Discuss A Socrates Review to Help You Decide if this is For You here.
A Socrates Review to Help You Decide if this is For You
Any aspiring or successful marketer familiar with online marketing knows that WordPress is THE place to be. It’s the heaven that makes marketing a breeze. Or it’s supposed to anyway. As soon as you get started, you have to decide on the look and feel of your site. That can be a daunting chore in itself, since there are millions to choose from. Running any type of business online requires a website. Running niche marketing, internet marketing, or a local marketing biz, requires multiple websites. While the free route can be useful, it’s also limited and extremely time consuming when you’re dealing with all the customizations required to give your new design a distinct feeling to it.
Outsourcing is an option, but it gets extremely expensive fast.
That’s where Dan Nickerson comes to your assistance with the Socrates Theme.
First things first and that’s to see what the sales page says, and then we’ll review Socrates to see if it actually meets the expectations promised.
The sales page critique
Right off the bat, the tagline tells you nearly everything you need to know. It is a theme developed for WordPress, and it’s supposed to cater to marketers.
Marketers need a lot of features in a website template, because they all do things differently. Some marketers may want to build a list, so they need squeeze page features. Others prefer to build relationships through social media. They need those features. Then there’s also marketers who don’t actually market. They build a relationship through their blog, so they need something that provides a structure but at the same time, encourages participation and followers.
In other words, Dan seems to be setting a big ask for himself to cater to internet marketers, as it is a broad range of features that’s required.
Features of Socrates
This the claimed features, but for a review to be any use to you, we need to see how it actually fairs up to the claims.
Which by the way, you can get a free trial of 7 days to go everything. So if after reading this, you’re still a little unsure if it’s right for you, then you can get a free 7 access pass to use the theme.
It will only last for 7 days because once that time lapses, you need to insert a site activation licence to install the theme.
One site licence key costs $28, but you can use it on multiple sites for $55. For the first 7 days though…it’s free.
After either signing up for your free trial access, or upon purchasing the site licence, when you first install it on your site, you need to activate the theme. You’ll be sent an activation code in your email, when you register.
Simply click on the Socrates theme within your dashboard, copy the code from your email, and paste it into the activation box. Click activate and you’re good to go.
Of course, before you can do that, you need to know how to upload it. A premium theme is different from free theme installations. You need to download the theme from Socrates, and then upload it.
If that worries you, head into the members area and you’ll get full installation instructions.
As you can see, you can watch the video or read the tutorial about how to install it. All the tutorials within the Socrates Members area are available in text or video format. One of the neat features you’ll find in Socrates is that they continue to improve it. There’s new layouts added, short code buttons, slideshow features, and the latest upgrades even give you options to have a magazine style layout, and the option add a portfolio page to your website.
This takes the theme into a league of its own. Although it’s designed for marketers, you can use it to host your own clients’ websites, and give them an awesome looking blog, display their testimonials, portfolios, and integrate social media, while generating leads for your own clients easily. It really is an all in one WordPress theme, no matter what type of marketing you’re involved with.
Sample of the latest magazine style layout with featured photo slideshow
For affiliate marketers, it’s most common to set up niche websites. Small sites with a number of posts all closely related to one specific audience. Maybe training newbies on learning Spanish, or whatever niche market you’re involved in.
For a broader array of topics though, what’s known is SILO structured sites are used. To explain what a SILO structure is goes outside the scope of the Socrates review, but you can use the magazine style layout, if you want to target a range of themes from the one website.
It can help build an authority website; given you have the structure set up with careful planning. There are a couple of tutorials inside the Socrates training showing you how to set the site up. They don’t explain the SEO benefits though. It’s an option that’s there for people who require that for their marketing.
There is a resources section of other products you can use, but you won’t find your inbox being bombarded with sales promos and upsells. Additional products to help with your marketing are available, but the theme has the essential components integrated into the theme.
The support you get is through the member forum. It is moderated and not a place where you’ll be bombarded with sales promotions from other marketers. You can post your questions to the forum, and other members can help you, or Dan or his support team will reply to any queries there. If it’s something to do with your account that you don’t want broadcast to a forum, simply use the support desk to get in contact with the staff. The developments implemented on the theme, come through the forum. Members can contribute what they’re up to, what they’d like to see integrated to the Socrates theme to help them run their business more effectively.
