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5 Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress Compared


Are you looking to add a contact form on your WordPress site? Not sure which one of the 1625+ WordPress contact form plugins to use? In this article, we have hand-picked the 5 best contact form plugins for WordPress and compared their pros and cons, so you can easily add a contact form in WordPress.

Best WordPress Contact Form Plugins

1. WPForms

WPForms is the most beginner friendly WordPress contact form plugin. We use it on WPBeginner and all of our other websites. WPForms is built by the same team as WPBeginner with a single goal: Make a WordPress forms plugin that’s both easy and powerful.

WPForms Best WordPress Contact form plugin

Pros

WPForms’ drag & drop online form builder makes it the most user-friendly form plugin for WordPress.

WPForms Lite is available for free in the official WordPress plugin directory meaning you can install it on as many sites as you like for free.

The free version comes with all the basic contact form features including basic form fields, captcha for spam protection, email notifications, and a thank-you page for form confirmation.

The premium version allows you to extend the functionality, so you can build any type of forms such as multi-page forms, email subscription forms, payment forms, order forms, and more.

WPForms pro also comes with other powerful form fields and features like smart conditional logic, file upload, geo-location, signature feature, form abandonment, user-submitted content (post submissions), login and user registration for WordPress, and over 150+ pre-made form templates.

You can see all your form submissions right inside your WordPress dashboard as well as get customized email notifications. You can even setup conditional notifications, so the right person in your team gets notified.

WPForms surveys & polls addon is by far the best WordPress survey solution in the market. It comes with interactive survey reports, real-time polls for WordPress, and all smart survey fields like star ratings, likert scale, NPS, etc.

They also have a form landing page solution to help you create distraction-free form pages in WordPress.

WPForms integrates with all popular email marketing and payment platforms. There are documentation and guides available along with email support to help you when you need it.

WPForms is being used by over 1 million websites and have built quite a loyal following (See: WPForms user reviews).

Cons

While the lite version is free, you need to upgrade to Pro to unlock more powerful features.

Even though WPForms is powerful, the #1 goal of this plugin is to make it user friendly. That’s why it doesn’t have the more complex features that some other form plugins offer.

WPBeginner users can use this WPForms coupon that will give you 50% off the premium version of WPForms.

Get WPForms Pro Now »

Alternatively, you can start with WPForms Lite for Free.

2. Formidable Forms

Formidable Forms is the most advanced WordPress form plugin in the market. They specialize in helping developers build complex form-focused solutions quickly.

Formidable Forms Advanced WordPress form plugin

Pros

Formidable is an all-in-one WordPress form builder that comes with powerful addons to help you go beyond simple contact forms.

You can use Formidable drag and drop interface to create advanced forms like quizzes, surveys, payment forms, registration forms, profile forms, and more.

Advanced users will really love the Formidable Views feature because it allows you to format, filter, and display user-submitted data on the front-end of your website. You can use it to create form-focused solutions like directories, job board listings, event calendars, management systems, rating systems, and more.

You can use Formidable’s advanced calculation fields to create powerful order forms as well as smart calculators like Mortgage calculator, car payment calculator, request a quote calculator, and more.

Formidable integrates with all popular email marketing and payment platforms.

They also have a powerful WooCommerce integration to help you build product forms and even WooCommerce product configurator forms that ties directly to your cart.

Cons

Formidable form builder is not as intuitive as WPForms because they focus on advanced users and developers.

But it makes up for it by being the most extendable form solution in the market. If you’re a developer or agency looking to build form-based solutions or data-driven web applications, then nothing in the market comes close to Formidable Forms.

3. Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms is a paid WordPress form builder plugin that comes with a lot of advanced functionality and features. They also specialize in helping developers build complex form related solutions.

Gravity Forms WordPress form plugin

Pros

Gravity Forms is a powerful drag and drop contact form plugin for WordPress.

With the help of additional add-ons, Gravity Forms can be used to create surveys, quizzes, user submitted content, and even web directory.

It comes with premium support options like FAQs, knowledge base, forums, and email support. This means that help is available when you need it.

Cons

Gravity forms does not have a free version, so it can be a bit expensive than other WordPress contact form plugins. However, if you are using it on multiple sites and projects, then the cost should not be a big deal.

4. Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms is a freemium contact form plugin for WordPress. It can be used to create highly interactive form with very little effort.

Ninja Forms WordPress Form Creation Plugin

Pros

The base plugin for Ninja Forms is available for free from the official WordPress repository. This means you can download and install it on as many sites as you like.

There are premium extensions which allow you to extend Ninja Forms functionality such as connecting with Campaign Monitor, Freshbooks, Salesforce, SMS notifications, etc.

There is a helpful community support option, as well as documentation, guides, and email support.

Cons

Even though the main plugin is available for free, the extensions are not. Buying two or more extensions or even the developer bundle will cost you nearly the same amount as WPForms or Formidable Forms.

5. Contact Form 7

Although we don’t recommend Contact Form 7, this list cannot be complete without the oldest and most downloaded contact form plugin in the official WordPress plugin directory.

Contact Form 7 Free WordPress Contact Form Plugin

Pros

Price is probably the most important advantage of using Contact Form 7. You are free to install it on as many sites as you want.

Although if you’re looking for a free WordPress form plugin, then WPForms Lite, Formidable Forms, and Ninja Forms are all significantly better solutions than Contact Form 7.

There are several third-party plugins that act as add-on plugins for Contact Form 7. Most of them are available for free.

Cons

Contact Form 7 is a below-average solution for creating a basic contact form for your blog. It is very difficult to set up for absolute beginners. The user interface is not intuitive at all.

Since it is a free plugin, support options are limited.

There are several third-party add-ons available for Contact Form 7, but the official plugin website doesn’t have an add-ons directory which makes it difficult to find add-ons to extend the functionality of the base plugin.

Which is the Best Contact Form Plugin for WordPress?

The plugins we mentioned in this article can all help you create a contact form plugin. However deciding the best WordPress form builder plugin varies based on your needs.

If you’re a beginner and don’t want to spend any money, then go with WPForms Lite.

If you’re a business owner and want to create powerful forms without learning code or hiring a developer, then go with the WPForms Pro version.

If you’re a developer trying to build more complex forms, then there’s no better solution than Formidable Forms.

Our overall pick for the best WordPress contact form plugin is WPForms.

We hope this guide helped you choose the best contact form plugin for your WordPress site. You may also want to take a look at our guide on the best WordPress backup plugins compared (Pros and Cons).

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 Choose the Best Products to Sell Online (Beginner’s Guide)


You want to make extra money on the side, so you looked into several online business ideas and decided that creating an online store is the way to go.

The next step is where beginners often struggle the most: choosing which products to sell on your online store.

In this ultimate guide, we will explain how to easily choose the best products to sell online by following our step by step process.

Choosing products to sell online

1. Basics of Choosing Products to Sell on Your Ecommerce Store

Before you start looking into products that you can sell, there are some basics that you need to keep in mind. Let’s look at some of the most important ones first.

1. Choosing Your Ecommerce Platform

First you need to choose a platform that you want to use to sell your products.

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is important because it would affect your choice of products and how you do business.

Choosing an eCommerce platform

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform in the world. It is easy to use, and you can use it to sell all kind of products while accepting payments using multiple payment gateways. See our guide on how to start an online store to get started with WooCommerce.

However, WooCommerce is not the only platform out there. There are some great WooCommerce alternatives that could be better for you depending on what you are trying to sell.

If you lack technical skills and want a quicker way to build an online store, then you may want to look into Shopify. It is a fully hosted solution that takes care of all the technical stuff. The catch here is that you will be paying a little more, and your costs will grow as you make more sales.

For a side by side comparison, see our article on Shopify vs WooCommerce with the pros and cons of both platforms.

2. Shipping

Shipping has a huge impact on the success of an eCommerce store. A study conducted by Business Insider discovered that higher shipping costs are the #1 cause of all abandoned shopping carts online.

Shipping costs more cart abandonment

You would obviously want to select products that you can ship at lower costs or for free. If you only plan to sell digital products (music, video, software, ebook, etc), then you don’t have to worry about shipping because the products will be downloaded by customers online.

3. Inventory

Do you want to manage inventory and keep products stocked? For that, you will need storage space and inventory management through your eCommerce software. Keeping products in stock will increase your cost of business.

On the other hand, drop-shipping solves this problem. You can select products that are shipped directly by the manufacturer or supplier.

4. Price

You’ll need to find products where you can offer a competitive price to your customers. If the product you are selling is more expensive than your competitors, then obviously that would discourage many first time buyers.

2. Types of Products That You Can Sell Easily

There are many different kinds of products that you can sell in your online store. Let’s narrow them down into two major sections.

1. Commoditized Products

These are products that everyone needs and are sold by many small and large stores without any difference in quality. For example, everyday products like soap, detergent, cereal, and more.

These products are made by some of the largest brands in the retail industry and are available widely with little to no difference in price.

This makes it harder for you to compete with giants like Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc. They can offer those products at lower costs, free shipping, and other perks.

This rules out a large number of products for you.

2. Niche Products

These are products that are unique or hand-made, available in limited stocks, and from specific suppliers. Think of home-made soaps, novelty t-shirts, ceramics, gift items, software, and countless other products.

Since these products are not widely available, they give you a competitive advantage.

There are even unique platforms like Etsy stores where you can find small vendors who make beautiful products and would love to partner up with other stores.

Etsy stores

You can also find suppliers abroad using websites like AliExpress or Alibaba.com. These suppliers can make those niche products to your specifications and deliver them to you.

Niche products are available in almost any product category imaginable. You’ll find tons of unique ideas as you do your product research.

