Create the Perfect Barbershop Website with WordPress and the Jetpack Plugin

Whether you’re an established barber, are fresh out of school, or are just pulling together a business plan, creating an effective and beautiful barbershop website can be critical to your professional success. Let’s talk about standing out from the crowd, landing new clients, and extending your social reach by creating a website for your salon services with WordPress and the Jetpack plugin.

Desk with various barber utilities such as heairbrush, combs, etc.

Finding the perfect theme

Selecting an effective theme is the first step in the site design process, as it defines your brand’s overall tone.

You can browse more than 100 themes in the Jetpack theme showcase. If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can upgrade your plan for a wider theme selection that also come with enhanced features.

Whether you’re looking for a retro, 19th-century design (complete with a rotating barbershop pole) or a modern aesthetic, there’s a theme out there that’s perfect for your barbershop website. Once you find one that has the features you need, customize it to align with your color scheme and the layout you desire. After the customization process is completed, ensure that your site looks great across devices — while Jetpack themes are responsive, it never hurts to double-check that your images are properly sized for a smooth viewing experience. Help visitors get a feel for your business, which will make them more likely to book appointments.

Showcasing your skills through fast-loading images

Haircuts are all about the look, so your website should feature photos of your clients’ fresh cuts, your staff members, and your shop. With Jetpack, you can serve up your photos quickly and display them in a visually compelling way.

Jetpack’s Site Accelerator serves your photos through its global network, keeping load times low and reducing the burden on your hosting server. Your images will be automatically resized so that they fit perfectly with your theme, giving you an extra speed and efficiency boost.

This isn’t where the image optimizations end, however. Users expect websites to load extremely fast. Fortunately, with Lazy Images your site is ready to meet their speedy demands. Does it sound strange that “laziness” gets you speed? Here’s how it works: if one of your site pages contains images scattered throughout, they are typically all loaded at the same time. Your readers, however, likely want to start scrolling down a page as quickly as possible, and they don’t immediately need to view images that appear towards the bottom of that page. With Lazy Images, your site only loads the images when they need to be seen: once they scroll into view on a page.

Reaching customers with contact forms

Answering questions and responding to feedback are great ways to engage with customers. Those who ask questions and have them answered might be more likely to become customers, and anyone who leaves feedback — even if it’s critical — shows they are emotionally invested in your business.

To enable your customers to get in touch, have their questions answered, and their voices heard, consider adding a contact form to your pages or posts — it only takes seconds with the new Jetpack Form block. Each submitted form is delivered to the email address of your choice, and you can also view all replies within the Feedback section of your site.

After users submit a contact form, your site can redirect them to a “Thank You” page, where you can further incentivize interested individuals or appease critical feedback with special discounts. By adding a line of code to your theme’s functions.php file, you can add a customized message once your form has been successfully submitted.

Extending your reach with social media

Now that you have a theme for your site, images that load quickly, and contact forms to facilitate interaction, you can spread the word through social media integration. Help site visitors find your social media pages with ease in case they want to connect and share your posts to their own social channels. The Social Media Icons widget places links to your social media accounts on your sidebar. You can give viewers access to your YouTube or Vimeo clips, provide styling tips on Facebook or Twitter, or direct them to many other platforms where you maintain a presence, like Instagram.

You can also promote your Facebook page with the Facebook Page Plugin widget. This tool displays your profile photo on your website, as well as the number of “likes” your page has received. You can even configure this widget to display your latest Facebook posts on your website.

The possibilities are endless

The goal of any website is to make a business look appealing in order to attract customers and encourage audience engagement. For a business like a barbershop, which relies on sharp visuals and social buzz, Jetpack’s tools bring you one step closer to accomplishing your objectives.


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Create Online Courses With Jetpack to Share Your Expertise

Jetpack is a popular pick for WordPress users because it offers enhanced functionalities and can be used for most purposes, ranging from blogging to e-commerce. One thing that you may not have considered, however, is creating and offering online courses through your site.

Let’s explore how to offer online courses through your Jetpack site so that you can share valuable lessons while profiting from your expertise.

What to consider before getting started

At bare minimum, you’ll need a few hours of video content to get started with creating an online course. If you’re camera shy, don’t worry, you can use lecture slides as well.

It’s also important to consider the layout of your course. How many parts will you offer? Will you include written content to supplement your videos? How will you grade your students on course completion?

After you’ve given the logistics behind your course some thought, consider going a step further by integrating a forum where students can answer each other’s questions and give each other feedback. This can save you from having to address each issue personally. Other helpful features to include are a “FAQ” page and a “Contact” page complete with a form so that students can contact you directly.

Plugins to support your online course

What’s a teacher without resources? Here are a few tools that can help you deliver a curriculum.

Learning management: Sensei

Plugins are what gives WordPress its amazing versatility, as you can download tools that will enable you to add virtually any feature to your site. There are a few plugins that are specifically designed to help you create an online course. These are called learning management systems (LMS), and they make laying out your content much easier. One LMS that’s gotten a lot of attention is Sensei.

