Yes – I know it’s confusing because they’re both called WordPress! But here’s why you want self-hosted WordPress (wordpress.org):
It gives you more flexibility to customize and tweak your site to really make it your own. You’ll be able to install your own “themes” and “plugins” to add whatever functionality you want (more on this later!)
You have 100% ownership of your site, whereas wordpress.com has all sorts of rules and limitations you have to follow.
You have full control to monetize your site however you want, which is really important if you plan to make your lifestyle blog a business (or even just a side hustle)
Self-hosted WordPress is what powersover 33.3% of all the websites on the Internet, so you’re in good company when you use it to start a lifestyle blog.
You will need your own “web hosting” to use self-hosted WordPress, but it’s super easy and non-technical. I’ll show you exactly how to get set up in a few sections.
Step 1: Pick A Lifestyle Niche That You Can Stick With
No matter what you blog about, building a successful blog takes time. You can’t expect just to start writing posts and instantly have readers, income, or whatever else you’re aiming for.
For that reason, you need to pick a lifestyle niche that you’re truly passionate about so that you can stick with it for the long-term.
I can’t tell you what this is because it’s unique to you. But just try to ask yourself this question:
“Will I still want to write blog posts about this in a year?”
If your answer is “yes”, that’s a great niche!
And what makes it even better is if other people are interested in that niche, too.
Step 2: Pick A Great Domain Name
Your domain name is your lifestyle blog’s permanent address on the Internet. For example, my domain name is WPSutra.com.com.
While it is technically possible to change your domain name, it’s a messy process. So ideally, you want to stick with your domain name for a long time.
For that reason, it’s important to put some thought into picking a great domain name.
You can be pretty creative here. But here are two general tips:
Don’t use numbers or hyphens in your domain name – it’s confusing and hard for people to remember.
Since your blog is brand new, you can pick the basic plan on the next page – you can always upgrade later if needed:
Then, you can choose your free domain name. Just enter your desired name in the new domain box and click next:
Then, you’ll need to enter your account information and choose your hosting package.
You’ll need to pay for at least a year upfront – but you get bigger discounts if you pay for multiple years. Feel free to uncheck all the add-ons – you don’t really need them right now, and they make things more expensive:
The whole thing should cost ~$59 for your entire first year.
Step 2: Install The WordPress Software
Surprise! You don’t have to do anything here (thanks to Bluehost). When you sign in to your new Bluehost account, Bluehost should give you an option to install WordPress right away automatically:
Once you install WordPress, you can log in to your WordPress dashboard by going to:
Your WordPress “theme” controls how your lifestyle blog looks. Think of it kind of like your blog’s clothing – it doesn’t change any of the “underneath” stuff – it just makes it look pretty on the outside!
There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes to choose from, so Google can be your friend here. But to get you started, here are a few great free and paid themes for lifestyle blogs.
Getting hacked is every blogger’s worst nightmare.
Isn’t that true?
While there are many things you can do to secure your WordPress site using plugins and simple tweaks, one of the best ways to prevent security lapses is to choose a secure WordPress hosting from the beginning.
Most hosts advertise something about their security as a general rule of thumb, but not all hosts are equal when it comes to securing your WordPress site.
To help you find the most secure hosting for your WordPress site, I’m going to first share the specific features that go into making secure WordPress hosting. Then, I’ll recommend five hosts that do an especially great job of keeping your WordPress site safe.
What Makes For A Secure WordPress Hosting?
No host wants their clients’ sites to be hacked, so what differentiates a secure WordPress hosting from all the others?
Basically, while all good hosts should implement basic security controls, some hosts – typically managed WordPress hosts – go above and beyond to implement extra security protocols to keep your data safe.
So what are those extra protocols? Here’s what makes for extra secure WordPress hosting:
WordPress-optimized web application firewall (WAF): A web application firewall is a set of WordPress-specific rules that can block many malicious attacks before they even happen by inspecting incoming traffic and filtering out anything bad.
Malware scanning: If something does make it to your site, daily malware scans can pick it up quickly before too much damage is done.
Rate limiting: Rate limiting protects your site from brute force attacks. And some hosts will even go further and ban IPs with more than a certain number of failed login attempts.
Account isolation: Account isolation ensures that your sites are entirely separate from other sites. Unlike shared hosting, this means that you’ll never be in trouble just because someone else’s site got hacked.
Automatic updates:According to the data, out-of-date WordPress software accounts for a huge percentage of hacked sites. Secure WordPress hosts will automatically update your software so that you’re never out-of-date. Of all the websites, Sucuri cleaned last year, 36.7% of WordPress clean up requests had an outdated version.
Free HTTPS: A good secure host should offer a free SSL/TLS certificate so that your site encrypts all data between a user’s browser and your server.
Latest technology: Using out-of-date technology, like PHP 5.X, opens your site up to hacks. A good, secure WordPress host should offer the latest and most secure versions of PHP and other technologies.
Two-factor authentication: Using two-factor authentication for your hosting account ensures no one gets access to your site through your hosting account credentials.
Hack-fix guarantee: If anything does happen to your site, most secure WordPress hosts will fix it for free.
