Should You Choose a New Domain Extension for Your Website?

Recently one of our readers asked our thoughts on the new domain extensions. As you already know that apart from the popular dot-com extension, there are many new domain name extensions that you can choose from. In this article, we will answer the question: should… Read More »

The post Should You Choose a New Domain Extension for Your Website? appeared first on WPBeginner.

Recently one of our readers asked our thoughts on the new domain extensions. As you already know that apart from the popular dot-com extension, there are many new domain name extensions that you can choose from. In this article, we will answer the question: should you choose new domain extensions for your website with pros and cons?

Should you choose new domain extensions for your website?

What are Domain Extensions?

Domain extensions or TLDs are the last part of a domain name. These are the letters that appear after the dot and to the right side of the domain name. For example, WPBeginner has a .com domain extension (i.e. wpbeginner.com) and Wikipedia has a .org domain extension (wikipedia.org).

To learn more about domain name system, see our beginner’s guide on what is a domain name and how do domains work.

The first domain extensions were .com, .net, and .org. They are still the most popular domain extensions.

As time passed, new domain extensions were introduced. These included country specific domain extensions like .co.uk or .com.de, and generic extensions like .travel, .app, .mobi, .photography, and more.

Today, there are hundreds of domain extensions available that can be used for starting a website.

Domain name extensions

You can register a domain name from one of these top domain registrars. Some registrars offer more variety of domain extensions than others. The cost for each domain extension will vary, and some of the new ones are quite expensive when compared to the popular .com, .net, and .org extensions.

Once you have purchased a domain name, you’ll still need web hosting to build a website. For more details see our beginner’s guide on the difference between domain name and web hosting.

Should You Choose a New Domain Extension for Your Website?

Choosing a domain name with the right domain extension is crucial for the success of your website. The extension part of your domain affects your branding.

The new domain extensions are not as popular because most people are not familiar with them. In fact, some users may not even recognize them as a proper domain name.

The .com domain extension has become synonymous with the internet. Nearly 46% of all registered domain names are .com domains. Even most smartphones have a default .com key for quick typing.

The dot com extension

This is why we recommend using only the .com domain extension.

The .com domains are easy to remember. Most internet users instinctively use .com when entering a website address in their browser. Due to the popularity of .com domain names, they are easier to brand, promote, and help you grow your business.

A .com domain name can be used to create almost any kind of website and business. This flexibility also gives you the freedom to change your website’s scope or your business while keeping the old brand and domain name.

Due to its familiarity, flexibility, and potential, we recommend that you only choose a .com domain extension for your new website.

What to Do If My Preferred .com Extension is Not Available?

Majority of websites on the internet are using a .com extension. This means there are nearly 136 Million .com domain names already registered.

This would make you feel that all the good domain names are already registered. However, there are still plenty of clever ways to find a good .com domain name.

  • Your domain name should represent your business and what you do. For example, starplumbingservices.com is better than starservices.com
  • You can try adding small words before or after your preferred domain name to make it unique. For example, starplumbingboston.com
  • Make sure your domain name can be easily pronounced. Don’t use hyphens or numbers in your domain name.
  • Take advantage of online domain name generators. These free tools will help you find domain name ideas that are still available.

If you need more help, then see our beginner’s guide on how to choose the best domain name for some more practical tips.

That being said, let’s review some other popular domain extensions, their intended purpose, and what kind of websites they are suitable for.

Other Domain Extensions That Are Available

There are hundreds of domain name extensions available. We have tried to pick up some generic and popular extensions to give you an idea of how these domain extensions are intended to be used.

When should you use .Net domain extension?

The .net extension is the second most popular domain extension. It was intended to be used by networking businesses, internet service providers, or networks of online communities.

Using it for an unrelated business website is a bad idea for your brand. For example, you can use .net if you sell networking devices on your website but not for a clothing store.

For more details see our comparison of .com vs .net domain extensions.

When should you .Org domain extension?

The .org was initially launched to accompany .com and .net domain extensions. It is suitable for non-profit organizations, charities, religious, or social awareness websites.

Using it for a business or personal website can give your customers a wrong impression. There are organizations that use .org for their non-profit activities and the .com version of the same domain for commercial activities.

When should you .Biz domain extension

The .biz domain extensions are an acronym for business. Similar to .com extension, .biz is intended to be used by any kind of business website.

However, .biz is a lot less familiar to customers which makes it difficult to remember. It may also affect customer’s perception of your business when you are not using a .com extension.

When should you .Info domain extension

The .info extension is an acronym for information and can be used by information portals or similar websites.

Using this extension for a blog or a business website can give users the wrong impression. This would also affect your brand’s reputation, and your website’s goals in the long run.

When should you .Name domain extension

The .name extension is intended to be used by individuals. This new less popular domain extension was created to provide people with another option to register a domain name for personal websites with their own name.

Due to the unfamiliarity of the extension and its scope, you can only use it for a personal website or blog. You should never use it for a small business website.

When should you .TV domain extension

Technically .tv domain extension is a country based TLD for websites based in Tuvalu (a tiny island nation in the Pacific ocean). However, the domain is used by tv-related websites around the world.

You should only use this domain if your website or business is about the tv industry. Using it for other businesses or blogs would look odd.

In fact, even if you have a tv related website, we would still recommend you to go with a .com domain name instead. Many popular tv companies don’t use a .tv domain extension. For example, HBO, CNN, CBS, and dozens more.

There are dozens of more domain extensions like .photography, .club, .xyz, .blog and more. All of them are too specific, less memorable, and limit your website’s potential in one way or another.

What About Country Specific Domain Extensions?

You should only use country specific domain extensions if you only want to target users in that particular country.

The intended purpose of country-specific domain extensions is to be used by individuals and businesses in that region. Many such domains can only be registered if you are located in that country or have a representative there.

Country-specific domain extensions are great for creating multilingual websites or creating region-specific websites.

Some websites use country domain extensions to come up with clever ideas for their domain names. For example, bit.ly uses the domain extension for Libya, or goo.gl, the URL shortener service by Google using the country domain extension for Greenland.

This kind of domain names are called domain hacks. While they look cool, you will need some serious marketing skills to turn them into a recognizable brand and memorable for your users.

We hope this article helped answer the question about choosing new domain extensions for your website. You may also want to see our guide on how to make a website with step by step instructions for beginners.

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

The post Should You Choose a New Domain Extension for Your Website? appeared first on WPBeginner.

Should You Choose a New Domain Extension for Your Website?

Recently one of our readers asked our thoughts on the new domain extensions. As you already know that apart from the popular dot-com extension, there are many new domain name extensions that you can choose from. In this article, we will answer the question: should… Read More »

The post Should You Choose a New Domain Extension for Your Website? appeared first on WPBeginner.

Recently one of our readers asked our thoughts on the new domain extensions. As you already know that apart from the popular dot-com extension, there are many new domain name extensions that you can choose from. In this article, we will answer the question: should you choose new domain extensions for your website with pros and cons?

Should you choose new domain extensions for your website?

What are Domain Extensions?

Domain extensions or TLDs are the last part of a domain name. These are the letters that appear after the dot and to the right side of the domain name. For example, WPBeginner has a .com domain extension (i.e. wpbeginner.com) and Wikipedia has a .org domain extension (wikipedia.org).

To learn more about domain name system, see our beginner’s guide on what is a domain name and how do domains work.

The first domain extensions were .com, .net, and .org. They are still the most popular domain extensions.

As time passed, new domain extensions were introduced. These included country specific domain extensions like .co.uk or .com.de, and generic extensions like .travel, .app, .mobi, .photography, and more.

Today, there are hundreds of domain extensions available that can be used for starting a website.

Domain name extensions

You can register a domain name from one of these top domain registrars. Some registrars offer more variety of domain extensions than others. The cost for each domain extension will vary, and some of the new ones are quite expensive when compared to the popular .com, .net, and .org extensions.

Once you have purchased a domain name, you’ll still need web hosting to build a website. For more details see our beginner’s guide on the difference between domain name and web hosting.

Should You Choose a New Domain Extension for Your Website?

Choosing a domain name with the right domain extension is crucial for the success of your website. The extension part of your domain affects your branding.

The new domain extensions are not as popular because most people are not familiar with them. In fact, some users may not even recognize them as a proper domain name.

The .com domain extension has become synonymous with the internet. Nearly 46% of all registered domain names are .com domains. Even most smartphones have a default .com key for quick typing.

The dot com extension

This is why we recommend using only the .com domain extension.

The .com domains are easy to remember. Most internet users instinctively use .com when entering a website address in their browser. Due to the popularity of .com domain names, they are easier to brand, promote, and help you grow your business.

A .com domain name can be used to create almost any kind of website and business. This flexibility also gives you the freedom to change your website’s scope or your business while keeping the old brand and domain name.

Due to its familiarity, flexibility, and potential, we recommend that you only choose a .com domain extension for your new website.

