WordPress – 1stWebDesigner https://1stwebdesigner.com Helping You Build a Better Web Mon, 11 Mar 2019 16:12:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 When Is It Time to Abandon a WordPress Plugin? https://1stwebdesigner.com/when-is-it-time-to-abandon-a-wordpress-plugin/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/when-is-it-time-to-abandon-a-wordpress-plugin/#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 15:09:58 +0000 https://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=143742 One of the biggest reasons to love WordPress is the sheer number of available plugins. It seems like, no matter what type of functionality you need, there is at least one plugin that can do the job.

But it’s no secret that plugins can sometimes outlive their usefulness. As both our needs and WordPress itself change, we can find ourselves looking for better options. That can mean moving on from a plugin that had previously served us well.

Still, it’s not always the easiest decision to make. Sort of like an athlete that’s past their prime, we can let plugins hang around long after their best days have come and gone.

So, how do you know when it’s time to ditch a plugin and start fresh with something new? The following are a few telltale signs to watch out for.

It Hasn’t Been Updated in a Long Time

Think of a WordPress plugin as a living thing. If it’s properly cared for, it will flourish. If not, the results won’t be nearly as good.

Those of us who build websites with WordPress would ideally like to see that a plugin is updated at least on a semi-regular basis. That shows that its author is still actively involved, adding new features and fixing bugs.

That’s never been more important, what with WordPress moving to the Gutenberg editor and PHP 5.x being phased out. If a plugin hasn’t been actively maintained, then it’s likely to fall short of being compatible with either of these major changes. Plus, there could be serious concerns regarding security as well.

Now, that doesn’t mean that a particular plugin has to be updated weekly or even monthly. Depending on its purpose, that may not be necessary. But you will want to look for, at the very least, a couple of updates per year. Anything less than that and you might as well give it one last hug goodbye.

An abandoned cockpit.

Updates Routinely Break

On the opposite end of the spectrum are plugins that, while continuously maintained, have become functionally unreliable. Updates are released frequently, but it’s usually because the previous ones have wreaked havoc on a number of websites.

This is frustrating, as you have a plugin that (at one point) did what you needed it to do. However, an over-aggressive developer has managed to cause as many problems as they have solved (if not more).

Depending on your personality, you may be willing to show some patience in this situation. Sometimes it actually pays off, as even a quality plugin can go through a rough patch and eventually right the ship. But inevitably things have to get better in short order. Otherwise, it’s just not worth the trouble.

Bits of broken glass.

It Has Become Bloated

A plugin quite often starts out trying to solve a specific problem. If it accomplishes that goal, its author may decide to add some related features to make it even more useful. This can be a great thing, if the new additions are well-executed.

The downside is that, over time, some plugins morph from solving a single problem into something that tries to solve every problem. This once terrific piece of software now is more accurately described as bloatware.

This can have negative effects on your website. For one, more features mean more code. The chances of both annoying bugs and hits to performance rise with every new feature.

It can get to the point where a plugin is no longer a good fit. In that case, it’s time to look for one that’s more focused and efficient in its functionality.

A boulder sitting in grass.

There’s Something Better

When it comes to plugins, part of a web designer’s job is to provide clients with the best option available. But just because a plugin was once the best option doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever.

This is especially so when it comes to plugins that occupy overcrowded categories like SEO or photo galleries. It seems like someone always comes along and tops whatever the previous leaders have done.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that we should immediately jump off the bandwagon when something new comes out. But it does suggest that it’s worth keeping an eye on what else is out there. You may find that another plugin offers something that you just can’t pass up.

Sky with the word "CHANGE" written in clouds.

Change Can Be Difficult, but Necessary

Let’s face it. It can be a real pain to swap one plugin for another. The process often involves refactoring or even recreating content that was being used by the old plugin so that it plays nicely with the new one. Therefore, it’s not a decision to take lightly.

Then, there’s always the unknown of how that new plugin will work out. Will there be any unintended consequences from using it? How can you be sure that it will still be around in a few years? Testing helps, but there’s still a leap of faith required when making a switch.

In the end, this is all part of a website’s lifecycle. The good news is that, with so many choices out there, making those changes to a WordPress website will just about always lead you to a better path forward.

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Visual Composer Website Builder vs WPBakery Page Builder https://1stwebdesigner.com/visual-composer-website-builder-vs-wpbakery-page-builder/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/visual-composer-website-builder-vs-wpbakery-page-builder/#respond Tue, 29 Jan 2019 06:00:01 +0000 https://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=142910 A decade ago, WordPress content builders were small tools – usually created by WordPress theme authors. They created them for their users to have easier page editing options. But what once was a small industry has now expanded into a great WordPress niche.

Nowadays, there are dozens of WordPress site builders on the market. While they are similar in basic functionality, each owns unique features and an approach they use to operate.

If a decade ago, WPBakery Page Builder was the one that pioneered in the WordPress page builder market, then today new tools like Visual Composer Website Builder keep the pace in the niche.

But before going in-depth and comparing these two WordPress plugins, let’s deal with the surrounding confusion where users are mixing up these two totally independent builders.

Confusion between WPBakery Page Builder and Visual Composer Website Builder

Originally, WPBakery Page Builder used to be called Visual Composer. Not anymore. So, the re-branding seems to be the main issue causing confusion here. Long story short…

In late 2017, the owner of the WPBakery Page Builder created a new plugin from scratch – a complete WordPress website builder named Visual Composer Website Builder. And the initial page builder was named WPBakery Page Builder. To make it clear and less confusing, here are some facts about these two independent plugins:

WPBakery Page Builder

A shortcode-based builder that works only for your site’s content. Available to purchase from CodeCanyon and their own website at wpbakery.com. WPBakery Page Builder is bundled in many WordPress themes and complemented with thousands of custom add-ons created by other WordPress developers.

Continuing the confusion … Many WordPress theme authors who have included WPBakery Page Builder are still continuing to refer to the product as Visual Composer. Can’t blame them, they might not know. But now you know. If in doubt, right at the moment, the latest WPBakery Page Builder update is version 5.6.

Visual Composer Website Builder

A new technology-based website builder plugin that lets you create a complete website. Not just a part of a website, but a whole site including headers, footers, custom page layouts and more. You cannot buy Visual Composer Website Builder on any third-party plugin markets, only on their own website at visualcomposer.com. At the moment, the latest Visual Composer Website Builder update is version 11.0.

Visual Composer Website Builder and WPBakery Page Builder Overview

Both page builders are drag-and-drop, meaning you simply click on the desired element, then drag it into the position you want it to appear on your page and drop it. Although basically similar, these two builders are quite different. Let’s look closer at their features:

WPBakery Page Builder Overview

WPBakery Page Builder has been around for many years and because of that, it has a huge user base of fans. It’s a widely-adopted plugin and comes bundled with most ThemeForest themes. However, there are a few issues that stop WPBakery Page Builder from competing with the modernized WordPress builders. One of the biggest issues is that it’s shortcode based. This means that you can end up with lots of shortcodes if you disable the plugin.

Non-technical users may not care how it works behind the scenes, but they will care about the amount of work removing WPBakery Page Builder if that ever becomes necessary. Additionally, shortcodes are not the newest technology around with the use of clean HTML being on the rise.

WPBakery Page Builder Key Features

  • Inline Frontend Editor;
  • Backend Editor;
  • Template Library;
  • 50+ Content Elements;
  • 200+ Unique Add-ons;
  • Grid Builder.

WPBakery Page Builder Content Elements library

Visual Composer Website Builder Overview

Visual Composer Website Builder is not just a simple page builder. It is more like a theme builder that lets you build an entire website right from the frontend editor. This means that you can use it not only for content editing but also overall site design. With its custom Page Layouts, along with Header, Footer and Sidebar editors, it lets you customize any WordPress theme you like and create your own unique page layouts.

One of the biggest additions to the Visual Composer Website Builder is its online marketplace, allowing for easy download of pre-made content elements, templates and add-ons. This online library is called Visual Composer Hub. It lets you receive constant updates and have instant access to download any new content that is on the way.

Visual Composer Website Builder is based on the latest technologies that ensure high performance and stability. It is a React-based product, which does not make sense for the end-user but will make developers smile.


Visual Composer Website Builder editor

Visual Composer Website Builder Key Features

Apart from the previously mentioned Visual Composer Hub of elements, templates and extensions, there are dozens of great features that are available straight from the editor:

  • Visual Composer Hub;
  • Header, Footer, Sidebar Editor;
  • Custom Page Layouts;
  • Global Templates;
  • Export/Import Templates;
  • Unique Design Options;
  • Compatibility with popular WordPress plugins.

Visual Composer Website Builder Hub – a library of Elements, Templates, and Add-ons

Plans and Pricing

WPBakery Page Builder has only two license options: Single site license for $45 and an extended one for SaaS applications ($245).

Visual Composer Website Builder has three paid version licenses, as well as a free basic version (that seems to be pretty advanced) to get you started. However, to get unlimited access to all of its core features, along with constant updates and dedicated customer support, there is a Single Site Premium license for $59.

There is also a 3 Website license for $149 that will be good for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as a Developers license that provides an unlimited amount of usage.

Although Visual Composer Website Builder is a bit more expensive, it is the ultimate bargain. Add-ons are available in the Visual Composer Hub whenever you need them. In contrast, WPBakery Page Builder’s many features (add-ons) are sold individually by third-party developers. So for each little feature, the cost could be around $20 – $50 per site.

In the end, Visual Composer Website Builder will cost you less and so far it seems to be much better. The license is valid for a year, but the price seems to be reasonable as the plugin delivers more and more new features, elements and templates.

In Summary

WPBakery Page Builder has many features – on one side it gives you lots of options but on the other side, if not used smartly it can get heavy. The page builder is bundled in many WordPress themes, so theme users get it by default. It is a fine builder for creating pages for your WordPress site, however, the shortcodes can slow it down a bit.

The need for better tools is always in high demand. Technology is developing, requirements are increasing. Visual Composer Website Builder seems to be following this pace, giving its end users a powerful plugin that is easy to use for both beginners and professionals.

With 100+ features, constant updates, heaps of support, online tutorials and a thriving community, Visual Composer Website Builder deserves a try. They offer a free version, which is enough to give you a great first impression and even build a simple site.

And it’s not only for beginners and web developers. It recently has launched an API that gives new business opportunities for WordPress plugin and theme developers.

