Tag - wordpress

5 Reasons Why Your WordPress Website Isn’t Ranking in Google


You’ve set up your WordPress site and read a lot of “How To” articles about search engine optimization. You feel pretty good about where your website stands, so you officially launch it. Now all you have to do is wait for Google to index your website and see where your website ranks… but why do you still find that your WordPress website isn’t ranking in Google?!

But maybe it’s been a while—maybe a few months, maybe a year or more—and you still can’t get past the third page. What are you doing wrong? There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that your low ranking is likely due to an issue that can be easily amended. And the bad news? You’ll just have to give it some more time to see if the fix helps your ranking.

Here are some of the most common reasons why your WordPress website isn’t ranking in Google.

1 . Your WordPress Site Has Weak Content

1 . Your WordPress Site Has Weak Content

For Google, content and links are its two most important ranking factors. So if you don’t have good content, your WordPress site doesn’t have much of a chance to rank. There are a lot of elements that go into making “good” content. To make your content the best it can be, use the following as a checklist:

  • Informative – Your content should leave the reader with the sense that they learned something and that their time was not wasted.
  • Grammatically correct – Adhere to proper English by staying mindful of issues like typos, fragment sentences, punctuation, and more.
  • Lengthy – Content should be a minimum of 400 words, but most well performing written content is 1,000 words or more.
  • Freshness – How old is your content? Do you frequently update your blog with new content? Never updating your site with new content is an issue that can ding your rankings. Strive to update something at least once a month,
    and preferably weekly.

By providing fresh, quality content on a weekly basis, you won’t have to worry about not ranking for one of Google’s most important factors.

2. You Changed Your Permalinks

2. You Changed Your Permalinks

Permalink refers to the permanent link to a page on your website or blog. You want these to be descriptive and, as often as possible, include the keyword that page or post is targeting.

If your permalinks have extra bits like “?p=3282949” or if they’re too long, or contain stop words (e.g. “and,” “by,” or “do”) they need to be changed to be more human and machine-readable. However, if you do it the wrong way then Google will lose track of those pages and you’ll lose rank.

If at some point you need to change your permalinks, here’s how you can change your permalinks without sacrificing your ranking.

3. The Site Is Not Mobile Responsive

3. The Site Is Not Mobile Responsive

A little over half of website traffic is generated through mobile phones. Web designers have the challenge of making one website to please multiple browsers on different devices—which is why many make websites “responsive.”

A “responsive” website will adapt to a format that is user-friendly for a particular device. A website that is not user-friendly will get dinged by Google during mobile- based searched queries. Google is all about promoting websites with a great user experience.

To check your website, use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool. It will tell you if your website is mobile friendly and alert you to any issues (such as pages partially loading) so you know what to fix. And if you find out that your current WordPress design is not optimal for your mobile readers, consider switching to one of the best business WordPress themes – all of which are fully responsive on most devices.

4. Your Website Is Not Visible to Search Engines

4. Your Website Is Not Visible to Search Engines

If your WordPress website isn’t ranking in Google and you are just starting out with WordPress, you may be unfamiliar with many of the options to customize your website settings. So it is possible you changed something without realizing how it would affect your search engine optimization.

Log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Settings > Reading Settings and scroll down to Site Visibility. The option “Allow search engines to index this site” should be selected.

Make Sure to Uncheck for Search Engine Visibility

If it is not selected, select it, and then allow some time for Google to index your site and see if your page ranking improves.

If it is selected, you may just need to wait a bit longer or you could be encountering another issue.

5. It’s Not You, It’s Your Keywords

5. It’s Not You, It’s Your Keywords

Keywords are important to optimizing for the search engine and helping your page rank, but if used incorrectly, they can actually do more harm than good. Here are three best practices of which to be mindful:

  • Don’t stuff keywords – Keyword stuffing involves filling paragraphs with the keyword(s) you are trying to target. Keyword stuffed content reads poorly and unnatural. You want to use keywords but in a way that is natural to read and elevates your thoughts and points throughout the piece.
  • Use long tail keywordsLong tail keywords are three or four (maybe even more) words long and are more specific to what a buyer wants. These keywords are easier to rank for. Plus, customers who use these keywords are likely to be further along in the buying cycle, because they know exactly what they want.
  • Don’t try to rank for too competitive of keywords with a weak site – If you are only trying to rank for keywords with a high competition rate, you are likely losing out to other websites. That’s why it’s best to start out targeting keywords with low or medium competitiveness. As you begin to rank for these, you can look into keywords with more competition. Just be sure to do your research first!

And if you want a bit of help with your keyword usage consider using a plugin. A great option is Yoast SEO, which includes a “focus keyword” option. Once you’ve set the keyword you want to focus on you’ll be able to analyze the keyword density, usage in headings, if the keyword is in your url etc. Plus if you upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium you can target up to 5 keywords on a page, making for even easier optimization.

Work Towards a Higher Ranking

Use this information to perform an audit on your website and see if you have been unknowingly sabotaging your website’s ranking. Some may be “easier” or “quicker” fixes than others, but all will help. Remember that for any of them you will need to give Google some time (think a few weeks) to adjust the rankings.

Do you have tips to add? Or a question about one of the reasons we covered as to why your WordPress website isn’t ranking in Google we mentioned? Leave a note in the comments section and get the conversation started.



Source link

Read more...

How to Migrate Your Website from Joomla to WordPress


Do you have a website that you want to move from Joomla to WordPress? In our opinion this is a fantastic idea. WordPress is If you’re currently using Joomla as your CMS, this article will show you exactly how to move your site in two different ways.

When it comes to moving from one CMS to another, there’s usually three ways to do it:

  1. Manually
  2. Via a tool or service (plugin, extension, or outside software)
  3. Hire a professional

The fact that you ended up at this article probably means you’re wondering how to do it yourself, so we can take option 3 off the table as well (but remember it’s there if you run into bumps later on down the road, and if you have a large or complex website it’s probably your best option). The first option should only be used if you are an experienced developer. Again, the fact that you’re looking this up probably means that you’re not a SQL and PHP expert ready tackle the move manually. That leaves us with good ol’ number 2.

In this post, we’re tackling how to move your site by using a tool or service, in this case a free plugin called FG Joomla to WordPress.

Differences Between Joomla and WordPress

First let’s have a look at a couple challenges you might run into before we dig into how to move your website from Joomla to WordPress. Perhaps the biggest concern most people have while moving from one CMS to another, especially if using a service, is that while Joomla and WordPress are both “content management systems” they started out with different target markets in mind. Because of this they have ended up becoming quite different.

Joomla was originally intended to be a CMS, whereas WordPress started out simply as a clear-cut, easy to use blogging platform. This means that not only are the admin interfaces different, the way that each CMS structures website content is actually different as well.

Components vs Widgets

Joomla components deal with all forms of content outside of the article, including things like Menus, header images and the like, which are handled quite differently by WordPress.

In WordPress, widgets usually are given one or more designated area in which you can choose to display them, so far, pretty much the same.

Themes vs Templates

Here, there’s not really much of a difference. Templates and Themes both deal with how the content in the database is output and arranged for visitors.

Banners, Contact Forms Etc

These are features that are included in standard Joomla and don’t have a direct counterpart in core WordPress. But rest assured, there are plugins that can be installed that handle this kind of thing.

Within the FG Joomla to WordPress plugin’s major features, a lot of them actually deal with converting these things into their appropriate WordPress counterparts (but in the case of the free version of plugin, contact form information isn’t exported – however it’s easy enough to create a contact form with plugin).

So with the concerns adressed, let’s get moving!

How to Migrate Joomla to WordPress with a Plugin

Before you actually get started trying to move your website, it’s in your best interest to back it up. You could for example use the Joomla Akeeba extension, or back up your website manually. You should also test the move on local development. You can check out our guide to install WordPress locally to see how to set one up. Or simply install WordPress in a new folder if you have a local setup for Joomla already.

By testing your migration from Joomla to WordPress locally you can work out all the kinks on your own time, and in the privacy of your own local server. Then once you’ve tweaked the WordPress version of your website to perfection you can use this guide to move your website from localhost to live server.

1. Install WordPress in a New Folder in Local Development Set Up

If you have Softaculous or similar software in your Cpanel for your local dev server, you can simply install WordPress with one click.

If not, download the newest version of WordPress from their site. Then create a new folder in your www or htdocs folder (depends on the setup), for example joomlamove.

Install WordPress Locally

Then open up your local phpMyadmin and create a new database, as well as check your user accounts.

Now open the WordPress folder in your browser, and you should see an installation screen asking you to pick a language. Pick the language of your choice, then fill out the database information.

Now just choose a site name and username/password, and you’re done. You now have your moving test website set up locally, so it’s time to move along to the next step.

2. Install the FG Joomla to WordPress Plugin on You Local Test Site

FG Joomla to WP is a free plugin developed to move all your content from one CMS to the other. As mentioned, it’s free and lucky for you can be found in the WordPress plugin directory within your dashboard.

Add New Plugin - Joomla to WordPress

To install the plugin login to your local version on the wp-login.php page, and open up the plugins screen. Simply search for the FG Joomla to WordPress plugin to install and activate it.

Install FG Joomla to WordPress Plugin

3. Begin Migration of Joomla to WordPress

To use the plugin head over to the Tools > Import section, and click the “run importer” link below the Joomla (FG) heading.

Now use the function to “empty all WordPress content.”

Go to the plugin screen, and clear all WordPress data.

When prompted, carefully fill out the URL of your site and all of the related database information. Remember to double check the table prefix in your PhpMyAdmin. After filling out everything make sure to test your database connection.

Then fill out the rest of the settings for what suits your needs. For example choosing to import meta keywords as tags. I would also recommend that you choose to not import featured images with this version of the plugin as it failed to import the correct ones during our tests.

4. Time To Move

Now simply click start/resume import, and let the plugin do it’s magic. This might take some time depending on the size of your site. If it is successful, you should get an “Import completed!” message as shown below.

Start Import + FG Joomla to WordPress Plugin

If you have any internal links in your content (which you should) make sure to scroll down past the log, and click the modify internal links button.

Modify Internal Links - FG Joomla to WordPress Plugin

5. Address Featured Images

If you use the featured images function in Joomla, things get a bit more complicated here. If you didn’t disable the featured images function, and you take a look at the results. You will see that the plugin would have accidentally made the first image of the post the featured image of the post, instead of the actual featured image.

But all other content is intact, including images in the different post, and the internal links all work (most importantly permalinks are formatted exactly the same way, so you won’t need to do any redirects for existing content).