What to Do If My Preferred .com Extension is Not Available?

Majority of websites on the internet are using a .com extension. This means there are nearly 136 Million .com domain names already registered.

This would make you feel that all the good domain names are already registered. However, there are still plenty of clever ways to find a good .com domain name.

  • Your domain name should represent your business and what you do. For example, starplumbingservices.com is better than starservices.com
  • You can try adding small words before or after your preferred domain name to make it unique. For example, starplumbingboston.com
  • Make sure your domain name can be easily pronounced. Don’t use hyphens or numbers in your domain name.
  • Take advantage of online domain name generators. These free tools will help you find domain name ideas that are still available.

If you need more help, then see our beginner’s guide on how to choose the best domain name for some more practical tips.

That being said, let’s review some other popular domain extensions, their intended purpose, and what kind of websites they are suitable for.

Other Domain Extensions That Are Available

There are hundreds of domain name extensions available. We have tried to pick up some generic and popular extensions to give you an idea of how these domain extensions are intended to be used.

When should you use .Net domain extension?

The .net extension is the second most popular domain extension. It was intended to be used by networking businesses, internet service providers, or networks of online communities.

Using it for an unrelated business website is a bad idea for your brand. For example, you can use .net if you sell networking devices on your website but not for a clothing store.

For more details see our comparison of .com vs .net domain extensions.

When should you .Org domain extension?

The .org was initially launched to accompany .com and .net domain extensions. It is suitable for non-profit organizations, charities, religious, or social awareness websites.

Using it for a business or personal website can give your customers a wrong impression. There are organizations that use .org for their non-profit activities and the .com version of the same domain for commercial activities.

When should you .Biz domain extension

The .biz domain extensions are an acronym for business. Similar to .com extension, .biz is intended to be used by any kind of business website.

However, .biz is a lot less familiar to customers which makes it difficult to remember. It may also affect customer’s perception of your business when you are not using a .com extension.

When should you .Info domain extension

The .info extension is an acronym for information and can be used by information portals or similar websites.

Using this extension for a blog or a business website can give users the wrong impression. This would also affect your brand’s reputation, and your website’s goals in the long run.

When should you .Name domain extension

The .name extension is intended to be used by individuals. This new less popular domain extension was created to provide people with another option to register a domain name for personal websites with their own name.

Due to the unfamiliarity of the extension and its scope, you can only use it for a personal website or blog. You should never use it for a small business website.

When should you .TV domain extension

Technically .tv domain extension is a country based TLD for websites based in Tuvalu (a tiny island nation in the Pacific ocean). However, the domain is used by tv-related websites around the world.

You should only use this domain if your website or business is about the tv industry. Using it for other businesses or blogs would look odd.

In fact, even if you have a tv related website, we would still recommend you to go with a .com domain name instead. Many popular tv companies don’t use a .tv domain extension. For example, HBO, CNN, CBS, and dozens more.

There are dozens of more domain extensions like .photography, .club, .xyz, .blog and more. All of them are too specific, less memorable, and limit your website’s potential in one way or another.

What About Country Specific Domain Extensions?

You should only use country specific domain extensions if you only want to target users in that particular country.

The intended purpose of country-specific domain extensions is to be used by individuals and businesses in that region. Many such domains can only be registered if you are located in that country or have a representative there.

Country-specific domain extensions are great for creating multilingual websites or creating region-specific websites.

Some websites use country domain extensions to come up with clever ideas for their domain names. For example, bit.ly uses the domain extension for Libya, or goo.gl, the URL shortener service by Google using the country domain extension for Greenland.

This kind of domain names are called domain hacks. While they look cool, you will need some serious marketing skills to turn them into a recognizable brand and memorable for your users.

We hope this article helped answer the question about choosing new domain extensions for your website. You may also want to see our guide on how to make a website with step by step instructions for beginners.

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

The post Should You Choose a New Domain Extension for Your Website? appeared first on WPBeginner.

18 Most Important Things You Need to Do After Installing WordPress

We are often asked by users about what to do right after starting a blog? Once you have installed WordPress, there are still quite a few things you need to do to properly setup and launch your website. In this article, we will share the… Read More »

The post 18 Most Important Things You Need to Do After Installing WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

We are often asked by users about what to do right after starting a blog? Once you have installed WordPress, there are still quite a few things you need to do to properly setup and launch your website. In this article, we will share the most important things that you will immediately want to do after installing WordPress.

Checklist of things to do after installing WordPress

1. Add a Contact Form

All websites on the internet need a contact form. It allows your website visitors to quickly contact you by simply filling out a form on your website.

By default, WordPress does not come with a built-in contact form.

This is where WPForms comes in. It is the best WordPress contact form plugin and allows you to easily create beautiful contact forms for your website.

They also have a WPForms free version that you can download from WordPress.org plugin repository.

Creating a contact form in WordPress

See our step by step guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress.

2. Change Site Title, Tagline, and Timezone

Next, you need to change the site title, tagline, and timezone settings. Simply head over to Settings » General page and change these settings.

Change title, tagline, and timezone settings

3. Setup WordPress SEO

SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is used by website owners to get more traffic from Google and other search engines.

WordPress is pretty SEO friendly out of the box. However, there is a lot more that you can do to optimize your SEO and get more traffic to your website.

The best time to set up your website’s SEO is right after installing WordPress.

We recommend using the Yoast SEO plugin. It is the most comprehensive WordPress SEO plugin on the market, and it takes care of all the important SEO settings out of the box.

Yoast SEO installed in WordPress

For complete step by step instructions, see our ultimate WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

4. Install Google Analytics

As a website owner, you need to understand your audience, what they are looking for, and how you can help them find it. These insights help you make smarter decisions to grow your business.

This is where you need Google Analytics. It shows you how many people visit your website, where they came from, and what they did on your website.

The easiest way to install Google Analytics is by using MonsterInsights. It is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and shows beautiful analytics reports right inside WordPress.

MonsterInsights reports

For the complete setup, see our beginner’s guide on how to easily install Google Analytics in WordPress.

5. Install Caching

Studies show that 1 second delay in page load time can lead to 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Strangeloop study

As a website owner, you need to make sure that your website is fast and performs well even under high traffic.

This is where caching comes in. It allows your website to quickly serve cached copies of your pages to users instead of generating them on the fly. This reduces server load on your website and improves your page load speed.

There are a lot of caching plugins available for WordPress, but we recommend using the WP Super Cache plugin. See our guide on how to install and setup WP Super Cache plugin for detailed instructions.

Caching alone can significantly improve your website’s speed. However, there are lots of other things you can do to make it faster. See our complete guide on how to improve WordPress speed & performance.

6. Setup Backups

Each year millions of dollars worth of damages are caused by data loss. Creating backups is the only way to make sure that you can easily recover your website in case of a disaster.

Some WordPress hosting companies offer limited backup services with their hosting plans. However, these backups are not guaranteed, and it is your responsibility to backup your website on your own.

Luckily, there are several great WordPress backup plugins that you can use to automatically create backups.

We recommend using Updraft Plus. It is the best WordPress backup plugin and allows you to setup automatic backup schedules. You can also store your backups securely on remote storage services like Google Drive, Amazone S3, Dropbox, and more.

Setting up WordPress backups using UpdraftPlus

For step by step instructions see our step by step tutorial on how to backup and restore WordPress using UpdraftPlus

7. Setup WordPress Security

WordPress is quite secure out of the box. However, you still need to follow security best practices to keep your website secure.

Some of these best practices are quite easy to do on your own like using strong passwords, securing WordPress admin area, and installing updates.

For other things, you will need a plugin. There are some great WordPress security plugins that you can use.

We recommend using Sucuri. They are the industry leader in website security, vulnerability scanning, and malware protection.

The best part about using Sucuri, is that they offer the best WordPress firewall plugin. A website firewall blocks suspicious traffic from ever reaching your website.

Sucuri website firewall

For complete instructions, follow the steps in our ultimate WordPress security guide for beginners.

8. Setup Spam Protection

Spam comments can be quite problematic. Most of them contain links to malicious websites known for distributing malware. Spam comments can affect your search rankings and your website’s reputation.

You can enable comment moderation in WordPress to prevent any comment appearing without approval. However, as the quantity of spam grows you will be spending considerable time moderating comments.

To fix this, you need to install and activate the Akismet plugin. It is a WordPress anti-spam plugin and one of the only two plugins that come pre-installed on every WordPress website.

Akismet

To learn more, see our guide on how to setup Akismet anti-spam plugin in WordPress.

9. Delete Unused WordPress Themes

Most WordPress users will install and test a few themes before deciding on one that’s a keeper. Instead of leaving those unused themes installed, be sure to delete them. The reason for that is because even inactive themes will need updates.

We do recommend keeping at least one default theme installed. This theme will act as a fallback in case you have to to switch themes when troubleshooting for errors.