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Simple Ways to Keep Your WordPress Site Secure https://1stwebdesigner.com/simple-ways-to-keep-your-wordpress-site-secure/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/simple-ways-to-keep-your-wordpress-site-secure/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 15:54:11 +0000 https://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=142734 When we think of web security, we often envision a giant server farm teeming with IT professionals along with developers who pore over every bit of code. Then too, we think of high-profile breaches that leak private data and negatively impact the economy.

Yet, web security should be of concern to everyone who works on or owns a site. That’s especially so when you’re using a popular platform such as WordPress. Why? Because we are all sitting targets.

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Whether your site boasts millions of visitors or only a handful, bots and other malicious actors are hammering away. They’re attempting brute force attacks on logins, adding poisonous code to legitimate files and other assorted mayhem.

And, while we can’t necessarily account for every possibility, there are things we can do to mitigate the risk. Even better is that it’s not hard to do!

With that, here are some simple steps you can take to make your WordPress website more secure.

Understand WordPress User Roles and Capabilities

If you build sites for clients, it’s important to realize that not everyone needs the same level of access to the back end. Administrator accounts are great in that they provide total control over settings and plugins. But in the wrong hands they can be dangerous.

The developers behind WordPress understand this, and that’s why they’ve created various user roles. Each role (Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber are the defaults) comes with their own set of capabilities. The lower the user role, the fewer capabilities that user will have.

So, for clients who won’t necessarily need to install plugins or touch other sensitive settings, an Editor account is perfect for them. They have all the power they need to manage content, while still being walled-off from potentially harmful items. Even if they do need occasional access to other things, they can use an administrator account when appropriate.

Just to be clear, we’re not necessarily worried about our clients doing harmful things (although, an adventurous one could do some unintended damage). Rather, it’s the possibility of that user’s account being compromised. If that were to happen, a lower user role won’t have the same impact as an administrator.

If the default roles don’t quite match up with your needs, you also have the option to create your own. This could be used to, for example, allow users access to only a specific post type. It allows for more fine-grain control of who can access what.

As an aside, it’s also a good idea to create separate user accounts for each person who needs to access the back end. This simplifies account maintenance, as you can just remove individual accounts as people come and go from the organization. Plus, the less you share your passwords, the better!

A key going into a lock.

Install a Security Plugin

Sure, you may spend a ton of time online. But you can’t be there to watch over your website 24/7. Therefore, it makes sense to employ tools that will keep a look out on your behalf.

There are a number of security plugins that can handle the job. The free versions of Wordfence, iThemes Security or All In One WP Security & Firewall can offer huge benefits. They can do things like lock out IP addresses, stop brute force login attempts and scan your site for existing malware or security holes. Some will even email you when a problem is found or your install is outdated.

If you manage several websites, a security plugin offers a great way to stay on top of these issues. However, they’re also useful for those times when you hand off a site to your clients as well. Clients who aren’t very security-conscious will have that extra set of eyes that will keep them well-informed.

It’s worth mentioning that there are more plugins available than mentioned above. And each one has its own strengths. The one you choose should fit your basic security needs and refrain from slowing down your site too much. Performance is especially an issue on lower end hosting platforms and should be a consideration.

Of course, these plugins aren’t cure-alls for security. You still need to employ other best practices. But they are great at catching the low-hanging fruit that make up the majority of threats to your site.

Security menu item within WordPress.

Use Common Sense

By now, everyone should know that they should be using unique, hard-to-guess passwords. But still, so many of us take shortcuts because it’s easier.

So much of security is actually using your own common sense and encouraging others to do the same. Sometimes, that requires a tiny bit of extra work – but it’s well worth the effort. Here are a few examples:

Install an SSL Certificate

Having SSL enabled will encrypt user communications with your site (on the front and back ends). With web browsers now calling out sites that don’t use SSL, having a certificate is also darn-near mandatory to defend your reputation. And with many hosts offering either free or cheap options, you have zero excuse for not adding one.

Be Cautious with Plugins

Not all plugins are created equally. Before you install and activate one, be sure to do some research. Look at its release history, support forums and user reviews. You’ll get a better sense of how well-maintained it is and whether it’s worth using. And, look for installed plugins that haven’t been updated in a while. They could be a weak point in your security.

Stay Current

Not only should your entire WordPress install (including plugins and themes) be kept up-to-date, but your hosting environment should do the same. Ensure that you’re running a supported version of PHP and other required software. If you’re unsure, ask your host for more information.

Maintain Current Backups

We all cross our fingers and hope something bad doesn’t happen. But if it does, it’s much easier to restore a safe backup! You’ll especially want to have multiple current copies of your site’s database and the /wp-content/ folder.

Lightbulb on a desk.

Stay Alert

If it seems like security threats are only getting more numerous and complex, it’s because they are! While WordPress itself is well-written and secure, it does have the biggest target on its back of any CMS. That means we need to remain alert and develop good habits.

It doesn’t need to be so difficult. The steps outlined above won’t take much time, but can literally make the difference between your website being hacked or not. That in itself is reason enough to put in the extra effort.

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The 100 Best WordPress Plugins for 2019 https://1stwebdesigner.com/wp-plugins/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/wp-plugins/#comments Wed, 02 Jan 2019 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/?p=89844 We share 100+ WordPress plugins, categorized under social, security, e-commerce, sliders galleries, speed optimization, SEO optimization, comment and form builders and much more. Just take a look at the table of contents below.

These 100 WordPress Plugins will make all the difference on your website. They offer better security, easier content management, higher conversion, and of course, your WordPress website will look amazing as well. Dig in!

Who doesn’t love WordPress? According to W3Techs, WordPress has a huge 58.5% market share of all content management systems! Yep, WordPress is popular. From small personal blogs to the largest of eCommerce sites, WordPress completely dominates the Web.

So, what do you need to transform your WordPress-powered site into a feature-rich powerhouse? You need the best WordPress plugins!

You might also like to take a look at the Top 50 Premium WordPress Themes of 2017.

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WordPress Social Plugins

Social media is one of the crucial components of online marketing. So, choosing the best social plugins for your WordPress site is important. From simple to richly featured, below are some of the best WordPress plugins for social media.


1. Social Network Tabs For WordPress

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Social Network Tabs For WordPress combines all of your favorite social network profiles & feeds into slick slide out or static tabs. Each social network tab is loaded using AJAX only when required, making the plugin very fast loading!


2. Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress

Add social buttons to encourage visitors to share your content.

Add social buttons to encourage visitors to share your content.

We are using this plugin ourselves because it looks great and it allows visitors to see a total number of shares in a beautiful way. With this plugin, you can use up to 20 of major social networks and encourage readers to share your content.

There are 19 templates, 12 display locations, 4 button display styles, 9 counter styles and after share actions you can add to your website. You can also add social media sharing to images and have social fans counter added. Check the full feature list here.


3. SocialBox – Social Profile Showcase Plugin

Add a social media widget to increase your social following.

Add a social media widget to increase your social following.

With SocialBox you can add a widget to your sidebar, that will help you increase social following as well as increase brand trust if you have a healthy following.

We are using similar feature ourselves, because for the first time visitors when they see 1WD has more than 200,000 followers; they take notice that this website is being trusted by many other people.

There is support for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Dribbble, Forrst, Youtube, Vimeo, Mailchimp, Pinterest and more. You can either display following for each of these social networks as well as the total number of followers.

Pick between premade designs or create your own. Check the live preview for more.


4. Social Gallery WordPress Photo Viewer Plugin

SG3

Social Gallery WordPress Photo Viewer Plugin is a fantastic new way to engage visitors to your WordPress blog by adding the ultimate Lightbox featuring social media buttons (Facebook Like, Facebook Send, Pinterest ‘Pin it’, Twitters ‘Tweet This’ and now LinkedIn, StumbleUpon & Tumblr) as well as Facebook or Disqus Comments!


5. Ultimate Social Meta Pro

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This plugin is the ultimate solution for your Social Meta Data problem by automatically grabingb social meta data enriched with Google+ Snippets, Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Card.


6. Social Traffic Pop for WordPress

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Social Traffic Pop combines 4 of the most powerful social media tools to make one of the best social media marketing tools ever. Social Traffic Pop builds on everything that made the original Facebook Traffic Pop such a hit and takes it to the next level.


7. Ultimate Social Deux

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Ultimate Social Deux is a plugin that gives you 10 popular custom-styled social media sharing buttons with counters.

WordPress eCommerce Plugins

More and more people are buying things online so it is a great idea to add e-commerce functionalities on your site. With big names such as Amazon and eBay already doing great business, the web has evolved to become a great platform for product and business exposure. Good thing WordPress can now integrate e-Commerce plugins. The following are some of the best e-commerce plugin you use for your business site.


13. WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates – WordPress Plugin

Keep track of Amazon products you promote and analyze your conversion rates.

Keep track of Amazon products you promote and analyze your conversion rates.

WooZone Report is a cool plugin, that you will want to use if you promote Amazon products in your WooCommerce shop. You will be able to keep track of the Amazon products and see how many views, how many products were added to cart and redirected to Amazon. You can receive reports straight in your inbox.


14. WooCommerce Plugin – excelling eCommerce

Add shopping cart and store to your WordPress website with WooCommerce.

Add shopping cart and store to your WordPress website with WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress plugin for eCommerce solutions. With this plugin, you will be able to transform your WordPress website into eCommerce store.

Note that all the promoted themes and most add-ons there are paid, and only WooCommerce plugin itself is free, but it’s still a great deal.


15. WP e-Commerce Car/Parts Filter Plugin

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WP e-Commerce Car/Parts Filter Plugin is the best plugin for a vehicle or vehicle parts website. With this plugin, the administrator can show filter plugin on the sidebar or footer widget. He can also add car models, products at the backend.


16. WooCommerce e-Commerce Bundle Rate Shipping

BundleRate-Woo2-profile-banner

The WooCommerce e-Commerce Bundle Rate Shipping allows you to provide special bundled shipping rates when a customer purchases multiple items. The plugin is designed to be flexible, so you can define bundled shipping rates based on the shipping destination, the categories of the products being sold, or their shipping class.


16. WP eCommerce Authorize.Net

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WP eCommerce Authorize.Net is a WordPress Plugin which allows the WP e-Commerce Store owners to accept credit cards. It can take less than 5 minutes to set up. This is, by far, the quickest way to integrate Authorize.net.


