How to Save Dev Time Using WordPress


Important Links

// Visual Composer Plugin

// Jupiter Theme

// Uncode Theme

Hey Digital Fam, my name is John D Saunders, and in today’s Digital Block we discuss the one tool to cut wordpress development time by 45%.  

Thomas Edison once said: “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”  

It’s one of those things that when leveraged correctly, can change how we leverage our day, our time with family and the way we can be ultra productive in our endeavors.

For my fellow WordPress developers, there’s a significant tool to increase productivity. 

It’s called Visual Composer.  

Visual Composer is a page builder plugin for WordPress that lets you take full control over your site. Essentially, you can build any layout you can imagine with intuitive drag and drop editor – no programming knowledge required.

Comparing two similar, small projects, Visual Composer cut development time by 47%.  Not to mention, it’s a simple page builder anyone can use, especially a client or business owner who prefers to be more hands on with their website.  

I know we always offer free tools for your marketing endeavors and Visual Composer is usually bundled free with a TON of paid WordPress themes that generally cost around $50.  

I’ll include a few links below to my favorite themes for you to browse.You can also purchase Visual Composer as a stand plugin for $34 bucks.  

Trust me, it’s well worth it.  We’ve actually built these sites using Visual Composer after coding the designs.Visual Composer works with countless WordPress themes, is responsive to all devices and includes a ton of different tools I’m going to go over shortly.  

So, let’s dive into Visual Composer on a few of our recent web projects:

Go ahead and log in to your WordPress dashboard. Once in your dashboard, highlight your mouse over Pages and hit All Pages. Let’s start with Home. Scroll down until you find the homepage and click it. Also, highlight your website URL, copy it and open it in another window. That way, as we manipulate Visual composer, we’ll be able to see it live on our site. Now, go back to your homepage backend.

As you can see, this is Visual Composer. Now, usually, a page looks like this. You can see a lot of HTML code here. What Visual Composer does is convert this to a user-friendly drag and drop interface. So if I head back in editor again, it will take me back to the Visual Composer and if you look at this page and you will look into our homepage, you can see that the formatting is similar. Here, there are 4 icons, text and a paragraph. If I go back to Visual Composer, you can see that the same thing is here. Visual Composer mimics what’s on your live site with the drag and drop interface. The great part about having a theme with the data already in it means that we can work with the current Visual Composer components that are on the site right now.

So for example, let’s look at the homepage. At the top, we have this banner which is called the Edge Slider. If I go back to Visual Composer, I can see it right here. Now, you have three options once you highlight your mouse over this content. You can hit the pencil to edit it. You can hit the clone-Edge Slider. This will clone anything within the square so if I wanted to add another banner under it or above it, I can do that by hitting this button. If I do, you can see that it duplicates the content. Now, if I want to hit this button, that would trash the current component that I added to this site.

Now, we’re going to go over Visual Composer but we’re not going to edit and add the content until the next lecture because I wanted to dedicate a lot of time to show you just how Visual Composer works. So now that we have Edge Slider here, we can do a few things. Let’s say that we wanted to put these icons on top of the banner. We most likely wouldn’t want to do that but I’m going to do it as a test just to show you how it works. If I take this, click and hold and drag up. You can see that it moves and then release. Now, you can see that Edge Slider is below the icons.

Let’s hit preview. Now, we can see that the icons are above our banner and we did that in one swift motion. Let’s go ahead and switch those back. So I’m going to take Edge Slider and move it back up. To make sure that you’re saving your changes, periodically, make sure you hit Update to update your page content to make sure that you’re saving your work.
The structure of Visual Composer works like this. This area surrounding Edge Slider is the page section. This page section can be broken up into rows. So if you highlight your mouse over this, you can break it down as is. You can do half, a third, quarter and when you click that button, the formatting of the page changes and now, the Edge Slider is only in this location.

So, for example, if we do preview changes, just to see what it looks like, you can see that it’s only taking 1/4 of the screen. That’s how we got these icons to work that way because we broke the page section into 4 rows. If I go back and I change this back to 1, you can see our content continues to stretch all the way to the right. If I scroll down a bit, you can see here that this page is broken up into 1, 2, 3, 4 rows. Rows make it possible to add columns in just one click. Just hover over the yellow paragraph at the top left corner of your roll and select the layout you like.

Let’s take a look at the menu items for Visual Composer. Here, this will take you to the website homepage. This button will show you your website templates. You can actually see your template layout of your page. So for example, if we wanted to replicate what we had on the homepage, we could hit template name, home, and hit Save Template. Now, when we choose that option on another page, all we have to do is open Template, click this and then it’ll add all the content automatically to our page. This is easy if you’re cloning content on other pages and trying to replicate it.

There are also default templates so you can append Default Templates to the current layout. You can add an About with tour section, a description in accordion, a description page– the possibilities are endless and Visual Composer gives you tons and tons of content to work with. You can even have product breakdowns with an image, some text and social media buttons. They really make it robust enough for you to do some really cool content. This button lets you add a new page section. If I click it and scroll to the bottom of the page, our blank page section is right here and we can customize it with a few rows.