If you only have a few articles in Joomla where the full article image is different from the first image in the article itself, it might be better to deselect the option for importing the featured image in the import settings and then simply manually update your posts in the new WordPress version.

But when a lot of posts are affected, it becomes a fairly complicated task that involves the moving of a lot of data that’s a suitable topic for a complete in-depth post of it’s own (if you’re interested in seeing an example of a solution, let me know in the comments, I already got about 30% of the way in before realizing the complexity of the task at hand).

6. Move Modules To Widgets

Here’s another point where the difference between the two CMS makes the move from Joomla to WordPress a bit complicated: modules and widgets. The good news is that a lot of the oft-used-in sidebars or header/footer area function based modules have exact counterparts in WordPress.

The bad news is that you don’t usually have as much freedom when it comes to the placement of widgets, that you do with placing different modules on your Joomla site. So the migration might not be perfect.

Sidebar/Footer(Header)

Most themes do have widget areas in the sidebar and footer. If those are the only places you have modules then that makes things fairly simple, as there’s a lot of similar options available. Here’s what the module area of our example Joomla site looks like:

Joomla Module Area

And here’s what the WordPress widget area looks like:

WordPress Widget Area

Perhaps you have many similarities as well. Go to Appearance > Widgets and see if out of the box WordPress has what you need.

Did you use a search module in Joomla? Simply drag and drop the search widget from in WordPress into the widget area. You can do the same for navigation menus, images, most recent posts or comments, just to mention a few.

Search Widget - WordPress

Then there are modules that there is no built-in widget for in WordPress, but that you can install plugins to access. For example there’s the “most popular articles” module that I’m using on my Joomla site, I can install a corresponding plugin that offers the same functionality.

Head over to Plugins > Add New, and search for “most popular posts”. You have a few different options, but lets go with WordPress Popular Posts, in this example.

WordPress Popular Posts Plugin

Install and activate the plugin. Now head back over to Appearance > Widgets, and scroll to the bottom, and you should see the WordPress Popular Posts widget.

WordPress Popular Posts Widget

You can repeat this process with other Joomla modules not readily available in core WordPress as widgets since most do have a corresponding free plugin.

Other Areas (Logos, Header Images, ETC)

So there’s a module you’d like to fit in, like a logo or header image, that doesn’t go in the assigned widget areas. If it’s a header image or logo, with most recent themes, you can simply use the WordPress Customizer to add it in.

Navigate to Appearance > Customize and see what your options are for the theme you’ve chosen (logo is typically an option inside the “Site Identity” or “Header” or similar section)

WordPress Customizer

There’s usually limited options here for most themes though, and even if you have many, they might offer any options to put content in exactly the place that you want.

If you have complex Joomla site with a lot of moving parts, it might be a good idea to take a look at WordPress themes with included page builders (for example our Total WordPress theme) that allow you to easily place blocks of content exactly where you want, without having to write a single line of code. Or give one of the best drag and drop page builders a try with your current theme (just know that if the theme wasn’t bundled with the plugin or if it doesn’t explicitly state compatibility you may want to contact the theme author just to be sure you won’t have any issues using the plugin).

Contact Forms/Banners

When it comes to contact forms, banners and other components from Joomla, you’ll likely have to rely on a similar tactic as with the most viewed article, install a plugin that adds the functionality you want to WordPress.

If you want to create and manage contact forms, you can hardly do better than the Contact Form 7 plugin.

Concact Form Plugin - WordPress

Follow the same steps outlined above, install and activate it. This adds a new menu item to your admin dashboard called “Contact”, where you go to manage your contact forms. Now you can manually move the information from your Joomla contact forms:

Move Contacts from Joomla to WordPress

To the new contact forms that you make with the Contact 7 plugin.

Move contacts from Joomla to WordPress - WordPress Contacts

That should be it! If you do have other Joomla sections to move over like an e-commerce section just have a look at the available WordPress plugins. For example, you could give WooCommerce a try. It’s an easy to use plugin, so adding a few products would be no problem.

Conclusion

Moving your CMS from Joomla to WordPress can be a complex task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Trying to do it manually with little to no development experience would probably not be a great idea, but with the help of a plugin like FG Joomla to WordPress you should be able to manage. The rewards at the end of the tunnel are definitely worth it. With WordPress’ marketshare steadily on the rise, and Joomla’s on the decline, it’s hard to feel like WordPress isn’t the better choice, long term.

Hopefully this guide was able to help walk you through the process of moving your website from Joomla to WordPress. These steps should work for most blogs and smaller website, but if you have a complex or custom Joomla website setup you still may want to consult a professional for assistance.

If you’re currently moving your site to WordPress, or if you have any questions about the Joomla to WordPress migration process, please let us know in the comments below.



Source link

Read more...

WordPress WallPapers & Swag: Show Love for WordPress


You know how much we love WordPress. Throughout our blog you’ll find tons of WordPress related articles, our social media is all about WordPress, we create free WordPress themes for the community and of course we have a top selling premium WordPress theme on Themeforest. This is how we show our love for the CMS. But maybe you’re not a blogger or developer. So how else can you show love for WordPress?

As it so happens there are a ton of ways! Here are just a few, but of course if you think of others let us know down in the comments.

Download a WordPress Wallpaper

Download a WordPress Wallpaper

If WordPress inspires you (like it does us) then why not download an epic Wallpaper for use on your computer? Just do a google search for “WordPress wallpaper” and you’ll find hundreds of images to choose from. Most are actually large enough to fit a 27” monitor, and best of all it’s a fun (and free) way to express you love for WordPress.

Get Some WordPress Swag

Get Some WordPress Swag

Really love WordPress and want everyone to know? Head over to the WordPress Swag Store (yes, such a thing exists). They sell tons of WordPress goods – shirts, hats, bags, sunglasses and even their very own Pop Socket.

Visit the Wapuu Trading Post

Wapuu Trading Post

We love the little mascot of WordPress, and if you do too then you won’t want to miss the Wapu.us Trading Post. Here you can find even MORE WordPress swag all bearing the adorable Wapuu. Grab some pins, shirts, bags and more!

But Wapu.us isn;t just a store – it’s also the definitive guide to all things Wapuu. Learn about the history of the mascot and all the places it’s been. And since the site is also an ongoing field guide for all the Wapuus of the world, you can submit ones you’ve found in the wild (or even your own) to be added to the field guide.

Don’t Forget About the Community

Of course those are ways to show your love for WordPress on the outside, but the absolute best way you can show your love is through the community.

Take some time to answer questions in the community support forum if you have the time and knowledge. This is a great way to help support others who love WordPress just as much as you do but need a bit of help.

Put aside one weekend a year to attend a WordCamp. This is a great way to meet others who are into WordPress, collaborate on ideas and learn new skills (plus you get a pretty awesome swag bag at more WordCamps, usually with a limited edition t-shirt just for that event).

Over to You – Why Do You Love WordPress?

Hopefully you’ve had a bit of fun, and maybe found a few ways for you to show your love for WordPress. But now we’re curious – why do you love WordPress? Let us know in the comments section!



Source link

Read more...

WordPress Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2017 Sales, Coupons & Deals


While many folks are looking forward to a shorter work week, football games, parades and day with friends or family – that’s not all that’s going on. If you’re crazy about WordPress like I am, this week is the absolute best to get incredible deals on themes, plugins, hosting plans and more. Why? Because it’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Better yet, this year many companies are running Cyber Week specials so you don’t have to wait until Friday to save. Checkout our list that rounds up the best deals your can get RIGHT NOW – which we’ll be updating everyday as new sales and promotions become available. This way you can know for sure that you’re getting the best deals possible!

Now let’s dig into the biggest and best WordPress Black Friday and WordPress Cyber Monday deals of 2017!

NOTE: This list will be updated with new deals daily, so if we missed a deal just leave a comment beloe and it will be added 🙂

WordPress Theme Black Friday Deals

WordPress Theme Black Friday Deals

Give your website a new look with a fancy new premium WordPress theme! This week(end) you can save more than 50% on your favorite WordPress themes. Just have a look at what’s on sale!

50% Off Total WordPress Theme

Get the Total WordPress theme for just $29 this week only! Total includes hundreds of customization options, page builder elements and custom options that make it easy for new users and developers alike. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017 at 2pm AEDT.

Save 50% on the Total Theme


50% Off CHIC WordPress Theme

Save 50% on the premium CHIC WordPress theme. There’s never been a better time to start your own WooCommerce powered shop or build a beautiful blog with WordPress. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017 at 2pm AEDT.

Save 50% on the CHIC Theme


cssigniter 40% Off

Save 40% on premium theme memberships from cssigniter with their Black Friday special! Just use code BF2017 at checkout. Offer ends soon.

Save 40% at cssigniter


CyberChimps 30% Off

Take 30% off any and all purchases at CyberChimps with code CYBERBF30. Offer ends December 5, 2017.

Save 30% atCyberChimps


Themeforest: Envato Cyber Week

Save 50% on hundreds of premium and top selling WordPress themes on Themeforest, no code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save on Premium WordPress Themes


Envato Elements 33% Off

Take33% off your annual membership for Envato Elements – a monthly web design membership that includes web templates, graphics, stock and more for just $19/mo with the promo pricing. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save on Envato Elements


Gorilla Themes 30% Off

Gorilla Themes is offering 30% off all of their amazing premium WordPress themes! Use code HOLIDAY to save. Offer ends soon.

Save 30% at Gorilla Themes


Graph Paper Press 50% Off

Save 50% on Basic and Pro theme memberships from Graph Paper Press. Use code gppblackfriday2017. Offer ends November 26, 2017.

Save 50% at Graph Paper Press


Happy Themes 75% Off

75% Off all themes and Lifetime access packages from Happy Themes with code SAVE75. Act fast – this offer ends soon. 

75% Off Happy Themes


Organized Themes 40% Off

Save 40% on premium WordPress themes or a lifetime membership with code BFCM2017. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save $100 at Organized Themes


StudioPress 25% Off (New Customers)

StudioPress – 25% off for new customers on all WordPress themes and even the massive Pro Plus Pack. No code needed. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 25% at StudioPress


StudioPress 50% Off (Returning Customers)

StudioPress – 50% off for returning customers, no code needed. Just login to see the greater discount. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 50% at StudioPress


Themify 50% Off

Save 50% on all themes and plugins with code BLACKFRIDAY. Offer ends November 27, 2017.

Save 50% at Themify


Themify $150 Off

Save $150 on a Lifetime theme bundle membership from Themify with code BFLIFE150. Offer ends November 27, 2017.

