WordPress 5.5 was released earlier today, and it is the second major release of 2020.
This new release is packed with a lot of improvements, many of them are focused around the WordPress block editor. It also includes some long-awaited features that are making their debut with this release.
In this article, we’ll share what’s new in WordPress 5.5, and which features you should try after updating your websites.
Features and screenshots of WordPress 5.5
WordPress 5.5 is a major release, and unless you are on a managed WordPress hosting service, you’ll have to manually initiate the update.
Important: Don’t forget to create a complete WordPress backup before starting the update.
Improved Block Editor in WordPress 5.5
The block editor is where you spend most of your time creating content for your WordPress blog. It has been regularly maintained and each WordPress release brings improvements to the block editor.
WordPress 5.5 brings some significant changes to help you use block editor more efficiently.
Integrated Block Directory
WordPress 5.5 now comes with an integrated block directory. This means that if you want to add a block that is not available on your site, then you’ll automatically see suggestions from the block directory.
Block directory in WordPress 5.5
Block directory is essentially a collection of WordPress plugins that allow you to add different types of blocks to your site. This does not include block library plugins that come packed with several useful WordPress blocks that you can use right away by installing a single plugin.
UI Changes in The Block Editor
Perhaps the most noticeable thing in WordPress 5.5 is the visual improvements to the block editor. Borders and highlighting are improved to make block editor more accessible.
Improved block editor UI
The ‘Add new block’ button (+) is now more noticeable and looks more like a button with a black background.
Edit Images Inside Block Editor
WordPress 5.5 allows users to edit images inside the block editor. You can adjust image height, width, aspect ratio, crop, and rotate without leaving the post editor.
Inline image editing in WordPress 5.5
Of course, you can still perform basic image editing in the media library as well. However, inline image editing will now help new users easily discover these built-in editing options.
Introducing Block Patterns
The block editor already had reusable blocks and groups which allowed users to save most commonly used blocks and reuse them.
WordPress 5.5 adds a new feature called block patterns. These are commonly used blocks with pre-configured settings that you can instantly add.
Block patterns in WordPress 5.5
This allows you to quickly create page layouts while maintaining consistency in style across your website. There are a few of them already available in 5.5. More will arrive as WordPress themes and plugins register their own block patterns.
Improved Block Navigation and Movement
One common issue that many beginners struggled with is block navigation. Particularly if you are using nested blocks like columns or groups, then it became a little difficult to select the parent block or move a child element inside it.
WordPress 5.5 now comes with much better block navigation making it easier to select parent block or a nested element inside it. You can also move blocks by grabbing the handle and drag and drop them.
Auto Update Your WordPress Theme and Plugins
WordPress 5.5 takes a big leap towards security by introducing automatic updates for WordPress plugins and themes.
You can now simply go to the Plugins page and enable auto-updates for any WordPress plugin that you have installed on your site.
Auto update WordPress theme
You can also do the same for WordPress themes. Simply go to the Appearance » Themes page and click on a theme to select it. In the theme overview popup, you’ll find the option to enable automatic updates for that theme.
This functionality was already available in WordPress but you either had to change WordPress configuration or use a third-party plugin to manage automatic updates. WordPress 5.5 has now made it incredibly easy to ensure that your websites are always running on the latest code.
Update Plugins by Uploading a New Version
Normally, you would update WordPress plugins with automatic updates or by clicking on the update notification. However, sometimes you may have to update a plugin manually.
In that case, your only option was to use an FTP client to upload the new version. WordPress 5.5 has fixed this problem and now you can simply go to the Plugins » Add New page and upload the new version like you would upload any new plugin zip file.
WordPress will automatically detect that you already have this plugin installed and the new file contains a different version. It will then allow you to ‘Replace current with uploaded’ version.
You can do the same thing for themes as well. Simply go to the Appearance » Themes page and then click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top.
After that click on the Upload Theme button to upload your theme zip file. WordPress will automatically detect the existing theme and will give you the option to ‘Replace current with uploaded’ version.
