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Coupon Plugins: A Free Way To Add Value

Ways to Add Value: Coupon For Your Customers

There was a case study I did recently where I posted on a fashion blog about a new type of hat-wear that’s been coming into fashion: the wide-brimmed hat. After talking about what it is and why it’s becoming popular, I put a small list of coupon codes that connected to Lids’ website (where they could presumably buy this hat). I used a coupon code plugin that makes you click the button to reveal the coupon code (a new browser window opens up and takes you to Now, normally when I blog about a new fashion trend and put a link to at the end of my post, I’ll get a couple dozen sales and $70-80 in commission.

The result of my coupon experiment? Over $500 in commissions that day. Most were for the hat, but there were also lots of other items people purchased that day.

My jaw hit the floor. I was expecting/hoping for a marginal increase in sales, but I wasn’t expecting anything that substantial. But it does demonstrate a very valuable piece of advice that you’ve probably heard before: people like it when you give them things for free.

The Forces at Work:

There were two forces that led to this massive increase in sales: giving value to my readers (at no extra cost to me), and the type of coupon plugin I was using. I’ll explain the type of coupon plugin first, because it’s very simple and straightforward.

The coupon code plugin is one that requires you to click on the button to see the promo code. This prevents people from copying and pasting the code and then not using your links to go to Or they can simply use their memory to remember what the code is. I have tried the ‘honor system’ when it comes to giving promo codes, but as honorable as I feel about it, the clickable coupon codes massively increase the amount of clicks/commissions.

Which Plugin?

First, I collected some promo codes from one of those coupon sites (update: here’s the link for those that requested it, I used Coupon Lynx.) Then, I found a coupon code plugin that I could easily install into my WordPress site: JCcoupon. The plugin is completely free to use, but I ended up paying for the premium version because it had a better styling option. I think the premium version cost $70. Which may seem pricey, but if you consider that I managed to make $5,000 in commissions from one post alone, it paid for itself many times over already.

Giving Value:

JCcoupon- example
You can see an example of the JCcoupon plugin here. I went for a different style.

The best thing about giving promo codes to customers is that they cost nothing: you can find them for free, and your customers will be grateful that you have made their online shopping purchase easier. There are people who would have bought that hat bag regardless. But for those who were undecided, or thought: I’ll buy it later, the promo codes gave them a compelling reason to buy it right now: if you make your purchase right now it’ll be cheaper, and it’ll be easier than shopping sometime later, where the promo codes may not work and you’ll have to go searching for some valid ones yourself.

The benefits speak for themselves: I spent maybe three minutes collecting coupon codes, and I spent about 20 minutes browsing for a coupon plugin (which I’ll never have to do again). It’s a simple way to add measurable value for your visitors.

Long Term Benefits?

The only downside is this: promo codes expire. You don’t want to have to keep updating every post on your website with these codes. But with my fashion blog, 95% of my website visitors read my posts within the first few days of it being published.

The other thing you can do is to keep updating the discount code in the WordPress plugin, which will then update on every post without you having to do anything.

Let me explain: lets say you always put three coupon codes to at the end of your post so that your website visitors can save on their purchase. You add these coupons to your posts using a shortcode. Let’s say the shortcodes are ‘code1’, ‘code2’, and ‘code3’. What you can do is update these particular coupon buttons each week, as Lids always has two or three coupons live at any given time. So if you update these particular coupon codes, every post that has these coupons on them will update themselves.

So even if your website traffic tends to come in through organic search, and your posts are two or three months old at that point, the codes customers see will always be updated and valid.

mobile wordpress

WPTouch – Mobilize Your Website

A short PSA before we start this blog post: I keep getting asked by readers if they need an SSL. The short answer is that if you run any type of a site where you are asking people to login, create a profile with sensitive information, or give you payment info, then you should. I looked around a bit, you can find someGoDaddy SSL Coupon codes here to help you get a steep discount. The best deal was 30% off.

Let’s be real, you do half of your internet browsing on your phone or other mobile device because you can do it while lying on the couch with no pants on. The other half you do at work on a desktop when your boss isn’t looking. I look at Facebook pretty much exclusively through apps on my phone and iPad, and nothing annoys me more than when somebody posts a link to an article or website, and it comes up all tiny and zoomed out because there isn’t a mobile version. I have neither the time nor the patience to zoom in and then scroll back and forth cause the text doesn’t adjust to fit my screen. It’s 2014 people, you need a responsive mobile version of your site.

You have 2 options, you can use a plugin that will detect if your visitor is using a mobile device and show them a mobile version of the site, or you can use a WordPress theme that is responsive and will adjust itself accordingly. I suppose that there is a third option of building your own theme and then making a regular and mobile-friendly versions, but I mean I’m a professional web developer and I wouldn’t want to do that. If you have nothing but free time and patience, then by all means, knock yourself out.

Mobile Plug-ins

So I’m going to talk about this one first, but it’s not my recommended option, well unless you have somewhat of a budget for your blog or website. If you have a spare $50, there are worse things you could spend it on than WPTouch Pro. Like two copies of Jurassic Park III on Blu-Ray, just awful and disappointing. I have used it once before back when it was free and it worked perfectly, the only thing I didn’t really like was that you pretty much lost the whole look and feel of your website. I probably could have spent some more time fiddling with it, but I have a short attention span and am easily distracted by shiny things or attractive people. Also, now they exclusively offer the free version, which might have way more theme and customization options.

