How to use FTP to upload files to WordPress for Beginners

Are you looking to learn how to use FTP to upload files on your WordPress website? FTP or file transfer protocol is a fast and simple way to upload files from your computer to your website. In this article, we will show you how to use FTP to upload files to WordPress.

Using FTP to upload files in WordPress

Video Tutorial

If you don’t like video tutorials or want to move at your own pace, then continue reading the instructions below.

What is FTP?

FTP is short for File transfer protocol. It allows you to transfer files from your computer to your website hosting account.

Now you might be thinking there is already a media uploader inside the WordPress admin area for uploading files like images, video, audio, PDF and more.

Why do you need FTP?

You need FTP to be able to manually upload files in WordPress that sometimes won’t work due to an error on your site.

Normally, you don’t need FTP to upload files at all. You can easily upload images from WordPress admin area. You can even upload plugins and themes from WordPress itself.

However, sometimes you will need to upload a plugin or theme file manually for WordPress troubleshooting purposes and fixing most common WordPress errors.

Using FTP to Upload WordPress Files

First, you will need to download and install a FTP client on your computer. FTP client is an app that helps you connect to your website and transfer files using the FTP protocol.

Here are some of the most popular FTP clients that you can install.

For the sake of this tutorial, we will be using FileZilla. You can use any other FTP client that you like. The basic concepts are the same regardless of the software you use.

Connecting To Your WordPress Site Using FTP

When you open your FTP software, it will ask you to connect to your website using your FTP login credentials.

Your FTP login credentials are sent to you via email when you sign up for your WordPress hosting account. You can also find your FTP account information in your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard.

Managing FTP accounts inside cPanel

If you cannot find the login credentials, then you can contact your hosting provider to get this information.

Once you have the login information, you need to open FileZilla and then go to File » Site Manager.

Site manager in FileZilla FTP client

This will bring up a pop up window where you can add your website information. Click on the ‘New Site’ button and provide a title for your website.

Adding a new website in FileZilla

In the next column, you will be asked to enter your host. This is usually your domain name.

Under the logon type field, select ‘Normal’ and then enter your FTP username and password.

Login credentials

Now you can click on the connect button to continue. FileZilla will save your website settings for future logins and open a new FTP connection to your website.

If this is your first time connecting to your website from this computer, then FileZilla may show you a certificate popup.

Trust certificate

Check the box next to ‘Always trust certificate for future sessions’ and click on the OK button to continue.

FileZilla will now attempt to login to your website using the credentials you entered. Once connected, you will see the list of files and folders on your website under the ‘Remote site’ column.

Local and remote file columns in Filezilla

The remote site column displays files and folders on your website and the ‘Local site’ section shows files on your computer.

You can browse Local site to locate the files on your computer that you want to upload to your website. Next, you need to right click the file and select upload from the menu.

Upload file from your computer to your website

FileZilla will now transfer the file from your computer to your WordPress site.

However, WordPress needs certain files and folders in specific locations to work properly. This means you cannot just upload a file anywhere. You need to know where to upload a file in your WordPress site.

For example, if you want to manually upload a plugin to your WordPress website. Then first you will need to download the plugin to your computer.

After that you will need to unzip the plugin file. Inside the zip file, you will find the plugin folder. WordPress looks for plugins in the /wp-content/plugins/ folder.

You will first need to go to /wp-content/plugins/ folder in the Remote site column. After that you can upload the plugin folder from your computer to your website.

Upload plugin folder

Once you have uploaded the plugin, you need to visit the plugins page inside your WordPress admin area to activate the plugin.

Installed plugin in WordPress admin area

Similarly, if you wanted to upload a premium theme to your website, you will first download and unzip the theme folder on your computer. After that, you can upload it to /wp-content/themes/ folder on your website.

FTP is not just used to upload files from your computer to your WordPress website. It can also be used to download files from your website and edit them.

Simply right-click on the files or folders you want to download under the ‘Remote Site’ column and click on the download button.

Download a file from your website to your computer

You can also use FTP to backup all WordPress files. Simply select all files and folders and download them to your computer.

However, keep in mind that this is just the backup of your WordPress files, and it doesn’t include your content (Database). If you want to backup content as well, then you can do so by creating a manual backup of your WordPress database.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use FTP to upload files to WordPress. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress security guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to use FTP to upload files to WordPress for Beginners appeared first on WPBeginner.

22 Best WordPress Themes for Recipe Blogs

Are you looking for the best WordPress themes for your recipe blog? Traditional blog themes lack the imagery needed to make your recipes stand out. In this article, we will show you the best WordPress themes for recipe blogs that you can try right away.

Best WordPress themes for recipe blogs

Making a Recipe Blog with WordPress

WordPress is the most easy to use website builder in the market. It is perfect for sharing recipes and creating engaging food related websites.

There are two different types of WordPress available. WordPress.com, which is a hosted platform built on top of WordPress, and then there is WordPress.org also known as self hosted WordPress. For details, see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

We recommend using self-hosted WordPress.org because it gives you access to all the powerful WordPress features right out of the box.

You will need a WordPress hosting account and a domain name to start your own self-hosted WordPress website.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended hosting provider.

They have agreed to offer our users a 60% discount, a free domain, and a free SSL. A deal that you won’t get elsewhere.

After purchasing hosting, you can go ahead and install WordPress. Follow our guide on how to start a blog for step by step instructions.

Once you are all set up, it is time to choose a theme for your website. Let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress themes for recipe blogs.

Note: This list has both free and paid themes and all of them are mobile-responsive.

1. Gourmet

Gourmet

Gourmet is a powerful WordPress theme for food blogs, recipes, and restaurant websites. It is part of a larger pack of 23 ready-made websites that can be installed with 1-click. Each template is fully editable using an integrated drag and drop page builder.

It includes multiple WordPress sliders with different styles, multiple layouts, unlimited color choices, and more. It is super easy to use and includes a powerful theme options panel to setup your website.

2. Igloo

Igloo

Igloo is another flexible and beautifully designed WordPress theme for a recipe blog, restaurant, or cafe. It features a beautiful modern design, elegant photo galleries, and built-in social media integration.

For restaurant websites, it has a menu management system and testimonial sections. It comes in multiple color schemes and you can change colors for individual pages as well. All theme options are easy to configure using theme customizer with live preview.

3. Molino

Molino

Molino is a gorgeous WordPress theme for sharing recipes or building a website for cafes, bakeries, and restaurants. It part of a massive all-purpose WordPress theme which includes several ready-made designs and quick 1-click installer.

All pages can be easily edited using WordPress editor or the integrated drag and drop page builder that comes free with the theme. It offers endless customization choices with tons of colors, layout styles, headers, navigation menu styles, and more.

4. Florentine

Florentine

Florentine is an elegant and stylish WordPress theme for food and recipe blogs. It includes a dedicated recipe section allowing you to easily add properly formatted recipes to your website. Your users will also be able to instantly switch to the distraction free cooking mode.

It has built-in social sharing, easy customization, different styles and layout choices. All theme options are neatly organized under theme customizer which makes it quite easy to set up and use.

5. Foodie Pro

Foodie Pro

Built on Genesis theme framework, Foodie Pro is a well crafted WordPress theme for recipe blogs, food websites, health and nuitrition related niches. It features a fully widgetized modern layout allowing you to drag and drop items to setup your website.

It includes a custom theme options panel, live customizer support, custom headers, multiple page layouts, and more. It is highly optimized for speed and performance.

6. CupCake

Cupcake

CupCake is a stylish and cute WordPress recipe and food blog theme. It comes with a unique design that utilizes fun color schemes and a modern layout for presentation.

It includes drag and drop elements to setup your homepage. Inside you will find sections to add portfolio items, featured products, sliders, and call to actions. It can also be used to add an online store to your website.

7. Daily Dish

Daily Dish

Daily Dish is a modern WordPress theme for food and recipe websites. It is built on Genesis, and features a two column layout with a focus on beautiful typography and elegant display of images.

It comes with an easy to use theme options panel, customizable header, multiple page templates and widget ready areas. It is eCommerce ready and can be easily used to add a shop section to your website.

8. Foodica

Foodica

Foodica is a beautiful magazine style WordPress theme for food blogs. It features a modern design and comes in 6 color schemes to choose from.

It includes easy to use shortcodes to add recipe ingredients into your articles. It includes dedicated sections to display ad zones and banners to make money online. It includes a simple theme options panel and full live customization support.

