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Do you want to add a search bar to your WordPress navigation menu? Search form can be really helpful for your users to find what they’re looking for on your site. In this article, we will show you how to add a search bar to your WordPress menu.

Why You Should Add a Search Bar in Menu?

A search bar makes it easy for your users to find what they’re looking for without scrolling to all the pages.

If you add a search bar to your top navigation menu, then it will appear on all pages that display the menu, and your users can easily search all the content on your site.

There are multiple search plugins that you can use to add a search bar to your site. Let’s take a look on how to add a search bar to your WordPress menu.

Adding a Search Bar to WordPress Menu

First thing you need to do is to install and activate the Add Search to Menu plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to go to Settings » Add Search To Menu page in your WordPress admin area to configure search bar to your menu.

On this page, you need to select the menu where you want to add the search bar. This list of menus (Primary Menu and Social Links Menu) belongs to your WordPress template. If you change the template of your site, then the list will be automatically updated with the available menus from your template.

Once selected, the search bar will be added to your navigation menu. You can define the search post types, search form style, search menu title, manage mobile display for search, and more. These settings will also help in controlling the search results for your users.

After that, you can head over to your site to see the search bar in the WordPress navigation menu.

You can also add the search bar to all other menus of your site. Simply select the menu from plugin settings where you want to display your search form.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add a search bar to WordPress menu. You may also want to see our expert pick of the useful tips and tricks to speed up WordPress site performance and search results.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Add a Search Bar to WordPress Menu (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

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Do you want to create a child page on your site? Pages in WordPress can be standalone or hierarchical, which means a page can have its own sub-pages also known as child pages. In this article, we will show you how to easily create a child page in WordPress to better organize your pages.

What is a Child Page in WordPress?

Pages and posts are two default content types in WordPress. To learn more, see our guide on the difference between posts vs pages in WordPress.

Posts are part of a blog and are displayed in a reverse chronological order (newer entries first). They are normally organized with categories and tags.

Pages are one-off or standalone content that is not part of a blog. For example, ‘About us’ page or ‘Contact us’ page. They can be hierarchical, which means you can organize them with parent and child pages.

Typically, business websites use Pages to build a website structure. This way they can build a website without creating a blog. Those who want to add a blog to their content marketing strategy can still do so by simply creating a separate blog page.

However if you have too many pages, then it becomes difficult to organize them. This is where child pages come in. You can create a broader page as a ‘Parent’ and then add child pages to better organize your website structure and layout.

For example, a parent page called ‘About us’ can have team members, history, careers, and other pages as child pages.

Any child page can also have their own child pages and so on. This way you can build relationships between your pages and create a proper website structure.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily create a child page in WordPress.

How to Create a Child Page?

To create a child page, you will need a parent page. If you already have a page that you would like to use as the parent, then you are good to go.

Simply go to the Pages » Add New to create a new page or edit an existing page in your WordPress admin area. On the right side, you will see Page Attributes box with Parent dropdown.

In the Parent drop-down, you will see the list of all pages from your site. By default, it is set to ‘no parent’ which means this page is an individual page with no association. You need to select the page you want to use as the parent from the drop-down menu.

After that, you can just go ahead and save your changes. You can repeat this process to create more child pages.

To view child pages, you can go to the ‘Pages » All Pages’ page in WordPress admin area. You will see child pages listed under their parent page with a prefix.

Next, you can go ahead and add your child pages to your website’s navigation menu as sub-menu items.

Advanced users can use other methods to automatically display a list of child pages for a parent page in WordPress sidebar widgets or theme templates.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a child page in WordPress. You may also want to see our complete guide on how to convert WordPress categories to custom taxonomies to sort the content on your site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Create a Child Page in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

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Do you want to create a custom landing page on your WordPress site? Landing pages help businesses convert website visitors into customers and leads. In this article, we will show you how to easily create a landing page in WordPress.

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a purpose-built page designed to increase sales or generate leads for a business. It is used in paid marketing, email, and social media campaigns. Users coming from these sources will land on this page first, which is why it is called landing page.

What is the difference between the homepage and a landing page?

A homepage is your website’s front page and what users will see when they enter your domain name in their browser. On the other hand, a landing page can be a standalone page where most visitors land from paid or third-party traffic sources.

A homepage is designed for visitors to engage with your website, explore other pages, browse products, or sign up. It has more links and provides users with more choices.

On the other hand, a landing page is built for conversion. It has fewer links and is designed for users to make a purchasing decision or give their information for future outreach.

Normally, your website can have only one homepage, but you can create as many landing pages as you want for different campaigns. For example:

  • A landing page for your paid advertising campaigns
  • Visitors coming from specific traffic sources like email list, social media, and more
  • Users landing on a specific product or service page
  • and many more…

That being said, let’s take a look at how to create a beautiful custom landing page in WordPress. We will show you two solutions, and you can choose the one that suits you best.

Creating a Landing Page in WordPress using Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is one of the best WordPress landing page plugins. It allows you to easily create a landing page using ready-made templates that you can modify with simple drag and drop tools.

First, you need to do is install and activate the Beaver Builder plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Beaver Builder page to configure plugin settings.

