Increase Website Engagement — Best Survey and Quiz Plugins for WordPress

Increase engagement with survey and quiz wordpress plugins

Simply creating and launching a website will not lead to online growth. To successfully build and maintain your web presence, you must continually engage your audience and give them reasons to return to your website regularly. 

Sure you can achieve this through maintaining a blog or adding new products, but you can also engage your audience with surveys and quizzes. In addition, you can use the feedback you gather from the polls to improve your website and digital marketing, which will help you increase your business online.

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Why Use Survey and Quiz WordPress plugins?

User feedback and engagement are two invaluable data sets that every business needs to succeed. With survey and quiz plugins, you can easily gather both. 

Surveys

Through surveys, you can gather user feedback on what is and what is not working — allowing you to make informed decisions that grow your business. You can also use surveys to find business opportunities to explore that will expand your growth and increase profits. 

For example, you can create a survey asking users if they find the information on your website useful, and if not, why. You could also create a survey to see how many users are return customers versus new customers, or how they plan on using the product or information presented on your website. 

Once the data is gathered, you can analyze the responses and tweak, remove, and create new content to secure more business. You can also post about the survey, the results, and your changes to show that you not only care about user feedback, but you also follow through implementing change. This will allow your survey campaign to also double as a public relations initiative, garnering trust among online users. 

Quizzes

Quizzes expand your reach on social media and encourage old and new users to visit your website regularly. You can create viral content that both entertains and promotes your business. 

With quizzes, you can create sharable, interactive content for blog posts, web pages, online courses, and more. Users can then share the content with their networks, encouraging others to visit your website and giving your business more visibility. 

Quizzes are a great tool for increasing user engagement, but you can also use it to gather user feedback as well. For example, if you created a quiz as part of an online course and the majority of users fail the quiz, you know you need to revisit the course and revise the content for better understanding. 

Best WordPress Survey Plugins

Adding a survey to your website and gathering user data is a lot easier than you think. Even better,  we’ve found a few free plugins you can try to get your survey initiative started. Simply install and activate one of the below plugins to begin collecting user feedback.

Crowdsignal

Crowdsignal wordpress survey plugin

By the creators of WordPress.com, Crowdsignal is a great survey plugin that allows you to easily create and add a survey to your WordPress website. It also has an intuitive interface and some data export capabilities so you can continue to analyze the data in a program of your choice. With the free version, you can create surveys with unlimited questions, collect up to 2,500 responses, and embed the survey anywhere on your website. 

Quiz And Survey Master

Quiz and survey master wordpress plugin

If you want a free survey plugin with unlimited response collection, then Quiz And Survey Master is the perfect free plugin for you.  Though the interface may not be as sleek as Crowdsignal, Quiz And Survey Master gives you more functionality for free. In addition to unlimited responses, you will also enjoy unlimited questions, a customizable thank you page, email collection, certificates, and more. Also, as the name suggests, you can use this plugin to create quizzes as well.

WP-Polls

WP polls survey wordpress plugin

WP-Polls is a free survey plugin that gives users very basic functionality and customization. If you don’t want to spend time learning how to use a plugin and simply want to add a short survey to your website, then this plugin will work great for you. It is simple, no fuss, and records and stores responses in your dashboard. 

Best WordPress Quiz Plugins

To help you try quizzes for increased engagement, below are free WordPress quiz plugins you should try:

Interact

interact quiz maker wordpress plugin

Create fun, interactive quizzes easily with the Interact quiz plugin. With the free version of the plugin, you can create unlimited quizzes with their drag-and-drop builder, collect unlimited responses, and customize the design of the quiz to fit your website branding. 

WP Quiz

WP quiz plugin for wordpress

WP Quiz is another great plugin for creating fun, sharable quizzes. The free version of the plugin gives you access to trivia, personality, and flip card quiz templates. You can also add social share buttons, embed images, allow users to restart the quiz, and more. 

HD Quiz

HD quiz plugin for wordpress

Depending on the features you want in your free quiz plugin, HD Quiz may be the better option to choose for your free quiz plugin needs. In addition to unlimited quizzes, it also allows you to add GIFs, a quiz timer, hints, image-based answers, and more.

ARI Stream

ARI Stream quiz plugin for wordpress

ARI Stream allows you to create quiz types and add social share buttons like many of the plugins listed above. However, a huge benefit of ARI Stream is its MailChimp and MailerLite integration with its free version. If you’re interested in using data collected from the quizzes to fuel more demand generation efforts like newsletters, this plugin is perfect. Easily add contact information directly to MailChimp for a seamless collection process. 

