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When you look at Youtube, Twitter, certain Facebook groups and even some software companies, they are all building up fear for the upcoming / in-progress Google “Helpful Content” algorithm update.
– Our “helpful content update” launching next week will better surface original, helpful content made by people, for people, rather than content made primarily to gain search traffic. It’s part of a broad effort to show more unique, authentic info in results – Google SearchLiaison@Twitter
Its happening as I write this and its about time!
The goal of this update is to rank websites that publish original and unique content. Content written by real writers and not AIs.
This also downgrades websites, that write about content that is not relevant to their core expertise. So no more content domain dominance, by posting about every possible content angle to lure visitors in.
Also old content, when not updated regularly, will loose prominence.
This all is a plus for the enduser and knowledge seeker. Google has been preparing for this for years now and its not happening suddenly.
Structured data gained more and more importance over the past few years. Google is finally using it to cleanup search!
Hard to tell. But change was needed! There are so many underrated websites out there, that deliver quality content, but never got a chance to bubble up or shine :) This will hopefully get us better search results and better quality control.
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE RESULTS!Keep on breathing …. ALEX
Ich hatte dieses Jahr die Möglichkeit, über meinen Kunden TYPEMYKNIFE®, an der “Nacht der Sterne” in Stuttgart, im Mercedes-Benz Museum, teilzunehmen. Auf der Gala kommen mehr als 800 Gäste aus Gastronomie, Hotellerie, Politik, Kultur und Wirtschaft zusammen.
Es war ein klasse Abend, auf dem nicht nur die Spitzenköche aus Deutschland, der Schweiz, Südtirol und Österreich ausgezeichnet wurden, sondern diese auch Live zeigen konnten was sie so können.
Veranstaltet wird die Party von der Allgemeinen Hotel- und Gastronomie-Zeitung (Ahgz) und Burg Staufeneck / Rolf Straubinger.
Moderatorin des Abends waren die Journalistin und Fernsehköchin Felicitas Then und Rolf Westermann von der ahgz-Chefredaktion.
Informationen zum Award, den Methoden und Siegern findet man hier.
TYPEMYKNIFE® hat Vorort an einem Stand eine kleine Auswahl seiner Küchenmesser, die über den 3D Gravur Konfigurator vorbereitet und graviert wurden, präsentiert. Dadurch hatten Gäste die Möglichkeit, die gravierten Küchenmesser einmal persönlich zu entdecken und die Qualität zu bestaunen.
Die fast 1400 km Rundreise aus dem Norden hat sich gelohnt. Es ist immer schön Kunden mal nicht nur virtuell zu treffen, besonders wenn die Distanz so groß ist. Bei der Entfernung trifft man sich nicht immer mal kurz auf einen Kaffee oder Gin-Tonic :)
Gruß an TYPEMYKNIFE® / Schwäbisch Gmünd / Stuttgart
“Visual House erstellt realistische 3D Video-Animationen, Panoramatouren, Außen- und Innen Ansichten für Ihr Bauvorhaben.”
“Visual House creates realistic 3D video animations, panorama tours, exterior and interior views for your construction project.”
This is a simple portfolio website, that will be expanded upon in the future. The client wants to edit and maintain the website himself. Its a clean and simple layout with an Elementor Pro backend. Virtual panoramic tours are a key service they offer and is integrated directly for potential customers to explore. More to come in the future …
Update 2022: Update to a complete portfolio website, detailing the current portfolio and show-casing current services. Complete design revamp and custom template.
TYPEMYKNIFE® – allows you to laser ingrave your knife using a unique 3D configurator.
I redesigned their 3D knife configurator and helped to optimise the overall integration. The core backend functionality of the configurator was not created by me, I only helped debug and tweak the old & new functionality.
TYPEMYKNIFE / 3D KNIFE CONFIGURATOR / Example with knife loaded / Search for a knife
Color correction is important to me and to the projects I do. Regularly calibrating your monitor is essential in order to create prints that accurately represents what you see on your monitor.
I have color-profiles (ICC – International Color Consortium) for different light conditions and I do recalibrate every few months, as the light output and colors degrade on my displays.
I am still using an old Spyder3 from datacolor for calibration, which is not really supported anymore. Hard to find working software for my Windows 10 machines and Mac M1.
To the rescue comes DisplayCAL, an Open Source calibration solution that allows you to calibrate your displays using even older calibration hardware.
ArgyllCMS – is an ICC compatible color management system, available as Open Source. This is requested by DisplayCAL to make the magic work. ( MAC M1 – Fork)
I have calibrated all machines with this and love it :)
I am doing a Podcast on portalZINE.TV since last year and always host a backup of the MP3 episodes on Google Drive.
