Load More Posts Ajax Button in WordPress

In today’s post, I will show you how to create a load more button to show additional posts or custom post types using AJAX.

The benefit of this is that it will improve the page load of the page as it will only be displaying a certain amount of posts before having to load any more of the content.

So let’s get started…

So the first thing that you should have is a list of posts to display on the frontend as follows:-


    <div id="ajax-posts" class="row">
        <?php
            $postsPerPage = 3;
            $args = array(
                    'post_type' => 'post',
                    'posts_per_page' => $postsPerPage,
            );

            $loop = new WP_Query($args);

            while ($loop->have_posts()) : $loop->the_post();
        ?>

         <div class="small-12 large-4 columns">
                <h1><?php the_title(); ?></h1>
                <p><?php the_content(); ?></p>
         </div>

         <?php
                endwhile;
        wp_reset_postdata();
         ?>
    </div>
    <div id="more_posts">Load More</div>

Then you want to add the following code in your functions.php file.


wp_localize_script( 'twentyfifteen-script', 'ajax_posts', array(
    'ajaxurl' => admin_url( 'admin-ajax.php' ),
    'noposts' => __('No older posts found', 'twentyfifteen'),
));

Right after the existing wp_localize_script. This will load WordPress own admin-ajax.php so that we can use it when we call it in our ajax call.

At the end of the functions.php file, you need to add the function that will load your posts:-


function more_post_ajax(){

    $ppp = (isset($_POST["ppp"])) ? $_POST["ppp"] : 3;
    $page = (isset($_POST['pageNumber'])) ? $_POST['pageNumber'] : 0;

    header("Content-Type: text/html");

    $args = array(
        'suppress_filters' => true,
        'post_type' => 'post',
        'posts_per_page' => $ppp,
        'paged'    => $page,
    );

    $loop = new WP_Query($args);

    $out = '';

    if ($loop -> have_posts()) :  while ($loop -> have_posts()) : $loop -> the_post();
        $out .= '<div class="small-12 large-4 columns">
                <h1>'.get_the_title().'</h1>
                <p>'.get_the_content().'</p>
         </div>';

    endwhile;
    endif;
    wp_reset_postdata();
    die($out);
}

add_action('wp_ajax_nopriv_more_post_ajax', 'more_post_ajax');
add_action('wp_ajax_more_post_ajax', 'more_post_ajax');

The final part is the ajax itself. In functions.js or your main JavaScript/jQuery file, you need to input inside the $(document).ready(); environment the following code:-


var ppp = 3; // Post per page
var pageNumber = 1;


function load_posts(){
    pageNumber++;
    var str = ''&pageNumber=' + pageNumber + '&ppp=' + ppp + '&action=more_post_ajax';
    $.ajax({
        type: "POST",
        dataType: "html",
        url: ajax_posts.ajaxurl,
        data: str,
        success: function(data){
            var $data = $(data);
            if($data.length){
                $("#ajax-posts").append($data);
                $("#more_posts").attr("disabled",false);
            } else{
                $("#more_posts").attr("disabled",true);
            }
        },
        error : function(jqXHR, textStatus, errorThrown) {
            $loader.html(jqXHR + " :: " + textStatus + " :: " + errorThrown);
        }

    });
    return false;
}

$("#more_posts").on("click",function(){ // When btn is pressed.
    $("#more_posts").attr("disabled",true); // Disable the button, temp.
    load_posts();
});

With the above code, you should now have a load more button at the bottom of your posts where on click it will display further posts. This can also be used with CTP (custom post types).

If you need any help with this, feel free to get in touch in the comment below. This can also be used to load automatically on scroll, again, if you need help with this, just drop me a message and I’ll be more than happy to help you!

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How to Increase the Maximum File Upload Size in WordPress

Do you have a large file that you can’t upload to WordPress due to limitations? Do you want to increase the maximum file upload size in WordPress? Some times low file upload size limit can stop you from uploading files via media uploader, or install plugins and themes. In this article, we will show you how to easily increase the maximum file upload size in WordPress to correct that issue.

How to Check Your Maximum File Upload Size Limit in WordPress?

WordPress will automatically show the maximum file upload size limit when you are uploading images or media. To check this, you can simply go to Media > Add New page and you will see the maximum file upload size limit for your WordPress site.

