How to Update a Plugin in Your WordPress Site

How to Update a Plugin in Your WordPress Site

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For all the praise, downloads, and hype WordPress update plugin gets, it’s easy for people to forget about its shortcomings.

That’s not to say these shortcomings outweigh the perks. The opposite is true, and it’s a testament to WordPress’s great performance as a content management system (CMS). But a great platform can still be improved, and this is why plugins exist.

Even WordPress isn’t perfect out of the box. WordPress security, versatility, and functionality can all be improved with the right addons. But a WordPress update plugin can change the platform’s features to a large degree – meaning the installation process can seem very complex at first.

Even those who know their way around WordPress and use the platform to upload content regularly may feel a little lost when it comes time for updates. The key is in understanding the interface’s relation to your plugin and how the additional features will be used.

The next step is to combine that understanding with a solid grasp of the fundamentals regarding update installations, activation, and troubleshooting. Here’s how to update WordPress plugins and why you should keep up with updates when possible.

WordPress Update Plugin Basics: Why Care and How to Check

WordPress Update Plugin Basics

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WordPress has gotten its reputation thanks to a thriving community of skilled people optimizing it for top performance. If your platform has worked well enough so far, why should you bother updating?

This CMS can be thought of as any other. It can even be thought of like a program, operating system, or any other piece of software. It’s a work in progress, even when it works well, and it is constantly growing. It’s possible for bugs and glitches to develop and updates are usually launched to fix them.

There’s also the fact that such a massive platform like WordPress could experience problems that most users aren’t immediately made aware of. This means checking for updates regularly can help you find ways to improve your WordPress plugin performance and get ideas for WordPress performance tuning.

So how do you check? Updates to the CMS itself are usually advertised at the top and bottom of each page. As for plugins updates, the CMS can still provide insight if the plugin is released on WordPress.org provided you check the “Update” option in the dashboard. It will show how many updates are available and for which plugins.

How to Update WordPress Plugins

Update WordPress Plugins

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Updating WordPress plugins can require you to add, replace, or even delete files. This process can sometimes be done automatically, but in other cases, the manual action may be required.

Ever since version 2.7 came out, updating WordPress can oftentimes be done with a single click. The automatic streamlining of crucial update downloads and installations means less room for errors and a quicker path to a fully updated CMS.

In the “update” tab, users can also choose to download necessary files instead of installing them automatically. This provides a little room for customization among those who like to code their own system but can also be useful for helping people learn more about how the updates work.

Automatic updates are set by default with the current version of WordPress but can be disabled by adding “wp-config.php” (without the quotation marks) to the root WordPress installation folder. Manual updates require the latest version of WordPress and ensuring the plugin you’re updating won’t cause compatibility issues. Knowing how to deactivate plugins from the cPanel can help with this. If you want to do it quick, just select “deactivate” in the drop-down box after selecting all plugins not being updated.

You can see the old files in the system from the plugin you’re updating, meaning you can delete those files and add the new ones. This should be done in the root directory folder as well. Check for database updates afterward (which are offered by a prompt on the main page), then updates should be working as normal.

Update WordPress Plugins

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The Benefits of Updating WordPress Plugins

WordPress update plugin best practices say whether you favor an automatic or manual approach, you should always keep up with updates regularly.

They’re good for WordPress performance tuning and WordPress security. Some plugins can even offer special functions that you never want to be without, such as the WordPress automatic backup plugin to ensure you don’t lose everything to an unexpected glitch.

Any WordPress site user likely favors the simplicity and responsiveness of the CMS. But no system is perfect, and no plugin is free from potential flaws. Updating regularly means you get better performance, improved security, and a bigger return on your WordPress efforts.

Plugins come with bugs on occasion, but they’re a great asset when properly optimized. Make sure they get the updates they need and enjoy unparalleled WordPress progress.

How to Make Your WordPress Site Appear in Google Answer Box

How to Make Your WordPress Site Appear in Google Answer Box

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When you create content on your WordPress site, you likely think about where that content will be seen.

Your website is the obvious first destination you have in mind since you want to generate traffic. But there’s also content sharing sites, social media pages, and – Google Answer Box.

That may seem like a big leap in terms of exposure, and that’s because it is. Most content creators view a spot in the Google Answer Box as a rare privilege bestowed on a lucky few. It’s easy to think this spot is out of reach, even if it is something every content creator would love to achieve.

Google programmers know people don’t want to click through dozens of pages of search results to find what they want. Even more to the point, users would prefer to have to click nothing to get the right answer once they input a question into the search bar.

This is where the answer box comes in. If you can get your content in this space, it’s a massive boost for your content’s credibility and an all but certain path to increased site traffic.

What Is Google Answer Box?

Google Answer Box

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Google’s Knowledge Graph is an algorithm that tries to answer questions on the search page. This doesn’t mean just putting the right link at the top of the list – it means providing a small bit of text from the most authoritative source that answers the question directly and links back to the answerer’s site.

Google’s algorithm is smart. It knows the less clicking a person has to do to find their desired answer, the better. Studies have shown these answers account for nearly a third of click-through-rates. For those looking to boost site traffic, raise engagement rates, and drive users to continue exploring an online site or store, landing in the answer box is a sure path to success.

So how do you get there? The short answer is by improving your content. Obviously, having the right answer to a question is the best way to improve the chance of getting an answer box spot. But what about if the question isn’t one with a concrete factual answer? For example, a person searching up the ingredients to a common lunch dish may be after widely known facts. But in terms of which lunch dish is the best to serve at a party, subjectivity comes into play.