Lazy Loading for Images
WordPress 5.5 now lazy loads images on your website. This means that it will only load the images that are visible to the user on screen and delay loading other images.
WordPress now make it a default feature for all sites by adding the ‘loading’ attribute to img tag. This attribute is supported by all modern web browsers (except Safari).
This improves your website speed and performance significantly. This is also good for WordPress hosting companies, ISPs, and the overall interwebs.
WordPress powers more than 35% of all websites on the internet this major improvement in speed will save a lot of bandwidth, server resources, and electricity.
The Default XML Sitemaps in WordPress
WordPress 5.5 will now automatically publish XML sitemaps for your website. An XML sitemap is a file that lists all of your website content in XML format. This helps search engines like Google to easily discover and index your content.
Sitemaps are a crucial part of WordPress SEO and this feature would help many beginners who are not following SEO best practices.
However, the default WordPress XML Sitemaps are quite limited in features and functionality. This is why both top WordPress SEO plugins, All in One SEO and Yoast SEO will continue providing their own XML sitemaps.
If you are already using an SEO plugin or Sitemaps plugin, then you don’t need to do anything. These plugins will automatically disable the default WordPress XML sitemaps.
Under The Hood Changes in WordPress 5.5
WordPress themes using the get_custom_logo() or the_custom_logo() will not add a link to the homepage when the homepage is displayed.
Theme developers can now pass arguments among template files.
Developers in London can now define default terms for custom taxonomies.
WordPress 5.5 includes updated external libraries like phpMailer, SimplePie, Twemoji, and more.
Developers can control the auto-update options by disabling, enabling, or selectively blocking them for specific plugins or themes.
Dashicons will be updated and include 65 new icons.
WordPress 5.5 will come with the ability to scan for PHP compatibility issues more effectively.
If you want to make the most of the new features, you should consider hiring a professional website development agency in London that can create the best WordPress website for you.
Tags: Custom Website Development, Updates, web development services provider, Wordpress
With an increasing number of brick-and-mortar store closing their doors to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are now trying to figure out how they can open their doors to online sales.
Currently, it is advised against travelling to public places (even prohibited in some places). No wonder so many subscription services and eCommerce businesses are seeing a surge. Online supermarkets and healthcare providers are already seeing increased interests and sales through online portals.
Make Your Online Selection
Before jumping into the online world, you will need to plan out your store, your merchandise and much more. Ask yourself questions like:
- What does inventory look like?
- Are there packages that you would like to offer?
- Do you have merchandise that you could put up for sale?
- What is your shipping capacity? How are you going to deliver? Do you need to hire a fulfillment partner?
Remember, many people are dealing with financial woes and instability. It’s no small gesture to acknowledge that, thank those who support your business, and give genuine well-wishes to those who cannot.
Website Branding and Functionality
You won’t have much luck selling online if you don’t have an easy-to-use website and an eCommerce store. Remember, your website is your virtual identity. Exhibit the same character and aesthetic across your site that you deliver when people walk into your physical store.
Providing an excellent user experience (UX) is key. Understanding and valuing the foundational elements and intents behind great UX can transform how you approach all areas of your business. The benefit of good UX is increased customer loyalty and more sales!
Choosing Your eCommerce Platform
When choosing an eCommerce platform, there are few qualities that you should pay attention to:
Will your website and storefront seamlessly integrate? Make sure that the store you choose offers a direct integration with most website hosting platforms like Woocommerce.
Make sure whatever you choose has an intuitive interface that is easy to learn.
Technology is changing fast and you want to partner with a platform that is always improving. When you choose best-in-class solutions, you have the benefit of what each platform provides today, but also any future updates.
Choose a platform that allows you to control and configure your ideal customer experience.
What is the barrier to entry like? How hard is it to get started? Right now it’s important to be able to get up and running quickly. Make sure that whatever option you choose, it’s easy to get started.
Promotion and Marketing
Once your eCommerce store is live and your club is established, it’s time to get the word out!
