Tag - wordpress

How to Create a Photo Contest in WordPress (Step by Step)


Do you want to run a photo contest in WordPress? Photo contests are a great way to build user engagement and quickly get lots of new visitors to your website.

Photo contests require users to submit a photo to join the contest or giveaway. Active user participation makes them highly engaging and quite fun.

You can run photo contests on almost any kind of website including business websites, online stores, WordPress blog, etc.

In this article, we’ll show you step by step instructions to easily create a photo contest in WordPress.

Easily create a photo contest in WordPress

Step 1. Install and Activate RafflePress

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

You’ll need at least their Pro plan to access the image submit feature.

RafflePress is the best WordPress giveaway / contest plugin on the market. It allows you to easily run viral contests on your website, so you can increase your traffic, email subscribers, and social media followers.

It comes with built-in social actions and integrates with all top email marketing platforms.

Note: RafflePress plugin was built our team, so we can use it on WPBeginner. Due to popular request, we have released it as a plugin for everyone.

Once you have activated RafflePress, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled RafflePress to your WordPress admin sidebar. Clicking on it will take you to the plugin’s settings.

First, you’ll need to enter your plugin license key. You can find this information under your account on the RafflePress website.

Add RafflePress license key

Simply enter the license key and click the ‘Verify license’ button. RafflePress will verify and store your licensing information.

After that, you can move on to create your photo contest.

Step 2. Create Your First Contest

After setting up the plugin, you need to visit RafflePress » Add New page to create your first contest.

RafflePress will launch its contest builder interface. First, you need to enter a title for this campaign and then select a template.

Add a title and select template for your campaign

The templates are pre-made campaigns based on your business goals. You can start with a template and customize it to match your needs. You can also choose the classic template to start with a basic campaign.

We’ll go ahead and select the Classic Template.

On the next screen, click on the prize title to enter your prize details and image.

Enter prize details

After that, you need to select the contest duration under the Start and End time. You can select the date, time, and timezone for your contest duration.

Campaign duration

So far so good.

Now, let’s add some actions. These are the things you want users to do in order to join your contest giveaway.

Switch to the ‘Actions’ tab and you will see a list of actions that you can add to your contest.

For a photo contest giveaway, you would want to add ‘Submit an image’ action.

Submit an image action

Simply click to add the action to your contest. RafflePress will now show you action settings in the left column.

Image action settings

You can provide a title for the action and select the number of entries users will be rewarded for completing it.

You can also make an entry mandatory and even allow users to submit daily entries. Below that, you can provide additional instructions on how users can participate.

Now let’s add some more actions to your contest. This will enable you to stay in touch with those users and build a following.

RafflePress allows you to add social media actions like visit Facebook page, send a tweet, follow on Instagram, and more.

You can also connect your email marketing service to grow your email list.

Step 3. Design Your Photo Contest

RafflePress gives you easy to use design tools to customize the appearance of your photo contest widget.

Simply switch to the Design tab, and you will see options to choose a layout, button color, and fonts for your campaign.

Design your photo contest

If you plan to run the photo contest as a standalone landing page vs embedding it in a blog post, page, or a sidebar widget, then you can also choose the page background color.

RafflePress allows you to add your giveaway to any WordPress post or page. You can also create a custom landing page for your photo contest by using any of the top WordPress page builders and adding your giveaway contest widget there. (more on this later).

Step 4. Configure Contest Settings

After tweaking the design options, switch to the ‘Settings’ tab under the builder to review other settings.

They are all very self-explanatory, but we’ll go through them one by one.

General settings

First, you’ll review the general settings. If you wanted to create a standalone photo contest page, then you can do that here. Provide a name for your campaign page under the Page Permalink option without any spaces.

You can also show and hide the number of entries, contest winners, and the powered by link.

Next, switch to the ‘Giveaway Rules’ tab. This is where you’ll list the rules for joining the giveaway. You can start by clicking on the ‘Generate Rules’ button to automatically generate rules using a sample template.

Generate contest rules

After that, switch to the email verification. From here you can tun email verification on and off. Turning this on would make it compulsory for users to confirm their email address.

Email verification

If you want to add Google Analytics or other tracking codes like Facebook pixel, then switch to the ‘Success Tracking’ tab. Here you can add those codes and track users for on-site and off-site retargeting.

Success tracking

Next comes the Success Redirect tab. This is where you can tell RafflePress to redirect users to a specific page after they have joined the contest.

Success redirect

Finally, you can turn the social login feature On/Off from the social logins tab.

That’s all you have completed the photo contest setup. Don’t forget to click on the Save button to store your campaign.

Step 5. Add Photo Contest Widget to Your Website

RafflePress offers multiple ways to add your contest campaign anywhere on your website.

You can simply edit a post or page or create a new one, and then add the RafflePress block to the Gutenberg editor.

Add RafflePress block

After that, you need to select the giveaway contest you created earlier. RafflePress block will now load a preview of your giveaway widget inside the WordPress content editor.

Giveaway contest widget

You can also add your giveaway by using the shortcode. This comes in handy when you want to display the contest in a sidebar widget, add it to your page builder layout, or use it in the Classic Editor.

Simply edit your giveaway and switch to the ‘Publish’ tab in the builder interface. From here, click on the shortcode option and RafflePress will show the shortcode you can use.

Copy shortcode

Copy the shortcode and edit the post or page where you want to display the giveaway. Simply paste the shortcode inside the post editor and you are done.

If you want to display it in a sidebar widget, then go to Appearance » Widgets page and add a Text widget to your sidebar.

Add shortcode widget

After that, simply paste the shortcode inside the widget settings and click the save button.

You can now visit your website to see the photo contest widget in the sidebar.

Photo contest widget in sidebar

Step 6. Publicize Your Photo Contest Giveaway

For a successful photo contest, you’ll need to plan ahead. Start promoting the event beforehand through social media, a blog post, and your email newsletter.

You can also add a countdown timer banner to create FOMO effect and build anticipation.

We recommend adding the contest widget to your sidebar because it allows users to see it before the contest begins.

Step 7. Announcing The Photo Contest Winners

Once you have added the photo contest giveaway to your website, it would automatically go live at the date and time you choose.

After that, you can go to RafflePress » Giveaways and click on the Image Entries link below your photo contest campaign.

Image entries

You’ll now see all the images submitted to the contest. You can pick the winners or let RafflePress choose a winner randomly.

Again go back to the RafflePress » Giveaways page and click on the Need Winners link next to your giveaway.

Random winners

RafflePress will now randomly select a winner for your giveaway.

Winner selected

You can now notify the winner via email and let them know how to claim their prize.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily create a photo contest in WordPress. You may also want to see our other practical tips to quickly get more traffic to your WordPress blog.

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



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What’s New in WordPress 5.3 (Features and Screenshots)


WordPress 5.3 was released just a few hours ago. It will be the last major WordPress release of 2019.

This release is packed with some new features and lots of improvements including a brand new default theme.

In this article, we will show you what’s new in WordPress 5.3 and which features you should try after updating your websites.

What's new in WordPress 5.3

WordPress 5.3 is a major release, and unless you are on a managed WordPress hosting service, you’ll have to manually initiate the update.

Important: Don’t forget to create a complete WordPress backup before starting the update.

A Design and User Interface Upgrade

WordPress 5.3 comes with several changes in the overall appearance of the WordPress user interface. These changes are not highly noticeable, but they bring coherency to the overall appearance of the admin area.

Form fields in WordPress 5.3 UI

The new user interface adds borders around form fields to make them more noticeable. It also improves the accessibility of the WordPress admin area to make it a good experience for all users.

Twenty Twenty The New Default WordPress Theme

WordPress traditionally releases a new default theme each year which is usually named after the year. WordPress 5.3 now ships with Twenty Twenty as the new default WordPress theme.

Twenty Twenty the new default theme in WordPress 5.3

This new theme is designed to take full advantage of the WordPress block editor. It allows you to easily create beautiful content layouts for your articles and pages.

Twenty Twenty uses the Inter typeface (font), which looks great for headlines. It also looks great on smaller screens and provides a better reading experience across devices.

It is a single column WordPress theme which means there is no sidebar for your blog posts or pages. It does have a widget ready area at the bottom.

You can also use the cover or the fullwidth template with your posts and pages. The full-width template works really well not just with block editor but also with other page builder plugins.

Overall, this is a beautiful theme suitable for both business websites as well as personal blogs.

New Features in The WordPress Block Editor

In 2018, WordPress released a new editor interface code-named ‘Gutenberg’. This new WordPress content editor, completely changed the writing interface in WordPress.

Subsequent WordPress releases has continued to improve upon it, and WordPress 5.3 will come with tons of enhancements to the block editor.

Here are a few block editor changes in WordPress 5.3 that you’d find useful.

The Group Block

The group block allows you to group blocks together. This handy block helps you organize your layout by dividing it into different groups.

Adding group block in WordPress 5.3

You can set the group width to be wide or full-width, and choose a background color for the group container.

