Tag - Features

What’s New in WordPress 5.3 (Features and Screenshots)


WordPress 5.3 was released just a few hours ago. It will be the last major WordPress release of 2019.

This release is packed with some new features and lots of improvements including a brand new default theme.

In this article, we will show you what’s new in WordPress 5.3 and which features you should try after updating your websites.

What's new in WordPress 5.3

WordPress 5.3 is a major release, and unless you are on a managed WordPress hosting service, you’ll have to manually initiate the update.

Important: Don’t forget to create a complete WordPress backup before starting the update.

A Design and User Interface Upgrade

WordPress 5.3 comes with several changes in the overall appearance of the WordPress user interface. These changes are not highly noticeable, but they bring coherency to the overall appearance of the admin area.

Form fields in WordPress 5.3 UI

The new user interface adds borders around form fields to make them more noticeable. It also improves the accessibility of the WordPress admin area to make it a good experience for all users.

Twenty Twenty The New Default WordPress Theme

WordPress traditionally releases a new default theme each year which is usually named after the year. WordPress 5.3 now ships with Twenty Twenty as the new default WordPress theme.

Twenty Twenty the new default theme in WordPress 5.3

This new theme is designed to take full advantage of the WordPress block editor. It allows you to easily create beautiful content layouts for your articles and pages.

Twenty Twenty uses the Inter typeface (font), which looks great for headlines. It also looks great on smaller screens and provides a better reading experience across devices.

It is a single column WordPress theme which means there is no sidebar for your blog posts or pages. It does have a widget ready area at the bottom.

You can also use the cover or the fullwidth template with your posts and pages. The full-width template works really well not just with block editor but also with other page builder plugins.

Overall, this is a beautiful theme suitable for both business websites as well as personal blogs.

New Features in The WordPress Block Editor

In 2018, WordPress released a new editor interface code-named ‘Gutenberg’. This new WordPress content editor, completely changed the writing interface in WordPress.

Subsequent WordPress releases has continued to improve upon it, and WordPress 5.3 will come with tons of enhancements to the block editor.

Here are a few block editor changes in WordPress 5.3 that you’d find useful.

The Group Block

The group block allows you to group blocks together. This handy block helps you organize your layout by dividing it into different groups.

Adding group block in WordPress 5.3

You can set the group width to be wide or full-width, and choose a background color for the group container.

You can add new blocks into a blank group or select multiple blocks, and add them to the group. This allows you to interact with these blocks together. For example, you can put different blocks into one group, and then save it as a reusable block.

The Columns Block

Columns provide another way to create interesting layouts in the WordPress editor. WordPress 5.3 comes with some major changes to the columns block.

First, you can set a layout for columns and adjust their width.

Adjusting columns width

Secondly, you can set an individual column to be wider, and the rest of the columns will automatically adjust.

The placeholder to add blocks inside a column is now clearly visible making it easier to use.

You can also set vertical alignment for columns. This means you no longer need to add spaces for proper alignment of content in each column.

Vertical alignment

Improved Button Block

WordPress 5.3 makes it easier to add button in posts or pages with an improved button block which will allow you to select border-radius yourself.

New button block

You can also open button links in a new window and make it nofollow if needed.

Block Previews

The block editor in WordPress 5.3 shows a block preview. However, the preview is only available when you are using the Add new block icon on the top.

Block preview in WordPress 5.3

Heading Colors

WordPress 5.3, now lets you choose a color for sub-headings inside your articles.

Change heading colors

Reorder Gallery Images

The new and improved gallery block in WordPress 5.3 allows you to reorder images inside the gallery.

Reorder gallery images

Image Block Styles

Image block now lets you choose a style for your images. Currently, it ships with two styles: Default and Circle mask.

Image block settings in WordPress 5.3

Improved Table Block

Table block in WordPress 5.3 has some much-needed improvements. You can now select styles and add stripes to table rows. You can also add header and footer rows.

Table block

Improved Latest Posts

Previously, the latest posts block only added a list of links to recent posts. WordPress 5.3 allows to add the latest posts with excerpts and display them in a grid layout.

Latest Posts in WordPress 5.3

It does not show featured images for the latest posts. For an alternative method, see our guide on how to show recent posts with thumbnails.