Go to Appearance » Themes page and click on an unused theme that you want to delete. This will bring up a popup showing theme details. In the bottom-right corner of the popup you will see the link to delete the theme.

Delete unused themes

Repeat the process to delete all unused themes.

10. Setup WordPress Comments

Comments play an important role on most blogs. They are a good indicator of user engagement and allow you to build a community around your blog.

Simply go to Settings » Discussion page to setup comments. From here you can enable or disable comments, setup comment notifications, and enable comment moderation.

Comment settings

11. Delete Default Content

WordPress comes with some default content to be used as the placeholder items. This includes a blog post titled ‘Hello World’, a sample comment, and a sample page.

Simply go to Posts » All Posts page. Take your mouse to the ‘Hello World’ post and then click on the ‘Trash’ link.

Delete default post

Next, go to Pages » All Pages page and then delete ‘Sample Page.

Lastly, visit the Comments page and then delete the default comment.

Delete default comment

12. Setup a Default Category

WordPress posts are required to be filed under at least one category. By default, WordPress uses the ‘Uncategorized’ category as the default category. If you don’t change the category when writing a blog post, then it will automatically be filed under the default category.

To change the default category, first, you need to visit Posts » Categories page to create a new category. This will be used as your new default category.

Add new category

After that, go to Settings » Writing page. Here you will see the default category option, you can go ahead and select the new category you created earlier.

Change default category

Finally, you can go to Posts » Categories page and delete the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

To learn more, see our guide on how to change the default Uncategorized category in WordPress.

13. Setup Front and Blog Pages

By default WordPress displays your blog posts on the homepage. However, if you are making a small business website, then you would want to use a static page as your homepage.

Even most blogs want to use a static front page as their homepage. This allows them to create custom layouts for their homepage.

To set up these pages, you can simply go to Settings » Reading page and select the pages you want to use as your front page and blog page.

Select static front page and blog pages

For more details, see our article on how to add a separate page for blog posts in WordPress.

14. Upload Your Gravatar

WordPress uses Gravatar to display user photos in author bios and in WordPress comments. Gravatar is a profile image hosting service that allows users to use the same photo as their profile image across millions of website.

A WordPress website showing author photo

Simply go to the Gravatar’s website and create an account using the email address you have used in your WordPress account.

After that, you can use this email address to comment on millions of websites using Gravatar including your own site.

For more details, see our article on how to use Gravatar in WordPress.

15. Complete Your User Profile

Next, you would want to complete your WordPress user profile. Simply head over to Users » Your Profile page to update your profile information.

Update WordPress profile

By default, WordPress will use your username next to your blog posts and comments. You would want to replace it with your full name or nickname. See our article on how to add or change your full name in WordPress.

You would also want to provide your website link. Other plugins may also add their own custom fields to your user profile like social media links.

Lastly, enter a short bio of yourself. This would give your users a quick introduction and help them learn more about the author behind the articles.

16. Upload Favicon and Site Icon

Favicon or Site Icon is the tiny image that appears next to your website title in the browser. It helps your users identify your website and increases brand recognition among your most frequent visitors.

Favicons displayed in browser tabs

First, you will need to create an image of exactly 512×512 pixels in dimensions and save it in png, jpeg, or gif format.

After that, you need to visit Appearance » Customize and click on the ‘Site Identity’ tab. Under the ‘Site Icon’ section click on the ‘Select File’ button to upload your favicon.

Add favicon and site icon

For more details, see our article on how to add favicon and site icon in WordPress for step by step instructions.

17. Change WordPress Email Address

Most users add their own email address when installing WordPress. This means their first user profile and their website’s email address are the same.

To change this you can go to Settings » General page and enter the new email address you would like to use for the website.

Change your site email

Make sure that the new email address is active, as WordPress will send a confirmation email to that address.

You can use any email address here. However, it would be best to use an email address that shows that this address is for automated emails sent from your website.

If you want to use email accounts using your own domain name, then please see our guide on how to create a free business email address for your WordPress website.

18. Setup Your WordPress Theme

The next step is to setup your WordPress theme. Most WordPress themes come with different features and customization options. However, there are some basic settings that are the same in all WordPress themes. In fact, they are common among most websites on the planet.

Let’s start with setting up navigation menus. It is the links menu that usually appears in the header section. It contains links to different areas of your website.

Adding navigation menus

For detailed instructions, see our beginner’s guide on setting up navigation menus in WordPress.

Next, you would want to add widgets to your WordPress. Widgets allow you to add different blocks to your website’s sidebar or widget ready areas.

By default, WordPress will display a few default widgets in your primary sidebar. You would want to rearrange them or add other widgets. Your theme may also come with its own custom widgets for social media and other features that you would want to use.

For detailed instructions, see our beginner’s guide on how to add and use widgets in WordPress

Your theme may also include plenty of other options like color schemes, layout choices, header styles, and more. Explore these options and set them up to your own liking.

We hope this article helped you learn things you will immediately want to do after installing WordPress. You may also want to see these actionable tips to drive traffic to your new 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 18 Most Important Things You Need to Do After Installing WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

What is a Blog and How is it Different from a Website? (Explained)

We are often asked by beginners about what is a blog, and how is it different from a website? If you are thinking about starting a blog or a website, then understanding these terms will help you meet your goals. In this beginner’s guide, we… Read More »

The post What is a Blog and How is it Different from a Website? (Explained) appeared first on WPBeginner.

We are often asked by beginners about what is a blog, and how is it different from a website? If you are thinking about starting a blog or a website, then understanding these terms will help you meet your goals. In this beginner’s guide, we will explain what is a blog and how is it different from a traditional website.

What is a blog and how is it different from a website?

What is a Blog?

A blog is a type of website where the content is presented in a reverse chronological order (newer content appear first). Blog content are often referred to as entries or “blog posts”.

Blogs are typically run by an individual or a small group of people to present information in a conversational style. However now there are tons of corporate blogs that produce tons of informational and thought-leadership style content.

A blog page showing posts

Typical blog posts also have a comments section where users can respond to the article.

History of Blogs

Blogs evolved from online diaries and journals in the mid-90s. At that time, internet users were already running personal web pages where they published regular updates about their personal lives, thoughts, and social commentary.

The term weblog was first used during the late 90s, which later became ‘we blog’, and then just ‘blog’.

Due to the growing number of such web pages, several tools started to appear which made it easier for users to create online journals and blogs. These tools helped popularize blogging and made the technology accessible to non-technical users.

In 1999, the popular blogging website Blogger.com was launched, which was later acquired by Google in February 2003.

The same year, WordPress released its first version as a blogging platform in May 2003. Today, WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform powering over 30% of all websites.

What is The Difference Between Blog and Website?

Blogs are a type of website. The only real difference between a blog and other types of website is that blogs are regularly updated with new content displayed in a reversed chronological order (newer posts first).

Typical websites are static in nature where content is organized in pages, and they are not updated frequently. Whereas a blog is dynamic, and it is usually updated more frequently. Some bloggers publish multiple new articles a day.

Blogs can be a part of the larger website. Often businesses have a blog section where they regularly create content to inform and educate their customers. Because you can use WordPress to create a website and blog, a lot of business owners use WordPress to build their small business website.

In simple terms, all blogs can be a website or part of a website. However, not all websites can be called blogs.

For example, WPBeginner is a blog and a website. Our website has other content which is published in a non-blog format like glossary, about us, and contact pages.

Non-blog content on a blog website

Now, let’s take a look at another example. This time a website called Awesome Motive. It is a business website and belongs to WPBeginner’s management company.

Awesome Motive

It does not have a blog or any content published in a sequential order. It uses pages to organize and present information about a business.

You can also say that blogs have articles that are organized using categories and tags. On the other hand, websites use pages to organize and display content.

What is The Difference Between Blog Posts and Pages?

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, and it has two default content types: posts and pages. Often beginners get confused between the two.

Blog posts are displayed in a reverse chronological order (newest to oldest) on your blog page because they are timely content which means your users will have to dig deeper to view older posts.

Pages are static “one-off” type content such as your about page, contact page, products or services pages, and more.

To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on the difference between posts and pages.

Pages are usually used to create a website structure and layout. Even blogs can have pages alongside them (See our list of important pages that every blog should have).

Why Do People Blog? What are The Benefits of Blogging?

Each individual blogger has their own motivation for blogging. Many of them use it as an alternative to keeping a diary or journal. Blogging provides them with a venue to share their creativity and ideas to a wider audience.

Top brands and businesses create blogs to educate their customers, share news, and reach a wider audience. Blogging is an essential part of online marketing strategy for many businesses.

Following are just a few benefits of blogging.

