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How to Optimize your WordPress: A Guided Infographic

In our society, when we want something, we want it fast and we want it now. Speed is the key to success in just about anything you do. In the World Wide Web, a single second can mean the difference between success and utter failure. It’s scary to think about, but I’m here to help you better understand WordPress optimization.

We’re going to look at all the ways your website loading speed affects your success and your SEO. After that we’ll look at a powerful infographic filled with ways you can speed up your site. Finally, I’ll offer some tips of my own for putting the pedal to the metal.

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website (Infographic)

wordpress optimization

Why Your Website’s Speed Should Matter to You (And Your Optimization)

You may look at your website and feel like it loads pretty fast, but pretty fast isn’t good enough.

Here’s the deal:

The speed of a website matters to both search engines and to people. As we know, anything that matters to them, matters to us. Let’s go back to 2010 for a moment.

It was during this year that Google posted an article on their Webmaster Central Blog where they stated that the speed of a website is used in determining a website’s search ranking.

If speed is a ranking factor, then the SEO guru inside of you will most certainly be interested in how you can improve it. Beyond this fact, Google also provides a few tools for measuring and improving your website’s speed. Combine these tools with others to measure and understand where you stand.

  • PageSpeed Insights – used to see a score based on your website’s desktop and mobile speeds and how to improve them.
  • Google Analytics – you will find site speed reports within this handy tool as well.
  • Pingdom Website Speed Test – this handy tool will give you a technical breakdown of how fast things are loading and where you’re being held back.

Awesome, so now we have all these tools for measuring speed, but beyond SEO, why should you be concerned with how many seconds it takes to load your website?

Check out these statistics:

  • A one second delay in your loading speed results in an 11% drop in page views and a 7% drop in conversions, along with a 16% drop in customer satisfaction, according to the Aberdeen Group.
  • Findings from Econsultancy research showed that 47% of consumer expect to wait no longer than two seconds for a web page to load. In addition 88% of consumers will shop somewhere else and tell their friends about the bad experience if the load times are too long.
  • Findings on NeilPatel.com revealed that 18% of mobile users will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in less than five seconds. If that number jumps to ten seconds, then 30% will abandon it completely.
  • To put things in perspective, a one second delay in loading time would cost a company like Amazon $1.6 billion in revenue per year!

 

I know that’s a lot of information to digest, but let’s put it all into perspective.

What Factors Affect Website Speed?

Let’s answer the question on everyone’s minds right now:
What affects my website’s speed?

Here’s the breakdown of the most common factors that can help (or hurt) your loading times.

  1. Your Hosting Provider

That’s right, the problem can run deep. In some cases, a slow website isn’t your fault.Instead, the servers that are hosting it on the internet are to blame. For example, there’s a wide range of shared hosting options out there, but by the very definition of shared hosting, you are splitting resources from the same server with multiple websites.

Depending on how well this is managed, and if there’s the presence of CPU throttling in place, being on a shared or even VPS hosting plan can slow your website down. Dedicated hosting is one solution, but this isn’t a viable option for many small or medium-sized websites.

Look for shared hosting plans that promise speed in the form of features like a content delivery network (CDN) which will deliver content to users based on their geographic location.

  1. Your Website’s Technology and Coding

The way your website (and by extension your plugins) are built can drastically alter how they affect your loading speed as a whole. The reason I usually recommend WordPress is because they are one of the top content management systems that contribute to an efficient and fast loading website.

What it comes down to is that the foundation of your website and the way your subsequent plugins are coded will directly affect if they benefit or drag down your website’s speed.

  1. The Content on Your Website

I know what you’re thinking:

How can words slow down my website?

It’s not the words you should be looking at, but everything surrounding them. Many website owners don’t realize that images, widgets, and even background analytics on your pages can cause slowdown.

That’s why I always recommend compressing your images using a tool like Optimizilla. Not only is it free, but it drastically reduces the size of your image files without sacrificing quality. You can also use plugins like the ones mentioned in the infographic for caching, compressing, and otherwise optimizing your website for SEO.

Final Thoughts

WordPress optimization is about more than your website’s speed, but almost everything you do in your optimizing will contribute to a better, more powerful, and faster version of your WordPress website. Knowing how to keep your website running fast and which plugins to help you do it will give you invaluable knowledge that will bring you one step closer to success.

Thanks for reading and be sure to let us know how you were able to optimize your WordPress with this information in the comments!

How to increase the security of your WordPress site?

If you care about your website, you need to make WordPress security important. Because WordPress is by far the most widely used platform for building a website, currently accounting for over 30% of the web. For this reason it becomes even more vulnerable to security attacks. Even in this case, the core WordPress software is designed to cope with such attacks.

One of the main features that make WordPress the most popular CMS is its multitude of features, themes and plugins. But even though these features are great for customizing your online commerce platform, they are also extensions that make it vulnerable to hackers.

Every day, more than 40,000 websites are targeted. This should give you pause for thought, as internet users avoid shopping online on unsecured sites that do not offer information protection.

Whether sites are powered by WordPress or another content management system, the hosting provider that keeps your company’s servers secure will make the difference.

Constant update, malware scanning, back-up and restore, DDoS protection are just some of the benefits you will enjoy, so essential for the security of your website data.

You may be wondering how you can have a more secure WordPress site?

Themes and plugins that are purchased or downloaded for free from third party developers can present security risks that can affect an entire website. Developers or designers must ensure that this does not happen. To avoid this, it is necessary to keep extensions up-to-date and only install extensions from reputable sources. Keep up to date with updates, themes and plugins in use. Even though installed plugins bring useful features to your WordPress site, they can also bring unwanted risks if poorly coded.

Compromised login credentials are the most common problem. If you have a strong password, you can be sure that a malicious actor does not gain access to the site. You can also set a limit on the number of login attempts and when this number is exceeded you will receive a notification giving the user’s IP address. WordPress offers a plugin to limit login attempts. It would also be advisable to restrict access to the site and other users’ attributes if you have multiple user accounts and to enable two-factor authentication.

Activating a firewall for your website will create a force field around your website. This way you will keep your website safe even when you forget to keep up to date with updates or when you encounter a DDoS attack on your website.

