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13+ Ways You’re Losing Money without Jetpack for WordPress


Jetpack is one of the most popular plugins in WordPress with over 1 million active installations. It’s an entire family of products (and services) ranging from social logins to free CDNs. Its designed to optimize your WordPress website in every possible way – at absolutely zero cost.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the many time (and money) saving features Jetpack has to offer. We’ve also shared the possible paid and free alternatives for each feature. This will give you an idea of the great deal of benefits you could enjoy with Jetpack.

1. You’re not using the free Content Delivery Network (CDN) from Jetpack

Jetpack’s Photon module takes all the images from your site and stores it in WordPress.com’s global content distribution network. This network is  is distributed at multiple locations across the globe and optimized for high availability, redundancy. With a CDN installed, when a visitor lands in your site, the images are served from a server that is closest to the visitor’s physical location. This has multiple benefits:

  • Images are optimized to reduce size, while preserving quality.
  • Images are served quickly – thanks to WordPress’ distributed network – contributing to a speedy website.
  • Websites that load fast tend to convert better. Better conversions equal greater revenue.
  • Off-loading your images to Jetpack’s Photon module saves your server’s bandwidth and computing resources. You save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Photon saves your visitor’s bandwidth by serving them lossless compressed images using Google’s famous WebP image format. However, a handful of browsers support this format.

Use Photon as an online image editing service

Sometimes we need to perform simple tasks such as resizing an image, complex ones such as adding filters, adjusting the contrast of removing black bars from an image. The Photon Developer API allows developers to take advantage of WordPress cloud infrastructure and perform all sorts of tricks on their images.

For example, the following call to the API reduces the quality of the original JPG image to 75% strips all its metadata. This resulted in a 81% drop in the size, while maintaining almost lossless image compression.

Optimized Image by the Photon API (448 KB)

http://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2014/09/8084136238_169f1ca1f0_o.jpg?&quality=75&strip=all

Original Image (2.61 MB)

http://ma.tt/files/2014/09/8084136238_169f1ca1f0_o.jpg

A single API call to the Photon API reduced the image size by 83%

All of this is done on-the-fly by a single call to the API. Your server resources remain untouched!

2. You’re Not Scheduling Posts to your Social Networks with the Automatic Publishing Module

Different social networks react differently to the same post copy – therefore headlines must be optimized for each. The copy you write for your Facebook page shouldn’t be the same for your Twitter or Pinterest page.

The Automatic Publishing feature enables users to automatically post content to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages, after connecting the respective accounts. Users can configure images for Facebook and Twitter and schedule posting on the social networks once the post is published on the site.

You can either purchase expensive social post scheduling tools, or you can simply use Jetpack’s Publicize module. Your call!

3. You’re not using Related Posts

Related Posts are one of the largest contributors to reducing a website’s bounce rate. As soon as a visitor scrolls to the bottom of the article, they are shown related posts that fall under the same category, tag or custom post type.

Displaying related posts at the end of every article can increase your visitor’s “time on site” and enhance user engagement, which would ultimately drives conversions. Think about it – the more time visitors spend on your site, the better your brand is positioned in their mind. As a result, at the time when they need a product or service you offer – you have the competitive advantage of top-of-mind presence.

Jetpack’s Related Posts module displays the related posts after every article. Here’s the interesting part – unlike many other related post plugins, Jetpack does all the analysis, processing, and serving of related posts using their cloud infrastructure, so that there is no additional load on your server. This makes it a tremendous asset to reducing server load and improving our site’s performance – while simultaneously displaying related posts!

4. You’re not using Jetpack’s Security Features

Jetpack’s Protect module offers a ton of security features that are essential for any website. Premium security plugins such as Securi and iThemes Security cost over $100 a year. However, if you’re starting out and need a good security plugin that gets the job done, Jetpack is your answer. Here’s why:

  • For starters, it provides free protection against bruteforce attacks.
  • Next up, you can use secure authentication via WordPress.com to allow only those people to login who have a valid WordPress.com account.
  • You can also enable two-factor authentication to really tighten up security.
  • Finally, the IP Whitelisting feature enables you to allow only a set of IPs to access the admin dashboard. This makes it an excellent preventive measure against malicious login attempts.

Under additional benefits, the Jetpack Protect module automatically updates the installed themes and plugins in your WordPress site. You end up saving a lot of time, while enjoying peace of mind.

5. You’re not using the Site Monitoring feature

Downtimes are bad. Not only does it result in a decline in your conversions, and it also negatively impacts your search engine rankings. For example, consider the case when Google sends a visitor to your site. Only problem – the visitor finds that the page doesn’t load. The visitor returns to the search page and clicks on the next search result. That’s a yellow flag – your SEO scores are diminished a bit.

Jetpack’s Downtime Monitoring feature alerts you when your site goes down – over email and over SMS.  It also emails you when your site is back up and the total downtime duration. This service checks your site every five minutes from different corners of the globe, ensuring that no matter where your visitors come from – they see a working website.

6. You Could Leverage Post via Email – But You’re Not

Being present at the right place at the right time is a key factor to our success. The same principles apply to the success of your blog. Being the first one to cover a developing story in your blog’s domain can result in a new stream of visitors from social media.

That’s when the Post via Email feature comes in handy. Simply write the post in an email and send it over to the specified email address. The post will be published in your site. You can attach images and galleries in your email, and they’ll be posted as well. You can also specify tags and categories or specify a delay. What’s more, if you have the Automatic Publishing module enabled, the post will be posted to your social networks as well! Talk about chain reactions.

7. Did you enable the Subscriptions module?

There’s an entire industry built around email marketing software. While most of them are paid, some are free but come with limitations. At the very least, even the best of email marketing services require you to sign up for an account, which can be a bit of a task.

Jetpack’s Subscription module follows no-brainer technique wherein you simply need to add a widget asking your visitors to signup for new posts or “Subscribe for Updates” from you blog.

With the module activated, whenever you publish a new post, all your subscribers get an email with your latest post. However on the downside, you cannot have advanced tracking embedded in these emails.

8. You’re not leveraging “Social Proof”

One of the ways to get visitors to stick around your blog is to establish “social proof’. We are psychologically attuned to follow what everyone is doing. Imaging you’re on your way to work, just like every other day. You’re about to enter the subway when suddenly everyone starts running out of the station. Would you still go in?

Something similar happens when we see those symbols such as “Plugin downloaded over 100,000 times” or “Currently running on 75,000 active WordPress sites” or even “5 years of experience distilled into product”. A sort of unnamed assurance dawns on us.

The Extra Sidebar Widgets from Jetpack help you display similar “milestone-like” information on your site. You can feature your blog’s stats and contributors who may be well-known in the industry. You can also display additional information such as your Twitter feed, contact info, featured posts, etc.

A combination of these widgets will not only help establish social proof, but also contribute to user engagement. How’s that, you ask?

Remember how we talked about displaying related posts at the end of every post can influence the user to stick around for longer? A similar logic follows when you display “featured posts” or “exclusive deals” in your sidebars and/footers.

9. You could save time with the Site Verification module

When it comes to SEO, registering your website in the Google Search Console or the Bing Webmaster Center are of utmost importance. However, the process of verifying the domain ownership is time-consuming and requires HTML files to be uploaded to the root directory.

You could avoid all that and use Jetpack’ Site Verification module. Simply copy-paste the verification codes from Google/Bing console and paste it in the module’s settings. You site will be instantly validated.

The Site Verification module also supports Pinterest, which when activated will add your Pinterest profile picture to any pin that originates from your site.

10. Jetpack Comments take the hassle out of social commenting

The Comments module gives your visitors the option to login with their social profiles before leaving a comment on your site. This means if someone is logged into their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or WordPress.com account, they can use any one of those accounts to leave a comment.

All comments appear in a singular, streamlined thread. Here’s how that’s beneficial:

We relate better to comments when it’s associated with a real name and photo. With social comments feature activated, you encourage people to use their social profiles when commenting.

As a result, not only does this feature add social strength to your posts, it also makes commenting super easy. With a single click, all the info (name, photo, website URL, etc.) is extracted from my preferred social profile and filled in the WordPress comments section.

11. You losing out on potential leads by not using the Comments module

You might be wondering how this is possible. Let’s carefully examine the following image:

On the bottom left corner, you see two options:

Notify me of follow-up comments via email

When enabled, all follow-up comments in this post will be sent to that particular visitor. Follow-up comments encourages people to participate in the conversation. When you actively engage with your blog’s commenters, you build an active community – one comment at a time! Now for the interesting part.

Notify me of new posts via email

When a visitor checks this option, he/she is essentially subscribing to your blog’s updated. In other words – you just gained a lead! In my opinion this is a real gem of a feature and works beautifully when you have an active community.

12. You’re wasting too much time trying to configure Google Analytics

Google Analytics a tool that used by seasoned veterans and novices alike. Everybody’s head about it, everybody wants to use it – but only a few seem to understand it. Configuring Google Analytics to even half its potential requires serious know-how.

Maybe you don’t want to focus on that right now. If you’re like me, you could simply enable Jetpack’s Site Stats feature. It requires absolutely zero-configuration and works right out of the box.

The Site Stats module takes a few hours to gather the data. Once ready, it gives you clear and concise numbers about overall traffic by different time periods as well as for individual posts and pages. It also gives you key insights about most popular times, geographic locations, and search terms. What more do you need? 😉

13. You’re (probably) not managing multiple sites with Jetpack

Did you know that Jetpack provides a centralized dashboard in WordPress.com, using which you can manage all your WordPress websites? Yes, it’s true. All you need to do is install the Jetpack plugin in all your sites, login with the same WordPress.com account and sit back.

