Tag - wordpress

How to Start a WordPress Blog the RIGHT WAY in 7 Easy Steps (2020)


Do you want to start a WordPress blog the right way? We know that starting a blog can be a terrifying thought specially when you are not geeky. Guess what – you are not alone. Having helped over 370,000+ users create a blog, we have decided to create the most comprehensive guide on how to start a WordPress blog without any technical knowledge.

Start a WordPress blog

The process is easy to follow whether you are 20 years old or 60 years old. However if you need help, our expert team will help you setup your blog for free. → Click Here to Get Your Free WordPress Blog Setup! ←

What do you need to start a WordPress blog?

There are three things you need to create a WordPress blog:

  1. A domain name idea (this will be the name of your blog i.e wpbeginner.com)
  2. A web hosting account (this is where your website live on the internet)
  3. Your undivided attention for 30 minutes.

Yes, you read it right. You can start a blog from scratch in less than 30 minutes, and we will walk you through the whole process, step by step.

In this tutorial, we will cover:

  • How to Register a Domain Name for Free
  • How to Choose the Best Web Hosting
  • How to Install and Setup WordPress Blog
  • How to Change Your Blog Design Template
  • How to Write Your First Blog Post
  • How to Customize WordPress Blog with Plugins
  • How to Add a Contact Form
  • How to Setup Google Analytics Tracking
  • How to Optimize Your Website for SEO
  • How to Make Money From Your Blog
  • Resources to Learn and Master WordPress

Ready? Let’s get started.

Video Tutorial

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

Step 1. Setup

The biggest mistake beginners make when building a blog is choosing the wrong blogging platform. Thankfully you’re here, so you won’t be making that mistake.

For 95% of users, it makes more sense to use WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. Why?

Because it is free to use, you can install plugins, customize your blog design, and most importantly make money from your blog without any restrictions (see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).

WordPress is also the number one website platform used by all successful blogs. To put in perspective, 34% of all websites on the internet use WordPress!

Now you might be wondering why is WordPress free? What’s the catch?

There’s no catch. It’s free because you have to do the setup and host it yourself.

In other words, you need a domain name and web hosting.

A domain name is what people type to get to your website. It’s your website’s address on the internet. Think google.com or wpbeginner.com

Web hosting is where your website files live. It’s your website’s house on the internet. Every website needs web hosting.

A domain name typically costs around $14.99 / year, and web hosting normally costs $7.99 / month.

That’s a lot of money for beginners who are just starting out.

Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies on the internet. They are also the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting because they host millions of websites including many of our own.

On top of all this, Bluehost has been working with WordPress since 2005, and they are committed to giving back. That’s why they have promised us that if you cannot get your blog online within 30 minutes by following this tutorial, then our expert team will complete the process for you without any cost. They will compensate us, so you don’t have to. Contact us for free blog setup help.

NOTE: At WPBeginner we believe in transparency. If you sign up with Bluehost using our referral link, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain). We would get this commission for recommending just about any WordPress hosting company, but we only recommend products that we use personally use and believe will add value to our readers.

Let’s go ahead and purchase your domain + hosting.

Open up Bluehost in a new window and follow along.

First thing you need to do is click on the green Get Started Now button to get started.

Get started with Bluehost

On the next screen, select the plan that you need (basic and plus are the most popular).

After that, you will be asked to enter the domain name for your website.

Select your domain name

Lastly, you will need to add your account information and finalize the package info to complete the process. We recommend going with the 36-month plan because that’s the best value.

On this screen, you will see optional extras that you can purchase. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you purchase these, but we generally don’t recommend purchasing them right away. You can always add them later on, if you decide that you need them.

Hosting checkout for starting a blog

Once completed, you will receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is where you manage everything from support, emails, among other things. But most importantly, this is where you install WordPress.

Step 2. Install WordPress

When you signup with the new version of Bluehost using our link, they will automatically install WordPress for you. This new version was recently launched to make it easier for non-techy users to create their blog.

What this means is you simply need to login to your Bluehost account, and then click the Login to WordPress button to get started.

Log in to your WordPress blog from Bluehost dashboard

You can also login to WordPress by simply going to yoursite.com/wp-admin/ directly from your browser.

If you are using a different WordPress blog hosting service like SiteGround, HostGator, WP Engine, etc, then you can see our comprehensive guide on how to install WordPress for step by step instructions for those providers.

Once WordPress is setup, you’re ready to customize your blog’s appearance to make it your own and start blogging.

Step 3. Selecting Your WordPress Theme

The visual appearance of your WordPress blog is controlled by themes. When you first visit your blog, it will look something like this:

Default WordPress theme

This is not very appealing to most people.

Customizing the look and feel of your blog is by far one of the most exciting and rewarding part in the journey of creating your WordPress blog.

There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can install on your site. Some of them are free themes, while others are paid.

You can change your theme by going to your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Appearance » Themes.

Add new WordPress theme

Go ahead and click on the Add New button.

On the next screen, you will able to search from 7,400+ free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress.org themes directory. You can sort by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e industry, layout, etc).

Select a theme

You can take your mouse over to a theme, and you will see a Preview button. Clicking on it will open the theme preview where you can see how the design would look on your website.

Preview theme

The preview of your theme may not look exactly as shown in the screenshot, which is normal as you will get to customize and set it up later. What you need to look for is design, colors, typography, and other elements.

The best tip to select the perfect WordPress theme is to strive for simplicity in design. It helps you keep things clean and clear while offering a good experience to your users.

When you have found the theme that you like, simply bring your mouse on it, and it will show the Install button. Click on it and wait for the theme to be installed. After that, the install button will be replaced with an Activate button. You need to click on it to Activate the theme.

Install and activate the WordPress theme

Once you have installed your theme, you can customize it by clicking on the Customize link under the Appearance menu.

If you need help selecting a theme, then please refer to our guide on 9 things you should consider when selecting a perfect WordPress theme.

Once you have selected your WordPress theme, you are now ready to create your first blog post.

Step 4. Creating Your First Blog Post

To write a blog post, click on the Posts » Add New menu in your WordPress dashboard.

You will see an editor area where you can write your first blog post.

Writing a blog post in WordPress

WordPress uses a block-based editor where each element is a block. This allows you to create beautiful content layouts for your blog posts.

To familiarize yourself with the editor, see our WordPress block editor tutorial.

Once you’re done writing, go ahead and click on the Publish button on the top-right corner of the screen to make your blog post publicly available.

Publish blog post

On the posts screen, you will notice several other sections such as Categories and Tags. You can use these to organize your blog posts into sections. We have a great writeup on the difference between categories vs tags, which we highly recommend that you read.

To utilize all the features on the posts screen, you should read our article on how to add a new post in WordPress (video included).

Often beginners are confused between posts and pages menu in the WordPress dashboard. That’s why we have also written a complete guide on the difference between posts vs pages in WordPress.

Step 5. Plugins & Customizations

Once you have written your first sample blog post, you probably want to get started with adding other usual elements on your website such as contact forms, galleries, sliders, newsletter subscription form, etc.

To add all these additional features, you need to use plugins.

WordPress plugins are apps that allow you to add new features to your website (without writing any code).

There are over 55,000 WordPress plugins available in the free WordPress plugin directory alone. This means no matter what you want to accomplish, there is a plugin for it.

We have a step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to use plugins to add some essential features to your WordPress blog.

How to Create a Contact Form in WordPress

Every website needs a contact form. It allows your users to email you directly. Since WordPress doesn’t come with a built-in contact form, you will need a WordPress form builder plugin to add a contact form on your site.

We recommend using the WPForms Lite plugin. It is a free version of the popular WPForms plugin, which is #1 in our list of best contact form plugins for WordPress.

Over 3 million websites use WPForms!

You can install the plugin by going to Plugins » Add New page and typing WPForms in the search box. Next, you need to click “Install” and then “Activate”. Upon activation, you need to head over to WPForms » Add New page to create your first form.

Adding a new contact form in WordPress

This will open the WPForms builder interface.

First, you need to enter a name for your contact form and then click on ‘Simple Contact Form’ template.

Simple contact form

WPForms will now create a simple contact form for you with all the required fields. You can click on any field to change it, or add a new field from the left column.

Editing your contact form

Once you are done editing the form, click on the save button at the top right corner and then exit the form builder.

You can now create a new page in WordPress by going to Pages » Add New and call it ‘Contact’. On the edit screen, you need to enter the WPForms block into the editor.

Add WPForms block to the editor

After that, select the form you created earlier from the drop down menu and WPForms will load a live preview of the form in the editor.

Select your contact form

You can now save and publish the page and visit it in your browser to see your contact form in action.

If you need more detailed instructions, then see our step by step guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress.

How to Setup Google Analytics Tracking

Google Analytics helps you see how many people are visiting your blog, where they are coming from, and what are they doing on your website?

It is best to install Google Analytics when starting your blog, so you can see how much your blog has grown over time.

First, you need to visit Google Analytics website and sign in using your Gmail account.

Once you are logged in, you can go ahead and sign up for a free Google Analytics account.

Google Analytics sign up

You will be asked to provide your information and website URL. After that, you will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code.

You can stop here because we will be using a plugin to automatically fetch and add this code to your blog (along with setting up proper WordPress tracking).

Switch to your WordPress admin area to install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. It is the free version of the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, and it is the easiest way to add Google Analytics on your site (trusted by over 2 million websites).

Upon activation, you need to visit Insights » Settings page to configure the plugin settings.

Connect Google Analytics using MonsterInsights

On the settings page, click on the ‘Connect MonsterInsights’ button to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress site.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup. Once done, you will be able to see your website analytics report straight from your WordPress dashboard under the MonsterInsights tab.

Website stats reports in MonsterInsights

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for SEO

Most beginners don’t optimize for SEO when creating a blog. SEO or search engine optimization helps users find your blog in search engines. If you want more traffic, then it’s crucial that you optimize your blog for SEO from the beginning.

To get started, first you need to install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. It is the complete WordPress SEO plugin that will help you optimize your blog.

Upon activation, you will see a new menu item labeled ‘SEO’. Clicking on it will take you to the plugins settings page.

Yoast SEO settings

The plugin comes with a quick configuration wizard to help you walk through the set up. You can also follow the instructions in our Yoast SEO guide for manual set up.

We also recommend you to follow our complete step by step WordPress SEO guide to set up your blog’s SEO.

More WordPress Plugins and Customizations

There are a ton of others WordPress plugins that you can install. Often beginners find it a bit overwhelming to search for the plugins they need.

At WPBeginner, we often feature the best WordPress plugins to help you add the functionality that you need.

Here is our expert pick of the best WordPress plugins that you should check out.

