Best WordPress Typography Plugins

Looking for a typography plugin for your WordPress site? You’ve come to the right place. The style of text on your site can actually have a huge impact on whether or not visitors stick around and come back in the future. Having good typography makes your site more attractive and your content more readable, so this is definitely a factor that should not be overlooked. Now let’s take a look at some of the best typography plugins currently available for the WordPress platform.

1. Easy Google Fonts

Easy Google Fonts basically grants you simple access to the Google Fonts system, letting you use this library of fonts on your WP site without any hassle. Advanced users will know how to integrate Google Fonts on their sites without resorting to plugins like this one, but it can still be recommended to the vast majority of users. It adds a new tab to your theme customizer, letting you change fonts on the fly and preview your changes before confirming them.

2. Google Font Manager

Just like Easy Google Fonts, Google Font Manager lets you make use of the impressive library of fonts made available by Google. You’ll have to get the relevant API key to make this work, but that’s very easily done. This plugin lets you choose and preview different fonts with ease, adding them to your own personal library for quick access.

3. Typekit Fonts for WordPress

One of the biggest and most impressive font plugins available right now, Typekit Fonts comes with countless typography styles, allowing you to find the one that suits you site and expresses your ideas. This plugin is highly functional, allowing you to connect your website to the Typekit library and even make your own custom CSS.

4. Simple Drop Cap

This simple plugin allow you to change the first letter in your posts into a drop cap. You can set it to work on every single post or use a simple shortcode to use it selectively. It works well and adds a touch of elegance to your WP posts.

5. wp-Typography

This plugin acts as a filter and grammar-checker for your text. WordPress does do this sort of thing automatically, but wp-Typography does a much better job. It can insert hyphens, dashes, trademarks, copyright symbols and a whole lot more. These might sound like simple additions, but they help to make your site look much more professional.

6. Simple Pull Quote

When you read news articles on big sites, you’ll often notice the presence of pull quotes dotted throughout the posts. These quotes catch the eye and help to enhance each article. The Simple Pull Quotes plugin lets you make those quotes appear with ease. It comes with a button to simply create a new pull quote, as well as various short codes to let you make them manually.

7. TinyMCE Advanced

TinyMCE Advanced is a great way to enhance your WordPress experience. When you use the regular WP visual editor, you’ll probably have noticed that it isn’t exactly the most fully-featured system in the world. TinyMCE Advanced gives your editor a whole bunch of new options including font sizes, colors, tables and more.

8. Zeno Font Resizer

Zeno Font Resizer lets you make fonts bigger or smaller as needed. You can even add a simple resizing widget the sidebar for easy access. Fonts will change size without any delays or reloading.

9. Page Title Splitter

Page Title Splitter lets you write big post titles across multiple lines. Without this plugin, long titles can become simply unreadable, so it’s a real necessity if you want to make posts with big titles.

10. Secondary Title

The Secondary Title plugin gives you the option of adding subtitles to your posts. This can help to enhance readability and encourage people to read on.

11. Accessibility Widget

Designed to help people who are visually impaired, the Accessibility Widget lets visitors adjust the font size to make the text more readable.

12. Endnotes

Endnotes lets you add simple footnotes to your posts with ease. You can even customize these notes, making them collapsible and expandable as necessary.

13. Greg’s Threaded Comment Numbering

This plugin lets you assign numbers to the comments on your posts. It’s a simple touch but, again, it adds a bit of professionalism and style to your pages, allowing readers to more easily find or reference a particular comment.

14. Colorful text widget

Want to jazz up your widgets? This plugin lets you adjust colors, texts and titles on your text widget, making it more attractive and eye-catching.

15. Text Hover

This plugin lets you add tooltips to certain parts of text, allowing these tips to pop up whenever the cursor hovers over the text. It’s very easy to use and comes with a good range of options.

16. Just Writing

Long-time WordPress users might remember the old “Just Writing” mode that allowed you to write in full-screen, free from any distractions. The new WordPress does still have a similar mode, but it’s not quite the same. If you’d like to go back to the days before WordPress 4.1, give this plugin a try.

How to Remove Comments from Your Entire WordPress Website in Minutes

Guide to Remove Comments from Your WordPress Website

If you’re looking for ways to completely remove comments from your WordPress site, you’re in the right place. This article will give you all the information you need to make the change. There are many different reasons why you might want to cut out comments, and we’ll be looking at some of those reasons here today. Disabling comments for static pages and individual posts is easy enough, but this article will show you to completely remove all comments from the entirety of your WP site.

