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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!

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Convert Any Static HTML site to a WordPress site

In the beginning (of the web) all websites were made with nothing but text and static HTML. Now though, over 20 years later, the web is a much different place. Web sites are much more complex. They provide richer and more enjoyable experiences for site creators and visitors alike.

Convert Any Static HTML site to a WordPress site

This is in large part thanks to open source projects like WordPress. Which, over the last ten years or so, has succeeded in its core mission to democratize online publishing (and a lot more in the process) so that anyone with a WordPress install and the right theme/plugins can have a modern website with advanced design and functionality. No coding–not even HTML!–required.

divi

This is Divi by yours truly, Elegant Themes. This is one of the most advanced WordPress themes on the market today. And it requires zero coding ability to use!

This is why to avoid WordPress users like myself, it’s almost hard to believe that in 2015 someone might still be operating a static HTML website instead of a WordPress website with a theme and plugins. But the fact is there are still a significant amount of active HTML only sites out there. (Or HTML with a bit of CSS.)

Granted, these site owners may have good reasons for not upgrading or converting. Maybe their site content never changes and the simple formatting and design already in place is serviceable? Or maybe it’s less of a hassle than worrying about keeping a WordPress site updated? Both are valid reasons (among others). Prime examples of, “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.”

However, I have a feeling that these might not be the primary reason some (perhaps many) haven’t made the leap. The most obvious one being that they simply don’t know how to convert their HTML site into a WordPress site. Especially without losing content or needing to do excessive formatting on a page by page basis.

Thankfully, as is often the case with WordPress, there are a number of ways to go about solving this problem. I’ve compiled some options below.

Your Options for Converting a Static HTML site to a WordPress site

How you choose to convert your static HTML site into a WordPress site will no doubt depend on your personal preference, desired time/monetary investment, and skill level with code. You will have to be the one to decide which is best for you, but with the summaries below you should be able to decide quickly and skip straight to the most relevant information in this post for your specific situation.

There are three main options:

1. Manually create a WordPress theme based on your current static HTML site.

This will require you to get into your code. You will have to access your current site directory via FTP and use your existing code as a starting point. From there you will need to create the necessary files for a WordPress theme and copy bits of code from the WordPress codex. This is fairly simple and straightforward if you have some experience with HTML, CSS, and a bit of PHP.

2. Install a pre-made theme and simply migrate your content.

This is probably the best option at the intersection of simplicity and value. Assuming you already have to host your current website, you will only need to spend money if you choose to purchase a premium theme. The plugin we will use for importing content is freely available in the official WordPress Plugin Repository.

3. Paying to have an HTML to WordPress conversion service re-create your site.

This is the easiest solution, as it doesn’t require you to do much of anything. However, it will not do much for familiarizing you with WordPress and the cost will vary depending on who you choose to hire. I won’t be covering this option in the sections below because if this is the route you are interested in, you can simply do a quick search for service providers and they will take care of the rest.

Preparing for HTML to WordPress Conversion

No matter which route you decide to take below, there are a few things you will want to do before diving in.

The first is choosing a hosting plan. You’ll want to look over the options that are out there and decide on a package that best fits your needs. Or perhaps you’d like to create a local WordPress installation instead? You can always migrate it to a hosting service later.

Once you’ve chosen, you will need to install WordPress and log into WP Admin. This is the point at which our two possible paths divide.

Manually Converting Your Static HTML Site to WordPress

If your goal is to not only get your content from your static HTML site into WordPress but also duplicate your current design, this means you will need to create your own custom theme. Thankfully, that is not as scary as it might sound at first. It only involves creating a few folders and files, a bit of copy and paste, and then uploading the result.

You’re going to need a code editor such as Sublime or Notepad++ and access to both your HTML site’s directory and your new WordPress install’s directory.

Step 1: Create a New Theme Folder and Necessary Files

On your desktop, create a new folder to hold your theme files. Name it whatever you’d like your theme to be named.

Next, create a few files (which all go in your new theme folder) in your code editor. Don’t do anything to them just yet. Just leave them open for further editing.

  • Style.css
  • Index.php
  • header.php
  • sidebar.php
  • footer.php

Step 2: Copy Existing CSS Into New Stylesheet

If you’re looking to duplicate a design, this probably means you have at least some CSS that you want to save. So the first file you’re going to want to edit is your Style.css file.

To begin, add the following to the top of your file.

/*
Theme Name: Replace with your Theme's name.
Theme URI: Your Theme's URI
Theme URI: Your Theme's URI
Description: A brief description.
Version: 1.0
Author: You
Author URI: Your website address.
*/

After this section simply paste your existing CSS below. Save and close the file.

Step 3: Separate Your Current HTML

Before we get into step three, let me give you a quick note on how WordPress works. WordPress uses PHP to call and retrieve pieces of data from its underlying database. Each file that we’re using in this little tutorial is designed to tell WordPress which part of your site content is to be displayed and where.

So when I say we are going to “chop up” your existing HTML, what we’re actually doing is simply cutting and pasting parts of your existing code into the different files we’ve just created, so that WordPress will know where to display them.

Here we go.

First, open your current site’s index.html file. Highlight everything from the top of the file to the opening div class=”main” tag. Copy and paste this section into your header.php file, save and close.

Second, go back to your index.html file. Highlight the aside class=”sidebar” element and everything inside it. Copy and paste this section into your sidebar.php file, save and close.

Third, in your index.html select everything after your sidebar and copy and paste it into your footer.php file, save and close.

Finally, in your index.html file, select everything that’s left (this should be the main content section) and paste it into your index.php file. Save, but do not close yet.

You can close your index.html file now however and move on to the final steps. Almost done!

Step 4: Finalize Your Index.php File

In order to finalize your new theme’s index.php file, you need to make sure it can call up the other section (besides the main content) that are housed in the other files you’ve created. Or in other words, put back together the elements we just “chopped up”.

At the very top of your index.php file, place the following line of PHP.

<?php get_header(); ?>

Then, at the very bottom of your index.php file, place these lines of PHP.

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>
<?php get_footer(); ?>

And finally, we have to add what’s called The Loop. This is the primary bit of PHP that WordPress uses to display your post content to visitors. So the final step in creating your new theme’s index.php file is adding the code below within the content section.

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : ?>
<?php while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
  <div id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>" <?php post_class(); ?>>
    <div class="post-header">
       <div class="date"><?php the_time( 'M j y' ); ?></div>
       <h2><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to <?php the_title_attribute(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>
       <div class="author"><?php the_author(); ?></div>
    </div><!--end post header-->
    <div class="entry clear">
       <?php if ( function_exists( 'add_theme_support' ) ) the_post_thumbnail(); ?>
       <?php the_(); ?>
       <?php edit_post_link(); ?>
       <?php wp_link_pages(); ?> </div>
    <!--end entry-->
    <div class="post-footer">
       <div class="comments"><?php comments_popup_link( 'Leave a Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments' ); ?></div>
    </div><!--end post footer-->
    </div><!--end post-->
<?php endwhile; /* rewind or continue if all posts have been fetched */ ?>
    <div class="navigation index">
       <div class="alignleft"><?php next_posts_link( 'Older Entries' ); ?></div>
       <div class="alignright"><?php previous_posts_link( 'Newer Entries' ); ?></div>
    </div><!--end navigation-->
<?php else : ?>
<?php endif; ?>

Save your index.php and close. Your theme is now finished! All that’s left is to upload it to your WordPress website.

Step 5: Upload Your New Theme

Now that you’ve created your theme files and have them all stored within your new theme folder, you’re going to need to access your new WordPress install’s directory.

