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In an effort to help our readers set up and build membership sites, we have been publishing some really in-depth, useful content on starting and managing membership-based WordPress sites.

After helping you learn in detail how to create a WordPress membership site, we will now be walking you through the best membership plugins for WordPress based on your needs.

But before that, let us quickly understand the important factors you need to consider when choosing the right membership plugin for your WordPress site.

What to Look for in the Best Membership Plugins for WordPress

In order to choose the best plugin for your needs from the ones we have reviewed for you in this post, you should keep the following factors in mind.

  • Membership levels: Ideally, you will want the plugin to offer unlimited membership levels, help you manage the membership levels when they expire, as well as offer free trials.
  • Flexibility with respect to the content restriction: Does the plugin only allow restricting the posts and pages or the categories and other important areas of content as well? It’s also important for it to be easy to restrict the content based on individual membership levels. A great plus here would be to be allowed selling some posts or pages on a one-off basis or separately from the membership plans.
  • How does the dripping of the content work with the plugin? Content dripping is a term that refers to the process of releasing and expiration of a particular amount of content automatically, without requiring any manual intervention.
  • How easy is it to make and manage coupons, as well as allow your users to use them?
  • Something that you shouldn’t overlook at all is the integrations. While you may not realize it when you start your membership site, it wouldn’t be long before you find that you need to use various third-party tools and plugins. If your membership plugin doesn’t support that, managing your site may turn into a nightmare.

While these are some of the most important factors, there are many others as well that we will talk about when reviewing the plugins below.

1 MemberMouse

MemberMouse is arguably the most feature-loaded and functional membership plugin for WordPress sites. After all, there’s a reason even many multimillion dollar businesses rely on it to run their subscription business.

Something you will love about this plugin right off the bat is how fast and efficient it is. You would see a “Grant Access” button right next to the default Publish button, and all you need to restrict the content is click on it. The same goes for using many of its other standard features as well.

Now, when it comes to the overall functionality, MemberMouse totally blows away the other membership plugins. While it offers many membership levels just like the other plugins, it also allows offering bundles, which basically let you sell some posts or pages as a one-off thing. This is something that no other plugin allows you to do.

Besides allowing you to drip out restricted content, a really cool feature it offers is letting you use your membership site as a member. Once you get into the member mode, you will be able to use it exactly the way a real member could, including the content they have access to, among other things.

But there’s more to it. You can also change the “subscription period” of your test account to turn it from an old to a new one, in order to experience how your new subscribers would be able to use your site.

Then there’s a widget that keeps your subscribers updated on the content status: what content they can access and what is still restricted to them. There are many restriction levels as well.

Another set of features that will make you absolutely love this plugin is the reporting and optimization features.

It offers the most detailed reporting that’s unmatched by any other membership plugin, letting you access key data metrics easily such as the average period of a paid subscription, average lifetime value of a customer, the total number of subscribers and many more.

The optimization features include a split-test feature, which allows you to compare the results you get with different pricing models. It can help you dig deep into your strategies and figure out what helps you drive the most conversions.

The other optimization features include upsells, helping you get more out of your subscribers, and, to your surprise, the “last-resort” downsells.

When a user is leaving without subscribing, MemberMouse can help you offer them a super cheap price (perhaps for a short period of time) just to get them on board as a customer.

MemberMouse also supports as many as 8 different payment gateways and 4 different , among many other third-party tools and plugins.

Finally, there’s really nothing to lose if you decide to give MemberMouse a shot, as it comes with a 14-day free trial, which is more than enough for you to find out whether it’s worth it for your site.

A quick summary of the main features of this plugin:

  • Restricting content and managing the restrictions is incredibly easy
  • The plugin allows for a very fast and efficient subscription website, even for users with no coding or technical knowledge
  • Allows users to sell a few posts or pages as a one-off bundle
  • You can use your site as a member, in order to get the first-hand experience of the user experience of your site
  • Your members will always be kept updated about their membership status and the upgrades still available to them without increasing the work at your end
  • You can set up more than a few restriction levels
  • A plethora of reporting and optimization features that help you optimize your site for better conversions
  • You will be able to use 8 different payment gateways and 4 different email marketing tools
  • It allows you to offer coupon codes
  • Access API to be able to sync it with the affiliate network of your choice, and for integrating it with other services that require an API access
  • Set it up with any affiliate network of your choice
  • Send push notifications to mobile devices as well as do pixel tracking

There are just a couple minor downsides to it. The bigger one of them is that MemberMouse is not GPL (General Public License) based, meaning that it’s not customizable. In other words, like the other plugins, you won’t be able to make any kind of changes to its code.

The pricing too is a bit on the higher side, with the plan that allows up to 1000 subscribers being priced at $19.95 per month. However, you would expect that with a plugin that brings so much to the table for your subscription business.

Similarly, the pricing for the other plans is as follows:

  • The 5,000 members plan is priced at $39.95 per month
  • The 10,000 members plan will set you back $59.95 per month
  • The Advanced plan, that supports up to 50,000 members, costs $99 per month
  • The Premium plan can handle a massive 100,000 subscriber base for just $299 per month

So, if you can live with these not-so-good things about it, there’s no reason to not get this plugin and get your subscription business running right away.

2 MemberPress

While there’s no one-size-fits-all membership plugin, MemberPress is as close as it can get to being one. While it too is a WordPress paid membership plugin, it’s well worth the cost for most users looking to build a highly functional WordPress membership site.

This is because it comes with a long list of features, many of them solely aimed at improving the overall functionality of your membership site. What this means for you is that you will be able to customize your site as much as you can without having to write the code from scratch.

You will easily be able to restrict whatever content you want on your site, be it a category page or specific posts or pages. But what’s even more impressive is that the improved functionality doesn’t come at the cost of the ease of use.

Users new to building a membership site will be glad to know that using the MemberPress plugin for managing their site will be surprisingly easy, thanks to its features like the self-serve dashboard, quick and easy setup, detailed reports, automated emails and more.

One of the more important features that made it one of our favorites was its ability to let users make premium community forums without making their life difficult. If you have tried making a forum before, you know what we are talking about here.

It can often be too challenging of a task, especially for users new to the whole membership site thing. However, MemberPress integrates seamlessly with many common, popular WordPress forum plugins, including BBPress, making it way easier.

Some of the other features of MemberPress that we are a fan of include:

  • An incredibly easy way to create and manage coupons, which is an essential component of running a successful membership site
  • Functionality-focused features allow you to generate dynamic pricing pages that are not only functional, but also appealing and conversion-focused
  • As the developer is someone that has designed many similar plugins, they manage to make MemberPress an extremely stable and secure membership plugin
  • MemberPress doesn’t disappoint on the flexibility front either, as it can work just as well with pretty much any WordPress theme
  • It’s not limited in any way, allowing you to manage unlimited members, have unlimited rules with respect to accessing the premium content, create as many pricing pages and sell as many digital products as you want
  • You will also be able to accept payments through PayPal and Stripe easily
  • Takes a lot of challenge out of managing your site as you don’t need to manually grant or deny access to members on subscribing and unsubscribing – it does it all for you
  • The clear, detailed reports will give you a lot of insight about how your products and your site in general is performing so that you can keep tweaking things to get the most out of your traffic
  • MemberPress also offers “content dripping,” which is basically something that allows you to set a time for the release and expiration of content, saving you the time and headache of having to do it manually

Finally, Caseproof, the developer of MemberPress and other popular plugins, offers excellent customer service, meaning that you really can’t ask more unless you have some very specific needs.

As far as the pricing is concerned, MemberPress offers three different plans:

  • The Basic plan is priced at $129/year, which can only be used for a single site
  • The Plus plan is priced at $249/year, and support up to 10 sites
  • The Pro plan is pieced at $369/year, and you can use it on as many as 30 sites

If you’re only looking to launch one membership site, the Basic plan is all you need. However, if you’re a webmaster that’s looking for something to manage multiple membership sites, you will have to get either of the Plus or Pro plan, depending on how many sites you manage.

3 Restrict Content Pro

If you’re looking for something more beginner-friendly than MemberPress and other membership plugins, without having to settle for limited features, the Restrict Content Pro plugin is a solid option for you. While it offers more than enough features most users would need to run a membership site, it does it in a way that makes it stupidly easy to use and manage your membership site.

One of the best things about it is that it comes with a user interface that seamlessly integrates itself with your WordPress dashboard, making it very easy for you to operate your site as everything you need is available at the same place. Its user interface itself is fairly simple and straightforward, not to mention pretty functional as well.

Moreover, it offers a ton of helpful material right inside your WordPress admin section, which will certainly turn out to be very useful for beginners. Despite being a simple membership plugin, it stands out from the rest as the developer is very responsive and keeps coming up with updates in a very consistent manner.

While this might not sound like a big deal, it really is as it keeps improving your overall user experience and bettering the way you manage your site. It can also come in handy when there are some new security concerns, as the developer will be quick to address them by releasing an update faster than the others.

Another important feature of this plugin that won’t fail to impress you is that it allows you to have a lot more control over the way you can restrict your content. This is something often missing with many other plugins, as they only have a few standard options for restricting your content; and while that works just well for most users, some do have specific needs that call for something more flexible.

And this is where Restrict Content Pro’s highly customized restricting options come in. You can restrict your content in a variety of ways, including on the basis of individual posts, categories, tags and more, and also on the specific membership level of your subscribers.

If you’re running or planning to run a big membership site with many different subscription options, Restrict Content Pro may turn out to be your best bet.

