WZoneLite – A Pretty Cool WooCommerce Amazon Affiliate Plugin

Everyone wants to make a million dollars by being a blogger. The promise of riches and internet fame is a big draw to doing it for a lot of people, and I’m sorry to say that the reality of being a blogger (even a professional blogger!) is not quite…as financially lucrative as all that. But that’s not to say that it can’t be–one of the best ways to start your empire is with an Amazon affiliate plugin.

For me, the Amazon Associates program has been one of the biggest earners for me over the years. Not only are there CPM ads like Google Adsense (you know, the normal banner ads we all love to hate), but any time someone clicks a link from your site, you get a percentage of anything they buy while the token from your site lasts in their browser. If they buy a song, you get a few cents. If they buy a new MacBook Pro and iPhone? You get…a lot more cents.

With that in mind, WZoneLite is a pretty cool WooCommerce Amazon affiliate plugin that syncs everything together so you can worry about what really matters on your site: making content that brings in the visitors so that that you can make all those cents.

The Only WooCommerce Amazon Affiliate Plugin You Need?

woo commerce amazon affiliate plugin

Basically, the whole thing is a drop shipping business through the WooCommerce storefront. For those who don’t know, drop shipping is where you act as the store and someone else fulfills and ships the other. You’re the purveyor of the goods, not the distributor. You never have any contact with the items themselves.

The only catch here is that you don’t don’t get the purchase price of the item. You get a percentage of that cost from Amazon (hence it being an affiliate program). For the customer, it’s a normal ecommerce transaction, and for you, it’s a lot more legit than just plastering banner ads and links across your site.

WZoneLite also allows you to pick and choose which items you display in your WooCommerce store, so you really can specialize with items that you trust and that your audience will love. Kettlebells for fitness sites, SSDs for tech sites, and so on and so forth.

Oh, and make sure you have WooCommerce installed, too. It’s kind of necessary.

Amazon Setup

wzonelite

Getting things set up is pretty simple, really. The first thing you gotta do is navigate down to your new, handy-dandy WZoneLite menu item and go into Amazon Config. Then head over to your Amazon Associates account page and login. You gotta have one of these to start raking in the dough, so if you aren’t already signed up, do so.

You’re going to need some API keys, so you can get them under the Tools -> Product Advertising API in your Amazon Associates account. Click on Join, and your keys will be right there.

woo commerce amazon affiliate plugin

Enter them back in the Amazon Config screen, and you’re golden.

Plugin and Import Setup

There are two tabs for Plugin and Import settings, but honestly, once you’re good to go with your Amazon Associates account, I wouldn’t really worry about them. At this point because they’re mostly tweaks to the functionality–the length of cookies, whether you have a reviews tab, and so forth and so on. It is similar

These are better saved until later, if you ask me (which you didn’t) because you may not know exactly how your shop is going to work best at this point.

Insane Imports!

This is where the fun begins. I am not even kidding–these imports are insane! Or at least what the menu item tells me. Once you get to this area, you get to choose the items you want to sell in your store. It could be the easiest or hardest part of the whole setup because Amazon kind of sells…everything in existence.

The Chrome Extension works super well, so if you’re a Chrome user, install it and get to importing (as you shop, even!). But for this, I am going to really focus on how I added stuff within the plugin itself using the native tools.

Type, Launch, Import

Finding what you want to put in your store is a matter of filling out a few forms. The plugin pulls from Amazon to offer suggestions based on your keywords, and you can add categories and all sorts of other options to fine tune what you’re selling. For this, I chose “WordPress.” There were quite a few options, too, as you can see here.

Hit the Launch Search button, picked out your products, and scroll down to hit the big, blue Import Products button. It may take a while to finish, but that’s because it’s taking the information from Amazon (including images and tags and categories and so on) and making you some new, shiny WooCommerce products.

Sell That Stuff!

Now, if you head to your WooCommerce All Products page, you will see so many new products, full of stock information, prices, categories and descriptions ready to be put into your store. From this point, you can treat them exactly like any other WooCommerce product you enter.

From what I have discerned, there are only two differences here:

  • users will be redirected checkout through Amazon, not at your site
  • you don’t make the checkout price, only the affiliate commission

WooCommerce Amazon Affiliate Plugin

You don’t even have to worry about the affiliate ID or anything because it comes imported with the WZone plugin. Good stuff, I tell ya.

You’ll Be Swimming in Cash like Scrooge McDuck

You’ll see how awesome of a system this is before long. Affiliate marketing gets a bad rap a lot, and mostly it’s because so many people don’t do it right. But when you are running a store on your site–a legitimate store–that provides products that you handpick, you’re going to be one step ahead of the competition.

You won’t have any of the overhead of most stores, and you will definitely see a return on this. Folks will buy from you because they trust you. They don’t click banners. No one does. We are trained to ignore them.

So go out, download WZoneLite or grab the premium version from CodeCanyon, and start filling up that bank vault so that you can take a leap into it and swim around before it’s too late!

Article featured image by Dzm1try / shutterstock.com

The post WZoneLite – A Pretty Cool WooCommerce Amazon Affiliate Plugin appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

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12 Alternatives to WordPress (And Why You Might Want to Use One)

Looking for some alternatives to WordPress? While we might be big fans of the world’s most popular content management system, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other perfectly viable tools for you to use to build a website or blog.

In this post, I’ll dig into 12 of those WordPress alternatives, divided into three separate categories:

  • Self-hosted content management systems
  • Hosted website builders
  • Basic blogging platforms

Generally, you’ll find more complicated alternatives in the content management systems category and more simple solutions in the hosted website builders and blogging platforms sections.

Let’s dive in!

6 Content Management System Alternatives to WordPress

These six alternatives to WordPress are all standalone content management systems. That means, like self-hosted WordPress, you’ll need to install them on your own hosting to use them for your site.

