6 Reasons Why WordPress is Ideal in Startup Companies Today

Online presence is critical for any business looking to become a profitable venture. This is especially the case for startups that must leverage modern techniques. They can use a website to sell their ideas to stakeholders and their target audiences.

If you’ve just launched your startup, you’re probably worried about building a website. If you’ve already passed that phase and are thinking about the best platform, how about WordPress? A free website creation platform that’s ideal for startups. It allows startups to edit and alter the appearance of their websites without using code.

Every business needs a website, especially if it’s new and needs to grow into a successful venture. If you have no idea where to start, it’s important to seek help from a digital marketing agency for startups.

Getting a professional with a speciality in your business takes a lot off your shoulders. It gives you time to take care of other matters concerning your startup.

Usually, startups are short on cash, making it difficult to get experts to work with. Hiring a professional website developer enables a business to have its digital marketing strategy in order. So, how much should a startup spend on marketing?

According to experts, a startup should spend 12%-20% of the gross revenue on marketing.
Depending on the business strategies, you can figure out how to budget for the money. This is why it’s important to have an effective startup marketing agency.

A business needs to have a powerful digital presence to grow. Presently, customers Google businesses while comparing them to competitors. If you have a weak website or are not on the internet, you lose the game to your competitors. So marketers are leveraging digital marketing tactics, which has enabled them to increase their conversion rates.

The Benefits of WordPress for Startups

Many businesses, established and startups don’t know how beneficial WordPress is. Neither do they know why they need to use it for their businesses. In this article, we give you reasons why it’s a platform worth considering.

Let’s get started!

1. WordPress is Free

Nothing sounds better to a cash-strapped entrepreneur than hearing that WordPress is free. Which begs the question, so what’s the catch? WordPress is open source. Meaning that it’s not owned by anyone.

This website creation platform is backed by a billion-dollar company, Automattic. It also has the backing of volunteers all over the world who’re constantly working to improve it.

The platform is licensed under the General Public License. This makes it free for those who want to build websites. Users have access to free themes, updates, and plugins from the WordPress repository.

Just to make one thing clear. Yes, WordPress software is free. But that doesn’t mean that you will run a website at zero costs. There are costs attached to hosting, the domain name, and customisation.

Startup’s Scalability

As exciting as it can be, starting a business is challenging. So, how do you ensure that you are on the right path? You must integrate professionals and technology to make your business grow. By technology, in this case, we are talking about WordPress.

Apart from WordPress, you also need to seek the services of a startup branding agency. A properly funded startup branding strategy forms a roadmap for the company. It leads the company towards growth in the industry.

Advertising is another important tool for a successful startup. Now, advertising for startups is not as easy considering the limited resources. But that’s not to say that it’s impossible. Especially if you’ve adopted the use of WordPress, a free platform that can be used to talk about your products and services.

When using WordPress, you can display your ads in the sidebar. By using WordPress widgets, you can add Google Adsense in your sidebar. Then choose whether you want your ad to be fixed or responsive. This enables any visitor to your site to get to know more about what you do. In the long term, you start to reap the benefits

WordPress is Secure

When it comes to the security of a website, no platform is 100% safe. Especially when hackers are always devising ways of accessing company websites. WordPress hasn’t been spared either, considering its growing popularity.

What makes it a better platform is that it’s fairly safe. Reason being that it’s constantly monitored for security threats. Aside from that, its users are always quick to raise any security concerns. The platform is also prompt in releasing security updates. It also takes care of minor updates automatically by default.

As a user, it’s important to note that the security of your website is your responsibility. Select a reliable host with quality themes and plugins. Ensure that you have strong usernames and passwords. Also, be sure to update WordPress regularly. You should also backup your website every once in a while to enhance its security.

Extensive Plugins

Websites have different needs depending on different company operations. While some may be selling products, others may want an interactive community. WordPress provides a platform for different kinds of websites. It also allows companies to add functions that will enable them to achieve their goals.

WordPress gives you the liberty to choose a plugin from the more than 50,000 plugins in their repository.

The free plugins are great additions to a startup’s website. They can also add on functions whenever the need arises in business. For instance, a company may not need a live chat on its website at the beginning. But as time goes and the need arises, they can easily add a plugin for the needed functions.

WordPress is Mobile-Friendly and Easy to Use

There are more people today accessing the internet via mobile devices. And just so you know, Google doesn’t take kindly to websites that aren’t compatible with smartphones.

That is not something to worry about though, as WordPress has everyone covered. The technology it uses is compatible and can create web pages for smartphones. It also has a series of free and premium themes, with the ability to adapt to the size of the user’s screen.

When it comes to ease of use, WordPress has one of the best features. You can use it even without knowing any code. It’s just like working with any other processor. A startup can create web pages from a user-friendly interface. Not to pour cold water on the importance of basic coding skills, but even without them, you can still enjoy using WordPress.

The platform has courses, training, videos, podcasts, and blogs to assist you. It excels at Do-it-yourself, and even newbies can create content. It also allows you to embed third-party content like Vimeo and YouTube.