Here’s a quick look at some of its other features that are worth noting:

  • Create unlimited discount codes, while also being able to choose whether to make them a flat-rate discount or a percentage-based discount
  • It integrates well with many different payment processors, including PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, Braintree and more
  • Clean and simple reports that allow you to track your site’s progress, and take the necessary measures to take it to the next level
  • A Data Export feature which may turn out to be useful for those who want to track their user data in great detail
  • There are no limitations on the number or level of subscription plans you can make, including free trials and different premium subscriptions
  • An easy way to view the status of all your members, helping you stay on top of your subscriber management tasks without letting things get complicated
  • As the code the plugin is based around is simple and clean, it paves the way for a very fast-loading subscription site, which is one of the most important factors determining its success
  • Many specific, customized content access options
  • Great customer support

Now, here’s how the pricing plans look like:

  • The Personal plan that allows you to use it for 1 site with 12 free add-ons: $99 per year
  • The Plus plan for 5 sites and 12 free add-ons: $149 per year
  • The Professional plan for unlimited sites and a massive 17 free add-ons with all future add-ons included for free: $249 per year
  • The Ultimate plan, which is the same as the Professional plan except for that it offers free lifetime updates and lifetime support, but with a one-time payment of $499
4 Paid Memberships Pro

There’s little doubt that Paid Memberships Pro is another one of the best membership plugins for WordPress that you can go with for setting up and running your WordPress membership site.

This plugin has both free and premium versions. And that’s definitely something that makes it one of the better options for beginners, who would like to first get a feel of things before deciding to pull out their wallet.

The good thing is that you can use the free, basic version on as many sites as you want, though it’s going to be fairly limited in terms of the overall functionality. That said, however, it comes with a range of add-ons, both free and paid as well, that you can use to make it a much more functional without actually having to go for the paid version.

If you’re looking to run a serious membership site that makes you a decent amount of money, though, then you would eventually want to get the paid version of this plugin. It will make managing your site a significantly easier and much more effective process, while helping you access features that will go a long way in helping you grow your site.

Some of its key features include:

  • Supports multiple payment gateways
  • Integrates with a variety of third-party tools and plugins that allow you to build a robust system for effectively managing and growing your membership site
  • Just like most of the other plugins on this list, it allows you to offer both paid plans and free trial options
  • Setting up recurring subscriptions is a breeze
  • You can restrict content based on individual posts and pages, which is one of the most important requirements when it comes to membership sites
  • One of the few plugins that work great for sending customized notification emails to the users
  • You can also modify or replace the default login page, which again turns out to be a pretty useful feature as most plugins offer a very basic login page with a rather dull feel to it
  • This plugin allows users to customize it considerably more than many other plugins, which is a great plus as well
  • Makes accepting payments a hassle-free experience
  • The documentation is thorough, something you will really appreciate when you actually need it
  • Active forum with a lot of useful information
  • Impressive customer support

All said and done, if you’re building a membership site that wouldn’t get flooded with hundreds of visitors every day, then the Paid Memberships Pro’s free version is a no-brainer. However, if you do have some budget and are building a small to medium subscription site, one of the plugins we reviewed above make more sense.

This is because Paid Memberships Pro comes with a hefty price tag, with its paid pricing plans explained below:

  • The Plus version, which supports up to 5 sites, costs $297/year (which is on the higher side of all the other plugins we reviewed, especially given that it’s the cheapest plan)
  • The Unlimited plan, which as the name suggests, offers support for unlimited sites and comes with unlimited updates, is priced at $597/year

Furthermore, it’s not exactly very beginner-friendly, and you may have to rely a lot on the add-ons to get all the features you need.

With all that said, it will still be a pretty good option if you’re looking to build a major membership site with thousands of members, as Paid Memberships Pro (the paid version) is one of the few membership plugins that’s capable of handling that.

5 RainMaker Platform

The RainMaker platform is much more than just a WP membership plugin. As the name suggests, it’s a complete platform for building your WordPress membership site from scratch.

This includes everything ranging from the hosting to the email plan to even the site builder tool and plugins. In other words, you wouldn’t have to bother trying to figure out what you need and how to get it, as the RainMaker Platform will take care of everything for you.

While it’s something that’s not just limited to building membership sites but all types of sites in general, that doesn’t take anything away from its ability to help you quickly build a perfect membership site.

Here are some of the more important features it offers:

  • It’s one of the fastest ways to get a website online, although you will need to put in more work to make it look and work how you want it to
  • An easy way to manage your forums and its (premium) members
  • The platform will allow you to make as many courses as you want, including both paid and free ones
  • Comes with a built-in affiliate program, which you can later customize according to your needs
  • Offers some of the most important and standard features of paid membership plugins such as unlimited membership levels, number of members, digital products and more
  • It supports multiple payment gateways
  • Despite being a rather general website-building platform, it offers useful features specific to membership sites like content dripping
  • The support is stellar, so you can expect any issues or queries to be resolved fairly quickly and not have to figure things out on your own, which is sometimes common when using many of the membership plugins

These features don’t come cheap though, as the RainMaker Platform is priced at $145 per month if you pay monthly, and $125 per month if you choose to pay annually.

Something important to note here is that the RainMaker Platform isn’t for everyone. While it’s a powerful, functional platform for building beautiful, functional membership sites, it’s far from flexible.

It won’t allow you to use individual WordPress plugins and will limit the overall functionality of your site quite a bit outside of its platform. But if you’re fine with that or don’t need to use other tools or plugins, then there’s not much of a reason you shouldn’t consider going for the RainMaker Platform over membership plugins, especially if you’re a complete beginner to..

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Yoast SEO is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin out there, and that’s for a reason. It comes loaded with features that no other SEO plugins come even close to matching, while also making itself an ideal option for both beginners and advanced users alike.

But setting it up the right way is imperative to getting the most out of what it offers. So without further ado, let’s tell you everything you will ever need to know about optimizing and setting up Yoast SEO plugin in this Ultimate Yoast SEO Guide.

1 How to Install the Yoast Plugin?

If you’re a complete beginner to WordPress and using plugins, you may need some help with installing the Yoast SEO plugin. You need to hover your mouse on the Plugins option that you can find on your WordPress dashboard on the left. Three options will pop up, and you need to click on “Add New.”

Then you need to search for “Yoast” in the search bar on the top-right of the screen. Click on Install, and once installed, click on “Activate” to put it in action.

2 Tools

As we said, there’s a reason Yoast absolutely dominates the SEO plugins market. It offers so many features that not only help you perfectly optimize your site for SEO, but also make it easier to manage your site.

The Tools it offers are one of the features that are aimed at taking a lot of challenge out of managing your site, or making it easier for you to deal with unexpected issues that may otherwise take a lot of time and effort to fix.

The reason we are getting to it first is that some of the changes it allows you to make may overwrite the changes you will be making in the later stages of setting it up, especially if you need to import your settings from another SEO plugin you may have been using.

2.1 Import and Export

The Import and Export is a feature that will make your life easier when switching to the Yoast SEO plugin. If you have used an SEO plugin in the past and don’t want to go through the pain of setting up another SEO plugin (Yoast) again, the Import and Export feature has you covered.

It allows you to import the settings from another SEO plugin in two ways: using a settings.zip file, or directly from the other plugin you still have installed on your site.

Similarly, it also allows you to export its own settings, so that in case something messes up down the line with respect to the Yoast plugin or your site itself, you will be up and running with the Yoast plugin within minutes by importing the settings again.

2.2 File Editor

There’s absolutely no reason to touch this feature unless you have a very strong reason to do so and know exactly what you’re doing. Even a minor error here may lead to disastrous consequences for your site.

2.3 Bulk Editor

This is a really cool feature that allows you to get the most out of your posts and pages (in terms of traffic and optimization) without making much of an effort.

It allows you to edit the titles and slugs/page URLs of all the posts and pages on your site. While we wouldn’t recommend messing with the URLs, the titles are definitely something you should focus on.

A couple important ways in which you can optimize your titles:

  • Rewrite them in a way that makes them more catchy and likely to be clicked on, helping you drive up the click-through rates to your posts and getting more traffic
  • If you hadn’t focused on optimizing your titles properly for their targeted keywords when you first made them, you can do it now to make them rank better for those keywords
2.4 Text link counter

We will be getting to it in a bit, but for now, let us just tell you that it’s not worth your time or attention at this point.

3 Yoast Features – Remember Less is More

As they say, sometimes less is more. And it couldn’t be truer when it comes to the Yoast plugin’s features.

While it comes with tons of features, some of them are quite redundant and you would be better off turning them off. If you can’t figure out what you need and what you do not, stick to our recommendations below:

  • Turn off the Readability feature because it often makes recommendations that end up making parts of your content sound weird if you follow all its suggestions
  • You should be linking to the other posts on your sites in a natural way, and not do so simply because Yoast says it’s a good practice, meaning that you can do away with the Text link counter as well (unless you have thousands of posts on your site and can’t be bothered to do the internal linking manually)
  • If you’re using another XML plugin for managing and submitting your site’s sitemaps to search engines, you will want to disable the XML Sitemaps feature as well (we will recommend going with a plugin called Google XML Sitemaps for hands-off sitemap submissions)
  • If you’re just starting out and creating your own fresh content (and not using any shady content practices), you don’t need the Ryte integration to keep checking whether your posts are getting indexed (they certainly will on their own)
  • You likely don’t need any third-party tools at this point, so the Admin bar menu can stay disabled as well
  • Unless you have other authors having access to your WordPress site, you don’t need to have the Security feature for authors turned on

4 Search Console

It’s important to set up this feature with Yoast before you do anything else as it will help you identify crucial crawl errors on your site, which is the first thing you would want to do when optimizing your site for SEO.

You will be surprised how many you manage to find, especially if you have done things like changing the permalink structure, deleting pages and remaking them, set up redirections incorrectly, moving to a new domain and more.

The beauty of this feature is that it will help you fix all these errors just by making some changes using your site’s dashboard.

If you have verified your site when setting up the Webmaster Tools as we explained above, all you need to do here is click on the “Get Google Authorization Code” button, login using your account the site in question is associated with, get the authorization code and put it into the box and click on “Authenticate.”

Here’s how to start fixing crawl errors after authenticating your site.