Now, another important aspect to Visual Composer are the page elements. To utilize page elements, you can either hit this plus button here and then it’ll automatically add the element at the bottom of the page or within your content, you can hit the plus sign under an existing page element. If I hit plus, there are lots of options for adding text boxes, headings, social sharing, images and galleries. Also, depending on the WordPress theme and compatibility plug-ins you’re using with the Visual Composer, you’ll be able to see more or less page elements.

Since Jupiter integrates really well with Visual Composer, we have tons of options here. We can add a Google map, a pie chart, a Flickr feed. We can put a message box, a scrolling image gallery—there are so many options to choose from. It can be a little bit overwhelming that’s why we chose to add and upload all the dummy data so you had a layout to work with that you can manipulate with your own content.

You can click on any element to open the options for that element which ranges from choosing colors and alignments to making decisions about slider transitions or recent post categories. So if I hit button, for example, I can choose the text that I want on the button, the URL I wanted to go to, and if I wanted to open in a new window or the same window. I can also choose the color. I can add an icon, choose the size and then hit save changes. Now, if I scroll to the bottom, you can see that our button is right there. Let’s preview it. Let’s scroll to the bottom and you can see our button is right there.

Now, it’s not necessary for what we’re doing right now so we’re actually going to go back and delete this. The drag and drop element of Composer also drops into different page sections. So if we wanted to add Edge Slider to, say, above the icons or if we want to drop it even lower above the fancy title. Everything is changeable and movable. We can make this three different rows. The possibilities are endless on what you can do.

Thanks for watching Digital Block, guys. If you haven’t subscribed yet, just hit the button right here. Also, check out our giveaway in the upper right. I’ll see you guys later. Peace.
Thanks for watching The Digital Block!  If you haven’t subscribed yet, just hit that button right here.  Also, check out our giveaway in the upper right.  I’ll see you guys next week!  Peace! 

Why Video Ads Are Crucial for Marketing in 2016


Important Links

Facebook Video Setup Guide

YouTube Video Ad Guide

Our Attention Span

Hey Digital Fam, my name is John D Saunders, in today’s Digital Block we discuss one of the best ways to hold a user’s attention in the digital age.I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a room just to forget the reason I went in there in the first place.

As a society, our attention spans have continued to dwindle, especially with the emergence of smartphones.  According to research, our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds in 2002 to an insane 8.25 seconds in 2015. So, to put that in perspective, the average attention span of an adult is NOW identical to a goldfish. I know, crazy.

However, it’s not the worst thing as a marketer to experience. It just means we have to be concise in our messaging, utilizing one of my favorite marketing mechanisms: VIDEO. In today’s Digital Block, I want to talk about a few examples of video and how to leverage visual content to hold the attention of consumers and increase engagement using Facebook & YouTube Video Ads.  

So first and foremost, what gave me the idea for this specific video blog was just how influential video has been especially since our attention spans have really dropped. So this article or infographic by Wise Al provides some really cool information about how forgetful we are and how our attention span is just so low. So you could check out some of these stats here.

Basically, an average office worker checks their e-mail 30 times an hour. The average user picks up their phone more than 1,500 times a week so we’re always mobile, we’re always using this content and this technology to expedite our lives and help us but it’s also taking away from our attention span. Also, the average page visit lasts less than a minute now and users often leave webpages in just 10 to 20 seconds. So, they’re not getting what they need, instantaneously, they’re leaving. That’s why video has become such a big, big tool in 2016 for holding attention and getting people to engage and convert on your website.

So the average length watched on a single Internet videos is 2.7 minutes. Fifty-nine percent of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text when both are available. So what does this tell us? That we need to use video to get to people, to get their attention and keep holding their attention long enough to engage and convert them to a lead.

Okay, so our first stop is Facebook video ads. Now, Facebook video ads are super important because one, they are extremely cheap. We’re paying about a penny per review on Facebook for individuals to watch our content. So, we’re targeting people specifically entrepreneurs, business owners, people that want to learn online content in digital marketing to help them with their jobs and their careers.

Now, it’s crazy because there are 500 million users watching about 8 billion videos daily on Facebook. Seventy-five percent of that traffic is mobile. So that tells us that we need to dedicate a lot of our video content to mobile users who are on Facebook about 40 minutes a day to get our content out there.

So for example, if you look at this ad, right? You got 1,600 views on one of our videos called “7 Essential Apps for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners.” Right now, our budget is $30. We spent $21. Our schedule was just February 8 to March 9 so we wanted to do a small test campaign to run this. We reached 8,300 individuals and 1,600 video views. Now, this is pretty awesome, right?

One thing with Facebook, if you’re scrolling through a video on Facebook, for example, and the video autoplays and it autoplays more than 3 seconds, Facebook counts that as a view so the results can be somewhat skewed. However, if you’re paying about a penny per view, regardless if they’re watching 30 seconds or 3 seconds, you’re still getting enough bang for your buck to warrant this a small campaign for your social media page.

