Custom programming work

Custom programming work

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custom programming for clients

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Custom programming for clients

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1 review for Custom programming work

  1. testing WordPress Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2017 Sales, Coupons & Deals [ad_1]

    While many folks are looking forward to a shorter work week, football games, parades and day with friends or family – that’s not all that’s going on. If you’re crazy about WordPress like I am, this week is the absolute best to get incredible deals on themes, plugins, hosting plans and more. Why? Because it’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday!


    Better yet, this year many companies are running Cyber Week specials so you don’t have to wait until Friday to save. Checkout our list that rounds up the best deals your can get RIGHT NOW – which we’ll be updating everyday as new sales and promotions become available. This way you can know for sure that you’re getting the best deals possible!


    Now let’s dig into the biggest and best WordPress Black Friday and WordPress Cyber Monday deals of 2017!



    NOTE: This list will be updated with new deals daily, so if we missed a deal just leave a comment beloe and it will be added 🙂



    WordPress Theme Black Friday Deals


    WordPress Theme Black Friday Deals


    Give your website a new look with a fancy new premium WordPress theme! This week(end) you can save more than 50% on your favorite WordPress themes. Just have a look at what’s on sale!


    50% Off Total WordPress Theme

    Get the Total WordPress theme for just $29 this week only! Total includes hundreds of customization options, page builder elements and custom options that make it easy for new users and developers alike. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017 at 2pm AEDT.

    Save 50% on the Total Theme


    50% Off CHIC WordPress Theme

    Save 50% on the premium CHIC WordPress theme. There’s never been a better time to start your own WooCommerce powered shop or build a beautiful blog with WordPress. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017 at 2pm AEDT.

    Save 50% on the CHIC Theme


    cssigniter 40% Off

    Save 40% on premium theme memberships from cssigniter with their Black Friday special! Just use code BF2017 at checkout. Offer ends soon.

    Save 40% at cssigniter


    CyberChimps 30% Off

    Take 30% off any and all purchases at CyberChimps with code CYBERBF30. Offer ends December 5, 2017.

    Save 30% atCyberChimps


    Themeforest: Envato Cyber Week

    Save 50% on hundreds of premium and top selling WordPress themes on Themeforest, no code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save on Premium WordPress Themes


    Envato Elements 33% Off

    Take33% off your annual membership for Envato Elements – a monthly web design membership that includes web templates, graphics, stock and more for just $19/mo with the promo pricing. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save on Envato Elements


    Gorilla Themes 30% Off

    Gorilla Themes is offering 30% off all of their amazing premium WordPress themes! Use code HOLIDAY to save. Offer ends soon.

    Save 30% at Gorilla Themes


    Graph Paper Press 50% Off

    Save 50% on Basic and Pro theme memberships from Graph Paper Press. Use code gppblackfriday2017. Offer ends November 26, 2017.

    Save 50% at Graph Paper Press


    Happy Themes 75% Off

    75% Off all themes and Lifetime access packages from Happy Themes with code SAVE75. Act fast – this offer ends soon. 

    75% Off Happy Themes


    Organized Themes 40% Off

    Save 40% on premium WordPress themes or a lifetime membership with code BFCM2017. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save $100 at Organized Themes


    StudioPress 25% Off (New Customers)

    StudioPress – 25% off for new customers on all WordPress themes and even the massive Pro Plus Pack. No code needed. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

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    StudioPress 50% Off (Returning Customers)

    StudioPress – 50% off for returning customers, no code needed. Just login to see the greater discount. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

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    Themify 50% Off

    Save 50% on all themes and plugins with code BLACKFRIDAY. Offer ends November 27, 2017.

    Save 50% at Themify


    Themify $150 Off

    Save $150 on a Lifetime theme bundle membership from Themify with code BFLIFE150. Offer ends November 27, 2017.

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    Themefuse 70% Off

    Save 70% on any Themefuse purchase when you use code blackfriday2017 at checkout. Offer ends November 25, 2017.

    Save 70% at Themefuse


    Theme Stop 60% Off

    Get 25+ premium WordPress magazine themes from Theme Stop for 60% off with code HOLIDAY60. Offer ends November 28, 2017. 

    Save 60% at Theme Stop


    Theme Junkie 60% Off

    Right now you can save 60% off the Theme Junkie All Themes package, which includes 55+ premium themes for one low price (just $19.60 for one year, or $39.60 for a lifetime). Use code HOLIDAYS17 to save. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

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    ThemeGrill 33% Off

    Save 33% on WordPress themes and plugins by ThemeGrill with coupon code BF33. Offer ends soon.

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    ThemeHunk 40% Off

    Save 40% on WordPress themes from ThemeHunk with the code FRIDAY40. Offer ends December 2, 2017.

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    Themetrust 40% Off

    Themetrust is offering 40% off all their WordPress themes with code BLACKFRIDAY17. Offer ends soon.

    Save 40% at Themetrust


    ThemeBounce 40% Off

    Get 50% off a membership (plus 50% off lifetime updates) from ThemeBounce with code BlackFriday50.Offer ends December 10, 2017.

    Save 40% at ThemeBounce


    AlienWP 60% Off

    You can also save 60% off all theme memberships from AlienWP with code BLACKFRIDAY. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 60% at AlienWP


    WisdmLabs 20% Off

    WisdmLabs is offering 20% off on all premium themes from WisdmLabs with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2017. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 20% at WisdmLabs


    WPEka 50% Off

    Save 50% on all memberships and plans at WPEka with code WPEKA50OFF. Offer ends December 2, 2017.

    Save 50% at WPEka


    WPCasa 40% Off

    Save 40% on real estate WordPress themes with code blackcyber40. Offer ends November 27, 2017.

    Save 40% at WPCasa


    VivaThemes 30% Off

    Save 30% on any WordPress theme or theme package from VivaThemes with code BFVT30. Offer ends soon.

    Save 30% at VivaThemes


    WordPress Plugin Black Friday Deals


    WordPress Plugin Black Friday Deals


    Add new features to your website with any of these awesome WordPress plugins, which all happen to be on sale. Many of these plugins are at a set price year round, making this the best (and possibly only) time of year to save!


    Grace Instagram Gallery Plugin 50% Off

    Save 50% on the Grace premium Instagram gallery plugin created by Looks Awesome. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save 50% on Grace


    Flow Flow Social Stream Plugin 50% Off

    Save 50% on the Flow Flow premium social stream plugin created by Looks Awesome. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save 50% on Flow Flow


    Superfly Menu Plugin 50% Off

    Save 50% on the Superfly premium responsive WordPress menus plugin created by Looks Awesome. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save 50% on SUperfly


    OnionBuzz Quizmaker Plugin 50% Off

    Save 50% on the OnionBuzz premium WordPress viral quiz maker plugin created by Looks Awesome. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save 50% on OnionBuzz


    EnviraGallery 25% Off

    The EnviraGallery plugin for WordPress is 25% off with code BF2017 (new customers only). Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 25% on EnviraGallery


    Events Calendar Pro up to 30% Off

    Spend more save more this weekend! Spend up to $149 and save 10% with code: REST10. Spend $150-$299 and save 20% with code: RELAX20. Spend $300+ and save 30% with code: UNWIND30. Offers end November 27, 2017.

    Save up to 30% on Eventas Calendar Pro


    CodeCanyon: Envato Cyber Week

    Save 50% on hundreds of premium and top selling WordPress plugins on CodeCanyon, no code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save on Premium WordPress Themes


    FooPlugins up to 50% Off

    Save 20-50% off the FooGallery Pro WordPress plugin. Spin the wheel of discounts to discover your discount! Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save at FooPlugins


    LiveChat $10 Off

    Get the premium LiveChat WordPress plugin to add user friendly live chat support options to your website. Plus use our link to save $10 for first 3 monthly payments (best for personal plans). No code needed. Offer ends December 31, 2017. 

    Save $10/mo on LiveChat


    LiveChat 10% Off

    Get the premium LiveChat WordPress plugin to add user friendly live chat support options to your website. Plus use our link to save 10% for first 3 monthly payments (best for Enterprise Plus plans). No code needed. Offer ends December 31, 2017. 

    Save 10% /mo on LiveChat


    MailOptin 25% Off

    Save 25% on the MailOptin premium WordPress plugin when you use code BFCM2017. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 25% on MailOptin


    OptinMonster 25% Off

    New customers can save 25% on new purchases of OptinMonster with code BF2017. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 25% on OptinMonster


    Page Builder Sandwich 33% Off

    Right now new customers can save 33% on the premium Page Builder Sandwich visual page builder plugin with code CYBERMONDAY33. Offer ends soon.

    Save 33% on PBS


    ProfilePress 25% Off

    Save 25% on ProfilePress, the ultimate user profile plugin, with code BFCM2017. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 25% at weDevs


    iThemes Web Designer Toolkit 50% Off

    Save 50% on the massive Web Designer Toolkit by iThemes. Use code WPTOOLKIT50 at checkout. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 50% at iThemes


    s2Member 35% Off

    Save 35% on the s2Member plugin to manage WordPress memberships with code BLACK35. Offer ends soon.

    Save 35% on s2Member


    Soliloquy 25% Off

    Soliloquy is offering a25% off with code BF2017 (new customers only). Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 25% on Soliloquy


    Swift Performance Plugin 50% Off

    Get the Swift Performance plugin at 50% off with code WPEXPLORER. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 25% on Soliloquy


    WisdmLabs 20% Off

    WisdmLabs is offering 20% off on all premium plugins (WooCommerce, LearnDash and Gravity Forms) with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2017. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 20% at WisdmLabs


    Edwiser Bridge Extensions 15% Off

    Edwiser Bridge Extensions are all 15% off when you use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2017 at checkout. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 15% on Edwiser Bridge Extensions


    weDevs 25% Off

    You can save 25% on premium professional WordPress plugins from weDevs this week with code holiday17. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 25% at weDevs


    WPMU Dev 3 Months Free

    Get 3 months FREE when you sign up for an annual plan from WPMU Dev with code BF2017. Get 140+ plugins for one super-duper low price! This offer is limited – visit the link to see how many coupons are left.

    Get 3 Months Free at WPMU Dev


    WPMU Tutorials 75% Off

    Get 117 Training videos to learn the basics of WordPress, WooCommerce, SEO, basic theme customization and more at a whopping 75% Off! No code needed. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 75% at WPMU Tutorials


    WPSecurity Ninja 30% Off

    WPSecurity Ninja is 30% off. Use code black17 to save on all Security Ninja packages. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 30% on WPSecurity Ninja


    WebFactoryLtd 55% Off

    Get all three ofWebFactoryLtd’s popular plugins (Google Maps Widget, Under Construction Page & WP Security Ninja) for 55% off with code black17. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 55% at WebFactoryLtd


    WPForms 25% Off

    Get WPForms, one of the best form plugins available, for 25% off with code BF2017 (new customers only). Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 25% at WPForms


    WP Rocket 35% Off

    Save 35% on your purchase of WP Rocket – an easy to use caching plugin to speed up your WordPress site. No code needed. Offer ends November 27, 2017.

    Save 35% on WP Rocket


    WordPress Hosting Black Friday Deals


    WordPress Hosting Black Friday Deals


    Upgrade your web hosting this week with any of these awesome WordPress hosting Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Now’s your chance to lock-in a top tier hosting plan at a crazy low price.


    WP Engine 35% Off

    Save 35% on your first payment when you signup for a new plan from WP Engine. And if you select an annual plan you’ll get another 2 months free – that means you can get 5 1/2 months of FREE hosting! Just use code cyberwpe35. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 35% at WP Engine


    Cloudways up to $150 Off

    Get up to a $150 credit (10% off each month up to $150 total) when you signup for a new account at Cloudways. Use code BF150 to cashing in. Offer ends soon.

    Save up to $150 at Cloudways


    Flywheel 25% Off

    Flywheel – Save 25% (that’s 3 months free) on all annual WordPress hosting plans with free SSL, free migrations, helpful support and more! Use code FLYDAY17 to save. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

    Save 25% at Flywheel


    GoDaddy $1 Hosting Deal

    Snag web hosting from GoDaddy for as little as $1 per month (depending on contract term) with this limited time offer. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Save Big at GoDaddy


    GoDaddy $0.99 Domain Deal

    Get your very own .COM domain name for your new website from GoDaddy for just $0.99 with this limited time offer. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Get Cheap Domains at GoDaddy


    GoDaddy 30% Off

    Save 30% on new purchases like hosting, SSL, email service or anything else at GoDaddy with code cjc2off30. Offer ends soon.

    Save 30% at GoDaddy


    Hosting24 67% Off Hosting Plans

    Save up to 67% on hosting (get shared for just $2/mo) plus get a FREE domain name when you use code BFSALE. Offer ends December 1, 2017.

    Save 67% a tHosting24


    iPage 75% Off Hosting Plans

    Right now you can save 75% on hosting from iPage plus get a BONIS $200 in advertising credits. No code needed. Offer ends November 24, 2017.

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    InMotion Hosting 64% Off

    Save up to 64% with awesome deals on VPS, dedicated servers, reseller and even WordPress specific hosting from InMotion. No code needed. Offers end soon, please visit InMotion for details.

    Save 64% at InMotion Hosting


    NameCheap 40% Off VPS

    Save 40% on new VPS & Reseller hosting plans from NameCheap with code THUNDER. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 40% on NameCheap VPS/Reseller


    NameCheap $5 Off Ultimate

    Take $5 off your Ultimate Hosting Package by NameCheap with code GHO5T. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save $5 on NameCheap Ultimate


    NameCheap 15% Off Professional Hosting

    Save 15% when you purchase a NameCheap Professional Hosting Plan with code SAVE15NOV. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 15% at NameCheap


    NameCheap 10% Off Domains

    Save up to 10% off domains (com, net, org, biz) new registrations or transfers with code AUTUMNDAYS. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 10% on NameCheap Domains


    Rose Hosting 50% Off

    New customers can save up to 50% (for the first 6 months) on Managed Linux VPS Hosting from Rose Hosting with code RHBF17. Offer ends December 1, 2017.

    Save 50% at Rose Hosting


    More Web Design Black Friday Deals


    Web Design Black Friday Deals


    Looking for stock photos? Icon sets? Premium video services? Or something else to make creating custom web designs easier? Checkout our picks for the best web design deals you won’t want to miss this year.


    Creative Market Deals

    There are hundreds of web templates, fonts, graphics, icons and more on sale on Creative Market! Just visit their promotion section to wee what’s on sale this week. Check individual offers for expiration dates.

    Save on Creative Market Items


    BigStock 15 FREE Images

    Get 15 premium stock photos for free when you take advantage of BigStock’s 3-day trial. Offer ends soon.

    Get Free Images from BigStock


    Designmodo 70% Off

    Save 70% on the popular Qards page builder, plus other web design resources,  from Designmodo with code BLACK. Offer ends November 24, 2017.

    Save 70% at Designmodo


    Themeforest: Envato Cyber Week

    ave 50% on hundreds of premium stock photos, videos and graphics from the Envato Marketplace, no code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

    Save on Premium WordPress Themes


    Hungry Jpeg 20% Off Feast Bundle

    Use code WISHES20 to save an extra 20% on top of the already discountedNovember Feast Bundle (which is 96% Off Fonts & Graphics). Please view bundle deal for end dates.

    Save 20% at the Hungry Jpeg


    InkyDeals Extra 70% Off

    Save an extra 70% on any already discounted web design deal from InkyDeals with code 70BLACK. Offer ends December 1, 2017.

    Save 70% at InkyDeals


    Pixelo 20% Off

    Save 20% on handpicked web design bundles from Pixelo with code BLACK20. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

    Save 20% at Pixelo


    WP101 50% Off Tutorial Videos

    Learn all about WordPress with easy to follow video tutorials by WP101. And you can save 50% with code 50OFFWP101. Offer ends soon.

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    Vimeo Live 10% Off

    Save 10% on a Vimeo Live membership to publish your own awesome videos on the web with code LIVELAUNCH10. Offer ends December 31, 2017.

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    Vimeo Business 10% Off

    Save 10% on a premium Vimeo Business membership for your company with code VIMBIZOCT17. Offer ends December 31, 2017.

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    More Info


    Like I said before, I’ll be updating this post every single day, so come back to see what’s been added! Also if I missed your deal leave a comment below and I’ll get it added.


    Thanks for Reading WPExplorer


    But while I’ve still got your attention – thank YOU so much for being awesome and reading to the bottom of this post! We’re thankful for people like you who visit our blog for reviews, WordPress tips and of course some killer deals. It’s you we write these posts for, so I hope you enjoyed this roundup and that you were able to find a few deals to take advantage of this week!




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  2. testing Flywheel Managed WordPress Hosting Review [ad_1]

    Back with another WordPress Hosting review, this time it’s Flywheel turn. In this article I’m going to explore the ups and downs of this very decent hosting service for WordPress that has plenty of options. Scalable plans, free migrations, staging sites, nightly backups, free SSL are only some of the features you’ll find at Flywheel. Keep reading to see our review of their service, or click the link to visit their website to learn more.


    Learn More About Flywheel


    Creating a New Website with Flywheel


    Flywheel has a very particular way to start your experience with the service. They don’t let you choose a plan right away so I’ve decided to show you the process just as I’ve experienced it. Payment does not come first with Flywheel as they let you setup your demo site first.



    Just fill in all the information and then you’re ready to create your first site. Up until that moment, there are no plans presented whatsoever. This is a very unique way to get started. Flywheel has made it easy for people who want to demo the service (or use it to being building a demo website for a client) but it may become inconvenient for those that consider payment and setup as two completely separate things.



    Flywheel lets you pay by two ways: either pay yourself or let your client make payments once they take over the site (note: you can also add a site to bulk plans you already have).



    Once you decide how you want to pay, you’re free to choose a plan and after that… it’s creation time. I like that Flywheel has made it easy for people who want to start a demo of the service, and the setup makes a lot of sense for freelancers. But it since not all users will land on the the ricing page before beginning having the plans information accessible during the signup process would be nice.


    Flywheel Hosting Plans


    Here are the current plans for Flywheel. They offer fully managed WordPress hosting plans, so server settings are configured and WordPress already installed when you signup.



    For this review I’ve chosen the Personal Plan. Flywheel has an adequate set of resources, it’s a little more expensive than the competition but it has SSL included and the option for CDN is affordable enough. The only real drawback of their plans is the limited storage space, which for most blogs won’t be an issues but could become a problem for medium to large sites (specifically resource heavy or high traffic sites).


    Migrate Your WordPress Site to Flywheel


    The ideal way for me to start working on the site is to import the current benchmark site so I’ve tested the migration mechanism, as always.



    The are several ways you could import your current site: the usual way (here’s a great starter guide to migrate to WordPress), providing credentials to your current WP site and FTP access, directly via WordPress.com (which is a good addition) or through a ZIP upload – which is just the perfect method for me. Flywheel is confident enough you’ll want to go from WP Engine to Flywheel they even included that option in there too!



    Once you make up your mind on what kind of migration method you want, Flywheel will let you choose the type of migration, either a Standard migration which can take up to 3 business days and it’s free or the Expedited migration that is said to be done in less than 8 hours.


    Even though I’ve properly zipped the file, that method didn’t work for me and got stuck at 99% so I contacted tech support for assistance. They responded very rapidly and asked me to send them the zip file, which I did. The migration was done in less than 10 minutes without any extra charge involved so, unless your site is really huge, there is really no need to pay for an Expedited migration as the regular service works just fine.


    Flywheel Panel Options


    Once the site is setup, defining the domain is one the easiest things to do. Flywheel gives you access to all your DNS settings and they actually encourage you to edit them as needed.



    This could be a confusing for new users, but for people who know where their domains are pointing Flywheel will not get in your way. They let you define your domains easily and will give you the coordinates to their CNAME defined names and respective IPs. They even provide an easy tool for you to check if the DNS entries are loaded properly.


    Flywheel is about the least intrusive and easy to work service for domains and DNS. It’s like they’re telling you: “we know you want to setup your domain so, here is the data, point your domain and check if it’s working… we won’t get in the way” and that’s just perfect.



    Once the domain is setup properly, the main panel will let you control the Cache on your WP site, enable the Debug mode and even disable the Cache to see changes instantly. Flywheel does seem to be caching WordPress with their own custom webserver architecture.


    Extra Flywheel Services


    On top of the usual stuff, Flywheel provides support for backups. While it’s still a good idea to backup WordPress regularly on your own, this is a great backup for your backups.



    And if that’s not enough, Flywheel will let you enable a multisite service for $10/mo extra and a CDN service for $10 more.



    Certificates are free as long as you use Let’s Encrypt but installing your own certificate through Flywheel will cost you $10 month which is not goodFor most users paying an extra $10 a month for a custom certificate is probably not worth it. Having your own certificate is not much different than using the built in Let’s Encrypt, so we’d recommend the free option for most.


    If you’re in need of building your own store with your custom certificate you’re probably better off with another service that does not charge you a monthly fee.


    Local by Flywheel


    Local by Flywheel


    Another exclusive feature is Local by Flywheel. With Local you can design, build and test your website locally (on your computer) then quickly and easy push your design to your live site hosted on Flywheel. Best of all – this is a free feature that works great with all Flywheel plans.


    Flywheel Hosting Performance


    So how does Flywheel compare to the rest? Let’s put the service to the test.



    Website performance is very good, with a response time of less than 1.5 seconds and a solid A score from Pingdom.



    Watching the header response closely you can see that Flywheel is using a custom webserver configuration that appears to be quite optimized for the task.



    A test from the Australia server also gives an excellent result with another A. Good job!



    GTMetrix also shows a superb result and the website loaded in 1.6s confirming that Flywheel does have a nice webserver & cache in place, making this a fine service for any WP addict that needs a very good performance.


    What I Liked


    Flywheel has a nice intuitive and easy to use interface with standard options but tons of extras. I loved the “we do not get in your way” attitude towards the domains & DNS setup as this is ideal for a quick setup, specially for professionals.


    I also liked the way they respond to tickets. The support staff are happy to help and quick on fixes. And I most certainly liked the performance.


    What I didn’t like


    Having a nice service with a very restrictive storage space is not nice and having to pay tons of money for an even more expensive service just to use more space is not fun at all. I would loved to have more storage space options to the mix. There are tons of blogs & magazines that does not get that many visits but consumes a lot of storage space and Flywheel will be a very costly service for that kind of activity.


    I do think the sign up process could be better as the plans are not visible until after you setup your website and choose a form of payment. This needs to improve. Either offer a free demo (with the 14-day limitation visible) or require the user to signup & add payment info first (then setup after) – mixing the two is confusing.


    Also Flywheel doesn’t currently offer any e-mail options which could be a problem. Though we can highly recommend G-suite if you want to manage emails yourself.


    Wrapping Up


    Flywheel is a solid hosting option. The intuitive and easy to use interface combined with extras such as backups, staging, ability to add free SSL certificates, multisite compatibility and optional CDN makes for quite a good deal. Also Flywheel offers one of the least intrusive methods for setting up domains and DNS (aka we don’t stand in your way attitude) and that is a nice gesture.


    Plus if you are a freelance web designer there are some extra features like the option to choose client billing and Local (which you can use to connect your local development site to you live client sites).


    On the other side of the table the storage space is very limited and Flywheel is somewhat expensive. But if you don’t require tons of space, it’s a good service with excellent performance and tech support. For more information, be sure to visit their website.


    Get Flywheel


    Overall we think Flywheel is a pretty good managed WordPress hosting service, but what do you think? Have you tried Flywheel? Or do you have any other questions about their hosting? Let us know in the comments.




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  3. testing How to Prevent Spam and Protect Your WordPress Blog [ad_1]

    Your comments section gives you a convenient way to engage with your website’s readers. Unfortunately, opening your website up to comments means you will have to deal with spam. Unless you are the type of blogger who doesn’t solicit feedback via comments and trackbacks/pingbacks, you will have to deal with it at some point or another.


    But the question is, how? As spam bots (and human spammers) become more sophisticated, it is more and more difficult to keep your blog clean of irrelevant and inappropriate content.


    Luckily, WordPress comes with built-in features and free add-ons to help control and combat spam, including Akismet and comment blacklists. Even better, there are many third-party plugins available to provide additional spam protection.


    In this post we will take an in-depth look at the issue of spam on WordPress blogs, the negative impact it can have on your site if left unchecked and how it can be managed and prevented. We’ll also take a look at the tools available in WordPress to combat this problem. Finally, we’ll finish up with some plugin recommendations to take your spam moderation to the next level. Let’s dive in!


    What WordPress Comment Spam Is


    Screenshot of spam comments

    Automated spam comments like these can overrun your WordPress database.


    It can be exhilarating when new comments show up on your blog. However, that first blush of excitement often disappears when you see inappropriate replies to your content. These replies, of course, are also known as spam. The dictionary simply defines it as “irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of users“. Sounds about right to me.


    Blog spam is born of the same family as the oh so familiar email spam, but has its own unique aim – to get backlinks. Whether it is via a blog comment, trackback or pingback, the purpose of blog spam is to publish a link on your site that points back to another site. The site in question is typically irrelevant to your niche and often poor quality.


    These unsolicited messages is a fact of life if you allow commenting on your posts. Fortunately, identifying it is relatively simple, since it usually takes one of three primary forms.


    1. Spambots


    These are comments are posted automatically using a script or bot that scour the web in search of targets to flood with comment junk. There is no direct human involvement in these comments, and they are usually pretty easy for the human eye to spot. Spambots are probably the biggest culprits of irrelevant comments.


    2. Manual Comments


    This is when humans are hired to manually post comments on sites. The quality of these comments can vary from blatantly obvious to debatable, which of course offers up a big headache for anyone trying to eradicate spam from their site. These will almost always include links in the comments, and can be a bit sneakier than bots (we’ve seen comments with questionable links added to blank spaces in the comment text).


    3. Trackbacks & Pingbacks


    As defined by Google, a trackback is “one of three types of linkback methods for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents”. For our purposes you can assume pingbacks to be essentially the same thing. You will have probably seen trackbacks before. They exist as a list of links, typically within or below the comments section on a blog post. For a spammers’ purposes, the objective is simple – mention a blog post in their own post and get a link back.


    Each of these spam types is problematic, and you’ll often receive more than just one category. Together, they can clog up your comments section and cause all kinds of issues.


    How Comment Spam Affects Your WordPress Site


    Trackback spam

    Spammers use trackbacks to create links back to irrelevant sites.


    You may consider spam to be nothing more than an annoyance. However, if left unchecked, it can have negative consequences for your website. In addition to providing a poor user experience for your readers, comment spam can harm your site in many ways, causing:



    • Loss of search engine rankings. Google targets bad links on your site for ranking purposes, even in the comments.

    • Potential risks to your readers. The links in spam comments can lead to malicious sites.

    • Site speed and load time issues. Too many comments can overload your WordPress database and slow down your site.


    Every blog that enables commenting is vulnerable to spam. Having a plan of action for reducing and combating it is the only way to protect your site and your readers.


    How to Combat WordPress Comment Spam


    While comment spam is unavoidable, there is good news. You can combat this blight by moderating your comments and utilizing WordPress’ built-in tools.


    First, make sure that you have turned on comment moderation. Doing so enables you to approve any comment before it posts to your site. If you don’t have time to review every single comment, you can set parameters based on several factors. For example, you can:



    Don’t forget the biggest weapon in your default arsenal: plugins. There are tons of great free and open source plugins you can add to your WordPress installation to check comments and filter out anything that looks like spam.


    The Best Anti-Spam Plugins to Reduce Comment Spam on Your WordPress Site


    One of the best things about using WordPress is how easy it is to customize. When it comes to blog comments, you can use plugins shore up your security. Here are three plugins to help you take control of your comment spam.


    1. Akismet


    Akismet plugin


    How could we not mention Akismet? This plugin comes installed by default on WordPress blogs, and is free to use for personal bloggers (with a commercial monthly subscription set at $5 per month, and enterprise solutions available at $50 per month).


    In using a “catch-all” spam solution like Akismet, you have to accept that some legitimate comments may get flagged as spam. It’s simply a cost of blogging and using an automated spam blocker. The issue is mainly stems from human spammers. One person’s spam is another person’s legitimate comment, so if humans can’t agree 100% of the time, what chance does a plugin have?


    However, for most part, Akismet does a great job. It keeps an enormous amount of spam at bay on my blog, with only the occasional legitimate comment being caught out. Furthermore, it takes care of trackback spam too – a huge bonus.


    Key Features:



    • Blocks comment and trackback spam.

    • Automatically checks all comments.

    • Comment history so you can check which comments were blocked by the plugin or by moderators.

    • Includes a “Discard” settings to auto-block the worst spam.


    Price: Akismet is a free plugin, and may already be installed on your blog.


    Get Akismet


    2. WP-SpamShield


    WP-Spamshield plugin


    This plugin uses the ‘honey pot’ technique to trap bots invisibly. Humans won’t see captchas, but bots will, and they will then be trapped as spam. WP-SpamShield acts as a firewall to block both automated and targeted spam. Since it blocks these comments before they reach your database, you never have to worry about them slowing down your site.


    Key Features:



    • Blocks trackback and pingback spam.

    • Prevents spam at the front of the site, so it never hits the WordPress database.

    • Works with all major form builder tools.


    Price: WP-SpamShield is a free plugin.


    Get WP-SpamShield


    3. Anti-spam


    Anti-spam plugin


    Anti-spam uses invisible captchas to block all spambots from your comments. The pro version also blocks manually submitted spam. While this plugin does a great job of stopping unwanted comments, however, it doesn’t protect other types of forms on your site. This means you might want to use this plugin with something else to get extra form protection. However, it’s still an excellent lightweight option.


    Looking for more protection options? Anti-Spam Pro includes added settings for manual spam protection so you can further by automatically preventing comments that rank high on a spam points scale (with more than a set number of links, words or flagged spam words).


    Key Features:



    • Blocks trackbacks by default.

    • Prevents automatic spam from ever getting to your WordPress database.

    • Pro version blocks manual spam.


    Price: Anti-Spam is free, and the pro version available for $25.


    Get Anti-Spam by Webvitaly


    4. WPBruiser


    WPBruiser plugin


    WPBruiser promises to work from the second you install it. This plugin combines brute force attack protection with comment spam blocking. You can use it to protect all of your forms, and your readers will never have to use a captcha. Overall, it’s a comprehensive and user-friendly option.


    Key Features:



    • Includes brute force attack protection.

    • Enables you to block malicious IP addresses.

    • Is compatible with WordPress Multisite.

    • Offers extensions that work with all major form tools.


    Price: WPBruiser is a free plugin with optional extensions.


    Get WPBruiser


    5. Hide Trackbacks


    This last plugin is very straightforward as it simply does what the title states – hides trackbacks. While you can disable trackbacks completely, there is value in simply hiding them if you want to keep track of who is linking to you. This plugin removes trackbacks from your front end but still allows you to see them on your WordPress dashboard.


    Price: Hide Trackbacks is completely free.


    Get Hide Trackbacks


    Conclusion


    Comment spam is a simple fact of life on the internet, unless you plan to disable comments altogether. Safeguarding your site against inappropriate comments is crucial for its overall health and performance. By removing spam comments, you can keep your database clear, maintain a solid user experience, and improve engagement.


    Do you have any questions about how to manage spam on your WordPress site? Or tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below!




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  4. testing WordPress 4.9 Release: New Features You'll Love [ad_1]

    It’s mid November, and we’re ramping up to what just might be one of the biggest Cyber sale weeks in WordPress history (Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are already getting started). And as if that’s not enough to be excited about, WordPress just dropped 4.9 and we couldn’t wait to show you what it was like when we updated. So without further ado meet WordPress 4.9, more affectionately named “Tipton.”


    Customizer Drafts & Scheduling


    WordPress 4.9 Customizer Drafts & Scheduling


    One feature we’re excited to make use of is the new Customizer Drafts & Scheduling options. Now when you use the live customizer you can save changes as a draft, which is extremely useful when working on a website redesign. This way you can test different colors, fonts, layouts or any other customizer settings included with your theme right on your live site without having to commit to the change right away. Just save and come back to review your design later on. Don’t worry if you forget to save – WordPress will auto save drafts so if you accidentally close your window you should be able to


    Equally as useful as drafts is the option to schedule a design change. This is a great way to plan and add promotional assets, sale banners or seasonal ads to your site. Simple make your edits then schedule the day and time to have your new design go live.


    Customizer Collaboration Upgrades


    Good news for design teams, WordPress 4.9 also adds new features to make working together even easier. The first is customizer locking while you’re making changes. This way another team member can’t interfere in your creative process.


    The second is an easy to share customizer preview link option when you save your draft. Just copy and paste the link into your team Slack or group email to get input.


    Themes via the Customizer


    One other feature we wanted to touch on was the fact that you can now preview and install more than 2,600+ free themes from the WordPress.org repository right from the customizer. This is a great feature, specifically when first setting up your website or blog with WordPress.


    New & Updated Widgets


    WordPress 4.9 Gallery Widget


    This WordPress update adds a new Gallery widget you can use in sidebars, footers and other widget ready areas. This is a great way to showcase features project images, staff photos, or really anything else.


    WordPress 4.9 Gallery Widget Settings


    The widget works just like regular WordPress galleries. Just click to select images you’d like to add plus set options for linking, columns, ordering and size. Remember to save after inserting your gallery to see it live on your site.


    WordPress 4.9 Text Widget


    All other notable changes were made to enhance the Text widget, which now supports oEmbed media and and parses shortcodes. What does this mean for you? Well, you can quickly add YouTube videos, SoundCloud podcasts, Polldaddy surveys, Tumblr posts, Spotify music or any other WordPress supported oEmbed media to a widget area by pasting the link in a text widget (you can use that handy media insert option if you’d like). Or if your theme (or any plugins) include shortcodes, you should now be able to successfully use them in your widgets.


    Improvements When Changing Themes


    Ever lost your widgets, or had menus unassigned from locations when you switched themes? This was a common issue users ran into when updating their website design but with WordPress 4.9 that’s now a thing of the past!


    WordPress will now do it’s best to maintain menu locations and widget areas based on similar IDs and naming. So ideally your “Top” and “Main” menu locations will remain when you switch from one theme to another. This assumes both themes use similar menu locations or the same number of menu locations (as WordPress will try to assign the menu from the first location according to your old theme to the first menu location in your new theme). Similarly, sidebar widgets should remain in your sidebar and footer widgets in your footer (again – assuming similar locations exist).


    Editor Enhancements


    The latest version of WordPress also comes with new and improved updates for the code Editor (even though we personally HIGHLY recommend against using the editor, since really all changes should be made via a custom child theme to ensure your edits remain when you update your themes and plugins).


    WordPress 4.9 Editor Enhancements


    If you do use the Editor to make changes you’ll be happy to know that it now supports CodeMirror which formats your code like most major code editors. This update integrates improved formatting, autocomplete and live syntax error notification. This new functionality also comes with the ability for developers to enable CodeMirror in plugins.


    More for Developers


    As always, there were more changes going on under the hood so to speak. This includes customizer JS API improvements, a MediaElement.js upgrade to 4.2.6, REST API updates for objects, as well as brand new roles and capabilities. For a full run down be sure to read over the official dev notes from the Make WordPress Core trac.


    Over to You


    That’s what we played around with in WordPress 4.9. We’re definitely most excited to use the customizer scheduling, especially with holiday sales and promotions just around the corner. But what about you? What features you you like in 4.9? Let us know below!




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  5. testing Google+ for WordPress - Tips & Plugins for Your Blog [ad_1]

    Although everyone has heard of Google Plus, it is often the last social media channel people consider when promoting their business. Working in a similar way to Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus offers all that you would expect from a social media channel. Google Plus displays a feed of recent events and posts, allows you to follow others and build your own following, share your own content, like and comment on others offerings, and lots more. However, with Googe Plus being undoubtedly less popular than some of the other social platforms out there, why should you use it?


    In this article, we consider the benefits of using Google Plus and how to get started with it. We then look in more depth at how you can use this social media platform to promote your business, and how to integrate it with your WordPress website.


    Why Use Google Plus?


    Google Plus


    Google Plus is an ideal platform to promote your business, connect with potential clients, and interact with your current fan base. Google Plus uses and easily integrates with a range of Google tools, including Google Photos, Hangouts, Maps, Calendar, YouTube, and many more. This makes posting on Google immediately a quicker and easier process than many other social channels.


    And that’s not all, regular engagement on Google Plus helps to improve the rankings of your website’s pages and posts in Google’s search engine. Those that follow you on this channel are also more likely to be shown your Google Plus content if they search on Google using similar keywords. Lastly, Google Plus doesn’t charge you to promote your businesses posts, and due to its ‘circles’ feature, you can target your content at specific groups of people.


    So now we know a bit about Google Plus and the benefits of using it, let’s look at how to get it up and running…


    Getting Started With Google Plus


    It is extremely quick and easy to sign up with Google Plus. However, you will need a Google account to do so. At the top of the Google Plus homepage, select the ‘Sign In’ button, and either follow the instructions to create a new Google account, or select the Google account you would like to sign in with.


    View Your Newsfeed


    Home Page


    When logging into Google, you will find your Newsfeed on the initially displayed ‘Home’ page. Your Newsfeed contains a selection of posts published, shared and liked by your followers, recommended posts, topics to explore, articles trending on Google Plus, and more. View your Newsfeed to find out what has been going on on Google Plus and what others are publishing.


    Under each post displayed, you will see a 1+ button. This is the equivalent of a Facebook ‘Like’. The number of 1+’s a post has received will be shown next to the 1+ icon. You will also see a comments box and a share icon displayed under posts. It is important to engage with others in your niche to help grow your following. Liking, commenting and sharing posts is an effective way to do so.


    Edit Your Profile


    Profile Page


    Your profile is the page that your followers will see when checking you out on Google Plus. Therefore, it is essential that you complete all the necessary details on your profile page, and make it as welcoming and detailed as possible.


    There are a number of ways to customize your profile page. To do so, in the left-hand side menu in your Google Plus dashboard, select ‘Profile > Edit Profile’. Here you can write your own tagline and upload a profile picture and background image for your page.


    You can also add information about yourself. On your profile page, click ‘About’ to add your date of birth and occupation, as well as upload albums. However, keep in mind, if you choose to add this info it will also be shown across your other Google services too, like Google Drive and Photos. Select the ‘+’ icon to add other details like work and education info, where you are living, and links to your other social media profiles and websites.


    Your profile page also shows all posts you have published or shared, as well as the communities you have joined and collections you have created. We will cover communities and collections further on in the article.


    Add Followers


    People


    Under ‘People’ in your left-hand dashboard menu, you can find people to follow, see who is following you, and manage those you are following. Under the tab ‘Find People’, Google Plus will suggest people for you to follow, and you can also search for specific individuals using the search function at the top of the page.


    The tab entitled ‘Following’ enables you to see who you are following. One of the features that differentiates Google Plus from other social media channels is their concept of ‘circles’. Circles allow you to create different groups, and you can place your followers in these groups accordingly. This can then be particularly useful for creating specific target groups to promote different types of content to.


    Begin Posting


    Add Post


    To post in Google Plus, select ‘Home’ or ‘Profile’ from the menu bar and then simply click on the pencil icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. In the pop-up, write your post, add interactive links, images, share your location and more. Once published, you can still edit a post, move it to a collection, pin it to the top of your profile, and disable comments or sharing, to name a few options.


    How to Use Google Plus to Promote Your WordPress Website


    So now you know a little about getting started with Google Plus. Take your time familiarizing yourself with this social media platform. Once you are confident using Google Plus, the next step is to consider how to use it to best promote your WordPress website.


    Enable Google Plus for Your Brand


    Create a Brand


    If you want to promote your WordPress website on Google Plus, then you need to create a Google Plus brand account. By setting up your brand’s own page, fans can easily search, find, and follow you on Google Plus. Your brand can also post, comment, and share, as well as create its own collections and communities.


    To create a Google Plus brand account open the Google Plus Brand page. Give your brand page a name and select ‘enable’. Google Plus will then open within your new brand account. You can create as many brand accounts as you wish, and switch between them and your personal account by clicking on the accounts icon in the top right-hand corner.


    You brand account will be totally blank when you set it up. So you will need to spend time editing your brand’s profile page, finding people to follow, creating collections and generally getting your brand set up.


    Optimize Your Google Plus Page


    Optimize Brand Page


    Try and link the branding of your Google Plus page as closely as possible to that of your website. Apart from displaying the same name, use the same logo and images, so the page is immediately recognizable to your fans trying to connect with you on Google Plus.


    Under ‘Profile’, select ‘Edit Profile > Manage Page’. Here you can add contact info, links to your website and other social media platforms. Also, click on ‘Story’ to write a description of your business, making sure you include keywords and further links to content on your website.


    When creating posts, use keywords you are looking to rank for in the text. Add calls to action, links to your site, and ask questions to engage your followers and start discussions. Hashtags are also used on Google Plus to enable readers to quickly find the content they are after. So always add relevant hashtags at the end of a post to help increase traffic streams to your content.


    Join Communities


    New Community


    Communities are an effective way to connect with others in your niche. Under ‘Discovery’ in the menu bar, you can view the numerous community categories, or search for a specific community in the search bar. You can also create your own communities under ‘Communities > Create Community’.


    Joining communities enables you to access your target audience, share posts, chat about relevant topics, and see what subjects are being widely discussed in your industry. Communities are also a great place to get yourself known as an expert in your field, and help increase your followers.


    Create Collections


    Create a Collection


    Creating a variety of ‘Collections’ will enable you to group your content and share it with specific target groups. To create a collection, click on the ‘pencil’ icon in the bottom hand of your ‘Profile’ or ‘Home’ page. Then next to your name, click on the link and select ‘Create a Collection’. It is here you can also choose which collection to post new content too.


    Collections and their content can be shared with your ‘Circles’, and followers can choose to follow individual collections. This is a great way to send the right content to the right people, and not overload your followers with irrelevant info.


    How to Integrate Your WordPress Website and Google Plus Channel


    It is important to make sure you promote your Google Plus page on your WordPress website to encourage your site visitors to follow you. Displaying social media follow buttons and a social feed will help you to accomplish this.


    Display Social Media Follow Buttons


    Monarch


    Monarch from Elegant Themes is an effective social media plugin, that provides stylish follow buttons that can be displayed in various places on your website. Once your visitors have joined you on Google Plus, you will be able to keep in contact with these potential customers, and increase the chances of them re-visiting your website in the future.


    Embed a Google Plus Social Feed


    Flow-Flow G+ Social Stream


    Embedding a social feed into pages or widgets on your WordPress website is another way to appeal to your site visitors. Flow-Flow WordPress Social Stream enables you to display content and discussions from your Google Plus profile page (plus 15 other social networks and feeds) on your website. This will help give your visitors a brief overview of what they are missing if they aren’t following you on Google Plus. Ultimately, using a social feed should lead to an increase in your Google Plus following, and allow you to keep in contact with your audience well after they have left your website.


    Final Thoughts on Using Google Plus


    As you can see, Google Plus can be a real weapon in your armor, helping to give you a great advantage over your competition. This social media channel will help you promote your website, reach new potential customers, and keep in contact with current followers. Alongside all of this, it will also help improve your rankings in Google. So what are you waiting for… it’s time to sign up with Google Plus!


    What is your experience of using Google Plus? Please share your thoughts on this social media channel in the comments below…




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  6. testing How to Customize Search Page Results in WordPress [ad_1]

    When you search on a regular search engine like Google, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll come up with no results (unless you search for something utterly nonsensical, but even then…). However, this can happen more regularly than one would like when using a WordPress website’s internal search function.


    Many of your website visitors will want to find more information about you, your business, or your products. If they hit a blank page after typing a query into your search bar, however, chances are they will leave your site. This is especially true if they are used to Google or a similar search engine.


    Internet users expect certain features from the websites they visit. It’s important that you work with their expectations when it comes to searching. Having a custom search page that includes the items they’re used to will help keep them interested and engaged in your content.


    In this post, we will discuss what search results pages are and why they’re important. Then, we’ll outline how to customize your WordPress results page to include the functionality your readers expect to see. Let’s get started!


    What WordPress Search Results Pages Are (and Why They Matter)


    screenshot-wpexplorer-search-results

    Here you can see our own search results page for the term “SEO plugins”.


    When one of your readers types a word or phrase into the search box on your WordPress site, they’ll see a page listing all the content that matches their query. This is known as a search results page. Of course, an internal search results page is different from the results you would see on a search engine like Google. For one thing, the internal page will only list items that are available within your site, rather than across the entire internet.


    An internal search results page is important for any site that features text content and is accessible through standard search engines. Generally, one of three things will happen when someone lands on your site from a basic internet search. They will immediately find what they are looking for, they will use your built-in search to find the information, or they will leave your site. Therefore, your chance of keeping readers on your site relies on their ability to find what they are looking for quickly. Enabling visitors to search and view results on your site is one of the easiest ways to keep them around for longer.


    Why You Should Customize Your WordPress Search Results Pages


    Visitors come to your website with certain expectations. While they aren’t looking for the same results they would get from Google, they may expect to see similar features. This can include suggested spellings, content suggestions based on their initial search, and more.


    Having a customized search results page can keep your readers engaged with your site and its content, even when their searches come up dry. Plus, you’ll be providing your readers with everything they expect from a standard search engine. By mimicking popular search engines, you can also lower bounce rates on your site.


    If done correctly, a custom results page offers several additional benefits. It can:



    • Help visitors find what they are looking for

    • Keep visitors on your site longer

    • Offer related information searchers may not have known they needed

    • Show some personality

    • Show you care about the little things, including being helpful


    In the end, customizing your WordPress search results to more closely imitate a traditional search engine creates value for you and your visitors. Best of all, you can accomplish it easily through the use of plugins!


    How to Customize Your WordPress Search Results Pages


    The versatility of WordPress enables you to easily customize your search results. You can use code to alter the search.php file, for example, or you can use a plugin. We recommend the latter approach, as plugins are easier for most WordPress users to install and maintain.


    There are several options you can use to customize your internal search results pages. While you could always dive into the search.php code (though this is best left to experienced users comfortable with PHP and CSS coding), there are several plugins you can use to implement simialr changes. Finding the functionality that works best will depend on you and your site. Small personal sites may benefit from free plugins, while larger sites might need a premium solution.


    As always, we also recommend that you back up your WordPress site before making any updates or changes. Let’s dive in!


    1. Include or Highlight the Search Term as a Reminder of the Original Search


    Search Everything Plugin


    One of the best tips I’ve ever heard about internal site search results pages is the closer you can make them look like standard Google search results pages, the better. One way to do this is to include the search term your visitor searched for at the top of the search results page. This is a simple technique to show visitors a search did occur even if it came up empty (and perhaps a typo was the culprit). It also enables your readers to double check that they entered the right phrase, and that they spelled the words correctly.


    Search Everything is a free plugin that works with the default search function for WordPress. It will enable users to search every non-password protected page on your site. In addition, if offers functionality that makes it possible to highlight search terms on results pages, providing your users with valuable information.


    Include the Search Term on Search Results Pages


    To do this manually you will need to start by creating a child theme (if you’re not sure how, checkout our guide on how to create a WordPress child theme).


    Next, create a search.php file in your brand new child theme and copy over the code from your old theme (you can find this by either opening up theme files on your server via FTP, or from your WordPress dashboard under Appearance > Editor > Search.php). Now you can replace the default title in your child theme’s search.php with the following:


    <h1 class="search-title">
    <?php echo $wp_query->found_posts; ?> <?php _e( 'Search Results Found For', 'locale' ); ?>: "<?php the_search_query(); ?>"
    </h1>

    This will display the title with the count of the posts found followed by the term that was searched. So it would look something like “15 Search Results Found For: My Search Query”.


    Highlight the Search Term in Results


    Highlight-search-terms-free-wordpress-plugin


    Another thing you might want to do is highlight the search term in the search results. This way, when visitors to your site are presented with search results, their search term is highlighted within the individual results. The plugin Highlight Search Terms serves this role well. It’s simple but can help direct your visitors more specifically to what they’re looking for.


    2. Add Suggested Spellings in Case of Typos


    Relevanssi plugin screenshot


    Thanks to the popularity of Google and other search engines, most site visitors expect to see spelling suggestions when they interact with your search function. Adding this feature to your results pages improves the user experience, by helping them find what they’re looking for even if they don’t know how to spell it.


    With over 100,000 active installs, Relevanssi is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for search. While Search Everything works with WordPress’s default functionality, Relevanssi replaces the search feature altogether. Its free services are perfect for small or personal sites, while the premium version offers amazing functionality for large and multi-site managers. In addition to its suggested spelling feature, this plugin provides an array of options, including the ability to search tags, comments, and categories.


    3. Add Suggested Pages to Maintain Interest in Your Site


    WPSOLR screenshot


    One of the best ways to use your results pages, aside from providing the searched-for information, is to serve up content that is similar to what users are looking for. If you have ever searched Amazon for a product, you’ve probably seen suggestions for other products based on that search. This method of putting valuable content in front of visitors can boost the amount of time they spend on your site. And by suggesting pages for readers to go to – even if it’s not related to their search query – you can do a lot toward decreasing your bounce rate.


    If you are looking for search functionality that behaves the way Amazon or eBay does, we recommend the WPSOLR plugin. It will enable you to present related content to searchers, and much more. WPSOLR is another freemium plugin, and provides enterprise-level features that only improve with the purchase of its premium versions. While this plugin can work for most sites, you may want to consider the premium version for e-commerce or large sites in particular.


    nrelate-related-content-plugin-for-wordpress-wpexplorer


    Another simple option for this is the Better Search plugin. Once installed, you can insert a heat map for your most popular searches in the form of a widget. This will ensure visitors will be presented with plenty of options for where to go next.