It’s Flexible and Customised

The other best thing about WordPress is its flexibility. The platform comes loaded with Javascript libraries that constitute jQuery.

Every theme on WordPress has in-built customisation characteristics that are easy to customise. The premium themes have built-in drop and drag features which are also easy to customise.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s just launched a startup, this article must have been informative. Now you’re well informed about WordPress and why your business needs it. As an entrepreneur, you certainly know the importance of saving on money and time, which WordPress offers.

The market has different types of content management systems, but they’re expensive. Consider choosing WordPress to help you get your business to the world.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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Useful WordPress Plugins For Writers & Authors

Many people still think that authors need a muse and inspiration. But with modern authors, things are a little different. Now, in addition to inspiration, they also need many tools to create outstanding and competitive articles.

WordPress is one of the most effective and useful platforms for creating various websites. If we talk about writing and blogging, then often such specialists choose this particular functionality. The availability of a variety of plugins allows authors to get all the tools they need in one place to create the best copy for both the audience and search engines. Let’s review the most effective ones.

Top 12 Must Have Plugins for For Writers & Authors

Want to make your writing process simple and efficient? Do it easily with the following best plugins for writers and authors.

1. Just Writing

If jokes about procrastination don’t sound funny to you and that’s your problem, then this plugin can be your lifesaver. It can be very difficult to create quality content when you get distracted every minute. The plugin will make it easier to write text using various functions that may be required while writing. For example, you can instantly check grammar, cut, copy, and so on. The maximum convenience and usefulness of the features will allow you to stop postponing the writing process until later.

2. WP Inject/ImageInject

Writers almost always have to deal with images to support their text with visualisation. Text without images does not engage readers as much as it used to. Authors are aware that it can take a long time to find the appropriate image, download the desired format, save the link, and after adding the image to the site. WP Inject facilitated this task. Also, the plugin will allow you to properly split the text so that your publication and images look harmonious in the final result.

3. Co-Author Plus

Does your site involve collaboration with other authors? Perhaps you have a news resource or platform with user reviews. Anyway, this plugin is the best collaboration tool. It allows you to provide access for publication by another author. In this case, you can select either one author or several (guest mode), and this applies to pages as well. For example, co-authors do not need to have a special profile to make a publication.

4. NextScripts

Writing compelling texts is only half of the job. The second half is to make sure your target audience actually accesses and reads it. This plugin allows you to help your copy get more reach through social media. That is, this tool can automatically duplicate your content on social networks. Therefore, this plugin is a must-have for anyone who wants to get more traffic and readers.

5. Akismet

Receiving a lot of comments and questions is one of the goals most authors pursue when creating their content. And that’s great! But when you have a lot of comments, you also need to manage them properly by filtering and removing spam. This plugin will do all the work you need to do with unwanted comments.

That is, this tool will delete comments that look like spam. After you try this plugin at work, there is no doubt that you will forget about what spam comments are.

6. JetPack

This plugin is a multifunctional tool that is suitable not only for writers but also for everyone who deals with the site and content. The advantage of this tool is that it is a kind of constructor. You can choose only those functions that are right for you. You can set up automatic publication of your texts on different platforms. There are also various functions that will facilitate the process of working on the text.

7. Yoast SEO

Perhaps, this is one of the plugins that can be considered a must-have for all site owners. The authors are certainly no exception. The plugin is available for free with a good arsenal of functions, as well as in the paid version, which has a few more features. It will allow you to improve your text from an SEO point of view so that you can promote your content as effectively as possible.

8. OptInMonster

To win a loyal audience, it is important to constantly convert your prospective leads into loyal readers. The easiest and most effective way to do it is to create lead capture forms. This plugin will just help you create newsletter forms and the best CTA so that your readers stay with you. What’s more, with it you can test several options and find the one that works for your leads best.

9. Nimble Portfolio

Every author should be able to properly demonstrate their work, and this plugin is a real solution for this purpose. Now you can design your services and promote them like top writing websites. The advantage of the plugin is that it allows you to create an excellent portfolio, the quality of which will not change with the desktop or mobile version.

10. Visual Editor Font Size

The desire to enlarge the font during the creation of the text is perhaps a common desire among all writers who work with WP. It’s no secret that the WP offers a default font size, and this is a common problem for many users. This plugin is easy to use, with which you can choose the font size you want without editing the code. That is, the plugin will not affect the actual font size of your site.

11. Copyright Proof

Copyright protection is a hot topic at all times. In the era of digitalisation, every author should think about how to protect their work as well. With this plugin, you can secure your text, and, if necessary, you can prove your copyright. Therefore, if you want your texts not to be duplicated somewhere else by third-party authors, then be sure to download this plugin.

12. WProofreader

Most authors always use additional tools to ensure the quality of their text. With this plugin, you can forget about a lot of third-party tools, as it will instantly fix mistakes as you enter your text. Ready to boost your articles to a professional scale like the top-notch authors featured by the college essay writing service reviews platform create? This WP plugin can help.

