Tag - Plugin

Say Hello to RafflePress – The Best WordPress Giveaway and Contest Plugin


During the WPBeginner 10th birthday giveaway, many of you asked me about which WordPress plugin are we using to run the contest? It was a new plugin that my team had built called RafflePress, but it wasn’t available to the public.

But now it is.

Today, I want to introduce you to RafflePress, a WordPress giveaway plugin that’s both EASY and POWERFUL. I believe it’s hands down the best WordPress giveaway / contest plugin in the market.

RafflePress Preview

Every smart marketer knows that giveaways are an incredibly powerful hack to quickly increase your website traffic, grow your social media following, and get more email subscribers.

So why aren’t more WordPress website owners using giveaways?

That’s because there wasn’t a single good WordPress giveaway plugin available. The few that were available either didn’t have all the features, or they weren’t optimized for performance meaning they would significantly slow down your website, if not crash it entirely.

This left business owners to explore the SaaS software market for giveaways. Now while these SaaS giveaway platforms were good, they were extremely expensive.

One popular platform that we used charged $1000 per year for all their features. Another popular giveaway platform charged $3588 per year. This is very expensive for most small businesses.

So I worked with John Turner from SeedProd (one of our portfolio companies) to finally build a WordPress giveaway plugin that’s easy, powerful, and most importantly affordable for small business owners.

You can start with our free plugin, RafflePress Lite which is 100% free and has all the basic features that you will need.

For those of you who want all the features that RafflePress has to offer such as viral sharing, email marketing integrations, bonus actions, and more, then you should check out RafflePress Pro.

See the video overview of RafflePress below:

How Does RafflePress Work?

RafflePress helps you turn your website visitors into brand ambassadors. As a result, you get more website traffic, email subscribers, and social media engagement FASTER without buying any paid ads!

Once you setup your viral giveaway with RafflePress, it helps you capture visitor’s attention with the free gifts that you’re offering … and what happens next is AMAZING.

To enter the giveaway, website visitors must use their email address. This helps you grow your email list.

RafflePress incentivizes your website visitor to share the giveaway to get more entries into the contest. This helps you increase social media engagement.

The word-of-mouth marketing helps you get more traffic, FASTER!

This results in more followers, more sales, and more revenue!

How does RafflePress Work

RafflePress is a tool that we built for WPBeginner because we know how effective this technology is. If you’re serious about growing your website traffic, social media followers, or your email list, then you need RafflePress.

Limited Time Special

If you’re interested in the premium version of RafflePress, then you’d be crazy to miss out on this deal.

Like any other premium plugin, RafflePress license require annual renewal for updates and support.

However for limited time only, we’re offering an ULTIMATE lifetime license for our early supporters.

What that means is that you get grandfathered in, so you don’t ever have to pay for annual updates and support while still enjoying every new feature that we will ever release.

Get RafflePress NOW!

Use this RafflePress coupon code: wpbeginner25 to get an additional 25% off your purchase.

This is a limited time launch special, and it will expire so take advantage of it while it lasts.

RafflePress Features

  • Drag & Drop Giveaway Builder
  • Viral Giveaway Templates
  • Responsive Mobile Friendly Giveaway Widget
  • 1-Click Entry + Fraud Protection
  • Viral Sharing (Refer a Friend)
  • Social Media Integrations
  • Email Marketing & CRM Integrations
  • Giveaway Landing Page
  • Tracking and Reporting

What makes RafflePress stand out is our goal focused giveaway actions that help you get more subscribers, get more social engagement, and get more website traffic.

RafflePress Actions

Get More Subscribers Actions:

  • Visit us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Visit us on Instagram
  • Follow us on Pinterest
  • Visit our YouTube Channel
  • Join an Email Newsletter

Get More Social Engagement Actions:

  • Refer a Friend (Viral)
  • View Facebook Post / Video
  • View Instagram Post / Video
  • Watch a YouTube Video

Get More Website Traffic Actions:

  • Tweet a Message
  • Share a Facebook Message
  • Visit a Page
  • Answer a Question
  • Invent Your Own

RafflePress also seamlessly integrate with your favorite email marketing services like Constant Contact, MailChimp, AWeber, Drip, Active Campaign, and Zapier.

