Do you want to create an online marketplace using WordPress? An online marketplace website allows users to buy and sell items by setting up their own mini-stores within your eCommerce platform.

It allows you to make money by sharing your online marketplace platform. Due to low overhead costs, it has become a popular online business idea.

In this article, we will show you how to easily create an online marketplace using WordPress without spending thousands of dollars.

Building an online marketplace using WordPress

What Do You Need to Start an Online Marketplace using WordPress?

First, you need to make sure that you are using the right website platform, and since you’re reading this article, you’re in the right place.

There are two types of WordPress available: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. One is a limited blog hosting service while the other is known as the self-hosted WordPress which you’ve likely heard tons about. See the full comparison between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

We recommend using WordPress.org because it gives you the freedom and access to all WordPress features out of the box.

You will need the following items to build an online marketplace website using self-hosted WordPress.

The entire setup can take up to 40 minutes, and we will walk you through every step one by one.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Step 1. Setting up Your Ecommerce Platform

The first step is to buy a domain name and a web hosting account. You don’t just need a web hosting, but you will need a service that specializes in WooCommerce hosting because this is the software that we will be using as our eCommerce platform.

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

Now, this seems like a lot of money if you are just starting out.

Fortunately, Bluehost an officially recommended WordPress and WooCommerce hosting provider has agreed to offer our users free domain + SSL and discount on their cloud WordPress hosting.

Basically, you can get started for $6.95 / month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Once you have purchased hosting, then follow our step by step tutorial on how to start an online store for complete setup instructions.

You would now have a WordPress website with WooCommerce installed on it.

However, by default WooCommerce assumes that your website is a single vendor website, so it is not possible for other users to add their own products and services to your website.

Let’s change this.

Step 2. Turn Your WooCommerce Site into an Online Marketplace

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

WC Vendors is a marketplace solution for WooCommerce. It simplifies building a marketplace website by turning WooCommerce into a multi-vendor platform.

Each vendor can sell their products while you keep full control of the website as the marketplace owner. You can choose your own business model, payment methods, product types, and more.

Upon activation, head over to WC Vendors » Settings page to configure marketplace settings.

WC Vendors settings

First, you will see the general items. You need to make sure that the ‘Vendor Registration’ box is checked to allow users to sign up as Vendor on your website.

You can review other items on the page and then click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

Next, you need to click on the ‘Commission’ tab to set a commission rate for vendors across your website. This is the amount you’ll pay to the vendor for each sale.

WC Vendors commission settings

Note: The global commission rate can be overridden for individual vendors and products.

Next, you need to click on the ‘Capabilities’ tab to set sitewide rules for vendors. This part of settings comes with three sections.

Set capabilities for Vendors

The general capabilities include allowing vendors to view and edit products and orders. The default options would work for most sites.

Next, switch to the ‘Products’ section and from here you can select which type of products vendors can add. For example, you can limit vendors to only add digital downloads or a physical product.

You can also select which data Vendors can see and use on the ‘Add Products’ page.

Set product rules

Lastly, switch to the ‘Orders’ section under ‘Capabilities’ to select what information vendors can see about the orders.

Set vendor permissions for orders

After setting up the capabilities, it is time to set up marketplace related pages on your website.

Switch to the ‘Display’ tab under plugin settings to set up pages. You can simply go to Pages » Add New to create a new page for each item and add the shortcode displayed in the settings to the page’s content area.

Set up marketplace pages

After creating all the pages and adding shortcodes to them, you can select them here.

Below the pages, you will also find ‘Store settings’ option on the same page. This where you can select a prefix to use in Vendor shop URLs, allow them to set custom headers for their shop pages, and use HTML in shop description.

Store settings for vendors

Next step is to set up payments for your vendors. Most marketplace websites set a minimum threshold for their vendors and pay them on a monthly or weekly basis.

We recommend using manual payments to vendors as this gives customers enough time to request refunds or give feedback about the products.

WC Vendors payments

However, if you want to payment withdrawal system for vendors, then you can buy premium add-ons. WC Vendors has add-ons available for Stripe, MangoPay, Escrow, and Manual Payouts.

Depending on the payment gateway you choose, you will need to set up a payment gateway by entering your API keys. Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

Now that WC Vendors is ready, let’s set up WooCommerce for a multi-vendor environment.

Step 3. Enable Account Management in WooCommerce

First you need to visit WooCommerce » Settings page and click on the ‘Accounts’ tab. From here you need to check the boxes next to customer registration option.

Allow customers to create an account in WooCommerce

Don’t forget to save your changes.

Step 4. Setting Up Navigation Menus

Now that your multi-vendor marketplace setup is finished. It is time to make it easy for your users to find their way around your website.

To do that, go to Appearance » Menus page. From here you need to add your user account and checkout pages to the navigation menu.

Add to menu

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Menu’ button to store your changes. For more detailed instructions, see our guide on how to add navigation menus in WordPress.

If you don’t have a My Account page, then simply create a new page in WordPress and add the following shortcode in the post editor
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How to Create an Email Newsletter the RIGHT WAY (Step by Step)


Do you want to create an email newsletter for your website, blog, or eCommerce business?

An email newsletter helps you stay in touch with your users, bring them back to your website, and convert them into customers.

The challenge is that many beginners find it difficult to start an email newsletter. Mainly because they feel that it would be too technical or time-consuming.

That used to be the case 10 years ago, but now creating an email newsletter is so easy that even a non-techy can do it!

Having built an email newsletter with over 1 million subscribers, we have decided to create an ultimate guide on how to start an email newsletter with step by step instructions.

Our goal is to help you walk through the process and set up your email newsletter the RIGHT way.

How to easily create a newsletter

Since this is a comprehensive guide, we have included a table of content for easier navigation.

  • What is an email newsletter
  • Why start an email newsletter
  • Who should start an email newsletter
  • How to start an email newsletter
  • Creating an email list
  • Setting up your email list settings
  • Adding newsletter signup forms to get more subscribers
  • Sending your first newsletter email
  • Tips to get more email subscribers
  • How to make money from your email newsletter
  • Keeping your newsletter emails out of spam

What is an Email Newsletter?

An email newsletter is a form of online communication that allows you to send news, tips, and updates about your product, business, or non-profit.

In order to receive these updates, people need to join your email list by providing their email address. These users are referred to as subscribers, leads, or contacts.

Organizations and individuals use email newsletters in many different ways. For example, businesses use email newsletters to send users product information, new arrivals, and latest updates.

Websites and blogs use email newsletters to send content updates, increase traffic, and building a loyal following.

Why Start an Email Newsletter?

Did you know, that more than 75% of people visiting your website today will never find it again?

It is not your fault, it’s just that the internet is so huge and there is a lot of content out there.

Starting an email newsletter will allow you to convert those website visitors into subscribers. Once they join your email newsletter, you will be able to stay in touch and bring them back to your website.

Basically without an email newsletter, you are losing potential subscribers and customers every day.

Now you may be thinking, ‘ What if we ask users to follow us on social media? Wouldn’t that provide a way to contact those users?’

It will, and you should definitely build a social media following. However, you don’t own those social media platforms.

Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter limit your audience’s reach. More importantly, most of your users may not be checking their social feeds as often.

On the other hand, people tend to check their email inbox several times every day. Most users use a mobile device with notifications turned on for emails.

For more on this topic, see our article on why building an email newsletter is so important.

Who Should Start an Email Newsletter?

Many of our users often ask us if they should make a newsletter for their business, blog, or organization. Our answer is always ‘Yes’.

Even if you are just starting out, you should start building your newsletter from day 1. Each day you are not doing this, you are losing money, subscribers, and potential customers.

Email marketing is a win-win situation regardless of your industry, business, or website traffic.

1. Email Marketing for Small Businesses

Business websites, regardless of their industry or size, can always benefit from creating a newsletter.

It is the most cost-effective way to stay in touch with your existing customers, website visitors, and potential customers.

Sony PlayStation Newsletter signup

2. Email Newsletter for Ecommerce Websites

A study found that more than 44% of email recipients have made at least one purchase because of a promotional email.

If you run an online store, then email marketing is the most effective tool to convert abandoned carts into paying customers.

For a long time, eCommerce giants have been effectively using email to convert casual visitors into buyers.

Abandoned cart emails

3. Email Newsletter for Non-Profits

Non-profit organizations need to reach out to their supporters for donations, support, events, and more. Other mediums like social media, phone, and physical mailing all cost a lot more money than email marketing.

Human Rights Watch newsletter signup form

Creating an email newsletter allows non-profits to stay in touch with the general public, supporters, and donors.

Users are more likely to open emails from a non-profit that they support. In fact, 49% of millennials prefer to get updates from the organizations they support via email.

To learn more, see this article on why email marketing is essential for non-profits.

4. Email Newsletter for Blogs and News Websites

If you want to start a blog or make a content-driven news site, then email marketing is the best way to build your audience. You will see that all popular internet marketers, influencers, and famous bloggers actively build their email lists.

Chris Brogan newsletter

Here is why:

  • You get to send email updates to users who would otherwise never return to your website again.
  • You build a steady audience of loyal readers without relying on third-party platforms like search and social media.
  • You don’t control search engines or social media. Your search rankings can drop and your social media profiles can get suspended for no reason. On the other hand, you own your email list and have complete freedom to use it.

5. Email Newsletters for Education

Educational institutions need support from an engaged community of students, faculty, parents, and local businesses. Whether it is for fundraising, admissions, events, or other activities; Email is the cheapest and most direct way for schools and colleges to reach out.

University of California newsletter signup form

These are just a few examples of how email newsletters can benefit businesses, individuals, and non-profits. There are many more examples out there, which is why most marketers believe that email marketing is crucial for being successful online.

That being said, let’s take a look at how you can easily start an email newsletter to grow your own business and brand.

Step 1. Starting an Email Newsletter

The most important thing you’ll need to start your email newsletter is an email marketing service provider. These are companies that allow you to collect email addresses and send mass emails.

There are literally hundreds of email marketing services in the world including Constant Contact, SendinBlue, AWeber, Drip, ConvertKit, and many more.

After trying out almost every popular email marketing service, we recommend our users to use Constant Contact. They are one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world, and their support is great in helping people get started.

Constant Contact offers a beginner friendly email marketing platform with simple drag and drop tools to help you quickly get started. They also have advanced email list growth tools, marketing automation, eye catching templates, and more.

First, you need to visit the Constant Contact website and click on the signup button. They have a 60 day free trial (no credit card required).

Signup for Constant Contact

Once you click the button, it will bring you to the signup page where you need to provide the information to create your account.

Fill in the signup form

After you complete the signup, you will be redirected to Constant Contact guided set up. Click on the ‘Skip this step’ below as we will show you how to set it up later in this article.