9. Food4Soul

Food4Soul

Food4Soul is another excellent option for a WordPress food or recipe theme. It features a modern design with a large header image on top followed by your social profiles and navigation menus.

It includes drag and drop elements to setup your homepage layout. Inside you will find easy sections to manage portfolio, add recent posts, contact form, Google Maps, and more. It is easy to setup and includes a custom theme options panel.

10. Narya

Narya

Narya is a magazine style WordPress theme for food and recipe websites. It comes with a dedicated recipe post format and a custom recipe plugin. It also comes with a premium slider and a layout builder plugin.

Other notable features include 6 homepage layouts, 6 gallery layouts, multiple header styles, custom colors and more. It is easier to setup and all theme options are neatly organized.

11. Foodie

Foodie

Foodie is a WordPress theme built for chefs, food bloggers, and recipes. It includes a recipe post section with easy to add ingredients, instructions, and even videos. Users can also rate recipes and you can sort your highest rated recipes.

It uses a two column traditional blog layout with support for custom background and custom logo upload. It works out of the box and all theme options can be easily setup with live customizer.

12. Cuisine

Cuisine

Cuisine is a stylish WordPress theme made specifically for food and recipe websites. It ships with a custom recipe plugin that allows you to easily add and manage your recipes. Each recipe has its own dedicated recipe card which can be placed onto multiple pages or posts.

It includes two different layouts, multiple page templates and header styles. It includes custom widgets, unlimited color schemes, beautiful featured image, and more.

13. Food Recipes

Food Recipes

If you are looking for a free WordPress theme for recipes, then check out Food Recipes. It is built on bootstrap framework and features a two column layout with right sidebar. The content area is also divided into a two column grid on the desktop and a single column layout on mobile.

It includes support for custom logo upload, social media menu, fullscreen background image, and more. It is quite easy to setup and can be easily used to quickly start a blog.

14. Savor

Savor

Savor is a fresh and clean WordPress food theme with lots of features for recipe blogs. It comes with multiple layout combinations in two and three column grid layouts.

It also includes a custom recipe card which can be added into any WordPress posts or pages. Other noteable features include a featured content slider, custom widgets, social media integration, unlimited colors, contact form support, and more.

15. Kale

Kale

If you are looking for a free, clean, and simple recipe theme, then take a look at Kale. This minimalist style WordPress theme features a traditional blog layout with all the basic features.

It comes with a special front page showcasing featured posts and a large highlight post. It also has the option to show a banner or a posts slider in the header, and includes full ecommerce and RTL support.

16. Artie

Artie

Artie is a highly customizable WordPress food blog theme. It comes in multiple colors with multiple layout combinations, widget ready areas, and different styles.

It includes support for photo galleries, video galleries, recipe shortcodes, icon fonts, and more. All theme options are neatly organized and quite easy to setup.

17. Pepper+

Pepper+

Pepper+ is an all-purpose WordPress theme with several turnkey designs including one for a food/recipe website. It takes a modular approach to design and comes with different modules that you can just drag and drop to create different layouts.

Pepper+ is ready for WooCommerce and can also be used to create multilingual websites. It offers beginner friendly user experience with simple 1-click installers and quicker theme setup.

18. Salt & Pepper

Salt & Pepper

Salt and Pepper is an elegantly designed WordPress theme for food and recipe websites. It has a beautiful recipes section, which allows you to easily add recipes. It includes beautiful templates to display those recipes with category based filters.

For page editing it ships with a visual page builder and slider plugin. It is translation ready and can also be used on multilingual websites.

19. Tastefully

Tastefully

Tastefully is a modern WordPress blog theme for food lovers, restaurant reviews, and recipe websites. It features a large custom header followed by two-column layout with sidebar on the right.

Other features include custom author bio box, social sharing, large featured images, and crisp typography. It is quite simple and works out of the box with minimal setup.

20. Baseline

Baseline

Baseline is a magazine style WordPress blogging theme. It features a beautiful featured content slider on top, which is followed by your most important content.

It focuses on gorgeous display of your images and crisp typography to offer an elegant user experience. It is quite simple to use and doesn’t include any clutter. Inside you will also find a theme-setup guide that will help you get started right away.

21. Yumblog

Yumblog

YumBlog is a powerful WordPress recipe theme that ships with a premium WordPress recipe plugin. It allows you to add, manage, and share recipes from your website. It can also be used to allow your users to add their own recipes.

It features a nice modern layout focusing on images make your food photos look amazing. It ships with Beaver Builder to easily create page layouts using drag and drop tools.

22. Flavour

Flavour

Flavour is a well-crafted WordPress theme for restaurants, food, and recipes. It includes beautiful restaurant menus, food icons, custom colors, and custom fonts support.

It is super easy to setup with 1-click demo content installer and a fully integrated visual page builder. You can try different layouts and styles to create a truly unique experience for your website.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress themes for recipe blogs. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 22 Best WordPress Themes for Recipe Blogs appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Accept Bitcoin Payments in WordPress

Do you want to accept Bitcoin payments in WordPress? Bitcoin makes it super easy to accept online payments from anywhere in the world. In this article, we will show you how to easily accept Bitcoin payments in WordPress.

Accepting Bitcoin payments in WordPress

Why Accept Bitcoin Payments in WordPress?

WordPress allows you to build an ecommerce store in minutes using WooCommerce or other ecommerce plugins for WordPress. These platforms allow you to accept payments online using PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, and many other popular payment gateways.

In fact you can accept payments with Stripe or PayPal without even using a shopping cart plugin.

However, not all payment gateways are available everywhere. Some of your clients may not have PayPal available in their region, others may not want to use their credit cards.

Bitcoin offers an alternate payment method that can be used by anyone from anywhere in the world. Once you accept payments in Bitcoin, you can transfer them to your bank account or keep them in your wallet. Bitcoin rates are steadily increasing, and it will continue to do so as more people start using it.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to get started with Bitcoin and integrate it into your WordPress website.

Getting Started with Bitcoin

First, you will need a Bitcoin wallet. This is a piece of software that you will use to send or receive Bitcoins and store your bitcoins safely.

There are many different types of wallets available. You can install a wallet on your computer or even on your phone.

To learn more about wallets and to choose the right wallet for your needs visit the Bitcoin Wallets page.

Next, you will need to sign up for a BitPay account. BitPay is an online service that offers Bitcoin exchange, conversion, and transfer to your bank account or Bitcoin wallet.

BitPay signup

During the sign up, you’ll be asked to select services. You need to select ‘Business Account’ to sell products or services on your website and transfer payments to your bank account.

BitPay Business

After that you can fill out your organization name and enter your personal information to create your account.

BitPay account creation

Once you have signed up, you will reach the getting started dashboard. There you will see three steps required to verify your account.

First you’ll need to verify your email address. Next, you need to enter your business information to verify your business account. Lastly, you need to enter your bank account information or your Bitcoin wallet address.

After completing these steps you’ll be ready to accept payments on your website.

BitPay offers multiple ways to accept payments on your WordPress website. We will show you two different methods, and you can choose the one that best suits your business.

Accepting Bitcoin Payments in WooCommerce with BitPay

If you are already using WooCommerce, then this method is recommended for you.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the BitPay for WooCommerce plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit WooCommerce » Settings page and click on the ‘Checkout’ tab. Next, click on the BitPay link to configure its settings.

Setting up BitPay in WooCommerce

You need to click on the link below the API field to generate your API key. This will take you to BitPay website where you need to click on the ‘Add New Token’ button. After that you need to give this token a label and click on ‘Add Token’ button to continue.

Generating new token

BitPay will now show you a pairing code which you need to copy and paste in your WooCommerce BitPay settings page. Next, click on the find button to continue.

Your WooCommerce website will now connect to BitPay to verify the pairing code. Upon success, it will automatically fetch and store your API key.

Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.

Your customers will now see an option to pay using Bitcoin on the checkout page of your store.

BitPay Checkout

Accepting Bitcoin Payments in WordPress with BitPay

This method is recommended for users who are not using a shopping cart or ecommerce plugin on their WordPress website.

BitPay allows you to create payment buttons for items you want to sell. Visit the Payment Tools page under your BitPay dashboard and then click on Payment Buttons.

Create Bitcoin payment buttons with BitPay

This will bring you to the button generator page. You need to enter your business name, checkout item description, and payment amount.