Sensei logo and heading

Sensei helps to make your courses attractive, easy to navigate, and user-friendly. Once installed, you can create online courses, write detailed lessons, and add quizzes. Its reporting feature lets you see how many people are enrolled in your course, and you can recognize those who complete your curriculum with personalized certificates.

The features don’t stop there, though. If you offer multiple courses and you’re looking for more advanced functionalities, Sensei even allows you to set lesson and course pre-requisites. This means that users will need to take and pass a certain lesson or course in order to advance to the next one.

Tuition: WooCommerce

Sensei is an extension of the WooCommerce plugin, a popular e-commerce option that’s known for being well-supported and easy to use. If you decide to charge a fee for your course, you can create a paid membership option with WooCommerce to integrate popular payment gateways, like PayPal.

Video lectures: Jetpack’s Video Storage

Screenshot of Jetpack video player

You’ll need a way to manage and organize your videos, especially if your course features many hours of content. Use Jetpack’s video storage functionality to upload videos from your computer directly to Jetpack’s servers, instead of storing the videos on your host’s server. This saves you storage space, and allows your site to load a lot faster. Those with Premium or Professional plans can upload an unlimited amount of video content and deliver it quickly and seamlessly to viewers with Jetpack’s video content delivery network (CDN).

Attract long-time learners

Once your course is live and ready to be taken, you’ll need to attract students. It’s important to promote your course so that it reaches a wide audience. Send out an email reminder (if you have a mailing list), and post about it on social media. If you have a budget, consider using paid ads, as they’re impactful ways to bring in the exact type of traffic you’re looking for.

You should also consider providing written transcripts of your videos, as an alternative content type may improve your search engine optimization and will certainly add to the quality of your curriculum. Additionally, it offers an alternative to an audio course. Those who are hearing-impaired, or prefer to read lesson plans instead of viewing video content, might use this content type instead.

Offer courses with ease

You don’t need to become a WordPress expert to sell your expertise — all you need is Sensei, WooCommerce, and Jetpack to help you create online courses that will deliver your passion and knowledge to the world.

Do you offer online courses through your website? How do you promote them? Share with our readers in the comments below!

Posted in Innovate | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Use Related Posts to Decrease Load Times and Improve UX

There are a lot of little details that go into creating a WordPress website. You want to be sure that you’re displaying the right content, including related posts, responses, and comments, so that your website can become a place where your followers get to know you and engage with a wider community.

There are times, however, when sharing too much information can be detrimental to your site goals and its user experience, or UX. By using Jetpack’s Related Posts feature, you can ensure that you’re showing visitors high-value items that attract — and not distract — a growing following.

Today, we’ll teach you how to manage your WordPress website’s related content with Jetpack, and why it’s important to show it in the first place.

Continue reading → Use Related Posts to Decrease Load Times and Improve UX

Posted in Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Everything You Should Know About a Website Footer

A website footer is found at the bottom of your site pages. It typically includes important information such as a copyright notice, a disclaimer, or a few links to relevant resources. Can you recall what’s in your website footer?

Many site owners focus on designing the tops of their websites. After all, it’s what visitors first see when they land on a site. Although it’s very important to design the perfect header and an attractive banner, when it comes to designing the footer, don’t exhaust your creativity. A footer should also serve to accomplish one or more of your specific site goals.

With the knowledge that your site footer might dictate whether a visitor continues interacting with your site or leaving for good, let’s review why a website footer matters, and what goes into creating a compelling one.

Continue reading → Everything You Should Know About a Website Footer

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How Many Website Images Is Too Many?

A page with no images can look barren, but one with too many will load slowly, which might result in a high bounce rate. Kissmetrics reports that 40% of users will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load, and that each further second of delay results in a 7% loss in conversions.

A page with several, well-optimized images can load faster than one with a single, large image file. Finding that middle ground in terms of site images depends on multiple factors, and there are various techniques that can cut down your image load times.

Let’s take look at these factors, how you can use them to your advantage, and what limits you should observe.

Continue reading → How Many Website Images Is Too Many?

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Increase Your User Engagement with These Email Tips

Email Marketing Tips to Increase Your User Engagement

Every website has a purpose. Whether your site is for a family-owned bakery, a woodworking shop, or even a personal blog, it can benefit from attracting repeat visitors and increasing user engagement.

Partaking in email marketing initiatives (sending electronic messages to site visitors via email) is one of the best ways to do this, as there will be more than 3.8 billion email users before the start of 2019, according to a 2018 Radicati Group study. Imagine how many people you might be able to build relationships with through email outreach!

In this post, we’ll review why email marketing is important, how you can get started, and share some email marketing tips to help you build and maintain an audience while executing your marketing goals.

Continue reading → Email Marketing Tips to Increase Your User Engagement

Posted in Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

How to Choose the Right WordPress Theme for Your Site

According to W3Techs, WordPress is the most popular content management system out there, powering more than 30% of the world’s websites. Part of WordPress’s popularity is due to how many themes there are to choose from, and how easily you can change the look of your site without needing help from a developer.