Skip set up wizard

You will now reach your Constant Contact dashboard. This is where you will manage your email lists, subscribers, and send your email newsletter.

Constant Contact dashboard

Note: Constant Contact free trial account only allows you to send up to 100 emails. You will need to purchase their paid plan to access all the powerful features. WPBeginner users can get a special 20% off when using our Constant Contact coupon code.

Step 2. Creating an Email List

An email list is basically a contact list of your subscribers. Think of it as a contact book containing email addresses of all the users who sign up to receive your email newsletter.

To keep your contacts organized, you need to create an email list.

Simply click on the ‘Contacts’ link from the top menu and then click on the Email List link in the sidebar.

Creating a new email list

This page will show all your email lists. By default, Constant Contact creates an email list for you labeled ‘General Interest’. You need to click on the ‘Enter a new list’ link to create a new email list.

Choose a name for your email list

You’ll be asked to enter a name for your list. You can enter anything here that helps you easily identify the list.

Next, click on the ‘Add list’ button, and Constant Contact will create the list for you.

Email list created

In order to start using this email list, you need at least one contact added to it. You can manually add a contact to your list by visiting the ‘Contacts’ page and clicking on the ‘Add Contacts’ button.

Add contact to your email list

This will show you a drop-down menu, asking how you would like to add contacts. You need to select ‘Type in one contact’ to continue.

On the next screen, you need to enter contact information. You can add one of your own email addresses here. This will allow you to test your email campaigns.

Adding a contact to your email list

After entering your contact information, click on the save button to add it. Your email list is now ready to be used.

Now that you have created an email list, it is time to set up some basic list settings.

Step 3. Setting up Your Email List Settings

The first thing you would want to set up is a welcome email. This is the email message sent to your users when they join your email newsletter.

Let’s get started.

First, you need to click on the ‘Campaigns’ link from the top menu and then click on the ‘Create’ button.

Create welcome email campaign

This will bring up a popup where you will be asked to select an email campaign type. Click on the ‘Email Automation’ to continue.

Email automation campaign

After that, you need to choose the email automation type. Click on the ‘Welcome email’ option to continue.

Select automated welcome email

Next, you will be asked to select a template for your email. The builder will automatically show you ‘Welcome email’ templates that you can use as a starting point.

Select welcome email template

Simply click on a template to select and open it in Constant Contact’s drag and drop email builder.

Creating welcome email

From here, you will design your welcome email newsletter template.

You can start by giving your campaign a proper title, this will help you identify the campaign when you need to edit or change it in the future.

Click on the ‘Untitled…’ link at the top left corner to edit it. Now enter a name for your campaign, for example, welcome email, new user signup, introduction, etc.

Campaign name

After that, you can start editing the email template. It is a drag-and-drop editor, so you can simply drag elements from the left column and drop them on the canvas. You can also point and click anywhere in the email to edit it.

Point and click to edit your welcome email

You can replace the logo with your own, add your own header image to match your branding, customize the email subject and message text to fit your needs.

Once you are satisfied with the design, click on ‘Save’ to store your email and then click the ‘Continue’ button.

The email builder will now ask you to select an email list. Go ahead and select the list you created in the earlier step. After that, fill out the physical address form.

Welcome email settings

Due to the anti-spam laws in many countries, you need to include physical address information in each newsletter email. This can be your business address or a P.O. box.

Lastly, click on the ‘Activate’ button at the top right corner of the screen to save and activate your welcome email.

Welcome email campaign set up

You have successfully set up a ‘Welcome email’ campaign. From now on, all new users joining your newsletter will receive this email upon sign up.

Some tips on writing an effective welcome email

Welcome emails have an average open rate of 50% which is higher than any other email newsletter you send.

It will be the first thing new subscribers will hear from you. This is your opportunity to impress them, so they look forward to your next email newsletter.

  • Say thanks and let your users know that you appreciate them sharing their contact information with you.
  • Next, you would want to introduce yourself, your business, and what you do. Keep it short and simple.
  • Let your users know how often you’ll email them and what kind of content and offers they should expect.
  • If you promised users an incentive to join your email list, then include that information in your welcome email.
  • The best way to introduce users to your brand is by sending them to the most useful content on your website. It helps them discover content and builds engagement.

For more tips, see this guide on how to write the perfect welcome email for new subscribers.

Step 4. Setting up Newsletter Signup Forms to Get More Subscribers

Now that you have signed up with an email marketing platform and set up your email list. It is time to start promoting it.

The easiest way to get more subscribers is by adding the newsletter sign up forms to your website. Usually, your email marketing service would have ready-made sign up forms that you can add to your website.

However, these signup forms don’t look good and sometimes don’t fit in the container where you want to place them.

Let’s take a look at how to easily add newsletter signup forms to your WordPress site. We will show you two methods, and you can choose one or both of them together.

1. Add Newsletter Signup Form Using WPForms Lite (Free)

WPForms is the best drag & drop WordPress from plugin in the market. They have a free version called WPForms lite which includes built-in support to connect with your Constant Contact account.

This allows you to use WPForms’ drag and drop form builder to create your newsletter sign up form.

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

Upon activation, you need to visit WPForms » Settings page and click on the ‘Integrations’ tab.

WPForms integrations

You will see Constant Contact integration listed there. You need to click to expand it and then click on the ‘Add Account’ button.

This will show you the information needed to connect your Constant Contact account to WPForms. Click on the link that says ‘Click here to register with Constant Contact’.

Connect Constant Contact to WPForms

This will bring up a popup which will take you to the Constant Contact website. Click on the ‘Allow’ button to give WPForms access to your Constant Contact account.

Allow access

Next, you will see an authorization code which you need to copy.

Authorization code

Switch back to the WPForms settings page and enter the authorization code you copied earlier. You also need to provide a name for this integration.

Add authorization code

Finally, click on the ‘Connect to Constant Contact’ button.

WPForms will now connect to your Constant Contact account. You will see a ‘Connected’ label appear next to the integration.

Constant Contact connected

Now you are ready to create your newsletter sign up form using WPForms.

Simply head over to WPForms » Add New page to launch the WPForms builder interface.

Creating a newsletter sign up form

Provide a title for your form and then click on the ‘Newsletter signup form’ template.

This will load up a read-made signup form with required fields already added to the form.

Editing newsletter signup form

You can point and click to edit form fields, change fields labels, and add more fields from the left column if needed.

Once you are satisfied with the form, you need to click on the Marketing tab to integrate it with Constant Contact.

Add new connection

Click on the Constant Contact tab and then click on the ‘Add Connection’ button. You will be asked to provide a title for this connection. You can enter anything here and then click OK button.

Name your connection

Next, you will see the settings for this connection. It will automatically detect your Constant Contact account and show it under the Select Account field.

Below that you need to select the email list. Click on it to select the email list you created earlier.

Select email list and map form fields

After that, you need to map your WPForms form fields to the Constant Contact fields. Once done, you can click on the ‘Save’ button at the top to save your sign up form.

WPForms also makes it super easy to add your newsletter signup form anywhere on your website.

If you want to add the form to your website’s sidebar, then visit Appearance » Widgets page and add WPForms widget to a sidebar.

WPForms widget

Provide a title for your widget and then select the signup form you created earlier. Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button to store your settings.

You can now visit your website to see your newsletter signup form in action.

Newsletter sign up form displayed in the sidebar

You can also add sign up form to your blog posts or pages. Simply edit the post and add the WPForms block to the content area.

Adding WPForms block to blog post

After adding the block, select the newsletter signup form you created earlier and WordPress will load it inside your post. You can now save or publish your post and visit your website to see it in action.

Newsletter signup form in a WordPress post

2. Add Newsletter Signup Form Using OptinMonster (Pro)

For this method, we will be using OptinMonster, which is the best tool in the market to help you get more email subscribers, faster!

It includes dozens of high-converting signup forms like lightbox popups with exit-intent technology, 2-step optins, slide-in forms, floating bar, and more. This gives you powerful tools that you need to quickly grow your email list.

For more details, see our complete OptinMonster case study to learn how we used it to increase our email subscribers by 600%.

First, you will need to sign up for an OptinMonster account. It is a premium service and their plans start from $9 per month.

You can use our OptinMonster coupon code: WPB10 to get 10% off your purchase.

Once you have signed up for OptinMonster, you will reach your account dashboard.

Let’s create your first OptinMonster campaign. Click on the ‘Create Campaign’ button to get started.

Create campaign

Next, you will be asked to select an optin type. For the sake of this guide, we will be creating a lightbox popup signup form. Below that you need to choose a template for your campaign.

Choose optin type and template

After that, you will be asked to provide a title for your campaign and enter your website address.

Campaign settings

This will launch the OptinMonster builder interface. It is a powerful drag and drop campaign builder where you can design your optin forms.

OptinMonster builder

You can point and click to edit any item on the screen. You can also add new blocks to add different elements to your optin.

Once you are satisfied with the design, it is time to connect the OptinMonster campaign to your Constant Contact account.

Switch to the ‘Integrations’ tab from the top menu and then click on the ‘Add new integration’ button.

Adding a new integration in OptinMonster

Next, you need to select Constant Contact as your ‘Email service provider’ and then click on ‘Register with Constant Contact’ button.

This will bring up a popup where you need to click on the ‘Allow’ button.

Allow OptinMonster to access your Constant Contact account

Switch back to the OptinMonster and provide a name for this connection. After that, click on the ‘Connect to Constant Contact’ button.

Connect Constant Contact to OptinMonster

OptinMonster will now fetch your Constant Contact account details. You need to select the email list you created for your newsletter.

Select your email list

Now, we will take a look at the display rules for your campaign. Display rules allow you to choose when and where to display your campaign.

Display rules

By default, OptinMonster will show the popup to any user after 5 seconds. The popup will only appear on their first pageview and will not bother your users again during the same session.

Next, you need to switch to the Publish tab and change campaign status to Live. After that, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button to store all your campaign settings.

Publish your OptinMonster campaign

Your OptinMonster campaign is now ready, let’s add it to your WordPress site.

First, you will need to install and activate the free OptinMonster plugin on your site. This plugin acts as a connector between your WordPress site and OptinMonster.

Upon activation, you need to click on the OptinMonster menu item in your WordPress admin sidebar. On the next screen, click on the ‘Connect Your Account’ button to continue.

Connect OptinMonster to WordPress

Next, you will be asked to enter your OptinMonster API key. You can find this information under your account on the OptinMonster website.

Connect to OptinMonster

After entering the API key, click on the ‘Connect to OptinMonster’ button. The plugin will now connect your website to OptinMonster.

Next, you need to switch to the ‘Campaigns’ tab. This is where all your OptinMonster campaigns will appear. If you don’t see any campaigns here, then click on the ‘Refresh campaigns’ button.

