How to Switch from Blogger to WordPress without Losing Google Rankings

Blogger is an awesome free tool to quickly start blogging. However, many Blogger users eventually realize that if they want full control of their blog, then they would be better off with their own self hosted WordPress.org blog (what’s the difference between self-hosted WordPress.org vs… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Switch from Blogger to WordPress without Losing Google Rankings on WPBeginner.

Blogger is an awesome free tool to quickly start blogging. However, many Blogger users eventually realize that if they want full control of their blog, then they would be better off with their own self hosted WordPress.org blog (what’s the difference between self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com blogs). In this step by step tutorial, we will help you switch from Blogger to WordPress without losing Google rankings.

Safely moving a Blogger blog to WordPress

Step 0. Before You Start

To get started with WordPress, the first thing you would need is a good WordPress hosting company and your own domain name. We highly recommend Bluehost because they will give you a free domain and 50% off their hosting plan (special for WPBeginner users). Bluehost is also an officially recommended hosting provider of WordPress.

If you want a Bluehost alternative, then take a look at Siteground who also offer the same special offer to WPBeginner users.

Once you have signed up for WordPress hosting and set up your domain name, the next step is to install WordPress on your hosting account. We have a step by step tutorial on how to install WordPress. Once you have installed WordPress, it is time to move your content from Blogger to WordPress.

Step 1. Export Your Blogger Blog

First thing you need to do is export your blogger blog’s content. Simply log into your blogger dashboard and go to Settings » Other page. Under the blog tools, click on the Export Blog link.

Export Blogger blog

This will bring up a popup where you need to click on the Download Blog button.

Download your Blogger blog's export file

Your Blogger blog’s content will be downloaded to your computer in an XML file.

Once the download is complete, it is time to import it into your WordPress site.

Step 2. Import Blogger to WordPress

To start importing your Blogger site into WordPress, you need to go to your WordPress admin and visit Tools » Import. On the Import page, click on Blogger.

Blogger importer under WordPress import tools

This will bring up a popup asking you to install the Blogger to WordPress importer. You need to click on the Insall button.

WordPress will now download and install the Blogger Importer plugin for you. Once it is finished installing, you would need to click on the Activate Plugin and Run Importer link to continue.

Activate and run blogger importer

On the Import Blogger screen, WordPress will ask you to upload the XML file. This is the file that you downloaded in Step 1.

Simply click on the choose file button and upload the XML file you downloaded earlier. Next, click on the Upload file and import button to continue.

Upload Blogger export file to WordPress

Now if you didn’t select one of our recommended hosts or your site is really large, you may get an error that your file size is too large. In this case, you would need to increase your maximum file upload limit. If your file is small, then you won’t see any errors.

WordPress will now import your blogger posts one by one. When it is finished, you will be asked to assign an author to the imported posts. You can assign your blogger posts to an existing author (you) or create a new author account.

Congratulations! you have successfully imported your Blogger content into WordPress. However, you still need to make sure that you don’t loose any search rankings and that visitors from your old blog easily land to the same content on your new WordPress website.

Step 3. Setting up Permalinks

Permalinks is the term used for URL structure of individual pages. WordPress comes with a feature that allows you to set up SEO friendly URL structure. However, since you are importing content from Blogger, you would want your URL structure to be as close to your Blogger URL structure as possible.

To set permalinks, you need to go to Settings » Permalinks screen and choose Month and Name as your permalink structure.

Choosing a permalink structure for your WordPress site

Step 4. Setting up Redirection

The most important step in moving any website is to set up proper redirection so that users are redirected to your new website.

The important part of redirection is that you want users to land on exactly the same page on the new site which they were trying to access on the old site. Secondly, this also notifies search engines that your old site is moved to a new location.

To successfully move from Blogger to WordPress, you need to set up redirection on two levels.

First, you will redirect Blogger visitors to your new WordPress blog. Second, once users reach your WordPress site, you will redirect them to the exact post they were trying to read.

Let’s first set up redirection on the blogger blog. You need to log on to your Blogger account and go to your Blog’s settings and click on Template.

Blogger Template

On the template page, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Revert to Classic Template link.

Revert to classic template for your Blogger blog

After switching to classic template, you will see ‘Edit Template HTML’ textarea. You need to replace everything in this text area with the following code. Make sure that you replace http://www.example.com with your own domain name.

<html>
 <head>
  <title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>

   <script>
    <MainOrArchivePage>
    window.location.href="http://example.com/"
    </MainOrArchivePage>
    <Blogger>
     <ItemPage>
     window.location.href="http://example.com/?blogger=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>"
     </ItemPage>
    </Blogger>
   </script>

   <MainPage>
   <link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/" />
   </MainPage>

   <Blogger>
    <ItemPage>
    <link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/?blogger=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>" />
    </ItemPage>
   </Blogger>
 </head>

 <body>
  <MainOrArchivePage>
   <h1><a href="http://example.com/"><$BlogTitle$></a></h1>
  </MainOrArchivePage>
  <Blogger>
   <ItemPage>
    <h1><a href="http://example.com/?blogger=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>"><$BlogItemTitle$></a></h1>
    <$BlogItemBody$>
   </ItemPage>
  </Blogger>
 </body>
</html>

Save your template, and you have successfully implemented redirection on your Blogger blog.

However, you still need to setup redirection on your WordPress site so that users are redirected to the proper posts.

You need to copy and paste the following code in your WordPress theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin.

If this is your first time adding code to your WordPress site, then you may want to check our beginner’s guide to pasting snippets from the web into WordPress.

function blogger_query_vars_filter( $vars ) {
  $vars[] = "blogger";
  return $vars;
}
 
add_filter('query_vars', 'blogger_query_vars_filter');
 
function blogger_template_redirect() {
  global $wp_query;
  $blogger = $wp_query->query_vars['blogger'];
  if ( isset ( $blogger ) ) {
    wp_redirect( get_wordpress_url ( $blogger ) , 301 );
    exit;
  }
}
 
add_action( 'template_redirect', 'blogger_template_redirect' );
 
function get_wordpress_url($blogger) {
  if ( preg_match('@^(?:https?://)?([^/]+)(.*)@i', $blogger, $url_parts) ) {
    $query = new WP_Query ( 
      array ( "meta_key" => "blogger_permalink", "meta_value" => $url_parts[2] ) );
    if ($query->have_posts()) { 
      $query->the_post();
      $url = get_permalink(); 
    } 
    wp_reset_postdata(); 
  } 
  return $url ? $url : home_url();
}

The code above creates a blogger to WordPress 301 redirect which is what you need to ensure best SEO.

