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How to Add No Right Click on WordPress Images


Do you want to stop users from stealing images on your WordPress site?

While there is no complete solution to prevent image theft on your website, there are some measures that you can take to make it a bit harder for users to save images from your website.

One such solution is to add no right-click popup to your images. You can do that in WordPress by using plugins that disable right click and make it difficult to download images from your website.

In this article, we’ll show you how to add no right-click on WordPress images and galleries. We’ll also talk about alternative approaches to discourage users from stealing images off your website.

Easily disable right-click on WordPress images

Adding No Right Click on WordPress Images

First, you need to install and activate the No Right Click Images Plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » No Right Click Images page to configure plugin settings.

No Right Click Images setings

The default options would work for most users, but you can still review and change them as needed.

The first option allows logged in WordPress users to right-click on images. ‘Disable Dragging of images’ option prevents users from dragging an image from their browser to their computer.

‘Disable Touch events’ options prevents users from using touch devices like mobile phones to download images. It is the no right-click solution for smart phones and tablets.

You can also disable gestures and context menu on Apple devices.

After reviewing the settings, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save changes’ button to store your changes.

You can now log out of WordPress and then visit your website to see the plugin in action.

Adding No Right Click on Image Galleries

The above solution works for all images on your website. However, a lot of users who want to protect their images are photographers and people sharing their work through galleries.

This is where Envira Gallery comes in. It is one of the best WordPress gallery plugin on the market and comes with a protection addon that disables right-click for your image galleries.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Envira Gallery plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Envira Gallery » Settings page to enter your license key. You can find this information under your account on the Envira Gallery website.

Enter Envira Gallery license key

Next, you need to visit Envira Gallery » Addons page. Scroll down to the Protection addon and then click on the Install and Activate button.

Install protection addon

Now you can start creating image galleries using the Envira Gallery plugin.

Let’s create your first image gallery and enable no-right-click protection for images in that photo gallery.

First, you need to visit Envira Gallery » Add New page to create a new gallery. Provide a title for your image gallery and then upload the files you want to add to the gallery.

Creating image gallery

After that, you need to scroll down to the gallery setting section below and click on the Misc tab. From here, go to the image protection settings section.

Image protection settings

You need to check the ‘Enable Image Protection’ checkbox to disable right-click for this particular image gallery. Optionally, you can also show a popup notification when users try to use right-click.

You can now click on the publish button to save your image gallery.

Adding Your Gallery to a WordPress Post or Page

Your image gallery is ready, and you can now add it to any WordPress post or page. Simply edit the post or page where you want to add the gallery and add the Envira Gallery block to the editor.

Add Envira Gallery

After that, you need to select the image gallery you created earlier from the dropdown menu. Envira Gallery will load your image gallery with a live preview.

Gallery preview in post editor

You can now save your post and visit your website to see the no right-click feature in action. If you have enabled the popup feature then this is how it would look when a user tries to right-click on an image in the gallery.

Right click disabled popup in WordPress

Pros and Cons of Disabling Right Click on WordPress Images

The number one reason users want to add no right-click on WordPress images is to prevent website visitors from illegally using those images elsewhere.

Adding no right-click to your images makes it harder for users to download images. It also serves as a reminder to users that the website owner does not want them to download images or reuse them without permission.

However, it does not completely stop users from stealing images from your website.

A user can still download an entire web page which will also include all images on that page.

They can also use the browser’s view source or inspect tool without right-clicking. This will give access to the direct image file which they can download and save on their computer.

On the other hand, adding no right-click on images may also stop several users who may have some genuine reason to save images from your website. Some users may find it annoying and this would affect their user experience on your website.

Alternative Approaches to Discourage Image Theft on Your Website

If you don’t want to affect user experience by adding no-right-click to your WordPress images, then there are a few things you can do to discourage improper use of your work.

1. Add a Copyright Notice Below Your Images

You can add a copyright notice below your images in plain text. This serves as a deterrent without affecting user experience.

Copyright reminder text

You can do this by using Gutenberg blocks. See more details in our Gutenberg tutorial.

2. Give Users a Chance to Ask for Permission

If you want users to be able to reuse your images with your permission and conditions, then you can simply let them know. We recommend using WPForms to create a simple contact form for users to send requests.

3. Add Watermark to Your Images

You can also add watermark to your images. This will affect the quality and aesthetics of your images, but it will definitely discourage users from stealing and reusing those images.

Watermark images to discourage image theft

We hope this article helped you add no right-click on WordPress images. You may also want to see our guide on how to optimize your image SEO, and how to optimize images for web performance (without losing quality).

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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7 Best Video Hosting Sites for Bloggers, Marketers, and Businesses


Are you looking for the best video hosting sites for bloggers, marketers, and business websites?

Uploading videos directly to your website requires a lot of server resources. This is why smart business owners use video hosting sites to upload videos and then easily embed those videos in WordPress without affecting performance.

In this article, we will share some of the best video hosting sites for bloggers, marketers, and business owners.

Best video hosting sites for bloggers

Why Use Video Hosting Sites?

Videos are the most engaging form of content, and they are highly effective for conversions. However, they also take a lot of space and bandwidth.

WordPress allows you to upload videos to your website. However, it is not really optimized to serve videos. This affects video playback and creates a bad user experience.

Apart from that, videos consume more WordPress hosting resources, which slows down your website. If you are on shared hosting, then your hosting provider may even terminate your account to stop it from affecting other sites.

Due to these issues, we recommend using a video hosting site to add videos in WordPress. They have more server resources to serve video files, and you don’t have to worry about WordPress performance.

More importantly, they automatically adjust video quality to provide a better viewing experience based on your visitors’ internet speed.

To learn more, see our guide on why you should never upload videos to WordPress.

WordPress makes it super easy to embed videos on your website. See our guide on how to easily embed videos in WordPress for detailed instructions.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best video hosting sites that you can use.

1. YouTube

YouTube

YouTube is the most popular video hosting website on the internet. It allows you to upload videos, create channels, and build a following.

As a marketer and business owner, you would want to capitalize on YouTube’s huge potential. It is also the world’s second most popular search engine and the second biggest social media website with 1.9 billion active users.

You can build a YouTube following with your channel, find a new audience, get featured in video search results, and grow your business.

YouTube has a Partners Program that you can join to earn money online from your videos. This program also offers you more benefits like analytics, longer videos, and video editing tools.

At WPBeginner we use YouTube to upload our WordPress video tutorials. Check out WPBeginner channel on YouTube to see how we use YouTube to get more subscribers and visitors to our website.

2. Vimeo

Vimeo

Vimeo is an excellent video hosting and streaming site for bloggers, marketers, and businesses. It gives you a limited hosting space to upload videos for free. However, the unlimited bandwidth and ad-free display are the key perks for all the videos.

To upload large videos, you’ll need to buy a premium plan which is very affordable ($84 per year). The paid plans also include privacy options, video editing tools, customer support, password protection, related videos, and Google Analytics.

The premium members can also sell or rent videos to earn money online from your Vimeo video.

We use Vimeo to host private videos for our exclusive members only area. If you have a membership site or you want to create and sell online courses, then Vimeo is an excellent option.

3. Jetpack Video

Jetpack Video

Jetpack is a popular plugin suite which also includes a video hosting feature. Jetpack video is a premium video hosting service and requires a paid Jetpack subscription plan.

It is completely ad-free and does not show related videos from other websites on your videos.

It uses the same content delivery network used by Jetpack photos for faster delivery and streaming experience. It also includes privacy settings, analytics, multiple video formats, and more.

4. Wistia

Wistia

Wistia is a professional video hosting site for marketers and businesses. The free account has a limit of 3 videos with features like custom thumbnail, Wistia branded video player, password protection, privacy settings, and more.

You’ll need their premium plan to upload more videos. The paid version allows you to remove Wistia’s branding from the video player. It also comes with viewer history, trend graphs, call-to-action buttons, related videos, and annotations.

It has powerful integrations with email marketing services and CRM software like Constant Contact, Drip, AWeber, Hubspot, Google Analytics, and others.

5. Vidyard

Vidyard

Vidyard is a high-end video hosting site for large businesses and professionals. It includes premium content marketing tools to promote your videos.

It comes with multiple video player styles and custom editing options. You can upload videos with call-to-action buttons, and perform A/B test against video thumbnails to see which one works best.

Vidyard offers powerful and detailed analytics, including viewer history, engagement, and more to improve your videos.

6. Dailymotion

Dailymotion

Dailymotion is another popular video hosting site that you can use to upload your marketing and business videos. It has a free partner account with features like unlimited bandwidth and storage, featured videos, privacy settings, video player, and more.

It allows you to upload several videos in a day and you can also use the drag and drop feature to upload complete playlists. You can optimize your videos for SEO by adding title, description, and tags.

DailyMotion also offers a monetization program where you can earn money and get more features as a partner.

7. SproutVideo

SproutVideo

SproutVideo is a paid video hosting site for bloggers, marketers, and businesses. It has a free trial account where you can test the video player and its features. Though the free version has limited options and you’ll need to upgrade to access all the settings.

Some of the notable features include video themes, layouts, video analytics, social sharing buttons, call-to-action placement, and viewer engagement history.

You will need to get the embed code for each video and use the Custom HTML block to add video code.

We hope this article helped you find the best video hosting sites for your blog or business website. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners, and our expert pick of the best WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 7 Best Video Hosting Sites for Bloggers, Marketers, and Businesses appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Find and Fix Broken Links in WordPress (Step by Step)


Everyone agrees that broken links are bad for user experience. But did you know that broken links can significantly hurt your WordPress SEO rankings?

Yes, it’s proven that having broken internal links on your website negatively impacts SEO rankings.

In this article, we will show you how to easily find and fix broken links in WordPress, so you can improve your user experience and SEO rankings.

Finding and fixing broken links in WordPress

What is a Broken Link?

A broken link, also known as dead link, is a link that no longer works. Broken links can happen for many reasons, but the most common reason is when a page is either deleted or moved to a different location which causes the server to show a 404 not found error.

On WordPress sites, broken links typically occur when moving a site to new domain name, or when deleting a post or page without proper redirection.