17. WorldPay Gateway for WP E-Commerce

WorldPayBanner

WorldPay Gateway is a payment service provider for all sizes of business. Accept debit and credit card payments online and in multiple currencies.


18. Friendly Manual Order Processing for WP E-Commerce

friendly_manual_ordering_large

Friendly Manual Order Processing for WP E-Commerce provides an easy-to-use and flexible way for you or your client to process orders directly from the WordPress backend without having to go through the payment process necessary on the front end of the site.

Sliders

Sliders provide a great way to display images, videos or other content in an engaging way. If your theme doesn’t have one built-in or you would just like to add something a bit more exciting then take a look at these premium plugins.


19. Metaslider WordPress Slideshow Plugin

This plugin is the most popular WordPress slider plugin with over 2 million downloads, 500,000 active installs, and 250 five star ratings. There are four different slideshow types – Flex Slider, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides and Coin Slider. Check out their website to see live demo.

With Metaslider you will be able to create responsive and SEO optimized slideshows in seconds. You also can crop images, drag and drop reorder slides, preview slides within admin panel and configure your slideshow a lot.


20. RoyalSlider – Touch-Enabled jQuery Image Gallery

590x300

RoyalSlider is an easy-to-use jQuery image gallery and content slider plugin with animated captions, responsive layout and touch support for mobile devices. For its menu, you can use thumbnails, tabs or bullets. Use it as image slider, slideshow, HTML content slider, gallery, banner rotator, video gallery, carousel or even presentation.


21. Slider Revolution Responsive WordPress Plugin

Slider Revolution is currently the top-selling plugin on Codecanyon. It is widely-used by theme authors on Themeforest. It is a responsive (mobile friendly) or full-width slider with must-see-effects. It also keeps or builds your SEO optimization (all content always readable for search engines).


22. LayerSlider Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin

layerslider-responsive-wordpress-slider-plugin

LayerSlider Slider Plugin is a premium multi-purpose slider for creating image galleries, content sliders, and mind-blowing slideshows with must-see effects, even from your WordPress posts and pages. It uses cutting edge technologies to provide the smoothest experience that’s possible, and it comes with more than 200 preset 2D and 3D slide transitions.


23. Slider PRO – WordPress Premium Slider Plugin

image

Slider PRO is one of the most powerful slider plugins for WordPress in the market. The slider is fully responsive and mobile-ready. It provides 150+ options, 100+ possible transition effects, from simple ‘fade’, ‘slide’ or ‘swipe’ effects to more complex ‘slice’ effects, 15+ skins and much more.


24. Showbiz Pro Responsive Teaser WordPress Plugin

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Showbiz Pro is a responsive teaser displaying solution that allows you to show WordPress posts or any custom content with a set amount of teaser items.


25. Accordion Slider – Responsive WordPress Plugin

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Accordion Slider is a fully responsive and touch-enabled WordPress plugin that combines the functionality of an accordion with that of a slider.


26. Soliloquy Lite – Responsive WordPress Slider

WordPress Slider Plugin

WordPress Slider Plugin

Soliloquy is a very popular WordPress slider plugin, which is paid, but now there is also available free and lite version of this plugin. What makes this plugin special is that it is really simple to add sliders wherever you want with just a few clicks.

By utilizing custom post types, this plugin allows you to create as many sliders as you want with as many images as you want. You can do all of this with just a few clicks.

Gallery is a cornerstone of many websites today, allowing you to showcase pictures, illustrations, videos and more. If you’re looking for the best photo gallery plugin for WordPress to help you display your images for maximum effects on your blog or website. The following I listed are the best WordPress gallery plugins that will surely blow your mind.


27. NextGen Gallery WordPress Plugin

NextGen Gallery Plugin

NextGen Gallery Plugin

This plugin has been around for a very long time; it has over 12 million downloads, and it has over one million active installs. One red flag is that it has received quite a bit 5-star and 1-star ratings, but still active installs are the highest ever seen on WordPress repository for gallery plugin.


28. Responsive Photo Gallery WordPress Plugin

Responsive Photo Gallery

Responsive Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery is an advanced plugin, which allows you to add and edit images for different views. You can create image galleries and albums to posts, pages and add them as widgets.

This gallery is fully responsive and has several gallery views you can choose from.


29. Essential Grid WordPress Plugin

Essential Grid Building Solution

Essential Grid Building Solution

This is one more plugin similar to Justified Image Grid, but functionality and design preview look different. Live preview for Essential Grid is great since they have collected all the best user works, you can use as the base for your designs.

The plugin also has lots of included skins you can use to display any content on grid-like portfolios, price tables, service listings, product sliders, video grids and more. You can easily import or export your grid, skin or meta date later to use for another WordPress installation.


30. Justified Image Grid – Premium WordPress Gallery Plugin

This plugin aligns thumbnails into a justified grid using jQuery, just like Google image search.

This plugin aligns thumbnails into a justified grid using jQuery, just like Google image search.

This plugin will take existing WordPress galleries and display them, the way you want. You can alternatively load images from Facebook, Flickr, Instagram or use NextGen (image manager) as a source for images. You can also pull image RSS feeds and videos from Youtube or Vimeo and much more.

You can also control every aspect how the gallery will be displayed, there are lots of options. You will also get 87 pages of PDF documentation to learn how to use this plugin.


31. Responsive Lightbox by dFactory

WordPress gallery plugin

This plugin allow readers to view larger versions of images and galleries in a lightbox overlay effect, which is optimized for mobile devices. It has more than 100,000 active installs and have received 250 five star ratings.


32. Media Grid – WordPress Responsive Portfolio

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A responsive and filterable portfolios with ease on your website. Media Grid comes with masonry layout; it is designed to adapt each portfolio to any situation and mobile optimized for responsive themes.


33. Video Gallery WordPress Plugin /w YouTube, Vimeo

preview-wordpress-youtube-video-gallery

Responsive, localized, awesome, fully featured and fast gallery. This is the most advanced stock video gallery in the world and, now, as a WordPress plugin.


34. Simple 3D Coverflow WordPress Plugin

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Simple 3D Coverflow is a fully responsive media 3D coverflow WordPress plugin that allows you to display media content with an unique original layout from a 3D perspective. It’s perfect for any kind of presentation, for anyone that wants to deliver a great impact on their visitors.


35. Awesome Gallery

preview

It’s another great gallery plugin that comes with a horizontal flow, vertical flow and classic grid. Especially helpful when you use both portrait and landscape images at the same gallery. Ideal for presenting your photographs and really close to the way images are presented in Flickr.


36. Thumbnail Gallery (WordPress Plugin)

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This plugin will help you to easily add a thumbnail gallery to your WordPress website or blog. The gallery is completely customizable, resizable and is compatible with all browsers and devices (iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones). You will be able to insert it in any page or post you want with inbuilt short code generator.


37. Mikado Grid Gallery for WordPress

artwork-1

Mikado Grid Gallery is a gallery for WordPress based on random grids with a lot of features. It’s responsive, and images will adapt with a nice and smooth animation when the browser is resized. You just need to decide width (also percentage) and height and Mikado will create a random grid inside the rectangle.

Security And Backup WordPress Plugins

WordPress is pretty secure against hacker attacks, but since WordPress is being used by 20% of all world websites, you should take security precautions nevertheless. Better be safe than sorry, right?

All websites should have regular backups, in case something bad happens, but other things are just like icing on cake.


38. Backup WordPress Plugin

Premium WordPress Backup Plugin - BackupBuddy

Premium WordPress Backup Plugin – BackupBuddy

This is the most popular premium backup plugin for WordPress, and it is the best way to backup and move your WordPress website.

Backups come handy in case something troublesome happens to your databases or server.

Backupbuddy isn’t free, but if you are looking for high quality and reliability, and you can pay a little for that – BackupBuddy is the top choice.


39. iThemes Security Pro

Ensure your site is safe and protected at all times.

Ensure your site is safe and protected at all times.

This is another plugin created by iThemes, they also have created BackupBuddy mentioned before. iThemes Security is a premium and comprehensive plugin, including all the things you will ever need to secure your website.


40. UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration

updraft-plus-backup-restoration-wordpress-plugin

UpDraft Plus Backup And Restoration WordPress Plugin

This is the most popular free plugin on WordPress repository and with over 2.4 million downloads, more than 400,000 active installs and 1400 5-star ratings is a good choice. UpdraftPlus allows you to backup your data to the cloud to places like Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive and much more. You can later restore this backup with a single click.


41. Wordfence Security

Wordfence security and performance WordPress plugin.

Wordfence security and performance WordPress plugin.

Wordfence is a free enterprise class security and performance plugin that makes your site up to 50 times faster and more secure. This plugin provides a complete anti-virus and firewall package and tools that will help you to recover from a hack. It has more than 900,000 active installs and more than 2000 5 star ratings.


42. Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening

Sucuri Security WordPress plugin

Sucuri Security WordPress plugin

Sucuri Inc. is the most recognized company when it comes to website security. They were the ones who first discovered the HeartBleed bug, which haunted WordPress websites in 2014.


43. Login Lockdown

Simple security WordPress plugin protecting your admin area.

Simple security WordPress plugin protecting your admin area.

Login Lockdown is a simple plugin that records the IP address and time of every failed login attempt. Usually hack attempts rely on breaking into your website admin area buy inputting lots of password lists to guess the password. This plugin locks IP out for 1 hour after 3 failed login attempts within 5 minutes.


44. Hide My WP

Hide the fact you use WordPress for your site with Hide My WP plugin.

Hide the fact you use WordPress for your site with Hide My WP plugin.

This handy security plugin lets you hide the fact you are using WordPress making it harder for anybody to breach your security.

You can use the plugin to control access to PHP files, which will protect your site from almost 90% of SQL-Injection and XSS attacks, which are caused by accessing PHP files directly. This means you can install unsafe plugins without worrying about security.

Install new plugins and themes on your website without worrying about being exposed to common web attacks and new vulnerabilities that are discovered within plugins.


45. Security Ninja

Security Ninja WordPress plugin

Security Ninja WordPress plugin

This plugin allows you to perform 35+ security tests including brute-force attacks. It will automatically scan your website for security vulnerabilities and holes, and you will receive notifications via email.


46. Core Scanner add-on for Security Ninja

CoreScanner-01_Featured

Core Scanner add-on for Security Ninja can scan WP core files with one click. It quickly identifies the problematic files that occurs in your WordPress core files.


