- WordPress + Real Estate Listing Website Plugin
- WordPress + Real Estate Listing Website Theme + Assorted Plugins for Functionalities
Approach A: Using a Real Estate Listing Website PluginIn this method, the approach is pretty straightforward. You download and install the real estate listing website plugin like any other plugin for WordPress and then start adding customizations as necessary. As the core of your website depends on the plugin you choose, some in-depth research is required before you finalize any. There are over 40 plugins available in the WordPress directory; here we take a look at five of the most dynamic real estate listing plugins.
WPL Real EstateWPL Real Estate, which stands for WordPress Property Listing Real Estate is a comprehensive, end-to-end solution developed by Realtyna for managing listings on your website. The plugin features two different versions, the Basic and the Pro. A highly scalable plugin, it supports over 100,000+ listings on a regular server, which can be extended to more.Additionally, the property can be listed according to various customizable categories and the plugin has an easy-to-use-interface that allows for the quick addition of listings and properties. One of the biggest pros of the WPL Real Estate plugin is its strong customer support. The extensive documentation and quick resolution of customer queries make it one of the best plugins to build a full-fledged real estate listing website.
WP-Property – WordPress Powered Real Estate and Property ManagementThe WP-Property plugin features an independent theme called ‘Avalon’ available along with the plugin. The other functionalities of the plugin include multiple attribute fields, customizable sidebar widgets, pagination, Google Maps integration, and variable display templates. One of the strengths of the plugin is that it has a comprehensive Search system which includes very specific search options such as the number of bedrooms, location, price, features, and more.WP-Property strikes a snag in its customer support, which is merely passable. Also, there are some conflicts with the plugin registration and customer support validity, so make sure you read the ownership policy well before you install it. The features are satisfactory and the flexible search and smooth interface make it a good plugin for creating a real estate listing website.
IMPress ListingsCreated by Agent Evolution, IMPress Listings was formerly known as WP Listings. The plugin allows for complete control over the addition, layout, and display of featured listings which can be added manually or imported from the computer. It also integrates several design templates for customizable displays. The plugin is responsive and compatible with most of the themes on WordPress.One strength of the IMPress Listings plugin is that it lets you build your network and showcase agent listings on each of their individual pages. The integration of commission plugins or affiliate network-building plugins can help you earn a hefty commission simply by showcasing the listings of other realtors on your website. The plugin has several support videos that provide a step-by-step guide to installing and working with the plugin.
Easy Property ListingsEasy Property listings is one of the lightest real estate listings plugins and provide all necessary functionalities without bloating your website. The plugin works in a freemium fashion, with premium add-ons available within the plugin to extend features. Some of the distinct elements of the plugin include an automatic open house list generator, dynamic listings display in sidebars and widgets, comprehensive search options that show listings based on all relevant keywords, and Google Maps integration.The Easy Property Listings plugin receives bonus points for its detailed documentation and customer support, which provide information about pretty much everything you can need in the real estate listings plugin.
RealiaRealia by Pragmatic Mates has an integrated front-end submission system that lets your users upload listings at the front end, while you charge a percentage commission for the same. It has multiple customization options as well. On the downside, the documentation is rather sketchy and the support is rather vague.Note that the Realia plugin is not to be confused with the Realia theme for building a real estate listings website on WordPress.This covers our list of the five most useful plugins to build a real estate listings website. We now move on to the next approach, where the theme takes central stage on the website.
Approach B: Using A Real Estate Listing Website Theme + Assorted PluginsIn this approach, the focus is the theme you select for the website. Any other functionality required can be added with the help of plugins dedicated to providing those specific features. To make things clearer, let us list the various elements we need while designing and running the real estate listings website.The elements of the real estate listings website:
#1 Responsive real estate listings themeThe theme of the real estate listings website decides the kind of business your firm does. It creates the first impression of your website which is why it is important that the impression is a good one. The average user’s mindset is such that if the website does not catch his interest in the first five seconds and hold it for the next 20, the user will simply move on to another, better option. This makes having a great, responsive, and highly customizable theme an imperative factor in website design. There are over 100 different themes available for real estate listings, however, here is a short overview of some of the most popular ones from these.
AgentPress ProAvailable in a premium version, the AgentPress Pro theme is built on the Genesis framework and supports multiple listings, advanced search, responsive design, and SEO compatibility.
Realtor – Real Estate WordPress ThemeRealtor is a classic, clean theme designed for real estate websites, with an excellent user-interface, variable listing displays, Google Maps integration and more.
Home QuestHome Quest by ThemeFuse features customizable backgrounds, detailed listings, a sliding picture gallery, icons for quick reference, and a robust admin interface.
OikiaThe Oikia theme has a drag-and-drop page builder that allows for easy customization of site display. Integrated search options help sift through properties for specific details with ease.
Estate EngineEstate Engine is one of the themes that allows you to add guest listings apart from your own. It also integrates with multiple payment gateways for smooth transactions.
LandmarkLandmark boasts of a live search bar which populates listing results even as users search as per their requirements. It also has front-end property listings submission enabled.
DreamVillaThe DreamVilla theme is available for a single as well as multiple property listings. The responsive theme has a Visual Page Builder integrated, which lets you create and customize pages easily.
ListifyListify by Astoundify is a directory theme for WordPress. As a result, it can be used to successfully create a real estate listings website. Extremely user-friendly, highly customizable, drag-and-drop enabled, and with an inbuilt geolocator for populating relevant search results, the theme is one of the best directory themes for WordPress.
#2 Dynamic Photo GalleryOrdinarily, the photo gallery is a part of the theme you install on your WordPress site. However, in the case of extended functionalities of image compression, optimization, and loading, some external plugins can be used to create an optimized photo gallery for the listings website. These include:
- Envira Gallery – Gallery Plugin
- Photo Gallery by WD – Gallery Plugin by Web Dorado
- Upfront – Gallery Plugin by WPMUDEV
- EWWW Image Optimizer – Image optimization plugin
- WP Smush – Image size reduction and optimization plugin
- BJ Lazy Load – Lazy loading of images for page optimization
#3 Contact formsContact forms are the means by which your users can ask any queries they might have regarding the listings and properties available. Some of the most versatile contact from plugins include:
- Pirate Forms
- Gravity Forms
- Ninja Forms
- WP Forms
- Formidable Pro
#4 Extensive search optionsEvery real estate listings website needs extensive search options to successfully reach the intended audience, in the clearest and concise manner possible. Searches are expected to be quick and relevant, populating results that can turn visitors into clients. To this end, here are a few examples of dynamic search plugins that have been known to increase leads significantly.
- WP Google Search
- Swiftype Search
- Category-Wise Search
- Highlight Search Terms
The Final WordThis is a brief description of the two methods of building a real estate listings website. Each of these individual methods has their advantages and drawbacks, and hence need to be chosen accordingly. When a real estate website plugin is used, a lot of the core functionalities are obtained inbuilt, without the additional hassle of checking, verifying, and updating every single plugin on the website. However, the site gets limited to the features offered by the plugin, where customization can be difficult for non-technical developers.On the other side of the coin, using a theme and individual plugins does offer greater flexibility, but increases the bloat on the website core as well. In addition, the plugins have to be mutually compatible, else the site is liable to frequent crashes and breakdowns, which can severely damage the reputation of your firm.Given the positives and negatives of each, the approach you choose depends on the priorities of your website, and your own inclination towards its maintenance. If a ready-to-use website is what you require and you are happy with control over basic customization, the plugin option is a good one. If on the other hand, you intend to experiment with the website and add several custom functionalities, the second approach is your cup of tea!Do you have any other suggestions for plugins or themes that can be used while creating a real estate listings website? Let us know in the comments section below!
