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How to Properly Change a WordPress Theme (Ultimate Guide)


Are you planning to change the WordPress theme of your website? WordPress makes it super easy for users to change and manage themes on their site.

However, you must remember that changing the appearance of your live website is a major event. You need to keep certain things in mind before and after you change a theme, so you don’t lose any data and website traffic.

In this article, we’ll show you the step by step process on how to properly change a WordPress theme with a step by step checklist.

How to Properly Change a WordPress Theme (Ultimate Guide)

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll learn in this article:

Things to Do Before Changing a WordPress Theme

While changing a theme is literally a few clicks away, you must take some precautionary steps before starting the process.

We recommend that you to go through the following checklist to ensure that the process of changing your WordPress theme goes smoothly, and you don’t end up losing important data.

1. Copy Snippets from Your Current Theme

Some intermediate WordPress users like to customize their website by adding code snippets directly to the functions.php file of their theme.

Since these changes were made once, people usually forget about them.

If you or your web developer made these changes, then make sure to go through the files of your current theme and note down all the additional code that you’ve added previously. This will allow you to add them later into your new theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific WordPress plugin.

2. Test Load Time

Before changing your theme, you should check the load time of your website, so you can easily compare the differences in the page load time after you made changes to your website.

Remember, WordPress speed is an important factor in user experience and SEO, so you need to make sure that the new theme is faster than your previous one.

You can check your website speed by using a tool like Pingdom.

Make sure that you test the load time of the homepage and also some of your inner pages.

3. Don’t Lose Any Tracking Code

Some users add their analytics tracking code directly to their theme files. Also, there are WordPress themes that allow you to add Adsense or Analytics code in their settings panel.

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is to overlook these codes.

You need to make sure that you copy all the tracking codes, so you can add them to your new site after changing the theme.

To future proof this, we always recommend users to install Google analytics using a plugin like MonsterInsights, and for other tracking code we recommend using the header and footer plugin.

4. Make a Full Backup

It’s always recommended to back up your posts, images, plugins, and the database before changing your theme.

You can use a WordPress backup plugin to create the backup of your entire site. Make sure that you download this backup to your computer before moving forward.

This step will ensure that you can recover your website easily if anything goes wrong.

5. Sidebar Content

Sidebars are used for adding different widgets including social links, advertisements, subscription forms, or a contact form.

Make a note of these changes. If there is any custom code added into a widget, then make sure you copy and paste this code on your computer, so you can reuse it in your new theme.

6. Keep Your Site on Maintenance Mode

It’s a good practice to put your website on maintenance mode when you’re making changes to it. You don’t want your visitors to see an under construction site, right?

We recommend using the SeedProd plugin for this purpose.

SeedProd plugin

It’s a popular WordPress plugin that allows you to easily create beautiful coming soon and maintenance mode pages for your site.

To keep your site on maintenance mode, you need to install and active the SeedProd plugin.

Next, head over to SeedProd » Settings page to configure plugin settings. Here you need to select the Enable Maintenance mode radio button and click on the Save All Changes button.

SeedProd enable maintenance mode

How to Install a WordPress Theme

After following the above precautions, the next step is to install a theme that you want to use on your site.

There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available for you to pick from. The fact that you’re reading this article means you’ve likely found a good theme for your needs.

If you haven’t already selected a theme, then we can highly recommend the following WordPress themes to you:

1. Divi

Divi WordPress theme

Divi is one of the most popular WordPress theme in the market. It’s powered by the drag and drop Divi Builder which allows you to easily build any kind of website.

It comes with 20+ pre-built layouts and 46 different content elements. You can easily customize each element of your site and see the changes in real time.

2. Astra

Astra WordPress theme

Astra is a lightweight and speed-optimized WordPress theme. It’s compatible with various page builder plugins like Beaver Builder, Divi, and Visual Composer.

It’s a translation and RTL-ready theme. This allows you to start your website in any language and even create a multilingual website.

Astra can be easily integrated with the WooCommerce plugin, so you can easily create an online store without much hassle. You can also customize the header, footer, layout, and more using the WordPress Theme Customizer.

Our favorite part about Astra is all the starter website templates it comes with.

3. StudioPress

StudioPress WordPress themes

Genesis is the most popular WordPress theme framework and has been built by the StudioPress team. You can create amazing websites using the Genesis framework and other StudioPress themes.

In case you don’t know, StudioPress is now a part of WP Engine, the most popular managed WordPress hosting company.

The best part is you’ll get 35+ StudioPress themes for free if you sign up for any WP Engine hosting plan.

4. OceanWP

OceanWP WordPress theme

OceanWP is a responsive and multi-purpose WordPress theme. It offers multiple demo templates that have been built with different professions and businesses in mind.

It is compatible with the major page builder plugins. You can also use different extensions to take your site to the next level.

5. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder plugin

Beaver Builder is one of the best drag and drop page builder plugins that allow you to build stunning pages for your site without any coding skills.

Beaver Builder is compatible with almost every WordPress theme, and you can even use it to create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

Anyways, we hope the above recommendations will help you to choose a WordPress theme for your site.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you need to install it on your WordPress site. Y

ou can use any of the following 3 methods to install a WordPress theme:

  • Using the WordPress theme search option
  • Uploading a theme from your WordPress Dashboard
  • Installing a theme using FTP

You can check out our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme for help.

How to Change WordPress Theme Without Going Live

Once you’ve installed your new theme, you are ready to switch themes.

However, it’s always recommended to test a theme before switching to it on your live website.

This way you’ll be able to check the compatibility of the new theme with your existing plugins and make sure that everything is working properly as desired.

There are two ways that you can use to change your WordPress theme without going live:

1. Live Preview Option

By default, WordPress allows you to preview a theme on your website without changing it.

To do that, head over to Appearance » Themes from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

On this page, you’ll see all the installed themes on your site. You need to hover your mouse over the theme you want to preview and click on the Live Preview button.

WordPress Theme Live Preview Option

This will open your new theme in the WordPress Theme Customizer. You can now test your new theme and make sure that everything is working properly.

2. Theme Switcha Plugin

Another option is to use the Theme Switcha plugin. It allows you to preview your new theme without activating it.

First, you need to install and activate this free plugin. Next, go to Settings » Theme Switcha from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

Theme Switcha plugin settings page

On the Settings page, you need to select the “Enable theme switching” option and then, scroll to the bottom of the page to click on Save Changes.

This plugin will now display all your installed themes at the bottom of this page. Go ahead and click on your new theme to preview it on a new tab of your web browser.

Theme Switcha available themes section

How to Change WordPress Theme on Live Site

After you have tested your new theme, it’s time to start the process of switching the theme on your WordPress site.

To do that, go to Appearance » Themes from the left sidebar of the WordPress admin panel.

Change WordPress theme on live website

On this page, you need to hover the mouse cursor over the theme you want to use and then click on the Activate button to change the WordPress theme.

Now you can visit the homepage of your website to see the new theme in action.

How to Change WordPress Theme Manually

Sometimes an error can make your WordPress admin area inaccessible. In that case, you won’t be able to change the theme using the above method.

To recover your website, you need to restore it from backup, or you may troubleshoot the WordPress error causing the problem.

However, if you don’t have a backup, then you can change the theme manually with the help of phpMyAdmin.

This method allows you to inform WordPress which theme to use by changing the information in the database.

First, you need to connect to your website using an FTP client and go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder.

FTP WordPress themes folder

Here you’ll be able to see all the themes that are currently installed on your website. You can also install a WordPress theme via FTP if you don’t see it.

Next, you want to write down the folder name of the theme you want to use because you’ll need it later.

After that, you need to go to the cPanel of your WordPress hosting account. On this page, you will have to scroll down to the Databases section and then click on phpMyAdmin.

cPanel open phpMyAdmin

Once you are in phpMyAdmin, you’ll see a list of databases on the left side of the screen. Simply click on the database that you are using for your WordPress site.

phpMyAdmin open database and table

Next, it’ll show you the list of tables in this database. You need to click on the “wp_options” table to open it.

Note: By default, WordPress use wp_ as the prefix for the table names. However, it’s possible to have a different database prefix, as shown in the above image.

Now you need to locate the template and stylesheet rows on the right panel.

