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The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide (Step by Step)


WordPress security is a topic of huge importance for every website owner. Google blacklists around 10,000+ websites every day for malware and around 50,000 for phishing every week.

If you are serious about your website, then you need to pay attention to the WordPress security best practices. In this guide, we will share all the top WordPress security tips to help you protect your website against hackers and malware.

Complete WordPress security guide

While WordPress core software is very secure, and it’s audited regularly by hundreds of developers, there is a lot that can be done to keep your site secure.

At WPBeginner, we believe that security is not just about risk elimination. It’s also about risk reduction. As a website owner, there’s a lot that you can do to improve your WordPress security (even if you’re not tech savvy).

We have a number of actionable steps that you can take to protect your website against security vulnerabilities.

To make it easy, we have created a table of content to help you easily navigate through our ultimate WordPress security guide.

Table of Contents

Basics of WordPress Security

WordPress Security in Easy Steps (No Coding)

WordPress Security for DIY Users

Ready? Let’s get started.

Why Website Security is Important?

A hacked WordPress site can cause serious damage to your business revenue and reputation. Hackers can steal user information, passwords, install malicious software, and can even distribute malware to your users.

Worst, you may find yourself paying ransomware to hackers just to regain access to your website.

Why WordPress security is important

In March 2016, Google reported that more than 50 million website users have been warned about a website they’re visiting may contain malware or steal information.

Furthermore, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing each week.

If your website is a business, then you need to pay extra attention to your WordPress security.

Similar to how it’s the business owners responsibility to protect their physical store building, as an online business owner it is your responsibility to protect your business website.

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Keeping WordPress Updated

Keeping WordPress updated

WordPress is an open source software which is regularly maintained and updated. By default, WordPress automatically installs minor updates. For major releases, you need to manually initiate the update.

WordPress also comes with thousands of plugins and themes that you can install on your website. These plugins and themes are maintained by third-party developers which regularly release updates as well.

These WordPress updates are crucial for the security and stability of your WordPress site. You need to make sure that your WordPress core, plugins, and theme are up to date.

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Strong Passwords and User Permissions

Manage strong passwords

The most common WordPress hacking attempts use stolen passwords. You can make that difficult by using stronger passwords that are unique for your website. Not just for WordPress admin area, but also for FTP accounts, database, WordPress hosting account, and your custom email addresses which use your site’s domain name.

Many beginners don’t like using strong passwords because they’re hard to remember. The good thing is that you don’t need to remember passwords anymore. You can use a password manager. See our guide on how to manage WordPress passwords.

Another way to reduce the risk is to not give anyone access to your WordPress admin account unless you absolutely have to. If you have a large team or guest authors, then make sure that you understand user roles and capabilities in WordPress before you add new user accounts and authors to your WordPress site.

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The Role of WordPress Hosting

Your WordPress hosting service plays the most important role in the security of your WordPress site. A good shared hosting provider like Bluehost or Siteground take the extra measures to protect their servers against common threats.

Here is how a good web hosting company works in the background to protect your websites and data.

  • They continuously monitor their network for suspicious activity.
  • All good hosting companies have tools in place to prevent large scale DDOS attacks
  • They keep their server software and hardware up to date to prevent hackers from exploiting a known security vulnerability in an old version.
  • They have ready to deploy disaster recovery and accidents plans which allows them to protect your data in case of major accident.

On a shared hosting plan, you share the server resources with many other customers. This opens the risk of cross-site contamination where a hacker can use a neighboring site to attack your website.

Using a managed WordPress hosting service provides a more secure platform for your website. Managed WordPress hosting companies offer automatic backups, automatic WordPress updates, and more advanced security configurations to protect your website

We recommend WPEngine as our preferred managed WordPress hosting provider. They’re also the most popular one in the industry. (See our special WPEngine coupon).

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WordPress Security in Easy Steps (No Coding)

We know that improving WordPress security can be a terrifying thought for beginners. Especially if you’re not techy. Guess what – you’re not alone.

We have helped thousands of WordPress users in hardening their WordPress security.

We will show you how you can improve your WordPress security with just a few clicks (no coding required).

If you can point-and-click, you can do this!

Install a WordPress Backup Solution

Install a WordPress backup solution

Backups are your first defense against any WordPress attack. Remember, nothing is 100% secure. If government websites can be hacked, then so can yours.

Backups allow you to quickly restore your WordPress site in case something bad was to happen.

There are many free and paid WordPress backup plugins that you can use. The most important thing you need to know when it comes to backups is that you must regularly save full-site backups to a remote location (not your hosting account).

We recommend storing it on a cloud service like Amazon, Dropbox, or private clouds like Stash.

Based on how frequently you update your website, the ideal setting might be either once a day or real-time backups.

Thankfully this can be easily done by using plugins like VaultPress or UpdraftPlus. They are both reliable and most importantly easy to use (no coding needed).

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Best WordPress Security Plugin

After backups, the next thing we need to do is setup an auditing and monitoring system that keeps track of everything that happens on your website.

This includes file integrity monitoring, failed login attempts, malware scanning, etc.

Thankfully, this can be all taken care by the best free WordPress security plugin, Sucuri Scanner.

You need to install and activate the free Sucuri Security plugin. For more details, please see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to go to the Sucuri menu in your WordPress admin. The first thing you will be asked to do is Generate a free API key. This enables audit logging, integrity checking, email alerts, and other important features.

Generate Sucuri API Key

The next thing, you need to do is click on the ‘Hardening’ tab from the settings menu. Go through every option and click on the “Apply Hardening” button.

Sucuri security hardening

These options help you lock down the key areas that hackers often use in their attacks. The only hardening option that’s a paid upgrade is the Web Application Firewall which we will explain in the next step, so skip it for now.

We have also covered a lot of these “Hardening” options later in this article for those who want to do it without using a plugin or the ones that require additional steps such as “Database Prefix change” or “Changing the Admin Username”.

After the hardening part, the default plugin settings are good enough for most websites and don’t need any changes. The only thing we recommend customizing is ‘Email Alerts’.

The default alert settings can clutter your inbox with emails. We recommend receiving alerts for key actions like changes in plugins, new user registration, etc. You can configure the alerts by going to Sucuri Settings » Alerts.

Set up security email alerts

This WordPress security plugin is very powerful, so browse through all the tabs and settings to see all that it does such as Malware scanning, Audit logs, Failed Login Attempt tracking, etc.

Enable Web Application Firewall (WAF)

The easiest way to protect your site and be confident about your WordPress security is by using a web application firewall (WAF).

A website firewall blocks all malicious traffic before it even reaches your website.

DNS Level Website Firewall – These firewall route your website traffic through their cloud proxy servers. This allows them to only send genuine traffic to your web server.

Application Level Firewall – These firewall plugins examine the traffic once it reaches your server but before loading most WordPress scripts. This method is not as efficient as the DNS level firewall in reducing the server load.

To learn more, see our list of the best WordPress firewall plugins.

Sucuri WAF

We use and recommend Sucuri as the best web-application firewall for WordPress. You can read about how Sucuri helped us block 450,000 WordPress attacks in a month.

Attacks blocked by Sucuri

The best part about Sucuri’s firewall is that it also comes with a malware cleanup and blacklist removal guarantee. Basically if you were to be hacked under their watch, they guarantee that they will fix your website (no matter how many pages you have).

This is a pretty strong warranty because repairing hacked websites is expensive. Security experts normally charge $250 per hour. Whereas you can get the entire Sucuri security stack for $199 per year.

Improve your WordPress Security with the Sucuri Firewall »

Sucuri is not the only DNS level firewall provider out there. The other popular competitor is Cloudflare. See our comparison of Sucuri vs Cloudflare (Pros and Cons).

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Move Your WordPress Site to SSL/HTTPS

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol which encrypts data transfer between your website and users browser. This encryption makes it harder for someone to sniff around and steal information.

How SSL works

Once you enable SSL, your website will use HTTPS instead of HTTP, you will also see a padlock sign next to your website address in the browser.

SSL certificates were typically issued by certificate authorities and their prices start from $80 to hundreds of dollars each year. Due to added cost, most website owners opted to keep using the insecure protocol.

To fix this, a non-profit organization called Let’s Encrypt decided to offer free SSL Certificates to website owners. Their project is supported by Google Chrome, Facebook, Mozilla, and many more companies.

Due to this, it is now easier than ever to start using SSL for all your WordPress websites. For step by step instructions, see our article on how to get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website.

WordPress Security for DIY Users

If you do everything that we have mentioned thus far, then you’re in a pretty good shape.

But as always, there’s more that you can do to harden your WordPress security.

Some of these steps may require coding knowledge.

Change the Default “admin” username

In the old days, the default WordPress admin username was “admin”. Since usernames make up half of login credentials, this made it easier for hackers to do brute-force attacks.

Thankfully, WordPress has since changed this and now requires you to select a custom username at the time of installing WordPress.

However, some 1-click WordPress installers, still set the default admin username to “admin”. If you notice that to be the case, then it’s probably a good idea to switch your web hosting.

Since WordPress doesn’t allow you to change usernames by default, there are three methods you can use to change the username.

  1. Create a new admin username and delete the old one.
  2. Use the Username Changer plugin
  3. Update username from phpMyAdmin

We have covered all three of these in our detailed guide on how to properly change your WordPress username (step by step).

Note: We’re talking about the username called “admin”, not the administrator role.

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Disable File Editing

WordPress comes with a built-in code editor which allows you to edit your theme and plugin files right from your WordPress admin area. In the wrong hands, this feature can be a security risk which is why we recommend turning it off.

Disable file editing in WordPress

You can easily do this by adding the following code in your wp-config.php file.

// Disallow file edit
define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );

Alternatively, you can do this with 1-click using the Hardening feature in the free Sucuri plugin that we mentioned above.

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Disable PHP File Execution in Certain WordPress Directories

Another way to harden your WordPress security is by disabling PHP file execution in directories where it’s not needed such as /wp-content/uploads/.

You can do this by opening a text editor like Notepad and paste this code:

<Files *.php>
deny from all
</Files>

Next, you need to save this file as .htaccess and upload it to /wp-content/uploads/ folders on your website using an FTP client.

For more detailed explanation, see our guide on how to disable PHP execution in certain WordPress directories

Alternatively, you can do this with 1-click using the Hardening feature in the free Sucuri plugin that we mentioned above.

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Limit Login Attempts

By default, WordPress allows users to try to login as many time as they want. This leaves your WordPress site vulnerable to brute force attacks. Hackers try to crack passwords by trying to login with different combinations.

This can be easily fixed by limiting the failed login attempts a user can make. If you’re using the web application firewall mentioned earlier, then this is automatically taken care of.

However, if you don’t have the firewall setup, then proceed with the steps below.

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

Upon activation, visit Settings » Login LockDown page to setup the plugin.

Login Lockdown options

For detailed instructions, take a look at our guide on how and why you should limit login attempts in WordPress.

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Add Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication technique requires users to log in by using a two-step authentication method. The first one is the username and password, and the second step requires you to authenticate using a separate device or app.

Most top online websites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, allow you to enable it for your accounts. You can also add the same functionality to your WordPress site.

First, you need to install and activate the Two Factor Authentication plugin. Upon activation, you need to click on the ‘Two Factor Auth’ link in WordPress admin sidebar.

Two Factor Authenticator settings

Next, you need to install and open an authenticator app on your phone. There are several of them available like Google Authenticator, Authy, and LastPass Authenticator.

We recommend using LastPass Authenticator or Authy because they both allow you to back up your accounts to the cloud. This is very useful in case your phone is lost, reset, or you buy a new phone. All your account logins will be easily restored.

We will be using the LastPass Authenticator for the tutorial. However, instructions are similar for all auth apps. Open your authenticator app, and then click on the Add button.

Add website

You will be asked if you’d like to scan a site manually or scan the bar code. Select the scan bar code option and then point your phone’s camera on the QRcode shown on the plugin’s settings page.

That’s all, your authentication app will now save it. Next time you log in to your website, you will be asked for the two-factor auth code after you enter your password.

Enter your two-factor auth code

Simply open the authenticator app on your phone and enter the code you see on it.

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Change WordPress Database Prefix

By default, WordPress uses wp_ as the prefix for all tables in your WordPress database. If your WordPress site is using the default database prefix, then it makes it easier for hackers to guess what your table name is. This is why we recommend changing it.

You can change your database prefix by following our step by step tutorial on how to change WordPress database prefix to improve security.

Note: This can break your site if it’s not done properly. Only proceed, if you feel comfortable with your coding skills.

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Password Protect WordPress Admin and Login Page

Password protect WordPress admin area

Normally, hackers can request your wp-admin folder and login page without any restriction. This allows them to try their hacking tricks or run DDoS attacks.

You can add additional password protection on a server-side level, which will effectively block those requests.

Follow our step-by-step instructions on how to password protect your WordPress admin (wp-admin) directory.

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Disable Directory Indexing and Browsing

Disable directory browsing

Directory browsing can be used by hackers to find out if you have any files with known vulnerabilities, so they can take advantage of these files to gain access.

Directory browsing can also be used by other people to look into your files, copy images, find out your directory structure, and other information. This is why it is highly recommended that you turn off directory indexing and browsing.

You need to connect to your website using FTP or cPanel’s file manager. Next, locate the .htaccess file in your website’s root directory. If you cannot see it there, then refer to our guide on why you can’t see .htaccess file in WordPress.

After that, you need to add the following line at the end of the .htaccess file:

Options -Indexes

Don’t forget to save and upload .htaccess file back to your site. For more on this topic, see our article on how to disable directory browsing in WordPress.

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Disable XML-RPC in WordPress

XML-RPC was enabled by default in WordPress 3.5 because it helps connecting your WordPress site with web and mobile apps.

Because of its powerful nature, XML-RPC can significantly amplify the brute-force attacks.

For example, traditionally if a hacker wanted to try 500 different passwords on your website, they would have to make 500 separate login attempts which will be caught and blocked by the login lockdown plugin.

But with XML-RPC, a hacker can use the system.multicall function to try thousands of password with say 20 or 50 requests.

This is why if you’re not using XML-RPC, then we recommend that you disable it.

There are 3 ways to disable XML-RPC in WordPress, and we have covered all of them in our step by step tutorial on how to disable XML-RPC in WordPress.

Tip: The .htaccess method is the best one because it’s the least resource intensive.

If you’re using the web-application firewall mentioned earlier, then this can be taken care of by the firewall.

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Automatically log out Idle Users in WordPress

Logged in users can sometimes wander away from screen, and this poses a security risk. Someone can hijack their session, change passwords, or make changes to their account.

This is why many banking and financial sites automatically log out an inactive user. You can implement similar functionality on your WordPress site as well.

You will need to install and activate the Inactive Logout plugin. Upon activation, visit Settings » Inactive Logout page to configure plugin settings.

Logout idle users

Simply set the time duration and add a logout message. Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

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Add Security Questions to WordPress Login Screen

Add security question on login screen

Adding a security question to your WordPress login screen makes it even harder for someone to get unauthorized access.

You can add security questions by installing the WP Security Questions plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Security Questions page to configure the plugin settings.

For more detailed instructions, see our tutorial on how to add security questions to WordPress login screen.

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Scanning WordPress for Malware and Vulnerabilies

Malware scanning

If you have a WordPress security plugin installed, then those plugins will routinely check for malware and signs of security breaches.

However, if you see a sudden drop in website traffic or search rankings, then you may want to manually run a scan. You can use your WordPress security plugin, or use one of these malware and security scanners.

Running these online scans is quite straight forward, you just enter your website URLs and their crawlers go through your website to look for known malware and malicious code.

Now keep in mind that most WordPress security scanners can just scan your website. They cannot remove the malware or clean a hacked WordPress site.

This brings us to the next section, cleaning up malware and hacked WordPress sites.

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Fixing a Hacked WordPress Site

Many WordPress users don’t realize the importance of backups and website security until their website is hacked.

Cleaning up a WordPress site can be very difficult and time consuming. Our first advice would be to let a professional take care of it.

Hackers install backdoors on affected sites, and if these backdoors are not fixed properly, then your website will likely get hacked again.

Allowing a professional security company like Sucuri to fix your website will ensure that your site is safe to use again. It will also protect you against any future attacks.

For the adventurous and DIY users, we have compiled a step by step guide on fixing a hacked WordPress site.

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That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn the top WordPress security best practices as well as discover the best WordPress security plugins for your 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.

The post The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Choose the Best Website Builder in 2019 (Compared)


Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses to start a website without hiring a developer. However, finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners.

There are so many website builders on the market, how do you know which one is the right solution for you?

In this article, we’ll help you choose the best website builder by going over the pros and cons of the most popular options.