After you implement a quiz or survey into your WordPress website, learn about additional essential website elements that will help increase your online profits.

How to Allow Blog Post Submissions on Your WordPress Website

how to allow blog post submissions on your WordPress website

It’s no secret that consistently adding relevant, quality blog posts to your website helps increase your traffic and, subsequently, your business. However, committing to regular content creation and posting is simply unrealistic for many businesses. 

However, even though you may not have the resources to maintain a blog on your own, you can still host dynamic content that promotes engagement and increases views. This article will show you how to allow blog post submissions on your WordPress website. 

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Benefits of Allowing Blog Submissions

Allowing users to submit relevant, quality blog posts to your website is a win for all parties involved. Your business receives promotion and engagement through users discovering and submitting their blog posts, and your website secures a steady flow of blog content — which is important for visitor growth and retention. 

You can also use this as a way to build regular contributors to your blog who refine their topics to more closely fit the needs of your audience. When reviewing a submitted post, if you notice it’s similar to a question a customer had, consider mentioning that to the author for possible future blog posts. The author is probably interested in the subject and your business needs content to grow. Allowing and assisting with guest posting will fulfill that content need. 

In addition, once their post is approved and posted on your website, they will promote their guest post to their network and in turn, introduce your website and business to their audience. Allowing the process to repeat again for others who may be interested in submitting blog posts to your website.

Encouraging smart engagement by allowing guest blog posts on your website benefits both your business and the author. It’s a win-win situation that gives both parties the additional eyes they need to grow. Here are a few ways you can allow blog post submissions on your WordPress website.

Remember, opening your website to the public can increase negative interaction. Learn how to reduce spam on contacts forms.

WPForms Plugin

WPForms wordpress plugin for blog post submissions

An easy way to receive blog posts submissions without requiring the user to register to your website is with WPForms and their Post Submission addon. The plugin and addon allow you to create and modify a blog submission form template that you can then add to a page via a shortcode. 

Once a user submits a blog post, it will populate in the drafts section of your WordPress admin dashboard, where you can then review and post the blog post — again, all without the user registering to your website, logging in and posting their blog post themselves. Though the basic form of WPForms is free, you’ll need to purchase a pro license to access the Post Submission functionality.  

User Submitted Posts Plugin

User Submitted Posts WordPress plugin to allow blog post submissions

If you’re not ready to fully commit to allowing blog posts to be submitted to your website then the free User Submitted Posts plugin is a good choice for you. Similar to WPForms, User Submitted Posts allows you to create and modify one submission form and add it to your website via a shortcode. 

You can also configure the submissions settings so the submitted posts are marked as “pending” or “drafts” and require your review and approval before being posted. Though the plugin is free, there is a pro version that allows multiple forms, infinite custom fields, multimedia file uploads and more.  

WeForms Plugin

WeForms WordPress plugin to allow blog post submissions

If you’re a fan of WeForms and prefer to keep the number of plugins installed on your website to a minimal, you can use the WeForms File Uploader addon to allow blog submissions onto your website. To receive blog submissions, you can instruct users to upload their blog posts in a Word or similar text document for your review and approval. 

Though the post will not be uploaded automatically to the posts section of the WordPress dashboard, you will be able to keep track of the submissions easily within the WeForms interface in the dashboard. This is a great way to say organized if, for example, your email inbox is full of other business inquiries and requests — which is another benefit of using the WeForms. The WeForms File Uploader addon is available to users with a paid WeForms license. 

You can now start building your website content and audience engagement by allowing blog post submissions on your WordPress website! For more online blogging tips and tricks, check out our Blogging category.

Working From Home? Here Are The Best Zoom Alternatives For Online Video Conferencing

Working from home is quickly becoming the rule instead of the exception. In order to maintain growth in today’s world, businesses must learn how to continue operations online — which includes implementing and using a reliable video conferencing platform. 

Currently, Zoom is the belle of the ball for video conferencing. However, if you want to shop around a bit more before committing to a video conferencing platform, here are a few free and paid options to consider. 

This article will outline the best Zoom alternatives for online video conferencing.

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Free Zoom Alternatives 

If you have a small team, consider the below free Zoom alternatives for your video conferencing needs. Each platform will give you basic video conferencing capabilities and allow a decent amount of participants to join the video call. Though limited, each free option is perfect for teams who only need basically collaboration features to keep the train on the tracks. 

Google Hangouts

If you and those you need to meet with have a personal Google account, you can use Google Hangouts video chat. You can access the Google Hangouts meeting through your browser or on your mobile device via the Google Hangouts app. The platform also allows you to share your screen with those present on the call. Of note, Google will soon be phasing out Google Hangouts and replacing it with Google Meet for all users.

