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How to Properly Change a WordPress Theme (Ultimate Guide)


Are you planning to change the WordPress theme of your website? WordPress makes it super easy for users to change and manage themes on their site.

However, you must remember that changing the appearance of your live website is a major event. You need to keep certain things in mind before and after you change a theme, so you don’t lose any data and website traffic.

In this article, we’ll show you the step by step process on how to properly change a WordPress theme with a step by step checklist.

How to Properly Change a WordPress Theme (Ultimate Guide)

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

Things to Do Before Changing a WordPress Theme

While changing a theme is literally a few clicks away, you must take some precautionary steps before starting the process.

We recommend that you to go through the following checklist to ensure that the process of changing your WordPress theme goes smoothly, and you don’t end up losing important data.

1. Copy Snippets from Your Current Theme

Some intermediate WordPress users like to customize their website by adding code snippets directly to the functions.php file of their theme.

Since these changes were made once, people usually forget about them.

If you or your web developer made these changes, then make sure to go through the files of your current theme and note down all the additional code that you’ve added previously. This will allow you to add them later into your new theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific WordPress plugin.

2. Test Load Time

Before changing your theme, you should check the load time of your website, so you can easily compare the differences in the page load time after you made changes to your website.

Remember, WordPress speed is an important factor in user experience and SEO, so you need to make sure that the new theme is faster than your previous one.

You can check your website speed by using a tool like Pingdom.

Make sure that you test the load time of the homepage and also some of your inner pages.

3. Don’t Lose Any Tracking Code

Some users add their analytics tracking code directly to their theme files. Also, there are WordPress themes that allow you to add Adsense or Analytics code in their settings panel.

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is to overlook these codes.

You need to make sure that you copy all the tracking codes, so you can add them to your new site after changing the theme.

To future proof this, we always recommend users to install Google analytics using a plugin like MonsterInsights, and for other tracking code we recommend using the header and footer plugin.

4. Make a Full Backup

It’s always recommended to back up your posts, images, plugins, and the database before changing your theme.

You can use a WordPress backup plugin to create the backup of your entire site. Make sure that you download this backup to your computer before moving forward.

This step will ensure that you can recover your website easily if anything goes wrong.

5. Sidebar Content

Sidebars are used for adding different widgets including social links, advertisements, subscription forms, or a contact form.

Make a note of these changes. If there is any custom code added into a widget, then make sure you copy and paste this code on your computer, so you can reuse it in your new theme.

6. Keep Your Site on Maintenance Mode

It’s a good practice to put your website on maintenance mode when you’re making changes to it. You don’t want your visitors to see an under construction site, right?

We recommend using the SeedProd plugin for this purpose.

SeedProd plugin

It’s a popular WordPress plugin that allows you to easily create beautiful coming soon and maintenance mode pages for your site.

To keep your site on maintenance mode, you need to install and active the SeedProd plugin.

Next, head over to SeedProd » Settings page to configure plugin settings. Here you need to select the Enable Maintenance mode radio button and click on the Save All Changes button.

SeedProd enable maintenance mode

How to Install a WordPress Theme

After following the above precautions, the next step is to install a theme that you want to use on your site.

There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available for you to pick from. The fact that you’re reading this article means you’ve likely found a good theme for your needs.

If you haven’t already selected a theme, then we can highly recommend the following WordPress themes to you:

1. Divi

Divi WordPress theme

Divi is one of the most popular WordPress theme in the market. It’s powered by the drag and drop Divi Builder which allows you to easily build any kind of website.

It comes with 20+ pre-built layouts and 46 different content elements. You can easily customize each element of your site and see the changes in real time.

2. Astra

Astra WordPress theme

Astra is a lightweight and speed-optimized WordPress theme. It’s compatible with various page builder plugins like Beaver Builder, Divi, and Visual Composer.

It’s a translation and RTL-ready theme. This allows you to start your website in any language and even create a multilingual website.

Astra can be easily integrated with the WooCommerce plugin, so you can easily create an online store without much hassle. You can also customize the header, footer, layout, and more using the WordPress Theme Customizer.

Our favorite part about Astra is all the starter website templates it comes with.

3. StudioPress

StudioPress WordPress themes

Genesis is the most popular WordPress theme framework and has been built by the StudioPress team. You can create amazing websites using the Genesis framework and other StudioPress themes.

In case you don’t know, StudioPress is now a part of WP Engine, the most popular managed WordPress hosting company.

The best part is you’ll get 35+ StudioPress themes for free if you sign up for any WP Engine hosting plan.

4. OceanWP

OceanWP WordPress theme

OceanWP is a responsive and multi-purpose WordPress theme. It offers multiple demo templates that have been built with different professions and businesses in mind.

It is compatible with the major page builder plugins. You can also use different extensions to take your site to the next level.

5. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder plugin

Beaver Builder is one of the best drag and drop page builder plugins that allow you to build stunning pages for your site without any coding skills.

Beaver Builder is compatible with almost every WordPress theme, and you can even use it to create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

Anyways, we hope the above recommendations will help you to choose a WordPress theme for your site.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you need to install it on your WordPress site. Y

ou can use any of the following 3 methods to install a WordPress theme:

  • Using the WordPress theme search option
  • Uploading a theme from your WordPress Dashboard
  • Installing a theme using FTP

You can check out our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme for help.

How to Change WordPress Theme Without Going Live

Once you’ve installed your new theme, you are ready to switch themes.