Why Some Websites Don't Need Comments

Before we talk about the method, let’s look at the reasons why you might want to get rid of comments. On the one hand, comments can be a great way to build up a community on your site. The ability to leave comments and share opinions often encourages people to spend more time on a webpage and return to it in the future. For blogs or news sites, this sort of feature is almost vital.

In the modern world, people like to have their voices heard and to feel like they can have their say on things that matter to them. Therefore, comments can be a great advantage for a site. So why would you want to remove them?

Well, not every site is designed to encourage discussion. A huge number of WP sites are run by small business owners who simply want to share information about their company and sell products or services. For these sorts of sites, a comment section would be completely superfluous.

Sites like this rarely even have blogs or “social” sections at all, being mostly comprised of static pages. At the same time, there are certain styles of blog or media site that simply choose to keep the comments turned off. Comment sections can often get filled up with spam and anger, so some site owners choose to disable this feature and encourage discussions in different ways.

Maybe your content simply isn’t the sort of thing that can be commented upon, in the traditional sense. Maybe you want to avoid arguments and haters. Maybe you just want to share your content without worrying about what everyone is going to say about it. Either way, there are many valid reasons for getting rid of comments.

The trouble is that, while WordPress does make it relatively easy to disable comments for individual pages and posts, it can be a bit of a hassle to keep on doing this every time you want to post something new. Fortunately, it is possible to fully disable WordPress comments with just a few clicks.

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Steps to Remove Comments on WordPress

So how is it done? Well, the first step is to download a plugin called Disable Comments. It’s pretty self-explanatory; this plugin works to simply turn off the commenting system across your whole site. If you run a WordPress site, downloading and installing a plugin should be second nature to you, so we won’t worry about explaining how to do that.

Once the plugin has been installed and activated, you’ll want to head to the Settings tab, and then click on the Disable Comments page to start configuring your new plugin.

This page is split into two distinct, clearly-marked options. We have the “Everywhere” option, which globally deactivates comments for your entire site. Then, we have the “On certain post types” option, which allows you to be a little more selective, offering the ability to disable comments for individual posts, pages or media. If you want to disable comments entirely, click on the first option and save your changes.

It’s as simple as that. You can go ahead and visit your site to see the plugin’s magic in action. The great thing is that you don’t need to waste any time going through pre-existing comments and deleting them, because the plugin makes all comments disappear, including the ones that had already been posted. Any mention of comments will be entirely removed from your site and dashboard.

So that’s how you get rid of comments, but this doesn’t work flawlessly with every single theme. With so many different themes out there, all optimized in different ways, we can’t expect plugins like Disable Comments to always work without a single hitch.

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Removing Comments Without Installing a Plugin

In some cases, pre-existing comments may remain, even after clicking to remove them. In addition, some themes may display a “Comments are closed” message that you probably don’t want to see. So how do we get rid of these things? Well, a simple thing to try is to contact the theme’s creator and see if they can either fix the issue or tell you how to get around it.

Otherwise, you can fix the problem manually. Connect to your site using the FTP Client or File Manager via cPanel, then find your theme folder which should be under the following directory: wp-content/themes/folder. Here, you should be able to see a file called “comments.php” and you’ll want to rename that to “comments_old.php”.

The next step is to right click and choose “Create new file” in the FTP Client and name this file “comments.php”. Click OK and then you should be done. Basically, this trick takes the old comments out of the equation and replaces that file with a blank template, meaning that your site should then update to remove all traces of the pre-existing comment system. We hope that this article answers your questions on how to remove comments from a WP site.

Should You Use WordPress.com or WordPress.org for Your Website?

Should You Use WordPress.com or WordPress.org for Your Project?

WordPress is the world’s most popular site creation platform, allowing everyone to get their own sites up-and-running with minimal effort. WordPress is also famous for its extensive library of themes and plugins, allowing you to make your site look and function exactly as you want it to.

The whole process is very easy, but there are a few big questions to ask yourself along the way. One example is whether you should be using WordPress.com or WordPress.org. Some people don’t even know that these two separate entities exist, but they do and it’s important that you choose the right one. Here, we’ll take a look through the merits of each option to help you make the best decision.

