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How to Install and Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

In this article, we will show you how to install and setup Yoast SEO and utilize all the awesome features that come with it.

Features

Yoast SEO is the most comprehensive WordPress SEO plugin with many built-in tools and features. Here is a quick overview of some of those features.

  • Change post’s SEO title and meta description on a per post basis.
  • Title and meta description support for taxonomies (e.g. category and tags).
  • Google search result snippet previews.
  • Focus keyword testing.
  • Meta Robots configuration:
    • Easily add noodp, noydir meta tags.
    • Easily noindex, or nofollow pages, taxonomies or entire archives.
  • Improved canonical support, adding canonical to taxonomy archives, single posts and pages and the front page.
  • RSS footer / header configuration.
  • Permalink clean ups, while still allowing for Google Custom Search.
  • Breadcrumbs support, with configurable breadcrumbs titles.
  • XML Sitemaps with:
    • Images
    • Configurable removal of post types and taxonomies
    • Pages or posts that have been noindexed will not show in XML sitemap (but can if you want them too).
  • XML News Sitemaps.
  • .htaccess and robots.txt editor.
  • Ability to verify Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer, and Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Basic import functionality for HeadSpace2 and All in One SEO. (You can also use the SEO Data Transporter to transfer functionality from themes like Thesis, Headway, Genesis etc).

The premium version of the Yoast SEO comes with even more features.

  • A redirect manager that allows you to easily set up redirects.
  • Video tutorials to help you understand each feature of the plugin.
  • Premium support provided by the folks at Yoast to help you make the most out of your site’s SEO.

How to Install Yoast SEO Plugin

First, thing you need to do is install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin.

Upon activation, you will notice a new menu item in WordPress admin bar labeled SEO with Yoast SEO logo on it.

WordPress SEO

Now that you have installed and activated the plugin, let’s take a look at how to properly setup this powerful plugin.

How to Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

You should remember, that the settings that we select are the ones that we recommend. Other experts may have their own preferences and discretion, so advanced users can ignore anything that they do not like.

If you are a beginner, and you want to use Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin like we do, then please follow along the steps carefully.

Step 1. Data Transfer

Most of you probably have another WordPress plugin like All in One SEO pack, or a theme framework like Genesis dealing with your SEO data.

If you want to successfully use this plugin, then you need to make sure that all of your previous data has been transported to this plugin before you deactivate the other one.

To accomplish this, we recommend using SEO Data Transporter by StudioPress. If you’re setting this up on a new blog, then skip this step.

Step 2. General Settings

Clicking on the SEO icon takes you to settings page for the plugin. Click on ‘General’ tab and you will notice a button to open configuration wizard. We want you to ignore this wizard, because we will be taking you step by step through each option.

Step 3. Features

Let’s switch to the ‘Features’ tab and enable the advanced settings page.

yseo-advancedsettings

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

You will notice new items appear under the SEO option in your WordPress menu.

These items include Titles and Meta, XML Sitemaps, Social, Advanced, and tools. We will be showing you how to setup each one later in this article.

Step 4. Your Info

Next, you need to switch to the ‘Your Info’ tab. This is where you will provide information about your site and the person or company behind it.

yoastseo-yourinfo

First you need to provide a site name and an alternate name for search engines to consider. Your site’s name could be your site’s title.

If you do not enter anything here, then Yoast SEO will automatically use your site’s title as your website name. Search engines like Google can display this information in search results like this:

The next option is to choose whether this website is run by a company or an individual person. If you choose company, then you will be asked to provide a company name, and you can also upload a company logo.

On the other hand, if you choose a person, then you can add the name of the person behind the website.

Step 5. Webmaster Tools

If you know a little bit about SEO, then you have probably heard that each of the popular search engines, Google, Bing, Yandex, and Alexa allow site owners to add their sites using webmaster tools area.

Webmaster tools let you see insights and other relevant data about your site from specific search engines.

In order to verify your site and see those exclusive data, you have to add a meta tag to your site, or upload a file. Most beginners are afraid to add meta tags, so Yoast put this option in to ease the process. Simply add the meta code that you received from the search engines in the respective fields.

Step 6. Security

The last tab in general settings is labeled Security. This has only one option which disables advanced part of the WordPress SEO meta box. We recommend that you leave it disabled. Disabling advanced metabox will prevent your authors from making advanced changes like noindex and canonical settings (which is good).

yoastseo-security

Step 7. Titles & Metas

Titles & Metas section under Yoast SEO has several tabs in it. We will cover each one of them.

1. General

Here you can choose the symbol you want to use a separator between titles. Default option is dash, you can use it if you are unsure which symbol to choose.

metasettings1

On this page, you can also disable readability and keyword analysis tab which appear under the Yoast SEO metabox when you are writing post. We recommend that you leave them enabled.

2. Homepage Title

Next, we will work on defining the title for our homepage. By default you will see these fields pre-filled with title-template. So what is the difference between a title and a title template, you may ask.

In instances like your homepage, you may want to create a static title, description, and keywords. But for posts, the title will vary from one post to another.

Title templates allow you to define a way that the title and other meta information is pulled and organized.

Let’s take a look at the image below for the home page settings. By default the template variables in the title field work fine for most website however you’re welcome to change it. The next option is to enter your site’s description. Once you are done, click on save settings button.

homepagemeta

Note: If you are using a static homepage, then you will see links to edit your homepage and blog page to add title and meta descriptions.

3. Post Types Titles & Metas

By default WordPress comes with several post types such as post, page, revisions, attachment, and navigation menus. Users can also define their own custom post types.

Yoast SEO allows you to set titles and meta for posts, pages, media, and other custom post types. This site-wide title and meta description will be used if you forgot to add title and meta description for individual post.

We recommend leaving the description fields blank for all post types here. We also recommend using only the post title as the title template.

Remember Yoast SEO plugin also adds an SEO meta box in your post edit area. For maximum SEO benefits, we highly recommend you to manually enter title and descriptions for each post, page, and custom post type on your site. Otherwise Yoast SEO will use the title as defined here and will automatically add description for your posts and pages.

4. Taxonomies

On the taxonomies tab, you can configure titles and meta for categories, tags, custom taxonomies, and post format archives.

Default template variables should work for most sites. As for descriptions, please remember that Yoast SEO picks up descriptions from your categories and tags.

taxonomiesmeta

If you do not have any description for terms in your categories, tags, or custom taxonomies, then WordPress SEO does not add meta description in archives for these terms.

5. Archives

On the Archives tab, you have title and meta settings for author and date archive pages, and special pages such as search and 404 pages.

We recommended that you check disable author archives for single author blogs. If you are running a single author blog, then your main blog and the author archives contain exactly the same content. The setting is there to prevent duplicate content.

archivesmeta

Leave other settings as they are and save changes.

6. Other

The other tab has some additional settings. Like you can disable picking up descriptions from Dmoz or Yahoo directories for your pages. If you are unsure what to do here, just leave all of them unchecked

Step 8. Social

As we said earlier, Yoast SEO is a powerhouse packed with many features to provide comprehensive optimization.

One great feature of the plugin is that it integrates your site with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ social platforms.

Clicking on the Social link under the SEO menu will take you to setup these platforms. We will show you how to configure each of them.

1. Accounts

The first tab under the social settings is for all your social accounts. This allows Yoast SEO to tell Google about your social profiles. You need to simply add the URLs and Twitter username for the main social profiles of your site.

social-accounts

2. Facebook

On the Facebook tab, first make sure that open graph meta data option is enabled. Checking this allows WordPress SEO to add Facebook open graph meta data in your website’s <head> section.

This will help Facebook pick up the right thumbnail and page information when a post from your website is shared on Facebook.

