Blog

Why WordPress Is Ideal for Startups & Entrepreneurs


Startups and entrepreneurs are usually huge on ideas and short on cash. Generally speaking, most startups do understand that a presence on the internet is integral to their idea developing into a profitable venture. A website is a convenient and cost effective place for them to explain their ideas, lay out the road map to achieve them and keep all stakeholders informed of their progress. It confers credibility on the venture with details of name, address and contact phone numbers.

The website is also a place to reach out to job seekers, investors, suppliers and potential customers in the early stages and for building up a buzz until launch day. And as the venture takes off, the website can be converted into a place that’s available 24×7 for marketing the product or service and staying in contact with all stakeholders. With so many Content Management Systems available, choosing the right one for your website can be difficult. In this post we’ll see why WordPress for startups and entrepreneurs is a good idea.

1. WordPress is Reliable

WordPress is a tried and tested open source platform that’s supported by a community of thousands of professional coders, testers, and developers. At present, it’s the leading Content Management Service on the internet. It’s been around for 10+ years, used by millions of websites and undergone a great deal of refinement. Not only that, WordPress relies on sound technology like PHP, SQL, and JavaScript that follow the practices set by Google, and other search engines.

What does all this mean? You can conclude that, unlike many competitors, WordPress is going to be around for much longer and grow as a platform.

2. WordPress is Free

What can sound sweeter to a cash strapped startup than the fact that WordPress is free? At the same times it raises the question – what’s the catch? Similar to Wikipedia and Ubuntu, WordPress is free because it’s open source, meaning it’s not owned by anyone. It’s backed by both a billion dollar company Automattic, as well as by thousands of volunteers from all over the world who work to improve it constantly.

WordPress is licensed under the GNU General Public License. This makes it free for anyone to use it to build as many websites as they want with WordPress. Moreover, WordPress users also get access to free updates, thousands of free themes, as well as 50,000+ plugins in the WordPress directory. The off-the-shelf free themes and plugins ensure that users get off to a head start, thereby saving time and money.

WordPress for Startups -Plugin Library

However, let’s get one thing clear – WordPress the software is free and so are thousands of themes and plugins. But that does not mean you can run a website at Nil cost. There are other expenses attached to running a website like domain name, hosting, optional customizations and you can find out all about the costs of building a WordPress site on our blog. These costs are not unique to WordPress but applicable to other Content Management Systems as well.

3. There’s No Lock in With WordPress

At the beginning, many enterprises are uncertain about the technologies and software required for their website and are reluctant to spend on software that they are not sure of. Besides, they’ll be tied to the software service provider for ongoing updates and maintenance. Moving to a different platform at a later date can get messy, as in most cases all the data gets locked to the old software.

Luckily, that’s not the case with WordPress — your data is your own on a self hosted WordPress install. So you can choose to migrate from WordPress to any other platform with all your data intact. Besides,  there’s a large pool of WordPress talent to help you get along.

4. Whatever Your Business, WordPress Can Handle the Website for It

Let’s put this bogey to rest once and for all, WordPress is not just for blogs. Yes, it started off as a blogging platform but it has since evolved to serve as a platform for any kind of website. You can use it for,

That list is just illustrative. You can also build websites for NGOs, forums, apps and even make money with a WordPress website. And you have the added advantage that WordPress has a blog function that you can use alongside your website.

5. WordPress is a Pro at eCommerce

The popular WooCommerce plugin is the leading eCommerce technology for the web, and can power any eCommerce venture. If you need even more functionality for your store, you’ll be glad of the hundreds of free and premium extensions that can extend your online store. WooCommerce can easily get you started with selling any product or service. And, if it’s downloadable products that you’re selling, the Easy Digital Downloads plugin will help.

6. WordPress is Mobile Friendly

The number of people accessing the internet using mobile devices has overtaken the number accessing via desktops. Besides, you should know that when it comes to mobiles, Google doesn’t take kindly to websites that are not mobile friendly.

Not to worry, WordPress has you covered. While the technology used by WordPress itself is compatible for building webpages for mobiles, WordPress also has a number of free and premium themes that scale automatically to the size of the user screen. There are official iOS and Android mobile apps that can render WordPress pages on mobiles. If, for any reason, you’ve not made your website responsive, you can do so subsequently as well.

7. WordPress is SEO Ready

WordPress is search engine friendly out of the box. And it’s endorsed by a person no less than Matt Cutts, formerly with Google. WordPress takes care of the better part of search engine optimization.

Not only that, there are numerous plugins that help to get your SEO right. However, it’s important to remember that search engine rankings depend on much more than CMS alone. And, you can be fairly certain that if you’re slipping in rankings, it’s not on account of WordPress as your CMS.

8. WordPress is Extensible with Plugins

Different websites have different needs. Some may want to sell products, some may want interactive communities, while others may want a perfect landing page. WordPress offers a basic platform for all kind of websites, allowing them to add the functions they need as they go along. These functions are added by way of separate plugins. If you wish, you can add functions with custom coding as well.

In the WordPress plugins repository, you get to choose from more than 50000 free plugins to fulfill most of the functions that you need. Besides the free plugins, there are third party premium plans that you can dip into. This makes WordPress a highly extensible platform.

CodeCanyon

For a person starting off with a new business, the free plugins are not only a great addition to their website, they can add functions as and when the need arise without having to plan for every requirement at the start. For example, you may not need a Live Chat on your website at the start, but if the need arises later, you can simply add a plugin for this function later on.

9. WordPress Can Scale with Your Business

Most startups are not sure about their growth at the start. They run a tight ship, keeping things low key. But they need the room to scale and grow if their idea takes off in a big way. WordPress is an ideal fit, as it allows them to start small and then scale up to run even enterprise level organizations that span many countries and continents. The Walt Disney Company and Mercedes-Benz runs its website on WordPress. You can use WordPress on almost any server with a basic shared hosting plan to high end dedicated servers. It works for small blogs and huge enterprises equally well.

10. WordPress is Secure

Security is a major concern for any website, especially where monetary transactions or sensitive information is involved. The fact that big and famous names like The Obama Foundation, and NGinx use WordPress should reassure you that WordPress is a safe platform.

What you should know about security is that no platform is 100 percent safe, with hackers on the prowl always. The increasing popularity of WordPress also makes it a favorite target for hackers. But with WordPress you’re relatively safe. That’s because the team at WordPress is constantly monitoring for security threats. The widespread and proactive WordPress community is also quick to report security issues. Security updates are released promptly and what’s more, by default the minor updates are carried out automatically.

What’s also important is that as a user, there are many things you should do to keep your website safe such as choosing a reliable host, going with strong usernames and passwords, selecting quality themes and plugins and updating WordPress regularly. And to be extra safe, you can install security plugins and back up your website regularly. Therefore, in the hands of responsible user, WordPress is a secure platform.

11. WordPress is User Friendly

If you ask me to pick my favorite feature about WordPress, I’d pick its user friendliness. Without knowing any code, you can create webpages from a user friendly interface. Working with WordPress is as easy as working with any word processor. Sure, it helps if you know some basic coding, especially when you have to troubleshoot. But even in such situations, you’ll find that there are tutorials, courses, training videos, podcasts and blogs to help you out. WordPress excels at Do-it-Yourself. Even newbies can easily create content. Moreover, WordPress supports images, audios and videos and manages media files effectively. You can also embed third party content such as YouTube and Vimeo.

12. WordPress Enables Smooth Workflow

WordPress has many built-in user roles each with its own capabilities. Any member of a team can be granted various levels of access by assigning appropriate user role. And if the built-in user roles are not suited to your team, you can just as easily create a new user and assign them the privileges you want. If it’s a multi author blog that you work with, managing the editorial workflow becomes easy with WordPress.

You can also equip your WordPress website with advanced behavior and create a number of applications. By using custom fields and conditional logic, you can automate a number of WordPress tasks.

13. WordPress Helps with Branding

While the default WordPress webpage may appear somewhat standard, most of the available themes offer tons of customization options that allow you to align the webpages with your brand. Colors, logos, fonts, almost every element can be customized from a customs option panel. The changes can be viewed in live preview mode before you save them. WordPress helps to reflect your brand on the web.

Wrapping Up

All the reasons listed above should give you enough reason to choose WordPress for your website. It’s an ideal option to set up a website quickly with minimum expenditure.