47. WP Security Manager

securitymanager_big_thumb_590_300

WP Security Manager is a WordPress plugin that provides all in one security solutions to your WP site.


48. Smart Security Tools

smart-security-tools.preview

Smart Security Tools is a powerful plugin for improving security of your WordPress powered website. Plugin contains collection of tweaks and tools for extra security protection along with Security Advisor that can help you determine what needs to be done.


49. WP-Lens – Security and Analysis

main_image

WP-Lens – Security and Analysis is the ultimate plugin for WordPress security analysis on your current theme and WordPress installation. WP-Lens combines a variety of checks and mechanisms that give you a clear picture of your current state of security and installation.

WordPress Speed Optimization – Responsive, Mobile Support Plugins

As we know optimization of a website is critical as our visitors don’t want to wait for the site to load or just leave because there is no way to get support. In today’s world website has to be mobile friendly. So here are some plugins that can help you achieve that in no time.


50. W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

Ensure that your website loads fast for visitors.

Ensure that your website loads fast for visitors.

We are using W3 Total Cache on 1WD, because it really helps to improve the speed your website loads. This plugin is a must have on any high trafficked WordPress website, because of it’s CDN (content delivery network) integration.

There is up to 10x improvement on overall site performance, when W3 Total Cache plugin is fully configured. Page load speed is very important, because it improves user experience and helps you rank higher on search engines. There are many more features like catching of minified CSS, Javascript, feeds, search results and more. There is also a mobile support.


51. WPtouch Mobile Plugin

Make your WordPress website mobile-friendly with just a few clicks.

Make your WordPress website mobile-friendly with just a few clicks.

WPTouch helps you make your website fully responsive, it will help even for responsive themes, because they usually don’t work well with third party WordPress plugins you install. WpTouch claims to be up to 5x faster than desktop or responsive themes, because their mobile solution is 100% CSS.


52. EWWW Image Optimizer WordPress Plugin

Reduce file sizes for images with EWWW Image Optimizer

Reduce file sizes for images with EWWW Image Optimizer

This plugin reduces file sizes for images in WordPress using lossless methods and image format conversion. It’s important to keep file size low because the faster it takes to load your pages the more visitors will stay on the page and you will also rank higher in search engines. EWW Image Optimizer compresses JPG and PNG files without any loss of image quality. There are so many benefits to having smaller image file size, read more on their plugin page.

SEO Optimization Plugins

Another important subject. SEO optimization is important as this is our ticket to the top of search engines. Here are a few great plugins that will make your life easier when SEO optimizing your website.


53. WordPress SEO by Yoast

1WD is using this plugin every day to optimize our posts and website for SEO.

Every WordPress website should have this plugin installed if you want to be well optimized for search engines and Google. With this plugin you can optimize every page, post and overall website optimization, including XML sitemaps.

This plugin will also help you to understand how well each post is optimized and how it will look in Google. It is a very, very helpful SEO plugin – definitely a must-have.


54. Premium SEO Pack – WordPress Plugin

Premium SEO Pack includes several unique SEO optimization features, you won't find anywhere else.

Premium SEO Pack includes several unique SEO optimization features, you won’t find anywhere else.

This is a great new SEO plugin which has lots of great functionality not found in Yoast plugin.

Premium SEO Pack will help you optimize your website speed performance and load time.


55. WordPress Auto Spinner – Articles Rewriter Plugin

Automatically rewrite your post to convert it to fresh content.

Automatically rewrite your post to convert it to fresh content.

Use this plugin with precaution: this plugin won’t be ideal for high-quality blogs, but if you want to have more content on your site, or be able to republish original content to get more good backlinks, you can use this.

WordPress Auto Spinner rewrites existing content by replacing most of the text with synonymous words and phrases. This is a popular plugin on CodeCanyon, check more of it’s features to understand if you want to use it. If you are into building SEO sites, you might be interested trying this plugin out. I wouldn’t recommend it for your company website, since the content won’t be readable for real visitors, but only help you rank well on Google.


56. Rankie – WordPress Rank Tracker Plugin

Keep track of your keyword rankings on Google straight from your dashboard.

Keep track of your keyword rankings on Google straight from your dashboard.

Rankie is a WordPress rank checker plugin that helps to keep a close eye on each keyword position on Google. This plugin will update keywords ranking positions daily and generate handy reports for you. You can get these reports in a daily email delivered straight to your inbox.

You can also use Rankie’s keyword research tool which generates keyword list that other people are using to search for topics which interest you. Check Rankie’s plugin preview video to learn more.


57. All In One SEO Pack

all-in-one-seo-pack

All in One SEO Pack is an alternative to Yoast SEO plugin. For full description Check the plugin page. With out the doubt it will help you to always have your site optimized for SEO.


58. Broken Link Checker

broken-link-checker

It can be used to keep tabs on 404 pages and the plugin will send you an email. You can then go in and manually fix or redirect them.


59. Simple 301 Redirects

Provides an easy way to add a 301 redirect for the posts, pages on your WordPress site. You can even set wildcard redirect rules using this plugin.


60. YARPP

yarpp

YARPP comes with a lot of features like cached related posts, adding related post in RSS feed.

WordPress Comment And Form Builder Plugins

If you have a blog, an important feature is having a comment section below your posts. For every site, however, there is importance to have a contact form. Check these plugins for building forms and comment sections.


61. Gravity Forms

Add advanced forms to WordPress website.

Add advanced forms to WordPress website.

Gravity Forms is a well known plugin, because it allows you to create WordPress forms quickly and easily. Anything form related – Gravity Forms can do it. Create order forms, customize content and style, even add advanced fields, like file uploads.


62. Contact Form 7

QuForm - Drag and Drop Form Builder.

QuForm – Drag and Drop Form Builder.

This simple plugin, will empower you to create contact forms on your website. It supports CAPTCHA spam filter and Akismet spam filtering.


63. Quform – WordPress Form Builder

Encourage and manage comments better with Disqus.

Encourage and manage comments better with Disqus.

QuForm plugin is a drag and drop form builder, that lets you create unlimited forms with 15 form elements you can choose from. Entries will be saved on WordPress with an option to export data. There are lots of customization you can do, like enabling Ajax, using CAPTCHA, add animation and more. Check Quform live preview to see what’s possible.


64. Disqus Comment System

Add custom input fields and start collecting data you need.

Add custom input fields and start collecting data you need.

Disqus is a free comment system; that replaces your WordPress comment system with Disqus comments. Since many websites are using Disqus (more than 200,000 active installs), it is already widely recognized. Its best feature is its connection with a large discussion community where commentators can keep track of their comments across the web encouraging them to comment more.


65. Advanced Custom Fields Plugin

There are more than 20 field types you can choose from, making custom data management and collection real easy and simple. Make surveys and collect necessary data from your clients without any issues now!

Ads and Affiliate Marketing WordPress Plugins

You can do almost everything on your website. If you want to advertise affiliates of yourselves these plugins below are your saviors.


66. Pretty Link Pro Affiliate Link Plugin For WordPress

Cloak your affiliate links and optimize your site by testing links.

Cloak your affiliate links and optimize your site by testing links.

Pretty Link Pro will help you to shrink, cloak, track and organize your links. The most helpful feature is that it lets you cloak your affiliate links, but you can do much more with it.


67. Ninja Popups for WordPress

Use Ninja popups to grow your mailing list.

Use Ninja popups to grow your mailing list.

Ninja Popups is great plugin to convert website visitors into qualified leads, by getting them to subscribe to your email list. This plugin supports all the main (and not so well know) email marketing providers. It has all the features you would expect in a good popup plugin.


68. HelloBar

Great marketing tool, that allows to direct visitors to take desired action.

Great marketing tool, that allows to direct visitors to take desired action.

With this plugin, you can show a bar on top of your website, that you can use to promote your product, special post or drive more email subscribers to your list. We are using this tool on 1stWebDesigner too from time to time.


69. AdSanity Ads Banner Management Plugin

Ad Rotator plugin for WordPress.

Ad Rotator plugin for WordPress.

If you have a blog and want to have and manage ads yourself, instead of using 3rd party services like BuySellAds, you might consider this plugin.

Adsanity lets you pick between two custom widgets – one is for displaying single ads, another for showing ad groups and rotate them. You will also be able to keep statistics on views and clicks on each ad, so you can quickly see how ads are performing.

Membership Plugins

You want to offer more for you members, but don’t know how? These plugins are your answer!


70. UserPro WordPress Plugin – User Profiles with Social Login

Create users easily, have content restrictions and member directory with UserPro plugin.

Create users easily, have content restrictions and member directory with UserPro plugin.

UserPro will allow you to start your own user community, create profiles and open registration for new users in minutes! You will be able to sync UserPro with WooCommerce, BuddyPress and BBPress as well as integrate with email auto-responders like Mailchimp, Aweber and Campaign Monitor.

If you are in need of creating a community or upgrading existing one, you should check out UserPro live preview, to see if it’s for you.


71. CSS3 Responsive WordPress Compare Pricing Tables

CSS3 Pricing Tables Grids For WordPress

CSS3 Pricing Tables Grids For WordPress.

This plugin is a pure CSS3 web pricing tables with 2 table styles and 20 predefined color versions. You have lots of configuration options within admin panel to edit table, columns, rows, active columns, hover states, tool tips, column ribbons, tick/cross icons and lots of more.

Plugins With Misc Functionality


72. Full-width Audio Player Plugin

Ultimate audio player for your WordPress website.

Ultimate audio player for your WordPress website.

With this plugin you will be able to add an audio play at the top or bottom of your website. Audio player is fully HTML5 audio engine powered and will run on all the mayor browsers and mobile devices.


73. Maintenance PRO Plugin

Add the maintenance mode when updating a website.

Add the maintenance mode when updating a website.

Use this plugin to easily setup and customize your coming soon, under construction or maintenance pages. It comes handy whenever you are upgrading your WordPress installation or plugins, so your visitors don’t see a broken page if anything goes wrong.


74. Team Member Showcase Plugin

Display your About Us team member area with style.

Display your About Us team member area with style.

Have you ever wanted to display your About Company area with style? With this plugin you can. You can add the images, customize the number of columns, image shapes, hover effects and add special styles like grayscale, image borders and shadow styles.


