Tag - Beginners

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


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

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

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

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

How to Change Your Password in WordPress

Before You Change Your WordPress Password

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Change Your WordPress Password in 2 Minutes

This is the easiest way to change your WordPress password.

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

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

Your Profile Page in WordPress

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

Generate Password in WordPress

WordPress will automatically create a strong password for you.

Auto Password in WordPress

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

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

Create a Strong WordPress Password and Save it

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

WordPress Profile Updated with New Password

How to Reset Your WordPress Password When Locked Out

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

But what if you lost your password and cannot login?

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

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

Recovering lost password in WordPress

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

WordPress password recovery screen

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

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

How to Change the WordPress Password from Database

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

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

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

phpMyAdmin in cPanel

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

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

Select your WordPress database

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

Browse user table

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

Edit user account in phpMyAdmin

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

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

Change password

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

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

How to Force Change WordPress Password for all Users

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

This can be easily done using a Password Expiration plugin.

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

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

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



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How to Add Nofollow Links in WordPress (Beginner’s Guide)


Are you wondering how to add nofollow links in WordPress? When you link to an external website, search engines pass a small part of link authority from your website to the other website.

Since you don’t own or control those third-party websites, it is usually a SEO best practice to add nofollow attribute to those links.

In this article, we’ll explain what is nofollow links, and how you can add nofollow links in WordPress posts, pages, and navigation menus.

How to Add Nofollow Links in WordPress - Simple Guide for Beginners

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

A nofollow link is a type of link that tells search engines to not pass any link authority from your page to the other website that you’re linking to. You can turn any link into a nofollow link by adding the following link attribute: rel=”nofollow”.

Links or backlinks are an important search engine ranking factor.

When you link to a website, search engines consider that as a ranking signal, and they will pass a small portion of your page authority (link juice) to the other website.

Some SEO experts believe that by making external links nofollow, their own website will rank higher.

How to Check if a Link is Nofollow?

All nofollow links must contain the rel=”nofollow” HTML attribute.

Here’s an example HTML code of a nofollow link:

<a href="https://example.com" rel="nofollow">Google</a>

To check whether a nofollow attribute is added to a link on a website, you need to take your mouse to that link, right click on it, and then select Inspect on your browser.

Check nofollow attribute in the link

Your browser window will now split into two parts.

In the bottom window, you will be able to see the HTML source code of the link along with the nofollow attribute.

As a general best practice, you should add nofollow to all external websites that you don’t trust.

It’s completely acceptable and actually recommended to link to authority websites like Wikipedia, WPBeginner, New York Times, etc without the nofollow attribute because linking to authority sites help you add credibility to your own website.

However we always recommend users to nofollow less credible websites or websites that you simply don’t trust.

The following are some cases when you should always add nofollow attributes to the links:

1. Affiliate and Sponsored Links

Most bloggers make money online using affiliate marketing.

Affiliate links are tracking links for products and services that you recommend and get referral commissions for if someone purchases your link.

Whether you’re using a direct affiliate link or cloaking it using Pretty Links, you should always add nofollow attribute to affiliate links.

Another popular way bloggers make money is by adding sponsored links. You should always add nofollow to sponsored links because otherwise search engines may consider your site as selling links / spammy.

2. External Links

Sometimes, you may link to an external source to provide a reference to your statement. Since you don’t control the content on those websites, you should consider adding nofollow to them.

In simple words, you are telling the search engines that you are linking to a source, but it is not something you can vouch for.

Note: You don’t need to nofollow a link to an authority website.

3. Sidebar Links

Some bloggers add a list of external or affiliate links to the sidebar of their WordPress blog. These external links can be from authority sites or websites that they trust.

The problem is every time a new page is created on your site, you are creating a new backlink for those websites from your sidebar.

It is important to make these links nofollow and make sure that you are not passing the SEO juice from every page to certain links.

Since Gutenberg is a new WordPress content editor, the old nofollow plugins for WordPress are not yet compatible with it.

Currently, the only way to add nofollow links in Gutenberg is to do it manually.

Let’s take a look at the step by step process on how to add nofollow links in WordPress posts or pages with Gutenberg.

First, you need to go to Posts » Add New from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

On this page, you need to select the text that you want to add a link to, and then click on the “anchor / link” icon.

select text to add link in Gutenberg Editor

This will open a text field just below the selected text. You can paste the external link directly in the box.

If you want the link to open in a new tab, then you need to click on the down arrow icon. This will open a menu where you have to click on the “Open in New Tab” toggle box.

Add external link to the textbox

Once done, you can click on the apply or Enter icon to add the link.

To add the nofollow attribute to your link, you need to select the block containing your link and then click on the 3 vertical dots icon present at the top bar.

Select edit as HTML option from the top bar

This will open a menu where you need to click on the Edit as HTML option.

You will now see the HTML code of your link. Go ahead to add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the link element.

rel nofollow attribute to link

If you see the rel=”noopener noreferrer” attribute in the HTML code, then add a space after noreferrer and paste nofollow after that.

Once done, you can click on the 3 vertical dots icon again and select the Edit visually option to go back to the visual format.

Select edit visually option

This will convert your normal link to a nofollow link. You can follow the same process for adding nofollow attribute to all other external links.

Although it is recommended to upgrade to the newer version of WordPress, some users still prefer to use the Classic Editor for writing their posts.

Unlike the default editor, you can easily add nofollow links in the Classic Editor with the help of a plugin.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Title and Nofollow For Links plugin. You can follow our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for help.

This plugin works out of the box, and there are no settings for you to configure.

Head over to Posts » Add New to create a new post. You need to add some text to the post editor and select the text that you want to link. Next, click on the Link icon present in the toolbar.

Add Link to WordPress Classic Editor

After that you can add the external link to the textbox field below and click on the gear icon to open the Link options.

This will open up a modal window where you will see a nofollow checkbox just below the “Open link in a new tab” option.

Go ahead to select the Add rel=”nofollow” to link checkbox and then click on the Update button.

Add Nofollow attribute to a link in WordPress Classic Editor

This allows you to add a nofollow attribute to any link when writing a post. This is also useful for users who are not confident with editing HTML code.

Most bloggers select the “Open link in a new tab” checkbox as well when adding an external link. This is a great way to reduce bounce rate and keep your visitors from leaving your website.

You have already learned how to add nofollow links in the Gutenberg editor manually. However, that method is only useful when you want to add the nofollow attribute to some of your links.

If you have a lot of external and affiliate links in your post, then you should switch to the Code Editor to add nofollow attribute faster.

Open code editor to edit external links

Simply, click on the 3 vertical dots icon, present at the top-right corner of the page. This will open a dropdown menu where you need to select the Code Editor option.

You will now see the HTML code of the page. Next, search for the external and affiliate links and then, add the nofollow attribute to all of them.

Add nofollow to external links

Once done, you need to click on the “Exit Code Editor” link to revert to the visual editor.