    4. Add a Search Box


    Another way to keep people on your site and engaged in their searches is to add a search box on the search results page (if there isn’t one already included in your theme header or added to a widget area). This is especially helpful if no results are returned and you wish to prompt users to try a different search query. You can add a search box directly to any page (via your child theme, as mentioned above) by using the core WordPress function “get_search_form();”.


    <?php get_search_form( true ); ?>

    This will display the searchform as defined by the searchform.php theme file or if one doesn’t exist WordPress will output HTML for a standard search form. You can learn more at the CODEX.


    This will make it so your visitors have no excuses for getting off track on your site. When you’re always steering them back in the right direction, you ensure you’re doing your part to enhance people’s experience on your site. And I can assure you right now, that kind of attention to detail doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.


    Conclusion


    While many WordPress users think to add the search widget to the sidebar of their sites, a lot forget about what the output of such searches will be. And that’s a major oversight.


    You want to make sure every single page of your site is working hard for you – even the search results pages. While most readers may be interested in your home page or core offerings, they probably come to your site looking for something specific. Although your site is likely not a search engine, it’s best to provide the help and functionality visitors are accustom to. You never know how a single page can affect individual users. Present the right visitor with the right information at the right time and you stand to not only keep that visitor on your site for longer but also turn them into a loyal customer.


    Have you done any customization on your search results pages? If so, what’s worked best for you? What have you found to be the most effective addition? As always, let me know in the comments.




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  7. testing Mouseflow Heatmap Analytics for WordPress Review [ad_1]

    Analyzing heatmaps is a scientific approach to conversion rate optimization for your online store or website. It is a data-backed way to measure the effectiveness of your landing pages, contact forms and purchase funnels. Mouseflow is a freemium heatmap analysis, session replay and recording tool. In this article, we’re going to review Mouseflow by integrating it with our favourite CMS tool – WordPress.


    What is a Heatmap?


    For those of you who are new to the topic of heatmap analysis, here’s a simple rundown.


    Heatmaps are a visual representation of the most active areas of your website. A region which is clicked the most (for example, the Start Here menu item of a blog), would appear red in a heatmap.


    Heatmaps in Search Engines


    search engine heatmaps


    The evolution of heatmaps in 10 years, source: Two Octobers


    Let’s take the example of a heatmap in a search engine.


    In Google (or any search engine for that matter), the first three search results are the most clicked links. As a result, that region is represented in red in a heatmap, since it’s the “most active” or “hot” region in the heatmap. The links that follow (i.e. the fifth, sixth, etc.) links have diminishing number of clicks, and have “cooler” colours (orange to yellow to green to blue) in the heatmap.


    The screenshot above is a representation of how heatmaps has evolved over a period of ten years. Back in 2005, they used to call it the “holy triangle”, which meant that the first few letters of the first two links commanded most of the searcher’s attention.


    Ten years down the line, we’ve trained our eyes to scan the first few words of the top 5-6 links. This gives us the rectangle-like heatmap that we see in the right hand side of the screenshot.


    What is Session Recording and Replay?


    Heatmaps give us a good look into the most active or most clicked regions of the website. Wouldn’t it be to cool to actually see how a visitor interacted with your website?


    The movement of the mouse is a strong indicator as to where the attention of the visitor is, in the website.


    Session Recording is the perfect solution. A session is essentially the entire activity done by the visitor in a single visit. This includes the time from which the website was loaded to the time the tab (or window) was closed. Mouseflow records the the individual sessions of your website visitors and allows you to play them, anytime from your browser.


    Playing a recorded session is called Session Replay. It’s actually a video of the entire interaction of the visitor with the website. This includes typed information (passwords are always hidden), form interactions, clicks and all other activity.


    The Benefits of Session Recording and Replay


    Session Recording and Replay is an indispensable tool in user-interaction testing, A/B testing and usability testing – all with the live users.


    Let’s take an example of an ebook download page. It’s a classic use-case in lead generation, where you give the user something (in this case the ebook), in return for their email address and permission to send emails to them. A session recording would show how your users are interacting with the form, how many people actually end up filling the form, the number of fields a user fills, before dropping off, etc.


    There are tons of other use cases where session recording, replay and heatmaps are used for conversion rate optimization. In this review, we’ll cover the top five features Mouseflow has to offer:



    1. Heatmaps

    2. Session recording

    3. Session replay

    4. Form session recording

    5. Feedback gathering


    We’ll cover each of the topics in detail in the following sections.


    The Mouseflow Dashboard


    mouseflow heatmaps analytics dashboard


    A bird’s eye view of the Mouseflow Dashboard


    Mouseflow’s dashboard gives you a bird’s eye view of your recent session recordings and your popular heatmaps. The chart represents the number of sessions recorded, and is proportional to the traffic your website gets.


    Heatmaps


    Mouseflow’s heatmaps analytics supports five distinct dimensions, including click heatmap, movement heatmap, scroll heatmap and geographic heatmap. We’ll evaluate a single page containing a contact form, and test it across each of the five types of heatmap.


    Click Heatmaps


    A click heatmap represents the regions that receives the highest number of clicks. Each page will have its own unique heatmap representation. For example, in page containing a contact form, the Submit button would register the highest number of clicks.


    click heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress


    Screenshot of a Click Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow


    This is a screenshot of the click heatmap of a demo website, I built for this tutorial. Since I’ve only submitted the contact form thrice, it registers three clicks. Three is a very small number to be considered in a heatmap, which is why it’s highlighted in blue.


    Movement Heatmap


    movement heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress


    Screenshot of a Movement Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow


    The movement heatmap represents the regions of the website with the highest movement. In the screenshot, you’ll notice the blue patches, which represents low activity.


    Attention Heatmap


    The Attention Heatmap is an interesting metric. It represents those areas where users spends the maximum amount of time.


    Let’s take this screenshot to explain.


    attention heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress


    Screenshot of an Attention Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow


    The region in green has an average time spent of 10.2 seconds, whereas the regions in red have an average time spent of 21 seconds. This suggests that the site visitors are spending a significant portion of their time on site in the red region. In our case that’s the contact form.


    How to Use Attention Heatmaps to improve Sales Page Copy?


    The attention heatmap can be an excellent tool to measure where your visitors are spending most of their time. If you’re writing a long sales page, you want your readers to actually read the page from the top (spend most of their time there), followed by the testimonials, and click on the Buy Now button.


    Hence, the top bit of your sales page should ideally be red, in an Attention heatmap.


    If your visitors are not reading the first few lines of your sales page, it’s a clear indicator that your pitch and copy needs work.


    Scroll Heatmap


    A scroll heatmap represents the most scrolled regions in your website. Your website visitors would tend to quickly scroll down from the header and reach the bit where the content it.


    The scroll heatmap is complementary to the attention heatmap. When the attention is high, the scroll is low. You know someone has skimmed through your copy when you see a red region in the scroll heatmap. The yellow to green regions in a scroll heatmap indicates the bits in your copy which your visitors find interesting or useful. Used correctly, the scroll heatmap can be an excellent tool to improving your landing page copy.


    scroll heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress


    Screenshot of a Scroll Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow


    However, in our tutorial, I’ve scrolled all over the place, which is why it’s all marked in red. You’d notice that the footer region is in blue, indicating minimal scroll activity.


    How many sessions should I record?


    Mouseflow gives you the option of choosing how many sessions are recorded, out of the traffic. For example, if your input is ⅓, then one out of every three visitor’s session will be recorded. In other words, 30% of your traffic’s session would be recorded.


    This is important in terms of planning your usage. Each recorded session is a credit. Depending on the plan you purchase, you would have to adjust the percentage of recorded traffic, from your total traffic.


    A simple way to estimate this number is to lookup your Google Analytics traffic report. For instance, if you get 1000 unique visits per month, and you want to record, say 500 sessions, then you would configure Mouseflow to record one out of every two visitors, i.e. 50% of the traffic.


    Geographic Heatmap


    geo heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress


    Screenshot of a Geo Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow


    The geographic heatmap highlights the countries where most of your visitors come from. This data is available in most analytics software such as Google Analytics or Kissmetrics. The screenshot above is from the demo site, which is why only India is highlighted.


    Funnels


    ebook download funnel in mouseflow for wordpress


    Example of an eBook download funnel in WordPress, created by Mouseflow


    A funnel is a series of steps a visitor takes in order to complete an action in your website.


    Let’s say that you want your visitors to download a copy of your latest ebook, in exchange for their email address. That’s a classic lead generation campaign, aided by an ebook download.


    The action you want your visitors to complete is downloading the ebook. This action has one or more steps involved.


    To keep things simple, let’s consider two steps (or pages) in this action.



    1. The first page is where the visitor reads about the offering and enters the email address.

    2. The second page is a confirmation page, where the visitor sees download/ buttons for the PDF.


    Thus, the funnel for the eBook download contains of two steps, as shown in the screenshot below.


    ebook download funnel in mouseflow for wordpress - setup


    Creating a new funnel for ebook download in WordPress using Mouseflow


    Mouseflow measures the drop-off rate at each stage in the funnel. In our example, we haven’t downloaded the ebook, and have left the website after viewing the first (landing) page.


    ebook download funnel in mouseflow for wordpress - conversion rate


    Conversion rate of an ebook download funnel in Mouseflow


    This screenshot tells us that the landing page has received 5 visitors, none of whom made it to the confirmation page.


    How to Optimize Conversion Rate using Funnels in Mouseflow?


    Funnels enable you to track how your visitors are behaving in your site. They are incredibly useful in discovering the leaking areas in your conversion funnel. Once you identify the the leaking page, you know the area of your problem. You can then optimize the copy of the page (or in some cases, remove the page altogether) to see if the drop-off rates decrease.


    Forms


    how to track a form in wordpress using mouseflow


    Tracking forms in WordPress using Mouseflow


    Mouseflow enables you to track how visitors interact with your forms in WordPress. This is especially helpful in B2B lead generation and content marketing, where the cost per lead is significantly higher, compared to B2C website/product.


    Let us consider the WPExplorer Test Form that I’ve built for this tutorial.


    form segmentation in mouseflow wordpress


    Segmentation of fields in a tracked form in Mouseflow


    This screenshot tells us that there were two visitors to the form’s page, and the maximum time was spent in the email address field. You’ll also note that the conversion rate is 0% since, I did not actually submit the form after filling it up.


    How to Improve Form Completion Rate using Mouseflow?


    Using Mouseflow, you’ll be able to figure out the data-intensive fields in your form, and measure the time taken to fill a typical form. If the number of fields in your form is too high, or worse, irrelevant, you might notice your visitors dropping off at those particular fields, within the form. With Mouseflow, you’ll be able to identify those fields and optimize around them, to ultimately increase the completion rate of your form.


    How to Track a Form in WordPress using Mouseflow?



    Tracking a form in WordPress using Mouseflow involves a few steps:



    1. First, setup your form in WordPress and copy the URL

    2. Goto the Forms page in your Mouseflow dashboard and click on New Form.

    3. Paste the URL you copied in Step 1.

    4. Mouseflow will automatically recognize the form from the page, along with all it’s fields.

    5. You can assign a name to each field in the form, such that it’s easier to track.

    6. Finally, hit Create Form to start tracking the form interactions.


    Feedback


    Mouseflow enables you to create beautiful, non-intrusive feedback campaigns for your website visitors. After all, listening to your readers/customers is a sureshot way of improving your site.


    Here’s how a typical feedback campaign looks like:


    feedback campaign in mouseflow wordpress


    Feedback campaign in WordPress created using Mouseflow


    Once you complete the survey, this is the confirmation page.


    feedback campaign in mouseflow wordpress


    Confirmation/Thank you page for the feedback campaign


    How to Create a Feedback Campaign in WordPress using Mouseflow?


    Now let’s see how one can create a feedback campaign in Mouseflow.


    Login to you Mouseflow dashboard and click on Feedback from the left menu and click on Add New Campaign.



    Creating a new Feedback Campaign in Mouseflow


    You can add as many questions as you need, with a minimum of one question. The answer options include multiple choice, text paragraph (small/large) or a Net Promoter Score.


    You can see a preview of the questions and answer options on the right.


    Finally, you define the content of the success page and click on Next.



    Triggers in the Feedback Campaign


    Triggers define when and where each feedback campaign is shown. Mouseflow offers a range of options for you to define your triggers. For example, in the above screenshot:



    1. The feedback campaign would load as soon as the page loads.

    2. It would load for all visitors, regardless of the fact whether they are registered or other segmented users.

    3. The campaign loads in all pages (although it’s a good idea not to show it in the login page!)

    4. An important option – the campaign form is shown only once per user.


    Once you’ve defined the triggers, click Next to proceed.



    Kill switch for a Feedback Campaign in Mouseflow


    Finally, you can choose activate the campaign, immediately after creation.


    However, it’s a good idea to first test the campaign in the live site, by limiting it to a non-indexed, or least-popular page, and see if the data is collected properly. Once you’ve verified that the campaign works, you can deploy it site-wide.


    What I like about Mouseflow


    Mouseflow’s intuitive interface and multiple tracking options makes it a great start for heatmap analytics.


    The Freemium Model


    mouseflow pricing


    Mouseflow Pricing Model


    Mouseflow operates on a freemium model, providing you with 200 free credits, every month.


    Each credit is equivalent to one recorded session. However, credits are capped at 200 per month, which means if you haven’t use it, you lose it.


    Similar to MailChimp (my favourite email service provider), Mouseflow gives me the flexibility to try the service before committing to it. Also, compared to the other heatmap analytics services, Mouseflow has a pretty competitive pricing strategy.


    Built-in WordPress Compatibility


    mouseflow wordpress plugin


    Mouseflow plugin dashboard in WordPress


    Mouseflow supports integrations with multiple tools (more on this later), including WordPress. To start tracking your WordPress site with Mouseflow, simply download the Mouseflow for WordPress plugin and activate it.


    A new entry called Mouseflow should appear in the left bar in your WordPress dashboard.


    adding website tracking code in mouseflow in wordpress


    Inserting Mouseflow’s tracking code in WordPress


    Click on Tracking Code to insert the tracking code in your WordPress site. You can find the tracking code information for the site from your Mouseflow account, under Settings.


    website settings in mouseflow for wordpress


    Site information in Mouseflow


    Once done, Mouseflow will start recording your sessions in your WordPress site.


    Other Cool Stuff



    Mouseflow’s New User Onboarding Process


    I like Mouseflow’s new user onboarding process, which acquainted me to all the various options in the dashboard. I was up and running in less than 10 minutes, without referring the knowledge base. They also have some cool training videos, neatly organized under six categories.


    Third-party Integration 


    Mouseflow integrates with over thirty third-party software


    Mouseflow supports multiple third-party integrations, ranging from CMS to marketing software to advanced tag management software. At the time of writing, Mouseflow supports 30 native integrations, grouped under six major categories:



    1. Content Management Systems: Other than WordPress, Mouseflow integrates with Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, and good ol’ HTML5 websites. It also integrates with popular site-builders such as Squarespace and Weebly. Wix is yet to get a dedicated integration.

    2. E-Commerce: Mouseflow integrates with leading open-source e-commerce software such as Prestashop, Magento, 3dcart and popular paid solutions such as Shopify.

    3. Analytics: You can integrate Mouseflow’s data with popular analytics software such as Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and specialised ones such as Kissmetrics and Coremetrics.

    4. Marketing: Mouseflow supports leading marketing software such as Hubspot, Instapage, Unbounce, Optimizely, and others.

    5. Customer Service: Real-time, helpful customer support is a cornerstone requirement for a successful business and its long-term stability. Mouseflow also integrates with leading customer support and helpdesk software such as Zendesk, Olark, Freshdesk and Zopim.

    6. Tag Management: Attribution is key to measuring your marketing efforts and ROI. There are advanced tag management software such as Segment.io and Google Tag Manager. Mouseflow natively integrates with these, along with Ensighten and Tealium.


    Besides this, Mouseflow also has a powerful REST API, using which you can access data from any custom portal.


    Mouseflow Clientele



    Mouseflow has some kick-ass clientele


    Mouseflow is used by some of the biggest names in the industry including Hubspot, Optimizely and Intuit. At the time of writing, their customer base is over 100,000.


    Wrapping Up


    Website analytics is a booming field in today’s attention-deficit economy. Millions of dollars are poured into funding new research and solutions for analytics and attribution. Mouseflow is a perfect start for any marketer to get acquainted with the basics of heatmap analytics.


    Let’s take a quick summary of what we’ve covered so far:



    1. What are heatmaps?

    2. How session recording and replay helps in user behaviour analysis

    3. Mouseflow’s capabilities including heatmaps (click, movement, attention, scroll and geo), funnels, forms and feedback campaigns.

    4. How to setup WordPress and Mouseflow

    5. Cools things about Mouseflow, including its 30+ third-party integration and forever-free plan.


    As always I leave you with a question. Are you using heatmap analytics in your site? If so, which software are you using? Is is functionally better than Mouseflow? Let us know in the comments below!




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  8. testing 10 Things You Should Know About Using WordPress Plugins [ad_1]

    What would WordPress be without plugins? Our ability to extend the world’s favorite content management system in an almost limitless fashion is what makes WordPress so great. With nearly 25,000 plugins available on WordPress.org alone, the sky really is the limit.


    But with great power comes great responsibility and it is an unfortunate fact that using WordPress plugins can have unsavory side effects if you’re not too careful. With that in mind, in this post I want to cover the most important things to keep in mind when using WordPress plugins on your WordPress site so that you can enjoy all of the extra functionality and avoid the pitfalls.


    1. Update Your Plugins


    http://www.wpexplorer.com/essential-wordpress-plugins/


    This is a bit of a no-brainer but it bears mentioning in the interests of completeness: keeping your plugins updated is absolutely vital to the security and functionality of your blog. Out of date plugins are prime targets for those in search of security weaknesses and can also break when newer versions of WordPress and other plugins are released.


    Not only should you regularly update your plugins, you should also periodically check your plugins to make sure that they have been recently updated. You should strongly consider removing plugins that haven’t been updated for an extended period of time (as a rule of thumb say one year).


    Ideally you should be regularly updating your plugins (Note: Don’t want to forget? You could try the Easy Updates Manager to automate plugin, theme, and minor/major WordPress core updates).


    2. Keep Deactivated Plugins Updated or Get Rid of Them


    This follows on directly from my previous point: even if a plugin is not active on your site you must ensure that it is still updated. A deactivated plugin is still “live” on your site in the sense that it could be exploited as a security weakness. Incidentally, the same can be said for themes so my advice also applies there.


    To be honest, if a plugin isn’t active on your site and you have no intention of using it in the future my advice would be to remove it. The last thing you want is for your site to become a graveyard of unused plugins — it pays to keep things clean and tidy.


    3. Deactivate Backend Plugins When They’re Not in Use


    Deactivate Backend Plugins When Not In Use


    Most plugins put a strain on your site’s resources, even if that strain is only minor. As such it is my recommendation that you only activate backend plugins when they are needed.


    Take for example the WordPress Database Reset plugin. This great little plugin makes it easy to reset WordPress by returning all or portions of your WordPress database to their original, default state. However, the WordPress Database Reset plugin only needs to be active when you are running the reset – it can be deactivated at all other times.


    In a nutshell, every single active plugin on your site should be utilized by your site. If not, deactivate it.


    4. The Number of Plugins Isn’t Important


    To put it in layman’s terms, a plugin is simply extra code that is implemented on your site. To an extent you could add the same code within your functions.php file and achieve the same effect.


    Therefore, the number of plugins you have installed and activated on your site isn’t necessary a major issue. The major issue is how well coded and resource intensive your plugins are.


    Let me put it this way: it would be far better for you to have five lightweight and immaculately coded plugins installed on your site than one bloated, resource intensive and vulnerable plugin. In reality you should be more worried about what plugins you are installing rather than how many.


    5. The Number of Plugins Is Important


    Having said that, there is one reason why the number of plugins you have installed on your site can be an issue: conflicts.


    Theoretically speaking, the more plugins you have on your site, the more likely you are to find one that conflicts with another. Having to deal with plugin conflicts is an issue developers constantly face as there are a near-infinite number of setup combinations across all WordPress installations. Most WordPress blogs are completely unique in terms of the combination of plugins installed.


    So although you should be mindful of the quality of plugins you use, you should also keep an eye on the number with a view to keeping things as simple as possible. In this case, less is typically more (don’t be a plugin hoarder).


    6. Quality Always Beats Quantity


    Star Rating


    Along that same line of thinking, you should be very selective in deciding what plugins to install on your site. After all, every plugin you install may leave behind a footprint that is difficult to remove (especially if it is poorly coded). While it can be very tempting to test and install every plugin under the sun on your site, you should err on the side of caution and selectiveness.


    When it comes to installing plugins you should look at a few key items such as:



    • Number of downloads

    • Average rating

    • Reviews

    • The developer (are they well-established?)

    • Evidence of active support


    The fact is that you’re not just installing a plugin – you’re installing a piece of functionality that you would like to remain functional for the foreseeable future. If the plugin works now that’s a good start but you want to make sure it will work in the future too.


    For me, the decision to install a new plugin on my site is a pretty important one. I am careful to ask myself whether or not I really need the functionality or if I am being drawn in by the proverbial shiny lights. It might be worth you asking yourself that same question.


    7. Premium Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Best


    It’s a well-known fact of psychology that people’s perception of value is affected by cost. If I offer you the same thing free of charge or at cost, your perception of value is likely to change under the separate circumstances.


    This phenomenon can sometimes be observed in people’s attitude towards premium plugins. The fact is this: there are plenty of unscrupulous premium plugin developers out there. Just because someone is charging you for a plugin does not make it good. There are an awful lot of extremely good quality free plugins out there developed by people who you can trust absolutely.


    Having said that, the well-made premium plugins typically are the best. If you pick a reputable premium plugin developer you’re likely to enjoy the best functionality, top notch support and consistent updates. The key is to make sure that you’re supporting the “right” developer. Don’t just do a Google search and go with whatever shows up – find out who people are happy to personally recommend. Get involved in the WordPress community and make note of who is talked about in a positive light. Those are the people you should look to buy from.


    8. Some Plugins Are Considered Vital for Almost Any Site


    The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.

    Yoast SEO is a useful tool for most types of WordPress sites.


    In most cases, the plugins you install will depend on the kind of site you’re creating. An e-commerce store might require a shopping cart plugin, for example, while a photography portfolio can benefit from an image gallery tool. However, there are some plugins that almost every WordPress installation should include, no matter your site’s focus.


    For example, you probably want to attract as many visitors as possible, so your site can always benefit from a solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin like Yoast SEO. Security is vital for keeping your site’s data and content safe, so a plugin such as Wordfence is always a smart bet. As another example, custom contact forms (like those created with Contact Form 7) are useful for enabling your visitors to get in touch, whether you’re running a blog, business site, or storefront.


    Even if you think the kind of site you’re creating doesn’t require plugins, you may be surprised by how many options provide invaluable functionality. There are some WordPress plugins that every website owner should know about – whether or not you end up using them.


    9. Plugins Can Integrate Your Site with Other Tools and Platforms



    Plugins aren’t created in a vacuum. While it’s true that many are standalone options offering independent features, some are reliant on other software. In fact, there are many plugins designed to integrate your WordPress site with popular tools and platforms of all types. That means you can make those programs work smoothly with WordPress, without knowing a single line of code.


    We can hardly cover all the available integrations, but here are just a few examples:



    So if you have some favorite tools you use every day to run your website or business, it’s worth checking to see if there’s a way to integrate them with your site. That way, you can streamline your workflow and not have to switch back and forth between platforms constantly.


    10. There Are Multiple Places to Find Plugins Online



    If you’re completely new to plugins, your best bet is to start with the WordPress Plugin Directory. These plugins are all free, and have been put through a vetting process. This directory also displays customer ratings and reviews, along with the number of WordPress sites currently using each plugin, so you know what you’re getting into.


    However, this is far from the only place to find plugins online. Plenty of developers sell plugins through their own websites, and there are other directories with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of options. Keep in mind that most plugins not on WordPress.org will be premium, which means you’ll have to pay a fee to use them. The cost is often quite reasonable, though, and you’ll be able to find plugins that provide more complex, unusual, or targeted functionality.


    If you’re just starting to branch out in your plugin search, here are a few places to get started:



    • CodeCanyon: This is the largest directory of premium WordPress plugins online. You can find just about anything here, at prices staring as low as $2. You’ll also be able to view user reviews and ratings, and a great deal of information about each plugin.

    • WPMU DEV: This is an excellent source of quality WordPress plugins, providing options in areas such as analytics, security, design, social media integration, and more. This site works a little differently from most directories, as you’ll need a membership in order to use the plugins. However, the $49 per month price tag can be a good deal if you find multiple plugins you want (especially if you’re running more than one site).

    • WPExplorer: Finally, we would be remiss not to mention our own website! We offer a directory of free and reasonably priced plugins in a wide variety of categories, from e-commerce to page builders to SEO. Check it out, and you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.


    Knowing where to find WordPress plugins opens up your options, and enables you to locate the best tools available. If you venture away from the suggestions listed above, just make sure you’re sticking with credible sites and developers. Always look for user reviews and ratings before purchasing new plugins, and remember to back up your site before installing them.


    Conclusion


    Plugins are one of the best things about using WordPress. However, the sheer number that are available may be overwhelming at first. It can be difficult to know which ones to choose, how to monitor them for conflicts, and how to manage them once you’ve built up a sizable collection.


    However, using plugins to get the most out of your WordPress site doesn’t have to be challenging. You’ll just want to follow a few simple guidelines, such as downloading plugins from reliable sources, keeping them updated, and getting rid of the ones you don’t need. Once you’ve learned a few basic facts about plugins, such as those introduced above, you’ll be ready to start customizing your own site.


    Do you have any questions about how to use WordPress plugins on your site or blog? Or additional advice to offer to other WordPress users? Let us know in the comments below!




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  9. testing How to Use Bundled Products as a Marketing Technique for Your WordPress Store [ad_1]

    Marketing strategies for e-commerce are like fashion trends. After a time, you simply end up dyeing the fabric a different color and calling it revolutionary. Nevertheless, like the aforementioned analogy, your creativity is what makes the difference in the way you present your product. Amongst the stock of such reliable strategies that can be used for increasing sales, is using bundled products.


    Product bundling has been used by digital and physical store owners for a long time now. At its heart, the concept leverages human tendency to opt for a bunch of products at a discounted price rather than purchasing each of these products separately. Given the total savings they make, as perceived by the customer, it can be used to manoeuvre them into making a larger purchase than the original.


    Although bundled products are supposed to be an incentive for customers, these days they do not swear by it. Why? Two reasons.



    1. The moment a customer thinks that you are trying to induce them to buy something they do not perceive as required they see the purchase as an expense and back out altogether.

    2. The e-commerce market is nearing saturation. Given the sheer number of e-stores that cater to the same niche audience, customers are likely to navigate to another website to get what they need, if they see you being too pushy about the purchase.


    Hold up though! This does not mean that bundled products are a dead-end strategy. On the contrary, there are some great applications where product bundles can be used as the principal marketing method, provided you go about it smartly.


    Classic Strategies for Selling More Using Bundled Products


    When you build an online store with WordPress you can market your shop, increase revenues and offer more value to customers with these bundled product methods.


    Create Value for Customers with Chained Bundles


    Chaining bundles refers to the method used when related products are offered to the customer, either free or at a highly discounted rate, as a thank-you for purchasing the principal bundled product on the e-store.


    Chained bundles are found to work better than simple product bundles due to their dual advantage; they upsell the principal product bundle as it has these free products associated with it and they act as promotional triggers for similar or relevant products that customers can be induced to buy at a later stage.


    However, perhaps the most important task they do is create value for customers. Buyers at the store perceive the additional products as a reward for their larger purchase which encourages them to return to your store more frequently, creating loyal customers.


    Think of a grocery store that offers you a free product with bundle A and three free products with a higher value bundle B. Which would you go for?


    Offer Customizable Product Kits


    Who doesn’t love having choices? In fact, when it comes to shopping online, ‘the more, the better’ is definitely the mantra. Offering your customers the choice of creating their own product bundles is one of the most popular iterations of the bundled product strategy.


    This ensures that people have complete freedom in selecting the products they are looking for and packaging them as required.


    In case you are worried about the compilation problems this might cause across sellers, you can always offer a pre-specified pool of products for customers to choose from. This lets you effectively be in control of the product bundle but does not restrict customers to buying products included in a pre-packaged bundle.


    Consider the case of an online store selling fashion and makeup accessories. Given the range of skin tones, brand choices, color palettes, and personal preferences, it is hardly feasible to create product bundles for every shopper. Instead, here you could create a customizable kit bag, where the shopper would be able to choose from the products offered, as per their requirement.


    Offer Customizable Product Kits


    The Composite Alternative


    Composite product bundles are used whenever some major customization comes into the picture. This is a combination of the value creation and customized bundling methods. Here, your base product, or product bundle, shall remain constant but the peripherals can be customized as required. If you own an e-store that sells cameras and photography equipment, or furniture, or even customized DIY jewelry, this can be an excellent option for increasing the popularity of your product bundles.


    Consider the example of a store selling cameras online. You have your DSLR+lens bundle, but offer an additional lens, kit bag, a memory card, and a tripod as an extra bundle that can be purchased with the base bundle. If there is a situation where a customer does not need, say the tripod, he has the freedom to customize this bundle as necessary.


    This is a simple example of how composite bundles can be used. You can even encourage cross platform purchases, making more complex bundles.


    Add Value & Offer Alternatives


    Mix it Up


    This is a classic case of bundled products and emulates the live shopping experience to the maximum. Customers can purchase products in bulk at discounted prices, with optional variations in the same bundle. Here, you set a fixed number of items that can be added to the bundle and people can add single/multiple items as per their choice.


    Consider the case of an online confectionery store, where people select from a range of chocolates and pastries. You have product boxes of sizes 4, 6, 8, 12, etc. People can choose different varieties of chocolates or multiple units of the same product and checkout with their purchase.


    Offer Optional Bundle Variations


    Read about the experience of Patrick Poptasi, to know more about the various ways how you can use mixed product bundles in an online confectionery store.


    Groups are Good


    Selling grouped products is a key strategy for stores which sell essentials that people tend not to spend time browsing for. Citing the grocery store example again, we see how it can be beneficial if you have a ready-to-go package of products one would need for a week or month. This could include everything from oil to bread to veggies to instant food, for say 2 people.


    You could even extend the idea and prepare grouped bundles by category; vegans, vegetarians, meat lovers, health and fitness, and many more, or for variable durations, week, fortnight, two months, etc.


    The entire bundle can have a fixed price which is lesser than the total cost of each of the individual items and yet within your profit margin. All shoppers have to do is select their product bundle and check out! A couple of clicks and your monthly grocery shopping is done!


    Endnote


    Bundled products are a great way of encouraging bulk purchases and can be used for a variety of applications. It might be one of the oldest strategies in the book, but it works flawlessly nonetheless.


    What is your opinion about using bundled products to increase conversion rates? Any other innovative way you would like to share? Drop a comment to let us know!




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  10. testing How to Build an Online Store with WooCommerce & WordPress [ad_1]

    So you want to start your own shop – well we think that is fantastic! Being your own boss is challenging and rewarding since you can see your hard work directly impact your revenue. We want to help make your venture a success so we’ve put together an easy to follow guide for creating your online store and a few helpful tips for promoting it.


    Online Shopping


    Selling goods from a physical storefront isn’t always feasible or practical. Especially in this day and age where online shopping has become more and more prevalent. According to the 2016 Total Retail Survey by PwC (a big-four global accounting firm) more than half of all shoppers will make purchases online every month, and more than a third of all online purchases will be made using a mobile phone.


    Total Retail Survey 2016: PwC


    In addition, the same survey reported that more than two thirds of online shoppers are heavily influenced by social media as well as comments and review for a product. This means it’s more important than ever to get some positive press out for new products.


    Don’t get overwhelmed just yet, we have a clean cut plan for you to build your online store and promote it to help you make your business a success! Time is money, so let’s get right to it!


    The Easy Way To Create A Website


    Before you can build an online store and start adding products you first need a website. We wholeheartedly recommend self-hosted WordPress. Not only is WordPress powerful enough to handle a fully functioning online store, but it’s an easy and affordable option that can be customized to suit any of your e-commerce needs.


    Find The Right Hosting


    WordPress Hosting


    First you’ll need a domain name and hosting. Good hosting costs money. You can certainly build an e-commerce website using Bluehost which offers a promotional $2.95/month shared hosting plan. Bluehost offers shared hosting at an affordable price that is great for new websites. Plus the domain name is included so you don’t have to bother with purchasing it separately. Plus setup is easy. The offer 1-click WordPress installation, so just select WordPress as you’re going through setup, enter your domain name and you’re done!


    But if you are willing to invest a bit extra we highly recommend giving WPEngine a try. Plans start at $29/month for managed WordPress hosting from WPEngine (all fully deductible as a business expense) which includes fully managed servers, automatic WordPress core updates, 24/7 ticketed support, daily backups of your website, evercache technology, included staging and more. Plus, since it’s managed WordPress hosting you’re ready to go right from the start (no WP installation required). You will however need to purchase a domain name from a registrar like GoDaddy and then point the domain over to your servers at WPEngine. If you follow along with the GoDaddy guide you shouldn’t have any problem.


    Add SSL For A Secure Shopping Experience


    Since you are creating an online store it is very important to purchase a SSL certificate. A “secure sockets layer” certificate is what your website uses to establish a secure link between your server and the customer’s browser which is reflected in your URL as “https://” (and often will display a green lock symbol too). Luckily SSL is fairly easy to setup with either Bluehost or WPEngine as both hosts offer it as a premium add-on during checkout when signing for hosting.


    Choose A Store Design


    Now that you have your domain and core WordPress installation ready you can change the aesthetics of your website. A beautiful aspect of WordPress is the huge variety of website design options available through the use of themes. There are thousands of free themes available on WordPress.org with some of them offering e-commerce support, but for more options and more control over the look of your website we recommend choosing a premium theme.


    Not only do premium themes include more design options but most also come with premium support and updates from the author. But regardless of your budget, here are some of our favorite e-commerce ready WordPress themes.


    Total Glitz&Glam Ecommerce WordPress Demo

    Total: A Complete Website & E-Commerce Solution (Glitz & Glam demo)


    If you want complete control over page, post and product layouts the Total Multipurpose WordPress Theme is a great option. Not only are there a number of professional looking blog & store demos that you can import to get started, but the theme comes with an easy to use drag & drop page builder, a template builder and two premium sliders so you can create any layout you can imagine. Custom color pickers, font options, entry layouts and tons more can be found in the live customizer with even more options are in the theme panel.


    Chic Modern Blog & Store WordPress Theme

    Chic Modern Blog & Store Theme


    Chic is a lovely blog and store WordPress theme that was tailor made for bloggers looking to start their own business. Built-in options for columns, sidebars, colors, fonts and more are all right in the WordPress customizer. Plus the theme comes with options for social sharing, custom login page, ad areas, custom newsletter widget and more to help you grow your business.


    Shopkeeper WordPress Theme

    Shopkeeper Responsive WordPress Theme


    Shopkeeper is a powerful e-commerce store theme that comes with tons of built-in page templates, custom colors and fonts plus other design options to make beautifying your online shop easy. The theme also comes with a header customizer, a full blog and a premium slider.


    Storefront Free WordPress Theme

    Storefront A Basic & Free Store Theme


    Storefront was created to be a simple theme with a straightforward store layout and compatibility with the WooCommerce plugin. The theme comes with a handful of layouts and color options built-in and is a solid option for a free theme.


    How To Build An Online Store


    Now that you have a website up and running you can start building your online store and adding your products for sale. While there are premium storefront options, we highly recommend the free, popular and powerful WooCommerce e-commerce plugin (which now also happens to be maintained by the same people who started WordPress). WooCommerce is easy to use, quick to setup and there is a wide variety of optional premium add-ons that you can purchase to add more functionality to your online store.


    1. Installing WooCommerce & Quick Setup


    To begin you first need to install WooCommerce. This is easy enough since it’s readily available from the WordPress.org free plugin repository which you can access right from your WordPress dashboard.


    Install WooCommerce


    Simply log into your WordPress installation and click on the Plugins item in your dashboard, then click on the Add New option. Search for “woocommerce” and the WooCommerce plugin should show up as the first result (it’s the one with 1+ million active installs and the cute dolphin icon). Click the Install Now button. This will automatically download and install the plugin files and should only take a minute.


    Activate WooCommerce


    Once the plugin is installed you need to click the link for Activate Plugin to stat using WooCommerce.


    WooCommerce Quick Start


    Next you should be prompted to begin setup. It’s much easy to follow along so click on the Let’s Go button to get started.


    WooCommerce Setup: Pages


    Setup will first ask if you want WooCommerce to automatically create your key pages for you. These pages include your main shop, shopping cart, checkout and a default customer account page. You definitely want all these pages, so click Continue.


    WooCommerce Setup: Locale


    The next step is to setup your store location, currency format and units of measure. This is important so your customers know how much you’re charging and what they are getting for their money. So make your selections and then click Continue.


    WooCommerce Setup: Shipping


    Depending on what it is you’re selling you may also need to enable options for basic shipping and sales tax. If you are selling physical goods you’ll need to enable shipping (but if you plan to sell digital goods just skip this part). The basic shipping option on this setup page will allow you to enter flat rates for domestic and international shipping (in you’re in the US and plan on using the USPS flat rate boxes just enter those rates here based on the boxes you’re most likely to use).


    If you are selling anything you may have to enable sales tax. Some states require sales tax to be collected on every sale (I’m looking at you Hawaii) while other states exempt purely digital goods (like good ol’ Nevada). Taxjar has a great interactive sales tax map if you live in the US, but no matter where you’re located you should check with your local tax authorities to see what rules apply to you or possibly consider hiring an accountant proficient in state and local taxes (SALT for short). Once you’re done with this page click to Continue.


    WooCommerce Setup: Payments


    The last part of WooCommerce quick setup is to set your payment options. One of the easiest ways to collect payment for goods is with PayPal so if you’d like to accept payments that way remember to enter your PayPal address on this page. WooCommerce also includes built-in options for payments via check, bank transfer or cash on delivery. Plus you can always use a premium extension for additional payment gateways like Authorize.net or Stripe (not sure which to use? Checkout our article on PayPal vs Stripe for online businesses).


    Once you’ve finished enabling your payment method click Continue to finish setup. WooCommerce will ask permission to collect data (this is up to you, although we lean towards kindly declining).


    2. Additional (Important) WooCommerce Settings


    Next you can continue to creating products, but we recommend clicking the Return to Dashboard link so you can finish establishing all of your crucial WooCommerce settings.


    WooCommerce Settings


    Once back in your WordPress dashboard navigate to WooCommerce then click on Settings. This first page has your general WooCommerce settings. We recommend that your change the default customer address. Having Geolocate enabled could potentially slow down your site significantly because you’re relying on data from a third party.


    WooCommerce Free Shipping


    Under the Shipping tab you’ll find additional options for, well, shipping. But the one we want to point out is the option to enable free shipping. This is something you might want to offer with a valid coupon code or for all orders over a certain amount. Just check the box and enter your requirements.


    WooCommerce Emails


    Moving along, under the Emails tab you can go in and change the recipient email for various standard emails for orders. Perhaps you have multiple people managing your online store, so you might want new order notifications to go to the shipping department while cancelled orders should probably go to finance.


    WooCommerce Coupons


    The last WooCommerce option you might want to take advantage of before you start adding products is coupons. To create a new coupon click on the Coupons option under WooCommerce then Add New. From here you can create coupons for a set dollar amount or percentage plus add restrictions for usage (such as orders over $100, or create one time use codes).


    There are many other setting and options within WooCommerce that you might want to change. The ones we’ve mentioned are some that we thought would apply to most online stores getting setup for the very first time.


    3. Adding Products


    Now with your settings all set we can begin adding your products! But first you should add some product categories so you can organize your offerings.


    WooCommerce Product Categories


    To add your categories go over to Products then Categories in your dashboard. Give your category a name, a slug for your URL (or if you leave this blank WooCommerce will use your category name as the slug), a parent category (you would use this for nested items e.g. shoes would be a parent for heels or sandals), a category description, display type (default is to show all items in the category on the archive page, but you can also choose to show subcategories or both) and an image (this image is used when inserting a category grid on pages).


    Once you’ve added your categories you can move on to adding tags. This is a similar process and isn’t necessary but can be very helpful for customers. Tags are great for grouping like items that don’t fall into the same category. You might create tags for more specific item descriptions like hipster or modern, or possibly for brand names if you’re selling products from a number of creators. Just be sure you do not duplicate your categories with your tags (having a “fancy” category and a “fancy” tag is bad for SEO and confusing for customers). Once you’re done with tags it’s time to add your products!


    WooCommerce Product General


    Click on Products and then Add New. WooCommerce comes with everything you need to add your products with plenty of room for information and pictures to keep customers (and search engines) happy.


    First give your products a name, assign any categories or tags, and add your featured product image plus optional gallery images. Then in the first text box you can add a long item description. This will be displayed under the “Description” tab next to “Reviews” on the actual product page. In the second text box add a short product description to be shown along side your product images (a few sentences and bullet points work great here).


    For the actual Product Data is you choose the Simple Product setting you’ll see basic options to add a SKU (which is usually for your own records) and a price.


    WooCommerce Downloadable Product


    If you also check the Downloadable options WooCommerce will display added options for the downloadable file. And if you choose to check the Virtual box as well the Shipping tab will be removed from the product section since you don’t need to ship a virtual item.


    WooCommerce Affiliate Product


    If instead of a simple product you select the External/Affiliate Product option WooCommerce will display settings for linking to other websites with your affiliate link. This is great if you want to add products from stores with affiliate programs (you could create an Amazon affiliate site with WordPress) to your own store to make a referral commission.


    WooCommerce Variable Product Attributes


    The last option you can select for your product data is a Variable Product. This should be used when you have different styles of the same product, like a shirt in multiple sizes and colors. First you should add the attributes for your product.


    WooCommerce Variable Product


    Then generate your variations using the attributes you added. This way customers can choose exactly what they want from your selection.


    WooCommerce Product Inventory


    Under Product Data you’ll also find options for managing your inventory. This makes sense if you keep a stockpile of your products at the ready to be sent out. If your goods are made as they are ordered, or if you’re selling digital goods, you probably won’t have much use for this tab.


    You’ll also find additional shipping options where you can specify the product weight and dimensions, and well as advanced settings for adding a purchase note and enabling/disabling the product reviews. Once you’re done you can publish your product.


    Total Glitz&Glam WooCommerce Store


    It gets easier as you become familiar with the options within WooCommerce (we promise). And once you’ve added all your products you can use your WordPress theme options to create stylish shop pages to impress your clientele.


    How To Promote Your Products


    Now that your store is setup and ready to go, you have to get the word out that you’re open for business. There are lots of ways to share your new online store with online shoppers, but here are a few to get you started.


    Take Advantage of Social Media


    Social Media


    You should have a Twitter and Facebook are standard social accounts you’ll probably want for any small business, but other networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ might also be very important depending on what it is you’re selling. For example ebooks might not require an Instagram, but if you make jewelry or or home decor you’ll want to get photos of your products trending.


    Try to post everyday and at the beginning experiment with different times of the day. You want to optimize your social sharing to match the schedule of your target audience. You might also want to consider automizing your social sharing. This works especially well if you’re adding content to a blog on your website


    You might want to also consider promoting your posts, tweets, pins, etc. Creating a campaign does take a little research since you’ll want to target the right age range, locale and interests for your audience. Even spending just a few dollars a day can help bring in new potential customers.


    Run A Promotion


    Host A Giveaway


    There are many different ways to run a promotion for your online store. The easiest is to offer a discount or free shipping using the coupon feature built into WooCommerce.


    Another option is to run a giveaway. There are tons of free contest plugins that you can use to host a promotion on your website, or you can use a service like rafflecopter to manage your own giveaway. Just be sure to read up on the laws governing contests and giveaways in your locale (for example in the US you need to be mindful of laws governing the prize value, minors, tax implications and more – so do your homework!).


    Offer Customer Perks


    Online Shopping Loyal Customer


    If you personalize your WooCommerce store you can quickly buildup a strong customer base. And loyal customers are the perfect people to help you promote your store.


    A great way to keep customers coming back to your site (and to get them to share it with friends) is by offering your best customers special perks. This could be a custom birthday freebie with purchase (like that gift you get each year at Sephora), discounted shipping for large purchases (for example, Old Navy offers free shipping on orders over $50), or special discounts for referring friends (similar to Uber’s codes – $15 off for you and a friend).


    Start A Newsletter


    Newsletter Widget


    You definitely want to create a newsletter for your shoppers to stay up to date with new product releases, special promotions and more. You can start for free with MailChimp and if you’re using a theme like Total or Chic there might be a newsletter widget or page element included (just paste in your MailChimp api code). If not there are plenty of free plugins you can use to integrate MailChimp with your website.


    Get Networking


    Networking


    Sometimes more is better, and this is especially true when it comes to spreading word about your business. The wider your network the more people you’ll be able to reach. This applies to online relationships with fellow bloggers and small businesses (who often participate in article-sharing), as well as local brick-and-mortar stores if you’re selling a physical good (being friendly with local boutique hotel owners could mean getting your goods in their gift shop).


    You could also join a professional association to help promote your store. You might want to consider interacting with your local Chamber of Commerce whose sole purpose is to help local business owners succeed. Or join Business Networking International (BNI), a professional organization created to help businesses network around the globe. And if you have a local Rotary Club it’s a fantastic place to give back to the community while also strengthening business relationships. Just get out there, meet people and help your business grow!


    Other Resources To Run A Successful Online Store


    As an online business owner there are tons of other things you need to stay on top of to keep your business running smoothly, including managing your own website. So here are a few more tips & tricks to help you optimize your site:



    Hopefully this guide was helpful! We tried to include as many tips as we could think of to help you launch a successful online business, but if you have any additional tips please share them in the comments below!




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  11. testing How to Integrate the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program with WordPress [ad_1]

    If you’re looking for a way to earn an income online, you’re probably familiar with affiliate marketing. There are so many affiliate programs and resources out there, however, that getting started can be an overwhelming prospect.


    Fortunately, the Amazon Associates affiliate program is an easy way to introduce affiliate marketing to your blogging routine. It’s also a low-stress starting point if you’ve only just started trying to create a new revenue stream online.


    In this post, we’ll explain Amazon’s affiliate marketing system and its benefits. Then we’ll discuss four plugins that can help you easily integrate this program into your WordPress blog. Let’s get started!


    What Amazon Affiliate Marketing Is (And How It Benefits You)


    The Amazon Associates page.


    Affiliate marketing is a commission-based referral program. You partner with a company, and earn a small percentage of its profits by referring your visitors to its products or services. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, we recommend starting with a trusted program, such as Amazon.


    Becoming an Amazon affiliate is free, and offers over a million products you can choose to feature on your site. Here are some benefits to becoming an Amazon Associate:



    • The program integrates smoothly with WordPress. You can work your affiliate links into your content wherever they make the most sense.

    • It offers multiple linking tools for your site. You have access to banners, buttons, images, and links for to improve your marketing efforts.

    • You can track your earnings any time you want. Along with tracking trends, orders, and referrals, you can watch your profits with daily online reports.


    Amazon’s program is perfect for getting started with affiliate marketing, especially when partnered with WordPress. Since WordPress is easy to use and loaded with SEO features, it’s the perfect tool to build an affiliate website and get your marketing efforts off the ground. There are also many plugins available to help you integrate your affiliate links with your WordPress site.


    To get started with Amazon’s affiliate program, you first have to join and create your account. From there, you will need to log in and choose the items you want to feature on your site. Each item has a unique link containing your affiliate ID. After that, you’ll simply add the links to your site!


    Easy Plugins to Integrate WordPress with Amazon Affiliates


    WordPress is endlessly flexible, thanks to its use of plugins. When starting an affiliate site with Amazon’s program, you’ll want to research your plugin options to find the best fit for your site. To help you out, here are four plugins that are ideal for integrating your WordPress site with your Amazon affiliate account.


    1. WooCommerce


    The WooCommerce plugin.


    WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce plugins. It helps you turn your website into an online store, and is amazingly flexible due to the number of extensions that are available. With the help of one of these extensions, WooCommerce enables you to list your Amazon affiliate products on your site.


    To successfully use WooCommerce with Amazon, you’ll need to install an extension such as WP-Lister Lite for Amazon. This will enable you to integrate your WooCommerce catalog with your Amazon inventory (though the pro version of the extension will all you to add sales synchronization and automatic repricing).


    WooCommerce might be overkill if you are just getting started with affiliate links. However, if you plan to expand into a full online storefront, it’s a smart investment to make.


    Key Features:



    • Provides numerous free and premium extensions to help you customize a storefront.

    • Works with products from any Amazon category.

    • Offers tons of support from its developers and community.


    Price: The base version of WooCommerce is free, as is WP-Lister Lite. The WP-Lister Pro extension will cost you $149 per site.


    2. WooZone – WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates


    WooZone WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates Plugin


    Integrating Amazon products into your own e-commerce store doesn’t have to be hard. For example the WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates WordPress Plugin includes built-in modules to easily import products with your unique Amazon affiliate links into WooCommerce. Better yet, the plugin even includes an option to automatically search, find and import products for you based on a set key word or phrase.


    Another useful feature is built-in WooZone Reporting so you can track imported product views, updates and purchase rates. This is a great way to mange your store and update links to relevant products.