What is a ‘CRM’..CRM is customer (or client) relationship management. Using a CRM system lets you manage your list of customers and use insights on them to improve sales and business insightsWordPress is great to use as a CRM since you can:
- Add as many WordPress ‘CRM’ users as you like (at no extra cost)
- Manage as many leads and customers as you like (no limits here)
- Self host your own data and be in control of it
Introducing Zero BS CRMZero BS CRM is, in our opinion, the easiest and best CRM for WordPress. One thing we particularly love about the CRM is the ability to Sync it with WooCommerce. There’s so much that this CRM can do (included in the free version) that means you should definitely give it a go.Out of the box, Zero BS CRM lets you:
- Generate new leads using the lead generation forms
- Import leads and customers from CSV
- Manage a central list of leads and customers
- Tag your customers (for easy location)
- Search your customers (based on tag or their name)
- Make notes of any activity against a customer (new call, tweet, email)
- Manage and send quotes to customers
- Manage and send invoices to customers
- Give customers and clients access to their own ‘portal’ to see their invoices
- Log transactions against customers (and see customer total value)
- Add ‘CRM’ users to your team to help you manage customers
Zero BS CRM is ExtendableThe CRM is great out of the box, but with the extensions it gets even better. Part way down the version 2.0 launch page there’s a ‘what type of business are you’.This lets you see recommended extensions for your business type and is a super simple way to know which extensions to pick. Taking an eCommerce view the recommended extensions are:
- WooCommerce Sync – brings in your order history adding customers and assigning transactions to them. Keeps your CRM up to date with new orders coming in.
- Sales Dashboard – see revenue reports, customer growth and average revenue per customer, queryable over any period
- Mail Campaigns – send targeted emails to customers who have purchased particular products or have spent certain amounts with you
Bundles, Bundles, BundlesThe recommended extensions are great and give you an idea of which ones you may want to purchase individually. However there are three great bundles available and with the launch week offer these are discounted by 50%.What caught our attention was the Entrepreneur’s Bundle. This bundle gives access to everything. All extensions and all future extensions. All for only $199 a year.
Simple to useZero BS CRM is easy to use. When clicking install and activate you are presented with a super easy install wizard. This guides you through the process, asks you what type of business you are, and pre-configures the CRM for you.Following the initial setup, the CRM is then presented as a number of extensions (free) which helps you to customise and turn on / off any of the core features.This makes it super easy for you to control what’s available to you (and hides anything you don’t want to be using).
Why Switch from something like SalesForceSalesforce is great, it’s a large company and they do a lot of good things. However in our opinion the features they offer can often be too much for users.The cost of the software (since it’s a pay monthly, per user cost) can soon mount up as your business grows.If you’ve got a sales team of 10, then you’re looking at prices in the hundreds, maybe even thousands a month. Some of this for features you never use.When looking at ZBS CRM in comparison you can have access to all the extensions and all the future extensions for just $397 a year.This is an optional renewal too. If you find you don’t want to keep paying, you can keep using the software plus it’s extensions. Unlike salesforce where the software will get cut off for you.
Special Launch OfferZero BS CRM is almost a year old, so it’s been on the market a while now. In the year since it’s been launched it’s gone through a lot of amazing updates and has grown into a really solid CRM solution.Version 2.0 (an even bigger update, bringing with it an API) really catapults this CRM into the next layer of the atmosphere. With this addition the CRM can be connected to thousands of apps and you can do things like:
- On addition of a new lead or customer, add them to a MailChimp list
- Create customers programmatically
- Connect thousands of apps using Zapier
- It is one of the most flexible content management systems, used to build hundreds of different types of websites. In fact, over 30% of the world’s websites use WordPress as the CMS platform, due to the clear user interface and myriad functionalities it offers.
- While building a spa and salon website, we shall have to incorporate various features like reservations and bookings, social media integration, picture galleries and more. WordPress has an array of numerous plugins for extending the functionalities of the core plugin which can be fused easily with the website.
Core Features of a Spa and Salon Website
- A Sleek Display
- Customizable Layouts
- A Picture Gallery/ Highlights Showcase
- E-Commerce Support
- Appointments and Bookings Management
- A Comprehensive Blog
- Social Media Integration
- Payment Gateways
- Site Analytics Tools
- Contact Forms
Step 1: Choosing the ThemeThe theme of the website is its skin; the foundation that creates the first impression when users visit your site. Choosing the appropriate theme is not as easy as simply picking a card out of a deck, it needs considerable thought and cogent reasoning.To select the right theme, you have to first decide the priorities of your website’s display. Is it image-centric? Or do you want to highlight your services more? Is the location of your salon/spa your selling point? Or are there any current offers that will be appealing to your customers? Once you have your priorities in order, you can move on to choosing the theme that best suits your requirements.For better or worse, WordPress has thousands of themes for almost every application. To select one from these dozens, first ensure that it is well-documented and has consistent updates and support till the current WordPress version. Broken and spam themes are the bane of any website’s existence; a stringent screening process is a must.Even after screening these, you will have about 100 themes left to choose from. It is practically not feasible to research all of these or try them out. So, we have here a list of the top 3 themes based on features, supported extensions, and popularity to help you along.
LemonA completely responsive theme, with integrated WooCommerce support, Lemon is a highly customizable premium spa and salon theme. The Revolution Slider plugin is included in the theme cost, as is the Visual Page Builder plugin. The smooth interface and multiple colour customization options make it one of the best choices for a spa and salon website.
XThe X theme has four integrated layouts (called Stacks here) that can be used as the skins for multiple websites. In addition, there are over 25 extensions available with the theme that integrate functionalities like email marketing, Google Analytics, gallery plugins, grid displays and more into the website. The incredible amount of features the theme boasts makes it worth every penny you spend.
AquaThe Aqua theme integrates HTML5 and CSS3 animations that make the website visually engaging, creating a great impression on the front-end user. The minimalistic approach enhances this further making it a great choice for all spa, salon, and wellness-related websites.Note that these are just brief overviews of the theme’s features. For further details, you can visit their source websites. The themes listed above are all compatible with WooCommerce, which is an essential requirement for us, as we build the spa and salon website.Another aspect you need to consider while choosing the theme is whether or not it is responsive. There has been an unprecedented growth in mobile bookings since the advent of smartphones and hence it is imperative that your site be responsive, i.e. compatible across all screen sizes such as desktops, mobile phones, tablets, etc. The best way to do that is to select a responsive theme from the very beginning, instead of spending a ton of money on software customization later. The themes listed above are all responsive.If you need to check out more themes and comparisons, you can always go through some of the comprehensive lists of spa and salon themes.
Step 2: Integrating eCommerceWordPress has its very own eCommerce platform, WooCommerce. Available as a plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce is a robust, customizable solution for selling goods online. This is evident from the fact that it powers nearly 40% of the world’s e-commerce websites.WooCommerce essentially helps you build an online shop for selling your goods, both physical and digital. In addition to its set of core functionalities, it has thousands of extensions and supported plugins that can extend its functionality. Speaking with respect to the spa and salon website we are building, WooCommerce is necessary for the appointment and booking plugins we shall be incorporating next and the payment gateways required for the website. Hence, the need for the WooCommerce plugin.Pro Tip: Apart from serving as the base platform for the bookings system, you can also consider setting up an online store for selling your spa and salon products (if any), with WooCommerce. In addition, the plugin has inbuilt discounts and coupons options that can be set up to sell special offers online.
Step 3: Adding AppointmentsSimilar to a real spa or salon, the entire spa and salon website runs on appointments. The process remains the same; the user books an appointment according to his preference, confirms the date and time, pays for the same, collects a ticket, and then turns up at the scheduled hour for his haircut/massage. The only difference here is, the entire process goes online.Users can book and appointment from their homes, collect their e-tickets after payment, and then directly show up on the scheduled service date. They can even use discount codes and redeem points on purchases on the website itself, without any hassles whatsoever! And all this within minutes.WordPress has several appointment and bookings plugins created by third-party developers. Here we shall see the three best plugins that convert your regular website into a full-fledged appointments and reservations management system.