Joomla

joomla

After WordPress, Joomla is the second most popular content management system in use. While it does have a healthy hold on second place, it’s nowhere near the popularity of WordPress – WordPress has ~60% market share, while Joomla has 6.7%.

Like WordPress, Joomla is a core software that you can extend with templates and extensions. The third-party extension community isn’t as large as WordPress, but you can find many overlapping tools. For example, Joomla has its own page builders, just like WordPress.

In the old days, people used to say that Joomla was more for static websites and WordPress was more for blogs. Obviously, that’s changed as WordPress has developed into a full-service content management system, but some of those biases still remain.

With that being said, Joomla still has some advantages like:

  • It’s multilingual out of the box. While there are plenty of WordPress translation plugins, they aren’t baked into the WordPress core.
  • More flexible widget system. Joomla’s modules can be assigned to individual pages or menu items out of the box.
  • Access Level Management. Joomla’s user permission management system is more robust than WordPress’.

For these, and other reasons, some people say Joomla is more “enterprise ready” than WordPress. At least out of the box.

With that being said, while Joomla has improved its usability, most people still find it less beginner-friendly than WordPress. And, while the third-party extension marketplace is well-developed, you still won’t find anywhere near as many options as WordPress.

Price: Free | More Information

Drupal

Drupal

After Joomla, Drupal is the next most popular content management system with 4.7% market share.

In comparison to WordPress, Drupal is not nearly as beginner friendly. While Drupal does offer modules and themes to extend its looks and functionality, beginners will struggle to create detailed sites with Drupal, at least in comparison to WordPress.

With that being said, that complexity leads to some advantages:

  • Drupal is better at handling huge amounts of data, which makes it more suited for many enterprise websites.
  • Drupal’s Views module lets you display different types of content in a more flexible manner than WordPress does.
  • Like Joomla, Drupal gives you more control over user access and permissions.

Generally, though, unless you’re a developer who already knows why Drupal is the right choice over WordPress, you’re probably better off sticking to WordPress.

Price: Free | More Information

Ghost

Ghost

Ghost is a lightweight content management system built specifically for blogging and publishing. It’s not anywhere near as flexible as WordPress – but it’s also not trying to be.

If you’re exclusively looking to blog and are willing to forgo WordPress’ large plugin marketplace, Ghost provides a lightweight foundation that’s built on the latest technologies.

While you can install Ghost on your own server, Ghost also offers a hosted version that you can pay for if you’d rather outsource setup and maintenance to someone else.

Like WordPress, you can also find plenty of Ghost themes to change how your site looks.

Price: Free open source software or paid hosted plan | More Information

Craft CMS

Craft CMS

Craft CMS is a less well-known content management system used by some big brands like Netflix and Salesforce.

It’s a much more developer-focused content management system because it doesn’t provide front-end themes. Instead, Craft CMS exclusively provides the backend for your site. Then, you can use Craft CMS’ templating system (powered by Twig) to design the front-end of your site.

Out of the box, Craft CMS is more flexible than WordPress for defining content types. Instead of predefining content, like a WordPress post or page, Craft CMS puts you in charge of setting up your content types using 18 different types of fields.

While Craft CMS isn’t really accessible to non-developers, I’ve spoken with multiple developers who’ve raved about it. So if you’re a developer, definitely give it a look.

Price: Free for personal projects. Client projects start at $199 | More Information

Pulse CMS

Pulse CMS

Pulse CMS has one major difference right from the start:

It’s a flat content management system. That means it doesn’t use a database.

Instead, you use Pulse CMS to define editable blocks inside an otherwise static website. Then, users can edit those blocks through the Pulse CMS web interface.

That means, if you’re a developer, you can build a static website and easily add backend content editing for your clients using Pulse CMS.

It’s a niche use – but definitely a unique alternative to WordPress.

Price: $297 for unlimited use | More Information

Grav

Grav

Grav is another flat-file content management system. Again, that means it doesn’t use a database.

Interestingly, Grav is developed by RocketTheme, a Joomla template and WordPress theme shop.

One advantage of Grav is that you can easily define custom fields for any of your content. And you can also use unlimited taxonomies to manage content.

Like Pulse CMS and Craft CMS, Grav is more suited for developers than casual users.

Price: Free | More Information

3 Website Builder Alternatives to WordPress

Unlike the content management system alternatives above, these three tools can all be classified as website builders. That means you don’t need to install the software on your own website.

Instead, each provider hosts the software for you and you build your website via their interface. You can still use your own domain name – it’s just a fundamentally different approach to ownership and maintenance.

Wix

Wix

Wix is a freemium website builder that allows you to create your entire website using drag and drop. You can choose from one of the many Wix templates and then edit them as needed to create your site.

Wix is dead simple, which is one reason so many beginners like it.

With that being said, in order to get that simplicity, you have to sacrifice flexibility.

If you’re willing to make that sacrifice, give Wix a look. Otherwise, WordPress, or any one of the other content management systems, will give you much more control over your site.

Wix does offer a free plan, but you’re unable to use your own domain name and Wix displays ads on your site unless you pay for a premium plan.

Price: Cheapest plan with custom domain/no Wix ads is $8.50 per month | More Information

Squarespace

Squarespace

Like Wix, Squarespace is a website builder designed to make it easy for beginners to create a site. You can create both a static website as well as an eCommerce store.

Unsurprisingly, Squarespace’s pros and cons are similar to Wix:

On one hand, it’s incredibly simple to build a website. On the other hand, you don’t have anywhere near the flexibility of WordPress or other self-hosted content management systems.

Whether or not that trade-off is worth it depends on your personal needs and preferences.

Unlike Wix, Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, though.

