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WordPress is one of the most versatile platforms that has revolutionized the concept of web building altogether. The thousands of plugins and themes available in the WordPress market has immensely contributed to making things better and easier.

However, the only problem is that, by default, all of these resources are available in the English language. Because of the vast popularity of WordPress, and its widespread use by webmasters, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and individual professionals alike, it is not unlikely to expect people to want to access it in other major languages as well.

What if you are not an English speaker and you still want to use WordPress and its resources, that too in your own language? Although that sounds like a difficult task, WordPress allows you to do so. You can easily localize any theme or plugin and even WordPress as a whole to your language and enjoy its brilliant features.

You can contribute to plugin translations for your own use or for the benefit of others. It will not only help you use the plugin in the language you best understand but will also let others use it in the future.

In today’s post, we will focus on how to translate a WordPress Plugin in any other language.

How To Translate a Plugin That You Use On Your Site

You might be using various WordPress plugins on your website to enhance your functionality and services. You will notice that most of these plugins are available in English which is considered to be the universally accepted language.

But not everyone speaks or understands English. You might be one of them. That, however, doesn’t stop you from using this plugin. You can easily have your plugin in your own language. There are hundreds of people who contribute their plugin or theme translations to the WordPress community so that others can use it for their benefit.

You can be one of them too. To start contributing to translations you will have to first register for an account on wordpress.org. Now visit the page of the plugin that you want to translate.

You might find a line that says “The plugin is also available in X language. Help improve its translation”. By clicking on this line you will see all the languages that WordPress supports. You will also see the progress of translations next to each language.

If you click on those percentages you will see the list of strings that have either been accepted for translations or are awaiting approval.

You can contribute a translation for those strings without a translation available. For that just click on one of those strings, make your own contributions using the basic editor. Once done your translations will be checked by the WordPress Polyglot Team. When the team will approve your translations, you will see the translation strings increase. So everytime someone makes a translation, these strings will keep increasing.

You may not want to be a regular contributor, but there might be a specific plugin that you want to translate into a different language. For that, you will first have to install a plugin that will help you in the localization process. This is the Loco Translate plugin which is a free product available in the WordPress directory.

About Loco Translate

Loco Translate is an amazing plugin that lets you translate your themes and plugins to any other language you want. With more than 600,000 installations, Loco Translate has been considered to be one of the most popular translation plugins in the market.

This plugin simplifies the process of translating your plugins and themes and lets you do so without writing a single line of code. Once the plugin is installed on your WordPress site, it becomes easier for you to create and update language files directly into your WordPress theme or plugin.

It also allows you to use the built-in WordPress locale codes, extract translate-able strings from your source code, protect your language directory for saving custom translations and much more.

This plugin is compatible with the latest versions of WordPress and works beautifully with tons of other plugins that you might have installed on your site. The PO file editor also supports various shortcuts to make your translation process faster. Here are some of the shortcuts that it supports –

  • Done and Next: Ctrl ↵
  • Next string: Ctrl ↓
  • Previous string: Ctrl ↑
  • Next untranslated: Shift Ctrl ↓

These are just a few. There are many other shortcuts that you can use with this plugin.

Let us now look at how this plugin works.

Translating Your Plugins With Loco Translate Plugin

Once Loco Translate is successfully installed and activated on your site, you can start localizing your plugins directly from your dashboard. This can be either a specific plugin or the entire set of plugins that you are using on your site. To begin the process, start by going to your dashboard and then to Loco Translate>Plugins page.

The list of activated plugins on your site will be reflected on your screen. Now you can choose the plugin that you want to translate. Suppose we want to translate the WP Forms Lite plugin that is currently active on the site. For that, we will have to click on the plugin name which will show us the following page.

You will see various languages on your screen along with the translation process stats, file info, last modified date along with other information. WP Forms Lite currently allows you to translate it into three different languages. Russian, French, and German.

If your preferred language is one of the languages on the list, then it becomes even more simple for you to localize your site. Suppose you want it to be translated to the German language, just click on German and you are done. Your site will be automatically translated into German.

Selecting a New Language

If your language is not one of those listed on the plugin, then you can click on the New Language option at the top just below the plugin name.

You will now be redirected to the following page.

On this page, you are supposed to choose the language in which you want your plugin to be translated. For that, you will get two options. One is WordPress language. If you set this language to the WordPress admin area, then the site will automatically start using this language.

The second option is a custom language. Here we will choose a new language with the first option. In the next step, you will have to select the location where these translation files are to be stored. Generally, the Loco Translate plugin recommends you to save all of these files in its own folder. But if you want you can change the location.

When you are done with the settings, click on the ‘start translating’ button for the process to begin.

Loco Translate comes with a built-in editor. With the help of this editor, Loco Translate will reflect the list of strings that it will compile for the plugin that is to be translated.

You will see the source text and below that the translation field will also be reflected you.

Now you can enter the translations to the source string and select the Next string to start translating. To the right-hand side, you will see a small comment box popping up. This box can be used to save all your little notes that come up while you are translating your plugin.

It can also be used by any other user who is working with you on the translation. The plugin also lets you check your translation progress. It will show you the number of strings that were translated and the ones that are remaining.

Managing Your Translations

It’s easy to manage your translations with Loco Translate. You will see various buttons and labels on the top of your editor that lets you manage your work.

You can also trace the progress of your translations in terms of your advancing percentage and the number of strings that have been translated or are yet to be translated.

Below that you will find a few more options like Save, Sync, Revert and Fuzzy. I am sure you know what these buttons will do for you. The last one called the Fuzzy button lets you save you mark your strings if you are not very sure of it. You can then work on it for as many numbers of times as you want before you finally save it.

You can even leave the fuzzy lines to be worked upon later and exclude them from being included in the translation files. These can also be translated by someone else in the future.

You can also search for a specific string and edit them if you want. Just type the line in the search box and press enter to locate it. These lines can then be translated easily.

You can also download the PO, MO or POT files of your translations. The download icons appear towards the right end of this row.

Activating Your Translations

Once your translations are complete its time for you to activate them on your site. You won’t find any specific buttons to activate these translations. You will instead have to switch the language of your WordPress site. For that, you will have to go to – Settings > General. On this tab find the “Site Language” option. Now switch the language to the one you translated the plugin to. You can save your changes for the results.

Once that is done you can open the plugin’s settings to see the translation in action.

Conclusion

There are other ways through which you can translate your plugins. But Loco Translate is one of the most featured plugins that can help you translate your themes or plugins easily.

Although it might be a little time-consuming to have it in a language that is not very popular among WordPress users, it is still a very good way to have your plugins in a language you can best understand. By contributing your translations strings you also help many others use the language for themselves too. It also makes it easier for other contributors to work on it for good.

As the translation system improves, you will find more strings on your plugin which we hope will only improve your experience translating themes and plugin. We hope this guide was useful to you. Let us know if you have any queries. We would love to hear from you.

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If you are a photographer then you will know all about post-processing, that is the job of processing your photos from RAW or JPG format in your software of choice. Choosing the right piece of software for the job is as important as picking the right lens and settings when shooting the photos. This brings us to Adobe Lightroom, probably the most popular option for photographers who wish to convert their photos from the RAW format to JPG format for usage online or in print.

