post-booking feedback

If you’re reaching out to customers after a booking, to get feedback, or promote repeat business, AutomateWoo gives more options here, too. Customers may be more likely to respond if you send the follow up at a particular time of day, or day of the week.

What’s new?

AutomateWoo 5.3 includes a new trigger: “Booking Status Changed”. This allows you to set up workflows at key points in the life of a booking — for example, after confirmation, or when the booking is complete. You can customize emails using information from the order, the customer, or even the booking with new variables (`booking.id`, `booking.status`, `booking.cost`, `booking.resource`).

booking status changed trigger in AutomateWoo

This release also includes some bug fixes and enhancements. See the changelog for full details:

  • New – Integration with WooCommerce Bookings! Requires WooCommerce Bookings v1.15.35
  • New – `Booking Status Changed` trigger
  • New – Bookings variables: `booking.id`, `booking.status`, `booking.cost`, `booking.resource`
  • New – Improved support for new WooCommerce admin dashboard navigation
  • Fix – Error when viewing or sending abandoned carts with bookable products (WooCommerce Bookings)
  • Fix – Prevent storing multiple `automatewoo_cart_id` values in order meta
  • Fix – `New Review Posted` no longer triggers for spam product reviews
  • Fix – When sending SMS, default to full URL if bitly API request fails (e.g. rate limit, misconfiguration)
  • Fix – Correct typos in missing/undefined variable error message 
  • Tweak – WooCommerce 5.0 compatibility
  • Tweak – Removed legacy AutomateWoo.com license system

Ready to get started?

Install AutomateWoo today

We recommend you test and/or monitor any workflows that are critical to your store after updating. If you think you’ve found a bug, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

New to Woo? Get started in minutes.



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News – WordPress 5.7 Release Candidate 2 – WordPress.org


The second release candidate for WordPress 5.7 is now available! 🎉

You can test the WordPress 5.7 release candidate in two ways:

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta/RC releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.7 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.7. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums, so those can be figured out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.7 Field Guide will give you a more detailed dive into the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @lukecarbis for the haiku and @audrasjb and @hellofromtonya for peer reviewing!


Five-seven next week
So test your plugins and themes
Update your readme



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20+ Creative Membership Site Ideas for Almost Any Industry


Whether you have an existing store or are thinking about starting one, memberships are a powerful way to generate revenue, share what you’re passionate about, and build an online community of loyal customers. 

But they don’t all have to look the same. From online communities, fitness plans, and reward programs, let’s take a look at a few creative ways to sell memberships. 

Restaurants and food creators

Membership sites aren’t just for content creators. If you’re a restaurant, they’re a great way to generate extra revenue online, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

You could charge monthly for your membership, encouraging your best patrons to support your business. In exchange, they might receive discounts, access to a library of recipes or cooking classes, or a free jar of your famous barbecue sauce every month.

Stores that sell packaged foods or drinks can do something similar. Include a subscription box of your most popular products, access to a library of recipes using those products, and 20% off additional purchases.

Craft Beer Club landing page
Photo © https://craftcan.directory/

The Craft Can Directory, for example, has a craft beer club for its most loyal customers. For €19.80 per month, members get craft beer delivered to their door, free shipping, access to exclusive flavors, and the ability to earn “beer points” to redeem towards future purchases.

Nonprofits

If you run a charity or other type of nonprofit, memberships can help you increase recurring donations. Reward subscription donors with access to exclusive stories about the difference their money makes or freebies like stickers, T-shirts, or address labels. 

You could also create a volunteer directory to help you be more organized. Anyone who wants to volunteer could sign up for free, then interact with one another via forums or sign up for time slots.

Health and exercise companies

Gyms, meal subscription boxes, and other health-focused companies can incorporate digital memberships into existing offerings. Create a library of workout videos or healthy recipes. Offer one-on-one training or consultations.

A gym or physical product isn’t required to make money with your passion for fitness. You can offer memberships completely on their own. There are a variety of ways to do this, but here are two examples:

Speed Shred sells a 12-week training program focused on building lean muscle. It includes 12 weeks of workout routines, easy meals, and shopping lists. 

Go Detox membership website
Photo © https://godetox.co.za/

Go Detox! offers a 28-day program for eliminating sugar and processed foods from your diet. Members get a food swap guide, shopping lists, meal plans, and recipes to help along the way.

Content creators

The term “content creator” can be a lot of different things — a musician, a crafter, a baker, a gamer — but they all create content around something they’re passionate about. And memberships are a clever method of monetizing the blog posts, tutorials, recipes, or songs that your readers love.