Template and stylesheet rows

Next, click on the Edit link present in the “template” row to open the editor.

Here you need to change the value in the option_value field to the theme name that you want to use. It’s usually the same as the folder name in /wp-content/themes/ folder that you copied earlier.

Change template value

Once you’re done, click on the Go button to save the changes. Next, go ahead and repeat the same process for the “stylesheet” row.

After making changes to both the rows, you can go to your website to see the new theme in action.

Things to Do After Changing Your Theme

Once you’ve changed the theme on your website, you need to take care of certain things before turning off the maintenance mode.

You can check out the following checklist of things to do after changing your WordPress theme:

1. Test Your Website

First, you need to make sure that all the functionalities, plugins, and widgets are working properly.

You should invest some time to test your website and check out different things including the posts, comment section, images, and the contact form.

2. Cross Browser Compatibility

Browsers have a tendency of showing certain things differently.

To make sure that your website looks good in every major browser, you should test your site in different web browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

3. Add Tracking Code

After you’ve tested the features and the cross-browser compatibility, you should add your analytics and Adsense tracking code to your site.

You can use the MonsterInsights plugin to add the Google Analytics tracking code. This will allow you to properly setup analytics and view detailed website stats right inside your WordPress dashboard.

4. Turn Off Maintenance Mode

You can disable the maintenance mode on your site to make it go live.

If you’re using the SeedProd plugin, simply go to SeedProd » Settings from the left sidebar. On the settings page, select “Disabled” and click on Save All Changes to turn off the maintenance mode.

SeedProd disable maintenance mode

5. Test Loading Time

You need to go to the Pingdom website again to test the loading time of your homepage after changing the theme.

Next, compare it to the load time when your old theme was installed. If you see any major differences, you can follow our guide to improve WordPress speed.

6. Monitor Bounce Rate

After switching themes, you should monitor the bounce rate of your site.

If your new theme is not user-friendly and difficult to navigate, it may increase the bounce rate of your site.

You can add related posts, popular posts widget, and breadcrumbs to reduce the bounce rate and increase page views.

7. Ask for Feedback

You can also ask your users for feedback and suggestions on how to improve your site design. You can use survey forms or online poll to gather user input.

You can share the new design with your subscribers using an email marketing service and ask them for their suggestions. This will help you to get ideas on what they would like to see improved.

We hope this step by step guide helped you easily change your WordPress theme. You may want to see our list of the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites.

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



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16 Tips for Mastering the WordPress Content Editor


Majority of WordPress users spend most of their time using the content editor to write posts and create pages. WordPress comes with an intuitive Gutenberg block editor that is very easy to use.

However, as a power user, you can significantly increase your productivity by learning some of the lesser-known tricks. This would allow you to create highly engaging content in less time.

In this article, we will share our expert-tips for mastering the WordPress content editor. These tips will teach you how to use the WordPress content editor like a pro.

Expert tips on using the WordPress content editor

1. Learning The Basic Blocks

Blocks are the main building elements of the WordPress content editor, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the block editor.

Using blocks in WordPress content editor

Each element inside your content is made up of blocks. By default, WordPress comes with plenty of commonly used blocks such as paragraph, lists, images, galleries, and more.

You can use these blocks to create beautiful content layouts. This makes it important to explore different blocks and learn how you can use them in your content. We will mention some of the blocks later in this article as well.

2. Start Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts

It is inefficient to move the mouse just to make some text bold or add a link. The content editor comes with several useful keyboard shortcuts that helps you accomplish common formatting tasks without using the mouse.

Using keyboard shortcuts help you save time and make you a faster writer. Check out our guide on the most time-saving keyboard shortcuts in WordPress.

3. Single and Double Line Spacing

Many beginner level users find it difficult to figure out how to create paragraphs and line breaks in WordPress.

To add a new paragraph in the content editor, you simply need to press the Enter key. WordPress will add a new paragraph with double line spacing.

Adding double line spacing in WordPress

However if you only want a single line break, then you need to press Shift + Enter keys together.

Check out our guide on how to add single/double line spacing in WordPress.

4. Rearranging The Edit Screen

The content editor is basically a clean canvas with a top bar and a column on the right. This gives you a clean user interface to create your posts.

The editor displays a toolbar on top of the block that you are editing. You can move the toolbar by clicking on the three-dot menu in the top right corner of the screen.

Top toolbar

You can also show and hide the settings column by clicking on the gear icon at the top.

Hide settings column

WordPress also makes it easy to switch to the Spotlight mode which makes the block you are in more noticeable by dimming rest of the content.

Spotlight mode

Need more white space on the screen? Switch to the fullscreen mode which gives you a clean canvas with just the toolbar at the top.

fullscreen mode

5. Changing Font Size in WordPress Visual Editor

We understand that typography plays a very important role in web content. You may want to use different font sizes to grab your audience’s attention or highlight different sections in a lengthy article.

Change font size in WordPress content editor

Simply select the block where you want to change the font size, and you will see the font size option in the block settings on the right.

6. Add Headings into Your Articles

Headings play an important role in improving readability. This is why search engines like Google also consider headings to be important for SEO. Using your focus keywords (words that users will use to search) in headings helps search engines understand the importance of those keywords.

The content editor makes it easy to add headings to your articles. Simply select a heading block and then select a heading size and text alignment from the block settings.

Adding headings to your articles in WordPress content editor

You can also add a link to your heading, make it bold, or italicize it.

7. Adding Columns to Your Posts

WordPress content editor comes with a built-in column block, which allows you to add content into columns. This makes it easy to give your text a magazine like look.

Simply select and add a columns block to your editor. You can select the number of columns you want to add from the block settings.

Adding columns to your posts

Each column will automatically contain a paragraph block. You can easily add any other blocks that you want inside each column. For example, blockquotes, images, paragraphs, and more.

However, if you want to add an image next to some text, then you’d want to check the next tip.

8. Adding Image Next to Text

In older versions of WordPress, it was quite challenging to add an image right next to some text with proper alignment. This problem was fixed with the Media & Text block.

Media and text block in WordPress content editor

It allows you to add an image next to the text block. It automatically adjusts the width and spacing between the two blocks.

You can make the block full-width and use the formatting options for the text block.

9. Adding YouTube Videos in WordPress

You can upload videos to your WordPress site. However, WordPress is not made to be used as a streaming platform and most WordPress hosting companies cannot serve large files adequately.

To learn more about this, see our article about why you should never upload videos to your WordPress site.

Instead, we recommend uploading your videos to YouTube or other stream sites and then embed them into your WordPress posts and pages.

Adding YouTube block in WordPress content editor

You can use the YouTube block to simply paste the URL of the video you want to add, and WordPress will automatically embed it for you.

You can also paste the video URL inside a paragraph or any text block, and WordPress will automatically convert it into the YouTube block.

Auto embed YouTube videos in WordPress

10. Creating Tables in WordPress Posts

The post editor also comes with a block to easily add tables into your WordPress posts and pages.

Simply add the table block and then select the number of columns and rows you want to add. Don’t worry you would always be able to add more columns and rows later as needed.

Enter the rows and columns for your table

After that, you’ll see a plain table. You can add content to table cells and choose table colors / style from the block settings.

Table block preview

The WordPress table block is good for basic tables, but it lacks many features. For example, you cannot select the header row, make columns sortable, highlight rows, and more.

This is why we recommend using TablePress. It’s a free plugin that allows you to create beautiful tables and add them to your WordPress posts and pages.

To learn more, see our guide on how to easily add tables in WordPress posts.

11. Adding Buttons in WordPress Posts and Pages

Buttons play an important role when you want to add a call to action into your WordPress posts or pages.

The content editor comes with a basic button block that lets you quickly add a button into your content.

The default Button block in WordPress

The button comes with three styles: squared, rounded, and with a border. You can also select the background, text color and align the button to center, left, or right.

12. Add Cover Images in WordPress Posts

You may have seen cover images used in the middle of an article on popular publications like the New York Times. A cover image is simply an image placed in the middle of an article, sometimes with an overlaying text.

The purpose of the cover image is to make your content more engaging. It also provides your users with a break from reading the text and look at an image to capture their attention.