However, it’s always recommended to test a theme before switching to it on your live website.

This way you’ll be able to check the compatibility of the new theme with your existing plugins and make sure that everything is working properly as desired.

There are two ways that you can use to change your WordPress theme without going live:

1. Live Preview Option

By default, WordPress allows you to preview a theme on your website without changing it.

To do that, head over to Appearance » Themes from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

On this page, you’ll see all the installed themes on your site. You need to hover your mouse over the theme you want to preview and click on the Live Preview button.

WordPress Theme Live Preview Option

This will open your new theme in the WordPress Theme Customizer. You can now test your new theme and make sure that everything is working properly.

2. Theme Switcha Plugin

Another option is to use the Theme Switcha plugin. It allows you to preview your new theme without activating it.

First, you need to install and activate this free plugin. Next, go to Settings » Theme Switcha from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

Theme Switcha plugin settings page

On the Settings page, you need to select the “Enable theme switching” option and then, scroll to the bottom of the page to click on Save Changes.

This plugin will now display all your installed themes at the bottom of this page. Go ahead and click on your new theme to preview it on a new tab of your web browser.

Theme Switcha available themes section

How to Change WordPress Theme on Live Site

After you have tested your new theme, it’s time to start the process of switching the theme on your WordPress site.

To do that, go to Appearance » Themes from the left sidebar of the WordPress admin panel.

Change WordPress theme on live website

On this page, you need to hover the mouse cursor over the theme you want to use and then click on the Activate button to change the WordPress theme.

Now you can visit the homepage of your website to see the new theme in action.

How to Change WordPress Theme Manually

Sometimes an error can make your WordPress admin area inaccessible. In that case, you won’t be able to change the theme using the above method.

To recover your website, you need to restore it from backup, or you may troubleshoot the WordPress error causing the problem.

However, if you don’t have a backup, then you can change the theme manually with the help of phpMyAdmin.

This method allows you to inform WordPress which theme to use by changing the information in the database.

First, you need to connect to your website using an FTP client and go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder.

FTP WordPress themes folder

Here you’ll be able to see all the themes that are currently installed on your website. You can also install a WordPress theme via FTP if you don’t see it.

Next, you want to write down the folder name of the theme you want to use because you’ll need it later.

After that, you need to go to the cPanel of your WordPress hosting account. On this page, you will have to scroll down to the Databases section and then click on phpMyAdmin.

cPanel open phpMyAdmin

Once you are in phpMyAdmin, you’ll see a list of databases on the left side of the screen. Simply click on the database that you are using for your WordPress site.

phpMyAdmin open database and table

Next, it’ll show you the list of tables in this database. You need to click on the “wp_options” table to open it.

Note: By default, WordPress use wp_ as the prefix for the table names. However, it’s possible to have a different database prefix, as shown in the above image.

Now you need to locate the template and stylesheet rows on the right panel.

Template and stylesheet rows

Next, click on the Edit link present in the “template” row to open the editor.

Here you need to change the value in the option_value field to the theme name that you want to use. It’s usually the same as the folder name in /wp-content/themes/ folder that you copied earlier.

Change template value

Once you’re done, click on the Go button to save the changes. Next, go ahead and repeat the same process for the “stylesheet” row.

After making changes to both the rows, you can go to your website to see the new theme in action.

Things to Do After Changing Your Theme

Once you’ve changed the theme on your website, you need to take care of certain things before turning off the maintenance mode.

You can check out the following checklist of things to do after changing your WordPress theme:

1. Test Your Website

First, you need to make sure that all the functionalities, plugins, and widgets are working properly.

You should invest some time to test your website and check out different things including the posts, comment section, images, and the contact form.

2. Cross Browser Compatibility

Browsers have a tendency of showing certain things differently.

To make sure that your website looks good in every major browser, you should test your site in different web browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

3. Add Tracking Code

After you’ve tested the features and the cross-browser compatibility, you should add your analytics and Adsense tracking code to your site.

You can use the MonsterInsights plugin to add the Google Analytics tracking code. This will allow you to properly setup analytics and view detailed website stats right inside your WordPress dashboard.

4. Turn Off Maintenance Mode

You can disable the maintenance mode on your site to make it go live.

If you’re using the SeedProd plugin, simply go to SeedProd » Settings from the left sidebar. On the settings page, select “Disabled” and click on Save All Changes to turn off the maintenance mode.

SeedProd disable maintenance mode

5. Test Loading Time

You need to go to the Pingdom website again to test the loading time of your homepage after changing the theme.

Next, compare it to the load time when your old theme was installed. If you see any major differences, you can follow our guide to improve WordPress speed.

6. Monitor Bounce Rate

After switching themes, you should monitor the bounce rate of your site.

If your new theme is not user-friendly and difficult to navigate, it may increase the bounce rate of your site.

You can add related posts, popular posts widget, and breadcrumbs to reduce the bounce rate and increase page views.

7. Ask for Feedback

You can also ask your users for feedback and suggestions on how to improve your site design. You can use survey forms or online poll to gather user input.

You can share the new design with your subscribers using an email marketing service and ask them for their suggestions. This will help you to get ideas on what they would like to see improved.

We hope this step by step guide helped you easily change your WordPress theme. You may want to see our list of the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites.

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



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


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

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

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

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

How to Change Your Password in WordPress

Before You Change Your WordPress Password

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Change Your WordPress Password in 2 Minutes

This is the easiest way to change your WordPress password.