Once you have pasted this code, that’s all you need to do for setting up redirection.

Now anyone visiting a post on your old Blogger blog will be redirected to the same post on your new WordPress site.

Step 5. Redirect Feeds

Your RSS subscribers on the old Blogger site will not be able to notice the switch. That’s why you will need to redirect your Blogger feed to your new WordPress site’s feed.

You can do this by logging in to your Blogger account and then visit Settings » Other page under your blog dashboard.

Under the Site Feed section, click on Add link next to Post Feed Redirect URL. Here you can enter your new WordPress site’s feed address.

Usually it is http://your-awesome-site.com/feed/ (don’t forget to replace your-awesome-site with your own domain name).

Redirect blogger feed readers to your WordPress feed

Step 5. Import Images From Blogger to WordPress Media Library

When you are transferring blogger to WordPress, the WordPress importer will download images from your blogger posts into the WordPress media library. However, it can fail to download some images. This doesn’t happen often, but it can happen.

But there’s nothing to worry about because you can find and import these images into WordPress. Follow the instructions in our how to import external images in WordPress tutorial.

This will import all images from your blogger into your WordPress Media Library. Once the images are in your WordPress media library, you can easily create image galleries and more.

We hope this tutorial helped you switch from Blogger to WordPress without losing Google rankings. We would like to welcome you to the WordPress community. To get started with WordPress, please take a look at our beginner’s guide section and our WordPress beginner videos.

If you have a friend still using Blogger, then you can show them our comparison on WordPress vs Blogger and convince them to switch over.

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.

To leave a comment please visit How to Switch from Blogger to WordPress without Losing Google Rankings on WPBeginner.

Review: TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) Wireless Router

TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) I’ve always been a Linksys or NetGear router person. I loved the legendary Linksys WRT54G and ran DD-WRT on it for years. A while back I updated my router to the Linksys WRT1900AC. This router was supposed to be the second coming of the WRT54G and promised enthusiastic support for alternate firmware. For about a year I ran the WRT1900AC with the stock firmware as there was a bit of controversy as to what that support would look like. Fast-forward a bit and it appears that Linksys and Marvel have been working together to solve some technical issues and have reached out to the OpenWRT and DD-WRT folks but unfortunately there is still no release place for DD-WRT for the WRT1900AC. I am tried of waiting and some recent instability in the stock firmware has got me shopping around.

I did some research and decided on the TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200). Now, before you say it, I will. This is a prosumer router. It’s not cheap. But so far, it’s been brilliant. I’ve tired $50 routers and they tip over with what I throw at them. I’ve got a minimum of about 20 devices on the network at a time, and often as many as 35-45. I want to be able to manage them differently, apply QoS (Quality of Service) rules, as well as segment my network. However, I am not a network engineer and I don’t feel like being one. I’ve also had issues with range in the past but I don’t feel like having two routers and one SSID. So far, it appears that this TP-Link Archer C3200 router can handle everything I throw at it.

TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) 

First, let me say that this router looks like a UFO. It’s a very dramatic design, but it’s for a functional reason. Those are six folding antennas on the top.

router

Installation in my home took about 30 min from the moment it left the box until the whole house and every device was set up. I personally found the web interface to be simpler and more organized than any other router I’ve ever used, and I’ve used them all.

In this screenshot you can see that there are currently 18 devices connected and there are three wifi networks. I really like this feature. I’ve setup my own 5GHz SSID for my office, while the family gets their own 2.4GHz WiFi Network, and Netflix/Streaming/XBox devices get their own 5GHz SSID. It’s nicely compartmentalized. Even more, I could optionally turn on one or more Guest Networks when folks visit from out of town. This gives guests internet, but keeps them off from seeing internal devices.

TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) Wireless Router UI

If the idea of three SSIDs is too much for you, they also have a feature called “Smart Connect” which basically collapses a 2GHz and two 5GHz SSIDs and associated channels into a single Smart SSID that will abstract 802.11bgn across many channels. You get one SSID (Wireless Network Name) and the router handles the rest, automatically putting your devices on the right network given their capabilities.

There’s also great Parental Controls built in, where you can set a Time Schedule per device. For example, you could make it so your child’s iPad could only access the internet during certain times of the day. You would need turn off iOS Mac Address Randomization for this to work, I believe.

This TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200 also has some light NAS (Network Attached Storage) features that allow you to access disks via FTP, DLNA, or SMB (meaning you can talk to it via \ROUTERshare for example). You could also even expose a disk over FTP externally if you wanted to. The router can also be a print server and make any USB printer a wireless/network attached printer which could be helpful if you’ve got a home office.

For the tech enthusiast/prosumer user the only nit I would say could use improvement is the Bandwidth Control (QoS) panel. It could be a little friendlier. For example, I can certainly figure out the IP Range and Port Range for Xbox Live or Netflix and set the Bandwidth rules, but since those are already pretty well understood it would be nice if there was just a dropdown or set of smart defaults. For example, we would ALL want to be able to check a box that says “make sure Netflix doesn’t get slow when my spouse checks email.” This dialog could be simpler.

Aside: My spouse asked me why Netflix gets slow sometimes when other people are streaming or pushing the network. I said that it’s the same reason that the shower water changes temperature when someone flushes the toilet elsewhere in the house.

TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) Wireless Router UI

So far I’ve been VERY happy with this router. Set up was a breeze, perf has been fantastic, and there hasn’t been a single hiccup. I’ll report back later.

Do you have this router? Or do you recommend another router? Sound off in the comments below.


Sponsor: Thanks to my friends and Infragistics for sponsoring the feed this week. Responsive web design on any browser, any platform and any device with Infragistics jQuery/HTML5 Controls.  Get super-charged performance with the world’s fastest HTML5 Grid – Download for free now!


© 2015 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) I've always been a Linksys or NetGear router person. I loved the legendary Linksys WRT54G and ran DD-WRT on it for years. A while back I updated my router to the Linksys WRT1900AC. This router was supposed to be the second coming of the WRT54G and promised enthusiastic support for alternate firmware. For about a year I ran the WRT1900AC with the stock firmware as there was a bit of controversy as to what that support would look like. Fast-forward a bit and it appears that Linksys and Marvel have been working together to solve some technical issues and have reached out to the OpenWRT and DD-WRT folks but unfortunately there is still no release place for DD-WRT for the WRT1900AC. I am tried of waiting and some recent instability in the stock firmware has got me shopping around.

