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8 Best Freelance Websites To Find Web Design & Graphic Design Jobs

You can’t run a freelance business without creating a system to get more clients. Job search websites are a popular tool in that system, but if you’ve used one, you’ve probably had a bad experience.

Before we started building our freelance job site, AwesomeWeb, we researched the big players. Their pros. Their cons. What people loved. What people hated.

We created accounts, combed forums, and read reviews all so we could bring you the last client-getting tool you’ll ever need.

Freelance Job Sites Pricing and Philosophy

CompareFreelancerFreelancer CompareElanceElance CompareoDeskoDesk ComparePeoplePerHourPeoplePerHour Compare99designs99designs CompareEnvatoStudioEnvato Studio CompareCodeableCodeable CompareAwesomeWebAwesomeWeb
Cost for earning $1K $121 $98 $114 $85 $300 $300 $150 $17
Cost for earning $4K $483 $360 $454 $245 $1200 $1200 $600 $17
No percentage fees
# of freelancers 14.1m 4.0m 4.0m 0.5m 0.9m 2,000 100+ 350
Portfolio accessible
Project pages
Personal support
Quality control
No bidding wars
No barriers
Open communication
Minimal ongoing effort

*Data based on information published as of January 1, 2015.

What’s Important to Web Professionals?

  1. No percentage of project fees.
    When the marketplace charges a percentage of the project, the freelancer pulls clients away. Plus, when you charge $3K-20K per project, there’s no way you’re going to give up 10-40%.
  2. Not competing with millions.
    The big marketplaces offer free starter accounts which compromises quality and leads to bidding wars. No way to win unless you slash your rate.
  3. Personal support.
    The most common complaint was a lack of support, especially when a freelancer’s money was tied up or stolen from their accounts. When your livelihood is involved, support is important.
  4. No barriers between you and clients.
    Most marketplaces require clients to register before they can look through freelancers. This makes it hard for clients to find and hire you.
  5. Open communication with your clients.
    Once you have a client, every other marketplace requires you to communicate solely on their platform. Do you think talking with your client would help? Not so fast unless you violate their terms.
  6. Focus on projects, not tasks.
    Professionals don’t do design and development errands. They prefer working on projects from beginning to end. No work is worse than earning pennies for performing trivial tasks.

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AwesomeWeb Professionals

Major Takeaways from Our Research

After researching Freelancer, Elance, oDesk, PeoplePerHour, 99designs and others, there were several big takeaways:

  • They are great for beginners who want to build their portfolios. But not so great for professionals who want to make a healthy living. Clients are tempted to accept lower bids from India, Pakistan, Philippines, instead of picking a more expensive and higher quality designer. Quality control is poor, so people end up faking their accounts, making their profiles and portfolios appear to be as good as yours, but asking for much lower rates.
  • They focus on quick Fiverr-type jobs. This is good if you’re looking to make part-time extra income, but it also means you will need to work for quantity not quality.
  • They are the middle-man for your payment, which can be good or bad. Everything is great until your client decides to disappear, not pay, or ask for extra work. If you don’t deliver, they can threaten to leave a bad review and mess up your rating. When you’re competing with millions, a pristine rating is the only thing that keeps you in business. When that’s the case, you’ll do anything to get a good rating. There are many stories from freelancers and clients about their accounts being deactivated and losing the money they had on their account. Anytime there’s a middle-man, you run a greater risk of not getting paid.
  • They struggle with support. When you have an issue – you want to talk to a real person and resolve the issue, right? But when they offer free accounts, it’s impossible to keep up with support. When you email them, you’ll get automated replies and a low-level support person will reach out to you. But it may take weeks to get anywhere. It’s frustrating when your account is suddenly deactivated (with money inside) or you have an issue with your client. Freelancers always run into issues working with clients, but it’s so much more challenging and slower to resolve these issues when you need to deal with the third person (marketplace).

How To Succeed With Biggest and Best Freelance Websites?

While doing research I found a few success stories from freelance web designers and freelance developers. What did they do differently when most people tend to have a bad experience?:

  • They read the terms of freelance site carefully to ensure they know EXACTLY what to expect. They learn the rules of the game, they spend time to do the research before they get started. For example, if you find out there is a big chance your account can be deactivated without explanation, never keep money on that account. Always withdraw it as soon as you receive it. Big freelancing site support is unreliable. Make sure you do everything you can on your end to prevent bad things from happening. Many bad experiences were caused because people didn’t know the terms!
  • They treat these marketplaces as an extra income source. They don’t focus on it, which means they don’t need to accept every job. They can be picky with clients. They can pick projects they are excited about. They can pick clients who want quality results, not just a cheap fix.
  • They make sure they get referrals from existing clients and slowly build up a client base outside these marketplaces. When you provide an exceptional service for a client, they start working with the client directly. Marketplaces are greedy and take 10-15% from each project you complete. It’s in yours and your clients best interest to work directly.
  • They build their online presence away from marketplace. They have their own portfolio website, making it easy for clients to find them. Having quality portfolio website helps to build trust and shows you are professional.

Using these top job websites to earn extra income is good…

But how can you support yourself full-time?

I have always been big believer in quality not quantity. If you are working with 10 clients at the same time, you will not do your best work. You’ll be in a rush to finish jobs quickly. You want to earn more money after all. But by always rushing your work, you won’t be able to create something you’re proud of.

What Is The Alternative?

Find 2-3 high-paying clients you work with regularly. You need to build trust, provide exceptional service, and by doing so you’ll be able to charge more. Finding high-paying clients will give you peace of mind financially and you will be able to focus on the work you enjoy.

alternative-rush-web-designer

I have always been big believer in quality not quantity

Did you know the biggest challenge for business owners (clients) is finding reliable people who do what they promise? If you can deliver and build trust, you will always be in demand! It is as simple as that!

Here is the proof from Quora where somebody asked: “How does a business person hire a good developer/programmer/engineer on Elance or Odesk?”

Many answers were similar, but here is the best response from Yishan Wong, CEO of Reddit:

“You shouldn’t do this; it will probably result in failure.

I have a friend who is a designer (so, closer to technology and implementation than a business guy; about as close as you can be without being outright technical yourself), and he was hiring developers via eLance. Even with consultation from friends of his (e.g. me) who were real engineers, it was extremely difficult to find decent engineers who could do the things he needed, deliver reliably, and iterate according to ongoing testing/customer feedback. The end product was merely “okay” – kind of slow, with little glitches here and there.

If you have total technical ignorance and no local (friend) resources to help you, hiring from eLance or oDesk is almost impossible to do correctly. I would recommend trying another route.”

You Just Need to Get Out There

Never lower your standards and after a while clients will start looking for you themselves! There is no magic bullet, it takes time. But as an expert of your craft, big marketplaces are not a reliable place to make your living and enjoy your work. You will always be burdened by lower bidders and clients who don’t appreciate your expertise.

Professionals are smart enough to work with clients directly.

Professionals are smart enough to work with clients directly. They know they need to ask for 30-50% payment upfront. They know which client proposals sound too good to be true. Pros don’t want to work on quantity – hourly projects, they want to create websites they are proud of. But they still need to look new clients sometimes. But where?

Big freelancing sites are a bad choice for professionals. The biggest freelance websites are also bad for clients who are are looking for high quality results. We saw this as a problem, we can solve. That’s why we created AwesomeWeb, a quality job search website where only professionals can get listed.

People, who go to oDesk and Elance generally aren’t looking to pay for quality work. They are looking for bargain deals, forcing you to undersell yourself. Don’t get me wrong, top freelancing sites are great places to get started and build a portfolio. But professionals get lost in the ocean of freelancers, who are looking for programming jobs from home, graphic design jobs.

Let’s Dive In and Take a Look

At the best freelance websites pros and cons!

 Table of contents (jump to interesting review for you):

These are the marketplaces reviewed in this article

Note: Codeable.io and Studio.Envato are new players, who we admire because of their focus on quality. They are not big (by choice), but we still included them here. We must give you alternative solutions after all, not just show how dire the situation is out there, right?

Many angry people in reviews were throwing words like
“odesk is scam!! elance is scam!!”

So let me set it straight.

None of these companies are scams. They are well-known and credible companies. And yes, they have their challenges and downsides that people don’t like. It’s a tough and important business helping people worldwide to earn their living online.

As with politics, when your well-being is involved, people get emotional and throw bad reviews all over the Internet when something doesn’t work as they expected. I tried to look past anger and notice real issues. Most bad experiences could’ve been avoided if job seekers would be more careful and would learn how to play the game before they start playing.

Freelancer.com Review

freelancer-freelance-marketplace-profesionals

Freelancer has really made their financial model work for them.

Freelancer is one of the biggest job search websites in the market. If you compare oDesk vs freelancer, you will find they are very similar in size and functionality.

You can register and submit 8 bids per month for free.

As with all big freelancing sites, their biggest trouble is with support and high fees. Freelancer has the lowest ratings of all marketplaces, at SiteJabber review site they have got 374 1-star ratings and 26 5-star ratings.

This review about Freelancer from client’s perspective illustrate very well how Freelancer is different from oDesk and Elance:

“Freelancer: Horrible, Punishing Up-sells

The reason why Freelancer has been able to acquire many competitors is because of their profitability. And that profit comes from fleecing their users as hard as possible. The moment you register on the site they try to make you pay for everything and anything. From paying so that your project is available straight away without a review (even though they go live in a few minutes anyway) to prompting you at every step to become a paying member to get crappy ‘perks’. At the moment, they’re even trying to flog Freelancer baseball caps.

If you want to delete a project that you’ve posted, PAY for it. If you want to hide it from search engines, PAY for it! The list in endless, exhausting and overwhelmingly frustrating.”

While almost every marketplace has upsells, Freelancer has really made their financial model work for them. Freelancer is built around membership model and they are asking money for everything. Freelancer pricing strategy is really complicated and gets expensive. Read all about Freelancer fees and charges here.

freelancer-fees-membership-freelance-marketplace

Very tough place for freelancers and clients to be in.

Usually as freelancer you will pay 10% service fee + $0.30 USD + 2.3% (withdrawal fee). Fee on earning 4k/month is $400 + $83 + $0.30 (if you withdraw just once) = $483.30. Freelancer is the most expensive job search website comparing to oDesk, Elance and PeoplePerHour.

