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A Step by Step Guide for WordPress [2019]


Dropshipping has become a popular online business idea because it’s easy to setup, requires very little investment, and the market is huge.

Unlike traditional eCommerce business that requires you to manage product inventory and handle shipping logistics, dropshipping allows you to start an online store without managing inventory or dealing with shipping.

In this beginner’s guide, we will walk you through the entire process of setting up a dropshipping business with WordPress. We will also share tips on how to find the best products for dropshipping and how to grow your dropshipping business.

How to start your dropshipping business with WordPress

Since this is a long and detailed dropshipping guide, we have broken it down into different sections that you can navigate to by using the navigation below:

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is an online business where an eCommerce store doesn’t keep the products in stock, meaning no inventory cost. Instead, when customer purchases a product, the store owner places the order with the original vendor and have them ship the item directly to the customer.

The main difference between a dropshipping business vs traditional eCommerce business is that dropshipping doesn’t require you to stock or own any inventory. You also don’t have to deal with any shipping or handling logistics.

When a product is sold through your online store, you simply forward the purchase order to a wholesaler or manufacturer who fulfills it.

Due to the low operating cost and easier setup, dropshipping has become a global eCommerce trend.

The dropshipping business model has a few pros and cons that you need to keep in mind before getting started.

Pros of starting a dropshipping store

  • Setting up a dropshipping business requires much lower investment than a typical online store
  • You don’t need to purchase products or manage an inventory
  • You don’t need to ship the product by yourself
  • You can sell variety of products from different vendors and manufacturers

Cons of starting a dropshipping store

  • You are not in control of product quality and availability
  • Managing customer expectations can be challenging when you don’t have control over quality or shipping of the products
  • Providing customer support can be challenging
  • You’ll be making less profit because instead of bulk buying products, you’ll be selling one item at a time

With that said, dropshipping is a proven way to make money online. You can use dropshipping to make extra money on the side or build a large profitable online business.

Let’s take a look at how to properly start a dropshipping business.

How to Start a Dropshipping Business

Starting a dropshipping business is not as difficult as you’d think. There are plenty of eCommerce platforms that allow you to easily set up a dropshipping store without any technical skills.

We recommend using WooCommerce because of its low setup costs, ability to use multiple payment gateways, and flexibility to customize your online store.

According to Builtwith, WooCommerce is the #1 software used to build eCommerce stores.

It is also the most popular choice among dropshipping stores mainly because it runs on top of WordPress, the popular website builder. Using WooCommerce gives you access to thousands of WordPress extensions, third-party integrations, and beautiful store designs.

What You’ll Need to Start Dropshipping with WooCommerce

WooCommerce is available as a free plugin for WordPress. You’ll need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to start your dropshipping store. For details, see our guide on the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

To get started with WordPress and WooCommerce, you’ll need the following items:

  • A domain name (This will be your store’s online address e.g. wpbeginner.com)
  • Web hosting account (This is where your website’s files will be stored)
  • SSL certificate (You’ll need it to accept online payments)

Normally, a domain name costs $14.99 / year, SSL Certificate $69.99 / year, and web hosting starts from $7.99/month.

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

Luckily, Bluehost, our hosting partner, has agreed to offer WPBeginner users a discount on hosting with free domain name + SSL certificate. Basically, you’d be able to get started for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world, and they are an officially recommended hosting provider by both WordPress and WooCommerce.

Once you sign up, Bluehost will send your login details to your email address. It will also automatically install WordPress for you, so you can easily login to WordPress dashboard from your hosting control panel.

Login to WordPress

Next, you need to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin. See our guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress for detailed instructions.

Upon activation, you WooCommerce will show you a guided a set up to select currency and other basic settings.

For more detailed instructions, see our tutorial on how to start an online store.

Choosing a Design for Your Dropshipping Store

Choosing templates and design for your online store

The first thing you would want to do is to change the appearance of your dropshipping store. Luckily, one of the best thing about using WordPress is that you can select from thousands of WooCommerce themes.

Here are our top picks for a dropshipping WooCommerce theme.

  • Astra WooCommerce Theme – A powerful WooCommerce theme built specifically to boost sales and increase conversions.
  • Divi – Another highly customizable WooCommerce theme that comes with built-in drag & drop page builder support.
  • OceanWP – OceanWP is a multi-purpose WooCommerce ready theme with flexible customization options.
  • Ultra – A multi-purpose WordPress theme with several ready-made layouts and a built-in drag and drop page builder.

Once you have found a theme you like, follow our guide on how to install a WordPress theme for step by step instructions.

Finding Dropshipping Products to Sell on Your Website

Finding dropshipping products

The next step is to find the products you want to sell on your dropshipping store. Before you start picking products, first you need to decide what kind of products you want to sell.

We recommend choosing a niche for your store. This will make it easier for you to find products as well as customers.

For example: if you want to sell clothing and accessories, then you can narrow it down to by style, theme, or a target audience.

It’s generally a good idea to pick a niche that you are familiar with and passionate about. Making a store about products or topics that you are unfamiliar with will require a lot more effort.

After choosing a niche for your store, you can look for products in that particular category.

In your product research, you want to look for products with low competition and high demand.

To find out which products are trending, you can browse Amazon to collect data and do your own research. Amazon shows best selling, most wished for, and top rated products for many categories.

Product research on Amazon

You can also use keyword research to find which product categories people are actually searching for. See our guide on how to properly do keyword research for detailed instructions.

For more on this topic, see our detailed guide on how to find the best products to sell online.

Where to Find Dropshipping Suppliers and Vendors

Once you have decided what products you are going to sell on your store, the next step is to find dropshipping suppliers offering those products.

There are many online marketplaces where you can find dropshipping suppliers and vendors from all over the world. Here is a quick list of the best dropshipping marketplaces to look for suppliers.

  • AliExpress – It is the largest online marketplace of suppliers offering millions of products. You can easily integrate it into your WordPress site to import products directly from AliExpress website.
  • SaleHoo – A powerful online marketplace for dropshippers, suppliers, and eCommerce stores. It is a paid platform and subscription costs $67 per year.
  • Doba – A large marketplace to find dropshipping suppliers. It allows you to manage lists, find products, and connect with suppliers. Subscription starts from $29 per month
  • Etsy – Etsy is an eCommerce platform for unique and hand-made products. Many of these manufacturers would gladly dropship products directly to your customers.