I did some research and decided on the TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200). Now, before you say it, I will. This is a prosumer router. It's not cheap. But so far, it's been brilliant. I've tired $50 routers and they tip over with what I throw at them. I've got a minimum of about 20 devices on the network at a time, and often as many as 35-45. I want to be able to manage them differently, apply QoS (Quality of Service) rules, as well as segment my network. However, I am not a network engineer and I don't feel like being one. I've also had issues with range in the past but I don't feel like having two routers and one SSID. So far, it appears that this TP-Link Archer C3200 router can handle everything I throw at it.

TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) 

First, let me say that this router looks like a UFO. It's a very dramatic design, but it's for a functional reason. Those are six folding antennas on the top.

router

Installation in my home took about 30 min from the moment it left the box until the whole house and every device was set up. I personally found the web interface to be simpler and more organized than any other router I've ever used, and I've used them all.

In this screenshot you can see that there are currently 18 devices connected and there are three wifi networks. I really like this feature. I've setup my own 5GHz SSID for my office, while the family gets their own 2.4GHz WiFi Network, and Netflix/Streaming/XBox devices get their own 5GHz SSID. It's nicely compartmentalized. Even more, I could optionally turn on one or more Guest Networks when folks visit from out of town. This gives guests internet, but keeps them off from seeing internal devices.

TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) Wireless Router UI

If the idea of three SSIDs is too much for you, they also have a feature called "Smart Connect" which basically collapses a 2GHz and two 5GHz SSIDs and associated channels into a single Smart SSID that will abstract 802.11bgn across many channels. You get one SSID (Wireless Network Name) and the router handles the rest, automatically putting your devices on the right network given their capabilities.

There's also great Parental Controls built in, where you can set a Time Schedule per device. For example, you could make it so your child's iPad could only access the internet during certain times of the day. You would need turn off iOS Mac Address Randomization for this to work, I believe.

This TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200 also has some light NAS (Network Attached Storage) features that allow you to access disks via FTP, DLNA, or SMB (meaning you can talk to it via \ROUTERshare for example). You could also even expose a disk over FTP externally if you wanted to. The router can also be a print server and make any USB printer a wireless/network attached printer which could be helpful if you've got a home office.

For the tech enthusiast/prosumer user the only nit I would say could use improvement is the Bandwidth Control (QoS) panel. It could be a little friendlier. For example, I can certainly figure out the IP Range and Port Range for Xbox Live or Netflix and set the Bandwidth rules, but since those are already pretty well understood it would be nice if there was just a dropdown or set of smart defaults. For example, we would ALL want to be able to check a box that says "make sure Netflix doesn't get slow when my spouse checks email." This dialog could be simpler.

Aside: My spouse asked me why Netflix gets slow sometimes when other people are streaming or pushing the network. I said that it's the same reason that the shower water changes temperature when someone flushes the toilet elsewhere in the house.

TP-Link AC3200 (Archer C3200) Wireless Router UI

So far I've been VERY happy with this router. Set up was a breeze, perf has been fantastic, and there hasn't been a single hiccup. I'll report back later.

Do you have this router? Or do you recommend another router? Sound off in the comments below.


Sponsor: Thanks to my friends and Infragistics for sponsoring the feed this week. Responsive web design on any browser, any platform and any device with Infragistics jQuery/HTML5 Controls.  Get super-charged performance with the world’s fastest HTML5 Grid - Download for free now!



© 2015 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

How to Add Content Upgrades in WordPress and Grow Your Email List

Recently when our founder Syed Balkhi shared his 14-point pre-publish blog post checklist, many of you asked about how did he add the bonus download offer. That’s called a Content Upgrade, and it helps you get significantly more email subscribers. In this article, we will… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Add Content Upgrades in WordPress and Grow Your Email List on WPBeginner.

Recently when our founder Syed Balkhi shared his 14-point pre-publish blog post checklist, many of you asked about how did he add the bonus download offer. That’s called a Content Upgrade, and it helps you get significantly more email subscribers. In this article, we will show you how to add content upgrades in WordPress and grow your email list.

Content Upgrades in WordPress

What is a Content Upgrade?

Content upgrade is a technique where you offer your readers a chance to get exclusive bonus content by signing up to your email list. This additional premium content offered for completing an action is also known as content bribe.

Some different type of content upgrades:

  • eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Excel Worksheets
  • Downloadable PDF version of your blog post
  • Exclusive video interview related to the post
  • Bonus how-to’s for the article

Basically content upgrades have to be highly relevant to the post you’re offering it on. For example, on a post about content upgrade, we should offer a content upgrade checklist because readers of this post will find that highly useful.

Human psychology plays an important role in the effectiveness of content upgrades. The psychology principle known as Zeigarnik Effect states that people are most likely to complete a task if they initiate it themselves.

For content upgrades, it works because users initiate it by clicking on a link or an image. This makes them more likely to complete the task by finishing the sign up.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

See these stats from Syed’s website comparing a regular popup and a MonsterLinks content upgrade.

Comparison of regular popup and a MonsterLink content upgrade

The generic popup was running across the site and was seen by nearly 26000 users, out of which 744 signed up.

On the other hand, the targeted MonsterLink was placed on a single page. It was viewed by 270 people and 74 users signed up. That’s an insane conversion all from a single page without running any split-tests!

Here’s an example of what content upgrades look like:

Exclusive Bonus: Download The Content Upgrade Checklist for a step-by-step guide on how to boost your conversions with content upgrades.

Now that you know what is a content upgrade, let’s see how you can use it on your own website to get more email subscribers.

How to Add Content Upgrades in WordPress?

Content upgrades can be added to any web page using MonsterLinks feature in OptinMonster.

OptinMonster is the best conversion optimization software in the market. It allows you to add beautiful opt in forms like lightbox popups, scroll-triggered slide-in forms, floating bars, sidebar optins, below the content forms, etc.

It is super fast and works beautifully with WordPress powered websites.

Syed started OptinMonster to use on WPBeginner, and we increased our email subscribers by 600%.

Note: if you don’t have an email list, then check out our guide on why you should start building your email list right away.

Step 1: Setting up OptinMonster

First you will need to install and activate the OptinMonster plugin on your WordPress site.

Upon activation, click on OptinMonster menu item in your WordPress admin bar. You will be asked to provide your OptinMonster API username and key (the basic plan of OptinMonster is sufficient for offering content upgrades).

OptinMonster API Credentials

You can find the API information under your account on the OptinMonster website. Simply login and then click on the API link.

OptinMonster API Keys

Next, copy and paste API username and key into OptinMonster plugin page and then click on connect to OptinMonster button.

Step 2: Create a New Popup Optin

Once you are successfully connected, you need to click on the create new optin button.