Under the License tab, click on the ‘Enter License Key’ button to add your license key. You can find this information under your account on Beaver Builder website.

Next, you need to head over to Pages » Add New page to create your first landing page. Many WordPress themes now include a page builder or a full-width template. These templates are designed to work with page builder plugins.

If your theme doesn’t have such a template, then you can create one on your own. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to create a full width page in WordPress.

Select a page builder or full-width template from the ‘Page Attributes’ box in the right column and now save your page to apply the changes.

You are now ready to make a landing page. Click on the Beaver Builder tab above the post editor to launch the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will open with your existing page template. You need to click on the add button on the top right corner of the screen and switch to the templates tab.

Beaver Builder comes with several ready-made templates. Select ‘Landing Pages’ from the group drop-down menu and then choose a template that looks close to what you have in your mind.

Once you select a template, Beaver Builder will load it in the preview window.

You can now point and click on any item to edit it. You can change the text, change background color or images, adjust width and height of the rows and columns.

You can add or remove content items from your template. Simply click on the add button and switch to the rows tab. You can add either single or multiple columns.

After adding a row, switch to the modules tab. Modules are content elements that you can add to your landing page. Beaver builder comes with all the essential modules including text, headings, buttons, video, audio, animated countdown timer, and more.

Once you are satisfied with the design, you can click on the ‘Done’ button at the top and then save or publish your page.

You can now visit the page to view your landing page in action. Feel free to edit it again if you need to adjust, add, or remove anything.

Creating a Landing Page in WordPress using Leadpages

Leadpages is another easy to use platform for creating beautiful landing pages and adding them to your WordPress site.

Unlike BeaverBuilder, LeadPages is a standalone landing page builder which means you can use it with or without a WordPress site.

First, you need to visit Leadpages website and sign up for an account. After that you will see the Leadpages dashboard where you need to click on the ‘Create new Leadpage’ button.

On the next screen, you will be asked to choose a template. Leadpages comes with dozens of beautifully designed templates which are neatly organized into different categories.

Click on any template to preview it. You need to select a template that looks closest to what you have in mind and then click on the ‘Use this template’ button to continue.

This will launch the Leadpages builder interface. It is a drag and drop interface where you can just point and click on an item to edit it.

You can now point and click to edit any item on the page. You can replace images, text, background images, and more. You can also add new widgets from the left column.

You can also adjust different sections of your landing page by clicking on the page layout tab. Simply drag and drop sections to adjust them on the page. You can also add new sections or remove them.

Leadpages also connects with several third-party apps including all top email marketing services. Simply add a sign-up form to your landing page and then click on ‘Add Integration’ button.

Once you are finished editing your landing page, you can click on the publish button to make it live.

After that you need to click on the ‘Publish Options’ button and switch to ‘Other publishing options’ tab. From here you can download the Leadpages WordPress plugin.

Next, you need to switch to your WordPress site to install and activate the plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Leadpages menu in your WordPress admin area to login with your Leadpages account.

Once logged in, go to Leadpages » Add New page. You will be able to see your landing page listed there with few options.

You can publish this page as a normal landing page, homepage, a welcome gate, or a 404 error page. You can also choose a URL slug for your landing page.

After reviewing the options, go ahead and click on the publish button. Leadpages will now publish the page on your WordPress site.

You can now visit this page on your website to see it in action. You can make any changes you want from the Leadpages website and those changes will show up on your site.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a landing page with WordPress. You may also want to see our tips on driving more traffic to your WordPress site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Create a Landing Page With WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

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Do you want to display Yelp reviews on your site? Yelp reviews are user reviews about the restaurants, brands, services, lifestyle products, hospitals, doctors and more. In this article, we will show you how to display Yelp reviews on your WordPress site for users to read general public reviews.

Why You Should Display Yelp Reviews on Your Site?

Yelp is a public-based reviews website. It has reviews and ratings on local businesses from experienced users. These reviews and ratings are helpful for the new visitors to get a word from someone who already used the particular product or service.

Don’t have a Yelp Business page yet? Click here to Claim Your Yelp Business Page.

Like the Facebook page reviews for your business, Yelp reviews also reassure stability of your brand or service to the new visitors. However, the difference is that Facebook reviews are limited to those who follow your brand page on the social media platform whereas Yelp reviews can be from anyone who uses your brand or service.

If you own a business listing blog or membership site, then you can also display Yelp reviews for different local businesses from your town and increase organic traffic on your website.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to display Yelp reviews in WordPress.

Showing Yelp Reviews on Your WordPress Site

First thing you need to do is to install and activate the Yelp Reviews Widget plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to go to Appearance » Widgets page in your WordPress admin area. You need to drag and drop Yelp Reviews Widget in the Sidebar widget area.

Next, you need to create a new app from Yelp developers page and get an API key to launch Yelp business reviews in this widget.

Once the API key is added, you can search for the brand or service in Yelp reviews widget by adding the name and location of the business. A list of businesses will be displayed, and you can select your business to show reviews in the sidebar widget area of your site.