While at it’s heart, Lightroom is essentially a RAW converter it also offers so many other processing features it can become overwhelming. You can use it tweak just about every aspect of the photo from basic settings such as exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows to effects like grain and vignetting. You can totally alter the feel of a shot by manipulating the vast array of settings available to you. Once you get a look that you are happy with, you can save your chosen settings as a “preset” and then use those same settings on other photos in future.

You are also able to import other people’s presets into Lightroom and apply them to your photos with the click of a mouse. Which brings us to the subject of this collection – we have put together a comprehensive list of over 50 preset bundles that you can download and use on your photos to achieve many different looks and styles.

There is something for all types of photographer in this post, types of photography covered are Landscapes, Portraits, Vintage & Lomo Effects, Newborns, Weddings, Pastel and Matte effects and much more. Take a look below and choose a set of presets to take your photos to the next level.

Ultimate Bundle

This is the complete collection from Photonify, it includes all their Lightroom Presets and Photoshop Actions which are currently available. Purchasing it also gives you a lifetime license for support and updates which means any new sets they release in these categories will be added to the bundle so your items will grow over time. Currently the included items are worth $1829 but you can get the bundle for $99.

If you use the coupon code for “alienwp” you get a further 10% off the bundle.

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Complete Bundle

This is the Complete Bundle by Glow Presets which contains every set of Lightroom Presets we make and also includes every future product we release – get free updates for life and keep building your collection. Our Complete collection is ideal for all types of photographers and Lightroom users, each collection contains around 20 – 40 presets for different types of photo, all categorized and delivered as a digital download which means you get instant access to your products after payment.

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Food Photography Lightroom Presets

If you need to create some tasty food photography, then this is the collection for you: It includes 25 Lightroom Presets for food photography. Whether you are a food blogger or a photographer shooting food for a client to be used in print advertising, commercials or billboards these presets will allow you to enhance the end photo and also greatly speed up the post production process.

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Real Estate Lightroom Presets

Real Estate collection of Lightroom Presets, designed to help you perfect photos of home interiors. These are ideal for people wishing to sell their house, AirBnB hosts, Realtors and so on. The pack contains presets for adding warmth to a room or cooling it down, brightening up dull images and adding a luxurious and professional finish to home photos for whatever the occasion.

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Portrait Lightroom Presets Vol2

This is Volume 2 of the Portrait Photography Lightroom Presets collection, it contains 20 Lightroom presets which have been specially designed to enhance portrait photography. An absolute must for portrait and fashion photographers who wish to adjust tones, improve colors and contrasts of their shots.

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Pretty Lightroom Presets

Pretty Lightroom Presets collection, designed to add some beautiful styles to your portrait photography. The set contains a range of styles such as pastels, mattes along with some presets for making colors more vivid. It’s perfect for outdoor portrait photos, flowers, weddings and any other images which need some stylish flourishes.

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Portrait Lightroom Presets Vol1

Volume 1 of the Portrait Presets collection, a number of beautiful presets designed for portrait photographers to deliver interesting shots for their clients. Contains 20 presets for different portrait effects.

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Matte Lightroom Presets

Matte Lightroom Presets collection, created to give your images a stylish matte-effect with one click. This is a style that has become more popular as of late, by recreating the look of having been printed on matte paper the look is popularized by washed-out tones and created with the tone curve in Lightroom.

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Vintage Film Lightroom Presets

This set contains 21 Lightroom presets which have been specially designed to give a vintage film look to your images. The presets add grain, faded effects and other techniques to make your photos look aged or retro and vintage with one click of your mouse.

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Food Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets Collection for Food photography. A range of presets which will suit all types of food so you can present your dishes in style. This collection is perfect for food bloggers, advertising shoots, website images, pinterest, instagram or for just showing off your culinary creations to friends and family.

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Landscape Photography Lightroom Presets

If you like take photos of landscapes this is the set for you – it contains 20 carefully designed presets to enhance landscapes, mountains and skies by bringing dull photos to life. 20 presets are included in the collection to make your photos pop.

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Wedding Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets designed for Wedding Photography. It has a range of different styles and looks which are ideal for adding that touch of perfection to your wedding shoots. Offer the bride and groom a range of styles to choose from and cut back on your time spent processing the shoot. This set contains the classic styles which are popular for this type of photography including some matte looks, pastel tones and more.

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Wedding Lightroom Presets

This set contains 40 Lightroom presets which have been specially designed for wedding photographs. It includes many different popular wedding styles to choose from in color and black and white. Use this set to speed up your post production after a wedding shoot and it can save you time and money as well as being able to offer the bride and groom a range of different styles to choose from.

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Landscape Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets for Landscape photography. A dynamic and exciting pack of presets to bring life and color to your landscape photos. Includes a range of styles suitable for all different subjects designed to make your images pop. Presets included for snow, roads, mountains, fields, water, skies and sunsets.

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Matte Look Lightroom Presets

This style of photo looks great and has become really popular, adding a matte effect to your photos makes them look more stylized. Perfect for using in graphics, advertising and so on. This collection has 25 presets to choose from.

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Portrait Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets designed for all types of portrait photography. It includes a range of different styles and effects to give your portrait photos a stunning professional finish. Save time in post-processing by applying our presets with just one click of the mouse.

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Cinematic Lightroom Presets

This set contains 20 Lightroom presets which have been specially designed to give your photos a cinematic look. Add intensity and a dramatic look to your photos and make your photos more cinematic and emulate the look of cinematic effects used in movies and cinema. Add a dramatic, artist and stylized feel to your photos with one click – each preset will give you a different look.

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Newborn Lightroom Presets

Newborn Lightroom Presets which is perfect for all kinds of baby photography in different lighting settings. It has a range of different styles and tones to suit most images and will give your photos a beautiful finishing touch. It’s ideal for professional photographers who would like to speed up post-processing or for amateur photographers who would love to create stunning portraits of their newborn babies.

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Pastel Lightroom Presets

This set contains 30 Lightroom presets which have been specially designed to give your photos a soft pastel tone. It includes many different styles to choose from to create the perfect photo. Speed up your work flow and post processing with this set of presets – one click enhancements for perfect pastel toned imagery.

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Vintage Lightroom Presets

Vintage Lightroom Presets collection. This set contains a number of presets to give your modern-day photos a vintage or retro style, perfect for recreating that analog film look and aged or weathered photographs. The set contains multiple styles so you will be able to find the perfect vintage style you are looking for.

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HDR Lightroom Presets

This set contains 20 Lightroom presets which have been specially designed to give your photos the HDR look. High Dynamic Range or HDR is a popular style of photography which is achieved by taking a number of photos of the same scene at different exposures and then combining them to create a striking image which shows off more information than a regular photo. These presets will create images with high contrasts bringing out hidden details in your photos.

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Lomography Lightroom Presets

This set contains 20 Lightroom presets which have been specially designed to give your the Lomo look. Each preset in the collection has been carefully constructed by a professional photographer and lightroom expert so they will look good with many different types of photo and camera brand. The Lomography or “Lomo” style of photography is a photographic style which is characterized by oversaturated colors, distortions, unexpected prismatic effects shot by Lomography cameras. The style is unmistakable when you see it and you can now recreate the look using Lightroom and this Lomo Presets collection.