You can add new blocks into a blank group or select multiple blocks, and add them to the group. This allows you to interact with these blocks together. For example, you can put different blocks into one group, and then save it as a reusable block.

The Columns Block

Columns provide another way to create interesting layouts in the WordPress editor. WordPress 5.3 comes with some major changes to the columns block.

First, you can set a layout for columns and adjust their width.

Adjusting columns width

Secondly, you can set an individual column to be wider, and the rest of the columns will automatically adjust.

The placeholder to add blocks inside a column is now clearly visible making it easier to use.

You can also set vertical alignment for columns. This means you no longer need to add spaces for proper alignment of content in each column.

Vertical alignment

Improved Button Block

WordPress 5.3 makes it easier to add button in posts or pages with an improved button block which will allow you to select border-radius yourself.

New button block

You can also open button links in a new window and make it nofollow if needed.

Block Previews

The block editor in WordPress 5.3 shows a block preview. However, the preview is only available when you are using the Add new block icon on the top.

Block preview in WordPress 5.3

Heading Colors

WordPress 5.3, now lets you choose a color for sub-headings inside your articles.

Change heading colors

Reorder Gallery Images

The new and improved gallery block in WordPress 5.3 allows you to reorder images inside the gallery.

Reorder gallery images

Image Block Styles

Image block now lets you choose a style for your images. Currently, it ships with two styles: Default and Circle mask.

Image block settings in WordPress 5.3

Improved Table Block

Table block in WordPress 5.3 has some much-needed improvements. You can now select styles and add stripes to table rows. You can also add header and footer rows.

Table block

Improved Latest Posts

Previously, the latest posts block only added a list of links to recent posts. WordPress 5.3 allows to add the latest posts with excerpts and display them in a grid layout.

Latest Posts in WordPress 5.3

It does not show featured images for the latest posts. For an alternative method, see our guide on how to show recent posts with thumbnails.

The Block Editor is Now Even Faster

The WordPress editor relies heavily on PHP and JavaScript. While PHP only runs on your WordPress hosting server, JavaScript runs on your user’s browser.

A big task for the WordPress core team is to keep the editor interface smooth and responsive no matter how many blocks and content you add.

In WordPress 5.3, the block editor team has shaved off 1.5 seconds of loading time while testing with 1000 blocks and 36,000 words long post.

Improved Image Uploads in WordPress 5.3

Previously when you uploaded large images from your phone or camera, there was always a chance that your server would time out before the upload could finish.

WordPress 5.3 has addressed this issue. It will now automatically save the image creation process and allow you to resume uploads without breaking anything.

WordPress also fixed the image rotation issue using the EXIF metadata which is something added by your camera or phone to the original image.

You can now use very large image sizes in WordPress posts and pages.

Improved Site Health Reports in WordPress 5.3

WordPress introduced a site health score feature with WordPress 5.1. This helped website owners improve WordPress speed and performance and address common WordPress security issues.

It showed a site health score in percentages, which was a bit arbitrary and confusing to beginners. WordPress 5.3 has replaced it with a status message like ‘Should be improved’ and ‘Good’.

Site Health score in WordPress 5.3

Show Password Button on Login Screen

WordPress 5.3 adds a show password button on the WordPress login screen. This is a really handy tool and makes it easier to type complex passwords, or see that you have entered a password correctly.

WordPress Admin Email Address Verification

Previously, WordPress allowed you to simply change the admin email address from Settings » General page.

This address is very important as WordPress sends password reset and other notification emails to the address.

WordPress 5.3, now makes it mandatory to verify the new email address to ensure that you don’t miss those future emails.

Verify site admin email address

Note: Please make sure that you’re using a WordPress SMTP plugin, so your WordPress site emails actually make it to your inbox. See our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

Under The Hood Changes

WordPress 5.3 brings ton of features and improvements targeted towards developers. The following are some of the most significant under the hood changes.

WordPress 5.3 offers a better way to discourage search engines from indexing a website when you check the option ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this website’ option. (#43590)

Improved compatability with PHP 7.4. (#47441, #47704, #47746, #47783)

Better handling of date and timezone functionality, which will allow developers to use them more efficiently in their projects. (See details)

On a WordPress multisite network, developers can filter sites by status. (#37392, #37684)

Multisite will now store database version as meta (#41685)

We hope this guide helped you explore what’s new in WordPress 5.3. We are particularly excited about the block editor improvements in this release.

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



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How to Create a Dropdown Menu in WordPress (Beginners Guide)


Do you want to make a dropdown menu and add it to your WordPress website?

A dropdown menu shows a list of links as you take your mouse over an item on the menu.

We use a dropdown menu on WPBeginner, go ahead and take your mouse over the navigation menu on top.

In this beginner’s guide, we will show you how to easily create a dropdown menu in WordPress with step by step instructions.

Creating a dropdown menu in WordPress

Why Use Dropdown Menus in WordPress?

WordPress comes with a built-in menu management system that allows you to easily add navigation menus to your WordPress site.

Navigation menus are links to the main pages of your website that usually appear on the top as a horizontal row right next to the website’s logo.

Typical navigation menu with a horizontal row of links

If you are starting a blog or creating a website with only a few pages, then you can add them in the single row.

However, if you run an online store or a large website, then you may want to add more links to the navigation menu.

Dropdown menus help you solve the limited space issue by showing menu links only when users bring their mouse over to a parent item. They also allow you to organize the menu structure by topics or hierarchy.

Dropdown menu example

Lastly, they look pretty nice too.

That being said, now let’s take a look at how you can easily create WordPress dropdown menus add them to your website.

Step 1. Choosing a Theme with Dropdown Menu Support

WordPress comes with a built-in menu management system but displaying those menus is entirely dependent on your WordPress theme.

Almost all WordPress themes support dropdown menus by default. However, some themes may not have proper menu support.

You need to make sure that you are using a WordPress theme that supports dropdown menus.

How do you know if the theme you are using supports the dropdown menu?

You can simply visit the theme’s website where you’ll find a link to the theme’s demo. From there you can see if the demo is showing a dropdown menu in the navigation menu.

If it is not, then you’ll need to find a WordPress theme that does.

See our guide on how to choose the perfect WordPress theme for your website.

Here are a few excellent themes that support the dropdown menu out of the box.

  • Astra – It is a multipurpose WordPress theme that comes with several starter sites and tons of features.
  • StudioPress themes – Built on top of genesis theme framework, these professional themes are highly optimized for performance.
  • OceanWP – A popular WordPress theme that is suitable for all kind of websites.
  • Ultra – Powered by Themify builder this drag and drop WordPress theme comes with beautiful templates and flexible theme options.
  • Divi – popular theme by Elegant Themes that uses the Divi page builder and comes with tons of drag & drop features including dropdown menus.

That being said, now let’s take a look at how to create a dropdown WordPress menu.

Step 1. Creating a Navigation Menu in WordPress

If you have already set up a navigation menu on your website, then you can skip to the next step.

Let’s create a simple menu first.

Go to Appearance » Menus page and click on the ‘Create a new menu’ link at the top.

Create a menu

Next, you need to provide a name for your navigation menu. This name will not be publicly visible on your website. The purpose of menu name is to help you identify the menu inside the WordPress admin area.

Menu name

Enter a name for your menu and then click on the ‘Create Menu’ button.

WordPress will now create a new empty menu for you.

Let’s add the top links to the navigation menu. These items will appear in the top row of your menu.

Simply select the pages you want to add from the left column and click on the ‘Add to menu’ button. You can also select blog posts, categories, or add custom links.

Add pages to menu

You will now see those pages appear in the right column under your new menu.

Step 2. Adding Sub-Items to a Menu

Sub-items are the items that will appear inside the dropdown menu. Depending on how you want to organize your menus, you can add them under any of the existing items.

For the sake of this tutorial, we will be adding categories under the blog link.

Simply select the items you want to add from the left column and then click on the ‘Add to menu’ button. Your items will now appear in the right column.

New menu items added to the menu

However, these links will appear as regular items. We need to make them a sub-item of a parent menu.

You can simply drag and drop a menu item and place it under the parent item. Move it slightly to the right, and it will become a sub-item.

Adding sub menu items to create a dropdown menu

Repeat the process for all links you want to show under the dropdown menu.

Once you are done, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save menu’ button to store your changes.

Step 3. Publish Your Dropdown Menu

If you are editing a menu that’s already live on your website, then it will start appearing on your website right away.

However, if it is a new menu item, then you now need to choose a theme location to display this menu.

WordPress themes can show menus at different locations. Each theme defines their own menu locations, and you can select which menu you want to display there.

You’ll find this option in the right column under ‘Menu settings’. Select an option next to the ‘Display location’ setting and click on the ‘Save menu’ button.

Choose theme location

You can now visit your website to see your dropdown menu in action.

Dropdown menu preview

Tips on Creating Interactive Dropdown Menus

Navigation menus are important because this is the first place your users will look if they want to see specific information.

Using them correctly will help your users find their way around your website. It will also help you get more pageviews, conversions, and sales on your website.