If you’re using the Classic Editor, then you can easily use a plugin to add nofollow links. However, you can also add nofollow links manually.

To do that, you need to switch to the Text Editor by clicking on the Text tab. Next, you can add rel=”nofollow” to any link you want.

Add nofollow attribute to links in classic text editor

To go back to the visual editor, you have to click on the Visual tab, placed just beside the Text tab.

Some bloggers and site owners may add external links to the navigation menu of their website.

While adding a nofollow attribute to WordPress menu links is extremely simple, it is not as clearly visible.

Let’s take a look at how to add nofollow links in WordPress navigation menus.

First, you need to click on Appearance » Menus from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

Next, select the menu where you want to add the external link and then click on the Select button to open it.

Select a navigation menu to edit

After that, you need to click on the “Custom Links” tab to add the link text and external link URL. Once done, you need to click on the “Add to Menu” button to create a new menu item.

Add Custom Link to Navigation menu in WordPress

The external link will now appear in the Menu Structure column along with the other menu items.

Next, click on the Screen Options button at the top-right corner of the screen and select the Link Relationship (XFN) and Link Target options.

Screen Options navigation menus

Now scroll back down and click on the downward arrow icon of the new menu item to expand it. Here you will find the “Link Relationship” and “Open link in a new tab” options, just below the Navigation Label textbox.

Add nofollow to Link Relationship XFN option

To add the nofollow attribute, you need to write nofollow in the Link Relationship (XFN) textbox. You can also check the “Open link in a new tab” option if you want.

Click on the Save Menu button

Lastly, click on the Save Menu button to store your changes. This will add the nofollow attribute to the external link in your WordPress menu.

Some WordPress users want to automatically add the nofollow attribute to all external links on their site.

Most solutions that offer this are done with the help of JavaScript which is not helpful for Google and the SEO of your site. Instead, you should manually nofollow the links using the above methods.

In case you are concerned about the comment section, then the good news is that WordPress already adds the nofollow attribute to all comment links by default.

If you’re still looking for a solution to automatically nofollow the external links, then you can use the External Links plugin.

It adds the rel=”nofollow” attribute to all the external links on the posts, pages, navigation menus, and the sidebar.

To install the External Links plugin, head over to Plugins » Add New from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

Upon activation, you need to go to Settings » External Links page.

External Links plugin settings page

Here you need to select the “Add No Follow” checkbox. If you want the external links to open in a new tab, then you should select the “Open in New Windows” checkbox as well.

This plugin also allows you to add a list of domains and subdomains which should not be made nofollow.

To do that, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and then add the domains, separated by commas or space, to the “Domains to Exclude” textarea.

Domains to exclude nofollow attribute

Once done, you should click on the Save Changes button to store the settings.

That’s all! This plugin will now make all the external links nofollow on your site automatically.

We hope this guide helped you to learn how to add nofollow links to your WordPress site. You may also want to read our beginner’s guide to image SEO, and our ultimate guide for blog post SEO to help you further optimize your blog posts.

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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Beginners Guide: 26 Most Common WordPress Mistakes to Avoid


When creating a WordPress website, everyone make mistakes. However each mistake is a learning opportunity that helps you grow.

Over the years, we have helped thousands of WordPress users start their websites and blogs. In setting up our own websites as well as helping others, we have learned to avoid some common WordPress mistakes.

It has helped us save time, money, and grow our business more effectively.

In this article, we will share those experiences with you, so you can avoid these common WordPress mistakes.

The goal is to help you learn from other people’s mistakes when making your own websites.

Common WordPress mistakes to avoid

1. Choosing The Wrong Platform

Choosing the right WordPress

The biggest mistake people make when starting out is choosing the wrong blogging platform. Basically, there are two types of WordPress. First, there is WordPress.com which is a blog hosting service, and then there is WordPress.org also which is the famous self-hosted WordPress platform that everyone loves.

You need to start with self-hosted WordPress.org because it gives you access to all the features you need out of the box.

To learn more see our article on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org with a side by side comparison of the two platforms.

2. Buying More than What You Need

To get started with a WordPress website, you need a domain name and WordPress hosting.

The challenge is that a lot of domain registrars try to upsell other services. This confuses the small business owners who are just starting out.

The add-on services may include privacy protection, extra email accounts, security services, and more.

Upselling services

You can skip all of these things and save money to spend on growing your business. If you later decide that you need those services, then you can always purchase them from your hosting company.

You also need to choose the right hosting plan for your website. For 90% of websites that are just starting out, a shared hosting account is quite enough to get you going.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and officially recommended by WordPress.

They are offering WPBeginner users a discount on hosting + free domain and SSL certificate. Basically, you can get started for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

As your business grows, you can choose to upgrade your hosting plan or move to a managed WordPress hosting company.

For more details, see our guide on the cost of a WordPress website and how to save money when building your website.

3. Not Setting up Automated Backups

Automated backups

Each year billions of dollars worth of damages are caused by data loss. Almost every website on the internet is prone to accidents, theft, hacking attempts, and other disasters.

Your most powerful line of defense against these threats is automated backups. Without a backup, you could lose all your WordPress data, and it would be very difficult to recover it (sometimes even impossible).

We have seen many people lose their entire websites just because they didn’t have an up to date backup.

Setting up backups is extremely easy, and there are excellent WordPress backup plugins available in the market. Once you set up one of these backup plugins, they would automatically create backups for you.

The second part of this mistake is not storing backup files on a remote location. A lot of folks store their WordPress backups on their web hosting server. If they lose their website data, then they also lose the backups.

Make sure that you store your backups on cloud storage service like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. Backup plugins like UpdraftPlus can automatically do that for you.

4. Not Setting up Google Analytics

Google Analytics

If you want to grow your business with confidence, then you need to know how people find and use your website. That’s where Google Analytics can help.

We recommend using MonsterInsights, the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It saves you time during setup, and shows you the stats that matter, right inside your WordPress dashboard.

If you don’t want MonsterInsights Pro, then there’s also a free version of MonsterInsights available that you can get started with.

5. Not Setting up a Contact Form

Contact page

Not setting up a contact form is another easily avoidable mistake that many beginners make. Without a contact form, your website visitors will not be able to contact you, and this can cause you to lose significant opportunities.

You will see a contact page on almost every popular website. It is one of the most important pages every website need to have.

WordPress does not come with a built-in contact form, but there are a lot of great WordPress contact form plugins available that you can use.

We recommend using WPForms Lite which is the free version of the popular WPForms plugin that’s being used by over 2 million websites.

You can see our detailed instructions on how to create a contact form in WordPress.

6. Not Building an Email List

Email list

Did you know that more than 70% of people who visit your website will never come back again?

If you are not building your email list, then you are basically losing money with every website visitor that leaves your site. Converting website visitors into email subscribers allows you to bring back those users to your website.

To learn more about this topic, see our article on why building an email list is important.