We recommend starting with AliExpress for multiple reasons. First, there are easy to use WordPress plugins that will make it easy to import products directly from AliExpress to your store (and keep it in sync).

AliExpress also makes order fulfillment quite easy for eCommerce stores. As the largest marketplace for dropshipping suppliers, you can find reliable vendors with great ratings and reviews.

AliExpress

Along with dropshipping products, you can also sell third-party products for affiliate commission on your store. This would allow you to offer a large range of products while diversifying your income stream.

Amazon.com is the best source to find affiliate products. Your affiliate earnings will be lower, and you’ll not be able to set custom pricing. However, you can find unique products and use it to provide more shopping choices on your store.

For details see our guide on how to create an Amazon affiliate store with WooCommerce.

Adding Dropshipping Products to Your WooCommerce Store

By default, WooCommerce does not come with seamless dropshipping functionality. Luckily, there are several excellent WooCommerce dropshipping that allow you to do that.

Using a dropshipping extension, you’d be able to easily add dropshipping products, set custom prices with desired profit margin, collect orders, send them to your supplier, and more.

The functionality of your dropshipping extensions would entirely depend on the supplier or marketplace you choose.

If you are selling products from multiple suppliers from different marketplaces, then you may need multiple dropshipping extensions to automate the checkout process.

Here is our pick of the top dropshipping addons for WordPress.

  • AliDropship – Makes it easy to import from thousands of products on AliExpress, offer seamless checkout experience, and 1-click order fulfillment.
  • WooDropship – Another popular plugin that makes it easy to import products from AliExpress, automatically add product images and sync pricing.
  • WooCommerce Dropshipping – Allows you to add other third-party suppliers or vendors to your WooCommerce store, and send them order details in PDF format for fulfillment.

The way you add products to your WooCommerce store will depend on which extension, marketplace, or supplier you go with. If the extension you choose allows you to automatically import products, then you can just do that (hint: the first two in our list make it super easy to import products from AliExpress).

On the other hand, if you need to manually add products to your store, then here is how you would do it.

Manually Adding Dropshipping Products in WooCommerce

Adding products to your WooCommerce store is quite simple. First, you need to visit Products » Add New page inside your WordPress admin area.

Add new product in WooCommerce

Start by providing a product title and a detailed product description. After that, you need to select product category and start uploading product photo and product gallery images.

Choose product category and images

You can find product images from the supplier’s website. However, you need to ask their permission to use those images. They may also be able to provide you additional product images that you can use.

Next, you need to add product details under the Product data section. From here, you can set product price, attributes, and other options.

Add product data

Below that, you can provide a short description for the product. This short description will appear on the shop front, product category, and product search pages.

Go ahead and publish your product to make it appear live on your store.

Repeat the process to add more products.

Managing Dropshipping Orders in WooCommerce

After you have added products in your store, customers will be able to buy them from your website. You’d be able to review the customer orders by visiting WooCommerce » Orders page.

Managing dropshipping orders

Depending on your dropshipping extension, you may see an option to fulfill orders from here. This would basically send the customer’s order details to the supplier associated with the product.

WooCommerce plugins like AliDropship makes it super easy to send orders to the supplier with a single click.

If your extension does not support that feature, then you’ll need to manually place the order with your supplier by providing them the customer’s order details and shipping information.

You can review each order by clicking on it.

Change order details

On the order detail page, you can view products ordered, customer payment information, and edit the order status. Once the order is shipped by the supplier, you can change its status to completed.

Resources and Tools to Grow Your Dropshipping Business

Resources and tools to grow your dropshipping business

Setting up a dropshipping store with WooCommerce is quite easy. However, the real work starts once your store is up and running.

You would need to promote your business, bring traffic to your website, convert traffic into customers, and keep improving your marketing strategy over time.

Luckily, there are tons of great tools and extensions that you can use to help you achieve these goals. Let’s start with the basics first.

1. Ecommerce SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps you to get more traffic from search engines to your store. You can follow the instructions in our complete WooCommerce SEO guide to get more visitors to your website.

2. Optimize Conversions

Once you have a steady stream of visitors, you would want them to make a purchase. In marketing terms, this is called a conversion (converting a visitor into performing a desired action).

Conversion optimization helps you boost sales, which makes it incredibly important for your online success.

We recommend using OptinMonster, the #1 conversion optimization toolkit on the web. We have a detailed WooCommerce conversion optimization guide that helps you learn how to do that using the latest techniques.

3. Recover Abandoned Carts

Using conversion and SEO, you would be able to bring visitors to your site and help them discover more products. However, a lot of those visitors may not complete a purchase.

They may leave create an account, add products to the cart, but leave before purchasing. You’ll need to learn how to bring back those customers and recover your abandoned cart sales.

4. Ecommerce Analytics

Obviously, you would want to see how all your efforts are paying off. For this, you’ll need MonsterInsights, which helps you install Google Analytics and comes with enhanced eCommerce tracking feature.

Using MonsterInsights you can track WooCommerce customers, see which products are popular, which product pages are not performing so well, and more.

5. Misc. Plugins

WooCommerce gives you access to more than 55,000+ WordPress plugins and many of them are made specifically for eCommerce websites.

These plugins allow you to add features like contact forms, product comparisons, currency switchers, and more. See our list of the best WooCommerce plugins to find more plugins for your store.

FAQs about Dropshipping with WordPress

You may come across new questions as you start working on your new dropshipping store. Following are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about dropshipping with WooCommerce.

1. Why not start my dropshipping business with Shopify?

You can totally start your dropshipping business with Shopify. However, Shopify charges you for each transaction, which affects your profits as a dropshipping store.

Another downside of using Shopify is the limited number of extensions and apps that you can use. As a dropshipping business, WooCommerce gives you more extensions and the flexibility to sell whatever you want on your website.

See our comparison of Shopify vs WooCommerce for more information.

2. Can I start my dropshipping business with BigCommerce?

Yes, you can. BigCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform and it even integrates with WordPress. BigCommerce also offers more payment gateways, and it does not charge transaction fees.

It lacks in extensions and the flexibility of WooCommerce, but it offers better scalability. See our comparison of WooCommerce vs BigCommerce for more details.

3. Which hosting company to choose for my WooCommerce store?

We recommend using Bluehost for a new dropshipping business. Their shared hosting plan is perfect to get started, and they are an officially recommended WooCommerce hosting provider.