Create new optin

This will take you to the OptinMonster website. You need to give your optin a title and select your website from the drop down menu. Next, choose lightbox as your optin design.

You will see previews of all the different themes. You can select any one of them as your starter theme.

This will bring you to the OptinMonster’s form builder where you can totally customize the appearance of your popup.

Designing your optin in OptinMonster

For content upgrades, you will need to click on the configuration tab and select “Load on Manual Trigger” option.

Load on manual trigger option

After you’re done with the customization, click on the save button before exiting the optin editor.

Step 3: Enable MonsterLink Optin on Your Site

Visit the OptinMonster plugin page on your WordPress site and click on the Optins tab. You will see your new optins listed there.

If you cannot see it there, then you should click on the refresh optins button. When you see your optin, click on the edit output settings link below your optin.

Optin output settings link

This will bring you to the optin output settings page where you need to check the box next to enable optin on this site option.

You will also need to select the post or page where you want to load this optin.

If you want to load this optin globally on any page or post, then you can check ‘Load optin globally’ option.

Optin output settings

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

Step 4: Get Your Optin Slug

Return to the Optins page and copy the string next to your optin title. You will need this string in the next step.

Get optin slug

Step 5: Add Your Monster Link in a WordPress Post or Page

Adding your MonsterLink in WordPress is very simple. Switch to the text editor and add the link like this:

<a href="#" class="manual-optin-trigger" data-optin-slug="h95qqg9sqx9atrsl">Click me!</a>

You will need to replace the data-optin-slug value with the slug of your own optin.

This code will show plain link to the users however it won’t really stand out.

So how do you make it stand out? You can add a box around it like this:

<p style="background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #fffecf; clear: both; margin-bottom: 18px; overflow: hidden; border: 1px solid #e5e597; padding: 13px;">

<strong>Exclusive Bonus:</strong> <a class="manual-optin-trigger" href="#" data-optin-slug="mohlwy2grsxcvmcw">Download The Blog Post Checklist</a> to use before you hit publish.

</p>

MonsterLink displayed in a yellow box

You can also create a shortcode to make the box styling easy for future.

Simply add this code in your theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin:

function wpb_make_yellowbox($atts, $content = null) {
   return '<p style="background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #fffecf; clear: both; margin-bottom: 18px; overflow: hidden; border: 1px solid #e5e597; padding: 13px;">' . do_shortcode($content) . '</p>';
}
add_shortcode('yellowbox', 'wpb_make_yellowbox');

You can now add your content upgrade link in your WordPress posts using the shortcode like this:

[yellowbox]

<strong>Exclusive Bonus:</strong> <a class="manual-optin-trigger" href="#" data-optin-slug="mohlwy2grsxcvmcw">Download The Blog Post Checklist</a> to use before you hit publish.

[/yellowbox]

You can also show the link with an image. This way you can make it much more prominent and attractive.

Here is how you can add the image with MonsterLink in WordPress.

<a class="manual-optin-trigger" href="#" data-optin-slug="mohlwy2grsxcvmcw"><img src="http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ebookdownload.png" alt="ebook download" /></a>

MonsterLink around an image will make it look more prominent

Step 5: Delivering Content Upgrade

Now we need to take a look at how to deliver the content upgrade that we promised to the user.

Your content upgrade could be anything. Syed used a checklist document in his experiment. You can use PDF, video, audio, or any other kind of content.

Once users enter their email address, you can provide them the promised content upgrade. There are multiple ways to do this:

Show Download Link as Success Message

You can show a download link as a success message inside your popup. Simply click on the edit design link under your popup.

Relaunch optin designer to configure content upgrade delivery

This will take you to the OptinMonster’s designer. Under the configuration tab, you will see the option to add success message.

Deliver content upgrade as success message

Redirect to Thank You or Download Page

You can also redirect users to a thank you page that has the link to download the file. You will find the option to redirect users under the configuration tab in the optin builder.

Redirect users upon successful signup to a download page

Send as an Email

Most email service providers offer autoresponder features where you can send welcome emails to new users. You can use it to send the download link to the user.

You will have to check your email service provider’s documentation section for instructions on how to do this.

Conclusion

Content upgrades are going to be the NEXT BIG thing when it comes to lead-generation. Smart marketers are already starting to use it on their sites.

Brian Dean from Backlinko, Bryan Harris from Videofruit, Neil Patel from QuickSprout, Pat Flynn from SPI, and ofcourse our own Syed Balkhi has seen phenomenal results from using content upgrades.

If you want to grow your email list, then you should definitely try out content upgrades. It will take you anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to build and add a content upgrade to your post, but it’s totally worth it.

We have created a checklist that shows you how to identify which posts are worthy of content upgrades, and the exact steps.

Exclusive Bonus: Download The Content Upgrade Checklist for a step-by-step guide on how to boost your conversions with content upgrades.

We hope this article helped you add content upgrades in WordPress to grow your email list. Want to learn another way to boost your email list? See our guide on how to create a welcome gate 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.

To leave a comment please visit How to Add Content Upgrades in WordPress and Grow Your Email List on WPBeginner.

5 Best Related Posts Plugins for WordPress

Are your users leaving your site after reading the first post? Increasing pageviews and reducing bounce rate is a big challenge for site owners. Showing users related content has proven to be an effective way of getting more pageviews. You can easily show related posts… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit 5 Best Related Posts Plugins for WordPress on WPBeginner.

Are your users leaving your site after reading the first post? Increasing pageviews and reducing bounce rate is a big challenge for site owners. Showing users related content has proven to be an effective way of getting more pageviews. You can easily show related posts on your WordPress site using a plugin. In this article, we will show you some of the best related posts plugins for WordPress.

1. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin aka YARPP is one of the most popular WordPress related posts plugin with more than 3.4 million downloads. It supports both thumbnail and text display of related posts.

Pros:

YARPP uses a built-in algorithm to find related posts. It has a great template system, allows for thumbnails / text display, supports custom post types, and RSS feed display.

Cons:

If you are running a very large site, then YARPP can be very resource intensive. The pro version of the plugin solves this problem by performing heavy-lifting on YARPP’s own servers.

YARPP is not compatible with WPML plugin. If you are going to create a multi-lingual WordPress site, then you should choose Polylang.

Lastly, YARRP is blocked on managed WordPress hosting providers like WPEngine.

2. Contextual Related Posts

Contextual Related Posts

Contextual Related Posts is another WordPress plugin to display related posts. It tries to improve relevancy by contextually matching posts. It can display related posts as thumbnails and text.

Pros:

For text only related posts, it works out of the box and has a simpler settings page. It tries to use images inside a post as thumbnail when no featured image or post thumbnail is found.

