Build a Bar Website With Great Themes and Jetpack Features

If you own a bar, it’s important to have a strong online presence that can showcase your establishment to potential patrons. Researching WordPress bar themes is a great first step. To ensure that your bar website stands out from the rest, you’ll also need a clear vision of what you want to present to visitors, and how best to present it.

Let’s review some key elements to consider when planning your bar website, beginning with how to choose from the many WordPress bar themes. Then, we’ll take a look at some of the functionalities that a bar website should have.

Before getting started

It’s always a good idea to begin with a dash of inspiration, which can come from almost anywhere. One great way to get inspired is by browsing the websites of other businesses within your industry.

While researching other websites, think about the information they present to visitors. For a bar or lounge website, you’ll likely see the different drinks available, the food menu, and options for event hosting. They might also try to channel the bar’s atmosphere. Once you’ve done some research, prepare a list of the items that you want to showcase on your site. Once you choose a theme, you’ll be able to display them in an appealing way specific to your own establishment.

Hiring a professional to photograph your bar and menu items isn’t a bad idea if it fits within your budget. This will help to shape the design of your website and inform your theme selection process.

Finding the right theme

You already have a multitude of themes to choose from (including commercial theme options); Jetpack users also have access to additional starter themes (and even more options with a paid plan).

Jetpack themes

When browsing through themes, it’s important to consider the ambiance of your bar. Is it formal, or laid-back and relaxed? Understanding your customer base and their preferences plays a big role in customizing your website’s appearance. If you use a formal tone online, but your bar is usually frequented by patrons looking to relax and unwind after a hard day at work, you’re going to be targeting the wrong audience with your website. This could lead to disappointed, misled, or confused customers.

Finding the right theme to convey your bar’s style and brand doesn’t always happen on the first try. To find a theme that meets your needs, try looking for one that was designed with similar businesses in mind. Searching for restaurant, cafe, or hotel themes might yield the result you’re looking for.

Put customers first by prioritizing functionality

When building a website, many business owners only focus on aesthetics. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t always take user experience into account. Great user experiences play a major role in turning an online visitor into a paying customer. If your website is difficult to navigate or use, you risk seeing your visitors leave your pages with no intention of returning. It’s important, then, to prioritize what your visitors will see and do on your website. To that end, here are a few features to include on your bar’s site to better serve future patrons.

Social sharing

Social media platforms help small businesses advertise on a budget. Word-of-mouth comes in the form of online reviews and recommendations, so you’ll want to make your site content shareable across different social networks.

Publicize automatically shares your content on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Not only can you post new content straight from your WordPress site, you can also enable sharing buttons that allow visitors to introduce your content, your website, and your business to their own followers. Since bars are great places to meet up with friends, it makes sense to maintain a presence on the platforms where your customers and their friends connect.

Search engine optimization

Regardless of the size of your business, you can ensure your content is search-engine optimized (SEO) to help it rank well on relevant queries. Plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack allow site owners to apply solid SEO practices that make their businesses easier to discover.

For information about combining these plugins, check out Moz’s “Beginner Guide to SEO” to ensure that you’re covering every base.

Event management

When you host beer festivals, wine tastings, and other bar-friendly events you give customers reasons to step into your establishment. One of the best places to advertise events is on your website.

Upcoming Events is a Jetpack widget that provides a quick way to display forthcoming events on your site. To power this feature, you just need a calendar application that supports an iCalendar URL, like Google Calendar. Once you sync your calendar to the Upcoming Events widget, you can display events across your website.

Alternatively, if you aren’t a Google Calendar user, you can choose to display events using a plugin like The Events Calendar. This tool allows users to create and manage events from within the WordPress dashboard.

Contact information

The physical location of your bar is an extremely important detail to feature on your website. How else will customers find you? To assist, Jetpack offers a Contact Info widget that will display your location, hours of operation, contact information, and an optional Google Map view so that first-time visitors can quickly locate your bar while out and about.

Cheers! You’re almost done

Once you decide on your site’s functionality and settle on a theme, it will be time to build your bar’s website. While it may seem like a daunting task at first, with the right theme, plugins, and knowledge, the possibilities are endless.



Posted in Innovate, Learn | Comments Off on Build a Bar Website With Great Themes and Jetpack Features

How Jetpack Empowers DIY Site Owners

“Do it yourself” is a wonderful, empowering phrase.

But, it also doesn’t mean much without context; because, while hiring a professional website or theme developer can be expensive, doing it yourself can end up costing a lot as well — especially if you do it incorrectly.

For those on a budget, Jetpack’s many features are here to help. Since its launch, WordPress site owners have been using Jetpack to add a diverse range of crucial capabilities to their sites.

Let’s review four Jetpack features that can help you develop your site on your own, so that you don’t need to pay someone else to do it for you.