Both the .com and .org variants of WordPress make use of the same software and services, so there isn’t any real difference between them on a base level, but when you dig a little deeper, you start to see that these two formats are not the same thing.

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Understand WordPreess Hosting

Let’s start off by looking at hosting. WordPress.org is entirely self-hosted, meaning that when you make a site, you’ll need to make an account with a hosting provider and pick yourself a hosting plan in order to keep your site active. Hosting comes in many different forms, with different speeds, features and plans to suit different-sized sites and businesses.

You can get basic shared hosting that will provide everything you need from as cheap $4 per month from a host like A Small Orange. A shared hosting account with A Small Orange, Media Temple, HostNine, or a similar company can start small and scale all the way up to developer grade dedicated hosting that costs hundreds of dollars.

Meanwhile, WordPress.com is actually fully-hosted and entirely free. You don’t need to spend any time or money sorting out hosting plans or providers for your WordPress.com site. Instead, the whole thing is fully supported by Automattic.

This hosting service is fully functional and very fast, so you don’t need to worry about your site running slowly or going offline. In terms of hosting then, it’s clear to see that WordPress.com is the better option.

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Understanding the Level of Control You Need Over Your Site

Now let’s look at how much control you have with each option. WordPress.com may bring the luxury of free hosting, but it does come with a lot of limitations. The hosting plan only features 3GB of space and can actually show annoying ads to your visitors without your permission.

Meanwhile, over on WordPress.org, you have total control. You can choose a hosting plan to suit your needs, as well as finding the features and options that work for you. With a WordPress.org site, you get to control and validate absolutely every aspect of your site. So, if you’re the sort of user who likes to be in charge and have a good amount of freedom, .org might be the way to go.

More restrictions and limitations arrive when we look at the design and usage of WordPress.com sites. WordPress is renowned for its vast library of themes and plugins, letting you craft the site of your dreams using thousands of different options and add-ons. Well, you will only get access to all of those things if you use WordPress.org. WordPress.com site owners have to choose between a much smaller set of themes and aren’t allowed to install any custom plugins. The .com sites still come with a good amount of in-built functionality, but they just don’t have the same potential as their .org counterparts.

The Potential to Make Money Off Your Website

Moving on to monetization, site owners nowadays are realizing that the internet is a veritable goldmine. Even basic blogs can be used to earn a bit of cash on the side, and if you want to make money with your online endeavors, WordPress.org is once again the right option. Since you have total control over the site, you can monetize it however you like.

Whether you want to show ads or sell products and services, the sky really is the limit with a .org site. In fact, countless plugins exist to help you make that cash. Since .com users don’t have access to these plugins, their money-making opportunities are severely restricted. You can still put ads on a .com site, but it’s way harder to do.

Securtity, Ease of Use and Our Thoughts

Our final factor for consideration is security and general maintenance of your site. Every site is at risk of hacking or other cyber-attacks, so it’s always important to take proper security precautions to keep your data safe.

Over on WordPress.com, Automattic does a nice job of keeping everything as safe as possible, without you needing to make any effort whatsoever. On the .org sites, the responsibility of keeping your site safe is down to you.

You’ll need to choose a secure hosting provider and install the right plugins and software to keep everything running smoothly. This isn’t necessarily hard to do, but it can be tricky for new users, and it’s definitely easier to just let the experts handle everything, so we think WordPress.com wins this round.

Overall then, it seems like WordPress.org is generally the better option for most applications outside of a hobby, starter-blog. The high levels of control, the possibilities of monetization and the fantastic options provided by the theme and plugin libraries make .org sites so much fun to use.

At the same time, it’s important to note that WordPress.com does have its benefits. The automatic security and free hosting is a great bonus, so if you’re just looking to start a simple blog or stress-free site, then .com might be the way to go. It all depends on your own project and needs.

Best Email List Managing and Marketing Services for Your Business

Best List Management and Email Marketing Services for Your Business

Don’t be fooled by certain things you may have read. Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways of spreading the word about your business and gaining new customers. Not only does this form of marketing provide visible results in terms of lead generation, it also happens to be very easy to use. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to make use of good email marketing services, and the rewards more than justify the costs.

Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of services out there and not all of them can offer the same levels of quality. Too often, business owners are drawn in by false promises and beguiling feature lists, only to be disappointed in the long run. In order to help you make the right decision for your business, we’re going to highlight 7 of the very best email marketing services available today.