Jetpack will collate data from all your WordPress installations and display them in a centralized dashboard in WordPress.com. You can update themes, plugins and core versions of WordPress from the dashboard. You can also publish posts and make changes to the menus for different sites from the same dashboard.

For people who need a free solution to manage multiple website, Jetpack’s centralized management dashboard is a lifesaver.

14. Bonus Tip: WordAds (Premium)

Jetpack recently launched WordAds – a blog monetization platform that helps you to make money from your blog. WordAds displays relevant, high-quality ads to your site’s visitors. These ads are displayed from approved advertisers which are a part of the WordPress.com advertiser program.

Snapshot of sample earnings from the Jetpack Ads program

However, this is a premium feature and comes only with the Jetpack Pro plan starting at $9/month or $99/year. Let’s discuss a couple of other premium-only Jetpack modules that are included in the Pro plan.

Premium Features from Jetpack

Let us quickly review the premium features Jetpack offers us. The following features are available in the Personal Plan at $3.5/month (or $39/year).

  • Daily automated backups, 1-click restore and 30-day archive
  • Advanced spam filtering
  • Priority support

In addition to the above features, the Premium Plan retails at $9/mo and has the following features:

  • Daily malware scans
  • Jetpack Ads, aka WordAds program
  • Video hosting with 13GB of storage

A complete list of features along with a comparison table is available in Jetpack’s detailed pricing page.

Conclusion

Jetpack has come a long way from a simply utility plugin with a handful of features – to a fully integrated service platform. With a host of free services and a range of premium features, Jetpack offers the most comprehensive tool set packed in a single plugin. Its designed for beginners and seasoned veterans alike.

After reading this article, you are aware of Jetpack’s most flattering features. However, that doesn’t mean you activate all of them at one go. Analyze your current requirements and understand how Jetpack’s modules can help you achieve them.  Here’s a quick list of the features I think can be activated for most websites:

  1. Free CDN
  2. Related posts (only when you have organized your content with proper tags and categories, and have sufficient content under each category)
  3. Site monitoring
  4. Security features from the Protect module
  5. Comments module
  6. Site stats

Jetpack’s dozens of useful features infused with simplicity and the power of WordPress.com’s cloud makes it a powerful weapon in any marketer’s arsenal. Give it a spin today. Also, did we miss your favourite Jetpack feature? Let us know in the comments below!



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How to Create a Promotional eBook for Your WordPress Website (in 4 Steps)


Maybe you’ve toyed around with the idea of writing an e-book for a while, but you haven’t gotten around to it yet. After all, creating an e-book is too hard and time-consuming, right?

While putting together a promotional e-book is no walk in the park, you can do it if you put your mind to it. Furthermore, publishing an e-book comes with many benefits, such as enabling you to promote your website and establish yourself as an authority in your field.

In this article, we’ve put together a four-step process to help you create your first promotional e-book, covering everything from planning to publishing. Let’s dive right in!

Step #1: Pick the Right Tools

The first step to the e-book writing process is finding the right tools. Writing an e-book is a lot different than a regular blog post from a formatting standpoint, so you’ll need to find tools that can help you tackle that aspect, as well as some others. With that in mind, we put together a brief list of our favorite writing tools, separated into four categories for your benefit.

1. Writing and Editing

  • Microsoft Word. You’re probably already familiar with this one. It’s one of the best tools for brainstorming and writing any type of content. Furthermore, it enables you to set up complex macros to handle repetitive tasks, which can be a significant timesaver.
  • Google Docs. On paper, Google Docs is very similar to Microsoft Word, except for its superior collaboration features. If you’re working with an editor and you need to stay on top of changes and revisions, this tool should be right up your alley.

2. Formatting and Conversion

  • PublishXpress. PublishXpress offers seamless conversions to the .epub and .mobi formats. All you need to do is upload your source file, choose a cover, and click on the Convert button.
  • Anthologize. Anthologize is a WordPress plugin that converts WordPress posts into PDFs with just a few clicks.

3. All-in-One Tools

  • Pressbooks. This powerful WordPress plugin enables you to plan, write, edit, format, and publish e-books right from your dashboard.
  • Calibre. This desktop app offers a full suite of features to write, format, publish, and even convert e-books between multiple file types.

4. WordPress Tools

  • PDF & Print by BestWebSoft. What to offer premium or free content on your website as a pdf? This free plugin add PDF and Print buttons to your posts so your readers can easily download or print your content for later reading.
  • Simple PDF Exporter. Need to export all or your posts, or all of a custom post type? This free plugin bulk exports your posts to a single PDF file making the process quick and easy.

Step #2: Start Writing Your Promotional E-Book

Once you’ve found the right tools, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start writing. This phase can be lengthy, and it can get frustrating, so it’s important that you stick to a process that works for you. With that in mind, here’s how we handle long writing tasks:

  1. Choose a topic. This is a personal decision, but for the best results, you should pick a subject that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.
  2. Research. Investigate your topic and start thinking about what information is going to make it into your e-book.
  3. Put together an outline. Once you’ve researched your ideas thoroughly, create an outline for your project. There are no hard and fast rules for doing so, but you can always look for a template to get you started.
  4. Write your first draft. Sit down and start typing – depending on your personal taste, this step may include generous amounts of coffee. You might want to avoid editing at this stage, since it can slow you down.
  5. Edit and polish your draft. Ideally, you should take a small break between completing your first draft and editing it. Check for ideas that you might have missed, word repetition, issues with flow, and, of course, grammar mistakes and typos.
  6. Proofread. This step is best handled by a fresh pair of eyes, so you should think about outsourcing it to an editor. A good editor should catch anything that you missed during the previous step.
  7. Publish your e-book. We’ll talk more about how to publish your e-book further on, so keep reading!

When it comes to writing long-format content such as an e-book, it pays to be as structured as possible, and breaking down the process into several steps will make the endeavor much less stressful than tackling it without it a plan.

Step #3: Format Your E-Book

A screenshot of an e-book cover.

An example of an attractive e-book cover.

Once you’ve finished writing your e-book, it’s time to work on its layout and formatting, and then convert the document to your desired file type. Getting the formatting for your e-book right is critical so that it renders correctly across all kinds of displays, especially those in small form factors.

When you’re satisfied with your e-book’s layout and format, we need to convert it to a suitable file type to minimize compatibility errors. These are the most popular e-book file formats at the moment:

  • PDF: This file type is extremely common thanks to its wide range of compatibility.
  • Mobi: The Mobipocket (or mobi) format is ideal if you need to render complex content with ease and flexibility.
  • ePub: This popular e-book format offers a solid experience and is supported by most reading software.

Out of those three, PDF is by far the most popular format thanks to its mainstream support. However, these days most people are likely to have access to reading software that supports a wide range of file types, so you needn’t choose PDF by default if compatibility is your main concern.

Step #4: Upload and Publish Your E-book

After all your hard work, all that’s left is to publish your e-book and wait for the glowing reviews to start pouring in. There are two main options when it comes to publishing, so let’s check out the benefits of each to help you make a decision.

Self Publish Your Book

Your first option is to self-publish your book. That means you won’t need to go through a distributing agent, and it’s as simple as uploading the e-book to your WordPress website and hitting the Publish button. Self-publishing can be the best route if you’re working with a limited budget, or you don’t want to share your profits with an online distributor. Furthermore, it enables you to retain control over the entire process, which can save you a lot of headaches.

Using the Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) plugin, you can handle the entire process right from your WordPress dashboard. In fact. we even have an entire Easy Digital Downloads guide to walk you through the process of setting up your online store for the first time.

The Easy Digital Downloads plugin.

If you want to offer your e-book for free, the Free Downloads add-on for EDD enables you to do so without forcing buyers to go through the regular checkout process. Instead, all they have to do is supply their email in exchange for your e-book.

Contact A Distributor

The second option when it comes to publishing is to use an e-book distributor. With a distributor, you simply upload your e-book, set a price, and sit back while they do all the hard work for you (in exchange for a fee, of course). Some of our favorite distribution services include SmashwordsDraft2Digital, and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

If you don’t have the time to handle all the minutia of publishing your e-book, the right distribution service can take a huge load off your shoulders. However, do keep in mind that most services come with guidelines of their own, and you’ll need to deal with them to update your e-book and receive payments. If you don’t mind those small drawbacks, then by all means, consider the option.

Conclusion

Publishing an e-book can be a frustrating endeavor if you don’t know where to start. However, tackling the project with a solid plan in mind should help you finish faster and save you a lot of headaches.

Here are the four main steps to getting your first promotional e-book written and published:

  1. Find the right tools for the job.
  2. Sit down and write.
  3. Format your e-book.
  4. Publish your e-book on your website or by using a distribution service.

How do you tackle complex writing projects like promotional e-books? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!



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How To Make Your WordPress Theme WooCommerce Compatible


So you want to add a shop to your theme – awesome! WooCommerce is a great choice. Technically speaking ALL themes are “WooCommerce Compatible” because it’s a plugin. In theory any plugin should work with any WordPress theme (that is coded properly).

As a theme developer though you may want to tweak the output of WooCommerce to better fit your theme or to provide options to your end users not readily available in the WooCommerce settings (such as altering the number of columns on the shop). Below you will find some helpful snippets that you can use to provide “better” support for WooCommerce in your theme and/or to alter things for your specific design.

Important: Many of the snippets below use functions available in WooCommerce only. So make sure these snippets aren’t just dumped at the bottom of your functions.php file in a theme created for distribution. If you are going to share your theme with others or sell it be sure to place the snippets in their own file loaded only when the WooCommerce plugin is active.