Appointments by WPMU DEVA powerful bookings and reservations management plugin, Appointments is perfect for spas and salons. The plugin integrates features such as intuitive front-end date and time picking systems for clients to choose their appointments, as far as a year in advance!The integrated Google Calendar makes it even easier to keep track of service listings. At the back end, your employees and guest service providers can also choose their availability and create black-out dates and times.Integration with BuddyPress and Gravatar lets you create User and Employee profiles that are displayed on the website, so your user knows exactly who will be providing the service. The plugin also integrates with the PayPal payment gateway which facilitates prompt processing and transactions. The email autoresponder setup lets you inform clients about the details of the appointment they have booked and send reminders as the scheduled date draws near.The Appointments plugin is available for free download in the WordPress plugins directory. The Premium Appointments+ plugin has to be purchased as a part of the WPMUDEV membership, which includes several other plugins and extensions.
Appointment Booking Calendar – BirchPress SchedulerThe BirchPress Scheduler is full-fledged appointments and bookings system, optimized to adapt to responsive themes. A highly localization-ready plugin, BirchPress incorporates region-specific payments gateways and multiple currencies, facilitating quicker transactions. The booking form can be added to any page on the website, which lets you add several calls to action and thereby increase conversion rates.The Admin panel consists of a comprehensive Dashboard for managing user and staff appointments, and keeping track of the schedule. BirchPress Scheduler integrates with all Calendars, including iCal, Google, Android, Outlook, and iPhone, which makes blocking dates extremely easy. The entire booking list can be imported or exported to and from your computer, saving you from hours of entries in Excel sheets!BirchPress scheduler is a Freemium plugin, with the free version available in the WordPress directory and the Premium from the source website.
WooCommerce BookingsWooCommerce Bookings is WooCommerce’s very own bookings and appointments management plugin (surprise surprise!). The plugin does have some distinct advantages though, as it is built by the developers of WooCommerce itself. For one, it lets you create buffer periods between two appointments, that can last from minutes to days. This gives you employees some breathing room and your cleaning crews time reset the salon/spa for the next client.The plugin also adds cool features like special rates for weekends/holidays, pre-defined working times on specific dates, and variable extra add-ons for each booking. These various functionalities let you create and sell service packages online, where you can offer varying prices for combo deals.Another feature in WooCommerce Bookings is that though the front-end user books an appointment, it does not get confirmed until the Administrator approves it. This lets you be in control of the number of spa/salon appointments you book per day, based on the availability of your staff. The WooCommerce Bookings plugin is a premium plugin, available for purchase at the WooCommerce Bookings website. You can choose from their different pricing plans to see what suits you best.
Step 4: Marketing with Social MediaAs the influence of social media increases by leaps and bounds every day, entrepreneurs across the world are taking advantage of the global exposure of these websites to use them as marketing platforms. Integrating social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, presents a broader range of target customers. The distinct advantage of the spa and salon wellness industry is that business is perennial.Social media integration is generally offered by most of the themes available for building a spa and salon website. If not, the bookings plugin you select should do the trick.
Step 5: Writing the BlogAlthough this is not a strictly mandatory requirement, statistics show that having a blog for your website significantly boosts the conversion rate. The whys to this statement are easily answered. Having a website-related blog, where you add articles and user experiences assures people of your expertise in the field.For a salon website for instance, adding articles such as tips for maintaining hair, recommended shampoos and conditioners for the different types of hair, and so on, will ensure that you know your business well.Even more importantly, this creates a bond between the seller and the customer, as your clients realize that this is more than just a regular salon. The advantage of having your website on WordPress is that WordPress is second to none when it comes to creating blogs and adding articles.The back-end interface is extremely user-friendly and you have tons of SEO and visual editing options to prune down and optimize your content. As you will have astutely realized, these SEO optimized blogs will drive more traffic to your website, as people come across them in organic search, thereby ultimately increasing the conversion rate.
Step 6: Connecting with your CustomersA good business knows its customers, a great business interacts with them!To take your business to the next level, communicating with your customers is a must. To those who have booked an appointment with you, sending regular emails with respect to the details of the appointments and reminders as the appointment draws closer is imperative.Similarly, sending email newsletters and updates to your past customers, informing them about any new services you offer, the discounts they are entitled to as recurring clients, their feedback and experience as a client etc. can be some of the many ways you can keep reminding them of your presence.WordPress has several email newsletter plugins and email marketing plugins that you can integrate with your website. You can check out a comparative list of email marketing plugins for WordPress to help you decide further.Another way of connecting with your customers is by adding a contact form to your website. A contact form helps your customers get in touch with you easily and quickly, addressing any queries they have with respect to the appointment or your enterprise. To this end, here are some contact form plugins you can use to create beautiful forms:
- Gravity Forms
- Ninja Forms
- Contact Form 7
- Pirate Forms
- Jetpack by WordPress.com
Step 7: Analysing the WebsiteThis is the final, yet the most important step while building your spa and salon website. It so often happens that we get completely caught up in the flow of website creation and maintenance, but forget to analyse it to see how it is actually doing. Spotting errors is difficult when you are the developer, so it is necessary to get feedback from third-party observers, who have had absolutely nothing to do with the process.WordPress has integrations with analytics tools like Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, etc. which analyse the site bit by bit and tell you exactly what is working for you and what isn’t. User feedback, A/B testing, link tracking, traffic maps, and more can help you get a clear picture of site performance based on which you can extrapolate the areas you need to improve and draw up an action plan accordingly.
A ThrowbackThis concludes the 7-step process of creating a spa and salon website using WordPress. We have discussed here the generalized structure of the website, you can however add a lot more functionalities to while creating your own unique website.For instance, how about adding a membership plugin so that users can subscribe/register to avail better offers? Or perhaps creating an Event, say a day of fitness training, using an event management plugin? Sounds fun, doesn’t it?!WordPress lets you experiment with a multitude of options with the ultimate aim of creating a site that is uniquely yours!What are your thoughts? Any other features you would recommend for the spa and salon website? Let us know!
The Features of Fiverr
Clean Website DesignA clear, well-defined structure makes it extremely easy for buyers to find the gigs required and contact the respective seller.
Easy NavigationFiverr incorporates breadcrumb trails on the website, which lets people move freely within the website, without getting lost or confused.
Novelty ‘Gigs’ for a mere $5A micro-job website like Fiverr has numerous novelty Gigs, from singing birthday songs in Welsh, to conventional ones such as website transfer from one hosting provider to another, all starting from $5 and increasing as per the customization required.
Multiple Gigs to Choose fromFiverr literally has thousands of sellers offering similar services at approximately the same cost. This lets buyers pick and choose gigs as per specific requirements.
An Active Support ForumThe Fiverr community is extremely supportive and open to diverse topics of discussion, including sharing of helpful tips, personal experiences, sales strategies, and Fiverr news updates.
Secure Payment GatewaysGiven the manifold transactions taking place via Fiverr (the company says they sell a Gig every 5 seconds!), fast and secure payment gateways are mandatory. The site charges 20% commission over each successful gig, and the payment is processed to the seller’s account once the gig is delivered completely to the buyer.
Social Media IntegrationSocial media platforms are a great way of promoting small-scale businesses. Fiverr integrates with all the major social media platforms, Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram, to let users instantaneously post their feedback and reviews to these websites.
Localization ReadyFiverr has considerable global exposure and supports several complete translatable versions of the website, thereby catering to a vast audience. Localization lets sellers capitalize on the requirements of their local markets and provide the requisite services to a niche sector.
Review and Rating SystemThere is an extensive review and rating system on Fiverr. Sellers can add a limited number of Gigs, based on their Level status (1, 2, and Top Rated). Buyers can post reviews about Seller performance, quality of the product, and the overall experience, once the Gig is complete. These ratings are taken into account by the website Editors while assigning higher Level statuses to the Sellers.It is evident from these features that a micro-job website like Fiverr needs several support systems, apart from the core, ecommerce marketplace functionality, to keep running. Let us now look at how we can build a similar website using WordPress as the CMS platform.
