Tag - Install

How Many WordPress Plugins Should You Install? What’s too many?


We are often asked by readers about how many WordPress plugins should they install on their site? The real question everyone wants to know is how many plugins are too many?

Since there are a lot of misconceptions about WordPress plugins, and how they can impact website speed, performance, and security, we want to explain this topic in details for our non-techy users.

In this article, we will explain how many WordPress plugins should install on your site. We will also talk about how plugins can and cannot affect your website. Our goal is to help you learn how to run your website with the perfect combination of WordPress plugins.

How many WordPress plugins can you install on your website?

About WordPress Plugins and How They Work

Before we dig deeper, let’s talk a little bit about WordPress plugins and how they work.

WordPress plugins are like apps for your website. They help you add new features and website functionality such as making an online store, adding contact forms, and more.

Like WordPress itself, plugins are also written in the PHP programming language. PHP code runs on your website’s hosting server and utilizes its resources.

This is why you must choose a good WordPress hosting company that gives you easy tools to manage those resources and run your website efficiently.

To learn more, see our detailed guide about how WordPress plugins work. If you want to dig even deeper, then take a look at how WordPress actually works behind the scenes (Infographic).

Ever since WordPress 1.2 (when support for WordPress plugins was added), plugins have been a blessing for users. WordPress without plugins is like a toy store with no toys. That’s no fun.

Why are Plugins Essential for WordPress Websites

Why you need plugins

Even though the WordPress core provides a strong publishing framework, it is the plugins that are widely responsible for making WordPress the most popular website builder in the world.

The number of total WordPress plugins available has grown over the years. At the time of writing this article, there are more than 54,000 free WordPress plugins available in the official plugins directory.

Apart from these free plugins, there are also thousands of premium WordPress plugins sold by third-party companies and developers.

Plugins can help you improve SEO, increase security, manage users, and more. It would be quite difficult to grow your business without using WordPress plugins on your website.

How Did WordPress Plugins Get a Bad Reputation

How plugins got bad rep

The purpose of plugins is to extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. However, now we see a sense of fear or restraint towards plugins from many beginner users.

People get worried about performance, security, reliability, etc. This is mainly because designers, developers, and web hosting support technicians get really frustrated when they are troubleshooting a client’s websites.

In their frustration, they make comments like ‘have fewer plugins‘, or ‘it is the plugins that are slowing down your site‘.

A developer blaming plugins for slow site

These statements have resonated throughout social media, in-person meetups, and conferences. The biggest issue with those statements is their ambiguity.

What is less? How many WordPress plugins are too many?

We believe the problem is not the quantity of plugins, but rather the quality.

You can have dozens of good WordPress plugins running on your website without any issues, but an addition of a single poorly coded plugin can slow down your website.

When this happens and you ask for troubleshooting help, your hosting company support technician or another developer will blame the quantity of plugins.

This makes sense because troubleshooting a website with 5 plugins is much easier than troubleshooting a website with 30. Quantity of plugins make their job harder.

It’s extremely important to take any such advice resulting from frustration with a bit of caution.

You should politely ask them to identify which specific plugin is causing the issue because simply blaming the quantity is a result of laziness.

To put this in perspective, our WPBeginner website has 62 active plugins right now, and it loads extremely fast.

If we were to add one bad plugin that slows down the website, then we should only have to disable that one bad plugin (not all 62).

With that said, let’s take a look at how plugins can affect different aspects of your website.

How WordPress Plugins Impact Website Speed & Performance

WordPress plugins and website performance

There are many different types of WordPress plugins, and they each impact your website performance differently.

There are plugins that affect mainly the front-end. For example, page builder plugins, contact forms, galleries, sliders, etc.

Then there are plugins that are mainly made to perform tasks within the back-end or admin area. For example, WordPress backup plugins, editorial plugins, various background processes, etc.

There are also plugins that run everywhere including admin area and front-end. For example, SEO plugins, WordPress firewall plugins, and more.

A WordPress plugin’s impact on website speed and performance depends on where that plugin is being loaded.

For example, plugins that are only loaded when you are doing specific tasks in the WordPress admin area usually will not impact your website’s performance.

On the other hand, plugins that are loaded on the front-end are likely to have a larger performance footprint.

Also plugins that perform routine background processes like broken link checking, 404 monitoring, etc can also significantly slow down your overall website performance.

Plugins can impact your site performance by:

  • Making additional HTTP requests – Some plugins (mainly front-end ones) may require custom styling or scripts to work properly. Because of this, they may add extra JS and/or CSS file(s). Loading these files require making additional HTTP requests which slows down your page load time.
  • Additional DB Queries – Some plugins may increase your database queries. For example, plugins to display popular posts, related posts, or anything else that pulls database elements and displays it on the front-end.
  • Background Processes & Database Writes – Some plugins can take up a lot of server resources while running background processes such as checking for broken links, monitoring and recording analytics like post views, etc.

Most good WordPress plugins will only load additional files when needed, and they will minimize the database calls. However, sometimes it is just unavoidable.

Luckily, there are optimizations available for most cases. Let’s take a look at a short term and a long term fix for these issues.

Before we do this, first make sure that you have caching enabled on your WordPress site. Without caching, your website will always be slow.

Now, let’s move on to other optimizations.

Fixing Additional HTTP Requests Issue

Plugins have to add additional HTTP requests (i.e JS and CSS file) to work out of the box. For example, when you install a contact form plugin, you want it to work and look good too.

People complain about additional HTTP requests while ignoring that they are sometimes necessary. Here is what an unstyled form would look like.

Contact form without styling

Most users would not like it, some would even think that it’s broken. Well, that is exactly what would happen if the contact form doesn’t add the additional HTTP requests to load CSS and JS files.

In short, the additional styles and scripts are needed for the plugin to function properly.

There are three ways to optimize the additional HTTP requests issue. All of them require some coding knowledge and WordPress know-how, but one will method is definitely easier than the others.

The first method would be to unregister the additional styles and scripts that are being loaded by the plugin. After that you can combine the plugin styles into your theme’s style.css file and combine the plugin scripts into your theme’s main JavaScript file.

The second method would be to conditionally load the plugin styles/scripts on pages where they are needed.

We have already explained both methods in our article about disabling additional scripts and stylesheets that WordPress plugins add.

As for folks who are not code-savvy, you can use a premium caching plugin like WP Rocket which allows you to minify and combine files with a single click. This will work for most cases, but in some cases it can cause conflicts with specific plugins.

With that said, you must understand that a few additional HTTP requests are not as significant as you may think. We are talking about milliseconds here. However if you have a lot of plugins that are adding additional HTTP requests, then this optimization will allow you to shave a few seconds off your load time.

A lot of non-techy business owners simply hire a WordPress developer from Codeable to speed up their website (which is a worthwhile investment).

Now that we have covered HTTP requests, let’s take a look at additional DB queries.

Fixing Additional Database Queries and Background Processes

Some plugins may increase the load on your database server. WordPress itself does a very good job at caching the queries and most well-coded plugins will not cause any significant issue.

However, if you have a high traffic website, then using database-driven plugins can become an issue especially if you don’t have proper server resources.

For example if you have a membership website or an online store with WooCommerce, then you are serving a lot of uncached requests. In this scenario the only real option is to use a managed WordPress hosting solution or even a specialized WooCommerce hosting solution.

Now there are some plugins that are extremely resource intensive, and you should avoid them at all costs.

For example, there are plugins that add various analytics functionality within WordPress such as some email opt-in plugin, website stats plugin, post views tracking plugin, etc. These plugins inefficiently write to the database on every page load which can significantly slow down your website.

You can track analytics in a more scalable manner with plugins like Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights or Jetpack Stats.

You can add email opt-in forms with more scalable tracking with plugins like OptinMonster or by using signup forms from your favorite email marketing services.

There are also plugins that monitor 404 errors and track broken links which can add heavy load and overwhelm the server resources. Instead of using those plugins, you should use a third-party cloud services like Ahrefs or SEMRush that automatically track broken links and offer a lot of other useful SEO insights as well.

If you don’t want a premium solution, then you can use a free tool like Broken Link Check which lets you check 300 pages at a time for broken links.

How WordPress Plugins Impact Security

How plugin can impact WordPress security

Security is another major concern when it comes to installing WordPress plugins. Many users worry that having more plugins can make their site more vulnerable.

It is true, that a poorly coded WordPress plugin can be exploited by hackers and make your site vulnerable. However, it is also true for just about every software that exists.

Oversights are bound to happen. However, the best part about open source is that many people are using the software, which makes it faster for a vulnerability to be discovered and fixed.

You can keep your website secure by using a WordPress security plugin like Sucuri. They scan thousands of websites and will help you catch most security problems with a vulnerable plugin.

You can also protect your website by improving your overall WordPress security. This allows you to add layers of security before any vulnerability can be exploited by hackers.

WordPress Plugins and Reliability

An abandoned plugin

Some folks are concerned about a plugin’s reliability. What if the plugin gets discontinued? What if the updates are slow?