Skype

An old favorite is still a reliable option for clear video conferencing. With Skype, you can host a video call with up to 50 people, record your calls, share your screen and enable live captions. Similar to Google Hangouts, you can access Skype through your browser, through the desktop software, or by downloading the mobile app.

Discord

The up-and-coming communication platform is also great for video conferencing. In addition to user-friendly chat and file sharing environment Discord presents, if you only have 9 people on your team, you can use the platform to video conference as well. The video conferencing feature also allows you to screen share and record the meeting. You can access Discord in your browser, through the desktop software (Windows only), or by downloading the mobile app.

Webex

Usually associated with paid, enterprise plans, Webex has a great free option for video conferencing. You can have meetings with up to 100 people with no time limit and sharing features — including their interactive whiteboard. You can access Webex through your browser or the mobile app.  

RingCentral

A messaging and video conferencing platform in one, RingCentral allows you to collaborate with your team via desktop and mobile. The free version allows you to meet with up to 100 participants, screen share, annotate, use the whiteboard feature and more.

Jitsi Meet

Like Google Meet and Zoom video conferencing, you can easily create a Jitsi meeting in your browser without installing additional software or browser extensions. Also, Jitsi Meet doesn’t require an account to use any of its ever-growing features like screen share, group chat, collaborative document editing, and more

For larger teams, more storage, or other elevated features, you may need to look into a paid option for your video conferencing needs. The below paid video conferencing platforms are good alternatives to Zoom’s paid features. Also, similar to the free platforms, each option allows browser, desktop, and/or mobile access. 

Google Meet

Soon to replace video conferencing for Google’s personal account users, Google Meet is the video conferencing platform provided to enterprise G Suite users. Video calls are encrypted and the meeting host can easily create a video call link through a feature in their Google Calendar. Even better,  participants (e.g. clients) who have access to the video call link can access the meeting without the need to sign in or create an account.

Microsoft Teams

With a Microsoft business plan, you can enjoy their video conference solution Microsoft Teams. The powerful platform can host a meeting or web conference for up to 10,000 people — allowing your organization to take large events online.  Also, because it is a Microsoft product, you will be able to enjoy full integration with other Microsoft products like Word and PowerPoint.

Zoho

If your organization wants more features for webinars and other online training, Zoho is a great alternative to Zoom.  In addition to industry-standard video conference features seen with enterprise-level plans, Zoho’s webinar features include participant registration, webinar analytics, Polls, Q&A, and more.

Additional Resource For Working From Home

If you’re new to working from home, settling in and positioning your organization for online success may seem overwhelming. However, getting into the swing of working online is much easier than it seems — and we’re here to help! Below are additional resources that will help you master working from home so you can continue to grow your business. 

Resource Guide — How to Build a Professional WordPress Website Fast

How to build a professional WordPress website

You need to get online quickly.  You’ve already purchased your hosting and set up your email, but now you need to create your website. The great news is that you can easily create a beautiful website with WordPress

The open-source platform supports many modern, mobile-responsive themes and with its intuitive dashboard, customizing your website is a breeze. This guide will help you build your professional WordPress website fast. 

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Plan Your Website

To make the best use of your time, the first thing you should do before jumping into the build of your website is planning it out. Think about and categorize the pages and items you definitely want on your website when it first launches versus the pages and items that can be added further down the road. Like most digital marketing assets, your website can and should be constantly updated. What you decide now isn’t etched in stone, you can always change your website as your business and audience grow.  

The easiest way to plan out your website is to think about how you want end-users to interact with your website. When they land on your homepage, what will they see and what action do you want them to take? In addition, what other information or features to you want to make available to them? 

For example, if you’re starting a life coaching business, on your homepage you may want end users to see your headshot and a short welcome message followed by a summary of your services. The action you may want them to take is to contact you to schedule a session. 

Continuing with the above example, based on the needs listed and the desired action by the end-user, the life coaching website should at least start off with a home, about, services and contact page. In addition, the home page should have a section for services, a section about the life coach, and buttons to schedule a session linked to the contact page. 

Planning out your website will help you focus your build efforts and launch your new site quickly!

Choose a Theme

With your website plan created and WordPress installed, it’s now time to choose your theme. A WordPress theme is a template design that allows you to create a beautiful website quickly. The design of the theme is carried throughout your entire site, so you do not have to code certain repeating elements, like fonts and colors, on every page you create. This saves you time and allows you to focus on the main elements of your site, like content and functionality. 

