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A Popular Theme, But Is it Good Enough For You?

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A Popular Theme, But Is it Good Enough For You?

This Kadence review takes a good look at the highly comprehensive WordPress theme by Kadence WP. The Kadence Pro theme was introduced to further enhance the original features.

Kadence Pro continually strives to bring innovative elements to the table. And it stands out in the market due to its unmatched collection of exclusive features.

Using Kadence, you can effortlessly and efficiently develop sophisticated websites at an accelerated pace.

This Kadence theme review will concentrate on covering the following:

  • Free version Features
  • Pro version Features
  • Performance
  • Pricing
  • Pros and cons
  • Alternatives to Kadence theme

If you do not have the time to continue reading, start using Kadence now, you will not be disappointed!

Kadence Review

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Performance

  • Price

  • Customer Support

Summary

The free and Pro versions of the theme offer incredible ease of use and features that allow you to build any website you want. The Kadence Theme is built on lightweight, SEO-friendly code which means your site will load fast, positively contributing to your ranking efforts in the Google search results. The theme integrates perfectly with other page builder solutions, such as Elementor, and offers extra WooCommerce features. Get Kadence right here!

Pros

  • Lightweight and good performance
  • Good number of features in the free version and additional unique features in Pro
  • Kadence Blocks plugin is an excellent help
  • Reasonable pricing of the Pro theme, Lifetime Plan
  • Compatible with plugins like LifterLMS, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and many more
  • Easy creation of eCommerce or membership sites

Cons

  • Can improve on the number of starter sites
  • Plans may be confusing
  • No white labeling feature

Kadence Review: Overview

The Kadence theme is the flagship product of Kadence WP, accompanied by a diverse range of plugins, with Kadence Blocks being the most prominent. Kadence Blocks extends the capabilities of WordPress’s Gutenberg editor.

I found Kadence theme:

  • Easy to use
  • It has very useful free features 
  • The combination with Kadence Blocks makes it a strong tool
  • Delivers top performance and speed

Even the free version of Kadence comes with a host of features you won’t find with most other themes. And the Pro version is excellent for developing eCommerce websites.

Features of Kadence Free Theme

After the theme import is complete, you can start making any desired customizations to your website. If you’re short on time and want to speed up the website design process, import a starter site.

The Kadence theme offers a range of powerful features that can enhance your website design and functionality. Here are some core features of the Kadence theme.

Kadence free customization options.
  • Header and Footer Builder. With Kadence, you can create stunning headers and footers using the intuitive drag-and-drop builder. 
  • Page Builder Compatibility. Kadence integrates with popular page builders like Gutenberg, Elementor, and Beaver Builder.
  • Responsive Design. The Kadence theme generates fully responsive sites.
  • Typography Options. With Kadence, you have extensive control over typography settings. There is a wide selection of options available for you to choose from. You have access to Google Fonts and can customize font sizes, line heights, letter spacing, and more to create a visually appealing and readable website.
  • Sticky and transparent header. You will find that these features are paid attributes in other premium themes.
  • Global Color Palette.
  • Free SVG Social Icons. SVG social icons are lightweight; no plugin is needed as in other themes.  
  • Scroll to top. Part of the free theme.

Features of Kadence Theme Pro

I would like to point out some of the Kadence Pro features that I found useful.

Header Addon

An advanced header addon for the header builder allows you to enhance its functionality and customize your headers further. Here are the additional elements that come with the Kadence Advanced Header Builder Add-on:

  • Account Icon with Dropdown/Modal. This element enables you to add an account icon to your header; it is beneficial for membership sites where you charge a subscription-based fee for services, courses, or premium content.
  • Search Bar. The add-on includes a search bar element that you can easily incorporate into your header. 
  • Contact Elements. This enables you to include contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, or social media links.
  • Widget Area. Used to customize your header’s content.
  • Divider, Divider2, Divider3. Dividers of different styles to visually separate sections within your header.
  • HTML2. The HTML2 element allows you to add custom HTML code to your header.
  • Button2. This element lets you add customizable buttons to your header.
  • Navigation3, Navigation4. These elements are multi-level or advanced navigation menus.

Conditional Headers

Conditional headers is a valuable feature that allows you to display different headers on various parts of your website based on specific conditions. Here are some benefits of using conditional headers.

  • Blog Websites. With conditional headers, you can show different headers based on different categories of your blog posts. This customization helps in creating a more tailored and relevant experience for your visitors.
  • Membership Websites. For websites that offer membership-based services or content, conditional headers allow you to dynamically adjust the header based on the user’s login status. 
  • eCommerce Websites. Conditional headers are particularly useful for eCommerce websites, especially during the checkout process. By utilizing this feature, you can remove the header on the checkout page, eliminating unnecessary distractions for users while they complete their purchases.