Automatic backups: While not a direct security feature, automatic up-to-date backup of your site ensures that you’ll never lose your data due to a security incident.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into secure WordPress hosting, and not every host will offer all those features.
5 Best Hosts For People Who Need Secure WordPress Hosting
All of the following hosts offer all, or at least most, of the security features listed above.
Kinsta is a popular managed WordPress host with a great reputation for security. It’s also where I host WPSutra. You can see my full Kinsta review if you’re interested in more than just Kinsta’s security features.
To my knowledge, Kinsta has never had a security incident, which isn’t a surprise because they put a lot of controls in place to keep everything safe.
First off, Kinsta uses Google Cloud Platform to power its hosting, which instantly gives you the security of Google for your physical hardware and network.
Then, Kinsta stacks its own set of security rules on top. You’ll get:
A web application firewall
Account isolation via Linux containers
Automatic updates for WordPress security updates
The latest version of PHP
Automatic backups, plus storage for the last 14 days
Free SSL certificate for HTTPS
SFTP and SSH
Two-factor authentication for your Kinsta account
Kinsta also offers some other unique WordPress security rules. For example, they automatically enforce strong passwords for all WordPress accounts. And they also automatically ban any IP address with more than six failed login attempts in one minute.
Finally, if anything does manage to get through all those protections, Kinsta offers a Hack fix guarantee. In their own words – “If your site is compromised, we’ll fix it for free.”
Kinsta’s hosting plans start at $30 per month and have great performance, as well as lots of other helpful features.
WP Engine is one of the most popular and well-known managed WordPress hosts.
Like Kinsta, WP Engine puts in place a number of techniques to secure your WordPress site. You can see the full details here, but the most relevant features are:
Web application firewall. One neat thing the WP Engine does is use its scale to monitor for new network attacks and then add those to the firewall rules. Because WP Engine hosts so many WordPress sites, you benefit from “herd immunity” here.
Free SSL certificates
SFTP for secure file transfers
The latest version of PHP
Automatic updates for WordPress software. WP Engine will even identify vulnerable plugins and either update them or patch them for you.
To keep both your hosting account and your WordPress accounts safe, WP Engine also:
Offers two-factor authentication for your hosting account
Includes access controls for hosting accounts you give to other people
Enforces strong passwords for WordPress accounts with Administrator, Editor, or Author user roles
In the interest of transparency, WP Engine has had one security issue in its history. Back in 2015, some customer credentials were exposed. WP Engine handled the situation promptly and there haven’t been any incidents since.
Pagely is probably the most expensive WordPress hosting that you can find, so this one is definitely not for most bloggers. But if you’re willing to pay a premium price for premium service, Pagely has a strong focus on security and performance for large WordPress sites.
Pagely calls its various security features PressArmor.
Here’s how it works.
First, Pagely’s base security level is its web application firewall to block most known exploits, as well as network edge rules for further protection. On top of that, Pagely adds real-time malware monitoring that searches for “trojan horses, viruses, worms, keyloggers, spyware, and adware”.
Pagely also goes beyond that and will automatically patch vulnerable plugins, as well as automatically update your core WordPress software for security updates.
Other security features include:
Free SSL certificate
Two-factor authentication for core services
Locked down SFTP/SSH
Pagely’s PressArmor will even help you filter out spam comments!
God forbid, if anything does go wrong, Pagely offers a free hack fix guarantee like Kinsta and Flywheel.
Pagely’s cheapest plan starts at $299 per month (yes – $299!).
When we work online, the problem comes without knocking our door. Being a blogger from last 4 years, I know the importance of taking timely backup of my blog. As WordPress runs on a web hosting, there are many possible issues which can come with your blog, anytime.
Your hosting company might shut down.
Your hosting company suspects your WordPress blog for high memory usage.
A hacker hacks your blog.
You accidentally delete or corrupt your WordPress database
If someone injects malicious code into your themes (it happens with free themes mostly)
If you lost complete data of your site, etc.
I know, what I’m talking might sound like a hypothetical situation for you, but in reality, it happens to many users. The only thing which you can do to ensure your peace of mind is: Take a timely backup of your WordPress blog.
Which WordPress folders you need to backup?
I know, you have heard an ample amount of time about taking timely backup of your blog and must have been bombarded with multiple options for backing up.
My advice: Pick any backup system, until it’s not a part of the main hosting. Try to keep a remote backup, and different from your hosting account.
For a WordPress blog, you need to take timely backup of these two:
With your WP-content, and database file, you can restore your blog on any hosting. Additionally, you can also keep a backup of your .htaccess and Robots.txt file.
I have tried many methods, and these days I’m using Jetpack to manage my multiple WordPress blogs and to take WordPress backup. Here are few other options along with Jetpack. Most of the following methods are FREE, you can use to store and create automatic backups of WordPress sites.
Best WordPress Backup Plugins
WordPress has a wide range of plugins in its directory, the following are the best backup plugins you can use to backup your WP sites.
1. Jetpack (Earlier VaultPress)
VautlPress is a premium tool to back up your WP sites. It is a subscription-based protection, security and backup service for WordPress blogs.