Depending on your website plan and business needs, some themes may be better for your online marketing and growth. Certain themes have specific elements for particular businesses. For example, themes leaning towards visual businesses like photography have more gallery layouts for images, or a theme may have eCommerce integration for a business hoping to sell products or services in the future. 

Though you should choose your theme with care and consideration, also know that the theme can always be changed later down the road. The beauty of WordPress is its customization and flexibility. Choose the theme that best fits your needs now. Overall, most themes are already mobile responsive, allow eCommerce solutions, and work with the majority of the plugins on the market.

Customize Your Website

After you’ve chosen and installed your WordPress theme, it’s time to customize your website in preparation for launch! Because of the intuitive nature of the WordPress dashboard, and the added ease of using a theme, customizing your website will be a breeze. However, here are a few considerations for each main section of your website to ensure you get the most out of your new investment. 

  • Homepage: Your homepage is the first thing an end-user sees when they land on your website. Your homepage should (through visuals and copy) tell them what your business is about, as well as encourage them to take a promoted action — like contacting you for more information. When customizing your homepage, make sure you have these essential website elements to increase your online traffic and profits.
  • Inside Pages: Your inside pages give the end-user more information about your business. You may have a services page that lists out and details each service your business offers. If your business hosts events, you may have a page with a calendar of events and/or event registration information. Overall, the purpose of your inside pages is to provide additional information a user may need to make the decision to hire or purchase from your business.

    However, of note, the content on your inside pages should not be more than two Word documents with a 12 point, double-spaced font.  Long, dense content will overwhelm the end-user and dilute your brand message. They will not read blocks of text and you risk losing leads by having too much content. Keep your content concise and your message clear to help nudge the end-user into making a purchase
  • Contact Page: Arguably more important than your homepage, your contact page is the vehicle that allows the end-user to contact you and solicit your business. You can easily create a contact form with one of the many powerful WordPress contact form plugins.

    However, in addition to your contact form, also consider adding additional means of contact on your contact page — like a phone number, address, or social media information. Even if that information is in the header or footer of your website, adding it to the contact page gives the customer another avenue for accessing that information.

Launch Your Website

Once you’ve finished customizing your website, before your launch, use SEO plugins to review and optimize your website for search engines. SEO plugins like BoldGrid Easy SEO and Yoast SEO allow you to update your description seen on search engines, as well as give you advice and guidelines on how to better optimize your content for SEO. 

Once your website launches, make sure you continuously update your content and the content on linked profiles, like social media accounts. Keeping all of your digital platforms updated will help build trust with end-users and assist in your online growth for the long term.

How to build a professional WordPress website

Need to get online quickly but don’t know where to start? Review our Get Online Quickly ebook to launch your website presence fast and easy!

Congratulations, you now know how to build a professional WordPress website fast. Enjoy your new website and check out our WordPress Education Channel for more tips and tricks.

How to Blog for Small Businesses: Best Practices for Business Blogs

blogging for businesses

You’ve heard it time and time again. To increase traffic and business to your website, create a blog. However, if you’re going to create a blog, you need to make sure you’re implementing it correctly in order to reap the benefits. This article will walk you through the best practices for business blogs so you can blog with your best foot forward. 

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Keyword Research

Before you jump into content creation, it’s important to be aware of the relevant keywords you should incorporate into your blog posts. Your keyword research should include identifying both short and longtail keywords. Identifying the keywords your audience is using to search for similar, relevant services in search engines will help you discover topics to write about. 

Remember, the purpose of your blog is to attract more traffic to your website. If you’re using relevant keywords in your blog posts, users searching those keywords will land on your blog, and thus your business website. 

Also, don’t use branded keywords too much. Branded keywords are keywords with your business name, like Joe’s Auto Shop instead of just Auto Shop. I know, we mentioned above that the purpose of a blog is to attract customers, however, the idea is to establish your business as a thought leader in a particular industry. This will help build trust with the online world and increase your business. 

Think about it, how much trust would you put in a business that uses its blog to constantly promote its own products. You probably wouldn’t regard them as a trusted industry authority and may not even believe the marketing around their products. To find the right balance between branded keywords and industry keywords, look at it from the perspective of the customer. How often would you like to read branded content versus general thought pieces?

Competitor Research

Once you have your relevant keywords and a tentative list of topics, try searching for them in a search engine. Take note of the websites that load on the first page of the search engine. Are they direct competitors, editorial websites, or affiliate sources? In addition to identifying the type of website that is ranking for a particular keyword, also take note of the content. How long is the content? Is it accompanied by images, videos, and/or graphics? Are there holes in the articles? 