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Baby Newborn Lightroom Presets

This set contains 22 Lightroom presets which have been specially designed for photographing newborns. In the collection is included a number of different styles which are perfectly suited for newborn portraits by improving skin tones, softening the image and adding a dreamy quality with color or black and white.

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Creating a multilingual website is a great way to reach a wider audience and expand your business into new markets. Once your business reaches a certain point in your original language, you may find yourself wanting to branch out and reach a wider range of customers. You can always tackle new niches or become more aggressive in the way you approach advertising and marketing. A simpler approach, however, may be to translate your entire site into another language and target customers in a new region. Weglot is an application that helps you do just that.

Weglot started out as a simple snippet of code developed by Rémy Berda and Augustin Prot before it expanded into a fully-fledged multilingual plugin for WordPress. The company has also built integrations for platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and Jimdo, but we’re going to focus on the WordPress plugin in this article.

Without further ado, here is our review of the Weglot multilingual plugin.

Overview

Weglot was developed in late 2015 before its official launch on February 5, 2016. It brought something new to the table by providing a way for WordPress users to translate their sites into multiple languages automatically, and it quickly grew to a user base of a few thousand. It now powers over 20,000 websites and has become one of the most top-rated multilingual plugins available for WordPress.

Let’s go over the features this plugin offers before we take a deeper look at it.

  • 100+ Languages – Translate your site into over 100 different languages.
  • Automatic & Manual Translations – Translate your entire site automatically with one click, and clean it up by editing bits and pieces manually.
  • Order Professional Translations with Ease – All of Weglot’s premium plans give you access to the services of professional translators at a starting rate of €0.08/word. These can be purchased directly within the Weglot dashboard.
  • 100% Compatibility – Weglot is compatible with all WordPress themes and plugins, including WooCommerce.
  • Optimized for SEO – Weglot follows Google’s guidelines for multilingual sites by giving translated content dedicated URLs. For example, the URL “example.com/about/” would be “example.com/fr/about” if we translated the content into French.
  • Customizable Language Button – Visitors will use the change language button this plugin provides to switch to the language of their choosing. Fortunately, this plugin allows you to customize the way this plugin looks and functions.
  • Automatic Language Redirections – Weglot offers automatic language redirections that redirects visitors to translated content based on the language preferences in their browsers.
  • Multiple Domains – Certain premium plans allow you to use Weglot on multiple domains.
  • Unlimited Team Members – Many of Weglot’s premium plans allow you to invite an unlimited number of team members to projects.
  • Statistics for Translated Content – Track the popularity of translated content using Weglot’s built-in pageview statistics.
  • Multi-Platform – Weglot is most successful as a WordPress plugin, but it’s also available for Shopify, BigCommerce and Jimdo. You can even integrate it with any website when you use the provided JavaScript code with your own personal API key.

Let’s get into the review.

Installation & Setup

Weglot offers a free plan, meaning you’ll find its WordPress plugin directly in the WordPress plugin repository. This means installing it is as simple as searching for it in the WordPress admin area, and clicking Install Now.

Weglot is an API, so you’ll need an API key before you can use it on your site. Fortunately, this is free and only requires you to create an account at Weglot.com and copy/paste the key on the plugin’s settings page in WordPress.

All you need to do after that is define an original language for your site, and if you want, choose the first language you want your site to be translated into. This will be done automatically, as stated before.

You can view your translated site right away if you choose to do the latter. Here’s an example of our test site translated into French from English using our own Anissa WordPress theme. Notice the language button in the bottom, right-hand corner.

Let’s go over the settings this plugin offers.

Configuring the Plugin’s Settings

Aside from the Main Configuration section, this plugin has three different sets of settings for you to configure:

  • Language Button Appearance
  • Language Button Position
  • Translation Exclusion

Let’s start with the first section.

Language Button Appearance

You seen what the default language button looks like in the screenshot from earlier, right? Here’s what it looks like when you don’t open the menu inside, for reference:

Let’s go over the settings you can change to customize the appearance of this button. You can change the style of the menu from drop-down to inline, for starters. You can also omit the flags, if you wish, and change the appearance or shapes of them.

You can also control the way each language is represented. For instance, you can showcase full names of languages rather than their abbreviations or omit names altogether and simply keep the flags. You can also choose which countries represent which languages, such as choosing the Mexican flag over the Spanish one for the Spanish language.

Lastly, you can add your own custom styles using the provided class selectors in the Override CSS box.

Let’s move on.

Language Button Position

Aside from the button that appears in the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen, which uses a sticky style when the user scrolls, Weglot allows you to place the language button in the following locations:

  • Navigation Menu
  • Widget Areas
  • Text Editors with a Shortcode
  • Source Code

All you need to is select the navigation menu setting to place this button in your navigation menu, which makes it replace the original button.

The Weglot Translate widget allows you to use the button elegantly in widget areas, such as your sidebar:

The shortcode is elegant as well. This can be useful when you only want posts and pages translated and not necessarily entire web pages.

Let’s go over the last set of settings.

Translation Exclusion

When you use Weglot to translate your entire site automatically, you may discover it translates a few items you didn’t intend to be translated, such as your brand name or slogan. You can use the Translation Exclusion section to prevent entire pages or certain parts of pages from being translated by inserting their URLs or CSS selectors.

You’ll see a button labelled “Edit My Translations” at the bottom of the settings page.

Clicking this leads you to the Weglot dashboard, which brings us to the next section.

Managing Translations with the Weglot Dashboard

Since Weglot doesn’t actually create new pages you can edit inside of WordPress, you’ll use the dashboard to keep track of translated content and edit content that needs a bit of work manually.

The Home screen of the dashboard gives you an overview of translated content. Specifically, it tells you the following:

  • Information about your plan.
  • The number of words Weglot has translated for you.
  • The number of manual translations that have been conducted on your site.
  • How many languages your site has been translated into.
  • Statistics in the form of a graph that tell you how many pageviews your translated content has received.

Let’s talk about a few of these sections.

Translations List

The Translations List contains every bit of text that’s been translated on your site. Many items feature one word or a phrase while pages and blog posts are typically broken down into paragraphs. Given the actions you can take with each item, this can make it easy for you to determine which content needs to be translated manually by a professional and which content translated just fine.

Here are the actions you can take with each item in this list:

  • Edit – Improve or replace the provided translations. The changes will be automatically saved and displayed on your website.
  • Mark as Reviewed – Archive the item if it’s translation is complete.
  • Add to Professional Order – Send the item to your cart, where you can order professional translations with the click of a button.
  • Delete – Delete the item from the Translations List. This does not delete the translation from your site. You’ll need to exclude it from translations if you want to do that. More on that in a bit.
Visual Editor

The Visual Editor is what you’ll use to make manual translations. It’s simple to use. All you need to do is open the Visual Editor, which uses a frontend UI, use it to navigate to the page you want to edit, and click individual sentences to edit.

Translation Tools

Weglot currently has two translation tools you can use to create exclusions in translations. You can also use it to force translations, if you wish. Let’s take a look at the first tool. You can use it to add rules to “Never Translate” certain phrases or to “Always Translate” certain phrases.