    Want more? You can also upgrade to the WooZone – Amazon Associates Bundle Pack which includes the base plugin plus WooZone Contextual Amazon Advertising Plugin, the Amazon Discount Finder for WordPress and Kingdom (the WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates premium theme). This plugin pack is a great toolset to buildup and promote your affiliate store.


    Key Features:



    • Quick and easy setup wizard to configure the plugin with your Amazon Affiliate account.

    • Advanced product search, recommended products and bulk importing options.

    • Synchronization with Amazon product pages to auto-update for price changes, description updates and new reviews.

    • Options for coupons, cross-sale and GEO targeting to provide content relevant to your customers.

    • Product shortcodes to easily insert specific items into posts or pages.


    Price: The WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates plugin currently costs $42, and the Bundle Pack is priced at $69.


    3. Amazon Associates Link Builder


    Amazon Associates Link Builder Plugin


    Amazon Associates Link Builder is the official WordPress plugin for the Amazon Associates program. It enables you to search for products, create links within your posts to Amazon product pages, and access availability and price information in real time. This plugin is designed to work with any size affiliate site, and its real time pricing and availability make it great for keeping your links up to date.


    This plugin is currently in beta, and promises new features and enhancements in the future. It’s an intriguing option, although we do recommend that you carefully read the reviews before installing it. As with most beta products, your results with this one may vary.


    Key Features:



    • Provides official integration (since this is the Amazon Associates Program plugin for WordPress).

    • Enables you to generate text links and create custom add units.

    • Offers real time pricing updates.


    Price: Amazon Associates Link Builder is free.


    4. Amazon eStore Affiliates


    Amazon eStore Affiliates WordPress Plugin


    The Amazon eStore Affiliates WordPress Plugin works strictly off of auto-import. Set your keyword and number of pages you’d like to add then let the plugin queue up products. You can also set a recurrence to periodically add to your store based on new products related to your set keyword.


    A key helpful feature is the Automated Amazon Content Spinner module. Just choose the number of words you’d like to replace and the content spinner will use thesaurus entries to update imported product pages. This prevents duplicate content and may help improve search engine ranking.


    Key Features:



    • Auto-import products based on set keyword (and setup recurring imports).

    • Automated content spinner to ensure unique content on your website.

    • Product stats module to track views, add to carts and cart abandonment.

    • Includes a free WordPress theme with Visual Composer to build your store


    Price: The premium Amazon eStore Affiliates plugin has as price tag of $49.


    5. Amazon Link Engine


    Amazon LinkEngine Plugin


    Amazon Link Engine is a useful tool, because it enables your international site visitors to access their local Amazon storefronts from your affiliate links. It instantly localizes your affiliate links each time a visitor loads the page.


    This plugin offers an immediate way to increase potential conversions, by creating a better user experience for your site’s visitors. If you plan to include an international audience as part of your affiliate marketing endeavors, this plugin will help you get started.


    If you partner the plugin with a Geniuslink account, you can even earn international commissions. Of course, you don’t need this account to use Amazon Link Engine. However, if you are curious about the benefits, it does offer a 14-day free trial.


    Key Features:



    • Localizes your Amazon affiliate links instantly.

    • Converts links automatically, with no extra work required.

    • Searches for affiliate links on an ongoing basis.


    Price: Amazon Link Engine is a free plugin.


    6. Ad Inserter


    Ad Inserter Plugin


    Ad Inserter is an advertising management plugin, which lets you place Native Shopping Ads anywhere you choose on your WordPress site. Rather than randomly serving up advertisements on your site, you can use this plugin to make relevant shopping recommendations to your visitors based on content.


    This plugin enables you to place relevant ads before, after, or even within your post content. You can also use its documentation to learn more about optimal placement for your shopping recommendations.


    If you are looking for a way to integrate Amazon’s Native Shopping Ads with your affiliate marketing site, Ad Inserter offers tons of features. It’s built for customization, and integrates with other tools such as Google Analytics. This plugin is perfect if you want to feature more Amazon-related ads on your site.


    Key Features:



    • Lets you preview ads before publishing.

    • Provides complete control over ad placement.

    • Integrates with Google Analytics


    Price: Ad Inserter is free.


    Conclusion


    Affiliate marketing requires research and patience, but can also be a lucrative and fun way to earn some extra income. Starting with a tried and true program like Amazon’s can give you a solid entry point and set you on the path to success.


    In this post, we introduced some plugins that can help you successfully integrate Amazon’s system with your WordPress site. But if you have any questions about how to combine Amazon’s affiliate program with your WordPress site, or other plugins you’d recommend let us know? Just leave us a note in the comments below!




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  12. testing PayPal Vs Stripe - Which is Right for Your WooCommerce Store? [ad_1]

    If you take a look at the payment gateways supported by WooCommerce, you’ll see 95 results. These results include options like PayPal, Stripe, Square, Amazon Pay, Authorize.net, and First Data. Several more obscure payment gateways are provided as well, but the two most popular are PayPal and Stripe.


    Part of this is because the Stripe and PayPal WooCommerce extensions are completely free, but it mainly has to do with reasonable rates, seamless transactions, and reputable business practices.


    In short, they’re both popular, so the companies make good money and protect the users because of that. But as with all payment gateway conversations, it can get extremely boring trying to figure out the right answer. And this one isn’t any easier.


    So, when you pit PayPal vs Stripe, which one comes out ahead? Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons, along with the answer to which one is right for your business.


    The Benefits of PayPal for Online Business



    PayPal has far more benefits than it does downsides, and much of this has to do with the size of the company. You’ll be hard pressed to find a country or bank that doesn’t work with PayPal. Not to mention, you have almost instant control over your cash.


    Easy Integration with WooCommerce


    PayPal Express Checkout WooCommerce Extension


    As one of WooCommerce’s built-in default payment options integrating PayPal with your online store is simple – just verify your account and you’re ready to accept payments. But if you want to make checkout even easier for your customers, there are a number of free WooCommerce extensions, like the PayPal Express Checkout, you can use to make your customers’ shopping experience quick and easy.


    The Pricing is Easy to Understand


    We’ll talk about how PayPal has more fees than Stripe (in the downsides section). But one thing is for sure: PayPal is transparent about all of its pricing.


    The 2.9% +30¢ fee covers most transactions. You can also find some of the other fees here. In short, PayPal doesn’t seem to be trying to hide anything.


    In addition, PayPal charges nothing for cancellations or downgrades. The same goes for setup fees.


    You Can Get Numerous Services from One Place


    Here’s a short list of just some of the services and products offered through PayPal:



    • Recurring billing

    • Micropayments

    • Virtual terminals

    • Payment forms

    • Payment gateways

    • Invoicing


    Not every payment processing company provides everything like this under one roof.


    PayPal Pays Out Fast


    PayPal puts money in your account almost immediately after a transaction is made. You’ll have to wait a few days to transfer to another bank account, but there’s also the advantage of using the PayPal debit card.


    PayPal is Accepted Almost Everywhere


    Most buyers and sellers recognize the PayPal brand name. It’s a well-respected, trusted name in the business, so you can expect it to be accepted almost anywhere in the world. For this reason, it’s a wonderful choice for small businesses just getting started online.


    It’s Easy to Configure


    Whether you’re using a personal PayPal account or PayPal Payments Standard, you’ll have no problems when it comes to the setup. If there’s one thing you won’t hear merchants complain about it’s the ease-of-use with PayPal. Most newcomers can get configured with an account within ten minutes and start collecting payments even faster.


    The Benefits of Stripe for Online Business



    With payment processing, PCI compliance, subscriptions, marketplace tools, coupons, free trials, Buy buttons, and more, Stripe is known for its large feature-set. PayPal does a wonderful job of providing add-ons beyond its payment processing, but Stripe seems to beat it out.


    A Wide Range of Additional Products and Services


    PayPal’s services are pretty impressive, but Stripe supplements its payment gateway with some unique services like the following:



    • Buy buttons for mobile apps

    • Amazing reporting tools

    • Marketplace options

    • A customizable checkout

    • A hosted payment page

    • Subscriptions

    • Free trials and coupons


    And this is just a short list of the over 100 features provided by Stripe.


    Quick WooCommerce Integration


    Stripe WooCommerce Extension


    With the addition of the free Stripe Payment Gateway extension for WooCommerce your online store will be all set to accept credit cards, Bitcoin, Apple Pay and more. Setup is straightforward and should require much time to configure your preferred payment settings.


    Free Developer Tools


    One of the main reasons you would go with Stripe over PayPal is because of its strong set of free developer tools. This allows developers a chance to quickly integrate the Stripe payment system into other apps, programs, and websites. The whole point is to set a solid foundation and open up options for expanding your business.


    That said, Stripe is completely fine if you don’t have development skills. However, it does seem more appealing for developers.


    One Flat Fee


    Both services have the 2.9% +30¢ standard transaction fee, but Stripe doesn’t charge extra for anything like for the authorization of a card, for international cards, or for charging cards from your site. We’ll outline the extra fees implemented by PayPal below, but businesses that want to accept international cards or do something like recurring billing will have fewer payments with Stripe.


    Not only that, but Stripe accepts Apple Pay payments for free, while PayPal doesn’t accept payment from Apple Pay at all.


    The Downsides of PayPal for Online Business


    Being a large company, PayPal sees all sorts of complaints. Most of them have to do with the first point we address about frozen accounts.


    Frozen Accounts and the Withholding of Funds


    Although it’s clear PayPal acts on certain accounts due to security reasons, users have been known to report problems with frozen accounts and withheld funds, even for legitimate accounts. The reason PayPal typically freezes (or shuts down) accounts is because of suspected fraud.


    PayPal has dealt with some high-profile fraud cases, so it makes sense that it’s a little wary of troublesome accounts. In addition, Stripe and other large payment processing companies are known to freeze or shut down accounts as well. PayPal just seems to be in the news more.


    Overall, it’s best that you avoid PayPal if you don’t plan on following its terms and conditions. For instance, some companies have seen accounts frozen when trying to use personal PayPal accounts for business purposes.


    Also, if you consider your product, service, or industry to be high-risk (or potentially illegal in some countries) you’re better off looking elsewhere.


    Extra Service Fees


    Since both PayPal and Stripe have the same standard transaction fees at 2.9% +30¢, there’s no reason to compare the two with that metric.


    Stripe keeps things simple by sticking to their flat 2.9% +30¢ transaction fee. That’s it. PayPal, however, adds on some other fees depending on what happens with your account. Here are some examples:



    • Chargebacks – $20 (As opposed to $15 for Stripe)

    • Charge cards from your site – $30 per month

    • Recurring billing – $10 per month

    • Advanced fraud protection – $10 per month

    • Fee to authorize a card – 30¢

    • Fee for international cards – 1%

    • Fee for payments less than $10 – 5% + .05¢

    • Fees for American Express Cards – 3.5%


    The majority of those fees from Stripe are either completely free or stick to the same flat rate of 2.9% +30¢.


    Seller Protection


    PayPal is famous for its buyer protection, but that’s not necessarily the case for sellers. You can take a look at the seller protection offerings here, but just keep in mind that many merchants report that the seller protection is far from effective.


    The Downsides of Stripe for Online Business


    Stripe is not without it’s challenges. Here are the ones you should be aware of.


    Frozen Accounts and Terminations


    PayPal and Stripe are both huge companies that encounter fraud around every corner. Therefore, it’s no surprise that merchants tend to also complain about frozen accounts with Stripe. So, PayPal and Stripe are on the same level in this category, since all merchants should at least be aware of the potential for frozen accounts. Once again, the best way to avoid this is by minimizing fraud on your site and using the Stripe account according to its terms and services.


    It’s Not Always as User-friendly


    Stripe packs quite a few features into its platform, but sometimes this causes more problems than it solves. To start, Stripe was primarily built for developers, so it’s not nearly as easy to setup as PayPal. In addition, fraud tools are included with Stripe, but customers seem to have trouble finding and activating them. For instance, Stripe has been known to not protect that well against fraud and chargebacks. Stripe definitely has features to fight these situations, but merchants have trouble turning them on and understanding them.


    PayPal vs Stripe: Which Should You Choose?


    It’s not all that easy to draw a full conclusion on which payment processor you should choose, but we can make a few solid statements:



    • Stripe is better for developers.

    • PayPal is usually better for newcomers who want a plug and play solution.

    • PayPal has better rates for non-profits.

    • Stripe has fewer fees for things like recurring billing, micropayments, and chargebacks.

    • Although Stripe is popular, PayPal has much stronger brand recognition.


    There you have it! If you have any questions about choosing between Stripe and PayPal, let us know in the comments section below.




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  13. testing Awesome Uses for Powerful WordPress Slider Plugins [ad_1]

    There are many elements you can incorporate into your website to boost user engagement and enhance your content’s delivery. However, an often overlooked element – the slider – is one that can have the greatest impact on design and functionality.


    Sliders are portable slideshows that can perform many tasks (such as displaying your photography portfolio or showcasing business testimonials). When used correctly, you can create an engaging, interactive experience for your website’s visitors.


    In this post, we’ll discuss what a slider is and why you should use it. We’ll then show you how to choose the best WordPress slider for your needs, as well as four awesome ways to use it on your site. Let’s get started!


    What a Slider Is (And Why You Should Use One On Your Website)


    Total WordPress Theme (Travel Blog Demo)

    Slideshows are used on a variety of websites in a multitude of ways – including on the Total Travel blog demo, where a slider is used to showcase articles.


    A slider is an interactive slideshow that’s used on websites for a variety of tasks, and while they’re usually media-heavy, you’re not limited to simply cycling round a series of images or videos. What’s more, there are a number of benefits to using sliders. For example, they can:



    • Break up your website’s content.

    • Engage your website’s visitors.

    • Enable you to deliver information in an easy, digestible way.


    In a nutshell, the main job of a slider is to improve the way visitors interact with your content. This is true whether the content is visual (such as with images and videos) or not (including written content, such as testimonials).


    How to Choose the Best WordPress Slider For Your Needs


    Sliders aren’t all made equal, so deciding which one best for your needs is important. Each has its own unique features that make it suited for different purposes. Some of the more popular slider features include:



    • Full-width slideshow support.

    • Drag-and-drop reordering of your slides.

    • Built-in widgets and shortcodes.

    • Configuration options (such as transition and speed effects).

    • Multimedia support (including videos, GIFs, HTML, and more).


    The exact features will vary by slider. For example, Slider Revolution (which starts at $25) is known for its slide-to-slide transitions and plugin add-ons. This makes it a good choice for highly creative slideshows. Plus it’s bundled with many premium WordPress themes, including TotalMeta Slider (free & premium) is popular for its smart image cropping and the ability to embed Youtube videos into slides.


    Smart Slider 3 (also with free and paid plans) also incorporates many of the above-mentioned features, as well as top-notch support and over 100 pre-built slides:


    The Smart Slider 3 slider examples page


    You’ll find that most sliders offer plenty of flexibility and power, although the right option depends on your needs and expected use. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the unique situations you may find a slider is ideal for.


    4 Awesome Uses for a Powerful Slider Plugin


    To give you some inspiration, this section will offer you four awesome uses for a powerful slider plugin. We’ll also give you some handy advice on how to implement each method optimally. Let’s dive in!


    1. Display Visual Elements With An Image Slider


    Am example of an image slider

    An image slider is an opportunity to share stunning images.


    As the name suggests, an image slider displays a collection of still photographs. These sliders are great for easily displaying visual elements, such as a portfolio or travel album. While image sliders are a simple way to display your visual elements, take care to be sure you’re implementing them well:



    • Use only high-resolution images. Simply put, the higher the resolution of your images, the greater the perception of quality. With that in mind, you can find many free stock images online.

    • Optimize your images. With free tools such as TinyPNG, you can ensure your pages load quickly and your images take up little space on your server, all without affecting quality. You can also use this image optimization guide to


    You may think of image sliders as a boring and overused application. However, using high-quality, beautiful images will captivate your readers and bolster the experience they’ll have on your website.


    2. Showcase Customer Testimonials With a Carousel Slider


    Am example of a carousel slider

    A carousel slider enables the seamless incorporation of testimonials and other snippets of content.


    A carousel slider is one that works on a loop. As testimonials tend to be brief, a carousel slider offers the best way to deliver these snippets of content to your website’s visitors. However, to do so most effectively, you’ll want to carry out these tips:



    • Use a manual carousel. Not everyone reads at the same speed. As such, it’s best to let your visitors decide when to move to the next testimonial in the slider.

    • Include prominent buttons. This makes it easy for your readers to move between each testimonial.


    The best thing about a carousel slider is that it provides a perception of quantity. While you work on building up testimonials for your business, you can still proudly display the ones you do have, without adversely affecting your social proof.


    3. Show Off Your Best Work With a Portfolio Slider


    Am example of a portfolio slider

    You can use a portfolio slider for photography, videography, or even non-visual content.


    In a nutshell, a portfolio slider is one that enables you to show off your work. It’s built for the purposes of showcasing different media elements, which makes it ideal for highlighting the different aspects of your services. Of course, your main concern should be displaying only your very best work. However, there’s one other tip to consider:



    • Incorporate links for non-visual content. Not all portfolio pieces will be visual (especially if you’re a writer or blogger). However, you can still use visual elements (such as screenshots of your work) within the slider, and incorporate links to the actual project. This increases the interactivity of your site.


    Using a portfolio slider means there’s no limit to the work you can share with visitors. This is great for your business – especially if your media is multi-faceted – and it also adds a unique touch to your site.


    4. Create Interactive Content With a Parallax Slider


    Am example of a parallax slider

    Use parallax sliders to create an engaging experience for visitors.


    The parallax effect is one where the background image seemingly moves in 3D. By employing this effect, you can offer depth to an otherwise static website, and create interactive and engaging content. Additionally, it will draw the attention of visitors, so it helps to engage them. If you’d like to create the most interactive experience for your visitors, here are some tips to keep in mind:



    • Choose your style. These include slider, scroll, mouse, and 3D. Each will have an impact on how your slider loads and is displayed, so getting it right is important.

    • Select your image carefully. Images with negative space are ideal for avoiding clutter, as are images that scale well on smaller screens.


    Of course, you don’t want your web page to be overwhelming for visitors. This means limiting your use of parallax sliders, and ideally sticking to one instance per page.


    Conclusion


    While sliders have their critics, there’s no doubt that they’re ideal for a number of different applications. With the addition of complex effects (such as parallax scrolling) and a seemingly endless array of applications (such as displaying your own work or business testimonials), the use of a slider can improve your website’s functionality significantly.


    In this post, we’ve introduced you to sliders and why you should use them on your website. We’ve also highlighted four awesome ways to use them. To quickly recap, you can:



    1. Display visual elements with an image slider.

    2. Showcase customer testimonials with a carousel slider.

    3. Show off your best work with a portfolio slider.

    4. Create interactive content with a parallax slider.


    Do you have any questions about choosing the best WordPress slider for your site? What do you look for in a WordPress slider? Let us know in the comments section below!




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  14. testing How To Add Google Fonts to WordPress [ad_1]

    One way to dramatically improve the design and professionalism of your website is to use great fonts.


    Most people never give a second thought to the font that they use on their website. However, if you are developing your own theme or editing a theme you currently have installed, good font selection should be a large part of the process.


    Selecting a font or font combination for your website used to be a simple and frankly quite boring task. There were very few web safe fonts available for you to use, but now with the vast number of web optimized fonts continually being created, it can be difficult to figure out which ones to use.


    With the creation of Google Fonts and the 600+ font families now available to you the process of choosing a good font is even more complex. However, over the last few years the development around Google Fonts has made implementing any choice you make far easier than it’s ever been.


    Why Should I Use Google Fonts?



    Google Fonts has become one of the greatest font resources available to you on the web today.


    Not only are there more than 800+ font families for you to use, all of them are open-source fonts that can be created and enhanced by anyone.


    Designers who create fonts have to go through a consideration process to have their font included in Google’s directory. That means that as well as having access to thousands of designers around the world, fonts cannot be added to the directory without first ensuring they are complete and web optimized.


    Using different fonts in the past meant that people had to have the font installed on their own computer to allow the browser to display them properly. With Google Fonts all of the fonts are directly accessed from the Google directory ensuring that they will work on practically any machine with any browser. This opens up an unprecedented amount of design freedom for developing websites.


    How Do I Use Google Fonts on My Website?


    Some WordPress theme’s such as the Total WordPress Theme include options built into the theme for easily altering your Google fonts. Just navigate to the Customizer and click on the Typography tab to edit main fonts, font size, font weight and even line spacing for elements throughout the theme.


    Total Theme Font Options


    However, if you are using a different theme then you could add Google Fonts manually or use a plugin.


    WordPress Plugins to Add Google Fonts


    One of the best free plugins for adding Google Fonts to your site is by using the free Easy Google Fonts Plugin which you can download by clicking on the banner below to access the WordPress repository and manually downloading it or by logging into WordPress going to Plugins > Add New and searching for the plugin there for quick and easy installation.



    Another great plugin for customizing your fonts on the site is the Yellow Pencil Live CSS editor plugin (which is included for free in our New York WordPress Theme). The benefit of this plugin is that it not only lets you alter the fonts of your website via an easy click-and-edit method but you can also customize all of your WordPress theme’s colors, font sizes, font weights, paddings, margins…etc.



    Which Fonts Should I Use?


    The greatest strength of the Google Fonts Directory can also make life difficult for you. There are such a large number of fonts available to use that finding and choosing a decent font combination can be a challenge.


    The fonts you choose will depend entirely upon what you are trying to convey with your design. Fonts are used to capture the interest of the site’s readers. They are used to draw attention to various aspects of the website, and a great designer can do wonders with very subtle differences in the fonts they use.


    One thing you need to understand is the difference between a font and a typeface. Those two terms are frequently and incorrectly used interchangeably. A font is the complete collection of letters, numbers symbols, etc. When referring to the design of that collection you would call it a typeface.


    Font Classifications


    There are various classifications that can be applied to typefaces. They are: Serif, Sans Serif, Display, Handwriting (or Script) and Monospace. There are others that are used in print, though we won’t need to concern ourselves with them just now.


    So what are the differences between them?


    Serif typefaces have a tail that hangs of the edge of each character.


    Serif Typeface


    Sans Serif typefaces have no tails.


    Sans Serif Typeface


    Display typefaces are unusual and decorative.


    Display Typeface


    Handwriting typefaces look like hand written cursive or block writing.


    Handwriting Typeface


    Lastly, monospace fonts are composed of character that each take up the exact same amount of space.


    Monospace Typeface


    Fonts Best Practices for Web Design


    There are a few best practice guidelines to follow when choosing which fonts to use.


    It is a good idea to avoid using more than two different fonts in your site design. It can be difficult to balance more than two fonts and mixing more than two typefaces on one site can cause serious visual issues.


    If you are using two different fonts, for example one for titles and one for content, make sure that you don’t choose them from the same typeface classification. It’s best to combine typefaces. In other words, avoid using two different Serif fonts, or two different sans serif fonts.


    There are fonts that work really well for titles, but are not ideal for body content and vice versa. There are sites that use fonts for their content that can be difficult to read. Content fonts should be clean and easy to read whereas title fonts should be used for maximum impact and to draw attention to specific areas of your site.


    Conclusion


    As you may be beginning to appreciate, selecting fonts for your website design can be a tricky and involved process. There is much more to the decision than simply choosing any two fonts.


    There are several things that you should endeavor to ensure in your choices. Make sure your header class hierarchy is balanced and that header tags reduce in relative size.


    Half the battle of good site design and typography is to be consistent with your font choices. That includes font sizes, weights and spacing. Using Google Fonts and the Google Typography plugin makes this entire process far easier than it has ever been. Even with these resources having professional and balanced typography is still a challenge.


    If you are still unsure of the choices your making and get lost when you are trying to figure out the differences between all of your options, it may be time to have a professional designer take a look at your site.


    Have you implemented Google Fonts on your website? Have you built a theme from scratch that includes Google Fonts? We’d love to hear your thoughts on typography and your favorite fonts in the comments below.




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  15. testing Ultimate Guide to Free WordPress Themes [ad_1]

    If you’re only preparing to take your first steps up the web development mountain, this ultimate guide can be a go-to resource for you.


    These days, it seems like a no-brainer to build a website. It’s self-evident. Whether you run a small bakery delivery service or are in the process of patenting and developing a brilliant invention, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of an online presence for any business in today’s connected world. And that’s where a website comes in. The website is your own online identity. The good news is that with WordPress CMS platform anyone can build his/her own website without spending an arm and a leg on it. Eureka!


    The fact that WordPress is a free open-source platform with a boundless ocean of free and premium themes, is what makes it awesome. The fact that there’s a lot you can do with it for free, is what calls out to people. Let’s say, with WordPress people can test out their ideas to pursue their dreams, hobbies, and wishes. Though the biggest hurdle is often picking the right WordPress theme. With so many choices it can get confusing.


    The good news is that there’s an overwhelming amount of free WordPress themes available on the web. The bad news is that there’s an overwhelming amount of free WordPress themes out there for you to try.


    In fact, there’s nothing wrong with using a free WordPress theme –  just keep in mind what you are and aren’t getting.


    What is a Free WordPress Theme?


    To begin with, a free WordPress theme is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to build a website for free, for Pete’s sake! A free WordPress theme is just the thing to help people who don’t have a lot of money but have a desire and a dream. Moreover, they are willing to work for that dream on their own. Free themes are great for those on a budget and haven’t got the cash to spare. The best thing about free themes is that once you go for it, you can always upgrade it to a premium solution later on or switch to a different free theme.


    There’re lots of theme stores including TemplateMonster, WPExplorer, ThemeIsle and more offering great free WordPress themes attracting the attention of users to their digital products. And of course the WordPress.org Theme Repository has the largest collection of free WordPress themes available online making it a great place to test the waters and get started with WordPress themes.


    GPL License


    Admit it, you’ve never read a single software license in your life. Most people have never paid attention to them, too. When we talk about free WordPress themes, the GPL license is an inevitable part of it. Why is it important? Let’s put some light on it.


    In simple, the GPL ensures you have the freedom to run, study, and change the program/code as well as redistribute and modify its copies to others. Thus, GPL means freedom for you, however, not the price. In other words, once you made changes to the code, you’re obliged to release it using the same license. As a result, the more people tweak it, the better and stronger this software becomes. And it boils down to the fact that GPL license focuses on free things, and nothing about the price of anything.


    99% of free WordPress themes features a GPL license. This means you free to download and use them as you please!


    Creative Commons


    Let’s move forward. Creative Commons license (or CC) is another public copyright license that enables people to share, use, and build upon the derivative works created. In fact, it provides flexibility to an author and protects the users who redistribute the author’s work.


    There are several CC licenses. You can find some WordPress themes licensed under CC license. As you will see, they are typically not the part of the Theme Repository.


    Free Themes Are Equal, But Some Free Themes Are More Equal Than Others


    When choosing the free WordPress theme, it’s important to check the type of license they are under. Why? The answer is, it depends. That’s all about the rights you’re allowed to do with it.


    Advantages of Free WordPress Themes


    The fact that free WordPress themes are free itself seems great. But, it’s human nature to be not satisfied with less. We always want more. Find a free WordPress theme you like and simply go for it. So, what are the advantages for you?



    • The cost-cutting factor
      Once you found a free theme you like, go ahead and use it on your website. Use your imagination instead of your wallet. If for some reasons, you’ll want to switch to premium theme there’s nothing to stop you. In contrast, with premium themes, it can be difficult to get your money back.

    • Incredible plugin support
      Despite the fact that free WordPress themes are not accomplished by support, however, you can find many resources available to help you get rid of all that worries. What’s more, you can upload date, edit and do any changes whenever you need using free plugins.

    • Choosing varieties
      Nothing is constant, but change. You will want to make changes. Moreover, you are free to make any changes. Once you decide to go for it, experiment. Experiment with as many free WordPress themes as you like to find the solution that fits your delicate taste best.


    Weak Points of Free WordPress Themes


    Well, like it or not, but there’s always a black fly in your Chardonnay. And free WordPress themes are not the exception.



    • Not unique
      Though there’re many beautiful free WordPress themes, lots of people use them because they’re free. It means your site may not look unique.

    • Poorly coded (maybe)
      Unfortunately there are a lot of poorly coded, clunky free WordPress themes out there. But there are just as many great options. This means you should research and always test your theme before uploading it to your live WordPress website.

    • Limited features
      You’re limited in editing options and settings when it comes to tweaking the overall look of your site.

    • Limited support
      Most free WordPress themes do not include free support, but developers do welcome bug reports if you’ve found an issue. Some developers also offer premium support options, so you may have to shell out a bit of cash if you need help.

    • Limited updates
      Because free themes are free it may take longer for developers to provide updates, or they may eventually abandon the theme all together.


    Should You Choose a Free or Premium WordPress Theme?


    So, what option to choose? The answer is, it depends. There’re plenty of things to consider before making the choice. Think of the advantage that you can get. Though expectations can be a hard thing to manage. As a rule, you don’t know unless you dedicate time and effort to trying. Well, to sum up, fear not to start small and build up.


    A premium WordPress theme is just the thing for those who wish to hook up their unique and modern website worth both time and money. The premium theme doesn’t always mean the better option, however, it can make a big difference. Remember, there’s always a chance of paying too much for features you don’t need.


    Generally speaking, the premium theme is a fab way to get things done with minimal fuss. What’s more, they come with more advanced features, unique designs, frequent updates, extra developer support, and great customization options. Admit it, with all those benefits, why not?


    Tips for Picking Your Ideal Free WordPress Theme


    You might be curious to find reliable free WordPress themes. That’s important, after all. You can waster your valuable time and money for fly-by-night providers and in the end get a low-quality product which costs you an arm and leg. That’s not an option.


    Here’s a head’s up for you – if you haven’t got a clue where to start, let’s have a look at some great free WordPress themes from leading web developing companies like TemplateMonster and WPExplorer. Why not? That’s a good idea. Moreover, the array of free and premium WordPress themes they offer is only limited by your imagination. No matter what niche you are in, anyone can find the best possible WordPress business themes, electronic templates, fashion, and beauty blogging pages, design and photography portals, and much more.


    Let’s say, when browsing free WordPress themes, you should pick the one that can easily be tailored to your chosen purpose. You have a mission or goal you’re working toward, right? For example, if you wish to hook up a business website, Monstroid2 Lite is just the thing for you.


    Monstroid 2 Lite Free WordPress Theme


    Monstroid 2 Lite Free WordPress Theme



    First and foremost, the visual look of a WordPress theme should ideally fit your purpose. And Monstroid2 Lite has got you covered. This absolutely clean GPLv.3 licensed free WordPress can help you launch your business site without the headache of coding. With the main focus on content, Monstroid2 Lite includes a set of Google fonts to highlight the most interesting parts of your sticky content. It comes with lots of clean white space to help you break your content into easily readable parts. With WP Live Customizer, you can do any changes and see the results of your experiment straight away. What’s more, a clean, responsive and eye-appealing design gives you the free will to set up any business, e-Commerce, or online publishing website on a fly. Don’t knock it, till you try it.


    Of course, you may want to pick a WordPress theme that is well coded and built around modern web standards. Make sure Corporate Free Business WordPress Theme has a clean, properly marked up code that will make your life easier from the start.


    Corporate Free Business WordPress Theme


    Corporate Free Business WordPress Theme



    Designed for business and corporate websites, this free GPLv.3 WordPress theme can help you represent your unique brand or company for your incurious site visitors. With a Portfolio, you can showcase your exceptional works and projects to draw in your customers and tell a story of your mission. In addition, it supports images, galleries, and videos to encourage your would-be clients to join your brand. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a blog page for promoting your business. Make any changes, experiment, create a cause, but get noticed. Feel free to play around the live demo to see whether it fits your delicate taste.


    Think mobile-first unless you have a very good reason not to. If you want to be sure you’re getting the most traffic possible – make sure your free WordPress theme is responsive. A fully responsive layout that adjusts smoothly to different digital devices eliminates the chances of site abandonment. Kustrix Lite is best suited to serve that purpose.


    Kustrix Lite Free Fashion Blog WordPress Theme


    Kustrix Lite Free Fashion Blog WordPress Theme



    As online world becomes increasingly visual; your beautiful website needs to be visible on all last-generation devices. People browse and shop throughout the day, that’s why your responsive and eye-grabbing website should pop-up in those hungry search engine results. Take a look at this free 100% GPLv.3 licensed WordPress theme tailored for fashion and beauty personal blogs and photography projects. The theme is easy to customize and navigate thanks to its two-column positioning. With social options, you can get the word out about your new baby.


    Powered Free Blogging WordPress Theme


    Powered Free Blogging WordPress Theme



    Enjoy this completely free GPLv.3 licensed WordPress theme intended for creating blogs for business, technology, lifestyle, and travel. It comes with a clean, responsive and minimalist design to help you engage and impress your visitors right from the start. Do everything in your power to create a blog that is worth sticking around. It comes with WPML, Polylang, ad RTL support, social media, typography settings, clean and valid code, and more. Get it and use it to your full advantage.


    Don’t dismiss clean and minimal free WordPress themes. When choosing a theme, keep in mind outstanding design never gets out of style. A clean spacing of your site impacts the overall look of your site. Remember, clean and simple designs are often the best way to showcase your content and get noticed. Take a look at Melissa Photography WordPress theme.


    Melissa Free Photography, Portfolio & Photo Studio WordPress Theme


    Melissa Free Photography, Portfolio & Photo Studio WordPress Theme



    Having a beautiful minimalist website can be a difference that swings visitor decisions in your favor. With Melissa, you can create an impressive photographer portfolio site and lull your visitor into a sense of beauty and glory. It comes with TM Gallery to help you create and represent your unique works and projects in the most appealing way. WP Live Customizer allows you customize the template to an astonishing degree without the headache of any coding. Make your visitors feel special when they land on your photography site by accident.


    Pineapple Free Photography Blog WordPress Theme


    Pineapple Free WordPress Theme



    This minimalist GPLv.3 licensed free WordPress theme can help you win the battle for the attention. It comes with all necessary features you may need to start a successful blog with a blink of an eye. This well-coded, responsive, Yoast SEO compatible template can jumpstart your web project and save you both time and effort. Pineapple offers a leeway for creating an engaging story that can’t be put down. What’s more, it supports multiple media types, is compatible with popular free plugins, Contact Form 7, and more. Now, enough talking. Dive in to see what is it all about.


    Taking into account that Google ranks mobile-friendly websites higher, SEO standard ensures your site is marked up properly to be high up in the search engine results. Thus, you can get the maximum leverage from keywords and increase the chances people will land on your website. Many of free WordPress themes are optimized form the start, but as always only some of them are better at it than others.


    Energico Free Gardening WordPress Theme


    Energico Free Gardening WordPress Theme



    SEO-friendly free GPLv.3 WordPress theme designed with the clear advantage can ensure your website does exactly what you need it to. Energico is a great choice for gardening and landscaping businesses. It comes with a bunch of Cherry plugins to represent your unique business in the most engaging way. Choose between multiple blog layouts, header and footer styles, and different UI elements to match your business requirements best. Try it now to attract natural traffic from search engines.


    Pytheas Free Corporate Business WordPress Theme


    Pytheas Free Corporate Business WordPress Theme



    Pytheas is a clean, minimalist and responsive free GPLv.3 WordPress theme tailored for corporate, business, and portfolio web projects. It comes with built-in support for Yoast SEO breadcrumbs, WP Live Customizer, social media, Contact Form 7, and more. Use this SEO-friendly template to your full advantage and engage your visitors more fully online. Go ahead and get started today.


    Catwalk Free Fashion Modeling Agency Responsive WordPress Theme


    Catwalk Free Fashion Modeling Agency Responsive WordPress Theme



    Catwalk is another SEO-friendly free WordPress theme perfect for your next web project. Crafted with care and elegance, it can help you create a new digital front door for your fashion modeling agency. Face it, your audience deserves the best. With Catwalk, you can promote your brand 24/7, 365 days a year. Get the most traffic from keywords that you know will cause conversions. What’s your choice?


    Congratulations! You’re a Free Theme Expert!


    Well, to sum up, WordPress is a fab option that can grow with you and your business. And once you pick the right WordPress theme, it can make a huge difference in your success. As you see, there are plenty of beautiful free WordPress themes, but only some of them can make your website look like a million bucks. Choosing the right free WordPress theme is always the hardest thing, in fact. Everything you need is an experience which you can only by getting a little training under your belt.


    What do you think are the most important aspects of a free WordPress theme? And do you have any favorite themes that we missed? Let us know in the comments section – we’d love to check them out!




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  16. testing Media Temple WordPress Hosting Review [ad_1]

    The next in line-up for a hosting review is the well known Media Temple. This company offers plenty of plans for any kind of hosting needs but the most attractive for us (obviously) are the Managed WordPress Hosting plans.


    Today I’m going to review the Media Temple WordPress hosting Personal Plan. I’ll go over the features and performance to give you a look at what to expect from Media Temple.


    Media Temple WordPress Hosting Features



    Media Temple offers two plans for WordPress (Personal & Pro) and the features are really good compared to the competition.


    For starters Media Temple offers up 50GB of storage on the Personal Plan which is superb by any standard and a limit of up to 250,000 visits. In fact, both plans have such a good price that I feel tempted to score it higher than the rest for features alone. Media Temple offers 24/7 expert chat (which is something that I actually tested) and have Stage & Cloning, 30 days backup & restore and Malware detection & removal with both plans.


    The only drawback in their offering is the lack of free Let’s Encrypt support (you’d have to integrate it yourself). SSL certificates are not cheap, but if you take into consideration the already more than reasonable cost of Media Temple’s hosting options adding on SSL is doable.


    (mt) Hosting Interface



    At first glance the interface looks superb. The modern style lets you handle most of the features of the plan via the admin tab. Every other option can be found there including CloudTech, Security & CDN which is also a nice plus. Plus add-on services which gives you access CloudFlare control for free as well as the Support Center if you need assitance.



    You can add hosting or domains to your main plan by clicking the Add Domain button (under Services in your admin panel) and following along with the intuitive and easy to work with prompts.




    Once you select a domain to admin you’ll be greeted with website status, from this menu you can create more sites (according to your plan) or remove them. You can also import an active site, which is what I’m going to do.



    Media Temple does not require any external plugin to be installed, it will only ask for FTP and WordPress credentials. Once done, your site should be online and ready at your designated domain.



    Fun fact: you can even play a space shooter game and try and beat the high score while you wait! Once the process is finished, your site should be up. Sadly for me, mine wasn’t. After the third time trying to import the site I hit a wall and then I decided to put the 24/7 expert tech support to the test.


    Media Temple Hosting Support



    Contacting Tech support was such a good experience. For starters, the chat button is right there all the time. Whatever you’re doing on Media Temple, chatting with support staff is one click away. I explained my problem to the support expert and they quickly pointed out that I needed to import on a live site.



    So, having created my live site, I imported based on what tech support told me…



    Even when the message afterwards says I’ll need to wait up to 2 hours, my site was ready to go in less than 15 minutes. This alternative way of importing worked the first time and tech support was able to fix my issue in less than 1 minute!


    Additional (mt) WordPress Hosting Features


    Once the site was migrated, I could start working with the options given.



    Media Temple offers phpmyadmin mysql manipulation which is incredible generous considering the way most managed WordPress hosting providers limit their customers and they offer the option to manage the themes installed on your site.



    Before the site could be live I needed to assign a domain (a subdomain in this case) which is something I know for a fact can be complicated, specially on managed hosting services. Media Temple managed to surprise me once again with another extremely powerful domain manager.


    Media Temple will allow you to set your own custom domain and handle your DNS entries yourself so you’re actually in full control of your domains. They don’t impose any kind of limitation and the way their options are setup even invites you to handle your website with freedom.



    You can even point your domain to Media Temple and let the service handle DNS entries. The way they have this setup is extremely user friendly. So far, without a doubt, Media Temple is one of the least restrictive Managed WP Hosting services I’ve tested and with an intuitive control panel that is also modern in looks.


    Media Temple Hosting Performance


    Once the site was live at mediatemple.thetechieblog.com I was able to test it’s performance.



    From San Francisco the performance is on par with what I’ve seen from other services.



    The performance from Australia is also very good with less than 5 seconds average.



    Also, by taking a look at the header response, we can see that Media Temple is using some kind of caching mechanism on our site, this combined with the Free Cloudflare support and the added bonus of CDN, which is another service they offer as an add-on would make for an astonishing performance improvement.



    Taking numbers directly from GTMetrix you can see that load time is less than 4 seconds. This coupled with WP Caching plugin and CloudFlare support would make this service ideal for performance.


    Wrapping Up


    Media Temple breaks all the rules of traditional managed WordPress hosting by offering more flexibility coupled with a tremendous amount of addons and extra services like: Backup & Restore, Malware Scanning, Cloudflare support, a CDN service, full control over domains & DNS, tons of storage space and truly good tech support.


    All this options combined makes for an incredible good service, so good that completely crushes all the other Managed WP Hosting services I’ve tested so far. If you’re looking for a good WP Managed Hosting service, Media Temple has one of the best in the market, period.


    Have you tried Media Temple’s WordPress hosting? We’d love to hear about your experience. Or if you have nay questions feel free to ask in the comments section below.




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  17. testing The Best WordPress Halloween Discounts & Coupons [ad_1]

    Fall is in the air – and so are WordPress deals. Get your trick-or-treat on early with these awesome sales, deals and coupon codes to save big on WordPress hosting, themes, plugins and more. Grab a pumpkin spice something and let’s dig into these limited time offers!

    WP Engine 5 Months Free Hosting

    Save 30% off your first payment with WP Engine with coupon code: halloween2017. Get 5 months FREE hosting with annual plans from now until the end of October! Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 30% at WP Engine

    Cloudways $100 Credit

    Use code TREAT17 to save 20% per month (up to $100 total) when you sign up for an new hosting plan at Cloudways! This sweet offer ends soon so act fast.

    Save $100 at Cloudways

    Dotster.com 18% Off New Domains

    Get your new domain name from Dotster and save 18% with code NEWDOM1. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 18% at Dotster.com

    GoDaddy $1 Shared Hosting

    Get affordable shared hosting from GODaddy for just $1/mo (for the first year)! No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Save on Hosting from GoDaddy

    GoDaddy 30% Off Your Purchase

    New customers can take 30% off with code cjc2off30 – so stock up on domains, hosting, web builders and more. Offer ends soon.

    Save 30% at GoDaddy

    GoDaddy $.99 Domains

    Register a new .COM domain name for just 99 cents for the first year with GoDaddy! No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Get a New Domain from GoDaddy

    HostGator Share Hosting for 1 Penny

    Sign up for a new web hosting plan from HostGator and get it for only 1 Penny for the first month! Just use code 1CENT. Offer ends soon.

    Save on Hosting from HostGator

    Media Temple 2 Months Free Hosting

    New customers can get 2 months FREE hosting from Media Temple when you select annual billing. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Save on Media Temple Hosting

    MyDomain.com 18% Off New Domains

    Use code NEWDOM1 to save 18% on your purchase of a new domain name from MyDomain. Offer ends October 31, 2017.

    Save 18% at MyDomain.com

    NameCheap 10% Off Domains

    Save up to 10% off new domain com/net/org/info/biz registrations and transfers at NameCheap with discount code HARMONY. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 10% on NameCheap Domains

    NameCheap 40% Off VPS & Reseller Hosting

    Right now you can save 40% on new VPS or reseller hosting plans at NameCheap with code BUYANDSAVE. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 40% at NameCheap

    NameCheap $5 Off Ultimate Hosting

    Save $5 on a new Ultimate Hosting plan from NameCheap when you use discount code 5UPERFALL. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save $5 at NameCheap

    NameCheap 15% Off Personal Hosting

    Take 15% off the price of your new personal hosting plan from NameCheap when you use code OCTOBERHOST. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 15% at NameCheap

    CSSIgniter 30% Off WordPress Themes

    Right now you can use code HALLOWEEN17 to save 30% on any WordPress theme or theme package from CSSIgniter. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 30% at CSSIgniter

    CyberChimps 30% Off Your Purchase

    Use code HALLOWEEN30 to save 30% on any WordPress theme or plugin purchase at CyberChimps. Offer expires November 10, 2017.

    Save 30% at CyberChimps

    ElegantThemes 10% Off Developer Licenses

    Right now you can save 10% on a yearly developer license from ElegantThemes, giving you access to all of their themes and plugins for just $80. No code needed. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 10% at ElegantThemes

    HappyThemes 75% Off

    Save 75% on all WordPress theme and membership packages from HappyThemes. No code needed. Offer ends October 31, 2017.

    Save at HappyThemes

    Organized Themes 15% Off Themes

    The first 200 people to use code 152004ALL can save 15% on all WordPress themes (excluding memberships) from Organized Themes. You can advertise that starting now! Remember, only on individual themes, not memberships.

    Save 15% at Organized Themes

    ProteusThemes 30% Off Themes

    Save 30% on WordPress themes from ProteusThemes with coupon code HALLOWEEN30. Offer expires November 2, 2017.

    Save 30% at ProteusThemes

    Themefuse 70% Off Your Purchase

    This Halloween get 70% off on any WordPress theme purchase! Use promo code halloween2017 at to get any WordPress theme for just $27, or purchase an all themes membership for only $75. Offer ends October 31, 2017.

    Save 70% at Themefuse

    ThemeTrust 30% Off WordPress Themes & Memberships

    Save 30% on awesome themes from ThemeTrust during their fall sale with coupon code fall17. Act fast – this deal ends soon.

    Save 30% at ThemeTrust

    Theme Junkie 30% Off WordPress Themes

    Use our link to save 30% on any theme, theme package or lifetime membership during Theme Junkie’s Spooky Holiday Sale. No code needed to save! Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 30% at Theme Junkie

    Themify 30% Off Themes & Memberships

    Use code BOO30 to save 30% on any purchase at Themify – including all themes, plugins and memberships! Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 30% at Themify

    WPEka $50 Off Annual Club Memberships

    Right now you can save $50 on an Annual Club Membership for lifetime! Use coupon code HALLOWEEN50 to save. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save $50 at WPEka

    WPZoom 50% Off All Themes Package

    Save $100 on the WPZoom All Themes package, no code needed. Get access to 39 premium WordPress themes and all future themes for just $97. Offer ends soon.

    Save 50% at WPZoom

    Design Deals at Creative Market

    Tons of goods are on sale over on Creative Market. Save on fonts, icons, web templates and more. No code needed. Please reference each deal for expiration dates.

    Save at Creative Market

    CSSHero up to 50% Off

    Right now you can save up to 50% on your purchase of a super powered website customization plan from CSSHero. No code needed. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 50% at CSSHero

    Elementor 20% Off

    Get 20% off your purchase of Elementor premium, and get a FREE Halloween design pack loaded with templates, icons, images & more. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Elementor 20% Off

    EnviraGallery 10% Off

    Save 10% on one of the best gallery plugins for WordPress – EnviraGallery. Just use code SAVE10 at checkout. Offer ends soon.

    Save 10% on EnviraGallery

    InkyDeals 70% Off Any Deal

    Treat yourself to a few awesome deals at InkyDeals! Save 70% on every deal at InkyDeals. More Than a Treat! Use code 70BOO. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 70% at InkyDeals

    iThemes 35% Off

    Save on tons of WordPress tools at iThemes. Use coupon code SPOOKYWP35 to save 35% on plugin, theme, combo packs and Sync plans at iThemes. Offer expires October 31, 2017.

    Save 35% at iThemes

    LiveChat $10 Off

    Take $10 off your first 3 monthly payments LiveChat live customer support plugin. No code needed. Offer ends December 31, 2017.

    Save $10 on LiveChat

    MailOptin Pro 10% Off

    Save 10% using code 10PERCENTOFF when you purchase MailOptin Pro – and easy way to grow and engage readers of your marketing campaigns.

    Save 10% on MailOptin Pro

    MotoPress 30% Off Your Purchase

    Save 30% on awesome page builder, slider, booking and demo builder plugins from MotoPress with code mppumpkin. Offer ends November 3, 2017.

    Save 30% at MotoPress

    Optinmonster 10% Off

    Take 10% off your purchase of the powerful Optinmonster optin and lead generation plugin when you use code SAVE10. Offer ends soon.

    Save 10% on Optinmonster

    SeedProd 30% Off Plugins

    Take 30% off SeedProd – one of the top coming soon & maintenance mode WordPress plugins. Just use code WEEN17. Offer ends soon.

    Save 30% at SeedProd

    SlideDeck $100 Off Extensions

    For a limited time you can save $100 off the entire bundle all SlideDeck WordPress slider plugin extensions with code HWEEN100OFF. Offer ends soon.

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    SmartSlider3 50% Off

    50% off SmartSlider single domain licenses with code HALLOWEEN. Offer valid October 31, 2017 through November 4, 2017.

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    Soliloquy 20% Off

    Use code SAVE20 to take 20% off your purchase of the Soliloquy responsive WordPress sider. But hurry up, this offer ends soon.

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    WeDevs Plugins 25% Off

    25% off all WeDevs WordPress plugins and extensions when you use code halloween17. Offer ends November 5, 2017.

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    WPForms 20% Off

    For a limited time you can use code SAVE20 to take 20% off your purchase of WPForms, one of the most advanced form creation plugins for WordPress. Offer ends soon.

    Save 20% on WPForms

    Did we miss a deal? Let us know by leaving a comment below so we can get it added! The more goodies the better right? And remember to have a happy and safe Halloween!