Jetpack takes this ease of use a step further by offering everyone more than 150 free themes, and more than 200 premium themes to Professional plan subscribers. This not only allows you to preview each one, but you can even search for themes with specific features.

But with so many great themes available, it can be hard — sometimes really hard — to pick just one. How do you choose the one that’s best for your site?

Today, we’ll review what you should look for in a theme when picking from the very best that the world of WordPress has to offer.

Continue reading → How to Choose the Right WordPress Theme for Your Site

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How to Keep Your WordPress Plugins Updated

One of the best parts of WordPress is its massive ecosystem of plugins. In fact, as of right now, there are more than 50,000 free add-ons available on the WordPress.org plugin repository.

Given how user-friendly plugins are, it’s not uncommon to end up with dozens of them. Each one might be specifically chosen and configured for your needs.But with all the positive aspects of using plugins, there can be some pain points as well. The biggest pain point is probably keeping up with all the updates that become available.

This might lead you to ask questions like: “do I need to run plugin updates?” “How often should my plugins be updated?” Or: “are there any tools that help make plugin updates easier or more efficient?” In short, the answers are: yes, it depends, and you bet!

Read on to learn about the importance of plugin updates, how to update your plugins, and when (and how) to use automatic updates to help manage your site.

Continue reading → How to Keep Your WordPress Plugins Updated

Posted in Utilities & Maintenance | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Master the Basics of SEO to Reach More Customers

If you’re a writer, designer, photographer, consultant, or offer any kind of service online, then you understand the importance of driving traffic to your website. But when it comes to increasing your exposure and building awareness for your brand, where do you start?

The key is to establish a strong online presence across the places where people turn to for solutions: search engines. With some knowledge and the correct tools, you can master the basics of SEO (search engine optimization) and raise yoru brand awareness with potential customers.

Let’s take a closer look at what SEO entails, why it’s important for raising awareness, and the resources you can use to ensure that your website appears as close as possible to the coveted first page of search engine results.

SEO increases your online presence

Search engine optimization is the process of making your website content appealing to search engines like Google and Bing. The ultimate goal is for your site to appear in search results whenever someone looks up relevant terms.

If you search for “Diners in San Jose,” you’ll be presented with a very long list of results. What makes one result rank higher or lower than another? A number of factors:

  • Website security: Google will rank your website higher if there are security protocols in place. If your site is secure, its address will begin with “https://” and a lock icon will appear next to it. If a lock icon does not appear, then you need to obtain an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate from your web host or an organization like Let’s Encrypt.

Screenshot of a browser bar showing the lock symbol

Screenshot of Pingdom speed test result for Google showing 94 in performance grade

All of these methods work in tandem to help your site rank higher in search results.

SEO is a free marketing tool

Why is ranking favorably on relevant searches important? Think about the ways that you might market a business.

Sure, you can rely on ads or sponsored posts to drive traffic to your site, but this becomes expensive over time. In contrast, optimizing your website and content for search engines is mostly free, and places your site listing in front of customers whenever they search for services like yours.

Although a paid ad campaign might take less time to initially configure, Jetpack ensures that applying SEO techniques is a streamlined, easy-to-implement process.

Strengthen your SEO with Jetpack

With SEO tools, you are equipped with everything needed to optimize a website and increase your online presence. Every Jetpack plan comes with an Image Content Delivery Network (CDN) and more than 100 WordPress themes, the majority of which are mobile-friendly. These features help to boost your SEO, as they empower you to deliver content to a wider audience, faster.

Premium plans provide all that and more. In addition to the tools above, Premium users can bolster their marketing toolkits with SEO previews and Google Analytics integrations.

Let your website do the marketing

At its core, optimizing websites for search engines helps potential followers, customers, and readers find your site. By familiarizing yourself with the basics of SEO and adding these tools to your pages, a website can become your greatest lead generator.

Are you optimizing your site for search engines? How has it impacted your business? Share your experiences with other site owners in the comments below.

Posted in Learn | Comments Off on Master the Basics of SEO to Reach More Customers
Boost engagement with Video

Ways to Boost User Engagement with Videos

Do you have any videos on your site? If not, you probably should consider adding some.

When it comes to getting the attention of a potential customer or fan, few things are more effective than a captivating video. In fact, Marketing Land reports that people are typically more likely to make purchases after watching product videos.

The use of video content on a business site captures visitor attention and reduces bounce rates. Videos give visitors an incentive to stay and interact with your site longer, leading them to become more interested in your brand in the process. The more invested a person is, the more likely they are to transition from a potential customer to an actual one.

Despite the many benefits of video content, most small business sites don’t use it. This is a huge missed opportunity. Fortunately, it’s never too late to add videos and help your site stand out among the crowd!

Continue reading → Ways to Boost User Engagement with Videos

Posted in Photos & Videos | Tagged , , | 1 Comment
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