The content editor makes it easy to add cover images into your posts. Simply add a Cover Image block and then upload the image you want to use. Ideally, it should be a larger image file that looks good in the wide format.

Cover image block

For more details, see our article on cover image vs featured image and how to use them on your blog.

13. Change Paragraph Colors

Another neat trick that often goes unnoticed, is the ability to change the colors. Most folks want to keep their text consistent throughout the article.

However, occasionally using colors can help you redirect user attention and highlight important parts of an article.

The content editor shows you color options in the right column, you can choose any colors you want. Just make sure the background and text color combination you choose is easy to read.

Change background and text color in content editor

14. Add Widgets into Your Posts

Widgets are quite similar to the blocks. They allow you to add web elements to your WordPress site without adding code.

Typically widgets are commonly used in sidebars or footer area of a website. However, you can also add some widgets to the content area such as contact forms.

Simply look for the Widgets section under the add blocks button. From here, you can use the commonly used widgets in your posts and pages.

Adding widgets in WordPress posts and pages

15. Adding Custom HTML in WordPress Posts

The content editor in WordPress is a fully visual WYSIWYG editor. However you can still add HTML code if you need to.

The easiest way to do this is by adding the Custom HTML block to your post. After that, you can simply paste the HTML that you want to add.

Adding custom HTML in WordPress post

16. Get The Word Count and Other Stats for Your Posts

When working on a lengthy article, you may want to see the quick outline of the article, how many words it has, and how everything is placed.

The content editor toolbar has two buttons for that on the top. First, the info button which shows you the word count, paragraphs, blocks, and article outline based on headings you have used.

Article stats

Right next to it is the block navigation button. It shows you all the blocks you have used in your article, and you can click on a block to directly jump to it.

Jump to a block in your post

We hope this article helped you discover new tips for mastering the WordPress content editor. You may also want to see our guide on how to create an email newsletter and get more blog 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.



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How to Change Your Password in WordPress (Beginner’s Guide)


Do you want to learn how to change your WordPress password? Sometimes you might forget your password or need to change it for security reasons.

While there is a lost password link on the login page that lets you reset your password, sometimes the WordPress password reset email never makes it to your inbox because your WordPress hosting company does not have it configured properly.

Other times, you might want to force change the WordPress password for every user on your website due to security reasons.

In this beginners guide, we will show you four different ways to change the WordPress password to cover every possible scenario.

How to Change Your Password in WordPress

Before You Change Your WordPress Password

We can’t emphasize enough that passwords are your first line of defense against hacking attempts.

A lot of times users end up using a weak password because it’s easy to remember. Please don’t do that. You can use one of the many free and secure password managers.

Sometimes it might be tempting to share your WordPress passwords with team members or even contract developers. You should never do that.

Instead, we recommend creating a new user account with the right user role, so you can manage permissions.

This way you can easily delete their account when they’re no longer part of your team without having to change your main password.

That being said, let’s take a look at different ways to change your WordPress password.

How to Change Your WordPress Password in 2 Minutes

This is the easiest way to change your WordPress password.

First thing you need to do is login to your WordPress website. You can do this by entering your WordPress login URL (for example, https://example.com/login/) in your browser.

Once you are logged in, go to Users » Your Profile from your WordPress menu.

Your Profile Page in WordPress

On the WordPress profile, you need to scroll down to the Account Management section where you will see New Password option. Go ahead and click on the ‘Generate Password’ to add a new password.

Generate Password in WordPress

WordPress will automatically create a strong password for you.

Auto Password in WordPress

You can continue with this strong password or change it with a new password of your own.

After that, click the ‘Update Profile’ button to save your new password.

Create a Strong WordPress Password and Save it

Once done, you will see a Profile Updated notification on the top. WordPress will also send you a password change notification in your email inbox.

WordPress Profile Updated with New Password

How to Reset Your WordPress Password When Locked Out

The above method lets you change your password when you have access to your WordPress dashboard.

But what if you lost your password and cannot login?

Don’t panic, there is a super easy way to recover your lost password in WordPress.

You can simply go to the WordPress login page (https://example.com/wp-login.php) and click on the ‘Lost your password?’ link.

Recovering lost password in WordPress

After clicking on that, it will take you to the password reset page. You need to either enter your username or email address to reset the password on your account.

WordPress password recovery screen

Once done, WordPress will send a password reset link to the email address associated with your user account.

For more details, see our guide on how to recover a lost password in WordPress.

How to Change the WordPress Password from Database

The ‘Lost Password’ method above is beginner friendly, but sometimes you won’t be able to use that method if you don’t have access to the email address associated with the account or if your WordPress site fails to send an email.

If such a situation arises, then you will need to reset your WordPress password directly in the database. The easiest way to do that is by using phpMyAdmin.

First, you need to login to your WordPress hosting account’s control panel. After that, click on the phpMyAdmin option under the Databases section.

phpMyAdmin in cPanel

Note: your screen might look different because each hosting provider have their own control panel. If you are having a hard time locating the phpMyadmin link, then contact your hosting support.

After you launch the phpMyAdmin app, you will see a list of all your databases. You need to select the database associated with your WordPress site.

Select your WordPress database

After that, you will see the list of tables in your WordPress database. You need to look for the wp_users table in this list and click on the ‘Browse’ link next to it.

Browse user table

This will show you a list of all users in your WordPress site. On this page, you need to click on the edit link next to your user account.

Edit user account in phpMyAdmin

PhpMyAdmin will show you a form with all the user information fields.

You will need to delete the value in the user_pass field and replace it with your new password. Under the function column, select MD5 from the drop-down menu and click on the Go button.

Change password

That’s all you have successfully changed your WordPress password.

For more details, see our guide on how to reset a WordPress password from phpMyAdmin.

How to Force Change WordPress Password for all Users

If your website was hacked, or your industry has certain data compliance regulation, then you might need to force change the WordPress password for all users.

This can be easily done using a Password Expiration plugin.

We have a step by step guide on how to force change passwords in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you to learn how to change your password in WordPress. You may also want to see our step by step guide on WordPress security for beginners.

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 Add Header and Footer Code in WordPress (the Easy Way)


Have you ever been asked to add some code snippets to <header> or <footer> section of your WordPress website?

Often you are asked to add header and footer code in WordPress when trying to integrate with web services like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Google Search Console, etc.

You may also come across WordPress tutorials that might ask you to add some custom CSS or Javascript code to your WordPress header or footer.

By default, WordPress doesn’t provide an option to insert code in your website’s header and footer. Luckily there is an easy solution for beginners.

In this article, we will show you how to easily add header and footer code in WordPress. The goal is to safely add the code without directly editing your WordPress theme files.

How to Add Header and Footer Code in WordPress

The Best Way to Add WordPress Header and Footer Code

If you want to add WordPress header and footer code, there are three possible solutions:

  1. Manually, by editing you theme’s header.php and footer.php files
  2. With your theme’s built-in header and footer code feature
  3. Using a plugin

The first option is not beginner friendly because it requires you to add header and footer code by directly editing the header.php and footer.php files manually.

Another disadvantage of using this method is that your code will be removed if you install an update to your theme.

The second option is using your theme’s built-in feature. Some WordPress themes like Elegant Themes and Genesis Framework by StudioPress offer a built-in option for quickly adding code and scripts to your WordPress header and footer.

If you are using a theme with a built-in feature, then it seems like a safe and simple solution. However if you change your theme, then all the code snippets added to your website will be gone. This includes site verification in Google Search Console, website analytics via Google Analytics, etc.

This why we always recommend users to use the third option, a headers and footers plugin. This option is by far the easiest and safest method to add header and footer code in WordPress.

After a lot of request from readers, our team has built a 100% free Insert Headers and Footers plugin to let users easily add code to the header and footer in WordPress.

Insert Headers and Footers

Here are some benefits of using the Insert Headers and Footers plugin:

1. Easy, Fast, and Organized: It lets you add codes to your site’s header and footer easily and quickly. Plus, it keeps you organized by allowing you to store all your footer and header codes in one place.

2. Prevents Errors: It helps prevent errors which may occur if you edit your theme files manually.

3. Upgrade or Change Your Theme Without any Worry: The plugin will save your header and footer code in a separate place, so you can update or change your theme without worrying about the code being erased.