RafflePress Integrations

After reading this feature list, you can probably imagine why RafflePress is the best WordPress contest plugin in the market.

Ready to grow your website traffic with viral giveaways? RafflePress takes only a few minutes to setup, and there is a risk-free 14 day money back guarantee.

Get RafflePress Now

Limited Time Special

If you’re interested in the premium version of RafflePress, then you’d be crazy to miss out on this deal.

Like any other premium plugin, RafflePress license require annual renewal for updates and support.

However for limited time only, we’re offering an ULTIMATE lifetime license for our early supporters.

What that means is that you get grandfathered in, so you don’t ever have to pay for annual updates and support while still enjoying every new feature that we will ever release.

Get RafflePress NOW!

Use this RafflePress coupon code: wpbeginner25 to get an additional 25% off your purchase.

This is a limited time launch special, and it will expire so take advantage of it while it lasts.

The post Say Hello to RafflePress – The Best WordPress Giveaway and Contest Plugin appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Which is the Best WordPress Popup Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared)


Are you looking for the best WordPress popup plugin? A good WordPress popup plugin helps you convert website visitors into email subscribers and paying customers.

There are dozens of WordPress popup plugins that can help you improve conversion rates.

However, most of them will either slow down your website, offer inaccurate statistics, or worst both.

In this article, we’ll compare the most popular WordPress popup plugins on the market, so you can see which is the best WordPress popup plugin.

Comparing the best WordPress popup plugins

3 Things to Watch Out for with WordPress Popup Plugins

Popups need to be used carefully. Poorly made WordPress popups can easily become annoying and ruin the user experience along with your brand’s reputation.

You need to pick a solution that offers proper behavior interaction, targeting, and personalization features, so you can offer the best user experience while ensuring maximum conversions.

Performance is another issue with most WordPress popup plugins. Since many WordPress popup plugins use WordPress to track analytics, this significantly increase the server load and slow down your website. As you already know, a slow page speed negatively affects your SEO rankings.

This is why you need a WordPress popup plugin that offers powerful conversion features without slowing down your site.

Last but not least, you need to make sure that the WordPress popup plugin that you choose actually works with your WordPress hosting environment. A lot of popup plugins are poorly coded, so their advanced features like A/B testing and reporting will not work with most advanced caching solutions that many hosting companies are now using.

The main purpose of using a popup plugins for WordPress is to help you capture leads and boost your email list subscribers.

You need to watch out for the above 3 things when choosing the WordPress popup plugin for your website or online store.

Contenders for The Best WordPress Popup Plugins

Now that you know the common problems with most WordPress popup builders, you can use it as a criteria to evaluate all popular WordPress popup plugins.

Now since there are dozens of popup plugins, this process can be rather time consuming.

That’s why, we did the research for you. Here are the best WordPress popup plugins that we will be comparing in our guide:

  • OptinMonster
  • TrustPulse
  • Bloom
  • Sumo
  • Thrive Leads

Now let’s take a look at each of them to find out which one is the best WordPress popup plugin to help you grow your website.

1. OptinMonster

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most popular lead generation software on the market. It allows you to easily convert website visitors into subscribers and customers.

It comes with a powerful WordPress popup builder and the most comprehensive set of targeting and personalization features. Simply put, it allows you to maximize your conversion potential like a marketing pro.

Features

OptinMonster dashboard

OptinMonster offers the most powerful set of targeting and personalization features in the market. They allow you to create different campaigns including popups, full screen welcome mats, floating bar, scroll boxes, etc.

Their targeting features allow you to target users by page they’re visiting, activity on your site, their geo-location, and literally dozens more.

You can create your own rules to display a popup which makes them more personalized and highly effective.