Place your new theme folder inside /wp-content/themes/. Then navigate back to WP Admin > Appearance > Themes and your newly created theme should appear there. Go ahead and activate it!

All that’s left to do at this point is populate your new WordPress website with your old site’s content. Follow along with the section below (skipping over the part about using a pre-made theme) to see how that is done.

Using a Pre-Made WordPress Theme and Importing HTML Content

If the steps above seem too intensive or time-consuming to you then rest assured, there is another way. Instead of converting whatever design you happen to be working with right now into a WordPress theme, you can take advantage of any one of the thousands of themes available in the broader WordPress marketplace.

There are free themes and there are premium themes. Before deciding which is best for you, you may want to read upon which themes are designed to cater to your needs and browse by theme category here at Elegant Themes and elsewhere.

Once you’ve chosen a theme you like (and have its zipped file package downloaded) you’ll want to head back to WP Admin > Appearance > Themes > Add New and install/activate your new WordPress theme.

Once this is done, you will have a new WordPress website and theme–but little else. When you preview your site, it will be empty of content and probably look sort of boring. That’s ok because next, we are going to import your old site’s content.

In WP Admin go to Plugins > Add New and search for a plugin called HTML Import 2 by Stephanie Leary. Once this plugin is installed and activated, follow its handy user guide to import your entire directory of HTML pages. Complete with images!

After this, you will have all of your old content living on WordPress and formatted by your new theme. Or, if you created your own theme above, your site should pretty much look like it did before–just running on WordPress.

In Conclusion

If you’ve used this post as a guide for migrating your website onto WordPress then you’ve just joined one of the largest open source communities in the world. Welcome! It’s a fun place with lots of developers, designers, bloggers, DIYers, and more–all building, playing and creating with WordPress and WordPress themes/plugins.

If you’ve “caught the WordPress bug” the official WordPress.org website is chock full of useful themes, plugins, and other resources. If you’d like to further tweak your theme files, explore the Codex for seemingly endless tips, tricks, and variations.

And of course, we hope you’ll stick around to chat in the comments below and subscribe to more blog posts in the future.

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Easy Way to Create Privacy Policy for Your Blog in Just Minutes

Most professional blogs have a privacy and disclosure policy. These policies can be very important to your blog, as they inform your readers about some of the more legal aspects of your website.

However, writing your own privacy policy or disclaimer can be extremely hard unless you’ve had years of law school or have extra cash to pay a high priced lawyer.

I’ve found two free websites that will take the place of your lawyer and help you create a privacy policy and disclaimer for your site.

Like a business, every blog should have a privacy policy that represents the legal aspects of the blog. If you are a blogger, you might have noticed that every professional blog has a privacy policy page.

A privacy policy page contains legal aspects of your blog, and it helps your readers to know about how the blog collects its data and how you monetize the blog.

If you want to monetize your blog with Google AdSense or Amazon Affiliates, you should know that both programs require a privacy policy page on your blog that discloses how you collect, use and store data from visitors and use cookies.

I’ve heard that a lot of people didn’t get AdSense approval because of not having a privacy policy. This is the same for other Ad Networks. And Amazon Affiliate Program also requires a privacy policy. So it’s crucial to have a privacy page for your blog.

There are many other advantages of having a privacy page for your blog. Some of them are:

  • Most online people like privacy as they are sharing personal info (Like Email) with you.
  • It helps your readers or users to know what you do with their data.
  • It is required by third-party websites and ad servers.
  • Having a privacy page represents that you respect the privacy.

Making or writing a privacy page is not an easy task if you want to do it by a lawyer. You have to pay some extra cash to your lawyer. But there’s a better and easy way. You can use Online Blog Privacy Policy Generator to make your privacy policy page.

In this post, I’ll show you how to create a privacy policy for the blog using FreePrivacyPolicy.com.

Note: If you are in a hurry and want to create a privacy policy for your website quickly, go to this website and provide your site information and advertising networks. Then click on “Generate Privacy Policy”.

However, if you have time, you should follow the below guide to creating a custom and effective privacy policy.

HOW TO CREATE PRIVACY POLICY FOR YOUR BLOG

FreePrivacyPolicy.com is the best online privacy policy generator, which helps over 500,000 sites to generate their privacy policy. To create a privacy policy, you have to give answers to some questions. It will help them to customize the policy according to your needs.

Now follow these simple steps.

1. At first, go to FreePrivacyPolicy.com and click on “Free Privacy Policy” button.

Free-Privacy-Policy

2. On the next page, you need to give answers to some easy questions. After giving all answers, click on “Next” button.

Privacy-Policy-Questions-1

3. Then you need to provide answers about what kind of personal information you collect from your blog and what you do with the information. And click on “Next” button.

Privacy-Policy-Questions-2

4. The next step is very important if you collect credit card information. You will be asked about PCI complaint, Malware scans, and SSL certificate. All of these are important to protect credit card information. If you don’t collect credit card information, you can check on ‘No’ and give the reasons.

Then click “Next”.

Privacy-Policy-Questions-3

5. Then you will be asked whether you use cookies or not. If you check ‘Yes’, you need to answer why you use cookies.

6. Now you need to give information about third-party disclosure.

7. The next step is about Google AdSense. It’s a very important step if you monetize your blog with Google AdSense or want to be Google AdSense Publishers.

8. Then it will ask you to be compliant with CalOPPA. It means California Online Privacy Protection Act. If anyone from California visits the site, then the CalOPPA requires a privacy policy.

Once you are compliant with CalOPPA, it will ask if you specifically market to children under 13.

9. Then it will ask you to be compliant with the FTC’s Fair Information Practices.

10. On the next page, you need to provide your contact information to be compliant with CAN-SPAM. You also need to provide additions CAN-SPAM questions.

11. Now enter your name and email address. And it will take you to a Congratulations page. Go to the bottom of the page and click on “Continue” button.

If FreePrivacyPolicy offers anything, ignore this for now and click on the “No, Thanks” link. And click on “Continue” button again.

And finally, download the Free Privacy Policy.

privacypolicy

It’s a .htm file.

12. Copy the Privacy Policy text and go to your WordPress Dashboard.

Click on Pages > Add New. Give the Page title as “Privacy Policy” and paste the privacy policy text in the editor. Publish the page and add the page link to blog footer.

Conclusion

Hope this post helped you to create a Privacy Policy for your blog. If you found this post useful, help me by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

However, if you have any question regarding this, feel free to ask us via comment. Also, let us know if you’ve used any other Privacy Policy Generator tools.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing

“You have mail.”
It’s one of those amazing bits of Internet history framed when the street was all the while being cleared and we were searching our way through the wild of what was the first World Wide Web.

Despite the fact that circumstances are different and AOL no longer sends CD’s on the way, we can even now say thanks to them for acquainting us with email and our dependence on it.

Nowadays, we’ve supplanted that message with Tweets, preferences, and notices, yet that doesn’t imply that our partiality for email is any less. Truth be told, in view of the commotion that is online networking, one could contend that the inbox has turned into our virtual dojo, our place of isolation among the disorder.

This is the reason, as a business visionary, I trust that building fruitful email showcasing efforts has never been more critical than it is currently. In any case, there’s an issue; the vast majority don’t know how to do it right. So in light of a legitimate concern for advancing prescribed procedures and helping you prevail as an entrepreneur, we should get a fresh start and discuss how an incredible email crusade is worked, from the beginning.