Price: Starts at $12 per month (billed annually) | More Information

Shopify

Shopify

Before the rise of WordPress plugins like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, Shopify would never have appeared on a list of WordPress alternatives. But now that so many people are using WordPress to run an eCommerce store, I think it makes sense to include Shopify here.

Unlike Wix and Squarespace, Shopify is exclusively for creating an eCommerce store.

While you’re free to use your own domain name, Shopify handles hosting and maintaining your store.

Like WordPress, you can then extend your Shopify store further with themes and apps.

Since going public in 2015, Shopify’s stock price has shot from $28.31 to $119, which suggests people believe in Shopify’s success!

If you’re considering creating an eCommerce store, definitely give Shopify a look. And if you want to learn more about how Shopify stacks up against WordPress, we wrote an entire post comparing Shopify and WooCommerce.

Price: Starts at $29 per month | More Information

3 Basic (and Free) Blogging Alternatives to WordPress

These tools won’t help you build a full website – but if you’re just looking for somewhere to publish a blog for free without needing to install a content management system like Ghost, these three sites are solid WordPress alternatives.

Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr is a microblogging system that lets you quickly publish content to your own blog. Other Tumblr users can easily share or like your content, which helps your content get discovered by more people.

Don’t expect to do anything other than publishing basic blog posts. But if that’s all you want, Tumblr is a good free option.

Price: Free | More Information

Blogger

Blogger

Blogger is Google’s competitor to WordPress.com. You can either create your blog as a subdomain of blogspot.com or use your own domain name.

While Blogger isn’t as popular as it once was, it’s still a nice free solution to create your own blog. And because it’s owned by Google, it’s easy to add Google AdSense to your blog for some extra earnings.

Price: Free | More Information

Medium

Medium

Medium is a popular publishing platform with a gorgeous content editor. In fact, the upcoming WordPress Gutenberg editor is inspired by the Medium editor in a number of ways.

You can either publish your content into the Medium ecosystem, which can help get it exposure. Or, Medium also lets you use a custom domain name for a one-time setup fee.

If you’re exclusively looking to publish blog posts – give it a look. If you want a more static site, though, you’ll be disappointed.

Price: Free or $75 one-time to use a custom domain | More Information

Wrapping Things Up

Despite the many alternatives to WordPress that exist, WordPress is still the dominant content management system for a reason:

For most users, it’s the easiest and most flexible way to create a website.

That definitely doesn’t mean there aren’t specific uses where one of these alternatives is better. But as a general default choice? WordPress is the winner.

With that being said, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on these WordPress alternatives. Have you tried any of them? If so, did you like them more or less than WordPress?

Article thumbnail image by moham’ed / shutterstock.com 

The post 12 Alternatives to WordPress (And Why You Might Want to Use One) appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

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25 Examples of Colorful Websites that Impress

The world isn’t black and white, so why does your website need to be black and white? Ok – there aren’t many entirely black and white websites. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t make the web more colorful. And to give you the inspiration to do just that, we’ve collected some gorgeous examples of colorful websites to get your creative juices flowing.

While it would be easy to fill this list with websites from design and branding agencies, we tried to find websites that span all niches and design styles. That means you’ll find agencies, eCommerce stores, SaaS products, F&B companies, and more. The only unifying factor is that they’re all colorful!

Jump in and get inspired…

1. Odd Pears Socks

colorful websites

Odd Pears goes with a bold colorful look that matches the quirky socks that they sell. So not only is their website design eye-catching, but it also fits their brand and aesthetic.

While the actual product pages aren’t quite as colorful, the socks themselves still add a dose of color to the entire site. Definitely a cool eCommerce store (even if it is built on Shopify instead of WooCommerce!)

2. Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo, the massive music and arts festival in Manchester, TN, goes with a colorful psychedelic look that meshes well with the spirit of the festival.

The bold header is site-wide, so visitors to every page are going to get a serious dose of color.

3. Aida

Aida

Aida is a New York City-based line of “eating and entertaining essentials. “ They have whimsical branding that’s reflected in their site’s colorful design.

While Aida’s website does incorporate tons of colors, it still manages to put product imagery front and center.

4. Mambo Mambo

Mambo Mambo

Mambo Mambo is a branding agency with about as bold and colorful a homepage as you’ll find. Beyond the eye-catching colors, Mambo Mambo’s site also features a neat scroll effect as you move down the rest of the colorful page.

5. Milkable

Milkable

Milkable is a creative agency with an attention-grabbing and colorful homepage. Despite the bevy of milk branding, Milkable is, as far as I can tell, not funded by the dairy industry.

6. Baianat

Baianat

Baianat is a web and graphic design studio with a bold red homepage. Beyond their own site, you can also find plenty more colorful websites in Baianat’s client list. It appears Baianat is an overall fan of color!

7. Avocado

Avocado

Colorful websites aren’t limited to design agencies! At least that’s what this Japanese restaurant (that serves Mexican food) proves. The full-width hero video is framed by colorful graphics.

Avocado maintains the same colorful style as you scroll through the menu and contact information.

8. Perfect Day

Perfect Day

While Milkable wasn’t about milk, Perfect Day keeps a similar aesthetic to…actually talk about milk. Well, not dairy milk – but “animal-free dairy products that taste like the real thing.”

9. Litmus

Litmus

Litmus is a good example of how SaaS products can still have colorful websites. This is a tool to help improve email deliverability. And while that’s a fairly dry subject, this company keeps things exciting with its colorful website design.

10. Wistia

Wistia

Wistia is another SaaS company that doesn’t shy away from color. Beyond the teal background, they bring in dashes of other colors with the pencils, oranges, and other desk items.

In addition to looking great, the colorful design helps reinforce their branding of “Built for business. Way more fun.”

11. 3 Sided Cube

3 Sided Cube

3 Sided Cube is an app development shop with a bold neon homepage. They also don’t beat around the bush with that they do! The iPhone mockup screens help to make the neon green background less overwhelming and add some additional color.