Below are some of OptinMonster’s most notable features:

  • Beautifully designed non-intrusive lightbox popups
  • Exit-intent popups which are displayed when a user is about to leave your site
  • Powerful targeting options with page level, geo-targeting, on-site retargeting, device based targeting, and more.
  • Adblock detection to display targeted messages to users
  • Device targeting with Mobile-friendly campaigns that look good on smaller devices
  • Trigger popups with exit intent, scrolling, inactivity sensors, time based triggers, and more
  • Dozens of ready-made beautiful popup templates
  • Drag and drop popup maker to easily create popups with your own images, fonts, and style
  • Multiple campaign types such as inline/after post optins, floating notification bar, countdown timers, fullscreen welcome mat, coupon wheel popups, and more.
  • Monster-links popups which trigger a popup by clicking on a link
  • Yes/No popups, two-step popups, and success message customization
  • Integrates with all top email marketing services, contact form plugins, eCommerce platforms, and more.

Looking at all the features, we can confidently say that it is the most comprehensive WordPress popup builder on the market. It has all that you’ll need to instantly grow your email list and boost conversions.

Performance

The biggest advantage of using OptinMonster comes with performance. It is a SaaS application which means that it does not use your WordPress hosting resources.

It loads asynchronously, which means it also does not slow down your perceived page load speed. This is crucial not just for user experience but also for SEO.

Last but not least, since OptinMonster doesn’t use WordPress to store analytics, your stats will be the most accurate and it will work with any hosting environment.

Ease of Use

OptinMonster comes with an intuitive drag and drop popup builder. You can simply design your own popups by adding a background, choosing colors, images, fonts, with your own text and sign up form.

OptinMonster popup builder

However, if you don’t want to do that, then you’ll find beautiful ready-made popup templates to choose from. Each of these templates is fully customizable using a simple point and click editor.

Adding popups to your website is also very easy. You don’t need to edit any WordPress files or add code to your website. You can simply install their WordPress connector plugin.

Pricing: Starting from $9 per month (billed annually).

Bonus: WPBeginner users can use our OptinMonster coupon to get 10% Off.

Disclosure: OptinMonster is the popup plugin that we use on WPBeginner. Many popular bloggers and businesses use OptinMonster including the likes of Social Media Examiner, Michael Hyatt, NBA, and more.

WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, is the co-founder of OptinMonster. He had this plugin built to help us get more email subscribers. Now he serves as an advisor to the company.

2. TrustPulse

TrustPulse

TrustPulse is a WordPress popup plugin that uses social proof to help you boost conversions on your website.

It shows social-proof notifications on your website to help build user trust, trigger FOMO (fear of missing out) effect, and encourages more users to signup or make a purchase.

Features

TrustPulse helps you instantly win user trust by sharing social proof using less-intrusive but highly effective popups. Here are some of the features that make it unique among our list of best WordPress popup plugins.

TrustPulse popup

  • Triggers FOMO – It uses urgency and social proof to trigger FOMO effect (fear of mission out). This encourages users to sign up or complete a purchase.
  • Real-time Tracking – It shows real-time purchases, activity, and signups
  • Smart-targeting – Show social proof popup to the right users at the right time
  • Customize popup – Use the default design or make it your own with easy customization options

Performance

If you run an eCommerce business, then speed is crucial for more sales on your website. TrustPulse does not affect your page load speed and improves the user experience at the same time.

It is a SaaS app and does not use your WordPress hosting resources. All the code used to display popups loads asynchronously from the cloud servers.

Ease of Use

TrustPulse comes with an insanely easy to setup process. The default social proof popup works with very little modifications.

Creating a popup campaign in TrustPulse

It has an easy to use interface, which allows you to customize popup, set up targeting, view stats, and run customized campaigns on your online store.

Pricing: Free 500 sessions per month and then pricing starts from $4 per month (billed annually).

3. Bloom

Bloom

Bloom is a popular WordPress popup plugin made by Elegant Themes one of the oldest commercial WordPress theme shops. Available, as a standalone WordPress plugin, Bloom provides an easy to use WordPress popup maker for bloggers.

Features

Bloom comes with a decent set of features covering the basic requirements you would need from a good WordPress popup plugin.

Bloom user interface

  • Automatic lightbox popup
  • Multiple optin types including sidebar, slide-in, and below post signup forms.
  • Basic post or page level targeting
  • Basic time delay, scroll, form submission triggers
  • Pre-built popup templates with easy customization
  • Integrates with popuplar email service providers

Performance

Bloom comes as a stand-alone WordPress plugin, which means it loads all the code from your WordPress site. This means it uses your server resources and affects your page load time.

