Tag Archives: plugin

7 Ways to Improve Your Site Speed in WordPress

The post 7 Ways to Improve Your Site Speed in WordPress appeared first on HostGator Blog . For the past several years, Google has been emphasizing site speed as a ranking factor in their algorithms. Given that, it’s amazing to see the number of under-optimized WordPress sites that exist. People spend so much time on “SEO” and content generation, and they forget to do the one thing that will increase the ranking of all their pages. Well, it’s never too late to get started. Here are seven ways to improve your site speed in WordPress. These will make Google sit up and take notice! These are listed in order of importance. Method 1: Use a Datacenter Closest to Your Clients The location of your server plays a big role in your site speed. For example, if your clients are based in the US, then HostGator is an ideal web host, since we have two data centers in the country – one in Texas, and one in Utah. You can view the speed with which your site is fetched by the Googlebot in your search console. Ideally, this should be just a few hundred milliseconds. When I switched my server to a local host, you can see how fast my site fetch speed went down: So don’t ignore this aspect of site speed. It’s crucial! Method 2: Implement Dynamic Caching WordPress generates its pages afresh each time a visitor comes to your site. This is quite a costly process and puts a strain on your database as well as your CPU. In addition, page generation takes time, so there’s a small delay for each visitor. The solution to this is dynamic caching. What is Dynamic Caching? The idea behind dynamic caching is to save a copy of the generated page and serve that copy to the next visitor. This way, each page is generated just once instead of over and over again. Not only is this faster, it reduces the resource load on your server, which means other parts of your site will work faster. It also means that your site can handle many, many more visitors! How to Implement Dynamic Caching on HostGator Dynamic caching can be implemented either with a 3rd party plugin or on the server. Having it enabled on the server is much faster. Not many web hosts allow this, but HostGator offers server caching on their WordPress plans as shown here on the product page: So if you use managed WordPress hosting with HostGator, just turn on the feature and you’re good to go! Here’s a complete review of HostGator WordPress , including all the special features! But even if you don’t have WordPress optimized hosting, you can implement dynamic caching with a plugin. I personally recommend WP Super Cache, which is an extremely popular WordPress plugin, is easy to use, and will get the job done without hassles. Method 3: Use a CDN A CDN is a “Content Distribution Network”. Apart from dynamic pages, there are lots of things on your site that never change. Images, Javascript, and CSS. Well… almost never change. Because of this, it’s best to deliver these resources from a server closest to your client. A CDN looks at the IP address of your visitor and chooses to send static content from a server closest to that location. Which means that people on opposite ends of the earth will receive the content equally fast. It’s really quite a magical technology. As before if you have WordPress hosting with HostGator, a CDN is available by default. But even without such a plan, you can use Cloudflare as your CDN. Despite it being free, I think Cloudflare is one of the best CDNs on the market. HostGator has a tie-up with Cloudflare, which allows for easy integration. You can even do cool stuff like changing your nameservers for faster access. But that’s beyond the scope of this tutorial. Method 4: Deferring or Asyncing JavaScript This one can be a bit tricky. Almost all websites use JavaScript. It’s an essential part of the web, but this adds to the page load time. The key is to wait until the page has fully loaded and is visible before loading JavaScript. It’s easier said than done, and each website works differently. Which is why we need a plugin. The one I recommend is Autoptimize . It’s open source and is almost universally recommended by WordPress gurus. After downloading and installing the plugin on WordPress, you can click the button to aggregate and asynchronously load JavaScript as shown here: The plugin has many options. Make sure to test them all so that your website’s features work properly. Stuff like resizing tables etc are all enabled by Javascript. Method 5: Inlining and Deferring CSS The CSS counterpart to method 4, this refers to delaying the loading of CSS files until the page has downloaded and displayed. However, there’s a catch. If we delay the loading of CSS, our page will look horrible and unstyled, since the CSS files are missing! The solution is called “Inlining” above-the-fold CSS. What this means is that you need to isolate the CSS rules that apply to all visible elements when your page first loads. And then paste those rules directly into every page so that they’re loaded instantly. Once your page has rendered, you can then load the CSS files at your leisure. So how do we do this? Get the Critical CSS This is pretty hard to do manually. So we’re lucky that automatic online tools exist to do it for us! For example, here’s an online tool from SiteLocity that’s quite popular. Simply type in your URL, and it’ll generate the critical above-the-fold CSS for you. Copy the rules that it gives you and use it in the next step. Insert the CSS Inline In method 4, we used the tool “Autoptimize”. Just like before, there is a section in the main settings area to enter your critical CSS as shown here: As shown above, paste the CSS into the box and save your changes. Now when you load your page, all the important CSS will be downloaded immediately, but the external files will be served later when the page has fully loaded. This makes your site blazing fast! Method 6: Lazy Load your Images Images constitute the bulk of a web page’s size. And not surprising, since a single image can be hundreds of MB. So it’s important to only load those images when necessary. “Lazy Loading” is the practice of downloading images only when the user has scrolled far enough to view them. Otherwise, if you have an image way down the article, and the user leaves the page before that, it’s wasted bandwidth both for you as well as the visitor. And it means your site slowed down unnecessarily. Lazy loading is yet another feature that’s difficult to implement manually. Luckily for us, WordPress themselves have released a plugin called Jetpack . I highly recommend using it, since it has a ton of useful features that you can play around with, and lazy loading of images is one of them as shown here: It’s just a single setting! Enable it and you’re done. Now when you visit your page, the images won’t be downloaded until you’re far enough down to see them. In which case, they’ll appear by magic as your user scrolls. Neat right? Method 7: Removing Unnecessary Emoji Code I didn’t notice this myself until I combed through my HTML code. WordPress adds a whole lot of junk useless emoji code to every page in order to render smiley faces and emojis. It’s a useful feature, but it’s a lot of wasted code, and it’s loaded every single time. Luckily, the Autoptimize plugin that we saw earlier has a way to remove them in the “Extra” tab as shown here: Click this option, save your changes, and you’re done! No more emoji code. The idea is to keep your WordPress installation neat and clean, without any unnecessary junk. These seven methods outlined here are a mix of server level and page level optimizations. Together, they should put your site on a fast track to higher rankings, and better experiences for your visitors. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Does Your Small Business Website Have the Cybersecurity Basics Covered?