So how do we fix this?

Method 1

In some cases you can just add the following code in theme’s functions.php file to increase the upload size:


@ini_set( 'upload_max_size' , '64M' );
@ini_set( 'post_max_size', '64M');
@ini_set( 'max_execution_time', '300' );

Method 2

Create or Edit an existing PHP.INI file. For this method you will need to access your WordPress site’s root folder by using FTP or File Manager app in your hosting account’s cPanel/Plesk dashboard.

In most cases, if you are on a shared host, then you will not see a php.ini file in your directory. If you do not see one, then create a file called php.ini and upload it in the root folder. In that file add the following code:-


upload_max_filesize = 64M
post_max_size = 64M
max_execution_time = 300

This method is reported to work for many users. Remember if 64 doesn’t work, then try 10MB (sometimes that work).

Method 3

For some, it works by updating the .htaccess file which you can find in the root directory. You can increase the maximum upload size in WordPress. Edit the .htaccess file in your WordPress site’s root folder and add the following code:-


php_value upload_max_filesize 64M
php_value post_max_size 64M
php_value max_execution_time 300
php_value max_input_time 300

Again, do note that if you are on a shared hosting package then these techniques may not work. In that case, you would have to contact your web hosting provider to increase the limit for you.

We hope this article helped you increase the maximum file upload size in WordPress.

If you need any further assistance, just drop me a message in the comments below!

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How to Add Additional File Types to be Uploaded in WordPress

Due to security reasons, WordPress only allows you to upload the most commonly used file types. By default, you can upload commonly used image formats, audio/video and documents using the default media uploader. But what if you wanted to upload a file type that is not allowed? In this article, we will show you how to add additional file types to be uploaded in WordPress.

If the above error looks familiar to you, then you’re at the right place.

File Types Allowed for Upload in WordPress

WordPress allows you to upload most common image files, audio/ video, PDF, Microsoft Office and OpenOffice documents. WordPress codex has a full list of allowed file types and extensions.

Adding Exceptions for Additional File Types

Security is the main reason behind the limitation on file types that users can upload. However, this does not mean that users cannot change this. Using a bit of code, you can add a new file type and extension to WordPress.

For example, add this code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin to allow SVG file type to be uploaded:-


function my_myme_types($mime_types){
    $mime_types['svg'] = 'image/svg+xml'; //Adding SVG extension
    return $mime_types;
}
add_filter('upload_mimes', 'my_myme_types', 1, 1);

Notice that the file extension goes as the key in $mime_types associated array and the mime type goes as its value.

In this example, SVG file extension represents files with the mime type image/svg+xml. You can find out mime types of several common file extensions on this page.

You can also add multiple file types in one code snippet, like this:-


function my_myme_types($mime_types){
    $mime_types['svg'] = 'image/svg+xml'; //Adding svg extension
    $mime_types['psd'] = 'image/vnd.adobe.photoshop'; //Adding photoshop files
    return $mime_types;
}
add_filter('upload_mimes', 'my_myme_types', 1, 1);

Awesome, now you can upload as many different file types as you like!

One other issue you may encounter is that you get a warning saying that the file “exceeds the maximum upload size for this site” as shown below:-

To resolve this issue please see the following article; WordPress troubleshooting guide to fix it.

If you need help with anything WordPress related, just drop me an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below.

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WordPress Developer / Full Stack Developer / Website Designer

Do you need a front-end/full-stack developer that creates style, fast loading, responsive front-end development using validated, accessible and semantic code practices?

I am a full-time freelance developer with over 15 years of experience. I also have 6 years of digital agency experience where I have been developing high-end WordPress web sites for big clients.

My main skills are HTML5, CSS3, PHP7, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, Bootstrap 3/4, SEO and Speed Optimisation. With a passion for anything WordPress related, you can guarantee that I will deliver nothing but exceptional work for the clients that I work with.

Whether you need some simple amends for your website, a new fresh and modern bespoke website built for your business, then look no further. To get started, just send me an email to [email protected] and I will be able to provide you with either an hourly rate or fixed price for any job.

I’m also available on PeoplePerHour if you would prefer to contact me on the PPH platform.

