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WordPress As A Cms? Use WordPress Magic!

Precisely what is WordPress Magic? WordPress Magic is a collection of WordPress plugins that really work together not merely to retrieve content for your site, but to let you monetize it with just a couple clicks.

Envision building a thousand-page website inside an hour, fully monetized! If you can imagine that, consider the potential for creating a stable of websites constructed with WordPress Magic.

WordPress Magic 2.0 is close to launch and promises to blow away the opposition for autoblogging plugins for a selling price that simply can’t be beat for the features it includes.

You most likely haven’t heard of WordPress Magic yet, but when you are interested in putting fresh, relevant content for your site, WordPress Magic is the answer.

Yes, there are many autoblogging plugins available on the market, but none come near to having the features of WordPress Magic, for the purchase price.

Neither WP Robot, WP Mage nor Autoblogged allow you to add appropriate comments for your posts to make your content even more unique. None of WordPress Magic’s competitors allow you to customize the layout of one’s posts, give in-depth reporting as your content is being generated or have inline guidelines to help you use WordPress Magic the proper way, the very first time that you use it.

The plugin suite has three components: Magic Content Wizard, which will populate your website with posts featuring revelant articles, videos and also comments, all based on your chosen keywords, quicker than you could ever envision.

Magic Post Wizard allows you to immediately monetize your site by inputing your html or javascript banner code or textlinks into MPW’s template feature and adding them to your posts, instantly.

The newest addition to the suite, Magic Feeds Wizard, brings related vendor feeds from merchants such as Amazon and Ebay and shows their items on your posts. In contrast to various other autoblogging software, the display options for the feeds portion are not set to default mode, and you can actually configure MFW to display just what you want.

Maybe most importantly of all, WordPress Magic leaves no discernable footprint that immediately identifies it within the eyes of the various search engines. You cannot say that about a competitor’s $ 1300 product!

WordPress Magic wasin beta testing for months and the 50 testers have pushed the product to the limit. Their particular direct feedback about WordPress Magic was considered to make WordPress Magic the optimum autoblogging plugin on the market, especially for less than $ 150.

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Prosper With WordPress Freelancer Tom McFarlin

We’re starting a new series of interviews with WordPress freelancers, exploring some of the keys to their success.

Tom McFarlin WordPressToday we talk with freelance WordPress developer Tom McFarlin. He runs Pressware, blogs regularly and has a fun Tumblr of animated GIFs only developers could love.

“You’ll never work harder than when you work for yourself, but you may never be more satisfied.” -Tom McFarlin

Tom McFarlin is going to share about freelancing, overcoming obstacles and making more money:

What do you love most about being a freelancer?

The easiest answer is to say the freedom, but the truth is that freedom comes in a completely different form than when you’re working for someone else.

For example, though I may have the freedom to do something with my kids during the week, I usually have to make up the work on the weekend. I’m also responsible for things like insurance, retirement and so on.

That said, I also have the ability to work from home wearing shorts and a T-shirt, listen to music, stream Netflix or work wherever I want. I have the option to go for a run in the middle of the day versus early in the morning or after work, and I have the option to see my wife and kids throughout the day, which isn’t something that someone working for an employer has the ability to do (unless they’re remote, of course).

These are just a few things, but they’re the first that come to mind.

What’s held you back as a freelancer?

I’ve been freelancing for over five years now, so I feel I’ve overcome a lot of the initial things that would hold me back.

Initially though, it was the fear of being able to find work and to provide for my family; however, I’ve been incredibly lucky to land some of the projects I have. I love what I get to do, the clients I have, and the solutions I get to focus on.

It’s challenging, it’s fun—it’s very, very busy at times—but it keeps me growing as a developer.

How did you overcome those fears of finding work?

I happened to leverage a handful of existing relationships I had who I knew would need work or who could refer work to me.

Additionally, I pursued opportunities—such as writing for other blogs, contributing to existing open source projects and increasing activity on my own blog—in order to get my name out there.

It was generally about making sure I was not slacking off in terms of getting things done. If I ever felt like I didn’t have something to do, I would strategically look for things to do—be it contribute to a project, contribute to another site, offer some time to help refactor code, improve code, add a feature here or there and so on.