  • Provides an avenue to organize your thoughts and ideas
  • Allows you to showcase your skills, creativity, and talents
  • Help individuals become an authority in their industry
  • Helps you socialize with interesting like-minded people online
  • Many bloggers make money from their blogs using various monetization methods
  • Businesses use blogging to bring more potential customers to their websites
  • Non-profits can use blogs to raise awareness, run campaigns, and influence public opinion

What are Some Examples of Good Blogs?

Blogging is huge!

Millions of individuals and businesses from all over the world have blogs. This means that there are blogs on just about any topic you can think of.

Here are some good blogs that you can check out as an example. We have hand-picked the best blogs in different industries to give you an idea of how diverse blogs are.

1. Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum is one of the most popular food and recipe blogs online. Started by Lindsay, a high school teacher, the blog allowed her to quit her day job and become a full-time blogger.

2. WeTheParents

WeTheParents

WeTheParents is a popular parenting blog run by Neve and Keane (the parents). They share parenting tips for moms and dads and while doing so they make money by earning commission on products they recommend.

3. List25

List25

A popular edutainment blog that publishes interesting articles on a variety of topics in listicle format. It combines the pursuit of interesting and intriguing facts with the innate human desire to rank and list things.

4. We Wore What

We Wore What

Started by Danielle Bernstein, We Wore What is a popular fashion blog. With more than 1.5 Million followers, it covers everything from fashion to interior design to menswear.

5. Nerd Fitness

Nerd Fitness

A fitness blog started by Steve Kamb, Nerd Fitness is dedicated to helping people stay fit. It provides fitness advice, motivation, support, diet and exercise tips.

6. Lost With Purpose

Lost With Purpose

A popular travel blog run by Alex, who shares her journeys while offering travel tips, advice, and guides for other backpackers.

7. Tiny Buddha

Tiny Buddha

Tiny Buddha is a personal development blog created by Lori Deschene. The blog publishes content on happiness, love, relationships, mindfulness, spirituality, simplicity, minimalism, letting go, and more.

There are many more great blogs out there on many different topics. See our list of the most popular types of blogs for some more ideas.

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

Usually, people think of bloggers as hobbyists. Some of them are, but a large number of bloggers make money from their blogs. This enables them to focus more on their blog, quit their day jobs, and build a successful business.

The more successful bloggers can make six-figure, seven-figure, and even eight-figure from their blogs.

Below are a few ways that most bloggers use to make money from their blogs:

The most common and probably the easiest way to make money online is by displaying ads. However, as a new blogger you will not be able to contact advertisers directly or manage them on your own.

This is where Google AdSense comes in. It takes care of finding ads, displaying them, collecting payments from advertisers, and sending you those payments for a small cut.

Many bloggers also make money through affiliate marketing. Basically, they recommend products on their websites and earn a commission when users buy those products.

Other common monetization methods include memberships, selling online courses, or adding an online store to the blog.

See our list of proven ways to make money online from your blog for some more examples.

We also have a list of “easy-to-start” online business ideas that you can check out.

Can Anyone Start a Blog?

Yes, anyone who wants to start a blog, can easily do so.

In the early days of blogging, users needed coding skills to even update their blogs. Now, there are plenty of tools that allow you to easily create a blog without ever writing code. If you can point-and-click, then you can build a blog within minutes.

Choosing the wrong blogging platform to start a blog is the most common mistake that beginners make. However, since you are here, you will not be making this mistake.

We recommend using WordPress. It is the world’s most popular blogging platform and website builder. Over 30% of all websites on the internet are built using WordPress, just so you can get an idea of how popular it is.

There are two types of WordPress: WordPress.com, which is a hosted solution, and WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. See our guide on the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

We recommend using WordPress.org because it gives you instant access to all WordPress features. It also allows you to easily make money from your blog without any restriction.

Want to learn more about WordPress? See our complete WordPress review for detailed breakdown of its features.

You will need the following things to start your own WordPress.org blog.

  • A domain name (This will be your blog’s address and what users will type in their browser to visit it. For example, wpbeginner.com)
  • Website hosting account (This will be home of your blog’s files)
  • 20 minutes of your time

Normally, a domain name will cost you around $14.99 per year and website hosting $7.99 per month. Now if you are just starting out, this seems like a lot of money.

Thankfully, Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users a free domain and discount on hosting. They are one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and are officially recommended by WordPress.

Basically, you will be able to get started for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

After purchasing hosting, you can head over to our guide on how to start a blog for complete step by step instructions.

We hope this article helped answer your questions about what is a blog and what’s the difference between a blog and a website. You may also want to see our list of the most useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress blog.

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 What is a Blog and How is it Different from a Website? (Explained) appeared first on WPBeginner.

27 “Proven and Easy to Start” Online Business Ideas that Make Money

Are you looking for online business ideas to make extra income on the side? The internet offers a lot of opportunities to start a business or find fulfilling careers. In this article, we will show some of the proven and easy to start online business… Read More »

The post 27 “Proven and Easy to Start” Online Business Ideas that Make Money appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you looking for online business ideas to make extra income on the side? The internet offers a lot of opportunities to start a business or find fulfilling careers. In this article, we will show some of the proven and easy to start online business ideas that actually make money.

Proven and easy to start business ideas

Why Start an Online Business?

Technology is often blamed for killing traditional businesses and jobs. However, at the same time, these new technologies are creating tons of new jobs and business opportunities ready to be taken by anyone.

Starting an online business is easier than ever. You can do it from the comfort of your home with just a computer and an internet connection. There is no need to invest huge amounts of money to get started.

Caution: If someone tells you that you can invest A LOT of money and take a shortcut / get rick quick, then it’s likely a scam. Stay away from it.

The ideas we’re sharing in this article are about building legitimate online businesses, and you’ll still have to work hard to succeed.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the proven and easy to start online business ideas that actually make money.

1. Start a Blog and Make Money From It

Starting a blog

Blogs are one of the most successful ways to start an online business. Bloggers like Darren Rowse, John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn are making six-figure incomes, and they are not alone. Our founder, Syed Balkhi, has built an eight-figure online business that started with a blog. There are also thousands of bloggers running very successful blogs as their full-time online business.

It is very easy to start a blog, and there are tons of ways to make money from it. One of the most popular ways to monetize your blog is by displaying ads using Google AdSense.

While you can start a blog in less than 30 minutes, you will need to work on it to make it a success. You will have to offer useful, entertaining, and engaging content to your audience on a regular basis (see our step by step guide on how to start a blog).

Luckily, there are tons of blog post ideas that you can use to consistently create content. As your blog grows, you will be able to monetize it using other strategies as well.

You will also be able to and use it as a platform to launch other online businesses.

2. Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketers make sale commissions by recommending other people’s products or services.

Most affiliate marketers recommend these products and services by running their own blogs, websites, and email lists. They need to learn different online marketing strategies like SEO and content marketing to build an audience.

To get started, follow our ultimate affiliate marketing guide with step by step instructions for beginners.

3. Create and Sell Online Courses

Sell online courses

If you are particularly good at something, then why not teach others and make a career out of it? Selling online courses is another popular way to start an online business.

A lot of users prefer to quickly acquire skills and knowledge by joining online courses. Creating an online course has become a lot easier with the help of LMS software. These platforms allow you to create interactive courses with easy to manage tools for classes, students, course material, and more.

The best part is that you don’t have to write a single line of code to build a course website.

To get started, see our guide on how to create an online course with WordPress.

4. Build an Ecommerce Store

Start an eCommerce store

Selling things online had never been easier. Anyone can easily create an online store in minutes and start selling products.

These products can be physical goods (things that need shipping) or digital downloads like eBooks, music, software, and more.

Before getting started, you need to do your research. Here are some tips to help you brainstorm ideas:

  • Find a niche with high demand and low competition
  • Think of ways you will make your eCommerce store standout by doing things that other eCommerce stores are not doing.
  • Think of the costs involved in getting products from the manufacturer to customers. Choose a pricing model, so that your products can compete and offer great value to your customers. Last, but not the least, your profit margins must be reasonable enough to ensure that your business can sustain and grow in the long run.

You also need to choose a platform for your eCommerce store. The easiest way to get started is by using Shopify or WooCommerce. They are both great platforms. We have created a comparison with their pros and cons (see Shopify vs WooCommerce to learn more).

To get started, see our step by step guide on how to create an online store in less than 30 minutes.

5. Build a Membership Website

make a membership website

Membership websites make money by selling subscriptions with access to premium content and community features. Instead of relying on advertising revenue, you can allow your users to directly support your website with paid memberships.

There are many types of membership websites. For example, some membership websites give users access to exclusive members-only content. Others give users access to community features like a forum, Facebook group, or Slack group.

You will need to find a suitable niche for your membership website. It needs to be valuable enough for users to pay for it.

There are plenty of membership software that can help you easily build any kind of online community. You can choose different subscription models, manage users, receive online payments, and more.

To learn more, see our ultimate guide to build a membership website with step by step instructions for beginners.

