Monday, March 8th, 2021

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Judge tosses suit over 'race-norming' in NFL tests

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit that challenged “race-norming” in dementia tests for retired NFL players, a practice that some say makes it harder for Black athletes to show injury and qualify for awards.

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Best WordPress Popup Plugins

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WordPress popup plugins are one of the best ways to maximize your site’s effectiveness. 

Easy to use and implement, popups help to enhance your messaging and convert leads. You can use them in many ways, including to upsell products, drive newsletter signups, and more.

A WordPress popup plugin can help to increase your return on the investment you’ve made in your website, your branding, and your products or services. 

I’ll show you the best WordPress popup plugins that you should consider, as well as my methodology for choosing which is right for your needs. 

#1 – Ninja Popups — The Best For Customization

Ninja Popups was released in 2012 and has been regularly updated with features and capabilities, including new popup templates and integrations with the most popular current mailing systems. The result is a plugin that puts you in control of all popup creation and performance elements. 

Fully compatible with WordPress and WooCommerce, Ninja Popups boasts an intuitive drag-and-drop theme builder, so you can custom-build your theme from scratch. If you want to save time, you can start with the more than 65 popup theme templates, then customize everything from colors to button sizes. The themes are responsive, so you don’t have to worry about leads falling off because of poor mobile performance.

I always want to be able to analyze data about how my site and popups are performing, and Ninja Popups delivers that detailed analysis. Ninja Popups allows for easy A/B testing, a must-have when you’re experimenting with its customization options. It also provides analytics of popup views and conversion, so you can test, refine, and test your popups again. 

Page-level targeting further maximizes the effectiveness of your popups. Integrations with the top email marketing platforms including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Freshmail, and HubSpot save you time and make this plugin an integral part of your sales funnel.

Ninja Popups also integrates with social networks, including: 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

Popups are optimized for search engines for faster script loading and optimized graphics. Ninja Popups can enhance your site without bogging down its load time. 

A regular license starts at $24 and includes six months of support. Extra opt-in bar, widget, and theme packs are available if you’re looking for even more features. Buy Ninja Popups.

#2 – Green Popups — Best Time-Saver

Green Popups, formerly Layered Popups, gives you the versatility to custom-make a multi-layered animated popup with easy drag-and-drop functionality. And if the animation isn’t enough to grab users’ attention, the more than 1,000 fonts you can choose from will do the trick. 

If you’re short on time, the plugin is also equipped with more than 200 templates so you can get going quickly. 

You can choose from many popup triggers, including: 

  • Website load
  • Scrolling
  • Website exiting
  • Inactivity
  • Adblocker use
  • Clicking on certain links

With so many variables, including the ability to design your own popups, A/B testing is important. One of my favorite features is the fact that Green Popups allows for an unlimited number of A/B campaigns. These campaigns provide valuable statistics on popup performance, so you can test, refine, and choose the popup that’s right for your audience and goals. 

Green Popups is also compatible with WooCommerce. It integrates with ConvertKit, Jetpack, Mailchimp, HubSpot, and more to create a streamlined process, automatically sending user submission information right to your CRM or newsletter service. 

It also integrates with payment providers and gateways including PayPal, Stripe, and Razorpay. As users complete subscription or purchase popups, they’ll be routed to your payment provider of choice to complete payments. This creates an ideal user experience and can reduce abandoned cart rates.

Green Popups is optimized for PageSpeed Insights, keeping your loading speeds fast for SEO benefits. 

A regular license starts at $21 and comes with six months of support. Extended licenses are $105. This plugin’s time-saving capabilities make these subscription prices an excellent value. Buy Green Popups.

#3 – Optinly — Best for Businesses on a Budget

Optinly helps businesses and marketers to capture leads and drive sales. For all of the features and functionality this plugin offers, it’s impressively affordable, and even the free version offers comprehensive options. 

Optinly offers an array of popup forms and templates, including: 

  • Fullscreen overlays
  • Spin the wheel popups
  • Floating bars and sidebars
  • Exit-intent popups
  • Notification popups

Thanks to the integrated popup builder, you can customize all of the plugin’s popup templates. Nearly everything is editable, including the text, font, font color, and background image. You can also edit the CTA button text, color, and size to test and determine what’s most effective for your audience. 

Advanced triggers, including time-based and exit triggers, allow you to customize how and when your popups are displayed. 