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  18. testing Is Akismet Still the Best Spam Plugin for WordPress? [ad_1]

    Spammers (human and automated) love WordPress as much as bloggers do, so to say you need a spam blocker is an understatement. Akismet has long reigned as the best spam blocker for WordPress, but is this plugin still the best contender in the realm of spam blocking services?


    That’s exactly what we’ll decide in this post, by comparing Akismet to its rivals and seeing if it stacks up, and ultimately, comes out on top. Let’s dive in!


    Akismet: The Long Reigning Comment Spam Blocker


    No one likes receiving spammy email messages or reading spammy comments online. We all know that spam is a nuisance, but is annoyance with it a sufficient reason to block it? Do we really need to block spam on our websites?


    The simple answer is an emphatic “Yes!“, and not just because spam is irritating. For example, if hackers create new user accounts on your website and add spammy hyperlinks to your site, you could be penalized by Google. Comment spam falls into this category as well. If your website is indexed and found to have spam, it might be assessed negatively, and a negative assessment of your website can cause it to be removed from Google’s search results.


    In order to keep your site accessible, it’s simply good practice to monitor your website and correct any malicious attacks. This is where spam blockers like Akismet come into play.


    Akismet was first launched in 2005 by the makers of WordPress. When activated, it filters spam from a website based on information gathered from all websites on which the plugin is activated. Spam is filtered from contact forms and comments sections.


    How to Install & Configure Akismet


    Lucky for you, Akismet is super easy to setup and use. Akismet is offered using a freemium pricing model, so the plugin itself is free to download and use with the option to upgrade to a premium plan for more features. In any case, to get started you’ll need to first install the plugin.


    Install Akismet


    Simply log into your WordPress installation and navigate to Plugins > Add New. Akismet should be one of the first recommended plugins, just click on the Install Now and then Activate button.


    Setup Akismet Account


    Once the plugin is active you should see a notice bar at the top of your screen to Set up your Akismet account. Click on the big blue button to get started.


    Log into Akismet with WordPress.com Account


    This will take you to the main Akismet website where you’ll be prompted to login with your WordPress.com account (or create a new account if you don’t have one). Then after authorizing Akismet you’ll have the option to select a plan:



    • Akismet Basic, Free: Includes comment spam protection for your personal WordPress powered website

    • Akismet Plus, $5/mo: Spam protection plus advanced stats, support for commercial websites (like your business site) and priority support

    • Akismet Enterprise, $50/mo: Same great features as Plus but for large, high-traffic websites.


    Akismet API Key


    Once you select a plan you’ll be taken to checkout then to a confirmation screen with your very own Akismet API key.


    Connect Akismet API


    Copy this 12-digit key, head back to your WordPress dashboard and paste in your key to finish linking your Akismet account to your website.


    Akismet Spam Filtering


    The last step is to choose a Strictness level for your spam filtering. You can either leave Akismet on its default setting to automatically put questionable comments in the spam folder, or up the permissions to allow Akismet to delete the messages for you.


    Monitoring Spam with Akismet


    With Akismet installed the plugin will automatically start filtering out NSFW comments. With the Basic plan you can view standard spam stats, but if you did upgrade to a Plus or Enterprise plan then you’ll have access to more helpful site stats.


    Akismet Site Stats: Chart

    Akismet: Daily, Monthly & Historical Data (depending on your plan)


    Akismet Site Stats: Table

    Akismet: Monthly Stats Detail


    Just log into your Akismet Account and click on the Active Sites section. From here you can click on each website you’ve linked to your Akismet account to view individual stats.


    Stats provide an easy way to identify problem IPs which you can then block from accessing your WordPress site under Settings > Discussion > Comment Blacklist. But you can also use this data to keep track of regular spam levels so you can spot a spam attack from a mile away and take action before your site (potentially) crashes.


    Akismet vs The Top WordPress Spam Prevention Plugins


    akismet-antispam-plugin


    Akismet’s web service prevents site owners from having to moderate spammy comments themselves. But some website owners have reported false positives – meaning non-spam comments have been blocked along with spammy ones (though false positives can be verified via detailed data insights available in the site stats for Plus and Enterprise users).


    If you’re on the fence about whether or not to activate Akismet, there are some plugins that claim to take anti-spam services a step further. Here are some spam blocking plugins that offer additional anti-spam features that might better serve your website needs.


    WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam


    WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam Plugin


    WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam blocks spam from even reaching your WordPress database, which supports site security. This plugin claims to “simply make WordPress spam disappear” without the need for site visitors to type in captcha codes. It’s free for personal and commercial use, and it blocks both human and automated spam using a dual-layered process, without any false positives. Your email address is protected with this plugin and it protects your website from:



    • Comment spam

    • Trackback spam

    • Registration spam (WordPress, BuddyPress, bbPress, WooCommerce, and more)

    • Contact form spam (Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, JetPack Contact Forms, and most others)


    Stop Spammers Spam Prevention


    Stop Spammers Spam Prevention Plugin


    This plugin uses one of three captcha configurations to confirm whether a denied login attempt or comment has actually been submitted by a non-spamming human. It’s reported to work well with Gravity Forms. Stop Spammers protects your website against:



    • Trackback spam

    • Contact form spam

    • Comment spam

    • Registration spam

    • Login attempts


    A couple caveats have been reported. Sometimes valid users are unable to login to their own WordPress database. Also, this plugin will not work on a proxy server or with a hosting company that does not use PHP functions.


    Anti-Spam by CleanTalk


    Anti-Spam by CleanTalk Plugin


    Anti-Spam by CleanTalk is a cloud-based spam blocker. The plugin is free, but its cloud service, CleanTalk, requires a paid account.  After a 7-day free trial, you can decide whether you want to continue with this service.


    In addition to blocking comments, registration, contact form, and email spam, Anti-Spam by CleanTalk also protects your website from spammy:



    • Bookings

    • Orders

    • Widgets

    • Subscriptions

    • Newsletter plugins


    This plugin is capable of analyzing multiple aspects of your website without slowing your site down because it uses the cloud instead of servers. It not only blacklists email addresses, but also the domains and IP addresses linked to spammers. There’s an optional firewall feature that prevents spam bots from accessing your web server by sending them to a blank page.


    Simple Security Firewall


    Simple Security Firewall Plugin


    Simple Security Firewall blocks comment spam and offers website security against malicious IP addresses. This plugin cloaks your login page and claims to block all spambot comments, while preventing human spam comments. Malicious login attempts are deterred by two-factor authorization.


    Although the firewall can be disabled, this plugin is primarily designed to secure your website. Spammy IP addresses are automatically blacklisted and brute force attacks are blocked. All plugin features are fully accessible for free.


    Which Spam Plugin Is Best for You?


    Spam blockers prevent your website from being negatively evaluated by search engines. They also remove the headache of moderating spammy comments and intercept the creation of unwanted new user accounts on your website.


    But the question remains, how do you determine which anti-spam plugin is best for your website? Here are some questions you can ask yourself in order to determine which plugin is best for your needs:



    1. Is this plugin compatible with the other plugins that are active on your website?

    2. Are you in need of comment spam blocking services only, or a more inclusive spam blocker?

    3. Are you looking for a fully-featured free plugin or one that has enhanced features with plan subscription?

    4. Are you interested in a cloud-based or web server system?

    5. Are you looking for website security in addition to spam blocking?

    6. Would your readers be annoyed with filling in captcha code prior to commenting?


    Your answers to these questions can help you determine which anti-spam and/or site protection features might work best.


    But even after making your selection, flexibility is a must. Sometimes plugins don’t operate well with one another. You’ll have to test out your preferred spam-blocking plugin to determine whether it operates well with preexisting plugins.


    Conclusion


    When operating a website, activating a spam blocker is an essential plugin. Without an anti-spam plugin, your website could be overtaken by malicious attacks, causing your site ranking to plummet and possibly become undetectable altogether until you make the necessary updates.


    You need a spam blocker, but is Akismet the best option for you? In order to answer this question, you have to assess your website’s unique needs, and then rather than drawing assumptions, you can use our comparisons above to select the right option for you (though we think Akismet really should be your first choice).


    How do you block spam on your WordPress website? Is Akismet still your spam-blocking solution? You’re welcome to share your thoughts and/or additions to this list in the comments section below.




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  19. testing 10 Awesome Tools to Make Working with WordPress Easier [ad_1]

    I bet we’re in agreement when I say life is already hard as it is. It’s way too short and with limited time to do and be all you ever wanted, having a couple of awesome tools to help with the burden is indeed a lifesaver.


    These 10 awesome tools will make you insanely productive and your WordPress life a lot easier. You’ll get more work done in lesser time. Which means you’ll have more minutes in your day to spend with your family or enjoying the things for which you work so hard.


    10 Awesome Tools to Make Your WordPress Life Easier


    Get a pen and some paper as we’re about to make your WordPress life 10X easier. We mix free and premium tools, because, at times, great things in life aren’t free. The premium tools are, however, relatively cheap (and if you don’t see your favorite tool on this list or have a question or suggestion, please don’t hesitate commenting at the end of the post).


    1. Yoast SEO


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier yoast seo


    WordPress SEO and SEO in general is no child’s play. One mistake and Google won’t hesitate hanging you out to dry. Still, ranking well for your keywords in Google (the other search engines simply follow suit IMHO) is as easy as pie, more so with a plugin such as Yoast SEO.


    Since I jumped on the WordPress bandwagon a couple of years ago, Yoast SEO has been my go-to SEO solution. Thanks to this plugin and a ton of carefully written SEO content, we’ve ranked first on Google for a couple of keywords.


    But what makes Yoast SEO stand out among many other WordPress SEO plugins? For starters, Yoast SEO helps you to create readable content that is expertly optimized to woo search engines right from within your post editor!


    Other features include breadcrumbs, canonical URLs, internal linking suggestions, content insights, redirect manager and 24/7 support among others. This tool ships in two flavors, a free version and a premium version that goes for $89 bucks.


    Learn more about Yoast SEO


    2. Awesome Screenshot


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier awesome screenshot


    See the screenshots in this post? Well, I grab them using Awesome Screenshot all thanks to Dev Sharma of WPKube who introduced me this nifty tool.


    It has made my WordPress blogging life a whole lot easier because previously I had to use prt sc (Print Screen), MS Paint and Photoshop which involved a lot of steps.


    The tool comes with plenty of features that make annotating, capturing and editing screenshots/local images a walk in the park. There is a one-click upload that makes sharing your capture a breeze.


    You can grab the whole page, your desktop, a visible part of a browser window, a selection of the page, delay a capture, and edit your captures to your heart’s content. Moreover, they offer a screen recorder that costs $19.99 bucks a year.


    Awesome Screenshot has extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Chrome and a standalone Chrome app that is a miracle to use.


    Learn more about Awesome Screenshot


    3. FileZilla


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier filezilla


    Without the right tool, moving files from your hard disk to a remote server causes migraines. In the FTP category, FileZilla carries the day for yours truly but that’s just me.


    But can you blame me for loving an FTP tool that is incredibly easy to use? As long as you have the correct login credentials, you can access your web server and move files around like a boss.


    For instance, you can download files/folders from your web server simply by drag and drop. Not to mention, FileZilla comes with awesome security settings that offer you secure access to your WordPress site to do as you will.


    You can create files on your server straight from your desktop, change file permissions easily and do so much more. FileZilla is a free opensource FTP client, which sweetens the deal.


    Learn more about FileZilla


    4. RegistrationMagic


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier registrationmagic


    As a WordPress user, you will obviously need to create forms at some point. In this regard, you will notice the WordPress user registration system is limited in functionality.


    Which is precisely why you need RegistrationMagic, a user registration and management plugin on steroids.


    In a nutshell, RegistrationMagic helps you to “…create customized user registration forms, accept payments, track submissions, manage users, analyze stats, assign user roles & much more!” From that single quote, you can tell this plugin does some heavy lifting.


    To give you a better picture, let us see some of the things this bad boy can do. Firstly, you can create unlimited number of user registration forms each with varying fields. This means you can even accept file attachments on your forms among other things.


    RegistrationMagic ships with a front-end user page that lets your users register on your site, login, download submissions, check transactions and reset passwords among other things.


    This plugin shines in user management, what with an intuitive dashboard that helps you to track form submissions, setup payments for paid users, filter forms depending on date/time and so much more.


    There’s a free flavor of RegistrationMagic available on WordPress, but the best of features can be found within the pro version available at RegistrationMagic.com.


    Learn more about RegistrationMagic


    5. Pretty Links


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier pretty links


    Instead of using a nasty link such as https://www.example.com/dp/B00TQ1PB/ref=s9_acsd_bw_wf_a_dlpec1f4_cdl_1?, you can use the Pretty Links plugin to create a more user friendlier link such as https://yoursite.com/product-name. This second link is prettier and easier to spread.


    In other words, Pretty Links helps you to shorten links using your own domain instead of relying on third-party link shortening services such as bit.ly or tinyurl.com. You can then redirect any link you create to any other URL of your choice.


    Additionally, Pretty Links comes with a link tracking engine that shows you the number of clicks your links get, where the clicks came from, host, browser and operating system.


    This tool is awesome for WordPress users looking to track links in emails, clean up affiliate links and share links on social media, comments and forums.


    Learn more about Pretty Links


    6. Thrive Leads


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier thrive leads


    Whether you have a small or big online business, email marketing is one of the best ways of reaching your target audience and increasing your conversion rates. Think of it as having a direct means of contact with your prospects.


    But before you start sending marketing messages to your prospects, you need to gather relevant audience information such as first name, email address and anything else you need. And what better way to capture this info than using Thrive Leads?


    This list building tool comes with nifty features such as SmartExit to catch visitors before they abandon your site, A/B tests, precise targeting, beautiful animations, trigger options, unlimited opt-in forms, integration with multiple email marketing platforms and detailed reports among others.


    Thrive Leads is a premium tool. A single site license will set you back a one-time fee of $67 bucks. Other plans include the $97 pack for 5 sites, the 15 site license pack that goes for $147 bucks and $19/month Thrive Membership pack for unlimited websites.


    Learn more about Thrive Leads


    7. WAMP


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier wamp


    The more you learn about WordPress, the easier your life gets as far as working with the platform goes. The best way to learn about WordPress is to dive right in and test things on your own.


    Yet, you need a web server to run any instance of WordPress. At the same time, buying a domain name and signing up for a web hosting account wouldn’t make any sense in terms of costs if all you want is to test the WordPress waters.


    What is a WordPress user to do? Glad you asked. You can install WordPress on your PC using a tool such as WAMP. WAMP is an acronym for Windows Apache MySQL and PHP. In layman’s language, WAMP installs a web server on your PC.


    With a web server, you can then install as many instances of WordPress as you’d like to test whatever you will. If you have a Mac, you can use MAMP or XAMPP.


    Learn more about WAMP


    8. Chrome Developer Tools


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier devtools


    What a lifesaver this has been. Chrome Developer Tools (DevTools) is an important part of the Google Chrome browser that most WordPress beginners don’t know about.


    To save you the suspense, Chrome Developer Tools put a lot of web authoring and debugging power in your hands.


    Thanks to DevTools, you can have deep access into the internals of your WordPress site right from within the browser window. Why is having this much access important?


    Well, you can edit your site temporarily without actually changing your code, see layout issues, track down problematic code, check your site loading time and play around with JavaScript among other things.


    Chrome Developer Tools are built into Google Chrome, which means you get all this awesomeness for free. To access DevTools, just right click on any page element and select Inspect Element. Below, see how I changed up the WordPress.org homepage:


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier devtools WP changes


    And just to be fair, here is a Web Developer Add-on for Mozilla Firefox.


    Learn more about Chrome DevTools


    9. NotePad++


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier notepad plus plus


    As you work with WordPress, you might want to get down and dirty and write code on your own. Perhaps you’d like to create your own child theme, add some code to your .htaccess file, edit wp-config.php or add functions to your functions.php file among other things.


    And since code can quickly get out of hand, you need an awesome code editor that helps you to stay on top of things without going berserk. NotePad++ makes it incredibly easy to write code in a number of programming languages.


    With features such as syntax highlighting and folding, search and replace functionality, document map, an attractive GUI, auto-completion and so much more, writing code has never been easier.


    Learn more about NotePad++


    10. Google Keyword Planner


    10 awesome tools to make your wordpress life easier google keyword planner


    Content marketing and SEO go hand in hand as far generating targeted traffic goes. To win as far as content marketing and SEO go, you require astute keyword research. How else will you tell what topics interest your readers?


    Perhaps you have run out of topic ideas. How do you get new ideas to keep your content marketing machinery up and running? Again, you need proper keyword research to determine the topics your readers want to read.


    You see, your readers use keywords to find topics and products. If you can find these keywords, you’re halfway through the door. If you’ve read this far, you’ll be glad to learn that finding keywords is as easy as working the Google Keyword Planner.


    It’s a free tool by Google that allows you to generate keyword ideas around your main topic.


    Learn more about the Google Keyword Planner


    Now Over to You


    Which tools make your WordPress life easier? Did we leave out your favorite WordPress tools? Checkout more WordPress tools for business on our blog, or share with us in the comment section below. See you around!




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  20. testing Complete Guide to RSS and How to Use It with WordPress [ad_1]

    What if users didn’t have to come to your WordPress site in order to read your articles? That would certainly make it easier for users since they wouldn’t have to navigate to ten of their favorite blogs and news sources to get their daily information. It would also be nice for the website owners, since it would allow you to distribute your content in a more efficient manner, delivering the content to where the customers want it to be.


    That’s the whole idea behind RSS.


    RSS has been around since 1999, and it works as a distributor of content across the web. In addition, it combines with aggregators for easier reading, compiling, and organization.


    In short, RSS keeps your readers reading all the content they want, in one location. This way, they don’t have to bookmark their favorite news websites or search on Google whenever they want a good read.


    How RSS Works


    RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, offers readers a chance to subscribe to your blog. After that, the reader needs to use an RSS reader or aggregator to consume the content.


    In order to subscribe, the reader clicks on a Subscribe button. That’s it. Sometimes it’s difficult to locate an RSS Subscribe button on a website or blog, but you can often find them near the social media buttons, in the footer, or by searching “Website Name” + “RSS Feed” in Google.


    Sometimes it’s difficult to locate an RSS Subscribe button on a website or blog, but you can often find them near the social media buttons, in the footer, or by searching “Website Name” + “RSS Feed” in Google.


    RSS feeds can also be broken up based on category or topic. This is far more relevant to large online magazines (like the Wall Street Journal or USA Today). Why is that the case? Because those publications have dozens, if not hundreds, of sections.


    Why is that the case? Because those publications have dozens, if not hundreds, of sections.



    Therefore, a reader could decide to subscribe to the entire paper or just the sports section.


    And that’s another benefit of having an RSS feed. It’s entirely possible that some readers only find some of your articles appealing. Therefore, they might only want to subscribe to something like the travel or business sections.



    After subscribing to the RSS feed, it’s required for the user to specify how they’re going to consume the information. As mentioned, this requires some sort of aggregator or RSS reader.


    The most popular option for this used to be Google Reader. It was a clean, extremely effective way of bringing dozens of RSS feeds together.


    Unfortunately, Google Reader stopped operating in 2013. So, that’s not an option anymore. However, there are plenty of other RSS readers being used today.


    Which RSS Readers Come Highly Recommended?


    After the shutdown of Google Reader, Google mainly recommended that all customers be transferred over to Feedly. It’s definitely the most similar to Google Reader, but it all depends on your own preferences.



    There are dozens of RSS readers to choose from, but here are the most popular:



    As mentioned, each one has its own charm. For instance, Feedly mimics Google Reader with its cleanliness and organization, while Panda is more of a way to browse multiple websites in one interface. I recommend you test all of them out to see which one is right if you plan on aggregating content. After all, it’s going to be your main hub for reading articles.


    How to Use RSS with Your WordPress Site


    Now that you understand how readers take advantage of RSS, it’s time to delve into the what and how for WordPress site owners.


    To start, you should know that you’ll be interacting with an RSS in one or two ways. The first, and most important, aspect of RSS for website owners is getting that RSS Subscribe button on your site. This acts as a distribution network for your content, all without you doing much work on your end.


    How to Add a Link and Icon to Your RSS Feed


    You have a few choices to make for this process. Technically, you could go grab an RSS image from Google Images, place that in a widget, and link the image in your sidebar. That would save you the need to install a plugin, but it’s often not the cleanest way to go about including an RSS button.


    First, check to see if your WordPress theme includes a custom widget for social icons. If a widget is available you should be able to insert it into any widget ready area (sidebar, footer or even top bar).


    Total Social Widget


    Above is an example of the Total theme social widget (which also includes options for button style, size, order and more). But if your theme doesn’t include this built-in feature, you may find that using a plugin is your best bet.


    Add a Single RSS Button


    Initially, you might try inserting the RSS button by itself. This might be the case if you want to keep it separate from social buttons or maybe place it towards the bottom of your website.


    If that’s the case, there are a few plugins such as RSS Feed Icon or RSS Icon Widget. They both work fine, but you’re not getting any additional functionality like buttons for increasing your social following.



    It’s more common to see the RSS button next to your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest links, assuming you have those.


    Add RSS with Social Media Links


    If you’d like to combine all of those buttons in a row, you can typically find social media button plugins that also allow for either a custom icon and link or an actually RSS icon.


    Ultimate Social Media Icons does the trick for social buttons and RSS, since it also includes an RSS icon and a field to insert your RSS URL.



    What’s My RSS URL?


    WordPress automatically generates an RSS feed for you. This feed is a compilation of your articles, and it can be shared with the RSS URL. As you can see in the screenshot above, an RSS URL is required for users to come and click on the button. Most of the time you’ll paste this URL into a plugin field, but sometimes you might simply link an image.


    Regardless, your RSS URL looks like this: http://www.wpexplorer.com/feed/


    The only thing you have to do is replace the “wpexplorer.com” text with your actual website. Once you have this URL it’s pretty darn easy to start distributing the RSS feed on your website.


    Displaying Multiple RSS Feeds on Your WordPress Site


    The second reason you might take advantage of RSS is if you’d like to display 3rd-party feeds on your own WordPress site. For example, maybe you run a finance blog and would like to deliver stock trends from a more up-to-date, credible source. After all, you’re not going to be updating stock price variations yourself. You’re better off grabbing the RSS feed from CNNMoney or Reuters and inserting it in your sidebar.


    The same goes for most news blogs, since it’s often impossible to keep up with every corner of the news cycle. A movie blog wouldn’t want to miss out on sharing Rotten Tomato scores. And that’s where the Rotten Tomatoes RSS feed comes into play.


    So, this RSS tactic is more about providing your users with valuable information, as opposed to distributing content throughout the internet.



    The top plugin for implementing an RSS feed on your website is called WP RSS Aggregator.


    Download the WP RSS Aggregator plugin and install it on your website. Go to the RSS Aggregator tab in the dashboard and fill in everything from the RSS URL to the name of the feed source. It’ll ask you for some other settings like whether you’d like to link to the source and if you want to remove duplicate titles.



    After that, you can manage all your feeds and show them in one constant stream on your website. Place the feed in your sidebar or on its own page.


    Why You Need RSS on Your WordPress Site


    Some bloggers might dismiss RSS as an old technology. That notion is far from true, especially with tech-savvy readers. Some bloggers think it’s more for large magazines. That’s not true either.


    Some bloggers think it’s more for large magazines. That’s not true either.


    Even if you get five or ten RSS readers, that’s pretty darn good for a small or mid-sized blog. It’s simply a different way for your users to access content, so it’s like an alternative to your email list or when you post on social media.


    If you have any questions about using RSS with WordPress, let us know in the comments below.




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  21. testing How To Write Better Titles and Taglines For WordPress [ad_1]

    There are over a billion websites online, with more launching every day. If you are new to building and managing a website, you may be overwhelmed by that amount of competition. How do you make your site stand out, and attract your share of the traffic?


    The first step in getting noticed is to have an eye-catching title and creative tagline. Since these are the first elements your readers will see, you want to make an immediate impact. Having a title and tagline that focus on your purpose and brand gives you an advantage over other sites competing for the same audience’s attention.


    In this post, we’re going to explore what WordPress titles and taglines are and how they affect your website. We’ll also discuss how to create a title and tagline that define your brand and are optimized for search engines. Let’s get started!


    What Are WordPress Titles and Taglines?


    Screenshot of WPExplorer title and tagline.

    Your site’s title and tagline are usually the first thing visitors will see. It gives you the name of the blog and says exactly what you’ll find when you visit the site – concise, accurate and professional.


    As you can probably guess, your title is the name of your site. It’s how people identify your brand and how they search for you online. On the other hand, your tagline is a short statement similar to a subtitle or advertising slogan, often placed right underneath your title. It works as a brief description of what your site is about and why it exists.


    Combining a strong title with a clear, descriptive tagline gives your site an advantage when trying to capture audience attention. Take another look at our own title and tagline combination above. It provides the name of the site, while also clearly and concisely explaining what you can expect from our content (themes, plugins, and guides).


    It may take time to come up with a well-crafted title and tagline, but it is definitely worth the effort. These two simple pieces of text can help you stand out from similar sites. They also tell your readers what your site is about, as well as the tone and style to expect. Best of all, when done correctly, you can use your title and tagline to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).


    How to Create Better Titles and Taglines for WordPress


    When deciding how to brand your site, you should start by coming up with an appropriate title. Once you have your title ready, you can create a tagline that complements it, and then optimize both elements for SEO purposes. Let’s talk about how to get these tasks done.


    Step 1: Choose Your Website Title



    Coming up with a website title can be scary, because it will be the first impression that customers get of your site. Think about it this way: your title is your brand. It’s how people recognize you among all the other sites out there.


    The key to coming up with a strong title is understanding what the goals of your site are. Is it a personal blog? Or maybe you are starting an e-commerce store, a nonprofit organization, or an online portfolio. Either way, it’s easier to find a title if you are clear about your site’s purpose.


    Need Help Finding a Website Name?


    When you know what your site is about, it’s easier to come up with possible names. But if you’re still finding it difficult, try these:



    • Use adjectives or phrases that describe you, or words or phrases that describe what you do. For example, let’s say you have a do-it-yourself blog about a variety of things you’re good at doing and can help people with. You could call your blog “Jack (or Jill, or your name) of All Trades”.

    • Deliberately misspell or invent words that are related to who you are or what you do. Do you provide case-based dictionary and thesaurus help? Call your site “Dictosaurus”. Get creative!

    • Try using a word generator or a thesaurus for new ideas.


    Keep your website’s purpose in mind. It’s fine to use something fun and crazy for a personal blog, but you should have something at least understandable (and a little professional) for a business website.


    If your website is your online portfolio or a means of promoting your freelancing business, a good option is using your own name for the title – for example, yourname.com. This might strike you as too forward, but it will tell people who you are without them needing to dig into your profile at all. This enables you to build yourself and your authority as a brand. Neil Patel, for example, has positioned himself as an online marketing guru by branding his name:


    Neil Patel's Self-Branded Website


    Step 2: Create a Good Tagline


    Taglines can be tougher to create than titles. You want to make sure yours sums up your site. If you can find a clever way to do that using a play on words or alliteration, that’s fine. However, concisely describing your site’s content will be better than a clever pun that doesn’t tell readers what to expect. So even though your tagline will be displayed after your title it just as, if not more, important since taglines:



    1. Provide context for your title, if it doesn’t already clearly indicate what you do.

    2. Emphasize or draw attention to the purpose of your site.

    3. Set the tone for your site.

    4. Contain keywords that will help your site show up in searches.


    You could have the coolest title in the world – say, for example, Shiny Betrayed Dinosaur – but without a tagline, people aren’t going to know that your site is a personal travel blog about your experiences exploring new and exciting places.


    Your tagline is what’s known in marketing as a unique selling proposition. It’s how you can show visitors what the benefit of checking out your site will be, answering the question of what’s in it for them. If they don’t know why your site is here, or how it’s relevant to them, chances are they won’t visit.


    What’s the style of your website content? Do you have witty statements and punchy humor? Are you showing off your skills as a designer or technician? Are you upbeat, sarcastic, matter-of-fact? Let that show in the tagline – visitors will get a taste of what they’re in for.


    Coming Up With a Good Tagline


    A good tagline will not only draw visitors in, but also help them remember you. The best taglines have the following traits:



    1. Keep it short: No matter how you come up with it, we recommend that you keep your tagline short. You want to make the maximum impact right away, and a long, rambling tagline won’t fully display in search results. Try not to use more than 60 characters, because that’s what will be displayed in the search results. Being concise is more effective than being long and rambling.

    2. Don’t repeat: They add strength to the title without repeating it. Remember, you’re providing context for your site’s title, elaborating on the purpose and goals of your site.

    3. Be different and catchy: You want to say something about yourself that other bloggers or businesspeople aren’t saying. To stand out spend time researching the competition. If your tagline can express what others aren’t already saying, or phrase something in a new and unique way, your voice and brand will be more memorable.


    It’s also helpful to figure out who your target audience is. What kind of readers are you hoping to attract? What benefit do you want to provide them with? This will help you come up with a tagline that stands out in a search. Need a bit more help? Try Shopify’s free slogan maker to get started.


    Why Is a Good Title and Tagline So Important?


    Title & Tagline SEO


    As we mentioned earlier, there is a lot of competition on the internet. The last few years have seen an exponential increase in the sheer amount of content available online. According to a 2014 infographic from Uberflip, every day there are nearly 145 billion emails sent, 2.73 million blog posts published and 500 million tweets – not to mention all the hours of video uploaded to YouTube or news articles published. Imagine how much that has increased in the last year!


    With so many people creating and marketing so much content, getting people to care about your content has gotten a lot harder. Having a title and tagline that catch readers’ attention and are relevant to your site will help you draw more visitors and stand out from the crowd.


    Search Engine Optimization


    To help you hold your own among the competition, consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – that is, using particular keywords to ensure your site shows up high on the list of search results in order to get as many visitors as possible. While you shouldn’t rely only on search engines to generate site traffic, they are still a useful tool.


    Search engines look for keywords, so having relevant content with appropriate tags will help – but making your title and/or tagline SEO ready will yield better results. Titles generally function as the brand name and don’t always have room for keywords, so most SEO will happen in your tagline – make sure they’re relevant and your tagline still makes sense!


    How To Add An SEO Friendly Title & Tagline to WordPress


    There is a long-standing debate over whether it’s more important for titles to be clear or clever. When it comes to your website, the deciding factor should be its impact on SEO. Along with providing context and setting the tone for your site, titles and taglines enable you to use keywords to boost your search rankings. Lucky for your, there are multiple ways to add SEO friendly titles and taglines to your website.


    Option 1: Use WordPress’ Built-in Title & Tagline


    WordPress includes built-in options for your website title and tagline. In fact, you should have chosen your site title when you first installed WordPress. To make changes or to add a custom tagline, simply log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Settings > General:


    General WordPress Settings: Title & Tagline


    Or you can click on Appearance > Customize to go to the live theme customizer. In our Chic blogging WordPress theme, the site title and tagline are the very first customization option.


    theme-customizer-titles


    In Chic (and other premium WordPress themes) the tagline might be hidden by default, so you’ll probably have to enable a setting if you want to display it. For Chic, the option is right in the customizer General Theme Settings section under Header options. Just check the box and click save.


    display theme tagline description


    Option 2: Use a WordPress SEO Plugin


    But these titles often aren’t the best option, since the default title and tagline will apply to your entire site. To really improve your SEO you’ll want to enlist the help of a plugin. We personally use and recommend the Yoast SEO Plugin, which you can get for free from the WordPress plugin repository.


    Yoast SEO Plugin


    Once installed, hover over the new SEO menu item in your WordPress dashboard, and then click on Titles & Meta. From here you can add better default SEO-friendly titles and taglines to the various sections of your website – including the homepage, custom post types (this applies if you WordPress theme includes portfolios, testimonials, staff, events etc.), taxonomies (that’s your categories, tags and more), archives and miscellaneous pages (this would usually be your 404 and search results).


    Yoast SEO: Titles & Meta


    WordPress SEO by Yoast includes tons of variables to make automizing your titles and meta descriptions (which are like taglines for all your pages and posts) easy. This is a must have feature, since you likely won’t want all of your blog category pages to share the same title and tagline description. Here’s an example of how we format our blog post titles on WPExplorer:


    SEO Titles: Variable Titles


    We’ve setup our blog posts to use the %%title%% variable followed by our website name by default. But, Yoast also has individual per page and per post options to override the defaults you’ve chosen above. To change your title or meta description format, just open your page or post and scroll down below the content. You should see a WordPress SEO settings box like this:


    Add Custom Post Title & Meta


    From here you can check general SEO (see if your desired keywords are found enough in your page or post, run a page analysis, etc.), but you can also see if your default SEO title is working, and you can add a custom meta description as well. If you look in the picture above, you can see out title is actually a bit too long so we should probably add a custom one, and we’ve already added in a custom meta instead of using the default (which would have been the first 156 characters of the post, since we set the metas to %%excerpt%%).


    WordPress SEO by Yoast has tons of other great SEO features, and if you really want to learn more you should checkout their knowledgebase. There are detailed instructions on how to use all of the other SEO options!


    Conclusion


    Having a good title and tagline for your website is necessary to set yourself apart from the crowd and drive traffic to your site. With the tips we’ve given you above, coming up with your title and tagline doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it could turn into a lot of fun! Do you have a title or tagline that you’re particularly proud of? Let’s hear it – post in the comments section below!




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  22. testing 18 of the Best iPhone iOS Apps for WordPress [ad_1]

    My phone is one of my most important belongings in my life. I use an Android smartphone and like most Android users – it would only be be fair to say, that at one point, I was biased against the iPhone. What changed my mind? Well, it wasn’t the brilliant retina display, the brand name, or Siri. But it was the bare bone simplicity of iOS and its minimalistic design that turned me into a believer. I got to experience my brother’s iPhone 4S hands-on along with his iPad 2 a few months later, which drove me to pretty intense debates with my tech-savvy peers.


    Mobile Dominance


    Fact is, our phones contain our world – from Facebook to Twitter to important emails – everything is possible using the phone! So why should WordPress users feel left out? It’s easy to realize that a well timed article in a news or product update website can do wonders for your business.  For people running tutorial sites and intense debates, moderating comments is of utmost importance. In today’s article, I’m going to share a couple of iPhone/iOS apps for WordPress and blogging, for all our Apple-fan readers.


    WordPress for iOS


    WordPress iOS App


    A finely-tuned home grown app form the creators of the revolutionary CMS – WordPress for iOS takes you one step closer to complete control over you site without a computer. With the recent v3.7 update, the app gets a brilliant fresh UI, a sidebar filled with useful shortcuts and the ability to view the HTML code image uploads. Get a load of all the features here.


    Download WordPress for iOS


    BlogPress



    BlogPress is more of a universal blog management platform which allows you to manage WordPress, TypePad, Tumblr and various other blogging platforms. It’s got a built in comment management system (for WordPress and Blogger), supports the basic blogging operations and uploading photos and videos. It also integrates with the Facebook and Twitter to bring you a complete blogging-cum-social media engagement.


    Download BlogPress ($4.99)


    Reading Apps


    Reading


    Keeping up-to-date your news feed can be a tricky business. You don’t always have the time to sit down and read. Whenever possible – we try to squish in some quiet reading time. Be it on the way to work, while enjoying your midday meal, or maybe while waiting for your date to arrive (probably not a good sign if you’ve finished a chapter). Following are a couple of apps which could help you with that:


    Byline iOS App


    ByLine


    ByLine is a popular RSS reader for your iPhone or iPad. It connects to your Feedly account and syncs your subscribed websites’ latest feeds for offline reading.


    Download ByLine


    Instapaper iOS App


    Instapaper


    Instapaper is a critically acclaimed iPhone/iPad reading client which saves web pages for offline reading. It has been featured in my prestigious websites like Time, Wired and NYTimes.


    Download Instapaper ($3.99)


    Pocket iOS App


    Pocket


    Pocket is another app that saves your websites for offline reading. It’s free of cost and comes with a neat Google Chrome extension and a bunch of other cool apps.


    Download Pocket


    Twitter iOS App


    Twitter


    You’re probably wondering why I’ve included Twitter here, under reading. That’s because once you’ve created your own Twitter list with the people/blogs you follow, most of your reading can be done from here! It’s incredibly useful and a huge time-saver.


    Download Twitter


    Jotting it down


    Writing Pen


    Creativity is one of the finer forms of entropy. It hits us when we least expect it. There’s no particular time as to when you get creative (unless, maybe when you’re drunk :P). It just happens. Maybe in the middle of the night, or while looking down at the sliver clouds from your window during a flight – it just hits you, consumes you temporarily, and then eludes you. That’s why you need the following apps:


    Evernote iOS App


    Evernote


    One of the best note-taking cross-platform apps out there, Evernote crosses every app store with over 10 million downloads. It has a plethora of in-app features and makes collaborative editing a piece of cake.


    Download Evernote


    Paper by 53 iOS App


    Paper by 53


    Paper by 53 is a fun way to create an idea board integrate your notes or lists with photos and sketches on your phone. Just create your notes and organize theme in a way that makes sense to you.


    Download Paper by 53


    Writeroom iOS App


    WriteRoom


    As the name suggests, WriteRoom is a great app that helps you stay focussed on your writing by providing you with a distraction-free writing environment – much like the full screen WordPress editor.


    Download WriteRoom ($9.99)


    Photobucket iOS App


    Photobucket


    Recently I wrote an article on the best image resources for WordPress. I’ve discussed the importance of having relevant images in your article. Finding the right images from your iPhone could get a bit tedious. That’s where Photobucket for iOS comes in very handy.


    Download Photobucket


    Audio Memos iOS App


    Audio Memos Free


    Taking voice notes is a great way of keeping track of ideas. Honestly speaking, barely anyone uses an actual voice-recorder any more (except maybe lawyers, doctors and CSI officers). Audio Memos is a free app that records your voice memos and supports volume normalization and voice optimization. You can save your recordings in either AAC or WAV – AAC takes much less space compared to WAV since the latter is uncompressed audio.


    Download Audio Memos Free


    RecUp iOS App


    RecUp


    Imagine a voice recording app that saves your voice recordings in M4A format and then uploads them to Dropbox. You get DropVox. It doesn’t have as many features as Audio Memos, but auto uploading to Dropbox makes it my favourite!


    Download DropVox ($1.99)


    Dropbox iOS App


    Dropbox


    Personally speaking, I don’t think an app-list article is complete without Dropbox. No matter what the list – I’ve always been able to include Dropbox one way or the other. Being the most popular free cloud storage company, Dropbox is a must-have app in your phone. It keeps your data organized, and allows you to access it from wherever you want – with a simple yet highly efficient security lock.


    Download Dropbox


    Keeping Track


    Checklist


    To-do lists are a must have. Most of the newer smartphones have an integrated task-list manager but the either one following two apps are a must have in your iPhone.


    Any.DO iOS App


    Any.DO


    This app took the world by storm by introducing predictive AI that understands your task’s requirements. Add a task about “write blog post” and it suggests a couple of blogging apps for your phone. Apart from this Any.DO has a wonderful list of features – my favourite being the day planner. Every day at 8:00 AM, it plans my day according to the pending tasks.


    Download Any.DO


    Wunderlist iOS App


    Wunderlist


    Wunderlist is a great task-list management software which boasts of a feature-filled web interface, along with an iPhone and Android app. I’m a fan of its sleek navigation features and its ability to assign sub-tasks and notes to each of your tasks and share them with your friends.


    Download Wunderlist


    Social Media Management


    Social Media


    Social media is one of the most important factors that play a major role in any website’s success. It is one aspect that you cannot afford to overlook. Be it a long explanation or a “thanks for stopping by”, engaging your users makes a huge difference. Here are a couple of apps that I think you’ll find useful:


    Facebook Pages Manager iOS App


    Facebook Pages Manager


    The Facebook Pages Manager allows you to control and moderate you Facebook page on-the-go. From moderating comments, to creating new events and providing detailed analytics, this app is a must-have if your site depends on Facebook juice.


    Download Facebook Pages Manager


    Hootsuite iOS App


    HootSuite


    HootSuite is a professional social media management platform which supports over 130 different social media networks and used by over 7,000,000 users and some of the top brands like Vigin, WWF and Segate.


    Download HootSuite


    WordPress World Stickers App


    Bonus: WordPress World (Stickers)


    This bonus app is a sticker set with Wapuu and Drake monsters to use in your messages. No real purpose other than to support the WordPress community.


    Download WordPress World


    Conclusion


    There’s an app called (unofficial) Google Analytics for iOS that I wanted to include in this list, but I couldn’t, since there’s been quite a few negative reviews of that app recently. Apparently the app doesn’t work anymore (probably due to a change in the Google Analytics website) but the developer hasn’t been responding to support tickets – at which point I decided to draw the line.


    I would recommend not changing your current task-management app, because if you rely on it as heavily as I do, you might run into a bit of a soup. If you’re looking for everyday blogging then the standard WordPress for iOS app does wonders. Besides this, do try out RecUp as it sounds like a promising app. If you use/recommend other blogging apps – we’d love to hear them – just let us know in the comments!




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  23. testing Key Tips for Building a Business Website with WordPress [ad_1]

    A business website is a necessity for anyone looking to create a name for themselves or their company in this modern world. As such, it is definitely not something that should be taken lightly. While a good website can help attract new clients, a bad one can turn them away. That is why I have compiled a list of four indispensable tips that you need to know before building your business website with WordPress. It’s easier than you may think!


    1. Define the Purpose of Your Website


    Figuring out what the purpose of your new site is may seem like an obvious place to begin, but many people go into the website building process without knowing exactly what they want to convey on their site or how they want to convey it. This can become immediately apparent to any visitors you get and is a decidedly bad way to start.


    Instead, you should spend some time considering each aspect of your website and ask yourself questions like “who do I want to find my website?” and “what do I want my visitors to do once they’re here?” This is a good exercise to help you discover not only how initiate the process, but how to maneuver and make changes later on.


    Other things to consider include how often you will post updates and news, whether you would like the option of adding a shop to your site, how best to collect information from your users, and whether you need premium features like appointment scheduling or a forum.


    This may sound like a lot to keep in mind, but as long as you take things one step at a time, you will have a good understanding of your needs, in addition to the needs of your clients, in no time. Of course, different solutions such as website builders and different CMS platforms enables different possibilities and features. Here at WPExplorer we feel WordPress is perfect for small business,


    2. Choose a Professional WordPress Theme


    Total, A Multipurpose WordPress Theme for Infoprenuers


    No matter where you are in life, you should always strive to put your best face forward. The same holds true for your business website. Although looks aren’t everything, they matter more than you may think.


    If you are building your own website, it is likely that you will implement a design from a pre-made template or theme. There are literally thousands to choose from and they range in style from sleek and modern to bright and loud. It is important that you like the theme you choose, but it is probably even more important that it has a universal appeal. This is because your website is designed to convert your users and not to cater to your own preferences.


    As a result, I recommend playing it safe, especially when it comes to achieving an aura of professionalism. Choose a template that is designed to be used by businesses and companies. These themes create a look and feel that inspires confidence and generally include additional features and freebies that you might find useful.


    Because there are so many options, I recommend comparing a few top themes. To help, checkout WPExplorer’s roundup of the best business WordPress themes. It’s a great place to start and includes 20 of the absolute best free and premium themes for every price point. You can also defer to the opinion of work colleagues, friends, and even family. There is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.


    3. Make Use of Relevant Plugins


    The best website platforms provide users with thousands of free and paid plugins that can help transform your website from a static page into a conversion machine. The trick is finding the best plugins for your business website and implementing them properly.


    There are some plugins that all websites should have. These include security tools to help ensure that your site is safe to visit, backup tools to prevent data loss if anything ever goes awry, and SEO tools to encourage the promotion of your website within the ranks of popular search engines. There are also many plugins that are more business-specific.


    MonsterInsights Analytics for WordPress


    The first tool I recommend you install is one that can provide you with analytics. Analytics tools like MonsterInsights are an essential way to track who is visiting your site and they can provide you with important details about how and why you are attracting those users.


    MailChimp for WordPress


    Next, consider signing up for an email marketing service like MailChimp. A website is a great way to help build a database of potential client names, but if you don’t make the most of it, it’s fairly useless. You can integrate the service directly onto your website with any of these free MailChimp opt-in form plugins to collect information to create an email list without the need for any action on your part.


    Booking Ultra Pro for WordPress


    Finally, if it is relevant to your business, you can implement an appointment scheduling solution. Instead of requiring your clients to set meetings over the phone, your website can passively do it for you and update your records in real time to ensure that you never miss a beat. Tools like Booking Ultra Pro Appointments or another booking form for WordPress can integrate fully in the software you currently use and your customers will appreciate its convenience.


    4. Write Good Content and Maintain a Blog


    Creating Content


    The importance of good content cannot be overstated. Websites live and die by the work they produce and the best content often gets rewarded through social sharing, search engine ranking, and external linking.


    That is why I recommend that every website contain a blog. No matter what your field or the purpose of your website, a blog is a great way to attract users you might not have found otherwise. This is because every piece of content you create amplifies the effectiveness and importance of your site.


    Of course, not all content is good content. You can use our pro blogging tips for creating quality content, or hire a freelancer to ensure that you have someone who you can rely on to create it for you. Or use your blog to share content from other relevant sites. You will find that your site’s blog is the most invaluable resource you create.


    Conclusion


    Did we miss something? Have a question? Or perhaps you have other tips for new businesses building their first website? Share your thoughts in the comments!




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  24. testing How to Promote Your WordPress Website 'Off-Site' [ad_1]

    Whenever people think about ‘off-site’ promotion, email marketing immediately comes to mind. But apart from creating a dynamic email campaign, what else can you do to promote your WordPress website ‘off-site’?


    In this article, we look at a variety of ‘off-site’ techniques that you can implement online, and offline, to help you reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your WordPress website. From guest posting and podcast hosting, to a variety of social media strategies, local advertising and attending events in person, hopefully you will find some tips here help you promote your site.


    Write Guest Posts


    Guest posting is a great way to promote your WordPress website ‘off-site’. Guest posting is when you publish one of your own posts on someone else’s website. Although it is often for free, you will get your bio with a link to your site displayed under the article. Therefore, not only will your article help you reach a new audience, it should also drive traffic to your site.


    To start guest posting, contact websites in a similar niche as your own site, as well as your direct competition. These site’s readers are your target audience, and it is these people who you want to try and reach with your guest posts.


    When you write a guest post, although you are giving away content for free, your articles still need to be of the highest standard. Choose topics that are interesting, unique and help the readers solve some sort of problem. Readers will decide whether your website is worth a visit based on the value and quality of the guest post, so make sure you impress them.


    Appear on Podcasts


    Podcasts


    Appearing as a guest on other site’s podcasts is another way to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your website. Again, you will need to go out of your way to contact a variety of different sites to ask if you can speak on their podcasts. Make sure these podcasts are in some way relevant to your niche, so the audience you are addressing is your target market.


    You may be asked to co-host a podcast or be an interviewed guest. Either way, plan out carefully what you are going to say and make sure the wisdom you provide is valuable to those you are trying to appeal to. It is also important that your personality comes over in the podcast. This will help your visitors connect with you on an emotional level, increasing the chances of them visiting your site.


    Before agreeing to speak on a podcast, check that the producer is happy for you to promote your website and share your site’s web address with the listeners. If possible, provide some content (on your site) that supports the topic of the podcast and is useful for the audience. You can then share the URL for the extra content on the podcast, encouraging listeners over to your website.


    Create Your Own Podcast


    itunes


    Creating your own podcast and listing it on iTunes is another great way to promote your site. You can easily create a podcast with WordPress. Millions of people download from iTunes, so also adding your podcast (or series of podcasts) here will give your website possible exposure to a huge audience.


    During your podcast, you can endorse your site’s content and subtly explain why listeners should visit your site. Just don’t overdo it. No one wants to listen to a podcast that is all advertising and no substance. Create podcasts based on interesting and useful topics, always related to your website’s niche. If your audience is impressed with what they hear, they are more likely to check out your site.


    Reviews and ratings are an important aspect of ‘making it big’ on iTunes. The more positive reviews you have the more likely your target audience is to download your podcast, even if they have never heard of you or your website before. To build up your number of reviews, at the end of each podcast remind your listeners to leave you a review.


    Be Present On Social Media


    Buffer


    Being constantly present and engaged on social media is an effective way to build up your social fan base. It is this following that you can share your content with and promote your website to.


    Firstly, you need to identify where your audience is hanging out. Then make those social media channels your focus. Spend time each day liking and sharing other people’s posts. Follow others in your niche, and comment on their images. And post relevant articles and content from your WordPress website.


    Using an automated tool like Buffer enables you to be active on social media, even when you are asleep. You can automatically share WordPress posts with Buffer by scheduling your articles in advance to be published at any time of the day or night. Buffer also lets you manage all your social media accounts from the one dashboard, saving you time logging in and out of different accounts, and helping to keep your social strategy well organized.


    Create a Facebook Page


    Facebook Page


    A Facebook page to promote your business is a great way to create an engaged community around your website. As Facebook is still the biggest of the social media platforms, with over 2 billion monthly users, a Facebook page is pretty much a must-have.


    A successful Facebook page should be constantly updated with interesting and useful information. Ask and answer questions, encouraging people to post on your page and discuss a variety of issues. Make sure your page contains links to your website, making it as easy as possible for your Facebook followers to visit your WordPress website.


    To get the best results on Facebook you should consider paying to promote your page. Facebook adverts are easy to set up and help ensure that your posts target new potential followers, as well as reach your current followers. You can also set up remarketing, promoting your page to those who have already visited your site but not yet followed you on Facebook.