With that said, let’s see how to easily add header and footer code in WordPress using Insert Headers and Footers plugin.

Adding Code to Header and Footer in WordPress

First thing you need to do is 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.

Once the plugin is activated, go to Settings » Insert Headers and Footers from your admin panel. After that, you will see two boxes for adding code to header and footer.

Insert Headers and Footers plugin settings

Simply paste the code in one of the two boxes. Once done, don’t forget to click the Save button to store your changes.

The plugin will now automatically load the code in the respective locations on your WordPress site.

You can always edit and remove any code that you don’t want to keep.

You’ll need to keep the plugin installed and activated at all times. Deactivating the plugin will stop adding all custom code to your site.

If you accidentally deactivate the plugin, the code will still be safely stored in your WordPress database. You can simply reinstall or reactivate the plugin, and the code will start appearing again.

Note: You may have to clear your WordPress cache after saving changes, so the code properly appears on the front-end of your website.

We have found the biggest reason why a lot of beginners use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin is to add Google Analytics to their website. For that, we actually recommend using the free MonsterInsights plugin. It’s the best Google analytics plugin for WordPress which helps you properly setup Google analytics tracking with just a few clicks, and it shows you helpful stats right inside your WordPress dashboard.

We hope this article helped you to learn how to add header and footer code in WordPress easily. You may also want to see our comparison of the best email marketing services and the best business phone services.

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 Add Header and Footer Code in WordPress (the Easy Way) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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What is an Email Blast? How to Do an Email Blast “the RIGHT Way”


Want to know what is an email blast and how to do it “the right way”?

An email blast or broadcast is a process of sending a single email message to a large number of subscribers in your mailing list.

These are extremely effective for businesses to get more sales, and bloggers use it to get more website traffic to their new content.

In this article, we will explain how to do an email blast the proper way as well as share some examples.

What is an Email Blast? How to Do an Email Blast "the RIGHT Way"

What is an Email Blast?

An email blast is a single email message that is sent to an entire email list, a large segment of an email list, or many email lists all at once.

These emails target most or all contacts in your mailing list which makes your email blasts have a wide reach.

Email blasts are also known as broadcast emails, mass emails, bulk emails, e-blasts, and email campaigns. Most people are using the term ‘email campaigns’ to avoid the aggressive tone inherent with ‘email blast.’

Email blasts are mainly used for sending promotional content and newsletters. At WPBeginner, we use email blasts to promote our premium WordPress plugins as well as share our helpful tutorials.

For example, take a look at the email campaign we sent to promote our MonsterInsights plugin sale.

Flash Sale Email Campaign Demo

If you want to inform all your subscribers about special offers, then email blasts are the most reliable and efficient form of commnication.

Are Email Blasts Outdated?

Although email blasts are great for delivering any message to a large number of people, some consider this to be an outdated method of communication.

That’s because email blasts are bulk emails sent to everyone regardless of their choice, priorities, and needs. At times, blast emails can be highly irrelevant and useless to the recipients.

Due to the same reason, the email recipients may ignore, mark the mail as spam, and even unsubscribe from your email list.

Here are the top reasons why users don’t like email blasts:

1. Unsegmented: Email blasts often use the entire mailing list without segmentation. Often your email subscribers are very different, and they may be interested in different products or services.

2. Untargeted: The email blasts send the same message to everyone without considering their personal interests, past interactions, or their needs. Users often unsubscribe from your mailing list after receiving such unwanted emails.

3. Not personalized: All of us love to read a message that addresses us personally. Email blasts that don’t personalize the emails are often marked as spam.

4. Unexpected: Unlike the action-based emails, broadcast emails are unexpected due to which there can be a natural feeling of resistance from the recipients.

Unlike 10 or 15 years ago, there are a lot of new marketing methods available like social media, pay-per-click advertising, etc. However none are as effective as email.

To the answer the question, is email blast dead? NO.

Email is still the most reliable form of communication in the world. With new technology there are better ways to do an email blast which will get you higher results.

We will explain how to do an email blast the RIGHT way in the following section below.

How to Do an Email Blast “the Right Way” – Step by Step

Marketers associated with big and small companies are still using email blast to promote their product launches, discount offers, etc.

And the results are brilliant. That’s because they are using email blasts the right way.

If you are not a professional marketer, you can follow the steps below to successfully run an email blast.

Table of Contents

  1. Choose the best email blast service
  2. Create an email list
  3. Segment your email list
  4. Create a targeted email campaign
  5. Measure results and improve email deliverability

Now let’s go ahead and see the steps one by one.

Step 1: Choose the Best Email Blast Service

First of all, you need a robust email marketing service to crate an email blast. An email marketing service lets you create a mailing list, segment your list, and send bulk emails.

There are dozens of email marketing services in the market. Among them Constant Contact, SendinBlue, Mailjet, Drip, and ConvertKit are the most popular companies.

We have tried and tested all of the above email marketing services, and we believe they are great at what they offer. However, we recommend Constant Contact because it offers the best deal of all.

Constant Contact is the most beginner-friendly email blast software. It comes with dozens of pre-made email templates to help you quickly get started. You can choose a template, and easily customize that using their drag and drop editor.

It has simple options to collect emails, automation features to send / trigger emails based on users’ actions, and more. Plus, it lets you segment your subscribers and send targeted email campaigns.

To get started, you need to visit the Constant Contact website and sign up for a new account.

Signup for Constant Contact

You can quickly create a Constant Contact account as it offers a 60-day free trial account (No credit cards required).

Once done, you will see your Constant Contact dashboard from where you can manage your email lists, subscribers, and send email blasts.

Constant Contact dashboard

Alternately, you can also use SendinBlue or Mailjet both of which offers a free email marketing plan.

Step 2. Create Your Email List

An email list is simply a list of email addresses whom you can send emails. It is like your contact book containing the email addresses of your subscribers and prospect customers.

To create an email list in Constant Contact, go to ‘Contacts’ menu on the top and then click on Email Lists option in the sidebar.

Creating a new email list

Now you will see the default email list labeled ‘General Interest.’ Click on the ‘Enter a new list’ link to create a new email list.

Choose a name for your email list

After that, name your email list and click on the Add List button.

Once your email list is built, the next step is to add contacts to your list. Open your new email list, and click on the ‘Add Contacts’ button.

Add Contacts to Your Constant Contact Email List

As you can see in the above screenshot, Constant Contact lets you add contacts in multiple ways. You can type in a contact, upload from a file, or import from Gmail, Outlook, and other apps.

If you want to grow your email list faster, see our guide on easy ways to grow an email list.

Step 3: Segment Your Email List

Once you have an email list, the next step is to segment it. Email segmentation is the most critical aspect of doing a successful email blast.

Email segmentation is dividing your email subscribers into smaller groups or segments to send highly targeted emails.

You can segment your email subscribers based on gender, age, geographical location, interests, purchase history, contact activity, etc.

For example, a book store may create different segments for the students of arts, physics, and maths and send different emails.

Email segmentation is a crucial task which must be done with a clear goal. You need to be clear on which type of subscribers to be included in a segment.

For more details, see this guide on smarter ways to segment your email list.

To create segments in Constant Contact, go to the ‘Contacts’ menu and click on the Segments link. After that, click on the Create Segment button.

Create Segment Button in Constant Contact

In the next screen, you can create a segment by choosing the right criteria for your needs.

Create a Segment in Constant Contact

As you can see in the screenshot above, Constant Contact lets you create segments based on contact activity like emails sent, opened, clicked, or did not open. You can also include email subscribers by contact details, including job title, city, country, etc.

Step 4: Create a Targeted Email Campaign

After creating segments, the next task is to create a targeted email campaign or an email blast. There can be different ways you can create an email campaign depending on the email marketing software you use.

To create an email campaign in Constant Contact, go to the ‘Campaigns’ menu, and then click the Create button.

Create welcome email campaign

Next, you can choose the Email option.

Select Email Campaign

After that, you will see hundreds of pre-made email templates ready for use. You can preview the templates one by one or simply type in your keywords to search a template.

For example, we will search for the keyword ‘sale’.