Generating checkout button

You can also enter a browser redirect URL. This is particularly helpful if you are selling digital goods like software, ebook, or music. The redirect page could be the page where your users can download the file.

Click on the Generate button to continue.

BitPay will now show you the button code and different button sizes. Select the button size you want to use and copy the code.

Select button and code

Now you can head over to your WordPress website and edit the post or page where you want to add the button. On the post edit screen, you need to switch to the text editor.

Add button code

Next, paste the code you copied from BitPay website inside the text editor and save or publish your changes.

You can now visit the post/page to see your checkout button in action.

Pay with Bitcoin button in WordPress page

We hope this article helped you learn how to accept Bitcoin payments in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step WordPress security guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Accept Bitcoin Payments in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Add Load More Posts Button in WordPress

Do you want to add a load more posts button in WordPress? Many popular platforms allow users to load more posts when they reach to the bottom of the page. In this article, we will show you how to easily add a load more posts button in WordPress.

How to add load more posts button in WordPress

When and Why Add Load More Posts Button in WordPress

Keeping your users engaged with the content helps you get more views and ultimately more subscribers.

Many blogs use the simple ‘Older posts’ navigation link at the end of their home, blog, and archive pages. Some websites use numeric page navigation which adds more context.

However, there are certain type of websites that can benefit immensely from infinite scroll or load more posts button. Some examples include: photography websites, listicles, and viral content websites.

Instead of loading a whole new page, ‘load more posts’ button works like infinite scroll. It uses JavaScript to quickly fetch the next set of content. This improves user experience and gives them a chance to view more of your content.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily add load more posts button in your WordPress site.

Adding Load More Posts Button in WordPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Ajax Load More plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled ‘Ajax Load More’ to your WordPress admin menu. You need to click on it and head over to the plugin’s settings page.

Ajax Load More settings

On the settings page, you can choose the color of your button. You can also replace the button with infinite scroll which loads next batch of posts automatically without users clicking on the button.

Next, you need to visit Ajax Load More » Repeater Template page to add your template for displaying posts.

The plugin comes with a basic template containing the WordPress loop to display posts. However, it does not match your theme and may look out of place on your website.

To fix this, you need to copy the code your theme uses to display posts on index, archive, and blog pages.

Normally, this code is located in the template-parts folder of your theme. In that folder, you will see templates to display different content. For example content-page.php, content-search.php, and more.

You will be looking for the generic content.php template. Here is an example from our demo theme’s content.php file:

<article id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>" <?php post_class(); ?>> <?php // Post thumbnail. twentyfifteen_post_thumbnail(); ?> <header class="entry-header"> <?php if ( is_single() ) : the_title( '<h1 class="entry-title">', '</h1>' ); else : the_title( sprintf( '<h2 class="entry-title"><a href="%s" rel="bookmark">', esc_url( get_permalink() ) ), '</a></h2>' ); endif; ?> </header><!-- .entry-header --> <div class="entry-content"> <?php /* translators: %s: Name of current post */ the_content( sprintf( __( 'Continue reading %s', 'twentyfifteen' ), the_title( '<span class="screen-reader-text">', '</span>', false ) ) ); wp_link_pages( array( 'before' => '<div class="page-links"><span class="page-links-title">' . __( 'Pages:', 'twentyfifteen' ) . '</span>', 'after' => '</div>', 'link_before' => '<span>', 'link_after' => '</span>', 'pagelink' => '<span class="screen-reader-text">' . __( 'Page', 'twentyfifteen' ) . ' </span>%', 'separator' => '<span class="screen-reader-text">, </span>', ) ); ?> </div><!-- .entry-content --> <?php // Author bio. if ( is_single() && get_the_author_meta( 'description' ) ) : get_template_part( 'author-bio' ); endif; ?> <footer class="entry-footer"> <?php twentyfifteen_entry_meta(); ?> <?php edit_post_link( __( 'Edit', 'twentyfifteen' ), '<span class="edit-link">', '</span>' ); ?> </footer><!-- .entry-footer --> </article><!-- #post-## -->

Once you find that code, you need to paste it inside the Repeater Templates field in plugin settings.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Template’ button to store your settings.

Next, you need to visit Ajax Load More » Shortcode Builder page to generate the shortcode.

This page contains many different options that you can customize. First you will need to select the container type. If you are unsure, just look at the template you copied earlier. Most modern themes use the <div>; element.

After that scroll down to the button labels section. Here you can change the text that appears on the button. By default, plugin uses ‘Older Posts’, and you can change that to ‘Load more posts’ or anything you want.

Button label

Lastly, you need to choose whether you want posts to load automatically or wait for users to click on the load more posts button.

Disable scroll

Your shortcode is now ready to be used. In the right column, you will see the shortcode output. Go ahead and copy the shortcode and paste it in a text editor as you will need it in the next step.

Shortcode output

Adding Load More Posts in Your WordPress Theme

This part of the tutorial requires you to add code into your WordPress theme files. If you haven’t done this before, then take a look at our guide on how to copy and paste code in WordPress.

Don’t forget to backup your WordPress theme before making any changes.

You will need to find the template files where you want to add the load more posts button in your theme. Depending on how your theme is organized, usually these files are index.php, archives.php, categories.php, etc.

You will need to add the shortcode you copied earlier into your theme right after the endwhile; tag.

Since we are adding the shortcode in a theme file, we will need to add it inside the do_shortcode function, like this:

 echo do_shortcode('[ajax_load_more container_type="div" post_type="post"]'); 

You can now save your changes and visit your website to see the ‘Load more posts’ button in action.

Click to load more posts button preview

We hope this article helped you learn how to add load more posts button in WordPress. You may also want to see our mega list of the most useful WordPress tips, tricks, and hacks for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Add Load More Posts Button in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Allow Users to Delete their WordPress Accounts

Do you want to allow users to delete their own WordPress accounts? If you allow user registration on your WordPress site, and a user does not want to keep their account anymore, then they will have to manually ask you to delete their account. In this article, we will show you how to allow users to delete their WordPress account from their account area.

Allow users to delete their accounts in WordPress

Why Allow Users to Unregister Themselves in WordPress?

Many WordPress websites allow users to register and login. This could be membership websites, blogs that accept user submitted posts, or an online store.

Once users register their WordPress account, they cannot delete it on their own. They will have to manually ask you through a contact form to delete their information.

Website owners may want to keep the user contributed content or at least have their email address. However, if you give users control of their information, then they may feel more confident in their interactions on your website.

That being said, let’s see how to easily allow users to unregister themselves in WordPress and delete their WordPress account information completely.

Allowing Users to Delete their WordPress Accounts

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Delete Me plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Settings » Delete Me page in your WordPress admin area to configure plugin settings.

Delete Me settings

First you want to select the user roles that can delete their own profiles. You can also choose link styling and text that they will see on their profile page.

By default once the account is deleted, the plugin will redirect users to your site’s homepage. However, you can change that and provide a custom URL for redirect such as a thank you page. Additionally, you can choose to delete user comments as well.

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Now you will need to switch to a user account under the user roles you selected earlier. Once logged in, go ahead and visit the Profile page, and you will see a new section where users can click to delete their account.

Delete account link on user profile page

When a user clicks on the link, they will be shown a warning that deleting an account will delete their access and all their content. Once the user agrees, this plugin will proceed and delete their account.

Adding Delete Account Link to Custom User Profile Page

If you use a custom user profile page, then this is how you can allow users to delete their WordPress account.

Simply add the following shortcode to your custom profile page template:

[plugin_delete_me]Delete Your Account[/plugin_delete_me]

Note: When a user deletes their account, it will also delete all their content (posts, pages, custom post types) and move it to trash.

A user can re-register a new account using the same email address, but this will not recover the content they contributed earlier. However, as a site administrator, you can recover content from trash if it is not permanently deleted.

We hope this article helped you learn how to allow users to unregister in WordPress. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress security guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Allow Users to Delete their WordPress Accounts appeared first on WPBeginner.

How To Start A Blog In 2018: The Beginner’s Guide

Blogging is one of those “no experience required” jobs. It’s pretty simple to start a blog but it’s very difficult to master. The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to start your blog today and make it a success. All with simple and clear, step-by-step instructions.

How to start a blog

Throughout this beginner guide, I have included links to additional resources that provide more in-depth information about the particular topic that I covered. Let’s get started.