Here are a few tips on making your navigation menus more interactive with dropdown menus.

1. You can create multi-level dropdown menus

Making a link a sub-item of another link makes it appear in the dropdown menu. You can also add a sub-item below another sub-item to create multi-level dropdown menus.

Multi level menus

Your theme would automatically show them as a sub-menu inside the dropdown.

Multi-level dropdown menu

2. You can also create multiple dropdown menus

You can create a dropdown under any top link in your menu. You can even add multiple dropdown menus in your main navigation menu.

Multiple dropdown menus in the primary menu

3. Create menus with a live preview

If your menu gets too complicated, then you can switch to the visual preview. Go to Appearance » Customize to launch the live theme customizer.

From there, click on the ‘Menus’ tab and then select your navigation menu. You’ll now see a drag and drop menu editor in the left column with a live preview of your site in the right panel.

Customize WordPress menus with a live preview

4. Creating a large mega menu as dropdown in WordPress

The dropdown menus only show one dropdown at a time. What if you wanted to show the full structure of your website as a mega menu that only appears when users hover on the main menu?

Mega menu example

Mega menus do appear as a dropdown menu, but they can show a lot more links, sub-menus, and more. For detailed instructions, see our step by step tutorial on how to create a mega menu in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily create a dropdown menu in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide how to create a sticky floating navigation menu in WordPress and how to add image icons to navigation menus in WordPress.

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

The post How to Create a Dropdown Menu in WordPress (Beginners Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Add a Facebook Giveaway in WordPress to Boost Engagement


Do you want to boost engagement on your website while increasing your Facebook followers?

If your answer is yes, then you need to run a Facebook contest. A giveaway can help direct users’ attention to your Facebook page and help you get more likes / followers on Facebook.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to properly add a Facebook giveaway in WordPress to boost engagement and get more likes / views.

Creating a Facebook giveaway on your WordPress website

Why Run a Facebook Giveaway in WordPress?

Facebook’s policies do not allow you to giveaway prizes for getting likes.

However, these policies do not restrict you from sending visitors to your Facebook page or group from your website.

Running a giveaway on your WordPress website enables you to point users to your Facebook page, which ultimately results in more followers and engagement on your Facebook page.

Giveaways also allow you to add other engagement metrics simultaneously such as asking users to join your email newsletter, viewing your Instagram profile, watching your YouTube video, and more.

Giveaways and contests can go viral due to the social sharing actions, which increase your reach and help you find new users.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily run a Facebook giveaway in WordPress to get more likes and engagements.

Running a Facebook Giveaway in WordPress

For this tutorial, we’ll be using RafflePress. It is the best WordPress giveaway plugin on the market.

RafflePress makes it easy to design your giveaway using a drag and drop builder. You can add prize photo, choose dates, select winners randomly, and use templates to quickly launch new giveaway campaigns.

It comes with social actions to direct your users to your social media channels including Facebook. You can make an action mandatory to join a giveaway. It also comes with social logins and integrates with all popular email marketing platforms.

RafflePress was co-founded by WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, to help us boost engagement on our own site, and it works really well.

With that said, let’s start your first Facebook giveaway campaign.

Step 1. Creating Your First Facebook Giveaway Campaign

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

You can also use the RafflePress lite plugin for free, but for the sake of this tutorial, we will be showing the Pro version.

Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled RafflePress to your WordPress admin sidebar.

Clicking on it will take you to the plugin’s settings, and you’ll be asked to enter your license key. You can find this information under your account on the RafflePress website.

RafflePress license key

After that, you need to visit RafflePress » Add New to launch the giveaway builder.

First, you need to provide a title for your giveaway and then choose a template. RafflePress comes with several pre-made templates for specific campaigns including one for growing your Facebook page.

Giveaway template

This will launch the giveaway builder with select actions users need to perform to join the contest. You can still add / remove actions to your giveaway (more on this later).

Facebook template

By default, the template will add login with the Facebook button, visit us on Facebook, and View a Facebook post or video actions.

Let’s start customizing this giveaway by adding our Prize details. Simply click on the edit icon next to the Prize title from the left column.

First, you need to provide a title for the prize. After that, you can provide a brief description and add a picture of the prize.

Note: Need help finding prize ideas? Here are 105 proven contest prize ideas for viral giveaways.

Just below the title, you’ll be able to select the start and end dates for the giveaway.

Campaign start and end date

Step 2. Adding More Actions to Your Facebook Giveaway

Now that you have done the basic set up for the giveaway, let’s add some more ways for users to join the giveaway.

You need to switch to the ‘Actions’ tab in the giveaway builder and start adding actions to your giveaway.

Adding actions to your Facebook giveaway

For example, you can ask users to join your email list, view your Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter profile, send a Tweet, visit a page or a WooCommerce product on your store, and so on.

Simply click on an action and add it to your giveaway. The builder will then show you specific settings for that particular action.

Action settings

From here you need to provide a title for the action which users will see on the action button in your giveaway.

After that, you need to assign a value to the action. The value is the number of entries users will earn for performing an action. For example, if you are trying to get more likes on Facebook, then you would want to give more weight to your Facebook actions.

Below that, you have a choice to make an action mandatory. Users will not be able to participate in your Facebook contest if they don’t perform the mandatory action.

Finally, you’ll have action-specific settings such as providing your Facebook page URL, Facebook group link, or connecting to your email service.

Step 3: Design your Facebook Giveaway to Stand out

RafflePress gives you easy to use design tools to customize the appearance of your giveaway campaigns.

Simply switch to the Design tab, and you will see options to choose a layout, button color, and fonts for your giveaway.

Design your Facebook giveaway campaign

If you plan to use the giveaway as a standalone landing page vs embedding it in a blog post, page, or a sidebar widget, then you can also choose the page background color.

RafflePress allows you to add your giveaway to any WordPress post or page. You can also create a custom landing page for your Facebook giveaway contest by using your favorite WordPress page builder and simply add your giveaway widget there (more on this later).

Step 4. Fine Tuning Your Giveaway Settings

Now that your giveaway looks great, let’s review its settings for the last time. Switch to the ‘Settings’ tab under the builder to see various options.

They are all very self-explanatory, but we’ll go through them one by one.

General settings

First, you need to click on the ‘General’ tab and review the options.

If you wanted to create a standalone Facebook giveaway contest page, then you can do that here. Provide a name for your campaign page under the Page Permalink option without any spaces.

You can also show and hide the number of entries, contest winners, and the powered by link.

Next, switch to the ‘Giveaway Rules’ tab. This is where you’ll list the rules for joining the giveaway. You can start by clicking on the ‘Generate Rules’ button to automatically generate rules using a sample template.

Generate contest rules

If you want participants to confirm their email address, then switch to the email verification tab. From here, turn on the email verification feature and configure the confirmation email options.

Enable email verification

RafflePress allows you to track users who have successfully completed giveaway actions. You can do so by adding tracking scripts under the ‘Success tracking’ tab. For example, you can add your Google Analytics script here or a Facebook retargeting pixel code here.

Success tracking

If you want to redirect users to a specific page, then switch to the Success redirect tab and enter the URL of the page where you want to send users.

Success redirect

Lastly, you can turn the social login feature On/Off from the social logins tab. Turning it off will disable the login with Facebook button on your giveaway campaign.

Your giveaway is now ready to be launched. Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button at the top right corner to save all your settings.

Step 5. Add Your Facebook Giveaway to a WordPress Post or Page

RafflePress makes it very easy to display your giveaway anywhere on your WordPress website.

You can simply edit a post or page or create a new one and then add the RafflePress block to the block editor.

Add RafflePress block

After that, you need to select the giveaway you created earlier. RafflePress block will now load a preview of your giveaway right inside the editor.

Giveaway preview

You can also add your giveaway to a sidebar or any other place using the shortcode.

Simply edit your giveaway and switch to the ‘Publish’ tab in the builder interface. From here, click on the shortcode option and RafflePress will show the shortcode you can use.

Copy the shortcode

Copy the shortcode and edit the post or page where you want to display the giveaway. Simply paste the shortcode inside the post editor and you are done.

You can also add the shortcode to a sidebar widget. Go to Appearance » Widgets page and then add the ‘Text’ widget to your sidebar.

Adding the shortcode to a sidebar widget

You can now paste your shortcode inside the widget settings and click on the save button to store it. After that, you can preview your website to see it in action.

Giveaway widget in sidebar

Step 6. Promoting Your Facebook Giveaway

You’ll need to start promoting your giveaway to build anticipation before the contest begins. We recommend planning ahead to give yourself enough time to publicize the campaign.

Here are a few things you can do to build anticipation for a successful giveaway campaign.

  • Send an email to the subscribers of your email newsletter.
  • Announce the event on social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
  • Run a paid advertising campaign (not required but it does help).
  • Reach out to influencers, bloggers, forums, and communities to get the word out.

By putting in all the hard work before the event increases the chances of your campaign to get viral. It will also increase the return on investment in terms of Facebook likes, followers, and new subscribers you’ll get for your website.

