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

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

Before You Start

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

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

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

Install a Plugin using WordPress Plugin Search

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

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

Install a WordPress Plugin

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

pluginsearchresults

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

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

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

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

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

Install a Plugin using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload

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

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

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

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

uploadpluginwpadmin

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

pluginuploadpage

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

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

plugininstalledmanual

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

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

Manually Install a WordPress Plugin using FTP

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

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

The FTP manager method is the least friendly for beginners.

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

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

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

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

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

ftppluginupload

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

installedplugins

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

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

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How to 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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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.

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How to Edit & Optimize WordPress Robots.txt File for SEO

Have you optimized your WordPress Robots.txt petition for SEO?

On the off-chance that you haven’t, you are overlooking an essential part of SEO. Robots.txt document assumes a critical part of your site’s SEO.

You are fortunate that WordPress consequently makes a Robots.txt petition for you. Having this record is half of the fight. You need to ensure that Robots.txt record is advanced to get the full advantages.

Robots.txt document advises internet searcher bots what pages to slither and what pages to stay away from. In this post, I will demonstrate to you best practices to alter and streamline Robots.txt record in WordPress.

What is Robots.txt File?

Robots.txt record is a content document which trains internet searcher bots how to creep and list a web page. At whatever point any web index bots go to your web page, it peruses the robots.txt record and takes after the guidelines. By utilizing this record, you can indicate bots which some portion of your site to slither and which part to maintain a strategic distance from. Be that as it may, the nonattendance of robots.txt won’t stop web search tool bots to creep and list your web page.

Editing & Understanding Robots.txt in WordPress

I’ve as of now said that each WordPress site has a default robots.txt document in root registry.

In the event that you don’t have a robots.txt record, you’ll need to make one. It’s anything but difficult to do. Simply make a content record in your PC and spare it as robots.txt and transfer it to your root index. You can transfer it by means of FTP Manager or cPanel File Manager.

Presently how about we perceive how to alter your robots.txt record.

You can alter your robots.txt document by utilizing FTP Manager or cPanel File Manager. In any case, now is the ideal time to expand and somewhat troublesome.

An ideal approach to alter Robots.txt document is, utilizing a module. There are a few WordPress robots.txt modules out there. I incline toward Yoast SEO. This is the best SEO module for WordPress. I’ve officially shared how to set up Yoast SEO.

Yoast SEO permits you to adjust the robots.txt record from your WordPress administrator territory. Be that as it may, on the off chance that you would prefer not to utilize Yoast module, you can utilize different modules like WP Robots Txt.

Once you’ve installed and activated Yoast SEO plugin, go to WordPress Admin Panel > SEO > Tools.
How to Edit & Optimize WordPress Robots.txt File for SEO
Then click on “File editor”.

Then you need to click on “Create robots.txt file”.

Then you will get the Robots.txt file editor. You can configure your robots.txt file from here.

Before editing the file, you need to understand the commands of the file. There are three commands mainly.

User-agent – Defines the name of the search engine bots like Googlebot or Bingbot. You can use an asterisk (*) to refer to all search engine bots.
Disallow – Instructs search engines not to crawl and index some parts of your site.
Allow – Instructs search engines to crawl and index which parts you want to index.
Here’s a sample of Robots.txt file.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Allow: /

This robots.txt record teaches all web crawler bots to slither the web page. In the second line, it advises web crawler bots not to slither the/wp-administrator/part. In the third line, it educates web crawler bots to creep and list entire site.

Designing and Optimizing Robots.txt File for SEO

A basic misconfigure in Robots.txt record can totally deindex your site from web crawlers. For instance, in the event that you utilize the order “Deny:/” in Robots.txt record, your site will be deindexed from web indexes. So you should be watchful while designing.

Another essential thing is an enhancement of Robots.txt record for SEO. Before heading off to the accepted procedures of Robots.txt SEO, I’d get a kick out of the chance to caution you about some terrible practices.

  • Try not to utilize Robots.txt record to conceal low-quality substance. The best practice is to utilize no index and no follow meta tag. You can do this by utilizing Yoast SEO module.
  • Try not to utilize Robots.txt record to stop web indexes to file your Categories, Tags, Archives, Author pages, and so on. You can include no follow and no index meta labels to those pages by utilizing Yoast SEO module.
  • Try not to utilize Robots.txt record to deal with copy content. There are different ways.

Presently how about we perceive how you can make Robots.txt record SEO amicable.

  1. At to start with, you have to figure out which parts of your site you don’t need internet searcher bots to creep. I incline toward forbidding/wp-administrator/,/wp-content/modules/,/readme.html,/trackback/.
  2. Including “Permit:/” subordinates on Robots.txt document is not all that critical as bots will slither your site in any case. Be that as it may, you can utilize it for the specific boat.
  3. Adding sitemaps to Robots.txt document is additionally a decent practice.

Here’s an example of an ideal Robots.txt file for WordPress.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /readme.html
Disallow: /trackback/
Disallow: /go/
Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/
Sitemap: https://test.com/post-sitemap.xml
Sitemap: https://test.com/page-sitemap.xml

You can check RTB Robots.txt file here: https://test.com/robots.txt

Testing Robots.txt File in Google Webmaster Tools

After updating your Robots.txt file, you have to test the Robots.txt file to check if any content is impacted by the update.

You can use Google Search Console to check if there is any “Error” or “Warning” for your Robots.txt file. Just login to Google Search Console and select the site. Then go to Crawl > robots.txt Tester and click on “Submit” button.

A box will be popped up. Just click on “Submit” button.