Moreover, WordPress is poised for future growth as well. With the introduction of REST API, there’ll be better integration with third party applications and you’ll see new possibilities opening up.



Source link

Read more...

How to Backup Your WordPress Site (Plus Helpful Plugins)


Have you ever lost your WordPress site? Or have you just lost your WordPress site? Perhaps you fell victim to a malicious hacker. Perhaps your website just broke after installing a faulty plugin, theme or add-on. Perhaps your hosting failed – the bad dog ate the server. It’s scary, right? No, not the dog; losing your site. And you can go batsh*t crazy if you don’t know what to do to restore your beloved WordPress site to its former glory.

Well, guess what: You don’t have to sweat one bit with a reliable backup solution in place. All you have to is hit the restore button, and Viola! – you’re back up and running. See what I did there?

In this post, you learn that backing up your WordPress site is extremely easy. You learn to create full backups of your WordPress-based business, so that you can rest easy especially when the nasty happens. Take out a pen and some paper, and get ready to own WordPress backups like a boss. Ready? Great, let’s get the ball rolling.

Why You to Should Keep Backups of Your WordPress Website

Before we get to the juicier details, I used to be confused about this backup business not long ago. I had no idea what in the world backing up a site was all about. Heck, I had no idea how to create full backups of my WordPress site until circumstances forced my hand. I had to learn after getting hacked, and learn I did.

As a newbie, you’re prolly as confused as I was. So what the hell are backups? The answer is fairly simple. A backup is simply a copy of your site that you can reinstall (restore) should something go wrong. It’s a failsafe, precautionary measure that saves you a lot of undue stress. It’s like an insurance policy that protects all the effort, time and money you’ve invested in your WordPress site.

Now, to give you a clearer picture, I will delve further into what constitutes a full WordPress backup. Your WordPress site is made of two components, the first being files i.e. theme/plugin files, scripts, media etc that make up the structure of your site, and provide functionality. Then we have a MySQL database that stores your blog posts, comments and the options you set in your WordPress admin area.

A majority of cheap web hosts will talk of offering backups, but all they do is backup your MySQL database only, if they backup anything at all. They don’t backup your files, which means you can’t recover changes you make to your theme for example, if it’s corrupted. It’s also quite the hassle requesting a copy of your website from their backups, so its just best to backup your site on your own. You know, just to ensure everything is safe.

The full backup we are helping you build here will take care of your files as well as your database. This means should you lose your site, you just need to reinstall the backup and your work is done. That out of the way, let’s create full backups of your WordPress site.

Method 1: Backup WordPress Through Your Hosting

Hosting Provider Managed Backups

Your first option is to simply choose a hosting company that completes full, daily backups of your WordPress site. For example, WP Engine Managed WordPress hosting offers automatic daily backups up all of you core WordPress files, themes and plugins, and your database (including all of your media). Plus you can initiate your own backups at any point (like before a major WordPress update, or when changing themes).

If you want to take your hosting provider managed backups to the next level, log in from time to time and download your own zip file copy to keep on your own hard drive. You never can be too safe.

Method 2: Backup WordPress Manually

Your WordPress directory contains sub-folders e.g. wp-content, wp-includes etc and files e.g. wp-config.php, theme and plugin files etc required by your WordPress site. The wp-content folder contains all your themes, plugins, cache and uploads among other things. You cannot afford to lose this data. The wp-admin carries all the files required by your WordPress admin area, so you can’t afford to lose this as well. The wp-includes folder contains WordPress core files. This is the folder where all the major WordPress code lives. You definitely don’t want to lose this code.

Step 1: Backup Your WordPress Files Manually

To create a copy of your WordPress files, you just need to download your entire WordPress directory. How? You can login to your server via cPanel or using a SFTP program.

Backup via cPanel

This is so easy you can do it in the time it takes to brew a mug of coffee. Here’s the procedure:

  • Login to your web host and navigate to cPanel. For most web hosts, the cPanel is usually the first page you encounter when you login
  • Navigate to the File Manager, which should lead you to your public_html or Home directory
  • From here, just locate your WordPress directory. This is the folder you want to backup
  • Unfortunately, you can’t download the WordPress folder in File Manager without first compressing it. Worry not though, compressing a folder needn’t be challenging
  • Click on your WordPress directory, and select Compress from the menu bar. Alternatively, right-click on the folder and choose Compress from the drop-down options menu that appears
  • Choose the compression type e.g. ZIP, Tar, GZIP etc from the dialog box that opens. I always go with a ZIP archive
  • Then just hit the Compress File(s) button and wait for the process to run its course. Your server will save your compressed WordPress folder
  • Click on the archive you just created and choose Download from the menu. Alternatively, right-click on the archive and choose Download.
  • Choose a secure location on your hard disk and save your backup
  • And that’s it!

Tip: Upload the backup to your Dropbox account, Google Drive, burn it to a DVD/CD, email it etc – just make sure you have several copies to ensure you don’t lose your site should one of the backup dies.

If your web host uses a different control panel e.g. vDeck, Plesk, etc, you just need to locate your File Manager, and just follow the process i.e. Locate File Manager > Locate your WordPress directory > Compress > Download. Repeat regularly.

Backup via SFTP

We recommend using a popular file manager such as FileZilla or Transmit because they’re lightweight and easy to use. First you’ll need to install the application on your computer and retrieve your SFTP login credentials from your hosting account.

SFTP Login with Transmit

Next, log into the file manager of your choice (we’re using Transmit in this example) and enter the details for your website including a nickname, your website url, your unique SFTP username and password, and change the port number to 2222.

SFTP Copy & Download Files

Once you’ve logged in your should see all of your WordPress files. Simply select all of your files, right click and select the option to “Download Selected Items.” Once downloaded, make sure the files are zipped up and give the file a memorable name such as today’s date.

Step 2: Backup Your WordPress Database Manually

Now that we have a fresh copy of your WordPress files, let’s backup your WordPress database, so we can have a full backup that will come in handy on that proverbial rainy day. This is also so easy you will be backing up your site whenever without breaking a sweat.

Just navigate to your hosting panel and locate phpMyAdmin. It’s for cPanel users users it will be located under Database Tools:

how-to-backup-your-wordpress-site-choose-phpMyAdmin

However, depending on your hosting it may be located elsewhere. For example, WP Engine users can locate their phpMyAdmin from the main user dashboard by clicking on the chevron icon next to your installation(s):

WP Engine Access phpMyAdmin

Once you log into phpMyAdmin you should see a main administration panel:

phpMyAdmin Main Page

Select the Databases tab to list your databases. If you installed your WordPress site using third-party platforms such as Softaculous or Mojo Marketplace, you might have no idea which database to work with. What to do?

From your File Manager, navigate to your WordPress directory and locate the wp-config.php file. Right-click on the file and choose view. In the window that opens, you want to locate this line:

define('DB_NAME', 'database_name');

Your database name is the value contained in the second set of single quotation marks, which is ‘database_name’ in our example above. Armed with this info, locate your database in phpMyAdmin. Click on the database to open it. You should see something such as:

phpMyAdmin Database Example

Select all the tables you’d like to backup by ticking the checkboxes. Click “Check All” at the bottom to select all at once. Once you’ve selected the tables, click the Export tab. Select the export method, and set format to SQL:

Export Your phpMyAdmin Database

Hit the Go button, and save your  database in a secure folder on your PC. Remember to save copies in the same locations you saved copies of your WordPress files. That’s it, you now have a full backup of your WordPress site!

Using a different setup? If your host doesn’t provide cPanel, please check out this WordPress backup post at the Codex.

Tip: Create regular backups depending on the frequency of posting to your WordPress site. If you post 50+ posts per day, you need to create backups more regularly than the guy who posts once a month. Other than that, consider checking if your web host offers a reliable backup solution.

Moving on, let’s automate WordPress backups using a couple of nifty WordPress backup plugins. I’m all for manual backups because that way you’re in complete control. All the same, here’s a great list of the best WordPress plugins out there.

Method 3: Backup WordPress Automatically with Plugins

WordPress backup plugins add the element of ease to creating dependable backups for your WordPress site. All you have to do is install your favorite WordPress backup plugin, configure a few settings and you’re good.

VaultPress Premium Backups by Automattic

VaultPress for WordPress

VaultPress was created by Automattic to make backing up and securing your website easy. VaultPress take automatic daily backups of your website that are stored securely offsite. And using them to restore your website is as easy as logging into your account and clicking a button.