If you work with topics that require the use of terminology, then you can customise the dictionary. This plugin can replace such tools as Hemingway Editor or Grammarly. Therefore, this is an undoubted must-have for everyone who deals with texts.

P.S. They are also worth considering solutions in addition to all the plugins we have listed above.

Conclusion

Stop waiting for inspiration, download the plugins you need, and start creating great texts. The effectiveness of these plugins will be your inspiration for creating awesome content again and again.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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Our Top 10 Used Plugins For WordPress – 2021 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 that 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 an eCommerce store and creates all the necessary pages for you (My Account, Checkout, Cart etc). It allows integration 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 favourites 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 number 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 kinds 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 sites, 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.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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How to Display Related Posts in WordPress

In this tutorial, we are going to show you two ways to display related posts on your WordPress website.

If you know a bit about bounce rate, you are probably already showing related posts on your website. Essentially, the bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of people who land on your website and do completely nothing on the page they entered. So they don’t click on a menu item, a ‘read more’ link or any other internal links on the page. This can have an effect on things such as your AdSense earnings. By following this tutorial and adding Related Posts to your WordPress; you are killing three birds with one stone. You are decreasing your bounce rate, increasing your AdSense income, and lastly, you are increasing your page views. As always, we will show you two methods in which you can add related posts to your WordPress website.

How to Display Related Posts in WordPress without a Plugin

As always, we start with our preferred method of adding this without a plugin. In our example, we are going to display two related posts which link to the post. We are adding the featured image, the category, the date, the title and a read more button.

The code can simply be pasted into your single.php file in a position in which you want to display your related posts.


// Related Posts
$tags = wp_get_post_tags($post->ID);
if ($tags) {
	echo '<h3>Related Posts</h3>';
	$first_tag = $tags[0]->term_id;

	$args=array(
		'tag__in' => array($first_tag),
		'post__not_in' => array($post->ID),
		'posts_per_page' => 2, // How many Posts to display
		'caller_get_posts' => 1 // A way to turn sticky posts off in a query.
	);
	$my_query = new WP_Query($args);
	if( $my_query->have_posts() ) {
		while ($my_query->have_posts()) : $my_query->the_post(); ?>										
			<a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">
				<?php if(get_the_post_thumbnail_url()) { ?>
    				<img alt="Related - <?php the_title(); ?>" src="<?php echo get_the_post_thumbnail_url(); ?>" />
    			<?php } else { ?>
    				<div class="img-holder"></div>
    			<?php } ?>	
			</a>												
			<?php $category = get_the_category(); ?>
			<p><?php echo $category[0]->cat_name; ?> / <?php echo get_the_date(); ?></p>													
			<a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark"><h4><?php the_title(); ?></h4></a>
			<a class="btn" href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">Read More</a>
	<?php
	endwhile;
	}
wp_reset_query();
}

How to Display Related Posts in WordPress with a Plugin

A plugin can be used instead to do a similar thing. We used Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) which gives a list of posts or pages related to the current blog post.

The key features of this plugin are:

  • You can use thumbnail or list view for your related content.
  • It will display related posts, pages, and custom post types.
  • It has a templating system which gives you advanced control of how your results are displayed.
  • It has an advanced and versatile algorithm. This is a fully customisable algorithm which considers post titles, content, tags, categories, and custom taxonomies. A very great feature to ensure your posts are accurately related to the post.
  • It includes an option to display related posts in RSS feeds with custom display options.
  • It includes REST API support which enables you to embed related posts in your web or JavaScript-driven app!
  • It includes shortcode support. So you can simply add the [yarpp] shortcode to place related posts anywhere you like.
  • It supports HTTPS and WordPress Multisite
  • And it's a plugin that is maintained with regular updates

Sounds good right? Download YARPP.

Conclusion

We now know of two methods on how we can add Related Posts to our WordPress website. We also now know the importance of how this can improve our bounce rate. So, which method did you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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3 Best LMS Plugins

Online courses have been growing in popularity, particularly now that it’s practically impossible to organise offline classes due to the social distancing regulations.

According to forecasts, the global e-learning market is expected to reach $238 billion by 2024, which means that we’re talking about a very lucrative industry.

Regardless of what your field of expertise is, you can easily transform your WordPress website into an online learning platform or a virtual classroom and offer your courses to people globally.

What you need is a learning management system (LMS) plugin, and voila! You can run your own version of Udemy or Treehouse without having to write code or build an entirely new website and start making money.

Here are some of the best LMS plugins that you should consider using.

What to Look for in an LMS Plugin?

A learning management system comes with several different features that allow you to create an online class setting. With an LMS plugin, you’ll be able to create and share classes, manage them, handle the paperwork, enrol students, and use tests and quizzes to evaluate your students’ knowledge.

To make sure that your e-learning website is effective and successful, pick an LMS plugin that offers the following functionalities:

  • Course building. Having a decent course page builder as well as tools for uploading various kinds of content such as PDFs, videos, or links, is very important.
  • Course progress information. This is important so that your students can see how well they’re progressing and stay motivated.
  • Student enrollment and management. With this functionality, you’ll be able to see how many students are there in your courses and collect payments from them.
  • Content dripping. This is a useful option that will slowly reveal the course materials as your students are progressing.
  • Homework options. Make it easy for your students to submit their homework, and for you to grade it.
  • Gamification. Offer your students incentives in the form of badges and certificates when they complete a task successfully or after the course is finished. Gamification plays an important role in making your students feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.