  • Backup – UpdraftPlus is the best WordPress backup plugin. You need to create regular backups of your website in case something ever goes wrong.
  • Security – Sucuri Security is a free security scanner for WordPress. We have a complete step by step WordPress security guide for beginners that will help you secure your blog.
  • Performance – We recommend using either WP Rocket (premium) or WP Super Cache (free) to speed up WordPress. For more on this topic see our article on WordPress speed and performance with step by step instructions.
  • Design & Customization – We recommend using either Beaver Builder or Divi page builder for customizing your homepage design, creating custom landing pages, or even creating custom themes (without writing any code). For more on this topic, see our article on best WordPress page builders (compared).

If you are curious about the plugins and tools we use on our site, then check out WPBeginner’s Blueprint. It has all the plugins and tools that we use on the WPBeginner blog.

Need more recommendations? See our expert-pick of the must have WordPress plugins and tools for all websites (hand-picked by our founder, Syed Balkhi).

Step 6. Making Money From Your Blog

Now that you’ve created your blog and customized it to your liking, you are probably wondering how can I actually make money from my blog?

There are a lot of different ways to successfully monetize your blog. However there is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme.

Don’t be fooled by the pictures of expensive cars and mansions because those are all fake.

Unlike other “make money online” articles, we have created the most comprehensive guide on how to make money from your blog using WordPress.

Make Money Online Blogging with WordPress

That’s a 4000+ word guide that everyone who want to make money with their blog needs to read. We have shared our 15+ years of online wisdom in that ultimate guide.

As long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and effort, you’ll reap the reward. Remember, there are no shortcuts.

Here are some of the best ways to make money from your blog.

1. Google AdSense

Google AdSense

Many bloggers make money by showing ads on their blog. If you make a blog with monetization in mind, then Google AdSense is the best way to do this.

It is the largest advertising platform for bloggers and publishers. Acting as a middleman between you and the advertiser, Google allow advertisers to bid for keywords matching your content. This allows you to get the best rates possible for the ads.

For more details, see our article on how to properly add Google AdSense to your WordPress blog.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the second most commonly used monetization strategy among bloggers. Basically, you recommend your favorite products / services to your readers, and when they make a purchase you get a referral commission.

The key in affiliate marketing is to recommend high-quality products and services that you already use and trust. There are plenty of affiliate marketing plugins and tools for WordPress that can help you make more money when promoting affiliate products.

We also have a complete step by step affiliate marketing guide for beginners, that will help you get started.

3. Online Store

Add an online store to your WordPress blog

Many bloggers make money by selling things directly from their blog. This could be physical products, digital downloads like ebooks, artwork, music, and more. Some bloggers even offer consulting services.

We recommend using WooCommerce because it is the best eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It is also the most commonly used eCommerce platform in the world.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to easily create an online store using WordPress.

On top of the 3 methods above, you can do so much more with your WordPress blog. You can make WordPress blogs specifically for reviews, fashion blogging, food blogging with recipes, and more. Each of these blog types brings you more unique opportunities to make money.

You can also turn your blog into a membership site to offer premium content and courses.

Step 7. Mastering WordPress

Business Learning and Support

WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners.

At WPBeginner, our main goal is to provide cutting-edge helpful WordPress tutorials that are easy to understand for small businesses, bloggers, and non-techy WordPress website owners (see more about us).

To expand your WordPress knowledge, you should check out:

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

For more discussions, you may want to join our free Facebook group WPBeginner Engage. With more than 24,000 members, the group is focused on helping beginners and non-techy users do more with WordPress.

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

Lastly, you can use Google to type your question and add WPBeginner in front of it. Our users find this trick to be always helpful because it makes it easy for you to find the RIGHT answer for your WordPress questions.

In case you don’t find an answer to your question, don’t worry. Simply use our contact form to send us a message. Our always helpful, full time WPBeginner support team, will be happy to assist. We love helping users get started with WordPress.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Having helped thousands of people start a blog, we have answered quite a lot of questions. Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about creating a blog.

Can I create a blog without WordPress?

Yes, there are several other blogging platforms available. We have compared them all, and WordPress is by far the best solution in the market to make a blog with complete ownership and freedom.

Can I build a blog without hosting?

No, that’s not possible. Web hosting is where your website files are stored. All websites need web hosting.

How much does it cost to start a blog?

The cost depends on the add-ons that you buy. We have a complete guide on how much does a WordPress website cost as well as tips on how to save money.

Can I create a blog without my parents knowing about it?

Yes. You can make your WordPress blog private and hide it from the internet. Here is a step by step guide on how to make your WordPress blog completely private.

Can I start a WordPress blog and make money with Google Adsense?

Yes, you can use your WordPress blog to earn money from Google AdSense. We have a step by step guide on how to add Google AdSense in WordPress.

How can I create a blog and remain anonymous?

If you want to have a public-facing blog but want to remain anonymous, then you need to make sure that your domain has WHOIS privacy turned on. Often people use a pseudonym / nickname to write under. You should also create a unique email just for your blog. It goes without saying, don’t post your pictures or anything on the blog. For more detailed instructions, see our article on how to blog anonymously using WordPress.

How do I add a podcast to my WordPress blog?

WordPress makes it super easy to start a blog and add a podcast to it. We have a step by step guide on how to start a podcast with WordPress.

How do I come up with blogging ideas to write about?

Here’s an excellent guide that has 103 blog post ideas that you can write about today. Here’s another guide on 73 types of blog posts that are proven to work.

You can also follow this tutorial from Blogtyrant on how to write a good blog post (12 expert tips) which will help you write great content.

Can I build a blog in my own language?

Yes, you can use WordPress in other languages. You can select your language during installation or from Settings page in WordPress admin area. WordPress is fully translated in more than 56 languages and partially translated into dozens of other languages. Many top WordPress themes and plugins are also available in multiple languages. You can also translate a theme or a plugin that you want to use on your website.

How do I create a blog in multiple languages?

Want to start a blog in Hindi, Spanish, or multiple languages? Here’s a step by step guide on how to create a multilingual website in WordPress.

Can I design a blog with no coding skills?

Absolutely. You don’t need any programming, coding, or design skills to create a professional-looking WordPress blog.

WordPress themes are easy to customize and you can just point and click to set up your theme. There are WordPress themes like Astra which comes with ready-made starter websites that you can import with one-click.

There are other powerful themes like Divi which give you complete drag & drop design options for customizing your blog.

Then there are powerful drag and drop page builders like Beaver Builder and Divi builder that works with any WordPress theme. You can use it to just drag and drop items and design your own pages.

You can even create your own custom theme without writing any code.

Can I add a photography gallery to my blog?

Yes, WordPress comes with a built-in gallery feature that makes it easy for you to add photo galleries in your blog posts.

Professional photographers can also use premium WordPress gallery plugins to better showcase their photos and even sell photos to make money from their photography business.

How can I create a professional email address for my blog?

If you’re serious about your blog, then we highly recommend that you create a professional business email address (it’s free).

All successful bloggers use professional email address to stand out and make better partnership deals to grow their blog.

We hope that you found our tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog to be helpful. You may also want to check out our article on 19 actionable tips to drive traffic to your new WordPress site.

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

The post How to Start a WordPress Blog the RIGHT WAY in 7 Easy Steps (2020) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Fix the Error Establishing a Database Connection in WordPress


Are you seeing the ‘Error establishing a database connection’ notice on your WordPress website? It is a fatal error that makes your WordPress website inaccessible to the users.

This error occurs when WordPress is unable to make a connection to the database. A number of things can affect your WordPress database connection which makes it a bit difficult for beginners to troubleshoot.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix the error establishing a database connection in WordPress.

Fixing the database connection error in WordPress

What Causes Error Establishing a Database Connection in WordPress?

The ‘Error establishing a database connection’ issue can be caused by incorrect database information in your WordPress settings, corrupt database, or an irresponsive database server.

Database connection error in WordPress

A database is a software which makes it easy to store, organize, and retrieve data into other software.

As a content management system, WordPress uses a database to store all your content and other website data. It then connects to the database each time someone visits your website.

WordPress needs the following information for connecting to the database:

  • Database name
  • Database username
  • Database password
  • Database server

This information is stored in your WordPress configuration file called wp-config.php.

If any of these items are incorrect, WordPress would fail to connect to your database server, and you’ll see the ‘Error establishing a database connection’ error.

It is one of the most common WordPress errors. Apart from incorrect credentials, this error can also appear if the database server is down, or the database files are corrupt.

Let’s take a look at how to fix error establishing database connection issue in WordPress with step by step troubleshooting.

1. Check Your WordPress Database Credentials

The most common reason for database connection error in WordPress is incorrect database credentials. If you have recently moved your WordPress site to a new host, then this could be the most likely reason.

Your WordPress database credentials are stored in the wp-config.php file. It is the WordPress configuration file that contains important WordPress settings including database information.

If you have not edited wp-config.php file before, then take a look at our guide on how to edit wp-config.php file in WordPress.

You’ll be looking for the following lines in the wp-config.php file.


// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define( 'DB_NAME', 'database_name_here' );
/** MySQL database username */
define( 'DB_USER', 'username_here' );
/** MySQL database password */
define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here' );
/** MySQL hostname */
define( 'DB_HOST', 'localhost' );

You need to make sure that the information for the database name, username, password, and database host is correct.

You can confirm this information from your WordPress hosting account dashboard. Simply log in to your hosting account and click on MySQL databases under the database section.

Database information

This will take you to the database management page in your hosting dashboad. From here, you can find out your database name and the username.

Database name and username

Below that you will find the database users and links to change the user password.

Changing database user password

Once you have confirmed your database name, username, and password, you can change that information in your wp-config.php file if needed.

After that, try visiting your website again to see if the database connection error has gone.

If you can still see the error, then this means that something else is wrong. Continue reading for more troubleshooting steps.

2. Check Your Database Host Information

If you are confident that your database name, username, and password information is correct, then you may want to make sure that you are using the correct database host information.

Most WordPress hosting companies use localhost as your database host. However, some managed WordPress hosting companies use separate servers to host databases. In that case, your database host information will not be localhost.

You need to contact your WordPress hosting company to confirm your database host information.

3. Repair WordPress Database

If you are getting a different error on the wp-admin, for instance, something like “One or more database tables are unavailable. The database may need to be repaired”, then you need to repair your database.

You can do this by adding the following line in your wp-config.php file. Make sure to add it just before ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging’ line wp-config.php.

define('WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true);

Once you have done that, you can see the settings by visiting this page: http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php

Repair WordPress database

Note: the user does not need to be logged in to access the database repair page. Once you are done repairing and optimizing your database, make sure to remove this code from your wp-config.php.

4. Check if Your Database Server is Down

If everything seems to be correct, and WordPress still cannot connect to the database, then your database server (MySQL server) may be down.

This could happen due to heavy traffic on a server. Basically, your host server just cannot handle the load (especially when you are on shared hosting).