Then reload the page and check if the file is updated. It might take some time to update the Robots.txt file.

If it hasn’t updated yet, you can enter your Robots.txt file code into the box to check if there are any errors or warnings. It will show the errors and warnings there.

If you notice any errors or warnings in the robots.txt file, you have to fix it by editing the robots.txt file.

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Beat Security Measures For Your WordPress Website

With frequent instances of WordPress sites getting hacked and the CMS long history of security exploits, it has become difficult for organizations and individuals to trust the CMS for their website. But proper measures can actually render strong security to a website built upon the seemingly insecure platform. Here, follows a list of some of the important security measures for a WordPress website:

Use A Strong Password

Choose to employ a unique and strong login password for the admin panel of your website. Make sure your password is of an appropriate length and is a mixture of special characters, alphabets, and numerals. Additionally, you can check the strength of your password by using an online tool.

Beat Security Measures For Your WordPress Website

Beat Security Plugins For Your WordPress Website

By employing suitable security plugins in your WordPress website, you can scan your website and hosting for potential threats and malware, remove them, block attacks and add security layers. An example of a popular security plugin is the WordPress Fence plugin, which has features such as website scan for malware and malicious code, blocking brute force attacks, and scanning website hosting.

Beat-security-services

Here to download Security Plug-ins. That is free. 

Update WordPress Version, Plugins & Theme

83% of hacked WordPress blogs do not use an updated version, 23% of hacked WordPress blogs get hacked due to vulnerable plugins, and 29% of WordPress hacking instances have happened due to vulnerable themes. Looking at the data, it is important that one employs updated versions of WordPress plugins, themes and the platform itself. Moreover, since the platform notifies about available updates through its admin dashboard, keeping your site components updated is not a difficult task.

Perform Regular Back-Ups

Our digital world sees new kinds of threats every day and it is very much possible that despite adopting the best security measures, your site gets hacked. So always keep copies of your website databases, content, images, and other website content. It will help you restore your website easily.

With the implementation of the above-mentioned measures, you can keep your WordPress website secure to a great extent.

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A guide to adding products in woocommerce

Here we will give an overview of how to add products in WooCommerce.

But first, let’s define the four different types of products you can set up in WooCommerce: simple, variable, grouped, and external/affiliate product.

Simple Products

Simple products have one SKU, are shipped, and have no variations/options. For example, a book.

Variable Products

Variable products can have multiple variations/options, each of which may have a different SKU or price. For example, a piece of clothing that is available in a variety of colors and sizes.

Grouped Products

Grouped products are related products that can be purchased individually. Note that, grouped products can only consist of simple products. For example, an iPhone could be a grouped product as there are 8GB, 16GB, etc. variations of that same product parent.

External/Affiliate Products

External or affiliate products are ones that you list/display on your website but they are sold elsewhere.

Adding the different types of products all take a similar process, however, based on the product you are adding there will be some different product data required. To ensure a seamless process, make sure to set up product categories, tags, shipping classes, and attributes before getting started.

Below we will give an overview of how to add each type of product. But first here are is some product information that you will need/can add regardless of the type of product.

Title: Add the name of the product at the top of the page

Full Description: Add your product description here (you can add a shorter one later)

Product Categories and Tags: Use categories and tags to organize your products depending on how you would like to structure your website.

Product Image: This is the primary image of your product. It will be used for the thumbnail, catalog, and as the first image on your product page.

Product Gallery: Product gallery images will show up as small thumbnails next to your main product image described previously. Product galleries, for example, could be used for alternate views of your product.

Product Short Description: The short description typically appears next to your product image on its page depending on your theme. Use this for a brief overview of your product. Save details for the long description (described above), which typically appear within the product description tab.

Adding Simple Products

Adding simple products can be very straightforward, especially for experienced WordPress users.  A simple product can also be virtual (not shipped) or downloadable (customers are given access to a file after purchase).

General

On the general tab fill out the SKU, regular price, and sale price of your product. It is important to note that prices must be entered without $. Sales prices can be scheduled for a particular day, week, month, etc.

Inventory

If you have products that will sell out, be sure to enable stock management at the product level. If selected, a stock quantity field will appear where you can enter/add your quantity. This number will reduce automatically as orders are placed. Depending on your settings, out of stock items can be hidden on the front-end of your website. On this tab, you can also specify if you would like to allow back orders of out of stock items or if they are to be sold individually.

Shipping

Enter the weight, dimensions, and shipping class (if applicable) of your product here. The weight and dimensions of your product are required when using table rate shipping or shipping extensions that use this information to calculate rates.

Linked Products

Here you can add up-sells and cross-sells to your product, which is a great way to drive extra sales and increase revenue!

Up-sells are displayed on the product details page and encourage visitors to view other products. Think, “You May Also Like…”. An example of an up-sell would be to offer some of your other Aerosmith merchandise to a visitor who is viewing an Aerosmith t-shirt.

Cross-sells are displayed on the cart page and relate to the product(s) that your customer has in their cart. For example, if your customer has an iPhone in their cart, you may also suggest that they also purchase a case.

To add, simply start typing the name of other products you have already added and select. (Tip: you may want to add all of your products first and go back to do up-sells and cross-sells so you have your full inventory to choose from)

Advanced

On the advanced tab, you can set up an optional purchase note to be sent to the customer after purchase, a custom ordering position, or enable/disable customer reviews for the product.

Adding a Variable Product

Adding variable products is very similar to adding simple, but with the selection of variable as the product type, additional tabs are added to your product data section.

General

Enter SKU of your item. Note: you will enter SKUs for variations later on.