Creating a Micro-Job Website like Fiverr using WordPressTo create a micro-job website using WordPress, two methods can be primarily used; the first is adding a Fiverr-clone theme to the WordPress install for the marketplace interface and adding all other peripherals such as subscriptions, social integrations, commissions, contact forms, and more separately. The second is to install a multi-vendor marketplace plugin on top of an e-commerce solution like WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads and managing Vendor and Buyer transactions through the plugin.Let us discuss each of these in detail.Both these methods are discussed assuming that you already have a hosting plan and an active WordPress install setup. If not, you can read a detailed review of how to choose a hosting plan that best suits your requirements.Moving on.
Option #1 The Fiverr-Clone Theme ApproachThere are multiple Fiverr-clone scripts available for WordPress that replicate the design, layout, and functionalities of Fiverr to a more or less similar extent. Beware though, not all the themes available are trustworthy; some of these scam-scripts charge inordinately high prices while providing substandard service or broken code.To help you shortlist the theme you require more easily, here is a list of the four most reliable and well-equipped themes for creating a micro-job website on WordPress.
Pricerr by SiteMileOne of the best themes that mimics Fiverr almost exactly, Pricerr is a strong option for a micro-job marketplace theme. The theme has literally the same design, look, and feel of the original Fiverr website. In terms of functionalities, Pricerr supports Gig listings, Facebook/Twitter/Google integration, email notifications, multiple payment gateways with several currency options, and a private messaging system.Blogs can be posted via the native WordPress interface. However, if you wish to integrate discounts or subscriptions for your users, you shall need to integrate the required plugins separately. Pricerr is a premium theme, starting at $69 for a yearly license.
Taskerr by AppThemesThe Taskerr micro-jobs theme is a relatively newer one on the block. Nevertheless, it covers the majority of Fiverr features, and has a robust, responsive framework. The theme has five customizable colour schemes, supports multiple pricing plans for job listings, and an Add to Favourite option.However, it currently only allows the administrator to charge a fixed cut from sellers for listing their services on the website. Percentage commissions for each gig cannot yet be charged. Sellers have substantial control over editing and posting their gigs, and a review system allows buyers to add their feedback and experience about the gig.Taskerr is priced at $69 for a lifetime license and 12-monthly support.
MicrojobEngine by Engine ThemesOne of the advantages of the MicrojobEngine theme is that it has the same functionalities as Fiverr, but a slightly different user interface. In a world of Fiverr replicas, this can sometimes work to its advantage, as people want customizable designs that set their website apart. MicrojobEngine allows customizable order uploads where Sellers can charge extra money for further customization in the Gig (or MJob, as it is called here). There are integrated PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout gateways, an optional setup for enabling Buyers to log in through their social media accounts, and multiple templates for user notification emails.The backend interface is pretty sleek and incorporated within the native WordPress interface, so navigation is easy if you are familiar with the regular WordPress setup. MicrojobEngine supports over 30 languages and lets administrators add their own at the backend.There are two versions of the theme currently available, the Basic package for $89 and the Plus for $139.
WordPress Micro Jobs Theme by PremiumPressThe WordPress Micro Jobs Theme is a standard solution, which includes all the basic features you would expect for a micro-job website. There are multiple layouts available, designed as child themes of the original. Both the front-end and back-end user interfaces are straightforward, which makes navigation considerably easy. The theme also supports add-ons for further extension of functionalities. There are integrated Seller Profile creation options and a notification panel to keep track of Order status. One of the advantages of the theme is that it has an in-built newsletter widget that can be used to send mass email to subscribers.Priced at $79 for a lifetime license, the Micro Jobs theme is a decent option if you intend on creating a simple, regular micro-job marketplace website.All the themes above offer extensive options for creating a Fiverr-like website. However, to add features like regular backups, newsletters, subscriptions setup, discounts, SEO optimization tools, etc. integration of external plugins becomes necessary. Nevertheless, merely using these themes can provide you with a working setup to launch your micro-job website within a short period of time.
Option #2 The Service Marketplace Plugin ApproachAs the name implies, here we intend to create a multi-vendor marketplace that is primarily service-based, instead of selling physical goods. The marketplace plugin provides the administrator with the tools necessary to add multiple Sellers and effectively sell their services. However, the bone of contention here is the digital product formats supported by the plugin.There is a wide range of services to be catered to on a micro-job website; audio, video, documents, PDFs, zip files, software files, you get the idea. Which is why, selecting an e-commerce platform and a marketplace plugin that is compatible with all these product formats is important.Here we will see three e-commerce platform-marketplace plugin combinations that can be used to create a micro-job marketplace website.
WooCommerce + Dokan Multivendor Marketplace PluginWooCommerce is WordPress’ darling e-commerce platform. However, WooCommerce can be used to set up only a single seller store. The Dokan Multivendor Marketplace plugin extends this functionality to multi-sellers who can each create and sell their services independently, on your website. The significant advantage of this marketplace plugin is that each Seller is now effectively a mini-store owner and can be charged for each service listing he/she uploads.Dokan incorporates comprehensive sales analytics for each seller and all the orders covered, a flexible commissions setup for variable commission rates per seller, a complete review and feedback system, and a discounts and coupons management system.The Administrator can create variable subscription plans that limit the number of services offered by a Seller at any given point of time. The Dokan Multivendor Marketplace plugin has three pricing plans starting from $199 for a yearly, single site license. The Lite version is available for free download and the premium plugin has a 14-day trial period.
WooCommerce + WC Marketplace PluginThe WC Marketplace plugin is another multi-vendor marketplace solution built on WooCommerce. The plugin lets vendors create multiple digital and physical services that are sold on the multi-vendor store.Administrators can control the activities of all the Sellers from a centralized dashboard that can be used to send notifications to all vendors in one go. The variable vendor commissions setup can be transferred via payment gateways as well as direct bank transfers. User roles can be assigned to all Vendors, limiting their back-end access.The plugin has several add-ons that let Vendors manage their individual stores from the front-end, generate PDF invoices and autoresponders every time a service is purchased, and get analytics reports at the front-end.The plugin is available for free download, with premium add-ons.
EDD Marketplace Extension + Marketify ThemeWhen it comes to selling only digital products on WordPress, the Easy Digital Downloads platform is unbeatable. This makes it near-perfect for the service-based micro-job solution we are looking for. EDD’s Digital Marketplace bundle transforms the regular EDD store into a full-fledged digital marketplace.The functionalities included in this extension are social integration, wish list creation, commissions, front-end submissions, recommendations, and more. This settles the digital goods part; to create the complete marketplace, you can incorporate the Marketify theme and start adding Vendors right away.When it comes to pricing, this combination is towards the higher end of the spectrum. The core EDD plugin is free, but the Digital Marketplace bundle is priced at $499. The Marketify theme further costs $69.
The Last WordWordPress is one of the most flexible platforms for building a micro-job website. Each of the approaches seen above has its own advantages and drawbacks when it comes to website development. The theme-based approach is useful if you want to set up shop and start selling right away. The plugin-based approach is from a long-term perspective, where you gradually build your service store. The former requires peripherals to extend its functionalities, the latter can be developed intrinsically.Either way, both the methods can successfully help create a beautiful, functioning micro-job marketplace website. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below!
WordPress is a great website builder that’s incredibly simple to use, and is a preferred CMS for millions of people.
Its interface and functionality is designed especially for people without any prior experience in web development.
From selecting a theme -> through uploading content -> to marketing, all the features are quite easy to use.
Debugging a website is also not an exception.
WordPress has made debugging or troubleshooting quite easy for all its users just like using any other features. Only with some specific lines of code added or removed, debugging can be enabled in the native manner.
If you write custom codes, modify your WordPress themes or functionality, you may probably be well versed with its basic troubleshooting techniques and are easily dealing with common theme/plugin errors.
But there are still those non-technical webmasters who take help from other developers to troubleshoot errors. And some of these webmasters may even give up on WordPress due to having difficulties with basic functionalities.
Today, we will take a look at some of the most common errors that many webmasters are experiencing, and list the best tools and techniques required to overcome these errors.
