A Quick Guide on WordPress Favicon and How to Install It

fav icon

Let’s start out with, “what’s a WordPress favicon?”

WordPress defines a favicon (short for “favorite icon”) as an icon that’s associated with a website or page and is intended to be used when you bookmark that page. In other words, the web browser connects that favicon to the URL in the browser’s bar, on tabs, in bookmark lists and elsewhere to help easily identify that site. It’s also an application icon for mobile devices.

The favicon is typically a 16 x 16-pixel square graphic and is saved in the root directory of the server as favicon.io. A WordPress favicon can be used with any WordPress site on a server that allows access to the site’s root directories.

Creating Your Very Own Favicon

A WordPress favicon can be created with GIMP or any graphics/image editing software that allows files to be saved as .ico – or with an online service that allows you to create a WordPress favicon for free. The image should be a good fit for your site’s content and audience, so bear that in mind when selecting your WordPress favicon.

favicon tech guy

To prepare the image, crop or add space around the image to make it square. Resize it to 16 x 16 pixels, then just save as favicon.ico. It’s even easier using an online service such as Faviconer.com or Dynamic Drive – the site will walk you through the process, so just follow the instructions provided and then save the favicon.ico image to your computer.

To install your WordPress favicon, upload the new favicon.ico file to the main folder of your current theme (with an FTP client). Next, upload another copy of the favicon.ico file to your site’s main directory, which will then make sure the favicon is displayed in your subscribers’ feedreaders. For some older browsers, you might need to edit your page header via a child theme. Remember to keep a copy of the parent theme’s header.php file in the child theme. Go to your WordPress Administration Screen and click on Appearance, then click on Theme Editor. By clicking on the file called Header or header.php, you can then edit the file. Look for the line of code that starts with <link rel="shortcut icon" and ends with /favicon.ico" />. You can either overwrite this, or add this section of code below the <head> HTML tag: <link rel="shortcut icon" href="<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?>/favicon.ico" />

A Word About WordPress Favicon Plugins

There are a number of plugins for adding favicons to your WordPress site, so let’s do a quick roundup:

Shockingly Simple Favicon

You can easily change the favicon of your blog with this plugin, without having to touch the theme files. In other words, if you want to change your site’s theme these changes are set so that there’s no tweaks in theme code involved.

icons

EZ Favicon

This simple favicon plugin allows you to upload whatever image you want, any size – the plugin then resizes it, converts it to the proper .ico file format and automatically adds the correct html code to the header.

Heroic Favicon Generator

This is another plugin that can automatically generate the favicon of your choice, either from your own images or from the plugin’s media gallery. It can even generate and support favicons for different kinds of devices.

RealFaviconGenerator

This one’s maybe the simples of all to use. Just install the plugin and go to Appearance>Favicon, select your image from the Media Library and click “Generate Favicon.” You will then be redirected to RealFaviconGenerator to edit the favicon, then back to the WordPress Dashboard. From there, the favicon will be installed automatically.

Why Should You Use Favicons?

If you’re like most web users, chances are you’ll have multiple tabs open on your browser at any given time (c’mon, admit it, you know you do).

Most web users don’t think about the favicon very much, but how else do you make the tab with your page stand out when the user looks across the top of the browser? The favicon has a subtle – but important – job in establishing a brand with your website. After all, it can help tell a user that they’ve come to the right place with your site.

More than that, however, the WordPress favicon serves the purpose of saving a user time on the internet. We’re all geared more toward identifying an icon or image of some sort at a glance, rather than reading text.

With this in mind, the favicon is even handier when it comes to quickly singling a site out in a long column of bookmarks. Just make sure that the favicon you go with is the right fit for your site’s audience and content, and you can go about adding one to your WordPress site.

Two Different Approaches to Install WordPress SSL

Short for Secure Sockets Layer, SSL is important in lending credibility to your website. The purpose of an SSL certificate is to provide users with a secure connection and ensure that your site is trustworthy when it comes to the encryption of data. In other words, if you truly want your WordPress website to be perceived as the real deal, then you need to install WordPress SSL.