The Block Editor is Now Even Faster

The WordPress editor relies heavily on PHP and JavaScript. While PHP only runs on your WordPress hosting server, JavaScript runs on your user’s browser.

A big task for the WordPress core team is to keep the editor interface smooth and responsive no matter how many blocks and content you add.

In WordPress 5.3, the block editor team has shaved off 1.5 seconds of loading time while testing with 1000 blocks and 36,000 words long post.

Improved Image Uploads in WordPress 5.3

Previously when you uploaded large images from your phone or camera, there was always a chance that your server would time out before the upload could finish.

WordPress 5.3 has addressed this issue. It will now automatically save the image creation process and allow you to resume uploads without breaking anything.

WordPress also fixed the image rotation issue using the EXIF metadata which is something added by your camera or phone to the original image.

You can now use very large image sizes in WordPress posts and pages.

Improved Site Health Reports in WordPress 5.3

WordPress introduced a site health score feature with WordPress 5.1. This helped website owners improve WordPress speed and performance and address common WordPress security issues.

It showed a site health score in percentages, which was a bit arbitrary and confusing to beginners. WordPress 5.3 has replaced it with a status message like ‘Should be improved’ and ‘Good’.

Site Health score in WordPress 5.3

Show Password Button on Login Screen

WordPress 5.3 adds a show password button on the WordPress login screen. This is a really handy tool and makes it easier to type complex passwords, or see that you have entered a password correctly.

WordPress Admin Email Address Verification

Previously, WordPress allowed you to simply change the admin email address from Settings » General page.

This address is very important as WordPress sends password reset and other notification emails to the address.

WordPress 5.3, now makes it mandatory to verify the new email address to ensure that you don’t miss those future emails.

Verify site admin email address

Note: Please make sure that you’re using a WordPress SMTP plugin, so your WordPress site emails actually make it to your inbox. See our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

Under The Hood Changes

WordPress 5.3 brings ton of features and improvements targeted towards developers. The following are some of the most significant under the hood changes.

WordPress 5.3 offers a better way to discourage search engines from indexing a website when you check the option ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this website’ option. (#43590)

Improved compatability with PHP 7.4. (#47441, #47704, #47746, #47783)

Better handling of date and timezone functionality, which will allow developers to use them more efficiently in their projects. (See details)

On a WordPress multisite network, developers can filter sites by status. (#37392, #37684)

Multisite will now store database version as meta (#41685)

We hope this guide helped you explore what’s new in WordPress 5.3. We are particularly excited about the block editor improvements in this release.

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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What’s Coming in WordPress 5.3 (Features and Screenshots)


WordPress 5.3 is expected to be released on November 12, 2019. It will be the last major release of the year and will ship with some significant improvements.

We’ve been following the development closely and testing the first beta to try out new features that are on the way.

It is packed with new features, block editor improvements, and user interface update. There are also many more behind the scene improvements for developers as well.

In this article, we will show you what’s coming in WordPress 5.3 with features and screenshots.

Features and screenshots of the upcoming WordPress 5.3

Note: You can try out the beta version on your computer or on a staging environment by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

WordPress 5.3 is still under development, which means features can still change and may not make into the final release.

Having said that, let’s take a look at what’s coming in WordPress 5.3.

A New Default WordPress Theme

This release will come with a new default WordPress theme called Twenty Twenty. This beautiful theme is designed by Anders Norén, and it is based on Chaplin, a free WordPress theme, released earlier on the WordPress.org theme directory.

The most elegant part of this new theme is the typography. It comes with Inter typeface (font), which comes in various widths (bold, italics, extra bold). The font works really well for headlines, making them more prominent and crisp. It also looks great on smaller screens.

Above the fold area in Twenty Twenty

Twenty Twenty will enable users to take full advantage of the WordPress block editor and create gorgeous content layouts for their posts and pages.

Blog post layout in Twenty Twenty

It includes a cover and a full-width template for posts and pages. There are two navigation menus on top, a social links menu at the bottom, and two separate menus for mobile screens.

The theme features a single column layout, which means there is no sidebar to the left or right of your content. However, it does include two widget-ready areas at the bottom.

And yes, it works with all best WordPress page builders as well.