Sometimes broken links can also happen due to a typo, and they can go unnoticed for months if not years.

This is why it’s extremely important to regularly monitor broken links on your site and fix them, so you can keep them from hurting your SEO rankings.

In this guide, we will share top four methods to find broken links in WordPress. After that, we will show you an easy way to fix those broken links.

Here’s a table of content for easy navigation:

Ready? Let’s get started.

SEMRush is one of the best SEO tool on the market. It allows you to easily monitor your website’s SEO rankings and overall health.

It also includes a powerful site audit tool that crawls your website to find common errors and prepare a detailed report for you.

First, you’ll need to sign up for a SEMRush account.

It is a paid service, but they do offer a limited free account which allows you to crawl up to 100 pages on one domain name. Paid plan limits start from 100,000 pages a month.

Once you are logged in, you need to click on the ‘Site Audit’ link from the left menu.

This will bring you to the Site Audit page. From here, click on the ‘New Site Audit’ button at the top to add your website.

Adding a new site audit in SEMRush

You will be asked to enter your domain name. After that, you will be asked to configure site audit settings. You can select the number of pages to crawl and choose a crawl source.

Site Audit settings

Click on the start crawling button to continue.

SEMRush will now begin crawling your website for the site audit. This may take a few minutes depending on how many pages you selected for the crawl.

Once finished, you can click on your domain Under the Site Audit section to view your report.

SEMRush broken links

To see the broken links on your site, you will need to click on the ‘Broken’ link under the report overview.

Broken links report in SEMRush

You can now click on the Export button at the top right corner of the screen to download your crawl report. You will need it when fixing broken links on your website (more on this later in the article).

Ahrefs is an excellent all-in-one SEO tool for marketers, businesses, and SEO professionals. It offers detailed SEO insights into your own website or any of your competitors.

You can use it for keyword research, competition analysis, organic and paid keyword ideas, and site health monitoring including broken links.

First, you’ll need to sign up for an Ahrefs account. It is a paid service with plans starting from $99 per month. They also offer a full featured 7 day trial for $7.

Once you are logged into your Ahref’s dashboard, you need to enter your domain name under the Site Explorer tool.

Ahrefs site explorer tool

Site explorer tool will now crawl your website to prepare reports. This may take some time depending on how much content you have on your website.

Once finished, you’ll see an overview of your site explorer results. From here, you need to click on the Pages » Best by Links menu and then sort your report by 404 status.

Broken links

You can now export your report in CSV format to fix the broken links on your WordPress site.

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help webmasters manage their site’s visibility in search results. It also notifies you about errors including 404 errors which are caused by a broken link.

For more details, see our ultimate Google Search Console guide with step by step set up instructions.

After you have logged in to your Google Search Console account, click on the ‘Coverage’ link from the left menu.

Google Search index coverage report

You’ll find 404 errors either under Errors or Excluded tabs. Clicking on them will show you a list of errors or issues Google encountered while visiting your website.

Excluded broken links

Clicking on the 404 error will show you all the links on your website that are broken links and return a 404 error.

You can now click on the download button to get the list of all 404 errors on your website. You’ll need this to fix broken links on your website.

For this method, we’ll be using the Broken Link Checker plugin. However, this method is not recommended because it is resource-intensive and will slow down your website. Managed WordPress hosting companies like WP Engine already block users from installing this plugin on their servers.

The plugin checks for broken links on your website including both internal and external links that are resulting in a 404 error.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the Broken Link Checker plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will start working in the background to find links in your posts, pages, and comments. You can now go to Tools » Broken Links page to view the full report.

Broken Links Report in WordPress

If you have been running your WordPress blog for a long time, then this report will include broken links to third-party websites as well.

You will have to manually sort the list to find broken links on your website.

You will need to keep Broken Link Checker active on your website until you fix broken links. After that, you can deactivate the plugin because it will keep checking for broken links which will slow down your server.

We have shown you four different methods to find broken links in WordPress. Now let’s talk about how to easily fix broken links in WordPress.

The best way to fix a broken link is to redirect it to another page. For example, if you moved the contents of an article to a different address, then you will need to redirect it to the newer article.

Similarly, if an article does not exist anymore, then you would want to point users to a similar page that is closely related to the contents of the old article.

You can do this by setting up 301 redirects.

First, you will need to install and activate the Redirection plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Tools » Redirection page to set up redirects. You need to add the old broken link in the ‘Source URL’ field and the new URL in the ‘Target URL’ field.

Set up redirects for broken links

After that, click on the ‘Add redirect’ button to save your changes.

You can now test this by visiting the old broken link, and you’ll be redirected to the new page.

Repeat the process for all broken links on your website.

For more information, see our guide on how to set up redirects in WordPress for beginners.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily find and fix broken links in WordPress. You may also want to see our actionable tips on how to optimize your images for web, and our pick of the best WordPress membership plugins to create a membership site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Get a Free Email Domain (5 Quick and Easy Methods)


Are you looking for a free email domain? The email domain is part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol.

It is really important to get an email domain for your business instead of using a generic Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail email address.

Customers and other business owners are reluctant to trust emails coming from a generic email account. A custom domain email address looks more professional and gives credibility to your business.

In this guide, we will show you few different ways to easily get a free email domain for your business.

Getting a free email domain for your business

What is an Email Domain? (Definition)

An email domain is the web address that comes after the @ symbol in an email address. For example, in an email like syed@companyname.com, “compnayname.com” is the email domain.

Email domains allow you to setup an email address with @company name using your own business / brand name.

You can either buy an email domain, or you can get a free email domain for your business when you create a website.

Since there are multiple ways to get a free email domain for your business, we have covered the best options in this guide:

  1. Bluehost
  2. HostGator
  3. DreamHost
  4. G Suite (Paid but better)
  5. Office 365 (Paid but better)

Ready? Let’s get started.

Method 1. Get Free Email Domain with Bluehost

Normally, a custom domain name would cost you $14.99 per year and email hosting services start from $9.88 per month (usually paid annually).

This is a significant amount of money specially when you are first starting a business website.

Luckily our friends at Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users free email domain with discounted hosting packages.

Basically, you will get a free email domain with a shared hosting plan and a free SSL certificate for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Each account includes webmail, email forwarding, spam protection, and the ability to use any email client on your mobile phone or desktop to send or receive emails.

Here is to get your free email domain with Bluehost.

Step 1. Set up your free email domain

First, you need to visit the Bluehost website and click on the Get Started button.

Bluehost get started

Next, you will see the pricing page where you’ll be asked to select a plan. Basic and Plus plans are popular among businesses looking for an email domain.

Click to select a plan, and you will be taken to the next step. From here, you will choose a free email domain name.

Select your free email domain

After that, click on the next button to continue.

Bluehost will now check the availability of the domain name you entered. If the domain name is unavailable, then it will show you some alternative options to choose from, or you can just enter a new domain name.

For tips on choosing a domain name, see our article on how to choose a domain name for your business.

After you have selected the domain name, you’ll need to enter your account information and finalize the plan details.

Package details

You’ll notice some optional extras on this page. You can safely uncheck them to keep your costs down.

Lastly, you need to enter your payment information to complete the purchase.

You will now receive an email with details on how to login to your account control panel. This is where you manage everything including email accounts and other settings.

Step 2. Adding email accounts to your domain

Once you log in to your account dashboard, click on the ‘Email & Office’ menu from the left column and then click on the ‘Manage’ button.

Manage email

This will bring you to an email account management area. From here you need to click on the ‘Create’ button to add a new email account.

Creating a new email account in Bluehost

Next, you need to enter the email address you want to use and then enter a password. Optionally, you can choose how much storage you want to allow.

Creating a new email account

After that, click on the create button to save your new email account.

Bluehost will now create your email account, and you will see a success message.

Step 3. Using your custom domain email with Bluehost

Now that you have created your first account on your email domain. Let’s start using it.

There are multiple ways to use your new email account.

1. Webmail

Bluehost provides a neat interface to manage your email under your account using your browser.

Simply go to Email & Office » Manage page and click on the Check Email link next to the account you just created.

Check email in Bluehost

You’ll be asked to select a default webmail app. They all work the same, but Roundcube has a cleaner interface.

2. Other Devices and Apps

You can also send/receive email using any email app like Outlook, Thunderbird, or another mail app on your phone or computer.

Simply head over to Email & Office » Manage page and then click on the ‘Connect Devices’ icon.

Connect devices

On the next page, you’ll see a list of all popular email apps and devices. Click on the app you want to connect, and you’ll see step by step instructions to connect your email client.

Mail clients

Below the list, you’ll also find manual settings to connect any other device or app that is not already listed.

Manual mail settings

3. Use it with Gmail

Gmail not only allows you to send and receive emails to your Google account, but you can also use it as a full-fledged email client to get all your email in one place.

You will be able to send emails using your custom domain email directly from your free Gmail account or mobile app.

Simply log in to your Gmail account and click on the Gear icon to select the Settings page. From here, switch to the ‘Accounts and Import’ tab.

Add mail account

Scroll down to the ‘Check mail from other accounts’ section and click on ‘Add a mail account’ link.

This will bring up a popup where you will need to add your custom domain email address. On the next screen, you will be asked to provide your account details.

Connecting Bluehost email to Gmail

Your username and password will be the complete email address you created earlier and its password. The POP server value will be your domain name with a mail prefix.

You must select ‘Always use a secure connection (SSL)…’ option and then change the port value to 995.

Click on the Add account button to save your settings.

Next, Gmail will ask you if you would want to use that account to send emails. Select ‘Yes’ and then click on the Next button.

Send email via Gmail

After that, you will be asked to provide a sender name. You can also choose to use this account as an alias.

Basically, an alias is useful when you own two email addresses. For example, an individual’s company email account.

Uncheck the alias box, if you want to keep the ownership of this account separate. For example, if it is your business’s departmental address like support@example.com or info@yourdomain.com.

Sender information

Click on the ‘Next Step’ button to continue.

Now, you will need to provide your server’s SMTP information. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the industry standard to securely send emails.

SMTP information

Your SMTP outgoing server will be mail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your actual email domain). After that use your complete email address as the user name and enter the email account’s password.