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

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

Your Profile Page in WordPress

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

Generate Password in WordPress

WordPress will automatically create a strong password for you.

Auto Password in WordPress

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

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

Create a Strong WordPress Password and Save it

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

WordPress Profile Updated with New Password

How to Reset Your WordPress Password When Locked Out

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

But what if you lost your password and cannot login?

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

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

Recovering lost password in WordPress

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

WordPress password recovery screen

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

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

How to Change the WordPress Password from Database

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

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

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

phpMyAdmin in cPanel

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

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

Select your WordPress database

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

Browse user table

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

Edit user account in phpMyAdmin

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

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

Change password

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

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

How to Force Change WordPress Password for all Users

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

This can be easily done using a Password Expiration plugin.

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

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

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



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How to use WordPress App on your iPhone, iPad, and Android (Guide)


Did you know that nearly half of all global website traffic originates from mobile devices? People are not just browsing the web on mobile, they are also creating content using mobile apps from platforms like WordPress, Facebook, and other media sites.

Over the years, the WordPress mobile apps have seen significant improvements to help you easily publish content and manage your website using a mobile device. WordPress app is already available for both Android and iOS devices.

In this article, we will show you how to use the WordPress app on your iPhone, iPad, Android, and other mobile devices.

How to use the WordPress app on mobile devices

Why Use WordPress App on iPhone or iPad?

The WordPress app allows you to create content and manage your website from anywhere in the world specially when you’re traveling.

You can capture and upload photos, record and upload a video, write quick blog posts while riding the train or bus, walking around, or hanging out with friends. You can take your WordPress site with you in your pocket.

By default, the WordPress admin area is fully responsive and works well on mobile browsers.

WordPress admin area on mobile browser

However, this user interface is not optimal for mobile usage.

On the other, the WordPress app is designed to be touch-friendly, mobile optimized, and easy to use. It has an intuitive user interface which makes using the WordPress app a pleasure.

Writing without a physical keyboard had been an issue for many bloggers. The app combines your device’s native touch keyboard with WordPress formatting buttons, making it simple and easy to write posts on touch devices.

What Do You Need to Use the WordPress Mobile App?

Unlike other mobile apps, you actually need to have a WordPress website or a WordPress blog before you can start using the WordPress app.

The WordPress app works for both the popular free self-hosted WordPress.org platform as well as the WordPress.com blog hosting service.

For details, see our side-by-side comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

Setting up Your Website for WordPress Mobile Apps

You’ll need the following two things to connect your website to the WordPress app:

  • JetPack plugin on your website
  • A free WordPress.com account

Let’s get started.

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

Upon activation, you’ll need to click on the setup button to continue.

Next, you will be asked to sign in with a WordPress.com account. If you already have one, then you can go ahead and sign in. Otherwise, you can continue to signup for a free account.

Sign up with WordPress.com

During this process your self-hosted WordPress.org website will be connected to JetPack servers via your free WordPress.com account.

Once that’s done, you are now ready to start using the WordPress app on your mobile device(s).

Setting up the WordPress App on Your Mobile Device

First, you need to install the WordPress app on your device. It is available for Android, iOS (iPhones and iPads), Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

WordPress Apps

Next, you need to open the app and sign in to your WordPress.com account.

Login to your WordPress.com account

After that, the app will connect and fetch your website information.

Logged in to the WordPress app

You can now click on the continue button to move forward and view the app dashboard. This is where you will manage your WordPress site using the mobile app.

WordPress App dashboard

Editing Blog Posts with WordPress App

The WordPress app comes with an intuitive user interface to make it easy for you to create / edit blog posts and pages on your website.

You can view all your posts by clicking on the Blog Posts menu from the app dashboard. This will show you a list of your recent blog posts.

Adding new blog post using the WordPress app

You can edit any blog post or tap the add new button to create a new blog post.

This will launch the WordPress app’s content editor. From here, you can write a new post using your phone’s native keyboard which will have a formatting toolbar at the bottom.

Editing posts in the WordPress app

You can click on the ‘Add’ button to add images to your blog post. The app will allow you to upload images from your device, using your phone’s camera, or from the WordPress media library.

Upload images to your blog posts

The app also allows you to change other post options. To access those options, tap on the three-dot menu on the top right corner of the edit screen and then select ‘Post settings’.

Editing post settings

This will bring up the post settings menu. From here, you can add category and tags, featured image, change post status, and other options.

Post options

The WordPress app comes with built-in autosave feature which saves your posts locally on your device. Once you are done editing the blog post, simply click on the publish or update button at the top right corner.

The app will now upload the post to your website. You can visit your website in a browser to see it in action.

Switching to The New Block Editor in WordPress App

The app also includes the new WordPress block editor, but it is not turned on by default. In order to use the new editor with the app, you need to tap on your profile icon at the bottom and then select App Settings.

App settings

This will bring up the app settings menu where you can turn on the block editor.

Enable block editor in the WordPress app

You can now create WordPress posts in the app using the same block editor that you use on Desktop. However, the number of blocks available on the app is very limited at the moment.

Editing with the block editor in WordPress app

Upload and Manage Media Files Using WordPress App

The WordPress app allows you to easily manage and upload photos / videos from your phone.

You can upload media while writing posts, or you can directly launch the Media library from the app dashboard.