Design and User Interface Updates

WordPress 5.3 will introduce several changes in the overall appearance of the WordPress user interface. These changes are not drastic and some users might not notice them at all. However, they will bring coherency to the overall appearance of the admin area.

Appearance changes in WordPress dashboard

The goal here is to improve color contrasts on form fields and buttons, add a new color palette, and combine the look and feel of the editor and rest of the WordPress admin screens.

Better highlighting of form fields

It will also improve the accessibility of the WordPress admin area and make it a fun experience for all users.

The New and Improved Blocks

There are many changes coming to the Gutenberg block editor in this release.

Aside from the improvements to several existing Gutenberg blocks, the overall user interface and experience is also improved with new animations and visual hints.

Group blocks together

You can now create groups of blocks and interact with them as a group.

Adding a group block in WordPress 5.3

You can simply add a group block and start adding blocks inside it, or you can drag and drop existing blocks into the group, or ungroup them if you want.

This allows you to save multiple block items as a single reusable group block, so you can apply a background color to the group, insert item before or after the group, and duplicate it.

Group block interactions

Improved Image block

The new image block now allows you to select a style for images. Currently, it ships with two styles: Default and Circle mask.

Image block styles

Improved Columns block

The columns block now asks you to choose a layout for your columns or adjust the width of each column from columns settings.

Column width and pattern

The add new block placeholder inside each column is also cleanly visibly, making it easier to create complex multi-column layouts.

Improved Table block

Table block will also be improved in WordPress 5.3. You will now be able to select styles and add stripes to your table rows.

The new table block in WordPress 5.3

The improved table block also allows you to add header and footer rows to your table.

Improved Button block

If you want to add button in posts or pages, then you’ll love the improved button block which will allow you to select border-radius yourself.

Improved button block in WordPress 5.3

You can also set the target and add rel attribute to the link, which means you can open button links in a new window and make it nofollow if needed.

Improved latest posts block

Currently, the latest posts block simply adds a list of your recent posts. In WordPress 5.3, the latest posts block will also allow you to add excerpts and control excerpt lengths as well.

Latest posts block in upcoming WordPress 5.3

However, it still does not show post thumbnails. See our guide on how to show recent posts with thumbnails for instructions on how to do that.

Other notable changes to the block editor

As you know that the new WordPress editor is written in JavaScript and PHP. Keeping it fast and usable for all users is a big task.

The block editor team has been able to make it even faster for the upcoming WordPress 5.3. They have shaved off 1.5 seconds of loading time while testing with 1000 blocks and 36,000 words long post.

New Social Links Block in The Editor

WordPress 5.3 will have a brand new social links block to easily add social media icons inside your WordPress posts and pages.

New social links block in WordPress 5.3

You can add or remove icons you want to add, link them to your social media profiles, and even select from a list of social media websites to add.

Related: See our tutorial on how to add fast social share buttons with total share counts for your posts and pages.

Improved Image Uploads in WordPress 5.3

Uploading images from your mobile phones or digital cameras to WordPress is not a good experience. Usually, those images have huge file sizes, which require more time and WordPress hosting resources to finish the upload.

WordPress 5.3, will improve that situation and automatically save upload and image creation process. This means your uploads will not break in the middle, and WordPress will be able to resume upload to finish it.

It will also fix image rotation using the EXIF metadata which is something added by your camera or phone to the original image.

Last but not least, this will allow you to use very large image sizes in your WordPress posts and pages. This means that your images will look beautiful and crisp.

WordPress Admin Email Address Verification

Currently, you can just go to Settings » General page and change the default WordPress admin email address.

This address is very important as WordPress sends password reset and other notification emails to the address. WordPress 5.3, will make it mandatory to verify new email address to ensure that you don’t miss those future emails.

Verify admin email address

Its extremely important that you’re using the WP Mail SMTP plugin along with a SMTP service to make sure that your admin emails are actually being delivered. See our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

Site Health Report in WordPress 5.3

Site Health feature was introduced in WordPress 5.1. It basically helps website owners keep an eye on the performance and WordPress security issues that may affect their site.

WordPress 5.3 will bring some changes to the feature. Most importantly, it will stop showing site health score in percentage.

Site health score will be shown as a status in WordPress 5.3

Instead, it will now show users site health check score as ‘Should be improved’ and ‘Good’.