Inventory

Here you can set the stock quantity for the product, or leave it blank to use the stock settings on the variable products.

Shipping

Enter the weights and dimensions of the product, or leave it blank to use the stock settings on the variable products.

Linked Products

Same process as simple products. Refer to Linked Products section above.

Attributes

Here is where the differences between simple and variable products begin. In the following example, we will use an attribute we have already setup: size.

Select size from the drop-down menu and click add. Click select all to add all sizes. If you would like to remove any options, click the x next to the term name. Select visible on the product page if you would like customers to choose from these sizes. Then, click used for variations if each size has it’s own SKU/price/weight/etc.

Make sure to click save attributes as these will not be visible on the variations tab until you do so.

A guide to adding products in woocommerce

Variations

On the variations tab, you will add all of the product data for each individual size.

First, click the ‘add variation’ button 4 times if you will be using all 4 sizes. Select the name of your sizes from the drop down menus. Then, fill in the product data for each size. Note: variation price is required or the variation will not show up on the front-end of your website.

If you fill in all the product information for your variations, you will now be able to see them on the front-end of your website on your product page.

Advanced

On the advanced tab, you can set up an optional purchase note to be sent to the customer after purchase, a custom ordering position, or enable/disable customer reviews for the product.

Questions? Contact us today for a free quote at 630-868-5060 or email us here.

Adding a Grouped Product

Grouped products are related products that can be purchased individually. Note that, grouped products can only consist of simple products. For example, an iPhone could be a grouped product as there are 8GB, 16GB, etc. variations of that same product parent.

Group products are setup very similar to a simple product and consist of establishing a parent product and then child products within that group.

Setting Up the Parent Product

To establish the parent product, select a product type of ‘Grouped’ from the drop-down menu. Then fill in product information like description, images, categories, and tags in the same way you would for a simple product.

Now that the parent product is established, you will need to create the child products inside of that group.

To create a child product, create a new product. For the child product you will only be required to fill in the:

  1. Title
  2. Product type = Simple

However, add any necessary product data like descriptions or prices for each child product.

Next, navigate to the linked products tab. Now that a grouped product has been established, a grouping field appears below the Up-Sells and Cross-Sells. Select the parent product from the drop-down menu.

In this example, we setup an iPhone as the grouped (parent) product and the 8GB/16GB as the child products. If setup properly you should see links to each child product on the iPhone product page. Note: an individual product page exists for each child.

Adding an External/Affiliate Product

External or affiliate products are ones that you list/display on your website but they are sold elsewhere.

First, select this product type from the drop-down menu.

Enter SKU, the external URL to the product, the price, and the text you would like on the button that links externally to the product.

Be sure to fill in all other product information outlined in previous examples like description, tags, categories, images, up-sells/cross-sells, etc.

There you have it! You’ve successfully added your products in WooCommerce. We typically recommend adding some products like this manually to familiarize our clients with settings in WooCommerce. After getting to know the functionality,  you can consider adding your products with a CSV, especially if you have a lot of products. Stay tuned for our future post where will we explain how to do product CSV imports.

 

Utilizing 4 Plugins That you Can Optimize Your Website For Mobile Users

Cell phones are quick developing as the most loved device for web perusing for a larger part of us. For the most part, as a result of the solace and comfort, these gadgets remain for. In any case, unless your site is not advanced for cell phones, portable clients can’t encounter the coveted solace while perusing it, further, prompting an expanded ricochet rate. This makes improving your site for portable clients preferably a need than an alternative. In the event that your site is based on the WordPress stage, you can make utilization of a few modules that can help you do likewise. Give us a chance to look at probably the most valuable ones:

AMP Plugin

Slow loading webpages are a major reason that leads mobile users to abandon a website. This is where the AMP plugin comes out as a useful plugin. AMP, that stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source initiative which aims to make websites load instantly on mobile devices. The AMP plugin for WordPress allows website owners to render the same- an optimal performance that mobile users love.

WP Mobile Detector

WP Mobile Detector

Different design themes work effectively for smartphone devices and feature phones. And if a percentage of your targeted mobile users are the ones using feature phones, your website must be optimized for this group of users too. Therefore, your website’s design should be able to adapt to different screen devices. This is where the WP mobile detector plugin comes out as useful. The plugin detects the device from which a website is being accessed and delivers the theme that is fit for a particular device.

WP-Mobile-Detector-WordPress-Plugins

WP Mobile Pack

Rendering your website in a look that resembles a native app is another way to deliver a comfortable and quality user experience to your mobile users. By the use of the WP mobile pack plugin, you can do the same and make the app-like version of your website accessible through all major mobile browsers.

wordpress-mobile-pack-plugin-for-wordpress

WP Mobile Touch Plugin

Do you want a mobile website that the Google search engine deems absolutely fit? If yes, use the WP mobile touch plugin which activates a mobile-friendly version of your website that passes the Google mobile test. In addition to optimizing your website for the mobile search engine, the plugin allows the customization of your website’s mobile theme without altering any code.

Utilizing 4 Plugins That you Can Optimize Your Website For Mobile Users

If you want to optimize your WordPress website for mobile users, Please comment on it.

 

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7 Types of Stores You Can Power With WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin for WordPress, one of the most popular and robust content management systems available today. Out of the box, WooCommerce has a ton of functionality like product and inventory management, shipping options, tax and payment options, marketing, reporting, and more. And for virtually every other eCommerce need there is a wide selection of extensions that can be downloaded.

