WordPress 3.3 Released
Better Rich Text Editors
New SlideDeck Update!

In the grand tradition of the WordPress update haiku and WordPress 3.3 gold release right around the corner, we would like to present the latest version of SlideDeck JavaScript Core and SlideDeck for WordPress! WordPress 3.3 is going to bring some fantastic new editing features and we’re taking advantage of them in this release as well as implementing some great interface improvements and bug fixes. Check out whats new!

Full WordPress 3.3 Support

WordPress 3.3 is greatly improving the way the rich text editor is implemented, making it extremely easy to integrate into any plugin… which unfortunately breaks every single hack that was previously required to implement these editors. This new implementation required a lot of code re-writing to make things work, which had the added benefit of allowing us to implement some great improvements:

  • Improved data storage for better HTML support in visual and HTML editors
  • Improved technical implementation of slide editors for better cross-browser compatibility and quicktag support (in WordPress 3.3+ only)
  • Greatly improved preview window for much more accurate previews

Better Configuration Options

More configuration options have been added to the manual and dynamic SlideDeck editing views for greater control over how users interact with your SlideDeck. We have consolidated many of the configuration options for dynamic SlideDecks to be in one place and given you the ability to control touch screen swipe support.

Bug Fixes Galore!

We’ve implemented a bunch of fixes for better Internet Explorer support, better skin handling in the editing interface and fixed some bugs when looping slide playback. We’re pretty happy with this release, but as always, there may be some unique environment out there we haven’t encountered yet, so be sure to post your bug reports on our support forum.

Here’s the detailed change set for this release:

  • Added support for WordPress 3.3
  • Re-factored much of the TinyMCE implementation to accommodate better for cross-browser and WordPress version support
  • Improved SlideDeck editor interface to not load all available skin files, only loading the skin that the SlideDeck was last saved with
  • Improved SlideDeck preview window to size properly and accommodate better for skins that have padding
  • Improved SlideDeck skin support interaction to automatically set and lock-out required SlideDeck settings
  • Added Touch Screen configuration options
  • Consolidated playback and interaction options for Smart SlideDecks with the rest of the options in the interface instead of being in the sidebar
  • Re-factored commands for adding slides to a regular SlideDeck to use an AJAX based routine for both vertical and horizontal slide addition. This was done to accommodate for WordPress 3.3’s new TinyMCE implementation (wp_editor()).
  • Fixed issues with TinyMCE and Internet Explorer that was preventing the editing interface from working properly
  • Improved slide data storage method with WordPress 3.3 that allows for better HTML markup support in visual editor and HTML editor
  • Updated SlideDeck JavaScript core to 1.3.2
  • Fixed looping bug when vertical slides were the last slide in a SlideDeck
If you are a PRO user, be sure to check your Inbox for a download link to the latest version of SlideDeck. Lite users, be sure to update your plugin in your WordPress control panel, or if you are using the JavaScript library, just download it again from our download page.

Have you ever stared at a pay terminal and didn’t know where to begin? I have this problem more than I’d like to admit, particularly when trying to buy a ticket for the train or when paying for parking. The main problem I’ve found is that there’s no easy-to-identify place to start. In web parlance, no clear call to action. Clear, compelling calls to action are the lifeblood of your business on the Web. They are the sign posts and cues that give your users the guidance they need to continue down the right path towards conversion.

Calls to action are often just thought of in terms of a button, if they’re thought of at all. Too often, calls to action are omitted or stuck into the design as an after thought. What a tragedy. Weak calls to action (CTAs) result in confused visitors and lost opportunities as potential customers wander out of the conversion funnel and away from your site. In this post we give you six ways to bolster your CTAs to really drive results for your website.