Your site will get really slow and for some users it may even output the error. So the best thing you should do is get on the phone or live chat with your hosting provider and ask them if your MySQL server is responsive.

If you have other websites running on the same server, then you can check those sites to confirm that your SQL server is down.

If you do not have any other site on the same hosting account, then simply go to your hosting dashboard and try to access phpMyAdmin and connect the database.

If you can connect, then we need to verify if your database user has sufficient permission. Create a new file called testconnection.php and paste the following code in it:

<?php
$link = mysqli_connect('localhost', 'username', 'password');
if (!$link) 
die('Could not connect: ' . mysqli_error());

echo 'Connected successfully';
mysqli_close($link);
?>

Make sure to replace the username and password. You can now upload this file to your website and access it via web browser.

If the script connected successfully, then it means that your user has sufficient permission, and there is something else that is wrong.

Go back to your wp-config file to make sure that everything there is correct (re-scan for typos).

Other Solutions That Have Worked for Users

If the above-mentioned troubleshooting tips failed to fix the database connection error on your website, then you may try these additional steps.

Reported by our users, these steps have helped some users resolve the database connection error on their websites.

1. Update WordPress Site URL

Try updating the WordPress site URL using phpMyAdmin. Simply access phpMyAdmin from your hosting account dashboard, and select your WordPress database.

Running SQL in phpMyAdmin

After that click on the SQL menu on the top and enter the following MySQL query.

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value='YOUR_SITE_URL' WHERE option_name='siteurl'

Don’t forget to provide your own site URL and change wp_options to your own table name as you may have changed the WordPress table prefix.

2. Rebooting Web Server

Users on dedicated servers, local server, and virtual private servers (VPS) can try rebooting their servers.

This will restart your web and database server which may fix some temporary glitches causing the error.

3. Ask for help

If everything else fails, then you may need to contact your web hosting company. All good WordPress hosting companies will help you troubleshoot the problem, point you in the right direction, or even fix it for you.

You can also hire WordPress developers from Codeable that can help you fix this issue for reasonable rates. The best part is that these developers are highly-vetted by Codeable team, so you know they can be trusted.

We hope this article helped you fix the error establishing a database connection in WordPress. You may also want to see our WordPress troubleshooting guide for tips on resolving WordPress issues on your own.

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 Error Establishing a Database Connection in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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11 Things You Should Do When Inheriting a WordPress Site


Recently one of our readers asked what are some of the things we recommend doing immediately after inheriting a WordPress site?

Whether you’re a business owner who recently acquired a new website, or an office assistant who’s inheriting your company’s existing website from another team member, you might be wondering what are the most important next steps.

In this article, we will show you the top things you need to do when inheriting a WordPress site.

Things you need to do when inheriting a WordPress website

1. Get All The Passwords

Managing passwords

When inheriting a WordPress site, the first thing you must do is gather all the username and password information. This includes your web hosting password, FTP password, CDN password, domain management password, email marketing service passwords, and password to all third party premium plugins or services that the website is using.

From our experience, scheduling a video call with the old developer or site owners works best because they can explain everything in detail.

The best way to manage all your website passwords is by using a password manager. We recommend using LastPass because it works with all your devices and allows you to store passwords in group, share them securely, and use stronger passwords.

2. Change All Admin Password and Emails

Once you have received all the passwords, you need to change all of them.

This ensures that the previous developer or site owner cannot modify anything. Another thing you want to do is update all admin contact emails, so only you have the ability to reset passwords in the future.

You can do this by going to Users » All Users page in WordPress admin area and editing all user passwords along with contact details.

Edit all user passwords in WordPress

Next, you need to change the WordPress site admin email address. WordPress uses it to send important website notifications. Simply go to Settings » General page and enter a new email address there.

Change admin email address

3. Take Notes and Familiarize Yourself

take notes

Before you make any other changes to the site, it is important to take notes and familiarize yourself with the website. If you’re not familiar with WordPress, then we recommend that you watch our WordPress 101 videos.

It is very important that you understand the importance and functionality of each WordPress plugin used on the website.

You would also want to review theme settings and the widgets you’re using.

You can take notes of different functionalities, features you would like to change, and more.

Note: please write all these notes down in Google Docs, Dropbox Paper, or somewhere else that you won’t lose it.

This information will help you understand everything. If you need help understanding something, then you can try contacting the previous owner or developer.

4. Setup an Automated Backup Solution

Automated backups

Backups are your first layer of defense against any online mishap. The previous site owner may have their own backup plugins setup which may be storing backup files to one of their remote storage accounts.

You would want to set up your own backups. There are plenty of excellent WordPress backup plugins that you can choose from.

You need to make sure that you set up your backups on a remote location like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

You also need to create a complete WordPress backup before making any further changes to your website. This would help you revert back your website in case anything goes wrong.

5. Update User Roles and Permissions

If you are a developer working on a website, then you’ll need to work with your client to assign user roles and permissions to their staff.

Your goal should be to limit the administrator user role to people who actually need to perform admin tasks. These tasks include things like changing the theme, installing new plugins, or adding new users to the website.

If you are working on your own site, then you will need to review user access. Create a new user account for your authors if needed.

If there are older author and editor accounts that you will not be working with, then you need to edit those user accounts and change their email address and password. See our guide on how to disable user accounts without deleting them.

6. Run Security and Performance Scans

WordPress security

Next, you need to make sure that your new WordPress website is secure and performing well.

For security scans, we recommend using Sucuri. It is the best WordPress security plugin on the market and allows you to easily scan your website for malicious code, security threats, and vulnerabilities.

For performance, you can use any of the online website speed test tools. We recommend using IsItWP website speed test tool which is easy to use and gives you a detailed overview of your website speed.

It is also important that you check to see that caching is configured properly.

Many WordPress hosting companies like Bluehost and SiteGround offer built-in caching solutions that you can turn on from your hosting account. You can also use a WordPress caching plugin like WP Rocket to instantly improve your website speed.

If the site is not running a CDN, then you should consider using a CDN service. Although this is not required, we always recommend users to use a CDN. For more details, see our guide on why you should use CDN.

7. Check for Proper Tracking and SEO Integration

Track user analytics

If you have inherited the ownership of a new website, then old website owner may have transferred the Google Analytics property to you.

A lot of website owners simply add the Google Analytics code to their WordPress theme. This code disappears as soon as you update the theme or install a new one.

Make sure that the Google Analytics is properly installed on the website by either using MonsterInsights plugin or by adding the tracking code outside WordPress theme.

Similarly, they may have also transferred Google Search Console property to you as well.

Make sure that your site has XML Sitemaps in place for search console. You may also want to look at Google Search Console reports making sure there are no crawling issues or errors on the site.

8. Implement Version Control and/or Staging Site

Version control

If you’re a developer, then it is highly recommended that you implement version control for the site. It is fairly easy to use GitHub or BitBucket.

If you’re not a developer, then at the very least we recommend setting up a WordPress staging site which ensures that you have a stable testing environment before pushing things live. We recommend this step for all users.

For those who’re scared to set this up, then WP Engine a managed WordPress hosting provider offers a robust staging environment and git version control integration.

Other small business hosting providers like SiteGround and Bluehost are also offering staging features at affordable prices.

9. Run a Website Clean up

Cleanup WordPress

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the project, it is best to clean out all the unnecessary things. Delete all inactive themes and plugins. Delete all user accounts that are not needed.

Login to your WordPress database and optimize the database. Some bad plugins leave their database tables even after they’re deleted. If you notice any of those, then it is best to delete them. See our beginners guide to WordPress database management to safely optimize WordPress database.

10. Review Plugin Settings

Review plugin settings

A typical WordPress website uses several plugins that may still be referring to old owners. If you have taking the ownership of a website, then you would want to change that.

For example, the contact form plugin on the website may still be sending notifications to old email addresses. WordPress SEO plugin may still be pointing to previous owners’ social media profiles.

You can discover some of these things by looking at the website and testing all its features. You can also review plugin settings and update them if needed.

11. Upgrade Your Hosting Service

Web Hosting

After running the website speed test, if your website is still slow despite using caching, then it is time to upgrade your hosting.

If it is a client website, then your performance tests would help you convince the client for the move. If you own the website yourself, then you just need to choose the right move.

We recommend using SiteGround or Bluehost as they are one of the biggest hosting companies and officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

If your website has outgrown shared hosting, then you may want to consider using a managed WordPress hosting service like WP Engine.

See our guide on how to move WordPress to a new host for step by step instructions to move your website.

We hope that this article offered some insights on what you should do when inheriting a WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on the must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

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

The post 11 Things You Should Do When Inheriting a WordPress Site appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Use Dynamic Field Population in WordPress to Auto-Fill Forms


Do you want to use dynamic field population in WordPress to auto-fill forms on your website?

Dynamic field population allows you to automatically fill form fields based on user selection, query strings, or field type.

This makes your forms smart, saves users time, deliver a better user experience, and ultimately improves form completion rate.

In this article, we’ll show you how to use dynamic field population in WordPress to auto-fill forms.

Automatically fill form fields in WordPress with Dynamic field population

What is Dynamic Field Population?

Dynamic field population is a technique that allows website owners to automatically fill form fields based on user selection, form type, query strings, or conditional logic.

For example, an eCommerce store can create a form where product field in the form is dymanically populated using existing products in WooCommerce or any other eCommerce software.

Similarly, a real estate website can automatically populate listings, agents, property type fields in their appointment and lead generation forms.

Advanced users and developers can also use URL parameters to dynamically fill out form fields using smart links from email newsletter or other website interactions.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to easily use the dynamic field population in WordPress.

How to Use Dynamic Field Population in WordPress

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

WPForms is the best WordPress contact form plugin on the market. It allows you to easily create online forms using a simple drag and drop tool.

It also comes with dynamic field population, conditional logic, and advanced form fields. Together, these features allow you to create smarter and interactive forms for your website.

Note: WPForms is co-founded by WPBeginner founder, Syed Balkhi.

Upon activating the plugin, you need to visit the WPForms » Settings page to enter your license key. You can find this information under your account on the WPForms website.

WPForms License key

Next, you need to visit WPForms » Add New to create your first form. You’ll be asked to provide a name for your form and then select a template to start.

Creating a new form

WPForms will now load your form with pre-selected fields. You can click to edit form fields or use drag and drop feature to move them up and down. You can also add and remove form fields with just a click.

Let’s add a new form field to populate it with dynamic choices.

You can add a dropdown, multiple-choice, or a checkbox field to your form to use dynamic choices options. Simply click on a field from the left column to add it to your form.

Add form fields

Next, click to edit the field and then expand the Advanced Optins menu from the left column.

Advanced options

From here, you need to select a dynamic option under Dynamic Choices. WPForms supports post types and taxonomies registered on your WordPress site. For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll select Products post type.