After selecting your business from the list, you can click on the Save Business and Reviews button. You need to add the title for this widget too. It allows you to change business photo for your brand or service.

You can expand the settings one by one to display Yelp reviews on your site. By default, Yelp can only return 3 reviews, but you can check the setting to try and get more than 3 reviews. It also allows you to enable Google rich snippets, pagination, sorting and more.

In display settings, you can hide business photo and user avatars, change theme to dark, add character limit to reviews and manage the widget theme.

The advance options allow you to open links in new window, use no follow links in reviews, lazy load images, and more.

Once you are done, make sure to save the widget settings and go to your website to see your Yelp business reviews in the sidebar.

The plugin also allows you to create shortcodes for Yelp reviews and display them anywhere on your site. For this, you need the Yelp Reviews Pro plugin.

Once activated, simply go to the Settings » Yelp Reviews Pro page and go to the Shortcode Builder tab. Like the Yelp reviews widget, you can search the for a brand or service with its name and location.

You need to select your business from the list and save the reviews. The other 3 sections to manage Yelp reviews are similar to the settings in the Yelp reviews widget.

After you save these reviews, it will automatically update the shortcode box on the right side of the screen.

Next, you need to go ahead and paste this shortcode in WordPress blog post or page. After that head over to your site to see the Yelp reviews in action.

We hope this article helped you learn how to display Yelp reviews on your WordPress site. You may also want to see our expert pick of the best product review plugins for WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Display Yelp Reviews on your WordPress Site appeared first on WPBeginner.

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Are you looking for the best WordPress poll plugins for your site? Online polls are highly engaging and can be used to boost user engagement on your website. In this article, we will compare the best WordPress poll plugins.

What to look for in a WordPress Poll Plugin?

Online polls offer a fun and easy way to keep your audience engaged. That’s why popular websites like BuzzFeed regularly use them to create viral content and increase the time users spend on their website.

There are many WordPress poll plugins that can help you add online polls to your website. Here are a few things we will be looking for in a WordPress poll plugin:

  • It should be easy to use, so that you can quickly create polls
  • Polls should look nice and can be easily added anywhere including posts, pages, or sidebar widgets
  • Your poll plugin should be fast and shouldn’t affect website speed or user experience
  • Should be able to display poll results with graphs and charts

That being said, let’s take a look at the best WordPress poll plugins and how they stack up against each other.

1. WPForms

WPForms is the best WordPress contact form plugin, and their pro plan includes a powerful surveys and polls addon. It allows you to easily create online polls, embed them anywhere on your site, and display results with beautiful charts.

You can drag and drop multiple form fields allowing users to select multiple or single answers. WPForms allows you to use images as poll choice along with text.

Poll results can be displayed automatically on the same page after getting the vote from users. You can also show poll results anywhere on your site. WPForms offers you the ability to export poll results for a later date to include in your PowerPoint presentation or other offline modes.

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to create an interactive poll in WordPress.

2. YOP Poll

YOP poll is a WordPress plugin that allows you to add online polls and surveys to your website. It is free and easy to install in WordPress.

You can schedule polls, display poll on multiple pages, show poll results in numbers and percentages, reset poll anytime, and more. It helps in limiting the poll to guest / registered users and block users by cookie, IP or username.

YOP poll can display results in different styles. Their archive feature allows you to show previous poll results sorted by the start and end date of the poll.

3. WP-Polls

WP-Polls is a simple, easy, and free poll solution for your WordPress site. It allows you to add online polls in your WordPress pages, posts, and widget areas.

Users can select multiple options in the poll. WP-Polls automatically shows results after the users select their choices. If you want to customize the look of your poll and know a little coding, then you can change the theme and add custom CSS style to your poll.

4. Polldaddy Polls and Ratings

Polldaddy polls and ratings is another popular WordPress polls plugin. It allows you to create and manage polls from your WordPress dashboard.

You can create a multiple choice poll, set a close date for the poll, display / hide poll results on your site, customize your poll styling, and more. Polldaddy allows you to embed your polls on other WordPress sites.

It prevents multiple responses from same users with basic IP filtering. It is a free plugin. However, you’ll need a WordPress.com account to generate an API key.

5. Responsive Poll

Responsive poll is another WordPress poll plugin. It allows you to create simple polls on your site. You can add multiple polls on same page, create multiple choice polls, show poll results with animation effects, set the start and end date for the poll, and more.

Responsive poll allows you to add an image for each option in your poll. It also lets you clone the poll and create duplicate polls. The free version of the plugin is quite limited in terms of features.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress poll plugins to use on your website. You may also want to see our expert pick of the best WordPress survey plugins to create online surveys on your site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 5 Best WordPress Poll Plugins Compared (2018) appeared first on WPBeginner.

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Recently one of our readers asked us to cover how to install WordPress on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Often reserved for larger projects, Amazon Web Services is a powerful cloud computing platform that allows anyone to harness the power of Amazon’s superior infrastructure on a pay as you go basis. In this article, we will show you how to install WordPress on Amazon Web Services.

Note: If you are just starting a website, then we recommend using one of the easier solutions from our how to install WordPress guide.