Beyond your standard ecommerce model, WooCommerce can also power a variety of other online businesses. Click the links below to jump to the following:

  • Dropshipping
  • Digital/Virtual
  • Affiliate
  • Subscription
  • Membership
  • Auctions
  • Bookings

Dropshipping WooCommerce Store

Dropshipping, with its relatively low barrier to entry, is a great way for online retailers to learn more about running an ecommerce store while minimizing their risks. Instead of purchasing and storing inventory, a dropshipping store sells items from a supplier. Once the item sells on your website, you place the order with your dropshipper at your wholesale rate, they fulfill and ship the order to the customer, and you keep the retail margin as your profit.

If you are reading this post, you may already be familiar with drop shipping and wondering if you can run that sort of store on WooCommerce? The answer is YES!

Setting up a drop shipping store in WooCommerce is really not that different from setting up a standard eCommerce store. Typically, the only difference is what happens AFTER a sale is made. In other words, how do you notify your supplier of the new order and the customer’s details?

In WooCommerce you have two options:

  1. Set the “New Order” emails in WooCommerce to be sent to your supplier
  2. Or, use a dropship-specific plugin/extension (ex: WooCommerce Dropshippers)

One thing to keep in mind with a drop shipping store is that you will need to work with your supplier in managing inventory. They may have feeds you can integrate with your website, so be sure to discuss this with your supplier!

Digital WooCommerce Stores

Are you trying to sell your customers a download of something like an e-book or mp3? A service? WooCommerce can help. WooCommerce offers both virtual and downloadable product types and setup is a breeze?

Virtual products, like a service, are intangible and are not shipped. Downloadable products, like an e-book or mp3, allow customers to purchase and then receive after completing payment.

For downloadable products you have 3 download method options and some access restrictions which you will set in WooCommerce > Settings > Downloadable Products:

  1. Redirect only – when a customer downloads a file, the link redirects to the file
  2. Force download – file downloads are forced using PHP
  3. X-Sendfile/X-Accel-Redirect – downloads are server by Apache. If you use this method, keep in mind that this requires the X-Sendfile module and not all servers have this

WooCommerce-Downloadable-Product-Settings

Then, choose downloadable as the product type in the top of your product data editor. A number of fields will appear, allowing you to upload your file, set a download limit, an expiration date, and the download type.

WooCommerce-Downloadable-Product

Affiliate WooCommerce Stores

WooCommerce has built-in functionality to sell external/affiliate products through your website, making it easier than ever to run an affiliate store!

Simply add all of the details of a product (learn how to add woocommerce products) and choose External/Affiliate product as your product type. As you can see in the example below, choosing this product type will enable you to add the external URL to the product and custom button text. When customers click on your product they will be taken off your website to the URL you provided to complete their purchase.

In the example below, we’ve linked externally to an affiliate product on Amazon and added BUY NOW as our button text. How simple is that?

WooCommerce-Affiliate-Product

Subscription WooCommerce Store

Subscriptions are the perfect way to manage recurring payments for services such as access to website content, newspapers, or subscription-based ecommerce models.

With the help of WooCommerce Subscriptions, you can easily offer products and services that require recurring payments. This WooCommerce extension offers a number of robust features including:

  • Add a sign-up fee, offer free trials, and set expiration dates for subscription products
  • Set subscriptions to renew on a variety of different billing schedules
  • Offer customers multiple gateway options
  • Variable subscriptions allow customers to choose from different levels/tiers of subscriptions
  • Manual of automatic renewals
  • Renewal emails

Membership WooCommerce Store

Are you looking to sell memberships? A combination of tools can help you create sell memberships, set group-based capabilities, and content access control based on membership levels.

To achieve the features mentioned above you will need the following plugins:

  1. Groups – this controls the membership levels and access control capabilities
  2. Groups for WooCommerce – allows you to sell access to the groups you’ve set up in the Groups plugin above
  3. (optional) WooCommerce Subscriptions – if you’d like to sell memberships with recurring payments you will also need to use this extension (described in previous section)

Auction WooCommerce Stores

We ran into this store type when helping a client who wanted to auction off a product on their website for charity! With the help of a plugin called, WooCommerce Simple Auctions, you can turn your regular WooCommerce products into an auction.

The plugin enables you to leverage a number of awesome new functions. In the example below, you can see the new AUCTION tab on your product data editor gives you new data fields for: item condition, auction type, start price, bid increment, reserve price, buy it now price, auction dates.

Types of woocommerce stores

On the front-end, bidders can even access a “My Auctions” section to keep track of their bids. Learn more here: WooCommerce Simple Auctions.

Sell Bookings or Appointments on WooCommerce

Do you want to take reservations? Offer appointments? Or sell services and rentals? With the help of  the WooCommerce Booking extension you can turn your WooCommerce website into a powerful booking portal. This extension can help you sell time or date based bookings.

Here are some cool features:

  • You can create booking slots which are fixed (offer set times) or let the customers decide
  • Manage bookings and availability
  • Customer email notifications
  • You can even add extras for each booking by combining this with the Product Add-ons extension

 

Did you know you could run all of these types of online businesses with WooCommerce? While this is not an exhaustive list, we hope you learned something new! If you are doing something unique with your WooCommerce store let us know in the comment box below.

 

Having to grips with WooCommerce

Searching to sell your product online but not sure the way to get started? Or, are you on a budget and want to get started quickly?