What should I blog about?

You can find the perfect blog topic for you by interlinking your passion and personality with the demand from the market.

Your sweet blogging spot

Are you unsure about what niche you want to be blogging about?

Take a look at my Simple Guide To Figuring Out The Niche To Blog About.

How to come up with a name for my blog?

You know the topic you want to cover but how about the name? These are the three main approaches for coming up with a memorable blog name:

Choosing a name for your blog

Need more help with naming your blog?

See A Quick Guide To Coming Up With A Memorable Blog Name.

What’s the best blogging platform?

There’s just too many options available. WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, Squarespace, Wix and Weebly just to name a few. It’s easy to get lost and not understand the difference between them.

The choice boils down to this: Do you want to blog using a closed and commercial platform or using a self-hosted and open platform?

When I created my first site about my favorite band Metallica I used one of the closed, for-profit platforms. My site turned out popular, but I had restrictions on what I could post, how I could present my content and they even put banner advertisement on my site. I had to leave that platform and went on to self-host my site.

It’s not ideal to rely 100% on commercial platforms in the long term for these reasons:

  • When using a commercial platform you don’t own your blog, the company behind the platform does.
  • Commercial platforms are more expensive and have restrictive terms of use with regards to the design, what you can post content about, if and how you can monetize and more.
  • Commercial platforms change, adapt their positioning and disrupt their users. Some cease to exist. Some get taken over, get neglected and shut down (remember Posterous?).

The opposite of commercial platforms are the self-hosted and open platforms. The key player here is WordPress. WordPress is an open-source, self-hosted blogging platform that allows you to build your blog for free. It’s used by millions of people and powers more than 29% of the entire web. Some of the largest brands host their sites on WordPress including Facebook, eBay, NASA, Mozilla and CNN.

WordPress has a huge community of hundreds of thousands of developers and designers all over the world. They contribute with design themes and plugins for everyone to use and are always eager to help and answer questions. I use WordPress and recommend it to all the beginners.

How to get your blog up and running in 5 minutes

This is the exact step-by-step process that I follow when I launch a new blog. No prior experience or tech-knowledge is necessary.

There is no cost for WordPress itself but you do need a domain name (the address people will type to get access to your blog) and a server space (where your content and files are hosted) to run it.

There is a lot of competition between the different web hosts which makes the cost of starting a blog low. It costs about $35 to get your own domain name and a hosting account for an entire year. And it will take you about 5 minutes to get your WordPress blog online with the 1-click install feature.

WordPress users offerThere are several capable and affordable hosting providers. I recommend Bluehost for the easiest setup process.

They offer a free domain name, 24/7 live support and WordPress recommends them. More than 2 million blogs are hosted there and you can get started at $2.95 per month.

Here’s the step-by-step process to start your blog in 5 minutes:

  1. Visit Bluehost and click “Get started now.
  2. Select the “Basic” plan at $2.95 per month. It’s recommended for beginner bloggers.
  3. Type in your chosen domain name and click on “Next“.
  4. Bluehost tries to upsell several other services such as SEO help and these combined can add about $9 extra to your monthly cost. All these are uneccesary so I recommend you deselect them all. To get the lowest price you need to sign up for 36 months. The total price for having your blog up and running for 3 full years is $106.20.
  5. Fill in your personal information, your payment details and click on “Submit“.
  6. Your account is now open. Set your Bluehost account password on this page.
  7. Now it’s time to install your blog. Click on “WordPress Tools” in the top menu.
  8. Fill in your blog’s name, the username/password combination you want to use and click on “Install WordPress“. You’ll be able to change any of these at a later stage too.
  9. It will take a minute to setup your blog and you’ll get an email with the subject line “New WordPress Site” when it’s done.
  10. Congratulations! You now officially own a domain name and your blog is live. Anyone can access it by going to yourdomain.com. You can go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ and explore the WordPress admin section.

Disclosure: I do earn a commission if you sign-up using my link at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products that I find helpful and useful. If you do choose to buy through my link, thank you for your support!

How to get started with the WordPress Admin Dashboard

WordPress admin dashboard is where all the magic happens. There is a medium-sized learning curve to get used to it so do take some time to explore the opportunities and possibilities now open to you. Here’s a brief introduction to the different sections:

WordPress Dashboard navigation

  • “Dashboard” features all the announcements such as the latest updates to the WordPress software and stats. You can edit the elements to suit your needs.
  • In “Posts” you can write your first blog article. Posts are the main content of your blog. Posts traditionally feature a published on date in the byline and are placed in a reverse chronological order on a traditional blog homepage.
  • In “Posts > Categories” you can group your posts into topics and allow users to find your content easier. A category page lists all the posts from that category. These pages are very useful to give your visitors an access point to dig deeper into your content.
  • “Posts > Tags” are similar to categories but they are just used more specifically. While I might have a category called ”Celebrity style” I might put a celebrity’s name as a tag to a post. A tag page showcases all the posts that are tagged with that specific keyword.
  • In “Media” you can upload your multimedia and get a list of all the imagery and videos you have uploaded.
  • “Pages” are more strategic than posts and are not updated daily. They are traditionally placed in the navigation menu and contain more static information such as an “About page” or a contact form.
  • In “Comments” you see all the comments posted by your visitors. You can reply to the comments and moderate the conversation.
  • In “Appearance > Themes” you can discover beautiful design themes that can make your blog look pretty. There are thousands of them.
  • In “Appearance > Customize” you can edit your chosen theme to make your blog look any way that you want in terms of fonts, colors and more.
  • In “Appearance > Menus” you can set up your navigation menu.
  • In “Appearance > Widgets” you can set up the look and features of your sidebar.
  • In “Plugins” you can find and activate powerful plugins to extend the functionality of WordPress. There’s a plugin for anything and here’s a list of some of my favorite plugins.
  • In “Users” you can edit your user profile or add other people who will be your collaborators.
  • In “Tools” you can import content from your old blogs, such as your Blogger blog.
  • In “Settings” you can change the name of your blog, add the tagline and do other useful tweaks.

8 to-dos to make your new blog awesome

Bluehost helps take away some of the hassle of running WordPress by doing some maintenance work for you automatically such as keeping your software, themes and plugins up to date.

There are still few other things I recommend you do before working on your first blog post. These will help you tweak the look and feel of your blog and get you started with a bang. Here’s a to-do list that I go through as soon as I install a new WordPress blog:

1. Fill in “Site Title” and “Tagline” (In Settings > General)

You don’t want your blog to be “just another WordPress site”, which is the default tagline in WordPress. That doesn’t tell your visitor much about what you do. You should make one up for yourself. In your WordPress admin settings write your title in “Site Title” and explain what your blog is about in the “Tagline”.

2. Activate your preferred design theme (In Appereance – Themes)

By default you will have several design themes made by the people behind WordPress. These are decent options to start with but there are thousands of other design options. So explore the available themes and choose one that you prefer. Remember that it is easy to change the theme at any time that you wish. Changing themes doesn’t affect your content at all. All of it remains untouched no matter what theme you’re using.

Default WordPress design themes

For more on picking the perfect theme see: How To Design Your Blog And Make It Look Pretty (2018 Update).

3. Activate plugins to add extra features and functionality

There’s a WordPress plugin for anything. Any feature or functionality that you can think of or that you have seen on other blogs and want to have it too. All without any tech know-how. Most plugins work out of the box. Here’s my list of The 50 Best WordPress Plugins For Your Blog.

4. Remove the generic content that comes with WordPress

WordPress comes with several default items such as an introductory post, a welcome page and some preinstalled plugins. You can safely get rid of all of them.

5. Give visitors the choice of how they want to hear from you

It’s important for you to retain some of your first time visitors to make them come back and become loyal fans. The most efficient way of doing this is to get them to sign up to your mailing list. Check out my full guide on starting your own newsletter.

Social media can also be a useful place for you to make people aware of your blog and attract them to come visit your articles. Create profiles on a few handpicked and relevant platforms where your target audience is and link back to your blog. Start networking, engaging and building your following from day one. Then make it easy for your blog visitors to follow you in social media.

6. Create an About page

Make an introductory page where you explain about your project, about yourself and what your blog helps people with. Tell people what your purpose and your mission is. Don’t be shy. Include a picture of yourself.