Dynamic choices

WPForms will now automatically load and display the fields in the form preview.

You can now save your form and exit the form builder.

To add the form in a WordPress post or page, simply edit the post or page where you want to add it.

On the post edit screen, add WPForms block to your post edit area. After that select the form you created earlier from the drop down menu.

Adding WPForms block in WordPress

You can now save your post or page and visit your website to see your form with dynamic field values in action.

WPForm preview

Automatically Fill Form Fields Using URL Parameters

WPForms also allows you to dynamically fill form fields using URL parameters. This allows you to create smart links that automatically pass down information to the form and fill it for your users to submit.

First, you need to create a new form or edit an existing form in WPForms. Once you are done creating your form, switch to the settings tab from the left column and then select the ‘General’ tab.

On this screen, you need to check the box to Enable dynamic field population.

Enable dynamic fields

You can now save your form and exit the form builder. Your form is now ready to dynamically populate form fields using URL parameters.

Creating Links with URL Parameters

WPForms accepts dynamic form fields passed through URL parameters in a specific format.

https://example.com/contact/?wpf15_1=value

Let’s break it down.

  • The part of the URL before the question mark ‘?’ is the URL of the page that has your form. For example, your contact form page.
  • ?wpf – Indicates the start of the WPForm form field parameters.
  • 15 – Is the ID of your form
  • _1 – Next you have the field ID
  • =value – = indicates the start of the value you want to pass to the form followed by the actual field value.

Here is an example of a URL where we are passing a product title as a text field to a feedback form.

https://example.com/contact/?wpf15_2=Vintage%20Flower%20Vase

Adding URL to your post

Notice, how we have used %20 to indicate spaces between words in the product title.

Finding Form and Field IDs in WPForms

In order to create URL parameters, you’ll need to know the form and field IDs. Here is how you can find these values.

Simply edit your form, and you will see the form ID in your browser’s address bar.

Finding form ID in WPForms

Similarly, in order to find the form field ID, you need to just click to edit it. You will see form field properties in the left column along with field ID at the top.

Finding the form field ID

Now, what if you wanted to pass a value to a subfield?

Simply add the subfield identifier after the field ID in your URL like this:

https://example.com/contact/?wpf15_3_city=london

For more details, see WPForms developer documentation which shows more examples to use different parameters for all types of form fields.

You can now use this feature in combination with your CRM software or email marketing service to send smart form links to your users. Most marketing platforms come with their own personalized MERGE tags that you can add in the smart URL to automatically fill personal information in the form.

You can also use dynamic field population feature with other form plugins like Formidable Forms, Gravity Forms, etc. However, we recommend using WPForms because it makes the whole process easy, and we know it well because we built the product.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use the dynamic field population in WordPress to auto-fill forms. You may also want to see our article on how to track and reduce form abandonment 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 Use Dynamic Field Population in WordPress to Auto-Fill Forms appeared first on WPBeginner.



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2020’s Most Popular and Best WordPress Themes (Expert Pick)


Are you looking for the best WordPress themes of 2020?

With thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available, it is very hard for beginners to choose the best WordPress theme for their need.

In this article, we will share our experts’ pick of the best and most popular WordPress themes in 2020.

Best WordPress Themes

Note: Some of these themes are even older than 2019, but they have remained highly popular due to their incredible design, features, and updates.

The Most Common Traits of All Popular and Best WordPress Themes

WordPress themes are either niche-based or multipurpose in terms of features and options.

You can use a niche-based theme for your industry (for example, a restaurant theme). Alternately, you can choose a multipurpose theme that’s designed to be flexible and works for any kind of website.

Regardless of the type, all the best WordPress themes have the following features and traits:

Mobile-responsive design: The theme designs are responsive and retina-ready, so your WordPress website looks great on all screen sizes and devices.

SEO optimization: The theme follows the best SEO practices, so your website can rank higher in search results.

Page builder support: The theme is compatible with popular WordPress drag and drop page builders. It helps you create custom landing pages whenever you need them.

Speed and performance: Your theme plays an important role in the speed and performance of your website. You should look for the theme with faster page loads and an optimized user experience.

These are the essential features that you should look into a theme before selecting it for your website. Every theme in our list comes with many other useful features aside from the main ones that we mentioned above, and you can read about it in their descriptions.

Now that we have discussed the common traits of all popular themes, let’s take a look at our expert pick of the best themes of 2020.

Note: Looking to start a new website, blog or online store? Follow our step by step guide on how to start a blog, how to create a website, or how to start an online store.

You can even have our team setup your blog for free with our free blog setup service.

1. Divi Theme

ElegantThemes Divi

Divi is one of the most popular WordPress themes and an ultimate page builder. It has multiple visual elements and modules that help you create a beautiful website.

The theme comes with hundreds of free ready-made layouts for multiple industries and niches. It allows you to import a website layout with the 1-click demo importer which helps you quickly get started.

With the built-in drag and drop page builder, you can move elements, save and manage custom designs, and use global styles on all website pages.

Divi gives you complete control of the layout design, inline text editing, and custom CSS. It is highly flexible and easy to use.

Get the Divi theme today!

2. Astra WordPress Theme

Astra Theme

Astra is a modern WordPress theme designed to create any website. It works with all the popular drag and drop page builders seamlessly.

The theme comes with several starter sites that you can use to launch a website quickly. These ready-made websites are perfect for small businesses, blogs, and WooCommerce stores.

It has tons of amazing features, including page headers, mega menu, multiple layout choices, Google Fonts, unlimited color options, separate blog page layouts, and custom widgets.

Astra theme also offers powerful integration with the WooCommerce plugin to create an online store. Their WooCommerce theme features infinite scrolling, quick product view, shop page, product gallery, and cart options.

It also integrates with popular learning management systems like LearnDash. Astra has built-in SEO optimization to help rank your website in the search engines.

Get the Astra WordPress Theme today!

3. Themify Ultra

Themify Ultra

Themify Ultra is a powerful WordPress multipurpose theme built to help you easily make a website. It comes with dozens of ready-made sites for lifestyle, magazine, restaurant, photography, fashion, and more.

It also includes the Themify page builder that you can use for customization. It has several builder addons to add advanced elements like progress bars, counters, pricing tables, audio player, and more.

Other notable features include smart layout options, color choices, crisp typography, section-based scrolling, image filters, and portfolio options.

Themify Ultra is also an ideal theme to start a WooCommerce store. It is easy to set up and customize with the live WordPress customizer.

Get the Themify Ultra theme today!

4. OceanWP

OceanWP

OceanWP is a free WordPress multipurpose theme. It comes with a 1-click demo content importer and hundreds of ready-made sites to launch a website instantly.

The theme has multiple extensions to add features to your website like a login popup, an Instagram feed, a sticky footer, a featured posts slider, and more. It is translation ready to create a multilingual website.

The OceanWP theme supports WooCommerce out of the box. It has built-in SEO features to help in improving your website rankings.

Get the OceanWP theme today!

5. Breakthrough Pro

Breakthrough Pro

Breakthrough Pro is a minimalist WordPress theme. It is built on top of the Genesis Theme Framework by StudioPress which makes it powerful and robust.

The theme is ideal for any business website. It comes with 9 custom widgets, 3 layout options, landing page templates, and a custom header. It works with the Gutenberg block editor to customize posts and pages smoothly.

StudioPress is now part of WP Engine, the most popular managed WordPress hosting company. You can get this theme and all 35+ other StudioPress themes if you sign up for WP Engine hosting to build your website.

Bonus: WPBeginner users also get an additional 20% OFF. Get started with WP Engine today!

Get the Breakthrough Pro theme today!

6. Hestia Pro

Hestia Pro

Hestia Pro is a modern WordPress multipurpose theme. It comes in a one-page and multi-page layouts to make any website.

With a slick material design, you can showcase your business and services professionally. It integrates with popular page builders like Beaver Builder, Elementor, Visual Composer, etc.

The theme is fully compatible with WooCommerce, and it allows you to create beautiful products and shop pages easily. It also ships with multiple starter sites for eCommerce stores and other business niches.

Get the Hestia Pro theme today!

7. Nozama

Nozama

Nozama is a WordPress WooCommerce theme built to start an online store quickly. It is highly customizable to display your featured products on the homepage.

It comes with a built-in storefront to create product filters, custom product layouts, and more. Other features include social network integrations, color customization, and header visibility.

Get the Nozama theme today!

8. Alpha

Alpha

Alpha is an advanced WordPress magazine theme. It is well-suited for newspapers, online magazines, personal blogs, and authors.

The theme comes with 2 different layout designs, a featured slideshow, a video widget, a breaking news ticker, ad placement spaces, and more. It is beginner-friendly and easy to set up.

You should also check out our article on the best WordPress magazine themes.

Get the Alpha theme today!

9. Zelle Pro

Zelle Pro

Zelle Pro is a premium one-page WordPress theme. It offers a minimal layout with a custom logo, a fullwidth header, and call-to-action buttons.

The theme features custom backgrounds, unlimited color choices, and mega menus. It has built-in SEO and speed optimization for better performance.

Get the Zelle Pro theme today!

10. Sydney Pro

Sydney Pro

Sydney Pro is a fantastic WordPress multipurpose theme. It uses the custom Elementor blocks for carousel slider, pricing tables, and timeline.

Other notable features include page templates, header choices, customizer options, and a video header. The theme is translation ready and allows you to create a multilingual website easily.

Get the Sydney Pro theme today!

11. Storefront

Storefront

Storefront is a popular WordPress WooCommerce theme. It comes with an intuitive and flexible layout to create an online store.

It works with all WooCommerce extensions seamlessly. The theme is fully customizable for background, colors, and font using the WordPress customizer with live preview.

Get the Storefront theme today!

Bonus: see our guide on the best WooCommerce plugins to grow your store.

12. Inspiro

Inspiro

Inspiro is a stylish WordPress theme. It comes with a fullscreen video background slideshow that supports YouTube, Vimeo, and custom videos.

The theme is perfect for a portfolio, a small business, or an eCommerce website. It ships with a gallery module to display your images, videos, and work portfolio beautifully.

Don’t miss our article on the best portfolio WordPress themes.

Get the Inspiro theme today!

13. Neve

Neve

Neve is a modern WordPress multipurpose theme designed to create all kinds of websites easily. It is highly flexible and easy to use.

This theme is compatible with popular page builders, including Divi Builder, Beaver Builder, and more. Neve also supports the Gutenberg editor to customize your pages and posts.

Get the Neve theme today!

14. Authority Pro

Authority Pro

Authority Pro is a powerful WordPress theme. It is built with a multipurpose approach to make any professional business website and online store.

The theme is highly scalable and works equally great for small to large business websites. It supports the WPForms plugin to create a contact form or any other form quickly.