Enter WooCommerce – a free e-commerce plugin for WordPress, one of the very most popular and robust Content Administration Systems available today. With almost 4 million downloads available to date, WooCommerce is the now the speediest growing e-commerce platform in the world.
From the box, WooCommerce has a bunch of functionality:

  • Shipping options
  • Item and inventory management
  • Taxes settings
  • Marketing – savings, free shipping, etc.
  • A few payment options
  • Robust confirming

As well as for almost everything other e-commerce need there is a wide selection of plug-ins that can be downloaded. For example, payment gateways or shipping extensions can extend the functionality of your store. For more ideas, do a quick Google search for WooCommerce extensions. From subscriptions to drop shipping, find out more on they types of woocommerce stores you can create.

With an intuitive user interface, all of the themes available, and the mountain of documentation and tutorials available, WooCommerce is a wonderful option for online stores.

We’ve combined and prepared some of our consumer instructions to share. Listed below we will discuss basic principles to getting started with WooCommerce including configuring your initial settings.

Getting Started


Install the WooCommerce plugin through your WordPress dashboard, or download here and upload the ZIP file to your website. Then, activate the plugin. Note: if you are using a theme you will want to ensure it is WooCommerce compatible. You can check out some here.
Activating the WooCommerce plugin will add two new menus to the WordPress dashboard: WooCommerce and Products.

In this post, we will cover the basic WooCommerce settings. Navigate to the WooCommerce menu and then click Settings. Here there are 7 different tabs to change the settings.

General

The overall tab allows you to set your base location and also what forex you will be taking. Will you be shipping and delivery internationally? Be sure to set what countries you’ll certainly be selling to here. For example, if you only would like to sell and send within the United Areas select ‘Specific Countries’ for ‘Allowed Countries’ and then ‘United States’ under ‘Specific Countries’. You can also change some of the front-end styles here.

WooCommerce-Simple-Product-General-Tab

Products

The products tab permits you to how products are shown, item information, and picture alternatives. Here it is imperative to characterize what your items weight and measurement unit will be (ex: pounds and inches). Different choices include:

  • Divert to cart page after a client adds an item to their cart
  • Enable ratings
  • Picture sizes: list pictures, single items, and thumbnails

woocommerce-tab-manager-manage-product-tabs

The products tab additionally incorporates stock alternatives, which permits you to empower or incapacitate stock administration. Make sure to empower stock administration if your item can leave stock. Empowering stock administration permits you to likewise get low stock or out of stock warnings to your email. Here you will likewise have the choice to hang out of stock things on your site or show/shroud stock sum toward the front.

Having to grips with WooCommerce

Tax

The tax tab permits you to empower and arrange charge settings if required. Setup your default standard rate in view of your stores base area and state law.

WooCommerce-Tax-Settings-Standard-Tab

Checkout

The checkout tab permits you to characterize what installment alternatives your clients will have. As a matter of course, WooCommerce incorporates CCNow, BACS, Check, Cash on Delivery, Mijireh Checkout, and Paypal. Once more, there is an assortment of installment passage expansions accessible in view of your charge card processor.

Note: it is prescribed to Force Secure Checkout (alternative 3) – an SSL declaration is required.

woocommerce-settings-checkout-tab

Shipping

The shipping tab permits you to characterize your store’s delivery choices. Out of the case, WooCommerce incorporates Free Shipping, Flat Rate, International Delivery, Local Delivery, and Local Pickup choices, which can all be empowered or crippled. As said sometime recently, there is an assortment of augmentations to expand the usefulness of your store, including UPS/FedEx/USPS shipping alternatives.

Here you can empower the shipping adding machine on the cart page or conceal shipping costs until your client enters their address.

Shipping Tab WooCommerce

For the free shipping alternative, you can choose when a client gets free delivering. In the case beneath, clients who spend at least $100 are qualified with the expectation of complimentary shipping.

Free Shipping WooCommerce

For the flat rate, you can define the cost per order and even additional costs based on item, class, or even shipping class. In the example below, customers pay a flat rate fee of $5.99 per order.

flat rate

The universal conveyance settings permit you to determine particular nations that you ship to and extra expenses per arrange/thing/class. You can likewise include dealing with charges for worldwide conveyance.

international-delivery

The neighborhood conveyance choices permit you to indicate what postal divisions are qualified for this choice and in addition the expense you might want to charge for nearby conveyance. In the case beneath, clients are charged $2.00 on the off chance that they live in the 60504 or 60563 territory code.

local-delivery

Thus, the nearby pickup choices permit you to indicate what postal districts are qualified for this alternative and additionally the expense you might want to charge for this choice. In the case underneath, clients are qualified for nearby pickup in the event that they live in the 60502 territory code.

Local-Pickup

Accounts

The accounts tab controls the pages related to your client’s accounts. Of course, these pages are the endless supply of WooCommerce. Be that as it may, they can be changed/tweaked in light of your needs. Here you can likewise set client enlistment alternatives.

woocommerce-settings-accounts-tab

Emails

The emails tab allows you to configure and customize your outgoing/automated emails to customers. First, define yours from the name and email address.

You have some color styling and text options for the default email template, which can be fully customized if desired with some programming knowledge.

WooCommerce emails include New Order, Processing Order, Completed Order, Customer Invoice, Customer Note, Reset Password, New Account.

The new order email, for example, you should setup to send to yourself to notify of a new order. Another example, the Processing Order email automatically sends to your customer after their order if enabled.

You can enable/disable each of these automated emails based on your preferences.

wc-email-customiser-setting

With your WooCommerce store properly configured, you are ready to start adding your products! Check out: Adding Products in WooCommerce.

