Category: AVN Insights

Background Post and Media Uploading with WordPress for iOS 9.8


Version 9.8 of WordPress for iOS rolls out this week, and includes some great enhancements to publishing: background media and post uploading.

Adding images to a post or page? Now, you can publish — and accomplish other tasks — while your media uploads. No more waiting inside the editor while images gradually upload! Tap the Publish button and the app takes care of uploading and publishing, leaving you free to leave the post editor and get on with other things.

You can do the same thing while saving drafts. And yes, you can have multiple posts uploading media in the background concurrently.

We’ve also spruced up the interface, and added notifications so that you always know the status of your posts and uploads. Visit your post list at any time for a progress report on all your uploads.

You can even leave the app and the upload will continue in the background while you check other things on your device.

Here is a video of the new functionality:

Give feedback and get involved

Download WordPress for iOS on the App Store. We’ll be rolling out the update over the course of the week, so it may be a couple of days before you see the update on your device. You can always manually check for an update by searching “WordPress” in the App Store if you just can’t wait

Do you have feedback on the app? Please share it!  If you’re a developer and would like to contribute to the project, here’s more information on how you can get involved.

Article Source: Laura Newby

The WordPress Mobile Apps Now Support Right-to-Left Languages


As part of the broader open source community, we believe in building products that people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and abilities can use and enjoy. We strive to create software that works smoothly for English and non-English speakers alike, and today we’re happy to roll out native support for right-to-left languages in both the iOS and Android WordPress mobile apps.

Adding support for languages like Hebrew or Arabic took us longer than we expected. For the past couple of weeks, however, we worked hard to ensure that all elements in our apps are properly mirrored, easy to reach, and provide a consistent user experience that feels natural in a right-to-left orientation.

The WordPress app will automatically detect the language of your device and change the interface language accordingly. If you want the language of the app to be different from the device language, you can change it by going to Me → App Settings → Interface Language.

We hope that this update will take us a step closer to making WordPress the most inclusive and diverse platform in the world.

Share your feedback!

If you use a right-to-left language in one of our WordPress mobile apps and notice that anything is amiss, do let us know — leave a comment here and we’ll try to address the issue as quickly as possible.

Article Source: Laura Newby

New and Improved iOS Sharing Extensions


Are you using the WordPress for iOS app on your mobile device? Our mobile team is excited to announce a big update to the share extension in the app.

The ability to share content from other apps is a core part of the iOS experience. Last fall, we decided that our share extension was overdue for a refresh, so we rolled up our sleeves and rethought the entire workflow for both iPhones and iPads. The result is a new and improved experience in version 9.6!

Sharing made easier

Now when you share content, you’ll notice that the share extension allows you to format text, add headings, make lists, and more with a toolbar similar to the one in your app’s existing editor. After drafting your post, you can assign a category and add relevant tags. When you’re satisfied, select the site to publish the post on and tap Publish at the top right. The app will then upload your post and images in the background and notify you when it’s finished.

As a bonus, if you share something from Safari, the extension will provide an attribution link and automatically format any selected text in a blockquote.


A brand-new draft extension

Our customers provide us with great feedback, and many of you have let us know that you often would like to capture an idea for later. Perhaps you want to upload a snapshot from the Photos app, or save a motivational quote from a fellow writer’s website for your next post.

The new draft extension allows you to do just that: now, you can quickly save selected content in a draft post, allowing you to work on it later.

Set up your device and start sharing

Activating both of these extensions requires a few small steps, but you should only have to do this once. To get started, open the app that contains the content you’d like to share and tap the share button. The standard iOS share screen will appear.


The top row contains iOS share extensions — this is where your WordPress share extension lives. The row underneath contains what Apple calls “action” extensions. You’ll find the draft extension here.