In this piece, we will cover two of the different approaches to install WordPress SSL.

2 WordPress SSL Installation Approaches 

There are a number of different ways to go about installing WordPress SSL, but here are just two of the methods you can employ.

1. Use Microsoft Internet Information Services

IIS Microsoft services

One way to install WordPress SSL is by using Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). To start this process, you first need to generate what is known as a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) on your server. The CSR includes your public key and server information, and the process of generating it is fairly simple if you follow the right instructions.

First off, you need to open the Server Manager. Next, hit Tools and then select Internet Information Services Manager. Under the Connections list, you will want to choose the right workstation before opening the Server Certificates tool.

After that, hit the Create Certificate Request link, which will then require you to fill in the Request Certificate information. This information typically includes the common (domain) name, the state or province you are in, your town or city name, the name of your company, the section name (Marketing or Communications, for example), and your two-digit country code.

Next, you will want to be sure that the bit length is set to 2048 and that the cryptographic service provider is set to default. The last part of the CSR process is to name the certificate request file.

Once you generate your CSR, you then need to go about ordering your SSL certificate. This can be done through a number of services, such as GlobalSign, DigiCert, and Symantec.

After you order you SSL certificates, you will need to download them. By the end of this process, you should receive your Primary Certificate via email, which you should rename to yousitename.cer.

After this, click the “Complete Certificate Request” link. Then, after the certificate has been installed, you will want to connect it to the appropriate website. Do this through instructions provided by the Sites folder.

Then, simply install the Intermediate Certificates, restart IIS, and test your certificate, and you should be good to go.

2. Use cPanel

cpanel hosting

Another way to install WordPress SSL is through cPanel. Just like through the Microsoft IIS process, you will need to generate a CSR. To do this, you will need to log into cPanel and locate the SSL/TLS Manager.

After this, click the links labeled Generate and follow the instructions in the Generate a New Key section. This will require you to type in your domain name and to select a Key Size of 2048 before clicking the Generate button.

After hitting the Return to SSL Manager button and clicking the “Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests” link from the main menu, you will need to enter your organization’s or company’s information. This information includes the full organization or company name, the two-digit company code, the state or province, the common (domain) name, the city or town name, and the section name.

Once this is all complete, you will need to order your SSL certificates and download these certificates. Again, just like with the Microsoft IIS process, you can go about ordering your certificates through services such as GlobalSign, DigiCert, and Symantec. Each certificate service is different depending on your needs, so be sure you know exactly what it is you are looking for before choosing a service.

When you order the certificates, you need to upload the CSR file to whichever service you used. Then, simply download the certificates, which you will receive via email.

After the ordering and downloading process is finished, open the SSL Manager menu in cPanel. Follow the instructions provided there until you get to the Install SSL Certificate link. This will complete the SSL process, and your server will restart, allowing your certificate to be distributed.

Making Your WordPress Site the Most Effective Site Possible Through SSL 

wordpress ssl

It may seem fairly complicated but installing WordPress SSL can do leaps and bounds for your website. If you feel at all intimidated or overwhelmed by the process, don’t hesitate to perform a quick Google search, as this will help to pull up a number of different step-by-step methods to effectively install WordPress SSL.

Once the SSL process is completed, you will likely find that your users feel increasingly more confident when it comes to exploring what your website has to offer.

Four Promising Careers in WordPress Development

wordpress development

You have your own WordPress site, and you’re no newbie: You can edit theme stylesheets, install plugins of your choice, and have a basic understanding of the core code running behind the scenes. You have a feel for both the power and versatility WordPress offers to build unique websites with radically different looks and functionalities.

So, you might ask yourself: Is it possible to have a career in WordPress development?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, but there’s a lot more you’ll need to learn. If you’re willing to put in the sustained effort over time, though, any of these four WordPress developer careers below could be yours.