How to choose the best website builder

We will be comparing the following website builders in this article. If you are interested in a particular website builder, then just click on the name to skip ahead.

  1. WordPress.org
  2. Wix
  3. Gator by HostGator
  4. 1&1 IONOS Website Builder
  5. BigCommerce
  6. Shopify
  7. Weebly
  8. Squarespace
  9. GoDaddy Website Builder
  10. WordPress.com
  11. BoldGrid
  12. Ucraft

Choosing the Best Website Builder — What to Look for?

Before comparing the top website builders, we recommend that you write down what you want to do with your website? What are your goals and what features would you like to see on your website.

For example, you can write down things like: have a blog section, photo gallery, online store, reservation system, contact form, slider, etc.

If you are unsure about what you want, then check out your competitors or other websites for inspiration.

Most website builders offer a drag and drop user interface to build your website. You can take advantage of the trial accounts to test drive before you make your final decision.

Next, you need to consider your growth options. Will you be adding regular updates to your website? Do you need a blog section? Would you be selling more products on your website in the future?

You need to make sure that the website builder you choose is capable of handling your needs as your business grows.

That being said, let’s take a look at the top website builder platforms to make your website without hiring a developer.

1. WordPress

WordPress

WordPress.org (also known as self hosted WordPress) is the world’s most popular website building platform. Over 28% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress.

Note: There are two versions of WordPress available. There is self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com. We will talk about WordPress.com later in this article. You can also read our WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison for more details.

The self-hosted WordPress tops our list of best website builder due to its popularity, powerful features, scalability, and ease of use.

WordPress is a free and open source website builder. This means that you have maximum control over your website compared to any other builder in this list.

Unlike other website builders, you will need a WordPress hosting account and host your own website (this is a lot easier than it sounds).

Pros:

WordPress gives you complete control on every aspect of your website. It can be used to build any kind of website. For example, an eCommerce store, community forums, a social network, a membership website, and more.

There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can use for your website’s design. It also has amazing drag and drop page builders like Beaver Builder and Divi which allow you to easily create your own page layouts.

Creating a page with Beaver Builder best page builder plugin

You’ll also get access to more than 50,000 free WordPress plugins. These are like apps for WordPress that adds additional features and functionality to your website.

WordPress is fully translated into dozens of languages and can be easily used to create multilingual websites.

Cons:

You will have to manage your own website, which means you will need to familiarize yourself with a new system. This slight learning curve is easily overcome by most users, but it does feel a bit difficult in the beginning.

You will also have to keep up with WordPress updates, plugin updates, and create backups.

Pricing:

WordPress software is available for free, but you will need a domain name and web hosting which typically costs $14.99/year and $7.99 per month respectively.

Fortunately, we have worked out a special deal for WPBeginner users. You can start a website for only $2.75 per month with Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. They are offering our users 60% off on web hosting that comes with free SSL and a free domain name.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

For more details, see our guide on how to make a website with step by step instructions.

2. Wix

Wixlogo

Wix is another popular cloud based website builder. It offers ease of use combined with a powerful set of features to easily build your website.

Pros

Wix is a fully hosted platform, so you will not have to pay for hosting. You get access to hundreds of templates to choose for your website’s design. Each template is fully editable with their intuitive drag and drop site builder.

Wix Builder

It also comes with dozens of free and paid apps that you can install on your website. These apps allow you to add new features and functionality to your website. Some of them are created by Wix, and others are created by third-party developers.

Wix offers a free plan with limited bandwidth and storage. However, you can use this plan to test drive their drag and drop website builder. It does not include a domain name, so if you decide to keep your website, then you may want to upgrade to a premium plan.

You also get a free SSL with all Wix plans, but you will need to turn it on for your website.

Cons

Free and Connect Domain plans will show Wix branded ads on your website. You’ll need to upgrade to their Combo or Unlimited plan to remove those ads.

If you ever decide to move your website away from Wix, then you will find it quite complicated to do so.

Their Connect Domain plan which costs $9.16 per month only lets you connect a custom domain name, so you’ll still have to buy a domain name separately.

Pricing

Wix offers a limited free plan with a Wix branded sub domain. You can connect a domain for $9.16 per month. Their combo plan starts at $14.95/month and will get you a free domain name. The ecommerce plan costs $26.25 per month.

If you are interested in how it stacks up against WordPress, then see our comparison of Wix vs WordPress.

3. Gator by HostGator

Gator Website Builder by HostGator

Gator is brand new website builder by HostGator, one of the most popular web hosting provider in the world. The Gator builder is an all-in-one website building & hosting solution.

Pros

Gator is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t have to worry about the software, updates, or backups.

It has an intuitive website builder that lets you choose from 200+ professional website design templates. Each design comes with simple customization options that you can configure from the builder itself.

You can edit any item on a page with a simple point and click interface. You can also drag and drop commonly used items like images, videos, photo gallery, text, columns, maps, and contact forms.

You also have access to a built-in stock photo library, so you can find and add beautiful photos on your website.

All paid plans also include a free custom domain name for your website. The eCommerce plan also comes with the ability to setup an online store and sell your products online.

Since Gator is a paid product, they don’t sell your data or show any ads on your website.

Cons

Unlike some of the other options in the list, Gator doesn’t have a free plan. They also do not offer a free trial.

Like other proprietary builders in the list, you cannot hire a developer to help you significantly modify your website design or add new features to your website.

Pricing

Gator paid plans start from $3.84 per month, $5.99 per month for premium, and $9.22 for eCommerce plan.

Gator can be used to build a small business website, a store with limited items, or a photo gallery. However, it is no match for the power of the most popular website builder, WordPress.

4. 1&1 IONOS Website Builder

1&1 IONOS Website Builder

1&1 Website Builder is a premium website builder designed specifically for small businesses, individuals, and starter websites.

Pros

The 1&1 IONOS Website builder is a fully-hosted solution to easily create a website in minutes. It comes with hundreds of professionally designed templates to create fully functional business websites.

All templates are mobile friendly out of the box and your website will look great on all devices.

Select your industry to get a template that already contains the content matching your needs. You can tweak it as little or as much you like with user friendly interface.

Each plan comes with a free domain name and your own branded email addresses. Support is available 24 / 7 via phone, live chat, or email.

Cons

There are no integrations or third-party extensions that you can install to your website for new features.

The website builder and online store builder are two separate products. If you want to start an online store, then you need to sign up for their online store builder.

Pricing:

They are running a $1 for six months offer on all their plans. Regular prices start from $7 per month (Essential), $10 per month (Business), and $20 per month (Pro).

5. BigCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of the most powerful website builder platforms to build an online store. If you’re looking to create an eCommerce website that scales, then BigCommerce is the platform for you. It comes with all the essential features built-in, so you can keep your overhead low and margins high.

Pros

BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce solution, so you don’t have to worry about website speed, security, or updates. They handle the server and technical side for you, so you can focus on growing your business.

Unlike other hosted eCommerce solutions, BigCommerce has a native integration with WordPress which allows you to leverage the flexibility of WordPress while taking advantage of the headless eCommerce power of BigCommerce. In simple terms, your website will be fast and secure no matter how much traffic you get.

BigCommerce integrates with all popular payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout, Chase Pay, Ayden, and more. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t charge a transaction fee for you to use these payment gateaways.

You can start with one of their many pre-made website templates and customize it to match your needs using their easy drag & drop website builder.

BigCommerce Design Builder

BigCommerce comes with many features built-in to handle conversion rate optimization such as cart abandonment, improved product search, product reviews, coupons, and more.

The best part is their dashboard that lets you see the metrics to help you grow your business with confidence.

Cons

If you are just starting out, then you will find BigCommerce pricing a bit higher than other website builders in the list.

Since it’s a proprietary platform, migrating away from BigCommerce will be difficult.

Pricing

BigCommerce comes with a 15-day free trial for all plans. Their basic plans at $29.95 per month which comes with all the essential features that you will need. You can upgrade to the plus plan which costs $79.95 per month for additional conversion optimization features. Their pro plan costs $249.95 per month which has all the advanced features you may need.

The best part about BigCommerce when compared to Shopify and other third-party eCommerce platforms is that they have a seamless integration with WordPress which can be a huge plus if you want to combine the flexibility of WordPress with the power of BigCommerce.

6. Shopify

Shopify

Shopify is a website builder designed specifically for online stores and ecommerce websites. It powers more than half a million businesses with 1 million active users. Over 40 Billion dollars worth of products have been sold on Shopify’s platform.

Pros

Shopify is an all-in-one fully hosted solution, this means you don’t have to worry about managing software, installing updates, or keeping backups. Shopify does all that for you.

It offers integrated payment solution called Shopify Payments. You can also add third-party payment gateways to accept payments.

As an ecommerce website builder, Shopify comes with full inventory management, unlimited products, powerful stats, easy marketing solutions, all neatly wrapped under one roof. They have hunereds of designs to choose from, and you will never need to add code.

Shopify

With its intuitive drag and drop interface, Shopify makes it super-easy to create a full-fledged ecommerce store. They also offer in-store POS, which allows you to sell products at your location, while accepting all credit cards and taking advantage of Shopify’s inventory, shipping, marketing, and stats management tools.

You can even integrate Shopify into WordPress, allowing you to use both great solutions at the same time.

Cons

If you are just starting out, then you may find Shopify’s pricing a bit higher than some other website builders in this list.

If you ever want to move your website away from Shopify, you will find it quite difficult to do so.

Pricing

Shopify’s basic plan will cost you $29 per month. You can upgrade it to Shopify for $79 per month or Advanced Shopify for $299 per month. Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan for $9 per month, which basically allows you to add a buy button on any website.

If you want a hassle free ecommerce website builder, then Shopify may be the perfect option for you.

7. Weebly

Weebly logo

Weebly is an easy to use website builder with tons of great designs. It includes a beautifully crafted page builder which allows you to edit your website without learning any coding skills.

Pros

Weebly is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t need to install and manage any software. They take care of hosting your website and managing all the software that runs in the backend.

It comes with dozens of website designs to use as an starting point for your website. These gorgeous designs are fully editable using Weebly’s live page editor.

Weebly

Weebly also comes with built-in support for ecommerce. This allows you to easily create an online store and start selling.

Each Weebly site comes with built in features for contact forms, photo galleries, sliders, and more. This allows you to easily add features to your website without any complicated setup process.

Cons

Weebly is a fully hosted platform so you are locked to the features they offer. You cannot hire a developer or designer to add new functionality of feature to your website.

Weebly charges 3% transaction fees on every purchase made through your ecommerce store. You’ll need to upgrade to their business plan to avoid these additional fees.

Pricing

Weebly comes with a very basic free plan. Their paid plans start from $8 per month billed annually. The pro plan costs $12 per month, and their business plan costs $25 per month.

If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then check out our comparison of Weebly vs WordPress.

8. Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is a popular fully hosted website builder known for its great designs and ease of use.

Pros

Squarespace comes with enterprise-grade infrastructure for hosting your website. This secure and robust platform allows you to focus on growing your business without worrying about hosting.

Squarespace includes tons of website designs to get started. All of these designs are fully ready for all types of content. They are fully editable, and Squarespace even allows you to use multiple templates for the same website at once.

Squarespace

Adding content to your website is very easy on Squarespace. Just point anywhere on your website and start typing. You can easily drag and drop items on pages to create your own layouts in minutes.

Squarespace also has an ecommerce plan which allow you to add an online store to your website. It offers a nice interface to manage your products, inventory, orders, coupon discounts, and more.

Cons

Squarespace offers limited integrations with third-party service which can be a hurdle in growing your business.

Their ecommerce plans only allow Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal for payment processing. You cannot add additional payment gateways.

Pricing

Squarespace websites start from $12 per month and $18 per month. Their online stores start from $26 and $40 per month.

Squarespace is a beautifully designed platform that offers very easy to use features. It can be perfect if you just want to quickly build a website.

If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then take a look at our comparison of Squarespace vs WordPress.

9. GoDaddy Website Builder

GoDaddy Website Builder

GoDaddy is one of the largest domain name and hosting service providers in the world. They offer a simple and elegant website builder complete with hosting included.

Pros

GoDaddy Website Builder is a simple and easy tool to create professional looking websites. It comes pre-loaded with several ready to use blocks that you can drag and drop to build different layouts.

GoDaddy Website Builder

It also has integrated photo library with professional images from Getty Photography that you can use on your website. You can also upload your own photos and create image galleries.

GoDaddy website builder works on smaller screens too. This allows you to work on your website on the go using your mobile phone or tablet.

Cons

It is not as feature rich and flexible as most other website builders on this list. It offers limited set of features with fewer design options.

It is quite difficult to move your website from GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress.

Pricing

Personal plan costs $5.99/month, business plan for $9.99/month, and business plus plan for $14.99/month. All plans are billed annually.

GoDaddy Website Builder can be used for a basic website with a few pages. However, it is not a good choice to build content rich websites.

10. WordPress.com

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a blog and website hosting service run by Automattic. It is created by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress open source software, hence the name WordPress.com. To learn more, see our article on how are WordPress.com and WordPress.org related.

However, WordPress.com is not the same as self-hosted WordPress.org. Please see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

Pros

WordPress.com is a website hosting service. Built on top of the same WordPress software but with a totally custom user experience. You don’t have to worry about the software and backups as WordPress.com takes care of it.

Their free and paid plans have different set of features. All plans allow users to choose from hundreds of free and paid WordPress themes. You can then use the built-in customizer to add your site title, use widgets, add navigation menus, and so on.

WordPress.com

It doesn’t offer the same drag and drop functionality of other website builders. However, you can easily customize designs to a certain extent.

Cons

You cannot install custom plugins or themes unless you upgrade to their business plan.

Premium and lower plans do not have ecommerce features or third-party ad network support. With the business plan, you can use WooCommerce and third-party ad networks. However, you will still have to follow WordPress.com’s terms and conditions.

Pricing

The basic plan is free, but is extremely limited. Their personal plan starts with $4 per month billed annually and includes a custom domain. Premium plan costs $8.25 per month billed annually and it gives you the ability to monetize your site and advanced design customization. Business plan costs $24.92 per month billed annually, and it gives you the ability to have Ecommerce and custom plugins.

11. BoldGrid

BoldGrid

BoldGrid is a new kind of website builder that is built on top of WordPress. It is available as a standalone WordPress plugin as well as a fully hosted website builder suite.

Pros

BoldGrid is built on top of WordPress, so you get full advantage of WordPress with a customized user experience. BoldGrid’s website builder allows you to choose a professional design from their gallery of themes.

After that, you can customize those designs with a drag and drop customizer. You can point and click on any item in the preview section to edit its properties. You can change colors, fonts, layouts, navigation menus, and widgets with ease.

BoldGrid

Need a staging website? BoldGrid creates one for you with a single click. This allows you to test out your new designs, layouts, plugins, and themes before making it live for everyone to see.

It also comes with a full WYSIWYG page editor. No more guess work when editing your pages in WordPress. You’ll get exactly what you see on your page editor window. You can also use GridBlocks to simply drag and drop elements to your page and build your own layouts from scratch.

All BoldGrid themes are ready for WooCommerce. This allows you to easily create a storefront using BoldGrid’s drag and drop builder (see our list of best WooCommerce hosting companies).

Cons

BoldGrid runs on top of WordPress, so you will still need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to use it.

But the good part is backups are included through BoldGrid backups, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Pricing

BoldGrid basic plugin is available as a free download. You’ll need a WordPress hosting account and a domain name to install and use it. We recommend using InMotion Hosting because they are an official BoldGrid hosting provider.

This means you can easily setup BoldGrid with a few clicks on InMotion Hosting’s platform.

InMotion Hosting has agreed to offer WPBeginner users 50% discount on hosting. Click here to get started with InMotion Hosting.

If you want to use WordPress but with the ease of hosted drag and drop website builders, then BoldGrid would be perfect for you.

12. Ucraft

Ucraft

Ucraft offers an easy to use website builder for blogs and businesses wanting to add a shopping cart and start selling products.

Pros

Ucraft comes with a drag and drop website builder with dozens of templates to choose from. All website designs are fully mobile friendly. Getting started with a basic website takes only a few minutes and requires no technical skills.

They offer a limited free plan and let you add your own custom domain name. All paid plans include one free domain registration.

All paid plans also include eCommerce features with more than 70 payment methods to accept online payments. Other notable features include on-site search, Google Fonts, multi-currency stores, multilingual website, discount coupons, and more.

Ucraft also has integrations available for several third-party tools and services like Google Analytics, Live Chat, Zendesk, Intercom, and more.

Cons

There are enough integrations available but you are only limited to those currently available.