Want to have:

  • express withdrawal? – pay.
  • want to be listed higher, highlighted? – pay.
  • want to bid more than 8 bids per month? – pay.

If you don’t close your account and leave it active, after 6 months you will be automatically paying a $10/month maintenance fee.

The same is happening on the business owner’s (client) side. You can buy so many little things here. It is a great financial model for Freelancer, but very tough place for freelancers and clients to be in.

Pros:

  • Huge job seeker and business owner user base with fourteen million users and almost seven million projects posted.
  • Very usable, easy to use and modern website design.
  • Free to get started.
  • Escrow protection for payments.

Cons:

  • Lots of upsells, you need to pay for features, that should have been part of the service.
  • Bad support, in case of disputes you cannot rely on quick and fair resolve.
  • High fees: 10% fee + $0.30 + 2.3% (withdrawal fee).

Here you can read more Freelancer reviews, if you want to dig deeper yourself:

Elance.com Review

elance-freelance-marketplace-professionals

Registration is free and you receive 40 connect points/month.

On Elance listings you will find a good mix of hourly and fixed price work. Registration is free and you receive 40 connect points/month. You use these points to send proposals, promote them, but it all costs points. For example it costs 2 points to send proposal, 4 points to get your proposal to appear on top of the list.

While Elance registration is free, if you want to use Elance actively, you should get $10/month plan, otherwise you are using a limited version of Elance. It’s sad you can pay to appear higher in search. You need to pay to view competitor pricing or feature samples in proposals.

elance-pricing

There is Escrow Security and your hourly rate is guaranteed.

 

Keep in mind Elance charges 8.75% service fee for every project you complete. There is Escrow Security and your hourly rate is guaranteed because of Tracker with Work view, which takes screenshots of your screen as you work.

Elance has helpful applications for an enhanced experience of communication for both job seekers and clients such as live chat, video conferencing and file sharing with version control.

How can you increase likelihood of being hired?

First of all, you need to become a paying member to appear higher in the search results (or ignore that and just be active in client proposals). Then you need to build up your profile by featuring your best work, earning good reviews and ratings from clients. Here is a helpful guide by Elance outlining how to setup profile for best results.

Trouble starts when clients who submitted projects sees many low price bids from seemingly great people usually from Pakistan, India, or Philippines (Elance India sub-site is very popular). Seeing how everybody charges so little, they think that professionals who charge 3-4x times more are simply overcharging. It’s hard to be appreciated for your skill when there are so many temptations for clients (often inexperienced) for paying less.

This is bad for everybody, because freelancers need to bid lower and then they rush to complete more work to earn living. Clients get just “good enough” result and are not satisfied with results.

elance-profile-setup-ratings

Clients who go there in general expect to pay little for your services.

Pros:

  • Free registration, send 20 proposals for free per month (2 points per proposal). You should view buyers history before submitting your proposal. If a client always chooses cheaper options, you shouldn’t reach out to him. Save your precious time and points.
  • Anybody can find work on Elance because of it’s broad variety. You can apply for work on programming, WordPress theme development, product design, branding, writing, marketing, administrative, consulting, legal and engineering jobs.
  • More secure as Elance takes part in money exchange, by asking client to put money on Escrow before project has started.

Cons:

  • Site takes 8.75% fee for every project you complete. Elance fees have been raised last year from 6.75%. Fee’s on earning $4k/month = $350. Plus $10/month if you want to use Elance actively and appear higher in search results.
  • Elance support is quite corporate and oftentimes can be unreasonable and unreliable. Not a good thing, when they are the middle-man for money process.
  • Not totally free – if you don’t join paid membership, you will keep feeling like you are using limited version of Elance.
  • Tough place for creative jobs seekers – it is a very competitive place and since important factor for many clients is pricing, you’ll always find people underbidding you. Clients who go there in general expect to pay little for your services. It’s great for beginners and amateurs living in cheaper countries, but much tougher for experts from USA for example.

You can read more Elance reviews from design job and coding job seekers, if you want to dig deeper yourself:

Oh, before I start oDesk review, keep in mind oDesk, Elance is owned by the same company. They are more similar than you might think.

oDesk.com Review

odesk-freelance-marketplace-professionals

oDesk registers both freelancer and client profiles.

On oDesk listings you will find hourly and fixed priced projects. Be careful when accepting fixed priced projects however, because there contracts aren’t covered by oDesk Guarantee and payment is at client’s discretion. Clients can abuse this.

oDesk registers both job seeker and client profiles, registration is free and it is very easy for you to get started immediately. To increase likelihood of getting hired, check oDesk contractor manual about how to setup great profile.

oDesk fee is 10% from any money you make on their website. Unfortunately when reading reviews about oDesk, I found people are most upset about how hard it is to earn decent wages there. They even encourage you to bid lower.

Every client tries to find the best option, where he can pay smallest amount and get highest quality. This leads to only “good enough” or “bad” results.

Good difference between oDesk and Elance is that oDesk doesnt have a paid membership option. But oDesk fees are 10% compared to Elance 8.75% fee. When you register you can submit 2 job applications at a time.

But you can increase this number by taking oDesk tests and receiving positive feedback ratings from clients after project has been completed. You can read more about job application quota here.

I found it tough to compare Elance vs oDesk, because they are owned by the same company and in overall oDesk or Elance – there is no big difference. The biggest oDesk competitor basically is Freelancer with PeoplePerHour being new disruptor in market.

Pros:

  • Free registration, no paid membership ensuring you don’t have to use limited version of website.
  • Anybody can find work on Elance because of big user base.
  • Secure place to get paid as Odesk takes part in money exchange, by asking client to put money on Escrow before project is started.

Cons:

  • oDesk charges is 10% for every completed project. Fee on 4k/per month = $400 + 1.5% fee for withdrawal.
  • Unreliable corporate support – reviews indicate people had very bad experience with support. People were suggesting not to waste time with support and that you will be better off by trying to solve issue on your own.
  • Tough place for creative professionals, web developers and WordPress experts – usually lower bidders get the project and quality is not being appreciated. (Ok, quality is always appreciated, but price doesnt indicate that).

Here you can read more oDesk reviews, if you want to dig deeper yourself:

  • SiteJabber reviews (84 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.
  • TrustPilot reviews (21 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.
  • Yelp reviews (24 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.

PeoplePerHour Review

people-per-hour-freelance-marketplace-professionals

PPH don’t ask to pay anything upfront to start bidding.

PeoplePerHour was founded in 2003 and quickly became one of the best places right now to find web designer jobs, web developer jobs, WordPress jobs, graphic designer jobs. PPH is pretty good place to get started, get part-time gigs with it’s pros and cons.

They are more focused on hourlies (term used there for quick jobs that take less than hour) and smaller projects. As with all big job websites they have challenges with clients expecting to pay minimal wages and having many low qualified freelancers.

A friend of mine succeeded here a year ago by getting well-paying creative jobs within the UK, but lately it is getting more and more competitive, where low bidders start to take over.

From reviews I read PPH seems to be very good place to get started. PPH don’t ask to pay anything upfront to start bidding for jobs. You can bid on 15 projects per month for free.

If you need more, you can buy 5 credits for $6.50, 10 credits for $9.50 and more. As for the fees, here is the breakdown of what you will be paying to PPH when you start working:

For buyers there are basically no fees unless promoted posting, freelancers are billed % on every project.

  • 15% (excl. VAT) on the first £175 (or €210 or $280 USD) billed and paid by the Buyer in the month
  • 3.5% (excl. VAT) on all work billed and paid for after that in the month.
  • Fee’s on earning $1k/month: 42$ for first 280$, 25$ for the 720$ = $67 (excl VAT) + 1.9% fee to withdraw money to Paypal (takes 3-5 days to receive and 3 days to release money on PPH)
  • Fee’s on earning $4k/month – 42$ + 130$ = 172$ (excl VAT) + 1.9% withdrawal (72$).

Here is complete breakdown on PayPerPeople fees in case you want to explore yourself.

If you are a professional however, you will struggle with low quality clients, PPH getting in your way to ensure you cannot work with the client directly.

There’s no way to get on the phone with your client. Once they get you in the system, they intend to keep you there to ensure they take a piece from all exchanges that happen on their website.

From all job search websites, this could be the best place for pros to earn extra income with hourlies.

people-per-hour-hourlies-freelance-marketplace

PPH does everything to lock you in the system.

Pros:

  • Free to start using both for buyers and sellers.
  • Easy registration – you can sign up very quickly with Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • Great way to build up your portfolio as beginner as there are loads of “Hourly” part time jobs. You won’t earn much, but you’ll get your experience.
  • Has hundreds of thousands of members.
  • Site is middle-man taking part in payment process using an Escrow system so that you only start working when the client places a “deposit” normally around 30% of the project. The deposit is then kept in PeoplePerHour’s Escrow account.
  • Has iPhone app where you can keep in touch with your clients, bid on projects making process easy while you are on the road

Cons:

  • High service fees – If you are not making more than $280 per month, PPH will keep 15% of your earnings + VAT + 1.9% withdrawal fee.
  • Poor customer support – the most complaints about this website is about their support. If something goes wrong, you can expect to receive generic replies, call support is unreachable and it will take long time to resolve disputes. Several clients and freelancers complained about PPH just shutting their accounts down without warning, while they had money on PPH wallet. They received very little support to resolve this issue and were asked to submit many documents before doing anything – passport, driving license, national identification card (photographic), citizenship certificate, tax bill, copy of bank statement, credit or debit card bank statement.
  • Once PPH get your email, expect to receive many emails – while PPH don’t charge for signing up, their main marketing happens in email. Even before you can search for anything, you need to give your email address. People complain how once they give their email address they find it impossible to completely unsubscribe from them.
  • More sellers than work, making it very competitive place and ensuring that often clients pick lower paying offers.
  • Not good option for finding full-time work – this website focuses more on hourlies and low-paid quick projects, making it very hard for professional to take it as reliable place to constantly find work. One successful guy actually uses PPH to get first clients, then ask for referrals and gets these referrals outside PPH.
  • PPH does everything to lock you in the system and never let out.