The next option is to provide a thumbnail for your homepage with SEO title and description. This image and description will be used when someone shares the homepage of your site on Facebook.

After that you can provide a default thumbnail image URL. This image will be used for all articles that do not have a thumbnail or any other image in it.

social-facebook

The next option is to associate your website with a Facebook profile. This profile can be a user profile as well as a Facebook app. In most cases, Facebook profile is the way to go.

You can add a Facebook admin which will give you access to Facebook Insights for your site.

3. Twitter

As for Twitter, you can add Twitter cards into your site’s head section.

You can also choose the card type to use. We recommend using summary with large image.

social-twiiter

4. Pinterest

Pinterest uses Open Graph meta data just like Facebook. Make sure that you have open graph meta data box checked under Facebook settings.
After that you just need to enter the site verification code provided by Pinterest. Simply visit your Pinterest account settings to add and verify your site. You will be provided with a meta tag that you need to enter here.
social-pinterest

5. Google+
If you have created a Google+ page for your business enter its URL here, and then go to your Google+ business page and enter your website’s URL in about section.
googleplus

Step 9. XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps are essential for your WordPress site. It is the quickest and easiest way to get indexed and notify search engines about your content. The XML Sitemaps settings is divided into different tabs.

First you need to make sure that XML Sitemaps are enabled.
enablexmlsitemaps
After that you need to click on the ‘User Sitemap’ tab and make sure that author/user sitemap options is disabled.
Move on to post type tab and disable any post type that you don’t want to be included into sitemaps.
By default, Yoast SEO disables Media Attachments from sitemaps.posttypesitemap

Repeat the same process for taxonomies. If there is a taxonomy that you don’t want to be included into sitemaps, then you can exclude it here.
The excluded posts tab allows you to remove individual posts,pages, or custom post types from XML sitemap. Simply enter the post IDs in the field and save changes.

excludepostssitemap

Step 10. Advanced

1. Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are great for internal linking because it defines a clean path or trail to the page you are on. These breadcrumbs also appear in search results giving your site extra advantage in the search.
breadcrumbs
Make sure that you click on ‘Enabled’, this will reveal more breadcrumb settings.wpseo-breadcrumbs
2. Permalinks
wpseo-permalinks
WordPress by default adds a category base in each category url i.e /category/.
By clicking ‘Remove’ you can strip that part from your category URLs.
3. RSS
RSS Feeds are often used by content scrapers to copy content from your website. Yoast SEO allows you to add a backlink to your own site for each post in your RSS feed.
This way, you will get backlinks from their site, and Google will know that you are the original source.
There are options to add your author link, Post link, blog link, and blog description. So get creative. This can also be used to add advertisement to your RSS feed.yoastseo-rssfeed

Step 11. Tools

You can also export settings to use it as an initial guideline for all of your future sites that you are going to use this plugin on.yoastseo-tools
The bulk editor allows you to edit post titles and descriptions in bulk.

Step 12. Search Console

Search Console section in the Yoast SEO plugin, allows you to connect your WordPress site to Google Search Console tools (formerly webmaster tools).

You can add your WordPress site to Google webmaster tools and then verify it using Yoast SEO plugin.

Simply click on get Google Authorization Code and you will be redirected to Search Console website where you will get a code. Copy this code and enter it in the plugin settings to complete the verification.

After the verification, you will be asked to select a profile. You will need to select your website from a dropdown menu.

Yoast SEO will now fetch your Search Console data into WordPress. You will be able to see Desktop, Mobile, Feature Phone tabs on screen.

searchconsoledata

This is where you can see crawl errors related to your website and mark them as fixed after setting up redirects (we will discuss redirects later in this article).

Yoast SEO Premium

The basic Yoast SEO plugin is free and works really well for millions of WordPress sites around the world. However, it comes with an even more powerful Premium version.

Step 13: Redirects

Yoast SEO Premium adds a powerful redirect manager. This allows you to quickly set up redirects on your WordPress site. You can quickly fix 404 errors in your Google search console by setting up redirects and marking them as fixed in Search Console.

yoastpremium-redirects

Step 14: Customizing and Maximizing the Benefit

Just installing and setting up this plugin is not enough. In order for you to really maximize the benefit of this plugin, you need to customize the settings on per post basis.

Now this would not be a chore if you do it every time you write a post. Let’s take a look at how you can maximize the benefits by customizing.

WordPress SEO for Individual Posts and Pages

When editing any post or page in WordPress you will now see a metabox below the post editor labeled Yoast SEO. This box comes with tons of SEO options allowing you to improve that post and page.

You can click on the title in the snippet preview to edit it. You can also click on the edit snippet button to add title and meta description for the post or page you are editing,

You should write a custom title, and meta description rather than letting it auto-generate.

Sometimes your post title, and your SEO title might not be the same. Every time, you should write a custom Meta Description because the excerpt generator only picks up the first paragraph which might not be the most important one.

Make sure you select a focus keyword, so you can get analysis on how strong your page is for that keyword.

Once you click Save the post you will see analysis of the post below snippet preview. This gives you even further insights about your specific post or page.

seoanalysis

Use the free analysis as a reference point. Don’t kill yourself over it, but usually it is pretty accurate.

WordPress SEO for Category and Tag Archives

Just like your post and pages, you can also override the SEO title and meta descriptions for category, tag, and author archive pages.

Visit Posts » Categories page and click on the edit link below any category. On the category edit page, scroll down to bottom and you will see the Yoast SEO meta box.

archivesseo

You can do that for all your categories, tags, and custom taxonomy archives.

We hope this guide helped you install and setup WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.

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How to Start Your Own Podcast (Step by Step)

No matter your age or technical skill set, you can easily start your own podcast by following the step by step process outlined in this article.

Here is an outline of everything that we will cover:

  • What is podcasting & how podcasts work?
  • Things you need to setup your podcast
  • Choosing the best web hosting and domain name
  • Setting up a media hosting service
  • Choosing the proper podcasting equipment
  • Recording your first podcast
  • Publishing your podcast with WordPress
  • Uploading your media files to Blubrry
  • Setting up Smart Podcast Player Plugin
  • Adding your first podcast in WordPress
  • Previewing your podcast with iTunes
  • Submitting your podcast to iTunes
  • Podcasting resources to help you grow

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is Podcasting & How Podcasts Work?

A podcast is an episodic series of audio files which users can subscribe to download and listen.

In order for your podcast to work, you need to have an audio file and an RSS Feed that users can subscribe to stay updated and download new episodes when they come out.

Because WordPress comes with a built-in RSS feed system for blogs, many podcasters choose to use WordPress as their podcast website platform.

You can connect your podcast website with podcasting apps like iTunes to make it easier for millions of users to listen and subscribe. We will cover this later in the article.

Now that you know what is a podcast and how it works, let’s take a look at how to setup a podcast.

Things You Need to Setup Your Podcast

For a professional podcasting setup, there are few things that you will need to get started.

The first thing is a website or blog where people can find more about you and your podcast.

The second thing is the equipment to record your podcast.

Lastly, you need to have the right tools to publish your podcast on the internet, so you can get maximum subscribers and reach.

We will walk you through the whole process step-by-step.

Step 1. Website Setup: WordPress Hosting and Domain Name

The most important step in building a website is to choose the right platform. Thankfully you’re here, so you won’t be making any rookie mistakes.

We recommend using WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress for setting up your podcasting website.

WordPress is free to use, you can install plugins, customize your site design, and most importantly make money from your site without any restrictions

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

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

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet. This is what people type to get to your website. For example google.com or dreamsspark.com.