4.1 Fixing Crawl Errors

If your site has been around for a long time now and you have made some major changes to it in the past, you may have crawl errors on your site. These errors not only hurt the SEO of your site, but also lead to a lowered functionality and negatively affect the overall user experience.

After the authentication process is complete, it may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for all the crawl errors to pop up. They may include everything ranging from the “page not found” errors to more complicated DNS or server errors to something as specific as mobile-specific URL errors.

Once all the errors show up, you should begin the task of fixing them. Now, you would have two options here. You can either go with the Yoast SEO Premium to set up easy redirects to fix them, or install a free plugin specifically for this task.

If you would like to go with the latter, our recommendation will be the SEO Redirection Plugin for small sites, and the Redirection plugin for very large sites that may have hundreds or even thousands of crawl errors to fix. While the former has a premium version and restricts some of its important features for free users, the latter is completely free with no premium version.

However, it’s important to note that these free options are often not very reliable, especially when it comes to something as important as fixing crucial crawl errors on your site. If you have a site that’s very important to you or bringing in a decent amount of revenue, it will probably be wise to simply go with the Yoast SEO Premium.

It costs $89 per year which isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things (if you’re running a successful website), and you wouldn’t have to install another plugin that may slow down your site.

With that said, if you’re using the free SEO Redirection Plugin, you will see something like this:

You will find all the errors listed here in the “Custom Redirects” tab. As we don’t have any, it says there’s no data to display.

The Yoast SEO Premium, however, will allow you to see different types of crawl errors, including for desktop, smartphone, feature phone and not found errors, 404 errors and more.

It will also make it really easy for you to fix them, offering everything you need one place.

As you can see in the above image, you will be shown the list of errors on your site this way. You need to click on the option saying “Create redirect” under each error, and enter the new URL in the box that will pop up.

Moreover, you will also be able to set up URL redirects manually, as shown in the below image. This is helpful if you have some recent posts that have been moved, but don’t want to have a time gap where the users may find an error on the old page or, if taken longer, allow Google to crawl the old page and mark it as an error.

5 Setting Up Webmaster Tools

It’s recommended to use Yoast’s Webmaster Tools. You can do it by verifying your site through Google’s Search Console.

All you need to do is click on the Webmaster Tools tab in the Yoast settings area, and then click on the Google Search Console link under the Google verification code box.

Once the page loads up, choose the “HTML tag” option, copy the code you’re shown, and paste it into the said box. You will now need to remove everything except the code itself (including the quotations), which is the text in the quotes at the end.

You need to do the same for Bing, and even Yandex if you think you may also be getting visitors to your site from Russia. However, as most users won’t have anything to do with Chinese audiences, they can leave Baidu’s verification code box blank. Finally, click on “Save changes” and you will be good to go.

6 Search Appearance

Next up is the Search Appearance tab, that you will find listed right under the General settings. Let us quickly walk you through all the features you can access under it and which ones you should be tweaking to your preferences and which ones you shouldn’t bother with at all.

6.1 General

The title separator is basically something that separates your homepage’s title with your site name (given you’re not using a custom title, which is more recommended). We personally like the “-“ and “|” the best, and would avoid the rest.

Now, you don’t need to make any other changes here if you have a dynamic homepage with your latest posts automatically appearing on the homepage. However, if you’re using a static homepage (the contents of the page don’t change, with your homepage working more like a page or post), you got two options here:

  • Use a custom title targeting your most important keyword
  • Leave it as is so that it can come up with a title for you, which can only be ideal if your site name contains your main keyword

You also need to put in custom meta description that includes your main keyword, and then click on “Save changes.”

6.2 Content Types

Most users wouldn’t want to make any changes here. However, we will explain some of the more common customizations it offers in detail for the few that do need to make some changes.

Title template: In today’s modern SEO era, you can’t rely on automatically generated titles based on a template. So, this option actually shouldn’t matter, as you need to write custom, SEO-optimized titles for each of your posts. However, if for some reason you don’t want to do that, the existing template will do a decent job for you.

Meta description template: Leave it blank, as here you will have no option but to write custom meta descriptions for all your posts.

Data in Snippet Preview: Showing the date wouldn’t hurt, but hiding it might, especially if you’re in a time-sensitive niche.

Leave the rest as is, unless your pages talk about time-sensitive topics as well, in which case it would make sense to “Show” the date for them as well.

6.3 Media

There’s only one option here, and it should be set to “Yes.” Not doing so will lead to the search engines separately indexing all the images in all your posts and pages, which means your site will be flooded with many empty pages (in the search engines’ eyes).

6.4 Taxonomies

Categories: Most users will be better off with not letting categories get indexed in the search engines (so they should set it to “No”). However, if you’re sure you need them to get indexed, you can set it to “Yes,” but you will need to work on making them useful by adding relevant and quality content to them.

Yoast SEO Meta Box: If you have enabled the indexation of categories, this needs to be set to “Show” so that you can write custom meta descriptions for your categories. If you’re not letting categories get indexed, it wouldn’t matter and you can leave it turned off.

For the rest of the options, you should be setting them to No, Hide, Disable and Remove, respectively, for the four options. This is because they are not useful in optimizing your site for SEO or in any other way, but might cause more harm than good (if any at all).

6.5 Archives

Set both the Author archives and Date archives to “Disabled,” in order to prevent the issue of duplicate content. This is because they both typically index the same content that has already been indexed in the form of posts or pages.

You don’t need to bother with the rest two options, as they don’t matter once you disable the said features.

6.6 Breadcrumbs

If you’re a total beginner to building a WordPress site, save yourself the headache and simply keep the Breadcrumbs Disabled. They are not worth the hassle for 99% of the users anyway.

Another reason to avoid breadcrumbs is that they can make the area above your content appear cluttered and messy. In fact, although Yoast does have a guide on adding breadcrumbs to your site, it makes it clear that doing it on your own will be a temporary solution as the changes will be undone when you update your theme. So, you will eventually have to get in touch with your theme provider for a permanent solution.

However, if you have a really large site with thousands of posts or pages, OR you got some other reason for using breadcrumbs, you can add them by performing the following steps:

  • Hover your mouse to the Appearance option on your WP dashboard, and then click on Editor
  • Scroll down to find the to find index.php (as you can see in the below image, with the title Main Index Template) and click on it
  • Then find the “get header ();” as highlighted in the below image, and paste the following code below it:
<?php
if ( function_exists('yoast_breadcrumb') ) {
yoast_breadcrumb(' <p id="breadcrumbs">","</p>');
}
?>


Finally, update the file and you’re done.

6.7 RSS

Some users build scrapers to blatantly steal content from other sites without giving them any credit. This may give their users the impression that they are the original owner of the content.

The RSS feature prevents this from happening. While it can’t keep the scraper from scraping your site, what it does is mentions that the content originally appeared on your blog, while also linking out to your blog. This way, you at least get the credit for your work along with a backlink, which might help you with your off-page SEO as well.

Yoast’s settings here are spot on, so you don’t need to edit anything.

7 Social

The Social feature is a really cool way to let the search engines know about the social profiles of your site. More importantly, it lets you upload images to your posts and pages in a way that creates perfectly-optimized thumbnails for each of the popular social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

It makes your posts more likely to get better traction on social media than they otherwise would.

7.1 Facebook

You certainly don’t want to miss out on what the world’s largest social network has to offer to your site. Make sure the Open Graph meta data option is Enabled.

You will ideally want to fill out the Frontpage settings as well; it only takes a couple minutes but can make your site considerably more Facebook-friendly. Basically, what this will do is use the info you fill whenever your site’s homepage is shared on Facebook, which can otherwise look pretty weird and unappealing on Facebook.

Finally, the Default settings allow you to upload an image that will be used for all the posts and pages of your site that are shared on Facebook but don’t contain any images. Before you move to the next tab, don’t forget to click on “Save changes.”

7.2 Twitter

On the Twitter tab, there’s nothing to do but ensure the meta data option is enabled.

7.3 Pinterest

The Pinterest setup works in a similar way to Facebook, so it will only work if you have Enabled Facebook’s Open Graph meta data.

The next step will be to verify your site with Pinterest, which can be done by clicking on the hyperlink “confirm your site with Pinterest” that you can find in the Pinterest tab.

You will need to login to your Pinterest account, visit the account settings section, and get the meta tag that you will need to enter into Yoast’s Pinterest confirmation box.

7.4 Google+

Setting up Google+ is easier, as all you need to do is enter your Google+ business page’s URL in the box you can see on the Google+ tab, and also link to your website from the About section of your business’ Google+ profile.

8 Yoast SEO Premium

Honestly speaking, most users wouldn’t need any of the features that Yoast Premium offers. Sure, finding crawl errors and being able to fix them easily is an important feature, but it’s usually sites that are years old that will really need such a feature.

For small sites with minor issues, you can get away with the free redirection plugins. However, an advanced feature Yoast Premium offers and the free alternatives don’t is automatically setting up the correct redirect when you change the permalink of a post.

Being..

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As a WordPress site owner, you must have faced many issues over the years which not only spoiled the user experience but also gave you a tough time while trying to bring everything back to normal. The ‘error establishing database connection’ is one such technical glitch which leaves site owners frustrated and clueless.

You are not alone if you are facing this issue on one of your websites. Every day, many WordPress users face database connection error and put hours in resolving it.

If you want to make sure that the error establishing database connection is resolved instantly, you need to act wisely and make necessary edits in your website’s database files.

This post will help you understand the real reasons behind this error and how to resolve it efficiently.

By the time you finish this guide, you will learn how to fix this error in a hassle-free manner. But before that, let’s try to get some basic information about the error establishing the database connection and why it occurs.

1 Why Does This Error Occur?

There are various reasons, such as wrong database login credentials, unresponsive database server, corrupt database, etc. because of which WordPress fails to establish a proper database connection. The most common reason is unresponsiveness of web server that can be dealt with by contacting your web host.

Just in case, if the problem remains unsolved, here is a brief guide that can be referred to fix this error. Follow this step by step tutorial to correct database connection error in a hassle-free manner.