Features of VaultPress are:
You can back up your content in real time (it means whenever you get a new blog comment, publish a post or update a page on your blogs, VaultPress will automatically backup those files!
Security scans will be performed daily (if VaultPress finds any security threats, it will notify you automatically)
Restoring the backup files is as easy as 1-2-3 (you can restore the backup files via FTP, SFTP or SSH)
You can get all the above features using VaultPress. VaultPress offers three pricing plans-
With over 1 million downloads, Updraftplus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin in the market. This plugin has both free & PRO versions & you can pick one according to your requirement.
Once you have Updraftplus installed & activated, you can schedule & automate your WordPress backup. The premium version let you store your backup on their own cloud called Updraft Vault storage. If you want, you can also use Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon web services, FTP server or Rackspace cloud files.
No need to get confused with so many options as plugin comes with a handy guide to help you setup the backup system for WordPress of your own. Everything is graphical & anyone without technical skills can also use Updraft plus plugin to backup WordPress website. This plugin is also handy when you are changing WordPress hosting.
2. Backup your WordPress sites using hosting provider
Another best way to take backup of your blog is using your hosting provider. If you are using any managed WordPress hosting like Kinsta hosting, WPEngine hosting then you don’t need to worry about taking backup of your own. As these hosting companies take daily backup at an offshore location.
The case may or may not be same when you are using a shared hosting company. The only thing that you need to check with your hosting company is; if they are storing the backup on a remote server or the same server.
If it’s the same server on which they are taking a backup, then it’s of no use as a server failure means you would not have access to your backup as well. However, many shared hosting companies like BlueHost, HostGator do take offshore location backup which is good enough.
Here, I’ll show how to back up your entire blog using HostGator CPanel.
Follow these steps:
Login to your cPanel (Hosting dashboard)
Click on Backups
Click Generate full backup
Select Home directory
Enter your email to receive the notification after backup
Click Generate backup
You can download the full backup file via cPanel/FTP
Note: You may only create cPanel backups of 4 GB or less. If your backup is larger than 4GB, you must contact HostGator support for help to bypass the limit. The duration of backup depends on the size of your blog.
What do I recommend?
Of all the above options, most reliable is VaultPress, but it’s not free. Taking complete WordPress backup on your Dropbox account is also a good idea. You can use any of the above-mentioned methods, as long as you are taking backup of the database, and WP-content folder.
Do let me know, which method you are using to take your WordPress Website backup?
Advertising is the heart & soul of a growing blog. It’s the advertising that pays for our hosting, domain & gives us an ample amount of reasons to continue blogging, either as a part-time hobby or as a full-time profession.
When it comes to managing ads on WordPress, one can easily do this using WordPress widgets or by editing the WordPress theme file.
Adding ads using WordPress widgets are good enough for those who are starting out with blogging, but when it comes to making real money from advertising, using an ad management WordPresss plugin is recommended. Also, editing the WordPress theme to add ad codes is not a piece of cake for everyone.
Here are some of the things that an ad management plugin for WordPress should help you achieve:
Mobile/desktop ad: There is no point of serving the same ad to the desktop & mobile site if it’s not a responsive ad. You also don’t want to show advertisements on a mobile site when the advertising landing page is not mobile-friendly. In this hunt for the best ad management WordPress plugin, I’m also considering a plugin that lets us show different ads based on screen size.
Monitor number of clicks: When running a direct ad or an affiliate ad, you should be able to see how many clicks you are getting. Ad performance statistics is a must-have feature.
Run A/B test for ads: Obviously, different ad images will yield different results. An excellent ad manager plugin should able to run 2 or more different ads on the same spot & tell you which one is giving a better CTR.
Rotate ads: Ad blindness is real & a plugin that can rotate ads based on placement or other factors ensures your regular readers doesn’t face ad blindness.
Conditional advertising: Don’t you want to show targeted ads based on categories, tags, or even specific blog posts? Well, this is what a good plugin should help you achieve. If not, you would be showing irrelevant ads on various posts & missing out an opportunity to earn more from your blog adverts.
Apart from these, there are other advanced options like geo-targeting, anti-ad blocker & a few others that a WordPress ad management plugin should offer.
Considering all the above factors, and some other features (such as being well-coded & well-maintained), I have compiled this mega list of best ad management plugins for WordPress that you can use for your blog. If you are using any basic plugin, it’s a good time to ditch it for these plugins as they will start getting you better results.
Best Advertising Plugins For WordPress Users To Earn More
When it comes to advertising management plugins for WordPress, there are plenty of free options.
However, you should pick one that is reliable, updated often, and ensures it doesn’t affect your hosting. It took me hours to find these well-maintained & reliable plugins.
Many of these plugins are free & available from the WordPress plugin repo, and some of them offer paid options which are optional but offer advanced features.
I have carefully listed out only those plugins which are also supported by the developer in the help forum (WordPress or the plugin’s own support forum). What’s the point of trying a plugin & getting stuck in between without any support?
Many of these plugins are from CodeCanyon, which are paid but well worth your time and money. They are all well-maintained & have great reviews from existing users.
Since I’m researching for the best ad management plugin for use on my own WordPress blog, all the listed solutions are of high quality & you should pick one that suits your need the most.