Click on the ‘Add account’ button to continue.

Gmail will now send a verification code to the email address. Since you have already added that email address, you will get the email directly in your Gmail inbox. Copy the code and enter it to complete the SMTP setup.

That’s all. You can now use your Gmail account to send and receive emails using your custom domain.

Method 2. Get Free Email Domain with HostGator

Another easy way to get a free email domain is by signing up for HostGator’s hosting plan. They are one of the top hosting companies in the world and offer excellent plans for startups and small businesses.

Our founder Syed Balkhi has been a loyal HostGator customer since 2007. In fact, WPBeginner is hosted on their enterprise dedicated server cluster (see our case study of how we made WPBeginner blazing fast).

HostGator is offering WPBeginner users an exclusive discount on WordPress hosting + a free domain name. Basically, you’ll be able to get started for just $2.64 per month.

→ Click Here to Start with HostGator ←

You get free unlimited custom domain email addresses with your account. It also includes webmail, email forwarding, and support to send/receive emails using any email client of your choice.

Step 1. Sign up for a HostGator account

First, you need to visit the HostGator website and click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button.

HostGator get started

Next, you will be asked to select a plan. Hatchling and Baby plans are the most popular among beginners and small businesses.

Click to select a plan and continue.

Choose plan

After that, you will be asked to select a domain name. Simply enter the domain you want to register to see if it is available.

Select domain name

If the domain name is available, then you can click to select it.

Scroll down a little to enter your personal and billing information. After that, you’ll reach the additional services section. We don’t recommend choosing them at this point, and you can add them later if you really need them.

Skip Addons

You can now review your order details and click on the ‘Checkout Now’ button to complete the purchase.

You will now receive an email from HostGator with details on how to login to your hosting dashboard.

Step 2. Create an email acccount

Login to your HostGator hosting dashboard and click on the Email section and then select ‘Email Accounts’.

Manage email accounts in HostGator

On the next screen, you will be able to create a new email account by entering an email username and password.

Create email account

Click on the ‘Create Account’ button to save your new email account.

Step 3. Using your custom domain email account on HostGator

HostGator provides the same methods of sending and receiving email as Bluehost above.

1. Webmail

You can view and send emails directly from your HostGator dashboard. Simply visit the webmail by adding /webmail at the end of your website URL. For example, https://yourdomain.com/webmail

HostGator webmail login

Once on the page, enter your email address and password to login and start using your email account.

2. Send or receive email using other mail clients and apps

You can also access your custom domain email account using third-party mail apps on your computer and phone.

Here is the information you will need to set up email on different devices and email clients.

Pop3:

Username: Your full email address
Password: The password for the address you wish to access.
Mailserver/ Server Hostname: mail.yourdomain.com
Port: 995
SSL: SSL/TLS

SMTP:

Username: Your full email address.
Password: The password for the address you wish to access.
Mailserver/ Server Hostname: mail.yourdomain.com
Port: 465
SSL: SSL/TLS

You will also use the same settings to send or receive emails using Gmail.

Simply log in to your Gmail account and click on the settings button. After that switch to the ‘Accounts and forwarding’ tab and click on ‘Add a mail account link’ next to the ‘Check mail from other accounts’ option.

Add mail account

This will bring up a popup, where you need to follow the on-screen instructions to add your account.

Method 3: Get Free Email Domain with DreamHost

Another easy way to get a free email domain is by signing up with DreamHost. They offer a free domain with all their shared hosting plans.

On top of that, they have agreed to offer WPBeginner users up to 47% discount + free SSL certificate. Your account comes with unlimited email accounts using your own domain name.

→ Click here to start with Dreamhost ←

Follow the instructions below to set up your free email domain with DreamHost.

Step 1. Sign up for a DreamHost account

First, you need to visit the DreamHost website and select a hosting plan.

Select your DreamHost plan

Next, you will be asked to register a domain name. Simply enter a domain name to see if it is available. If it is, then you can continue or look for another domain name.

Register your domain name

After that, you need to complete your purchase by entering account and payment information. Don’t forget to uncheck the additional options at left or at the bottom to reduce your costs.

Enter billing details

You can now review your selection and click on the submit order button to finish the purchase.

DreamHost will now send you an email with your login details.

Step 2. Create your custom domain business email

First, you need to login to your DreamHost hosting panel. From here, click on the Mail menu from the left and then click on the ‘Create New Email Address’ button.

Create new email account

After that, you need to provide a username and password you want to use and then click on the create button to save add your account.

Your custom domain name email account is now ready to be used.

Step 3. Using your custom domain email account

You can use your newly created custom domain email address through webmail or by using any of your favorite email clients.

1. Webmail

Dreamhost provides an easy to use and fully-functional webmail interface. You can check your email by simply adding webmail before your domain name. For example, webmail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your actual domain name).

Login to DreamHost webmail

You can login by entering the email address and the password you created earlier.

Dreamhost webmail UI

2. Access DreamHost custom domain email using third-party email apps

You can also use your email account with any third-party email clients and apps on your phone. DreamHost has extensive documentation for each individual email client.

Here is the information you’ll need to use your custom domain email with any mail app on your computer or phone.

POP3:

Mailserver: pop.dreamhost.com
Port: 995
username: Your complete email address
password: password for your email address

SMTP:

SMTP server: smtp.dreamhost.cocm
Port: 465
username: Your complete email address
password: password for your email address

Method 4: Create Custom Domain Email with G Suite (Paid Solution)

Email is crucial for the success of any business, which is why we recommend using G Suite.

G Suite is Google’s suite of applications for small businesses. It allows you to use the same Google apps like Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Calendar, but with your own domain name.

You also get Google’s powerful spam filtering and security features for your business email. It is much easier to use and works on all your devices.

To get started, you need to visit the G Suite website and select a plan.

G Suite plan

Their basic plan starts from $6 per user per month with 30 GB of storage. You can also choose the business plan which starts from $12 per month per user and gives you unlimited storage.

Next, you will be asked to enter your company name, size, and country.

Company information

After that, you need to enter your contact information and click on the Next button.

This will bring you to the domain selection screen.

If you already have a domain name that you would like to use, then you can use that. Otherwise, go ahead and select ‘I’d like to buy a domain name’ option.

Buy domain name

You can now enter the domain name you want to register and click on the Next button. If your entered domain is available you will see its pricing.

Domain selection

Click on the next button to continue.

After that, you will enter your business information and payment details to finish the process.

G Suite account created

You can now click on the ‘Go to Set up’ button to start adding email accounts and users.

On the setup screen, you can create your first email account. After that, you can add more accounts for your employees or departments or just click on ‘I have added all user email addresses’ and click on the Next button.

Adding new users

That’s all you can now use your newly created email account in Gmail and use it with your own custom domain.

Sign in Gmail with your custom domain email

If you need more detailed instructions, then please see our guide on how to create a professional email with G Suite.

Most business owners do not buy an email domain from G Suite. Instead they start with the free email domain services offered by their web hosting companies and then later switch to G Suite when they can afford it.

We use G Suite for our business because it allows us to better data retention, easy file management, calendar, and tons of other useful apps to grow our business.

Method 5: Create Domain Email with Office 365 (Paid Solution)

Microsoft Office also provides its office suite called Office 365 with support for custom domain email. In terms of features and functionality, it is similar to G Suite.

Want to see compare both platforms, then see our comparison of G Suite vs Office 365 to find out how they stack up against each other.

Here is how you would set up your custom domain email with Office 365.

Step 1. Setting up Office 365 with custom domain email

First, you need to visit the Office 365 website and click on ‘Buy Now’ button under the plan you want to purchase.

Select a plan

This will bring you the Office 365 sign up page, where you will be first asked to provide an email address.

Office 365 signup

After this, you will be asked to provide your personal and business information.

Next, you will be asked to choose a domain name. Microsoft only provides a subdomain, and you will have to purchase and add a custom domain name separately.

Subdomain

Go ahead and enter a suitable subdomain for your business and click on the Next button.

After that, you will fill in your payment information to complete the sign up process.

Step 2. Add Custom Domain to Office 365

Microsoft does not provide domain registration service, which means you’ll need to separately buy a domain name or use an existing domain name to add in Office 365.

There are a number of domain registrars that sell domain names. We recommend using Domain.com as they are the best domain registrar on the market.

Simply visit the Domain.com website and look for the domain name you want to purchase. WPBeginner users can use our Domain.com coupon code to get additional discount.

Search domain name

If your selected domain name is available, then you can proceed to the billing and complete the purchase.

Complete domain registration

Now, let’s add this domain to Office 365.

Head over to your Office 365 admin dashboard and then click on Set up » Domains page.

Add domain to Office 365

Next, click on the ‘Add Domain’ button and then add the domain you purchased earlier.

After that, you will be asked to verify your ownership of that domain name and point it to work with Office 365.

Verify domain name

You will see some DNS records on screen which you need to add to your newly registered domain’s settings.

Switch back to the Domain.com and login to access your domain settings. Select your domain name and then click on the DNS and Nameservers menu.

Domain DNS Settings

First, you need to select TXT/SPF record and enter the value shown by Office 365.

Adding TXT record

Next, click on the ‘Add DNS’ button to save the settings.

After that, you need to switch to MX Records and add MX Records shown on Office 365 settings page.

Add MX record

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Add DNS’ button to store your changes.

That’s all, you have successfully added custom domain to your Office 365. If you are using some other domain registerar or need more details, then see the instructions in our guide on how to branded email address with Office 365.

Step 3. Create custom domain email addresses in Office 365

Now that you have added your email domain to Office 365, let’s create a custom business email address.

From your Office 365 dashboard, go to Users » Active Users and then click on Add a user button.

Add user in Office 365

On the next screen, you need to provide the user’s personal information and then choose an email address for them.

User information and email address

Don’t forget to click on the Add button to save user settings.

Step 4. Using your Office 365 custom domain email account

Microsoft offers a web version of their popular Outlook email software called Outlook.com. From here, you can simply log in using the email address you created earlier.

Sign in Outlook

Your Office 365 subscription also allows you to download Microsoft Office apps on your computer. This includes their popular Outlook email client.

