Tag Archives: Tools

Free Viral Launch Theme

Launch Effect was recently brought to our attention as a solution for pre-launch and early launch applications.  Launch Effect is a one-page WordPress theme intended to help developers and new businesses generate buzz before launch.

The theme is incredibly customizable and serves one very important function.  Users visiting the site can enter their email address to receive future updates.  That’s something many themes can do.  But here is where Launch Effect stands apart.  Users who sign up are provided with a custom generated URL they can use to share with friends.

You can then track referrals so top performers can be rewarded, or just thanked with a kind email.  The following are screenshots of the signup and sharing screens.

As you can see, users can share the launch in lots of different popular ways.

The free version of this theme has all the features described above including a powerful design dashboard and lots of customization options.  It also comes with a small footer linking back to the developer.

The design dashboard allows for complete color and style customization from top to bottom.  All colors, fonts and text is customizable through this dashboard.

The premium version adds functionality to include a progress bar, countdown timer, brandable footer, and full theme functionality to use as a regular WordPress site.  In development for future releases is the ability to add extra form fields and sell single products with Paypal support.

Launch Effect can also integrate seamlessly with Mailchimp (my personal favorite), Google Analytics, AWeber and PressTrends.

The stats are also impressive, allowing the site admin to track signups and conversions each person has generated.  This is great for content entries and true viral launches.

Launch Effect is in use by lots of exciting new concepts right now.  One nice feature of Launch Effect is that no theme ends up looking the same so you don’t have to worry about lots of other sites using the same design.  Check out some of these cool designs:

Go ahead, check out Launch Effect for yourself.  If you’re experienced with this theme, we would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

Essential WordPress Social Media Tools

Converting users is as important as ever before. With millions of websites being created every day, how can you compete? Here’s how: convert your readers like a pro with these essential tools.

Meebo Toolbar

Meebo Toolbar for WordPressA sweet little bar that hangs out at the bottom of all your pages. It is available as a WordPress plugin or standalone code. You can customize the bar with anything you might need to convert users like RSS links, and integration with your Facebook page.

Wibiya Toolbar
Wibiya Toolbar for WordPressAnother handy toolbar with some different content and style options. Both tools can help convert users, it’s up to you to decide which one is best for you.

WP Greet Box

WP greetbox plugin for WordPress This handy plugin will insert a discrete box below the heading but above the content with dynamically generated message to readers based on their referral source. See it in action here: 43 Ways to Promote your content like a pro.

Smart Sharing Plugin

Easy Share Plugin for WordPressThis plugin creates a box that can be aligned to the left or right of your site with important sharing links.  It scrolls with the user, meaning they are always reminded to switch from “casual visitor” to “avid follower”.

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.

Wibiya has opened its doors to WordPress users

We recently reported on Wibiya, an exceptional tool for WordPress blogs (and other sites but we don’t care about them).  At the time, Wibiya was in beta mode, asking you to request an invitation to use the plugin.  Just recently, Wibiya took two pretty big steps.

First, Wibiya is now open to the public.  Simply click “Get it now!” to sign up.  You will select a few settings like applications to include on your toolbar, then download a plugin zip file.  Previously you were given a raw PHP file that required manual upload (instead of the handy “upload new plugin” option in your WordPress Dashboard.

Second, Wibiya updated the toolbar altogether.  If you already had the Wibiya toolbar, you need to reinstall it.  The toolbar now includes a couple more applications and a better interface for adding/removing them.

So what does the Wibiya toolbar do?

  • Integrates Facebook into your blog
  • Integrates Twitter, allowing users to tweet about you right from your blog!
  • Offers easy navigation of random and previous/next posts – increasing pageviews and retaining visitors.
  • Lets readers chat with other visitors
  • Lets you communicate with visitors by setting up announcements (popup or not)
  • Decrease reasons for visitors to leave by allowing social networking right on your site (instead of leaving to do so)
  • And tons more applications (translations, real time users and more added all the time)

Like we said, we don’t care about anything that doesn’t involve WordPress, but Wibiya also works with Blogger, Drupal, Ning, Joomla and more.  Check out the new Wibiya toolbar here.

Blogging Tools, Ebooks, Social Media, Formatting, Facebook, Inspiration and Readers

This article is a summary of some of the best articles I have read recently.

Steven Snell from Vandelay Design writes about 9 Essential Tools for Bloggers. This is a great article summarizing some key tools for bloggers. The article names the following list of tools, please visit the article for a full write up.

  1. FeedBurner
  2. Google Analytics
  3. Del.icio.us
  4. BloglinesRSS Reader
  5. Windows Live Writer
  6. Google Webmaster Tools
  7. Page Speed Checkerfrom Self SEO
  8. Google Alerts
  9. Link Checker from Technorati

Nate Whitehill writes about Using Free ebooks to Promote your Blog. The article suggests how using ebooks he can convert people who download the ebook into email subscribers.

Tadeusz Szewczyk from SEO 2.0 writes about The Real Rules of Social Media Marketing. Tad writes good stuff, and this article is well worth reading if you want to improve how your content’s scores of social media sites. Tad has informed me that this article is a parody of Social Media Marketing by Glen Allsop.

Michael Martin from Pro Blog Design writes about Formatting your Posts for Readability. This article puts together some valuable information about good habits you should get into when formatting your blog posts, great stuff.

Brian Clark from Copyblogger writes about What Facebook Can Teach You About Effective Blog Marketing. Copyblogger has some exceptional content, so this blog is well worth visiting if you have never been there before. This article discusses how to segment your readers, for effective marketing and uses Facebook as an example.

David Airey writes about Using your Readers for Writing Inspiration. This is a good read on how to use your reader’s comments to create content. Good stuff.

How to Attract Readers Who Don’t Read Blogs is a very good article on performancing.com. This article is good food for thought. Who reads your blog? Is it mainly other bloggers? Do regular people actually know that they are reading a blog?

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