The content review isn’t to completely copy their content, but to take note of the type of content that is ranking high. If they have images and graphics, your article should have images and graphics too. If there are holes in their articles, your article should address the keyword and fill the holes. 

Identifying Topics

Both your keyword and competitor research will help you identify topics to tackle on your blog. You can figure out popular topics and create better quality content to help users. You can also identify holes in particular articles and work to create content that addresses the holes. You can even use the keyword and competitor research to discover topics that others have not written about yet. 

In addition to the above, brainstorm ideas that anticipate changes in the market or address future needs for customers. For example, if you’re a landscaping business, you could give advice for the next season and how people can prepare their yards for the season change.

SEO is an important part of increasing your business online. Are you correctly implementing SEO best practices? Use this SEO checklist to make sure you’re staying on top of your SEO implementation. 

Consistent Quality Content

Though there is a lot of emphasis on keyword research and competitor content review, however, it’s important to remember that all content published on your blog needs to be quality and helpful. 

Google can detect keyword stuffing and knows when an article is solely for ranking and not necessarily a helpful piece of content. Think of Google as an online library. A library is not going to promote content that isn’t useful to its readers. Google is the same way. 

Your content must be useful for it to attract an audience and rank. The easiest way to ensure that your content is useful is to only use keywords naturally throughout the piece. 

Imagine that you’re talking to someone about the topic — how often do you really say the keyword? Not that often, right? You may mention it a few times but the bulk of your content is explaining the topic in more detail and maybe evening giving examples. Your blog posts should have the same flow as well. 

In addition, you must post your content regularly. Using the library example from above, are you going to continue to visit a library that never has new books? Post content on your blog regularly to show your audience and Google that you’re an authority and trusted source in a particular industry. 

Anatomy of a Great Blog Post

When writing a blog post, in addition to the flow of the writing, you should also be aware of the flow of the blog elements as well. To keep readers engaged, break up the text, add images, and make sure to link to relevant resources. This infographic will show you considerations for a great blog post.

Anatomy of a great blog post

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Now that you know how the best practices for business posts, and have the blueprint for a great blog post, learn more about optimizing your website for business growth with our Web Design Education channel!

Essential Website Elements that Increase Online Profits

Essential Website Elements that Increase Online Profits

It’s no secret that your website is a great tool to generate more leads and profit for your business. However, bad web design and a cluttered layout can hurt your digital marketing efforts. In addition, omitting elements like a call to action (CTA) or a contact form can stunt your online growth and revenue.

Why create a website if you’re not going to optimize it for business growth? 

This article will guide you through essential website elements that increase online profits for small businesses. No matter if you’re new to the digital space or would like to revamp your current website, this article will list elements that you should consider when optimizing your website for online growth. 

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Intuitive Website Design — Master Your Homepage Layout

When someone lands on your website, will they be able to easily understand your business and how to get in touch with you, or are your services and contact information confusing and unclear? How easy is it for your audience to navigate and interact with your website?

Before we discuss which elements to add to your website to boost your online business, we must first cover best practices for basic website elements. Adding basic website elements is a simple task when creating a website, however, you still need to make sure you’re implementing them strategically to increase your leads and profit. 

Here are some guidelines to consider when creating your homepage and website:

  • Value Proposition: What sets your business apart from your competition? What pain points do you answer for your target audience? Though you do not need a literal section for listing your value proposition, the message should be clear for your audience as soon as they land your homepage. How can you help them?
  • Call To Action: Once you’ve properly added your value proposition to your website, you will then need to add a clear next step for your audience to follow. This is also known as a call to action (CTA). A CTA informs the audience of the action you want them to take on your website once they land on it. For example, your CTA could encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter or sign up for a free trial. However, overall, make sure you define some type of CTA on your website. Directing their actions will help you increase the number of leads you gain from your incoming traffic. There is more information about CTA types and best practices below.
  • Social Media Links: This should come at no surprise. If you have social media accounts for your business, link them to your website. Social media can enhance your online presence and gives your audience another opportunity to engage with your business. It also increases your digital reach and allows your business to be shared easily across platforms. It’s much easier to tag a friend in a social media post than it is to email or text a website URL.
  • Easy Navigation: Planning your website navigation should be done strategically, especially if you plan on adding to your website in the future. Top-level navigation and dropdown items should be clear. If you don’t want to name the page “about,” consider common alternatives like “who we are” or “what we do”. However, try to stay away from words and phrases that are too unique. You should not have to explain the name of the page, the name should be a clear description of what the page will contain.
  • Highlight Services/Products/Content: As your website visitors scroll down your homepage, they should see sections highlighting your services, products or content. It should not be a lot of text, possibly just an image, 1-2 sentences and button linking them to the respective page to learn more information. However, there should be brief information on your homepage showcasing what can be found on your website. Think of it as a summary or an overview. Also, the sections can and should be updated periodically. If you’re selling products, showcase different products, different categories, or popular products. If you have a blog, add a blog feed that will display your most recent blog post on the homepage as you publish them.
  • Clear Contact Information: Once they’ve read through your homepage, contacting your business should be easy. The contact information you’re providing should be listed in your header, footer, or both. In addition, consider adding a contact form to your footer as it will then be seen throughout your entire site. You can also create a contact page to house the contact form. We talk more about contact forms below. If you create a contact page, even if you have your contact information in the header or footer,  make sure you still add your contact information to the contact page. Give your website visitors every possible opportunity to see and use your contact information.
  • Testimonials & Awards: Social proof is a great way to increase trust, thus increasing leads. Reviews are an important part of the digital experience, especially since we cannot physically touch the product or talk to the business in-person. Because of this, customer reviews are a big part of increasing business online.  Show off your customer reviews and add relevant awards to your homepage to gain credibility and new customers.
  • Design Elements: Lastly, don’t forget actual design elements that help facilitate a positive web experience. Make sure your images are relevant, high-quality, and will resonate with your audience. Landscaping businesses should have high-quality images of past projects. A dentist’s office should have high-quality images of smiling people. If you do not have high-quality images, you can use beautiful images for free from Unsplash. In addition, make sure your font is readable and on a contrasting background, for example, black font on a white background. You also want to make sure there is a good amount of space between each element so the webpage doesn’t feel cramped or crowded. 

All website examples were created by our professional web design team!


Call To Action

Your website call to action (CTA) will help your audience navigate and interact with your website. A CTA tells the audience what you want them to do and how to complete that action. For example, your CTA could be “Contact Us Today For A Free Quote,” “Signup For A 30 Minute Consultation,” “Subscribe To Start Your Free Trial,” and more. Your call to action, in addition to encouraging action, should nurture your audience into becoming loyal customers. 

To avoid confusion, your website should only have 1-2 main calls to action. However, they can be placed in multiple areas on your website. The below infographic will guide you through the best CTA placements for increasing engagement and leads.

Best call to action webpage locations to help increase leads

Customer Communication

Contact Forms

Contact forms are one of the most powerful tools for digital marketing and increasing your online business. Forms capture the contact information of your audience and can be used to gain information on their interests and needs. This data is invaluable in your efforts to increase your business. You can add fields to your contact forms to gather additional information — like which particular service they are interested in, custom products/services they need, or even specific pain points they are experiencing. All this information will help you tailor your response to them, your future products/services, and the messaging on your website. It’s a free, easy way to gain insight into the minds of those directly interacting with your business and your website.

In relation, you should also consider integrating newsletter email capture tools into your website. Email marketing platforms, like MailChimp, allow you to capture emails and save them in an email list you can then use to send marketed emails to further promote your business. Even better, MailChimp has many free templates you can use when planning and designing your email newsletters. 

Live Chat

Another great way to increase your online business is to integrate a live chat option onto your website. Similar to a contact form, a live chat allows you to collect questions and insight from those who are directly interacting with your website. 

However, while forms allow the website visitors to carefully craft their responses, a live chat will give you candid feedback about your business and your website. All feedback is helpful but raw, candid feedback will allow you to obtain initial frustrations or joy. Data around first impressions will give you needed insight for future website and business decisions that will encourage visitors to stay on your site longer — eventually leading to new sales. 

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Though the above may seem overwhelming, remember you will be adding the majority of these elements to your website anyway. This article is to ensure that you implement the elements strategically to help increase your online business. For more website and branding tips, check out our Web Design Education Channel

InMotion Hosting Redesigns Website for Trester Demolition

The web design team at InMotion Hosting has the pleasure of serving many types of businesses at different stages in their web presence journey. The experienced team, which is made up of senior web designers, senior front-end developers, and dedicated project success advisers, has created beautiful, modern designs for businesses looking to establish a brand new site or give a fresh look to an existing site. 

Web design trends are constantly changing. While you don’t need to overhaul your website every year, you should make sure your website maintains a fresh, contemporary look. If your website was designed a couple of years ago, it may be easier to simply redesign your existing site to meet modern web standards. 

When tasked with a redesign, it’s important for the designers to apply the latest styles without losing the original spirit of the brand. Redesigns are different from brand new sites because you want the essence of the business to still be recognizable. Loyal readers and customers should still recognize the business when the website loads. 