Check if WooCommerce is Enabled

In my themes I like to define a custom constant that can be used to check if WooCommerce is enabled this way I can include files or run functions only when WooCommerce is active (see important message above if you haven’t yet).

// Add new constant that returns true if WooCommerce is active
define( 'WPEX_WOOCOMMERCE_ACTIVE', class_exists( 'WooCommerce' ) );

// Checking if WooCommerce is active
if ( WPEX_WOOCOMMERCE_ACTIVE ) {
    // Do something...
    // Such as including a new file with all your Woo edits.
}

Declare WooCommerce Support

This is the first and most important piece of code to add to your theme which “enables” WooCommerce support and prevents the warnings from the plugin telling the end user that the theme is not compatible.

add_action( 'after_setup_theme', function() {
	add_theme_support( 'woocommerce' );
} );

Remove WooCommerce CSS

Personally I rather override WooCommerce styles to prevent any possible issues with 3rd party WooCommerce plugins. However, if you want to remove all WooCommerce styles it is very easy.

The following snippet is for removing ALL WooCommerce styles:

// Remove all Woo Styles
add_filter( 'woocommerce_enqueue_styles', '__return_empty_array' );

This snippet is an example of conditionally removing specific CSS styles:

function wpex_remove_woo_styles( $styles ) {
	unset( $styles['woocommerce-general'] );
	unset( $styles['woocommerce-layout'] );
	unset( $styles['woocommerce-smallscreen'] );
	return $styles;
}
add_filter( 'woocommerce_enqueue_styles', 'wpex_remove_woo_styles' );

Remove The Shop Title

A lot of themes already have functions to display archive titles so this code removes the extra title from WooCommerce which is better then hiding it via CSS.

add_filter( 'woocommerce_show_page_title', '__return_false' );

Alter The Archive Title for The Shop

If your theme is using the archive_title() or get_archive_title() functions to display the title for your archives you can easily tweak it via a filter to grab the name of your product page instead for the shop archive title.

function wpex_woo_archive_title( $title ) {
	if ( is_shop() && $shop_id = wc_get_page_id( 'shop' ) ) {
		$title = get_the_title( $shop_id );
	}
	return $title;
}
add_filter( 'get_the_archive_title', 'wpex_woo_archive_title' );

Change the number of products displayed per page on the shop

Used to alter how many products display per page on the shop and product archives (categories and tags).

// Alter WooCommerce shop posts per page
function wpex_woo_posts_per_page( $cols ) {
    return 12;
}
add_filter( 'loop_shop_per_page', 'wpex_woo_posts_per_page' );

Change the number of columns displayed on the shop per row

I don’t understand why WooCommerce works in this way but you can’t just alter the ‘loop_shop_columns’ filter, you must also add the unique classes to the body tag in order for the columns to work. While the Woo Shortcodes have a div wrapper with the correct classes the shop pages do not, that’s why we need two functions.

// Alter shop columns
function wpex_woo_shop_columns( $columns ) {
	return 4;
}
add_filter( 'loop_shop_columns', 'wpex_woo_shop_columns' );

// Add correct body class for shop columns
function wpex_woo_shop_columns_body_class( $classes ) {
	if ( is_shop() || is_product_category() || is_product_tag() ) {
		$classes[] = 'columns-4';
	}
	return $classes;
}
add_filter( 'body_class', 'wpex_woo_shop_columns_body_class' );

Change the Next & Previous Pagination Arrows

This snippet will allow you to tweak the pagination arrows on the shop to match those in your theme.

function wpex_woo_pagination_args( $args ) {
	$args['prev_text'] = '<i class="fa fa-angle-left"></i>';
	$args['next_text'] = '<i class="fa fa-angle-right"></i>';
	return $args;
}
add_filter( 'woocommerce_pagination_args', 'wpex_woo_pagination_args' );

Change the OnSale Badge Text

Especially useful on sites using a different language or to remove the exclamation mark which I am not a huge fan of.

function wpex_woo_sale_flash() {
	return '<span class="onsale">' . esc_html__( 'Sale', 'woocommerce' ) . '</span>';
}
add_filter( 'woocommerce_sale_flash', 'wpex_woo_sale_flash' );

Change Product Gallery thumbnails columns

You may want to change the number of columns for the single product gallery thumbnails depending on your layout and this function will do just that.

function wpex_woo_product_thumbnails_columns() {
	return 4;
}
add_action( 'woocommerce_product_thumbnails_columns', 'wpex_woo_product_thumbnails_columns' );

Alter the number of displayed related products

Used to alter the number of products displayed for related products on the single product page.

// Set related products to display 4 products
function wpex_woo_related_posts_per_page( $args ) {
	$args['posts_per_page'] = 4;
	return $args;
}
add_filter( 'woocommerce_output_related_products_args', 'wpex_woo_related_posts_per_page' );

Change the number of columns per row for related & up-sells sections on products

Just like the shop if you want to properly alter the number of columns for related and up-sell products on the single product pages you must filter the columns and also alter the body classes accordingly.

// Filter up-sells columns
function wpex_woo_single_loops_columns( $columns ) {
	return 4;
}
add_filter( 'woocommerce_up_sells_columns', 'wpex_woo_single_loops_columns' );

// Filter related args
function wpex_woo_related_columns( $args ) {
	$args['columns'] = 4;
	return $args;
}
add_filter( 'woocommerce_output_related_products_args', 'wpex_woo_related_columns', 10 );

// Filter body classes to add column class
function wpex_woo_single_loops_columns_body_class( $classes ) {
	if ( is_singular( 'product' ) ) {
		$classes[] = 'columns-4';
	}
	return $classes;
}
add_filter( 'body_class', 'wpex_woo_single_loops_columns_body_class' );

Add a dynamic cart link & cart cost to your menu

This snippet will add a WooCommerce cart item to your menu that displays the cost of the items in your cart. Plus if your site has Font-Awesome enabled it will display a little shopping bag icon. Important: These functions must not be wrapped in an is_admin() conditional because they rely on AJAX to update the cost you must make sure the functions are available when is_admin() returns true and false.

// Add the cart link to menu
function wpex_add_menu_cart_item_to_menus( $items, $args ) {

	// Make sure your change 'wpex_main' to your Menu location !!!!
	if ( $args->theme_location === 'wpex_main' ) {

		$css_class = 'menu-item menu-item-type-cart menu-item-type-woocommerce-cart';
		
		if ( is_cart() ) {
			$css_class .= ' current-menu-item';
		}

		$items .= '<li class="' . esc_attr( $css_class ) . '">';

			$items .= wpex_menu_cart_item();

		$items .= '</li>';

	}

	return $items;

}
add_filter( 'wp_nav_menu_items', 'wpex_add_menu_cart_item_to_menus', 10, 2 );

// Function returns the main menu cart link
function wpex_menu_cart_item() {

	$output = '';

	$cart_count = WC()->cart->cart_contents_count;

	$css_class = 'wpex-menu-cart-total wpex-cart-total-'. intval( $cart_count );

	if ( $cart_count ) {
		$url  = WC()->cart->get_cart_url();
	} else {
		$url  = wc_get_page_permalink( 'shop' );
	}

	$html = $cart_extra = WC()->cart->get_cart_total();
	$html = str_replace( 'amount', '', $html );

	$output .= '<a href="'. esc_url( $url ) .'" class="' . esc_attr( $css_class ) . '">';

		$output .= '<span class="fa fa-shopping-bag"></span>';

		$output .= wp_kses_post( $html );

	$output .= '</a>';

	return $output;
}


// Update cart link with AJAX
function wpex_main_menu_cart_link_fragments( $fragments ) {
	$fragments['.wpex-menu-cart-total'] = wpex_menu_cart_item();
	return $fragments;
}
add_filter( 'add_to_cart_fragments', 'wpex_main_menu_cart_link_fragments' );

Conclusion

WooCommerce will work with any theme by default but adding some extra support for the plugin so that it better fits your theme is very easy to do. I actually wrote this post while coding our New York WordPress Blog & Shop theme so most of these tweaks are included in our theme. Or if you’d rather you can purchase the theme to have a look at how everything was done (see the files at wpex-new-york/inc/woocommerce) – it may be an easier way for you to learn how to properly add custom support for the WooCommerce plugin by looking at an already coded theme.

Are there any other snippets you think belong on this list or you would find helpful when developing new WooCommerce-ready themes?



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Quick Guide to Updating WordPress – Why and How to Update


We all know that WordPress is a popular Content Management System, that uses open source software to help users set up blogs and websites with ease. Just like any other software, it’s updated regularly to keep up with the growing needs of users. The team at WordPress constantly updates the core functions of WordPress, as well as regularly fixes bugs and releases security updates. And to keep your WordPress website in top gear, you too need to carry out these changes in your WordPress install.

This post is a quick guide to updating WordPress. We’ll explain exactly why and what you should be updating on the regular. Let’s get started!

Why Should You Update WordPress?

There are many reasons why you should update WordPress regularly,

1. New Features: If you want to include any new feature bundled in a revised WordPress version, you’ll need to update. For instance, the new default theme Twenty Seventeen introduced by WordPress version 4.7 “Vaughan” focuses on business, and can add featured images and video headers.

If you like these new features offered by Twenty Seventeen and want to add it to your WordPress, you’ll need to update.

2. Improves compatibility with plugins: Often it happens that many plugin authors check their work to see if the plugins remain compatible with the WordPress core after a major update. They update the plugins, whenever required. For these plugins to work without any conflict on your site, you may find it necessary to upgrade to a compatible WordPress version.