This brings us to our next tip.

3. Doing Product Research On Your Own

Don’t use your best guess to select products you sell online. Back it up with data so that you know there is a demand for these products and customers are looking for them.

The first tool you are going to use for your research is Amazon.

It is the world’s largest eCommerce store with thousands of products. Luckily, it is also a treasure trove of free data that you can scrap and make your decisions.

Go through different product categories to find out top performing products in each category. Keep narrowing down your search to sub-categories to find targeted sub-niches of products.

Let’s suppose you wanted to sell kid’s toys, narrow down your search to very specific toy categories. This excludes popular products, and you get a very focused set of products as you filter through.

Narrow down categories to find product data

Switch to the ‘Bestsellers’ view to find the top performing products on Amazon under each category.

Sort products by Bestsellers

SEMRush is another great tool that you can use to gather data from competitors or any eCommerce store you want.

SEMRush

It shows you where those eCommerce stores are getting most of their traffic, which products they are promoting through paid advertisements, what are their most viewed products, and more.

It also shows your competitor’s product listing ads from Google. You can see their best performing product listing ads, keywords, and other data.

Here are some other tools you can use to gather product data from other websites.

  • Ahrefs – A powerful competitor research tool that will show what’s popular on the websites of your competitors.
  • AdPlexity – A popular eCommerce research tool that helps you collect eCommerce data from across the web, from competitors, or any other website.
  • AmazeOwl – It is an Amazon product reseach tool available as a free desktop application.

4. Use Customer Personas to Find Product Ideas

Using customer personas to find products

A customer persona is a fictional profile of an ideal customer that you want to target. You create this profile by answering simple questions about an ideal buyer.

This is your target audience and personifying them helps you understand them better when you are doing product research.

If you have an existing store, then you can use eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics to build an ideal buyer persona.

If you are just starting out, then use your best guess to build a customer persona. This exercise helps you understand your customer’s needs, questions they may have, and what kind of products they would like to buy.

To learn more about buyer persona, see this guide on creating a concrete buyer persona with ready-made templates and examples.

5. Find Products You are Passionate About

As career advisors say, ‘Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’.

Similarly, choosing products that you are passionate about helps you sell them more effectively.

These could be products that you personally love and passionately recommend to your family and friends. These could be products related to a hobby or activity that you are passionate about.

Nothing drives more passion when you build something useful and want others to use it.

Following your passion allows you to look deeply into products and find ideas that offer real value to your customers.

We hope this article helped you learn how to choose the best products to sell online. You may also want to see our article on tips to grow your business online without spending a lot of money.

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 Products to Sell Online (Beginner’s Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.





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Shopify vs WooCommerce – Which is the Better Platform? (Comparison)


Are you thinking of starting an online store? Not sure whether you should use Shopify or WooCommerce?

Shopify and WooCommerce are the two top eCommerce platforms in the world each with their own pros and cons.

As a business owner, choosing the right eCommerce platform that fits your business needs is crucial for your success.

In this guide, we will show you a detailed comparison of Shopify vs WooCommerce. The goal is to break down their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the best option for your eCommerce store.

Shopify vs WooCommerce

Since this is a detailed comparison of Shopify vs WooCommerce, here’s a quick table of content:

Overview: Shopify vs WooCommerce

Before we start with our in-depth comparison of the two most popular eCommerce platforms on the web, it’s important that we cover the basics and highlight what makes these platform stand out.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that makes it easy for you to create an online store, accept payments, and manage your inventory all from a single platform without ever worrying about the technical aspects of managing a website such as web hosting, security, caching, etc.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. It allows you to leverage the most powerful content management system (CMS) and use it to run an online store. Because of the open-source nature, you can customize every aspect of your store and easily build custom extensions.

The decision to choose between the two platforms depend entirely on your needs and skill level.

What to Look for in Your eCommerce Platform?

There are few things that you absolutely need to keep in mind when starting an online store. These key factors will help you decide which platform is better suited for your needs.

  • Budget – The initial cost of starting a fully functional ecommerce store.
  • Ease of use – It should be easy to use even for absolute beginners.
  • Payment Methods – It should have support for multiple payment methods (e.g. PayPal, Stripe, other merchant processors).
  • Integrations – Number of services and third party tools you can integrate to grow your business.
  • Scalability – The platform should be able to scale as your business grows.

These are the very basic requirements that all online store owners must consider. However, depending on your needs, you may also want to look at other options like shipping, inventory management, invoicing, taxes, dropshipping, etc.

Our goal with this article is to take an in-depth look at how Shopify and WooCommerce stand on these basic requirements, and which one of them is best suited for your needs.

Cost: Shopify vs WooCommerce

Cost is often the most important consideration for eCommerce website owners. You need to evaluate the cost of getting started while also keeping in mind the variable costs for add-on services and software.

The true cost of using Shopify

Shopify makes it super easy to start your online store. Their basic plan starts at $29 per month, and you can upgrade to the Shopify plan for $79 or the Advanced Shopify plan for $299 per month.

Shopify pricing

Each of these plans includes domain name, SSL certificate, and web hosting.

The basic plan comes with enough features to set up a new online store. You can add unlimited products, 2 user accounts, unlimited file storage, and more.

However, this pricing doesn’t include third-party tools and add-ons that you will need to take your Shopify store to the next level. As your business grows, these costs will start adding up, and you’ll soon be paying a lot more than the basic plan.

Payments are another factor that affects your costs. Shopify offers their own Shopify Payments solution which costs 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

If you want to use third-party payment gateways or your own merchant account, then you will be charged a flat fee of 2.0% for all transactions. You can reduce this fee to 0.5% by using the Shopify Advanced plan which costs $299 per month.

These payment processing fees are fairly steep when using external payment gateways. However, if you’re just starting out and want to use the Shopify payment solution, then the fees are fairly comparable to popular platforms like Stripe and Braintree.

The true cost of using WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress.org (also known as self-hosted WordPress). It is open source and freely available as a WordPress plugin.

However, you’ll need a domain name, SSL Certificate, and a WordPress hosting account to start a WooCommerce store.

Typically, a domain name costs $14.99, SSL Certificate costs $69.99, and web hosting around $7.99 / month. This is not cheap, particularly when you are just starting out.

Thankfully, there are several hosting companies who are now offering specialized WooCommerce hosting plans which significantly reduces the cost.

Getting started with WooCommerce

Bluehost, an official WordPress and WooCommerce recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and a discount on web hosting.

This will help you start your online store for as low as $6.95 / month.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

As you can see, the cost of starting a basic WooCommerce store is significantly lower than Shopify. WooCommerce also doesn’t charge you a percentage fee of your transactions which is a very nice perk.

But the WooCommerce costs start adding up as you purchase paid extensions. Your hosting costs will also increase as your online store grows.

However, one clear advantage of using WooCommerce is that you can often find free alternatives to the paid extensions. You can also keep your costs in control by only purchasing the tools and plugins as you need them.

With the number of free themes and free add-ons available for WooCommerce, it’s definitely the winner when it comes to cost.

Winner: WooCommerce

Ease of Use: Shopify vs WooCommerce

Most users starting an online store are not web designers or developers. Even users who are familiar with basic concepts need a platform that is easy to use and gets out of their way.

Let’s see how Shopify and WooCommerce stack up in terms of user-friendliness.

Shopify – Ease of Use

Shopify is a fully hosted platform which means you don’t need to install, manage, or update any software. You also don’t need to worry about security, performance, backups, and compatibility issues.

As soon as you sign up, it helps you pick a design for your website. After that, they walk you through customization and then help you add products.

Shopify customization

Shopify comes with an intuitive drag and drop interface. Managing your products, sales, and inventory inside Shopify is a breeze.

One downside of this guided, polished, and highly optimized user experience is that it limits your control. You can only use the design and development tools provided by Shopify or add-ons available in their marketplace.

However, this is not as bad as it sounds. For most users, the large selection of extensions and themes available in Shopify, is more than enough to get started and grow your online store.

WooCommerce – Ease of Use

WooCommerce is not a hosted platform like Shopify. This means you will need to install WooCommerce, manage updates, keep backups, and make sure that your website is secure. There are plenty of free and paid plugins that can automate most of these tasks for you.

WooCommerce setup wizard

WooCommerce is super flexible when it comes to customizations. You have full control of the whole platform. You can add any functionality imaginable to your website with the help of more than 55,000+ WordPress plugins.

However, there is no built-in drag & drop design builder. You can use one of the WordPress page builders like Beaver Builder, but it adds to your cost.

The biggest downside of the flexibility is that it comes with a learning curve and requires a more hands-on management of your website. You also have to signup for a merchant account or similar service like Stripe / PayPal.

While the WooCommerce guided setup wizard is helpful, it does not come close to the onboarding and ease of use of Shopify.

Winner: Shopify

Payment Methods: Shopify vs WooCommerce

There are many payment gateways that you can use to accept payments online. Some payment methods may not be suitable for you, and others may not be available to your customers.

This is why it’s important that the platform you choose offers multiple payment options. Let’s take a look at how Shopify and WooCommerce compare when it comes to payment integrations.

Payment Options in Shopify

Shopify offers plenty of payment options that you can use to receive payments from customers. It has its own payments solution called Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe) as well as all popular third-party payment gateways.

Shopify Payments

The problem is that Shopify charges an extra 2% fees on each transaction made through third party payment gateways. This is on top of the transaction fees charged by the payment gateway. You can reduce the fee to 0.5% by paying $299 per month for Advanced Shopify plan.

Shopify Payments has flat credit card fees, but no other transaction fees. Credit card rates start from 2.9% + 30¢ for the basic plan and get lower for other plans.