The link that you create, when enabling file sharing on Google Drive, can not be used to actually embed it on your website.
The link looks something like that:
To actually use it directly, we need to get the ID. Sure, you could just extract the ID, but often we just want to copy and paste. The sharing link is also your actual reference to the original file, which I store together with the podcast.
We use a simple Regex to extract the ID:
This ID can than be used to embed the file directly using HTML5 audio controls.Its important to use the “https://docs.google.com/uc?export=open&id=” url to open the file, as it provides the direct access to the shared file
Papa Parse is a powerful, in-browser CSV parser for the big boys and girls :)If you do need easy CSV parsing and conversion back to CSV, take a look at it!
I am currently using it to quickly parse Adobe Audition CSV marker files and prepare them for storage for my podcast.
Papa Parse @ GitHUB
Homepage / Demo
Die erste Folge nach einer langen Pause ;)
Moin! Im Juni hatte ich den Umbau von portalZINE TV angekündigt und kündige jetzt den Umzug des Podcasts – 5 auf einen Streich – an.
5 auf einen Streich findet man jetzt hier.
Durch die Themen werde ich weiterhin rotieren, aber den Fokus stärker auf Entwicklung & Design setzen.
Mal sehen, wie sich das so entwickelt :) Die erste Folge für 2021 folgt bald …
Damit ist portalZINE TV jetzt ein reines Archiv.
This is my take on a subset of booking, appointment, PMS or reservation solutions for WordPress.
Update 11.10.Moving down the rabbit hole again :) Will be diving a bit deeper into some the solutions and their feature-set. Might split this up into multiple posts :) Will see, which of the developers is interested in an open review or not.
Those currently on board:
There are so many booking / appointment solutions out there, that its really hard to decide, which solution is the right one for your specific project and needs.
I will only list those that fit my own internal criteria. Not all of them will always match, but it should be as close as possible :)
Just to be clear, this is highly opinionated, as is every other list claiming to have the best available solutions for you ;)But this is how I would approach it together with my clients!
A Property Management System ( PMS ) or Hotel Operating System ( HOS ) is an overkill for most projects, but provides booking, reservations, appointment logic, logistics, accounting and many other features.
My main focus is not the PMS market, but its always nice to have the option to extend a setup in the future, if additional requirements come up.
This is about full WordPress solutions, but there are also solutions that integrate with WordPress, but are hosted externally.
Like Checkfront for example and their WordPress integration. You pay a monthly fee, depending on your yearly requirements.
The problem with a SaaS, is that you are limited to their feature set. If you want to integrate your own features and develop a specific extension for them, it is not always possible.
Some provide API access for extendability, but extending upon that can be pricey. And often its hard to decide, which service will really stick around and not vanish at some point.
But they are a nice quick solution, to get you started.
This is where many offers try to lure you in. They offer premium themes that look amazing with demo content, bundled with a basic addon that features common functionality for the hotel booking market.
Some are pretty basic, some of these addons go pretty far.
For a B&B or hotel owner, it is pretty difficult to decide, which is the right one to choose.
You just see pretty pictures, perfect matching text and a workflow of many things, that just seem to work.
But does it really work for your feature-set? How good is the documentation for the booking addon? Do they provide a community forum to help with adjustments?
If none of the above is satisfying, please RUN :)
Don’t waste your money and stay away from frustration!
Most of the booking solutions are based around WooCommerce and there are 1000s of themes that are compatible.
There is no reason to bundle theme and booking addons, unless you really have a feature-set, that perfectly matches and will not grow in the future!
Choose a theme that is well supported, uses the framework of your choice and liking OR find someone to build a unique theme for you.
A Channel Manager is a module that allows you to connect & synchronize your OTA channels (such as Booking.com, AirBnB, Expedia, Hotels.com, HomeAway, Trip Advisor, etc.).
The goal is to have no overbooking, just one calendar to manage all reservations, rates & availability.
This is a big topic and complicated in many ways. Some solutions offer some kind of 1-way or 2-way sync via iCal.
You can also use external services like Syncbnb or OTA Sync. This alone is a rabbit-hole of its own :) Not going there yet …. But it is an important question, if you plan to offer your bookings externally and do not wish to sync availability / reservations manually.
Before choosing anything you should really pinpoint your own requirements.
This is a starting list of solutions, that I handpicked following the rules I set myself. This list might grow in the future, depending on additional plugins I discover.
I have a new WPML client, that is starting fresh and already leaned on a theme based solution. He has some project requirements, that already leave him stuck in certain areas.
