Lonely Coding

codingisbettertogether

It’s official. I’m a better programmer when I’m pairing with someone. Pair Programming (two people, one keyboard) has been around for at least 20+ years, if not much longer. Usually one person types while another person (paces around and) thinks. It is kind of a “driver and navigator” model.

Everyone is different, to be clear, so it’s very possible that you are the kind of person who can disappear into a closet for 8 hours and emerge with code, triumphant. I’ve done this before. Some of my best projects have involved me coding alone and that’s fine.

However, just has we know that “diverse teams make for better projects,” the same is true in my experience when coding on specific problems. Diversity isn’t just color and gender, etc, it’s as much background, age, personal history, work experience, expertise, programming language of choice, heck, it’s even google-ability, and more!

How many times have you banged your head against a wall while coding only to have a friend or co-worker find the answer on their first web search?

Good pair programming is like that. Those ah-ha moments happen more often and you’ll feel more than twice as productive in a pair.

In fact, I’m trying to pair for an hour every week remotely. Mark Downie and I have been pairing on DasBlog on and off for a year or so now in fits and starts. It’s great. Just last week he and I were trying to crack one problem using regular expressions (yes, then we had two problems) and because there were two of us looking at the code it was solved!

Why is pair programming better?

Here’s a few reasons why I think Pair Programming is very often better.

  • Focus and Discipline – We set aside specific times and we sprint. We don’t chat, we don’t delete email, we code. And we also code with a specific goal or endpoint in mind.
  • Collective ownership – I feel like we own the code together. I feel less ego about the code. Our hacks are our hacks, and our successes are shared.
  • Personal growth – We mentor each other. We learn and we watch how the other moves around the code. I’ve learned new techniques, new hotkeys, and new algorithms.

Let’s talk about the remote aspect of things. I’m remote. I also like to poke around on non-work-related tech on the side, as do many of us. Can I pair program remotely as well? Absolutely. I start with Skype, but I also use Google Hangouts, Join.me, TeamViewer, whatever works that day.

If you’re a remote person on a larger team, consider remote pair programming. If you’re an consultant  or perhaps you’ve left a big corporate job to strike off on your own, you might be lonely. Seriously, ask yourself that hard question. It’s no fun to realize or have to declare you’re a lonely coder, but I am and I will. I love my job and I love my team but if I go a day or two without seeing another human or spending some serious time on Skype I get really tense. Remote pair programming can really reduce that feeling of lonely coding.

I was at a small tech get together in Atlanta a few days ago and I knew that one person there was a singular coder at their small business while another at the table was an emerging college student with an emerging talent. I made a gentle suggestion that maybe they consider pairing up on some side projects and they both lit up.

Consider your networks. Are there people you’ve met at conferences or at local user groups or meetups that might be good remote pairing partners? This might be the missing link for you. It was for me!

Do you pair? Do you pair remotely? Let us all know in the comments.

* Stock photo purchased from ColorStock – Your customers are diverse, why aren’t your stock photos?


Sponsor: Big thanks to Telerik for sponsoring the feed this week. Try Kendo UI by Progress: The most complete set of HTML5 UI widgets and JavaScript app tools helping you cut development time.


© 2016 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     
codingisbettertogether

It's official. I'm a better programmer when I'm pairing with someone. Pair Programming (two people, one keyboard) has been around for at least 20+ years, if not much longer. Usually one person types while another person (paces around and) thinks. It is kind of a "driver and navigator" model.

Everyone is different, to be clear, so it's very possible that you are the kind of person who can disappear into a closet for 8 hours and emerge with code, triumphant. I've done this before. Some of my best projects have involved me coding alone and that's fine.

However, just has we know that "diverse teams make for better projects," the same is true in my experience when coding on specific problems. Diversity isn't just color and gender, etc, it's as much background, age, personal history, work experience, expertise, programming language of choice, heck, it's even google-ability, and more!

How many times have you banged your head against a wall while coding only to have a friend or co-worker find the answer on their first web search?

Good pair programming is like that. Those ah-ha moments happen more often and you'll feel more than twice as productive in a pair.

In fact, I'm trying to pair for an hour every week remotely. Mark Downie and I have been pairing on DasBlog on and off for a year or so now in fits and starts. It's great. Just last week he and I were trying to crack one problem using regular expressions (yes, then we had two problems) and because there were two of us looking at the code it was solved!

Why is pair programming better?

Here's a few reasons why I think Pair Programming is very often better.

  • Focus and Discipline - We set aside specific times and we sprint. We don't chat, we don't delete email, we code. And we also code with a specific goal or endpoint in mind.
  • Collective ownership - I feel like we own the code together. I feel less ego about the code. Our hacks are our hacks, and our successes are shared.
  • Personal growth - We mentor each other. We learn and we watch how the other moves around the code. I've learned new techniques, new hotkeys, and new algorithms.

Let's talk about the remote aspect of things. I'm remote. I also like to poke around on non-work-related tech on the side, as do many of us. Can I pair program remotely as well? Absolutely. I start with Skype, but I also use Google Hangouts, Join.me, TeamViewer, whatever works that day.

If you're a remote person on a larger team, consider remote pair programming. If you're an consultant  or perhaps you've left a big corporate job to strike off on your own, you might be lonely. Seriously, ask yourself that hard question. It's no fun to realize or have to declare you're a lonely coder, but I am and I will. I love my job and I love my team but if I go a day or two without seeing another human or spending some serious time on Skype I get really tense. Remote pair programming can really reduce that feeling of lonely coding.

I was at a small tech get together in Atlanta a few days ago and I knew that one person there was a singular coder at their small business while another at the table was an emerging college student with an emerging talent. I made a gentle suggestion that maybe they consider pairing up on some side projects and they both lit up.

Consider your networks. Are there people you've met at conferences or at local user groups or meetups that might be good remote pairing partners? This might be the missing link for you. It was for me!

Do you pair? Do you pair remotely? Let us all know in the comments.

* Stock photo purchased from ColorStock - Your customers are diverse, why aren't your stock photos?


Sponsor: Big thanks to Telerik for sponsoring the feed this week. Try Kendo UI by Progress: The most complete set of HTML5 UI widgets and JavaScript app tools helping you cut development time.



© 2016 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

Revealed: Why Building Your Email List is so Important Today!

Are you thinking about building an email list, but not sure why it is so important? Many bloggers and business owners don’t see the importance of building an email list right away until they see the impact email lists can have on website traffic and… Read More »

The post Revealed: Why Building Your Email List is so Important Today! appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you thinking about building an email list, but not sure why it is so important? Many bloggers and business owners don’t see the importance of building an email list right away until they see the impact email lists can have on website traffic and revenue. In this article, we will show you the top reasons why building your email list is important (with real case studies). We will also show you how to start building your email list – step by step.

By the end of this article, you will have answers to all your questions about building an email list.

Why Build Email List

What is an Email List and Why is it so Important?

An email list is a list of names and email addresses of people who gave you permission to send them updates and promotions from your business via email.

Why is this so important?

Because these subscribers joined your email list from your website and verified their identity by clicking on a link (double-optin). They are extremely interested in what you have to offer.

According to Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in USA.

In our business, email lists get 10 times higher conversions than social media campaigns. This makes sense if you think about these five advantages of email as a communication channel:

Email is Personal – Email allows you to land into a user’s inbox. There is no ranking system limiting your reach. It is very direct, personal, and casual.

Email is Purposeful – To get your email a user needs to signup for your email list and confirm their email address. Someone doing this much work is obviously interested in hearing from you, and they are much more receptive to your message.

Email is Targeted – As we mentioned earlier the user has already shown interest in your products / content. Since you already know what they like, you can deliver them highly relevant content and offers to get better results. This is called segmentation, and we will cover that later in the article.