Turn on campaign on your website

Now you need to click on the ‘Go Live’ live below the campaign you just created. After that, you can visit your website in a new Incognito browser tab to view your newsletter signup popup in action.

Newsletter sign up form

OptinMonster is an incredibly powerful tool to quickly get more subscribers for your website.

Following are a few other campaign types that you can create with OptinMonster.

  • A slide-in scroll box signup form
  • A sticky floating footer signup form
  • Triggering FOMO with a countdown timer signup form

Step 5. Sending Your First Email Newsletter

Once you have added newsletter signup forms to your website, you will gradually start getting subscribers. After getting your initial welcome email, these new subscribers will be waiting to see what you send them next.

You are now ready to start sending newsletter emails.

Let’s create your first email campaign.

The great thing about using Constant Contact is that it comes with an incredibly easy to use email builder with tons of beautiful templates.

Creating your campaigns and sending newsletter emails is quite easy. Simply log in to your Constant Contact account and click on the Campaigns menu from the top.

Create new Constant Contact campaign

The campaigns page lists all your current, past, and automated email campaigns. Click on the create button to start a new email.

You will be asked to select a campaign type. Click to select the ‘Email’ campaign type and continue.

Select email campaign type

Next, you need to pick an email template for your newsletter. Constant Contact comes with several ready-made template for different industries, campaigns, and email types.

Choose an email template

All these email templates are fully customizable, and you can add your own logo and images to customize them. Once you edit and save a template, you will be able to use it for your future campaigns.

We recommend starting with a simple newsletter template and customizing it with your own brand logo.

Simply click on a template to select it for your email newsletter. Constant Contact will then load the email builder with your selected template.

Editing your email template

This is the same email builder that you used to create your welcome email. You can add your brand logo, point and click to add text, link, and images.

Adding your blog posts to the email newsletter

You can also fetch and add your blog posts to the newsletter. Click on the ‘More’ button in the left column and then drag and drop the ‘Read More’ block to your email.

Adding blog posts with read more link

Next, you need to click on the ‘Read more’ block to edit it. This will bring up a popup where you need to enter the link of the blog post you want to add.

Add blog post to your email

Click on the preview button to fetch a featured image and article description and then click on the Insert button. Repeat the process to add more blog posts if needed.

Once you are satisfied with your email’s design and contents, click on the ‘Continue’ button to move forward.

Continue to email settings

On the next screen, first, you need to select the email address you want to send this message. After that, review other email settings on the page.

Email settings and scheduling

Lastly, you need to select whether you want to send this email right away or schedule it to send later.

We recommend sending your emails on a fixed schedule. This helps your users anticipate the arrival of your email and sets expectations. For more on this topic, see this guide on choosing the best time to send newsletter emails.

Click on the Schedule button at the top right corner of the screen to save your email.

That’s all, you have successfully created your first newsletter email and scheduled to send it.

Need help with writing effective newsletter emails? See these tips on writing effective email newsletters.

Step 6. Tips to Get More Email Subscribers

In 2018, the number of global e-mail users amounted to 3.8 billion users.

In another study, 48% of participants said that they would like to receive email updates from their favorite brands.

This means that users prefer to get emails from their favorite businesses. Now the only question that remains is how do you get them to subscribe to your newsletter?

Luckily, email marketing has been around for a very long time. Experts are regularly experimenting, sharing, and finding new ways to grow their email lists.

Here we will share some of our own tips that are tested and proven to work.

1. Use multiple signup forms

Many beginners just add a single newsletter signup form to their website and forget about it. Add multiple signup forms to your website using a variety of placements.

Multiple signup forms

However, you need to be careful not to ruin user experience with aggressive prompts to signup.

For example, in the screenshot above, the second prompt only appears when a user scrolls down and the first signup form is no longer visible.

Social Media Examiner uses multiple sign up forms and creative strategies which has helped them get over 250,000 email subscribers (case study).

Keep experimenting with different forms and placements to find out what gets you the best results.

2. Use lead magnets to capture more subscribers

Lead Magnets are special offers used as an incentive to join your email newsletter. These special offers could be an exclusive download, an ebook, a helpful resource, discount coupon, etc.

Lead Magnets work extremely well because they offer users instant gratification and value for performing an action.

You can see a live example of lead magnets just below this article, where we offer users a free download of our ultimate WordPress toolkit as an incentive.

Lead magnet example

3. Offer Content Upgrades

Similar to lead magnets, content upgrades offer users an additional piece of content or bonus content, which they can download after signing up for your newsletter.

You can easily add content upgrades to your existing content. This can be a checklist, a PDF download of the article, a case study, a research report, and more.

Content upgrade example

For more details, see our guide on how to add content upgrades in WordPress.

4. Use social media to grow your email list

Promoting newsletter on social media

Your website is not the only place to promote your newsletter and find new subscribers. Social media platforms can be another place to convert followers into email subscribers.

For detailed tips, see our guide on how to use social media to grow your email list

Need even more tips? Check out the following email marketing guides:

  • 73 proven tips to grow your email list
  • How to do lead generation in WordPress
  • 12 tips to grow your email list quickly

Step 7. How to Make Money from Email Newsletter

One of the popular sayings among digital marketers is that “The money is in the list”. Every dollar you spend on email marketing has a return average of $32 dollars.

As your subscriber count grows, you would want to explore opportunities to monetize your email newsletter.

Following are just some of the easiest ways to make money from your email newsletter.

1. Sell your products

Sell your own products

First, you would obviously want to use your email list to sell your own products. You can use your email list to send special offers and discount deals exclusive to your subscribers.

You can also bring them back to your website by adding calls to action, offer members-only content, demo, and free samples.

When trying to sell your own products, keep the ‘Value Value Value Pitch’ formula in your mind.

It basically suggests that you should offer three times more value than your sales pitch. Most marketers agree that such emails work better than those that are nothing more than a plain sales pitch.

2. Upsell products and services

Upselling is a sales technique to persuade customers into buying something additional like an upgrade or add-on. As your email list grows, you can send personalized offers to existing customers.

Upselling through email

Due to its highly targeted messaging and personalized offers, upsell emails tend to perform way better. This may lead many businesses to send more such emails.

You need to remember that your emails should offer value first, otherwise those emails would soon become annoying.

3. Affiliate marketing

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a referral program where an online retailer (advertiser) pays you a commission when users purchase their product using your referral link.

You can find products and services that might interest your users and add affiliate links, reviews, and coupons in your newsletter emails.

To get started, see our beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing.

4. Advertisement or renting out your email list

If your email list grows quickly, then you can make money by renting your email list.

You see, a lot of folks don’t realize the potential of email marketing until they realize that they could benefit immensely from an email list.

Lucky for you, they are now looking for someone who may already have a list of people interested in specific products, services, or industry.

You can approach such advertisers directly, or you can find email list brokers like Info USA, List Giant, or Mailing List Direct.

Step 8. Keep Your Newsletter Emails Out of Spam

How to make avoid ending up in spam

In 2012, 90% of all emails were spam. This number was reduced to 58% by the end of 2018.

The main reason for this decline was the improved spam detection and prevention technologies used by email marketing tools.

This is great news for all users and businesses. However, the AI-powered spam detection technologies are quite sensitive and can wrongfully mark your email messages as spam.

Following are the most common reasons for newsletter emails to end up in spam:

1. You didn’t use double opt-in

Basically, all email marketing services including Constant Contact require users’ consent for sending them emails. This is done by the user verifying their email address after signing up.

However, they also allow you to manually add email addresses. If you misuse this feature and add email addresses from random sources, then your messages will end up in spam.

2. Sender email address was used for spam

If your sender email address was used to send spam or malware, then your email campaigns with the same sender address will end up in spam. This is why you need to get a business email address to ensure high deliverability for your newsletter emails.

3. Misleading subject lines

Misleading email subjects are annoying and due to many users reporting such emails, spam algorithms can now identify many such lines and mark them spam.

Following are a couple of examples of common misleading subject lines.

  • Urgent: Update your information
  • Thanks for your order!
  • You have won a prize

Need some good examples? See these 160+ excellent email subject lines for inspiration.

4. Your email must have accurate information

The anti-spam laws in many countries require the sender to provide accurate from address (sender email address), complete physical address, and an unsubscribe link in the email message.

If any of these are missing from your newsletter email, then it would most likely end up in spam.

Basically, you need to follow the rules and guidelines provided by your email marketing software and you’ll be able to avoid the spam folder.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily create an email newsletter. You may also want to see our article on how to get a free business email address to send your newsletter emails.

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 Create an Email Newsletter the RIGHT WAY (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Create a Custom Gutenberg Block in WordPress (Easy Way)


Do you want to create a custom Gutenberg block for your WordPress site? After the WordPress 5.0 update, you need to use blocks to create content in the new WordPress block editor.

WordPress ships with several useful blocks that you can use when writing content. Many WordPress plugins also come with their own blocks that you can use.

However, sometimes you may want to create your own custom Gutenberg block to do something specific.

If you’re looking for an easy solution to create custom Gutenberg blocks for your WordPress site, then you’re in the right place.

In this step by step tutorial, we’ll show you the easy way to create a custom WordPress block for Gutenberg.

Creating a custom WordPress block for Gutenberg

Note: This article is for intermediate users. You’ll need to be familiar with HTML and CSS to create custom Gutenberg blocks.

Step 1: Get Started

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Block Lab plugin.

It’s a WordPress plugin that allows you to create custom blocks from your admin panel without much hassle.

Block Lab WordPress Plugin

To install the plugin, you may follow our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, you can proceed to the next step of creating your first custom block.

Step 2: Create a New Block

For the sake of this tutorial, we will build a ‘testimonials’ block.

First, head over to Block Lab » Add New from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

On this page, you need to give a name to your block. You can write any name of your choice in the “Enter block name here” textbox.

Enter Custom Block Name

We will name our custom block: Testimonials.

On the right side of the page, you’ll find the block properties. Here you can choose an icon for your block and select a block category from the Category dropdown box.

The slug will be auto-filled based on your block’s name, so you don’t have to change it. However, you may write up to 3 keywords in the Keywords text field, so that your block can be easily found.

Custom Block Properties

Now let’s add some fields to our block. You can add different types of fields like text, numbers, email, URL, color, image, checkbox, radio buttons, and much more.

We’ll add 3 fields to our custom testimonial block: an image field for the image of the reviewer, a textbox for the reviewer name, and a textarea field for the testimonial text.

Click on the + Add Field button to insert the first field.

Image Field Options

This will open up some options for the field. Let’s take a look at each of them.