So, without further delay, let’s look at some of the best advertising plugins for WordPress that will help us all make more money from our blogs!
For those who are looking for one plugin that can manage ads from ad networks such as AdSense, Media.net, or any other, along with HTML banner ads (direct or affiliate ads), look no further than Advanced Ads.
This plugin is constantly updated & with 200+ 5-star ratings, it’s one of the best solutions out there.
The Advanced Ads plugin comes in both free & pro versions.
The free version offers all the features you need to get started with running ads on your WordPress blog:
Scheduling of ads.
Displays ads based on various logics including categories, tags, custom post type, etc.
Excludes ads to be shown from specific posts.
Places ads automatically between content, after or before post, or show ads using shortcodes or by editing the functions file.
Supports showing ads on WordPress feeds.
Hides ads from bots/crawlers.
Hides ads from 404 error pages (useful for AdSense users).
Supports showing or disabling ads based on the user’s device.
Supports almost all ad types (AdSense, Media.net, DPF, HTML banner ads, affiliate ads).
Useful analytics & stats are available with the Stats Addon.
Automates ad selling with Selling Ads Addon. Sell based on clicks, days, impressions, or other custom conditions. Great for those who are looking to sell direct ads on their WordPress blog. Supports PayPal, Stripe, or other WooCommerce payment systems.
Advanced geo-targeting. Shows or hides based on geo-location of visitors. This feature uses GeoLite2 data by MaxMind.
Most of their pro addons cost about 29 Euros. However, you can get all addons for one site for 69 Euros from here. Personally, I find this one to be a complete value for the money if you are planning to use more than one of their pro addons.
If not, the free version is good enough to help you get started & run any advertisement on your blog.
The plugin also comes with a detailed manual & support that is top notch.
I was hoping to find more plugins which adequately let us manage ads, but there are only a few quality ones that deserve to be listed here. I will keep my eyes & ears open for new plugins that deserve to make it onto this list.
For now, I look forward to reading your comments on which plugin you are using on your blog to run or manage ads. What do you think is the best WordPress ad management plugin? Let me know in the comments!
Here are some hand-picked articles that you should read next:
Are you looking for best WordPress FAQ plugins that complement your WordPress design as well?
Well, here I have compiled a list of FAQ plugins for your WordPress website that you can use right away. My current favourite is FAQ plugin by Hero themes. which is the cheapest option available with quality features.
These day’s FAQ’s are not only used for business website, but it’s also for the content website as adding FAQ improves the ranking.
One simple way to do is, by searching for your target keyword in Google search and see the column “people also asks”.
Now, use these questions in your content and increase your chances of ranking in search.
FAQ, which stands for Frequently Asked Questions, has become a common website feature!
The reason behind this is quite obvious – it addresses the most generic queries of visitors, regarding various aspects of a site.
Typically, websites set up a separate page, filled-in with questions or topics they think visitors ask frequently, followed by corresponding answers. And this is what known as an FAQ Page.
FAQ pages are one of the most visited pages of a service site, and moreover, it gives a great SEO advantage too.
Here are best FAQ plugins for WordPress:
Heroic WordPress FAQ plugin
WP Awesome FAQ
Easy FAQ with Expanding Text
Best FAQ Plugins for WordPress: 4 Popular Option
Since having such a webpage could really be useful, let’s check how we can make one in WordPress, using plugins.
Creating a FAQ page would not be as easy as it can be with Arconix FAQ plugin. It’s a simple yet powerful one, and comes with a few awesome features, such as ability to show/hide answers, ‘return to top’ link for long FAQs, and so on.
The plugin has utilized WordPress Custom Post-Type, which makes adding questions and their answers pretty easy. Once you are done creating, you can then display them on a standalone page, using an even simpler shortcode.
It also allows you group FAQs as per requirements. In case you are willing to change the display order of questions, you can do so by adding parameters to the given WordPress shortcode.
Also, Arconix FAQ has very good documentation and related resources to get you started quickly, in a problem-free manner.
This is another popular WordPress FAQ plugin, which works on the same principles as the one mentioned above. That is, it also makes use of Custom Post-Type for letting users create questions along with answers. Later, all these Q & A pairs can be displayed on a separate WordPress page utilizing a shortcode.
What makes it different is its ability to resize window and auto adjust the height.
In other words, WP Awesome FAQ adds scroll bars in case of lengthy texts, and thereby it makes browsing the page quite comfy! Moreover, this is comparatively a new plugin; hence, a number of excellent features are yet to be added, such as pagination.
This is a very nice plugin that you can download from the WordPress plugin repository. As the name suggests, it can help you creating FAQ pages with an animated effect.
Using this plugin, you can make ‘clickable’ question headings, which expands to display answers underneath. In other words, it allows you to show questions initially while keeping answers hidden beneath.
To view answers, therefore, one needs to click on respective headings. And for making things simple to visitors, this plugin also adds either ‘up and down arrow’ or ‘plus and minus sign’ visual cue to those headings.
Easy FAQ with Expanding Text plugin is really easy to set up on a site.