You’re in their home

Individuals are immersed with interference, pitches, and commercials wherever they look, and however you may think yours is unique, there’s a high likelihood that to the per user, it looks the same as the rest. This is the reason it’s imperative to recall where you are and utilize your great behavior accordingly.

Getting into somebody’s inbox resembles being welcome to their home for supper. In the event that they request that you take your shoes off, you consciously do as such. It’s the same with email showcasing, so before we start I’d essentially get a kick out of the chance to remind you to be on your best conduct at all circumstances and recollect that… you’re in their home.

Stage I: Getting Permission

Obviously, no email battle was ever worked without kicking consent to get off, so first, we’ll have to concentrate on building a sizable email list.

There are numerous ways you can do this obviously. Some want to give something without end for nothing while others essentially offer a pamphlet or item refreshes.

I can’t disclose to you which is the set in stone answer for this situation, yet I can reveal to you that it’s essential to have a reasonable reason when requesting an address. This is the place a solid suggestion to take action becomes an integral factor, and copywriting is super essential.

  • What do I get when I give you my email address?
  • Is it accurate to say that you will spam me?
  • How regularly will you email me?
  • Will I get rebates?
  • Will I get the first break at your beta?
  • Will you send me important offers or more garbage?

These are the sorts of things you’ll have to deliver on the off chance that you need to be fruitful in stage 1. Basically posting “enter your email for updates” wouldn’t get anybody eager to do as such. Rather, consider sharing specifics:

A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing

Investigate the cases above and you’ll see that the principal reveals to me I’m getting a free index and a progression of audits and exceptional offers, while the second lets me know precisely when I’ll get the pamphlet refreshes. This is a much more particular, and compelling, method for working together.

A speedy take a gander at my own particular practices discloses to me that the offers I subscribe to frequently are for:

  • Email Series
  • Free Downloads
  • Free White Papers or eBooks
  • Refresh Lists (New Issue Notifications, Product Updates, New Releases)

In conclusion, and Amazon does this truly well, your clients make incredible applicants, so keep in mind to incorporate some type of enlistment or email membership as a feature of your obtaining procedure. Simply recall treating these locations with unique respect, which we’ll discuss in stage 2.

Get Whitelisted

While all legitimate email specialist co-ops work hard to ensure that your messages are not hindered by major ISP’s, they can’t control regardless of whether your messages hit the inbox or the spam box. Albeit most will help you by giving a quality score to help you decide accessibility, getting whitelisted is the best approach to guarantee that your messages get conveyed legitimately.

Basically, getting whitelisted is equal to being set apart as a companion, and an ideal approach to accomplish this is by being added to the beneficiary’s address book. An ideal approach to do this is by giving guidelines to do as such at the highest point of each email, particularly on the underlying thank you and first follow-up email.

Stage II: Playing the Numbers Game

Oversee Expectations with Follow-Up Efforts

Email promoting is about desires, and it’s dependent upon you to set them. In the event that your suggestion to take action is solid, and your follow-up is reliable, then you can depend on a positive crusade. In any case, on the off chance that you guarantee to send one email for every week and rather send them day by day, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Despite what might be expected, on the off chance that somebody is expecting every day refreshes or basic item updates and you don’t’ convey, then they are probably going to be similarly as disturbed all things considered as well.

This is the reason the principal follow-up email is so urgent to the achievement of your email showcasing endeavors. All email specialist organizations give you the alternative to making an autoresponder grouping, and it’s basic that you exploit it.

The underlying follow-up email ought to be sent promptly as an approach to present yourself and detail what you anticipate doing with your new supporter’s email address. It’s ideal to be indulgent and point by point than it is to be snappy and subtle, however in the event that you can pull off fast and compact then good luck with that.

From here, it’s only a question of satisfying their desires.

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10 Google Analytics Tips for eCommerce Websites

It has been decades since eCommerce has invaded the Internet. According to a current study, 40% of users worldwide have purchased products or goods through the Internet. On that scale, that amounts to more than a billion online buyers globally ¾ and it will continue to grow in the coming years.

With all that data to gather, perhaps one of the most effective tools in the industry of data analytics is Google’s very own Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a great tool that can give you the data you need to optimize your eCommerce strategy, and its features are yet to be explored by those who truly value data available at their fingertips.

To cut to the chase, here are tips you can use to optimize your efforts and strategies within your eCommerce site:

10-Google-Analytics-Tips-for-eCommerce-Websites

1. Block Out Referral Spam

However, I suggest a different method, a stress-free tool called Referrer Spam Blocker developed by Stijlbreuk, a digital agency from the Netherlands. You simply have to log in your Google Analytics account, visit their site, follow the instructions on the site, and voila! Just sit back and relax as it automatically filters all the spam. You can also import their own segment that filters these spam from your historical data.

Why do you need to block referral spam? Blocking these spam data can clean your Analytics and you can determine if a campaign is truly working or not. Referral spam only adds to your bounce rate, so if you’re experiencing a high bound rate these past few months, you should start installing filters on your Master View to filter spam in the future.
10-Google-Analytics-Tips-for-eCommerce-Websites

This is a perfect example of segmented data. Note that this was applied to an Unfiltered view, so whatever comes knocking on GA’s tracker, it records it and leaves it as it is. Applying the segment [RSB All Sessions] and Bounced Sessions gives us the data above.

This data is from May 2015 to March 2016. Since we can conclude that ghost spam sessions are bounced sessions, we can compare the data we have. However, there were reports of declining referral spam traffic early this year, that’s why there was a decline in bounced sessions in the report. Using the segment and the filters can help you determine the true state of your audience; are you gaining potential customers or just fluff traffic?

2. Install eCommerce Tracking to Unlock Ecommerce Conversions

ecommerce-overview

Installing eCommerce tracking is more complicated than your “paste before the tag”, but it will reap benefits that can help you dig deeper with Google Analytics. We recommend that you get this done by a trusted web developer. Moreover, you can use Google Tag Manager to make it easier for you to implement eCommerce Tracking.

3. Observe Audience Demographics and Interests

audience-demographics

Know your audience better with demographic and interest data. This way, you know what age group, gender, and interest category to target. This can be a guide in coming up with promotions, content marketing, and more. This website is an eCommerce site for plastic travel cases; judging from the data above, the majority of the buyers are male adults in their 25 to 34 years of age. Most of them are Technophiles or Automotive enthusiasts, with more emphasis on TV and Video. We can focus more on producing content that matches the interests of the audience to capture their attention, whether they may be new users or returning customers.

4. Determine Mobile Audience

mobile-audience

In this website, it is apparent that they do gain more traffic through desktop, but if you compare it from the previous period, you will notice a shift of acquisition between desktop, mobile, and tablet. While desktop reigns supreme, this gives you an idea to push for mobile site optimization.

5. See How You Fare Against the Competition: Benchmarking

bench

Allowing your account to send anonymous data to Google’s servers gives you this opportunity to see how you fare against the competition. This data was checked within the Travel Industry and in all regions of the United States; our statistics for this website was tested against 444 web properties who also contributed to Google. It’s a quick reflection of our status against competitors online, as well as a guide on where we should be focusing on next.

6. Set Up Site Search

Before you check out this feature at Google Analytics, you have to set up site search first.

site-search

This feature gives you insights on how your users use the search box on your site. The true beef of this feature is the Search Terms where you can see what terms your users typed in the search box. You can infer the most searched term and optimize the landing page where the keyword is primarily targeted.

