Zazzle WordPress Plugin, NiftyGridZPro V3.4 released

This is the official announcement of the release of V3.4, our “Local Domains” update – unique to our NiftyGridZPro Zazzle WordPress plugin.

The previous post gave details about its contents and in this one we thought we’d summarise the benefits and features visually – and take the opportunity to make the case for you moving your Zazzle business to the next level.

Keep reading to find out about our special-be-quick voucher codes but first have a look at this animated summary of what it does for you.

Are you ready to move on up?

Note that there’s no hyperbole, no exaggerated promises. Put simply, NiftyGridZPro delivers what it claims. This is no get-rich-quick-while-sitting-on-the-beach-do-nothing scheme.

While you focus on making it a great, informative, enthusiastic, useful site, NiftyGridZPro delivers the right products to support what you’re saying, while earning and tracking on your behalf:

Animation of benefits and features
Animation of benefits and features

Are you really a business?

Yes.

Are you serious about it? In this post we want to encourage you take the next step for your Zazzle business. This is relevant if your store already has or is getting close to having these characteristics:

  1. A solid inventory of designs that look great on the products you made with them
  2. A good many regular sellers – because it’s always good to back up your confidence with actual evidence 😉
  3. Well organized by designs and / or categories and / or collections because you – well, NiftyGridZPro, actually – needs to get at them easily!

And, finally, you need to have something that you’re passionate about. It has to be  something you can go on and on about, something that will be the basis for your site  / blog – because the products must always play second-fiddle to the real content. Products only ever play a supportive role.

Sure, you can have a dedicated storefront page or two or many – but even without those, your target market still needs to have a reason to visit. That’s one of the marks of success of a web site / blog.

If you can say yes to all the above, then you’re ready to take your Zazzle business to the next level.

Platform

There are other platforms to choose from, but a self-hosted WordPress site / blog is the sensible choice. It’s quick and easy to set up, just choose a theme and personalize everything. Of course, you’ll need a provider and a domain name, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

With WordPress, out of the box you’ll be able to easily build a professional-looking, first draft web site. Before you go much further, you’ll probably want to spend a little time creatively, looking for and finding a suitable theme for your vision.

Later, as you find there’s more you want to be able to do, you’ll find a plugin to do it. In short it grows with you as you refine your ideas and want to develop your website.

And if you go the WordPress route, then NiftyGridZPro is the only Zazzle WordPress Plugin worth looking at. It’s unique in providing fall-back grids, promo / ad injection and local domains. Like WordPress, it’s designed to grow with you as your ideas grow.

To help you if you’re teetering on the edge, choose and use one of these NiftyGridZPro promo codes to help ease the reach to the next level 😜

  • For our “Toe In The Water” license, take 80% off with voucher code 80SAVEJAN18
  • and for our “I’m Committed” license, take off 40% with OFF40SEP2019

Redeem your choice here

Upcoming feature to use local Zazzle domains in links

Edit: V3.4 now released!

In the next release (3.4) of NiftyGridZPro, we’re introducing a feature that could double your referral success! How? By using local Zazzle domains.

You see, if a visitor from say, England, visits your site, clicks one of your links and goes to zazzle.com – if they end up moving to and then buying from zazzle.co.uk you DON’T get any referal commission. Yup that’s right, none.

So what the new feature does, if you switch it on, is to find out automatically which country they’re from and then swap that Zazzle domain for .com in all product links in grids.

Check this grid out: If you’re from outside the US, all links in the grid will be for your country’s local Zazzle domain. Hover over one and look in the bottom left of your browser to see…

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Advanced feature?

It’s an advanced feature in that you need to understand the repurcussions. You see, not all products are available on the international domains (i.e. not .com).

For example, the entire range of food items (chocolates, party pops, hot sauce etc) aren’t available on international domains.

When this happens, NiftyGridZPro will NOT substitute the local domain for .com – it’ll leave that product’s links alone. That way you still have a chance at a sale.