You Own Your Email List – You do not own Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Your social media campaigns and SEO efforts can go to waste when these platform change their policies. On the other hand, you own your email list, and it is not influenced by decisions of other businesses.

Email is One-on-One – People read email in the privacy of their inbox. The message is not on a public timeline or newsfeed. They can ask you questions directly in private with confidence. This helps build trust and connection.

This is precisely why every smart business in the world has an email list.

Big name brands learned this lesson a long time ago, and that’s why they spend thousands of dollars on social media campaigns to get people to sign up for their email lists.

They understand that email marketing is the best long term investment with a much higher return. Because people will continue to get their message at a very low cost for a longer period of time.

Social Media vs Email Marketing

Social Media vs Email Marketing

Now you’re probably thinking, wait a minute. What about social media?

A lot of social media experts and consultants, in an attempt to sell their services, downplay the importance of an email list.

In fact, we have even been asked isn’t email marketing kind of dead with social media taking over everything?

The best way to answer this question is to look at the information Twitter and Facebook ask you before you create an account:

Twitter and Facebook Signup Forms

Yup, it’s an email address. Because these companies know that emails are the most direct and reliable way of getting in touch.

All social media platforms are building an email list because they are smart business owners. This helps their valuation when selling their business.

While social media is a great way to reach your audience, it’s important to keep in perspective the timely nature of social media platforms.

They come and go.

Not too long ago we had MySpace, FriendFeed, Google Buzz, Plurk and countless others. Most of them are either dead now or irrelevant.

Today we have Facebook and Twitter, but not everyone is as hooked up on these sites. Some prefer other places like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, etc.

But studies show that at least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis.

We are not saying that social media is not important. It is, and you should explore every opportunity to reach out to your audiences.

However you should spend more time and effort into something that guarantees much higher results.

What You Need to Start Building an Email List?

Hopefully by now, you should know why building an email list is so important, and why ignoring it would be a HUGE mistake.

So let’s take a look at what you need to start building your email list.

3 Things You Need to Build an Email List:

  1. A website or blog.
  2. An email marketing service.
  3. High-converting opt-in forms

All three of these are fairly easy to setup, and none of them require you to know how to code.

For the sake of this article, we will only be focusing on the last two items in the list. If you don’t have a website or blog yet, then see our step by step guide on how to start a blog.

Choosing the Best Email Marketing Service

Best email marketing services

There are tons of email marketing services online. Often beginners use the free options to save cost, which is understandable. However, some of those free platforms are not the best option. Why?

Services like FeedBurner or Jetpack Subscriptions offer blog subscription via email. This allows your users to receive an email update every time you publish a new blog post.

The downside to a blog notification service like this are:

  • You will have to create a blog post to send an email. This means that information you want to share will have to be publicly available first. You can’t send out private email newsletters.
  • You can’t personalize the email message. It will be delivered in the same format often with no branding or personalization.
  • You can’t categorize subscribers by interests, demographics, or content type.
  • There is no reporting. You don’t know how many people got email, what percentage of users opened it, and how many of them clicked on links.
  • If you later tried to move to a paid service, your users will have to re-confirm their subscription. Many of them will not do it, and you will end up losing subscribers.

This is why we ALWAYS recommend using a professional email marketing service. Yes, they cost a little bit of money, but they are an investment in your business which pays huge returns.

The benefit of professional email marketing services are:

  • You can send private mass emails to your subscribers.
  • You can see subscriber activity and group your subscribers based on actions they take.
  • You can run A/B split tests to see which email subject line, content, and offers work best with your subscribers.
  • With reporting tools, you can see which country you have the most subscribers from. You can adjust your timezone preferences, and send emails at the right time.
  • Last, but definitely the most important, you can see the email addresses of all your subscribers.

There are hundreds of professional email marketing services available, but we have compiled a list of the best email marketing services.

For small businesses, we recommend using Constant Contact because they are one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing services in the world.

They offer a 60 day free trial. This gives you plenty of time to setup and start seeing the results. At the end of 60 days, your email list would likely be paying for itself (cost $20 / month). Start your free trial.

Constant Contact

Because we know people often like to see options before they make a decision, we also recommend AWeber. They are another popular email marketing service provider, and they offer our users a 30-day free trial.

Once you have signed up with an email marketing service, the next step is to add opt-in forms to your website to allow your users to subscribe.

Growing Your Email List and Getting More Subscribers

While choosing the right email marketing service is important, getting more subscribers is even more important because this is how you make money.

The biggest mistake beginners make is not strategically placing high-converting opt-in forms.

While some WordPress themes come with built-in sidebar widgets, they don’t convert as well. Your email marketing service may also provide you with codes to embed in your theme, but that requires you to know how to code.

This is why we recommend our users to use OptinMonster. It is the most powerful conversion optimization software that helps you convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers.

You can easily create high-converting optin forms such as lightbox popups, floating header and footer bars, slide-in scroll boxes, fullscreen welcome mat, after post and inline forms, and more.

Add beautiful signup forms

But what makes OptinMonster really powerful is the behavior automation and personalization features. OptinMonster allows you to automatically show different opt-in forms based on where the user is coming from, which page they are visiting, and what they are doing on your website.

For example, the Exit-Intent® feature track your users mouse behavior and show them a targeted opt-in form at the precise moment they are about to leave. This helps you convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.

This is important because over 70% of people leaving your website will never return.

That’s why influencers like Michael Hyatt, Neil Patel, and Social Media Examiner use exit-intent on their websites. It helped Social Media Examiner add over 95,000 new subscribers in 7 months.

But for smaller businesses, this is even more crucial. Nicolas Gagne, a small business owner, combined Constant Contact with a single exit-intent optin to grow his email list by 500%. This helped him triple his revenue from his online store (see the full case study).

There are tons more case studies and OptinMonster reviews that you can read as well.

Get started with OptinMonster today — Use the coupon WPB10 to get 10% off.

Note: OptinMonster was started by WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, because he wanted to get more email subscribers, faster. It helped us increase our email signups by 600%. Due to popular request, we released this tool for public, and now it’s the most recommended lead generation software in the market.

List Building Strategies and Resources

Email Marketing Strategies

Having the right tools is crucial, but knowing how to use them properly is what makes the most difference.

In your email marketing strategy, the most important thing you should plan out is segmentation. This is the process of grouping your subscribers, so you can better personalize your emails based on interest. It helps you get higher open rates and click-through rates. This definitive guide to email marketing has all the information you need to segment your email list like a pro.

Content Upgrades are the highest converting opt-in forms. It’s a technique where you give your users bonus content at the end of your popular blog posts. These usually convert 5 times higher than a regular opt-in. Here are some content upgrade ideas that you should check out. We have written a guide on how to add content upgrades in WordPress.

If you’re not sure how to create an opt-in form, then use this 63-point checklist for creating a high-converting optin form.

You may want to check out Kevin Duncan’s article on 16 ridiculously simple ways to get more email subscribers in less than 5 minutes.

In case you want more ideas, Mary Fernandez also shared 73 proven and simple ways to grow your email list that should get you going.

Conclusion

It does not matter what kind of business you run, what kind of website you have, or what industry you are in.

If you have a website, and you want to turn your visitors into returning customers, then you need to get them in your email list.

We hope this article helped you understand why building an email list is important and helped you get started on the right foot.

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 Revealed: Why Building Your Email List is so Important Today! appeared first on WPBeginner.

25 Most Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them

While WordPress is really easy to use, there are some common WordPress errors that can make you panic. The good thing is that the WordPress error you are seeing on your site is most likely been reported and resolved by someone before you. At WPBeginner,… Read More »

The post 25 Most Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them appeared first on WPBeginner.

While WordPress is really easy to use, there are some common WordPress errors that can make you panic. The good thing is that the WordPress error you are seeing on your site is most likely been reported and resolved by someone before you. At WPBeginner, we have written tutorials on how to fix several popular WordPress errors. In this article, we will cover the 25 most common WordPress errors along with showing you how to fix all of these common WordPress errors.

 Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them

Important: Before trying to fix any WordPress error, make sure that you have a complete WordPress backup. You can use BackupBuddy or use this tutorial to manually create a WordPress backup.

In case you are unable to resolve your issue from the steps mentioned in this article, then please contact your WordPress hosting company.

Since this is a lengthy article, we have created a table of contents below for easy navigation.

Table of Contents

  1. How to fix internal server error
  2. How to fix syntax error in WordPress
  3. How to fix the error establishing database connection in WordPress
  4. How to fix WordPress white screen of death
  5. How to fix WordPress posts returning 404 error
  6. How to fix sidebar below content error in WordPress
  7. How to fix white text and missing buttons in WordPress visual editor
  8. How to fix WordPress memory exhausted error by increasing PHP memory limit
  9. What to do when you are locked out of WordPress admin area
  10. How to fix WordPress login page refreshing/redirecting issue
  11. How to fix image upload issue in WordPress
  12. How to fix common image issues in WordPress
  13. How to fix “Are you sure you want to do this” error in WordPress
  14. How to fix briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error in WordPress
  15. How to fix WordPress not sending email issue
  16. How to fix WordPress RSS feed errors
  17. How to fix 403 forbidden error in WordPress
  18. How to fix error too many redirects issue in WordPress
  19. How to fix “Upload: failed to write file to disk” error in WordPress
  20. How to fix “This site ahead contains harmful programs” error in WordPress
  21. How to fix missed scheduled post error in WordPress
  22. How to fix fatal error: Maximum execution time exceeded in WordPress
  23. How to fix Facebook incorrect thumbnail issue in WordPress
  24. How to fix WordPress keeps logging out problem
  25. Troubleshooting WordPress errors on your own
  26. Let’s take a look at how to solve the most common WordPress errors (one by one).

    1. How to Fix Internal Server Error

    Internal server error

    Perhaps the most confusing WordPress error that a beginner may come across is “Internal Server Error”, or sometimes “500 Internal Server Error”.

    This error usually appears when there is something wrong, but the server is unable to identify where the problem is. Since the error message does not indicate where you should look for the error, it is pretty much up to you to figure this out.

    We have compiled a list of solutions that you can try and one of them will help you resolve it. [Fix internal server error]

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    2. How to Fix Syntax Error in WordPress

    Syntax error in WordPress

    This error usually occurs when you are trying to add code snippets into WordPress and have accidentally missed something or the code has incorrect syntax. This will result into a PHP parse error and you will see a notice like:

    Parse error- syntax error, unexpected $end in /public_html/site1/wp-content/themes/my-theme/functions.php on line 278

    The error message would indicate the unexpected thing found in the code and the location of the script where the error occurred with line number. To fix this issue you will have to correct the syntax. Most of the time it is a missing bracket, or some unexpected character in the code. [Fix syntax error in WordPress]

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    3. How to Fix the Error Establishing a Database Connection in WordPress

    Error establishing database connection

    This error message is clear that your website is unable to connect to the database. However solving this error can be tricky for beginners.

    Usually this occurs when a user has entered or modified their database credentials (database host, database username, and database password) incorrectly. Sometimes your database server could be unresponsive, or your database may have corrupted.

    However, mostly it is incorrect database login credentials. Take a look at common solutions for this problem. [Fix error establishing database connection in WordPress]

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    4. How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death

    White screen of death error in WordPress

    This error usually results into a plain white screen with no error message. This makes it the most puzzling because you have no clue where to look and what to fix.

    Most of the time it is caused when a script exhausts PHP memory limit. It can also happen due to a configuration on the server. It is also possible that a user would only see white screen of death on certain sections of their site. [See how to fix WordPress white screen of death]

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    5. How to Fix WordPress Posts Returning 404 Error

    WordPress posts returning 404 error

    The symptoms of this error is that when a user visits a single post on their site they get a 404 page – not found error.

    The user can browse all other sections of their site including the admin area. The most common cause of this issue is permalink settings in WordPress. To solve this issue a user would need to reconfigure their permalinks settings or manually update their rewrite rules. [Fix WordPress posts returning 404 error]

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    6. How to Fix the Sidebar Below Content Error in WordPress

    Sidebar appearing below content

    Another common issue beginners face is when the sidebar appears below the content when it is supposed to appear next to the content. This issue is mostly caused by WordPress themes.

    Sometimes when users are adding code snippets to their site, they may accidentally forget to close an html div tag or add an extra closing div which may result into breaking the theme layout. Another common cause is using disproportionate width in CSS or not clearing float properly. [Fix sidebar appearing below content error in WordPress]

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    7. How to Fix White Text and Missing Buttons in WordPress Visual Editor

    Missing buttons in WordPress TinyMCE visual editor

    Sometimes buttons from WordPress visual editor may disappear or start showing blank white spaces instead of buttons.

    This problem may occur when concatenated JavaScript is not working. It may also caused by missing or corrupt TinyMCE files, or conflict with some other plugin that modifies or extends the TinyMCE shipped with WordPress. [Fix white text and missing buttons in WordPress visual editor]

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    8. Fix: WordPress Memory Exhausted Error – Increase PHP Memory

    Memory size error

    Indications of this error could be a white screen of death, or an error message like this one:

    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 2348617 bytes) in /home/username/public_html/site1/wp-includes/plugin.php on line xxx

    This error occurs when a WordPress script or a plugin exhausts the default allocated memory size limit. [Fix WordPress memory exhausted error]

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    9. What To Do When You Are Locked Out of WordPress Admin (wp-admin)

    Locked out of WordPress admin area

    Sometimes you may find yourself locked out of the WordPress admin area. This could happen if you forgot your password and don’t have to access to password recovery email.

    A plugin or code that incorrectly tries to make some changes into admin section can also lock you out. You may also lose access to admin area due to a hacked WordPress site. [Fix locked out of WordPress admin issue]

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    10. How to Fix WordPress Login Page Refreshing and Redirecting Issue

    WordPress login redirect error

    Symptoms of this issue are that when a user attempts to login to the WordPress dashboard, they are redirected by WordPress back to the login page.

    Most of the time it happens due to incorrect values for site url and home url fields in WordPress options table. It can also be caused by poorly configured permalink settings or redirects setup in the .htaccess file. [Fix WordPress login page refreshing and redirecting issue]

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    11. How to Fix Image Upload Issue in WordPress

    WordPress image upload issues

    Sometimes a user would suddenly notice that all the images from their site are gone and are showing broken image placeholders. When the user tries to upload an image to a post using the media uploader, it results into an error.

    All these files in the media library will appear as broken. This error occurs due to incorrect file and directory permissions in a WordPress installation. A number of factors may cause this issue. [Fix image upload issues in WordPress]

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    12. How to Fix Common Image Issues in WordPress

    Common image issues in WordPress

    Uploading images to a WordPress site can be confusing for someone new to WordPress. A user may be unable to find out how to align images, resize or crop them, or display them in a gallery format.

    This is not an error or issue in WordPress. You just need to familiarize yourself with how WordPress handles media. [Fix common image issues in WordPress]

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    13. How to Fix “Are You Sure You Want to Do This” Error in WordPress

    Are you sure you want to do this error in WordPress

    Users may come across this error in WordPress admin area. The most common cause of this error is a plugin or theme failing to use Nonce properly.

    Nonce are special security keys which may be appended to URLs when performing an admin action in WordPress. Sometimes a plugin or theme may use it incorrectly which may result into users seeing this error. [Fix are you sure you want to do this error in WordPress]

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    14. How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

    WordPress unavailable for maintenance error

    Sometimes due to an unfinished or interrupted WordPress update, you might see “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error in WordPress.