Media menu in WordPress app

This will launch the WordPress media library, and you’ll be able to see all media files in your library. You can edit media files, delete them, and even upload new photos and videos from your phone using the Add button.

Upload media

Managing Comments on The Go Using The WordPress App

Comments help boost user engagement and build a community around your WordPress blog. The WordPress app makes it easy to moderate comments on the go.

Managing comments via WordPress app

You can view all comments on your site by visiting the Comments tab from the app dashboard. You’ll see comments awaiting moderation and approved comments.

Comments list

You can click on any comment to view more options. This will allow you to edit the comment, approve or disapprove it, mark it as spam, or add a reply.

Replying a comment via WordPress app

Performing Admin Tasks via WordPress App

The WordPress app comes with limited options to manage administrative tasks on your WordPress site via the app. Let’s take a look at these options and what you can do with them.

First, the WordPress app allows you to modify some of the site settings from the ‘Settings’ tab.

Settings menu

These settings are similar to the settings you see in your WordPress admin area. You can change site title, tagline, default category, timezone, and other options.

Site settings in WordPress app

However, you will not see settings pages created by your WordPress plugins.

Speaking of plugins, the WordPress app does allow you to manage and even install plugins from the WordPress.org plugin directory.

Managing plugins via WordPress app

However, you cannot use any of the plugins inside the app or access their settings. This feature is mainly useful when you need to activate or deactivate a plugin while away from your computer.

Same goes for WordPress themes. The app allows you to switch between installed themes on your WordPress site, but you cannot install new themes from the app or customize them.

Managing WordPress themes via the app

Is it Possible to Run WordPress Entirely from The App?

No. Currently, it is not possible to efficiently run a WordPress site using only the WordPress app.

For example, you cannot manage plugins using the app. Plugins are an essential part of a WordPress website and you need them to extend your website’s functionality.

You also cannot access custom post types, SEO options, use cover images, use blocks created by plugins, and more.

Why and When to Use The WordPress App?

While the WordPress app is not enough to efficiently run the entire website, it does an excellent job of providing you an easy to use interface to write content, upload photos, and manage comments while away from your computer.

It can also be used when traveling to places with low connectivity. You can use some of the app features offline which allows you to save content as local drafts.

It can be used as a companion app to create content on the go and manage routine tasks like moderating comments.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use the WordPress app on your mobile devices. You may also want to see our list of the best mobile apps to manage your WordPress site.

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

The post How to use WordPress App on your iPhone, iPad, and Android (Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Use WordPress Theme Customizer (Ultimate Guide)


Did you know that WordPress comes with a built-in theme customizer that allows you to easily make changes to your website design in real time.

While every theme has some level of support for the default customizer options, many themes include additional tabs and options to the WordPress theme customizer, so you can easily customize your theme without any coding knowledge.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the default panels and show you how to use the WordPress theme customizer like a pro.

How to Use WordPress Theme Customizer Ultimate Guide

How to Access the WordPress Theme Customizer

Theme customizer is a default WordPress feature, and it is part of every WordPress website.

You can access it by logging into your WordPress admin area, and then going to Appearance » Customize from the left sidebar of your WordPress admin panel. This will open the Customizer interface with your current theme.

How to access WordPress Customizer

You can also use the WordPress theme customizer page for any of the installed themes on your website even when they are not active.

This allows you to see a live preview of that theme and make changes before you activate it.

To do that, you need to head over to Appearance » Themes page.

Next, hover your mouse cursor over on any installed theme and click on the Live Preview button to open the WordPress theme customizer page.

WordPress Theme Live Preview Option

How to Use the WordPress Theme Customizer

After opening the WordPress theme customizer, you’ll see all customization settings on the left side of your screen, and the live preview of your website on the right side.

WordPress Theme Customizer

WordPress theme customizer comes with a set of default panels regardless of the theme you’re using.

You need to click on the individual panels to make changes to it. You can also click on any of the blue pencil icons on the right side of your screen to open the settings for that particular item.

Note: advanced WordPress themes will add additional setting panels for extra customization options (more on this later).

Let’s take a look at the default options available in the WordPress theme customizer.

Site Identity Panel: Add Title, Logo, and Favicon

The Site Identity panel in the WordPress theme customizer allows you to add or change the title and tagline of your website.

By default, WordPress adds “Just Another WordPress Site” as the site tagline.

It’s recommended to change it after installing WordPress on your site. You can also keep it as blank if you want.

Site Identity Settings to change Site title, tagline, logo, and favicon

Site Identity panel in the WordPress theme customizer also allows you to add your site logo. Simply, click on the Select logo option to upload the logo of your website.

Want to add a favicon to your site? You can do that by clicking on the Select site icon option. For detailed instructions, you can follow our guide on how to create and add a favicon to your site.

WordPress Theme Customizer: Change Colors on Your Website

The controls on the Colors panel will mostly vary depending on the WordPress theme you’re using.

For example, the Twenty Seventeen theme allows you to choose the header text color and select a color scheme for your entire website.

Change Colors on Your Website

Other WordPress themes may offer different color options for site elements like: headings, links, body text, background of your website, etc.

Adding Navigation Menus in Theme Customizer

The Menus panel allows you to create navigation menus and control their location on your website.

On this tabl, you’ll find all existing WordPress menus that you’ve created previously. You can click on the “View All Locations” button to check the available menu locations that your theme supports.

Menus Panel in Theme Customizer

To create a new menu, you need to click on the Create New Menu button.