If you are looking for an alternative, then we would recommend SiteGround. They are well-known for their heroic support and fast servers.

If you can spend a little more, then you can go WP Engine. They are a managed WordPress hosting provider, which is like a concierge service for your eCommerce store.

4. Can I install WooCommerce on my existing WordPress site?

Yes, you can. WooCommerce is available as a WordPress plugin and you can install it on any WordPress site.

5. How do I make sure that dropshipping suppliers deliver products on time?

Most dropshipping suppliers are located in China. This means slower delivery than choosing a vendors located in your own country. However, many dropshipping suppliers use ePacket for faster deliveries.

ePacket is basically a faster shipping method used by suppliers in China in partnership with USPS and other mail services. Ask your suppliers if they deliver products via ePacket for faster deliveries.

6. What to look for when finding a dropshipping supplier?

AliExpress and other marketplaces allow you to view supplier ratings, reviews, number of products they have delivered, and other useful information. This data tells you how reliable a supplier has been in the past. You can also read reviews to learn more about the quality of products delivered.

Since you don’t have control over the quality and delivery of products, you need to spend time on finding reliable dropshipping partners for your store.

7. Is dropshipping legal?

Because starting a dropshipping business is extremely easy, many beginners wonder if dropshipping is legal. The answer is YES. It is completely legal across the world.

In the simplest terms, dropshipping is just a form of order fulfillment where the supplier or manufacturer handles shipping. Nothing is illegal about that.

Of course like any other business, you have to pay proper business taxes depending on the country you’re based in.

We hope this guide helped you learn how to start dropshipping business with WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to add live chat support to your WooCommerce store.

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 Embed Bing Maps in WordPress (Step by Step)


Do you want to embed Bing Maps on your WordPress website? If you are looking for a Google Maps alternative, then Bing Maps is the right candidate for you.

Similar to Google Maps, you can use Bing Maps to show directions, traffic, routes, and navigation instructions on your WordPress site. Since it is owned by Microsoft, it is a great map application with a ton of useful data.

In this article, we will show you how to easily embed Bing Maps in WordPress, step by step.

How to embed Bing Maps in WordPress

Adding Bing Maps in WordPress (No Plugin Required)

First thing you need to do is go to Bing Maps website and search for the location or map you want to embed.

Once you have found the location, click on the ‘More’ option with three-dots icon, and select ‘Embed a map’ option.

Embed a Map option in Bing Maps

After that, it will open a new tab where you can customize the map to embed in your website.

Customize Bing Map to Embed in WordPress site

You can choose map size, map type (static or draggable map), map style (road or aerial), and map links. Review the customization options and then click on the Generate Code.

After that, it will provide you a code snippet. Go ahead and copy the code because you’ll need it in the next step.

generated Embed Code for Bing Maps

Now, switch back to your WordPress site and create a new page or edit an existing one where you want to add the map.

On the page edit screen, click on the Add New Block icon and select the Custom HTML block.

Add Custom HTML block in WordPress Page Editor

After that, paste the Bing Map embed code that you copied earlier in the HTML field.

Bing Map Embed Code Added in WordPress Editor

You can now save or publish your page and click on the preview button to see the map embedded in your page. Here is how the Bing Map appeared on our demo website.

Bing Map Embedded in WordPress Manually -preview

Adding Bing Maps Using a Plugin

If you need to embed only one map on your website, then the manual method shown above is the best option.

However if you run a website where you often need to add maps, then using a plugin to add Bing Maps would be easier.

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

It is a free WordPress map plugin that lets you embed Bing maps, Leaflet maps, and other Google Maps alternatives in your WordPress blog.

To use this plugin with Bing maps, you will need to have a Bing Map API Key.

Simply create an account on Bing Maps Dev Center website. If you already have a Microsoft account, then you can simply sign in with your account credentials.

Sign in to Bing Dev Center

Once you have signed into your account, you need to click on the ‘My Account’ menu and select ‘My Keys’ option.

Bing Maps Dev Center My keys Option

On the next screen, you need to fill out your website information to create a key.

Create Bing Map API key to Embed in WordPress

After that, you can see a message ‘Key created successfully’ and the key details in a box.

Bing Maps API Key Created

You can simply click on the ‘Copy key’ link or ‘Show key’ link and copy the Bing Maps API key.

After that, you need to paste the key in your plugin settings.

Visit Ultimate Maps by Supsystic » Settings from your dashboard and select ‘Bing Microsoft’ as your maps engine. After that, paste the API key you copied earlier in the Bing Maps API key field.

Paste your Bing Maps API key in Ultimate Maps by Supsystic plugin settings

Don’t forget to save your plugin settings.

After that, you need to add marker categories by visiting Ultimate Maps by Supsystic » Marker Categories » Add Category.

Add Marker Categories for Bing Maps

Create as many marker categories as you need.

Next, click on the Add Map menu to create a new map. Enter a name for your map, define the width and height of the map, choose navigation bar mode, etc.

Add Bing map using a plugin

You can also configure options to make the map draggable, use double click to zoom, and more. Most important of all, enter the location to display in the map center.

Next, scroll down and configure more options below. Once done, click on the ‘Save Map’ button below the map preview box.

After that, you can add markers to show the main location points in your map. Click on the Markers tab, and then add a name for your maker.

Add new Marker for Bing Map in WordPress

You can use the name of the place or organization as a marker name.

For example, we used ‘University of Florida’ as a marker name because we want to show some of the best colleges in Florida in our demo map.

After that, you can add marker description text as well as image.

Scroll down and choose an icon for your new marker. Next, you need to enter the address to point the marker. And, also select the marker category.

Save Marker for Bing Maps

Review all the other options, and then click the ‘Save Marker’ button.

You can add more markers by following the same steps.

As you add the markers, you can preview them live on the preview box. Once you are happy with your map, navigate to the ‘Map shortcode’ option at the top, and copy the shortcode.

Copy Bing Map Shortcode to embed in WordPress

After that, create a new page or edit an existing one to embed your new Bing map.

Once in the page editor, click on the Add New Block icon and choose the Shortcode block under Widgets section.

Add Shortcode Block in WordPress

Now you need to paste the Bing map shortcode that you copied before.

Paste BIng Map Embed Shortcode in WordPress Page Editor

Once done, save or publish your page, and preview how the Bing map looks on your website.