The post Does Your Small Business Website Have the Cybersecurity Basics Covered? appeared first on HostGator Blog . Think your business is too small to be targeted by hackers? Think again. Last year, 43% of all reported data breaches affected small businesses —and the costs of recovering from a breach are high enough to force many small businesses to close. So, if you’ve recently launched your SMB website or are getting ready to launch, make sure you’ve got these 8 cybersecurity basics nailed down. 1. Domain Privacy There are so many things to love about the internet, but spammers, identity thieves, and stalkers are not among them. You can protect yourself with a domain privacy plan that shields your name, email, mailing address, and phone number from people who look up your site in the ICANN’s Whois database.  2. SSL Certificate An SSL certificate is a must-have if you run an eCommerce store or collect visitor information on your site. That’s because an SSL certificate proves that any data your visitors send to your site is encrypted, so hackers can’t see it while it’s in transit. (You can read a more detailed SSL explanation here.) SSL certificates also keep visitors from seeing a browser warning that your site may not be secure. Plus, they may also help your site rank better in search results. 3. Automatic Site Backups If your business website site is hacked, or if an update crashes it, you need a way to get up and running again fast so you don’t miss out on customers. Get an automatic site backup service like CodeGuard , and you can quickly restore the most recent uncorrupted version of your site if something goes wrong. Make sure that whichever service you choose runs daily backups, so you don’t have to go back to an out-of-date site version in case of a crash.  4. Automatic Malware Scans and Removals Thanks to cybercriminals armed with botnets and malicious code, all sites are continuously at risk for malware injections that can steal data and let criminals take over sites. This means site owners need to monitor their sites closely for attacks. And the only practical way to do this is with automatic scans. A site-scanning tool like SiteLock gives you daily protection from new malware and botnet attacks. SiteLock also seeks out vulnerabilities on your site, so you can fix them before hackers exploit them. 5. Automatic Domain Renewals Domain registrations don’t last forever. At some point—anywhere between one and 5 years from when you first sign up–you’ll need to renew. If you don’t, you can lose control of your business domain name, and anyone who comes along and buys up your expired domain may be able to access the email accounts on it. That could open you and your customers up to data theft and fraud. The best way to prevent this is to enable automatic renewals, either when you register your domains or during your next renewal. You may also be able to switch to automatic renewals now by logging into your domain registration account and adjusting your billing preferences. (HostGator customers, here’s how you can renew your domain registration.) 6. Automatic WordPress, Plugin and Theme Updates On the internet, you have to stay up to date. That includes WordPress software and the plugins, themes, and addons you choose for your SMB site. Why not stick with the old versions if they’re working for you? There are lots of reasons, but the main one is security.  Some updates are designed to patch flaws that hackers have shown they can exploit. So, when updates are announced, you need to install them right away. But updates don’t always come out on a schedule, and if you have a large site with lots of plugins, updating manually can be a hassle that’s too easy to postpone. The solution is to set WordPress and everything else on your site—themes, plugins, etc.—to update automatically. You can do this within most apps, or you can use a WordPress security plugin like Easy Updates Manager to handle it all for you. 7. Seriously Secure Passwords One of the simplest ways to protect your SMB website is to use a unique, secure WordPress password that would-be hackers are unlikely to guess. Make sure that any employees or contractors who have access to your site use secure, unique passwords, too.  You might think this goes without saying, but even in 2019, too many people are still using passwords like 123456 , monkey, and blink182. 8. Site Login Protection Login forms on your site make it easy for customers to sign into their accounts with your store or business. These forms also create potential weak spots where attackers can break in. In simple terms, a bot-powered brute force attack can try thousands of possible login credentials to try to get past a login form. If they find a way in, they can unleash malware, ransomware, or other mayhem to disrupt your business. To keep bad actors and botnet attacks from experimenting with logins until they find a way in, add some layers of protection to your sign-in forms.  One option is to limit the number of login attempts a user can make in one session. For example, after three failed attempts, the user is locked out of trying again until they contact your tech support team for more guidance. This lets legitimate customers get the help they need and prevents bot-powered brute force logins. Another option is one you probably see every day. Ask visitors to prove they’re not a robot when they sign in with a reCAPTCHA tool. The Contact Form 7 plugin lets you enable reCAPTCHA , or you can install a different reCAPTCHA plugin for the forms on your site. Yes, it’s an extra step for your site visitors, but one that can keep your visitors and your business safe from bot-powered data theft. Now that you know the cybersecurity basics, are you ready to set up your site?  HostGator’s Managed WordPress Hosting plans come with CodeGuard, SiteLock, and SSL certificates for free and make it easy to buy domain privacy services. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Add Google Analytics to Your WordPress Site [Step-by-Step]