3. Fixing bugs: Many small glitches may become known after a major update. So WordPress releases minor updates to fix these bugs and you should make these changes too.

4. Improves Performance: An update can also add functions that tones up performance of WordPress. It can add capabilities and features that improve overall performance.

5. Security: With more than 25% of the websites powered by WordPress, it’s a tempting target for hackers. The team at WordPress and the WordPress community is alert to security vulnerabilities and addresses them quickly. To keep your website secure, you must be sure to carry out these updates on your site as well.

What Should You Update?

Here’s what you need to monitor and update,

  • WordPress core – major & minor
  • Themes
  • Plugins

At the same time, check for available updates to third party themes and plugins as well, if you’ve installed any.

How To Update WordPress – Overview

These simple steps will help you keep your WordPress install updated,

1. One important precaution before updating WordPress: Always back up your website before making major changes. I’ve updated my WordPress install many times without a hitch. However, mine is a real lean install with few themes and plugins. For a website with multiple themes and many plugins, updating can be risky if there is any incompatibility, so always back up.

2. Look up the changelog to understand what is being changed: If you don’t need a feature, you can choose not to update your WordPress.

3. Test the updates in a staging version of your site: This way, you’ll know if there’s any incompatibility between your WordPress install and the update you’re trying to effect. And if it so happens that anything breaks, you can get down to troubleshooting before going live with the changes.

The WP Staging plugin can create a staging version of your website. It creates a duplicate of your live website, including the entire database, in a sub folder of your current WordPress installation. You can test your update here, before repeating it on a live site. An added advantage is that it can help you avoid downtime during updating. However, at present, the plugin is not capable of pushing back the updated version to the live website.

4. Install the updates that you want: Keep in mind that when it comes to security updates, you do not have much of a choice and may have to install them anyway.

5. Review:  Review your website, particularly those features that have been updated.

Updating WordPress

You can set WordPress to update automatically using small bits of code or you can opt for one-click updates.

One-click Update

WordPress has an in-built system that’ll inform you every time an update is available. You’ll see it on your dashboard when you log into WordPress. Here’s a screenshot of the WordPress version 4.7 intimation.

Updating is simply a one-click process. After the update is complete, this is the screen that you’ll see.

If you’re not in the habit of logging into your site regularly, you may not even be aware of updates. To know when an update becomes available without logging into admin frequently, activate the WP Updates Notifier plugin. You can adjust the frequency of checking for updates in the plugin settings, and receive email alerts whenever an update is available.

Automatic Updates

WordPress is set by default to update minor changes automatically, and so you’ll not even know about them. But that’s not the case with major updates.

However, not everyone prefers automatic updates at all times. There’s always a risk that an update may not be compatible with any plugin or theme on your site. It’s also possible that you do not want to activate the feature being added by the update, or you may simply want more control over what’s in your install.

If that’s the case, you can enable / disable automatic updates, or tweak it to apply only to minor releases / major updates by making changes in the wp-config.php file.

To enable major automatic updates, add the following line,

define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true);

To disable all automatic updates (including minor updates),

define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

If for some reason, you do not want to tinker with the wp-config.php file, you can also manage updates by adding filters in the functions.php of your theme or plugin.

To disable automatic updates entirely,

add_filter('automatic_updater_disabled', '__return_true');

To disable automatic minor updates,

add_filter('allow_minor_auto_core_updates', '__return_false');

To enable automatic major updates

add_filter('allow_major_auto_core_updates', '__return_true');

Themes & Plugins

Just like you update WordPress, you can update the themes and plugins too. If updates are available, you’ll be notified in Dashboard > Updates. And you can update them using the one-click method.

Automatic updates to themes and plugins is disabled by default. To enable them, you can add filters in the functions.php file of the theme or plugin. Theme and plugin authors can also opt to push automatic updates.

To automatically update your themes and plugins, simply add this piece of code to your theme’s functions.php file or to the plugin.

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

Updates to third party themes or plugins will most likely be provided in a folder that you’ll need to download. Deactivate the old version, upload the new version to the folder and then reactivate the plugin.

However, if you’re using premium themes or plugins from Themeforest or Codecanyon you can use the Envato Market plugin to automate your premium item updates as well. See our full Envato Market plugin guide for the details.

Some Points To Note

Child Themes: When you choose to update a theme, any customization that you may have made in the parent theme will be lost. This will not be the case if you’re using a child theme to carry out customization. However, if you’re using a child theme, you’ll need  to keep track of the updates being released for the theme and update manually.

To Check out a Plugin Update: In case you’re not sure about a plugin update, you can check it out with the WP Safe Updates plugin. Installing this plugin involves adding a fair bit of code to the wp-config.php. It adds a “Test Update” button whenever an update is available for any WordPress plugin. Clicking on it will create a sandbox, where the update can be tested before applying it to the live website.

This is a relatively new plugin with only about 100 active installs. Though it has received a good star rating, it’s best to make use of this plugin with caution and test it out for yourself, before relying on it entirely.

Automatic Updates Using Plugin: You can also turn on automatic updates for major updates to core, themes and plugins, using the Easy Update Manager plugin. This is risky, especially if you’re not good at troubleshooting. However, going by the number of active installs (100,000+) of the plugin, many WordPress users are choosing to go with the automatic update method.

This plugin overrides all settings related to updating. It allows you to manage all updates – major and minor updates to WordPress core, themes and plugins, development updates, translation updates and some third party plugins. It also hides your WordPress version in the footer.

To Conclude

Next time you see an update notification in your WordPress, be sure not to ignore it. Check out the changelog to understand what is being changed and ensure the safety and reliability of your website by updating WordPress.



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14 Best Quiz Plugins for WordPress to Improve User Engagement


At some point during the course our online entrepreneurial journey, we find ourselves asking what next? What can we do to keep our readers engaged? Sure, video is a great way to improve user stickiness. So is podcasting. But sometimes, we just don’t have the bandwidth to carry out those activities. Creating good videos and podcasts take time and effort – not only to plan, but to prepare and market as well.

Here’s an idea – quizzes! Quizzes are an excellent way to keep your users engaged. People spend time interacting with the quiz, as a result of which they spend a lot of time in your site. Here’s why quizzes are great for your content marketing efforts:

  • People start spending more time on your site. This means lower bounce rates.
  • Lower bounce rates mean better SEO scores.
  • Quizzes improve user-engagement and stickiness – they set you apart from the test
  • People tend to start following you as a brand, which build brand loyalty.
  • Loyal users are the most likely people to purchase your product or service, and stick through it.
  • If the product is good, loyal users become long-term users, which increases the customer lifetime value.
  • Loyal users also tend to recommend your product or service to their friends, family and colleagues – classic word-of-mouth marketing.
  • All of the above factors directly increase conversions and revenue.
  • Plus, quizzes are a heck of lot fun to create!

Quizzes are the Real Deal

To give you an idea that we’re not fooling around, check out this BuzzSumo report that highlights the most shared content in social media in 2015. #8 in that list is quizzing people. For example, a quiz entitled What is Your Most Dominant Trait? from PlayBuzz got almost 4 million shares on social media.

Here are a few sites killing their social shares using quizzes:

1. Disney

screenshot of disney's quiz

Disney’s top quiz, Who is your Disney Spirit Animal received over 800,000 shares.

2. Barcelona Football Club

Barcelona’s Big League Quiz received over 100,000 shares.

3. Liverpool Football Club

Their Beatles lyrics quiz was the most shared content item on their entire site last year, receiving over 600,000 shares.

4. Country Outfitter (Fashion brand)

This fashion brand’s Garth Brooks lyrics quiz received over 60,000 shares, making it their tenth highest shared piece of content in the last 12 months.

5. BuzzFeed

Well, it’s Buzzfeed.

The Best Quiz Plugins for WordPress

Now that you are (hopefully) convinced that quizzes do well for you, let’s get started. Today’s post will cover some of the best free and premium quizzing plugins for WordPress.

WP-Quiz (Free or $29)

WP-Quiz is an all-in-one quiz plugin which lets you create unlimited quizzes, that are optimized for mobile view and works with any WordPress theme. The plugin makes it very simple to create three types of quizzes:

It gives you an intuitive interface for each of these quiz types. Once you’ve created a quiz, you can include it in any post or page using a shortcode. You can also split the quiz into multiple pages, which increases pageviews. However, some users (including myself) might drop off, if they are unable to get a single-page view of the quiz.

Apart from these features, the pro version of the plugin gives you enhanced features such as Google Analytics and Facebook’s Open Graph integration, randomize questions, etc.

A set of features that I particularly found interesting were the “conversion centric” ones. Humans by nature are curious people (that’s how we got where we are today), and this feature leverages that very aspect of human psychology. Features like subscribe or share post to see results plays on the curiosity of the user and forces them to take action (i.e. share or subscribe), in order to view their results.

WordPress Viral Quiz – BuzzFeed Quiz Builder ($25)

BuzzFeed Quiz Builder enables you to quickly build BuzzFeed-style quizzes, which are also capable of capturing leads. The plugin supports MailChimp and Aweber and ActiveCampaign email marketing software.

There are two types of quizzes – personality test and trivia, with the option to randomize the order to questions. You can also create multi-page quizzes with “browser refresh” feature, which increases your site’s pageviews.

The plugin supports hiding the quiz results behind content lockers such as an email optin box or social share, compelling the user to subscribe or share your post, before they can see the results.