Constant Contact Email Templates for Sale

As you can see in the screenshot above, the available templates for sales will appear. For example, we will choose ‘Limited Time Sale.’

After that, the email campaign builder page will open. First, name your campaign.

Name Your Email Campaign

Next, click on the area above your template to open your email settings.

After that, you need to edit your email subject line. You can also personalize your email subject line by adding the subscriber’s name. Click on the ‘Personalize’ option.

Subject Line Settings for Email Blast in Constant Contact

Next, you can choose the first name or any other contact detail to insert in your subject line.

You can also enter a generic name like Customer, User, or Friend to address users whose names are not available. Once done, click on the ‘Insert’ button.

Personalize Subject Line for Your Email Blast in Constant Contact

You will see some text with big brackets added in your subject line. For example, [[FIRSTNAME OR “User”]] in the screenshot below.

Subject Line Personalized in Constant Contact Email Blast

After that, edit your email preheader, from Name (company or organization name), from address, and then click the Save button.

Save Email Settings Constant Contact

Next step is to customize your email body. You can simply point and click on any element in the email to edit or change it.

Customize Your Email in Constant Contact

You can also drag and drop Build elements and layouts from the left sidebar.

Once your email design is complete, you can check and preview your email. If it looks good to you, then click on the ‘Continue’ button at the top right corner.

In the next screen, you will see email send (blasting) options. You can select recipients from email lists or segments. For example, we will choose the segment that we created earlier.

Send Your Constant Contact Email Blast

On the right sidebar, you will see options to send your email campaign now or schedule for later.

Step 5: Measure Results and Improve Email Deliverability

Sending an email campaign does not mean that your work is done. After posting your email blast, you need to measure your results and see how the recipients are interacting with them.

Top email marketing services like Constant Contact have built-in email stats feature.

To view your email campaign stats, click on the ‘Reporting’ menu on the top.

Constant Contact Email Blast Reporting

You can also see the performance of your email campaigns individually by clicking on them.

You will see the email open rate, the total sent emails, bounces, and successful deliveries. The reports will also reveal click rate, did not open, unsubscribes, and marked spam stats.

Constant Contact Email Stats

The biggest challenge of email blasting is email deliverability. A lot of times, your emails don’t get delivered at all or sent to the spam box directly.

Here are some proven techniques to improve email deliverability:

  • Update your email list time to time to remove fake email addresses, deleted emails, etc.
  • Maintain the frequency of your emails (no spikes)
  • Avoid misleading subject lines
  • Make your emails useful with vaubale and engaging content

Best Email Blast Examples

There are mainly 2 types of emails used for marketing: Broadcast Emails (Email blasts) and Triggered Emails.

The triggered emails are automated emails which are sent to the users following their action. For example, you can send a triggered welcome email after a user subscribes to your list.

Email blasts are different because you will manually create campaigns and send to a large segment at once. Email blasting is done with the belief that the single message will be useful to every subscriber in a list or segment.

It means that you cannot broadcast a welcome email to your entire email list containing your already-purchased customers.

Hence, email blasts can be used only for specific purposes. Here are the best email blast examples:

1. Flash Sale

If you are offering flash sale, you can send mass emails in bulk to inform all of your subscribers.

Following are a couple of subject line example for flash sale email blast:

  • [FLASH SALE] Fashion Shoes 40%-60% off!
  • [LAST CHANCE] 40%-60% off sale ends today!

2. Event Information like Webinars

If you conduct online training and webinars for your users, you can send mass emails.

Here are a couple of email subject lines for event information email blast:

  • LIVE Training: 10 steps to create a winning email campaign
  • Join us LIVE, tomorrow at 5 PM for a FREE marketing class

3. New Products

You can send an email blast when you launch a new product. It’s best to segment your list into already purchased customers and new subscribers, so you can send different campaigns to them.

4. Newsletters

Newsletters are the most common type of broadcast emails. News, magazine websites, blogs, as well as business or non-profit organization send newsletters to inform their subscribers about the latest news.

We hope this article helped you to learn what is an email blast and how to do an email blast the right way. You may also want to see our guide on how to get a free business email address.

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 Add Scroll Depth Tracking in WordPress with Google Analytics


Do you want to add scroll depth tracking on your WordPress website?

Scroll depth tracking allows you to see how far a user scrolls on any page. This data helps you see if your visitors are actually reading your long posts and when they lose interest, so you can modify the content to keep them engaged.

In this article, we will show you how to easily track user scrolling in WordPress using Google Analytics.

How to Track User Scrolling in WordPress Using Google Analytics

Why Track User Scrolling in WordPress?

Generally, scrolling occurs when a user wants to see your content below the preview screen. It is a primary activity that all users perform to look at your content.

This makes scroll depth tracking an important measure to track user engagement. In addition to that, it gives you plenty of insights about user interaction on your site and helps you improve pages for optimal length.

For example, you can find out how much an average user scrolls when viewing your site, which long reads they liked the most, what makes them lose interest, etc.

With these insights, you can then optimize your pages for better user engagement and higher conversions.

Tracking Scroll Depth in WordPress with Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you better understand your website visitors.

It allows you track who your website visitors are (age, gender, interests), where they are from, which pages they visit, how long they stay on those pages, how far down they scroll on the pages, and more.

Google Analytics tracks the basic metrics like total page views, total number of visitors, top pages, etc. by default.

For more advanced metrics like scroll depth, eCommerce tracking, form submissions, file downloads, event tracking, and others, Google analytics require you to setup custom tracking.

Manually setting up advanced Google analytics tracking requires a lot of technical skills. As a beginner, this is nearly impossible. Even some developers can’t do it properly.

Thankfully, there are easy to use WordPress plugins that can help you track advanced metrics like scroll depth with Google Analytics.

Let’s take a look at two plugins that you can use to setup scroll depth tracking in WordPress.

1. Scroll Depth Tracking in WordPress with MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress with over 2,000,000+ active installs. It helps you easily install and use Google Analytics on your WordPress website without using any code.

MonsterInsights Best Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

With MonsterInsights, you can enable advanced tracking like eCommerce tracking, file downloads, affiliate links, forms tracking, scroll depth, and more with just a single click (no coding needed).

MonsterInsights comes with scroll-depth tracking enabled by default. This means you don’t even need to configure any settings. All you need to do is setup the MonsterInsights plugin.

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

Upon activation, go to Insights » Settings page and then click on the Engagement tab. As shown in the screenshot below, you will see the scroll tracking option enabled by default.

MonsterInsights Scroll Depth Tracking Option

MonsterInsights trigger events in Google Analytics as your website visitors scroll down the page. It will then be tracked with Google Analytics as 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% scroll.

You can see your scroll tracking stats and other helpful stats right inside your WordPress admin area by going to the MonsterInsights Publishers Report (Insights » Reports » Publishers). The scroll depth data appears next to the Interests section.

Scroll Tracking Reports in WordPress

You can use the scroll depth data to optimize your pages for more conversions. It gives you a better picture of how your visitors are interacting with your content and helps you decide the best place for your important calls to action, ads, and more.

View User Scrolling Data in Google Analytics

Now that you have set up scroll tracking with MonsterInsights, you can view reports also in your Google Analytics account.

Log into your Analytics account and then visit Real-Time » Events to see your real-time or recent scrolling data within the last 30 minutes.

Google Analytics Scroll Tracking in Real-time

For the complete data, you can go to Behavior » Events » Overview from your Analytics dashboard.

Scroll Depth Data in Google Analytics

You can click on the Scroll Depth link to get more details.

If you want more granular details, then you can use Google Analytics’ secondary dimension feature alongside the Scroll Depth event to see the scroll data for each individual landing page.

2. Track User Scrolling With WP Scroll Depth Plugin

If you don’t want a comprehensive Google Analytics solution and would rather use a single plugin, then you can use WP Scroll Depth.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Scroll Depth plugin on your site. For detailed instructions, here’s our step by step guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress.

Upon activation, you need to go to Settings » Scroll Depth to configure the plugin settings.

WP Scroll Depth Plugin Settings

The default options will track scroll depth for all pages on your WordPress site. All you need to do is click on the Save Changes button to store plugin settings.