Your “About Me” page isn’t about you at all, it’s about your audience. It should convince them to stay and explore more. The more concise and kick-ass your story, the easier it will be for your audience to get to like you, subscribe and even share with their friends. Your about page should answer these questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do for your audience?
  3. What makes you qualified to post about a certain topic?

7. Add a contact form to your About page

Let people get in touch. This will be very useful to get feedback, to get connected to other bloggers and maybe even attract sponsors. It’s very simple and effective to add a contact form. Just use a plugin such as Contact Form 7.

8. Activate comment spam blocker (In Plugins)

Many spammers use WordPress comment areas to promote pages where they sell dubious products. You don’t want these in your own comments area. Luckily, the solution is simple with one of the spam blockers such as Akismet. Do check my detailed guide on eliminating WordPress comment spam.

Get friendly with Google and other search engines

Search engines are an important source of traffic for most blogs. These are the five steps you should take to make sure that your blog can be discovered by Google and other search engines.

1. Switch on your SSL certificate

A free SSL certificate for your domain name is included in your Bluehost account. It protects your visitors and their sensitive details such as credit card info, usernames, passwords, contact form messages and more.

Google Chrome warns its users when visiting websites without the SSL certificate installed so it’s recommended that you turn it on. Click on “WordPress Tools” in your Bluehost account, choose “Security” in the left hand navigation, and enable the “free SSL certificate”.

It may take up to an hour for your domain to update, but when it does your URL will start with https instead of http, your visitors will be safe and Google will be happy and might send you extra traffic.

2. Make permalinks short and pretty (In Settings > Permalinks)

Your permalinks are the URL’s of your articles. You don’t want your URL’s to be something as generic as domainname.com/123456. Change it in your WordPress settings to actually spell out the name of your post by selecting the field called “Post name”. Your post URL’s will now be domainname.com/post-name. It is a well-structured, short and search engine friendly permalink.

3. Install Google Analytics to start tracking visitors

Google Analytics is a useful tool to track and analyse your blog visitors. This data will help you make better future decisions such as what type of topics to cover and where to go to attract more visitors. This plugin makes it easy to embed the Google Analytics code into your blog. You can also check out my guide on how you should use Google Analytics.

4. Create a sitemap to help Google learn about your content

Your sitemap lists all the posts and pages that are accessible for search engines. Having a sitemap helps Google (and other search engines) learn more about your content, rank it in their search results and send you blog traffic.

The easiest way of implementing an XML Sitemap on your blog is to use one of the free plugins such as WordPress SEO and Google XML Sitemaps. The plugin updates the sitemap automatically when you publish new content so there is no need to do anything after you activate it.

5. Add your blog to Google’s Search Console

Search Console is a useful tool to track the progress of your blog in search engines and for Google to give you feedback on what you can improve.

  1. Create your Search Console account and verify your blog.
  2. Submit your XML Sitemap link directly to Google.
  3. Choose your site Preferred domain – either with or without www. Make sure this is consistent with the URL you use in your WordPress admin (In Settings > General > WordPress Address URL).

Here’s everything else you need to know to get your blog on top of Google’s search results.

Publishing your first blog post

You now have a pretty looking and optimised blog, but starting a blog is much easier than creating and publishing the first blog post. More than 50% of all blogs never publish a single post. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Get into the WordPress post editor, compose the best post that you can and publish it. Be realistic. Your first post will most probably suck. Only your mother might like it. You will have no visitors and no clicks on that Facebook like button.

WordPress post editor

Don’t just give up if you feel like you haven’t reached your high expectations. Manage your expectations better. Even the biggest bloggers published posts that sucked early on. What separates the best bloggers from the rest is that while failing they were learning the fundamentals of creating great content that answers questions real people have and that adds value to the lives of visitors.

You are starting from almost zero and building your way up, learning from all the bad content you put out there and all the experience that you gain. Focus your time and efforts on learning the craft of creating amazing blog content. It takes a lot of time to master it but you can get help from people who have been there before.

See my guide: How To Stop Publishing Generic, Boring And Forgettable Blog Content.

How do I get blog visitors?

Visitors won’t just come after you publish your first post. You will have to go out and get those first visitors. If you don’t do this not many people will know about you. Get comfortable about reaching out to people and promoting your content.

A good idea is to have a marketing routine that you go through every time after you have published a new piece of content.

Here’s some help with marketing: 40 Places To Promote Your Content And Get Visitors.

How do I make money blogging?

Know that blogging is not going to get you rich quick. Big things are possible and you should dream about reaching them but do not expect it to happen to you overnight. No matter what you have heard from other sources.

The good news is that by following the previous steps of publishing great content and taking massive action to atract an audience, you are well on your way to start making money from your blog too.

Making money from your blogging

There are many ways to monetize your content. Affiliate marketing is one that many bloggers start with and that I highly recommend for beginners.

See my guide on How To Make First $500 From Your Blog.

Happy blogging!

By taking all of the steps outlined in this post you will already do more than most people do. Other people keep talking and dreaming and you are not one of them. You have published that first post despite being fearful of the feedback. You are actually in the field working and trying to get visitors.

There are very few core, fundamental keys to blogging, and consistency is definitely one of them. The reason most blogs fail is simply because the author stops updating them. The hardest part is the initial hurdle, so decide now that you’re going to keep at it. Make a promise to show up again tomorrow. Commit yourself to posting on a regular schedule. Put in the effort and you will create a momentum.

Blogging is a lot of work, takes up a lot of your day and is hard to get away from.  It’s about performing consistently day after day and building an audience few people at a time. Slowly but surely your blog will grow. Your reputation in the industry will increase. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. There is a long road ahead and you should enjoy it!

Do you have other questions? Take a look at My Answers To The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Blogging.

The post How To Start A Blog In 2018: The Beginner’s Guide appeared first on HowToMakeMyBlog.

How to Add Click to Load for GIFs in WordPress

Do you want to add a click to load GIF player on your WordPress website? Animated GIF images take longer to load which affects page speed and user experience. That’s why many popular blogging platforms don’t auto-load GIFs in their apps. In this article, we will show you how you can easily add click to load for GIFs in WordPress.

Adding click to load for Gifs in WordPress

Why Add Click to Load for GIFs in WordPress?

If you often add animated GIF images in WordPress, then you already know that they are way larger in size than regular images. This means they take longer to load which affects your website speed and performance.

Some websites deal with this by lazy loading images in WordPress. However, this still affects users experience because GIFs take longer to load as the user scrolls down.

Popular platforms like Tumblr and others use click to load GIF player to mitigate this problem. Instead of loading all frames in a GIF animation, they load just the first frame of the animation. A play button or GIF label on the image indicates that users can click to view the animated GIF.

Paused GIF example

That being said, let’s take a look at how you can add click to load button for GIFs on your WordPress website.

Adding Click to Load for GIFs in WordPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP GIF Player plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

This plugin works out of the box, and there are no settings for it.

You can head over to the post edit screen to see it in action.

Add GIF button in WordPress post editor

On the post edit screen, you will notice the Add GIF button above the post editor. Clicking on it will bring up the media uploader popup where you can upload your GIF images similar to any other image.

Upload GIFs using the Add Gif button

Once uploaded, you need to click on the Insert image button to continue.

The WP GIF player plugin will now add the required shortcode in your WordPress post editor.

GIF shortcode in WordPress post editor

You can now save your post/page and click on the preview button to see your click to load GIFs in action.

All the GIFs embedded on your post will now have a button on top of them labeled GIF. Clicking on the button will load the animated GIF in the background and display it.

Click to play animated GIF

One downside of this plugin is that it only works for the new GIFs that upload. It will not add click to load for GIFs uploaded using the normal WordPress media uploader. This means all your previously uploaded GIFs will not have the click to load button.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add the click to load GIFs player in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to fix common image issues in WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Add Click to Load for GIFs in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

21 Best Wedding WordPress Themes

Are you looking for a wedding themes for your WordPress site? For wedding websites, you need a theme that can showcase the best moments of the event. In this article, we have picked some of the best WordPress wedding themes that you can use.

Best wedding themes for WordPress

Making a Wedding Website with WordPress

WordPress is a popular choice to build family blogs, events, and wedding websites. Mainly because it is so easy to use and manage.

There are two types of WordPress websites available. WordPress.com and WordPress.org which is also known as self hosted WordPress. See our article on the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

We recommend using WordPress.org because it gives you freedom to use all WordPress features out of the box.