Don’t underestimate the importance of your website. Make sure that it’s easy to find, fast, simple to navigate, on-brand, and super clear how to sign up
Social media is a great way to increase your direct sales through your website and increase awareness about your business. Focus on customer features, education about your business, and contest/giveaways.
Google My Business, Yelp etc are common sites that people use to find businesses to visit. Claiming your business on these sites and actively monitoring and engaging with users can be the difference of thousands of dollars in new revenue.
Email can be used to attract, convert, and nurture prospects and customers.
There has never been a better time to start your online store. If you are also looking to up your online game, we are here for you and happy to provide our resources. Please reach out to our team and let us know how we can help you support customers during COVID-19 and continue to grow your business.
Tags: crm & e-commerce development agency, ecommerce web development services
The number of e-commerce stores is increasing steadily. As more and more people are deciding to launch their online stores, most of them are faced with a tough choice – Shopify or WooCommerce? When availing e-commerce web development services, many found themselves troubled by common queries about the better platform, the fees, dropshipping and much more.
To answer simply, the choice of platform depends entirely on your needs and use case. However, to help you make a decision here is a detailed comparison between the two portals.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce – What Makes them Different?
The key difference between Shopify and WordPress (WooCommerce) lies in the accessibility of the two. Shopify is a virtual service or tool where you can simply sign up and create an account. Once done, you will need to complete your store setup and have your business running. On the other hand, WordPress is software that you will need to install yourself. Following this, you will be required to contact a web development services provider to purchase a domain and arrange for the hosting of your website. Next, you will be required to add the WooCommerce plugin to access all features of an e-commerce portal.
An Introduction to Shopify:
Put simply, Shopify is a complete e-commerce tool or solution that allows you to build an e-commerce store from top to bottom. The paid tool allows you to sell anything you wish – digital and physical products and services and supports drop shipping too. Shopify also allows you to integrate your physical store with the online one. Offering over 100 designs (both paid and free), Shopify allows you to give your desired look to the store.
An Introduction to WordPress (WooCommerce):
WordPress allows you to develop a complete website for various purposes. For e-commerce, the WordPress software offers a host of customisation options with some amazing features for content management. You can choose from thousands of designs or themes, including both paid and free ones. With the use of plugins, the possibilities of extensions are endless. Even though WordPress does not offer any direct support like Shopify, the community is pretty helpful.
When to Opt for Shopify?
Shopify serves as an e-commerce solution customised for all businesses and needs. The biggest advantage of using Shopify is that it lets you set up quickly and start serving your customers almost instantly. The platform also helps in setting up things like inventory, shipping settings, taxes and so on; facilitating even the boring aspects of the e-commerce business.
Ultimately, you should opt for Shopify in the following cases:
- If you do not have a website but wish to launch an e-commerce store quickly.
- If you wish to integrate your online and offline stores.
- If you wish to have an e-commerce portal with round the clock customer support.
If your needs fall in line with any of these, you should opt for a Shopify store. Whether you are offering a single product or multiple ones; Shopify is suitable for anything ranging from digital downloads to physical products and drop shipping.
When to Opt for WooCommerce?
WordPress is regarded as a near-perfect website platform that can handle any kinds of website. Even though it is primarily a blogging platform that doesn’t provide e-commerce features, the WooCommerce plugin enables e-commerce actions. Apart from the main WooCommerce plugin, one will have to use some other plugins as well to manage social media, SEO and others.
As such, it can be said that the WooCommerce portal is a suitable choice for a dedicated and savvy user. It provides users with all e-commerce features like online payments, product catalogs, coupons and much more. Most importantly, the plugin is completely free. Therefore, if you wish to convert your existing WordPress site into an e-commerce store; you will not have to spend anything!
Ultimately, one should opt for WooCommerce in the following cases:
- If you are already familiar with WordPress and can use the platform easily.
- If you have an existing WordPress site and you do not want to invest anything extra for an e-commerce portal.
- When you wish to have complete control of your e-commerce store including every aspect of it.
If your requirements from the e-commerce portal are similar to the use cases listed above, you should opt for a WordPress store.