We have split this article in two methods. The first method is a manual process that is very technical and complicated. The second method is an easier solution for beginners because it allows you to use AWS infrastructure by going through a preferred managed WordPress hosting solution.

  1. Manually Install WordPress on AWS
  2. Install WordPress on AWS through Managed Hosting Solution
Method 1. Creating a Custom WordPress Install on AWS

First thing you need to do is visit the Amazon Web Services website. You can create a free account, but you will need to enter credit card information. Amazon will verify your identity by sending a $1 charge to your card.

Once your account is verified, you need to login to your AWS console and click on the ‘Services’ menu. Under the compute section, you need to select EC2 to continue.

EC2 is AWS’s cloud computing platform that allows you to create virtual machines and run web apps like WordPress. For more details on what’s a virtual machine, read our guide on what is a VPS and do you need it.

Next, click on the ‘Launch Instance’ button to launch and configure your instance settings.

You will need to select an Amazon Machine Image. These are pre-configured software stacks that you can install with a single click.

Under the ‘AWS Marketplace’ search for WordPress and then select ‘WordPress by Bitnami’.

You will now see a pricing popup where you simply need to click on the continue button.

On the next screen, you will be asked to choose an instance type. You can go ahead and select td.micro free tier and then click on ‘Configure instance details’ button.

On the next screen, you don’t need to change anything. Simply click on ‘Next: Add Storage’ and then click ‘Next: Add Tags’ buttons.

Now we will enter a name for this instance as a tag. Click on the Add Tag button and enter ‘Name’ as key, and ‘MyWordPress’ as value.

Click on the ‘Review and launch’ button to continue.

You will now be presented with an overview of your EC2 Instance configuration. Click on the ‘Launch’ button to start your instance.

Next, you will be asked to select pair keys. You need to select ‘Proceed without a key pair’ and then check the box below it.

After that click on the launch instances button to store your settings and launch your EC2 instance.

AWS will now show a success message. Click on the ‘View Instances’ button at the bottom right corner of the screen.

You will now be able to see your WordPress instance running.

To test your WordPress site, you need to locate its public IP address. You can find it under IPV4 Public IP column next to your instance.

You can now copy this IP address and enter it in the address bar of a new browser tab to view your website. You will be able to see your WordPress site with the default theme.

To visit your WordPress admin area, simply add /wp-admin/ next to your site’s public IP address, like this:

http://18.191.114.246/wp-admin

You will now see the default WordPress login page.

However, you will need to know the username and password to access the admin area.

You can get that by going back to your EC2 Console and clicking on the ‘Actions’ button and then select Instance Settings » Get System Log.

This will bring up a log file in a popup window with lots of text. You will need to scroll down towards the bottom, and you will find a line with ‘Setting Bitnami user password to’ surrounded by ## signs. You will also see the default username set by the app.

You can now copy the username / password and enter it on the login screen of your WordPress site.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress on Amazon Web Services. However, your website is still only accessible by using the IP address.

If you want to point a domain name to your AWS WordPress install, then you will need to connect your domain name to AWS’s DNS servers.

See our step by step guide on how to register a domain name.

Once you have registered your domain name, you’re ready to add it to your AWS instance.

Add a Domain Name to Your WordPress Site on Amazon Web Services

First, go to your EC2 instances dashboard and then from the left column click on ‘Elastic IPS’ under ‘Network & Security’ section.

Next, click on the ‘Allocate New Address’ button to continue.

You will be asked how do you want to use the IP address. Simply click on the Allocate button to continue.

AWS will now create a new elastic IP for your WordPress EC2 instance. You will see your IP address listed in a table. Simply select the IP address row and then select ‘Associate Address’ under the ‘Actions’ button.

On the next screen, select your WordPress instance from the drop-down menu and click on the Associate button.

You will now see your Elastic IP listed in the table. Go ahead and copy the IP address and paste it into a text editor like Notepad. We will need it in the next step.

Next, you need to click on the ‘Services’ menu at the top and search for ‘Route53′. This is Amazon web services’ DNS management service that allows you to route traffic to your EC2 instance.

On the next page, click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button under the DNS management section.

This will bring you to hosted zones section. Go ahead and click on the ‘Create hosted zone’ button.

Next, you need to add your domain name and click on the create button to add it to a hosted zone.

After you have added your domain to a hosted zone, click on the ‘Create Record Set’ button. Now you need to enter www next to ‘Name’ field. Enter the elastic IP you copied earlier in the ‘Value’ field and then click on create button.

The A record will now be added to your hosted zone along with your domain name. From the left column, you need to copy the lines under NS field. These are Nameserver addresses that you will need in the next step.

Now you need to go to your domain name registrar website and edit your domain name settings. The screenshots below may vary from your provider, but the basic instructions are similar for each provider.

Under your domain’s DNS Nameservers settings, enter the nameserver addresses you copied earlier.

Don’t forget to save your changes. You can now visit the domain name you added and it will take you to your WordPress site on Amazon Web Services.

Note: DNS changes may take some time to take effect.

Method 2. Using Amazon Web Services via Managed WordPress Hosting

As you may have noticed that setting up a custom WordPress install on Amazon web services is a very technical and complicated process.