Here is how the embedded Bing map appeared on our demo website.

Bing Map Embedded in WordPress using a Plugin

We hope this article helped you to learn how to embed Bing Maps in WordPress easily. You may also want to see our guide on how to embed actual tweets in WordPress blog posts.

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



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WordPress Post Revisions Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide (2019)


Did you know that WordPress comes with a built-in feature that allows you to undo changes and go back to a previous version of a post?

This feature is called Post Revisions or simply Revisions.

Most of us make mistakes when writing. Sometimes you might wish that you hadn’t deleted what you wrote earlier. Revisions allow you to fix that by going back in time and undoing the changes.

In this article, we will show you how to easily undo changes in WordPress with post revisions. We will also show you how to easily manage post revisions in WordPress.

Managing the WordPress post revisions

Here is an overview of the topics we’ll cover in this guide:

  • What is post revisions in WordPress
  • Why you should use post revisions
  • How to use post revisions to undo changes in WordPress
  • Limiting post revisions in WordPress
  • How to delete old post revisions in WordPress
  • How to completely disable post revisions in WordPress

What is Post Revisions?

Post revisions is a WordPress feature that allows you to undo changes and go back to an earlier version of your posts and pages.

For each draft you are working on, WordPress automatically saves a temporary revision. This type of revision is called auto-save.

WordPress stores an auto-save every 60 seconds. It also automatically replaces the older version with the new auto-save.

Autosave revisions in WordPress

The autosave feature helps you restore the content if something goes wrong before you can save it. For example, if your browser crashed or your computer hanged while writing, then you can restore your latest draft from the autosave.

WordPress also saves post revisions each time a user clicks on the save, update, or publish button. Unlike auto-saves, these revisions are permanently stored in the WordPress database.

You can locate, browse, and revert back to any of these revisions from the post edit screen.

Why You Should Use Post Revisions

Almost every WordPress user can benefit from post revisions. Writing great content requires a lot of tweaking and edits. Post revisions allow you to see your process and take a bird’s eye view of how your post has evolved.

You can then switch between different states of your draft, make changes, and make your article perfect for publishing.

For multi-author WordPress sites, post revisions allow editors to easily manage the work of multiple authors. You can see who made changes to an article, what changes they made, and so on.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to use post revisions to improve your WordPress posts and pages.

How to use Post Revisions to Undo Changes in WordPress

WordPress displays the number of revisions under the ‘Document’ panel on the post/page edit screen.

You can find that on the right-hand side of your post editor screen. Clicking on the ‘Revisions’ will take you to post revisions screen.

Post revisions in WordPress

The post revision screen will show you the latest revision of the post with a scrollbar on top. Sliding the button on the scroll bar will take you to earlier revisions of the post.

Switching between post revisions

Changes made in each revision will be highlighted in green and pink colors. On the top, you can see the user who made these changes, time, and other information.

WordPress will also let you know if a revision is an autosave or a draft.

Restore autosaves aswell as revisions

You can use the next and previous buttons to move around revisions.

Plus, you can check the box on top that says ‘Compare any two revisions’. Doing so will split the scrollbar button into two, and you can take each button to a different revision and compare the difference between two distant revisions.

Compare any two revisions

To restore a revision, you can simply click on Restore This Revision or Restore This Autosave button.

WordPress will restore the selected revision as your current post revision, and you can then save it as a draft.

Restore revision point

Keep in my mind that restoring to an earlier revision will not delete the latest version of your post. Instead, WordPress will store it in the database as another revision.

Using post revisions with Classic WordPress editor

In case you haven’t upgraded your WordPress to Gutenberg and still using the Classic Editor, then you’ll find the post revisions in the publish meta box on the right panel of the post/page edit screen.

Browsing post revisions in classic editor

To view the post revisions, you can simply click the ‘Browse’ link next to the number of revisions. Apart from this, the post revisions work similarly in both the Classic Editor and Gutenberg.

Limiting Post Revisions in WordPress

All post revisions are stored in your WordPress database. Due to this, many users worry that too many revisions can slow down their websites.

It is not true.

WordPress skips post revisions when making database calls on the front end. It only looks for revisions on the post edit screen, or when you are actually browsing revisions.

You can still control and limit post revisions in WordPress. We’ll show you two different methods to do that you can choose one that best suits you.

1. Limit post revisions in WordPress using plugin

The easiest way to manage WordPress post revisions is by using a plugin. This allows you to control revisions from the WordPress admin area.

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

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Writing page and scroll down to WP Revisions Control section.

WP Revisions Control settings

From here you need to enter the number of revisions you want to store for each post type and then click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

WP Revisions Control will now limit the post revisions stored in your WordPress database.

The plugin also allows you to delete revisions for an individual post. Simply edit the post where you want to delete revisions and scroll down below the editor.

Purge revisions

You can limit the revisions for this post only or delete them by clicking on the ‘Purge these revisions’ button.

2. Limit WordPress post revisions manually

WordPress allows you to control how many revisions you want to keep for an article. To limit post revisions, simply add this code to your WordPress site’s wp-config.php file.

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 10 );

Don’t forget to replace 10 with the number of revisions you want to keep for each post.

How to Delete Old Post Revisions in WordPress

Old post revisions are perfectly harmless, and you don’t need to delete them in most cases. However, if you have a very large website with thousands of articles, then deleting old post revisions can help you reduce backup sizes.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the WP-Optimize plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to WP-Optimize » Database page and check the box next to ‘Clean all post revisions’ option.

Clean post revisions

Now click on the ‘Run optimization’ button to delete all post revisions. You can uninstall the plugin after you have deleted the revisions.

Once you have cleaned up revisions, feel free to uninstall and delete the plugin.

Deleting WordPress post revisions via phpMyAdmin

Advanced users can also delete WordPress posts revisions via phpMyAdmin.

First, make sure that you have created a complete WordPress database backup.

After that, simply login to your WordPress hosting control panel and click on the phpMyAdmin icon.

Next, you need to select your WordPress database from the left column. PhpMyAdmin will now display tables in your WordPress database.

PhpMyAdmin

After that, you need to click on the SQL tab from the top menu.

This will load phpMyAdmin’s SQL interface. From here you can manually run commands on your WordPress database.

You need to enter the following code.

DELETE FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = "revision";

Don’t forget to replace wp_ with your own WordPress database prefix. After that, click on the Go button to run the command.