Step 7. Announcing The Giveaway Winners

The best part about RafflePress is that it automates the whole process. Your giveaway will automatically end once it reaches the end time and date you have set.

After that, you can automatically choose the lucky winners through a random draw.

Simply go to RafflePress » Giveaways page and click on the ‘Need Winners’ link next to your giveaway.

Need winners

Next, you’ll see a list of users who participated in the contest. You need to click on the Pick winner button at the top and select the number of users who can win and whether you want to allow unverified emails to win.

Choose a random winner for your Facebook giveaway

Click on the ‘Choose winner now’ button to continue.

RafflePress will now randomly select a winner for your giveaway.

Email giveaway winner

You can now click on the Email Winner link to send the winner an email about how they can claim their prize.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily add a Facebook giveaway in WordPress to boost engagement. You may also want to see these actionable tips that you can use to get more traffic to your WordPress website.

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

The post How to Add a Facebook Giveaway in WordPress to Boost Engagement appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Setup WordPress Email Logs (and WooCommerce Email Logs)


Do you want to set up email logs on your WordPress or WooCommerce website?

Email logs allow you to monitor the emails sent by your WordPress site to the users. This helps you troubleshoot issues and check the status of email notifications sent by your WordPress website.

In this article, we will show you how to easily set up WordPress email logs and WooCommerce email logs.

After following this tutorial, you’ll be able to view the email logs directly from your WordPress admin area in an easy to understand format.

How to set up email logs in WordPress and WooCommerce

Why Set Up Email Logs in WordPress or WooCommerce?

Whether you are running a small business website using WordPress or a WooCommerce store, WordPress automatically sends certain email notifications to your users.

On a typical WordPress website, these emails include password reset emails, new user notification, password change notification, comments, and WordPress update notifications.

If you are also running an online store, then email becomes even more important. WooCommerce will send out customer receipts, order details, new order notifications, and user account emails on a regular basis.

As you can see, email notifications are crucial for your website to function properly and deliver the best user experience.

You need to make sure that those emails reach users’ inbox and don’t just disappear or end up in spam.

The best way to do this is by using a proper SMTP service provider to ensure email deliverability. For more details, see our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

You would also want to see which emails are sent and to whom. This allows you to keep a record of email activity which comes in handy in several situations.

Following are just a few of those situations when email log comes in handy:

  • Ensure that email notifications are delivered promptly
  • Track your WordPress contact form plugin emails
  • You can see if emails sent by a plugin are working
  • Keep a track of user activity using the email logs
  • Track user activity if you run a membership website or sell online courses
  • Keep email log of your WooCommerce orders, reciepts, and customer notifications

That being said, let’s see how to easily setup email logs on your WordPress or WooCommerce website.

Setting up Email Logs in WordPress & WooCommerce

For this tutorial, we will be using the WP Mail SMTP plugin. It allows you to send WordPress emails using any SMTP service provider including Gmail, Outlook, SendGrid, Amazon SES, etc.

How WP Mail SMTP works

Step 1. Install and Setup WP Mail SMTP

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

Upon activation, you need to visit WP Mail SMTP » Settings page to configure the plugin settings.

First, you’ll need to enter your license key. You can find this information under your account on WP Mail SMTP website.

WP Mail SMTP license key

Simply, copy and paste your license key and then click on the Verify button.

After that, you need to scroll down to select how you would like to send your WordPress emails under the Mailer section.

WP Mail SMTP works with any SMTP service. It comes with easy configuration options for the most popular SMTP service providers like Gmail, Outlook, Sendinblue, Mailgun, Sendgrid, Amazon SES, or Other SMTP services.

Select mailer

Clicking on the mailer will show you instructions to set it up.

The default option is set to PHP mailer. We don’t recommend using that because it is not reliable. Since most WordPress hosting servers are not properly configured for emails, this option will mean that your WordPress emails may never reach users’ inbox or even spam folder.

We recommend using a provider like SendinBlue or Mailgun that’s optimized for best email deliverability.

If you choose Other SMTP as your mailer option, then you’ll need to provide SMTP settings which you can get from your SMTP service providers website.

  • SMTP Host: You smtp host address which usually looks like this smtp.yoursmtpserver.com
  • Encryption: Usually it is either SSL or TLS
  • SMTP Port: Usually it is 465
  • Authentication: Turn on authentication
  • Username: Username provided by your SMTP service usually it is your email address.
  • Password: Password for your SMTP service

Other SMTP service provider

After you have entered your mailer credentials, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Settings’ button to store your settings.

Bonus: It’s important to use a professional business email address to ensure your emails look trustworthy.

Step 2. Enable Email Log Feature

Now that you have set up mailer settings in the WP Mail SMTP plugin. It is time to turn on the email logging feature.

From the plugin’s settings page, switch to the ‘Email Log’ tab and check the box next to ‘Enable log’ option.

Turn on email logs

The email log option will save general and troubleshooting information about each email message. Including the date and time, subject, email status, email addresses of the sender and recipient, BCC and CC, attachment, etc.

The plugin also allows you to enable complete WordPress email logs. We don’t recommend enabling complete email logs because it would save all contents of the email including private or sensitive information in your WordPress database as plain text.

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

Step 3. Testing WP Mail SMTP Setup

Now that you have set up the WP Mail SMTP plugin, let’s test it to make sure that everything is working as expected.

WP Mail SMTP makes this step easy. Go to the plugins settings page WP Mail SMTP » Settings page and switch to the ‘Email Test’ tab.

Test WordPress SMTP email settings

From here, simply enter your email address and click on the ‘Send Email’ button.

The plugin will now send a test email to the address you provided. It will then show you the status of the email delivery on screen.

Email sent successfully

Step 4. Viewing Your Email Logs in WordPress

You can view your WordPress email logs at any time without leaving the WordPress admin area.

Simply go to WP Mail SMTP » Email Log page. You’ll see the log with a list of entries since you enabled the email log.

Email log entries

To view entry details, take your mouse over it and then click on the ‘View’ link below it. This will open the email log entry with a detailed view.

Email log entry

You can also use the search feature to look for entries by email address, subject & headers, or by content (if you enabled content logging).

You can also delete older entries from your email log. You can use the ‘Delete’ link below any entry to delete a single entry.

You can also select multiple entries and click on the Bulk Actions drop-down menu to select ‘Delete’ and then click on the Apply button.

Delete email log entries in WordPress

We hope this article helped you learn how to set up WordPress email logs and WooCommerce email logs. You may also want to see our guide on how to monitor user activity in WordPress with security audit logs.

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

The post How to Setup WordPress Email Logs (and WooCommerce Email Logs) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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9 Best WordPress Migration Plugins (Compared)


Are you looking for the best WordPress migration plugin to move your website?

While it is super-easy to start a new WordPress site, moving an existing website to a new hosting company is not as simple.

You need to move the database, files, plugins, and theme. At the same, you also want to reduce downtime, so your users don’t see a broken website.

Most importantly, you want to preserve your website’s SEO rankings.

To make sure that all these things go smoothly, you’ll need a WordPress migration plugin to easily manage the transfer.

In this article, we will compare the best WordPress migration plugins that allow you to migrate your websites without hiccups.

Best WordPress migration plugins

1. Duplicator Pro

Duplicator PRO

Duplicator Pro is the best WordPress migration plugin on the market. It works like a charm for many different types of migration scenarios without any technical knowledge.

It has a simple step by step wizard that guides you through the migration. First, you create a migration package of your website and download it to your computer along with an installer script.

Next, you upload the installer script and the package to the new location (new server or host) and run the migration wizard. Duplicator unpacks the content of your package and installs them.

In the end, it also allows you to update URLs to make sure that every done runs smoothly after the unpacking.

Pros:

  • Migrate WordPress site to a new host, domain name, local server, or live site.
  • Easy step by step migration wizard to move your website.
  • Can be used to schedule backups and save them on remote storage such as Google Diver, Dropbox, etc.
  • Connects with cPanel hosting dashboard to automatically create database and users.
  • Supports WordPress multisite migration.

Cons:

  • Beginners may need help connecting to the FTP server.
  • The upload process can be a bit tedious if you have unreliable internet or a very large website.

Pricing: Paid plans start from $59 / year for 3 websites. It also has a limited free version that would work for most small websites.

2. UpdraftPlus Premium

UpdraftPlus best WordPress backup plugin

UpdraftPlus is one of the best WordPress backup plugins. Its premium version comes with a migration tool that allows you to easily migrate your website.

Pros:

  • Easy to use process. If you already use it as your backup plugin then you can create a complete backup and import it on any location
  • Schedule and store your WordPress backups to remote locations.
  • Works with WordPress multisite networks
  • Incremental backups allow you to save server resources

Cons:

Pricing: You can purchase the Migrator Addon for $30 and use it with the free version of UpdraftPlus. Alternatively, you can buy UpdraftPlus Premium for $70.

3. JetPack

JetPack

JetPack is a massive WordPress plugin suite that also comes with a powerful backup feature. This feature was previously called VaultPress and was sold as a separate product.