The beautiful part about the open source WordPress ecosystem is that there are always alternatives.

If you use a popular plugin, chances are that it will not be discontinued. If it is, then someone else will likely fork it and continue the development. That’s the power of open source. This is also how WordPress came into existence (previous platform was called b2/cafelog).

As long as you pick plugins with a good track record and reputable authors, then you will be fine.

Can I Avoid Plugins by Adding Code Snippets?

There are articles throughout the web that shows you: “How to do XYZ in WordPress without a plugin” (like this one).

The purpose of these articles is not to discourage using plugins but to show you how to learn code. There are basically three ways you can add code snippets to your site. You can add them to your functions.php file, a site-specific plugin, or use a plugin to add custom code snippets.

Regardless of which method you choose, adding code snippets to your website has the same performance impact as a stand-alone plugin.

If you install code snippets that are identical to a plugin, then basically you are running the plugin without installing it. The downside is that you won’t get any plugin updates or security fixes for that code.

For more information on this topic, see our guide on WordPress plugin vs functions.php file which one is better.

How Many WordPress Plugins Should You Install? How many WordPress Plugins are too many?

How many plugins to install

You should install as many WordPress plugins as necessary to run your website and grow your business.

On average, its quite common for a business website to have at least 20 – 30 plugins.

If you’re using WordPress to it’s full potential and have many advanced features, then this count can easily go into 50+.

For example, here’s the number of active plugins on our websites:

  • WPBeginner – 62 active plugins
  • OptinMonster – 67 active plugins
  • WPForms – 54 active plugins
  • MonsterInsights – 68 active plugins
  • Syed Balkhi’s blog – 42 active plugins
  • RafflePress – 17 active plugins
  • WP Mail SMTP – 39 active plugins

These count should highlight that it’s not the quantity of plugins that slow down your website.

You will be fine with a large number of plugins, as long as you are using high-quality plugins that follow the WordPress coding standards.

Here is our website’s performance result via Pingdom.

WPBeginner Homepage Pingdom

Despite using dozens of plugins and custom code snippets, our website still loads in half a second (479 milliseconds).

How to Pick the Best WordPress Plugins?

One of the most frequently asked question by our users is ‘how do I choose the best plugins for my website?’

If you are looking for a free plugin, then only download it from WordPress.org plugin directory. The official WordPress plugin directory also makes it easier to choose good plugins.

How to Find the Best WordPress Plugin

You can see a plugin’s rating and reviews provided by other WordPress users. You can also see when the plugin was last updated and how many websites have it installed.

On the other hand, if you are looking into a premium plugin, then make sure they are from a well-reputed WordPress company or developer. If you are unsure, then look around for reviews and testimonials.

For more details, see our complete guide on how to choose the best WordPress plugins.

If you are just starting out, then see our expert-pick of the essential WordPress plugins that every website should have. You can also check out WPBeginner’s WordPress plugins category where we regularly share the best WordPress plugins and how to use them.

We hope this article answered your questions about how many WordPress plugins should you install. You may also want to see our article debunking the most common WordPress myths.

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 Many WordPress Plugins Should You Install? What’s too many? appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How To Bulk Install Your Favorite Plugins in WordPress


Are you looking for an easy way to bulk install your favorite plugins in WordPress?

If you frequently create new WordPress sites, then you likely have a list of must have plugins which you install on every website that you create.

By default, WordPress allows you to install one plugin at a time. Manually installing multiple one by one can take few extra minutes. This can become annoying if you do it quite often.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could quickly install all your favorite WordPress plugins at once? In this article, we will show you how to easily bulk install your favorite plugins in WordPress step by step.

Simple Guide on How to Bulk Install Plugins in WordPress

Installing WordPress Plugins in Bulk (Step by Step)

There are more than 55,000+ plugins available in the free WordPress.org directory alone. However, most users stick to a set of must have WordPress plugins that they install on each new website.

Let’s see how you can bulk install all your favorite plugins in one go.

Step 1: Install WPCore Plugin Manager Plugin

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

WPCore Plugin Manager is a free online tool which lets you create a collection of your favorite WordPress plugins and quickly install them on your site.

Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu labeled ‘WPCore’ in your WordPress admin panel. You need to click on it to configure settings.

WPCore Plugin Manager Plugin Settings

On the WPCore plugin collections page, you will be prompted to add a collection key to import plugins.

So, the next step is to create a plugin collection with your selected plugins and get the key. Alternatively you can use many other pre-made collections from their website such as WPBeginner’s Favorite Plugins collection.

Step 2: Create a Collection of Your Favorite Plugins

To create a collection of your favorite plugins, you need to visit WPCore website and click on the ‘Create your FREE account’ button.

Create a Free Account on WPCore

Next, you will see the registration page. Enter your username, email, and password, accept the terms, verify reCAPTCHA, and then click on the ‘Create Account’ button.

Register FREE on WPCore Website

On the next screen, it will allow you to create your new plugin collection. Add your collection title, description, choose ‘Public’ or ‘Private’ collection you want to make and then click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Create a New Plugin Collection on WPCore

After that, it will create the collection where you can add your favorite plugins in it. Simply click on the ‘Add’ icon next to ‘WordPress.org plugins’ to add plugins from the official WordPress plugin repository.

Add Plugins on Your Plugin Collection on WPCore

After that, a new popup window will appear where you can search for a WordPress plugin by its name. For example, we will search ‘MonsterInsights’.

Now it will search the plugin and show all the results related to the search term. Once the results are loaded, you need to choose the right option and click on it to add the plugin to your collection.

Search Plugin to Add in Your WPCore Plugin Collection

Once you select it, the plugin will be added to the collection.

Plugin Added to WPCore Plugin Collection

Now you can add more plugins by following the same steps.

The free version of the WPCore Plugin Manager lets you add only the free plugins from WordPress.org. If you want to bulk install custom plugins and premium WordPress plugins from other third-party sites, then you need to use their paid plan.

Once you have added all the best WordPress plugins of your choice, navigate to a small box at the top right side of your screen. The code in the red color inside the box is your plugin collection key.

WPCore Plugin Collection Key

Go ahead and copy the code. Next, you have to add the key on your WordPress site using the WPCore plugin which you installed earlier.

Step 3: Bulk Install Your Favorite Plugins

Go ahead and open the ‘WPCore’ option on your admin panel and click on the ‘Add a collection key’ button there.

Add Collection key on WPCore Plugin Manager Plugin

After that, it will show a field where you need to paste the plugin collection key. Paste the key that you copied earlier and click on the ‘Save Collections’ button. You can also use our collection key here too for installing WPBeginner’s Favorite Plugins collection.

Save WPCore Plugin Collection Key on WordPress

WPCore plugin will now load your plugin collection and prepare for installation. It will add a notification which reads ‘WPCore recommends the following plugins:’ at the top. and shows the list of the plugins

Now you just need to click on the ‘Begin installing plugins’ option, and the plugin will start the job.

Click Begin Installing Plugins Option on WPCore

On the next screen, you will see the ‘Install Plugins’ page with your list of favorite plugins. To install the plugins in bulk, select all by clicking on the box next to ‘Plugin’ option at the top.

Select All Plugins to Bulk Install on WordPress with WPCore

Once all the plugins are selected, click on the dropdown option and choose the ‘Install’ option. Next, click on the ‘Apply’ button.

Install WordPress Plugins in Bulk with WPCore

After that, WordPress will install the plugins one by one. Once done, it will notify you with ‘All installations have been completed’ message.

All Plugins Installed in WordPress with WPCore

Simply click on the ‘Return to Required Plugins Installer.’

On the next screen, you will see the list of plugins that you just installed. Now you have to activate these plugins.

First, select all plugins by clicking on the checkbox and choose ‘Activate’ option from the dropdown. Next, click on the ‘Apply’ button.

Activate Plugins in Bulk with WPCore

Now WordPress will activate all the plugins one by one. Once done, it will display a notification message to inform you that all plugins are active.

All Plugins Activated Message on WordPress with WPCore

After that, you can see your installed plugins by going to Plugins » Installed Plugins page from your dashboard.

Installed Plugins Page in WordPress

Now you can start configuring your plugin settings and other configurations on your website.

We hope this article helped you learn how to bulk install plugins in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to speed up WordPress and improve your WordPress security.

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 Bulk Install Your Favorite Plugins in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Install and Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast


Do you want to properly install and setup Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress?

Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market and offers the most comprehensive set of tools to optimize your website.

However, many beginners are not familiar with SEO lingo and find it difficult to decide which plugin options they should turn on.

In this guide, we will walk you through complete Yoast SEO plugin set up in WordPress and give your website an SEO boost.

Properly installing and setting up the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress

Features

Yoast SEO is the most comprehensive WordPress SEO plugin with many built-in tools and features. Here is a quick overview of some of those features.