You will need an email marketing service to set up your email list. We recommend using Constant Contact because they are one of the best email marketing companies on the market with a very beginner friendly platform.

For step by step instructions, see our complete tutorial on how to start an email newsletter.

7. Not Choosing The Right WordPress Theme

WordPress themes

One of the biggest challenges WordPress beginners face is choosing the right design for their website.

With thousands of WordPress themes out there, an average beginner tries multiple themes before settling for the right one, and this process can even lead the user to rebuild their website multiple times.

To avoid this, we recommend choosing the right WordPress theme from the start and then stick to it.

This allows your website visitors to become familiar with your website, your brand, and its unique style. Consistency and continuity of your design makes a big impact on brand recognition and awareness.

We are often asked by readers, how to choose a theme that just works?

Well, when it comes to design we prefer simplicity over glitter. It has worked really well not just for us, but many successful online businesses.

You need to choose a great looking but simple WordPress theme that pays attention to the following items:

  • It must look equally good on all devices (desktop, mobile, and tablets).
  • It should be easy to customize and flexible to adapt to your needs.
  • It should work with popular plugins and WordPress page builders.
  • It should be optimized for performance and speed.

Now we understand that as a non-techy user, you may not be able to check all those things on your own. In that case, we recommend choosing a theme from a top commercial WordPress theme shop like StudioPress, Themify, or Astra Theme.

If you need more recommendations, then check out these theme showcases where we hand-picked the best WordPress themes in different categories.

  • Best WordPress blog themes
  • Best WordPress business themes
  • Best simple WordPress themes
  • Best multi-purpose WordPress themes

8. Ignoring WordPress Updates

Ignoring WordPress updates

We have seen many beginners and even experienced WordPress users who don’t install updates on their site. Many of them believe that doing so will cause errors and could break their site.

That’s not true.

You can easily and safely update WordPress without breaking your website. By not updating WordPress, you leave your website vulnerable to security breaches while using outdated software.

It’s not just WordPress, your WordPress theme and plugins also regularly release updates for bug fixes, security patches, and new features.

For more details, see our guide on how to safely update WordPress

9. Not Optimizing Your Website for SEO

Optimize WordPress SEO

A lot of WordPress users rely on their best guesses when it comes to promoting their websites. Some completely ignore SEO, while some do it half-heartedly.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps you rank higher in search engines, so more users can find your website.

Search engines are the biggest source of traffic for most websites. SEO is crucial for the success of your online business.

We have a complete step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners which will help you properly optimize your website for SEO.

10. Not Using Categories and Tags Properly

Categories vs Tags

Another big mistake is not using categories and tags properly. Some users end up using categories where they should have used tags and vice-versa.

We have seen websites with dozens of categories and no tags at all. We have seen websites using hundreds of tags and no categories at all.

Basically, categories are your website’s table of contents. If your website was a file cabinet, categories would be its drawers.

On the other hand, tags are like the index page. If your website was a file cabinet, tags would be the labels on individual file folders.

For a more detailed explanation, see our guide on categories vs tags and how to use them properly in WordPress for maximum SEO advantage.

11. Not Using Posts and Pages Properly

Posts vs Pages - What's the difference?

Sometimes beginner WordPress users end up using posts to create important website pages. Similarly, some users end up using pages for articles when they should have used posts instead.

A lot of users realize their mistake after a while when their website becomes difficult to manage.

Basically, pages are for static pages that don’t change very often like about, contact, privacy policy, etc.

On the other hand, posts are for time-based content like news, updates, articles, and blogs.

Take a look at our complete guide about the difference between posts vs pages and what you can do with them.

12. Not Choosing The Right URL Structure (Permalinks)

Choosing the right permalinks structure

Selecting the right URL settings (permalink structure) for your website is really important. Changing your URL structure later is not easy, and it can have a significant impact on your website traffic.

We recommend going to the Settings » Permalinks page in your WordPress admin area and choosing a URL structure with that shows your post name in the URL.

13. Ignoring Website Speed and Performance

Website speed and performance

Human attention span is dropping rapidly, and users want instant gratification. With faster internet connections, your users would find a few extra seconds of page load time to be extremely slow.

And it’s not just users, even search engines rank faster websites higher in their results. By ignoring website speed and performance you risk user experience as well as search rankings.

Which is why you need to make sure that your website loads fast. We have a step by step guide that will help you improve WordPress speed and performance without going too deep into the technical stuff.

14. Not Choosing The Right Plugins

WordPress plugins

The real power of WordPress comes with its plugins. There are thousands of free WordPress plugins that you can install with a few clicks.

However, not all plugins are good. In fact, some plugins are bad and could affect your website’s performance and security. Often users end up downloading plugins from unreliable sources that distribute hidden malware.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when choosing plugins:

  • Only install plugins from WordPress.org or WordPress companies with good reputation.
  • Look for plugin reviews and support forums because they are a good indicator of a plugin’s quality
  • Check trusted WordPress resources like WPBeginner for plugin recommendations

If you want some recommendations right now, then check out our list of must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

For more information, check out our guide on how to choose the best WordPress plugins for your website.

15. Ignoring WordPress Security Best Practices

WordPress security

Many users do not take any security measures to harden WordPress security. Some believe that their website is too small, and it will not be targeted by hackers.

Hackers target websites indiscriminately. For example, they could use your website to distribute malware, brute force attacks, steal data, and more.

By not securing your website, you can lose search rankings, your website data, and/or customer information. This could cost you a lot of money and headache.

You need to follow the security best practices and build layers of security around your WordPress site. It does not take too much time, and you don’t need any special skills to do that.

Simply follow our complete WordPress security guide with step by step instructions to protect your website.

16. Changing Website URL and Losing All Traffic

Changing domain names

How many of you hated the first domain you registered and wanted to switch away from it when you got serious about blogging? Yup, it happens to all of us.

While you can change the website URL or domain name, it does have a significant SEO impact. What makes matters even worse is when you switch URLs without taking proper steps.

You need to set up proper redirects, inform Google about the change, and add the new domain to Google Search Console.

We have described all the steps in our guide on how to properly move WordPress to new domain.

17. Not Removing WordPress Demo Content

Remove demo content

A lot of people don’t delete the default demo content added by a new WordPress install. This includes a sample page, a post titled ‘Hello World’, and a default comment.

Not removing this content allows search engines to crawl and index them. Now if you search for the text in demo content on Google, you’ll find hundreds of thousands of pages. That’s duplicate content and search engines penalize duplicate content as low-quality pages.

Similarly, many people don’t change the default WordPress tag line that says ‘Just another WordPress site’.

You need to delete all default content and the tag line, as they look unprofessional and create a bad impression.

18. Not Setting up Comment Moderation

Moderating comments

Comment spam is annoying and can make your brand look bad. Many beginners have their blogs set up to automatically publish all new comments without moderation.

This means spam comments with links to malware and low-quality sites can go live on your website without your knowledge. This could damage your search rankings and your website’s reputation.