  • Field Label: You can use any name of your choice for the field label. Let’s name our first field as Reviewer Image.
  • Field Name: The field name will be generated automatically based on the field label. We’ll use this field name in the next step, so make sure it’s unique for every field.
  • Field Type: Here you can select the type of field. We want our first field to be an image, so we’ll select Image from the dropdown menu.
  • Field Location: You can decide whether you want to add the field to the editor or the inspector.
  • Help Text: You can add some text to describe the field. This is not required if you’re creating this block for your personal use.

You may also get some additional options based on the field type you choose. For example, if you select a text field, then you’ll get extra options like placeholder text and character limit.

You can click on the Close Field button once you’re done with the image field.

Following the above process, let’s add 2 other fields for our testimonials block by clicking the + Add Field button.

Final Custom Block Fields

In case you want to reorder the fields, then you can do that by dragging them using the hamburger icon on the left side of each field label.

To edit or delete a particular field, you need to hover your mouse over the field label to get the edit and delete options.

Once you’re done, click on the Publish button, present on the right side of the page, to save your custom Gutenberg block.

Step 3: Create a Block Template

Although you’ve created the custom WordPress block in the last step, it’ll not work until you create a block template named block-testimonials.php and upload it to your current theme folder.

Create a Block Template

The block template file will tell the plugin how to do display your block fields inside the editor. The plugin will look for the template file and then use it to display the block content.

If you don’t have this file, then it’ll display an error saying “Template file blocks/block-testimonials.php not found”.

Let’s create our block’s template file.

First, go ahead and create a folder in your desktop and name it blocks. You’ll create your block template file inside this folder and then upload it to your current WordPress theme directory.

To create the template file, you can use a plain text editor like Notepad.

Every time you add a new field to your custom block, you need to add the following PHP code to your block template file:

<?php block_field( 'add-your-field-name-here' ); ?>

Just remember to replace add-your-field-name-here with the field name.

For example, the name of our first field is reviewer-image, so we will add the following line to the template file:

<?php block_field( 'reviewer-image' ); ?>

Simple, isn’t it? Let’s do the same for the rest of our fields:

<?php block_field( 'reviewer-image' ); ?>
<?php block_field( 'reviewer-name' ); ?>
<?php block_field( 'testimonial-text' ); ?>

Next, we’ll add some HTML tags to the above code for styling purposes.

For example, you can wrap the reviewer image inside an img tag to display the image. Otherwise, WordPress will display the image URL which is not what you want, right?

You can also add class names to your HTML tags and wrap your code inside a div container to style your block content (which we’ll do in this next step).

So here’s our final code for our block template:

<div class="testimonial-block clearfix">
	<div class="testimonial-image">
		<img src ="<?php block_field( 'reviewer-image' ); ?>">
	</div>
	<div class="testimonial-box">
		<h4><?php block_field( 'reviewer-name' ); ?></h4>
		<p><?php block_field( 'testimonial-text' ); ?></p>
	</div>
</div>

Finally, name the file as block-testimonials.php and save it inside the blocks folder.

Step 4: Style Your Custom Block

Want to style your custom block? You can do that with the help of CSS.

Open a plain text editor like Notepad and add the following code:

.testimonial-block 
	width: 100%;
	margin-bottom: 25px;


.testimonial-image 
	float: left;
	width: 25%;
	padding-right: 15px;


.testimonial-box 
	float: left;
	width: 75%;


.clearfix::after 
	content: "";
	clear: both;
	display: table;

Once done, name the file as block-testimonials.css and save it inside the blocks folder.

Step 5: Upload Block Template File to Theme Folder

Now let’s upload the blocks folder containing our custom block template file to our WordPress theme folder.

To do that, you need to connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client. For help, you may check out our guide on how to upload files to your WordPress site using FTP.

Once you’re connected, go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder. From here you need to open your current theme folder.

Enter Theme folder using FTP

Now upload the blocks folder, containing the block template file and the CSS file, to your theme directory.

Once done, you can proceed to the final step to test your custom block.

Note: Block Lab plugin allows you to create theme-specific blocks. If you change your WordPress theme, then you need to copy the blocks folder to your new theme directory.

Step 6: Test Your New Block

It’s time to test our custom testimonials block. You can do this by heading over to Pages » Add New to create a new page.

Next, click on the Add Block (+) icon and search for the Testimonials block. Once you find it, click on it to add the custom block to your page editor.

Add Custom Block to Page Editor

You can now add a testimonial to this page using your custom block. To add more testimonials, you can always insert new testimonial blocks.

Once you’re done, you can preview or publish the page to check whether it’s working properly or not.

That’s all! You’ve successfully created your first custom WordPress block for your site.

Did you know that you can save time with reusable blocks in your editor? Check out our guide on how to easily create reusable blocks in the WordPress block editor and use them on other websites.

You may also want to see our guide on how to create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

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 Create a Custom Gutenberg Block in WordPress (Easy Way) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Create a Web Directory in WordPress (Step by Step)


Are you looking to create a business web directory? Web directories are a popular online business idea, allowing you to monetize your website with user-generated content.

Angie’s list, a popular web directory that helps homeowners find reliable contractors and service providers. They’re worth over 9 billion dollars.

Whether you’re looking to create a niche web directory to make money online, or a partners directory to list your vendors, you can easily do it in WordPress.

In this article, we will show how to easily create a web directory in WordPress. We will cover how to accept payments for your premium web directory listings.

How to Create a Web Directory in WordPress

What is a Web Directory?

A web directory is like a catalog that lists businesses or individuals with details such as contact information, services, features, etc.

Web directories allow users to browse through a catalog of links divided into topics, categories, and interest areas. A perfect example of a web directory is Yellow Pages or Angie’s List.

They are most commonly used to help people find a place or service they are looking for.

Another web directory example is Yelp which allows people to find great local businesses like restaurants, dentists, beauty salons, doctors, etc.

While there are several web directory themes for WordPress that allow you to create a web directory, we don’t recommend them because you will get locked into the theme forever.

This is why we will only show you plugin methods, so you can use it with any theme design that you want.

Having that said, let’s take a look at how to create a web directory in WordPress.

Method 1: Creating a WordPress Directory with Formidable Forms

Formidable Forms is the most advanced WordPress form builder plugin in the market. It helps you to create a simple contact form as well as advanced forms like surveys, payment forms, registration forms, and more for your WordPress site.

The plugin comes with an exclusive feature called ‘Views’ which lets you display any data submitted via a form on the front-end of your website. Using this feature, you can easily create directories, real estate listings, job board, event calendars, and more.

Let’s create a business directory using the Formidable Forms plugin.

1. Create a Form to Collect Data for Your Directory

First thing you need to do is install and activate Formidable Forms plugin. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, go to Formidable » Forms and click on ‘Add New’ button.

Add New Formidable Form

Now you can choose how you want to create a form. You can start with a blank form, with a template, or import one from an XML file.

Choose a Way to Add a New Formidable Form

We will choose the template method because it is the quickest way to make an advanced form. Formidable Forms offers more than 20 pre-made form templates out of the box.

For example, we will choose ‘Real Estate Listings’ to create a real estate directory. Click the ‘Create Form’ to get started.

Create Real Estate Form with Formidable Forms

You will see a popup box where you will be asked to enter your form name and description.

Name Your Formidable Form

After that, it will load the pre-built real estate submission form.

Formidable Forms - Form Builder Interface

You can review and customize the form using the simple drag and drop interface. Once done, click on the ‘Update’ button.

If you want to create a premium web directory with paid listings, then you’ll need to connect your form with a payment gateway.

Formidable allows you to collect payments with PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.

In this example, we will show how to integrate PayPal to accept payments. Go to Formidable » Add-Ons from your dashboard and install the ‘PayPal Standard’ addon.

Install PayPal Standard Addon in Formidable Forms

Once the addon is installed and active, visit Formidable » Global Settings and click the PayPal option. Update your PayPal email address and other settings.

Set Up PayPal with Formidable Forms

After that, open your respective form editor again, and click the ‘Settings’ option at the top.

Form Settings - Formidable Forms

Next, click on the ‘Form Actions’ tab and then select the PayPal icon to add a new action.

Add PayPal Form Action to Formidable Forms

Now you need to configure the PayPal settings. Add a payment amount, choose a payment type (one-time payment, donation or subscription), select currency, and then add a return URL and cancel URL.

Formidable Payment Options with PayPal

Once done, don’t forget to Update your form.

Now that payment option is integrated, your users will need to make a payment before submitting a real estate property via your form.

2. Publish Your Form in WordPress

The next step after building a form is to publish it on your website, so users can submit their business details using it.

Visit Pages » Add New from your dashboard to create a new page. After that, name your page and add the Formidable Forms widget to the editor.

Add Formidable Form Widget to WordPress Page

Next, select your form.

Select Your Form to Add to a WordPress Page

After that, it will load the pre-built real estate submission form into your page editor.

You can also add some helpful content to the page. Once done, go ahead and publish your page.

Now you can add the submission form page to your WordPress navigation menu, or send an email campaign to your email list to get more form submissions.

The process of collecting data via a form may take some time, so it is better to make a plan before starting. Alternately, you can also create entries manually from your dashboard or import from a CSV file.

3. Build Your Web Directory with Formidable Views

After you have gathered plenty of information, you can create a web directory with the Formidable Views.

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

Add New View in Formidable Forms

After that, enter a title for your view and choose the form which contains the data you want to display.

Formidable View Basic Settings

Next, you should choose the view format. You can show all entries in a list, a single entry, list the entries with a link to the single entry page, or insert entries into a calendar.

For this tutorial, we will choose ‘Both (Dynamic) – list the entries that will link to a single entry page’ option.

If you want to add a Search bar in your web directory, add the following shortcode into the ‘Before Content’ box.

[frm-search]

Add Search Bar in Your Formidable View

After that, you need to add content to your directory listing in the following format.

<div class="listing_info"> 
<a href="[detaillink]"><img src="[home-image size=thumbnail]" alt=""/></a>
</div> 
<div class="listing_list">
<strong><a href="[detaillink]">[MLS ID]</a></strong>
<strong>[address]</strong> <strong>$[listing-price]</strong> [blurb] 
[bedroom] Bedrooms | [bathroom] Bath |[sqft-living] sq. ft.</div> 
<div style="clear:both;"></div>

In the above code, you need to replace home-image, MLS ID, address, listing price, blurb, bedroom, bathroom, and sqft-living with the respective field IDs/keys from your form.

You can find the field IDs/keys in the Customization box on the right-hand side of the page.

Formidable Forms Filed Keys

For example, if we want to show the photo uploaded via ‘Main Photo Upload’ field as the home image, we need to replace the ‘home-image’ with the field ID ‘63’.

Insert Content Into Your Web Directory

After that, add the following code to into Formidable » Styles » Custom CSS to customize the appearance of your web directory.

 .listing_infofloat:left; width:235px; margin-right:10px; 
.listings_list imgwidth:370px;float:right;

Add Style to Your Formidable View

Once done, you can publish your view and preview it.