Six Ways to Get More from Your CTAs

Before we get started, it’s important to note that a call to action isn’t just about sticking a button on a page. A call to action is the entire sum of the design and content helping visitors move down the funnel toward conversion. When you think call to action, think holistically, not just in terms of a button. There are many different types of CTAs, from buttons to buy, links to download and visual design cues guiding your visitor down your conversion funnel. Without CTAs your users can get lost and confused which, in the worst case, will lead to them leaving your site. To keep your customers headed in the right direction here are our best tips for pumping up your CTA performance.

Use these in your SlideDeck and watch your conversion rate soar.

1.) Make them stand out. From a design perspective your CTAs should be easily distinguishable from other content in your SlideDeck. Use a color that is easy to see on the slide and stands in contrast with the background.

2.) Keep CTA design consistent. Your CTAs throughout your SlideDeck and site should be consistent and easy to recognize. Changing from buttons to links, and drastic changes in colors and shapes can can create confusion. Help your visitors identify CTAs by keeping them consistent. SlideDeck Call to Action

3.) Use active and descriptive phrases. Phrases like “Get Started”, “Download Now”, “Learn More”, and “Get an Invite” create a sense of positive action that gets visitors moving forward down the right path. Avoid generic CTAs such as “Click here” that don’t provide users with any sense of benefit. “Click here” can work, if properly paired with a benefit, such as “Click here for 27 money-saving tips.”

4.) Use design elements that indicate forward progress. Include design elements such as arrows in your CTAs to indicate momentum and progress. This helps your visitors feel like they are moving in the right direction to solve their problem or meet their need. the lean startup call to action

5.) Put them on each slide or page. After a visitor reads a slide in your SlideDeck or a page on your website, they’ll try to figure out what to do next. Ensure they head in the direction you want them to go by putting prominent CTAs on each slide and page. Never assume a visitor is entering your site from the first step of your funnel, help them orient themselves quickly with clear guidance.

digital telepathy call to action

 

6.) Keep them visible. If you’re using vertical slides in your SlideDeck or you have long content pages, make sure you have multiple CTAs so that users don’t have to hunt them down once they’re ready to act.

unbounce-cta

Make CTAs that light the way

Without strong calls to action your visitors will get confused, frustrated and lost, leading to fewer conversions for you. Turn on the lights, provide good sign posts, and lead them to the promised land with clear, action-oriented CTAs that guide them down the funnel. By being consistent in your design and placement, using active and descriptive copy, and indicating forward progress in your design, you’ll be on your way to improving the conversion rate of your site. And if you liked this post, but missed the rest of our SlideDeck Survival Guide, be sure to check out our other Survival Guide posts here.

Have a favorite call to action? Let us know in the comments!

Did you know your SlideDeck content slider can handle all types of content? It’s true. Sure, text and images work great, but SlideDeck is also adept at handling interactive elements too. So get creative, add a video or music player, embed a contact form or photo gallery. Each slide in your deck is fully equipped to deliver your message in the most compelling and relevant way possible, regardless of media format. In this post we’ll look at some creative uses for your content sliders, along with examples of how embedding different content types in your SlideDeck can really help bring your message home.

Video and Audio Embeds

Some say that video is the most compelling form of content there is on the Web, and who are we to argue? With SlideDeck the choice is yours, you can add video to any slide you want. And it’s a breeze with either our jQuery or WordPress version. Videos are great for showing off your product, store front or happy customers.

For WordPress users, simply paste the embed code in the HTML editor for the slide you want it to appear on. That’s it. Your video should be ready to roll. Some video formats play better with SlideDeck than others, so be sure to check out this FAQ if you have trouble getting your video to display properly.

Don’t have video but have a great sound bite or interview you want to share? No sweat. Simply embed the or other code snippet for your audio player into the slide you where you want it to appear. Your visitors will be able to listen to their heart’s content right from within the SlideDeck experience.

Learn how to add audio or video here.

Forms

SlideDecks are great for converting visitors into revenue. Just ask Neil Patel of CrazyEgg.com. They saw a 21.6% increase in conversions on their site within just 21 days of adding SlideDeck. Whether they’re joining your mailing list or requesting that a sales person contact them, getting a visitor to provide you with their information is a key step in any conversion funnel. That’s why adding a form to SlideDeck is an easy and smart way to drive conversions while reducing funnel abandonment and lost revenue.

