5 star review

Review: Subscribe 2

Price: Free ($15 for the  Subscribe 2 Pro Widget)

Platform: WordPress

Problem We Faced
Our client needed a simple solution to allow users to subscribe to their WordPress blog posts.

The Solution

After researching several options, we’re glad we landed on Subscribe2. It provides a clean, simple solution to capturing user email addresses, and automatically sending out new posts to those users. It also can create a community of active users who are able to recommend, like and comment on your posts. The setup required no custom coding, and our client was up and running in no time.

How Could This Plugin Be Improved?
Can’t think of anything. So far, it has been working great for us.

What We Liked Most

We liked that it gave viewers the option to sign up using theirFfacebook account as an alternative. It not only saves time for the viewer when signing up, it also can virally encourage their friends to sign up.

5 star review

Review: WP Maintenance Mode

Price: Free

Platform: WordPress

Company: designmodo

Problem We Faced
We were creating a brand new site, and didn’t want it be available to the public until it was complete and approved by the client.

The Solution
We installed WP Maintenance Mode to password protect the site and create a “coming soon” page. The plugin was very easy to install and set-up. We had it up and running in a matter of minutes. All visitors see the “Coming Soon” page, but logged in WordPress back-end users are able to see the It includes several handy options such as a countdown to launch timer and the ability to collect email addresses so you can notify potential visitors when you do go live. In addition, the plugin also works great if you just need to take a site offline temporary for maintenance or upgrades.

How Could This Plugin Be Improved?
I don’t see any obvious improvements — I love the plugin — great work!

What We Liked Most
It was really helpful to be able to test a new site on the live domain without having to worry about visitors seeing an unfinished site.

5 star review

Review: Google XML Sitemaps

Price: Free

Platform: WordPress

Company: Arne Brachold

Problem We Faced
We needed a lightweight plugin that would consistently and accurately generate sitemaps that we could submit to Google for indexing.

The Solution
Google XML Sitemaps was the obvious and correct choice. With over 15 Million downloads, it is one of the most popular plugins on WordPress. With a few clicks, it lets us create a Google-ready sitemap for any site.

How Could This Plugin Be Improved?
I honestly can’t think of any improvements. Love this plugin!

What We Liked Most
Beauty in simplicity. I can install the plugin and have my sitemap ready to submit to Google in less than 1 minute

5 star review

Review: Law Business

Price: $48

Platform: WordPress

Company: CMS Masters

Problem We Faced
A client needed a law firm website to be built on a tight timeline. We needed a theme that would look and work great right out of the box — with no customization.

The Solution
The Law Business WordPress theme was the right choice for the product. This robust theme was easy to set up an learn, and looked great. We were able to use some of the demo pages as templates, and update the look and feel to match the client’s branding with very little custom coding.

How Could This Theme Be Improved?
We noticed that the floating navigation menu was a little jumpy when the user tried to scroll down. We had to do a little coding on our end to fix this.

What We Liked Most
Easy to use and looks great out of the box — 5 stars!

3 star review

Review: ChimpExpress

Price: Free

Platform: WordPress

Company: Freaked Out

Problem We Faced
We wanted to post a MailChimp quarterly newsletter onto our wordpress site without having to manually enter the content in MailChimp and WordPress. We tried using the MailChimp export to HTML function, but a lot of the formatting did not work correctly when we tried to bring the code into our WordPress website.

The Solution
ChimpExpress saved the day. We had this nifty little plugin up and running in 5 minutes. We were able to quickly connect to our MailChimp account, with a few more clicks, we had imported a copy of the of a newsletter on our website.

How Could This Plugin Be Improved?
The developer is currently not active on their support forums or the WordPress plugin page. We understand that it is difficult to continually support a free plugin, one option would be to offer a low cost paid plugin that includes some support and additional features.

What We Liked Most
Very easy to use. We were able to set it up, and train our client on it in less that 20 minutes.

5 star review

Review: SmartBox Responsive WordPress Bootstrap Theme

Price: $48

Platform: WordPress

Company: Oxygenna

Problem We Faced
Our client was launching a new website as part of a 125-year anniversary celebration. They wanted to show an timeline of the company’s formation and history — and they wanted to be able to easily edit the timeline and add more events moving forward.

The Solution
We built their site using the SmartBox WordPress Theme. This robust theme comes with a beautiful built-in timeline as well as loads of other useful features like a filterable portfolio, beautiful retina home page and easy to use testimonials.

How Could This Theme Be Improved?
It would be great if it was easier to show multiple images for a each portfolio item. We used the portfolio to showcase projects, and ended up having to customize the single portfolio page a bit to get it to meet our needs.

What We Liked Most
We loved the look and feel of the filterable portfolio.

4 star review

Review: Responsive Select Menu

Price: Free

Platform: WordPress

Company: Seven Spark

Problem We Faced
We were using a WordPress theme that didn’t handle top level navigation menus well when viewed on mobile devices in responsive mode. We really liked the theme, but the fact that the navigation wasn’t displaying nicely on cell phone browsers was very problematic.

The Solution
We implemented Responsive Select Menu. This great little plugin was super easy to set up, and allows us to add a select menu (drop-down box) to the responsive site. It was a huge time-saver because we didn’t have to custom-code a solution.

How Could This Plugin Be Improved?
It would be great if this plugin automatically picked up CSS formatting from the rest of the site.

What We Liked Most
This nifty plugin works perfectly out of the box, and has a very intuitive back-end control panel.

5 star review

TablePress

Price: Free

Platform: WordPress

Company: Tobias Bäthge

A recent project required us to display a lot of data for each of the 50 states in table format. The data needed to be visually appealing and easy to update by the back-end administrator. TablePress was the obvious choice for this task. TablePress allowed us to create all the tables with zero HTML coding. It also allowed us to upload a lot of our existing data from Excel directly into a web table. It was an incredible time saver. I would recommend to anyone wanting to display any type of data in tables on a WordPress site. Easily 5-stars!

5 star review

Upward: Experimental Portfolio & Blog

Price: $48

Platform: WordPress

Company: StrictThemes

Our client had a specific request for a website with asymmetrical lines. They wanted to make sure the site didn’t look “boxy”. I was delighted when we found the Upwards WordPress Theme. It truly has a unique design aesthetic from many of the other WP themes available, and the client loves the use of angles throughout the site. Great design, great theme!

5 star review

Ninja Popups

Price: $18

Platform: WordPress

Company: ARScode

We were recently asked to help a client convert more email subscribers from their website by using an automated opt in pop-up window. Ninja pop-ups provided a great solution at a reasonable price. With a little custom coding, we were able to get it to link directly to Mailchimp, and it provides the end-user with a clean, smooth experience. One note to users, if you want to have an elegant “exit” form, you need to choose the option “When mouse leaves the browser viewport” under exit settings. Overall, great plugin for the money. We gave it 4 stars!