After that, create a new page for the web directory and add your Formidable View to it.

Add Formidable View to a WordPress Page

Here is how your real estate directory would look with the default Twenty Nineteen theme.

Real Estate Web Directory Demo

You can further customize and style your Formidable directory by either using custom CSS, a drag & drop WordPress page builder plugin, or a styling plugin like CSS Hero.

Method 2: Using Business Directory Plugin

The second method is by actually using a Business Directory Plugin. Remember while the main plugin is free, a lot of functionality will require you to purchase the PRO version of the plugin.

Start by installing and activating the Business Directory Plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will ask your permission to create a new WordPress page and add the business directory shortcode inside it.

Click on the ‘Create required pages for me’ to create your directory page.

Create Required Pages for Business Directory Plugin

Once done, the Business Directory plugin will add a new page called ‘Business Directory’ automatically.

Business Directory Page Added in WordPress

You should not delete or hide this page because it is the primary page the Business Directory plugin uses to show a directory on your website.

Next, you can manage the plugin settings from the ‘Directory Admin’ menu in your dashboard.

Go to Directory Admin » Manage Options to configure your plugin’s main settings. The ‘General’ settings include permalink settings, directory search options, reCAPTCHA, registration options, and more.

Business Directory Plugin Settings

As you can see in the screenshot above, there are settings for Listings, Email, Payment, and Appearance. You can review all of them one by one and make changes as per your requirements.

After that, visit Directory Admin » Manage Form Fields to customize your form fields. From here, you can add or edit fields which would appear on your directory submission form.

Manage Form Fields in Business Directory Plugin

Next, you will need to create a few categories for your directory.

You can do this by going to Directory » Directory Categories. You will be required to create at least one category, so your users can use this category when submitting their listing.

Add New Directory Category with Business Directory Plugin

Once you have created the categories, you can go ahead and create a new listing by visiting Directory » Add New Listing.

Now you would see the Add New Listing page which looks similar to the Classic WordPress editor. Enter your listing title, and add a short description about your listing.

Add New Listing With Business Directory Plugin

After that, scroll down to ‘Directory Listing Fields/Images’ section and add your business details including website address, phone number, email, etc.

Fill out Directory Listing Fields manually

To add images, you will need to click on the Images link first. Then, you can upload images from your computer or simply drop in the image box.

Upload Image to Your WordPress Business Directory

Next, you will need to choose an appropriate category for your listing.

Choose Directory Category

Once done, you can go ahead and publish your directory.

Now you can preview your web directory page on your website. Your web directory would look like the screenshot below with the default WordPress theme Twenty Nineteen.

Business Directory Demo with Default WordPress Theme

As a site administrator, you can create a listing manually from your dashboard. Your users can also submit a listing in your directory using a form. The submission form can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Create A Listing’ button.

Submit a Listing with the Business Directory Plugin

The user-submitted listing items will be saved in the Directory » Directory page as pending listing, so you can manually review and check the listing for quality.

Pending Directory Listing

Once done, they will appear on your business directory page.

Accepting Payments for Directory Listings

Business Directory Plugin allows you to accept payments for listings in your web directory. By default, the plugin only comes with Authorize.net as the payment gateway.

Other payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe are available as separate add-ons which you can purchase from the plugin’s website.

To enable payment options in your business directory, you need to go to Directory Admin » Manage Options page and click on the ‘Payments’ tab.

Business Directory Plugin Payment Settings

In the payment settings page, the first option on the Payment Settings screen is the checkbox to turn on payments. If your site is not fully ready yet, then you can click the checkbox next to Put payment gateways in test mode? option.

Next step is to choose your currency and add a thank you message for payments.

Once you are done configuring payment options, then click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Now you can connect your directory with a payment provider. If you have not installed any other payment gateway add-on plugin, then you will only see Authorize.net as the default payment gateway option.

Click on the Authorize.net link and then enable it by entering your login ID and transaction key.

Business Directory Plugin Authorize.net Settings

Since you are requiring payments, you will need to set up listing fees. This can be done by going to Directory Admin » Manage Fees. There you can create different listing plans, set up fees and listing duration for each plan and save your changes.

That’s all! Your web directory is now ready to accept paid listings. We recommend you to explore other options in the plugin’s settings for further optimization of your web directory.

We hope this article helped you create a web directory using WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to create a team directory in WordPress.

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

The post How to Create a Web Directory in WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Easily Create a Staging Site for WordPress (Step by Step)


Are you looking to create a staging site for WordPress but not sure where to start?

A WordPress staging site is a test site that you can use to “safely” make plugin updates and other changes before going live.

In the past, it used to be very difficult to setup a WordPress staging site, but now that has changed so even a non-technical person can do it.

In this step by step guide, we will show you how to easily create a staging environment for your WordPress site. We will cover several different methods and most of them only require a few clicks.

How to create a staging site for WordPress

What is a Staging Site?

A staging site is a clone of your live website that is used for testing changes before making them live. Staging sites help you catch errors, so you don’t end up breaking your live website.

A lot of users install WordPress locally on their Windows or Mac computers to test changes. Once they’re done with the updates, they simply upload those changes from localhost to live server

The biggest problem with this approach is what if something that worked on your localhost does not work on the live server?

Often localhost and live WordPress hosting servers are not running the same environment.

Since the staging site lives on your web hosting server, you can easily prevent all those errors because it runs the same server configuration as your live site.

With that said, let’s take a look at how to setup a staging site for WordPress.

How to Easily Create a WordPress Staging Site

There are multiple ways to create a staging site for WordPress. The easiest of them is to use your hosting provider’s built-in staging site feature.

Some of the best WordPress hosting companies already offer 1-click staging websites. If your website is hosted with one of them, then you can easily create a staging site without any hassle.

If you’re not with one of these popular hosting solutions, then we also have a solution to help you create a WordPress staging site using a plugin (and even manually).

For faster browsing, you can use the navigation below to jump to the section that’s most applicable to you:

  • Creating a staging site on Bluehost
  • Creating a staging site on SiteGround
  • Creating a staging site on WP Engine
  • Creating a staging site using a plugin
  • Creating a staging site manually

Creating A Staging Site on Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the best WordPress hosting companies. They offer a quick 1-click staging site solution which comes with all their plans.

First, you need to login to your WordPress site’s admin area and go to Bluehost » Staging page.

Staging site option on Bluehost

This will bring you to the Bluehost’s staging site wizard. Next, you need to click on the ‘Create Staging Site’ button to continue.

Create staging site on Bluehost

Bluehost will now prepare the staging environment for your website. Once finished, you will see a success message with a link to visit your staging site.

Go to your staging site

Now, you can click on the ‘Go to staging site’ button to continue.

You will reach the admin area of your staging WordPress site. You will see a red button on top of the admin bar to indicate that you are working in the staging environment.

You can go ahead and work on your website without worrying about it affecting your live site.

Deploying changes from staging to live site on Bluehost

Once you are ready to push changes from staging to the live site, simply go to Bluehost » Staging page.

Deploy staging to live website on Bluehost

Scroll to the Deployment Options section. You will see three options for deployment. You can deploy only the files, only the database, or both files and database.

If you’re not sure, then click on the Deploy Files and Database button to deploy all changes from the staging environment.

This will bring up a popup where you will be asked to confirm that you want to deploy the staging site to the production site. Click on ‘Yes, Let’s Deploy’ button to continue.

Confirm deploy

Bluehost will now start deploying your staging site to the live site. Depending on the size of your website, this may take a while.

The pop up will automatically disappear when deployment is over. You can now visit your live website to see the changes applied to your production site.

Creating a Staging Site on SiteGround

SiteGround is another top WordPress hosting company offering 1-click staging feature with their GrowBig and GoGeek plans. If your website is hosted with SiteGround, then this is how you would set up a staging website.

First, you need to login to your SiteGround cPanel dashboard. Next, scroll down to the ‘WordPress Tools’ section and then click on the Staging icon.

Staging icon in SiteGround cPanel

This will bring you to the staging sites page. From here, you need to add your website to the staging site manager. Once you’re done, click on the ‘Add WordPress’ button to continue.

Add site to staging manager

On the next screen, you need to select the URL where your website is installed. If your WordPress site is installed in a sub-directory, then you can add that in the field next to it and click on the Add URL button to move forward.

Select URL

The staging site manager will detect your website and add it to the page. You can now click on the ‘Create Staging Copy’ button to continue.

Create staging site copy

You will see a popup that allows you to password protect your staging site. This is a good idea because it prevents others from accessing your site. It also prevents Google from indexing duplicate content.

Go ahead and provide a username / password and then click ‘Continue’.

Password protect staging site

SiteGround will now create the staging environment for your WordPress website.

Once it’s done, you will see the staging site manager with links to the admin area of your staging site. Go ahead and start working on your WordPress staging site.

After you are done making changes to your website, you can push it live by going to the staging page in cPanel. You need to click on the ‘Manage Staging Copies’ button next to your website.

Manage staging copies

On the next page, you can click on the ‘Push to live’ button to push changes from staging to your live website.

Deploy staging to live

Creating a Staging Site on WP Engine

WP Engine is the best WordPress managed hosting company in the world. Managed WordPress hosting is a concierge service for your WordPress site where the hosting provider takes care of updates, backups, security and performance.

WP Engine offers one-click staging solution with all their plans. If you are using WP Engine to host your website, then this is how you would set up a staging environment for your site.

First, you need to login to your WP Engine dashboard. Next, go to the Sites page and select your website by clicking on it.

Sites WP Engine

This will bring you to your website dashboard. Now, you need to click on the Add Staging link from the left column.

Add staging site in WP Engine

On the next screen, you need to enter a name for your staging site under the ‘Create New’ tab. This name will also be the subdomain of your staging site.

Create new staging site

Click on the Create Environment button to continue.

WP Engine will now create a staging site for you. However, this staging environment is just an empty WordPress site that does not have any content of your live website.

Let’s change this.

Switch to your production environment by clicking on production from the left column. On the next screen, click on the Copy to button at the top right corner of the screen.

Copy to staging

Next, you will be asked to select the backup point you want to use for your staging site. If unsure, select the most recent back up of your website.

Select back up point

Click on the preview copy button to continue.

You will see a warning popup informing you that you are copying the source website to the staging environment. Click on the Copy Environment button to proceed.

Copy website warning

WP Engine will now copy your live website to the staging environment. You will recieve an email notification when it is done.

After that, you can login to your staging website using the same admin username and password as your live website.

Deploying Staging to Live Website on WP Engine

When you are ready to push the changes from your WordPress staging site to live site, first you will need to create a backup point for your staging site.

A backup point is just like saving your progress in a game. You need to create one before deploying your staging site’s changes to the live site.