If you’re a crafter, offer members a library of sewing patterns or video tutorials. If you’re a food blogger, offer exclusive access to downloadable cookbooks or online classes. If you’re a musician, create a membership program similar to Patreon, with exclusive videos, early music streaming, live Q&As, and behind-the-scenes videos. Get creative! 

Artists and designers

You may already sell your paintings, patterns, or designs online. But have you considered also sharing your knowledge and templates with others in your industry?

You can do this with a membership program. Include software tutorials, photography presets, or project walkthroughs — whatever your audience will find most helpful. Want some examples?

PHLearn landing page for memberships
Photo © https://phlearn.com/

While PHLearn has a lot of free online content, they also offer a Pro membership with tutorials, Photoshop actions and brushes, Lightroom presets, and more. Customers can choose between a monthly and annual membership and the Pro library is updated with new content regularly.

Brush and Pencil teaches artists how to become masters of colored pencil with a six-month membership program. Members can access color match and compare tools, a library of video and article tutorials, step-by-step instructions, and projects that build upon learned skills.

Clothing stores

Yep, clothing stores can offer memberships, too — it just takes a little bit of creativity. Start your membership off with a subscription box, sending customers a T-shirt or accessory every month. Then add on additional content like exclusive discounts, Q&A sessions, or outfit ideas based on the contents of the box.

Educational memberships

If you’re an expert on a particular subject, share that knowledge in the form of a membership. Write about bookkeeping, science, writing, tech, or whatever you’re an expert in, and make that content available to members. You could also include online classes, videos, or consultations.

CashFlowDepot membership page
Photo © https://www.cashflowdepot.com/

CashFlowDepot sells a lifetime membership to their real estate investment training. Rather than pay monthly or quarterly, members pay upfront and get access to more than 300 video and audio tutorials that teach them how to invest. You could do something similar with whatever topic you’re passionate about.

Publishing

If you publish a magazine or newspaper, memberships give your loyal readers online access. You may choose to include a membership with the purchase of your physical publication. Or, if you’re digital only, sell your subscription as-is.   

Paddock Magazine membership options
Photo © https://thepaddockmagazine.com/

Paddock Magazine, focused on Formula 1 racing, has the best of both worlds, letting customers choose between print and digital subscriptions. Their online subscription includes twelve new issues, all back issues, an archive with eight years of premium content and videos, and 35% off the price of the print version.

Social and professional groups

Memberships can also bring people together around a common goal or passion. Create a local buy/sell group for high-end children’s clothes. Build a forum for fans of a particular TV show. Or have an auction site for antique car parts.

VerifyWP membership plans
Photo © https://verifywp.com/

But they can also be used for professionals in specific industries. VerifyWP is a skill testing site for clients looking to hire WordPress developers. Members can post a job, invite all of their applicants, then test those applicants’ skills to make sure they’re qualified. This keeps them from having to interview every single person that applies and helps them hire the best fit.  

AGD is an online community of freelancers in the design industry. Members benefit from professional answers to legal and tax questions, networking opportunities, and a library of seminars, lectures, and workshops on a wide range of topics.

Sell memberships with WooCommerce

WooCommerce offers the tools you need to create the perfect membership solution for your business. With the WooCommerce Memberships extension, you can build a site-wide program or add on to your existing products. Restrict content, display perks in a special “member area,” and easily communicate with customers. Add on WooCommerce Subscriptions for even more functionality, like recurring payments and free trials.

We’d love to hear what you come up with! Let us know in the comments.

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How Nonprofits Are Progressing with WooCommerce


One of the biggest challenges with the digital side of nonprofit marketing is that there are so many platforms, tools, and systems to learn that it can quickly overwhelm even a large organization. And if you have frequent turnover among your support staff, the challenge is magnified.

A way to simplify and combine many of your online marketing efforts is by using WooCommerce. Even if your organization is already on WooCommerce, there may be new ways to use it to expand your mission more effectively. 

With WooCommerce, your nonprofit can sell merchandise, host and run events, accept donations, set up email automations, and so much more — all from the same platform.

In a moment, we’ll look at some specific ways you can get more out of WooCommerce, along with some examples of real nonprofits already using some of these powerful features.

But first, consider some of the top reasons nonprofits, as well as businesses, prefer to use WooCommerce for monetizing their online activities. 

How WooCommerce empowers nonprofits

WooCommerce and WordPress are free. That means two core foundations of your nonprofit’s entire online presence can cost you nothing, while other eCommerce platforms charge a monthly fee that can be hiked up based on the amount of traffic you get.