Restriction – six or fewer items

On large product grids (lots of items) this can slow things down a lot. Until Zazzle provides a clean way of finding out if a product is available on an international domain, we have to go round the houses a bit. And this takes time.

What do we do? For each product in your grid, NiftyGridZPro requests the product page from Zazzle. If it gets back a page with a title of “error”, then it’s not available on the local domain of the visitor. Waiting for Zazzle to return the page is what takes the time.

For this reason NiftyGridZPro will ony allow the international domains feature on product grids with six or fewer items.

Do you display prices?

The only other fiddly bit you need to know about is as follows. It’s because the only prices NiftyGridZPro gets given by Zazzle are in US dollars:

Picture this scene: If you choose to display the price line and your visitor is from, say, Denmark, it would be confusing for them to see the price shown in US dollars, wouldn’t it?

So, even if you have the price line set to display, NiftyGridZPro will switch it off if a visitor’s local domain isn’t the .com one. That now makes sense: the Danish visitor will see no reference to price but the one from, say Wisconsin, will.

From the US? 🇺🇸

By the way, if you’re from the US and want to see it working, unless you take steps, you won’t notice any difference. That’s because .com get swapped out for .com (stupid computers!)

Instead, try using a private browsing window or a vpn – a virtual private network. (Do a Google search for vpn if you need to.) As long as it makes you appear as if you’re from outside the US you’ll be able to see the effect.

Some final points on use

It’s a global setting in your Admin Panel, off by default, which means that when you upgrade, there’ll be no change to your existing product grids.

Switching it on or off (and then saving) operates it in real time across all eligible product grids on your site. Eligible ones are those that don’t mention the setting in their shortcodes. If they do, their setting overrides the Admin Panel setting.

So to switch it on or off for a particular grid, use the option in its shortcode like this: use_local_zsite=1 for on and use_local_zsite=0 for off.

If you’re using slot messages (aka ad injection), any links to zazzle.com will also be changed as per this setting if they get used in a product grid.

Prettier small grids in v3.3 release of NiftyGridZPro

In the next release (Edit: now released!) we’ve got:

  • improved layout for small grid cell sizes,
  • better nav layout for 1-product grids,
  • bug fix for inbuilt search form,
  • general speed improvements.

read on, McDuff…

Auto-calculated margins between cells

When you were using small product grid cell sizes, the distance between them was overly-generous.

Now we calculate the margins to use based on the cell_max_width size you give. The end result is a much more balanced appearance, one which you’ll love!

See the difference


Here’s a larger one – compare the gaps:

 

We also removed an extra line space after the grid that wasn’t supposed to be there.

What do you think?

Another layout improvement

When using a page-size=1, we now automatically center the navigation elements (if you’ve set them up to show)

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Search for:
How many to get (max 120):


Use the search form to change the number shown to 2 or more and see the difference.

The main use for this will be without the search form, in places where space is limited. For example, in a single-product grid as part of a paragraph in your article.

Bug fix with inbuilt search form

When a visitor had paged through a product grid and then did a search using the in-built search form, things got a bit unruly.

All fixed now and order has been restored in the upcoming release.

General speed improvements

To improve the speed, we’ve shaken up how we allow for sorting product grids after we get their details from Zazzle.

All product grids will display a little quicker as a result – those with large numbers of products in them will benefit the most.

Creative product grid use – how to improve your posts

Here’s an example post that demonstrates various ways that NiftyGridZPro can be used creatively to improve your blog posts. You’re not restricted to plain old grids between some paragraphs, not when you get a bit creative!

We’ve used wedding-themed products – pretend that instead of all the “how it’s done” stuff, there’s a gorgeously written article all about weddings, illustrated with occasional products.

Embedded on the right in a paragraph

Update Oct 11 2017: Now catered for using new shortcode option: paragraph_embed

Something for the Bachelorette?