Payment Options in WooCommerce

WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payments by default. It also supports all other popular payment service providers through add-ons.

WooCommerce payment methods

For payment gateways, WooCommerce even has support for many regional and less popular payment services. Since there is no barrier to entry, any payments company can create add-ons for WooCommerce and provide support for it.

As a self-hosted platform, you are only charged transaction fees by your payment gateway or your bank. WooCommerce never charges you a % fee on your store transactions which is a major plus.

If choosing your own merchant account and using a third-party gateway is important for you, then you will save A LOT of money by using WooCommerce. But if you’re a small store and willing to use Shopify Payments which has the same credit card rates as Stripe / Paypal, then it makes no difference.

Winner: Tie

Integrations and Add-ons: Shopify vs WooCommerce

No matter how robust an e-commerce platform is, you’ll always need third-party tools and services to grow your store. For example, an email marketing software, lead generation tool, analytics tools, outreach services, etc.

Both Shopify and WooCommerce have a massive extensions directory, and they integrate with many third-party services.

Shopify Add-ons and Integrations

Shopify comes with a powerful API and an App Store where you can buy third-party add-ons for your Shopify store. They have hundreds of apps in the store covering every feature you’ll want to add to your store.

Shopify App Store

For lead generation, they have integrations with software like OptinMonster which helps you grow your email list and reduce cart abandonment. They have apps for SEO, product reviews, discounts, countdowns, and more.

Shopify’s app store contains both free and paid apps. Free apps are usually created by third-party services that have their own pricing, and the app only integrates your store to their APIs. Pricing for paid add-ons varies and most apps offer monthly subscriptions.

WooCommerce Add-ons and Integrations

WooCommerce extensions

WooCommerce is open source and built on top of WordPress. This gives you access to more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins and many more paid plugins.

You can use these add-ons to add payment gateways, lead generation, SEO, performance optimization, and almost any feature you can think of.

Due to the low barrier of entry, there are a lot more integrations and add-ons available for WooCommerce than Shopify. Almost all third-party tools and service providers have their own plugins to seamlessly integrate with your WooCommerce store.

You can also hire a developer to create an integration or plugin just for your own website. However it’s important to keep in mind that WooCommerce is a lot easier to customize. Having personally gone through the process of submitting a plugin for WordPress and submitting an app to the Shopify store, we can say that the process is extremely harder on Shopify vs WooCommerce.

Winner: WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Dropshipping

Shopify vs WooCommerce dropshipping

Dropshipping is an online business where an eCommerce store doesn’t keep the products in stock. Instead, it fullfills order by purchasing products from vendors and then shipping them directly to the customers.

Due to its low overhead, dropshipping has become popular around the world. Many of our users asked us to compare WooCommerce vs Shopify for dropshipping and which one of them is better for a dropshipping business.

Dropshipping with Shopify

When building a dropshipping business, the front-end of your website will look just like any online store. Your users will be able to browse the products, add them to cart, and make payment, just like they would do on any other eCommerce store.

Depending on the vendors you choose, you will then have to place user’s order for shipping.

Shopify also has integration apps for several popular dropshipping marketplaces like AliExpress, Oberlo, Printify, and more. However, each of these product marketplaces has their own membership fees, shipping, and other charges that you need to keep in mind when building your dropshipping website with Shopify.

Dropshipping with WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a popular choice among dropshipping businesses. Mainly because WooCommerce allows you to install extensions that make order fulfillment a breeze.

You can easily find extensions that allow you to instantly import products, fulfill orders from your website, and more. You can even create your own eCommerce marketplace allowing other vendors to sell on your website.

Keep in mind, that your supplier and vendor may have minimum order requirements, membership fees, and other charges. You need to keep those in mind when adding products to your WooCommerce dropshipping store.

Winner: WooCommerce

Scalability and Growth: Shopify vs WooCommerce

You have probably heard the term “growth-pains” from various CEOs. As your business grows, you will need more resources to handle new challenges and goals.

Shopify and WooCommerce can both be scaled to handle large amount of traffic and orders, but they’re not created equal. Let’s take a look at how these two eCommerce platform compare when it comes to scalability.

Scalability on Shopify

Shopify enterprise

Shopify handles the technical parts of your store which means you don’t ever have to worry about performance, security, and scalability. Once your business starts growing, you can simply upgrade your Shopify plans.

Their infrastructure can easily handle your growing business without you having to worry about downtimes, backups, updates, or security. They also offer enterprise services as part of the Shopify Plus plan.

This takes out the painful part of the growth, but it also adds to your cost of business. Your expenses will grow, and you’ll have to plan accordingly.

The good part is that your costs will be offset by you not having to hire / manage a technical team in-house.

Scalability on WooCommerce

WooCommerce Scalability

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform which makes you responsible for maintaining updates, backups, and security of your website.

Your starter WooCommerce hosting plan would run out of resources as your store starts getting more traffic.

The good part is that you have plenty of options to manage growth as you are in full control of your website. Starting with better management of resources with caching to upgrading your hosting plan to more powerful servers.

Your WooCommerce hosting costs will increase, but you will have better control on resources, and you can make sure that you are not paying for resources that you don’t need. You can use a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine or LiquidWeb to help scale your WooCommerce store.

Despite the control that WooCommerce offers, some business owners simply prefer a hassle-free solution.

Winner: Shopify

Support Options for WooCommerce vs Shopify

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are quite easy to use. However, sometimes you may need help to learn how to do something new on your store.

Let’s see how WooCommerce and Shopify handle support and what are your options to get help when needed.

Support Options on Shopify

Shopify is a fully hosted platform, which means they control the software and they are the ones who know their platform the best.

Shopify provides 24/7 support via live chat, phone, email, and Twitter. For users who want to fix things on their own, Shopify offers extensive documentation, how-to guides, knowledge base, video tutorials, and forums.

Shopify support options

It also maintains a directory of Shopify Experts that you can hire if you need extra help or if you want to integrate a third-party solution.

Shopify doesn’t provide support for any third-party apps or themes that you are using.

Support Options for WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the world’s most popular eCommerce platform, which means there are tons of support options that you can utilize when needed.

The official website has extensive documentation, tutorials, and guides that allow you to help yourself. They also have support forums where you can get help from other WooCommerce users and experts.

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, which means your hosting provider is responsible for providing support for issues with your server.

For your WooCommerce theme and extensions, those developers are responsible for answering support questions regarding their products.

Due to its immense popularity, it is quite easier and often cheaper to find developers to help you fix issues with your WooCommerce store. You can find developers on freelancing websites to fix WooCommerce issues.

Winner: Shopify

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is the Best eCommerce Platform?

Shopify and WooCommerce are both powerful platforms to start your eCommerce store. It truly comes down to your personal skills and preferences.

Shopify is a lot easier to use. It doesn’t require you to install anything, and you can get started quickly. Setting up payments is easier, and they have easy to understand pricing plans.

The disadvantage of Shopify is that you don’t have full control over everything. Your costs can go high with transaction fees, add-ons, and integrations. Your upgrade options are limited to select plans, and you cannot manage costs on a pay-as-you-grow basis.

WooCommerce is open source and gives you full control of your website. It costs a lot lower to start an online store with WooCommerce specially with these WooCommerce hosting companies.

The disadvantage is that you’ll have to maintain the software. It comes with a bit of learning curve. However, millions of beginners are already using it, and they get over the learning phase quite quickly.

If you are looking for a cost-effective solution, and you want to have full control of your online store, then WooCommerce is the best platform for you.

If you want something that’s completely hassle-free that has infinite scalability, then Shopify is the better platform for you.

We hope this article helped you compare pros and cons of Shopify vs WooCommerce. You may also want to see our guide on how to choose the best website builder.

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

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How to Add Social Share Buttons in WordPress (Beginner’s Guide)


Do you want to add social share buttons in WordPress? Social media websites are where people spend a lot of their time on internet.

You can use social media to build user engagement and bring new users to your website. The simplest way to do this is by adding social sharing buttons to WordPress posts and pages.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily add social share buttons and display share counts in WordPress. We will cover couple of different ways to do this, so you can add social buttons above and below post content or make a floating share bar..

How to Add Social Share Buttons in WordPress - Easy Way

Why You Should Add Social Share Buttons in WordPress?

Social networking is one of the most popular online activities today. It is estimated that by the end of 2019, there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe. (Source)

That’s why social media marketing is now a crucial part of any businesses’ growth strategy. If you want to reach more potential customers, then social media platforms are highly effective channels to communicate with them.

The problem is that when you share your content on your own social media profiles, tit only reaches a limited number of your own followers.

The best way to reach people who don’t follow your business on social media is by adding social sharing buttons to your WordPress site.

Social share buttons prompt your website visitors to share your content on their social media timeline. This allows your content to be seen by their friends and followers who can then add comments, like, and re-share it.

Adding social sharing buttons to your website can help you:

  • Get more traffic to your website
  • Increase your social media following
  • Generate more leads and sales
  • Build social proof and brand recognition

Having said that, let’s see how to easily add social share buttons in WordPress.

Adding Social Share Buttons in WordPress

For this tutorial, we’ll be using the Shared Counts plugin. It is the best WordPress social media plugin available on the market.

Using this plugin, you can easily add social share buttons in your WordPress posts and also display the share counts. The best part is that it is optimized for performance and doesn’t slow down your website.

Unlike other social sharing plugins, Shared Counts uses a unique caching method to have minimal impact on your website’s speed and performance.

The first thing you need to do is to install and activate the Shared Counts plugin. For detailed instructions, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After you’ve installed the plugin, you need to go to Settings » SharedCounts menu to configure plugin settings.