75. wpDataTables – Responsive Tables and Charts in WordPress

Create and manage tables and charts on WordPress.

Create and manage tables and charts on WordPress.

Have you ever wanted to display tables, pie charts, bar or area charts on your WordPress posts or pages? Now you can do it without additional coding.


76. Ultra WordPress Admin Theme

Ultra Admin brings your WordPress admin panel to life.

Ultra Admin brings your WordPress admin panel to life.

With this plugin, you will be able to make your WordPress back-end beautiful. There are 30 premade admin themes, and you also have the option to create your own design. You can customize everything, from the admin menu, buttons, typography, forms, background colors, branding, etc.


77. Visual Composer: Responsive Page Builder for WordPress

Visual Composer Page Builder Plugin

Visual Composer Page Builder Plugin

This is the most popular WordPress plugin on CodeCanyon, as it is being used by more than 500,000 websites. Visual Composer is a drag and drop page responsive page builder plugin with frontend and backend editors. The best thing is that you can use it for any WordPress theme. If you don’t prefer to always work from NotePad, you will appreciate this website builder, that will save lots of your time, because you won’t even need to touch code.


78. UberMenu – WordPress Mega Menu Plugin

UberMenu is the most powerful mega menu plugin I've ever seen.

UberMenu is the most powerful mega menu plugin I’ve ever seen.

UberMenu is a very powerful and responsive mega menu WordPress plugin. It works well with WordPress 3 menu system, so it’s easy to start creating highly customized and powerful mega menu configurations.

It is important to note, that UberMenu looks great on different devices, it is fully responsive. It is also touch-enabled making it intuitive to use on touch screens.


79. EventOn – WordPress Event Calendar Plugin

EventOn - WordPress Event Calendar

EventOn – WordPress Event Calendar

If you need to display lots of events on your website, show locations and be able to filter them, EventOn is the plugin of choice.


80. Interactive World Maps Plugin

Create as many maps as you want with interactive and colored markers, countries or regions.

Create as many maps as you want with interactive and colored markers, countries or regions.

With this plugin you will be able to show hundreds of different kinds of maps. You can add highlight regions to the map and display them either as regions (color whole region) or as markers (colored bubble). You can also add a tooltip or action to highlighted active regions and customize lots of other things.


81. Special Recent Posts PRO Edition

Display your recent posts with thumbnails with a beauty.

Display your recent posts with thumbnails with a beauty.

Manage your WordPress posts with thumbnails just the way you want with just a few clicks. Special Recent Posts plugin will be great for web magazines as it comes with more than 120 customization options. Check out their official website to find out more.


82. Bookly – Responsive WordPress Appointment Booking and Scheduling Plugin

Bookly- Appointment Booking Plugin

Bookly – Appointment Booking Plugin

This plugin is a great tool to let people book your service online. Bookly will be the best for online companies, who need their visitors to do reservations through websites.

Every person who wants to book your service will be lead through clear 5-step booking process. No need to talk with every person one by one – both you and person, who wants your service will receive email notifications to remind about their reservation.


83. Google Analytics by Yoast

Keep track of Google Analytics on your dashboard.

Keep track of Google Analytics on your dashboard.

Simple plugin to integrate your Google Analytics with WordPress and keep track of your traffic stats easily. Handy to keep track any custom events, custom internal affiliate links or downloads as well as 404 error pages.


84. Jetpack by WordPress.com

Must have plugin in every installation.

Must have plugin in every installation.

Jetpack is a plugin created by Automattic (WordPress official company) and it adds lots of powerful features previously only available to WordPress.com users including customization, traffic, mobile, content, and performance tools.


85. WordPress Importer Plugin

Simple importer plugin.

Simple importer plugin.


This WordPress plugin will help you import the data from one WordPress installation to another. You can import posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, authors and more to WordPress export file. With more than one million active installs, this plugin is proving to be useful for many.


86. Edit Flow – Editorial Workflow Management Plugin

Add editorial calendar to your WordPress dashboard.

Add editorial calendar to your WordPress dashboard.

Edit Flow is a handy plugin if you have several people in your editorial team. It lets you collaborate between members with notifications, editorial calendar and editorial comments.


87. TinyMCE Advanced Plugin

Have advanced editing features to your visual editor toolbar.

Have advanced editing features to your visual editor toolbar.

This plugin will add more functionality to visual post and page editor. With TinyMCE you will be able to create tables, search and replace within editor, set font family, font size and many more. With more than one million active installs TinyMCE is a very useful plugin to use when you want to customize pages and posts more than available by default.

WordPress Plugins For Easy Social Sharing

When you spend a lot of time writing a blog post or creating a landing page, you want people to be able to share it. Here are several social sharing WordPress plugins to help your readers share your hard work.


88. Animated Twitter Bird

While this social sharing WordPress plugin doesn’t add a direct social sharing option, it does let your readers connect with you outside of your site. There are a lot of people who may comment on Twitter but not say a word to you in the comment section.


89. Respond (advertising and social sharing with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)

There is always a cost to having a site. Even if that cost is just a web host, the money needs to come from somewhere. Respond is a dual purpose social sharing WordPress plugin packaging social sharing with possible revenue. You will need to sign up for an account with them and let them check out your site before you can start earning though.


90. Trackable Social Share Icons

When you are marketing anything, there is a good chance you will want to track what you are doing to make sure your efforts aren’t wasted. Trackable Social Share Icons is a good place to start tracking how people are sharing your site. One feature here that differentiates Trackable Social Share Icons is it links to Google Analytics.


91. Add Google +1 (Plus one) Social Share Button

Google+ is growing like crazy and shouldn’t be overlooked. If your audience is there, it is a good idea to give them a way to share. Add Google +1 lets you add the +1 button to the location of your choosing with a bit of code, or by setting the default location and size.


92. Social Media Widget

This sidebar widget lets you have a ton of different social icons in your WordPress Sidebar. Many times, if people don’t see the social site they want to share on, they don’t dig any further than a glance to find it.


93. Follow Me

Follow Me is one of those icons that stick to the side of the page and stays in the same spot as you scroll up and down the page. At the time of this writing, there are 43 different social sites you can ask people to follow you on. Some sites are not your normal choices like Blip.fm and Mahalo.


94. Social Metrics

If you can’t track something, it never happened. Tracking the reach you have on social networks is a must these days. Social Metrics is a social plugin for WordPress that tracks your awesomeness on these sites. You can see how many people are sharing your information and who they are. If they are already talking about you, don’t you think you may want to see what they are talking about and maybe add your 2 cents?

Best WordPress Live Chat Plugins for Easy Customer Access

If you have an online store or you offer services that sometimes need answers right away these plugins are a must. Even if you don’t have such sell such things, now days is a good addition to your website. As we all know, we all appreciate a responsive business.


95. Bankcle Chat

Bankcle Chat

Bankcle Chat is a WordPress plugin that provides a reliable, highly customizable, and economical platform for live chat. Besides giving live support to customers, it also keeps you updated regarding your site visitor activity and tracking.


96. ClickDesk Live Support

ClickDesk Live Support

This WordPress plugin is one of the fastest live chat services available. ClickDesk allows the web visitors to click to call and voice chat with you (website owner) directly from the browser. Visitors can also dial the local access numbers available in 40+ countries. You can manage your emails and offline chats with new integrated help desk. Agents can answer live chats and calls from online agent panel through Google Talk and Skype.


97. WP ChatBlazer

WP ChatBlazer

This plugin allows you to embed the Chatblazer application to chat on a WordPress page. You can post with an easy to use shortcode. You can host your own chatroom on your blog for interacting with your audience.

It has an easy-to-use interface that allows users to video chat, chat by sending instant messages, and share all types of media.


98. Video Chat Plugin

Video Chat Plugin

This plugin is highly flexible and supports and rooms, moderators, private messages, and public and private video chat, etc. It is BuddyPress-compatible, and automatically adds the avatars to user profiles in the video chat. It is simple to install and compatible with all search engines.


99. Flexy Talk

Flexy Talk

The Flexy Talk plugin allows you to get started with chatting to the Facebook fans and site visitors. You can easily do it from any device, including the mobile and tablets, etc. You can create a free account and enjoy unlimited chats with your visitors.


100. Vivocha Activation Tool

Vivocha Activation Tool

This is a multi-channel communication platform for the websites. This plugin can be used to assist customers during their visit, provide support, and answer questions. There is no coding skill required for it. This plugin will enable Callback, VoIP, and Video on your website. Also, it includes fully customizable graphics and real time analytics.


101. Formilla Live Chat

Formilla Live Chat

This plugin allows you to chat with your visitors with a clean and easy to use interface. You can respond to chats from your iPhone or Android device. You can also enable the proactive chat to trigger live chat automatically with visitor after some defined seconds.


102. Live Chat by OggFlow

Live Chat by OggFlow

This plugin lets you easily add beautiful live chat to your site or blog. You can handle all the live chats, emails, tickets, Facebook and Twitter feeds. You can easily modify the look and feel of this plugin with custom CSS, logos, and messages.


103. Chat

Chat

With this chat plugin, you can bring two-way chat to your website. You can host your own live sessions, interact with your visitors and boost your sales without taking help from third party JavaScript or other codes. Chat plugin allows you to add a site wide-chat window in the bottom corner of your site. You can also add chat to any blog post or page, and answer support questions.


104. WordPress Live Chat Plugin

Chat with your visitors on your website.

Chat with your visitors on your website.

Live Chat plugin is a simple great plugin, that lets you chat with your potential customers or visitors of the site. Live chat is a great marketing tool because you can address visitor issues right before they are making a decision. You’ll get up to 30% more sales by actively using this tool and having it on your landing page.


105. Visitor Chat

Visitor Chat

This plugin is fully featured real-time chat for your WordPress website. This plugin has a window-based client out of the box. Without having to visit the admin interface, you will be notified from your Windows tray from where you can start chatting straight away.


106. WordPress Live Chat

WordPress Live Chat

This plugin provides real time chat for the customer support. The plugin has a 3-way widget embedding including auto, shortcode, and a WP widget. It also provides high quality emoticons and avatars.


107. Chat X

Chat X

Chat X answers the support questions and solves the technical problems and product defects on your website easily. You can easily customize your chat skin, and change the colors to fit your website look and feel. The plugin runs on Firebase technology to make your chat faster and reliable.