There is no exact answer to the WordPress security question, it all depends on how much you are willing to invest in security. As users of the platform you own a significant part of the security concerns of your website and you need to make wise choices when managing your website.

Nowadays, nothing is 100% secure on the internet and no website is 100% secure, even the most secure website from the most influential company can at some point become the victim of a malicious attack. The correct way to avoid such situations is to be cautious and proactive and take the necessary measures that concern you personally, and leave the rest to the experts.

Do I need VPS hosting for a WordPress website?

Just because your website has outgrown shared hosting doesn’t mean you need a VPS, but we’ll discuss those issues in this article.

Finding the right hosting for your WordPress site can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you have so many options around. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each hosting in order to make the right decision specific to your needs.

What is VPS hosting?

Having your website on a virtual private server, aka VPS, means that you will host it on a private partition independent of a physical server. This keeps your files separate from other websites and also means you control the set share of resources.

Despite being on the same physical server, these containers – or virtual private servers – do not share resources with each other. Because of this, if one site on the server starts consuming more resources, it will not negatively affect the performance of the other sites on the same server. Your site will no longer be hosted in an environment where as many sites as possible can be crammed onto a single server. The days of sharing resources and fighting for survival on a shared server will be over. Faster load times, the ability to handle more visitors and improved uptime are just a few of the benefits that await those who choose VPS hosting for their WordPress site.

Another advantage of VPS Hosting is the ability to upgrade to more resources when needed. How you upgrade your server varies from provider to provider, but most have options to get the performance you need.

If you’re starting to outgrow shared hosting, a VPS hosting plan may be the perfect choice, but for WordPress sites, you can also consider purpose-built WordPress hosting.

What is WordPress hosting?

While a VPS would come pre-configured for general use, WordPress Hosting is designed just for WordPress. There are many ways to set up a server and its software. WordPress hosting takes the guesswork out of the process. WordPress is a content management system (CMS). You can install WordPress and create your own website using any type of hosting.

With WordPress hosting, only WordPress sites are allowed on the server. This allows the server to be optimized and specially configured for the WordPress platform. Often, WordPress hosting can be more expensive than shared hosting, but since you don’t have to waste time on technical tasks and your site will perform at a high level, it justifies those costs.

Managed WordPress hosting is a managed service where all technical aspects of running WordPress are handled by the host. This includes security, speed, WordPress updates, daily backups, website uptime and scalability. The idea behind managed WordPress hosting is to provide a complete seamless experience so you can focus on running your business.

Managed WordPress hosting is a special type of hosting that offers a bunch of WordPress-related services. The server can be shared or VPS, but it shouldn’t matter because the host should be extremely skilled at maintaining the service.

With so many different web hosting options for WordPress sites, you’re probably wondering how you know whether or not you need a VPS plan – or if a basic shared hosting plan will work well.

So when do you figure out if you need VPS hosting for your WordPress website?

  • The site gets more traffic and loads much harder. This is not a bad thing, it means that your website is of interest and sought after by potential customers and is growing. If your shared hosting plan doesn’t support the growing traffic, then it’s time to consider a VPS hosting plan.
  • You want to have more control over your operations and install your own software. A VPS hosting plan allows you to configure your settings as you wish and also install software. In other words, it gives you more control over how you want your WordPress server and site to operate.
  • You’re worried about security. Sites on shared servers are much more vulnerable. If you’re creating a WordPress website that captures customer data, then additional security should be one of your first priorities. VPS hosting plans are a great option for added security. As your website grows in popularity, it becomes a more popular target for hackers as well. If your website continues to be attacked or hacked, upgrading your hosting can help keep it more secure.
  • Scale up your site – it’s perfectly normal to want to upgrade after you’ve gotten a lot more traffic to your site. A VPS hosting plan is the perfect choice if you’ve outgrown a shared hosting plan and want most of the benefits of a dedicated server at a fraction of the cost.
  • Does your site keep going down or do you keep getting 500 server errors? If troubleshooting doesn’t fix common WordPress errors, then it may be your current hosting plan.

Both VPS hosting and WordPress hosting are comparable in terms of cost, both are an upgrade from shared hosting.

With prices starting at 12 EURO you can instantly give your website a speed boost by upgrading to one of the best VPS hosting and WordPress hosting services we offer.

Selecting the wrong option can cost you both time and money in the long run. Choosing the best website hosting option for you can determine the safety, speed and reliability of your website.

A VPS plan is a great choice for a WordPress website. If you have any questions about selecting the best plan, any of our customer support team members will be happy to answer your questions.

With our virtual machines, you get high performance for hosting your WordPress website. With RAM, CPU, storage capacity and scalability, you can handle traffic spikes and tailor your VPS to fit your needs.

At BMFHost we offer different VPS plans to suit your needs as your site grows.

Just as there’s no one restaurant that will please all customers, there’s no single magic solution for a website – the type of hosting you need depends largely on your goals and the requirements of your project. Consider the pros and cons of each type of hosting to make an informed decision.

How to fix syntax errors in WordPress?

I assume you found this article because of the WordPress error message that is on your website, take a deep breath and put on your developer hat (coffee is optional).

Yes, there is a problem, but it is possible to fix it. Your website didn’t disappear into thin air. It’s still there, behind that error message. The problem may be something as simple as a missing semicolon in a PHP file. WordPress syntax errors aren’t common, but they do occur and are relatively easy to fix.

In this article, we’ll explain what a syntax error is, along with some common causes. Then, we’ll walk you through the steps to locate and fix the error. Let’s get started!

What is a syntax error?

A syntax error occurs when a command is not written correctly. This may include the presence of a grammatical error, a misspelled word or a missing symbol or incorrect punctuation in your website code. In WordPress, this is usually a PHP error.

Why WordPress syntax bug fixes matter?

A syntax error indicates that something is not correct in your website code. This problem can make your site inaccessible, leaving you with an unpopulated page or an error message.

If your website is down or inaccessible, it will obviously affect the user experience (UX). As well as affecting your traffic and conversion rates, if you have a blank page where your website should be, you can know that it will affect your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.

WordPress syntax error messages can be worrying, especially if you’re not familiar with website code. Fortunately, as you’ll see, most syntax errors have a simple fix.