Save $150 at Themify


Themefuse 70% Off

Save 70% on any Themefuse purchase when you use code blackfriday2017 at checkout. Offer ends November 25, 2017.

Save 70% at Themefuse


Theme Stop 60% Off

Get 25+ premium WordPress magazine themes from Theme Stop for 60% off with code HOLIDAY60. Offer ends November 28, 2017. 

Save 60% at Theme Stop


Theme Junkie 60% Off

Right now you can save 60% off the Theme Junkie All Themes package, which includes 55+ premium themes for one low price (just $19.60 for one year, or $39.60 for a lifetime). Use code HOLIDAYS17 to save. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 60% at Theme Junkie


ThemeGrill 33% Off

Save 33% on WordPress themes and plugins by ThemeGrill with coupon code BF33. Offer ends soon.

Save 33% at ThemeGrill


ThemeHunk 40% Off

Save 40% on WordPress themes from ThemeHunk with the code FRIDAY40. Offer ends December 2, 2017.

Save 40% at ThemeHunk


Themetrust 40% Off

Themetrust is offering 40% off all their WordPress themes with code BLACKFRIDAY17. Offer ends soon.

Save 40% at Themetrust


ThemeBounce 40% Off

Get 50% off a membership (plus 50% off lifetime updates) from ThemeBounce with code BlackFriday50.Offer ends December 10, 2017.

Save 40% at ThemeBounce


AlienWP 60% Off

You can also save 60% off all theme memberships from AlienWP with code BLACKFRIDAY. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 60% at AlienWP


WisdmLabs 20% Off

WisdmLabs is offering 20% off on all premium themes from WisdmLabs with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2017. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 20% at WisdmLabs


WPEka 50% Off

Save 50% on all memberships and plans at WPEka with code WPEKA50OFF. Offer ends December 2, 2017.

Save 50% at WPEka


WPCasa 40% Off

Save 40% on real estate WordPress themes with code blackcyber40. Offer ends November 27, 2017.

Save 40% at WPCasa


VivaThemes 30% Off

Save 30% on any WordPress theme or theme package from VivaThemes with code BFVT30. Offer ends soon.

Save 30% at VivaThemes

WordPress Plugin Black Friday Deals

WordPress Plugin Black Friday Deals

Add new features to your website with any of these awesome WordPress plugins, which all happen to be on sale. Many of these plugins are at a set price year round, making this the best (and possibly only) time of year to save!

Grace Instagram Gallery Plugin 50% Off

Save 50% on the Grace premium Instagram gallery plugin created by Looks Awesome. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save 50% on Grace


Flow Flow Social Stream Plugin 50% Off

Save 50% on the Flow Flow premium social stream plugin created by Looks Awesome. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save 50% on Flow Flow


Superfly Menu Plugin 50% Off

Save 50% on the Superfly premium responsive WordPress menus plugin created by Looks Awesome. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save 50% on SUperfly


OnionBuzz Quizmaker Plugin 50% Off

Save 50% on the OnionBuzz premium WordPress viral quiz maker plugin created by Looks Awesome. No code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save 50% on OnionBuzz


EnviraGallery 25% Off

The EnviraGallery plugin for WordPress is 25% off with code BF2017 (new customers only). Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 25% on EnviraGallery


Events Calendar Pro up to 30% Off

Spend more save more this weekend! Spend up to $149 and save 10% with code: REST10. Spend $150-$299 and save 20% with code: RELAX20. Spend $300+ and save 30% with code: UNWIND30. Offers end November 27, 2017.

Save up to 30% on Eventas Calendar Pro


CodeCanyon: Envato Cyber Week

Save 50% on hundreds of premium and top selling WordPress plugins on CodeCanyon, no code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save on Premium WordPress Themes


FooPlugins up to 50% Off

Save 20-50% off the FooGallery Pro WordPress plugin. Spin the wheel of discounts to discover your discount! Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save at FooPlugins


LiveChat $10 Off

Get the premium LiveChat WordPress plugin to add user friendly live chat support options to your website. Plus use our link to save $10 for first 3 monthly payments (best for personal plans). No code needed. Offer ends December 31, 2017. 

Save $10/mo on LiveChat


LiveChat 10% Off

Get the premium LiveChat WordPress plugin to add user friendly live chat support options to your website. Plus use our link to save 10% for first 3 monthly payments (best for Enterprise Plus plans). No code needed. Offer ends December 31, 2017. 

Save 10% /mo on LiveChat


MailOptin 25% Off

Save 25% on the MailOptin premium WordPress plugin when you use code BFCM2017. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 25% on MailOptin


OptinMonster 25% Off

New customers can save 25% on new purchases of OptinMonster with code BF2017. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 25% on OptinMonster


Page Builder Sandwich 33% Off

Right now new customers can save 33% on the premium Page Builder Sandwich visual page builder plugin with code CYBERMONDAY33. Offer ends soon.

Save 33% on PBS


ProfilePress 25% Off

Save 25% on ProfilePress, the ultimate user profile plugin, with code BFCM2017. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 25% at weDevs


iThemes Web Designer Toolkit 50% Off

Save 50% on the massive Web Designer Toolkit by iThemes. Use code WPTOOLKIT50 at checkout. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 50% at iThemes


s2Member 35% Off

Save 35% on the s2Member plugin to manage WordPress memberships with code BLACK35. Offer ends soon.

Save 35% on s2Member


Soliloquy 25% Off

Soliloquy is offering a25% off with code BF2017 (new customers only). Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 25% on Soliloquy


Swift Performance Plugin 50% Off

Get the Swift Performance plugin at 50% off with code WPEXPLORER. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 25% on Soliloquy


WisdmLabs 20% Off

WisdmLabs is offering 20% off on all premium plugins (WooCommerce, LearnDash and Gravity Forms) with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2017. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 20% at WisdmLabs


Edwiser Bridge Extensions 15% Off

Edwiser Bridge Extensions are all 15% off when you use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2017 at checkout. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 15% on Edwiser Bridge Extensions


weDevs 25% Off

You can save 25% on premium professional WordPress plugins from weDevs this week with code holiday17. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 25% at weDevs


WPMU Dev 3 Months Free

Get 3 months FREE when you sign up for an annual plan from WPMU Dev with code BF2017. Get 140+ plugins for one super-duper low price! This offer is limited – visit the link to see how many coupons are left.

Get 3 Months Free at WPMU Dev


WPMU Tutorials 75% Off

Get 117 Training videos to learn the basics of WordPress, WooCommerce, SEO, basic theme customization and more at a whopping 75% Off! No code needed. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 75% at WPMU Tutorials


WPSecurity Ninja 30% Off

WPSecurity Ninja is 30% off. Use code black17 to save on all Security Ninja packages. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 30% on WPSecurity Ninja


WebFactoryLtd 55% Off

Get all three ofWebFactoryLtd’s popular plugins (Google Maps Widget, Under Construction Page & WP Security Ninja) for 55% off with code black17. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 55% at WebFactoryLtd


WPForms 25% Off

Get WPForms, one of the best form plugins available, for 25% off with code BF2017 (new customers only). Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 25% at WPForms


WP Rocket 35% Off

Save 35% on your purchase of WP Rocket – an easy to use caching plugin to speed up your WordPress site. No code needed. Offer ends November 27, 2017.

Save 35% on WP Rocket

WordPress Hosting Black Friday Deals

WordPress Hosting Black Friday Deals

Upgrade your web hosting this week with any of these awesome WordPress hosting Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Now’s your chance to lock-in a top tier hosting plan at a crazy low price.

WP Engine 35% Off

Save 35% on your first payment when you signup for a new plan from WP Engine. And if you select an annual plan you’ll get another 2 months free – that means you can get 5 1/2 months of FREE hosting! Just use code cyberwpe35. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 35% at WP Engine


Cloudways up to $150 Off

Get up to a $150 credit (10% off each month up to $150 total) when you signup for a new account at Cloudways. Use code BF150 to cashing in. Offer ends soon.

Save up to $150 at Cloudways


Flywheel 25% Off

Flywheel – Save 25% (that’s 3 months free) on all annual WordPress hosting plans with free SSL, free migrations, helpful support and more! Use code FLYDAY17 to save. Offer ends November 28, 2017.

Save 25% at Flywheel


GoDaddy $1 Hosting Deal

Snag web hosting from GoDaddy for as little as $1 per month (depending on contract term) with this limited time offer. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

Save Big at GoDaddy


GoDaddy $0.99 Domain Deal

Get your very own .COM domain name for your new website from GoDaddy for just $0.99 with this limited time offer. No code needed. Offer ends soon.

Get Cheap Domains at GoDaddy


GoDaddy 30% Off

Save 30% on new purchases like hosting, SSL, email service or anything else at GoDaddy with code cjc2off30. Offer ends soon.

Save 30% at GoDaddy


Hosting24 67% Off Hosting Plans

Save up to 67% on hosting (get shared for just $2/mo) plus get a FREE domain name when you use code BFSALE. Offer ends December 1, 2017.

Save 67% a tHosting24


iPage 75% Off Hosting Plans

Right now you can save 75% on hosting from iPage plus get a BONIS $200 in advertising credits. No code needed. Offer ends November 24, 2017.

Save 75% at iPage


InMotion Hosting 64% Off

Save up to 64% with awesome deals on VPS, dedicated servers, reseller and even WordPress specific hosting from InMotion. No code needed. Offers end soon, please visit InMotion for details.

Save 64% at InMotion Hosting


NameCheap 40% Off VPS

Save 40% on new VPS & Reseller hosting plans from NameCheap with code THUNDER. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 40% on NameCheap VPS/Reseller


NameCheap $5 Off Ultimate

Take $5 off your Ultimate Hosting Package by NameCheap with code GHO5T. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save $5 on NameCheap Ultimate


NameCheap 15% Off Professional Hosting

Save 15% when you purchase a NameCheap Professional Hosting Plan with code SAVE15NOV. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 15% at NameCheap


NameCheap 10% Off Domains

Save up to 10% off domains (com, net, org, biz) new registrations or transfers with code AUTUMNDAYS. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 10% on NameCheap Domains


Rose Hosting 50% Off

New customers can save up to 50% (for the first 6 months) on Managed Linux VPS Hosting from Rose Hosting with code RHBF17. Offer ends December 1, 2017.

Save 50% at Rose Hosting

More Web Design Black Friday Deals

Web Design Black Friday Deals

Looking for stock photos? Icon sets? Premium video services? Or something else to make creating custom web designs easier? Checkout our picks for the best web design deals you won’t want to miss this year.