Constant Contact

constant-contactConstant Contact has been generating a lot of positive hype in recent times and gaining plenty of new customers in the process. This service is particularly appealing for beginners as it is exceptionally easy to use. Managing email lists and various contacts is child’s play with Constant Contact, while your account also comes with a full 1GB of storage space, social media sharing options and plenty of ways to get in touch with helpful customer support services.

If ever you encounter a problem, a friendly member of the Constant Contact team will be standing by to help you out. If this sort of support is your number one concern, you won’t find anything better than Constant Contact. This service also happens to be pretty cheap, with prices starting at just $20 per month, as well as coming with a free 2-month trial.

Aweber

aweber-email-marketingOne of the most famous brands in the email marketing industry, Aweber offers functionality and flexibility. This service can appeal to many different types of business owner and won’t cost you too much. Plans start at only $19/month, and you can also get the first month as a free trial if you’d like to test out the service before subscribing.

Aweber works perfectly with all of the big site platforms, including WordPress, and comes with dozens of handy features including automatic responses, detailed tracking, templates and listing management. The Aweber team also do a nice job of helping new users get started, with plenty of guides and tutorials available, along with a full support service.

ConvertKit

convertkit-servicesConvertKit is one of the most dynamic and powerful email marketing services money can buy. Speaking of money, this is actually the most expensive service on our list today, with plans starting at $29 per month. However, ConvertKit makes our list of the best email marketing services because we think it totally justifies that price tag. This service has been designed with active bloggers and content creators in mind.

It’s an approachable service with helpful features like automatic responders, easy list management and plenty of material to help new users learn all the ins and outs. This service will help you get the results you need and can be an excellent, automated tool to market your blog or business with ease.

GetResponse

getresponseFor small businesses and inexperienced users, GetResponse is a great email marketing solution. This service is exceptionally easy to use and streamlines every aspect of the marketing process, breaking everything down into simple chunks. It also comes with a bunch of useful tools that allow you to set up automated marketing services without a whole lot of effort.

With customizable forms, detailed tracking, A/B testing possibilities and many other features, GetResponse is an excellent option and also one of the cheapest on our list today at just $15 per month for the entry-level plans.

MailChimp

mailchimpIf you know anything about email marketing, you’ll certainly have heard of MailChimp. This brand is one of the most recognizable names in the business and has earned a lot of respect over the years for offering some of the best service and support money can buy. Seamlessly functioning with platforms like Shopify and WordPress, MailChimp gives you everything you need to start running powerful email marketing campaigns and boosting the popularity of your business.

There are too many great features for us to list, but one of our favorite things about MailChimp is the way in which you can adjust email sending times based on the geographical locations of your customers. MailChimp is also pretty cheap, with basic plans starting at only $10. There’s even a free version of this service that can be very useful for small businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals.

Campaign Monitor

campaign-monitorWith an intuitive drag and drop builder, richly detailed tracking, round-the-clock support and excellent social media sharing options, Campaign Monitor is another one of the very best email marketing services available in 2016. This service lets you craft the perfect email in a matter of minutes, as well as organizing your lists, learning more about your customers and even personalize each message. Everything about Campaign Monitor is very easy to use, but if you do run into any problems then the team will be ready to answer your questions and help you out via email, forum or phone support. Prices for this service begin at just $9/month.

ActiveCampaign

activecampaignLast but not least, ActiveCampaign is designed to make your email marketing campaigns as effective as possible. To that end, this service brings a stunning number of features and tools, letting you create beautiful emails, forms, lists and more. It also offers you plenty of information about your customers, allowing you to adjust your campaigns and messages accordingly in order to generate more leads. This service works wonderfully with all of the big platforms and the plans start as low as $9/month. The cost can start to rise if you want to benefit from all of the best features, but we think ActiveCampaign is completely worth the price you pay.

Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog

What Can a Blog do For Your Small Business?

In the modern world, your business’ online presence is more important than ever before. These days, people live in a hyper-connected world and spend hours per day browsing the internet. When searching for products or services, the vast majority of people will turn to their tablet or smartphone and start typing. This is why it is almost impossible for any small business to thrive without a significant online presence.

For example, blogging is an excellent way to improve your chances of success. Unfortunately, too many business owners have their own excuses for rejecting the progress of technology. Perhaps you believe that a blog would have no use for your company, or simply that you don’t have the necessary knowledge or patience to run one. Whatever your reasons, we’re here to convince you that a blog is absolutely worth your time.