I also provide the following services:-

  • Brand design
  • Responsive design
  • CMS systems
  • E-commerce
  • Email campaigns
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • App development
  • Hosting

 

I love working with clients on a long-term basis, I will always be your go-to person for any kind of web development work.

If you want to look at some projects that I have been involved with then check out my Portfolio.

Get in touch today for a free quote, I look forward to working with you!

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WordPress Version 5.2

On May 7, 2019, WordPress 5.2 “Jaco”, named for the jazz musician Jaco Pastorius, was released to the public.

As always, you can update your WordPress to the latest version or download the latest files from WordPress.org.

So what’s new with the latest version?

Site Health Check

Building on the Site Health features introduced in 5.1, this release adds two new pages to help debug common configuration issues. It also adds space where developers can include debugging information for site maintainers. Check your site status by going to Tools > Site Health, and learn how to debug issues.

WordPress 5.2 - Site Health

PHP Error Protection

This administrator-focused update will let you safely fix or manage fatal errors without requiring developer time. It features better handling of the so-called ‘white screen of death,’ and a way to enter recovery mode, which pauses error-causing plugins or themes.

WordPress 5.2 - Site Protection

Improvements for Everyone

Accessibility Updates

A number of changes work together to improve contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow for those using screen readers and other assistive technologies.

New Dashboard Icons

Thirteen new icons include Instagram, a suite of icons for BuddyPress, and rotated Earth icons for global inclusion. Find them in the Dashboard and have some fun!

Plugin Compatibility Checks

WordPress will now automatically determine if your site’s version of PHP is compatible with installed plugins. If the plugin requires a higher version of PHP than your site currently uses, WordPress will not allow you to activate it, preventing potential compatibility errors.

Developer Happiness

As always, a large handful of developer-focused changes have also been made. The highlights of these include:

PHP Version Bump

The minimum supported PHP version is now 5.6.20. As of WordPress 5.2, themes and plugins can safely take advantage of namespaces, anonymous functions, and more!

Privacy Updates

A new theme page template, a conditional function, and two CSS classes make designing and customizing the Privacy Policy page easier.

New Body Tag Hook

5.2 introduces a wp_body_open hook, which lets themes support injecting code right at the beginning of the element.

Building JavaScript

With the addition of webpack and Babel configurations in the @wordpress/scripts package, developers won’t have to worry about setting up complex build tools to write modern JavaScript.

And plenty of more which you can read about here.

What we can do for you!

As always, it’s always best to keep your WordPress version and plugins up to date and use plugins from reliable authors that maintain their plugins. If you need assistance with upgrading your WordPress version, plugins, updating core code to be compatible with the latest versions of PHP (recommended) or anything else WordPress or digital related then get in touch by sending an email to [email protected]. We &hearths; WordPress and as specialists in the field; you can guarantee that you are in very capable hands.

Have a look at out portfolio – if it’s a web specialist you require; we’re here at your disposal ; )

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Create a new WordPress admin user in the database

You can create a new WordPress admin user from within the database using phpMyAdmin.

Method 1

1.) Log into phpMyAdmin (cPanel / Plesk / Web Hosting / Managed WordPress).

2.) Click the _users table

3.) Click the Insert tab

4.) Fill in the following fields.

  • ID is any number you choose
  • user_login is the username for accessing the WordPress Dashboard.
  • user_pass is the password for the user. Make sure to select MD5 in the functions menu
  • user_nicename is the nickname for the user
  • user_email is the email address you want to associate with this user
  • user_registered is the date and time for when this user is registered
  • user_status should be set to 0
  • display_name is the name that will be displayed for this user on your site

5.) Click the Go button

6.) Click the _usermeta table

7.) Click the Insert tab

8.) Fill in the following fields:

  • user_id is the ID you entered in the previous step
  • meta_key should be the phrase wp_capabilities
  • meta_value should be

a:1:{s:13:"administrator";s:1:"1";}

9.) Click Go

10.) Click the Insert tab again

11.) Enter the following information:

  • user_id is the same number you entered in the previous step
  • meta_key should be the phrase wp_user_level
  • meta_value should be the number 10

12.) Click the Go button.

You can now login with the new Admin user.