Quiz and Survey Master (Free)

Quiz and Survey Master helps you build customizable quizzes and surveys in your WordPress website. Question type includes multiple choice with radio boxes, dropdown menus, multiple entries using checkboxes, binary answers (such as true/false, yes/no, etc.) and open ended questions.

The plugin has other useful features such as emailing the results, setting time limit, displaying hints, answer explanation placement, comment boxes for each question, require user login, etc.

Watu (Free or $49+)

Watu enables you to conduct quizzes with open-ended, multiple-choice and single choice questions. Questions can also be made as mandatory, where the user must answer it to participate in the quiz.

Like most plugins, each question can be assigned a unique score, which at the end of the quiz is calculated in the result. Watu can also generate a basic bar chart showing user points vs. average points on a given quiz, along with a list of all participants.

The Watu to MailChimp Bridge is an interesting companion plugin that automatically adds uses who take your quiz, to your MailChimp list. It is always a best practice to notify (or even use an opt-out checkbox) the quiz participant that he/she will be subscribed to the list upon taking the quiz. That way you’d avoid negative sentiment for your brand.

The premium version of the plugin starts at $49 (including one year of support and updates) and brings features such as quiz result exports, login-only quiz features and more. The higher plans at $87+ gives you the ability to charge users to access a quiz. Furthermore, it has additional quiz types such as “Fill in the Blanks” and “Sort the Values”, and other useful features such as Intelligence and Reporting modules.

Quiz Cat (Free)

Quiz Cat enables you to creates immersive quiz landing pages. This feature itself can lead to a possible increase in social shares, when compared to in-post quizzes. The plugin supports multiple choice questions and the ability to randomize the options, in order to ensure that the reader actually reads the questions. At the end of the quiz, you can create unlimited custom message based on the user’s score.

Chained Quiz

A fairly new plugin in the family, Chained Quiz has only over 600 installations at the time of writing this post. The plugin enables you to build dynamic quizzes where the next question is dependent on the answer of the previous question. It can be used to create pretty cool quizzes which reveal your personality or emotional quotient.

You create single-choice, multiple-choice or essay-type questions in your quiz, and assign points to each answer. The results are calculated based on the final scores.

OpinionStage (Free or $19+/mo)

OpinionStage is a hosted content-enhancement solution trusted by brands like BBC, MTV and ReadersDigest. The platform can be used to create beautiful polls, detailed surveys and engaging quizzes. (We’re going to stick to the quizzes part.)

First off, the solution is hosted, it means that your server’s resources are saved – the calculation is managed by OpinionStage.  You can create personality and trivia quizzes, and customize elements of the quiz including font size, colours, etc.

Once you create a quiz, you either host in in OpinionStage website or embed it in your own site. We highly recommend the latter, since our objective is to increase user-engagement in our site.

The premium version of the plugin starts at $19/mo, and gives you access to deeper social network integration, better analytics and the ability to generate leads from your quizzes.

Riddle ($3/mo)

Riddle is a polls, surveys and quiz hosting service with the ability to capture leads when a visitor participates in a quiz. Like OpinionStage, the service is used by big brands such as AdWeek, The Huffington Post, etc.

The plugin supports lead capturing to multiple channels such as Aweber, MailChimp or other CRMs via Zaiper. The Integrations feature enables you to search and embed images from Facebook, Instagram and Google Images, straight into your quiz.

mTouch Quiz (Free)

mTouch Quiz is a simple quiz plugin that supports multiple choice questions. The plugin enables you to specify hints based on answer selection, give a detailed explanation of the solution, specify when the correct answers are displayed and randomize both the flow of questions and answer options.

WP-Pro-Quiz (Free)

WP-Pro-Quiz is a feature-rich plugin supporting five question types including:

  • Single Choice
  • Multiple Choice
  • “Sorting” Choice
  • “Free” Choice
  • “Matrix Sorting” Choice

You can randomize both the questions and answers, allocate different points to each answer and have multimedia such as images and video in the questions. The plugin also has cool features such as a leaderboard, import/export quiz, quiz summary email notifications and more.

SlickQuiz (Free)

Although the plugin hasn’t been updated for over two years at the time of writing this post, SlickQuiz still enjoys 4000 active installations. It includes all the basic features of the quiz plugin including multiple-choice questions and randomization of both questions and answers. At the end of the quiz, the results are displayed along with a customizable ranking.

WordPress Simple Surveys (Free or $35)

Similar to SlickQuiz, WordPress Simple Surveys hasn’t been updated for over two years, while having 5000 active installations at the time of writing this post.  The plugin supports multiple-choice questions, weighted results and CSV export of the quiz results.

The extended version of the plugin ($35) enables you to add text or images to your post and give the user a URL containing his/her answers.

WordPress Quiz ($19)

WordPress Quiz enables you to create highly customizable quizzes with the ability to limit quiz submissions based on cookie and IP address of the user.

You can use images and videos in the questions, limit the number of questions a person take answer and randomize the order of questions in the quiz. The plugin shows statistical information of completed quizzes – giving you an idea of your visitors are responding to your quiz.

ViralPress – Viral news, Lists, Quiz, Videos & Polls Plugin ($21)

ViralPress is your one-stop destination for creating highly engaging content with exclusive features such as meme generators, like/vote buttons, GIF reactions, image comments, etc., with advanced social media integration.

In terms of quizzes, ViralPress supports four types of questions – trivia, two personality type quizzes and the default multiple choice questions. The social shares are tracked the number is saved in your database for each post.

There is a lot more to this plugin other than quizzes. If you’re looking to create a BuzzFeed or 9GAG themed website, ViralPress could be a good option for you!

GuessOn – All in One Viral Quiz & Polls ($10)

GuessOn for WordPress supports multiple quiz question types such as:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Flip type questions
  • Before & After questions
  • Personality test
  • Trivia Contest

The plugin supports locking quiz results behind social lockers and custom, timer countdown for personality and trivia based quizzes, automated Twitter hashtags, and support for advertisements. GuessOn also supports rank lists and open ended submissions which can be great for building a community and a loyal user base.

WordPress Quiz Engine Plugin ($39)

WordPress Quiz Engine Plugin is the jack-of-all-trades quiz plugin for WordPress with five question types:

  1. Single and Multiple Choice
  2. “Sorting” Choice
  3. “Free” Choice
  4. “Matrix Sorting” Choice

In each question, you can embed multimedia files, assign different points, embed custom fields, and display hints along with a correct or incorrect response message.

In the quiz, you can define a time limit, randomize the questions, preview quiz before submission and display the quiz statistics in the leaderboard. The plugin as other interesting features such as import/export a quiz, and enforcing a requirement to finish a dependent quiz before starting a specific one.

WordPress Quiz Engine is fully compatible with caching plugins such as WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache, which ensures a speedy site and a seamless user experience.

Conclusion

It’s a crowded blogging world out there, isn’t it? We all want to stand out. For that, we need a following – a loyal user base. However, building a loyal user base is no easy task.

Once you start getting steady traffic in your website, you should parallelly start the nourishment process. It takes time to nurture your visitors and convert them into readers, and eventually into loyal fans.

When you prepare a quiz for your visitors, you tend to stand apart from the rest. The more relevant the quiz is to your content – higher the chances of building loyal visitors.

Bonus Reading: Check out this infographic from PlayBuzz that talks about what quizzes work best with your audience.

Just remember – traffic is a generic term. All websites get traffic. Niche websites get targeted traffic. Getting traffic is getting visitors.

Visitors don’t convert easily. Readers to. Loyal users convert better.

So, the next time you launch a service or product, who do you think is going to buy it?

What are your favourite quiz plugins for WordPress? Did we miss your plugin? Let us know in the comments below!



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WordPress Maintenance Checks to Get Out of the Way Today


When things get crazy during the holiday season and leading up to it, many of us choose to put WordPress check-ups on the back burner, but the new year is the perfect time to take care of some maintenance before business starts to heat up again. It is important to make sure that your WordPress is in the best shape it can be so that you do not run into any troublesome errors or issues when you least expect them.

Fortunately, in order to avoid a disaster there are some maintenance and basic WordPress security checks that you can just get out of the way today to make sure things are in top working order as you launch into 2017. Here are our favorite recommendations to make sure your site is in tip-top shape:

1. Do a Website Backup

One maintenance task that you probably haven’t thought about in a while is doing a full website backup. Sure, the likelihood that you will have to rely on your backup is always pretty rare, but if it does happen you definitely do not want to be without it.

This is step-one in the maintenance process because truthfully, if anything does happen as you fine tune and update your website, at least you have it all securely stored. We recommend storing your website information in multiple places, such as locally and on the cloud. You are also going to want to make sure you backup any and all the files associated with the site. We use VaultPress but there are tons of WordPress backup options you can choose from.

2. Make Sure WordPress Core Files, Plugins, and Themes are Up-To-Date

One of the stress-free aspects of WordPress as a platform is that keeping aspects of your site up to date is easy. That being said, we cannot stress the importance of making sure these are in good working condition – in fact, it is equally as important as backing up your entire website (which by the way, you will always want to back your site up before updating these files manually).

In case you do not have core files, plugins, and themes set to update automatically—you can read more about the details of manual updates here.

  • WordPress Core Files. When you initially set up and download WordPress core files, there is an option to auto update, which is always a smart idea, especially if you are someone who is not going to remember to do it manually. It is important to make sure core files are updated because designers are constantly making important updates to help WordPress run smoothly, and having out-of date core files can cause unnecessary errors and challenges.
  • Plugins & Themes. You can always check the Dashboard > Updates menu as it will show you if any of your plugins/themes are in need of an update! Notifications are a good starting point because they make it incredibly easy to do a manual update if yours are not automatic. It is important to note that it was found that plugins and themes being out of date was closely linked to the hacking of WordPress sites (remember to run those malware scans) – so don’t mess around with letting these collect dust and remain out of date (even if you are not currently using them).