Here you can read more PeoplePerHour.com reviews, if you want to dig deeper yourself:

  • Reviewopedia reviews (38 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.
  • TrustPilot reviews (119 reviews) – overall rating 3 of 5.
  • ReviewCentre reviews (72 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.

99designs Review

99designs-crowdsourcing-professional-freelance-marketplace

It’s a great place for beginners to build up their portfolio

99designs is the most popular so called crowd-sourcing platform. It is based on contests, which means that you get paid only if your design is picked as a winner. Still it’s a great place for beginners to start their web design career, gain experience and some professionals have found ways to constantly win the contests.  You will find lots of creative jobs like graphic design, logo design, product design jobs and web design jobs on 99Designs. But there are no guarantees.

There have been lots of negative emotions in the designer community about this kind of work, where clients expect to receive many different design variations, but only pay for one. However there are ways to make money here.

Now 99Designs offers you a chance to keep working with your client using 1-to-1 projects with much more reasonable fees. For 1-to-1 projects 99designs charges 5% support fee + 2.5% payment processing fee = 7.5%.

Designers are the most disappointed about 30-50% fee, 99designs keeps when they win a contest. This isn’t clearly translated in their fees, in fact I couldn’t even find in their terms specific percentage they are taking.

I was only able to find something in their forums, where 1,600 votes have been gathered and 82 comments to lower the fees. 99designs reply was – “If you believe that our fees are not aligned with the value we provide, then we certainly encourage you to find an alternative that is more in line with your perceived value.” Fair enough I guess, if you don’t like something, nobody can force you to use it.

But in terms of fees this means that if you complete $4,000 project you would only keep $2000-3000. Good news is that 99Designs doesn’t charge for withdrawals, except Western Union transfer which is $25.

If you are really good, you will find ways to make money here. Your whole focus should be on winning the contest and getting to work with the client 1-on-1. Costly 99designs fees and no guarantee’s to be paid really discourage participating on this site though.

99designs-crowdsourcing-contests-freelance-marketplace

99Designs doesn’t charge for withdrawals.

Pros:

  • Great place to build portfolio and test your skills.
  • Lots of activity, clients, creative jobs contents to join.
  • After you win the first contest, you can work with client on next project 1-on-1 for reasonable rates.

Cons:

  • Super high charges. You only earn 50-60% from the project, in case you win.
  • Based on contests, meaning if you don’t win – you do work for free.

Microlancer, Studio.Envato Review

envato-studio-microlancer-marketplace

They focus on one-time, short-term projects.

MicroLancer, which is now renamed as Envato studio, is the newest marketplace to find freelance jobs online specifically focusing on artists, but they are a closed community. They handpick designers who can post their jobs there. This allows Envato to maintain quality and a good supply/demand ratio. If you want to apply, read more about it here.

They focus on one-time, short-term projects, which can be done in few hours or up to 7 days. Pricing is fixed ranging between $50-500. Envato Studios keep 30% of your income.

What they promise in exchange:

  • Marketing – they have a trusted platform.
  • Protection – they take payment upfront from buyers and ensure both parties are satisfied.
  • Less admin work – they promise to help with invoicing, customer service and looking after disputes.

Since Envato Studio is still small and new I couldn’t find many reviews or feedback about them. I know Envato is a trusted company and their intention to stay small is a good way to ensure quality.

themeforest-envato-trusted-resource

Envato Studios keep 30% of your income.

Overall, it seems like a good place to get creative jobs and freelance projects, and earn some extra part-time income. However right now they have more service providers than clients, so you might have a tough time getting in.

Pros:

  • Quality and experience is highly valued
  • Earn extra income with quick graphic and web design projects.
  • Established, trusted company. Envato is highly recognized brand in design community.

Cons:

  • 30% fee for each project you complete
  • You cannot rely on Envato Studio for full-time, reliable income source.
  • Hard to get in and get accepted.

Codeable Review

codeable-wordpres-expert-freelance-marketplace

Codeable maintains quality by hand-picking experts.

This is a small community, where clients can get their small WordPress tasks done quickly. You will find quick front end developer jobs, php developer jobs around WordPress. This is not a place to look for full-time work.

Codeable maintains quality by hand-picking WordPress experts they accept on their website. They take a 15% fee from every freelance project you complete. In exchange they do marketing and hold money on Escrow to protect both contractor and client.

Codeable takes care of their community, but they also protect themselves preventing contractors from communicating directly with clients to lure them away from Codeable.

If you are WordPress expert you should apply there. I didn’t find any bad feedback, seems like they are doing the right thing by staying small and staying agile. You can learn more about their mindset in 2013-2014 recap article by founder of Codeable.

codeable-wordpres-expert-how-marketplace

Codeable takes care of their community.

Pros:

  • Quality service, great support.
  • Earn extra income and be valued as professional.
  • No corporate setup – Codeable is small and agile company. Every interaction is personal and human.

Cons:

  • 15% fee for each project you complete.
  • Harder to find bigger freelance projects, site is more for quick fixes.
  • Hard to get in.

AwesomeWeb Review

AwesomeWeb Professional Designer Marketplace

AwesomeWeb is focused on attracting professional.

After conducting our research, we noticed all of these problems with existing marketplaces. Freelance designers and developers aren’t treated well because they all seem to cater to clients.

So we spent a year building our job search website before we opened the doors in September 2014.

AwesomeWeb is focused on attracting professional graphic designers, web designers, and programers. We manually review each freelancer before allowing them to be shown in the search listing.

By collaborating with Michael Dunlop from IncomeDiary, a site which is read by business owners and entrepreneurs, we attract high level clients who need quality help. They’re not looking for cheap outsourcers, they are looking for experts who do what they promise.

Turns out, not only are freelancers frustrated, entrepreneurs are too. It’s hard to find reliable help in the ocean of low-level freelancers.

We want to fix this issue. I feel like Envato studio and Codeable are doing a good job of solving this problem for quick tasks. We want to expand upon that and let freelancers find regular clients, who want to work with you full-time, part-time, or on a retainer basis.

Huge marketplaces like Freelancer, Elance, oDesk, PeoplePerHour, have challenges with maintaining quality, because they let everybody in. Their support cannot handle issues, they try to create good search algorithms, but it’s not working, because there are too many people.

There is too much competition, too many people offer to work for low wages resulting in bad quality results. Nobody is happy – neither job seekers, nor business owners.

awesomeweb-profile-designer-marketplace

We hand review each application ourselves.

AwesomeWeb has stayed small and expanded slowly. We aren’t greedy. We only ask for a $17 per month subscription and let you work with clients directly. No hidden costs, pure quality – that’s it.

Pros:

  • Fees. We ask only for fixed monthly payment, $17. It’s not 30% like 99designs or Envato Studio, it’s not 15% or even 10% like in most places. You keep what you earn.
  • Customer support. We are personal. We are a small company consisting of 4 people, but we are all around the world, ensuring we can reply to you at any time.
  • No scripts. We’ve never written a support script. When you submit a support ticket, we help you personally and don’t give you canned email replies.
  • Quality control. We maintain quality by hand-reviewing accounts. We want competitors to do all the crappy websites and you do projects you are proud of. We don’t want you to undersell yourself.
  • No barriers. We don’t get in the way with the clients. You deal with clients directly. You get paid by clients directly. As professional you know how to handle yourself working with clients, you don’t need protection.
  • Good clients. We connect you with clients who want to work with professionals.
  • For Web Designers and Developers. AwesomeWeb focuses on providing expert jobs starting from graphic design jobs to web designer jobs and web developer jobs. Quality is our priority.

Cons:

  • We are small. We listen to how we can improve, but we don’t have a big development team that can make quick improvements. Every dollar we’ve made so far has gone back into development.
  • We don’t protect you from clients. We don’t place money on Escrow to be the middle-man. You deal with the client directly.
  • You pay upfront. We considered offering free accounts and free trials but ultimately decided on $17 per month with a 90-day money back guarantee. This ensures high quality freelancers. Once you’re in, we support you. It’s impossible to support free users.
  • You can’t reach out to clients yet. Clients contact you. They don’t submit job proposals on that you can bid on. In a way it’s nice that clients choose to work with you, but you can feel helpless if you’re not constantly reaching out to clients. We’re building this feature now.

If you’re a web design professional in need for more clients…

Learn More and Sign Up Today!

Only 150 spots left at $17/month.

That’s why we created AwesomeWeb job search website, to provide another, better way for you to find clients and work on projects you can be proud of. We’ll be increasing our prices as we hit our member quotas. The next price increase is at 500 members. Lock in $17/month today.

What is your experience using different job websites?

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From Printing Business to Web Design & Marketing Agency [Podcast]

The Podcast Episode with Jeff Dykema

Success Story from Jeff Dykema

Earth is already a congested place inhabited by billions of people. The web design industry is not far behind with hundreds of thousands web designers and developers all over the world.

Just in 2012 alone, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a total number of 259,500 designers. The number is continually growing as new and young designers hop into the bandwagon filled with exciting and new ideas enough to make you insecure.

Looking at the numbers, you might be wondering how you are able to have a breakthrough as a web designer/developer in this huge industry. Much better, how can you make yourself become the ‘Go To” person whom clients will seek out?

Again, this is an impossibility faced by almost anyone, not only web designers, who wants to make an impact and be successful.

Meet Jeff Dykema

Jeff Dykema is like every typical web designer. He loves coding, designing, and all the things that seem interesting to a web designer. He established his company, JD Design in 2009. Like everyone else in this industry, he has been struggling with the same question or desire: How to become an “influence” or a “Go-To” person in this vast industry.

Like all other 10K alumni, Jeff was able to get past that dilemma and establish himself as the “Go-To” person in the niche he is in by bringing value to his clients. For him, bringing value means making things happen for his clients.

Making Things Happen

The first thing that comes to mind when you want to make things happen is a flurry of activities, cluttered workspace, and sleepless nights. This old-school mindset is actually very wrong because these things are exactly what’s making you less productive and more tired. In fact, you will just end up spreading yourself thinly as you balance multiple projects but not getting enough for your efforts.

So, how do you make things happen? By having a clear VISION where your clients are headed. Jeff mentioned in the interview that in order to bring value to your clients, you need to GUIDE their efforts by providing solutions that work. However, you cannot become a guide if you yourself do not know where you are going.