You need to always keep comment moderation turned on for all your WordPress sites. Simply go to Settings » Discussion page and check the box next to ‘A comment must be manually approved’ option.

Manually approve comments

After that, you need to make it part of your routine to check and approve comments on your website. For more tips, see our article on how to combat comment spam in WordPress.

19. Not Optimizing Your Images for Web

Compress images

Images are essential in the making of a highly engaging website. However, they are also heavier in filesize than plain text.

If you are adding images to your website without optimizing them, then this would affect your website speed.

You need to make it a habit of saving your images as optimized for the web. You can use Photoshop, GIMP (free), or other online tools to reduce the image file size before uploading it.

For instructions, see our tutorial on how to save images optimized for the web.

20. Saving Unnecessary Code in Theme’s Functions File

Code snippets

Another common mistake that we often come across is when folks add too many code snippets in their theme’s functions.php file.

Functions file is designed to behave like a plugin, but it is not the ideal place for all types of code snippets. You will lose these modifications when you switch the theme. You may even forget that you added some code in there after a while.

We recommend only adding code in your theme’s functions file if the code is related to changing something with that particular theme.

For all other custom code, it is better to use a site-specific plugin or the code snippets plugin.

21. Getting Locked Out by Editing Functions File in WordPress Admin Area

Theme editor in WordPress

Another annoying mistake that is quite common is when folks edit functions file inside the WordPress admin area.

By default, WordPress comes with a built-in code editor to edit theme and plugin files inside WordPress. Often beginners end up breaking their website when adding or removing code using those editors.

Even though WordPress added functionality to catch fatal errors and not save them. You could still lock yourself out and make your website inaccessible.

We recommend disabling theme and plugin editor in WordPress and use FTP to edit files in WordPress.

22. Not Setting Up Google Search Console

Google Search Console

Data is really important when planning a strategy to grow your business and website. Many users make the mistake of not adding their WordPress site to Google Search Console for a long time.

This means they miss out important search data that could help them grow their website.

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google. It allows you to see how your website appears in search results and fix any search indexing problems quickly.

See our complete Google Search Console guide to see how you can use it to improve search rankings and grow your business.

23. Using Uncategorized as Default Category

Uncategorized category

A lot of folks leave Uncategorized as their default category. WordPress requires all posts to be filed under a category and when no category is selected, it automatically adds the post under default category.

Many times users forget to select a category for their post and hit the publish button which publishes that post in Uncategorized.

This mistakes can be easily avoided by choosing a proper default category in WordPress settings.

24. Not Using a Professional Branded Email Address

Free business email address

We have seen many folks sending us emails from their Gmail or Hotmail accounts while pitching for a business that already has a website.

Now, how do we know for sure that they are officially representing that company or website?

Similarly if you have a business, and you are still sending people business emails from a free email account, then people will have a hard time taking you seriously.

People do not have the time or skills to verify that you are the actual owner of that website or business.

This mistake is also easily avoidable. See our guide on how to easily get a professional business email address for free.

25. Leaving a Site Public While Working on It

Maintenance mode

People often leave under construction websites publicly accessible. This is not very professional and can harm your business.

A publicly accessible website can be automatically crawled and indexed by search engines anytime. Your competitors can find it and steal your ideas. Your customers can find it and see the unfinished website.

There is an easier solution to avoid this mistake. Simply put your website in maintenance mode and add a coming soon page to build anticipation.

26. Not Learning WordPress

Learn WordPress

WordPress is very easy to use even for non-technical users. This allows many users to keep running their websites without learning more about WordPress.

By doing so, you miss the opportunity to explore the incredibly helpful features of WordPress. Things that are very simple to implement but could transform your business.

Learning WordPress is quite easy, particularly when you already have a running WordPress site. Explore different sections of WordPress, try out new plugins, learn more about SEO, and email marketing.

WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners with tons of awesome resources, videos, how-tos, step-by-step tutorials, and more.

Following are just some of the helpful resources you’ll find on WPBeginner (all of them are completely free).

  • WPBeginner Dictionary – The best place for beginners to start and familiarize themselves with the WordPress lingo
  • WPBeginner Videos – New to WordPress? Watch these 23 videos to master WordPress.
  • WPBeginner Blog – The central place for all our WordPress tutorials.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel where we regularly share video tutorials to help you learn WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn about common WordPress mistakes and how to easily avoid them. You may also want to see our tips on effective ways to increase your website traffic without spending too much 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 Beginners Guide: 26 Most Common WordPress Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Easily Deactivate WordPress Plugins (Beginner’s Guide)


Do you want to learn how to deactivate WordPress plugins? One of the best things about WordPress plugins is that you can turn them off temporarily by deactivating them. You can also completely remove WordPress plugins by uninstalling them.

As a WordPress beginner, you need to know how to deactivate one or all of your WordPress plugins. Learning this will help you with troubleshooting and fixing common WordPress errors.

In this article, we will show you different ways to easily deactivate WordPress plugins. Our goal is to help you learn how to better manage WordPress plugins on your website.

How to easily deactivate WordPress plugins

Here is an overview of what you’ll learn in this article:

  • How to deactivate a WordPress plugin
  • How to bulk deactivate WordPress plugins
  • How to deactivate all WordPress plugins via FTP
  • How to deactivate WordPress plugins via phpMyAdmin
  • Difference between deactivating vs uninstalling a plugin
  • How to uninstall a WordPress plugin
  • Should you keep deactivated plugins installed on your site?

How to Deactivate a WordPress Plugin

Let’s start with deactivating a single WordPress plugin.

If you want to temporarily disable or deactivate a WordPress plugin, then you need to simply visit the Plugins » Installed Plugins page inside your WordPress admin area.

Deactivate a WordPress plugin

From here, you need to locate the WordPress plugin that you want to deactivate. Next, take your mouse to the plugin’s row, and it will show you a link to deactivate that particular plugin.

Clicking on the link will simply deactivate the WordPress plugin right away.

Once you deactivate the plugin, it still remains installed on your website, but WordPress will stop loading it.

If you want to start using the plugin again, then you will just need to click on the Activate link below it.

How to Bulk Deactivate WordPress Plugins

Sometimes you may need to deactivate all WordPress plugins on your website to troubleshoot issues. Instead of deactivating one plugin at a time, WordPress makes it easy to deactivate multiple or all WordPress plugins quickly.

Simply visit the Plugins » Installed Plugins page and check the box next to the plugins you want to deactivate. If you want to deactivate all WordPress plugins, then simply check the box at the top to select all plugins.

Select all plugins

Next, you need to select ‘Deactivate’ from the ‘Bulk Actions’ drop-down menu and click the ‘Apply’ button.

Bulk deactivate all WordPress plugins

WordPress will now deactivate all selected WordPress plugins.

How to Deactivate All WordPress Plugins via FTP

If you have been locked out of your WordPress admin area, then you will not be able to deactivate WordPress plugins from your dashboard.