Now it is included as JetPack Backups. It allows you to easily restore your WordPress backups and migrate your website to new servers.

Pros:

  • The easiest way to make WordPress backups and easily restore them on a new location
  • Incremental backups save server resources
  • Easy 1-click site restoration feature makes migrations a breeze
  • All your data is stored on the cloud and you don’t need to manually reupload backups during migration
  • Includes site security features which makes your backups secure

Cons:

  • You will need a JetPack subscription which comes with many other features that you may not even need or use.
  • Set up process is a bit complicated for beginners. You will need two separate plugins, JetPack subscription, and a WordPress.com account.

Pricing: Starting from $39 / year.

4. All-in-One WP Migration

All-in-One WP Migration

All-in-One WP Migration is a popular WordPress migration plugin with a comprehensive set of features. Unlike some other plugins on the list, it is not a backup plugin and specializes in website migrations.

Pros:

  • Tested and supports a large number of WordPress hosting providers, operating systems, PHP versions, and more.
  • Supports older versions upto WordPress 3.3
  • It bypasses your host’s file size limits by importing chunks of data.

Cons:

  • The free version limits import size to 512 MB
  • You’ll need to manually install WordPress on new location
  • For multisite exports you’ll need a separate paid extension

Pricing: The basic plugin is free, but you’ll need the Unlimited extension to remove import size restriction. The Unlimited extension is available at $69 for a lifetime license.

5. Migrate Guru

Migrate Guru

Migrate Guru is a WordPress migration plugin by the folks behind Blog Vault, a popular WordPress backup solution. It specializes in migrating websites to a new host or server.

Pros:

  • Supports almost all popular WordPress hosting providers
  • Easy migration wizard where you just need to enter your desitination host’s FTP or cPannel credentials and the plugin takes care of everything else
  • Migrates your WordPress database updated URLs and handles serialized data
  • Can be used to migrate large websites without affecting server performance

Cons:

  • Does not support localhost to live website or live to localhost transfers
  • Does not fully support multisite migrations

Pricing: Free

6. BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is one of the most popular WordPress migration and backup plugin. It has been around since 2010 and has a loyal customer base.

Pros:

  • Comes with automated scheduled backups, restore, and migration features in one convenient package
  • Set up your backup schedules, choose what to backup, and store them to remote locations such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, and more.
  • Easily transfer your website using a complete WordPress backup
  • Can be used to deploy a WordPress staging site to live server with 1-click

Cons:

  • Does not support WordPress multisite
  • Restore and migration features are not as easy to use for beginners as some other plugins on this list

Pricing: Starting from $80 for a single site license.

7. Migrate DB Pro

Migrate DB Pro

Migrate DB Pro is a powerful WordPress migration plugin made specifically for moving WordPress database from one install to another. However, it can also easily transfer media files, themes, and plugins with separate addons.

Pros:

  • Perfect when you quickly want to copy WordPress database from one site to another
  • Powerful features make it an excellent option for developers
  • Backup your existing database before replacing it with a new one
  • Find and replace any text in your database
  • Great for large websites and complex hosting server environments

Cons:

  • For complete migrations, you’ll need two addons which are only available under expensive developer license.
  • May not be as easy to use for beginners as some other plugins on the list

Price: Starting from $99 for a single site. You’ll need developer license to access media and files addons which will cost you $199.

Bonus Plugins

These WordPress migration plugins work in specific situations and are the best options for beginners.

8. SiteGround Migrator

SiteGround Migrator

If you are moving your WordPress site to SiteGround, then this plugin is for you. It is made by SiteGround to help users move their websites to SiteGround hosting servers.

SiteGround is one of the best WordPress hosting companies. They are also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Note: If you don’t want to use the plugin, then you can simply ask SiteGround support. They offer 1 free website migration with their GrowBig and GoGeek plans.

Pros:

  • It works well because it is made for a specific scenario transferring from any hosting company to SiteGround.
  • Super-easy to use you just need to enter a token from your hosting control panel and the plugin takes care of the rest.
  • If you are not changing the domain name, then it automatically creates a temporary domain for the transferred site. Later you can change the DNS to point your domain name.

Cons:

  • Can not be used to transfer from localhost to live site
  • Does not support WordPress multisite

Pricing: Free

9. Free WordPress Blog Setup

Free blog setup and migration

The plugins mentioned above do not work on WordPress.com websites. See the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

For most beginners, moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is not as simple as you’d like it to be. This is where our free blog setup comes in.

Basically, you’ll need to purchase a hosting plan from one of our recommended WordPress hosting providers and we will transfer or set up your WordPress blog.

For more details, see our free blog set up page.

Note: At WPBeginner we believe in transparency. When you sign up for one of our recommended hosting providers, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

We would get this commission for recommending just about any hosting company, but we only recommend products that we use personally use and believe will add value to our readers.

Pros

  • Allows you to transfer WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress.org website.
  • WPBeginner’s expert team migrates your content and media
  • You also get must-have WordPress plugins installed on your site to give you a solid start.

Cons:

  • Only migrates WordPress.com blogs
  • Due to WordPress.com limitations, it can only migrate your content, comments, images and media.

Pricing: Free

Conclusion: Which is The Best WordPress Migration Plugin?

We believe that Duplicator Pro is the best WordPress migration plugin on the market. Even the free version works like a charm for small WordPress blogs and websites.

We also recommend Duplicator in our WordPress migration guides. See our step by step guides for complete instructions.

WP Migrate DB Pro is a great alternative for migrating large websites specially when you have complex hosting setup with various environment. We use this plugin on our websites, but the reason why it’s not our top choice is because it is not as beginner friendly.

This guide only covers migration plugin that helps you migrate a WordPress site to another server or domain. If you’re looking to switch to WordPress from another platform, then please follow our guides below:

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress migration plugin for your website. You may also want to see our guide on the best WordPress plugins and the best email marketing services for small businesses.

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



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How to Properly Install and Setup WP Rocket in WordPress


Do you want to properly install and setup WP Rocket plugin in WordPress?

WP Rocket is the best WordPress caching plugin in the market because it offers the most comprehensive set of tools to help speed up your website.

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

In this tutorial, we will show you how to easily install and setup WP Rocket plugin in WordPress. We will walk you through complete WP Rocket plugin settings, so you can get maximum performance benefits.

How to easily install and setup WP Rocket plugin in WordPress

Why Use WP Rocket?

No one likes slow websites. In fact, a performance study found that a single second delay in page load time costs 7% less conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Strangeloop Study

And it’s not just users, search engines like Google also don’t like slow websites. They give a priority to faster websites in search rankings.

This is where WP Rocket comes in.

It is the best WordPress caching plugin on the market and allows you to quickly improve your WordPress website’s speed and performance.

Here is how it works.

WordPress is a dynamic content management system. Every time a user visits your website, WordPress fetches the content from your database, generate a page on the fly, and send it back to the user.

WordPress caching

This process takes up WordPress hosting server resources. If a lot of people visit your website at once, then this would slow down your website.

WP Rocket makes WordPress bypass all this.

It crawls and saves a static copy of your pages in the cache and allows WordPress to show the cached page to the user instead of generating a page on the fly.

This frees up server resources on your website and improves overall page load time throughout your website.

We use WP Rocket on many of our own websites including WPForms, OptinMonster, etc.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily install and set up WP Rocket on your WordPress website.

Step 1. Installing WP Rocket Plugin in WordPress

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

WP Rocket is a premium plugin, but the best part is that all features are included in their lowest plan.

Once installed and activated, the WP Rocket plugin works out of the box, and it will turn on caching with optimal settings for your website.

We ran speed tests on our demo site before and after installing WP Rocket. The performance improvement was incredible with just out of the box settings.

Speed test results before and after installing WP Rocket

The performance improvement is instantly noticeable because WP Rocket doesn’t wait for user requests to start caching pages. It proactively crawls your website and preloads pages in the cache.

You can see caching status by visiting WP Rocket dashboard located under Settings » WP Rocket page.

WP Rocket dashboard

Now that you have installed WP Rocket, let’s take a look at other WP Rocket options and how to set them up to further improve your website speed.

Step 2. Set up Caching Options in WP Rocket

Fist, you need to visit Settings » WP Rocket page and click on the ‘Cache’ tab.

Setting up cache in WP Rocket

WP Rocket has already enabled page caching by default, but you can tweak the settings to further improve your website speed.

1. Mobile Caching

You’ll notice that mobile caching is turned on by default here. However, we recommend you to check the ‘Separate cache files for mobile devices’ option as well.

This option allows WP Rocket to create separate cache files for mobile users. Checking this option ensures that mobile users get the full cached mobile experience.

2. User Cache

If you run a website where users need to login to your website to access certain features, then you need to check this option.

For example, if you run a WooCommerce store or a membership website, then this option will improve user experience for all logged in users.

3. Cache Lifespan

Cache lifespan is the time you want to store the cached files on your website. The default limit is set to 10 hours which would work for most websites.