Types of Common PHP Errors
- Notice: Least important error message which does not necessarily mean something is wrong, but it points out the possible improvement needed.
- Warning: A more severe error compared with Notice. However it does not cause script termination.
- Fatal error: Most serious of all, this error indicates something going completely wrong, and the script terminated.
Best Debugging Tools and Techniques
#1 Debugging in WordPress
WP_DEBUG is a PHP constant to specify the needed level of debugging throughout a WordPress site. Enabling WP_DEBUG causes all PHP errors, notices and warnings to be displayed instantly on the screen.
It also gives notices about deprecated functions and arguments within WordPress that are being used on your site and indicates the new functions that should be used instead.
Using WP_DEBUG tool on a live site may possibly hinder with your browsing experience by giving multiple notices, continuously. Hence, WP_DEBUG along with its two other variants WP_DEUBG_DISPLAY, and WP_DEBUG_LOG are not meant to be used on live site. These are designed to help in local testing and staging installs.
It is not mandatory to enable WP_DEBUG, but is highly recommended that you use WP_DEBUG mode while modifying codes or functionality of theme or plugin before you launch any website publicly.
- WP_DEBUG_LOG – It works in combination with WP_DEBUG to save all errors at debug.log log file inside the /wp-content/directory. This is very useful if you wish to review all notices at some other time or need to see the notices generated off-screen.
- WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY – This also works with WP_DEBUG to control whether debug messages are shown inside the HTML of pages or not. The default is ‘true’ which displays notices as they are generated. But setting this to false will hide all errors to be reviewed later.
#2 Debugging Plugins
Here are some of the highly recommended debugging plugins for WordPress that show detailed information about the internal errors, for any specific component or in general.
- Query Monitor – This debugging plugin is suitable for anyone developing with WordPress. It has some advanced features that are not available in other alternative debugging plugins, like debugging of AJAX calls, REST API requests, and redirects.
- Debug Bar – It is a very handy tool for getting useful information about each page of your website. Once installed, you will see a new Debug button, which can be clicked to review an analysis of the queries, templates, PHP installation, along with other useful information.
- Log Deprecated Notices – This plugin logs the usage of deprecated files, functions, and function arguments. It also identifies which functionality is deprecated and therefore offers the suitable alternatives wherever possible.
#3 Firebug Browser Add On
Firebug is a sophisticated debugging add-on that analyzes your websites for possible errors, network problems, design flaws, and function interaction between languages. It is also known for its logging feature that lets you log all errors in one place to be analyzed and fixed later. It is mainly an add-on of Mozilla Firefox browser, but a lite version is also available for other browsers.
For internal debugging analysis, Debug Bar proves most effective, whereas Firebug looks at the peripherals of the website and reviews how external scripts and plugins affect the website performance and appearance.
Keeping default WP_DEBUG mode should also be enough to fully understand and list the website errors and to understand what should be done about them. Further, external plugins can also be helpful in fixing errors faster.
Ajeet is a freelance content writer for American Webmasters Association. He is a graduate of Delhi University, India with a major in journalism. He is responsible for creating news posts for the company covering various topics related to web development. His work has been published on popular sites like Entrepreneur, Gamasutra, PicktheBrain, MyCustomers and TechWorm.
For those of you from Germany involved with WordPress or WooCommerce, Inpsyde and Frank Bültge, must be familiar names.
Frank, a software developer, WordCamp speaker, translation contributor, is a business partner with Inpsyde GmbH and Carl Zeiss AG.
WordPress has been his companion for years now. Apart from that he also engages himself with SAP Business software. He has built popular plugins like WooCommerce German Market, BackWPup pro, MultilingualPress, etc.
Apart from being a great WordPress developer, Frank is also a sport enthusiast. He loves mountaineering and cycling, which he does on a regular basis, when not spending time with his family. It’s surprising how he manages to make such good use of his time with so much on his plate 🙂
Frank Bültge was kind enough to spare some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for us. So let’s see what has to say about his jouney!
Tell us about Frank when you take WordPress out of the equation? How do you like to spend time when you’re not managing Inpsyde.
My name is Frank Bültge and I work both as a co-founder and shareholder of Inpsyde GmbH as well as the head of the SAP PLM Environment at Carl Zeiss AG. Both companies are completely different, and have different goals. At times I tend to follow others’ goals apart from mine. But what’s most important to me is working with people, specially in big teams, which is my prime responsibility.
I spend a lot of my time on the computer. However, working on products is secondary as opposed to solving problems between people and their expectations of results. Also, thoughts, visions and priorities for the future are very important to me in my daily life.
Work is important, but family comes first. I also dedicate my time to my family. Here, there’s much to give, and to receive. Finally, I use some time for sport. I love freedom and hence I’m fascinated with mountain sports, which requires adequate preparation. Apart from that, cycling is something, that always fascinates me. Mountain climbing helps me clear my head.
What is your typical workday like?
I usually start at around 8, before which I workout and spend time with my family. I then proceed to complete particularly intensive tasks, which include reading mails, collaborating with people, etc. Over the day, there are meetings with different people on different topics. Generally I get time after 5, to attend calls and go through posts. If I get more time, I engage myself with tasks like new development or coding.
That’s the end of my first job i.e till 6 or 7. A cycle ride again after that and solving small or big family problems and spending time with them really helps. After 8 starts my 2nd job, where plugins are to be supported, corrected and further developed. That’s how my day goes and at the end I just hope to have had a ‘productive day’ and be satisfied.
What’s Inpsyde’s unique selling proposition (USP)? What distinguishes the company from its competition?
I believe that the quality and connection to open source and how we think about it makes a big difference. Customers benefit from the fact that their free products are well maintained. We take care of them, without being dependent on service requests.
At the same time, I appreciate the know-how in the team, I find the quality of the code extraordinary and very thoughtful. Often this does not matter to the customer, but over time one learns to appreciate quality and maintenance. What I really appreciate and the USP of Inpsyde is the reliability and dedication of every single member of the team.
You’ve developed a number of plugins. What thought process is involved in converting an idea into a plugin?
I can only speak for myself, since I do not come from a typical developer background. I’ve learnt how to program using the “Trial and Error” method. Basically, understanding the problem is enough to think of a solution. I often need this thought in my everyday life, whether a plugin or a complex process, there are problems and there are goals. The road between them is to solve the problem to achieve the goal.
In order to create a solid solution, a solution that I am satisfied with, personal development is very important. A solution that might be old, might be still effective.
WooCommerce German Market, BackWPup Pro und MultilingualPress – Which was the most challenging plugins to build and why?
I was primarily involved with MultilingualPress. The product was an idea, which I implemented in WordPress long back with a partner. We always thought that standard WordPress was not flexible. That’s why we often used this solution for various customers. But we never had a standard, because the requirements were totally different. The primary idea still remained the same however- basic WordPress multisite and linking of objects.
MultilingualPress still supports its standalone standard and maintainability, but it has completely changed in general. The free product can be used and extended in many ways. The team has achieved a very different level of quality in the code. The solution has become more stable and flexible, new ideas are on the waiting list.
MultilingualPress has always been a love of mine so far. For me the idea is right, but complicated only because multisite in the core is always somewhat neglected. The tickets concern less users, less developers are interested and the complexity is higher.
According to you, what factors make a plugin successful?
This can be seen from my point of view as – Need. I know too many poorly built plugins that are very successful. That is why factors such as maintainability, extensibility, cost, quality are great and important to me; but they are secondary to usability.
What would Frank Bültge advice be for all those who provide WordPress services?
An important factor is passion and patience. Working on and with free products attracts many users, but also many ungrateful users. One himself/herself must be happy and satisfied. In the end, you are the one who can be successful, not the software.
What are 3 things you like best about being involved in WordCamps?
People, people, people.
Without them, the other aspects that arise at these meetings are secondary. The emergence of friendships, exchanges, ideas, learning, comes with and through the people. WordCamps ensure this. It’s the people and not just the code that is the focus.
If you weren’t involved with WordPress, what career path would you have chosen?