6. Make a Drop Shipping Website

Drop shipping combines affiliate marketing and eCommerce. Basically, you create an online store to sell other people’s product for a commission. You will be running an online store without managing the inventory or shipping.

The biggest advantage of running a drop shipping business is the low barrier to entry, minimum investment, and little to no hassle. However, one disadvantage is that you will be working hard to sell other people’s products at a smaller profit margin.

Most drop shipping businesses eventually start selling their own products to diversify their business and increase their profits.

7. Make an Online Job Board

Job board

Another way to make money online is by building a job hunt website. A job board website helps connect job seekers with employers for a small fee.

There are plenty of online job search engines, which means you will need to find a particular niche to make your job board stand out. For example, you can create a job board specifically for web developers or pet sitters.

You can charge a small fee for each job listing posted by employers, offer companies packages to post multiple listings or charge job seekers to upload their resumes.

There are plenty of job board plugins for WordPress allowing you to easily run your own job board business.

8. Create a Micro-Job Website

A micro-job website allows you to make money by connecting employers to freelancers and contractors. This allows you to make money based on the overall price of the job listed. Popular micro-job posting websites like Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, UpWork, and others generate millions of dollars in revenue each year.

Basically, you will be acting as a middle-man between the employers and freelancers. You will be paid by employers for each job, and after taking your commission, you will pay the rest to the freelancers upon completion of the job.

To get started, see our beginner’s guide on how to start a micro-job website like Fiverr with WordPress.

9. Become an SEO Speciliast

SEO expert

SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps website owners get more visitors from search engines. It is a skill that requires continuous learning and keeping up with the latest trends. SEO specialists can run their own agencies, work as freelancers, or join a company as a full-time employee.

You can become an SEO specialist by running your own successful websites or by getting certifications online. You can find clients on freelancing websites like UpWork and Freelancer.com.

SEO is a very competitive industry, and you will need to make the most out of the best SEO tools available on the market. You would also need to learn the basic WordPress SEO techniques, keyword research tools, and content-marketing tools.

10. Make a Food or Recipe Blog

Make a food and recipe blog

Food and recipe blogs are a lucrative blogging niche and a great online business opportunity. Food and recipe blogs use a variety of techniques to generate revenue like using Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, selling recipe books, or run an online store.

You will need to be passionate about food and cooking. It is a competitive niche, so you will need to think of the ways to make your food blog unique and interesting.

To get started, see our step by step guide on creating a food blog and making money from your recipes.

11. Become a WordPress Developer

WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder. It powers more than 30% of all websites on the internet. This means that there are millions of businesses around the world using the platform.

This massive usage means there is a huge demand for WordPress developers in the market. WordPress is an open source software, which means anyone can write code for it, create themes, and make WordPress plugins.

As a WordPress developer, you can join top WordPress companies, big name brands using WordPress, or run your own WordPress development agency.

You will need to learn PHP, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. There are many books, WordPress video tutorials, online courses, and WordPress tutorials that will help you get started.

12. Build an Online Marketplace

Another proven and easy-to-start business idea is to make an online marketplace website. These websites make money by allowing users to create their own mini-stores and selling products.

To attract sellers, you can choose a high-demand niche with lower competition. Make your platform unique and attractive to both sellers and customers by offering better user experience and support.

To get started, see our step by step tutorial on how to make an online marketplace website using WordPress.

13. Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers make money by creating images, business logos, website designs, sales pages, and more. This is a massive industry with tons of business and career opportunities.

To become a graphic designer, you will need to learn how to use professional design tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. There are tons of vocational training schools, colleges, and universities offering courses to help you get started.

To promote your graphic design career, you will need to make a portfolio to showcase your work and skills.

14. Start a Fashion Blog

Start a fashion blog

Do you have an interest in the latest fashion trends and news? Why not use it to make a fashion blog and make money from it.

Fashion blogs attract tons of advertisers, top brands, and promoters. They not only allow you to make money, you can also become an influencer and get other perks / benefits like free apparels, invites to exclusive shows, and more.

To get started, see our complete step by step guide on how to start a fashion blog and make money from it.

15. Become a Content Marketer

Content marketers help businesses promote their products and services by generating useful and highly engaging content. All businesses need content to attract customers. There is an increasing demand for content marketers that is not expected to slow down anytime soon.

Content marketers are good at writing content, but they are not just bloggers. They specialize in finding the content ideas that will bring more visitors and potential customers to a website.

To learn more, see this ultimate content marketing guide with step by step instructions for beginners to get started.

16. Become a PPC Expert

PPC is short for Pay-Per-Click advertising where advertisers pay for their ads when users click on them. However, not all business owners know how to effectively run these campaigns to get the maximum benefit.

PPC Experts help businesses run pay-per-click advertising campaigns on platforms like Google AdWords. They help find the right keywords and attributes to maximize the ROI on ads.

You can learn PPC by running your own advertising campaigns and by reading the material available on the internet. There are online certification programs that you can take to showcase your skills.

To find PPC jobs, you can use popular freelancing websites where businesses are actively looking for PPC experts.

17. Start a Podcast

Start a podcast

A podcast is an episodic series of audio files which users can subscribe to download and listen. Podcasts are a great way to make a successful online business with many opportunities for growth.

Podcasts make money through advertisements, sponsorships, partnerships, and affiliate marketing. You will need to find a topic for your podcast that is interesting and engaging, so you can make your podcast unique.

We have created a complete beginner’s guide on how to start a podcast with step by step instructions.

18. Make a Reviews Website

Making a reviews website is another good online business opportunity. One of the most popular review sites, TripAdvisor, is considered to be worth more than $12 billion dollars.

However, it is a highly competitive industry which means you will need to find a particular niche with low competition. You can make money through affiliate marketing, displaying ads, or publishing paid reviews.

To get started, see our beginner’s guide on how to make a niche reviews website.

19. Buy and Sell Domain Names

Domain names are required to make a website. However, once you register a domain name, you are authorized to use it for as long as you want. Many entrepreneurs register domain names hoping to sell them at a higher price, very similar to real estate.

This online business requires investment and a lot of patience because you will be holding onto those domain names while waiting for an offer. This is a highly competitive business, and you will need to read as much about it as you can before getting in.

20. Buy and Sell Niche Websites

Making websites and monetizing them has become a lot easier. This has enabled many entrepreneurs from around the world to create successful websites and sell them like you would sell any other business.

Websites like Flippa are a great source to buy and sell established websites. Make sure that you do your research before making any investment. You will find tons of resources on Flippa to help you learn the basics.

There is a lot of opportunity to buy an underutilized website, optimize its revenue / growth, and then re-sell it for higher multiple.

21. Make an Auctions Website

Make an auctions website

Creating an eBay like auctions website is another easy to start online business idea. Basically, you make a website that provides users a platform to buy and sell products via online auctions.

You can add products for auctions by yourself or allow other vendors to run their own auctions. You can charge vendors a flat fee or a percentage for each auction item.

To get started, see our step by step tutorial on how to build an auction site like eBay using WordPress.

22. Become a YouTuber

If you like making videos, then becoming a YouTuber is an excellent business opportunity. YouTube is the world’s largest video hosting platform, second most popular search engine, and a massive global community of content creators.

It allows anyone to upload their videos, create channels, and make money from advertisements, sponsorships, and deals. Some YouTubers make millions of dollars each year, and there are thousands of YouTubers earning a six-figure income.

You can create videos on any topic. You can upload personal vlogs, educational channels like List25 or WPBeginner, video reviews, cooking channel, or almost anything you can think of.

23. Become an Instagram Star

If you like taking photos and making videos, then you should consider Instagram to start a lucrative online business. Instagram users are making a significant amount of money through sponsorships, product placements, endorsements, and more.

You will need a camera, some basic photo editing skills, and creativity to get started. After that you need a consistent strategy to regularly post new content. You should master the art of using hashtags to promote your Instagram posts and share them on your website to reach audiences beyond Instagram.

You will also need a website with a contact form page, so advertisers can reach out to buy placements.

24. Become a Video Editor

Video editor

If you like making videos and editing them but don’t want to start a YouTube channel, then you can still use your skills to help other businesses. Due to the immense popularity of YouTube and Facebook videos, businesses around the world need professionals who can edit their videos.

You can start by looking for gigs on freelancing websites. At first, you will be working with random clients, but shortly after you will have a few regular clients offering you enough work to cover your time. You can then grow your business to start an agency or hire other freelancers to help out.

Don’t know how to make or edit videos? Don’t worry there are plenty of online resources offering free and paid tutorials and courses. You can invest some time to learn the basic skills and start working right away.

25. Become a Narrator

Narrators provide voice talent to video creators, filmmakers, and other digital content producers. A lot of YouTube channels are actively looking for people to narrate videos. Some basic voice training can help you easily start a profitable career.

You will need a good quality mic (We recommend Samson Mic or Rhode Podcaster) and audio recording software to record your voice-overs. You can then send the audio files to the client, so they can use it in their video.