Cons:

The plugin does not come with any template to display thumbnails. Instead it just displays thumbnail images in a bulleted list. Users can add their own CSS to style it, but beginner level users may find it difficult.

Just like YARPP, this plugin also does not scale well on larger sites. Managed WordPress Hosts like WPEngine has blocked this plugin to be used by their customers because on larger sites it will slow down your site.

3. Related Posts for WordrPress

Related Posts for WordPress

Related Posts for WordPress plugin is a lightweight alternate to more popular related posts plugins. It performs all the resource intensive tasks in the admin area and uses cache to display related posts.

Pros:

Related Posts for WordPress focuses on performance. It is faster and does not slow down your website. It supports thumbnail and textual display of related posts list.

There is a widget and shortcode which you can use anywhere to display related posts.

Cons:

If you had been using other related posts plugin, then you might miss a few extra features.

4. Yuzo Related Posts

Yuzo Related Posts

Another good free related posts plugin is Yuzo Related Posts. It has a comprehensive set of features that you can expect from a related posts plugin. Thumbnail views, horizontal views with thumbnails, list views, built-in cache, etc.

Pros:

It is extremely easy to use and setup. Users can select style by just clicking on it. Caching makes the performance better than YARPP and Contextual Related Posts. It has a highly customizable widget with lots of options.

Cons:

It is inevitable not to compromise on speed when you are offering this many features. It is fast, but it is not lightweight.

5. Inline Related Posts

Inline related posts

Inline Related Posts is different than other plugins in this list. Instead of showing related posts below content, this plugin shows them inside your articles. This kind of inline display of related content is quite popular on news and blog sites.

Pros:

Displays related posts when users are more engaged in the content and are more likely to click. It has easy setup and allows you to control where you want to display inline related post links in your content.

Cons:

If you want to display related posts at the end of each post, then you will need to install another plugin. Two related posts plugins on one site can be very resource intensive.

Bonus Tips

You may have noticed that we have repeatedly mentioned that related posts plugin can be resource intensive. It is possible that some of these plugins may not work well on a shared WordPress hosting.

In that case, you can use Manual Related Posts plugin. This plugin allows you to manually add related posts to a post. The link relationship work both ways, so if you add an old post as related post to a new one, then the old post will also display the new post as related.

Another option is to manually display related posts with thumbnails without using plugins.

We hope that this article helped you find the best related posts plugin for your WordPress website. Check out this guide for more tips on how to increase pageviews and reduce bounce rate 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.

To leave a comment please visit 5 Best Related Posts Plugins for WordPress on WPBeginner.

20+ Best Free WooCommerce Plugins for WordPress

WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin, and it comes with tons of extensions. Among all the paid ones, we’ve hand-picked some of the best free WooCommerce plugins. There’s an extension in here for just about everyone so have a look and let us… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit 20+ Best Free WooCommerce Plugins for WordPress on WPBeginner.

WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin, and it comes with tons of extensions. Among all the paid ones, we’ve hand-picked some of the best free WooCommerce plugins. There’s an extension in here for just about everyone so have a look and let us know which one is your favorite.

1. WooCommerce Poor Guys Swiss Knife

WooCommerce Poor Guys Swiss Knife

WooCommerce Poor Guys Swiss Knife is a powerful free plugin for WooCommerce. It is more like a bundle of extensions allowing you to perform various customization tasks on your WooCommerce store. You can customize your checkout forms, adjust WooCommerce for country specific needs, fine tune cart operations, add custom fields, etc.

2. WooCommerce EU VAT Compliance

EU Vat Compliance plugin for WooCommrce

As the name suggests this simple plugin makes your WooCommerce shop compliant with the new EU VAT. It will automatically detect your customer’s location and will display prices with correct VAT from the first page.

3. WooCommerce Customizer

WooCommerce Customizer

WooCommerce Customizer provides a GUI to use built-in WooCommerce filters. These filters allow you to customize things like button text, labels, fields, and much more. However, you have to write PHP code to use them. With WooCommerce customizer you can easily use those filters from an easy to use settings page.

4. WooCommerce Multilingual

WooCommerce WPML

WooCommrce Multilingual allows you to translate your product and other WooCommerce pages using WPML. It allows your users to switch languages and order products in their local language.

5. Stripe for WooCommerce

Stripe for WooCommerce

As the name suggests, this plugins adds support for Stripe payment gateway in WooCommerce. Stripe allows you to accept payments using credit cards on your WooCommerce store.

6. Pay With Amazon

Pay with Amazon

This plugin embeds pay with Amazon on your WooCommerce store. It allows users to use their payment information stored in their Amazon account on your eCommerce site.

7. WooCommerce Product Slider

WooCommerce Product Slider

WooCommerce Product Slider allows you to add a responsive slider featuring your products.

8. WooCommerce Product Gift Wrap

WooCommerce Product Gift Wrap Plugin

WooCommerce Gift Wrap plugin allows you to add gift wrapping option on your product pages. It also allows you to add additional fees for gift wrapping.

9. WooCommerce Smart Sale Badge

WooComerce Smart Sale Badge

Smart Sale Badge enhances the WooCommerce Sale badge by displaying how much a user will save upon each item. This is a proven sales technique, that you can now apply to your online store.

10. Order Delivery Date for WooCommerce

WooCommerce Delivery Date

This simple plugin allows users to choose a delivery date for products during the checkout. WooCommerce store owner can see the delivery date on their orders page in the admin area.

11. Weight/Country Shipping for WooCommerce

Weight/Country Shipping plugin for WooCommerce

Shipping costs vary from one country to another depending on the weight. If you need to adjust the shipping cost based on customer’s country and the weight of products then this plugin is for you.

12. WooCommerce My Account Widget

My Account Widget for WooCommerce

This simple widget displays customer’s account information with links to their shopping cart, account page, checkout, and other URLs.

13. WooCommerce Checkout Manager

WooCommerce Checkout Manager

WooCommerce Checkout Manager allows you to create highly customized checking out experience for your users with the help of additional fields. You can add new fields, make fields optional or required, display them on order and receipt pages.

14. Minimum Purchase for WooCommerce

Minimum Purchase for WooCommerce

A simple plugin that allows you to set rules for minimum purchase on your WooCommerce store. You can set rules that must match before a user can proceed to checkout page.

15. WooCommerce PDF & Print

WooCommerce Print & PDF

This plugin adds buttons to save product pages as PDF or Doc files. Users can also click on the print button to instantly print a product page.