How can you improve your chances of getting in the Google Answer Box? By following Google SEO and best practices while offering meaningful and authoritative content, anyone can inch closer to (and even land in) the answer box.

Three Simple Steps to Attain an Answer Box Spot

Here are a few simple steps any website owner can take to increase the likelihood their content will end up in Google’s Answer Box.

 Think Like the Answer Box

To get in the answer box, think like the answer box – make sure your content has plenty of short, accurate answers to common questions. If you’re writing on a more general topic, it’s a great opportunity to pepper multiple answers throughout. This gives you more opportunities without requiring you to create more content – a win-win!

 Consider Google SEO Best Practice

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 Consider Google SEO Best Practice

Keywords aren’t just good for getting a site to the top of search results – they’re helpful for getting it featured in answer boxes, too. Anyone who knows about search algorithms can attest to using multiple keywords for improved visibility. But don’t forget an SEO meta description as well. Keywords should be used in the title, headers, and body, but they should also be featured in the meta info.

 Get Tools for Monitoring Performance

Programs like MonsterInsights can help content creators see how they’re doing in search results. If a page isn’t getting a lot of traffic, tighten up the content. Knowing where traffic is coming from and how changes affect it to make it much easier to create good content that gets a lot of views. This type of content is much more likely to end up in an answer box.

WordPress Tools for Monitoring Performance

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The Answer Box Is Not Unattainable

Obviously, since so many sites have landed in them – right?

Being one of the chosen few can seem like a hard goal to achieve, but it isn’t impossible. Create good content, provide real answers, monitor the traffic, and ramp up your SEO. Doing all this over time will help you greatly increase the chance of securing a coveted answer box spot.

It’s not just for show, either. Real answers appeal to people who want to get the most out of search engines. If you offer them the solution they need quicker than anyone else, you could gain a follower, subscriber, or customer.

Finding the Best Online Store Plugin for WordPress

Online Store Plugin for WordPress

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The possibilities are endless when it comes to the best online store plugin for WordPress. There are so many options it can be difficult to know where to begin. How do you select a single plugin from the vast sea of available software? What do you need to know to make that choice?

Fortunately, we’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you.

For most sites, WooCommerce will be the best online store plugin for WordPress.

Top 4 Best Online Store Plugins for WordPress

The best online store plugin for WordPress varies according to your needs. Depending on what you intend to sell and how you intend to sell it, you will ultimately have to make a choice on your own.

That being said, we think these four stands out above the rest, and at least one of them should suit your e-commerce requirements.

WooCommerce has very little negative feedback from consumers. If you don’t have a clue as to what exactly you’re going to be selling and just need a general starting point, trying WooCommerce will serve you well. It is currently the most popular online store plugin for WordPress out there, with 1.7 million active users.

Easy Digital Downloads is the best online store plugin for WordPress sites that primarily sell digital products.

Ecwid is built for simplicity and may be a good alternative to WooCommerce for new, smaller e-commerce businesses.

Jigoshop comes with plenty of customizable themes and features that let you create visual layouts of customer data. It has fewer user reviews overall, however.

Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce WordPress

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Here are a few of the things that make WooCommerce one of the 4 best online store plugins for WordPress.

WooCommerce comes installed with five legitimate payment options. These include:

  • Checks
  • Direct bank transfers
  • Credit cards via Simplify Commerce
  • Cash on delivery
  • PayPal

PayPal and credit cards are the most popular ways to shop online, so that may be all you need. But it’s nice to have other options, too. You never know when you might snag an extra customer just because they want to use a particular payment option.

WooCommerce has e that make it easy to sell subscriptions and memberships. This is one feature you will have to pay for, however. But you can potentially recoup your cost with just a few sales.

Data is king when it comes to e-commerce. Part of what makes WooCommerce one of the best online store plugins for WordPress is its customer management tools.

The customer history list gives you access to all the information provided by your customers and lets you export it to a list. Armed with this knowledge, you can more easily determine who your best customers are, what makes them tick, and how to focus marketing efforts on their specific demographic.

WooCommerce allows users to log in to their site and create their own user profiles. With extra extensions, you can also add functionality that allows for rewards programs and wishes lists, allowing customers a more in-depth shopping experience.

We give WooCommerce a 5 out of 5.

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads WordPress

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As the name implies, Easy Digital Downloads is best suited to selling digital products. It’s not necessarily worse than WooCommerce – it’s just different. It includes many similar features and has many of the same strengths. It’s just a little more specific and some of the features that come free in WooCommerce come in the form of paid-for extensions in Easy Digital Downloads.

Easy Digital Downloads also incorporates many of the most popular payment methods, including:

  • Authorize.net
  • Braintree
  • Stripe
  • Bitpay
  • PayPal

Unlike WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t come with all of these payment gateways pre-installed. You will have to pay for some of them in the form of extensions.

Easy Digital Downloads comes with some extensions that are particularly useful for those who focus on selling digital products like eBooks, subscriptions, online courses or software, and memberships.

Extensions such as Software Licensing, MailChimp, and ConvertKit are must-haves for the virtual entrepreneur. One Easy Digital Downloads add-on even allows you to accept recurring payments, making subscription and membership selling a breeze.