WP Scroll Depth plugin uses jQuery to track scrolling on your WordPress site. It monitors four scroll points 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the page height. When a user reaches a scroll point, the plugin sends an event to Google Analytics using jQuery.

After that, you can view Scroll Depth event data under Real-Time » Events on your Google Analytics dashboard.

WP Scroll Depth Real-time data

We use MonsterInsights on all our websites because it’s the most complete Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, and we recommend all our users to do the same. They have a free MonsterInsights plugin, and you can also upgrade to the premium version to unlock more powerful tracking.

We hope this article helped you learn how to track scroll depth on your WordPress site using Google Analytics. You may also like to see our guide on 10 website marketing data you must track on every WordPress 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 use WordPress App on your iPhone, iPad, and Android (Guide)


Did you know that nearly half of all global website traffic originates from mobile devices? People are not just browsing the web on mobile, they are also creating content using mobile apps from platforms like WordPress, Facebook, and other media sites.

Over the years, the WordPress mobile apps have seen significant improvements to help you easily publish content and manage your website using a mobile device. WordPress app is already available for both Android and iOS devices.

In this article, we will show you how to use the WordPress app on your iPhone, iPad, Android, and other mobile devices.

How to use the WordPress app on mobile devices

Why Use WordPress App on iPhone or iPad?

The WordPress app allows you to create content and manage your website from anywhere in the world specially when you’re traveling.

You can capture and upload photos, record and upload a video, write quick blog posts while riding the train or bus, walking around, or hanging out with friends. You can take your WordPress site with you in your pocket.

By default, the WordPress admin area is fully responsive and works well on mobile browsers.

WordPress admin area on mobile browser

However, this user interface is not optimal for mobile usage.

On the other, the WordPress app is designed to be touch-friendly, mobile optimized, and easy to use. It has an intuitive user interface which makes using the WordPress app a pleasure.

Writing without a physical keyboard had been an issue for many bloggers. The app combines your device’s native touch keyboard with WordPress formatting buttons, making it simple and easy to write posts on touch devices.

What Do You Need to Use the WordPress Mobile App?

Unlike other mobile apps, you actually need to have a WordPress website or a WordPress blog before you can start using the WordPress app.

The WordPress app works for both the popular free self-hosted WordPress.org platform as well as the WordPress.com blog hosting service.

For details, see our side-by-side comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

Setting up Your Website for WordPress Mobile Apps

You’ll need the following two things to connect your website to the WordPress app:

  • JetPack plugin on your website
  • A free WordPress.com account

Let’s get started.

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

Upon activation, you’ll need to click on the setup button to continue.

Next, you will be asked to sign in with a WordPress.com account. If you already have one, then you can go ahead and sign in. Otherwise, you can continue to signup for a free account.

Sign up with WordPress.com

During this process your self-hosted WordPress.org website will be connected to JetPack servers via your free WordPress.com account.

Once that’s done, you are now ready to start using the WordPress app on your mobile device(s).

Setting up the WordPress App on Your Mobile Device

First, you need to install the WordPress app on your device. It is available for Android, iOS (iPhones and iPads), Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

WordPress Apps

Next, you need to open the app and sign in to your WordPress.com account.

Login to your WordPress.com account

After that, the app will connect and fetch your website information.

Logged in to the WordPress app

You can now click on the continue button to move forward and view the app dashboard. This is where you will manage your WordPress site using the mobile app.

WordPress App dashboard

Editing Blog Posts with WordPress App

The WordPress app comes with an intuitive user interface to make it easy for you to create / edit blog posts and pages on your website.

You can view all your posts by clicking on the Blog Posts menu from the app dashboard. This will show you a list of your recent blog posts.

Adding new blog post using the WordPress app

You can edit any blog post or tap the add new button to create a new blog post.

This will launch the WordPress app’s content editor. From here, you can write a new post using your phone’s native keyboard which will have a formatting toolbar at the bottom.

Editing posts in the WordPress app

You can click on the ‘Add’ button to add images to your blog post. The app will allow you to upload images from your device, using your phone’s camera, or from the WordPress media library.

Upload images to your blog posts

The app also allows you to change other post options. To access those options, tap on the three-dot menu on the top right corner of the edit screen and then select ‘Post settings’.

Editing post settings

This will bring up the post settings menu. From here, you can add category and tags, featured image, change post status, and other options.

Post options

The WordPress app comes with built-in autosave feature which saves your posts locally on your device. Once you are done editing the blog post, simply click on the publish or update button at the top right corner.

The app will now upload the post to your website. You can visit your website in a browser to see it in action.

Switching to The New Block Editor in WordPress App

The app also includes the new WordPress block editor, but it is not turned on by default. In order to use the new editor with the app, you need to tap on your profile icon at the bottom and then select App Settings.

App settings

This will bring up the app settings menu where you can turn on the block editor.

Enable block editor in the WordPress app

You can now create WordPress posts in the app using the same block editor that you use on Desktop. However, the number of blocks available on the app is very limited at the moment.

Editing with the block editor in WordPress app

Upload and Manage Media Files Using WordPress App

The WordPress app allows you to easily manage and upload photos / videos from your phone.

You can upload media while writing posts, or you can directly launch the Media library from the app dashboard.

Media menu in WordPress app

This will launch the WordPress media library, and you’ll be able to see all media files in your library. You can edit media files, delete them, and even upload new photos and videos from your phone using the Add button.

Upload media

Managing Comments on The Go Using The WordPress App

Comments help boost user engagement and build a community around your WordPress blog. The WordPress app makes it easy to moderate comments on the go.

Managing comments via WordPress app

You can view all comments on your site by visiting the Comments tab from the app dashboard. You’ll see comments awaiting moderation and approved comments.

Comments list

You can click on any comment to view more options. This will allow you to edit the comment, approve or disapprove it, mark it as spam, or add a reply.

Replying a comment via WordPress app

Performing Admin Tasks via WordPress App

The WordPress app comes with limited options to manage administrative tasks on your WordPress site via the app. Let’s take a look at these options and what you can do with them.

First, the WordPress app allows you to modify some of the site settings from the ‘Settings’ tab.

Settings menu

These settings are similar to the settings you see in your WordPress admin area. You can change site title, tagline, default category, timezone, and other options.

Site settings in WordPress app

However, you will not see settings pages created by your WordPress plugins.

Speaking of plugins, the WordPress app does allow you to manage and even install plugins from the WordPress.org plugin directory.

Managing plugins via WordPress app

However, you cannot use any of the plugins inside the app or access their settings. This feature is mainly useful when you need to activate or deactivate a plugin while away from your computer.

Same goes for WordPress themes. The app allows you to switch between installed themes on your WordPress site, but you cannot install new themes from the app or customize them.

Managing WordPress themes via the app

Is it Possible to Run WordPress Entirely from The App?

No. Currently, it is not possible to efficiently run a WordPress site using only the WordPress app.

For example, you cannot manage plugins using the app. Plugins are an essential part of a WordPress website and you need them to extend your website’s functionality.

You also cannot access custom post types, SEO options, use cover images, use blocks created by plugins, and more.

Why and When to Use The WordPress App?

While the WordPress app is not enough to efficiently run the entire website, it does an excellent job of providing you an easy to use interface to write content, upload photos, and manage comments while away from your computer.

It can also be used when traveling to places with low connectivity. You can use some of the app features offline which allows you to save content as local drafts.

It can be used as a companion app to create content on the go and manage routine tasks like moderating comments.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use the WordPress app on your mobile devices. You may also want to see our list of the best mobile apps to manage your WordPress 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.

The post How to use WordPress App on your iPhone, iPad, and Android (Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Add Stripe Donate Button in WordPress (with Recurring Option)


Do you want to add a Stripe donate button to your WordPress site? Stripe is one of the best online payment processors in the world because it allows anyone to easily accept online payments on their website including donations.

In the past, you had to use an eCommerce plugin to accept payments, but that’s not needed anymore specially if you want to collect donations or sell a few products. You can use a simple payment form to do the job.

In this article, we will show you how to easily add a Stripe donate button in WordPress.

Adding a Stripe donate button in WordPress posts and pages

What You Need to Accept Stripe Donations on Your Website

You’ll need to create a Stripe account. You can create an account for free and will only be charged for transactions.