Microsoft Outlook on Mac

You can also use your custom domain email address with Outlook app on your mobile phone.

If you would rather prefer to use another app, then your email address will work with just about any mail client and app without any special configuration.

Which is Truly The Best Free Email Domain Option?

We have shown you three free email domain solutions and two paid ones. All of them would work well for a small business, and even large enterprises.

Most small business owners start with a free custom email domain offered by their web hosting company. This option is extremely affordable because it’s included in a package deal when you build a website.

Companies like Bluehost, HostGator and Dreamhost, give you a free business email address with your own free domain when you use their hosting service to build a WordPress website.

As your business grows and you can afford the extra $6 per month, then you can use G Suite by Google. It gives you the familiar Google apps Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and more with your own business name. It is easy, secure, and comes with the best spam protection in the industry.

We use G Suite in our own business.

But remember, you don’t want to register your domain with G Suite because you likely want to build a website using that domain name too, and Google does not offer a website builder.

Instead you should register your domain name with a proper domain registrar like Domain.com or use a WordPress hosting company like Bluehost to get a domain and build a website.

And after that, you can use this custom domain in your G Suite settings, so you can retain full control over your domain at all times.

We hope this article helped you learn how to get a free email domain for your business. You may also want to see our guide on the best business phone service to help you manage all your business calls, and the best email marketing services to easily send bulk emails to improve communication with your users.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Get a Free Email Domain (5 Quick and Easy Methods) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Stop and Prevent a DDoS Attack on WordPress


WordPress is one of the most popular website builder in the world because it offers powerful features and a secure codebase. However, that does not protect WordPress or any other software from malicious DDoS attacks, which are common on the internet.

DDoS attacks can slow down websites and eventually make them inaccessible to users. These attacks can be targeted towards both small and large websites.

Now, you may be wondering how can a small business website using WordPress prevent such DDoS attacks with limited resources?

In this guide, we will show you how to effectively stop and prevent a DDoS attack on WordPress. Our goal is to help you learn how to manage your website security against a DDoS attack like a total pro.

Stopping and preventing a DDOS attack on a WordPress site

What is a DDoS Attack?

DDoS attack, short for Distributed Denial of Service attack, is a type of cyber attack that uses compromised computers and devices to send or request data from a WordPress hosting server. The purpose of these requests is to slow down and eventually crash the targeted server.

DDoS attacks are an evolved form of DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. Unlike a DoS attack, they take advantage of multiple compromised machines or servers spread across different regions.

These compromised machines form a network, which is sometimes called a botnet. Each affected machine acts as a bot and launches attacks on the targeted system or server.

This allows them to go unnoticed for a while and cause maximum damage before they are being blocked.

DDoS attack diagram

Even the largest internet companies are vulnerable to DDoS attacks.

In 2018, GitHub, a popular code hosting platform, witnessed a massive DDoS attack that sent 1.3 terabytes per second traffic to their servers.

You may also remember the notorious 2016 attack on DYN (a DNS service provider). This attack got worldwide news coverage as it affected many popular websites like Amazon, Netflix, PayPal, Visa, AirBnB, The New York Times, Reddit, and thousands of other websites.

Why DDoS Attacks Happen?

There are several motivations behind DDoS attacks. Below are some common ones:

  • Technically savvy people who are just bored and find it adventurous
  • People and groups trying to make a political point
  • Groups targeting websites and services of a particular country or region
  • Targeted attacks on a specific business or service provider to cause them monetary harm
  • To blackmail and collect ransom money

What is the difference between a Brute Force Attack and a DDoS Attack?

Brute force attack

Brute Force Attacks are usually trying to break into a system by guessing passwords or trying random combinations to gain unauthorized access to a system.

DDoS attacks are purely used to simply crash the targetted system making it inaccessible or slowing it down.

For details see our guide on how to block brute force attacks on WordPress with step by step instructions.

What damages can be caused by a DDoS attack?

DDoS attacks can make a website inaccessible or reduce performance. This may cause bad user experience, loss of business, and the costs of mitigating the attack can be in thousands of dollars.

Here is a breakdown of these costs:

  • Loss of business due to inaccessibility of website
  • Cost of customer support to answer service disruption related queries
  • Cost of mitigating attack by hiring security services or support
  • The biggest cost is the bad user experience and brand reputation

How to Stop and Prevent DDoS Attack on WordPress

DDoS attacks can be cleverly disguised and difficult to deal with. However, with some basic security best practices, you can prevent and easily stop DDoS attacks from affecting your WordPress website.

Here are the steps you need to take to prevent and stop DDoS attacks on your WordPress site.

Remove DDoS / Brute Force Attack Verticals

The best thing about WordPress is that it is highly flexible. WordPress allows third-party plugins and tools to integrate into your website and add new features.

To do that WordPress makes several APIs available to programmers. These APIs are methods in which third-party WordPress plugins and services can interact with WordPress.

However, some of these APIs can also be exploited during a DDoS attack by sending a ton of requests. You can safely disable them to reduce those requests.

Disable XML RPC in WordPress

XML-RPC allows third-party apps to interact with your WordPress website. For example, you need XML-RPC to use the WordPress app on your mobile device.

If you’re like a vast majority of users who don’t use the mobile app, then you can disable XML-RPC by simply adding the following code to your website’s .htaccess file.


# Block WordPress xmlrpc.php requests
<Files xmlrpc.php>
order deny,allow
deny from all
</Files>

For alternate methods, see our guide on how to easily disable XML-RPC in WordPress.

Disable REST API in WordPress

The WordPress JSON REST API allow plugins and tools the ability to access WordPress data, update content, and/or even delete it. Here is how you can disable REST API in WordPress.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Disable WP Rest API plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

The plugin works out of the box, and it will simply disable the REST API for all non-logged in users.

Activate WAF (Website Application Firewall)

Website Application Firewall (WAF)

Disabling attack vectors like REST API and XML-RPC provides limited protection against DDoS attacks. Your website is still vulnerable to normal HTTP requests.

While you can mitigate a small DOS attack by trying to catch the bad machine IPs and blocking them manually, this approach is not very effective when dealing with a large DDoS attack.

The easiest way to block suspicious requests is by activating a website application firewall.

A website application firewall acts as a proxy between your website and all incoming traffic. It uses smart algorithm to catch all suspicious requests and block them before they reach your website server.

Website application firewall

We recommend using Sucuri because it is the best WordPress security plugin and website firewall. It runs on a DNS level which means they can catch a DDoS attack before it can make a request to your website.

Pricing for Sucuri starts from $20 per month (paid yearly).

We use Sucuri on WPBeginner. See our case study on how they help block hundreds of thousands of attacks on our website.

Alternately, you can also use Cloudflare. However, Cloudflare’s free service only gives limited DDoS protection. You’ll need to signup for at least their business plan for layer 7 DDoS protection which costs around $200 per month.

See our article on Sucuri vs Cloudflare for a detailed side-by-side comparison.

Note: Website Application Firewalls (WAFs) that run on an application-level are less effective during a DDoS attack. They block the traffic once it has already reached your web server, so it still affects your overall website performance.

Finding Out Whether it’s Brute Force or DDoS Attack

Both brute force and DDoS attacks intensively use server resources, which means their symptoms look quite similar. Your website will get slower and may crash.

You can easily find out whether it is a brute force attack or a DDoS attack by simply looking at Sucuri plugin’s login reports.

Simply, install and activate the free Sucuri plugin and then go to Sucuri Security » Last Logins page.

Failed logins

If you are seeing a large number of random login requests, then this means your wp-admin is under a brute force attack. To mitigate it, you can see our guide on how to block brute force attacks in WordPress.

Things to Do During a DDoS Attack

DDoS attacks can happen even if you have a web application firewall and other protections in place. Companies like CloudFlare and Sucuri deal with these attacks on regular basis, and most of the time you will never hear about it since they can easily mitigate it.

However in some cases, when these attacks are large, it can still impact you. In that case, it’s best to be prepared to mitigate the problems that may arise during and after the DDoS attack.

Following are a few things you can do to minimize the impact of a DDoS attack.

1. Alert your team members

If you have a team, then you need to inform co-workers about the issue. This will help them prepare for customer support queries, look out for possible issues, and help out during or after the attack.

2. Inform customers about the inconvience

A DDoS attack can affect user experience on your website. If you run a WooCommerce store, then your customers may not be able to place an order or login to their account.

You can announce through your social media accounts that your website is having technical difficulties and everything will be back to normal soon.

If the attack is large, then you can also use your email marketing service to communicate with customers and ask them to follow your social media updates.

If you have VIP customers, then you might want to use your business phone service to make individual phone calls and let them know how you’re working to restore the services.

Communication during these tough times make a huge difference in keeping your brand’s reputation strong.

3. Contact Hosting and Security Support

Get in touch with your WordPress hosting provider. The attack you may be witnessing could be part of a larger attack targetting their systems. In that case, they will be able to provide you latest updates about the situation.

Contact your Firewall service and let them know that your website is under a DDoS attack. They may be able to mitigate the situation even faster and can provide you with more information.

In firewall providers like Sucuri, you can also set your settings to be in Paranoid mode which helps block a lot of requests and make your website accessible for normal users.

Keeping Your WordPress Website Secure

WordPress is quite secure out of the box. However, as the world’s most popular website builder it is often targeted by hackers.

Luckily, there are many security best practices that you can apply on your website to make it even more secure.

We have compiled a complete step by step WordPress security guide for beginners. It will walk you through the best WordPress security settings to protect your website, and its data against common threats.

We hope this article helped you learn how to block and prevent a DDoS attack on WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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17 Tested and Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List Faster


Are you looking for proven ways to grow your email list subscribers?

Often beginners simply install a sidebar optin form on their website and wait for users to subscribe. This results in slow subscriber growth.

For faster growth, you need to clearly communicate the value and offer your users multiple opportunities to join your email newsletter before they leave your site.

In this article, we will share our tested and proven ways to grow your email list that are easy to implement and drives huge results, fast.

Ways to quickly grow your email list

Getting Started

First, you need is to make sure that you are using a professional email marketing service.

Using the best email marketing company ensures that your emails don’t end up in the spam folder. It also provides you with the right set of tools to build and grow your email list.