    Once you have built a strong following on Facebook you have an active platform where you can share your website content, promote your website, and market your services and products. However, remember that your page needs to add value to your readers. Don’t make your page too promotional or sales based, as it will lose your followers.


    Run Competitions on Social Media


    Running competitions on social media is a great way to get your brand shared with a wider audience and advertise your site’s content or products. Facebook particularly lends itself well to competitions, and I am sure you have seen more than a couple of competition entries being shared by your friends.


    A Facebook competition is easy to organize. Simply create a post containing a picture of what could be won. Facebook viewers need to then like your page and share your post to enter the competition. This will result in new followers and will help market your website.


    To get started, first you need to choose a prize to give away. The nicer the prize the better, generating more interest in your competition. However, always make sure that it is relevant to your WordPress website’s niche, and that you can afford such a giveaway. You should do a bit of research regarding giveaways in your area. Some countries, states and/or cities have laws about giveaway prize values. For example, in the USA a prize valued at $600 or more would require you to send the prize winner a 1099-Misc form at the end of the year to include in their taxes.


    After selecting a prize you’ll need to layout the rules. This includes includes clearly identifying the prize and it’s value, giveaway duration, methods of entry, who can enter, how the winner will be chosen and technical issues (how you’ll handle duplicate entries, power outage, natural disaster, etc). If you’re using a third party service such as Rafflecopter, they have a rules/terms generator that makes this legal bit much easier.


    The next step is to take a beautiful photograph of the prize. An attractive and eye-catching photograph will help grab people’s attention, and encourage them to join the competition, like your page and share your post.


    Lastly, after a set time period, you need to announce the winner. Make a big deal of this, to remind your Facebook followers of the competition you have been running, and to continue your site’s promotion.


    Create Your Own YouTube Channel


    YouTube


    Creating your own YouTube Channel is another effective way to promote your WordPress website ‘off-site’. Five billion videos are watched on YouTube everyday, so it is a great platform to use to help you reach a new market, as well as drive traffic to your site.


    To create your own YouTube Channel, simply sign up and add the necessary information. This includes giving your channel a name, uploading your website’s logo to your channel, writing a description, and adding links to your website and social media channels.


    Producing videos for your YouTube channel can be time-consuming. To save you time re-inventing the wheel, try and re-generate content you have already posted on your website in text form. This will ensure content is relevant to the type of audience you want to connect with, as well as ensuring you don’t burn yourself out.


    There is much you can do to encourage your YouTube Channel viewers to visit your website. Write a description for each video, with a call to action and your website’s address. Discuss content from your website in your video, and share a page’s URL where viewers can read more. And make use of YouTube’s ‘cards’, that enable you to add notes to each video displaying links to your WordPress website.


    Attend Events


    Wordcamp


    As well as online, there are many offline activities you can also participate in to help market your WordPress website. Wordcamps are a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and help get your name and brand known amongst the WordPress community. Once people have met and made an emotional connection with you, they are much more likely to remember, visit, and even recommend your site to others in the future. Local meetups, or industry conferences are other good marketing opportunities that could be fruitful.


    Consider Local Advertising


    If you have a physical store or premises, local advertising of your business and website could be rewarding. Consider advertising on the local radio, or in local papers or magazines. Sponsoring an event or a local sports team may also be a good way to promote your business and drive traffic to your WordPress website.


    Wrapping Up


    Not all of the ‘off-site’ marketing methods mentioned in this article will be appropriate for your site’s niche. Choose the techniques that you think are a best fit with your WordPress website. Then create a plan of action to make each strategy work for you. Good Luck!


    Which strategies will you use to promote your WordPress website ‘off-site’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below…




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  25. testing Create A Wordpress Line Break (br) Shortcode [ad_1]

    Want to some extra spacing to your blog post using a line break in the WordPress visual editor? You can insert a break using the typical <br /> tag via the text editor, however if you add more than one they get stripped. Sometimes you need a bit of space, so having your breaks removed or turned into a paragraph just won’t do.


    If you are one of many people struggling with this issue don’t worry because today’s daily code trick will allow you to use line breaks whenever and how many times you feel like it.


    The Line Break Shortcode for WordPress


    Simply insert the following shortcode code into your child theme functions.php file (if you’re not sure how to create a child theme, checkout our complete WordPress child theme guide):


    /* ------- Line Break Shortcode --------*/
    function line_break_shortcode() {
    return '<br />';
    }
    add_shortcode( 'br', 'line_break_shortcode' );

    Add Line Breaks To Your Posts


    With the code added to your functions.php file now all you have to do to create line breaks in your visual editor is to insert the shortcode wherever you want a space.


    [br]

    Example:


    This is some text.
    [br]
    This is some more text after a line break.
    [br][br]
    This is even more text after adding two line breaks.

    Which should display as:


    This is some text.
    This is some more text after a line break.

    This is even more text after adding two line breaks.

    How to Add Line Breaks To WordPress Posts Without A Shortcode


    If you weren’t looking for a shortcode but just a way to line breaks you’re in luck. There other options for adding line breaks to your WordPress site without creating a custom shortcode.


    The Simple Way to Add Line Breaks to WordPress


    An easy option is to just hold the shift button and click enter. This will push your text to the next line as you’re typing (as opposed to clicking enter which would just create a new paragraph). A quick & easy solution!


    Note: this will only work for one line break. Adding two or more breaks will simply result in WordPress forcing your text into a new paragraph. So if you want to create large gaps between content use the shortcode method or you can add a bit of CSS.


    Add Large Line Breaks with Inline CSS


    If for some reason you want a huge gap, then you could enter CSS right into your post. When creating your post click on the “text” tab in the top right corner to open up the HTML side of your post editor.


    WordPress Visual and Text Editor tabs


    Find the paragraph you would like to add a gap of space beneath and add back the paragraph tags (the <p> at the beginning, and </p> and the end). Then add a bottom margin to your paragraph using the style attribute, like so:


    <p style="margin-bottom: 100px;">This is a paragraph I want to add a 100 pixel gap after.</p>

    If you want to add space above, just use the margin-top property instead. Now if you click back over to the “visual” side of the editor you should be able to see a gap the exact pixel size you entered.


    Add Margin with CSS


    Wrapping Up


    Hopefully this quick tutorial was able to help! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to provide a helpful answer.




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  26. testing Choose the Best Affiliate Programs to Promote on Your WordPress Blog [ad_1]

    If you’ve decided to start up an affiliate marketing blog, your first steps will be to find your blogging niche and set up your site. After that, it’s time to choose your affiliate programs. The wrong programs can result in low conversions and reduced sales, so your decision here is crucial.


    Choosing effective affiliate programs can enable you to monetize your blog and generate income. With the right affiliates, you’ll have the opportunity to build partnerships, join like-minded communities, and run a successful business.


    In this article, we’re going to discuss how to find the perfect affiliates, and integrate their programs with your content. We’ll also recommend some tools that will help you focus on the affiliates most appropriate and profitable for your blog. Let’s dive in!


    What Is Affiliate Marketing (And How Can It Benefit You)?


    Affiliate marketing is a type of program based on revenue sharing. You promote products through an affiliate network, and earn a commission based on sales generated from your site. This may be done by creating full-length reviews of those products, simply adding links to them in your content, and a variety of other methods.


    As with any business, getting started with affiliate marketing requires time and effort. However, the benefits are many, including:



    • Low start up costs. Getting your affiliate marketing blog off the ground will require some investment (here’s the real cost of starting a WordPress blog if you’re interested), but shouldn’t cost you too much.

    • No product support required. As an affiliate marketer, you merely need to promote other people’s products. This means you don’t have to worry about the costs of creating and selling your own items.

    • A flexible schedule. An affiliate website is something you can manage and grow at your own pace, on your own schedule.


    If these benefits sound tempting, an affiliate blog might be right for you. Of course, the key to running a successful affiliate business is choosing the right programs.


    How to Identify the Perfect Affiliates for Your WordPress Blog (3 Key Tips)


    While the benefits of being an affiliate marketer are plentiful, it’s important that you do your research to find the best programs to join. Let’s dive right in and explain how to identify those programs.


    1. Understand Your Blog’s Niche


    Whether you plan to monetize your current blog or start a new one, you need to understand your site’s ‘niche’. This is another term for its focus – the topic your blog is about and that readers come to you to learn more about. For example, Justin Chung Studio fits snugly into the lifestyle photography niche:


    Justin Chung Studio Photography


    While you can start a blog and write about anything that strikes your fancy, it’s much harder to develop a dedicated audience this way. Instead, it’s usually best to pick a specific niche and stick to it. Understanding your blog’s niche enables you to create more focused content, and attract people interested in what you have to say.


    Being clear about your blog’s niche also empowers you to choose the best affiliate programs. You can conduct research and get to know your audience, to find out what interests them, what questions they have, and what problems they’re trying to solve. This will help you choose the best affiliate products to pursue, since you can promote those that will meet your readers’ unique needs.


    2. Start With a List of Products You Currently Use


    If you use a specific product, you already understand its pros and cons. Your familiarity with that product will enable you to write about it knowledgeably and truthfully. That’s why it’s important to start with products you have some experience with.


    You can come up with a list of potential products by simply looking around your home (or your website) and assessing what has been valuable to you. Or you can take a look at your past online purchases to jog your memory. Then, ask yourself why you bought each item, and how it has been useful to you. Your audience will be made up of customers just like you, so you can use your personal experiences to figure out what products other people might be interested in.


    When you have a list of possibilities, your next step will be to decide which products are ideal affiliate candidates. Try these tips to identify which products will work best:



    • Can you create ‘evergreen’ content around the product? It’s best to rely on products there is a common and consistent need for.

    • Would you recommend this product to people who trust you? If there’s a product on your list you would not recommend to someone you care about, you shouldn’t offer it to your audience.

    • Does the product vendor value its affiliates? If your affiliate vendor doesn’t value its marketers, you can’t trust it to value your audience.


    If a product meets all the above criteria, you have found it personally valuable, and it fits your blog’s niche, it’s a perfect candidate.


    3. Research Your Potential Affiliates Using Popular Marketplaces


    Screenshot of Share-A-Sale


    An affiliate marketplace or network is a middleman between you as a marketer, and your vendor as a program provider. You can use a marketplace to decide what programs are available, and determine if they are likely to be profitable.


    Here are solid options to get you started:



    • ShareASale: This marketplace has more than 2,500 commission-based programs to choose from. Sorting through ShareASale’s offerings is a great starting place.

    • CJ Affiliate: CJ Affiliate offers more than 3,000 brands. Using this site to find the right affiliates requires a few extra steps, but is well worth your time.

    • ClickBank: ClickBank, much like ShareASale, is a standard in affiliate marketing. Getting started is easy, thanks to its consumer-focused approach.

    • Amazon: Not surprisingly Amazon is always a sure bet for any affiliate store. Not only are there millions of products to recommend, but you’ll make a commission on a customer’s entire purchase (not just the item you linked to).


    Each marketplace offers valuable information for affiliate research. We recommend you give them all a try, to decide which works best for you.


    How to Seamlessly Add Affiliate Links to Your Content


    Now that you’ve chosen your affiliate programs and products, it’s time to add their links to your content. Here are a few tips to get you started:



    • Don’t stuff multiple affiliate links into your post. Too many links will alienate readers looking for valuable content.

    • Strike a balance between user experience and money making. Minimize advertising within your content to keep it focused, and monetize strategically.

    • Follow FTC Guidelines for product endorsements. Staying compliant keeps your business trustworthy.


    There are also many tools that can help you integrate affiliate links with your content. Here are a few worth checking out:



    • E-Junkie enables you to sell affiliate products directly from your site or blog. You can also manage your commissions through its affiliate platform.

    • Easy Affiliate Links is a WordPress plugin you can use to manage every affiliate link on your website. You can track clicks, add short-links, and create link categories from the same location.


    Seamlessly adding affiliate links takes practice. We recommend taking a minimalist approach at first, until you have some experience under your belt.


    Conclusion


    When you set out to generate income through your blog, you’ll want to do so as authentically as possible. If you aren’t upfront about your experience with a product, you risk your authority as a marketer. That’s why it’s so crucial to choose appropriate affiliates.


    In this post, we’ve discussed three tips for finding the perfect affiliate programs for your WordPress blog. To recap, they are:



    1. Understand your blog’s niche.

    2. Start with a list of products you currently use.

    3. Research your potential affiliates using popular marketplaces.


    Do you have any questions about how to choose the perfect affiliates for your WordPress blog? Let us know in the comments section below!




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  27. testing SiteGround Web Hosting Review - WPExplorer [ad_1]

    We already seen what WordPress Managed Hosting services can do for people who need a helping hand in the process, either because they need to focus on their designs or projects or because they don’t have proper knowledge on the matter. Be it as it may, WordPress Managed Hosting services are not for everyone. There are some of us who want to meddle with code from time to time or just want to optimize our sites in a way that’s not possible on managed services. For that kind of users, general hosting services can be a good alternative. Today I’m going to review SiteGround, a general hosting service based on the popular cPanel software.


    SiteGround Hosting Features


    SiteGround offers plenty of options for hosting your WordPress site, or any website for that matter. Choose from shared, cloud, dedicated, reseller or even premium enterprise hosting – there’s a plan for every size website.


    View SiteGround Plans


    They also offer options found on other managed WordPress Hosting services. The beauty of SiteGround is that you can either choose to be helped or do everything by yourself.



    Once you make up your mind on what is your profile you can go ahead and work with the main dashboard. For this article I’m going to do all by myself as this is one of the good things about SiteGround in that they won’t limit what you can do with your files and/or stuff you upload.


    The Account Dashboard


    The main dashboard will allow you to configure your primary domain, your account DNS and your cPanel credentials.



    Unlike many services, SiteGround does allow you to change your primary domain as many times as you want. This is a big plus as you don’t have to host a specific domain. You’re basically creating an empty account that can be used for whatever project you want. The main dashboard takes care of the process of asigning your domain to cPanel.



    For this review we swaped the test domain from wpexplorer.com to thetechieblog.com without any problems and the account was immediately changed and was accessible through cPanel afterwards.


    Extra Hosting Services


    SiteGround won’t stop there, it does offer quite a bit of extra services from Premium Support to Premium Backup Service and Wildcard Certificates thanks to the inclusion of Let’s Encrypt.



    One of the many virtues of all this extra services that SiteGround offers is the inclusion of Dedicated IP’s that can be easily ordered from this panel along with the inclusion of Cloudflare paid services. This will allow you to have a very powerful hosting experience in a central management system. Cloudflare inclusion is a nice added bonus, this combined with a dedicated IP and Backup services is extremely good for customers. If you think that’s too much, SiteGround will surprise you with one more extra service and that’s SG Site Scanner and Malware monitoring. Since this is a general hosting service, adding this extra check is extremely helpful.


    Let’s Encrypt Free SSL is Here


    Adding your domain and installing a certificate is a piece of cake since SiteGround now allows Let’s Encrypt free SSL.



    Changing Datacenter? No problem!


    You think SiteGround will stop there but no, they even offer you with the ability to swap Datacenters. Of course, there is a price to that action but that will allow you to easily change location of your website to a more suitable place in case your customer or your project needs it.



    The CloudFlare paid plan allows you to have the Web Application Firewall and advanced features but SiteGround does allow you to use the free CDN to speed up WordPress.



    The Good old cPanel


    SiteGround is based on the good old cPanel software to handle all the main tasks. Even when cPanel may not be the fastest experience there can be, since it’s still based on Apache it does provide a convenient way to handle all your hosting needs.



    Siteground implements a custom theme that fits the style of their dashboard by calling cPanel from inside SiteGround Dashboard.



    Although all the main functions are there and cPanel does seem updated, SiteGround could use some revamp of the interface and take advantage of the new cPanel style as the current one is quite old. Nevertheless, there were no performance issues detected during the analysis and I was able to do pretty much everything I wanted to my website. Manually creating my database, importing the contents, creating FTP accounts, handle e-mail, using the built-in cPanel explorer and uploading WordPress files. This is all a piece of cake having cPanel as the control panel.


    SiteGround Hosting Performance


    SiteGround is not a dedicated nor a Managed WordPress service but still, it managed to get a pretty good number out of the San Jose location.



    If you take a look at the actual First Time to Byte you’ll see a pretty solid 300ms average time which is more than good considering this is Apache-based cPanel. What’s more interesting to note is that SiteGround is indeed using NGINX as a proxy mechanism behind Apache which does explain the more than acceptable result.



    Doing a test under GTMetrix confirmed my expectations.



    Since SiteGround is not a Managed WordPress Hosting service it does not include caching mechanisms inside WordPress and this is what makes the result even more interesting. It’s obvious that Pagespeed and Yslow scores are low because the site is running pretty much without any caching mechanism aside from the reverse NGINX proxy that SiteGround implements but check the fully loaded time, it’s superb! SiteGround managed to get under 2.5s in GTMetrix which is quite good considering this is a general hosting service.


    Wrapping Up


    SiteGround built it’s service with tons of extra features. Having cPanel as a backend is nice and including a Backup, free SSL and Cloudflare functionality is a big plus. But SiteGround does not stop there, it offers extra Malware Scanning, Premium Support and does so with a level of performance that is more than fine to even compete with other respectable WordPress Managed Services. If you want a good and affordable service that’s not restrictive in any way and has good performance, it’s hard not to recommend them. In other words, SiteGround rocks.


    Learn More About SiteGround




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  28. testing The Best Reviews & Testimonials WordPress Plugins for Your Website [ad_1]

    A good word always counts, and in business it has the potential to translate into solid cash. A number of folks go by what previous users have to say about a product or service before they make a purchase. And if the previous users have only good things to say about you, it can influence potential customers in a positive way. Over 90% of people buying on Amazon wouldn’t purchase an item with less than three stars. What’s hard here is the difficulty in asking others to endorse your product. So, why don’t we just take the help of some plugins to display reviews and testimonials on your website?


    Before you look for a plugin, you should know that you can add testimonials to a website manually. In fact, it’s a neater way to go about it, if you have only a few to display and you have the necessary coding skills to do so. Else, you’ll need a plugin to do the work for you. Most of these plugins will help you collect and add testimonials, reviews and ratings on the homepage, sidebars on product page, at checkout point, or on thank you/on-boarding emails. And if your business depends on testimonials and ratings, you should definitely opt for a plugin to handle the work for you.


    If you’re interested in learning more, you can also use testimonials to improve conversion rates, leverage verified reviews to help your online store or even use WordPress to build a website devoted to reviews.


    The Best WordPress Review Plugins


    Let’s start with plugins that help add reviews to your website. We’ll check out the free and premium plugins that allow customers and visitors to leave a word on our site about our product or services. Or for plugins that help them to give a quick thumbs up or tick a star.


    WP Product Review


    WP Product Review comes in two versions – Lite and Premium. The plugin adds an attractive review box at the top of your post and allows user reviews via comments. It supports Google Rich Snippets, so the reviews can show up in a Google search. It’s also possible to increase conversions by adding affiliate buttons to the reviews.


    WP Product Review Lite


    While the Lite plugin is a little short on features, there’s a lot more you can do with the premium plugin. You can display the review box just about anywhere you want using shortcodes. Not only that, you can add as many reviews as you want in the same page. The review table itself can be customized for color, width and border, so that it fits in with your theme. Over ten different icons such as stars and hearts are available to record a vote. If you wish to include a comparison table for the products, that’s possible too. The plugin automatically generates comparison tables from existing reviews.


    WP Product Review


    If you’re selling on Amazon, you’ll be glad of the plugin’s integration with the platform. It automatically transfers the product name, image, affiliate link and price from Amazon. Moreover, if you’ve built up reviews elsewhere previously, you can import those reviews into your website. Latest products or top products can be featured in sidebar widgets for better visibility and click through rates. Not just the product in it’s entirety, individual specifications relating to the product can be reviewed separately by users. This can help a discerning buyer make up his mind about the suitability of a product and thereby increase conversions.


    WP Review


    WP Review is a customizable, lightweight plugin to add a review to your WordPress site. It can add a review in three ways,



    • Star review type.

    • Point review type.

    • Percentage review type.


    WordPress Testimonial and Review Plugins: WP Review


    At any point of time, you can shift from one to another by changing the settings in the plugin’s setting page. The ratings can display before or after the content, and with the help of a shortcode, right within the content. You can change colors site wide or on a post by post basis. As and when a user clicks to rate, the average is automatically computed and displays along with the number of votes. Users have an option to leave their own reviews, and you can opt whether or not to display those reviews below your own review.


    Finally, the plugin is developer friendly with a number of filters to blend with the display with your theme. When it comes to support, it’s free for registered users of the plugin.


    WP Review Pro


    With the premium version of the plugin, you get an additional Circle method to show ratings, and display the ratings on the thumbnail images. The width of the review box can be adjusted and aligned to the left or right. It also allows beautiful loading effects.


    WP Customer Reviews


    With WP Customer Reviews active on your site, you can set up an entire page to receive customer testimonials or to write reviews about any product. The comments are not published right away, instead there’s an option for comment moderation. Readers get to see the reviews in a friendly format, while search engines can see them in Schema.org microformat. Shortcodes help you display reviews and review forms on any page or widget.


    WP Customer Reviews


    The plugin cuts down on spam with various anti spam measures, and includes an external stylesheet so you can modify the display to fit your theme. Site admins can edit the reviews for content and date. Admin can respond to the reviews and display the response under each review.


    The Best WordPress Testimonial Plugins


    People in professions such as law or medicine are unlikely to build up a huge clientele without a solid reputation attached to their names. And there’s a lot to be gained by displaying the testimonials that your clients are willing to give. The plugins below will help you gather and display these testimonies prominently.


    Testimonials Widget


    Testimonials Widget is a great choice for any person who wants to display a wide range of client testimonials on their website. What sets this plugin apart are the choice of display options like carousel, fade or slide transitions, responsive slideshows and the option to filter by category, tag or post ID. The plugin helps you include not just text, but images and video as well within the testimonials. These testimonials can then be displayed using functions within your theme, shortcodes or widgets.


    WordPress Testimonial Plugins: Testimonials Widget


    However, it may be necessary to know a little CSS if you want much more than the basic styling options. The Premium version offers a lot more features like numerous premium shortcodes, caching, Read More links and user submitted testimonials, as well as better support.


    Easy Testimonials


    Easy Testimonials allows you to use a number of shortcodes to add testimonials to any post or page. You can also display them in a widget and if you want to customize display, you can do so by generating shortcodes. The plugin supports images, so you can add a photo of the author right by the side of his testimonial.


    Easy Testimonials


    The plugin is good for adding a random testimonial anywhere in your sidebar or page, or in a list, or on a fading / sliding testimonials widget. You can add rating to a testimonial and link it to any page, such as a product page.


    The premium plugin will also enable frontend testimonial submission and notifies you of any new testimonial. You also get a carousel for display, transition effects, spam protection and font options. It’s also possible to import and export testimonials in CSV format.


    Thrive Ovation


    Thrive Ovation is a premium plugin that helps you collect testimonials from users at the frontend. After going through a process of approval it displays them on your site. The plugin includes forms that make it easy for readers to submit testimonials. Once you receive a testimonial, you can add details about the author and insert it anywhere using shortcodes. To automatically draw a testimonial from social media, simply add the respective Facebook or Twitter URL.


    Thrive Ovation


    You can tag testimonials to filter them by topics or products. There are many statuses that can be assigned to the testimonials such as awaiting review, approved or rejected. Multiple templates are available for display and you can further customize them if you wish. You can set up the plugin to draw testimonials from a specific tag so that the testimonials are always fresh.


    The Best WordPress Ratings Plugins


    Asking visitors to leave a rating on your website is an easy and effective way to get them to give you top marks. A high rating displayed for any product or service can persuade a subsequent visitor to transact with you. Check out these top class plugins to add a ratings option to your website.


    Rating Widget


    Rating-Widget adds a Five Star Review System on site. Users simply have to click on the stars to let others know what they think about any post, page, custom post type, comment or review. You can embed thumb & star ratings into your posts, pages or comments, and customize and manage ratings from within your WordPress dashboard.


    Rating Widget


    The star ratings are fully customizable, support major browsers and many languages. You can create unlimited thumb & star ratings and collect unlimited votes. The plugin includes a widget that you can place in your sidebar to display top rated posts, pages and comments. Add-ons are available to display tweets and shares


    YASR Yet Another Stars Rating


    Yet Another Stars Rating (YASR) is a new system review based on jquery plugin RateIT. The plugin helps you add ratings in two different ways – you can add your own rating as well as enable your visitors to vote.


    YASR


    You can even create multiple sets if you want visitors to vote on different aspects of a product individually. Review scores or visitor ratings will be indexed by search engines through snippets.


    WP-PostRatings


    With WP-PostRatings, there are many ways to display votes such as stars, thumbs, ticks, hearts, numbers and more. Setting up the plugin can get a bit technical.


    WP Post Ratings


    With a bit of code you can display the ratings on all posts or on selected posts. The Manage Ratings option lets you view the ratings. The plugin can display the Highest Rated Posts, Most Rated Posts, Lowest Rating and Highest rating.


    To Wrap Up


    Testimonials, ratings and reviews are great marketing aids. They can persuade a potential customer to trust you with their money. You may know that there’s also an option to integrate reviews from third party review sites such as Google Places Reviews, Yelp Widget ProWP LinkedIn and Custom Facebook Feed. Taking help from these plugins and services can become an important part of your marketing efforts.




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  29. testing How to Find Your Blogging Niche with WordPress [ad_1]

    As a new blogger, you may be a little uncertain about how to get started. Especially if you want to gain a large audience or earn income from your blog, you can easily get overwhelmed by the number of decisions you have to make, such as what to write about.


    Before creating their first piece of content, or choosing the perfect WordPress theme, every successful blogger starts by deciding on their blog’s purpose and niche. Having a defined topic gives your content a clear focus, and helps you target the correct audience.


    In this post, we will discuss the importance of having a niche, and outline a few ways to find your blog’s focus. Finally, we’ll also introduce some tools that can help you create awesome content for your blog’s niche. Let’s jump in!


    What Is Your Blog’s Niche (And Why Does It Matter)?


    When it comes to blogging, your niche is the focus or primary topic of your blog. It describes what your content is about, and can be as broad or specific as you’d like. For example, Delish is a blog that covers general recipes, culinary reviews and news, entertaining tips, and more:


    screenshot of delish.com


    Easy Veggie Kitchen , on the other hand, is a blog specifically focused on cooking and eating a (primarily) plant based diet:


    Easy Veggie Kitchen


    Both websites fit firmly into the food niche. However, one is very broad (running the gamut from recipes to celebrity food choices) and the other focuses on a smaller aspect of the overall topic.


    It’s possible to create a multi-niche blog, but this kind of site is difficult to run, and we recommend against it unless you have plenty of blogging experience. For most people, sticking to a single niche per blog is a much smarter strategy, since it will help you attract a consistent audience who cares about your topic. With that in mind, let’s talk about how to decide on your focus!


    How to Find Your Niche as a New Blogger (In 3 Steps)


    You may be wondering how to choose the right niche for your blog. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to get the ball rolling.


    Step 1: Ask Yourself What You Are You Passionate About


    Before you break into a blogging niche, consider what you’re passionate about. Since you will be responsible for creating consistent content about that topic, it should be something you’re interested in and have a lot to say about. What’s more, your blog posts will sound more authentic and less like a sales pitch when you are passionate about your topic.


    Therefore, you can start by making a list of your passions, interests, and hobbies. Then focus on the ones you have something unique to say about, and that you think you can write about for years to come. You may also want to consider your goals at this point. If you plan to monetize your blog, for example, you need to be sure your niche is profitable (more about this in a moment). Alternately, you might be looking to increase awareness about an issue, or share educational information. Whatever you want from blogging, your niche should be able to provide it.


    Step 2: Start Generating Content Ideas for Your Niche


    Once you have a potential niche in mind, it’s time to find out if you can come up with quality content for it. This step will also help you start narrowing down your focus, especially if you’re looking at a complex topic. Use your own existing knowledge and online resources to generate some potential content ideas. Here are a few tips:



    • Read other blogs and sites about your potential topic. Seeing how others approach your passion can inspire you, and you may identify new approaches that existing bloggers haven’t considered.

    • Do keyword research to see what people are looking for in search engines. If people aren’t searching for information on your niche, it will be hard to attract an audience. Not sure where to start? Use this guide on how to think of great blog ideas to nail down great ideas using comments, social media, keywords, brainstorming and more.

    • Find a small niche within a larger field or subject. The food blog examples above demonstrate how a broad topic like food can lend itself to a smaller niche. If the topic you’re interested in seems too large, try and find a smaller subject to focus on.


    Once you’re confident that you have a large base of content ideas to draw from, it’s time to determine how profitable your niche will be.


    Step 3: Determine Your Niche’s Earning Potential


    As we mentioned earlier, if you plan on monetizing your blog you’ll need to be sure upfront that your niche has earning potential. There are a number of ways to find this out. We recommend that you follow these step-by-step instructions to analyze each niche you’re considering:



    1. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to discover volume & trends for your keywords. After searching a batch of keywords use the “Get Search Volume” option to view stats including average monthly search. Similarly you can use Google Trends as well to see if your keywords are currently popular.

    2. Find out how popular your topic is, by looking for active blogs and sites. Think of the blogs you’ve consistently visit to read up on your favorite topics. Are they still up and running? Some blogs even publish monthly or quarterly statements so you can actually see if they’re turning a profit.

    3. Peruse forums and message boards related to your passion. Reddit is an especially great forum as they have boards for pretty much every topic imaginable. But if you’re passionate about something you probably already visit relevant forums (for example, many WordPress users regularly visit StackExchange and the Envato forum).

    4. Check social media hashtags and fan pages related to your topic. See if people are interested and actively talking about your niche and/or keywords.

    5. Most importantly – is there affiliate potential? One of the quickest ways to monetize your blog is by adding affiliate links to recommended products or services mentioned in your posts. Signup for programs like ShareASale,CJ Affiliate and even Amazon to find hundreds of product and service offerings related to your niche (just be sure to follow all of the FTC guidelines when using affiliate links).


    The more of these avenues that turn up positive results, the more likely you are to earn money from creating a blog in that niche.


    Combining this step with the previous two, you should be able to settle on a niche that you’re passionate about, offers plenty of room for unique content, and has some earning potential. Of course, this is only the beginning. Now that you have a niche in mind, let’s talk about how to create awesome content for it.


    Key Tools for Optimizing Your Blog’s Niche Content


    If you want to succeed in your chosen niche, your content must be both valuable to readers and optimized for search engines. The best way to optimize your content is to make sure it’s high-quality, and to use effective keywords. Luckily, there are a few tools that can help you with this.


    Screenshot of google keyword planner


    Google Keyword Planner, for example, is a free tool that enables you to search for related keywords based on your niche’s topic. It also displays search volume, to help you determine what topics are popular. All you have to do is enter in your niche topic, and generate a list of keywords.


    Using these keywords, you can then start coming up with post ideas using Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator:


    screenshot of hubspot's blog idea generator


    This is another free tool that, when combined with your keywords, can help you create optimized post titles. Just enter your keywords, then click Give Me Blog Ideas! to generate potential headings.


    Of course, there are also plenty of WordPress plugins that are designed to help you create awesome content. Tools like these can ensure that your niche content is relevant, useful, and optimized for search engines. Here are a few guides to help.


    How to Build an Editorial Calendar in WordPress (And Actually Use It)


    How to Build an Editorial Calendar in WordPress


    An editorial calendar is a great way to stay on top of your topics and organize various authors. Luckily WordPress makes creating and scheduling posts easy with the help of these awesome edicortial calendar plugins.


    How to Organize Content on Your WordPress Website


    How to Organize Content to Your WordPress Site Keep Readers Glued to Your Blog


    Writing great content is only part of what makes a blog popular. Increase readership and engagement with these tips and tool for organizing your blog content.


    How to Source and Share Relevant Content on Your WordPress Website


    How to Source and Share Relevant Content on Your WordPress Website


    Wring content from scratch is just one way to add valuable information to your website for readers. Another option is to curate and share awesome content from around the web, and with these three plugins you can quickly and easily add feeds to your WordPress powered site today.


    Conclusion


    When you’re a new blogger, it’s important that you start out with the right foundation. Knowing exactly what your niche is goes a long way towards helping you build your blog, find your audience, generate relevant content, and monetize your site (if applicable).


    In this post, we’ve discussed how to find the right niche for your blog. You’ll want to:



    1. Ask yourself what you are you passionate about.

    2. Start generating content ideas for your niche.

    3. Determine your niche’s earning potential.


    Do you have any questions about finding a niche for your new blog? Let us know in the comments section below!




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  30. testing 50+ Frequently Asked Questions About WordPress [ad_1]

    Have a question? No problem – we get a ton of questions about WordPress everyday. To help we thought we’d share and expand on some of the most common questions we’ve been asked about WordPress! We’ll cover tons of topics including:



    • About WordPress

    • Installing WordPress

    • WordPress Basics

    • WordPress Blogging

    • WordPress Pages

    • Customizing WordPress

    • WordPress SEO

    • Speeding Up WordPress

    • WordPress Security

    • Making Money with WordPress


    Keep reading (and scrolling) to go through all our FAQs for WordPress.


    Questions About WordPress


    Not sure if WordPress is right for you? Here are answers to basic question about WordPress, what it is, how much it costs and more.


    1. What is WordPress?


    What is WordPress?


    WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that you can use to power your website on your own hosting plan. WordPress makes creating a blog, landing page, online store, forum or other website possible for users around the world.


    Confused about the differences between the two versions of WordPress? Have a look at this complete guide on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org and why we think WordPress.org is the better choice.


    2. Is WordPress free?


    WordPress itself is a free, open-source web software but to use it you will need to invest in a web hosting plan. You can find hosting for as little as $1 per month on a shared hosting plan, but we recommend spending a bit more on a managed WordPress hosting plan to make setting up and maintaining your website easy.


    3. Is WordPress available in my language?


    Maybe! Currently there are 169 locale WordPress translations available, with 10 of them at 100% up to date. Just visit the WordPress Polyglots page to check for your language or to even contribute to the translation process.


    4. Do I need to know how to code to use WordPress?


    Absolutely not! Most WordPress users are not developers since there’s no need to learn complicated CSS or PHP when there are plenty of feature rich themes and plugins to make changing your website easier.


    Installing WordPress


    Once you’ve decided to use WordPress it’s easy to get started. Just install WordPress then add a theme and even a few plugins to begin building out your website.


    5. How do I install WordPress?


    WordPress can be installed manually using their 5-minute installation process, but most hosting companies make this much easier. Most shared hosting plans feature 1-click installation from your main account page or cPanel. But if you choose a managed WordPress host like WP Engine, Flywheel or Kinsta you don’t have to do anything at all – WordPress is already pre-installed for you.


    6. Can I install WordPress on my computer?


    Yes you can! With WordPress you have the option to install it locally (on your computer) on almost any operating system. Depending on your skill level you can use a third party software like Desktop Server or Local by Flywheel, or manually install WordPress using MAMP, WAMP or LAMP.


    7. How do I update WordPress?


    Updates are easy, as you’ll see them in your WordPress dashboard. To install an update click on the refresh/update icon or navigate to Dashboard > Updates and click the button to “Install Now.” You should see a confirmation screen welcoming you to the latest version of WordPress once installation is complete.


    8. What version of WordPress am I using?


    WordPress Version Number


    Not sure which version of WordPress your website is running on? Just log into your WordPress site and at the bottom right corner of your dashboard you should see your current version number.


    9. Can I import my posts from another blog or blogging platform?


    Yes – you can export content from your old blog to then import on your new WordPress blog. For full instructions based on your old blog platform checkout the official WordPress guide for importing content.


    10. How do I change the style of my WordPress website?


    The easiest way to change the look of your WordPress website is with a new theme. A WordPress theme is like a style skin for your website. Your theme will give your website a unique look, and depending on what’s included in the theme it may also add features for customizations like colors, fonts, menus, widgets, pages, post types, post formats and much more.


    11. How do I install a WordPress theme?


    Install a WordPress Theme


    To install a new theme log into your WordPress website and navigate to Appearance > Themes > Add New. From here you can either browse free themes that are available via WordPress.org or you can click on the “Upload Theme” button to upload the zip file for a theme you’ve downloaded or purchased elsewhere.


    12. I’m getting an error when I try to install my WordPress theme – what do I do?


    There are a few common errors when installing a WordPress theme, but the most common is “Missing Stylesheet.” This means you tried to install the wrong file or folder. Your best bet is to double check that you’re uploading the installable theme zip file (it should not be an open folder or the all files & documentation zip).


    Another common error is a white screen when you attempt to install a new theme. This often means you need to increase your server memory limit. Some hosting companies have an option in the main admin or cPanel, but you can always contact your hosting company’s support team for help.


    13. How do I add new features to WordPress?


    You can add a variety of features and functionality to you WordPress site with plugins. A WordPress plugin is essentially an add-on for your website. Plugins typically add new features or functionality to your WordPress website with little effort on your part. Just install and configure the plugin settings.


    14. How do I install a WordPress plugin?


    Install a WordPress PLugin


    Installing a plugin is very easy. From your WordPress dashboard go to Plugins > Add New. From here you can use the search to locate a free plugin from WordPress.org to install or you can click the “Upload Plugin” button to upload the zip file for a plugin you’ve purchased or downloaded from a third party.


    WordPress Basics


    Now that you have WordPress installed and ready to go let’s cover the essential basic facts you should know about WordPress.


    15. How do I change my logo?


    Change or Upload a Logo in WordPress


    To upload a new logo log into WordPress and navigate to Appearance > Customize. Depending on your WordPress theme you may see a “branding” or a “header” section and within there you should see an option to upload a custom logo.


    Alternatively, if your theme uses a custom theme panel instead of the WordPress customizer simply select your theme panel from the main dashboard, locate the branding/header section and you should find an option for your logo.


    16. How do I edit my WordPress menu?


    Your WordPress menu (or navigation) should include links to key pages or posts on your website. From the WordPress Dashboard go to Appearance > Menus. From here you can create, edit and assign your menus.



    • Create a menu: Click the blue link to “create a new menu” and give the new menu a name.

    • Add/remove menu items: Use the options on the left side of the screen to add pages, posts, categories and tags that you’ve already published, or use the custom links option (which is great to link to other websites). To delete an item from your menu just click the “remove” link on the item.

    • Assign a menu location: After adding links to your menu use the Menu Settings section at the bottom of the page to select your menu location. These locations will depend on your WordPress theme and the locations (header, top bar, footer, etc) that the theme has defined.


    17. How can I edit my sidebar?


    WordPress Sidebar Widgets


    WordPress uses widgets for the content displayed in the sidebar. To change your widgets open you dashboard and go to Appearance > Widgets. From here you can drag & drop to add, remove or reorder your widgets as well as use the individual widget options to customize the look of your sidebar.


    Based on your theme, you may also be able to find more sidebar customization options under Appearance > Customize > Sidebar for colors, sidebar widths, etc.


    18. How do I change my footer?


    WordPress footers like sidebars utilize widgets (unless your theme includes a custom or alternative footer). Simply go to Appearance > Widgets to make changes.


    And just like sidebars, if your theme includes custom options for footer columns, styling, copyright and more you’ll likely find them under Appearance > Customize > Footer or within a custom theme panel.


    19. How do I change my password?


    If you are already logged into your WordPress account, click on your username in the admin tool bar at top right corner of the screen (if your admin bar is disable, then simply go to Users > Your Username via the dashboard).


    Generate New WordPress Password


    Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the option to reset your password. Write down your password or add it to your login app (such as 1Pass) then save.


    Lost Password


    If you’re locked out of your account go to your login page (usually at yourwebsite.url/wp-admin), click on the “Lost your password?” link and following the instructions to reset your password via email.


    And if for some reason neither of those methods work, you can recover your password manually via phpMyAdmin or mySQL (but we only recommend this if you are comfortable with coding).


    WordPress Blogging


    Once you have your website ready you can start adding content. WordPress makes adding posts and pages easy, so there’s not need to feel intimidated. But if you do have a question, perhaps these Q&As will help when you create your first WordPress post.


    Create a WordPress Post


    20. How to I create a new post?


    To create a new WordPress post first log into your WordPress installation then go to Posts > Add New. From here you can add your post title, content, excerpt and more. Learn more in this guide on how to create a WordPress post.


    21. What is a post format?


    A post format is a style for your blog post that is typically based around the media/content in the post (image, gallery, video, quote, etc). This option can be found when you create a blog post on the right side of the screen in the “Format” meta box. Learn more in our post formats guide.


    22. How to I add a featured image?


    When working on a post, click the link to “Set featured image” in the “Featured Image” meta box. This will open your media library. Either select an image or upload a new one and save.


    Typically your image will be displayed using the image’s default dimensions, but depending on your theme there may be additional cropping (which cuts the image based on the height/width of the theme design) or display (stretch, cover, etc) options. Reference the documentation for your theme to locate these settings, though they’re often in the Customizer or a Theme Panel.


    23. Where do I select a category and add tags to my post?


    To choose a category and add tags to your post, use the meta boxes to the right of your content when creating a post. You can choose from existing categories and most used tags, or you can create new ones.


    24. How do I insert videos (or audio) into my posts?


    There are multiple ways to add video or audio files to your WordPress posts. You first option is to simply paste the link within your post content if the media is on the list of supported oEmbed options (which includes YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, and many more).


    Another option is if your WordPress theme includes built-in “Post Options” for you to add in video or audio as featured media (in stead of a featured image). If this option is available on your posts simply paste the link to your media, or upload your own mp3 or video file.


    25. How do I add an image gallery to my post?


    To add an image gallery you can use the built-in WordPress gallery option. Simply click the “Add Media” button at the top of your post content and select the “Create Gallery” option. Then just select the photos you’d like to use and click the button to “Create new gallery.” Before you finish and insert it though be sure to check that number of columns and where the images link to (if you link to media file for an image lightbox, attachment page if you want to open the image in a new tab or custom URL).


    A second option is to use any image gallery or media options included in your theme. Some themes will include a gallery post format, and you will see an “image Gallery” meta box beneath your content when creating a post. Simply use this option for “Add Images” to select and insert the images you want to use in your gallery.


    WordPress Pages


    WordPress pages are not the same as posts. Instead pages are used for important content that you want to feature on your website such as an about page, contact form and your latest blog posts.


    26. How do I create a new page?


    When you log into your WordPress website use the dashboard menu to navigate to Pages > Add New. From here you can give your page a name, add content, media, insert shortcodes or even use a page builder to create something custom.


    27. What is a page template (and what is it for)?


    Homepage Template


    A page template applies custom styling to a page. Depending on the theme you use you may have page templates for your homepage, full-width page, blog, shop, etc. To select a page template just make a selection from the dropdown in the “Page Attributes” meta box.


    28. How do I set my homepage?


    Homepage Reading Setting


    To set your homepage go to Settings > Reading. You can either leave the default (which is “Your latest posts”) or select the “Static page” option and set your front page to the page you’ve created as your homepage, and add a posts page if you have one.


    If you’d like to learn more about your homepage checkout this post on how to set and edit your homepage.


    29. How do I create a contact page?


    Contact Form 7


    WordPress does not include a built-in contact form, but you can easily add one using a plugin. We recommend Contact Form 7 (free) or Gravity Forms (premium). Both allow you to create a form, customize the options and then insert it into any post or page using the shortcode (see the Contact Form 7 example above).


    Customizing WordPress


    WordPress is extremely flexible and easy to tweak to fit your own personal style. Here are pointers on how to quickly locate or add customization options for your WordPress website.


    30. Can I use Google fonts on my WordPress website?


    Of course! Many premium themes include built-in Google Fonts integration so all you have to do is locate the font options either under Appearance > Customize > Fonts/Typography or within the Theme Panel under a typography section.


    If your theme does not include this features you can always install a third party plugin.


    31. Can I customize my theme colors?


    Yes! There are three ways to customize your colors and styling.



    • First, log into your WordPress website and go to Appearance > Customize and see if there are any built-in options that are a part of your theme.

    • Second, if there aren’t options for the theme element you want to customize then you have the option to install a live CSS editor plugin such as Yellow Pencil so you can point, click and edit styles.

    • Third, you can create a child theme and make your own stylesheet edits (we only recommend this if you are comfortable coding and are familiar with creating a WordPress child theme).


    32. How can I customize my page layouts?


    If you want to change your page or post layouts the easiest option is to use a WordPress page builder. These plugins include easy to use drag & drop builders so you can create custom pages, posts and even custom post types (such as staff or store pages). You can preview this functionality in our Visual Composer page builder guide.


    A second option is to create a child theme and make manual changes to the theme. It’s extremely important in this circumstance that you remember to use a child theme, otherwise all of your edits will be lost when you update the theme (it’s also important for security and theme functionality that you always update your theme – so no ignoring updates!).


    WordPress SEO


    SEO is a huge part of building a successful website, but it can be confusing at first. Here are some helpful tips to get you pointed in the right direction!


    33. What is SEO?


    SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. This effects how you rank in search results on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. There are many factors that SEO takes into account including content quality, backlinks, structured data, sitemaps and more.


    34. Is WordPress SEO friendly?


    WordPress is SEO friendly but it will not do all the work for you. WordPress is setup to make it easy for you to manage and improve your SEO but just moving your blog to WordPress likely won’t change your search engine rankings.


    35. How can I improve my SEO?


    One of the easiest ways to improve your SEO is with a WordPress plugin. We recommend using Yoast SEO, which adds options for:



    • Titles & meta

    • Social links

    • XML sitemaps

    • Breadcrumbs

    • And more


    Also ready up on awesome SEO tips on reputable blogs such as Moz, Yoast, ahrefs, Backlinko or even WPExplorer’s WordPress SEO tips on the blog.


    Speeding Up WordPress


    Website speed is a huge concern for any webmaster, no matter which platform you use to run your website. But with WordPress there are plenty of ways you can optimize and speed up your website in a jiffy.


    36. How can I speed up my WordPress website?


    There are lots of ways you can optimize and potentially speed up WordPress on your website. Here are a few ways you can improve your site speed today:



    37. What is WordPress caching?


    WordPress caching dynamically saves and serves an HTML version of your website for your visitors. This puts less of a strain on your server resources, limits database lookups and can greatly speed up the time it takes for your pages to render.


    38. Do I need to use a caching plugin?


    You don’t have to use a caching plugin, but it can help speed up your website. In fact we’d only recommend skipping a caching plugin if you already have caching built into your hosting. Otherwise it can’t hurt to give WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache a try (two of the most popular free caching plugins for WordPress).


    39. What is a CDN?


    CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. The CDN stores copies of your website content (specifically images, Javascript and CSS files) and delivers it to your readers using a network of servers around the world. This way when readers visit your website data is loaded from the server closest to them. CDNs also tend to have very fast response and loading times with minimal downtime.


    If you want to test a CDN to see if it would help your web speeds, checkout our roundup of the best free CDN services for WordPress. It’s a great place to start without having to invest a chunk of change up front.


    40. What is the difference between a caching plugin and a CDN? And do I need both?


    A caching plugin saves and HTML version of your website to reduce database requests and speed up your site. A CDN stores and serves your website assets (images, CSS, Javascript) to increase site speed and lower bandwidth usage. It’s not required to use either, but for the fastest website possible you should use both.


    41. Will it slow down my website if I install too many plugins?


    We see this question a LOT and the answer is maybe. The issue typically isn’t with the number of plugins you install but rather the size, function and quality of the plugins.



    • Large plugins: Everything but the kitchen sink plugins typically include features for just about everything which makes plugin management easy for you as the user, but it could slow your website down as the more a single plugin does then the

    • Plugin conflicts: The top issues we see related to plugins are incompatibility or duplicate features. Some plugins simply don’t work when installed on the same website (for example, WooCommerce does not work with W3 Total Cache). Similarly, you really should avoid duplicate functionality. You only need one slider plugin, one SEO plugin, one security plugin, etc.

    • Poor quality: You may come across a plugin that sounds great but once installed slows or brings down your website completely. Unfortunately there are a lot of poorly coded plugins floating around the web, which is why we always recommend using plugins for reputable sources (such as WordPress.org or CodeCanyon).


    WordPress Security


    WordPress is used by more than 1 in 4 websites, so it only makes sense that it can become a target from time to time. But this shouldn’t be anything for you to worry about if you follow a few basic tips to keep your WOrdPress website secure.


    42. How can I make sure my website is secure?


    The best way to ensure your website remains safe is to follow a few simple steps:



    1. Use strong passwords for all user accounts.

    2. Take backups of your WordPress website (here’s a helpful guide on how to backup WordPress).

    3. Update your WordPress installation, themes and plugins (though we do recommend testing updates on a localhost installation or on a staging site first). And if theme or plugin you’re currently using hasn’t been updated in the last couple years you might want to consider switching to a new one.

    4. Don’t install illegal downloads of premium themes and plugins, which almost always include malicious code (virus, spam, hacker backdoor, etc).

    5. Only use plugins and themes from trustworthy websites. We don’t recommend downloading from forums or third party sharing sites (torrents). If you aren’t sure of a website’s trustworthiness check customer reviews, item ratings and social accounts.


    43. Is there an easy way to manage my WordPress security?


    If you don’t want to worry about your web security we suggest choosing a good managed hosting plan that includes daily backups, firewalls and malware scanning to keep your server safe. And if you want to add an extra layer, consider a security plugin such as iThemes Security or Wordfence.


    44. What is spam?


    Spam is the off topic, irrelevant, inappropriate and unwanted comments, pings and even social media tags you’ll receive at some point when running a website. Usually these are bots and not real people leaving comments on your website.