With this cost-free foundation, you have more freedom to purchase the extensions and plugins that you need to help your nonprofit get everything it can out of its site. WooCommerce and WordPress also offer:

  • Ownerships of the site backups that protect your data.
  • Control over your SEO.
  • Over 300 extensions built specifically for eCommerce.
  • A community of developers and site owners who meet up in 400 cities every year.
  • Complete customization and flexibility. 

For those who want to alter code to fit their goals, WordPress’ open-source nature provides that flexibility, but if you don’t want to mess with code, you have the option not to. 

You also get unlimited product variations. What does that mean?

One of the biggest reasons to use WooCommerce as a nonprofit is to sell merchandise, like hats, shirts, mugs, branded materials, or custom-made goods that relate to your mission. 

But shirts, for example, come in several sizes, and often several colors. Each combination of size and color is a different variation. With WooCommerce, there’s no limit to the number of variations you can offer. Other eCommerce platforms can limit those variations, or charge extra for higher amounts.

Now, here’s how nonprofits already using WooCommerce can get even more out of it.

Seven ways to make the most out of WooCommerce

1. Name Your Price

WooCommerce has an extension called Name Your Price, which can be used in several ways. 

Firstly, it can accept donations, and because it allows a donor to set their own price, it’s perfect for open-ended donation requests. 

Second, if you’re selling merchandise, but you like the democratized concept of letting your supporters name their own prices — like a suggested donation — the extension allows you to do that. You can also set a minimum amount so you don’t lose money.

2. Subscriptions for recurring donations

Next, with the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension, you can enable your patrons to give recurring donations. This extension pairs up perfectly with Name Your Price, allowing a donor to choose their own donation amount and then set it to charge monthly. This extension also sends automated renewal notifications so your donors won’t feel blindsided by repeat charges.

Priority One Worldwide donation page
Photo © https://www.priorityoneworldwide.com/

Priority One Worldwide is a nonprofit that combines both of these to accept recurring donations of any amount. See these extensions in action on their donation page

3. Sell event tickets

Whether you’re hosting fundraising events virtually or in person, WooCommerce Box Office makes it easy to sell tickets. 

For example, include coupon codes for special, early-bird pricing and other discounts. Create different types of pricing packages, such as one for tables and one for individuals, or a VIP package that includes a free gift. 

4. Allow add-on donations for product purchases

This is an alternative approach to the “name your price concept” for merchandise. Using the Product Add-Ons extension, you can have fixed prices for products but give buyers an option to add on a donation. 

This powerful extension also allows for customized merchandise. If you’re doing a 5k run event, for example, you could sell shirts to each team with personalized names alongside your branding. Or a business sponsor could get shirts and mugs with their logo next to yours. 

5. Recommend products on your checkout page

Another approach with merchandise is to do what you see on the checkout pages of many other eCommerce sites. Using the Product Recommendations extension, you can add a few products to the checkout page that the donor or buyer might be interested in. 

For example, a person may come to your site just to make a donation. But on the checkout page, they see your merchandise and may decide to buy something in addition to their donation. Or, on the flip side, if they’re buying products, you can set it up so that making a donation is the ‘product’ recommendation.

6. Simplify your donation process

Some nonprofit donation pages are very clunky, making the donor jump through several pages just to give, which means you will lose a portion of people at every step. 

one-page checkout, allowing customers to choose a product

With WooCommerce One Page Checkout, people can complete their transaction on a single page, reducing the number who give up on donating after starting the process. The business world calls this ‘cart abandonment,’ but it’s just as big a problem for nonprofits. This extension will reduce your ‘donation abandonment.’

7. Amplify your online marketing efforts

With WooCommerce, you can bolster your SEO, do email and social media marketing, and create and post content — all from the same platform.

And there are a lot of marketing extensions available to help you with those strategies and more. See what else you might like in our complete extension library.

World Wildlife Fund shop with product listings
Photo © https://wwfstore.com/

Get inspired and take action

The World Wildlife Fund uses WooCommerce to sell their merchandise. By visiting their online store, you can see their specially-crafted products that adhere to strict production standards.

You, too, can make the most of WordPress and WooCommerce for your nonprofit. With endless flexibility, full control, and a variety of powerful tools designed to help you grow, there’s no better place to call your online home.

For more examples of nonprofits using WooCommerce, see our nonprofit showcase. Or simply get started today.