After that, you will need to give a name to your menu, so you can easily manage it later. You can also select the menu location and then click on Next to proceed.

Create a new navigation menu

To add items to this menu, you need to click on the Add Items button to open a new panel. You can now add custom links, pages, posts, categories, and tags as menu items.

Add items to navigation menu

To reorder the items, you can click on the Reorder link and then use the arrow icons to adjust the menu items.

Control Widgets on Your Website in Theme Customizer

The Widgets panel allows you to add and manage the widgets on your site.

Clicking on it will show you the different locations where you can add widgets. This will vary depending on the theme you’re using.

For example, the Twenty Seventeen theme offers 3 widget locations, whereas the Twenty Nineteen theme comes with just one location.

Widgets panel

When you click on any one of them, you’ll see the widgets that you’ve previously added to that location.

To add a new widget, you need to click on the “Add a Widget” button. This will open a new panel where you’ll see a list of all available widgets.

Add Widgets to your site

You need to click on the one that want to add. You can also make changes to the newly added widgets and adjust its position by dragging them up or down.

Homepage Settings Panel in Theme Customizer

By default, WordPress displays the latest blog posts on your homepage.

However for business websites users prefer to use a custom homepage. It allows you to have a proper landing page that displays your products and services.

To use a custom home page, you need to select “A static page” radio button on the Homepage Settings panel.

Homepage Settings in theme customizer

This will open up two new dropdown menus that you can use to select a page for your homepage and another for displaying your blog posts.

In case you don’t have the pages on your site, you can create a new one by clicking on the “+ Add New Page” link present below the dropdown menu. This will create a blank page with the name of your choice.

Additional CSS Panel for Adding Custom CSS

Do you want to add custom CSS code to style your website? You can do that in the Additional CSS panel.

Intermediate and advanced WordPress users often customize their site by adding CSS code directly to the style.css file of their theme. This adds additional steps like having FTP access to your WordPress hosting, modifying theme files, etc.

An easier solution for beginners is to add your custom CSS code to the Additional CSS panel in the WordPress theme customizer. This will allow you to make changes to your site and see them live on the right side of your screen.

Add Custom CSS code to Additional CSS pane;

When you start writing some CSS code, WordPress will automatically suggest attributes to you based on the letters you type. It will also display error messages if you have not written a proper CSS statement.

Note: If you want to customize your website without writing any code, keep reading. We will share two beginner friendly options that will allow you to easily customize your theme and even create a custom WordPress theme.

Other Theme Customizer Options

Some free and premium themes offer more theme customizer options.

Depending on the theme you’re using, you may be able to change the font style, add a background image, change the layout, modify colors, add random header images, and much more.

You can also add specific features to your theme customizer with the help of plugins. For example, you can add custom fonts in WordPress using the Easy Google Fonts plugin.

Preview Your Website on Different Screen Resolutions

It’s important for every website owner to make sure that their website is mobile responsive and looks good on all screen sizes.

Thanks to the WordPress theme customizer, you can easily check how your website looks on different screen sizes.

At the bottom of the Theme Customizer panel, you’ll find three icons and the “Hide Controls” link.

Preview website on different screen resolutions

These icons allow you to test your site on different screen resolutions like desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

The Hide Controls link is useful for hiding the WordPress Customizer panel so that you can view your site properly on the desktop mode.

Publish, Save, or Schedule Your Customizer Settings

Once you have made the necessary changes, you need to apply them to your site. Otherwise, all your hard work will be lost.

Go ahead and click on the Publish button to apply the changes. Once done, you can click on the close button, present at the top-left corner of your screen, to exit the theme customizer.

Publish WordPress Customizer settings

What if you need more time to finalize your new design? In that case, you can save it as a draft and even share your new design with someone without giving them access to your admin area.

To do that, you need to click on the gear icon right next to the Publish button. This will open up the Action panel.

WordPress Customizer Save Draft option

Here you’ll find three options: Publish, Save Draft, and Schedule.

You need to select the Save Draft radio button on the Action panel and then click on the Save Draft button to store your changes.

You can now copy the preview link and share it with others to get feedback.

On the other hand, the Schedule option allows you to publish your changes on a specific date and time. You can use this option for scheduling your theme changes to go live at the time when you receive the least traffic.

Schedule Customizer settings on a specific date

Lastly, if you want to reset the unpublished changes, then you can click on the Discard changes link on the Action panel.

Preview Different Themes Without Going Live

There are times when you want to check how a new theme would look on your site. However, you don’t want to activate them on your live website.

In that case, you can open the WordPress Customizer to test new themes without going live.

On the Customizer panel, you’ll find the name of your active theme and the Change button.

Change WordPress Theme from Customizer

If you click on that button, then WordPress will display all your installed themes on the right side of the page.

To check a particular theme, you need to click on the Live Preview button.

Preview Installed themes on Theme Customizer

You can also preview themes from the WordPress Themes Repository. To do that, you need to select “WordPress.org themes” checkbox on the left panel.

This will show themes from the WordPress.org directory. You can click on the “Install & Preview” button to check the theme you like.

WordPress themes directory

You can also filter the themes by clicking on the Filter Themes button present at the top-right corner of your screen.

Note: we recommend using a WordPress staging website to test out new themes instead of using the customizer on a live site.

Import or Export Theme Customizer Settings

Did you know that you can import and export your theme customizer settings?