Get the Authority Pro theme today!

15. News Portal

News Portal

News Portal is a free WordPress magazine theme. It has a widgetized layout and multiple ready-made magazine templates to launch your online magazine instantly.

It comes with multiple color schemes, category color options, background colors, and more. The theme is easy to set up and manage with the WordPress live customizer.

Get the News Portal theme today!

16. Shoptimizer

Shoptimizer

Shoptimizer is a fast WordPress WooCommerce theme. It comes with multiple features to set up and grow your eCommerce store quickly.

The theme has a beautiful layout, custom header, featured content section, cart options, a wishlist, and more. It is optimized for SEO and speed performance.

Related: You should check out our article on the best WooCommerce WordPress themes.

Get the Shoptimizer theme today!

17. Gema

Gema

Gema is a beautiful WordPress theme designed specifically for photographers, personal bloggers, authors, lifestyle, and fashion websites.

It comes with a custom logo, a classical navigation menu, buttons, post layouts, and a style manager. The Gema theme is beginner-friendly and easy to set up.

Get the Gema theme today!

18. Tusant

Tusant

Tusant is a unique WordPress podcast theme well-suited for musicians, bands, podcasters, vlogs, and any audio or video streaming website.

It allows you to embed audio and videos from multiple sources. The theme has several layout choices, crisp typography, and custom background color. You can also use the drag and drop page builders for customization.

Note: If you want to check out other options, then take a look at our handpicked list of the best WordPress themes for podcasters.

Get the Tusant theme today!

19. Saved

Saved

Saved is a WordPress church theme ideally built for non-profits, churches, and fundraising websites. It comes with a built-in homepage builder to set up your website’s homepage quickly.

It is packed with a Church Content plugin that helps you add sermons, staff profiles, events, and locations. Other notable features include custom page templates, sticky menu, font choices, color schemes, and more.

Get the Saved theme today!

20. Didi

Didi

Didi is a WordPress fashion blogging theme designed specifically for lifestyle, fashion, wellness, and magazine-style blogs. It comes with a white background that makes your content standout.

It offers multiple layout choices, custom page templates, sidebar layouts, and video support. The Didi theme is compatible with WPML to create a multilingual website.

Get the Didi theme today!

21. Travel Way

Travel Way

Travel Way is a modern WordPress theme ideally built for travelers, travel bloggers, travel photographers, mountain trekkers, and adventure tourism companies.

It features a fullscreen custom header background with call-to-action buttons, social icons, logo, navigation menu, and other details. The theme has multiple sections to display your favorite locations beautifully.

You should also check out our article on the best WordPress themes for travel blogs.

Get the Travel Way theme today!

22. Fitness

Fitness

Fitness is an elegant WordPress theme beautifully crafted for personal trainers, gyms, yoga instructors, and any health-related business.

It allows you to create custom pages for trainers and classes. With 1-click demo content importer, you can import a ready-made website and get started quickly.

Looking for more options? Check out our experts’ pick of the best WordPress themes for crossfit and gym.

Get the Fitness theme today!

23. Moroseta

Moroseta

Moroseta is a versatile WordPress multipurpose theme. It uses light colors that make your content highly readable to users.

The theme features include a separate blog page, multiple sidebar positions, featured content slider, a promo box, and more. It is fully compatible with drag and drop page builders to design custom landing pages.

Get the Moroseta theme today!

24. Foodica

Foodica

Foodica is a new-fashioned WordPress theme for food bloggers, food critiques, chefs, and food recipe websites. It comes with a minimal layout and 10 color schemes.

On the homepage, it has a beautiful featured slider, featured recipes section, multiple ad placement spaces, and more. The theme integrates with WooCommerce to start an online food delivery service quickly.

You should also check out our article on the best WordPress restaurant themes.

Get the Foodica theme today!

25. Kale Pro

Kale Pro

Kale Pro is a premium WordPress food blog theme. It has a beautiful layout that you can also use to create a lifestyle blog, a fashion website, or an online magazine.

It features a recipe index templates to showcase your recipes stylishly. Other features include a sticky navigation menu, an image slider, custom fonts, color schemes, and a background image.

Get the Kale Pro theme today!

26. Kea

Kea

Kea is a WordPress hotel theme designed beautifully for hotels, resorts, BnBs, and accommodation businesses. It offers a fullscreen image background on the homepage.

It allows you to integrate a reservation and booking service to manage your online bookings easily. The theme supports a fullscreen video or carousel slideshow to display your hotel rooms, lobby, and services.

Get the Kea theme today!

27. Elite

Elite

Elite is a creative WordPress fullscreen theme packed with tons of features that you can use to launch a powerful eCommerce store. It allows you to showcase your products in beautiful image galleries and increase your sales.

It comes with image and video galleries, custom logo, Google Fonts, page layouts, and more. The Elite theme is easy to set up using the WordPress customizer with a live preview.

Get the Elite theme today!

28. Daylight

Daylight

Daylight is a bright-colored WordPress multipurpose theme. It is a perfect choice for small businesses, digital agencies, social media marketers, and skilled professionals.

The theme offers a one-page and a multi-page layout to let you select the best option that matches your business requirements. It has built-in page load speed optimization to outrank the other WordPress business themes.

Get the Daylight theme today!

29. Essence Pro

Essence Pro

Essence Pro is a beautiful WordPress theme designed specifically for health, wellness, and lifestyle niches. It features an eye-catching fullwidth custom header image to create a powerful first impression.

The theme is built on top of the Genesis Framework, which makes it rock solid and robust. It ships with the Atomic Blocks and WPForms plugin to help you get started quickly.

Other notable features include 6 layout options, custom widget areas, landing pages, and more. It’s translation ready and supports WooCommerce out of the box.

Get the Essence Pro theme today!

30. Panoramic

Panoramic

Panoramic is a free WordPress multipurpose theme to create any website. It has a minimal layout with a simple and clean design that attracts users in the first look.

The theme integrates seamlessly with popular WordPress plugins like WPForms, SiteOrigin, and WooCommerce. It comes with a homepage slider and flexible theme options that you can manage using the WordPress live customizer.

Get the Panoramic theme today!

31. Agama

Agama

Agama is a free WordPress theme designed specifically for digital agencies, corporate businesses, photographers, and portfolio websites.

It has a white background with beautiful color selection for font, links, and buttons. The theme is SEO-ready and compatible with the WPML plugin to translate your website easily.

Get the Agama theme today!

32. Silk

Silk

Silk is a modern WordPress fashion blog theme. It comes with an attractive layout and a featured content slider on the homepage.

With this theme, you get an Instagram feed display, social tools, custom post layouts, an image slider, and a mega menu. It has color choices, animations, fonts, and custom backgrounds.

Also, check out our complete article on how to start a fashion blog and make money.

Get the Silk theme today!

33. Blockchain

Blockchain

Blockchain is a crypto business WordPress theme. It is ideally built for financial traders, investors, advisors, and consultants.

The theme includes cryptocurrency exchange tables, post types, unlimited color schemes, custom widgets, and more. It fully supports drag and drop page builders and WordPress WooCommerce plugin.

Get the Blockchain theme today!

We hope this article helped you find the best and most popular WordPress themes. You may also want to see our handpicked list of the must have best WordPress plugins for all websites.

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

The post 2020’s Most Popular and Best WordPress Themes (Expert Pick) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Best of Best WordPress Tutorials of 2019 on WPBeginner


Another year is about to end and it is time to take a look back at 2019 to gain some perspective and reflect upon the progress.

It was a particularly fantastic year for WPBeginner, WordPress community, and many of our new users who started new websites and businesses this year.

We want to thank all of you for your continued support that keeps us motivated and energized.

To keep up with our tradition, in this article we will share our staff-pick of the best of best WordPress tutorials on WPBeginner. We’ll also share an overview of 2019 from our CEO.

Best WordPress tutorials of 2019 on WPBeginner

WPBeginner Recap 2019 by Syed Balkhi

Like every year, 2019 has been the best year ever for me both personally and professionally.

This year, WPBeginner turned 10 years old. It still feels quite unreal to say that.

I’m truly grateful for all the support from WPBeginner readers and the larger WordPress community, and I’m more motivated than ever to continue our mission to help small businesses grow and compete with the big guys.

WPBeginner Turns 10 Years Old

After a lot of requests from the community, we finally launched a free Facebook group called WPBeginner Engage that’s focused on helping beginners and non-techy users do more with WordPress. In less than 6 months, we have over 22,000+ members, and I’m really proud of the discussions and knowledge-sharing that’s happening there.

I have been doing exclusive Facebook Lives, recording training videos, our teams of WordPress experts have been answering user questions, and the best part is that it’s 100% free. Go ahead and join now!

WPBeginner Facebook Group

Our community on YouTube has also been growing stronger. WPBeginner YouTube channel passed over 150,000 subscribers (currently at 157k subscribers). This was one of my goals for 2019, and I’m very glad that we met it.

We have been creating original YouTube content series to help you get more traffic, grow your email list, and make money blogging. Check out our playlists.

We invested in Rymera Web, parent company of Wholesale Suite, Advanced Coupons, and Inventoroo through our WPBeginner Growth Fund.

We are in the final stages of wrapping up few more growth fund investments that will be announced in the new year.

2019 was a great year for WPBeginner’s family of products.

WPForms

WPForms passed over 3 million active installs, and it’s now one of the top 15 most popular WordPress plugins of all time. Considering that we only launched it in 2016, it’s amazing to see how far we have come.

We added a lot of powerful features in WPForms including: form landing pages, conversational forms, Google AMP support, smart phone and email fields, complete language translations in popular languages, and a whole lot more.

WPForms is the most beginner friendly WordPress form plugin, and that’s why it has continued to maintain a 4.9 out of 5 star rating average with over 5000+ five star ratings (read WPForms user reviews).

Not using WPForms yet? You can try the free version and then upgrade to Pro when you’re ready.

RafflePress

We launched a brand new WordPress giveaway plugin called RafflePress. This is a tool that I have been wanting to build for the last 5 years, and I’m so glad that we did. It is by far the best contest plugin for WordPress in the market.

I successfully used it on many of our websites and blogs to grow our traffic, sales, and subscribers. I’m really excited to do more giveaways in 2020 because they just work!

If you’re serious about growing your website in 2020, then definitely give RafflePress a try.

WP Mail SMTP

We also launched a pro version of our popular free WP Mail SMTP plugin. After our acquisition, the plugin grew from 600k to over 1 million active installs. In the pro version, we added a lot of highly requested features such as Amazon SES integration, Email Logs for WordPress, and more.

This is a plugin that I recommend installing on all website because it helps fix WordPress not sending email issue.

MonsterInsights

As I promised in last year’s update, our WordPress analytics plugin, MonsterInsights saw major improvements.