WordPress Development Careers

Experienced WordPress developers have a running joke about the 7 types of developers:

  • the newbie
  • the tinkerer
  • the trainee
  • the rookie
  • the fix-it-guy
  • the professional
  • the architect

The punchline is the first five groups from newbie to tinkerer aren’t really WordPress developers at all as opposed to, at best, dedicated hobbyists.

Becoming a WordPress professional or architect requires a significant amount of time and energy doing the homework that sets experts apart from everyone else. You’ll have to learn PHP and MySQL and Ajax, read the Core Contributor handbook and develop your own patches, master debugging, and become an active member of the worldwide WordPress community.

1. Theme Developer

theme developer

A WordPress theme consists of the files working in tandem to create a website’s graphic interface. That is, how it looks as the colors, fonts, text layout, widgets, and more create a unified style. There are three different types of projects theme developers typically work on: building a secondary theme to integrate within a primary one, basing a new standalone theme on another one, or creating a new theme completely from scratch.

Being a theme developer can be especially attractive if you have a background in graphic or visual design because you will work on what end users see as opposed to working strictly behind the scenes. In addition, if you enjoy working with clients, this career path allows you to help them achieve both aesthetic and functional goals for their websites.

2. Plugin Developer

developers with blueprint

One commandment all WordPress developers must heed is this: Never edit the WordPress core code. That’s because every time a new WordPress version is released, it automatically overwrites existing core code on all earlier versions, so any changes you’ve made will be lost.

Therefore, functionality is extended and new features are added in WordPress by using plugins, standalone pieces of software which operate on top of the core code. Plugins can perform simple tasks like displaying the number of visitors to your site or more complex actions such as a robust help ticket system for site users.

Plugins are usually written in the PHP programming language, and a working knowledge of JavaScript and jQuery libraries will also be required. If you are interested in coding at the granular level – how things work more than how they look – this could be the route for you.

3. Ecommerce Developer

business executives

WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform, but its use quickly expanded to all types of websites. Ecommerce sites – direct sales of products and services to site visitors – using WordPress have grown dramatically in the last ten years. While theme developers work with a site’s appearance and basic functionality and plugin developers extend functionality and add features, the ecommerce developer is a combination of the two.

The ecommerce developer must build visually appealing online stores selling physical and digital products, implement robust security measures, understand search engine optimization (SEO) factors unique to ecommerce, and much more. If you’re interested in how a site looks as well as how it works in all areas, the ecommerce developer’s “big picture” approach could be a good choice.

4. API Developer

taking down notes in a meeting

At its simplest, an Application Programming Interface (API) is code which allows other developers to write their own software. In that sense, an API developer isn’t so much concerned with end users, but the API will have great impact on end-user experience via the developers who utilize it. For example, a plugin API isn’t a plugin unto itself to use on a site as opposed to software which helps other developers create plugins.

The API developer has reached the top of the WordPress developer hierarchy and has skills far beyond the newbie or casual programmer. To reach this point, you’ll have the skill sets of the other three types of developers and be well-versed in both granular-level coding and abstract, high-level principles of site and server architecture.

WordPress Developer Resources

A great thing about learning WordPress development is the freely available online resources. The first place to start is the official WordPress Codex, a wiki repository covering all aspects of coding for beginners and experts alike. Another must-read is the WordPress blog with the latest information on topics ranging from plugin management to mobile app development and more.

Knowing WordPress Multisite is a key skill for developers. To learn more, check out this post about Multisite setup and plugin installation.

A Step-by-Step Guide for How to Install WordPress

installing wordpress

It seems like everyone and their grandma is trying to get into the blogging game these days. Well, every good blog needs a good blogging platform, and WordPress is one of the most effective platforms on the market.

In this piece, we will give you a step-by-step instructional guide for how to install WordPress all by yourself.

Downloading and Extracting the Files

downloading and extracting

To officially begin the WordPress installation process, you need to first go to the download section on WordPress’s website and download the most recent version of WordPress’s blogging platform files.