When I first started working for myself someone asked me, “So I guess now you have a lot of time to play video games during the day, huh?”

And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Prior to having kids, I was working nearly every waking hour. Now that we have two kids, the only games I play are on my phone (and they are turn-based so I can’t get sucked in for hours at a time). When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my family.

You’ll never work harder than when you work for yourself, but you may never be more satisfied.

What are some things you’ve done to improve your profitability as a freelancer?

Over time, I’ve been able to attract a different client base. When I first started, I was doing a lot of small jobs, but now I have the option to work on much larger projects that take longer periods of time. I’ve also been able to partner with some other contractors in order to knock the work out.

Secondly, hiring a CPA is one of the smartest things I did. It allowed me to offload a lot of the tax management and what not to someone who’s far more experienced, focused and who is well-versed in those things. They are able to focus on that and let me know how to structure my payroll, expenses and tax withholdings, and I’m able to focus on what I do best.

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Post-Mortem: Did You Learn Anything From Your Last Website Project?

One of the downsides of being a web designer is that you’re always too busy to slow down and look back. No time for a post-mortem on your last website project. You’re working on so many projects concurrently that when one ends you don’t take the time to evaluate how it went. You’re just moving on to the next project, the next deadline, the next urgent task.

Web Design Project

It’s good to be so busy. But it’s not good to never take a moment for a post-mortem.

What worked about that project? Did you learn anything? Should you modify your process?

Sometimes a project might be so awful that you need to call this process something more accurate—like an autopsy. Slice it open and see what went wrong.

Why Do You Need a Project Post-Mortem?

The life of a freelancer is busy, so why should you set aside time to evaluate the project you just finished? It’s done, move on. Right?

Moving forward with efficiency is admirable, but you might be missing out. There’s really just one reason to evaluate your work: To get better.

There’s really just one reason to evaluate your work: To get better.

It’s that simple:

  • It’s a learning opportunity. You can’t get better if you never evaluate. This is how you do it. Athletes go back and look at the game tape. Freelancers need to do the same.
  • You need to do it now because if you don’t take time to evaluate when it’s still fresh, you’ll lose any valuable insights. The passage of time will warp or dull your perspective, and you’ll miss out on the lessons that could improve your business.
  • Taking time for a post-mortem will allow you to spot trends. You’ll start to notice when you spend too much time emailing clients or when projects stall out in the contract phase. If you have recurring issues, it’s time to make a change.
  • Evaluating your work is an intentional way to get better at your job. Better doesn’t happen automatically. You need to work at it.
  • Without pausing to figure out what worked and what didn’t, you risk making the same mistakes over and over again.

How to Do a Project Post-Mortem

OK, so debriefing can be valuable. How do you do it?

  1. Create a standard process: You want this to be quick and easy, so have a standardized form ready to go. Maybe custom code it, use Gravity forms or just create a Google form. A simple Word doc is fine too, but be sure to have standard questions to answer so you’re not staring at a blank page.
  2. Ask some basic questions: You don’t need to ask very many, but just go through a few that get to the heart of the project and the lessons you need to extract from the experience. Here are few (more than you need) to get you started:
    1. What worked about the project?
    2. What didn’t work?
    3. What were you proud of?
    4. Was there anything you were ashamed of?
    5. How did you like working with this client? What made it work better?
    6. Did you learn anything?
    7. Should you modify your process?
    8. Did this project reinforce anything you’re currently doing? (Instead of what to change, what should you be sure to keep.)
    9. One approach recommends asking just three simple questions: What worked? What didn’t work? What should we do differently next time?
  3. Include some metrics: Your form should also include some objective metrics about the project:
    1. How much time did you spend?
    2. How long did the project take from start to finish?
    3. What was your initial bid vs. final price?
    4. How profitable was the project?
  4. Find something positive: Even if a project didn’t go well and you’re doing more of an autopsy than a debrief, find something that went well. Look for the positive. There’s surely a technique that worked well or a bit of code that was truly elegant.
  5. Mid-project notes: Sometimes you might have an epiphany in the middle of a project. That’s great. Make sure you can take notes in the middle of a project to save for your post-mortem.
  6. Take good notes: When you look back on your evaluation months or years later you need to be able to make sense of it. Make sure your notes are concise, but detailed. If you have more detailed notes, it might help to summarize them at the top with a few bullet points.
  7. Data storage: As you figure out this process, make sure you have a standard way to store your data. You might want to keep a set of evaluations together and then include a copy with your project files. Or maybe your Google form dumps into a spreadsheet so you have all the data in one handy spot. Just make sure you’re not creating a bunch of files you can’t find or make sense of.
  8. Don’t over do it: We’ve covered a lot of different ideas, but ultimately you need to keep it simple. You want to make the post-mortem process quick and easy so you can save some ideas, learn some lessons and move on to the next project. Don’t make your evaluation overly complicated.
  9. Debrief your debrief: Finally, you should evaluate your evaluations. Once a year or so you should go back over your notes and see what trends emerge. Consider your post-mortem process and see if you can improve it. If it’s not working, find ways to make it work.