It tries to mitigate by optimizing the code and using WordPress best practices. However, if you have a busy site on limited server resources then this will slow down website performance.

Based on your WordPress caching plugin settings, reporting stats and features like A/B testing might misbehave.

Ease of Use

Bloom is extremely easy to use with simple drag and drop popup maker. Creating new optins with Bloom is straightforward and the user interface is quite easy to figure out.

Choose a popup template in Bloom

The trouble comes in when you are configuring display settings. There are too many options to choose from, which makes the user interface a bit confusing.

Pricing: Comes with Elegant Themes mebership starting from $89 per year.

4. Sumo

SumoMe

Sumo is a free popup plugin for WordPress which allows you to add popups to your website. They offer a premium version which offers more options.

Sumo panel in WordPress dashboard

Features

  • Allows you to create free WordPress popup and opt-in form
  • You can use multiple optin forms
  • Connects with popular email marketing platforms
  • Comes with different styles and templates to use
  • Includes basic A/B testing and stats for your forms

The free version is limited in features and adds Sumo branding to your popups.

Performance

Sumo loads code asynchronously which reduces the impact on performance. Depending on your campaign design, the effect on performance may vary.

Ease of Use

Sumo integrates with your WordPress site. However, you’ll need to manage your account from their website and use the Sumo dashboard to design your campaigns.

Design your popup with Sumo dashboard

It comes with a bit of a learning curve. The campaign builder is not the easiest but you’ll find your way around. We found it a bit harder to use particularly when it came to integrations and targeting.

5. Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is another popular popup plugin for WordPress. It comes with beautiful popup templates and an easy to use popup builder.

Features

Thrive Leads is designed to help you capture leads on your WordPress site and grow your email list. Here is a quick overview of its features.

Thrive Leads

  • Multiple optin types including lightbox popup, inline forms, 2-step optin, slide in forms, and more
  • Simple drag and drop editor to customize sign up forms
  • Basic A/B testing and analytics for your forms
  • Page level targeting including categories, tags, post types, and more
  • Works with all popular email services
  • Mobile friendly popups for small devices

Performance

Thrive Leads does try to balance out performance and features. However, it is still slower than some other solutions on our list.

It is a standalone WordPress plugin, which means all the code resides on your WordPress site and utilizes your hosting resources.

This also means that like Bloom, features like reporting and A/B tests may not work properly on certain hosting companies or with popular caching plugins.

Ease of Use

Thrive Leads is pretty straight-forward to use and comes with multiple templates. It also comes with a basic popup maker with drag and drop functionality to customize your popup form.

Thrive Leads builder interface

There is a slight learning curve involved in displaying optins on your website. Many beginners would struggle a bit when setting up a popup.

You’ll see different options for Lead groups, lead shortcodes, Thrive boxes, and other features without much explanation. This means users will have to explore them to learn what they do.

Pricing: Starting from $67 per year for a single site license.

Performance Comparison of Top WordPress Popup Plugins

For this article, we decided to actually try each WordPress popup plugin and test their impact on a website’s performance and speed.

Basically, we created a demo website and used the default settings of each plugin to create a basic WordPress popup. After that, we used Pingdom to test page load speed.

Following are the results of our tests.

Popup Plugin Page Load time Requests Page size
OptinMonster 1.03s 17 225KB
TrustPulse 894ms 14 130KB
Bloom 1.23s 22 188.8KB
Sumo 1.24s 41 575.5KB
Thrive Leads 1.38s 26 736.4KB

In our results, we found OptinMonster to be the fastest WordPress popup plugin with the least effect on performance.

Conclusion: Which is The Best WordPress Popup Plugin?

Considering the criteria we set up, OptinMonster comes up as the best WordPress popup plugin. It is the fastest popup builder and comes with incredible tools to boost conversion rates.

It is also the easiest to use with beautiful popup templates and a powerful drag and drop editor. It works with all popular CRMs, email marketing platforms, best WordPress form plugins, custom HTML forms, and more.