16. Product Enquiry for WooCommerce

Product Enquiry plugin for WooCommerce

Product Enquiry for WooCommerce plugin allows your customers and visitors to enquire product information right from the product listing page.

17. WooCommerce Product FAQs

WooCommerce Product FAQs

This plugin allows customers to ask questions about products which are then displayed as product faqs. This allows you to build FAQs based on actual customer interactions.

18. WooCommerce – Gift Cards

WooCommerce Gift Cards

Gift Cards for WooCommerce plugin allows you to sell gift cards and certificated on your WooCommerce store. Allowing your users to gift them to their loved ones.

19. WooCommerce Currency Switcher

Currency Switcher

Allows you to add a currency switcher to your WooCommerce store. Your customers can instantly switch currency to see prices in other currencies. The currency switcher can be added using a widget or a shortcode.

20. WooCommerce Export Customer Email

Export Customer Email

WooCommerce Export Customer email adds a simple link to the customers tab, allowing you to download all customer email into a single file.

21. WooCommerce Advanced Product Quantities

WooCommerce Advanced Product Quantities

WooCommerce Advanced Product Quantities plugin allows you to set advanced rules for product quantities. You can set minimum and maximum quantities, you can also set incremental quantities. You can create multiple rules and apply them to products as you add them.

22. WooCommerce Colors

WooCommerce Colors

WooCommerce Colors plugin allows you to easily change the colors of default WooCommerce elements. Simply install the plugin and visit Appearance » Customize to change the colors. An easier tool for users who just want the buttons and labels to match their theme colors.

Bonus: OptinMonster (Not Free)

OptinMonster

Building an email list is crucial for your eCommerce store. OptinMonster is the best lead generation and cart-abandonment software that integrates perfectly with WooCommerce.

It allows you to create beautiful optin forms and popups for your website and convert your abandoning visitors into subscribers.

It comes packed with features like page-level targeting, analytics, split testing, and exit-intent technology which allows you to display optin form when a user is about to leave your site.

Start converting abandoning visitors into customers with OptinMonster’s onsite retargeting.

We hope this article helped you find the best free WooCommerce plugins for your site. You may also want to see our guide on the best affiliate tracking and management solutions for 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.

To leave a comment please visit 20+ Best Free WooCommerce Plugins for WordPress on WPBeginner.

How to customize the Windows 10 Start Menu

It’s been a few months, and pretty much everyone in my family and neighborhood has slowly upgraded to Windows 10. Some have upgraded from Windows 7 and others from Windows 8. For the most part, from a SAF (Spouse Acceptance Factor) it’s been a non-issue, which is amazing, frankly.

I have been doing a few videos on Windows 10 that you can find at http://hanselman.com/windows10. I’d encourage you to share them with your friend and family or any one who’s interested in being more effected with Windows! If you’ve still got family who are using Windows 8, my tutorials are at http://hanselman.com/windows8 but, hey, it’s time to upgrade them to Windows 10.

Windows 10 has much higher SAF than Windows 8.

The first thing I recommend that everyone do once they’ve installed Windows 10 is to spend a few minutes customize the default experience. Out of the box you’ll get a Start Menu that looks something (basically) like this.

The default Windows 10 Start Menu

This is “fine” but it’s nice to customize things and make them your own.

First, you can make the Start menu wider by grabbing the right side of the menu and dragging. Grab the top and do the same thing, and make it the height and width that makes you happy. I like a 2/3s of the screen style “not a start screen but still a big menu” look, myself.

Expanding the Windows 10 Start Menu

Tiles

Pin a bunch of apps, but not just any app. I prefer apps that I use a lot, but also apps that have a pleasant Live Tile. You can right click on any app and set their tile size. Desktop Apps can be small or medium, and Windows 10 Store Apps can be small, medium, wide, or large. I like to mix it up, but that’s what’s nice about the Start menu, you can make it your own.

In one of my YouTube videos a person asked “how can I make these horrible live tiles ago away.” Well, unpin them all. I think you’re missing out, Random Internet Commenter. Another solution might be to just turn off Live Tiles. Often it’s the movement folks find distracting, not the tiles themselves.

Color

Go to the start menu and type “Color.” When you go into the Settings app and into Personalization | Color, you can change a bunch of stuff. I like to have the Start Menu automatically pick a color from my wallpaper, then I change my wallpaper every 30 min (more on this soon). When my wallpaper changes, my accent color changes.

Themes

The Themes Control Panel is one of the last places in Windows 10 that hasn’t been updated with a new Settings page. That’s a bummer because it’s one of my favorite features. I hope it lives on. Themes can be downloaded by just searching for “Windows themes” or “Windows 8 themes.” I like the “Best of Bing” themes that include wallpaper from popular Bing backgrounds. These themes are really RSS feeds that bring down fantastic free wallpapers.

If you combine themes with the “Automatically pick an accent color from my background” feature, you’ll get a nice dynamic experience in Windows where your colors and wallpaper change as often as you’d like. I mix it up every 30 min.

image

More Folders

Another great setting that doesn’t get used enough is “choose which folders appear in start.” Go ahead and click the Start menu and type “choose which” to get there quickly. Remember also that your Settings menu is full searchable.

Your default Start Menu will have something like this at the bottom:

The Default Start menu in Windows 10 has few shortcuts

But once you “choose which folders appear in start” you can have useful shortcuts like these. This is a huge timesaver. Hit Start, then click and you’re right in your Downloads folder.

image

Adjust the Taskbar

By default Cortana shows up as a text box at the bottom in your Taskbar. But you can change Cortana into a single button and regain more space on your Taskbar. It’s up to you.

Right click in the Cortana text box and click Cortana. You can select Hidden, Show Cortana Icon, or Show Text Box.

Making Cortana smaller and getting more space in the taskbar

You can also remove the Task View button if you want as well.

Steam Tile for Games

I did a video on how amazing it is to stream a game from your Xbox One to your laptop. It really is. However, I also use Steam and I have a pretty large collection of Steam games. There’s a GREAT application for Windows 8/10 called Steam Tile. If you use Steam, go get this application NOW. It’s fantastic. It connects to your Steam account and gets your connection. Then it takes the art for each game and lets you Pin that game to your Start Menu.

Steam Tile makes for a VERY attractive Start Menu. The games launch into Steam, chained from Steam Tile. Steam Tile is an app that arguably fixes Steam by adding these awesome configurable and croppable live tiles.

Steam Tile is amazing

What have you done to customize your Start Menu in Windows 10? Sound off in the comments.

