My Experience With Visual Composer

A year back during MCO 1.0 I was working from home. Then there came a crucial moment that I had to take over one of our major client website management. We were rushing to get the dual language website tweak and edit content so that it can be live soonest. Therefore I had no choice but to blindly lay my hands on this page builder call ELEMENTOR. The name itself sounds powerful. Imagine when I first login to the back end it was like a whole new world to me. Everything in there is like ALIEN to me. But with the help of Mr.Google, I was able to familiarize myself with it.

The Content Management Sytem (CMS) used was WordPress. Unlike Joomla which I had used before, WordPress seems to be more user friendly. WordPress is better-suited for beginners who are just starting to learn the basics of web design, while Joomla is preferred by the more experienced ones.

To me page builders it’s like a software on its own, something similar to Dreamweaver or Frontpage. Both of these softwares are close to extinction thanks to the emergence of these visual page builders. Now with the launch Gutenberg there is a misunderstanding that Gutenberg is there to replace the visual page builders. Although this may be seem to be true, as a matter of fact it’s not.

If you need to design a website – use visual page composers such as ELEMENTOR, WP Bakery or even Beaver Builder. Gutenberg has been created in order to improve the user experience of the former WordPress editor, making it easier for bloggers and content writers to embellish their posts with images and other types of rich media. In spite of it being able to build pages, Gutenberg is not, I repeat … it’s not to replace visual composers.

Since then I’ve been exposed to various types of page builders. For me personally I prefer ELEMENTOR. I may look difficult to use in the beginning but after a while, you should be able to get the hang of it. With its helpful live editor, front-end page builder and the ability to insert codes, ELEMENTOR is a helpful tool for creating and designing websites that looks professional. I have since crafted many websites with ELEMENTOR, without a doubt the best page composer I have ever used to date. Stay tuned for more sharing session from me. Stay safe, stay at home and together let us all help each other to survive this worldwide pandemic.

#StayAtHome #DudukDiRumah #WorkFromHome

Gutenberg Released! So do I need to start using it now?

Finally, with the latest update of WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg has finally made its debut to your WordPress Dashboards. But is Gutenberg GOOD?

Well if you ask me I would say that it depends on the user preference and objective. The current WordPress visual editor hasn’t had many progressions throughout the years and generally, has remained basically something similar.

All things considered, numerous volunteers have been contributing to the new Gutenberg WordPress editor in the background for the past 5-6 months. Their objective? To make adding rich content to WordPress fun, easy and fast.
So let’s dive into the new Gutenberg editor and explore the ups and downs of it.

Your first question might be what is this Gutenberg editor?

Well the Gutenberg editor is the newest editor in WordPress 5.0. It was named after Johannes Gutenberg, a German inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with his mechanical movable-type printing press in the 1400’s.

Using the same concept of the movable parts, Gutenberg editor uses ‘small blocks’ similar to building a brick wall by stacking it up on top of each other and hope to add more advanced layout options.

The concept of using blocks is very interesting in the context of a reusable widget on several sites or pages, but it is not really worth it if it is not always used. Because Gutenberg is still in the early stage of infancy, people are encouraged to try it out and leave comments or feedback in the WordPress support forum or open an issue on GitHub.

Now let’s look at the advantages of Gutenberg Editor

  1. It comes with a new slick and standardized interface
  2. Don’t worry, the classic editor is still available
  3. The ability to move the content in a desired order (eg, put an image gallery before after the heading)
  4. It comes with integration of galleries via a new block, rather than like last time inserting a shortcode in the editor
  5. It is now possible to edit the parameters of an image on the same page
  6. Now you will have the ability to hide the sidebar to save more space to type or insert the text content
  7. Now it supports keyboard shortcuts
  8. Wow! Now you are able to switch between several editing modes (eg. full screen, full page, etc.) for the editor
  9. It has the drag & drop interface to move blocks around
  10. The new publishing interface auto adjust according to the size of the content
  11. It is easy to reuse components across pages and sections of the site
  12. You can use the basic blocks to display the list of categories, recent publications, table, etc. without having to develop anything else on the side
  13. There is the possibility to improve the “blocks”

By having so much advantages you’ll be thinking that great, now I can use it as a page builder. Err.. not quite yet actually. Gutenberg will be able to make it a lot easier to stylize regular content like blog posts or standard pages, but it’s not a 1:1 substitute for page builders in its current form.

