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Cash Challenged
Learning to Earn Online

I’m going to learn to earn online. That is why this site is called Cash Challenged. When I rise to the challenge and learn to earn, I will have cash.

Some of the links on this page are part of affiliate programs. That means when you click on them and purchase the service from the vendor, I’ll make some money. Thank you for your support.

Are You Chasing Your Marketing Goals?

If you establish a site with the marketing goal of making money from it, you need to be clear on what those goals consist of. Once you know the goals of the site, you have a driver for the content. That doesn’t mean your content has to or even should be, sales driven. It needs to provide your future customer with the knowledge and tools to help solve the problem your marketing goals are for. Your future customer will be able to develop a relationship with you through your content.

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Moving Forward, Slowly and Relentlessly

When I look back over the last couple of weeks, it doesn’t look so bad. While I haven’t posted on here, I have been creating and posting on some of my other sites. That is actually good. Writing is like any other skill, the more you do it, the better you get. Learning to earn online has writing at its heart, so I really need to be the best I can be.

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Why I’m Really Starting to Love Divi by Elegant Themes

I’ve been quiet the last couple of weeks. That doesn’t mean I’ve been lacking focus. I have been focused on building a website for a non-profit I belong to. I used the project to further test the WordPress theme I have in use on this site. The theme is a premium theme by Elegant Themes called Divi.

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Find Your Focus If You Expect to Build a Business

Well, another week has passed and somehow it seems I’ve not accomplished much towards my goals. When I take a close look back at the week, I have done some work towards my goals but I’ve also let other activities take precedence. It’s not that the other activities don’t have value and importance, it is more that I’ve not been deliberate in giving focus to my goals.

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Beat Procrastination Before It Beats You

Procrastination, are there any of us who don’t do so at some point? I know I can be very guilty of it at times. It’s so easy to engage in activities that don’t take any real effort, any real thought and any chance of not succeeding.

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Every Journey Begins With the First Step

There are many approaches on this journey to earn online. Your biggest challenge is to determine your first step. You can eventually try all the approaches if you want to. Just not all at once. Start with one. Get a firm handle on how to use it, implement and then learn the next choice.

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Divi WordPress Theme

Why I’m Really Starting to Love Divi by Elegant Themes

Jun 26, 2016 | Site Design

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I’ve been quiet the last couple of weeks. That doesn’t mean I’ve been lacking focus. I have been focused on building a website for a non-profit I belong to. I used the project to further test the WordPress theme I have in use on this site. The theme is a premium theme by Elegant Themes called Divi.

I used Divi from the beginning on this site. The site for the Legion, well that was a rebuild of a site that has been regularly updated for about eight years. So, there is a lot of content to sort out how to redesign and present. That was one of the reasons I decided to use the site as a testing ground. The site isn’t complete. There are more content pages to add yet.

The Value Is In the Page Builder

You could use Divi ‘right out of the box’ if you choose to but that would be a waste of money. The real value with Divi is the built-in page builder and incredibly simple control it gives you over your pages and posts. Setup layout once; save to the library and it takes seconds to setup the next page or post.

I’m not using the page builder on the posts on the site. A volunteer posts the Branch News, using the page builder creates a learning curve that can be a barrier to a volunteer. I don’t personally think it would take a lot for a volunteer to learn how to use it, I’ve just learned from experience the fewer barriers, the better.

I did learn one quirk with the page builder on this site. I wanted the posts on the main page to display showing the content from the post. I’d determine where to split the post and add the ‘read more’ link. That didn’t happen even though I had it set correctly. After some back and forth with support, it was determined the WordPress code wont function as expected if the page builder has been used for both the page and the post.

I was a bit bummed about that as it meant I’d have to take the extra time to enter an excerpt in the post to display on the front page. After a bit of playing about I found I could set a featured image for the post and either copy the first part of the post to the excerpt or write a custom excerpt and get pretty close to what I was looking for in the first place. I was now happy.

Page Layout & Content Modules

Divi comes with twenty pre-made page layouts and 46 content modules already to go. You can load a page layout, add your own content and you are good to go. Or, you can start with a blank page and use the content modules to build what you like. I did the latter on the sites I’ve built with it so far. I’ve looked at some of the layouts, they just didn’t fit with what I had in mind. They did give me some ideas though.

The content modules are fantastic to work with. I decided I wanted to create a page on the site to show headshots of the executive, the positions they hold and the committees they look after. Using the blurbs content module I had the framework of the page in place in minutes and merely had to add content to the blurbs.

Of particular interest to internet marketers, one of the layout modules is for a landing page. There is also built in ability to do split A/B testing and to monitor the results. I haven’t tried that feature out yet but it was a factor in my deciding to lay out the dollars to become an Elegant Themes member.

To implement many of the features built right into the content modules, you’d need several plugins or mess with the code on your own. The result is a lot time, a lot of effort and in the case of the plugins, you’ll find your site running slower and slower.

I was really impressed with the picture gallery module when I used it to display the photos on the main page of the site. I have been using nexGen Gallery plugin to do the same job on that site. I’ve found many of the galleries we’ve setup using the plugin takes a lot of optimizing to get them to load smoothly. Not so with the module. If you’re really liking nexGen, Divi is fully integrated to allow you to use it in some of the modules.