Hooked Elements

Kadence Pro hooked elements.

Hooked Elements is an advanced feature of the Kadence Pro theme that further enhances its customization capabilities. With Hooked Elements, you can add custom elements to various website areas, allowing greater flexibility and control over your design. Here are some examples of how you can use Hooked Elements.

  • Entire WordPress Website. You can use Hooked Elements to add custom content or code that appears throughout your entire website. 
  • Single Post or Page. If you have specific content or functionality that you want to add to individual posts or pages, Hooked Elements allows you to do so.  
  • Before or After. With Hooked Elements, you can place custom elements before or after the main content area, header/footer, sidebar, or title of your posts or pages.  
  • Custom Placement via Custom Hooks. Kadence provides custom hooks that give you even more control over the placement of your custom elements. You can specify unique hooks within your theme’s code, allowing you to precisely position your custom content anywhere on your WordPress website.

WooCommerce Features

In my Kadence review, I found that the free theme provides some basic WooCommerce options to set up an online store, including features such as a store notice, product catalog, single product layout, product images, checkout, and my account layout. These features are suitable for creating a simple and clean online store.

But if you desire a more visually appealing and feature-rich online store, upgrading to Kadence Pro is recommended. Kadence Pro offers additional WooCommerce add-ons that enhance your store’s functionality and design. Some of the features included in Kadence Pro are:

  • Product archive off-canvas sidebar. This feature allows you to add a sidebar to your product archive pages, providing more options and information to your customers.
  • Catalog off-canvas sidebar settings. With this feature, you can configure the off-canvas sidebar specifically for your product catalog.
  • Add to cart settings. Kadence Pro provides advanced settings for the “Add to Cart” functionality, enabling you to customize the behavior and appearance of your store’s add-to-cart buttons.
  • AJAX add to cart from single product pages. This feature allows customers to add products to their cart without having to refresh the entire page.

These are just a few examples of the additional features you can access. Kadence Pro offers a range of unique features and customization options that will help you to create a beautiful and fully functional online store.

Mega Menu

The Kadence Mega Menu allows you to design multiple-column dropdown menus and incorporate icons within your navigation items.

Kadence mega menu.

Kadence Templates

Kadence starter templates.

Kadence theme provides a good selection of starter templates to help users quickly set up their websites. Currently, over 80 starter templates are available, which should cater to the needs of most users.

To use one of the starter templates, you will have to:

  • Install the Kadence Starter Templates plugin
  • Select your preferred page builder; Gutenberg or Elementor
  • Choose the template that best suits your requirements

The templates are designed to work seamlessly with the respective page builders, making it convenient for users to customize and modify them to match their preferences and requirements.

Kadence Review: Performance

Kadence speed test.

For the speed test, I built a basic landing page to be used in the Kadence review; the speed test result was impressive. The landing page included jpg images (not WebP) and some Kadence patterns.

Remember to achieve fast loading speeds, you should pay attention to the following factors:

  • Hosting: Choosing a fast and reliable hosting provider
  • Lightweight Theme: Using a lightweight and customizable WordPress theme like Kadence can help reduce your website’s overall size and complexity. Lightweight themes are designed to prioritize speed and efficiency, allowing for faster loading times.
  • Native WordPress Editor: Opting for the built-in WordPress editor, Gutenberg, instead of third-party page builders can be beneficial for speed. While page builders offer many customization options, they can sometimes add extra code and overhead, slowing down your website. 
  • Caching Plugin: Implementing a high-performance caching plugin like WP Rocket can significantly enhance your website’s speed.

By following these practices, you can easily optimize your website for speed and pass Core Web Vitals.

Help and Support

Kadence community on FaceBook.

The support options offered by the team include:

  • Extensive documentation. They provide detailed and well-organized documentation.
  • FAQ page. The team maintains a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page that addresses common queries and provides answers to commonly encountered problems. 
  • Dedicated Facebook group. They have created a private Facebook group where enthusiasts and users of their product meet.
  • Support via a ticketing system. The team offers support to all users, including free users, through a ticketing system. You must have either a free or premium account with the team’s service to access this support channel. I have found some users complaining about the time it took to get a response.
  • WordPress theme directory support forum. Users of the Kadence theme can also seek support by posting their questions in the dedicated support forum in the WordPress theme directory.

Some people have complained that the response for submitted tickets is not as quick as expected. But apart from that, help and support appear to be available when you need it.