It’s those user contributions that let the developers know what marketers are needing out of their theme. The great thing is that once you purchase your site licence, all future updates are free for life. That’s unbeatable value right there.
Since the site has SEO features integrated, whenever there’s a development affecting site rankings, it’s sometimes just a tweak to the theme you need. Such as removing heading 1 tags from post titles, and making those heading 2 tags, with your header being the H1. This is something that was integrated into Socrates a while back, when some members thought the H1 was affecting their SEO.
Now you have the choice of heading tags for your posts site wide, within your settings menu. Therefore, you don’t have to go through editing every post on all your sites whenever you want to make a change like that.
As you can see, there are some advanced features you can use, but it is super easy to use and suitable for new people too. The support is there if you’re ever stuck on something, and the training for the theme is there too. Note though, that the training modules are specific to the theme. Don’t go buying the theme on the thinking that you’re learning about SEO in the training. It’s only specific to how to use the theme for setting your sites up, and updating it to the latest versions etc. Using the short codes, editing headers and backgrounds. That sort of stuff.
Oh, the short codes are awesome by the way. It’s a relatively new feature in the updated version. Of course, the training to use them is included in your members area of the Socrates training center.
These are perfect for affiliate marketers, and will help to increase CTR over to a merchant’s page. The 5 star ratings is super for giving your readers a visual representation of product quality and will encourage readers to stay on your page and hear what you have to say.
What I Love About Using Socrates
Unless you’re looking for an ecommerce WordPress theme, the Socrates has it all. You can’t use it for setting up an online store. It’s not designed for that.
It’s designed for marketers who promote affiliate programs. There’s neat features built in to integrate social media, lead generation, rich snippets in Google listings, and even use the magazine layout for an authority site structure. (Advanced SEO stuff)
What you get with Socrates:
Headers relating to the niche you're targeting - Over 200 headers premade or upload your own custom headers. Choice is yours!
A couple of magazine style layouts letting you feature posts and show your most recent blog entries. Ideal if you're charging for people for sponsored posts. You can earn more by featuring their content on the home page, for a certain amount of time. Just a thought.
AdSense can be integrated into your posts. Just insert the code once to the main settings area, and the theme will randomly post ads to your posts. You can disable this on individual posts. Handy if you're focusing on a promotion and not wanting to lose traffic to third party advertisers. Informational posts, can give you a good little earner.
Clickbank integration - If you're in the make money online market, there's a couple of sponsored products you can promote, which just pop into a slider at the top of your website.
Other than that, there is a neat integration in the footer of your site. You can input your Clickbank ID and where the logo shows in the footer of the site, your affiliate link is embedded.
Marketers look at the designs of other sites in their market. It's part of research for finding guest posting opportunities. They know the footer is where the theme design logo is, and should they decide to investigate the theme, you can earn a commission. It's not unheard of for a niche marketer in something like the pet niche, to find a couple of sales from the Socrates theme, just because of that footer link.
One click design change - Change the color of your background to any of your own or the ones included in the theme. Same with your header. Simply points, click, and change the look of your site.
Banner ad rotation - You can use up to 3 728 x 90 banners and they'll rotate at the top of your website. All hooked up to whatever affiliate programs you're promoting.
Multiple layouts - When you go into different niches, you sometimes find you have to test different layouts to find the best one for your target audience. Some prefer a traditional left sidebar, whereas others are more engaged with the right-hand side displaying the content. You can change this easily with one click changing your entire site layout.
Sales page template - When you want the entire focus on something you’re selling, you can disable all other site features. Even remove the header if you like.
The no sidebar template is ideal for when you aren't selling a product, but you want minimum distraction for review pages. You can have your header, top navigation bar and disable all ads, and links down the sidebar to ensure your important content gets the most attention from your readers.
Squeeze page designs - Lead generation made simple. It's a clean and minimal page layout with your content up top and your opt in from front and centre. Well, enough to get noticed and optins. Not exactly center. You're content is there and the sign up to the right. No distractions!
Integrated SEO – Note that the SEO integration is for the main site Meta details. For individual posts, you can use any SEO plugin for individual SEO custom fields. The Socrates theme is compatible with the most popular plugins for this. The All in One SEO pack, and Platinum SEO Pack. The fields in your Socrates settings menu are for your home page, to instruct search engines on what your site is about.