Easy Digital Downloads excels in the data department as well. It provides a comprehensive customer management center that stores a separate file for each of your customers. It even has an area explaining the lifetime value of each customer and full details on their buying habits. Customer profiles are integrated with this information.

Shipping and tax calculators and variable product options…

We give Easy Digital Downloads a 4.5 out of 5.

Ecwid

Ecwid WordPress

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If all of this talk about the best online store plugins for WordPress is overwhelming for you, Ecwid may be the plugin of choice for you. Ecwid is known for its simplicity and ease-of-use. You will be comfortable with Ecwid’s basic features within just a few hours of using it.

Ecwid is not made specifically for WordPress. But just by copying and pasting some code, you can add a store to your site. You can even manage multiple website stores from a single place. Ecwid is best-suited to small and mid-size businesses.

One drawback to Ecwid is that it only comes with four themes that are not customizable (unless you have the programming skills needed to tamper with the source code). To change the appearance of your Ecwid store, you will need to either learn some coding or hire a freelance programmer.

We give Ecwid a 4 out of 5.

Jigoshop

Jigoshop WordPress

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Jigoshop is similar to Woocommerce. While you need extra extensions to customize the platform, most of them are affordable, and some are free.

When it comes to themes, Jigoshop has plenty – around 70, in fact. You won’t have trouble finding the right look for your Jigoshop store.

While the other plugins also do a good job of providing customer data, Jigoshop does a fantastic job of presenting that data in a visual format. Complete with an elegant reports section, exportable graphs, and easy-to-manage buttons, you won’t have any problems figuring out who your best customers are or what they’re most interested in.

The modern, clean dashboard has links to every Jigoshop add-on. Whereas WooCommerce requires you to jump from toolbar tab to toolbar tab, Jigoshop has all of its buttons integrated into a single page.

We give Jigoshop a 3 out of 5.

How We Chose Our Ratings

ONLINE STORE PLUG INS WordPress

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Accuracy and honesty are important to us. We mull over as many customer reviews and testimonials as possible to get a better idea of what the community around a product has been saying about it.

Along with the reputation of the brand in general, this can go a long way toward painting a clear picture about the quality of the product as well as any problems or deficiencies you’re likely to encounter.

All of these online store plugins for WordPress have great reputations. The only exception is Jigoshop. It’s used much less frequently than the others and doesn’t have nearly as many reviews. While it doesn’t necessarily have a bad reputation, it doesn’t have a good one, either.

WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads have the best reputations among any of the online store plugins for WordPress. Most WordPress entrepreneurs will find that one or the other suits their needs. But what does the average user have to say? We can answer that question directly by reading reviews.

Let’s look at some user reviews for WooCommerce.

According to the 361 WooCommerce reviews shared on G2crowd.com, the average user gives this online store plugin for WordPress 4.3 out of 5 stars overall.

Kimberly H. describes WooCommerce as being easy to use and configure. According to her, anyone can figure out how to use it and integrate it into their site to manage orders. The free themes included “look beautiful,” and there’s no cost associated with the basic functions.

One complaint this user had was that WooCommerce is “not suitable for mobile devices.” Overall, she gave it a 4.5 out of 5 rating.

Jasmine G. gives WooCommerce a 5 out of 5. She calls it “very user-friendly.” This user claims to have zero coding and web development experience. But with WooCommerce, she has been able to run an e-commerce business.

Jasmine G. notes that WooCommerce comes with many compatibility plugins for those who want to add additional features to their site. And according to her, payment methods aren’t an issue, as PayPal is included.

The one and only thing she dislikes about WooCommerce is that they don’t yet allow for bitcoin payments to be made (unlike Easy Digital Downloads, which offers Bitpay as a payment option).

Easy Digital Downloads has an average rating of 5 stars on WPscoop.com (although there are only 4 reviews total).

Kakoma calls this online store plugin for WordPress the “Swiss-army knife” of e-commerce plugins. He gives it a 5 out of 5.

Ariel gives Easy Digital Downloads a 4 out of 5. She says everything about it is wonderful. Her only complaint is the fact that it gets “a little bit boggish” from time to time. Still, it’s great for digital downloads, she says.

Out of 7 reviews on FitSmallBusiness.com, Ecwid has an average rating of 5 stars.

Nicolas G. notes that Ecwid is highly scalable and works with e-commerce sites of all sizes. It has a great appearance that “does not push your customers away.” He describes it as “a totally must have” for anyone building an e-commerce site. His only negative comment is about the name “ecwid” itself, which doesn’t speak much to the plugins’ performance.

Jigoshop reviews are few and far between. And the user reviews that do exist vary from one extreme to the other. On WordPress.org, however, the plugin only scores a 3.7 out of 5 stars.

While one user named “apsi” says that Jigoshop is a “much better experience than WooCommerce,” another user named “mcten” claims the plugin is flat out “not usable.” “Kiwi Ally,” however, simply describes Jigoshop as “fantastic.”

ONLINE STORE PLUG INS WordPress

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Buyer’s Guide

When making a decision about which online store plugin for WordPress to use, consider your experience, the size of your business, and what it is you will be selling.

  • If you aren’t sure of the answers to any of these questions, WooCommerce is a good place to start.
  • For digital products, Easy Digital Downloads is a no-brainer.
  • For a small business that you expect to grow quickly, Ecwid may be the best option.
  • Jigoshop works well if you want an alternative to WooCommerce for whatever reason.