You will need a domain name and a WordPress hosting account to start a self-hosted WordPress website.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the best WordPress hosting companies in the world and an official WordPress hosting provider.

Once you have purchased hosting, you are ready to install WordPress. Follow the step by step instructions in our guide on how to start a blog.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress wedding themes that you can install on your website.

1. Ultra

Ultra Wedding

Ultra is an all-purpose WordPress theme including ready-made designs for all kind of websites. It includes beautiful template for Wedding websites, featuring full screen background images and elegant typography.

It includes our story section to introduce bride and groom, beautiful photo galleries, and an RSVP section. It comes with a powerful drag and drop page builder and super easy theme options panel to setup your website.

2. Just Married

Just Married

Just Married is a gorgeous WordPress wedding theme. It features an elegant design with full screen background images, a single column homepage, and stunning image galleries.

It includes custom colors and comes with 4 color schemes. Inside you’ll also find sections to add groomsmen, bridesmaid, accommodation, reservations, contact form, and more.

3. Meridian Wedding

Meridian Wedding

Meridian Wedding is a beautifully designed WordPress theme with stylish layout and built-in custom features. Its homepage features a full-width slider to display photos of the lucky couple on top with call to action buttons to RSVP and gift registry.

It includes beautiful photo galleries, RSVP form, location, date, and complete event scheduling system. It is easy to setup with theme customizer where you can see live preview of your website as you set up.

4. Inspiro

Inspiro

Inspiro is a WordPress theme designed to create a lasting impression. It is perfect for photography, video, and wedding websites. It includes beautiful video and photo galleries, full screen video backgrounds, and lightbox popup support for photos and videos.

It ships with a 1-click installer and 5 ready-made layouts including one for wedding websites. It comes with a simple drag and drop page builder to edit your pages. All theme options can be easily setup using live customizer.

5. Amore

Amore

Amore is a stylish WordPress wedding theme with a beautiful design to make your website standout. Its homepage features a fullscreen slider with animated event countdown.

It is easy to customize and allows you to create and use any color scheme you want. All theme options can be set up using theme customizer. It also comes with drag and drop page builder to create your own custom layouts.

6. Lense

Lense

Lense is a WordPress photography theme with a unique design that makes it perfect for wedding websites. Its homepage features a beautiful photo gallery with horizontal scrolling. It also allows you to add photos in columns, grid types, scrollers, and slideshows.

You can have different settings for each one of your galleries. It has unlimited colors, custom widgets, unique mobile experience, and easy customization.

7. Emma

Emma

Emma is an elegant and modest WordPress wedding theme. Featuring crisp typography, beautiful colors, and full screen images, this theme has all you’ll need for a beautiful wedding website.

It also includes an RSVP form and free plugins to add registry, social sharing, and Instagram features. It is translation ready and comes with an easy setup with demo data included.

8. Selfie

Selfie

Selfie is an excellent choice for a WordPress wedding theme. Designed to showcase photographs beautifully, this theme comes with beautiful layout that looks stunning on all devices.

It has a collapsible navigation and sidebar that gets out of way on both mobile and desktop. It also has a separate blog section with touch enabled galleries. Theme setup is quite straight forward and most options work out of the box.

9. Nayma

Nayma Wedding

Nayma is an all purpose WordPress theme with multiple several purpose built designs, including one for wedding websites. This wedding template features a large full screen image with your wedding announcement on top of it.

It has beautiful parallax background effects for different sections, gorgeous photo galleries, and an area to display event details like time, venue, schedule, and more. It is super easy to use and comes with modules that you can just drag and drop to adjust your design.

10. Wedding Band

Wedding Band

Wedding Band is a free WordPress wedding theme with simple features and easier setup. It features a gorgeous full width slider on top followed by different sections.

All theme options are easy to setup using the live theme customizer. It also includes styling for adding contact form and a full-width page template that you can use with any WordPress page builder plugin.

11. Zoro

Zoro

Zoro is another excellent choice for a WordPress wedding website. It features super sized photo galleries to showcase the best moments of the wedding day. You can change photo gallery layouts into different types of grids with two or three columns.

It includes 4 homepage samples, 4 header styles, unlimited colors, Google Fonts, and a visual page builder. Theme setup is easier with demo content importer and a custom theme options panel.

12. Truelove

Truelove

Truelove is a simple and free WordPress theme to instantly create a beautiful wedding website. It includes a simple slider on top followed by different sections. Theme setup is done via customizer and allows you to add custom header, background, widgets, and navigation menus.

13. Shutter

Shutter

Shutter is a powerful WordPress photography theme with stunning templates including a wedding website design. It puts your photographs in front and center and offers an elegant and highly engaging user experience.

It ships with multiple demos, layout choices, different layout combinations that you can mix and match, unlimited colors, and built-in social media integration. It ships with a beginner friendly landing page builder and easy theme installer.

14. Newlyweds

Newlyweds

If you are looking for a classic elegance design, then take a look at Newlyweds. This free WordPress theme uses an old timey classic layout with subtle colors and beautiful typography. It uses Cormorant Garamond and Great Vibes fonts for the elegant crisp typography.

It includes an event countdown timer, beautiful photo galleries, bride and groom photos, and custom logo support. All theme options are super simple and can be easily setup using live theme customizer.

15. Modules

Modules

Modules is a well crafted all-purpose WordPress theme. It takes a modular approach to design which allows you to use built-in blocks to just drag and drop on a canvas to build beautiful pages.

It ships with 16 turnkey designs for different industries including photography, personal, and event websites. Apart from that it includes ready-made design elements that you can instantly add. It is very easy to use and customize and perfect for wedding websites.

16. Selkie

Selkie

Selkie is a WordPress blogging theme built for photographs and it is perfect for wedding websites. It’s homepage features a large header image with a call to action button that you can use for RSVP for registry pages.

Selkie is full of options, it has two layout choices, multiple navigation menu styles, 10 different blog layouts, and more.

17. Memories

Memories

Memories is a stylish WordPress theme suitable for photographers, fashion, and lifestyle sites. Its design features a unique layout, which makes it a great choice for wedding websites. It comes with a beautiful gallery display to showcase the best of your photographs.

It works with all popular WordPress plugins so you will be able to add new features as you go. Theme setup is quite easy with tons of options.

18. Focussity

Focussity

Focussity is a beautiful WordPress theme for wedding photographers. It includes a custom portfolio section with beautiful image galleries. It supports fullscreen header images and backgrounds.

It also comes with a drag and drop page builder to create your own layouts. Focussity is multilingual ready and comes with beautiful parallax effects and background video support.

19. Gallery Pro

Gallery Pro

Gallery Pro is an elegant and minimalist WordPress photography and lifestyle theme. It is built on top of Genesis theme framework, which is highly optimized for faster WordPress speed.

It offers a clean minimalist layout to showcase your wedding day with style. Theme features allow you to easily add customizable header, drag and drop layout, and use page templates to add blog section as well. It is super simple to use and most features work right out of the box.

20. Jen+Ben

Jen+Ben

Jen+Ben is a simple and beautifully designed WordPress theme for wedding websites. It features a large featured image on top, which can also be replaced with a slider. It comes with a set of companion plugins that you can enable to add features as you set up the theme.

It includes custom header styles, beautiful navigation, Google maps, contact form, and social media features. Inside you will find custom theme options panel that will guide you through setup.

21. Hitched

Hitched

Hitched comes as part of an all-purpose WordPress mega theme. You will get not just a wedding theme, but also themes to build various other websites. It has a 1-click demo installer, which allows you to import content and then just replace items with your own wedding photographs and information.

Inside you’ll find all the usual features you’d expect from premium WordPress theme. Noteable features include sliders, photo galleries, contact form, translation and multilingual support, event management, and more.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress wedding themes for your website. You may also want to see our list of must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 21 Best Wedding WordPress Themes appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Appear in Google Answer Boxes with Your WordPress Site

Do you want your articles to appear in Google answer boxes? Answer boxes are Google’s push to answer questions directly on the search results page. In this article, we will explain how to appear in Google Answer Boxes for WordPress users.

How to appear in Google Answer Boxes for WordPress users

What is a Google Answer Box?

Google Answer box is part of Google’s Knowledge graph. It is an algorithm that tries to answer user’s questions right on the search page.