    What happens there is that WordPress puts your site in maintenance mode during an update. If for some reason the update is interrupted, then WordPress does not get the chance to put your site out of the maintenance mode. This error would lock down your entire site and make it unavailable for admins as well as visitors. [Fix briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error]

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    15. How to Fix WordPress Not Sending Email Issue

    Fixing WordPress not sending email issue

    The most common symptom of this problem is not receiving any contact form or WordPress notification emails from your site.

    This issue is usually caused because most shared hosting providers disable or limit the module used for sending emails to prevent their servers from abuse. [Fix WordPress not sending email issue]

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    16. How to Fix WordPress RSS Feed Errors

    Fixing RSS feed errors in WordPress

    Most WordPress RSS feed errors are caused by poor formatting. You may see errors like these:

    XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity
    Location: http://example.com/feed
    Line Number 2, Column 1:

    Depending on what browser you are using, your RSS feed error message may vary. You can also see this error message when visiting your feed in a browser.

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/username/example.com/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php:433) in /home/username/example.com/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1228

    WordPress outputs RSS feeds in XML which is a strict markup language. A missing line break or an extra tab can break your RSS feed. [Fix WordPress RSS feed errors]

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    17. How to Fix 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress

    403 Forbidden error

    403 Forbidden error code is shown when your server permissions don’t allow access to a specific page. This is why the error is usually accompanied by the text:

    403 Forbidden – You don’t have permission to access ‘/’ on this server.
    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    There are different scenarios when you can see this error. Incorrect file permissions, poorly coded security plugins, or server configuration are the most common culprits. [Fix 403 Forbidden error in WordPress]

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    18. How to Fix Error Too Many Redirects Issue in WordPress

    Too many redirects error in WordPress

    This error usually occurs due to a misconfigured redirection issue. As you know that WordPress has SEO friendly URL Structure which uses the redirect function. Several other popular WordPress plugins also use the redirect functionality as well.

    Due to a misconfiguration in any of these redirection tools, your site may end up redirecting users to a URL that is actually redirecting them back to the referring URL. In that case the user’s browser is trapped between two pages causing a redirect loop. [Fix too many redirects issue in WordPress]

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    19. How to Fix “Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk” Error in WordPress

    Upload failed error in WordPress

    This error can occur due to a number of reasons. However, the most common one is incorrect folder permissions.

    Each file and folder on your website has a set of permissions. Your web server controls access to the files based on these permissions. Incorrect permissions to a folder can take away your ability to write files on server. This means your web server cannot create or add new files to that particular folder. [Fix Upload: Failed to write file to disk error]

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    20. How to Fix “This site ahead contains harmful programs” Error in WordPress

    Harmful programs error in Google Chrome

    Google marks a website with this warning if they find any suspicious code that could be a malware or trojan. Sometimes the reason for this is that your website is hacked and is now used to distribute malicious code.

    Another common reason for this error is showing ads from low quality advertising networks. These networks may sometime display ads linking to websites distributing malicious code. [Fix site ahead contains harmful programs error in WordPress]

    [Back to top ↑]

    21. How to Fix the Missed Schedule Post Error in WordPress

    Missed post schedule

    WordPress has this wonderful feature that allows you to schedule posts to be automatically published at a specified time. Most bloggers rely on the future to manage their publishing schedule.

    However, sometimes WordPress can miss scheduled posts due to a number of reasons. If this has happened to you more than a few times then you need to address this issue. [Fix missed schedule post error in WordPress]

    [Back to top ↑]

    22. How to Fix Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time Exceeded in WordPress

    Maximum execution time error in WordPress

    WordPress is coded mainly in PHP programming language. To protect web servers from abuse, there is a time limit set for how long a PHP script can run.

    Some WordPress hosting providers have set this value to a higher level while others may have set it to a lower level. When a script reaches the maximum execution time limit, it results into maximum execution time exceeded error. [Fix maximum execution time exceeded error in WordPress]

    [Back to top ↑]

    23. How to Fix Facebook Incorrect Thumbnail Issue in WordPress

    Setting Facebook thumbnail in WordPress using Yoast SEO

    There are many reasons that can prevent Facebook from correctly guessing the right thumbnail image. One of the most common reason is having multiple images set in the og:image tag where your featured image is smaller than rest of the images.

    Facebook uses Open Graph (og) tags, and plugins like Yoast SEO automatically adds them to your site to prevent missing thumbnail issue. [Fix Facebook incorrect thumbnail issue in WordPress]

    [Back to top ↑]

    24. How to Fix WordPress Keeps Logging Out Problem

    WordPress keeps logging out

    WordPress sets a cookie in your browser to authenticate a login session. This cookie is set for the WordPress URL stored in your settings section. If you are accessing from a URL that does not match the one in your WordPress settings, then WordPress will not be able to authenticate your session. [Fix WordPress keeps logging out problem]

    [Back to top ↑]

    25. Troubleshooting WordPress Errors on Your Own

    We have covered some of the most common WordPress errors in this article. However, the real power of WordPress comes from thousands of plugins and themes that you can use on your site. Any plugin or theme installed on your site can cause errors.

    It could become really hard for beginners to find out what is causing the problem on their site and how they can fix it.

    We have compiled complete step by step guide on troubleshooting WordPress errors for beginners. It will help you learn how to diagnose WordPress issues and how to fix them like a pro.

    [Back to top ↑]

    That’s all, we hope that this guide helped you find and fix the WordPress error that you were encountering.

    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 25 Most Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them appeared first on WPBeginner.

FIXED: Xbox One losing TV signal error message with DirectTV

Your TV signal was lostI’ve got an Xbox One that I love that is connected to a DirectTV HDTV Receiver that I love somewhat less. The setup is quite simple. Since I can control the DirectTV with the Xbox One and we like to switch between Netflix and Hulu and DirectTV we use the Xbox One to control everything.

The basic idea is this, which is quite typical with an Xbox One. In theory, it’s amazing.

I fixed my Xbox One losing Signal with an HDMI powered splitter

However, this doesn’t always work. Often you’ll turn on the whole system and the Xbox will say “Your TV Signal was lost. Make sure your cable or satellite box is on and plugged into the Xbox.” This got so bad in our house that my non-technical spouse was ready to “buy a whole new TV.” I was personally blaming the Xbox.

It turns out that’s an issue of HDMI compliance. The DirectTV and other older cable boxes aren’t super awesome about doing things the exact way HDMI like it, and the Xbox is rather picky about HDMI being totally legit. So how do I “clean” or “fix” my HDMI signal from my Cable/Satellite receiver?

I took at chance and asked on Reddit and this very helpful user (thanks!) suggested an HDMI splitter. I was surprised but I was ready to try anything so I ordered this 2 port HDMI powered splitter from Amazon for just US$20.

ADDING AN HDMI SPLITTED WORKS – TOTALLY SOLVED THE PROBLEM

It totally works. The Xbox One now does its “negotiations” with the compliant splitter, not with the Receiver directly and we haven’t seen a single problem since.

I fixed my Xbox One losing Signal with an HDMI powered splitter

If you have had this problem with your Xbox One then pick up a 2 port HDMI powered splitter and rejoice. This is a high quality splitter than doesn’t change the audio signal and still works with HDCP if needed. Thanks internets!


Sponsor: Big thanks to Telerik for sponsoring the feed this week. Try Kendo UI by Progress: The most complete set of HTML5 UI widgets and JavaScript app tools helping you cut development time.


© 2016 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

Your TV signal was lostI've got an Xbox One that I love that is connected to a DirectTV HDTV Receiver that I love somewhat less. The setup is quite simple. Since I can control the DirectTV with the Xbox One and we like to switch between Netflix and Hulu and DirectTV we use the Xbox One to control everything.

The basic idea is this, which is quite typical with an Xbox One. In theory, it's amazing.