We completely redesigned the plugin, added a brand new setup wizard, improved affiliate tracking, enabled automatic scroll tracking, added front-end page insights, and launched integrations with MemberPress, LifterLMS, and other popular plugins.

MonsterInsights is my most favorite plugins because it helps me grow our business with confidence. I sincerely believe that it’s easy to double your traffic and sales when you know exactly how people find and use your website. You can start with free version here.

OptinMonster & TrustPulse

Last but not least, our flagship product, OptinMonster, continued to push the limits in 2019. OptinMonster helps you get more subscribers and sales from your existing website traffic. Simply put, it’s the #1 conversion optimization software in the market.

In 2019, we added gamified spin a wheel optins, chatbot integrations for Facebook Messenger, tons of new personalization and targeting rules, mobile-specific templates, improved WooCommerce integration, attention activation feature, improved native analytics, brand new dashboard, and integrations with tons of third-party services like Zapier, Jilt, Bronto, etc.

OptinMonster team also launched a powerful social-proof plugin called TrustPulse that helps you boost site conversions with real-time social proof notifications.

As for personal life, 2019 was a great year for my family. My son, Solomon, turned 3 years old. He now tries to imitate my work habits on his mini computer. It’s quite funny to watch that.

We traveled to 8 countries this year. Solomon attended 1 WordCamp in 2019 (WordCamp US) and he went to few other conferences with me as well.

Below is a picture of our family, since I know many of you often ask for it.

Balkhi Family Collage 2019

If you want to see more of my personal journey, then please visit my personal blog and subscribe. I will be doing a detailed writeup there in the next few days. It will contain everything that happened to me in 2019 both personally & professionally along with lessons that I learned, and my goals for 2020.

With that said, let’s take a look at the best of WPBeginner in 2019.

January

Gutenberg vs page builders – What’s the real difference – 2018 ended with the release of WordPress 5.0. So we spent early months of 2019 helping our users learn and adapt to the new WordPress editor called Gutenberg. In this article, we explained the difference between the new WordPress editor and page builder plugins.

How to create a free business email address in 5 minutes (step by step) – Having a business email address makes your business look more trustworthy and legit. In this guide, we showed you how to get a free business email address with step by step instructions.

Cover Image vs. Featured Image in WordPress Block Editor (Beginner’s Guide) – The new WordPress block editor introduced a new feature called cover image. In this article, we explained how to use the cover image feature and how it is different than the featured image in WordPress.

How to Choose the Best Products to Sell Online (Beginner’s Guide) – A lot of our users want to start their online store using WooCommerce and WordPress. In this article, we tried to answer one of their most frequently asked question which is how to choose the best products to sell online.

Common Gutenberg questions answers (WordPress 5.0. FAQs) – In this article, we answered the most frequently asked questions about Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0.

February

How to setup a professional email address with Gmail and G Suite – In this article, we showed you how to setup a professional business email address with G Suite. It is Google’s productivity suite for businesses and professionals that allows you to use the same Google apps (Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and more) with your own domain name.

How to build an Amazon affiliate store using WordPress – In this guide, we showed you how to easily make an Amazon affiliate store using WordPress. Basically, you promote products on Amazon’s website to earn an affiliate commission on each sale.

How to easily create a quiz in WordPress – Quizzes are fun and can help you build an engaged audience on your website. In this guide, we showed you how to easily create a quiz in WordPress.

March

How to create a custom WordPress theme (without any code) – Do you want to create a completely custom WordPress theme of your own but don’t want to learn coding? In this guide, we showed you how to easily create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

How to create an online marketplace using WordPress – An online marketplace website allows users to buy and sell items by setting up their own mini-stores within your eCommerce platform. In this guide, we showed you how to easily create your own online marketplace using WordPress to make money on the side.

How to create conversational forms in WordPress (Typeform Alternative) – Conversational forms make your forms interactive and a fun experience for your users. In this article, we showed you how to easily create conversational forms in WordPress without using a third-party service.

What is a blog and how is it different from a website? (Explained) – Many users asked us about the difference between a blog and a website and which one they should start. In this beginner’s guide, we explained the difference between a blog and a website.

April

How to add Google Maps store locator in WordPress – In this guide, we showed you how to easily add a Google Maps store locator to your WordPress website and provide your customers directions to your store location.

Beginner’s guide to image SEO – Optimize images for search engines – In this guide, we walked you through the image SEO and how to properly optimize your images to get more traffic from search engines.

How to easily create a staging site for WordPress (step by step) – A WordPress staging site is a test site that you can use to “safely” make plugin updates and other changes before going live. In this guide, we showed you how to easily set up a WordPress staging site with just a few clicks.

How to do basic image editing in WordPress (Crop, rotate, scale, flip) – In this guide, we showed you how to do some basic image editing in WordPress without leaving the admin area.

May

How to create a web directory in WordPress – In this step by step guide, we showed how to easily create a web directory in WordPress.

BigCommerce vs WooCommerce – Which one is better? – We compared WooCommerce and BigCommerce side by side to weigh the pros and cons of both platforms and find out which one is better.

Beginner’s guide to WordPress template hierarchy (cheat sheet) – In this guide, we broke down the WordPress template hierarchy and what each template does in WordPress themes. Must read for any users getting started in WordPress theme development.

How to create an email newsletter (step by step) – In this step by step tutorial we showed you how to easily create an email newsletter and start building an email list.

85+ most useful time-saving WordPress keyboard shortcuts – In this beginner’s guide, we compiled an ultimate cheat sheet of all the useful WordPress keyboard shortcuts that would allow you to work faster on your websites.

June

How to add nofollow links in WordPress (Beginner’s guide) – Adding nofollow to external links is important for SEO. In this guide, we showed you how to easily add nofollow links in WordPress.

how to add scroll depth tracking in WordPress with Google Analytics – Want to learn how much users scroll on your website? In this guide, we showed you how to easily track users’ scroll depth activity on your WordPress site with Google Analytics.

Tips for mastering the WordPress content editor – We updated our ultimate guide on using the WordPress content editor with new tips and techniques.

How to host a website (Simple guide for beginners) – We have been often asked by beginners about how they can host a website. In this beginner’s guide, we showed how to easily host a website.

Best Beaver Builder themes and templates – We compiled our expert pick of the best Beaver Builder compatible themes and templates that you can use.

July

How to choose the best business VoIP provider (Compared) – In this guide, we explained how to choose the best business VoIP service provider and listed our pick of the best business phone companies.

Dropshipping made simple – A step by step guide for WordPress – We prepared a complete dropshipping guide for WordPress users who want to start their own dropshipping business.

Best SMTP service providers with high deliverability – We compared the top SMTP service providers to help users pick the best email delivery service for their WordPress websites.

How to create an online course with WordPress (The right way) – Our complete step by step guide on how to easily create an online course with WordPress.

Best WooCommerce dropshipping plugins (Compared) – We compared all the top dropshipping plugins for WooCommerce to help users pick the best option to start their dropshipping business.

August

How to use FOMO on your WordPress site to increase conversions – FOMO or fear of missing out is a psychological phenomenon used by marketers to encourage sales. In this article, we showed you how to easily use FOMO on your WordPress site to increase conversions.

Best Mailchimp alternatives (Better features and fair pricing) – We were asked by users to suggest Mailchimp alternatives. In this article, we picked the best Mailchimp alternatives with much better features and reasonable pricing.

How to add a click-to-call button in WordPress – In this tutorial, we showed you how to easily add a click-to-call button to your WordPress website or WooCommerce store.

How to run a giveaway / contest in WordPress with RafflePress – In this guide, we showed you how to easily run a viral giveaway /contest in WordPress with RafflePress.

How to add infinite scroll to your WordPress site – Speed is a dominant factor in improving time users spend on a website. In this guide, we showed how to easily add infinite scroll to your WordPress website and improve performance.

September

Wordfence vs Sucuri – Which one is better? (Compared) – Wordfence and Sucuri are the most popular WordPress security and firewall plugins. In this guide, we compared Sucuri vs Wordfence side by side in terms of features, pricing, and ease of use.

WooCommerce made simple: A step-by-step tutorial [+ Resources] We made a complete beginner’s guide to WooCommerce with step by step instructions to setup an online store. We also added resources to help you grow your business like a total pro.

Best WordPress giveaway and contest plugins compared – In this article, we compared the top WordPress giveaway and contest plugins. We analyzed them for features, ease of use, and which one of them is more suitable to grow your business with viral contests and giveaway.

How much do eCommerce websites cost (real numbers) – In this beginner’s guide we compared how much it costs to start eCommerce websites with real numbers. We analyzed the costs of plaforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce with additional costs of addons and online payments.

October

Best affiliate marketing tools and plugins for WordPress – In this article, we shared our pick of the top affiliate marketing tools and plugins for WordPress that will help boost your affiliate earnings.

Best podcast hosting compared (most are free) – In this guide, we compared all the best podcast hosting options with both free and paid plans. You may also want to see our complete guide on how to start a podcast with WordPress.

How to get a free email domain (5 quick and easy methods) – Looking for a domain to use for your professional email address? In this guide, we showed 5 quick and easy methods to get a free email domain.

How to stop and prevent a DDoS attack on WordPress – DDoS attacks can take any website down or disrupt its performance. In this tutorial, we showed how you to stop and prevent DDoS attacks on your WordPress website.

November

How to properly install and set up WP Rocket in WordPress – WP Rocket is the best WordPress caching plugin on the market. In this article, we showed you how to easily install and setup WP Rocket in WordPress to instantly boost your website speed and performance.

How to setup email logs in WordPress and WooCommerce – A typical WordPress website or WooCommerce store sends emails for various functions like password reset, customer orders, new user registrations, etc. In this guide, we showed you how to easily keep email logs on your WordPress site or WooCommerce store to keep an eye on all email activity.

how to add a Facebook giveaway in WordPress to boost engagement – Facebook has a massive userbase but it limits your reach based on how users engage with your posts. In this guide, we showed you how to boost user engagement by running a Facebook giveaway in WordPress.

Ways to get a 800 toll-free number for your business – A lot of our users wanted to get a toll-free number for their business. In this article, we showed you all the best ways to get an 800 toll-free number for your business.

How to create a photo contest in WordPress – Another great way to build user engagement and loyalty is by running a photo contest. In this tutorial, we showed you how to easily run a photo contest in WordPress to boost user engagement and gain new users.

December

How much does a domain name really cost? – In this article, we answered your questions about how much does a domain name really cost. We explained different scenarios and ways to get free, cheap, premium, and exclusive domain names.

How to add your WordPress site to Google Search Console – We wrote step by step instructions on how to easily add your WordPress site to Google Search Console. Don’t forget to check out our companion article on tips on using Google Search Console to grow your traffic.