7. Take a Peek on your eCommerce Overview

ecommerce-overview-2

After installing eCommerce Tracking on your site, you should expect to see this on your reports. Here you check your Top Revenue Sources by Product, Product SKU, Category, and even Source/Medium. Here we sorted it by Source / Medium. Surprisingly, this site was gaining more revenue through Yahoo!’s organic traffic, despite efforts to comply with Google’s guidelines.

8. Determine Product Performance

product-performance

With Google Analytics, you can automatically check the top performing product in your store. If you’re strategizing on what product to improve on, you can always refer back to this list. It is also possible to sort the list by Product Category.

9. Analyze Multi-Channel Funnels

multichannel-overview

multichannel-visualizer

We all know that a customer will come from different channels, and there will be times that conversions will be assisted channel per channel. Looking at the Multi-Channel Funnel Overview will give you an idea on where most of your conversions are happening. You can now target the channels that work best for your client!

10. Install Custom Reports

custom-reports

Finally, you can use Google Analytics to come up with your own customized reports! This is a Custom Report, generated to determine what day of the week the site has the most visits. You can import Custom Reports from the Google Analytics Gallery itself. Now you can plan your efforts on the day (even at a specific hour) that your campaign will be most effective!

Google Analytics is the best tool you can have if you’re short on budget for more advanced analytics tools. All you need is patience to install and configure your Analytics dashboard, and you’re ready to go!

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SEO Tips That You Must Start Employing Today

Every individual owing a website desires to see their web page on top of Google’s search results. To achieve this, each person strives towards making panda and penguin happy by setting every on-page SEO element right. In return, they hope that Google acknowledges the efforts and their site is gifted with a promotion in ranks. It often happens that even after setting every on-page SEO element right your site does not rank as desired.

This is where the role of off-page SEO comes into play. Offline SEO strategies play a major role in promoting your site and in certain situations prove to be more vital than on-page SEO strategies. You must be thinking what is so important about off-page SEO. A greater insight will help you understand the strategy better.

SEO Tips That You Must Start Employing Today

Points to ponder on:-

Off-page SEO refers to activities you undertake outside the boundaries of your website which help your web page to get ranked higher in Google’s search results. Mentioned below are 11 easy steps which if followed will not only make the bird and the bear happy but also raise your SERP ratings by considerable levels.

1. Blogs:-      

One of the greatest ways to promote your website in today’s world – blogs are meant to be written. Posting blogs on your website at regular intervals will engage Google more as regular updates will indicate that your site is under constant maintenance and activity. As Google prefers active sites as to dormant ones, this will help to give you a surge in SERP ratings. Moreover, regular blog posts will give your visitors a reason to return to your site at regular intervals.

Blogs should preferably consist of unique contents such as tutorials, question-answer forums and trending video links to keep your visitors engaged. In addition to this, you should comment on other blogs same as your genre, participate in question-answer forums which give you a chance to post a link to your blog in their comment or answer section. If visitors find it relevant, your site traffic is sure to increase.

2. Social Bookmarking:-      

Penguin and Panda love popular bookmarking sites such as Reddit, Stumbleupon, etc. Posting your blog links in these websites can give you a ranking surge as a content of these websites is updated regularly. If your blog has valid content which is related to the information on this site, people could find it useful to click on your link giving you that raise in ranking.

Bookmarking also helps to promote an author’s name to the world. If you have posted a link to your blog or website to Reddit and people there find it helpful and relevant to their needs, they are likely to share it more. This will help Google identify it as a genuine and relevant site which will help the site to get ranked higher through the process.

3. Acquire backlinks:-   

Acquire backlinks

I am sure, as a website owner, you would love to receive valid links to your site from trusted sources and so does Google. Receiving backlinks from higher ranked authentic sites will put your website in Google’s good books. If you are thinking how does it help? Well, web crawlers see that site as consisting of useful and relevant information. Useful content is always appreciated and awarded by Google.

But be careful as Penguin does not like spam links. Suppose your website represents clothes, while you receive a backlink from a blog post related to cars. Penguin identifies these as spams and would result in the de-ranking of your site. Therefore be sure to check you link surely.

4. Social Media Promotion:-      

Social Media Promotion

You are surely aware of all the major social networking sites such as Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Then you should also be aware of how to use it to give a push to your site’s SERP ratings. If not, then have a read.

Sharing your website or blog in one of these social networking sites offer a chance of free promotion. Since Facebook and Twitter are considered to be the biggest online platforms today, sharing your work in these places is sure to attract more viewers than any other place.

5. Market Forums:-      

Forum marketing involves getting involved in communities related to your genre. You can participate in online forums discussing a particular topic relevant to your website or blog. As a return, you can post “Do follow” links to your website with a chance of increasing online traffic. This also helps search engines to find your site more easily.

With the help of marketing forums, you can make yourself known to everybody. Moreover, if your site has unique and valuable content, visitors are likely to share it on other platforms giving that all needed exposure.

6. Local Listing techniques:-      

Instead of targeting a global audience, local listings are an important technique you can apply if it goes with your website’s niche. This also enables Google to find your site easily. Local listing refers to an online profile that will contain your company name, phone number, location and the service it provides. You can do local listing by submitting your site to Google Maps, Yahoo local, Yellow Pages, and Google+ Local.

7. Guest Blogging:-      

Guest-Blogging

If you can put in a little more labor for the good of your site, then guest posting is a very effective way. All you need to do is write and post content on some other websites or blogs related to your genre. When visitors see your website name mentioned in several places on a trusted website, they will judge your site as a reliable source of information which in turn will help your website’s traffic.

So how is it done? As mentioned, writing content and publishing it on another website is only the first step. What follows is putting a link to your website, sharing it on social media and keep visiting to answer queries and comments. Guest posting will help you build relations with you readers and is an effective way to get yourself known to others.

8. Submit to search engines:-      

This is considered as an effective way of internet marketing to increase rankings of a website or webpage. You can directly submit your website to search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. You can submit your website to two processes. Either you can submit one page at a time by using webmasters tools or you can submit your entire website. This is done by submitting the home page of your site to as many search engines as possible.

9. Directory Submission:-      

Listing your site in several directories or databases under concerned categories or subcategories is known as directory submission. Proper directory submission will enable you to get exposure, provide reliable backlinks and will help increase your blog’s overall earning. Chances are there, that you might also get paid post opportunities.

10. Ask:-      

Simply asking for a link is often quite beneficial what many of the bloggers forget to do. Suppose, your blog name has been mentioned in any article but without a link, you can simply ask that respective author to include a link to your blog. Moreover, you can also ask for a mention of your blog in return for a similar favor if both blogs are the same niche. Both bloggers gain equally and also helps up in building contacts.

11. Link Baiting:-      

The process by which you can get your visitors to share your website’s link is known as link baiting. The primary criteria of successful link baiting are creating quality and unique content. You should be able to make your readers believe that your site has that piece of information that is worth sharing.

In addition to this, do not forget to come up with engaging and attractive content which will compel a reader to click on your site. It must be kept in mind that one tactic is related to the other. Without quality content, an attractive link has no value. Similarly, in the absence of a catchy link, visitors are less likely to click on your site even if you have a catchy content written inside.

 SEO-Search-Engine-Optimisation

What are the benefits of using off-page SEO?

You can get the following advantages by using off-page SEO strategy the correct way:-

  • More traffic:
    As your page ranks higher, your website gets more visitors, followers and social media shares. This is a never ending process where the only criterion is to create good content and regularly update your website.
  • Online Branding:
    If your website manages to please Google through its offline SEO strategies, you will be rewarded for your hard work with online branding facilities from larger companies. In other words, large e-commerce sites will want to hire your page for advertising their products. This, in turn, increases not only your page value but generate that extra income.