I like working with my hands, craftsmanship is a passion of mine- whether at home, in the forest, in the workshop, in the garden. Managing something on my own gives me more satisfaction. Incidentally this is also a reason why I always liked to work with WordPress. The achievement was usually widespread and recognized.
Thank you Frank for your precious time. You definitely set an example for our readers on how to manage time and be an all-rounder. All the best for your further journey. For those who want to know more about Frank can follow him on Twitter @ or visit his website.
In today’s interview, we’ll be talking to Tobias Fendt.
An entrepreneur and WordPress fanatic from Bavaria, Tobias has shared with us his amazing experience with theme designing, WordPress development and blogging.
His blogs, a passion that he’s turned into a business, show us how creative and versatile Tobias really is, since he writes about fitness and investments apart from WordPress.
We wanted to know more about this young web developer, fitness freak and football lover. So we asked him a few questions about his personal and professional life.
Let’s take a look at how Tobias’ journey has been so far!
Tell us about yourself and how you got started with freelancing
Hi, my name is Tobias Fendt. I’m a Web & WordPress developer from Germany, from the beautiful Bavaria to be precise.
I spend most of my time designing and developing my own WordPress Themes and managing multiple blogs in a variety of niches. I ventured into freelancing quite early.
What is your typical workday like?
My alarm rings at 07:00. That’s when I usually start my day. I then dedicate some of my time for exercise. I run for about 30 minutes, then comes a nutritious breakfast and at about 09:00, I’m ready for a productive day.
Everyone who has ever dealt extensively with time management knows the saying “Eat the Frog” and the eponymous book by Brian Tracy. This means, major tasks should be completed first thing in the morning. Once these tasks are completed, you’ll have put the most unpleasant and difficult task of the day behind you. The remaining tasks will seem so much easier and you will ultimately be more productive .
I spend most of my time coding and programming new WordPress themes or implementing new ideas on my existing blogs and pages.
You’ve been blogging for over 5 years. What role does blogging play in the life of a web developer?
I dedicated the first 3 years of being a web designer solely to my clients. In 2009, I started my first blog about fitness. I’ve always been athletic and busied myself with diet and exercise. Initially, I used to blog without planning well.
When I saw the number of visitors rising slowly, I worked more and more on SEO, social media, content marketing and blogging. Two years later, my blog was one of the most widely read German fitness blogs. I had managed to take up blogging as a business, as it provided me with a regular income.
Today I have several blogs in different niches. My team writes regularly on Food Fitness about healthy eating and weight loss. With Immoanleger, we help newbies invest successfully in property. Apart from these two sites, I have about 10 smaller niche sites that are advertised through affiliate marketing.
In your opinion, what are the 3 core skills needed to complete a project successfully?
To make it short and quick: Discipline, Time Management and of course the necessary Skills.
What according to you are the qualities that separate great web designers from the good ones?
A client of mine, who’s also a designer, gave me a very good compliment a few years ago. He said to me with great enthusiasm, “Tobias, you have what is referred to as a “design-eye”.
In all these years of me working as a web designer and developer, I have viewed and analyzed around 50,000 websites. Every time I make note of what makes the site successful- the good points and the bad. Certain aspects such as generous spaces and a structured arrangement of elements on the website seem “beautiful” to the human eye. Good web designers can create a website layout design that’s good. Great web designers make designs which make you go, “Wow!”.
But this is often a double-edged sword. From my experience I can say that, not all sites that look beautiful work well. You can have the most beautiful site, packed with the latest web design trends… but if you do not bring your visitors to perform a certain action, then the most amazing design is worth nothing. Often the simplest pages are also those which actually generate revenue. There is simply no element which sticks out and the call to action stands quite in focus.
What’s the biggest marketing challenge you continuously face?
The biggest challenge is to get to new customers.
I keep a regular check on my blogs, where we get traffic, which is then converted into customers. However, it’s not the same with WordPress themes. I sell these on a market place, to find potential customers.
Name any one WordPress Theme you wish you had built
There are many good WordPress Themes.
The quality has been getting better in the recent years. But if you look at the sales of premium WordPress themes, it would be nice if I had the idea to build Avada 🙂
The Avada theme has an incredible 250,000 purchases in the past 4 years! The author of this theme has cracked the 10 million mark – with just one WordPress Theme. That’s really impressive!
Which is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
A plugin that I can make good use of on all my sites, is the SEO Plugin by Yoast. I feel every website administrator, who does search engine optimization, should have this SEO Plugin on every WordPress site.
If you weren’t a WordPress developer/ designer, what career path would you have chosen?
Footballer 🙂 I love to play football and I can say that I’m also good at it. But it’s too late, as I am too old for that now. 😀
Thank you Tobias for sharing your experience with us. We wish you luck for your future and look forward to hearing more from you.
To connect with Tobias Fendt, you can follow him on Xing, and fitness freaks can follow his blog 🙂
A computer science student from Berlin, Hans-Helge Bürger- WordPress developer, translator, WordCamp organizer, speaker, and blogger- has shared with us the story behind his achievements and his goals.
Having started with WordPress as a podcaster in the year 2006, he is now active member of the WordPress community, actively contributing to WordPress development.
From developing a new WordPress podcast Plugin (Dicentis Podcast Plugin), to being a nature lover, to working in church as a sound engineer, Hans-Helge describes himself as a curious person.
We asked Hans-Helge a few questions about his journey with WordPress and development. Here’s what Hans-Helge had to say!
Tell us about Hans-Helge Bürger
My name is Hans-Helge Bürger and I am about to complete my Master’s degree in Computer Science from Berlin. I got my Bachelor’s degree from Dualen Hochschule (Cooperative State Uright from… to deutschniversity), while I was working with a global IT company. Soon after that, I started working professionally with WordPress. However, it was in the year 2006 that I, first became a WordPress user as a podcaster and later in the year 2013 was when I started with WordPress development.
I’ve been practicing WordPress as a freelancer in order to finance my studies. Apart from that I also write blogs on WordPress for Webschale and podcast regularly with Sven Wagener and Rene Reimann at WP Sofa.
Being an experienced WordPress user, how do you feel about your journey? How has WordPress changed your life?
In my opinion, working with WordPress is quite simple and one need not be a developer to understand and work on it. WordPress may have changed my life to some extent, but that would clearly be too much to say. WordPress is a great software to implement web projects, but it is not the only one.
I am a developer and therefore see the code behind it. There are many things in WordPress which do not fulfil my requirements, but the affection that has grown over these years among people connected with WordPress, is much more than love for the software.
There is always a scope for improvement and in an open source project, there is always more than enough to do. It is therefore always important to be able to see the great minds behind it and this is best possible at WordCamps.
So I would not say that WordPress has changed my life, but rather the people who work on this software definitely have.
How have you improved as a developer since you started out?
A lot of changes have occurred since the beginning of my journey with WordPress. My computer science studies have taught me many great things and an interesting range of subjects in which I could potentially work.
But honest thanks to WordPress, that I actually realized my passion for the web.
The web offers many options, and with WordPress, I learnt many of things for the very first time. However, I am always keen on knowing new things. According to me it’s never good when you are stuck on one thing. It is essential to be flexible in today’s world. More importantly, one should watch out for new technologies overtaking the market.
You are an active WordPress Blogger. Where do you get the inspiration for your post topics?
I do not have a muse who kisses me every Monday and inspires me to write a blog post. Rather, I go out with open eyes and ears. As mentioned, I always try to do something out of the box, to find out what is good and what is better. My curiosity to understand and learn new things has brought me where I, am and this is the same with blogging. When my curiosity triggers me to know what my readers want to read, I blog about it.
I often find it difficult to come up with a precise topic and moreover, complete the blog post. However I always try to improve myself and to write interesting and informative posts.
We all have some influencers, who inspire us with their work or their quotes. Name people from the WordPress community who have inspired you the most?
I don’t have any specific role model, but there are a handful of people I follow closely, because I find their work and development very interesting. Some people who I would like to mention are Brad Touesnard and Pippin Williamson, who present the Apply Filters podcast.