You can also choose how the FAQ page should function; that is, by applying the ‘expanding’ effect to the entire page, or creating multiple such sections with different headings, utilizing a given shortcode pair!
Another important feature of this plugin is its support for nested FAQs.
Though before you pick from any of these free FAQ plugins, ask yourself do you need all the features offered by above plugins. Pick the one which you find good enough for your FAQ page, and use it on your WordPress powered website.
It’s hard to pick the best, but my vote goes for Q & A Focus plus FAQ for extra features.
So, these are a few best WordPress FAQ plugins you can use for creating an intuitive FAQ page.
Although quite new, they are still efficient enough. Do let me know if you know of more such plugins.
Here are a few hand-picked resources that you should check out:
Who doesn’t like buying cheap, yet quality things?
I guess you answered “nobody”, right? Cool.
You’re a blogger and perhaps you’re just starting out. You’ve already heard how important it is to spend money on your blog if you’re truly serious about it.
You’ve also heard of many people who lost their precious work to some bloody hacker because they’re using a cheap, unsecured host.
I bet you’ve also been told that you should invest in the tools that will help you to automate the running of your business so you can make more money.
You’ve heard this, you’ve heard that, bla bla bla bla………
You know you need all these things, but the problem is that, as a beginner with a meager budget, you can’t afford them.
You can’t even pay for a premium theme to beautify your site, not to mention investing in automation tools.
This is the same problem that newbies and intermediate bloggers often battle with that tends to hinder their growth. But is there a solution?
INTRODUCING: 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals for WordPress
These deals come once per year, and if you’ve wanted to invest in the tools that will make your blogging business a breeze, now is the time.
In this post, I will be unveiling to you the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for WordPress that will turn your blogging business around. These deals will not last long, so I advise you grab them now.
Bluehost has always been a favorite among internet marketers. It is one of the oldest web hosting companies on the market and has grown to be the go-to name when it comes to quality web hosts.
In case you don’t know, most of my sites are hosted on Bluehost, and I’ve never regretted using them. If I’m to do it all over again, I will still go for Bluehost.
Luckily enough, Bluehost is giving away a killer discount on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you are thinking of buying a quality and reliable web host for yourself, this is the right time to grab a great deal on hosting.
Bluehost is offering their starter package at a dirt cheap price of $2.65/month with a free domain when you purchase hosting for 36 months (3 years).
Start Date: Nov 24th, 12.00 A.M CST (IST 25th Nov 11.30 A.M)
End Date: Nov 27th, 11.59PM CST (IST 28th Nov 11.29 A.M)
Deal: Get hosting for $2.65/month (36 months term)
HostGator is a standard in the hosting industry. Like Bluehost, it’s also one of the oldest in the market, and has bagged lots of merits and a really good reputation over the years.
Bloggers often prefer going for their “Baby” hosting plan because it saves a lot of money in the long run. If you’re on a lean budget and it has been preventing you from getting a good web host, use this opportunity now because it only comes once a year.
Even if you already have a hosting account, you can still buy this one and use for your future projects. It’s well worth it.
Start Date: Ongoing
End Date: Nov 28th, 11.59PM CST (IST 29th Nov 11.29 A.M)
Discount: 65% off all new hosting plus $5.99 .com & .net domains
HostGator’s coupon will change every day from Black Friday until Cyber Monday. However, you don’t need to enter the coupon if you use the links provided here, as their system will add the coupon & apply the discount for you automatically.
SiteGround hosting is one of the best web hosting companies out there. I’ve never seen another hosting company whose customer service is as good, active, and responsive as theirs; their customer service is simply unmatched.
Secondly, they have one of the fastest loading servers (with 99.9% uptime). Believe me, if you’re not hosting any of your sites with them yet, use this opportunity and check them out. I’m sure you will fall in love.
SiteGround is offering a whopping 70% discount on all of their shared hosting plans this Black Friday.
Get yourself a super quality hosting plan from SiteGround now that it’s affordable.
Note: The discount only applies to one year of hosting. You will start paying the normal renewal fee after the first year.
This is a must-have plugin for email marketers and list builders. It will make your list building efforts more creative and less stressful.
A lot of bloggers have testified to the superb features of this plugin, and if you don’t have it yet, then you’re missing out on a lot.
If you have services like MailChimp, AWeber, GetResponse, or any other email marketing company, you should buy OptinMonster right now. It has many features that will transform you into a list building wizard.
Just like ThirstyAffiliates, AffiliateWP is also a very handy premium plugin for serious affiliate marketers.
To celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the company is offering you the opportunity to get a killer 25% discount on all new purchases of AffiliateWP (across all license levels), all license renewals, and all upgrades!
Easy Digital Downloads is an all-in-one eCommerce solution for WordPress. Right out of the box, it is prepared to power your online business without depending on other tools.
For the Black Friday and Cyber Monday celebration, you can get a killer 25% discount on all Easy Digital Download extensions (across all license levels), including a 25% discount on all license renewals, and all license upgrades.
One of the leading WordPress theme companies on the internet, ElegantThemes, is currently giving away a whopping 25% discount on all of their membership plans. This is their biggest Black Friday deal ever.