If you’ve already translated your site and found a few phrases that were translated incorrectly, you can use the Search and Replace tool to correct all instances of the phrase in one go.

Professional Translations

When you add items from the Translations List to a professional order, you can head on over to the Professional Translations section where a basic summary of your order will be present. There will also be a shopping cart icon you can click on to open the shopping cart. You’ll see a complete list of the items you’ve selected here, but most importantly, you’ll see the total cost for the translations you selected.

Please note that access to professional translators is only available for premium users.

Statistics

The Statistics section features simple analytical data for translated content. It’ll tell you the number of pageviews you’ve received over time as well as which translated pages are most popular on your site. This data is also useful in letting you know which plan you’ll need since each one allows a different number of pageviews.

Pricing

Please note: this screenshot was taken in March 2018 and may not reflect current pricing.

Weglot offers one free plan and five premium plans, as you can see in the image above. Premium plans can be paid for on a month-to-month basis or annually, the latter of which comes with two months free of charge.

There are three major differences between these plans:

  1. The number of words you’re able to translate.
  2. The number of languages you’re allowed to translate your site into.
  3. How many pageviews you’re allowed for translated content.

The free plan limits the amount of words you’re able to translate to 2,000, which is fine for small sites, but if you’re looking to expand your business, along with your blog, into new markets, you’re likely going to need a heftier plan. That’s why it’s a good idea to install the plugin, take advantage of the 10-day free trial Weglot offers, and go through the Translations List. You’ll be able to see how many words the plugin has translated for you, which will, in turn, let you know which plan you’ll need to go with.

As for the pageviews, only visits to your translated content are counted, so you likely won’t run into any issues with limits.

Plans & Support

Here’s a quick round-up of Weglot’s premium plans and monthly pricing:

  • Starter – €9.90/Month
  • Business – €19.00/Month
  • Pro – €49.00/Month
  • Enterprise – €199.00/Month
  • Corporate – €799.00/Month

You’ll gain access to professional translations and the ability to redirect international visitors automatically with the Starter and Business plans. The latter plans include the ability to use your account with multiple domains, the ability to invite an unlimited number of team members as well as the privilege of keeping the statistics once your trial period ends.

Weglot offers three levels of support:

  • Basic
  • Premium
  • Dedicated

Basic support gives you access to email support. The Starter, Business and Pro plans bump that email support to a priority level and throws live chat into the mix. Enterprise and Corporate customers have access to dedicated account managers.

Final Thoughts

Weglot is quickly becoming one of the best multilingual plugins available for WordPress, even giving powerhouses WPML and Polylang, both of which only offer manual translations, a run for their money. Setting up the plugin is a breeze, and you won’t have any trouble configuring its appearance or position.

The automatic translations aren’t always accurate, but they provide a great starting base. Plus, having the ability to use the Translations List and/or the Visual Editor to make edits manually or hiring a professional translator with a few simple clicks is a great compromise.

You may be disappointed to learn your language or a certain version of your language isn’t supported. You can always contact support and request a new language if this is the case.

All of these, however, are minor complaints that do not take away from the sheer amount of value this application brings to the table. It provides one of the simplest ways to translate your entire site without having to face too many roadblocks.

You can try Weglot now for free when you download the plugin from WordPress and connect your account.

Visit Weglot

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Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has grown to be the most popular and user-friendly Content Management System(CMS) in the world. The official plugin directory was created to meet the needs of having a common set of tools and a common working area for all the WordPress plugin and theme developers.

Its plugin repository, loaded with thousands of plugins is one of the primary reasons why WordPress has emerged as an amazing platform to work with. All of the plugins in WordPress repository is free to use and distribute.

This is what WordPress has to say about their plugin repository – “The goal of the WordPress Plugin Directory is to provide a safe place for all WordPress users – from the non-technical to the developer – to download plugins that are consistent with the goals of the WordPress project.

In this article we will describe how you can submit your plugins and theme’s to the official directories along with the benefits that it offers.

Why Submit your plugin to the repository?

Now if you are wandering why you might need to host your plugin at the WP Directory, here are a few reasons to do so –

  • Maintain Statistics – By uploading your plugin, you can keep track of how many times your plugin has been downloaded and when.
  • Builds Credibility Having your plugin at the official repository builds your credibility as a developer. Also, WordPress users tends to  have more trust on plugins that are a part of the repository.
  • Feedback and Reviews – The WP Repository provides a centralized location where users who have downloaded and used your plugin, can rate your plugin, provide feedbacks, comments, bug reports and suggestions on improving your plugin.
  • Exposure –When you submit your plugin to the repository, you are making it available to the entire WordPress community. This gives your plugin a good exposure, which in turn may lead to client acquisition and even PayPal donations.
  • Easily Upgradable –With SVN, releasing plugin upgrades and notification to users is all very easy to do.

Along with the above mentioned, developers also enjoy the benefits of hosting their plugin for free, managing their code using SVN Client, track bugs and provide extensive documentation.

How to Submit a WordPress Plugin

Before adding your plugin, please check the official guidelines to follow before starting the submission process as follows:

  • The plugin must comply with the GPL, GPL2 or a GPL-Compatible license.
  • The developers have to take sole responsibility of the contents and actions of their plugins
  • A stable version of the plugin must be hosted in the repository
  • No trialware is permitted and all functionalities must be made available without any payment or upgrade.
  • Plugins should not track user’s activity without their prior consent
Create an Account

Needless to say, if you want to submit a plugin, first you need to register yourself at WordPress.org and create an account. This is  fairly simple to do.

Go to wordpress.org, then click on the plugins tab and then on register at the top right corner. Fill in the details and click on Create Account

Have your plugin ready along with its ReadMe.txt file

Aside from having your plugin built and ready for installation, you are also required to create a Readme.txt file which will contain detailed description about your plugin.

WordPress has a pre-defined standard for ReadMe.txt and we recommend sticking to it. Typically, the ReadMe.txt file should contain the following –

=== Plugin Name ===
Contributors: (this should be a list of wordpress.org userid's)
Donate link: http://example.com/
Tags: comments, spam
Requires at least: 3.0.1
Tested up to: 3.4
Requires PHP: 5.2.4
Stable tag: 4.3
License: GPLv2 or later
License URI: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html

Here is a short description of the plugin. This should be no more than 150 characters. No markup here.

Once you have completed the ReadMe.txt file, run it through the official validator  to get it approved.

Submitting Your Plugin

Now it’s time to submit your plugin for manual review. Login to your WordPress account and click on Plugins tab. Head over to WordPress Developer Center -> Add Your Plugin. You will be presented with the following page

Add a unique plugin name for your plugin and make sure it’s final since you can’t change the name once you are granted access to the repository.

Give an overall description for your plugin. You can skip much of the details here since everything is already included in the ReadMe.txt file

In the Plugin URL section, specify the location of where your plugin is uploaded. You may upload you compressed plugin file to your website. In case you don’t have a website, there are several other third party websites like Dropbox.com, mediafire.com or Google Drive where you can upload your plugin and then paste the link here.

Once you are done filling up the information, click on Send Post and then wait for the approval. The waiting period may be of several hours so just be patient.

If everything looks good, your plugin will be approved. Eventuallyyou will receive an email with all the credentials you need to access the subversion repository.