The post How to Add Google Analytics to Your WordPress Site [Step-by-Step] appeared first on HostGator Blog . If you have a business, your website is a gold mine of information that tells visitors if your brand if right for them and suits their needs. If you want your site to increase your conversions , however, you need to keep tabs on its performance regularly. It’s also important to know how visitors interact with your website so you can continue making tweaks that suit their needs. Your WordPress website is as good as stale without tracking its progress in Google Analytics. Nearly 28 million websites rely on Google Analytics to keep their businesses afloat and give customers what they want. The key to running a successful business is knowing the customer so well you hand them opportunities before they realize they need them. With Google Analytics, you’ll have access to the data you need to know your customer. Setting up Google Analytics on your WordPress website is simple and doesn’t take much time at all. Here’s how to get started. 1. Know What Data You’re Looking For There are several reasons to use Google Analytics , but the main one is that it keeps you in tune with your visitors so you can give them what they want. To get the most out of it, you need to know what you’re looking for. It doesn’t make much sense to scour data and statistics when you aren’t quite sure what your numbers should be or what to look at. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of how your audience interacts with your site so you can continue creating content they’ll enjoy. Tracking your metrics is the best way to do this. Keep an eye out for these particular metrics: Bounce rate Acquisition overview Unique visitors Returning visitors Page views Session duration or engagement There’s an entire plethora of information you can gather from looking through your analytics. With Google Analytics, you can: See what blog posts perform the best and get the most shares so you can continue to create similar content you know will be useful. Track your bounce rate and see where visitors are leaving your site so you can figure out how to prevent that from continuing and instead focus on increasing page views. Visit your landing pages to see how well they are or aren’t capturing new leads. You can also decide the best times to post content , how people find your website, what browsers they use, and more. All of this information can aid you in creating a high-converting web experience for your site visitors. It’s always a good idea to A/B split test different components of your website if you aren’t reaching the conversion rates you predicted. You can create these tests right in Google Analytics to understand how you can achieve your goals faster. 2. Set Up a Google Analytics Account First, you need to either create an account with Google or use an existing one. Then, sign in to your Google account. Go through the following screens to continue to sign up for your Google Analytics account. Next, enter your account information. Google will ask you whether you’d like to track a website or mobile app, so make sure it’s under the Website tab. At the bottom, click on Get Tracking ID . This is a code Google uses to track your site information. Then you’ll want to accept the Terms of Service as well as Additional Terms. When you click Accept, you’re directed to your Analytics dashboard. Congratulations! Your Google Analytics account setup is now complete. You’re going to end up copying and pasting your tracking ID code into your MonsterInsights plugin settings. This will allow MonsterInsights to read and receive Google Analytics’ data so you can see it from your WordPress dashboard. 3. Install MonsterInsights for WordPress To set up Google Analytics straight to your WordPress dashboard, you need a plugin like MonsterInsights . The value of MonsterInsights is that it brings your Google Analytics data straight to you, in your WordPress dashboard. That means you no longer have to sign in to a separate website to view your site traffic and performance. First, you need to download and install the MonsterInsights plugin . From your WordPress dashboard, upload the plugin and select Install Now . Click Activate Plugin so your MonsterInsights plugin is added to your website. Now you need to authenticate your MonsterInsights account. Hover over the MonsterInsights button in your WordPress panel and click Settings . Authenticate your Google account so that it’s integrated with your WordPress website. Once you connect your MonsterInsights account, it will redirect you to sign in with your Google account. Click Complete Connection . From the MonsterInsights button in your WordPress dashboard, hover over it, and click Reports . Now, your MonsterInsights analytics is connected to your WordPress website and ready to view reports! The great thing about setting up MonsterInsights is it takes mere minutes to set up. Just a few clicks and filling out information and you’re able to see all your site’s data straight from WordPress. It’s convenient for you so that you can make quick, informed decisions about your website or business for the best results and highest conversions. Get Started with MonsterInsights Setting up your website for Google Analytics will be the best thing you do for your website. When you know how visitors are interacting and engaging with your site, you discover how you can serve them better so they can move further down the funnel and eventually become loyal customers. There are endless benefits when tracking your site’s progress and Google Analytics paired with MonsterInsights is the best way to do so. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Create a Membership Site with WordPress (Step by Step)

