I was given review access to a brand new premium wordpress theme called Authority Pro, so I asked Ilana Wechsler if she’d like to take a look at it, test it and then write a review for readers of Entrepreneurs-Journey. Ilana has quite a bit of experience playing with WordPress so she was eager to test out this theme.
Here’s what she had to say about Authority Pro – a premium theme designed specifically for internet marketers…
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for, and in the world of internet marketing, this is no exception.
One of the many appealing factors that drew me towards internet marketing is the low cost to begin. Starting out I was very reluctant to spend any money on anything until I had a good appreciation for what it could really offer me. I’m sure most people feel the same when beginning.
In setting up my website on WordPress, I spent countless hours trialling out numerous free themes – all of which seemed to have something wrong with them. While this statement certainly doesn’t apply to all the free themes out there, you can spend A LOT of time and effort working out which ones work. If you don’t know this first hand, trust me, finding a good theme is no small job. After many, many hours of trial and error, I realised that in order to gain complete control of what I wanted my website to look like, I needed to buy a theme.
I took the plunge and purchased Thesis and I was, and still am, a very happy customer. Thesis is great from an SEO standpoint, but if you are particular about what you want your website to look like, which can have a big impact on sales and conversions, you need some knowledge of coding. There is a very steep learning curve.
Creating a web page to present a one-time-offer for my current subscribers, as per what I talked about needing to do in my previous article on how to get more buyers on your email list, took me a LONG time, as I had a very clear vision of how I wanted the page to look. Take it from me, it can be very frustrating if you have a clear idea of what you want and just can’t get your website to look that way.
Fortunately for me, I come from a programming background so I was not afraid to get my hands dirty and delve into some php and css coding to make my theme look how I wanted it to look (I enjoyed tapping into my inner-geek!). But for those of you who don’t know any coding, nor have any desire to learn, customization of your blog or website theme is very challenging.
When Yaro asked me to consider a review of Authority Pro, a premium WordPress theme designed for internet marketers, I was particularly interested to try it out to see how much relevant inbuilt functionality there really was without needing to know any code. I was also curious to see how long it would take to create a typical looking squeeze page and also a one-time-offer as these are on my to-do list.
What is Authority Pro?
Authority Pro is a WordPress theme that comes with additional plugins. So, if you are particularly attached to the theme design you are currently using, you are going to have to let it go if you want to switch to Authority Pro.
Authority Pro has been designed and targeted for the true internet marketer who doesn’t know how to code or has any intention or desire to learn. It’s for beginner to intermediate internet marketers, giving you the power to create a blog and squeeze page, which are designed and tested for maximum conversion, in the space of a few hours. Sounds too good to be true? Well, I thought so until I tried it out.
I feel the genius of this product is its inbuilt functionality without the need for any knowledge of coding. Internet marketing is all about conversions and Authority Pro is designed just for that. I’ll explain how.
As shown in the diagram below, there are 24 different editable areas in the Authority Pro design, thereby enabling you to truly customize your site. This enables you to have a lot of flexibility over where you want to place your affiliate links, optin box, adsense ads or any other way you wish to monetize your site. It also enables you to place your important ads and/or affiliate links above the fold, and by ‘important’ I mean the ones that pay the most and that you want people to click on.
Authority Pro really has too many features to list all of them and text isn’t the best way to describe these functions. It’s better for you to see them in action so watch the demo video on the Authority Pro site below for full details -
A Truly Customizable Site
The possibilities for what kind of site you can produce with Authority Pro are limitless and beyond the scope of this review. Its capabilities are best shown through an example website:
Many of the top internet marketers make a lot of money online through reviews of products, just like this one you are reading now. The designers of Authority Pro created the demo site to show what features your reviews could include.
If you check out the site, you will see the following:
- Magazine style layout: The magazine layout is optional, and if you want, you can have a classic blog style layout instead.
- Amazon style review stars – these are integrated beautifully and you can create 5 of your own categories by which to assign review stars, like below. You assign them as shown in the first screenshot and it appears like the other screenshot.
- The layout is designed for maximum conversion – if you want, you can remove the header links and any other method to navigate away from the current page, thereby increasing the chance of someone clicking on your affiliate link. I personally don’t like this feature as it would only frustrate me as a user and I would be more inclined to press the ‘back’ button, but that’s just my opinion.
- Cloaking affiliate links: You may not notice but all affiliate links are cloaked as well. This is all done through a plugin which is included in the package and is a very handy, time saving feature. I talk more about this further on in my review (see below).
Creating a review site is just one example of an application of this theme and of course, you could easily implement a blog style look and feel. For the more advanced users, you can easily integrate Google Website Optimizer for split testing, so you can work out which pages convert the best.
Another useful feature of Authority Pro is in its SEO functionality. Search engine optimization has been completely taken care of. It enables you to assign a specific SEO title, description, and keywords down to the post level which is necessary when targeting traffic from specific keyword phrases. As I mentioned earlier, what attracted to me to the Thesis theme was its SEO capabilities and Authority Pro has similar SEO features in addition to many others not mentioned in this review.