  • Change post’s SEO title and meta description on a per post basis.
  • Title and meta description support for taxonomies (e.g. category and tags).
  • Google search result snippet previews.
  • Focus keyword testing.
  • Meta Robots configuration:
    • Easily add noodp, noydir meta tags.
    • Easily noindex, or nofollow pages, taxonomies or entire archives.
  • Improved canonical support, adding canonical to taxonomy archives, single posts and pages and the front page.
  • RSS footer / header configuration.
  • Permalink clean ups, while still allowing for Google Custom Search.
  • Breadcrumbs support, with configurable breadcrumbs titles.
  • XML Sitemaps with:
    • Images
    • Configurable removal of post types and taxonomies
    • Pages or posts that have been noindexed will not show in XML sitemap (but can if you want them too).
  • XML News Sitemaps
  • .htaccess and robots.txt editor
  • Ability to verify Google Search Console, Yahoo Site Explorer, and Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Basic import functionality for Platinum SEO Pack and All in One SEO plugins. (You can also use the SEO Data Transporter to transfer functionality from themes like Genesis child themes).

The premium version of the Yoast SEO comes with even more features.

  • A redirect manager that allows you to easily set up redirects.
  • Ability to use multiple focus keywords
  • Internal linking suggestions
  • Ability to export focus keywords
  • Video tutorials to help you understand each feature of the plugin.
  • Premium support provided by the folks at Yoast to help you make the most out of your site’s SEO.

For more features and details you may want to see our comparison of Yoast SEO vs All in One SEO Pack.

Video Tutorial

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If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

How to Install Yoast SEO Plugin

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

Upon activation, you will notice a new menu item in WordPress admin bar labeled SEO with Yoast SEO logo on it.

Yoast SEO plugin installed

Now that you have installed and activated the plugin, let’s take a look at how to properly setup this powerful plugin.

How to Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

You should remember, that the settings that we select are the ones that we recommend. Other experts may have their own preferences and discretion, so advanced users can ignore anything that they do not like.

If you are a beginner, and you want to use Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin as we do, then please follow along with the steps carefully.

Step 1. Data Transfer

Many of you probably have another WordPress plugin like All in One SEO pack, or a theme framework like Genesis dealing with your SEO data.

If you want to successfully use this plugin, then you need to make sure that all of your previous data has been transported to this plugin before you deactivate the other one.

To accomplish this, we recommend using SEO Data Transporter by StudioPress. If you’re setting this up on a new blog, then skip this step.

Step 2. General Settings

Clicking on the SEO icon takes you to the settings page for the plugin. Switch to the ‘General’ tab and you will notice a button to open configuration wizard. We want you to ignore this wizard, because we will be taking you step by step through each option.

Close set up wizard

Step 3. Features

Yoast SEO comes with a lot of features. This page allows you to easily turn those features on and off. By default, all options on this page are turned on.

Enable or disable Yoast features

We’ll talk about some of them later in this article. For now, let’s take a quick look at each item and what it does.

  • SEO analysis : Shows the SEO score and analysis for your content.
  • Readability analysis : Shows the readabity analysis and score for your content.
  • Cornerstone content : This feature allows you to mark and filter cornner stone content. These are your most important pillar articles.
  • Text link counter : This feature shows the number of internal text links to and from and article.
  • XML sitemaps : Creates XML sitemaps for your website.
  • Ryte integration : Ryte is a third-party service, it will weekly check your site and notify Yoast SEO if your site is deindexed.
  • Admin bar menu : Shows Yoast SEO menu in the WordPress admin toolbar.
  • Security: no advanced settings for authors : Hides advanced SEO settings from authors to improve security.

Step 4. Webmaster Tools

Popular search engines allow site owners to add their sites using webmaster’s tools area. See our complete Google Search Console guide to learn more about these tools.

Yoast SEO makes it easier to verify your website with all top search engines. In order to do that you need to sign up for webmaster tools program for each search engine.

After that, you’ll be asked to add a meta tag to verify your ownership of the website. Simply add the meta code that you received from the search engines in the respective fields.

Verifying webmaster tools in Yoast SEO

Step 5. Search Appearance

Search Appearance in Yoast SEO settings controls how your website appears in search results. This includes several options for your homepage, single articles, archives, and taxonomies.

We’ll walk you through each one of them. Let’s start with the general settings first,

1. General

Here you can choose the symbol you want to use a separator between titles. The default option is a dash, you can use it if you are unsure which symbol to choose.

Search appearance settings in Yoast SEO

On this page, you can also choose the SEO title and meta description for your website’s homepage.

Homepage title and description

After that, you will find the knowledge graph and schema options for your website. You can choose whether your website represents an organization or an individual.

Knowledge graph and schema options in Yoast SEO plugin

You can also upload an Avatar (profile picture) for the individual or a website logo for a business.

2. Content Types

You can choose an SEO title and description for each post or page that you write. Yoast SEO also allows you to set up an automatic template to use for them.

In case you forget to add them manually, these options will allow Yoast SEO to use default settings to automatically fill in those options.

Search appearance settings for each content type on your website

You will be able to set search appearance, date snippet, and whether or not to show SEO meta box for each content type. The default options would work for all websites.

After that, you can set SEO title template and a default meta description.

However, we recommend you to only tweak SEO title and leave the meta description field blank. This would allow Yoast SEO to dynamically generate a description from the first few lines of your article.

3. Media

By default, WordPress creates a new page for each image or media you attach to your posts and pages. This page only displays the attachment media.

Those attachment pages have no significant text to provide search engines a context. Such pages are considered low-quality content by search engines and have a negative SEO impact.

Yoast SEO helps you fix that by redirecting users to the attachment file instead of the attachment page. This option is set to ‘Yes’ by default and you don’t need to change it.

Disable attachment pages

4. Taxonomies

On the taxonomies tab, you can configure titles and meta for categories, tags, custom taxonomies, and post format archives.

Default template variables should work for most sites. As for descriptions, please remember that Yoast SEO picks up descriptions from your categories and tags.

Taxonomies

5. Archives

Archives tab allows you to control search appearance options for miscellaneous archive pages on your website. This includes author, date, search, and 404 pages.

The default options will work for most websites. However, if you run a single author blog, then you need to disable author archive pages from search engines.

Disable author archives from appearing in search results

On a single author blog, the author archive pages are exactly like the date archive or your blog pages. This creates duplicate content which affects your SEO rankings.

6. Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are great for internal linking because it defines a clear path or trail to the page you are on. These breadcrumbs also appear in search results giving your site extra advantage in the search.

Breadcrumbs displayed in search results

Make sure that you click on ‘Enabled’, this will reveal more breadcrumb settings.

Setting up breadcrumbs in Yoast SEO

The default settings should work for most websites, but if you want to change something then go ahead. Once you are done click on the save changes button.

If you want more robust breadcrumb features, then take a look at Breadcrumb NavXT plugin, that’s what we use on WPBeginner.

7. RSS

RSS Feeds are often used by content scrapers to copy content from your website. Yoast SEO allows you to add a backlink to your own site for each post in your RSS feed.

RSS settings in Yoast SEO

This way, you will get backlinks from their site, and Google will know that you are the original source.

There are options to add your author link, Post link, blog link, and blog description. So get creative. This can also be used to add advertisement to your RSS feed.

Step 6. Search Console

Search Console section in the Yoast SEO plugin, allows you to connect your WordPress site to Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools).

You can also connect WordPress to the Search Console and allow Yoast SEO to fetch and display your search console data.

Simply go to SEO » Search Console page and click on the ‘Get Google Authorization Code’ button.

Search console

This will take you to Google Search Console where you will be asked to give permission. After that, you need to copy and paste the Authorization code in the plugin settings.

Google Search Console provides a ton of useful information about your search rankings. See all the things that you can do with it in our complete Google Search Console guide.

Step 7. Social

As we said earlier, Yoast SEO is a powerhouse packed with many features to provide comprehensive optimization.

One great feature of the plugin is that it integrates your site with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ social platforms.

Clicking on the Social link under the SEO menu will take you to set up these platforms. We will show you how to configure each of them.

1. Accounts

The first tab under the social settings is for all your social accounts. This allows Yoast SEO to tell Google about your social profiles. You need to simply add the URLs and Twitter username for the main social profiles of your site.

Add social accounts in Yoast SEO

2. Facebook

You need to make sure that open graph metadata option is enabled under the Facebook tab. It allows Yoast SEO to add Facebook open graph metadata in your website’s <head&gt section.

Enable Facebook Open Graph in WordPress using Yoast SEO

This will help Facebook pick up the right thumbnail and page information when a post from your website is shared on Facebook.

Next, you need to provide a Facebook App ID if you have one

Below that, you will find the option to provide a thumbnail for your homepage with SEO title and description. This image and description will be used when someone shares the homepage of your site on Facebook.

Front page settings

Additionally, you can provide a default thumbnail image URL. This image will be used for all articles that do not have a thumbnail or any other image.

3. Twitter

As for Twitter, you can add Twitter cards into your site’s head section.

You can also choose the card type to use. We recommend using summary with large image.

Twitter cards settings in Yoast SEO

4. Pinterest

Pinterest uses Open Graph meta data just like Facebook. Make sure that you have open graph meta data box checked under Facebook settings.

