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6 step guide to becoming a WordPress Expert

6 step guide to becoming a WordPress Expert

Reading Time: 7 minutes

WordPress is inarguably the most popular content management system and offers a series of professional opportunities for those willing to learn and acquire skills necessary to build online content. As consumer society keeps on adapting to online product and service acquisition, the need for expert WP developers is growing larger. Therefore, caching the train of progress on time is of paramount importance if you wish to grow as a WordPress developer.

Our current article is going to lead you through six elemental steps you need to take if you wish to become a WP expert. It’s not a simple list of actions you can take within a week; it’s a layout of fundamental processes you should go through within your timeframe and one at a time.

Learn the tools

Anyone can download a WordPress theme and use it as a template for their website, however, if you wish to be able to exploit the full potential of this popular platform you need to master the tools required to build software products with it. Let’s take a look at what you should learn and why this knowledge is necessary:

  • HTML – A standard web page markup language. Confused? It’s a language you need for the development of content you wish to display. 
  • CSS – If HTML helps us create and display web content, CSS allows us to manipulate that content. It’s the tool you’re going to use if you’re to change the color of an object, its position, size, etc.
  • PHP – a computer language necessary to build scripts that provide the functionality of your website. It’s the engine of web content.
  • MySQL – A popular database management system that allows the transfer and storage of information.

Explore WordPress potential

After you get the hang of basic tools, it’s time to learn what you can do with them within WordPress boundaries. You could start by creating a WP account and setting up a sandbox so you can unleash your creativity and have a safe environment for numerous cycles of trial and error. There’s also a wide range of online courses you can take or use tutorials to complete different tasks that will help you understand the capacity of this content management platform. The more practice you have, the more capable you’ll be to become an expert later.

Choose a path

Depending on your personal preference there’s a choice of software solutions you can develop using WordPress tools. 

You can become a core developer, which is not a very popular choice among people but gives you the chance to enhance your coding skills and contribute to the growth of the WP platform. As a Core developer, you look for bugs and issues within the platform and devise fixes and updates to keep the core functionality uninterrupted. 

Theme development is a lucrative path to take; it requires a profound understanding and extensive experience in the development of WordPress themes. It will allow you to build custom themes for clients who need a website or online apps for their business. 

If you wish to build scripts that extend website functionality, you should look into plugin development. This is where your PHP training will come most handy.

Learn to cut corners

As a developer, you’ll be placed under immense pressure by your clients. Meeting the deadlines, working out bugs, performing last-minute changes, these all require years of experience if you’re to get through easily. It’s best if you don’t wait to get into a bad situation to learn how to handle it, so try and find some WP debugging or other kinds of problem-solving tasks to get that experience you lack. 

Also, you can save a lot of work hours if you keep your projects stored online so they could be used later when necessary. This will save you time that you would otherwise spend typing lines of code you already wrote before.

Set up your lab

It’s not recommended to develop web content, whether it’s a website, app, or a certain plugin in a live environment. Moreover, your client could ask you to keep the software offline until it’s fully developed and tested. Therefore, you need a way to keep your work strictly local until the job is done and the project is ready to go live. 

WordPress has a series of helpful tools and resources for all occasions; among those stands the ability to set up a local development environment. This means that you can install a virtual server on your machine that you can keep offline and use a text editor of your choice to write code. When your coding process is done, you can run your project using the local server and make sure everything is ready or detect bugs and fix them.

Connect with the rest of the community

While you’ll probably spend most of your work hours alone at the computer, it’s important to stay connected with the rest of the WordPress community. This will help you build a network, learn to cooperate with others and get your hands in more work. It’s also a good way to get in touch with the latest trends and changes in the industry that you should be aware of. 

Conclusion

We hope this clarifies the route you need to take to become a WordPress expert developer. Arm yourself with patience and learn as much as you can. Remember that even at your peak, there is much to be learned.

'Time Flies': Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2020

‘Time Flies’: Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2020

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Earlier last week, we covered an article on rumours about iPhone 12 release date and its features. We also mentioned about “Time Flies”, Apple’s first fall event this year which didn’t feature the most awaited iPhone 12. As expected, Apple didn’t announce any new iPhones during the event but still had plenty of new devices to share. These include two new Apple Watch models and an iPad Air with a novel design. Additionally, Apple elaborated on its new Apple One subscription bundles and more important update about Fitness+. Let us discuss each new device and update in detail.

