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WordPress SEO

Everybody who is blogging has heard some things about SEO. You realize that it is vital for your site to have great SEO. WordPress is to a great degree all around coded which is the reason many call it SEO well disposed. In any case, the genuine SEO advantage originates from WordPress modules WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin is by far a complete SEO solution that is available for WordPress. It has received over a million downloads. We use WordPress SEO plugin to improve our on-page SEO.

Unlike most other plugins this plugin is way more than simple meta tag additions. We use it to add custom post title, meta description, and meta keyword for our posts, pages, and taxonomies (tag, category, etc). When writing the meta information, WordPress SEO plugin shows you a Google search result snippet preview, so you can see exactly how your content will look when someone searches for it in Google. It even has the ability to get you verified Google authorship for your site.

It helps us create XML sitemaps that support images. It also gives us the ability to have an advanced configuration such as removing a specific post, page, post type, or a taxonomy from the sitemap. It notifies search engines automatically once your content is published.

It allows us to add custom RSS footer for our WordPress posts.

It has the social integration that lets you show you the correct title, description, and image for Facebook using the OpenGraph metadata. It also allows us to add twitter cards in WordPress.

It has tons of other cool features that you can read about in our WordPress SEO by Yoast article.

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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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Learn how to add and activate themes in your WordPress site

The first thing you need to do when you want to install a new WordPress theme is to login to your site admin page. Once there, go to Appearance -> Themes.

Activate themes

Here, you will see all the themes you have currently installed in your application. To add another one, simply click on the Install Themes tab.

On this page there are two ways to add a new theme. You can either use the search field which will return results from the WordPress.org theme directory or you can upload a theme from your local hard drive. In this tutorial we will show you how to add themes in both ways.

Choose and Install a theme from the official WordPress theme directory

The easiest way to install themes to your WordPress site is if they are listed in the official themes directory. This allows you to search for the theme you need directly from your site admin page. Each theme in the official directory has to have Tags that describe its functionality allowing you to easily search for the right theme.

If you know the theme’s name, you can simply search for it.

wptheme2

However, usually that’s not the case. This is why, you can use the Feature Filter. For example, you can search for a Black and White, Two columns theme that has Flexible Width. Simply check those tags and press the Apply Filters button.

You will now see all themes that meet your search. Hover over any of them and you will see two options – to see a demo of the theme or to install it. Once you choose which theme you want to use for your site, press the blue Install button.

wptheme4

Your WordPress application will download and install the theme for you. Simply click the Acticate link on the next page you will be redirected to.

That’s all – you can go to the front page of your site to see its new looks.

it10

Upload a theme you have already downloaded

If you have a theme that’s not listed in the WordPress.org directory, you can simply upload it from the Themes -> Install Themes section in WordPress. To do this click on the Upload link at the top of the page.

Now, click the Choose File button, select the archive of your theme from your local computer and press the Install Now button.

thms8

In few seconds, WordPress will upload and extract the theme archive for you. All you need to do next is to press the Activate link under the message for successful theme installation.

theme activate

That’s it! You can now go to the front end of your site and see the newly activated theme.

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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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How Use Filter Posts and Pages in WordPress

Why Let Users Filter Posts and Pages in WordPress?

By default, WordPress comes with categories and tags for your users to easily find it.
However, users can only view one category, tag, or archive page at a time and it will only show one post type.
What if you wanted users to be able to filter content in more than one category or tag?
This kind of filtering can be particularly helpful when you have a lot of content, and you want users to filter it according to their own preferences.

Allowing Users to Easily Filter Posts and Pages

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Search & Filter plugin.
Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled Search & Filter to your WordPress admin bar.

searchfiltersettings

Search & Filter plugin comes with a shortcode which accepts different parameters to display the filtering options. You can use this shortcode in a post, page, or inside a text widget.
1. [searchandfilter fields=”search,category,post_tag”]
You can also use the shortcode as a template tag in your WordPress theme files like this:
1
This will display the filtering options with search, category, and tags fields.add-filter-criteria

By default, the plugin accepts search, taxonomy, post_type, and post_date as fields.
Let’s take a look at another example. This time we will include category, tags, post types, and date fields.
You will need to use the shortcode like this:

1. [searchandfilter fields=”search,category,post_tag,post_types,post_date”]

Now instead of using a drop down a select field, you can also use checkboxes and add labels for each field.
If you use a separate page to display your blog posts, then you can add this shortcode to the page.
1. [searchandfilter headings=”Select categories:” types=”checkbox” fields=”category”]
Filter Posts and Pages
If you are using multiple fields, types, and headings.

1. [searchandfilter headings=”Post type, Category, Tag” types=”checkbox, select, select” fields=”post_types,category,post_tag”]

You can also use these shortcodes inside a text widget.

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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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Fix the Error Establishing a Database Connection

Note: Before you make any database changes, make sure you have sufficient backups.

Why do you get this error?

You are getting this error because WordPress is unable to establish a database connection.
Reason: It could be that your database login credentials are wrong or have been changed. It could be that your database server is unresponsive. It could be that your database has been corrupted. In our experience, many times this error happens because of some sort of server error however there could be other factors as well. Lets take a look at how to go about troubleshooting this problem.

Does the problem occur for /wp-admin/ as well?

First thing you should do is to make sure that you are getting the same error on both the front-end of the site, and the back-end of the site (wp-admin). If the error message is the same on both pages “Error establishing a database connection”, then proceed onto the next step. If you are getting a different error on the wp-admin for instance something like “One or more database tables are unavailable. The database may need to be repaired”, then you need to repair your database.

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

1 define('WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true);

Once you have done that, you can see the settings by visiting this page:

http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php

Database Connection

Remember, the user does not need to be logged in to access this functionality when this define is set. This is because its main intent is to repair a corrupted database, Users can often not login when the database is corrupt. So once you are done repairing and optimizing your database, make sure to remove this from your wp-config.php.

If this repair did not fix the problem, or you are having trouble.

Checking the WP-Config file

WP-Config.php is probably the single most important file in your entire WordPress installation. Where you specify the details for WordPress to connect your database. If you changed your root password, or the database user password, then you will need to change this file as well. First thing you should always check is if everything in your wp-config.php file is the same.

1 define('DB_NAME', 'database-name');
2 define('DB_USER', 'database-username');
3 define('DB_PASSWORD', 'database-password');
4 define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

Remember your DB_Host value might not always be localhost. Depending on the host, it will be different.

You can fixed this problem by replacing localhost with the IP.

1. define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘127.0.0.1:8889’);
IP’s will vary for online web hosting services.

Check your Web Host (MySQL Server)

You will notice this Error establishing database connection when your site gets swarmed with a lot of traffic. Your host server just cannot handle the load. Site will get really slow and for some users even output the error. So the best thing -livechat with hosting provider and ask them if your MySQL server is responsive.

Who want to test if MySQL server is running yourself. Test other sites on the same server to see if they are having the issue. If they are also getting the same error, then most definitely there is something wrong with MySQL server. If you do not have any other site on this same hosting account simply go to your cPanel and try to access phpMyAdmin and connect the database. If you can connect, then you need to verify if database user has sufficient permission. Create a new file called testconnection.php and paste the following code in it:

1 <?php
2 $link = mysql_connect(‘localhost’, ‘root’, ‘password’);
3 if (!$link) {
4 die(‘Could not connect: ‘ . mysql_error());
5 }
6 echo ‘Connected successfully’;
7 mysql_close($link);
8 ?>

Make sure to replace the username and password. If the connected successfully, then it means that user has sufficient permission, and there is something else that is wrong.

If you cannot connect to the database by going to phpMyAdmin, then you know it is something with your server. It does not necessarily means that your MySQL server is down. It could mean that your user does not have sufficient permission.

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Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress Compared

WPForms

WPForms is the most beginner friendly WordPress contact form plugin. Make a WordPress forms plugin that’s both easy and powerful.

Contact Form Plugins

Pros

WPForms’ drag & drop online form builder makes it the most user-friendly form plugin for WordPress.

WPForms Lite is available for free in the official WordPress plugin directory meaning you can install it on as many sites as you like for free.

The premium version allows you to extend the functionality and build multi-page forms, email subscription forms, payment forms, order forms, use smart conditional logic, and more.

There are documentation and guides available along with email support to help you when you need it.

Cons

While the lite version is free, you need to upgrade to Pro to unlock more powerful features.

Even though WPForms is powerful, the #1 goal of this plugin is to make it user-friendly. That’s why it doesn’t have the more complex features that some other form plugins offer.

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms is a paid contact form plugin that has all the advanced functionality one can ask for.

gravity form

Pros

Gravity Forms is a powerful contact form plugin for WordPress.

With the help of additional add-ons, Gravity Forms can be used to create surveys, quiz, user submitted content, and even web directory.

It comes with premium support options like FAQs, knowledge base, forums, and email support. This means that help is available when you need it.

Cons

Gravity forms do not have a free version, so it can be a bit expensive than other WordPress contact form plugins. However, if you are using it on multiple sites and projects, then the cost should not be a big deal.

Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms is a freemium contact form plugin for WordPress. It can be used to create a highly interactive form with very little effort.

ninja form

Pros

The base plugin for Ninja Forms is available for free from the official WordPress repository. This means you can download and install it on as many sites as you like.

There are premium extensions which allow you to extend Ninja Forms functionality such as connecting with Campaign Monitor, Freshbooks, Salesforce, SMS notifications, etc.

There is a helpful community support option, as well as documentation, guides, and email support.

Cons

Even though the main plugin is available for free, the extensions are not. Buying two or more extensions or even the developer bundle will cost you nearly the same amount as Gravity Forms.

Bonus: Contact Form 7

Although we don’t recommend Contact Form 7, this list cannot be complete without the oldest most downloaded contact form plugin in the official WordPress plugin directory.contactform7

Pros:

Price is probably the most important advantage of using Contact Form 7. You are free to install it on as many sites as you want.

There are several third-party plugins that act as add-on plugins for Contact Form 7. Most of them are available for free.

It is great for creating a basic contact form for your blog.

Cons:

Contact Form 7 can be a bit difficult to set up for absolute beginners. The user interface is not very intuitive.

Since it is a free plugin, support options are limited.

There are several third-party add-ons available for Contact Form 7, but the official plugin website doesn’t have an add-ons directory which makes it difficult to find add-ons to extend the functionality of the base plugin.

Which is the Best Contact Form Plugin for WordPress?

The plugins we mentioned in this article can all help you create a contact form plugin. However deciding the best contact form plugin varies based on your needs.

If you’re a beginner and don’t want to spend any money, then go with WPForms Lite.

If you’re a business owner and want to create powerful forms without learning code or hiring a developer, then go with WPForms Pro version.

If you’re a developer trying to build more complex forms, then go with Gravity Forms.

Our overall pick for the best WordPress contact form plugin is WPForms.

We hope this guide helped you choose the best contact form plugin for your WordPress site.

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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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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!