Setting up the Subversion repository

Subversion, basically is an open-source software that acts like a version control tool and keeps track of all the changes made to the plugin, along with listing all of the previous versions of your plugin.

The subversion repository is where you will upload and store your plugin. The WordPress system will use the files stored in the subversion repository to generate the web-page for your plugin. You can either use the command line or other GUI subversion clients such as SVN Tortoise.

For this tutorial we will be using the TortoiseSVN. So go ahead,Download and install the software. Installation is pretty simple, similar to the installation of other Windows Applications.

Once the installation is complete, follow the below mentioned steps-

Head over to the directory on your PC where you want your SVN repository to live in.

Right Click on the directory and click on SVN Checkout, which should present you with the following menu

In the “URL of Repository” field, enter the URL that you had received from the WordPress team on your plugin approval email.

In the “Checkout Directory”, enter the location of your local directory. This is where all your downloaded plugin files will be stored locally.

For the rest of the options, you may keep it the way it is.

Finally, click on the OK button.

All the files and the directories that exists in the WordPress SVN repository will now be downloaded to your computer in the specified directory.

Once the operation is completed, you will notice a few new directories are being created inside your local directory with the same name as in the SVN directory.

About the Directory Structure
  • Screenshots, icons and headers go into the /assets/ directory
  • The/trunk/ is the working directory, where you do all your main development. All the main files are placed inside this directory
  • Any Major Updates to your plugin are stored in the /branches/
  • The revisions of your plugin are stored in the /tags/ This is where the backups for each version of your plugin are stored.

To summarize, place all your main files in the /trunk/ directory and for the future versions of your plugin, store the major updates in the /branches/ directory and minor updates in the /tags/ directory.

The primary use of subversion is that, any changes made to your local files are automatically copied to the SVN repository on the WordPress server.

Committing Changes

Now that we are done with setting up the repository, we can now work on uploading our plugin to the repository.

First we need to add all our files to the source control. To do that, open the trunk folder select all the plugin files and folders including your readme.txt file. Then Right click and select Add

This will instruct subversion to track all these files.

Again right click and click on SVN Commit

You will now be presented with the following screenshot

In the top box, you can specify a simple message indicating the version of your plugin.

Below, you will see a list of files. Select those files that you want to be tracked in the repository.

Note: if you find a file thumbs.db, you can unselect it since it is a windows file and has nothing to do with the plugin.

Click on

Next you will be prompted with a login page. Enter your WordPress username and password and click on

The files should now upload to the SVN repository from your computer. An update log will appear on your screen, showing the uploaded files and a bold Completed message once it’s done.

Finally click on OK and your plugin is now publically available from the WordPress Plugins directory.

Adding Revision to tags directory

We have to tag our plugin to have it actually published. The steps are –

Navigate inside your trunk directory in your local computer. Right click on blank space and select TortoiseSVN -> Branch/tag

Next, in the “To path” field, edit the location from /trunk/ to /tags/<version-number>. Most subversion clients by default sets this field with the trunk So make sure to change it as mentioned above.

Check “Specific revision in repository”, located in the middle section of the window.

Click OK

Enter your WordPress username and password in the following login page and click on

You will now be presented with a window indicating that the task is complete. Click OK

Finally go to the tags directory, right-click and choose SVN Update. This will download all the revision to your computer from the SVN repository.

That all there is to uploading your plugin and making it available in the plugin repository.

How to Submit a WordPress Theme

The WordPress theme directory is where the WP themes live. It is the perfect place to find safe and elegant themes for your WP website. These themes are submitted by developers around the globe. However, enlisting your theme in their repository is no piece of cake, as there are several conditions and requirement to it, aside from a long waiting period.

Here we will discuss about how to upload a theme to WordPress.org theme repository along with the various criteria needed to get your theme approved by the WordPress Community.

WordPress Themes Guidelines

WordPress is quite strict when it comes to uploading themes or plugins. They have a pre-defined set of guidelines that one has to follow during the development process, deviating from which may lead to rejection of your theme. WordPress makes sure that only high-quality and secure themes becomes a part of their repository.

It is highly advised to go through their official Theme Requirements page before you start your development process.

Some of the coding guidelines that you need to meet are –

  • It should be free of any PHP or JavaScript errors.
  • All input data should be validated and sanitized prior to entering into the database along with proper escaping of output data, since it is critical to developing a secure and safe theme
  • It should have a valid DOCTYPE declaration and include language_attributes
  • All PHP functions and classes are required to be prefixed.
  • Non-presentational hooks should not be removed or modified
  • JavaScript and CSS should not be included in headers and should be linked as an external file.
  • Provision for an extensive and offline documentation

Apart from the above mentioned coding rules, there are several other guidelines that a developer needs to follow –

  • The theme must be GPL, GPL2 or GPL-compatible licensed
  • All theme text strings are to be translatable
  • The words – WordPress, Theme should not be used as part of the theme’s name
  • WordPress should be spelt in that exact way, with an upper case W and P, in any public facing text
  • Themes cannot include plugins and can recommend only those plugins which are available in the WP plugin repository

These list of theme guidelines goes on with several other requirements.

Setting Up Your Development Environment

After you have familiarized yourself with the various guidelines, it’s time to develop and test your theme. To run and test your theme, you need to setup a WordPress development environment on your local machine, which in a nutshell is a collection of tools to safely test your project before they go live. The steps are mentioned below –

Download a web server application

Since WordPress is PHP based, you will need a webserver software locally installed on your system. Download and install a local server stack such as XAMPP, WAMP or MAMP on your local computer.

In addition, you will also require a text editor to write your code. You can choose any text editor you want like SublimeText, Notepad, etc.

Enable Debugging

Before you start coding, it is important to enable WordPress’s debugging function. This function enables WordPress to display any errors generated by your code.

Open your WordPress installation’s wp-config.php file.

Change define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false );
To define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true );
 Import Theme Unit Test data

Next you need to import the Theme Unit Test Data, which will fill your local WordPress installation with dummy test data, giving a real feel of how your theme will look and perform with different content and layouts.

Installing Plugins

Additionally, you can install the following plugins to further enhance your development environment

  • Debug barthis add an admin bar, providing a central debugging location
  • Query Monitorfor debugging your database queries
  • Developerto optimize the environment and ensuring code quality
  • Theme CheckThis plugin checks if your theme is in compliance with the latest WordPress standards and practices.
Check your Theme

By this time, you are almost ready with your theme. But before publishing your theme, you need to do the following –

  • Check your theme’s compatibility with different browsers. Also install the theme across various devices and screen sizes to check its layout.
  • Use the Theme Check Plugin to review your theme’s code
  • Double check your HTML,CSS and JavaScript to make sure it does not throw any errors.
  • Go through the guidelines and recommendations once again, for the last time

If everything is fine, you can go ahead with uploading your theme.

Uploading your theme
  • To upload your theme, login to your WordPress account
  • Navigate to https://wordpress.org/themes/upload/and then upload your theme’s .zip archive
  • During the uploading process, your theme may run against a series of pre-set checks to test your theme. Be Patient!
Theme Review

Once your theme has been submitted, it will be reviewed by a group of WordPress volunteers, whose sole responsibility is to review the submitted themes and approve or disapprove it. This approval process may take months to complete and so being patient about it is perhaps the only thing you can do.