Kadence Theme Pricing

Kadence theme pro price.

The pricing model is a bit complicated – this is how it breaks down.

Kadence Free Essential Bundle Full Bundle
Starter Templates Unlimited sites Unlimited sites
Kadence Theme One year support & updates One year support & updates
Kadence Blocks 30-day satisfaction guarantee 30-day satisfaction guarantee
Kadence Blocks Pro Kadence Blocks Pro
Kadence Theme Pro Kadence Theme Pro
Pro Starter Templates Pro Starter Templates
Kadence Custom Fonts Kadence Custom Fonts
Kadence Conversions
Kadence Shop Kit
Child Theme Builder
Kadence Recaptcha
Access to all plugins
Exclusive access to all future products

Lifetime Full Bundle
You get everything in the full bundle. One payment, Lifetime support, updates, and you get all future products at $699/one time.

Kadence Review: Pros and Cons

Pros


  • Lightweight and performance-oriented
  • Reasonable pricing of the Pro theme and a Lifetime Plan is available
  • Kadence has a good number of features in the free version and additional unique ones in Pro
  • Kadence Blocks plugin is an excellent help in designing your website from scratch
  • Compatible with plugins like LifterLMS, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and many more
  • You can easily make an eCommerce website or a membership site

Cons


  • Limited number of starter sites to choose from
  • Confusing plans: pro version, pro blocks, bundles, add-ons, etc.
  • No white labeling feature

Alternatives to Kadence Theme

If you would like to try some of the closest alternatives to Kadence, here are two of them.

Blocksy

Blocksy landing page.

Blocksy and Kadence are two highly popular and trending WordPress themes that have significantly impacted the theme market, particularly with their unique features tailored for the Gutenberg editor.

Some call Blocksy the best WordPress theme. Developed by Sergiu and Radu, it is a lightweight, modern-looking, fast, and SEO-friendly WordPress theme. And the creators provide excellent support to their clients.

Blocksy is well-suited for beginners and advanced users, focusing on performance, flexibility, modern design, and advanced WooCommerce features. It comes with numerous features, including a free header/footer builder, and benefits from a dedicated team of developers who prioritize customer satisfaction. But, Blocksy offers fewer starter templates and needs its Gutenberg Blocks plugin.

Both Blocksy and Kadence excel in terms of features and visual appearance. Both themes focus on performance and are optimized to provide fast loading times. Even if there is a slight discrepancy in speed, it is unlikely to be substantial.

Regarding overall superiority, some may argue that Kadence edges slightly ahead of Blocksy. Kadence offers a broader range of options and additional products through its premium plans, providing users with more flexibility and customization possibilities.

Ultimately, Blocksy is a premium theme; selecting it depends on your individual preference and specific project requirements.

Blocksy price

The Blocksy price is $49/year for one site license, $69/year for five sites, and $99/year for unlimited sites.

Want to know more about Blocksy? Read our full Blocksy review.


Astra

Astra landing page.

Astra remains a highly flexible option that caters to the needs of most users. It distinguishes itself by providing a user-friendly Customizer experience and a convenient drag-and-drop header/footer builder, which greatly enhances its usability.

Moreover, Astra stands out with its extensive integrations with plugins such as LifterLMS and LearnDash, making it particularly suitable for users who require these specific functionalities.

For advanced users, Astra’s Custom Layouts feature offers greater flexibility.

Astra’s pricing model is also worth mentioning, as it is more cost-effective for those who need a theme for multiple sites, thanks to its unlimited site usage policy.

Furthermore, Astra’s focus on developers and its premium bundles, which include a wide range of starter sites, make it an excellent choice for projects of any scale.

Astra pricing.

Astra Pro offers plans allowing unlimited site usage, starting at $47 for the first year.

For a detailed comparison, see our Astra vs Kadence article.

Kadence Review: Conclusions

The Kadence theme offers a solid set of features, considering it is free. Its user-friendly nature and clean, modern design make it easy to use and visually appealing.

Kadence provides decent loading times, ample customization options, and support for WooCommerce integration. This makes it a good option if you are looking for an easy-to-use theme that caters to your needs and requirements.

Even though some features overlap with WordPress themes, the Kadence review revealed that the theme stands out as the better option.

Some users even prefer to use Kadence Blocks in combination with GeneratePress.

Ultimately, choosing the Kadence theme will depend on your preferences, the specific features you require, and your budget.



