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After graduating from Trinity College Dublin, Simon worked with some of the biggest brands in Ireland, designing and improving UX on websites and applications. He has led the design process for many large scale websites and co-ordinated the execution of projects from mockups right through to the final front-end code.

He is interested in modern, functional design with a focus on speed, clean typography and conversions. Lately he has been primarily building sites and mobile-first apps for WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS.

In 2014 Simon co-founded MadeInContext and has since designed and produced a number of best-selling WordPress eCommerce and Business themes under the banner of CommerceGurus and from 2016 CreateandCode.

Adding Product Filters to WooCommerce

If you’re selling products with varying features and attributes, displaying product filters is essential. They help customers drill down to find what they’re looking for quicker, which is particularly important on catalogs with a lot of items.

Not being able to filter results restricts the ability of users to browse your store the way they need and will affect conversions.

I’m going to explain how to include product filters to WooCommerce. This will first cover WooCommerce’s default filter widgets but I’ll also show you how to add more sophisticated filter controls, including color swatches, and filters which dynamically update the results set without a page refresh.

Plus, I’ll describe how to include horizontal filters on your catalog which negate the need for a separate sidebar. This can be ideal for certain kinds of stores which prefer having products front and center. As we’ve seen from Baymard’s research on the topic, a horizontal filter can outperform the traditional sidebar layout. This is a relatively new UX pattern but it’s a great choice if you only need to display a small number of filters.

Let’s get started!

Add custom fields to WooCommerce Products using ACF

A pretty common request for WooCommerce sites is the need to include additional field inputs on the single product page and output them on the front-end. I’m going to explain how to do this using the excellent Advanced Custom Fields plugin (free version).

There will be a little bit of coding involved but don’t worry, it’s all very straightforward. And there’s the added satisfaction of knowing you can now extend WooCommerce in a powerful way.

I’ll explain a number of different use-cases with examples for each. I’ll be using our Shoptimizer WooCommerce theme but the code snippets should work for any WooCommerce theme.

Let’s get started!

5 WordPress Multilingual Plugins for your Website

If you find yourself reading this article, you’ve probably been wondering what is the best of the numerous WordPress multilingual plugins out there.

Translating your website is a surprisingly easy way to reach and attract new audiences and scale into new markets by offering additional languages on your site. It might be tempting to keep your website in its original language (most likely English), however you might be interested to learn that only a quarter of Internet users communicate in English.

It’s also unlikely that a non native English speaker will engage with your website because alarmingly 72% of website visitors spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language.

However for WordPress users there isn’t actually a built-in feature – you’ll need to install a WordPress multilingual plugin to achieve a fully translated website.

Luckily there are a number of excellent multilingual plugins to choose from that easily allow you to add multiple languages to your website. In this article we’ll take a look at what you should be looking for when selecting a WordPress multilingual plugin, plus show you five popular plugins, to help you choose the one that best fits your needs.

CommerceKit Plugin Released – A Suite of Conversion Tools

We’re really pleased to announce the release of our CommerceKit plugin. CommerceKit is a suite of eCommerce conversion tools and will form the basis of much of what we do going forward. It is being released in two stages.

  • Stage one is a WordPress plugin, exclusively for our Shoptimizer WooCommerce theme initially.
  • Stage two is a separate (paid) SaaS feature-set. The first of this will be CommerceKit Reviews – an AI powered automated eCommerce reviews engine, built in Laravel. It will connect to a store via a module in CommerceKit.

Our initial CommerceKit launch includes six eCommerce conversion features: Ajax search, countdown timers, order bumps, stock meters, waitlists, and wishlists.

17 Product Page Best Practices (with examples)

We’ve put together an extensive guide to some of the best product page practices, with examples of each from the biggest eCommerce stores. When designing and planning your online store, most of the early focus is on the homepage. People expect that visitors arrive on the homepage and progress through the site in a linear fashion, clicking on a category as the next step, before browsing through the products within it.

The conversion rate for visitors who browse in this fashion is actually exceptionally low, at between 2 and 2.5%. On the other hand, visitors who land directly onto a product page convert on average at 7%. A huge difference.

An effective product page will within seconds, convey the value of the item and provide a clear call to action to purchase it. It’s the most important page of any eCommerce site, and is one we focused on extensively in our Shoptimizer WooCommerce theme.

23 Ways to Prepare Your Online Store for Holiday Sales

What would you do if you only had 30 days to prepare your online store for the holiday sales? What type of optimizations can you make to your WooCommerce store with such a limited amount of time to prepare?

If you are an online store owner who is starting out for the first time, finding what to optimize in such a short time is often difficult. That’s why we have decided to help.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are all about getting the most sales in the minimum time. To achieve that goal, you must have a clear strategy and an optimized website to reap the desired profits.

In this post we’ll learn how to prepare your online store for the holiday season sales in a short span of time. We have 23 ways to get ready, almost one for each day.

Let’s get started!

WooCommerce Images – the ultimate guide for your site

High quality product images are a crucial factor in driving visitor engagement to your WooCommerce store. After looking at the best WooCommerce examples, excellent photography was a common feature. In this guide I’ll be showing you how to create great images within WooCommerce (no blurry ones) which are also optimized for speed. You’ll be able to apply these techniques, whatever the WooCommerce theme you’re using.

These performance benefits are a hugely important aspect of this. According to the HTTP Archive in 2019, images make up an average 21% of a total page’s weight. Having a fast WooCommerce site is crucial and you can see from the chart below what a big part images and video play in this.

Create a Better Thank You Page in WooCommerce

We’ve had a couple of questions about the WooCommerce thank you page or confirmation screen, with people looking to edit the output. By default, its display is rather simple and doesn’t it offer any in-built options to change what is presented.

I think many stores are missing a trick here. There’s a number of features which could be very valuable to display on this screen. From sharing your purchases, signing up to a newsletter to displaying product guides, we’ll go through some ideas and then show you how to add them to your own WooCommerce store. Let’s make it work harder for you and get additional leads, signups and survey results. A strong thank you page can do more than simply display the order details.

Website Maintenance Costs – What to Expect in 2019

Website maintenance costs are an increasingly important topic for store owners in 2019. With so many hosting options, plus the cost of additional plugins and services you can add, some site owners have said that it’s getting more and more expensive to run an eCommerce site. We’re going to look at the monthly costs for folks running small, medium, and large eCommerce stores. Plus, we’ll look at simple maintenance tasks you can do yourself to help keep these costs down. Finally, we’ll look at a couple of paid services which offer excellent security and peace of mind benefits for anyone who is running a site which makes money.

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