Deleting revision via MySQL

PhpMyAdmin will now delete all revisions from your WordPress database.

Note: Deleting revisions will not stop WordPress from saving revisions for your future posts.

How to Completely Disable WordPress Post Revisions

We don’t recommend disabling WordPress post revisions. However, some users may want to disable revisions to reduce their WordPress database size.

The easiest way to do this is by installing Disable Post Revision plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » Writing page and select the post types where you want to disable revisions feature.

Disable revision plugin

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

If you don’t want to use the plugin, then you can also do the same thing manually by adding this code to your wp-config.php file.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );

This code disables WordPress post revisions feature on your website. It will still allow WordPress to save one autosave and one revision in your browser storage.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use WordPress post revisions to undo changes and how to manage post revisions for larger sites. You may also want to see our beginners guide on managing your editorial workflow in WordPress.

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

The post WordPress Post Revisions Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide (2019) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death (Step by Step)


The WordPress white screen of death is one of the most common WordPress errors. It is also one of the most frustrating ones because there is no error message, and you are locked out of WordPress.

Another problem with the white screen of death error is that sometimes it only affects a certain part of your website.

For example, you may only see the white screen of death inside the WordPress admin area, while everything else works fine. In other cases, you may only see it on a specific post whereas everything else works fine.

In this article, we will show you how to fix the WordPress white screen of death by looking at different solutions.

Fixing WordPress white screen of death error

Note: Before you make any changes to your site, make sure you have a backup of your WordPress site. If you don’t have access to the admin area, then see our guide on how to manually create WordPress database backup.

Why Do You See the White Screen of Death in WordPress?

Majority of the time when you see a white screen of death, it means that a script on your website exhausted the memory limit.

The unresponsive script either gets killed by your WordPress hosting server, or it simply times out. This is why no actual error message is generated, and you see a plain white screen.

WordPress showing white screen instead of website

This error can also happen due to a poorly coded theme or plugin installed on your site. Sometimes it can happen if there is an issue with your web hosting server.

Since the white screen error can be caused by any number of things, it requires methodical troubleshooting to fix.

Does the problem occur on your other sites?

If you have other WordPress sites installed on the same hosting account, then you want to start by checking if the problem is occurring on other sites as well.

If it is, then that’s a strong indicator that something is wrong with your WordPress hosting service. This could be a temporary issue affecting their service, and you need to reach out to their support for more help.

On the other hand, if the issue is only happening with one website or a specific part of that site, then you know that the problem is with that particular website.

Fixing White Screen Error with WordPress Recovery Mode

If the white screen of death error is caused by a WordPress plugin or theme, then WordPress may be able to catch it.

The new fatal error protection feature introduced in WordPress 5.2 can sometimes catch the error, so you may not even see a white screen. Instead, you will see a message that the site is having technical difficulties.

Technical difficulties

You would also receive an email message on your admin email address with the subject ‘Your Site is Having a Technical Issue’.

Technical issue email sent to admin

This email message will point out the plugin causing the error, and it will also contain a special link. This link will allow you to login to the WordPress recovery mode and deactivate the faulty plugin.

WordPress recovery mode

However, if you are seeing the plain white screen of death with no email or recovery mode option, then you need to manually fix the error.

Increasing the Memory Limit

Usually, this error happens because a script has exhausted the memory and quit in the middle. To fix this, you need to increase PHP memory available to WordPress. This will allow the script to use more memory to finish the job it was supposed to do.

You can follow the instructions in our tutorial on how to increase PHP memory in WordPress.

Disabling All Plugins

If increasing the memory limit did not help, or if you have a high memory limit like 256M or 512M, then you need to start troubleshooting.

In our experience of troubleshooting this issue, we have always found that the issue is either with a specific plugin or a theme. Let’s go ahead and disable all the plugins.

If you can still access the WordPress admin area, then you can simply go to Plugins » Installed Plugins page. Select all the installed plugins and then select ‘Deactivate’ under ‘Bulk Actions’ drop-down.

Deactivate all plugins via WordPress admin area

However, if you don’t have access to the WordPress admin area, then you will need to deactivate all plugins via FTP.

First, connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client. Once connected, go to the wp-content folder where you will see the ‘plugins’ folder.

Rename plugins folder to deactivate all plugins

Now, you need to right-click on the plugins folder and then select rename. You can rename the plugins folder to plugins-deactivated.

Plugins deactivated

Your FTP client will now rename the plugins folder.

WordPress looks for a folder named plugins to load all plugins. When it cannot find the folder, it simply deactivates all plugins.

If this fixes the issue, then enable one plugin at a time to get to the bottom of the issue. Once you find the plugin causing the issue, you can replace it with an alternative or report the issue to plugin authors.

Replace Theme with a Default Theme

If the plugin troubleshooting doesn’t fix the issue, then you should try replacing your current theme with a default theme.

First, connect to your website using an FTP client and go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder. It contains all installed themes on your website.

Right-click to select your current WordPress theme and download it to your computer as a backup.

Download current theme as backup

Next, you need to delete your current theme from your website. Right-click on your theme folder and select ‘Delete’. Your FTP client will now delete the theme from your website.

Delete current theme

Now if you have a default WordPress theme like (Twenty Eighteen or Twenty Nineteen) installed on your website, then WordPress will automatically start using it as the default theme.

However, if you don’t have a default theme installed, then you need to manually install it using FTP.

If this fixes the issue, then you should look at your theme’s functions.php file. If there are extra spaces at the bottom of the file, then you need to remove those, and sometimes that fixes the issue.

If you are using a poorly coded function in your theme’s functions.php file, then it can cause the white screen of death error as well.

Consider downloading a fresh copy of your theme from its source and then install it.

Enable Debug Mode to Catch Errors in WordPress

If nothing has helped so far, then the next step is to turn on debugging in WordPress. This will allow you to see what type of errors are being outputted.

Simply, add the following code into your wp-config.php file.

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true);
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

Once you add this, the blank screen will now have errors, warnings, and notices. These may be able to help you determine the root cause.

If you don’t see any errors, you may still want to check the debug log. Simply visit the wp-content folder on your website using an FTP client. There you will find a new debug.log file containing a log of all errors, notices, and warnings.

Debug log

Clear WordPress Cache

Sometimes, you may have access to the backend, but the front-end of the site has the white screen of death. This can happen because of a caching plugin. Simply empty your cache.

