Page.ly makes WordPress a snap

In this previous post, we talked about ways to install WordPress.  All of them have been eclipsed by this new service in terms of ease and speed.  Our friends over at Page.ly take the full WordPress install and cram it into 2 minutes.  Watch the video here.

You’ll pay for the service, but not more than a standard hosting package @ $14.95/month plus a free domain.  Check them out here!

They offer “power ups” which are discounted WordPress-related services and products like those from Woothemes.  Plus, Page.ly sites support all standard themes and plugins.  Plus, a number of themes are pre-installed so you can access them within minutes.  They said it best: “Easy like WordPress.com with the Freedom of WordPress.org”

Heard enough? Check them out here!

Or check out our full: WordPress Hosting Guide.

7 alternatives to Google Analytics

We all use Google Analytics to track visitors to our WordPress sites.  Right?  Not necessarily.  There were several services before Analytics was the standard, and even more have popped up in recent years that compete with the big G!  Here are some of the best options out there, with a little analysis of our own.

But first, some critique of Google Analytics which has caused some webmasters to look elsewhere.

  • Delay.  Have you ever found yourself checking your stats at 12:01 AM?
  • Reliability. Analytics isn’t supposed to count bots and spiders, but have you ever found a massive spike in traffic with no real explanation?  Or perhaps you’ve wondered how a search term of “green chili recipes” brought someone to your blog about rugby?
  • Ease of use.  There are some very powerful features built into Analytics, but for 90% of webmasters, they’re overboard.  Sometimes I just want a simple, stylish graph of traffic.

Here are several alternatives to Analytics that address some of these issues.

Woopra

  • Real Time
  • Easily compare and manage multiple sites
  • Tons of trackable information
  • Promises additional features soon

Clicky

  • Real time statistics
  • Free and paid plans
  • Most of the popular features of Analytics
  • A graphically pleasing layout
  • Offers a WordPress Plugin to integrate with your site.
  • Has an impressive client list including Mashable, SmashingMagazine and BuySellAds.com

Piwik

  • Real Time
  • Simple
  • Open Source
  • Plugin powered so you can add/remove features
  • Installed on your server so you have complete control and ownership of the data

Sitemeter

  • One of the originals
  • Free and paid plans
  • Easy and fast to set up
  • Easily share your stats (or secure them from) visitors

Chartbeat

  • Real time
  • Simple interface
  • Traffic alerts
  • $9.95/month at press time

Reinvigorate

  • Real time
  • Event tracking
  • “Heat map” technology
  • Desktop integration

Mint

mint-analytics

  • Self-hosted for full control
  • Search support
  • Feed subscription patterns
  • $30 per domain – One off

Do you know of another alternative to Google Analytics?  Share it below with your comment.

Top choices for WordPress shopping carts

WordPress is quickly becoming a fully-featured, powerful and dynamic content management system and not just a blogging tool.  The geniuses over at WordPress.org are continually improving and expanding the codex while miraculously protecting the speed, simplicity and ease of WordPress.

In tandem with the developers, theme creators are continually pushing the limits of WordPress to new heights.  As we move into this new era of WordPress uses, the idea of creating e-commerce applications in WordPress is expanding rapidly.  We looked at the current options and selected our top choices when selecting a WordPress shopping cart.

WordPress Shopping Cart

Key Features:

  • A full shopping cart (not just a payment processor), allowing users to add and remove products from their cart and then “checkout”.
  • Integrates with WordPress Affiliate Software
  • Integrates with Paypal and 2Checkout
  • Integrates with Nexgen gallery

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

ShopperPress Theme/Plugin

Key Features

  • Affiliate support
  • Support for drop shipping products
  • Software or product download support
  • Free trial version

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

Zack Design WordPress Shopping Cart

There hasn’t been an update on this page since 2007 but we thought we’d let you make your own decision.

WordPress E-Commerce Plugin

Key Features

  • Boasting 500,000 downloads
  • Integrates with Social Networking services
  • In addition to Paypal, offers Google Checkout, Payment Express and Authorize.net as payment gateway options
  • Single page checkout designed to help distractable customers

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

eShop Shopping Cart Plugin

Key Features

  • Uses the existing WordPress framework (products are posts or pages)
  • Downloadable products and download statistics
  • Stock control
  • Works with WPMU
  • Supports Authorize.net, Paypal, Payson, eProcessingNetwork, Webtopay, iDEAL and Cash/Cheque

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

YAK for WordPress

Key Features

  • Also turns posts into products
  • Product categories (using post categories)
  • Order sorting
  • Promotion support
  • SSL Support

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.