Optinly also includes many targeting options, including page-based targeting and device-based targeting. You can also target popups based on user interactions, and add multiple conditions to popups for increased lead conversion.

This plugin integrates with email marketing service providers, including HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, and ConvertKit. You can simultaneously connect it to multiple email providers for a seamless addition to your sales and marketing campaigns. 

I like Optinly because of the great value it offers. The free plan requires no credit card to sign up, and it comes complete with: 

  • 9 templates
  • 3 types of popup forms
  • Exit-intent technology
  • Integration with all email service providers
  • Standard support
  • An analytics dashboard

The free plan supports one site and is comprehensive enough so that a business can get up and running, enjoying some of the plugin’s best features. New free plan subscribers get access to premium features for free for the first 14 days, giving you a chance to decide which version is right for your business. 

As a business grows, upgrading to the Growth Plan costs only $25 per month billed monthly or $20 per month billed annually. Still highly affordable, this plan includes perks like premium templates, priority support, and an in-depth analytics dashboard. It’s suitable for use with up to five sites. 

#4 – Elementor Pro — Best For Beginners

Elementor Pro’s drag-and-drop popup-building capability makes it a top choice for beginners. The visual builder gives you plenty of design options without being overwhelming, and its easy setup means you’ll be up and running quickly. 

More than 100 popup templates can save you time if you don’t feel like designing one from scratch. As you customize templates or create your own popup, you can include Elementor widgets like login forms, countdown timers, buttons, email opt-ins, and more. 

Elementor Pro is a versatile tool, and you can create many different popup types: 

  • Notification bars on the top or bottom of your screen
  • Full-screen overlays
  • Modal popups
  • Fly-ins 
  • Slide-ins

That versatility extends to both targeting and triggers. You can target by post type, format, categories and tags, pages, and more, allowing you to create custom popups that are highly relevant to your audience segment. Available triggers include time, click, scroll, inactivity, and exit intent, again giving you full control of your popups’ performance. 

Elementor Pro offers tiered subscriptions. While a free plan is available, it doesn’t include the popup maker functionality. The Personal subscription for one site costs $49 per year and includes more than 50 widgets, 300 templates, and 10 full website template kits. Since that subscription also includes unlimited pageviews, popups, and interactions, I think it’s a great value if you’re just getting started with popups. 

#5 – Popup Maker — Best For Detailed Targeting

If you want comprehensive control of your popup targeting, Popup Maker is the way to go. Not only is Popup Maker easy to use, it delivers targeting and triggering options that surpass what you’ll find in other plugins. 

Popup Maker works with your cookies, and you can use those cookies to target audience segments. You can put this functionality to work in countless ways. For instance, if you create a cookie when a viewer converts by completing a popup, you can trigger another popup to display only to those who have already converted. 

Alternatively, you can target popups by: 

  • User
  • Device
  • Content type, like posts or pages
  • Referral
  • Query parameter

Beyond standard targets, you can create custom targets or use the included advanced conditions for more specific results. These custom targets might be the best feature Popup Maker offers, allowing you to get creative and choose exactly how your site and popups contribute to the user experience. There are 26 separate advanced targeting options, allowing you to show a popup solely to visitors:

  • From a certain site
  • From a search engine
  • Who clicked on a Facebook ad
  • Who are using a certain browser
  • Who have viewed your pricing page

While Popup Maker isn’t a drag-and-drop plugin, the editor is simple and easy to use. Expert support is also available if you need help. 

Rates start at $87 per year for one site. The Grow Plan for three sites is $147 per year, and the Optimize Plan for five sites is $247 and includes WooCommerce compatibility. All plans include unlimited popups, theming, and impressions, making Popup Maker a great value. It’s also backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy with confidence. 

What I Looked At To Find The Best WordPress Popup Plugins

A WordPress popup plugin can complement and enhance your marketing and sales funnels, convert site visitors into leads, and maximize the effectiveness of the hard work you’ve already put into your website. But a plugin needs to be the right fit for your business to be effective. 

Think of your WordPress popup plugin as being a sales associate who can interact with your website visitors to help seal the deal, whether your goal is to gain newsletter subscribers or upsell products. 

To determine which plugins are the best for you, consider the following criteria essential to your business. 

Customization Opportunities

The key to effective popups lies in their customization. While templates can be a great starting point, you don’t want to rely on generic popups that don’t fit your brand. 