How to create a WooCommerce contest – One of the quickest ways to get users to spend time and bring new users to your site is by running a contest. In this guide, we showed you how to easily create a WooCommerce contest to boost loyalty and engagement.

How to track link and button clicks in WordPress – Users interact with your website by clicking on links and buttons but how do you measure where they are clicking and how often? In this guide, we showed you how to easily track link and button clicks in WordPress.

These were some of the best WordPress tutorials on WPBeginner in 2019. We hope that you found them helpful.

We want to thank all WPBeginner users, who visited our website, offered feedback, left comments, and shared it with others. We truly appreciate you.

We look forward to adding even more useful WordPress tutorials in 2020. Have a Happy New Year.

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 Best of Best WordPress Tutorials of 2019 on WPBeginner appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Add Special Characters in WordPress Posts


Ever wondered how popular sites add trademark ™, copyright ©, registered ®, or currency characters into their articles?

Recently one of our users asked us if there was an easy way to add special characters into WordPress posts and pages. These characters are not found on an average keyboard which makes it difficult for beginners to use them.

In this article, we will show you multiple ways to easily add special characters in WordPress posts. You can choose an approach that best suits your workflow.

Adding special characters to your WordPress posts and pages

Add Special Characters in WordPress Block Editor

WordPress block editor does not come with a special block or menu button in the paragraph formatting options.

However there are two ways you can use to add special characters in WordPress block editor. Let’s take a look at both of them, so you can decide which one is easier for you.

1. Add Special Characters using HTML Entity Code

When you write a blog post, WordPress automatically formats it into HTML. It is the markup language used by almost all websites.

HTML comes with a list of HTML entities. These are special codes that you can use inside HTML to display characters, symbols, arrows, and more.

This allows you to add special characters in HTML that are not normally found in keyboard layouts.

For example, if you wanted to add a trademark ™ symbol, then you can use the HTML entity code &trade; to display it.

Similarly, if you wanted to add a copyright © symbol, then you can use &copy; code in your article.

Adding HTML Entity in Gutenberg

Notice how each HTML entity code begins with an ampersand sign and ends with a semicolon.

After you add an HTML entity code in the post editor, it will not immediately convert into the corresponding character. However, when you publish or preview your post, then you will see it automatically display the special character instead of the HTML entity code.

HTML entities converted into special characters

There is a whole range of characters available as HTML entities, including special characters, latin characters, mathematical symbols, currencies, scientific measurement symbols, and more.

For the complete reference, check out W3.org’s HTML character entity reference chart.

Method 2. Add Special Characters in WordPress using a Plugin

If you need to add special characters on a regular basis, then you would be better off using a plugin instead of checking the HTML entity reference chart each time.

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

Upon activation, simply edit the post or page where you want to add special characters. Inside the paragraph block, click on the drop-down arrow in the block toolbar and select the ‘Special characters’ option.

Open special characters menu in block editor

This will bring up a popup displaying special characters. Simply locate the special character you want to add and then click to insert it into the editor.

Add special characters in Gutenberg WordPress block editor

Adding Special Characters in Old WordPress Editor

If you are still using the old classic editor in WordPress, then here is how you can easily add special characters while writing blog posts.

First, you need to click on the kitchen sink button. This will expand the second row of formatting options where you should see the Special Characters button.

Special characters button in the old editor

Clicking on the special characters button will bring up a pop-up window showing some commonly used special characters. It has currency symbols, trademark, copyright, registered signs, mathematical symbols and signs.

Special characters popup in old WordPress editor

Remember, this method would only work if you are using the old editor in WYSIWYG mode.

If you are using it in the text mode, then you’ll either need to switch to the Visual editor or use the HTML entities method described above.

You simply need to just click on the symbol or character you want to use, and it will be added in your post.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add special characters in WordPress posts and pages. You may also want to see our complete guide on mastering the WordPress block editor.

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 Add Special Characters in WordPress Posts appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Add a Forum in WordPress with bbPress


Bulletin boards and forums are good old reliable tools to build online communities.

While there are plenty of open-source forum software, integrating a third-party forum with WordPress can be a mess. That’s where bbPress comes in.

In this article, we will show you how to easily add a forum in WordPress with bbPress.

Adding a forum in WordPress using bbPress

What is bbPress?

bbPress is a forum software built the WordPress way. It runs on top of WordPress, which is the best website builder in the world.

Just like WordPress, bbPress is extensible, and you can install add-on plugins to add more functionality to your forums. It is also very light-weight and faster than other popular open-source forum software.

What You Need to Make an Online Forum with bbPress?

If you already have a WordPress website where you want to add a forum, then you can skip this section. On the other hand, if you are just getting started then continue reading.

First, you’ll need to sign up for a web hosting account. This is where you will store all the files for your online forum.

You’ll also need a domain name. This will be your website’s address on the internet and what users will type in their browsers to find your online forum.

Normally, website hosting costs $7.99 per month and domain name would cost you around $14.99 per year.

This is a lot of money if you are just getting started.

Luckily, Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users a discount on hosting with a free domain name. Basically, you’ll be able to get started for just $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Bluehost is one of the biggest WordPress hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Once you have signed up for hosting, you can follow our guide on how to make a website for complete installation instructions.

After setting up WordPress, you will be ready to install bbPress and start your own online community.

How to Install bbPress

bbPress is available as a WordPress plugin. You can install it like you would install any WordPress plugin.

Simply log in to your WordPress admin area and go to Plugins » Add New . Search for bbPress and then select bbPress from results.

Install and activate the plugin. Upon activation, you will see the welcome screen for bbPress.

Welcome to bbPress

Creating a Forum with bbPress in WordPress

Once installed, bbPress adds Forums, Topics and Replies menu items in your WordPress admin.

Add new forum

First, you need to click on Forums » Add New link from the menu. This will take you to a screen similar to the WordPress post edit area.

Provide a title for your forum and enter a little description of it. Then press the publish button.

Forum title and description

You can create as many forums as you need for different discussions and topics.

Displaying bbPress Forum in the Front End of WordPress

Now that you have created a few forums, it is time to display those forums on the front end of your WordPress website.

Create a new WordPress page. Give this page a title, like Forum, Community, Support Forums, etc.

After that, simply paste the following shortcode in your page:

[bbp-forum-index]

Don’t forget to click on the publish button to save your changes and make your forum page visible on your website.

You can now visit the page in a web browser to see a preview of your forums.

Forums page preview

Next, you need to help users find the forum on your website. To do that, let’s put a link to your forum page on top navigation menu.

Go to Appearance » Menus and add the forum page to your navigation menu.

Add forum link to navigation menu

Users can now access the forum index page by clicking on the link in the main menu.

Integrating bbPress with your WordPress Theme

In most cases, you would probably want to open your forum for new registrations. To do that, you need to open your website for registrations.

Simply go to Settings » General, and check the box next to “Any one can register” to allow registrations on your website.

Open your forum for user registration

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

Now that your website is open for registration, the first thing that your forum participants would look for is a registration page.

Let’s make one.

Simply create a WordPress page, and give it a title, e.g. Register. Add shortcode [bbp-register] and publish the page.

Making aa bbPress registration page

You can now preview this page. It will show a user registration form to all non-logged in users.

Another page your users would need is the lost password recovery page. This is where they will be recover their lost passwords.

Create another WordPress page and give it a title e.g. Lost Password. After that, add this shortcode [bbp-lost-pass] and publish the page.

Lost password page

Finally, you need to add a login form to your website so that forum users can easily login from anywhere on your website.

bbPress comes with a handful of widgets and one of them is a login form widget.

Go to Appearance » Widgets and simply drag and drop Login Widget to your sidebar or any other widget area.

You will be asked to provide the URLs for the registration and lost password pages you created earlier. After entering them you need to click on the Save button to store your widget settings.

Login widget settings

Now a login form with links to registration and lost password recovery pages will appear in your sidebar. Logged in users would see their usernames and a logout link instead of the form.

Login form preview

Managing bbPress Forum Settings

Unlike other popular forum software, bbPress has a very simplified configuration page. To manage settings for your bbPress forums, go to Settings » Forums page.

Forum settings page

The default options on this page would work for most forum websites. We’ll take a look at all of them, just in case you want to change anything.

The first option you would see here is to ‘Automatically give registered visitors the participant forum role’. You can select a user role or uncheck the option to manually assign user roles to each user when they register.

The next option adds a 10-second delay between subsequent forum posts to prevent forum flooding and spam. You can increase or decrease the delay period here.

The Editing option allows users to edit their forum posts 5 minutes after they publish them. You can uncheck this option but that would prevent your users from correcting spelling errors or edit their posts if they missed something.

After that, you’ll find the forum features section. From here, you can turn forum features on and off.

Add remove forum features

Below that, you’ll see forum display features. From here, you can select a bbPress template, number of posts and topics to display on forum pages and inside the forum RSS feed.

Forum display settings

Finally, you’ll see options to select URL slugs for different sections and forum pages. Slugs are the SEO friendly URL names used by WordPress.

Change forum URL slugs

The default URL slugs are meaningful and SEO friendly out of the box but if you need to change them, then you can do so here.

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

User Roles in bbPress

WordPress comes with its own user role management system which allows you to assign users roles with different permissions.

bbPress extends the WordPress user roles by adding its own five pre-defined user roles with different capabilities.

1. Keymaster – The website owner or the WordPress administrator is automatically assigned the Keymaster role when they install bbPress. A Keymaster can delete and create forums, can create, edit, delete all posts, topics, forums.

2. Moderators – Users with moderator user role have access to moderation tools, which they can use to moderate forums, topics, and posts.

3. Participants – This is the default user role, participants can create and edit their own topics and posts, they can favorite and subscribe to topics.

4. Spectators – Spectators have a read-only access to public forums, topics, and posts.

5. Blocked – When a user is blocked all their capabilities are blocked. They can still read publicly viewable topics and posts, but can not participate in the forums.

Extending and Promoting Your bbPress Forum

Now that your bbPress forum is all set up and running. It is time to learn how to extend and promote it.

Let’s start with the appearance first. bbPress works with any WordPress theme and themes can also add custom styles to bbPress.

All top WordPress themes come with custom bbPress styles to make your forum look beautiful.

For more choices, see our pick of the best WordPress themes for bbPress.

Next, you would want to add new features to your forum so that you can quickly get new members and grow your online community.

The following are some of the plugins that will help you grow your online forum much quickly.

1. RafflePress

RafflePress

RafflePress allows you to create viral giveaways and contests in WordPress. These interactive contests and giveaways are a sure-fire way to instantly get a ton of new users to your online forum.

See our guide on how to create a viral giveaway contest for more information.

2. MemberPress

MemberPress

MemberPress is the best WordPress membership plugin. It allows you to make money online from your forum by adding subscription layers to your online community.