Get the Plugin

If you are broke as hell and do want to use a plugin there is also WordPress Mobile Pack. This doesn’t show the pages from your blog or site, only the posts, which is a huge drawback. If you are using WordPress as a CMS and not a blog then it won’t show any of your website. Whomp-whomp.

Responsive Themes

If you are venturing out into the premium and paid theme territory, it’s highly unlikely that the theme won’t be responsive. You should still make sure, it might be labeled as mobile-friendly or mobile-enabled instead of responsive but they all mean the same thing. Which is that it will detect the size of the screen that you are using to view the website and adjust the images and text accordingly to fit on your screen instead of just showing the website at 15% of it’s normal size. Paid themes aren’t always super expensive, ThemeForest has some starting at $3 apparently. There are free themes out there that are responsive, this blog has collected a few of them.

Personally, I think a responsive theme is the way to go. You maintain all of the look and feel of your site, and your other plugins should all still work with it. And you can’t get free themes that will do that, can’t beat that pricing!

wordpress plugins

WordPress Plugins – Widgets of Mass Awesomeness

Good morning my little angel mice, did you know that hundreds of kind web developers out there have toiled through the frustration, the rage, and the unhealthy levels of caffeine consumption to write plugins for WordPress that you can use absolutely free? If you’re not a programmer and have never had to write your own software before you might be having a hard time conceptualizing the level of personal sacrifice involved in an undertaking like that, so let me help you out: they are goddamn modern day heroes. First off, you have to learn how to program, then specifically how to do it in PHP (because all the programming languages are different), then learn the WordPress API so that your program can talk to it. Do you know how many years that would take you, or what API or PHP even means? These men and women should all be awarded with sainthood in my opinion.

Alright I’m getting a bit carried away, but respect the plugin developers. Out of the gifts that they have graciously bestowed upon the human race there are a few that I use over and over and that will make your life a thousand percent better. Probably. I’m going to list them for you. But first, a cautionary tale.

Plugins are like the T-Rex vs. Velociraptors showdown at the end of Jurassic Park: freakin’ sweet. You know it and I know it. But, as with all good things, you can go overboard and fly too close to the sun. Hear me, and hear me well, there is absolutely no damn reason why you would need 50 plugins. Here is the thing, a lot of plugins (particularly ones that affect how your website looks, like an image gallery or fancy menu plugin) will load a bunch of other scripts that make them work in your website header. At best it will slow your website down a lot and at worst it will crash it entirely because the scripts are conflicting or loading 7 different versions of jQuery. Only use plugins that you really need, and activate them one at a time. If you activate one and your website suddenly stops working or is slow as hell, delete it!

Senpai’s Top 5 WordPress Plugins

  1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

    Listen guys, you can’t just set up a website and then wait for millions of people to come. That’s not how it works. You need to setup your website in such a way that Google can find information on it really easily, and then you need to market it. But let’s take care of the Google part first, this plugin is literally designed to help you do that even if you don’t know sweet frick-all about SEO. It’s the 3rd highest rated plugin in the directory on and everybody and their spirit animals will tell you that you should use this plugin. Son, if a talking coyote that sounds like Johnny Cash tells you that something is legit, you listen.

    Get the plugin

  2. Akismet

    Akismet is so magical that it comes pre-installed in your copy of WordPress. Akismet blocks spam-bot comments on your blog, and believe me you will get them. Maybe not at first, but one day when you least expect it you’ll wake up to 100’s of email notifications that you’ve received a comment on your blog! They’ll all read “What great article! Thank you for to share, much helpful” and link back to Akismet will stop that, you will need to sign up for an account on their website and then you will get your API key. If you are using it for a personal site you can pay as little or as much as you want, but let me say this: ain’t nobody got time to deal with spam and they are providing you a great service. I appreciate that you might be so poor that you’re eating Mr. Noodles 6 out of 7 days a week, but you can throw them $5. It’s good for karma..

    Get the plugin, if for some reason you deleted it.

  3. Contact Form 7

    Number 6 on the WordPress top rated plugins list is Contact Form 7. I don’t think I’ve ever built a site that I haven’t installed this on. You do not ever want to put your email address in text on a website, unless you like getting thousands of spam emails about ‘cheap male enhancement products’. This form is incredibly easy to setup and to customize, and it has a really good built in spam filter. No more talking, just downloading.

    Get the plugin

  4. Google XML Sitemaps

    Ladies and gentleman, this is your champion: the top rated plugin on as of the writing of this article. It only does one thing, but it does it flawlessly. Basically this sets up a road map for search engine spiders to crawl your site (that’s a good thing, you want spiders all up in your website). The easier it is for Google and other search engines to find info on your websites the higher you will rank and the closer you will be to that solid gold statue of yourself.

    Get the plugin

  5. W3 Total Cache

    This plugin comes in second for highest rated WordPress plugin of all time. Basically this takes all of the stuff that makes up your website and squishes it up into smaller files so that your website will load faster than me running from an angry hippo (that’s very fast, if you didn’t know). Makes for a better user experience, and Google looks upon it fondly. Now, you should not install this plugin until after you are done with your site development or you will have the very confusing experience of changing something and having it ‘not work’. It did, you’re just seeing a snapshot of your website from a little while ago. So don’t install this one until after you’re site is ‘finished’, and disable it when you are working on any major changes to the look and feel of the site.

    Get the plugin

How to Install WordPress Plugins

It’s so easy it’s basically criminal. I could write it out, but I’m kind of tired and somebody already made a video.