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple commenced the “Time Flies” event on Tuesday by announcing the Apple Watch Series 6. It has a novel health sensor which enables you to measure your blood oxygen saturation with the new watch. The Apple Watch Series 6 is equipped with a new S6 chip. Apple suggests that it is a dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11.

Apple claims that the Watch Series 6’s screen can get 2.5 times brighter when you are outdoors along with an always-on altimeter. The new watch series 6 comes in a variety of new colours: a blue aluminium case, a gold stainless steel, a gray stainless steel and a Red model. Moreover, there are a number of watchfaces consisting of a watchface that displays a Memoji.

Apple also confirmed a new type of watch band, naming it the Solo Loop. A Solo Loop is a silicone watch band without a buckle. The Solo Loop is available in various sizes and in seven vibrant colors. For fashion enthusiasts, there’s also a braided Solo Loop available in five colors.

The Apple Watch Series 6 is a premium watch priced at $399 for a GPS version. It is available for pre-order now.

Apple Watch SE

Besides the Watch Series 6, Apple announced a new, more economical version of its wearable. The Apple Watch SE has more or less the same characteristics as its more expensive counterpart, including fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring and fall detection. It features the S5 chip, similar to Watch series 5 but has an extravagant display similar to Series 6. 

The only feature missing in the Watch SE is the latest sensor to measure blood oxygen level of the user. We think it was bound to happen with the price slash at $279 for the Watch SE. It is now available to pre-order on Apple’s website. All in all, we think it is one of the best announcements from the “Time Flies” event.

New iPad Air

This year, the iPad Air got a significant makeover. To begin, iPad Air introduced an iPad Pro-like design that will be offered in five dynamic colors. It also includes two new color variants: a blue and a green hue. It also consists of a new 10.9 inch Liquid Retina IPS display with 2360×1640 resolution on Apple’s True Tone Technology. This is in addition to the latest A14 chipset.

This year, Apple has included a new fingerprint sensor into the top power button to unlock the device. Additionally, now iPad Air also supports second gen Apple Pencil and the much hyped Magic Keyboard. Apple has also switched to USB-C with the new iPad Air. For pictures, the iPad Air has a single 12-megapixel camera. The surprise element is the stereo sound included in iPad Air’s speakers when it is placed horizontally.

Apple intents to release the new iPad Air along with the iPhone in October. It will be priced at $599 for a 64GB model with Wi-Fi only connectivity. The LTE model will be priced at $729 along with an upgrade to include 256GB storage for an additional $150.

Fitness+

Apple is about to offer yet another subscription model. This year, it is a workout service termed Fitness+. Tentatively, it will have 10 different exercises like cycling, strength training, yoga etc. that you will be able to access on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. Your Apple Watch will track the progress of your workouts. As you work your way through the session, you will notice the vitals like your calories burned, heart rate and pace etc. Apple has promised educational videos for training of beginners and also personalised recommendations.

Fitness+ will be available for $10 per month or $80 for an annual subscription. If you purchase a new Apple Watch, you can avail Fitness+ for free for the first three months. Moreover, you can also avail Fitness+ through one of the new Apple One Subscription bundle offers.

Apple One

Ever thought of paying a single price for all your major Apple Subscriptions. Well, with Apple One, you can now bundle all major services together to save on your monthly subscription. It begins with an individual subscription for $14.95 which includes 50GB storage, Apple Arcade, Apple Music and Apple TV+. You can buy a family bundle for the same services + 200GB storage for $19.95 per month. Additionally, there’s a Premier bundle where you get all the above plus Apple News+, Fitness+ and 2TB storage for $29.95 per month.

iOS 14 

In the end, Apple revealed it will release iOS 14 to the general public tomorrow. In the past, major iOS updates have been released on the same date as Apple’s latest iPhones but not this year. Some of the best additions with iOS 14 is an App Library where you can have home screen widgets and organisation of all your apps. It will be available on the iPhone 6s and above.

Now, we are hoping that iPhone 12 will be released sometime soon in the next month as advised by Apple. Once we have an official announcement from Apple, we will do an official article on iPhone 12 and its features.

 

Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Mobile App’s Search Ranking

Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Mobile App’s Search Ranking

Reading Time: 8 minutes

So you have launched your mobile app to increase your sales and grow your business. That’s a great step toward attaining your business goals. But with so many similar apps out there in the market, how do you stand out from the crowd and get yourself noticed? 