See our guide on how to clear cache in WordPress for detailed instructions.

Fixing Longer Articles

If you have a white screen of death only on a very long post or page, then this little trick might work.

This trick basically increases PHP’s text processing capability by increasing the recursion and backtrack limit. You can paste the following code in your wp-config.php file.

/** Trick for long posts */
ini_set('pcre.recursion_limit',20000000);
ini_set('pcre.backtrack_limit',10000000);

We understand that this is a very frustrating error, and we hope that one of the tricks above fixed the issue for you. You may also want to see our WordPress troubleshooting guide which teaches the steps you should take to catch and fix WordPress problems by yourself.

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 Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Create an Email Newsletter the RIGHT WAY (Step by Step)


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

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

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

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

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

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

How to easily create a newsletter

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

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

What is an Email Newsletter?

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

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

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

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

Why Start an Email Newsletter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who Should Start an Email Newsletter?

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

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

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

1. Email Marketing for Small Businesses

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

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

Sony PlayStation Newsletter signup

2. Email Newsletter for Ecommerce Websites

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

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

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

Abandoned cart emails

3. Email Newsletter for Non-Profits

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

Human Rights Watch newsletter signup form

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

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

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

4. Email Newsletter for Blogs and News Websites

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

Chris Brogan newsletter

Here is why:

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

5. Email Newsletters for Education

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

University of California newsletter signup form

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

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

Step 1. Starting an Email Newsletter

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

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

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

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

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

Signup for Constant Contact

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

Fill in the signup form

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

Skip set up wizard

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

Constant Contact dashboard

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

Step 2. Creating an Email List

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

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

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

Creating a new email list

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

Choose a name for your email list

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

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

Email list created

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

Add contact to your email list

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

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

Adding a contact to your email list

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

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

Step 3. Setting up Your Email List Settings

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

Let’s get started.

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

Create welcome email campaign

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

Email automation campaign

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

Select automated welcome email

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

Select welcome email template

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

Creating welcome email

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

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

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

Campaign name

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

Point and click to edit your welcome email

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

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

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

Welcome email settings

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

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

Welcome email campaign set up

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

Some tips on writing an effective welcome email

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WPForms integrations

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

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

Connect Constant Contact to WPForms

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

Allow access

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

Authorization code

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

Add authorization code

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

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

Constant Contact connected

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

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

Creating a newsletter sign up form

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

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

Editing newsletter signup form

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

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

Add new connection

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

Name your connection

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

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

Select email list and map form fields

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

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

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

WPForms widget

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

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

Newsletter sign up form displayed in the sidebar

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

Adding WPForms block to blog post

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

Newsletter signup form in a WordPress post

2. Add Newsletter Signup Form Using OptinMonster (Pro)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Create campaign

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

Choose optin type and template

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

Campaign settings

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

OptinMonster builder

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

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

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

Adding a new integration in OptinMonster

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

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

Allow OptinMonster to access your Constant Contact account

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

Connect Constant Contact to OptinMonster

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

Select your email list

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

Display rules

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

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

Publish your OptinMonster campaign

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

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

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

Connect OptinMonster to WordPress

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

Connect to OptinMonster

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

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

Turn on campaign on your website

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

Newsletter sign up form

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

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

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

Step 5. Sending Your First Email Newsletter

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

You are now ready to start sending newsletter emails.

Let’s create your first email campaign.

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

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

Create new Constant Contact campaign

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

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

Select email campaign type

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

Choose an email template

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

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

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

Editing your email template

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

Adding your blog posts to the email newsletter

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

Adding blog posts with read more link

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

Add blog post to your email

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

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

Continue to email settings

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

Email settings and scheduling

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

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

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

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

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

Step 6. Tips to Get More Email Subscribers

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

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

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

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

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

1. Use multiple signup forms

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

Multiple signup forms

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

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

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

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

2. Use lead magnets to capture more subscribers

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

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

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

Lead magnet example

3. Offer Content Upgrades

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

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

Content upgrade example

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

4. Use social media to grow your email list

Promoting newsletter on social media

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

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

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

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

Step 7. How to Make Money from Email Newsletter

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

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

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

1. Sell your products

Sell your own products

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

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

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

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

2. Upsell products and services

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

Upselling through email

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

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

3. Affiliate marketing

affiliate marketing

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

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

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

4. Advertisement or renting out your email list

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

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

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

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

Step 8. Keep Your Newsletter Emails Out of Spam

How to make avoid ending up in spam

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

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

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

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

1. You didn’t use double opt-in

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

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

2. Sender email address was used for spam

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

3. Misleading subject lines

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

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

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

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

4. Your email must have accurate information

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

How to Create a Web Directory in WordPress

What is a Web Directory?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Method 1: Creating a WordPress Directory with Formidable Forms

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

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

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

1. Create a Form to Collect Data for Your Directory

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

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

Add New Formidable Form

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

Choose a Way to Add a New Formidable Form

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

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

Create Real Estate Form with Formidable Forms

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

Name Your Formidable Form

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

Formidable Forms - Form Builder Interface

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

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

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

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

Install PayPal Standard Addon in Formidable Forms

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

Set Up PayPal with Formidable Forms

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

Form Settings - Formidable Forms

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

Add PayPal Form Action to Formidable Forms

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

Formidable Payment Options with PayPal

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

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

2. Publish Your Form in WordPress

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

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

Add Formidable Form Widget to WordPress Page

Next, select your form.

Select Your Form to Add to a WordPress Page

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

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

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

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

3. Build Your Web Directory with Formidable Views

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

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

Add New View in Formidable Forms

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

Formidable View Basic Settings

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

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

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

[frm-search]

Add Search Bar in Your Formidable View

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

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

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

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

Formidable Forms Filed Keys

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

Insert Content Into Your Web Directory

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

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

Add Style to Your Formidable View

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

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

Add Formidable View to a WordPress Page

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

Real Estate Web Directory Demo

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

Method 2: Using Business Directory Plugin

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

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

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

Create Required Pages for Business Directory Plugin

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

Business Directory Page Added in WordPress

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

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

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

Business Directory Plugin Settings

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

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

Manage Form Fields in Business Directory Plugin

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

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

Add New Directory Category with Business Directory Plugin

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

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

Add New Listing With Business Directory Plugin

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

Fill out Directory Listing Fields manually

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

Upload Image to Your WordPress Business Directory

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

Choose Directory Category

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

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

Business Directory Demo with Default WordPress Theme

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

Submit a Listing with the Business Directory Plugin

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

Pending Directory Listing

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

Accepting Payments for Directory Listings

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

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

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

Business Directory Plugin Payment Settings

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

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

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

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

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

Business Directory Plugin Authorize.net Settings

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

How to create a staging site for WordPress

What is a Staging Site?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Easily Create a WordPress Staging Site