Common causes of syntax errors in WordPress

A syntax error may occur when you pasted the code incorrectly. Maybe you missed a part when you copied the code or maybe there is an extra closing tag at the end of the script.

This is an open PHP tag <?php, and this is a closing tag ?>.

When you copy and paste a piece of PHP code, it often includes the open tag, causing a syntax error. Since you are probably pasting the snippet into existing code, it is not necessary to include the open tag. You may also get a syntax error when editing your theme in WordPress Customizer. If this happens, you will generally know what the problem is or at least where the file is located. If you’re not sure, don’t worry. You can locate the error by making a few changes to the wp-config.php file.

Another reason you might see this message is because of an update or plugin installation. The extension may not be compatible with your WordPress version or there may be other issues at play. If you are updating or installing a plugin when the error occurred, this is most likely the source of the problem.

How to fix a syntax error in WordPress via FTP

When a syntax error occurs, you can fix it by either removing or correcting the code containing the error. Either way, you will need access to the file where the problem occurs. If you are not logged into the WordPress admin panel, you can access this using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client.

FileZilla is a good option. Note that you will always want to connect using the more secure Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) than FTP. This will ensure that the data transferred is encrypted.

You will need some information to connect to your website via SFTP:

Server / Host Name

Username

Password

Port

You can find this information by logging into your web hosting account.

From the account management area, search for FTP users (or FTP accounts, depending on your web host) and select Manage Users to view the host settings, username and port. Then open the FTP client and enter your login details. Once connected, in the directory of your WordPress site, you will see the wp-admin, wp-content and wp-include folders and a list of other files. A good practice is to keep a backup of the files you are about to edit, better safe than sorry!
If your screen looks similar to the example above, you’re in the right place! Now it’s time to enable debugging to get more information about the syntax error.

Enable DEBUG to view the location of the syntax error. If you were working on your website when the error occurred, you should have a good idea of where to look for the problem. However, if you are not sure, there is no need to guess. Troubleshooting will show you the exact location of the error. To enable debugging, you can add the following code snippet to your wp-config.php file:

define ( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true );

Make sure you put the code before / That’s all … * / towards the bottom of the file.

After you save the file and refresh your site in the browser, you should see a text string indicating the location of the error, including the file, name and line number.

Be sure to disable debugging after you have fixed syntax errors, as leaving this feature is not recommended for live websites. You have now located the syntax error. Once you notice the information, it’s time to start working on the fix. You can use the instructions below to fix the error depending on its location.

Fix a syntax error caused by a plugin

If you install, update or edit a plugin file when the syntax error has occurred, the simplest and quickest solution is to disable the plugin. That’s what we’ll do first.

Access your website via SFTP. After logging in, go to the wp-content/plugins directory and find the plugin folder with the error. While you’re there, you can disable the plugin or correct the file containing the error – if you know what’s causing the problem. If not, you can disable the plugin by renaming its folder in the plugins directory.

If you go to your site’s URL and reload the page, your site should look normal. However, if you want to continue using the plugin, you will need to fix the error instead of simply disabling it.

To fix the plugin error, find the file and line number in the error message. Identify any missing or incorrect code on that line. If you’re not sure what’s causing the error, you can insert the snippet into a code editor to help you identify it. You can always disable the plugin as a short-term solution. Then you can reactivate it later once the error is corrected. This may be the best approach, especially if the plugin is not essential to the functioning of your website.

Fix syntax error caused by incorrect editing of a theme file

To fix an error that occurred while editing your theme, access the website via SFTP and navigate to the wp-content/themes folder. Open the appropriate theme folder and locate the file with the error – usually the functions.php file.

Edit the file and correct the error. Again, the syntax error code should display the line number. If the problem occurred when you pasted a piece of code into the file, delete the changes to restore the file to its stable version.

If you don’t see what is causing the problem, you can use a code editor to identify the error. Once you have corrected the problem, open a browser window and navigate to the URL to check that your site is back up and running.

Use a code editor to identify syntax errors

There are several code editors available for free online, such as Sublime Text and Atom. You can use any of these tools to help diagnose and fix syntax errors, these programs will automatically point out syntax errors.

How to avoid syntax errors in the future?

Using proper syntax can help you avoid errors in the future. PHP is a simple, flexible language. You can invest a little time to learn the basics. Then, when you paste code or modify your site’s files, you’ll know how to correct errors as you work.

As another option, you can keep a code editor handy to check the syntax before pasting code onto your website. This is a smart practice to make sure a piece of code is correct before adding it to files on a live site.

Another way to prevent problems is to enable debugging when you make changes to your website, to flag errors before applying them to the live version. This is the ideal time to make sure everything is compatible with your WordPress core files and working as it should. Finally, we suggest deleting any unused plugins and themes. Not only can this help prevent syntax errors, but it’s also a good security measure.

Are you ready to fix this syntax error?

Nearly 40% of all websites are built on WordPress, making it the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. It’s a stable and secure platform, but even so bugs can occur.

These are usually simple to fix, but it’s better to take steps to prevent problems from occurring in the first place, such as using a staging module and debugging periodically.

And if you want quality, custom WordPress website hosting, you can trust the WordPress hosting packages we offer. You benefit from the hottest security and performance tools, and in case you run into difficulties, you’ll have the best technical support available.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress is the most widely used website builder and content management system in the world it’s been launched in 2003 and since then it’s been crucial to website making WordPress is super popular 35% of all the web sites and 38.03 percent of top hundred thousand websites are WordPress based however

WordPress still remains a battle zone between a huge community of supporters and contributors who like WordPress because it’s free open-source easy to learn and has more than hundred thousand themes and plug-ins for everything and millions of doubters and haters who mainly criticize WordPress because of its low speed bad security and low Google rankings but what if I tell you there is a hosting especially optimized to better meet WordPress performance and security called WordPress hosting is one of the most important but commonly overlooked aspects of running your website WordPress has been designed for flexibility and scalability on a variety of platforms so you can run your website in any type of host the only technical requirement for running your website is MySQL 5.0. 15 or higher and PHP 5. 2.4 or higher but this does not mean that you should host your website to anywhere processed without a high quality host your website will surely load slowly have high downtime and be less secure by choosing the quality WordPress host you will greatly improve the performance of your site and receive a ton of additional advantages the common advantages are one-click install that allows quickly installed WordPress to your website automatic updates to the WordPress core and WordPress centered support team that can handle any question related to WordPress the two main types of