1. LearnDash

LearnDash is a popular online learning plugin – many universities and Fortune 500 companies use it thanks to its speed, powerful features, and professional-looking course design.

If you choose it, you’ll have more than just a basic set of features, meaning that you’ll have everything you need for selling courses, dripping content, gamification, and rewarding students, as well as action-based triggers.

It’s optimised for mobile, which means that learners will be able to attend your courses while on the go.

This plugin comes with a simple drag-and-drop functionality with which you can create multi-tiered courses together with lessons, quizzes, topics, and categories.

You can deliver all lessons at once, or you can use its drip-feed feature to schedule it for the entire duration of your course. Besides that, with this feature, you can also ensure that every learner spends the same amount of time on each lesson.

Other features include great monetisation tools, detailed reporting, support for different media types, and an option for running LearnDash on a network.

When it comes to pricing, you should know that there’s no free trial, although you can cancel your subscription after 30 days. You can have LearnDash for $159 a year for a single license together with support and all features.

2. LearnPress

This plugin is free, but to make the most of it, you’ll have to invest in some paid add-ons that will expand its functionalities.

Since there’s no set-up wizard, you’ll have to install and set it up on your own.

You can easily create a course together with lessons, quizzes, and questions. It’s worth mentioning that you can use the lessons and quizzes from one course into another, as well as that you can export your content and use it on another LearnPass-powered WordPress website.

LearnPress is a great option if you’re offering a course taught by multiple instructors. This can be useful for companies building courses for onboarding and training their employees, as these usually require different trainers for different fields.

When we’re talking about business training, the success of the entire effort depends on using business intelligence and data to scale training operations and aligning training metrics to key organisational objectives.

This plugin also supports the content drip option, assignments, quizzes, grading, and other standard learning features. It also integrates with WooCommerce and WordPress membership plugins.

You can use a WordPress theme, but to avoid compatibility issues and provide a better user experience, it’s best to purchase a dedicated LearnPress theme. Also, you’ll have to invest in a payment gateway integration, because by default, this plugin comes with PayPal as the only option.

3. Lifter LMS

Lifter LMS is a plugin that’s pretty easy to install, even on the existing WordPress websites.

Although its pricing starts at $299 annually, it does offer a full bundle for that amount. If you’d like to test it before committing to pay the full price, there’s a $1 30-day trial. However, it’s important to mention that the core plugin is free so that you can also choose to purchase individual add-ons at $99 each. In other words, you can choose to build a very simple e-learning course for free and invest only in a payment gateway plugin.

What you’ll get is support for multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, topics, categories, and more. All this allows you to create both shorter courses as well as the entire degree programs. With the help of this plugin, you can make appealing courses with lots of multimedia content such as videos, audio recordings, text, and images. Besides that, there’s also a graphics pack with different backgrounds that you can use to make your courses more attractive.

The content-dripping feature allows you to control the delivery of your courses, while the import-export tool means that you can move your content between sites.

Another interesting feature is the so-called Social Learning, which allows your learners to create advanced profiles and learn together by leveraging a timeline similar to that of Facebook.

Regardless of which one of these three LMS plugins you choose, you can’t go wrong. It only depends on what kind of features fit the bill for your online courses, as well as the size of your budget.

Posted by: Michael – Qeedle

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.

 

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How to Downgrade WordPress to a Previous Version

If you are looking to revert your WordPress version to a previous version, within this article we will explain how easy this is to do. Why would you want to do this? Well, maybe you performed an upgrade to the latest version then discovered that either your plugin or theme is not compatible with the latest version of WordPress. It could even be that a required plugin is essential to your website which hasn’t had an update to make it compatible with the latest version. It could even be that you were forced to use the Gutenberg update and you want to revert back to the Classic Editor. If the last issue is the problem, then there is no need to downgrade your WordPress version because you can simply install the Classic Editor plugin and that will fix your issue.

Whatever your reason for doing this may be, there are two ways to perform the downgrade, but first things first, let’s take a backup of your current site!

The two methods for downgrading are:

  • 1. Use a Plugin
  • 2. Downgrade Manually

But as we’ve mentioned, let’s do the backup first. For instructions to do this, have a look at this post; The Best 2 Tools For WordPress Website Migrations.

Now you’ve made your backup, let’s begin…

Downgrade WordPress using a Plugin

Using a downgrade plugin is a very simple yet reliable way of downgrading your WordPress version. It is definitely a lot quicker than having to replace the files via FTP manually. The most common used plugin for the job is the WP Downgrade.

Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you can go to SettingsWP Downgrade, then you can enter the WordPress version in which you wish to downgrade to as shown below:

In our example, we chose to downgrade to WordPress 5.4.1. You can select any version you want, for a list of versions you can downgrade to, check the WordPress releases here. Once you have entered your WordPress version, just click the Save Changes button.