The pro website plan lets you add only 50 products at a time. You will need Pro Shop plan to add more products.

Pricing

Ucraft offers a limited free plan with the ability to connect your own domain name. Their paid plans start from $10 per month for Pro Website, $21 per month for Pro Shop, $39 per month for BigCommerce.

Our Pick for The Best Website Builder

After carefully evaluating different website builders, we believe that WordPress beats them all in overall performance, ease of use, and flexibility.

It is not just great for beginners. World’s top brands are using WordPress on their websites. See many more reasons to choose WordPress as your website builder.

You can get started with WordPress by using Bluehost or read our step by step guide on how to make a website.

If you’re looking to build an online store (eCommerce website), then we recommend BigCommerce as the best solution because it offers all the features that you will need at the best price.

We hope this article helped you choose the best website builder for your project. You may also want to see out list of tools to help you grow your 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.

The post How to Choose the Best Website Builder in 2019 (Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Install WordPress – Complete WordPress Installation Tutorial


WordPress is known as the most popular website builder in the world. It powers over 33% of all websites on the internet. The main reason for that is because WordPress is easy to install which makes it easy for anyone to create a website.

All best WordPress web hosting companies allow you to install WordPress with just few clicks. In most circumstances, installing WordPress is a simple process that takes less than five minutes to complete.

In this tutorial, our goal is to offer a complete WordPress installation tutorial for beginners and advanced users alike.

For beginners, we will show you how to install WordPress on all top hosting platforms by using 1-click install scripts like Fantastico, Softaculous, and QuickInstall.

We will also explain how to install WordPress manually using FTP for our intermediate users.

Lastly, for our beginner developer and designers, we will show you how to install WordPress on a local computer (Windows, Mac, and Linux).

Apart from showing you how to install WordPress, we will also give you tips on things to do after you install WordPress.

How to easily install WordPress

Things You Need Before Installing WordPress

Before you install WordPress, first you will need a domain name and a good web hosting company that knows WordPress.

We highly recommend that you use Bluehost because they will give you a free domain and 60% off their hosting plan (special for WPBeginner users).

The reason we recommend Bluehost is because they are one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They are also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Since this is a very long and detailed tutorial, please use the navigation below to get to the appropriate section.

How to Install WordPress on Bluehost

Bluehost is an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider and one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They know WordPress inside out and have the most beginner friendly WordPress installation process.

Bluehost automatically installs WordPress on your domain name when you sign up. Once you login to your Bluehost account, you’ll find your WordPress site under ‘My Sites’ tab.

Bluehost login to your WordPress site

You can simply click on ‘Log into WordPress’ button, and it will take you directly to the WordPress admin area.

Except for their ‘Basic’ plan, Bluehost also allows you to install WordPress on unlimited sites with all their hosting plans.

Simply click on the ‘Create Site’ button under ‘My Sites’ tab to get started.

Installing new WordPress site in Bluehost

This will launch the Bluehost guided WordPress installation wizard. First, it will ask you to provide a site title and optionally a tagline.

Provide a site title for your new WordPress site

Click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

After which, you will be asked to select a domain name and path for your website. If you have already purchased a domain name, then you can select it from the dropdown menu. You can always purchase and add new domain names to your account by visiting the ‘Domains’ page from the hosting dashboard.

Select domain name and essential plugins

After selecting your domain name, you can leave the directory path blank and let Bluehost choose it for you. The installer will also show a few essential plugins that you can install.

You can now click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

The installer will set up your WordPress site, which may take a few moments. After that, you will see a success message with your WordPress site details.

Successfully installed WordPress on Bluehost

You will also receive these details via email. You can now click on the login to WordPress button to enter your new site’s admin area.

Congratulations, you have installed WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account. That wasn’t too bad right.

How to Install WordPress on HostGator

HostGator is another popular shared WordPress hosting provider among beginners. They also make it super easy to install WordPress with just a few clicks.

First, you need to login to your HostGator hosting account’s dashboard. From here, you need to click on the ‘QuickInstall’ icon under the ‘Software’ section.

Installing WordPress on HostGator

On the next screen, you need to click on ‘WordPress’ to launch the installer wizard.

Run WordPress installer on HostGator

Now, you will be asked to select the domain name where you want to install WordPress and enter a directory path.

Most beginners want to install WordPress in the root of their domain name (for example, wpbeginner.com). In that case, you need to leave the directory field blank.

Select your domain name

Click on the next button to continue.

The installer will now ask you to enter WordPress site details. You will need to provide a site title, admin username, first and last name, and an admin email address. Make sure that you have access to that email address because this is where you will get your WordPress password reset email.

HostGator WordPress install settings

After entering all the information, click on the ‘Install’ button to continue.

The installer will now run in the background to install WordPress for you. Once finished, you will see a success message with your admin user name and password.

HostGator WordPress installation finished

You can now click on the ‘Login’ button to access the WordPress admin area.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress on your HostGator account.

How to Install WordPress on SiteGround

SiteGround is a popular choice among WordPress beginners. They are known for their excellent support and highly optimized WordPress hosting plans.

SiteGround offers quick and pain-free WordPress installers with all their plans. You can install WordPress directly from your hosting dashboard.

We will show you two different methods for installing WordPress on SiteGround. You can choose one that works for you.

1. Installing WordPress on SiteGround as a New User

If you just signed up with SiteGround, then you will be greeted by a welcome popup upon your first login. It will ask if you would want to set up your website now.

SiteGround new user WordPress installation wizard

You need to select ‘Start a new website’ and then click on WordPress.

The installer wizard will now ask for WordPress installation details. You need to provide an email address, an admin username, and password for your new WordPress site.

Enter WordPress login details for your installation

Click on the ‘Confirm’ button to continue.

On the next screen, you will see details of your selection. You can also select additional website enhancements but we will skip them for now, you can add them later if needed.

Finish WordPress installation on new SiteGround account

Go ahead and click on the complete setup button. The installer will now install WordPress for you in the background and you will see a success message when it is finished.

Successfully installed WordPress on new SiteGround account

You can now click on the ‘proceed to the customer area’ button. From here, you’ll find your new website under the ‘My Accounts’ tab.

Visit WordPress admin panel

You can click on ‘Visit admin panel’ to enter WordPress admin area.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed WordPress on your new SiteGround account.

2. Installing WordPress on SiteGround as Existing Customer

SiteGround makes it extremely easy to install WordPress from your hosting account at anytime. Simply login to your hosting account and visit the cPanel dashboard.

Visit cPanel dashboard in SiteGround

This will load the cPanel dashboard, which is basically a web-based interface to manage your hosting account.

From here you need to scroll down to the ‘Auto Installers’ section and click on WordPress.

Launch WordPress installer in SiteGround

This will launch the auto-installer script with WordPress pre-selected. You need to click on the install button and then select a website protocol http or https and domain name.

Now if you have enabled SSL Certificate on the domain name, then you can select https as your protocol, otherwise select http. You can later switch WordPress to HTTPS/SSL.

SiteGround WordPress installer

Below that, you need to enter your site title, admin username, password, and email address.

WordPress site settings

You will also see other options to select language, install plugins, and more. You can change these options or leave them unchecked.

Lastly, you will see the WordPress Starter option. You need to keep it checked as it will walk you through post-installation steps to set up your site.

Optional settings

Now, click on the ‘Install’ button to continue.

The installer will now run in the background and set up a WordPress install. Once finished, you will see a success message with a link to your WordPress site’s admin area.

WordPress installation finished

Clicking on the admin area link will take you to your website and launch the site set up wizard. This step by step wizard will help you get started with WordPress. Click on the ‘Start Now’ button to continue.

SiteGround WordPress starter

First, the starter wizard will ask you to choose a design for your WordPress site. It will show you hand-picked design templates organized in various categories.

SiteGround WordPress starter design option

We recommend choosing a simple design that resembles what you have in mind. Remember each theme comes with customization options and you can change how it looks to your own taste.

Next, you will be asked to select functionalities you want to add to your website. It will automatically select ‘Contact Form’ for you because every website needs a contact form.

Choose functionality

Optionally, you can choose Shop (to create an online store), calendar, or JetPack.

Click on the next button to continue.

Now you will be asked to select marketing options to promote your new website. It will show you MonsterInsights for Google Analytics, Yoast SEO, and OptinMonster for lead generation.

We recommend selecting all three of them as they will help you grow your website.

After that, click on the complete button and the starter wizard will complete the installation for you. You will now see a success message with a link to enter the WordPress dashboard.

Finished setting up your website

You will now see the WordPress admin dashboard with custom shortcuts to create content, customize design, and start working on your website.

SiteGround custom WordPress admin dashboard

That’s all. You have successfully installed WordPress on your SiteGround hosting account.

How to Install WordPress on WP Engine

WP Engine is the best managed WordPress hosting provider. A managed hosting account is basically a concierge service for your WordPress website.

They take care of managing your WordPress site updates, installation, and performance optimization while you focus on growing your business.

As a managed WordPress hosting company, WP Engine automatically installs WordPress when you sign up. Depending on your hosting plan, you can also create additional websites whenever you need them.

Simply, login to your WP Engine dashboard and visit the ‘Sites’ page. You will see a list of all your WordPress sites. Click on the ‘Create Site’ button to add a new WordPress install.

WP Engine create new site

On the next screen, you will be asked to provide a name for your production environment. Enter a name that helps you easily identify this website and then click on ‘Create Environment’ button.

Add a production environment WordPress site

WP Engine will now install your WordPress environment. It will take some time for DNS changes to propagate.

After that you will be able to access the WordPress admin area by clicking on the link in the sidebar. You will also be able to see your login credentials on the same page.

Login to your WordPress environment in WPEngine

To add a domain to your website, you need to click on the add domain link. Since WP Engine is not a domain registrar, you will need to point your domain’s DNS settings to WP Engine.

To do this, you will need your site’s IP Address and CNAME. You can find this information on the overview page of your site.

Copy the DNS information

Now we will show you how to enter this information in Domain.com. The basic settings are the same for all domain registrars, you just need to find the DNS settings.

Login to your Domain.com account dashboard and click on DNS and Nameserver settings for your domain name.

Domain DNS and nameserver settings

On the next screen, first, you need to change the A record with the @ sign as its name. Click on the Edit button to change its settings.

Changing A record settings

After that, you need to enter the IP address provided by WP Engine as this record’s value and then click on Update DNS button.

Replacing A record value

Next, you need to see if you have a CNAME record with www as its name. If you do, then you will need to edit that CNAME record. Otherwise, go ahead and click on the ‘Add DNS Record’ button.

Adding CNAME record

Add the CNAME subdomain provided by WPEngine in the Value field and then click on the Add DNS button.

That’s all you have successfully pointed your domain name to your WordPress site hosted on WP Engine.

How to Install WordPress from cPanel

Cpanel is a popular software used by many web hosting companies. It provides website owners with a simple web-based interface to manage their hosting account.

It is a one-stop access to several useful utilities including auto-installer scripts that help you install WordPress.

Hosting companies select which auto-installer script they want to use. Generally, Softaculous, QuickInstall, and Fantastico are the most popular options.

We will show you how to install WordPress using all three auto-installers. You can follow the instructions, based on the installer you see on your cPanel dashboard.

How to Install WordPress using Softaculous

Softaculous is a popular auto-installer script. It allows you to easily install popular web applications like WordPress with just a few clicks. Hosting companies like SiteGround and InMotion Hosting use Softaculous in their control panel.

Simply login to your cPanel account and look for Softaculous or WordPress installer icon. You will find them under Auto Installers section.

Softaculous icon

Clicking on any of these icons will launch Softaculous auto-installer for WordPress. First, you will see an overview of WordPress. You need to click on the Install tab to continue.

Click on the install tab to continue installing WordPress using Softaculous

Softaculous will now ask you where you want to install WordPress. You need to choose http:// or http://www. as protocol.

If your site has SSL and HTTPS, then you can select https:// or https://www. as protocol.

After that, you need to choose the domain name where you want to install WordPress. Most users want to install WordPress in their domain’s root directory, like example.com. In that case, you need to make sure that the ‘In Directory’ field is blank.

Scroll down a little, and you will see the site settings section.

Softaculous WordPress site settings

Under this section, first you need to provide a title and description for your WordPress site. Don’t worry you can easily change them from your WordPress admin area after installation.

Next, you need to choose an admin username, password, and email address. Softaculous will automatically fill in the username and password fields for you. It will use a non-dictionary word for username and a strong password.

You can change them if you want so that they are easy to remember for you. However, we strongly urge you to always use a strong password. See our guide on the best way to manage passwords for WordPress beginners to learn how you can manage strong passwords easily.

Make sure that you enter correct email address in the admin email field. This is where WordPress will send notifications and password reset link if you ever forgot your password.

Rest of the options on the screen are optional. You can now click on the install button to run the installer.

Optional WordPress settings in Softaculous

Softaculous will run the installer using the settings you provided. You will see a progress bar with installation status. It will take a couple of minutes. Do not close the window until the progress bar reaches 100% otherwise, this may affect your WordPress installation.

Softaculous WordPress installation progress

You will see a success message after the installation is finished. It will also show you links to your website and to your WordPress admin area.

Softaculous WordPress installation finished

How to Install WordPress using QuickInstall

QuickInstall is another popular auto-installer used by many hosting companies like HostGator and others. We will be using HostGator’s cPanel dashboard in the screenshots here, but it wouldn’t be much different if you are using some other host that has QuickInstall.

First, you need to login to your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard. Scroll down to the Software section and then click on the QuickInstall icon.

QuickInstall icon in cPanel dashboard

This will take you to the 1-Click Installers page on QuickInstall. You will see that it offers installations for most popular web applications including WordPress. You need to click on WordPress to launch the WordPress installer.

Select WordPress to begin installation

The installer will now show you the WordPress overview. You will be asked to select your domain name from the drop-down menu.

Most beginners want to install WordPress on the root of their website, for example, wpbeginner.com. In that case, you need to leave the directory field blank.

Launch WordPress installer in QuickInstall

Now click on the next button to continue. The installer will now ask you to enter WordPress details like username, email address, and site title.

QuickInstall WordPress site settings

After filling in all the information, click on the Install button.

QuickInstall will now install WordPress for you. After that, you will see a success message with your login details like username and password.

WordPress successfully installed using QuickInstall

You can now click on the ‘Login’ button to enter the WordPress admin area.

That’s all, you have successfully installed WordPress using QuickInstall.

How to Install WordPress using Fantastico

Fantastico is an auto-installer script used by several WordPress hosting providers. It is similar to the other installer scripts in this guide and offers an easier way to quickly install WordPress.

First, you need to login to your cPanel dashboard and scroll down to software and services section, and there you will find the Fantastico icon.

Fantastico icon in cPanel dashboard

Clicking on Fantastico icon will launch the auto-installer script.

Some hosting providers are still using an older version of Fantastico. In this tutorial we will be showing you screenshots from Fantastico F3 version.

If Fantastico on your host looks different, then don’t worry. Basic installation steps are the same, and you should be able to easily follow them.

On the main Fantastico screen, you will see a list of web applications on your left. You need to click on Blogs, and there you will find WordPress listed among many other applications.

Clicking on WordPress will show you an overview of the application with the ‘Install’ button.

Fantastico WordPress installer

Simply click on the ‘Click here to install WordPress’ button to continue.

Fantastico auto-installer for WordPress will now ask you to fill in your installation settings. First, you need to choose the domain where you want to install WordPress.

Fantastico WordPress install settings

If you want to install WordPress in a sub-directory then you can enter the sub-directory name in the field below. Otherwise, make sure that this field is empty.

Under ‘Administrator Details’ section, you need to provide admin user account information. Enter a username, password, and email address for your WordPress admin account.

Click on the Submit button to continue.

Fantastico will now install WordPress for you. Once it has finished installing WordPress you will see a success message.

How to Install WordPress using FTP

Manually installing WordPress is also known as the famous 5 minute install. It requires few added steps, and you will need an FTP client to manually install WordPress.

Take a look at our beginner’s guide on how to use FTP to upload WordPress files.

First thing you need to do is download the latest version of WordPress.

WordPress package comes as a Zip file. You need to unzip the file and inside it, you will find a WordPress folder. This folder contains all the WordPress files you need to upload to your web server.

WordPress files

Now go ahead and connect the FTP client to your hosting server. Once connected, use the FTP client to upload the WordPress files from your computer to your website server.

uploading WordPress files using an FTP client

If you want to install WordPress on your root domain name (like example.com), then you need to upload WordPress files to your website’s root directory. Usually this directory is called /public_html/.

On the other hand, If you want to install WordPress in a subfolder (like example.com/blog), then upload it in a folder /public_html/blog/.