Form a Connection with Your Customer

The first big advantage that comes with having a blog is to start connecting with your customers. Thanks to the popularity and accessibility of the internet, people are now able to share their thoughts and opinions with others from halfway around the world. Modern customers like to get in touch with the businesses they use.

content-marketing-through-a-blogBy posting blog articles, you’ll be encouraging people to start leaving their own comments or even contacting you directly. Sometimes, these comments may simply come in the form of praise or support, but others will offer constructive criticism that can help you better understand what your customers need and how to respond to those needs in a logical and efficient way.

Not only that, but those comments also help to generate more interest in your business. One of the keys to success for any company is spreading the word about who you are and what you do. The internet gives you more possibilities than ever before, and blogging is a smart first step to making your business more talked-about.

Blogs are the Easiest Way to Improve Your Website's SEO

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-9-04-33-amSimilarly, the SEO potential of your blog can also help to generate more clicks and interest. By posting articles on your blog frequently and interacting with your customers, you’ll be indirectly helping your company appear more prominently in search engine listings. That way, the next time someone decides to type something related to the products or services you offer, they might just stumble onto your site and become a new customer.

Another big advantage of running a blog is that you get to show the world what your company is all about, and also what sort of person you happen to be. Blogs can be deeply personal spaces for you to show off your ideas, sense of humor, opinions and philosophies. We aren’t suggesting that you turn your business blog into a list of all your thoughts and feelings, but it’s a great place to share your own ideas and reactions to developments in your industry or area. This is a great way for customers to really get to know you. People tend to prefer buying products and services from smaller companies that feel more “human” and “real” compared to the multinational conglomerations. The human side of your business can be a big selling point, so don’t ignore it.

Using Content as a Non-Intrusive Form of Advertising

Another great bonus to running a blog is that your business will be benefitting from an unobtrusive form of marketing. People don’t like having ads and links thrust in their faces non-stop, they prefer to make their own decisions. A blog allows you to share information about your company, without forcing readers to jump over to your store page and start making purchases.

This leaves the customers free to make up their own minds and presents a cleaner, friendlier image of you and your business. People will also be keener to keep checking back on a blog that is updated regularly, as they’ll be interested in learning more and reading new content. If you can set aside a little bit of time to write an original article every couple of days, your blog will be able to offer a visible boost to your company’s profits.

We’ve seen some of the many advantages of running a small business blog, now let’s look at why you really have no reason not to start one. First of all, if you’re reading this article and thinking that you just don’t have enough spare time to run a blog, think again. The marketing you’re already doing is just an alternative to blogging. Maybe you write newsletters or commercial emails.

The time you spend doing those things could easily be spent writing a post for your blog. You can still choose to use those posts for email marketing if you choose, so you won’t be losing out on anything. Similarly, it’s also good to know that blogs are incredibly easy to run. A lot of different sites exist that allow you to get up-and-running in a matter of minutes.

What’s more, the blog articles you post will be archived and stored as their own unique webpages and can be visited again and again, unlike those emails you send out which can easily be deleted or ignored. Blogging sites also allow for multiple authors to log in and post, so you can always delegate the blogging side of your business to another member of staff.

Finally, if you just don’t like the idea of blogging for some other reason, we have to encourage you to change your mind. Like it or not, the internet is here to stay and the general public has access to an ocean of information and opinions. In order for your business to be successful, you need to get involved and start getting in touch with your customers. It’s the best way to develop loyalty and help your brand grow.

How to Install WordPress on Media Temple

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing WordPress

Media Temple is one of the finest hosting solution providers around these days, being renowned and loved for their affordable plans, high quality customer service and excellent offerings. At the same time, WordPress happens to be the most popular platform for website creation, with countless themes, plugins and options to make give every user almost limitless potential for creating their own unique site.

If you’re looking to get your own site started, these two companies should be at the top of your list, but how do you actually install WordPress on a Media Temple hosting plan? Well, we’re going to answer that question here today, and we’re pleased to report that it’s a very simple process.

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Finding WordPress in Media Temple's Unique Dashboard

Media Temple is popular for a lot of reasons, but its ease-of-use and accessibility are two factors that really appeal to a wide audience. To that end, the Media Temple team has added a simple one-click installation feature to make WordPress integration as easy as possible. All you’ll need to do to begin is login and access your Account Center.