 

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6 Steps to Having a Successful Blog

  1. (Introduction) Before you Begin a Blog
  2. Pick a Blogging Stage
  3. Pick a Domain Name
  4. Get an Internet Host and Set Up Your Blog
  5. Alter Your Blog
  6. Figure out how to Include Posts and Pages
  7. Construct a Brand, Activity and Automated revenue

STEP 1: Preceding You Begin a Blog (Q&A)


The amount TIME Does Blogging Take?

blogging-takes-time

Setting up a blog is truly basic and direct.

Taking after these directions will probably take under 20 minutes.

Nonetheless, picking a domain name and the blog’s theme (which decides what it would appear that) could take a while on the off chance that you don’t yet realize what you need them to be.

Ultimately, making a quality substance that your potential per users needs to peruse can take considerable additional time. For instance, it took me over 72 hours to put this bit of substance together (counting pictures and recordings). All things considered, many individuals compose shorter articles in just a few hours—you don’t need to invest more energy in composing than you need.
In general, blogging doesn’t need to take much time. It’s totally up to you to choose how genuinely you need to take it.

The amount Does Blogging COST?

You may ponder, “Will it cost huge amounts of cash to begin my blog?”blogging-cost

The short answer is “No.” You can even make a blog free in the event that you need to.

Be that as it may, there are two or three things you ought to pay for.

A space name (www.YourBlogAddress.com) will cost around $10/year (yet you can get it free—more about that later).
Primary concern: On the off chance that you need to begin a genuine blog, you’ll have to spend a couple of dollars to get an area name and web facilitating. We’ll experience these in detail in STEPS 3 and 4.

Could I Utilize Blogging To Profit?

The short answer is Yes.

Some fruitful bloggers profit ($50k/mo or more), and the greater part of it is inactive, as well.

There are perpetual approaches to acquire cash with your blog.

A few people are putting forth benefits, some utilizing Google Adsense program, some are adapting their online journals with Amazon and some are simply offering physical/computerized things.

In any case, you can set up a blog for entertainment only or as an interest, as well. That is totally fine and many individuals are now doing it. I’ve set up web journals for a lot of scholars who simply need to improve as an essayist. A few people simply need to impart their insight/information. Some are doing it for the sake of entertainment.

All that stated, regardless of what your objectives are, you ought to take after these same strides to kick your blog off today.

STEP 2: Pick Your Blogging Stage


WordPress-Logo

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform.

When beginning your blog, there are a few stages of looking over (Tumblr, blogger etc..).

Nonetheless, one that truly emerges from the pack is WordPress.
It’s FREE, extremely easy to use, and ideal for individuals who’ve never manufactured a blog.

Why Individuals Utilize and Suggest WordPress?

  • It’s FREE (you just need a web host & domain name)
  • There are 5k+ free and paid WordPress themes accessible to make your outline look the best quality.
  • They have a super helpful support forum.
  • It offers 45k+ free modules to help your blog run all the more easily and effectively.

Don’t Download/Install WordPress yet. You’ll need to install WordPress in STEP 4.
Here are only a couple of cases of WordPress Blogs:

6-steps-successful-blog


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Why you SHOULDN’T create a blog on a free platform

It’s actual, you can make your blog free. Yet, it’ll be extremely constrained in usefulness, it’ll look exhausting, and the address will look to some degree adolescent (e.g., YourBlog.WordPress.com), which decreases your believability.

There are some genuine imperfections in free choices you have to think about:

  1. No Control – Your blog is being facilitated on another site (e.g., wordpress.com, tumblr.com, blogspot.com). On the off chance that you damage their terms of administration (even unintentionally), they can close down your blog at whatever time (it has occurred some time recently).
  2. No Customization – You can’t utilize all the free modules or topics. Hell, you can’t utilize custom subjects to truly make your blog emerge.
  3. Different Confinements – Free space of just 3GB. For posts, pictures, and maybe recordings—that is sufficiently not.

To put it plainly, don’t make a free blog, particularly in case you’re not kidding about beginning a blog. Later relocating to a superior choice from a free blogging stage can be exceptionally tedious and precarious.

Rather, make a self-facilitated WordPress blog where you don’t have any restrictions. Besides, you’ll have the capacity to utilize your own (proficient) space name.

This leads me to the following stride: finding a domain name.

STEP 3: Choose a Domain Name (www.YourBlog.com)


Before you go any further, you have to pick a domain name.log-domain-name

Your domain name is essential on the grounds that:

  • It’s your “early introduction” to site guests.
  • It influences your rankings in web crawlers.
  • It characterizes your image.

In view of that, you ought to put some idea into your space name, yet not all that much.

On the off chance that you think of something you like inside 5 minutes, give it a go. (You can transform it later).

  • Choose brandable over generic. A brandable domain name is unique and stands out from the competition, while a generic domain name is usually stuffed with keywords and unmemorable. (For example, www.LisasRocks.com is more brandable than www.RockCollectingBlog.com.)
  • Keep it concise. According to research from Gaebler.com, a magazine for entrepreneurs, the top-100 websites have approximately 6 characters in their domain name.
  • Easy to type and pronounce. Your domain name should roll off the tips of your fingers and the tips of your tongue without any problem.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT STEP:

If you don’t have a domain name yet, use hostgator.com. When you start a self-hosted WordPress blog, you’ll need a web host anyways.

STEP 4: Sign Up With Web Host and Install WordPress


What is Web Hosting and Why Do You Require it?

Web Hosting is the administration that keeps your blog open for everybody. It stores every one of the documents, pictures, and substance that your blog has and shows it to the guests.

On the off chance that you don’t have the web have, you won’t have the capacity to set up a blog for others to see nor will you have the capacity to utilize your own area name.

There are Great and Awful Has

Picking your host is a standout amongst the most critical part of making your blog.