The cloud computing infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services is a pay as you go solution. This means that traffic spikes will increase your hosting bill significantly. Not to mention, that you will still be responsible for managing your own services which is just extra work.

An easier way to use WordPress on Amazon Web Services without any hassle is by using a managed WordPress hosting provider.

We recommend using WP Engine. They run part of their hosting platform on the AWS infrastructure, and you don’t have to worry about traffic spikes, server management, or WordPress maintenance.

Another great alternative is Pagely, a premium managed WordPress hosting provider. They also run their platform on Amazon Web Services and offer a hassle-free, WordPress environment to grow your business.

We hope this article helped you learn how to install WordPress on Amazon Web Services. You may also want to see our ultimate guide on improving WordPress speed and performance with step by step instructions.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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We are often asked by our users about .com vs .net domain name extensions. Choosing a domain name is extremely important for your business goals because it can have an impact on your branding and search rankings. In this article, we will explain the difference between Com vs Net domain extensions and which one is better for your website.

What is Com and Net Domain Name Extensions?

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet. This is what your users will type in their browser to access your website. For example, wpbeginner.com

To learn more about domain names, see our beginner’s guide on what is a domain name and how do domains work.

Domain names come in various extensions like com, net, org, and more.

example.com
example.net
example.org

You can freely choose a domain name from any of these extensions to make a website. However, these extensions were created to distinguish between different types of websites.

You need to choose a domain name extension that fits your business while helping you build a recognizable brand and authority in your industry.

That being said, let’s compare the difference between .com vs .net domain extensions to see which one is better for your business.

Differnce Between .Com vs .Net Domain Names

Com and Net are two of the most popular domain name extensions. If your preferred dot com domain name extension is not available, then many domain name generator tools will suggest .net as the alternative.

However, it is not a suitable alternative for your business in most cases.

COM in the .com domain name represents commercial domain names. This includes all business websites, websites that want to make money online, personal websites, blogs, portfolios, and almost anything in between.

On the other hand, the NET in the .net domain name extension represents “network”. It is recommended and suitable for internet, email, and networking service providers.

When You Should Choose a COM Domain Name?

The .com domain extension has become synonymous with the internet. Nearly 46% of all registered domain names are .com domains.

This is why it is way easier for users to remember a .com domain name than any other domain extension. Due to the popularity of .com domain names, they are also easier to brand, promote, and help you grow your business.

If you want to make any kind of business website, then you should always use a .com domain name extension. It gives your website a familiar address and makes your business look more professional and established.

Now the problem is that .com domain names are so popular that it feels like all good ones are already taken. However, there are still plenty of clever ways to get the perfect .com domain name.

Here are some tips on choosing the best .com domain name.

  • Your domain name should represent your business and what you do. For example, stargardeningservices.com is better than starservices.com
  • If your preferred domain name is taken, then you can add small words before or after it to make it unique. For example, stargardeninghouston.com
  • Make sure your domain name can be easily pronounced. Don’t use hyphens or numbers in your domain name.
  • Take advantage of online domain name generators. These free tools will help you come up with clever domain name ideas that are unique and still available.

Need more help? See our article on how to choose the best domain name for your website with practical tips and real examples.

When You Should Use Net Domain Extension?

You should use .net domain name if you are going to offer internet, networking, database hosting, email hosting, or similar services.

You can still use a .net domain name if it suits your brand. However, you will need some serious marketing talent to pull this off.

For example, Behance.net is a popular online design community which successfully uses a .net domain extension for their website. It suits them because they wanted to be a network of artists, designers, and companies looking for talent.

Nearly 4% of all domain names registered are using the .net domain extension. Domain name registrar’s started presenting .net and other domain name extensions as an alternative to .com, which may give you an impression that it is more commonly used than it actually is.

Originally, it was supposed to be a domain name extension for internet and networking service providers. Many real and well-known internet companies still primarily use their .com domain name for the business. For example, visiting comcast.net will take you to their new .com website.

Now, you may think 4% is quite a lot of domain names (around 14 Million at the time of writing this article). Who else is using .net domain names?

Many businesses register a .net domain extension for their brand so that someone else couldn’t infringe on their business name.

Some companies started using it because they couldn’t get their preferred .com domain name. Majority of these companies soon transfer to a .com domain extension but they keep .net domain name for technical and legal reasons.

Com vs Net – Which One is Better for SEO?

A lot of our users ask us which domain extension will help them rank higher. If you are asking between Net and Com, then choosing either of them will not affect your SEO.

Search engines will treat both domain extensions the same. You will need to just focus on SEO best practices and create useful targeted content to rank higher.

The actual important part will be your domain name itself, not the extension. For example, stargardeningservices.com will rank better than starservices.net because it contains the keyword that people are more likely to search.

How to Buy a Domain Name?

There are two ways to get a domain name. You can choose the one that best suits you.

1. Get a FREE Domain Name with Bluehost

If you want to make a website then you will also need website hosting. See our article on the difference between domain name and website hosting.

Usually, you will pay $14.99 per year for a domain name and $7.99 / month for hosting. Now, if you are just starting out, then this sounds like a lot of money.