After that, you just need to enter the site verification code provided by Pinterest. Simply visit your Pinterest account settings to add and verify your site. You will be provided with a meta tag that you need to enter here.

Confirm your site on Pinterest using Yoast SEO

Step 8. Tools

Yoast SEO comes with some built-in tools that allow you to perform some advanced tasks. Most beginners may not need to use these tools. However, we will show you each tool and what it does.

Tools in Yoast SEO

1. Import and Export

If you previously used another WordPress SEO plugin or a theme with built-in SEO functions, then you can use this tool to import SEO data.

Import export SEO settings and data

You can also use it to import and export Yoast SEO plugin’s settings and use them on a different WordPress site.

2. File editor

As your WordPress site grows, you may often come across tutorials asking you to add some code to your website’s .htaccess file or robots.txt file.

Both of them are configuration files and have a huge impact on your website’s SEO. Yoast SEO allows you to easily edit both files directly from the WordPress admin area.

Edit robots.txt and .htaccess file in Yoast SEO

3. Bulk editor

The bulk editor tool in Yoast SEO allows you to quickly add SEO title and description for all your blog posts and pages.

Under the Titles tab, you will find a blank field to add your new SEO title for that blog post. After that click on Save link to store your changes.

Bulk edit SEO title and description

To add descriptions, you will need to switch to the descriptions tab. Once again, you will be able to add a description for each blog post or page and save it.

Bulk description

Step 9. Redirects Manager (Premium)

Yoast SEO Premium adds a powerful redirect manager. This allows you to quickly set up redirects on your WordPress site.

Using the redirect manager you can quickly fix 404 errors, redirect users from an old article to a new one, and more.

Redirects manager in Yoast SEO

Note: Redirects play an important role in your website’s SEO. We recommend not tying it up with your SEO plugin.

Instead, you should use a dedicated redirect manager like Redirection to manage your redirects. This allows you to keep redirects working even if you stop using Yoast SEO.

For more information, see our guide on how to set up redirects in WordPress.

Step 10. Optimizing Your Posts and Pages with Yoast SEO

Just installing and setting up this plugin is not enough. In order for you to really maximize the benefit of this plugin, you need to customize the settings on per post basis.

Let’s take a look at how you can maximize the benefits by optimizing each post/page in WordPress.

Simply edit any post or page and you’ll notice a new Yoast SEO metabox below the post editor.

Yoast SEO meta box below a post editor

You can start by adding focus keyphrase or keyword. This is the main keyword, which you think your users will enter in search engines to find this post.

After that, Yoast SEO will check your post content for SEO and Readability analysis. You can view the analysis to further improve your article.

Sometimes your post title, and your SEO title might not be the same. Every time, you should write a custom SEO description because the excerpt generator only picks up the first paragraph which might not be the most important one.

Pro Tip: SEO and readability analysis report in Yoast SEO are quite accurate and immensely helpful in improving your content. However, don’t kill yourself over it or you will be spending more time on following the analysis instead of creating better content for your users.

To learn more about on-page optimization with the Yoast SEO plugin, see our article on how to optimize blog posts for SEO.

Step 11. Optimizing Taxonomies for SEO (Categories and Tags)

Just like your post and pages, you can also override the SEO title and meta descriptions for category, tag, and author archive pages.

Simply visit Posts » Categories page and click on the edit link below any category. On the category edit page, scroll down to the bottom and you will see the Yoast SEO meta box.

Optimizing a category or tag in Yoast SEO

You can do that for all your categories, tags, and custom taxonomy archives.

Step 12. Optimizing Ecommerce Products

Yoast SEO comes with full support for online stores and eCommerce websites using WooCommerce. This allows you to optimize your product pages just like you would optimize blog posts and pages.

You’ll find all eCommerce SEO options when adding a new product to your website. You can also edit any old product and optimize it by entering a focus keyword, SEO title, SEO description and more,

Optimizing products for SEO

For more details, see our complete WooCommerce SEO guide with step by step instructions.

We hope this guide helped you install and setup WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

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



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How to Install and Setup WordPress Multisite Network


Do you want to set up and install WordPress multisite network? WordPress comes with a built-in capability to create multiple websites using the same WordPress installation.

A WordPress multisite network is used by blogs, schools, and businesses, who need to run separate websites but want to manage them under one dashboard.

In this article, we will show you how to properly install and setup a WordPress multisite network.

How to install and setup WordPress multisite network

Since this is a comprehensive article, we have added the table of contents for easier navigation:

WordPress Multisite Basics

  1. What is WordPress Multisite?
  2. Pros of using a WordPress multisite network
  3. Cons of using a WordPress multisite network
  4. Who needs a WordPress multisite network?

WordPress Multisite Installation and Set up

  1. Requirements for a WordPress multisite network
  2. Choosing a domain structure for your multisite network
  3. Setting up wildcard subdomains
  4. Enabling WordPress multisite network feature
  5. Setting up your WordPress multisite network

WordPress Multisite Configuration Settings

  1. Configuring network settings
  2. Opening your multisite network for registrations
  3. New site settings
  4. Upload settings for your multisite network
  5. Plugin menu settings

Setting up Default Content, Theme, and Plugins

  1. Adding new sites to your WordPress multisite network
  2. Adding themes and plugins to your multisite network
  3. Adding default Content to new sites
  4. Troubleshooting and FAQs

    1. Troubleshooting WordPress multisite issues
    2. FAQs about WordPress multisite

    What is WordPress Multisite Network?

    A WordPress Multisite network allows you to run and manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs from a single WordPress installation.

    It enables you to create new sites instantly and manage them using the same username and password. You can even allow other users to signup and create their own blogs on your domain.

    The WordPress multisite network comes with advanced settings that you can use to customize each website / blog on your network.

    Pros of Using a WordPress Multisite Network

    In many situations, a WordPress multisite network can be more useful than managing multiple standalone WordPress sites. Here are some of the advantages of using a WordPress multisite network:

    1. As the network administrator, you can easily manage multiple sites from a single dashboard.
    2. Each site on the network can have its own admins. The site admins will have the capabilities to manage only their own website.
    3. You can install plugins / themes and activate them for multiple sites with one download.
    4. Multisite network also makes it easier for you to manage updates. You only need to update your WordPress, plugins, or themes on one “master” install.

    Cons of Using a WordPress Multisite Network

    Creating a WordPress multisite network is not always helpful in managing multiple sites. Here are some of the disadvantages that you should keep in mind before setting up a multisite network.

    1. All sites on the network share the same resources. This means that when your network is down, all other sites go down as well.
    2. It’s not easy to manage traffic and server resources for the beginner level users. In case, one of your websites gets unexpected traffic, then it will affect all other websites on the network.
    3. If one website gets hacked, then this means all sites on your network will get hacked.
    4. Some WordPress plugins may not work well on a multisite network.
    5. WordPress multisite network is not properly supported by all web hosting providers which limits your options. We will talk more about this later in the article.

    Who needs a WordPress multisite network?

    Just because you manage multiple WordPress websites does not mean you need to start using a multisite network.

    There are third party tools to manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard. Tools like InfiniteWP or iThemes Sync make it easier to maintain multiple WordPress sites under one roof without switching back and forth from one site to another.

    Here are some scenarios when creating a multisite network makes sense:

    1. A magazine website with different sections managed by different teams.
    2. A business website with sub-sites for different locations and branches.
    3. Government or non-profit websites can use WordPress multisite for different departments, locations, and regions.
    4. Your own network of blogs running on multiple subdomains.
    5. Schools and colleges allowing students to create their own blogs on school servers.

    Requirements for a WordPress Multisite Network

    All websites on a WordPress multisite network share the same server resources. This means that the most important thing you will need is a good WordPress hosting.

    If you are planning on having just a couple of websites with low traffic, then you can probably get away with shared hosting.

    However, due to the nature of multisite network, you’d need VPS hosting or a dedicated server as your sites grow.

    We recommend Bluehost because they offer both shared hosting and VPS/Dedicated servers, and they are also one of the official WordPress hosting partners.

    If you’re looking for an alternative, then SiteGround and WP Engine provide excellent service for WordPress multisite network.

    Apart from web hosting, you will need the basic knowledge of how to install WordPress and editing files using FTP.

    Choosing a Domain Structure for your Multisite Network

    On a WordPress multisite network, you can add new sites using either subdomains or sub-directories.

    Example of subdomain:
    http://site1.example.com

    Example of sub-directory:
    http://example.com/site1/

    If you choose subdomains, then you will have to configure wildcard subdomains on your server. We will show you how to do that in the next step.

    On the other hand, if you choose sub-directories or path based URLs for sites on your network, then you can skip the next step.

    Setting Up Wildcard Subdomains

    If you decide to use subdomains for websites on your multisite network, then you will need to setup wildcard subdomains for your multisite network.

    To do that, first you need to login to your WordPress hosting account’s cPanel dashboard. After that, you need to scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section and then click on ‘Subdomains’.

    Setting up wild card subdomains

    Note: Depending on your web hosting service, your cPanel dashboard may look slightly different than the screenshot above. This screenshot is from the cPanel on Bluehost.