As you begin your evaluation process you’ll start learning more about what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully you’ll notice some things that can improve your business.

Don’t Just Do It Yourself

But don’t make the evaluation process a solo endeavor. You should ask other people for input as well.

  • Anyone you work with: You should ask anyone you work with to offer input. Mainly this is going to be the client, but if you have partners, employees or sub-contractors you should ask them as well.
  • Standard form: Yep, you’ll want another standard form. Make it super short and either an email or an online form where you can ask for feedback and a testimonial about the project. Short is key. You don’t want to be asking a client to answer more than three questions.
  • Repeat clients: If you’re always working with the same client over and over again, you might not want to send them the same feedback form. It could get a little repetitive and the client is likely to default to the same answers. Consider asking them for feedback on a less frequent basis.

Client feedback can be a great way to improve your process. Getting testimonies can also give you some added marketing ammunition.

Your Turn: Project Post-Mortem

Take some time to look back at your projects and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Self-evaluation is one of the easiest ways to get better.

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WordPress Hosting

Internet is flooded with millions and millions of websites of various kinds. With more and more people using it for different purposes, new necessities are also being created in the Internet almost everyday. This necessity gave birth to the new kind of sites called blog websites. Recent years can be considered as the boom years for blog websites. Blogs are generally used for entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. The number of blog websites has become very popular with more number of people using Internet and sharing things with other members of Internet. Even lots of social networking sites and other sites incorporate various types of blogs to attract more users.

Many such attractive blog websites which we find in the Internet are built on WordPress. WordPress is an open source blogging tool which is used to create blog kind of websites. It is a publishing platform and widely popular for its amazing features. It is also called as Content Management System (CMS). WordPress software is programmed in PHP language and it uses mySQL database software to maintain the files and content. So one can use WordPress if the website has PHP and mySQL. As it is an open source, one can edit, customize and add codes and files of the WordPress to enhance the websites as required by the user. From the beginners to the huge companies, anyone can use WordPress because of its flexibility.

Though the WordPress was initially used as a blogging tool, it is now also used by millions of individuals, businesses and organizations around the world to build a complete and beautiful website. One of the best features of the WordPress is the availability of thousands of plug-ins. Right now, there are around 17000 plug-ins which can take the websites to the next level and these can be utilized and customized by the users. Among these, the most widely-used plug-ins are Google XML Sitemaps, Akismet, Contact Form 7, GD Star Rating, NextGEN Gallery, Google Analytics for WordPress, Easy AdSense, WP Super Cache, Sociable, etc.

Widgets can also be created using the WordPress software tool for the websites. The themes can also be installed and switched in this tool. It contains a rich text editor with advanced multimedia support. WordPress also has the ability to run multiple websites through single installation. This configuration can be called as WordPress Multisite. Each site in the multisite will have its own content, users, plugins and themes. As an icing on the cake, one can change the look of the website without affecting its contents in WordPress as it separates the content, theme and the look of the site. Even with its so many wonderful features and beauty, WordPress is easy to navigate and use.

There are numerous Hosting providers in the Internet who provide WordPress hosting for their customers. WordPress hosting packages are available with various features with many providers at varieties of costs to support all levels of users. One among the best service providers, HioxIndia, offers various hosting packages with WordPress with utmost quality at affordable price. Find the various packages of WordPress at http://www.hioxindia.com/ and choose the best-suited one for your website.