Web hosting is your website’s house on the internet. This is where all your files and images are stored. Every website needs web hosting.

The typical cost of web hosting is $7.99 per month and a domain name usually cost around $14.99 per year.

This is a lot for someone just starting out. Thankfully, Bluehost has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.

In real numbers, this means you can start your podcasting website for $2.95 per month.

We recommend using Bluehost because they are one of the official WordPress recommended hosting providers, and one of the largest web hosting service in the world.

After signing up with Bluehost, please refer to our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog. You will be up and running in no time.

Step 2. Setting up a Media Hosting Service

The next thing you will need is a good media hosting service. Your podcasts are large audio files.

Serving these large files from your web host will consume a lot of server resources. This will make your website slow and often unresponsive.

For best user experience, we recommend that you use a podcast specific media hosting platform like Blubrry.

Most smart podcasters use a separate podcast hosting service to serve their podcast files. It is the smartest and most efficient way to run a podcast.

Here are few reasons why we recommend Blubrry:

  • Blubrry is optimized for podcasting using WordPress. They offer a powerful plugin called Blubrry PowerPress which makes it easy to manage your podcast from WordPress site.
  • It comes with the large user community consisting many successful podcasters behind it. If you need help, then join the forums to learn from others who are podcasting for a long time.
  • Blubrry comes with great tools like ID3 tagging, iTunes optimization, automatic media artwork management, etc.
  • They have a top-tier content delivery network which makes your content delivery faster and more reliable.

Step 3. Choosing Proper Podcasting Equipment

As your podcast grows, you will learn about new tools that you can use to produce higher quality podcasts. However, as a beginner, the most important tool that you need is a good microphone.

Please do not use your computer’s built-in microphone to record your podcast. Your users will instantly notice the terrible sound quality.

There are 3 popular mic choices among podcasters.

podcasting-equipment Podcast

Samson C01U (USB) – Entry level Microphone

Rode Podcaster (USB) – Best USB mic.

Heil PR-40 (XLR connection, not USB) – This is what the Pro’s use. You will need to buy an audio mixer as well.

Other equipment that you probably want to purchase: mic arm, shock mount, and a pop filter. We purchased the Rode Podcaster kit that came with a Mic Arm and shock mount.

You would also need a decent headphone. We’re using Sony MDR7506.

Once you have the right podcasting equipment, you will be ready for the next step: recording your podcast.

Step 4. Recording Your First Podcast

To record your podcast, you will need an audio recording software. This software will help you record and edit your audio files.

The best podcast recording software which is used by most podcasters is Audacity. It is a free, cross-platform, and open source software capable of recording studio-quality professional podcasts.

After installing Audacity, you need to open it up and create a new project from the File menu.

To record your voice, simply click on the record button.

Now feel free to record your podcast. Don’t worry about awkward pauses, breaks, coughing, or any glitches you might make while narrating.

You can edit the recording as many times as you want.

audacity

You can also import music files from File » Import and set them as background music.

Audacity is a very powerful tool, and it is not possible for us to even cover its basic features in this article. However, TeamAudacity has an extensive Wiki with detailed tutorials specifically written for new podcasters.

We will recommend you to go through these tutorials. It will take you some time to become familiar with the software, but it’s totally worth your time and effort.

Once you have recorded your podcast, you need to export it.

Most podcasters export their audio files in the MP3 format because it creates smaller file sizes with good quality.

You also need to be smart about naming your podcast files. Remember podcasts are episodic series, so it would be best to use a naming practice that uses episode or serial number in the file name.

Some suggestions would be WPB001.mp3 or WPBep001.mp3.

Save the final version of your podcast file to a separate folder on your computer.

Step 5. Publishing Your Podcast with WordPress

After you have created a few episodes, and you are satisfied with their quality, it’s time to learn how to publish your podcast with WordPress.

You will need to login to the admin area of your WordPress site.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting plugin.

Upon activation, you will see a PowerPress menu item in WordPress admin menu. Clicking on it will take you to plugin’s settings page.

setupblubrry

If you are using Blubrry to host your podcasting files, then you need to click on the button to configure Blubrry statistics and hosting services.

Clicking on the button will bring up a popup where you need to enter your Blubrry hosting account email and password.

Next, you will need to fill out rest of the information on the settings page. Provide a title for your podcast and fill out iTunes fields.

These iTunes fields for description, category, subtitle, artwork, etc will be used in your podcast’s RSS feed, and iTunes will use them to place your podcast in their directory (more on this later).

powerpress-settings

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

Your WordPress site is now ready to publish your podcast.

Step 6. Upload Media Files to Blubrry

Before you publish your podcast with WordPress, you first need to upload the podcast file to your media hosting service, Blubrry.

You need to login to your Blubrry hosting account and then click on Podcaster dashboard.

Next, you need to click on ‘Upload New Media Files’ link under podcast hosting section.

This will bring you to another page where you need to click on the Upload New Media button and start uploading your podcast files.

uploadfiles-1

After you have uploaded your podcast media files, you will be able to use them on your WordPress site.

Step 7. Setting Up Smart Podcast Player

Most podcasters use WordPress plugins to display a podcast player on their website. This player allows users to listen to a podcast directly from your website.

The problem with most WordPress podcast player plugins is terrible user experience for your subscribers and listeners.

Patt Flynn, one of the well-known podcaster, realized the problem and decided to solve it by creating a solution for his website. That’s how Smart Podcast Player came to life.

Smart Podcast Player adds a beautifully built podcast player which allows users to play, share, and download podcast episodes from the player itself.

sppfull

It is mobile-ready out of the box which means your podcast player looks and works great on all devices.

It is a paid WordPress plugin and pricing starts from $8 per month. This price entitles you to premium support and access to tutorials and videos.

First, you will need to install and activate the Smart Podcast Player plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Smart Podcast Player page and enter your license key.

You can get this license key from your account on Smart Podcast Player website.

Next, you need to click on the ‘Player Defaults’ tab to setup plugin settings.

spp-defaults

You will need to provide your podcast feed URL. Since you are using PowerPress, your podcast feed URL will be like this:

http://example.com/feed/podcast/

Don’t forget to replace example.com with your own domain name.

Next, you need to provide your iTunes subscription link. Since you haven’t submitted your podcast to iTunes yet, you will need to come back here and fill this when your podcast is available on iTunes.

After that, you need to enter your show name and artist name.

Smart Podcast Player comes with beautiful design options and allows you to match your podcast player with your WordPress theme. Under player design settings, you can choose theme and color for your podcast player.

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

Now that Smart Podcast Player is ready, you need to disable the podcast player that comes with PowerPress.

Since you are using Smart Podcast Player, you don’t need PowerPress to add a media player to your posts.

You can do this by visiting PowerPress » Settings page and scroll down to the ‘Blog posts and pages’ section. Click on ‘Disable’ under ‘Display Media & Links’ option.

disaplyppp

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

Step 8. Adding Your First Podcast in WordPress

Everything is now in order, and you are ready to add your first podcast in WordPress.

To publish your first podcast, you need to go to Posts » Add New page.

It is highly recommended that you create a separate category for your podcast episodes. This will allow you to keep your podcast episodes separate from rest of your content. You will also be able to easily publicize your podcast feed later on.

After that, you need scroll down to the bottom of the page, and there you will see ‘Podcast Episode’ box.

Blubrry hosting users need to click on the folder icon and select the file they uploaded to Blubrry media.

Other users need to paste their media file URL in here. Click the Verify button to make sure that you have posted the correct URL.

Now you need to scroll back up to the post editor section. Give your blog post a suitable title and add a description of this podcast episode in the visual editor.