Shopify or WordPress – The Final Verdict
All web development services providers believe that the motive behind your choice should be to save both money and time. If you want a solution that doesn’t require a lot of management on your end and offers easy scalability, you should launch your store with Shopify. Alternatively, if you want to start with a lower cost on your existing website having full control over your e-commerce store; then WooCommerce will be the right platform for you.
Tags: ecommerce web development services, web development services
When it comes to e-commerce platforms, there are many available to business owners. Both up-and-coming start-ups, as well as renowned international brands, can use them. Among all the available platforms, Shopify is the most popular one and highly favored by its users. Anyone can work with it to start their e-commerce business and grow it profoundly. Apart from that, Shopify’s flexibility makes hundreds and thousands of business owners all over the world resort to it to run their web-stores. If you are wondering why to choose Shopify, then you may not know much about this platform’s benefits. Here you will learn about a few of Shopify’s advantages.
When you take a look at what Shopify has to offer for your money, you will definitely think that there is no better platform. It bestows a firm yet flexible store-builder that increases conversions and sales while reducing many administrative chores. Shopify can also provide worthwhile information regarding management. Monthly expenses for the ‘Basic Shopify’ plan start from $29. Alternatively, the price of the ‘Advanced Shopify’ plan goes up to $299 per month. The platform allows you to ameliorate, demote or cancel your subscription at any moment. Of course, you have to be regular about the monthly payments first. Shopify charges two other fees: one is a small percentage between 0.5 and 2.0 from your turnover, and the other is for payment gateways.
Reasons to choose Shopify
1. The technicalities: Do you use WPengine for your WordPress installation? If not, then you have to handle everything, including speed, security, and hosting. The people who wonder why to choose Shopify aren’t aware that it comes with built-in features. Professionals will take care of your store and ensure that it performs swiftly and remains secure.
2. Excellent cooperation: One company designed Shopify and all other platforms. Naturally, all the cogs of the machine work together in harmony. The owners and controllers of Shopify build your website, payment, shopping cart, and inventory and sync them up well without problems.
3. Hassle-free back-end management: Since you are the owner of the store, you will be spending a significant amount of time in the backend of the website. You will be setting things up, serving customers, and adding products. With Shopify’s exceptionally simple back-end system, administrative tasks will be a piece of cake for you.
4. Several payment gateways: Handling the payments of an e-commerce store is the most awkward and sensitive part. With platforms like Magneto or WordPress, you have to purchase extra extensions to conduct payment. On the other hand, the truth about Shopify is that it mellows everything out with its ‘plug and play’ payment gateways.
5. Connecting with a community: Shopify has a massive network of developers, third-party professionals, designers – essentially veterans in the field of digital marketing and web designing. The controllers of Shopify even encourage these experienced and knowledgeable people to join the forum by providing them with incentives.
6. Support from professionals: WordPress and other shopping carts like it are open-source platforms. They depend on online communities and forums for support. However, Shopify has a dedicated team that is always ready to help those who need it.
7. Numerous tools: Shopify gifts a toolbox full of tools to all its users for their blogs, up-sells, coupon codes, cross-sells, inventory management, analytics and more. No one has to snoop around for anything particular. If you use Shopify, you will surely find what you need in that toolkit.
8. Prices are friendly: After spending a significant amount of time, Shopify may seem pricey. Then again, nothing beats this platform’s pricing on a short-term deal. You won’t have to pay developers because you won’t need them at all. Besides, the monthly fee remains as low as $29. What more do you want?
The bottom line
To keep things short, Shopify is a fabulous platform for both new and established enterprises. Are you still pondering over why to choose Shopify? The security, flexibility, efficiency, ROI, and support it provides are off the charts. The professionals of Astute Myndz along with millions of merchants agree to the fact that Shopify checks all the boxes. So, give Shopify a try and experience the difference.