From this screen, you’ll want to click on the domain you wish to use with WordPress and then click on ‘1-Click Apps’, which is found in the box of ‘Add-Ons’. Next click on ‘New App’ and then you should see a description box for WordPress, along with an ‘Add’ button on the right. Click on that button and you’ll be taken to another screen.

On this next screen, you’ll be asked to enter the URL where you want to install WordPress. Here, it’s important to write your URL without the ‘www’ at the start. The ‘www’ isn’t actually necessary in this case, and could cause issues later on when people try to access your site via links. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be taken to the database settings. There, you should click on ‘New Database’ via the menu and insert your own title for the database.

You are also asked to enter a ‘Database Table Prefix’, which serves as a reminder to show you where your database is being linked to. At this stage of the process, you might encounter a pink box alerting you to a ‘Directory Conflict’, but you don’t need to worry. If that happens, simply click on the ‘Backup Content and Proceed’ button to carry on.

At that point, you’re pretty much done. All you need to do now is wait for the installation to finalize. You can check up on the latest progress of your installation via the Account Center on Media Temple. There should be a little ‘Pending Installation’ message written beneath your domain name in your Grid, and this will eventually change to ‘Finish Installation’.

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Securing Your Account, Completing Installation and Firing Up WordPress

Once that happens, you are able to click on the icon to the right of the message to complete the process. Fortunately, Media Temple prevents you or anyone else from trying to access WordPress before the installation is complete. This helps with security and also prevents any errors from occurring.

As soon as that process is finally completed, you can gain access to the WordPress platform. You’ll be asked to enter a name for your blog, along with an email address at which you can be contacted. You can click on the ‘Install’ button to get WordPress fully up-and-running, and should only have to wait a few more minutes for everything to be finalized.

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Choosing a Username and Password

You will have to set up a username and password to access WordPress, and here we encourage you to be very careful and select some secure login details for your account, for safety and security reasons.

If someone else is able to guess your password or login to your account, they can alter your webpages or change your entire site at will, even deleting your content or accessing private information. It is therefore vital for you to choose a secure password, ideally made up of both numbers and letters, along with a username that would be hard for anyone to guess. This is the best way to keep all of your site and data as safe as possible. Also be sure to note down your password and username if you think you might forget them, but keep that note in a safe place.

When these simple steps have been completed, you’ll be fully free to access all of the features and functionality of the WordPress world, while also benefitting from the power and speed of Media Temple’s hosting plans. The whole process shouldn’t have taken you more than ten minutes, giving you plenty of time to get started creating your site and developing your own content.

Remember to fully explore the WordPress library and look through the various themes and plugins available. WordPress comes with countless options, and it’s up to you to choose the right elements to make your site as successful and appealing as possible.

How to Install WordPress on A Small Orange

Step-by-Step Guide to Install WordPress on A Small Orange

A Small Orange is a very popular and reliable web hosting provider, so it’s normal that you might turn to this company for your own hosting needs. If you run your own WordPress site, you’ll be glad to know that it shouldn’t take too long to get your site up-and-running on A Small Orange’s servers. In fact, the whole process can be completed in less than five minutes. (more…)

How to Install WordPress on BlueHost

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing WordPress on Bluehost

Looking to get your own WordPress site up-and-running over on Bluehost? You’ve come to the right place. Bluehost is a reliable provider that continues to gain new fans every single day, while WordPress is one of the best platforms to manage and control your site. (more…)

How to Install WordPress on GoDaddy

Guide to Installing WordPress on your GoDaddy Hosting Account

WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms in the world, offering an ever-expanding library of themes and plugins that allow users to make any sort of site they could possibly imagine. It’s therefore no surprise that so many people are flocking to the platform each and every day to setup their own sites. (more…)

How to Stop WordPress Spam Comments

Guide to Stopping WordPress Spam Comments

Spam is an almost inevitable part of owning your own website. For the uninitiated, spam is the name given to those annoying, usually commercial comments that pop up all over the bottom of your webpages. These comments are usually posted via bots and can appear hundreds of times on the same page and will often link to another site. It’s an underhanded tactic, but unfortunately it does work, with spammers often making a lot of cash via this method and getting plenty of unsuspecting people to click on their links and visit their sites.

For you though, it’s not a good thing. Not only do spam comments look bad and disrupt any potential discussion that might be going on in your comment threads, they also give your site a bad name, both to Google and to your visitors.