Other features VaultPress offers include site duplication & migration (gotta love those full backups), malware and virus scanning, automated file repair and even spam defense. Starting at just $39 per year as a part of JetPack Personal, this is a very affordable security add-on worth investing in.

BackupBuddy Premium WordPress Plugin

BackupBuddy WordPress Backup Plugin

The second premium WordPress backup plugin on our list today is BackupBuddy by iThemes. You can use the plugin to create full database and files backup, and/or move your site to another server easily.

You can backup your site to your hard disk and a variety of external storage services including Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, email, FTP, Dropbox, and BackupBuddy Stash among others.

Schedule WordPress backups with BackupBuddy while you;re on the go and enjoy a backup service like no other. Pricing starts at $80 per year for a single site license, though iThemes also offers a lifetime Gold package at a one-time fee of $297 which offer unlimited use of the plugin making it a great fit for businesses.

Duplicator Free WordPress Plugin

Duplicator WordPress Backups Plugin

With over 1 million active installs, Duplicator is more than your typical backup plugin. Primarily, Duplicator helps you to clone or migrate your site to another location easily. This main feature makes it a powerful backup solution.

Even though it won’t allow you to schedule backups, it automatically dumps your database to an SQL file and saves it to a ZIP archive along with your WordPress files. Then it creates a special PHP file that lets you reinstall the backup easily. Just upload the ZIP archive and the PHP file to your server, and the rest is easy work. Want more? Checkout Duplicator Pro which adds more features including schedules backups, cloud storage linking, email notifications, pro support and more.

BackWPup Free WordPress Plugin

BackWPup Free WordPress Plugin

BackWPup is a popular WordPress backup plugin that helps you to create complete backups of your WordPress site, and save the same on an external location such as Dropbox, Amazon S3, FTP, RackSpace Cloud and many more.

You can schedule full backups meaning your entire WordPress site, files and all, will be safe always. Further you can check/repair and optimize your database, and if you need more juice, you can go for the pro version.

UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration Free WordPress Plugin

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backups

One of the highest-ranked WordPress backup plugin, UpdraftPlus adds fun and ease to backing up your WordPress site. With a number of sweet features including backups to Amazon S3, Google Drive, FTP, Dropbox, email and other storage options, quick restore, scheduling, site duplicator, capability to split large sites into multiple archives, and so much more, you can’t go wrong with UpdraftPlus (and the developers also offer a pro version that packs quite a punch if you’re looking for more features).

WordPress Backup to Dropbox Free WordPress Plugin

Backup to Dropbox Plugin

Last up is a WordPress backup plugin that forces you to make use of that Dropbox account that’s been lying around. WordPress Backup to Dropbox makes it simple to send full backups to your Dropbox account. Just install the plugin, set up a schedule and authenticate your Dropbox account. Simple as A, B, C.

Related Resources

Looking to learn more about backing your WordPress site? We found these extras for your pleasure:

At The End Of The Day

Having a reliable backup solution in place is the best thing you can do for your WordPress-based business. Anything can happen at any time, but with backups in place, you will avoid unwanted stress. Just hit restore, and you’re back in business.

We covered our methods, but how do you backup your WordPress site? Which is your favorite WordPress backup plugin or service? Please share with us in the comments. See you around!



Source link

Read more...

Why You Should Consider Vlogging and How to Get Started


Have you been considering vlogging but are not sure where to start? Vlogging can be a great way to build a following, promote your WordPress website, sell products or services, generate leads, or, if you hit the big time, make your fame and fortune.

In this vlogging guide, we will discuss exactly what vlogging is, and the benefits vlogging can provide for you, your website, and your business. We will then look step by step at how to create a vlog, promote it on YouTube, and link it to your WordPress website. So let’s get started…

What Is Vlogging?

Vlogging, or video logging, is a phenomenon that has really taken off in the last 5 years. Quite simply vlogging is a video blogging trend, as opposed to written blog posts. Although initially seen as a pastime for the younger generation, vlogging has more recently become a great option for all ages.

Vlogging can be based on topic, making it an ideal medium for individuals and businesses alike. Just pick your niche and start recording. However, making interesting videos that attract an audience can be much more difficult… try not to let this put you off! There are many benefits to vlogging, and whatever your business or personal goals, vlogging can be an effective way to help you achieve them.

Where You Should Vlog

YouTube

The majority of vlogging happens on YouTube. With over 1 billion active users each month, YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. It enables individuals to create their own YouTube channels, produce labeled playlists of uploaded videos, stream live videos, live chat with their audience, as well as offering many other features. This makes YouTube an ideal platform for vloggers.

There are also other channels that are popular amongst vloggers. Depending on your vlogging niche and audience, you may want to consider vlogging on Vimeo, Facebook or Facebook Live, and even Instagram. If you have a website you should also publish your vlogs on your site. However, if you post to other platforms, always do so alongside YouTube. The sheer number of YouTube’s visitors makes it the go-to place if you want to become a successful vlogger.

The Benefits of Vlogging

There are multiple benefits to vlogging, making it an ideal pursuit for businesses and individuals alike. So let’s take a look at a few of the best pros…

Fame and Fortune

Some of the most famous vloggers have accumulated hundreds of thousands of followers, and their videos are watched by millions. Not only have they become celebrities, these vloggers have made big bucks through advertising on their videos. Popular vloggers can be paid by companies to promote their products, wear their brands, and send traffic to their websites.

Reach a Wider Audience

Using YouTube as a platform for your vlogs enables you to reach a wider audience. This search engine ensures that your videos are more accessible to the masses than if you just posted vlogs on your WordPress website. Once your videos are being viewed by a new audience on YouTube, then you can use your vlogs to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, sell products, and much more.

Engage Directly With Your Audience

Vlogging enables you to engage directly with your audience. By ‘getting to know you’ through your vlogs, your viewers will quickly come to trust you and see you as an expert in your field. By connecting in this way with your community, your target audience is more likely to remember you, use your service, or buy from your site.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Many bloggers and businesses use vlogging to drive traffic to their website. Watching videos is fast becoming the norm and the preferred online media type. Many people will now watch a video but pass up on a written article. So websites often use vlogging to attract new visitors, as well as help the retain current ones.

Promote Your Membership Site, Sell Products, and More

Vlogs can be used as part of your marketing strategy. Whatever your online site is selling, use vlogging to promote it. If you run a membership site, explain why viewers should sign up. If you have an eCommerce store, display your products and tell those watching why they should make a purchase. Or want people to visit your blog? Then sell the content to them through vlogs.

How to Get Started as a Vlogger

So now you know a bit about what vlogging is and the rewards that can come of it. Next, let’s have a look at how to get started as a vlogger.

Consider Your Content

As always online, content is key. If you want to build up a large vlogging following then you need to be producing interesting videos. Find a niche that interests you, or is related to your WordPress website. Then take your time deciding what content will be in your videos. Consider posting how-to videos, interviews, comedy sketches, or anything else that will be valuable or entertaining for your viewers.

Some vloggers plan out what they will say, others just ad lib. Either way, make sure your videos are fun, informative, and relevant. Your vlogs must connect with your target audience and inspire them to become regular followers.

Filming Vlogs

Video

When filming vlogs, make sure you use a camera with high video quality. Test the sounds quality, and if necessary invest in a microphone. And record your videos in a well-lit room to ensure they aren’t too dark. If your vlogs are low-quality and hard to watch or hear then your audience won’t hang around, so take your time to get it right.

Edit Your Videos

Once you have recorded your video you will need to edit it. iMovie for Mac or VSDC Video Editor for Windows are both effective free editing software tools if you are just starting out. However, for those looking for a premium solution with more advanced features, Filmora Video Editor is a great choice.

When editing your video, add your website logo as well as an end page displaying calls to action. Ask people to like your video, comment in the discussion below, follow your YouTube channel or visit your website. This is a great way to build a community on YouTube, get your content shared, and drive traffic to your WordPress website.

Once your video is complete you are ready to upload it to YouTube.

Getting It Right on YouTube

Getting it right on YouTube is an important part of the vlogging process. First, you need to grow your following and then convince them to visit your website, sign-up to your email list, buy products, or do whatever else your vlogging objectives may be. Here’s how to do just that…

Create Your Own YouTube Channel

YouTube Channel

YouTube allows you to create your own channel, where you can upload all your vlogs. You can add your own image or logo and description to your channel’s page, create your own playlists, send messages, reply to comments and lots more. Your fans can then follow your channel, making it easy for them to find your vlogs.