Customization is equally as important when it comes to trigger options and targeting conditions. The more trigger options you have to choose from, like age verification, scroll, and idle time triggers, the better you can make your popup work for your site. 

Customizable targeting conditions are also essential. Your popups are most effective when they reach the right audience. Rather than using the same popup for everyone who visits your site, targeting lets you reach certain audience segments with popups designed just for them. 

I’ve chosen plugins that give you customization options in nearly every stage of popup development and implementation to truly put you in the driver’s seat. 

Analytics

Detailed analytics are key in helping you to develop, refine, and improve on the effectiveness of your popups. 

This is particularly important when you’re able to customize different elements of your popups. A plugin that lets you perform A/B testing can help you to get better results from your work, maximizing the plugin’s value at the same time. 

Even if you’re just getting started out with popups, the data on each popup’s performance can help you to learn what works for your site and what doesn’t work. That’s why I’ve chosen plugins that include analytics, A/B testing, and data to help guide your work.

Effect on Site Speed

Your WordPress plugin should enhance your site, not detract from it, but many plugins can slow down your site’s speed and overall performance. Some plugins use WordPress to track analytics, and this increases the server load and leads to slower page speeds. Slow page speeds negatively affect your SEO and your user experience. 

Instead of plugins that slow down speeds, I’ve carefully chosen options that are still packed with plenty of features that don’t negatively impact your site’s performance.

Scalability

Your needs as the owner of a single website will differ from the needs of a marketer working across five different sites. Often, the number of sites a plugin subscription supports directly correlates with subscription plan price. 

I’ve chosen plugins that can scale with your business. These plugins include options for single-site use that can save you money. You can also upgrade to larger plans to use the plugin across multiple sites as your business grows.

Conclusion

WordPress popup plugins are versatile, and there are lots of great options to consider. From the highly customizable to the plugins that come equipped with a generous selection of templates, my top picks are suitable for many different businesses. 

Available at a range of price points, there’s something for any business on this list: 

Whether you’re just getting started with popups for the first time or need a popup plugin that can support multiple sites, you’ll find a quality solution in any of the plugins in this guide.

The post Best WordPress Popup Plugins appeared first on Neil Patel.

Shopify Review

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One platform where you can sell just about anything to anyone anywhere? That’s Shopify in a nutshell. But once you unpack it, it’s easy to see why it powers over 1 million websites and manages billions in sales. 

Gone are the days when you had to figure out how to start an ecommerce site from scratch. With Shopify, having a virtual storefront up and running is possible in a matter of minutes. It offers you plenty of marketing tools to make your store a success from the start. 

Whether you’re a small business starting up or you’re already raking in millions in sales, Shopify is an extremely powerful ecommerce website builder that helps your online business empire run smoothly, capture sales, and grow. 

Shopify Compared to The Best Ecommerce Platforms

So what sets Shopify apart from other ecommerce platforms out there? To put it simply, it does a great job of managing all the moving parts of an ecommerce business by being accessible, versatile, and easy to use. While there are other ecommerce platforms out there like Wix or Bigcommerce, they tend to have their limits with what you can and can’t do. 

Drag-and-drop builders, customer analytics, a built-in payment processing system, 24/7 support, and ready-made templates are only the tip of the iceberg when you really look into everything Shopify has to offer. But you shouldn’t just take my word for it. 

See all of our top picks to see how each ecommerce platform stacks up to ensure you’re making the best decision for your online business. 

Who is Shopify Best For?

Shopify is for anyone that wants to easily start an ecommerce store and drive online sales. Because of its all-in-one nature, it isn’t just for one niche or one type of store, which is good news for you. 

Shopify: The Pros and Cons

While Shopify rules in the ecommerce platform space, it might not always mean it’s the best platform for you. As with every other ecommerce platform, there are pros and cons to consider. 

Pros

Built-in payment processor: With Shopify, you don’t have to worry about using a third-party payment processor. It’s all built-in for you and ready to accept payments once you’ve listed your products and hit the publish button. 

With their payment processor, you can accept all major credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and even cryptocurrency. This means one less thing to actively manage in your store and increased trust with your customers. 

The ability to scale: With Shopify, you don’t have to jump ship once you see your store start to grow in traffic and sales. It’s equipped to support your store whether you’re making three or three million sales a day. 

Plenty of guides and documentation: Shopify does an excellent job at providing its merchants with plenty of how-to guides, theme documentation, and an active Shopify Community help forum with over 7,000 members where you can have all your Shopify questions answered.  

