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How to Install and Setup Wordfence Security in WordPress

Do you want to install and setup Wordfence security plugin on your website? Wordfence is a popular WordPress plugin that helps you tighten the security of your WordPress site and protects it from hacking attempts.

What is Wordfence? How it Protects Your WordPress Site?

Wordfence is a WordPress security plugin that helps you protect your website against security threats like hacking, malware, DDOS and brute force attacks.

It comes with a website application firewall, which filters all traffic to your website and blocks suspicious requests.

It has a malware scanner that scans all your WordPress core files, themes, plugins, and upload folders for changes and suspicious code. This helps you clean a hacked WordPress site.

The basic Wordfence plugin is free, but it also comes with a premium version that gives you access to more advanced features such as country blocking, firewall rules updated in real-time, scheduled scanning, etc.

Having said that, let’s see how to install and easily setup Wordfence for maximum security.

How to Install and Setup Wordfence in WordPress

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

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

This page shows an overview of the plugin’s security settings on your website. You will also see security notifications and stats like recent IP blocking, failed login attempts, total attacks blocked, etc.

Wordfence settings are divided into different sections. The default settings will work for most websites, but you still need to review and change them if needed.

Let’s start by running a scan first.

Scanning Your WordPress Site Using Wordfence

Head over to Wordfence » Scan page and then click on ‘Start a Wordfence Scan’ button.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence will now start scanning your WordPress files.

The scan will look for changes in file sizes in the official WordPress core and plugin files.

It will also look inside the files to check for the suspicious code, backdoors, malicious URLs, and known patterns of infections.

Typically these scans need a lot of server resources to run. Wordfence does an excellent job of running the scans as efficiently as possible. The time it takes to complete a scan will depend on how much data you have, and the server resources available.

You will be able to see the progress of the scan in the yellow boxes on the scan page. Most of this information will be technical. However, you don’t need to worry about the technical stuff.

Once the scan is finished, Wordfence will show you the results.

It will notify you if it found any suspicious code, infections, malware, or corrupted files on your website. It will also recommend actions you can take to fix those issues.

Free Wordfence plugin automatically runs full scans on your WordPress site once every 24 hours. Premium version of the plugin allows you to set up your own scan schedules.

Setting up Wordfence Firewall

Wordfence comes with a website application firewall. This is a PHP based application level firewall.

The Wordfence firewall offers two levels of protection. The basic level which is enabled by default allows the Wordfence firewall to run as a WordPress plugin.

This means, that the firewall will load with rest of your WordPress plugins. This can protect you from several threats, but it will miss out on threats that are designed to trigger before WordPress themes and plugins are loaded.

The second level of protection is called extended protection. It allows Wordfence to run before WordPress core, plugins, and themes. This offers a much better protection against more advanced security threats.

Here is how you would set up the extended protection.

Visit Wordfence » Firewall page and click on the Optimize Firewall button.

Wordfence will now run some tests in the background to detect your server configuration. If you know that your server configuration is different from what Wordfence has selected, then you can select a different one.

Click on the continue button.

Next, Wordfence will ask you to download your current .htaccess file as a backup. Click on the ‘Download .htaccess’ button and after downloading the backup file click on the continue button.

Wordfence will now update your .htaccess file which will allow it to run before WordPress. You will be redirected to the firewall page where you will now see your protection level as ‘Extended protection’.

Setup Wordfence Security

You will also notice a ‘Learning Mode’ button. When you first install Wordfence, it attempts to learn how you and your users interact with the website to make sure that it doesn’t block legitimate visitors. After a week it will automatically switch to ‘Enabled and Protecting’ mode.

Monitoring and Blocking Suspicious Activity Using Wordfence

Wordfence shows a very useful log of all requests made to your website. You can view it by visiting Wordfence » Live Traffic page.

Here you can see the list of IPs requesting different pages on your website.

You can block individual IPs and even full networks on this page.

You can also block suspicious IPs manually by visiting the Wordfence » Blocking page.

Advanced Settings and Tools in Wordfence

Wordfence is a powerful plugin with lots of useful options. You can visit Wordfence » Options page to review them.

Here you can selectively turn features on and off. You can also enable or disable email notifications, scans, and other advanced settings.

On Wordfence » Tools page, you can run password audit to ensure that all users on your website are using strong passwords. You can run whois lookup for suspicious IP addresses and view diagnostics information to help debug issues with the plugin or your WordPress site.