Simply head over to WP Engine dashboard and click on Staging » Backup Points menu from the left column.

Create a backup point for your staging website

Next, provide a description for your backup so you can remember the changes later, and then click on ‘Create staging backup’ button.

Create backup of your staging site

WP Engine will now create a backup point for your website. You will receive an email notification when your backup is complete.

You are now ready to deploy your staging site.

Simply click on the ‘Copy to’ button at the top right corner of the screen and select ‘Production’.

Copy to production

Next, you will be asked to select a backup point. This time select the backup you created earlier and click on the preview button.

Select back up point

You will see a warning message, but go ahead and click on the ‘Copy Environment’ button to proceed.

Copying environment

WP Engine will now copy your staging environment to your live website. You will recieve an email notification when it is complete.

After that, you can log in to your live website to ensure everything is working fine, and it should because you tested all your changes on staging.

Creating A Staging Site using WordPress Plugin

If your WordPress hosting company does not provide a staging site feature, then you can still create a staging website using a WordPress plugin.

There are some disadvantages to using this method.

First, a plugin would have limited control on your hosting server. This is why it may not always give the best results.

Secondly, the plugin we will be using will store your staging site on their own servers. If you are concerned about privacy and data protection, then this may not be the ideal situation for you.

That being said, let’s see how to create a staging WordPress site using a WordPress plugin.

The first thing that you need to do is install and activate the WP Stagecoach 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 WP Stagecoach to your admin bar. Clicking on it will take you to plugin’s settings page.

WP Stagecoach settings

You will need to enter your WP Stagecoach username and the API key which you can find under your account on the plugin website.

After that, you will be able to create your staging website.

You need to provide a name for your staging site. This name will also be used as the subdomain of your WordPress staging website.

Don’t forget to check the box next to ‘Password protect the staging site’ option. It will protect your staging website from public view and search engines.

Create staging site using WP Stagecoach

Next, click on the ‘Ride The Stagecoach’ button to continue.

The plugin will now create a backup of your WordPress files and database to export them for your staging site. Once finished, you will see the link to your staging site, and its admin area.

You can click the link to visit your staging site and start working on it.

Deploying Staging Site to Live Using WP Stagecoach

Once you are ready to import changes to your live site, head over to WP Stagecoach » Import Changes page and click on the check for changes button.

The plugin will now check for changes on your staging site and then show you options to import them.

Impoting changes from staging

You can select to import only file changes, only database changes, or all changes. Next, click on the import button to continue.

The plugin will show you the progress of the import and will notify you when it is done. You can now test your live site to see if all changes were successfully imported.

Create a Staging Site for WordPress Manually

This method requires you to manually create a staging site for your WordPress install. It is for advanced users and requires more work than other methods described above.

Another disadvantage of this method is that your website will be temporarily unavailable when deploying changes back from staging to live server.

That being said, let’s see how to manually create a staging environment for your WordPress site.

First, you need to create a subdomain for your staging website. Go to your hosting account’s dashboard and click on the Subdomains link located under the domains section.

Create subdomain for your staging site

Note: We’re using Bluehost in our example screenshot, so your screen may look different.

Provide a name for your subdomain (for example, staging) and then click on the create button.

Your hosting control panel will now add your subdomain, which you can use to import your live WordPress site.

Next, you need to install and activate the Duplicator plugin on your live site.

Upon activation, you need to click on the Duplicator menu in your WordPress admin sidebar and click on the create new button.

Create Duplicator package

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

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

Build package

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

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

Download and package and installer files

Your new staging WordPress site will need a new database. Let’s create one.

Head over to your WordPress hosting account’s control panel and click on MySQL Databases icon located under the Databases section.

MySQL Database

On the next screen, provide a name for your database and then click on the create database button.

Create database

Next, you need to create a MySQL user for your database. Scroll down to the MySQL Users section and provide a username and password for your new database user.

Create MySQL user

Now you need to give this user permissions to access and modify the database you created earlier. Simply scroll down to the ‘Add user to database’ section and select your database and the user you just created.

Add user to database

After that, click on the ‘Add’ button to continue.

You will be asked to select privileges for the user. Go ahead and select ‘All Privileges’ checkbox and then click on the ‘Make changes’ button.

Grant privileges

Now your database is ready to be used for your staging website.

Next, you need to open a new browser tab and visit enter the subdomain of your staging site like this:

https://yoursubdomain.example.com/installer.php

Don’t forget to replace yoursubdomain with the actual subdomain and example.com with your own domain name.

This will launch the Duplicator installer wizard.

Duplicator installer wizard

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

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

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

Connect database

Once done, click on the next button to continue.

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

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

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

Update URLs if needed

Duplicator will now finish the migration.

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

Now you have your staging site set up. Let’s protect it by adding password protection to your subdomain.

Head over to your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard and click on the directory privacy icon.

Directory privacy

Next, you need to select your subdomain folder and then select the option to ‘password protect this directory’ checkbox. You will be asked to provide a name for this setting, and then enter a username and password.

Password protect your staging site

Click on the save button to store your settings. Your staging site will now be hidden behind the password protection.

You can now work on your staging site and make any changes you want.

Manually Deploy Staging Site to Live

After you are ready to deploy changes from your staging site to the live server, you will follow the same steps described above.

Simply create a new Duplicator package on your staging site and download the Installer and Archive files to your computer.

Next, you need to head over to your live site and create a complete WordPress backup (you can use Duplicator to create a complete backup as well).

Once you are done, you will need to delete all WordPress files and folders from your live website. This means your WordPress site will be down for a while.

Finally, follow the instructions above to run the Duplicator installer wizard to import staging site to live server.

As you can see, the last method is not the best method at all. You should avoid this at all costs. We recommend using a reliable hosting provider like Bluehost, SiteGround, or WP Engine that offers built-in staging site features.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily create a staging environment for your WordPress site. If you run into any issues, check out our ultimate guide to fixing the most common WordPress errors.

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

The post How to Easily Create a Staging Site for WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Create A Question and Answers Site in WordPress


Do you want to build an online question and answer community like StackOverflow or Quora? Question and answer websites are fun, highly engaging, and very helpful.

These websites make money from user-generated content which makes them an easy to start online business.

In this article, we will show you how to easily create a question and answers site in WordPress without any programming skills.

You can create a whole site dedicated to Q & A, a single FAQ page, or add a question and answer section to your existing WordPress site.

Making a question and answers site in WordPress

Gettings Started with Question and Answers Website

To start your own question and answers website, you will need the following items.

  • A domain name (This is your website’s address on the internet. Example, wpbeginner.com)
  • A web hosting account (This is where your website’s files are stored. All websites need web hosting).
  • Question And Answers Add-on for WordPress

A domain name costs around $14.99 / year and web hosting prices start from $7.99 per month (usually paid annually).

Now, this is not a small amount if you are just starting out.

Luckily, Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users discount on web hosting and a free domain name. Basically, you can get started for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

After you have purchased hosting, they will automatically install WordPress for you. You can also do it yourself, by following our complete WordPress installation tutorial.

Once you have WordPress installed, you can move on to installing a question and answers plugin. WordPress plugins are extensions that allow you to add new features to your website.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to set up questions and answers website in WordPress.

Setting up Your Question and Answers Site

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

Upon activation, the plugin creates two new pages in your WordPress site:

  • DWQA Questions – This page will display all questions.
  • DWQA Ask Question – This page contains a form where users can ask new questions.

The title and URLs of these pages contain DWQA which looks bad. Let’s change this.

Head over to Pages » All Pages and click Quick Edit link below each page.

Question and Answer pages

This will show page details for quick editing. You can remove the DWQA from page title and slug fields and then click on the ‘Update’ button to save your changes.

Change page title and slug

The next thing you need to do is to allow user registration on your website. This can be achieved by going to Settings » General page.

Scroll down to the ‘Membership’ section and check the box next to Anyone can register. Make sure that you choose Subscriber as the new user default role.

Open your site for user registration

Now that user registration is enabled, let’s configure the plugin settings.

Start by going to Questions » Settings page. Under the General tab, you can configure the basic plugin settings.

Settings page

First, you need to choose the page that will display the Ask Question form and another page that will List All Questions. You will notice that the default pages are already selected here.

If you want to display some other pages, then you need to copy and paste the shortcodes shown on the settings page to those pages.

Under the Question settings section, you can select the number of questions you want to be displayed on the questions page. You can also enable ‘Moderation’ by requiring each question to be manually approved.

The plugin also comes with built-in spam protection features. You can enable the Akismet anti-spam feature and provide the Akismet API key.

Anti-spam features

You can also use reCAPTCHA to protect your question and answer forum from automated spam bots.

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

Next, you need to switch to the ‘Email’ tab. From here you can upload your logo and modify the email notifications sent by the plugin.

Email notifications

After that, switch to the ‘Permissions’ tab. From here you can set up user role permissions. By default, the plugin allows administrators and editors to read, post, write and edit all questions and answers.

Set up permissions

The plugin also allows anonymous users to ask questions. You can change that from permissions settings.

Once you are satisfied with plugin settings, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save changes’ button to save your changes.

Managing Your Question Answer Site

You can view all questions added to your site by visiting DW Q&A » All Questions page. As an administrator, you can edit or delete any questions submitted by any user on your site.

You can also add Question categories since users do not have permissions to create categories. However, users can add question tags when submitting a question on your site. To understand the difference check out our guide on Categories vs Tags.

Managing questions on your website

The Front End Features of Your Q&A Site

DW Question Answers is designed to work with most WordPress themes. This is how your questions page will look:

Preview of questions page

Questions can be searched or sorted by status, categories, views, and answers. Your users post questions, submit answers, and add their own comments. Users can also follow questions by clicking on the star icon next to each question.

Single question page with answers

The user who has asked the question and the site administrator has the ability to mark a question as resolved. Users can also vote for answers, choose the best answer, and add comments to the questions and answers as well. This provides a much deeper interaction platform for your users to engage in discussions around the question topic.

Mark solution and set status to resolved

This plugin is free and performs very well during our tests. There are several Question and Answer WordPress themes out there, but those lock you into using that theme forever.

The advantage of using a plugin is that you can switch your theme without losing any data.

We hope this article helped you build your own Q&A community on your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to increase traffic on your new WordPress website.

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

The post How to Create A Question and Answers Site in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Easily Create a Job Board in WordPress (NO HTML Required)


Do you want to create a job board in WordPress? Job boards allow people to find jobs and companies to post their own job listings.

With the growing trend of the gig economy, starting a job board has become a popular online business idea. You can make money by accepting payments for job listings.

In this article, we will show you how to easily create a job board in WordPress and make money from it. You can also use this tutorial to add a job board to an existing WordPress site.

Creating a job board in WordPress

Getting Started with Your Job Board Website in WordPress

You will need the following items to create a job board website with WordPress.