Both are developers like me, but they have also managed to achieve entrepreneurial success by earning money using WordPress, by establishing their own company. That truly fascinates me. So, I nurture this idea of me being completely independent and implementing my own business ideas someday. However, I still lack some knowledge before I can really take off. But that should not take much time, for a person learns the most and the best when he makes mistakes 🙂
You have been a WordCamp speaker as well. What are the three best things about WordCamps?
A) Help the people
The commitment to contribute to WordCamps is very big and important to me. I have myself organized a WordCamp and I always try to share my knowledge in every camp. And that makes me stronger. I want to help the people who come to the camp to learn something new. The thought of not knowing something, which someone else has known for a long time is wrong, I would say. Everyone has something to say and I have learnt that throughout my journey. That’s why I want to my share knowledge to assist others.
B) Help the community
In addition to people who want to learn, there is also the community. The people who keep doing what’s possible to organize such camps are great! I count myself as part of this community and feel no obligation to just help but be encouraged and empowered to work together. It’s a great feeling when you work together on a vision and can thus form the German community
C) Help myself
Having helped everyone, I help myself as well. I love to present and make good use of opportunities to refine my style and practice it well. Besides, my contacts with great people help me keep my feet on the ground and make me realize that I am no uber-developer, or rather I am just one of many WordPress users.
When you are not developing or sharing your knowledge with the WordPress community, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Development is more of a passion than a job, which I would also love to do in my spare time but there are obviously other things, which I like to do. I like to just go out and get some fresh air or go hiking, which has been my passion for a few years. Be it a trip to the mountains or a comfortable walk through a forest in Brandenburg, nature makes me feel fresh and energetic. And a Geocache during a nice walk in the fresh air is icing on the cake!
Furthermore, I volunteer at my local church as a sound technician, and lead the latest Berlin SMD Group. This is a network of Christian students at universities across Germany and I may be leading the group in Berlin for the next half or one whole year.
We’ve come to the end of the interview. Any piece of advice you would like to share to aspirant bloggers and developers, who want to start their careers with WordPress?
Stay curious! It’s okay if you do not understand something, it is not the end. Never give up on research and the will to learn. There will always be someone out there, who is better, but that should not discourage you. Lifelong learning is my motto.
Thank you Hans-Helge for your wonderful answers. Keep inspiring people like you always have and all the best for your journey with WordPress. For connecting with Hans-Helge Bürger, you can follow him on Twitter @ or subscribe to his podcasts at WP Sofa!
If you attended WordCamp Nürnberg this year, or have attended WordPress Meetups at Nürnberg or Hannover, you’ll know Frank Staude.
Frank lives and breathes WordPress.
He’s a WordPress Developer, co-founder of several WordPress Meetups, organizer, volunteer and speaker at WordCamps, and the co-founder of AdminPress.
Frank actively supports WordPress as a moderator on WordPress support forums and as a translation editor.
We asked Frank a few questions about his journey with WordPress and development. Here’s what Frank had to say!
Tell us about yourself and how you got involved with WordPress.
My name is Frank Staude, I am 46 years old and live near Nürnberg.
Back in the year 2010, when WordPress Version 3.0 was out, I wanted to create a Podcast. The CMS we were using didn’t provide us this functionality. The options I had was to either program it for our CMS or use a different CMS for the project, which would provide us suitable functionality. That’s how I started and stuck with WordPress.
It was pretty obvious that I had to make the entire website using WordPress. I then took a small step forward, by completing a client’s project using WordPress. I found out, I can do a lot with WordPress. At this point, I discovered the German forum on wordpress.org. I found many unanswered questions which helped me understand some specific and common problems. That made me understand every single detail in WordPress. As one of the very few active users, I quickly received Moderator rights. From 2011 on wards, I started visiting WordCamps; I met people face to face instead of just following them on Twitter or reading their blogs.
Apart from being a Moderator, I became a translation editor the German translations. I started the WordPress Meetup in Hannover and conducted it till I moved to Nürnberg. In Nürnberg, we organised the WordCamp Nürnberg 2016 and now that the founder has moved to another place, I currently conduct the event. I love to visit WordCamps and other BarCamps and also encourage other to participate in it, where I hold a timely session.
And yes, I have other hobbies too 🙂
You’ve developed a number of plugins. What thought process is involved in converting an idea into a plugin?
The first thing you need is a specific idea. Only then can we begin the thought process of how to use WordPress to get the desired results, as in which filters or actions can one possibly use, etc. When required, you should read the documentation or go through WordPress code, to get a better idea of how a functionality actually works and how it could be manipulated.
Apart from that you should also think about building the solution the WordPress-way. This means that the solution you build, should also works on other WordPress installations. For example when you know PHP well but don’t have any experience in WordPress development, you tend to take the easier way out and build the solution according to your convenience. But what if the code doesn’t work with other installations? This includes making yourself familiar with the APIs, which WordPress provides.
What factors according to you contribute towards making any plugin a success? Do you have any favorite plugins, which are not developed by you?
There is no specific recipe to a successful plugin.
How would you even define successful? I can measure the success of a commercial plugin by its sales figures but what about a free plugin? Number of downloads? Positive reviews? Or because it has helped the client with something it was originally developed for? After all everyone has to decide for themselves, on what basis they would judge the plugin- when it has to be judged.
People have different tastes. I would say, a plugin should do exactly what it promises to do, be intuitive, should come to us without frills and frosting, should not include permanent and aggressive advertising for a “PRO” version and the look should be like the rest of WordPress user-interface and should not have its own deviant UI. Other users may see this differently.
And the list (of favorite plugins):
- Torro Forms
- Advanced Custom Fields
Your advice for someone starting out with the development of a WordPress plugin
To identify what users need, it is necessary to find out what people would like to do or what problems they have. This can be done by going through forums (which I think is much better) or attending a WordCamp or making a local WordPress Meetup visit – as you get to know people and their needs, you can also take suggestions for plugins. You can also get feedback for some of your ideas.
Most WordCamps offer a so called contributor day before or after the actual camp, where all work together on WordPress (develop, translate, plan, etc) – and contribute. You should really do something like that once a while as it is a great opportunity to learn, to get insights, to meet new people and generally to join this great community.
To start with, you should try simple tasks instead of having the I-can-build-all-plugins attitude. That way you can get familiar with the various APIs.
You’re an active member of the WordPress community and also a translation contributor for WordPress. According to you, has the language barrier affected the growth of German developers in the community?
I don’t see it that way. Every developer has the habit of reading/creating the documentation in English. Moreover, most of the meetups (not just the WordPress meetups but all those found on meetup.com) in bigger cities are held in English. And when I look up to the next generation, I see that they face lesser problems as compared to an “old sack” like me, as we did not speak or practice English for several years after school.
What I see as a problem is when people waste time in trying to dig themselves deeper into the community. You should be able to balance your time and know what you’re spending it on.
You’ve been a speaker at several WordCamps. How would you describe your first experience as a speaker?
I do not prefer to be in the “limelight”, rather it seems like a hurdle, every time I register for a session. Before my first WordCamp appearance in Hamburg , I had held many sessions at our Meetup – so it was just about 10 to 15 people in the evening and a good speech-delivering training for me.
However, I almost died when I saw the large auditorium in Hamburg, where my session took place. Fortunately my first session was with Torsten Landsiedel, so I didn’t have to stand alone in the front 🙂
Which industry experts would you love to work with someday and why?
To be honest, there’s no one in particular. By organizing several Meetups, the WordCamps in Nürnberg and by participating in many WordCamps you will learn a lot in many different ways from all the nice people in the WordPress community. You may either have friendly relations with most of the people, or you may have worked together on projects with the rest. And so you learn that there exists no such term as “celebrity status”.
If you weren’t a WordPress developer, what career path would you have chosen?
As stated in question 1, WordPress was an unexpected turn for me. If it had not been WordPress, it might have been Joomla, Drupal or Typo3. If the question is, what I would do if I did not work in IT, I must say it’s a good question. “Something with computers” has been my dream job ever since I was in school. If I did not program, I would probably still be in the admin area – which comes under the term DevOps.