I fixed my Xbox One losing Signal with an HDMI powered splitter

However, this doesn't always work. Often you'll turn on the whole system and the Xbox will say "Your TV Signal was lost. Make sure your cable or satellite box is on and plugged into the Xbox." This got so bad in our house that my non-technical spouse was ready to "buy a whole new TV." I was personally blaming the Xbox.

It turns out that's an issue of HDMI compliance. The DirectTV and other older cable boxes aren't super awesome about doing things the exact way HDMI like it, and the Xbox is rather picky about HDMI being totally legit. So how do I "clean" or "fix" my HDMI signal from my Cable/Satellite receiver?

I took at chance and asked on Reddit and this very helpful user (thanks!) suggested an HDMI splitter. I was surprised but I was ready to try anything so I ordered this 2 port HDMI powered splitter from Amazon for just US$20.

ADDING AN HDMI SPLITTED WORKS - TOTALLY SOLVED THE PROBLEM

It totally works. The Xbox One now does its "negotiations" with the compliant splitter, not with the Receiver directly and we haven't seen a single problem since.

I fixed my Xbox One losing Signal with an HDMI powered splitter

If you have had this problem with your Xbox One then pick up a 2 port HDMI powered splitter and rejoice. This is a high quality splitter than doesn't change the audio signal and still works with HDCP if needed. Thanks internets!


Sponsor: Big thanks to Telerik for sponsoring the feed this week. Try Kendo UI by Progress: The most complete set of HTML5 UI widgets and JavaScript app tools helping you cut development time.



© 2016 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

How to Add Custom Navigation Menus in WordPress Themes

Custom Navigation Menus feature in WordPress 3.0 will make WordPress even more user friendly for beginners. This function let you organize your menu, create drop down menus, add new items to menu, and much more. In this article, we will show you how you can enable and install custom navigation menus in your themes.

The post How to Add Custom Navigation Menus in WordPress Themes appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to add custom navigation menus in your WordPress theme? By default, many WordPress themes come with pre-defined menu locations and layouts. In this article, we will show you how to add more navigation menus in your WordPress theme.

Add Navigation Menu to Themes

When Do You Need this WordPress Navigation Menu tutorial?

Most WordPress themes come with at least one spot where you can display your site’s navigation links in a menu.

You can manage menu items from an easy to use interface inside your WordPress admin area.

If you’re just looking to add navigation menus on your website, then follow our beginner’s guide on how to add a navigation menu in WordPress.

This tutorial is geared towards DIY users who are building a custom WordPress theme or someone who needs to add additional menu locations to an existing WordPress theme.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to add custom WordPress navigation menus in your theme.

Creating Custom Navigation Menus in WordPress Themes

Navigation menus are a feature of WordPress themes. Each theme can define their own menu locations and menu support.

To add a custom navigation menu, the first thing you need to do is register your new navigation menu by adding this code to your theme’s functions.php file.

function wpb_custom_new_menu() {
  register_nav_menu('my-custom-menu',__( 'My Custom Menu' ));
}
add_action( 'init', 'wpb_custom_new_menu' );

You can now go to Appearance » Menus page in your WordPress admin and try to create or edit a new menu. You will see ‘My Custom Menu’ as theme location option.

Custom menu as theme location

If you want to add more than one new navigation menu location, then you would need to use a code like this:

function wpb_custom_new_menu() {
  register_nav_menus(
    array(
      'my-custom-menu' => __( 'My Custom Menu' ),
      'extra-menu' => __( 'Extra Menu' )
    )
  );
}
add_action( 'init', 'wpb_custom_new_menu' );

Once you have added the menu location, go ahead and add some menu items in the WordPress admin by following our tutorial on how to add navigation menus for beginners.

This will allow us to move on to the next step which is displaying the menu in your theme.

Displaying Custom Navigation Menus in WordPress Themes

Next, we need to display the new navigation menu in your WordPress theme. The most common place where navigation menus are usually placed is in the header section of a website just after the site title or logo.

However, you can add your navigation menu anywhere that you want.

You will need to add this code in your theme’s template file where you want to display your menu.


<?php
wp_nav_menu( array( 
    'theme_location' => 'my-custom-menu', 
    'container_class' => 'custom-menu-class' ) ); 
?>

The theme location is the name that we selected in the previous step.

The container class is the CSS class that will be added to your navigation menu. Your menu will appear as a plain bulleted list in your website.

Custom menu displayed as plain list

You can use the CSS class .custom_menu_class to style your menus. Here is a sample CSS to help you get started:

div.custom-menu-class ul {
    list-style-type: none;
    list-style: none;
    list-style-image: none;
}
div.custom-menu-class li {
    padding: 20px;
    display: inline;
}

If you need further assistance with the CSS and menu layouts, then we recommend using one of these WordPress starter themes to build out your custom themes.

Creating Mobile-Friendly Responsive Menus in WordPress

With the increase in usage of mobile devices, you may want to make your menus mobile-friendly by adding one of the many popular effects.

Responsive menu plugin demo

You can add a slide out effect (above), dropdown effect, and even a toggle effect for mobile menus.

We have a detailed step by step guide on how to make mobile-ready responsive WordPress menus.

Do More With WordPress Navigation Menus

Navigation menus are a powerful web design tool. They allow you to point users to the most important sections of your website.

WordPress allows you to do a lot more than just displaying links in your menu. Try these useful tutorials to extend the functionality of navigation menus on your WordPress site.

That’s all, we hope this ultimate guide helped you learn how to add a navigation menu in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 25 most useful WordPress widgets for your site.

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 Custom Navigation Menus in WordPress Themes appeared first on WPBeginner.

11 Best Sales Page WordPress Themes for Marketers

Are you looking for the best sales page WordPress theme for your marketing campaign? Sales page or landing page WordPress themes help marketers convert visitors into paying customers. In this article, we have hand-picked some of the best sales page WordPress themes for marketers. Why… Read More »

The post 11 Best Sales Page WordPress Themes for Marketers appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you looking for the best sales page WordPress theme for your marketing campaign? Sales page or landing page WordPress themes help marketers convert visitors into paying customers. In this article, we have hand-picked some of the best sales page WordPress themes for marketers.

Best sales page WordPress themes

Why and When You Need a Landing Page or Sales Page Theme?

Studies conducted by MarketingSherpa show that 48% marketers create new landing pages for each campaign and 68% of online businesses use multiple landing pages to generate leads.

If you are a business trying to sell products and services online, then you need a landing page designed to generate sales and leads.

A good landing page has a prominently displayed call to action, followed by a breakdown of features and unique selling points of your product or service.

It helps you avoid distracting web design elements such as sidebars, blog posts, etc. At the same time, it helps you add social proof like testimonials, social profiles, etc.

Combining a landing page WordPress theme with a lead generation software like OptinMonster can increase your leads multiple times.

Pro Tip: Not sure which theme to choose? See our guide on how to choose the best premium theme for your WordPress site.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best sales page WordPress themes to boost your marketing campaigns.

1. Landing

Landing

As we mentioned earlier that successful marketers create new landing pages for each marketing campaign. Landing is a powerful WordPress landing page theme that comes with 25+ pre-designed layout.

It also comes with the Themify Builder which allows you to edit existing layouts using a drag and drop interface. You get multiple header types, so you can create countless landing pages with different styles and layout.

It has built-in features like a portfolio, testimonials, events, social media integration, and eCommerce support. All layouts are designed to be fully responsive and look equally great on retina devices as well.

2. Divi

Divi

Divi is a drag and drop theme and WordPress page builder. It is an extremely easy to use with 20+ layouts/templates for different kind of websites including landing pages.

You can create and save your own Divi layouts. You can also export a layout from one Divi installation into another. Divi also comes with tons of elements that you can drag and drop anywhere in your layout.

With this kind of flexibility, you can quickly create landing pages for your marketing campaigns. The best part about is that you can reuse your layouts on as many websites as you want and edit them just as easily.

3. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is the best drag and drop page builder plugin for WordPress.

It comes with ready to use modules and templates which allow you to create as many landing pages as you like. All templates are fully responsive and look great on any device.

The best part is that it works with any WordPress theme. If you have an existing website, then you don’t even need to change your theme to create awesome landing pages.

4. OnePage

OnePage

OnePage is a WordPress landing page theme with a drag and drop page builder. It features a fully responsive layout with beautiful ready to use layouts.

Apart from the usual features, it comes with Twitter feed, Pricing table, testimonials, portfolio, and clients sections. It also has parallax backgrounds, built-in slider, and CSS3 animations.

5. Moesia Pro

Moesia Pro

Moesia Pro is a landing page WordPress theme for business websites. It comes with a drag and drop page builder with different content blocks. You can add and arrange the blocks to easily build your homepage.

It features a fully responsive modern layout and comes with slider, Google fonts, contact page, etc.

It also allows you to easily add services, testimonials, clients, portfolio and social profiles. The page layout uses CSS3 animations which makes your landing page much more engaging.

6. Parallax

Parallax

Parallax is a modern landing page theme with 40+ ready to use layouts. All layouts are fully responsive and can be easily edited with a drag and drop builder.

Parallax features fly in elements, parallax backgrounds, portfolio, and team sections. It has easy to add animated progress bars, list and grid layouts, and infinite scroll. You can also add image filters like sepia, grayscale, and blur to your images without using Photoshop.

7. Sydney Pro

Sydney Pro

Sydney Pro is a modern WordPress landing page theme featuring full screen background and fully responsive layout. It comes with five extra templates each with different layout so that you can create as many landing pages as you need.

It comes with full screen video background support which allows you to create highly engaging page headers. Sydney has built-in slider, custom widgets, portfolio, clients, team, and testimonial sections.

8. Roxima

Roxima

Roxima is a beautiful landing page theme for business websites. It is fully responsive and comes with multiple custom widgets and layout choices.

Roxima comes with built-in about, services, portfolio, client, and team sections which can be easily added to homepage using drag and drop. Theme also features multiple layout choices with endless design possibilities.

9. OneEngine

OneEngine

OneEngine is a one page WordPress theme that can be used as a sales page or landing page. It allows you to easily build your page and add custom sections.

It has a modern design with sections to add your portfolio, testimonials, services, etc.

10. The Launcher

The Launcher

The launcher is a free landing theme for upcoming product launch. It can also be used as a regular landing page for your products or services.

It comes with easy customization options, call to action placement, sticky menu, clients section and pricing table. It is fully responsive, SEO friendly, and compatible with WooCommerce.

11. Illdy

Illdy

Illdy is a free responsive WordPress landing page theme that can also be used on a business website. It allows you to easily create your landing page using theme customizer.

It comes with about, services, testimonials, projects, and teams sections. Theme comes with its own free companion plugin which adds additional functionality to your theme.

That’s all for now. We hope this article helped you find the best sales page WordPress theme for your website.

Ready to Start Your WordPress Website?

You may also want to check out our guides on:

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 11 Best Sales Page WordPress Themes for Marketers appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Add Your WordPress Blog to Apple News

Did you just start a blog and want to submit it to Apple News? By becoming an Apple News publisher, you can monetize your news channel while giving your readers the ability to read your blog alongside with their other favorite websites from a single… Read More »

The post How to Add Your WordPress Blog to Apple News appeared first on WPBeginner.

Did you just start a blog and want to submit it to Apple News? By becoming an Apple News publisher, you can monetize your news channel while giving your readers the ability to read your blog alongside with their other favorite websites from a single app. In this article, we will show you how to add your WordPress blog to Apple news.

Add WordPress blog to Apple News

Before Getting Started

Apple News app allows users to read news and blogs articles in one single app on their Apple devices. It provides a better reading experience and makes it easier for users to stay updated with their favorite content from a single app.

The Apple News program for publishers allows you to submit your blog as an Apple News channel. It also allows you to monetize your content by showing advertisements.

However the monetization program is still in beta, and it is only available in the United States, UK, and Australia. You will have to wait for a couple weeks for your application to get reviewed.

Please note: this guide is for self-hosted WordPress blogs and not for WordPress.com blogs. See our guide on the difference between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com. If you’re on WordPress.com, then you can use this guide to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

Having said that, let’s learn how to add your WordPress blog to Apple News.

Adding a WordPress Site to Apple News

First thing you need to visit the News Publisher app on the iCloud website. You will need to login with your Apple ID.

Once you are logged in, you will see News Publisher terms of service. Click on I agree and then click on the submit button.

Next, you will be asked to provide publisher information. Fill in the form and then click on Next.

Publisher info

In the following step, you will be asked to setup your channel by providing information about your website. Fill in the required fields and click on the next button to proceed.

Setting up your channel on Apple News

You will now be asked to provide a type based logo for your channel. A type based logo is just an image with your site name in readable text format. It should have a transparent background, and the file size should be less than 2 MB.

Upload logo for your channel

Next, you will be asked to choose between RSS or Apple News Format. Go ahead and choose Apple News Format, we will cover this in the next step.

If you use the RSS feed option, then you will not be able to monetize your content in Apple News. It also prevents you from using other Apple News features as a publisher.

See the comparison chart below:

Choose news format

Once you are done, click on the Signup for Apple News Format button.

That’s all, you have successfully finished your application for joining the Apple News. You will now see a thank you page like this one:

Thank you message

Now you will have to wait to hear back from Apple News. An application can take up to two weeks to be approved.

You may want to bookmark this article now and come back to complete step 2 once your application is approved. Press Ctrl + D to bookmark the article in your browser (Cmd + D for Mac users).

Submitting Articles to Apple News

Once your application is approved, you will be able to submit articles from your WordPress blog to the Apple news app.

You will have to manually submit your first article via your News Publisher account on iCloud. Since Apple is notorious for quality, your first article will be manually reviewed by the Apple News team, and this could also take some time (anywhere between 1-2 weeks).

After that Apple News will automatically start showing articles from your RSS Feed.

Here is how to automatically publish your WordPress blog posts to Apple News.

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

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Apple News page to configure plugin settings.

Publish to Apple News settings

Next, you need to enter your channel ID, API key, and API key secret. You can find this information by signing into your Apple News Publisher account.

Apple news API keys

After that you need to select which post types you would like to generate in Apple News format. In most cases, the only post type you need to select is Posts.

Apple News WordPress Post Type

The last section is to configure the visual appearance of different elements in your generated articles. Feel free to customize the settings as you need.

Apple News Formatting

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button when you are done.

That’s all, Publish to Apple News will now start publishing your article in the Apple News Format.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add your WordPress blog to Apple News. You may also want to see these 19 actionable tips to drive traffic to your WordPress site.

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 Your WordPress Blog to Apple News appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Connect Constant Contact to WordPress (Step by Step)

Are you using ConstantContact for your email marketing? Want to connect ConstantContact with your WordPress site? In this ultimate guide, we will show you how to connect ConstantContact with WordPress. Why Building an Email List is so Important? Have you ever wondered that why every… Read More »

The post How to Connect Constant Contact to WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you using ConstantContact for your email marketing? Want to connect ConstantContact with your WordPress site? In this ultimate guide, we will show you how to connect ConstantContact with WordPress.

Using Constant Contact with WordPress - The Ultimate Guide

Why Building an Email List is so Important?

Have you ever wondered that why every website on the internet wants to have your email address? Whether you are creating an account on Facebook, Twitter, or New York Times, they all want your email address.

The answer is dead simple. Email is the best way to reach your customers.

A recent study showed that small businesses get $40 back for every dollar spent on email marketing. It is the most effective way to convert visitors into customers.

You can learn more on this topic by reading our article on why you should start building your email list right away.