Once you are done uploading WordPress, go to your hosting control panel to create a database. We will be showing you how to do that using the cPanel. If your hosting provider has a different control panel then you just need to look for MySQL databases. Rest of the settings will be quite similar.

From your cPanel dashboard, click on the ‘MySQL Databases’ icon.

MySQL database icon in cPanel

You will see a field to create a new database. Enter a name for your database, and click ‘Create Database’.

Create database

Now that you have created your database, MySQL still needs a username. This username will have access to perform actions on the database.

On the MySQL Databases page in your cPanel account, scroll down to MySQL Users section. Simply provide a username and password for your new user and click on the ‘Create a user’ button.

Add a MySQL user

This new user still does not have access to the database you created earlier. For that, you will need to add the user to the database and give them permissions to perform all actions.

On the same MySQL Databases page in your cPanel account, scroll down to ‘Add User to a Database’ section. Select the database user you created from the dropdown menu next to user, then select the database, and click on the add button.

Add user to database

You will be now asked for the privileges you want to allow this user. Select all privileges and click on the Make changes button.

Your MySQL database and user are now ready, note down your database name and MySQL username and password. You will need that information later.

Simply go to to the URL where you uploaded WordPress. If it is in the main domain, then enter your domain name in the browser window, like yoursite.com or www.yoursite.com.

You will see the language selection page. You can choose a language here so that the rest of the installation is displayed in your own language. You can also use English for now and then later change the language.

Select WordPress language

Click on the continue button to proceed.

You will now see some installation instructions. Basically, WordPress will now tell you that it will need your database name, password, and MySQL host information.

WordPress installation requirements

Click on the ‘Let’s go’ button to continue.

WordPress will now show you a form. You need to enter the database information you created earlier.

Enter database information for WordPress installation

Fill in the information and then click on the ‘Submit’ button. WordPress will connect to your database and show you a success message.

WordPress can now connect to your database

Click on ‘Run the Install’ button to continue.

WordPress will now create tables in your database and then send you to the next step of the installation.

Now you need to provide some information for WordPress to set up your site. This includes site title, username, password, and admin email address.

If you do not want your website to be visible to search engines, then you can check the box next to search engine visibility. Later when you are ready you can change this from WordPress settings. If you are unsure about what to do, then simply leave it unchecked.

Setting up your website during WordPress install

Click on the Install WordPress button to continue. WordPress will set up your website and finish the installation.

You will see a success message showing your username. You can now click on the Log in button to sign in to your WordPress site.

Manual WordPress installation finished

How to Install WordPress in your Computer

Many of our beginner level users often ask us if they could try WordPress on their computer? The answer is yes, but most beginners should not do that.

The reason why some folks install WordPress in a local server environment is to build themes, plugins, or to test things out.

If you want to run a blog for other people to see, then you do not need to install WordPress on your computer. If you install WordPress locally on your computer, then the only person who can see the site is you.

If you want to make your WordPress site available to the internet (rest of the world), then you need to get a web hosting account and install WordPress by using one of the methods we showed above.

Having that said, if you are really interested in installing WordPress locally on your computer to learn more about theme development, test plugins etc, then we highly encourage you to do so.

If you are using a Windows computer, then we recommend that you download and setup WAMP. If you are using a Mac, then you need to download and setup Mamp.

After you have played around with WordPress on your computer you may want to move your local install to an actual live website. We have a step by step tutorial on how to move WordPress from local server to a live site.

How to Install WordPress in your Language

Just like Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android, you can use WordPress in your own language.

WordPress is available in many languages including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Korean, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese (Han), Portuguese, and many others.

You can choose a language during the WordPress installation or change it by visiting Settings » General page in the WordPress admin area.

Changing language in WordPress settings

For more details, see our article on how to install WordPress in other languages.

WordPress is also used widely to create bilingual and multilingual websites. See our tutorial on how to easily create a multilingual WordPress site with TranslatePress.

How to Install a WordPress Multisite Network

WordPress comes with multisite functionality built-in. The multisite network allows you to create multiple WordPress sites using the same WordPress install. It can automatically create new sites on sub-domains or in sub-folders.

This makes sense for businesses, non-profits, governments with sub-sites for different locations or regions. Many educational institutes also use WordPress multisite network to allow students to create their own blogs.

The setup for a multisite is a bit complex, but we have created a complete step-by-step tutorial on how to install and setup WordPress multisite network.

Things to do After Installing WordPress

Now that you have successfully installed WordPress, here are a few things to get started with your new WordPress site.

Choosing a Theme

The visual appearance of your WordPress powered website is controlled by Themes. There are thousands of WordPress themes available for you to choose from. With so many choices, it can become a little confusing for beginners. This is why we have put together a guide on selecting the perfect theme for WordPress.

We regularly publish lists of WordPress themes that we like in our Showcase section. Following are some of our popular theme showcases.

Installing and Using WordPress Plugins

The real power of WordPress comes from the massive collection of plugins. They are like apps for your WordPress site, allowing you to extend functionality and add new features to your site.

There are more than 54,000 free plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory alone. More plugins are available from third party websites as paid plugins.

If you are wondering which plugins to install, then take a look at our expert pick of the essential WordPress plugins for all websites. You may also want to check out the plugins we are using on this site by looking at our WPBeginner’s blueprint.

We have a beginner’s step by step guide on how to install WordPress plugins.

Start Learning WordPress

WordPress is the easiest to use CMS in the market. Millions of people from all over the world use it every day. However, from time to time you may need a little help.

This is where WPBeginner can help. We are the largest free WordPress resource site in the world, regularly publishing tutorials and guides written specifically for bloggers and small businesses.

Here are some of the useful resources that you will find on WPBeginner (all of them are totally free).

  • WPBeginner Blog – The central place for all our WordPress tutorials and guides.
  • WPBeginner Dictionary – Our WordPress glossary is the best place to familiarize yourself with the WordPress lingo
  • WPBeginner Videos – New WordPress users can start with these 23 videos to master WordPress.
  • WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 128,000 subscribers and 12 Million+ views.
  • WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
  • WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.

Conclusion

We hope this WordPress installation tutorial helped you learn how to easily install WordPress. You may want to check out our list of these 40 useful tools to help you manage and grow 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 Install WordPress – Complete WordPress Installation Tutorial appeared first on WPBeginner.



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What is a Blog and How is it Different from a Website? (Explained)


Often readers ask us about what is a blog, and how is it different from a website? If you are thinking about starting a blog or a website, then understanding these terms will help you meet your goals.

In this beginner’s guide, we will explain what is a blog and how is it different from a traditional website. We will also talk about usage scenarios, with real-world examples, and their benefits.

What is a blog and how is it different from a website?

What is a Blog?

A blog is a type of website where the content is presented in reverse chronological order (newer content appear first). Blog content is often referred to as entries or “blog posts”.

Blogs are typically run by an individual or a small group of people to present information in a conversational style. However, now there are tons of corporate blogs that produce a lot of informational and thought-leadership style content.

A blog page showing posts

Typical blog posts also have a comments section where users can respond to the article.

History of Blogs

Blogs evolved from online diaries and journals in the mid-90s. At that time, internet users were already running personal web pages where they published regular updates about their personal lives, thoughts, and social commentary.

The term web log was first used during the late 90s, which later became ‘weblog’, then ‘we blog’, and finally just ‘blog’.

Due to the growing number of such web pages, several tools started to appear, which made it easier for users to create online journals and blogs. These tools helped popularize blogging and made the technology accessible to non-technical users.

In 1999, the popular blogging website Blogger.com was launched, which was later acquired by Google in February 2003.

The same year, WordPress released its first version as a blogging platform in May 2003.

Today, WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform powering over 30% of all websites on the internet.

What is The Difference Between Blog and Website?

Blogs are a type of website. The only real difference between a blog and other types of website is that blogs are regularly updated with new content, which is displayed in reverse chronological order (newer posts first).

Typical websites are static in nature where content is organized in pages, and they are not updated frequently. Whereas a blog is dynamic, and it is usually updated more frequently. Some bloggers publish multiple new articles a day.

Blogs can be part of a larger website. Often businesses have a blog section where they regularly create content to inform and educate their customers.

You can use WordPress to create both, a website and blog, that’s why a lot of business owners use WordPress to build their small business website.

In simple terms, all blogs can be a website or part of a website. However, not all websites can be called blogs.

For example, WPBeginner is a blog and a website. Our website has other content which is published in a non-blog format like glossary, about us, and contact pages.

Non-blog content on a blog website

Now, let’s take a look at another example. This time a website called Awesome Motive. It is a business website and belongs to WPBeginner’s management company.

Awesome Motive

It does not have a blog or any content published in sequential order. It uses pages to organize and present information about a business and collects user feedback by adding a contact form.

You can also say that blogs have articles that are organized using categories and tags. On the other hand, websites use pages to organize and display content.

Blog or Website – Which One is Better?

As a beginner, you may be wondering whether you should start a blog or a website, which one is better? To be honest, the answer to this question really depends on what your goals are.

Many small businesses around the world have traditional websites made up of just pages and no blog. Such small websites are often made to create an informational web presence for a business, organization, or individual.

On the other hand, more and more businesses are realizing the potential of a blog in their marketing strategy. They are adding a separate blog section to their traditional websites and using it to get more traffic from search engines.

Take OptinMonster, it is a lead generation software and their website has traditional sales pages showcasing their product and its features.

OptinMonster website and blog

They also have an informational blog where they teach users how to improve conversions and get more leads. This helps them cover their industry keywords to get free traffic from search engines and make more sales.

Even if you are a business, a non-profit organization, or a professional, adding a blog to your website can help you achieve your goals.

What is The Difference Between Blog Posts and Pages?

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and a powerful content management system. By default, it comes with two content types: posts and pages. Often beginners get confused between the two.

Blog posts are displayed in a reverse chronological order (newest to oldest) on your blog page because they are timely content which means your users will have to dig deeper to view older posts.

Pages are static “one-off” type content such as your about page, contact page, products or services pages, home page, and more.

To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on the difference between posts and pages.

Pages are usually used to create a website structure and layout. Even blogs can have pages alongside them (See our list of important pages that every blog should have).

Why Do People Blog? What are The Benefits of Blogging?

Each individual blogger has their own motivation for blogging. Many of them use it as an alternative to keeping a diary or journal. Blogging provides them with a venue to share their creativity and ideas to a wider audience.

Top brands and businesses create blogs to educate their customers, share news, and reach a wider audience. Blogging is an essential part of online marketing strategy for many businesses.

Following are just a few benefits of blogging.

  • Provides an avenue to organize your thoughts and ideas
  • Allows you to showcase your skills, creativity, and talents
  • Help individuals become an authority in their industry
  • Helps you socialize with interesting like-minded people online
  • Many bloggers make money from their blogs using various monetization methods
  • Businesses use blogging to bring more potential customers to their websites
  • Non-profits can use blogs to raise awareness, run social media campaigns, and influence public opinion

What are Some Examples of Good Blogs?

Blogging is huge!

Millions of individuals and businesses from all over the world have blogs. This means that there are blogs on just about any topic you can think of.

Here are some good blogs that you can check out as an example. We have hand-picked the best blogs in different industries to give you an idea of how diverse blogs are.

1. Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum is one of the most popular food and recipe blogs online. Started by Lindsay, a high school teacher, the blog allowed her to quit her day job and become a full-time blogger.

2. WeTheParents

WeTheParents

WeTheParents is a popular parenting blog run by Neve and Keane (the parents). They share parenting tips for moms and dads and while doing so they make money by earning commission on products they recommend.

3. We Wore What

We Wore What

Started by Danielle Bernstein, We Wore What is a popular fashion blog. With more than 1.5 Million followers, it covers everything from fashion to interior design to menswear.

4. Nerd Fitness

Nerd Fitness

A fitness blog started by Steve Kamb, Nerd Fitness is dedicated to helping people stay fit. It provides fitness advice, motivation, support, diet and exercise tips.

5. Lost With Purpose

Lost With Purpose

A popular travel blog run by Alex, who shares her journeys while offering travel tips, advice, and guides for other backpackers.

6. Tiny Buddha

Tiny Buddha

Tiny Buddha is a personal development blog created by Lori Deschene. The blog publishes content on happiness, love, relationships, mindfulness, spirituality, simplicity, minimalism, letting go, and more.

There are many more great blogs out there on many different topics. See our list of the most popular types of blogs for some more ideas.

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

Usually, people think of bloggers as hobbyists. Some of them are, but a large number of bloggers make money from their blogs. This enables them to focus more on their blog, quit their day jobs, and build successful online businesses.

The more successful bloggers can make six-figure, seven-figure, and even eight-figure incomes from their blogs.

Below are a few ways that most bloggers use to make money from their blogs:

The most common and probably the easiest way to make money online is by displaying ads. However, as a new blogger, you will not be able to contact advertisers directly or manage them on your own.

This is where Google AdSense comes in. It takes care of finding ads, displaying them, collecting payments from advertisers, and sending you those payments for a small cut.

Many bloggers also make money through affiliate marketing. Basically, they recommend products on their websites and earn a commission when users buy those products.

Other common monetization methods include memberships, selling online courses, or adding an online store to the blog.

See our list of proven ways to make money online from your blog for some more examples.

We also have a list of “easy-to-start” online business ideas that you can check out.

Can Anyone Start a Blog?

Yes, anyone who wants to start a blog, can easily do so.

In the early days of blogging, users needed coding skills to even update their blogs. Now, there are plenty of tools that allow you to easily create a blog without ever writing code. If you can point-and-click, then you can build a blog within minutes.

Choosing the wrong blogging platform to start a blog is the most common mistake that beginners make. However, since you are here, you will not be making this mistake.

We recommend using WordPress. It is the world’s most popular blogging platform and website builder. Over 30% of all websites on the internet are built using WordPress, just so you can get an idea of how popular it is.

There are two types of WordPress: WordPress.com, which is a hosted solution, and WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. See our guide on the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

We recommend using WordPress.org because it gives you instant access to all WordPress features. It also allows you to easily make money from your blog without any restriction.

Want to learn more about WordPress? See our complete WordPress review for detailed breakdown of its features.

You will need the following things to start your own WordPress.org blog.

  • A domain name (This will be your blog’s address and what users will type in their browser to visit it. For example, wpbeginner.com)
  • Website hosting account (This will be home of your blog’s files)
  • 20 minutes of your time

Normally, a domain name will cost you around $14.99 per year and website hosting $7.99 per month. Now if you are just starting out, this seems like a lot of money.

Thankfully, Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users a free domain and discount on hosting. They are one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and are officially recommended by WordPress.

Basically, you will be able to get started for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

After purchasing hosting, you can head over to our guide on how to start a blog for complete step by step instructions.

We hope this article helped answer your questions about what is a blog and what’s the difference between a blog and a website. You may also want to see our list of the most useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress blog.

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 Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners


Do you want to install Google Analytics in WordPress? Knowing how your audience interacts with your website is crucial for your success.

The best way to know your audience is through your traffic stats, and this is what Google Analytics provides for FREE.

In this article, we will share why Google Analytics is important, and how you can easily install Google Analytics in your WordPress website (step by step).

How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

First, we will explain why Google Analytics is important and how it can help you grow your website.

After that, we will show you how to sign up for a Google Analytics account and different methods to install it on your WordPress site.

Finally, we will explain how to view your traffic reports in Google Analytics.

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll learn in this article.

  • Why is Google Analytics Important
  • How to Sign up with Google Analytics
  • How to Install Google Analytics Using MonsterInsights (Recommended)
  • How to Install Google Analytics Using Insert Headers & Footers Plugin
  • How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme (Advanced)
  • Viewing Reports in Google Analytics
  • Making the Most out of Google Analytics
    • Ready let’s get started.

      Why is Google Analytics Important for Bloggers?

      Once you start a blog, your #1 goal is to get more traffic and subscribers. Google Analytics help you make data-driven decisions by showing you the stats that matter. You can see:

      Who visits your website?

      This part of analytics answers what is the geographical location of your audience, which browser did the user use to visit your site and other important information such as screen resolution, JavaScript support, Flash support, language and more.

      This data is extremely useful, and it can help in numerous ways. When getting a custom design, you can use the user data to make sure that your site will be compatible with your audience.

      If most of your users don’t have Flash support, then you should avoid adding the flash element in your site. If most of your users are on 1280 screen resolutions, then make sure that your design is compatible with that resolution or smaller.

      What do people do when they are on your website?

      You can track where the users are going on your website, how long do they stay on your website, and what is the bounce rate (the percent of users exit your site on the first visit).