    On the next page, you need to enter the * sign in the subdomain field and select your main domain from the drop-down menu.

    Adding wildcard subdomain

    Cpanel will automatically detect the document root and will display it in the field below. Now click on the ‘Create’ button to add your wildcard subdomain.

    Enabling WordPress Multisite Network Feature

    Multisite Network feature comes built-in with each WordPress installation. All you need to do is install and setup WordPress like you normally would. After that, you just need to enable the multisite feature.

    You can also enable the multisite feature on any existing WordPress site. Before you enable multisite, don’t forget to create a complete backup of your WordPress site.

    To enable Multisite, connect to your site using a FTP client or cPanel file manager, and open the wp-config.php file for editing.

    You need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file just before the /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ line.

    
    /* Multisite */
    define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );
    

    Once you are done, you can save and upload your wp-config.php file back to the server.

    This code simply enables the multisite feature on your WordPress site. Once enabled, you will still need to setup the multisite network.

    Setting Up Your WordPress Multisite Network

    Now that you have successfully enabled the Multisite Network feature on your WordPress site, it is time to set up your network.

    If you are setting up a mutlisite network on an existing WordPress website, then you will need to deactivate all plugins on your site.

    Simply visit the Plugins » Installed Plugins page and select all plugins. You need to select ‘Deactivate’ from the ‘Bulk Actions’ dropdown menu and then click on the ‘Apply’ button.

    Deactivate plugins

    You can now head over to Tools » Network Setup page to configure your multisite network.

    WordPress multisite network setup

    On the network setup screen, you will see a notice that you need Apache’s mod_rewrite module installed on your server. This module is installed and enabled on all the best WordPress hosting providers.

    The next thing you need to do is to tell WordPress what kind of domain structure you will be using for sites in your network, e.g. Subdomains or Sub-directories.

    After that, you would need to provide a title for your network and make sure that the email address in the Network admin email is correct.

    Click on the install button to continue.

    WordPress will now show you some code that you need to add to your wp-config.php and .htaccess file respectively.

    Add code to wp-config and .htaccess files

    You can use an FTP client or file manager in the cPanel to copy and paste the code in these two files.

    After that you will need to re-login to your WordPress site to access the multisite network.

    Configuring Network Settings

    Now that you have setup the multisite network, it is time to configure network settings.

    You need to switch to the ‘Network Dashboard’ to change network settings, add new sites, and configure other settings.

    When you take your mouse over to the ‘My Sites’ menu in the admin toolbar, a flydown popup will appear. Click on the Network Admin » Dashboard.

    Network admin dashboard

    This will take you to the multisite network dashboard. You will notice that there are new menu items to manage your multisite network. You will also see a “Right Now” dashboard widget that allows you to create a new site and add new users.

    Network dashboard

    To configure network settings, you need to click on the ‘Settings’ link in the admin sidebar.

    The first option on network settings page is to set your site title and admin email address. These fields will be filled automatically with the network title and admin email you entered during setup.

    Network settings

    Opening Your Multisite Network for Registrations

    The ‘Registration Settings’ section on the network settings page is probably the most important setting in your network setup.

    By default, both user and site registrations are disabled on the network.

    You can choose to open your site for user registration, or allow existing users to create new sites, or allow both user and site registration.

    WordPress multisite registration settings

    If you are opening your multisite network to registration, then you can check the box next to ‘Registration Notification’ option to receive email notifications every time a new user or site is registered.

    If you want to allow individual site administrators to add new users on their sites, then you can check the box next to ‘Add New Users’ option.

    Registration options

    Limited Email Registration option allows you to limit site or user registration to email addresses from specific domains. This is particularly useful if you only want to allow people from your own organization to register and create users or sites.

    Similarly, you can also ban certain domains from registration.

    New Site Settings

    The ‘New Site Settings’ section allows you to configure default options for new sites created on your multisite network.

    You can modify the welcome emails and the contents of first default post, page, and comment in these settings.

    New site settings

    As a network administrator, you can change these settings anytime.

    Upload Settings for Your Multisite Network

    It is important for you to keep an eye on the usage of your server resources. Under the Upload Settings section, you can limit the total amount of space a site can use for uploads.

    The default value is 100 MB which is probably good for at least 100 photo uploads. You can increase or decrease this space depending on how much disk space you have.

    Upload settings

    The default upload file types are images, audio, video, and pdf files. You can add additional file types if you want like doc, docx, odt, etc.

    After that, you can choose a file size limit, so that users can’t upload insanely large files to the server.

    Plugin Menu Settings

    Next, you can jump to the menu settings. It will allow you to enable the administrative menu for the plugins section on your network sites.

    Show or hide plugins menu to site admins

    Enabling this will show plugins menu to respective site admins. They can activate or deactivate a plugin on their individual sites, but they cannot install new plugins.

    Once you are satisfied with all the configuration settings, make sure to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.

    Adding New Sites to Your WordPress Multisite Network

    To add a new site to your WordPress multisite network, simply click on ‘Sites’ under My Sites » Network Admin menu in the admin toolbar.

    Adding new sites to your WordPress multisite network

    This will show you a list of sites on your current multisite installation. By default, you have your primary site listed as the only site in your WordPress multisite network.

    To add a new site, click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top.

    Add new site

    On the ‘Add New Site’ page, you need to provide the site’s address. You don’t need to type the full address, just the part you want to use as subdomain or sub-directory.

    Next, you need to add a site title, and enter the site admin’s email address.

    Adding new site details

    You can add an admin email address other than the one that you are currently using to manage your multisite network.

    If the email address is not currently in use by another user, then WordPress will create a new user and send the username and password to the email address you enter.

    Once you are done, click on the ‘Add Site’ button.

    A new site will be added to your WordPress multisite network. As the network admin, you will receive a new site registration email as well.

    If you created a new user, then that user will receive an email with instructions to set a new password and login.

    Adding Themes and Plugins to Your Multisite Network

    By default, individual site administrators in a multisite network cannot install themes and plugins on their own.

    As the network admin, you can install the respective plugins and themes, so it’s available for all sites on your network.

    Installing themes for your multisite network

    To add themes, go to My Sites » Network Admin » Themes page.

    Installed themes on your WordPress multisite network

    On this page, you will see a list of currently installed themes on your WordPress multisite.

    You can make a theme available to other sites by clicking on ‘Network Enable’ option under that theme. You can also disable a theme by clicking on ‘Network Disable’ link under the theme. Note: Network Disable option will only appear when the theme is enabled.

    To add a new theme, you need to click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of your screen and then install a WordPress theme as you would normally do.

    Once the new theme is installed, you will be able to make it available to other sites on your network with the ‘Network Enable’ option.

    If you need recommendations on which themes to make available to your network, take a look at our picks of the best WordPress themes that you can use.

Setting a default theme for your Multisite Network

After you have added a couple of themes, WordPress will still activate the default WordPress theme for each new site.

If you want to make another theme to be the default theme for new sites, then you need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file.


// Setting default theme for new sites
define( 'WP_DEFAULT_THEME', 'your-theme' );

Replace your-theme with the name of your theme. You will need to use the name of the theme’s folder, which you can find out by looking at the /wp-content/themes/ folder.

Installing plugins for your multisite network

Similarly, you can visit My Sites » Network Admin » Plugins page to install plugins and click on the ‘Network Activate’ link below each plugin to activate them on your multisite network.

Network activate plugins on a WordPress multisite

Following are a few essential WordPress plugins that we recommend for every website:

For more plugin recommendations, see our list of the essential WordPress plugins for all websites.

Note: If you have enabled the Plugins Menu option for site admins in the ‘Network Settings’ previously, then the site administrators can activate or deactivate installed plugins on their own. Site admins cannot delete or install a new plugin on their own.

Adding Default Content to Multisite Sites

By default, WordPress allows you to edit some default content for each site on your multisite network. You can go to Settings » Network Settings page and add them under the section ‘New site settings’.

New site defaults

You can edit the content for the default post, page, and comment. We recommend replacing the default content with something more useful for your site admins.

What if you wanted additional default content to be added to each new site?

By default, WordPress does not give you an option to create additional default content for new sites. If you want to do that, then you will need to add custom code to your WordPress multisite.

In this example, we are going to add a new default page to be created for each new site.


add_action('wpmu_new_blog', 'wpb_create_my_pages', 10, 2);
 
function wpb_create_my_pages($blog_id, $user_id)
  switch_to_blog($blog_id);
 
// create a new page
  $page_id = wp_insert_post(array(
    'post_title'     => 'About',
    'post_name'      => 'about',
    'post_content'   => 'This is an about page. You can use it to introduce yourself to your readers or you can simply delete it.',
    'post_status'    => 'publish',
    'post_author'    => $user_id, // or "1" (super-admin?)
    'post_type'      => 'page',
    'menu_order'     => 1,
    'comment_status' => 'closed',
    'ping_status'    => 'closed',
 ));
  
restore_current_blog();


You can use the same code with little modifications to create default posts for new sites. Check out the following code:


add_action('wpmu_new_blog', 'wpb_create_my_pages', 10, 2);
 
function wpb_create_my_pages($blog_id, $user_id)
  switch_to_blog($blog_id);
 
// create a new page
  $page_id = wp_insert_post(array(
    'post_title'     => 'A sample blog post',
    'post_name'      => 'sample-blog-post',
    'post_content'   => 'This is just another sample blog post. Feel free to delete it.',
    'post_status'    => 'publish',
    'post_author'    => $user_id, // or "1" (super-admin?)
    'post_type'      => 'post',
 ));
  
restore_current_blog();


Troubleshooting WordPress Multisite Issues

Most common issues with WordPress multisite network setup occur due to incorrect configuration of wildcard subdomains and domain mapping issues. Make sure that your web host supports wildcard subdomains before setting up multisite.