    45. What can I do about spam?


    One of the best solutions to control spam on a WordPress website is with the Akismet plugin by Automattic (the creators of WordPress). Akismet helps to filter, destroy and prevent spam using a variety of built-in features and settings. If you’re using JetPack’s comment module then you’re in luck – all comments automatically get run through Akismet’s filters.


    Rather manage your website without the help of a plugin? You can enable stricter commenting rules via the dashboard under Settings > Discussion. By enabling core WordPress options to only allowed registered/logged-in users to comment and requiring manual approval for all comments you can prevent spam but this is time consuming and may discourage users from commenting.


    Making Money with WordPress


    Having a website is great for exposure, but did you know that you can also monetize your website so that it pays for itself (and then some)? Here are some of the most common questions


    46. Can I make money with WordPress?


    Yes you can! There are a ton of ways to make money with WordPress – it’s our whole business so we’re living proof.


    47. What are some easy ways to make money with WordPress?


    The easiest way to monetize your website is to take advantage of your website traffic by offering advertising spots and recommending affiliate products, or by starting your own store.



    • Advertising: The simplest was to monetize your website is to include ad spots in your header, sidebar, footer or even in your posts. This can easily be accomplished using third party networks like Adsense or BuySellAds or by working out your own contracts with advertisers privately.

    • Affiliate Marketing: When you join an affiliate program for a product you will receive monetary compensation for referring customers to a product or business. Most programs are either a flat amount once a customer completes a purchase or a percentage of a customer’s first purchase.

    • Start a Store: With WordPress you can sell your own digital or physical goods, offer online courses or even provide services. The possibilities are endless – all you need is a great idea and a reputable e-commerce plugin to get started.


    For more ideas on how to turn a profit with your website have a look at this guide on how to make money with WordPress.


    48. Are there any special rules I need to follow as an affiliate?


    If you are going to use affiliate links on your website it is extremely important that you follow the rules of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). These are very important and include strict policies coving disclosure of use of affiliate links, sponsored posts (including on social media), giveaway guidelines, honest product reviews and more. Visit the FTC website for complete up to date rules and regulations.


    49. How do I start my own store with WordPress?


    To build a store with WordPress you simply need to install an e-commerce plugin. Popular options are WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads – both of which are great choices for new web-entrepreneurs.


    50. What are the requirements for an e-commerce store?


    If you plan on starting your own online store just remember that HTTPS is required to collect customer data, so be sure to purchase your SSL certificate before launching your website (otherwise you’ll have to redirect HTTP to HTTPS and it can become complicated). You’ll also want to consider creating pages for your Site Use & Privacy Terms as well a Refund Policy.


    This is of course in addition to filing paperwork required in your locale (country, state, province, etc) to sell products and/or services.


    Bonus: Questions About WPExplorer


    We get a lot of questions about how we made WPExplorer, but here are the top 4 we get pretty much every week:



    • What theme does WPExplorer use? Ours is custom so you can’t find it on the web (sorry!).

    • What authorbox do you use? We use a custom author box, but we highly recommend the Fanciest Authorbox plugin (which we used to use on our site).

    • What social sharing plugin do you use? Unfortunately this is also a custom feature we’ve built into our website, though you can create a similar looking social sharing bar using Bloom or Social Warfare.

    • How can I report a bug for a free WPExplorer theme? On the right side of each free theme page there is a link to the Github repository for that theme. Just click the link, select the issues tab and open a new issue and we’ll take a look!


    Wrapping Up


    Hopefully we’ve been able to answer some of your questions about WordPress. If your question wasn’t on this list please leave a comment and we’ll do our best to provide you with an answer!




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  31. testing Where to Find Stock Photos for Your WordPress Website [ad_1]

    Using beautiful and attention grabbing images can make a real difference to how your audience reacts to your WordPress website. Content displaying eye-catching photographs gets more reads and shares, will increase the number of returning visitors you receive, and ultimately help your website achieve its goals.


    But finding stock photos that give your website the ‘wow’ factor can be difficult. In this article, we have put together a list of the best free and premium stock photography websites. Hopefully, whatever your WordPress website needs, there will be something here for you.


    The Best Free Stock Photo Websites


    There are many free stock photo websites that you can quickly and easily download a high-quality image from. If you are a blogger or small business that needs an occasional photograph for WordPress website content, then one of these free photography sites may be just what you are looking for.


    Pixabay


    Pixabay


    Pixabay pride themselves on being a community of creatives, sharing and using copyright free photos, illustrations, vectors, graphics, and videos. Again, all content is released under the CC0 license. So all media is free to use for personal and commercial use, and attribution is not necessary.


    Pixabay currently displays just over 1,090,000 images and videos. The wide range of images on offer makes it a great choice whether you are looking for an illustration, vector, photo or something else.


    Pixabay encourages users to signup and create their own account (for free). Here you can upload and bookmark favorite images, follow other users, send messages, and much more.


    Unsplash


    Unsplash


    Unsplash is another free photography resource. This website has a collection of over 200,000 high-resolution images, with hundreds more being added daily. Photographs are provided by a community of over 41,000 photographers, and they are all free to use for personal and commercial purposes.


    Unsplash provides the option of signing up, creating your own collections, and following favorite photographers. When searching for an image, you can use your own terms or view a ready made collection. Unsplash has an interesting and varied range of images, and provides photographs with a professional feel and finish. This is a tool definitely worth checking out.


    PicJumbo



    Picjumbo is a free stock photo owned and maintained by Viktor Hanacek. Originally Viktor used the site to share his own free photos, but since it’s creation Picjumbo has grown and now accepts and shares photos from many creators.


    There are currently more than 1500+ free stock photos, but if you want even more you can upgrade to a premium account to have access to 30+ more photos each month. All photos are free to use as you please, unless you want to redistribute in which case you’ll need to subscribe.


    MMT (Moment)


    MMT


    MMT (The Moment Captured) provides free stock photographs for commercial use. Photos are CC0 licensed, so can be freely downloaded, used and redistributed for both personal and commercial purposes. That makes MMT a great choice if you are looking for images to display in websites, themes, templates, print material, social posts, apps, or design tools, to name a few.


    MMT’s content spans many categories, including macro photography, city scenes, nature, workspaces, and more. New images are added each week, and a range of interesting categories are showcased in galleries. An active blog is also shared on-site.


    Pexels


    Pexels


    Pexels is a free stock photo resource that shares its images under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. That means you can use their images for personal and commercial use. So, if you are running an online business then you can use Pexels’ images on your WordPress website without having to attribute to the site or the photographer.


    Pexels currently has over 30,000 stock photos to search through, with 3,000 more being added on a monthly basis. These beautiful images can be copied, modified and distributed. Images can be downloaded in various sizes, or a custom size depending on your needs.


    The Best Premium Stock Photo Websites


    As well as numerous websites displaying free stock photos, there are also a wide assortment of premium image sites. These sites, on the whole, provide higher quality photographs, as well as a much greater selection. They also offer many extra features, including editing tools, digital design elements, illustrations, video clips, and much more.


    If you are a large business, or your job requires you to work with images on a daily basis, then access to professional, top class photographs should be a priority. Therefore, you should perhaps consider subscribing to a premium image website. Let’s have a look at some of the best sites available.


    Bigstock


    Bigstock Stock Photos


    Bigstock is a stock photo membership site with over 57 million photos, vectors and videos to choose from. Anything you want they probably have it. All of their photos are royalty-free so you’re able to use the imagery for your business as needed (just as long as you aren’t reselling them or using them as a logo).


    Bigstock offers two pricing structures: monthly plans with a set number of downloads per month, or an alternative credit plan where you can top up and use credits as needed. Just choose a plan that works for you!


    Envato Elements


    Envato Elements


    Envato Elements is a premium subscription service providing digital assets. Targeted at designers, agencies, marketers, and other professionals, Envato Elements provides over 300,000 royalty free stock photographs, 33,000 graphic assets, courses, eBooks, and more.


    Once you have signed up with Envato, you can download an unlimited number of photographs from the library each month, all with a commercial license. Photos can be searched for via categories, or via more specific filters like orientation, background, and color. This makes it easier to find the right image for your project.


    Envato Elements is great value for money, and is the ideal choice for professionals needing photographs, or other design elements, on a frequent and high-volume basis.


    Adobe Stock


    Adobe Stocks


    Adobe Stocks offers three monthly premium plans. With each of these subscriptions, you can download a number of stunning and original images. You can then use these photos in print, presentations, websites, and social media, to name a few options. Browse photographs from dynamic artists and thematic galleries, or check out the selection of videos, 3D assets, and much more.


    All images can be viewed, licensed, accessed, and managed within your Adobe Experience Cloud. Preview watermarked photographs within your designs in Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, an Adobe app, or any other Adobe tool, to see what works best before you make a purchase. If you decide to sign up with Adobe, their inspiring images will ensure you find the perfect fit for your next creative project.


    Shutterstock


    Shutterstock


    Shutterstock is a truly impressive premium image provider. Showcasing over 160 million royalty free photos, vectors, illustrations, icons, video clips and music tracks, there will undoubtedly be something here for you. Plus with their new Adobe plugin, it’s easy to access your stock photos from your favorite Creative loud applications.


    Shutterstock offers a number of subscription plans to cater for individuals as well as businesses needs. Shutterstock also comes equipped with its own Editor, which provides ready-to-use templates for the photographs you choose to download, allows you to customize images, create slideshows, and much more. If you are looking for high quality, interesting, and eye catching photographs, then Shutterstock is the solution for you.


    Death to Stock


    Death to Stock


    Based on the concept of “when stock dies art thrives,” Death to Stock is a premium grassroots photo site that provides curated galleries created by artists around the world. Your membership to the site helps fund future photosets that include nature, fashion, concept art, dance, office settings and much more.


    The best part is that as new photos are released each month they come with their own store of how they were created. With Death to Stock you aren’t just getting photos, you’re getting a complete look at the creative process that goes into their conception and creation.


    Canva


    canva


    Canva is a graphic-design tool website that includes a photo editor, and access to over a 1,500,000 free and premium stock photographs. Photos are divided into multiple categories, helping you quickly and easily find the images you need.


    Canva is a free tool, but you will need to sign up to download and use the free photos. Paid images vary in price and the license provided with each photograph is price dependent, so always check the license before you use an image in a project. A monthly subscription plan, Canva for Work, is also available, which includes over 300,000 free images.


    Final Thoughts


    For those who are working with images on a daily basis, subscribing to a premium stock photo site will save you countless hours searching the web for the right picture. A premium site will ensure you can search and access countless beautiful and professional images, all from one location.


    However, if you are on a budget then, as we’ve shown, there are some great photographs to be found on the free image sites. And now you have this list of stock photo websites, if you aren’t happy with the photographs displayed on one site, then you can simply check out another. Happy image searching!


    Can you recommend any other great stock photo websites? Please share your favorites in the comments below.




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  32. testing A Simple Guide to Changing Your Permalinks Without Breaking Your WordPress Website [ad_1]

    Changing the permalink structure on your website is a major undertaking. You should be absolutely sure you want to make this change to your site because it can potentially have an impact on your SEO (and can cause a lot of errors and broken links if not handled correctly).


    Each page and post on your blog has a unique permanent URL, or ‘permalink’, assigned to it. These permalinks are created using a predetermined structure. Changing the link structure for your posts is sometimes necessary, but can cause issues with search rankings, outdated links from external sites, and broken internal links within your own content.


    The best way to avoid these issues with your links is to have a clear plan for updating them before you do so. Then, you can make the switch safely and start benefiting from a more optimized permalink structure. In addition, you’ll want to know how to best implement redirects, in order to avoid 404 errors.


    In this post, we’ll discuss what permalinks are and talk about the reasons for changing them on your site. We’ll also provide instructions on how to safely alter permalink structure, and avoid external and internal errors from broken links with the use of redirects. Let’s dive in!


    What Are Permalinks? (And Why You Might Need to Change Yours)


    WordPress Permalinks Settings


    A permalink is the part of a web address that follows the domain name. For example, take a look at the URL for this blog post: http://www.wpexplorer.com/break-into-blogging-niche/. The domain name is wpexplorer.com, and the permalink is break-into-blogging-niche.


    Permalinks, when set correctly, serve several important purposes. For example:



    • They allow your readers to get a brief understanding of what your post or page is about without looking at the content.

    • They are used by search engines to discover the post or page topic solely from the URL.

    • They also supply a permanent location for your visitors and search engines to return to in order to read your content.

    • They are essentially a unique identifier for each piece of content you create, helping you keep everything organized.


    To set the structure for your permalinks in WordPress, you would need to go to Settings > Permalinks in your dashboard. By default, WordPress permalinks use the Day and name option. If your focus is more on the content of the post than the date it was posted, however, it’s often best to use the Post name option. This structure makes the focus of your post clear to both readers and search engines.


    Most people will change the default permalink structure of their WordPress blog at its creation. There are several options to choose from, but the most common two choices are the structure that shows the date followed by the post name or simply the post name on its own. This choice is usually made with the intended content in mind. For example, websites that focus on news items tend to have the date as part of the permalink structure.


    You would think that since it is easy to change the permalink structure at the creation of a website it should also be a simple process for an established website. While the act of making the change is as simple as selecting a new permalink type and clicking save, the consequences of that action require a little more discussion.


    Why Would I Change My Permalink Structure?


    There are several reasons why you would consider changing your permalink structure, especially if you have been using the default setting. Changing your permalinks, whether on a new site or an established one, is relatively simple. However, making changes to the structure on an established site can have negative consequences, if you don’t plan ahead. Therefore, you should carefully consider whether or not it is necessary to alter your permalink structure.


    However, there are several valid reasons for making the switch. Here are just a few:



    • If you started with an older version of WordPress you may still be using the previous default structure, which includes the Post ID. This structure provides no useful information about your content, and is worthless for SEO.

    • You may be taking your site in a different direction, and need to update the structure to reflect that change. For instance, if you are moving to a more news-oriented site, you might want to include the date in your permalinks.

    • Many people buy established websites as an investment, so it’s possible that you have purchased or inherited your site from someone else.  If you have taken ownership of a live site, you may want to update the link structure for re-branding purposes.


    If your current structure works for your content and brand, changing it could be an unnecessary headache. However, if you do decide that you need to update your link structure, you’ll be glad to know there are ways to implement this switch safely.


    How To Safely Change The Permalink Structure


    permalink-structure


    Before you make any changes to your site’s link structure, it’s important to make a backup of your site just in case. It’s also smart to test your changes on a staging site before you implement them on your live site, so you can troubleshoot any issues that may arise.


    If you’ve decided that you do want or have to change your permalink structure, you’ll need to take a few steps.


    Step 1: Decide on a New Permalink Structure


    The first decision you need to make is the syntax of your new permalink structure. When choosing a new structure you need to make some decisions about what you will include in the syntax of the link. Do you want to include a date, for example? If you do, how much of it do you want visible within the link?


    It is an important decision and you shouldn’t make any changes at all until you have made absolutely sure of your choice. You can get some ideas for your new structure from WordPress’s guide to using permalinks. In general, the Post name option is ideal for most users, although news-related sites may want to include dates. Either way, once you decide on your new structure, it’s time to actually make the changes to your permalinks.


    Step 2: Change Your Permalink Structure in WordPress


    Once you know which syntax you are going to use, it is time to go into the Permalinks menu of your dashboard and make the change. Simply navigate to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress back end, and make your selection from the settings screen:


    WordPress Permalinks Settings


    Once you make your selection (or used tags to create your own custom structure instead), click on Save. Your permalinks are now updated! This will now update all of your internal URLs with the new syntax.


    All of the internal links should update correctly if they have been added as part of WordPress. Any manual links may need to be updated. However, all links to your site from elsewhere will now be completely broken and all the content indexed by search engines will be incorrect.


    Step 3: Fix Broken Links With 301 Redirects


    As we noted earlier, changing the structure of your permalinks is the easy part. Now, however, you have to deal with the fallout. Every reference to your prior links, whether within your content or on external sites, is now broken. Another side effect is that any content that has been indexed by search engines is also incorrect.


    There is a simple solution to this problem and that is to setup 301 redirects on your website. A 301 redirect essentially tells any browser that comes to your site using an old permalink structured URL where the relevant content is. It also lets search engines know that this is a permanent change. You’ll probably also want to customize your 404 page as well to catch any broken internal or manual links that you may have overlooked.


    In the past you would have been required to add all of these redirects manually to your .htaccess file on your web server. Thankfully, with WordPress there are plugins that can take care of all of these things for you.


    Using the Simple 301 Redirects Plugin


    To easily create the redirects on your WordPress one option is the Simple 301 Redirects plugin. Once you have installed and activated the plugin it adds a new menu to the Settings area of your dashboard.


    Simple 301 Redirect Settings


    There really isn’t a great deal to worry about with this plugin. In the 301 Redirects settings window you are shown two simple fields. One is labeled Request and the other Destination. This is basically where you enter the old permalink structure and the new permalink structure. You only need to add the information after your domain name to these fields.


    In the example in the image above, the Request field is the WordPress configuration for the Month and Name permalinks while the Destination field is the WordPress configuration for the Post name permalink structure. Once you have added these two fields, save the changes. This will now tell any search engine traffic that comes into the old links where to go.


    Using the Redirection Plugin


    Another plugin we’d recommend for adding and managing your redirects is the free Redirection plugin.


    Redirection WordPress Plugin


    To use Redirection, first install it on your WordPress dashboard. Then you can navigate to Tools > Redirections to point the pages and posts on your site to their new links. Simply enter the old permalink into the Source URL field, and the new permalink into the Target URL field, and then click Save:


    Redirection Plugin Settings


    Using the Yoast SEO Permalink Helper Tool (to redirect to /&postname%/)


    Another tool that you may find useful is the Yoast SEO Permalink Helper Tool. This generates a code based on your current link structure, which you can manually add to your site’s .htaccess file to redirect all the posts safely to the new /%postname%/ structure. Of course this is a very handy tool but it only gives you the code to redirect the the postname structure while the plugin recommended above can be used to redirect multiple cases to various destinations.


    If you are not comfortable with modifying your site’s files, however, we recommend you stick with one of the two free plugins mentioned above.


    Step 4: Changing Search Engine Links to the New Structure (Re-indexing)


    We mentioned earlier that search engines will have incorrect information after you update your permalinks structure. Unfortunately, this is beyond your control as a site owner. Search engines regularly crawl sites and will update when they find changes, so this problem will correct itself over time.


    You can, however help the process along by creating an XML Sitemap, and then manually re-indexing your site with search engines.


    Conclusion


    It is always best to address elements like permalinks before you launch a new site. However, you might still need to change your link structure after your site has launched. If you find yourself in this situation, you need a careful plan to avoid disruption to your site (both internally and externally).


    Changing the permalink structure of your website is something that should be considered and planned before you do anything.


    While making the change and limiting the problems has never been easier, you may still take an SEO hit to your site. That may be fine in the short term if you are changing to a more SEO friendly permalink structure, but it isn’t something you want to have to continually deal with. Pick your new permalink structure and stick with it.


    Do you have any questions about updating your WordPress permalink structure? Have you undertaken the permalink change in the past? Did you experience any problems with search engine traffic and broken links? How did you resolve them? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.




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  33. testing How to Personalize WooCommerce for Your Most Valued Customers [ad_1]

    As a business owner every customer is special. Because at the end of the day, a customer = revenue. But out of your pool of customers, you should be able to identify those who sit above the rest.


    These are not your one-time buyers. These are customers who either purchase in bulk, are a source of recurring revenue, or influence referrals to come your way. Let’s call them your most valued customers – because, well, they are! They can increase your profit graph exponentially provided, you keep them happy.


    So how do you go about doing that? You’re about to find out!


    Personalized Messaging


    A sure-fire trend that’s picking up this year is smart content! What’s smart content you ask? It’s content that is personalized to your customer’s needs.


    Smart content employs dynamic content to display messages, call-to-actions, etc instead of the boring old static content. This adds to user experience. Your long-time customers would certainly be happy if content appealed to them directly.


    “Personalized content is known to perform better than generic content, because it appeals to a customer’s emotions.”


    Here’s an example.


    Customized Customer Welcome Message


    Instead of a general “Hello there” message, a “Hello {customer-name}”, works better. There are tools that can help you identify your valued clients and display such tailored content to them.


    Going one-up on your WooCommerce store, personalization would also include showing recommended products based on their purchase or browsing history.


    WOOCOMMERCE TECH TIP #1


    How do you go about adding personalized content to your WooCommerce Store?



    Special Pricing


    Quite obvious isn’t it? Everyone likes a good deal. But more than that everyone likes feeling special.


    It works like this: running a storewide discount can help you improve sales, but offering special pricing to certain customers will keep them coming back to you for more.


    Your top-tier customers want to know that there is value in buying from you. And you can reinforce this thought by offering them personalized pricing. There are two ways to go about this:



    1. Quantity Based Pricing: works perfectly for your wholesale buyers. More savings for customers who purchase a higher quantity of products

    2. Membership Level Based Pricing: for your loyal customers. The higher the membership level, the more the discount


    Role Based Pricing


    WOOCOMMERCE TECH TIP #2


    You can set up quantity based pricing or customer/group/role based pricing using:



    Offers and Discounts


    WooCommerce allows you to set sale prices and even schedule sales. But go one step ahead for your special customers and create personalized offers for their birthdays or anniversaries.


    A birthday special discount email or shopping credit can be a great idea!


    WOOCOMMERCE TECH TIP #3


    This can be achieved using an email marketing plugin like:



    Shipping Benefits


    Heard of Amazon Prime? Instantly rings a bell doesn’t it. Amazon Prime offers one day shipping to its prime customers. Why is that? That’s the advantage they get for being (loyal) store members.


    It’s not as much as personalization of the shopping experience as much as providing a shipping cost benefit for being long-time customers or business partners.


    As an alternate idea, you can provide shipping discounts based on the membership level. But most of all, make sure you ship on time to keep your most valued customers happy!


    WOOCOMMERCE TECH TIP #4


    Personalized shipping rates can be achieved using:



    Loyalty Benefits


    “On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.”


    Your most valued customers deserve special attention. They should have a loyalty advantage for being associated with you for so long. Let them be the first ones to know about new products or discounts, or even receive promotional material for free.


    Provide top-notch customer service. As part of this service you can also mail them product training videos or host product training webinars for products they purchase.


    WOOCOMMERCE TECH TIP #5


    Personalized customer service can be added using:



    Complimentary Promotion


    A strategy that’s guaranteed to make a customer happy yet completely free, is promotion of their brand on your website.


    By featuring their story on your blog, or adding a customer interview, can make them feel special and also drive some traffic their way. Not only can this benefit them, it can also show other customers that you care; improving your overall brand perception.


    BONUS TIP


    Testimonials from customers about your products could be added to the feature post. A little bit of self-promotion never hurt anybody now did it?! :-p


    Winding Up


    Whether it’s personalized messages or pricing, employing such tactics make customers feel important. And that’s the point isn’t it?! It’s about letting customers know that you value them.


    These strategies are pretty simple to implement, and have long term benefits. Once you make a conscious effort to implement them, your valued customers are bound to feel good… and that’ll make you feel good too! 🙂


    Got more ideas you’d like to see added here? The comment section is open for discussion.




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  34. testing How to Build an Amazing Travel Blog With WordPress [ad_1]

    Who doesn’t love to talk about where they’ve travelled to? If you are a frequent traveller, or just love traveling, you may have thought about writing a travel blog but don’t know where to start.


    WordPress is the perfect CMS for travel bloggers because it’s easy to set up and there are lots of resources to help. You can create your own travel blog ready for you to share those breathtaking journeys and adventures in no time.


    This article will take you through what you need to do to set up your own travel blog and share some themes and plugins that will take your travel blog to the next level and make your stories come alive for your readers. Let’s get cracking!


    1. Get Inspired by Other Travel Blogs


    A screenshot of the Stuck In Customs homepage.

    Be inspired and learn from the travel photography of Stuck in Customs


    There is no shortage of travel blogs, so it is hard to pick only a couple to highlight. The best travel blogs are beautiful to look at and share a unique perspective on travel.


    Stuck in Customs is about travel photography and is breathtaking, while Beers and Beans shares tales of a couple and their dog slowly traveling around the world. Naturally, both of these blogs run on WordPress.


    What You’ll Need for Your Travel Blog


    Now that we’ve shown you what a travel blog on WordPress can look like, let’s take a look at what you will need to get started:



    • WordPress: Pretty obvious, right? You’ll need it installed either locally or on your web server, and we will explain how you can get that set up below.

    • A theme: Next we will tell you what you should be looking for in a travel blog theme and give you some free and premium suggestions. Just choose one that suits your taste.

    • Plugins: We’ll tell you what plugins you should consider adding to your website.

    • Beautiful photography: Half the fun of travel is the pictures, so you’ll want plenty of photographs on your site, and we’ll show you how to make sure they don’t slow it down.


    Nothing too complicated, right? Let’s go!


    2. Get a Good Hosting Plan & Install WordPress


    The first step to setting up your blog is to get an instance of WordPress running either locally or online. For WordPress hosting, we highly recommend:



    • WP Engine: Managed hosting that starts at $29 per month, and they handle installs, backups, and updates.

    • Flywheel: Another managed WordPress host, but at $15 per month, it’s great if you are on a budget.

    • Bluehost: Very budget-friendly, starting at $3.49 per month, and they have a quick install option for WordPress.


    If instead you want to try a local installation (i.e. without hosting), these articles have you covered:



    Now you have WordPress set up, what’s next? Let’s take a look at themes.


    3. Choose a Travel Blog WordPress Theme


    Although it’s easy to change themes in WordPress, you should look at a few different themes before you start – don’t just pick the first one you see. If you are thinking about purchasing a theme (which we recommend), check out our tips for buying the perfect WordPress theme.


    When looking for a travel blog theme, you will want to pay attention to the layout and how it uses images, as this will be vital to your storytelling. Also look at whether it has built-in support for maps, as this can add another dimension to your travel stories. Here some WordPress themes you should definitely consider.


    Total WordPress Theme (Travel Blog Demo)


    Total WordPress Theme (Travel Blog Demo)



    Total is by far one of the most flexible and feature rich WordPress themes on the market, so it makes sense that it’s a great choice for travel blogs as well. Use the included premium animated sliders, drag & drop page builder, image galleries, portfolio options, built-in post gallery formatting, custom image settings and more to design a pixel perfect website exactly how you want it. With intuitive options in the theme Customizer plus quick-import sample sites (like the Travel demo seen above) Total makes getting started easy even if you’re new to WordPress.


    Mesa Free Photo Blog WordPress Theme


    Mesa Free WordPress Theme



    The Mesa Free WordPress theme from WPExplorer is the perfect way to build your travel blog today. With support for many types of media (image, gallery, audio, video and quote) and a clean masonry grid layout Mesa is perfect for showcasing your adventures.


    Camera Photography WordPress Theme


    Camera Photography WordPress Theme



    Camera is a minimal style photography WordPress theme that was created for distraction-free canvas viewing. This means on every page your images are the star. Use the options for mobile friendly galleries, carousels, thumbnail grids, featured images and more to create your own beautiful travel blog.


    WPVoyager Travel Blog WordPress Theme


    WPVoyager WordPress Theme



    The WPVoyager Theme is a bold, modern, premium theme uses elegant photo grids and Google Maps integration to entice your readers. Plus it supports KML trails so you can document your around the world travels.


    Explorable Travel WordPress Theme


    Explorable WordPress Theme



    This premium theme has a unique interactive map for the homepage with points linked to your posts. Plus it’s part of the Elegant Themes bundle so you’ll also get tons of other premium themes (and plugins if you spring for a developer license).


    4. Add Helpful Plugins for SEO, Maps and More



    One major advantage to using WordPress to build your site is the availability of plugins to do just about anything. We do recommend some basic plugins that you should consider installing and activating first on your site, such as Yoast SEO for search engine optimization and Akismet for spam protection. We cover some other options in our article on how to get started blogging.


    As you build your travel blog, you may want to do a bit more than just write about the places you’ve been. Maps are a good way to help take your readers with you, and many travel blog themes will include map support. Adding in Google services such as analytics or captchas. And you might want to consider a social plugin too. Here are a few roundups to get you started:



    5. Add and Optimize Your Images


    Add Photos to Your Blog


    No travel blog would be complete without images of the destinations, and we know you have pictures of your trips. If you want to truly immerse your readers in your travel tales, you will need to have beautiful images of the places you writing about.


    The big problem with having images on your website is that they can take up a lot of space, which unfortunately may slow your website down. Your website needs to be fast, especially if your readers want to browse your site on their mobile device.


    Image optimization helps images take up as little space on your site as possible, which starts with using the right size and image format. We’ve written a pretty comprehensive guide to optimizing images to help you out, so don’t feel you can’t do this. There are also several WordPress plugins you can use to help optimize image performance.


    Conclusion


    Creating a travel blog with WordPress is easy, and can be done pretty quickly using a beautiful theme and some plugins. Add your images to support your stories and you’ll be transporting your readers around the world by the weekend!


    All you need to do is follow the simple steps we outlined to get started:



    1. Gert inspired

    2. Set up WordPress

    3. Choose a theme

    4. Install the right plugins

    5. Use beautiful (and optimized) images


    Did you take our advice, follow the steps and finally start your travel blog? We would love to see how you’ll be sharing your next adventure, so share the link below. Or if you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments section below!




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  35. testing How to Break Into a Saturated Blogging Niche [ad_1]

    If you are new to blogging, you may be overwhelmed by the number of successful blogs that are currently out there. You might even wonder if it’s worth diving into such a competitive market. In short, you might feel that the niche you want to blog for is already saturated.


    However, just because a niche is popular doesn’t necessarily mean you need to avoid it. In fact, you can view it as an opportunity. The niche is saturated because people are interested in what you have to say or sell. You simply need the right approach to get their attention.


    In this post, we’ll discuss how to step into a saturated niche and find a new approach in an existing market. We’ll also give some advice about how to improve your search rankings in a field that offers extremely stiff competition. Let’s get started!


    What Is a Saturated Niche?


    Copyblogger

    Copyblogger stands out in the highly saturated content marketing niche.


    A saturated blogging niche is one in which there is overwhelming competition for a single audience. Of course, there is some disagreement over whether or not a niche can be truly saturated. No matter how many people are out there blogging about the same thing, you always have the opportunity to break into the field.


    A saturated niche is not necessarily a bad thing. It proves that there is a ready audience for your content, and means you have a larger community with which to network as you gain traction and authority. On the negative side, however, it’s more difficult to stand out from the competition in this kind of niche. If you can’t find a way to differentiate your blog, you won’t gain your share of the audience that’s out there.


    If you are up for the challenge of entering a saturated niche, there are some ways to improve your odds of success. Let’s take a look at some of those methods now.


    Tips to Effectively Break Into a Saturated Blogging Niche


    How well you do in a saturated niche is going to depend on your approach and ability to follow through. Ideally, you want a strategy that both helps you stand out and provides value for your target audience. These tips should help you with both aspects.


    1. Refine Your Topic and Target Audience


    Penny Hoarder

    There thousands of financial advising blogs on the internet, but the The Penny Hoarder still gets post views in the millions.


    If your chosen niche seems saturated, you can still stand out by taking a unique approach to your content. Instead of trying to cover everything in your niche, find a particular aspect that you can mine for ideas. You can do this by researching your competition, and then using your unique skill set and expertise to find a new angle from which to approach your content.


    The Penny Hoarder blog is a great example of finding a creative angle in a saturated niche. Rather than providing traditional investment advice, it provides advice on how to gain financial prosperity a few cents at a time. This focus speaks to its target audience, which is made up mainly of young adults who are new to budgeting, saving, and investing.


    If you aren’t familiar with the term, your target audience is your intended readership, or the people you expect will gain value from your blog. When you have determined your specific topic or sub-niche, you can hone in on the right audience for your content. Once you have determined both your focus and your target audience, you can begin to attract attention by using marketing tools such as email lists and social media.


    2. Find a Problem in Your Niche and Offer a Solution


    No matter what niche you choose, there will be some common questions that are asked about the topic. For example, let’s say you have an e-commerce blog, and one of the items you sell is gaining traction. However, you start to notice there are complaints about the same product on a larger retail site such as Amazon.


    Blogging about the complaints or issues and offering a solution will put you ahead of the curve. People searching for a fix to this problem will find that you have preemptively addressed it. They will feel more confident in their purchase, and you’ll benefit from increased customer loyalty.


    Staying up-to-date on the latest trends in your niche can help you identify problems or complaints, and address them early on. You may even decide to focus your blog on solving a particular type of issue, which is a great way to find a unique angle.


    3. Provide Value to Your Niche and Your Audience



    Offering solutions and monitoring trends to solve problems is one way to provide value for both your niche and your audience. However, your content must also be worthwhile. When you create content that is better than your competitors’, you’ll naturally attract a larger audience.


    Another method of being found in a saturated niche, while also adding value, is to implement a link building strategy. We recommend the skyscraper technique for link building, which involves three basic steps. First, you’ll need to find link-worthy content. Look for articles and web pages that rank highly in search engines for specific keywords you’d like to target, and that are linked to frequently


    Then, make something even better. Find ways to improve on the original piece of content by being more thorough, updating out-of-date information, or improving the visual design. Finally, reach out to the sites that linked to the original piece, and let them know you have a more comprehensive and updated post on the same topic.


    4. Hone Your SEO to Make Your Blog Competitive


    SEO is key to getting ahead in your niche. Making sure you optimize your site for search engines helps you rank higher in page results, enabling your audience to find you amidst the sea of similar blogs.


    When it comes to bolstering your SEO, you’ll need to focus on killer content and a solid link building plan. Then, apply common SEO strategies to your pages, such as by incorporating keywords and optimizing links.


    There are also a lot of WordPress tools that can help you improve your SEO. If you don’t have a favorite option already, we highly recommend Yoast SEO. In addition to being highly rated and easy to use, it enables you to improve all aspects of your blog’s SEO. Yoast also provides a handy guide to WordPress SEO, to really supercharge your ranking efforts.


    Conclusion


    Getting started in a blogging niche, especially a saturated one, can be both daunting and exhilarating. The good news is that you know there’s an audience ready and waiting for you, if you can just find the correct way to tap into it. Exploring and truly understanding a saturated niche can help you attract attention and stand out from the crowd.


    In this post, we’ve discussed four tips for effectively breaking into a saturated blogging niche. Let’s recap them now:



    1. Refine your topic and target audience.

    2. Find a problem in your niche and offer a solution.

    3. Provide value to your niche and your audience.

    4. Hone your SEO to make your blog competitive.


    Do you have a question about how to break into a competitive or saturated niche? Let us know in the comments below!




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  36. testing Envato Hosted Managed WordPress Hosting Review [ad_1]

    Today I’m going to review a very particular service which is offered by a giant in the WordPress business. I’m talking about Envato. The service is called Envato Hosted and it’s a relatively new WordPress Managed Service and in the case of Envato, It’s fully managed in all the sense of the word.


    What is Envato Hosted?



    Envato Hosted is a curious service for several reasons. At first sight it seems like the worst idea you could come up with. Having all sort of hosting services out there, Envato service seems extremely simplified to the point of being almost a pain to use for experienced users, but don’t let that fool you. Behind this mask of extreme simplicity hides a very powerful service with one big bonus… actual people helping you out all the time.


    But before we get started with Hosted here’s a quick summary of what is and isn’t included:



    • Included with Envato Hosted: Your $16 per month month (per installation) includes 1 premium WordPress theme for free (we of course recommend the popular and powerful Total WordPress theme, but there are tons of designs to choose from), free site migration, managed updates & support, 100k visits, 5GB disk space, 100GB bandwidth, daily backups, security and great customer support

    • What’s Not Included: With Hosted there is no email platform, no multisite support, and you will have to purchase your domain name/SSL separately


    Signup with Hosted


    Get Envato Hosted


    If you want to see a full walk-through of the signup process, checkout our guide on the Envato blog. But it’s pretty straightforward. Just find a theme you love on Themeforest and see if it comes with Hosted. Click the button to signup.


    In this post we’re going to assume you can handle that portion on your own and get into reviewing the quality of Envato Hosted.


    Getting Started with Envato Hosted


    The dashboard is so simplified it’s almost problematic because the first thing you notice is a basic UI, this coupled with the fact that they won’t allow you to tweak anything besides your domain may give you all the wrong ideas about the service.



    Envato Hosted will let you use your own domains but aside from that you won’t be able to upload your own database, you won’t have any mail service whatsoever except configuring Google Apps and you’ll be unable to handle files for a lack of a file explorer. It’s like Godaddy WordPress service but even more basic.



    The DNS settings allows you to handle all the related tasks in case you host the domain on Envato. As I stated before, one good thing about this service is that they will let you use your own domain and will help you configure it properly. The service does have an SFTP access and Backup settings too.



    Domain registration is pretty straightforward and will let you do all the first steps with ease. The Envato Hosted service seems primarily geared towards new users and specially those that plan on buying themes and plugins from Envato, so the process is optimized for registering a new domain and having your new WordPress installation setup in no time.



    You can check the stats on this easy to access stats page which will give you the exact numbers allowed by your plan. With a Disk Quota of up to 5GB per $16 plan. This is not cheap so take into consideration that the service is indeed pretty expensive.


    But I Want to Migrate My Current Website


    Sure enough if you already have a site, Envato Hosted will make your life easy as the migration is absolutely free on this service, you just need to request the migration with information about your current WordPress login.



    Once you input all the information you’ll be taken to the support page and you’ll have to wait sometime between 1 hour and up to 10 depending on the site complexity. Just take into consideration that the service is not automatic and will need human interaction on their part so this may not be the best alternative for those that know how to do a migration and want to do it themselves because that’s just not possible here.



    The same problem will arise with emails, in case you handle the domain with Envato, there is no mail service whatsoever. They will allow you to configure MX entries for Google Apps services but it is extremely limited in it’s scope. Users relying on custom emails for their sites will have better luck elsewhere.


    Once Migration is done…


    Once your site is ready to rock, you’ll be able to point your domain to the CNAME related to the service. It’s important to remember that Envato does not have a proper way of showing up the temporary domain that you’ll have to use for a CNAME in case you want to use your custom domain and you have to find out what it is by trying to login to WP-Admin. The routing subdomain can then be pointed as a CNAME to your original subdomain. They use routing subdomains as a way to dynamically balance their service so, be aware not to use IPs when assigning your domain.



    Once your site is finished migrating you’ll be greeted with a Welcome Message and a short survey. A little intrusive for my taste but easily avoidable in which Envato will ask what kind of site, type and business kind you have. Once this is done your site is ready to rumble.


    Tech Support: The Heart of the Service


    Having to install or migrate your site and put it up online takes no action on your part whatsoever because the vast majority of stuff is handled through tech support. The service is completely and fully managed, they take care of performance, databases, security and everything about WordPress so you won’t have to edit a single file nor work on the database or assign users and permissions to it. Although this is wonderful news to non-techie crowd, people like myself may feel frustrated by this. Take into consideration that you’ll loose your ability to handle issues and server-side features yourself. This service is truly managed.



    Tech support is the heart of this service. As the UI is extremely limited and there is nothing you could do most of the time, the service will need to have an extremely good tech support if it wants to succeed and they seems to be doing so as I have zero complains about this interactions. Not only did they answered all my questions, they are extremely transparent about the service limitations and this is not something that you’ll see on other services. They also respond in kind. If they see you’re a techie person, they will explain in detail why they have such limitations in place.


    No matter how good a UI panel is or how cool the new automatic install really is. If tech support service is not good, the service can become quite useless, specially when you need it the most. This does not seems to be the case with Envato Hosted.


    Performance


    Nevertheless, if performance is no good either, tech support alone won’t be able to balance the service. This is also a good point about Envato as it’s performance is quite good.



    The First Time to Byte is outstanding and the site loads pretty fast overall.



    As you can see, the webserver only took 70ms to respond with a total FTTB of 216ms which is extremely good overall.



    Loading the website from Sweden does give you a very good result too.



    Loading it from Australia on the other hand is not a good idea and the service does seem to benefit users from North America and Europe the most.



    As I’ve examined the header you can clearly see they are using nginx as their backend with a Cache Structure that does dynamic routing in case something fails. This is good because your site will stay online no matter what. Having a routing structure that dynamically allocates your site to a different network without you having to worry about it is something to consider when getting this kind of service.


    What I Liked


    Envato Hosted service is completely novice friendly, plus you get a free theme (like Total) when you signup. You don’t have to do anything to have your site up as almost everything is handled through a tech support ticket. Likewise, tech support is extremely friendly and willing to help in each step of the way. I can feel the love the tech staff has for the service and they will do whatever they can to help you. This means that even if you need something special, they’ll be there to assist you. If you’re one of those guys/girls that love a good tech support and don’t want to deal with anything technical yourself, Envato Hosted is perfect.


    What I Didn’t Like


    The poor UI implementation and complete lack of options makes this service feel even worse than GoDaddy Managed WordPress for advanced developers and techie people. The high price is another point in question as all the routing/dynamic structure and extra tech support is not cheap. Having to pay $16 for such a small storage space is no good for big websites either as growing in size will cost you a lot.


    Wrapping Up


    If you’re techie guy/girl or an advanced developer you won’t like Envato Hosted service as it will render your expertise useless by not being able to do anything yourself, plus you’ll be needing to wait for each change as tech support need to assist you in every step. But Envato Hosted is a service that is still in development and they are willing to add new features. They accept all the criticism for things that needed to be improved and have an extremely friendly attitude towards customers so you actually feel special hosting with them.


    Having such a good tech support is almost paramount to sell their service. I can easily see a new developer having a new website with them and not wanting to deal with plugins/themes installations whatsoever, in that scenario, Envato Hosted is an ideal service. You’ll feel at home knowing that actual human beings are making sure your site runs like it should be.




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  37. testing How to Put WordPress in Maintenance Mode or Add a Coming Soon Page [ad_1]

    Everyone has their own idea of what a temporary website shutdown is. A new blogger might not care if no one can see anything on the website during development, so they turn off the website until they’re ready to launch. On the other hand, an existing eCommerce store doesn’t have the luxury of shutting down completely. There needs to be a message to customers, and ideally, a way to get email addresses from customers or maybe even give away some coupons for the inconvenience.


    Overall, the reasons for temporarily disabling your WordPress site vary. Therefore, you have a few options for completing the task. The first one isn’t exactly brain surgery since you’ll install a super simple plugin that does most of the work for you. However, plugins for maintenance mode and coming soon displays are more complex, and better for business.


    When Would You Need to Temporarily Disable Your WordPress Site?


    We discussed some of the instances where disabling your site might be a good idea, but it’s important to understand all of these situations. Why? Because you might encounter them at some point. If you’re prepared with what to expect with a website, along with the procedures to take when things go wrong, you’ll be more confident in your ability to run a WordPress site. So… when would you need to disable your website?



    • If your site gets hacked and you’d like to shut out any other threats.

    • Your site gets hacked and you’d rather your customers see a blank screen than the security problem.

    • You would like to complete some regular maintenance on your website.

    • You need time to develop your WordPress site, so you’d rather your customers see a maintenance or coming soon page, as opposed to your half completed website.

    • You’d like to focus on other endeavors, but you might come back to this WordPress site. Therefore, you don’t want to delete it entirely.


    The Quick Method 1: Install the Disable Site Plugin


    I’m not a huge fan of installing several plugins (considering you could slow down your site or open up security vulnerabilities,) but with a plugin like this, you can activate it only when you need it. Then, after you’re done disabling your site you can deactivate the plugin so it doesn’t affect your website.



    The WordPress plugin is called Disable Site. It’s a wonderful solution for blocking the entire frontend of your WordPress site, while still giving you access to the dashboard/admin area. The thing with the Disable Site plugin is that it’s about as basic as they come. You do get to make a quick message explaining what’s going on to your customers, but you shouldn’t expect any tools for uploading graphics, collecting email addresses or linking to your social media accounts.


    You can, however, insert whatever HTML code you’d like. So, technically, it’s fully customizable if you have the skills.


    How to Temporarily Disable Your WordPress With the Plugin


    Start by installing and Activating the free Disable Site WordPress plugin. After that, locate the Disable Site tab in your dashboard menu and click on it. This brings you to the only settings page from Disable Site. As mentioned, it’s a rudimentary plugin, but it gets the job done.


    Start by selecting Yes under Enable Splash Page. The Custom Message field is where you’ll type in a sentence or two to explain to your visitors what’s going on. You can also go into the Custom Output HTML to get more creative and include things like media, customized text and links.



    The Admin access is set to Yes by default, and it should stay that way. I’m not entirely sure why you would ever want to lock out your admins (mainly you) but make sure you don’t switch that to No. The plugin also gives you the ability to allow authenticated users to bypass the page. The main reason you’d set this to yes is if you need some contributors or writers to continue with their work. Otherwise, make this field No so that none of the users can get through the splash page.


    After that, you can save the settings and check your frontend to ensure the plugin is working properly. If you don’t see that your WordPress site is disabled, you probably have to log out of your admin account.


    Since this is a temporary fix, go back to the same settings page to disable the splash page whenever you’re ready.


    The Quick Method 2: Use Your Theme’s Under-Construction Page


    Create An Under-Construction Page with Total


    It’s possible your WordPress theme includes a built-in under-construction page option. For example, the Total WordPress theme features the option for you to design your own custom coming soon or under construction page using the Visual Composer page builder.


    Total Under Construction Option


    With Total, first create your new page adding any modules you’d like displayed (newsletter, contact form, social links, media feeds, etc). Next, navigate to Theme Panel > Under Construction from the WordPress dashboard. From here check the box to enable the Under Construction feature  and select the page you’ve created then save.


    To remove your construction page once your website is ready for it’s big reveal, simply uncheck the “enable” option and save. That’s it! Total makes it super easy to switch back and forth as needed while running your website.


    Method 3: Get Fancy with a Maintenance Mode or Coming Soon Plugin


    The quick method outlined above has its benefits (mainly allowing you to disable your site within minutes,) but it’s not nearly as productive as a real maintenance mode or coming soon page.


    But first, we should talk about the difference between a maintenance mode and coming soon page.


    A coming soon page is needed when you’re still working on your site but you’d like to create buzz about what’s coming and potentially get customer email addresses. These coming soon pages often have videos, pictures, comment sections and social media buttons. It’s most common to use a coming soon page for a new product or company. The site also gets indexed by search engines, so you start to boost your SEO.


    A maintenance mode page is utilized when you currently have a website running, but you need a quick way to tell your customers when you’re completing maintenance or adjusting the website design. Since this is a temporary page, the maintenance mode page tells the search engines to not index the website in that state.


    Both maintenance and coming soon pages are suitable for disabling your WordPress site temporarily. In fact, they’re probably your best bet.


    For the most features, go with a coming soon or maintenance mode plugin. Although we’re going to walk you through the extremely effective Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd plugin, here are some other plugins to consider:



    Using Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd


    After installation and activation, you can find the Coming Soon Page and Maintenance Mode options under Settings.


    You’ll find four tabs to choose from. The main focus should be Content. Select whether you want a Coming Soon page or a Maintenance Mode page. We discussed the difference a little earlier in this article.



    You also have the option to change things like the SEO Title, SEO Meta Description and Analytics code. These are all entirely optional, but they could help you out.


    The final step is to navigate to the Coming Soon tab. This is where you change items like background color, image and text color.



    After completing the design, your result can be a beautiful Coming Soon page with a logo, background image and much more.



    Are You Ready to Temporarily Disable Your WordPress Site?


    The first (easy) method we talked about is best for smaller blogs that don’t have much of a following. It’s also not a bad method for new sites. However, the true return comes from a coming soon page. Newer sites and products get far more exposure from these temporary pages, yet you can still make updates to your website without anyone seeing. Also, a maintenance mode page is nice for quick fixes.


    If you have any questions about temporarily disabling your WordPress site, please let us know in the comments section below.




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  38. testing How to Leverage Your WordPress Blog to Land Your Dream Job [ad_1]

    There is a cliché about looking for work that states, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” While that saying doesn’t tell the whole story, there’s no denying that the connections you make in life can exert a huge influence in terms of determining your career path. However, acquiring the skill of ‘networking’ effectively can seem challenging at best, or perhaps even impossible.


    If you are looking for work or even a completely new career, blogging may be the solution for getting your name and ‘personal brand’ out to your ideal employers. If you have an employment-focused blog, you’ll immediately stand out amongst other job seekers. Perhaps more importantly, your blog can help you to network effectively in your field before you apply for a new position.


    In this post, we will take you through a four step process for using your blog to land your dream job. We’ll cover a lot of ground, including how to create a personal brand, and how to utilize your blog to gain authority in your field. By the time you’re done, you’ll be in a far better position to secure your dream job. Let’s get started!


    Step 1: Define Your Blog’s Purpose


    To ensure your blog’s effectiveness, you must brand it appropriately. With that in mind, your first step is to define the purpose of your blog.


    With a defined purpose, you have a starting point for what type of content you will need to create. The goal is to provide your perspective on your industry in a voice that employers will take seriously.


    When it comes to defining your blog’s purpose, we suggest you do a little homework. Start with the following three tasks:



    1. Identify your future dream job. Knowing specifically what you want to do in your dream career will help you to determine your target audience.

    2. Research prospective employers. Researching employers helps you to understand if they are the correct targets for your blogging efforts.

    3. Set your personal criteria for your dream job. With your criteria in place, you have a starting point for your content topics.


    By the time you’re done, you should know what your dream job looks like, and which employers offer that job.


    Step 2: Create Your Portfolio


    Our very own Total theme is versatile and can be used for a variety of portfolio types.