We recommend using Constant Contact. It is one of the largest and most popular email marketing service provider in the world.

For complete step by step instructions, see our guide on how to start an email newsletter the right way.

Next, you will need OptinMonster. It is the best lead generation software in the world. It helps you convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers.

Now that you have the best tools, let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to grow your email list.

1. Use Multiple Sign up Forms

Use multiple optins

As we mentioned earlier that many beginners start with a simple newsletter signup form in their sidebar.

If you want to get more email subscribers, then you need multiple signup forms. This gives your users more opportunities to join your email list.

We recommend combining your sidebar sign up form with a sticky floating bar or a lightbox popup. These highly effective campaign types make your signup forms more noticeable.

Using OptinMonster’s Display Rules, you can set time and action based triggers, so your users don’t see all the optins at once.

For example, you can set a display rule to only show floating footer bar optin when the user has scrolled past the sidebar optin, and show a lightbox popup only when they’re about to leave.

2. Use an Exit-Intent Popup

Using an Exit-Intent popup

Exit-Intent® is an advanced technology built by OptinMonster that tracks your user’s mouse behavior and show them a targeted email signup form at the precise moment they are about to leave your website.

Think of it as On-site Retargeting.

You can use this technology in combination with full-screen welcome gates, lightbox popups, or other optin types to convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.

We use an exit-intent popup on WPBeginner, and it has helped increase our subscribers by 600%.

Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner used it to add over 250,000 new email subscribers.

3. Offer Content Upgrades

Offering content upgrades

Content Upgrade is a marketing technique where you offer users a chance to get exclusive bonus content by signing up to your email list.

For example:

  • If you run a podcast, then you can offer show notes + transcription as a content upgrade.
  • If you have a long form blog post, then you can offer a PDF downloadable version as a content upgrade
  • You can turn your blog posts into a checklist or cheat sheet and offer it as a content upgrade

Here are 30 other content upgrade ideas that you can use.

Human psychology plays an important role in the effectiveness of content upgrades. The psychology principle known as Zeigarnik Effect states that people are most likely to complete a task if they initiate it themselves.

Because when the user initiates (click to download the content upgrade), they are more likely to complete the task (subscribe to your list).

See our step by step guide on how to add content upgrades in WordPress to grow your email list.

4. Add Full or Partially Gated Content in WordPress

Gated content to boost email sign ups

Gated Content is the content on your website that can’t be accessed until the visitor enters their email address. You can use plugins to hide some of your content or hide the entire blog post until the user enters their email address.

In the old days, this used to have a negative impact on your SEO rankings. However with modern JavaScript based technology, this does not impact your SEO rankings.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to add content locking in WordPress.

5. Run Giveaway and Contests

Run giveaway and contests

An easy way to quickly get a lot of new followers and subscribers is by running viral giveaway or contest. You don’t need an expensive prize to launch a successful giveaway campaign.

Users can join your contest by providing their email address, social sharing, or following you on social media. This creates a snowball effect and helps you reach many new users.

We recommend using RafflePress, which is the best WordPress giveaway plugin on the market. It comes with a drag and drop giveaway builder with tons of social actions to make your campaign a success.

For details, see our guide on how to run a successful giveaway / contest in WordPress.

6. Create Multiple Lead Magnet Pages

Lead Magnet

Lead magnet (also known as opt-in bribe) is an incentive you offer to potential buyers in exchange for their contact information such as name, email, phone number, etc.

Your blog posts with locked content, content upgrades, and premium content all fall into the lead magnet category.

Lead magnets must offer additional value to your users. This could be an ebook, a resources newsletter, checklists, workbooks, etc. See these 69 highly effective lead magnet ideas for inspiration.

7. Use Discounts and Deals

Discounts and deals

Sometimes a discount or exclusive coupon is what encourages a customer to finally make a decision. However, why not use this opportunity to nudge them into joining your email list?

If you are using WooCommerce, then you can simply go to WooCommerce » Coupons page to create a coupon. After that, you can use OptinMonster’s ‘Success’ view to reveal the code after users enter their email address.

Success view to reveal discount code

8. Use Contact Form to Grow Your Email List

Contact form optin

Contact forms offer another great opportunity to ask for a user’s email address. Users already enter their email address and a tiny checkbox can allow them to subscribe without entering it again.

We recommend using WPForms, which is the best WordPress form builder on the market. It allows you to connect your forms with top email marketing services and helps you easily build forms with simple drag and drop tool.

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to use the contact form to grow your email list in WordPress.

9. Add Sign up Call to Action on Your Facebook Page

Facebook has introduced call to action buttons for business pages. These buttons are prominently displayed on top of your cover image and are visible without scrolling.

Call to action button on a Facebook business page

Here is how to add a signup button as a call to action on your Facebook page.

You need to visit your Facebook page, and you will notice a blue ‘Add a button’ button.

Add a button

This will bring up a popup with multiple choices. You need to click on ‘Get in touch with us’ tab and then select ‘Sign up’.

Next, you need to provide a link to your website where users will be taken when they click signup.

Don’t forget to click on add button to save your changes.

10. Use Twitter Lead Generation Cards

Twitter Ads

Twitter Ads offers another social platform that you can use to boost your lead generation efforts.

In fact, Twitter even allows you to run lead generation directly from Twitter. This way users can sign up for your email list without leaving Twitter.

You can also drive traffic to your website and use the email signup forms as a conversion. You can create special offers for Twitter users and tweet the links to your followers.

11. Use YouTube Call to Action Cards

YouTube action cards

YouTube is one of the largest social media platforms and the second most popular search engine in the world. If you are using YouTube videos as part of your marketing strategy, then you can utilize your YouTube channel to grow your email list.

YouTube action cards allow you to add interactive information cards to your videos. You can use them to add call to actions and link them to lead magnets on your website.

Here is how to add YouTube action cards to your videos.

YouTube gives you plenty of opportunities to promote your email list. For more ideas see this guide on how to build your email list using YouTube videos.

Bonus: Check out WPBeginner’s YouTube channel to see how we use Cards.

12. Use After Post and In-Line Optin Forms

After post optin forms appear when a user has already scrolled down an entire article. This means that they are already interested in your content and are much more likely to sign up.

After post and inline optin forms

You can also use in-line optin forms within your blog posts. The middle of a long read is the point where users are most engaged with the content. Reminding them to sign up at that point, works like a charm.

13. Add Polite Slide-in Scroll Box Forms

As we mentioned earlier that users simply ignore most static signup forms. The goal is to divert the user’s attention to your offer and sign up form.

Slide in forms

Slide-in scroll box forms do that beautifully. They stay out of the way so that users can look at the content while diverting user attention to the sign up form with slide in animation.

14. Prominent Headers with Call to Action

Prominent call-to-action in header

Header area of your website is most prominently visible to visitors when they first arrive. This makes it the most effective spot to place your call to action.

You will need a WordPress theme that comes with large or full screen header. You can also use a page builder plugin like Beaver Builder to create custom pages with your own layout.

15. Use Social Proof to Encourage More Sign ups

Add social proof to get more subscribers

Social Proof is a psychological effect used to describe a social behavior where people feel more comfortable following other people. Marketers use social proof as a tactic for easing the minds of worried customers and increasing conversions.

There are many ways you can use social proof to get more subscribers. You can use testimonials on your landing pages, add reviews, show number of registered users, etc.

You can also use bubble notifications like TrustPulse to increase newsletter signups and eCommerce conversions.

TrustPulse Social Proof Bubble

16. Use Gamified Campaigns

Gamified Spin a Wheel Campaign

Experts agree that gamification helps boost user engagement. Did you know that you can use gamified campaigns to boost newsletter conversions as well?

We use Spin a Wheel gamified campaign on our MonsterInsights blog to grow our email list as well as boost eCommerce conversions.

To create a similar campaign, simply follow the coupon wheel guide on OptinMonster website.

17. A/B Test Your Optin Forms

Run A/B tests to find best performing optin forms

Many beginners continue to rely on guesswork to understand what works on their website. You need to understand how your audience react to different call to actions, optin placements, colors, design, and copy.

With A/B testing, you can find out which optins work better on your website. You can use these A/B testing tips to continuously test and improve your optins.

We hope this article helped you find the best ways to grow your email list. You may also want to see our list of the best SEO tools & plugins as well as proven tips on how to increase your website traffic.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 17 Tested and Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List Faster appeared first on WPBeginner.



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What is an XML Sitemap? How to Create a Sitemap in WordPress?


Are you wondering what is an XML sitemap, and how to add it to your WordPress website?

An XML sitemap helps search engines easily navigate through your website content. It gives them a list of all your content in a machine-readable format.

Unlike a regular sitemap that is made for people, an XML sitemap is not typically visible to your website visitors.

In this article, we will explain what is an XML sitemap, and how to easily create a sitemap in WordPress.

What is an XML Sitemap and how to create one for your WordPress site

What is an XML Sitemap?

An XML sitemap is a file that lists of all your website content in an XML format, so search engines like Google can easily discover and index your content.

Back in the early 2000s, government websites used to have a link on their main pages, titled “Sitemap”. This page usually contained a list of all the pages on that website.

While some websites still have HTML sitemaps today, overall the usage of sitemaps have evolved.

Today sitemaps are published in an XML format instead of HTML, and their target audience is search engines and not people.

Basically, an XML sitemap is a way for website owners to tell search engines about all the pages that exist on their website.

It also tells search engines which links on your website are more important than others, and how frequently you update your website.

While XML sitemaps will not boost your search engine rankings, they allow search engines to better crawl your website. This means they can find more content and start showing it in search results thus resulting in higher rankings sometimes.

Why You Need an XML Sitemap?

Sitemaps are extremely important from a search engine optimization (SEO) point of view.

Simply adding a sitemap does not affect search rankings. However, if there is a page on your site that is not indexed, then sitemap provides you a way to let search engines know about that page.

Sitemaps are extremely useful for when you first start a blog or create a new website because most new websites don’t have any backlinks. This makes it harder for search engines to discover all of their content.

This is why search engines like Google and Bing allow new website owners to submit a sitemap in their webmaster tools. This allows their search engine bots to easily discover and index your content (more on this later).

Sitemaps are equally as important for established popular websites as well. They allow you to highlight which part of your websites are more important, which parts are more frequently updated, etc, so search engines can visit and index your content accordingly.

This helps improve the overall visibility of your website in search engine rankings.

How to create a Sitemap in WordPress?

There are several ways to create an XML sitemap in WordPress. We will show you two popular methods to create an XML sitemap in WordPress, and you can choose one that works best for you.

Method 1. Creating an XML Sitemap in WordPress using Yoast SEO

The easiest way to create an XML sitemap in WordPress is by using the Yoast SEO plugin.

It is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market offering you a comprehensive set of tools to optimize your blog posts for SEO.

First, you need to install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to SEO » General page and switch to the ‘Features’ tab. From here, you need to scroll down to the ‘XML Sitemap’ option and make sure that it is turned on.

Yoast SEO XML Sitemap option

Next, click on the save changes button to store your changes.

To verify that Yoast SEO has created an XML Sitemap, you can click on the question mark icon next to the XML Sitemap option on the page.

View XML Sitemap created by Yoast SEO plugin

After that, click on the ‘See the XML Sitemap’ link to view your live XML sitemap generated by Yoast SEO.

You can also find your XML sitemap by simply adding sitemap_index.xml at the end of your website address. For example:

https://www.example.com/sitemap_index.xml

Yoast SEO sitemap

Yoast SEO creates multiple sitemaps for different types of content. By default, it will generate sitemaps for posts, pages, author, and categories.

If you run an online store using WooCommerce, then it will also generate a sitemap for your products.

However, when it comes to submitting the sitemap to search engines, you’ll only need to submit the main sitemap index file. We’ll show you how to do that later in this article.

Method 2. Creating an XML Sitemap in WordPress using Google XML Sitemaps Plugin

This method is recommended for users who don’t want to use Yoast SEO’s XML Sitemaps feature.

First, thing you need to do is install and activate the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin automatically generates an XML Sitemap for your website. You can view it by simply adding sitemap.xml to your website’s address. For example:

https://www.example.com/sitemap.xml

Sitemap gennerated by the Google XML Sitemap plugin

The plugin works out of the box for most blogs and business websites. However, you still need to review plugin settings to make sure that you are not missing anything.

Simply, go to Settings » XML-Sitemap page to configure plugin.

Google XML Sitemap plugin settings

At the top, the plugin will give you status information. It will notify you if the plugin is unable to ping any search engine.

You can review the basic options where you can disable the plugin from notifying search engines, increase PHP memory limit, and more. The default settings would work for most WordPress hosting environments.

Next, you’ll see the additional pages section. From here you can manually add pages to your XML sitemap. This comes in handy if your website has static HTML pages not created by the WordPress CMS.

Manually add pages

After that, you can adjust how the plugin assigns priority to posts. By default, it uses the number of comments to calculate a post’s priority.

Post priority

The next two sections of the plugin’s settings page allow you to include and exclude content from your WordPress sitemap. For example, if you run an eCommerce store, then you would want to include the ‘Products’ content type to your sitemap.

Include or exclude content from sitemap

After that, you can adjust the frequency and priority of your sitemap contents. Changing these values are considered as a hint by search engines, and they may choose to follow or ignore these tags based on their criteria.

Set frequency and priority of sitemap contents

Finally, don’t forget to click on the ‘Update Options’ button to save your changes.

How to Tell Search Engines About Sitemaps?

Search engines are quite smart in finding a sitemap. Whenever you publish new content, a ping is sent to Google and Bing to inform them about changes in your sitemap.

However, we recommend that you submit the sitemap manually to ensure that search engines can find it.

Submitting Your XML Sitemap to Google

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help website owners monitor and maintain their site’s presence in Google search results.

Adding your sitemap to Google Search Console helps it quickly discover your content even if your website is brand new.

First, you need to visit the Google Search Console website and sign up for an account.

After that, you will be asked to select a property type. You can choose a domain or a URL prefix. We recommend choosing URL prefix as it is easier to setup.

Select property type

Enter your website’s URL and then click on the continue button.

Next, you will be asked to verify ownership of the website. You will see multiple methods to do that, we recommend using the HTML tag method.

Google Search Console verify site ownership

Simply copy the code on the screen and then go to the admin area of your WordPress website.

From here, you need to install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page and add the code you copied earlier in the ‘Scripts in Header’ box.

Add your verification code in the header section

Don’t forget to click on the save button to store your changes.

Now, switch back to the Google Search Console tab and click on the ‘Verify’ button.

Google will check for verification code on your site and then add it to your Google Search Console account.

Note: if the verification is unsuccessful, then please make sure to clear your cache and then try again.

Now that you have added your website, let’s add your XML sitemap as well.

From your account dashboard, you need to click on the Sitemaps from the left column.

Adding Sitemap URL to Google Search Console

After that, you need to add the last part of your sitemap URL under the ‘Add new sitemap’ section and click the Submit button.

Google will now add your sitemap URL to your Google Search Console.

It will take Google some time to crawl your website. After a while, you would be able to see basic sitemap stats.

This information includes the number of links Google found in your sitemap, how many of them got indexed, a ratio of images to web pages, and more.

Sitemap stats in Google Search Console

Submitting Your XML Sitemap to Bing

Similar to Google Search Console, Bing also offers Bing Webmaster Tools to help website owners monitor their website in the Bing search engine.

To add your sitemap to Bing, you need to visit the Bing Webmaster Tools website and sign up for an account. Once you have signed up, you can add your website under the ‘Add new site’ section.

Adding a site in Bing Webmaster tools

On the next screen, you will be asked to enter your website details including the sitemap URL.

Adding your sitemap in Bing

Click on the Submit button to continue.

Bing will now ask you to verify the ownership of your website and will show you several methods to do that.

We recommend using the Meta tag method. Simply copy the meta tag line from the page and paste it on a blank text file on your computer.

Bing webmaster tool verification

Now go to your WordPress website and install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin to your website.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page and add the code you copied earlier in the ‘Scripts in header’ box.

Add Bing verification code

Don’t forget to click on the Save button to store your changes.

How to Utilize XML Sitemaps for Your Website?

Now that you have submitted the XML sitemap to Google, let’s take a look at how to utilize it for your website.

First, you need to keep in mind that the XML sitemap does not improve your search rankings. However, it does help search engines find content, adjust crawl rate, and improve your website’s visibility in search engines.

You need to keep an eye on your sitemap stats in Google Search Console. It can show you crawl errors and the pages excluded from search coverage.

Sitemap coverage

Below the charts, you can click on the tables to view actual URLs excluded or not indexed by Google.

Sitemap URLs reports

Normally, Google may decide to skip duplicate content, pages with no content or very little content, and pages excluded by your website’s robots.txt file or meta tags.

However, if you have an unusually high number of excluded pages, then you may want to check your SEO plugin settings to make sure that you are not blocking any content.

We hope this article helped answer all your questions about XML sitemaps and how to create an XML sitemap for your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to quickly increase your website traffic with these actionable tips.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post What is an XML Sitemap? How to Create a Sitemap in WordPress? appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Buy a Vanity Phone Number for Your Website (in 5 Minutes)


Have you ever wondered how certain companies buy a vanity phone number for their business website?

Vanity phone numbers are business phone numbers that are memorable and easy to promote. For example, 1800-FLOWERS is a vanity toll-free phone number for a popular flower delivery service.

The sequencing or spelling of vanity phone numbers makes it easier to promote in creative ways. Vanity phone numbers are also highly effective in building your brand image.

Many small business owners believe that having a vanity business phone number must have a high cost, need special equipment, or technical skills to manage it.

This used to be the case in the old days, but it is not true anymore. You can get a vanity number without spending a fortune, purchasing special equipment, or acquiring technical skills.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily buy a vanity phone number for your online business or WordPress website.

How to buy a vanity phone number for your business

What is a Vanity Phone Number?

A vanity phone number is an easy to remember phone number that have a unique sequence. For example, 1-800-TOYSRUS (1-800-869-7787) or 1-800-GoFedEx (1-800-463-3339).

You can also find numbers with unique combinations like 800-333-4444 or 800-000-3333.

These phone numbers are more noticeable and memorable than random phone numbers. this makes vanity phone numbers great for marketing and building a brand image.

You can also get them as a toll-free number or a local number.

Most vanity phone numbers are usually toll-free numbers, which are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. This means that your vanity number is subject to availability regardless of the business phone service you buy it from.

What Do I Need to Get a Vanity Phone Number?

You’ll need a business phone service to buy a vanity phone number.

Unlike traditional landline phones, a business phone service runs on the internet. This is why it is sometimes also known as business VoIP service (Voice over Internet Protocol).

By using the internet for phone calls, companies can offer lower call rates, cheaper international calls, and advanced call management features to business owners.

These call management tools allow you to maximize the potential of your business calls. You can monitor calls, analyze them, set up voicemail greetings, setup call redirect rules, and more.

You only need a device connected to the internet to use a modern business phone service. Basically, a computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone would work.

This means you don’t need to buy any special equipment.

You can forward calls to your existing landline or mobile number, share the same number with team members, and set up auto-attendant messaging.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best vanity phone number providers that you can use to easily buy a vanity phone number for your business.

1. RingCentral

RingCentral

RingCentral is one of the top business phone system providers. They offer affordable VoIP service for small businesses with local, toll-free, and vanity phone numbers.

First, you need to sign up for a RingCentral plan. Their pricing starts from $19 per month per user which gives you one local or toll-free number.

You can add a vanity phone number to your plan for $30 (one-time fee).

Once you have signed up, you can get a local and toll-free number directly from your account dashboard right away.

However, if you are looking for a vanity phone number, then you’ll need to apply for it. The process can take up to 10 business days to set it up for your account.

Once approved, you can use a vanity number generator to come up with ideas for your easy to remember business phone number.

Pricing: Starting from $15.99 per month + $30 one-time setup fee.

2. Nextiva

Nextiva

Nextiva is one of the best professional phone service providers on the market. We use their platform on WPBeginner for our professional business phone number.