Add Video Metadata to Each Vlog You Post

Metadata

Every time you upload a new vlog, you need to add metadata. This will help your vlogs rank in YouTube and Google, as well as make it easier for new viewers to find you.

Write a title and description for each video, including keywords as you would with a blog post. Add your website’s URL in the descriptions so viewers can easily access your site. And incorporate calls to action, encouraging people to share your video, add a comment, or follow your channel.

Use YouTube Cards

YouTube cards enable you to add interactivity to your videos. YouTube allows you to add five cards to each vlog. These cards add annotations to your videos. Depending on the cards you use, you can show customizable images, titles, calls to action, and URL links to your website. These cards can be very effective in helping you achieve your vlogging goals, like sending traffic to your website or increasing your online store product sales.

Display Your Vlogs on Your WordPress Website

YouTube Embed

Displaying your YouTube feed or most recent vlogs on your WordPress website is a great way to link the two platforms and encourage your site visitors to follow you on YouTube. A quick and easy way to do this is to install the free YouTube Embed plugin.

YouTube Embed will enable you to embed your YouTube channel or playlist, or even a live stream, as a feed in your WordPress website. This plugin is very customizable and has a range of impressive features. This gives you the ability to showcase and promote your vlogging to your website audience, encouraging them to become followers.

Or Simply Use Your Theme Options

Total WordPress Theme Vlogging

A quick way to add your vlogs is to use WordPress’ built-in oEmbed support for videos. Simple copy the link (not the embed code – just the url) for your Youtube video and paste it onto any post or page to have it automatically added and formatted.

Another option is to use your theme’s support for featured post or page media, as well as any page builder elements. For example the Total WordPress theme includes a video post format (which you can see in the Gamer Vlog demo shown above) as well as a custom video page builder modules so you have plenty of options to add-in your vlogs.

Final Thoughts on Vlogging

YouTube provides useful analytics of your channel and audience’s behavior. So once you have been vlogging for a while, monitor your YouTube analytics to see what type of vlog content is resonating with your viewers.

Remember, building a vlogging fan base can take time. But if you follow the steps above you will immediately be ahead of the competition. Good Luck!

What’s stopping you from vlogging? Please share your thoughts in the comments below…



Source link

Read more...

How to Create a Review Website with WordPress


Launching a review website is a popular way to integrate affiliate marketing into your business plan. Plus, there are plenty of other opportunities in the review website niche that are profitable if you simply know how to implement them correctly. However, you might not be sure how to start building this type of site.

The key is to begin with a solid plan, and to know what features and functionality your site will require. Certain vital elements, such comparison tables and a rating system, will almost certainly play a role. There are also numerous plugins and tools you can implement that will help you create a successful review site.

In this post, we will talk about why you might want to create a review site, then discuss the crucial elements you’ll want to include. Along the way, we’ll show you how to integrate some useful tools with WordPress so you can start off on the right track. Let’s begin!

Why You Might Want to Create a Review Site

Nerdwallet Review Site

Nerdwallet is a high-traffic site that provides reviews for credit cards & financial services.

Consumers use review sites to find out information about specific products or services. These sites usually contain product listings, customer reviews, and ratings based on those reviews. There are plenty of reasons you might want to create your own review site, such as to:

  • Create an affiliate site or generate income from ads: If your goal is to generate revenue from ads or affiliates, a review site enables you to do so while providing a useful service to consumers.
  • Attract a larger audience for your business or blog: If you are currently running a blog or business website, introducing reviews can increase the number of hits your site receives through searches, and provide useful information to your audience.
  • Establish yourself as an authority: Gaining authority within a niche or industry is easy to do with a review site.
  • Share your thoughts and opinions: If you have something to say about certain products or services, a review site enables you to share your opinions with others.

Of course, you should always do your homework before starting any new type of site. No matter the purpose of your review site, there are some crucial elements you’ll almost certainly want to include.

4 Crucial Elements of a High-Traffic Review Site

Your site’s appearance and ease of use are important for your end users, while you are probably interested in a site that’s easy to maintain and generates lots of traffic or leads. The following four elements of high-traffic review sites will help you achieve these goals, and are relatively easy to implement.

1. The Perfect Review Site Template

Your template provides readers with their first impression of your site, and choosing the correct one improves their experience and encourages them to return for more. What’s more, your review site’s template will help determine how easy it is to implement the features you’ll need (including the ones listed in the next few sections).

Here are a few key things to look for in a review site template:

  • Design flexibility. When creating your site, you want to think long term. You don’t want a template that locks you into the same design forever.
  • Plugin integration. As your site grows, you’ll discover new plugins to help you manage and enhance it. You want to choose a template that allows for easy plugin integration.
  • Mobile responsiveness. Most consumers access the internet through mobile devices. Making sure your template is responsive from the beginning puts you ahead of the curve.

You can add most of these elements to your WordPress site through review-specific plugins. In particular, we recommend the budget friendly Reviewer:

The Reviewer plugin.Reviewer enables you to insert reviews and comparison tables inside your blog posts, pages, and custom post types. There are no limits to the types of reviews you can create, and your visitors can leave their reviews easily. What’s more, each template provided by this plugin has a responsive layout.

To get started with Reviewer, you will need to register your license after installing the plugin. Go to Reviewer in your dashboard, and then choose License. You will need to fill out the form with your username and purchase code. After that, you can start adding reviews, scores, and ratings. For more details, check out Reviewer’s documentation.

2. A Consistent Ratings System

Consumers tend to trust verified online reviews, but only if they are consistent and reliable. When choosing a ratings system plugin, you will want to look for specific features that enable you to easily implement ratings on your site. You’ll also want to ensure that the plugin itself has solid reviews, is flexible and easy to use, and integrates well with your template. Let’s Review meets all these criteria and then some:

The Let's Review Plugin

Let’s Review is a premium plugin that works seamlessly with the WordPress back end, and enables you to add unlimited criteria, unique buttons, and even a pros and cons list to your reviews. It also features a responsive design, and offers multiple customizable formats. Getting started with this plugin is simple, and full documentation is available in the admin menu once it’s been installed.

3. Rich Snippets

When you search for something on the internet, the results you see typically include a link and descriptive text. That text, or the ‘rich snippet’, describes the page for both users and search engines. Therefore, including rich snippets helps improve search engine rankings and click-through rates.

To implement this feature, we suggest you give the All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets a try:

The All in One Schema Plugin.

In addition to providing multiple content types, it is simple to install and has an easy-to-use interface. It includes all common schema types, such as photos, ratings, and prices, and is fully customizable through the WordPress admin area. This plugin also enables you to configure posts to add more information for search engines. If you have any questions after installing it, you can make use of the developer’s friendly community forum.

4. Comparison Tables

When running a review site, you’ll often want to compare multiple products at a glance. This is where comparison tables come in handy. Fortunately, TablePress enables you add tables with as many rows and columns as you need, and customize their styles without using any HTML:

The TablePress plugin.With this plugin, you can easily manage your tables through the WordPress admin area, and add them anywhere within your theme. This is a perfect way to compare various products based on price, key features, performance, and more – providing your audience with vital information they won’t have to go searching for. The best part is that even beginners won’t have any trouble getting started with TablePress.

Conclusion

Building a review site is a smart way to increase your audience, traffic, and even affiliate marketing revenue. Luckily, the WordPress community makes the process easier by providing many useful and easy-to-implement plugins that offer needed functionality.

In this post, we’ve discussed the importance of review sites and introduced their most crucial elements:

  1. Review site templates that are robust and flexible.
  2. A consistent ratings system.
  3. Rich snippets to improve SEO.
  4. A table-building feature for easy comparisons.

Do you have any questions about how to build a high-traffic review site? Let us know in the comments section below!



Source link

Read more...

7 Vital Steps to Take Before Launching a WordPress Website


Launching your first WordPress website is an exciting experience. For many it is the start of a new adventure, but for others it can be a real headache.

The reason for this is that many fail to perform simple, yet vital actions before launching their website, which can result in everything from a hacking attack to a complete loss of data without hope for getting it back.

Fortunately, you can prevent that with the right tools. Listed below are seven steps you should take before launching your WordPress website.

1. Choose the Right Theme

Choose the Right WordPress Theme

Finding the right template for your website is probably the most important step of the entire process. This is because a theme sets the tone of your entire site.