    An online portfolio can act as a calling card to prospective employers, and a great backlink for your blog content. Fortunately, creating one may be easier than you think with WordPress.


    You should start by choosing a high-quality WordPress theme with a strong portfolio-focused design. Once you have that, you should draft up a list of your accomplishments that will make for good portfolio elements. If you do not have any (or many) items that you can use for your portfolio, try creating a sample or ‘pretend’ projectto showcase your talent. Be sure that every item you list in your portfolio will align well with the employers you chose during your research in Step 1.


    You can now add your portfolio elements to your WordPress website. (If you haven’t set your site up yet, now’s the time to do so!) Once you’re finished, we suggest that you ask trusted friends and/or family members to review your portfolio and give you honest, constructive feedback. Use this feedback to optimize your portfolio until you’re happy with it.


    Remember that your portfolio is never finished. You should update it regularly so that it remains a showcase of your current abilities and experience.


    Step 3: Use Your Blog to Increase Your Authority


    Portofolio Free WordPress Portfolio Theme


    Now that you have a portfolio in place, it’s time to turn your focus to your blog. You’ll want to use it to demonstrate your authoritativeness in your chosen field, which will increase your standing in the eyes of prospective employers. As such, every post you publish should build upon that image you are trying to build.


    There are a myriad of directions you can take when it comes to ideas for blog posts, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.



    1. Go into further detail and/or refer to projects in your portfolio. You should refer back to your portfolio whenever possible, and what better way to do so than via a blog post? Use a post to go into further detail on an aspect of your portfolio, or offer an alternative angle.

    2. Write opinion pieces. If you have something to say on the state of your industry, your blog should serve as a platform.

    3. Reveal your strengths. You no doubt have stories about positive achievements in the past (professional or otherwise); use your blog as a soapbox for showcasing past experiences that prospective employers would look favorably upon.


    In a nutshell, whatever you discuss should demonstrate that you are experienced in your industry.


    In terms of getting the word out, we recommend guest posting when you get the chance. This not only gets your name out there in the industry; guest posts also provide a wonderful opportunity to get a link back to your blog.


    Step 4: Display Testimonials for Your Work



    Having someone you’ve worked with praise the job you did does wonders for showcasing your skills and industry authority. The best way to leverage praise is to get it in a testimonial format that you can use on your blog and portfolio.


    Getting testimonials can be tricky. Luckily, there are a few tips you can use to get great feedback without being annoying. The easiest way is to use a short survey that people can fill out at their convenience. Tools like Survey Monkey and these WordPress poll & survey plugins are perfect for gathering feedback to use as a testimonial for your work.


    Once you receive your testimonials, you can add them to your website. The simplest way would be to create a page for your testimonials, but there are also plugins available that can do a more professional job. Fortunately, we’ve written a guide on the whole process!


    Conclusion


    Leveraging your WordPress blog as a job search tool enables you to take career networking to the next level. It allows you to reach out to others in your industry and create an authoritative presence that future employers will be attracted to.


    In this post, we discussed four steps for leveraging your WordPress blog to get your dream job. To recap:



    1. Define your blog’s purpose and create your brand.

    2. Create your portfolio

    3. Use your blog to increase your authority.

    4. Solicit and display testimonials for your work.


    Do you have any questions about how to use your blog to find your dream job? Let us know in the comments section below!




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  39. testing Why WordPress Is Ideal for Startups & Entrepreneurs [ad_1]

    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.




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  40. testing How to Backup Your WordPress Site (Plus Helpful Plugins) [ad_1]

    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!




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  41. testing Why You Should Consider Vlogging and How to Get Started [ad_1]

    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…




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  42. testing How to Create a Review Website with WordPress [ad_1]

    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!




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  43. testing 7 Vital Steps to Take Before Launching a WordPress Website [ad_1]

    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!




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  44. testing Should You Choose a Free or Premium WordPress Theme [ad_1]

    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.




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  45. testing How to Reorder WordPress Posts and Pages [ad_1]

    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.




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  46. testing Best WordPress Plugins to integrate Google Services in Your Website [ad_1]

    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.




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  47. testing How to Integrate AWeber with WordPress to Grow Your Newsletter [ad_1]

    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!




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  48. testing Why To Choose A Premium WordPress Theme & How To Customize It [ad_1]

    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!




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  49. testing How to Set and Edit Your WordPress Homepage [ad_1]

    Have you ever bought a WordPress theme, installed it, then wondered why it doesn’t look exactly the way you saw it in the preview? What about a situation where you’d like to completely remove the blog portion of your website from the homepage?


    Website homepages mean a lot when it comes to conversions. This goes for email newsletter signups, sales and client leads. Yet, configuring your homepage on WordPress takes a little elbow grease to make perfect. But don’t worry, setting up and editing your WordPress homepage is just about one of the easiest tasks you’ll encounter. Then, after you know the routine you’ll have no problem completing the same task over and over with future websites.


    When Would You Need to Set & Edit Your WordPress Homepage?


    Seeing as how this is WordPress, a blogging platform, your blog shows up by default for a new WordPress installation. This means that all of your most recent posts show up on the first page that everyone lands on. For some websites, this is perfectly fine. For others, it doesn’t make sense from a marketing standpoint. Since WordPress has evolved into a well-rounded website builder, companies are looking for static homepages, where they can present information on products, services and the people working at the company.


    For these companies, a blog is more of a secondary section that customers can navigate to if they want, or when they land on one of the blog posts from a search engine.


    So, that begs the question, when would you want to set and edit your WordPress homepage?


    Well, the main time is when you don’t want the blog out front. This happens when you have some of the following goals:


    • More email subscribers.

    • More leads.

    • More sales.

    • More of a focus on your services.

    • When you don’t plan on having a blog at all.

    • In a situation where you’re not quite ready to start a blog.

    Editing the homepage is an entirely different story. Unless you’re entirely satisfied with the theme and default configuration of that theme, chances are you’ll want to edit some aspects of your website. For example, you might want to achieve some of the following:


    • One or multiple sidebars.

    • Show widgets.

    • Have a different navigational menu setup.

    • New colors, logos or other design aspects.

    In short, most WordPress users make at least a few adjustments to their homepages. One of the most popular ones is adding a static page instead of the blog, while others are keen on keeping the blog but still adding all of their favorite widgets.


    Now that we’ve understood the “why” behind setting and editing your WordPress homepage, let’s explore how to complete the process.


    Defining a Static Homepage in WordPress


    As discussed, you have the option to leave your blog on the homepage. But if you’re more inclined to make more of a landing page or add a slider or product gallery, changing this to a static homepage is required. In fact, the vast majority of premium themes you purchase are going to ask you to immediately switch to a static homepage.


    Start by opening up your WordPress dashboard and going to Settings > Reading. Select the Reading tab to open up several settings for your homepage.



    Find the Front Page Displays header to see exactly what your website is currently showing on the homepage. Chances are, it’s on the Latest Posts option by default. Therefore, click on the Static Page radio button to select this as your new homepage.



    Upon selection, WordPress reveals two more choices for you to make. One of them asks you which page you’d like to show as your Front Page and the other is for your Posts Page. If you already have a bunch of pages made on your website (sometimes your premium theme generates the right pages for you, or you’ve already gone through and made your pages,) scroll down to find the pages you want.


    For example, a standard setup would be to choose the Homepage or Front Page as your Front Page. Keep in mind, this all depends on the names you give your pages, so it could be completely different for you.


    For the Posts page, you might select a page called Blog or Posts or whatever else you decided on.



    Hit the Save Changes button, then navigate to the frontend of your website to see how that static page has become your homepage.


    If You’d Rather Have Your Blog on the Homepage


    Some folks only want to show their blog. It’s most common with, you guessed it, blogs! A general business website probably won’t have a blog as its front page, but a website dedicated solely to written content is more likely to want those articles on the homepage.


    Therefore, go to Settings > Reading, then check to make sure that you have Your Latest Posts marked. You don’t have to adjust the selection for the Front Page or Posts Page. Those will be blanked out.



    However, a few edits can be made depending on how you’d like your blog to show up. For example, you might want to have only five or ten of your most recent blog posts on the homepage. Some larger publications keep hundreds of posts on the front page, while newer blogs would be wise to limit it to whatever content is currently available. The syndication feed can be the same number.


    Finally, you also have a big decision to make regarding how those posts are going to appear. Your choices are Full Text and Summary. The summary gives users a chance to see more posts in a few scrolls of the mouse. The full text, however, reveals every single word and image from every post. Therefore, a visitor must scroll all the way through the first post to get to the second. I’d recommend the Summary option, but lots of websites have the full text.



    Creating Your Menu


    Your WordPress theme isn’t automatically going to implement a clean menu. In fact, you might not see one at all.


    Therefore, go to Appearance > Menus.



    Either select a menu to edit by going to the dropdown or click on the Create a New Menu link. Creating a new menu makes one from scratch, while the other one might take some of the default menus that got created with your theme.



    Regardless, once you create your menu or find the one you like, you can bring it up to fix the structure. For example, you might want a custom link as a menu item. Maybe you’d like to move your Blog tab a little closer to the front of the menu, allowing people to see it easier.



    After your menu is organized, go to the Manage Locations tab. All themes have different menu locations, but the most common are Main Menu and Footer Bottom Menu. All you have to do is try a dropdown button to select the menu that you just created. For instance, I want my Main Menu to be placed in the Main Menu location.



    Additional Homepage Editing Thoughts


    From moving around widgets to customizing your homepage background, the majority of these homepage tools reside in the Appearance tab. In addition, the Customize tab (under Appearance) reveals a visual builder that’s great for uploading a logo, changing fonts and choosing your colors.



    Want to Create a Custom Homepage?


    If you want a custom (or customized) homepage but your theme doesn’t offer any added options for change colors, fonts, layouts etc you can always install a plugin.


    • If you simply want to tweak the elements that are already on your homepage (like change a font size, or edit paddings) then install a WordPress CSS Live Editor plugin

    • If you want to build a completely custom homepage from scratch, then you should have a look at a WordPress page builder plugin that includes tons of easy drag & drop elements for you to design your own layout

    After all of that, your homepage is ready to go!


    Are You Ready to Set and Edit Your WordPress Homepage?


    Sometimes you feel like your website is broken or you’re doing something wrong, but you’ll often find that a quick adjustment with the front page display does the trick. Hopefully, you’ve found this helpful for setting and editing your WordPress homepage. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.




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  50. testing How to Start a News Magazine Site with WordPress in 10 Easy Steps [ad_1]

    Want to set up a news portal or magazine website using WordPress platform? Want to be your own media mogul? Great! Don’t know which way to go? Don’t fret. This article will help you easily create a news magazine site on WordPress in 10 simple steps. You’ll see you don’t need to code or hire a web developer to have a great-looking and functioning website. So, here we go.


    If you don’t start a news site well, why would people come back? Be different and unique to maintain a strong hold in the online news business. With the innumerable news sites popping up every day, it’s not so easy to stand apart from the rest. To become a prominent news site, you need to get an attractive and user-friendly WordPress theme. Here comes the hardest thing as there are thousands of beautiful ones. No worries though, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. Among lots of good news magazine WordPress themes, we only ask you to look at ten of them today. These 10 news magazine WordPress themes have already helped several publishers to come up with their news sites. Why not you?


    Let’s start from the importance of choosing the right CMS platform for your news magazine site. In fact, there are plenty of website builders out there to choose from. But the winner is … WordPress! There’s no better way than using WordPress platform. Why? Why do over 50% of all website owners choose WordPress for their online presence? Why do they trust WordPress? Truth is, everything is simple as that.


    WordPress wins hands down for a number of reasons. No matter what business do you run, you can use WordPress for free. As a rule, every small business needs a professional website that doesn’t require considerable investments to set it up and run with ease. It has done things very easy. That’s why, this totally free CMS platform is exactly what you need. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to create a wonderful site that is simple to maintain. In short, simplicity is the key factor why people choose WordPress. It’s time to give it a try today.


    So, to get back to the point, we suggest you create a beautiful news magazine site in simple 10 steps. Now it’s time to make your news magazine site look professional and awesome. This bit is so easy and we’ll have you up and running in next to no time.


    1. Design an Action Packed Homepage


    King News WordPress Theme



    With so many news magazine websites publishing large amounts of content on a daily basis, it’s crucial to design a layout in a plentiful yet easily accessible manner. Giving your readers tons of information to choose from will keep them interested for longer. Thus, once a visitor is engaged, you can easily bridge him/her into more interesting topics put deeper in your news magazine site. KingNews Magazine News Portal WordPress Theme is a great choice to implement a wide variety of news listings. This clean template will help you create an eye-catching design that makes your news magazine site unique. Combine multiple widgets to build various layouts with ease.


    What’s even better, the theme is 100% GPL licensed which gives you complete right to modify and distribute its code on multiple web projects you may need. Built with Bootstrap 3 framework, the theme adjusts smoothly on all last-generation devices and screen sizes. The theme comes with a Contact Form, Newsletter subscription, SEO-optimization, a Commenting system, and more. Love to learn more? Hit the live demo button to see the theme in action.


    2. A Never Ending User Journey


    Status News WordPress Theme



    Attract more natural traffic to your news magazine site is exactly what you need when creating a web presence. As a rule, magazine and news portal websites are monetized by displaying ads or affiliate links. A successful website motivates the reader to click deeper and deeper into the site. With Status Responsive News & Magazine Blog WordPress Theme you can launch a sticky news magazine site to maximize clicks and create a never ending user journey. Get started with Status right now to keep your readers coming back daily.


    Status is a clean and multi-use template intended to help you get more attention from the world. With tons of advanced features, the theme looks great and functions right the way you need it to. Make any modifications you want with the help of Live Customizer. With a click of very few buttons, you can create unique layouts without having to sweat for it. In addition, the theme is responsive, Yoast&WPML compatible, supports native WordPress oembed media, and a well-documented. For more advanced features check the live demo.


    Make sure your readers always have another story or article to read on your news magazine site. Create a never ending user journey and guide your readers through your site in as straight a line as possible.


    3. Choose Your Media Logo and Font with Care


    Globera News WordPress Theme



    The logo of your news magazine site will say a lot about the quality of your content. Both the logo and font for your homepage greatly influence how your readers feel about our brand. Appearance does matter. It can have a psychological effect on your prospects and give them a crystal clear mission of your product or service. Globera News Portal and Magazine WordPress Theme can help you achieve consistency and legibility for your news magazine site. If you want your news portal to feel cohesive and uniform, then Globera is right up your alley. Even if you’re new to the web design, this flexible and a feature-rich template makes the things simpler for you.


    The theme comes with a variety of options, shortcodes and customization tools to give a quick and easy start to your news magazine site. Besides, it is 100% GPLv.3 licensed, so you can install its code for multiple web projects. With WP Live Customizer, make modifications in a real time mode. With so many advanced features included in the template, you can design a media logo and font that you’re happy with from the start. It’s important to keep yourself in the know what is happening in your industry to stay apart from the rest.


    4. Establish Your Social Media Accounts


    Spartan Blog, Magazine & News WordPress Theme



    Make your news magazine site SEO-friendly is not enough if you really want to succeed in your industry. Over one-quarter of all consumers globally interact directly with companies on social media sites. Thus, you need active social media accounts to help your news magazine site succeed. All social media platforms are important as they work hand in hand to drive your audience to your news magazine site. Spartan News Magazine & Blog WordPress Theme is a perfect choice for you to share interesting stories or articles with your readers.


    This flexible template comes with tons of options such as built-in formats, Contact Form 7, 1-4 column layout, Theme Customizer, and more. A mobile-friendly layout looks perfect on all last-generation devices and attracts visitors from the first seconds. Take advantage of this modern template to bolster your news magazine site in the long run. Enjoy it.


    5. User-Friendly and Flexible Layouts


    Kustrix Fashion News WordPress Theme



    The responsive and user-friendly design is a must have feature these days. It’s fact, people browse and shop on their smartphones throughout the day. So, if you want to be sure you’re getting the most traffic possible, make your news magazine site responsive. Create an attractive and top-notch news portal with the user-friendly and flexible layout to deliver an amazing user experience possible. Kustrix Lifestyle Blog WordPress Theme can give a leg up you need to succeed.


    This classy, clean and a fully responsive template will help you create a stylish and modern news magazine site in no time. Even if you’re a rookie in web design, Kustrix can help your site stand out from the competition. It is easy to use, edit and manage the template without having to hack into any coding. Give it a try today to design your own news magazine site that looks professional. In addition, the theme is SEO-friendly, multilingual, cross-browser compatible, Ecwid ready, and a well-documented. Hit the live demo button and love it.


    6. Categories and Sections


    City News WordPress Theme



    So, you’ve got your logo, design, social media accounts, a mobile-friendly layout and now you’re ready to fill your news magazine site with content. Where the proper use of categories and tags can help you organize your unique content in a more appealing way for your readers. It makes sense to use categories for main topics, child sub-topics, and tags for frequent topics. BitNews News Portal Magazine WordPress Theme can help you get the best of both worlds. It would be in your own interest to use categories and tags in a way that guides your readers deeper and deeper in your site.


    A card-based content positioning ensures a welcoming way that engages your visitors. Built with a valid semantic code, the template makes your life easier from the start. Besides, a great 24/7 customer support will help you guide your efforts. Even with a skill gap, you can customize the theme to match your particular needs and your readers’ tastes. You will love it.


    7. Keep It Clean


    LuxMag: Grid Magazine WordPress Theme



    For sure you want your news magazine site to be visually appealing and make your visitors hang around. But remember, sometimes less can be much more on a website. Clutter is confusing. Your prospects will abandon your site within seconds if there’ll be an excessive amount of widgets, popups, or calls-to-action buttons that will distract and overwhelm them. Luxmag – A Luxury Magazine WordPress Theme can help you make the homepage of your news magazine site simple and clean. Build a site that is easy to read and makes the navigation a breeze.


    We all love clean, simple and beautiful interfaces. Luxmag is just what you need to share the news and information with the world. Fear not to use white space with clever. In such a manner you prioritize and break the content to guide your readers deeper and deeper into your news magazine site. With tons of options included, you can change the color palette, choose among awesome Google fonts, 1-4 column layout, and custom page templates to fit your delicate taste best. So, what more to say? Well-lots. Hit the live demo button and enjoy it.


    8. Content is King


    Weekly Journal News WordPress Theme



    People use the Internet to search for fresh, relevant content that draws in and engages. So will your readers do. A fresh and interesting content is a key piece to build relationships with your visitors. Regular updates are the best way not to make your news magazine site look tired and stale. Weekly Journal News Magazine WordPress can be a great choice for your web project. Create a sense of desire for your readers to visit your news magazine site. Use it to your full advantage to make a compelling case.


    It comes with a Contact Form, Commenting system and Calendar to manage your posts or upcoming events. What’s more, it has the responsive and Retina ready layout, dropdown menu, video integration, and social media options. People will come to your site in search of information. So, give them the compelling content that drives their attention and generates leads. Deliver an amazing user experience. Love to learn more? Don’t fret. Hit the button and love it now.


    9. Leverage Modern Technologies and Trends


    Digezine News WordPress Theme



    Dinosaurs still roam the Earth. Be different. Modern technologies and trends are evolving day by day. Nothing is constant but change. Are you keeping up with the times? And what is time? Time is money. Therefore, ensure keep your news magazine site up to date with the latest developments in the world of technology. Like it or not, but it’s important to carefully select tools and services that help your business run like a well-oiled machine. From the other side, you shouldn’t overload your site with excessive animation, graphics or images. Be careful with using technology to your news magazine site advantage.


    Digezine News Magazine WordPress Theme is a fab way to create a clean, clear and effective news magazine site that stands out from the pack in this continually evolving industry. Equipped with a set of custom widgets the template can enrich the functionality of your site to build a stronger web presence. With Digezine, you’ll be able to light a fire under your news magazine site. Click the live demo and enjoy it.


    10. Create a Customer Winning Design


    Viral News WordPress Theme



    Well, when the hardest piece of the work is done, you should think about ways to drive traffic to your news magazine site. You can set up an email newsletter, social media or sign up for email updates to help your business reach the most traffic possible. The most beautiful news magazine site is worth nothing if you’re the only one who’s clicking through the pages. Viral News – Magazine WordPress Theme can help you increase word of mouth for your news magazine site. Give it a shot.


    The theme comes with a Contact Form, Login Form, Newsletter Subscription, User Registration, Search Form, and social options to create a customer winning design for your site. Anyway, there are lots of other advanced features included in this theme to increase the sense of a goodwill between your brand and your readers.


    Conclusion


    If you think that you need to be a super-hero power to launch a news magazine site, you’re wrong. Definitely, wrong. When you’re really passionate about your new project, it’s easy to be more creative and impulsive. It all depends on what you need. Remember, WordPress makes a huge difference in your success. A fast-loading site brings happier visitors for sure. Whatever your goal, find something that sparks your flame and carries you forward to success.


    Did we miss something? You can always share your thoughts in the comments below. Best of luck!




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  51. testing How to Protect Your WordPress Admin Area [ad_1]

    Guarding your WordPress admin area and login page against attack is vital. However, while hackers are a major security risk, they’re not the only one. For sites providing user registration, you’ll also need to secure the admin area against the users themselves. Security issues that result from approved users are called ‘non-malicious intrusions’.


    Fortunately, you can shore up your website quickly and easily by implementing a few common sense tips, and installing some plugins to help. By considering aspects such as your login credentials and cutting malicious attacks off at their source, you’ll make your site more secure for everyone who uses it.


    In this article, we will first discuss why you should protect your admin and login pages, then provide you with five tips to help protect your site for good. Let’s get started!


    Why You Should Protect Your WordPress Admin Area (and Login Page)


    A WordPress login screen showing an error.


    Much like the front door of your house, your WordPress login page is probably the weak link in the chain when it comes to accessing your website. Your admin screen represents the first room anyone will enter, which means locking down both is crucial for security. The consequences of not doing so are numerous, including a loss of customer, user, or personal information, harm to the functionality of your website, and even its complete removal. What’s more, the erosion of customer trust can be catastrophic for your bottom line.


    Finally, it’s worth pointing out that brute force attacks are a popular way of gaining unauthorized access to a website, so a number of the tips here focus on keeping your site safe from that.


    5 Tips to Expertly Protect Your WordPress Admin Area


    If you are new to WordPress, understanding how to secure your site can be daunting. To demystify the process, we’ve outlined five tips you can implement to secure your site. Let’s take a look!


    1. Choose Strong Usernames and Passwords


    Ultimately, strong credentials are a lengthy string of random characters, sometimes containing numbers and symbols. Compared to short passwords, strong examples are difficult for a hacker to guess, thus making it more difficult for them to access your account. It’s a pressing concern, as 69% of online adults don’t consider how secure their passwords are. In short, weak credentials leave your site open to an easily avoidable risk.


    What’s more, every one of your site’s user credentials matter – it’s no good for you to have a strong username and password if another admin account has a weak one.


    The 1Password website.


    Fortunately, making sure your usernames and passwords are up to scratch is fairly easy:


    1. Obscure your username. Change any default usernames from admin to something harder to guess.

    2. Use a long and difficult-to-guess password. You can use a website such as Strong Password Generator – although WordPress also contains a stellar password generator, and many browsers have their own systems in place. Remember that length is the primary factor in a secure password.

    3. Store your password in a secure location. While this is not strictly necessary for creating strong credentials, securely storing your passwords is just as important. To that end, take a look at LastPass or 1Password to help you manage all of your passwords easily.

    Of course, this isn’t the only method at your disposal for protecting your admin area. Let’s look at another way to restrict access.


    2. Add Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to Block Unauthorized Logins


    2FA is a method of protecting your account by asking you for a unique code or token via your smart device. It means that whenever you log in, WordPress can be sure it’s you, and not a hacker or other undesirable.


    The Keyy plugin.


    As with other security methods, there are plenty of plugins that can help you implement 2FA:


    1. Two Factor Authentication: This plugin works with Google Authenticator to provide time-limited codes for login access.

    2. Keyy: This unique solution looks to do away with credentials altogether, using your smart device exclusively for logging in.

    All in all, you’ll want to experiment first with a standard 2FA plugin, then gravitate to other solutions such as Keyy when you’re comfortable. Also, some plugins such as Wordfence and Jetpack include this feature, so they’re well worth checking out too.


    3. Limit the Number of Login Attempts to Restrict Brute Force Attacks


    Simply put, brute force attacks look to guess your credentials by iterating through every possible combination. It’s a popular method of hacking a website, and it means limiting the number of times a user can log in is a simple and effective way to hinder them.


    The Wordfence website.


    As for how to prevent them, once again plugins come to the rescue. Here are our recommendations:


    1. Jetpack: Among other features, Jetpack offers two modules that will restrict brute force attempts, and monitor your site for them.

    2. iThemes Security: This all-in-one plugin not only lets you limit login attempts, it will enable you to ban suspicious users too.

    3. Wordfence Security: Along with brute force attack restrictions, this comprehensive plugin also features a myriad of other vital security-related features.

    There’s another method to stop intrusive attacks on your website – cutting them off at the pass. Let’s look at this in more depth.


    4. Implement a Website Application Firewall (WAF) to Protect Your Site from Code Injections


    A code injection is what it sounds like: code that’s used to alter the functionality of your site, and it can be devastating. In a nutshell, a WAF offers a barrier to your site to block these and other types of attacks before they reach your files.


    The All in Once WP Security & Firewall plugin.


    Some plugins (such as Wordfence), include a WAF as standard. However, there are many other options to choose from, such as:


    1. NinjaFirewall: This dedicated plugin is a standalone firewall that sits in front of WordPress, and is touted as a “true WAF”.

    2. Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall: Not only does this plugin include a solid WAF that is continuously updated, it also protects against brute force attacks.

    3. All in One WP Security & Firewall: The name says it all – it includes a password generator, checks for weak usernames, protects against brute force attacks, and also has a strong WAF.

    In short, there’s no excuse for not protecting your site, and implementing a WAF is one of the best ways you can do so.


    5. Use WordPress User Roles to Limit Account Capabilities on your Site


    For every account accessing your site, you can set a defined user role with a set of capabilities that limits what the user account can do. It means users will only have access to what they need to carry out their job – clearly a key aspect of site security.


    The User Role Editor plugin.


    As with the other tips on this list, getting started is a breeze:


    • Set the right user roles upfront, to only offer access to what a user needs and nothing else.

    • Use a plugin such as User Role Editor or WPFront User Role Editor to customize the access certain roles have.

    • Regularly check for unused accounts and delete them.

    All in all, setting user roles doesn’t have to be hard, and it could potentially offer more security to your admin area.


    Conclusion


    When it comes to security, your primary concern should always be keeping unauthorized access at bay, regardless of where it comes from. The consequences of not doing so could be catastrophic for your site, search ranking, and potential income.


    In this article, we’ve discussed five tips to expertly protect your admin area. Let’s recap them:


    1. Choose a strong username and password combination, and force your users to do the same.

    2. Add 2FA to hinder unauthorized logins.

    3. Prevent brute force attacks by limiting the number of login attempts.

    4. Implement a WAF to protect your site from code injections.

    5. Use WordPress user roles to limit user permissions and capabilities on your site.

    Do you have any tips to help protect your WordPress admin area? Tell us about them in the comments section below!




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  52. testing WordPress Labor Day Sales, Coupons & Deals [ad_1]

    It’s Labor Day weekend! Monday is an official holiday over here in the USA, which means while most folks are off having a 3 (or 4) day weekend WordPress designers can snatch up some awesome deals on hosting, themes, plugins and more.

    No matter where in the world you are you can still enjoy these awesome WordPress coupons, deals and promotions. Grab a cool drink (and your wallet) and dig into these sweet offers!

    Bluehost $2.95 Hosting Plans

    Save over 60% when you signup for a new shared hosting plan for just $2.95/mo at Bluehost during their back-to-school promotion. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    $2.95 Hosting from Bluehost

    GoDaddy $1 Hosting

    New customers can get 12 months of Linux based web hosting for just $1 a month plus a free domain name (for the first year) from GoDaddy. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Get Hosting for $1 at GoDaddy

    GoDaddy 30% Off New Purchases

    Save 30% on everything you need for your new website (hosting, domains, web security, email and more) with GoDaddy. No code needed. Offer ends November 8, 2017.

    Save 30% at GoDaddy

    GoDaddy $0.99 .COM Domains

    Get one new .COM domain for just $0.99 (for the first year) from GoDaddy. Limit 1 domain per customer. No code needed. Offer ends November 8, 2017.

    Get $0.99 .COM Domains from GoDaddy

    GoDaddy 30% Off .NEWS Domains

    Start your very own news website and save 30% on a very official .NEWS domain name from GoDaddy. No code needed. Offer ends November 8, 2017.

    Save 30% on .NEW Domains at GoDaddy

    Domain.com 18% Off New Domains

    Use code NEWDOM1 to knock 18% off of the price of any new domain name from Domain.com. Offer ends September 30, 2017.

    Save 18% on Domain.com New Domains

    Dotster 18% Off New Domains

    Use the Dotster.com discount code NEWDOM1 to save 18% on your new domain name. Offer ends September 30, 2017.

    Save 18% on New Domains from Dotster

    Gorilla Themes 25% Off

    25% off any WordPress Theme purchase at Gorilla Themes with code LABORDAY. Offer ends September 5, 2017.

    Save 25% at GorillaThemes

    MailOptin 10% Off for New Users

    Use code 10PERCENTOFF to save 10% on MailOptin – one of the newest (and most awesome) optin form plugins for WordPress. Offer ends September 14, 2017.

    Save 10% on MailOptin

    Media Temple 2 Months Free

    Media Temple is offering 2 months of premium WordPress hosting for FREE when new customers signup for an annual plan. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Get 2 Months Free Hosting from Media Temple

    NameCheap 40% Off VPS Hosting

    Use coupon code TAKEABREAK to save 40% on all VPS and reseller hosting packages at NameCheap. Offer ends September 30, 2017.

    Save 40% on NameCheap VPS Hosting

    NameCheap 15% Off Shared Hosting

    Save 15% on new shared professional hosting plans from NameCheap with coupon code RAINBOW15. Offer ends September 30, 2017.

    Save 15% on NameCheap Shared Hosting

    NameCheap $5 Off Ultimate Hosting

    Take $5 off a new NameCheap Ultimate hosting package with discount code 5EPTHOST. Offer ends September 30, 2017.

    Save $5 on NameCheap Ultimate Hosting

    NameCheap 10% Off Domains

    Up to 10% off com, net, org, info, biz registrations and transfers with code HEYFALL. Offer ends September 30, 2017.

    Save 10% on Domains & Transfer at NameCheap

    SiteGround Up To 70% Off

    Save up to 70% on hosting plans from SiteGround when you purchase an annual plan during their limited time promotion. No code needed. Offer valid September 1-5, 2017.

    Save Up To 70% at SiteGround

    Templatic 30% Off

    Take 30% off your purchase of any product at Templatic code 30OFF this weekend only. Offer ends September 3, 2017.

    Save 30% at Templatic

    Themefuse 60% Off

    Save 60% on your purchase at Themefuse with code SUMMER60. Offer ends soon.

    Save 60% at Themefuse

    Themify 50% Off

    Save 50% on top selling and super WordPress themes when you switch to Themify. Just pick a theme, make your purchase and submit the required form. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Save 50% at Themify

    Themetrust 30% Off

    Save 30% on beautiful WordPress themes by Themetrust with code summer17. Offer ends soon.

    Save 30% at Themetrust

    WPeka 20% Off Survey Funnel

    Get the all new Survey Funnel (with 5 new designs, full screen forms, new progress bar and more) by WPeka for 20% off with code SURVEY20. Offer ends soon.

    Save 20% on Survey Funnel by WPeka

    WPZoom $100 Off All Themes Package

    Save $100 and get the WPZoom all themes package (which includes 38+ premium WordPress themes and PSDs) for just $99. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

    Save $50 on a WPZoom All Themes Package

    Did we miss your weekend deal? We’ll be updating our listing as we come across new deals. Just leave us a comment and we’ll get new offers added as soon as we can! Happy Labor Day!



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  53. testing GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Review and Guide [ad_1]

    Last time I did an in-depth analysis on Cloudways, now it’s turn for GoDaddy WordPress Managed Hosting service and how it stacks up against the competition. In this article I’m going to show you the details about GoDaddy’s service including the good and the bad.


    GoDaddy has a service for everyone, be it a single blog user, a developer agency, a magazine or an app creator, they seem to have everything covered but don’t let that foul you into thinking everything is sunshine. It is not. Today I’m going to show you the pros and cons of their offer for the WordPress market.


    GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Plans


    WordPress plans are divided into 4 types, Basic, Deluxe, Ultimate and Developer with the developer plan being the only one having 5 domain limit. At first glance all the plans seem ultra affordable and they really are – especially with our special $1 WordPress Hosting promo. Just remember to take into consideration that the promotional discount only applies to 36-month contracts. The shorter the term you select the less of a discount you’ll receive.



    The plans seems pretty straightforward but I’m going to get more into the details later. The plan I’ve got for review is the Deluxe which allow you to do a One-Click staging site as a nice bonus and has adequate storage space for what it costs. I will note that email accounts are not included (at all) with WordPress plans, but you can add professional email accounts from GoDaddy for an extra fee (plans start at $2.99/mo).


    First off – I’m going to try and import my benchmark site, the one you saw on my previous Cloudways hosting review.



    The interface is as easy as pie. It’s so easy it’s hard to make a mistake.



    Once you provide the login details to the site, GoDaddy will go ahead and install a special plugin that will take care of the actual migration, the process flows so easily that I feel tempted to recommend this service to anyone who doesn’t understand a thing about hosting and want to just migrate a site without having to pay a single hour of tech support.



    Once the migration finishes you are greeted with this beautiful constructed panel.



    The GoDaddy WordPress panel is beautiful, I give them that, there is no denying it, it’s easy to read, easy to work with and extremely user friendly, the main Website Performance is a nice analysis in realtime of the status of your site. It flows and it’s easy to understand, the plan details are easily seen on the top right corner and there is a nice top window that shows the status of current updates.


    Added GoDaddy Hosting Features


    If you just imported your site, you can clone it or copy it for working into another with the convenient clone functionality.



    Also you can secure your site with the added GoDaddy SSL options.



    GoDaddy didn’t seem to catch onto the current wave of free certificates that are offered through Comodo and Let’s Encrypt on several hosting services. Instead GoDaddy prefers to promote their own premium SSL options, though you can manually add a free SSL cert on your own. After a bit of research I found this forum post where users determined it is possible to use Let’s Encrypt with GoDaddy Managed WordPress hosting, but only on plans that include SSH access (so Basic users are out of luck).


    This is a bad thing because the GoDaddy control panel won’t let you control your domain, buy your own certificate or import the one you have. You have to handle the certificates through their interface, at their prices, which, suffice to say are way too high to be a good choice for the vast majority of new WordPress users.


    So, aside from having to buy a very expensive certificate for SSL, the service is mostly manageable, right? Well, for new WordPress users yes. But for advanced users you would be wrong as there is no way to modify the current domain once you import your website, unless you buy a custom domain from GoDaddy!



    As you can see from the screenshots, once you migrate your site, GoDaddy will use custom plugins to maintain it and the site will have the domain modification greyed out to prevent you from managing this from wordpress.


    This can create a real problem, as you can see, since the service is very affordable but your website is tied to GoDaddy services like the domain & SSL certificates. At this point, I just wanted to create a new website with my custom domain and then upload my backup, as the import function will block my website from further modification unless I pay more.


    Installing a WordPress Website from Scratch



    Installing a website from scratch is very easy and GoDaddy will alert you that you need to update your DNS manually. This is great aside from the fact that the reported IP is wrong. Once the site is installed the reported IP in the main panel will be different, follow that IP instead.



    You’re offered the choice to install the website onto the North America Datacenter or Europe one.



    Before the website is created GoDaddy will ask for your new credentials.



    This was really promising. The whole process was super easy and I had faith that installing a website from scratch could negate what is missing from the import function, but alas… I was wrong again.



    Once the site is created we are back to the beginning. The main panel.



    The first thing you notice is that, there is no indication whatsoever that you can change the files in your newly created WordPress. There is no import function, no restore function and most importantly no file manager.


    While this is perfectly okay for new WordPress users or blogs, this could be bad news for advanced WordPress users looking to customize their WordPress installation. I tried to manually connect through FTP but there is none – GoDaddy WordPress hosting only supports SFTP functionality to upload your own files. While this might sound a bit inconvenient at first since SFTP can be slower than normal FTP, it is the more secure (an in WPExplorer’s opinion better) choice for connecting to your WordPress site.



    Doing a restore of the database was not difficult, as I had access to phpmyadmin and the import function worked fine. But as soon as I tried to delete and upload my own WordPress files, I got the following error.



    There are some files in WP Core that are locked from being deleted – which is great for new WordPress users. This is a built-in feature to be sure you don’t mess up your WordPress website on accident. But I would like to remind you that this is our WordPress account and I’ve accessed the SFTP through credentials already provided inside the panel. The fact that GoDaddy locks certain WordPress files from users might be troublesome for serious developers.


    This means you won’t be able to restore personal backup copies of your WordPress installation (along with controlling your own domains and certificates) and that’s some sad news.


    For the whole process of benchmarking GoDaddy I had to import my benchmark site and just use the temp http address GoDaddy provides. Why? Because there is no way to import your own website using your own domain aside from importing it from another host and surrender your domain control to GoDaddy.


    GoDaddy Hosting Performance


    Let’s talk about performance. A full round of 10 test shows that the performance is fair from Dallas, going neck and neck with what I’ve got in Cloudways benchmarking from Dallas.



    From Australia the performance is also very good.



    A full test at GTMetrix shows that performance could be better though in the caching front.



    One thing to consider here is that GoDaddy is already using a caching mechanism provided by their own plugins, which are installed at import time so, the results are already cached. Suffice to say the caching is not so good if this is the result.


    What I Liked


    I liked the control panel, I liked the way it flows and how the interface is styled. It’s super intuitive and easy to follow and it’s guaranteed to be a perfect fit for a WordPress newbie. The performance tab is a nice addition and the import process is so straightforward that I wish other services do the same. The backup and staging feature is also a nice bonus.


    What I Didn’t Like


    GoDaddy doesn’t allow you to modify WordPress core files, this means no custom install whatsoever and no custom uploads of your site. There is no way to setup a custom domain and then upload your backup, that’s just not possible. Also, there are no included email accounts so you will have to spend some extra cash to add that on. You can see that the service is affordable but the total cost once you factor in the added email service bumps up the overall price to that of GoDaddy’s competitors.


    What I really can’t stand though is fact that you cannot modify your own files once they are uploaded through GoDaddy Import process nor you can upload your own installation. This makes GoDaddy a poor fit for developers or advanced WordPress users.


    Also, the only way to import your site is through the import option and that will lock the domain automatically. After your site is imported you are forced to buy a domain through GoDaddy.


    Last but not least, you are not able to easily to use SSL features outside GoDaddy. This makes using free or custom certificates difficult if not impossible. If you’re using GoDaddy your best bet is to just bite the bullet and invest in a premium SSL certificate directly from GoDaddy or refrain from using SSL altogether.


    This are just too much limitations going on in order for GoDaddy to make sure you’re paying for those extra services, which is frankly, quite lame in this day and age. By going to GoDaddy service you’re loosing too much control over your project and that’s just not acceptable.


    Wrapping Up


    Overall the GoDaddy WordPress service was surprising, and I would only give it a 2 out of 5. In my opinion the easy and intuitive panel and the nice performance tab can’t balance the fact that it won’t allow you to import your own backups (or even access core WordPress files), the fact that you’re forced to migrate or buy a domain from goDaddy in order to use your site, the lacking file manager, missing e-mail functionality and no option for free certificates.


    The whole service feels a bit gimmicky, since it appears affordable but in reality you will need to invest more money to get all of the features you need. Thought it’s certainly a step up from a basic shared hosting plan, I would mostly recommend GoDaddy WordPress service to new WordPress users who aren’t interested in the tech side of their website and are willing to pay extra for added services.


    But what do you think? Have you tried GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting? Or maybe your want to know more about what we thought about a particular feature? Leave your thoughts, comments and questions below.




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  54. testing Best WordPress Themes for Dentists and Dental Clinics [ad_1]

    In this information age, a website is one of the first ways using which a customer will find your business. Hence it is important that you make an amazing first impression on your potential clients.


    Whether you are a dentist or running a dental clinic, your website should be professional, well-designed, inviting, and trustworthy. It should also showcase your achievements, skills, and successes.


    However, choosing a WordPress theme for your dental business can be tough. There are so many themes available on the web. Therefore, we bring to you 12 of the best dental WordPress themes, specifically designed for dentists and dental professionals.


    Dent-All


    Dent-All Dental WordPress Theme



    Dent-All is an elegantly designed WordPress theme made specially for dental clinics, dental hospitals, and dentists. The theme is mobile-friendly and supports high resolution perfectly. It comes with 4 different color schemes to choose from. You can also create booking forms so that customers can make appointments easily.


    This theme allows you to list your services in an eye-catching way using any of two service listing layouts. A built-in pricing plugin helps you to list prices of various services you offer. The theme layout is completely customizable using the bundled Visual Composer plugin. You can also showcase your team and upload their pictures & certifications for your customers to see.


    Medent


    Medent Dental WordPress Theme



    Medent is a modern and fully responsive dental WordPress theme which comes with a lot of useful features. The theme is easy to customize and comes with Unyson Drag & Drop Page Builder. The premium Slider Revolution plugin is also bundled with the Medent theme.


    This theme is compatible with every language including the RTL languages like Hebrew and Arabic. So you can start your website in any language of your choice. The Medent theme allows you to showcase your projects using the different Gallery layouts. You can also display your Instagram photos and social follower count using widgets.


    Dentistry by Total


    Dentistry Total WordPress Theme



    As you know, Total is a very flexible, user-friendly, and feature rich multi-purpose WordPress theme. This theme has been developed keeping various professions & businesses in mind and comes with beautifully designed demos for every niche. It includes a dentistry demo as well and you can easily install it using the demo importer feature.


    The Total theme can be tweaked easily using the live WordPress Customizer. Not only that, you can even develop your website from scratch using the drag & drop Visual Composer page builder plugin. This theme comes with features like multiple header styles, custom post types, mega menu, parallax background, retina image support, and much more.


    Dental Clinic


    Dental Clinic Dental WordPress Theme



    Dental Clinic is a beautiful and responsive theme and is perfect for dentists, dental hospitals, and other dental professionals. It offers 2 layouts – a full-width layout and a boxed layout. You also have the option to convert the theme to a one-page website. This theme is retina ready, SEO optimized and WPML compatible.


    Switching between multiple colors is a breeze using the admin panel. You can also choose from the multiple header configurations to make the theme look just as you please. To customize the website, you can use the drag & drop page builder. This theme also comes with 99+ custom shortcodes to make life easy for you.


    Prident


    Prident Dental WordPress Theme



    Prident is an SEO optimized WordPress theme and is suitable for dentists and other medical professionals. It comes bundled with the premium Visual Composer plugin. This theme has been built using the popular Bootstrap 3.0 framework. Hence, it works perfectly on every device – mobiles, tablets, and laptops.


    Prident theme comes with the one-click demo importer feature. Thus, you can set up your site within a few minutes. Other important features include unlimited color variations, translation ready, 600+ Google fonts, MailChimp integration, full-screen sliders, and more.


    Dentistry


    Dentistry Dental WordPress Theme



    Dentistry is a beautifully designed theme aimed at dental professionals. The theme is completely responsive and comes with 2 color options – blue and green. It also offers two layouts – a boxed and full-width layout. This theme comes with easy theme options using which you can style your website quickly.


    You have the option to use the before after gallery to show your customer success stories. The theme includes many shortcodes that you can use on the website. You can create multiple columns, tabs, popup boxes, buttons, and featured blocks. You can use them to make your website content well organized.


    Dentalux


    Dentalux Dental WordPress Theme



    Dentalux is one of the best premium dental WordPress themes designed especially for dentists and dental care professionals. The theme has a professional feel and uses colors that show confidence and professionalism.


    The theme is responsive and works perfectly on all major web browsers. The sliders in the theme are swipe-friendly and using them on smaller devices is a breeze. The theme also has a lot of advanced options which help you to manage your website easily. Some important features include media manager, custom widgets, and custom shortcodes.


    Dentist


    Dentist Dental WordPress Theme



    If you are looking for a one-page responsive dental WordPress theme, then Dentist is the perfect fit. The theme comes with a drag & drop page builder using which you can create a distinct layout for your dental website. Apart from the layout customization, you can also choose from an unlimited combination of color and fonts to match your branding perfectly.


    Service is the most important part in the dental business. To showcase your skills and services, you can use the before and after plugin. This plugin overlays customer pictures taken before and after the treatment and showcases them in an interactive manner. The theme also features built-in animation options which make your website interactive.


    E-Dental


    E-Dental Dental WordPress Theme



    E-Dental is a clean and professionally designed WordPress theme. The theme is a perfect fit for dentists, orthodontists, periodontists and dental hygienists. The theme uses parallax scrolling which makes your website immersive. You may use PrettyPhoto gallery plugin to create stunning galleries and showcase your customers’ pictures.


    This theme uses custom styled Google Maps to highlight your business address. This makes it easy for the customers to locate your address. Integrated blogging features may also be used to highlight your team’s achievements. Such content makes your business more trustworthy and reliable.


    Dentario


    Dentario Dental WordPress Theme



    Another clean and premium WordPress theme for dental professionals is Dentario. It’s a fully responsive theme with essential features for dentists. The theme is bundled with a media manager, a custom theme options panel, and a shortcode builder.


    The theme comes with custom built icons using which you can beautify your website. To further match your branding, you can customize the colors of the website too. You can use the built-in drag and drop builder to create a layout of your choice. This theme also allows you to switch to a one-page layout to simplify your offerings.


    Dental Care


    Dental Care Dental WordPress Theme



    Dental Care is a professional WordPress theme that you can use to highlight your dental practices. It is powered by the popular Bootstrap 3.0 framework and works great on devices of all sizes. This theme allows your customers to book appointments directly on the website.


    Dental Care theme has many features specifically for dental hospitals and dental professionals. You can showcase your team, services you provide, and even the testimonials of your clients. This theme is WooCommerce compatible – so you can create an online store and sell your products from your website without any problem.


    Dentalia


    Dentalia Dental WordPress Theme



    Dentalia is a fully customizable WordPress theme, suitable for dental professionals. The theme uses clean and large elements for clarity. The theme is responsive and boasts powerful options for customization. 50 custom dental icons are also included to enhance the look of your website even further.


    Dentalia theme uses integrated color management and enables background overlays to create attractive images and banners for your website. The theme also has a lot of custom built widgets. You can use these widgets to show information about your business like opening hours and customer testimonials.


    DentalCare


    DentalCare Dental WordPress Theme



    DentalCare is a professional and feature rich theme which can be used by anyone related to the dental industry. It is child theme ready, SEO friendly and translation ready. Potential customers can book appointments directly on the website. The theme also comes with a fully customizable quotes calculator, which has been designed keeping medical professionals in mind.


    To make your website stand out, you can use the bundled Slider Revolution plugin to create attractive slides. The theme comes with built-in transitions to create a beautiful layout. Like most of the themes on our list, the DentalCare theme can also be customized using the theme options panel.


    Endnote


    Whether you are a dentist, dental professional, or run a dental clinic, you should start a website to make life easy for your clients. It will help them to know about you, the services you provide, and make appointments online. And this will help you to get new customers.


    In this article, we have shared some of the best Dental WordPress themes from Themeforest. These themes contain the essential features required to start your dental website.


    So which one did you like the most? Please share your views in the comments section. Also, do not forget to share this article on your favorite social media platform.




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  55. testing Simple Solutions to Create a WordPress Knowledge Base [ad_1]

    A comprehensive knowledge base can do much to improve your business, both internally and as a vital part of your customer service efforts. However, if you’re thinking about adding one to your website, you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the prospect.


    Thanks to the plethora of benefits a knowledge base provides, there are many solutions available that can help you out. These tools enable you to create an extensive and organized source of information for your business (and perhaps even your entire industry). Plus, the best ones will get you up and running quickly.


    In this article, we’ll talk about why a knowledge base can be important to your WordPress site. Then we’ll review five of our favorite solutions, and discuss what each does best. Let’s get started!


    Why a Knowledge Base Is a Valuable Addition to Your Site



    A knowledge base is a resource that provides your website visitors, clients, and customers with information about your business and offerings. You’re probably familiar with a few popular formats used as knowledge bases, such as FAQs and wikis.


    If you’re running a business, maintaining a comprehensive knowledge base is an excellent way to provide your customers with the information and support they need. However, this tool offers many other benefits for you and your audience, regardless of the type of site you’re running. For example, a knowledge base:


    • Lowers support costs and saves you time. With more information available on your website (for customers, employees, or community members), you’ll spend less time fielding support calls and emails.

    • Provides consistent support to visitors. Your audience can keep coming back to your knowledge base whenever the need arises.

    • Establishes you as a professional industry authority. The more information you can provide, the more knowledgeable you’ll appear to those within your industry.

    • Helps you rank higher in search engines. By answering industry questions on your website, you can improve your rankings thanks to all that valuable content.

    Knowledge bases can function as a useful resource for your clients, blog readers, or whatever audience you serve. Plus, they can be a handy way to share information internally with team members and associates. Whether you’re interested in building an external or internal knowledge base (or both!), let’s explore some solutions that will make the job easier.