To truly appreciate just how customizable this theme is, I recommend watching the video they provide to see just how easy it is to create whatever look and feel you like. The best part is there is no need to touch one line of code!
Squeeze Page Generator
Authority Pro comes with a squeeze page generator plugin, making it super easy to create a squeeze page. These pages are a useful marketing tool in order to create a subscriber list.
By way of demonstration of just how easy it is to be up and running like any seasoned internet marketer (at least you will appear that way if your site is anything to go by!), I set myself the task of creating a squeeze page, something which has previously taken me a lot longer with other themes.
Bear in mind, this is very, very basic and I kept everything above the fold (above the fold meaning without the need for scrolling) for the sake of capturing the image, but I am sure you get the idea.
Honestly, this took me about 10 minutes to create and I have to say, I was quite impressed. I think now that I know what I am doing, it will take me less time in future.
The squeeze page generator comes with two different style themes to choose from, but in my opinion, simplicity is best. You can also easily integrate either Aweber or GetResponse autoresponder providers as well. This is great if you already have accounts with them and don’t wish to change.
If you want to incorporate video or other forms of media into your website you can do so through the click of a few buttons in the administration area. It takes a lot of the effort out of formatting and making things look good. If your video is on YouTube, you just place the embed code in the box provided and voila!
You can easily choose the dimensions as shown in the screen shot below -
Exit grabbers are a known internet marketing tool which can dramatically improve your optin rates. You can implement this using the squeeze page generator with the click of a few buttons as shown in the diagrams below:
The top image is also in the squeeze page creator section and it is optional to activate. If you do, you enter the message you want displayed and where you want to send your visitor if they decide to leave and it produces the pop-up shown in the image on the bottom.
The squeeze page generator also comes with a headline analyzer, which gives you a percentage score of how effective your headline is, as demonstrated in the screenshot below. This tool will help you create more catchy headlines and thereby help improve your sales and optins.
For the more advanced users, you can easily integrate Google Website Optimizer here as well for split testing and can group squeeze pages into campaigns for comparison. There are SEO capabilities in this plugin as well and if you want you can assign a specific SEO title, description, and keywords to target specific phrases with your squeeze pages.
Cloaking Affiliate Links
Included is an inbuilt plugin that enables you to quickly and easily convert unappealing, strange looking affiliate URLs into nice, clean looking links. You may be familiar with the Ninja Affiliate Plugin by Max Blog Press, which does the same thing. The Ninja Affiliate Plugin however has the added capability of tracking the clicks on your links, which Authority Pro does not have. Nonetheless, creating cloaked affiliate links with Authority Pro is simple and easily done as shown in the screenshot below.
What I Like About Authority Pro
This theme was built by an experienced internet marketer and I have to say, you can tell. As far as I can see, all the areas which an internet marketer would focus on are addressed. I am not saying that you couldn’t achieve the same results without Authority Pro, but it enables you to do so with ease and in the one program. If you are a believer in time equals money, Authority Pro will most definitely save you time and therefore money.
I like how customizable this theme is without the need to delve into code and how you can change details even down to the post level. There are 11 different widgets and 24 different areas of placement that are easy to control using drag and drop. This is great for someone who is trying to optimize their website for maximum sales and list building, who isn’t interested in spending time to do this via editing raw code. Split testing is an integral part of internet marketing, and as mentioned earlier, it is fully integrated within this theme.
The additional inbuilt plugins, squeeze page generator and affiliate link cloaking, are useful. You could buy tools to handle these functions separately elsewhere, but I know first-hand how costs can add up very quickly, so it’s great to have them all included in one price.
And for those of you who are curious, I recreated my one-time-offer in a fraction of the time using Authority Pro.
What I Don’t Like About Authority Pro
I have to admit, my gripes are few in comparison. For example, maybe it’s just me, but I prefer to know how to build and manipulate a site using code rather than relying on templates and the functionality of a theme. Whilst this undoubtedly required a much bigger investment of time, it is just something that I am more comfortable with and enables maximum flexibility. Perhaps I would feel differently if I didn’t have a programming background.
Having said this, in using this theme and knowing its functionality, I would probably only delve into code on few occasions. For the most part, the theme certainly provides sufficient functionality and flexibility in catering for most internet marketing requirements.
The other issue is whether this theme is the right one for your situation. There are a lot of themes out there that help to optimize your blog for search engines, that can be used to create sales pages or squeeze pages, or magazine layouts, or simply give you more tools on top of what WordPress comes with by default. Some of these themes are free, some cost money. If you need to create a squeeze page or add typical internet marketing techniques like exit pop-ups, Authority Pro could be the best choice for you, but make sure you really need these tools before buying.
Authority Pro Summary
This WordPress theme is created for the true Internet Marketer as it will give you the time to focus on ‘marketing’ your niche, rather than spending time building your site. This product is suitable for beginner to intermediate internet marketing levels, since advanced internet marketers probably have already developed their own methods for performing most, if not all, of the features offered. If something makes your life easier, then in my opinion, there is value in that.
If you are interested in finding out more I really recommend you watch the video that shows you exactly how the admin interface for Authority Pro works. Click the link below to watch the video.