If, for example, you build a business website but choose a theme lacking a professional look, you won’t be taken seriously.

I recommend searching for templates based on the category of site they cater to and then determining which design fits your site best.

2. Create a Backup

How to Backup WordPress

Building a website takes a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, all of that energy can go to waste in the blink of an eye. That’s why it is crucial to backup WordPress including all of your files, code, and content.

By creating a backup, you will be able to rest assured that your website can be restored whenever necessary. The best backup plugins enable you to create scheduled backups, ensuring that every time you add to or revise your website, you will have a new copy saved.

I like to create my own backups and store them on my computer as an additional measure.

3. Fortify Your Admin Area

How to Protect Your WordPress Admin Area

Because WordPress is such a popular website building platform, it is more prone to hacking attacks than the others. It is therefore crucial to fortify your backend using all means available to you.

The most obvious way to start is by selecting a strong password. Instead of choosing a word that can be easily guessed, use a combination of letters, numbers, special characters, and capitalizations.

Next, set up a two-step verification process. In addition to a password, you will also need a Google Authenticator code to enter your website. Want a quick fix? Checkout some of these awesome 2-factor authentication WordPress plugins that can help.

Finally, protect your WordPress admin area by limiting the number of login attempts. This can help to prevent brute force attacks – a common technique used by hackers in which different login combinations are repeatedly tried. Some hosting companies build this feature in (like WP Engine) so you night want to double check before installing a plugins such as Limit Login Attempts or Login Lockdown.

By securing your backend, you are free to worry about other things.

4. Connect to Google Tools

WordPress Plugins to Integrate Google Services

Although it is possible to track the progress of your website via tools available within WordPress, it is advisable to connect your site to the Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

Not only does Google provide more data than any other website tracking tool, it can also provide crawl reports about essential elements of your website including how quickly it loads, whether it loads properly, and that there are no missing or broken links.

You can also use the Google Search Console to find 404 errors, making it easy to monitor and fix on-site problems before they begin affecting your traffic.

Google Analytics is essential for understanding your audience, their likes, and their dislikes. If you can’t name three characteristics about your users, you probably don’t have much of a grasp on who they are or where they’re coming from.

Because these tools are so easy to set up, there really is no excuse not to have them. If you want to get started with Google Analytics or simply integrate Google services with WordPress the easy way be sure to checkout our blog.

5. Setup an Email on Your Domain Name

Grow/Build Your Email List on Your WordPress Site

Informed webmasters know that an email attached to the domain name of a site is a crucial element to set up before launching and building your email list.

This is because using an email address from another domain (ie gmail.com) can cause problems down the road. These can range from email notifications failing to be delivered to mail servers confusing your mailings with spoof emails.

A domain-based email address also demonstrates to users that your emails are coming direct from the source in addition to simply looking more professional.

If you haven’t setup your email account before launching, now is the time to do so. If email isn’t supported or included with your hosting plan checkout G Suite by Google. It’s a great tool that makes it easy to manage useful tools for your small business all in one place,

6. Test the User Experience

How To Streamline Your WordPress Website And Improve User Experience

When creating a website it is easy to get caught up in the minutia and miss the big picture. This can affect many aspects of a website, but is especially harmful to the overall user experience of your website.

It is crucial to test the user experience and streamline your website before launching. Not only will it is give you a good idea of how your site works, it can also aid in discovering errors or issues you had not noticed before.

Don’t only entrust yourself with the task, though. It is important to get an outsider’s perspective about how a site “feels”. Often times we become content with out work and miss gaping issues.

Just make sure that you take all advice in stride and consider many different points of view.

7. Do Performance Tests

Pingdom Tools

Although performance is technically part of the user experience, the category is so important that I dedicate an entire point to it. The performance of your website affects everything from bounce rate to SEO. This is because users expect quick load times and so does Google.

If your website loading speed isn’t optimal, take measures to ensure that it is by speeding it up with a caching tool. You can check how each measure affects your website by using tools like Pingdom.

Conclusion

These six steps are only the beginning. The most successful websites are run by people who never stop learning and who are always on the lookout for better, more effective solutions.

Good luck with your launch!



Source link

Read more...

Should You Choose a Free or Premium WordPress Theme


If you’re just starting a new project, it can be difficult to decide whether to opt for a free or premium WordPress theme. Although premium themes are generally regarded as the superior choice, this is in fact not always the case.

In this article, we compare free and premium themes against the criteria of price, support, security and updates, usability, and quality. We also consider the benefits of choosing a freemium theme. So let’s get started…

Value for Money

Total

Price is the obvious difference when choosing either a free or premium WordPress theme. Many people just starting out are wary of paying for a new theme when they don’t know if their project will actually work out.

However, although a free theme is initially ‘free’, the reality is that if you want to create a professional or lucrative website, you will probably have to make purchases elsewhere. Free themes, on the whole, don’t come with extensive features. So it may cost you well over the price of a premium theme to update your website with the necessary premium plugins you will need for a fully effective website.

Premium themes also often come with numerous hidden extras, making them great value for money. Many premium themes come with premium plugins already incorporated. For example, our own theme Total comes with Visual Composer, Slider Revolution, and more, included at no extra cost (plus theme updates are free for life).

ThemeForest offers a selection of deals on hosting and domains if you purchase one of their premium themes. Or if you join a theme club like WPMU DEV, you will get access to a range of extras like plugins, support, security, and more.

Top Tip: Research exactly what is included with a theme before you download it to avoid disappointment and extra expense.

Support From Developers

Support

One of the most glaring contrasts between free and premium themes is the support that is on offer. The developers of free themes have an extremely limited budget. This can result in them not being able to deliver immediate high-quality support. Although help is usually available, 24/7 assistance is not a service free themes generally offer.

Premium themes, on the whole, have either larger teams of developers, better support systems in place or a combination of both. Extensive video tutorials and documentation, forums, and email support are usually offered, and many provide round the clock assistance. So if you are running an online business, or you don’t have extensive WordPress experience, a premium theme with top support may be the way to go.

Top Tip: Always check how a theme is supported before making a final decision.

Website Security and Updates

WordPress Repository

It is generally assumed that premium themes are more secure than free themes. However, this isn’t always the case.

Free WordPress themes in the WordPress repository go through a rigorous review process. This ensures that the themes available in the repository are of a high standard, with security elements being a main part of the criteria.

Premium themes can be more of a mixed bag with security, as anyone can create a premium theme and sell it. However, if you purchase your theme from reputable developers or a well-known theme shop (such as Themeforest, StudioPress, Anariel Design, Elegant Themes, etc), then you should be able to sleep easy.

Premium themes from renowned developers are, on the whole, the most secure themes available. These companies have large budgets and numerous developers dedicated to security. Bugs are found and fixed quickly, as any security breaches could seriously impact future sales of the theme.

Premium themes are typically updated more regularly. Updates are often in response to WordPress core changes, and the most recent security vulnerabilities. The update cycle tends to not be as regular or consistent with free themes. So the older the theme becomes the more open it is to security breaches.

Top Tip: Always purchase premium themes from reputable sources and free themes from the WordPress repository to ensure a high quality, secure theme.

Quality of Theme Design and Functionality

ThemeForest

The quality of design can differ greatly between a free or premium WordPress theme. On the whole popular premium themes offer a higher level of quality. Designs are professional in their layout and aesthetics, advanced features and functionality are built in, and there is a focus on usability.

That said, some premium themes go too far, including heaps of functionality that is better served by plugins. This will cause theme bloat, slowing your site down and affecting its performance. And if you decide to switch themes in the future, migrating your content won’t be an easy process.

Another point to consider when choosing between a free or premium WordPress theme is that you may actually not need many of the functionalities that a lot of the premium themes provide. If you opt for a lightweight free theme, you can easily install a few WordPress plugins to make some impressive improvements. By investing in page builder and other advanced plugins, you can quickly upgrade the look of your site as well as add the extra features that you may need.

Top Tip: Read theme reviews to get a good understanding of a theme’s quality and overall performance.

Usability

Twenty Seventeen

The usability of a WordPress theme is an extremely important factor to consider when selecting a new theme for your WordPress website. Unfortunately, the usability for site creators, and for site users, can be some-what lacking with a free theme. However, if you have limited experience using WordPress this may work in your favor. The simplicity of free themes, and lack of features, often make them quick and easy to set up.