Following are some other common issues and their quick fixes.

Fixing login issues on multisite installs

Another common issue is that when using WordPress multisite with sub-directories, some users are unable to login to the admin area of their sites after they add the required code in wp-config.php file.

To fix this, try replacing


define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false);

line in wp-config.php file with


define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', 'false');

Find unconfirmed users

Another issue that you may come across is not being able to find users who registered on your network but didn’t get the activation email. To fix this issue, see our guide on how to find pending unconfirmed users in WordPress.

Exporting a site from multisite to its own WordPress install

Later at some point, you or another site owner may want to export a site from multisite to its own WordPress install. This can be easily done. For step by step instructions see our guide on how to move a site from WordPress multisite to single install.

You may also want to bookmark our ultimate guide of common WordPress errors and how to fix them. It will save you a lot of time by quickly fixing the most common WordPress issues.

FAQs About WordPress Multisite Network

Many of our users have asked us plenty of questions about WordPress multisite network and how to use it more efficiently. Following are the most frequently asked questions that we have answered.

1. Would I be able to better manage my sites with a multisite network?

To be honest, the answer really depends on your usage scenario.

For example, if your websites are not related to each other, then you would be better off with a multiple site management tool, like InifiteWP.

If you manage multiple sites for a restaurant chain, university, or online magazine, then WordPress multisite will be more efficient.

2. Does WordPress multisite make my websites load faster?

Once again it depends on several factors. Better WordPress hosting with plenty of server resources will allow multisite to be faster but then again with these resources, individual WordPress sites will also run faster.

However, on a shared hosting account, traffic spikes will increase memory usage and slow down all websites on the multisite network at the same time. To improve multisite speed, see our guide on WordPress performance and speed optimization.

3. Can I add an online store to a WordPress Multisite Website?

Yes, you can add an online store in WordPress multisite network. Most likely, you will be using an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce for that, which is compatible with WordPress multisite.

4. Can I install ‘x plugin’ on my WordPress multisite?

Some WordPress plugins may not be compatible with WordPress multisite. Normally, plugin authors mention it on the plugin’s website and you can avoid installing a plugin that may not work on a multisite setup. However, if it is not mentioned, then it is safe to assume that it is multisite compatible.

4. How do I share user logins and roles across the multisite network?

By default, a user who is registered on one site cannot register or be added to another site on the same network. That’s because they are already registered in the shared WordPress database. However, they don’t have any user role privileges on other sites.

You can use third-party plugins like WP Multisite User Sync to sync users across the network. However, you need to be careful as you may end up giving someone admin privileges to a site.

We hope this article helped you learn how to install and setup WordPress multisite network. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress security guide to protect and keep your WordPress multisite secure.

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 Install WordPress – Complete WordPress Installation Tutorial


WordPress is known as the most popular website builder in the world. It powers over 33% of all websites on the internet. The main reason for that is because WordPress is easy to install which makes it easy for anyone to create a website.

All best WordPress web hosting companies allow you to install WordPress with just few clicks. In most circumstances, installing WordPress is a simple process that takes less than five minutes to complete.

In this tutorial, our goal is to offer a complete WordPress installation tutorial for beginners and advanced users alike.

For beginners, we will show you how to install WordPress on all top hosting platforms by using 1-click install scripts like Fantastico, Softaculous, and QuickInstall.

We will also explain how to install WordPress manually using FTP for our intermediate users.

Lastly, for our beginner developer and designers, we will show you how to install WordPress on a local computer (Windows, Mac, and Linux).

Apart from showing you how to install WordPress, we will also give you tips on things to do after you install WordPress.

How to easily install WordPress

Things You Need Before Installing WordPress

Before you install WordPress, first you will need a domain name and a good web hosting company that knows WordPress.

We highly recommend that you use Bluehost because they will give you a free domain and 60% off their hosting plan (special for WPBeginner users).

The reason we recommend Bluehost is because they are one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They are also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Since this is a very long and detailed tutorial, please use the navigation below to get to the appropriate section.

How to Install WordPress on Bluehost

Bluehost is an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider and one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They know WordPress inside out and have the most beginner friendly WordPress installation process.

Bluehost automatically installs WordPress on your domain name when you sign up. Once you login to your Bluehost account, you’ll find your WordPress site under ‘My Sites’ tab.

Bluehost login to your WordPress site

You can simply click on ‘Log into WordPress’ button, and it will take you directly to the WordPress admin area.

Except for their ‘Basic’ plan, Bluehost also allows you to install WordPress on unlimited sites with all their hosting plans.

Simply click on the ‘Create Site’ button under ‘My Sites’ tab to get started.

Installing new WordPress site in Bluehost

This will launch the Bluehost guided WordPress installation wizard. First, it will ask you to provide a site title and optionally a tagline.

Provide a site title for your new WordPress site

Click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

After which, you will be asked to select a domain name and path for your website. If you have already purchased a domain name, then you can select it from the dropdown menu. You can always purchase and add new domain names to your account by visiting the ‘Domains’ page from the hosting dashboard.

Select domain name and essential plugins

After selecting your domain name, you can leave the directory path blank and let Bluehost choose it for you. The installer will also show a few essential plugins that you can install.

You can now click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

The installer will set up your WordPress site, which may take a few moments. After that, you will see a success message with your WordPress site details.

Successfully installed WordPress on Bluehost

You will also receive these details via email. You can now click on the login to WordPress button to enter your new site’s admin area.

Congratulations, you have installed WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account. That wasn’t too bad right.

How to Install WordPress on HostGator

HostGator is another popular shared WordPress hosting provider among beginners. They also make it super easy to install WordPress with just a few clicks.

First, you need to login to your HostGator hosting account’s dashboard. From here, you need to click on the ‘QuickInstall’ icon under the ‘Software’ section.

Installing WordPress on HostGator

On the next screen, you need to click on ‘WordPress’ to launch the installer wizard.

Run WordPress installer on HostGator

Now, you will be asked to select the domain name where you want to install WordPress and enter a directory path.

Most beginners want to install WordPress in the root of their domain name (for example, wpbeginner.com). In that case, you need to leave the directory field blank.

Select your domain name

Click on the next button to continue.

The installer will now ask you to enter WordPress site details. You will need to provide a site title, admin username, first and last name, and an admin email address. Make sure that you have access to that email address because this is where you will get your WordPress password reset email.

HostGator WordPress install settings

After entering all the information, click on the ‘Install’ button to continue.

The installer will now run in the background to install WordPress for you. Once finished, you will see a success message with your admin user name and password.

HostGator WordPress installation finished

You can now click on the ‘Login’ button to access the WordPress admin area.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress on your HostGator account.

How to Install WordPress on SiteGround

SiteGround is a popular choice among WordPress beginners. They are known for their excellent support and highly optimized WordPress hosting plans.

SiteGround offers quick and pain-free WordPress installers with all their plans. You can install WordPress directly from your hosting dashboard.

We will show you two different methods for installing WordPress on SiteGround. You can choose one that works for you.

1. Installing WordPress on SiteGround as a New User

If you just signed up with SiteGround, then you will be greeted by a welcome popup upon your first login. It will ask if you would want to set up your website now.

SiteGround new user WordPress installation wizard

You need to select ‘Start a new website’ and then click on WordPress.

The installer wizard will now ask for WordPress installation details. You need to provide an email address, an admin username, and password for your new WordPress site.

Enter WordPress login details for your installation

Click on the ‘Confirm’ button to continue.

On the next screen, you will see details of your selection. You can also select additional website enhancements but we will skip them for now, you can add them later if needed.

Finish WordPress installation on new SiteGround account

Go ahead and click on the complete setup button. The installer will now install WordPress for you in the background and you will see a success message when it is finished.

Successfully installed WordPress on new SiteGround account

You can now click on the ‘proceed to the customer area’ button. From here, you’ll find your new website under the ‘My Accounts’ tab.

Visit WordPress admin panel

You can click on ‘Visit admin panel’ to enter WordPress admin area.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed WordPress on your new SiteGround account.

2. Installing WordPress on SiteGround as Existing Customer

SiteGround makes it extremely easy to install WordPress from your hosting account at anytime. Simply login to your hosting account and visit the cPanel dashboard.

Visit cPanel dashboard in SiteGround

This will load the cPanel dashboard, which is basically a web-based interface to manage your hosting account.