Method 2

For developers who want to speed this process up, you can simply drop this SQL query in your database:-


INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_users` (`ID`, `user_login`, `user_pass`, `user_nicename`, `user_email`, `user_url`, `user_registered`, `user_activation_key`, `user_status`, `display_name`) VALUES ('4', 'demo', MD5('demo'), 'Your Name', '[email protected]', 'http://www.test.com/', '', '', '0', 'Your Name');
 
INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, '4', 'wp_capabilities', 'a:1:{s:13:"administrator";s:1:"1";}');
 
INSERT INTO `databasename`.`wp_usermeta` (`umeta_id`, `user_id`, `meta_key`, `meta_value`) VALUES (NULL, '4', 'wp_user_level', '10');

Remember to change the databasename to the database you are working with. Also don’t forget to change the appropriate values.

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How to Disable the WordPress Admin Bar

When you are logged into your WordPress site, the software automatically displays a toolbar at the top of the page. And whether you’re looking at the site from your dashboard or the front page of your website – the toolbar is always there. For many users, this is rather annoying and even more so when your developing the site.

If you’re a developer, this toolbar can really throw off the design of your front page, particularly if you have some CSS detail, which may be obscured by the admin bar. Even if you’re not a developer, you may find the admin bar too distracting.

So the question we have today is; can you somehow get rid of this little annoyance? Yes, and thankfully, you can remove it in just a few short minutes. Today, we’re going to show you how to disable your WordPress admin bar from your website using various methods.

How to Remove the WordPress Admin Bar Directly From the Dashboard

First, you need to login into your WordPress website and enter the dashboard. In order to disable the admin bar, click on Users and find Your Profile underneath it. There, under Keyboard Shortcuts, you’ll see Toolbar. You just uncheck the “Show toolbar when viewing the site” box right next to it.

And you’re actually all done. By unchecking this box, you won’t be able to see the toolbar on the front-end of your website. Of course, the software will continue to display it on the back-end of the site.

Due to the fact that the admin bar displays useful information like quick links to the front, creating new pages and posts, and access to your profile, you should definitely leave this version of the admin bar as is – after all, it contains some of the more important information about your website.

How to Disable the WordPress Admin Bar Using CSS

While the first method is without questions the easiest, this is a close second in terms of difficulty. You only have to copy and paste the CSS code below in Appearance > Customize > Additional CSS, or your style.css file.

The CSS code to disable the toolbar is:


#wpadminbar { display:none !important;}

How to Remove the WordPress Admin Bar Using a Plugin

While the solution above may be easy it isn’t the only way to remove the toolbar. You have a ton of plugins that are able to help you with the same problem. The most popular plugin is the Hide Admin Bar designed by Shelby DeNike which currently has 30,000+ active installs and a rating of 4.5/5 stars.

Luckily, there’s nothing to configure here at all, all you need to do is download the plugin, active it and your toolbar will be gone. It doesn’t get easier than that.

On the other hand, if you want to hide the toolbar for some user roles, you should download the Admin Bar Disabler by Scot Kingsley Clack instead. This plugin gives you an actual interface, where you can:

  • Blacklist the toolbar for certain users
  • Whitelist the toolbar for certain users
  • Disable the toolbar for everyone

You need to go to Settings and click on the Admin Bar Disabler. From there, you can customise everything you want. Although there are other toolbar-disabling plugins out there, we feel like these two are the best. If you can avoid using a plugin then that’s even better as too many plugins can obviously slow your site down; that and you can achieve the same in just a few lines of code without a plugin!

How to Remove the WordPress Admin Bar with Code

If you don’t want to download any additional plugins, don’t worry, you can also disable the toolbar with code. There are a few different ways to go about this and this is our preferred method out of them all.

For starters, if you want to disable the toolbar for all users, simply add this piece of code in your theme’s functions.php file:


add_filter('show_admin_bar', '__return_false');

Another code you can use that will disable the toolbar if added in functions.php is the following one:


function hide_admin_bar(){ return false; }
add_filter( 'show_admin_bar', 'hide_admin_bar' );

But maybe you don’t want to disable the toolbar for everyone. If you want to allow the users with administrative privileges to see the toolbar, you should just add this code instead:


if ( ! current_user_can( 'manage_options' ) ) {
 add_filter('show_admin_bar', '__return_false');

And that’s all. As you can see, you don’t need to be a expert programmer to complete this task.