So first thing, let’s take a look at our performance. As you could see, we’ve had 2,500 video views in total for this campaign. Cost for result was about a penny and the result rate is 17 to 20 percent depending on what link you’re looking at the campaign. That was pretty amazing because 1 out of 5 individuals getting served our ads are actually watching and viewing it so those are astronomical results. That’s about 1 in 5 which is great.

If we look at the audience, we can see that it’s pretty even, 49% women, 49% men and the average age is millenials about 18 to 34. Now, if you look at placement, this is the part that’s really important. Most of it is mobile news feed so for us, anytime you place ads, we always do either desktop news feed which is the main news feed which is the main news feed on your computer when you’re exploring through Facebook or mobile news feed. As you can see, mobile is 90% of the traffic so everybody’s watching videos on their phones.

Now, if we go into the actual ad, we get a little bit more information. For our targeting, we targeted individuals in the U.S., 18 to 48, who have interest that includes smartphones and in business owners’ mobile apps or entrepreneurs. Our estimated daily reach was 1,300 to 3,400 people on Facebook. So for $30 in 30 days, we’re reaching between 1,300 and 3,000 individuals on Facebook seeing our content. I mean, this is huge.

Okay, guys, I want to show you one of the most important metrics for your Facebook video ads. If you highlight your mouse over performance and go to video engagement, this will show you how much of the video content individuals actually watched. So Facebook recently released this data. This is important for framing your work and seeing how long your video should be, how long you can keep people engaged. So for example, the average amount of people that viewed the video is 24%, right, which is great. But people that viewed the video up to 50% was 358. So of those 1,600 results, 358 people watched it 50% which isn’t bad. That gives you enough information to either click through and engage.

Now, if I looked at the numbers even more, 354 individuals watched video content up to 75%, 351 up to 95 and 149 individuals watched our videos 100%. So, 150 people for $30 watched 4 minutes of video consistently without leaving the page. This content gives us the metric of, hey, our video was about 4 minutes, maybe we can shorten it a bit to get into this frame right here, maybe keep it 2 to 3 minutes. So this gives us some analytical data that we can use in creating our next video. Creating video ads is super easy. You can do it the same way that you create Facebook ads. I’m including this link to the guy in the blog below so you guys can check that out in detail to get started on your video ads.

Next stuff I want to talk about Google AdWords specifically video ads and true view ads. So, for example, if you’re on YouTube, let’s say you do a search. I’m searching for one of my favorite YouTubers, Marques Brownlee. He has a tech blog, right? So if I search for his YouTube channel, I get a few ads. I get one ad here which is only targeting banner and then I get two ads here. So these are actually ad positions that companies pay for that position.
Now, I’m not a big fan of these because I wanted to be more organic. I want people to be able to see the content before a video plays. So for example, if I click one of his videos—now, once I click one of his videos, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, an ad pop ups before. As you can see, this is in line with his brand. He’s talking about technology. He’s talking about phones so the action served up an ad in comparison to what he offers.

Now, the video starts up. So the video you saw prior is an ad based on categories that you choose in AdWords for who you you want to target specifically. Those ads pop up before videos and they work really well because they’re in line with people and what they’re searching for. Now, if I go back to campaign management, I can go to video targeting. I can show you guys an example of who I’m looking to target with my video content with those true view ads.

So demographics are 18 to 24 and 25 to 34. Interests, for example, are techno files of investors, social media enthusiasts, entrepreneurs. Those are all the individuals I’m targeting with my content. Now, if I go back to my campaign, my budget is $4 a day and my ads, right now, I’m pushing 2 videos, our 100 marketing tools and our camera bag giveaway. If you look at the upper right hand corner, you can actually enter that contest as well.

So right now, we have about 2,500 impressions and 500 views. The view rate is 22%. So, anytime you see video promotion or video ads, it’s super inexpensive, about 11 cents, a little bit more than Facebook but it’s more laser targeted and the view rate is 20% so 1 out of 5 individuals are seeing these ads. We also found a great guy for setting up your video ads via YouTube. This link is also in the blog as well and I think using YouTube video and Facebook video in tandem to promote your content whether it’s testimonials or a video showcasing your product or video blogs that you can convert to blog and podcast, video is just super influential in 2016 and I think everybody should be checking it out.

Hey guys, thanks again for watching The Digital Block. If you love our content, feel free to subscribe below.

100 Free Marketing Tools PDF

Transcription: Hey Digital Fam, my name is John D Saunders, in today’s Digital Block I’m sharing an awesome PDF file of over 100 free online marketing tools to help you build your brand.


Over the last 5 years, I’ve been organizing a list of marketing tools that our team uses on a regular basis to expedite a lot of our digital strategies. From Design, Marketing and Productivity to Social and Web Development, this cohesive list is a must have for marketers, entrepreneurs and anyone looking to use the best free tools available.

These range from Google Chrome Add Ons, SEO Software and more. Click the link above to download it!