Now you can go to DashboardUpdates, what you will notice now is that it will say ‘You can update to WordPress 5.4.1 automatically’, it basically tricks WordPress into thinking this version is the latest version. Simply click the Update Now button and you will be reverted to your desired WordPress version in no time! Pretty cool huh?

2. Downgrade Manually

Should the Plugin not work for whatever reason or you simply just prefer to do the job by yourself, then downgrading manually isn’t exactly that difficult. If you know how to use FTP, then this will be no problem at all.

So, once you’ve backed up your site, the first step is to download the WordPress release you wish to downgrade to. Again, you can download any WordPress release version by clicking on the following link.

Next step, we simply want to upload just the wp-admin and wp-includes folder, don’t touch ANY other folders, ESPECIALLY wp-content.

So, let’s go ahead and upload and overwrite all the files for the two folders we have uploaded.

When you’re done, log into your WordPress site, update the database should it prompt a warning, and you’re done! Check it all over and make sure it’s all working as expected.

Additional Notes on Rolling Back WordPress

I wouldn’t recommend staying on an older version of WordPress forever as this could potentially lead to security issues. Sure, if it’s a quick fix to get the site working again, or if the site was updated by mistake, then go ahead! But you should look to fix the issues and upgrade to the latest version as soon as possible ideally. If the latest plugins or themes are not compatible, that’s where we can step in and help if needed. On a lot of occasions, plugin and theme developers will update these to ensure compatibility with the latest versions. However, this is not the case all the time, unfortunately. Either way, we need to find a plugin or theme alternative or even hire a professional developer to take care of the updates in the meantime.

If you need help upgrading your WordPress Theme / Plugins to the latest version, get in touch by dropping an email to [email protected].

Drop a comment below if you need any assistance with our guide! Happy coding folks!

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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How to Import and Export or Duplicate Navigation Menus in WordPress

If you are wanting to export a navigation menu from one WordPress website to another, then you are in the right place. Maybe you are wanting to duplicate a menu to make it easier to re-create a similar type of menu? Well, we got this covered in this post as well.

Unfortunately, the default WordPress import/export feature only allows you to transfer the menu as part of the full site transfer, you can’t just do this on its own.

In this post, we’ll explain how you can easily import/export navigation menus in WordPress which will be a real time-saver!

Step 1. Export and Import Navigation Menus in WordPress

We found the best tool for the job is using the WPS Menu Exporter plugin. Once installed and activated you can now go to Tools » Export. You should now see an additional option to export just the Navigation Menu Items. This will include your menu and all the pages that are linked from your menu. If you have any posts in your menu, those will be includes along with any comments within them as well.

Select the Navigation Menu Items radio button and then click Download Export File button at the bottom.

This will create a download with just the menu to your computer which is stored as an XML file.

Step 2. Importing Your WordPress Menu to Your New Site

Now you can go to your new site and go to Tools » Import, select the file you exported in the previous step. If it’s not already installed, you will have to install the WordPress importer. When you visit the page, it will show an option to Install Now.

Once you’ve installed the WordPress importer, you should see a Run Importer link in place of the Install Now link.

After you click on this link, you’ll see the Import WordPress screen. Here, you’ll need to click the Choose file button so you can select the .xml file you downloaded earlier.

Once you’ve selected your file, go ahead and click the Upload file and import button.

You’ll then get a scrreen when you’ll be asked to Assign Authors. The default option is to import the original author. Although, it makes more sense to select an existing Administrator user as the author of the imported content on the new website. To do this, just select the user from the dropdown menu.

If you plan to re-use the content of the pages themselves, then you’ll also want to check the Download and import file attachments box. This means that images will be included in the import.

Once you’re happy with your settings, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

Upon completion, you’ll see a page where it says Import WordPress - All Done. Have Fun!.

You can now view your new menu you exported from your old website by going to Appearance » Menus

You can also click on the Pages tab in your WordPress dashboard to check out the new pages that have been imported along with the menu.

And that’s it, pretty simple process right?

Duplicating a Menu

So this part isn’t associated with the previous tutorial. This is simply if you are wanting to duplicate a menu on the same website. We’ve used this a bunch of times, especially when creating Header / Footer menus which are very similar, it’s just a big time saver really.

For this, we use the Duplicate Menu plugin.

After you have installed and activated the plugin you can now go to Appearance » Duplicate Menu.

On the next page, you will have an option to select a menu you wish to duplicate, and then provide the new menu name as shown below:

After clicking the Duplicate Menu button, your new menu will appear in Appearance » Menu with the new name you created. You can. now customise this to your exact needs. Very quick and simple right?

Well we hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch or drop a comment below.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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WordPress 5.5 is here! Here’s what you need to know…

I don’t know if anybody else gets excited about WordPress releases, but we for sure do! So it’s finally here, the official release of WordPress 5.5 was released today. This update comes packed with a bunch of new features and improvements. This includes improvements to the block editor, gives you the capability of editing inline images, an improved content preview and a hell of a lot more! To give you an idea of what is in store for you, we’ve listed the five most important features in this update. We hope you enjoy it!