You can still get a 100% site health score in WordPress by clearing all the tests mentioned on the Status tab.

Under The Hood Improvements in WordPress 5.3

WordPress 5.3 brings many improvements for developers. Following are some of those under the hood changes.

WordPress 5.3 will offer a better way to discourage search engines from indexing a website when you check the option ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this website’ option. (#43590)

The upcoming release will also improve WordPress compatability with PHP 7.4. (#47441, #47704, #47746, #47746, #47783)

WordPress 5.3 will come with improved handling of date and timezone functionality, which will allow developers to use them more efficiently in their projects. (See details)

A show/hide password toggle will now be available on WordPress login screens on both mobile and desktop devices. (#42888)

Show / hide password on WordPress login screens

WordPress Multisite changes in 5.3

If you’re using WordPress multisite for creating a multisite network, then you will find these improvements very helpful.

Developers can now filter sites by status (#37392, #37684)

Multisite will now store database version as meta (#41685)

We hope this article helped you get a good idea of what’s coming in the WordPress 5.3 release. Let us know what features you find interesting and what you’d look to see in a future WordPress release.

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



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How to Get WordPress.com Features on Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs


If you recently switched from WordPress.com to your own self-hosted WordPress.org website, then you may not see all the widgets, stats, and other WordPress.com features in the new user interface.

But don’t worry, there’s an easy way to get those features back. Actually, you can have even more powerful features with your self-hosted WordPress blog.

In this article, we will show you how to get WordPress.com features on self-hosted WordPress blogs.

Getting WordPress.com features for your WordPress.org blogs

Adding WordPress.com Features to Your Self-Hosted WordPress Blog

When choosing a blogging platform, many users start with WordPress.com before they make the switch to the self-hosted WordPress.org platform. Often this happens due to name confusion because despite the similar name, they are two different platforms. To learn more see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

The problem is that after using WordPress.com, you can get used to certain features and the way they look. Naturally, after switching you would want to have the same features in self-hosted WordPress.

While WordPress.org doesn’t offer built-in features like WordPress.com, it gives you the full flexibility to add any feature that you want on your website using WordPress plugins. In fact, this flexibility is one of the major reasons why people convert their WordPress.com blogs to WordPress.org.

The company behind WordPress.com offers a plugin that brings WordPress.com features on any WordPress.org website. This plugin is called JetPack.

Jetpack WordPress Plugin

Jetpack offers many of the same features used by WordPress.com to WordPress.org users.

Unlike standard WordPress plugins, Jetpack is a plugin suite which combines several useful features into a single plugin.

Jetpack Features on Self-hosted WordPress Blog

Here are the main Jetpack (WordPress.com) features:

  • WordPress Security: Downtime monitoring, brute force attack protection, backups, etc.
  • Performance: Speed up image and static file load times, lazy loading for images, etc.
  • Writing and content: Options to create galleries, testimonials, portfolios, Infinite scroll, etc.
  • Social sharing: Auto social sharing posts, share buttons, and like buttons.
  • Website traffic: Related posts, website stats, etc.

Jetpack is available as a free plugin with certain features being premium upgrades. You can simply install the plugin like any other plugin on your self-hosted WordPress site to access the same basic features that you had on WordPress.com.

However, one of the reasons why people is to get away from the limited features on WordPress.com and access the more powerful features offered on self-hosted WordPress.org.

In that case, here’s how you can unlock more powerful features with WordPress.org.

1. Unlock Powerful Analytics with MonsterInsights

Website stats is one of the most loved WordPress.com features. Jetpack provides this feature with the built-in site stats module.

However, it’s nowhere near as powerful as Google Analytics, the de-facto market leader for analytics. If you want to integrate Google Analytics with Jetpack, then you need to subscribe to their professional plan that costs $299 / year.

But luckily, you can use the most powerful website stats tool Google Analytics on your self-hosted blog with MonsterInsights Lite plugin which is 100% free.

MonsterInsights Best Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

MonsterInsights also offers a Pro version which is the best Google Analytics WordPress plugin in the market. It lets you easily connect your site with Google Analytics and helps to track advanced metrics with ease.

Get MonsterInsights now!