Creative Market Deals

There are hundreds of web templates, fonts, graphics, icons and more on sale on Creative Market! Just visit their promotion section to wee what’s on sale this week. Check individual offers for expiration dates.

Save on Creative Market Items


BigStock 15 FREE Images

Get 15 premium stock photos for free when you take advantage of BigStock’s 3-day trial. Offer ends soon.

Get Free Images from BigStock


Designmodo 70% Off

Save 70% on the popular Qards page builder, plus other web design resources,  from Designmodo with code BLACK. Offer ends November 24, 2017.

Save 70% at Designmodo


Themeforest: Envato Cyber Week

ave 50% on hundreds of premium stock photos, videos and graphics from the Envato Marketplace, no code needed. Offer ends November 29, 2017.

Save on Premium WordPress Themes


Hungry Jpeg 20% Off Feast Bundle

Use code WISHES20 to save an extra 20% on top of the already discountedNovember Feast Bundle (which is 96% Off Fonts & Graphics). Please view bundle deal for end dates.

Save 20% at the Hungry Jpeg


InkyDeals Extra 70% Off

Save an extra 70% on any already discounted web design deal from InkyDeals with code 70BLACK. Offer ends December 1, 2017.

Save 70% at InkyDeals


Pixelo 20% Off

Save 20% on handpicked web design bundles from Pixelo with code BLACK20. Offer ends November 30, 2017.

Save 20% at Pixelo


WP101 50% Off Tutorial Videos

Learn all about WordPress with easy to follow video tutorials by WP101. And you can save 50% with code 50OFFWP101. Offer ends soon.

Save 50% at WP101


Vimeo Live 10% Off

Save 10% on a Vimeo Live membership to publish your own awesome videos on the web with code LIVELAUNCH10. Offer ends December 31, 2017.

Save 10% at Vimeo


Vimeo Business 10% Off

Save 10% on a premium Vimeo Business membership for your company with code VIMBIZOCT17. Offer ends December 31, 2017.

Save 10% at Vimeo

More Info

Like I said before, I’ll be updating this post every single day, so come back to see what’s been added! Also if I missed your deal leave a comment below and I’ll get it added.

Thanks for Reading WPExplorer

But while I’ve still got your attention – thank YOU so much for being awesome and reading to the bottom of this post! We’re thankful for people like you who visit our blog for reviews, WordPress tips and of course some killer deals. It’s you we write these posts for, so I hope you enjoyed this roundup and that you were able to find a few deals to take advantage of this week!



Source link

Read more...

Flywheel Managed WordPress Hosting Review


Back with another WordPress Hosting review, this time it’s Flywheel turn. In this article I’m going to explore the ups and downs of this very decent hosting service for WordPress that has plenty of options. Scalable plans, free migrations, staging sites, nightly backups, free SSL are only some of the features you’ll find at Flywheel. Keep reading to see our review of their service, or click the link to visit their website to learn more.

Learn More About Flywheel

Creating a New Website with Flywheel

Flywheel has a very particular way to start your experience with the service. They don’t let you choose a plan right away so I’ve decided to show you the process just as I’ve experienced it. Payment does not come first with Flywheel as they let you setup your demo site first.

Just fill in all the information and then you’re ready to create your first site. Up until that moment, there are no plans presented whatsoever. This is a very unique way to get started. Flywheel has made it easy for people who want to demo the service (or use it to being building a demo website for a client) but it may become inconvenient for those that consider payment and setup as two completely separate things.

Flywheel lets you pay by two ways: either pay yourself or let your client make payments once they take over the site (note: you can also add a site to bulk plans you already have).

Once you decide how you want to pay, you’re free to choose a plan and after that… it’s creation time. I like that Flywheel has made it easy for people who want to start a demo of the service, and the setup makes a lot of sense for freelancers. But it since not all users will land on the the ricing page before beginning having the plans information accessible during the signup process would be nice.

Flywheel Hosting Plans

Here are the current plans for Flywheel. They offer fully managed WordPress hosting plans, so server settings are configured and WordPress already installed when you signup.

For this review I’ve chosen the Personal Plan. Flywheel has an adequate set of resources, it’s a little more expensive than the competition but it has SSL included and the option for CDN is affordable enough. The only real drawback of their plans is the limited storage space, which for most blogs won’t be an issues but could become a problem for medium to large sites (specifically resource heavy or high traffic sites).

Migrate Your WordPress Site to Flywheel

The ideal way for me to start working on the site is to import the current benchmark site so I’ve tested the migration mechanism, as always.

The are several ways you could import your current site: the usual way (here’s a great starter guide to migrate to WordPress), providing credentials to your current WP site and FTP access, directly via WordPress.com (which is a good addition) or through a ZIP upload – which is just the perfect method for me. Flywheel is confident enough you’ll want to go from WP Engine to Flywheel they even included that option in there too!

Once you make up your mind on what kind of migration method you want, Flywheel will let you choose the type of migration, either a Standard migration which can take up to 3 business days and it’s free or the Expedited migration that is said to be done in less than 8 hours.

Even though I’ve properly zipped the file, that method didn’t work for me and got stuck at 99% so I contacted tech support for assistance. They responded very rapidly and asked me to send them the zip file, which I did. The migration was done in less than 10 minutes without any extra charge involved so, unless your site is really huge, there is really no need to pay for an Expedited migration as the regular service works just fine.

Flywheel Panel Options

Once the site is setup, defining the domain is one the easiest things to do. Flywheel gives you access to all your DNS settings and they actually encourage you to edit them as needed.

This could be a confusing for new users, but for people who know where their domains are pointing Flywheel will not get in your way. They let you define your domains easily and will give you the coordinates to their CNAME defined names and respective IPs. They even provide an easy tool for you to check if the DNS entries are loaded properly.

Flywheel is about the least intrusive and easy to work service for domains and DNS. It’s like they’re telling you: “we know you want to setup your domain so, here is the data, point your domain and check if it’s working… we won’t get in the way” and that’s just perfect.

Once the domain is setup properly, the main panel will let you control the Cache on your WP site, enable the Debug mode and even disable the Cache to see changes instantly. Flywheel does seem to be caching WordPress with their own custom webserver architecture.

Extra Flywheel Services

On top of the usual stuff, Flywheel provides support for backups. While it’s still a good idea to backup WordPress regularly on your own, this is a great backup for your backups.

And if that’s not enough, Flywheel will let you enable a multisite service for $10/mo extra and a CDN service for $10 more.

Certificates are free as long as you use Let’s Encrypt but installing your own certificate through Flywheel will cost you $10 month which is not goodFor most users paying an extra $10 a month for a custom certificate is probably not worth it. Having your own certificate is not much different than using the built in Let’s Encrypt, so we’d recommend the free option for most.

If you’re in need of building your own store with your custom certificate you’re probably better off with another service that does not charge you a monthly fee.

Local by Flywheel

Local by Flywheel

Another exclusive feature is Local by Flywheel. With Local you can design, build and test your website locally (on your computer) then quickly and easy push your design to your live site hosted on Flywheel. Best of all – this is a free feature that works great with all Flywheel plans.

Flywheel Hosting Performance

So how does Flywheel compare to the rest? Let’s put the service to the test.

Website performance is very good, with a response time of less than 1.5 seconds and a solid A score from Pingdom.

Watching the header response closely you can see that Flywheel is using a custom webserver configuration that appears to be quite optimized for the task.

A test from the Australia server also gives an excellent result with another A. Good job!

GTMetrix also shows a superb result and the website loaded in 1.6s confirming that Flywheel does have a nice webserver & cache in place, making this a fine service for any WP addict that needs a very good performance.

What I Liked

Flywheel has a nice intuitive and easy to use interface with standard options but tons of extras. I loved the “we do not get in your way” attitude towards the domains & DNS setup as this is ideal for a quick setup, specially for professionals.

I also liked the way they respond to tickets. The support staff are happy to help and quick on fixes. And I most certainly liked the performance.

What I didn’t like

Having a nice service with a very restrictive storage space is not nice and having to pay tons of money for an even more expensive service just to use more space is not fun at all. I would loved to have more storage space options to the mix. There are tons of blogs & magazines that does not get that many visits but consumes a lot of storage space and Flywheel will be a very costly service for that kind of activity.

I do think the sign up process could be better as the plans are not visible until after you setup your website and choose a form of payment. This needs to improve. Either offer a free demo (with the 14-day limitation visible) or require the user to signup & add payment info first (then setup after) – mixing the two is confusing.

Also Flywheel doesn’t currently offer any e-mail options which could be a problem. Though we can highly recommend G-suite if you want to manage emails yourself.

Wrapping Up

Flywheel is a solid hosting option. The intuitive and easy to use interface combined with extras such as backups, staging, ability to add free SSL certificates, multisite compatibility and optional CDN makes for quite a good deal. Also Flywheel offers one of the least intrusive methods for setting up domains and DNS (aka we don’t stand in your way attitude) and that is a nice gesture.

Plus if you are a freelance web designer there are some extra features like the option to choose client billing and Local (which you can use to connect your local development site to you live client sites).

On the other side of the table the storage space is very limited and Flywheel is somewhat expensive. But if you don’t require tons of space, it’s a good service with excellent performance and tech support. For more information, be sure to visit their website.

Get Flywheel

Overall we think Flywheel is a pretty good managed WordPress hosting service, but what do you think? Have you tried Flywheel? Or do you have any other questions about their hosting? Let us know in the comments.



Source link

Read more...

How to Prevent Spam and Protect Your WordPress Blog


Your comments section gives you a convenient way to engage with your website’s readers. Unfortunately, opening your website up to comments means you will have to deal with spam. Unless you are the type of blogger who doesn’t solicit feedback via comments and trackbacks/pingbacks, you will have to deal with it at some point or another.

But the question is, how? As spam bots (and human spammers) become more sophisticated, it is more and more difficult to keep your blog clean of irrelevant and inappropriate content.

Luckily, WordPress comes with built-in features and free add-ons to help control and combat spam, including Akismet and comment blacklists. Even better, there are many third-party plugins available to provide additional spam protection.

In this post we will take an in-depth look at the issue of spam on WordPress blogs, the negative impact it can have on your site if left unchecked and how it can be managed and prevented. We’ll also take a look at the tools available in WordPress to combat this problem. Finally, we’ll finish up with some plugin recommendations to take your spam moderation to the next level. Let’s dive in!

What WordPress Comment Spam Is

Screenshot of spam comments

Automated spam comments like these can overrun your WordPress database.