You will notice two buttons in the visual editor labeled SPP and STP. These buttons are added by Smart Podcast Player plugin.

insertspp

The SPP button allows you to add the full Smart Podcast Player which contains all your podcast episodes. Users can play them one by one.

However, since you are creating a blog post for a specific podcast episode, you need to click on the STP or Smart Track Player button.

Select ‘Play a specific episode of your podcast’ and then provide the URL of the Media file you want to be played.

You can get the URL of the media file from ‘Podcast Episode’ meta box where you just added the episode.

 

mediafile

After adding the media file URL, click on the build shortcode button.

You will see a shortcode appear in the post editor area.

That’s all, you can now publish and preview your blog post and you will see your podcast episode live with a beautiful player.

Congratulations, your WordPress podcasting site is ready to go live.

Step 9. Previewing Your Podcast with iTunes

Now that you have set up your podcast website with WordPress, it is time to submit it to iTunes and getting more subscribers.

Before submitting it to iTunes, you might want to check how your podcast will look in iTunes. To do this, launch iTunes and go to File » Subscribe to Podcast and enter your feed URL. Your feed URL will look like:

http://www.example.com/feed/podcast

Don’t forget to replace example.com with your own domain name.

Once you enter the URL in iTunes, it will fetch the feed and display it. As you can see in the screenshot below, it fetched the artwork, description, subtitle, etc.

testingpodcastinitunes

If everything looks good, this means you are ready to submit your podcast to iTunes.

Step 10. Submitting your Podcast to iTunes

To submit your podcast to iTunes, you need to download and install the latest version of iTunes on your computer. Next, Launch the iTunes and click on the iTunes Store button on the top right corner of the screen.

iTunes will now access iTunes Store. Click on the Podcasts menu, and then scroll a little to find the Podcasts Quick Links section. There you will see a link to Submit a podcast.

This will open the Podcast submit process. You will need an Apple ID to submit your podcast to iTunes directory. If you are not already signed in, iTunes will prompt you to log in.

The first thing you will need is your podcast feed URL. Your podcast feed URL will be like this:

http://example.com/feed/podcast

Don’t forget to replace example.com with your own domain name.

Since you are using PowerPress, your feed will already include tags required by iTunes Store for podcasts.

Upon submission, your podcast feed will be submitted to iTunes review queue. After approval by iTunes review staff, it will be added to iTunes directory, and you will be notified via email.

Podcasting Resources to Help You Grow

Congratulations on starting your podcast with WordPress. If you want to make your Podcast successful, then we recommend you join:

We hope this article helped you start a podcast with WordPress.

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Beginner Mistakes to Avoid in UI Design

1- Not following a grid.

Grids help designers align elements on the page in relation to each other which often produces a neater, more logical design.
Although the grid-lines are invisible, most professional designers align their work to a strict grid, often made up of eight, 12 or 16 thin vertical columns. A well-implemented grid is a bit like a fairy godmother, it can transform your design from something average to something clean, clear and effective. Check out the same design and how the elements look aligned with a grid, and they look random and messy without it.

Mistakes to Avoid in UI Design

2- Consider the Fold and the different resolutions when you design a UI.

Keeping resolution consciously in mind when creating a new Interface will ensure less updating in the future and more success in maximizing visibility. I can’t count the number of times I have seen designers test their design only in their monitor, and when their design is published then they notice it looks wrong in all the other monitors/resolutions. And even worst, it looks bad on the client monitor.

Based on solid research, viewers do not like to scroll. Design your website so viewers obtain the majority, or preferably all, of their information from the upper-most part of the fold. The “fold” is where the screen gets cut off and a scroll bar is needed to see the bottom of the site. Think of most newspaper layouts. If you design with the fold in mind, your website will be successful in allowing viewers to get the information they need at a faster rate.

3- Not having a high contrast between your background and figures.

Elements are perceived as either figure (distinct elements of focus) or ground (the background or landscape on which the figures rest). A low contrast between these two results in a noisy design. The background competes with the content and the result is a messy and distracting look. See for reference:

4- Drop Shadows.

When adding a drop shadow to your elements make sure to do it in a “realistic way”. How does a realistic drop shadow look like you might ask? It has to be soft and blend with the background and to achieve that it is vital that you don’t use Black for your drop- shadows. Shadows in real life are not black, they are darkened versions of whatever they sit on top of because there is less light. See this image for reference:

drop

If you were trying to recreate that, I don’t think black at any opacity level would get it just right. If your object is sitting over an orange background use a dark orange, but not black with opacity!

5- Not Utilizing White Space.

Using white space helps to create focus, guide the eye in a particular direction, and create a clear visual hierarchy. By utilizing white space, you’ll avoid the ‘cluttered’ look that can impede your efforts to communicate with your audience.

Poor use of space around the elements just compounds the problem and the result is a cluttered mess with no clear purpose.

Don’t let text run up against the edge of an element. Give it space!

6-When Clickable Items Don’t Look Clickable

If you want a site visitor to click on an element, you have to make it obvious that the element is actually clickable. If it’s a link, either change the color or add an underline and if it’s a button — don’t forget to use a contrasting color to the web page. Also don’t forget to add a hover state, especially in the Menu Links: It’s a must for menu items to become highlighted when a user hovers over them.

7- Inconsistent icons.

When you mix squared corners with rounded corners, you don’t have a consistent look.
When you use a different color for each icon in your design, you don´t have a consistent look.
If you are designing symmetrical icons, make them all symmetrical and don´t mix them with asymmetrical ones.

In Conclusion.

User Interface design can be tough for a lot of reasons, but the biggest challenge is probably that there are so many ways to approach a problem. If you are starting your career in design, I would suggest to first dominate the basics: learn all the rules to later break them and go into more creative and complex layouts.

If you avoid these simple UI mistakes, your interface will be more focused, clean, and usable. If all else fails, remember, simpler is usually better. Happy designing!

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What, Why, and How: Common WordPress Errors and their Solutions

Literally, nothing is idiot proof, not in any case WordPress.

In spite of the considerable adaptability and heap of components that put whatever is left of the CMS swarm practically out of the opposition, WordPress sites are similarly as inclined to glitches and mistakes as anything.

But what makes WordPress special is the sheer amount of free help you can count on from the community. The Codex combined with support forums and millions of resources covering almost every possible aspect of WordPress will make sure that you’re not left on your own.

As part of my ongoing contribution to the growing list of WordPress resources, I have compiled a list of common WordPress errors, their causes, effects, and solutions for newbie web developers. So when faced with any of the following errors, which may seem like the end of the world, you can resolve it on your own in a matter of minutes.

1.Cannot modify header information

The Error:

When you visit your website URL, you get a message that starts with:

“Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by …”.

Why it happens:

The error essentially means that something else was sent before and after the actual header’s code could be processed. In this case, it’s most likely some errant characters or spaces, or maybe even a code snippet placed before or after the closing and opening tags in a WordPress script.

Solution:

Start by taking a closer look at the error message. It should look something like this:

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /path/blog/wp-config.php:76) in /path/blog/wp-login.php on line 43

The path within the brackets and the number at the end are the exact places of error. In this example, it’s line 76 of wp-config.php

Go to your WordPress installation directory and find the file that says ‘already sent the header information.’ Open it in a text editor like Notepad++.

Check line 76 and make sure there are characters, spaces, or code lines before tags<?php and after >? Save this file on your desktop: keep the name but change the ‘Encoding’ (you’ll see a box before the ‘Save’ button) to UTF-8.

Upload the file back to where you found it in WordPress directory via FTP.