You can find jobs on freelancing websites, and very quickly build a steady stream of clients.

26. Offer Technical Support

Do you like helping out people on tech forums? If you do, then you can explore opportunities to get paid for that. A lot of online businesses are actively looking for technical support providers to help their customers.

Basically, you will just need to familiarize yourself with the product and start answering questions. Many companies use live chat or a support ticketing system to answer customer questions. Often these jobs are remote, which means you can work from your own home.

27. Become a Lead Generation Expert

Lead generation experts help businesses find potential new customers or leads. They do this by using professional tools like OptinMonster to capture leads or boost conversion rates.

To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on how to to do lead generation in WordPress like a pro.

We hope this article helped you find the best and easy to start online business ideas that actually make money. You may also want to see our step-by-step guide on how to make a small business website.

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 27 “Proven and Easy to Start” Online Business Ideas that Make Money appeared first on WPBeginner.

27 “Proven and Easy to Start” Online Business Ideas that Make Money

Are you looking for online business ideas to make extra income on the side? The internet offers a lot of opportunities to start a business or find fulfilling careers. In this article, we will show some of the proven and easy to start online business… Read More »

The post 27 “Proven and Easy to Start” Online Business Ideas that Make Money appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you looking for online business ideas to make extra income on the side? The internet offers a lot of opportunities to start a business or find fulfilling careers. In this article, we will show some of the proven and easy to start online business ideas that actually make money.

Proven and easy to start business ideas

Why Start an Online Business?

Technology is often blamed for killing traditional businesses and jobs. However, at the same time, these new technologies are creating tons of new jobs and business opportunities ready to be taken by anyone.

Starting an online business is easier than ever. You can do it from the comfort of your home with just a computer and an internet connection. There is no need to invest huge amounts of money to get started.

Caution: If someone tells you that you can invest A LOT of money and take a shortcut / get rick quick, then it’s likely a scam. Stay away from it.

The ideas we’re sharing in this article are about building legitimate online businesses, and you’ll still have to work hard to succeed.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the proven and easy to start online business ideas that actually make money.

1. Start a Blog and Make Money From It

Starting a blog

Blogs are one of the most successful ways to start an online business. Bloggers like Darren Rowse, John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn are making six-figure incomes, and they are not alone. Our founder, Syed Balkhi, has built an eight-figure online business that started with a blog. There are also thousands of bloggers running very successful blogs as their full-time online business.

It is very easy to start a blog, and there are tons of ways to make money from it. One of the most popular ways to monetize your blog is by displaying ads using Google AdSense.

While you can start a blog in less than 30 minutes, you will need to work on it to make it a success. You will have to offer useful, entertaining, and engaging content to your audience on a regular basis (see our step by step guide on how to start a blog).

Luckily, there are tons of blog post ideas that you can use to consistently create content. As your blog grows, you will be able to monetize it using other strategies as well.

You will also be able to and use it as a platform to launch other online businesses.

2. Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketers make sale commissions by recommending other people’s products or services.

Most affiliate marketers recommend these products and services by running their own blogs, websites, and email lists. They need to learn different online marketing strategies like SEO and content marketing to build an audience.

To get started, follow our ultimate affiliate marketing guide with step by step instructions for beginners.

3. Create and Sell Online Courses

Sell online courses

If you are particularly good at something, then why not teach others and make a career out of it? Selling online courses is another popular way to start an online business.

A lot of users prefer to quickly acquire skills and knowledge by joining online courses. Creating an online course has become a lot easier with the help of LMS software. These platforms allow you to create interactive courses with easy to manage tools for classes, students, course material, and more.

The best part is that you don’t have to write a single line of code to build a course website.

To get started, see our guide on how to create an online course with WordPress.

4. Build an Ecommerce Store

Start an eCommerce store

Selling things online had never been easier. Anyone can easily create an online store in minutes and start selling products.

These products can be physical goods (things that need shipping) or digital downloads like eBooks, music, software, and more.

Before getting started, you need to do your research. Here are some tips to help you brainstorm ideas:

  • Find a niche with high demand and low competition
  • Think of ways you will make your eCommerce store standout by doing things that other eCommerce stores are not doing.
  • Think of the costs involved in getting products from the manufacturer to customers. Choose a pricing model, so that your products can compete and offer great value to your customers. Last, but not the least, your profit margins must be reasonable enough to ensure that your business can sustain and grow in the long run.

You also need to choose a platform for your eCommerce store. The easiest way to get started is by using Shopify or WooCommerce. They are both great platforms. We have created a comparison with their pros and cons (see Shopify vs WooCommerce to learn more).

To get started, see our step by step guide on how to create an online store in less than 30 minutes.

5. Build a Membership Website

make a membership website

Membership websites make money by selling subscriptions with access to premium content and community features. Instead of relying on advertising revenue, you can allow your users to directly support your website with paid memberships.

There are many types of membership websites. For example, some membership websites give users access to exclusive members-only content. Others give users access to community features like a forum, Facebook group, or Slack group.

You will need to find a suitable niche for your membership website. It needs to be valuable enough for users to pay for it.

There are plenty of membership software that can help you easily build any kind of online community. You can choose different subscription models, manage users, receive online payments, and more.

To learn more, see our ultimate guide to build a membership website with step by step instructions for beginners.

6. Make a Drop Shipping Website

Drop shipping combines affiliate marketing and eCommerce. Basically, you create an online store to sell other people’s product for a commission. You will be running an online store without managing the inventory or shipping.

The biggest advantage of running a drop shipping business is the low barrier to entry, minimum investment, and little to no hassle. However, one disadvantage is that you will be working hard to sell other people’s products at a smaller profit margin.

Most drop shipping businesses eventually start selling their own products to diversify their business and increase their profits.

7. Make an Online Job Board

Job board

Another way to make money online is by building a job hunt website. A job board website helps connect job seekers with employers for a small fee.

There are plenty of online job search engines, which means you will need to find a particular niche to make your job board stand out. For example, you can create a job board specifically for web developers or pet sitters.

You can charge a small fee for each job listing posted by employers, offer companies packages to post multiple listings or charge job seekers to upload their resumes.

There are plenty of job board plugins for WordPress allowing you to easily run your own job board business.

8. Create a Micro-Job Website

A micro-job website allows you to make money by connecting employers to freelancers and contractors. This allows you to make money based on the overall price of the job listed. Popular micro-job posting websites like Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, UpWork, and others generate millions of dollars in revenue each year.

Basically, you will be acting as a middle-man between the employers and freelancers. You will be paid by employers for each job, and after taking your commission, you will pay the rest to the freelancers upon completion of the job.

To get started, see our beginner’s guide on how to start a micro-job website like Fiverr with WordPress.

9. Become an SEO Speciliast

SEO expert

SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps website owners get more visitors from search engines. It is a skill that requires continuous learning and keeping up with the latest trends. SEO specialists can run their own agencies, work as freelancers, or join a company as a full-time employee.

You can become an SEO specialist by running your own successful websites or by getting certifications online. You can find clients on freelancing websites like UpWork and Freelancer.com.

SEO is a very competitive industry, and you will need to make the most out of the best SEO tools available on the market. You would also need to learn the basic WordPress SEO techniques, keyword research tools, and content-marketing tools.

10. Make a Food or Recipe Blog

Make a food and recipe blog

Food and recipe blogs are a lucrative blogging niche and a great online business opportunity. Food and recipe blogs use a variety of techniques to generate revenue like using Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, selling recipe books, or run an online store.

You will need to be passionate about food and cooking. It is a competitive niche, so you will need to think of the ways to make your food blog unique and interesting.

To get started, see our step by step guide on creating a food blog and making money from your recipes.

11. Become a WordPress Developer

WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder. It powers more than 30% of all websites on the internet. This means that there are millions of businesses around the world using the platform.

This massive usage means there is a huge demand for WordPress developers in the market. WordPress is an open source software, which means anyone can write code for it, create themes, and make WordPress plugins.

As a WordPress developer, you can join top WordPress companies, big name brands using WordPress, or run your own WordPress development agency.

You will need to learn PHP, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. There are many books, WordPress video tutorials, online courses, and WordPress tutorials that will help you get started.

12. Build an Online Marketplace

Another proven and easy-to-start business idea is to make an online marketplace website. These websites make money by allowing users to create their own mini-stores and selling products.

To attract sellers, you can choose a high-demand niche with lower competition. Make your platform unique and attractive to both sellers and customers by offering better user experience and support.

To get started, see our step by step tutorial on how to make an online marketplace website using WordPress.

13. Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers make money by creating images, business logos, website designs, sales pages, and more. This is a massive industry with tons of business and career opportunities.

To become a graphic designer, you will need to learn how to use professional design tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. There are tons of vocational training schools, colleges, and universities offering courses to help you get started.