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How to Start a Dropshipping Business and Earn $150k/yr: A Step-by-Step Guide

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How to Start a Dropshipping Business and Earn $150k/yr: A Step-by-Step Guide

Exposing the Lies of Dropshipping Gurus: How to Start a Dropshipping Business the Right Way

Are you tired of watching countless videos promising to teach you how to start a dropshipping business and make a fortune overnight? Have you followed their advice, only to see your e-commerce store fail miserably? If so, you’re not alone. The truth is, many aspiring entrepreneurs have been misled by dropshipping gurus who claim to have the secret formula for success.

We strongly recommend that you check out our guide on how to take advantage of AI in today’s passive income economy.

Dropshipping gurus often showcase their impressive revenue figures, claiming to have made thousands of dollars in a single day. They promise that anyone can easily replicate their success and start a dropshipping business with minimal effort. However, what they fail to mention is that these results are usually short-lived and unsustainable.

The reality is that building a successful dropshipping business requires far more than just selecting a winning product, setting up a store, and launching a few ads. It involves careful planning, strategic marketing, and exceptional customer service. Unfortunately, most gurus focus solely on the initial stages of starting a dropshipping business, neglecting the crucial aspects that determine long-term success.

The Pitfalls of Following Guru Advice

When you start a dropshipping business based on the advice of gurus, you may experience a brief period of success. You might make a few sales and feel excited about the potential of your new venture. However, this initial success is often followed by a sudden drop in revenue, leaving you confused and frustrated.

The reason for this decline is simple: the strategies taught by most gurus are not designed for long-term sustainability. They focus on short-term tactics, such as running aggressive ad campaigns and testing countless products, without considering the importance of building a strong brand and providing excellent customer service.

The Importance of Customer Satisfaction

One of the most critical factors in running a successful dropshipping business is customer satisfaction. When you start a dropshipping business, your primary goal should be to provide an exceptional experience for your customers. This includes offering high-quality products, timely shipping, and responsive customer support.

Unfortunately, many dropshippers overlook the importance of customer satisfaction in their pursuit of quick profits. They focus solely on driving traffic to their store and making sales, neglecting the needs of their customers once the transaction is complete. As a result, they often face a high number of complaints, refunds, and chargebacks, which can quickly erode their profits and damage their reputation.

Building a Sustainable Dropshipping Business

To start a dropshipping business that stands the test of time, you need to shift your focus from short-term gains to long-term sustainability. This involves investing time and effort into building a strong foundation for your business, rather than chasing the latest trends or relying on questionable tactics.

One of the key elements of a sustainable dropshipping business is a well-defined niche. Instead of trying to sell a wide range of unrelated products, focus on a specific category that aligns with your interests and expertise. This will allow you to establish yourself as an authority in your niche, attract a loyal customer base, and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Another crucial aspect of building a sustainable dropshipping business is branding. Develop a unique brand identity that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from other dropshippers. This includes creating a professional logo, designing an attractive website, and maintaining a consistent brand voice across all your marketing channels.

Prioritizing Customer Service

To ensure the long-term success of your dropshipping business, you must prioritize customer service. This means going above and beyond to meet the needs and expectations of your customers, even if it requires additional time and effort on your part.

Start by providing clear and detailed product descriptions, including accurate shipping times and return policies. Respond promptly to customer inquiries and complaints, and be proactive in addressing any issues that arise. Consider offering personalized thank-you notes, free gifts, or discounts to show your appreciation for your customers’ business.

By focusing on customer satisfaction, you’ll build a loyal customer base that will not only make repeat purchases but also recommend your business to others. This word-of-mouth marketing can be incredibly valuable in driving sustainable growth for your dropshipping business.

Automating Your Dropshipping Business

As your dropshipping business grows, you may find it challenging to keep up with the increasing demands of customer service and order fulfillment. This is where automation comes into play. By implementing automated systems and tools, you can streamline your operations, reduce manual labor, and focus on scaling your business.

One effective way to automate your dropshipping business is by using a reliable order fulfillment service. These services handle the entire process of storing, packing, and shipping your products, allowing you to focus on marketing and customer service. They also provide real-time tracking information, which can help reduce customer inquiries and improve the overall shopping experience.

Another area where automation can be beneficial is customer support. Implementing a chatbot or a comprehensive FAQ page can help address common customer questions and concerns, freeing up your time to handle more complex issues. You can also use email automation to send personalized order confirmations, shipping updates, and follow-up messages, keeping your customers informed and engaged throughout the buying process.

Starting a dropshipping business can be a lucrative and rewarding venture, but it requires a strategic approach and a long-term mindset. Instead of falling for the empty promises of dropshipping gurus, focus on building a sustainable and customer-centric business that can withstand the test of time.