Tags: shopify, why to choose shopify
In the age of social media, the Gen-Y uses specific terms, words, phrases, and sentences to define various things. “Like a boss” is one of those new-age proverbs. It means doing something in a way that sets you apart from the rest and makes you feel as if you are the foreman of the world. If you wish to be an indomitable ruler in the kingdom of e-commerce, then you must sell “like a boss.” An e-commerce website or a selling platform relies primarily on heavy sales to survive the competitive battlefield. If you are planning to design an e-commerce platform or if you already have one, then you better contemplate the importance of sales for your business. Conversion is, of course, what you want to achieve whether you sell products from a brick-&-mortar store or an e-commerce platform. The experts of a CRM & e-Commerce development agency UK say that every day is Christmas when your conversion rates surpass all expectations. However, you need contingencies when your conversions and sales estimates slide down.
Ways to improve conversions
A sudden drop in a website’s revenue generation calls for an analysis of the same. Probably, the strategies that worked in the past are now ineffective.
When it happens, improving and optimizing the e-commerce store becomes imperative. Once you conduct the review, a few of the webpage’s elements will pop up that are messing up the conversion.
If you want the limelight to shine on you, a few incremental alterations are all that you need. Here are a few ways to boost the conversions of your e-commerce store.
1. Hassle-free shopping: Web development agencies can design a simple as well as a complicated website. However, when it is about e-commerce, an easy-to-handle site is what you need. Something elegantly designed yet manageable enhances conversion. As the owner of an e-commerce store, you have to work with random products. Although, you must never put everything on one page, as it will be a serious turn-off for clients.
2. High-quality imagery: Buyers rely profoundly on product images that help them to make the right decision before the purchase. Experts working with a reputable CRM & e-commerce development agency UK ask you to pay attention to the product pictures. Buyers should have access to high-quality illustrations posted on your store’s catalog. Make sure that you include the ‘zoom-in’ feature so that buyers can explore the product from various angles.
3. Explanatory product descriptions: HD-quality images won’t be of any help to you if your buyers can’t find an appropriate description of a product. Hence, you must include meticulously written product descriptions with the images of all your products. Detailed product descriptions are particularly important with clothing. The employees of a brick-&-mortar store explain the features of a product to buyers. Your store isn’t a physical one and so, you need to think of ways by which your clients can educate themselves.
4. Product videos: Before purchasing something, a shopper wants to get into the nitty-gritty of the products. Descriptions are good enough, but videos are better. Videos allow you to showcase what your product can do and how. As the owner of an e-commerce website, you must start using videos to explain the details of your product, if you aren’t doing it already. Even statistics declare that videos successfully influence over fifty percent of shoppers to make a purchase.
5. Responsive customer support: On-spot assistance is available inside physical stores but not on online stores. Even a descriptive product catalog with beautiful images and videos can’t provide the answers to all the questions of a client. Thus, you need to give your buyers multiple ways to contact a customer service representative. Try to include options like email, live chat, and even text messages. With these communication modes in place, every customer can contact you based on their personal preferences.
6. Transparent pricing: Different price-tags listed for the same product on several pages is quite disturbing to clients. Maintaining transparency in the price of a product is the sign of a reputable and trustworthy e-commerce platform. Business owners like you should never hide charges, shipping fees, or other expenses. It is not only a bad practice but also affects conversions negatively.
The specialists of the best CRM & e-commerce development agency UK called Astute Myndz can suggest more ways to improve your store’s conversions. However, the ones given above are useful enough to start. Nevertheless, morphing an e-commerce store into a conversion giant isn’t as challenging as you may think. A few minor changes in your strategies and the UI/UX will make a mountain of a difference. Just make sure that you get in touch with reliable e-commerce designers with relevant expertise.
Tags: crm & e-commerce development agency, Siddhant Singh, Siddhant Singh Kolkata
- A CRM or Customer Relationship Management system’s purpose is to accumulate data regarding the interactions between clients and companies. This data originates from various channels such as the company’s official website, customer support logs, related social media platforms and feedback reviews. Then, the company stores this data in its central database for analysis. Upon scrutinizing the data, the enterprise can address the customers’ problems, enhance their products, and drive growth.