  • A domain name (This will be your website’s address. Example, wpbeginner.com)
  • A web hosting account (This is where all your website files will be stored)
  • A job board extension for WordPress
  • Paid job listings add-on (if you want to accept payments for job listings)

Let’s start with the domain name and web hosting account.

Domain names cost around $14.99 per year and web hosting plans start from $7.99 / month (usually paid annually).

This may sound like a lot of money if you are just starting out.

Luckily, the folks at Bluehost are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name, free SSL certifcate, and discount on hosting. Basically, you can get started for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Bluehost is one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Once you purchase hosting, Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you. If you need instructions, then follow our guide on how to install WordPress for detailed step by step instructions.

Now that you have WordPress ready, it is time to create a job board website with WordPress.

Setting up a Job Board in WordPress

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

Upon activation, you will need to create a few pages that the plugin will use to display different sections of your job board.

On each page, you just need to enter a title and then add a shortcode.

Let’s get started. The first page we’re going to create will be for jobs. Simply create a new page and enter Jobs in the title field. In the content area, you need to add a shortcode block and paste the following shortcode inside it:

[jobs]

Adding a jobs shortcode

After adding the shortcode, click on the publish button to save your changes.

Next, you will need to repeat the process to create a ‘Submit Job Listing’ page and add the following shortcode:

[submit_job_form]

Lastly, you need to create a ‘Jobs Dashboard’ page and enter the following shortcode in the content area:

[job_dashboard]

Now that you have created all the required pages, let’s move on to plugin’s settings.

Head over to Job Listings » Settings page and click on the ‘Pages’ tab.

Select job manager pages

From here, you need to select the pages you have created earlier and then click on the save changes button to store your settings.

After that, you need to review other settings on the page. Let’s start with the ‘General’ tab first.

General settings for WP Job Manager

On the general page, you can select the date format, add Google Maps API key, or delete data when you uninstall the plugin.

Note: Google Maps API key requires you to provide billing information, and you will be charged based on your usage. If you don’t want to use Google Maps API, then you can leave this option unchecked.

After that, you can switch to the ‘Job Listings’ tab. There are a number of options on this page to control the display and features available for job listings. You need to review and adjust them to your own requirements.

Job listings settings

Similarly, you can control the job listings submissions by switching to the ‘Job Submission’ tab. From here, you can control new account settings, submission moderation, edit controls, and more.

Job submission settings

To protect your website against automated spam, you need to switch to the reCaptcha tab and enable it by adding the API keys. You will find a link to generate the required API keys next to each option.

reCaptcha settings

WP Job Manager also sends notifications to site administrators and users. You can control them under the ‘Email Notifications’ tab.

Email notifications

Bonus tip: we recommend using the WP Mail SMTP plugin to fix the common WordPress not sending email issue.

Once you are done, don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Adding New Job Listings

Depending on your settings, logged-in users can submit jobs directly from Submit Jobs page you created earlier.

Submit job listing page

As an administrator, you can directly add jobs from the WordPress admin area.

Simply go to the Job Listings » Add New page and provide a title, description, and the job type for the job listing you are adding.

Add job listings

After entering the title, description and choosing a job type, you need to scroll down to Job Listing Data section. There you can provide more information about the job such as location, application email or URL, company information, company logo, job listing expiration date, etc.

Enter job details

After filling the job listing data, you can preview the job by clicking on the preview button.

After that you either add more details if you need to or simply click on Publish button to post the listing.

To manage existing job listings, you need to go to Job Listings » All Job Listings page in the WordPress admin area.

There you will be able to see all the job listing posted on your job board. You can click on the pencil icon to edit a job listing, see the filled jobs, and delete existing job listings.

All Jobs

Your website visitors will be able to view all job listings by visiting the jobs page you created earlier.

Job listings page

Logged in users will also be able to manage their job listings by visiting the jobs dashboard page you created earlier.

Dashboard page

Adding Paid Job Listings

You may have seen several reputable sites adding a job board to generate extra revenue from their website. If your blog has a good reputation among industry peers, then companies wouldn’t mind paying a small fee to get their job posting listed on your site.

To enable this feature, you will first need to install and activate the Simple Paid Listings plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

It is a paid add-on for WP Job Manager and allows you to accept payments for job listings using PayPal or Stripe.

Upon activation, you need to visit Job Listings » Settings page and switch to the ‘Paid Listings’ tab.

payment settings

On this tab, you can choose your preferred payment gateway and provide API information.

Note: You will need to enable SSL / HTTPS on your website to receive payments. See our article on how to get free SSL certificate for your site for detailed instructions.

We hope this article helped you easily create a job board in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of proven ways to make money online for more ways to generate revenue from your website.

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



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How to Easily Create a Custom WordPress Theme (without Any Code)


Do you want to create a custom WordPress theme from scratch?

In the past, you had to follow the WordPress codex and have a decent coding knowledge to build a custom WordPress theme. But thanks to new WordPress theme generators, now anyone can create a completely custom WordPress theme within an hour (no coding knowledge needed).

In this article, we will show you how to easily create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

Creating a custom WordPress theme without writing any code

Creating a Custom WordPress Theme for Beginners

Unlike static HTML sites, WordPress themes are a set of template files written in PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Typically, you would need to have a decent understanding of all these web design languages or hire a web developer to create a custom WordPress theme.

If you hired a developer or agency, then the cost of a custom WordPress theme can reach thousands of dollars.

Since many small business owners couldn’t afford the high costs of a custom WordPress theme, a lot of them just settled for the default themes that came with WordPress.

Those who didn’t want to settle and wanted customizations either used a drag & drop WordPress page builder, or they used a theme framework to build a custom theme.

While WordPress theme frameworks made building a WordPress theme easier, they are a solution for developers, not an average website owner.

On the other hand, WordPress page builder plugins made it super easy to create custom page layouts using a drag & drop interface, but they were limited to layouts only. You couldn’t build custom themes with it.

Until Beaver Builder, one of the best WordPress page builder plugins decided to solve this problem with their add-on called Beaver Themer.

Beaver Builder best WordPress page builder plugin

Beaver Themer is a site builder add-on that allows you to create custom theme layouts using a drag and drop interface and without learning to code.

Let’s take a look at how to use Beaver Themer for easily creating a WordPress theme.

Setting up Beaver Themer to Build a Custom Theme

Beaver Themer is an add-on plugin for Beaver Builder, so you will need both plugins for this article.

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

Beaver Themer allows you to create a custom theme, but you will still need a theme to start with. We recommend using a light-weight theme that includes a full-width page template to act as your starter theme.

You can find many such themes in WordPress.org theme directory. Most modern WordPress themes include a full-width template. Our top picks are:

  • Astra – A free light-weight all-purpose WordPress theme that comes with built-in support for Beaver Builder.
  • OeanWP – Another popular free multi-purpose WordPress theme that comes with full page builder support.
  • StudioPress themes – All of their themes are compatible with Beaver Builder and would work great with Beaver Themer.

For the sake of this tutorial, we will be using Astra, which is light-weight and easy to customize WordPress theme.

Setting up Your Theme for Beaver Themer

When building a custom WordPress theme with Beaver Themer, it’s important to make sure that Beaver Themer has access to the full body of the page (from edge to edge).

This is the default Astra layout. As you can see that this layout includes a sidebar which can be difficult to work with when using Beaver Themer.

Default theme layout with a sidebar

You can change that by visiting the admin panel of your website and then navigate to Appearance » Customize page. From here, you need to switch to the Layout » Sidebars tab.

Turning off sidebars in your theme

Once there, simply select ‘No Sidebar’ under the default layout option and click on the Publish button to save your changes.

Your theme will now start using a layout with no sidebars. This is the best layout to use with Beaver Themer.

Theme layout with no sidebars

This full-page layout allows Beaver Themer to use every inch of the screen, so you can create a beautiful end-to-end visual experience.

Most WordPress themes include a template file for full-width pages. If you are using some other theme, then you may find an option to remove sidebars in your theme settings.

If you cannot find it, then contact your theme developer and they may be able to help you with that.

Once you have set up your theme to a full-width layout, you are ready to create your custom WordPress theme using Beaver Themer.

Quick Beaver Themer Fundamentals

Beaver Themer works on top of Beaver Builder. As a page builder plugin, Beaver Builder allows you to drag and drop items to a page to create custom layouts.

It has the following items that you can use in your layouts:

  • Template: A collection of columns rows, and modules that make up an entire page layout.
  • Columns: Vertical layout modules that help align content horizontally.
  • Rows: Horizontal collection of multiple modules
  • Module: An item that outputs specific information such as title, text block, table, gallery, etc.

Simply edit a page in Beaver Builder and then click on the add button at the top right corner. You can then drag and drop columns, rows, modules, to your page and start editing them right away.

Using Beaver Builder

If you don’t want to start from scratch, then select from a list of pre-made templates to begin with.

Beaver Builder templates

Beaver Builder also allows you to save your layouts and then use them later as templates.

To learn more see our article on how to create a custom page layout using Beaver Builder.

However, we don’t just want to create page layouts. We want to create a complete custom theme.

This is when Beaver Themer comes in.

It adds another item to Beaver Builder called ‘Themer Layout’.

Themer Layout

Themer layouts allow you to create custom layouts for the header, footer, content areas, 404 page, and other template parts.

These are the building blocks of all WordPress themes and by using them you’ll be able to create a custom theme that fits your needs.

Using Beaver Themer Templates to Create a Custom WordPress Theme

In the following instructions, we’ll walk you through the steps it takes to build the most popular custom theme elements. By the time you’re done, you’ll have completely transformed your base theme into a fully custom WordPress child theme.

Building a Custom Header for Your Theme

Let’s start with your website’s header area. A custom header is an essential component of a theme and building one can be tricky using traditional methods.

Luckily, Beaver Themer has header features built in. You can either use the pre-created template or use the menu and image modules with a two-column layout.

In order to get to this header area, first, we’ll need to set up a header layout in Beaver Themer. Visit Beaver Builder » Add New page and provide a title for your header.

Creating a custom header layout

After that, select ‘Themer Layout’ as the type and ‘Header’ as the layout option. Once you’re done click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘Entire Site’ as the location where the header template will be displayed on.

Layout settings

Next, click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a basic single column and two-row header layout as a starting point.

Header layout

You can use the same Beaver Builder drag and drop tools to change the background, colors, text, etc. You can also add other modules, load pre-made templates, and add rows / columns by clicking on the add button at the top right corner.

Once you are satisfied with the design, click on the Done button to save or publish your layout.

You can now visit your website to see your custom theme header in action. As you can see, we have applied the header layout to our custom theme.

Custom header in your custom theme

Aside from the header, it will not you show any content yet, and you will likely see your base theme’s footer area.