It can be exhilarating when new comments show up on your blog. However, that first blush of excitement often disappears when you see inappropriate replies to your content. These replies, of course, are also known as spam. The dictionary simply defines it as “irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of users“. Sounds about right to me.

Blog spam is born of the same family as the oh so familiar email spam, but has its own unique aim – to get backlinks. Whether it is via a blog comment, trackback or pingback, the purpose of blog spam is to publish a link on your site that points back to another site. The site in question is typically irrelevant to your niche and often poor quality.

These unsolicited messages is a fact of life if you allow commenting on your posts. Fortunately, identifying it is relatively simple, since it usually takes one of three primary forms.

1. Spambots

These are comments are posted automatically using a script or bot that scour the web in search of targets to flood with comment junk. There is no direct human involvement in these comments, and they are usually pretty easy for the human eye to spot. Spambots are probably the biggest culprits of irrelevant comments.

2. Manual Comments

This is when humans are hired to manually post comments on sites. The quality of these comments can vary from blatantly obvious to debatable, which of course offers up a big headache for anyone trying to eradicate spam from their site. These will almost always include links in the comments, and can be a bit sneakier than bots (we’ve seen comments with questionable links added to blank spaces in the comment text).

3. Trackbacks & Pingbacks

As defined by Google, a trackback is “one of three types of linkback methods for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents”. For our purposes you can assume pingbacks to be essentially the same thing. You will have probably seen trackbacks before. They exist as a list of links, typically within or below the comments section on a blog post. For a spammers’ purposes, the objective is simple – mention a blog post in their own post and get a link back.

Each of these spam types is problematic, and you’ll often receive more than just one category. Together, they can clog up your comments section and cause all kinds of issues.

How Comment Spam Affects Your WordPress Site

Trackback spam

Spammers use trackbacks to create links back to irrelevant sites.

You may consider spam to be nothing more than an annoyance. However, if left unchecked, it can have negative consequences for your website. In addition to providing a poor user experience for your readers, comment spam can harm your site in many ways, causing:

  • Loss of search engine rankings. Google targets bad links on your site for ranking purposes, even in the comments.
  • Potential risks to your readers. The links in spam comments can lead to malicious sites.
  • Site speed and load time issues. Too many comments can overload your WordPress database and slow down your site.

Every blog that enables commenting is vulnerable to spam. Having a plan of action for reducing and combating it is the only way to protect your site and your readers.

How to Combat WordPress Comment Spam

While comment spam is unavoidable, there is good news. You can combat this blight by moderating your comments and utilizing WordPress’ built-in tools.

First, make sure that you have turned on comment moderation. Doing so enables you to approve any comment before it posts to your site. If you don’t have time to review every single comment, you can set parameters based on several factors. For example, you can:

Don’t forget the biggest weapon in your default arsenal: plugins. There are tons of great free and open source plugins you can add to your WordPress installation to check comments and filter out anything that looks like spam.

The Best Anti-Spam Plugins to Reduce Comment Spam on Your WordPress Site

One of the best things about using WordPress is how easy it is to customize. When it comes to blog comments, you can use plugins shore up your security. Here are three plugins to help you take control of your comment spam.

1. Akismet

Akismet plugin

How could we not mention Akismet? This plugin comes installed by default on WordPress blogs, and is free to use for personal bloggers (with a commercial monthly subscription set at $5 per month, and enterprise solutions available at $50 per month).

In using a “catch-all” spam solution like Akismet, you have to accept that some legitimate comments may get flagged as spam. It’s simply a cost of blogging and using an automated spam blocker. The issue is mainly stems from human spammers. One person’s spam is another person’s legitimate comment, so if humans can’t agree 100% of the time, what chance does a plugin have?

However, for most part, Akismet does a great job. It keeps an enormous amount of spam at bay on my blog, with only the occasional legitimate comment being caught out. Furthermore, it takes care of trackback spam too – a huge bonus.

Key Features:

  • Blocks comment and trackback spam.
  • Automatically checks all comments.
  • Comment history so you can check which comments were blocked by the plugin or by moderators.
  • Includes a “Discard” settings to auto-block the worst spam.

Price: Akismet is a free plugin, and may already be installed on your blog.

Get Akismet

2. WP-SpamShield

WP-Spamshield plugin

This plugin uses the ‘honey pot’ technique to trap bots invisibly. Humans won’t see captchas, but bots will, and they will then be trapped as spam. WP-SpamShield acts as a firewall to block both automated and targeted spam. Since it blocks these comments before they reach your database, you never have to worry about them slowing down your site.

Key Features:

  • Blocks trackback and pingback spam.
  • Prevents spam at the front of the site, so it never hits the WordPress database.
  • Works with all major form builder tools.

Price: WP-SpamShield is a free plugin.

Get WP-SpamShield

3. Anti-spam

Anti-spam plugin

Anti-spam uses invisible captchas to block all spambots from your comments. The pro version also blocks manually submitted spam. While this plugin does a great job of stopping unwanted comments, however, it doesn’t protect other types of forms on your site. This means you might want to use this plugin with something else to get extra form protection. However, it’s still an excellent lightweight option.

Looking for more protection options? Anti-Spam Pro includes added settings for manual spam protection so you can further by automatically preventing comments that rank high on a spam points scale (with more than a set number of links, words or flagged spam words).

Key Features:

  • Blocks trackbacks by default.
  • Prevents automatic spam from ever getting to your WordPress database.
  • Pro version blocks manual spam.

Price: Anti-Spam is free, and the pro version available for $25.

Get Anti-Spam by Webvitaly

4. WPBruiser

WPBruiser plugin

WPBruiser promises to work from the second you install it. This plugin combines brute force attack protection with comment spam blocking. You can use it to protect all of your forms, and your readers will never have to use a captcha. Overall, it’s a comprehensive and user-friendly option.

Key Features:

  • Includes brute force attack protection.
  • Enables you to block malicious IP addresses.
  • Is compatible with WordPress Multisite.
  • Offers extensions that work with all major form tools.

Price: WPBruiser is a free plugin with optional extensions.

Get WPBruiser

5. Hide Trackbacks

This last plugin is very straightforward as it simply does what the title states – hides trackbacks. While you can disable trackbacks completely, there is value in simply hiding them if you want to keep track of who is linking to you. This plugin removes trackbacks from your front end but still allows you to see them on your WordPress dashboard.

Price: Hide Trackbacks is completely free.

Get Hide Trackbacks

Conclusion

Comment spam is a simple fact of life on the internet, unless you plan to disable comments altogether. Safeguarding your site against inappropriate comments is crucial for its overall health and performance. By removing spam comments, you can keep your database clear, maintain a solid user experience, and improve engagement.

Do you have any questions about how to manage spam on your WordPress site? Or tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below!



Source link

Read more...

WordPress 4.9 Release: New Features You’ll Love


It’s mid November, and we’re ramping up to what just might be one of the biggest Cyber sale weeks in WordPress history (Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are already getting started). And as if that’s not enough to be excited about, WordPress just dropped 4.9 and we couldn’t wait to show you what it was like when we updated. So without further ado meet WordPress 4.9, more affectionately named “Tipton.”

Customizer Drafts & Scheduling

WordPress 4.9 Customizer Drafts & Scheduling

One feature we’re excited to make use of is the new Customizer Drafts & Scheduling options. Now when you use the live customizer you can save changes as a draft, which is extremely useful when working on a website redesign. This way you can test different colors, fonts, layouts or any other customizer settings included with your theme right on your live site without having to commit to the change right away. Just save and come back to review your design later on. Don’t worry if you forget to save – WordPress will auto save drafts so if you accidentally close your window you should be able to

Equally as useful as drafts is the option to schedule a design change. This is a great way to plan and add promotional assets, sale banners or seasonal ads to your site. Simple make your edits then schedule the day and time to have your new design go live.

Customizer Collaboration Upgrades

Good news for design teams, WordPress 4.9 also adds new features to make working together even easier. The first is customizer locking while you’re making changes. This way another team member can’t interfere in your creative process.

The second is an easy to share customizer preview link option when you save your draft. Just copy and paste the link into your team Slack or group email to get input.

Themes via the Customizer

One other feature we wanted to touch on was the fact that you can now preview and install more than 2,600+ free themes from the WordPress.org repository right from the customizer. This is a great feature, specifically when first setting up your website or blog with WordPress.

New & Updated Widgets

WordPress 4.9 Gallery Widget

This WordPress update adds a new Gallery widget you can use in sidebars, footers and other widget ready areas. This is a great way to showcase features project images, staff photos, or really anything else.

WordPress 4.9 Gallery Widget Settings

The widget works just like regular WordPress galleries. Just click to select images you’d like to add plus set options for linking, columns, ordering and size. Remember to save after inserting your gallery to see it live on your site.

WordPress 4.9 Text Widget

All other notable changes were made to enhance the Text widget, which now supports oEmbed media and and parses shortcodes. What does this mean for you? Well, you can quickly add YouTube videos, SoundCloud podcasts, Polldaddy surveys, Tumblr posts, Spotify music or any other WordPress supported oEmbed media to a widget area by pasting the link in a text widget (you can use that handy media insert option if you’d like). Or if your theme (or any plugins) include shortcodes, you should now be able to successfully use them in your widgets.

Improvements When Changing Themes

Ever lost your widgets, or had menus unassigned from locations when you switched themes? This was a common issue users ran into when updating their website design but with WordPress 4.9 that’s now a thing of the past!

WordPress will now do it’s best to maintain menu locations and widget areas based on similar IDs and naming. So ideally your “Top” and “Main” menu locations will remain when you switch from one theme to another. This assumes both themes use similar menu locations or the same number of menu locations (as WordPress will try to assign the menu from the first location according to your old theme to the first menu location in your new theme). Similarly, sidebar widgets should remain in your sidebar and footer widgets in your footer (again – assuming similar locations exist).

Editor Enhancements

The latest version of WordPress also comes with new and improved updates for the code Editor (even though we personally HIGHLY recommend against using the editor, since really all changes should be made via a custom child theme to ensure your edits remain when you update your themes and plugins).

WordPress 4.9 Editor Enhancements

If you do use the Editor to make changes you’ll be happy to know that it now supports CodeMirror which formats your code like most major code editors. This update integrates improved formatting, autocomplete and live syntax error notification. This new functionality also comes with the ability for developers to enable CodeMirror in plugins.

