Redesigning your website is always exciting and a bit scary at the same time. If you are new Income Mesh reader you probably didnt even know that Income Mesh looked quite different than it looks right now.
Since the start of my blogging journey with Income Mesh year and a half ago, I used free WordPress theme which I customized a bit, to better suit my needs.
You can find great free themes for your blog, but in my case, where I used Hueman theme, I wasnt that satisfied.
The theme itself was/is good, fast, it has some cool features, but it didnt have that sleek professional look I wanted.
For all of you new guys here, heres a before/after look so that you have a better understanding of what I am talking about.
So, for over a year I was happy with my theme. Not 100% satisfied, I knew its not perfect and it should look better, but I didnt think its worth the investment at the time.
The other reason why I didnt change my WordPress theme earlier is that I didnt find any which I really, really liked.
And building a theme from scratch or doing heavy customization would cost too much of my time and money.
But then it happened, I saw a WordPress theme and fell in love instantly.
In this post you will find out:
- What theme I used for new Income Mesh
- What new products I have added to Income Mesh
- What new services can you find on Income Mesh
- What new tools I use for my business
- Why is it good to launch a new website even if its not 100% finished
Meet the Marketing Expert theme
Im a fan of Theme Forest, a huge marketplace for WordPress themes, as I am sure most of you are familiar with.
Theres a bunch of WordPress themes there, literally hundreds of themes in dozens of categories. And I have worked with probably 20+ most popular themes, some bought personally, some through working with clients.
The thing is, most popular themes are multi-purpose themes, which you can use to create many different looking websites, since they have tons of options in them.
I didnt like that, because that would mean my website would look like hundreds of other websites (if I decided to use for example Avada theme) and it would be a hassle to customize everything how I want to.
And than one day, I dont remember how or why, but I visited Theme Forest. I think I was looking for a theme for one of my clients, when I saw it – a theme made for marketers.
Can it be any better?
Expert theme, or Marketing Expert theme how I like to call it, made me fall in love instantly.
It was the perfect theme for new Income Mesh, I just knew it.
What I liked about Expert theme that made me buy it:
- Nice, elegant header
- Home page with promote box and my image
- Beautiful typography used for post titles
- Bottom call to action
- Responsive / Mobile friendly
Regardless of how great theme it is from the get-go, I made few customizations of my own, just to keep it a bit unique.
Do you like it?
Besides changing the look of my website, I have also improved the loading speed. This new theme plus a few tweaks I have made have significantly decreased the loading speed of my home page, which now loads under 2 seconds.
I measured the time from Amsterdam, which was a mistake since Income Mesh is hosted in USA. But still, improvement is here and website is now faster than ever. Actually, in the US, website loads under 1 second!
New things on Income Mesh
With the new design I added some new interesting things to enhance the website even more.
1. New opt-ins
There are several new opt-ins across the website, and a lot of old one in each article. On the front page and at the bottom (footer opt-in), you have the ability to subscribe if you want to learn how exactly do I make money with Income Mesh blog.
Another new one is *37 Types of Content That Will Drive You More Traffic. If i might say, an awesome short report which can really enhance your blog.
Other than that, everything else is the same. One thing is missing though – my list building guide. Ill bring it back soon, have some more things to update first.
All optins are made with Thrive Leads (everything that pops-out or slides in or similar).
*Squeeze page made with Thrive Content Builder.
This is the first time I am selling my own products on Income Mesh. Its all unique and genuine, no PLR or similar stuff.
My first product is called *Article Optimization Blueprint, which shows you how to get 300+ social shares with your articles and how to get more traffic to your articles, even if you are just starting out.
It costs only $9.99 at the moment, so make sure to grab it before I lift the price (which I will).
*Sales page was built from scratch with Thrive Content Builder.
Another first timer on Income Mesh. Besides my products, you can now hire me and work with me.
I am offering a unique opportunity for anyone who wants to pick my brain a bit and ask me any questions related to internet marketing, blogging or similar.
Other service is more straightforward – its a *Website review. In this case I will personally review your website, tell you whats wrong with it and how to fix it, so that you can improve you SEO, conversion rates and user experience.
You can find more info about my services on my Work with me page.
*Sales page was built with a landing page template from Thrive Content Builder.
4. Tools I use for sidebar section
This is similar as my Resources page (which is outdated btw), but now I can show every visitor main tools I use in my business, anywhere on the site, without going to the Resources page.
Future will show, but this little change should increase my affiliate revenue.
5. New categories
This actually hasnt been changed yet, but you can expect to see new categories very soon.
With implementation of new categories some old ones will be stripped and redirected to new ones.
I didnt want to do those redirections right away because I want to do all 301 redirects properly, otherwise I might lose some ranking on Google.
New categories will look something like this:
- List Building / Email Marketing
- Traffic Generation
- Monetization / Making Money Online
- Income Reports
Maybe 1 or 2 additional categories, Im still considering it.
New tools I now use
Other than just visual enhancements and new pages, I decided to make some changes in the back-end of my business.
Those changes include some new tools and services I started using.
1. New email marketing provider – Active Campaign
Since the beginning of my blogging journey with Income Mesh I have used MailChimp. I had no complaints, its very simple to use and its free.
But now, I decided to go a bit more serious about my email marketing and have found what I think is the best email marketing automation software at the moment – Active Campaign.
Active Campaign is not free, it costs $9 per month (starting price) for up to 500 email subscribers.