WordPress hosting are shared hosting and managed hosting shared WordPress hosting is the cheapest form of WordPress hosting you will ever find and this is mainly because you share server resources with other web sites hosting wordpress on a shared server can be an affordable choice for new business owners and smaller sites but for those who are looking for more speed security and support will need managed WordPress hosting managed WordPress hosting takes the stress out of hosting and managing your site usually managed WordPress hosting will use a dedicated server but it can also be configured with VPS hosting cloud hosting or even a shared server environment with managed

WordPress hosting you get high levels of security incredibly fast speed up-to-date server high level of uptime WordPress centered support team the prime drawback of managed hosting has always been high pricing which is already sold with BMFHost a managed WordPress hosting platform powered by

Google Cloud at BMFHost we offer managed hosting with the price of shared hosting the annual pricing starts at $10 a month for one website and can go as low as six dollars for one website in case of 10 websites being hosted so normal shared hosting besides affordable prices BMFHost offers a ton of additional advantages which makes WordPress hosting a hundred percent worth it when you create a webpage on BMFHost or migrate your existing site from elsewhere it will automatically get 95 plus PageSpeed score BMFHost’s backup service is the real time differential backup which automatically backs up your website and keeps it in a very secure AWS s3 storage space also you’re able to automatically schedule your backup BMFHost offers you an elastic scaling in order to handle your traffic spikes with every extra 10,000 visitors or five gigabyte SSD storage you will be charged extra $2.00 at the end of the billing month with BMFHost you will save your time hosting managing and building your websites from a single dashboard where you can manage all your websites with a few clicks with every BMFHost plan you get drag and drop website builder based on Elementor 40 beautiful and mobile-friendly website templates 50 premium plugins for everything security scanners and SEO service BMFHost offers you a 14-day free trial with no credit card required if you just want to try and see so we are sure that BMFHost is the best hosting choice for you and time to sum up so what is WordPress hosting it’s a host that’s been optimized to run

WordPress is it worth it absolutely with WordPress hosting you have tons of advantages for speed security support and much more already wondering whether to choose shared hosting or managed hosting wait well why settle down with bad quality shared hosting if you can get a managed hosting with the same price right as already said BMFHost offers you a 14-day free trial that can help your decision a lot.

Top 5 FREE WordPress Plugins

When building your WordPress website, it seems like it’s really never finished. Sure, you can finish the pages and menu items needed on the site, but you’re always looking to improve your site by making it faster, rank better on Google and be more secure. Today I thought it’d be fun to share my top five free WordPress plugins I highly recommend you try.

Let’s get right into it with Yoast SEO. Yoast is a free search engine optimization plugin that lets you change how page titles and descriptions appear on Google and other search engines. Without a plugin like Yoast, you can’t control this information on your Google result and Google just guesses out what it thinks you want there and adds a nice … to the end it’s not very pretty. Yoast allows you to change this and put exactly what you wanna be there, your website, title description, all the key words to increase your chance of ranking higher. Yoast also make sure Google has the correct metadata for your site so you can get that nice page structure under your listing to help people get directly to the page they need. Whether it’s about contact, FAQ, you get the idea they can just click straight through under your website listing and go right to the page.

If you’re a blogger, Yoast totally changes how you write content. It helps you include keywords to reinforce your target search phrase, make posts long enough for the Google Algorithm to take it seriously and make it easier for readers to digest, which increases time spent on your page when people can read easier which in turn helps SEO. It’s really brilliant how it all works together. Yoast does offer a premium version, but I’ve never paid for it. I find that the free version serves my needs just fine and I’d recommend trying it for your website. Next is a simple one, but one I can’t live without. Duplicate Posts does exactly what it says. It duplicates a post or page so you can make a copy to work off. I find it so crazy that WordPress still doesn’t offer this feature natively, but Duplicate Post is free and does the job perfectly.

There’s a few reasons you might wanna do this or I’ll sometimes use it to do a Save As for a page and be able to make changes to a copy of that page without permanently changing the only version that exists, or sometimes I’m working on a landing page and simply want to duplicate an existing one to use it as a template for my second one, that’s all there is to it. It’s a simple plugin that does exactly what it says it lets you duplicate a post for page easily and work off of that copy to do whatever you need to do. Next, let’s take a look at WP Mail. This one’s a bit obscure on the surface and it seems very technical, but let me explain what it does and why you need it. By default. When any email is sent from your WordPress website, it sent through the IP address of your web server.

If you’re on shared hosting, the shared servers IP address commonly gets blacklisted as spam due to other web hosting accounts, getting compromised and hackers, utilizing it to send spam mail. Fun factory you, I bet you didn’t know that the overwhelming majority of creepy spam mail you receive comes from GoDaddy Shared Hosting servers or Bluehost or DreamHost or any of the shared hosting companies. Most of the spam mail you get in your inbox comes from compromised web hosting accounts. So what does this mean in English? Well, using the default mail settings in WordPress, there’s a good chance of email being sent from your website, getting sent to your spam folder.

This is a problem if you have a contact form on your site or receive emails, when people leave a comment on your blog posts for approval, because if you don’t regularly check your spam folder, you could miss an important inquiry. If you’re a freelancer, you might miss someone who wants to hire you because you don’t have your WordPress configured correctly to send mail the right way. WP Mail allows you to change how WordPress sends mail and it allows you to link directly to a transactional mail service like SendGrid, Amazon SES, or Sendinblue.

Again what does that mean in English? Well, you know how you use a service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to send your marketing emails to your email list, you wouldn’t send a mass email from your Gmail account and CC everyone, probably because it would get sent directly the spam and it’s just ghetto. You don’t do it, You use a professional service like MailChimp. If you’re doing an email list and you want to do email marketing services like MailChimp and Constant Contact have special ways of sending mail to ensure a low chance of it getting sent to spam. And that’s exactly what services like SendGrid, Amazon SES, or Sendinblue do for transactional emails. Transactional emails are emails to reset your password or email such as getting a new contact form submission or new comment on your website.