The downloading process can be slightly different depending on whether you are uploading WordPress to a remote web server, if you are using File Transfer Protocol, or if you are comfortable with downloading WordPress straight to your web server.

Whichever downloading method you choose to employ, once the files are downloaded, you then need to extract the files, which will be extracted to a folder called “wordpress.”

Creating a WordPress User and a Database

creating database

When it comes to creating a WordPress database, you have several different options going forward. You may already have a database that is set up for you if you are using a hosting provider, so check your control panel or provider’s support pages to determine whether or not you need to set up a database yourself.

If you do need to set up a database manually, there are a number of different database services you can use. It really all depends on what your hosting provider offers. For our purposes, we will demonstrate how to install a WordPress database using phpMyAdmin.

First, you will need to make sure you install phpMyAdmin if your web server does not already have it installed. Once you have phpMyAdmin up and running, open up the Database dropdown menu on the left. If you see that a WordPress-related database does not already exist, you will need to create one.

To create a database, you will first need to choose a name for it. Typically, this name will need to begin with your username followed by an underscore. Type your name into the Create Database section and then select the best arrangement for your language and encoding.

Next comes the step of creating a WordPress user. To begin this stage, go back to the phpMyAdmin main menu and click on the Users tab to see if a WordPress-related user already exists. It one does not exist, click Add User button and choose a username and password.

Make sure that all the Global Privileges’ options are kept at their defaults before clicking Go.

Uploading the Files

uploading files into database

The next step of the WordPress installation process is deciding whether you want your WordPress-powered site to appear in the root directory (http://websitename.com/) of the site or a subdirectory (http://websitename.com/blog/).

If you want it to appear in the root directory, use a File Transfer Protocol client to upload everything contained in the “wordpress” directory into your website’s root directory.

If you want the WordPress site to appear in a subdirectory, be sure that you rename the “wordpress” directory to your preferred subdirectory name before using a File Transfer Protocol client to upload the entire directory into your preferred location within the root directory.

Running the Install Script

running wordpress

How you proceed with the process of running the install script depends on whether you uploaded your files into the root directory or a subdirectory.

If you placed them in the root directory, go to http://websitename.com/wp-admin/install.php, but if you placed them in a subdirectory, go to http://example.com/subdirectoryname/wp-admin/install.php.

You will then need to enter in some database connection details, such as the database name, your username, your password, the database host, and the table prefix.

Finishing Up the Installation Process

finished installation of wordpress

For the last step of the installation process, you should be presented with a screen that prompts you to fill in some site information. This information includes the username, the site title, your email address, and your desired password (which you will have to enter twice).

There is also a check box at the bottom that will ask you whether or not you want your site to be visible in search engines, such as Google. If you want your site to be visible to everyone, make sure the box is left unchecked.

Then, simply click install WordPress. If the installation process was successful, you will be presented with a login prompt.

If there is an error of any kind, go back and make sure that all the database information was entered successfully. In case that does not work, make sure you permitted your WordPress user authorization to access your WordPress database and that the database server is operating.

Once you go back and correct these errors, you have successfully learned how to install WordPress. After your site is up and running, you should be on your way to providing the best possible content to your users. Pretty exciting stuff, isn’t it?

 

Top 10 Most Important WordPress Dashboard Components

wordpress dashboard

If you want to set up a website or blog but you’re not familiar with WordPress, there’s no time like now to learn how to use it.

WordPress was founded in 2005 as a blogging platform and now encompasses all types of websites, especially those with an ecommerce focus. Today, WordPress is used by almost 30% of all websites, and every month, more than 400 million people view over 15 billion webpages hosted on it.

The WordPress interface can be overwhelming for novices, so the guide below will help you learn to navigate the basics as easily as possible.

The WordPress Dashboard

wordpress dashboard

The key to managing your WordPress site is the dashboard you’re taken to after logging in. This is the command center where you can create webpages and posts, manage media files, check your current visitor statistics, and access a variety of powerful tools. There’s a lot going on, but don’t worry. We’ll walk you through the most important WordPress dashboard components you need to know and use.