One of the ways to let people know about your app and see conversions is to improve your mobile app’s search rankings. As per Google Research, 48% of users find out new apps by browsing app stores. Also, as per Tune, 47% of US iPhone users search the app store to find an app.

And the main factors that impact app position in search engine results are the number of downloads, user reviews, comments, app launches by users, and the dynamics of app deletes from a device.

Looking at these factors, you can work on the areas to improve. Here are five ways you can implement to improve your mobile app’s search rankings.

Craft a memorable and creative app title

The title of your app should be memorable, but at the same time, you want your users to figure out what the app is about easily. Use it to communicate to your users what the core function of your app is. 

Plus, your app title is going to have a strong impact on how your app appears in any search results. Since your app is new, you will need to include a certain amount of optimized description to let potential users understand what the app is about. 

For instance, instead of making the title Flickr, you can add a description that says Flickr – Photography. Try to keep the title, including the description under 50 characters.

Write a persuasive keyword-rich description

Your app description will form a big part of the App Store Optimization (ASO) process. If written right, it will make a positive impact on the app store’s search algorithm. 

Ensure that you are writing a crisp description and use the keywords that your users are using to find a mobile app like yours. But it doesn’t mean that you will have to use the keywords just for the sake of it. Limit the keywords to not more than five.

The keywords you use should be seamlessly woven into the description of your app so that it becomes a part of it. Avoid repeating words in the description as Google Play’s content policy will penalize you.

Also, put the most important information in the first three lines of the description. Not everyone clicks the “read more” button. If anyone endorsed you, you could consider putting it at the beginning of the description.

In the app description below, even if you don’t read the full description, you come to know that The NY Times has endorsed it, proving the app is worth using.

Focus on getting good ratings

The number of star ratings you get is going to influence the position of your app in search results. Since app stores get profit from each download, they will showcase only the apps to users they will probably download. 

Users usually look at the reviews and download only the ones with good ratings. So, if your app has good ratings, it will rank better. 

Also, getting fresh reviews is crucial. As per a study, current reviews are almost times more significant as compared to all-time reviews.

There are definitely going to be some users who aren’t satisfied with your app. To deter them from leaving bad ratings, leave contact info or add a contact tab in the menu so that they can reach out to you.

Also, make it a point to read the reviews people leave. You may not be able to answer all the reviews. But make an effort to answer as much as possible, especially the negative ones and fix the issues.

And avoid being too pushy while asking for reviews. Users can easily get annoyed and end up not using your app, let alone leaving reviews.

Add an app preview video and screenshots

Adding an app preview video showcasing the different functions of your app can be very beneficial. Studies have it that adding a video to the main page can boost conversion by 25-30%.

By adding a high-quality video, you can lessen the installation costs and gain more loyal customers while increasing the chances of getting your app discovered.

Apple recommends adding a demo video of your app about 15 to 30 seconds while listing it. Consider testing the video with some attractive poster frames or thumbnail images. You can then find out which ones are driving more users to click and watch the video.

Even Google Play allows you to add a video to the listing. But it will work out better if you are offering a paid app. Creating a video requires you to invest money that can be recovered through your app. 

Screenshots can also encourage downloads as they let the user envisage what his experience will be like. Add a keyword in your first screenshot captions to rank better. As per a study, adding keywords may boost the search rank up to 2.4 times. Ensure to place the screenshots with features and functions first.

Create an attractive icon

Having an attractive icon will inspire visitors to download your app, thus boosting your rankings. But note that the icon should not only be good-looking and enticing enough, but it should reveal the app’s purpose. 

While designing your icon, consider the store requirements. You can take a look at the recommendations from Apple and Google while designing your icon.

A simple design is better. And avoid using texts on the icon. Also, create a scalable icon. It should look good on different devices. A study reveals that colorful icons with custom design rank better.

Consider using Google Play to test and learn by changing your icons for free. But note that icons at times perform differently in each store.

Wrapping-Up

To rank higher in the app store is not an easy task, but it is achievable if you follow the right strategies.

Craft a memorable app title and add an SEO-optimized description, keep your app description crisp and keyword-rich, focus on getting user reviews, add videos and screenshots, and work on creating an attractive and scalable icon that will look good on different devices.

By applying these strategies, you can improve your mobile app’s search rankings. Be patient with your search optimization campaign and keep monitoring. Side by side, you should also market your app on different channels and implement other techniques to see the best results.