I have finished Phase 1 of Partnership to Success (building the foundation). Overall, I would say that the training and videos are very well done. I thought the tasks during the 8 weeks for Phase 1 could have been accomplished easily in 6 weeks by anyone. I finished it in 4 weeks because I had done similar things before. Thank goodness you can go faster by asking support. As I said at the end of my last post, I still don’t know what is in store for my website but I am fairly certain there is more to come.
I feel I understand and can use WordPress functionality without any major problems. I did learn when I had to search for specific functionality that people have no problem diving into the code and making changes. I don’t think I really want to know WordPress to that level; plus, I would have to learn PHP. On the other hand, I have just scratched the surface of Optimize Press functionality. The P2S videos have used just a few features of Optimize Press so far. Since I was ahead of schedule with the training, I played with some of the other OP features (elements). What I learned from my “playing” with OP and several support tickets is that I wish that OP was a theme instead of a plugin.
I say this because when OP elements are used on WordPress posts and pages they are added as shortcodes (like HTML). The elements look fine when viewing the blog but are not editable. The OP elements are only editable when using OP’s Live Editor. Using Live Editor is no harder than using WordPress but, to have “blog functionality” in OP, it has to be the theme not a plugin. As a plugin, you can create pages but no sidebar functionality. There is probably more that is missing from OP as a plugin but I haven’t found it yet.
Aweber was a pleasant surprise. If you remember, I didn’t want to join Aweber since I already had TrafficWave as an auto responder. Now, I am very impressed with Aweber. I need to learn more about Aweber since I am sure I have only scratched the surface of its capabilities. But, Aweber’s interface with Optimize Press and form creation capabilities impressed me and I will bet there is more to come.
There were 4 minor glitches during Phase 1. The first glitch was becoming a member of the P2S Facebook Group. Paula on P2S tech support was very diligent in getting this resolved. It turned out the problem was Facebook didn’t like my inbox.com email address. Changed it to a gmail account and that fixed the problem. The second glitch was the lack of “comment capability” on my blog. This most likely happened because defaults in WordPress have changed since John made his blog settings video. To fix this problem, I watched the video again. When John was scrolling past the comment settings saying nothing needed to change, I stopped the video and set my comment settings to match his. Problem solved for new posts. The existing posts all said “comments closed”. The fix for that is a check box; allow comments, on each post found under “Quick Edit”.
The third and fourth glitches were associated with the creation and testing of the optin form that slides when you come to the blog. When John created the optin form on the videos, the button fit perfectly on the form. When I did the same things, the button was too big and spilled over the edge of the form. This problem gave me the opportunity to learn more of Aweber’s capabilities. I learned I could change the font size, move the titles, move the location of the optin form. Finally, whitelisting on ClickBank is required to get credit for signups to P2S that came from my blog. There was some problem on ClickBank’s side which delayed me getting whitelisted for 5 days. John eventually found out about the problem and fixed it the same day.
The final video of Phase 1 proved to me John is a man after my own heart. The final video is “Test, Test, Test”. John is a strong advocate of EVERYTHING must be tested. I could not agree more. Internet applications have so many pieces, it is easy for something not to work the way intended. So I agree – TEST, TEST, TEST!
In summary, I give the training 4.5 out of 5 stars. The .5 star deduction is for the length of the phase, not the minor glitches. I believe that anyone regardless of technical knowledge can complete Phase 1 and have a good-looking blog up and running.