You’ll also need a WordPress website with SSL enabled. SSL adds a security layer to your website making it safe for accepting payments. To learn more, see our guide on how to get a free SSL certificate for your website.

Lastly, you’ll need a WordPress extension to connect your Stripe account. We’ll be using WPForms, which is the best WordPress form plugin.

It comes with a Stripe addon that allows you to accept donations, one-time payments, and even subscription payments on your website. You’ll need at least their PRO plan to access the Stripe add-on.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to add a Stripe donate button in WordPress.

Adding The Stripe Donate Button in WordPress

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

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

Add WPForms license key

Next, you need to visit WPForms » Addons page and click on the ‘Install Addon’ button next to the Stripe addon.

Install Stripe addon

WPForms will now install and activate the Stripe add-on for you.

Now let’s connect WPForms to your Stripe account to receive payments. To do that you need to visit WPForms » Settings page and click on the Payments tab.

Stripe payment settings

You will be asked to enter your Stripe API keys, which you can find under your Stripe dashboard.

Simply log in to your Stripe account dashboard and from the left menu select Developers » API Keys.

Stripe API keys

You need two pairs of keys for the published website and for testing.

First, you’ll see the publishable keys on the screen. Copy and paste the public key and then click on ‘Reveal key token’ to copy and paste the publishable secret key.

Stripe publishable keys

Next, you need to add the test keys. Click on the ‘View test data’ toggle and then copy and paste the test API keys.

Test api keys

Now that you have pasted the API keys, you can optionally enable the test mode from payment settings.

This will allow you to test Stripe integration without actual payments. However, you must uncheck this option when your website is ready for accepting donations on your website.

Stripe keys in WPForms

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

Now that you have set up the payments, it is time to create a Stripe donate form for your website.

Making a Stripe Donation Form in WordPress

First, you need to visit the WPForms » Add New page to create a new form. You will be asked to provide a title for your form and choose a template. You need to select the ‘Donation Form’ template.

Create a donation form

This will launch the WordPress forms builder interface with your selected donations form template. This template will already have the common fields required to create a donation form like name, email, donation amount, and message.

Editing the donation form in WPForms

This is a drag and drop form builder. You can edit form fields by clicking on them, rearrange them, or add new fields from the left column.

Since you are creating a Stripe payments form, you need to add a credit card field to your form. You’ll find it under ‘Payments Fields’ section on the left column.

Adding Stripe credit card field to your form

Simply click to add the field to your form and then drag and drop to rearrange its position in the form.

Once you are satisfied with the form, click on the Payments tab in the left corner to edit the payment settings. From here you need to select Stripe as your payment method and then check the box next to ‘Enable Stripe Payments’ option.

Enable payment option

You can provide a description for the payment and select the email field if you want to send the donors a receipt of the payment.

WPForms also supports recurring payments. You can use this option to set up recurring donations or subscriptions.

The next step is to setup confirmation settings. This is what your users will see after they fill the form.

Click on the Settings tab and then select the confirmation option.

Set up confirmation

From here you can select different types of confirmation options. For example, you can thank users with a simple message, or redirect them to a thank you page or any other URL.

Once done, click on the save button and exit the form builder.

Adding The Stripe Donation Form in WordPress

WPForms makes it super easy to add your forms anywhere on your website.

Simply edit the post or page where you want to add the donation form. Next, add the WPForms block to your content and select the donation form you created earlier.

Add donation form to your WordPress post or page

WPForms will now fetch and embed the form for you. You can now visit your website to see it in action.

Stripe donation form preview

You can also add the donation form to your blog’s sidebar or any other widget ready area. Head over to Appearance » Widgets page and add WPForms widget to a sidebar.

Adding a donation form to sidebar

Next, you need to select your Stripe donation form in the widget settings. Don’t forget to click on the Save button to store your widget settings.

We hope this article helped you easily add a Stripe donate button to your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on the must have WordPress plugins for every website.

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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12 Vital Tips and Tools to Combat Comment Spam in WordPress


Are you getting tired of dealing with comment spam on your WordPress blog? Well, you are not alone.

Spam comments are a huge problem especially if you are not prepared to deal with them properly.

In this article, we’ll share the best WordPress comment spam plugins and helpful tips to combat spam comments in WordPress. These tips will save you a lot of time and will significantly eliminate comment spam from your website.

Combat WordPress comment spam with these tips and tools

Why You Need to Deal with Comment Spam in WordPress?

Internet is full of spam bots that automatically spread links for nefarious websites in the form of comment spam. The purpose of these spam comments is to get ranked in search engines and also to get accidental clicks from unsuspecting visitors.

But not all comment spam is submitted by bots. There are actual human submitted spam comments as well. These off-topic and poorly written comments are harder to catch and often contain links to third-party websites.

If you are not monitoring your website and these comments get published, then both your actual users and search engines will be able to see them.

This affects your website’s reputation. Users would consider your website to be a low quality or spam website.

Search engines can also mark your website as unsafe if they found links to websites that distribute malware and viruses.

That being said, let’s see how you can combat comment spam effectively, so that you spend less time worrying about spam and more time on growing your online business.

1. Turn on Comment Moderation in WordPress

Let’s first make sure that no comment on your website is published without your approval. This step will ensure that comments don’t bypass any filters, and it will also give you full control on which comments appear on your website.

This solution is highly recommended for business websites such as law firms, accounting, etc.

Head over to the Settings » Discussion page inside WordPress admin area. Next, scroll down to the ‘Before a comment appears’ section and check the box next to ‘Comment must be manually approved’ option.

Enable comment moderation in WordPress

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

All your WordPress comments will now be held for moderation and you will have to manually approve each comment before it appears on your website.

Now you may be wondering how would I go through all the comments? Well in the next few tips, we will show you how to eliminate spam comments so that you only have to go through genuine comments.

2. Activate Akismet Anti-spam Protection

Akismet anti-spam protection

Akismet is an anti-spam plugin that comes pre-installed with WordPress. It filters all WordPress comments on your website through their anti-spam database and catches the most common types of spam comments.

Akismet is available as a free plugin, but you’ll need to signup for their API key. You can get it free for a personal blog or a small website.

To set it up, see our guide on how to set up Akismet for beginners with step by step instructions.

3. Using Sucuri to Combat Spam Comments

Sucuri website firewall

While Akismet is able to catch a lot of spam comments, it cannot stop spammers from accessing your website. Too many requests from spammers to submit comments can slow down your website and affect performance.

This is where Sucuri comes in. It is the best WordPress firewall plugin that allows you to block suspicious requests before they even reach your website.

They can prevent automated bots and scripts from submitting comments. This reduces the load on your servers and the number of spam comments you receive.

4. Using Honeypot to Catch Spam Bots

Honeypot anti spam technique

Honeypot technology is an effective method to trick spambots into identifying themselves. Once they are identified their comments can be blocked.

First, you need to install and activate the Antispam Bee plugin. Upon activation simply go to Settings » Antispam Bee page and check the option to mark as spam for all honeypot caught comments.

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

The plugin will now use the honeypot technique to catch the bad spam bots. It also has other antispam filter such as validate the IP address from your WordPress comment blacklist, look at bbcode, look in local spam database, and more.

5. Add Google reCAPTCHA Verification

Using reCAPTCHA in WP Comments plugin, you can enable Google reCAPTCHA challenge on your comment forms.

WordPress comment form with reCAPTCHA enabled

ReCAPTCHA is an advanced form of CAPTCHA, which is a technology used to differentiate between robots and human users. CAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.

Google makes it easy for users to verify their identity by simply clicking on the checkbox button.

For spambots, this technology is quite hard to bypass because when Google detects a spam bot, it gives them a much harder challenge.

See our guide on how to how to add reCAPTCHA to WordPress comments.

Note: while most WordPress comment captcha plugins are annoying, this is the best form of CAPTCHA you can use.

6. Removing Website URL Field from Comment Form

Remove website field from the comment form

The URL field in the comment form attracts not only spammers (both automated and human), but it also invites people who have absolutely no interest in the discussion at all.

These comments usually contain a line or two of irrelevant nonsense, and the comment author name will contain a keyword or a combination of a real name with keywords like Sally from Dunder Mifflin, or John @SEOconsultants, etc.