2. Create Smart WordPress Forms with WPForms

You can create contact forms and polls in WordPress.com with Jetpack’s feedback form feature. But it lacks the advanced options to customize the forms or add smart marketing features.

WPForms plugin solves that problem for self-hosted WordPress blogs by allowing you to create any type of form with just a few clicks. The free version, WPForms Lite, comes with all the essentials, and the Pro version is packed with more powerful features.

WPForms

Using WPForms, you can create contact forms, surveys, user registration forms, order forms, etc. quickly and easily.

Get WPForms now!

3. Get More Robust WordPress Security with Sucuri

Jetpack free version offers basic WordPress security features like brute force attack protection. If you upgrade to their premium plans, then you will get malware scanning option as well.

However you can get more robust security features for your self-hosted website with plugins like Sucuri.

Sucuri

Sucuri’s free WordPress plugin has advanced security options like remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, file integrity monitoring, security activity auditing, and more.

Get Sucuri now!

4. Get Advanced SEO Features with Yoast SEO plugin

Jetpack offers basic SEO features like XML sitemaps and site verification for WordPress.com websites. You need to buy at least the Jetpack Premium plan to access all of its SEO features.

You can get all those features and more in your self-hosted WordPress blog with free Yoast SEO plugin.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO offers features like site verification, XML sitemaps, SEO preview, Facebook and Twitter preview images, title, meta descriptions, and more.

If you buy the paid version of the plugin, you can get more powerful SEO capabilities.

Get Yoast SEO now!

5. Create Automatic Backups with UpdraftPlus

You can create daily automatic backups for your WordPress site with Jetpack; however, it’s only available for the paid users.

But thankfully UpdraftPlus plugin lets you set up automatic backups for your website free.

UpdraftPlus best WordPress backup plugin

It also allows you to store your WordPress backups in remote locations such as Google Drive, and Dropbox.

Get UpdraftPlus now!

6. Enable Spam Filtering Free with Akismet

Jetpack paid plan users can enjoy spam filtering feature on their website. It is enabled by Akismet plugin integration.

But you can get this feature for free in your self-hosted WordPress website by installing the Akismet plugin.

Akismet

Akismet automatically checks all your WordPress comments and filters out the ones which look like spam. It helps to reduce spam comments significantly on your site and allows you peace of mind.

Get Akistmet now!

7. Add Stylish Social Share Buttons with Shared Counts

Social sharing buttons are also a default WordPress.com feature. You can enable social share buttons on your posts, pages, media, etc. however, it has limited styling options.

You can use Shared Counts plugin on your self-hosted WordPress website to get the social sharing buttons.

Shared Counts

Shared Counts offers many display styles, social share count, and total share count feature.

Another great advantage of using Shared Counts is that it doesn’t slow your website speed.

Get Shared Counts now!

8. Auto Post to Your Social Networks with WP to Buffer

You can enable auto-sharing your posts on your social media networks in WordPress.com using Jetpack’s Publicize feature.

You can add the same functionality to your self-hosted WordPress blog by using WP to Buffer plugin.

WP to Buffer

Buffer is a popular social media management tool you can use to schedule posts on social media.

With WP to Buffer free plugin, you can connect your WordPress.org website with your Buffer account and set up automatic posting on your social media profiles.

Get WP to Buffer now!

9. Show Related Content with Yet Another Related Posts

WordPress.com has a built-in option to show related content after posts.

You can add this feature on your WordPress.org website using the free plugin Yet Another Related Posts.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

The plugin allows you to display posts, pages, and custom post types as related content after posts. You can choose thumbnail or list view of related content.

Get Yet Another Related Posts now!

10. Improve Comment Interaction with De:comments

You can enable Like option for your WordPress.com comments. This feature is useful to improve user-interaction in your comment area.

De:comments plugin lets you add more elements of user interaction to your WordPress.org comment area.

De:comments

The plugin allows users to rate comments, share comments on social media, earn badges, and more.

Get De:comments now!

11. Grow Your Email List and Send Emails with Constant Contact

Jetpack offers basic email marketing features for WordPress.com websites. You can add a simple subscription form on your site, and send emails when you publish a new post.

You can use more powerful email marketing features on your self-hosted WordPress blog with Constant Contact.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing service provider on the market. It allows you to easily collect email addresses, convert visitors into subscribers, and bring them back to your website.

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to create an email newsletter in WordPress.

Get Constant Contact now!

12. Get CDN Services with Cloudflare

WordPress.com has built-in CDN for images and static files.

You can get a similar feature on your self-hosted blog with Cloudflare.

Cloudflare

Cloudflare is one of the best CDN services available in the market.

Using this service helps to improve your website speed and performance. Also, it protects your site against brute force attacks.

Get Cloudflare now!

13. Enable Infinite Scrolling with WordPress Infinite Scroll

One of the popular WordPress.com features is infinite scrolling. Many websites use this feature to improve user engagement.

You can add the same feature to your WordPress.org website using the free WordPress Infinite Scroll plugin.

Load More - Infinite scroll for WordPress

It is an excellent tool for lazy loading posts, pages, comments, and more.

Get WordPress Infinite Scroll now!

14. Create Stunning Galleries with Envira Gallery

In WordPress.com, you can create responsive galleries with Jetpack. It is also a built-in WordPress.com feature. However, it has limited customization options.

You can add more stunning image galleries on your self-hosted WordPress blog with Envira Gallery plugin.

Envira Gallery

Get Envira Gallery plugin now!

We hope this article helped you to learn how to get WordPress.com features on self-hosted WordPress blogs. You may also want to see our guide on the must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

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 Get WordPress.com Features on Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs appeared first on WPBeginner.



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7 Best Mailchimp Alternatives of 2019 (with Better Features + Fair Pricing)


Are you looking for a Mailchimp alternative? Mailchimp is a popular email marketing service, and it used to be an industry favorite.

However due to the recent changes in Mailchimp pricing and continuous decline in the quality of service, many users are looking to switch from Mailchimp.

The good news is that there are a lot of great email marketing services that offer better features, service, and more business friendly prices.

In this article, we will share some of the best Mailchimp alternatives for your email marketing needs.

Comparing the best Mailchimp alternatives for email marketing

Why Are People Switching Away from Mailchimp?

Mailchimp used to be one of the top email marketing services on the market. They grew in popularity due to their famous “forever free” plan.

However, in the recent years they have failed to keep up with innovation especially when it comes to marketing automation.

To make matter worst, their recent pricing changes is not user friendly because they’re now charging businesses for unsubscribed users in their account. You should NOT have to pay for subscribers who are no longer receiving messages from you.

Their support has become increasingly unhelpful and almost every request gets a standard message like: we’re forwarding this to our engineering or leadership team.

While they’re using fancy marketing lingo such as “all in one marketing platform”, you don’t have the availability to do basic things like bulk delete more than 100 contacts at a time.

Fortunately, there are several Mailchimp alternatives with far better features, pricing, and quality of service.

Best Mailchimp Alternatives (Our Expert Pick)

Since there are hundreds of email marketing services that you can choose from, we have hand-picked the best Mailchimp alternatives for specific use-cases such as small business, non-profits, online stores (eCommerce business), etc.

Here are the best Mailchimp alternatives that you can use.

1. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is the best email marketing service for small businesses and non-profits.

They allow you to create professional email newsletters with an easy to use drag and drop editor, in just a few minutes.

You get all the essential features such as the ability to manage email lists, track email deliverability and open rates. Their beautiful reports show you how your email marketing campaigns are performing.

Constant Contact has basic email automation features that lets you send welcome messages to new subscribers, trigger emails based on user behavior, and resend emails to non-openers automatically.

It also has built-in tools for eCommerce solutions to help you reach existing customers. Constant Contact makes it easy for you to create survey and polls, donation pages for non-profits, dynamic sign up forms, and more.

The best part about Constant Contact is their unmatched support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.

Constant Contact is a perfect Mailchimp alternative for WordPress because it works with all popular WordPress plugins like OptinMonster, WPForms, and more.

Pricing: $20 – $45 per month.

Bonus: WPBeginner users can use our Constant Contact coupon code and get 20% off. Get started with Constant Contact today.

2. Sendinblue

Sendinblue

Sendinblue is a powerful email marketing and SMS marketing service for businesses.

It’s packed with powerful tools to create email newsletters, email marketing automation, SMS campaigns, landing pages, Facebook ads, live chat, and more.

Their personalized marketing automation solution lets you send emails to a targeted audience based on user behavior.

It comes with an easy to use template builder and great email deliverability to boost your marketing campaigns.

SendinBlue makes an excellent alternative to Mailchimp with additional features like SMS marketing and live chat software. They also offer more fair pricing plans for business owners, including a forever free plan.

Pricing: Free – $66 per month.

3. ConvertKit

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a popular email marketing software for bloggers, authors, and creators.

They famously launched their brand with the slogan: power of Infusionsoft with the ease of Mailchimp.

ConvertKit offers easy automation features with a drag and drop sequence builder, so you can send automated emails based on user behavior. You can also further segment your contacts with tags based on how they interact with your emails.

They offer beautiful landing page templates and customizable optin forms to grow your email list.

ConvertKit integrates with many popular third-party CRM software, lead generation tools like OptinMonster, eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify, and more.

ConvertKit is a great alternative to Mailchimp with powerful marketing automation platform for your bloggers, publishers, and authors.

Pricing: $29 – $79 per month.

4. AWeber

AWeber

AWeber is another great email marketing solution to connect with your users and accelerate business growth.

It comes with an impressive set of features like auto-fetch articles to create automated blog newsletter emails, beautiful email templates, email analytics, list segmentation, and automation tools.

It also includes other standard features like A/B split testing, autoresponders, list management, etc.

AWeber is a direct alternative to Mailchimp with flexible pricing plans based on the number of subscribers. It also includes a free trial for 30-days.

Pricing: $19 – $149

5. Drip

Drip

Drip is a popular email marketing automation service for eCommerce stores. It features multichannel touch-points to reach customers by sending emails and creating engagement on social media accounts.

It helps in managing users based on their interaction on your website. You can collect the user data and store it in tags, events, and custom fields. Furthermore, it automates the process of reaching out to customers at the most impactful time based on their behavior during the buying journey.

With advanced personalization, you can use the clients’ data to create custom discount codes, product recommendations, price-drop notifications, and more.

If you want to integrate your email marketing service with an eCommerce solution like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or Shopify, then Drip is the best Mailchimp alternative with several integrations that will help you boost sales.

Pricing: $49 – $122

6. GetResponse

GetResponse

GetResponse is an email marketing software for small businesses. Similar to other popular email marketing services, it offers multiple solutions like email marketing, automation, landing pages, and more.

You can setup your email marketing campaigns with their templates and design beautiful emails in a few clicks. You can also use their landing pages to capture more leads.

It comes with powerful integrations which allow you to connect your favorite apps like WordPress, Magento, Slack, etc.

Pricing: $15 – $1199 per month.

7. MailerLite

MailerLite

MailerLite is another robust email marketing service and a great Mailchimp alternative. It comes with a beginner-friendly email editor and pre-made email templates for different campaigns.

You can use landing pages, popups, or embedded signup forms to capture leads. It comes with powerful email automation, segmentation, and personalization features which allow you to target the right users at the right time.

You can analyze your strategy with built-in reporting tools or run A/B split tests to improve your campaigns.

Pricing: Free – $50 per month.

Conclusion: Which is the Best Mailchimp Alternative?

If you are looking for a Mailchimp alternative for WordPress, then Constant Contact is the perfect choice. It has an easy to use platofrm, powerful integrations, high-quality support, and fair pricing for small businesses and non-profits.

If you’re looking for a Mailchimp alternative that has a forever-free plan, then you should look at SendinBlue.

If you’re looking for a Mailchimp alternative for bloggers with better automation features, then we recommend using ConvertKit or SendinBlue.

If you’re looking for a Mailchimp alternative for Shopify, WooCommerce, or other eCommerce platforms, then we recommend using Drip.

We hope this article helped you find the best Mailchimp alternatives to grow your business. You may also want to check out our guide on choosing the best business VoIP provider.

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 7 Best Mailchimp Alternatives of 2019 (with Better Features + Fair Pricing) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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What’s Coming in WordPress 5.2 (Features and Screenshots)


WordPress 5.2 is expected to be released by the end of April 2019. We have been following the development and tested the first beta to try out new features that are on the way.

This release will bring improvements to the block editor, site health check, several bug fixes and minor enhancements.

In this article, we will show you what’s coming in WordPress 5.2 with features and screenshots.

What is coming in WordPress 5.2

Note: You can try out the beta version on your computer or on a staging environment by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

WordPress 5.2 is still under development, which means some features may not make it to the final release.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the upcoming features in WordPress 5.2.

Improved Fatal Error Protection in WordPress

The most common WordPress errors are usually fatal errors that stop users from accessing the admin dashboard.

Users are then required to undo changes using an FTP client or ask their hosting company for support.

WordPress 5.2 introduces a new recovery mode for site administrators. In case of a fatal error, you will see a message that ‘This site is experiencing technical difficulties’.

Technical difficulties error in WordPress 5.2

WordPress will then send an email to the admin email address with a special login link.

Using that link, you will be able to login to the WordPress admin area. After that, you can undo any changes that may have triggered the fatal error.

This feature will be a blessing for many beginners who find it quite difficult to fix such errors.

Block Editor Updates in WordPress 5.2

The WordPress block editor (Gutenberg) was introduced in WordPress 5.0. Since then there has been continuous development on the block editor to further improve it.

WordPress 5.2 will continue that with some new features and enhancements to the block editor.

Performance Improvements

The new WordPress block editor is much faster than the older classic editor. However, it could get slower when editing lengthier blog posts with tons of blocks.

WordPress 5.2 addressed that with significant performance improvements.

It will now shave 35% off the load time for massive posts. WordPress 5.2 will also cut the keypress time in half, which would make it feel way more responsive when you are typing.

Accessibility Improvements

The goal of WordPress is to democratize publishing and making the software accessible for all users. WordPress 5.2 will bring several accessibility improvements to the block editor.

  • The block editor will now support reduced motion settings in user’s browser.
  • The post URL slug will have better labeling and help text, which will make it easier to locate.
  • Block editor will have a clearer and consistent focus styling for keyboard navigating through landmarks.
  • WordPress 5.2 will also bring improved screen-reader experience with new speak messages. Existing speak messages are also improved to be clearer.

Introduction of New Blocks

WordPress 5.2 will also introduce the following new blocks in the default editor. Some of them were already available as Widgets, but now you can use them in posts and pages as well.

  • RSS block – It will allow you to easily fetch and display any RSS feed in your WordPress posts and pages.
  • Amazon Kindle embed block – Allows you to embed content from Amazon Kindle
  • Search block – Add the default WordPress search feature in your content.
  • Calendar block – Displays a calendar of your blog posts allowing users to click on a date to view posts published on that day.
  • Tag Cloud block – Displays the tag cloud in your content.

A New Block Manager Tool

By default, the block editor comes with several default blocks. You also have plugins and themes adding their own blocks as well.

However, the reality is that you’ll probably never use all those blocks. Most users usually stick to a handful of blocks for writing all their content.

WordPress 5.2 will introduce a new block management tool, which will allow you to hide blocks that you don’t want to use.

Launching the new block manager in WordPress 5.2

The block manager will list all the blocks that you have available on your site. You can simply uncheck the blocks that you don’t want to use.

The new block manager in WordPress

The Minimum PHP Version Requirement

WordPress is used by millions of people from all over the world, using different hosting companies, and hosting environments.

This is why WordPress still supports some older PHP versions, which is a bit problematic. Users may not even realize that they can improve the performance of their website by using a newer PHP version.

WordPress 5.2 will set the current minimum required PHP version to 5.6, which is still old (current stable PHP version is 7.3.2). The goal is to gradually increase the minimum required PHP version with future releases.

Users on the older versions of PHP will see a notification, that they are using an older PHP version and need to update it.

PHP version notice in WordPress 5.2 beta

Under The Hood Improvements in WordPress 5.2

These are the changes in WordPress 5.2 which will mostly affect developers.

Users will be able to provide a log file path when adding WP_DEBUG_LOG in wp-config.php file. #18391.

Plugins will be able to specify the minimum required PHP version. #40934

Dashicons, the default icon font used for the WordPress admin area will have 25 new icons to use. #41074

We hope this article gave you a glimpse of what’s coming in WordPress 5.2. Let us know which features you find interesting and what new features you would like to see in the future.

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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