Overall, go with the plugin that sounds like it would work best for you given the nature and size of your business.

Best Online Store Plugin for WordPress Summarized

In the end, the best online store plugin for WordPress will be the one that works best for you and your business.

WooCommerce is a good place to start for beginners. Easy Digital Downloads is the go-to solution for everything digital. Ecwid is simple. And Jigoshop can give you all the customer data you need in an easy-to-read way.

Pick the best online store plugin for WordPress wisely.

 

The Top 4 Best Ways to Monetize Your WordPress Blog

Ways to Monetize Your WordPress Blog

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There are over 150 million blogs on the internet today. Many of those use WordPress as their content management system (CMS).

Anyone can create a blog. It’s not that hard. But building a profitable blog takes a lot of work and perseverance. And a crucial part of that involves figuring out how best to monetize your WordPress blog.

One of the most common and puzzling questions beginning bloggers have is “how do I monetize my WordPress blog?” The answer to this question varies. While there’s not necessarily a single correct answer, we have parsed out a few of the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog here.

Details About the Best Ways to Monetize Your WordPress Blog

Opinions differ widely when it comes to the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog.

The best decision has a lot to do with how experienced a blogger you are, what your niche is, and you who your audience is. This review assumes that you don’t have a lot of experience in monetizing your WordPress blog (If you did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this).

There are many ways to monetize your WordPress blog. When you really hit the big time, you might find additional ways of monetizing your WordPress blog that go beyond these more traditional methods.

Those just starting out will likely find methods like affiliate marketing and WordPress advertising plugins to be the most effective. On the other hand, those who have more experience and an established audience may prefer using Google AdSense and sponsored blog posts in addition to the other two methods.

WordPress Affiliate Marketing

WordPress Affiliate Marketing

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Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize your WordPress blog. Affiliate marketing involves placing advertisements for another company’s product or services on your site. When someone makes a purchase after clicking on the affiliate link on your WordPress blog (usually within 30 – 60 days), you receive a commission on that sale.

WordPress Affiliate Marketing is beneficial for both customers, companies, and bloggers. Customers (your readers) can find products that are relevant to their needs while they are reading your content, which must also be relevant to the products offered by your affiliate partners.

The companies that sell those products get free advertising until someone makes a purchase, at which point they pay you a commission based on the sale. Bloggers, of course, benefit from receiving the commission.

The key to being successful in affiliate marketing is having great content. What does great content look like? There are many factors to consider, but here are a few of the most important ones when it comes to WordPress affiliate marketing:

  • Blog posts must be well written and formatted properly. Do your research and provide high-quality links that readers will find useful. Make sure your content is structured well for the average internet user – shorter paragraphs and sentences, fewer big words, and lots of images. Embedding social media posts or YouTube videos can also help to make your content more engaging.
  • Your content must be relevant to the affiliate marketing product you’re trying to sell. If your blog is about gardening, you won’t have much success selling electronics. In this respect, Amazon affiliate marketing for WordPress is great in that their ads are programmed to show products that are relevant to the content on your page. An algorithm (computer program) scans your content and selects products based on the words it contains (it’s scary accurate, too!)
  • Keep in mind search engine optimization (SEO). There are entire books written on the subject of SEO. There are also many WordPress plugins dedicated to helping bloggers with the SEO aspects of their content. The most basic element involves using keywords that your readers might be searching for.

Perhaps the most important aspect of monetizing your WordPress blog, in general, is selecting a specific niche. Pick a topic and stick to it. All the content you publish should be related to your niche in some way. Pull people in and make sure they have a good reason to stick around. Having a niche to keep yourself grounded in is the most fundamental factor in accomplishing this.

WordPress affiliate marketing involves learning to cater the affiliate product to your niche. You must learn about the products someone interested in your niche might be most interested in.

What would they be most interested in buying after searching for the information on your site? What do you know about the kind of person who would have conducted such a search in the first place? Based on this information, you can begin to determine what kind of products you should include in your affiliate marketing.

Google AdSense for WordPress

Google AdSense for WordPress

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Google AdSense in WordPress is perhaps the simplest way to monetize your WordPress Blog. It simply involves placing an ad banner on your site. To do this, all you have to do is copy the HTML code provided by Google AdSense and paste it into a widget on your WordPress blog. You get paid according to how many clicks your ad banner generates.

This method of monetizing your WordPress blog requires you to first create a Google AdSense account. In your account, follow the instructions to create an ad and generate the HTML code. This is the code you will copy and paste into a “custom HTML” widget on your WordPress blog.

In your account, you will be provided with numbers and line graphs showing how well your ads are doing both individually and collectively. At first, you will only be collecting pennies. Google AdSense requires quite a bit of traffic coming to your blog in order to be profitable.

For more comprehensive control of ad placement and more detailed tracking of ad performance, you can use a WordPress advertising plugin that supports Google AdSense.

WordPress Advertising Plugins

For WordPress bloggers who host many different ads on their site from a variety of advertisers, WordPress advertising plugins can come in handy. WordPress advertising plugins offer a variety of management and customization options for the advertisements you host on your WordPress blog.

For example, some of these plugins let you conduct A/B split test runs. An A/B test run cycles between two different ads – ad “A” and ad “B” – and tracks their performance. Over time, you will learn which ad brings in more revenue. This is valuable information that can be one of the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog.

There are WordPress advertising plugins for both of the monetization methods previously mentioned as well.