This is extremely helpful when you are making changes to your theme on your local server or a staging site. Instead of copying the settings manually to your live website, you can simply export the theme customizer settings to save your time.

For detailed instructions, you can follow our guide on how to import and export theme customizer settings in WordPress.

WordPress Theme Customizer Alternatives

Although WordPress Customizer allows you to make changes to your site, the number of controls will vary depending on the theme you’re using.

What if you like your theme, but wish that it had extra customization options?

In that case, the best solution is to use one of the two customization plugins that works alongside the WordPress theme customizer.

CSS Hero

CSS Hero plugin

CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize your site without writing a single line of code. You have the freedom to style every element of your site without any hassle.

Do you want to customize the login page of your WordPress site? CSS Hero allows you to do that within a few minutes.

You can also edit and preview the changes in the frontend to make sure that your design looks perfect on every device.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder plugin

Beaver Builder is one of the best WordPress page builder plugins in the market. It allows you to build stunning pages for your site using a drag and drop interface.

The best part is that Beaver Builder works with almost every WordPress theme. This allows you to use it with your current theme.

Beaver Builder supports the use of shortcodes and widgets. It also offers different types of modules that you can use to easily style your website. See our guide on how to create custom layouts in WordPress for detailed instructions.

You can also use Beaver Builder to create a completely custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

We hope this guide helped you to learn how to use the WordPress Theme Customizer like a pro. You may also want to see our guide on the best WordPress plugins and tools for your website.

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Links or backlinks are an important search engine ranking factor.

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

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

How to Check if a Link is Nofollow?

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

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

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

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

Check nofollow attribute in the link

Your browser window will now split into two parts.

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

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

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

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

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

1. Affiliate and Sponsored Links

Most bloggers make money online using affiliate marketing.

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

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

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

2. External Links

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

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

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

3. Sidebar Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

select text to add link in Gutenberg Editor

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

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

Add external link to the textbox

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

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

Select edit as HTML option from the top bar

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

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

rel nofollow attribute to link

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

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

Select edit visually option

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

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

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

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

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

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

Add Link to WordPress Classic Editor

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

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

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

Add Nofollow attribute to a link in WordPress Classic Editor

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

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

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

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

Open code editor to edit external links

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

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

Add nofollow to external links

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

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

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

Add nofollow attribute to links in classic text editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Select a navigation menu to edit

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

Add Custom Link to Navigation menu in WordPress

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

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

Screen Options navigation menus

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

Add nofollow to Link Relationship XFN option

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

Click on the Save Menu button

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

External Links plugin settings page

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

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

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

Domains to exclude nofollow attribute

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

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

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

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



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Beginners Guide: 26 Most Common WordPress Mistakes to Avoid


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

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

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

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

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

Common WordPress mistakes to avoid

1. Choosing The Wrong Platform

Choosing the right WordPress

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

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

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

2. Buying More than What You Need

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

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

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

Upselling services

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

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

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

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

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

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

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

3. Not Setting up Automated Backups

Automated backups

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Not Setting up Google Analytics

Google Analytics

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

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

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

5. Not Setting up a Contact Form

Contact page

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

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

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

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

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

6. Not Building an Email List

Email list

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

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

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

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

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

7. Not Choosing The Right WordPress Theme

WordPress themes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Ignoring WordPress Updates

Ignoring WordPress updates

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

That’s not true.

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

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

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

9. Not Optimizing Your Website for SEO

Optimize WordPress SEO

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

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

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

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

10. Not Using Categories and Tags Properly

Categories vs Tags

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

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

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

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

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

11. Not Using Posts and Pages Properly

Posts vs Pages - What's the difference?

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

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

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

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

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

12. Not Choosing The Right URL Structure (Permalinks)

Choosing the right permalinks structure

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

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

13. Ignoring Website Speed and Performance

Website speed and performance

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

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

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

14. Not Choosing The Right Plugins

WordPress plugins

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. Ignoring WordPress Security Best Practices

WordPress security

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

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

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

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

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

16. Changing Website URL and Losing All Traffic

Changing domain names

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

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

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

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

17. Not Removing WordPress Demo Content

Remove demo content

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

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

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

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

18. Not Setting up Comment Moderation

Moderating comments

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

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

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

Manually approve comments

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

19. Not Optimizing Your Images for Web

Compress images

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

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

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

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

20. Saving Unnecessary Code in Theme’s Functions File

Code snippets

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

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

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

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

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

Theme editor in WordPress

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

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

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

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

22. Not Setting Up Google Search Console

Google Search Console

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

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

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

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

23. Using Uncategorized as Default Category

Uncategorized category

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

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

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

24. Not Using a Professional Branded Email Address

Free business email address

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

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

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

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

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

25. Leaving a Site Public While Working on It

Maintenance mode

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

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

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

26. Not Learning WordPress

Learn WordPress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We hope this article helped you learn about common WordPress mistakes and how to easily avoid them. You may also want to see our tips on effective ways to increase your website traffic without spending too much money.

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

The post Beginners Guide: 26 Most Common WordPress Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on WPBeginner.



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


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

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

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

How to easily deactivate WordPress plugins

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

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

How to Deactivate a WordPress Plugin

Let’s start with deactivating a single WordPress plugin.

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

Deactivate a WordPress plugin

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

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

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

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

How to Bulk Deactivate WordPress Plugins

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

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

Select all plugins

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

Bulk deactivate all WordPress plugins

WordPress will now deactivate all selected WordPress plugins.

