Is It Time Two Put Optimize Press On The Shelf

I have been using the same premium WordPress theme, Optimize Press, on this site since December of 2010 when I first started the site. I purchased the theme in the early stages of its development because it made it easy to create sales pages and squeeze pages without having to touch the code. This meant I could make beautiful sales pages quickly. The fact that it was built to handle product launches and house a membership site was just icing on the cake.

Optimize Press also integrates with auto responder providers such as Mail Chimp, Aweber, etc through its squeeze pages. Just add the html form code and Optimize Press will pull out the information it needs to build your list building squeeze page.

Try Optimize Press For Yourself

Optimize Press offers custom functions that makes setting up the structure of a membership site quick and easy. It provides you with custom templates for your sales pages, login pages, modules, and lessons which make it easy for a newbie to get setup in less than a day. But if you are a member of CAWK you already know I don't use Optimize Press for the membership site theme. Why, because it does not offer me enough freedom to change my layout, like iThemes’ Builder theme.

And just to clarify, Optimize Press is designed to work with membership plugins such as Wish list, S2member, Digital Access Pass, and Nanacast. For example, if you’re working with Wish list Member and need a member login page, you simply create a page using the correct template, and Optimize Press does the rest. Now when your members log in, they’ll see the after log in page you specified when you setup wish list member. After you set your wish list member settings all you have to do to create a members' area is add your module and lesson pages. When members log in, over to the left in the sidebar they will see navigation that includes every module and lesson in your site, making it easy to navigate from one section to another.

Example of video landing page
Part of a video landing page created using Optimize Press

Optimize Press has done a great job with sales pages and squeeze pages. Want to include video on your sales or squeeze pages? The built-in video module allows you to add a video player using YouTube, Vimeo, or a number of other video solutions. You can host your video on S3 or on your own server, as well as offer an alternate video for users who are on a mobile device that doesn’t support flash.

Optimize Press Sales Page Video Settings
Optimize Press Sales Page Video Settings

After using Optimize Press for almost 18 months I am considering discontinuing my use of Optimize Press. It is a great theme but it is time for a change. I want to move the membership site into this install of WordPress, which will require me to have more control over my navigation, and layouts. Also I have increased my focus on the blog which is an after thought in Optimize Press. So, I am testing Premise, a WordPress plugin, to determine if it is a viable alternative to Optimize Press.

Getting the Most Out of Your WordPress Website

People start using WordPress for a variety of reasons. Some might have started with a personal blog and then transformed it into a business-focused website. Others may have started out directly with a business website, and smartly chosen WordPress for its versatility and reliability.

But choosing to use WordPress, while usually a good decision, is only the first step. You need to make sure you are making the right choices and maximizing what you are getting out of your WordPress website.

Stay Current

WordPress is a very powerful and secure platform for publishing websites, but it’s not immune to vulnerabilities. Each new version of WordPress, along with improved usability and more powerful features, generally makes the website platform more secure than the last version. But new weaknesses are always being discovered, so the updated versions of WordPress can only help you when you actually update. Every time you log into WordPress (and hopefully you are doing so frequently), you’ll see a notice on your dashboard that indicates whether any updates to the underlying WordPress code are available.

Don’t worry; the process is no more complicated than simply clicking a few buttons. The update notice will also indicate if any of your plugins need to be updated as well. Take the minute or two to update every part of your website when a newer version is available.

After each update, take another minute or two and load your website to make sure that everything still looks and functions as you want. Sometimes a newer version of WordPress will cause a plugin to behave in an unexpected way or even break. The plugin author will often update your plugin quickly, but you don’t want to have a broken functionality on your website before that happens.

Use an SEO Plugin

Search Engine Optimization (or “SEO”) is the process of structuring your website, and the content on your website, in such a way that your website will be found more easily by people searching for certain key words and terms using search engines like Google. Once you identify the key words and terms that you want to target, a quality SEO plugin, such as WordPress SEO by Yoast, can handle much of the SEO work for your website behind the scenes, in a way that’s completely transparent to your website visitors.

Better Content, More Often

SEO efforts should only be used as a supplement to the most important thing you can do to boost the quality of your website – creating more high quality original content for your website more frequently. This means updating your website frequently with articles, posts and reports that are topical, relevant to the subject of your website and likely to be of interest to your website visitors.
Using WordPress to maintain your website is a step in the right decision – it’s a powerful publishing platform that you can use to accomplish a variety of goals. But you should consider following the guidelines above to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your website.

Using WordPress to maintain your website is a step in the right decision – it’s a powerful publishing platform that you can use to accomplish a variety of goals. But you should consider following the guidelines above to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your website.

Why You Should Setup A WordPress Testing Environment

WAMP It Up Kindle Version

I am a firm believer that you should keep your plugins, small packages of code that can add a discreet and focused functionality to a WordPress website, updated. But I also believe that you should test updates and try new plugins in a development/testing environment before going live. Your wordpress testing environment can be on a remote server with a hosting company or on a local server.

A remote server would be if you were to purchase a domain name just for testing and set up an addon domain with your hosting company. That could be your testing environment that you set up just like your live site. Just be sure to block the search engines from your testing site.