2 Fixing Database Connection Error In WordPress

Most of the WordPress errors are self-explanatory and give users ample hints to locate the infected file or the line of code. However, the error establishing database connection is entirely different and gives you no information regarding the conflict or error in WP files.

It’s up to you to use a trial & error method to locate the infected file or code and fix the issue. The more time you take in finding the infected file, the longer this error will persist and affect the overall user behavior.

So, act quickly and fix this error without any further delay.

Important Note: Before you move further and make any change in your WordPress database, create a backup of your WP files to avoid any problem if things don’t turn out as per plans.

2.1 Locating Infected File

A critical troubleshooting tip that may help you fix the problem is finding out if the problem is on the front end or the backend of your site. The front end of the website is its home page or other pages that are visible to everyone:

The backend of the website consists of its wp-admin dashboard:

You can try to login to your site and see the response. If the website looks great in general but shows the ‘error establishing database connection ‘whenever you try to log in, it means there could be something wrong with the admin panel files which needs to be repaired immediately.

To make specific changes in admin panel files, you can log in to your website via FTP. Use any FTP client as per your choice; we are considering FileZilla for demonstration purpose:

Once you have logged into FTP, go to public_html file and look for the wp-config.php file:

After locating wp-config.php, right click on it and download the file on your system to make precise edits:

The downloaded file would look like this:

Since the site was showing ‘error establishing database connection’ every time you tried to access ‘wp-admin’ page, you need to make changes in your site’s database accordingly.

What you can do is scroll down to the bottom of the wp-config.php file and add a simple line of code “define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);“ which will look like this:

By adding this line of code, you’re defining you want to repair the database of the site.

Once the code is added, save the file, refresh it to your web server and go back to the website:

Now that you have edited the code to make changes in the database of your site, you can go to your website and access ‘yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php‘ page.

Once you enter this URL, a database repair option like this one will pop up on the screen:

Based on your requirements and criticalness of the error, you can choose either ‘Repair Database’ or ‘Repair and Optimize Database’ option. Click on any of them, repair your database and see whether the site has started functioning smoothly or not.

This step will most likely resolve the database connection error and bring your site back to normal.

Please delete the line of code you added in the config.php file if your site has started working properly.

Sometimes, the error persists even after editing the code and making changes in the database files. It can be frustrating as you don’t know exactly where to look for the right solution. If you ever face this problem, follow the below-stated steps.

Whenever the database connection error doesn’t get resolved by repairing database, you can again login to FTP, access public_html and click on the wp-config.php file.

The wp-config.php file controls a host of elements, such as database username, password, hostname, etc.

Your website shows the error establishing database connection if any of these items is wrong. So, make sure all of them contain the right information.

Often, while installing WordPress on your server, these elements are downloaded automatically and cause no problem. However, if they are not in the correct order, you might face an error.

At times, you may have to put your IP address in place of the local host or database hostname. If this information is incorrect, you need to contact your web hosting provider and request for the right information to get the website live once again. The process won’t take more than a few minutes if executed correctly.

Let’s take an example to understand how these elements can cause the database error. In the below-mentioned screenshot, we have removed password from the database:

If we save this file, refresh it and go back to the website, we’ll see the database connection error:

So, even a tiny element like the wrong password can cause database error and put your site at risk.

Now, let’s go back to wp-config.php, add the correct password, save it, and refresh the website. As soon as you do it, the site will go live and start functioning smoothly.

There are multiple ways through which the error establishing database connection can be fixed; however, using wp-config.php file via FTP and contacting your web host for support are some of the common ways to get rid of it.

Often, the web hosting company resolves the database connection problem by itself or provides you necessary database file information to troubleshoot the error. In some cases, it can also ask you to reinstall the WordPress to resolve the database connection error.

So, don’t freak out when your site shows error establishing database connection next time. Instead, follow this step by step guide, look for the conflicts in your database files and make necessary changes. The process won’t take much time and save your site from going offline.

3 How To Fix The Error Establishing Database Connection In WordPress? – Video Tutorial

You can also check this video and follow the steps mentioned in it to resolve the error establishing database connection-

How to fix the error establishing database connection in WordPress? - YouTube

Did you face any trouble or get stuck at any stage while following this guide? Please share your doubts, suggestions, and feedback with us in the comments section.

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We don’t have to tell you the importance of including beautiful images on your social media. It’s a known fact that the use of images increases engagement on Twitter and Facebook.

Why type in a thousand words if you can say that with a picture?

We understand that it’s difficult to create stunning visuals. Not everyone understands color theory and graphic design.

But thanks to technology, creating beautiful and unique images is easy, fast, and even free. Today, we are are covering forty-five different tools that you can use to create unique images. Not every tool is designed for everyone, and we made sure to include relevant information about each tool we discussed.

Let’s get started.

1 Canva

  • Design Skill Needed : None
  • Pricing : Free, $12.95/user/month (monthly), 9.95/user/month (annually)
  • Useful For : Infographics, Social Media Images, Logos, Quotes

Canva is the tool that started the trend of easy and beautiful image creation in the browser. It’s an all in one design tool that anyone can use.

Canva offers a rich collection of assets and thousands of designs for inspiration. You can use Canva to create social media posts, banner ads, shareable quotes, and even logos.

2 PicMonkey

  • Design Skill Needed : None to moderate
  • Pricing
    • 7 day free trial
    • Premium Pricing
      • $47.88/year (effective monthly cost would be $3.99 per month)
      • $7.99/month (when paid monthly)
    • Supremium Pricing
      • $99.99 per year (effective monthly cost would be $8.33 per month)
  • Useful For : Image editing, Collages, Portrait touch up, Social media images

PicMonkey is a full image editor and creator living in your browser. You can edit all kinds of images, enhance faces in portraits, create banners, social media images or beautiful collages with PicMonkey.

PicMonkey also integrates with Gooten, a print-on-demand supplier. Using Gooten, you can have your designs printed on multiple products, which you can sell worldwide. All shipping and customer support is taken care of by Gooten.

3 Stencil

  • Design Skill Needed : None to Moderate
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • Pro – $9/month paid annually
    • Unlimited – $12/month paid annually
  • Useful for : Social media images, Banners

Stencil is a tool similar to Canva, but with fewer features. However, the text tool and image tool inside Stencil has many more options compared to other tools.

Stencil also gives you access to a large media library which includes thousands of CC0 images and icons. Using these assets, you can create quote images, banners, and social media posts.

4 Adobe Spark

  • Design Skill Needed : None
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • Premium
      • $9.99/month
      • $99.99/year
  • Useful for : Social media images, Web stories, Animated videos

Adobe Spark is a social image and video creation tool. Using Adobe Spark, you can create beautiful looking graphics for all social networks. You can also create web stories with the Spark Page tool. Web stories are magazine-style stories that flow naturally.

Adobe Spark can also be used to create animated videos. These videos can be created with a variety of motion graphics and professional soundtracks included in Adobe Spark.

5 PicApp

  • Design Skills Needed : None
  • Pricing
    • Free for a low-resolution image
    • $5 for a high-resolution image
  • Useful for : Mobile mockups

PicApp is a unique image creation tool which lets you create device mockups right from your browser. You can choose from a variety of devices for your mockup. PicApp has a variety of mockups orientations that you can choose from.

To create a mockup, all you have to do is upload an image, and PicApp will create the mockup automatically. You can download a low-resolution file for free, and a high-resolution file will cost you $5. Here is a sample mockup that we created with PicApp

6 Pixlr

  • Design Skills Needed : High
  • Pricing
    • Free
  • Useful For : Image composition, Image and photo editing

Pixlr is a full blown image compositor and editor living in the cloud. To use Pixlr, you can upload an image, or start with a blank canvas. Pixlr has hundreds of tools and adjustments to create or edit photos.

Pixlr is an advanced tool and not meant for everyone. To put this in perspective, the tools in Pixlr are similar to a professional application like Photoshop. Only use Pixlr if you have decent image creation or editing skills.

7 Pablo

  • Design Skills Needed : None
  • Pricing
    • Free
  • Useful For : Social media images

Pablo is a super simple social media image creator created by the people at Buffer. With Pablo, you can create quotes, overlay logos on images and resize images for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The strength of Pablo is its super simple interface. There is no registration required and no complexities to tackle. Simply pick an image, overlay a quote and you are done.

8 Subtle Patterns

  • Design Skills Needed : None
  • Pricing
    • Free
  • Useful For : Background patterns

Subtle Patterns offers hundreds of free background patterns that you can use to create images. There is a wide variety of patterns to choose from, and you can use the handy preview feature to pick the perfect one for your image.

You can instantly download the selected pattern in PNG format and use it as a background image, or as part of another image you create.

9 Ribbet

  • Design Skills Needed : Medium to High
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • $4.95 per month
    • $19.95 every 6 months
    • $29.95 every year
  • Useful For : Image editing, Image resizing, Collages

Ribbet is another image editor and collage maker in the cloud. Ribbet’s focus is more on image enhancement than image composition. You can apply effects, add text, stickers, and frames to your images to decorate them. Ribbet also supports advanced image editing using curves and other tools.

Ribbet is free to use, and you can purchase the premium version to unlock more assets and use an ad-free version.

10 BeFunky

  • Design Skills Needed : None
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • $4.95 per month
    • $34.92 per year
  • Useful For : Social media images, Collages, Quote images, Photo effects

BeFunky is a photo editor, collage maker, and designer rolled into one. Using BeFunky, you can create menus, brochures, flyers, cards, posters, and invitations easily.

BeFunky offers thousands of backgrounds and extensive media assets to create and style beautiful images. You can either save the created images to your computer or a cloud storage or share the images directly to your social media.

11 ArcSketch

  • Design Skills Needed : High
  • Pricing
    • Free
  • Useful For : Painting, Free sketching

ArcSketch is a free, blank canvas that lives in the browser. It’s a barebone tool that allows you to sketch freely with a pencil tool.