This version goes by the name “Eckstine” in honour of Billy Eckstine.

1. Improvements to the Block Editor

Back when WordPress 5.0 was brought out, it introduced a block-based editing system known by Gutenberg. Since the introduction of this block editor, each and every update has come with improvements to this and this new release is no exception at all. There are quite a few noticeable changes to the UI (User Interface), but this release comes with a block pattern and a new block directory.

Block patterns are quite handy when it comes to more routine elements of your pages or posts. These patterns, which you can find when you add a new block, are ready-made blocks with commonly used settings. Think of two buttons next to each other or a column layout on your page. Block patterns help you quickly set up the layout of a page. And although the number of patterns is limited right now, this number will probably keep growing over time.

The Block Directory

The block directory is a pretty cool feature that can definitely improve your writing experience. This contains WordPress plugins that can add new blocks to your editor and there are quite a new blocks available here!

When you click Add Block, you can use a search field to find the one you want and if there are no results in the block directory, the editor will show other results that might match your search request. This definitely opens up a lot of different possibilities and we’re sure Gutenberg is only going to get better and better as time goes along.

2. Edit Inline Images

The ability to edit inline images is a pretty cool new feature. We know WordPress already has several options to edit images, but what’s different here is that it makes it possible to do this yourself whilst on the page you’re editing. No more going back to the Media Library to just rotate, resize, crop, etc… now you can simply edit it where you are, time saver, right?

Lazy-loading images

Another thing worth mentioning here is that images will be lazy-loaded from default from now on! This means that the images on your page will not be loaded until they come into view which increases the page-load of your site. We usually relied on WP-Rocket to do this, but if the standard lazy-loading works as good then we’ll stick with the WordPress lazy-loading.

3. Improved content previews

Within the block editor, it gives you a pretty good idea of what the page will look like. Nonetheless, the content preview is an awesome feature to safely preview your page before you publish/update your changes. With this release, it comes with an additional device preview which makes it possible to view your content on desktop, tablet and mobile screen sizes. With this, you can ensure your content is responsive, accessible and readable for your visitors. This is something you want to always ensure everything looks right on all devices since a lot of traffic these days comes from mobile devices.

4. Automated Updates for Plugins

Another pretty cool feature is that it now enables you to allow automatic updates for different plugins and themes through the CMS. If this is something you want to do (if you are sure it won’t break things in future) then you have to enable it yourself. You can do this by going to the Admin Dashboard > Plugins and clicking Enable auto-updates

If you want to enable automatic updates for your theme then simply go to Appearance > Themes and click on Enable auto-updates link that you can find under your themes names.

If you are in doubt in whether you should be enabling anything then please keep the following in mind. It is a very good practise to test keep all plugins and your theme up to date. But this should ideally be done on your localhost or a development/staging website. I mean for sure there are going to be plugins that we would enable automatic updates and that will be to our security plugin, caching, Contact Form 7 and SEO Yoast. These type of plugins you can usually update and you won’t notice any difference in terms of visual appearance. We do however always recommend testing when possible and keeping an eye on the changelogs to make sure you understand what exactly you are updating. The last thing you want to do is update a plugin that required PHP 7.4 and you are only using PHP 7.2, with deprecated functions, you may find the odd error on your site which is not exactly great for your visitors.

5. Default XML Sitemaps

With WordPress 5.5, it now generates its own XML sitemaps. This is a file which gives search engines directions of all the content on your website. This helps them discover and index all of your pages and posts which is very important for SEO. With launching any new website, the first thing we do is create the domain on Google Search Console to help it get indexed quicker. Typically, we would use Yoast SEO for this. You might be thinking; are there any conflicts with sites having more than one Site Map? Well, the answer is yes; you should only have one. With the release of Yoast SEO 14.7 though, they automatically disable the default Site Map. However, do note that Yoast’s Site Map is a lot more advanced, and personally; we’re going to stick to using theirs.

The default Sitemap feature will support all post types, taxonomies (categories, tags and custom taxonomies), and author archives. However, it will still be only providing the basic required functionality of XML sitemap protocol.

If you are already using a WordPress SEO plugin that comes with its own XML Sitemaps, then don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything. In fact, the two biggest SEO plugins All in One SEO Pack and Yoast SEO have decided to continue providing their own sitemaps because they offer advanced customisation features to help you get higher rankings and they don’t actually conflict with one another. They have done it in a way that it will only show one XML Site Map even with either of these plugins installed.

Conclusion

Welcome to WordPress 5.5 all!

Within this post, we discussed what we felt were the main highlights of WordPress 5.5. There is in fact a lot more to this update but we hope we gave you more of an insight to the improvements within the block editor, inline image editing, the improvements to the content previews, the ability to automatically update plugins/themes, and the new XML Site Maps that WordPress now offers.

If you have any questions regarding this update or if there is anything you’re excited about, let us know in the comments below.