If you have a custom website created for you, usually your web designer will update your site for you for free so that the update does not alter any of your design. Always be sure to ask before getting started.

3. Get Rid of Unused Plugins

Get Rid of Unused Plugins

On the note of having and plugins sitting out of date, just get rid of plugins that you got that you are unlikely to ever use again. It is way too easy to just re-download plugins, and letting them go unused and out of date can actually cause more harm than good. In addition to creating site vulnerabilities, they can also cause your site to be slow. So, this January, go to your plugins list and get rid of what you are not using!

4. Back-Up that Fabulous Blog Content

Back-Up that Fabulous Blog Content

In 2016 you wrote, proofread, and posted some fabulous content no-doubt! In addition to backing top your entire WordPress site, you are also going to want to make sure that you backup your blog content specifically.

If something were to happen to your blog, that content could potentially be lost forever—and that is a lot of SEO optimized data to just go without this year. If you generally write in documents before you post (which is really best practice), that is good, but you may also want to consider storing those files on a hard drive or the cloud.

You can also do an automated WordPress Backup to Dropbox, which allows you to decided how often, when, and where you would like that awesome blog content backed up to your Dropbox account. This isn’t going to be the best idea for sites with a large amount of content, but it can work well for small businesses.

5. Get Rid of Spam and Trash Comments

Get Rid of Spam and Trash Comments

WordPress makes it really easy to get rid of trash or spam comments on your blog. These kinds of comments ultimately just take up site storage space and are really not doing you any favors. This really should be done at least monthly, if not weekly, depending on the kind of traffic your site gets. In any case, starting out the year fresh is still a good place to start.

6. Delete Post Revisions

WordPress is actually one of the platforms where you do not necessarily have to stress about typing your content directly into the online platform, as it has features that regularly backup your content, in case your internet crashes, your computer dies, or some unforeseen mistake happens. This feature is great, but once your content is live and secure, you are going to want to delete post revisions as they take up a lot of unnecessary space after the fact.

Delete Old WordPress Post Revisions

For a quick easy way to get rid of revisions we like the WP-Optimize WordPress plugin. Not only can you utilize this plugin to clear out old revisions, you can also enable options to remove posts in the trash, delete spam comments, remove pingbacks/trackbacks and more.

7. Check for Broken Links

Check for Broken Links

One of the maintenance tasks that often falls to the wayside is checking your blog and WordPress content for broken links. This is one of those aspects that you may not go back and check again after you post your content, but broken links can really devalue your content in both terms of SEO/online rankings, and in the experience of your readers. In my opinion, the WordPress Broken Link Checker is SUPER helpful in crawling your pages and looking for these kinds of changes and errors.

The Takeaway

These seven maintenance tips are bound to get your WordPress site in good working order as we launch into the 2017-year. Doing regular maintenance helps your sites security, performance, and can make a big difference in how users experience your blog. You can learn some more basic WordPress tips here.

Did any of these maintenance tips make all of the difference in your website check? Let us know in the comments section below!



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10 Best Eco-Conscious WordPress Themes for Your Business


Fortunately for our planet, the growing trend of businesses with eco-conscious practices shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re an eco-pioneer running a ‘green’ business, you’ll want to convey that trait through your website. To do so, you’ll need to find a WordPress theme that can help you channel your mission.

With the number of eco-conscious businesses on the rise, theme authors are responding with some wonderful creations that cater to their needs. These typically incorporate green and ‘natural’ elements into their design and often offer features suited to nonprofits, such as custom event post types and progress bars.

This article will cover ten of the best eco-conscious WordPress themes available and take a look at what makes them so great. Let’s get started!

1. Earth Eco Environmental WordPress Theme

Earth demo homepage

Our own Earth theme was created with eco-friendly websites in mind. Its neutral palette can help you add an earthy tone to your overall aesthetic, or you can adjust it to match your existing style. For a quick setup, you can use the homepage demo, along with the other attractive pre-built pages we’ve created. If you need to make customizations or simply start from scratch, you can do so with the built-in Visual Composer plugin.

The theme is loaded with elements to help make your eco-conscious site shine. It includes a calendar that syncs with a custom post type, and you can display events using a variety of formats. There is also a Donate Now button, ideal for charities or other businesses that require fundraising. Finally, Earth also offers plenty of styling options, and two premium slider plugins are included with your purchase.

2. Total Drag & Drop WordPress Theme

Total Sustainable demo homepage

Total is a highly flexible multipurpose theme that lends itself to virtually any business. The Sustainable demo that comes with the theme offers a perfect starting point for an earth-friendly website. You can install it with a single click and start customizing it using the built-in drag-and-drop Visual Composer plugin.

Total includes over 50 modules that enable you to create incredible layouts, as well as multiple styling options which can help you craft the perfect site.

3. Gaea Environmentalist WordPress Theme

Gaea demo homepage

Gaea has a chic, modern look focused on strong imagery and bold text. Although it was designed with nonprofits and environmental websites in mind, it could also be suitable for a broad range of businesses. Its stunning demo can be installed with one click and you can use any one of 12 gorgeous pre-defined color schemes to customize it (or just create your own).

The theme includes a full-width events calendar, which is perfect if you’re a community-based business or a charity. You can also take advantage of multiple blogs, gallery, and event page layouts, as well as an events countdown timer. Finally, Gaea also supports WooCommerce, in case you want to add a store to your site.

4. Biosphere Eco Charity WordPress Theme

Biosphere demo homepage

Biosphere is a lively theme that brings the bright and colorful vibe of nature to your website. Its fun and spirited style is ideal for charities and nonprofit sites that need to inspire people to take part of events or donate money.

In case you’re in charge of organizing, you can make use of the theme’s powerful events manager, as well as the donation progress bar and donation buttons. Furthermore, if you want to sell products from your site, the theme is fully WooCommerce compatible.

5. Organic Food Responsive WordPress Theme

Organic Food demo homepage

Organic Food is an easy-to-use theme with a clean, crisp look. It was purposely built for organic businesses and boasts five demo home pages, including a few dedicated to shops, farms, and pubs. The theme also enables you to create your own pages using the built-in Visual Composer plugin.

Slider Revolution and Essential Grid – which can help you create striking designs thanks to their advanced functionality – are included with Organic Food. Furthermore, the theme also features parallax scrolling, over 600 included Google Fonts, and support for WooCommerce.

6. RT Theme-19 WordPress Theme

RT Theme-19 demo homepage

RT Theme-19 is a multipurpose theme with 13 beautiful demos, including Nature, which lends itself perfectly to an eco-conscious website. Its serene aesthetic is effortlessly elegant, and you can set any demo up with a single click.

The theme comes with multiple layouts for catalogs, shops, portfolios, and blogs, all of which you can adapt using the built-in Visual Composer plugin. It also packs the premium Slider Revolution tool and supports WooCommerce.

7. Natural ($69)

Natural demo homepage

The author of the Natural theme clearly had the environment in mind while working on it. This theme offers a fresh, earthy style that will appeal to the modern eco-warrior. It comes with multiple page templates and plenty of design components, including Google Fonts, and several color options.

Furthermore, Natural’s handy shortcodes enable you to quickly add bar ratings, icons, toggles, and other assorted elements. Finally, it’s worth noting that Natural is 100% compatible with WooCommerce.

8. Eco Nature Ecology WordPress Theme

Eco Nature demo homepage

Eco Nature is a stunning theme with three unique demos, all of which cater to eco-conscious websites. The default homepage offers a particularly striking example of what a modern earth-friendly site can offer. This theme focuses largely on ease of customization, and it includes an intuitive drag-and-drop composer as well as over a hundred shortcodes.

Eco Nature comes with two premium plugins – LayerSlider and Slider Revolution – to ensure your sliders are up to par. It also packs plenty of styling choices, including parallax scrolling and hundreds of Google Fonts.

9. ECOBIZ Business WordPress Theme

ECOBIZ demo homepage

ECOBIZ is an elegant theme that provides a much more professional aesthetic than most other options on this list. For example, you can create truly unique homepages using its two premium sliders – Nivo Slider and Kwicks Slider.

The theme comes with six pre-defined skins, Google Fonts, and a wide range of styling options. Finally, ECOBIZ also includes custom post types for slideshows, portfolios, teams, and testimonials, to help you showcase every facet of your organization.

10. Going Green Pro ($99.95)

Going Green Pro demo homepage

Going Green Pro is a simple, modern theme built using the Genesis Theme Framework. While it doesn’t include some of the features that you’ll find in other themes on this list – such as custom post types and premium plugins – it does provide all the basics you need to build an eco-conscious website.

This theme comes complete with multiple page layouts, custom menus, and a decent set of styling options. Overall, it’s an excellent pick for those of you that appreciate simplicity when it comes to your themes.

Conclusion

If you’re running an earth-friendly business, you’ll probably want to make sure your visitors know about it. Your eco-conscious initiative definitely deserves a website that conveys how much your brand cares about the environment.

Plenty of WordPress themes were designed with green businesses in mind. All you have to do is choose one from among our top picks and customize it to fit your style. If none of our suggestions hit the mark for you, check out our WordPress theme directory where we share some of the best WordPress themes on the web.

Are there any particular features you think eco-conscious themes should feature? Let us know in the comments section below!