I personally use Spark Post and I use the SMTP option within WP mail SMTP to connect it accordingly. Spark Post lets you send up to 500 emails per month for free and I’ve never exceeded the free limit. Using a setup like this make sure you don’t miss important emails, including security alerts from Wordfence, which is the next plugin I’m highlighting. Wordfence is a free security solution that features a Live Firewall Brute Force Protection against common attacks, email alerts for new admin logins and optional two factor authentication.

I speak from experience in saying that WordPress is not secure on its own without a proper security system. So I would advise installing Wordfence on your site immediately. Seriously, it’s totally free if you don’t have it installed, pause this video right now, hit that link in the description and go install it on your site. It’s that important. They do offer a premium version, but I’ve always used the free version and been happy with it. I won’t talk about it too much since I made a dedicated video on it here, but I will have the link in the description to all the plugins mentioned. Last let’s talk about Really Simple SSL.

I recently talked about how you can get an SSL certificate for free, but when you install it on your web server or set up Cloudflare, sometimes WordPress has trouble enforcing HTTPS on your website. Really Simple SSL is a basic free plugin that all your content on your website loaded over HTTPS and a redirect is forced. So visitors will always see that lovely lock icon. Every time they visit your site, and SSL will be configured correctly. It’s really simple to activate install it and click a few buttons and you’re set. So if SSL is working fine on your WordPress site, you don’t really need Really Simple as SSL, but if you’ve had trouble setting it up or you notice that sometimes it’s not HTTPS, I would go ahead and install it. I just install it on all of my WordPress site as a general rule i figure why not?

It can’t hurt anything. And because of that, I’ve never had trouble with my SSL configuration. So those are my top five essential WordPress plugins, but I do have two honorable mentions. Sumo and Smush. Sumo is a free exit intent popup I’ve talked about before and Smush is a free plugin that automatically compresses and downsizes images when you upload them to WordPress, it doesn’t affect the quality much, but it makes the file size smaller. This helps your site load faster, which not only boosts your SEO, but it also saves you storage space on your web hosting account.

As previously mentioned, I’ll have links to all of these plugins description below. Now I’ve gotten a few questions lately regarding drag and drop Page Builder Plugins like Elementor or WPbakery. And since this is a video talking about my essential WordPress plugins, someone’s going to ask it. They’re going to be like Christian, why did you not talk about a page builder? That’s pretty essential to WordPress. So I’ll make it simple. I wouldn’t recommend buying or using the free version of Elementary or WPbakery on their own because they’re included in good quality WordPress themes. And I think it’s best.

If you get a good word, press theme, that’s integrated and designed to work with the Page Builder Plugin directly, which would mean that the page builder plugin is included and you don’t need to find one or install one because it’s bundled with the plugin. Now here’s the thing. The WordPress theme you pick for your site can dramatically change your website, building experience. It can change based on the backend of the theme, the developer chooses to use which Page Builder Plugin they include. There’s a lot of variables that really affect how your website building experience goes just based on the theme you pick.

So if you’d like me to make a video about my top WordPress themes, drop a comment below, I think that would be an interesting video. And if it sounds good to you do be sure to let me know about that. Also if you missed it, last week I announced the launch of Craylor Academy. Craylor Academy is my new website for online courses and my new course building a WordPress website from start to finish is launching on Craylor Academy later this year.

I’ll be covering all of this juicy information in great detail including which WordPress theme you should use and a step by step guide from start to finish on building your first WordPress website, using the link in the description. You can sign up for my email list and get the course for $19 when it launches. And that’s $19 one time, by the way, no subscriptions, no upsells, no ads. If that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to hit up the link below and join the list. So what are your essential WordPress plugins? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

Should You Use WordPress?

If you’ve been looking to build your first WordPress website, chances are you opened Google, searched for WordPress, and saw this result right here, WordPress.com create a free website or blog. You probably thought, oh, that must be it, WordPress.com. This is that WordPress platform, everyone keeps talking about. And that is the source of so much confusion in the WordPress community. What is WordPress.com?

Do you have to build your WordPress website through WordPress.com? What about WordPress hosts? Can’t I build my WordPress website through other companies, too? Well, it’s important for us to take a step back and understand what WordPress is. WordPress is an open source website builder that can be installed on any server and any web host. Because it’s open source, that means it’s completely free to use, so you can download the code and install it on any web server. If you go to WordPress.org, this is the official site for the WordPress platform. WordPress can be installed anywhere. You could have a server room in your attic and run WordPress on it for free. So at this point you might be saying, well, wait a minute, what is WordPress.com? It looks so official and legit. So WordPress.com is owned by Automattic. Automattic is a company that was formed by the co-founding WordPress software developer.

So to make a long story short, the founder of Automattic first registered the trademark to WordPress, and even though he has since donated it to the WordPress foundation, his company still has special privileges to use the WordPress.com domain and branding for their web host. WordPress.com is essentially a blessed WordPress host from a branding perspective, as they get to use the WordPress brand and come across as the official hosting option. So if WordPress.com seems so official, does that make it the best option for your WordPress website? I tried it for myself and the experience was different than I expected.

You can actually create a website totally free on a branded subdomain, like yourwebsite.WordPress.com. If you’re looking to get your feet wet with blogging, I think WordPress.com is a great place to do this. Their free plan gives you all the tools you need to make posts, add pages, and get a basic website together, for friends and family to view. It’s a watered-down, modified version of WordPress that doesn’t let you install plugins or third-party themes, but it’s functional, nonetheless. And I can’t think of a better way to get serious, reliable hosting free for a basic blog. But if you’re serious about building a brand, you want your website to have a custom domain. You want your website to be on your website.com, instead of yourwebsite.WordPress.com.

And that’s you when you need to upgrade to a paid plan. Seems pretty fair, right? Well, this is where things get interesting because the $4 and $8 a month plans do allow you to connect your own domain name, but there’s still that watered-down version of WordPress that you get with the free plan. That’s right, even for $8 a month, you cannot install plugins and you can’t install third-party themes.