Final words:

Therefore, it can be seen that not only online SEO’s, but off-line SEO strategies are very important as well. A survey from trusted sources has shown that people spend 70% of their time maintaining on-page SEO and the remaining 30% goes to off page SEO. Experts recommend a more balanced approach to make your site more SEO friendly. You must remember Google loves pages better optimized for SEO and that is what everyone is striving for today.

 

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How Long Will Keyword Research Remain Relevant In SEO?

Keyword research is often the first thing you do when planning a new SEO campaign (or auditing an older one). It provides the skeletal framework for a campaign, and for years has been a mainstay tool in the SEO expert’s belt. But over the past five years or so, keyword research has undergone some interesting evolutions, becoming less relevant in some ways and fundamentally changing in others.

If this trend continues, or if we see another major leap forward, could keyword research become totally irrelevant for SEO?

Why Keywords Matter in the First Place

Let’s remind us why keywords are important in the first place. The goal of SEO is to get your site ranked higher for various search queries—but how do you know which queries are best to rank for? This is where keyword research comes in. It allows you to find keywords that offer:

  • Relevance, so that all incoming queries directly relate to your business and are capable of making your inbound users satisfied with the results.
  • High traffic, so you have as many new people as possible seeing your site listed in search results.
  • Low competition, so you don’t have to work as hard to rank for your chosen queries.

This information allows you to selectively target valuable keywords and phrases to include in your site’s metadata and content.

Finding and keeping track of keywords also serves as a valuable metric which you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign by tracking keyword rankings over time.

The Old Days of Keyword Research

Keyword research used to be pretty simple, back when optimizing for various keywords meant simply stuffing them into every meta tag, and as much throughout a page’s content as you could (along with exact-match keyword anchor text in link building efforts).

Through Google Analytics, Google used to offer tons of data about how people were searching and how they found your site through keywords, and once you had a list of keywords with high traffic and low competition, you could straightforwardly optimize for those queries.

Most Google queries featured a one-to-one search relationship; Google would take your word or phrase and look for near-exact matches to those words and phrases on the web.

Hummingbird and Semantic Search

Enter Google’s Hummingbird update, which rolled out originally in 2013. This update introduced a concept known as “semantic search,” which drastically changed how Google handled incoming queries. Rather than taking a user’s words and searching for matches on the web, Google now evaluates the intention behind a user’s query, and then finds appropriate results that match it. This may seem like a small difference, but it’s had a major impact on how search optimizers think about keywords.

For starters, including a keyword or phrase verbatim isn’t a surefire way to optimize for it, and it’s possible to gain rankings for semantically linked words and phrases that you didn’t optimize for directly – and sometimes ones that aren’t even present on the page that’s ranking for them! Check out this query I tested out just now, “that movie where the guy takes a pill to feel no emotion”:

HOW LONG WILL KEYWORD RESEARCH REMAIN RELEVANT IN SEO?

Yes, the movie I had in mind was Equilibrium. Bravo, Hummingbird!

Long-tail keyword phrases, which comprise many words linked together (usually in some kind of conversational query) have also become more popular, in part due to Hummingbird’s effects, and in part due to increased search competition forcing marketers to find less competitive, rarer phrases.

This has led to an interesting dichotomy in the search community; is it better to research and optimize for keywords, with the specific intention of building rankings for those keywords, or research potential content topics—focusing on general topical themes rather than keywords—to better serve your audience?

As the semantic search continues to become even more sophisticated, the power of individual keywords will continue to diminish, while the power of topical themes will continue to rise. Google is always getting better, and that means simple, calculated approaches will become less relevant over time.

Google’s Restriction of Keyword Data

Over the years, Google has also become increasingly protective of the keyword data it leads to marketers. It started with its restriction of keyword data in Google Analytics, preventing marketers from evaluating keyword-based traffic to their sites. Now, Google is throttling keyword data in AdWords (at least, for low-spending accounts), presumably in an effort to blind organic search marketers to this data.

What is Google thinking? First, Google wants to encourage more spending on its paid advertising in search results. Second, Google has always wanted to crack down on anyone trying to exploit quick wins in organic search rankings, to keep them fair and trusted by users. I imagine this trend will continue even further, though there are plenty of third-party tools to make up for what Google won’t give us directly, a few of which I covered here.

Looking Into the Future

New technologies are also shaping the way that people conduct searches. Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana are encouraging users to search for things through conversation, which fundamentally changes the way queries are input, as well as their structure since spoken queries are often much different than written ones.

They also introduce new search mechanics into the world of optimization, offering spoken responses rather than search results pages that list relevant results.

New technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearables could have a similar and complementary effect, further prompting people to change the way they search, and possibly disrupting the ranking system altogether; small screens and new types of interfaces may someday totally change how we interact with search results.

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How to Score 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights with WordPress

How Important is Google PageSpeed Insights?

Google PageSpeed Insights is a web performance tool created by Google to help you easily identify ways to make your site faster and more mobile-friendly, by following recommendations on best web practices. A very important thing to remember though is that you shouldn’t always obsess over scoring 100/100. This might not even be possible in all scenarios, depending upon how your WordPress site is setup. With a lot of multipurpose themes and sites with dozens of external scripts, you simply will have an almost impossible time trying to achieve a perfect score. Which is perfectly OK.

We recommend looking at the speed of your site, more than the scores. Scores with tools like Pingdom, GTMetrix, and Google PageSpeed Insights can sometimes lead you astray.

Scoring 100/100 on Both Shared Hosting

We thought it would be fun to explore the new Twenty Seventeen theme in WordPress 4.7.4. This is the first default WordPress theme that is aimed at businesses instead of a typical blog, which is exciting! So today we are going to show you how to score that perfect 100/100 on both Desktop and Mobile. We have installed common tools and services that many WordPress sites use, such as Google Analytics, Akismet, Yoast SEO, etc.

While this is a small site, it is a good foundation to at least understand a little bit about how Google PageSpeed Insights works.

How to Score 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights with WordPress

100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights with Shared Host

Our first test site, we have WordPress 4.7 with the Twenty Seventeen Theme running on a popular low-budget shared host (Apache). SSL is configured and the following plugins are installed.

  • Yoast SEO
  • Akismet

We also have Google Analytics running within the <body> of our header.php file. The only modification we have made has we added a featured image to the default dummy “Hello world!” blog post. We run our test site through Google PageSpeed Insights and out of the box, we get a 69/100 desktop score and a 58/100 mobile score. So we definitely have some improvements that should be made here. Let’s dig through each one of these to see how we can fix them.

shared-hosting-google-pagespeed-insights

Enable Compression

We will start with desktop first as many of the fixes will also apply for mobile. The very first Google PageSpeed Insights recommendation that we need to fix is the Enable Compression warning.

google-pagespeed-insights-enable-compression

According to Google, to fix this we need to enable Gzip compression. Unfortunately, the shared host doesn’t have this automatically enabled already on their servers, so we have to do it manually.

All modern browsers support and automatically negotiate Gzip compression for all HTTP requests. Enabling Gzip compression can reduce the size of the transferred response by up to 90%, which can significantly reduce the amount of time to download the resource, reduce data usage for the client, and improve the time to first render of your pages.

There are a couple ways you can go about doing this. The first and one of the easiest is by using a caching plugin that supports enabling Gzip. WP Rocket, for example, adds Gzip compression rules in your .htaccess file automatically using the mod_deflate module. W3 Total Cache also has a way to enable this for you under its performance section.