On the share screen, do the following for each extension:

  1. Swipe the row all the way to the right.
  2. Find and tap on the “More…” icon — the Activities menu will appear.
  3. Scroll down the list and locate “WordPress” (share extension) or “Save as Draft” (draft extension) and turn on the switch.
  4. Tap “Done.”

The next time you open the share screen, you’ll see both extensions.

Thank you

The mobile team hopes you enjoy these new extensions and that they offer new possibilities for adding content to your site. As always, we welcome your feedback.

If you’re not using the WordPress mobile apps for your iOS or Android device, download and try them today!

Article Source: Laura Newby

Updated Signup and Site Creation on Mobile Devices


The latest stage in our authentication redesign effort improves signup and site creation on our mobile applications. ( offers apps for your Android or iOS device.)


To simplify signup, we’ve separated site creation from account creation. Signup now has its own flow guiding you through the process, allowing you to modify information as you go.

It begins with a choice: you can signup via email, or signup via your Google account.

Signup with Email or Google

If you select Google, the Google signup process is presented.

Signup with Google

If you select email, we’ll send you a signup email after you enter your email address. Clicking the link it contains completes the signup process.


In either case, we’ll present a final screen where you can modify your display name and username. We’ll share a list of username options to choose from based on your current username. If you’ve signed up with an email address, you’ll also get the opportunity to set an account password.

And, finally, once signup is complete, you’ll be able to create your first site!

Signup Site Site Creation

The new site-creation flow walks you through the steps involved, providing more options and flexibility.

First, we’ll ask you to choose the type of site you want — either a blog, website, or portfolio. This choice dictates the mobile-friendly starter themes we’ll show you in the following step. Once you select a theme, we’ll ask you for your site’s title and tagline. Based on the site title you enter, we’ll offer a list of available domain name suggestions you can choose from. Once you select a domain, we’ll create the site and show you a preview of it. At that time, you can either configure site settings or jump right into writing your first post.

Get the App for your device offers apps for your Android or iOS device.


What do you think of the new signup and site creation changes? We’d love to hear your thoughts and look forward to your feedback!

Article Source: Laura Newby

Why these are important to us

The images on the bottom of our emails are incredibly important to us here at AVN.  Let me explain why...   The Vonage Nexmo Business Enabler of the Year Finalist - The goal of AVN is to help business owners to build the business that they desire, and we do this by enabling accountants to help their business owner clients to develop and grow.  To be recognised for this makes us incredibly proud.   The Global Goals - AVN truly believe that supporting the UN Global Goals can make the world a much better place for all of us, and are delighted to be supporting this.   Buy1Give1 - Is one of the ways in which AVN deliver on supporting the UN Global Goals.  By making a regular contribution to the projoects on B1G1 we can put our desire to help make the world a better place into practice.   Email footer image

Manage Plugins in the WordPress Mobile Apps


We’re happy to announce the addition of a frequently requested feature in the WordPress mobile apps: plugin management! With the 9.1 update for the iOS and Android apps, Business plan sites with plugins and self-hosted WordPress sites with Jetpack can now manage their plugins right in the app.

Instead of going to your dashboard in a web browser for every little plugin change, you can now browse your site’s plugins in the WordPress mobile apps, and activate, deactivate, and update plugins right from your phone. You can also manage auto-updates, remove most plugins, and find a link to the plugin’s page on for quick reference.

Try It Out

To find plugins in your app, make sure you’ve updated to version 9.1+ and have the Jetpack plugin (version 5.6+ required). Once you’re updated, you’ll see a new “Plugins” area under “Configure”.

Send Feedback

If you have any questions or feedback on managing plugins in the apps, reach out to our in-app support team by tapping Me → Help & Support → Contact Us.

Article Source: Laura Newby

Keep Track of Your Conversations in One Place


Today, we’re introducing Conversations: a tool in the Reader that makes it easier for you to monitor and participate in the discussions you care about the most.