To download the latest version; click here.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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Diving Further Into WordPress Website Accessibility

So you know a bit about WordPress accessibility, but still, you want to learn. Great!

The WordPress community is dedicated to Core Accessibility.

Accessibility Coding Standards Promise: Any new or revised code released in WordPress will conform with WCAG 2.0 guidelines at Level AA.

The accessibility of a WordPress website depends on 3 factors:

  • Theme
  • Plugins
  • Content

 

Designers, creators, and site owners also influence if the end product is accessible.

Developers play a significant part in the accessibility mix. The issues can not be found until someone reports they can’t see or do anything on the website.

What Can WordPress Developers Do To Make The Sites They Build More Accessible?

The right method is improving accessibility from the start. Rectifying accessibility problems with a site is often more time-consuming and difficult to do (though it might happen often).

So, this is what you should do:

  • 1. Choose An Accessibility Ready Theme
  • 2. Use Plugins to produce Accessible Content
  • 3. Teach Customers to Add Accessible Content

 

Tota11y, a Khan Academy developed usability visualisation toolkit, is an awesome developer tool. Simply attach their JS file to your site to allow the accessibility feature, which appears in the shape of a tiny glasses icon tab.

1. Choosing an Accessible Theme for WordPress

The first step on a fully accessible website is to select an accessible theme. Many theme developers take the time to implement the instructions in the WordPress theme accessibility guide, so it is best to ask the author whether a particular topic is accessible or not.

WordPress also includes free themes. Find the submenu under the “Function Filter” heading and click on the cog icon.

There are many options you can choose to filter your search. In the Features section, click the feature above that is reliable readiness.

You can then select any number of filters. On the left, you will see a Filter button that shows the number of filters applied. Click Apply filters. Then, select a topic.

It is important to note that the fact that a theme is labelled Accessibility Ready does not mean that it is “fully” accessible. However, if a theme developer marks their theme as accessible, they probably made some effort into making it accessible. If you encounter any issues, let them know so they can update it for other users.

2. WordPress Free Plugin Solutions For Accessibility

You may be creating your own WordPress theme, or you using any theme you want. One of the amazing things in WordPress is the availability of tens of thousands of add-ons. Whenever you need something, there is usually an add-on that can fit into your website.

My personal choice is WP Publishing, which comes with a variety of tools to help you find and fix the most common problems you find when using WordPress. It requires very little expertise and minimal setup.

WP Accessibility Helper (WHA) is another option in a range of options that include several useful features for skipping links, changing font size, scanning domains, contrast mode, and more. The features you want to include can meet more specific accessibility requirements.

Fonts: Create a font size widget for your sidebars. This makes it easy for readers on your site to resize text according to their needs.

Another easy-to-read option is the Zeno Font Resizer. The plugin allows webmasters to set the font size as well as the font size options. So when users return to your site, they’ll see the font size as they specified before.

Text-to-speech: For readers with visual impairment, text-to-speech features offer audio options for the blind. 190 WordPress add-ons offer a voice of human quality, support over 30 languages, and work with most topics.

G-speech text-to-speech solution is a free alternative for accessible audio. It works with any text on your site and adds an audio block to your site. You can then use these options to change the colour, speaker sound, and more.

Forms: You can easily access your contact forms through the Contact Form 7 plugin. This allows you to set default values for forms and formations, such as WCAG form fields, or readily available forms, such as add-ons.

3. Testing Your Website Accessibility

Once you’ve created your website, it’s a good idea to review your changes. There are many methods and software that you can use to make the experience enjoyable, but there are a few that make testing easier.

One that we mentioned earlier in this article is the Tota11y. Along with this, you can use WAVE Web Accessibility Diagnostic Chrome extension. This auxiliary device displays all errors, warnings, features, structural features, ARIA labels so that you can edit them accordingly.

Once you’ve created your website, it’s a good idea to review your changes. There are many methods and software that you can use to make the experience enjoyable, but there are a few that make testing easier.

Apart from Tota11y, the WAVE Web Accessibility Diagnostic Chrome Extension helps auxiliary device displays all errors, warnings, features, structural features and ARIA labels so that you can edit them accordingly.

Conclusion

Website accessibility is just as important, if not more essential than directing traffic to your website. You should make sure anyone who lands at your website will completely understand and navigate through all the information available there.

That’s why we recommend these accessibility features and the right plug-ins to make them work. If you want to make your website fully accessible, these tips should give you a head start.

If you want us to look at your website and suggest/implement ways in which we can improve your accessibility, feel free to drop us an email at [email protected] and we’d love to help you! Alternatively, you can get in touch with MangoMatter Media and they would be very happy to assist you.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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9 Reasons Why You MUST Avoid Nulled WordPress Themes & Plugins

What are Nulled WordPress Themes & Plugins?

Nulled WordPress themes and plugins are basically pirated copies a paid version which is available unethically on the world wide web.

Not only does it cause great WordPress companies that invested a lot of time creating great plugins/themes, but most importantly it compromised the security of websites that are using these nulled WordPress themes and Plugins.