Tip: Avoid this error in future by using JavaScript instead of the function for redirection purposes. wp_redirect()

2.White Screen of Death

The Error:

This one is so common that geeks abbreviated it ages ago (WSOD). And yet, it can still cause severe heart palpitations for anyone who’s confronted with the terrible, blank White Screen of Death

Basically, any time you try to visit any page of your WordPress website (even backend or admin), you’ll see a big fat blob of this:

WordPress Errors

Why it happens:

Most commonly, it happens because of WordPress plugin or theme compatibility issues.

Solution:

If you can still see the backend, login to your admin dashboard and deactivate all the plugins. Just every last one of them. After that, visit the site URL again.

Now activate your plugins one by one. After every plugin, you activate, refresh your browser window to see your website. The moment it breaks, you have found the culprit plugin. Contact the plugin and theme authors to discuss and resolve this issue.

If your backend is also compromised, deactivate the plugins via their files. Go to your WordPress installation directory in FTP and go to path:wp-content/plugins Rename the plugins directory to anything else to deactivate all the plugins. This will vanquish the WSOD — you can then move all plugins’ files to computer. Restore your directory namewp-content/plugins, and upload the plugins manually, one-by–one. Keep checking the front-end (browser window that displays your website) to keep track.

It’s tedious work. You just have to bear with it.

3.All posts display “404 Not Found” Error

The Error:

Anytime you visit your posts, you get this:

404 Not Found

The web server cannot find the file or script you asked for…which is baffling because you HAVE posts on your website and the stupid server should be able to find them.

Why it happens:

Common causes include anything from broken links to corrupted or deleted .htaccessfile.

Solution:

Let’s start with a simple and obvious-in-hindsight solution first.

Go to your WordPress admin >> Settings >> Permalinks. Choose another setting, hit save, and get back to your erstwhile setting. Now try visiting your posts again.

The above method fixes. .htaccess

If you still can’t see your posts, you’ll have to fix manually .htaccess as. For that, open your FTP client and access the WordPress directory. Look for the file in the same directory. /wp-includes

Now add this bit in your .htaccess file:

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>
# END WordPress

Sometimes, it’s just a faulty URL. Before coming to the conclusion that something’s wrong, check other posts in various browsers.

4.HTTP 500 Internal Server Error

The Error:

You’ll see a message that looks something like this:

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request…

Why it happens:

This particular error (and its fix) applies to all websites on the Internet. It can happen because of corrupted or in is.htaccess WordPress core files, compatibility issue (plugins or theme), exceeded memory limit, and more.

Solution:

1. .htaccess: Since a corrupted ‘set of direction is a new.htaccess file the most common cause, you can make a safe bet on this. Simply, find the file (as directed in 3 >> Solution) and cut it from the directory. Once you’ve done that already, revisit your website to see if the problem has been fixed. If the problem is fixed, go to your Admin >> Settings >> Permalinks and reconfigure the settings to automatically get the new file. .htaccess

2. Plugin/Theme Compatibility: Another common cause for this error. Make sure to deactivate all plugins and reactivate them one by one (as directed in #2 >> Solution). If none of the plugins caused this, then try switching to a default theme.

3. Allowed memory size exhausted: Can be another reason for internal server error. Increase PHP memory allocation.

4. WordPress core: Corrupted core files can be replaced by simply downloading WordPress again. Go to WordPress.org, download the latest version, and install it.

5.Execution Time

The Error:

This:

“Fatal Error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in /file-path.php on line 538.”

Why it happens:

Your server or script in question is taking too long to respond/process. Usually, the default execution time is 30 seconds, but it may vary depending on hosting provider.

Solution:

First, make sure you have a backup of your website content and database.

Now, there are three ways to fix this:

1. htaccess: Add the following code to this file to increase execution time to 60 seconds.

php_value max_execution_time 60

2. php.ini: You may need to ask your hosting provider for access to this file. Add the following:

max_execution_time = 60

3. Plugin: WP Maximum Execution Time Exceeded will let you set execution time to 60 seconds only.

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The most effective method to Install a WordPress Plugin – Step by Step for Beginners

Plugins enable you to add new elements to WordPress, for example, include a display, slideshow, and so on. There are a large number of free and paid modules accessible for WordPress. In this well-ordered guide, we will demonstrate to you best practices to introduce a WordPress module.

Before You Start

If you are using WordPress.com, then you cannot install plugins.

We often get complaints from users saying that they can’t see the plugins menu in their WordPress dashboard. It is because you are using WordPress.com, which has its limitations.

In order to use plugins, you will need to use self-hosted WordPress.org.

Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search

The easiest way of installing a WordPress plugin is to use the plugin search. The only downside of this option is that a plugin must be in the WordPress plugin directory which is limited to only free plugins.

The first thing you need to do is go to your WordPress admin area and click on Plugins » Add New.

Install a WordPress Plugin

You will see a screen like the one in the screenshot above. Find the plugin by typing the plugin name or the functionality you are looking for like we did. After that, you will see a bunch of listings like the example below:

pluginsearchresults

You can pick the plugin that is best for you. Since in our search, we were looking for Floating Social Bar which happens to be the first plugin, we will click the ‘Install Now’ button.

WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you. After this, you will see the success message with a link to activate the plugin or return to plugin installer.

A WordPress plugin can be installed on your site, but it will not work unless you activate it. So go ahead and click on the activate plugin link to activate the plugin on your WordPress site.

That’s all, you have successfully installed your first WordPress plugin.

The next step is to configure the plugin settings. These settings will vary for each plugin, therefore, we will not be covering that in this post.

Install a Plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload

Paid WordPress plugins are not listed in the WordPress plugin directory. These plugins cannot be installed using the first method.

That’s why WordPress has the Upload method to install such plugins. We will show you how to install WordPress plugin using the upload option in the admin area.

First, you need to download the plugin from the source (which will be a zip file). Next, you need to go to WordPress admin area and visit Plugins » Add New page.

After that, click on the Upload Plugin button on top of the page.

uploadpluginwpadmin

This will bring you to the plugin upload page. Here you need to click on the choose file button and select the plugin file you downloaded earlier to your computer.

pluginuploadpage

After you have selected the file, you need to click on the install now button.

WordPress will now upload the plugin file from your computer and install it for you. You will see a success message like this after installation is finished.

plugininstalledmanual

Once installed, you need to click on the Activate Plugin link to start using the plugin.

You would have to configure the settings to fit your needs. These settings will vary for each plugin, therefore, we will not be covering that in this post.

Manually Install a WordPress Plugin using FTP

In some cases, your WordPress hosting provider may have file restrictions that could limit your ability to install a plugin from the admin area.

In this situation, your best bet is to install the plugin manually using FTP.

The FTP manager method is the least friendly for beginners.

First, you will need to download the plugin’s source file (it will be a zip file). Next, you need to extract the zip file on your computer.

Extracting the plugin zip file will create a new folder with the same name. This is the folder that you need to manually upload to your website using an FTP client.

You would need to access your host through the FTP manager. If you do not have your FTP username and password, then contact your WordPress hosting provider and ask them.

Open the FTP client on your computer and connect to your website using the login credentials provided by your web host. Once connected, you need to access the path /wp-content/plugins/

Next, upload the folder you extracted from the zip file to the folder on your web server/wp-content/plugins/.

ftppluginupload

After uploading the files, you need to visit the WordPress admin area and click on the Plugins link in the admin menu. You will see your plugin successfully installed on the plugins page.

installedplugins

You need to click on the Activate link below the plugin. Upon activating, you may need to configure the plugin settings. WordPress plugins come with their own settings which differ from one plugin to another so we will not describe them here.

We hope this helped you learn how to install WordPress plugins.