A search term displaying Google Answer Box

It uses carousels, side boxes, lists, tables, and answer boxes to display the most relevant information at the top. This information is gathered from various sources and the algorithm decides which results should be displayed inside an answer box.

According to research conducted by Advanced Web Ranking, Answer boxes secure almost 32.3% CTR. This makes them immensely important for your WordPress SEO strategy.

How Google Displays Information in The Answer Box?

The purpose of Answer Boxes is to offer instant gratification to the users. This works particularly well when users are looking for factual information like public figures, distances, conversion rates, scores, and similar information.

Instant answer in Google Search result using Knowledge Graph

In such cases, if users got the exact information they needed, then they can move on and search for something else. For many queries it can just display a sidebox from the web’s most reliable knowledge sources like Wikipedia.

In a way, it might sound like Google is trying to keep all the traffic for itself. However, not all users are looking for information that Google’s knowledge graph can answer with accuracy.

If user’s keywords require an opinionated, well thought, or research based answer, then Google relies on other web sources.

Google Answer box displaying other web sources

If you are among the top 10 results for a keyword, then you are already closer to appear in Google Answer Box.

How to Make Your Pages Appear in Google Answer Box?

Google Answer Box results change quite often, and you can easily appear as the best answer by simply improving your content.

Let’s explore a number of content optimization steps that you can take to appear in the answer box.

Add Short and Helpful Answers in Your Content

The purpose of Answer Boxes is to provide quick answers. Make sure that your article answers the question as early in the article as possible.

You also need to make your answer short, concise, and easy to understand.

Provide short and helpful answers in your article

It also helps to include your keywords in the form of a question followed by the short answer.

After that, feel free to add as much detail to your answer as you want. Adding more information will allow you to use the keyword throughout the article, and you can even use the same article to answer other questions your users may have about the same topic.

Answer other questions about the same topic

Optimize Your Page’s Meta Description

Meta description is a brief description explaining what your page is about. It is added in the <head> section of your site’s HTML.

You can add meta description for your articles by using a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO plugin.

Optimize meta description for answer box

Make sure that your meta description includes your target keyword. It also needs to explain what questions or topics this particular page will be answering.

For example, our article about WordPress SEO tools and plugins uses this meta description:

“Are you looking for best WordPress SEO plugin and tools to boost your SEO? Check out our list of 9 best WordPress SEO Plugins and Tools.”

Here is how it appears in the answer box.

Meta description optimization effect on Google Answer Box

Utilize Lists, Tables, Table of Contents

Users love properly formatted content because it helps them quickly get the information they need. That’s why websites like list25 are so popular. They publish informative content in a viral listicle format that is easier to consume and share.

Google understands that and tends to highlight the websites that use formatting to make content consumption easier for users.

Tables in Google Answer Box

This includes:

  • Pages that use tables to list items.
  • How to articles that use step by step instructions.
  • Top lists that simply just list items.
  • Lenghty articles that utilize table of contents
  • and more.

This does not mean that you must always use one of these formats to write your articles. However, if using formatting can help your users get to the information quickly, then use it.

Lists in Google Answer Box

Optimize Content with Data Driven Decisions

Data is the most important thing you need for an effective content strategy. This is where Google Analytics comes in. It helps you understand your audience and plan accordingly.

You will need MonsterInsights to properly track user engagement in WordPress. It is the best Google Analytics plugin in the market, and it will help you learn where your users are coming from, and what they do while they are on your site.

These stats provide you a clear picture of what’s already working on your website. You can then expand on it and make informed decisions for better SEO.

Follow SEO Best Practices

Apart from answering the user questions, you also need to make sure that Google can find your page and understand it just as easily.

This means you still need to optimize your posts for SEO just like you would normally do.

  • Include your keywords in SEO title, description, and keywords.
  • Add your focus keyword in content and sub-headings in your article.
  • Properly utilize categories and tags.
  • Make sure there is enough content to cover the topic.
  • Make internal linking a habit and link to your other posts and pages
  • Add title and alt tags to your images.

Are Google Answer Boxes Worth The Effort?

Yes, absolutely. As we mentioned earlier the click-through rate for results in the answer box is way higher. Depending on the topic and your content, it could go as high as 51.2%.

However, we do not recommend you overthink it. The purpose of Answer boxes is to help users find information quickly. If you focus on answering questions through helpful and informative content, then search results will start picking it up.

Google’s search features are always changing. There are no shortcuts that will help you win forever. Building your website as an authority / reliable source of useful information will help you win in the long run.

We hope this article helped you learn how to appear in Google Answer Boxes. You may also want to see our list of the must-have WordPress plugins that will help you take your website to the next level.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Appear in Google Answer Boxes with Your WordPress Site appeared first on WPBeginner.

How To Design Your Blog And Make It Look Pretty (2018 Update)

“How do I design my blog?” is one of the most frequently asked questions from new bloggers. This guide will help you answer that question.

The design of your blog is fundamental. The better looking a blog is, the more memorable it will be for the visitors. More of them will stick to it, subscribe, return and share it with their friends on social media. Let’s have a look at steps you need to take to create a great looking blog design.

WordPress is the platform of choice

The first step in creating an amazingly designed blog that visitors love is to pick the right blogging platform that allows you a wide range of design possibilities. WordPress is my platform of choice. I love it and run all my blogs on it.

It’s an open-source platform that powers more than 75 million blogs and more than 25% of the total web. Using WordPress will save you weeks of time and a lot of money as you won’t need to build (or pay someone to build) a design from scratch.

The community behind WordPress has created more than 2,500 of design themes that are beautiful and feature-rich. You’ll have plenty of choice for selecting the design template that works for you.

WordPress needs a domain name and a web server space to work.

WordPress users offerI recommend Bluehost.

They offer a free domain name, 24/7 live support and WordPress recommends them.

More than 2 million WordPress blogs are hosted there.

And you can get hosted at $2.95 per month.

Click here to get started now.

The whole process will take you some five minutes and you’ll have your shiny new blog live and running!

Disclosure: I do earn a commission if you sign-up using my link at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products that I find helpful and useful. If you do choose to buy through my link, thank you for your support!

How to find a great quality design theme

I suggest you access your WordPress admin and get yourself familiarized with the “Appearance” section on the left-hand side navigation. Majority of your design options will be in there. You can search for, review and install themes there. You can create your navigation menu, change your blog’s header logo and edit the widgets in your sidebar.

Explore and test the free themes as they are a great starting point for a new blogger. WordPress “Customise” section allows you to preview how your blog and your content looks like when using a particular theme. It’s easy to switch between and test different designs until you find the perfect one. It doesn’t affect your content at all. All of it remains untouched no matter what theme you’re using.

Click “Themes” within the “Appearance” menu and then “Add New” on top of that page to discover the different design opportunities.

Add a new theme

Try for example and browse through “Featured” or through “Popular” or “Latest”:

Discover beautiful themes

Or use the “Feature Filter” to find more specific themes with exact features that you are looking for. You can sort by color, layout, features and specific subjects:

Feature filter

Each design theme has a page with further details. This can help you make a better decision. Learn more details and see how the theme would look on your blog. When you find a design theme that you like simply click on “Install” to activate it on your blog. Some things to look out for:

  1. Last updated date should be recent. You want your theme to be compatible and functioning correctly with all the latest WordPress updates. Older themes might break in most recent versions of the software.
  2. Active installs shows you how many blogs use the theme right now. The more the better as it shows that the theme is quality, but watch out not to have your blog look like thousands of other blogs.
  3. Ratings number between 1 and 5 stars. The higher the rating the better the theme may be.
  4. Look through the reviews to see what people are saying about the theme.
  5. Does the developer actively respond and help people? WordPress is continuously changing and your theme needs upgrades and latest bug fixes to continue serving you.
  6. Is the theme actively maintained, updated and supported by a reputable developer or company?
  7. Preview the theme to see how it actually looks like for a visitor.

An alternate way to find a design is to go to your favorite blogs and see what design they use. When you find a blog that you love it’s pretty simple to see what design it uses. In many cases, there will be a template name or link in the footer of the blog, or you can right-click in your browser and click “View Source”.

Take a look at the code. You will see lines with /wp-content/themes/something/. The folder after /themes/ will be the name of the theme. When you have the name, search for it and test it out on your blog.

Mobile phones and responsive blog design

Mobile phone traffic

Smartphone sales have overtaken computer sales. Mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic worldwide. Mobile and tablet devices accounted for more than 55% of global internet traffic in 2017.