Begin by carefully selecting your niche and products, ensuring that they align with your interests and target audience. Invest time in creating a strong brand identity and developing a professional website that showcases your unique value proposition. Prioritize customer satisfaction by providing exceptional service, responsive support, and high-quality products.

As you start a dropshipping business and your business grows, continuously monitor your performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your operations. Implement automation tools and systems to streamline your processes and free up your time to focus on growth and expansion.

Conclusion

In conclusion, starting a successful dropshipping business requires more than just following the advice of self-proclaimed gurus. It demands a commitment to providing value to your customers, building a strong brand, and continuously adapting to the ever-changing e-commerce landscape.

By prioritizing customer satisfaction, focusing on long-term sustainability, and leveraging automation tools, you can start a dropshipping business that not only survives but thrives in the competitive online marketplace. Remember, success in dropshipping is not about chasing quick profits or replicating someone else’s tactics; it’s about creating a business that genuinely serves your customers and stands the test of time.

So, if you’re ready to start a dropshipping business the right way, ignore the hype and focus on the fundamentals. With dedication, hard work, and a customer-centric approach, you can build a profitable and rewarding dropshipping business that you can be proud of.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can a beginner start dropshipping?

A beginner can start a dropshipping business by following these steps:

  1. Choose a niche and research products that are in demand.
  2. Find reliable suppliers who offer dropshipping services.
  3. Create an e-commerce website using platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento.
  4. List your products on your website and set competitive prices.
  5. Market your store through various channels, such as social media, paid advertising, and email marketing.
  6. Process orders and coordinate with your suppliers to ship products directly to your customers.
  7. Provide excellent customer service and continuously optimize your business based on performance data.

How profitable is dropshipping?

The profitability of dropshipping varies depending on several factors, such as your niche, product pricing, marketing strategies, and operational costs. Some dropshippers earn a few hundred dollars per month, while others generate six or even seven-figure incomes. To maximize your profitability, it’s essential to:

  1. Choose products with healthy profit margins.
  2. Negotiate favorable terms with your suppliers.
  3. Optimize your pricing strategy to remain competitive while ensuring profitability.
  4. Continuously monitor and reduce your operational costs.
  5. Invest in effective marketing campaigns to drive targeted traffic to your store.

How much do I need to start a dropshipping business?

The cost of starting a dropshipping business can vary greatly depending on your approach and the tools you choose to use. However, here are some general expenses to consider:

  1. E-commerce platform subscription (e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce): $29 to $299 per month.
  2. Domain name registration: $10 to $20 per year.
  3. Website hosting: $10 to $100 per month.
  4. Product sourcing and samples: $50 to $500, depending on your niche and product types.
  5. Marketing and advertising: $100 to $1,000 or more per month, depending on your strategies and target audience.

On average, you can expect to invest between $500 to $3,000 to start a basic dropshipping business. However, it’s possible to start with a smaller budget by opting for more affordable tools and focusing on organic marketing strategies.

Can you do dropshipping in Nigeria?

Yes, it is possible to start a dropshipping business in Nigeria. However, there are some challenges and considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Payment processing: Not all international payment gateways are available in Nigeria, so you may need to use local payment options like Paystack or Flutterwave.
  2. Shipping and logistics: Shipping times and costs may be higher when dropshipping to Nigeria, so it’s essential to find reliable suppliers and logistics partners who can handle international shipping.
  3. Import duties and taxes: Be aware of any import duties, taxes, or regulations that may apply to your products when shipping to Nigeria.
  4. Internet connectivity: Ensure that you have a stable internet connection to manage your online store and communicate with suppliers and customers.
  5. Market demand: Research the Nigerian market to identify products that are in demand and can be profitably dropshipped to the country.

Despite these challenges, dropshipping in Nigeria can be a viable business opportunity, especially if you focus on serving the local market and adapting your strategies to the specific needs and preferences of Nigerian consumers.

We strongly recommend that you check out our guide on how to take advantage of AI in today’s passive income economy.

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Making a WordPress plugin extensible with PHP classes

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Making a WordPress plugin extensible with PHP classes

WordPress plugins can be extended with additional functionality, as demonstrated by popular plugins like WooCommerce and Gravity Forms. In the article “Architecting a WordPress plugin to support extensions,” we learn there are two primary ways to make a WordPress plugin extensible:

  1. By setting up hooks (actions and filters) for extension plugins to inject their own functionality
  2. By providing PHP classes that extension plugins can inherit

The first method relies more on documentation, detailing available hooks and their usage. The second method, by contrast, offers ready-to-use code for extensions, reducing the need for extensive documentation. This is advantageous because creating documentation alongside code can complicate the plugin’s management and release.