Below is a customer highlight showing the before and after of the design process, and how our web design team keeps the brand in mind when redesigning a website.

Trester Demolition & Concrete Cutting needed a new design and didn’t want anything brought over from the old website. The designer, Barbara D., then used her years of design experience to give them a fresh look that is still true to their brand and business. 

The Trester Demolition & Concrete Cutting Redesign

Before the design process begins, web design clients first complete an interview form which allows them to list their goals, wants, and needs for their new website. They also complete an interview phone call, with a dedicated project success adviser who walks them through the web design process and what to expect per their goals.

After the phone call, the senior web designer creates a comp, which is a high-fidelity image, of their homepage. The comp shows the client how their homepage will look once coded, and gives the design team the freedom to make major changes easily without the need to recode the entire site. 

Design Overview

At the start of the process, Trester Demolition & Concrete Cutting provided a wonderful new logo that drove many of the decisions during the design stage. The designer used the blues, grays, and blacks from the logo throughout the design, and added images and patterns similar to the pattern seen in the logo. 

They also provided specific content for the homepage and following their content guidelines, the designer created a layout using full-width backgrounds for every section going down the homepage, adding some texture with a concrete pattern to two of the sections and a gray horizontal gradient to echo the logo gradient in the center section. She separated the sections with blue 12 pixel thick dividing lines as visual separators and color accents.

The designer pushed the large, main image (or, the hero image) on the homepage design to the top of the page and added a transparent white header on top of the image with the logo prominently displayed to the left. For the hero image, the designer chose a stock image that already had a vignette effect and added a black and white filter to remove the blue tone of the original image. She also added a slight drop shadow to create visual depth. The large hero image will have a parallax effect once coded. 

Font Considerations

The navigation text is black but the designer used the blue from the logo as the hover color for the nav menu items, and as an accent throughout the design. As indicated in the after image, a hover color is the color the menu items changes to once the end user hovers their mouse over the menu item. 

The design team uses Google web safe fonts in their designs. Web safe fonts ensure that the chosen font will be seen by the end user no matter the device or browser. The font used in the logo is not a Google safe font, so she chose the modern, clean sans-serif IBM Plex Sans — using medium and regular weights between heading tags and body text. 

Highlighting Services

Moving down the page, in the “What We Do” section, the designer started out with two stock images. Later in the process, the clients provided two images for her to use. She then added a dark overlay as a hover effect to the image and also made the text hover state blue to match the logo. The images are placed on a medium grey shade concrete pattern.

In the next section, which enumerates the different types of demolition they do, the designer used a gradient background and added two rows of captioned icons that communicate their demolition services. 

The last section highlights their sawing services. For balance, the designer repeated the concrete background pattern and white fonts used in the “What We Do” section. She also found a stock icon collection of differently shaped saw blades, which was perfect for the subject matter, and used an overlay of white for consistency.

For the footer, the designer made a foundation layer using a deeper grey with a slight blue hue and adding white text and blue social media icons.  Under this row, the copyright strip is black with white text, forming the visual bottom edge of the website.

Web Design Services

By utilizing web trends and years of professional experience, the designer was able to create a modern, intuitive design for the client that still captured the essence of the business and brand. As web trends change, it’s important to present an easy to use website that is modern and clean. Redesigns can be hard but working with an experienced web design team can save you time, money, and help the continued promotion of your business. 

If you’re thinking about redesigning your website, consider InMotion Web Design Services. Our professional team of web designers and frontend developers will create a custom, beautiful website that draws in your end users and assists your business growth!

Top 10 WordPress Plugins for 2020

WordPress plugins allow you to add robust functionality and eye-catching aesthetic elements to your WordPress site with ease. They save you time and money by giving you the ability to extend the capabilities of your website without a total overhaul. Certain plugins even refresh the look of your website by quickly and easily adding modern design elements with little to no code.

However, with thousands of plugins to choose from, how do you know which plugin is best for you? For most, when deciding which type of plugin to use, the needs and goals of the website will guide the decision making. But, there are a few plugins that every website owner can benefit from when updating their website in 2020. 

The below lists the top 10 WordPress plugins in 2020 you should consider. The list gives recommendations for eCommerce, spam, security, sliders and more. Get the most out of your website this year with the plugins below.