How to Deactivate All WordPress Plugins via FTP

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

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

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

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

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

Rename plugins folder to deactivate all plugins

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

Plugins deactivated

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

Deactivated WordPress plugins

How to Manually Deactivate WordPress Plugins via PHPMyAdmin

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

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

phpMyAdmin icon in cPanel

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

WordPress options table

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

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

Active plugins row in the WordPress database

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Uninstall a WordPress Plugin

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

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

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

Delete WordPress plugin

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

Confirm plugin deletion

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

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

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

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

Removing unused shortcodes

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

[pluginshortcode]

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

add_shortcode( 'pluginshortcode', '__return_false' );

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

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

Cleaning up plugin traces from WordPress database

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

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

phpMyAdmin icon in cPanel

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

Delete plugin tables

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

Delete warning

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

Clean up unused WordPress plugin files

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

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

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

Delete plugin files

Should You Keep Deactivated WordPress Plugins Installed on Your Site?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

WordPress template hierarchy explained for beginners

Why Learn About WordPress Template Hierarchy?

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

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

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

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

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

Visualizing WordPress Template Hierarchy (Cheat Sheet)

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

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

Which template files are used by home page?

Site front page

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

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

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

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

Which template files are used by single post?

Single post page template

WordPress looks for these files to display a single post.

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

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

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

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

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

Which template files are used by single page?

Static page template

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. index.php – The default fallback template.

Which template files are used by category archives?

Category archive template

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

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

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

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

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

5. index.php – The default fallback template.

Which template files are used by tag archives?

Tag archive template

WordPress uses these files to display tag archive pages.

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

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

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

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

5. index.php – The default fallback template.

Which template files are used by custom taxonomy archives?

Custom taxonomy archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which template files are used by custom post types?

Custom post type archive

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

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

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

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

Which template files are used to display author archives?

Author archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which template files are used to display date based archives?

Date based archive

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

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

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

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

Which template files are used to display search pages?

Search result page

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

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

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

Which template files are used to display 404 error pages?

404 Error page

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

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

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

Which template files are used to display attachment pages?

Attachment pages

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

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

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

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

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

Which template files are used to display embeds?

Embeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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How to Completely Disable Comments in WordPress (Ultimate Guide)


Are you wondering how to turn off WordPress comments? While comments are a great way to interact with your site visitors, some website owners don’t want to allow comments on their site.

Thanks to WordPress, you have the ability to either disable comments on specific posts, pages, custom post types, or even completely remove comments from your entire website.

In this article, we’ll show you the step by step process on how to disable comments in WordPress.

How to Completely Disable Comments in WordPress

Why Disable Comments in WordPress?

Many small business owners use WordPress to create their website. These business websites often doesn’t have a blog section and mostly has static pages like services, about us, contact, etc. In such cases, it doesn’t make sense to allow comments at all.

In other cases, bloggers may publish certain posts like announcements that they don’t want to allow comments to trolls. In these cases, you can easily disable comments on those specific posts or pages.

The other scenario is some business blogs choose to disable comments entirely to prevent spam. Although you can always use spam protection techniques (which we’ll share later in this article), disabling the comment section will definitely solve the problem.

Whatever your reason may be, you can certainly disable comments and even remove the comment section from your WordPress site.

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

  • Disable Comments on Future Posts
  • Disable Comments on a Specific Page or Post
  • Disable Comments on Pages and Posts in Bulk
  • Delete All WordPress Comments
  • Disable Comments on Media
  • Disable WordPress Comments Sitewide using a Plugin
  • Remove “Comments are closed” in WordPress
  • Spam Protection Techniques

The first few methods will explain how you can disable comments on pages, posts, or media without using a plugin. We’ll later explain how to remove the comment section from your WordPress site with the help of a plugin.

With that said, let’s take a look at various ways to disable comments in WordPress.

Disable Comments on Future Posts

If you’ve just started your WordPress site, you can easily stop comments on your future posts.

To do that, go to Settings » Discussion from the left sidebar of your WordPress admin panel.

On this page, you need to uncheck the option that says “Allow people to post comments on new articles” and then click on the Save Changes button to store your settings.

Disable comments on future posts

This will disable comments on all your future posts. However, if you want to allow or disallow comments on a specific post, then you can still do it without changing this setting.

We’ll cover that in the next section.

Disable Comments on a Specific Page or Post

By default, comments are turned off on all your pages.

However, WordPress gives you the freedom to enable or disable comments on individual pages and posts.

Simply head over to Pages » All Pages from the left sidebar. On the next page, you need to hover your mouse cursor over the title of a page that you want enable or disable comments and click the Edit link.

WordPress Page edit option

On the top-right corner of your page, you’ll see the 3 vertical dots icon. You need to click on it to open a dropdown menu and then click on Options.

This will open a popup box, and you need to make sure the Discussion box is enabled here.

Page document options

Once you close this modal box, you’ll see the Discussion meta box on the right side of your editor. If you don’t see it, then please make sure that you click on the Document tab to view it.

Discussion meta box

Now, you can uncheck the Allow Comments box to disable comments on this page and click on Update to save the changes.

On the other hand, if you want to selectively enable comments, then you can just check the box to enable it for certain pages.

You can follow the same process for turning off comments on individual posts or other custom post types.

Disable Comments on Pages and Posts in Bulk

Want to disable comments on all your published posts and pages without doing it individually? You can do that without the use of a plugin.