One of the downsides to the content modules is that you need to open the module to enter your post or make changes, then save and load the page to preview it. That does get a bit tedious. Version 3.0 of the Divi builder is scheduled for release this fall and from the sneak peak I’ve seen, all that is due to change in the new version. Looking forward to it.

Site Developed Using WAMP Server

I developed the new site offline using the WAMP server. Something I’m getting very comfortable with. It allowed me to design and layout the site. This is the second time I’ve used WAMP to design a site. The first time when I moved the site up to the client’s server I had to go through it and change all the links from localhost to the live link. Not so with this site.

With Divi and the page builder, the process was way easier than I had originally imagined. As the new design meant new pages added, I immediately set those pages up. I also made sure the post categories I had setup matched to the new design. Then I installed Divi on the live site.

From the Divi Theme Options on the localhost I exported the settings. I did the same from the library. Then I imported both files into the new site. In moments the framework I had constructed was up and ready to go. Next I started to move through the pages, systematically exporting from the localhost and importing to the live site.

What a pleasant surprise when I started checking links and found the import process had changed the links to the proper URL! My visions of having to comb through the site to change links had been for naught. Several hours of time just became my own. What a relief.

Careful With Site Caching

One item of troubleshooting I had to do dealt with a phrase I had manually entered into the header of the original site when I built it. I expected that to disappear when I changed themes. To my surprise, it moved from the header of the page to the footer of the page and there it sat.

It defied every effort I made to find it lurking in one of the files. I even tried editing the previous theme’s files, without success. I searched the database, no luck. I asked in a user group for ideas. Several had ideas but I had already covered them. In desperation, I FTP’d into the site and downloaded every file from the site.

My host almost choked my bandwidth after I downloaded almost a gig of files. I gave the site a higher bandwidth limit and it calmed down.

Once on my own system, I was able to search the files for the errant phrase. The search found it in one file. It referred to a plugin I had installed to cache the site called Super Cache. I went to the cache settings, deleted the cache, deactivated the plugin, reloaded the site and voila… no more unwanted footer. I then reactivated the plugin and life is now good.

If you have caching on your site, delete the cache when changing themes.

Security is Important

The more active a site is, the greater the chances of it being hacked. Actually, from what I’ve seen, even inactive sites can be a target. The Legion site has been hacked a few times. Each time I’ve learned some more about how to lock down a WordPress install and keep it that way.

I use a combination of two plugins, Securi and Wordfence. On most of my sites I use the free versions. Securi will scan the site for malware but doesn’t easily let you clean it up. Wordfence will let you clean it up either through deleting the identified threat or reloading a clean copy of the infected file from their repository. More about that in another post.

The reason I bring it up in this one is that Securi performed an extensive security audit on the themes by Elegant Themes, including Divi, and found ZERO issues. That is not the case with a lot of themes so it is good to know Divi starts out by having your back. You still need to be sure to have security on your site.

Responsive Design

The theme is fully responsive. Everything you do is ready to go on multiple screens and platforms. Well, almost ready. For the most part, this site looked fine on both my tablet and my phone screen. There was a couple of pages that needed tweaking. That was more than easy to do. All I had to do was open the module, select the screen which needed adjusting, enter the change and save.

Community Has Developed

I was very pleased to find an online community around Elegant Themes and Divi is available. There are several groups on Facebook where people using Divi and other Elegant Themes are very generous in sharing how they are using the theme, resources they find and to assist each other.

Your membership on the site gets you access to very extensive help not only with Divi but each of the themes they have. Customer support is provided through a forum. There are also other sites with tutorials and resources people have built.

What Your Paid Membership Gets

Purchasing an Elegant Themes membership gets you more than just the Divi theme. Seriously though, the more I use Divi the more likely I’d be to pay the cost of membership just for it. Elegant Themes currently has 87 themes including Divi and six plugins. Yes, I said six plugins.

Your membership gets you access to all of them for as many sites as you want for a year. Or, you can purchase a life membership once. You can start out with the one year membership and upgrade at anytime. If you don’t renew the annual fee, then you lose access to updates and support. You can still continue to use the themes that you have installed but, as WordPress continues to evolve, your theme wont.

So, back to the plugins. I have only used the plugin called Bloom so far. And I love it. I used it on another of my sites to install an optin form at the bottom of my posts. It easily integrated with MailChimp and I was able to configure the form the way I wanted to. Most importantly, all that took only minutes.

The Divi Builder which forms the backbone of the Divi theme, it is available as a plugin. That means, you can keep a theme you love and still have the power of the Divi builder. Now, isn’t that a win win arrangement?

These days, we’re all supposed to have social engagement. Providing our visitors a way to connect with and share content with their friends. The Monarch plugin gives you that ability. It includes twenty different networks to share with and multiple ways to layout the links on your page. I’ve not used this yet but I know I need to.

I suspect I’ll be using Divi and even some of the other Elegant Themes for sometime to come. How about you?

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  1. So, What's With the Cat? - Patti May - […] their themes the more I’m really liking them. You might like to check out the post I made on…

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