Shared Counts WordPress menu

Next, you need to scroll down to the ‘Display’ section and choose the share buttons you want to display. By default, three buttons are selected (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest).

Shared Counts Plugin - select social share buttons

You can click on the white area in the field to add additional share buttons that you want.

Add social share buttons in Shared Counts

Next, you can choose the share button style from the dropdown menu labeled “Share Button Style”. Shared Counts plugin comes with 8 beautiful button styles.

Shared Counts share button styles

After that, you’ll need to select the theme location where you want to display the social share buttons. You can choose from 3 options: Before Content, After Content, and Before and After Content.

Theme Locations for Social Share Buttons

Lastly, you need to select the supported post types. It has ‘post’ selected by default.

If you want to display share buttons on your pages and other post types, then you can check the box next to page option.

Supported Post types Shared Counts

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

Once done, you can visit any post on your website to see the social sharing buttons in action. Here’s how our demo website looks with the ‘Classic’ button style on default Twenty Nineteen theme.

Social Share Buttons by Shared Counts

How to Display Social Share Counts in WordPress?

As the name suggests, Shared Counts plugin can also show your social share counts without slowing down your website.

To enable social share counts, you’ll need to go to the Shared Counts settings and set up the share count source.

On the Shared Counts settings window, you’ll see the ‘Share Counts’ settings at the top.

By default, you’ll see the None option selected for ‘Count Source’ which means that share counts are not being retrieved and displayed.

Share Counts Source none Shared Counts

To show the social share counts, you can choose from two sources.

Share Counts Source Options

The SharedCount.com is the recommended option for the plugin. If you choose this option, the counts are retrieved from the SharedCount service API. It allows fetching all counts with only 2 API calls which is the best for performance.

If you choose the ‘Native’ option, share counts are retrieved from the respective social service, like Facebook API for Facebook counts, Pinterest API for Pin counts. This method can slow down your site because it will require multiple API calls.

We recommend choosing SharedCount.com as your count source. Next, you’ll see a field for SharedCount API key.

Shared Counts API field

You can get the SharedCount API by signing up to for a free account on SharedCount.com website.

Register for SharedCounts com

Enter your email address and a password. Then click Create Account.

Create SharedCounts.com account

The website will now send a confirmation link to your email address. You need to click the link to verify.

SharedCounts.com account verified

Once your email is verified, you need to log into your SharedCount account and navigate to your account at the top right side of the screen. There, you’ll see your email address and a dropdown icon next to it.

SharedCounts.com account

Next, you need to click the drop-down menu and select ‘Settings’. From here you’ll find your SharedCount API key.

SharedCounts.com API key

You need to copy the API key and go back to your plugin’s settings page on your WordPress site. Now, go ahead and paste the API key in the ‘SharedCount API Key’ field.

Insert SharedCounts API key

Below that, you’ll see some other settings related to social share counts. You can review and change them if you like.

If you want to show the total counts, then you can check the box next to ‘Count Total Only’ option.

We also recommend checking the box to hide empty counts instead of displaying a zero (0).

Share count options

Next, you will see a new ‘Total Counts’ field in the Display section. This allows you to show total share counts alongside your share buttons.

Add Total Counts button Shared Counts Plugin

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

You can now visit your website to see the social sharing buttons with share count for each blog post.

Adding Social Share Buttons on Selected Pages

Typpically social share buttons aren’t usually added to WordPress pages however sometimes you may want to enable them on some specific pages.

If so then, you can use the Shared Counts shortcode: [[shared_counts]].

You can add this shortcode anywhere on your website to display the share buttons.

To add shortcodes in WordPress, there is a shortcode block in the WordPress block editor.

Shortcode Block in Gutenberg Editor

You can simply add the block to your content area and then paste the Shared Counts shortcode.

Insert Shared Counts Shortcode

Using the shortcode, you can add social share buttons really anywhere on your site.

Adding Floating Social Share Bar in WordPress

The Shared Counts plugin allows you to add social share buttons above content, below content, or both above and below content. These share buttons are static and not visible all the time.

Another popular way to display social sharing buttons is by adding a floating social sharing bar. It is a social sharing menu that sticks on users’ screens as they scroll down.

Unlike the standard sharing buttons, the floating social share bar will be seen the whole time a user reads your article. Making them more noticeable and helping you boost social sharing.

Some user experience experts argue that it makes your website look bad as it fills out the white space. However, if you can keep it clean, then it can be quite useful.

For the floating social share buttons, you need to install and activate the Sassy Social Share plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled ‘Sassy Social Share’ to your WordPress admin sidebar. Clicking on it will take you to the plugin’s settings page.

Select your button style

First, you need to choose an icon style. The plugin comes with square, rounded, and rectangle buttons. You can choose styles for both the floating social share bar and the standard share bar.

Next, you need to switch to the ‘Standard Interface’ tab. From here you can enable or disable the standard static social sharing buttons.

Standard sharing buttons

We recommend using either floating or static social buttons. Using both of them will be an overkill and may create a bad user experience.

Next, you need to switch to the ‘Floating Interface’ tab and check the box next to ‘Enable Floating sharing interface’ option.

Floating social share plugin settings

After that, you need to choose the social media websites you want to display. You can add or remove buttons and rearrange them by simple drag and drop.

Once you are finished, click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

You can now visit your website to see floating social share buttons in action. Here’s how it looked on our demo website.

Floating social share buttons

We hope this article helped you learn how to add social share buttons in WordPress. You may also want to learn how to add social media icons to WordPress menus and how to add the social icons to the sidebar.

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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Ultimate Guide to Creating a WordPress Membership Site


Do you want to build a membership website? For a long time, website owners relied solely on advertising and affiliate revenue to monetize their content.

A membership website allows you to make money online by allowing users to pay for premium content, features, and access to the community.

You will need a platform that has features for managing users, memberships, payments, etc. Luckily, there are some really great membership plugins for WordPress that make it super easy.

In this step by step guide, we will show you how to easily create a WordPress membership site without any coding knowledge.

Creating a WordPress membership website

What Do You Need to Start a WordPress Membership Website?

Unlike 10 years ago, it’s quite easy to make a website these days. Out of all the platforms and website builders, WordPress makes it the easiest for anyone to build their own membership website and start selling with little to no technical skills.

You’ll need the following three things to start:

  1. A domain name. This will be your website’s address (Example, wpbeginner.com).
  2. A web hosting account. This is where your website files are stored.
  3. A membership addon (It will convert your regular website into a membership platform).

You can set up a fully functional membership website with WordPress in less than 30 minutes, and we’ll walk you through every step of the process.

Below are the steps that we will cover to help you make a powerful membership website with WordPress.

  1. Getting started with a membership site
  2. Choosing a WordPress membership plugin
  3. Setting up your membership website
  4. Adding payment methods
  5. Adding membership levels
  6. Restricting access based on membership plans
  7. Creating members only content
  8. Creating a pricing page
  9. Adding sign up and login forms
  10. Customizing email templates
  11. Viewing reports to grow your website
  12. Extending your membership website

Ready? Let’s get started.

Step 1. Getting Started with a WordPress Membership Site

To create a membership site, you must make sure that you are using the right WordPress platform. Yes, there are two types of WordPress.

We recommend using the self-hosted WordPress.org version because it gives you unrestricted access to all features and tools that you need (see the full comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).

For a self hosted WordPress site, you’ll need a WordPress hosting account, domain name, and a SSL certificate.

Typically, a domain name costs around $14.99 / year, web hosting around $7.99 / month, and SSL certificate costs around $69.99 / year.

If you are just starting out, then these startup costs can add up quickly.

Thankfully, we have a way to fix that.

Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and a discount on web hosting.

Basically, you can get all of the above for $2.75 per month.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

Note: At WPBeginner we believe in full transparency. If you sign up with Bluehost using our referral link, then we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain + SSL certificate). We would get this commission for recommending just about any WordPress hosting service, but we only recommend products that we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.

Once you have signed up for hosting, the next step is to install WordPress. Follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Since Bluehost already comes with WordPress pre-installed, you can move on to setting up your WordPress membership site.

Step 2. Choosing a WordPress Membership Plugin

There are plenty of free and paid WordPress membership plugins that you can use. However, each one of them has its own pros and cons. We have a full comparison of the best WordPress membership plugins.

To choose the right WordPress membership plugin, you need to decide what kind of membership website do you want to build and what features will you need?

If you just want to allow user registration on your WordPress site, then you can use WPForms. It is a WordPress form builder plugin that allows you to easily create user login and registration forms. You can even allow users to submit articles without accessing the WordPress admin area.

On the other hand, if you want to sell subscriptions, paid content, or digital downloads, then you’ll need a more robust WordPress membership plugin, like MemberPress.

MemberPress comes with advanced membership features that allow you to accept payments, create membership levels, restrict access based on levels, and more.

Selling online courses can be another possible scenario. In this case, you’ll need LearnDash, a complete WordPress LMS plugin with all the learning management features.

You can also integrate LearnDash into MemberPress to create a powerful website with online courses as well as membership subscriptions.

That being said, let’s start setting up your WordPress membership website.

Step 3. Setting up Your WordPress Membership Website

We are choosing MemberPress as our go-to plugin because it has all the features we mentioned above, and it works perfectly with third-party plugins necessary for the growth of your business.

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

Upon activation, you need to visit the MemberPress » Options page to configure the plugin settings.

MemberPress options page

Step 4. Add a Payment Method

The options page is divided into different tabs. The first thing you need to set up is a payment gateway because it allows you to accept payments on your membership site.

You can do this by switching to the ‘Payments’ tab and then selecting your payment gateway.