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News – Did You Know About Reusable Blocks? – WordPress.org


Created by Joen Asmussen, @joen

The WordPress block editor (a.k.a. Gutenberg) comes with a feature called “reusable blocks.” They are blocks, saved for later, edited in one place.

Have you ever wanted to:

  • Re-use the same snippet of text across posts and pages?
  • Save complex layouts to spare you having to copy/paste from one post to another?

Reusable blocks can do these things.

Like templates, you mean?

Not quite. Think of reusable blocks as snippets of globally synchronized content that are personal to you. You can edit all your reusable blocks in one place, and any post or page you inserted that block into, get the updated version as well. 

Where you might use templates to structure your website, you can use reusable blocks to structure your content. For example:

  • A testimonial on your homepage and your product page.
  • A “this post is part of a series” box that you insert part-way through your article.
  • A “Follow me on social media” section you can weave into the prose of your popular article.
  • Complex but static blocks, such as a “Subscribe to my newsletter” box, a contact form, a survey, quiz, or polls.

Key properties are that reusable blocks are unbeatable when you want to reuse a snippet of content, edit it in one place, and have the changes propagate to every instance.

Show me how

To create a reusable block, open the block editor and create the content you want to reuse:

Now select the content you want to turn into a reusable block, then click the three-dot “More” menu and choose “Add to Reusable blocks.”

Voilà, you’ve now created a reusable block. From now on, you can find this block, and any other you create, in the “Reusable blocks” tab in the block library:

This is also where you can insert the newly created block on any of your posts or pages.

Where do I edit my existing reusable blocks?

To edit a reusable block, select it and make your edits. When you make an edit, the Publish button will have a little dot indicator:

This dot indicates you’ve made a global change that potentially affects posts beyond just the one you’re editing, the same as when you’re editing templates. This lets you confirm the change was intentional.

Another way to edit your reusable blocks is to click the global three-dot “More” menu and selecting “Manage all reusable blocks”:

This takes you to a section letting you edit, rename, export, or delete every reusable block you created. 

What else can I do?

Here are a couple of tips and tricks you can leverage to get the most out of reusable blocks.

Give them a good name

When you name a reusable block, you are essentially choosing your search terms, as the name is what you search for in the block library (or when you use the “slash command,” typing / in an empty paragraph):

Avoid names such as “Gallery” or “Image,” as that’ll be annoying when you just want to insert one of those. You can avoid that with a unique name, such as “My author biography.”

Insert in the best place of your content flow

One obvious benefit of reusable blocks is that they are just blocks, just like everything else in the block editor. That means you can insert it anywhere in your content. You might want your rich author biography to sit at the top or bottom of the post, but This post is part of a series box that might sit well two or three paragraphs not to disrupt the reading flow.

Layouts can be hard; provide yourself a shortcut

Maybe you created a complex layout you’re happy with, a call to action with the right image and buttons, and it took a while to get it just right. Go on and save it as a reusable block: even if you mean to insert it only to convert it to a regular block, it might still save you a minute. 

To convert a reusable block to regular (blocks, select it and click the “Convert to regular blocks”:

Design by Beatriz Fialho.

Tip: You can also find some nice patterns on Gutenberg Hub or ShareABlock.

Take it with you

Need to move to another site? You can both export and import reusable blocks. Go to the Manage all reusable blocks section from the global three-dot “More” menu, hover over the block you want to export, and click “Export as JSON”:

The downloaded file can be imported on any WordPress 5.0 or newer website.

Try it

Create a draft post and play around with Reusable Blocks to see how you might start using them. You can always delete them when you’re done playing.

You can test importing and using a small reusable block I created as an example. It’s a “Further reading” block that shows the four latest posts from the category “Featured”:

It might work well as a highlight in an article, giving the reader something new to read or awareness of your other content.

Download the block from this gist, import it to your WordPress site, then customize to make it yours.



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News – WordPress 5.7 Release Candidate – WordPress.org


The first release candidate for WordPress 5.7 is now available! 🎉

Please join us in celebrating this very important milestone in the community’s progress towards the final release!

“Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.7 is slated for release on March 9, 2021, but your help is needed to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.7 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.7 release candidate in two ways:

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

What’s in WordPress 5.7?

  • Robots API and Media Search Engine Visibility
  • Detect HTTPS support
  • Lazy-load iframes
  • jQuery migrate-related Deprecation notice clean-up
  • Admin color palette standardization
  • The newest version of the Gutenberg plugin

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.7 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.7. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums, so those can be figured out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.7 Field Guide will give you a more detailed dive into the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.7 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @audrasjb for copy suggestions and @davidbaumwald for final review.