1. The Five Widgets

The first thing you’ll see on the screen are five widgets:

  • At a Glance: Site overview including number of posts and pages, theme being used, amount of spam filtered out, and total storage used and available.
  • Activity: Titles and publication dates of your most recent posts.
  • Your Stuff: Posts recently edited as well as notification of comments in moderation.
  • Stats: Visitor stats for the previous seven days.
  • Quick Draft: Thumbnail post editor to allow for quick posts without using the full editor.

These widgets can be rearranged as you’d like and minimized by clicking the upper right-hand corner of each one.

2. The Left-Hand Navigation Menu

the left hand navigation

Most of the work you do from the dashboard will utilize the left-hand navigation menu. There are 17 different menu options, most of which open a pop-up menu with even more options to choose from. This is where things can become a little confusing until you’re familiar with exactly where different features are located. We’ll detail the most important and frequently used ones below.

3. Site Stats

site stats

While there is the quick stats widget mentioned above, select Site Stats to access much more information about your site’s usage: visitors and the countries they’re from, pages and posts viewed, links clicked, and search terms used to find your site. Plus, this information can be sorted by day, week, month, or year.

4. Posts

blog post archive

If you’re using your site to publish new content on a regular basis, you’ll frequently be using the Posts option which has a pop-up menu with 5 more options: all posts, new post, categories, tags, and copy a post. As these options indicate, not only can you access the full-blown WYSIWYG post editor, you can edit the properties of existing posts as well as manage the tags and categories you’re using with them.

5. Media

media library

You’ll likely be uploading different types of media – photos, graphics, video, audio – as you build your site, and from here, you can manage your media library as well as upload new files.

6. Pages

Wordpress page

Like the Posts option, selecting Pages will allow you to create a new page for your site, edit the properties of current pages, or copy an existing page to use as a template.

7. Comments

Wordpress comment page

While you can access your own comments underneath the Home option at the top of the left-hand navigation menu, this Comments option allows you to see comments other people have made on your site. Checking for spam comments not already filtered out will be an ongoing issue as well as making sure comments made by actual people follow the usage standards and guidelines for your site.

8. Appearance

Wordpress image menu structure

There are multiple options available here, all of which deal with how your site looks: the theme, widgets, menus, header, background, and more. Happily, you can try out almost all the different possibilities available in these areas via a preview mode before deciding which ones you want to incorporate into your site.

9. Tools

Wordpress tools page

Tools can be easy to confuse with the Settings option below, but from here you can import different types of content into your site, export your site, and verify your website with Google, Bing, Pinterest, and Yandex.

10. Settings

Wordpress settings page

From here, you can give your site a title and subtitle and set parameters for how content is read, shared, and commented upon.

Don’t Worry, Stay Calm!

The WordPress interface is intimidating the first time you log into it. There are a lot of bells and whistles simultaneously competing for your attention, and it may seem hard to know what to do first. Once you spend some time familiarizing yourself with the WordPress dashboard, though, you should quickly become more confident.

If you’re interested in learning more, there’s plenty of information available about setting up your first WordPress site.

Want to set up a WordPress ecommerce site? Check out these plans we offer to see which one is right for you! 

The Top Five Cheap WordPress Hosting Options With Enhanced Features

So, you’ve got a great idea for a website. Great layout, fantastic content, all sorts of eye-catching graphics and a target audience already in mind. That site has to live somewhere, though.

It’s enough of a hurdle to find the right WordPress host with the incredible number of options there are to choose from these days.

But, for the sake of your bank account, it would be best if you could find one that’s not just good, but also cheap.

The Best, Cheap WordPress Hosting Options on the Market

We’ve been able to do a little research and pull together a list of some of the best cheap WordPress hosting providers around today - with an eye toward not only cheap pricing, but good performance across a certain set of criteria.