In such situations, you will need to deactivate plugins using other methods. The easiest of them is to deactivate WordPress plugins via FTP or your WordPress hosting file manager.

Basically, WordPress looks for your installed plugins in the /wp-contents/plugins/ folder. If it cannot find the plugin’s folder, then WordPress will automatically deactivate all plugins.

Instead of deleting the plugin’s folder, we will just rename it.

First, you will need to connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client. Once connected, you need to navigate to the wp-content folder inside your WordPress root directory.

Rename plugins folder to deactivate all plugins

From here, you need to right-click on the plugins folder and then select ‘Rename’. This will bring up a popup where you need to enter a new name for your plugin’s folder such as plugins-deactivated.

Plugins deactivated

Your FTP client will now rename the plugin’s folder. You can now try to login to your WordPress admin area and visit the plugin’s page. You will see notifications about deactivated WordPress plugins.

Deactivated WordPress plugins

How to Manually Deactivate WordPress Plugins via PHPMyAdmin

The FTP method is definitely easier in our opinion. However, you can also deactivate all plugins using phpMyAdmin.

First, you will need to login to your web hosting account’s dashboard. Next, click on the phpMyAdmin icon under the ‘Databases’ section.

phpMyAdmin icon in cPanel

This will bring you to the phpMyAdmin interface. First, you will need to select your WordPress database from the left menu.

WordPress options table

PhpMyAdmin will now load your database tables in the right panel. You need to click on the ‘Browse’ button next to the wp_options table (your WordPress table name may differ depending on your WordPress database table prefix).

Now, phpMyAdmin will load data inside the options table. You need to scroll down to the row where option_name is ‘active_plugins’ and click on the ‘Edit’ button next to it.

Active plugins row in the WordPress database

PhpMyAdmin will open the row for editing, You need to delete the data inside the option_value field.

After that, click on the ‘Go’ button at the bottom to save your changes.

You can now visit your website and WordPress will see that all plugins have been deactivated.

What is The Difference Between Deactivating vs Uninstalling a WordPress Plugin?

The difference between deactivating vs uninstalling a WordPress plugin is quite simple.

When you deactivate a WordPress plugin, it is simply turned off. However, it is still installed on your website, so you can activate it again if you need to.

On the other hand, uninstalling a plugin completely deletes it from your website. You will not be able to see the plugin on the Plugins » Installed Plugins page.

If you want to reuse that same plugin, then you will have to install it again.

How to Uninstall a WordPress Plugin

WordPress makes it super easy to uninstall plugins from the admin area. Simply log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to the Plugins page.

You will see the list of currently installed plugins on your site. Your active plugins will be highlighted with a blue background.

If you want to uninstall an active plugin, then first you will need to deactivate it. After that, Click on the delete link below the plugin that you want to uninstall.

Delete WordPress plugin

WordPress will now ask you to confirm that you want to delete the plugin.

Confirm plugin deletion

You need to click on ‘Yes, delete these files’ button. WordPress will now safely remove the plugin from your web server.

That’s all you have successfully uninstalled a plugin from your WordPress site.

Some WordPress plugins leave traces of data and files even when they are uninstalled.

These items don’t have any significant impact on your WordPress site, but if you want to remove them, then here is how you would do it.

Removing unused shortcodes

Many WordPress plugins use shortcodes to easily add content to your posts or pages. Once you deactivate or uninstall a plugin, those shortcodes will become visible in your posts, and they look quite ugly.

[pluginshortcode]

You can easily disable shortcodes by adding the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

add_shortcode( 'pluginshortcode', '__return_false' );

This code basically adds the shortcode back and make it display nothing. Don’t forget to replace pluginshortcode with the shortcode tag used by the plugin you want to remove.

It is important to note, that you will need to remove this code if you ever decide to use that plugin again.

Cleaning up plugin traces from WordPress database

Some WordPress plugins create their own tables in the WordPress database. If these tables have too much data in them, then that would increase your WordPress backup size.

To clean these up, you need to launch the phpMyAdmin from your WordPress hosting dashboard.

phpMyAdmin icon in cPanel

You need to click on your database and then select the tables you want to delete. Below the tables list, you will see a drop-down labeled ‘With selected’. You need to click on the drop-down, and then select ‘Drop’.

Delete plugin tables

Next, you will see a warning that you are about to delete these tables. You need to click on Yes to confirm the action. Please note that it is irreversible, once deleted you will not be able to restore these tables unless you have a database backup.

Delete warning

PhpMyAdmin will now delete the database tables from your unused plugins.

Clean up unused WordPress plugin files

Often WordPress plugins create files and folders on your hosting server. These files are usually harmless, but can increase your WordPress backup size.

To delete them, you need to connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client. Once connected, you need to go to wp-content folder. You will find files and folders created by plugins inside the uploads and plugins folders.

Make sure that the files you are deleting are created by the plugin that you have uninstalled. After that, simply delete them from your web server.

Delete plugin files

Should You Keep Deactivated WordPress Plugins Installed on Your Site?

If you are not going to use those plugins, then you should not keep inactive or deactivated WordPress plugins installed on your website.

Inactive plugins don’t have any performance impact on your website. However, plugins contain executable files and can be used by hackers to hide malware or a backdoor.

Apart from security concern, they also increase your WordPress backup size, show up as false positive in security scans, and cause other issues.

This is why we always recommend users to delete inactive plugins from their site.

We hope this article helped you learn how to properly deactivate WordPress plugins. You may also want to see our article on how to choose the best WordPress plugin for your website, and our list of must have WordPress plugins.

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

The post How to Easily Deactivate WordPress Plugins (Beginner’s Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Template Hierarchy (Cheat Sheet)


After our infographic on how WordPress works behind the scenes, several users asked us to cover how a WordPress theme works behind the scenes.

In this article, we will explain the WordPress template hierarchy for beginners. This cheat sheet is extremely useful when customizing a template or creating a custom WordPress theme.

WordPress template hierarchy explained for beginners

Why Learn About WordPress Template Hierarchy?

All modern WordPress themes consist of templates, stylesheets, javascript, and images. Together these files control how your site looks to the users.

Related: 9 things you must look for when selecting the perfect WordPress theme for your site.

WordPress has a standard template hierarchy. This means that templates with certain filenames affect specific areas on your website. It also tells you what template name to use for a specific item.

Most modern WordPress themes come with templates to display category, date, archives, single posts, custom pages, and more. As a user, you can create more templates by creating a child theme.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how this WordPress template hierarchy works behind the scenes.

Visualizing WordPress Template Hierarchy (Cheat Sheet)

WordPress uses an easy to understand and meaningful pattern for template names. The visual cheat sheet below explains which template files are used to display different pages on a WordPress site.

Here is a breakdown of which WordPress template files to edit for different pages in a typical WordPress site.

Which template files are used by home page?