      By using this information, you can decrease the bounce rate and increase your pageviews.

      You can also find your most popular articles, articles that are not doing so well, and what kind of content your users are looking for.

      When do people visit your website?

      By looking at the hottest hours in the day for your site, you can pick the time when you publish your post. If that time zone is not compatible with yours, then you can schedule your post to meet that hour.

      How do people find your website?

      This section of the analytics shows you where did the users come from (for example: Search Engines, Direct Links, Referral links from another site).

      It also shows you what percentage of your visitors came from each of these sources. Google analytics gives you the breakdown of each of these categories. If it is the search engine category, then it shows you which search engine got you the most traffic, Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.

      The breakdown of referral sources shows you which sites you need to work with the most. If your top referral source is Facebook, then you need to have exclusive Facebook content to make your Facebook audience feel special.

      If your top referral source is an external website, then you might want to consider having a partnership with that website (guest post exchange or something else).

      How do people interact with your content?

      Google analytics shows how your users interact with your site’s content. It shows you what percent of the user clicked on which link on your site and much more.

      You can run A/B split tests by creating content experiments in Google Analytics to understand what works best to meet your goals.

      By seeing the user interactivity, you can work your content around your users. By seeing the answers to the questions above, you can focus on the strategies that work for your site and avoid strategies that don’t work.

      Simply put, eliminate the guesswork and focus on stats that matter, so you can make data driven-decisions.

      How to Signup with Google Analytics

      Google Analytics is available for free and all you need is a Google or Gmail account to sign up. The sign up process is quite simple, follow the step by step instructions below to create your Google Analytics account.

      Step 1: First you need to visit Google Analytics sign up.

      You will be asked to login with your Google account. If you already have a Google or Gmail account, then you can use that to sign-in. Otherwise, you can go ahead and create a Google account for yourself.

      Sign in with your Google account

      Step 2: Once you sign-in with your Gmail account, you will be prompted to a screen like the one below. This is where you will signup for Google analytics with your Gmail account.

      Sign up for Google Analytics

      Step 3: On the next screen, you will be given choice to choose between a website or mobile app. Make sure you select website.

      After that, you need to enter account name (It will be the Google Analytics profile name for this website), Website name, website’s URL, country, and the time zone.

      Fill in your website information

      Once you have entered this information, click on the Get Tracking ID button. You will be presented with Google Analytics terms and service which you must agree to, so click on ‘I Agree’ button.

      Step 4: Now you will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code. You can copy this tracking code because you will need to enter it in your WordPress site depending on the method you use below.

      Your Google Analytics tracking code

      We suggest leaving the analytics browser tab open as you may need to revisit it, once you have installed the code on your WordPress site.

      Now that you have setup a Google Analytics account, lets take a look at how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

      How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

      There are a few different ways to setup Google Analytics in WordPress. We will show you three methods where the first option is the easiest and the last being the hardest.

      You can choose the one that best suits your needs.

      1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

      MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Over 1 million websites use it including the likes of Bloomberg, PlayStation, Zillow, and more.

      It is the easiest and by far the best way to add Google Analytics to WordPress (for all users beginners and experts alike).

      MonsterInsights is available as both, a paid premium plugin, and a free version. In this tutorial, we will be using the MonsterInsights free version.

      You can use the MonsterInsights Pro version if you want more advanced features like E-commerce tracking, Ads tracking, Author tracking, etc. The process of setting them up is the same.

      Let’s get started.

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

      Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled ‘Insights’ to your WordPress admin menu. Clicking on it will bring the MonsterInsights setup wizard.

      MonsterInsights setup wizard

      First, you will be asked to choose a category for your website (a business website, blog, or online store). Select one and then click on ‘Save and Continue’ button.

      Next, you need to click on the ‘Connect MonsterInsights’ button.

      Connect MonsterInsights

      This will bring up a popup which will take you Google accounts where you will be asked to sign in or select a Google account if you are already signed in.

      Sign in or select a Google account to continue

      Next, you will be asked to allow MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics account.

      Allow MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics account

      Click on the ‘Allow’ button to continue.

      The final step is to select the profile you want to track. You need to select your website here and then click on the ‘Complete authentication’ button to continue.

      Select your website profile to compete setup

      MonsterInsights will now install Google Analytics on your website. After that you will be asked to select the recommended settings for your website.

      Recommended settings for Google Analytics

      The default settings would work for most websites. If you use an affiliate link plugin, then you need to add the path you use to cloak affiliate links. This will allow you to track your affiliate links in Google Analytics.

      Click on the Save and Continue button to save your settings.

      Next, MonsterInsights will show you paid add-ons that you can access if you upgrade to PRO. You can simply click on the ‘Save and Continue’ button to skip this step.

      Upgrade to pro

      After that, you will be asked to install WPForms plugin, which is the best WordPress contact form plugin. You can install it or simply click on ‘Skip this Step’

      Recommended plugin

      That’s all you have successfully installed and setup Google Analytics on your WordPress site. Remember, it will take Google Analytics sometime before showing your stats.

      Google Analytics successfully installed using MonsterInsights

      The best part about MonsterInsights is that you can view your Google Analytics reports inside your WordPress dashboard. Simply visit Insights &raqo; Reports page to check out a quick overview of your analytics data.

      Your Google Analytics reports in WordPress dashboard

      Note: MonsterInsights was formerly known as Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast. WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, acquired the plugin in 2016 and rebranded it to MonsterInsights. Now it is part of our family of premium WordPress plugins.

      2. Insert Headers and Footers Plugin

      This method is not as not as good as MonsterInsights because you will not be able to do advanced tracking configuration, and you will not be able to view Google Analytics data in your WordPress dashboard.

      First, 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. Here you need to paste the Google Analytics code that you copied in step 4 into the headers section.

      Adding Google Analytics tracking code using Insert Headers and Footers plugin

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

      That’s all, you have successfully installed Google Analytics on your site.

      3. Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme

      This method is for advanced users who are familiar with the code. It is somewhat unreliable because your code will disappear if you switch or update the theme. We almost never recommend using this method.

      If this is your first time adding code to your WordPress files, then you should check out our guide on how to copy paste code snippets in WordPress.

      Add code in header.php file

      Simply edit the header.php file in your WordPress theme and paste the code you copied in step 4 right after the <body> tag.

      Don’t forget to save your changes and upload the file back to your server.

      Add via Functions File

      You can also add Google Analytics tracking code to WordPress functions file. It will then automatically add the tracking code to every page on your WordPress site.

      You will need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file.

      <?php
      add_action('wp_head', 'wpb_add_googleanalytics');
      function wpb_add_googleanalytics()  ?>
      
      // Paste your Google Analytics code from Step 4 here
      
      <?php  ?>
      

      Viewing Reports on Google Analytics Website

      Google Analytics is capable of showing you a treasure of data collected from your stats. You can view this data by visiting your Google Analytics dashboard.

      Google Analytics reporting

      You will see the built-in Google Analytics reports in the left column. Each section is divided into different tabs and clicking on a tab will expand it to show more options.

      • Real-time This report will show you a real time view of your traffic.
      • Audience tab will show reports to help you understand your users.
      • Acquisition reports explore where your users came from.
      • Behavior reports summarize what your users do after they arrive on your site.
      • Conversion reports show how well you’re doing against your goals.

      Making the Most out of Google Analytics

      Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool with tons of awesome features. Some of them are quite obvious and easy to use, others require some additional setup.

      Here are some of the resources that will help you make the most out of Google Analytics reports.

      Google Analytics works best with Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). It allows you to see how your website is doing in search results. See our complete Google Search Console guide to learn how to use it to grow your website.

      We hope this article helped you learn how to install Google Analytics in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate WordPress SEO guide 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.

      The post How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Easily Create a Quiz in WordPress


Quizzes are a fun way to increase user engagement on your site. You can use them for educational purposes or use them to create viral content like BuzzFeed and others to get more social shares.

Quizzes are basically online forms that collect user input, calculate responses, and show results.

In this article, we will show you how to easily create a quiz in WordPress.

How to Create a Quiz in WordPress Easily

Why Add Quizzes to Your WordPress Site?

Quizzes are fun and highly engaging. Due to their interactive nature, users find them more rewarding than other types of forms.

BuzzFeed Quizzes

Marketers have been using quizzes to generate leads since the very early days of the internet.

There are many scenarios where quizzes can help you capture audience interest, gather data, and add interactive features to your site.

  • Viral quizzes can help you gain more traffic from social media. BuzzFeed is probably the most popular example of viral quizzes
  • Educational quizzes to accompany your online courses
  • Quizzes to asses customer needs and recommend them solutions.
  • Quizzes that require users to sign up for your email newsletter
  • and more…

Quiz to assess customer needs

Having said that let’s go ahead and see how to create easily create a quiz in WordPress.

Creating a WordPress Quiz with Formidable Forms

As the saying goes, there’s likely a plugin for that. You can find many WordPress plugins for making a quiz, but it’s always your responsibility to choose the best one.

For creating this tutorial, we tried out the best WordPress quiz plugins available and picked Formidable Forms plugin as the best WordPress-focused solution.

Formidable Forms Advanced WordPress form plugin

Formidable Forms is the most advanced WordPress form plugin available on the market. It comes with a simple but powerful drag and drop form builder which helps you go beyond just contact forms.

Using its powerful interface, you can easily create advanced forms like quizzes, surveys, calculators, registration forms, and more.

Formidable Forms plugin comes with a Quiz Maker add-on for creating quizzes in WordPress. It allows you to easily build quizzes and display them on your website.

Let’s take a look at how to do that, step by step.

Step 1: Install the Formidable Forms and Quiz Maker Addon

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Formidable Forms plugin. For creating a quiz, you will need to purchase at least their ‘Business’ plan which includes the Quiz Maker addon.

For detailed instructions, check out our step by step guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress.

Next, you will need to install the Quiz Maker addon. Go to Formidable » Add-Ons, navigate to Quiz Maker addon and click the Install button.

Install Formidable Forms Quiz Maker

It will install the addon in a few seconds and show the addon as ‘Active.’

That’s it!

Now, you are all set to start building a quiz using Formidable Forms.

Step 2: Create a WordPress Quiz with Formidable Quiz Maker

Now that you’ve installed the Formidable Forms Quiz Maker, you are ready to create your first WordPress quiz.

Navigate to Formidable » Forms from your WordPress dashboard and click the ‘Add New’ button.

Add New Formidable Form in WordPress

Next, you will see different ways to create a form with Formidable Forms. You can either start with a blank form, use a form template, or import from an XML file. In our guide, we will show you how to start with a blank form.

Create with a Black Form - Formidable Forms

Start by clicking on the ‘Create with a blank form’ button. Next, you will see the plugin’s form building interface.

Formidable Forms Form Builder Interface

As shown in the screenshot above, you will see the main 3 steps to create a form. First, name your quiz. Second, add fields to your form. And third, save your form.

Quizzes can be used for different purposes including satisfaction test, personality quiz, market research, knowledge test, etc.

You may need different types of fields based on your quiz type. We recommend having a list of your questions and answers ready before creating the quiz.

In this guide, we will show you how to create a simple WordPress knowledge test quiz which includes different fields including single response ‘Text’ field as well as multi-response ‘Dropdown’ and ‘Radio Buttons.’

Let’s get started with the name of your quiz form. Then, you can add fields to your form by simply clicking or dragging the fields on the right.

Name Your Formidable Forms Quiz

Here, we added a ‘Text’ field for the first quiz question and replaced the field title with the question.

Create a Quiz Question in Formidable Forms

Next, we added a ‘Dropdown’ Field for a multi-response question.

Add Dropdown Field in Formidable Forms

Replace the field title with your question first. Then, add options for your question.

Add Dropdown Options in a Formidable Form

Similarly, you can add more questions to your form. Once done, add the ‘Quiz Score’ field to your form.

Add Quiz Score Field in Formidable Form

The Quiz score field is important because it’s where you can enter the correct answers for your quiz questions. Simply right-click the ‘Add an entry’ link to open in a new tab.

Doing so will open the ‘Entries’ page in a new tab.

Formidable Forms Entry Page

Now, you can enter or choose correct answers for your quiz questions. The plugin will later evaluate the users’ entries based on your entries here.

Once done, put a check on the box next to ‘Set this entry as the quiz answer key.’ After that enter a descriptive name in the ‘Entry Key’ field and click the ‘Submit’ button.

Set Correct Answers for Your Formidable WordPress Quiz

Once your entries are saved, you can close the tab and go back to the form making page.

Next, you need to click the ‘Create’ button.

Create a Quiz in WordPress using Formidable Forms

Upon clicking the Create button, it will open the form General Settings. On this page, you can set up settings for your form including what to display when a user completes your form.

Quiz Settings Formidable Forms

You can review all the settings and then change them or simply leave them as default.

Then, scroll down to the Messages section to customize the message users will get when they complete your quiz.

Message Settings for Formidable Forms Quiz

If you want to show the quiz score immediately to your users along with this message, you can add a shortcode including your Quiz Score field key or field ID.

You can find your Quiz Score field ID or the key under the ‘Fields’ panel on the right.

Quiz Score ID Formidable Forms

As you can see on the screenshot, the Quiz Score field ID in this example is [161]. Now, you can add a shortcode to the message box including this ID or key in the following format:

[161] – For fraction correct. Example: 5/10.
[161 show=count] – For correct answer count. Example: 5.
[161 show=percent] – For percent count. Example: 50%
[161 show=grade] – For letter grade. Example: F.

Here’s how you can add the shortcode to the message box.

Add Shortcode to Display Quiz Score in WordPress

Once you are done, click the ‘Update’ button at the end. That’s all. You’ve created your first quiz.

Step 3: Adding Your Quiz to Your WordPress Site

Now that you have successfully created a quiz form, you are all set to display it on your site. You can add the quiz to your site easily using the Formidable Forms widget.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to add that on a page.

Go to Pages » Add New from your dashboard.

Add New Page in WordPress

First, you will need to add a title and then click the ‘Add Block’ icon to add the Formidable Forms widget. Under the Widgets tab, you need to click the ‘Formidable Forms’ widget.

Add Formidable Forms Widget

After that it will add the Formidable Forms block to your page area. Simply click the dropdown in the block and select your quiz form.

Choose Your Quiz Form Widget in WordPress

Your quiz will now load on your page.

Publish Your Quiz in WordPress

Now you can go ahead and publish your page.

That’s it! Your WordPress quiz is live and your users can start answering questions.

Here’s how users will see the quiz results after clicking the submit quiz button.

Quiz Score Displayed in WordPress

We hope this article helped you add a quiz to your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to add a client feedback form 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.

The post How to Easily Create a Quiz in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Add Caption to Images in WordPress


Do you want to add captions to your images in WordPress? Captions are brief text descriptions that you can add to your images. They are typically used to provide additional details about an image.

WordPress comes with the built-in capability to easily add a caption and other metadata including title and alternative text for each image.

In this beginner’s guide, we will show you how to easily add a caption to images in WordPress.

How to Add Caption to Images in WordPress

Adding Caption to Images in WordPress

The first thing you need to do is to upload an image. On the post edit screen, click the ‘Add Block’ icon and select the ‘Image’ block.

Add Image Block in WordPress

Upon clicking on it, the Image block will be added to your post area.

Image Block Added In WordPress

You can now click on the upload button to select and upload an image from your computer to WordPress. You can also select a previously uploaded image by clicking on the media library button.

To learn more, see our article on how to add and align images in WordPress.

As soon as you add an image, it will appear inside the editor with a text box labeled ‘Write caption…’ below it.

That’s where you can add a caption for your image.

Add Caption to Image in WordPress post

Once done, you can save your post by clicking on the publish or update button.

That’s all. Wasn’t that easy?

Add Captions to Your Gallery Images

WordPress editor also comes with a Gallery block allowing you to upload multiple images and display them in a grid layout with rows and columns.

Let’s see how to add captions to images in a WordPress gallery block.

To create a gallery, go to your page or post edit screen. Then click the ‘Add Block’ icon and select the ‘Gallery’ block in the Common Blocks tab.

Add Gallery Block in WordPress

Next, you will see the Gallery block added to your page/post area. Now, you can upload images one by one from your computer or select the pre-uploaded pictures from your media library.

Gallery Block Added to a WordPress Page

If you upload images individually, then you can add a caption after uploading each one. When an image is uploaded, simply click on the image and the ‘Write caption…’ field will appear. You can add a caption by clicking on that.

Add Caption to Gallery Images in WordPress

If you select pre-added images from the library, you can add a caption to your pictures from the image metadata section on the right. If the photos already have a caption, then you don’t need to add it again.