Remember Alice when she asked about the Cheshire Cat about the way? The Cheshire Cat asked her where she was going and she said she didn’t care much where. The Cat, then, replied that it didn’t matter which way she should go.

You simply can’t be like Alice in Wonderland who didn’t care which way to go because your clients expect results – RESULTS that WORK. And for you to be able to bring them to the place of success, you must already have a clear picture of the way where you’re taking them or you’ll end up getting lost, tired, and frustrated.

Jeff Offers Clear Vision at JD Design

Jeff Offers Clear Vision at JD Design

A clear vision, of course, is impossible if you don’t understand your clients and their needs. Thus, before you map out your game plan, you sit with them and understand where they are coming from. Then and only then will you be able to tailor solutions for your clients that actually work.

Giving Value Means Losing Clients

Providing solutions that actually work requires focus. Providing solutions that actually work adds value to your work. Providing solutions that actually work makes your clients happy. All that is accomplished with a strong and clear vision.

The other side of the coin, however, is that there are some clients that only want the benefit of the value you give but are not willing to pay more for the high value you are giving. Thus, you have a choice to let go and lose clients or retain them and risk being not equally rewarded for what you are giving.

The second choice seems to be the easiest one to make. If you are in a dilemma about the pricing issue, remember this nugget of truth:

A very good example of this is Apple. They most probably are the highest in the market but that doesn’t them. They know that people who are really after quality will never scrimp on paying for high quality.

The same goes for you. You should not struggle with the dilemma of bumping up your rates if you know your value. In fact, you need to let go of those kinds of client in order to make room for those who are willing to pay for high value.

The Big Divide

Another golden nugget Jeff said he learned from the $10K Boot Camp is to begin thinking of himself as a professional web designer rather than a freelance web designer. Well, you might say, aren’t these two one and the same?

This is the problem – professionalism is one of the most difficult words to define in terms of its essence. Not because you have a profession or have a degree does one become a professional. However, this has been the prevalent definition of the word and accepted by many.

That is why you see a lot of talented people who, until now, do not see their value and the work they give. They become underrated and because of frustration, they cease to live up to what they can deliver.

One of the mindset changes presented at the 10K Boot Camp is to view yourself as a professional web designer and not just a freelance web designer. What is the difference? What does it mean?

A professional web designer sees web design as a business rather than a job. When you think about yourself as a professional, then you cease to do the job but you begin to consider HOW to do the job. Because you think of web design as your business, you begin to perform at a consistently higher level than other people. You also cease to think of just getting paid for the job.

Why? Because there is a sense of ownership.

Eric Lippert couldn’t have said it better. He said, that professionalism is about having the integrity, honesty, and sincere regard for the personhood of the customer, in the context of always doing what is best for the business. Those two things do not need to be in conflict.

When you begin to see yourself in this light, you begin to add value to your clients as well. This is what happened to Jeff Dykema and this could happen to you as well.

The Value of Community and Accountability

Learning new thing, especially things that open your eyes to new and exciting possibilities, is exciting. However, there is also that enemy called procrastination. Most of the time, this enemy lives inside its host unnoticed and unchallenged. If you don’t agree, how many times have you let a good idea sit and tell yourself you have plenty of time to do it?

Procrastination is a powerful enemy. However, it can be defeated by accountability – a big word among the $10K Boot Camp community. That is because mentors from the $10K program know that anyone left alone fending for himself will resort to procrastination letting a great discovery go to waste.

On the other hand, if you know that you have to answer to someone else, you force yourself to act in order to accomplish the goals you have for yourself.

This is the truth – human beings need a little push and accountability is that one thing that ensures actions and decisions. Accountability motivates you to keep reaching for the top. It keeps you moving. It encourages you knowing you can keep your own business while running your own business.

$10K Bootcamp's Accountability Board

$10K Bootcamp’s Accountability Board

And here’s the beauty of accountability – when you get used to become accountable, it becomes natural. You become mindful of yourself to become excellent. What more – it also rubs off on other people. That means, you have become an influence – the “go-to” person you want to become.

Accountability does not only come from mentors but also within the community. A community where you can have an honest dialog with other web designers encouraging and pushing each other towards excellence. The real beauty of community is that it does not just provide accountability, but also fresh and new insight to make your craft better.

Conclusion

Becoming a web design professional, a “Go-To” person, in this industry is always achievable if you have a clear vision of where you are going and the accountability to do what you have purposed to do. Vision guides you where you’re taking your client while accountability keeps pushing you.

These are the principles that turned Jeff Dykema around as professional web designer These are also principles that can turn your life and your business around because what worked for Jeff can also work for you.

 

Free $10K Summit Live Event

What You Will Learn at The $10K Summit

  1. Your Roadmap to Reach Your First $10,000 Project
    No holding back. We’re going to tell you exactly how we teach web designers, developers, and marketers how to sell and deliver high value projects for high value fees.
  2. Unfiltered Golden Nuggets from Mentors and Grads
    Previous program Mentors and Graduates have been asked to share at least one gold nugget (high value takeaway from program) that you can use in your business right now. Even if what they want to say is word for word from our premium program, we will encourage each guest to spill the secrets they used to land their first $10K project.
  3. How to Overcome Isolation; You’re Not Alone
    Join our community of thousands of web professionals just like you. Become a part of a fun and exciting new tribe that enjoys growing and building successful businesses together. We can’t do it for you, but we can hold your hand and make the process as fun as possible.
  4. Get Your Questions Answered
    There will be plenty of time to get your critical questions answered. Curious how you can join this movement? We’ll answer that. Want to know how to overcome a paralyzing business challenge? Yeah, we’ll get to that too. Need confidence? Got that too.

Brent Host

CoHosts

Click Here To Register Now

 

P.s. As a thank you for registering­ you will receive instant access to
$10K Accelerate Training Series, where you will learn:

  • The way to increase your rates by 50% or more;
  • Exact proposal pitch to get a high value project to a lead;
  • The secret of what your clients really needs.

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From Coding to Starting Business and Hiring a Team [Podcast]

The Podcast Episode with Ouida Mac

Ouida Mac’s Success Story

You have a lot of projects going for you and more are waiting in queue. You even have a business. The frustrating thing, however, is that it is not moving into the direction you want and growing into the scale you desire.

It’s not that you lack the talent or the technology. In fact, you’ve continuously allow yourself to learn new systems and technologies but why is everything on a standstill?

This was the same frustration Ouida Mac faced not a long time ago. Like all average web designers, she was charging $15 – $20/hour for her services. Ouida doesn’t lack talent nor knowledge.

Describing herself as your typical nerd/geek, Ouida has written her own CMS and she is constantly learning new technologies to make her craft better. Even her resources and support are abundant.

That story was a long time ago. Ouida was able to transform herself from someone else’s contractor to becoming her own manager hiring other designers to do the work while she focuses on the more important aspect of her business. From $15 – $20 an hour, Ouida now charges $75/hour, an amazing 200% increase from what she used to charge.

What happened?

Mindset Change… When Ouida was asked what brought the 180-degree change in her life and her business, she would always stress mindset change when she entered the $10K Boot Camp. According to her, she had self-esteem issues where she acted like a Xerox machine doing what her clients require of her but not getting paid according to the efforts she exerts.

All that changed when she realized that being a web designer is not just about coding, mastering new technologies, or solving the client’s problems. It is also about viewing web design as a business and not just a job – and therein lies the difference.

When you think of your profession as a job, you will feel no sense of ownership. After all, you are just another face in the workforce – someone who has to finish a task because it is an obligation.

On the other hand, when you view of your profession as a business, you begin to own it. You begin to develop a vision how to make it grow.You begin to innovate. Most of all you begin to look at the big picture and start to ask the right questions.

Asking the Right Questions

How much are you worth? Any successful person or business does not become successful because they are offering a great product or service. How many great products and services are out there? How many great products and services have established themselves as a brand to be reckoned with?

Only when you begin to understand your worth and your value will you be able to bring your business and your service to a bigger scale you want it to be. You are the only person who can tell you how much you’re worth, not the clients who use your services, not the consumers who buy your product. When you treat what you offer as something of great value, people will just follow suit.

As Po’s father in the movie, Kungfu Panda, had said, “There is no secret ingredient.” Po began to act to his full potential when he realized his value. This same strategy has been used by con artists throughout history.

People bought something of no value at a very valuable price because they’ve been told so. Furthermore, those con artists acted and spoke with much conviction how valuable their product is.

Great Expectations

You have an edge – You really are offering something valuable. The greatest challenge, however, is how to make your clients see your value. The Confucian principle of doing unto others what you want others to do unto you provides the clue.

Ouida Mac and the other $10K Boot Camp graduates might have reworded it differently but it resonated throughout her interview. This same mindset can also be seen and heard from $10K Boot Camp graduates.

Her Brent Teaching About Price Increase

The principle? It is not about you or your talent but about your clients. It is placing them at the forefront before you even start to think of design. It is thinking about their breakthrough first before you think of your own.

If you are able to bring a breakthrough to your client, they will know that you are worth the money. If you bring value to your customers, you can ask for more money. If your clients earn more money, they will have no difficulty paying the high value work you bring into the table.

That is why Ouida had no difficulty charging a 200% increase to her clients because they cannot replace the value she is bringing.

Accountability & Collaboration

Like all the rest of humanity, web designers should understand that success can’t be achieved single-handedly. Even those who call themselves self-made millionaires did not reach the place they are in without any form of support. Ouida has mentioned this in her interview. She said that the support and accountability she gets from her 10K mentors and fellow graduates are priceless.

In terms of accountability,she emphasized the importance of choosing the right counsel. You can have mentors but you can’t always have the right mentors. What do they look like?

They are the mentors who will keep pushing you to move forward. They are mentors who will keep pushing you to have new discoveries in every project you undertake.

Support-wise, the 10K Drive and the constant communication she has with fellow $10K alumni keeps her in touch with new trends and strategies. She further emphasized that web designers should never feel threatened to share their knowledge and experiences with fellow designers because there is always plenty of work for everybody.

On the other hand, sharing is what makes the community and the industry dynamic because of the new knowledge. Besides, no one has really become successful by hiding what he has discovered from others.