ArcSketch is a limited tool, and you can only choose the color and width of the pencil tool to sketch. You can start with a blank canvas, or upload an image and start there.

12 Design Wizard

  • Design Skills Needed : None to Low
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • $9.99 for 60 monthly credits for premium content
    • $16.95 for 150 monthly credits for premium content
  • Useful For : Social media images

Design Wizard can be used to make social images for all social networks. You can upload custom logos, create and save custom color palettes, and upload your images. Design Wizard can also be used to create print-ready images (300 dpi).

The images created with Design Wizard can either be downloaded on your computer or shared on your social media networks directly using their integration with Buffer.

13 iPiccy

  • Design Skills Needed : None to Low
  • Pricing
    • Free
  • Useful For : Image editing, Collage making, Image compositions

iPiccy is a photo editor, collage maker and a graphic design software in your browser. The image editor inside iPiccy is quite capable, and you can crop, resize, and rotate pictures easily. Advanced options like exposure correction, curve adjustments, dodging and burning, and liquify are also possible. For a free tool, the number of features is quite impressive.

However, the graphic designer part of iPiccy is quite limited. There are plenty of tools to choose from, but the asset library is limited compared to the other tools we reviewed.

14 Photovisi

  • Design Skills Needed : Low
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • $4.99 per month
  • Useful For : Creating cards, Image editing, Collages

Photovisi is an online card and collage maker. These cards can be used for a variety of occasions like birthday invites, party flyers, etc. There are plenty of pre-made, beautiful templates to choose from. Upon selecting a template, you can edit the individual elements of the template to create a unique image.

Photovisi does have a significant asset library, but finding the right element from it is cumbersome.

15 Picture2life

  • Design Skills Needed : Low
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • Multiple pricing for printing
  • Useful For : Image decorating, Collages, Gifs, Printing images

Picture2life is a picture-enhancing and decorating tool. You start by uploading an image to the editor. To style the image, you have a variety of tools available. You can blur parts of the picture, add decorative borders, captions, emboss effects, painting effects, and many more. There are plenty of effects available to play around and have fun with.

You can also create collages and animated gifs with Picture2life.
Just add multiple pictures taken on a similar background, and they will be merged into an animated gif.

Picture2life also give you the option to print your photos directly from the interface. The prints can be framed in a variety of premium frames and shipped to you.

16 Venngage

  • Design Skills Needed : Medium
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • Premium – $19/month
    • Business – $49/month
  • Useful For : Infographics, Social media graphics

Venngage is an infographic creator, data visualization tool, and a social media graphics creator. While you can use Venngage for creating many types of images, creating infographics is what Venngage excels at.

Venngage offers a wide variety of pre-built templates that you can start using instantly. This makes creating infographics or visualizing data very easy to do. Many of the templates are free to use, and to use all the templates available, you would have to upgrade to the premium version or the business version of Venngage.

17 Camerabag

  • Design Skills Needed : Medium
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • Premium – $29
  • Useful For : Editing photographs

CameraBag is a professional photo editing desktop application. It’s available for both Windows and Mac.

It’s a beautifully designed application with advanced tools to enhance and make photos look gorgeous.

The app comes with 200 professional color filters which you can use directly or use as a starting point to create your own filters. You can also create multiple filters (or looks) and organize them into categories. You can also see how the bundled filters are made to sharpen your editing skills.

CameraBag offers the best of both worlds in editing images. It gives you the convenience of a mobile interface by letting you switch between dozens of filters quickly while giving you the full power of a desktop editor as well. This combination makes CameraBag a valuable tool for creating beautiful images.

18 Genially

  • Design Skills Needed : low
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • Pro – 9.90 €/month or 89.90 €/year
    • Master – 38.90 €/month or 249.90 €/year
    • Team – 99.50 €/month or 949.90 €/year
  • Useful For : Social media images, Interactive content

Genially is a social media image maker with a twist. The twist is that Genially you can make interactive content.

You can use Genially to create images, infographics, cards, photo albums, CVs, and more. You can also add the element of interactivity with each of these.

Genially offers a vast variety of templates to choose from. Some templates are free, and some can be purchased individually or unlocked with a premium plan.

The interactivity with Genially is a unique feature that no other tool has. Below is just one of the examples of interactive content that is possible with Genially.

19 Fotor

  • Design Skills Needed : Low To Medium
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • Pro
      • $8.99 per month
      • $39.99 per year

Useful for : Portrait retouching, Collages, Social media graphics

Fotor is a browser-based photo editing and graphic design application. You edit photos professionally and create stunning looking social media graphics with this tool.

The image editing in Fotor has three strengths. Image editing, photo effects, and portrait retouching. The image editing section allows you to edit color, size, and light. The photo effects feature multiple filters that you can use to make your pictures a certain way. The portrait editing also features a lot of different options including weight loss, adding eyeliner, adding lip gloss, and more.

The key strength in Fotor is the portrait retouching. No other software has come this close in featuring tools specifically for portrait retouching.

20 Bitmoji

  • Design Skills Needed : None
  • Pricing : Free
  • Useful For : Personal emoji

Bitmoji is your personal emoji. Sign up for Bitmoji and create and customize your avatar with different hair, jaws, eyebrows, eye colors, skin tones, and more. There are thousands of variations available to create an emoji that looks just like you.

Bitmoji is currently available as a mobile app (iPhone and Android) as well as a Chrome extension.

Once you create your Bitmoji, it’s always available via the chrome extension. Click the extension to reveal your Bitmoji on hundreds of pre-made stickers which showcase a spectrum of emotions. You can use the Bitmoji in an email, social media post, or with all the other image editors that we have mentioned in this article.

21 Visme

  • Design Skills Needed : Low
  • Pricing
    • Free
    • Standard : $120/year
    • Complete : $240/year
    • Team : $720/year (upto 3 users)
  • Useful For : Presentations, Data visualizations, Infographics, Charts, Social media graphics

Visme is a powerful visual content creator. You can create beautiful infographics, presentations, and data visualizations with Visme easily. There are hundreds of pre-designed templates available to use inside the Visme dashboard. You can also choose from millions of images and over 6000 icons to create the perfect visual.

Adding interactivity to your visuals is also possible with Visme. You can select any element, and its various options will show up. You can add animations, show other elements on click or..

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How to fix the 404 error in WordPress? - YouTube

To troubleshoot this error, we have to look at a few different things.

One, this could be caused by .htaccess file that is corrupted, deleted or something went wrong with your coding of the rewrite roles. To fix, let’s go to our WordPress dashboard.

Once logged in go down to settings and then go to permalinks and you do not need to edit anything at this point. Simply click save changes. This will automatically create .htaccess file and then refresh your website.

Now simply go to a blog post and see if your website is working. If you can now see your blog post, you know that the .htaccess file was deleted or missing and now you have a functioning website.

If this did not fix your website problem, simply go again to your web server via the FTP.

We currently using Filezilla. If you followed the previous solution, now you should have a .htaccess file.

Simply right-click and view and edit this file, or you have the option to download to your computer and edit it there. Look at your file and see if this code is within your file. If it is not, simply add this piece of code and save and refresh your website.

Typically, these solutions fix most WordPress post returning 404 errors that you might find while using WordPress.

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Search Engine Optimization — one of the not-so-fun aspects that WordPress users want to avoid.

They’re not to blame. After all, SEO comprises of dozens of delicate pieces that must work hand-in-hand to generate profitable results.

Furthermore, SEO is one of the things that can’t be done through plugins alone — something that a lot of WordPress users are already accustomed to, from inserting image carousels to integrating third-party services.

The good news is, there’s one plugin that can help you execute most of the important on-page SEO activities you need on a WordPress site. Yes, we’re talking about the Yoast SEO plugin.

Apart from helping you ensure the on-page optimization of your content, it also has a built-in internal linking tool that can help you optimize your website’s structure for indexability.

Why is this important?

Remember, search engines like Google index content with the help of web crawlers, which travel through links while assessing the relevancy and quality of every piece of content they encounter.

A solid link structure makes sure these crawlers discover more of your content. More importantly, it enables them to determine the relevance of each post based on the use of keywords.

That’s where the “silo” linking structure comes into play.

1 An Introduction to the “Silo” Structure

If there’s one word that can describe what a silo link structure is, it’s organization.

Put simply, creating a website silo means organizing content into well-defined categories and sub-categories.

For example, if you have a comprehensive blog about online marketing, your content could be categorized into specific areas such as email marketing, SEO, and keyword research.

Each of these categories is their own silos, which encase all content related to them via internal links. And that’s what a silo link structure is all about in a nutshell.

In relation to the previous example, here’s what your website silos may entail:

Silo 1: Email Marketing

  • How to Design Newsletters for Maximum Conversions
  • Email Automation Workflows and How to Use Them
  • A Beginner’s Guide on Email Remarketing

Silo 2: SEO

  • # On-Page SEO Optimization Tips
  • How to Use the Skyscraper Technique to Build Quality Backlinks
  • How to Implement the Silo Link Structure for On-Page SEO

Silo 3: Keyword Research

  • Top # Keyword Research Tools You Can Use for Free
  • The Benefits of Targeting Long-Tail Keywords
  • How to Do Competitive Keyword Analysis

Remember, aside from individual pieces of content, silos may also contain narrower pages or sub-categories that lead to more related, in-depth information. Marketers also often attribute silos to one of their focus keywords.

For example, the website Verywell Mind clearly outlines its silo categories below:

By navigating to any of these silos, you’ll be taken to a page that outlines the subcategories in a neat fashion. Digging deeper into these subcategories will then reveal all the related content that are obviously keyword-optimized to resonate with the main silo.

To help you further understand the concept behind a website silo, here’s a simple diagram that illustrates what a silo is in its purest form:

(Image Source: Raybird Designs)

2 Implementing the Silo Structure in Your WordPress Website

The key to success with the silo link structure is to treat it as a marketing activity. As such, it always begins with keyword research.