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

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

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

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

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

Creating A Staging Site on Bluehost

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

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

Staging site option on Bluehost

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

Create staging site on Bluehost

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

Go to your staging site

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

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

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

Deploying changes from staging to live site on Bluehost

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

Deploy staging to live website on Bluehost

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

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

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

Confirm deploy

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

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

Creating a Staging Site on SiteGround

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

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

Staging icon in SiteGround cPanel

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

Add site to staging manager

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

Select URL

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

Create staging site copy

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

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

Password protect staging site

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

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

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

Manage staging copies

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

Deploy staging to live

Creating a Staging Site on WP Engine

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

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

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

Sites WP Engine

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

Add staging site in WP Engine

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

Create new staging site

Click on the Create Environment button to continue.

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

Let’s change this.

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

Copy to staging

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

Select back up point

Click on the preview copy button to continue.

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

Copy website warning

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

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

Deploying Staging to Live Website on WP Engine

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

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

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

Create a backup point for your staging website

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

Create backup of your staging site

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

You are now ready to deploy your staging site.

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

Copy to production

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

Select back up point

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

Copying environment

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

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

Creating A Staging Site using WordPress Plugin

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

There are some disadvantages to using this method.

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

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

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

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

Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled WP Stagecoach to your admin bar. Clicking on it will take you to plugin’s settings page.

WP Stagecoach settings

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

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

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

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

Create staging site using WP Stagecoach

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

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

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

Deploying Staging Site to Live Using WP Stagecoach

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

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

Impoting changes from staging

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

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

Create a Staging Site for WordPress Manually

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

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

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

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

Create subdomain for your staging site

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

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

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

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

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

Create Duplicator package

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

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

Build package

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

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

Download and package and installer files

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

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

MySQL Database

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

Create database

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

Create MySQL user

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

Add user to database

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

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

Grant privileges

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

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

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

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

This will launch the Duplicator installer wizard.

Duplicator installer wizard

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

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

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

Connect database

Once done, click on the next button to continue.

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

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

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

Update URLs if needed

Duplicator will now finish the migration.

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

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

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

Directory privacy

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

Password protect your staging site

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

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

Manually Deploy Staging Site to Live

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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How to Fix Image Upload Issue in WordPress (Step by Step)


Are you facing image upload issues on your WordPress website? For most beginners, image upload errors can be quite confusing because they can appear without you doing anything different.

Failure to upload images is one of the most common image issues in WordPress. Luckily, it is quite easy to fix, and you can do it yourself.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix the image upload issue in WordPress. We will also explain what causes this issue, and how you can prevent it in the future.

Fixing image upload issues in WordPress

What Causes The Image Upload Issue in WordPress

The image upload issue in WordPress is typically caused by incorrect file permissions. Your WordPress files are stored on your web hosting server and need specific file and directory permissions to work.

Wrong file permissions prevent WordPress from reading or uploading file on the hosting server. You may get the following error when uploading image file:

‘Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2019/04. Is its parent directory writable by the server?’

Unable to create directory error

Another sign of this issue is that your images may disappear from the media library.

Missing images in media library

My site was working fine before? Who changed the file permissions?

This could happen due to a number of reasons. A misconfiguration on your shared hosting server can sometimes change those permissions without you doing anything.

For example, your web hosting provider ran an upgrade which unexpectedly changed file permissions.

If everything else is working fine on your website, then you can simply apply the correct file permissions to fix the image upload issue.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to set correct file permissions to fix image upload issues in WordPress.

Fixing Image Upload Issue in WordPress

You will need to use an FTP client to change file permissions.

First, connect to your website via FTP and then go to /wp-content/ folder. Inside, you’ll find the uploads folder, which is where WordPress stores all your media uploads including images.

Now right click on the uploads directory and then select File Permissions.

Opening file permissions dialog box for uploads folder

This will bring up the file permissions dialog box.

First, you will need to set file permissions for the uploads directory and all the subdirectories inside it to 744.

Change folder permissions

To do that, enter 744 in the numeric value box, and then check the box next to Recurse into subdirectories option. Now click on the ‘Apply to directories only’ radio button.

Click on the OK button to apply these changes. Your FTP client will now start applying file permissions to the directories.

Note: If setting directory permissions to 744 does not seem to solve your problem, then try 755.

In the next step, you will need to set file permissions for all the files in the uploads directory.

To do that, right click on uploads directory and select file permissions. In the file permissions dialog box, change the numeric value to 644.

Check the box next to Recurse into subdirectories. Lastly, you need to click on ‘Apply to files only’ radio button. Click on the OK button to apply these changes.

File permissions

The FTP client will now change the permissions for all files inside the uploads folder. Once it is done, you can go back to your WordPress admin area and try uploading images again.

Note: if you don’t know how to use a FTP client, then you can also use the file manager provided by your WordPress hosting company. Since the screenshots will vary from each host, you will need to talk to their support to find instructions.

We hope this article helped you fix the image upload issue in WordPress. You may also want to see our article on how to optimize image SEO to get more organic traffic to your website.

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

The post How to Fix Image Upload Issue in WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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4 Easy Ways to Re-Order Blog Posts in WordPress (Step by Step)


Do you want to change the order of your blog posts in WordPress?

By default, WordPress displays your blog posts in reverse chronological order (newer posts first), but sometimes you may need to move specific posts up or down.

While it may feel like there is no way to do this in WordPress, you’ll be surprised to learn how easily you can change post order using multiple ways.

In this article, we will show you 4 different ways to re-order blog posts in WordPress. You can pick a solution that looks easier and fits your needs.

Ways to easily re-order blog posts in WordPress

Why Re-order Blog Posts in WordPress?

If you are just starting a blog, then you will not need to re-order your blog posts right away. However as your content grows, you may want to explore different ways to promote content across your website.

One of them is to make specific posts more prominently displayed on the front page, blog page, recent posts, or archive pages.