To promote your graphic design career, you will need to make a portfolio to showcase your work and skills.

14. Start a Fashion Blog

Start a fashion blog

Do you have an interest in the latest fashion trends and news? Why not use it to make a fashion blog and make money from it.

Fashion blogs attract tons of advertisers, top brands, and promoters. They not only allow you to make money, you can also become an influencer and get other perks / benefits like free apparels, invites to exclusive shows, and more.

To get started, see our complete step by step guide on how to start a fashion blog and make money from it.

15. Become a Content Marketer

Content marketers help businesses promote their products and services by generating useful and highly engaging content. All businesses need content to attract customers. There is an increasing demand for content marketers that is not expected to slow down anytime soon.

Content marketers are good at writing content, but they are not just bloggers. They specialize in finding the content ideas that will bring more visitors and potential customers to a website.

To learn more, see this ultimate content marketing guide with step by step instructions for beginners to get started.

16. Become a PPC Expert

PPC is short for Pay-Per-Click advertising where advertisers pay for their ads when users click on them. However, not all business owners know how to effectively run these campaigns to get the maximum benefit.

PPC Experts help businesses run pay-per-click advertising campaigns on platforms like Google AdWords. They help find the right keywords and attributes to maximize the ROI on ads.

You can learn PPC by running your own advertising campaigns and by reading the material available on the internet. There are online certification programs that you can take to showcase your skills.

To find PPC jobs, you can use popular freelancing websites where businesses are actively looking for PPC experts.

17. Start a Podcast

Start a podcast

A podcast is an episodic series of audio files which users can subscribe to download and listen. Podcasts are a great way to make a successful online business with many opportunities for growth.

Podcasts make money through advertisements, sponsorships, partnerships, and affiliate marketing. You will need to find a topic for your podcast that is interesting and engaging, so you can make your podcast unique.

We have created a complete beginner’s guide on how to start a podcast with step by step instructions.

18. Make a Reviews Website

Making a reviews website is another good online business opportunity. One of the most popular review sites, TripAdvisor, is considered to be worth more than $12 billion dollars.

However, it is a highly competitive industry which means you will need to find a particular niche with low competition. You can make money through affiliate marketing, displaying ads, or publishing paid reviews.

To get started, see our beginner’s guide on how to make a niche reviews website.

19. Buy and Sell Domain Names

Domain names are required to make a website. However, once you register a domain name, you are authorized to use it for as long as you want. Many entrepreneurs register domain names hoping to sell them at a higher price, very similar to real estate.

This online business requires investment and a lot of patience because you will be holding onto those domain names while waiting for an offer. This is a highly competitive business, and you will need to read as much about it as you can before getting in.

20. Buy and Sell Niche Websites

Making websites and monetizing them has become a lot easier. This has enabled many entrepreneurs from around the world to create successful websites and sell them like you would sell any other business.

Websites like Flippa are a great source to buy and sell established websites. Make sure that you do your research before making any investment. You will find tons of resources on Flippa to help you learn the basics.

There is a lot of opportunity to buy an underutilized website, optimize its revenue / growth, and then re-sell it for higher multiple.

21. Make an Auctions Website

Make an auctions website

Creating an eBay like auctions website is another easy to start online business idea. Basically, you make a website that provides users a platform to buy and sell products via online auctions.

You can add products for auctions by yourself or allow other vendors to run their own auctions. You can charge vendors a flat fee or a percentage for each auction item.

To get started, see our step by step tutorial on how to build an auction site like eBay using WordPress.

22. Become a YouTuber

If you like making videos, then becoming a YouTuber is an excellent business opportunity. YouTube is the world’s largest video hosting platform, second most popular search engine, and a massive global community of content creators.

It allows anyone to upload their videos, create channels, and make money from advertisements, sponsorships, and deals. Some YouTubers make millions of dollars each year, and there are thousands of YouTubers earning a six-figure income.

You can create videos on any topic. You can upload personal vlogs, educational channels like List25 or WPBeginner, video reviews, cooking channel, or almost anything you can think of.

23. Become an Instagram Star

If you like taking photos and making videos, then you should consider Instagram to start a lucrative online business. Instagram users are making a significant amount of money through sponsorships, product placements, endorsements, and more.

You will need a camera, some basic photo editing skills, and creativity to get started. After that you need a consistent strategy to regularly post new content. You should master the art of using hashtags to promote your Instagram posts and share them on your website to reach audiences beyond Instagram.

You will also need a website with a contact form page, so advertisers can reach out to buy placements.

24. Become a Video Editor

Video editor

If you like making videos and editing them but don’t want to start a YouTube channel, then you can still use your skills to help other businesses. Due to the immense popularity of YouTube and Facebook videos, businesses around the world need professionals who can edit their videos.

You can start by looking for gigs on freelancing websites. At first, you will be working with random clients, but shortly after you will have a few regular clients offering you enough work to cover your time. You can then grow your business to start an agency or hire other freelancers to help out.

Don’t know how to make or edit videos? Don’t worry there are plenty of online resources offering free and paid tutorials and courses. You can invest some time to learn the basic skills and start working right away.

25. Become a Narrator

Narrators provide voice talent to video creators, filmmakers, and other digital content producers. A lot of YouTube channels are actively looking for people to narrate videos. Some basic voice training can help you easily start a profitable career.

You will need a good quality mic (We recommend Samson Mic or Rhode Podcaster) and audio recording software to record your voice-overs. You can then send the audio files to the client, so they can use it in their video.

You can find jobs on freelancing websites, and very quickly build a steady stream of clients.

26. Offer Technical Support

Do you like helping out people on tech forums? If you do, then you can explore opportunities to get paid for that. A lot of online businesses are actively looking for technical support providers to help their customers.

Basically, you will just need to familiarize yourself with the product and start answering questions. Many companies use live chat or a support ticketing system to answer customer questions. Often these jobs are remote, which means you can work from your own home.

27. Become a Lead Generation Expert

Lead generation experts help businesses find potential new customers or leads. They do this by using professional tools like OptinMonster to capture leads or boost conversion rates.

To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on how to to do lead generation in WordPress like a pro.

We hope this article helped you find the best and easy to start online business ideas that actually make money. You may also want to see our step-by-step guide on how to make a small business website.

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 27 “Proven and Easy to Start” Online Business Ideas that Make Money appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Choose the Best Domain Registrar in 2018 (Compared)

Are you looking for the best domain registrar for your website? Domain registrars are the companies responsible for registering and managing domain names for all websites around the world. Choosing the right domain registrar is very important because there are so many ways to get… Read More »

The post How to Choose the Best Domain Registrar in 2018 (Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you looking for the best domain registrar for your website? Domain registrars are the companies responsible for registering and managing domain names for all websites around the world. Choosing the right domain registrar is very important because there are so many ways to get tricked. In this article, we will show you how to choose the best domain registrar by comparing their pros and cons.

Choosing the best domain registrar

What is a Domain Name Registrar

A domain name registrar is a company that allows you to purchase and register domain names. All domain name registrars are accreditated by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit organization responsible for managing domain names.

Domain names make internet easy to use for everyone. Without domain names, you’ll have to enter long strings of numbers called IP addresses to visit websites.

Domain names solve this problem by allowing websites to choose addresses using easy to remember words, for example, wpbeginner.com or google.com. To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on what is a domain name and how does it work.

To make domain names widely available, ICANN allows companies to apply for accreditation and become a domain registrar.

These companies then compete with each other to sell domain name licenses which allows you to get better service and tools when you purchase your domain name.

What Domain Registrars Really Do?

All domain name records are stored in a centralized database called registry. For a domain name to be recognized, it needs to be added into that database with all related information about it.

A domain name registrar is given permission by ICANN to make changes to your domain name’s information in the database on your behalf. A domain name registrar also provides easy to use tools to make those changes using your web browser.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily choose the best domain registrar for your website address.

How to Choose The Right Domain Registrar

Not all domain registrars have the license to sell all domain name extensions. For example, some domain registrars can only sell domain names with country-specific extensions (like .io, .in, or .ly).

Each domain registrar may offer different services along with the domain name registration. Some registrar may offer cheap domains at a lower price as their promotional offer while others may offer free add-ons to attract customers.

When choosing the best domain name registrar, we look at the following four criteria:

1. Pricing and Registration Period

The first thing you want to check is the domain name prices. For example, some domain registrars may offer lower prices for the first year registration, but their renewal prices can be different and significantly higher.

You can register a domain name for a minimum period of 1 year. However, some companies may require a higher registration period like 2 years minimum. You can register a domain name for up to 10 years at a time.

If you are buying a new web address, then we recommend registering your domain name for 1 year. You can turn on automatic renewal, so your domain does not expire.

You also need to check for any additional fees for domain transfers, renewal, and other charges.

2. Domain Transfers

Domain names can be moved from one domain registrar to another. Normally, you wouldn’t need to transfer your domain name right away, but if you’re unhappy with your domain registrar, then this option should be easily available.