That is why I decided to take a deeper look at things currently available. I have touched many of these before, but taking a fresh look at them ;)
I am not comparing features, just presenting those that are good candidates to build a great booking setup.
You will need to do a feature matrix for your project and see which areas are covered by each plugin. No way around that :)
Certified booking system and PMS Plugin for Hotels, B&B, Villas and Apartments.
E4J started with Joomla CMS integrations and added WordPress in 2018.
From their website: “The project VikWP – VikWordPress.com was born in 2018, it’s a newly born project, but it has more experience than ever by background. The company E4J has been one of the leading extensions development companies for Joomla since 2009. That’s how we started to get known with our software. “
Not many websites talk about it, but it has an amazing feature-set at a pretty descent price for the Pro version.
This plugin has no WooCommerce support and relies solely on their own payment integrations. They offer full PCI-DSS compliance for their payment gateways.
They offer a free and pro version, with the free version already having a good set of features.
One of the biggest benefits of the Pro Version is the possible integration of the channel manager, which allows you to sync your bookings with other external services (booking.com, airbnb …)
And if PMS features are important to you, the Pro version is the right plugin for you.
The price can quickly accumulate, depending on the payment gateways needed, which is not so much different to WooCommerce ;)
You also have to calculate in the Channel Manager, if you want to sync with external service providers.
The plugins target audience is more single properties or appartment complexes.
To get you started
A Vik Theme – Plaza – LINK
Appointment Manager – LINK
Documentation – LINK
Frontend Demo – LINK
Admin Demo- LINK
FREE (Limited Payment Gateways / No Channel Manager)
PRO – 140 EUR (≈ $165) + Channel Manager: 79 EUR (≈ $93)
What is missing?
A merged use of the booking plugin, appointment plugin, item rent plugin is not possible. There is no shared shopping basket.
Pinpoint Booking System comes with a clean interface, a multipurpose functionality and an amazing range of booking features.
Suitable for businesses such as hotel accommodation, guesthouses rentals, appointments, scheduling conferences, and meetings or rental businesses to simplify the booking process for their customers.
Extensions – LINK
WooCommerce Support – LINK
Booking: FREE or PRO – $70
Do your feature matrix!
Motopress has been a go-to for many projects in the past. When you search for booking solutions, it will always come up.
“The MotoPress WordPress Hotel Booking plugin is an all-in-one property management suite for rental property websites. List unlimited accommodations and services, accept direct online reservations, synchronize all bookings across OTAs and more (no per-booking or per-property commission). This WordPress hotel booking plugin is perfect for running any hospitality business establishment regardless of the size, function or cost: a hotel, vacation rental, apartments agency, hostel and more.” – statement from their website.
Demo – LINK
Forum – LINK
Addons – LINK
Booking: PRO – $89
Do your feature matrix !
Another plugin that has been around for a long time and grown in popularity as well as features.
Demo Frontend – LINK
Demo Backend – LINK
Booking: PRO – $99
Do your feature matrix!
“JetBooking plugin is a unique addon developed by the Crocoblock team specifically for rent and booking services, such as vehicles, dresses, apartments, etc.” – Introduction
If you love the possibilities and concept of Elementor, JetBooking could be of interest for you. The extension provides a different approach with similar features or better than those above.
Check their feature comparison here.
I have not played with JETbooking yet, but have worked with almost all their other extensions so far! Love their style and integration with Elementor.
crocoblock offers a whole suite of plugins that enhance Elementor. Really high quality extensions, with an amazing detail to design and functionality.
Demo – LINK
REST API – LINK
JETengine – LINK
JETsmartfilters – LINK
Free Kava Theme – LINK
Dynamic Templates – LINK
JETThemeCore – LINK
crocoblock JETPlugins – LINK
JETbooking $19 + JETengine $26 + JETsmartfilters $24 or JET Bundle $130
A channel manager to sync with Airbnb / Booking.com etc, is missing. They have a video tutorial up, that showcases synchronisation to Google Calendar via Zapier / Integromat. I am sure you could also use n8n.io, which you can host yourself ;)
I totally forgot about YITH, even though they are the poster child for good WooCommerce solutions.
The plugin implements a booking/appointment system to manage booking of services, rooms, accommodation facilities and more.
It feels more expensive than those above, but it has a huge feature-set and includes bookings and appointments!
YITH shines, when it comes to their documentation.
Features – LINK
These are just some possible solutions. Hope this gives you a little jump-start. D’ont just use the first best thing, even if it looks impressive on first glance!
I will adjust and tweak this article, as new things come up.