Adding a form is easy. SlideDeck can handle any of the standard form elements and submission protocols. And, if you’re a PRO user you can use our slide control API logic to create multi-step forms that let you gather information incrementally, especially useful for longer forms.

Image Galleries

A SlideDeck makes for a great portfolio. You can use one of our themes, like Super Simple, or if you’re a PRO user you can use the background image features and turn off the slide spines. Either way, you can embed photo galleries that let you show off a set of images in a clean, easy-to-use and intuitive manner, right from within the SlideDeck.


Great for photographers and designers, showing off product shots, or shots from around your business, in-slide galleries are a powerful way to let your visitor learn about you, without having to jump from page to page to do it.

Get Interactive

Hopefully this post inspires you to take your SlideDeck to the next level by adding rich, engaging content that brings your business to life in a way that is easy and enjoyable for your visitor to experience. By creating rich experiences within SlideDeck you’ll engage your visitors while moving them towards conversion in a way that reduces confusion for them and abandonment for you. So try a form, add a video or load up on some of those glossy product shots. With SlideDeck you can get as interactive and creative as you want, and rest easy knowing that your visitors will have a cohesive, intuitive experience that leads to more customers for you.

As SlideDeck continues to grow, we aim to improve on the benefits offered to our PRO users. On top of unlocking a slew of incredibly useful features, PRO users will also receive a bundle of rad SlideDeck skins. Rest assured, we’ve heard the community’s feedback loud and clear. The most common request we receive is “more vertical skins!” Which is why we’re dishing out not just one but two awesome vertical slide skins that can be customized to fit your website.

 

Reason #1 –  Vertical Feature Content (WordPress only):
This ultra minimal Smart SlideDeck skin allows users to fill the entire slide with the content of their choosing. Be it an image or a text/image combination, the unobtrusive dot navigation provides ample flexibility while navigating users quickly through the deck. Additionally, users can navigate by simply scrolling their mouse wheel up or down.

 

Reason #2 – Vertical Product Tour:
Perfect for complex processes, the Stacked Skin is designed for users that need text-oriented navigation to detail each slide. What you lose in slide real estate you gain with a highly apparent and interactive interface. *Note: For this skin to render properly you must make a SlideDeck with only one horizontal skin and multiple vertical skins.

 

Reason #3 – Super Simple Gallery:
You may already be familiar with this popular new addition. As a purely CSS built skin, this lightweight SlideDeck will elegantly coincide with your existing design. Quickly override the color properties of the background, arrow containers, arrows and highlight colors to show off a seamless SlideDeck design.

 

Our collection of SlideDeck skins continues to grow, which is all the more reason to upgrade if you have yet to do so. As always, please let us know what you think of the latest skins. If you have an idea for a new skin design, submit your feedback to the SlideDeck knowledge base.

New users – you’ll receive the skins in the file you download.  Already have PRO?  PRO users, download the latest version of the SlideDeck PRO plugin for WordPress (1.4) to obtain the new skins.

As a reminder, be sure to review the instructions found in the readme.txt file included with each custom skin.

This simple and sleek SlideDeck Gallery skin design requires no images for the frame and was built entirely with CSS. Great for a photo gallery, all this SlideDeck needs is your content for the slides and a title or caption. Since there are no images, this skin is perfect to create a custom gallery oriented SlideDeck for a personal website or portfolio. You can also style the contents of each slide to convey your message. Although the default color of the skin is a dark grey, you can easily override the color properties of the background, arrow containers, arrows, and highlight colors to make this design mesh seamlessly with your existing website.

Let us know what you think of our latest skin. If you have an idea for future skins, be sure to submit it as an “Idea” in our knowledge base. You can download the skin directly from this location: http://goo.gl/oXV2B. Please review the readme.txt file for further instructions.