Quite often, the reason your web site get’s hacked is because of using nulled themes and plugins. As web site owners, you may not even be aware that your site is using these nulled plugins/themes, which is why it’s always important to use good/trusted developers or reputable agencies.

Here are some of the top reasons why you MUST avoid using nulled WordPress plugins and themes on your website.

1. Security

In terms of website security, nulled plugins and themes are extremely dangerous to your website as they are known to carry malware.

This malicious code can spread across different files and even other websites on your server. These malicious codes may not be noticeable on the frontend as more often than not, they disguise itself which makes it harder for programmers to detect and clean up when your website is hacked.

If you’re not taking regular backups, you could even potentially lose all your websites data if your website is hacked. In addition to this, you risk your website being de-indexed from search engines for distributing malware.

2. Privacy

The types of malicious code in which nulled themes and plugins can vary quite significantly. This can include code that steals information from your WordPress site and makes it available to hackers on the dark web.

This information could include your username, email address, and passwords. If you run an e-commerce website or a membership website, you also risk having personal information of your customers being leaked. Now, this can become quite costly to your business if this was to happen. Quite often, people get nulled themes and plugins because they can’t afford the cost. The price isn’t in fact that much when you compare against the number of risks that can occur and how it could actually end up costing you a lot more in the end run.

These kind of hacks are hard to detect and may go unnoticed as your WordPress site keeps functioning normally.

3. It’s Bad for SEO

Pirated WordPress themes and plugins can destroy your WordPress SEO. Nulled WordPress themes and plugins can add spam links to your website or hijack your users and redirect them to bad websites.

These things may not be noticeable visually as they are working in the background, hidden inside your code. Trust us though, search engines will be very quick to penalise your website by dropping your search ranking or even de-indexing your website completely!

What’s even worse is that it could take months to recover your websites SEO rankings…

4. Legal Issues

Many WordPress themes and plugins are open source, but some of them are sold with mixed types of licenses. This means that some parts of the code are protected by copyright laws and if you are using a nulled WordPress theme or plugin, then you don’t have the legal permission to do so.

What this means is that Pirated WordPress themes can result in data theft, data loss, or distribution of illegal material. All of these can lead to legal proceedings where you may end up paying huge sums to lawyers.

5. No Access to Updates

Most WordPress themes and plugins regularly release updates to fix bugs, add new features, and close security issues. Nulled WordPress themes and plugins cannot receive those updates because they don’t have a valid license key.

This leaves your WordPress site with an outdated version which will be less secure and possibly even ends up not working. WordPress itself regularly releases new versions and sometimes themes and plugins need to be updated to remain compatible with the latest changes. Since nulled theme or plugin can’t be updated, your website may start misbehaving or become inaccessible. In some cases, you won’t even know that there is an update available or even know if it’s compatible with the latest WordPress version.

Even the most experienced WordPress users need support and documentation to properly use some of the premium WordPress themes and plugins.

Developers of these products spend a lot of their time on providing support and creating documentation for their users. They even hire support specialists to answer questions and regularly add new tutorials.

If you are using a nulled WordPress theme or plugin, then you are on your own. You cannot ask the developers to help you out when you need help. You also don’t get access to documentation and tutorials because those are only available to users who purchase the plugins/themes.

7. Access to New Features

As we have already mentioned, WordPress themes and plugins are updated regularly and often these updates include new features. If you are using a nulled WordPress products, then you won’t be getting automatic updates, and you wouldn’t even know that there are new features available.

These new features can significantly improve your website and help you earn more money online. However, you will be totally unaware of any changes and will be stuck with an outdated version.

8. Unethical use Discourages Innovation

Some people may argue that some plugins and themes are just tiny bits of software, and quite simply, they will use nulled plugins and themes because they can’t afford the costs. However, this tiny piece of code is the result of someone’s skill, talent, and hard work. By using nulled software, you are taking away money from the creators.

Developers not only spend their own time writing code, but they also have to provide support, create documentation, make a website, hire support staff, and spend a lot of money to run their business. Using nulled software hurts their business and they end up losing money.

These unethical practices may discourage developers from creating new innovative products that can benefit millions of users!

9. The Abundance of Free Alternatives

There is no reason for anyone to use nulled WordPress themes and plugins. No matter which WordPress theme or plugin you choose, there is more than likely one or suitable free alternatives available for them.

For great WordPress themes, we tend to use ThemeForest, they offer a massively library of themes to choose from and more often than not, you will find a great theme which will require very little customisation to get a great website for your business up and running.

If you are looking for some great WordPress plugins you can use CodeCanyon, again, they have a massive stock of great premium plugins you can purchase if you can’t source a suitable free plugin from WordPress.org.

WordPress.org has thousands of free plugins and themes. Some of them are even better than the paid/premium products. Most importantly, you can use them legally with no burden on your conscience and without affecting WordPress community negatively.

Well, we hope you have found this article useful and can agree with the fact that nulled plugins and themes should not be used.

Do you have a website that has been affected by malware? Get in touch with us at [email protected] and we will put our full efforts to fix and recover your website!

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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