MemberPress payments

MemberPress supports PayPal (Standard, Express, and Pro), Stripe, and Authorize.net out of the box. You need to select the payment method you want to setup and provide the required credentials.

You can also add multiple payment methods by clicking on the add button to add another payment method.

We typically use two options: Stripe for credit cards and PayPal as a secondary option because some users prefer PayPal over giving out credit card details.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Update Options’ button at the bottom of the page to save your settings.

Step 5. Creating Membership Levels

The next step is to create membership levels that your users can purchase. Each membership level can have different pricing plans, perks, and access. You can even have a free membership plan.

To create a membership level, you need to go to MemberPress » Memberships page and click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top.

Add membership level

On the next page, enter a title for this particular membership plan and then provide the plan details in the post editor.

You will need to set the pricing and expiration for this plan under the membership terms section.

Membership plan

In the example above, we have created a yearly membership plan.

After that, you need to scroll down to the membership options meta box below the post editor. This is where you can customize permissions and membership options for this particular plan.

Membership options

Once you are satisfied with the membership plan, you can click on the publish button to make it available.

Go ahead and repeat this process to create as many membership plans that you need.

Step 6. Restrict Access for Membership Plans

The next step is to select which content would be available to different membership plans on your website. MemberPress makes it very easy to control access using ‘Rules’.

You can setup rules by visiting the MemberPress » Rules page and clicking on the Add New button at the top.

Add new rules

The rule edit page allows you to select different conditions and associate them to a membership plan.

For example, you can select all content that matches a particular tag or category to be available only to members with the silver subscription plan.

Add a rules set to MemberPress

You can also create more specific rules. For example, a single post or page, child pages, or a specific URL.

Below the rules editor, you’ll see the content drip and expiration options.

Drip content allows you to gradually release content to users instead of giving it all away at once. The expiration option makes the content unavailable after a defined period of time.

If you are not sure, then you should leave them unchecked.

Once you are satisfied, go ahead and click on the ‘Save Rule’ button to save your rule settings.

Repeat the process to create more rules as needed for your membership site.

Step 7. Adding Members Only Content

MemberPress makes it super easy to create members-only content using Rules.

In the above example, we created a rule that restricted all content tagged as paid to be restricted. Now all we need to do is to create our paid content and add the paid tag to it.

Adding members only content

MemberPress also adds ‘MemberPress Unauthorized Access’ metabox below the post editor. This allows you to select what logged out users (non-members) will see when they reach this content.

Restricted content options

You can use the global default settings, or you can show excerpts, login form, or a custom message.

Once you have added members-only content, you can go ahead and publish it. As the page reloads, you will see a success message that this content is protected.

Protected content

Step 8. Create a Pricing Page

This is the page your users will see when they want to sign up for a membership plan. On this page, users will be able to select a membership plan and then move to the payment page.

Users who try to access the restricted or paid areas of your website will also be redirected to this page.

You can configure this by going to MemberPress » Groups page and clicking on the Add New button at the top.

Creating a group

First, enter a title for the group plan page. This will also be the title for the plans page that users will see.

Next, go down to ‘Group options’ metabox and add memberships that you want to display on the page.

Pricing group options

You can also select a theme for the pricing table. MemberPress comes with few ready-made templates for that.

Once satisfied, click on the ‘Publish’ button to make your plan publicly visible.

To preview your pricing page, click on the ‘View Group’ link after publishing it.

Pricing page

Redirect users to pricing page

Now that we have the pricing page ready, the next step is to redirect unauthorized users to the pricing page.

To do that, first you need to visit MemberPress » Groups page and copy the URL next to the group you created in the previous step.

Pricing page URL

After that, go to MemberPress » Options page and scroll down to the ‘Unauthorized Access’ section.

You need to check the box next to ‘Redirect unauthorized visitors to a specific URL’ option and then paste the group URL you copied earlier.

Redirect unauthorized users to pricing page

Click on the ‘Update Options’ button to save your settings.

Now unauthorized users will be redirected to the pricing plans page when they try to access a members only area.

Step 9. Add Sign up and User Login Forms

Now that you have everything set up, it is time to allow your users to easily find their way around your website.

First, you need to add a user login form so that members can sign in to their accounts.

Go to Appearance » Widgets and add ‘MemberPress login’ widget to a sidebar.

MemberPress login widget

Next, we will be adding the pricing page link to the navigation menu, so that new users can select a plan and register.

You can do this by visiting the Appearance » Menus page in your WordPress admin. From the left column, you need to click on the Groups tab to expand it. It will show the pricing plan group you created earlier.

Add pricing plans to the menu

Check the box next to your pricing page and then click on the ‘Add to menu’ button.

The pricing plan page will now appear in the right column. You can drag and drop to rearrange its position in the menu. You can also edit it and change the link text.

Edit menu item

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

You can now log out of the WordPress admin area and visit your website to see everything in action.

Membership website preview

Step 10. Customizing Membership Email Templates

Your WordPress membership plugin will send several email notifications to members. MemberPress allows you to easily edit those emails and make changes to include your own branding.

Simply go to MemberPress » Options page and click on the ‘Emails’ tab. From here you can manage email notifications sent by MemberPress.

Editing email notifications in MemberPress

You will see all the email notifications sent by MemberPress to members as well as Administrators. You can click on the edit button to customize any of these notices.

Edit email notices

You can use a simple text editor to edit the email message with basic formatting options and smart tags to insert dynamic items like names, username, membership level, and more.

Make sure that you click on ‘Send Test’ button to send yourself a couple of test notifications. This will ensure that MemberPress can send email notifications.

If you are having trouble receiving email notifications, then see our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

Step 11. Viewing Reports to Grow your Membership Website

To grow any business, you need data to make informed decisions. MemberPress comes with built-in reports to see how your membership website is doing.

Simply go to the MemberPress » Reports page. From here, you can sort reports by monthly, yearly, or all time data.

MemberPress reports

It will show you number of active, inactive, free, paid, and total members. It will also show you average member lifetime value and other data. You can scroll below to see more charts and click on a date to view transactions.

However, the most important metric of judging a membership website’s success is user engagement.

This is where you’ll need Google Analytics. It allows you to see where your users are coming from and what they do when they are on your website.

MonsterInsights, the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, offers a complete MemberPress integration that makes it easy to enable Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking for MemberPress.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to track user engagement using Google Analytics in WordPress.

Taking Your Membership Website to The Next Level

MemberPress is a powerful WordPress membership plugin. It allows you to easily grow your membership website.

It works beautifully with LearnDash, which allows you to easily create courses and leave the selling part to MemberPress.

You can also use it alongside BuddyPress and bbPress.

Here are some other useful resources to help you grow your WordPress membership site.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you setup your WordPress membership website. You may also want to see our step by step 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.

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10 Best WordPress Forum Plugins (Compared)


Are you looking to add a community section on your WordPress site? Forums and discussion boards are a great way to boost user engagement and build a community around your site.

In this article, we’ve hand-picked the best WordPress forum plugins that you can use to build a community around your website or business.

Aside from the basic forum feature, we also made sure to find solutions that have advanced functionalities like question & answer board, custom social network feature, and more so you can build a community of your dreams.

Best WordPress Forum Plugins

Why Create a Forum on Your WordPress Site?

Online forums are an effective community-building tool where your website visitors can participate by posting questions, sharing solutions, new ideas, etc.

Your forum could be a Q&A (question-and-answer) platform, discussion board, knowledge sharing space, or a problem-solving support zone.

There are multiple advantages of adding a forum to your website.

First, your WordPress forum software will help users engage and participate on your website. When they participate, they’re more likely to come back, buy your products, and recommend them to their friends and family.

Second, it’s one of the most common and effective ways to provide support to your customers. When your customers have a technical or generic support question, they can hop into the forum and check to see if the issue is already posted. If it’s a new problem, then they can post and get their problem solved.

Lastly, it gives some SEO value to your website when a unique issue is discussed and the thread becomes popular. In many instances, forum threads outrank other types of content in search results. Sometimes, the user-generated content makes more sense than formal posts on your blog.

That being said, here’re the best plugins to add a forum to your WordPress website.

Note: You will need to have a WordPress website to use these plugins. If you want to start a new website, then you will need a domain and web hosting.

We recommend using Bluehost because they’re an official WordPress hosting provider, and they’re offering our users a free domain name and 60% off web hosting.

1. bbPress

bbpress-best-wordpress-forum-plugin

When it comes to integrating a forum into WordPress, bbPress is hands-down the best plugin for the job. It is a sister project of WordPress.org, which means that it’s built the WordPress way and uses the existing WordPress core to power your forum.

bbPress is easy to set up, easy to moderate and maintain, fast, and clean. Anyone can easily create a forum in WordPress using this plugin. If you need detailed instructions, we have a tutorial on how to set up bbPress in WordPress.

Pros

  • Built for WordPress, bbPress utilizes the same WordPress core and follows the same coding standards as WordPress.
  • It integrates with any WordPress theme without painful modifications. There are also some excellent WordPress themes for bbPress that you can use.
  • More than 200 bbPress extensions available to do just about anything you want.
  • Since it doesn’t have a lot of bloat, bbPress is fast and lightweight.
  • You can easily create multisite forums and maintain them from one dashboard.
  • It’s a free open source software, so you can use it unlimited for free.

Cons

  • Not as feature-rich as full-fledged forum CMS like phpBB, Vanilla Forums.
  • The core plugin has only the basic features, so you need to install additional extensions for more power.

2. BuddyPress

buddypress-wordpress-plugin

BuddyPress allows you to build your own social network within WordPress. Just like bbPress, BuddyPress is also an official WordPress plugin. It follows the same coding practices and standards as WordPress.