Showing your popups at the right time to right users is what makes them more effective. OptinMonster includes powerful page level targeting options, personalization, and event-based triggers.

If you are running an eCommerce store, then we would recommend OptinMonster + TrustPulse. This allows you to maximize conversions with social proof and OptinMonster’s powerful cart abandonment features.

We hope this article helped you pick the best WordPress popup plugin for your website. You may also want to see our article on tested and easy ways to grow your email list.

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 Which is the Best WordPress Popup Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared) 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 Disable Theme and Plugin Editors from WordPress Admin Panel


Did you know that WordPress comes with a built-in theme and plugin editor? This plain code editor allows you to edit your theme and plugin files directly from the WordPress dashboard.

Now, this may sound really helpful, but it can also lead to issues such as breaking your site and potential security issues when combined with other vulnerabilities.

In this article, we will explain why and how to disable theme and plugin editors from the WordPress admin area.

Disable theme and plugin editors in WordPress admin area

Why Disable Theme and Plugin Editors in WordPress?

WordPress comes with a built-in code editor which allows you to edit WordPress theme and plugin files directly from the admin area.

The theme editor is located at Appearance » Theme Editor page. By default, it will show your currently active theme’s files.

Theme editor in WordPress

Similarly, the plugin editor can be seen at Plugins » Plugin Editor page. By default, it will show you one of the installed plugins from your site that comes up first in the alphabatical order.

Plugin editor in WordPress

If you visit the theme or plugin editor page for the first time, WordPress will warn you that using the editor can break your website.

Theme editor warning in WordPress

In WordPress 4.9, theme and plugin editors were upgraded to protect users from accidentally breaking their website. In most cases, the editor will catch a fatal error and will revert back the changes.

However, this is not guaranteed and some code may still slip through and you would end up losing access to the WordPress admin area.

The biggest problem with the built-in file editor is that it gives full access to add any kind of code to your website.

If a hacker broke into your WordPress admin area, then they can use the built-in editor to gain access to all your WordPress data.

Hackers can also use it to distribute malware or launch DDOS attacks from your WordPress website.

To improve WordPress security, we recommend removing the built-in file editors completely.

That being said, let’s see how to easily disable theme and plugin editors in WordPress.

How to Disable Theme and Plugin Editors in WordPress

Disabling theme and plugin editors in WordPress is quite easy.

Simply edit your wp-config.php file and paste the following code just before the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing’ :

define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );

You can now save your changes and upload the file back to your website.

That’s all, plugin and theme editors will now disappear from themes and plugins menus in the WordPress admin area.

You can also add this line of code to your theme’s functions.php file, a site-specific plugin, or by using the code snippets plugin.

If you don’t want to edit the files directly, then you can install the Sucuri WordPress plugin which offers 1-click hardening feature.

Proper Way to Edit WordPress Theme and Plugin Files

Many users actually use WordPress theme and plugin editors to look up the code, add custom CSS, or editing code in their child themes.

If you only want to add custom CSS to your theme, then you can do so by using the theme customizer located under Appearance » Customize.

Adding custom CSS via theme customizer

For more details, see our guide on how to add custom CSS in WordPress without breaking your site.

If you want to look up the code in a plugin, then you can do so by using an FTP client.

For better file management and syntax highlighting, you can use one of these code editors for editing WordPress files on your computer.

Last but not least, you can also create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily disable theme and plugin editors from WordPress admin panel. You may also want to see our ultimate guide to improving WordPress performance and speed.

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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Which is the Best WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared)


Are you looking for the best WordPress gallery plugin for your website?

There are so many WordPress photo gallery plugins available, but the problem is that most will either slow down your website, or they’re extremely difficult to use.

To help you pick the right solution, we have created a detailed comparison of the performance, features, and quality of the best WordPress photo gallery plugins.

Our goal is to help you find the WordPress photo and video gallery plugin, that is fast, easy to use, and has all the features you will need.

Best WordPress Gallery Plugins

Our Criteria for the Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

In our opinion, a perfect WordPress gallery plugin should be fast, easy to use, and have all the necessary features that you need to create beautiful galleries (such as lightboxes, image navigation, albums, pagination, etc).