Here’s what we did to get this paragraph looking like this. In text mode we enclosed the shortcode for the grid in a div. Still in text mode, we gave that div an inline style that floats it to the right of the text that follows.
Here’s the enclosing div and shortcode we used:   <div style="float: right;">[niftygridzpro title_font_size="12px" cell_max_width="200px" cell_border_color="#aaaaaa" description_font_size="12px" description_length="0" search_term="bachelorette party" page_size="1" page_number="1" product_background_color="#ffffff" tracking_code="ngrdz_blg_eg_layts"]<div style="font-size:small;text-align:center;margin-top:-30px;">Something for the Bachelorette?</div></div>

Embedded on the left

Update Oct 11 2017: Now catered for using new shortcode option: paragraph_embed

In the following paragraph, a page_size=4 grid has been used. Instead of it being floated to the right, this time it’s floated to the left. More than that, the inline style sets its max width to half that available.

One thing to remember, make sure that there’s enough width for those viewing on mobile! It’s easy to overlook but remember that 50% of your visitors, more as time goes on, are going to be using mobile devices. Ok, here’s the div-wrapped shortcode: <div style="float: left;max-width: 50%;">[niftygridzpro title_font_size = "9px" title_alignment = "center" cell_max_width = "110px" cell_border_color = "#aaaaaa" cell_background_color = "#ffffff" cell_font_color = "#333333" description_font_size = "12px" description_length = "0" include_product_names_in_titles = 0 use_message_slot = 0 store_or_collection = "" search_term = "chevron wedding" department_id = "252145500430512226" page_size = "4" page_number = "1" product_background_color = "#ffffff" tracking_code = "ngrdz_blg_eg_layts"]</div>

Creative, or wot?!

So make with the divs, don’t be afraid to go small and when you do, mess around with the details that are shown for each product. We’ll leave it as an exercise for you to work out how to show no details at all 🙂

Tip

If you’re going to use single-product grids somewhere that space is tight, make sure you have a generic fallback grid the same size mentioned in your shortcode.

That way your layout will be preserved should Zazzle go down. The same goes for any layout where the number of products matters.

V3.2 Released – new Google Ads feature

We’re pleased to announce the release of V3.2 of NiftyGridZPro, the gold standard WordPress plugin for Zazzle!

In this release you can now improve your earnings! And like every other aspect of NiftyGridZPro, it works on mobile too!

  • earn by displaying Google Ads from your Google Adsense account, globally across all (eligible) product grids
  • choose the balance between showing ads and showing your other global slot messages

When you’ve got it switched on, a random position (slot / cell) gets chosen in each (eligible) product grid and the ad is displayed there. But only if the roll of the dice says it should or you’ve got it set to always show.

setting up Google Ads
admin settings page: setting up a Google Ad

Goolge Ads are another type of global slot message and behave pretty much the same way. This means from one spot, you can control their display globally across your site, just like with the global slot messages.

You’ve got tons of flexibility in choosing when they’re shown, even being able to switch them on or off for a particular page/post’s product grid. Here’s one where we’ve forced the ad to appear all the time by using use_google_ad_code=9 in the shortcode (9 means always, 1 means rarely – it’s a scale from 1-9).

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See full details here in the FAQ and find out all there is about setting up and controlling your Google Ads and what makes a grid eligible.

Shortcode used

As usual, here’s the shortcode we used for the product grid above:

[niftygridzpro title_font_size="12px" title_alignment="center" cell_max_width="280px" cell_border_color="#aaaaaa" cell_background_color="#ffffff" cell_font_color="#333333" description_font_size="12px" description_alignment="center" description_length="0" include_product_names_in_titles=1 include_by_line=0 include_price_line=1 store_or_collection="hightonridley" search_term="pillows" sort_type="popularity" sort_direction="desc" page_size="6" page_number="1" product_background_color="#ffffff" allow_interaction=1 show_visitor_search_form=0 tracking_code="ngrdz_blg_pplr_outr_spc" use_google_ad_code=9]