For more information, take a look at our guide on how to make a membership website.

3. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights

Want to know which forum topics and discussions are more popular on your website? MonsterInsights helps you easily track all your website traffic using Google Analytics.

4. WPForms

WPForms

WPForms is the best WordPress contact form plugin. It allows you to easily create beautiful forms for your website. You can also use it to create custom login page, user registration page, or to add surveys and polls to your bbPress forum.

We hope that this article helped you learn how to add a forum in WordPress and how to install and configure bbPress. You may also want to see our complete WordPress SEO guide to help you get even more traffic.

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 Add a Forum in WordPress with bbPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Create a Dropbox Upload Form in WordPress


Do you want to create a Dropbox upload form in WordPress?

A contact form with a file upload option could be hard to manage if you are getting too many attachments. You can connect your form to Dropbox and upload those files directly to the cloud.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily create a Dropbox upload form in WordPress.

Creating a WordPress Dropbox upload form

Why Use Dropbox to Upload Form Attachments

Some times you may need users to upload a file attachment using a form on your website.

For example, a job board website may need a file upload option to upload CV or work samples.

A customer feedback form may need a file upload option so users can send screenshots. A photo contest website may need it for users to upload their entries.

As you receive files, you can store those files on your WordPress website. They will be added to your website’s wp-content folder.

However, if you are expecting to get a ton of entries, and they are not related to your actual website files, then it is a good idea to save them separately.

Uploading form attachments to Dropbox has the following advantages:

  • Keeps form upload entries separate from your WordPress files
  • Dropbox makes it easier to share those files with anyone and you’ll not need to give them access to your website.
  • You can easily browse and manage form attachments from your Dropbox dashboard
  • If you no longer need those files, then you can download, archive, and delete them.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to make a WordPress form with an option to upload files to Dropbox.

Creating a Dropbox Upload Form in WordPress

First you need to install and activate the WPForms plugin. For more details, you should check out our article on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Note: WPForms is a paid plugin built by the same team as WPBeginner, and you’ll need at least their ‘Pro’ plan to access the Zapier addon which we’ll be using in this tutorial.

Upon activation, you need to visit WPForms » Add New page in your WordPress admin area.

Add new form

It’ll take you to the WPForms form builder page. Simply provide a name for your form and then select simple contact form template as a starting point.

Select simple contact form

WPForms will load the form template with commonly used form fields. You can click on any fields to edit it, and you can also drag the fields to rearrange them or add new fields to the form.

Next, you need to click on the ‘File Upload’ field located under the ‘Fancy fields’ section in the left column.

Add file upload button

This will add the file upload field to your form.

Click on the ‘Save’ button to save your form, and your file upload form is ready.

Integrating Zapier with WPForms

Next, you need to connect your form to your Dropbox account.

We’ll be using a service called Zapier to do that. Zapier allows you to connect different apps to your website without writing any code. In this case, we’ll use it to build a connection between WPForms and Dropbox.

WPForms comes with a ‘Zapier Addon’ that you can use to integrate with over 1500 popular apps, including Dropbox.

To access this addon, you need to go to WPForms » Addons page. From there, you need to look for the Zapier addon and click on the ‘Install Addon’ button. It will activate the addon automatically.

Zapier Addon

Next, you need to go to WPForms » Settings » Integrations page in your WordPress admin area. From there, you need to copy the ‘Zapier API key’ that you will need to connect your WordPress website with Zapier.

Zapier integration

Once copied, you should go to the Zapier website and login to your Zapier account. Then, click on the ‘Make a Zap’ button to continue.

Make a Zap

There will be many apps available. Search for ‘WPForms’ and select it as a trigger app.

Choose app

After that, you need to select ‘New Form Entry’ as a trigger event for the WPForms app. It will create a trigger on every form submission.

Choose trigger event

Now, you can go ahead and click on the ‘Sign in to WPForms’ button to connect your Zapier account with WPForms plugin on your site.

To connect Zapier with your website, you need to add your website URL and Zapier API key that you copied earlier.

It will display the WPForms account. Click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Choose account

In the ‘Form’ dropdown, you need to select the file upload form that you created previously.

Select form entry

After that, click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Before going to the next step, Zapier will ask you to test the new file upload form to see if all the settings are working properly.

You can visit WPForms » All Forms page in the WordPress admin area and click on the ‘Preview’ link below the file upload form.

Preview form

To make this test smooth, you should upload a file and also add dummy text in the message section. Submit the test entry and go to your Zapier account. Click on the ‘Test & Continue’ button.

WPForms entry

Note: You can check the test entry in the ‘Find Data’ section.

If the test is successful, it will jump to the next step where you can integrate your form with Dropbox.

Connecting WPForms with Dropbox

First you need to visit your Dropbox account and create a new Dropbox upload folder. You can rename this folder as ‘WPForms Uploads’ or give it any name. All your file attachments will upload in this folder automatically.

Next, you need to go back to your Zapier account. In the ‘Do this’ section, you need to choose ‘Dropbox’.

Choose Dropbox

It will ask you to create an action for Dropbox. Select the ‘Upload File’ option and click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Choose action

After that, you need to click on the ‘Sign in to Dropbox’ button to select your Dropbox account and connect it with Zapier.

Sign in to Dropbox

Upon connecting the account, click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Now, you need to configure the Dropbox file settings. It will ask you for 2 options:

  1. The Dropbox folder where you want to save the file attachments
  2. The WPForms file upload field

Configuration Dropbox

After setting up, you can go ahead and test your configurations. Click on the ‘Test & Continue’ button to continue.

Test file upload

Lastly, click on the ‘Turn Zap On’ button to store these settings. It will take a few seconds, and you will see the Zap status on the top rights corner of the screen.

Turn Zap on

Your online form with file upload option is ready to be added on your website.

Adding the Dropbox Upload Form in WordPress

To add the Dropbox upload form in WordPress, you can edit any page or post where you want to display it.

Simply add the WPForms block to the content editor and select the form you created earlier.

WPForms widget

WPForms will load the live preview of your form inside the content editor.

Select form

You can now visit your website to the form in action. You can also test out the form by uploading a file and filling out the form.

Previewing Dropbox upload form

That’s all.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a Dropbox upload form in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to run a giveaway contest in WordPress to boost user engagement.

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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7 Best WordPress Portfolio Plugins for Designers & Photographers


Are you a designer or photographer looking for the easiest way to build a portfolio website in WordPress?

There are plenty of WordPress portfolio plugins that allow you to easily build beautiful portfolio websites.

However, finding the perfect portfolio plugin can be difficult for beginners. You will need to find a plugin that makes your work stand out, loads fast, and looks good on mobile devices.

In this article, we have hand-picked some of the best WordPress portfolio plugins for designers and photographers.

Top WordPress portfolio plugins

Choosing Between WordPress Portfolio Themes vs WordPress Portfolio Plugins

Many WordPress portfolio themes come with built-in functionality to create a portfolio website.

This makes many beginners wonder why would anyone want to choose a plugin when themes can do the job?

Themes in WordPress are only supposed to handle the visual appearance of your website. This includes colors, styles, layouts, and presentation of your content.

Plugins on the other hand are the proper way to add functionality to your WordPress site such as slider, contact form, and more.

Adding a portfolio comes under functionality, which is why we recommend using a plugin.

Using a theme for functionality ties your website with that theme. If you change the theme, then you will lose your portfolio data.

On the other hand, if you decide to use a portfolio plugin, then you are free to use it with any theme you want.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the top WordPress portfolio plugins.

1. WP Portfolio

WP Portfolio

WP Portfolio is the best WordPress portfolio plugin for photographers, freelancers, developers, and agencies. It allows you to instantly create portfolio websites from 40+ professionally designed portfolio templates.

It is made by the creators of Astra Theme, which is one of the best WordPress themes of all times. WP Portfolio brings the same ease of use to portfolios.

It comes with multiple style choices, layouts, supports all types of media, and can be easily customized without writing any code or CSS.

Most importantly, all portfolio layouts look equally great on mobile devices and work as elegantly as they do on laptops.

2. Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery is a premium WordPress gallery plugin. It allows you to create beautiful image galleries and albums. Already used by thousands, Envira Gallery is the best WordPress plugin for photographers and designers.

Creating a portfolio with Envira Gallery is quite easy. Simply create galleries containing your portfolio items with optional description and details. You can also group galleries into Albums or make filterable portfolio.

The plugin also makes it easy to add your portfolio anywhere on your WordPress site with the click of a button.

For detailed instructions, take a look at our guide on how to add a portfolio to your WordPress site.

3. NextGEN Gallery

NextGen

NextGEN Gallery is a popular WordPress plugin for creating image galleries, albums, and photography portfolios. Loved by beginners and expert photographers alike, NextGen comes with an intuitive user interface to create galleries.

It includes multiple styles and layout choices with support for albums, filterable portfolio, columns, and more. You can also create portfolio carousel/slider, compact portfolio albums, and list or timeline style layouts.

4. Visual Portfolio

Visual portfolio

Visual Portfolio is an elegant WordPress portfolio plugin that allows you to create beautiful portfolio galleries.

It comes with multiple layout styles including masonry, grid, justified, tiles, and carousel. The plugin also includes a Gutenberg block which makes it even easier to add a portfolio anywhere you like.

Your users can also sort portfolio items using filters, which offers a beautiful browsing experience.

5. GridKit Portfolio Gallery

GridKit portfolio gallery

GridKit Portfolio Gallery is a simple WordPress photo gallery and portfolio plugin. It allows you to manage portfolio items in projects and make them sortable. It comes with support for new WordPress block editor with shortcode support for older editor.

The base plugin is very with limited layout styles and features. You’ll need the premium version to get access more styles and features.

6. Meow Gallery

Meow Gallery

Meow Gallery is a free WordPress gallery plugin with full Gutenberg block editor support. It allows you to organize your portfolio items in beautiful image galleries.

It ships with support for multiple layouts including masonry, grid, tile, and justified. You can select the number of columns you want to display. It also comes with several add-on plugins that can be used for additional functionality like lightbox, audio commentary, external links, and more.

7. Genesis Portfolio Pro

Genesis portfolio pro

If you are using a StudioPress theme or any theme made for the Genesis theme framework, then you would want to try Genesis Portfolio Pro plugin.

It is made specifically for Genesis framework and provides a custom post type to create your portfolio items. It also comes with templates to display the featured image you set as the portfolio item in a grid layout.

It is a simple plugin and does not include many features of several other portfolio plugins. However, if you are looking for something minimalist, then it would get the job done nicely.

That’s all we hope this article helped you find the best WordPress portfolio plugins for designers and photographers. You may also want to see our list of 41 best free photography themes for 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 7 Best WordPress Portfolio Plugins for Designers & Photographers appeared first on WPBeginner.



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