Conclusion

Plugins allow your blog or website be more effective and functional. The list that we’ve provided are premium plugins that are worth every money. Since they are premium, the full features will be utilized compared to the free ones. So download them now and let your WordPress site rock!

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How Will Gutenberg Change Your WordPress Workflow? https://1stwebdesigner.com/how-will-gutenberg-change-your-wordpress-workflow/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/how-will-gutenberg-change-your-wordpress-workflow/#respond Mon, 31 Dec 2018 15:27:45 +0000 https://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=141721 The way you develop for and create content with WordPress is changing. With the release of WordPress 5.0 and the new Gutenberg editor, there will be a lot of adjustments to make. They not only affect what we see on our screens, but also the underlying techniques we use to customize the back end.

What’s especially important to note is that it’s not just web professionals who will bear the burden of a changed workflow. Everyday users will also have their own learning curve to deal with. The simple act of writing a blog post, for example, will look much differently with Gutenberg than with the Classic Editor.

That’s not to paint any of these changes as either positive or negative. Regardless of how you feel about them, they are changes nonetheless.

So, what’s changing? Let’s have a look at some areas that WordPress 5.0 will have its greatest impact.

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Writing with Gutenberg

The most visible change with WordPress 5.0 is the block-based Gutenberg editor. Gone are the days of a single rectangular field to type away at your next blog post. Instead, virtually everything is contained with portable blocks – including text paragraphs.

The positive side of this change is that it’s easy to rearrange content – something that could be frustrating with the Classic editor. A user can, for instance, edit one block without fear of impacting any of the surrounding content.

Still, it’s going to take some getting used to – especially for longtime users. The UI is fairly intuitive, but a different experience altogether from what a standard WordPress install has been.

Oh, and one tip worth mentioning about those paragraph blocks: Hitting the Enter key at the end of one paragraph will automatically create another new block. So, you can continue writing in the editor without having to manually add blocks via the UI. Alternatively, you can use the “Classic” block, that allows for the more traditional style of content writing.

The Classic block in Gutenberg.

Customizing the Edit Screen

Among the biggest changes with WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg are how customizations to the edit screen both look and are built.

For example, if you use a plugin such as Advanced Custom Fields to create custom field UI setups, it will still work just fine. But Gutenberg forces these fields down to the very bottom of the screen. Therefore, any elaborate custom layouts you’ve built for the back end are going to be stuck below the fold – unless you opt to remain with the Classic editor.

Beyond that, adding custom features to the editor itself is a completely different process in the post 5.0 world. Since the Classic editor’s TinyMCE-based setup is being pushed aside, you’ll need to create a custom block for Gutenberg in order to integrate with the editor. That will require some serious knowledge of React and JavaScript in general.

Thankfully, the aforementioned Advanced Custom Fields and the new Block Lab plugin both provide easier methods for creating custom blocks. This will enable more developers to build in custom capabilities for the new editor without diving too deeply into the weeds with JS. The process will be more familiar, yet still requires some effort to learn.

All told, customizing the edit screen will require a very different approach in order to achieve the same level of integration with the WordPress editor’s UI.

The Block Lab plugin allows for a more visual approach to creating custom blocks.

Building a Custom WordPress Theme

It seems fairly unlikely that Gutenberg will “break” any themes. Instead, existing themes just may not be setup to take full advantage of some of the fancy new features, such as cover images.

By default, some “baseline” styles for all Gutenberg blocks will be included. However, you can also add custom styles to your theme in order to better control how blocks look on the front end of your site.

Want to see how your theme will handle each Gutenberg block? The Block Unit Test for Gutenberg plugin can help.

Sample output from the Block Unit Test for Gutenberg plugin.

It’s also possible to include (or withhold) support for specific features, such as full-width images, via some code in your theme’s functions.php file. This provides you with some measure of oversight regarding what your theme can or can’t do with Gutenberg.

Lastly, one of the main selling points of Gutenberg is an experience that is much closer to being truly WYSIWYG. To get as close as possible, adding editor styles to your theme can provide a more accurate reflection in the editor of how content will look on the front end. WordPress has a built in a handy .editor-styles-wrapper class to get you going.

Rolling with the Changes

In some ways, this may all sound a bit overwhelming. But while change isn’t easy, it’s also inevitable. Therefore, all we can do is make the best of it.

A positive aspect of all of this is that, even though WordPress 5.0 is out there, we can still opt for the Classic editor if we so choose. This empowers us to make the final decision on whether these changes are a good fit for our own particular situation.

The Classic editor will be supported at least through the end of 2021, meaning we have some time to adjust before taking the plunge into Gutenberg. So, while our workflows are indeed going to change eventually, we get to do so at our own pace.

Yes, it’s a lot to take in. But at least we have the necessary tools and knowledge to handle these changes successfully.

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You Can Design Websites from Scratch or Use Pre-Built Websites – Is One Way Better than the Other? https://1stwebdesigner.com/design-websites-from-scratch-or-pre-built/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/design-websites-from-scratch-or-pre-built/#respond Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:47:38 +0000 https://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=141866 There’s been a debate going on for some time regarding whether it is best to design websites from scratch. Others believe it is better to rely on pre-built websites to help the process along.

This debate can get somewhat heated at times. Especially when the argument comes up that using templates is not professional. One argument is related to the highly-respected senior designers. It is that they would be expected to create their designs from scratch. They should put their originality, creativity, and professionalism on display in the process.

A counterargument is that even the most gifted designers won’t hesitate to use tools. This included also pre-built websites. Doing so makes their work easier and yields superior outcomes.

As you might expect, neither side is completely right or wrong. As we shall see, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Designing from scratch gives you creative freedom & pre-built websites rob you of your creative mark

Designing from scratch is not synonymous with creativity. They’re two different animals. If you’re convinced designing from scratch will make you more creative, you have a long, tough row to hoe.

Experience can certainly help you become better at your trade. However, you have to build up a foundation of knowledge to become more creative. Properly channeled creativity addresses what clients want and need. Not gimmicky websites filled with eye-candy.

That’s a mistake all too many web designers are guilty of.

A creative design has to align with a given industry’s or business sector’s standards. A pre-built website can provide the foundation you need to avoid false starts. You can get a project off the ground.

Be Theme has the largest library of pre-built websites on the market; more than 400 of them.

They’re organized by industry and/or content type. As demonstrated in the following examples.

How much experience have you had working with clients that own a gun range? Or, offer a product line of exotic coffee beans, lead a band or design drones?

BeGunRange
BeGunRange

BeCoffee3
BeCoffee3

BeBand3
BeBand3

BeDrone
BeDrone

You’re only professional if you design from scratch & pre-built websites are for beginners

Follow that argument and you’ll find yourself in all kinds of trouble. The reason? Do you design from scratch with the objective of becoming more professional? Then, you’re going about it backward.

You’ll risk setting standards for yourself that are difficult if not impossible to meet. This can lead to frustration, stress, and burnout. Plus, you’ll be sorely tempted to copy what true professionals are doing. That’s the exact opposite of creativity.

Write down “You’re only professional if …” on a piece of paper, light a match to it, and never give it another thought.

Being professional means delivering exactly what your clients need. Do that, and you’ll do fine. Learn what your clients are looking for and make that your number 1 priority. Creativity will follow.

Why wander outside the envelope to create an awesome special effect design? Especially, when your client wants something that’s a little understated.

BeClinic3
BeClinic3

BeCompany3
BeCompany3

BeSimple2
BeSimple2

Or even rather simple!

You have to put 110% effort into every project & if you can’t treat each client equally, you shouldn’t take clients at all

If as a student, you put 110% effort into a given area of study you should get a good grade. You can make a habit of trying to give 110% to every homework assignment from every class. Then, your grade point average is likely to plummet.

Calculus, English Lit, and Thermodynamics are different breeds of cat. So are your clients with their individual needs.

Yes, you can give a client a 110% effort; but you can’t do so for multiple clients. One may assign an easy task, and the next one may give you a back-breaker.

There are two things that can smooth things out a bit or a lot. One is teamwork, the other is pre-built websites. You can hand work over to a team member to lighten your load. You can use a pre-built website to get a project that addresses an unfamiliar topic off to a rousing start.

If you’re short on time, the budget you need isn’t all there. Or, you need to build a website for a beauty parlor client, but your talents lie in the home improvement area. Then, a pre-built website will see you through – and often in just a few hours.

Give 75% and let a pre-built website provide the additional 35%!

BeTailor2
BeTailor2

BeRenovate3
BeRenovate3

BeEcoBeef
BeEcoBeef

BeCakes
BeCakes

Conclusion

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to create designs from scratch. When you can do so and do so successfully, you’re going to feel very good about it.

Just don’t make the mistake that doing so is the best or only way to become more creative. That simply isn’t true, and you’ll only make things harder for yourself.

Don’t let others tell you that “You’re only professional if – blah, blah, blah – either. Give your clients what they want. Professionalism and enhanced creativity will follow as surely as night follows day.

As far as treating all jobs and all clients equally is concerned, it can’t be done. Pick your battles, design from scratch if an opportunity presents itself. Use pre-built websites (and use them freely). The latter is especially important any time you have an unusual project.

Browse Be’s pre-built website library and you quickly discover why all of this makes sense.

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10 Essential WooCommerce Plugins for Managing Your Store https://1stwebdesigner.com/essential-woocommerce-plugins/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/essential-woocommerce-plugins/#respond Wed, 05 Dec 2018 19:09:50 +0000 https://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=132525 What makes WooCommerce such a compelling eCommerce platform is that, just like other WordPress plugins, it can be extended to perform more and more tasks. For example, complex functionality (advanced reporting, rewards programs, etc.) that used to be reserved for high-end SaaS providers is now within everyone’s reach.

Even so, shopkeepers don’t always need something complicated. In fact, they often need to add more basic functionality that makes life easier for both them and their customers. And plugin authors have excelled at extending WooCommerce in this area, as well.

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Here are 10 plugins that you can use to build the WooCommerce store you’ve always wanted:

WooCommerce Wallet

WooCommerce Wallet is an interesting solution for shops who want to allow customers to keep a balance on hand.

Customers can deposit funds, earn cash back and even request a refund. The plugin also allows for partial payments which could be handy for big-ticket items. Site admins can directly add funds to a user’s account from the back end, as well.