Finding a design that looks great on smaller screens or touch based screens is another key consideration. Responsive design is a smart design that adapts itself to the screen size of the device the user is browsing with and provides optimal viewing experience for visitors. It works on everything from large desktop monitors to small screens on mobile devices.

Google recommends responsive design as the best way to configure your design because it is easier for the user and there is no need for redirection like on other mobile solutions. If you want to check how your WordPress theme works on mobile devices, take this Mobile-Friendly Test from Google.

Best free WordPress design themes for 2018

This is the list of some of the most impressive free WordPress themes that I have handpicked for your inspiration. They feature everything you should be looking for in a blog design.

They’re beautiful, minimalist, mobile responsive, clean coded, fast loading, lightweight, constantly updated and fully supported by the developers and the community. “Twenty Seventeen” is even made by the people behind WordPress.

There are many commercial premium design themes and premium marketplaces too. These you have to pay to use (usually in the range of $30-80) but if you’re just starting out I think one of the great free themes below is more than enough.

Optimizer

Optimizer

Responsive

Responsive

Hueman

Hueman

Attitude

Attitude

Vantage

Vantage

Twenty Seventeen

Twenty Seventeen

Wilson

Wilson WordPress Theme

 

GeneratePress

Generatepress

Ignite

Ignite WordPress Theme

Use a Page Builder to make things easier for yourself

The easiest possible solution is to simply pick a theme that you really love as it is and have no need to customize. Then you’re ready to go and conquer your niche as soon as you activate the theme.

If you’re not comfortable with coding, then it’s best to choose a theme that makes it easy to edit and customize even with no coding skills. The ability to customize your blog design with a simple and easy interface varies a lot from one WordPress theme to another. Some have drag-and-drop, user-friendly interface. Some can only be edited and customized by CSS and coding.

Most themes are not easy to edit and that’s where page builders come into the picture. Page builders are plugins that work on top of any theme and allow you to build and customize your layout with a simple drag and drop interface and no need for coding. Page builders allow you to create a professional and unique looking blog without any design know-how.

How would you like to present your content? What colors do you want to use? Would you like your posts and pages to be very unique and different from each other? Would you like to have one sidebar or two sidebars or maybe none? Would you like sidebars on the left or the right or both sides of the content? Would you like a big call to action? Or a full-width section? All these and many more are easy to do with the help of page builders.

These are the three most popular Page Builders that I recommend you try and choose the one that fits you best:

Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Siteorigin page builder

Elementor Page Builder

Elementor page builder

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

Which fonts and font sizes would you like on your blog?

Font, font size, spacing between letters and line height all have a big impact on how your visitors feel when reading online. Screen resolutions are increasing which means that you need to make your content more readable for these new screens.

Larger font makes your blog more clear and easy to look at. Sans-Serif Fonts are best suited for digital content while you want your font size to be a 16pt at a minimum and should go even more to 20pt+ for best results.

Some WordPress themes are very well optimised for typography out of the box. Page Builders make it easier for you to change these yourself.

You should also install Easy Google Fonts plugin which makes it easy to change your fonts and font sizes in the different areas of your blog in a simple and visual way. The plugin gives you access to hundreds of beautiful web fonts for you to pick from and use.

Google fonts for blogs

Become a color master

All the good themes already come with their own color schemes but if you’re going to customize your post background color, font color, logo and more, it’s good for you to learn a bit about colors. Color palettes can make or break your blog post.

As a non-professional designer, I tend to get inspired by big brands and colors that they use. This is a perfect website for you to see what color palettes big brands use. These companies have many people working on their branding and have done extensive research, so it’s useful to learn from them. I also like this site for a wide range of great looking palettes.

Colors also convey meanings so it’s useful to be aware of what your content is projecting when you’re using a certain color.

Color meanings

Your logo and navigation menu are first things visitors see

Having a great header section is important as that is the first thing people see when entering your blog. It’s what makes you stand out and be recognizable in the endless pool of bloggers.

Make sure your header looks professional and showcases your personality and what your blog is about. The purpose of your blog has to be clear and immediately evident to your first-time visitors.

Many sites now fix their navigation menus to the top of your browser window so the menu follows you as you scroll down the page. This helps the visitor easily navigate your blog at any time and gets them to explore your content deeper. For this to work best, you should think about what pages or posts you want to put into your navigation to best present your blog.

  • People like familiarity so make your visitor feel at home. Include a clear navigation menu at the top with links to contact, about page, services etc. WordPress makes it simple to create navigation menus within the “Appearance” section of your admin.
  • Introduce yourself right off the bat with a welcoming message and smile. Ingrain your personality. Include your image. Your blog is unique, but only because of YOU, so make sure your visitors see this as soon as possible.
  • Include a descriptive but brief tagline. Tell visitors what’s in store for them, what your blog is about and what problems your content will solve for them.
  • Distinctive logos can work wonders too. Many blogs feature text based logos. These can work great, especially if you’re using one of the cool fonts I mentioned earlier in this post. There are also some fast logo makers for non-designers such as this one.
  • If you want people to stick around, make it easy for them to find your content. Display popular posts, key guides, and have a prominent search field. Consider a live search plugin that works very much like Facebook or Google search works. Upon starting to type a search query your visitor will get a drop down of your posts. It is a faster way to search.
  • Display social proof such as social media follower size, number of social media shares and number of comments. If visitors see that your blog is popular, frequented and shared a lot then there is a greater chance they will stick around. If all these people like this blog then there must be other good stuff around. Use WordPress plugins to integrate social proof.

To sidebar or not to sidebar

Sidebars tend to be very cluttered with things like social media buttons, search buttons, archives, ads and even word clouds. And for mobile visitors they load all the way at the bottom of the screen contributing to a slow loading speed.

Review your sidebar. Do you really need everything that’s in your sidebar? How can you make it more focused so it leads your visitor to discover your content deeper and access your key posts? Do you need a sidebar at all?

When scrolling through a post you would have the sidebar towards the top but the more you scroll, the more white space there would as the sidebar is finished. This is a waste of valuable space.

Put in a sticky widget in your sidebar so it scrolls through with the visitor. You could have a subscription widget sticky to increase number of subscribers or social media followers. Or you can stick your popular posts to get more clicks and help people discover more of your content. Q2W3 Fixed Widget plugin allows you to do this.

Every blog post is a potential starting point to a visitor

It’s not all about your blog’s home page design. Majority of your first time visitors come directly to your individual blog posts. Social news feeds and search engines tend to drive people deeper. These visitors might never see your home page.

Bloggers tend to focus on their home page too much spending a lot of time prettying it up and neglecting the posts themselves. Your home page should be optimized but don’t neglect the rest of your blog.

“Keep it simple, stupid” to have a fast loading blog

First time visitors take less than a few seconds to decide if your blog is worth exploring. You have to get their attention and get it fast with an effective blog design. Think of usability. Visitors should enjoy not only the aesthetics of your blog but also the ease of use, page speed and user-friendliness.

Consider how the design affects your blog’s speed and the visitor’s experience and aim for your blog to be loaded within a couple of seconds at most.

Make your blog easy on the eyes and clutter free. Less is more in modern blog (and web) design. Simplicity rules. It gives your visitors a better experience when browsing your content. It puts more emphasis on the content itself and makes your blog load faster.

  • Ignore and remove inessential design elements that don’t matter. Remove buttons, widgets, ads, pop-ups and other distractions. Just because every other blog has them, it doesn’t mean that you need to have them too.
  • Do you actually need all those social media share and follow buttons? Do they actually get any clicks or do they just distract people? Focus on those buttons that have the biggest impact with your audience. And use the lightweight versions instead of the official buttons.
  • Refrain from adding what is not necessary in the first place. Think about what purpose any design element has? You don’t need features that nobody has asked for and that nobody is using. Focus on quality, not on quantity to make room for those elements that do make a difference.

See my complete guide: 12 Easy Ways To Speed Up Your WordPress Blog Loading Time

Time to get started

Whatever you do just don’t spend too much time thinking about your design. No matter how beautiful and pretty your blog is, it will never grow without you spending time on creating great content and attracting visitors. Get your blog out into the wild quickly. It’s the real world and real people that will lead you towards making better design decisions in the future. So do pick a design and start blogging!

The post How To Design Your Blog And Make It Look Pretty (2018 Update) appeared first on HowToMakeMyBlog.