Now the problem is that WordPress normally displays your blog posts in a reverse chronological order. There is no option to simply just move a post up and down.

Does this mean you cannot bring your older articles to the front page? Or remove a newer article from the recent posts?

No, not at all.

There are multiple workarounds that let you do just that. Depending on your needs, you can choose the method that suits your requirements.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can easily re-order blog posts on your WordPress site.

1. Change Post’s Published Date

This is the easiest method and allows you to re-order posts using the built-in WordPress functionality.

As you know that WordPress displays posts based on their publish date in reverse chronological order (newer posts first). Changing a post’s publish date will also change where it appears in the list.

Reorder posts by changing published date

For example, if you wanted to bring an older post up, you would have to change its date to be newer. Similarly if you wanted to move a post down, then you can change its date to be older.

Simply edit the post you want to reorder and on the post edit screen click on the publish date under the Document panel.

Change publish date for a blog post

This will bring up a date and time popup where you can change the post’s published date and time. After you have changed the date/time, click on the ‘Update’ button to save your changes.

You need to select a date relevant to other posts.

For example, if you wanted to display an older post before another post that was published on 8 March, then you need to change the post’s publish date to 9 March.

Post moved up

2. Use Post Types Order Plugin (Drag and Drop Option)

If you want to re-order posts but don’t want to change their publish dates, then this method is for you.

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

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Post Types Order page to change plugin’s settings.

Post Types Order settings

From here, you need to select the post types where you want to enable the plugin. After that, simply click on the ‘Save settings’ button to store your changes.

Now you can just go to Posts » All Posts page and simply drag and drop posts to re-order them.

Reorder blog posts by drag and drop

3. Use Sticky Posts Feature in WordPress

Many users just want to reorder blog posts to highlight a blog post as featured content. WordPress comes with a default feature to achieve that, and it’s called Sticky posts.

Sticky posts feature allows you to highlight a post on top of all other posts on your blog page.

Simply edit the blog post that you want to pin to the top. On the post edit screen, check the box next to ‘Stick to the Front Page’ option under ‘Document’ panel.

Make a post sticky in WordPress

After that, click on the ‘Update’ button to save your changes.

You can now visit your website, and you will see the selected post pinned to the top. Depending on your theme, your sticky post will be highlighted differently.

Sticky post highlighted in WordPress

4. Modify WordPress Query using Code (Advanced)

This method requires you to add code to your WordPress site. If you haven’t done this before, then see our guide on how to copy and paste the code in WordPress.

If you are an advanced user and want to customize the post order, then you can modify the default WordPress query.

For example, take a look at this code snippet. It allows you to display posts in chronological order (older posts first).

//function to modify default WordPress query
function wpb_custom_query( $query ) 

// Make sure we only modify the main query on the homepage	
	if( $query->is_main_query() && ! is_admin() && $query->is_home() ) 

 	 	// Set parameters to modify the query
 		$query->set( 'orderby', 'date' );
		$query->set( 'order', 'DESC' );
	


// Hook our custom query function to the pre_get_posts 
add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'wpb_custom_query' );

This code simply modifies the orderby and order parameters in the default WordPress query.

However, this code may sometimes not work as expected due to some plugins or theme already modifying the default query. To fix that, you can use the supress_filters parameter like this:

//function to modify default WordPress query
function wpb_custom_query( $query ) 

// Make sure we only modify the main query on the homepage	
	if( $query->is_main_query() && ! is_admin() && $query->is_home() ) 

 	 	// Set parameters to modify the query
 		$query->set( 'orderby', 'date' );
		$query->set( 'order', 'DESC' );
		$query->set( 'suppress_filters', 'true' );
	


// Hook our custom query function to the pre_get_posts 
add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'wpb_custom_query' );

The oderby parameter comes with many options. See the full list of options on the WP Query codex page.

We hope this article helped you learn easy ways to re-order blog posts in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate list of most wanted WordPress tips and tricks that you can use on your blog.

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 4 Easy Ways to Re-Order Blog Posts in WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Paginate Comments in WordPress (Step by Step)


Have you noticed that your blog posts with a lot of comments load slower than other posts? That’s because loading so many comments increase server load which increases your average page load time.

Having a lot of comments is a good thing because it means that your users are engaged with your content. Your most commented posts are usually the most popular posts on your blog.

However if a lot of comments are slowing down your website, then it can hurt your SEO rankings. That’s when pagination for WordPress comments comes handy.

In this article, we will show you how to paginate comments in WordPress to speed up your post load time. The best part is that it comes as a default feature in WordPress, and it is very easy.

Paginate comments in WordPress

Why You Should Paginate Comments in WordPress

Comment pagination helps you improve your website speed which is an important factor in your website SEO rankings.

Many of our users have reported that sometimes posts with a lot of comments can cause their readers to see white screen of death because it exhausts their server’s memory.

Even when it doesn’t cause ‘white screen of death’, posts with a lot of comments tend to be really really slow.

Comment pagination reduces server load for your most commented posts by splitting comments into multiple pages.

Another reason to paginate your WordPress comments is to maintain the keyword density of your articles. Comments add a lot of content to your post’s page, and they may not always include your target keywords in a sufficient amount.

When keyword ratio to content decreases, search engines fail to index your post for the right keywords.

Comment pagination can also have a negative SEO impact if it is not used correctly. Basically, WordPress generates URLs for each new page of comments. Search engines may consider this as ‘duplicate content’.

This issue can be easily fixed by using the Yoast SEO plugin, which points search engines to the canonical URL of your article.

Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of comment pagination, let’s take a look at how to easily paginate comments in WordPress.

Paginating WordPress Comments in Two Steps

The first thing you need to do is login to your WordPress admin area and go to Settings » Discussions page.

Next, look for the ‘Break comments into pages’ option. From here you need to enter the number of comments you want on each page, and how you want to display them.

Break Comments into Pages in WordPress Posts

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

You can now visit any popular post on your website that has a lot of comments. You will notice the pagination links below the comments.

Depending on your theme’s styling, you will either see numeric pagination or ‘Previous / Next’ comment links.

Here is how comment pagination looks on our article 24 “Must Have” WordPress Plugins.

WordPress Comments Pagination in WPBeginner

Note: Just like comments, you can also paginate WordPress posts by splitting a long post into multiple pages.

We hope that this tutorial helped you paginate comments in WordPress. You might also want to see our guide on how to combat comment spam in WordPress.

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



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