From here you need to scroll down to the ‘Auto Installers’ section and click on WordPress.

Launch WordPress installer in SiteGround

This will launch the auto-installer script with WordPress pre-selected. You need to click on the install button and then select a website protocol http or https and domain name.

Now if you have enabled SSL Certificate on the domain name, then you can select https as your protocol, otherwise select http. You can later switch WordPress to HTTPS/SSL.

SiteGround WordPress installer

Below that, you need to enter your site title, admin username, password, and email address.

WordPress site settings

You will also see other options to select language, install plugins, and more. You can change these options or leave them unchecked.

Lastly, you will see the WordPress Starter option. You need to keep it checked as it will walk you through post-installation steps to set up your site.

Optional settings

Now, click on the ‘Install’ button to continue.

The installer will now run in the background and set up a WordPress install. Once finished, you will see a success message with a link to your WordPress site’s admin area.

WordPress installation finished

Clicking on the admin area link will take you to your website and launch the site set up wizard. This step by step wizard will help you get started with WordPress. Click on the ‘Start Now’ button to continue.

SiteGround WordPress starter

First, the starter wizard will ask you to choose a design for your WordPress site. It will show you hand-picked design templates organized in various categories.

SiteGround WordPress starter design option

We recommend choosing a simple design that resembles what you have in mind. Remember each theme comes with customization options and you can change how it looks to your own taste.

Next, you will be asked to select functionalities you want to add to your website. It will automatically select ‘Contact Form’ for you because every website needs a contact form.

Choose functionality

Optionally, you can choose Shop (to create an online store), calendar, or JetPack.

Click on the next button to continue.

Now you will be asked to select marketing options to promote your new website. It will show you MonsterInsights for Google Analytics, Yoast SEO, and OptinMonster for lead generation.

We recommend selecting all three of them as they will help you grow your website.

After that, click on the complete button and the starter wizard will complete the installation for you. You will now see a success message with a link to enter the WordPress dashboard.

Finished setting up your website

You will now see the WordPress admin dashboard with custom shortcuts to create content, customize design, and start working on your website.

SiteGround custom WordPress admin dashboard

That’s all. You have successfully installed WordPress on your SiteGround hosting account.

How to Install WordPress on WP Engine

WP Engine is the best managed WordPress hosting provider. A managed hosting account is basically a concierge service for your WordPress website.

They take care of managing your WordPress site updates, installation, and performance optimization while you focus on growing your business.

As a managed WordPress hosting company, WP Engine automatically installs WordPress when you sign up. Depending on your hosting plan, you can also create additional websites whenever you need them.

Simply, login to your WP Engine dashboard and visit the ‘Sites’ page. You will see a list of all your WordPress sites. Click on the ‘Create Site’ button to add a new WordPress install.

WP Engine create new site

On the next screen, you will be asked to provide a name for your production environment. Enter a name that helps you easily identify this website and then click on ‘Create Environment’ button.

Add a production environment WordPress site

WP Engine will now install your WordPress environment. It will take some time for DNS changes to propagate.

After that you will be able to access the WordPress admin area by clicking on the link in the sidebar. You will also be able to see your login credentials on the same page.

Login to your WordPress environment in WPEngine

To add a domain to your website, you need to click on the add domain link. Since WP Engine is not a domain registrar, you will need to point your domain’s DNS settings to WP Engine.

To do this, you will need your site’s IP Address and CNAME. You can find this information on the overview page of your site.

Copy the DNS information

Now we will show you how to enter this information in Domain.com. The basic settings are the same for all domain registrars, you just need to find the DNS settings.

Login to your Domain.com account dashboard and click on DNS and Nameserver settings for your domain name.

Domain DNS and nameserver settings

On the next screen, first, you need to change the A record with the @ sign as its name. Click on the Edit button to change its settings.

Changing A record settings

After that, you need to enter the IP address provided by WP Engine as this record’s value and then click on Update DNS button.

Replacing A record value

Next, you need to see if you have a CNAME record with www as its name. If you do, then you will need to edit that CNAME record. Otherwise, go ahead and click on the ‘Add DNS Record’ button.

Adding CNAME record

Add the CNAME subdomain provided by WPEngine in the Value field and then click on the Add DNS button.

That’s all you have successfully pointed your domain name to your WordPress site hosted on WP Engine.

How to Install WordPress from cPanel

Cpanel is a popular software used by many web hosting companies. It provides website owners with a simple web-based interface to manage their hosting account.

It is a one-stop access to several useful utilities including auto-installer scripts that help you install WordPress.

Hosting companies select which auto-installer script they want to use. Generally, Softaculous, QuickInstall, and Fantastico are the most popular options.

We will show you how to install WordPress using all three auto-installers. You can follow the instructions, based on the installer you see on your cPanel dashboard.

How to Install WordPress using Softaculous

Softaculous is a popular auto-installer script. It allows you to easily install popular web applications like WordPress with just a few clicks. Hosting companies like SiteGround and InMotion Hosting use Softaculous in their control panel.

Simply login to your cPanel account and look for Softaculous or WordPress installer icon. You will find them under Auto Installers section.

Softaculous icon

Clicking on any of these icons will launch Softaculous auto-installer for WordPress. First, you will see an overview of WordPress. You need to click on the Install tab to continue.

Click on the install tab to continue installing WordPress using Softaculous

Softaculous will now ask you where you want to install WordPress. You need to choose http:// or http://www. as protocol.

If your site has SSL and HTTPS, then you can select https:// or https://www. as protocol.

After that, you need to choose the domain name where you want to install WordPress. Most users want to install WordPress in their domain’s root directory, like example.com. In that case, you need to make sure that the ‘In Directory’ field is blank.

Scroll down a little, and you will see the site settings section.

Softaculous WordPress site settings

Under this section, first you need to provide a title and description for your WordPress site. Don’t worry you can easily change them from your WordPress admin area after installation.

Next, you need to choose an admin username, password, and email address. Softaculous will automatically fill in the username and password fields for you. It will use a non-dictionary word for username and a strong password.

You can change them if you want so that they are easy to remember for you. However, we strongly urge you to always use a strong password. See our guide on the best way to manage passwords for WordPress beginners to learn how you can manage strong passwords easily.

Make sure that you enter correct email address in the admin email field. This is where WordPress will send notifications and password reset link if you ever forgot your password.

Rest of the options on the screen are optional. You can now click on the install button to run the installer.

Optional WordPress settings in Softaculous

Softaculous will run the installer using the settings you provided. You will see a progress bar with installation status. It will take a couple of minutes. Do not close the window until the progress bar reaches 100% otherwise, this may affect your WordPress installation.

Softaculous WordPress installation progress

You will see a success message after the installation is finished. It will also show you links to your website and to your WordPress admin area.

Softaculous WordPress installation finished

How to Install WordPress using QuickInstall

QuickInstall is another popular auto-installer used by many hosting companies like HostGator and others. We will be using HostGator’s cPanel dashboard in the screenshots here, but it wouldn’t be much different if you are using some other host that has QuickInstall.

First, you need to login to your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard. Scroll down to the Software section and then click on the QuickInstall icon.

QuickInstall icon in cPanel dashboard

This will take you to the 1-Click Installers page on QuickInstall. You will see that it offers installations for most popular web applications including WordPress. You need to click on WordPress to launch the WordPress installer.

Select WordPress to begin installation

The installer will now show you the WordPress overview. You will be asked to select your domain name from the drop-down menu.

Most beginners want to install WordPress on the root of their website, for example, wpbeginner.com. In that case, you need to leave the directory field blank.

Launch WordPress installer in QuickInstall

Now click on the next button to continue. The installer will now ask you to enter WordPress details like username, email address, and site title.

QuickInstall WordPress site settings

After filling in all the information, click on the Install button.

QuickInstall will now install WordPress for you. After that, you will see a success message with your login details like username and password.

WordPress successfully installed using QuickInstall

You can now click on the ‘Login’ button to enter the WordPress admin area.

That’s all, you have successfully installed WordPress using QuickInstall.

How to Install WordPress using Fantastico

Fantastico is an auto-installer script used by several WordPress hosting providers. It is similar to the other installer scripts in this guide and offers an easier way to quickly install WordPress.

First, you need to login to your cPanel dashboard and scroll down to software and services section, and there you will find the Fantastico icon.

Fantastico icon in cPanel dashboard

Clicking on Fantastico icon will launch the auto-installer script.

Some hosting providers are still using an older version of Fantastico. In this tutorial we will be showing you screenshots from Fantastico F3 version.

If Fantastico on your host looks different, then don’t worry. Basic installation steps are the same, and you should be able to easily follow them.

On the main Fantastico screen, you will see a list of web applications on your left. You need to click on Blogs, and there you will find WordPress listed among many other applications.

Clicking on WordPress will show you an overview of the application with the ‘Install’ button.

Fantastico WordPress installer

Simply click on the ‘Click here to install WordPress’ button to continue.

Fantastico auto-installer for WordPress will now ask you to fill in your installation settings. First, you need to choose the domain where you want to install WordPress.