How to Remove Parts of the WordPress Admin Bar With Code

If you are looking for an easy solution to remove certain elements from the Toolbar you can do this using a code. First of all, you will need to search for the toolbar node ID for the element you want removed. You can find out more about this here.

For example, if you want to remove the WordPress logo from the toolbar use this code:


add_action( 'admin_bar_menu', 'remove_wp_logo', 999 );
function remove_wp_logo( $wp_admin_bar ) {
    $wp_admin_bar->remove_node( 'wp-logo' );
}

Easy enough, right?

Summary

In the end, whether you think the toolbar is affecting your design or you simply find it distracting, you know you can completely remove it whenever you want. We hope this little guide showed you that removing the admin bar is not such a hard job.

Also, keep in mind that you can always:

  • Remove the admin bar from your dashboard
  • Remove the toolbar using CSS
  • Download a plugin that will hide the admin bar
  • Use your coding skills to remove it
  • Or remove certain parts from it
  • Of course, if you have any questions, or know have a unique way of removing the admin bar, let us know in the comment section below.

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4 Reasons to Use a CDN for WordPress

The Internet and any client has a need for speed; that much everyone already knows. But why is this so important for your WordPress site, and why should you use a CDN for WordPress to help with your site’s loading times?

You’ve probably seen the 3 second loading time chart many times. It, and countless charts just like it, are everywhere.

There’s a reason for that though – page loading time can massively affect conversions; it’s as simple as that. And what are most WordPress sites aimed at, ultimately? I know that my sites are all focused on somehow making money. Whether they’re affiliate sites or service-based websites, they’re all aimed at converting!

If loading times affect conversions, then fixing issues with speed is a good thing to do.

Here are four reasons that you may want to use a CDN for WordPress sites that you build or manage.

1. Your Site Will Load Faster with a CDN

This is one of the strongest selling points of setting up a CDN for WordPress.

One of the biggest speed killers for your website is distance. Specifically, the distance between your hosting server and the visitor’s browser. Whilst the size of your page makes a real difference, the distance the content has to travel can definitely be the largest bottleneck in website loading speeds.

Ideally, your visitor needs to be as physically close to the hosting server as possible.

Unfortunately, setting up a hosting server at a location which is physically close to any one particular visitor is all but impossible — unless you are setting up a CDN, that is.

The very idea of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is exactly that. A CDN’s primary purpose is to set up as many servers as possible in different geographical locations, such that anybody who hits the service is as physically close as possible to one of the locations.

Have a look at the following image from CloudFlare which explains the concept perfectly, this shows the Cloudflare network powered by 165 data centers around the world:-

You can see that there are many CDN server points. In this manner, all visitors, in any location in the world, are always served content from a location which is (relatively speaking) near to them.

Hosting static content on a CDN network is the closest you can get to creating a global hosting setup for your website.

2. Your Website Will be Safer with a CDN

The next reason why a CDN is essential for your website is security.

Did you know that more than 51% of the web’s traffic actually comes from bots rather than humans?

The worst thing about it is that above 29% of web traffic comes from malicious bots.

That means your website is constantly under a deluge of bad bot traffic. If you’ve ever taken a look at analytics data, or used a security plugin like WordFence, you’re already aware of this fact.

These bots are constantly probing your site for vulnerabilities. If you slip slightly in your security efforts, if you have not chosen a good WordPress host, or if you miss a WordPress security update or a plugin update, rest assured your site will soon be suffering the consequences.

Most CDNs are able to identify and block bad bots rapidly, making your site safer when plugged into a CDN. The collective knowledge gained by the network can be used to prevent attacks on your own sites.

3. Your Site is Protected Against Traffic Based Attacks with a CDN

I’m sure you’ve been stuck in traffic at least a few times in your life. I know I have. Getting stuck in traffic is a waste of productive time and money.

The same concept applies to your website.

However, it’s even worse when somebody purposely sends an overwhelming amount of traffic to your website.

In a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, an army of compromised web servers or computers (or even IoT devices) are recruited to send so much traffic to your website, that your legitimate users unable to access it.