Also, I love cooking but don’t want to take it up as a profession.
Frank, I enjoyed reading your logical and insightful answers. They reflect your years of experience with WordPress and the WordPress community. For those interested in connecting with Frank, you can follow him on Twitter @staude, or better yet, attend a WP Meetup in Nürnberg if you’re in town. 🙂
There was a time when WordPress was just a blogging system. Today it has become the most popular and most preferred CMS around the globe. It certainly has come a long way. The internationalization of the WordPress versions has made it possible to build any type of website with it. And creating is a directory WordPress website is no exception.
WordPress offers plenty of advanced directory plugins that can be installed and configured to convert your existing WordPress website into a directory site without having to write a single line of code or making huge changes in the WordPress core.
Thus, in today’s post, we are going to share best directory plugins to let you create and maintain a directory website successfully.
#1 Business Directory Plugin
Business Directory is one of the most popular free WordPress directory plugins that lets you seamlessly build a business directory. It actually comes in two different version i.e. free and premium version. While the free version has many useful features, the premium version offers an array of advanced features and add-ons. With 20,000+ active installs, the plugin provides everything you may need to set up your own business directory.
Additional features of Business Directory Plugin
- Offers free listings in your business directory and allows you to accept listing payments
- Supports PayFast Gateway and Stripe for accepting payments.
- Is 100% fully responsive
- Provide complete support for recurring payments.
- Comes with inbuilt CSV import and export.
- Supports reCAPTCHA.
#2 GeoDirectory Plugin
GeoDirectory, as the name suggests, is a located based WordPress business directory plugin developed and maintained by GeoTheme. In fact, the GDF theme framework is developed particularly for the plugin to help users who are looking for the most suitable theme for using the GeoDirectory plugin. However, the plugin also works virtually with any WordPress theme available out there.
Additional features of GeoDirectory Plugin
- Is 100% fully responsive.
- Equipped with a Google Analytics widget.
- Integrated with an inbuilt review system.
- Is fully compatible with WordPress Multisite.
- Offers more than 12 widget areas and 15+ widgets
- Lets you export, import and re-import data via CSV files.
- Has a user-friendly front end interface for submitting entries
#3 Simple Directory Plugin
Simple Directory is yet another free WordPress directory plugin that enables you to build a personal or business directory within minutes. The plugin is packed with two different templates for archive listing and single listing page. If you are familiar with the working of WordPress theme templates, you would find it difficult to customize and configure this plugin. It also recommends installing Category Image plugin and Piklist plugin for better performance.
Additional features of Simple Directory Plugin
- Displays a complete listing version including Name, Address, Contact info, etc.
- Offers a variety of Custom Templates.
- Lets you display the listing in a mentioned category.
#4 Web 2.0 Directory
Web 2.0 Directory is a fully responsive, feature packed and high-quality WordPress directory plugin that lets you create a variety type of directory websites including wedding sites, real estate portal, pets, vehicles dealers site, boats, bikes and cars site, classified ad listing website and more. The plugin is built on Twitter Bootstrap which makes it completely compatible with the devices and screen sizes.
Additional features of Web 2.0 Directory
- Has featured and sticky listings options
- Integrated with a Frontend dashboard for regular users
- Also, comes with an invoices management
- Lets you restrict ads by listings levels
- Integrated with order directory listings and Google Maps
- Comes with inbuilt CSV import
Directory is a premium WordPress directory plugin developed and maintained by WPMU, a well-recognized website in the theme and plugin industry. The plugin allows you to create both front and back end business directories such as yelp, yellow pages and more. It also supports rating and review to display the popularity of any listings on your website.
Additional features of Directory
- Comes equipped with customizable Directory theme
- Is WordPress Multisite ready
- Allows you to seamlessly accept payments for listings
- Offers custom tags and categories
- Packed with a variety of shortcodes
- Has Listing rating system and user reviews
- Lets you create custom user permissions
Going through the above-mentioned list, you won’t find it difficult to choose the most suitable directory plugin for your website. Also, if you have any other relevant plugin in your mind, share it with us in the comments below.
Jason is an expert WordPress developer having years of experience in working with various web development technologies. Currently, he is working for WordSuccor Ltd. providing wordpress plugin development service to global clients. He is always trying to share his intangible knowledge with others on the web.
Hailing from Wolfratshausen, Stefan Priebsch is a software consultant and the co-founder of thePHP.cc– a leading consultancy for PHP and Open Source technologies.
Last week, I had the opportunity of interviewing Stefan. From my brief interaction, what I learnt was that apart from being a leading expert in the technical field, Stefan is a courteous and accommodative person.
Stefan has authored several books and spoken at various conferences. And today we’ll take a look at what he has in store for us. 🙂
Over to you Stefan!
Tell us about Stefan when you take PHP out of the equation? How do you like to spend time when you’re not solving complex PHP problems.
My name is Stefan Priebsch. I am an IT consultant, well versed with PHP and surrounding technologies. I help companies with successful software development. I have published various books, often spoken at conferences and delivered lectures at the Rosenheim university.
Apart from that I love to cook and I try to spend a lot of time with my wife and two kids. My busy professional life leaves me with less free time. Maybe that’s one thing I would wish for.
There’s a story to every successful company. How did PHP.cc happen?
I started offering PHP training in the year 2008 along with Sebastian Bergmann and Arne Blankerts. In the training we were often asked if we could also provide consultation. That’s how we came up with the idea of forming a consulting firm. So thePHP.cc, was then started in the year 2009; it stands for – The PHP Consulting Company
Isn’t it obvious? Each language has advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses. I would not agree with the statement that other languages per se are better than PHP.
There is a wide range of alterations/innovations in PHP 7. It has a special overhauled backend because of which PHP 7 not only works fast but also is resource-efficient.
Out of all the projects you’ve closed over the years, which ones stand out the most interesting and the most challenging?
Over the years, I have partly accompanied various firms and helped them establish the PHP development department so that an existing e-commerce solution could be replaced with a custom solution. There were some very exciting projects with many interesting and challenging tasks to complete.
However there were more professional and personal differences than technical issues. Successful development is largely dependent on how you deal with people. Technical skills are also very important but they are easier to learn as compared to social skills.
Do you advocate using a framework in projects? Which framework(s) would you recommend and why?
Every software project needs a framework. But the question here is, how big should the framework be? By framework I mean inversion of control container, which encapsulates the basic request cycle.
My colleagues and I create our own micro framework. That means anyone in the team can extend and customize it, whenever needed. Additional third party components can then be applied as required, with respect to dependency inversion- the D in the acronym SOLID.
You have advocated that PHP can be used in enterprise projects. Typical enterprise clients prefer Java or .NET. Is it really possible to deliver a project of enterprise scale in PHP?
Certainly. There are a number of large enterprises like Yahoo, Facebook, Etsy or Trulia, who have proven this. Many big and popular companies in Germany also rely on PHP for enterprise scale applications. In fact selecting a good technology is not as important as selecting a competent developer.
You are an incredible software architect with an enviable resume. One piece of advice that you may have for all aspiring software architects out there?
I would suggest looking beyond recent trends. Most new technologies and solutions are happily considered as universal remedies. But good solutions are simple and avoid complexity. One can simply be a bit conservative instead of blindly following each and every trend.
For API based applications what is your advice for developers? Should we use micro frameworks ?
I would anyday consider micro-framewoks as a better choice than a heavyweight full-stack framework. It would simply be best if you could build your own framework. That way you can really understand what happens when.
If you weren’t a PHP developer, what career path would you have chosen?
Technically, I am not a developer anymore but more of a consultant and trainer. An alternate for that? I believe I would become an inventor and would try to improve the world a little bit everyday.
Stefan, it was a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for your time. 🙂 Your insights on PHP and software technologies are invaluable to any and every developer. You can connect with Stefan on Twitter @spriebsch or through Xing.