For their Black Friday and Cyber Monday celebration, you can get access to all ElegantThemes WordPress themes (including the Divi theme) for only $52.
However, I’d advise you to buy their Developer package which will cost only $67 & also gives you access to all of their awesome plugins like Bloom, Page Builder, and Monarch.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a new website for your business then this is the perfect time to do it, as Bluehost hosting is offering huge discounts on all web-hosting plans on Black Friday & CyberMonday 2018. Bluehost is one of the largest and trusted companies that offers quality web hosting services at a decent price. It is one of the top choices for hosting your website and is also officially recommended by WordPress. This year their discount is available on all hosting plans including their cloud hosting.
Bluehost is one of the largest and trusted company that offers quality web hosting services at a decent price. It is one of the top choices for hosting your website and is also officially recommended by WordPress. This year their discount is available on all hosting plans including their cloud hosting.
I have been a user of Bluehost for years & had no issues with it. Particularly I like their plus package which comes with unlimited Bandwidth & storage along with one free domain. This is the perfect time for you to save money on world-class hosting. They have variable deal from BlackFriday until CyberMonday, so grab it before it’s gone on 27th November 2018.
BlueHost Black Friday Discount 2018
Normally, Bluehost Basic plan costs around $7.99/month but as this is a Black Friday weekend, you can avail it at $2.65/month. The Black Friday deal will end on 27th November 2018. Here is their Black Friday offer:
You may choose a 3 months plan, 6 months Plan, 1 year Plan or a 3 year Plan. I would suggest you to go for a 3-year plan as the longer the duration of the plan, the better the deal as it will allow you a save the maximum. Along with it, you will also get one free domain name with every purchase. You can buy domain names from Bluehost for only $2.65 per year. Here, you can avail any of these TLD’s .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us. Click on the link below to avail the discount:
This year Cyber Monday Sale will startle you. It’s even better than Black Friday. Never have Bluehost offered such huge discounts before. Bluehost is offering their hosting for low as $2.65/mo on Cyber Monday (on 67th November 2018). So if you want to save a huge amount of money, Don’t miss out this golden opportunity and grab Bluehost Cyber Monday discount this year.
Cyber Monday starts at 12:01 am EST and ends 11:59 PST. The pricing is below.
This is a limited time offer and once you miss this opportunity, you will have to wait for another year to grab the same. So, what are you waiting for and benefit from this huge sale. Also, share with your friends and help them save a huge amount of money.
WordPress is undoubtedly one of the best blogging platforms, and with the help of plugins, you could add unlimited functionalities and features.
Today, I will be sharing few best WordPress SEO plugins that are completely free, and will help you to optimize your blog for search engines. I will also share some of the alternatives, and will suggest which SEO plugin you should stick to.
One major problem with SEO plugins are, there are so many options available, and it creates confusion for newbies.
Whenever you install a new plugin, make sure you read the complete description and use only which you need to use and make sense.
I won’t recommend you to install all the plugins listed below until you know how to use them properly.
In this best WordPress SEO plugins list, I will be recommending few of the best and free plugins that are available from official plugin repo.
In upcoming articles, I will do a detailed write-up on how to use these below-mentioned SEO plugins. So let’s go on with our list here.
Best WordPress SEO plugins to improve Search engine ranking:
You must have heard that WordPress is SEO friendly, and it’s not completely true. But, when you compare WordPress SEO with many other existing platforms, WordPress is far superior regarding search engine optimized platform, and with the help of many plugins, you could take the complete SEO of your WordPress blog to next level.
Before you install these plugins, understand how SEO works. Any website including your WordPress blog needs to be SEO optimized on 3 level:
On page SEO: This is where you will ensure your post is optimized for the particular keyword. You take care of Keyword placement, Image Alt tag, heading tags, Keyword density & LSI Keywords & few more things.
On-Site SEO: This consist of overall indexing & crawling of your site.You submit your sitemap to Webmaster Tools, configure your robots.txt file & other things that help search engine to crawl better & understand your site. It’s important to know that your website speed is also a ranking factor
Off-site SEO: This consists of generating backlinks to your blog and getting more social media sharing. Social Media part falls into both On-Site & off-site SEO.
More or less, you need to ensure that your WordPress blog takes care of all these three parts & you will notice a great improvement in traffic to your blog. The plugins that I have listed below will let you optimize your blog in first two parameters of good SEO. So, let’s get on with this exclusive list of best SEO plugins for WordPress.
WordPress SEO by Yoast:
Yoast SEO is so far one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress, as it offers a great deal of control of your blog SEO. You might have heard of many plugins like All in one SEO, headspace, and many others, but SEO by Yoast is far better than any of the plugin that you heard.
Yoast is one of the well-known WordPress ninjas, and his work with this free plugin is incredible. You can control the over all no indexing/do indexing of your WordPress blog, and you can optimize the single post for search engines using this plugin. This is a complete SEO suite for WordPress. Starting from on site SEO, this plugin also let you optimize your WordPress posts for specific keywords. You can also generate a sitemap using Yoast SEO & submit it to Google search console or Bing webmaster tool.