- CRM is crucial to every business organization, particularly for small companies during their early growth stage. After all, the success of these firms depends on the customer base they build, manage or retain. For instance, a brand new restaurant must find out what its customers think about its food and what they post about it online. The outcome will decide whether the customers will visit the eatery again or not. The information mustered can help the owners of the restaurant to alter the services, address any issues, and achieve maximum client satisfaction.
- Now, based on your company’s necessities, there are several CRM systems for you to browse. This list of CRMs will help you find the right one.
- Zoho is already too renowned as a CRM when it comes to business management solutions. The developers of Zoho have a portfolio which incorporates accounting tools, collaborative apps and more. A self-hosted CRM solution can be too problematic to handle. That is why you should resort to Zoho’s Cloud CRM. Zoho is an online multi-channel CRM that aggregates customer data from multiple sources.
- Here is another CRM system full of robust features and extensive automation abilities. Agile CRM is undoubtedly the best Customer Relationship Management system. Any kind of business firm can use it. The starter pack of Agile bears an exceptionally competitive price-tag and it has many goodies to offer to both marketing and sales teams. You can fill it with details of over ten thousand contacts or companies.
- Every organization out there doesn’t need its teams to follow up on leads or handle customer interactions. Some companies have a sales department to take care of this matter. If your firm is somewhat similar then a sales-oriented CRM is the best for you. You should look into PipeDrive, a sales CRM created for maximizing the results by minimizing the inputs.
- This one is a highly popular and favoured CRM product and it originated from the Salesforce stable. It includes individual solutions for cloud, community, marketing, services, and analytics. The system is so powerful that it helps you track every customer interactions and information in a single location. What’s more, is that you get to follow up on further leads. You can scroll through features like partner management, lead management, sales data, and marketing automation to follow the leads and encourage them to convert.
- Nimble is a reliable CRM software program that has been helping users build better relationships in a multi-channel world. It allows you to concentrate on critical matters like data organization, sales insights, and customer organization. This system has a Contact Management feature that uses the Contact Record. You can store every piece of information concerning each business contact.
- If you want to attract and retain your clients then Nutshell can prove to be a handy and efficient solution. The design of this system is suitable for businesses of all sizes regardless of the industry. It is an eye-catcher due to its reporting feature and top-notch analytics. Of course, you may ask why you should pick Nutshell over all the other apps. Well, there are many reasons to choose this particular CRM software. One of them is the scalability feature. It is expandable to business growth since there aren’t any reporting caps, user limits, or storage restrictions.
- Budget will always be a point of concern for small businesses. Naturally, it is important to choose a CRM solution that comes with great features but isn’t too expensive. Insightly can be the saviour with the cape. The base price is negligible, to say the least, but it brings in a load of features. You can keep around one hundred thousand records in a storage space of ten GB along with the feature to import twenty-five thousand records every session.
- The only problem with CRM software programs is that they aren’t easy to initiate. They possess many interconnected modules that assist their functioning. Streak CRM is one of the few exceptions. This software program is probably the easiest to use. It depends upon Gmail, the most regularly used email platform, to work. Streak converts Gmail into a CRM powerhouse as soon as you install the extension.
- You may not be serving many customers now, but you will spread out sooner rather than later. When someone starts a firm, their sole aim is to grow and thrive. If you want your business house to be more than what it is now, you need a scalable CRM solution to manage the increased influx of customer interactions. Hubspot can prove to be what you need. It displays an updated view of your company’s sales funnels through a visual dashboard.
- This CRM software is an all-encompassing front-office solution that provides you with a real-time, complete view of your clients. NetSuite CRM+ combines your customer-focused activities with e-commerce, accounting, warehousing, and shipping applications. It supports the full sales process and client life-cycle from a lead. It progresses through opportunities, sales orders, fulfilment, renewal, up-sell, cross-sell, and support.
Tags: Hubspot CRM, Insightly CRM, NETSUITE CRM, Siddhant Sing Kolkata, Siddhant Singh, Streak CRM, ZOHO CRM