The awful web has caused a large portion of the issues individuals have identified with their blog. For instance, unhelpful client benefit and shrouded expenses are very normal…

Numerous shabby has likewise abuse servers to cut their expenses—and that prompts your site conceivably not working on the grounds that many individuals are going to some other site. Just some less expensive hosts control the assets well so that your site dependably works right.

I highly recommend using www.hostgator.com as your host, and it’s the hosting company I currently use:

  1. They have one-click WordPress installation, which makes it easy for you to get started.
  2. They have 24/7 support, so there’s always someone to answer your questions. They even have employees who work full-time on improving WordPress itself, so there probably isn’t a question you could ask that they couldn’t answer.
  3. They’ve been officially recommended by WordPress since 2005.
  4. They have a money-back guarantee, so you can get a refund if you decide you don’t want to have a blog after all.

Of course, you don’t need to use Hostgator if you don’t want to. Feel free to use any other web hosting provider that is reliable, secure and easy to manage (i.e. one-click-install for WordPress).

How to Start a Blog on Hostgator: 15 Minute Step by Step Guide

Step #1: Choose the hosting plan that is right for you.

Hostgator Plan

At this time, Hostgator offers 3 different plans, each of which come with their own set of perks. If you are just getting started, I suggest the most basic plan for $3.95 per month. With this plan, you will receive 1 domain, 1 click installs, and unmetered bandwidth.

Step #2: Choose a domain name.

domain name

Whether you already own the domain you want to use or you want to create a new one, you will enter it right here. Just remember to make your domain name something easy to both type and remember, and descriptive of your site. If I am making a cupcake recipe website, I might choose something like www.bakingwithme.com as opposed to something like www.mycoolsite.com.

Step #3: Confirm your hosting plan.

hosting plan

When you achieve this progression, you should affirm what facilitating arrangement you might want to partake in. In the event that you need to pay $3.95 every month, you should focus on 36 months. Else, you may focus on only 1, 3, 6, 12, or 24 months at different month to month costs.

Next, enter both your coveted username and security stick. This will be utilized to sign into your account.

Step #4: Enter your billing information accordingly.

 billing information

Hostgator is going to ask for your basic billing information, so enter it into the appropriate boxes. Double check to make sure that there are no spelling or typing errors, then continue on. This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Step #5: Add any additional services you think you may need.

In all actuality, I personally recommend that you don’t use any of them. That being said, if you fear you may get hacked or would like a site backup guarantee, you can feel free to add any of the optional services that you want.

Step #6: Enter a coupon code if you have one and proceed to check out.

coupon code

Numerous bloggers are included in partner programs with major facilitating organizations like Hostgator. In the event that you get a code for a marked down month to month arrange, you should simply enter it into this container and tap the “Approve” catch. The markdown will be considered and expelled from your aggregate cost when you audit your request subtle elements at the base of the page.

When you have surveyed your request points of interest, you should tap the ‘I have perused and agree…’ catch before looking at. After a look at is finished, you have recently finished portion of the blog beginning procedure!

Step #7: Check your email for login information.

login info

The vast majority of websites hosted by web hosts like Hostgator come from WordPress, so this next half of the tutorial is going to be about how we can set p a WordPress account with our Hostgator information.

In your emails, you should receive a confirmation with all of your login details, including your username, password, domain, and control panel link.

Step #8: Log into Hostgator

hostgator login

Go to the Hostgator gateway sign in page and enter the username and data that has been affirmed in your email.

Step #9: QuickInstall WordPress.

install-wordpress

Click on the QuickInstall button under the “Services/Software“ section. From there, click on the WordPress button under the Blog Software tab on the left-hand side of the page. You will be met with a page asking you to continue your installation. Click the Continue button, enter your blog information, and then confirm by clicking Install Now.

The login information you will be asked to include are as follows: Your primary email address where your WordPress login information will be sent, your blog title, and your first and last name.

 Guess what? You just set up your Hostgator blog! Congratulations!

Your next step is to start writing, and marketing your blog.

STEP 5: Customize Your Blog and Choose a Theme


Once you’re inside WordPress dashboard, you can begin tweaking your blog. We’ll experience all that you have to do to prepare your blog and your first post distributed today.

 wordpress_default_dashboard

You should get familiar with the look and items of the WordPress admin menu. Here are the various admin menu items:

  • Dashboard – This is the page you see right after logging in.
  • Posts – Here you can write and publish new blog posts and view and edit old ones. We’ll go through this once we’ve set up the blog otherwise.
  • Media – This is your media library with all the images, PDFs, videos, etc. you’ve uploaded.
  • Links – Many blogs don’t use this at all. You can skip it for now.
  • Pages – Here you can write and publish new pages and view and edit old ones. We’ll look at this after choosing your blog design.
  • Comments – Everything related to comments. You can get familiar with this when you’ve published your first post and readers leave the first comments.
  • Appearance – Here you can change what your blog looks like. We’ll go through this in detail below.
  • Plugins – Here you can add and remove plugins, which add functionality to your blog. We’ll go through this after selecting the theme.
  • Users – If you create your content with others, you can add them as users here, so they can edit posts. Otherwise, you can skip this for now.
  • Tools – Here are some additional tools you can use for publishing posts. You can skip this for now.
  • Settings – Here you can edit your blog’s settings. We’ll look at the essential settings later.

To learn more about each one of these (and see screenshots) check out this article from WordPress.

Choose a FREE Theme for Your Blog

I think choosing your new WordPress blog design is the most fun step.