Conclusion

Knowing your value is the lesson Ouida Mac wants to impart. When you know your worth, it will be easier for you to place your client’s value first. When you know your worth, you will never feel threatened by others talents nor be gripped by fear that someone can steal your projects. Instead, you will be generous enough to share your knowledge and experiences to fellow designers and rejoice as they grow and expand as well.

 

Free $10K Summit Live Event

What You Will Learn at The $10K Summit

  1. Your Roadmap to Reach Your First $10,000 Project
    No holding back. We’re going to tell you exactly how we teach web designers, developers, and marketers how to sell and deliver high value projects for high value fees.
  2. Unfiltered Golden Nuggets from Mentors and Grads
    Previous program Mentors and Graduates have been asked to share at least one gold nugget (high value takeaway from program) that you can use in your business right now. Even if what they want to say is word for word from our premium program, we will encourage each guest to spill the secrets they used to land their first $10K project.
  3. How to Overcome Isolation; You’re Not Alone
    Join our community of thousands of web professionals just like you. Become a part of a fun and exciting new tribe that enjoys growing and building successful businesses together. We can’t do it for you, but we can hold your hand and make the process as fun as possible.
  4. Get Your Questions Answered
    There will be plenty of time to get your critical questions answered. Curious how you can join this movement? We’ll answer that. Want to know how to overcome a paralyzing business challenge? Yeah, we’ll get to that too. Need confidence? Got that too.

Brent Host

CoHosts

Click Here To Register Now

 

P.s. As a thank you for registering­ you will receive instant access to
$10K Accelerate Training Series, where you will learn:

  • The way to increase your rates by 50% or more;
  • Exact proposal pitch to get a high value project to a lead;
  • The secret of what your clients really needs.

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Grow From Freelancer to Web Design Professional [Podcast]

The Podcast Episode with Lauren Gray

Success Story From Lauren Gray

Freelancing is a dream-come-true for those who have been part of the rat race for a long time. The idea of controlling your own time and not answering to a manager or supervisor seems to charm a lot of people.

Only those who have been in the freelancing business long enough have seen its dark side – cheapskate clients who give little value to your talent and work. Such was the case of Lauren Gray, who used to charge just around $300 for a web project but is now charging 10 times the amount of what she used to charge.

From being one of the freelance web designers in the sea of the web design industry, Lauren Gray has successfully transitioned herself to become a market leader who found her own niche and go on to establish her own company called OnceCoupled.

Lauren’s story is not an isolated case where she got lucky one day. She is just one of the success stories you will hear and read about in this series. How was she able to do it? What formula for success did she use? You will be surprised that Lauren did not stumble upon a new discovery. Rather, they are a product of time-proven methods and principles she learned from the 10K Boot Camp. These methods and principles are, in fact, all too familiar ones, but often overlooked.

Finding Your Niche

Life always presents us with different opportunities. There are those who are able to see and grab it while others did not even see it pass before their eyes. The same goes in the web design industry, especially when it comes to finding your niche. How difficult can it get, really? You might get varying answers for this one but for Lauren, the answer is easy and that is to focus on where you already are.

Establishing yourself where you already are makes sense. For one, you already have inside knowledge of the place or the industry and have already built a network around it. Because of the knowledge, you are spared further stress of finding your way around a new industry or new client base.

Another benefit of starting where you already are is you save more time. Because you already know your way around, you are able to avoid certain pitfalls that can be hazardous to your practice and business. All you need to do is enhance and develop what you already have to keep you ahead of the rest.

Adding Value to Your Work

The web design industry is a very competitive one. It is never lacking in talent nor in the drive to succeed. However, some are able to rise, some are pushed into oblivion, while some are hanging by a thread. So how do you make it into the first category – the ones who are successful.

Lauren Gray’s story clearly tells you how – and that is to add more value to your clients. According to her, she does not just offer her services, but she also gives valuable advice, suggestions, and insights to her clients on how to improve their businesses.

The reality is web design is not just about design. It is also about public relations – how you establish a relationship with your clients and how you help them gain success as well. It has a domino effect because once your clients become successful, you also become successful. In order to do this, Lauren mentioned two important factors – only work with clients you love working with and focus on what you are passionate about.

If you are passionate about something, you will only see opportunities rather than difficulties. Secondly, if you only focus on people you love working with, you become more inspired and productive.

Breaking the Myth

One fear that often plague web designers is the idea that if you only focus on a certain niche, your client becomes limited. Worse, you can even lose precious projects that are in a different niche.

On the contrary, Lauren says that picking your own niche opens more opportunities for you because you’ll be able to establish a connection to your client base. Being able to connect and really speak to people is difficult if your interests are scattered in various places.

Lauren Has Become an Expert

Lauren Targets Food Bloggers

Picking a specific niche and focusing on it also allows you to explore it resulting in a deeper knowledge of strategies, methods, new trends, and other things that are happening inside that niche. As you acquire knowledge, you transform yourself as an expert in that niche. As an expert, more people listen and look up to you making you more established and secure.

The Value of Your Time

One of the most important principles the 10K Boot Camp teaches is the value of your time to your business. Realizing how much your time is worth helps you identify which client or project will you accept or reject. According to Lauren, a certain client might give you a little bit of money now but if you cannot see yourself working with that client in the future, you might as well turn the project down now and focus on something that is long-term and will give more value to you.

Realizing the value of your time also means learning how to delegate work. You simply cannot do everything and you clearly are not an expert of everything. Someone else can do a better job to a certain task than what you are doing.

Delegation does not just make your job easier, but it also makes you more productive. It makes each person on the team focus on what they are good at which results in the job getting finished earlier.

Client Satisfaction

A web designer is not just a designer. He is also an entrepreneur. The designer and the entrepreneur have one goal in mind, though – client satisfaction. There is, however, a big difference between just being a designer and a designer-entrepreneur. The first focus only on the aesthetics but the second one also focuses on the solution.

The 10K Boot Camp teaches that website development isn’t just about building a nice and beautiful website. Rather, it is more about solving your client’s pain points. Your job does not end after the website is done, it extends towards helping your client achieve the goals he has and the outcomes he wants. In order to do this, you need to add more value to your client’s existing value.

How?

To solve your client’s pain points, you also need to help him solve their audience’s pain points. The best way to do this is to create a buyer’s persona, a visualization of what the perfect audience of that website looks like. You do this by asking what kind of audience should visit or read the website. As you paint a picture of the type of audience you want to attract, it becomes easier to put in the content. It is also easier to address their problems. Furthermore, it is much easier to suggest what changes and steps your client needs that will bring them closer to their goals.

Communication and Accountability

Good communication, not just communication, is necessary to achieve productivity and maintain a strong working relationship with your team and your client. Furthermore, constant face-to-face communication builds trust and confidence between you and your clients. It also reduces misunderstanding and if there are problems brewing, you can easily cut them early on.

With the different advance communication tools available nowadays, it is not a problem to get constantly in touch with your clients or teammates. You can talk to anyone wherever they are in the comforts of your living room.

Constant communication also encourages accountability, another principle taught at the 10K Boot Camp. According to Lauren, accountability is very important if you want to grow because it allows check and balance, something which does not happen if you are alone.

Accountability provides the right push you need to grow more as well as the feedback you need to make yourself better. It also allows you to see what others in your team are doing and gain new strategies for your business to keep on moving forward.

Conclusion

Success does not happen overnight nor it is a lucky streak because your stars become perfectly aligned. As Lauren Gray’s success has demonstrated, it comes from acquiring the right knowledge and applying that knowledge. By doing so, you’re able to gain a complete return of investment.

Free $10K Summit Live Event

What You Will Learn at The $10K Summit

  1. Your Roadmap to Reach Your First $10,000 Project
    No holding back. We’re going to tell you exactly how we teach web designers, developers, and marketers how to sell and deliver high value projects for high value fees.
  2. Unfiltered Golden Nuggets from Mentors and Grads
    Previous program Mentors and Graduates have been asked to share at least one gold nugget (high value takeaway from program) that you can use in your business right now. Even if what they want to say is word for word from our premium program, we will encourage each guest to spill the secrets they used to land their first $10K project.
  3. How to Overcome Isolation; You’re Not Alone
    Join our community of thousands of web professionals just like you. Become a part of a fun and exciting new tribe that enjoys growing and building successful businesses together. We can’t do it for you, but we can hold your hand and make the process as fun as possible.
  4. Get Your Questions Answered
    There will be plenty of time to get your critical questions answered. Curious how you can join this movement? We’ll answer that. Want to know how to overcome a paralyzing business challenge? Yeah, we’ll get to that too. Need confidence? Got that too.

Brent Host

CoHosts

Click Here To Register Now

 

P.s. As a thank you for registering­ you will receive instant access to
$10K Accelerate Training Series, where you will learn:

  • The way to increase your rates 50% or more without losing a single customer. ­
  • The exact pitch to use while proposing a high value project to a lead.
  • The secret of what your clients really needs (and it’s not a website).

Powered by WPeMatico

One Little-Known ​Gesture That Could Affect Your Client Relationships Big Time

There is one key practice that highly successful service providers do which sets them apart from all the competition.

What’s that one simple way you can improve client relationships, and can you make your work with them enjoyable?

We all have had bad clients, but who’s really responsible for that? Remember that every client is a human, who wants to be heard, appreciated, taken care of. Give and you shall receive.

Businesses have no emotion. People do.”

I want to show you one simple and doable practice that will revolutionize the way you do client relationship management (CRM).

stevejobs

You’re going to learn CRM the way Jobs did through this lesson. We’re going to talk about a few things:

  • Ideas on client relationship management from people leading their industries
  • The disappearance of B2B and C2C marketing, and how everything is becoming about H2H marketing (human to human marketing)
  • How to earn your clients’ trust and preference through one simple practice

Gone are the days when work is strictly work. Client relationship management has become a personal thing.

Gyro.com shares about how technology has forced B2B marketers to become more individualized in the approach by hitting the individual. As Bryan Kramer, CEO of PureMatter, places it well in his article for Social Media Today, “Businesses have no emotion. People do.”

h2h

Business has to be more relational and less rudimentary. To become better in providing design services, we need to act more humanely. It’s one thing that separates the design industry from other industries.

It’s nothing far from what designers foundationally do. Conceptual professionals – designers, marketers, bloggers, etc.- are in the business of managing the perceptions and feelings of others. These are the professionals in making things human. Sadly, many creatives miss out on being human to their clients.