With BuddyPress, you can create a full-fledged online community with user profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and networking options.

Similar to Facebook, it allows your users to add friends, send private messages, create groups, and get notifications.

Best of all, you can use BuddyPress and bbPress together and create a feature-rich online forum.

Pros

  • Easily integrates with any WordPress theme and plugin.
  • Hundreds of third party BuddyPress plugins and extensions to extend the functionality.
  • Lets you easily create a complete social network with activity streams, user profiles, social connections, groups, etc.
  • It’s free and open source. Download BuddyPress for free and use it on unlimited sites, and also get regular updates.

Cons

  • The core plugin lacks advanced features that you may need to build a full-fledged online community. To extend its power, you’ll need to depend on third-party plugins.

3. ForumEngine

forumengine-wordpress-forum-theme

ForumEngine is actually a WordPress theme which turns your WordPress site into a discussion forum. It’s a powerful theme built specifically for creating a forum in WordPress. The theme shows the forum threads right on your website homepage.

With ForumEngine, you can create forums where users can interact in many ways like posting topics, questions, replying, liking or disliking a topic. It allows users to quickly search any topic in the list with Ajax live search.

It also provides a private space to your users where they can access and manage all their activities in the forum.

Pros

  • It’s a full-fledged WordPress forum theme, so you won’t need to install any plugin to create a forum in WordPress.
  • It provides plenty of styling options to change the appearance of your forum and make it look attractive.
  • Plenty of widgets for adding forum statistics, categories, hot topics, etc.
  • Allows you to display advertisements and earn extra income.

Cons

  • It’s a forum specific theme, so it’s hard to create a regular business or eCommerce site with this. You can integrate it with your WordPress blog, but it doesn’t have options to display products, etc.
  • It’s a paid theme. If you’ve limited budget, free options like bbPress and BuddyPress may be better options.

4. Simple:Press

simple-press-wordpress-forum-plugin

Simple:Press is a simple solution for adding a forum to your WordPress site. It comes with both free and premium versions, so you can choose the option according to your need.

Using Simple:Press, you can create unlimited forums, forum groups, sub-forums, private and public forums easily. You can also lock and pin any forum. To let you manage the users, it has a powerful user group and permission system. Your users can create extended profiles with timezone, and a lot more.

Pros

  • Fully integrated into WordPress, supports WordPress registrations and logins.
  • Supports both standard WordPress and multisite installs as well.
  • More than 70 premium plugins are available to extend its features.
  • Creates SEO friendly permalinks and includes many SEO features.

Cons

  • The free version is fairly basic. You’ll need to purchase a premium plan to add advanced functionalities.

5. wpForo Forum

wpforo-wordpress-forum-plugin

wpForo is a free WordPress forum plugin which comes with plenty of design and customization options. It features 3 design layouts for your forum: Extended, Simplified, and Question and Answer layout. Each layout has a unique design and features. Plus, there’re 6 set of forum color styles including dark style.

Using this plugin, you can easily create modern forums where your users can participate, get support, as well as contribute. Users can post questions, give answers, vote, subscribe to topics, and receive notifications, share topics on social media, etc.

Pros

  • Available for free with options to extend functionalities by purchasing paid addons.
  • Built-in features for search engine optimization (SEO), XML sitemap, caching, antispam, etc.
  • Smooth integration with BuddyPress to allow more social networking features.

Cons

  • Only basic features are granted in the free plugin. You’ll need to pay for advanced features like ad management, polls, user custom fields, private messaging, etc.
  • The plugin settings are a bit complex for first time users.

6. Asgaros Forum

asgoras-form-best-forum-plugin-for-wordpress

Asgaros Forum is a simple WordPress forum plugin you can use on your live website. It’s the best forum plugin for anyone who is looking to add a lightweight forum page on their existing sites with ease. It’s super easy to setup and adds a feature-rich discussion board in WordPress.

Pros

  • Simple and lightweight forum plugin for beginners as well as professionals.
  • Simple yet powerful options available for content management, members, and permissions.
  • Forum statistics to let you see how well your forum is performing.
  • Multisite compatible plugin.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have extensions to add more functionalities.

7. CM Answers

cm-asnwers-wordpress-qanda-plugin

CM Answers allows you to create a powerful Q&A (question and answer) discussion forum in WordPress. The basic free plugin comes with enough features to quickly setup a Stack Exchange like forum on your website.

It enables users to post questions, answer the questions, vote, upload files, subscribe categories, send private messages, etc. As the admin, you can customize questions, answers, filter out unwanted content, and manage the users. If you want additional features like anonymous posting and payments, you can buy the plugin addons.

Pros

  • Integrates seamlessly with most WordPress themes.
  • Users can vote on questions and answers.
  • Premium version has a lot more features including the ability to choose best answer, profiles, comments, social media login, etc.

Cons

  • Your forum is limited to Q&A format.
  • Most useful features are available for the premium version.
  • Some reviews on the plugin’s page indicate that users found it difficult to use.

8. WP Symposium Pro

wp-symposium-pro-plugin

WP Symposium Pro is an alternative to BuddyPress. You can create your own social network using this plugin. Similar to BuddyPress or Facebook, it allows your users to create profiles and activity wall, add friends, set email alerts, join forums, and more.

The plugin is designed to work with any WordPress theme or plugin. This allows you to add it to an existing WordPress site.

Pros

  • Highly customizable through shortcodes – change colors, fonts, buttons, etc. easily.
  • Option to buy Premium version or individual addons to add features. Premium support available for paid version users.
  • Documentation with videos is available on plugin’s website to help you get started.

Cons

  • Many useful features need a premium plan.

9. DW Question and Answer

dw-question-and-asnwer-plugin

DW Question and Answer enables you to create a complete Q&A (question and answer) system on your WordPress site. If you’re thinking of creating a system like Quora or Stack Overflow, DW Question and Answer is the right plugin to start with.

Unlike normal forum plugins, it allows your users to vote the answers, so that the best answer comes to the top and the less meaningful answers go to the end. For more details see our tutorial on how to create a question and answers site in WordPress.

Pros

  • You can use the free plugin for creating a basic question answer system. Advanced users can buy the premium version for more features.
  • CAPTCHA support helps you to combat spam.
  • Great for providing support to your customers/ users.

Cons

  • The free plugin lets you create just a simple forum in question and answer format.

10. Discussion Board

discussion-board-wordpress-forum-plugin

WordPress discussion board is a free plugin you can use to create a forum. It’s easy to install and setup the plugin, so anyone can build a forum in WordPress without touching any code.

Using this plugin, you can allow front-end registration and login system to attract more users. To avoid spamming, it has options to restrict repost, moderation for comments, etc.

Pros

  • Discussion Board theme specifically designed to go well with the plugin. You can also use this plugin with any theme you like.
  • Comes with plenty of handy shortcodes for displaying forms, list of topics, etc.
  • A paid version available for adding more options and possibilities.

Cons

  • The free version lacks powerful options. You’ll need to purchase their premium plan for many useful features.

Important Advice on Building a Forum Website

Regardless of your choice of online forum software, you will need extra hosting resources to run a successful online community.

You can install all these WordPress forum plugins on a shared hosting plan. You can even run a forum quite effectively for a while on the same starter hosting package.

If you are just starting out and want to test the waters, then we recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the top hosting companies in the world and officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

However, as more visitors use your forum, it will slow down your website and may even crash it. In that case, you will need to upgrade to a managed WordPress hosting plan.

We recommend using WPEngine. They are one of the top managed WordPress hosting companies in the world.

Our second choice would be SiteGround. They are an officially recommended WordPress and bbPress hosting provider.

Need help moving your website? See our article on how to move WordPress to a new hosting server without any downtime.

We hope this article helped you find the best forum plugins for WordPress. You may also want to see our handpicked list of best Analytics Solutions for WordPress Users.

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

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How to Schedule Your Posts in WordPress (Step by Step)


Did you know that WordPress has the ability to schedule your posts to be published at a future time? This extremely useful feature is slightly hidden which is why many beginners don’t even notice it.

By scheduling your posts, you never have to worry about publishing your articles at a specific time. You can finish writing and schedule them to go live on the day and time that you choose.

In this article, we will show you how to easily schedule WordPress posts step by step and share some bonus tips to use WordPress scheduled posts like a Pro.

Schedule posts in WordPress

Why Schedule Posts in WordPress?

To create a successful blog, the best strategy is to plan your editorial calendar and publish articles on a regular basis.

That’s where schedule posts feature comes in handy. You can write your articles at your own pace and get ahead on your editorial calendar. Once you finish writing, you can schedule the post to be published at a specific date and time.

Another reason to schedule your posts is to benefit from peak traffic hours. There is a certain time in a day when each website gets the peak of their users. By publishing at that time, you can leverage existing traffic to increase your page views.

Now if you live in a different time zone than your readers, then it can be a problem. Imagine having your peak time as 3 a.m. where you live. Scheduling posts can be very handy for this.

Scheduling posts also comes in handy when you are going on vacation. You can simply schedule your blog posts and enjoy your holidays without worrying about writing and publishing content.

Now that you understand the benefits, let’s take a look at how to actually schedule your blog posts in WordPress.

How Do You Schedule a Post in WordPress?

It is easy to schedule WordPress posts if you know where to look. The option to schedule blog posts is not easily noticeable.

Once you have finished writing your blog post, you need to look under the ‘Document’ tab in the right column of the edit screen.

Under the ‘Status & Visibility’ panel, you need to click on the ‘Immediately’ link next to ‘Publish’ option.

WordPress post scheduling option

This will show you a date and time picker. You can select the date and time when you want to publish this post.

You can select a future date and time to schedule your article in WordPress.