During the review process, you may receive an email if there are any issues with your theme. Fix the issues and resubmit the theme.

When all the issues are resolved and your theme has met all the requirement, it will be approved by the reviewer.

Theme Approval

If you are expecting your theme to go live after approval, then sadly you are mistaken. After your theme has passed the initial review, next it is appended to another queue, where it will be thoroughly reviewed by an admin team member or a key reviewer.

This process again is time consuming and you might need to wait for another month or so, depending on where your theme is placed in the admin review queue.

You can also check the current theme approval queue using this link

https://themes.trac.wordpress.org.

Only when all the issues generated at this phase are resolved, your theme will get the final approval and ultimately go live. You will also receive an email from the WordPress team indicating the same.

Conclusion

If you are a developer, then consider making this effort to publish your plugins or themes in the WordPress repository. Not only will you be making a big contribution to the online community, you will also be building your own credibility as a proficient developer.

And even though, the entire process may extend up to several months, it’s worth spending that time to get your theme published.

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The robots.txt file has a very significant role to play in the overall SEO of your website. This file resides on your server and tells the search engines which part of the site should be indexed and crawled by search engines. Basically, it contains a set of rules to communicate with the search engines and direct them which part of your site needs to be indexed.

Although most websites have the robots.txt file, not all webmasters are aware of how important this file is and how it can affect the performance of their website.

In today’s tutorial, we will tell you what exactly the robots.txt file is and everything else that you need to know about this file.

What is the WordPress Robots.txt File?

Every website on the internet is visited by a certain type of robot which is a kind of bot.

If you do not know what a bot is, search engines like Google and Bing are the perfect example for you to understand it.

So when these bots crawl around the internet, they help search engines to index and rank billions of websites that exist on the internet.

So these bots actually help your website to be discovered by search engines. However, it does not mean that you want all your pages to be found.

You would especially want your dashboard and the admin area to remain hidden because that is the private area from where you control the front end of your website. Sometimes you may want the entire site to stay hidden from search engines for the very reason that it is still in the development mode and is just not ready to go live.

Robots.txt Commands, image from The Web Robots Page

This is where the robots.txt file comes in. This file helps you to have control over how the bots interact with your site. So using this file you can either restrict or entirely block its access to a specific area of your site.

Does Your Site Need This File?

Although search engines won’t stop crawling, in the absence of this file, it is always recommended to have it.

Search Engines will come to this file if you want to submit your XML sitemaps to search engines like Google. You can obviously control it by particularly specifying it to the Google Web Master Tools.

Creating the robot.txt file has two major benefits for your website. Firstly, it helps search engines figure out which pages you want it to crawl and the ones to be ignored. By doing that you make sure that the search engines are focused on the pages that you want it to show your audience.

Secondly, it helps you optimize the research usage by blocking the bots that are unnecessarily wasting your server resources.

If your site is powered by WordPress, you generally do not have to make the extra effort to create the robots.txt file for your site. A virtual robots.txt is automatically created on your WordPress site. But it is still better to have a physical robots.txt file.

Is Robots.txt File A Foolproof Way To control Which Page Is To Be Indexed?

Well, as I have already mentioned, search engines won’t stop crawling your pages in the absence of this file. Creating this file is not a foolproof way of controlling which page you want the search engines to index.

If you want to particularly stop search engines to crawl a certain page, you can use the meta noindex tag to entirely block them.

By using the robots.txt file, you are not telling search engines not to index them. It only prompts them not to crawl those pages. Although Google doesn’t crawl these areas of your site, it might still do so, if some other site links to this part of your site.

Where Is the Robots.txt File Located On Your WordPress site?

You can view this file by connecting to your site by using an FTP client. You can also do it by using the cPanel file manager. This file is generally located in your site’s root folder.

You can open this file by using any plain text editor like the Notepad. This is an ordinary file and needs no special editor to be opened.

You don’t need to worry about this file’s existence on your site. WordPress automatically creates a robot.txt file by default for your website.

If you still doubt it, there is a way that will show you that this file exists on your site. Just add “/robots.txt” to the end of your domain name. It will show you the robots.txt file of your website.

In our case, “www.alienwp.com/robots.txt” shows the robots.txt file that we use here.

You cannot alter the existing file that you will have on your site. But if you want to manipulate it, you will have to create a physical one on your server. The existing one is a virtual one that doesn’t accept any alteration.

How To Create A Robots.txt File?

If in case your site doesn’t have the robots.txt file, it is not very difficult to create one. You can easily do it from your admin panel via the Yoast plugin. Yoast is one of the most amazing SEO plugins that every WordPress site should use. If you are still not using this plugin, go install it now to enhance your SEO.

Once Yoast is installed, you will first have to enable the Yoast advanced features. You can do that by going to SEO>Dashboard>Features>Advanced Settings.

Now go to SEO>Tools>>File Editor.

Here Yoast will assume that you do not have a physical Robots.txt file and considering that, it will give you an option to create one.

Click on the create Robots.txt file option.Once you do that, you will be able to edit the content of this file from the same interface.

How To Create Robots.txt File Without A SEO Plugin?

The above process was a way to create this file using an SEO plugin. But you can create it even if you do not use such a plugin. This can be done via SFTP. Doing this is very easy.

For this, you will first have to create an empty file. Name it as Robots.txt and save it.

In the next step, you will have to connect to your site via SFTP. Kinsta has a guide to how to connect to SFTP. Once you are connected, you will have to upload the file to the root folder of your website. If you want to make any modification to this file, you can do it by editing it via SFTP and uploading the new version of it.

How To Use The Robots.txt File To Block Access To A Specific Page?

You can block a specific file or folder of your website, by using the robots.txt file. Suppose you want to block Google from crawling the entire wp-admin folder and the wp-login.php. The following command will help you do that on your site.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Allow: /wp-login.php

What to Put In Your Robot.txt File?

When you are creating a robots.txt file for your website, you generally do it with two major commands.

  • User-agent – By using the user-agent you can target a specific bot or search engine in simpler words. So your user-agent is different for different search engines. So the user-agent for Google will not be same for Bing.
  • Disallow – With this command, you tell search engines not to access certain areas of your website. So search engines do not reach the areas for which this command is used.

Sometimes you might also see the Allow command being used. This is generally used in niche situations. Even if you do not use this command most part of your site comes under this command. This is set by default on your WordPress site.

The above rules are just the basic ones. There are more rules that you need to know about. Here are a few of them.

  • Allow – This command explicitly allows search engines to crawl through an entity on your server
  • Sitemap – This command tells crawlers where the sitemaps of your site reside
  • Host – The host defines your preferred domain for a site that has multiple mirrors
  • Crawl-delay – By using this command you can set the time interval search engines should wait between requests to your server
How To Create Different Rules For Different Bots?

The robots.txt file has its own syntax to define rules which are commonly known as the directives. As we have already mentioned before, different bots have different user-agent command. So what if you want to set your Robots.txt file for different bots?

Well, in that case, you will have to add a set of rules under the user-agent declaration for each bot.

In the following command, we will show you how to make one rule for all bots and another specifically for Bing.

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

By adding the above command you will be able to block all bots from accessing the wp-admin area of your website. The search engine Bing will, however, be blocked from accessing the entire website.

Things To Avoid While Creating Your Robots.txt File

there are certain things that you should avoid doing while creating your Robots.txt file. The first and the most important error committed by many inexperienced web owners is to provide space at the beginning of the command.

The second thing you need to keep in mind is that you cannot and should not change the rules of the commands. The third thing that many people ignore paying attention is the proper use of upper and lower case while writing the command.

Make sure you double check the case of your commands. You cannot write user-Agent or user-agent where it should actually be User-agent. I hope you have figured out the difference in the three terms.

Adding your XML sitemaps To Robots.txt file

If your site is already using an SEO plugin like Yoast, then it will automatically add the commands related to your site’s XML sitemaps to the robots.txt file.

But if your plugin fails to add these commands, you will have to do it manually by yourself. Your plugin will show you the link to your XML Sitemaps. You will have to add it to the robots.txt file yourself.

How To Know That Your Robots.txt File Is Not Affecting Your Content?

Sometimes you may want to check if your content is being affected by your robots.txt file. To check and ensure that no content is affected, you can use the Webmaster Tool called ‘Fetch As Bot Tool’. This tool will allow you to see if your robots.txt file is accessing your content.

For this, you will first have to log in to the Google Webmaster tool. Now go to Diagnostic and Fetch as Google Bot. There you can put your site content and see if you have trouble accessing it.

Final Words

As already mentioned, most WordPress sites have the robots.txt by default. But using the robots.txt file you can have control of the way a specific bot or search engine interacts with a specific part of your website.

It is important you know that the disallow command is not the same as the noindex tag. Search engines might be blocked by using the robots.txt but it cannot stop them from indexing your site. You can manipulate the way search engines interact with your site by adding specific rules.

But it is good that you know which part of your site should be crawled and which part should be denied access. Because Google generally looks at your website as a whole. So if you use these files to block an important part that Google needs to know about, you might just land on some major problems.

For example, if unknowingly you use the robots.txt file to block you styling component. In such a case, Google will consider your site to be of lower quality and might even penalize you.

Mostly the content that you want to put in your robots.txt file depends on your website. These might be your affiliate links, your dashboard area or any other particular area that you think should not be accessed by the bots. You can also do it for your plugins and themes.

We hope this guide was helpful to you. Feel free to leave us a comment below in case you have any further queries. We would love to get back to you.

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Backing up your data is vital. It’s one of the crucial maintenance activities that has to performed on a regular basis. Keeping a backup ensures that if anything goes wrong with your site, you can still restore it using the available backup. This article focuses on how to create a backup of your WordPress database manually without the use of any third party plugins or services.

The Importance of Maintaining a Backup

WordPress has become an essential part of the web world. It’s ease of operation and simplicity has attracted the attention of people from different professions. However, it’s simplicity and ease of use sometimes creates an illusion that nothing can go wrong with a WordPress site. But the fact is, WordPress is vulnerable and if not handled properly it can lead to unexpected results.

And one of the biggest mistakes that website owners make is not maintaining a regular backup of the site. Most people tend to believe that since nothing has gone wrong so far, nothing will go wrong in the future. But unfortunately this is not true.

It only takes one unlucky circumstance for you to completely lose your WordPress site and start all over again from scratch. Fortunately, this can be prevented. And the most obvious solution is to maintain a regular backup of your site. Just like the way we maintain a backup of the important files on our PC or laptop, we should have a foolproof backup strategy lined up for our site too.

Backing up your site is mandatory. People who have been using WordPress for a long time is well aware of the importance of maintaining a backup. However, for the less experienced web owners, they fail to understand the necessity of maintaining a regular backup of the contents on their site.

It is not uncommon for website owners to not take backups seriously until something goes wrong. It is a hard lesson that they never forget. But if you are smart, you will get into the habit of backing up your website from the beginning.

Let’s put some light on the importance of creating a backup…

Server Failures

A server is a machine just like our computers and it can crash just like our computers do. Failure of our computer’s hard disk may not affect thousands of people. But if a web server crashes, it may create drastic situations. Server failures may occur due to various reasons like power loss, hardware malfunction, hacking attacks like DOS and so on. But if we have a backup, a server crash may not pose that much of a serious threat to a site. Whatever data has been lost, can be recovered back from the stored backup.

Protection against hacking

If you are running a website, you are always a target for the hackers. And WordPress, being the most popular CMS platform in the world, has made itself prone to being a target for the hackers and spammers. Now you may argue that your site is safe because you have installed tons of security plugins. But trust me, your site is never 100% safe from hackers. Even a single security loophole on your site can make it vulnerable to hacking attacks.

So the best precaution that you can adopt is to create a regular backup. That way even if some hacker ruins your site along with your database contents, you can always restore it back from the available backup.

Software Issues

This is another issue that is being overlooked. Software issues can became a major threat to a website. Sometimes even a simple faulty code snippet can have devastating effects on your site. For instance, there is a possibility that something might go wrong with the new plugin installation, which may create hindrance in the website’s data. If you already have the latest backup of the content, then you can tackle such issues.

Data Center Issues

No hosting company in the world can offer 100% uptime and reliably. Even the best WordPress hosting companies have had severe problems with their datacenters. The data center might lose network connectivity due to major fiber cuts. Such issues can cause your website to be unavailable for elongated periods of time. This will surely effect your website’s traffic and make your visitors move away to some other site.

Human Error

Human errors are inevitable and even the most experienced web personnel’s can make mistakes from time to time. This could result in implementing wrong changes to your site or even deleting your key files.

A small slip up from your side, say an accidental file deletion, can set you back by weeks or months, and sometimes, can even throw away all that you’ve worked so hard for.

Mistakes are not something that happens every day, but when they do happen, you will be glad of any recent backups you have

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are unavoidable. A fire break, flood may completely damage your servers and other hardware peripherals. But if you have a recent backup of your files stored on some other location then you can gladly say that your site escaped even a natural disaster.

Your hosting may or may not provide regular backups for your site. Even if they do, here’s why you shouldn’t rely on them –

  1. Hosting company backups aren’t specifically designed for WordPress. This means they may not actually help when you need them.
  2. The backups may not be regularly scheduled, and they may not be often enough to be useful in case of a disaster.
  3. You may not be able to restore a single site from hosting company backups without restoring all sites in your account.
  4. You won’t be notified if the backups fail, so you’ll never know if they’ll actually be there if/when you need them.
  5. You’ll be at the mercy of your hosting company if you ever need to restore from backup. They probably won’t be as responsive as you think they should be.
Creating Backups

So by now, you must be well aware of the importance of why you should always keep a backup. Butbefore we get started with the manual backup process, it is important to understand the basics of a WordPress database.

WordPress is a simple database driven PHP web application. Therefore, for a complete WordPress backup you need to –

  • Backup the WordPress blog and website files which contain the WordPress web application files, WordPress theme files, plugins files and your uploaded content. Typically, all these files arefound in the root of your website.
  • Backup the WordPress MySQL database where the content, user information, passwords and privileges, website settings, theme settings, WordPress plugins settings and other similar data is stored. If you are not sure what is your WordPress database name, you can find it in the wp-config.php file, in the root of your WordPress
  • Root Configuration Files

Several root folder files must be backed up

  1. Wp-config.php, which contains the settings including database connection strings(more details below).
  2. .htaccess –the server configuration file
  3. Webmaster tool identification file such as googleCODE.html, BingSiteAuth.html
  4. Other files you have added
What is the WordPress wp-config.php File?

The WordPress wp-config.php file includes the database connection details and other configurable parameters, such as the WordPress security keys, debug options and more. As such you can live without backing up this file because you can always retrieve the database connection details from other sources, but it is easier and safer to back it up

A standard WordPress database contains 11 tables, all of which are listed below:

  • wp_commentmeta
  • wp_comments
  • wp_links
  • wp_options
  • wp_postmeta
  • wp_posts
  • wp_terms
  • wp_term_relationships
  • wp_term_taxonomy
  • wp_usermeta
  • wp__users
Why Create Database Backup Manually?

In case of a hacking attempt or after getting hacked, you are thrown out of your own admin area. In these situations, since you cannot access the admin area, it would be very difficult to use a plugin for backup. This is where knowing how to create a backup manually comes handy. It is same as creating a backup using plugin with the only difference that the process is not automated and requires a human intervention.

Here, we will discuss different ways of how we can create a database backup manually.

Backing Up WordPress database manually using phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is an open source software that provides a web based graphical user interface to manage your MySQL database. Most WordPress hosting providers have phpMyAdmin installed in their control panel. This allows users to easily access the database and perform common database management tasks.

First of all, you need to login to your web hosting control panel(also known as cPanel). Upon login, scroll down a bit and click on the phpMyAdmin, which would be under the Database section.

This will launch the phpMyAdmin window. From the left sidebar, make sure that your WordPress database is selected inside the phpMyAdmin. If it is not, then click on your WordPress database name in order to select it.

Also when you click on the database name, you will be able to see the list of tables, the database contains.Tap on the “Export link” from the top menu bar to export/backup the database to a file.


Next, you will be presented with two options for exporting the database – Quick and Custom

Select the Custom option as it gives you more control about what to export and what not. Clicking on Custom will reveal some more options. First of all, it will show a list of all the tables in your WordPress database.

Sometimes WordPress plugins add their own tables to your database. If there are any tables that you would like to exclude from export, then you can deselect them. If you are unsure, then it is better to keep them all selected

Scroll down to the output section and select the “Save output to file” Select utf-8 for “Character set of file”. For compression, you can select the zipped or gzipped option.

Now scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Go. You will now be presented an option to download the file and based on your selection, you will have a zip or gzip

That’s all you need to do to make a database backup for your WordPress site using phpMyAdmin.

Creating a Manual database backup using cPanel

This is another method for creating a database backup using cPanel. The steps are

Login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel). And under the Filessection, click on the “Backup Wizard”.

On the backup wizard page, click on the backup button

The backup button provides two backups, the full backup and partial backup.

Full backup is used when you are shifting to a different webhost and cannot be used to restore within the same host.

The partial backup is used to restore when your site gets down or is infected by malware and you still are continuing within your webhost.

There are three types of items that need to be backed up under each of the above two.

The home directory: it contains your themes, plugins and site’s content.

The MySQL database: it contains your sites set up that helps your site to store the posts and comments etc.

The email forwarders and filters.

Download all the three and save them on your PC or external hard drive.

Note: you cannot download all the three at a time, you need to download one, go back and download the other one. Rinse and repeat

That’s all there is to creating a backup using cPanel. Store the WordPress database file in a secure place, ideally on a different media.

Note: From this page, you can also generate a full website backup and then download it once the process is completed

Creating WordPress database backup using MySQL command line

If you host your own web server and have access to it via SSH or other protocol, you can make a database backup using a standard MySQL tool called mysqldump. As the name implies, themysqldumptool dumps a MySQL database into a text file which can later be used to restore the WordPress database.

Use the MySQL root user to connect to the MySQL server, select the WordPress database that you want to create a backup for(here wpdatabase) and export it to a text file called wpdb_backup.sql.

Mysqldump –u root –p toor wpdatabase > wpdb_backup.sql

Here –u is used to specify the username that will be used to connect with the database. In the code above, we are using the user “root”.

-p is used to specify the password of the account you are using to connect to the MySQL database server.In our case, the password is “toor”.

Wpdatabase is the name of the database that we want to create a backup for.

Wpdb_backup.sql is the name of the file where the database dump will be stored. If the file does not exist it will be automatically generated by the tool. Once the database is dumped into this file, download it to your computer and store it in a secure location, ideally on a separate media.

Scheduling Automatic Backups using cPanel

Maintaining ascheduled backup of your WordPress MySQL database is the most important thing to do when running your own WordPress website, it is required to restore your blog, it needs to urgently migrate to another host or restore your database from a crashed server.

Login to your cPanel and look for the Cron Job icon

Select the time and frequency to run backup command

Under the command field, copy and paste the following command

mysqldump –opt -Q -u dbusername –password=dbpassword dbname | gzip > /path-to-store-the-backup-file/db_backup.sql.gz

Replace dbusername with the database user

Replace dbpassword with the database user password. In some server, you might need to put a pair of single quote ‘dbpassword’ around the dbpassword for it to work.

Replace dbname with the database that you are backing up

Replace the path-to-store-the-backup-file to the file path in your server where you want to save the backup

Test the cron job to check if it works or not

Restoring your MySQL database from a backup

If you want to restore your WordPress database from a backup, it can be easily done using phpMyAdmin. The steps are listed below –

Log in to your cPanel and click the phpMyAdminicon in the Databases section.

Select the database where you would like to import your backup. This can be done from the menu in the left sidebar.

A new page will be loaded showing the structure of the selected database. To import data inside the database, click the Import tab


On the new page that opens, click the Browse button and select the backup that you want to import from your local computer. You have the option to pick the character set of the file from the drop down-menu just below the upload box. If you are not certain about the character set your database is using just leave the default one. Once ready, click the Go button to perform the import

The import will start and once finished you will be redirected to a page with a confirmation notification that the import was successful.

How many backups should you maintain

Well, when it comes to storing your WordPress backups, you generally want to always have these two things readily available:

  1. The most recent backup
  2. The most recent backup from before the problem that caused you to need a backup

Although these are often the same, sometimes things happen (sites get hacked, plugins conspire to cross wires, your web host changes some settings on you) and you don’t know about it for a week or two, and by then your most recent backup also contains The Problem.

So if you back up your WordPress site weekly, and you save a month or two of backups, you’re fine

Also, schedule your backups with a frequency that makes sense for your site. If you’re posting every day, you probably want daily or weekly database backups.

Something to Remember
  • ALWAYS run a backup! You should backup your site database whenever you change its design & content to avoid losing all files and data when the nasty happens.
  • Don’t store all your backups in one single location. Don’t just back up on the server level. In fact, WordPress recommends keeping three different backup copies — all in different mediums (so CD, hard drive, desktop, cloud, etc)
  • Besides manual backups there are also various plugins that can do the task for you. They are easy to use and requires minimal user interaction.
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