If your website is the lifeline of your business, a DDoS attack can literally bring your business to a standstill. Regardless of whether you’re on a shared hosting server or a dedicated server, your website won’t be able to keep up with the flood of traffic.

The same concept used by a CDN to make your website fast, can also work in your favour by absorbing malicious traffic over a global network of servers fronting your website.

Most CDN implementations use the concept of reverse proxy to serve your website. The reverse proxy will be the CDN server network.

This means that your website’s visitors will hit the CDN server closest to them before they hit your site’s actual server.

In this manner, any malicious traffic is intercepted before it actually gets to your server. CDNs have intelligent algorithms which are able to identify malicious DDoS traffic and kill it.

Incapsula, MaxCDN, KeyCDN, CloudFlare and most of the top players all have support for mitigating traffic-based attacks.

4. Faster Web Design and Development

When you’re creating a WordPress site which is meant to be fully optimised for performance, you’re going to have to perform a number of additional implementation steps.

You’ll be looking for an image optimisation plugin, a content minification and combination plugin, a static and dynamic content caching plugin, and other tools to fully optimise the WordPress website. While it may be possible that one or two plugins are able to actually serve most of your optimisation needs, you’ll still need to perform additional testing to ensure the plugins are able to operate correctly.

Personally, I’ve found that optimising with various plugins is a nightmare of epic proportions.

CDNs are actually able to perform all of the above mentioned optimisations in one fell swoop. Image optimisation, dynamic file compression, static and dynamic content caching are all built-in into the CDN.

Coupled with that, there are other optimisations such as Custom Content caching rules to fix any problems with specific plugins on your site.

Most of these performance optimisations are going to be hard to achieve with your typical WordPress plugin.

Such stuff as session reuse optimisation (particularly for HTTPS websites), TCP Connection pre-pooling and rapid purging all improve the optimisation.

Other improvements such as improving the SSL/TLS handshake process would not be something which the typical developer would be capable of optimising by themselves. Having this completely handled by the CDN gives a significant boost, particularly to HTTPS websites, which unfortunately take a hit in performance when enabling HTTPS.

All of these above optimisations decrease the design and development time with the website whilst pushing the performance envelope as far as it can get.

A CDN catering for all of the above will drastically reduce the time spent on optimisation.

Conclusion

Speed is typically the most obvious benefit of using a CDN that people will mention over and over again.

While the website loading speed is a critical component, and an essential justification for setting up a CDN, this should not be the only selling point.

The other points mentioned, particularly performance, security, protection and better optimisation are just as important as website loading speed.

At the moment, we use CloudFlare CDN for our web sites. We customise the settings for our clients to give their web sites the best possible results in terms on SEO and Site Speed.

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Our top 10 used plugins for WordPress – 2019 Edition

Every WordPress developer has a bunch of plugins they tend to install on pretty much every WordPress site they develop, and we are also those kind of people. These plugins give great solutions for caching, security and adding other improvements that build on WordPress core.

That’s the beauty of WordPress – there are loads of plugins to choose from and they are so quick and easy to implement. Some plugins are just a case of downloading and activating, others provide a shortcode which you can copy and paste within your pages and others is a simple as dragging and dropping a widget where ever you wish to display it.

With so many free and premium plugins available, how do you distinguish from the good and bad plugins out there?

Do note, overloading your web site with too many plugins can cause plugin conflict and reduce the speed of your web site, so if you can avoid a plugin and just code it in, that’s even better!

Below you will find our selection of essential plugins, all chosen based on their usefulness, quality and popularity.


1.) WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a great plugin and is really quick and easy to install. It turns your standard WordPress website into a an eCommerce store and creates all the necessary pages for you (My Account, Checkout, Cart etc). It allows intergration with secure payment methods such as Bank Transfer, PayPal, SagePay and many more. With a huge range of features that can be quickly changed in the Control Panel, this is definitely one of my favorites because of the speed you can set up a fantastic eCommerce website.


2.) Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields is an amazing plugin and without a shadow of a doubt, it’s installed on every project I build. I would definitely recommend getting a licence for the Pro version which you can find out more information about here. You can use the Advanced Custom Fields plugin to take full control of your WordPress edit screens & custom field data. It makes it super easy for clients to change text / images any many other things within your WordPress site without any risk of breaking the site.


