Using WordPress Plugins To Extend The Functionality Of Your WP Beyond The Vanilla Installation
WordPress, WP is by far the most popular Content Management System that there is, having been downloaded and installed as the core website management system for more than 60 million websites, worldwide. Though the initial functionality for WP was for it to be used as a blogging system content management platform, it has evolved in time to be a full-fledged website management system handling websites, such as ecommerce websites, magazine and general purpose websites.
WP A Brief History
WordPress, WP, is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that is based on PHP and MySQL. It was first released in May 27, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. It relies on a web template system, which depends on the use of a template processor to populate the pages and the functionality of the website. This installation is what isreferred to in technical circles as the vanilla installation, which means that it possesses the bare bones functionality thatallows you to get up and running publishing your pages on the World Wide Web.
The beauty of WP however lies in the plugin system, which can extend and does extend the functionality of the platform to anything that you want it to be. Such that whatever you want the website to look like and function becomes entirely dependent on your imagination. It would be fair to say that plugins are responsible for unlocking the true potential of the WP CMS. Let us very quickly get into understanding what a plugin is and how it can be used to enliven the WP CMS.
A Plugin For Every Scenario
Simply put, a plugin is a built-in architectural feature of a CMS, which allows users to extend the features and functionality of a website or blog. At last count, WP had over 46,377 plugins available in its directory that had cumulatively been downloaded 1.3 billion times. These plugins offer custom functions and features that make it possible for the user to use them to their very detailed and specified needs.
Some of the categories under which these plugins fall into include contact forms, SEO, Video, e-mail, Slideshow, client portals, caching, spam catcher and everything else which can be fathomed that might be of use in enhancing the usefulness of the WP CMS. One of the best ways of connecting with your users is by the use of e-mail forms, which essentially allow you to collect the email addresses and other details for users who opt-in to your platform and to use this information to contact them on your product offerings.
Email Marketing Rules The Roost
The fact of the matter is that email is by far the most effective marketing solution that any website can invest in; the conversion rates are simply unbelievable. The main reason is that by using email in communicating with your audience you engage in a direct, if not personal, uninterrupted two way channel of communication between you and the visitor.
This not only builds trust between you and the client but it also forms a relationship that allows you to engage in your sales efforts in a more direct if not subtle manner, increasing the overall efforts of your marketing team. Additionally, the feedback you receive from your clients helps you to understand their persona better and is of value in helping you design better solutions for them.
Removing The Complexity Of Building Email Forms
The basic process for building an email list is not as easy as it might seem. It actually is quite a complex process that has several distinct processes involved. Here is a breakdown of what needs to be done; creating an opt-in form, connecting the said form with the email accounts, the placement of the form in the appropriate spaces in order to increase the probability of customers opting in. Ultimately, the form is enhanced, so that you derive maximum advantage and effect from its use.
This is where the WP bloom plugin comes in and automates this entire process making for a speedy experience creating and utilizing email forms for all your specific marketing needs. This tool allows you to add custom opt-in forms on your website and the beauty is that you have total control over user experience, the placement (location) and the behavior of the forms. Here is a brief overview of how you can install this bloom plugin to your website.
- Install and activate- Log into your WP user dashboard and scroll down to the plugins option, from there use the search bar to key in “bloom”, click on install and wait for it to install, after which go ahead and activate it.
- Customize- Once you have installed and activated the plug in,it will appear on the dashboard under the name, “bloom”, click on this and a control menu will appear on the dashboard. It will contain the following elements; pop up, fly-in, below-post, inline, locked content and widget.
- Pop-up; This allows you to assign an event (trigger), which when triggered will make the opt-in form appear on the user’s screen, it could be time delayed, making a purchase, post-purchase or after leaving a comment.
- Fly-in; this allows you to define an action that will trigger the form to appear onscreen and such an event could be moving the cursor to a specific location on the pages, such as when trying to close the page.
- Inline; Useful if you want to specify the position on which you want the opt-in form to appear, after the event has been triggered.
- Locked Content- This option makes it possible for you to lock further interaction with the content unless a certain event is triggered by the website visitor, in this case opting-in.
- Widget- This makes it possible for you to assign a static location for your opt-in form, you could opt to place it on the sidebar, footer, or any other digitized area of the website.
With such a diversity of available options, you have the ability to tailor your email opt-in form for optimal effect depending on the use case and ultimately making the interaction between you and your users as seamless as possible.
Luc de Broglie is an expert at WP plugins with a particular emphasis on bloom plugin review, and he has been actively building email opt-in forms for the past 12 years. He runs a blog with more than 2 million annual views, discussing about everything related to WP plugins-