WordPress Advertising Plugins

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Sponsored Blog Posts

Sponsored blog posts are a great way to monetize your WordPress blog. Doing a sponsored post means that someone pays you to write about their product or service and provide a link back to their site. It’s similar to affiliate marketing but in a much more direct way.

Rather than writing content and having ads that are related to it, a sponsored blog post gets specific and points readers directly to a site where they can make a purchase. This often comes in the form of a product review or detailed post describing the need that a certain product fulfills and why it fulfills that need well.

However, this works better for well-established blogs. The reason is that you won’t have a lot of offers for sponsored blog posts until you have a sizable audience. And gaining a large audience takes considerable time – often at least one year, if you’re lucky and work hard enough. Although it’s still feasible to use sponsored blog posts as a way to monetize your WordPress blog even if your blog is not hugely famous yet.

If you can prove that you have a following that is engaged with you, you may still be able to get some sponsored blog posts even if your readership is still relatively small. For example, a blog with 1 million monthly readers may not have the same opportunities for sponsored posts than a blog with 5,000 readers who are all actively engaging with the blog and making purchases because of its content.

You can do sponsored blog posts one of two ways: either you reach out to the company or they reach out to you. Obviously, not many credible companies will reach out to you until your blog has a community built up around it. But you can still reach out to companies that have products relevant to your niche.

WordPress Advertising Plugins

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Buyer’s Guide

This should be enough information to help you better understand what to look for when making a decision about how to best monetize your WordPress blog.

In our view, WordPress affiliate marketing is the most effective way to monetize your WordPress blog, assuming you are just starting out. Keep in mind that there is no universal solution to monetizing your WordPress blog, however.

Sponsored blog posts are good options for better-known bloggers. But even then, they won’t always provide the same steady revenue stream possible that affiliate marketing makes possible. Sponsored posts might be best used in conjunction with Google AdSense or affiliate marketing programs.

Best Ways to Monetize Your WordPress Blog Summarized

All in all, these are some of the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog. Out of all the possible monetization methods for a WordPress blog, these four will be the most beneficial for most bloggers.

WordPress affiliate marketing is generally the easiest way to create a revenue stream with your WordPress blog. There are a number of plugins for this, yet plugins are not always necessary. Using affiliate marketing programs provided by companies like Amazon and eBay is a common method.

Google AdSense for WordPress is probably the single most common way that people aim to monetize their WordPress blogs. It’s also the simplest. All you do is place an ad banner in a widget on your site and wait for clicks. Because the rate-per-click is so low, this is better suited to bloggers who have a lot of traffic.

WordPress advertising plugins exist for both affiliate marketing and Google AdSense. As mentioned, you don’t have to use plugins for those methods. But WordPress advertising plugins exist for countless other methods as well.

Sponsored blog posts work well for bloggers who already have an audience. The greater your audience, the higher a price people will generally be willing to pay for you to sponsor their posts. They will want you to include a link back to their site so readers can purchase one of their products or a product from one of their affiliates.

These are the 4 best ways to monetize your WordPress blog. For bloggers who are just starting out, WordPress affiliate marketing and WordPress advertising plugins are probably the best ways to go. Once you have a sizable, dedicated audience within your niche, you can focus more on Google AdSense for WordPress along with sponsored blog posts. Of course, you can continue using the other methods as well.

The 4 best ways to monetize your WordPress blog will be most effective when used together. No single method can be said to be superior to the others in all cases. It depends on the situation. But out of the myriad ways possible to monetize your WordPress blog, it will be hard to go wrong beginning with one of these four.

Finding the Best WordPress SEO Plugin

WordPress SEO Plugins

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No matter what the goal of your website is, you need a WordPress SEO plugin. Whether you’re a blogger, e-commerce site, or website of a brick-and-mortar business, having the best WordPress SEO plugin will help you gain visibility. Greater visibility leads to more customers.

As with other WordPress plugins, searching through the smorgasbord of software alternatives can be overwhelming. There are so many options it can be difficult to know where to begin. How do you select a single SEO plugin from all of the choices that are out there? How do you even begin going about making that choice?

While there are many options available for the best WordPress SEO Plugin, a few stand out above the rest. To narrow down the choices further, we’ve investigated a few of the most popular SEO plugins for you here.

Top 4 Best WordPress SEO Plugins

The top 4 best WordPress SEO plugins are Yoast SEO, SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, and Open Site Explorer. They can be used interchangeably. It’s widely recommended that you don’t limit yourself to just one SEO or keyword tool. They all have different features that complement each other.

Still, Yoast SEO is the most comprehensive and easiest to use of all the WordPress SEO plugins. In our opinion, Yoast SEO is the way to go if you’re in doubt.

SEMRush gives you detailed information about your competitors and is used by many of the biggest names in the business.

Google Keyword Planner works well for choosing the best keywords for your content.

Open Site Explorer provides good link-building tools while also allowing you to examine the links of your competitors as well as their “domain authority.”

Let’s take a closer look at each of these 4 best WordPress SEO plugins.

Yoast SEO for WordPress

Yoast SEO for WordPress

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Yoast SEO is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins ever, period. Over 5 million people have it installed on their WordPress sites. Yoast SEO uses red, yellow, and green light icons to give you an approximation of how well your WordPress content is doing in terms of SEO.