Select Images to Create Gallery in WordPress

Adding Captions to Images in WordPress Media Library

WordPress allows you to upload images directly to the media library without embedding it in a post or page.

Here we will show you how to add caption to images when uploading them directly to the Media Library.

First, you need to visit Media » Add New page in WordPress admin area.

Add New Media to WordPress

From here, you can upload an image by dragging and dropping or by selecting one from your computer.

Once done, you will see the uploaded image below the Upload New Media box. You need to click the ‘Edit’ link.

Edit Image Option in WordPress Media Upload Page

Next, it’ll open the edit media page in a new tab. You may notice that the edit media screen looks similar to the post edit screen. That’s because WordPress treats attachment (for example, image) as a default post type.

This allows it to store image metadata like title, description, and caption in WordPress database.

From this screen, you can edit your image title, add image metadata including caption, alternative text, and description.

Image Post Edit Screen in WordPress

Once you add the necessary information, you can update your image. This image metadata will now be saved in your media library.

You can add this image on as many posts as you like without having to add the caption and other metadata again. Whenever you add this image to your post from the media library, it comes with the metadata already saved.

Select Image to Add in a WordPress Post

Adding Caption to Images in WordPress with Old Classic Editor

If you are still using the old Classic Editor on your WordPress site, then this is how you would add captions to images in WordPress.

Simply click on the Add Media button above the post editor to upload an image or select one from the media library.

Add media button in the old classic editor

Once the image is uploaded you can enter meta data like title, alt text, and a caption of your image.

Adding caption to images using the Classic Editor

Click on the ‘Insert into post’ button to add the image to your post or page.

You will now be able to see the image preview in your post editor with the caption. You can save your changes and preview the post to see how it would look on your live site.

Preview of an image with the caption

Adding Captions to Gallery Images in WordPress with Classic Editor

You can also add captions to images when creating a gallery using the Classic Editor. Simply upload and select multiple images and then click on the ‘Create gallery’ link from the left column.

Create gallery in media uploader

After that, you will need to click on the ‘Create a new gallery’ button at the bottom right corner of the popup.

Create a new gallery with selected images

Now you will be able to add captions directly below each image or click on an image to load its settings in the right column and then add the caption.

You can now click on the Insert Gallery button to add gallery into your WordPress post or page.

Classic editor gallery images with captions

We hope this article helped you to add caption text to your images in WordPress. If you liked this article, you might also want to see our guide on how to fix common image issues 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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How Much Does It Cost to Build a WordPress Website? (2019)


One of the questions we often get asked is: how much does it cost to build a WordPress website? While the core WordPress software is free, the cost of a website depends entirely on your budget and goals.

In this article, we will break it all down to answer the ultimate question: How much does it really cost to build a WordPress website? We’ll also show you how to avoid overspending and minimize cost when building a website.

How much does it cost to build a WordPress site?

This is a lengthy read and that’s why we have added a table of contents. Here is what we will cover in this article.

What Do You Need to Build a WordPress Website?

WordPress is free for anyone to download and use. It is an open source software which gives you the freedom to install it on any kind of website.

So if WordPress is free, then where is the cost coming from?

The cost of a WordPress site can be broken down into following categories:

  • WordPress hosting
  • Domain Name
  • Design
  • Plugins and Extensions (Apps)

To create a self hosted WordPress site, you need web hosting to store your files. Every website on the internet needs hosting. This is your website’s home on the internet.

There are different hosting plans available for all kind of websites. You need to pick one that suits your requirements and fits your budget.

Next, you will need a domain name. This will be your website’s address on the internet, and this is what your users will type in the browser to reach your website (example, wpbeginner.com or google.com).

With WordPress, there are tons of free website templates available that you can use. However, if you want something more advanced / custom, then you can purchase a premium template or have one custom made which will raise the cost.

There are 54,000+ free plugins for WordPress. These are apps and extensions for your websites. Think features like contact form, gallery, etc.

So while you can build a website with just the hosting and domain cost, based on your situation, you may end up paying for additional tools and services. That’s why it’s often confusing for people to find out the real cost of a WordPress website.

Let us walk you through the real cost of building a WordPress site.

Estimating The Real Cost of Building a WordPress Site

Calculating cost of building a WordPress site

Depending on your needs, your cost to start a WordPress website can range from $100 to $500 to $3000, to even as high as $30,000 or more.

It’s important to know what type of website you are building, and what you’ll need for it because that will directly affect your cost.

But don’t worry, we’ll show you how to avoid a financial disaster and make the best decisions.

For the sake of this article, let’s break down websites into different budget categories:

  • Building a WordPress website (low budget)
  • Building a WordPress website (with more features)
  • Building a WordPress website for small business
  • Building a WordPress eCommerce website
  • Building a custom WordPress website

Now let’s see how much each of these projects cost and how you can avoid spending any more than necessary.

What’s the Cost of a WordPress Website (Low Budget)?

Building a low budget WordPress site

You can build a fully functional WordPress website for yourself and keep your costs under $100. Here is the cost break down of a WordPress website on a low budget.

First, you will need a domain name and web hosting.

A domain name typically costs $14.99 / year, and web hosting normally costs $7.99 / month.

Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

For more hosting recommendations check out our guide on how to choose the best WordPress hosting.

Next, you will need to install WordPress on your hosting account. See our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog for complete instructions.

Once you have installed WordPress, you can choose a design for your website using a free template.

These design templates are called WordPress themes, and they control the appearance of your website.

There are thousands of professionally designed free themes available for WordPress that you can install. See our expert-pick of 43 beautiful free WordPress blog themes for some examples.

Once you have chosen a WordPress template, follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Next, you may want to add certain features to your website like adding a contact form, a photo gallery, a slider, etc. Don’t worry there are more than 40,000 WordPress plugins available that will help you do that.

Plugins are like apps or extensions for your WordPress site. See our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Below is our selection of the essentials WordPress plugins that you should install on your website. All of them are available for free.

Features

Website Optimization

Website Security

There are many more free WordPress plugins to add different features and extend your WordPress site. See our best WordPress plugins category where we have reviewed hundreds of WordPress plugins.

Total Cost of website: $46 – $100 per year

What’s the Cost of a WordPress Site (with More Features)?

Cost of WordPress site with more features

We always recommend our users to start small and then add more features as their website grow. This way you will not be paying for anything that you don’t really need.

As you add more features to your website, your website cost will start to increase.

You can continue to use Bluehost for WordPress hosting to keep the cost low and get a free domain name.

However since you will be adding more features to your website, it may make sense to get a more powerful hosting configuration like SiteGround’s GoGeek plan. This will cost you a little more, but it comes with premium features like staging, faster performance, and can handle up to 100,000 visitors per month.

You can use our SiteGround coupon to get 60% off for the first year of your hosting.

You can also go for a premium WordPress template for your site. Unlike free WordPress templates, these templates come with extra features and priority support. See our expert selection of 40 best responsive WordPress themes for some great premium templates that you can use.

For more website features you need to use a combination of free + paid plugin addons.

Here are some essential premium WordPress plugins and extensions that you’ll need as your site grows:

Features

Marketing

Security

There are many more WordPress plugins and services that you can add. Each paid service or addon that you add will increase the cost of your WordPress site.

Total cost of website: Depending on the premium WordPress plugins and services that you add, it can be anywhere between $500 and $1000 per year.

What’s the Cost of a Small Business Website with WordPress

A lot of people often ask us about how much does it cost to build a small business website with WordPress? The answer depends on your business needs and the tools you’ll be using to grow your business online.

Basically, you can estimate the cost to be somewhere between a low budget WordPress site and a WordPress site with more features.

Keeping in mind that you don’t add a full-fledged eCommerce store to your business website. In that case, see the next section in this article for a more accurate estimate.

If you are just starting out and need a simple website showcasing your products and services, then we recommend starting with the Bluehost. Their starter plan will reduce the cost significantly and will leave you with money that you can spend on other premium tools if needed.

If you have a more flexible budget, then you can sign up for SiteGround’s GrowBig plan. They are known for their excellent support, which is a good thing to have for a small business owner with no technical background.

Next, you will need to pick up a design for your website. You can look for a WordPress theme for business websites or pick a responsive WordPress theme that matches your requirements.

You can choose a free WordPress theme. However, since it is a business website, we will recommend you to purchase a premium theme that gives you access to support and updates.

Now let’s talk about plugins.

You will need to use a combination of free and premium plugins to control the cost. Following are some of the premium plugins that are absolutely essential for a small business website.

Features

Marketing

  • Constant Contact – One of the best email marketing service, specially for small businesses.
  • OptinMonster -Helps you convert website visitors into leads and customers. You’ll need it for Lead generation and conversion optimization.
  • MonsterInsights Pro – The best Google Analytics plugin helps you see where your users are coming from and what they do on your website. This allows you to make data-driven decisions to grow your business.

Security

  • UpdraftPlus (Pro) – The premium version of the plugin comes with incremental backups, automatic backups before updates, and several remote storage locations to keep your backups.
  • Sucuri Firewall – Website firewall and malware protection

Now there are many more plugins and tools that you would want to use. We recommend you to first try the free version and see if that does the job for you. Many premium tools are available with the free trials, take advantage of those to see if you really need that tool.

As a business website, you would want to spend money to grow your business. We are not advising you against spending money when it makes sense and you can afford it.

For more details see our step by step guide on how to make a small business website

Total cost of website: Once again it depends on premium tools and plugins you purchase. It can be anywhere between $300 and $700 per year but could go as high as $1000 per year.

What’s the Cost of a WordPress Ecommerce Website?

Cost of building a WordPress eCommerce website

WordPress powers millions of eCommerce websites around the world.

The cost of building a WordPress eCommerce website can be significantly higher, but we will show you how to build a WordPress eCommerce website while avoiding potential losses and overspending.

In addition to hosting and domain, your eCommerce site will also need an SSL certificate which costs around $69.99/year. SSL is required to securely transfer customer data such as credit card information, usernames, passwords, etc.

We recommend using Bluehost Ecommerce plan. It gives you a free domain and SSL certificate, plus discount on hosting.

After that, you need to select a WordPress eCommerce plugin.

There are several eCommerce plugins for WordPress, but none comes even close to WooCommerce. It is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin that allows you to build robust online stores to sell your products/services.

Next, you will need to install WordPress and WooCommerce on your website. We have a step by step guide on how to start an online store.

While WooCommerce is free, you will need to use paid addons for additional features. The cost of your website will go up depending on how many addons you need to add on your website.

Once you are up and running, you will need to choose a WooCommerce ready WordPress template for your site. There are several paid and free WordPress templates with full WooCommerce support. Choosing a premium or paid template gives you access to support and extra features.

We have a list of the best free WooCommerce addons, but depending on your needs, you may have to use some paid extensions as well.

Here are some other paid services that you’ll need on your eCommerce website.

Features

  • WPForms – To add customer inquiries and feedback forms
  • Beaver Builder – To create stunning landing pages using a drag and drop page builder
  • Soliloquy – Create beautiful product sliders with their WooCommerce addon

Marketing

  • OptinMonster – Convert visitors into customers with this powerful lead generation tool
  • Constant Contact – powerful email marketing service
  • MonsterInsights – Ecommerce tracking with real time stats using Google Analytics

Security

  • BackupBuddy – Automatic WordPress backups
  • Sucuri – Website firewall and malware scanner

Remember the best way to keep your costs down is by starting small and adding extensions and services as your business grows.

Total cost of building a WordPress eCommerce website: $1000 – $3000. It could be higher depending on how many paid addons and services you add to your site.

What’s the Cost of a Custom WordPress Site?

Cost of a custom WordPress website

A custom WordPress site is when you hire a WordPress developer to create a unique design and build specific features for it.

Usually well established, large to medium-sized businesses choose this route.

To support a custom WordPress site, you may also want to go for a managed WordPress hosting provider. This is a WordPress centric hosting environment, with managed updates, premium support, strict security, and developer friendly tools.

In addition to your hosting and domain name, you will also be paying the web developer that’s building your website. Depending on your need, you may want to get quotes from several theme developers, web designers, and agencies.

The cost of a custom website depends on your requirements, budget, and the rates of the developer or agency you hire.

A standard custom WordPress theme alone can cost you up to $5000. More robust WordPress sites with specific custom features can cost up to $15000 or even higher.

Update: Since several of you asked for a more details on this section, we have created a comprehensive guide on how much does a custom WordPress theme cost, and tips on how you can save money.

How to Avoid Overpaying and Cut Down Spending?

We always recommend our users to start small and then scale their WordPress site as it grows. In many cases, you don’t need all the premium features that you see on many well-established websites in your industry.

Keep in mind that those websites had a head start, and it likely took them some time to figure out how to manage costs and grow their business.

You can start with a budget website using free plugins and template. Once you start getting visitors, you can consider adding premium features like a premium template, email marketing, paid backup plugin, website firewall and so on.

Same goes for your eCommerce website. Start with the bare minimum and then as you start selling, you will find out exactly the tools that will help you and your customers.

Look for best WordPress deals and coupons to get additional discounts whenever you can.

Even for robust WordPress sites, you don’t always need to hire a developer. We have step by step tutorials on how to create different types of WordPress websites such as:

We hope this article answered your questions about how much does a website cost to build. You may also want to see our list of 25 legit ways to make money online blogging with 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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43 Best Responsive WordPress Themes (2019)


Are you looking for the best responsive WordPress theme for your website? Most modern WordPress themes are fully responsive out of the box. However, there are so many of them that it becomes difficult to choose one.

In this article, we have hand-picked some of the best responsive WordPress themes for you to choose from.

Best Responsive WordPress Themes

What is a Responsive WordPress Theme? Why You Need it?

A responsive WordPress theme is designed to automatically adjust itself to the user’s screen size. This means that your WordPress theme will look equally great on mobile phones, tablets, and desktop devices.

In the last quarter of 2018, mobile devices made 52% of all global internet traffic. You should expect that almost half of your users will be accessing your website using a mobile device.

If your website doesn’t fit their screen or looks ugly on their device, then they will immediately leave and may never find your website again.

This is why you must always use a responsive WordPress theme for all your websites.

Not only it improves user experience, but it also has a significant SEO advantage. Search engines like Google rank mobile-friendly websites higher in the mobile search which brings more traffic to your site.

Getting Started With Your Responsive WordPress Website

If you are just starting out, then you need to make sure that you are using the right platform for your website. Take a look at our guide to understand the difference between self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.

For a self hosted WordPress.org site, you will need a good domain name and the best WordPress hosting. Your domain is the address for your website and hosting is where your website lives on the internet.

We recommend using Bluehost because they are giving our users over 60% off discount and a free domain name. Not to mention, they are one of the largest web hosting companies in the world, and they are officially recommended by WordPress.org.

Next you will need to install WordPress. Don’t worry, we got you covered there as well. We have a step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog the RIGHT way!

Once you are up and running, you can pick a theme from the list below and install it. If you need help, then see our guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best responsive WordPress themes.

1. Divi

Divi

Divi is a drag and drop WordPress theme and page builder that comes with over 20 different layouts and templates for different kind of websites.

You can create and save your own Divi layouts. You can also export a layout from one Divi installation into another. Divi also comes with tons of elements that you can drag and drop anywhere in your layout.

2. Hestia

Hestia

Hestia is a free WordPress responsive theme with powerful features. It includes easy theme setup with the help of a companion plugin which adds testimonials, services, and homepage sections to your website.

It is ready to be used with popular free page builder plugins and supports WooCommerce out of the box.

3. Astra

Astra Theme

Astra is a popular multipurpose theme that can be used to build websites and blogs that look great on all devices. Built with the best coding standards, Astra offers a rock solid platform for WordPress websites, irrespective of the source they are coming from and the device they use.

Besides being a responsive theme, Astra offers advanced options like the Mobile Header module that lets you adjust header breakpoints, set different logos, menu styles, colors, etc. for mobile devices. All of this is easy and user friendly to set up since Astra adds all its options within the customizer and allows you to work around without a single line of code.

So, if you are looking for a feature-rich, stable and high performing theme that makes your website look great on all devices, Astra assures all of this along with a lot more flexibility and ease that you would need.

4. OceanWP

OceanWP

OceanWP is a powerful WordPress responsive theme with an impressive set of features. It is designed to be used for any kind of website, so it works for business websites, eCommerce stores, and even for simple blogs.

It comes with a clean layout that you can easily customize with widgets, page templates, and other theme settings. You can choose from multiple layout choices, and it also has full WooCommerce support.

5. Tusant

Tusant

Tusant is a mobile responsive WordPress theme made specifically for podcasters, music, and video websites. It comes with native support to beautifully display your podcast episodes, vlog entries, audio playlists, and more.