Now that you know the importance of building an email list, let’s see how to get started with Constant Contact to build an email list for your WordPress site.

What is Constant Contact?

Constant Contact is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world. They specialize in sending mass emails to your customers, manage your email lists, and run effective email marketing campaigns.

It can be quite overwhelming for small businesses to start their own email list. Constant Contact makes sure that even absolute beginners can run their email campaigns like a pro.

It is a paid service with free 2 month trial. After the trial period, pricing starts as low as $20 per month.

How to Set up Constant Contact

First, you need to visit Constant Contact website and sign up for an account.

Sign up for a Constant Contact account

Upon sign up, you will land on the Constant Contact dashboard. You will see three simple steps to help you get started.

Constant Contact dashboard

Step 1: Setting up your first email list

First, you need to click on ‘Set up your first list’ link. This will bring up a popup where you need to provide a name for your email list and some email addresses to add into it.

Next, click on the save list button to continue.

Step 2: Add your organization info

The CAN-SPAM act requires a valid postal address in all outgoing marketing emails. Constant Contact makes it easy for you to comply with this law by providing your organization info. Constant Contact will then automatically add this information in the footer of your emails.

You need to click on ‘Add your organization info’ link. It will take you to a form where you need to provide your business information.

Add your organization information

You will need to provide your website address and postal address. You will also be asked to select an industry for your business and upload an image logo.

Don’t forget to click on the save button to store your settings and continue to the next step.

Step 3: Send your first email

Lastly, you need to click on ‘Send your first email’ link. Constant Contact will show you a number of beautiful email templates to choose from.

Select a template for your first email

This will open the template in Constant Contact’s live WYSIWYG email composer. This drag and drop design tool allows you to easily design your email.

First you need to provide a title for your campaign. After that you can replace the images used in template with your own, add your own text and branding.

Compose email

Click on the continue button when you are satisfied with the result.

Now you will reach the email options page. This is where you need to select which email list to use, when to send an email, or change sender name and reply-to email address.

Email options

Once you are done, click on the Send Now or Schedule button to continue.

That’s all, you have successfully finished setting up your Constant Contact account.

Adding Constant Contact Signup Forms in WordPress

Now that you have set up your Constant Contact account, the next step is to collect email addresses by asking users to join your email list.

There are multiple ways to do this. You can copy and paste the signup form code from your Constant Contact account to your WordPress site.

You can also use OptinMonster to add highly optimized signup forms to your WordPress site. It will help you get many more email subscribers faster. See our case study of how we increased our email subscribers by 600% using OptinMonster.

We will show you both of these methods in this guide. Let’s get started.

Adding Default Constant Contact Signup Forms in WordPress

Constant Contact comes with built-in tools to create your email signup forms. You can then embed these forms into your WordPress site.

First you need to login to your Constant Contact account and then click on ‘Contacts Growth Tools’ from the navigation menu on top.

Contacts growth tools

On the next page, you need to click on create a signup form button.

Create a signup form

This will bring you to the form builder wizard.

First, you need to provide the form name. This name will be used internally, so that you can identify a form in Constant Contact dashboard.

Signup form details

Next, you need to provide a title, and taglin for your form. Both of them will be visible on your form.

Lastly, you need to select at least one email list. Users signing up using this form will be added to these lists.

Click on the continue button for the next step.

Now you need to add the fields you want to display on your signup form. The email address field is required. You can click on ‘Additional fields’ to add more fields to your signup form.

Add fields to your email signup form

After adding the form fields, click on the continue button.

In the last step, you can choose your font color, background color, and add a logo.

Change form appearance

You can click on the preview button to see how your form looks. Once you are satisfied, click on the ‘Finish’ button.

You will be redirected back to the contacts growth tools page. You will notice the form you just created under ‘Additional Web Sign-Up Forms’ section.

You need to click on the actions drop down menu and then select ‘Embed Code’.

Get embed code for your signup form

This will bring up a popup with the embed code to add your form anywhere. You need to copy this code and paste it in a text editor like Notepad.

Embed code for your signup form

Now visit your WordPress admin area and click on Appearance » Widgets.

From the list of available widgets, drag and drop the Text widget to a sidebar where you want to display your signup form.

Paste the code you copied from Constant Contact website in the widget’s text area. Once you are done, click on the save button to store your widget settings.

That’s all, you can now visit your website to see the signup form in action.

Constant Contact email signup form in WordPress

Adding Constant Contact Signup Forms with OptinMonster

While the basic forms are relatively easy to add, they are not ideal for high conversions.

An average users visiting your website spends very little time looking at non-content element. You need email signup forms that grabs your user’s attention.

This is where OptinMonster comes in. It is the most popular lead generation tool in the market. You can create beautiful sign up forms that are optimized for conversions and A/B test them without hiring a developer.

OptinMonster comes with different kinds of signup forms such as exit-intent popups, floating bars, after post forms, sidebar forms, slide-in forms, full screen welcome gates, and more.

You also get powerful features like MonsterLinks (2-step optins), Scroll detection, A/B testing, page level targeting, and more.

OptinMonster works great with WordPress and all popular email service providers including Constant Contact.

Send WordPress Posts to Your Constant Contact Email List

Constant Contact makes it super simple to add your WordPress content into your email campaigns.

Note: Constant Contact does not currently offer automatic sending of blog posts to email list.

First, login to your Constant Contact account and visit the Campaigns page. You need to click on the create button and then select send a new email.

Send an email

You will be asked to select a template for your email. After that you will reach the email builder screen.

From the left pane drag and drop the “Read More” block into your email preview. Next, click on the read more block in the email preview to edit it.

Add read more content block

This will bring up a popup window. You need to provide the URL of your WordPress blog post and click on the preview button.

Constant Contact will automatically fetch an image from your article and an article summary. You can click on the Insert button to add it to your email.

Fetch blog content into your email

Repeat the process to add more content from your WordPress blog into your email. Once you are done, go ahead and click on the continue button.

You will then reach the last step of creating your email. This is where you can select whether you want to send the email right away or schedule it.

That’s all, Constant Contact will now send your email with your blog content to your subscribers.

We hope this article helped you learn how to connect Constant Contact to WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 19 actionable tips to drive traffic to your WordPress site.

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 Connect Constant Contact to WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Choose The Best Premium WordPress Theme for Your Site

When you are starting a blog, choosing the right theme is crucial for your success. During the process, you will likely have to decide between free WordPress themes vs premium WordPress themes. Often users ask us which one is better and what’s our selection process… Read More »

The post How to Choose The Best Premium WordPress Theme for Your Site appeared first on WPBeginner.

When you are starting a blog, choosing the right theme is crucial for your success. During the process, you will likely have to decide between free WordPress themes vs premium WordPress themes. Often users ask us which one is better and what’s our selection process when choosing a premium WordPress theme. In this article, we will cover how to choose the best premium WordPress theme for your site. By the end, you will know exactly what to look for and what you absolutely need to AVOID!

Choosing the best premium WordPress theme

Free WordPress Theme vs Premium WordPress Theme

One of the main reason why a lot of users choose a premium WordPress theme over a free one is because you get guaranteed support.

Free WordPress themes are often built as a passion project, so you are not guaranteed to get support or updates.

On the other hand, when you pay for a premium WordPress theme, you get good documentation, access to support, and regular updates.

Some theme shops even go beyond and offer video tutorials, demo content, and even a free blog setup service.

Aside from that, premium themes are make your website more unique because free themes are being used by everyone.

Having said that, here’s what you need to look for when selecting a premium WordPress theme.

1. Aesthetically Pleasing Modern Design

Modern web design

You will probably be using this theme on your website for quite sometime. You users will become accustomed to it. That’s why you need to choose a theme which is aesthetically pleasing and can be used for a long time without requiring any major changes.

There are certain elements of design that are used by all good designers to create beautiful websites.