Let’s face it: it can be hard to keep track of all the conversations you take part in online. When your favorite posts generate an active discussion, you might miss out on some meaningful exchanges. To find out if a post has new comments, you would have to manually search for it in your stream, or enable comment emails, which would then fill your inbox with every single comment coming from that post.

With the new Conversations page, new comments on your followed posts on any or Jetpack-connected sites will all appear in a single stream, including for sites you don’t follow. You’ll now be able to read and add your replies without having to leave the Reader!


You can also view earlier comments by expanding the row of avatars under a post.


Which posts will appear in Conversations? Any post you’ve Liked or commented on will show up there. You may also manually add a post by choosing the Follow Conversation option when you view the full post in the Reader…


…or directly from your stream.


If you decide to leave a conversation, just unfollow it to remove it from your Conversations stream.

By making it easier for people to monitor and participate in conversations they care about, we can encourage more interaction and allow everyone to easily join the discussions happening on your site.

Give Reader Conversations a try and let us know what you think in the comments below! Thank you, once again, for being part of the community.

Article Source: Laura Newby

Why grow your business?

Tell me if you agree or disagree with my answer, I’d love to know your thoughts. A good friend of mine asked me the other day “Why are people so obsessed with growing their business to make huge and increasing profits year after year, why not just earn enough to live on?” Is it Greed? It’s actually a fair question isn’t it? There are businesses out there generating millions in profits – do they really need all of that money? On the other hand, there are many people who have their own small boutique business and they’re happy that it earns them a wage and gives them the lifestyle they want without any inclination to earn more than they need. Are some people simply unambitious? I suspect that in many cases the boutique lifestyle business owners will view the growth oriented business owners as greedy. Conversely, the growth oriented business owners may well view the boutique life-stylers as having no ambition whatsoever. It’s fair to say that in some cases, each is correct, but not in all cases. An enviable lifestyle My friend who asked the question is self-employed, he has a boutique business. I wouldn’t describe him as unambitious in the least. In fact he has an enviable lifestyle often working for a few months and then taking a few months off to tour parts of the world with his girlfriend and his dogs. His basic needs are met, he’s debt free. He takes many extra holidays throughout the year including snowboarding and motorcycling with friends such as myself. It’s easy to see why he asked the question about the obsession for year on year growth. I’ve also spoken to people whose business is making millions in profits but it’s so reliant on them they’re working every waking hour with no life. Why grow? There are many reasons why you might want to grow your business. If you’re a business like Apple for example then a) there are millions of people around the world who want your products and therefore you’re responding to demand. b) they have lots of shareholders who expect their shares to grow and give them a return on their investment. A drop in profits can cause outcry and panic for shareholders as it might well mark the turning point of a business’ success rate. You may believe that your competitors don’t deliver a great service to people and so you want to grow your business so that ‘your way’ is delivered to many more people. I believe that the purpose of the business owner and his/her business will largely determine whether the owner will focus on growth after getting established. Do you have a duty to grow your business? If your purpose is to change lives for the better, then where should you stop? Is it fair on the lives you don’t touch because you felt that you’d grown enough? If your purpose extends beyond your own needs to that of others then perhaps you feel it’s your duty to grow and expand what you do in order to reach and affect more people. Growing a business can mean:
  • Helping the economy through the tax you pay on the profits you earn
  • Employing more people and giving them careers
  • Making a difference to more lives through your business and its profits
  • Profits can be reinvested in to the business to enhance its offerings
  • Keeping competition from ruining you
  • Being able to survive if you lose some big clients
A growing business is more likely to attract talented people than a business that’s merely earning enough to get by. Most people want to develop themselves and progress in life. Joining a dynamic business that’s innovative and growing is much more attractive than a business that’s – well, not! Growth doesn’t mean greed. Profits are a consequence of doing the right thing. If your business is making a positive difference in some way that it will make profits as a consequence of that. Many of the businesses who are making millions if not billions in profits are using that money in ways to make the world better, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, JK Rowling to name a few are great examples of people who are using their money for good. Is it really success? I do believe though that success isn’t really success if it’s at the expense of family, friends and health. Many people who focus on growing their business often do so at the expense of their own lifestyle. As they grow the business they end up working more hours themselves and not getting the time to enjoy the benefits of the greater income they’re generating. This often leads to worry, stress, divorce or death. If you’re happy with your life then you don’t need to change anything. There is the saying though – “If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got – or worse.” Why worse? The world is rapidly changing. Anyone who remains stagnant or set in their ways is likely to suffer as the world grows around them. Growth needs to be done right. If you grow too quickly you may run the risk of over promising and under delivering. Quality might become affected; customer service may deteriorate. At AVN we help accountants develop their practice using our signature roadmap. The first part of the roadmap helps accountants create stability, profitability, enjoyment and importantly make more of a difference with the clients accountants work with. The second part is focused around growing and scaling in a way that maintains high service levels and the lifestyle and enjoyment of the practice owner. We focus on putting systems in place for scaling, getting the right people involved and engaged and developing a great culture, having a vision in place that inspires those people – if your purpose is around making money then that’s not likely to inspire others to go that extra mile for customers or the business. If the purpose has a deeper meaning then it will motivate people to want to give their very best to customers and to the business. Business growth is a choice. We’re all different and all have different ideas about our place in the world and about our own lifestyle wants and needs. My purpose is to help improve people’s ability to have better lifestyle choices; one way I do this is by helping business owners improve their business, which in turn reduces their stress and gets them their lives back. I work with accountants to help them improve their business because accountants are each best placed to help the hundreds of business owners they work with grow their businesses. And from the profits we make, we’re helping people in developing countries by providing education, business support funding and the basics in terms of hygiene to give them more of a chance in life. At AVN we have aligned ourselves to several of the UN Global Goals, we contribute to the Global Goals through Buy1Give1 ( where for every time someone buys from us we give through Buy1Give1 and several lives are positively affected in developing countries around the world. By growing and scaling AVN in a way that retains its high standards in supporting, coaching and training accountants then I’m helping more people. That’s my reason for growing the business. What are your thoughts? Do you want to grow your business? If so, why? Article Source: Shane Lukas