Keep in mind that silos themselves don’t instill relevance in your website’s pages — keywords do.

That’s why the first step to implementing the silo link structure on your WordPress website is to identify keywords that you can “theme” your content on.

At this point, you probably already have a clear idea of the primary keywords that you target in your website content. Unless, of course, if you’re building a website from scratch.

In which case, you need to carefully plan what keywords to target in your would-be website silo and content with the help of a keyword research tool, like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. This works by providing you with relevant, long-tail keyword ideas based on a seed keyword or phrase that’s relevant in your niche.

For example, if you’re in the HVAC repair business, one of your seed keywords could be “heating repairs.”

In the AdWords Keyword Planner, all you need to do is enter your seed keyword under the “Find new keywords” field and click “Get Started.”

From there, you should be able to find a handful of keyword ideas that you can use for the content in your silo.

Here are a couple of ground rules that can help you pick the right keywords for your website silo:

  • Avoid high competition keywords.
    Unless you’re already a well-known brand in your niche, you should only aim for keywords within the low-medium range of competitiveness.
  • Pay attention to user intent.
    To help you attract leads that are more likely to convert, pay close attention to keywords with commercial or question-based terms, like “buy,” “services,” and “hire.”
  • Scout the competition.
    After spotting useful keyword ideas, perform a quick Google search to get an idea of the websites you’ll be up against.

If, however, you already have an established blog that already generates a steady stream of traffic, it might be counter-productive to search for new keywords. What you need to do is to boot up a tool like Google Analytics and determine which of your content gets the most traffic.

Now, integrating Google Analytics to your website warrants a full-length post on its own. In a nutshell, you need to set up your website as a “property” in your Google account.

The first step is to sign in to Google Analytics, head to the “Admin” tab, select the account you want to use, and then click “Create Property.”

On the next page, you’ll then have to fill in specific information regarding your WordPress website, such as the URL, site name, and industry category.

After entering the required information, click “Get Tracking ID.” This will present you with your website’s tracking ID as well as the “Global Site Tag,” which you’ll have to paste right next to the <head> tag of your website’s pages.

Alternatively, you can use the GA Google Analytics plugin to make it easier to enable Google Analytics tracking on your WordPress site. All you need to do is install the plugin, head over to the plugin’s settings from the “Settings” tab, and then paste your tracking ID and global site tag into the appropriate fields.

Aside from Google Analytics, you can also rely on data from your PPC campaigns to identify other lucrative themes on your website.

3 Creating the Internal Links

Always remember that Google’s mission statement, as stated on their company information page, is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

If you want them to see your website as something that serves this purpose, you need to practice strict organization in your silos and the content within them.

How to achieve this? Here are a few tips that will help you get the ball rolling:

3.1 Enforce your silo with your website’s navigation

After identifying the seed keywords you intend to target in your silos, the first order of business is to create a navigation menu that will help users discover all the related content.

In WordPress, menus can be created and edited from the “Appearance” tab in the main dashboard.

After creating a new menu from scratch, select the categories or pages you want to use and click “Add to Menu.”

That’s it! You now know how to build the barebones of a WordPress silo.

The next step is to populate these silos with high-quality content.

Again, keyword research is key when it comes to generating engaging content ideas for website silos. Apart from using the AdWords Keyword Planner, you can also utilize Google Trends to keep yourself supplied with fresh topics to talk about in your content.

3.2 Weave in links naturally

As you construct your silo, it’s important to create actual “Pages” for silo pages and “Posts” for the content under them. This is an important distinction since it establishes hierarchy not only to your users but to search engine crawlers as well.

When it comes to actually adding the internal links to your content, there’s no need to be discrete — feel free to use an optimized anchor text as long as it’s contextually relevant to the current content.

You can either add the links within the content’s body or mention them after the fact as recommendations to the audience for further reading. If you want, you can also be upfront with the links and present them via a table of contents.

Pay attention to the URL slugs assigned to each post in the silo. You can achieve this by modifying your default permalink structure to include the category and the post name.

To edit your permalink structure, head to the “Settings” tab and click “Permalinks.” Select “Custom Structure” and use the following input:

Just remember that you shouldn’t make any drastic changes to your website’s permalink structure, especially if you already have pages or posts that are already ranking with their current URLs.

Regardless, it’s a good idea to set up content categories that reflect your main silo themes, which will help you further establish the organization of your silos. This can be done through the “Categories” section from the “Posts” tab.

3.3 Invest in other on-page SEO tactics

As effective as the silo link structure is, it is never meant as a standalone SEO strategy that can single-handedly carry your website to the top positions in search engines.

To get better results, invest in other on-page strategies like using Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) with intelligent caching and high-speed storage to boost your website speed, ensure proper keyword placements, adding external links, and so on.

If you’re not up for the challenge of organizing your content and determining which internal links make sense for certain posts, you can use the premium version of Yoast SEO and have ideas served to you on a silver platter.

4 Conclusion

Creating well-structured silos on your WordPress website may take a lot of work, but everything will definitely be worth it in the end.

Remember, silos not only improve the discoverability of your relevant content. If you implement them correctly, you’re also maximizing the engagement of every audience that comes across your website.

Got any suggestions and tips for other WordPress users who are planning to implement the silo link structure? Feel free to leave a reply below!

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How to fix “Are you sure you want to do this” error in WordPress? - YouTube

In this tutorial, I will be sharing with you how to fix the “Are you sure you want to do this” error in WordPress. Now, unlike other WordPress errors like the establishing database connection error or memory exhausted error; the “Are you sure you want to do this” error does not let you know what triggered the error. Now, if you do want, the question is asking “Are you sure you want to do this?” is letting you know that something you were doing possibly triggered this error. So, we simply have to backtrack and see what we were doing and simply fix it.

Causes of the Error

Now, you may have been working on a variety of different tasks; maybe you were creating a post, maybe you were working with images, maybe you were customizing your theme, maybe you were working on the categories, maybe you were uploading a theme or a plugin or working on a WordPress core file, and this triggered the error.

Now, of course, other things can also cause this. Worst case scenario, your website could be under attack or was hacked. Now, of course, that is the worst case scenario.

1 Top Seven Areas that you can Work on to troubleshoot the Error

So, let’s look in this tutorial the top six areas that you can work on to troubleshoot this error. Now you might be wondering what would even cause this error to begin with.

In many cases, the error pops up when you are trying to complete an action that requires the certain use of permissions, but WordPress is not able to verify you have access. You see WordPress uses security tokens often called nonces. They are used to validate a user just like yourself to verify that you are the owner of the website or that you have the correct permission and user role to be able to do whatever action that you are trying to do.

If WordPress is not able to verify the security tokens, then this error will be displayed. So let’s get started in looking at the top six ways that you can fix this error.

1.1 Clearing your Cache

As a warning, please make sure you have a backup of your WordPress website or WordPress website server so that way if something goes wrong, you can go back to a stable state. So let’s start with the simplest solution first, and that is simply clearing your cache.

Now, it does not matter which browser you are using; if you are using Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or whatever browser you are using. Typically, there is some sort of internet option or tool setting that you can go in and you can delete your browsing history and clear your cache.

1.2 Plugins, Themes and WordPress File or Folders that don’t Work Correctly

For our number two fix, we are going to look at your plugins and themes, possibly a WordPress file or folder you uploaded, and it did not work correctly. So sometimes if you are uploading a plugin or a theme, and you are transferring it possibly via FTP or whatever method you are using, sometimes there might be a file that is missing.

Maybe something happened, and it didn’t upload correctly and you just simply have to go back and possibly try to re-upload that same file again to see if it overwrites whatever was missing.

1.3 Exhausted PHP Memory Limit

So for our number three fix, we are going to get a little bit more technical. So if you have a lot of applications or a lot of plugins or if you have a lot of things going on within your WordPress website; it could be that you have reached your PHP memory limit.

So, all we have to do is simply increase the PHP memory limit so that way, this will possibly fix the error. Simply log in to your website via FTP, I am using Filezilla. Now look through your directory here and look for the file called php.ini. If you have the file, you can simply open it and edit it there. If you don’t have the file, we are going to go ahead and do it manually right here. Simply open up your favorite text or HTML editor, and we are going to add this line of code.

memory_limit = 64M

Now starting out, we are going to set the memory as 64. We are going to save this; again we are going to save it as php.ini. Now if you are uploading it from your computer, simply upload it to your directory here. If you are using Filezilla, you possibly will just save it to your directory. Just refresh and make sure that it is sitting there.

Now see if your website works.

If it still doesn’t work, let’s go ahead and create some more memory again. As a good rule of the thumb, try to double the memory each time, so if we started with 64 now, we are going to go to 128. If that doesn’t work, we go to 256. After 256, simply it might be best to contact your web hosting provider because they may manually have to fix this for you or they may have a limitation on how much memory you are allowed to have.

1.4 Faulty Themes

For our next fix here, we are going to look at your themes. And again if you were working on a theme, and you presently were uploading a theme when this error was triggered, you kind of need to start there as fast as possible.

If it is one of those things where if you are uploading a theme and it causes some sort of issue, and this triggered the “Are you sure you want to do this?” error; then let’s look at the themes.

While you are logged in via FTP, simply look for your theme folder. Now if you can spot the theme that you were previously uploading, try to download that to your computer as a backup in case something goes wrong.

Once you have backed up the theme to your computer or you have another copy on your computer; simply go ahead and delete that theme from your website server. Now, you should be able to log back in, if you can go to your dashboard.

It should let you know that the active theme is broken which reverts you automatically back to the default theme. Many times this could be the theme for your current year such as Twenty Seventeen, Twenty Eighteen and so on.

Now, just see if you cleared the error again. If the error does not come back again, then you know that the theme was the issue. If it does come back again, then you know it is something else.

1.5 Faulty Plugins

For our next fix, just as we did with the WordPress themes; we are going to look at the WordPress plugins. Now, unlike a WordPress theme, you do not need a default WordPress plugin for your website to work.