You can also select a past date using the same tool to back date your blog post.

When you select a future date, you will notice that the publish button at the top will change into ‘Schedule…’.

Publish button changed into Schedule

Simply click on the Schedule button and WordPress will schedule your post.

The scheduled posts will be automatically published on the date and time you choose.

How to Schedule WordPress Posts in Classic Editor

If you are using the classic WordPress editor, then we highly recommend you to start using the new WordPress block editor, called Gutenberg.

The new WordPress editor is incredibly fast, modern, intuitive, and helps you create better content for your blog.

However, if you still want to use the older classic editor, then here is how you would schedule posts in WordPress.

Once you are done writing your post, look under the ‘Publish’ meta box in the right column of the edit screen and click on the ‘Edit’ link next to ‘Publish immediately’ option.

Change when to publish a post in WordPress

It will now show you the date and time options. Go ahead and enter the date and time when you want to publish your blog post and click on the OK button.

Select schedule date and time in classic editor

You’ll notice that the blue ‘Publish’ button will now change into ‘Schedule’. Go ahead and click on the schedule button to save your changes.

WordPress will now publish your blog post on the date and time you entered.

Troubleshooting WordPress Scheduled Posts

As your website grows, you will be regularly managing and scheduling WordPress posts. Following are some handy tips that will help you efficiently manage your scheduled posts in WordPress.

How do I use my own timezone in WordPress?

You need to change WordPress timezone settings, so that it uses your preferred timezone to publish scheduled posts.

How to view all scheduled posts in WordPress?

Simply go to Posts » All Posts page in your WordPress admin and then click on the ‘Scheduled’ link above the posts table. It will show all scheduled WordPress posts in the queue.

What to do if WordPress scheduled posts missed schedule?

To run scheduled tasks, WordPress uses a system called WP Cron. If the cron is unable to run due to a misconfiguration on your WordPress hosting server, then your scheduled posts will miss the schedule and won’t be published.

If you notice that your blog is affected by this, then you can install WP Missed Schedule plugin.

To learn more, see our article on how to fix the missed schedule post error in WordPress.

How to unschedule a WordPress post?

You can unschedule a WordPress post by editing the post and changing its status from ‘Scheduled’ to ‘Draft’.

In the new default WordPress editor, you will find the option to switch to draft at the top. In the classic editor, you will find it under the publish meta box.

Unschedule WordPress post

After you have changed a scheduled post to a draft, you can continue working on it, or you can publish it right-away if you want.

Can I also schedule WordPress pages?

Yes, you can schedule a WordPress page just like you would schedule a normal blog post.

Can I schedule changes to a published post or page in WordPress?

By default, you cannot schedule changes to a post or page you have already published. Any changes you make to a published post will become live as soon as you save it.

However, you can use the Tao Schedule Update plugin to make scheduled content updates.

For more details, please see our tutorial on how to schedule content updates in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily schedule your blog posts in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to do keyword research for your WordPress blog to find blog post ideas and get more traffic.

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





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How to Easily Move WordPress to a New Domain (without Losing SEO)


Do you want to move your WordPress site to a new domain? Changing your website’s domain name can significantly impact your SEO rankings, and it’s a process that needs to be done very carefully.

While you cannot avoid temporary SEO fluctuations when moving your website to a new domain, you can definitely minimize the impact and quickly regain your search traffic and rankings.

In this guide, we will show you the proper way to move WordPress to a new domain without losing SEO.

Properly moving WordPress to another domain name

Here’s the 5 step process that we will cover to help you migrate your WordPress site to a new domain name:

  1. Create a Duplicator package of your WordPress site
  2. Create a database for new domain name
  3. Unpack WordPress on new domain
  4. Setup Permanent 301 redirects
  5. Notify Google about the change

Before You Start

Before you start, we want to emphasize a few things.

The process of switching to a new domain will temporarily affect your search engine rankings as Google and other search engines adjust to the changes.

Yes, this will also temporarily affect your search traffic as well. Please keep in mind that this is normal, and it happens to all websites that switch to a new domain.

However, you can dramatically decrease the SEO impact by following this guide. We will show you the right way of moving your WordPress site to a new domain name, setting up proper 301 redirects, and notifying search engines.

Please note that this guide is not for moving WordPress site to a new web host. This is for switching a domain name. Yes, while the process is similar, there are extra things involved in this process.

Pre-Steps

In this guide, we are assuming that you have your WordPress site setup on oldsite.com, and you are trying to migrate it to newsite.com.

We are also assuming that you already have a web hosting account, and you are familiar with your web hosting control panel.

You will also need to know how to use FTP.

In case you don’t have a web hosting account, we recommend using Bluehost (great for small sites + comes with a free domain) or WP Engine (great for large sites).

Once you have your new web hosting account and domain name, you’re ready to start the process.

Step 1: Create a Duplicator package of Your WordPress Site

The first thing you need to do is create a full backup of your WordPress site. While there are many WordPress backup plugins available, the one we’re going to show in this step does both backups and migrations.

It’s Duplicator and it’s a completely free plugin.

Let’s start by installing and activating the Duplicator plugin on your old domain name. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once activated, the plugin will add a Duplicator menu item in your WordPress admin. You need to click on the Duplicator menu, and then click on the create button to create a new package.

Create a new Duplicator package

After that, you will be asked to click on the Next button to continue.

Duplicator will now run the website duplicator wizard. First, it will run some tests to see if everything is in order. If all items are marked ‘Good’, then click on the ‘Build’ button.

Build Duplicator package for switching to new domain name

The plugin will now start creating a duplicator package of your WordPress site. This process may take a few minutes depending on the size of your website.

Once finished, you’ll see download options for Installer and the Archive package. You need to click on the ‘One click download’ link to download both files to your computer.

Download Duplicator package

The archive file is a complete copy of your website, and this will allow you to move WordPress to another domain name. The installer script will automate and run the migration by unpacking the archive file.

Step 2. Create a Database for New Domain Name

Before you can move, you’ll need a database to unpack WordPress on your new domain name.

If you have already created a database, then you can skip this step.

To create a database, you need to visit your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard, scroll down to the ‘Databases’ section, and then click on the ‘MySQL Databases’ icon.

Database icon in CPanel

On the next screen, you’ll see a field to create a new database. Simply provide a name for your database and click on the ‘Create Database’ button.

Create database for switching to another domain name

cPanel will now create a new database for you. After that, you need to scroll down to the MySQL Users section.

Next, provide a username and password for your new user and click on the ‘Create a user’ button.

Adding a new MySQL user

The new user you just created, still does not have permission to work on the database. Let’s change that.

Scroll down to the ‘Add User to Database’ section. Simply select the database user you created from the dropdown menu next to the ‘User’ field, then select the database, and click on the add button.

Add user to database

Your database is now ready to be used on for moving WordPress to the new domain name. Make sure to note down the database name, username, and password. You’ll need this information in the next step.

Step 3. Unpacking WordPress on New Domain Name

Now you need to upload the Duplicator files you downloaded earlier to your new domain name.

First, connect to your domain name using an FTP client. Once connected, make sure that the root directory of your website is completely empty.

After that, you can upload the archive and installer files to the root directory.

Upload Duplicator files to new domain name

Once both files have finished uploading, you are now ready to unpack WordPress.

Open a new browser tab and go to the following URL:

http://example.com/installer.php

Don’t forget to replace example.com with your new domain name. This will launch the Duplicator migration wizard.

Duplicator wizard

The installer will look for the archive file. You need to check the terms and conditions checkbox and click on the next button to continue.

Now, the installer will ask you to enter your WordPress database information.

Your host will likely be localhost. After that, you will enter the details of the database you created for your new domain name in the earlier step.

Connect to the database for your new domain name

Once done, click on the next button to continue.

Duplicator will now unpack your WordPress database backup from the archive into your new database.

Next, it will ask you to update site URL or Path. You shouldn’t have to change anything since it automatically detects the URL of your new domain name and its path.

If it doesn’t, then you can change the URL to your new domain name. After that, click on the next button to continue.

Update URL to your new domian name

Duplicator will now finish the migration.

You can click on the ‘Admin Login’ button to enter the WordPress admin area of your website on the new domain name.

Finishing WordPress migration to new domain name

Step 4. Setting up Permanent 301 Redirects

Setting up a permanent 301 redirect is very important for both SEO and user experience.

This step will allow you to automatically redirect users and search engines to your new domain name.

In other words, whenever someone lands on one of your old posts or pages, they will be automatically redirected to your site on the new domain.

To setup a permanent 301 redirect, you need to connect to your old site using FTP and edit the .htaccess file.

This will be located in the same directory as your wp-includes or wp-admin folder. Open the .htaccess file and paste the following code at the very top:

#Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Note: Replace newsite.com with your new domain in the above code.

Once you have applied these changes, then visit your old domain name. It should automatically redirect you to the new domain.

If it doesn’t, then it means the redirection is not setup properly, and your server likely doesn’t support redirect rules. You need to reach your web hosting’s support to get RewriteEngine turned on.

Step 5. Notifying Google About the Change

Now that you have moved WordPress to a new domain name and setup redirects, it is time to notify Google about the change of address. This will help Google find your new domain name quickly and start showing it in search results.

First, you need to add your new domain name to the Google Search Console. See step 1 in our Google Search Console guide for instructions.

After you have added your new site, you need to switch to the old version of Google Search Console.

Go to old version of Google Search Console

Next, you need to switch to your old domain name and then click on the gear icon at the top to launch change of address tool.

Change of address tool

On the next screen, Google Search Console will show you a step by step wizard to submit your change of address request.

First it will ask you to select your new site from the drop down menu. After that, click on the check button to test 301 redirects and then confirm verification.