New Year’s resolutions? – do it right.


So many people set New Year’s Resolutions but fail to maintain their new way of life for more than a few weeks on average.


Well, too many people strive for big change in a short space of time.  In my book – What’s Next for Accountants I share in detail why that’s not a great strategy.  In short though, it’s too much.

People don’t like change and can’t maintain a big change for very long.

This is why fad diets don’t work.  It’s hell!  It’s just too much change in one go. It’s a big shock to the system. As is joining a gym and suddenly going 3 times per week.

I remember the first time I decided to come off of caffeine, I had a terrible headache for a week and gave up, I went back on the caffeine.  The next time I decided to come off it, I swapped one typical cup of coffee for a decaf version and each week swapped another, I weaned myself off of caffeine in a more successful manner.  Habit changed and no headache.

Couch to marathon?

Rather than deciding to get off the couch and run 20 miles per week it’s much better to plan and increment change so that you can adapt more easily. We know this because our body couldn’t possibly take that level of change in one go.  And yet we try and make other lifestyle changes that put mental, physical or habitual strain on us without a second thought.

Adapting to a healthier lifestyle might be better adopted by simply swapping one typical meal per week to a more healthy one.  Or having less chips on the plate and a little more salad. Perhaps a short walk once per week.  One bit at a time, one small change at a time.

Monthly resolutions, planned now.

Perhaps after a month, another meal per week could be exchanged for something more healthy.

This same principle applies to all of the goals we set whether it’s a personal goal or a business goal.

What one thing could you change each month that will begin to make your life better and in a more achievable and maintainable manner?  Take time to plan your year by having a month by month small resolution.

Measure and Track

It’s important to measure too.