Accepts different types of currency: If you use its built-in Shopify Payments gateway, you can easily start selling in multiple currencies by adding a currency selector to your theme. If international customers want to see how much an item is in their currency, they can easily find out by choosing the appropriate currency. 

Effective Inventory system: With Shopify, you can get an accurate handle of your inventory by tracking the number of items on hand as they sell, adjusting inventory counts, and looking at inventory history. 

Free and paid apps and themes: Once you start a store with Shopify, a world of over 4,000 apps and over 100 store themes is at your fingertips. And plenty of them are free too, which is convenient if you’re starting on a shoestring budget. 

Drag-and-drop theme builder: The pinnacle of “easy” as far as building an online store is concerned is a drag-and-drop builder, which you can use with Shopify to make sure your store looks exactly how you want it to–without drowning in endless code. 

Stellar customer support: Once you start a store with Shopify, you can be sure its customer support is unmatched in terms of response times— especially its 24/7 chat support. It’s personally gotten me out of trouble in a matter of minutes more times than I can count. 

SEO-friendly: With Shopify, your products have a real chance of ranking in search engines for keywords once you’ve optimized your products and pages. It makes this easy by providing plenty of SEO-friendly features like setting alt descriptions for images, meta descriptions, and integrating SEO apps for advanced optimization. 

Cons

Higher price for in-depth analytics: With Shopify’s beginner plan you get access to a limited scope of store analytics. To access in-depth analytics that can move the needle in terms of sales strategy, you’ll have to pay for a more expensive plan.

Transaction fees for third-party payments: With Shopify, you can easily accept payment without trouble through their Shopify Payments gateway. But if you choose to go through a third party to collect a payment, Shopify does charge you fees, starting at 0.5 percent. This can eat at your profit margins. 

Limited blogging tools: There’s no question Shopify is the place to sell your goods, but it is still limited as a blogging platform since it only offers you the basic blogging tools to publish content. If content marketing is a primary way you bring in sales and traffic, this is an important con to consider. 

Shopify Pricing

Shopify has your standard three price points for small to medium businesses that want access to a number of different store features. But it doesn’t stop there. 

It also offers a $9 a month “lite” plan as well as a more powerful Shopify Plus plan that starts at $2,000 a month for big businesses that handle high sales volumes. 

  • Basic Shopify – $29 a month
  • Shopify – $79 a month
  • Advanced Shopify – $299 a month

Shopify’s basic tier at $29 a month offers plenty of dashboard analytics, fulfillment features, and product listing options. It’s the best tier for new businesses that are getting their start and still in the midst of figuring out sales and branding.

This tier offers unlimited product listing and two admin accounts.

When you’re ready for the Shopify tier at $79 a month, you’ll get access to five admin accounts, a 2.6% + 30¢ credit card fee rate, and you can sell in up to two languages.

Finally, you have the Advanced Shopify option at $299 a month. This is a tier you’ll only want to sign up for once you need advanced features that’ll help you scale your business and you’ve devised a proven sales strategy with sustained sales month over month. You get a 2.4% + 30¢ online credit card rate, as well as the ability to sell in up to five languages. 

Keep in mind that each tier comes with a free SSL certificate, discount codes, unlimited products, 24/7 support, additional sales channels like eBay, Amazon, Instagram, and Walmart, a full dashboard where you’ll get access to customize all your store settings, and a drag-and-drop theme builder. Before you make any real decisions, I recommend you check out their plan features page for a complete list of features for each tier. 

Shopify Lite – $9 a month

You don’t have or want a full-blown store, but still sell products or services on your own site and around the web? Just use the Shopify Lite plan as a lightweight option to cover all your bases.

The beauty of the Shopify Lite plan is in how easy it is to add buy buttons to any site you want. You can accept credit cards anywhere— both online and in-person with their POS app. Through the Shopify dashboard, you can create and send invoices as well as custom orders. Whatever you updated through your dashboard gets updated everywhere else you’ve set up points of sale online. 

And of course, you’ll also have access to their 24/7 support through email or live chat. The lite plan is an excellent option for a lighter store without all the hassle. Not to mention it’s also incredibly affordable at just $9 a month. 

Shopify Plus – $2,000 a month

The Shopify plus solution is trusted by more than 7,000 giants including Rebecca Minkoff, Allbirds, Rothy’s, Good American, and Heinz as the best and most cost-effective solution for their ecommerce needs.