The second way to enable Gzip compression is by editing your .htaccess file.  Most shared hosts use Apache, in which you can simply add the code below to your .htaccess file. You can find your .htaccess file at the root of your WordPress site via FTP.

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
# Compress HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Text, XML and fonts
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent
</IfModule>
Ensure that you add it below the current contents of your .htaccess file. Example below:
gzip

If you happen to be running on NGINX, simply add this to your nginx.conf file.

36 gzip on;
37 gzip_disable "MSIE [1-6]\.(?!.*SV1)";
38 gzip_vary on;
39 gzip_types text/plain text/css text/javascript application/javascript application/x-javascript;

A tool like  Check Gzip Compression can actually show you how my bytes were saved by enabling Gzip compression. Here is an example below of what we saved on our test site.

gzip

If we run our site through Google PageSpeed Insights again we can see that the Gzip compression warning is now gone and it has raised our desktop score from 69/100 to 80/100 and our mobile score from 58/100 to 67/100.

 google-pagespeed-after-gzip-compression

Optimize Images

The next Google PageSpeed Insights recommendation that we need to fix is the Optimize images warning. Our default “Hello world!” blog post has a featured image which is throwing up this error.

This is a very important and useful warning. According to HTTP Archive, as of November 2016, images made up for on average 65% of a web page total weight. Optimizing your images can be one of the easiest ways to see performance improvements with your WordPress website.

There are a couple ways you can fix this. The first is to use an image optimization plugin. A plugin can actually go through and bulk optimize your entire WordPress media library and also automatically optimize them when you upload them. Below are a few popular image optimization plugins:

Those plugins will fix the issue, or you can also compress them before you upload them in a tool like Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, or Affinity Photo. Below is the featured image that is throwing up that warning. We can compress it beforehand by both scaling it down and lowering the quality. It is best to keep your images as small as possible. This image was originally 2.32 MB, after down-scaling and compression, it is now 99.38 kB. Remember, it is best to upload images at scale and not rely on CSS to resize them. This slows down your site.

compress-image-with-affinity-photo

If we run our site through Google PageSpeed Insights again we can see that the Optimize images warning is now gone and it has raised our desktop score from 80/100 to 88/100 and our mobile score from 67/100 to 73/100. We are making progress!

google-pagespeed-insights-after-image-compression

Eliminate Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in Above-the-fold Content

The next Google PageSpeed Insights recommendation that we need to fix is the Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content warning.

eliminate-render-blocking-javascript-and-css

When a browser loads a web page, JavaScript and CSS resources usually prevent the web page from being displayed until they are downloaded and processed by the browser. Some resources need to be downloaded and processed before displaying anything. However, many CSS and JavaScript resources are conditional–that is, only applied in specific cases–or are simply not needed to render above-the-fold content. To produce the fastest possible experience for your users, you should try to eliminate any render-blocking resources that aren’t required to display above-the-fold content.

As far as Render-blocking Javascript, Google has three recommendations:

  • If you don’t have a lot of JavaScript, you can inline it to get rid of this warning. You can inline JavaScript with a plugin like Autoptimize. However, this is really only valid for very small sites. Most WordPress sites have enough JavaScript where this could actually slow you down.
  • The second is to load your JavaScript asynchronously. Async Javascript essentially downloads the file during HTML parsing and will cause the HTML parser to execute it when it has finished downloading.
  • The third is to defer your JavaScript. The defer attribute also downloads the file during HTML parsing, but it only executes it after the parsing has completed. Also, scripts with this attribute execute in order of appearance on the page.

In our example, we are going to make our JavaScript load asynchronously. To do this we are going to use a free plugin called Async JavaScript. You can download it from the WordPress repository or search for it within your WordPress dashboard under “Plugins > Add New.” As of writing this it currently has 9,000+ active installs with a 4.2 out of 5-star rating. Essentially the plugin adds the ‘async’ or ‘defer’ attribute to all JavaScript loaded by the WordPress wp_enqueue_script function. The developer also has a premium version available which allows you to choose the scripts you want to async or defer.

Async Example

<script src="file1.js" async></script>

Defer Example

<script src="file1.js" defer></script>

After installing simply go into the settings and enable Async JavaScript.

 async-javascript
And for larger sites the script exclusion can come in handy. Or getting the premium version of the plugin. We won’t need it in this example, but if you have a site with a lot of JavaScript most likely you will end up with things breaking if you simply set everything to Async or Defer. In which case you will need to troubleshoot with which ones you can.
async-exclusions

If you don’t want to use a plugin for this there are a few other alternatives. Such as adding the following code to your functions.php file.

/*function to add async to all scripts*/
function js_async_attr($tag){
# Add async to all remaining scripts
return str_replace( ' src', ' async="async" src', $tag );
}
add_filter( 'script_loader_tag', 'js_async_attr', 10 );
We run our site through Google PageSpeed Insights again and as you can see the Render-blocking JavaScript is now fixed and we are left with the Optimize CSS delivery warning.
optimize-css-delivery

You can see that the first CSS we need to optimize is our Google fonts (fonts.googleapis.com). CSS is by default render-blocking, which includes CSS coming from web fonts. To fix this we are going to install the free Disable Google Fonts plugin. The plugin author, Milan Dinić, just recently updated this to include the new Twenty Seventeen Libre Franklin font. After installing the plugin, your Google Fonts will obviously break. So you will want to head over to Google Fonts and grab the embed code manually. We select the same font weights that are by default included in the Twenty Seventeen theme.

<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Libre+Franklin:300,300i,400,400i,600,600i,800,800i" rel="stylesheet">
google-fonts-embed
Then you will need to add that to your footer.php file, right before the </body> tag. Note: Doing it this way will result in FOUT, which is what they refer to as flash of un-styled text. But it will also get rid of the render-blocking issue. You should decide on your own site if FOUT is an acceptable user experience for your visitors. You can also use Google’s Web Font Loader.
wordpress-footer-google-font
We run our test site through Google PageSpeed Insights again and now under the Optimize CSS Delivery warning we are only left with one thing, and that is the style.css file.
optimize-css-delivery-query-stringsOne of the easiest ways to fix this is to use a free WordPress plugin called Autoptimize
autoptimize-plugin

This plugin is pretty lightweight, only 176 KB to be exact. As of writing this, it currently has over 200,000 active installs with a 4.7 out of 5-star rating. The plugin helps you with a concatenation of your scripts, minification, expires headers, and the ability to move styles to your header and scripts to your footer. This plugin is fully compatible with the Async JavaScript plugin which was used earlier.

After installing the plugin, click the settings and select “Optimize CSS Code.” Then click the advanced tab and also enable “Aggregate inline CSS” and “Inline All CSS.” Note, depending on what theme you are doing this on, it might not be recommended to use this method. For large sites, inlining can be bad, in which case it would be actually better to simply ignore that particular Google PageSpeed Insights warning. And remember that with HTTP/2, concatenation can sometimes actually slow your site down.

optimize-css-code

We also recommend enabling the optimize HTML code option.

If we run our site through Google PageSpeed Insights again we can see that the Eliminate Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in the Above-the-fold Content warning is now completely gone! It also fixed the Minify CSS warning which was further below and hadn’t even got to yet. We have raised our desktop score from 88/100 to 92/100 and our mobile score from 73/100 to 89/100. We are almost there.

google-pagespeed-insights-after-JS-CSS-optimization

Leverage Browser Caching

The next Google PageSpeed Insights recommendation that we need to fix is the Leverage browser caching warning. We actually have an entire in-depth post on the leverage browser caching issue, as it pertains to WordPress.

pagespeed-insights-leverage-browser-caching

The most common reason the leverage browser caching warning is triggered is that your web server doesn’t have the appropriate headers in place. In the screenshot above you can see that all of our internal scripts have an expiration is not a specified warning. When it comes to caching there are two primary methods which are used, Cache-Control headers and Expires headers. While the Cache-Control header turns on client-side caching and sets the max-age of a resource, the Expires header is used to specify a specific point in time the resource is no longer valid.