That includes things like customer support, user ratings, plans that are available, performance scores – and, of course, price.

Ready? Let’s get started.

NameCheap

namecheap

Well, that name pretty much says it all right out of the gate, doesn’t it? NameCheap is better than just cheap WordPress hosting., though, although they cost as much for a year as some other platforms do for a single month.

Even on their cheapest plan, though, you get unlimited bandwidth and 20GB of SSD disk space, and the option to run up to three sites.

NameCheap offers a great knowledge base, a ton of tutorial articles and live chat representatives based in the United States or Britain (your choice).

As for cost for cheap WordPress hosting., how does $0.82 per month sound? For the Professional package, you’ll get 50GB of SSD disk space and can maintain up to 10 websites for only $1.66 per month. At the Ultimate level, you’ll get unlimited disk space and up to 50 websites for a cheap, cheap $2.49 per month.

InMotion Hosting

inmotion hosting

Along with cheap WordPress hosting., InMotion offers free website transfers and support for WP-CLI.

Their support team is responsive and fast, and can also take phone or Skype calls. Their performance tests using Pingdom and load tests using Load Impact are competitive with the best of them, and their pricing plans are hard to beat too.

The Launch package supports up to two websites (perfect for bloggers) at $2.95 a month. The net tier is the Power package, which can handle up to six websites at $4.49 per month. The Pro tier can handle an unlimited number of sites and features an enhanced support package, at $7.49 per month.

SiteGround

Siteground Web color black transparent logo

Users and sites rank SiteGround as one of the best cheap WordPress hosting providers around, for good reason. You can do a free site transfer of your WordPress site, their premium plans support Git, and their innovative SuperCacher tool can improve your site speeds.

There’s a support team available 24/7 via live chat, tickets or phone, and a comprehensive, very thorough knowledge base should you need it.

Prices are a bit higher: the Startup package is $3.95 a month for a single website, while GrowBig is $5.95 per month and GoGeek is $11.95 per month. The higher prices are offset, though, by advanced WordPress features and top-drawer support. Considering their reputation among users and generally high rankings, SiteGround has got to be doing something right.

Bluehost

Bluehost

Few cheap WordPress hosting companies are actually recommended by WordPress.org, but bluehost gets that official blessing. They’re one of the more convenient hosting solutions that’s available, with a nice dashboard to work with when managing your hosting setup.

You can also find a fairly comprehensive set of features to build and launch a WordPress site, and 24/7 support that goes above and beyond. Not only will they help with any technical glitches that come up, they can also offer some guidance and walk you through whatever you might need to meet your expectations with your site.

It’s hard to beat their cheap WordPress hosting prices, too. At $2.95 a month for the Basic package, you can support one website but have 50GB of disk space and a free domain name at your disposal.

For $5.95 per month, you can load up with unlimited websites, unlimited email accounts and email storage and unmetered website space. Or the Prime package (at the same $5.95/month!) offers all the features of Plus, with auto site backups and enhanced domain privacy.

iPage

ipage3

Haven’t heard of iPage? They’re one of the more innovative competitors in cheap WordPress hosting, with a customized control panel and a selection of popular pre-installed plugins.

iPage also offers great support, although wait times can be a bit long for live chat. Still, their staff is knowledgeable and conversant when it comes to actually knowing the platform, and support is also available via phone or email.

Their WP Starter package offers unlimited space and bandwidth for only $3.75 per month, and the WP Essential package includes enhanced performance features and security at a low $6.95 per month, making it a great fit for businesses and ecommerce sites.

Thinking about getting on board with a web hosting company for your WordPress site? Here ya go – five good options for cheap WordPress hosting.

Now It’s Up to You – What’s the Best Fit for Your Website?

Once you’ve had a chance to review the benefits of the various companies listed above, and done some research on your own, you’ll have to pick a WordPress host.

All the companies we selected to share with you are wonderful in their own right and are names you can trust. Now, you can simply select which one has the options you are looking for and which will fit your website the best.

We wish you luck!