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Premium WordPress Plugins of the Month: January 2017


If you’re looking to take your WordPress-powered website to the next level, perhaps it’s time to introduce some new functionalities. If so, you’re in the right place: Every month, WPExplorer brings you the best of what CodeCanyon has to offer, with five of its top new releases.

The format is the same as always: five plugins spread across a wide range of categories, and each with an affordable price tag. As such, we hope there’s something for everyone here. Let’s dive straight in, with the plugins listed in no particular order…

Admin Menu Tweaker for WordPress

If you want to improve the WordPress admin area, look no further than the Admin Menu Tweaker plugin. Rather than upgrading the WordPress back-end with a stylish skin, the plugin lets you completely overhaul the admin area to your liking.

For a start, the left-hand admin menu can be completely customized – we’re talking a new color scheme, over 4,000 icons, and ten separator styles. More impressively, however, you can actually re-organize the familiar menu layout using drag-and-drop. For example, if there’s a plugin you use again and again, why not put it at the top of the menu for easier access? You can even use this feature to add new items to the WordPress menu.

The Admin Menu Tweaker plugin has another important function, too: you can use it to define the permissions for certain user roles or even individual users. This is ideal for situations when a particular user doesn’t fit neatly into one of the default user roles – such as admin, author, contributor, etc. You can simply tailor that user’s permission levels, giving them the freedom to complete the tasks you need from them. Helpful, right?

Better Page Management Pro WordPress Plugin

Better Page Management Pro is another plugin that enhances and upgrades the WordPress back-end in lots of cool ways. For a start, rather than listing all of your posts or pages in the traditional way, the plugin displays thumbnail previews of each. You can re-order your posts and pages using drag-and-drop, or jump directly to a full-size preview at the click of a button.

Talking of previews, Better Page Management Pro also ships with a responsive preview function. This allows you to switch between mobile, tablet, and desktop view so that you can test how your content looks on differently-sized screens.

The developers are very ambitious, and there are a number of new and exciting features in store. These include dashboard themes, project management tools, custom post type integrations, and several “top secret” features – there are plans to make the plugin extendable, too. This is definitely one to watch and could be a “must have” plugin in the not-too-distant future. Get in ahead of the curve by purchasing today at a heavily discounted price.

Ultimate Elements Bundle for Cornerstone

From the makers of X Theme, Cornerstone is an excellent page builder plugin, bringing the building blocks of its flagship theme in WordPress plugin form. Due to its growing popularity, we’re starting to see a number of Cornerstone extensions popping up – much like we see lots of extensions for Visual Composer. Today we want to introduce an excellent example of one of these Cornerstone extensions: the Ultimate Elements Bundle, aka, the Essential Addons for Cornerstone.

The plugin introduces a variety of new elements, most notably a brand new carousel slider feature. You can populate these carousels with all kinds of content – images, logos, testimonials, team members, blog posts, and even WooCommerce products. Each carousel offers plenty of customization options, too, with a choice of styles, layouts, sizes, and scroll buttons. You can also build a custom color scheme and upload a custom background image for them, giving you a platform to show off your creative flair.

Other modules include an Instagram image grid and, my personal favorite, interactive promos – I strongly recommend that you click the demos to see these in action.

WordPress Multisite Shared Media

If you run more than one website, it can be useful to make your networks as interconnected as possible. WordPress Multisite Shared Media is an interesting new plugin developed for this very purpose.

The plugin’s name is a dead giveaway: it lets you share your images between all of your connected websites. In fact, it applies to anything uploaded to the WordPress media library.

All you have to do is upload a media file once, and then you can access it from any of your other websites. This can prove a real time-saver if you’re regularly re-using images across your entire portfolio.

Kaswara – Modern Visual Composer Addons

Visual Composer extensions are among the most popular plugins on CodeCanyon from both a developer and a customer perspective. There are a number of them released every month, and they immediately jump right up the best-seller lists.

This month, we want to feature the Kaswara addon – an excellent “all-rounder” Visual Composer extension, offering a huge amount of versatility.

For starters, Kaswara introduces a whopping 45 elements. These include:

  • Countdown timers
  • Price boxes
  • Screen splitter
  • Carousel sliders
  • New animation effects
  • Image swap
  • Image banners
  • Drop caps
  • Before-after images
  • Hover images

Better still, these elements are nearly infinitely customizable, with over 500 shortcode options. This means you can tailor each element to your exact specifications.

The plugin also ships with a Google Font manager, icons packs, and shortcode manager. This shortcode manager is particularly interesting – it lets you configure customized shortcodes, duplicate elements, or even disable shortcodes for a particular element.

If that wasn’t enough, Kaswara also offers Contact Form 7 integration in the form of a live preview tool. This takes the guesswork out of designing and configuring your contact forms. An excellent addon for anyone looking for even more from the core Visual Composer plugin.

Final Thoughts

And with that, we’re done with our first Premium WordPress Plugin of the Month collection of 2017 – and I think you’ll agree, there are some great plugins featured in today’s list. Best of all, each plugin comes in at under $40, so they won’t break the bank. Keep a close eye on the Better Page Management Pro plugin in particular, as there is a lot of potential there with impressive new features to be added.

With hundreds of new plugins released each month, it would be impossible to cover each one. Feel free to use the comments section to share your favorite plugins released this month. And as always, we’ll be back next month with five more premium plugins!



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How to Keep SEO Juice When Moving WordPress Content to a New Domain


You will agree that moving WordPress content to a new domain is daunting a task for many WordPress users. What to do? Where to start? Which services can you count on? And how do you maintain your SEO rankings after the move? These are just some of the questions you’ll face as you move your WordPress content from one domain to another.

Migrating to a new domain is just like moving a site between hosts but with one exception; you must create permanent 301 redirects afterwards. It’s doable albeit you need to exercise some degree of caution. Remember we are talking about your business here, which means you shouldn’t rush into anything. Don’t guess lest you end up with a gargantuan migraine for your troubles.

Just to get things rolling, here’s a bird’s view of today’s post:

  • Before anything, create a full backup of your WordPress site
  • Clean up your new domain
  • Use the Duplicator WordPress plugin to move WordPress content
  • Upload your WordPress content to the new domain
  • Setup 301 Redirects
  • Notify Google and users
  • Do your happy dance

And since you’d like to maintain SEO juice after moving, it is in your best interests to school up on some SEO. Here are a couple of posts to point you in the right direction:

With that preamble, how about we dive right in and get this over and done with? Here’s the juice:

Moving WordPress Content: Prerequisites

Moving your WordPress content to a new domain is not for everybody. You need to sit back and evaluate whether the move is necessary. Can your business still flourish without the move? If so, you don’t need to move to a new domain.

Are you moving to a new domain because Google hit your old domain with multiple penalties due to thin WordPress content? Moving the same content to a new domain will still result in penalties. If thin content is plaguing your rankings, you need to get your house in order. You don’t need to move to a new domain.

Prepare Beforehand

There are many reasons you’d like to move your WordPress content to a new domain. Perhaps your old domain sucks the life out of you. You hate the domain and what it represents. Maybe you are rebranding, and a new domain makes much more sense than your old domain.

Perhaps you’re amalgamating several websites, and you’d like to keep all under a single domain. Maybe a more user friendly domain has become available, and you’d like to make the jump. All these and more are valid reasons that could necessitate a move.

In simple terms, you need to prepare beforehand. Since your business and SEO rankings hang on the balance, you need to ensure the move is for the better.

NB: After moving your WordPress content to a new domain, you will experience lower traffic volumes for a while as Google and users adjust to the change. Don’t sweat about this though; you will recover your rankings in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of preparations, you need to begin with the most important step, which introduces us to our next section.

Before Moving WordPress Content: Create a Full Backup of Your Site

To err is human. Everything is going alright one minute and the next, s*it hits the fan. It’s inevitable, which is why you need to be ready. Before you start tinkering with anything, it’s important to create a full backup of your WordPress site.

I’m talking about backing up static files and your database(s). I will refrain from going into the details because – posts:

With a backup in place, it’s time to get down and dirty.

Clean Up Your New Domain

In case your new domain was registered in the past, it’s important to ensure it doesn’t come with prior penalties. Don’t worry though, cleaning up any domain is as easy as A, B, C. All you need is to claim the new domain Google Webmaster Tools and navigate to Search Traffic -> Manual Actions.

If there are no issues, you’re golden and can proceed with the move. If there are problems, fix them and submit a reconsideration request. Only move ahead if and when the request is approved.

Moving Your WordPress Content

Even though it takes a lot of time depending on the size of your site, moving WordPress content to a new domain is the second easiest part of the process. You can move your site manually using FTP or using the Duplicator plugin. We shall shun the former for the latter, because who has the time to download an entire site manually.

Moving Your WordPress Content Using the Duplicator Plugin

duplicator-plugin

What a life saver this plugin is. The Duplicator plugin allows you to move a WordPress site between domains or hosts, pull down a site to localhost for development, backup a site, duplicate a live site to a staging area, and bundle an entire WordPress site for easy distribution.

With over 800k active installs and a superb rating of 4.9/5.0, you can never go wrong with Duplicator. All you have to do is install and activate the plugin on your old domain, which adds a “Duplicator” menu item to your admin menu.

Next, click on the Duplicator menu item to launch this screen:

move wordpress content keep seo juice

Next, hit the “Create New” button to create a new package. On the next screen, give your package a name (this is just for identification purposes) and click “Next”:

move WordPress content keep SEO juice

Duplicator will scan your website and give you a status report. If everything looks good, continue with the build. At this point, you should see:

duplicator-building-package

Be patient if you have a huge website, as the duration of the whole process depends on the size of your site. My test site that’s about 100MB (themes, plugins, images etc) took about 2 minutes. At the end of a successful build, you should see this screen:

duplicator-success-screen

Download installer.php file and the archived package to your computer and get ready for the next part.