Configuring WordPress SEO by Yoast is quite technical, and a newbie might find it little difficult to understand every setting offered by this plugin.
I recommend you to read this guide, which will help you to configure this plugin without any issues.
SEMRUSH: Complete SEO suite
SEMRUSH is not a typical WordPress plugin, and it’s an online service. This SEO app lets you find the keyword which you should try ranking for (Read on page SEO above), and you can monitor your blog keyword ranking, backlinks & overall SEO health.
This is a premium tool which I use for WPSutra & few other blogs & highly recommend you to get on board. You can use below link to get a free 14 days trial of SEMRUSH tool which is worth $149.
Dead links are bad for search engines, and this broken link checker plugin helps you to identify all dead links from your blog.
It might not be very useful for a newly installed WordPress blog, but if you have an existing old WordPress blog, this plugin will simplify the process of identifying broken links and fix them with one click.
Do you know you could get decent traffic from Image-based search engines? Search engines like Google and Bing rely on Alt text in images to identify and rank an image.
A good practice is to use a meaningful name for uploading image. For example, even if I add a WordPress logo image in this post, I have renamed the image as WordPress-SEO-Plugin-jpeg. SEO friendly image plugin converts your image name as Alt text and thus put your image SEO on automation.
You can also use WP Smush.it plugin along with this to compress the size of the image, and again it will help in faster loading of your WordPress blog.
These are many of few SEO plugins for WordPress, which will improve your overall WordPress blog SEO. Many premium SEO plugins are also available, but for now, let’s install these free once, and if you face any issues installing or configuring them, feel free to ask me via comments. If you wish to add few more WordPress SEO plugins, do let me know via comments.
In our WordPress for Beginners series, we have covered How to Install WordPress on Bluehost and how to setup WordPress. Extending the list, I’m sharing a list of must have WordPress plugins that every blog should have. Now, it’s not necessary that you should install all below mentioned plugins, but I recommend you to look into the description and decide if this plugin is going to be useful and important for your WordPress blog or not.
I will also add some of the best alternative options to these free and best WordPress plugins, so in case, if you are stuck with the configuration of any single plugin, you can try the alternative. Read on..
Must have WordPress Plugins For Every WordPress Blog:
If you are new to WordPress plugins, once you are inside the dashboard, click on Plugins > Add new and search for the desired plugin. I will add the exact name of the plugin that you need to search and install.
Most of these plugins come with extra configuration, and you should make sure to make optimum changes for making most of these plugins. If you need a tutorial for any specific WordPress plugin set up, you can let me know on our Facebook fan page.
This plugin is managed by official WordPress creator Automattic. This plugin is very useful to avoid spam comments. There are many alternatives to this plugin, but I prefer this one, as it’s fast and does the job pretty well. You can download the plugin from the official page here. You need API Key to activate this plugin, and you can quickly create a free account on WordPress.com and get your WordPress API key. Here is a video guide on how to get free API key from Akismet:
How To Get WordPress Akismet API Key For Free - YouTube
JetPack WordPress plugin:
Jetpack is an official plugin by WordPress parent company Automattic. This plugin does multiple things & have various modules which you can enable or disable. Here are few things which you can achieve with this plugin:
Automatic share your new posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google plus
Offers contact form
Subscription form powered by WordPress.com
And many more modules. This is one plugin which is actively updated & most popular choice for all WordPress users.
SEO by Yoast is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin which is free. Using this plugin, you can configure your WordPress site On-Page SEO, On-Site SEO, Generate Sitemap, Configure Robots.txt file, Edit .htaccess file & check all your crawl errors from WordPress dashboard. If you are serious about your WordPress blog & want to increase a huge volume of organic traffic, this is a must have plugin for your blog.
This plugin also offers Keyword suggestion and Keyword Optimization, which will give you an extra edge in Search engine ranking. Also, you can configure indexing and no-indexing of your site structure which is very useful for proper SEO of your blog.
Social signals have become an essential part of SEO and to encourage social sharing of your blog post, you should implement social bookmarking button. Social Warfare plugin helps you to quickly add most of the popular and new social bookmarking buttons. Moreover, this plugin comes with many settings like lazy load button, social button size and other placement settings, which you are hoping in a Social bookmarking plugin.
Though this plugin is more of usability plugin but I prefer it as SEO plugin, because it helps in linking to related articles. YARPP also offers settings to show related posts in feeds, which helps in decreasing down the bounce rate and increasing user experience on your site. If not YARPP, you can use any other plugin but showing direct related posts will help in boosting your site usability.
Images helps a lot in driving traffic to your blog, but to rank for images you need to work on alt tag optimization of your blog. SEO friendly image plugin does the same by, converting your image name into Alt tag and make it search engine readable.
Bonus tip: Always use your Keyword or relevant name as an image name. Avoid using Image-001.jpeg and such names. <Download
If you are suffering from indexing issue on your blog, try PushPress which is a free WordPress plugin to ping cloud servers. It helps in faster indexing of your blog. This is a plug and play plugin which doesn’t require any configuration.
Note: You don’t need this plugin if you are using a responsive WordPress theme.