12. PepsiCo Beverage Facts

PepsiCo

Let’s mix things up by getting a major corporation into the list! PepsiCo Beverage Facts is PepsiCo’s website where consumers can learn more about what goes into PepsiCo’s beverages.

It features a colorful blue design that fits PepsiCo’s branding.

13. Chipotle Savor Wavs

Chipotle Savor Wavs

Chipotle Savor Wavs is a “musical and visual experience” based on Chipotle’s ingredients. Yeah, that’s fairly odd. But it’s also a great example of a colorful website.

14. Essentially Geared Wine

Essentially Geared Wined

Wine in a can? Yes, that is part of what Essentially Geared Wine is advertising on its website. As you scroll down the website, the colors on both the can and the background change. Like Aida, it manages to both be colorful and incorporate plenty of product visuals.

15. Packwire

Packwire

Packwire is a service that helps people create custom boxes. For example, an eCommerce store could use Packwire to create branded boxes to ship their products in.

Because cardboard boxes aren’t the most exciting industry, Packwire is another good example of how you can use color to make a dull industry a little less boring.

16. Anywhere

Anywhere

Anywhere is a “handbook for digital nomads” from AND CO. While the product imagery itself is already colorful, the bright red background only takes things up a notch.

This one is both a good example of a colorful website as well as a handy resource if you’re a location-independent developer.

17. 7UP Lemon Lemon

7Up

Autoplaying music aside, 7UP Lemon Lemon Netherlands is another nice example of how FMCG companies can create a colorful website.

18. Havaianas

Haviananas

Known best for their flip-flops, Havaianas sells sandals and accessories via their colorful store. Havaianas has always had a fairly beachy/tropical brand, so the bright colors fit well with their overall aesthetic.

19. Deskpass

Deskpass

Deskpass is a coworking pass that gives subscribers access to 135+ coworking spaces for one monthly rate.

Their bold yellow look keeps things light and casual, which fits the branding that most coworking enthusiasts enjoy.

20. Sweet Leaf Tea

Sweet Leaf Tea

Sweet Leaf Tea is a popular brand of flavored iced tea. Their product packaging has always been colorful, so it’s fitting that their website is equally as colorful.

21. Austin Beer Works

Austin Beer Works

Austin Beer Works is another beverage company that relies on bold colors to showcase their beers. And like Essentially Geared Wine, Austin Beer Works incorporates actual product imagery into its colorful design.

22. Word Counter

Word Counter

Word Counter is a nice example of a simple web app that uses color well in its design. The entire tool is one page, but it manages to differentiate itself from many of the similar tools by incorporating colorful blue tones.

23. Huxtaburger

Huxtaburger

Huxtaburger is another restaurant that’s not afraid to incorporate colors into its website design. The homepage sets a colorful tone that extends throughout the rest of the website.

24. Fotonaut

Fotonaut

Fotonaut is a Czech service that rents out photo booths for parties and events. They heavily market how entertaining their photo booths are, so it’s only fitting that Fotonaut has its own colorful, entertaining design.

25. Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is a “machine-learning app” to help users improve their Russian skills. While learning a language is a bit of a dry topic, the colorful design certainly keeps things from being boring.

Wrapping Things Up

I hope you enjoyed these 25 examples of colorful websites! Used right (that part is important), color can enhance your website designs and make for a more enjoyable experience.

Additionally, color can also enhance branding, which is especially notable with many of the whimsical products or design studios featured. Or, it can make a boring topic like cardboard boxes a little more exciting.

Now over to you – do you know any great colorful websites that are worth sharing?

Article thumbnail image by By Veleri / shutterstock.com 

The post 25 Examples of Colorful Websites that Impress appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

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How to Tell Which WordPress Theme a Website is Using

There are uncountable WordPress themes out there. Most of them are well-thought-out and offer you one of the most valuable things out there: extra time to personalize the website you’ve had in mind.

To find the ideal WordPress theme, you can look around and see what’s for sale (or for free) in big market places like ThemeForest. Or, you can also explore websites that are already out there. After you’ve found a website that matches what you are looking for, the next logical step is to see what WordPress theme it was made with.

But how? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to show you in this post.

Make Sure The Website is Using WordPress

The first thing you’ll need to do is find out whether or not the website you’re visiting is made with WordPress. Because, obviously, you don’t want to end up thinking you can’t find the theme if it’s simply not made for WordPress.

There are several ways that’ll help you figure out whether a website is made with WordPress or not. In a previous post, we’ve collected the easiest solutions that’ll help you in the process. However, we’re also going to share some online tools and extensions in this post. Besides showing you the WordPress theme, some of these online tools will also show you if the website is running on WordPress or not.

1. Take a Look at The Footer

The first possibility, which only requires you to scroll to the end of the website, is taking a look at the footer of the website you’re on. However, this possibility will not always work. In fact, most websites try to hide it from their footer. Showing the WordPress theme you’ve made your website with somehow reflects that you haven’t entirely made the website yourself. But although most websites won’t have these credits, some websites will. You can usually find these credits along with the WordPress credits.

wordpress theme

2. Look Within The Page Source

If a website doesn’t contain the credits in the footer; don’t worry. There are other possibilities as well. Like searching for the WordPress theme in the source of the website. You can approach this by searching for the word ‘themes’ within the source. By doing that, you’ll most likely run into the theme right away, as you can see in the example below.

wordpress theme

3. Online Tools

Luckily, several online tools will also help you find out what WordPress theme a website is using. In this part of the post, we’ll share some of the best options out there. Each one of these options offers something extra and can be used in combination with the other online tools that are mentioned.

What WordPress Theme is That

The first online tool we’ll be handling is ‘What WordPress Theme is That‘. The name of their website makes it obvious that this online tool focuses entirely on finding the WordPress theme you’re looking for. You’ll just have to enter the URL and the tool will provide you with the answer you were looking for.

wordpress theme

The very nice thing about this website is that it doesn’t only tell you what WordPress theme is being used, it’ll also show you what plugins are being used as well. Unfortunately, the online tool doesn’t detect parent themes.

What Theme

Another great tool is ‘What Theme‘. This online tool is not only made to recognize WordPress themes (including parent themes), but themes from other content management systems as well. A few of those are, besides WordPress, Joomla!,  Blogger, Shopify and Drupal. It’s the same way of working as with the ‘What WordPress Theme is That’ online tool; you just have to type in the URL and discover the results.

wordpress theme

WP Theme Detector

The next online tool we want to mention (although there are other tools out there as well) is the WP Theme Detector. Besides showing you what the WordPress theme is, it’ll also show you how it’s ranked and how popular it is within the searches on their website. This option is definitely recommendable if you’re not only looking for the WordPress theme, but also seeking the quality of appreciation for that theme.

wordpress theme

Scan WP

The last online tool, Scan WP, is pretty similar to the ‘What Theme’ online tool. It, luckily, detects parent themes and it’ll also immediately give you the price you’ll need to pay for that theme. On top of that, it also detects the plugins that are being used on the website. In short; this online tool is definitely an effective one.

wordpress theme

4. Browser Extensions

If you’d rather let most of the work happen automatically, you can also opt for an extension to your browser. In the last part of this post, we’ll mention some of the possibilities out there.

Scan WP Extension

If you like the Scan WP online tool, you’ll definitely like the extension for Google Chrome as well. It basically does the same thing as the online tool. The only advantage it has towards the online tool is that you’ll have to put in less of an effort. Like the online tool, this extension tells you what WordPress Theme (including parent themes) and plugins are being used.

wordpress theme

WPSniffer

The WPSniffer is another worthy extension that’ll help you save time while searching for a WordPress theme. Unlike the Scan WP extension (that offers you an insight on the plugins that are being used), the WPSniffer only shares the WordPress theme that is being used with a link to more information about the theme.

wordpress theme

WordPress Theme and Plugins Detector

The WordPress Theme and Plugins Detector can be used for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Besides showing you the content management system and the WordPress theme, the extension will also show you what plugins are being used on the website. Unfortunately, this plugin doesn’t recognize parent themes but it’s one of the only add-ons for Mozilla Firefox out there.

wordpress theme

Final Thoughts

In this post, we’ve shown you how to figure out what WordPress theme a website is using. Evidently, before taking looking for the WordPress theme, you’ll have to know for sure if the website is using WordPress as their Content Management System. After that, you can use the different methods mentioned in this post to find out the WordPress theme. If you have any questions or suggestions for future posts; make sure you leave a comment in the comment section below!

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Featured Image by 053StudioSign / shutterstock.com

The post How to Tell Which WordPress Theme a Website is Using appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

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20 Best Shopify Themes for 2017

Here at Elegant Themes, we might make WordPress themes and plugins, but that doesn’t mean we’re blind to eCommerce trends. Shopify is growing rapidly, with 75% revenue growth year over year. That growth is, obviously, fueled by more and more people turning to Shopify to manage their store. So to stay on top of the trends, we decided to round up some of the best Shopify themes out there.

Sorry, folks – these won’t work with your WordPress site. But if you’ve been itching to launch a store on Shopify, consider one of these Shopify themes for your next project. Plus, just because you’re managing your store with Shopify doesn’t mean you can’t still use WordPress for other parts of your site!

Top Shopify Themes for 2017

In collecting these 20 Shopify themes, I was looking for a couple of things:

  • High review ratings – if a theme fared poorly in reviews, it didn’t make the list.
  • Developer support – either evidenced through recent updates or through the text of customer reviews

Beyond those two criteria, I also tried to find themes with different uses and styles so that all types of stores can get value from this list.

And finally, you’ll find both free and premium Shopify themes at different price points.

Let’s dive in…

1. District

District

District is a clean, grid-based Shopify theme that comes in three different style palettes. The large promo banner lets you promote your latest deals at the top of the page and it also includes galleries and sliders to promote your latest products further down.

You can also bring in a bold, full-width Instagram feed. And the built-in marketing popup gives you another avenue to share promotional offers.

Better yet, District has maintained a 100% positive rating on over 247 reviews.

Key Features:

  • Promotional banner and marketing popup
  • Slideshows and collection galleries to promote products on homepage
  • Full-width Instagram feed
  • Home page video feature
  • Responsive design
  • Great reviews

Price: $160 | More Information

2. Parallax Theme / Aspen

Parallax Theme/Aspen

As you might have been able to guess from the name, one of Parallax theme’s defining features is its long-format, parallax homepage. Grab your shoppers’ attention with full-width images that look gorgeous with the parallax scrolling effect.

Key Features:

  • Full-width parallax scrolling images
  • 15 homepage sections including a video banner
  • AJAX add to cart
  • Built-in currency converter to dynamically convert prices

Price: $180 | More Information

3. Supply

Supply

Supply is a free Shopify Theme built with a minimalist design specialized for displaying and filtering large inventories. It’s not especially creative, but it is well-suited for stores selling more practical products.

It comes with 2 different color styles, detailed filtering options, and a homepage slider to showcase multiple products on your homepage.

Key Features:

  • Built for stores that need to display large catalogs
  • 2 different color themes
  • Detailed sidebar filtering options
  • Homepage slider

Price: Free | More Information

4. Narrative

Narrative

Whereas the previous theme was built for large catalogs, Narrative takes the opposite approach and focuses on small catalogs and product storytelling.

Narrative accomplishes this by giving you a bold hero video on your front page, as well as customizable image blocks, quote slides, and more on the product page.