  • Good Color Combination
  • Awesome Typography
  • Clean Layout
  • Beautiful Images

Together these elements create a beautiful harmony and consistency that appeals to your users. It not only looks great, but it also helps you achieve your business goals.

Most premium themes come with unlimited color choices and built-in tools to select fonts. You need to make sure that your premium WordPress theme uses better typography out of the box.

Don’t just look at the homepage. Go deeper in the theme demo and explore other sections. For example, if you are building a portfolio site then check theme’s demo for portfolio. If you will be adding testimonials, then checkout how testimonials look in the theme demo.

Make sure that there are plenty of page templates and layouts to use. Examine homepage, single pages, posts, and blog sections to make sure that they all maintain the same design consistency and appeal.

2. Features vs Presentation

Features vs presentation

The main difference between WordPress themes and plugins is that themes handle the presentation part of your website and plugins handle the functionality.

However, the premium WordPress theme market is highly competitive and sometimes theme developers cannot resist the temptation to add more plugin-like functionality into their themes.

Why is this considered bad practice?

When a WordPress theme crosses over into the plugin territory, it becomes difficult to switch themes. For example if a WordPress theme is using a custom post type, then switching to another theme would make those custom post types disappear from the admin menu.

Shortcodes defined by theme would also stop functioning which also makes switching a difficult and time consuming process.

On the other hand, there are WordPress themes which behave exactly like a plugin. Offering functionality needed to create very specific niche websites. For example real estate themes or hotel themes. Some of these themes are really useful, but if you are going to use those themes, then you need to understand that it will be difficult to switch themes later because other themes may not have the similar functionality.

3. Security and Performance

Theme performance

Many WordPress beginners don’t pay much attention to speed and good coding practices when choosing a premium theme.

In the race to win new customers, theme developers can integrate unsafe and quick solutions that can compromise your site’s security. The insane amount of features can cost you speed and performance issues.

Now the problem is that most beginner level users do not have the skills to study code. So how do you know that the code behind a premium theme is of good quality?

First, you need to buy your premium themes from trusted and well reputed WordPress theme shops. Some of the theme shops that we trust and recommend are:

Secondly, look around for reviews and customer testimonials. See who else is using themes developed by that particular theme shop or developer. Are there any big websites or blogs using their themes? Checkout the testimonials page on the theme shop or search for their reviews on Google.

4. Compatibility Check

Before you start browsing for a premium theme, take a few moments to write down all the features you are looking for. For example:

  • Do you need eCommerce support?
  • Translation readiness for non-English websites
  • BuddyPress or bbPress support
  • Any other plugins that you might be using

Many premium themes come with built-in templates and support for popular eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.

If a theme you are looking for is not available in your language, then ask the theme developer to see if a translation is in progress.

Some users may want to use very specific plugins to create niche websites like job boards, question answer websites, etc. Feel free to ask the theme developers if their theme would work with a specific plugin.

You need to make sure that you are investing your money in the right place.

After Selecting the Perfect Premium WordPress Theme

A good premium WordPress theme would help you easily build high quality websites. However, there are still many things you can do to improve your site.

We recommend taking a look at these 24 must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

If you want to further customize your website, then you should look at CSS Hero which makes it easy to customize websites (see our CSS Hero review).

We hope this guide helped you choose the best premium WordPress theme for your site. You may also want to see our comparison of the best WordPress contact form plugins.

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 Choose The Best Premium WordPress Theme for Your Site appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Install WordPress in Other Languages

Do you want to use WordPress in other languages? WordPress is fully translated into over 65 languages and can be used in your native language. In this article, we will show you how to install WordPress in other languages. Since this is a comprehensive step… Read More »

The post How to Install WordPress in Other Languages appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to use WordPress in other languages? WordPress is fully translated into over 65 languages and can be used in your native language. In this article, we will show you how to install WordPress in other languages.

Installing and using WordPress in other languages

Since this is a comprehensive step by step tutorial, feel free to use the navigation below to get to the appropriate section.

Getting Started with WordPress in Other Languages

In order to start a blog, the first thing you will need is to get WordPress hosting.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the largest WordPress hosting providers in the world. They are also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

After signing up with a WordPress host, the next step is to install WordPress. We have a complete step by step tutorial on how to install WordPress properly.

WordPress in German

Choosing a Language During WordPress Installation

WordPress 4.0 came with the new and improved internationalization support. Now users can choose a language for their WordPress website during the installation.

WordPress allows you to select language during installation

This is particularly useful if you need installation instructions to be in your local language. However, if you didn’t select the language during your WordPress install process, then you can change it any time under WordPress settings.

Changing Language in WordPress

WordPress makes it super-easy to change the language on your website. Simply go to Settings » General in your WordPress dashboard, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. There you will see the option to select site language.

Installing and changing language in WordPress settings

While WordPress has translations for over 162 languages, you will be only able to see languages that are fully translated (62).

If you do not see your language in the list, this does not mean that it is not available or that you can not use it.

We will show you how to manually install language packs in WordPress.

Manually Installing WordPress Translation Files For Other Languages

WordPress uses a gettext system for translations (localization and internationalization). Volunteer users from around the world use a main .pot template file to translate WordPress in their languages. This results into two files for each language. Portable Object format file with .po extension, and Machine Object file with .mo extension. You will need a .mo file for your language.

Go to the WordPress translation teams page to see if there is a WordPress translation available for your language.

Finding your language files on WordPress Translators website

Next, click on the percentage value to see the status of the translation progress in your language and then click on current WordPress version.

You will now reach GlotPress, which is a web based app used by WordPress team to manage and translate WordPress projects.

Once there, you need to scroll down to the bottom until you see the export section. In the dropdown, select Machine Object Message Catalog (.mo) and then click on Export link.

Exporting translations

Repeat the process above and select Portable Object Message Catalog (.po) and then click on the Export link.

After downloading and unzipping the language pack on your computer, you will need to connect to your website using an FTP client. Once connected, upload the language files to /wp-content/languages folder.

After you’re done uploading the file, return to the WordPress admin area. Go to Settings » General page and scroll down to site language option. You can now select the language you just uploaded because it will appear under installed languages.

Installed languages

Using an English Admin Interface in Multilingual WordPress

Sometimes you may want to use WordPress in a different language while keeping the admin interface in English.

This is particularly helpful if you have admins who are not familiar with other installed languages or you give access to developers.

You will need to install and activate the English WordPress Admin plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will add a language switcher in the WordPress admin bar. Each user can simply take the mouse over to the language switcher and select the admin interface language.

Switch WordPress admin interface to English

For more detailed instructions, take a look at our guide on how to use English WordPress admin on Multilingual site.

Creating a Multilingual WordPress Website

WordPress can be used in different languages but creating content in multiple languages is not easily manageable by default.

Luckily, there are several plugins that allow you to easily create and manage multilingual WordPress sites. These plugins allow you to create content in multiple languages and making it easier for your website visitors to switch languages.

We recommend using WPML (WordPress Multi Language) plugin. This paid plugin is used by thousands of websites from all over the world to create user friendly multilingual websites with WordPress.

Creating multilingual content in WordPress with WPML

See our guide on how to create a multilingual WordPress site with WPML for detailed instructions.

If you are looking for a free solution, then you can checkout Polylang plugin. Take a look at our guide on creating multilingual WordPress site with Polylang.

Help Translate WordPress in Your Language

If you did not find an available translation for WordPress in your language, then perhaps you can help create one.

WordPress is an open source software that is completely volunteer driven. See: Why is WordPress free and how does it make money?

This means that all available translations that you see right now are created by volunteer users from around the world (just like you). Check out Translating WordPress website for more information on how you can contribute.

We hope that this article helped you install WordPress in other languages. You may also want to take a look at our list of 24 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 How to Install WordPress in Other Languages appeared first on WPBeginner.