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How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners

Would you like to introduce Google Analytics in WordPress? Knowing how your group of onlookers communicates with your site is significant to your prosperity. An ideal approach to knowing your group of onlookers is through your movement details, and this is the thing that Google Analytics accommodate FREE. In this article, we will share why Google Analytics is essential, and how you can introduce Google Analytics on your WordPress blog (well ordered).

Why is Google Analytics Important for Bloggers?

Once you start a blog, your #1 goal is to get more traffic and subscribers. Google Analytics help you make data-driven decisions by showing you the stats that matter. You can see:

Who visits your website?

This part of analytics answers what is the geographical location of your audience, which browser did the user use to visit your site and much other important information such as screen resolution, JavaScript support, Flash support, language and more.

This data is extremely useful, and it can help in numerous ways. When getting a custom design, you can use the user data to make sure that your site will be compatible with your audience.

If most of your users don’t have Flash support, then you should avoid adding a flash element in your site. If most of your users are on 1280 screen resolutions, then make sure that your design is compatible with that resolution or smaller.

What do people do when they are on your website?

You can track where the user is going on your website, how long do they stay on your website, and what is the bounce rate (the percent of users exit your site on the first visit).

By using this information, you can decrease the bounce rate and increase your page views.

When do people visit your website?

By looking at the hottest hours in the day for your site, you can pick the time when you publish your post. If that time zone is not compatible with yours, then you can schedule your post to meet that hour.

How do people find your website?

This section of the analytics show you where did the user come from (for example Search Engines, Direct Links, Referral links from another site).

It also shows you what percentage of your visitors came from each of these sources. Google analytics gives you the breakdown of each of these categories. If it is the search engine category, then it shows you which search engine got you the most traffic, Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.

The breakdown of referral sources shows you which sites you need to work with the most. If your top referral source is Facebook, then you need to have exclusive Facebook content to make your Twitter audience feel special.

If your top referral source is an external website, then you might want to consider having a partnership with that website (guest post exchange or something else).

How do people interact with your content?

Google analytics shows how your users interact with your site’s content. It shows you what percent of the user clicked on which link on your site and much more.

You can run A/B split tests by creating content experiments in Google Analytics to understand what works best to meet your goals.

By seeing the user interactivity, you can work your content around your users. By seeing the answers to the questions above, you can focus on the strategies that work for your site and eliminate the strategies that don’t work.

Simply put, eliminate the guess work and focus on stats that matter, so you can make data-driven-decisions.

How to Signup with Google Analytics

Step 1: First you need to create a Google Analytics account. To do this, visit Google Analytics Signup Page.

You will see a screen like the one below. If you already have a Google or Gmail account, then you can use that to sign-in. If you do not have a Gmail account, then you would have to create an account for yourself.

Google Analytics

Step 2: Once you sign-in with your Gmail account, you will be prompted to a screen like the one below. This is where you will signup for Google analytics with your Gmail account.

gasignup

Step 3: On the next screen, you will be given choice to choose between a website or mobile app. Make sure you select website.

After that, you need to enter account name (It will be the Google Analytics profile name for this website), Website name, website’s URL, country, and the time zone.

gasetupaccount

Once you have entered this information, click on the Get Tracking ID button. You will be presented with Google Analytics terms and service which you must agree to, so click on I Agree on a button.

Step 4: Now you will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code. You can copy this tracking code because you will need to enter it in your WordPress site depending on the method you use below.

gatrackingcode

We suggest leaving the analytics browser tab open as you may need to revisit it, once you have installed the code on your WordPress site.

Now that you have setup a Google Analytics account, let’s take a look at how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

There are many different ways to setup Google Analytics on WordPress. We will show you three different methods where the first option is the easiest and the last being the hardest.

You can choose the one that best suits your needs.

1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Over 1 million websites use it including the likes of Bloomberg, PlayStation, Zillow, and more.

It is the easiest and by far the best way to add Google Analytics to WordPress (for all users beginners and experts).

MonsterInsights has both a free version and the Pro version. In this tutorial, we will be using the MonsterInsights free version.

You can use the MonsterInsights Pro version if you want more advanced features like Ecommerce tracking, Ads tracking, Author tracking, etc. The process of setting them up is the same.

Let’s get started.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled ‘Insights’ to your WordPress admin menu. You need to visit Insights » Settings to configure the plugin settings.

On this screen, you need to click on ‘Authenticate with your Google account’ button to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress site.

authenticate

This will bring up a popup where you will be able to authenticate with your Google Account.

miauthenticate

Click on ‘Next’ to continue.

Now you need to click on ‘Click to get Google code’ button.

getcode

This will bring up another popup with the message ‘MonsterInsights would like access to your Google Analytics data’.

Click on the ‘Allow’ button to continue.

permissions

The authentication popup will now show you a line of code which you need to copy.

authenticate

Next, you need to enter this code in the MonsterInsights popup and then click on ‘Next’ to continue.

The final step is to select the profile you want to track. You need to select your website here and then click on the next button to continue.

selectprofile

That’s all you have successfully installed and setup Google Analytics on your WordPress site.

Remember, it will take Google Analytics sometime before showing your stats.

The best part about MonsterInsights is that you can view your Google Analytics report inside your WordPress dashboard. Simply visit Insights » Reports page to check out a quick overview of your analytics data.

mi-reports

You can go also go in the Tracking tab to customize the tracking settings based on your needs:

monsterinsights-tracking

Note: MonsterInsights was formerly known as Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast. WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, acquired the plugin in 2016 and rebranded it to MonsterInsights. Now it is part of our family of premium WordPress plugins.

2. Insert Headers and Footers Plugin

This method is not as not as good as MonsterInsights because you will not be able to do advanced tracking configuration, and you will not be able to view Google Analytics data in your WordPress dashboard.

First, you need to install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page. Here you need to paste the Google Analytics code that you copied in step 4 into the headers section.

addingcodeinwp

3. Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme

This method is for advanced users only who are familiar with the code. It is somewhat unreliable because your code will disappear if you switch or update the theme. We almost never recommend using this method.

Add code in header.php file

Simply edit the header.php file in your WordPress theme and paste the code you copied in step 4 right after the <body> tag.

Don’t forget to save your changes and upload the file back to your server.

Add via Functions File

You can also add Google Analytics tracking code to WordPress functions file. It will then automatically add code to every page on your WordPress site.

You will need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file.

1 <?php
2 add_action('wp_head', 'wpb_add_googleanalytics');
3 function wpb_add_googleanalytics() { ?>
4 // Paste your Google Analytics code from Step 4 here
5 <?php } ?>

Viewing Reports on Google Analytics Website

Google Analytics is capable of showing you a treasure of data collected from your stats. You can view this data by visiting your Google Analytics dashboard and clicking on the reporting tab.

ga-reports

You will see the built-in Google Analytics reports in the left column. Each section is divided into different tabs and clicking on a tab will expand it to show more options.

  • Audience tab will show reports to help you understand your users.
  • Acquisition reports explore where your users came from.
  • Behavior reports summarize what your users do after they arrive on your site.
  • Conversion reports show how well you’re doing against your goals.

We hope this article helped you learn how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

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15 Things You MUST DO Before Changing WordPress Themes

If you have used WordPress, then you have probably switched themes at least once in your life. If you haven’t, and this is your first time, then it is even better. The beauty of WordPress is that it makes it very easy for users to change themes. It is literally few clicks away. But changing themes is much more than simply clicking activate. In this article, we will provide you with a checklist of things that you MUST do before changing WordPress themes. These steps are critical to making sure the process goes smoothly otherwise you can end up losing elements that you did not mean to lose.