This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is. If you’ve never used WordPress before, take my word for it. You will want to install plugins and you will want third-party themes. These are core, essential parts of WordPress that you need to build a great website for your business, and it’s something that you really are going to want. Unfortunately, with WordPress.com, getting the full, true version of WordPress will cost you $25 a month. And to make matters worse, all of these plans are billed annually with no monthly option available. So you actually need to shell out $300 at one time for a year of hosting.

This brings us to today’s sponsor, Porkbun, your go-to platform for the lowest price domains and simple hosting services that help you cohesively build your brand. If you’re currently exploring hosting options, consider the world beyond WordPress.com. A simpler, faster, streamlined option awaits. Porkbun’s Easy WordPress offers the speed and reliability you’d expect at a price you can’t beat. Custom-built with security and performance as the number one priority. A third of the web uses WordPress, but the savviest customers use Porkbun’s Easy WordPress, it’s in the name. Your fancy new domain name deserves a trustworthy host, so once you’ve snagged your domain at the industry’s lowest price, you heard that right, lowest price, try Easy WordPress free for 15 days.

Then with monthly costs as low as $10, a price and a product perfectly fit for big businesses and growing personal brands. Head over to porkbun.com for a refreshing take on the domain industry, with the tools you need to showcase your skills. Along with finding superior products, you’re bound for a laugh or two. Enjoy, and huge thanks to Porkbun for supporting the channel. I just registered my new domain name for my upcoming online course at Porkbun, and I can’t wait to share that with you guys soon. So getting back to WordPress.com, I really would not recommend paying $300 a year for hosting when there are alternatives like Porkbun’s Easy WordPress hosting for a $120 a year.

Not to mention the fact that Porkbun offers a 15-day free trial with no strings attached, and they also have a monthly billing option for $12. You may be thinking that WordPress.com might be more reliable or just have better support because it just feels so official. But I can assure you the experience is just as good, if not better, at other web hosts. And I always recommend buying hosting month-to-month when you’re getting started so that way it’s easy to switch hosts if you aren’t having a good experience. Or you can cancel your hosting, if your business or blog doesn’t work out. Now, in fairness to WordPress.com, I need to give credit where credit is due. For $300 a year, they do give you 200 gigs of storage, which is pretty impressive when compared to other hosting plans that typically give you 10 to 20 gigabytes of storage.

However, WordPress itself, only takes a few hundred megabytes of space, so the only reason you would ever need more than 10 to 20 gigs of storage is if you have hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures and videos hosted directly on your WordPress website. And if you do require that type of storage, there are a number of workarounds.

Let’s take Amazon Web Services S3 storage solution. You could set this up to upload all your pictures and media from your WordPress site to be stored on AWS S3, instead of your main hosting account, and Amazon charges around $5 a month for 200 gigabytes of data storage. This is completely modular, as well, and you get billed down to the megabyte. So if you need 30 gigabytes of storage, 200 gigs or two terabytes of storage, a solution like this is infinitely scalable.

Hmm, let’s see, $10 a month for web hosting, $5 a month for 200 gigs of storage through Amazon, that puts us at $15 a month for the same amount of storage as the $25 a month plan at WordPress.com. WordPress.com also gives you 24/7 live-chat support, but I was unable to try it for myself as I don’t want to shell out $300 to try it. So in the end, should you use WordPress.com for your website? Well, I’d say if you’re wanting to use the free version, or if you’re looking for a basic blog, and that’s your only goal, to get a basic blog with your domain name, that’s simple and easy to use, I think the $4 a month plan can be a great option to connect your domain name and have that simplified, watered-down experience. One thing I wanna make clear is that this watered-down experience is proprietary to WordPress.com and you won’t find it elsewhere.

It’s a modified version of WordPress.org that isn’t part of WordPress itself, so that can be a blessing and a curse, depending on your needs. If you’re just looking for a carefree, easy interface to use for a basic blog, I actually think you’ll enjoy the experience at WordPress.com. It’s simpler than the normal WordPress interface, which can be a good thing if you don’t need plugins and third-party themes. However, if you’re building a website for your company, an eCommerce store, or anything beyond a bare bones, basic blog, I would highly recommend getting hosting elsewhere, such as from our sponsor, Porkbun.

Not only is there better value elsewhere, but you don’t have to be locked into a year and you can find a solution to fit your needs. Whether it’s simple hosting, complex hosting with staging environments and development environments, or renting a dedicated server, if that’s your thing. There’s a massive sea of options outside WordPress.com, and I encourage you to look around before making a decision on where to land. So what do you guys think of WordPress.com? Are you going to use it for your website? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

Don’t Buy WRONG WordPress Theme!

When it comes to picking a WordPress theme, it may seem like you can just pick a theme that visually looks great, install it, and be on your very way with building the perfect WordPress website. That’s what I thought too when I started developing WordPress sites, but today, I’m gonna break down why the visual look is one of the last things you should consider when buying a WordPress theme. I know what you’re saying, “What do you mean? “I want site that looks clean and modern. “And that’s why you buy a WordPress theme. “You need one that looks great “and represents your brand well.” And that’s right.

But there’s a critical side to WordPress themes you may not think about, and that’s the backend. So if you just wanna know what WordPress themes I recommend, go ahead and check the description below. But let me take a second to explain why the WordPress theme you pick will have a huge effect on your entire website building experience and how it can be the difference between a great WordPress experience and a nightmare.

So at its core WordPress is a blogging platform. I know some will argue with me over this because WordPress has evolved greatly over the years. With the introduction of Gutenberg, it’s starting to feel more like a complete drag and drop website builder. But let’s be real, WordPress was structured with blogging in mind. And because of this, we have two main components of vanilla WordPress.

When I say vanilla WordPress, I’m talking about a fresh install of WordPress with no third party plugins and the default theme. When we install WordPress, we’ve got the Posts section and the Pages section. It’s really pretty simple. If you’re posting a blog, you go to the Post section. If you need to create a page on the website, you go to the Page section. So if you look at vanilla WordPress, you’re probably going, “Man, this is really simple.

“I can’t imagine how people make complex WordPress websites “with sliders, rich visuals, and complex layouts.” And that’s because any serious WordPress website uses a third party theme with its own backend and plugins that modify the WordPress editing experience. And that is why picking the right WordPress theme is critical. I’ve used some terrible backends before that make no sense, are very limiting and just make an overall terrible experience to use. Each theme usually comes with a different set of instructions to modify things like the global colors, logo on the menu, font size, et cetera.