Simply add the following code to your WordPress theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.


function wpb_disable_comment_url($fields)  
unset($fields['url']);
return $fields;

add_filter('comment_form_default_fields','wpb_disable_comment_url');

This code simply filters the WordPress comment form fields and removes the website field from the form.

Note: you will need to login to your WordPress hosting via FTP to upload the code above.

7. Disable Comments on Media Attachments

WordPress automatically creates image attachment pages where users can see an image and even leave a comment on it.

If you are linking your images to the attachment page, then after a while you will have a lot of attachment pages with comments enabled on them.

If images are a central part of your content, then that’s fine. But if you don’t want users to comment on images, then you should turn off comments on media attachments.

The easiest way to do this is by installing the Disable Comments plugin. Upon activation, go to Settings » Disable Comments page and check the box next to ‘Media’ option.

Disable comments for attachments

Click on the save changes button to store your settings. The plugin will now disable comments on your WordPress media files and attachments.

8. Disable HTML in Comments

Disable HTML in WordPress comments

Another handy tip to discourage links in comments is disabling HTML in comments. HTML can be used to hide spam links in WordPress comments.

Simply add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

    function wpb_comment_post( $incoming_comment ) 
    $incoming_comment['comment_content'] = htmlspecialchars($incoming_comment['comment_content']);
    $incoming_comment['comment_content'] = str_replace( "'", '&apos;', $incoming_comment['comment_content'] );
	return( $incoming_comment );
    
    function wpb_comment_display( $comment_to_display ) 
     $comment_to_display = str_replace( '&apos;', "'", $comment_to_display );
     return $comment_to_display;

add_filter( 'preprocess_comment', 'wpb_comment_post', '', 1);
add_filter( 'comment_text', 'wpb_comment_display', '', 1);
add_filter( 'comment_text_rss', 'wpb_comment_display', '', 1);
add_filter( 'comment_excerpt', 'wpb_comment_display', '', 1);
remove_filter( 'comment_text', 'make_clickable', 9 );

This code changes HTML code into HTML entities which are displayed as the code and are not parsed by the browser.

9. Minimum and Maximum Comment Length

Another way to combat comment spam is by using Yoast Comment Hacks plugin to set a minimum and maximum comment length.

Recently we ran into a comment spam problem where a spammer was leaving hundreds of comments per hour with a single word: hello.

Akismet and Sucuri were not able to block this because the comment looked natural. Antispam bee honeypot slowed the spammer down, but it too wasn’t able to entirely block the attack.

We simply enabled the Yoast Comment Hacks plugin and set the minimum comment length. This forces the user to leave a more meaningful comment instead of just a one word message.

10. Disable Trackbacks in WordPress

A big portion of comment SPAM is trackbacks. For most blogs, it is not necessary to have trackbacks enabled. You can choose to disable trackbacks on your entire blog or in an individual post. This is an easy way to significantly reduce comment SPAM.

Disable trackbacks in WordPress

You can find the above option by visiting Settings » Discussion. This will turn off trackbacks for your entire site.

11. Turn off Comments on Old Posts

WordPress allows you to turn off comments on old posts. This particularly helpful for websites publishing content that is more timely like news or events websites.

Simply go to Settings » Discussion, under ‘Other comment settings’ you will see the option ‘Automatically close comments on articles older than’. Check the box next to this option and enter the number of days you want comments to be displayed on a post.

Close comments on older articles

WordPress will now automatically close comments on posts older than the number of days you defined for this option. If you need, you can override comment deadline in WordPress for individual posts where you would like comments to remain open.

12. Switch Off Comments

In case you feel that you don’t need comments on your WordPress site, or comment moderation goes out of your hands, remember that you can always switch off comments in WordPress. All you have to do is go to Settings » Discussion and uncheck the box next to ‘Allow people to post comments on new articles’.

Turn off comments

You can also make comments for registered users only by checking the box in your Settings ~ Discussion page. For more details, see our guide on how to completely disable comments in WordPress.

Frequently Asked Questions by Users

Why are they spamming me?

Spammers want to get better search rankings or lure unsuspecting visitors to dubious and malicious sites. They think that by spamming they can get more links, and it will somehow positively affect their search rankings.

In most cases, it is not a personal attack against you rather it’s a systematic process that targets many blogs.

What happens to comments that are marked as “Spam”?

The comments that you mark as spam, are not displayed on your website. You can delete Spammed comments in batch and/or recover good comments from the SPAM list.

Spam comments

Why is every comment going into the moderation queue?

You enabled the comment moderation as the first tip in this article. This gives you absolute control on any comment that gets published on your website.

We hope this article helped you find useful tips and tools to combat comment spam in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to grow your website traffic and convert users into subscribers by creating an email newsletter.

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 12 Vital Tips and Tools to Combat Comment Spam in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Maximum Execution Time Exceeded in WordPress


Are you seeing ‘Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded’ on your screen when trying to update a WordPress plugin or theme?

Typically this problem occurs when a PHP code in WordPress takes a long time to run and reaches the maximum time limit set by your WordPress hosting server. The time limit is important because it helps prevent the abuse of server resources.

In this article, we will show you how to fix the fatal error: maximum execution time exceeded in WordPress.

Fix Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time Exceeded in WordPress Easily

Why Maximum Execution Time Exceeded Error Occurs?

WordPress is coded mainly in the PHP programming language. To protect web servers from abuse, there is a time limit set for how long a PHP script can run.

The actual time limit varies across hosting companies, however most of the times the maximum execution time is set between 30 – 60 seconds because that’s usually enough for a good PHP script to run.

When a script reaches the maximum execution time limit, it results in maximum execution time exceeded error.

Maximum Execution Time of 30 Seconds Exceeded Error in WordPress

Fixing Maximum Execution Time Exceeded Error

Although Maximum Execution Time Exceeded error is named a ‘fatal error,’ it is one of the most common WordPress errors, and you can easily resolve this.

Depending on when and where the error is triggered, WordPress may show the following error message to your website visitors.

Technical difficulties

This is part of the fatal error protection feature added in WordPress 5.2. You may also receive an email that will tell you which plugin (if a plugin triggered the error) caused the issue.

Technical issue email sent to admin

The email will also include a special link, which will allow you to log in to WordPress with ‘Recovery mode’.

Recovery mode

Once there, you can simply deactivate or delete the plugin causing the error.

However, if you don’t want to deactivate a plugin, then you can fix the underlying cause that triggered the error.

To fix the error, you will need to manually edit your .htaccess file and add a simple line of code.

Simply connect to your website using an FTP client.

Your .htaccess file is located in the same folder as your /wp-content/ and /wp-admin/ folders. If you can’t find it, then look at our article on why you can’t find the .htaccess file and how to find it.

For example, if you are using FileZilla as your FTP client, then you can find it in the ‘Remote Site’ section on the right-hand column.

WordPress .htaccess File in Filezilla

Once you locate the .htaccess file, right-click and open ‘View/Edit’ option. This will open the file with in a text editor.

View/Edit .htaccess File in WordPress

Next, you need to add this line at the bottom of your .htaccess file:

php_value max_execution_time 300

If you are using Notepad as your text editor, here is how it may look.

Adding Code to .htaccess File WordPress

Once done, save your file.

This code simply sets the value for maximum execution time to 300 seconds (5 minutes). You can now visit your website to see if the error is resolved.

If you still get the error, then try increasing the value to 600.

If you found this method easier, then check out these most useful .htaccess tricks for WordPress.

Another method to fix the maximum execution time exceeded error in WordPress is by modifying your php.ini file.

The php.ini file is a configuration file that defines settings for PHP on your server. On many WordPress hosting platforms, you may not see it inside your WordPress folder.

In that case, you can create a new php.ini file inside your WordPress root folder. After that, edit the php.ini file and add the following line.

max_execution_time = 60

Don’t forget to save and upload your changes back to the server. You can now visit your website and to see if the error has gone.

In most cases, increasing maximum execution time using either of these two methods will resolve the error. However if it doesn’t, then you need to contact your WordPress hosting provider for assistance.

We hope this article helped you fix the fatal error: maximum execution time exceeded in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to fix the error establishing a database connection in WordPress.

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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