Another option is to convert your local computer into a server. You can install WAMP which includes Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Then you can make all the changes you want and test until your heart is content. No one ever has to see your test website on your local computer.

Then all you have to do is install WordPress. I suggest you make a backup of your live site using Backup Buddy. Then use the full backup to create your testing environment. This way you have a complete duplicate of your live website. You can test all changes to plugins before you make the changes live.

Remember if you take down your testing website for a few hours nothing is lost. But if your live website goes down for a few hows you are losing money!

3 Reasons To Create A Website With WordPress

It’s much easier to get started with WordPress than it is with just about any other website framework or building a HTML site from scratch. Once you create a website with WordPress, you’ll find it to be easy to manage in a number of different ways.

  1. New Pages or Post

    If you only want a single page website, then WordPress might not provide you with many advantages. But as you build a website over time and continue adding (and updating) new pages, images and other content, it can be difficult to keep your website functioning properly. For example, if your website simply consists of a collection of static HTML pages, then each time you change a page or add a new page, you need to go through every other page and make sure that all of your internal hyperlinks still work. Furthermore, trying to change the “look and feel” of your website can be overwhelming if you need to make changes to a few dozen (or even a few hundred) pages.

    In contrast, each time you add a new page or post (or any other content) to a WordPress website, the WordPress framework automatically creates and updates all of the necessary internal links. Furthermore, changing the look and feel of your website is as simple as downloading or creating a new theme so that WordPress can propagate it across all the pages in your site.

  2. New Organizational Structure

    By the same token, creating new organizational structures within WordPress is substantially easier than trying to do so with a static website. For example, if you wanted to start grouping your website posts by different types of “tags” or “categories” (which can make it easier for your visitors to find the information they’re looking in), doing so in WordPress is as simple as creating the tags and attaching them to the relevant posts. In contrast, trying to create a similar hierarchy across a set of static pages can be a significant hurdle in terms of time and effort, and the hassle is repeated each time you want to add, change or update any tags.

  3. New Functionality

    As your website grows, you’ll likely be interested in adding new functionality. For example, you might want to sell things directly from your website or perhaps to start collecting e-mail addresses from your visitors so that you can send out a weekly newsletter. In WordPress, getting these functions up and running only requires you to install the “plug-ins” that best suit your needs. Outside of a framework such as WordPress, adding any new functionality can often require that you have custom work done by a web developer.


At the end of the day, the reason you have a website is probably to make money. Whether you have a website for business or for personal reasons, WordPress is a great way to run your powerful website that is easy to manage.

Finding a WordPress Theme to Meet Your Business Goals

WordPress is powerful web publishing platform, and has become one of the most popular ways for individuals and businesses to have a website. What started as a platform for personal blogs has now become a means of creating many other different types of websites.

Businesses have found that WordPress can be configured in many different ways in order to meet the specific needs of a particular business. Some of the common ways to customize a WordPress website for business purposes include e-commerce and shopping cart functions, the ability for website visitors to sign up for a mailing list, making downloadable content available to potential customers after they provide an e-mail address, or providing detailed driving directions if you have a bricks and mortar store.

Another great way to distinguish your business from your competitors is finding a WordPress theme that best suits your professional image. A WordPress “theme” is a set of files which control the way your website is displayed to your visitors.

Themes can cover not only basic appearance elements like background images, color schemes, and font types and sizes, but also more advance elements like how each page is formatted (a two column or three column set-up, for example), how menus are organized, and where different elements (like advertising or newsletter signup boxes) appear on each page.

Free WordPress Themes

Being able to set up your website in the way you want – by choosing an appropriate WordPress theme – can be a key part of being able to execute upon your business’ Internet strategy. The first place to look for a WordPress Theme for your business is at WordPress’ own free themes directory, which can be found at:

The WordPress themes directory is a great place to start looking because the themes are searchable by primary colors, basic set-up and width formats, and even advanced features. Each theme generally has feedback and ratings from others who have used it before, as well as a discussion forum where users discuss various aspects of using the theme.

Many themes in the WordPress directory also have a link to a site where you can “live preview” the theme, which means you can see what it looks like when it’s actually running a WordPress site. Finally, the WordPress directory includes links to a number of premium theme developers, who offer more advanced themes (and support for those themes) for a fee.

Premium WordPress Themes

Premium themes might seem to be an unnecessary expense, but in some cases those themes can look better than the free themes in the WordPress directory, and help your business put forth a much more professional image. This can lend your business a higher level of credibility with potential customers, which helps your bottom line.

Premium themes are updated more often and come with support. Remember WordPress is continually being updated for improved security and improved functionality. Many premium themes also have an active community of users that provide assistance and tutorials.

Ultimately the decision of whether or not you’re willing to pay for a WordPress theme should only be considered after you’ve identified what type of “look and feel” you want for your website. If you can get the desired appearance with a free business theme and don’t need the support that comes with a paid theme, then take that approach. But if the only option for your goal is a paid theme, then go ahead and make the investment.

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