Yoast SEO has two broad categories that it analyzes your web copy for readability and SEO. Each of these gets broken down into further subcategories that detail how you can improve your content for greater search engine optimization.

The readability section includes metrics for things like use of passive voice, number of words following each H2, and overall readability according to the Fleisch readability test. The Fleisch readability test takes into account aspects of your content like the use of big and confusing words, use of passive voice, length of sentences, and length of paragraphs.

Sometimes it’s just not feasible to get a green light on readability. Passive voice is sometimes unavoidable, and not all web copy will be suitable for elementary school readers. But you should always try to at least get a yellow light.

The SEO feature gives you an even longer list of metrics, including:

  • Metadata (meta title, meta description, and URL slug)
  • Focus keyword
  • Keyword density,
  • Images and alt text
  • Inbound/outbound links

It’s not that difficult to get a green light on your overall Yoast SEO score. And doing so will mean your content is way ahead of the pack as far as SEO is concerned. The free version of Yoast SEO provides many of the most important features.

This WordPress SEO plugin is both useful and easy to use. Some might even say it makes SEO fun!

We give Yoast SEO a 5 out of 5.

SEMRush

SEMRush WordPress

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SEMRush gives you detailed information on your competitors – for a monthly fee, that is.

It’s used by top industry experts and leaders – big corporations and major content managing companies that need every possible edge they can get. Overstock, eBay, and SEO Book are a few examples of big names that use SEMRush.

One useful feature of SEMRush not provided by other WordPress SEO plugins is a social media engagement measuring tool. This allows you to see how people on different social media platforms interact with your content over time. The data is presented in the form of a bar graph and can be compared to that of your competitors.

If you’re a small-time blogger or new e-commerce site, SEMRush might not be for you. Not only will it make a dent in your budget, but you can probably do just fine with a more basic, free SEO plug-in like Yoast SEO.

We give SEMRush a 4.5 out of 5.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner WordPress

Photo credit to Digital Marketing Blog

Google Keyword Planner is a part of the Google AdWords advertising program. As such, it can only be used by participants of Google AdWords. It’s not suitable for everyone and should never be used by itself as your only SEO tool.

Obviously, Google has the greatest insights into what people are searching for. Google Keyword Planner is great for (you guessed it) planning keywords! You can get free ideas for keywords straight from Google itself.

Google Keyword Planner’s primary goal is to let advertisers know about the focus keywords they might want to bid on for their ad campaigns. It assists advertising in determining the best keywords by showing the estimated search volume, difficulty level, and the number of results.

The higher search volume and lower difficulty a keyword has, the easier it will be to rank for. This information is critical for those who need to drive search traffic to their website. In other words, pretty much everyone with a website.

When you’re wondering what keyword you should use for your next article, turn to Google Keyword Planner.

We give Google Keyword Planner a 4 out of 5.

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer WordPress

Photo credit to Kinsta

Open Site Explorer is a link-researching tool. This WordPress SEO plugin allows you to discover links that could potentially hurt your site’s SEO, find link-building opportunities, and research backlinks. Using this tool, you can evaluate inbound links to your own sites, your client’s sites, or those of your competitors.

Open Site Explorer deals with one specific aspect of SEO and should not be used by itself. If you were to only use this plugin, you would be missing out on a whole lot of important SEO metrics.

That said, link building and researching is an important part of SEO, and Open Site Explorer offers in-depth information about links that you simply can’t find elsewhere.

We give Open Site Explorer a 4 out of 5.

How We Chose Our Ratings

We value honesty and accuracy. We spend time considering as many user reviews and testimonials as we can to get a clear picture of how people perceive and interact with the products we review.

Combined with the general reputation of the brand, this information can lead to insightful conclusions about the quality of the product and also reveal any potential difficulties you might encounter when using it.

Let’s look at some user reviews for the 4 best WordPress SEO plugins.

Yoast SEO has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on TrustRadius.com. It has similar ratings just about anywhere else you look, too. We’re surprised it doesn’t have a 5 out of 5 overall, considering the vast majority of user reviews online give it the highest rating possible.

Gwendolyn K, a marketing communications specialist at Mindlance, insists that Yoast SEO is a “must-have for every WordPress site.” She notes that it works well for novices who don’t know a thing about SEO. The only negative she cites is that the tutorials provided don’t always keep pace with the plugin’s updates.

Seth T. a growth hacker at CourseStorm, says that “Yoast is awesome!” He recommends the plugin to anyone unfamiliar with SEO. The only drawback he notes is that Yoast doesn’t dive into some of the more in-depth aspects of SEO.

Out of 19 ratings on FitSmallBusiness.com, SemRush has earned 4 out of 5 stars.

Lisa T. says SEMRush is great all around, despite being “a little pricey” for some businesses. Putting in the time and effort required to use it will yield some “amazing results” according to this user. Her sole complaint lies in the fact that for a relatively expensive service, the trial period is rather short. It takes a while to become familiar with the software, she says.

Chandler E. is a big fan of SEMRush. He claims there is “nothing else like it.” It’s simply the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market, according to him. His only complaint is that the platform is not so easy to use.

Google Keyword Planner doesn’t have a lot of user reviews out there. This suggests it’s one of the less-popular keyword planning tools.

Abhishek K of Infosys gives Google Keyword Planner 4.5 out of 5 stars. He says the tool is suitable for all business categories and has a user-friendly interface. His only complaints are that the Google Keyword Planner is missing some key features. Namely, there is no tool to check for keyword density, no negative keyword list, and long-tail keywords aren’t suggested for certain categories.