Let’s change this.

Building a Custom Footer for Your Theme

You can create a custom footer for your theme using the Beaver Themer just like you created a custom header.

Head over to Beaver Builder » Add New page and provide a title for your footer layout. Next, select ‘Themer Layout’ as the type and ‘Footer’ as the layout option.

Footer layout

Click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘Entire Site’ as the location that the template will be displayed on.

Footer layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a footer layout using three columns. You can use this layout as a starting point and start editing.

Editing your footer layout

You can add modules, text blocks, or anything else you want. You can always change colors, fonts, add a background image, and more.

Once you are satisfied with the design, click on the Done button to save or publish your layout.

Building Content Area for Post and Pages

Now that we’ve created headers and footers for every page and post on the website, it’s time to build the post or page body (the content area).

We’ll start off in much the same way that we built the header and footer by adding the ‘Singular’ layout in the Add New page.

Creating posts and page layouts

Next, you will choose where to display this layout. You can choose singular to use it for all single posts and pages, or you can choose posts or just the pages.

Singular layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Editing singular layout

Beaver Builder will load a sample singular layout with post/page title at the top, followed by content, author bio box, and comments area.

You can point and click to edit any of these items or add new modules, columns, and rows as needed.

Once you are satisfied with the layout, click on the Done button to save and publish your changes.

You can now visit your website to see it in action.

Theme layout with content

Creating Archive Layouts for Your Custom Theme

Now that your custom theme has started to shape up, you can move on to creating layouts for other parts of your website. Archive pages are where WordPress displays your categories, tags, author, and monthly archives.

Let’s create a layout for archive pages in your custom theme.

You’ll start by visiting Beaver Builder » Add New page and providing a title for your archive layout.

Creating an archive layout for your custom theme

After that, select ‘Themer Layout’ as type, and ‘Archive’ as the layout option. Click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘All Archive’ as the location that the template will be displayed on. You can also create separate layouts for each individual archive type like date, search results, category, tags, etc.

Archive layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a basic single column archive layout. It will display archive title at the top, which is followed by posts.

Editing Archives layout for your theme

You can point and click on any item to edit its properties. You can also add new modules, rows, and columns as needed.

After that, click on the ‘Done’ button to save and publish your changes.

Creating Other Layouts for Your Custom WordPress Theme

Beaver Themer also allows you to create layouts for other pages in template hierarchy, for example, 404 page, template parts, search results page, and more.

Using the built-in drag and drop functionality of Beaver Builder, you can easily create your own custom WordPress theme from scratch without ever writing code. This is truly the most beginner friendly WordPress theme development method in existence.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a custom WordPress theme without learning to code. You may also want to see our guide on how to speed up your WordPress website for better SEO and user experience.

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

The post How to Easily Create a Custom WordPress Theme (without Any Code) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Create an Online Marketplace using WordPress

Step 5. Testing Your Marketplace Website

Your online marketplace website is now ready for testing. You can visit your website in a new browser window and create a new account by clicking on the My Account link at the top.

Testing your marketplace website

From here, both customers and vendors can log in to their accounts as well as create a new account.

Register as vendor

Once users create a new account, you will receive an email notification. If you are unable to receive email notifications, then take a look at our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

You can also view new vendor applications by visiting Users » All Users page. You will see all new vendor requests as ‘pending vendor’, and you can approve or deny applications by clicking the link under their username.

Approve vending vendors

Once approved, these vendors can log in to their accounts and add their products by visiting their vendor dashboard. They can also view their orders and sales reports.

Vendor dashboard

The first thing your vendors need to do is to set up their shop settings by clicking on the ‘Store Settings’ link.

Vendor shop settings

Depending on the payment methods you set up, they will need to provide their PayPal or Stripe email address to receive payments. They will also be able to provide bank account information for direct manual payments.

Once a vendor adds a new product, you will get a notification email and see an icon next to the products menu. You can then edit a product, approve it, or delete it.

Pending products

Your shop page will clearly show the products sold by vendor’s shop name.

Sold by vendor

Step 6. Growing your Online Marketplace Website

First, you may want to choose a design for your marketplace website. WordPress comes with thousands of free and paid themes but not all of them are eCommerce ready.

See our pick of the best WooCommerce themes to find a suitable theme for your marketplace platform.

After that, you would want to add new features to your website. For example, making it a multi-vendor auction site or a membership community.

You would want to track which products are getting more traffic and which vendors are bringing more users. For that you will need to enable customer tracking in WooCommerce on your website.

The biggest hurdle in growing any eCommerce website is abandoned cart sales. Learn how to recover abandoned cart sales like a pro to increase your profits.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create an online marketplace using WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate WooCommerce SEO guide to get search traffic to your website.

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

The post How to Create an Online Marketplace using WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Create Conversational Forms in WordPress (Typeform Alternative)


Do you want to make your forms feel more human? Many of our readers have asked us to write a tutorial on how to create a Typeform-like form in WordPress.

Unlike a traditional contact form or survey form that lists all question at once, conversational forms take a one question at a time approach similar to a face-to-face conversation.

This makes conversational forms less overwhelming for users and result in higher form completion rate. In this article, we will show you how to create a conversational form in WordPress.

How to Create Conversational Forms in WordPress Easily

Conversational Form Plugin for WordPress (Typeform Alternative)

Previously it was hard to create conversational forms in WordPress because there wasn’t a good WordPress-focused solution.

Several SaaS applications offered this feature with Typeform being the most popular one, but it had several downsides:

  • Typeform is a SAAS (software as a service) tool which stores your forms data on their servers. This means you’re trusting someone else for your data security.
  • Typeform is expensive if you’re a small business. The premium plans start from $30 / user / month, and if you want more features, then it costs $59 / user / month.

While Typeform offered a free plan, it was too limited which made it less attractive for WordPress users.

This is why we asked our team at WPForms to create a Typeform alternative for WordPress.

Conversational Forms by WPForms lets you create interactive WordPress forms without the high costs of Typeform.

WPForms Conversational Forms Addon

See the Conversational Form Demo

WPForms is the most user-friendly WordPress form plugin that’s used by over 1 million websites.

This new addon helps you transform any form into a conversational form in less than 90 seconds.

Unlike Typeform, WPForms is an open-source WordPress plugin which means all your form data is stored on your website, not some third-party app.

WPForms is more cost-effective than Typeform. You can buy the yearly plan for $199 which gives you unlimited forms, surveys, and tons of other powerful features including Conversational Forms.

Let’s take a look at how to easily create a conversational form on your WordPress website.

Disclosure: WPForms is created by the same team behind WPBeginner. It is one of our premium WordPress plugins.

Creating Conversational Forms in WordPress

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

You will need at least the ‘Pro’ plan to access the ‘Conversational Forms Addon’. WPBeginner users can get 50% OFF on all WPForms licenses using our WPForms coupon.

Once the plugin is activated, you need to visit the WPForms » Settings page to verify your license key. You can find this information in your account area on WPForms website.

WPForms license

Next, you need to go to WPForms » Addons page and find the Conversational Forms addon.

Install Conversational Forms addon by WPForms

Simply click the install button, and the plugin will install and activate the Conversational Form addon within a few seconds.

When you see the addon status as ‘Active’, it means that you can start using it.

WPForms Conversational Forms addon active

You can enable conversational forms for any new or existing forms created with WPForms.

Conversational forms are useful in reducing form abandonment. The interactivity and face-to-face conversation approach leads to a higher form completion rate.

This is highly effective on the following types of forms:

These forms are typically longer and include more fields. If you display all those questions at once, then users feel overwhelmed and abandon the form.

Conversational forms fix this by asking users to answer one question at a time. Instead of a tedious long form, it feels more interactive and keeps users engaged.

In this example, we will show you how to create a conversational survey form.

First, you need to create a regular survey form. You can do this by clicking on WPForms » Add New in your WordPress admin area. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to create a survey in WordPress.

Creating a form with WPForms is easy using its simple drag and drop interface. You can drag form fields on the left to the form editor on the right side.

For instance, here’s how a sample WPForms survey form editor looks like:

Editing Survey Form with WPForms

Once you have added your survey questions, go to Settings » Conversational Forms tab on the left panel. You need to check the ‘Enable Conversational Form Mode’ box.

Enable Conversational Form Mode in WPForms

After that, you will see the conversational form settings and customization options. These options allow you to design an attractive conversational form landing page with your logo, color scheme, and message.

Conversational Form Landing Page Options WordPress

You can preview your form anytime by clicking on the ‘Preview Conversational Form’ button on the top right corner under Conversational Form settings.

Preview button for Conversational Forms WordPress

At first, you will see the Conversational Form Title field. You can enter a short descriptive title for your form there. For example: Please, Take Our Survey!

WPForms Conversational Form Title

Next, there is a Message field where you can add a short message to encourage your users to complete the form.

Conversational Form Landing Page Message

As you scroll down, you will see the Permalink option.

The permalink is a unique URL for your conversational form landing page. The plugin automatically creates it for each conversational form by using your form’s title. You can change that if needed.

Conversational Form Page Permalink Option

While setting up a permalink, make sure that it is short and simple because you may want to use this URL in your email campaigns or social media posts.

Next thing you can do to customize your conversational form page is to add a header logo. Click on the ‘Upload Image’ button, then choose an image to upload.

Upload Header Image in Conversational Form Landing Page

Below that, you’ll see a checkbox option to hide WPForms branding. Check the box next to ‘Hide WPForms Branding’ if you don’t want to display ‘powered by WPForms’ message on your form landing page.

You can preview how the branding appears by clicking the Preview Conversational Form button on the top right corner.

WPForms Branding in Conversational Form Landing page

After that, there is a Color Scheme option to customize your form Submit button and page background. You can use one of the pre-set colors or choose a new color by using the color picker.

Choose a Color Scheme for Your Conversational Form Page

Lastly, there is the Progress Bar option. You can choose one from the 2 styles: Percentage and Proportion.

WPForms Conversational Form Progress Bar Options

If you want to see how each progress bar style looks, you can select the styles one by one and preview the form. Or you can see our screenshot:

Conversational Forms Progress Bar Styles - Percentage vs. Proportion

Once you have configured all your conversational form settings, you can preview it to see how it looks on a live site. Next, click on the ‘Save’ button on the top to store your settings.

Save Conversational Form Landing Page Options

That’s it!

Now you can open your conversational form link in your browser to see it in action. Here’s how our conversational survey form page looked:

Conversational Form Landing Page Preview

You can check the official WForms Conversational Forms demo to see how the interactive form elements works.

Now that your conversational form landing page is ready, you can add the link to your WordPress Navigation menu, use it in your email campaigns, social media updates, or blog posts.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily create conversational forms in WordPress. You may also want to check out our guide on how to track user engagement on your site.

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



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