More for Developers

As always, there were more changes going on under the hood so to speak. This includes customizer JS API improvements, a MediaElement.js upgrade to 4.2.6, REST API updates for objects, as well as brand new roles and capabilities. For a full run down be sure to read over the official dev notes from the Make WordPress Core trac.

Over to You

That’s what we played around with in WordPress 4.9. We’re definitely most excited to use the customizer scheduling, especially with holiday sales and promotions just around the corner. But what about you? What features you you like in 4.9? Let us know below!



Source link

Read more...

Google+ for WordPress – Tips & Plugins for Your Blog


Although everyone has heard of Google Plus, it is often the last social media channel people consider when promoting their business. Working in a similar way to Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus offers all that you would expect from a social media channel. Google Plus displays a feed of recent events and posts, allows you to follow others and build your own following, share your own content, like and comment on others offerings, and lots more. However, with Googe Plus being undoubtedly less popular than some of the other social platforms out there, why should you use it?

In this article, we consider the benefits of using Google Plus and how to get started with it. We then look in more depth at how you can use this social media platform to promote your business, and how to integrate it with your WordPress website.

Why Use Google Plus?

Google Plus

Google Plus is an ideal platform to promote your business, connect with potential clients, and interact with your current fan base. Google Plus uses and easily integrates with a range of Google tools, including Google Photos, Hangouts, Maps, Calendar, YouTube, and many more. This makes posting on Google immediately a quicker and easier process than many other social channels.

And that’s not all, regular engagement on Google Plus helps to improve the rankings of your website’s pages and posts in Google’s search engine. Those that follow you on this channel are also more likely to be shown your Google Plus content if they search on Google using similar keywords. Lastly, Google Plus doesn’t charge you to promote your businesses posts, and due to its ‘circles’ feature, you can target your content at specific groups of people.

So now we know a bit about Google Plus and the benefits of using it, let’s look at how to get it up and running…

Getting Started With Google Plus

It is extremely quick and easy to sign up with Google Plus. However, you will need a Google account to do so. At the top of the Google Plus homepage, select the ‘Sign In’ button, and either follow the instructions to create a new Google account, or select the Google account you would like to sign in with.

View Your Newsfeed

Home Page

When logging into Google, you will find your Newsfeed on the initially displayed ‘Home’ page. Your Newsfeed contains a selection of posts published, shared and liked by your followers, recommended posts, topics to explore, articles trending on Google Plus, and more. View your Newsfeed to find out what has been going on on Google Plus and what others are publishing.

Under each post displayed, you will see a 1+ button. This is the equivalent of a Facebook ‘Like’. The number of 1+’s a post has received will be shown next to the 1+ icon. You will also see a comments box and a share icon displayed under posts. It is important to engage with others in your niche to help grow your following. Liking, commenting and sharing posts is an effective way to do so.

Edit Your Profile

Profile Page

Your profile is the page that your followers will see when checking you out on Google Plus. Therefore, it is essential that you complete all the necessary details on your profile page, and make it as welcoming and detailed as possible.

There are a number of ways to customize your profile page. To do so, in the left-hand side menu in your Google Plus dashboard, select ‘Profile > Edit Profile’. Here you can write your own tagline and upload a profile picture and background image for your page.

You can also add information about yourself. On your profile page, click ‘About’ to add your date of birth and occupation, as well as upload albums. However, keep in mind, if you choose to add this info it will also be shown across your other Google services too, like Google Drive and Photos. Select the ‘+’ icon to add other details like work and education info, where you are living, and links to your other social media profiles and websites.

Your profile page also shows all posts you have published or shared, as well as the communities you have joined and collections you have created. We will cover communities and collections further on in the article.

Add Followers

People

Under ‘People’ in your left-hand dashboard menu, you can find people to follow, see who is following you, and manage those you are following. Under the tab ‘Find People’, Google Plus will suggest people for you to follow, and you can also search for specific individuals using the search function at the top of the page.

The tab entitled ‘Following’ enables you to see who you are following. One of the features that differentiates Google Plus from other social media channels is their concept of ‘circles’. Circles allow you to create different groups, and you can place your followers in these groups accordingly. This can then be particularly useful for creating specific target groups to promote different types of content to.

Begin Posting

Add Post

To post in Google Plus, select ‘Home’ or ‘Profile’ from the menu bar and then simply click on the pencil icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. In the pop-up, write your post, add interactive links, images, share your location and more. Once published, you can still edit a post, move it to a collection, pin it to the top of your profile, and disable comments or sharing, to name a few options.

How to Use Google Plus to Promote Your WordPress Website

So now you know a little about getting started with Google Plus. Take your time familiarizing yourself with this social media platform. Once you are confident using Google Plus, the next step is to consider how to use it to best promote your WordPress website.

Enable Google Plus for Your Brand

Create a Brand

If you want to promote your WordPress website on Google Plus, then you need to create a Google Plus brand account. By setting up your brand’s own page, fans can easily search, find, and follow you on Google Plus. Your brand can also post, comment, and share, as well as create its own collections and communities.

To create a Google Plus brand account open the Google Plus Brand page. Give your brand page a name and select ‘enable’. Google Plus will then open within your new brand account. You can create as many brand accounts as you wish, and switch between them and your personal account by clicking on the accounts icon in the top right-hand corner.

You brand account will be totally blank when you set it up. So you will need to spend time editing your brand’s profile page, finding people to follow, creating collections and generally getting your brand set up.

Optimize Your Google Plus Page

Optimize Brand Page

Try and link the branding of your Google Plus page as closely as possible to that of your website. Apart from displaying the same name, use the same logo and images, so the page is immediately recognizable to your fans trying to connect with you on Google Plus.

Under ‘Profile’, select ‘Edit Profile > Manage Page’. Here you can add contact info, links to your website and other social media platforms. Also, click on ‘Story’ to write a description of your business, making sure you include keywords and further links to content on your website.

When creating posts, use keywords you are looking to rank for in the text. Add calls to action, links to your site, and ask questions to engage your followers and start discussions. Hashtags are also used on Google Plus to enable readers to quickly find the content they are after. So always add relevant hashtags at the end of a post to help increase traffic streams to your content.

Join Communities

New Community

Communities are an effective way to connect with others in your niche. Under ‘Discovery’ in the menu bar, you can view the numerous community categories, or search for a specific community in the search bar. You can also create your own communities under ‘Communities > Create Community’.

Joining communities enables you to access your target audience, share posts, chat about relevant topics, and see what subjects are being widely discussed in your industry. Communities are also a great place to get yourself known as an expert in your field, and help increase your followers.

Create Collections

Create a Collection

Creating a variety of ‘Collections’ will enable you to group your content and share it with specific target groups. To create a collection, click on the ‘pencil’ icon in the bottom hand of your ‘Profile’ or ‘Home’ page. Then next to your name, click on the link and select ‘Create a Collection’. It is here you can also choose which collection to post new content too.

Collections and their content can be shared with your ‘Circles’, and followers can choose to follow individual collections. This is a great way to send the right content to the right people, and not overload your followers with irrelevant info.

How to Integrate Your WordPress Website and Google Plus Channel

It is important to make sure you promote your Google Plus page on your WordPress website to encourage your site visitors to follow you. Displaying social media follow buttons and a social feed will help you to accomplish this.

Display Social Media Follow Buttons

Monarch

Monarch from Elegant Themes is an effective social media plugin, that provides stylish follow buttons that can be displayed in various places on your website. Once your visitors have joined you on Google Plus, you will be able to keep in contact with these potential customers, and increase the chances of them re-visiting your website in the future.

Embed a Google Plus Social Feed

Flow-Flow G+ Social Stream

Embedding a social feed into pages or widgets on your WordPress website is another way to appeal to your site visitors. Flow-Flow WordPress Social Stream enables you to display content and discussions from your Google Plus profile page (plus 15 other social networks and feeds) on your website. This will help give your visitors a brief overview of what they are missing if they aren’t following you on Google Plus. Ultimately, using a social feed should lead to an increase in your Google Plus following, and allow you to keep in contact with your audience well after they have left your website.

Final Thoughts on Using Google Plus

As you can see, Google Plus can be a real weapon in your armor, helping to give you a great advantage over your competition. This social media channel will help you promote your website, reach new potential customers, and keep in contact with current followers. Alongside all of this, it will also help improve your rankings in Google. So what are you waiting for… it’s time to sign up with Google Plus!

What is your experience of using Google Plus? Please share your thoughts on this social media channel in the comments below…



Source link

Read more...

How to Customize Search Page Results in WordPress


When you search on a regular search engine like Google, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll come up with no results (unless you search for something utterly nonsensical, but even then…). However, this can happen more regularly than one would like when using a WordPress website’s internal search function.

Many of your website visitors will want to find more information about you, your business, or your products. If they hit a blank page after typing a query into your search bar, however, chances are they will leave your site. This is especially true if they are used to Google or a similar search engine.

Internet users expect certain features from the websites they visit. It’s important that you work with their expectations when it comes to searching. Having a custom search page that includes the items they’re used to will help keep them interested and engaged in your content.

In this post, we will discuss what search results pages are and why they’re important. Then, we’ll outline how to customize your WordPress results page to include the functionality your readers expect to see. Let’s get started!

What WordPress Search Results Pages Are (and Why They Matter)

screenshot-wpexplorer-search-results

Here you can see our own search results page for the term “SEO plugins”.

When one of your readers types a word or phrase into the search box on your WordPress site, they’ll see a page listing all the content that matches their query. This is known as a search results page. Of course, an internal search results page is different from the results you would see on a search engine like Google. For one thing, the internal page will only list items that are available within your site, rather than across the entire internet.

An internal search results page is important for any site that features text content and is accessible through standard search engines. Generally, one of three things will happen when someone lands on your site from a basic internet search. They will immediately find what they are looking for, they will use your built-in search to find the information, or they will leave your site. Therefore, your chance of keeping readers on your site relies on their ability to find what they are looking for quickly. Enabling visitors to search and view results on your site is one of the easiest ways to keep them around for longer.

Why You Should Customize Your WordPress Search Results Pages

Visitors come to your website with certain expectations. While they aren’t looking for the same results they would get from Google, they may expect to see similar features. This can include suggested spellings, content suggestions based on their initial search, and more.

Having a customized search results page can keep your readers engaged with your site and its content, even when their searches come up dry. Plus, you’ll be providing your readers with everything they expect from a standard search engine. By mimicking popular search engines, you can also lower bounce rates on your site.