Premium theme developers tend to focus on designing themes with impressive usability, both on the front and back end. Premium back-end usability will save you much time and effort when you are working your site. And importantly it will enable you to enjoy the customization process. An effective and successful user experience for your visitors will also increase user time on-site and improve your site conversions.

Top Tip: Check out theme demos to get a feel for visitor user experience.

Final Thoughts on a Free or Premium WordPress Theme

Still unsure about paying out for a premium theme from the get-go? Then a freemium theme might be a good choice for you. A freemium theme is a free theme that can be upgraded at any time. This means that if at some point in the future, you decide that you need the advanced features and functionalities of a premium theme, you can easily swap to the premium version without having to actually migrate to a new theme.

You should now have a good idea of what free and premium WordPress themes offer. Whichever option you choose, make sure you do your research. And always download your theme from a reputable source.

Will you choose a free or premium WordPress theme for your project? Or is a freemium theme the best option for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.



Source link

Read more...

How to Reorder WordPress Posts and Pages


Do you know how to efficiently re-order WordPress posts and pages? Think about the techniques you may have utilized in the past to locate a page or post in your dashboard.

One method is to go straight to the search bar and type in a keyword, but that’s not the same as permanently reordering. This type of ordering would only be visible on the backend. To move your post up on the frontend of your website you’d have to edit the publish date.

The same goes for scrolling down the categories list, even though it does organize them much better than the default WordPress order.

You might use the Date filter, bringing up posts or pages that have been published in certain months. The date filter can be helpful for going back and locating groups of posts you completed in one batch. But, once again, it’s no replacement for reordering your posts and making that order stick.

Therefore, we want to outline the reasons you might want to reorder your blog posts and pages since you might find that it’s a more productive way to configure your dashboard. On the other hand, you may realize that reordering isn’t for you and it would be a complete waste to install a new plugin or go through the manual process.

So, keep reading to learn about the process of reordering WordPress posts and pages. There’s a more complicated, manual method, along with a drag and drop solution offered through a plugin.

Why Would You Ever Want to Reorder WordPress Posts and Pages?

  • You’d like to keep the most popular/important pages and posts in your view at all times.
  • It makes sense to have direct access to pages that get edited a lot, like the homepage.
  • You’re interested in adding to an old post and would like to improve your SEO by changing to a more recent publication date.
  • You find a different order more logical, such as sorting alphabetically.
  • You require a process for quickly reorganizing your posts or pages. For example, some portfolios use pages, so it’s possible you need to move one up or down to present relevant work to your potential clients.

Regardless of the reason you want to reorder your WordPress pages and posts, one thing’s for sure. The way WordPress does it right now isn’t all that friendly. You receive a few filtering options, but you don’t have much control over what you see on your dashboard page with that list of titles.

The Hard, Yet Sometimes Necessary, Way

The only way to go about reorganizing your posts without a plugin is adjusting the publication dates for each of the posts you want to move around. The reason for this is because WordPress automatically displays your posts and pages based on the date. More specifically, the most recently published posts and pages are shown at the top, while the older ones get pushed to the depths of your WordPress dashboard.

The only way to manually bring those older posts to the top (without a plugin) is by changing the publication dates, one by one. I used to do this on my portfolio whenever I added a new client but wanted to feature something more impressive at the beginning of the portfolio. However, it was a pain figuring out which date I needed to select in order to have each portfolio piece in the right spot. So, I eventually turned to a plugin, since a portfolio requires quick changes.

However, blogs might have extremely popular posts that should continue to reside on the frontpage of the blog. You also might want to take an older blog post, add content, then give it an SEO boost by changing the publication date to today.

For both of these situations, it makes sense to go in there and set the new date yourself.

In order to do this, open up your list of posts or pages, whichever you want to reorganize. The first option is to find a post, then click on the Quick Edit button. This is the fastest route, where it brings up several elements you can edit, along with the publication date. Modify the date from there, then click on the Update button.

The other solution is to open the editor for the post or page. The right side of the screen has the publication date, which you can edit and click the Update button.

Like stated before, this isn’t the ideal way to reorder posts or pages. However, sometimes there’s a reason to reorder so that the publication date gets changed as well.

Using a Plugin to Reorder Your Post and Pages with Drag and Drop Tools

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to install a plugin to reorder your post and pages. But, WordPress doesn’t have this functionality built-in.

You can complete a Google search to find a wide variety of reordering plugins, many of which provide drag and drop interfaces for quick movements. Although we’re not going to cover all of them here, you can test out some of our favorites below:

The Post Types Order plugin is both lightweight and effective, so we’ll walk through how to set it up and how the plugin works for rapidly reordering your posts and pages.

Using the Post Types Order Plugin for Reordering

Install the Post Types Order plugin. Activate the plugin to reveal a Post Types Order link under the Settings tab. Although you can pretty much leave the majority of settings on this page, it’s a good idea to take a look, just in case you’d like to make some customizations.

For instance, the page shows some of the options you can adjust, depending on whether or not you want the ability to reorder items like products, coupons, media, or whatever else you have on your website. I have a portfolio area called Projects, and I think it’d be nice to rearrange some of these on occasion. However, there’s no reason for me to change around my webhooks, so I might consider hiding that from the plugin.

The plugin also offers some interesting features like Auto Sort, a minimum access level to use the plugin, and archive drag and dropping.

Once your settings are correct, go to the Posts tab in your WordPress dashboard. Scroll over to find a Re-Order button towards the bottom of the list. This will show up on all of the items you selected in the Settings area. Click on that. It brings you to the drag-and-drop reordering page.

It really can’t be much simpler than this. Each one of your posts is displayed in a basic format, with only the title and nothing else. Use your mouse to click on the one you want to move, hold down that click, then either move it up or down. You’ll need to save your changes, but as you can see, it takes about two seconds, and you don’t have to look up the publication date.

As discussed, the Re-Order button can be placed on other dashboard items. For instance, I also have the Re-Order functionality in my Projects area.

Any Questions on Reordering Posts and Page?

You might be completely fine with changing publication dates, but some of the plugins available make the process much easier. Take a moment to test out each of them to see which one has the tools you need. After that, let us know in the comments which one you like the best.



Source link

Read more...

Best WordPress Plugins to integrate Google Services in Your Website


Google offers a number of tools, applications and services that are helpful to website owners. These include webmaster tools, maps, translator, analytics, AdSense, fonts, forms, docs, drive, authenticator and more. There are a number of plugins to help you get maximum benefit from these services for your WordPress websites. Besides embedding the site specific codes generated by these services and tools in your website, these WordPress plugins offer some customization options as well.

The Best Google SEO Plugins

Let’s dive right in, starting with plugins to add easy options for collecting and interpreting Google’s search engine optimization features.

1. Google Analytics For WordPress

WordPress Plugins to integrate Google services - Google Analytics for WordPress

A whopping million plus active installs speak for the utility and popularity of Google Analytics for WordPress. It connects your website to Google Analytics so you can keep track of visitor data on your website in real time, and that too right from your dashboard. The plugin is easy-to-use and powerful, at the same time beginner friendly. Page level analysis across devices and platforms is possible. There’s a pro version as well that packs in additional features.

If you wish, you can find out more about why you need Google Analytics and how to set it up in our earlier post.

2. Google Analytics WD

Google Analytics WD

Google Analytics WD automatically adds an Analytics code to your website and generates in-depth tracking reports. You can access the data via the dashboard, compare data and export them to CSV and PDF files. Advanced users can configure analytic filters, set goals, exclude certain data from tracking and more. For eCommerce tracking, alerts, pushover integrations and more, you’ll need to upgrade.

3. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP allows you to read Analytic reports right from your dashboard. This way you can keep your eye on the metrics that matter. The plugin tracks AMP pages too, and comes with actions and filters that developers can use to customize tracking code. Not only can you track events like downloads, links and scrolling depth, you can also customize to track authors, categories and user engagement. Access to reports can be restricted by allowing only specific user roles.

4. Google XML sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps

One search engine friendly measure that most websites implement, is to submit an XML site map to all major search engines. A sitemap lists all the pages on your site and makes it easy for search engines to find and index your site, and display it in the results page. When you add categories, tags and custom post types, you’re actually helping crawlers see the complete structure of your site. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin will update the sitemap automatically whenever it detects new content. You can also configure it so that the pages you consider important will appear ahead of less important pages in the search results.