1. Theme options

One popular reason why people hire developers is because they want custom theme development. However, even Jetpack’s free plan comes with more than 100 professionally-designed themes.

For example, Argent comes with the tools you would need to highlight your photography portfolio.

Argent theme from Jetpack

Additionally, Dyad 2 is a great option to feature images from your restaurant, cafe, bakery, or bar.

Dyad 2 theme

For website owners who notice a lot of mobile site traffic, Professional plans come with more than 200 premium, mobile-friendly WordPress themes. These themes will make your website look great to those who browse your site on their phones.

Radiate is just one example.

Radiate premium WordPress theme

Designed especially for blogs, it features a content slider and page templates that make it well-suited for personal or business use.

You can browse through, implement, customize, and change Jetpack themes at your discretion. What else could a DIY site owner ask for?

2. PayPal payments

Monetization is a primary goal for many WordPress website owners. If this includes you, then you’ll eventually want to integrate PayPal into your site so that you can accept online payments.

PayPal integration can be tricky, depending on the options that you want to have available. You definitely cannot afford to make mistakes when processing transactions that contain sensitive user information, like names, addresses, and credit card numbers. This will eliminate all trust that customers put into your hands.

Jetpack Premium will manage all aspects of Simple Payments for you. In fact, it’s as simple as clicking an option within your WordPress admin dashboard.

3. Enhanced site search

As your site evolves, giving your audience easy and intuitive access to the posts in your archive will become more important. Once you acquire a loyal fanbase, they may want to go back and look at your past posts, in addition to your recent ones.

Delivering an optimized site search experience is another feature that you could pay a website developer to add, but it also comes bundled into a Jetpack Professional plan.

What distinguishes Jetpack’s Elasticsearch-powered search? It delivers instant, more relevant results to your users, and indexing is completed in real-time, meaning that your site’s search index will update within minutes of any site changes. It’s important to note that this tool is only available with Professional plan subscriptions.

4. Priority Support

Approaching your website with a DIY mindset comes with a lot of benefits, but there can also be drawbacks, such as feeling helpless or overwhelmed if you can’t figure out how to resolve an issue.

Access to timely, one-on-one technical support is one of the most important, underrated benefits of hiring a website developer. But, what if you could get that kind of support without paying those kinds of prices? This is another way that Jetpack can potentially save you thousands of dollars.

With Jetpack’s Priority Support features, Personal plan users will have access to the help they need, including support for the theme options, PayPal payments, and enhanced site search features mentioned above. If you want even more robust support, consider Jetpack Premium or Professional plans, which both include one-on-one concierge setup services.

Everything you need to DIY

The four features included above are just the tip of the iceberg. With Jetpack, both novice and experienced site owners are equipped to create beautiful, functional websites without relying on a third party.

As a DIY site owner, are there other Jetpack features that you’ve found useful? Comment below and let us know!

Posted in Learn | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Building a Community Through Comment Management

Many successful blogs attract vibrant, engaged communities of followers who are excited to read the author’s latest content. There are lots of ways to engage with your readers, but responding to and leaving comments is especially effective, as it gives you an outlet to share thoughts and promote discussions.

Today, you’ll learn about the benefits of comments, some best practices for comment management, and what tools you can use to make comments work for you.

A blog is more than its posts

A blog is more than just the content within your posts. A great blog that influences readers, reaches out to a wide community, and sparks a dialogue, will also promote interactions between its readers. These interactions won’t be limited to just you and your readers. Your readers will likely interact with each other as well. Followers who connect with each other is how a community is built in the first place.

You can build a following and community through social media. Take a look at the successful blogs that you follow. They likely have presences on Twitter and Facebook, and many will also be active on other platforms like Instagram, Reddit, or Pinterest. It makes sense to expand your community as far as possible; that way, people will visit your blog for the quality content that you post and to interact with others through the comments section.

Good comment management takes this even further. By encouraging visitors to leave and reply to comments while replying to them yourself, you can build a lively, engaged community of readers who keep coming back time and time again, and not just when you post new content.

Getting started with comment management

To get the most out of the comments on your content, you’ll need to do some basic comment management, including:

  • Verifying that the comments feature is activated
  • Ensuring that comments are configured to look great with your chosen theme, both on desktop computers and mobile devices
  • Actively asking readers to leave comments at the end of each post, either by posing a question or asking for people’s opinions or experiences
  • Replying to and answering questions
  • Inviting your readers to reply to each other’s comments

Covering these initial bases can encourage your readers to take part in the conversations that your posts prompt.

Improving your comment forms

People don’t always want to sign into your site just to post a comment on one of your posts. They’ll also be less likely to leave a comment if a form is difficult to use.

Comments setting in Jetpack

Activating Jetpack comments adds a user-friendly interface to your comments section. It also allows people to sign in through WordPress.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Google in order to leave comments. This means that people who don’t want to create an account on your site can still leave comments on your content.