You don’t necessarily need to add both of the headers, as this is a little redundant. Cache-Control is newer and usually the recommended method, however, some web performance tools like GTMetrix still check for Expires headers. These are all examples, you can change file types, expire times, etc. based on your needs. Here are some options below. We are going to simply add expire headers in Apache on our shared host for this tutorial.

Adding Cache-Control Header in Nginx

You can add Cache-Control headers in Nginx by adding the following to your server config’s server location or block.

location ~* \.(js|css|png|jpg|jpeg|gif|ico)$ {
expires 2d;
add_header Cache-Control "public, no-transform";
}

Adding Expires Headers in Nginx

You can add Expires headers in Nginx by adding the following to your server block. In this example, you can see how to specify different expire times based on file types.

location ~* \.(jpg|jpeg|gif|png)$ {
expires 365d;
}
location ~* \.(pdf|css|html|js|swf)$ {
expires 2d;
}

Adding Cache-Control Headers in Apache

You can add Cache-Control headers in Apache by adding the following to your .htaccess file.

<filesMatch ".(ico|pdf|flv|jpg|jpeg|png|gif|js|css|swf)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=604800, public"
</filesMatch>

Adding Expires Headers in Apache

You can add Expires headers in Apache by adding the following to your .htaccess file.

## EXPIRES HEADER CACHING ##
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 2 days"
</IfModule>
## EXPIRES HEADER CACHING ##

Remember we enabled Gzip compression earlier? Below is what our .htaccess file below now looks like after also adding the expires headers. We simply place it below the compression block.

expire-headers-example-1

We run our test site through Google PageSpeed Insights again and now under the Leverage browser caching warning we are only left with one thing, and that is our Google Analytic’s script. This is kind of ironic seeing as this is Google’s own script. The issue is that they set a low 2 hour cache time on their asset, as seen in the screenshot below. They most likely do this because if for some reason they were to modify something on there end they want all users to get the changes as fast as possible.  However there is a way to get around this, and that is by hosting Google Analytics script locally. Please be aware though that this is not supported by Google.

leverage-browser-caching-google-analytics

There is a great free little plugin called Complete Analytics Optimization Suite,  which allows you to host Google Analytics locally on your WordPress website.

complete-analytics-optimization-suite

You can download Complete Analytics Optimization Suite from the WordPress repository or by searching for it under “Add New” plugins in your WordPress dashboard. As of writing this the plugin currently has 1,000+ active installs with a 5 out of 5-star rating. The plugin allows you to host your Google Analytics JavaScript file (analytics.js) locally and keep it updated using wp_cron(). Other features include being able to easily anonymize the IP address of your visitors, set an adjusted bounce rate, and placement of the script (header or footer).

Just install the plugin, enter your Google Analytics Tracking ID, and the plugin adds the necessary tracking code for Google Analytics to your WordPress website, downloads and saves the analytics.js file to your server and keeps it updated using a scheduled script in wp_cron(). We recommend also setting it to load in the footer. Note: This plugin won’t work with other Google Analytics WordPress plugins.

local-google-analytics

If we run our site through Google PageSpeed Insights again we can see that the Leverage browser caching warning is now completely gone! And we have raised our desktop score from 92/100 to 97/100 and our mobile score from 89/100 to 96/100. So close we can almost taste it.

pagespeed-insights-after-leverage-browser-caching

Reduce server response time

The next Google PageSpeed Insights recommendation that we need to fix is the Reduce server response time warning. The one and the only reason this is happening is because we are on a slow budget shared hosting plan. The server is not fast and Google knows it. So to fix this we need to implement some type of caching to speed things up. There are a lot of great caching plugins out there. In our example, we are going to be using the free Cache Enabler plugin from the team over at KeyCDN.

As of writing, this Cache Enabler has 10,000+ active installs with a 4.6 out of 5-star rating. It is a lightweight caching plugin for WordPress that makes your website faster by generating static HTML files plus WebP support. There are no settings to enable, simply install and your good to go. This plugin is fully compatible with the Async JavaScript and Autoptimize plugins that were used earlier. If you want even more speed though we do recommend also adding the advanced snippet to bypass PHP.

If we run our site through Google PageSpeed Insights again we can see that the Reduce server response time is now completely gone! And we have raised our desktop score from 97/100 to 99/100 and our mobile score from 96/100 to 99/100. We are about to cross the finish line.

pagespeed-insights-after-response-time-fix

Minify JavaScript

The last Google PageSpeed Insights recommendation that we need to fix is the Minify JavaScript warning.

pagespeed-insights-minify-javascript

To fix this we are actually going to go back into the Autoptimize plugin settings and simply enable the Optimize JavaScript Code option. Since you now have a caching plugin running, you might also need to clear your cache after doing this to see results.

autoptimize-optimize-javascript-code

And that’s it! We have now successfully taken the WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme from 69/100 to 100/100 on both mobile and desktop on a low-budget shared host.

100-100-pagespeed-insights-twenty-seventeen-theme

Here are the mobile scores. We didn’t have to do anything additional for mobile. Getting the desktop version to 100/100 automatically raised our mobile version and user experience scores to 100/100 as well.

100-100-pagespeed-insights-mobile

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Ultimate Guide to Using MailChimp and WordPress

Need to send email updates to your endorsers when you distribute another blog entry? MailChimp is one of the world’s driving email specialist organization, and it is to a great degree simple to utilize.

Why Build an Email List?

Over 70% of clients who surrender your site will most likely never return unless they purchase something from you, or you effectively inspire them to subscribe to your email list.

Email is private, individual, and by a wide margin the most direct type of correspondence on the web. The vast majority check their inbox more than their online networking streams. An email will remain in the inbox unless a client makes a move on it. Via web-based networking media, your message will get covered into client’s timetable.

Why Use MailChimp with Your WordPress Site?

Throughout the years, we have observed MailChimp be a standout amongst the most fledgling well-disposed email advertising administration. Why? Since it’s anything but difficult to utilize and has huge amounts of WordPress combinations.

It is additionally by a long shot the most reasonable for novices since it is free the length of you send under 12000 messages for every month or have under 2000 endorsers. This implies you can escape without paying anything.

Presently as your supporters develop (more than 2000), you will be made a request to redesign your record to paid arrangement.

Besides simply catching and sending messages, some other cool components of MailChimp permits you to set up RSS to email memberships, plan excellent email formats, set up automated assistants, and screen the execution of your email crusades with thorough examination reports.

Getting Started with MailChimp

To associate MailChimp to your WordPress site, the main thing you will need is a MailChimp account.

Visit the MailChimp site and tap on the ‘Signup Free’ button.

Fill in your email and make a username/secret word for your account.
Ultimate Guide to Using MailChimp and WordPress
Once you are signed in, you will be redirected to your MailChimp dashboard.

Creating Your First Email List

The first thing you need to do in your MailChimp account is set up an email list. On your MailChimp dashboard, click on ‘Create A List’ button.

You will be made a request to give data like the name to your email list, an email address where clients can answer to, an update for individuals how they got on your rundown, and so forth. Fill the form and tap on the Save button.