Luckily, folks at Bluehost are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and 60% discount on hosting.

→ Click Here to Claim Your Free Domain Name ←

2. Register a Domain Name

If you don’t want to make website, then you can still register a domain name and make a website later.

We recommend using GoDaddy. They are the largest domain name registration company in the world currently managing 72+ million domain names.

For detailed step by step instructions, see our article on how to register a domain name.

We hope this article helped you learn the difference between com vs net domain name extensions. You may also want to see our step by step guide on how to start a blog.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Com vs Net – What’s the Difference Between Domain Extensions appeared first on WPBeginner.

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We are often asked by our users how to do keyword research for their WordPress blogs. Keyword research helps you find betters content ideas that will help you grow traffic and create highly engaging content that users will love. In this article, we will show you how to properly do keyword research for your WordPress blog.

What is Keyword Research and Why You Need it?

Keyword research is a research technique used by content creators and SEO experts. It helps you discover words users enter into search engines to find content, products, and services in your industry.

You can then use those words and phrases into your website to get more search traffic.

Many beginners assume that they have a clear idea of what their users are looking for. However, you don’t need to make educated guesses when there are powerful tools available that can help you make data-driven decisions.

Properly using keyword research as a part of your content strategy can help you achieve the following:

  • Find the popular keywords your users are actually looking for
  • Find content ideas that are easy to rank for and have decent search volume
  • Find out what your competitors are doing and then beat them to it with a better content strategy
  • Get more search traffic and grow your audience with each new article

That being said, let’s take a look at how to properly do keyword research for your WordPress blog and boost your search traffic.

We have hand-picked the best keyword research tools that we have personally used for our own projects. We will show you each one of them and how to properly use them to do your own keyword research like a pro.

1. SEMRush

SEMRush is one of the best SEO Tools on the market. It is the complete SEO suite with tools to perform organic research, paid advertising research, keyword research, and in-depth competition analysis.

To get started, simply go to SEMRush website and enter a keyword or your website URL.

You will see an overview of the keyword you entered showing search volume (number of average searches), CPC for paid advertising, and number of search results.

Scroll down a little and you will see an overview of keywords matches and related keywords. You can click on the view full report button to explore the complete lists or export them to a CSV file.

Scroll down further and you will see the list of top search results for the keyword you entered. You can click on each of these links to view full report which will help you understand why these pages rank for these keywords.

You can also use their new ‘Keyword Magic Tool’ which gives you faster access to broader keyword research on related terms. You can click on the add button next to a keyword to add them into keyword analyzer.

Once you have figured out the best keywords with highest search volume, the next step would be to analyze competition for those keywords. Click on the links already ranking for those keywords to see a detailed analysis.

You will be able to see the backlinks for that particular URL, other keywords that page rank for, and how much search traffic it gets.

Overall, SEMRush is the best keyword research tool on the market. It not only gives you keyword ideas, it also helps you find out how you can rank for those keywords.

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the most powerful keyword research tools on the market. It helps you learn why your competitors are ranking so high, and what you need to do to outrank them in search results.

Ahrefs crawls more than 6 billion pages every day, with over 12 trillion links in their index from 200+ million domain names. That’s a lot of data, but the real beauty is how their platform helps you use this data to your advantage.

It has an intuitive user interface which breaks down all the data into different sections. Simply enter a domain name in the search field and Ahrefs will pull a wealth of information in an easy to understand format.

It will show you an overview of the results with the total number of backlinks, referring domains, organic keywords, and content review. You can click on any of these sections to drill down further.

Click on ‘Organic Keywords’ report and Ahrefs will show you a list of keywords for the domain name with search volume, search rank, URL, and more.

You can also generate keyword ideas by entering keywords in the search box. Ahrefs’ keyword explorer tool will generate a list of keyword suggestions with search volume, difficulty score, and clicks.

Ahrefs also comes with powerful tools for content analysis, rank tracking, web monitoring, and more. You can export all reports in CSV or PDF format and then work on them in your favorite spreadsheet software.

3. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is a free visual keyword research and content ideas tool. It utilizes Google and Bing’s auto-suggest feature and presents the data in a more understandable visual format.

Simply visit the website and enter a keyword or phrase. The tool will then load keywords and present them into visual maps. Reports are divided into questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabetical, and related keywords.

You can click on any keyword and it will show Google search results in a new browser tab. This allows you to quickly view the questions people are searching for, and how you can answer them with relevant content.

All keyword research is presented on a single page. You can download the data in visual format as images or export them to a CSV file and use with your preferred spreadsheet software.

More Keyword Research Tips

All the above-mentioned tools will provide you a treasure trove of data. Here are some more tips on how to narrow down your keyword research and find the most profitable ideas.

  • Start your keyword research with broader keywords and then narrow it down to find keywords with low competition and more search volume.
  • Enter your own URL in SEMRush or Ahrefs to see your own keyword performance and then compare it with your competitors.
  • Focus on finding keywords that answer your customer’s questions and help them make a buying decision.
  • Don’t limit your keyword research to most searched keywords. You can easily rank for longer keywords and build upon that.