So how can you start regaining control of your WordPress site and cutting down on those pesky spam comments? Well, there are many methods, and we’ll be looking at several of them today. The key to this article is to not just pick a single method. Instead, you should try and use as many as possible. Using various anti-spam techniques in conjunction with each other will help you to have a much higher success rate when dealing with unwanted comments.

If you really want your site to stay clean and have a good image, you’ll have to put in some extra time and effort. It can seem like an overwhelming task to deal with all those unsolicited messages and automated bots, but it is perfectly possible to cut down on spam, and we’re going to show you how.

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Using Discussion Settings to Slow Down the Flow of Spam

Our first method is to simply make use of your WordPress settings to make it harder for potential spammers to post their comments. You may not know this, but the WordPress platform has been designed and improved over the years to make spam detection easier. Head over to the discussion area of your settings menu and start making some changes.

First of all, you can activate an option to have every commenter add their own name and email before posting a comment. You could also choose to make people have their own accounts in order to comment, but that can be a little complex and will discourage many genuine visitors from contributing to your site.

Some other settings to activate include the “Hold the comment in the queue if it contains several links” option. This means that any comments with links will not be posted until they have been moderated by you or another member of your team. You can also type in certain tags or keywords that help the site detect spam and prevent certain comments being posted.

There’s also the “Blacklist”, which will instantly class certain messages as spam if they contain certain words. This can be a powerful tool, but it needs to be used with great care. Finally, you could also turn on the option to have WordPress email you whenever new comments are being posted or moderated. This allows you to quickly scan the messages and spot any spam yourself.

using akismet to stop spam on wordpress

Use an Anti-Spam Plugin Like Akismet

Another method is to make use of an anti-spam plugin like Akismet. Other plugins are available, but we’ve found Akismet to be very useful. It’s free for personal users and will cost just $5 for business users, making it one of the most cost-effective options currently available. This plugin works to detect any spam messages and mark them for deletion without you having to lift a finger.

It’s also very dynamic, learning from your own actions, as well as the actions of the rest of the Akismet community, and changing its definitions of spam to suit your own. Stats show that this plugin is incredibly reliable and is capable of blocking tens of thousands of spam comments every year. Other handy plugins you could try include Quiz, Stop Spam Comments, and WordPress Simple Firewall.

Use a CDN Like Cloudflare

Another option to cut down on spam is to make use of Cloudflare. Cloudflare is one of the world’s most popular CDN and web security providers. The security features offered by this system will work to actually stop any spammers even reaching your site in the first place. This helps to prevent spam, while also keeping your site traffic exclusively reserved to genuine visitors and customers.

Cloudflare also comes with dozens of options that you can adjust as needed to boost security and massively cut down on spam. Again, it’s important to note that this method will be most effective when used in conjunction with the other techniques we are talking about. You can’t just rely on Cloudflare to deal with all your spam for you, but it will be a big help.

Kill Comment Links and Kill Spam

Our final method is to adjust your comment form settings to prevent people from posting any links at all. This might seem like a bold tactic, but often it can prove to be the most effective. We’ve already looked at changing settings to cut down on link posting and find specific keywords. Unfortunately, many spammers can find ways around this, for example by posting the link to their site in their author name.

So how do you stop them? Well, there’s another great plugin available called Hide Comment Author Link. It does exactly what it says it’ll do, preventing any links from appearing in your comment section. This works perfectly and will absolutely discourage any would-be spammers from ruining your site with their own publicity posts.

Google Ranking Factors That Every Webmaster Should Know

Our List of the Top Google Ranking Factors That Every Webmaster Should Know

Every site owner needs to know the importance of SEO and Google’s ranking system. The higher your site is ranked on Google, the more people will click on it. Site ranking is directly proportional to site success, so if you want to get as many visitors and potential customers as possible, it’s vital to be aware of Google’s ranking factors and adapt your site to push it up the list. The world’s most famous search engine actually uses a couple of hundred different factors when ranking a site, but some are much more important than others. Here, we’ll look through some of the most important ones, so that you can make the necessary changes to help your website become more popular than ever before.

Let’s start with the factors that involve the ways in which individual webpages are optimized:
Title Tag Keyword – The title tag is supposed to give a concise overview of the content of the page. By including a keyword in the title, Google will be able to take that keyword and use it to rank the page accordingly. The position of the keyword is of great importance; keywords at the start of the title will rank better than those near the end.