Out of 17 reviews on Trustradius.com, Open Site Explorer has earned a 4 out of 5-star rating overall.

Amber S. of “Salem Communications” describes Open Site Explorer as a “useful link building tool.” According to her, this WordPress SEO plugin does its job well when it comes to building links. However, she also notes that its functionality is limited to just that – link building. Even though she lists far more pros than cons, she only gives Open Site Explorer a 3 out of 5 rating.

Susan S. of “The Search Guru” says that Open Site Explorer is “a must for SEO.” According to this user, the most valuable feature of Open Site Explorer is the “domain authority” tool, which provides data on the influence a given site has on search rankings.

WordPress SEO Plugins

Photo credit to WPfixs.com

Buyer’s Guide

As is most often the case regarding WordPress plugins, the best choice varies depending on your site, business, and needs. When it comes to SEO, you’ll probably want to use some combination of the 4 best WordPress SEO plugins.

But if you’re just starting out and aren’t sure exactly what you need, or if the term “SEO” is just a strange-looking acronym to you, you should definitely give Yoast SEO a try.

Top 4 Best WordPress SEO Plugins Summarized

When all is said and done, the top 4 best WordPress SEO plugins all have useful features. While Yoast SEO is as close as it gets to an all-in-one best choice, it lacks many of the more in-depth features provided by the other SEO plugins.

To truly manage your SEO using a WordPress plugin, you will have to use several of them together. Google Keyword Planner can be used to determine keywords. SEMRush works well for in-depth information on competitors. And Open Site Explorer helps with link-building.

Both Open Site Explorer and SEMRush are geared toward larger businesses who need an extra edge over their competition. Yoast and Google Keyword Planner are made for smaller businesses and beginning bloggers.

Overall, however, Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin for beginners. On this point, many millions of people agree.

Finding the Best WordPress Facebook Plugin

WordPress Facebook Plugin

Photo credit to Theme Junkie

When it comes to the best WordPress Facebook plugin, the possibilities are almost endless. There are so many options it can be tough to even get started. How do you choose a single plugin from absolutely massive selection? What should you consider when making that choice?

There is good news, though. We’ve done the bulk of the research for you.

The best WordPress Facebook plugins all serve different purposes. The one thing they all have in common is integrating some aspect of Facebook with your WordPress site.

Whether you need to have a customizable Facebook feed shown on your site, incorporate a Facebook calendar or fan page, or have an instant messenger available on your page, you can find a WordPress plugin for Facebook to get the job done.

The 4 Best WordPress Facebook Plugins

To help you find the best WordPress Facebook plugin for your own unique circumstances, we will give a quick overview of what we consider to be the top four.

Custom Facebook Feed gives you the ability to put the content of a Facebook feed on a page of your website. It can be customized to make it look like it was designed as a part of your page.

Facebook Events Calendar for WordPress integrates Facebook events with your WordPress site. Using this plugin, it’s possible to show events that have been created on Facebook directly on your page. It even integrates with Google Maps to give your visitors directions to the event.

Facebook Messenger for WordPress provides functionality for Facebook’s instant messenger feature. Using this plugin grants you the power to engage in live online chat with those who visit your site. This is one of the best possible ways to interact with your audience.

Facebook Fan Page Widget for WordPress integrates Facebook fan pages with pages on your site. It is by far the simplest WordPress Facebook plugin in existence. Widgets are one of WordPress’s easiest features to use. And the Facebook Fan Page Widget is no exception.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these WordPress Facebook plugins.

Custom Facebook Feed WordPress Facebook Plugin

Photo credit to Smash Balloon

Custom Facebook Feed

Custom Facebook Feed allows you to easily display Facebook feeds on your site. It lets you customize Facebook feeds to match the theme of your site perfectly.

It even enhances the SEO of your site by being crawlable by search engines. Using the shortcode provided by this WordPress Facebook plugin, Custom Facebook Feed lets you place customized Facebook feeds from any Facebook page or group on your site.

Facebook Events Calendar for WordPress

Facebook Events Calendar for WordPress WordPress Facebook Plugin

Photo credit to ThemeGrill

What makes Facebook Events Calendar one of the best WordPress Facebook plugins is that it allows you to import Facebook events into your website. This plugin is mobile device ready.

Facebook Events Calendar was created to work right out of the box. All you have to do is import events from any public Facebook page or group. You can even sync the plugin to a particular page or group and have it automatically update the Facebook events calendar on your page as new events are added.

The Facebook Events Calendar for WordPress plugin allows for a great deal of customizability on its backend. You can set up the events page however you like. Imported events can be shown in a list, calendar, map, or grid views.

This plugin is integrated with the API for Google Maps, so it can even create a map for every event displayed on your site. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.

(Note: due to recent events regarding Facebook’s privacy policy, their APIs have changed. As of April 4th, 2018, events will have to be manually approved by Facebook staff before being allowed access to a plugin like Facebook Events Calendar.)

Facebook Messenger for WordPress

Facebook Messenger for WordPress Facebook Plugin

Photo credit to Codester

Facebook Messenger for WordPress allows site owners to create a more personal experience for their audiences. This WordPress plugin allows you to communicate with your readers or customers just as if you were one of their Facebook friends.

While Facebook Messenger for WordPress doesn’t include a whole lot of options for customization and configuration, it does keep things simple and to the point.