5. Google Pagespeed Insights For WordPress

Google Pagespeed Insights

Google Pagespeed Insights is an invaluable tool that analyses your website speed and lets you know what’s holding your website back. Page wise reports help identify the problem pages easily and lets you take remedial action. You can configure the Google Pagespeed Insights for WordPress to generate mobile reports or desktop reports or both. The Report Summaries generated by this plugin display average page scores and areas which have scope for improvement. Moreover, you can filter the summaries by pages, posts, categories, custom URLs, and custom post types.

The Best Google Map Plugins

Next, if you run a business with a storefront or if you want to add maps to articles or reviews then you may want to consider adding Google Maps to your website. Here are a couple plugin to help.

6. WP Google Maps

WP Google Maps

WP Google Maps adds responsive and customizable maps to posts and pages by adding shortcodes. You can add as many markers to the map as you want, edit and animate them, all with a few clicks. A choice of 9 themes and four map types is available – street view, satellite, terrain and hybrid. You can mark out routes and set up the maximum zoom level for the maps. The plugin comes with a useful store locator facility. The pro version allows you to set up multiple Google Maps, enables visitors to get directions to your markers and much more.

7. Google Map Widgets

Google Maps Widget

Google Maps Widget lets you set up Google maps with thumbnail and lightbox without much fuss. Choose between road and satellite map types, and adjust zoom level and lightbox dimensions. You can also configure other features in the lightbox, as well as the thumbnail options. To enjoy a full bouquet of features such as unlimited pins with custom markers and 50+ additional features, you may consider upgrading to premium.

The Best Google Translation Plugins

Want to translate WordPress? When you need to translate in a pinch Google is a fast and efficient way to convert your content from one language to another. And with these helpful plugins you can make the process even easier.

8. Translate WordPress with GTranslate

GTranslate

To transform your site into a multilingual one and make it available in 100+ languages, GTranslate relies on both Google automatic translation services as well as human translation. It integrates with Google Analytics, and translates everything – posts, pages, categories, tags, themes, menus and widgets and offers RTL support. It hides the Google frame and the option for better translation in the translated pages. Visitors can select language from an intuitive floating language selector, plus there are many styles to choose from. available.

9. Google Language Translator

Google Language Translator

Google Language Translator is a straightforward plugin that allows translation of post, pages and widgets by placing a shortcode. There are only a few setting options – to show or hide specific languages, Google toolbar and Google branding. You can choose not to translate some text portions simply by adding the “notranslate” class to the HTML element containing the text.

The Best Google Login Protection Plugins

We’ve covered the importance of securing your WordPress login page before, but we probably haven’t mentioned how Google offers tons of services to help you accomplish this goal.

10. Google Authenticator Plugin for WordPress

Google Authenticator

The Google Authenticator Plugin for WordPress enhances security on a WordPress install by requiring two factors to sign in – your regular user id and password on the login page as well as an authenticator code generated continuously by the authenticator app on your smartphone. It can be enabled on a per user basis. Further, you can opt for an App password feature, but this can lessen the security of your site.

11. Google Captcha

Google Captcha

Google Captcha is an effective spam protection tool that prevents bots and rogue elements from entering your site, while letting genuine users pass through. Besides the login page of your website, you can also enable it on registration pages, password recovery, comments, popular contact forms, and other like pages. Users will have to confirm that they are not bots by doing simple tasks – easy for humans and difficult for bots.

12. Google Apps Login

Google Apps Login

Google Apps Login is a feature by which existing users can log into your website by accessing it via any other Google account such as Gmail. This helps them to bypass the login page of your website when they are signed into any other Google App account. It works well for large organizations like corporates and universities. Using this plugin makes your website appear as one unified web application to Google, making it that much safer. The premium version also syncs all sign-ins to happen from Google Apps alone, eliminating the need to manage user accounts in WordPress.

Even More Awesome Google Services Plugins

Did you know you can use plugins to integrate custom fonts, calendars and even mobile optimizations? Well here are a handful to get you started.

13. Easy Google Fonts

Easy Google Fonts

Easy Google Fonts provides a simple way to add Google Fonts to your WordPress theme. Fonts are important because they can play a part in branding. Fonts need to be easy to read and compatible with any theme. You have a choice of over 600+ Google fonts and you can preview your theme with the new fonts before you hit Save. Moreover, you’ll not lose any customization when you update or change themes

14. AMP for WP

AMP for WP

Accelerated mobile pages allow webpages to load quickly on a mobile version of the website. AMP for WP automatically adds AMP pages to your WordPress website, making it faster. The plugin provides custom type support and a custom AMP Editor that allows you to override the content of a page or post in the AMP version. It allows internal linking of AMP pages and provides support for AMP WooCommerce, pagination, contact form and Facebook Comments. It provides native search functionality and comments forms in AMP.

15. Simple Calendar

Google Calendar Events

Simple Calendar allows you to add beautiful, responsive calendars to your WordPress website. You can manage events in Simple calendar without having to create events separately in WordPress. It’s possible to customize event display with simple tags and combine multiple calendars using categories. Using the advanced settings, you can adjust the time zones, date and time format and start of the week.

But that’s not all – here are even more useful plugins you might want to consider:

  • Use Google Libraries: Allows you to use the content distribution network side of Googles’s AJAX Libraries API. This reduces the load on your server and enables use of compressed versions of the libraries.
  • Google Drive Embedder: Makes attaching a file from Google drive as easy as attaching a file from the Media Library. You can select documents from a popup and embed it directly in your post or pages.
  • Google Forms: It removes the Google wrapper HTML from your forms and then embeds into your posts, pages, and other places on your website. This helps the forms to blend in with your site. It helps you manage the Google forms that you’re using on your site.
  • AdSense Plugin WP Quads: To insert Google AdSense in your website, if you want to monetize it. While the plugin is responsive, you can choose to disable it based on device. Also, there’s no branding or revenue sharing required.
  • Google Places Reviews: Will help you display Google Reviews on your website. Suitable for restaurants, eCommerce stores, real estate firms, hotels or any website with ratings. The free version is good for display up to three reviews.

Wrapping up

This list is by no means exhaustive, and it’s possible that we may have missed out on including some worthy plugins. If you find any similar plugin specially useful, do share it with us in the comments section below.



Source link

Read more...

How to Integrate AWeber with WordPress to Grow Your Newsletter


Every owner of an online business is looking for a way to engage users and increase sales. The best way to do both of these things is often to create a strong relationship with your audience. However, this can be difficult to do when you are just getting started.

Email marketing is an excellent strategy, although you’ll need the right tool to help you out. AWeber, for example, may be just the solution you’re looking for. This email marketing platform offers several features that can help you get your campaigns off the ground.

In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of email marketing, then take a look at how AWeber can make the task easier. Then we’ll walk through how to integrate AWeber with your WordPress installation, and finish off with a few tips for optimizing your results. Let’s dive in!

Why Email Marketing Is Crucial for Your Business

Email marketing involves using an email subscription list to develop stronger relationships with your readers or customers. You can use your email campaigns to share quality content, advertise special deals and events, or keep your audience informed with a periodic newsletter.

There are plenty of benefits to employing email marketing, such as:

  • Low cost: When compared to traditional marketing, email marketing is relatively cheap.
  • Increased brand awareness: Your target audience will become more familiar with your brand through your emails, and can easily share your content.
  • The ability to target high-quality leads: If your email list is subscription-based, you know its readers are already interested.

You may be wondering how to go about implementing an email marketing campaign, especially if you are on a budget. You could try to create an email list manually, but you will get much better results by using a tool dedicated to the process.

Introducing AWeber

AWeber Newsletters

AWeber is a platform that enables you to create, manage, and analyze email marketing campaigns. It’s simple to use and beginner-friendly, making it a solid choice for any user. You’ll benefit from flexible features that are easy to implement, and reliable support to help you out when you get stuck.

Key Features:

  • Easily create emails with a drag-and-drop editor.
  • Build custom sign-up forms to gather important user information.
  • Target specific email subscribers based on their preferences.
  • Track your marketing results using analytics.

Price: AWeber’s pricing options range from $19 to $149 per month.