One more thing that’s sweet inside the theme is the option to change the entire colors across your site. If you’re color challenged, there are preset options of perfectly blended colors in the theme styling. It will change the colors of your background, the hyperlinks, your headings, and the text on your sidebar, all from the one central location. If you want to customize it, you can do that within the same areas to control every area of color for your site.
Here’s the screenshots of a few options you have to set your site up the way you want it to look.
The blogger attraction for building a following:
Your RSS Feed
The above graphics rotate in the top of the theme and allow your visitors to connect easily with you.
Social media integration couldn’t be simpler.
What I don’t like about Socrates
The header graphics aren’t updated
The theme is now active on over 110 thousand websites, if not more. With around 230 header graphics, many of those websites will have the same header graphics. There is the option to upload your own, but it would be better if the headers were updated. Not solely for niche headers but for local marketing too. You don’t have graphics for electricians, handy men, window cleaners etc There are some general real estate headers but nothing that would suit a local market. You either have to use the broad graphic, or do one yourself. For professionalism though, it’s best to outsource that part. Unless you know what you’re doing with graphic design.
Banner ad rotator options
When you run the triple banner ad feature, 728 x 90 leaderboard on the theme, you have a 220 x 90 white space beside that. You can use it to promote one or two of the Clickbank products tied into the theme, or you can use it for your own promotions. For most affiliates the 220 x 90 image size won’t be standard, so you’ll have to do a bit of graphic design to put a banner ad in there.
Non-Updated advertised bonuses
Part of the sales page advertises bonuses that you get when you purchase. I don’t agree with this part. If you’re going to advertise training bonuses, make them up to date. Especially monetizing with AdSense. Some training modules are as old as 2010, with parts irrelevant today, since things change online pretty frequent. The training that is updated is relevant to the theme. Not to internet marketing. So don’t purchase thinking you’ll learn all about IM, SEO, CTR, LSI, and all the other marketing lingo.
Tech probs with some hosting services
Using this on HostGator there wasn’t an issue with compatibility. On a Plesk hosting platform though the headers were a nightmare. At one point I had to use FTP to make custom changes to code I had no idea what I was doing with. If you’ve a host that’s reliable with good customer support, you’ll be fine, but if you don’t have the support and run into the custom modification inside your hosting, you’ll have one ugly header.
If you do run into this problem, there’s a search feature in the forum. The basic fix is to use an FTP client such as FileZilla and make file permission changes to the header-images folder. Change permissions to 777, update the header, and then secure them back to the 755 permission and that should be it fixed.
It is a headache to deal when you don’t know what you’re doing, but the support is there to guide you through the issues if it does arise.
HostGator doesn’t have this issue though. Parallels Plesk does. It will depend on the hosting provider you’re using.
Do You Get Value for money?
For sure, there’s value with Socrates. With the magnitude of features, I would expect this to sell for $97, or be part of a monthly fee. If there were to be ongoing IM training, monthly subscription could be an option. For the standalone theme though, you get a one-site licence, for just $28.
Use it on multiple sites for $55. What you don’t have is the option to sell your licence. If you’re going to be building sites and selling them for profit, you’ll need to contact support to transfer the licence over. I’ve not done that but I’d expect a personal licence fee would be applicable.
For niche marketers, running even a half dozen websites, you have them all uniquely designed to cater to the niche you’re involved with. That can save a pile of cash if you were to have a half dozen premium themes.
There’s certainly value in the pricing of Socrates for any type of marketer. Email marketing, social media marketing, AdSense through info publishing or blogging full-time. Socrates has it all.
Definitely a recommended premium WordPress theme. The support is there if you need it. The improvements are updated to the theme to change with the times, and it’s fully customisable to suit your needs.
With a free 7-day trial, it shows that Dan and his team are confident in the quality of their product. You can test drive it’s full functionality for the week, and decide if it’s something you can integrate to your new sites and make the theme your own.
All for a one low fee of $28 one time use, or use it on multiple sites for $55.
There’s plenty of modifications you can do, to expand your website portfolio across different niches with Socrates.
The pricing, the contents, the features, the included headers, social media integration, SEO features, and visually aesthetic slideshow functionality, make the Socrates one of the best and easiest to customise premium WordPress themes available.
PS…Within Socrates, the shortcodes let you do stuff like this in under a minute:
Imagine what Socrates could be doing for your business!