Providing PHP classes directly effectively replaces documentation with code. Instead of teaching how to implement a feature, the plugin supplies the necessary PHP code, simplifying the task for third-party developers.

Let’s explore some techniques for achieving this, with the ultimate goal of fostering an ecosystem of integrations around our WordPress plugin.

Defining base PHP classes in the WordPress plugin

The WordPress plugin will include PHP classes intended for use by extension plugins. These PHP classes might not be used by the main plugin itself but are provided specifically for others to use.

Let’s see how this is implemented in the open-source Gato GraphQL plugin.

AbstractPlugin class:

AbstractPlugin represents a plugin, both for the main Gato GraphQL plugin and its extensions:

abstract class AbstractPlugin implements PluginInterface
{
  protected string $pluginBaseName;
  protected string $pluginSlug;
  protected string $pluginName;

  public function __construct(
    protected string $pluginFile,
    protected string $pluginVersion,
    ?string $pluginName,
  ) {
    $this->pluginBaseName = plugin_basename($pluginFile);
    $this->pluginSlug = dirname($this->pluginBaseName);
    $this->pluginName = $pluginName ?? $this->pluginBaseName;
  }

  public function getPluginName(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginName;
  }

  public function getPluginBaseName(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginBaseName;
  }

  public function getPluginSlug(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginSlug;
  }

  public function getPluginFile(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginFile;
  }

  public function getPluginVersion(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginVersion;
  }

  public function getPluginDir(): string
  {
    return dirname($this->pluginFile);
  }

  public function getPluginURL(): string
  {
    return plugin_dir_url($this->pluginFile);
  }

  // ...
}

AbstractMainPlugin class:

AbstractMainPlugin extends AbstractPlugin to represent the main plugin:

abstract class AbstractMainPlugin extends AbstractPlugin implements MainPluginInterface
{
  public function __construct(
    string $pluginFile,
    string $pluginVersion,
    ?string $pluginName,
    protected MainPluginInitializationConfigurationInterface $pluginInitializationConfiguration,
  ) {
    parent::__construct(
      $pluginFile,
      $pluginVersion,
      $pluginName,
    );
  }

  // ...
}

AbstractExtension class:

Similarly, AbstractExtension extends AbstractPlugin to represent an extension plugin:

abstract class AbstractExtension extends AbstractPlugin implements ExtensionInterface
{
  public function __construct(
    string $pluginFile,
    string $pluginVersion,
    ?string $pluginName,
    protected ?ExtensionInitializationConfigurationInterface $extensionInitializationConfiguration,
  ) {
    parent::__construct(
      $pluginFile,
      $pluginVersion,
      $pluginName,
    );
  }

  // ...
}

Notice that AbstractExtension is included within the main plugin, providing functionality to register and initialize an extension. However, it is only used by extensions, not by the main plugin itself.

The AbstractPlugin class contains shared initialization code invoked at different times. These methods are defined at the ancestor level but are invoked by the inheriting classes according to their lifecycles.

The main plugin and extensions are initialized by executing the setup method on the corresponding class, invoked from within the main WordPress plugin file.

For instance, in Gato GraphQL, this is done in gatographql.php:

$pluginFile = __FILE__;
$pluginVersion = '2.4.0';
$pluginName = __('Gato GraphQL', 'gatographql');
PluginApp::getMainPluginManager()->register(new Plugin(
  $pluginFile,
  $pluginVersion,
  $pluginName
))->setup();

setup method:

At the ancestor level, setup contains the common logic between the plugin and its extensions, such as unregistering them when the plugin is deactivated. This method is not final; It can be overridden by the inheriting classes to add their functionality:

abstract class AbstractPlugin implements PluginInterface
{
  // ...

  public function setup(): void
  {
    register_deactivation_hook(
      $this->getPluginFile(),
      $this->deactivate(...)
    );
  }

  public function deactivate(): void
  {
    $this->removePluginVersion();
  }

  private function removePluginVersion(): void
  {
    $pluginVersions = get_option('gatographql-plugin-versions', []);
    unset($pluginVersions[$this->pluginBaseName]);
    update_option('gatographql-plugin-versions', $pluginVersions);
  }
}

Main plugin’s setup method:

The main plugin’s setup method initializes the application’s lifecycle. It executes the main plugin’s functionality through methods like initialize, configureComponents, configure, and boot, and triggers corresponding action hooks for extensions:

abstract class AbstractMainPlugin extends AbstractPlugin implements MainPluginInterface
{
  public function setup(): void
  {
    parent::setup();

    add_action('plugins_loaded', function (): void
    {
      // 1. Initialize main plugin
      $this->initialize();