Fantastico WordPress install settings

If you want to install WordPress in a sub-directory then you can enter the sub-directory name in the field below. Otherwise, make sure that this field is empty.

Under ‘Administrator Details’ section, you need to provide admin user account information. Enter a username, password, and email address for your WordPress admin account.

Click on the Submit button to continue.

Fantastico will now install WordPress for you. Once it has finished installing WordPress you will see a success message.

How to Install WordPress using FTP

Manually installing WordPress is also known as the famous 5 minute install. It requires few added steps, and you will need an FTP client to manually install WordPress.

Take a look at our beginner’s guide on how to use FTP to upload WordPress files.

First thing you need to do is download the latest version of WordPress.

WordPress package comes as a Zip file. You need to unzip the file and inside it, you will find a WordPress folder. This folder contains all the WordPress files you need to upload to your web server.

WordPress files

Now go ahead and connect the FTP client to your hosting server. Once connected, use the FTP client to upload the WordPress files from your computer to your website server.

uploading WordPress files using an FTP client

If you want to install WordPress on your root domain name (like example.com), then you need to upload WordPress files to your website’s root directory. Usually this directory is called /public_html/.

On the other hand, If you want to install WordPress in a subfolder (like example.com/blog), then upload it in a folder /public_html/blog/.

Once you are done uploading WordPress, go to your hosting control panel to create a database. We will be showing you how to do that using the cPanel. If your hosting provider has a different control panel then you just need to look for MySQL databases. Rest of the settings will be quite similar.

From your cPanel dashboard, click on the ‘MySQL Databases’ icon.

MySQL database icon in cPanel

You will see a field to create a new database. Enter a name for your database, and click ‘Create Database’.

Create database

Now that you have created your database, MySQL still needs a username. This username will have access to perform actions on the database.

On the MySQL Databases page in your cPanel account, scroll down to MySQL Users section. Simply provide a username and password for your new user and click on the ‘Create a user’ button.

Add a MySQL user

This new user still does not have access to the database you created earlier. For that, you will need to add the user to the database and give them permissions to perform all actions.

On the same MySQL Databases page in your cPanel account, scroll down to ‘Add User to a Database’ section. Select the database user you created from the dropdown menu next to user, then select the database, and click on the add button.

Add user to database

You will be now asked for the privileges you want to allow this user. Select all privileges and click on the Make changes button.

Your MySQL database and user are now ready, note down your database name and MySQL username and password. You will need that information later.

Simply go to to the URL where you uploaded WordPress. If it is in the main domain, then enter your domain name in the browser window, like yoursite.com or www.yoursite.com.

You will see the language selection page. You can choose a language here so that the rest of the installation is displayed in your own language. You can also use English for now and then later change the language.

Select WordPress language

Click on the continue button to proceed.

You will now see some installation instructions. Basically, WordPress will now tell you that it will need your database name, password, and MySQL host information.

WordPress installation requirements

Click on the ‘Let’s go’ button to continue.

WordPress will now show you a form. You need to enter the database information you created earlier.

Enter database information for WordPress installation

Fill in the information and then click on the ‘Submit’ button. WordPress will connect to your database and show you a success message.

WordPress can now connect to your database

Click on ‘Run the Install’ button to continue.

WordPress will now create tables in your database and then send you to the next step of the installation.

Now you need to provide some information for WordPress to set up your site. This includes site title, username, password, and admin email address.

If you do not want your website to be visible to search engines, then you can check the box next to search engine visibility. Later when you are ready you can change this from WordPress settings. If you are unsure about what to do, then simply leave it unchecked.

Setting up your website during WordPress install

Click on the Install WordPress button to continue. WordPress will set up your website and finish the installation.

You will see a success message showing your username. You can now click on the Log in button to sign in to your WordPress site.

Manual WordPress installation finished

How to Install WordPress in your Computer

Many of our beginner level users often ask us if they could try WordPress on their computer? The answer is yes, but most beginners should not do that.

The reason why some folks install WordPress in a local server environment is to build themes, plugins, or to test things out.

If you want to run a blog for other people to see, then you do not need to install WordPress on your computer. If you install WordPress locally on your computer, then the only person who can see the site is you.

If you want to make your WordPress site available to the internet (rest of the world), then you need to get a web hosting account and install WordPress by using one of the methods we showed above.

Having that said, if you are really interested in installing WordPress locally on your computer to learn more about theme development, test plugins etc, then we highly encourage you to do so.

If you are using a Windows computer, then we recommend that you download and setup WAMP. If you are using a Mac, then you need to download and setup Mamp.

After you have played around with WordPress on your computer you may want to move your local install to an actual live website. We have a step by step tutorial on how to move WordPress from local server to a live site.

How to Install WordPress in your Language

Just like Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android, you can use WordPress in your own language.

WordPress is available in many languages including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Korean, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese (Han), Portuguese, and many others.

You can choose a language during the WordPress installation or change it by visiting Settings » General page in the WordPress admin area.

Changing language in WordPress settings

For more details, see our article on how to install WordPress in other languages.

WordPress is also used widely to create bilingual and multilingual websites. See our tutorial on how to easily create a multilingual WordPress site with TranslatePress.

How to Install a WordPress Multisite Network

WordPress comes with multisite functionality built-in. The multisite network allows you to create multiple WordPress sites using the same WordPress install. It can automatically create new sites on sub-domains or in sub-folders.

This makes sense for businesses, non-profits, governments with sub-sites for different locations or regions. Many educational institutes also use WordPress multisite network to allow students to create their own blogs.

The setup for a multisite is a bit complex, but we have created a complete step-by-step tutorial on how to install and setup WordPress multisite network.

Things to do After Installing WordPress

Now that you have successfully installed WordPress, here are a few things to get started with your new WordPress site.

Choosing a Theme

The visual appearance of your WordPress powered website is controlled by Themes. There are thousands of WordPress themes available for you to choose from. With so many choices, it can become a little confusing for beginners. This is why we have put together a guide on selecting the perfect theme for WordPress.

We regularly publish lists of WordPress themes that we like in our Showcase section. Following are some of our popular theme showcases.

Installing and Using WordPress Plugins

The real power of WordPress comes from the massive collection of plugins. They are like apps for your WordPress site, allowing you to extend functionality and add new features to your site.

There are more than 54,000 free plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory alone. More plugins are available from third party websites as paid plugins.

If you are wondering which plugins to install, then take a look at our expert pick of the essential WordPress plugins for all websites. You may also want to check out the plugins we are using on this site by looking at our WPBeginner’s blueprint.

We have a beginner’s step by step guide on how to install WordPress plugins.

Start Learning WordPress

WordPress is the easiest to use CMS in the market. Millions of people from all over the world use it every day. However, from time to time you may need a little help.

This is where WPBeginner can help. We are the largest free WordPress resource site in the world, regularly publishing tutorials and guides written specifically for bloggers and small businesses.

Here are some of the useful resources that you will find on WPBeginner (all of them are totally free).

  • WPBeginner Blog – The central place for all our WordPress tutorials and guides.
  • WPBeginner Dictionary – Our WordPress glossary is the best place to familiarize yourself with the WordPress lingo
  • WPBeginner Videos – New WordPress users can start with these 23 videos to master WordPress.
  • WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 128,000 subscribers and 12 Million+ views.
  • WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
  • WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.

Conclusion

We hope this WordPress installation tutorial helped you learn how to easily install WordPress. You may want to check out our list of these 40 useful tools to help you manage and grow 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 Install WordPress – Complete WordPress Installation Tutorial appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners


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

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

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

How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

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

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

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

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

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

      Why is Google Analytics Important for Bloggers?

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

      Who visits your website?

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

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

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

      What do people do when they are on your website?

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

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

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

      When do people visit your website?

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

      How do people find your website?

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

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

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

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

      How do people interact with your content?

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

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

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

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

      How to Signup with Google Analytics

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

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

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

      Sign in with your Google account

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

      Sign up for Google Analytics

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

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

      Fill in your website information

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

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

      Your Google Analytics tracking code

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

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

      How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

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

      You can choose the one that best suits your needs.

      1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

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

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

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

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

      Let’s get started.

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

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

      MonsterInsights setup wizard

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

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

      Connect MonsterInsights

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

      Sign in or select a Google account to continue

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

      Allow MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics account

      Click on the ‘Allow’ button to continue.

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

      Select your website profile to compete setup

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

      Recommended settings for Google Analytics

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

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

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

      Upgrade to pro

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

      Recommended plugin

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

      Google Analytics successfully installed using MonsterInsights

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

      Your Google Analytics reports in WordPress dashboard

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

      2. Insert Headers and Footers Plugin

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

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

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

      Adding Google Analytics tracking code using Insert Headers and Footers plugin

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

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

      3. Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme

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

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

      Add code in header.php file

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

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

      Add via Functions File

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

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

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

      Viewing Reports on Google Analytics Website

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

      Google Analytics reporting

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

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

      Making the Most out of Google Analytics

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

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

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

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

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



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