It includes several layouts to display your podcast episodes in grid and list views. There are extended settings for customizer allowing you to change theme colors. It also supports page builder plugins allowing you to create landing pages with simple drag and drop tools.

6. Ultra

Ultra

Ultra is a powerful multipurpose WordPress theme with a built-in drag and drop page builder. It comes with dozens of built-in designs, layouts, and templates that you can use as a starting point to build your own website.

Ultra is packed with features like parallax scrolling, animations, counters, Google maps, slider, and much more.

7. Authority Pro

Authority Pro

Authority Pro is a WordPress theme made specifically for influencers to showcase their expertise and explore new opportunities. Its homepage features a modern layout with prominent call-to-action to help you boost conversions.

It is eCommerce ready, which allows you to sell online courses or build a membership community. Most importantly, it is built on top of the Genesis framework which is known for rock-solid code and superior performance.

Other notable features include a vertical social menu, flexible header layout, custom widgets, and multiple-page templates. It is easy to set up using theme options panel which allows you to quickly get started.

8. Parallax

Parallax

Parallax is a beautiful single page WordPress theme. It comes with parallax scrolling and backgrounds, fly in elements, built-in portfolio and team post types.

It has easy to add animated progress bars, list and grid layouts, and infinite scroll. Parallax can also be used to add image filters like sepia, grayscale, and blur. This allows you to add image filters without using Photoshop.

9. Prime News

Prime News

As the name suggests, Prime News is a responsive WordPress theme for news and magazine websites. It features a clean minimalist layout allowing your news articles and images to take all the spotlight.

It comes with a sticky navigation menu on top and one collapsible sidebar menu. It has a header widget area, breaking news ticker, featured content area, and more. It is easy to customize by adding widgets and choosing colors, most theme options would just work out of the box.

10. Essence Pro

Essence Pro

Essence Pro is an eCommerce ready WordPress theme designed specifically for health & wellness and lifestyle businesses. It features a beautiful modern homepage layout with a large header on top and prominent call to action.

It comes with several page templates including landing page template. It is also optimized for Gutenberg block editor allowing you to create your own content layouts that look consistent with rest of the theme.

11. Allegiant

Allegiant

Allegiant is an elegant responsive WordPress theme for business websites. It features a modern layout with large typography, prominent call to actions, and flexible customization options.

Each page on your website can have a different layout with easy layout switching options. It also supports WooCommerce and comes with beautiful product, product category, and shop templates.

12. Nozama

Nozama

Nozama is a beautiful responsive theme for WooCommerce stores. It comes with full WooCommerce integration with a highly customizable storefront.

It also includes several WooCommerce custom widgets, beautiful templates for product and product category pages, social media integration, and more. You can also use it with any popular page builder plugin to create landing pages for your website.

13. Breakthrough Pro

Breakthrough Pro

Breakthrough Pro is a fully responsive WordPress theme for advertising and marketing agencies. It features a minimal design with beautiful typography and bold accent colors.

This WooCommerce ready business theme is built on the Genesis framework, which is known for quality code and optimal performance. It is also optimized for WordPress block editor allowing you to create stunning content layouts for your articles and pages.

Other features include a custom theme options panel, customizer support, flexible header, 9 widget ready areas, and a portfolio section.

14. Float

Float

Float is a highly customizable WordPress responsive theme with parallax scrolling and a built-in page builder. It comes with dozens of layouts and multiple ready to use templates to create stunning pages.

It is also packed with all the usual features you would expect from a premium WordPress theme. This includes social media integration, custom backgrounds, unlimited colors, custom widgets, and much more.

15. Spencer

Spencer

Spencer is an elegant WordPress business theme with a fully responsive design. It features a fully widgetized homepage layout that allows you to just drag and drop widgets to set it up.

It also includes multiple page templates, full-width page template, custom widgets for social media and content discovery features. It can be easily set up using live customizer and supports all popular page builder plugins.

16. Elara

Elara

If you want to start a food blog and looking for an appropriate theme, then take a look at Elara. This elegantly designed fully-responsive WordPress theme is made for food bloggers and recipe websites.

It features a modern spacious design with beautiful typography and elegant display of images and media. It has built-in ad-spots, featured recipes sections, sliders, banners, social media integration, and easy drag and drop widgets. It is quite easy to use even for absolute beginners.

17. Benson

Benson

Benson is a fully-responsive WordPress theme for photographers and portfolio websites. It comes with the built-in capability to add video and image slideshows and supports multiple image layouts.

It has separate sections to add your portfolio items, show client testimonials, blog page, and more. Other notable features include eCommerce support, contact form, social media menu, and support for all top page builder plugins.

18. Feltmag

Feltmag

Feltmag is a responsive WordPress news and magazine theme with tons of awesome features. Its homepage layout comes with an optional full-screen header, which is followed by your recent articles as users scroll down.

It comes with two navigation menus on top, immersive featured images, multiple layouts, header styles, social media icons, and more. It is super easy to set up and most options just work when you activate the theme.

19. Responz

Responz

Responz is a multi-purpose WordPress responsive theme. It features a beautiful three column layout with elegant design and great typography.

It has multiple layout options like 2 sidebars, 1 sidebar, or a full-width homepage. You can also choose from the list view or grid view post layouts. Apart from that, it has all the usual features of a premium theme like custom background, flexible headers, custom widgets, and color options.

20. The Traveler

The Traveler

The Traveler is a responsive WordPress theme for travel and tourism websites. It comes with a beautiful grid-based layout for the homepage. It also includes a beautiful Instagram feed, which allows you to display your latest photos from Instagram directly on your site.

The theme also includes 5 layout choices for archive pages. It is very easy to set up, even for absolute beginners.

21. Landing

Landing

Landing is a WordPress landing page theme that allows you to build landing pages using drag and drop Themify Builder. It comes with 25+ ready to use builder templates that you can use as an starting point.

It has multiple header design options, portfolio management, events, and full WooCommerce support to start your own online store.

22. Compass

Compass

Compass is a multipurpose and fully responsive WordPress theme for blogging, news, and magazine websites. It comes with a highly customizable homepage with a featured content slider, dynamic homepage builder, featured categories, and 1-click demo content installer.

It has a built-in breaking news ticker, multiple page templates, custom colors, fonts, custom logo, and background. The theme also comes with several custom widgets and multiple sidebars and widget ready areas.

23. Mustache

Mustache

Mustache is a beautifully crafted WordPress theme for business websites. It has built-in sections to add your clients, testimonials, services, and team members. It looks equally beautiful on all devices and it is fully optimized for speed and performance.

You can also use it as a single page theme and easily setup the homepage using built-in drag and drop widgets.

24. Prologue

Prologue

Prologue is a beautiful WordPress magazine theme designed to showcase your content with elegance. It comes with featured content slider, video slider, featured categories area, and ad spaces.

Other features include custom logo upload, social media integration, multiple page layouts, and several widget ready areas.

25. Resume

Resume

Resume is a stunningly beautiful WordPress portfolio theme. It can be used as a single page theme where all your sections are on the same page. It can also be used as a blog and a multi-page website.

Resume comes with a built-in portfolio management area, custom widgets, and a simple theme options panel.

26. Total

Total

Total is a free WordPress theme for business websites. It has a clean and simple layout to easily showcase your products and services.

Its homepage contains different areas to add slider, about us section, progress bar, portfolio, testimonials, and blog posts. It also includes multiple widget-ready areas and full customizer support to easily change theme settings.

27. Composition

Composition

If you are looking for a stylish photography theme for your WordPress site, then check out Composition. This elegantly designed theme is fully mobile responsive and gracefully adjusts photographs on smaller screens.

It includes masonry layouts, custom widget areas, unlimited galleries, and slideshows. It also includes a simple yet very flexible homepage layout, which is easily customizable from theme settings.

28. Alpha

Alpha

Alpha is a powerful WordPress multipurpose theme suitable for an online magazine or a content-rich website. It comes with two skins and each skin will radically change your site’s layout and you can choose the one that meets your needs.

Among other features, it comes with a breaking news ticker and a custom slider. It also comes with a video widget to showcase your video content on the homepage.

29. Roxima

Roxima

Roxima is an elegant WordPress theme for business websites. It is fully responsive and comes with multiple custom widgets and layout choices.

Inside you will also find about, services, portfolio, client, and team sections which can be easily added to the homepage using drag and drop. It has a beginner friendly theme options panel to help you quickly build your website.

30. Moesia Pro

Moesia Pro

Moesia Pro is a beautifully crafted one page WordPress theme for business websites. It comes with a drag and drop page builder with different content blocks. You can add and arrange the blocks to easily build your homepage. It also has slider, page templates, Google fonts, and all the features you would expect from a premium theme.

31. Paperbag

Paperbag

Paperbag is a fully responsive WordPress blogging theme. It features beautiful large featured images and comes with multiple layout choices. It is very easy to setup using the live theme customizer.

It also comes with 20+ color schemes, and you can also create your own color schemes. It is also highly optimized for SEO and speed.

32. Elite

Elite

Elite is a beautiful WordPress theme for business and ecommerce websites. Its homepage features a fullscreen background image with a call to action button prominently displayed.

It includes custom logo support, unlimited colors, Google fonts, and multiple page layouts for blog posts and pages. It is easy to use with a widgetized homepage, customizer support, and custom theme options page.

33. Pepper+

Pepper plus

Pepper+ is an all-purpose WordPress theme with several turnkey designs for businesses and blogs. It takes a modular approach to design and comes with modules that you can just drag and drop to create different layouts.

Pepper+ is a retina ready theme with support for WooCommerce and multilingual websites. It offers a beginner-friendly user experience with simple 1-click installers and quicker theme setup.

34. Foodica

Foodica

As the name suggests, Foodica is a WordPress theme for food blogs, recipe websites, and restaurants. This beautifully designed theme comes with 10 color schemes, recipe index, beautiful featured slider, and full WooCommerce integration.

It has built-in ad zones to display ads on your website. It comes with an easy theme options panel which allows you to easily setup your website.

35. Igloo

Igloo

Igloo is a responsive WordPress theme for restaurants, cafes, and food websites. It comes with a built-in menu management section allowing you to beautifully display restaurant menu on your website.

It has beautiful large features images and a stunning homepage slider with a bold call to action button. It comes with different sections to easily add customer testimonials, beautiful galleries, contact form, and sliders.

36. Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a premium WordPress theme for hotels. It comes with all the standard features you would expect from a premium theme.

Bordeaux is fully responsive and looks equally great on all devices and screen sizes. It is highly optimized for speed, performance, and SEO. All theme settings can be easily set up with an intuitive theme options panel.

Apart from the standard premium features, Bordeaux comes with features specific for hotel websites. It allows you to easily integrate popular hotel booking systems into your WordPress site.

37. Kale Pro

Kale Pro

Kale Pro is a beautiful WordPress theme for food blogs, recipe websites, and restaurants. It comes with a beautiful homepage layout with a slider on top, which is followed by your featured content.

It also helps you easily add recipes by using the recipes shortcode builder. It has dedicated areas to display banner ads and custom widgets to add content on your homepage and sidebars. For quicker setup, you can use its 1-click demo content installer and then replace dummy content with your own.

38. Corner

Corner

Corner is a well-designed WordPress theme for creative types. It comes with built-in support to display your portfolio, display photographs, or use it as a personal website. The theme supports unlimited color variations and comes with tons of customization options.

39. Hueman

Hueman

Hueman is a free multi-purpose WordPress theme. It is mobile responsive and comes with a ton of features. It has its own theme customization panel which makes it super easy to set up.

It comes with multiple page layouts, custom header, background, logo, and color options. You can select from two or three column layout and use multiple templates for pages.

40. Bento

Bento

Bento is a free multipurpose WordPress blog theme with flexible features and fully responsive design. It works great with most page builder plugins and even recommends installing one upon activation.

For a free WordPress theme, Bento comes packed with great customization options. All of them can be accessed using theme customizer.

41. Elegant

Elegant

Elegant is a responsive WordPress theme for artists, photographers, and designers. It comes with built-in modules to add your photo galleries, sliders, video, audio.

It also comes with an easy to use drag and drop page builder. this allows you to create your own page layouts or edit existing built-in layouts. Elegant features tons of options that you can easily set up to your requirements.

42. Angle

Angle

Angle is a clean WordPress multi-purpose theme with a drag and drop builder. It comes with a built-in portfolio section, sliders, visual theme customizer, and multiple layout choices.

Angle is optimized for performance, SEO, and ease of use. Its layout makes it a perfect choice for a portfolio or blogging theme.

43. Dixie

Dixie

Dixie is a well-crafted WordPress theme for podcasts, video, and music websites. It is fully mobile responsive and offers your users a great multimedia experience even on smaller devices.

Theme setup is quite simple and most features work out of the box. It comes with options to change colors and layout, but you can also use page builder plugins to create your own landing pages if needed.

How to Test a Responsive WordPress Theme?

Before you install a responsive WordPress theme, you would want to see how it looks on mobile devices. The easiest way to do this is by browsing the theme demo using your mobile phone.

Some WordPress theme shops may already have theme demos with a toolbar allowing you to switch to mobile view directly from your desktop browser.

Switching theme demo to mobile preview

You can also use the Inspect tool in your browser to see how theme demo looks in different screen resolutions.

Mobile preview using inspect tool in your browser

There are also online cross-browser testing tools that you can use. Simply enter the theme’s demo URL into any of these tools to run the test.

We hope this article helped you find the best responsive WordPress theme for your website. You may also want to see our practical tips on how to easily get more traffic to your 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.

The post 43 Best Responsive WordPress Themes (2019) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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24 Useful Tricks To Speed Up WordPress & Boost Performance


Do you want to speed up your WordPress site? Fast loading pages improve user experience, increase your pageviews, and help with your WordPress SEO. In this article, we will share the most useful WordPress speed optimization tips to boost WordPress performance and speed up your website.

How to improve WordPress speed and performance

Unlike other “X best WordPress caching plugin” lists or generic “X tips to speeding up WordPress” tutorials, this article is a comprehensive guide to WordPress performance optimization.

We tried to cover everything from why speed is important, what slows down your WordPress site, and actionable steps that you can take to improve your WordPress speed immediately.

To make it easy, we have created a table of contents to help you navigate through our ultimate guide to speeding up your WordPress site.

Table of Contents

Basics of WordPress Performance

Speeding Up WordPress in Easy Steps (No Coding)

WordPress Performance Optimization Best Practices

Fine-Tuning WordPress for Speed (Advanced)

Why Speed is Important for Your WordPress Site?

Studies show that from 2000 to 2016, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds.

What does this mean for you as a website owner?

You have very little time to show users your content and convince them to stay on your website.

A slow website means users will potentially leave your website before it even loads.

According to a StrangeLoop case study that involved Amazon, Google, and other larger sites, a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

How speed affects your website

On top of that, Google and other search engines have already started penalizing slower websites by pushing them down in the search results which means lower traffic for slow websites.

To sum it all up, if you want more traffic, subscribers, and revenue from your website, then you must make your WordPress website FAST!

How to Check Your WordPress Website Speed?

Often beginners think that their website is OK just because it doesn’t feel slow on their computer. That’s a HUGE mistake.

Since you frequently visit your own website, modern browsers like Chrome store your website in the cache and automatically prefetch it as soon as you start typing an address. This makes your website load almost instantly.

However, a normal user who is visiting your website for the first time may not have the same experience.

In fact, users in different geographical locations will have a completely different experience.

This is why we recommend that you test your website speed using a tool like IsItWP’s WordPress speed test.

It is a free online tool that allows you to test your website’s speed.

IsItWP speed test tool

After you run your website speed test, you might be wondering what’s a good website speed that I should aim for?

A good page load time is under 2 seconds.

However, the faster you can make it, the better it is. A few milliseconds of improvements here and there can add up to shaving off half or even a full second from your load time.

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What Slows Down Your WordPress Website?

Your speed test report will likely have multiple recommendations for improvement. However, most of that is technical jargon which is hard for beginners to understand.

Learning what slows down your website is the key to improving performance and making smarter long-term decisions.

The primary causes for a slow WordPress website are:

  • Web Hosting – When your web hosting server is not properly configured it can hurt your website speed.
  • WordPress Configuration – If your WordPress site is not serving cached pages, then it will overload your server thus causing your website to be slow or crash entirely.
  • Page Size – Mainly images that aren’t optimized for web.
  • Bad Plugins – If you’re using a poorly coded plugin, then it can significantly slow down your website.
  • External scripts – External scripts such as ads, font loaders, etc can also have a huge impact on your website performance.

Now that you know what slows down your WordPress website, let’s take a look at how to speed up your WordPress website.