How to Integrate AWeber with WordPress

First, we’d recommend taking some time to check out AWeber’s full documentation, to get a feel for how the platform operates. After that, here are some simple steps to get it working with WordPress

Step 1: Publish a Signup Form to Your Site

To get started, navigate to your AWeber account and click on Sign Up Forms:

AWeber Select Sign Up Forms

Select the the green Create A Sign Up Form button to be taken to a template selection screen. Here, you can preview templates and choose the one you’d like to use for your form:

AWeber Choose Template

After you pick a template, you’ll get the option to select a color. Once you’ve made your choice, click on Load Template. This will get you set up and enable you to start customizing the template’s settings.

The first thing you’ll be prompted to do is add some basic information, such as header text and a name for your form. Then, you can decide where your subscribers will be sent after they complete it. This can be a simple page created by AWeber, or your own website:

AWeber Choose destination after form is submittedThe choice you make here is up to you. Once you’re happy with your decision, save your form and click on Go To Step 3.

It’s now time to add your form to your WordPress site. To publish it yourself, select I Will Install My Form:

AWeber Install Form YourselfYou’ll be provided with a snippet of Javascript – copy it now. Then navigate to Pages in your WordPress dashboard, and open the page where you would like to place your form. In the Text editor, paste the Javascript snippet wherever you want the form to appear on your page:

Insert AWeber javascript into the page

Finally, save or update the page. If you preview it from the front end, you should now see your form!

Step 2: Set up the AWeber Blog Broadcast Feature

Now that your form is up and running, go back to your AWeber account. Under Messages, choose Blog Broadcasts and click on Create A Blog Broadcast:

Create a blog broadcast with AWeberAdd your WordPress blog’s RSS feed URL to the corresponding field, then choose a feed template from the drop-down list at the right side of the message area:

Choose your AWeber broadcast templateAfter this, you’ll be able to determine some basic settings for your broadcasts. You can set a schedule for when they will be sent, and choose a trigger. For example, you can send out broadcasts after a certain number of new posts have been published, or on specific days of the month:

How often should a broadcast be sent?

If you want to send broadcasts automatically based on your chosen trigger, check Send Automatically. Then save your settings, and you’re all set! Don’t forget to test your broadcast to make sure everything works as expected.

Tips for Optimizing Your Email Marketing Results

OptinMonster Lead Generation Plugin

Integrating AWeber with OptinMonster enables you to benefit from the features of both tools.

Now that you know how to integrate AWeber with WordPress, let’s talk about a few things you can do to optimize your results. First, there are a couple basic strategies you may want to follow:

  • Take an active approach to tracking your results. AWeber’s analytics features provide tons of useful information, such as the number of opens, click rates, and unsubscribes. You can use these details to determine what content is most effective.
  • Segment your lists. Using the information from your analytics results, you can create segmented lists to target different types of subscribers with the content they’re most interested in.
  • Connect AWeber to your landing page provider. If you currently use a landing page provider, you can connect it to AWeber seamlessly.
  • Check out AWeber’s app integrations. You can connect AWeber to many programs that you already use, such as social media apps.

Finally, you may also want to consider picking up one or more tools that will enhance your AWeber installation:

  • OptinMonster is a feature-rich WordPress plugin that you can use to create highly-converting opt-in forms for your site. You can easily integrate your AWeber subscriber list with your OptinMonster forms to increase lead generation.
  • Heyo is a tool that enables you to build campaign pages that are optimized for social media and mobile devices. Connecting it with AWeber can increase your leads and promote better engagement.
  • Digioh lets you send secure file downloads to the people on your mailing lists. So if you have a sweepstakes or giveaway and need to send files to the winners, for example, Digioh provides a private way to do just that.

Each of these strategies and tools can be a boon to your new AWeber integration, so we’d recommend checking them out!

One of the most rewarding aspects of email marketing is the way it lets you maintain a relationship with your audience after they have left your website. Your subscribers signed up for your mailing list, which indicates that they want the information you are providing.

Now you just need to target this audience with valuable content. Use our tips to grow your email list, then pump out useful content and posts to send to your audience.

Do you have any questions about how to optimize your email marketing strategy using AWeber? Let us know in the comments section below!



Source link

Read more...

Why To Choose A Premium WordPress Theme & How To Customize It


Every developer knows that WordPress is a free content management system, which started as a simple blogging tool and gradually evolved into something really awesome. It’s pretty much a great fit for almost everything you might need on the net. As an open source project, anyone with advanced knowledge can work on and improve it accordingly. It’s a seriously great platform.One of the best features of WordPress is its support for themes, making it easy to customize the look of your website by using your own code or by installing a theme created by someone else.

Of course there are a ton of great free themes out there, but most just can’t compare with their premium counterparts. In this post we’re going to cover some of the reasons why you might want to choose a premium theme, and how to get started customizing it to meet your needs.

Advantages of Premium WordPress Themes

Best Premium WordPress Themes August 2014

Using this CMS, you can create websites yourself, but that’s a long and difficult process. We are sure that every developer will agree with the fact. And hiring people to work for you may cost you a pretty penny. Surely there always is another way, and an easier one at that.

You can find both paid and free WordPress themes for any kind of project. However, you should think long and hard before making decision about what is more important for you right now: saving money or saving efforts. In a word, there are significant advantages of paid (premium) themes over the free ones. And we are going to list some of the most essential (from web developers’ viewpoint) features below.

Theme support: A great advantage of the paid themes is undoubtedly the full support a company provides to the customer. Very often users have questions about the themes they purchased. So, they can just email or chat with a friendly and professional support crew, who is always ready to help.

Customization options: Depending on the WordPress theme you purchase, and if it has built-in options, you can easily customize it. All the complicated coding is already done for you, so you shouldn’t have mess with it. Just play with colors, pictures, text, in short each and every element you wish to modify. I think we can all agree that customizing a template is easier and faster than creating a custom theme from scratch.

Relatively low cost: This point actually doesn’t need any explanation. Buying a theme for around 50 bucks is more money-saving than hiring someone to make you a custom website (which can cost upwards of $8,000+).

Updates: WordPress is constantly improving with each version. Every few months there are major updates for the WordPress Core. Your theme should be compatible with the latest WordPress version, and premium theme developers are highly motivated to keep their themes up to date.

These are just a few of the advantages you’ll find with most premium WordPress themes. But whether you choose to create a theme from scratch, purchase a premium theme or use a free one here are some tips on making it your own.

Customizing a Premium WordPress Theme

adding-custom-code-to-wordpress

If you do decide to buy a premium WordPress theme and believe that it is more profitable and reliable than your other options, you might be asking a simple question: “How do I customize my theme?” Well, that depends. Some themes make it extremely easy for you. The Total WordPress theme created here at WPExplorer includes an extensive theme options panel that includes color pickers, font options, header styles and much more. All you have to do is point, click and save to create a custom looking website in minutes.

But, if your theme doesn’t include an options panel you can still make some easy customizations. It doesn’t have to be hard – we’ve got some tutorials that can really help you out. We’ve chosen them specifically for you, and you might want to checkout the YouTube channels of the guys who made theme for even more WordPress tips and tricks tutorials. So, here we go.

1. How to Edit WordPress Theme CSS Styles

All of the colors, fonts and styles in your WordPress theme can be found in the stylesheet. We recommend that you learn a bit about CSS before making any tweaks, just so that you can accurately make changes to your theme (tuts+ has a great free tutorial that teaches you CSS and HTML in 30 days).

Yellow Pencil Plugin

But have no fear, there is an easier way. We highly recommend the Yellow Pencil Visual CSS Style Editor. This premium plugin makes it easy to point, click and edit any element of your theme without having to dig into code and is a great choice to customize your WordPress theme.

2. Customizing WordPress with a Child Theme

Tools to Customize Your WordPress Theme

If you’re thinking of doing a major overhaul to a theme, then creating a child theme is definitely the way to go. We always recommend that users create a WordPress child theme to ensure that your core theme remains intact. This way any changes you make stay put when you update your core theme to newer versions.

And here’s a roundup of helpful tools to customize WordPress that you might want to have on deck. Both guides are fairly easy to follow along with, so pick your favorite and get going.

Other Helpful WordPress Customization Tutorials

Well not all helpful tutorials are videos after all. Of course there are TONS of tips here on the WPExplorer WordPress blog, but here are some links to other great posts that you might find helpful as you make changes to your WordPress theme.

Conclusion

We hope that the tutorials we have picked were helpful for you and that you now have an idea of where to start when customizing your WordPress themes. If you found an awesome tutorial that we missed let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!



Source link

Read more...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!