The gallery plugin should offer a great user experience and help improve your image SEO as well.

4 Best WordPress Gallery Plugins

We have hand-picked the four most popular WordPress photo gallery plugins on the market.

In our comparison, we will look at the speed, features, ease of use, and reliability of these plugins:

Let’s get started with our comparison.

Speed

Speed is crucial when you are choosing a WordPress photo gallery plugin. Not only does it affect your WordPress SEO, but it also affects user experience on your site.

If you are using a gallery plugin for a portfolio or photography site, then you simply cannot afford to compromise on speed.

We ran a speed test for each of these plugins using the same images without modifying any default settings. Below are our results:

Gallery PluginPage Load TimeRequestsPage Size
Envira Gallery655 ms23988KB
Modula696 ms28948 KB
NextGEN867 ms351.0 MB
FooGallery917 ms27591 KB

As you can see in the above results, Envira Gallery came out as the fastest loading WordPress image gallery plugin. Modula came as a very close second with barely few milliseconds difference and with smaller page size.

The reason why Envira Gallery and Modula are so fast is that they are both well coded and highly optimized for speed. If performance and speed is your main concern (which it should be), then Modula and Envira Gallery are both great options.

Winner: It’s a tie between Envira Gallery and Modula

Ease of Use

Creating image galleries is not as simple as uploading a single image to your posts. You need to choose layouts, select columns, add thumbnail sizes, choose lightbox animations, etc.

Most beginners find the process quite overwhelming. The goal here is to find a WordPress photo gallery plugin that is both powerful and beginner friendly at the same time.

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery follows and adheres to the WordPress coding standards and best practices. It provides a user interface that seamlessly blends into your WordPress admin area.

Creating a new gallery is quite simple and beginner friendly.

Envira Gallery user interface

Envira Gallery also comes with a Gutenberg block allowing you to easily add photo galleries into any WordPress post and page. You can also change gallery settings right from the post edit screen.

Gutenberg block for Envira Gallery

Classic editor users can use the shortcode or the button above the post editor to quickly add any gallery or album in your post/page.

Aside from that Envira Gallery also shows you the template tag that you can use it in your WordPress templates. This is particularly handy if you are developing a site for a client and want to include galleries straight into the theme.

Modula

Modula Gallery uses a similar approach to create new photo galleries. You can simply upload your files or select them from the media library to create a photo gallery.

Modula Gallery user interface

Below the images, you will find all gallery settings organized in tabs. From here you can change gallery style, theme, lightbox, and other settings.

To insert the gallery into WordPress posts and pages, you will need to copy the gallery shortcode and insert it using the Shortcode block in the Gutenberg editor.

There are no sidebar widgets or Gutenberg blocks at the moment to make it easier for users to insert Galleries.

FooGallery

FooGallery takes the similar approach as Envira Gallery and Modula. They use a simple user interface that looks and feels like WordPress.

FooGallery user interface

After uploading your photos, you can adjust the gallery settings in great details below the images.

FooGallery also makes it easy to insert photo galleries. You can use the built-in Gutenberg block, shortcode, or sidebar widget to display your photo galleries anywhere in WordPress. It also adds a button on top of the Classic Editor to select and insert galleries.

Unlike Envira Gallery, FooGallery does not show the template tag to insert your galleries into theme files or templates.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN is a little different than our other three contenders. It brings its own user interface, database tables, and separate folders to store your images. This is why NextGEN user interface looks a bit complicated in WordPress.

NextGen UI

It does offer a gallery wizard which can be helpful for beginners. However, it will take users some time to understand how to upload images and create a gallery. You may also find it a bit difficult to add the gallery into your post/page.

NextGen adds a Gutenberg block which allows you to create and add galleries from the post edit screen. For classic editor users, it adds a button to the post editor.

Winner: No clear winner. Envira, Modula, and Foo Gallery all offer easy to use interface.

Features

In order to create a beautiful photo gallery, you need functionality like lightboxes, full-screen mode, albums, pagination, navigation, slideshow, password protection, EXIF metadata, social media sharing, and more.

However it’s important to remember that too many features can slow down your site, so let’s take a look at how our contenders handle the balance in features and functionality.