WooCommerce Wallet

WooCommerce Ultimate Reports

WooCommerce Ultimate Reports serves a very important need. It generates a variety of reports to help you make sense of your sales. You can view reports for product variations, taxes, inventory, and coupon use, along with various profit types.

Overall, there are 55+ reports included. Data can also be exported to XLS, CSV and PDF formats. Finding trends and analyzing data isn’t a strongpoint of WooCommerce out-of-the-box, so adding it in is critical.

WooCommerce Ultimate Reports

XL WooCommerce Sales Triggers

While XL WooCommerce Sales Triggers doesn’t add big-time functionality, it does specialize in adding the little details that help to drive sales. Many of the seven included sales triggers are staples of major eCommerce retailers.

The Countdown Timer, Stock Alert and Potential Savings encourage action. The Most Recent Sales Activity, Guarantees, Best Sellers and Satisfaction Rate increase consumer confidence. They may be little things, but they can add up to something big.

XL WooCommerce Sales Triggers

WooCommerce Ultimate Points and Rewards

WooCommerce Ultimate Points and Rewards enables you to set up a rather sophisticated customer rewards program.

You can reward customers based on their purchases, referrals, posting comments or just for signing up. As an admin, you can assign cash value to points and customers can then redeem them via a coupon. Various settings allow for tweaking the program to meet your specific needs.

WooCommerce Ultimate Points and Rewards

WooCommerce Products List Pro

While WooCommerce looks great by default, creating a custom product layout can provide a huge boost to UX. WooCommerce Products List Pro provides an attractive and highly-customizable product listing table for your shop. You’ll be able to create custom lists and filter products in numerous ways.

Choose which product data you want to display with your listing. A simple Shortcode can be generated so you can display your lists anywhere. Developers will like that the plugin includes several hooks and filters for even further tweaking.

WooCommerce Products List Pro

WooCommerce Product Variations Layouts

Taking custom layouts one step further, WooCommerce Product Variations Layouts makes variable products much more attractive. Variable products require the user to select options – think of a T-Shirt with multiple sizing and color options.

Their default layout consists of boring old HTML select boxes. This plugin lets you display them in a more visual way. Choose from Table, Grid, List or Boxed layout. The result is better usability and maybe even better sales.

WooCommerce Product Variations Layouts

WooCommerce Support Ticket System

If you’re running an online shop, then you need to think about how you want to handle customer support. WooCommerce Support Ticket System is a clever plugin that integrates both orders and customers with support tickets.

Also included is Pay Per Ticket, which allows you to sell blocks of support tickets for premium service. Tickets can include front-end formatting via TinyMCE and customers can even upload attachments.

WooCommerce Support Ticket System

Stock Synchronization for WooCommerce

Stock Synchronization for WooCommerce allows for automatically synching product inventory from an outside source.

This provides a whole lot of convenience for shops that sell in multiple places with the same inventory. Syncing occurs through a remote CSV file (Google Drive, Dropbox and password-protected files are supported). Set synchronization to run hourly, daily or twice daily.

Stock Synchronization for WooCommerce

WooCommerce Simple Bulk Discounts

Offering bulk purchase discounts is a great way to create loyalty. With WooCommerce Simple Bulk Discounts, shopkeepers can create custom percentage or fixed bulk discounts.

Discount rules can be set on a per-product basis. You can even assign bulk discounts based on a user’s role. For example, you might set things up so that only registered customers have access to a deal.

WooCommerce Simple Bulk Discounts

ARG Multistep Checkout for WooCommerce

ARG Multistep Checkout for WooCommerce enables you to customize and enhance the checkout process.

The multistep process can do wonders for UX and can be customized to achieve the look you want. The tabbed layout is responsive and is ready for tweaking. Colors, button and label text can be easily changed. Specific steps can be hidden if desired.

ARG Multistep Checkout for WooCommerce

Power Up Your WooCommerce Shop

If you’re using WooCommerce to power your online store, you have an almost unlimited selection of additional functionality to choose from. The plugins above are only a small sampling of what is available.

No matter what type of shop you run or the type of features you want to implement, chances are that there is a WooCommerce extension out there to make it happen.

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20 Free Plugins for WordPress Slideshows & Galleries https://1stwebdesigner.com/free-slideshow-gallery-wordpress-plugins/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/free-slideshow-gallery-wordpress-plugins/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2018 10:04:14 +0000 http://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=128199 Image slideshows and galleries are pretty much a necessity these days. Good thing there are a ton of powerful, yet free WordPress plugins to choose from that can get the job done for you.

Because there are so many plugins to choose from, making the right choice is that much more difficult.

Here are our 20 choice picks for all of your gallery and slideshow needs. Not only are these plugins free, but we’ve also put some consideration into performance, as well. After all, speed matters just as much as functionality.

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You might also like our collection of the Top 100 WordPress Plugins for 2017.

WordPress Slideshows Plugins


Soliloquy Lite

The free version of the popular slider plugin, Soliloquy Lite is an easy-to-use and flexible way to add great-looking slideshows to your WordPress website. Sliders you create are fully responsive and look great on any device.

Soliloquy Lite


Meta Slider

What makes Meta Slider so unique is that it utilizes four different types of slideshow scripts: Flex Slider 2, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides and Coin Slider. Each has their own selection of transition effects. You have the ability to choose the one that works best for you.

Meta Slider


Smart Slider 3

Smart Slider 3 gives you features that are normally reserved for “pro” versions (even though there is a paid version available here as well). The top-shelf features in the free version include dynamic slides – which can be automatically created from your WordPress posts. Also featured are video slides from YouTube and Vimeo content.

Smart Slider 3


Ultimate Responsive Image Slider

Beyond its responsive namesake, Ultimate Responsive Image Slider sports a plethora of options to help you tailor a slideshow to your specific needs. For example, there’s now an option for Auto Height, which will allow slides of different heights to transition smoothly.

Ultimate Responsive Image Slider


WordPress Carousel Free

Carousel sliders are often a handy way to display sponsored logos. With WordPress Carousel Free, you’ll be able to create a responsive carousel with mobile touch support.

WordPress Carousel Free


WP Slick Slider and Image Carousel

Choose between an image carousel and a more traditional slideshow with WP Slick and Image Carousel. The plugin comes with pre-defined designs to ensure a great look.

WP Slick Slider and Image Carousel


Tribulant Slideshow Gallery

Tribulant Slideshow Gallery features a variety of styles – including the ability to display slide thumbnails above or below a slider. Through the use of WordPress Shortcodes, there are many customization options available.

Tribulant Slideshow Gallery


Genesis Responsive Slider

If you’re using the Genesis Framework for creating WordPress themes, then the Genesis Responsive Slider will fit right in. The plugin will take the featured image, title and excerpt from a page or post and create a simple slideshow.

Genesis Responsive Slider


Cyclone Slider 2

Cyclone Slider 2 is billed as being easy enough for beginners and powerful enough for hardcore developers. The ability to create custom templates speaks to its appeal for web professionals, while being able to choose from a ready-made template lends itself to the novice.

Cyclone Slider 2


Meteor Slides

If you’re into having a lot of choices when it comes to slide transition styles, Meteor Slides has you covered with over 20 of them. The mobile-friendly slideshows are also compatible with WordPress Multisite.

Meteor Slides

WordPress Galleries Plugins


Envira Gallery Lite

The cousin of Soliloquy (mentioned above), Envira Gallery Lite shares a very similar interface and feature set. Galleries are optimized for both speed and SEO.

Envira Gallery Lite


Gallery

Gallery features a number of ways to display photos on your site. You can use a traditional photo gallery, a photo album made up of several galleries, a slideshow or a single-image browser.

Gallery


Simple Lightbox

Simple Lightbox is a highly-customizable and lightweight plugin for displaying attractive lightboxes for your photos. Using themes, you’re able to customize the look and layout. Links can be automatically activated so that you won’t have to manually code them in.

Simple Lightbox


FooBox Image Lightbox

FooBox Image Lightbox is a bit unique in that it works in conjunction with an already existing WordPress gallery plugin (including their own FooGallery) and adds a slick, responsive lightbox. It also works directly with WordPress galleries and captioned images.

FooBox Image Lightbox


Gallery by BestWebSoft

Gallery by BestWebSoft helps you easily build an unlimited number of photo galleries and albums. You may custom sort galleries using a number of different criteria. And, everything you create will be responsive to ensure mobile compatibility.

Gallery by BestWebSoft


Easy FancyBox

Easy FancyBox will automatically link your .gif, .jpg and .png images inserted from the WordPress Media Library to open in a beautiful FancyBox lightbox. It also supports native WordPress Galleries and the popular NextGen Gallery plugin.

Easy FancyBox


Unite Gallery Lite

Aimed at being both a video and image gallery solution, Unite Gallery Lite is built for speed and power. It’s responsive, touch-enabled and even has a zoom feature.

Unite Gallery Lite


Instagram Gallery

Bring in images from your Instagram account and display them as either a photo gallery or slideshow. As you add images to Instagram, the plugin will automatically add them to your WordPress site as well.

Instagram Gallery


Awesome Flickr Gallery

If you’re using Flickr, Awesome Flickr Gallery is quite a flexible solution for displaying galleries and albums on your WordPress site. It’s compatible with both public and private photos, offers image size and cropping customization, and can be spiffed-up via CSS.

Awesome Flickr Gallery


Photoswipe Masonry Gallery

Using the PhotoSwipe JS gallery, Photoswipe Masonry Gallery turns standard WordPress Galleries into attractive masonry-style displays. Masonry is great for times when you want to display thumbnails of different sizes in a neat and orderly manner.

Photoswipe Masonry Gallery

Define Your Image

Now that we’ve found 20 of the top free slideshow and gallery plugins for WordPress, it’s time to put them to good use. Find the one(s) that best represent your vision and share it with the world!

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A SEO Checklist for Your WordPress Website https://1stwebdesigner.com/seo-checklist-wordpress/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/seo-checklist-wordpress/#respond Sat, 01 Dec 2018 07:19:23 +0000 https://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=134355 A website, no matter how amazing it looks or how great the content, isn’t worth much if people don’t know it exists. That’s why SEO generates a never-ending stream of hype. A well-optimized site is much more likely to be found through organic search.

If your site has been built with WordPress, then you’re already off to a great start with the optimization process. WordPress is built with SEO in mind and it’s flexible. That means you can build a SEO strategy that matches your particular needs.