The good news:

  • You can do it all on your own.
  • You can get a FREE WordPress theme that makes your blog look great.
  • You can change it later (just don’t change it so often that your readers can’t keep up).

The bad news:

  • You can spend a LONG time looking for the perfect theme.
  • A WordPress theme is responsible for how your blog looks, so it’s an important decision.

In other words, a WordPress theme is like your car’s frame. It changes how the car looks but doesn’t impact the features or performance too much.

Luckily for you, WordPress has thousands of great-looking themes already optimized to fit any brand, niche, or industry.

Here’s what to look for in a WordPress theme:

  • Simplicity: Unclear design makes it difficult for readers to navigate your blog.
  • Responsiveness: The theme needs to adjust its layout across different screen sizes and devices. In the highly mobile world we live in, responsiveness is a necessity.
  • Speed: Although most themes don’t slow down your blog significantly, it’s still good to test it. To test a theme’s speed, use the Pingdom Website Speed Test, enter the URL of the theme’s demo, and see how long the page takes to load. If the load time is longer than three seconds, you might want to find a different theme (ideally, the load time is below two seconds).
  • Ease of customization: It should be easy to customize the theme—otherwise, you’ll struggle every time you want to tweak something. Fortunately, many themes offer plenty of easy customization options.
  • SEO readiness: The theme shouldn’t make a huge difference to search engines. But it’s still better to choose a theme that’s designed with SEO in mind. (Look for “SEO Optimized” or “SEO ready” in the theme description.)
  • Security: Themes don’t generally create security issues. But it’s anyway good to check some user reviews and comments—and while doing that, check if people have had security problems with the theme.

Keep these factors in mind when choosing a theme. But most importantly, pick something you love and want your readers to see.

STEP 6: Learn to Add Posts and Pages


Affirm, now you ought to be good to go up with WordPress. Along these lines, now for the fun part – it’s an ideal opportunity to make your first blog entry! I’ll make you through each stride of this procedure to make it simple for you.

Go back to your WordPress admin panel (http://your_domain.com/wp-admin/) and then to “Posts » Add New”  (or “Pages » Add New) from the left sidebar.

What you’ll see is a very friendly editor screen that should remind you of MS Word or Pages on Mac:

add-post-screen

Let’s break down what you’re seeing here:

  1. Title Area: This is where you write the title of your post.
  2. Content Area: This is where the body text of your post goes. The whole area works just like text editing in Word or Pages. You can also add images and other media to your post by clicking the “Add Media” button.
  3. Standard Editing Tools: Here are options like bold, italic, lists, paragraphs, and headlines.
  4. Publishing Tools: This is where you get your post shown to the world; chief among them is the big blue “Publish” button. You can also set a publication date to schedule your post in the future or save the post as a draft for more editing.
  5. Additional Fine-tuning Tools: Update your blog post and categorize it (you can learn more about WordPress categories and tags here).

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Adding connections to your posts: You ought to utilize outbound connections to different sites when expected to go down your cases. For instance, in case you’re composing an article about contemplation, you can connection to a review that demonstrated that reflection inhabited feel more settled. To add connections to your posts, highlight the coveted content, then look up to the blog menu.

ow-to-add-links-to-your-blog-posts

Click the paperclip looking item to the right of the “Align right” item (above the “Add BWS Shortcode”).

yperlink-image

From there, add the URL you want to link to:

links

Then, click the Settings icon on the right (the wheel-looking item above, next to the arrow).

links 2

Click the “Open in the link a new tab” box. This is important—you don’t want people to leave your site when they click on a link!

Adding Images to your posts: I touched on this briefly before, but I’ll explain it more here. Start by scrolling up to the top of the blog menu and click “Add Media”.

dding-images-to-your-blog-posts

From here, select the files you’d like to upload. You can find previously uploaded files from the “Media Library” at the top-left corner next to “Upload Files”.

rag

Once you’ve uploaded an image, you can choose its size and placement.

To add a featured image (the image that will be at the top of your post and in the thumbnails of your article), scroll to the right sidebar of your blog menu. You’ll see an option titled “Set featured image”. Click that, then go through the same uploading process to add a featured image here.

Adding videos from YouTube: Adding in a video can spice up your post. This process used to be a bit complicated, but after some recent WordPress updates, it’s easy.

Creating the slug: Your slug is the URL of the post. You want to make this slug clear and concise. This will make it easier for people to share it on social media, and overall it will just look better.

You can find the slug underneath the post title. It will say “Permalink: http://yourdomain.com/post_title”.

Sometimes, the title of your blog post will make the perfect slug. But usually, it will be too long, and you should change it so that it’s no longer than 2-4 words.

Here are some tips for optimizing your WordPress slugs:

  • Target SEO keywords. Think of what people would type to Google when they search for the information you share in the post—those are SEO keywords.
  • Avoid duplicates (make sure it’s not the same as another slug on your website).
  • Don’t change the slug after publishing the post (unless you absolutely have to) as this will result in lost traffic.

Adding headings: Headings help you structure your content and make it easier for people to read. Consider adding headings for each of your main points.

To add a heading, scroll up to “Paragraph” drop-down menu. Select the heading you’d like to use. Note that the “Heading 1” is usually reserved for the post’s title, so stick to the smaller headings (with larger numbers) inside the post.

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Publish Your Post or Page

When you’re done working with your post, click the “Publish” button and then the “View post” link that’s going to appear at the top of the page (you’ll see your post live on the site).

Congratulations! You just published your first blog post. Before you share it with others (which is the next step), let’s add a simple tracking system to your site, so you’ll see exactly how many people you’ve reached.