Description Tag Keyword – Description tags might not be quite as important as title tags, but they still have some bearing on your page’s ranking. Try to keep keywords included in your descriptions. Not only will this rank your pages higher, it will also help to encourage users to start clicking on your site.

URL Keyword – Add a keyword to your page URL to increase its ranking with Google.

Keywords in the Copy – Most people are familiar with this one. Countless sites out there are built on the premise of “put as many keywords into your copy as possible”. It’s true that, in the past, this was a good way to boost your site’s ranking. However, it is now important to know that Google has reduced the importance of this factor, so it won’t help you reach the top of the list anymore.

Length of Text – Simply put, the longer your posts and articles, the higher they’ll be ranked. Google prioritizes longer pieces of text under the assumption that these pages will be more educative and thorough than shorter ones.

Header Tag Keyword - Keywords in the header, or H1, tag will also affect the page’s ranking.

Repeated Content – Repeating the same thing over and over again might have once seemed like a reliable way to boost your site’s ranking, but not anymore. In fact, it can actually have the opposite effect, so be sure to avoid duplicating any copy. If you simply have to have two different pages with very similar content, be sure to use canonical tags to prevent this from becoming a hindrance to your site.

Optimized Images – The captions and descriptions of images can also have some influence on your site’s ranking, so be sure to use keywords and keep this text relevant.

Regular Updates – If your page is continuously updated and fresh, Google will rank it higher. Naturally, this works on a page-by-page basis, as not all pages need constant updating.

Use of Links – This is a great way to build up your site’s trust level. Provide links to reputable sites on your pages. This way, Google can see that your page isn’t just about making money or drawing people in, it’s actually been designed to educate them. Don’t go overboard though, too many links can disrupt the ranking of your page, as well as its usefulness. You can also use internal links to encourage visitors to see more of your site.

google-search-results-guide

Having look at the page-based factors, let’s now take a broader view and look at certain site-wide aspects you can change to improve your site’s visibility.

Trust – Trust is the term used by Google to define how well your page should be ranked based on how genuine your site is believed to be. We already talked about linking to other sites to build trust, and there are many other methods you can use to boost this value.

Use a Sitemap – This helps Google catalog each of your individual webpages.

Server – The location of your server could also have an effect on your site’s ranking, especially in the country where your server is situated.

Responsive Design – Having a site that will work on mobile devices is a big plus for Google. More and more people are using tablets and phones to access the internet, so it only makes sense for optimized sites to find themselves higher in the rankings.

Use Google Webmasters Tools –
These tools offer statistics and analytical data to help you improve the quality of your site. They can also contribute to site ranking, so it’s worth having them.

Now let’s move onto the factors that occur outside of your site.
Linking Domains and Pages – If other sites link to your site, you’ll have a higher ranking with Google. Links from different domains are more valuable than links from individual pages on the same domain, but every link helps so it’s good to get as many as you can.

Ranking of Linking Pages – If the pages that link to your site are high-ranked and trustworthy, those links will be more valuable for you than those from low-ranked pages. It’s also helpful to have links from pages that cover the same subject matter as your site.

Homepage Links – If another site links to your site directly from their homepage, that link will also hold a higher value than others.

Anchor Text – This text is attached to a link and was previously used to boost site ranking, but Google has since made some chances and anchor text can now actually lower your rank, so be sure not to abuse this tool.

Location of Link – A link that appears at the base of a page or in a sidebar is allegedly less valuable than one which is found right in the middle of a page’s text.

The final set of factors we’ll look at are related to your site’s domain name.

How Long the Domain Has Existed – Domains that have been around for several years are considered more genuine and therefore have higher trust ratings.

The History of a Domain – If a domain has had problems in years gone by, this can negatively impact your site’s ranking, even if you had nothing to do with the domain at the time.

TLD Extensions – The TLD extension of your domain (.fr, .de, .com) can boost your site’s ranking in the relevant country.

How to Change Hosting Companies

A Beginner's Guide to Changing Hosting Companies

Web hosting can be a difficult thing. There are a lot of different companies out there, all promising the best levels of performance and the highest uptime rates. Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out the way we plan. When you sign up for a hosting plan, you hope that your site will work flawlessly. Sadly, this rarely ever happens and many people are forced to make the decision to switch to a different hosting company.
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