It also comes with 3 different color styles, a neat vertical slideshow feature, and a full-width layout.

Key Features:

  • Built for small catalogs and storytelling
  • Hero video on the home page
  • Customizable image blocks, quote slides, and more
  • Full-width layout
  • Vertical slideshow
  • 3 different color themes

Price: Free | More Information

5. Icon

Icon

Icon offers a bevy of bold visuals, sliders, and a stunning parallax effect. If your store is focused on visual content, Icon is built to help you display it in the most effective way possible.

Icon also supports a full-width Instagram feed for even more visual content, and your shoppers can view more details about each product without leaving the page thanks to a product quick view feature.

Key Features:

  • Focuses on presenting visual content
  • 3 different color themes
  • Parallax scrolling
  • Product quick view
  • Full-width Instagram feed

Price: $140 | More Information

6. Ella

Ella

Ella is the best selling Shopify theme at ThemeForest. It’s built on Bootstrap 3 and features a helpful mega menu module, detailed product filtering by tags, custom page layouts, and more.

You can feature your products with a large homepage banner and your store is, of course, fully responsive.

Beyond being the best selling Shopify theme at ThemeForest, Ella has also maintained a solid 4.66-star rating on over 5,250 sales.

Key Features:

  • Advanced mega menu module
  • Built on Bootstrap 3
  • Product filtering by tags
  • Homepage slideshow banner
  • Drop-down shopping cart
  • Newsletter signup module that connects to MailChimp

Price: $56 | More Information

7. YourStore

YourStore

YourStore is right behind Ella when it comes to best selling Shopify themes at ThemeForest. It comes with 22 pre-made layouts and supports the Shopify Builder.

Beyond that, it also gives you a variety of product listing page and shopping cart variants, as well as built-in support for Google Rich Snippets and lazy loading, among many other smaller features.

Key Features:

  • 22 premade layouts
  • 8 listing variations
  • 3 product variations
  • 2 shopping carts
  • Google Rich Snippets support
  • AJAX search

Price: $60 | More Information

8. Simple

Simple

True to its name, Simple is an elegant minimalist Shopify theme that’s available for free at the Shopify Themes marketplace.

It offers a clean design that puts the focus squarely on your products. As a consequence, don’t expect as many bells and whistles as the other Shopify themes on this list.

Key Features:

  • Minimalist design
  • Accordion-style sidebar menu
  • Related products feature
  • Product image zoom and animations

Price: Free | More Information

9. Avenue

Avenue

Avenue is another popular Theme Forest Shopify theme. It features a helpful mega menu, AJAX wishlists and layered navigation, infinite scroll, and tons of other helpful features.

You’ll have a great deal of control over your product listing pages as well as your individual product pages. And you’ll also get a helpful newsletter opt-in popup that connects to MailChimp, as well as behind-the-scenes features like Google Rich Product Snippets and lazy loading.

Key Features:

  • Built on Bootstrap 3
  • Advanced mega menu
  • Newsletter popup
  • Product hover and quick view
  • Infinite scroll module
  • Google Rich Product Snippets

Price: $56 | More Information

10. Foodly

Foodly

Foodly is a neat food-focused Shopify theme that’s perfect for anyone selling food-based products. It features a drag and drop visual constructor as well as easy 1-click installation.

Beyond that, it also continues with the food theme by including special features to show recipe articles, a nutrition value section, and a helpful mega menu.

Key Features:

  • Focused on food
  • Recipe article type
  • Nutrition value calculator
  • Drag and drop visual constructor
  • 1-click install

Price: $59 | More Information

11. Mobilia

Mobilia

Mobilia is a beautiful Shopify theme focused on helping you tell the story behind your brand. For that reason, it’s best suited for brands that rely on storytelling, rather than large product catalogs.

Beyond plenty of space on the homepage to tell your brand’s story, Mobilia also featured a full-width home page video, a full-width Instagram feed, multi-level menus, and a customizable sidebar.

Key Features:

  • Optimized for large images
  • Collection images are full-width
  • Single product gallery for large, high-resolution images
  • Home page video

Price: $160 | More Information

12. Material

Material

Material is a popular responsive Shopify theme for sale at ThemeForest. As the name hints at, Material is based on material design principles and features a video slider, advanced filtering module, mega menu, and a variety of layouts.

Beyond that, it also helps visitors shop without page reloads with a QuickShop feature, and it offers a variety of helpful widgets, as well as a dedicated lookbook page.

Key Features:

  • Follows material design principles
  • Built on Bootstrap 3
  • AJAX filter module
  • Video slider
  • Multiple page styles
  • QuickShop feature

Price: $56 | More Information

13. Porto

Porto

Porto is a popular WooCommerce theme that’s since been ported to Shopify, as well as a number of other content management systems.

It features 20 unique homepage layouts, a variety of category page styles, unlimited header layouts, and tons of other customization options.

If you want a Shopify theme that’s flexible, Porto gives you a great deal of control over how your store looks.

Key Features:

  • Responsive and retina ready
  • 20 homepage layouts
  • Unlimited header types
  • Related products
  • Parallax category banner
  • AJAX add to cart and wishlist
  • Touch friendly

Price: $56 | More Information

14. Loft

Loft

Loft is an interesting theme that showcases products in an eye-catching masonry grid on the homepage. It’s ideal for stores with large product catalogs and features neat custom promotion tiles that can fit into the masonry grid on the homepage.

Beyond that, it also features a multi-level menu, as well as story-focused product pages with plenty of space for additional text and images.

Key Features:

  • Masonry grid homepage
  • 3 different color styles
  • Custom promotion tiles that fit into the masonry grid
  • Full-width Instagram feed
  • Multi-level menus
  • Story-focused product pages

Price: $160 | More Information

15. Hosoren

Hosoren

Hosoren is a responsive Shopify theme that comes with 14 unique homepages and 6 different header styles.