If done correctly, a custom results page offers several additional benefits. It can:

  • Help visitors find what they are looking for
  • Keep visitors on your site longer
  • Offer related information searchers may not have known they needed
  • Show some personality
  • Show you care about the little things, including being helpful

In the end, customizing your WordPress search results to more closely imitate a traditional search engine creates value for you and your visitors. Best of all, you can accomplish it easily through the use of plugins!

How to Customize Your WordPress Search Results Pages

The versatility of WordPress enables you to easily customize your search results. You can use code to alter the search.php file, for example, or you can use a plugin. We recommend the latter approach, as plugins are easier for most WordPress users to install and maintain.

There are several options you can use to customize your internal search results pages. While you could always dive into the search.php code (though this is best left to experienced users comfortable with PHP and CSS coding), there are several plugins you can use to implement simialr changes. Finding the functionality that works best will depend on you and your site. Small personal sites may benefit from free plugins, while larger sites might need a premium solution.

As always, we also recommend that you back up your WordPress site before making any updates or changes. Let’s dive in!

1. Include or Highlight the Search Term as a Reminder of the Original Search

Search Everything Plugin

One of the best tips I’ve ever heard about internal site search results pages is the closer you can make them look like standard Google search results pages, the better. One way to do this is to include the search term your visitor searched for at the top of the search results page. This is a simple technique to show visitors a search did occur even if it came up empty (and perhaps a typo was the culprit). It also enables your readers to double check that they entered the right phrase, and that they spelled the words correctly.

Search Everything is a free plugin that works with the default search function for WordPress. It will enable users to search every non-password protected page on your site. In addition, if offers functionality that makes it possible to highlight search terms on results pages, providing your users with valuable information.

Include the Search Term on Search Results Pages

To do this manually you will need to start by creating a child theme (if you’re not sure how, checkout our guide on how to create a WordPress child theme).

Next, create a search.php file in your brand new child theme and copy over the code from your old theme (you can find this by either opening up theme files on your server via FTP, or from your WordPress dashboard under Appearance > Editor > Search.php). Now you can replace the default title in your child theme’s search.php with the following:

<h1 class="search-title">
<?php echo $wp_query->found_posts; ?> <?php _e( 'Search Results Found For', 'locale' ); ?>: "<?php the_search_query(); ?>"
</h1>

This will display the title with the count of the posts found followed by the term that was searched. So it would look something like “15 Search Results Found For: My Search Query”.

Highlight the Search Term in Results

Highlight-search-terms-free-wordpress-plugin

Another thing you might want to do is highlight the search term in the search results. This way, when visitors to your site are presented with search results, their search term is highlighted within the individual results. The plugin Highlight Search Terms serves this role well. It’s simple but can help direct your visitors more specifically to what they’re looking for.

2. Add Suggested Spellings in Case of Typos

Relevanssi plugin screenshot

Thanks to the popularity of Google and other search engines, most site visitors expect to see spelling suggestions when they interact with your search function. Adding this feature to your results pages improves the user experience, by helping them find what they’re looking for even if they don’t know how to spell it.

With over 100,000 active installs, Relevanssi is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for search. While Search Everything works with WordPress’s default functionality, Relevanssi replaces the search feature altogether. Its free services are perfect for small or personal sites, while the premium version offers amazing functionality for large and multi-site managers. In addition to its suggested spelling feature, this plugin provides an array of options, including the ability to search tags, comments, and categories.

3. Add Suggested Pages to Maintain Interest in Your Site

WPSOLR screenshot

One of the best ways to use your results pages, aside from providing the searched-for information, is to serve up content that is similar to what users are looking for. If you have ever searched Amazon for a product, you’ve probably seen suggestions for other products based on that search. This method of putting valuable content in front of visitors can boost the amount of time they spend on your site. And by suggesting pages for readers to go to – even if it’s not related to their search query – you can do a lot toward decreasing your bounce rate.

If you are looking for search functionality that behaves the way Amazon or eBay does, we recommend the WPSOLR plugin. It will enable you to present related content to searchers, and much more. WPSOLR is another freemium plugin, and provides enterprise-level features that only improve with the purchase of its premium versions. While this plugin can work for most sites, you may want to consider the premium version for e-commerce or large sites in particular.

nrelate-related-content-plugin-for-wordpress-wpexplorer

Another simple option for this is the Better Search plugin. Once installed, you can insert a heat map for your most popular searches in the form of a widget. This will ensure visitors will be presented with plenty of options for where to go next.

4. Add a Search Box

Another way to keep people on your site and engaged in their searches is to add a search box on the search results page (if there isn’t one already included in your theme header or added to a widget area). This is especially helpful if no results are returned and you wish to prompt users to try a different search query. You can add a search box directly to any page (via your child theme, as mentioned above) by using the core WordPress function “get_search_form();”.

<?php get_search_form( true ); ?>

This will display the searchform as defined by the searchform.php theme file or if one doesn’t exist WordPress will output HTML for a standard search form. You can learn more at the CODEX.

This will make it so your visitors have no excuses for getting off track on your site. When you’re always steering them back in the right direction, you ensure you’re doing your part to enhance people’s experience on your site. And I can assure you right now, that kind of attention to detail doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Conclusion

While many WordPress users think to add the search widget to the sidebar of their sites, a lot forget about what the output of such searches will be. And that’s a major oversight.

You want to make sure every single page of your site is working hard for you – even the search results pages. While most readers may be interested in your home page or core offerings, they probably come to your site looking for something specific. Although your site is likely not a search engine, it’s best to provide the help and functionality visitors are accustom to. You never know how a single page can affect individual users. Present the right visitor with the right information at the right time and you stand to not only keep that visitor on your site for longer but also turn them into a loyal customer.

Have you done any customization on your search results pages? If so, what’s worked best for you? What have you found to be the most effective addition? As always, let me know in the comments.



Source link

Read more...

Mouseflow Heatmap Analytics for WordPress Review


Analyzing heatmaps is a scientific approach to conversion rate optimization for your online store or website. It is a data-backed way to measure the effectiveness of your landing pages, contact forms and purchase funnels. Mouseflow is a freemium heatmap analysis, session replay and recording tool. In this article, we’re going to review Mouseflow by integrating it with our favourite CMS tool – WordPress.

What is a Heatmap?

For those of you who are new to the topic of heatmap analysis, here’s a simple rundown.

Heatmaps are a visual representation of the most active areas of your website. A region which is clicked the most (for example, the Start Here menu item of a blog), would appear red in a heatmap.

Heatmaps in Search Engines

search engine heatmaps

The evolution of heatmaps in 10 years, source: Two Octobers

Let’s take the example of a heatmap in a search engine.

In Google (or any search engine for that matter), the first three search results are the most clicked links. As a result, that region is represented in red in a heatmap, since it’s the “most active” or “hot” region in the heatmap. The links that follow (i.e. the fifth, sixth, etc.) links have diminishing number of clicks, and have “cooler” colours (orange to yellow to green to blue) in the heatmap.

The screenshot above is a representation of how heatmaps has evolved over a period of ten years. Back in 2005, they used to call it the “holy triangle”, which meant that the first few letters of the first two links commanded most of the searcher’s attention.

Ten years down the line, we’ve trained our eyes to scan the first few words of the top 5-6 links. This gives us the rectangle-like heatmap that we see in the right hand side of the screenshot.

What is Session Recording and Replay?

Heatmaps give us a good look into the most active or most clicked regions of the website. Wouldn’t it be to cool to actually see how a visitor interacted with your website?

The movement of the mouse is a strong indicator as to where the attention of the visitor is, in the website.

Session Recording is the perfect solution. A session is essentially the entire activity done by the visitor in a single visit. This includes the time from which the website was loaded to the time the tab (or window) was closed. Mouseflow records the the individual sessions of your website visitors and allows you to play them, anytime from your browser.

Playing a recorded session is called Session Replay. It’s actually a video of the entire interaction of the visitor with the website. This includes typed information (passwords are always hidden), form interactions, clicks and all other activity.

The Benefits of Session Recording and Replay

Session Recording and Replay is an indispensable tool in user-interaction testing, A/B testing and usability testing – all with the live users.

Let’s take an example of an ebook download page. It’s a classic use-case in lead generation, where you give the user something (in this case the ebook), in return for their email address and permission to send emails to them. A session recording would show how your users are interacting with the form, how many people actually end up filling the form, the number of fields a user fills, before dropping off, etc.

There are tons of other use cases where session recording, replay and heatmaps are used for conversion rate optimization. In this review, we’ll cover the top five features Mouseflow has to offer:

  1. Heatmaps
  2. Session recording
  3. Session replay
  4. Form session recording
  5. Feedback gathering

We’ll cover each of the topics in detail in the following sections.

The Mouseflow Dashboard

mouseflow heatmaps analytics dashboard

A bird’s eye view of the Mouseflow Dashboard

Mouseflow’s dashboard gives you a bird’s eye view of your recent session recordings and your popular heatmaps. The chart represents the number of sessions recorded, and is proportional to the traffic your website gets.

Heatmaps

Mouseflow’s heatmaps analytics supports five distinct dimensions, including click heatmap, movement heatmap, scroll heatmap and geographic heatmap. We’ll evaluate a single page containing a contact form, and test it across each of the five types of heatmap.

Click Heatmaps

A click heatmap represents the regions that receives the highest number of clicks. Each page will have its own unique heatmap representation. For example, in page containing a contact form, the Submit button would register the highest number of clicks.

click heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress

Screenshot of a Click Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow

This is a screenshot of the click heatmap of a demo website, I built for this tutorial. Since I’ve only submitted the contact form thrice, it registers three clicks. Three is a very small number to be considered in a heatmap, which is why it’s highlighted in blue.

Movement Heatmap

movement heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress

Screenshot of a Movement Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow

The movement heatmap represents the regions of the website with the highest movement. In the screenshot, you’ll notice the blue patches, which represents low activity.

Attention Heatmap

The Attention Heatmap is an interesting metric. It represents those areas where users spends the maximum amount of time.

Let’s take this screenshot to explain.

attention heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress

Screenshot of an Attention Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow

The region in green has an average time spent of 10.2 seconds, whereas the regions in red have an average time spent of 21 seconds. This suggests that the site visitors are spending a significant portion of their time on site in the red region. In our case that’s the contact form.

How to Use Attention Heatmaps to improve Sales Page Copy?

The attention heatmap can be an excellent tool to measure where your visitors are spending most of their time. If you’re writing a long sales page, you want your readers to actually read the page from the top (spend most of their time there), followed by the testimonials, and click on the Buy Now button.

Hence, the top bit of your sales page should ideally be red, in an Attention heatmap.