But with those $9 you not only have the ability to send standard email campaigns, you can also set autoresponders, RSS campaigns, date-based campaigns (for birthdays, holidays etc.) and split testing campaigns.
However, thats not even the best thing about Active Campaign.
The best thing is email automation.
Based on your subscribers behavior you can send automated emails to them.
For example, I can set that when a user clicks on a link in one of the emails I send to him, I can send him another automated email based solely on that action. Theres a bunch of other triggers and actions you can do, its really amazing.
In one of my future posts Ill explain everything in details about Active Campaign.
*It turned out that Active Campaign has been to much for me at the moment. I decided to switch to something else which suits my business needs a bit better – GetResponse. You can read about it in more details in my article on how to choose the best email marketing provider for your business.
2. New hosting provider – SiteGround
I am currently using Traffic Planet Hosting (TPB) as my hosting provider. Its ultra fast and reliable and I have no complaints about it.
Still, there are few reasons why I decided to quit TPB and host my websites elsewhere:
- The price – Since its a managed WordPress hosting I pay $31 monthly, which is ok for this kind of service. But since I dont have that much traffic at the moment I do not need it actually.
- Limited number of hosted WP installations – Again, when you have managed WP hosting, there will be some limitations. At the moment I can have only 5 WordPress installations on my account (I can pay for more of course), and thats not enough for me.
Those are the main reasons why I decide to change my hosting providers.
My new hosting provider, which I recommend to you too, is SiteGround.
After a lot of investigation, contacting people, user reviews and my own research, I have come to conclusion that SiteGround is the best shared hosting provider at the moment.
The main reasons why I decided to go with SiteGround are:
- Awesome user recommendations – I have spoken with some people who use SiteGround for their websites (websites with good traffic) and they had only nice words about SiteGround. If you check user reviews online you will see that SiteGround is number 1 in most of them.
- Site speed – SiteGround is one of the fastest shared hostings out there, based on user experience and recommendations. For the best experience I decided to get the highest, GoGeek, package.
- Server location – I love this. Based on where your targeted users are from, you can choose server location (USA, Europe, Asia).
- Price – This shouldnt be the main factor when you are choosing a website host, but comparing to TPB I will save about 60% of what I pay now. Click here to get SiteGround at 50% discount*.
- Unlimited WordPress installation – With SiteGround I can install unlimited number of WordPress installations. To do the same you have to choose GrowBig or GoGeek package.
- 1 Free domain
- 1 Year of Free SSL (with GrowBig and GoGeek package)
- Free website transfer from your old hosting provider
*For those of you who decide to go and buy SiteGround hosting (I suggest GrowBig package because you can have unlimited websites hosted) heres a little trick to save even more money.
When you come to the Step 3 – Review & Complete page, where you need to write down all the contact and payment info, click on the x button on your browser, like you are going to leave the page and close the tab.
After you do that, a popup message will appear, giving you an even better discount. I think its 1 EUR cheaper per month. With that little trick you can save extra 12 EUR per year.
Another tip to save money, dont know if its legal though, is for people living in the EU or any other country where there are taxes (VAT) applied. To avoid paying extra money for taxes (which is 20%-25% depending on where you live), just use another country where there is no VAT (for example, USA, Bosnia and similar).
I am transferring Income Mesh to SiteGround in October 2015. Cant wait!
3. New tracking tool – Hotjar
Like most of you I use Google Analytics to track my visitors. Google Analytics are awesome btw.
However, there are some things missing, or done better with other tools, in this case with Hotjar.
Hotjar, which also has a free plan, gives you:
- Heatmaps – See where you users click the most, how much do they scroll etc.
- Recordings – This is amazing, you can literally see video recording of users using your websites.
- Funnels – Find the biggest opportunities for improvement and testing by identifying on which page and at which step most visitors are leaving your site.
- Forms – Improve online form completion rates by discovering which fields take too long to ?ll, which are left blank, and why your visitors abandon your form and page.
- Polls – One of my favorite features. Have a small poll shown at the bottom of your pages, ask your visitors questions and learn more about them.
- Surveys – Build your own responsive surveys using an easy editor. Collect responses in real-time from any device. Distribute your surveys using web links, emails or invite your visitors just before they abandon your site to uncover their objections or concerns.
- Recruiters – Recruit the best possible participants for user research and testing directly from your site. Collect profiling information, contact details and offer a gift in exchange for their help.
Can you see how awesome Hotjar is?
You basically have ClickTale, Qualaroo, CrazyEgg, SurveyMonkey and ethnio all within just one product – Hotjar.
Like I said, you can use it for free, if you like it and want more power you can later upgrade for just $29/month.
Why I launched although the site wasnt finished
Income Mesh was released unfinished, theres a lot more I will change and add in the near future, like already mentioned new categories, new products etc.
But why did I launch a new website when it was not 100% completed?
Theres a quote I like to use (forgot who said it): If you launch 100% ready, you launched too late.
And thats completely true.
You will never be 100% ready, nor will everything work and look perfectly. If you aim for perfection you will miss out on a lot of opportunities.
Remember, launch now, improve later on the way.
Dont be afraid of changes, take the leap, always take massive imperfect action and good things will come your way.
I hope you like new Income Mesh, I will do my best to make it even better in the near future.
Please share your opinions in the comment area below, Im curious on whether you like the new design more than the old one 🙂