Salah Elkasef, introduces in his LinkedIn article, “H2H Marketing Reduces the Need for B2B and C2C Segmentation”, the concept of human to human marketing. He says,

“While it is true that businesses do not have emotions, the people that are making the purchasing decision do.”

Customer empathy has become necessary and vital in the way freelancers interact and market to potential clients and maintaining client relationships.

Elkasef also notes the disappearance of a B2B and C2C segmentation. B2B transactions are no longer supposed to be ‘corporate’ and ‘heartless’ in nature.

It’s true that many large agencies and a majority of freelancers still remain to be lifeless in their approach. However, this approach is no longer what dominates the market. It is the personal approach that stands out.

Many large media companies such as Vaynermedia now approach client relationship management as a human thing, no longer as a blind, lifeless practice. Client trust and preference are the key. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vaynermedia, once wrote that empathy is one skill that many people should learn, empathy in the way they deal with clients and with personnel.

Trust and preference build not only for a large quantity of clients, but also high quality relationship with each client. Marketing Metrics notes that the probability of getting business from a new prospect is 5-20% whereas getting business from an existing client is 60-70%. In the long run, depth matters most. Trust and preference brings higher returns at lower costs and effort.

1047912_10151657224004487_1696367460_o

What is most surprising is that majority of people are human only in their execution, and not in the way they do business.

A large number creatives and designers practice their human voices in the way they execute content marketing, design, writing, promotions and user experience and then treat their clients as issues, not people.

Kristin Smaby in her article “Being Human Is Good Business” points out three strong points about how to treat customers:

  • A customer is not an issue or a channel.
  • A customer uses channels to communicate issues.
  • A customer is a human being.

This is greatly influenced by the traditional notion of ‘business being non-personal’ and seeing it unfit to be friends with business partners or clients. It’s surprising how much your competition does not see the need, or- even worse- treat as a taboo the idea of being friends with clients.

So here’s the burning question for everyone:

“Why do most freelancers perform SEO, design and improve user experience in a human way, and  do client relationship management in a non-human way?”

The compelling case? It’s this simple: You can be friends with your clients.

Robert W. Dempsey puts it well when he asks the question– “What fear drives us to believe that we cannot be 100% ourselves with our customers, and that we must put up a facade in order to attract people to our businesses?”

Human relationship simplifies everything in client relationship management because it injects the trust factor. And, boy,trust a big deal in the industry.

The key to long term engagements with clients is the level of trust that you and your client share.

Trust and preference come in a package called relationship. To build trust, we cannot be disconnected with our clients- both existing and potential. And in a relationship, everything counts.

From the big things, such as ROI, better visual branding, delivering on time, down to the small things, clients will trust designers who hit all areas. Some of the small things clients appreciate include placing captions on wireframes, personally liking the client’s social media posts, and even greeting them on holidays. Sadly, so many designers miss the small things.

 Yes! Greeting clients on holidays. It’s a small practice, but it is one that will revolutionize the way you handle relationships with clients. It has increased the level of trust clients have for me. Ever since I started greeting clients on holidays, birthdays, name days, most, if not all of clients have stayed longer for services.

Here’s an example of an email I sent out to one of my longest and biggest client, Zap.com.ph, as a Christmas greeting last year.

trust and preference example

The Operations Director, Dustin Cheng, has now become more than a client. I have established with him a human-to-human relationship and not simply a business-to-business one. Zap has been a client for more than two years now. Aside from that, he has also referred countless other people to me for work!

I believe that sending out greetings is an effective, simple and sustainable practice for client relationship management. This is so for two reasons:

  • It helps designers stay relevant. Greeting our clients communicates connection and relevance, that we are not just machines that cough-up PSDs and codes. We are people who value our clients.
  • It makes the client feel human. When they feel human, they start acting humanely. They become more forgiving when you make mistakes, more generous when you inform them of increases in rates, when you screw up a scheduled meeting with them and so on.

1WD’s challenge is to have everyone apply this simple practice during the holidays. 1stWebDesigner is giving out a free Christmas card (in various formats, download zip file) for all you designers to download and personalize for your clients. Be as personal as you can with your messages.

trust and preference built through christmas greeting

Here’s an example of what the Christmas Card template 1stWebDesigner is giving out looks like. It comes in various preset colours, and there are five pre-made quotes as well that you can choose from.

colors

The application is simple but not easy. Imagine having to break the status quo. Your client will find it weird. Your partners will find it weird. Even you will find it weird at first! But once you get a hang of it, it becomes life-changing.

You’ll be surprised at how much a simple greeting can do for your career, and client relationship management problems. Your CRM problems will decrease by half!

Human relationships are the key to long-term and successful partnerships with your client. If you get that right, you’ll be an industry leader in no time. Yes it’s important to be great at delivering, but personal relations will trump the business side anytime of the day.

Enjoy everyone!

In case you missed it, click here for the free christmas card template. Tell us what you think of them by putting your comments below!

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Web Designer? Land High Paying Clients!

The holidays are just around the corner! We’re hoping you’re using the tips and tools we’ve been sharing with you here at 1WD to make the most out of this gift-giving season.  That means having to buy gifts for your mom, dad, brother/sister or your boyfriend/girlfriend. Truly, we hope you’d be successful. 

What is this about?

You’re basically a pro at web designing now. (Or you think you are.) By now you’ve mastered some techniques from different sites, even from us! You now feel confident about what you can do. Then, what?

A while back, our team at 1stwebdesigner sent out a survey to our e-mail subscribers.

We basically wanted to know what our followers had been struggling in their careers as web designers.

We got responses such as:

How do I improve my web development skills?

I need help learning jQuery, CSS3, Javascript.

I’m struggling with getting traffic on my blog.

I am a web designer. How do I get the girl of my dreams?

But after going through the huge number of responses, we were hardly surprised. Majority of the response we received had a familiar tone.

*queue drum-roll

The burning question:

HOW CAN I LAND A HIGH PAYING CLIENT?

It was evident that the skills and talent are there. But how can you land clients?  How do you identify those opportunities that can close a sale? How do you get to ask value of $5000 or more for a project?

Traversing the client acquisition world is a whole new challenge in itself. It involves people, their current challenges, what their problem is and how YOU can solve it.  A bit of psychology, salesmanship and hustle are needed to land those high paying clients.

WE FEEL YOU.

This is the struggle for every aspiring web designer and freelancer.  The challenge is real, and it’s relevant. Good thing is, we’ve been there. It’s not easy but it can be done.

We came up with this FREE video series that takes us through freakishly simple yet effective steps that can help regular awesome people like you land those clients!

The series features James Richman, CEO and Co-Founder of 1stwebdesigner, talking about his first-hand experience with landing high paying clients, tips on identifying opportunities where you can come in and make a pitch and more!  This video series was made absolutely so you can succeed. 

In the first video, James talks about creating perceived value. Why should you be the provider of the solution over the guy next door? Here’s a hint: Stand out in the client’s perspective.

Do you Perceive Yourself as High Value?

In the 2nd video, James talks about the winning competition. He gives solutions on what you can do to get ahead of competition and win over your potential client.

Winning over competition to get clients

In the 3rd video, James talks about getting more clients. He shares some simple tips that can create leads.

Get more high paying clients

What are you waiting for? Get started on the series, take down some notes and start identifying those opportunities.

Consider this our advanced Happy Holidays gift to all our 1WD followers!

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Who’s the Boss in Ecommerce World? Shopify vs WooCommerce

WordPress, as influential as it is in for digital entrepreneurs, provide great platforms to sell products and services. The relatively intuitive functions of WordPress make it a great tool to start an online business.

Now, there are plenty of services where you can use WordPress to build an ecommerce site. However, there are two big players that almost dominate said websites. They are Shopify and WooCommerce.

In this article, you can compare Shopify vs WooCommerce. You’d be looking at these platforms to compare and dissect each of their features. By the end of this article, you may be able to yield a decision on which platform to use.

shopify

Flexibility

Flexibility is, of course, a great issue in an ecommerce business. You also need to add some functionalities to your website to make it more empowered. Of course, you would want your ecommerce business to be enabled with capabilities like blogging.

Now, why is blogging important for an ecommerce website?

The answer is simple: Because content is king. This makes blogging a viable and competitive candidate as the future of marketing.

Here are a few reasons why blogging can become an avenue for marketing an online business:

  • Blogging and content sharing boosts exposure. (More exposure = more leads)
  • Blog posts that rank highly in search engines often give great amounts of organic exposure.
  • A blog gives authority to the brand.
  • Blogs build communities of the same interests and can be able to gather a group of customers for easy access to questions and concerns.
  • Blogging is indirect selling.

online-shopping

In terms of flexibility and blogging capabilities, WooCommerce comes on top against Shopify because the latter is built mainly for ecommerce.  It is never built for bloggers. Because of this, it doesn’t have features that a blog CMS can offer.

In addition to that, WooCommerce becomes a great avenue for blogging because it is used as an extension for WordPress, the best blogging CMS today. Because of this, it can be used with WordPress plugins that may increase and extend the functionality of the online shop.

With over 22.5% of websites today that use WordPress, users will always find it easy to use because of the number of tutorials for the development and troubleshooting of WordPress sites.

Also, the edge of WooCommerce being hosted with WP is that it mixes the power of WooCommerce shop management tools and features with WP intuitive dashboard.

Simply put, in terms of blogging for your website, WooCommerce comes on top.

Pricing

Of course, one of the major concerns right now is pricing, right? We will not go so much into highlighting how prices can affect the decision of a user but to put it in simpler terms: spending less to earn more is better than spending more and earning less.

That is why users would want their deals to be as low-cost as it should be.

Let us compare the pricing of these services:

Shopify

Now Shopify starts its services at $29 per month, where you will be receiving:

  • 1GB of storage, unlimited products
  • 24/7 support
  • 2% transaction fee.

This will be the equivalent of the hosting services provided to you by Shopify. This means that you do not have to use other hosting services.

Then, of course, you would want a theme set up. So, you look at an online shop and choose the theme you want. Let’s say, it’s free, so you cut your cost to $0.

Of course, you would want basic extensions to empower your site. Her are a few paid essential plugins:

All in all, using a free theme and some essential premium plugins, you will be paying $100.98 a month, plus the transaction fees you’ll acquire for the month.