    5 Simple Solutions for Creating a Valuable Knowledge Base


    Now that you have a better understanding of the value a knowledge base offers, let’s take a look at five simple but powerful solutions you can start using on your WordPress site right now.


    1. WP Knowledgebase (Free)


    The WP Knowledgebase plugin


    WP Knowledgebase is an easy-to-use plugin that provides you with functionality, flexibility, and personalization. If you’re looking for a traditional type of solution, WP Knowledgebase is your answer!


    When it comes to simplicity, this plugin is an excellent choice. It offers much in the way of convenience – including predictive text and integrated breadcrumbs – making your knowledge base easy to set up and to use. In addition, you can customize its presentation, incorporate (or disable) user comments, and even use a drag-and-drop builder for simple article organization.


    Perhaps one of the best things about this plugin is that’s 100% free, so you can install it on your WordPress site and begin using it immediately.


    Download WP Knowledgebase


    2. KnowAll ($149)


    The WordPress KnowAll theme


    KnowAll is a knowledge base theme developed by HeroThemes, and features a clean and cohesive look. This theme is a great choice for anyone looking for an all-inclusive knowledge base solution for their website or e-commerce store.


    With KnowAll, you can turn your website into a powerful knowledge base that provides featured articles, answers to frequently-asked questions, and related content suggestions. There’s also a flexible search feature that makes it simple for visitors to find what they need. Plus, you can even track how helpful your articles are, through analytics and article feedback.


    The cost of this all-in-one theme is $149, which includes one year of updates and premium support. KnowAll also incorporates HeroThemes’ own Heroic Knowledge Base plugin, for more extensive functionality.


    Get the KnowAll Theme


    3. Yada Wiki (Free)


    The Yada Wiki WordPress plugin


    As the name suggests, Yada Wiki is a wiki-style plugin that enables you to build a knowledge base full of interconnected links and full-length articles. Once this resource is in place, you can easily refer your customers and clients to it for answers to all their questions.


    What’s more, Yada Wiki provides you with just about all the tools you’ll need to build a comprehensive knowledge base that’s easy for users to navigate. You can add wiki posts and keep them in a separate section of your website, or use the wiki layout throughout your entire site.


    Best of all, Yada Wiki is absolutely free to use. There are no premium add-ons or extensions, which further reinforces this plugin’s simplicity.


    Download Yada Wiki


    4. Ultimate FAQ (Freemium)


    The Ultimate FAQ WordPress plugin


    Ultimate FAQ is a questions-and-answers plugin that aims to make it easy for website visitors to learn more about your content, products, and other offerings.


    With a variety of styling options and a shortcode that enables you to add FAQs almost anywhere on your website, there’s no limit to what you can achieve with this plugin. In fact, Ultimate FAQ even integrates with WooCommerce, so you can add FAQs directly to product pages!


    The base plugin as offered through the WordPress plugin directory is free. However, a premium upgrade provides further styling options, user-submitted FAQs, and much more in the way of functionality.


    Download Ultimate FAQ


    5. Flatbase ($49)


    The WordPress Flatbase theme


    Flatbase is another knowledge base WordPress theme that lets you transform your website into an information source for your visitors and customers.


    Along with enabling the creation of a comprehensive knowledge base, Flatbase also helps you incorporate an FAQ into your website. In addition, you can add a community support forum, thanks to the theme’s compatibility with the bbPress plugin. These community-focused features make it a solid choice for website owners with a strong following.


    The single website license is $49, and this includes future updates and six months of support. To extend support to one year, you can pay an additional fee.


    Get the Flatbase Theme


    Conclusion


    Adding a knowledge base to your website can prove fruitful for your business. By sharing your knowledge with your customers and associates, you can establish yourself as an authority and a go-to source of information.


    In this post, we’ve discussed the value that a knowledge base can provide to many types of sites. We’ve also highlighted a few top knowledge base solutions and their key features, including:


    1. WP Knowledgebase: An easy-to-use knowledge base plugin that offers customization and convenience.

    2. KnowAll: A comprehensive and easy-to-use theme/plugin combination, for your website or e-commerce store.

    3. Yada Wiki: A wiki-based plugin that enables you to create a full wiki resource on your website.

    4. Ultimate FAQ: An all-in-one questions-and-answers plugin that includes WooCommerce integration.

    5. Flatbase: A knowledge base theme that enables you to add featured articles, FAQs, and even support forums to your site.

    Which of these solutions interests you the most, and why? Let us know in the comments section below!




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  56. testing WordPress Themes & Plugins for Fitness or Gym Websites [ad_1]

    If you need to build a website for a fitness club, gym, or personal trainer then this post will give you all the information you need to complete the project with ease. From choosing a fitness theme for WordPress, through to selecting the optional plugins that will enhance your website, after reading this post you should be ready to go.


    WordPress once again proves how versatile it is, thanks to the number of themes built specifically for promoting gyms and CrossFit boxes, and the standalone plugins that can add useful features to make managing your fitness website easier, and providing extra value to your members.


    With these fitness themes and plugins, all that’s left for you to do is add the great content that will have new members and clients flocking to your doors.


    The Best WordPress Fitness and Gym Themes


    The first step in the process of building a fitness website with WordPress is to choose the right theme and WordPress certainly has many fitness-related themes to choose from. While this is a good thing, too many options to choose from can slow you down. So to help you out here are 7 of the best fitness themes for WordPress to simplify your decision process.


    Gym by Total WordPress Theme


    Total Gym WordPress Theme


    Gym is a new fitness or gymnasium style theme built with the Total WordPress theme. Built with a custom extended version of the Visual Composer, the Total Gym demo is perfect to create a stunning landing page for your studio, personal training service, group class or anything else. Plus with added features like custom Slider Revolution animated sliders, translation support, WooCommerce compatibility, hundreds of live Customizer styling options and more Total is a great choice for any of your websites.


    Get Total


    Power Gym WordPress Theme


    Power Gym


    Power Gym includes a set of controls for customizing many of the aspects of your website without editing any code directly. You can also use the custom post types to store information separately from your regular blog content. This could include trainer profiles, and class details.


    Get Power Gym


    In Shape WordPress Theme


    In Shape


    In Shape from Theme Fuse is ideal for personal trainers and those running a fitness center or gym who want to promote their services online. The theme includes an HTML5 slider for presenting your best content on the homepage of your site, as well as fitness related tools, and an appointment booking system.


    Get In Shape


    Fitness WordPress Theme


    Fitness


    Fitness comes with three homepage styles to give you a good amount of flexibility when it comes to setting up your website. You can also change the color settings via a picker to get just the right look you need. Fitness comes equipped with image and content sliders, and all the page templates you could possibly ever need to get your website up and running today.


    Get Fitness WP


    GetFit WordPress Theme


    GetFit


    Built on the Bootstrap framework, GetFit is highly responsive for mobile devices and even lets your visitors use their touchscreen interfaces to swipe through your content. You also get lots of controls for customizing all elements of your website when using this theme. The included Photoshop PSD images allow you to edit the theme images to get an ever more personalized look for your fitness website.


    Get GetFit


    Workout WordPress Theme


    Workout


    Although Workout has been designed with CrossFit gyms in mind, it can work well to build any type of fitness related website. The built in functionality allows you to quickly publish class schedules, program lists, coach pages, testimonials, and photo galleries of your facilities, staff, and members. You can also easily add an online shop to your website thanks to the WooCommerce support of the Workout theme.


    Get Workout


    GamePlan WordPress Theme


    GamePlan


    Ideal for promoting fitness and sporting events, as well as gyms, GamePlan has been built to integrate with the Event Calendar Pro plugin to make it easy to publish details and sell tickets for your event. This fitness theme also includes the premium Visual Composer and Slider Revolution plugins for extra value and even more design options.


    Get GamePlan


    Useful Fitness and Gym Plugins for WordPress


    While there are a number of personal fitness plugins for WordPress, in this article we are looking at the plugins that someone building a website for a gym would find useful. This is one area that isn’t as well served as other WordPress plugin categories. However there are a few good options that can make your life easier when building and managing a gym website.


    Timetable Responsive Schedule WordPress Plugin


    Timetable Responsive


    The Timetable Responsive Schedule plugin is perfect for creating and publishing your fitness class timetables on your gym website.


    Each of the sessions you offer is stored as a custom post type in your WordPress site. The sessions can then be output in a number of ways, helping you to build a range of schedules to display your different classes.


    The design is fully responsive to cater to your members checking the schedule on their mobiles, and the plugin also includes a sidebar widget for displaying upcoming classes.


    Get the Timetable Plugin


    CF Whiteboard WordPress Plugin


    CF Whiteboard Fitness Plugin


    CF Whiteboard is a hosted service that integrates with WordPress via a free plugin. While CF Whiteboard has been built to replace, or at least compliment the ubiquitous whiteboard found in CrossFit boxes, many of its features would benefit owners of regular gyms and fitness centers.


    CF Whiteboard WordPress


    Among those features you will find the ability to create profiles for gym members, a workout tracker with athlete progress charts, leader boards, a max load predictor, and group workout loggers. The service also makes it very easy for members to share their workouts and profiles on Facebook, with links back to your website to help you get more traffic and hopefully more members.


    CF Whiteboard is available to try for free for one month and then after that it’s a $50 a month. This includes a free installation for your site to help you get up and running as quickly as possible.


    Get CF Whiteboard


    CF WOD Posts WordPress Plugin


    CF WOD Posts


    CF WOD Posts has been designed for gym owners who want an easy way to publish set workouts on their websites. While it’s another tool that has been built for CrossFit gym owners, anyone offering group or circuit training based sessions can make use of this free plugin.


    Simply install CF WOD Posts on your WordPress site and it will create a new post type specifically for storing and publishing the workout of the day, or whatever routine or circuit you would like to share with your gym members.


    As this plugin adds a custom post type to WordPress it will work with any theme and is a simple way to keep your workout and routine schedules separate from the rest of the content on your website, making them easier for your members to find.


    Get CF WOD


    WooCommerce Bookings WordPress Plugin


    WooCommerce Bookings Add-on


    WooCommerce Bookings is an extension for the free WooCommerce online store builder plugin for WordPress. Once the bookings add-ons is installed on your site alongside WooCommerce, you can then offer your visitors the opportunity to sign up and book their places on the bookable items you create. This could be your fitness classes, sessions with personal trainers, group exercise sessions, or any other activities you offer where attendees should sign up to book their place.


    While the WooCommerce plugin has been built for selling products online, you can configure your site so that no money needs to change hands in order for your visitors to make a booking. Using this e-commerce plugin and the bookings add-on might seem like a long-winded way to add a group signup form to your WordPress site, but it appears to be the best off the shelf solution currently available.


    Get WooCommerce Bookings


    Conclusion


    As you can see there are some excellent WordPress themes for building a fitness or gym website with WordPress. The plugin selection is a little less impressive, although those building a website for a CrossFit box should be pleased with the available options. It’s worth pointing out that the CrossFit plugins can be used for regular gym websites that make use of group workouts or scheduled classes.


    If you have any advice for our readers on creating a website for a gym or fitness center with WordPress, please leave a comment below.




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  57. testing Tips To Organize Your WordPress Better for Workflow and Performance [ad_1]

    It’s always a good feeling to make a clean start. Surely you must have felt good when you started off with a clean WordPress install. But over time, while you’ve been busy building up great content or fine tuning for SEO, you might not have noticed the clutter adding up. And now you’re finding it hard to locate stuff inside your WordPress installation? Too many Categories? And tags? Blog posts outdated? Slow to load? Backups take forever? If it’s a yes to all (or even some), this one is for you. It’s time to get down to some serious cleaning up to spruce up your WordPress.


    Here’s what you can do to better organize your WordPress:


    1. Site Structure


    The Menu is as good a place as any to start tidying up your WordPress. A logical and simple menu guides visitors on your site to find what they’re searching for. If they do not find what they want, they’re likely to move away. And we all know what a high bounce rate means for search engine rankings.


    Not only that, Google too relies on the way your site is structured to find content, as well as to determine which content is more important than the rest. So let’s do ourselves our favor and pay attention to the menu, navigation and site structure.


    Not all your blog pages and post need to find a place on the menu. What’s important is to categorize and tag your posts correctly, and make place for your major categories on the menu. If you get the categories and tags right, building the menu becomes that much easier. Yoast has a fairly comprehensive guide on structuring websites.



    A content heavy site may need a multilevel step down menu. But don’t overdo it, as visitors may not be too keen to get past too many clicks to reach the content they need.


    Using breadcrumbs on the top bar to provide Quick Links for popular pages is also a good idea for a content heavy site.


    2. Review Categories and Tags


    By default, all posts on WordPress are labelled as ‘Uncategorized’. And if you fail to categorize your post, this is the category that’ll show up on your webpages. Categorizing posts is not only necessary with WordPress, it’s also important for SEO. It helps search engines and visitors whittle down their search within the website. It’s useful in organizing content in a way that’s easily searchable. Categories make it easier for the user from the frontend and for site admins from the backend.


    The main difference between categories and tags is that categories are general, they bunch together posts that fall into a broad description. Tags are more specific. A post can have more than one tag and can fall under multiple categories. Categories are the major topics that your blog will cover and it’s not likely to change often.


    Ideally, categories should be distinct with no overlap. While framing categories and tags, look at it from the users’ point of view to make it easier for them to browse. It’s always better to decide the Categories that you’ll use on your website right at the start of the website. With tags, you can also add them as you go along.


    With time however, you’ll find that your categories and tags overlap, or are too numerous in number to help with navigation. That’s when it’s time to do a review of the categories and tags on your website.


    Delete Unused Tags


    • Firstly, you can delete all the unused tags. Head to Posts > Tags. If the count is ‘0’ for any tag, delete that tag. By removing categories and tags that you do not need, you’ll be freeing up space in some WordPress admin files.

    • Next, go through all the remaining tags to see if you can bunch some of them together. Retain tags that are appropriate and merge the infrequently used tags with them. The Redirection plugin should help you with this. After you’ve installed the plugins, you’ll need to enter the URLs that are to be redirected. Using the Quick Edit option under Posts > Tags, add the new tags instead of the old tags to the old posts.

    • After you’re done with streamlining the categories and tags, take care to check for broken links and ensure that the URLs are redirected to the correct page.

    You can check out our article on better tags & categories to know about plugins that help with categories and tags.


    3. Create Internal Links In Your Blog Posts


    Internal links are a great aid in improving SEO. They help to keep visitors longer on your site, directing them to other interesting content. WordPress makes it easy for writers to search for related posts to link to. While inserting a link on your post, you can quickly run through the existing articles on your site and find related posts to link to.


    Internal Links


    Preferably, you should also make the time to revisit your older posts and link them to related new posts.


    Another way to go about it is to take help from the many Related Posts plugins and display a selection of posts related to the one visitors are reading.


    4. Check for Broken Links


    Once in a while, check your website for broken links. No visitor like to land on a dead end page and may not bother to follow directions to find relevant content. Whenever you change URLs or categories or tags, make sure to add a redirect to existing content.


    The Broken Link Checker is a great plugin to scan your site for broken links. Though there are tons of other great resources to fix broken links.


    5. Clean up the Database


    Cleaning up your database can improve site performance a good deal. A new WordPress install has only a few database tables. But even as we keep adding content, the database swells and in time becomes unwieldy. My three month old WordPress install already has 30+ tables, not enough to call to it heavy, but getting there surely.


    Database Tables


    It’s best to clean up the database before problems like slow loading, backing up or importing / exporting of files crop up. Cleaning up the database can improve performance, speed up your backup, iron out workflow problems and help with website maintenance. After backing up the database, run through the following,


    • Start with emptying the Trash in posts and pages. You can also delete Pending or Draft posts that you no longer need.

    • Delete unused themes and plugins, don’t merely deactivate them.

    • Delete unapproved comments, spam and trash from Comments.

    • Unused media files can be deleted from the wp-uploads folder.

    • Optimize the Database using the PHPMyAdmin Optimize Table option. Delete all overheads, if any, from the table.

    Delete Overheads


    • Corrupted databases can also be repaired by ticking that option.

    Optimize Database


    • You can also optimize your database by editing the wp-config.php file. Or if you prefer to use a plugin, try WP-Optimize

    To Sum Up


    If you wish to take it a step further, you can do a content audit once in while, to delete content that’s no longer relevant. But implementing the above steps diligently should help to rid your WordPress of much of the dead weight and present a more organized appearance. Maintaining a common sense approach while adding categories and tags and adopting a logical menu structure will go a long way to cleaning up and maintaining your WordPress.




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  58. testing 30+ Best WordPress Deals from the Envato Birthday Sale [ad_1]

    It’s Envato’s 11th birthday! That’s right, Envato is officially a pre-teen and instead of renting a bounce house or having a candy “bar” there are 300+ amazing themes, site templates, plugins, scripts, fonts, filters, psds and more all 50% off! That’s way better than a slice of cake right?


    The Envato Birthday Sale


    We’ve browsed the sales and while pretty much every single one is an insane deal, here are the deal’s we’re most excited for. So put on your party hats folks – here are the 30+ BEST deals Envato’s offering this week!



    Note: These deals will be active for 7 days only – from August 22, 2017 at 12pm (AEST) through August 29, 2017 at 12pm (AEST). Scoop em’ up while you can!



    Best of Themeforest WordPress Theme Deals


    To get started, let’s have a look at the themes we think are an insane deal you might want to snatch up this week! We’ve included a bit of everything so hopefully you find something you like too.


    Fashionista – Responsive WordPress Blog Theme


    Fashionista - Responsive WordPress Blog Theme


    Fashionista is a responsive blog and WooCommerce theme with built-in options for everything you need to design your website. Add custom post formats, custom site widths, custom sidebar layouts, optional fixed menu, infinite scroll (or load more), custom theme widgets (Instagram, Facebook, about me, etc) and more.


    Get Fashionista


    Camille – Personal & Magazine WordPress Responsive Clean Blog Theme


    Camille - Personal & Magazine WordPress Responsive Clean Blog Theme


    Camille is a sweet personal magazine and blog WordPress theme. Use the options for “editor’s picks”, blog layouts, unlimited color options, custom Google fonts, homepage variations and banner support (plus more) to create your website.


    Get Camille


    Nord – Simple, Minimal and Clean WordPress Personal Blog Theme


    Nord - Simple, Minimal and Clean WordPress Personal Blog Theme


    Nord is a minimal blogging theme with a clean boxed layout. This theme is a great way to start your blog, plus with added features for theme customizer options, social sharing buttons, custom backgrounds and localization support you can adapt the theme to meet your needs.


    Get Nord


    Electro Electronics Store WooCommerce Theme


    Electro Electronics Store WooCommerce Theme


    Electro is a bold WooCommerce ready theme perfect for online electronics stores, vendor marketplaces, or amazon affiliates. Plus it’s bundled with the Electro Extensions plugin for advanced search, mega-menus, product carousels, deals and more.


    Get Electro


    Niku – Restaurant & Food Menus WooCommerce Theme


    Niku - Restaurant & Food Menus WooCommerce Theme


    The Niku Restaurant theme is a great choice for any eatery. With a custom reservation form, easy to use menu setup, alternative homepage designs and a backend page builder this theme can be easily adapted to many food focused websites.


    Get Niku


    FlyCoffee Shop – Responsive Cafe and Restaurant WordPress Theme


    FlyCoffee Shop - Responsive Cafe and Restaurant WordPress Theme


    FlyCoffee isn’t just for coffee shops – it’s a great solution for cafes, delis, bars, food trucks and more. With features for menus, news, reservations, shopping, photo galleries and special offers it’s perfect for your bistro business.


    Get FlyCoffee


    PineCone – Creative Portfolio and Blog for Agency


    PineCone - Creative Portfolio and Blog for Agency


    PineCone is a simple portfolio and blog theme for designers, photographers, artists and other creatives. Theme options includes an intuitive page builder, ajax scroll, FontAwesome icons, Google fonts and more.


    Get PineCone


    BEYOT – WordPress Real Estate Theme


    BEYOT - WordPress Real Estate Theme


    Beyot is a stunning real estate WordPress theme for agents and agencies to showcase property listings. Use the included search, property and agent post types, FAQs or page elements to design your website. The theme even supports front-end submissions so homeowners or other agents can pay you to share their house.


    Get BEYOT


    Luxen – Premium Hotel & Booking WordPress Theme


    Luxen - Premium Hotel & Booking WordPress Theme


    The Luxen hotel and booking WordPress theme is a quick and easy way to build a website for your rental property in minutes. Built with the Visual Composer you can easily create page layout or customize one of the pre-made demos using the included booking calendars, rooms, packages, custom widgets, services and theme panel options.


    Get Luxen


    inTravel Tour – Fully functional Travel, Tour Booking Management Theme


    Travel Tour - Fully functional Travel, Tour Booking Management Theme


    inTravel Tour is a comprehensive travel booking management theme for WordPress. Use the included templates, demo layouts, Visual Composer page builder, 20+ custom addons, tours management options, destinations, Paypal integration, premium slider and more to create a stunning travel site.


    Get inTravel Tour


    Best of CodeCanyon WordPress Plugin Sales


    Want to add some great new features to your WordPress website? Here are our favorite plugins that are on sale this week (and while these are in no particular order, we can highly recommend Superfly – so if you’re only going to get one it’s the plugin you shouldn’t miss).


    Superfly — Responsive WordPress Menu Plugin


    Superfly — Responsive WordPress Menu Plugin


    Add awesome responsive and mobile ready menus to any WordPress theme with the Superfly plugin. Just install and use the options for menu behaviors, colors, skewed design, image backgrounds, icon bars, fullscreen mode, content areas, menu sections, multi-levels, rich elements, animations, Google fonts and so much more to create a one of a kind menu.


    Get Superfly


    Justified Image Grid – Premium WordPress Gallery


    Justified Image Grid - Premium WordPress Gallery


    You can add beautiful galleries to any WordPress powered website with the Justified Image Grid plugin. This mobile friendly, retina ready, lightbox enhanced and highly customizable grid plugin is perfect for photographers, designers and all types of creatives to showcase their work.


    Get Justified Image Grid


    WordPress Viral Quiz – BuzzFeed Quiz Builder


    WordPress Viral Quiz – BuzzFeed Quiz Builder


    Viral Quiz is a Buzzfeed-like quiz builder for WordPress. With this plugin you can create one of a kind quizzes to get readers interested in your content. Build your quiz with custom questions, trivia, random Q&A, built-in sharing and even an option to email results.


    Get Viral Quiz


    WordPress Admin Theme – WPShapere


    WordPress Admin Theme - WPShapere


    WPShapere is one of the easiest ways to customize the look of your admin panel. Tweak colors, change labels, re-arrange your admin menu, add custom dashboard widgets, translate into your native language or add custom icons to make your admin panel more functional for you and your team.


    Get WPShapere


    NEX-Forms – The Ultimate WordPress Form Builder


    NEX-Forms - The Ultimate WordPress Form Builder


    NEX-forms is an easy to use form builder for WordPress with awesome options to create custom contact forms for your website. The plugin offers powerful features for conditional logic, interactive options, math, sticky & popup forms, PayPal support, PDF creator and even newsletter integration.


    Get NEX-Forms


    Use-your-Drive | Google Drive plugin for WordPress


    Use-your-Drive | Google Drive plugin for WordPress


    The UseYourDrive plugin makes it easy to integrate your Google Drive with your WordPress installation. This way you can easily access your own doc files, media galleries, audio or video that you have stored in your Google Drive right from your WordPress dashboard.


    Get Use-your-Drive


    wpDataTables – Tables and Charts Manager for WordPress


    wpDataTables - Tables and Charts Manager for WordPress


    wpDataTables has been a best selling table WordPress plugin for years, and for good reason. This easy to use data table creator is fully integrated with CRUD functionality, MySQL database support, responsive design, spreadsheet editing, dynamic charts, column filtering and more.


    Get wpDataTables


    Embed Any Document Plus – WordPress Plugin


    Embed Any Document Plus - WordPress Plugin


    Want to add a PDF to your website? A spreadsheet? Or even a PowerPoint presentation? Give Embed Any Document Plus a try. This plugin integrates with your Dropbox, Google Drive or even Box account so you can easily upload, embed and share any document from your WordPress site.


    Get Embed Document+


    Table Rate Shipping for WooCommerce


    Table Rate Shipping for WooCommerce


    Add variable shipping options to your e-commerce store with Table Rate Shipping for WooCommerce. Build a custom table with items, packages, instances, conditions, cost types, volumetrics, user options and more then apply it to you WooCommerce store to calculate item shipping rates on a variety of factors.


    Get Table Rate Shipping


    Compare Products with WooCommerce


    Compare Products with WooCommerce


    Enable side-by-side store comparisons with the Compare Products with WooCommerce plugin. This plugin adds the option for your shoppers to select and compare products in your store to determine which they prefer base on variations you add like price, color, style, etc.


    Get Compare Products


    Events Calendar Registration & Booking


    Events Calendar Registration & Booking


    EventsPlus+ is a powerful plugin that adds advanced options for events registration and booking to your WordPress website. Build a full events calendar, add ticketing options, create discounts or coupons, create an events list and more using the intuitive options for customizing your events.


    Get Events+


    WP AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages for WordPress and WooCommerce


    WP AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages for WordPress and WooCommerce


    WP AMP is an awesome plugin that adds Accelerated Mobile Pages support to your WordPress site (it’s even compatible with WooCommerce). With this plugin your can optimize your content for mobile devices, making sure your readers can always access all the posts and pages you’ve spent time creating.


    Get WP AMP


    Cooked Classic – A Powerful Recipe Plugin for WordPress


    Cooked Classic - A Powerful Recipe Plugin for WordPress


    Add recipes to your blog with the Cooked recipe builder plugin. This little plugin adds an easy to use recipe builder to your WordPress website that you can use to create various recipe layouts, add rating/reviews, create a login form, and even enable user submissions.


    Get Cooked Classic


    Best of Other Great Deals for Web Design


    Looking for a new email template? Or some ideas for your slider? Or perhaps even some new mockups/scene creators? No problem. Here are some awesome deals for assets you can use for your business beyond your website (we actually purchased most of these and can’t wait to put them to good use)!


    Koble | Business Email Set


    Koble | Business Email Set


    Build beautiful emails for your newsletter with the Koble business email set. With 200+ unique email modules, 28 pre-built templates and compatibility with over 25+ email providers Koble is a quick and easy option to create custom email templates for your business.


    Get Koble


    Posh – Commerce Multipurpose Email + Builder Access


    Posh - Commerce Multipurpose Email + Builder Access


    The Posh multipurpose & e-commerce email template uses the BigBang drag & drop email template builder to make creating custom email templates a breeze. Create stunning newsletters using the easy options for layouts, backgrounds, colors, calls to actions and more to make your email marketing campaign a success.


    Get Posh


    Culinarian – Multipurpose Restaurant Email + Builder Access


    Culinarian - Multipurpose Restaurant Email + Builder Access


    The Posh multipurpose & restaurant email template is built with the the BigBang drag & drop email templater. With this you can design your own email templates using the comprehensive options for colors, images, layouts, backgrounds, calls to actions and more.


    Get Culinarian


    Showoff – Stylish Multipurpose Email + Builder Access


    Showoff - Stylish Multipurpose Email + Builder Access


    Increase conversion rates with the ShowOff multipurpose business email template. This powerful template includes a super easy drag & drop email builder by BigBang that features pre-built templates to help get you started plus added options for buttons, images, backgrounds, fonts, colors and more.


    Get Showoff


    Travely – Tourism Email + Template Builder Access


    Travely - Tourism Email + Template Builder Access


    Design custom newsletter for your travel agency or destination with the Travely Multipurpose Tourism email template. This powerful tempalte uses the BigBang drag & drop email builder so you can point, click and create custom newsletter designs with galleries, coupons, buttons, social links and more.


    Get Travely


    Slaido – Template Pack for Slider Revolution


    Slaido - Template Pack for Slider Revolution


    Slaido is an extension for the Slider Revolution plugin that adds over 100+ templates so you can create awesome sliders even faster. With more than a hundred pre-styled slides/sliders you can quickly add impressive animated sliders to your posts and pages.


    Get Slaido


    Construction Scene Creator


    Construction Scene Creator


    Get the Construction Scene Creator PSD to build beautiful layered images for your website, advertisements, promotional materials, newsletters, blog posts and more. The PSD includes more than 100+ individual items so you can easily create construction themed images.


    Get Construction Mockup


    RS Desk Mockup Scene Creator


    RS Desk Mockup Scene Creator


    The RS Desktop Mockup Scene Creator is a stunning layered PSD file that is perfect for designing hear images, slider backgrounds, featured blog images, promotional assets and more. With over 280+ items you can create a custom desk mockup to showcase your product or concept.


    Get RS Desk Mockup


    Wrapping Up


    Of course, this is just scratching the surface. There are tons of other products for resumes, website menus, Photoshop actions, product mockups, php scripts, mobile menus and more to get excited about (we only shared our favorite WordPress related deals). With over 300+ items on sale this week only there really is somethign for everyone – just head over to the Envato Birthday Page to check them out!




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  59. testing How to Make a Custom WordPress Login Page (and Why You Should) [ad_1]

    Chances are, you’ve put a lot of work into building your WordPress site and making it look good on the front end. However, you may be ignoring one crucial aspect: your login page.


    There are plenty of reasons to customize your login form, such as to improve security, increase brand awareness, and enhance the user experience. Any one of those reasons should be enough to convince you to part from the default WordPress login screen. This simple change is a surprisingly excellent way to improve your site.


    In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of creating a WordPress custom login form. Then we’ll introduce some tools that can help you accomplish this task easily, including some of the best custom login page plugins you can choose from. Let’s get started!


    Why a Custom WordPress Login Form Is Beneficial to Your Site


    As a WordPress website owner, you are almost certainly familiar with the default WordPress login page. It’s perfectly functional, but bare bones in appearance. It also doesn’t offer any particular security features to keep hackers and other undesirables out of your admin area. For these reasons, your login form deserves as much attention as any other area of your site.


    Here are just some of the benefits of customizing your WordPress login form:


    • Better Security. You can protect your login page to redirecting your login form to a unique URL, which makes it more difficult for hackers to find your login page. Plus, you can set a limit on the number of times a person can log in, or even add multi-factor authentication.

    • Branding Consistency. Extending your branding to your login form allows you to maintain consistency with the rest of your site, so your users and team members will have a cohesive experience. Plus if you add social logins to WordPress it’s even easier for your readers or members to login and share your content.

    • Enhanced Navigation. You can use your login form to provide additional navigation for your end users. You can link to social media profiles, or even display special offers directly on the login screen.

    • Improved User Experience. You can customize your login form to take end users to any page you choose, such as a customized profile page or a specialized promotion, or you can create custom messages.

    These are just some of the benefits you can reap with a custom login form. The first is the most important, however. Security should always be foremost in your mind when deciding on any change to your site, and in this case you can greatly enhance it with just a few simple tweaks.


    5 Helpful Tools for Creating a Custom WordPress Login Form


    By now, you understand the reasons you might want to modify your WordPress login form. Fortunately, there are plenty of plugins that can help you out (plus, many can be used to customize other WordPress forms as well). The following five options are some of the best available, with excellent feature sets and reputations for reliability.


    1. ProfilePress


    The ProfilePress plugin.


    ProfilePress is a handy plugin that enables you to customize your WordPress custom login form, as well as your registration and password reset pages. You can also use it to build front-end user profiles unique to each user. What’s more, ProfilePress features a shortcode builder that lets you add shortcodes to any form on your site. This makes it easy to add reCAPTCHA codes, submit buttons, checkboxes, and more.


    Key Features:


    • Enables you to customize your login forms, registration forms, and password reset forms.

    • Provides live previews to make the design process easier.

    • Lets you redirect logins, registrations, and password resets to custom pages.

    • Offers Multisite Integration, which enables users to create new sites via a front-end registration form.

    • Makes it possible for users to upload avatars, and provides moderation and social media-related features (premium version).

    Price: The base plugin is offered for free on the WordPress.org Plugin Directory, although you can also purchase premium plans that provide additional features and functionality.


    2. Customize WordPress Login Page


    The Customize WordPress Login Page plugin.


    The Customize WordPress Login Page plugin makes it simple to personalize your login form so that it looks just right. It provides you with the ability to modify colors, add a background image, and even create a background slideshow. In addition to its customization features, this plugin is responsive for mobile sites and integrated with Google Fonts.


    Key Features:


    • Enables you to redirect users to a custom login form URL.

    • Lets you personalize your login form with colors and background media.

    • Includes social media connectivity features.

    Price: Free.


    3. LoginPress


    The LoginPress plugin.


    LoginPress makes the process of customizing your WordPress login form simple and intuitive. It enables you to edit your login page right from your WordPress dashboard, and add customized fields and messages for users. Plus, there are plenty of design-oriented features that help you match the branding and style of the rest of your site.


    Key Features:


    • Lets you add custom logos and backgrounds to your login form.

    • Enables you to modify the colors of buttons and other elements.

    • Provides the option to create custom error and welcome messages.

    Price: The base plugin is free, while there is a premium version with additional customization features available for $29.


    4. White Label Branding for WordPress


    The While Label Branding for WordPress plugin.


    This premium plugin enables you to customize not just your login form, but your entire WordPress admin area. You can also use White Label Branding for WordPress to control what any user sees based on their assigned role, such as editor or author, and to hide certain areas if necessary. This creates a valuable extra layer of security for your site.


    Key Features:


    • Enables you to completely customize your WordPress admin area based on user roles.

    • Lets you apply customization to your login form and back end, including logos, favicons, headers, and footers.

    • Offers a visual CSS editor.

    Price: This is a premium plugin, available from CodeCanyon for $29.


    5. Tailored Login


    The Tailored Login plugin.


    The Tailored Login plugin features a built-in style manager for your login form, and provides a wide range of customization options. It lets you add optional widgets, plus you can personalize the backgrounds, headers, buttons, and more for your login area. The plugin is part of an iThemes membership, which includes premium support and a community forum.


    Key Features:


    • Provides a style manager that enables you to customize colors, fonts and widget areas.

    • Offers customizable login forms, with editable headers, footers, buttons, and links.

    • Lets you add up to two widget areas to the your login page.

    Price: This plugin is available as part of iTheme’s Plugin Suite, for $247. This is a pricey option, but a potential bargain if you already have the package or are interested in some of the other plugins that are included.


    Conclusion


    When it comes to your WordPress site, you want to pay as much attention to tweaking your admin area as you do with the front end. Customizing your login form helps you go the extra mile with your branding, and can provide increased security and an enhanced user experience.


    In this article, we’ve introduced five plugins that can help you create a WordPress custom login form to match your site:


    1. ProfilePress: Enables you to customize multiple forms on your site, offers a shortcode builder, and contains a handy Multisite Integration tool.

    2. Customize WordPress Login Page: Offers plenty of customization options for your login form, and lets you add background media.

    3. LoginPress: Simplifies the login form creation process, and helps you match the style of your site.

    4. White Label Branding for WordPress: Lets you customize your entire admin area, and control access based on user roles.

    5. Tailored Login: Offers a built-in style manager to help you tweak your login form’s background, headers, buttons, and more.

    Are there any other custom login form plugins that you think are worth checking out? Let us know about them in the comments section below!




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  60. testing bbPress Forums for WordPress: A Quick Guide [ad_1]

    Discussion forums have been around for almost as long as the internet itself. Even before the World Wide Web became popular, people were sharing information and discussing topics using terminal server bulletin board systems. In fact, my very first experiences with the Internet back in 1998 revolved around the chat rooms and discussion forums on AOL (boy do I look back nostalgically at those halcyon days).


    The modern discussion forum retains the core idea of what is now a very well-established concept — sharing information and discussing topics — but has evolved into a lightweight plugin for WordPress that can be installed in a matter of minutes.


    I am talking about bbPress – the WordPress forum software built by the very guys who created WordPress itself. In this post I am going to explain exactly what bbPress is, why you may need it, and also show you how to install it.


    Why You Need bbPress


    Total WordPress Theme & bbPress


    The feature-set of bbPress is nowhere near as comprehensive as dedicated forum software such as phpBB or vBulletin, so why use it? There are a few compelling reasons why.


    1. It’s lightweight. Forum software is traditionally bloated, full of security holes, and a real drain on your server. The latest version of bbPress (v2.5.13) is simple to use and open source – so you can tweak the plugin as necessary.

    2. It’s fully integrated with WordPress. This benefit goes beyond the ease of installation. bbPress takes advantage of the WordPress user management system, and has access to the vast WordPress plugin repository, where you’ll find a decent number of specific bbPress compatible plugins. One of these is BuddyPress, a template for a WordPress-based social network that actually uses bbPress to power its forums.

    3. Customization is easy. bbPress has a unique advantage over other forum software when it comes to customizing the styling for your forum. Since it’s built for WordPress there are many amazing themes (like the Total WordPress Theme) designed specifically for bbPress so changing the look for your forum is as easy as changing your theme.

    If you want to start a traditional bulletin board or new social network then bbPress probably isn’t for you (although do check out BuddyPress as a basis for the latter!)


    However, if you want to add a community element to an existing blog or a support area for your clients, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something better suited than bbPress.


    What Is bbPress?


    Any site owner should understand what’s going on within their plugins. bbPress is simply three custom post types, some layout templates, a system of shortcodes, a couple of widgets, and CSS code. That’s why it’s called lightweight!


    Custom post types


    The three custom post types are:


    1. Forums: which holds each discussion forum you create, allowing a hierarchy of forums to be created

    2. Topics: which holds each discussion thread (the title and opening post)

    3. Replies: which holds each individual reply to a topic

    Layouts


    The standard layout templates are suitable for most instances. For example, the topics layout will display a list of topics with the following information:


    • Topic name

    • Who started the topic and in which forum they started it

    • The number of people engaged in conversation (voices)

    • The number of replies to the topic

    • (And possibly) How long ago the last reply was and who made it

    bbPress Topics Page


    The various elements can be styled with CSS to better fit your blog, but if you want to make substantial changes to the structure, you’ll need to be comfortable with PHP or purchase a theme like Total that offers custom styling options built-in.


    Shortcodes and Widgets


    bbPress makes it simple to display the various elements of the forum wherever you want to through a series of shortcodes and widgets. This is actually an incredibly powerful feature, allowing you to consider usability and responsive design.


    For example, you can create a page listing the latest topics with a selection of the most popular posts highlighted in your sidebar by using just one short code and one widget. If you decide you prefer a more traditional forum layout listing the categories, you can switch things around in minutes.


    To give you a feel for the flexibility, check out the codex to view all 19 bbPress shortcodes.


    The included widgets are:


    • Forums list

    • Recent replies

    • Recent topics

    • Topic views list

    • Search

    • Login widget

    • Statistics

    The login widget is especially useful, displaying a login form to visitors, and a profile link to logged-in users.


    Installation


    If you decide to give bbPress a go, installation couldn’t be simpler.


    Install bbPress via the WordPress Directory


    Just search for bbPress in the WordPress plugin directory, hit install, and you’re done (or, if you want to use the plugin as a basis for development, or just to take a closer look, you can download a copy from the WordPress plugin repository).


    bbPress WordPress Forums


    Install bbPress via a WordPress Theme


    Your other option is to install the plugin via your WordPress theme (if it offers the option). For example, the Total WordPress theme is not only fully compatible with bbPress but it includes a ready to go, easy import bbPress demo.


    Install Total bbPress Demo


    Simply head over to Themeforest and buy Total (one of the highest rated and popular drag & drop WordPress themes on the web), install & activate it, then navigate to Theme Panel > Demo Importer (note: this is unique to Total, most themes will not include this awesome and easy to use feature).


    From here search for “bbpress” then click on the demo to begin.


    Install bbPress Plugin


    Once you click Total will prompt you to install any required plugins, which in this case includes bbPress. Simply click on each plugin to install and activate.


    Import Total bbPress Content


    With that done Total offers you the option to specify which parts of the demo you’d like to import. For the Total bbPress demo be sure all boxes for XML sample data, images, theme customizer settings and widgets are set to have your website looking identical to the live demo.


    Total bbPress Demo Import Complete


    When the import is complete you should see a message like the one above. This means your sample content and bbPress are ready to go!


    Basic bbPress Setup


    Once bbPress is installed and active, you’ll notice the three new custom post types in the admin menu, and a bbPress page in the Settings menu.


    Before you dive in and create the forum of your dreams, spend some time in the settings menu. Navigate to Settings > Forums.


    bbPress Spam Settings


    In particular, you’ll want to tweak the spam settings, including:


    • Throttle Time: the minimum number of seconds allowed between new replies from the same user

    • Allow Anonymous Posting: Disable this to require a user to register for an account to post a topic or a reply

    Once you’ve done this, it’s good to create a number of sample forums, topics, and replies (preferably from several different user accounts) before you start to tweak the design. With dummy data you’ll be more likely to spot things that need fixing with CSS, particularly on mobile devices. Lucky for you, if you’ve chosen to use the Total theme sample demo you’re all set to move on to customizations!


    Customizing bbPress


    To customize bbPress you really need to be a developer… or use one of the following cheater methods to customize your forum styling without knowing how to code.


    Option 1: Use Your Theme Settings


    First off, if you did decide to use a theme that offers added bbPress options you should look there first. Navigate to Appearance > Customize to edit options.


    bbPress Live Customizer Options


    Specifically under the bbPress section (like the one in Total) to select the default page layout for forums, topics and user pages. After that utilize settings under Typography for custom fonts and under General Theme Options for accent colors, Page Header Title selections, Forms styling, Links & Buttons customizations and more to make the design match your branding.


    Option 2: Use a Live CSS Editor Plugin


    If by chance your theme doesn’t offer any styling options, or simply not the ones you’re looking for you might want to consider a live CSS editor plugin. These plugins allow you to point, click and edit elements of your website using easy styling options (no code required). Here are our two favorites:


    • Yellow Pencil: This plugin is one of our favorites. Simply install and click “Let’s Start” to begin customizing your website! Want to learn more? Checkout our full Yellow Pencil user guide to see how the plugin works and what features are included.

    • CSShero: Similar to the previous plugin, CSShero offers a super easy to use point & click interface to edit styles, colors, fonts, spacing and more. Take a look at how this plugin works in our CSShero guide for customizing WordPress.

    Recommended bbPress Add-on Plugins


    As mentioned earlier, bbPress is easy to extend through a large number of plugins. Here are a handful we think you might like to consider to add more features and options to your forums.


    Ultimate Member bbPress Addition


    Add options for easy user signup, advanced profiles and even memberships with the Ultimate Member plugin. This extensible option fully integrates with bbPress so you can offer your forum members more to enjoy.


    More about Ultimate Member →


    bbp Style Pack


    Want to add a few basic styling options for your bbPress forum? Give bbp Style Pack a try. This free plugin adds options to customize styling, links, display features and more.


    More about bbp Style Pack →


    bbPress Notify (No Spam)


    This plugin sends an email notification to users when new topics and/or replies are posted. It’s useful if you’re operating a support forum and need a particular person to respond to questions in a particular forum, for example.


    More About bbPress Notify →


    GD bbPress Tools


    One of the more comprehensive bbPress plugins available, this adds BBCode support, user signatures, additional custom views, in-reply quotes, plus some additional admin features.


    More about GC bbPress Tools →


    The Best Forum Solution?


    It’s lightweight, quick, and easy to install, but is bbPress the best forum solution for your WordPress blog? There’s only one way to find out — grab a copy, install it on your site and start experimenting!


    Now it’s time to get your feedback. Are you a bbPress user? Do you consider bbPress to be the best forum solution for WordPress users, or do you prefer an alternative solution? What’s your experience of adding a community element to your blog?


    Please give us your answers to the above questions in the comments sections below. Alternatively, if you have any other comments or questions, please fire away!




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  61. testing How to Grow Your Online Community with WordPress [ad_1]

    As a flexible content management system that’s here to stay, WordPress is an excellent place to set up your online community. However, you may only be accustomed to using the platform for blogging, and not sure how to best adapt it for a community website.


    Fortunately, you can create just about any type of online community you can imagine, thanks to the variety of relevant plugins that seamlessly integrate with WordPress. There are tools that will help you build fan sites, support networks, interest-based groups, and more.


    In this post, we’ll talk about why you might want to create an online community in the first place. Then we’ll highlight a few of the best plugins for doing so, and introduce their key features. Let’s get started!


    Why to Create an Online Community


    Envato Forum

    A forum is a great example of a community site that enables users to come together and discuss a niche topic.


    An online community – such as a forum, social media network, web page, or membership site – is a platform where like-minded individuals can join together. These communities can be intended for support, for networking, or even just for fun.


    Creating your own community brings a number of benefits, whether you’re a business owner, a blogger, or just someone looking for a place to hang out online. For example:


    • If you’re a business owner, it can help you to stand out among your competitors and more deeply engage your target audience.

    • If you’re a blogger or influencer, you have the ability to reach out to a specific, niche audience and build a dedicated readership.

    • No matter what your community site’s purpose is, you can control its content and design, unlike on a restrictive platform such as Facebook.

    Of course, every community site has its own unique purpose and goals. Fortunately, WordPress makes it possible to design yours to meet your community’s needs with a number of useful plugins.


    How to Expand Your Online Community


    We’ve chosen the five tools below carefully, focusing on ratings, reviews, and key features. While it’s not an all-inclusive list, we believe these are the best choices to get you started on the right foot, or help you expand your existing site. Let’s jump in!


    1. BuddyPress


    BuddyPress plugin


    BuddyPress enables you to create a social media network for your colleagues, special interest group, family, or anyone else. It offers a simple but customizable platform for building and engaging with your community.


    With BuddyPress, the members of your network can build personal profiles, connect with other users, and even create and interact within their own groups. You get all the benefits of your own, exclusive social media platform, without any coding required.


    The best thing about BuddyPress is that it’s free, and there are a lot of other plugins that expand its functionality. For example, User Blog gives network members the ability to contribute blog posts, while Member Types gives you control over different membership groups and their abilities.


    2. User Submitted Posts


    User Submitted Posts plugin


    User Submitted Posts enables you to turn your WordPress site into a multi-author blog. This is similar to the BuddyPress-compatible plugin User Blog, but with more functionality.


    As a standalone plugin, User Submitted Posts is a great option for sites with a content focus. Whether you’re running a hobby group, industry community, or special interest website, your users can become part of the community by offering their own insight and experience. Of course, this plugin enables you to fully control the posts that are approved. To enable those posts, you simply need to copy and paste a shortcode onto a page, post, or widget.


    The plugin is free, and includes a basic submission form and limited support. However, you can upgrade for as little as $40 and receive a lifetime of updates, full support, and additional submission form customization options.


    3. Facebook Page Plugin


    Facebook Page Plugin


    Facebook Page Plugin is a lightweight feed plugin that enables you to bring your active Facebook community – and all its followers – onto your WordPress site.


    With the addition of a shortcode on a page, post, or widget, you can add your Facebook feed directly to your WordPress community website. Even better, users can interact with your feed – liking, sharing, and commenting – all without leaving your website!


    This plugin’s simplicity and clean design make it a great addition to any site. Plus, its easy-to-use dashboard makes customization simple. As with the other plugins mentioned on our list, Facebook Page Plugin is absolutely free to use.


    4. Simple Membership


    Simple Membership plugin


    Simple Membership is a website membership plugin that’s lightweight, user friendly, and customizable. With this plugin installed, you can easily create a membership site for your online community.


    Whether you want to build a more private site – only allowing approved members to participate – or offer varying permissions to different membership levels, this plugin will do the job. Simple Membership enables you to create unlimited subscription levels, both free and paid. With paid subscriptions, you have the additional benefit of accepting secure payments through PayPal.


    This plugin is free and, as it focuses on simplicity, no additional plugins or add-ons are offered. It is fully functional on its own, and will get you up and running in no time.


    5. bbPress


    bbPress plugin


    bbPress is a forum plugin that enables you to create a full-featured forum on your WordPress website, and it’s a great way to get the conversation started on your blog. Since forums are a simple way to connect with like-minded individuals, this is a great plugin choice if you want to get your online community started quickly.


    What’s more, this plugin is well-designed for both for beginners and experienced forum moderators. With bbPress, you can set up and moderate your forums easily. In addition, you can divide your site into sections, and even allow user-created content.


    As open source software, bbPress is free to download and use. Also, there are many bbPress-compatible plugins – such as Private Replies and Notify (No Spam) – that extend the tool’s functionality and improve its user experience.


    Conclusion


    Whether you want to offer support, build a fanbase, or provide a place for like-minded individuals to hang out, WordPress is a great platform for creating your online community. In fact, there are dozens of plugins available for that very purpose.


    In this post, we’ve introduced you to five of our recommended community-building plugins. To recap, they include:


    1. BuddyPress: A social network plugin that helps you create your own WordPress-integrated social platform.

    2. User Submitted Posts: A community-building plugin that provides users with the ability to submit their own posts.

    3. Facebook Page Plugin: An advanced Facebook feed plugin that enables users to interact with your integrated Facebook page on your website.

    4. Simple Membership: A membership site plugin that enables you to create unlimited membership levels, free or paid.

    5. bbPress: A fully-functional plugin you can use to create your own community forum.

    Which of these community-building plugins interests you most, and why? Let us know in the comments section below!




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  62. testing 10 Expert Practices for Multilingual WordPress Websites - WPExplorer [ad_1]

    A multilingual website offers content, products and/or services for their readers in multiple languages. Often when you start an online business it is limited to a specific community or region, but by the time you plan to expand you should consider to catering to a larger demographic.


    For example, a website in western or central Canada is initially developed for English speakers only. Being a small business, it has an English language version, but as soon as it reaches out to the