Top 10 Plugins in 2020

  1. weForms
  2. Akismet Anti-Spam
  3. WooCommerce
  4. Black Studio TinyMCE Widget
  5. W3 Total Cache
  6. Table Press
  7. Strong Testimonials
  8. iThemes Security
  9. Advanced Custom Fields
  10. Smart Slider 3

1. weForms

weForms WordPress Plugin

weForms is a beautiful form builder that allows you to easily create and add forms to your website. The user-friendly, drag-and-drop design gives you the tools and confidence you need to develop form solutions that work best for your website. The easy-to-use form builder gives you over 20 field options to create custom forms, or you can use templated forms to save time. With all of the customization options available, you’ll have no problem creating a basic contact form, an event registration form, a lead generation form, and more. Download and install the plugin to experience the ease of adding forms to your website with weForms.
 

2. Akismet Anti-Spam

Akismet Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin

Akismet Anti-Spam is a great tool that monitors your comments and contact form submissions for potentially harmful spam. The plugin checks incoming comments and submissions against their global database of spam and prevents spam from being published on your website. You can also review the comments that are caught or cleared by Akismet, as well as comments that were marked as spam or unmarked as spam by users. The plugin also has a discard feature that fully blocks the worst spam and maintains the speed of your website. Download and install Akismet to protect your website against spam.
 

3. WooCommerce

WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

WooCommerce is a robust eCommerce solution that will allow you to quickly and easily sell your product and services. In addition to providing a fully functional online store complete with payment and shipping options, the plugin has many extensions and integrations that will allow you to create an online store that best fits your needs. You can sell physical, downloadable, or affiliate products. Also, through integrations, you’ll also be able to take bookings, offer memberships, set up recurring payments through subscriptions and more. Learn more about the benefits of WooCommerce and start your eCommerce journey.
 

4. Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget WordPress Plugin

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget plugin allows you to easily edit your sidebar widgets. The plugin presents widgets as posts or pages, giving you the ability to edit the content as you would a post or a page. This includes the ability to add rich text and media with ease. There are even visual and HTML editors to toggle between depending on your expertise level and needs.
 

5. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

W3 Total Cache improves your SEO and user experience by reducing load times and increasing website performance. Users of the plugin can see improvements in search engine results, especially for mobile-friendly and SSL enabled websites. It also increases site performance by reducing load time, optimizing rendering, and browser caching. No matter what kind of site you manage, W3 Total Cache sets you up for optimal performance.
 

6. TablePress

TablePress WordPress Plugin

TablePress gives you the ability to create and manage robust, beautiful tables right from the dashboard. The tables can be edited in a spreadsheet interface and users can embed the tables into posts, pages, and widgets with a shortcode. Perfect for websites displaying a lot of information, this plugin also allows any type of data, including formulas. You can also export the tables or import tables as Excel, CSV, HTML, and JSON files.
 

7. Strong Testimonials

Strong Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Strong Testimonials allows you to collect and publish testimonials and reviews easily. Testimonials and reviews are highly valued by end users and can positively assist in the growth of your business and website. This plugin gives you the ability to add a beautiful testimonials area that inherits the style of your theme. In addition, editing the testimonials area is easy with their visual editor, and the testimonials can be displayed using a shortcode or widget on the appropriate page.
 

8. iThemes Security

iThemes Security WordPress Plugin

iTheme Security locks down your WordPress site by giving you over 30 ways to secure and protect it. With thousands of hacks each day, the plugin works to fix common holes, stop automated attacks and strengthen user credentials to keep your website safe. It addition to a list of protection, detection, obscuring and recovering features, it also has brute force protection and bans users who have tried to break into other sites from breaking into yours.
 

9. Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields WordPress Plugin

Advanced Custom Fields allows you to add and edit customs fields for additional sections and content on pages via the edit screen. Perfect for custom websites or themes without a block builder, this plugin allows you to easily add dynamic elements to your pages without the need to overhaul your entire website. In addition to pages and posts, the fields can also be added to comments and used for taxonomy terms, media and more.
 

10. Smart Slider 3

Smart Slider 3 WordPress Plugin

Smart Slider 3 is a wonderful plugin that allows you to add beautiful, dynamic design elements to your website with ease. Create fully responsive, SEO optimized sliders with animations, layers, buttons and more without code. The paid version even allows you to add videos via YouTube or Vimeo. Smart Slider 3 is another great tool that allows you to refresh the look of your site without a complete redesign.
 

With the above top 10 WordPress plugins, you’ll be able to protect your site from brute attacks, optimize the SEO and performance, add robust functionality and beautiful design elements easily. Do you use a plugin on this list or have a plugin suggestion? Let us know in the comments!


Stormy Scott is a member of the InMotion Hosting content marketing team and enjoys writing about WordPress, web design and emerging technologies in the industry.