By default, Nextiva does not offer vanity phone numbers. Instead, they procure the numbers from their carrier partners which limits their ability to provide vanity numbers as a feature.

However if you already have a vanity phone number, then you can move it to Nextiva and start using it with their superior platform with all the call management features, CRM software integrations, and more.

Each Nextiva plan also comes with a free local number for any area code in the United States, and a toll-free number with all prefix codes except 0800.

Pricing: Starting from $20 per month.

3. Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Grasshopper is one of the leading providers of virtual phone numbers for businesses. They offer local, toll-free, and vanity phone numbers.

You can easily check the availability of your desired vanity number during the signup process. You can also port your existing local number and set up call forwarding to your newly acquired vanity phone number.

Grasshopper provides all the standard features of a business phone system. You get business texting, call forwarding and routing, extensions, custom greetings, and more.

Pricing: $26 per month with 1 number and 3 extensions.

4. Phone.com

Phone.com

Phone.com is another popular business phone number provider. They offer local, toll-free, and vanity phone numbers.

However, they do charge a one-time setup fee for a toll-free vanity phone number. This fee starts from $49 and can go higher depending on what number and toll-free code you choose.

Phone.com’s plans come with a monthly limit of call minutes, and you’ll need to purchase extra minutes if you exceed those limits. You also get a generous number of SMS messages with each plan.

Apart from getting your desired phone number, you also get all the standard features to manage business calls. This includes call routing, auto-attendant, custom greetings, voicemail, call logs, business texting, and more.

Pricing: Starting from $12.99 per month

How To Promote a Vanity Phone Number on Your WordPress Website?

Majority of the website traffic these days are coming from mobile devices. This means that your users don’t need to reach to their phone to contact your business since they are already on the phone.

You need to make it easier for them to just tap on your business phone number to make a call.

Adding Click to Call to a WordPress Website

If you are using WordPress which is the best website builder on the market, then you can easily add a click to call button to your website using a plugin.

First, you need to install and activate the WP Call Button plugin on your website. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » WP Call Button page to configure plugin settings.

WP Call Button settings

It provides two types of call buttons.

  1. Sticky Call Button – This button remains visible on your website as users scroll down a page.
  2. 2. Static Call Button – This button does not move and you can add it anywhere on your website using a shortcode.

After you choose your button type, you will need to enter your phone number and choose the button’s appearance style. Don’t forget to click on the Save button to store your settings.

WordPress click to call button preview

For detailed instructions, see our step by step tutorial on how to add click to call button in WordPress.

Adding Click to Call Button Using HTML

If you are not using WordPress and want to add a click to call button to your website, then this is how you would do it.

Basically, you can add telephone numbers as links using the specific phone number format.

tel:+15555555555

Depending on which website builder you are using, click on the Add link button and then add your phone number with tel: prefix.

If you are familiar with HTML, then you can also use HTML to add a clickable phone number.

<a href="tel:+15555555555">Click here to call us</a>

Simply replace the phone number with your own and save your changes.

Frequently Asked Questions about Choosing a Vanity Phone Number

Choosing a toll-free or vanity phone number can bring up a lot of questions. We will try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about vanity phone numbers that we have come across.

1. What is the difference between a vanity phone number vs a toll-free number?

A vanity phone number has a sequence of numbers that spells your business name, product, or service. They can also just have a memorable sequence of numbers.

Your vanity phone number can be a toll-free number or a local number that comes with a memorable number sequence.

On the other hand, toll-free numbers are the numbers with specific dialing codes that can be dialed with no charge to the person making the call. Toll-free dialing codes in the United States are 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 and 833.

Toll-free numbers can be acquired on a first-come-first-serve basis, which is why most vanity phone numbers are usually toll-free numbers as well.

2. Do I need to pay a premium price for a toll-free vanity phone number?

No, you don’t. FCC rules forbid hoarding, trading, and reselling of toll-free numbers. Some phone services may charge you a setup fee for a vanity phone number, but this is not the price of the toll-free number.

3. Can I sell my toll-free vanity phone number?

No, you cannot. FCC rules prohibit selling of toll-free numbers, and anyone trying to sell a toll-free number can get into legal trouble.

4. Can I use my vanity phone number with my local number?

If you are using a business phone service provider, then you can easily forward inbound calls to your existing local number. You can also set up forwarding rules based on time of the day, or set up an IVR to connect with the right person in your team.

We hope this article helped you buy a vanity phone number for your website. You may also want to see our guide on choosing the best live chat software or best email marketing service for your business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Buy a Vanity Phone Number for Your Website (in 5 Minutes) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Google Chrome Will Block Mixed Content – Are You Ready for It?


Recently, Google Chrome announced that they will soon start blocking mixed content also known as insecure content on web pages.

This feature will be gradually rolled out starting from December 2019. This should give website owners enough time to check for mixed content errors and fix them before the block goes live.

Failing to do so will cause poor user experience, loss of traffic, and loss of sales.

In this guide, we will explain Google Chrome’s mixed content blocking and how you can be well prepared for it.

Getting ready for mixed content block by Google Chrome

Since this is a comprehensive guide, we have created an easy to follow table of content:

  • What is mixed content?
  • Why Google Chrome wants to block mixed content?
  • What will happen if a website is showing mixed content?
  • How to prepare your website for mixed content block?
  • How to fix mixed content errors in WordPress?

What is Mixed Content?

Mixed content is a term used to describe non-https content loading on an HTTPS website.

HTTPS represent websites using a SSL certificate to deliver content. This technology makes websites secure by encrypting the data transfer between a website and a user’s browser.

Google, Microsoft, WordPress.org, WPBeginner, and many other organizations are pushing HTTPs as the standard protocol for websites.

They have been very successful in their efforts. According to Google, “Chrome users now spend over 90% of their browsing time on HTTPS on all major platforms.”

However, there are still many websites serving partial insecure content (mixed content) over HTTPs websites. Google aims to improve this situation by giving website owners a nudge in the right direction.

Why Google Chrome Wants to Block Mixed Content?

Google Chrome already blocks mixed content, but it’s limited to certain content types like JavaScript and iFrame resources.

Blocked mixed content on a web page

From December 2019, Google Chrome will move forward to start blocking other mixed content resources like images, audio, video, cookies, and other web resources.

An insecure HTTP file on a secure HTTPs webpage can still be used by hackers to manipulate users, install malware, and hijack a website. This jeopardizes your website security as well as the safety of your website visitors.

It also creates a bad user experience as Google Chrome cannot indicate whether a page is completely secure or insecure.

What Will Happen if a Website is Showing Mixed Content?

Google Chrome has announced a gradual plan to implement mixed content blocking. It will be implemented in three steps spawning over the next three releases of Google Chrome.

Step 1

Starting from December 2019 (Chrome 79), it will add a new settings option to the ‘Site Settings’ menu. Users will be able to unblock the mixed content already blocked by Google Chrome including JavaScript and iframe resources.

If a user opts-out for a website, then Google Chrome will serve mixed content on that site, but it will replace the padlock icon with the insecure icon.

Step 2

Starting from January 2020 (Chrome 80), Google Chrome will start auto upgrading HTTP video and audio file URLs to HTTPs. If it fails to load them over https, then it will automatically block those files.

It will still allow images to load over HTTP, but the padlock icon will change to Not Secure icon if a website is serving images over HTTP.

Step 3

From February 2020 (Chrome 81), Google Chrome will start auto-upgrading HTTP images to load over HTTPs. If it fails to load them over https, then those images will be blocked as well.

Basically, if your website has any mixed content resources that are not upgraded to HTTPs, then users will see the Not Secure icon in their browser’s address bar.

This will create a poor user experience for them. It will also affect your brand reputation and business.

No need to panic though. You can easily prepare your website to fix all mixed content errors.

How to Prepare Your WordPress Website for Google Chrome’s Mixed Content Block

Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world among both mobile and desktop users.

Leaving your website with incomplete HTTPS implementation or no HTTPS at all will result in loss of traffic, sales, and overall revenue.

Here is what you need to do to prepare your website for these changes.

Move Your Website to HTTPS

If your website is still using HTTP, then Google Chrome will already be showing a ‘Not Secure’ icon when users visit your website.

Not Secure HTTP website

It is about time to finally move your website to HTTPS.

We know that changes like these can be a bit intimidating for beginners. Some site owners postpone the move due to cost, which is no longer an issue as you can easily get a free SSL certificate for your website.

Other website owners delay it because they think it will be a complicated process and could break their website.

That’s why we have created a step by step guide to easily move your WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS.

We will walk you through every step and show you how to get that secure padlock icon next to your website address in all browsers.

Finding Mixed Content on an HTTPS Website

If you already have an HTTPS-enabled website, then here is how you will find mixed content on your site.

The first indication of mixed content issues will be visible in Google Chrome’s address bar when you visit your website.

If Google Chrome has blocked a script on your website, then you will see the scripts blocked shield icon at the right corner of the address bar.

Blocked mixed content on a web page

Google Chrome has already blocked the insecure content and that’s why the padlock icon on the left corner of the address bar will not change.

The second indication that you should look for is the info icon. This icon will replace the padlock if the page you are viewing has mixed content that Google Chrome has not blocked.

Unblocked mixed content

Clicking on the icon will show the notice that ‘Your connection to this site is not fully secure’.

Usually, this content includes images, cookies, audio, or video files. Chrome does not block those files at the moment and that’s why it shows this notice.

If your site has both icons, then this means your site is loading multiple types of mixed content files using HTTP.

Next, you need to find out which files are loaded using the insecure HTTP URLs. To do that, right-click anywhere on your website and select Inspect tool from the browser menu.

Console tool in Inspect view showing mixed content errors and warnings

Switch to the ‘Console’ table under the Inspect window to view page load errors. You’ll be looking for ‘Mixed content:’ errors and warnings to find out which files are blocked and which files are loaded using the HTTP URLs.

Fixing Mixed Content Errors in WordPress

There are two easy methods that you can use to fix mixed content warnings and errors on your WordPress website.

Method 1. Fix Mixed Content Errors and Warnings Using a Plugin

This method is easier and recommended for beginners. We will use a plugin that will find and replace HTTP URLs to HTTPs on the fly before sending it to user’s browser.