Site front page

Out of the box, WordPress displays your blog posts on the home page of your website. You can also set it to use a custom home page (also known as front page) by visiting Settings » Reading page in WordPress admin area.

1. front-page.php – If you are using a static front page, then WordPress will first look for this template file and use it to display front page.

2. home.php – If you are using static front page, and you don’t have front-page.php template in your theme, then WordPress will look for home.php template. It is also used to display default blog posts on homepage.

3. index.php – If front-page.php or home.php do not exist, then WordPress falls back to index.php template to display homepage. This template is the default fallback template in WordPress to display any page.

Which template files are used by single post?

Single post page template

WordPress looks for these files to display a single post.

1. single-post-type-slug.php – Use this template to modify the display of a specific individual post in any post type. For example, if post type is ‘review’ and the post slug is acme-phone, then WordPress would look for single-review-acme-phone.php.

2. single-post-type.php – WordPress will then check if there is a template to display this specific post type. For example, if the post type is review, then WordPress would look for single-review.php.

3. single.php – WordPress will then fall back to single.php.

4. singular.php – This template adds another fallback to display a single item from any post type.

5. index.php – Finally, as mentioned above, WordPress ultimately falls back to index.php.

Which template files are used by single page?

Static page template

WordPress pages are one of the default post types. They allow you to create static pages in your website instead of posts. See our guide on the difference between posts vs pages.

1. Custom Page Template – The page template assigned to the page. See how to create a custom page template in WordPress.

2. page-slug.php – If the page slug is contact-us, WordPress will look to use page-contact-us.php.

3. page-id.php – If the page ID is 17, then WordPress will look for a template file named page-17.php.

4. page.php – The template to display all static pages.

5. singular.php – This template is a default fallback to all single post type items.

6. index.php – The default fallback template.

Which template files are used by category archives?

Category archive template

WordPress uses these files to display category related pages in WordPress.

1. category-slug.php – This template is used to display category archive page for a specific category. For example, if category slug is reviews, then WordPress will look for category-reviews.php template.

2. category-id.php – WordPress then looks for a template with category ID. For example, if category ID is 17, then WordPress will look for category-17.php.

3. category.php – This is the default template to display all category archive pages in WordPress.

4. archive.php – This is the default template used by WordPress to display any archive pages.

5. index.php – The default fallback template.

Which template files are used by tag archives?

Tag archive template

WordPress uses these files to display tag archive pages.

1. tag-slug.php – If the tag’s slug is fruits, WordPress will look for tag-fruits.php.

2. tag-id.php – If the tag’s ID is 17, WordPress will look for tag-17.php template.

3. tag.php – The default template for tag archives.

4. archive.php – The default template for any achive page.

5. index.php – The default fallback template.

Which template files are used by custom taxonomy archives?

Custom taxonomy archive

Categories and tags are two default WordPress taxonomies. Users can also create their own custom taxonomies as well. Here is how WordPress looks for templates to display custom taxonomy pages.

1. taxonomy-taxonomy-term.php – If you have a custom taxonomy called genre, and there is a term ‘thriller’, then WordPress will look for taxonomy-genre-thriller.php.

2. taxonomy-taxonomy.php – If the taxonomy were genre, WordPress would look for taxonomy-genre.php.

3. taxonomy.php – The default template to display any custom taxonomy archives.

4. archive.php – The default fallback for all archive pages in WordPress.

5. index.php– The default fallback template in WordPress.

Which template files are used by custom post types?

Custom post type archive

Here is how WordPress looks for templates to display custom post type archives.

1. archive-post_type.php – If you have a post type is review, WordPress will look for archive-review.php.

2. archive.php – The default template to display all archive pages in WordPress.

3. index.php – The default fallback template in WordPress.

Which template files are used to display author archives?

Author archive

WordPress generates archive pages for each author on your WordPress site. Here is how it looks for author archive template.

1. author-nicename.php – If the author’s nice name is matt, WordPress will look for author-matt.php.

2. author-id.php – If the author’s user ID is 6, then WordPress will look for author-6.php.

3. author.php – The default template used to display author archive pages in WordPress.

4. archive.php – The default template to display all archive pages in WordPress.

5. index.php – The default fallback template in WordPress.

Which template files are used to display date based archives?

Date based archive

WordPress also displays your posts on date based archive pages for months and years. Here is how it looks for templates for these pages.

1. date.php – The default template for date based archives.

2. archive.php – The default template used to display author archive pages in WordPress.

3. index.php – The default fallback template in WordPress.

Which template files are used to display search pages?

Search result page

1. search.php – The default page to display search results in WordPress.

2. searchform.php – The template to display a search form in WordPress.

3. index.php – The default fallback template in WordPress.

Which template files are used to display 404 error pages?

404 Error page

The 404 error page is displayed when WordPress is unable to find the requested content. See our guide on how to improve your 404 page template.

1. 404.php – The default template to display 404 error page in WordPress.

2. index.php – The default fallback template in WordPress.

Which template files are used to display attachment pages?

Attachment pages

1. MIME_type.php – Mime_type stands for file type. For example, image.php, video.php, application.php.

2. attachment.php – The default template to display attachment pages.

3. single-attachment.php – To display a single attachment.

4. single.php – The default template to display single post type items.

5. index.php – The default fallback template in WordPress.

Which template files are used to display embeds?

Embeds

Since WordPress 4.5, you can use templates to render a post embedded into WordPress.

1. embed-post-type-post_format.php – WordPress will look for a post type and post format template first. For example, if you have a review with video, then WordPress will look for embed-review-video.php.

2. embed-post-type.php – If the post type is review, WordPress would look for embed-review.php.

3. embed.php – The default fallback for all embeds.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn about the WordPress template hierarchy. You may also want to see our list of the best drag & drop WordPress page builders.

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 Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Template Hierarchy (Cheat Sheet) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Beginner’s Guide to Image SEO – Optimize Images for Search Engines


Are you looking to improve image SEO on your website? When optimized properly, image search can bring many new visitors to your website.

To benefit from image SEO, you need to help search engines find your images and index them for the right keywords.

In this beginner’s guide, we will show you how to optimize image SEO by following top best practices.

Image SEO guide for beginners

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

  • Optimizing your images for SEO and Speed
  • What is Alt text?
  • Difference between Alt text vs title
  • Difference between alt text and caption
  • How to add alt text, title, and caption to images in WordPress
  • When to use captions for images
  • Disable attachment pages in WordPress
  • Additional tips to improve image SEO

Optimizing Your Images for SEO and Speed

Speed plays an important role in SEO and user experience. Search engines consistently rank fast websites higher. This is also true for the image search.

Images increase your overall page load time. They take longer to download than text, which means your page loads slower if there are several large image files to download.

You need to make sure that images on your site are optimized for web. This can be a little tricky to get used to since many beginners are not experts in graphics and image editing.

We have a handy guide on how to properly optimize images before uploading them to your website.

The best way to optimize images is by editing them on your computer using a photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop. This allows you to choose the right file format to create a small file size.