How to apply keyword research in your business or blog?

The main goal of keyword research is to find out what your customers are looking for and then rank for those keywords in search results. There are multiple ways to do that depending on your content strategy.

  • Plan a proper content marketing strategy around your new keyword research
  • Create useful content articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, and more using those keywords.
  • Business websites can create landing pages, documentation, FAQs and other content targeting new keywords
  • If you run an online store, then you can use those keywords in your product titles, descriptions, product categories, and more.

Need help creating engaging content? Check out our expert pick of the best content marketing tools and plugins.

How do I track the performance of my keyword research?

First, you need to sign up for Google Search Console. It provides you insights into how Google views your website. You will also be able to see keywords you rank for, and average position in search results.

You will also need Google Analytics to track the performance of your content. MonsterInsights is the easiest way to install Google Analytics in WordPress. It shows you top content in your WordPress dashboard and enables you to track user engagement on your website.

We hope this article helped you learn how to do keyword research for your WordPress blog. You may also want to see ultimate step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Do Keyword Research for Your WordPress Blog appeared first on WPBeginner.

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Do you want to add an event registration page on your WordPress site? Recently one of our readers asked if they can allow users to sign up and buy tickets online for their events. In this article, we will show you how to easily create an event registration page in WordPress and sell tickets online.

Why Create an Event Registration Page in WordPress?

There are plenty of third-party event registration and ticketing tools available in the market. You can also add Facebook events to your WordPress site.

However, many third-party event registration and ticketing services will charge a small fee for each ticket you sell. This quickly adds up, and you could end up paying a lot more than expected.

You will have limited options to promote your event on social media and even on your own website. Some event management services will insist on displaying their branding in your event emails, widgets, and tickets.

You can avoid some of these issues by creating your own event registration page in WordPress. This will allow you to collect online payments directly, store attendee information on your website, and use your own brand name when promoting the event.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily create an event registration page in WordPress.

Creating an Event Registration Page in WordPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WPForms plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

WPForms is a paid plugin, and you will need at least their PRO plan to access the PayPal add-on, which we will be using in this tutorial.

Upon activation, you need to visit the WPForms page in your WordPress admin area and click on the Add New button.

On the form builder, first you need to enter a title for your event registration form. Below that, you will see a list of ready-to-use form templates that you can select. Click on the Billing / Order Form template to continue.

This template will set up a basic online order form asking users for their information like name, email, phone, address, available items, and more.

You can point and click on any field to edit or delete it. You can also add new form fields from the column on your left.

To add tickets, click on the available items field and change it to attendees or tickets.

Your users will see the calculated price in the Total Amount field. Next, you need to set up the payment method.

Let’s go ahead and connect your event registration form to a payment service provider.

You need to click on the Payments tab in the left column and then click on the ‘Addons page’ link.

Note: You can also visit the addons page from your WordPress admin area by going to WPForms » Addons.

This will take you to the addons page. WPForms comes with addons for PayPal and Stripe. You can install either or both of them.

Note: In order to use Stripe, your website must have HTTPS / SSL enabled.

Click on the install button below the addon and then click on the activate button.

Once activated, you need to go back to Payments section to configure payment services on your form. Select your payment service and enable it.

You need to add the details like PayPal email address, mode, payment type, cancel URL, and more.

If you are using Stripe, then you will need to enter the API keys. For detailed instructions see how to use the Stripe addon with WPForms.

You will also need to enter a credit card field to your form before you can set up Stripe. Simply switch to the ‘Fields’ section and add a credit card field.

After setting up payments, let’s set up notification emails for both you and your users.

Simply go to Settings » Notifications and click on the Add New Notification button.

In the Send To Email Address section, you need to select user’s email from Smart Tags to send the ticket receipt.

Now you need to scroll down to the Message section and add your custom message with the fields that you created for the registration from using Smart Tags.

Once you are done, you can save your changes and close the form builder.

You can display this form on any page on your WordPress site. Let’s create a new event registration page in WordPress to display the form.

On the page edit screen, you will see a new button labeled ‘Add Form’ just above the editor.

Clicking on it will bring up a popup where you will be able to select and insert the event registration form you created earlier.

The plugin will now add the required shortcode to your page editor. You can save your changes and click on the preview to see your event registration page in action.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create an event registration page in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of the best WordPress booking plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Create an Event Registration Page in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

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Recently one of our readers asked us to provide some WordPress stats, facts, and research to help convince their boss on why they should use WordPress. Even though WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world, sometimes popularity alone is not enough for users to make up their mind. In this article, we have compiled an ultimate list of WordPress stats, facts, and other research that will help you convince others to start using WordPress.

The Basics: What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open source software that allows users to make a website. It is available for download as a free software and can be installed on any WordPress hosting company.

It’s important not to confuse WordPress (the software) with WordPress.com which is a hosted solution. To learn more, see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org in our side-by-side comparison.

It all started when two users of a blogging software called b2/cafelog decided to take the software in a new direction. The idea was coined by Matt Mullenweg who was then joined by Mark Little and together they released the first version of WordPress on May 27, 2003.