However, you can set it to a lower value if you run a very busy site. You can also set it to a higher value if you don’t update your website frequently.

After the lifespan time has passed, WP Rocket will delete the cached files. It will also immediately start preloading the cache with updated content.

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

Step 3. Minifying Files using WP Rocket

WP Rocket enables you to minify static files such as JavaScript and CSS stylesheets. You can simply switch to the File Optimization tab and check the boxes for the file types that you want to be minified.

Minifying files in WP Rocket

Minifying static content makes those file sizes smaller. In most cases, this difference is too small to make any noticeable impact on your website’s performance.

However if you run a large traffic site, then this can definitely have a big impact in reducing your overall bandwidth usage and saving on hosting costs.

The one caveat is that minifying files can also have unexpected consequences like files not loading or not working as intended.

If you turn this setting on, then please make sure to thoroughly review your website pages to make sure everything is working as intended.

Step 4. Lazy Load Media to Improve Page Load Speed

Images are often the second heaviest item on a page after video. Images take more time to load than text and increase the overall page download size.

Most popular websites now use a technique called lazy loading to delay image downloads.

Instead of loading all your images at once, lazy loading downloads only the images that will be visible on the user’s screen. This not only makes your pages load fast, but it also feels faster to the user.

WP Rocket comes with a built-in lazy loading feature. You can enable lady loading for images by simply switching to the Media tab on the plugin’s settings page. You can also enable lazy loading for embeds like YouTube videos and iframes.

Lazy load images and embeds in WordPress

Note: While lazy loading images will help improve perceived website speed, you should always save and optimize images for web to get maximum results. Here’s how to easily optimize images for web performance (step by step).

Step 5. Fine Tune Preloading in WP Rocket

Next, you can review the preloading settings in WP Rocket by switching to the ‘Preloading’ tab. By default, the plugin starts crawling your homepage and follow links to preload cache.

Preload cache settings

Alternately, you can tell the plugin to use your XML sitemap to build cache.

You can turn off the preloading feature as well, but we do not recommend that.

Turning off preloading will tell WordPress to only cache pages when they are requested by a user. This means the first user to load that specific page will always see a slow website.

Editors note: Please keep preloading on to get maximum performance results.

Step 6. Set up Advanced Caching Rules

WP Rocket gives you full control over caching. You can switch to the Advanced Rules tab on the settings page to exclude pages that you don’t want to be cached.

Advanced caching rules

You can also exclude cookies, user agents (browsers and device types), and automatically rebuild cache when you update specific pages or posts.

The default settings would work for most websites. If you are unsure about these options, then you need to leave them blank.

This settings area is for developers and power users who need custom settings because they likely have a complex website setup.

Also See: 19 types of websites you can build with WordPress.

Step 7. Performing Database Clean up using WP Rocket

WP Rocket also makes it easy to clean up the WordPress database. It has very little to no effect on your website performance, but you can still review these options if you want to.

You need to switch to the Database tab on the plugin settings page. From here you can delete post revisions, drafts, spam, and trash comments.

Database clean up

We don’t recommend deleting post revisions because they can be really useful in undoing changes to your WordPress posts and pages in the future. You also don’t need to delete spam and trashed comments as WordPress automatically clean them up after 30 days.

Step 8. Configure Your CDN to Work with WP Rocket

Next, you need to switch to the CDN tab. If you are using a CDN service for your WordPress site, then you can set it up to work with WP Rocket.

Set up CDN service

CDN or content delivery network enables you to serve static files from a network of servers spread across the globe.

This speeds up your website because it allows users browser to download files from the server closest to their location. It also reduces your hosting server load and makes your website more responsive.

For more information, see our guide on why you need a CDN service for your WordPress site.

We use MaxCDN by StackPath on our websites. It is one of the best CDN service for WordPress beginners.

Alternately, you can sign up for Sucuri, which is the best WordPress firewall and security plugin. Sucuri’s cloud-based firewall gives you a powerful CDN service to serve your static files.

If you are looking for a free alternative, then Cloudflare would work as well. However, Cloudflare’s free CDN offers limited protection against DDoS attacks, and the free plan is quite limited in terms of features.

WP Rocket has separate addons to easily set up Sucuri and Cloudflare on your website (more on this later).

Step 9. Reducing Heartbeat API Activity in WordPress with WP Rocket

Heartbeat API allows WordPress to send a periodic request to the hosting server in the background. This allows your website to perform scheduled tasks.

For example, when writing blog posts the editor uses heartbeat API to check connectivity and post changes.

Controling heartbeat API in WordPress using WP Rocket

You can click on the Heartbeat API tab to control this feature and reduce the heartbeat API frequency.

We don’t recommend deactivating the Heart Beat API because it offers some very useful features. However you can reduce its frequency to improve performance specially for larger sites.

Step 10. WP Rocket Addons

WP Rocket also comes with some ready to deploy features available as Addons. Let’s take a look at currently available addons on this list.

1. Google Analytics Addon

The Google Analytics add-on for WP Rocket allows you to host Google Analytics code on your own server. This does not have any significant performance improvement but some users want it to get a 100% page speed score.

This feature is compatible with popular Google Analytics plugins like MonsterInsights and ExactMetrics.

2. Facebook Pixel

If you are using the Facebook pixel for user tracking, then this addon will host the pixels locally on your server. Again, this will improve your pagespeed score but may not have any actual impact on website speed.

3. Varnish Addon

If your WordPress hosting company uses Varnish cache, then you need to enable this addon. This will ensure that the Varnish cache is cleared when WP Rocket clears its cache.

4. Cloudflare

If you are using Cloudflare CDN, then you need this addon to make it work alongside WP Rocket. Simply enable the addon and click on the ‘Modify options’ button.

Enabling Cloudflare addon

After that, you need to enter your account credentials to connect WP Rocket with your Cloudflare account.

Cloudflare settings

5. Sucuri

If you are using Sucuri, then you need to enable this addon and click on the ‘Modify options’ button. After that, enter your Sucuri account’s API key to connect your account.

Sucuri WP Rocket addon

Step 11. Managing Your WP Rocket Cache

WP Rocket also makes it easy for admins to manage and clear WordPress cache. Simply go to the plugins settings page, and you’ll find the options to clear WP Rocket cache on the Dashboard tab.

Clear WP Rocket Cache

You can also start a preloading sequence to rebuild the cache on demand.

The plugin also makes it easier to import and export plugin settings. You can switch to the tools to easily export and import plugin settings. This is helpful when moving WordPress from local server to a live website and/or when moving WordPress to a new domain.

Import export settings

Below that, you’ll find the option to Rollback plugin to an earlier version. This comes in handy if a WP Rocket update didn’t work as expected.

If you want to have the same rollback feature for all your plugins, then see our guide on how to rollback plugins to older version in WordPress.

WP Rocket FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

As WP Rocket has grown in popularity, we have answered many questions related to the WP Rocket WordPress caching plugin. Here are some of the top WP Rocket questions:

1. Is WP Rocket free? Is there a free version of WP Rocket available?

No, WP Rocket is a premium WordPress caching plugin. There is no free version or free trial available. They do offer a 14 day money back guarantee.

You may find a nulled version of WP Rocket for free, but we strongly recommend against using those because sometimes hackers use nulled version as a bait to hack your website.

See 9 reasons why you should always avoid nulled version of WordPress themes and plugins.

2. Is WP Rocket worth the price?

Yes it is worth every penny. We are paying customers of WP Rocket and use it successfully on many of our websites including WPForms, OptinMonster, and others.

We also have plans to switch to WP Rocket on WPBeginner in the near future as well. We are closely working with their team to get one particular setting included for it to work on our complex multi-server enterprise hosting setup.

Curious to see what WPBeginner hosting setup looks like? Check out the detailed case study here.

3. Do I need to use WP Rocket with managed WordPress hosting platforms?

The short answer is yes. You can and should use WP Rocket in combination with built-in caching offered by your managed hosting company to unlock additional performance improvements.

A lot of managed WordPress hosting companies like WP Engine, SiteGround, Bluehost, etc have their own caching plugins built in.

WP Rocket plays nicely along those built-in caching options provided by your managed hosting provider while helping you get additional performance benefits with features like CDN, minifying files, lazy loading, smart cache preloading, and more.

4. How to check if WP Rocket is working and caching pages?

To check if WP Rocket is working properly, you need to log out of your site or open it in an incognito window.

Next, you need to open the browser’s source view of the page, and scroll to the bottom. At the very end, you should see a text like: “This website is like a rocket …”

If that text is there, then you know WP Rocket is working properly and caching pages.

5. What makes WP Rocket better than other caching plugins?

In our opinion, WP Rocket is better than other WordPress caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, etc because it offers the most comprehensive set of features, and it is regularly updated to keep up with modern browser standards.

This is the #1 reason why we have started switching all of our sites to use WP Rocket, and soon WPBeginner will be using WP Rocket as well.

We hope this guide helped you learn how to install and set up WP Rocket plugin in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate guide on how to speed up WordPress, and our list of the must have WordPress plugins.