You can also use an image compression plugin for WordPress. These image optimizer plugins allow you to automatically reduce file size while uploading an image to WordPress.

What is Alt Text?

Alt text or alternative text is an HTML attribute added to the img tag which is used to display images on a web page. It looks like this in plain HTML code:

<img src="http://www.wpbeginner.com/fruitbasket.jpeg" alt="A fruit basket" />

It allows website owners to describe the image in plain text. The main purpose of the alternate text is to improve accessibility by enabling screen readers to read out the alt text for visually impaired users.

Alt text is also crucial for image SEO. It helps search engines understand the context of the image.

Modern search engines can recognize an image and it’s content by using artificial intelligence. However, they still rely on website owners to describe the image in their own words.

Alt text also accompanies images in Google image search, which helps users understand the image and improves your chances of getting more visitors.

Alt text used in search results

Usually, alt text is not visible on your website. However if an image is broken or cannot be found, then your users will be able to see the alternate text with a broken image icon next to it.

Alternate text displayed next to a broken image

What is the Difference Between Alt Text vs Title

Alt text is used for accessibility and image SEO, while title field is used internally by WordPress for media search.

Search image by title

WordPress inserts the alt tag in the actual code used to display the image. The title tag is stored in the database to find and display images.

In the past, WordPress inserted the title tag in the HTML code as well. However, it was not an ideal situation from the accessibility point of view, which is why they removed it.

What is the Difference Between Alt Text vs Caption

The alt text is used to describe the image for search engines and screen readers. On the other hand, the caption is used to describe the image for all users.

Alt text is not visible on your website while captions are visible below your images.

Example of a caption displayed below an image

The alt text is crucial for better image SEO on your website. The caption is optional and can be used only when you need to provide additional information about the image to website visitors.

How to Add Alt Text, Title, and Caption to Images in WordPress

Alt text, title, and caption make up the image metadata that you can add to images when uploading them into WordPress.

When you add an image using the default image block, WordPress allows you to add caption and alt text for the image.

Adding alt text and caption to an image in WordPress

It automatically generates a title for the image from the file name. You can change the title by clicking on the edit button in the image block’s toolbar.

Editing an image in default WordPress editor

This will bring up the media uploader popup where you can enter your own custom title for the image.

Changing image title in WordPress

You can also edit the alt tag and title for the images that you have already uploaded to WordPress. To do that, you need to visit Media » Library page and locate the image you want to edit.

WordPress media library

Simply clicking on an image will bring up the attachment details popup where you can enter title, alt text, and caption.

Add alt tag and title via media library

Note: Changing an image’s alt tag or caption via Media Library will not change it in the posts and pages where the image is already used.

When to Use Captions for Images in WordPress

Captions allow you to provide additional details for an image to all your users. They are visible on the screen for all users including search engines and screen readers.

An image gallery with captions for each image

As you may have noticed that most websites don’t normally use captions with images in their blog posts or pages. That’s because captions are often not needed to explain an image.

Captions are more suitable in the following scenarios:

  • Family or event photos
  • Photos that need additional explanation describing the background story
  • Product image galleries

In most cases, you would be able to explain the image in the article content itself.

Disable Attachment Pages in WordPress

WordPress creates a page for all images you upload to your posts and pages. It is called the attachment page. This page just shows a larger version of the actual image and nothing else.

This can have a negative SEO impact on your search rankings. Search engines consider pages with little to no text as low quality or ‘thin content’.

This is why we recommend users to disable the attachment pages on your website.

The easiest way to do this is by installing and activating the Yoast SEO plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, it automatically turns off attachment URLs. You can also manually turn off attachment pages in WordPress by visiting SEO » Search Appearance page and clicking on the Media tab.

Disable attachment URLs in WordPress

From here, make sure that the ‘Media & attachment URLs’ option is set to ‘Yes’.

If you are not using Yoast SEO plugin, then you can install the Attachment Pages Redirect plugin. This plugin simply redirects people visiting the attachment page to the post where the image is displayed.

You can also do this manually, by adding the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_redirect_attachment_to_post()  
if ( is_attachment() )  
global $post;
if( empty( $post ) ) $post = get_queried_object();	
if ($post->post_parent)	
	$link = get_permalink( $post->post_parent );
	wp_redirect( $link, '301' );
	exit(); 
	
else	
	// What to do if parent post is not available
	wp_redirect( home_url(), '301' );
	exit(); 
	


add_action( 'template_redirect', 'wpb_redirect_attachment_to_post' );

Additional Tips to Improve Image SEO

Adding alt tag is not the only thing you can do to improve image SEO. Following are a few additional tips that you should keep in mind when adding images to your blog posts.

1. Write descriptive alt text

Many beginners often just use one or two words as alt text for the image. This makes the image too generic and harder to rank.

For example, instead of just ‘kittens’ use ‘Kittens playing with a yellow rubber duck’.

2. Use descriptive file names for your images

Instead of saving your images as DSC00434.jpeg, you need to name them properly. Think of the keywords that users will type in the search to find that particular image.

Be more specific and descriptive in your image file names. For example, red-wooden-house.jpeg is better than just house.jpeg.

3. Provide context to your images

Search engines are getting smarter every day. They can recognize and categorize images quite well. However, they need you to provide context to the image.

Your images need to be relevant to the overall topic of the post or page. It is also helpful to place the image near the most relevant text in your article.

4. Follow the SEO best practices

You also need to follow the overall SEO guidelines for your website. This improves your overall search rankings including image search.

5. Use original photographs and images

There are many free stock photography websites that you can use to find free images for your blog posts. However, the problem with stock photos is that they are used by thousands of websites.

Try to use original photographs or create quality images that are unique to your blog.

We know that most bloggers are not photographers or graphic designers. Luckily, there are some great online tools that you can use to create graphics for your websites.

We hope this article helped you learn about Image SEO for your website. You may also want to see our guide on how to fix common image issues in WordPress.

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

The post Beginner’s Guide to Image SEO – Optimize Images for Search Engines appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners


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

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

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

How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

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

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

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

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

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

      Why is Google Analytics Important for Bloggers?

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

      Who visits your website?

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

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

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

      What do people do when they are on your website?

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

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

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

      When do people visit your website?

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

      How do people find your website?

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

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

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

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

      How do people interact with your content?

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

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

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

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

      How to Signup with Google Analytics

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

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

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

      Sign in with your Google account

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

      Sign up for Google Analytics

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

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

      Fill in your website information

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

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

      Your Google Analytics tracking code

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

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

      How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

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

      You can choose the one that best suits your needs.

      1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

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

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

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

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

      Let’s get started.

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

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

      MonsterInsights setup wizard

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

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

      Connect MonsterInsights

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

      Sign in or select a Google account to continue

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

      Allow MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics account

      Click on the ‘Allow’ button to continue.