The Shopify Plus plan is designed to support smaller close-knit teams as they man millions in sales all from one place: their Shopify dashboard. This means where you once needed 300 people to run your store, now you only need 30. Also, if you’re re-platforming to Shopify, instead of taking the traditional 6-8 months to transfer the bulk of your store, with Shopify that time gets cut in half.

This may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not–especially when you consider some of this plan’s features. 

Here are some of Shopify Plus’ best and most powerful features:

  • 60% faster checkouts and 18 percent higher conversion rates
  • Built-in AR, video, and 3D media for each of your product pages
  • Multiple stores, languages, and currencies
  • Advanced discounting and shipping rates
  • 99.99% uptime so you never miss out on sales and traffic
  • Avalara tax automation for automated up to date tax calculations
  • Plenty of automations and integrations at your fingertips

You can forget legacy enterprise software when Shopify offers all the enterprise power you need to sell at scale successfully.

Shopify Offerings

So far we’ve gone through the exhaustive list of features Shopify offers you to successfully host, stock, and run an online store. But everything I’ve highlighted so far is only the beginning.

Shopify offers a wide variety of additional tools— some free and some paid— that push you along your journey to ecommerce success. 

Here’s a quick list of additional Shopify tools you’ll have access to when you host a store on their platform:

  • Facebook ad integration – perfect for driving paid traffic to your site
  • Google ad integration – perfect for PPC campaigns for paid Google traffic
  • Shopify ping apps – A free messaging app to reach more customers and chat with your team
  • Business name generator – Perfect if you’re clueless about your store name and need ideas
  • Stock photography – Access thousands of free stock photos for your storefront
  • Themes – tons of options both free and paid as well as customizable 

Shopify Email

Did you know you can create email campaigns right on Shopify? Shopify Email gives you all the tools to track and create beautiful and captivating ecommerce campaigns that drive sales and keep your core customers engaged.

You can pick from a list of ready-for-you designs and get email analytics straight to your Shopify dashboard. You can add your logo and store colors for a more personalized email experience as well as segment the people on your list for more specific campaigns.

The Shopify Email feature is accessible on every Shopify plan. You get a monthly send limit of 2,500 free emails, then $1 for every 1,000 additional emails sent. Not bad at all if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of integrating a third-party email provider with your store that can end up costing you more in the long run.   

Custom Domains

You can easily buy a custom domain with Shopify if you don’t want to buy it through a third party. Domain names through Shopify start at $14 a year and automatically renew each year. 

This is a great option if you don’t want the name “.myshopify.com” as part of your domain name. 

POS Equipment

The perks of Shopify don’t end in the online world. With their point-of-sale option, you can connect POS software, hardware, and Shopify’s payment system to sell in person at popups, retail events, and more.

Once you set up POS in your online store, you can purchase Shopify card reader and payment equipment to instantly start selling.

Their most popular POS equipment for sale includes

  • The tap and chip card reader – $49
  • The dock for your tap and chip card reader – $39
  • The Shopify retail stand for iPads – $149
  • The Shopify tap and chip case – $19

But it doesn’t stop there. Shopify’s selection of POS equipment goes beyond the basics to ensure you have everything you need to sell in person without any payment issues. It’s because of well-thought-out integrated features like these that Shopify takes the crown as one of if not the most prominent and reliable ecommerce platforms.

The Best Ecommerce Platforms

Choosing the best ecommerce platform to create your store and drive sales can be overwhelming. Make sure you look through my top list of ecommerce platform recommendations to be sure you’ll have all the tools and features you need. 

  1. Wix – Best for flexibility and customization
  2. Squarespace – Best ecommerce platform for creatives
  3. BigCommerce – Best for medium to large stores
  4. Shopify – Best all-in-one ecommerce platform
  5. WooCommerce – Best for WordPress websites
  6. OpenCart – Best for selling digital products 
  7. Ecwid – Best for integrating with your current platform

All in all, Shopify offers a reliable ecommerce platform with the tools and features to ensure you’re running a smooth operation whether you’re an up-and-coming store or you need to manage millions in sales. Because of how easy it is to use, along with the tools it provides and its price points Shopify comes in as one of my top recommendations for starting a store in any niche.

Try Shopify free for 14-days and get started building your store.

The post Shopify Review appeared first on Neil Patel.

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