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

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How to Add No Right Click on WordPress Images


Do you want to stop users from stealing images on your WordPress site?

While there is no complete solution to prevent image theft on your website, there are some measures that you can take to make it a bit harder for users to save images from your website.

One such solution is to add no right-click popup to your images. You can do that in WordPress by using plugins that disable right click and make it difficult to download images from your website.

In this article, we’ll show you how to add no right-click on WordPress images and galleries. We’ll also talk about alternative approaches to discourage users from stealing images off your website.

Easily disable right-click on WordPress images

Adding No Right Click on WordPress Images

First, you need to install and activate the No Right Click Images Plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » No Right Click Images page to configure plugin settings.

No Right Click Images setings

The default options would work for most users, but you can still review and change them as needed.

The first option allows logged in WordPress users to right-click on images. ‘Disable Dragging of images’ option prevents users from dragging an image from their browser to their computer.

‘Disable Touch events’ options prevents users from using touch devices like mobile phones to download images. It is the no right-click solution for smart phones and tablets.

You can also disable gestures and context menu on Apple devices.

After reviewing the settings, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save changes’ button to store your changes.

You can now log out of WordPress and then visit your website to see the plugin in action.

Adding No Right Click on Image Galleries

The above solution works for all images on your website. However, a lot of users who want to protect their images are photographers and people sharing their work through galleries.

This is where Envira Gallery comes in. It is one of the best WordPress gallery plugin on the market and comes with a protection addon that disables right-click for your image galleries.

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

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

Enter Envira Gallery license key

Next, you need to visit Envira Gallery » Addons page. Scroll down to the Protection addon and then click on the Install and Activate button.

Install protection addon

Now you can start creating image galleries using the Envira Gallery plugin.

Let’s create your first image gallery and enable no-right-click protection for images in that photo gallery.

First, you need to visit Envira Gallery » Add New page to create a new gallery. Provide a title for your image gallery and then upload the files you want to add to the gallery.

Creating image gallery

After that, you need to scroll down to the gallery setting section below and click on the Misc tab. From here, go to the image protection settings section.

Image protection settings

You need to check the ‘Enable Image Protection’ checkbox to disable right-click for this particular image gallery. Optionally, you can also show a popup notification when users try to use right-click.

You can now click on the publish button to save your image gallery.

Adding Your Gallery to a WordPress Post or Page

Your image gallery is ready, and you can now add it to any WordPress post or page. Simply edit the post or page where you want to add the gallery and add the Envira Gallery block to the editor.

Add Envira Gallery

After that, you need to select the image gallery you created earlier from the dropdown menu. Envira Gallery will load your image gallery with a live preview.

Gallery preview in post editor

You can now save your post and visit your website to see the no right-click feature in action. If you have enabled the popup feature then this is how it would look when a user tries to right-click on an image in the gallery.

Right click disabled popup in WordPress

Pros and Cons of Disabling Right Click on WordPress Images

The number one reason users want to add no right-click on WordPress images is to prevent website visitors from illegally using those images elsewhere.

Adding no right-click to your images makes it harder for users to download images. It also serves as a reminder to users that the website owner does not want them to download images or reuse them without permission.

However, it does not completely stop users from stealing images from your website.

A user can still download an entire web page which will also include all images on that page.

They can also use the browser’s view source or inspect tool without right-clicking. This will give access to the direct image file which they can download and save on their computer.

On the other hand, adding no right-click on images may also stop several users who may have some genuine reason to save images from your website. Some users may find it annoying and this would affect their user experience on your website.

Alternative Approaches to Discourage Image Theft on Your Website

If you don’t want to affect user experience by adding no-right-click to your WordPress images, then there are a few things you can do to discourage improper use of your work.

1. Add a Copyright Notice Below Your Images

You can add a copyright notice below your images in plain text. This serves as a deterrent without affecting user experience.

Copyright reminder text

You can do this by using Gutenberg blocks. See more details in our Gutenberg tutorial.

2. Give Users a Chance to Ask for Permission

If you want users to be able to reuse your images with your permission and conditions, then you can simply let them know. We recommend using WPForms to create a simple contact form for users to send requests.

3. Add Watermark to Your Images

You can also add watermark to your images. This will affect the quality and aesthetics of your images, but it will definitely discourage users from stealing and reusing those images.

Watermark images to discourage image theft

We hope this article helped you add no right-click on WordPress images. You may also want to see our guide on how to optimize your image SEO, and how to optimize images for web performance (without losing quality).

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



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How to Find and Fix Broken Links in WordPress (Step by Step)


Everyone agrees that broken links are bad for user experience. But did you know that broken links can significantly hurt your WordPress SEO rankings?

Yes, it’s proven that having broken internal links on your website negatively impacts SEO rankings.

In this article, we will show you how to easily find and fix broken links in WordPress, so you can improve your user experience and SEO rankings.

Finding and fixing broken links in WordPress

What is a Broken Link?

A broken link, also known as dead link, is a link that no longer works. Broken links can happen for many reasons, but the most common reason is when a page is either deleted or moved to a different location which causes the server to show a 404 not found error.

On WordPress sites, broken links typically occur when moving a site to new domain name, or when deleting a post or page without proper redirection.

Sometimes broken links can also happen due to a typo, and they can go unnoticed for months if not years.

This is why it’s extremely important to regularly monitor broken links on your site and fix them, so you can keep them from hurting your SEO rankings.

In this guide, we will share top four methods to find broken links in WordPress. After that, we will show you an easy way to fix those broken links.

Here’s a table of content for easy navigation:

Ready? Let’s get started.

SEMRush is one of the best SEO tool on the market. It allows you to easily monitor your website’s SEO rankings and overall health.

It also includes a powerful site audit tool that crawls your website to find common errors and prepare a detailed report for you.

First, you’ll need to sign up for a SEMRush account.

It is a paid service, but they do offer a limited free account which allows you to crawl up to 100 pages on one domain name. Paid plan limits start from 100,000 pages a month.

Once you are logged in, you need to click on the ‘Site Audit’ link from the left menu.

This will bring you to the Site Audit page. From here, click on the ‘New Site Audit’ button at the top to add your website.

Adding a new site audit in SEMRush

You will be asked to enter your domain name. After that, you will be asked to configure site audit settings. You can select the number of pages to crawl and choose a crawl source.

Site Audit settings

Click on the start crawling button to continue.

SEMRush will now begin crawling your website for the site audit. This may take a few minutes depending on how many pages you selected for the crawl.

Once finished, you can click on your domain Under the Site Audit section to view your report.

SEMRush broken links

To see the broken links on your site, you will need to click on the ‘Broken’ link under the report overview.

Broken links report in SEMRush

You can now click on the Export button at the top right corner of the screen to download your crawl report. You will need it when fixing broken links on your website (more on this later in the article).

Ahrefs is an excellent all-in-one SEO tool for marketers, businesses, and SEO professionals. It offers detailed SEO insights into your own website or any of your competitors.

You can use it for keyword research, competition analysis, organic and paid keyword ideas, and site health monitoring including broken links.

First, you’ll need to sign up for an Ahrefs account. It is a paid service with plans starting from $99 per month. They also offer a full featured 7 day trial for $7.

Once you are logged into your Ahref’s dashboard, you need to enter your domain name under the Site Explorer tool.

Ahrefs site explorer tool

Site explorer tool will now crawl your website to prepare reports. This may take some time depending on how much content you have on your website.

Once finished, you’ll see an overview of your site explorer results. From here, you need to click on the Pages » Best by Links menu and then sort your report by 404 status.

Broken links

You can now export your report in CSV format to fix the broken links on your WordPress site.

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help webmasters manage their site’s visibility in search results. It also notifies you about errors including 404 errors which are caused by a broken link.

For more details, see our ultimate Google Search Console guide with step by step set up instructions.

After you have logged in to your Google Search Console account, click on the ‘Coverage’ link from the left menu.

Google Search index coverage report

You’ll find 404 errors either under Errors or Excluded tabs. Clicking on them will show you a list of errors or issues Google encountered while visiting your website.

Excluded broken links

Clicking on the 404 error will show you all the links on your website that are broken links and return a 404 error.

You can now click on the download button to get the list of all 404 errors on your website. You’ll need this to fix broken links on your website.

For this method, we’ll be using the Broken Link Checker plugin. However, this method is not recommended because it is resource-intensive and will slow down your website. Managed WordPress hosting companies like WP Engine already block users from installing this plugin on their servers.

The plugin checks for broken links on your website including both internal and external links that are resulting in a 404 error.

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

Upon activation, the plugin will start working in the background to find links in your posts, pages, and comments. You can now go to Tools » Broken Links page to view the full report.

Broken Links Report in WordPress

If you have been running your WordPress blog for a long time, then this report will include broken links to third-party websites as well.

You will have to manually sort the list to find broken links on your website.

You will need to keep Broken Link Checker active on your website until you fix broken links. After that, you can deactivate the plugin because it will keep checking for broken links which will slow down your server.

We have shown you four different methods to find broken links in WordPress. Now let’s talk about how to easily fix broken links in WordPress.

The best way to fix a broken link is to redirect it to another page. For example, if you moved the contents of an article to a different address, then you will need to redirect it to the newer article.

Similarly, if an article does not exist anymore, then you would want to point users to a similar page that is closely related to the contents of the old article.

You can do this by setting up 301 redirects.

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

Upon activation, you need to visit Tools » Redirection page to set up redirects. You need to add the old broken link in the ‘Source URL’ field and the new URL in the ‘Target URL’ field.

Set up redirects for broken links

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

You can now test this by visiting the old broken link, and you’ll be redirected to the new page.

Repeat the process for all broken links on your website.

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

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily find and fix broken links in WordPress. You may also want to see our actionable tips on how to optimize your images for web, and our pick of the best WordPress membership plugins to create a membership site.

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



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How to Stop and Prevent a DDoS Attack on WordPress


WordPress is one of the most popular website builder in the world because it offers powerful features and a secure codebase. However, that does not protect WordPress or any other software from malicious DDoS attacks, which are common on the internet.

DDoS attacks can slow down websites and eventually make them inaccessible to users. These attacks can be targeted towards both small and large websites.

Now, you may be wondering how can a small business website using WordPress prevent such DDoS attacks with limited resources?

In this guide, we will show you how to effectively stop and prevent a DDoS attack on WordPress. Our goal is to help you learn how to manage your website security against a DDoS attack like a total pro.

Stopping and preventing a DDOS attack on a WordPress site

What is a DDoS Attack?

DDoS attack, short for Distributed Denial of Service attack, is a type of cyber attack that uses compromised computers and devices to send or request data from a WordPress hosting server. The purpose of these requests is to slow down and eventually crash the targeted server.

DDoS attacks are an evolved form of DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. Unlike a DoS attack, they take advantage of multiple compromised machines or servers spread across different regions.

These compromised machines form a network, which is sometimes called a botnet. Each affected machine acts as a bot and launches attacks on the targeted system or server.

This allows them to go unnoticed for a while and cause maximum damage before they are being blocked.

DDoS attack diagram

Even the largest internet companies are vulnerable to DDoS attacks.

In 2018, GitHub, a popular code hosting platform, witnessed a massive DDoS attack that sent 1.3 terabytes per second traffic to their servers.

You may also remember the notorious 2016 attack on DYN (a DNS service provider). This attack got worldwide news coverage as it affected many popular websites like Amazon, Netflix, PayPal, Visa, AirBnB, The New York Times, Reddit, and thousands of other websites.

Why DDoS Attacks Happen?

There are several motivations behind DDoS attacks. Below are some common ones:

  • Technically savvy people who are just bored and find it adventurous
  • People and groups trying to make a political point
  • Groups targeting websites and services of a particular country or region
  • Targeted attacks on a specific business or service provider to cause them monetary harm
  • To blackmail and collect ransom money

What is the difference between a Brute Force Attack and a DDoS Attack?

Brute force attack

Brute Force Attacks are usually trying to break into a system by guessing passwords or trying random combinations to gain unauthorized access to a system.

DDoS attacks are purely used to simply crash the targetted system making it inaccessible or slowing it down.

For details see our guide on how to block brute force attacks on WordPress with step by step instructions.

What damages can be caused by a DDoS attack?

DDoS attacks can make a website inaccessible or reduce performance. This may cause bad user experience, loss of business, and the costs of mitigating the attack can be in thousands of dollars.

Here is a breakdown of these costs:

  • Loss of business due to inaccessibility of website
  • Cost of customer support to answer service disruption related queries
  • Cost of mitigating attack by hiring security services or support
  • The biggest cost is the bad user experience and brand reputation

How to Stop and Prevent DDoS Attack on WordPress

DDoS attacks can be cleverly disguised and difficult to deal with. However, with some basic security best practices, you can prevent and easily stop DDoS attacks from affecting your WordPress website.

Here are the steps you need to take to prevent and stop DDoS attacks on your WordPress site.

Remove DDoS / Brute Force Attack Verticals

The best thing about WordPress is that it is highly flexible. WordPress allows third-party plugins and tools to integrate into your website and add new features.

To do that WordPress makes several APIs available to programmers. These APIs are methods in which third-party WordPress plugins and services can interact with WordPress.

However, some of these APIs can also be exploited during a DDoS attack by sending a ton of requests. You can safely disable them to reduce those requests.

Disable XML RPC in WordPress

XML-RPC allows third-party apps to interact with your WordPress website. For example, you need XML-RPC to use the WordPress app on your mobile device.

If you’re like a vast majority of users who don’t use the mobile app, then you can disable XML-RPC by simply adding the following code to your website’s .htaccess file.


# Block WordPress xmlrpc.php requests
<Files xmlrpc.php>
order deny,allow
deny from all
</Files>

For alternate methods, see our guide on how to easily disable XML-RPC in WordPress.

Disable REST API in WordPress

The WordPress JSON REST API allow plugins and tools the ability to access WordPress data, update content, and/or even delete it. Here is how you can disable REST API in WordPress.

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

The plugin works out of the box, and it will simply disable the REST API for all non-logged in users.

Activate WAF (Website Application Firewall)

Website Application Firewall (WAF)

Disabling attack vectors like REST API and XML-RPC provides limited protection against DDoS attacks. Your website is still vulnerable to normal HTTP requests.

While you can mitigate a small DOS attack by trying to catch the bad machine IPs and blocking them manually, this approach is not very effective when dealing with a large DDoS attack.

The easiest way to block suspicious requests is by activating a website application firewall.

A website application firewall acts as a proxy between your website and all incoming traffic. It uses smart algorithm to catch all suspicious requests and block them before they reach your website server.

Website application firewall

We recommend using Sucuri because it is the best WordPress security plugin and website firewall. It runs on a DNS level which means they can catch a DDoS attack before it can make a request to your website.

Pricing for Sucuri starts from $20 per month (paid yearly).

We use Sucuri on WPBeginner. See our case study on how they help block hundreds of thousands of attacks on our website.

Alternately, you can also use Cloudflare. However, Cloudflare’s free service only gives limited DDoS protection. You’ll need to signup for at least their business plan for layer 7 DDoS protection which costs around $200 per month.

See our article on Sucuri vs Cloudflare for a detailed side-by-side comparison.

Note: Website Application Firewalls (WAFs) that run on an application-level are less effective during a DDoS attack. They block the traffic once it has already reached your web server, so it still affects your overall website performance.

Finding Out Whether it’s Brute Force or DDoS Attack

Both brute force and DDoS attacks intensively use server resources, which means their symptoms look quite similar. Your website will get slower and may crash.

You can easily find out whether it is a brute force attack or a DDoS attack by simply looking at Sucuri plugin’s login reports.

Simply, install and activate the free Sucuri plugin and then go to Sucuri Security » Last Logins page.

Failed logins

If you are seeing a large number of random login requests, then this means your wp-admin is under a brute force attack. To mitigate it, you can see our guide on how to block brute force attacks in WordPress.

Things to Do During a DDoS Attack

DDoS attacks can happen even if you have a web application firewall and other protections in place. Companies like CloudFlare and Sucuri deal with these attacks on regular basis, and most of the time you will never hear about it since they can easily mitigate it.

However in some cases, when these attacks are large, it can still impact you. In that case, it’s best to be prepared to mitigate the problems that may arise during and after the DDoS attack.

Following are a few things you can do to minimize the impact of a DDoS attack.

1. Alert your team members

If you have a team, then you need to inform co-workers about the issue. This will help them prepare for customer support queries, look out for possible issues, and help out during or after the attack.

2. Inform customers about the inconvience

A DDoS attack can affect user experience on your website. If you run a WooCommerce store, then your customers may not be able to place an order or login to their account.

You can announce through your social media accounts that your website is having technical difficulties and everything will be back to normal soon.

If the attack is large, then you can also use your email marketing service to communicate with customers and ask them to follow your social media updates.

If you have VIP customers, then you might want to use your business phone service to make individual phone calls and let them know how you’re working to restore the services.

Communication during these tough times make a huge difference in keeping your brand’s reputation strong.

3. Contact Hosting and Security Support

Get in touch with your WordPress hosting provider. The attack you may be witnessing could be part of a larger attack targetting their systems. In that case, they will be able to provide you latest updates about the situation.

Contact your Firewall service and let them know that your website is under a DDoS attack. They may be able to mitigate the situation even faster and can provide you with more information.

In firewall providers like Sucuri, you can also set your settings to be in Paranoid mode which helps block a lot of requests and make your website accessible for normal users.

Keeping Your WordPress Website Secure

WordPress is quite secure out of the box. However, as the world’s most popular website builder it is often targeted by hackers.

Luckily, there are many security best practices that you can apply on your website to make it even more secure.

We have compiled a complete step by step WordPress security guide for beginners. It will walk you through the best WordPress security settings to protect your website, and its data against common threats.

We hope this article helped you learn how to block and prevent a DDoS attack on WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

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



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