If your visitors are not reading the first few lines of your sales page, it’s a clear indicator that your pitch and copy needs work.

Scroll Heatmap

A scroll heatmap represents the most scrolled regions in your website. Your website visitors would tend to quickly scroll down from the header and reach the bit where the content it.

The scroll heatmap is complementary to the attention heatmap. When the attention is high, the scroll is low. You know someone has skimmed through your copy when you see a red region in the scroll heatmap. The yellow to green regions in a scroll heatmap indicates the bits in your copy which your visitors find interesting or useful. Used correctly, the scroll heatmap can be an excellent tool to improving your landing page copy.

scroll heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress

Screenshot of a Scroll Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow

However, in our tutorial, I’ve scrolled all over the place, which is why it’s all marked in red. You’d notice that the footer region is in blue, indicating minimal scroll activity.

How many sessions should I record?

Mouseflow gives you the option of choosing how many sessions are recorded, out of the traffic. For example, if your input is ⅓, then one out of every three visitor’s session will be recorded. In other words, 30% of your traffic’s session would be recorded.

This is important in terms of planning your usage. Each recorded session is a credit. Depending on the plan you purchase, you would have to adjust the percentage of recorded traffic, from your total traffic.

A simple way to estimate this number is to lookup your Google Analytics traffic report. For instance, if you get 1000 unique visits per month, and you want to record, say 500 sessions, then you would configure Mouseflow to record one out of every two visitors, i.e. 50% of the traffic.

Geographic Heatmap

geo heatmap in mouseflow for wordpress

Screenshot of a Geo Heatmap in WordPress, created using Mouseflow

The geographic heatmap highlights the countries where most of your visitors come from. This data is available in most analytics software such as Google Analytics or Kissmetrics. The screenshot above is from the demo site, which is why only India is highlighted.

Funnels

ebook download funnel in mouseflow for wordpress

Example of an eBook download funnel in WordPress, created by Mouseflow

A funnel is a series of steps a visitor takes in order to complete an action in your website.

Let’s say that you want your visitors to download a copy of your latest ebook, in exchange for their email address. That’s a classic lead generation campaign, aided by an ebook download.

The action you want your visitors to complete is downloading the ebook. This action has one or more steps involved.

To keep things simple, let’s consider two steps (or pages) in this action.

  1. The first page is where the visitor reads about the offering and enters the email address.
  2. The second page is a confirmation page, where the visitor sees download/ buttons for the PDF.

Thus, the funnel for the eBook download contains of two steps, as shown in the screenshot below.

ebook download funnel in mouseflow for wordpress - setup

Creating a new funnel for ebook download in WordPress using Mouseflow

Mouseflow measures the drop-off rate at each stage in the funnel. In our example, we haven’t downloaded the ebook, and have left the website after viewing the first (landing) page.

ebook download funnel in mouseflow for wordpress - conversion rate

Conversion rate of an ebook download funnel in Mouseflow

This screenshot tells us that the landing page has received 5 visitors, none of whom made it to the confirmation page.

How to Optimize Conversion Rate using Funnels in Mouseflow?

Funnels enable you to track how your visitors are behaving in your site. They are incredibly useful in discovering the leaking areas in your conversion funnel. Once you identify the the leaking page, you know the area of your problem. You can then optimize the copy of the page (or in some cases, remove the page altogether) to see if the drop-off rates decrease.

Forms

how to track a form in wordpress using mouseflow

Tracking forms in WordPress using Mouseflow

Mouseflow enables you to track how visitors interact with your forms in WordPress. This is especially helpful in B2B lead generation and content marketing, where the cost per lead is significantly higher, compared to B2C website/product.

Let us consider the WPExplorer Test Form that I’ve built for this tutorial.

form segmentation in mouseflow wordpress

Segmentation of fields in a tracked form in Mouseflow

This screenshot tells us that there were two visitors to the form’s page, and the maximum time was spent in the email address field. You’ll also note that the conversion rate is 0% since, I did not actually submit the form after filling it up.

How to Improve Form Completion Rate using Mouseflow?

Using Mouseflow, you’ll be able to figure out the data-intensive fields in your form, and measure the time taken to fill a typical form. If the number of fields in your form is too high, or worse, irrelevant, you might notice your visitors dropping off at those particular fields, within the form. With Mouseflow, you’ll be able to identify those fields and optimize around them, to ultimately increase the completion rate of your form.

How to Track a Form in WordPress using Mouseflow?

Tracking a form in WordPress using Mouseflow involves a few steps:

  1. First, setup your form in WordPress and copy the URL
  2. Goto the Forms page in your Mouseflow dashboard and click on New Form.
  3. Paste the URL you copied in Step 1.
  4. Mouseflow will automatically recognize the form from the page, along with all it’s fields.
  5. You can assign a name to each field in the form, such that it’s easier to track.
  6. Finally, hit Create Form to start tracking the form interactions.

Feedback

Mouseflow enables you to create beautiful, non-intrusive feedback campaigns for your website visitors. After all, listening to your readers/customers is a sureshot way of improving your site.

Here’s how a typical feedback campaign looks like:

feedback campaign in mouseflow wordpress

Feedback campaign in WordPress created using Mouseflow

Once you complete the survey, this is the confirmation page.

feedback campaign in mouseflow wordpress

Confirmation/Thank you page for the feedback campaign

How to Create a Feedback Campaign in WordPress using Mouseflow?

Now let’s see how one can create a feedback campaign in Mouseflow.

Login to you Mouseflow dashboard and click on Feedback from the left menu and click on Add New Campaign.

Creating a new Feedback Campaign in Mouseflow

You can add as many questions as you need, with a minimum of one question. The answer options include multiple choice, text paragraph (small/large) or a Net Promoter Score.

You can see a preview of the questions and answer options on the right.

Finally, you define the content of the success page and click on Next.

Triggers in the Feedback Campaign

Triggers define when and where each feedback campaign is shown. Mouseflow offers a range of options for you to define your triggers. For example, in the above screenshot:

  1. The feedback campaign would load as soon as the page loads.
  2. It would load for all visitors, regardless of the fact whether they are registered or other segmented users.
  3. The campaign loads in all pages (although it’s a good idea not to show it in the login page!)
  4. An important option – the campaign form is shown only once per user.

Once you’ve defined the triggers, click Next to proceed.

Kill switch for a Feedback Campaign in Mouseflow

Finally, you can choose activate the campaign, immediately after creation.

However, it’s a good idea to first test the campaign in the live site, by limiting it to a non-indexed, or least-popular page, and see if the data is collected properly. Once you’ve verified that the campaign works, you can deploy it site-wide.

What I like about Mouseflow

Mouseflow’s intuitive interface and multiple tracking options makes it a great start for heatmap analytics.

The Freemium Model

mouseflow pricing

Mouseflow Pricing Model

Mouseflow operates on a freemium model, providing you with 200 free credits, every month.

Each credit is equivalent to one recorded session. However, credits are capped at 200 per month, which means if you haven’t use it, you lose it.

Similar to MailChimp (my favourite email service provider), Mouseflow gives me the flexibility to try the service before committing to it. Also, compared to the other heatmap analytics services, Mouseflow has a pretty competitive pricing strategy.

Built-in WordPress Compatibility

mouseflow wordpress plugin

Mouseflow plugin dashboard in WordPress

Mouseflow supports integrations with multiple tools (more on this later), including WordPress. To start tracking your WordPress site with Mouseflow, simply download the Mouseflow for WordPress plugin and activate it.

A new entry called Mouseflow should appear in the left bar in your WordPress dashboard.

adding website tracking code in mouseflow in wordpress

Inserting Mouseflow’s tracking code in WordPress

Click on Tracking Code to insert the tracking code in your WordPress site. You can find the tracking code information for the site from your Mouseflow account, under Settings.

website settings in mouseflow for wordpress

Site information in Mouseflow

Once done, Mouseflow will start recording your sessions in your WordPress site.

Other Cool Stuff

Mouseflow’s New User Onboarding Process

I like Mouseflow’s new user onboarding process, which acquainted me to all the various options in the dashboard. I was up and running in less than 10 minutes, without referring the knowledge base. They also have some cool training videos, neatly organized under six categories.

Third-party Integration 

Mouseflow integrates with over thirty third-party software

Mouseflow supports multiple third-party integrations, ranging from CMS to marketing software to advanced tag management software. At the time of writing, Mouseflow supports 30 native integrations, grouped under six major categories:

  1. Content Management Systems: Other than WordPress, Mouseflow integrates with Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, and good ol’ HTML5 websites. It also integrates with popular site-builders such as Squarespace and Weebly. Wix is yet to get a dedicated integration.
  2. E-Commerce: Mouseflow integrates with leading open-source e-commerce software such as Prestashop, Magento, 3dcart and popular paid solutions such as Shopify.
  3. Analytics: You can integrate Mouseflow’s data with popular analytics software such as Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and specialised ones such as Kissmetrics and Coremetrics.
  4. Marketing: Mouseflow supports leading marketing software such as Hubspot, Instapage, Unbounce, Optimizely, and others.
  5. Customer Service: Real-time, helpful customer support is a cornerstone requirement for a successful business and its long-term stability. Mouseflow also integrates with leading customer support and helpdesk software such as Zendesk, Olark, Freshdesk and Zopim.
  6. Tag Management: Attribution is key to measuring your marketing efforts and ROI. There are advanced tag management software such as Segment.io and Google Tag Manager. Mouseflow natively integrates with these, along with Ensighten and Tealium.

Besides this, Mouseflow also has a powerful REST API, using which you can access data from any custom portal.

Mouseflow Clientele

Mouseflow has some kick-ass clientele

Mouseflow is used by some of the biggest names in the industry including Hubspot, Optimizely and Intuit. At the time of writing, their customer base is over 100,000.

Wrapping Up

Website analytics is a booming field in today’s attention-deficit economy. Millions of dollars are poured into funding new research and solutions for analytics and attribution. Mouseflow is a perfect start for any marketer to get acquainted with the basics of heatmap analytics.

Let’s take a quick summary of what we’ve covered so far:

  1. What are heatmaps?
  2. How session recording and replay helps in user behaviour analysis
  3. Mouseflow’s capabilities including heatmaps (click, movement, attention, scroll and geo), funnels, forms and feedback campaigns.
  4. How to setup WordPress and Mouseflow
  5. Cools things about Mouseflow, including its 30+ third-party integration and forever-free plan.

As always I leave you with a question. Are you using heatmap analytics in your site? If so, which software are you using? Is is functionally better than Mouseflow? Let us know in the comments below!



Source link

Read more...