1. Take Notes on Your Current Theme

Many WordPress users surf the web to find solutions to their problems. Often they find those solutions in form of snippets that they add manually in their themes such as the functions.php or another file. Because these changes were made once, people have a tendency of not remembering them. Go through your theme files and note down all additional code that you added. You also want to check your current theme’s load time because this way you can compare the two. Go to a site like Pingdom Tools or use YSlow to test out different pages (Yes different pages, not just the homepage).

2. Be cautious of the Sidebars

Changing WordPress Themes

You must make sure that your new theme is widget-ready. Sidebar widgets are really easy to use therefore a lot of users use it to customize it. We notice that sidebars are probably the most user-customized area of WordPress sites. People make tons of changes such as adding custom texts, images, links, advertisement, and other widgets. If you are using a widget-enabled theme, and you switch to a theme that is not widget-ready, then you will lose all of that. If you are using a widget-enabled WordPress theme, then this is not an issue.

Also, anything that you modify in sidebar.php file of your old theme, will be overwritten. So make sure that you add those codes in the new theme sidebar.

3. Don’t lose tracking

teacupanalytics

Most bloggers use some sort of analytics whether it be Google Analytics or one of the other services. A lot of us don’t use plugins to add the tracking codes. Some of us open the footer.php file and modify the codes. Some of our themes have a spot to place the Adsense code. Whichever one is your case, you want to make sure that you copy and paste your tracking code to your new theme. This is one of the things that is very commonly overlooked by users. Because it is so simple, most of us forget about it.

4. The Good ‘ol RSS are you working?

A lot of us use FeedBurner for our WordPress RSS Feeds. One of the parts of integrating FeedBurner into WordPress is pointing your default feeds to FeedBurner this way you can have analytics on your feed subscribers. A lot of themes like Genesis, Standard Theme, and others allow you to integrate FeedBurner from their settings panel. You need to make sure that you keep the feed directed to FeedBurner otherwise there will be two RSS feeds for your blog. The main WordPress one, and the FeedBurner one which is taking the info from your WordPress RSS Feed. Except, you will lose count of a lot of the subscriber that you had because they were subscribed using the /feed/ URL which no longer points to FeedBurner. Again, this does not mean you lose them, it just means that you can’t see them in the FeedBurner count.

5. Backup!!

backupyourfiles

You never have anything to lose by creating a backup. As a precautionary measure, you should backup all of your theme files, plugins, and the database. Although nothing should happen, but you can never be to safe. You can use BackupBuddy to create a full-site Backup for you.

6. Maintenance Mode

wpmaintenancemode2

ou probably don’t want your users to see while you are making the switch because they will end up seeing a broken site or such. It is best to turn on Maintenance mode for 15 – 20 minutes that it may take you to make sure that everything is working properly. Once you have setup Maintenance mode, you are good to go ahead and activate the new theme.

7. Testing all functionality and plugins

Once you have the new theme activated, you need to make sure that you retain all the functionality and plugins still work. Remember that good old’ notes list that you created in step 1. This is the time where that can come handy. Go back and add any and all functionality that you want to bring the old theme into the new theme if you haven’t done so already. Try out all the features including but not limited to the commenting process, single post pages, search, 404 page, archive page, contact page etc. Make sure all of your widgets are still there and are working.

On the plugin front, you just want to make sure that the formatting is still the same. A lot of plugins utilize your existing styles to display their output. So you probably want to make sure that they still look good with the new theme.

8. Cross Browser Compatibility

Cross browser

Test your site in all browsers you have access to. Browsers have a tendency of rendering things differently. Especially Internet Explorer. You want to make sure that your design looks good in major browsers. Some pretty looking themes have a tendency of breaking in various browsers. So if a lot of your audience is using Internet Explorer, then you want to make sure that it is still accessible to them.

9. Make those Third Party Items look pretty

If you are using Google Adsense or another ad company that allows you to format them, then your best bet is to customize them. For example, your previous site was orange, so you had orange links for Google Adsense. Now if it is blue, then you probably want to take that into account.

Same goes for twitter widget, facebook like buttons etc. Adjust those with your new color scheme. If you are going from a light to a dark design, or vice-versa, then you need to make those changes.

10. Let your Users Know

announcement

Turn off maintenance mode, and write a quick blog post to let the users know. Notice, you only spent like 15 – 20 minutes on checking things. There is no way that you could’ve to catch all the bugs. By letting your users know, you can expect to get bug reports. Ask your audience via twitter, facebook etc to see if the site looks good in their browser. If they say YES, then its good news. If they say NO, then ask them to please take a screenshot of the issue. You can take a look at the issue and try to fix it. If you can’t fix it, then kindly ask the developer of the theme to fix it. Notice: unless you paid for the theme, these developers are NOT required to fix those issues for FREE.

People have all sort of browsers, screen resolutions, etc, so getting their opinion is important. Don’t forget to remind your RSS readers to visit the site as well, so they can see the goodies.

11. Pruning plugins

Themes are now coming pre-loaded with a lot of features. For example, if you are using Genesis or another theme that has BreadCrumbs, then you can get rid of Breadcrumb plugin of yours. The concept is simple. Get rid of things that you don’t need. One thing you should make sure though is often plugins can do the job better. For example, a lot of themes are coming with tons of SEO features. Genesis, Thesis, Standard Theme, and all others boost their SEO features. We’d rather use a much more powerful plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast. Make your choices wisely.

12. Take Baby Steps when Changing

babysteps

You are working with a new theme here, so it is probably best that you make changes carefully. Change smaller elements to make sure that it behaves properly in all browsers. Then once you are comfortable enough, then you can make drastic changes. It’s important to learn the structure and semantics of the new theme before you make huge changes. This will allow you to detect the problem right away.

13. Test Loading Time

Take the load time numbers that you had on your old theme (from item 1 of this checklist), and compare the two. See what you can do to improve load time by checking out Syed’s presentation on Slideshare.

14. Monitor Bounce Rate

After switching themes, you want to make sure that you are monitoring bounce rate. Some themes are just friendlier than others when it comes to navigating the readers around your site. If your bounce rate has increased compared to the previous theme, then you should probably work on that. Add related posts widgets, popular posts widgets, or simply have a better call-to-action for new readers.

15. Listen to your readers, and IMPROVE

suggestions

When a new design comes out, users always have suggestions. They either love a specific feature or hate a specific feature. Communicate with your audience using surveys or Facebook Polls. See what they would like to see improved, and then work on getting that done.

Do you have a checklist of your own when changing WordPress themes? would love to hear it if we missed something.

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How to Create a Custom Template in WordPress

Creating a Custom Template in WordPress

First, you need to open a plain text editor like Notepad on your computer. In the blank file add this line of code at the top:

1 <?php /* Template Name: CustomPageT1 */ ?>

This code simply tells WordPress that this is a template file and it should be recognized as CustomPageT1. You can name your template anything you want as long as it makes sense to you.

Once you have added the code, save the file to your desktop as,custompaget1.php

You can save the file with any name, just make sure that it ends with .phpextension.

For this next step, you will need to connect to your website using an FTP client.

Once connected, go to your current theme or child theme folder. You will find it in the directory/wp-content/themes/. Next, upload your custom page template file to your theme.

Now you need to login to your WordPress admin area to create a new page or edit an existing one.

On the page editing screen, scroll down to ‘Page Attributes’ section, and you will find a template drop down menu. Clicking on it will allow you to select the template you just created.

Custom Template

Now if you change the template and visit this page, then you will get to see a blank page. That’s because your template is empty and does not tell WordPress what to display.

Don’t worry, we will show you how to easily edit your custom page template.

Editing Your Custom Page Template

Your custom page template is like any other theme file in WordPress. You can add any HTML, template tags, or PHP code in this file.