The Jetpack comments form

Once you activate this feature (via your Jetpack settings), your readers will be given access to a comment form. This offers more flexibility than the default WordPress comment form.

Receive comment notifications

To reply to comments, you’ll need to be alerted whenever a new one is posted. Jetpack sends you comment notifications as soon as they’re posted, so you can reply immediately if you want to.

The WordPress app is the best way to receive details about every new comment. If you enable notifications, you’ll be alerted immediately. All you need to do is download the mobile app, and link your Jetpack-enabled site to it. This app also lets you post new content and monitor your site stats, making it a great companion for your WordPress site.

Comments in the WordPress app

Encourage engagement and build a community

Great posts tend to encourage in-depth, thoughtful responses in the comment sections. This may include people posting questions that you reply to, along with discussions between readers that don’t involve you at all. It can be very rewarding to observe readers sharing their views on something that you originally posted.

Get your readers to partake in discussions by creating content that inspires conversations, like the following:

  • Ask readers to leave comments at the end of every post. Pose a question, ask readers for their experiences, or have them share expertise or recommendations.
  • Don’t shy away from stating opinions within your own posts, even if not everyone will agree. A bit of disagreement can generate heated discussions.
  • Don’t reply to every comment or answer every question immediately. If a member of your community answers instead, it might lead to even more community member engagement.
A post from the Jetpack blog

Comments can take your blog from good to great

Effective comment management can make readers more loyal to your blog. Loyalty is partly what drives readers to visit your site more often, as they will want to connect with other people who share similar interests. It can help you build a community, which makes your blog greater than the sum of its parts. It might also legitimize you as an expert in your field, as you’ll become someone who readers can go to when they have questions or need advice.

How do you use comments in your content, and what method works best for you? Share your thoughts, we’d love to hear them!

Posted in Learn | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Building a Community Through Comment Management

Real-Time Backups Become a Reality With Jetpack

Backing up your website on a regular basis is crucial for making sure that the hard work you put into your site is preserved.

Sometimes, unforeseeable events can bring down a site or cause it to lose data. Whether it’s a malicious hacking attempt, an incompatible third-party plugin update, or accidental deletions caused by human error, few websites are immune to harm.

With real-time backups in place, however, none of these scenarios can damage your site in the long term. Backups allow you to quickly restore your website in the event that something goes wrong.

While daily, scheduled backups are a great practice, they aren’t always enough. If you want your website to be truly safe, you need a real-time backup plan.

Let’s explore how backups work, and the difference between scheduled and real-time backups. We’ll also review some exciting new Jetpack updates that will keep your site more secure than ever.

The mechanics of making backups

Before you get started, it’s important to understand the basics of how backups work.

For certain backup services, an update in the database creates a new “event.” This event then notifies the plugin you’re using for backups that a change was made. However, some external services don’t monitor your site for changes, and only run backups at specific times of the day.

Every time you make a change to your site, WordPress stores the information in its database. Those changes might include adding a new post, updating a post, adding a new page, or receiving new comments.

When you have a scheduled backup, your site will be backed up on a regular interval that you specify. This can be daily, weekly, or monthly. Any event that occurred on your site during the course of that time period will be backed up the next time your scheduled backup runs.

A real-time backup, on the other hand, performs a backup as soon as something significant changes on your site. There’s no waiting; instead, every change gets backed up as soon as it occurs.

Scheduled versus real-time backups

For most site owners, real-time backups are the best solution. Even if your site is backed up once every day, there’s still a risk of losing important data over the course of 24-hours.

This becomes an even bigger problem if your site sees a lot of daily activity due to high traffic. If you’re publishing multiple blog posts in a single day or are receiving a large volume of comments, you can still lose content (even if there isn’t much time between scheduled backups).

If you use a real-time backup, on the other hand, every change made to your site will be backed up immediately. Even if the worst happens, with a real-time backup plugin, no data will be lost.

As an added bonus, real-time backups also use fewer resources because they only back up changed files. Scheduled backups, in contrast, back up your entire site from scratch every time a new backup is made.

Previously, Jetpack Backup allowed you to set a scheduled backup interval. Now, your site will be continuously backed up in real-time with no added effort on your part.

Real-time backups are available with all of Jetpack’s paid plans, so now is a great time to consider upgrading.

Get going with real-time backups

Backing up your site should be at the top of your to-do list. Without backups, you leave your site vulnerable and risk losing the work you put into it.

If you already have automatic backups in place, then you’re doing a great job of keeping your website secure!

If you want to take your site security to the next level by ensuring that even the smallest change is saved, take a look at the real-time backups offered as part of Jetpack.

Posted in Learn | Comments Off on Real-Time Backups Become a Reality With Jetpack

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
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