If you’re looking to change something, what’s the outcome?  If it’s to lose weight that’s easier to measure than if it’s to start doing more social media activity. How do you know it’s successful?

Plan this out.  If it’s replacing one typical meal per week for a more healthy one then put a chart on the wall with all of the weeks on it and tick off each week that you replaced the meal.  That way you can visually see that you’re sticking to your new regime and will be aware as the week is progressing that you haven’t yet swapped that meal.

Get others involved

As a family – myself, my wife Jenny and my 10 and 9 year old kids – we’ve mapped out our goals for the year, broken them down in to measurable and trackable targets which will keep us each on track.  We had a fun goal setting session over a meal in the local Wetherspoons.

Statistically, people are much more likely to achieve their goals if they’re shared with others.  As a family we’re accountable to each other on our goals.  I feel compelled to set an example with my children now that we’ve all set goals together which means I’m much more likely to achieve them otherwise what message does that send to my kids?


Finally, it’s important to have a strong WHY for each change.  If you don’t fully subscribe to your goal then you won’t have the impetus to continue it.  Make that WHY clear and present.  Put your goals in a photo frame next to your bed so it’s the last thing you see each day and the first thing you see in the morning.  This will keep your goals in focus.

Action you can take.

Sit down with your family and come up with some targets for the end of 2018, then break them down in to incremental chunks, take ownership and commit as a family to each of your own goals.  Doing it as a family first will help you get your priorities in business right too.  If your family are wanting more of your time and you decide to commit to that then how will you develop your business to ensure that happens?

I wish you a prosperous, successful and very happy new year.

What resolutions have you set?  Personal or business related?  Give me a comment below.

Article Source: Shane Lukas

Interview with Tim Davies – John Davies and Co


Hi there, I’m Shane Lukas, and I’m the Managing Director of AVN. The AVN team are excited to announce the release of our new book The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices which is free to download here: Our book has been designed to help businesses find accountants who go the extra mile to help improve the success of the company and make the business more enjoyable to run.

I recently spoke to Tim Davies, the Managing Director of Wrexham based accountancy firm John Davies & Co. John Davies & Co are one of the accountancy firms which feature in The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices.

Interviewing Tim Davies, helped me understand how John Davies & Co stand out and why they are head and shoulders above traditional accountancy practices. Through speaking to Tim Davies, I found out how John Davies & Co use benchmarking and goal setting effectively. Benchmarking helps businesses to compare key criteria against their competitors and work out what they need to do to become more successful. By identifying areas of weakness John Davies & Co can tailor their advice to the individual company and help to make improvements and increase profitability.

During the interview, Tim Davies told me an incredible story of how a client came to him three years ago, with an overdraft of £230,000 and minor profitability for his bakery business. Tim and his team benchmarked the bakery against over 200 competitors, focusing on the gross margin and gross profit. The conclusion from the benchmarking was that the client could increase their prices by 10%.

Naturally afraid of losing customers, the client was reluctant to raise prices. Using innovative software, Tim showed the client how he could afford to lose 5-10% of the customer base and still be profitable. After a year of following Tim’s advice, the client’s overdraft had disappeared, and profits had increased. The success has continued, and the client now has £250,000 in the bank and is making a yearly profit of £225,000. Not only is the business much more successful, but the client’s lifestyle has changed, and he has gone from a stressed out entrepreneur to a relaxed business owner.

Tim and his team at John Davies & Co help clients who have a vision and who want to succeed. It is wonderful to see accountancy firms that want to go the extra mile for their clients, as Tim says; “I want to leave a mark and be able to say that I’ve helped businesses get to where they should get.”

If you want to find out more about John Davies & Co or other firms that go the extra mile for businesses, you can find them in our book, The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices. This book is free to download at

You can watch my interview with Tim Davies, one of the founding partners of John Davies & Co here:

Article Source: Shane Lukas



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