3.) Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is another plugin I use on pretty much every WordPress site I develop. You can manage multiple contact forms, customise the form and the mail contents and again, it’s really easy to use. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and many more. All the form elements are generated for you so you don’t even have to know any PHP code. If your not already using this plugin for your forms, I suggest giving it a try now!


4.) Yoast SEO

SEO Yoast is a fantastic platform for SEO. I have used this plugin on 100% of the WordPress sites I have developed and it is the only plugin I use in terms of SEO. If set up correctly, it will improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere, it also ranks the SEO of all your pages and posts from ‘Bad’, ‘OK’ to ‘Good’ so you know if your content is going to have any chance of ranking on search engines. The best feature about this plugin is that it even tells you how you can improve the performance of each and every page on your site. It may say things such as, you need to include

tags or include an outbound link on your page/post. You will learn a lot about SEO if you run this plugin on your websites. We actually use the SEO Yoast Premium version which allows up to 5 keywords on each page/post/CPT including many other great features which you can read about or purchase here.


5.) Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization

The next 3 set of plugins I’m going to be talking about are plugins offered by WPMU DEV which you can read about more here. There are free versions of these plugins but they also have premium versions which offer a lot more features which I would highly recommend. Hummingbird PRO is an awesome caching plugin. It zips through your site and finds new ways to boost page speed with fine-tuned controls over file compression, minification and full-page, browser and Gravatar caching. Load your pages quicker and score higher on Google PageSpeed Insights with Hummingbird site optimization.


6.) Smush Image Compression and Optimization

This plugin is one of my favourites; it will resize, optimise and compress all of your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image smusher. This uses Lossly compression which will significantly reduce the file sizes of all images on your web site which will definitely increase your sites speed. Again, the premium version of this plugin is 100% recommended as it will allow you to SUPER-Smush all your images along with a few other great features which will allow you to further optimise your site. Need a high Google Speed Test score? This plugin combined with Hummingbird will make the job a piece of cake 😉


7.) Defender Security, Monitoring, and Hack Protection

Security is definitely important when it comes to WordPress, the amount of sites I’ve had to restore/repair and remove Malware from is crazy. So make sure you have fully configured a great security plugin to prevent your web site from these kind of attacks. Defender is layered security for WordPress made easy. And by easy, I mean amazingly easy! No longer do you have to go through hideously complex settings and get a virtual PhD in security. Defender adds all the hardening and security tweaks you need, in just minutes!


8.) Akismet Anti-Spam

Sick and tired of spam comments and junk email from your WordPress site? Akismet has you covered! Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against their global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.


9.) MailChimp for WordPress

MailChimp for WordPress allows your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter very easily. This plugin helps you grow your MailChimp lists and write better newsletters through various methods. You can create good looking opt-in forms or integrate with any existing form on your site, like your comment, contact or checkout form.


10.) Classic Editor

Finally, our last plugin which we have made a lot of use from since WordPress 5 is classic editor! Classic Editor is an official plugin maintained by the WordPress team that restores the previous (“classic”) WordPress editor and the “Edit Post” screen. It makes it possible to use plugins that extend that screen, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor. By default, this plugin hides all functionality available in the new Block Editor (“Gutenberg”). Since a lot of people are finding it difficult to get their heads around Gutenberg, this is a great quick fix plugin which will restore the editor back to the way you’ve known and loved for a long time.

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What’s New in WordPress 5.0, Plus What to Expect From the Gutenberg Editor

Each time a new version of WordPress rolls out, we’re all excited about getting to play with its new features. However, few versions in the past have garnered as much buzz around them as WordPress 5.0 because of these two simple words; Gutenberg Editor.

Gutenberg is a complete redesign and re-imagination of the WordPress editor; with this, the default way that people create content with WordPress will radically change.

Big changes to your favourite platform can be difficult to accept. However, even massively popular platforms such as WordPress need to adapt to the times, or risk losing market share. Gutenberg is a bold leap forward, and it’s not the only update that’s coming up.