The post How to Create a Membership Site with WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on HostGator Blog . Are you considering creating a membership site for your courses, products, or services? If so, it can be a great way to cater to your target market and increase your business’ revenue among many other benefits. A membership allows you to build a list of loyal members, create an active email list , and position yourself as a leader in your industry if it gains enough traction. But what exactly is a membership site? Put simply, it’s gated content that’s only accessible to members and subscribers. Most of the time there is a fee or recurring payment involved, but sometimes it can be as simple as signing up for an email list. Why Create a Membership Site? A membership site means you can sell practically anything: online courses, ebooks, coaching, you name it. What makes it exciting is its exclusivity and the perks that come with an engaged subscription. Premium services tend to offer subscribers more value to the point where paying a monthly or yearly fee is worth their money. If you’re able to rack up a solid list of subscribers, your revenue will increase drastically. It’s also a great way to build a list of loyal subscribers who genuinely enjoy your content to the point that they’re willing to pay for it. Think of Youtube Premium or Spotify Premium. Sure, with their free options you get to enjoy their content, but you’re bombarded with ads and can’t enjoy the full, uninterrupted experience. What makes these services powerful is that they deliver an optimized UX and, therefore, have a customer base that consists of happier customers. Gating your content allows you to offer your target audience the products and services they want while your business expands its subscriber list and grows monetarily. Before getting started, you need the following: A domain name. This is your website’s URL and it’s crucial that it matches your brand and the products and services you’re selling. WordPress web hosting. HostGator provides quick and easy set up so that even beginners can create their own website. You can also register your domain name here at HostGator. A membership plugin. MemberPress is simple to install and requires no coding knowledge to set up a membership site you’re proud to call your own. What to Look for in a Membership Plugin There are many options to choose from when it comes to membership plugins , but what it really comes down to is what best suits your business and its customers. It’s essential to keep them in mind when creating your membership site. Here are a few questions to consider when choosing a plugin: What is your budget? What are your measurable goals? How well do you know how to code? How many membership levels will you need? What payment gateways do you want customers to be able to use? Are there extra features you want to be included, such as add-ons and integrations? If you want to create a fully functional, easy-to-use membership site with WordPress, here’s how to get started. Install and Set Up MemberPress The very first step to creating a membership site is to use a plugin. This is what’s going to turn your regular WordPress site into a members-only website. MemberPress allows you to sell physical and digital goods, downloads, subscriptions, and more. It’s easy to set up payment gateways, restrict access based on different subscriptions, and design beautiful pricing pages so you can create the look you want. First, you need to create an account with WordPress. Then, purchase a subscription with MemberPress that suits your budget, goals, and business needs. Consider what features are most important to you when choosing your pricing plan. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little extra to give your customers exactly what they want. Plus, your membership fee could end up giving back to your business with an increased ROI . Once you choose the plan that’s right for you, go to MemberPress and download the .zip file. From your WordPress dashboard, click on Plugins > Add New > Upload. Select the file and click Install Now. Then click Activate Plugin and your MemberPress plugin will be activated. You should now be able to see a MemberPress menu option in the sidebar on your dashboard. From the menu, click Options where you can configure the plugin’s settings to your liking. Your plugin is now fully installed and ready to be optimized for your business! Getting Started with MemberPress Creating a membership site is a way to target a specific audience and cater to their specific needs. It makes selling products and services easy and builds a list of happy customers who enjoy content that matches exactly what they’re looking for. MemberPress is a fully functional plugin that makes creating a membership site on WordPress an easy and pleasant experience. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Looking for Unlimited Shared SSD Hosting in The Netherlands

Hello I’M Looking for Unlimited shared Hosting SSD on NL(Dutch) Servers. With the Letsencypt Cpanel Plugin for Wildcars SSL & a good Spa… | Read the rest of http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1762891&goto=newpost Continue reading

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