So what’s my stance on picking themes? Focus on the backend editor and credibility of the theme developer first, then take a look at visuals. The WordPress theme should be seen as a framework for your website, a set of buttons, controls and layouts you can use to build your site, but more importantly, a backend for you to build your site. I’ll talk about this more later. But now I wanna highlight my three picks from my top WordPress themes. First, we’re looking at my new personal favorite, Salient. This theme is a best seller on Themeforest and for a good reason. First released in 2013, this theme has seen a lot of updates.

The developers are committed to making it the best WordPress theme on the planet. And it’s their one and only WordPress theme they currently offer on Themeforest. Just by looking at a demo of Salient, you’re sure to be impressed. Elements have a clean and modern feel, and there’s over 330 section templates to choose from. This right here is a big reason I fell in love with Salient. Most WordPress themes will let you import the demo sites, meaning they will import all of the demo pages, the full Home page, About page, Pricing page, et cetera. This gives you a good starting point and lets you modify the site as needed and make it your own.

However, Salient takes this a step further. They have modular section templates that you can mix and match to build your own page so you can pick and choose which sections to use. This lets you build a killer page without spending hours designing it from scratch. If you wanna design it from scratch, you can do that as well. Salient uses the WPBakery Page Builder plugin, which is my personal favorite plugin and where I’ve invested a lot of my time to learn how it works. Salient has a lot of flexible options for many layouts.

This was important to me when I was searching for a new theme, because I find that themes are often restrictive and don’t give you many options over how menus are structured. With Salient, you can do full screen menus, menu items centered, left-justified or right-justified and much more. The theme gives you a flexible Settings page to easily adjust fonts, colors, and blog post styling. Salient has a great set of documentation and tutorials and you can open support tickets to speak to their team for help if you can’t figure something out. At its $60 one-time price point, Salient is seriously a killer WordPress theme.

If you want a theme that is headache-free, reliable and has a lot of options, I highly recommend Salient. I’m using it to rebuild my app company website, and I’m really happy with the results so far.It includes the WPBakery Page Builder, has documentation and support, and has a lot of demos to import. As of the latest update, you also have access to Gem Blocks, which is the same concept from Salient where you can import sections of demo pages to assemble your own page with different pre-made modules. TheGem was originally released in 2016, and is one of seven themes offered by its developer. And if you like the design, I highly recommend checking it out. Last is gonna be an honorable mention and that’s Divi. Now first, I have to give a huge disclosure.

I haven’t used Divi for a website in years. It’s another mega theme that has been refined and redone for years and years. So it’s not even close to the theme it was when I used it back in the day. With that being said Divi is a flexible, powerful theme from Elegant Themes that uses their own proprietary page builder. Elegant Themes has been around for a long time, and they’re the first company I bought WordPress themes from when I first started playing around with it. I can’t say much about Divi, because it’s been years since I’ve used it. So I wanna be clear here. This isn’t a personal recommendation from me, I’m just mentioning it since it’s a popular, powerful theme that many people are happy with.

I would love to give it a shot and try it for a website. So if that’s something you wanna see, drop a comment below and I’ll consider making a review. So you might be surprised that I didn’t have more themes to recommend. But that’s because of what I mentioned earlier about why picking the right WordPress theme is so important. You see, I used to see WordPress themes by their demo pages. I would look for the perfect demo that exactly fit what I had in mind. I’d say oh, this is a great theme, it’s exactly what I’m looking for, the demo looks amazing. I buy it, then I would discover that the backend editor was absolutely atrocious.

Seriously, picking the wrong WordPress theme will cause you so much frustration. And if it’s your first time building a WordPress site it might make you never wanna use WordPress again. So I need to stress this. Do not judge a WordPress theme by its cover. Don’t look at the Demo page and say, “Oh, this is shiny and pretty, I need this theme.” Demos can look great, then when you see how horrifying or limiting the backend editor is, you’ll wanna quit. So what should you look for in a WordPress theme? Well, first you wanna find a theme that supports your preferred website builder plugin. I personally use and recommend WPBakery.

So I like to look for themes that include WPBakery and have tight integration with it. Salient and TheGem both check that box. I’m not telling you that WPBakery is the only option. Some of the big themes like Divi offer proprietary editors, and you may also see Elementor offered as well. This is all fine and dandy, but just make sure that if it’s a proprietary editor, it’s from a large theme developer that has sold many thousands of copies of the theme and people are happy. I’ve gone down the path so many times of buying a nice-looking theme with some cheap proprietary editor from a newer theme developer, and these always turn out to be the worst WordPress experiences. Once you have the page builder plugin narrowed down, look at how many people have bought the theme, what the reviews say, how detailed the documentation is, and what kinda support the theme developer offers. See if you’re actually able to find examples of real live websites that use the theme. How do they look?

Do they seem flexible? Would you want your site to look like that? When looking for a theme, my favorite place to search is themeforest.net. They have a huge selection, a lot of filters to narrow down supported website builder plugins, and some helpful stats like how many people have bought the theme, reviews, et cetera. And if you’re getting into freelance website building with WordPress, I’m gonna recommend that you just stick to one, maybe two, maybe three themes and that’s all you use. I used to make the mistake of having the client pick the theme, and guys don’t make that mistake, don’t tell your client, “Hey, just go to Themeforest, “send me a theme that looks nice, I’ll get it for you, “and I’ll put it on your site and I’ll build your site.”

Do not do that, that was the biggest mistake that I made and it cost me so many hours of headache, frustration and lost revenue. Really, you wanna stick to one to three WordPress themes that you know so well, you know like the back of your hand, and they’re super flexible, and you’ll get confident in how the theme works so you can actually build out a design and a layout for your client and say, “Hey, I got it.” They don’t even need to know what a theme is. Clients get confused by that. They don’t need to know what themes are or hosting is.