AMP: Accelerated Mobile pages
This is the latest addition in our must have plugins for WordPress. This plugin will automatically make your blog ready for Google’s AMP project. This will help you to get more traffic from mobile once you have installed the plugin.
Page load time is one important factor for great user experience and also for better search engine ranking. W3 total cache is a complete solution to your WordPress caching. This plugin comes with advanced configuration and caching options. Also, if you are using any CDN service and CloudFlare, this plugin offers easy to implement option for configuration. Some of the web hosting companies don’t work great with W3 total cache. In this case, I suggest you try WPSuper cache. <Download
Contact page is an essential element of a website. WPForms plugin let you create multiple contact forms and you can also add a contact form in the sidebar of your blog. There are many more contact forms like Gravity forms, but in free options, this is one of the easy to set up contact plugin for WordPress.
I have also tried Enhanced WordPress contact form by Yoast, which is equally good and easy to configure. This plugin shows the referral link location and you will get an idea, who visitor landed to your contact form. Check out Enhanced WordPress contact form.
One stop plugin for doing various maintenance job and schedule job in WordPress. Using this plugin you can quickly optimize WordPress database, clean WordPress tables, take WordPress backup and configure WordPress timely backup. Very useful plugin to get many things done.
Another useful plugin to delete all posts revisions, delete all spam comments and optimize WordPress table. You don’t need to use this plugin all the time but running this plugin once in a month, will keep your blog performance in good shape.
Smush.it is an online service by Yahoo, and it does the job pretty well of compressing your images for faster loading. Your image quality remains the same and using image compression technology, this plugin will compress images at the time of loading. This plugin also comes with bulk image compression of already uploaded images. So, if you have a new or old blog, Wp smush.it plugin will help you to keep your blog loading time faster.
The list of plugins for WordPress are endless and you can browse WordPress plugin repo to find plugins for every use. But, these are some of the must-have WordPress plugins, which are essential for every WordPress blog. Do let us know about any other new WordPress plugins,which should be in this list.
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Do you know that you can track logged-in user activity on your WordPress website?
There are WordPress plugins that help you to track a user’s logged-in activities and the changes that they make on your website.
Plugins like Simple History, Simple Login Log, and Activity Log can help you run a safer and more organized WordPress website. You can easily track the changes performed by users within WordPress like who created a page, uploaded an attachment, or approved a comment.
In this post, I will focus on the Simple History WordPress plugin and guide you on how you can use this plugin to check login logs on your WordPress website. I found this plugin suitable and very easy to use when compared to other plugins.
It has 50,000+ active installs and some great user reviews.
You will learn the following in this tutorial:
Why should you check login logs & monitor user activity?
How to install the Simple History WP plugin.
How to configure & use the Simple History WP plugin.
Simple History WP plugin- Q&A.
Why Should You Check Login Logs & Monitor User Activity?
If you are running a multi-author blog, you must be running into challenges like stopping spam registrations and handling your editorial workflow.
It becomes tough for site admins running a multi-author blog to monitor user activities all the time, and they need a solution to easily monitor this activity on their website.
It’s obvious that you trust your users; that’s the reason you shared your site’s access with them. But people make mistakes.
If you know what mistakes they did, you can quickly correct them and teach them to avoid such things in the future. It will save you time and keep things more organized.
For example, if a moderator approved a comment which doesn’t fit within your guidelines, then you can correct the mistake and notify the moderator not to do it again.
Checking activity logs allows you to have better editorial control over your website. You can monitor everything from which posts are in progress, which articles are waiting to be reviewed, which users accessed the website, and what tasks are being performed.
Let’s move on and see how you can monitor those things with the Simple History WordPress plugin.
Installing The Simple History WP Plugin
Log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins >> Add New.
Type “Simple History” in the search bar and install the plugin.
Next, activate the plugin.
This will successfully install the plugin on your WordPress dashboard, and now you can configure the plugin’s settings and use it to monitor user activities on your website.
Configuring The Simple History WordPress Plugin Settings
To configure the plugin, go to Settings >> Simple History and use these options as follows:
Show History: Choose whether you want the history to appear on your WordPress dashboard or on a page under the dashboard menu. You can enable both options if you want.
Number of items per page on the log page/dashboard: Define the number of items per page on the log page or on the dashboard.
Clear Log: You can clear the log anytime. By default, the plugin will clean all history from the database after 60 days.
RSS Feed: You can enable and subscribe to the RSS feed to receive log updates. This will help you hide your history page with other users having editor roles.
Once you are done, just save the changes and see the plugin in action.
What else can I do with this plugin?
To answer that, I have compiled a short Q&A for the Simple History plugin.
Simple History WP Plugin- Q&A
Q. Can I download the history of logs?
A. Yes, you can. Just go to Settings >> Simple History >> Export and download the exported file in JSON or CSV format.
Q. What are the default set of actions I will get with the plugin?
A. By default, the plugin comes with a pre-defined set of actions which includes login, logout, wrong password, post/page editing, media upload, widget, user profile changes, etc. To get more info, see the plugin page here.
Q. Does it support any third party plugins as well?
A. Yes, it does. The Simple History WordPress plugin comes with built-in support for the following plugins: