How to successfully convert your WP blog into a thriving community

Tips to turn your WP blog into a community

The blogging has emerged as a healthy income option and many talented writers now treat it as a full-time career or business. A good blog can open an number of income opportunities for you to earn a regular active and passive income- right from affiliate income to securing new projects and clients. However, to tap the maximum potential of your blog you need to turn your readers into a thriving community. Most of the top blogs that are ranking on the top page of Google are the ones with a close-knitted healthy community of readers that frequently engage with their blog posts. We are going to present some tips on how to successfully convert your WordPress blog into a community:

Avoid clutter of ideas and be specific

You need a sustainable group of readers who share the same interests and purposes that will encourage them to regularly follow your blog, interact with other readers and eventually form a healthy community. So be focused on 3-4 relevant aspects of single niche and concentrate on value rather than the volume of the topics.

You should possess the knowledge and passion

Many bloggers choose the niche based on the commercial viability of the same, i.e., how many people are searching for that niche and how easy it is to get the sponsors or clients and what is the income potential. While it is not wrong to concentrate on the commercial feasibility, you also need to have the knowledge, passion and expertise.

The in-depth knowledge will help you to convince the readers with your thoughts while the passion will help you to create thought-provoking posts that quickly connect with the readers and touch their core. The readers are more likely share such blogs on facebook, twitter and other social media platform that can help in building social media community around your blog.

Create short and easily comprehensible posts

Long essays sound monotonous and can repel the readers. They will also cost you a vast majority of the mobile audience who prefer small and mini-blogs with a light tone that can be enjoyed even on the go.

So, it is wise to concentrate on value rather than volume and write short, crispy and well-focused posts that your readers can quickly finish and easily understand. Even the subject experts need to come down to the readers’ level of comprehension/interests while writing the posts so that they can instantly create a rapport with them and make readers the active participant of your blog.

Carefully choose the words and language you use

Even the small things like the use of personal pronouns (I, You and We), talking in the first person rather than a third person and using the active voice (instead of passive voice) can go a long way in personally connecting with your readers. Instead of focusing only on the technical details and strategies, storifying your articles at appropriate places will help you retain the readers’ engagement and also allow to quickly grasp the import of the posts.

Actively invite your readers to participate

Just having comment boxes or social sharing buttons isn’t enough you should also actively encourage the users to interact with you. Ask their views and feedback on your posts, encourage them to share there own stories and even include their real-life anecdotes in your blog posts. It proves that you value your readers and are even ready to go that extra mile to make them an active part of your blog. It helps in creating a close friendly link between you and the readers. It will also result in starting a healthy conversation that will eventually form a close-knitted community.

Add fun to your blog

Interesting quizzes, polls and lightweight GK questions not only retain the interest of the readers but also induce a community feeling in them. Such fun engagement methods can also work as stress busters to lighten the mood of readers. The smart top bloggers wisely use this strategy to prevent their readers from getting bored. It can also be a great way to collect the relevant data that you could use in your next blog post.

Conclusion

To gain the maximum benefit out of your blog, you need to build a wide and evolving community of readers with active participation. It takes a lot more than just creating blog posts. You need to offer them the value, encourage them to share their views and opinions and adopt various other strategies to create and retain your community but with the right strategy, patience and wise planning you can succeed in this endeavor and start reaping the rewards.

5 things indicate that your WordPress is healthy

WordPress Health

Launching your WordPress website is a thrilling experience. It is a strong way to start building your distinct online reputation. However, to keep enjoying the maximum benefits out of your WordPress site, it is highly recommendable to ensure that every feature and functionality is working well and your overall WP site doesn’t lose its appeal. In short, you need to confirm that your site is in perfect health. We are going to present some tips and tools to constantly conduct through health check-ups of your WordPress site- right from security to SEO performance, speed and other vital aspects:

Make sure that it loads quickly 

As your WP site grows you may want to add new features and media to enhance its appeal. However, it invariably affects the loading speed. So it is highly recommendable to check your WP loading speed on a periodical basis and quickly take the necessary action if required.

· One of the best tools to quickly check your site’s loading speed is Pingdom. Its process is quite straightforward and intuitive

· Go to Pingdom and enter your WP site URL to check the accurate loading speed of your site and note it down.

· Compare it with the loading speed when you checked it the previous time.

· If the present loading speed is slower then quickly take the action for boosting the speed

Some of the general reasons (and fixes) are:

·        Heavy images: Use Smush plugins to cut down their size

·        Too many plugins: Check the unused or seldom-used plugins and remove them

·        Huge CSS and JS files: Use Autoptimize to minify them

Check the overall functioning of your site

WP sites allow you to scale up the capabilities and control with the help of various plugins. However, while installing/uninstalling plugins you might unintentionally hurt some key functionalities of your site. Apart from that, there might be other miscellaneous technical issues that can harm your site’s functionalities and limit their impact or even defeat the very objective. 

Here’s a real-life example- an international client wants to contact you via Skype for placing an immediate order for express delivery but your Skype functionality isn’t working and it annoys the client. He quickly hit the back button and looks for another vendor. You don’t only lose a client but may also have added a negative SEO mark (as the client hit the back button). 

Likewise, other crucial functionalities (like shopping cart, checkout, etc.) might also stop working ideally due to various reasons. It can harm the business objectives of your site. So, it is a good practice to keep on checking all such functionalities 

· Go to Google Chrome menu by clicking on the three vertical dots at the end of the search bar

· Click Settings and choose New Incognito Window

· Ctrl+Shift+N is the shortcut to quickly open an incognito window in chrome

· Now start performing various crucial actions that directly impact the revenue potential or objectives of your website like restoration, purchase order, subscribing to the email newsletter, commenting, opening tickets, shopping cart actions and using various contact buttons like Skype, Whatsapp, Social buttons, etc.

When you open the incognito tab, the browser treats you as a random site visitor and offers you the same experience. So it is the recommendable way to know the accurate UX of our website.  

Confirm that it is free from security threats

Security is vitally important for your WP site. The impact of security breaches can be significantly more hazardous than you think. Dozens of online businesses are ruined just due to the security hazards and in many cases, such breaches could have been prevented by taking timely actions. So make it a habit to periodically check the security health of your website. 

One of the best ways to check that your WP site is precisely following the highest security standards is to use the automated security checking tools. One of the trusted options includes Sucuri checker tool. 

· Just type your URL and click on Scan Website

· It will offer you a comprehensive report of your site’s security with accurate stats that allow you to take the right decision before its too late.

· You would see the repairing buttons with names like “Patch and Protect” (or similar names) near the security errors/malware

· Clicking the buttons would start an intuitive process of removing malware or other threats with minimal efforts. 

Monitor your site ranking

A good ranking is highly important for the success of your WP site as it allows you to quickly connect with your targeted audience and enhance your visibility or long-term SEO benefits. SEO guidelines keep on changing constantly and it is advisable to check your site’s SEO performance regularly. 

· One of the best tools to check the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages ) health of your WP site is SERPBook.com that offers you accurate stats on the current rank and positive/negative changes.

· The eye-friendly format, crucial details, and clean interface make it the ideal tool for beginners as well as an advanced user.

· You can set the frequency of keyword tracking to meet your goals/objectives.

· Along with daily tracking, you also have the option to check it on a bi-hourly basis.

· Remember, the frequent tracking will help you take proactive actions and quickly repair any issues that can hurt your site ranking…

Are backups working fine?

The sophisticated hackers are getting too smart to be tackled and even the websites of Fortune 500 companies are getting hacked. So, the key takeaway here is to ensure the maximum security of your WP site’s data and content even during the instances of hacking and cyberattacks. Backup is the ultimate option for you. It saves the most updated data of your website thus allowing you to quickly return to the business even after most damaging cyberattack incidents. Thankfully there are some quick options to automate the backup schedule. 

Here are a few backup plugins that can make things easier and faster for you

· BackWPUp

· VaultPress

· BackupBuddy

· WP-DB-Backup

· BackUpWordPress

· WP Time Capsule

· Duplicator

Other useful tips for backup management

· If your budget allows, it is best to buy a managed WordPress hosting plan that offers you the professional services for WordPress maintenance, management security, and backup

· If you are running multiple WordPress sites then the multi-site management tools like wpCentral could be a great choice for you to automate the backup of different WP sites with just a few clicks or a single command. 

Conclusion

To enjoy the maximum benefits out of your WordPress site, it is crucially important that it works in the desired manner and offers optimal performance during varying conditions. By losing its performance potential your WP site may annoy the visitors, experience security issues, and lose the ranking. Hence, it is extremely important to keep on checking the key aspects and functionalities of your WP site on a periodical basis.

New security fixes in WordPress 5.2.3

New Security Fixes in WordPress 5.2.3

A short-cycle maintenance release of WordPress was presented during the last week with the latest security fixes and performance enhancements- totaling 29 in all. 

Latest Fixes and enhancements in WordPress 5.3.2

It is worth mentioning that as many as 6 issues relate to XSS vulnerabilities during different processes like post preview, URL sanitation, etc. Along with that, the previous WordPress versions have also been updated by jQuery JavaScript library updates and bug fixes. 

Details of Key updates 

·         XSS vulnerability in the post preview and post comments

·         Open redirect vulnerability during the validation process or sanitization 

·         XSS vulnerability while uploading media.

·         XSS vulnerability in shortcode preview

·         Reflected XSS in the dashboard

·         XSS threat while sanitizing URL

·         The jQuery of the previous version has also been updated

Understanding the attack terminology 

·         Reflected XSS Vulnerability:  In reflected XSS vulnerability, the inputs from post or URL are reflected on the live page without being saved. It gives attackers a chance to slyly inject their malicious code.

·         As the attacker uses trusted websites as a carrier, the browser of the end-users trust the script.  It thus starts executing the script. Once activated, the malicious script can access sensitive data saved on the end-users’ browser (like saved passwords or payment cards), cookies, etc. The advanced malicious scripts can even interfere with the original website.

·          With the help of the XSS attack, the attacker can hijack your session and perform unauthorized activities. The attacker can also steal sensitive information or perform phishing attacks.

·         Open Redirect Vulnerability: When the site redirects you to a specific webpage using your submitted link it is known as open redirection. The attackers can use the flaws/loopholes during this process and redirects the users to their desired pages (instead of designated original page).

·         For example, if you are being redirected to a submission form and the site is afflicted with open redirect vulnerability, then the attackers can exploit that vulnerability to quietly intrude and redirect you to his fake form with similar look and feel.

When you fill your sensitive information (payment cards, passwords, social security information, etc) and submit it, the entire information is sent to the attacker who can misuse the information for their vested interests. Two major ways in which open redirect vulnerability is exploited by the attackers are stealing the sensitive information to misuse it (with the help of identical forms) and redirecting you to their websites that can eventually facilitate XSS attacks.

Update your WP site to the version WordPress 5.2.3

If you have not yet updated your WP to the latest version 5.2.3, here is how you can update it now:

·         Login to your WordPress dashboard using your login credentials

·         Look for Updates menu in your admin area

·         Click the button “Update Now”

·         No other action is required. Wait until the updating process is finished. That’s all!

Conclusion

WordPress periodically introduces new and improved versions for better performance and enhanced security. Recently it introduced a security and maintenance update- WordPress version 5.2.3. The security loopholes patched in this release might not seem to be of high significance. However, in the wake of the increasing number of cyber threats and attacks, it is highly imperative to update your WP site as soon as any updated version (major or minor) is released.

Twenty Twenty Theme: Unbiased review with pros, cons and updated information

Twenty Twenty Theme

WordPress is all set to offer its users a brand new theme named Twenty Twenty. The theme is developed by Noren Chaplin and comes with some cool features and a fresh outlook.

About Twenty Twenty Theme

While it is based on an already exiting theme Chaplin (by Noren), the Twenty Twenty successfully brandish a unique personality of its own with just a subtle hint of its predecessor. Using an existing theme as a base would facilitate and speed up the development process.

Visual appeal of Twenty Twenty theme

In the online announcement post Noren displayed some pictures of the theme Twenty Twenty sporting a fresh look with bolder typography, retina friendly fonts, and a reader-friendly visual display. Some portions of the theme may also remind you of the traditional look of old newspapers.

Major features of Twenty Twenty theme

The theme is versatile and can be used for diverse purposes like creating a blog, building business sites, etc.  One of the key features of this theme is extended control over the blocks that allow the designers to quickly edit different sections of the same page while retaining the uniform appeal. In other words, it helps the designers to visually communicate their idea to the readers with better clarity.

The first default WP theme with variable fonts

Unlike other default WP themes, this theme will come with variable font version that will allow the users to have extended control over font customization for a better UX and readability. It would also save their time and efforts in choosing the different fonts from a wide selection.

For the uninformed, the variable font provides a font file comprising a massive collection of different variants of the same font.

Understanding practical benefits of variable fonts

To be more specific you might love Calibri but want it to be “little less curvaceous”. In the present default WP theme, you would have to go with the “next best” font available (like Georgia, serif, comic, etc.) that compels you to compromise with your choice.

By introducing Variable Fonts the Twenty Twenty would allow you to go beyond this creative threshold. You don’t have to look for “next best substitute” of Calibri font. The variable font file provides you hundreds of “Calibri” variants enabling you to choose just the precise Calibri variant (“less curvaceous”) you want to use for your site content. To be more precise it allows you to use your favourite Calibri font but a little straighter.

A clear improvement over Chaplin

One can see a clear improvement over its predecessor Chaplin that looked more suitable for businesses and professional sites. Though Chaplin could be customized for blogs, it lacked the relevant visual impact.

The Twenty Twenty theme can be customized to precisely suit the visual intent of business sites as well as blogs. For instance, the bloggers would love the central column for highlighting their content while the businesses can extensively customize the content placement. Besides, the users have more flexibility to add or edit design elements, insert media files, change columns, etc.

Regarding release date and availability

It is believed that the Twenty Twenty would be beta released on 23rd September (the date when the release of WordPress 5.3 version is scheduled). The official launch of steady version would require you to wait longer as the possible release date is 12th November 2019.

To have an initial practical experience of the theme you can also download its current version from Github.

Pros

·         Clean and bolder look

·         The first default WP theme to support variable font (for better control over font’s legibility)

·         Extensive block editing for more control over the visual ecosystem

·         Lightweight to promise quick page loading speed

Cons

·         The first look gives the impression that it would be primarily suitable for blogs and magazines

Key details and relevant links

·         Theme Design Leader: Andres Noren

·         Development In Charge: Ian Belanger

·         Theme review team representative: Poena

·         Github Downloading link: https://github.com/WordPress/twentytwenty

News Sources

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/09/06/introducing-twenty-twenty/

https://devotepress.com/wordpress-news/wordpress/twenty-twenty-new-default-theme-wordpress-5-3/

https://wptavern.com/first-look-at-twenty-twenty-new-wordpress-default-theme-based-on-chaplain

Image credits

http://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/09/06/introducing-twenty-twenty/

How to start making money from your WordPress blog?

Start earning from your wordpress blog

Blogging is one of the most promising career in the digital field today. In fact, many serious bloggers look at it as a way to earn a stable income while for others it is the only source they rely on for meeting their expenses and saving a decent amount for the future. CMS like WordPress has made it much easier to create a blog. However, if you really want to convert your blogging passion into career or business, you need to be more serious and sincere. In this blog we will share some popular and time tested ideas to start making a reliable income from your WordPress blog:

Affiliate Marketing

In simple words affiliate marketing refers to selling a product or service through your blog for a commission. The income depends upon the collective sales. The more you sell the more you earn.

Example: For instance, when you join a travel company as an affiliate you get a certain commission on each sale you make.

The best way to sell their travel packages via your blog is to write engaging and informative content around those plans.

Along with serving the engaging content to your readers it also earns some commission when your readers buy their package.

Tip

If you have joined multiple affiliate programs you can use affiliate management plug-ins that make things easier for you. With these plug-ins you can easily craft awesome links and effortlessly insert your affiliate links into the posts. Besides there are a number of other tasks you can easily do with these plug-ins that will increase your sales potential.

Ad Programs

While it is easy and quick to join affiliate programs, you need to rely on the sales for earning real income. If you are looking for a comparatively easier way to earn sustainable income from your blog, then you can opt for joining ad programs.

Convincing your readers to buy a service or product could be pretty difficult but it is much easier to earn from the ad programs as your income is based on the number/instances of clicks you get on the ad displayed on your blog. In the digital world it is known as CPC or cost per click ads and there are several parameters that decide your total earning. You can also get paid on the total number of audiences who view the ad but it needs a really high and regular traffic as the payout is calculated on per thousand visitors.

However, you need an approval from Google to join Google Ad sense programs and your blog will be reviewed on multiple parameters. Getting approval by Google is not always an easy task and you may never be sure of the same. The good news is that there are some other reliable options by the trusted internet brands like Media.net that are said to be comparatively easier to join. While the income might be lower than Google Ad sense, there are comparatively better chances of getting approval even if you are a new blogger with limited content and reach.

Sell Ads without intermediary and keep 100%

As with any other commission based program the Google ad sense pays you the commission. However, if you are looking to earn 100% income from your ad programs, then you can start selling the space on your blog directly to the advertisers and keep 100% of the price.

Tips

It is advisable to keep things uncomplicated and hassle free by charging a predefined fee for displaying ads as you can easily monitor your earnings and prepare income reports. It also allows you to easily incorporate the best methods, practices to boost your income potential by identifying the gaps.

·         For earning a stable and decent income via banner ads you need to be really good at negotiating

·         Besides you need to have relevant knowledge on deciding/limiting the deliverables and liabilities

·         Instead of relying on the verbal agreement, you should insist on some legal documentation to safeguard the interests of both the parties

·         It is a good idea to gain good insights on these factors before you decide to sell the ad space

·         As for the administrative ad management work there are various WordPress plug-ins that can make things really easier, streamlined and pain-free for you.

Publish Sponsored Blog Posts

While the above options seem really good, there are some limitations. To earn from Google ad sense or similar programs, you need to gain more traffic or depend upon the actions of the users and in order to sell the banner ads you need to be really good at negotiating and performance tracking. If you are looking for a neater, zero hassles income and zero management then you can go for sponsored blog posts. 

·         For that you need to invest single time effort in preparing media kit inclosing all the vital stats establishing the authority and reputation of your blog like traffic stats, social media traffic and followers, visitor demographics and blog theme and other similar factors that proves your blog to be the best option for a specific business to gain maximum exposure to targeted audience.

·         Sponsored posts allow the business to widen their reach and help you earn a certain pay check for each post you publish

·         With the financial support you can concentrate better on your writing and produce awesome content that will really entertain and inform your audiences

·          Hence it is the best option to keep everyone happy.

Guest Posts

If you are looking for something easier then it would be great for you to offer space for guest posts in return for a set fee. In this model, you would often need to place the back links of the clients’ site in each post. In other words you will help your client to gain a better visibility and reputation by transferring your brand position, traffic and audience. Your regular audience who know you and trust your blog will find it easier to trust your guest bloggers (and their products) too. By clicking on the hyperlink they will directly visit their website’s product page that can eventually result in increased conversion opportunities.

Drawbacks

However, this model might have some drawbacks too

·         Google doesn’t appreciate bloggers openly asking for some fee in exchange for inserting back links

·         Besides many businesses might have a mentality that as they have paid for the links/posts, they don’t have to be very specific about the content quality and mediocre content end up disappointing your audience

Solutions

The best solution to these issues is single and simple to be implemented. Instead of just asking for the fee in exchange for the back links, you can offer editorial services to the clients. It will help you to write the engaging content that aligns with the service or products of the clients and insert natural back links.

It will also help you to earn a good income via genuine method and without compromising with the content quality standards

Conclusion

Blogging has gained a wide popularity as a trusted source of income with a very high potential and low investment. Creating a blog is easier but it is much more difficult to turn it into a single source of meeting expenses and earning income. While there is no shortcut for turning your blogging into business, there are several reliable income options. In this blog, we have presented a list of top options that can make your journey easier by allowing you to earn a good income.

What are the key security issues in WP sites and how to resolve them?

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System across the globe and powers more than 30% of the global websites. As a responsible organization, WordPress does have very strong security guidelines and offers additional provisions to the users to upgrade their security. However, due to lack of proper knowledge or sincerity, many users don’t take the security measures seriously and it makes their site prone to security attacks like hacking. In this blog, we are going to present the major security issues in WP sites and the best ways to keep your site protected.

Brute Force Attacks

One of the most preferred methods for the hackers is to keep on trying different ID and password combo until they crack the right pair. WordPress allows for multiple consecutive login attempts without any restrictions and it enables these hackers to continue their task without any interruptions or raising alerts.

Besides, advanced technology like smart bots relieve the hackers from manual efforts by automating the process while ensuring a higher success rate. Upon success, the hackers gain the admin control and misuse it to meet their vested interests. Also, numerous login attempts inflate system load and affect your site performance. Some hosting providers may also suspend your account to discipline the system load 

File Inclusion

 The WordPress site runs on PHP code and smart hackers employ latest techniques to discover vulnerabilities in PHP code to break into your account. Upon finding the vulnerable code the hackers use it to include the specific files that eventually facilitate them to access the key WordPress installation file- wp-config.php. This file works as the master key to help the hackers gain extended admin control over your site

SQL Injections

By gaining access to your MySQL database the hacker can easily break into the WordPress database of a website and access the entire website database. Talking in terms of power it allows the hackers to make an admin-level user account for themselves that enables them to log in, access and control your website.

Understandably, this admin privilege can be misused in so many ways to facilitate the malicious intentions of hackers. Many hackers also employ it to add harmful data to your database like links to spam or malicious websites.

XSS

 XSS is also known as Cross-site scripting vulnerability and is responsible for more than 80% of security loopholes across the internet.  Many WordPress plugins are affected by this vulnerability. Hackers employ those weak plugins to load specific JavaScript on your visitors’ browser to technically facilitate their malicious purposes like stealing and misusing the submitted data.

For instance, an infected Form plugins of your WordPress site can be used to load the malicious JavaScript on your visitors’ browser to steal their submitted information.

Malware

Malware is a specifically programmed code that is injected into your site files for facilitating the unauthorized website access and steal the crucial data.

There are diverse ways in which hackers can load malware on to your WordPress site and keep on stealing your sensitive information without alarming you.

How to get rid of WordPress security issues?

While WordPress is not free from security issues, it does have strong provisions to help you take better care of your security ecosystem and safeguard your site against latest attacks. Here are some of the best ways to fortify your WordPress site security:

Password Management

·          Weak easily crackable passwords like your pet’s name, mobile number, or business name increases the success potential of brute force attacks

·         Use strong admin passwords consisting of capital and small letters, numbers and special symbols

·         Don’t use the same password for multiple digital platforms

·         Choose random words that are not related to your public profile in any way (like your business name or pet’s name)

·         Keep on changing your password periodically, at least once in every 3 months

·          Two-factor authentications further fortify your security by sending time-sensitive code to your registered device and you would need a combo of password + time-sensitive code to access the account.

Updates

·          WordPress keeps on updating its version periodically to patch the latest security issues. An outdated version with weaker security provision can attract hackers to attack your site. 

·         Make sure that you are using the latest updated version of WordPress as well as the other software running on your site 

·         All the latest updates can easily be viewed on your WordPress dashboard and you can instantly update them 

·         It is highly advisable to ensure smooth mail communication from WordPress as WordPress instantly sends the latest updates to its users through emails

·         If you own more than one website then you can also use the powerful tools like wpCentral that facilitates multiple update management in a single dashboard

Plugins

·          Avoid using the plugins from just any random site as they might be written poorly or lack sufficient security. It is highly advisable to download plugins directly from wordpress.org. While you might be tempted to use the free substitutes of the most popular premium plugins, it can pose a huge risk to your site and in many cases, it can be the trick by hackers to modify the files and inject malicious code. So avoid downloading such free versions of premium plugins. 

Web hosting

·          Be very careful about the security ecosystem of your hosting provider especially if you are using a shared hosting plan. Many hosting providers don’t adopt the latest security guidelines or update their security software. It can allow the hackers to easily hack your website.

·           You can also use the password manager to create a strong password

·           Make sure that your password should not be less than 8 characters

Tip: To make password management easier, use a password manager such as Last Pass.

Automated security schedules

·         You can use some good security plugins that can automatically run security checks, customize the security settings to meet best security guidelines and may also activate the latest updates

Malware

·         Make sure that every server directory has the appropriate and well-defined access permissions

·          There are some reputed tools to schedule the malware scanning. By using these tools you can create a scheduled malware reporting that enable you to take quick action

Backup

·         Last but not the least you need a strong and reliable backup plan to make sure that even in the case of attacks you would have the access to the latest version of your website that helps you to bounce back without much delay. You can make use of plugins like wpCentral to backup your website.

Conclusion

WordPress is the most popular and efficient content management system for beginners as well as advanced users. However, just like any other CMS, it can also have security issues. By wisely deeply reviewing your site, and constantly updating it to meet the best safety guidelines you can get rid of many security issues and continue enjoying the best WordPress experience.   

The ultimate guide to changing your WordPress theme without errors

Ultimate guide for switching WordPress Themes

One of the major strengths of WordPress is that it allows you to easily revamp the entire look and feel of your website by changing the theme. You don’t have to spend hours on cumbersome technical processes or go through intricate scripting/coding rituals. The technical process of switching between themes is straightforward and uncomplicated but you would need to consider some key points to maintain the vita characteristics of your website, offering a friendly user experience and retaining the mission-critical data/information and elements. Let us learn about some of the important things to be considered while switching your WordPress theme.

Tracking

Tracking plays a vital role in the WordPress sites especially if you are a professional blogger. The services like Google Analytics or other tracking codes allow you to constantly monitor and deeply analyze the vital aspects/elements of your site performance. Many advanced WP users prefer to manually add the tracking code in footer.php file of your theme instead of relying on a plug-in. So, you risk losing your entire tacking data if you forget to copy-paste the tracking codes of your footer.php file to the new theme.

Sidebars

Sidebars in the WordPress allow you to guide your visitors through the menu, emphasize the key portions of your site by offering them an eye-friendly position or even enhance the revenue opportunities by adding sponsored URLs, or advertisements in the sidebars. For that, you would need sidebar widgets. Keep in mind that not every theme supports widgets. Many users make the mistake of transferring their site from widget ready theme to a non-widget theme and end up losing all their important sidebar elements/customizations and it complicates the things, adds stress and wastes time. Another thing to consider here is to manually add the modified codes of your previous theme’s sidebar.php file to the new theme.

Code snippets

Copy-pasting the snippets like functions.php is a nice way to work quickly with your WordPress site but at the same time you may also lose these vitally important elements during the process of modifying your WordPress theme. The easy way to prevent this possibility is to copy-paste and store these snippets in your system or note them down manually. Diligently check your theme for the extra snippets that you copy-pasted from online sources. As you find any such snippets, instantly copy them and store at a safe location of your computer. The best way is to create a relevantly named file or folder and paste all such additional snippets there. To be on the safer side you may want to take its print out as well.

Back Up

While transferring your site from an existing theme to a new theme, you cannot confidently predict the things and hence it is wise to protect yourself against any unexpected issues. Creating a backup is the ultimate way to protect your old site’s data and content throughout the transferring process. Using the verified, trustworthy plugins is the best and easiest way to back up your site data and content. It automates the process, eliminates human errors, and saves your time and efforts. One of the most popular and reliable backup plug-ins is Backup Buddy that is trusted both by new and seasoned bloggers.

RSS/FeedBurner

Many bloggers actively use Feedburner that also helps in providing your feed subscribers’ analytics. Many friendly WP themes have easy provisions in their settings panel for facilitating feed burner integration. So, make sure that your feeds are kept directed to the Feed Burner otherwise your blog would have 2 RSS feeds that would complicate the matters and interfere with the actual data. So, it is important to confirm that your feed/URL should point to the feed burner so that you should not lose the tracking of your feed subscribers.

Final Testing

Due to the demanding job of transferring your entire site and its elements to the new site, it is not uncommon to have the issues with output. The last thing you would like is to disturb the friendly user experience of your website that can annoy your audiences. So, even if you have adhered to the guidelines mentioned in this blog, it is wise to be on the safer side and test each web page and all the key features of your new theme like blog post page, contact form, 404 page, sidebars, footer/header menu and interactive features like comments. The looks of your website also matter a lot. So, make sure that all the existing features menus and plugins of your WP site look appropriate and offer a nice, well-organized view to your visitors. Also, ensure that there shouldn’t be any significant or disturbing change in the overall user experience of your website post the changes.

Conclusion

Switching WordPress themes is a relatively easy and straightforward process. However, If you are transferring your existing site or blog to the new WP theme, then you need to be very careful to make sure that you don’t lose any vital elements or key characteristics of your website. It is advisable to prepare a friendly checklist containing all the major points to avoid costly mistakes and ensure a smooth transition.

7 result oriented SEO tips, tools & techniques to improve your blog ranking (updated 2019)

Best SEO Tips and Techniques

As a blogger, you need a good ranking and other SEO benefits if you wish to enjoy good visibility, revenue, and reputation. However, due to the high competition, it is not easy to get the SEO benefits. In this blog, we have discussed some tools, techniques, and tips to improve your SEO without having to appoint an external agency. Without delaying further let us share the expert tips and tactics with you.

Use selected Long Tail keywords

Go for 2-3 Long tail keywords that will help you concentrate fully on optimization and will also help you to create a value-rich blog post touching multiple aspects of the same issue thus offering maximum satisfaction to your users’ queries.

It also keeps the search engines happy that your blog post is reader-friendly and promises a positive user experience. Thus you can also expect an improved ranking on the search engines as well.

Here are some tools that can help you:

·         Google Auto Complete Tool

·         KWFinder

·         SemRush

Use the keywords strategically

Along with the keywords, the position, and sections where you use them in your blog post is also important.

There are some essential places where you should try to include your keywords: title tag, headers & body, URL, and Meta description.

Placing the keywords in the below mentioned 4 strategic places will fetch better results.

·         Title tag: As this is the very first part of your content that is highlighted in the search engine result page and leave the first impression on the client.

·         Header: Insert the keyword in the first half of your title to make a quick connection with the readers and prompting them to click right away

·         Body: The first keyword would ideally be placed appropriately within the first 3 parts of your post. However, make sure that it should not interfere with the natural flow of your post. Avoid forcefully stuffing the keyword as it will harm your SEO. A good way of using the long-tail keywords is to use questions as a headline.

·         URL: Also make sure that your burl should contain a naturally sounding long tail keyword.

·         Meta description: It gives a gist if your post. Including a keyword in your meta tag will help the search engines offer you better visibility during relevant search results while at the same time connecting quickly with users’ intent.

Go for mobile-friendly site

Most of the people use their mobile phones to conduct search and the mobile-friendly sites are rewarded by Google with a better position. So making your site a mobile-friendly can significantly increase your chances of getting more SEO benefits while at the same time allowing you to widen your reader base.

For that you need to go for responsive design. A responsive design offers a uniform friendly experience to all the users irrespective of the device, screen size and the browser they use to browse the internet.

So you will get the double benefits of keeping the major search engines happy and gaining a good position there and also offering a positive user experience to your readers.

Use Keyword research tools

Keyword research holds prime importance when writing a blog post but it could be a daunting and tedious work that requires much attention and lots of hours. Thankfully you can now use a number for keyword research tools that can help make things easier and quicker for you. Based on the available data, content intention targeted audience and other fine details, these tools can suggest you the most rewarding keywords that will help you gain a distinct position in search engine page during the relevant searches.

However, due to the mushrooming of a wide number of keyword research tools, it becomes vitally important to find the ones that are genuine and guarantee the best rewards. Here are some of the best keyword research tools that you should be using for real benefits

·         Ahrefs

·         Google Search Console

·         Moz Keyword Explorer

·         Semrush

Increase stay duration

Stay duration is another major point that the Google or another search engine consider while determining your ranking during a matching search query. To increase the stay period you should write a friendly guest post in a refreshing style without wasting the time of your readers. How quickly and precisely you offer them an answer to their queries/concerns determine their say duration on your blog.

Proper use of power words will not only increase the stay duration of the readers but will also be appreciated by net users who prefer to scan through the content instead of reading it word by word.

Enjoy the brand advantage

Branding is vitally important when it comes to SEO. The more people search for your brand name, the better ranking you can expect on Google. The major concern is how to encourage more and more people to search for your brand or click on your link. There isn’t a clear single word answer for it but here are some tips that can help naturally convince the audience to click on your URL

·         You can use an exit pop up to get the email addresses of the visitors that are visiting your site.

·         Alternatively, you can also use the general forms for the same purpose of collecting the emails of your visitors

·         The email marketing can also be used to spread the awareness of your brand and get more unique clicks on your URL. Other methods include chatbot subscriptions, social media and getting exposure to local newspapers and magazines.

Support your claims

 Another way to enhance the SEO of your blog is to support your statements with solid evidence in the form of stats and facts. It assures the readers about the genuineness and usability of your content while at the same time keeping them engaged throughout. Besides, you can also go for the engaging presentation styles like graphs, charts, and excerpts from the experts. Don’t forget to credit to the related sources when using data or other supporting evidence.

If you wish to create your visual media for presenting the stats, then here are a few free resources that you can employ for the purpose.

·         Visme

·         Online Charts

·         Portly

·         ChartBlocks

·         Tableau

·         Data Wrappers

Conclusion

SEO or Search Engine Optimization plays a key role in improving the ranking and visibility of a website. To facilitate and streamline the SEO tasks, it is important to work wisely and follow an organized strategy. In this blog we have shared 7 best tips, tools and techniques that will help you a great way in improving your blog ranking. The list contains the latest information  and resources for meeting the specific SEO guidelines of 2019.

How Google’s E-A-T algorithms can impact your blog (Are you prepared?)

How Google’s E-A-T algorithms can impact your blog and best tips to follow

To offer better user experience Google keeps on introducing new updates and some of them have a deeper impact on the overall SEO health of a blog or a site. One such update is the E-A-T algorithm update. In this blog we would learn about the key impact of E-A-T algorithm update on your blog and what are the best ways to stay safe from its negative impacts that can hurt your rankings:

What is E-A-T update?

In short, the E-A-T is an abbreviation for Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Hence it includes multiple factors related to the content and other related elements of your website or blog that help visitors to determine your expertise/authoritativeness (like proof of formal qualification) or play a definitive role in building trust (like reviews).

What types of blogs are most affected by E-A-T updates?

The major impact of E-A-T updates is on the YMYL pages. YMYL or Your Money Your Life is a specific Google term that stands for the web pages with a potential impact on users’ finance, health or life quality.

Hence the E-A-T update has a major impact on the websites and blogs related to health & nutrition, medical supplies/content, wellness and other sites related to such or similar categories.

 At the same time the data suggests that this update also have some impact on other sites that are not directly related to the above-mentioned sphere- like digital stores and business websites.

How to save your blog from the negative impact of EAT?

This is the most important concern of the bloggers. Depending upon the advice by the SEO experts and data-backed real-life cases; there are several ways in which you can remain on the safe side. We are mentioning 5 best ways to save your blog against the negative impact of E-A-T algorithms:

High-Quality content (accuracy, language, and presentation)

The very first thing is to make sure that your blog does not have a shallow content that contains blatant grammatical errors or a total lack of supporting data. It becomes double important when the content in the question is related to the crucial matters like medicine, finance, nutrition, health or personal wellness that can have a long-lasting impact on the overall life of the readers. It is equally important to research well over the content and provide a wholesome post that should answer the maximum queries of your readers and leave them satisfied.

For instance, while talking about solutions to the specific issue you should dive deep into the different aspects and offer a well-designed set of solutions backed by the verifiable data.

The presentation also matters a lot especially when we talk about mobile users. Balanced use of bullet points, lists, quotes, and datasets (graphs, charts, etc.) instantly encourage the users to trust your content and read the entire content. Some readers might also leave positive reviews and share the content on their social media.

On the other hand, the overflowing paragraphs, lack of charts and graphs, or using eye-stressing fonts can compel the visitors to quickly click the back button instead of reading the entire content. 

Credible About Us Page

Another major factor is the authority of the site owner/blogger. So, be very careful while creating your about us page.

 Along with mentioning all your relevant qualifications and achievements in the About Us page you should also use the specific elements/format types that can be considered as the hallmark of genuineness like :

·         Scanned images of certificates, awards, and other documents

·         The expertise of you and your key team members

·         Relevant media mentions with URL and images (for print media)

·         Genuine client reviews with verifiable data like name, images and contact info/websites

·         Any felicitations by reputed organizations like Government bodies, etc.

Expertise of authors

Make sure that all your site authors should have a dedicated well-designed author page with detailed information highlighting their qualifications and credentials. It proves that not only the site owner and the administrative team holds expertise but even the authors sharing their thoughts and advice also possess high qualifications, and deep experience/expertise in their respective fields.

Also ensure that your theme is designed to automatically display the author information at the end of each article. Along with adding to the credibility of their posts, it will also encourage the reader to trust the genuineness of the content. Besides, there are good chances that interested readers may also post their queries in the comment sections regarding other issues related to the same subject.

The dedicated author page should ideally have:

·         Personal blogs owned by the author

·         Bestselling Books on the subject written by the author

·         Participation in major industry events, seminars, and webinars along with verifiable information

·         Major awards and accolades in the relevant subject field

·         Other trust-building factors like special services rendered to organizations of distinct reputation

·         Major voluntary or charitable works by the author in the same field

Reputation building strategies

You should also focus on building your reputation and displaying it on your blog. The Google specifically values what others have to say about you, your blog or your site. There are several tips that you can follow to build your reputation and get positive response mentioned on different platforms:

·         It is highly advisable to get yourself mentioned by a press using wise but ethical practices. The best way is to keep an eye on various events where you can participate as a subject expert or offer your voluntary services.

·         Ask for the balanced reviews from your satisfied clients and check the use of language/style. Do editorial changes (with client’s permission) to filter out the exaggerated language or unnecessary superlatives/adjectives without affecting the real matter.  Reviews offer both direct and indirect benefits especially in the context of E-A-T

·         Guest post: Post guest blogs on the high authority sites that are related to your area of expertise as it further establishes you as a trustable figure that is published on high authority sites.,

·         Testimonials: make sure that you should have a profile and reviews on the high authority sites like owler, yelp, and similar unbiased reputation building sites.

·         If you allow the guest posts, make sure that you should follow very high standards of approving each post to eliminate the possibilities of shallow content. If you allow the backlinks then you should ensure that each backlink (and there shouldn’t be more than 2 of them) should be justified and links to the relevant source.

Revising old content

 At the same time it is equally important to make sure that your old content also meets the high standards. The best way to do is to follow a schedule of checking a particular number of old posts and editing them for the grammatical correctness and accuracy. If you come across any thin content then it is better to remove it completely but the content of high importance just needs to be edited.

One more thing to keep in mind is that some factual information in the content may need to be updated or corrected as it changes with time. Don’t forget to update such information while editing.

Conclusion

If you really wish to improve the ranking of your blog then it is high time you concentrate not only on the quality of the content but also on the authority and relevant expertise of the authors. To realize the tangible benefits, create a checklist based on this guide and revise your blog/website based on the same- before it is too late.

These 5 WordPress Plugins will make your site the SEO Rockstar of 2019

5 Best WordPress Plugins in 2019

To enjoy good ranking on the search engines you need to write SEO friendly content that aligns with the Google algorithms and at the same time offers a great user experience for the visitors. It is easier said than done and even the seasoned bloggers find it difficult to fully optimize their posts for the best SEO returns. Thankfully, several SEO plugins will help you to scale up the SEO potential of your blog posts with a few easy steps while the hard work will automatically be done by the plugins in the background. So here are top 5 WordPress plugins you should start using immediately to enjoy better rankings on these search engine results:

Yoast

Yoast enjoys a distinct position as the easy SEO plug-in with extensive features and reliable performance. It aims at offering you all the essential SEO information about your content with real-time updates. It simply means that you can modify the content as per the suggestions and instantly see how it has impacted your SEO. 

While the Yoast allows beginners to understand the SEO suitability of their content in an easy manner, it also offers advanced insights for the expert users. It makes Yoast a suitable solution for both beginners and advanced users.

SEMrush

SEMRush is the best tool for more demanding users. It offers data, insights and actionable information on multiple SEO elements of your site. Right from suggesting the suitable organic keywords for your site to offering information on the most rewarding backlinks, it proactively assists in the wholesome SEO endeavors. Along with actionable insights, it also fetches you the details and current SEO strategies from your competitor’s websites that can help you to design the focused SEO strategy to rank ahead of your closest competitors.

Due to its deeper and more concentrated insights the SEMRush is counted among the best tools by the websites as well as the professional SEO specialists across the world.  

Google Keyword Planner

 Understandably your entire SEO strategy is designed keeping Google in minds. So it is obvious that Google keyword tool is the most reliable way to design your keyword strategy. If you are looking to bid on the most profitable keywords in your advertising campaign then look no further than Google keyword planner. For using the tool you need to be a Google advertiser. It offers you the deep insights of different keywords like the volume of search, level of difficulty and the total number of search results. If used wisely, you can search the most rewarding keywords that with significant search volume, advertisers interest and other details. Along with paid results, it can also help you to create a better strategy for ranking higher in organizing search results.

KeywordTool.io

The autocomplete feature of Google suggests the top-ranking queries for a specific keyword. However, using this feature manually is a very tedious task. Keyword tool makes things easier for you by showing you the powerful keywords according to the Google autocomplete feature in a friendly and usable format.

 Though available for free, this tool is second to none when it comes to the efficiency and usability. The best thing is that it not only limits its suggestions to Google but also includes other major platforms as well like Bing, Youtube, and Google app.

OutreachPlus

 Email plays a vital role in your marketing efforts but you need to use the effective email format and be careful regarding your outreaching efforts. One of the major concerns here is to take the guesswork out of your email marketing campaign by exactly knowing the number of emails that reached the inbox, how many of them were opened and the number of recipients who clicked the link. OutreachPlus is result-oriented software for outreach that offers you insights on all these aspects thus allowing you to modify your strategy or strengthen it further for the better success potential.

The best thing is that it prevents your mails from being thrown into the spam box with its specially designed email client. Many other user-friendly issues will help you get the comprehensive insights on your campaign and take suitable actions based on the same.

Along with building backlinks, the tool also helps you in your endeavors to make rapport with influencers or establishing relations with the press to get some media limelight.  Whether you have just started using email as a tool for the digital campaign or are a seasoned email marketer, this is the must-have tool for you.

2 Bonus Tools

ShortPixel

Images makes your site super cool but at the same time, it also makes them slow. Thanks to Short Pixel it is now possible to decrease the size of your images without losing on the visual finesse. So, you can now have greater liberty to upload the high definition and bigger pictures without worrying much about the size or site speed. What’s more, you can also choose to compress the size of your old images as well. It is advisable to use the tool wisely and you should still upload the images responsibly.

Caching Plugins

Caching is another powerful feature to optimize the speed of your website for the improved user experience. A number of top bloggers actively uses the caching plug-in to make their site load at a considerably fast speed. Some of the best caching tools for your WordPress site are WP Rockstar and WP super cache.

Conclusion

SEO is a comprehensive activity and needs deep and diverse efforts. Thankfully there are various smart SEO tools that can reduce your time and efforts while also saving you from human errors by automating the process. For the best benefits it is advisable to take your time, read deep reviews and select the one that precisely meets your SEO  requirements.