First of all, go to Posts » All Posts to see all your articles.

Next, select all the posts, choose Edit from the Bulk Actions dropdown box, and click on Apply.

Edit Posts in bulk

You’ll now be able to perform bulk actions including changing the author name and turning off comments for all the selected posts.

Select Do not allow from the comments dropdown box and click on Update. This will disable comments on all your selected posts.

Disable comments on posts in bulk

You can follow the same process to turn off comments on your pages.

Delete All WordPress Comments

While the above methods will disable comments on your posts and pages, it will not remove the existing comments from your WordPress site.

To delete all the comments from your site, click on Comments from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

Delete all WordPress comments

Next select all the comments, choose Move to Trash option from the Bulk Actions dropdown box, and click on Apply. This will delete all the existing comments from your site.

If your website has a lot of comments, then you will have to repeat this step multiple times.

Disable Comments on Media

If you are looking to disable comments on media pages, then there are two ways to go about it.

You can either manually disable comments on individual media attachment files by following the methods we discussed above but that can be really time consuming.

The easier way to bulk disable comments on all media attachments is by using a code snippet. Simply paste the following code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function filter_media_comment_status( $open, $post_id ) 
    $post = get_post( $post_id );
    if( $post->post_type == 'attachment' ) 
        return false;
    
    return $open;

add_filter( 'comments_open', 'filter_media_comment_status', 10 , 2 );

In case you’re not comfortable with the above solution, you can check out the next section where we’ll show you how to use a plugin to disable comments on Media attachments.

Disable WordPress Comments the Easy Way Using a Plugin

If you don’t want to disable comments manually, then you can use the Disable Comments plugin to do it with just a click.

It allows you to completely disable comments everywhere on your WordPress site. You can also disable them on specific post types like posts, pages, media, and others. It also removes the comment form and stops displaying existing comments.

Disable Comments Plugin

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Disable Comments plugin. You can follow our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for detailed instructions.

After activating the plugin, head over to Settings » Disable Comments from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

Selecting the first option allows you to disable comments on your WordPress site. The plugin will also remove the comments menu item from your WordPress admin area.

Disable Comments Plugin Settings

Using the second option, you can selectively disable comments on your posts, pages, or media.

If you want to remove comments only from the media attachments, then you can select On certain post types radio button and then check the Media checkbox.

You can do the same if you only want to turn off comments on WordPress pages. Using the plugin is the easiest way to disable comments on WordPress pages.

When you’re done, simply click on the Save Changes to complete the process.

Remove “Comments Are Closed” in WordPress

If your WordPress theme is not checking the comment status properly, then it may still display the comment form, existing comments, or even show the “Comments are closed” message.

You can ask your theme developer to fix this because this is not a standard compliant approach.

Alternatively, you can also try fixing it yourself by following the instructions below.

First, connect to your WordPress site using FTP Client or the File Manager in your WordPress hosting control panel. Now navigate to your current theme folder which will be located in /wp-content/themes/ folder.

In your theme folder, you need to locate the file comments.php, right-click on that file, and rename it to comments_old.php.

Rename comments php file

Next, you need to right-click in the right panel of your FTP client and select Create new file option. And then, name your new file as comments.php and click the OK button.

Create a new comments file

This trick simply serves an empty comments template to your WordPress theme, so no comments or comment related messages will be shown.

If your WordPress theme does not have the comments.php file, then you need to ask your theme developer which file you need to edit.

Spam Protection Techniques

If you’re planning to disable WordPress comments just for the sake of protecting your site from spammers and link builders, then we would rather recommend you to use some of the following techniques to combat spam.

Akismet

Akismet WordPress Plugin

Akismet is one of the best plugins for dealing with spam comments. And the best part is it has been built by the team behind WordPress.

This plugin checks each comment on your site and verifies whether it’s spam or not. For more details, you can check out our guide on the Akismet plugin.

Closing Comments

Did you know that you can close comments after a certain period of time?

Close comments after a specific period

Head over to Settings » Discussion and check the field that says “Automatically close comments on articles older than 14 days”.

This will close the comments form after 14 days automatically. You can also change the number of days based on your needs.

Typically spammers target older posts, so several users change this setting to 180 days which significantly reduces spam.

Honeypot with Antispam Bee

On WPBeginner, we have found it helpful to add a second plugin called Antispam Bee which works alongside with Akismet to significantly reduce comment spam on your site.

It adds an invisible honeypot that blocks 99% of spam bot comments.

Comment Captcha

Though adding a captcha to your comment form is not user-friendly, it still helps you to protect your site from spammers.

You can use the Advanced noCaptcha and Invisible Captcha plugin to add Google reCaptcha just before the submit button of your comment form.

Remove Website URL Form Field

Another way to deal with link builders and spammers is to remove the website URL field from the comment form. Here’s an example from the WPForms website:

Remove Website URL field from comment form

And you can use the Comment Link Remove and Comments Tool plugin for this purpose. It allows you to remove the website URL field from your comment form without touching a single line of code. Isn’t that great?

Blocking Bad IPs

You can also block bad IP addresses from accessing your WordPress site. This will help you to block spammers and hacking attacks.

To do that, you can check our guide on how to block IP addresses in WordPress.

Anyways, we hope this detailed guide helped you to understand how to completely disable comments in WordPress with and without using a plugin.

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 Completely Disable Comments in WordPress (Ultimate Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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