In this article, we’re going to discuss what makes WordPress 5.0 unique in comparison to previous releases, and then we’ll get into what to expect from WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg Editor. Let’s talk about the future!

WordPress 5.0 will be a bigger jump than recent major updates

If you’ve been using WordPress for a while, then you’ll know how much the platform has changed over time. Even individual updates often bring significant shifts. For example, the 4.9 ‘Tipton’ update enabled users to schedule design changes in the WordPress Customiser so they can go live at later dates, just like post drafts.

WordPress 4.8, on the other hand, brought us plenty of widget updates. For example, if you wanted images in your widgets in the past, you had to add them manually. Now, there are three dedicated media widgets for image, audio, and video files.

Another of our favourite features of 4.8 was the option to check up on nearby WordPress events right from your dashboard, which is handy if you want to do some networking:
A list of nearby WordPress events.
However, all the changes we’ve mentioned so far are pretty incremental. They’re useful, but not exactly game-changing. Most WordPress updates have been more about taking small steps forward rather than major leaps – that is, until WordPress 5.0.

What to expect from WordPress 5.0

WordPress 5.0 is kicking “incremental” to the curb with some pretty major changes. The biggest is the aforementioned Gutenberg Editor, which we’ll talk more about in a moment.

But WordPress 5.0 also marks a change to how the platform handles releases. It used to be the case that you could count on getting two major WordPress releases per year, with plenty of mini-updates in the meantime.

Aside from that, here are a few of the other significant changes to see with WordPress 5.0:

  • The platform’s focus is moving towards a more intuitive site-building experience. WordPress already leads the pack in terms of market share. And by improving WordPress’ site-building functionality, the core team aims to hold that market share against the rise of hosted website builders.
  • We’ll see some improvements to the WordPress Rest API. The WordPress Rest API helps developers create more feature-rich products by making it easier to send and pull data from your website. This update means developers will be able to more easily create applications using the platform as a framework.
  • Building custom themes will become easier. In the past, you needed at least a simple development background to put together a WordPress theme. With Gutenberg, theme creation will become much more accessible thanks to blocks.
  • Page builder plugins might lose some relevance. There are a lot of fantastic page-builder tools that you can use with WordPress, some of which rival professional platforms. Gutenberg won’t be a match for them at first, but it might dissuade people from using them in the long run.

What the Gutenberg editor means for you

The launch of Gutenberg means that you’ll need to get acquainted with a whole new editing experience.

You can expect a lot of activity for a few weeks, as everyone learns to contend with the new editor.

⚠️ Don’t panic – if you don’t want to use the Gutenberg Editor, you’ll still be able to keep the classic editor by installing the official Classic Editor plugin.

Gutenberg will affect themes and plugins, too

Aside from your own editing experience, Gutenberg will also bring important changes to a lot of your favourite plugins and themes. For example, we’ll probably see the emergence of a lot of Gutenberg-friendly themes, which will be designed to take advantage of all the new features the editor offers.

We’ve already seen a couple of interesting themes being released, such as Atomic Blocks and even the new default theme, Twenty Nineteen that proclaim their Gutenberg-first focus. And existing themes are no slouches either. Popular themes like Neve and Hestia now come with full Gutenberg compatibility too.

Similarly, you’ll see changes with some of your favourite plugins. A lot of plugins interact with the WordPress editor directly, whether that’s to add new functionality or include shortcodes. Those plugins will need to become Gutenberg compatible, unless they want to alienate a large part of their user base. Years from now, it might even be common to find plugins that only support Gutenberg.

When is the WordPress 5.0 release date?

As of today (6th December), you can update your WordPress to 5.0.

Get ready because the times they are a-changin’

Each major release of WordPress brings changes to the way we use the platform. However, even before it’s out, we can say with complete certainty that 5.0 will fundamentally change the way most people interact with WordPress because of the Gutenberg Editor.

If you’re old-school, you’ll be able to stick with the classic WordPress editor for the foreseeable future. However, if you plan on adapting, you’ll want to start reading up on how Gutenberg works right away. This will give you a leg up on the competition once WordPress 5.0 is live, and will help you determine which of your themes and plugins may be most affected.

So…

Do you plan on making the switch to Gutenberg, or sticking with the classic WordPress editor? Share your reasons with us in the comments section below!

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