Importance of Good WordPress Hosting

Your WordPress hosting service plays an important role in website performance. A good shared hosting provider like Bluehost or Siteground take the extra measures to optimize your website for performance.

However, on shared hosting you share the server resources with many other customers. This means that if your neighboring site gets a lot of traffic, then it can impact the entire server performance which in turn will slow down your website.

On the other hand, using a managed WordPress hosting service give you the most optimized server configurations to run WordPress. Managed WordPress hosting companies also offer automatic backups, automatic WordPress updates, and more advanced security configurations to protect your website.

We recommend WPEngine as our preferred managed WordPress hosting provider. They’re also the most popular one in the industry. (See our special WPEngine coupon).

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Speeding Up WordPress in Easy Steps (No Coding)

We know that making changes to your website configuration can be a terrifying thought for beginners, especially if you’re not a tech-geek.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. We have helped thousands of WordPress users improve their WordPress performance.

We will show you how you can speed up your WordPress site with just a few clicks (no coding required).

If you can point-and-click, then you can do this!

Install a WordPress Caching Plugin

WordPress pages are “dynamic.” This means they’re built on the fly every time someone visits a post or page on your website.

To build your pages, WordPress has to run a process to find the required information, put it all together, and then display it to your user.

This process involves a lot of steps, and it can really slow down your website when you have multiple people visiting it at once.

That’s why we recommend every WordPress site use a caching plugin. Caching can make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster.

Here’s how it works.

Instead of going through the whole page generation process every time, your caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load, and then serves that cached version to every subsequent user.

Page caching

As you can see in the graphics above, when a user visits your WordPress site, your server retrieves information from a MySQL database and your PHP files. It then puts it all together into HTML content which is served to the user.

It’s a long process, but you can skip a lot of it when you use caching instead.

There are a lot of good WordPress caching plugins available, but we recommend using either WP Rocket (premium) or WP Super Cache (free) plugin.

Check out our step by step guide on how to install and setup WP Super Cache on your WordPress site. It’s not difficult to set up, and your visitors will notice the difference.

Many WordPress hosting companies like Bluehost and SiteGround offer caching solutions as well.

SiteGround SuperCacher

If you are using SiteGround then login to hosting cPanel and enable SuperCacher under ‘Site improvement tools’.

Supercacher

After that, you will need to install and activate the SG Optimizer plugin in WordPress to manage SuperCacher settings.

Bluehost Caching

If you are using Bluehost, then go to My Sites » Performance section to turn on caching.

Turning on Caching in Bluehost

If you’re using a managed WordPress hosting provider, then you don’t need a caching plugin because it is built-in and turned on by default.

Bonus: You can combine caching plugins with a web application firewall like CloudFlare or Sucuri for maximum performance boost.

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Optimize Images for Speed

Optimizing images for speed

Images bring life to your content and help boost engagement. Researchers have found that using colored visuals makes people 80% more likely to read your content.

However, if your images aren’t optimized, then they could be hurting more than helping. In fact, non-optimized images are one of the most common speed issues that we see on beginner websites.

Before you upload a photo directly from your phone or camera, we recommend that you use photo editing software to optimize your images for the web.

In their original formats, these photos can have huge file sizes. But based on the image file format and the compression you choose in your editing software, you can decrease your image size by up to 5x.

At WPBeginner, we only use two image formats: JPEG and PNG.

Now you might be wondering: what’s the difference?

Well, PNG image format is uncompressed. When you compress an image it loses some information, so an uncompressed image will be higher quality with more detail. The downside is that it’s a larger file size, so it takes longer to load.

JPEG, on the other hand, is a compressed file format which slightly reduces image quality, but it’s significantly smaller in size.

So how do we decide which image format to choose?

  • If our photo or image has a lot of different colors, then we use JPEG.
  • If it’s a simpler image or we need a transparent image, then we use PNG.

The majority of our images are JPEGs.

Below is a comparison chart of the file sizes and different compression tool that we could have used for the StrangeLoop image used above.

Image speed chart

As you can see in the chart, the image format you use can make a HUGE difference in website performance.

For details on exactly how to optimize your images using Photoshop and other popular editing tools, without sacrificing quality, see our step by step guide on how to save images optimized for web.

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WordPress Performance Optimization Best Practices

After installing a caching plugin and optimizing your images, you’ll notice your site will start loading a lot faster.

But if you really want to keep your website as fast as possible, you’ll need to use the best practices listed below.

These tips aren’t too technical, so you don’t need to know any code to implement them. But using them will prevent common problems that will slow down your website.

Keep Your WordPress Site Updated

Keep WordPress updated

As a well maintained open source project, WordPress is updated frequently. Each update will not only offer new features but it will also fix security issues and bugs. Your WordPress theme and plugins may have regular updates, too.

As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins updated to the latest versions. Not doing so may make your site slow and unreliable, and make you vulnerable to security threats.

For more details on the importance of updates, see our article on why you should always use the latest WordPress version.

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Optimize Background Processes

Background processes in WordPress are scheduled tasks that run in the background of your WordPress site. Following are some examples of background tasks that run on a WordPress site:

  • WordPress Backup plugin tasks
  • WordPress cron jobs to publish scheduled posts
  • WordPress cron jobs to check for updates
  • Search engines and other crawlers trying to fetch content

Tasks like cron jobs for scheduled posts and updates have minimal impact on website performance.

However, other background processes like backup plugins and excessive crawling by search engines can slow down a website.

For backup plugins, you need to make sure that your WordPress backup plugin only run during low traffic time on your website. You also need to adjust the frequency of backups and data that needs to be backed up.

For example, if you are creating a complete daily backup while you only publish new content twice a week, then you need to adjust that.

If you want more frequent backups such as real-time backups, then we recommend using a SaaS solution so you’re not taxing your server.

As for crawling, you need to keep an eye on your crawl reports in Google Search console. Frequent crawls that are ending up in errors can cause your website to slow down or become unresponsive.

See our complete Google Search Console guide for beginners to learn how to adjust crawl rate.

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Use Excerpts on Homepage and Archives

Using excerpts

By default, WordPress displays the full content of each article on your homepage and archives. This means your homepage, categories, tags, and other archive pages will all load slower.

Another disadvantage of showing full articles on these pages is that users don’t feel the need to visit the actual article. This can reduce your pageviews, and the time your users spend on your site.

In order to speed up your loading times for archive pages, you can set your site to display excerpts instead of the full content.

You can navigate to Settings » Reading and select “For each article in a feed, show: Summary” instead of “Full Text.”

Display excerpts instead of full text to boost WordPress speed

For more details on the pros and cons of displaying summaries, see our article on full post vs summary (excerpt) in your WordPress archive pages.

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Split Comments into Pages

Paginate comments

Getting lots of comments on your blog posts? Congratulations! That’s a great indicator of an engaged audience.

But the downside is, loading all those comments can impact your site’s speed.

WordPress comes with a built-in solution for that. Simply go to Settings » Discussion and check the box next to the “Break comments into pages” option.

Break comments in pages

For more detailed instructions, see our guide on how to paginate comments in WordPress.

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Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Remember how we mentioned above that users in different geographical locations may experience different loading times on your site?

That’s because the location of your web hosting servers can have an impact on your site speed.

For example, let’s say your web hosting company has its servers in the United States. A visitor who’s also in the United States will generally see faster loading times than a visitor in India.

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), can help to speed up loading times for all of your visitors.

A CDN is a network made up of servers all around the world. Each server will store “static” files used to make up your website.

These static files include unchanging files such as images, CSS, and JavaScript, unlike your WordPress pages which are “dynamic” as explained above.

When you use a CDN, every time a user visits your website they are served those static files from whichever server is closest to them. Your own web hosting server will also be faster since the CDN is doing a lot of the work.

You can see how it works in this infographic.

What is a CDN?

We use recommend using StackPath CDN. We have been using MaxCDN on all our websites which is now also part of StackPath.

It works well with WordPress websites and compliments your existing WordPress caching plugins for even faster loading times.

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Don’t Upload Audio/Video Files Directly to WordPress

Use video hosting services like YouTube

You can directly upload audio and video files to your WordPress site, and it will automatically display them in an HTML5 player…

But you should NEVER do that!

Hosting audio and videos will cost you bandwidth. You could be charged overage fees by your web hosting company, or they may even shut down your site altogether, even if your plan includes “unlimited” bandwidth.

Hosting large media files also increases your backup sizes tremendously, and makes it difficult for you to restore WordPress from backup.

Instead, you should use an audio and video hosting service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, SoundCloud, etc., and let them take care of the hard work. They have the bandwidth for it!

WordPress has a built-in video embed feature, so you can copy and paste your video’s URL directly into your post and it will embed automatically.

Find out more details on how it works in our guide on embedding videos in WordPress.

If you are making a podcast website with WordPress, then we recommend podcast hosting service Blubrry for the best performance.

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Use a Theme Optimized For Speed

Choose a theme optimized for speed

When selecting a theme for your website, it’s important to pay special attention to speed optimization. Some beautiful and impressive-looking themes are actually poorly coded and can slow your site way down.

It’s usually better to go with a simpler theme than to choose a theme that’s bloated with complex layouts, flashy animations, and other unnecessary features. You can always add those features using quality WordPress plugins.

Premium WordPress theme shops like StudioPress, Themify, CSSIgniter offer themes that are well coded and optimized for speed. You can also check out our article on selecting the perfect WordPress theme for advice on what to look for.

Before you activate your new theme, see our guide on how to properly switch your WordPress theme for a smooth transition.

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Use Faster Plugins

Choose faster plugins for your website

Poorly coded WordPress plugins often load too much bloat whether your site needs it or not. This increases your page load speed and slows down your site.

To help you choose the best plugins, we often publish our expert pick of best WordPress plugin showcases. We pay special attention to ease of use, user experience, and most importantly performance.

Following are some of our picks for the most common WordPress plugin categories.

Apart from our own recommendations, you can run your own tests. Simply run speed tests before and after installing a plugin to compare its impact on performance.

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Fine-Tuning WordPress for Speed (Advanced)

By using the WordPress optimization best practices and basic speed tips listed above, you should see a big improvement in your site’s loading times.

But every fraction of a second counts. If you want to get the very fastest speed possible, then you’ll want to make a few more changes.

The following tips are a little more technical, with some requiring you to modify your site files or have a basic understanding of PHP. You’ll want to make sure to backup your site first just in case.

Split Long Posts into Pages

Split long posts in pages

Readers tend to love blog posts that are longer and more in-depth. Longer posts even tend to rank higher in search engines.

But if you’re publishing long-form articles with lots of images, it could be hurting your loading times.

Instead, consider splitting up your longer posts into multiple pages.

WordPress comes with built-in functionality to do that. Simply add the <!––nextpage––> tag in your article where you want to split it into next page. Do that again if you want to split the article on to the next page as well.

For more detailed instructions, see our tutorial on post pagination – how to split WordPress posts into multiple pages.

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Reduce External HTTP Requests

Reduce cross-domain HTTP requests

Many WordPress plugins and themes load all kinds of files from other websites. These files can include scripts, stylesheets, and images from external resources like Google, Facebook, analytics services, and so on.

It’s ok to use a few of these. Many of these files are optimized to load as quickly as possible, so it’s faster than hosting them on your own website.

But if your plugins are making a lot of these requests, then it could slow down your website significantly.

You can reduce all these external HTTP requests by disabling scripts and styles or merging them into one file. Here’s a tutorial on how to disable your plugins’ CSS files and JavaScript.

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Reduce Database Calls

Reduce database calls

Note: This step is a little more technical and will require basic knowledge of PHP and WordPress template files.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of poorly coded WordPress themes out there. They ignore WordPress standard practices and end up making direct database calls, or too many unnecessary requests to the database. This can really slow down your server by giving it too much work to do.

Even well-coded themes can have code that makes database calls just to get your blog’s basic information.

In this example, every time you see <?php, that’s the start of a new database call:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" dir="<?php language_attributes(); ?>">
<head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="<?php bloginfo('html_type'); ?> 
charset=<?php bloginfo('charset'); ?>" />

You can’t blame theme developers for that. They simply have no other way to find out what language your site is in.

But if you are customizing your site using a child theme, then you can replace these database calls with your specific information in order to reduce all those database calls.

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" dir="ltr">
<head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

Review your parent theme for instances like this that can be easily replaced with static information.

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Optimize WordPress Database

WordPress database optimization

After using WordPress for a while, your database will have lots of information that you probably don’t need any more. For improved performance, you can optimize your database to get rid of all that unnecessary information.

This can be easily managed with the WP-Sweep plugin. It allows you to clean your WordPress database by deleting things like trashed posts, revisions, unused tags, etc. It will also optimize your database’s structure with just a click.

See our guide on how to optimize and clean up your WordPress database for improved performance.

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Limit Post Revisions

Limit post revisions in WordPress

Post revisions take up space in your WordPress database. Some users believe that revisions can also affect some database queries run by plugins. If the plugin doesn’t specifically exclude post revisions, it might slow down your site by searching through them unnecessarily.

You can easily limit the number of revisions WordPress keeps for each article. Simply add this line of code to your wp-config.php file.

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 4 );

This code will limit WordPress to only save your last 4 revisions of each post or page, and discard older revisions automatically.

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Disable Hotlinking and Leaching of Your Content

Prevent image theft in WordPress

If you’re creating quality content on your WordPress site, then the sad truth is that it’ll probably get stolen sooner or later.

One way this happens is when other websites serve your images directly from their URLs on your website, instead of uploading them to their own servers. In effect, they’re stealing your web hosting bandwidth, and you don’t get any traffic to show for it.

Simply add this code to your .htaccess file to block hotlinking of images from your WordPress site.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %HTTP_REFERER !^$
RewriteCond %HTTP_REFERER !^http(s)?://(www.)?wpbeginner.com [NC]
RewriteCond %HTTP_REFERER !^http(s)?://(www.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteRule .(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L] 

Note: Don’t forget to change wpbeginner.com with your own domain.

You may also want to check our article showing 4 ways to prevent image theft in WordPress.

Some content scraping websites automatically create posts by stealing your content from your RSS feed. You can check out our guide on preventing blog content scraping in WordPress for ways to deal with automated content theft.

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Use Lazy Loading if Needed

Use lazy loading in WordPress

If you add many images, multiple video embeds, and photo galleries to your blog posts, then your site can benefit from lazy loading.

Instead of loading all your images and videos at once, lazy loading downloads only those that will be visible on the user’s screen. It replaces all other images and video embeds with a placeholder image.

As a user scrolls down, your website loads images that are now visible in the browser’s viewing area. You can lazy load images, videos, and even WordPress comments and gravatars.

For images, iframes, and videos, you can use the Lazy Load by WP Rocket plugin. For WordPress comments see our guide on how to lazy load comments in WordPress.

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Use DNS Level Website Firewall

Use DNS level firewall

A WordPress firewall plugin helps you block brute force attacks, hacking attempts, and malware. However, not all firewall plugins are the same.

Some of them run on your website, this means attackers are already able to reach your web server before they get blocked. This is still effective for security, but not optimal for performance.

This is why we recommend using a DNS level firewall like Sucuri or Cloudflare. These firewalls block maclious requests even before they reach your website.

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Fix HTTPS/SSL Errors without Plugin

Using inspect tool to fix mixed content error

If you are switching your site to HTTPS/SSL, then it is likely that you may run across mixed content errors.

The easiest way to fix this is by installing a plugin like Really Simple SSL. However, the problem is that these plugins catch all URLs first, then change them to HTTPS before sending them to user’s browsers.

This has a small but noticeable performance impact. You can reduce this by manually fixing all URLs. For more details see our article on how to fix common SSL issues in WordPress.

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Use Latest PHP Version

WordPress is mainly written in the PHP programming language. It is a server side language, which means it is installed and runs on your hosting server.

All good WordPress hosting companies use the most stable PHP version on their servers. However, it is possible that your hosting company is running a slightly older PHP version.

The newer PHP 7 is two times faster than its predecessors. That’s a huge performance boost that your website must take advantage of.

You can see which PHP version your site is using by installing and activating the Version Info plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will show your PHP version in the footer area of your WordPress admin dashboard.

PHP version in WordPress admin dashboard

If your website is using a version lower than PHP 7, then ask your hosting provider to update it for you. If they are unable to do so, then it is time to find a new WordPress hosting company.

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That’s it! We hope this article helped you learn how to improve wordpress speed and performance.

Go ahead and try out these techniques. Don’t forget to test your website speed before and after implementing these best practices. You’ll be surprised these changes will boost your WordPress performance.

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The post 24 Useful Tricks To Speed Up WordPress & Boost Performance appeared first on WPBeginner.



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