That’s why they hire you. So come up with one to three WordPress themes that you really know and love and you’re good at and then just put that on the client’s site, build the layout to their requirements, and they will be much happier just saying, “I give you money, you give me website.” Now you may be asking, “Why do I need to buy a WordPress theme at all? “Can’t I use one of the many free ones “in the Themes section of WordPress?” And you definitely can. It’s really a you get what you pay for situation. If you’re making a basic blog and you don’t need rich hero sections or homepage elements, I think you can reasonably get by with a free theme. If you’re wanting to build a quality website for your brand, a free theme will probably be too limiting for your needs.

They’re often just a lite version of a paid theme. And you can easily get suckered into upgrading to the paid version because you’ve already built half of the site using the free version, if you really want the full functionality. You then didn’t have an opportunity to research the theme reputation, features, documentation or anything else, but you just spent money on it to avoid having to start over and build the site again. This usually ends up being a frustrating WordPress experience, so I can’t stress this enough, pick the theme for your site carefully.

Don’t lose sleep over it and don’t make it rocket science, but make sure you know what you’re looking for. Do your research and you’ll have an awesome WordPress experience. Speaking of having an awesome WordPress experience, how would you like to have a step by step tutorial for building your WordPress website from start to finish? I’m talking where to buy your domain, which web host is right for you? How to set up WordPress on a variety of web hosts?

And every detail to build a great WordPress website from start to finish. I’m in the process of making my comprehensive WordPress online course, and you can sign up in the description below to be notified when it goes live later this year. You’ll get the opportunity to purchase the course outright at $19. That’s one time, no ads, no upsells, no just any kind of scaminess. $19 one time, that’s it. If that sounds interesting to you hit up the link in the description below and join the list. So what’s your favorite WordPress theme? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

What Is Web Hosting? Explained

What is web hosting? Do you need it for a Squarespace or Wix site? If you buy a domain, does that mean you already have web hosting? Today, I’m taking a step back to answer these questions and more. Alright, so in a nutshell, web hosting is a box where your website files are stored. Think about a Word document on your computer. When you need to access it, you go to the folder, double-click the file and your word processor reads the file from your harddrive and displays it.

A website is simply: a bundle of files that a web browser reads and displays to the user, the person visiting the website. So, what is web hosting? Web hosting is simply a folder on a server or a “souped up” computer that stores your website files. When a user types your domain.com, the browser is pointed to the web server, downloads the files to the local device, and displays the website as normal.

And that’s all the internet is; a giant network of servers that send and receive files back and forth all day, every day to create this connected experience, where users can all see the same websites, share the same files and access data from any device. So, now that we have a basic understanding of web hosting, when do you actually need it? Is it required to have a website? Well, the correct answer is yes, web hosting of some kind is required for a website to work.

But the answer of if you need it, may be no, depending on the website platform you choose. If you’re going with a conventional website builder, think Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, any website builder that advertises paying $10 a month to connect a custom domain name, these website platforms are hosting this site for you. So, while your site has web hosting, the website platform, which would be Squarespace or Wix or whatever you’re using, handles this for you, rolling it into the plan and cost. This means that all you need is a domain name, and a Squarespace or Wix plan, and you’re good to go. You don’t need to buy your own web hosting.

But, remember that your website is still being hosted on a server by Squarespace or Wix, they’re just handling that for you in the background. Well, what if you want to use a different platform like wordpress.org? Well, WordPress is a free and open-source platform. And because of this, it’s up to you to purchase your own web hosting account and install WordPress on the server. Now, this might sound like a big scary task but, any decent host makes it easy. Hosts like hostinger, dreamhost and kinsta make it so you just click a few buttons to create a brand new WordPress website.

And, as long as you make sure your hosting account is renewed, you’ll be able to use WordPress as normal. And if you haven’t already figured it out; no! Just because you have a domain name does not mean you have web hosting. A domain name is strictly a license to use the URL of your choice such as ChristianTaylor.co or yourdomain.com. This does not give you web hosting and, you need to purchase that separately or use a hosted Website Builder.

I think the reason there’s so much confusion around this topic is because most anydomain registrar; these are sites like GoDaddy, Namecheap or Dynadot also offer web hosting, or hosted website builders. And they make it easy to add as an upsell while purchasing your domain. Think like the GoDaddy Website Builder or Namecheap web hosting, you just click a button when you check out and boom, you’ve added it. And I think there are a lot of people who buy web hosting when they buy their domain without even realizing it.

And they don’t realize it’s two separate things. They just think, “Oh, I paid for my domain name and my website keeps running.” So you might be asking yourself, Are there pros to choosing a hosted Website Builder over getting your own web hosting? And the answer is: absolutely! But, there are also cons. The upside of choosing a platform like Squarespace or Shopify is that: you don’t have to purchase web hosting separately, you don’t have to worry about installing anything to the server and, you get access to that proprietary platform. A lot of people love Squarespace for its simplicity, and many businesses, including big ones, like ring.com, swear by Shopify for E-commerce. But, there are some cons to choosing a hosted website platform. The biggest con is you don’t have control over the quality of your web hosting. These companies sell it as being a benefit, saying they’ll handle your site if you get a huge surge in traffic and you don’t have to worry about it.

But what happens if you get a really big surge in traffic? Think about the situation when Jeffree Star launched his cosmetics line recently, and the website crashed because it got such a surge in traffic. That was actually a Shopify website. And in this case, he would just call up Shopify and say, ” Hey, there was a giant surge to my website, can you please fix the problem?” and Shopify will and did take care of the issue. However, if you had self-hosted that website, you would be in control.

You could go to your web host like Amazon Web Services, or whoever you pick, and just scale up the server with one click, and you have the remote control to the power of your web hosting. But with that being said, I wouldn’t base the decision of which website platform you use, solely on whether it’s a hosted platform or requires you to buy your own hosting. I would focus more on the whole package and finding a platform that’s right for you and fits your needs, functionality wise.

If you want a drag and drop website builder and you just need a simple website, you’ll likely love Squarespace or Wix. If you’re more about customizability and you like to tinker around and make your website do exactly what you want it to do, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy a WordPress or other self-hosted platforms most. So, hopefully this video helps you get a clear understanding of what web hosting is, how it’s used, and whether you need to purchase it. So, which websites solution did you use? Did you go with the hosted Website Builder? Or did you choose to get your own web hosting? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.