That is all, you have effectively made your first email list. Presently you have to connect your email rundown to your WordPress, so your site guests can subscribe.

Including MailChimp Email Signup Forms in WordPress

MailChimp comes with a built-in basic subscription form. All you need to do is go to the Lists page in your MailChimp account. Next click on the downward arrow button next to your email list and select sign-up forms.

You will be taken to a settings page where you can choose what fields you want to show in your form, adjust form width and other options. When you are done, simply copy the embed code.

Now you need to visit your WordPress admin dashboard and click on Appearance » Widgets. Add a Text widget to a WordPress sidebar and paste the signup form code inside it.

That’s all. You can now visit your site and see the MailChimp signup form in action.

Setting up WordPress RSS Feed Newsletter in MailChimp

Since you have guests subscribing to your email show, it is critical that you send them general updates.

You can simply log in to your MailChimp account and physically send an email to your supporters, yet with MailChimp, you can likewise set up mechanized battles that send your most recent blog entries by means of email. This is known as an RSS bulletin.

In the event that you have been utilizing FeedBurner to send messages to your RSS endorsers, then you have to peruse why you ought to quit utilizing FeedBurner and move to Feedburner choices. It likewise demonstrates to move your FeedBurner supporters of MailChimp.

To set up an RSS to Email battle, first, you have to log in to your MailChimp record and afterward tap on Campaigns » Create Campaign.

On the next page, MailChimp will show you a different type of campaigns you can create. You need to choose RSS-Driven Campaign.

Enter your RSS feed URL and select when you want to send the automated email. You can send daily, weekly, or even monthly emails. You can also choose the time for your email. When you have picked your settings, click on the Next button at the bottom right corner of the screen to continue.

MailChimp will now ask you to select a list. Select your list and click on the next button to continue to the campaign info.
First, you need to provide a name for your campaign. After that, you will notice that MailChimp has automatically filled in most of the fields for you. These default settings would work for most websites. However feel free to customize it to fit your needs. Click on the Next button to continue.

In the next step, you will need to choose a template for your email. MailChimp comes with many different options for that. Choose the one that best suits you by clicking on the select button next to it.

You can add your logo, a header image, change the text to your own site’s requirements. Mainly you need to add RSS Header and RSS Items box to your email template.


Click on the next button when you are done. Lastly, click on Save and exit at the top right corner of the screen.
That’s all you have successfully created your WordPress RSS Feed Newsletter with MailChimp.

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7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business

Is email marketing a need for your business in 2017? It is safe to say that you are searching for the email promoting programming? Picking the best email promoting administration can significantly affect the accomplishment of your advertising effort. In this article, we will survey the 7 best email advertising services for private ventures.

Why Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service is Important?

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools. It is easy to manage, gives you full control and allows you to establish direct contact with your customers. For more on this topic, see our guide on why you should start building your email list right away.

While you can use OptinMonster to easily get more email subscribers, the actual email delivery part comes down to your email marketing service provider.

If you aren’t careful, then you might end up paying a lot more money for fewer features and terrible deliverability (which causes you to lose even more money).

A good email marketing service enables you to create highly engaging emails. It also allows you to manage your contacts, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email campaigns.

Most importantly, a good email marketing service ensures that your emails do not end up in the spam folder.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best email marketing service providers and how they stack up against each other.

1. Constant Contact

constant-contact

Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing services in the world. It is also the easiest to use and beginner friendly email marketing service.

You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, and more.

Each account gives you access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, an image library and 1GB of storage for your own files.

Constant Contact offers unmatched support with live chat, email, community support, and a vast library of resources.

They also offer online training as well as live seminars in your neighborhood. This allows small business to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it like a pro.

For all the reasons above, we rate Constant Contact the best email marketing service for small businesses.

Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial (no credit card required). After that their pricing starts as low as $20/month.

2. AWeber

aweber

AWeber is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world. They offer a wide-range of tools for small and medium-sized businesses to manage their email marketing.

Getting started with AWeber is easy. It connects seamlessly to most platforms including WordPress. For detailed instructions, see our ultimate guide on how to connect AWeber to WordPress.

You get access to ready to use email templates, list management, autoresponders, and email tracking with detailed insights.

Support options include live chat, phone support, email support, live webinars, and a vast library of how-tos and tutorials.

AWeber offers a 30-day free trial. After that, their pricing starts from $19/month.

3. ConvertKit

convertkit

ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly powerful.

ConvertKit allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also comes with easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails.

With ConvertKit, you can easily segment contacts into those who are interested and those who have already purchased. This is great for marketing automation.

ConvertKit offers email based support and has an extensive knowledge base with great learning material.

Pricing for ConvertKit plans starts from $29/month with a 30-day refund policy.

4. GetResponse

getresponse

GetResponse is a hugely popular email marketing solution. It is extremely easy to use and simplifies email marketing for small businesses and absolute beginners.

It comes with some amazing marketing automation tools which allow you to create smart automated campaigns. With a drag and drop builder, you can create campaigns, segment contacts, and send content designed for specific groups. These tools help you create effective campaigns to boost your profits.

GetResponse comes with beautiful responsive forms, landing pages, A/B testing, tracking, and autoresponders. It also integrates with third-party lead generation software like OptinMonster, SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, etc.

Support is provided by phone, live chat, and email. Their help section is full of free learning material including videos, webinars, how-tos, guides, etc.

GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial. Their pricing starts from $15/month.

5. MailChimp

mailchimp

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers. They offer a very easy to use interface with great tools and awesome support.

It integrates beautifully with WordPress, Magneto, Shopify, and many other platforms. If you are using WordPress, then see our ultimate guide to using MailChimp and WordPress for detailed instructions.

MailChimp also comes with easy email creator, merge tags, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking and analytics. It also allows you to set up delivery times based on user’s time zones and set up segmenting based on geolocation.

Support is offered by email, live chat, and a huge knowledge base with how-tos, videos, and tutorials.

MailChimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. Their paid plans start from $10/month.

Because of their free plan, we rate MailChimp the best email marketing software for nonprofits.

6. Campaign Monitor

campaignmonitor

Campaign Monitor is another popular email marketing solution. It gives you everything you would need to run successful campaigns and then some more.

They have a beautiful drag and drop email builder. It allows you to use professionally designed email templates and make them your own. They also offer a drag and drop segmenting tool to create different campaigns for different contacts based on behavior and actions.

You can personalize each message using the rich customer data. This makes your emails more personal and gives much better results.

Not to mention their easy to use A/B testing, tracking, optimization, and social sharing tools.

Support is available 24/7 via email and support forums. Premier customers can also avail phone support. They have extensive documentation step-by-step how-tos to help you get started and fix things on your own.

Campaign Monitor’s pricing plans start from $9/month.

7. ActiveCampaign

7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business

ActiveCampaign combines your email marketing, automation, with CRM and sales. It comes with all the tools you will need to create smarter email marketing campaigns.

ActiveCampaign comes with a beautiful email template editor and mobile friendly signup forms. It allows you to segment contacts based on their actions, location, behavior, and social data. It can also fetch additional data about your contacts using only their email address.

It integrates beautifully with many third party software including WordPress. You can also send SMS messages to your contacts for follow up on campaigns.

ActiveCampaign’s plans start from $9/month. You can also request a demo with limited features for a test run.

Although the pricing on ActiveCampaign gets quite high, it’s totally worth the money if marketing automation is what you’re looking for.

We hope this article gave you a good overview of the best email marketing services for your business.