Related Links


Sponsor: Big thanks to the folks at Atalasoft for sponsoring the feed this week! If your project requires image viewing, format freedom, scanning, or other document-centric workflows, Atalasoft’s document imaging experts can help. Evaluate their developer tools for 30 days with remarkable human support.


© 2015 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

It's been a few months, and pretty much everyone in my family and neighborhood has slowly upgraded to Windows 10. Some have upgraded from Windows 7 and others from Windows 8. For the most part, from a SAF (Spouse Acceptance Factor) it's been a non-issue, which is amazing, frankly.

I have been doing a few videos on Windows 10 that you can find at http://hanselman.com/windows10. I'd encourage you to share them with your friend and family or any one who's interested in being more effected with Windows! If you've still got family who are using Windows 8, my tutorials are at http://hanselman.com/windows8 but, hey, it's time to upgrade them to Windows 10.

Windows 10 has much higher SAF than Windows 8.

The first thing I recommend that everyone do once they've installed Windows 10 is to spend a few minutes customize the default experience. Out of the box you'll get a Start Menu that looks something (basically) like this.

The default Windows 10 Start Menu

This is "fine" but it's nice to customize things and make them your own.

First, you can make the Start menu wider by grabbing the right side of the menu and dragging. Grab the top and do the same thing, and make it the height and width that makes you happy. I like a 2/3s of the screen style "not a start screen but still a big menu" look, myself.

Expanding the Windows 10 Start Menu

Tiles

Pin a bunch of apps, but not just any app. I prefer apps that I use a lot, but also apps that have a pleasant Live Tile. You can right click on any app and set their tile size. Desktop Apps can be small or medium, and Windows 10 Store Apps can be small, medium, wide, or large. I like to mix it up, but that's what's nice about the Start menu, you can make it your own.

In one of my YouTube videos a person asked "how can I make these horrible live tiles ago away." Well, unpin them all. I think you're missing out, Random Internet Commenter. Another solution might be to just turn off Live Tiles. Often it's the movement folks find distracting, not the tiles themselves.

Color

Go to the start menu and type "Color." When you go into the Settings app and into Personalization | Color, you can change a bunch of stuff. I like to have the Start Menu automatically pick a color from my wallpaper, then I change my wallpaper every 30 min (more on this soon). When my wallpaper changes, my accent color changes.

Themes

The Themes Control Panel is one of the last places in Windows 10 that hasn't been updated with a new Settings page. That's a bummer because it's one of my favorite features. I hope it lives on. Themes can be downloaded by just searching for "Windows themes" or "Windows 8 themes." I like the "Best of Bing" themes that include wallpaper from popular Bing backgrounds. These themes are really RSS feeds that bring down fantastic free wallpapers.

If you combine themes with the "Automatically pick an accent color from my background" feature, you'll get a nice dynamic experience in Windows where your colors and wallpaper change as often as you'd like. I mix it up every 30 min.

image

More Folders

Another great setting that doesn't get used enough is "choose which folders appear in start." Go ahead and click the Start menu and type "choose which" to get there quickly. Remember also that your Settings menu is full searchable.

Your default Start Menu will have something like this at the bottom:

The Default Start menu in Windows 10 has few shortcuts

But once you "choose which folders appear in start" you can have useful shortcuts like these. This is a huge timesaver. Hit Start, then click and you're right in your Downloads folder.

image

Adjust the Taskbar

By default Cortana shows up as a text box at the bottom in your Taskbar. But you can change Cortana into a single button and regain more space on your Taskbar. It's up to you.

Right click in the Cortana text box and click Cortana. You can select Hidden, Show Cortana Icon, or Show Text Box.

Making Cortana smaller and getting more space in the taskbar

You can also remove the Task View button if you want as well.

Steam Tile for Games

I did a video on how amazing it is to stream a game from your Xbox One to your laptop. It really is. However, I also use Steam and I have a pretty large collection of Steam games. There's a GREAT application for Windows 8/10 called Steam Tile. If you use Steam, go get this application NOW. It's fantastic. It connects to your Steam account and gets your connection. Then it takes the art for each game and lets you Pin that game to your Start Menu.

Steam Tile makes for a VERY attractive Start Menu. The games launch into Steam, chained from Steam Tile. Steam Tile is an app that arguably fixes Steam by adding these awesome configurable and croppable live tiles.

Steam Tile is amazing

What have you done to customize your Start Menu in Windows 10? Sound off in the comments.

Related Links


Sponsor: Big thanks to the folks at Atalasoft for sponsoring the feed this week! If your project requires image viewing, format freedom, scanning, or other document-centric workflows, Atalasoft’s document imaging experts can help. Evaluate their developer tools for 30 days with remarkable human support.



© 2015 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

How to Easily Add Custom CSS to Your WordPress Site

Sometimes you may find yourself needing to add Custom CSS in your WordPress site. Perhaps it’s because you’re following a tutorial on WPBeginner. If using FTP is too confusing, then there is an easier way to add CSS on your site. In this article, we… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Easily Add Custom CSS to Your WordPress Site on WPBeginner.

Sometimes you may find yourself needing to add Custom CSS in your WordPress site. Perhaps it’s because you’re following a tutorial on WPBeginner. If using FTP is too confusing, then there is an easier way to add CSS on your site. In this article, we will show you how to add custom CSS to your WordPress site without editing any theme files.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Simple Custom CSS plugin. Upon activation simply go to Appearance » Custom CSS and write down or paste your custom CSS.

Simple Custom CSS

Don’t forget to press the ‘Update Custom CSS’ button to store your CSS.

You can now view your website to see the custom CSS in action.

Using a Custom CSS plugin vs Adding CSS in Theme

Adding custom CSS snippets into your parent theme is not recommended. Your CSS changes will be lost if you accidentally update the theme without saving your custom changes.

The best approach is to use a child theme instead. However, many beginners don’t want to create a child theme. Apart from adding custom CSS they really don’t know how they will be using that child theme.

Using a custom CSS plugin allows you to store your custom CSS independant from your theme. This way you can easily switch themes and your custom CSS will still be there.

Another great way to add custom CSS to your WordPress site is by using the CSS Hero plugin. This wonderful plugin allows you to edit almost everything in your WordPress site without writing a single line of code.

Editing custom CSS with CSS Hero plugin for WordPress

We hope this article helped add custom css to your WordPress site. You may also want to see how our guide on how to create a site-specific WordPress plugin to store your custom code snippets.

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.

To leave a comment please visit How to Easily Add Custom CSS to Your WordPress Site on WPBeginner.

How to Add Topics in WordPress Navigation Menus

We are often asked by new readers about how they can add topics in their WordPress navigation menus. Most users assume that they need to create pages for each topic and add them to menus. However if you do that, then you won’t be able… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Add Topics in WordPress Navigation Menus on WPBeginner.