The downside is that it adds a few milliseconds to your website’s page load speed which is barely noticeable.

First, you need to install and activate the SSL Insecure Content Fixer plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » SSL Insecure Content page to configure the plugin settings.

Secure Content Fixer plugin settings

Select the ‘Simple’ option and then click on the ‘Save changes’ button to store your settings.

Visit your website to look for mixed content warning errors.

For more detailed instructions, see our article on how to fix mixed content error in WordPress.

Method 2. Manually Fix Mixed Content Issues in WordPress

This method can get a bit complicated for beginners. Basically, you’ll be finding the insecure URLs across your website and replacing it with secure URLs.

We will still use a plugin to find insecure HTTP URLs on your website. However, you’ll be able to deactivate the plugin once you have changed the URLs, so this will not impact your page speed like the first option.

Let’s get started.

First, you need to install and activate the Better Search and Replace plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Tools » Better Search Replace page.

Under the ‘Search’ field, you need to add your website URL with http. After that, add your website URL with https under the ‘Replace’ field.

Better search and replace plugin settings

Click on Run Search/Replace button to continue.

The plugin will now run and find all instances of your website URLs starting with http and replace them with the https.

The plugin works on your WordPress database, so it will only change URLs for your content areas.

If the mixed content resources are loaded by your WordPress theme or plugin, then you will need to inform the theme or plugin developer, so they can release a fix for that.

For more details, see our complete beginner’s guide to fixing the common SSL/HTTPs issues in WordPress.

We hope this article answered your questions regarding Google Chrome’s mixed content block and helped you get ready for it. You may also want to see our guide on how to use Google Search Console to grow your website traffic, and the important marketing data you must track on all WordPress sites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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How to Optimize Images for Web Performance without Losing Quality


Did you know that optimizing your images before uploading to WordPress can have a huge impact on your website speed?

When starting a new blog, many beginners simply upload images without optimizing them for web. These large image files make your website slower.

You can fix this by using image optimization best practices as part of your regular blogging routine.

In this article, we will show you how to optimize your images for faster web performance without losing quality. We will also share automatic image optimization plugins for WordPress that can make your life easy.

How to Optimize Your Images in WordPress (Step by Step)

What is Image Optimization? (Optimized vs Unoptimized Images)

Image optimization is a process of saving and delivering images in the smallest possible file size without reducing the overall image quality.

While the process sounds complex, it’s actually quite easy these days. You can use one of the many image optimization plugins and tools to automatically compress images by up to 80% without any visible loss in image quality.

Here’s an example of optimized vs unoptimized image:

Optimized vs Unoptimized Images in WordPress

As you can see, when optimized properly the same image can be 75% smaller than the original without any loss in quality.

How does Image Optimization work?

In simple terms, image optimization work by using compression technology like “Lossy” and “Lossless” which helps reduce the overall file size without any noticeable loss of quality.

What does it mean to Optimize Images?

If you ever received a recommendation to optimize images by your WordPress hosting support or by a speed test tool, then all it means is that you need to reduce the file size of your images by optimizing them for web.

Why is Image Optimization Important? What are the Benefits of Image Optimization?

While there are many benefits of optimizing your images, below are the top ones that you should know:

  • Faster website speed
  • Improved SEO rankings
  • Higher overall conversion rate for sales and leads
  • Less storage and bandwidth (which can reduce hosting and CDN cost)
  • Faster website backups (also reduces cost of backup storage)

Outside of video, images are the next heaviest item on a web page. According to HTTP archive, images make up on average 21% of a total webpage’s weight.

Since we know fast websites rank higher in search engines (SEO) and have better conversions, image optimization is something that every business website must do if they want to succeed online.

Now you might be wondering how big of a difference can image optimization really make?

According to a Strangeloop study, a one-second delay in website load time can cost you 7% of sales, 11% fewer pageviews, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

How speed affects your website

If these aren’t enough reasons to speed up your website, then you should know that search engines like Google also give preferential SEO treatment to faster loading websites.

This means that by optimizing your images for web, you can both improve website speed and boost WordPress SEO rankings.

How to Save and Optimize Images for Web Performance?

The key to successful image optimization for web performance is to find the perfect balance between lowest file size and acceptable image quality.

The three things that play a huge role in image optimization are:

  • Image file format (JPEG vs PNG vs GIF)
  • Compression (Higher compression = smaller file size)
  • Image Dimensions (height and width)

By choosing the right combination of the three, you can reduce your image size by up to 80%.

Let’s take a look at each of these in more details.

1. Image File Format

For most website owners, the only three image file formats that really matter are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Choosing the right file type plays an important role in image optimization.

To keep things simple, you want to use JPEGs for photos or images with lots of colors, PNGs for simple images or when you need transparent images, and GIF for animated images only.

For those who don’t know the difference between each file type, PNG image format is uncompressed which means it is a higher quality image. The downside is that file sizes are much larger.

On the other hand, JPEG is a compressed file format which slightly reduces image quality in order to provide a significantly smaller file size.

Whereas GIF only uses 256 colors along with lossless compression which makes it the best choice for animated images.

On WPBeginner, we use all three image formats based on the type of image.

2. Compression

The next thing is image compression which plays a huge role in image optimization.

There are different types and levels of image compression available. The settings for each will vary depending on the image compression tool you use.

Most image editing tools like Adobe Photoshop, On1 Photo, GIMP, Affinity Photo, and others come with built-in image compression features.

You can also save images normally and then use a web tool like TinyPNG or JPEG Mini for easier image compression.

Although it’s a bit manual, these two methods allow you to compress images before uploading them to WordPress, and this is what we do on WPBeginner.

There are also several popular WordPress plugins like Optimole, EWWW Image Optimizer, and others that can automatically compress images when you first upload them. Many beginners and even large corporations prefer to use these image optimization plugins because it’s easy and convenient.

We will share more about these WordPress plugins later in the article.

3. Image Dimensions

Normally, when you import a photo from your phone or a digital camera, it has a very high resolution and large file dimensions (height and width).

Typically, these photos have a resolution of 300 DPI and dimensions starting from 2000 pixels and more. These high-quality photos are well-suited for print or desktop publishing. They are not suitable for websites.

Reducing file dimensions to something more reasonable can significantly decrease image file size. You can simply resize images using an image editing software on your computer.

For example, we optimized a photo with 1.8 MB original file size, 300 DPI resolution, and image dimensions of 4900×3200 pixels.

We chose jpeg format for higher compression and changed dimensions to 1200×795 pixels, and it reduced the image file size to 103 KB. That’s 94% less than the original file size.

Now that you know the three important factors in image optimization, let’s take a look at various image optimization tools for website owners.

Image Optimization Tools and Programs

As we mentioned earlier, most image editing software come with image optimization and compression settings.

Outside of the image editing software, there are also several powerful free image optimization tools that you can use to optimize images for web (with just a few clicks).

We recommend using these tools to optimize images before you upload them to WordPress, specially if you are a perfectionist.

This method helps you save disk space on your WordPress hosting account, and it guarantee the fastest image with the best quality since you manually review each image.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a premium software that comes with a feature to save images optimized for the web. Simply open your image and click on the “File » Save for Web” option.

This will open a new dialog box. On the right, you can set different image formats. For JPEG format, you will see different quality options. When you select your options, it will also show you the file size on the bottom left.

Saving images optimized for the web using Photoshop

GIMP

GIMP is a free and open source alternative to popular Adobe Photoshop. It can be used to optimize your images for the web. The downside is that it is not as easy to use as some other solutions on this list.

First, you need to open your image in GIMP and then select File » Export As option. This will bring up the save file dialog box. Give your file a new name and then click on the export button.

Export image in GIMP

This will bring up image export options. For jpeg files, you can select the compression level to reduce file size. Finally, click on the export button to save the optimized image file.

TinyPNG

TinyPNG is a free web app that uses a smart lossy compression technique to reduce the size of your PNG files. All you have to do is go to their website and upload your images (simple drag & drop).

Using TinyPNG to optimize images for WordPress

They will compress the image, and give you the download link. You can use their sister website, TinyJPG, for JPEG image compression.

They also have an extension for Adobe Photoshop which is what we use as part of our image editing process because it combines the best of TinyPNG and TinyJPG inside Photoshop.

For developers, they have an API to convert images automatically, and for beginners they have a WordPress plugin that can automatically do it for you (more on this later).

JPEG Mini

JPEGmini uses a lossless compression technology which significantly reduces the size of images without affecting their perceptual quality. You can also compare the quality of your original image and the compressed image.

JPEGMini online image compression tool

You can use their web version for free, or purchase the program for your computer. They also have a paid API to automate the process for your server.

ImageOptim

ImageOptim is a Mac utility that allows you to compress images without losing any quality by finding the best compression parameters and removing unnecessary color profiles.

ImageOptim

Windows alternative to this is Trimage.

Image Optimization Plugins for WordPress

We believe that the best way to optimize your images is by doing it before uploading them to WordPress. However, if you run a multi-author site or need an automated solution, then you can try a WordPress image compression plugin.

Below is our list of the recommended WordPress image compression plugins:

  1. Optimole – popular plugin by the team behind ThemeIsle.
  2. EWWW Image Optimizer
  3. Compress JPEG & PNG images – plugin by TinyPNG team mentioned above in the article.
  4. Imagify – plugin by the popular WP Rocket plugin team.
  5. ShortPixel Image Optimizer
  6. WP Smush
  7. reSmush.it

Using any of these WordPress image optimization plugin will help you speed up your website.

Final Thoughts and Best Practices for Image Optimization

If you’re not saving images optimized for web, then you need to start doing so now. It will make a huge difference on your site speed, and your users will thank you for it.

Not to mention, faster websites are great for SEO, and you will likely see an increase in your search engine rankings.

Outside of image optimization, the two things that will significantly help you speed up your website is using a WordPress caching plugin and using a WordPress CDN.

Alternatively, you can use a managed WordPress hosting company because they often offer both caching and CDN as part of the platform.

We hope this article helped you learn how to optimize your images in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to improve your WordPress security and the best WordPress plugins for business websites.

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The post How to Optimize Images for Web Performance without Losing Quality appeared first on WPBeginner.



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