Money-100s

WooCommerce

Now, since WooCommerce is not self-hosted, you will have to register your own domain and find a great hosting service.

As an average, you will most likely spend $10/month at max for a hosting solution that could offer you unlimited domains, bandwidth, and storage (Shopify only gives you 1GB for the price range indicated above).

For the domain, you will most likely spend another $10 for the first year of your registration. So, that totals to $20 for the first month.

Now, since WordPress and WooCommerce are free, you don’t have to spend anything on a CMS. You don’t have to spend anything on a theme either, so you’re saved in those three options. But you can always buy a premium one if you’d like to.

Like with Shopify, you will need basic plugins to empower your website. Now let’s compare the prices of the same plugins we used:

Adding everything up, you will most likely be spending $81.00 for the first month. Since the plugins you bought are not on a subscription basis, you will be able to use them without even minding of recurring fees. And, in the succeeding months, your projected costs will only encumber your hosting payments.

To compare in a long-term point of view, WooCommerce is less costly than Shopify. Plus, the lack of subscription-based plugins is what makes it work in the long run.

Help and Support

calling

One of the most important aspects of any Internet-based service is support. Every now and then, you will be bugged by problems and potential security loopholes. With that, you will be needing sound help and support.

This is where Shopify gains an edge. Because Shopify is mainly an all-in-one solution, you will never have headaches scrambling for help when you need it. Everything is all centralized within one system. Unlike in WooCommerce, you will have to identify which causes the problem before anything else. Afterwards, you will approach the developer of the plugin or hosting service that seems to be faulty, open tickets, talk to them before your site is fixed.

On the other hand, using WooCommerce might spell difficulties in the future as you wouldn’t be able to freely diagnose your site for errors without looking at the other facets it possesses. Also, because WooCommerce and WordPress are relatively free, support isn’t expected to be top billing.

Business Size

money-2

Of course, the size of your business also matters. This is important, especially if you are about to choose whether you’ll use Shopify or do things with WooCommerce. The ability to suit your online store to a size that fits your needs should always be put in mind. That is why, if I were to be asked, WooCommerce has an edge on this.

With the pricing range of Shopify, it is strikingly noticeable that most of its plans are set to a few sites alone. However, if you are to host your store in WordPress and WooCommerce, you will be able to cultivate your website without even worrying about your expanding size and value.

Noting the variety of bIt can extend from small-scale business entities to larger scales.

Which will I choose?

wondering

With all the arguments presented, it is not difficult to see WooCommerce fairly dominates Shopify as the best ecommerce platform there is.

The main edge of WooCommerce over Shopify is how flexible it is and how you are able to use it with other WordPress features.

It also helps your website to be shown higher in search engine ratings. You can also tweak and tinker the looks of your website.

The ace here is that WooCommerce provides a value that suits its cost. With little effort and costs, Woo just trumped any other Shopify webshop.

So, if you will be choosing an ecommerce platform, 1WD advises you to take Woo because it is a flexible, less costly and more expandable bundle than that of its competitor. Also, if you are looking for long-time benefits, I think Woo is becoming a lot more popular.

Conclusion

Which did you take? How does Shopify differ from other platforms? Does WooCommerce deserve this spot? Let us know at the comments section

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How to Find and Fix Broken Links in a Jiffy

If you are running a website, you will surely have put a lot of hard work to make it an important resource. However if you can’t fix the broken links, it can destroy all the hard work you did.

The problem of broken links can be lot worse with outbound links. You will not be getting notified with the change in your linked website. Therefore, you should have a daily check to see whether all of your links are still working.

Broken Links Can Be Very Harmful to Your Site in Two Ways:

  • Destroying user experience. When the users click on a link and find that it’s dead with a 404 error, they will get annoyed.
  • Bringing down the SEO effort. Broken links disturb the link equity flow on the site and makes negative impact on the rankings.

In order to prevent any of these, you need to check for the broken links on your entire site. If you are wondering how to prevent this, we have the solution for you!

Why Broken Links Are Bad?

Depositphotos_18202977_m

If you ask yourself why broken links should be checked and fixed, here are the answers:

  • Broken links make the impression that you don’t care about your own site. When the users get a 404 Page error, the only thing they think of is that you don’t care for the content on your website and the user experience.
  • Broken links can be very frustrating. Visitors may feel like disappointed when they are unable to find what they were looking for. Also, this will prevent you from getting new visitors on your site and blogs.
  • Fixing the broken links will give the impression that you are keeping your site fresh and alive. SEO will be more effective when you are regularly updating your site. This will signal the search engine sites that you are regularly maintaining the site.

Broken links can have a huge impact on your site’s SEO. If all the links on your site are working, it will make the site more accessible on the search engines. But if you don’t fix these links, your site will be rated negative on the search engine optimization.

How Do Links Become Broken?

There are many reasons to which a link may become broken:

  • The web page doesn’t exist there anymore.
  • The server that hosts the target page stops working.
  • There is blockage from content filters or firewalls.

How To Find The Broken Links?

Depositphotos_15556835_m

The good news is you don’t need to do anything to find broken links. Finding them is not something that you can do manually; however, you can fix them yourself!

Plenty of plugins are available that will check both internal and external links.

  • Internal links – The ones that point from your single web page to any other web page that is available on your site.
  • External links – Points to some other website and take your visitors away from your site for further reading.

Increase Your Blog Experience With Un-Broken Links

Fixing the broken links can be very helpful in increasing the experience of your blog. If you are using some plugin to check the links that are broken, you will stay ahead of everyone.

You may think to just remove the old content, but, if you can simply update it using plugins, then, you will make sure that your site is liked by everyone.

By updating you broken links, you are making your place in the SEO results. A good approach is to check on the links that are linked externally from your site. Keeping them updated will help you to increase your site’s experience and bring more traffic to your blog and websites.

Improve Your SEO By Fixing Broken Links!

Depositphotos_9704898_m

Search engines are becoming smarter now; they only promote the pages in their results that are liked by users. Broken links are counted as bad experience by the visitors which can have an effect on the SEO. If there is a page with lots of broken links, it is more likely to get a negative rating from the search engines such as the Google.

The 301 redirect

The most SEO-friendly way to redirect the broken links is the 301 redirect.

The 301 redirect lets the search engine know that following page has been moved to some other location. This will help you pass the SEO properties for old pages all the way to new pages.

In order to put the 301 redirect in place, you will need to have the access to the .HTACCESS file that is located on your website server. However, this will only work for the links that point to the pages on your website that have moved locations.

In today’s post, we are featuring some useful plugins that will help you to check for the broken links on your site. Also, you will get some SEO tips to get rid of the broken links on your site in a fast and easy way. Let’s start then!

Here are some useful plugin that we have compiled for you to check the broken links:

1. Xenu’s Link Sleuth

xenu1

Image from Online Marketing News

Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a free plugin for Windows that scans the entire site for find the broken links. You only have to provide a URL and it will do the rest for you. This plugin runs the complete scan to check for:

  • Broken links
  • Images
  • Frames
  • Backgrounds
  • Stylesheets
  • Scripts

Besides finding broken links, Xenu can also be helpful in finding duplicate content, missing alt text, page depth, site structure, etc.

2. Screaming Frog

screaming-frog1

Image from Screaming Frog

This plugin is available for PC, Mac, or Linux. It can be installed easily. It is similar to Xenu; you will need to give a URL and the plugin will scan the entire site for you. Screaming Frog is meant for site optimization, and goes in depth for page elements like heading tags and the likes. You will be reported on the following:

  • Client and server errors
  • External links
  • Duplicate Pages
  • Page depth level
  • Anchor text

The plugin can be downloaded for free but, the free version has a limit of 500 URLs. Also, the lite version doesn’t give you full access to configuration. You can purchase the full version for £99 per year, which removes all the restrictions.

3. W3C Link Checker

w3c

Image from Flickr

W3C is another useful plugin to check any of the broken links on your websites. Also, it provides recommendations based on the results that are detected.

You have to set a limit of how deep the search should be made or else, it will keep on going. Link checker will look for the issues related to:

  • Broken links
  • Anchor and referenced objects in a web page
  • CSS stylesheet
  • Page depth

You can download the plugin and run on your computer to checkout on all the broken links that are in your site.

When choosing the best plugin among these will depend on your needs.

  • How much complex is your website?
  • Why do you want to check the broken links?
  • How frequently will you run the scan?

Once you know the answer to these questions, you will easily select the best plugin that you can use for checking the broken links on your site.

Conclusion

Everyone can get frustrated when they are going deep for an article on a news story and find that the link to further material is broken.

This post is meant to teach you the importance of broken links and how to find them through different plugins. We also share how important the links are for improving ranking on the SEO charts. We hope that you found the post useful. Please share it with others as well. If you like to add something, comment in the below section.

 

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What You Should Tweak in Your WordPress Theme Options Page (But Forgot)

Every website or blog needs some modification in its theme. Only then can you make your blog to stand out from the crowd and bring traffic to it.

WordPress theme options page is a custom admin page that allow users to change theme settings without modifying the theme files. These theme option pages can be simple or have lots of customization split into either tabs or multiple pages.

Theme options are good for majority of the users; however, these options do have a tendency to confuse things on the development side. So if you are a WordPress site developer, here are some of the options that you should be including in your WordPress theme page option. Moreover, the article explains why you should include these features in the WP theme options page.

Avada is the best selling theme on ThemeForest, we are using it as example in this article. We have covered the most important options below. For further information, you can also check complete documentation here.

General Options

Responsive Option

General Options will let people control the look of their site. There are three main sections in this option: Responsive Options, Favicon Options, and Tracking Options

  • Responsive Option – needed to make your website design layout responsive or fixed. Responsive design will adjust your website on different devices, whereas fixed layout is for users who want to display the site in fixed width.
  • Favicon Option – needed to associate an icon with your website URL that represents your website’s favicon.
  • Tracking Option – adds a track code into the footer template of your theme that allows people to use services like Google Analytics, among others.

Header Options

Header Option

The Header Option lets users customize everything above the content area, including the menu. It has three main sections: Header Content Options, Header Background Options, and Header Social Icon Options.