After installing this WordPress Facebook plugin, you only have to configure a few things in the settings tab. The Facebook Messenger chat box will then automatically appear for those visiting your site.

This plugin only works with individual Facebook pages. No Facebook groups allowed.

Facebook Fan Page Widget for WordPress

Facebook Fan Page Widget for WordPress

Photo credit to ThemeNcode

Facebook Fan Page Widget is simply a special widget for your WordPress site that allows you to integrate a Facebook fan page. It provides a shortcode that you can use on any part of your WordPress site.

This one might be the easiest WordPress Facebook plugin of all. Just install, select your settings, and let the fans come marching in. You can customize the width and height of the widget if you like. But all you really have to do is put the widget where you want it and enter the page URL. It really is as simple as that.

All of these WordPress Facebook plugins get a 5 out of 5 rating. They all serve entirely different purposes. The only thing they have in common is integrating a Facebook feature with WordPress.

How We Chose Our Ratings

We pride ourselves on honesty and accuracy. We search through as many customer reviews and testimonials as possible to get a better idea of what people are saying about a particular product.

When taken in context with the general brand reputation, these reviews can go a long way toward painting a clear picture about the quality of the product. They can also shed light on any troublesome issues you can expect to encounter.

All of these plugins have outstanding reputations and far more positive reviews than negative ones. One problem that gets mentioned time and time again is an issue with Facebook’s API (application programming interface) that doesn’t let Facebook Events Calendar automatically update new events. This doesn’t speak to the quality of the plugin, however.

Let’s see what users have to say about the 4 best WordPress Facebook plugins.

Facebook Events Calendar only has 7 reviews total on WordPress.org. Still, the average review is 4 out of 5 stars.

@Robmason32 says this is a “potentially great” plugin. He says that the plugin sometimes stops feeding events. He later updated his review and noted that customer support informed him of Facebook’s recent API changes in light of high-profile privacy concerns. This user gives Facebook Events Calendar a 4 out of 5.

@Woturner says the plugin works well. Despite a few initial problems with getting the calendar to display events correctly, support was helpful and eventually got things up and running.

Facebook messenger has 4.8 out of 5 stars on WordPress.org. Everyone seems to agree it’s both effective and easy to use.

@Jesongoh says that Facebook Messenger is “so easy to use.” If only all plugins were this simple. This five-star review ends by saying the plugin is “highly recommended.”

@Pritamobi says she had been searching for a live chat plugin for a very long time. Finally, her prayers were answered the moment she found Facebook Messenger. She ends with a note of gratitude by simply saying “great plugin, thanks.”

Custom Facebook Feed has some of the highest-rated reviews we have ever seen. Out of just over 1,000 reviews on WordPress.org, this plugin has a stunning 4.9 out of 5 stars. 956 of those reviews are 5-star reviews.

@hackercampers says Custom Facebook Feed is “simple to install and set up.” This user says he simply loves the plugin and would recommend it to anyone.

@dorrisliney notes that Custom Facebook Feed comes with many options for customization. This is an important note, considering most of what this plugin receives praise for is its simplicity. It’s good to know that Custom Facebook Feed is both simple and customizable.

@installbasique1911276 also states that the plugin is easy to install and set up and can be up and running in under 5 minutes. This user also notes that the plugin allows for users to take their “customization to the tops” if they so choose.

Facebook Fan Page Widget has six reviews on WordPress.org. The average rating is 4.3 out of 5 stars. However, this total is a little misleading. 5 out of 6 of those reviews are 5-star reviews. The total was dragged down by a single 1-star vote submitted by a user who claims the plugin wasn’t working properly.

User @Danybro says that Facebook Fan Page Widget is the best WordPress Facebook plugin around for getting more likes and recommendations. He says that anyone who needs to increase their visibility on Facebook should consider installing this plugin.

User @Forkanhossain says this WordPress plugin is “highly recommended.”

Buyer’s Guide

The best way to use the 4 best WordPress Facebook plugins is to use some or all of them together. They all provide different functions that will have different benefits depending on the nature of your business and website.

For example, if your business is constantly posting updates on Facebook that you need people to see, then Custom Facebook Feed will serve you will.

If the bulk of your business comes in the form of customers attending events, Facebook Events Calendar will be invaluable for you. No matter where your event will be hosted, the integration of Google Map’s API makes it easy for your audience to find.

Facebook Messenger will prove useful for a wide range of businesses, from bloggers to lawyers and financial advisors. If you find benefit in being able to engage with your audience or customers in real-time, then this plugin is for you.

The Facebook Fan Page Widget will be best suited to those with an active online community. If your Facebook fan page has a lot of followers who are constantly engaging with it, adding this widget will bring that engagement to your WordPress site. It’s also easy to use, just like other WordPress widgets.

Top 4 Best WordPress Facebook Plugins Summarized

All in all, the top 4 best WordPress Facebook plugins serve different functions. Some people might find they only need one of them to improve the functionality of their site. Others might want to use two or more of them at the same time to provide further integration of Facebook services for their users.

There are no ratings given for the top 4 best WordPress Facebook plugins because they are all good at what they do. Since they’re not necessarily competing with each other, it’s tough to say that one is better than another.

Whether you need to show a Facebook feed, allow Facebook chat in real-time, or include Facebook events and fan pages on your site, one of these best WordPress Facebook plugins can help provide the tools you need.