So let’s log in again via FTP, I am using Filezilla.

Now go to your plugin folder. Simply delete or rename your plugins folder.

If you know which plugin you were presently working with that could have caused us this issue; you might want to start with that one first. Now, there are two main ways that you can approach this. You can go plugin-by-plugin and rename or delete each one to find the one that’s causing the issue, or you can simply rename the entire plugin folder. That will automatically deactivate all the plugins.

Now, if you deactivate all the plugins, it is hard to know which one was causing the issue. So, if you can go plugin by plugin, refreshing each time; you will be able to find out which one is causing the issue. Simply click on the plugin that you like and simply rename it; this will automatically deactivate the plugin or simply delete it, it’s up to you.

1.6 Reset your Security Keys

For our final troubleshooting fix; we are going to look to reset your security keys.

Now, although this sounds a little confusing and a little technical; it’s not very hard at all. Again, while you are logged in to your website server via FTP; I am using Filezilla. We are simply looking at your directory for the file called wp-config.php.

Simply view or download this file.

Now open it using your favorite text or HTML editor. If you scroll through; you will come to some authentication keys. These keys could be 60+ in characters including numbers, letters, upper case, lower case, and symbols. All we want to do is create a new unique phrase. At other times, it is best if you can use a key generator if you search online. Simply search for a key generator, and it will help you create a brand new key that you can use for these areas.

Now, if none of these six troubleshooting fixes work for you; it could be that your website has been attacked, is under attack or you possibly just need to contact your web hosting provider to see if they can help you further. Again, if you can remember what you were doing right before this website error was triggered; that is going to help you a lot. So again if you were uploading a plugin, you might just want to start right from the plugins; if you were working with a theme, you might go on and go right to the themes. So if you can remember what you did right before you did this; this will help you a lot.

2 The system could have logged you out

Again, possibly say you were working on a blog post, and you stepped away from your computer for a short amount of time; the system could have logged you out. So if you go to save the blog post, it possibly could ask you “Are you sure you want to do this?” because it does not know if you are the owner of the website or if you have permission to do what you are trying to do.

So, you simply may have to log back in and start from where you left off. Hopefully one of these solutions did work for you but again; you may need to contact your web hosting provider for additional assistance.

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How to fix “This site ahead contains harmful programs” error in WordPress? - YouTube

In this tutorial, I will be sharing with you how to fix the “This site ahead contains harmful programs” error in WordPress.

Now, it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner in WordPress or an expert; anytime you see an error like this letting you know that the website you are about to visit could contain a harmful program; it can be scary.

It can be scarier if it is your own website.

So, we need to be able to fix this.

Causes of the Error

Now you might be wondering: how did this happen?

While, this is one of those things where Google has marked it as a bad website just because there could be something on there; it could be that your website was hacked and there is some sort of virus or Trojan or something like that going on the other end, or it could be that you have a sort of ad network that had some sort of suspicious code that Google thought it could be dangerous for your visitors.

So, they let your visitors know that they can go back to safety because your website could be harmful. But again, we need to be able to fix this because this could be detrimental to your blog and to your website.

Now before we get started; it is important to always have a backup of your website. And this can include your website, your website server, databases and things like that. Now, of course, a backup might seem very technical, but it’s actually very simple using a great plugin. If you go to MyThemeShop.com; go to plugins.

We actually have two plugins that you can choose from; there is the My WP Backup and the My WP Backup Pro. Both of these are super easy to use, they make a great backup of your server and if you ever need a backup of your website; you always have one ready.

Use Google Safe Browsing Tool to determine if your Website is affected

First off, we are going to use a simple test to make sure our website is affected by something. So we are just going to go to the Google safe browsing tool, and we are just going to plug in our website to see if our website is really hacked.

And so basically we are just going to add in our URL here, and we are going to click search, and it will let us know if our website really is unsafe or if it was just a mistake. Now if our website comes back with the file and whatever is going on, then we know what to fix.

And then if our website comes back as everything is fine; then it could simply be that it was a mistake which means we need to file a report with Google that our website was just simply a mistake and if they could please remove the error.

To report this, we are just going to go to the forum, and we are going to report incorrect Phishing warning. We are just going to add our URL, maybe add a comment if you would like (of what happened or what you saw) and then send it. This should take care of the issue for you. But now if you did come up with a program issue where the website really was hacked or there is some sort of issue with your ad content or things like that; obviously you need to be able to fix it.

Manually Remove Corrupted Plugin, Theme or File

So if it is something on the backend; you might have to simply go in, remove that plugin, remove that theme, remove something that you added or look for the file that is affected.

Once you delete them, you are certain that your website is completely fine. Now it’s time to ask Google to remove the warning. Simply login to your Google Webmaster tools and go to security issues and then simply check the box letting Google know that you have fixed the errors and the warnings they let you know about and now Google should re-crawl your website and verify that you took care of the problems and now your website should be back to normal.

Install Wordfence Security Plugin

Now after you have fixed your problem or luckily if you have never experienced this problem; it is good to always have a recommended security program active on your website. Now we recommend using Wordfence. To do this; simply go to your plugins, add new and then look for Wordfence or type in security.

Wordfence has over one million downloads, and that’s the reason why it’s an amazing plugin and is there to keep your websites safe. It will let you know if there are issues so that you can prevent them from happening, so you do not get errors like this.

It is definitely worth your time to use a plugin like this, so you don’t have issues like these in the future.

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How to fix “This site ahead contains harmful programs” error in WordPress? - YouTube

In this tutorial, I will be sharing with you how to fix the “This site ahead contains harmful programs” error in WordPress.

Now, it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner in WordPress or an expert; anytime you see an error like this letting you know that the website you are about to visit could contain a harmful program; it can be scary.

It can be scarier if it is your own website.

So, we need to be able to fix this.

Causes of the Error

Now you might be wondering: how did this happen?

While, this is one of those things where Google has marked it as a bad website just because there could be something on there; it could be that your website was hacked and there is some sort of virus or Trojan or something like that going on the other end, or it could be that you have a sort of ad network that had some sort of suspicious code that Google thought it could be dangerous for your visitors.

So, they let your visitors know that they can go back to safety because your website could be harmful. But again, we need to be able to fix this because this could be detrimental to your blog and to your website.

Now before we get started; it is important to always have a backup of your website. And this can include your website, your website server, databases and things like that. Now, of course, a backup might seem very technical, but it’s actually very simple using a great plugin. If you go to MyThemeShop.com; go to plugins.

We actually have two plugins that you can choose from; there is the My WP Backup and the My WP Backup Pro. Both of these are super easy to use, they make a great backup of your server and if you ever need a backup of your website; you always have one ready.

Use Google Safe Browsing Tool to determine if your Website is affected

First off, we are going to use a simple test to make sure our website is affected by something. So we are just going to go to the Google safe browsing tool, and we are just going to plug in our website to see if our website is really hacked.

And so basically we are just going to add in our URL here, and we are going to click search, and it will let us know if our website really is unsafe or if it was just a mistake. Now if our website comes back with the file and whatever is going on, then we know what to fix.

And then if our website comes back as everything is fine; then it could simply be that it was a mistake which means we need to file a report with Google that our website was just simply a mistake and if they could please remove the error.

To report this, we are just going to go to the forum, and we are going to report incorrect Phishing warning. We are just going to add our URL, maybe add a comment if you would like (of what happened or what you saw) and then send it. This should take care of the issue for you. But now if you did come up with a program issue where the website really was hacked or there is some sort of issue with your ad content or things like that; obviously you need to be able to fix it.

Manually Remove Corrupted Plugin, Theme or File

So if it is something on the backend; you might have to simply go in, remove that plugin, remove that theme, remove something that you added or look for the file that is affected.

Once you delete them, you are certain that your website is completely fine. Now it’s time to ask Google to remove the warning. Simply login to your Google Webmaster tools and go to security issues and then simply check the box letting Google know that you have fixed the errors and the warnings they let you know about and now Google should re-crawl your website and verify that you took care of the problems and now your website should be back to normal.

Install Wordfence Security Plugin

Now after you have fixed your problem or luckily if you have never experienced this problem; it is good to always have a recommended security program active on your website. Now we recommend using Wordfence. To do this; simply go to your plugins, add new and then look for Wordfence or type in security.

Wordfence has over one million downloads, and that’s the reason why it’s an amazing plugin and is there to keep your websites safe. It will let you know if there are issues so that you can prevent them from happening, so you do not get errors like this.

It is definitely worth your time to use a plugin like this, so you don’t have issues like these in the future.

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It’s no secret that website speed matters.

Whether it’s your readers or search engines, both prefer fast loading websites.

Apart from the most common tactics to speed up WordPress, the everyday blogger does not have a comprehensive answer to the age-old question, “How do I make my website load faster?”.

So we decided to change all that with this complete guide to WordPress speed optimization. This guide will help you go from zero to hero in your WordPress speed optimization efforts.

If you don’t know why websites should be fast, then we suggest you read this article.

Pre-requisites to Follow This Guide

Before we get started, let us make something clear. This guide is written in a way that anyone can follow, but you’ll only be able to take full advantage of this guide if you are familiar (or comfortable) in using WordPress.

If you are new to WordPress, then we suggest that you go through our WordPress video tutorials and WordPress error fixes video series. They will bring you up to speed to follow this guide.

Another essential pre-requisite to follow this guide effectively is to create a child theme. A child theme will help you make changes to your website code without risks. The changes you make will also not disappear when you update your theme.

If you don’t know how to create a child theme, there is no need to worry; we have the tutorials for you. Check out the following tutorials.

For MyThemeShop themes, the process is simple, and fast and all MyThemeShop themes have the option of 1-click child theme creation.

For many optimizations in this guide, we will share code snippets that you will have to place in certain files. We could recommend plugins to do the job, but that will defeat the purpose of this guide. We have recommended plugins for certain optimizations, but that is because the code would be too complicated to replicate.