Test this test that
Catch everything that you can
Before it’s live…
🤯



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Increase Sales by Adding Chat to Your Website


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are shifting their buying habits from in-store to online. Businesses everywhere have adapted and, for many, that means increasing their online presence. According to eMarketer, eCommerce sales have grown 32.4% year over year, reaching a level not previously expected until 2022 — and much of that growth is predicted to stay even after the pandemic ends. As consumers go digital, Facebook Messenger can serve as a way to stay connected with them, drive sales, and deliver the personal touch normally associated with shopping in-store.

Drive sales by moving customers from consideration to action

Picture this moment: You’re in the store looking for a gift for a friend or spouse. You’re stressed out and on the brink of frustration, when a sales agent saves the day by asking if you need help and directing you to the perfect gift. Facebook’s Chat Plugin provides this same type of experience. 

eCommerce site using Facebook Messenger

It gives you a direct line to high-intent customers at critical moments in their purchase journey. In fact, site visitors who use web chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those that don’t and half of US online adults will abandon their purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question. Ultimately, if you don’t have clear communication with your customers, you risk losing sales. 

Provide seamless and affordable real-time customer support

Chat solutions also enable you to answer questions and provide customer support after the sale is made. Messaging has become integral to our communication: 80% of adults message every day, and this number is only increasing. This benefits your customers, because they can ask a question without the hassle of finding a phone number and waiting on hold. It also makes your business more efficient and saves you time because one employee can speak to several customers at once.

Build long-lasting customer relationships

More than 66% of people say that messaging a business makes them feel more confident about the brand. Positive interactions can also add a bit of delight to your customers’ day. And with Facebook’s Chat Plugin, the experience will feel more personal and convenient, since they can connect with you using their real Facebook identity. Messenger also allows you to continue the conversation through your Facebook Page Inbox, while customers can pick up the conversation in their Messenger app, even after they leave your website. 

Facebook Messenger on a mobile phone

Facebook’s Chat Plugin allows you to add Messenger to your website through the WordPress plugin repository. Not only will you benefit from all of the functionality we’ve talked about, you can also personalize everything to fit your brand, including the appearance, language, and voice.

To add Facebook’s Chat Plugin to your website:

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard. 
  2. Click PluginsAdd New.
  3. Search “Facebook Chat Plugin”
  4. Select the plugin authored by Facebook and click Install Now.
  5. Click Activate.
  6. You should now see a tab that says “Customer Chat” and you can connect your Facebook by going to Getting Started and clicking Edit Chat Plugin.

More than a billion people use Messenger every month — no matter which audience you want to reach, you’ll be able to connect with them. Learn more about how to chat with customers using Messenger and set up an instant greeting for people who reach out. 



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News – WordPress 5.6.2 Maintenance Release – WordPress.org


WordPress 5.6.2 is now available!

This maintenance release includes 5 bug fixes. These bugs affect WordPress version 5.6.1, so you’ll want to upgrade.

You can download WordPress 5.6.2 directly, or visit the Dashboard → Updates screen and click Update Now. If your sites support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

WordPress 5.6.2 is a small maintenance release focused on fixing user-facing issues discovered in 5.6.1. The next major release will be version 5.7, currently scheduled for release on March 9, 2021.

To see a full list of changes, you can browse the list on Trac, read the 5.6.2 RC1 post, or visit the 5.6.2 documentation page.

Thanks and props!

The 5.6.2 release was led by @desrosj. Special props to @isabel_brison and @talldanwp for helping to prepare the block editor related fixes, and @audrasjb and @sergeybiryukov for helping with other release related tasks.

Props to everyone who helped make WordPress 5.6.2 happen:

aaronrobertshaw, Addie, André Maneiro, archon810, Ari Stathopoulos, bartosz777, Bernhard Reiter, Daniel Richards, David Anderson, dbtedg, glendaviesnz, hmabpera, ibiza69, Isabel Brison, Jason Ryan, Jb Audras, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Kai Hao, Kerry Liu, Konrad Chmielewski, Jorge Costa, magnuswebdesign, Marius L. J., Matt Wiebe, Mukesh Panchal, Paal Joachim Romdahl, Prem Tiwari, Q, Riad Benguella, Robert Anderson, roger995, Sergey Biryukov, Sergey Yakimov, Steven Stern (sterndata), Takashi Kitajima, tonysandwich, worldedu, Yui.



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