      // 2. Initialize extensions
      do_action('gatographql:initializeExtension');

      // 3. Configure main plugin components
      $this->configureComponents();

      // 4. Configure extension components
      do_action('gatographql:configureExtensionComponents');

      // 5. Configure main plugin
      $this->configure();

      // 6. Configure extension
      do_action('gatographql:configureExtension');

      // 7. Boot main plugin
      $this->boot();

      // 8. Boot extension
      do_action('gatographql:bootExtension');
    }

    // ...
  }
  
  // ...
}



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A Small Business Guide to Building An E-Commerce Website | CO

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A Small Business Guide to Building An E-Commerce Website | CO

Besides costs, consider other equally significant elements, like integrations with other tech, payment acceptance, the level of skill required to use the software, and security. — Getty Images/Valeriy G

Creating an e-commerce website is a daunting task. Yet, it’s a project you can tackle with a solid strategy, an understanding of the best practices, and a step-by-step guide. More importantly, starting with the right online site builder and e-commerce platform prevents future obstacles, like realizing the software is above your skill level or isn’t built for your revenue model.

We put together a comprehensive guide that walks you through building an e-commerce website from scratch, starting with selecting hosting or e-commerce providers. Then, we will dive into the user experience (UX) and the nitty-gritty details of site navigation, product pages, and related features. Let’s begin with the basics and go from there.

Registering a domain and choosing a hosting provider

You need a domain and web hosting to build an e-commerce site. Each component (the domain, web hosting, and e-commerce functionality) can be purchased through different vendors or a single provider. You should decide whether to bundle or keep these services separate.

Just like brick-and-mortar stores have a physical address, e-commerce shops have domains. You essentially rent an “address” for one to 10 years at a time. Some e-commerce and web hosting services provide a complimentary domain name for the first year when you buy an annual subscription and pay upfront. The renewal fees may be higher, though, than going through a third party.

Free e-commerce stores include a subdomain that isn’t search engine optimized or user-friendly. The URL looks like this: myshop.providername.com. While the URL may not be your first preference, it’ll do for side hustles and startups testing the market or a vendor’s e-commerce platform.

Hosting services power your site and store files, images, and information. Most also offer website builders and themes or templates. Select a provider to meet your security and performance specifications, then add your preferred e-commerce plug-ins, such as WooCommerce.

Alternatively, a web host like Bluehost has an online store package. It comes with the content management system (CMS) WordPress and the e-commerce plug-in WooCommerce preinstalled.

E-commerce platforms like Wix and Shopify supply web hosting with all the subscriptions. These all-in-one systems include site-building tools, page templates, storage, payment processing, and everything needed to start an online shop.

[Read more: Setting Up an E-Commerce Business: A Comprehensive Guide]

Key takeaways for selecting an e-commerce platform

Every experience hinges on your initial technology decision, from how you build your e-commerce website to what credit card processing fees you pay. Not all vendors make it easy to migrate to a new service if you’re unsatisfied, and it’s a resource-intensive job.

Review our guide to choosing the best e-commerce platform and consider the following tips when picking services:

  • Functionality: Ensure the software meets each business requirement by testing its capabilities fully.
  • Integrations: Check for customer relationship management, email marketing, and business phone integrations to see how they work.
  • Skill level: Decide who will access the e-commerce site to build pages, add blog posts, or update pricing. Consider the administrative user interface and site tools.
  • Payment acceptance: Weigh the pros and cons of using an all-in-one service with integrated flat-rate fees versus connecting a gateway from a processing provider.
  • Scalability: Compare step-up plans to understand the value for the money and estimate when you’d need that level. Think in terms of site traffic, storage, and team size.
  • Costs: Besides monthly or annual subscription fees, account for overlooked e-commerce business expenses, like hidden fees for domain privacy or email accounts.
  • Security: Learn how the e-commerce provider protects customer privacy and your online shop from threats. If the vendor manages payment processing, inquire about payment card industry compliance.

Many excellent options exist, so narrowing down your choices is challenging. Fortunately, most vendors offer demos or free trials.

E-commerce software providers

Many excellent options exist, so narrowing down your choices is challenging. Fortunately, most vendors offer demos or free trials.