Finding the Right WordPress Theme For Your Blog

The world’s most popular blogging platform, WordPress, has given the power of instant online publishing into the hands of people who may or may not be technically skilled. When the blogging phenomenon started in the 1990s, it was typically a tool used only by computer programmers and web designers because they were the only ones capable of understanding the intricacies of publishing on the internet.

All of that has changed with the help of WordPress and other blog software. But it came at a price. Suddenly there are so many people blogging about countless topics or niches that it became too hard for anybody to be heard and noticed, even if the information they are sharing are of great value.

Now to stand out from the crowd, not only should the content of the blog be of importance, the overall look and feel of the site itself should be appealing. Especially to casual visitors who just stumbled on your blog and didn’t intend to read your posts.

A beautifully designed WordPress theme is a blogger’s first line of offense in grabbing the attention of his or her visitor. It must be understood that a theme is a continuous work in progress and seldom that a blogger can find the right look for his blog on his first try.

The best thing to do is create your own theme, or if you are not skilled in web design, hire someone who can. This way you can include all the design and features that you would like to see on your blog.

But if hiring a web designer is beyond your budget, there are free WordPress themes which are also beautifully designed. You can definitely find one that will suit your needs.

Just remember to tweak the design a little bit if you are using a free theme. This will help create a bit of a personality for your blog. It will make your blog memorable and easily identifiable.

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WordPress Weekly Recap – October 1st, 2015

Welcome to October 2015.  If you aren’t sure about the significance of this month … be on the lookout for Marty McFly to come speeding down the highway at 88 mph in an attempt save the space/time continuum. In fact, Amazon Prime is putting all three of the Back to the Future movies available for play for all Prime members. (October 2015 was the date in the future that Marty McFly set in the DeLorean.)

Do you remember where you were in 1985?  Did you have big dreams back then and did you believe you would have accomplished certain goals by 2015? Even if you missed the mark or even haven’t started with some of those goals there is no time like the present to get back on track with some of your life goals.  Take a step in a direction that takes care of YOU during this Back to the Future month of October.

WordPress News

  • It was sad news this past week as the WordPress community lost a long time member Alex King. Alex was around from the beginning of WordPress and was instrumental in bringing about many aspects of the WordPress community arenas.  From building aspects of the first plugin directory to hosting a WordPress CSS competition to being a core contributor, all of WordPress has been touched by Alex’s influences and he will be sorely missed. If you didn’t know, Alex King was the designer behind the famous Share Icon that is used everywhere. So when you see the icon take a moment and remember Alex King.

    Remembering Alex King

  • Looking for information on how to market your WordPress content? Then you won’t want to miss this wonderfully done infographic that walks through a progression of marketing content.
  • If you currently use the WordPress buttons “Get Shortlink” and “View Post” directly under a Post editor title box then be prepared because in WordPress 4.4 those aspects of the UI are going away.
  • iThemes Sync Pro now lets users schedule reports to be run and then automatically email them out to clients/users.

WordPress Plugins

  • Now you can embed any link/media/content in a beautiful Content Card layout.
  • Do you post YouTube videos on your blog posts but don’t like that there are “related videos” that show up when the video is done?  Use this Hide YouTube Related Videos plugin to take care of the issue.

Web Design Tips & Tricks

In this week’s Tips & Tricks section, I wanted to share a number of useful websites that many may not know about:

  • WebPageTest.org is a free website speed test that has a ton of metrics to give a quick snapshot of a site.
  • CharlieApp is a tool you sync with your calendar and email and then whenever a meeting is scheduled on the calendar, Charlie combs through hundreds of sources and sends you a “one-pager” on the person you are meeting.
  • VisualPing takes a URL and monitors that page and will notify you if any changes occur.
  • Need a little help writing more bold and clear blog posts? Check out the Hemmingway Editor.
  • Visage helps create amazing images to help tell the story of your post.

I also wanted to thank those of you who write me and let me know about plugins, news, tutorials and other pieces of content many of you create. I love adding that type of information to our WordPress Weekly Recap posts. You can also let me know about things you come across by emailing benjamin @ ithemes.com. Until next week … have a great day.

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