It also features a carousel product slider, AJAX add to cart, quick product view, and plenty of other helpful features.

Key Features:

  • 14 pre-built homepage layouts
  • 6 different headers
  • AJAX add to cart
  • Quick product view
  • Built-in mega menu

Price: $56 | More Information

16. Handy

Handy

Handy is a Shopify theme focused on stores selling handmade products. Basically, if you’re a craftsman, Handy is built to help you sell your wares.

Handy features a customizable mega menu, responsive design based on Bootstrap 3, multiple sidebar layouts, AJAX live search, AJAX layered navigation for easy filtering, newsletter opt-ins, and lots of other features for your handmade store.

Key Features:

  • Built for stores selling handmade products, though you don’t have to use it that way
  • AJAX live search
  • AJAX layered navigation for product filtering
  • Multiple sidebar layouts
  • Flexible mega menu
  • MailChimp newsletter signup popup
  • EU privacy popup

Price: $59 | More Information

17. Venue

Venue

Venue is a Shopify theme built for stores that also sell products at physical locations. So if you have physical stores but also want to open up a web presence on Shopify, this is a great theme for you.

Beyond showcasing your products, Venue also helps you promote your physical stores by letting you share store details and events, as well as display multiple locations on a map.

Venue looks nice enough as a standalone eCommerce store, but this brick and mortar functionality is what sets it apart from the competition.

Key Features:

  • Promote physical store locations and events
  • Pin multiple store locations on a map
  • Age checker popup to verify visitor age
  • 3 different color schemes

Price: $160 | More Information

18. Electro

Electro

Electro is built for Shopify stores selling gadgets and other technology items. It features a modern design with an attractive vertical navigation menu.

It also features both horizontal and vertical mega menus, 4 style options for product listing pages, a variety of collection variations, as well as helpful tools to up-sell your shoppers.

Key Features:

  • Built for gadget and technology stores
  • 4 product page variations
  • 7 collection page variations
  • Built-in shopping cart up-sells
  • Multiple homepage variations

Price: $59 | More Information

19. Fastor

Fastor

Fastor is a flexible Shopify theme with a huge variety of pre-made demos. Over 73 of them, in fact!

Fastor is one of the best selling Shopify themes at Theme Forest, supports Shopify Sections, comes with a page builder, built-in wishlist app, and plenty of other helpful features like lookbooks and more.

Key Features:

  • 73+ pre-made demos
  • 26 custom headers
  • Supports Shopify Sections
  • Built-in page builder
  • Wishlist app
  • Supports multiple currencies
  • Mega menus
  • Autocomplete search

Price: $56 | More Information

20. Palo Alto

Palo Alto

Palo Alto is a modern theme built for forward-focused brands with a story to tell. Because of its focus on storytelling, it’s a great option for brands with smaller catalogs.

Beyond plenty of space for extra text on product pages, Palo Alto also helps you tell your story with a bold hero video. And you can also easily bring in customer testimonials to boost your brand’s social proof.

Key Features:

  • Contemporary design
  • Built for storytelling brands with small catalogs
  • Bold hero video
  • Built-in space for customer testimonials
  • Optimized for large images

Price: $180 | More Information

Wrapping Things Up

I hope you enjoyed our list of Shopify themes! I know most of our readers are WordPress fanatics, but even the most avid WooCommerce supporter can’t deny the appeal of Shopify.

Now over to you – would you ever consider using Shopify over the world’s most popular content management system (that’s WordPress!)?

Article thumbnail image by Pretty Vectors / shutterstock.com 

The post 20 Best Shopify Themes for 2017 appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

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What’s the Best Place to Purchase Your Domain Name From?

One would think that purchasing a domain name is a relatively simple process. Go to Google, type in “best place to purchase domain name,” clickity-clickity, and you’re done. Ta-da!

Unfortunately, there is a bit more to it than that. At least, when you plan on actually using that domain. Finding the best place to purchase a domain name is important. You’re probably going to be with that service for years, after all.

Finding the best domain registrar for you is a combination of cost, services offered, and support. Not every company will work for every person or company, but depending on your needs, I’m confident we can find one that will work.

Namecheap

best place to purchase domain name

Namecheap has become one of the top domain registrars around. It may not be as well-known as some of the others, but it consistently outperforms other companies in cost, services, and support.

They have deals pretty often for different domain extensions as low as $0.88 USD, though it’s rare to find something like a .com at that price. Most prices tend to be around $10-12 USD, with specialty domains such as .blog, .tech, and .io running between $20-60 USD per year.

The main draw of Namecheap, in my opinion, is the quality of their overall platform. From managing DNS to ownership/registrar transfers, they are reliable and easy to use (even if you’re not familiar with the ins-ands-outs fo domain management).

Additionally, newly registered domains come with free WHOIS privacy for the first year. (And $2.88 USD per year afterward–considerably cheaper than most other places). You will save you a pretty penny if you register or transfer in bulk. Plus, their support has been quick to respond and fix every issue I’ve personally had within a day each time.

Google Domains

best place to purchase domain name

Google Domains is finally out of the invite-only phase of its deployment, and it is exactly what you’d expect out of a Google-run domain registrar. Things are simple, clean, and straightforward, and for the most part…they just work.

The real benefits in my mind of using Google Domains is the ease with which you can get things up and running. Your entire domain list is consolidated in your Google account, so if you use G-suite for work or Gmail et al for personal use, you’re good to go (with payment information likely already stored, so that’s a bonus).

There are a couple of downsides to the service, the first of which is that there are never any discounts (at least that I’ve discovered). You pay $12 USD per year for the more common TLDs (top-level domains), and pretty much every other extension under the sun is available for $20 all the way up to $120+. You do get WHOIS privacy bundled with the price of each domain, so that tends to make the service a bit more cost effective.