Here are five web hosting and e-commerce solutions:

  • Wix: This versatile all-in-one platform supports multiple revenue models and industries. Wix provides a complete e-commerce store with abandoned cart recovery and shipping tools. It also includes online booking, ticketing, and virtual services capabilities.
  • Bluehost: A fast-growing business wanting managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting might consider Bluehost. It could be cheaper to scale for higher traffic and storage needs.
  • Square Online: This solution is for brick-and-mortar businesses that are adding an online store. It connects to other free and paid products, like its point-of-sale system, and it has native payment processing. Square Online caters to the restaurant, retail, and service sectors.
  • WordPress.com: If your e-commerce revenue model prioritizes digital content, subscriptions, or memberships but also wants online store functionality, WordPress.com could be suitable. It’s a fantastic blogging space and ideal for those monetizing their blog.
  • IONOS: This vendor offers online store and website builders for retailers, digital content marketers, and wholesalers. Alternatively, you can configure IONOS servers for Magento, WooCommerce, or PrestaShop hosting.

[Read more: Top Retail and Commerce Trends for 2024 and Beyond]

Choose your e-commerce website builder

Depending on your platform, you will have several options when building your e-commerce site. Generally speaking, most web hosts and e-commerce vendors provide no-code website builders. You drag and drop design elements onto page templates, and the system’s limitations prevent you from making errors that could break the site.

Conversely, artificial intelligence (AI) can handle some or most of the process. After you answer a few questions, an AI site builder creates a multipage e-commerce site. Then, you can customize it and use AI for additional assistance.

Lastly, web developers and designers may prefer to customize elements or create an e-commerce site from scratch using code. This functionality varies by vendor and subscription tier.

E-commerce website design considerations

Have your e-commerce brand elements and assets ready before starting your site build. Decide on a site color scheme, choose a few fonts, and design your logo. When choosing prebuilt templates and themes, look closely at how layouts differ for visual elements. Imagine your buyer’s journey when clicking through the pages.

[Read more: How to Improve the User Experience]

Online store site structure checklist

Use your time efficiently by planning your site on paper. This step helps you avoid site structure and navigation errors that damage user experiences and search engine optimization (SEO). It’s much easier to erase and rework a penciled plan than it is to rename URLs and change menus. Compile tasks into stages, starting with must-have website pages.

Here’s an example of various e-commerce website elements:

  • A homepage welcoming visitors to your e-commerce site.
  • Clearly defined and labeled product categories and subgroups.
  • About and contact pages to earn customer trust.
  • An online store page with a search bar and filter options.
  • Individual product or service pages with images and descriptions.
  • Menu and navigation bars for accessing site content.
  • A footer section to house additional information, like your privacy policy.
  • Frequently-asked-question pages for site visitors and SEO.
  • An email sign-up form for email marketing lists.
  • Testimonials or case studies to demonstrate social proof.
  • Customer account portals for viewing order information.
  • Industry-related features for subscriptions, online bookings, or e-courses.

Best practices for making an e-commerce website

E-commerce site design affects UX and sales. The best thing you can do is learn how to use your CMS or online store platform inside and out. Watch videos, read tutorials, and devise a high-converting website strategy.

When crafting your online store, consider these tips:

  • Stick with your font and color palette throughout your site. Buttons shouldn’t look different on every page, and text shouldn’t resemble cheesy third-party ads.
  • In a world of AI-generated stock images, differentiate your company by producing great product photos. Keep them consistent and show various angles of items.
  • Allow shoppers to check out as guests. Forcing humans to give you personal data isn’t a great way to start a relationship.
  • Enable item previews, save to a wishlist, and product recommendations functionalities when possible. These features are simple ways to increase conversions.
  • Review every page, delete placeholder text, and test all links and forms. Don’t forget to check how the online store functions on all devices.
  • Add meta descriptions to pages and images. Write alt text for photos and only include keywords when doing so improves the user experience.

Shipping products

Order management, inventory tools, and shipping integrations streamline e-commerce operations. Many online platforms centralize administration through dashboards. You can configure shipping rules before or after publishing your site. These let you pick shipping regions, offer local pick up, or apply discounts or free shipping coupons.

[Read more: AI and E-commerce: Simplifying the Sales Process]

Choosing a payment gateway

E-commerce services like Wix and Shopify have built-in payment acceptance capabilities powered by Stripe, a company known for its fraud detection and prevention tools. However, companies with a large global customer base may want to add PayPal, as it works well worldwide for consumers without credit cards.

Buy now, pay later and gift card options appeal to shoppers around the holidays. The former has steep fees, whereas the latter may be an add-on service. Regardless of your chosen methods, the checkout flow must remain frictionless. Limit the number of clicks and keep it to a single page when possible.

Once you connect to a payment processor, your e-commerce website is ready. Then, you can begin the forever process of refining your masterpiece.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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