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But there are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to optimizing a WordPress website. Beyond the standard SEO practices, the open nature of the platform means that you’ll need to inspect your theme and plugins to ensure you have the best possible setup.

With that in mind, here is a handy SEO checklist for optimizing your WordPress website:

Check WordPress Settings

Check WordPress Settings

WordPress has a few settings that will certainly have an effect on SEO. But when you’re rushing to launch a site, it’s easy to forget about them. Before your site goes public, make sure to check out the following items:

Settings > General

Ensure that both the Site Title and Tagline fields are set correctly. While we usually set the Title while installing WordPress, the Tagline often stays set to the default “Just Another WordPress Site”. If you’re not paying attention, it will show up in your search listings. Feel free to either change the Tagline to something more relevant or delete it altogether.

Settings > Permalinks

WordPress generally comes with SEO friendly Permalinks already set. But it’s still worth fiddling around with to make sure you have the best setting for your type of site. The Post Name option is usually just fine. But if you publish often, Day and Name or Month and Name may be more appropriate.

Settings > Reading

While a site is still in development, often times we might block search engines…then forget to unblock them after launch. It’s best to check the Search Engine Visibility setting before launching your site – just in case.

Make Sure Your Theme Uses Proper Markup

Make Sure Your Theme Uses Proper Markup

A well-made WordPress theme can have a very positive impact when it comes to SEO. But older or poorly-coded themes could make it harder for search engines to appropriately index your content. Here are some items to look for in your theme:

HTML5 Semantic Markup

At the very basic level, you’re looking for a theme that contains HTML5 semantic markup. This means that content areas are marked with tags such as header, footer, article and aside. Navigation should be wrapped in a nav tag. And page/post titles should be wrapped in h1 headings.

The beauty of these tags is that they provide search engines with some context when analyzing your site.  While your site may not look differently to the naked eye, search bots will see this markup as a way to more efficiently index things.

Structured Data

On the higher end of the feature scale would be the inclusion of Schema.org structured data. Descriptive attributes are added to tags for things like events, reviews or even a person. Breadcrumb navigation is also quite useful here. This provides search engines with extra information that could be displayed in search results. For example, if you’ve ever noticed a star rating in a listing – that comes from structured data.

If you build your own WordPress themes, this is something fairly simple to strategically add in. But if you’re using a third-party theme, you’ll want to check to see if it’s included. No worries if it’s not in your theme, though. You can still add this data through various plugins.

Mobile Friendly Responsive Layout

Whether you build your own theme or use a third-party offering, it simply must work well on mobile devices. This is not only a usability issue; it also pertains to SEO as well. Google will mark sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices in search results. That could cost you precious clicks and sales.

Install SEO-Boosting Plugins

Install SEO-Boosting Plugins

There are a number of great SEO related plugins for WordPress. Which one you choose really should come down to your needs and personal preference. Yoast SEO is a great all-around choice and has over 5 million active installs. All in One SEO Pack has over 3 million active installs and is also a solid pick. They’re two of the most well-known and popular plugins but they’re far from the only ones available.

Regardless of the plugin you choose, there are some standard features that you’ll want to have:

Optimize Individual Pages and Posts

SEO isn’t just about your home page. All of your content should be optimized in some way. A plugin that enables you to individually optimize each page and post is a great help. Things you’ll want to change include titles, keywords and descriptions. It’s also handy if you can individually turn off indexing for a specific piece of content.

Automatic Optimization

For the content you don’t necessarily want to fine-tune yourself, it’s nice if a plugin will do some of the work for you. A good SEO plugin will allow you to change title, description and permalink formulas to automatically tweak things in the background.

Add OpenGraph Data

OpenGraph data is imperative for allowing your content to be shared on social media. It grabs items such as page titles, featured images and excerpts for display on services like Facebook and Twitter. You’ll want use a plugin that adds these tags to your site and allows you to customize settings.

XML Sitemap

Submitting a XML sitemap to Google is an easy way to ensure that they can index your content. Look for the ability to both create sitemaps and customize what content is (and isn’t) included within them.

Analytics

Don’t forget about analytics! Whether you use Google’s service or someone else’s – add tracking code through a plugin or your theme. It’s the best way to find out whether your strategies are working.

These features may all be included in just one plugin, or you might use a combination of niche plugins to accomplish this functionality. Either way, your site should be taking advantage of each item on the list.

Best Practices in Content

Maintain Best Practices in Content

The same SEO best practices for content writing and markup still apply when using WordPress. Since there are plenty of resources on the subject, we won’t go into great detail here. But in general you’ll want to comb through your site and check for the following:

Proper Use of Heading Tags

This one still trips up some people because the classic WordPress editor doesn’t make it so obvious. Content writers will often separate distinct sections within a page with bolded text, rather than the more semantically-correct h2 tag. The new Gutenberg editor, slated for launch in WordPress 5.0 may help in that adding headings will be a bit more of an intuitive process.

Use Internal Links

When you have other related content within your site – link to it. It’s something recommended for SEO and also may encourage visitors to dig deeper into your content.

ALT Text for Images

Images within your content should contain alt attribute text. This is vital for accessibility and Google recommends it for SEO as well. If your site is rather large, you may want to use a plugin to help you find and assign descriptive text to save some time.

You Are Officially Optimized

You Are Officially Optimized

The combination of the right theme, plugins and content strategy can make your WordPress website fully optimized for search engines. And with so many outstanding tools available, you can mix and match to achieve your goals.

So, whether you’re launching a new site or maintaining an existing one, take the time to go through the checklist above to ensure you’re doing all you can with regards to SEO. A little bit of effort can make a huge difference in your results.

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Should You Use Gutenberg on Existing WordPress Websites? https://1stwebdesigner.com/should-you-use-gutenberg-on-existing-wordpress-websites/ https://1stwebdesigner.com/should-you-use-gutenberg-on-existing-wordpress-websites/#respond Sun, 11 Nov 2018 08:15:22 +0000 https://1stwebdesigner.com/?p=140875 With the impending release of WordPress 5.0, the new Gutenberg editor will make its way onto millions of websites. It’s a big change in how content is created, stored and managed. Not to mention the potential compatibility issues that could crop up with some themes and plugins.

As the new editor prepares for full release, we should note that the “Classic” Editor will remain available as a plugin. Activating it will enable site owners to use it in conjunction with Gutenberg or bypass it completely.

Because the Classic Editor affords us a second path, it’s worth considering whether or not to take it. Gutenberg represents a big shift in how WordPress operates. The question becomes, is it really worth utilizing the new editor on an existing site, or is it better to stick with the tried-and-true Classic version?

To answer that question, there are several factors to consider. So, before you take the plunge and switch to Gutenberg, here are a few items you’ll want to think about.

The Past and Future of Your Content

The content on your existing website, along with the way you manage it, has already been established. Odds are that your pages and blog posts follow a specific format that was created long before Gutenberg came onto the scene.

With that in mind, consider whether or not you want to change things to reflect the new capabilities Gutenberg brings. For instance, you might have interest in refactoring your existing content to utilize features like full-width images or multi-column layouts.

However, sites that are heavy in content may require a lot of work to bring up to speed. It might consist of going through every piece of content and laying it out in the new block-based format. Gutenberg can automatically convert legacy posts to blocks, though you’re ultimately the one who will need integrate any customizations.

The other option would be to perhaps refactor some existing content, while focusing more on using Gutenberg for new items. In this case, maybe a few key pages could be formatted with the new editor. Then, all future blog posts would also be block-based.

Gutenberg shouldn’t harm or break any existing content, so you can use it in conjunction with the Classic Editor to format just the content you choose.

WordPress new post menu.

Is Your Site Customized?

When you built your website, you may very well have set things up to take advantage of the Classic Editor. Or, perhaps you used custom fields or a page builder plugin to allow for more complex layouts, etc.

If your site already sports custom methods for creating content, switching to Gutenberg could lead to some issues. Turning off a page builder, for example, may break custom layouts that were created with it. That again means refactoring everything to use the new editor.

Some page builder plugins are pledging Gutenberg compatibility and custom fields will still work as they always have. Even so, it may make sense to just stick with your current setup.

If you do decide to go with Gutenberg, make sure to test everything in a staging environment beforehand. You won’t want to encounter any unpleasant surprises on a production site.

Code editor

Workflow and Client Education

Gutenberg is a fairly intuitive tool, but it still has a learning curve. Think of a busy news site that has multiple authors. They probably have an existing content creation and editorial process. Throwing a completely different type of editor into mix could hurt efficiency in the short term.

Likewise, even a small brochure-style website can run into some detours. If your client is typically the one who manages content, they may also struggle to adapt to a different workflow. Blog posts that previously took just a few minutes could take significantly longer to create.

This is where web designers need to step in and provide a crash course on using Gutenberg. It can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and has a basic understanding of how things work. The other potential bright side (for you) is that educating clients can result in some extra revenue.

Still, the adaptation content creators will need to make isn’t going to be seamless – even with education. Thus, you’ll need to weigh the benefits of using Gutenberg against those of keeping things as-is.

Sign that reads "New Skills Training".

Time for a Redesign?

Because Gutenberg presents such a fundamental change to using WordPress, you may lean towards holding off on implementing it on your existing site. However, if your site is also due for a redesign, it might offer the perfect opportunity to knock both items off of your to-do list.

Since this new tool is the future of the platform, optimizing your redesign to utilize it makes plenty of sense. It provides you with the chance to refactor content and educate clients. Even better is that you can implement these changes on a staging environment. This allows you to experiment and identify any pain points.

When the new site launches, you can be confident that everything is working as it should. Clients will have an understanding of their new workflow and the website will be better prepared for the future.

Making the Right Decision

Deciding whether or not to enable Gutenberg on your existing website takes some serious thought. In the end, it’s about whether or not the switch is going to benefit your particular site. If you’re really keen on the flexibility the editor offers, then it may be worth your while to use it right from the get-go.

However, there are situations where rolling with the changes may not be ideal. If content creation on your site is highly-customized or a change to your workflow isn’t in your plans, using the Classic Editor for the time being could be your best bet.

The Classic Editor plugin should be supported for “years to come”, meaning that you don’t have to rush into anything when it comes to Gutenberg. Knowing this, you may consider a plan to start fresh and utilize Gutenberg on both new and newly redesigned websites.

Regardless, it all comes down to making the right choice for your specific situation. Thankfully, WordPress enables us to easily go in either direction.

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