The easiest way to get started with your custom page is by copying the existing page template provided by your theme.

Open your FTP client and go to your theme folder. There you will find a file called page.php. You need to download this file to your computer.

pagetemplate

Open the page.php file in a plain text editor like Notepad, and copy all its content except the header part.

templateheader

The header part is the commented out part at the top of the file. We are not copying it because our custom page template already has one.

Now you need to open your custom page template file and paste it at the end.

Your custom page file would now look something like this:

<?php /* Template Name: CustomPageT1 */ ?>
<?php get_header(); ?>
<div id="primary" class="content-area">
<main id="main" class="site-main" role="main">
<?php
// Start the loop.
while ( have_posts() ) : the_post();
// Include the page content template.
get_template_part( 'template-parts/content', 'page' );
// If comments are open or we have at least one comment, load up the comment template.
if ( comments_open() || get_comments_number() ) {
comments_template();
}
// End of the loop.
endwhile;
?>
</main><!-- .site-main -->
<?php get_sidebar( 'content-bottom' ); ?>
</div><!-- .content-area -->
<?php get_sidebar(); ?>
<?php get_footer(); ?>

Save your custom page template file and upload it back to your theme folder using FTP.

You can now visit the page you created using a custom page template. It will now look exactly like your other pages in WordPress.

You can now continue editing your custom page template file. You can customize it in any way you want. For example, you can remove the sidebar, add custom PHP code, add any other HTML you want.

You can add the content by editing the page in WordPress page editor screen. You can also leave the content area in page editor completely empty, and add custom content directly in your page template.

We hope this article helped you add a custom page in WordPress.


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How to Earn 3500$ from Bluehost Affiliate Program?

Affiliate marketing is an insane source to create an astounding measure of income from your web blogs. The genuine online business is the ones who either have their own particular items, advance outsider items (affiliate marketing) or offer administrations to their customers.

Bluehost has been my first ever web hosting that I counted on Alhumdulilah! Very soon, as I trusted their service thoroughly, I become their affiliate and decided to recommend it to everyone around me.

This post goes out to all the brothers and sisters who look forward to jumping into affiliate marketing and can’t figure out what to promote and earning a decent amount while doing so.

To set up a self-hosted website, you need a web hosting. So web hosting is one of the most common affiliate products that people promote online and making a living.

The following post is structured in the form of a FAQ which helps understands the topic better InshaAllah.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you promote third party products and when you make a sale, you earn a commission out of those sales.

For example, Bluehost offers 65$ to start with, on every sale a person makes for them. That is a one-time payment that they make to you, in a response to a life long customer that you gave to them.

How Do They Track The Sales You Make?

When you become their affiliate, they would give you a dedicated affiliate link, that is unique to you. When you share that with your readers on your blog or anywhere online, and when someone’s click that link, they’re redirected to Bluehost’s website.

Now if the visitor buys Bluehost’s hosting, you would get an email that you just made a sale!

That is a great moment! <3 So all of your sales are linked to your affiliate link and you get to see all the statistics and sources that brought you sale in your Bluehost Affiliate Dashboard.

How to Become Bluehost’s Affiliate?

You can simply head over to the following link and signup for their affiliate program.

bluehost affiliate program

You’d see the following form that you have to fill up. After that, you hit ‘Sign Up’ button and that’s all. Your application then goes into approval mode. They’d get back to you via email once your application is approved.

Valid Website/Blog
 Make sure that you have a valid website/blog URL that you have to put in the form. This shows them that you’ve a serious online presence.

Meanwhile, your application is under approval, you have to fill up Tax Form, which is required to withdraw your earnings.

How to Withdraw Bluehost Affiliate Earnings?

You can withdraw your affiliate earnings via:

  1. Paypal
  2. WireTransfer (For higher incomes)

How Much Does Bluehost Offer Per Sale?

By default, Bluehost offers 65$ per sale that you make for them. Though, there are odd cases. They often offer more amount per sign up like 100-125$ per sign up to a limited amount of blogs that they feel would be able to bring back more sales initially.

Also, once you start making 5-10 sales per month, they would increase your per sale bounty to over 150-200$ +. You can request that to their customer support and they happy do that 🙂

Though they need to see the sales stats that you made for them since few last months.

What does it take to Make 3500$ per Month With Bluehost?

Step #1 Increase per Sale Bounty (Optional/Request)

You can request their customer support to increase you an initial bounty to 100$ per sale. (A simple request)

Step #2 Plan to make 35 sales per month. 35 sales = 3500$ per month. (With 100$ per sale).

To make 35 sales, you have the following options:

Use Your Blog

#1 Place Banners

You can use different banners on your blog as shown below. I’ll share my personal banners in the following screenshots that I use and also there are tons of free banners in Bluehost’s affiliate section that you can use.

How to Earn 3500$ from Bluehost Affiliate Program

You can go to Dashboard >> Banner Or Widgets and find out various banner designs you of various dimensions that you feel would be suitable for your blog.

#2 Write Bluehost Reviews

You can write high-quality Bluehost reviews on your blog and use your affiliate links within the post. The more visitors would read your blog, the more sign up would you get. Generally, on average, you need 100-150 readers to your blog post (that talks about Bluehost) to make a sale.

Now you can do that maths. Though these numbers are not a surety. If you’re into a relevant niche where people would like to sign up for the new web hosting, you’d be surprised to see how many sales you can make easily. InshaAllah.

#3 Write Instant Reviews On Sales

Bluehost often sends the affiliates emails on various holiday occasions for massive discounts that you can offer to your readers. On moments like Christmas, Black Friday, 4th June etc Bluehost sales are amazing!

Even like more than 60-70% off. 🙂

SO by making the most out of these sales, you can get a huge spike in your affiliate sales by writing a quick blog post on these moments by offering your readers massive discounts 🙂

#4 Use Google AdWord Ads To Drive to Your Landing Page

I’ve seen so many people making the most out of Adwords ads to drive traffic to their blogs, that are actually meant to convert that traffic into the sales.

Though this can take quite some iterations to find out the best ad banner that you could use that would convert into your sales.

Be Aware
You can easily loose quite some money on this one, as Google Adwords is pretty expensive and you can easily loose quite some on that if you don’t have the most converting banners.

Conclusion

Hope these insights helped you out. Even if you aim to make 1000$ with Bluehost, I would recommend you to first set a goal. When you’d have a clear goal in mind, you can work on it and create more blog posts, more video content to market.

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Automatically Update Your Copyright Year with PHP

Copyright Year with PHP

This instructional exercise is composed for those of you who end up neglecting to refresh the year in your site’s copyright line. I’ve seen a few destinations with copyright lines that are more than five years obsolete. We should investigate how you can set your site’s footer to dependably show the present year in the copyright line.

In most cases, you will find this in your theme’s footer.php file. If you are using a child theme (you should be), you will first want to look for the file within your child theme footer.php‘s directory.

In the most recent WordPress default Twenty Seventeen theme, you will be editing. /template-parts/footer/site-info.php

twenty-seventeen-copyright-footer

Once you have identified the proper file to edit, open it and look for the text from your footer’s copyright line. In Twenty Seventeen as well as many other themes, this is found within a div with the class “site-info”.

twenty-seventeen-copyright-footer-02

Now that we know where to make the changes, let’s update it to display a dynamic copyright line.

To get the current year in PHP we can use:

echo date(“Y”);

Keep in mind that this returns the date from the server.

twenty-seventeen-copyright-footer-03

Now you can get back to focusing on celebrating the new year instead of worrying about your copyright date! No more updates needed — your footer copyright will always display the current year!