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

      Select your website profile to compete setup

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

      Recommended settings for Google Analytics

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

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

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

      Upgrade to pro

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

      Recommended plugin

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

      Google Analytics successfully installed using MonsterInsights

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

      Your Google Analytics reports in WordPress dashboard

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

      2. Insert Headers and Footers Plugin

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

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

      Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page. Here you need to paste the Google Analytics code that you copied in step 4 into the headers section.

      Adding Google Analytics tracking code using Insert Headers and Footers plugin

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

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

      3. Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme

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

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

      Add code in header.php file

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

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

      Add via Functions File

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

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

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

      Viewing Reports on Google Analytics Website

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

      Google Analytics reporting

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

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

      Making the Most out of Google Analytics

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

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

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

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

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

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



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How to 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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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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How to Get a Free SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Website (Beginner’s Guide)


Did you know that Google shows all non-SSL websites as “Not Secure”. This means that if you are not using a SSL certificate on your website, then you’ll lose customers trust.

Because SSL certificate helps protect your website data, it’s actually a requirement for accepting payments online.

Normally, paid SSL certificates are quite expensive. If you are just starting a blog or making a DIY business website, then you likely want to keep costs low.

Luckily, there are multiple ways to get a free SSL certificate to reduce your website cost. In this article, we will show you how to easily get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website and set it up all by yourself.

Getting a free SSL certificate for your WordPress site

We will also cover the following topics:

  • What is an SSL Certificate?
  • Why You need an SSL certificate for Your WordPress Site
  • How does SSL certificate work to keep information secure
  • How much SSL certificates cost
  • How you can get a free SSL certificate
  • How to Install a free SSL certificate in WordPress

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an internet protocol for securing data transfer between a user’s browser and the website they are visiting.

Every internet user transfers information when they visit websites. This information can often be sensitive like payment details, credit card information, or login credentials.

Using the normal HTTP protocol means this information can be hijacked by hackers. This is where SSL or HTTPS comes in.

Websites need an SSL certificate issued by one of the recognized certificate issuing authority. This certificate is verified and highlighted in the user’s browser address bar with a padlock sign and HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Address bar showing SSL secure padlock icon with HTTPs

Do I Need an SSL Certificate for My WordPress Website?

SSL / HTTPS is recommended for all websites on the internet. However, it is absolutely required for all websites that collect user information like login details, payment information, credit cards, and more.

If you are running an e-commerce store, a membership website, or require users to login, then you need to get an SSL certificate right away.

Most online payment services require your website to use SSL/HTTPs before you can receive payments.

Apart from security, SSL certificate also creates a positive impression of your brand among your users. Google also recommends using SSL, and research shows that SSL-enabled websites rank slightly higher in search results.

Last but not least, if your website is not using an SSL certificate, then Google Chrome will show your users that your website is not secure.

Not secure label shown in Google Chrome web browser

This icon affects your brand image and user’s trust on your website.

How Does SSL Certificate Work?

Now that we have explained what is SSL and why is it important, you might be wondering how does an SSL certificate actually works?

SSL protects information by encrypting the data transfer between a user’s browser and the website.

When a user visits an SSL/HTTPs website, their browser first verifies if the website’s SSL certificate is valid.

If everything checks out, then the browser uses the website’s public key to encrypt the data. This data is then sent back to the intended server (website) where it is decrypted using the public key and a secret private key.

How SSL works to protect data transfer

How Much Do SSL Certificates Cost?

Cost of SSL Certificates differs from one certificate authority to another. Their pricing could be anywhere between $50-200 / year. Some providers offer add-on services with their certificates which may also affect the cost of your SSL certificate.

If you are going to purchase an SSL certificate, then we recommend GoDaddy. They are the largest domain name registration service in the world, managing more than 77 million domains.

They offer simple SSL certificate plans starting from $74.99 / year. After you have purchased an SSL certificate, you can ask your hosting provider to install it for you.

But before you do that, you should check to see if you can get the SSL certificate for free.

How Can I Get an SSL Certificate for Free?

A lot of website owners are reluctant to use SSL due to the additional cost. This left many small websites vulnerable to data and information theft.

A non-profit project called Let’s Encrypt decided to fix this by establishing a free certificate authority.

The purpose of this certificate authority is to make it easier for website owners to get a free SSL certificate. Internet becomes a safer place if more and more websites start using SSL.

Due to the significance of the project, it quickly earned the support of major companies like Google, Facebook, Shopify, WordPress.com and many others.

The challenge is that installing the free SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt for a beginner user is quite difficult because it requires coding knowledge and server systems knowledge.

Thankfully, all of the best WordPress hosting companies are now offering free SSL certificate with all their hosting plans (some are using Let’s Encrypt).

Choosing one of these providers will save you from the hassle of installing the free SSL certificate on your own.

Here are the top WordPress hosting companies that offer free SSL certificate with their hosting plans.

If you are already using one of these companies, then you can turn on your free SSL certificate from your hosting dashboard. Simply login to your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard and scroll down to the ‘Security’ section.

Enable free SSL certificate from cPanel

Bluehost users will find the free SSL option by visiting My Sites » Manage Site page. From here, you can switch to the security tab and turn on free SSL certificate for your website.

Bluehost free SSL

Depending on your hosting company, your web hosting control panel may look different than the screenshot above. If you are having trouble locating the free SSL option, then you can ask your hosting provider to enable it for you.

If your web hosting company does not offer free SSL, then you can easily follow our guide to switch your hosting and move your sites to one of the companies above.

Installing Free SSL Certificate and Setting up WordPress

Once you have enabled your free SSL Certificate, you will need to set up WordPress to start using HTTPS instead of HTTP in all your URLs.

The easiest way to do this is by installing and activating the Really Simple SSL plugin on your website. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will check to see if your SSL certificate is enabled. After that, it will turn on HTTP to HTTPS redirect and change your website settings to start using SSL/HTTPs.

SSL enabled in WordPress

To make your website completely secure, you need to make sure that URLs of your website are loading using the HTTPS protocol. Really Simple SSL plugin does that automatically by fixing the URLs when the page loads.

Even if a single URL still loads using the insecure HTTP protocol, then browsers will treat your entire website as not fully secure.

Connection not fully secure

To fix these URLs, you will need to use your browser’s inspect tool to find them and then replace them with the correct HTTPs URLs. For more on this, see our tutorial on how to fix mixed content error in WordPress.

Really Simple SSL Plugin makes it super easy to set up free SSL certificate in WordPress. That’s why we recommend it for all beginners.

However, it catches insecure URLs when the page loads, which increases your page load time a little bit. This is why advanced users who are concerned about WordPress speed uses the manual method to setup their free SSL certificate.

We have created detailed step by step instructions to help you properly switch WordPress from HTTP to HTTPS (which shows both the manual method and the plugin method).

We hope this article helped you learn how to get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress site. You may also want to see our step by step guide on how to create free business email address for your WordPress site.

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The post How to Get a Free SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Website (Beginner’s Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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