Since then, WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging software to a CMS, website builder, eCommerce platform, and more. To learn more, see our article about the history of WordPress.

WordPress is a community software and thousands of users from all over the world have contributed to it by submitting code, fixing bugs, translating, testing, and helping others use it.

Let’s take a look at some WordPress stats and facts to see how WordPress is helping people do great things on the internet.

How Popular is WordPress?

WordPress is immensely popular and is used by millions of people all over the world. Here are some numbers to put things in perspective.

  1. WordPress powers more than 30% of all websites on the internet.
  2. It also holds nearly 60% of CMS market share. No other website builder software comes close.
  3. WordPress powers websites for big name brands including Disney, Sony, Facebook, and more.
  4. 14.7% of top 100 Websites are powered by WordPress.
  5. More than 22% of all new domain names in the United States are running WordPress.
  6. Each day more than 1014 WordPress sites and 496 WooCommerce stores join the top 10 million websites tracked by W3Techs.
WordPress Plugins

Plugins are like apps for your WordPress website. You can install them to add new features to your site and extend its functionality. To learn more, see our guide on what are WordPress plugins and how do they work?.

Here are some mind-blowing facts about WordPress plugins, which show just how massive the WordPress ecosystem is.

  1. There are more than 50,000 free WordPress plugins on WordPress.org plugin directory alone.
  2. 3 of those plugins are installed on 5 million+ websites.
  3. 19 top WordPress plugins are installed on more than 1 million websites.
  4. The most popular eCommerce plugin, WooCommerce is installed on more than 3 million websites with 43 million all time downloads.

These stats are from WordPress.org plugin directory alone. Many plugin developers sell premium versions of their plugins from their own websites.

With a healthy plugins ecosystem, it means that you can add custom functionality to your website at a fraction of the cost of custom development.

WordPress Themes

Themes control the appearance of a WordPress website. These are WordPress specific website design templates that you can install on your website to change its look.

There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available offering WordPress users an endless combination of design, layout, color schemes, and features.

  1. Themes were first introduced with WordPress 1.5 back in 2005, with the first new default WordPress theme called Kubrick
  2. Just like plugins, there are both free and paid WordPress themes that you can install.
  3. WordPress.org’s free theme directory has more than 5,800 free WordPress themes.
  4. According to Builtwith, Genesis theme framework is the most popular theme used by 17% of websites analyzed by their service.
  5. Thousands of themes are sold by Commercial WordPress theme shops with an average price of $40 per theme.
WordPress Security

WordPress is the most commonly used CMS software in the world, which also makes it a common target of hacking attempts, DDOS attacks, malware, and trojans.

  1. According to Sucuri, a leading website security company, 83% of all CMS based websites that were hacked in 2017 were running WordPress. This number isn’t surprising considering that WordPress holds 60% of CMS market share.
  2. Sucuri also reported that 39% of hacked WordPress websites were using an outdated version of the software. That’s why you should always use the latest version of WordPress on your website.
  3. Nearly 50% WordPress sites are affected by a security vulnerability caused by an outdated or poorly coded WordPress plugin or theme
  4. Around 8% of WordPress sites were hacked due to a weak password.

You can make your WordPress site as secure as possible by following some basic security best practices. To learn more, see our complete WordPress security guide for step by step instructions.

Often the stats above cause WordPress to get a bad reputation, but the reality is that WordPress itself is not insecure. WordPress core goes through rigorous security audits, and it’s more secure than many other platforms out there.

The only fault WordPress has is that it’s popular which leads to stats like above.

WordPress Community

WordPress has a massive user base spread across all over the world. It is used by not just businesses, but also governments, schools and colleges, non-profits, and more.

As an open source project, WordPress is driven by a global community of users. This means that anyone can contribute to the project in many different ways.

  1. WordPress translation community has it fully translated into 56 languages, partially translated in dozens more.
  2. In 2017, WordPress communities around the world organized 128 WordCamp events, in 48 countries, and sold 39,625 tickets.
  3. In 2017, Local WordPress communities organized 4,379 meetups in 73 countries

If you want to contribute to WordPress, then see our guide on how to get involved with WordPress project.

The WordPress Economy

WordPress has a thriving billion dollar ecosystem that creates thousands of jobs all over the world. This also includes freelancers, developers, and companies that sell WordPress related products and services.

  1. At the time of writing this article, freelancer.com website alone had 564,010 WordPress jobs posted out of these 13,680 were open.
  2. Thousands of WordPress jobs are currently open on many popular freelancing websites.
  3. Average hourly rate for WordPress developers can be anywhere between $20-$100 per hour depending on their expertise and job at hand.
  4. A custom WordPress theme with its own unique design and plugins can cost $10,000 and it may increase depending on project’s requirements.
  5. There are hundreds of small and large businesses, agencies, and developers selling WordPress related products. See our list of the most influential WordPress businesses and companies and what they do.

We hope this article helped you discover some new WordPress stats, facts, and interesting research. You may also want to see our article + infograph on 25 interesting facts about WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Ultimate List of WordPress Stats, Facts, and Other Research appeared first on WPBeginner.

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