If you feel uncomfortable with code or the general idea of editing your WordPress files, you don’t need to worry – we have provided crystal-clear instructions and given you the codes you can copy-paste into your website.

Now that those are out of the way let’s get started.

Tips for Beginners
0 Creating a Control

To test out the effectiveness of our recommendations, we are going to create a new website and do all the optimizations ourselves. We will then compare the performance of the website before and after the optimizations have been done.

Here are the results of the test websites on various performance testers. We are using the Schema theme from MyThemeShop on the website.

Google Pagespeed

Pingdom Tools

GTMetrix

You might see that the performance of the website is already pretty good. That is because we are using our recommended host (see below) and the high-performance Schema Theme.

Now let’s try to push this performance even further.

1 Choose a Fast Web Host

Choosing a fast web host is the easiest and one of the most impactful decisions you can take to improve your website speed. Using a slow host is similar to having a large building on a shaky foundation. You’ll never know when it’ll fall.

Free and unlimited hosts sound great on paper, but in the real world, nothing is free and unlimited. It is wise to choose a host that does not make these outrageous promises.

Several factors make an excellent host. Some of these are:

  • Server Response Time (or time to first byte)
  • Technology Stack
  • Customer Support

and more.

The most common way to measure the quality of a host is to check the TTFB. TTFB or time to first byte is the time it takes for the server to respond, which represents how quick the server is.

To test the TTFB visit, ByteCheck and enter your URL there. The free service will break down the response time of your website, quickly. Here is how our result looked like.

To save you the hassle of researching web hosts instead of reading this guide, we recommend that you choose Siteground hosting. We’ve done a comprehensive review on Siteground, and we recommend it wholeheartedly for websites of all sizes. They also rank as the number 1 host in several independent blogger and website owners polls and surveys.

On top of their excellent service, their plans are affordable for bloggers of all sizes. They are also recommended by WordPress themselves. That should attest to the quality of their service.

2 Choose a Performance Oriented Theme

Would you choose a car that looks beautiful, has tons of features, but only goes upto 5 miles an hour? Probably not.

Most WordPress themes are built the same way. They look good, have all the features that you can imagine, but they drag your website to a crawl as they don’t pay any importance to performance.

You might not feel this issue in the beginning. But remember, there is a massive difference between a theme that performs well and a theme that performs well under load. Most themes are not designed to perform under the stress of hundreds, or even thousands of visitors.

To create a successful blog, you have to choose a theme that also prioritizes performance.

Not to blow our own horn, but we recommend that you choose MyThemeShop themes. We create themes with incredible features and lightning-fast performance, even under high load. If you are looking for some versatile themes, you can try out Schema and SociallyViral. We also have a pocket-friendly membership that gives you access to all MyThemeShop themes and plugins for a small fee.

Our themes also come with dedicated performance features that will help you eliminate the use of many plugins, which will improve performance even more.

No matter what theme you choose, always prioritize performance over features.

3 Limit the Use of WordPress Pages

You probably know that you can use WordPress pages or posts to post content. Many website owners use pages to publish the content on their website.

That’s not good.

WordPress pages are hierarchical. That means every page is connected to another page in some way. This is different from posts where each post is an individual entity.

Every time a page needs to be loaded, all the pages on your website will also have to be loaded with it. This causes severe performance issues, especially in the backend. If you have over 100 pages on your website and your backend is slow, then this is probably the reason.

So what’s the solution to this problem?

Use Posts or Custom Post Types.

By default, WordPress has a few post types including posts, pages, nav-menu, revision, and attachment. But you can also create new types of posts and design them the way you want.

For example, if you run a product review website, you can create a review post type.

You can create custom posts in a manual way or the easy way. If you prefer the easy way, you can use the Custom Post Type UI plugin which gives you an easy to use GUI to create custom post types. Here is a helpful guide on how to use the plugin.

If you have already created a lot of pages on your website, then you can use the Post Type Switcher plugin to convert your existing pages to your custom post types in a single click. The plugin also supports a bulk convert operation which you will find helpful.

Note: The memory issue with pages was addressed in WordPress 4.2, and is no longer as big of an issue. However, you should consider using custom posts as they help you manage your content better.

4 Update Your WordPress, Themes, and Plugins

This is the easiest method to keep your WordPress website fast, as well as secure. We always recommend that you keep your WordPress installation, all your themes, and your plugins updated to the latest version. Not only does that improve your website’s speed, but it will also help you keep your website secure.

The only exception to this would be for major new releases. For example, when WordPress 5.0 is released in the future, you shouldn’t update as soon as possible. There are several reasons for it

  • Many plugins might be incompatible with the new version
  • Alpha releases (X.0 versions) are usually buggy and not fit for production (live websites)
  • Performance issues are addressed only after a couple of releases after the alpha release

For these reasons, you shouldn’t update to major updates as soon as possible. These reasons do not apply to WordPress alone. Major releases for themes and plugins should also carefully considered before updating, as the same problems can appear for them as well. In all other cases, keep your WordPress setup, themes, and plugins updated to the latest version.

5 Use PHP 7 and above

PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side scripting language on which WordPress is built. You can think of WordPress as a finished apartment while PHP represents the building material.

The better building material you use, the more robust your apartment will be. Similarly, the more recent version of PHP your server uses, the better WordPress will perform.

Sadly, only 1.5% of all WordPress installations use PHP 7.2, which is the latest version of PHP while a whopping 39.6% of WordPress websites still use PHP 5.6, which was released on 28th August 2014.

Even WordPress now recommends that you use PHP 7.2 or greater.

Can you imagine using a phone which was released in August 2014? The slow response times will drive you insane. That’s how your WordPress setup will perform with PHP 5.6.

The solution to this is to choose a host which supports PHP 7.2 and is proactive in keeping their technology stack, including WordPress, up to date.

Again, we recommend Siteground as they use the latest PHP version and regularly update their servers to support the newer versions.

We at MyThemeShop use PHP 7.2.3, which is the latest PHP version as of this writing, to develop our themes and plugins. That means your website speed will not be bottlenecked and will have peak performance with any MyThemeShop theme or plugin.

6 Use SSL

While using SSL does not directly impact WordPress speed, we still recommend that you do it. There are many reasons why you should be using SSL.

First and the most important, Google has started to give a slight benefit to secure sites in the search results. While the difference may be minute today, it might not be the same tomorrow. If you are familiar at all with Google updates, you know that they come without warning. So if tomorrow Google suddenly decided to benefit sites with SSL by a wide margin, you will still maintain your edge.

This reason will also be amplified when Google starts highlighting non-secure websites in a few months. If your website is not secure, your users will be presented with a giant red sign in the address bar that will say “non-secure.” Avoiding this message will be crucial if you want to maintain trust in the eyes of users. For more details, refer to this article.

The second reason is consumer trust. Since websites with SSL are presented with a green padlock sign in the address bar, they appear more secure and increase confidence. Trust is crucial for any conversions on your website, so no matter if you run a blog or an ecommerce website, you should switch to SSL.

The third reason is security. With the recent GDPR regulations, data privacy and security is of paramount importance. Sites that do not comply can be fined upto $24 Million or 4% of their annual revenue, whichever is higher. We don’t know about you, but we certainly don’t want to pay hefty fines. Having an SSL certificate installed on your website will encrypt the data transferred to and from your website, which will make your website more secure.

Now that we’ve convinced you to have an SSL certificate installed, the only problem left is how to go about doing it. No need to worry, we already have a helpful guide on how to install SSL certificates by Let’s Encrypt.

Note: SiteGround comes with probably the easiest option to install Let’s Encrypt. If you are on SiteGround, jump to this section of our Let’s Encrypt tutorial.
7 Rethinking Your Plugin Use

One of the most common reasons for slow WordPress performance is the use of too many plugins. We emphasized too many as avoiding plugins at all is not possible and would defeat the purpose of using WordPress in the first place.

However, most website owners do not realize a simple fact. If all else is equal, from a performance perspective, it’s better to use one plugin that does the job of many, versus multiple plugins that each do a single task.

The most common features that plugins are used for are Ajax Search, Lazy Loading, Lightbox, Social Media shares, pagination, ad management, related posts, sliders, sidebar management and a few more.

Instead of using multiple plugins that do each of these tasks, you should find a single plugin that handles all or most of these tasks.

If you use a MyThemeShop theme, then you are at a significant advantage. Our themes cover most of the above features out of the box. That means instead of looking at a plugin that does the job of many; you don’t have to look at a plugin at all.

Another critical thing to remember when using plugins is to make sure they are compatible with PHP 7 and above. The reasons are the same that we discussed in a section above.

8 Using Caching to Speed Up WordPress

Caching is a process by which a WordPress plugin makes a copy of your pages by processing all your code before your visitors arrive. This saves the time that WordPress needs to assemble your website by fetching content from the database and other resources.

Caching is a powerful technique that can make your WordPress loading time a fraction of what they were earlier.

Caching in WordPress is achieved with plugins, and one the best plugins for setting up caching in WordPress is W3 Total Cache. It’s a comprehensive plugin with a lot of configurations and options.

We recently experimented with W3 Total Cache and got some very positive results.

If you click on the image above, you’ll reach our comprehensive guide to configuring W3 Total Cache. It’s a step by step tutorial where we explain each setting in W3 Total Cache, how to configure it, and in what scenarios the configuration will change.

We recommend that you install W3 Total Cache on your website and configure it based on our guide before proceeding. If you want a shortcut, then you can download a copy of all the settings we configured in W3 Total Cache and simply upload it to your website. Here is a direct link to that section.

9 Image Optimization

Images are one of the biggest elements on a page (regarding load time) and properly optimizing your images can shave off precious loading time off your website.

There are many ways in which images can be optimized, and we’ll discuss all the various methods.

Choosing the Right Image Format

Choosing the right image format is critical. The most..

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