Moving Your WordPress Content to the New Domain

If you haven’t done it already, setup your new domain with your host. This new domain should point to a completely empty directory where you new site will live. Connect to this directory either via File Manager or FTP. Upload both the package and installer files to your new site. Launch the installer by navigating to http://newdomain.com/installer.php:

uploading-wordpress-content-to-new-domain

On the above screen, you will need to provide database details for the new site. Note that the Duplicator plugin works with empty databases, so make sure yours doesn’t contain any information. Next, tick the box that says “I have read all warnings and notices” and then click the “Run Deployment” button. This leads to:

installing-wordpress-content-on-new-domain

The Duplicator installer will setup your WordPress content, themes, plugins and database, and then redirect you to the update URL screen:

update-url-settings

Here you can update your URLs accordingly. After this, the installer takes you to the final screen, the post installation screen, which shows you what to do next. The first thing you need to do is to refresh your permalinks. Login to your new WordPress install using the old login details, navigate to Settings -> Permalinks and click the Save Changes button.

Once you login to your new site, you will see a notification within the WordPress Dashboard directing you to delete the reserved Duplicator files:

dashboard-duplicator-notice

Follow the prompts to eliminate said files.

Then check your new site for broken links, missing images and ensure everything is working as it should (we like the Broken Link Checker for WordPress, as well as Integrity for Mac). At this point, your WordPress content exists on the new domain, but that’s not enough. We must implement permanent 301 redirects to maintain all the SEO juice you’ve worked so hard to gain.

Setting Up Permanent 301 Redirects

301 redirects are useful as they will send search engines and users from your old domain to your new domain. Any user who lands on your old posts will be redirected to your new site, which is exactly what we’re angling for. For this very reason, it’s important to maintain ownership of the old domain for as long as you can.

But how do you redirect traffic to your new domain? It’s simple. If you’re still hosting your old domain you can connect to your old website url via File Manager or SFTP/FTP. Add the following code to the .htaccess file:

#Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Just replace newdomain.com with your new domain url.  Visit your old domain to test whether the redirect is working. And that’s it! You just moved WordPress content to a new domain while keeping SEO juice. This is the best solution as it redirects your old pages to the same page on the new domain which is better for SEO.

Another option would be to log into your domain registrar (such as GoDaddy) to setup domain forwarding but this will redirect all old pages to your new homepage rather than the corresponding content.

Earlier, we mentioned that you’ll suffer temporary loss of traffic as users adjust and as Google indexes your new domain. If you can spare a minute, start by notifying your users via blog posts. It’s important that you broadcast the move, because that’s what awesome people do. Notify also Google of the change in address. Just login to your Google Webmaster Account and navigate to Configuration -> Change of Address.

Eventually, you need to test your site like you would a brand new site. Iron out all bugs that might have cropped up while moving and obtain feedback from users. See why you need to create blog posts announcing the move?

Final Words

Moving WordPress content to a new domain and maintaining SEO rankings is easy provided you follow each of these steps carefully. Rushing into things will only leave you with errors that are hard to surmount, costing you time and money. Again, if you’re unsure of something, please don’t guess.

We hope this guide helped you move WordPress content to a new domain successfully. If you ran into a problem, have a question or suggestion, don’t hesitate dropping us a line in the comments below. We always look forward to your feedback.

How about that happy dance? Cheers and happy moving!



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How to Improve Your WordPress Website’s Security


Everyone knows that keeping your WordPress website secure should be a top priority. But 9 times out of 10 it isn’t. There are numerous ways to improve your WordPress website’s security, and many of them are quick and easy to set up. Maybe it’s time to give your website security some attention.

In this article, we will look at the importance of website security and what can go wrong if you ignore it. We will then discuss actionable tasks that you can implement, security plugins you can use, and the importance of backing up your WordPress website.

The Importance of Security

Security is an extremely important issue for all website owners. Malicious software, often installed on a website by hackers who have found weaknesses and vulnerabilities, can spread viruses and bugs. These can cause untold damage to your site and computer, greatly affecting your business.

Security breaches can slow down your site and create a negative user experience. This can damage the reputation of your brand, and ultimately lose you visitors, sales, and customers. And it can get much worse than that. Malware can steal customer information, personal and financial data, and destroy your site. This can result in a long-term revenue loss, as well as costing you in time, effort, and emotional well-being.

Implementing security measures should be a top priority for all website administrators. So what can you do to improve your WordPress website’s security and keep it safe and secure?

Has Your Site Already been Compromised?

WordPress Seurity Scan

Many people’s sites have already been compromised and they don’t even know it has happened. A great way to make sure your site is safe is to use a security checker.

WordPress Security Scan is an online security scanner that will test your site for vulnerabilities. The basic scan is free, but for an advanced service, you will need to upgrade to one of their membership plans. Checks are run on your application security, WordPress security, hosting environment, and your web server. This will give you a clear insight into your site’s security and make you aware of any breaches. Sucuri also offers a free Site Check that will scan for Malware, errors and software updates.

Always Update Your Site

Improve Your WordPress Website's Security

It sounds simple but one of the easiest ways to improve your site’s security is to make sure you keep it updated. Updated versions of WordPress, themes, and plugins, help fix and avoid potential security breach points.

Use the Newest Version of WordPress

Each time a new version of WordPress is released, the security is improved and vulnerabilities fixed. The newest version is the safest, so update as soon as it becomes available.

Best Practice for Themes and Plugins

By keeping your theme and plugins updated, your site is less likely to experience malicious activity. Theme and plugin update notifications frequently appear on your dashboard. If you’re someone who ignores these then it is time to change your ways.

Where possible, always keep the number of plugins you use on your site to a minimum. The fewer plugins, the less potential problems. Always install plugins from a reputable source and don’t download premium plugins for free, from unauthorized sources. Removing unused themes and plugins can help improve the speed and security of your site as well.

Secure Your Login Page

Improve your site's security

Your login page can be extremely vulnerable to malicious attacks if not properly secured. To improve your WordPress website’s security, always use an obscure username. Admin or your own name is not a safe choice. Your password should also contain a random assortment of letters, numbers, and special characters. Changing your password every 90 days is highly recommended.

Start Using LastPass

LastPass

LastPass remembers all your usernames and passwords and keeps them secure, so you don’t have to. It can generate strong passwords for you, saving you time thinking them up yourself. It also enables you to set up two-factor authorization, giving your account details that extra defense.

Use Login Lockdown

Login Lockdown

Login Lockdown is a free WordPress plugin that limits the number of attempts that can be made to log in. If more than a certain number of login attempts, from the same IP range, are made within a specific amount of time then the plugin blocks all further tries from that range. This helps prevent brute force password discovery and gives your site another layer of safety.

Install a WordPress Security Plugin

One of the most important ways to improve your WordPress website’s security is to install a security plugin. There are plenty to choose from so let’s have a look at a couple of the best.

All in One Security and Firewall

All in One WP Security

All in One Security and Firewall is a free and easy to use WordPress plugin that will keep your site safe and secure. It reduces the risk of attacks by implementing the latest WordPress security practices and techniques.

The plugin enforces user account, log in and registration security. It has firewall functionality, a security scanner and protects against brute force attacks, amongst many other features. It also uses a grading system, displaying how well your site is protected based on the security features you have activated. A popular and capable plugin, All in One Security and Firewall is a great choice if you are looking for a free plugin to help protect your site.

Sucuri Security

Securi

Sucuri Security is a powerful premium solution that can clean up a hacked site as well as offer ongoing protection. Advanced features are provided, including continuous scans for malware and hacks, malware removal and cleanup, website application firewall and lots more. Sucuri Security also provides 24/7 online support, so whatever the security incident, a professional response team is on hand to help.

This solution isn’t cheap, with its basic package starting at $199.99 a year. However, this proactive and reactive approach to website security will keep your site safe, as well as give you peace of mind. So arguably worth the money. However, there’s also a popular free Sucuri plugin available from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory.

Setup Antivirus Protection for Your Computer

Norton

If your computer is compromised, then hackers could be able access your WordPress site, or find your login details from saved browser passwords. Therefore antivirus protection for your computer is a must.

Norton Antivirus Security software protects your computer from malware, spyware, viruses and lots more. Once installed it runs regular automatic scans, so you can go online with confidence. Most importantly, it means that your WordPress website can’t be corrupted via your computer.

Always Backup

VaultPress

However many security strategies you may have implemented, nothing is 100% reliable. If security is breached and you lose your site and its data and content, then a backup will save you time, money, and even possibly your business and reputation.

VaultPress is a powerful tool that offers advanced backup and security for WordPress sites. This feature rich service provides daily backups and malware scanning, amongst many other things. Most importantly, it offers automatic restores, so if your site is hacked, then it can quickly and easily be recovered.

If you need any help be sure to read our guide covering how to backup your WordPress webiste.

Final Thoughts to Improve Your WordPress Website’s Security

As well as all of the advice above, using a reputable hosting service is always important. Although relatively expensive, WP Engine is a secure WordPress focused hosting company that provides proactive security to keep your website safe.  Migrating your WordPress website to a new web host is probably eaiser than you think.

With a top rate web hosting service, and the plugins, tips and tricks from this article implemented, your site will stand a better chance than most at staying safe.

What safety advice do you have to secure a WordPress website? Please share in the comments below.



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