  • Header Content Option – needed to change header design, slider position, transparent header and website’s logo, etc.
  • Header Background Option – required for inserting background image in header. Users can choose various options like, repeat and even modify the heading top and bottom padding.
  • Header Social Icon Option – needed for customizing the social icons that are displayed in header.

Footer Options

Footer Option

The Footer Options help in customizing the different areas of website footer. The footer tab has two sections: Footer Widget Options and Footer Copyright Option.

  • Footer Widget Area Option – needed if you want to set number of footer columns. This option will let you insert an image URL for footer widget area background.
  • Copyright Area Option – useful for displaying copyright text in footer. This option will also will also help you in displaying social icon on footer of page (if you want).

Background Options

Background Option

The Background Options will let you change background for box and wide mode layout.

  • Background Option for Boxed Mode – needed for changing the background colors and pattern. This option is also recommended to change the background image and how the image repeats.

Typography Options

Typography Option

The Typography Options let you to customize fonts. There are five sections in it: Custom Font for the Navigation Menu and Headings, Google Fonts, Standards, Font Sizes and Font Line Heights.

  • Custom Fonts – needed to use custom fonts instead of Google and Standard fonts.
  • Google Fonts – integrating Google Fonts lets the user choose fonts for body, menu, headings, and footer headings for Google Font directory.
  • Font Size – needed to change font sizes for different areas of the theme page including sidebar widget, footer widget and copyright font size etc.
  • Font Line Height – allows setting font line for body and heading of theme page.

Styling Options

Styling Option

The Styling Options are needed to customize the colors of your website. This option has five sections: Background Colors, Element Colors, Element Options, Font Colors, and Menu Colors.

  • Background Color Option – needed to modify colors for several page items including header, content, footer and copyright, etc.
  • Element Colors Option – lets user control the colors for button, sliding bar, footer widget, form, blog grid and social share box, etc.
  • Element Option – used to disable button text shadow, sliding bar text shadow and footer text shadow.
  • Font Color Option – needed for controlling the text color of buttons, header tagline, heading, body, link, sliding bar, footer heading, and footer font color, etc.
  • Menu Color Option – gives you the complete control over colors for menu background, font and header.

Blog Options

The Blog Option can be good if you need to publish blog posts related to the content. It can also be used for customizing different blog aspects such as layout, sidebar, excerpts and date formats, etc.

  • General Blog Option – allows you to choose the title, layout, sidebar position, excerpt length and pagination, etc.
  • Blog Single Post Page Option – allows you to have a featured page with no sidebar and other distracting content.

Portfolio Options

Portfolio options enable user to customize different aspects of portfolio page, such as the number of items per page, sidebar, excerpts and more.

Social Media

Social Media

Social media options can help if you want to display the social icons on your site. These will help grow your social presence; also, they will add to your network marketing efforts.

Contact Page Options

Contact Form

Most people use custom contact form plugins, but having a built-in option can be helpful for non-techie individuals. These options let you customize the contact page on your blog. This option has two sections: Google Map Options and Recaptcha Spam Options.

  • Google Map Option – added if you want to show a Google map, and having direction to your business address. This option also allows you to set the width and height of  the map.
  • ReCaptcha Spam Option – helpful for securing your blog or a website with public and private ReCaptcha.

Sidebar Options

Sidebar options are needed for customizing the width of the content area and sidebar. This option is also needed if you want to choose sidebar background colors to match your content.

Custom CSS Options

Custom CSS option will be needed if user wants to overwrite or add new CSS properties to the theme. The HTML themes cannot be modified; however, custom CSS provides the power to create a custom design.

Conclusion

Every popular WordPress Theme has a powerful options panel. It offers a great way for customizing the page that can be managed and understood easily. Many users don’t know what a CSS is but, they can easily use these options to change colors, headings, fonts, and more.

Any developer who is creating a website or a blog on WordPress should consider these options for the theme option page. Which of these options have you included in your theme option page? Please share your thoughts in the below comment section.

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What is WordPress Jetpack Advantage on Your Site (and Why You Should Care About it)

How would you like some useful premium features for your WordPress site for free? Features include email subscriptions for new posts, commenting with Twitter and Facebook log-ins, and automatically sharing new posts to your social media network. WordPress Jetpack will let you perform these cool features on your website, for free.

Jetpack is a complete toolbox full of mini-plugins. If you are in need of installing 30 separate plugins, you would have to find and install each one of them.

But Jetpack gives you all needed features in a single plugin. Today, you will learn what the Jetpack plugin is all about and how can you get it on your site. Also, this article will help you decide which modules you need for your WordPress site.

Why you should care about using the Jetpack plugin

Website Stats

Site Stats

Website stats measure the behavior of visitors and track the details of your website. Jetpack has extremely concise stats with no additional load on your server. It provides information such as Referrers, Top Posts and Pages, Search Engine terms, Subscriptions, and Clicks.

Comments

Comments

WordPress users often search for a plugin to improve the comments and make it easy for people to subscribe posts or blog. With Jetpack, your visitors can write comments and even have several ways to identify themselves. Your visitors can leave a comment as guests, or they can choose to use their accounts.

Sharing Made Simple

Sharing

JetPack allows you to easily incorporate social media sharing buttons. Just drag and drop from the given list of most relevant social networking sites available. You can also use different options to customize such as using a Facebook share button rather than using the Facebook Like button and so on.

Spelling and Grammar

Proof Reading

This can be a huge benefit to your site. Jetpack helps you avoid grammar errors and spelling mistakes that can be sometimes embarrassing. Once you have finished writing your post, you only have to hit the ‘ABC’ button for a full review of your post.

If you host your WordPress-powered site and want to take advantage of these awesome features that JetPack provides, here is how you can install and activate this plugin.

How to get the Jetpack Plugin?

Majority of hosting companies install Jetpack with the 1-click WordPress Install. If your WordPress site didn’t come with an already installed Jetpack, you can get the plugin from here. After downloading the plugin on your computer, go to Plugins > Add New.

Click the button ‘Add New’ and upload the file that you downloaded on your computer. Once you click the ‘Activate’ button, it will set up with WordPress yet will not be fully activated. This is because you need to connect Jetpack with WordPress.com to get authorized.

Activating

Activating Jetpack Plugin

For activating the Jetpack plugin, you will need to connect it to your WordPress.com account. If you are using the WordPress.org for your site, you will still need an account with WordPress.com. But don’t worry because it’s possible to get an account without using the blog service.

When you go to WordPress.com for creating your account, remember to specify that you only need a username and not a blog. Once you have created the account, just click on the Jetpack plugin on your WordPress dashboard. Your Jetpack plugin is now fully activated on your site.

Authorize Jetpack

Configuring the Modules

Once you activate the Jetpack plugin, most of the modules will be automatically turned on. However, you can have the option to only turn on the most useful ones. This will help your site to keep up with the speed and loading time. For configuring the modules, click the Jetpack on your dashboard.

Next, click the settings and uncheck the ones that you want to deactivate on your site. Once done, you can simply hit the ‘Apply’ button.

But, which module should you consider? And why should you consider it? Find out:

Which modules and why do you need them?

There are more than 30 features or modules to choose from. By clicking on title of each one, you will get a brief description of what that feature does. These are the recommended ones:

Carousel

Carousel

This module will turn your WordPress image gallery into an easy scroll in a carousel mode when users will click on your photos. If you don’t have a carousel turned on, all images that user click on will open in a new page, which can be annoying.

Contact Form

Contact Form

This module enables a simple and easy to use contact form that you can also edit. Click on the button ‘Add Contact Form’ and you can edit the fields, and then insert the form in your post or page.

Extra Sidebar Widget

This module will allow you to add widgets to your sidebar without changing any code. If you want to add an image to your sidebar, you only need to drag and drop. It allows you to display galleries, top posts, Twitter timelines and more.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions

This option provides a simple way to enable email notifications of new posts and comments to the readers of your site. Your readers can manage the frequency for receiving new posts through email, and also follow any discussion.

Sidebar Visibility

This is one of my favorite features! If you have a crowded sidebar, this module will write rules for each widget. This way, you can have specific posts appear on specific pages and will not appear on others.

Shortcodes

ShortCodes

This module allows you to write some simple codes for embedding other media on your site or blog. If you want to embed YouTube, rather than writing the code, you can simply use the following code:

[youtube=video-URL]

Mobile Theme

With this module, you can enhance user experience by customizing your mobile website and making your site load fast.

Photon

This module is great for speeding up your blog. All your images are uploaded to content delivery network (CDN) hosted by WordPress. This means that the browser can download more images at a single time, which results in a faster page load.

Publicize

Publicize

This feature makes it easy to share your site’s posts on different social media networks automatically when you publish a new post. If you don’t want to include any of the social networking sites for your post, you can uncheck from the Publicize edit link.

Infinite Scroll

Instead of having to click a link to get on next set of posts, Infinite Scroll pulls the next posts automatically when the reader reaches the bottom of page.

How much does it cost?

The cost to using all these features is absolutely free! However, according to the website, some of the individual Jetpack features may require payment in the coming future. But, you will be notified in advance about anything.

The Good

  • JetPack gives you quick and easy access to excess of features at one place.
  • Transitioning from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress is very smooth and improves your new site’s look and feel.
  • It has excellent anti-spam protection.
  • Perfect for personal bloggers whose needs are lightweight and not specialized.

The Bad

  • Some of the features require a manual activation while some of the widgets are auto activated, which can be little annoying.
  • Jetpack is a single plugin which has multiple plugins within, therefore, the more plugins you use, the slower your site becomes.

Why Do I recommend the Jetpack plugin?

There are plenty of WordPress plugins available on the Internet that it can sometimes become hard to choose. Jetpack has a collection of exciting features, that are all part of the same plugin, so you can be assured that they will work together.

Jetpack was developed by the Automatic, the same company behind WordPress.com, and they are also big contributors to the WordPress software. The coding is done with high quality and according to the needs of WordPress users.

Above all, the support provided is exceptional from the community support forum and through the official support channel. If you ask me to use Jetpack or not, my vote is YES!

Jetpack is useful for both experts and beginners because of its simplicity-based principle. It has a significant value when you consider how much it would cost to install all the features alone. With all these features, I would recommend that you try it on your site.

If you have tried it out, why not share your experience with us? Leave a comment below!

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