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery is built with a mobile first approach. This means that it is fully responsive out of the box.

It allows you to easily choose thumbnail sizes, animations, gallery layouts, add meta tags for your images all from the single user interface.

Apart from the built-in features, there are loads of features that you can add by installing addons such as: gallery templates, social sharing, videos, password protection, image protection, albums, slideshow, Pinterest, image proofing, WooCommerce support, and more.

Envira Gallery features

Modula

Modula is the newest of all plugins on our list, so they do not have the advanced features. However the plugin does cover all the basic features you’ll want from a WordPress gallery plugin like lightbox popup, social sharing, custom styles, grid layouts, and more.

It comes with a custom grid feature which allows you to use simple drag and drop to create your own custom grid for galleries.

It also has a video addon for creating video galleries. However, Modula is lacking other features like albums, watermarking, proofing, and gallery templates.

Modula features

FooGallery

FooGallery comes with a lot of powerful features however it is not mobile responsive out of the box. You can select the responsive template to add a responsive photo gallery.

Another feature that we missed is the lightbox. You can install the free Foobox plugin to add lightbox functionality, but we felt that it should have been packaged with the core gallery plugin.

FooGallery also comes with extensions that you can install to add more features such as custom branding, cube effect, lightbox, and more.

FooGallery features

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery is the oldest of all four plugins, and it comes with an extensive list of features.

Many of the features that are available as addons in Envira and Foo, are available out of the box in NextGEN gallery. There are also premium addons with more features that you can install.

Most NextGen features require a certain level of familiarity with the plugin. Users will need some time to figure things out, reading the documentation, and posting questions in support forums.

Winner: Envira Gallery is the clear winner here with its extensive list of features that cover all the basics + advanced features for photographers, eCommerce websites, and portfolios. NextGEN is the close second with a matching set of features.

Compatability

WordPress provides you the freedom to move your site from one web host to another and even to different competitors.

We need to see if you can easily import/export and backup your photo gallery data.

Envira Gallery

Envira stores all your photo galleries as custom post types in the WordPress database. It stores your media files using the default WordPress media location. This means if you backup your WordPress site, then you will have all Envira Gallery data backed up.

Envira also allows you to import/export your individual galleries. This means that you can move a single gallery from one WordPress site to another.

Import / Export photo galleries using Envira Gallery

When you move your WordPress site, Envira will automatically detect it and will show you an option to fix the migration. All these features make Envira Gallery the most reliable photo gallery plugin for WordPress.

Modula

Modula also uses a custom WordPress content type to store your photo galleries. This means you can save your photo galleries with your WordPress backup and restore them when you restore WordPress site from backup.

Modula doesn’t allow you to import/export individual galleries.

FooGallery

Similar to Envira, FooGallery also stores your galleries as custom post types in the WordPress database. If you backup your WordPress site, then you will have a FooGallery data backup as well.

However, if you just want to export individual galleries, then there is no option for that because the plugin doesn’t come with an import/export feature.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN gallery does not come with import/export feature. Since it stores your data in separate database tables, this means you will need to configure your WordPress backup plugin to include those tables.

NextGEN also stores your images in a separate folder. If you want to create a backup for them, then you will need to download the folder separately to your computer.

Both Envira and FooGallery offer NextGen importers to make it easy for users to switch to their platform.

Winner: Enivra Gallery offers the most comprehensive set of tools to import/export your photo galleries.

Pricing

All four plugins have a free WordPress gallery version available in the WordPress plugin directory. All four of them have paid upgrades available with more features. The pricing of your photo gallery plugin will depend on which plan you want to use for any of these plugins. You can choose a plan based on the features you need after trying the free versions.

Winner: No clear winners here – the pricing of products will vary based on what features you need and plan that you select.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a simple and fast solution, then Envira Gallery and Modula Gallery are both great options for a WordPress gallery plugin.

If you need the advanced features and don’t mind a learning curve, then NextGen gallery is your best option.

We hope this article helped you pick the best WordPress gallery plugin for your website. You may also want to see our expert-pick of the must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials and join us on Facebook.

The post Which is the Best WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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