In terms of support, it’s typical Google. Sometimes it’s spot-on and your problem is solved ASAP, and others you’re sent through a Knowledge Base and Support Forum treasure hunt without a map. So yeah. Again, it’s what you’d expect.

Flippa

best place to purchase domain name

Flippa is not your average domain supplier. Not technically a registrar, but a marketplace (think eBay for website and domain names), Flippa lets you browse through thousands upon thousands of listings for domains that are for sale. Sometimes you can snag the perfect one from a squatter for pennies, and sometimes you can snag the perfect one from a squatter for thousands of dollars. It’s a crapshoot in the best kind of way.

The search function works like any other company: you type in keywords you want results for, and then you pick whether you want existing websites or domains (or apps or Shopify shops, technically).

They do tons of transactions every day, and their support has always been quick for me. The main downside to Flippa is that it’s not a pay-and-go service with set prices and rates. You’re dealing with other human beings, and we all know how that can be.

GoDaddy, Hostgator, and Bluehost

Okay, first of all, I know that these companies are not the same, but having used all of them for domain registration and hosting, I’ve had nearly identical experiences with each and everyone of them. Their prices and offerings are very, very similar, so I bundled them together.

In my mind, these are the big-box stores of domain registration, the Walmart, Target, and Costco. They have every last thing you need, are incredibly affordable and easy to work with, and when you have a problem, they’re happy to help (usually for an additional fee, depending on the extent to which you need them).

Things to Consider

With any registrar that offers discounted rates and major coupons, make sure you watch out for the renewal rate for successive years. If you have auto-renew on, at the end of that first year, you will be billed the “then-current” price, which has yet to be determined at your initial registration. Just because you paid $0.99 for that first year doesn’t mean that you won’t be paying $29.99 the next. Read the fine print.

Additionally, these kinds of registrars are more casual-user oriented, and therefore many of their services are tiered and priced with that market in mind. Features such as WHOIS privacy tend to be a la carte and higher-priced than at smaller, more niche-focused companies.

Customer support, in my experience at least, also tends to be similar. For both GoDaddy and Hostgator, I typically receive responses within a day, but the quality is hit-or-miss. (LiveChat tends to be more useful than email support lately.)

Clients and I both have been consistently upsold by both GoDaddy and Hostgator in the past to the tune of $75 USD for DNS issues and SSL certificate installation, all the way up to $300/hr a fix I handled in literally 3 minutes for a client after they were told the Hostgator technicians had to handle it over a couple of days.

My interactions with Bluehost customer service have been delightful, honestly, but neither I nor a client have needed anything as in-depth as with GoDaddy and Hostgator.

Admittedly, that’s all anecdotal, so if you plan on going with one of these three for domain registration, it’s personal preference.

GoDaddy

best place to purchase domain name

  • GoDaddy has WHOIS privacy in three tiers between $7.99 and $14.99 USD per year per domain
  • 19 TLD extensions available

Hostgator

best place to purchase domain name

Bluehost

best place to purchase domain name

  • Bluehost has WHOIS privacy for $0.99 per month per domain
  • 14 TLD extensions available

Name.com

best place to purchase domain name

Name.com has been around forever, and they are very well known in the domain industry. They have prices ranging anywhere from $3.99 USD per year to $100+, depending on how special you’re looking for. Name.com does offer sales, and their extension choices are far wider than many other hosts.

The WHOIS privacy option here is on the cheaper side at $4.99 USD per year, too. I would also like to mention that they do offer add-on email support–even if you don’t have a hosting plan through them. That’s a rare find, and I thought you’d wanna know about it.

These folks have built up a reputation on being reliable and consistent. If that’s what is important for you, you will find a lot to like here. They aren’t flashy, and they don’t have a gimmick. That’s pretty cool. They do what they set out to do, and they do it well.

DreamHost

best place to purchase a domain name

There are over 400 domain extensions, and very few places can sell them all. DreamHost is one of them. So if the desire for that ultra-specific, specialty domain keeps you up at night, DreamHost has you covered. They run sales where you can pick up some extensions as low as $0.99 USD; however, common domains run around $12-15.

DreamHost also boasts about its dedication to your privacy, and they show it by offering WHOIS protection free of charge. Additionally, they have put their money where their mouth is and fought back against a US Department of Justice warrant that requests “all information available to [DreamHost] about this website, its owner, and, more importantly, its visitors.” (Emphasis theirs).

Regardless of where you fall on the politics, if privacy is one of your major issues, DreamHost may be your new BFF.

1&1

best place to purchase domain name

And finally, 1&1 is a lesser-known company that has a pretty nifty gimmick: they offer special domain extensions (such as .mobi, .pizza, .ninja) at discounted prices. While they’re still more expensive than a common .com (.common? #domainpun), you should definitely check them out to see if you can snag your startup’s awesome .io URL cheaper here than you can elsewhere.

Like many other registrars, 1&1 offers hosting services as well as the not-so-common standalone email. Additionally, they have a pretty sweet Microsoft Office 365 deal for businesses. 1&1’s deal might make it cheaper and more accessible than G-suite, depending on your company and team. (Or if your company hates Google like my previous one did.)

Did I Miss the Best Place to Purchase a Domain Name?

This is by no means an exhaustive list of where you can register a domain. But I do think it’s a list of the best places for you to do so. So if you want ease of use, customer support, privacy protection, or just plain-and-simple discounts, hopefully one of these will work out for you.

Which company do you use for domain registration? Let us all know where and why in the comments so we have even more fantastic options to choose from!

Article thumbnail image by VectorsMarket / shutterstock.com

The post What’s the Best Place to Purchase Your Domain Name From? appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

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