No doubt the newer version of Gutenberg lets you rearrange blocks with drag and drop, but it’s still not free-form like most page builders. So, the Gutenberg block editor is ready to eliminate the requirement for page builders for generally “standard” substance, and it additionally makes a single unified method for making more complex website designs formats in WordPress.

However, with regards to building more mind boggling pages, similar to a landing page, you’re most likely going to see the value in the more noteworthy adaptability offered by other page builders such as Elementor.

Now that we’ve discussed the advantages of Gutenberg editor, like everything else there is the other side of it, the disadvantages. In the next topic we shall cover that. See you all in the next chapter.

New recurring payments feature in WordPress

Today, the recurring payment or subscription model is helping many online businesses all over the world. Content Management giants, WordPress, has also made recurring payments feature available for its users.

The new recurring payment feature will allow WordPress users to earn money for their content, directly from any page on their site. The payment feature is also available for self-hosted WordPress users who have the Jetpack plugin installed.

WordPress recurring payments with Stripe payment, therefore WP users must have a connected account to receive payments on their website. Stripe provides services for over 30 countries around the world, including Malaysia.

The best things aren’t always free. Therefore, the recurring payment feature isn’t free. The feature is only available to premium WordPress users. For every 2.9% + $0.30 payment that Stripe collects, WordPress.com has a tiered fee table based plan for its users.

  • WordPress for eCommerce users – No fee
  • WordPress for Business users – 2% per sale
  • WordPress for Premium users – 4% per sale
  • WordPress for Personal users – 8% per sale

Users in the lowest tier will see nearly 11% of sales go into WordPress and Stripe fees. If your business receives large payments, it’s more sensible and affordable to upgrade to a higher plan to offset the charges.

The charges for each tier seem reasonably priced since the infrastructure is handled by WordPress.

eCommerce owner

However, for self-hosted users, they can bypass the WordPress fees with many existing payment plugins. But, the self-hosted users will have to decide whether the tools and support offered by WordPress are enough of a value-add to opt for their service.

The Jetpack team first came up with a beta test for this new feature last year (May 18, 2019). At the time it was first introduced, it was called “membership block.”

The announcement that followed the beta test version was that users can provide ongoing subscriptions, site memberships, monthly donations, and more.

However, the features offered by members-based content seems to be limited when compared to other fully-featured membership plugins and would need extra manual work to limit access to a site’s premium content.

WordPress’s recommendation is to password-protect posts and email out the password to subscribers or set up a newsletter.

This system is far-fetched from a true membership system but could be enough for the average blogger who wants to make a few bucks as a side income. 

However, the system is open for improvement if the WordPress and Jetpack teams would like to develop the system.

Recurring Payment Blocks

The WordPress recurring payments feature is available for at least Jetpack version 7.4. The feature comes in the form of a block for the block editor and is located under the “Jetpack” tab when inserting a new block.

The block shows four fields and can be customized. They include:

  • Currency
  • Price
  • Description
  • Renewal Interval

There is no limit to the number of payment blocks you can add. A user can create a new payment plan by adding a new block.

How to activate Recurring Payments on your WordPress website?

1. Connect and create a Stripe account

Go to your Earn Page, click Connect to Stripe to Get Started — from there, you’ll be guided through the entire setup process. You’ll also get help on how to set up a Stripe account if you don’t have one already.

2. Customize the details of the recurring payment

After connecting a Stripe account, you can proceed to create as many different payment plans as you want to. You can choose different currencies, amounts, payment frequencies, and names. With this, you can offer different tiers and subscriptions for your readers.

ecommerce recurring payment

When adding a new Recurring Payments block, you can select an already existing plan without going through the entire setup process. You can even ask your WordPress hosting service provider in Malaysia to add the new payment block for you.

Wish to find out more? Get in touch with us today via our website.

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