Change of address for your old domain name

Finally, click on the submit button to send your address change request.

Notify Users About the Move to New Domain Name

While the 301 redirects do their job, it is always good to make a public announcement about the migration.

You can do this by simply writing a blog post on your new site and sharing it on your social media accounts.

If you have an email marketing list, then you should send a newsletter to let all your subscribers know.

This can be helpful in a lot of ways.

First and foremost, your users are more likely to remember the new domain once they read about it.

Second, you can ask your users to let you know if they see any bugs. You alone cannot test your site in all different type of browsers and system environments. It’s always helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at it.

We hope that this tutorial helped you move your WordPress site to a new domain name. You may also want to see our guide on how to track your search keyword rankings after moving to a new domain name.

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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Common Gutenberg Questions Answered (WordPress FAQ)


WPBeginner has been helping users learn WordPress for nearly a decade. Over these years, we’ve published thousands of tutorials to help you successfully create a WordPress site and grow your business.

Over a month ago, WordPress 5.0 was released with a new content editor called Gutenberg. Since then, we’ve been receiving a lot of questions regarding the update. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked Gutenberg questions.

Common Gutenberg Questions Answered

1. Why did WordPress introduce Gutenberg?

For a long time, WordPress used a TinyMCE based editor to create posts and pages. The Classic WordPress editor was a simple text window with few buttons on top for basic formatting options.

While it worked well, users had to learn different approaches to add images, create galleries, embed videos, add tables and other content elements. This learning curve combined with modern web standards made WordPress seem like it’s harder to use when compared to other popular website builders.

The new WordPress block editor introduces a modern streamlined writing experience where each content element is wrapped in a block. You can move these blocks around the editor, change their settings, and create engaging content layouts without writing code.

New WordPress editor called Gutenberg block editor

The Gutenberg editor also provides a powerful framework for theme and plugin developers to build advanced solutions for WordPress.

2. How can I check if the theme and plugins I’m using are Gutenberg compatible?

The easiest way to check if your theme and plugins are Gutenberg compatible is to find if they’re supporting WordPress version 5.0+.

Gutenberg Editor was launched as the default content editor in WordPress 5.0, so a theme or plugin that has a “tested with version 5.0” label means that they are compatible with Gutenberg.

You can find the “Tested with” label in the WordPress.org plugins directory by searching your plugin’s name.

Search WPForms plugin in WordPress.org

In the results, you’ll see the WordPress version your plugin is tested with. For instance, you can see WPForms is tested with WordPress 5.0.3 at the moment.

WPForms plugin tested with WordPress 5.0 plus

This means that WPForms is a Gutenberg compatible plugin.

For a WordPress theme, it’s best to visit your theme’s official website and check if they’ve made any official announcement about Gutenberg support.

If you don’t see any information on their marketing page, then you can visit their blog or knowledgebase and search the ‘Gutenberg’ keyword.

For example, if you’re using Divi theme, you can search their documentation.

Search'Gutenberg' keyword in theme site's documentation

This will help you find articles including their official announcement on Gutenberg support.

If you don’t see any article from your theme or plugin authors about Gutenberg upgrade, then you’ll need to contact them.

Once you’ve confirmation about all your theme and plugins’ Gutenberg compatibility, you can confidently update your site to WordPress 5.0.

To prevent errors and conflicts, we have created a complete guide on how to test your WordPress site for upgrading to Gutenberg

3. How to manage my old posts in the Gutenberg block editor?

After you update your site to WordPress 5.0, your old post content will be wrapped inside the Classic block inside the Gutenberg editor.

Classic Block in Gutenberg Editor

You can edit everything just like before inside the Classic block.

You can also convert your old post content into Gutenberg blocks. Simply click the Convert to Blocks option from your Classic block’s dropdown menu, and then it’ll automatically convert your post content into appropriate blocks.

Convert Old Post Content to Blocks in WordPress Block Editor

For detailed instructions, you can read our step by step guide on updating your old WordPress posts with Gutenberg.

4. How can I disable Gutenberg and bring back the Classic Editor?

A lot of users are not ready to make the switch to the Gutenberg editor due to one reason or another.

In that case, you do have the option to disable Gutenberg and bring back the Classic Editor.

All you need to do is install and activate the Classic Editor plugin.

Classic Editor WordPress plugin

Using this plugin, you can easily disable Gutenberg and use the classic editor on your site.

Classic Editor plugin will be available until at least 2022 or as long as necessary.

This should provide plenty of time for users to test their websites with Gutenberg and upgrade when they feel comfortable.

5. Is Gutenberg a WordPress Page Builder?

Gutenberg is a block-based editor which uses content elements called blocks to build posts and pages. Similarly, WordPress page builders also use blocks, also known as widgets, modules, or elements for creating pages in WordPress.

This has caused confusion amongst users, and we have been asked the question if Gutenberg is a WordPress page builder alternative.

The answer is ‘No, not at least in its current form’.

WordPress page builder plugins provide a lot more advanced functionalities for creating landing pages in WordPress.

Most of the page builders are frontend editors whereas Gutenberg is a backend editor. Here’s how you can edit content in Gutenberg Content Editor.

Gutenberg Post Edit Screen

And, below is how one of the best page builders, Beaver Builder, looks like when you’re editing a page:

Creating a page with Beaver Builder best page builder plugin

Page builder blocks are truly drag and drop elements which support free-form dragging and dropping. Whereas, Gutenberg blocks support drag and drop only for reordering the blocks.

In simple terms, Gutenberg is a basic editing interface whereas page builders are advanced page editors. You can use both of them for cutting-edge landing pages in WordPress.

For a more detailed answer, please see our detailed explanation of Gutenberg vs WordPress Page Builders.

6. How can I update page builder content with Gutenberg?

Updating your content created with page builders should not be a problem. The method you use to update your content may vary from one page builder to another.

Therefore, you’ll need to contact your plugin provider for an updating tutorial.

Also, you can check their official website to find their announcements on Gutenberg support.

7. Does Gutenberg support shortcodes?

Yes, Gutenberg supports shortcodes. There’s a separate Shortcode block in Gutenberg to add content with shortcodes.

Shortcode Block in Gutenberg Editor

WordPress blocks are defined as an evolution of the [shortcode], so using regular Gutenberg blocks is recommended instead of shortcodes.

For example, you can add your WPForms to your posts or pages using a shortcode.

WPForms all forms with shortcodes

All you have to do is copy the shortcode from the Forms Overview screen, and then paste it in the Shortcode block on the post edit screen.

Add shortcode to Gutenberg Editor

However, the better option is to use the WPForms Gutenberg block directly instead of pasting the form shortcode in the Shortcode block.

WPForms Widget for Gutenberg

8. Who can I contact if something is broken after upgrading to Gutenberg?

Gutenberg should not ideally break anything on your site however conflict with your theme and plugins can cause some errors.

It’s always recommended to test your site on a staging area before upgrading to Gutenberg.

However, you may sometimes find unexpected errors. If this happens, you should first disable Gutenberg and activate the Classic editor on your site.

Then, contact your theme and plugin companies to request support.

9. How can I learn more about Gutenberg?

You can learn more about Gutenberg right here on WPBeginner. We are the best free WordPress resource website on the internet.

We’ve already published a number of articles on the new WordPress Block Editor aka Gutenberg. We’ll be publishing more tutorials in the future to help you master the new block editor.

We hope this article helped you find answers to the common Gutenberg questions on your mind. If you have further questions, please reach out to us by leaving a comment or by using the contact form on our website.

You may also want to see our list of the must have WordPress plugins and tools for every successful website.

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





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Form Pages by WPForms – Google Forms Alternative for WordPress


Have you ever tried creating a distraction-free form landing page in WordPress? If so, then you likely realized that it is not easy.

The biggest challenge with WordPress forms until now has been that all form layouts are controlled by WordPress themes, and sadly most WordPress themes do not prioritize form layouts.

This forced a lot of WordPress users to use Google Forms to create standalone forms which isn’t an ideal workflow. Since there wasn’t a perfect Google Forms alternative in WordPress, we created one.

Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of Form Pages by WPForms, a “distraction-free” form landing page builder for WordPress to help you improve your form conversions.

Form Pages by WPForms Preview

Form Pages addon for WPForms allows you to quickly create dedicated form landing pages without hiring a developer or writing any code in less than 5 minutes.

Like everything else in WPForms, we made the process “stupid simple”.

You can create a custom landing page for any of your WordPress forms by simply enabling the “Form Page Mode” from the Form Settings.

Form Pages by WPForms

On the settings page, you can add your logo, custom page title, description, and define the landing page URL.

It comes with two different form styles Modern and Classic. The Classic style will give you the exact same look-and-feel of Google Forms whereas the Modern Design will allow you to bring your form into 2019.

You can combine the form styles with six pre-made color schemes. You can also build a custom color scheme by selecting the main color. WPForms will then generate other colors and gradients to automatically build your color scheme.

Once done simply save your settings, and that’s it.

Your custom form landing page is ready to be shared.

Form Pages by WPForms is the perfect Google Forms alternative for WordPress because it lets you build custom form landing pages and combine it with other powerful WPForms features such as smart surveys, conditional logic, payment integrations, marketing integrations, user registration, form abandonment technology, and so much more.

Form Pages addon is available as part of the WPForms Pro plan.

If you’re serious about improving your form conversions, then you need get started with WPForms Pro today.

Bonus: You can get 50% off WPForms when using the coupon code: SAVE50

Thank you as always for your continued support of WPBeginner and our products. We look forward to bringing you even more powerful solutions in 2019.

Syed and the WPBeginner Team



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