Premium version users can also set up two-factor login to strengthen login security on their websites.

Wordfence vs Sucuri – Which One is Better?

Now some of you will probably be thinking how Wordfence stacks against Sucuri?

Sucuri is another popular website security suite that comes with a website application firewall, malware scanner, and removal.

Both Wordfence and Sucuri are great choices to improve your WordPress security. However, we believe that Sucuri has some features that give it a slight edge over Wordfence.

One of them is website application firewall. Wordfence WAF is an application level firewall, which means it is initiated on your server.

On the other hand, Sucuri website firewall is a DNS level firewall. This means all traffic to your website goes to their cloud proxy before reaching your website. This helps Sucuri block DDOS attacks more efficiently and also reduces server load on your website.

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Best Backup Plug-ins for Protecting Your Site

There are Press 9 Best Free Quality Backup Plugins for Protecting Your WordSite, There are a lot of amazing, also free, WordPress modules accessible that will go down your posts, pages, item depictions, and whatever else you have on your site.

1. UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration

Plug-ins for Protecting

UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration is one of the most popular free backup plugins available for WordPress. With more than half a million installs and an extraordinarily favorable 4.9 out of 5-star rating, it should definitely make your shortlist.

You can use Updraft to back up your files to the cloud via Amazon S3, as well as other popular online file storage solutions including Google Drive, Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud, and DreamObjects. You can also backup your files to the server of your choice with an FTP transfer.

UpdraftPlus is also offered as a premium version. That gives you a gigabyte of backup storage on the Updraft Vault, additional backup options (including Microsoft OneDrive, SCP, WebDAV, and OpenStack Swift), secure FTP, the ability to clone databases, automatic backup when updating WordPress themes, and the ability to send backups to remote destinations. The premium version costs between $70 and $145, depending on how many sites you’re planning on installing the plugin.

2. Duplicator

duplicator

Duplicator is a backup solution that not only backs up your data but also duplicates your entire WordPress site. As you can imagine, it is a powerful backup solution. Maybe that’s why the plugin has been installed more than half a million times and currently enjoys a 4.9-star rating.

This module gives you the chance to relocate, duplicate, or clone your whole site starting with one area then onto the next, which is an incredible arrangement in case you’re searching for finish repetition if you require a failover alternative if your essential site goes down.

3. blogVault

blog vault

blogVault if you’re looking for a free solution that offers automated daily backups of your WordPress site. It’s a solution that has 9,000 installations as of this writing with a 4.5-star rating.

The tool offers an automated backup arrangement specifically to Dropbox if that is your tool of decision for online document stockpiling. Be that as it may, blogVault requires some setup, however, the documentation guarantees that the setup is “simple” and that it will require an insignificant venture of your time.

This plugin also boasts that it doesn’t use any local storage for backups. Instead, all storage is handled offsite, ensuring that the resources for your WordPress blog aren’t consumed with costly backups.

4. CYAN Backup

cyan
CYAN is another less popular yet highly-rated solution for your backup needs. The tool is a fork of the Total Backup solution that hasn’t been updated in a couple of years.

The plugin supports hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly backups with varying intervals. For example, you can create backups every four hours or every two weeks.

5. WordPress Backup to Dropbox

wordpressdropbox
WordPress Backup to Dropbox is a backup solution that works with Dropbox. It’s also a popular solution with more than 100,000 installations.

6. XCloner

xcloner

XCloner is a solution that not only works for WordPress but also works for Joomla!, if you’re interested in that kind of thing (traitor!).

7. WP-DB-Backup

wp-db-backup
WP-DB-Backup on its plugin page. However, its lack of a thorough marketing message apparently hasn’t diminished its popularity. The plugin has been downloaded more than half a million times and enjoys a 4.6-star rating.

8. BackUpWordPress

backupwordpress
BackUpWordPress is another excellent option if you’re looking for a free WordPress backup system. This plugin requires PHP version 5.3.2 or later.

9. BackWPup Free

backwpup
The plugin gives you the option to use an external backup service such as Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud, SugarSync, or S3. It also allows you to FTP the backup files to the server of your choice.

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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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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 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!

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How to install Laravel 5 with Xampp (Windows)

Laravel 5 with Xampp

Requirements

  • PHP >= 5.5.9
  • OpenSSL PHP Extension
  • PDO PHP Extension
  • Mbstring PHP Extension
  • Tokenizer PHP Extension

Install Xampp

First of all, we need Xampp, so we can download it from the official page: Download Xampp

xamp

Composer

After you’ve downloaded and installed Xampp, we need to install Composer.

A composer is a PHP package manager that is integrated with Laravel Framework. In Windows, we can install it easy going to the official page and download the installer.

Composer Download page

After installing it, we can open a Windows terminal and write composer for executing the command:

composer

Xampp Virtual Host

We will configure a Virtual Host in Xampp for a Laravel project, and in this example, we want to configure the domain laravel.dev for our project.

We need to edit httpd-vhosts.conf that are located in C:\xampp\apache\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf and add following lines at the end of the file:

# VirtualHost for LARAVEL.DEV
<VirtualHost laravel.dev:80>
DocumentRoot "C:\xampp\htdocs\laravel\public"
ServerAdmin laravel.dev
<Directory "C:\xampp\htdocs\laravel">
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted
</Directory>
</VirtualHost>

After this, our apache is listening to laravel.dev connections, but we have to configure our hosts file that allows redirecting laravel.dev to the localhost that is located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

IMPORTANT!: To edit this file, maybe we should give access, click properties and allow your user to modify this file. Edit hosts file adding our localhost for laravel.dev:

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#	127.0.0.1       localhost
#	::1             localhost
127.0.0.1	laravel.dev

Save the file and we are ready to install laravel.

Install Laravel Framework

We are prepared to install and configure a Laravel Framework. First of all, we have to navigate to a htdocs folder to install it and run this following command:

composer create-project laravel/laravel laravel “5.1.*”

Will start the installation of the Framework:

laravel-ins

laravel-ins

When it finishes, it will create following directory schema:

schema

Finally, start our apache and MySql from Xampp control panel:

xampp

Navigate to laravel.dev and Laravel it’s installed!

laravel

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Top 3 Ways to integrate your WooCommerce store with eBay and Amazon

If you own a WooCommerce online store and also sell your items on other marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, you might have wondered if it is possible to integrate all three in a single platform. Doing that will reduce your workload and let you manage all the orders from one place.

Luckily, there are some solutions available to connect your WooCommerce store with other marketplaces. In today’s post, I will introduce you to the top 3 solutions for integrate your WooCommerce store with eBay and Amazon.

1. WP Lab

Integrate your WooCommerce store with eBay and Amazon

WP Lab provides two separate solutions for integrating your WooCommerce site with eBay and Amazon. Both products are available as lite versions in the WordPress plugin directory. You can purchase the premium version from the website.

The WP-Lister Lite for Amazon plugin lets you integrate your site’s products with your Amazon inventory. Besides importing the existing products, you can match and link your WooCommerce store’s products with Amazon. It is also possible to import product title, image(s) and other data from Amazon.

WP-Lister for Amazon, the premium version lets you synchronize sales and create orders from your Amazon account. You will also get priority updates and instant support. The plugin is priced at $149.

The WP-Lister Lite for eBay plugin provides an easy solution for connecting your WooCommerce store with your eBay account. Along with creating unlimited items, you can add multiple variations of the products. The plugin is also available in several languages.

WP-Lister Pro for eBay allows you to sync the product inventory between your store and the eBay account. You can also create an order when an item is sold on eBay. Other useful features include uploading product images to eBay, importing products from eBay, split variations, advanced eBay options etc. You can get the pro plugin for $149.

2. Veeqo

Veeqo

With a mission of simplifying the shopping process, Veeqo provides easy solutions for integrating your WooCommerce store with Amazon and eBay. By using the service, you can easily keep track and sync the products in your WooCommerce store and the Amazon, eBay accounts.

The orders will be automatically synced every 10 minutes. Whenever an order is processed, your Amazon and eBay accounts will be updated with the tracking number. You can also print your invoice packaging slips, lists, labels in bulk amount.

As Veeqo supports all Amazon and eBay channels in the world, you can easily handle local and international orders from your e-commerce site. It is also a completely cloud-based system. Therefore, you can use the solution from anywhere in the world.

The real-time inventory syncing feature will keep tracks of all marketplaces and/or websites. As a result, your stock lists will always be updated. You will also be able to control all of your orders from one location. Each product will be accompanied by detailed information about the marketplace or website they belong to.

Veeqo also comes with several charts and reports about the sales and profit of your accounts and websites. By using these, you can easily get an overall idea about the condition of your business. There is a 14-day trial available. The pricing plans start from $130 per month.

3. Selro

Selro

Selro is a popular cross-channel selling platform with dedicated WooCommerce support. It offers smart inventory management options and shipping options for both the customer and the store owner. Selro integrates your WooCommerse store with your Amazon and eBay accounts.

The inventory of your accounts and the store will be automatically synced. The single dashboard view will make sure that you can view your product lists from all marketplaces and websites in one place. It will also streamline various backend operations like managing stock activities, product labels, handling sales orders etc.

The simple order management system of Selro will allow you to handle all the orders from the dashboard. Orders from the marketplaces and your online store will be processed automatically. The centralized inventory management options will make sure that you are always on top of your current inventory status.

Selro’s flexible technology is capable of connecting to any API and work seamlessly. In a case of necessity, you will get premium support 12 hours a day throughout the business days of the week. If you are still not convinced, you can try the 30-day free trial. You won’t need any credit card for the trial. After that, the pricing plans start from $99 per month.

Bonus: Automatically increase customer satisfaction and get more reviews on Amazon and eBay with this trick

Now that you have successfully integrated Amazon and eBay in your WooCommerce store, you can take it to the next level and automate post-purchase follow-up for Amazon and eBay customers. No matter what integration method you have used, once you have the customer information in our WooCommerce store we can use them to send them to follow up emails. For this, we will be using SIP Advanced Email Rules for WooCommerce.

Once you purchase SIP Advanced Email Rules for WooCommerce, you can easily target Amazon and eBay customers and send them specific emails, such as asking for feedback or reviews on your products. This is a great way to get more product reviews on Amazon and eBay in a way that is compliant with their terms of service.

From the left menu, click on “Sip Plugins -> Advanced Email Rules”, then “Add new”. Under “Advanced Email conditions”, set rules that will target only Amazon or eBay customers. For example, if you are using WP Lab to import orders from Amazon, you can either set “Payment method” equals “Amazon” (this is the custom name I use when importing Amazon orders, here you can set the one you chose) or “Email” contains “marketplace.amazon.com”. Similar rules can be set to target eBay customers.

I target emails 30 days after the order has been shipped from Amazon, however, you can send this email much sooner or even send more than one email per customer.

Amazon-review-email

Conclusion

WooCommerce makes it very easy to create online stores. And now you have the proper tools for managing your online store and marketplaces accounts from a single dashboard.

Which solution looks the most interesting to you? Let me know in the comments.

And if you are using any other solution/extension to connect your WooCommerce store with other marketplaces, let me know by leaving a comment below. I will be glad to take a look.

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How to Install and Use the Lightbox Gallery Plugin in WordPress

we will show you how to add a photo gallery to your WordPress website using the Lightbox Gallery plugin. First, we will walk you through installing and activating the Lightbox Gallery plugin. Then, we will show you how to create a Gallery and add it to a Page/Post with a shortcode.

Installing and Activate Lightbox Gallery Plugin

1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
2. Click Plugins in the navigation menu, then the Add New button.

Lightbox Gallery

3. Type lightbox in the search box, then click the Enter key.
4. You will see Lightbox Gallery listed, click the Install Now button.

lightbox-gallery-install-now
5. Click the Activate Plugin link when you see a message stating you “Successfully installed the plugin Lightbox Gallery.”

activating-lightbox-plugin

Creating a Gallery and Adding to a Page/Post

After installing and activating the Lightbox plugin, we will now show you how to create your gallery, and add it to a Page/Post.

1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard (if you aren’t logged in already), then click the Lightbox Gallery link.
2. Click the Add Lightbox Gallery button.

adding-lightbox-gallery

3. Enter a title for your gallery, then click the Add New Images button to select or upload your images. Click the Select button when you are done.
4. There are additional settings for the Gallery on the bottom of the page. Feel free to choose them as needed, then click the Publish button to create your gallery.

publishing-gallery

You will then see a Post published message.
5. Copy the Shortcode in the Photo Gallery Shortcode section.

photo-gallery-shortcode

6. Navigate to the Page/Post you want to add the gallery and open it. Paste the shortcode into the page, then click the Update button. You will then see your new gallery displayed on the Page/Post.

lightbox-gallery-in-wordpress

Congratulations, now you know how to add a photo gallery to your WordPress website using the Lightbox Gallery plugin!