We are often asked by new readers about how they can add topics in their WordPress navigation menus. Most users assume that they need to create pages for each topic and add them to menus. However if you do that, then you won’t be able to display relevant posts there. In this article, we will show you how to add topics in WordPress navigation menus without having to create pages or writing any HTML code.

A WordPress site with topics in navigation menus

Let’s say you want to create a website about traveling guides for different cities. You may want to add city names in your navigation menu and show relevant articles when users click on that link.

This is where categories come in. WordPress comes with a powerful built-in system that allows you to sort your content into taxonomies.

By default, you have two taxonomies ready to use with your posts. These taxonomies are called categories and tags in WordPress.

Categories are hierarchical, and they are supposed to be used for a broader range of topics. Tags are non-hierarchical, and they can be used to sort articles for very specific topics.

We recommend you to read our guide on the difference between categories and tags.

You can add or select categories while writing your blog posts. The categories meta box will appear on the right column of the post editing screen.

Filing a WordPress post in categories

Once you have created a few posts and filed them under different categories, you can now add these categories into your site’s navigation menu.

Simply visit Appearance » Menus and click on the categories tab to expand it.

Adding categories as topics to your site's menu

Next, select the categories you want to add to the menu and then click on Add to menu button. Your selected categories will now appear in the right hand column as menu items. You can move them up and down using drag and drop.

Rearrange menu items in WordPress

Once you are satisfied with the menu, click on the save menu button to store your changes.

You can now visit your website to see your changes in action.

Menu with topics instead of pages

Since categories are hierarchical this means that they can have parent and child categories.

Most WordPress themes support multi-level menus. If you are using sub-categories, then you can easily add them under the parent category by moving them slightly towards right.

Creating submenus in WordPress

This way you can create awesome drop-down menus that could cover all your important topics. This will also help your users quickly find the information they need.

We hope this article helped you add topics in WordPress navigation menus. You may also want to see our tutorial on how to create category templates 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.

To leave a comment please visit How to Add Topics in WordPress Navigation Menus on WPBeginner.

How to Show Recent Comments in WordPress Sidebar

Are you looking to add recent comments in your WordPress sidebar? Recently, one of our readers asked if we could cover how to display recent comments in WordPress. That’s why in this article, we will show you how to easily show recent comments in WordPress… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Show Recent Comments in WordPress Sidebar on WPBeginner.

Are you looking to add recent comments in your WordPress sidebar? Recently, one of our readers asked if we could cover how to display recent comments in WordPress. That’s why in this article, we will show you how to easily show recent comments in WordPress sidebar or other widget-ready areas.

Recent Comments in WordPress

Method 1: Default Recent Comments Widget in WordPress

WordPress comes with a built-in ready to use recent comments widget which you can add to your sidebar.

Simply go to Appearance » Widgets and add Recent Comments widget to your sidebar.

The default WordPress recent comments widget

You can provide a widget title and choose the number of comments you want to display. Next click on the save button to store your widget settings.

Now you can visit your website to see the recent comments widget in action.

Preview of default recent comments widget

Method 2: A Better Recent Comments Widget in WordPress

As you can see that the default recent comments widget only shows comment author name and post title. There is not much information about the comment itself which makes it look very plain.

Here is how you can add a better recent comments widget to your WordPress sidebar.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Decent Comments plugin. Upon activation, simply visit Appearance » Widgets page and add Decent Comments widget to a sidebar.

Decent comments widget settings

Decent Comments widget comes with a lot of different options. Among these options, you will find the option to display comment author avatar and comment excerpt.

WordPress uses Gravatar to automatically display a comment author’s avatar image. See our guide on Gravatar and why you should start using it right away.

You can define the size of comment author’s gravatar image as well as the excerpt length. This gives you control on how the recent comments appear in the widget.

Show comment author avatar and excerpt

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

Now visit your website to see the recent comments with author images in action.

Recent comments widget with author gravatar thumbnails and comment excerpt

You can adjust the appearance of recent comments by editing CSS in your theme or child theme. You can also use CSS Hero plugin which allows you to change appearance of any element on your site without writing any CSS or HTML.

We hope this article helped you show recent comments in sidebar of your WordPress blog. You may also want to see our guide on how to improve WordPress comments with De:comments.

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.

To leave a comment please visit How to Show Recent Comments in WordPress Sidebar on WPBeginner.

How to Add a Notification Center in WordPress

Are you tired of the annoying WordPress notifications that are added by various different plugins and themes? Want to control these notifications? In this article, we will show you how to add a notification center in WordPress that takes these notices out of your way… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Add a Notification Center in WordPress on WPBeginner.

Are you tired of the annoying WordPress notifications that are added by various different plugins and themes? Want to control these notifications? In this article, we will show you how to add a notification center in WordPress that takes these notices out of your way and places them under a convenient menu.

Yep, you can make it just like the Facebook notifications area.

When and Why You Should Add a Notification Center in WordPress?

WordPress allows plugins and themes to display notices in the admin area. Sometimes these notifications can become annoying and get in your way of doing other things.

Does this look familiar?

Notifications in the admin area of a WordPress site

If you are developing a site for a client, then the notifications issued by the plugins may ruin user experience in the admin area. Your work would look unfinished and unpolished.

When running a multi-author WordPress site, some of these notifications may be visible to other authors as well. These authors can’t take the actions suggested by the notices, and it becomes a bit annoying for them because they can’t even dismiss them.

Thankfully you can fix this by adding a notification center.

Setting up WP Notification Center

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Notification Center plugin. It works out of the box, and there are no settings for you to configure.

Upon activation, the plugin will simply add a new Notifications menu in your WordPress toolbar. This notification center will capture notices displayed by WordPress plugins.

New notifications indicated by a number in the notifications menu

New notifications are indicated by a number, and you can review these notifications by taking the mouse over to the notification menu.

Currently there is no way to dismiss a notification from the notification center. These notifications will ONLY disappear when you take the required action recommended in the actual notice.

WordPress Notification Center

You may also notice that the number of notifications will change from one page in the admin area to another. This is because the original plugins or themes showing these notifications may have them configured to be displayed on certain pages only.

WP Notifications Center provides a friendly experience for clients and authors on your website. It reduces the clutter while making sure that you don’t miss anything important.

We hope this article helped you add a notification center to your WordPress site. You may also want to see our list of 13 plugins and tips to improve WordPress admin area.

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.

To leave a comment please visit How to Add a Notification Center in WordPress on WPBeginner.