First thing you need to keep in mind is that you cannot transfer a domain name during the first 60 days of the registration. This initial period is decided by ICANN. After that, you are allowed to move it to any other registrar that you want.

Most domain registrars make it easy to transfer domain names without any extra fee. However, some may try to make it complicated or charge an extra fee.

Make sure that you review the domain transfer policy before you buy a domain name from a registrar.

3. Domain Expiration Policies

Domain names are registered for a specific duration. You can renew your domain registration before its expiration date. However, if you forgot to renew your domain name, then it expires and anyone can register it.

For businesses, this means someone can take over their domain name. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you can set up automatic renewals for your domain name.

Even if you use the automatic renewal feature, it is a good idea to check your domain registrars expiration policy. Some domain registrars offer a grace period even after the expiration. This grace period allows you to renew your expired domain name.

We have heard dozens of horror stories of business owners losing their domain name because their credit card expired, and their registrar did not have a grace period. This is one of the many reasons why it’s extremely important to choose the right domain name registrar.

4. Add-on Services

You may also want to review what other services are offered by your domain registrar. While you may not need these services right now, it is good to know that they have them.

These add-on services may include domain privacy, domain parking, extended expiration protection, and more. Some domain registrars may even sell WordPress hosting service, email hosting service, and more.

Things to Watch Out for When Choosing a Domain Name Registrar

Due to the competition in the domain registration business, you will come across companies with some very attractive offers. While these offers may look good, there may be some downsides that you may not notice right away.

Following are a few things to watch out for when choosing a domain name registrar.

1. Add-on Pricing

Some domain name registrars can automatically pre-check add-on services when you purchase a domain name. If you don’t uncheck those options, then this would increase your bill significantly. Typically a .com domain name should not cost you more than $14.99 / year. If it does, then it should raise a red flag.

You must pay attention to the checkout page and uncheck any add-on services that you don’t need. On top of that, it’s always a good idea to double-check the total amount you are charged in your credit card statements.

2. Bad User Experience

Most domain registrars try to make their website easy to use, so they can keep you as a customer. However, some domain registrars do the exact opposite.

This would make it difficult for you to change your domain name settings. You will need to do that if you wanted to transfer domain to a new host, or a new domain registrar.

The easiest way to look for this is by searching for domain registrar’s online reviews. Keep in mind, that very few happy customers leave online reviews, so it’s important to read the reviews thoroughly.

3. Hidden Fees

You may also need to look for the hidden costs and fees when choosing a domain registrar.

Some domain registrars may have special offers for cheaper domains for first-time registrations. Most beginners don’t realize it, but the renewal cost of the domain are often quite different and even higher.

All good domain registrars make it easy to transfer your domain name to a different company. However, some will put an additional fee.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best domain name registrars, and how they compare against each other.

1. GoDaddy

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is the world’s most popular domain registration company, and the biggest domain registrar in the world. They manage more than 76 million domain names for over 17.5 million customers.

They offer a wide variety of popular domain name extensions to choose from. Their prices are highly competitive, and you may even get a significant discount on the first year of your domain’s registration.

GoDaddy has a powerful easy to use domain management interface which allows you to transfer your domain name or change its settings.

If you only need to register a domain name without web hosting, then we highly recommend GoDaddy. However if you’re looking to start a blog or website, then option #2 might be better for you.

2. Bluehost

Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world, and they are an official WordPress hosting partner. As part of their web hosting service, they also offer domain name registration.

Bluehost is offering WPBeginner users a free domain name, SSL certificate, and a discount on web hosting which is a perfect deal for anyone looking to make a website.

Basically, you can get started for $2.75 per month, and get a free domain name.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

3. HostGator

HostGator

HostGator is another popular company offering website owners a one-stop shop for domain names and shared website hosting. They offer a nice selection of extensions, domain privacy, and easy to use DNS management tools.

They have an easy to use domain search tool that helps you quickly find a suitable domain name for your business. Their domain management area is beginner friendly and well documented which makes it easy to transfer domains if you need to.

3. Namecheap

Namecheap

Namecheap is another top domain registrar on the market. They have a powerful domain search tool that helps you find the right domain name and makes suggestions when your preferred domain name is not available.

They also offer domain add-on services like domain privacy and premium DNS. Their domain management area is clean, but it’s not as user-friendly as GoDaddy’s new interface.

One nice thing about NameCheap is that they offer free domain privacy with all their domain names.

We used to use NameCheap but ended up transferring our main domains to GoDaddy and other providers because we simply had too many issues logging into their domain management panel.

4. Domain.com

Domain.com

Domain.com is another reliable domain name registrar offering all popular domain name extensions since 2000. They have a quick domain search tool that you can use for your domain name research.

They also offer private registration (domain privacy), bulk registration, easy transfers, and easy-to-use domain management tools. If you have any questions, then you can seek help via live chat or email.

Bonus:

5. BuyDomains

BuyDomains

BuyDomains allow you to search for premium domain names matching your search terms. Premium domain names are domain names that are already registered but are available for sale from third-party. These domains are often more memorable, shorter, and brandable which is why they are more expensive.

If you cannot find a suitable domain name, and you have the budget, then you can use BuyDomains to search for a premium domain name.

We hope this article helped you learn how to choose the best domain registrar for your business. You may also want to see our guide on how to get a free business email address for your website.

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 Domain Registrar in 2018 (Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.

How Do I Get My WordPress Site Listed on Google? (Beginner’s Guide)

Recently, one of our users asked us how to get their WordPress site listed on Google? Being the largest search engine in the world, Google is quite good at automatically detecting and listing new websites. However, sometimes it may not automatically list your website right… Read More »

The post How Do I Get My WordPress Site Listed on Google? (Beginner’s Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Recently, one of our users asked us how to get their WordPress site listed on Google? Being the largest search engine in the world, Google is quite good at automatically detecting and listing new websites. However, sometimes it may not automatically list your website right away. Since Google is the biggest traffic source for most websites, it’s important that you get your website listed in Google immediately. In this article, we will share how to easily get your WordPress site listed on Google.

Get your WordPress site listed on Google

Why You Should Get Your Website Listed on Google?

Google is the top source of traffic and visitors for most websites. If you are serious about starting a blog or launching your small business website, then you need to get your website listed on Google as soon as possible.

If you are following the WordPress SEO best practices, then search engines like Google can automatically find your website. However this could take some time, and you will miss out potential customers.

But you can easily expedite this process. Let’s take a look at how to get your WordPress site listed on Google.

Listing Your WordPress Site on Google

Before we start, you would need to create a Google Webmasters Tool account (also known as Search Console). You can easily set it up by following our step by step instructions on how to add your WordPress site to Google Webmaster Tools.

Step 1: Check WordPress Settings for Search Engine Visibility

After you have setup your Webmaster Tools account, you need to make sure that your WordPress site is visible to search engines. You can check this by going to Settings » Reading page and scrolling down to the Search Engine Visibility option.

Search engine visibility

Make sure to remove the check mark from this option, so search engines can crawl your website.

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

Step 2: Installing Yoast SEO Plugin

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

Upon activation, you will see a new item in your WordPress admin menu labeled SEO. Go ahead and click on it to see the plugin’s settings page.

Yoast SEO menu

On the settings page, you will see the Webmaster Tools tab. We will use this to connect Google search console with your WordPress site.

Step 3: Connecting Google Search Console with WordPress

Now that you have installed Yoast SEO, you need to add your website to Google Search Console. You can do this by clicking on the Add Property button inside your Google search console account.

In the website field, you must add the full website URL. It is important that you use the same URL that you’re seeing in your browser’s URL bar including WWW or non-www as well as HTTPS.

Add website on Google search console

Once you add the website URL, it will take you to the verification page where you need to verify that you’re the owner of this website. There are multiple methods that you can use to verify ownership. The easiest way is listed under the Alternate methods tab called “HTML tag”. It will give you a meta code that you need to copy.

Webmaster verification code

Next, switch back to your WordPress admin area and visit SEO » General page. In the Webmaster Tools tab, you need to paste the code in Google Verification Code field.

Add Google verification code

Once you are done, click on the Save Changes button. Now go back to Google search console account and click on the Verify button. Your website ownership will be successfully verified.

If for some reason it doesn’t verify, then you need to make sure that you clear the cache in WordPress.

Step 4: Setting Up XML Sitemaps

Once your site is verified, you need to go to SEO » General page in WordPress admin area and click on the Features tab. Next, you need to scroll down to the XML sitemaps option and turn it on.

XML sitemaps option

After that, click on the Save Changes button to properly set up XML sitemaps in WordPress.

To view your sitemaps, you can click on the question mark icon next to XML sitemaps title. It will display the link that you can follow to see all your XML sitemaps.

View XML sitemaps

Next you need to submit your sitemap to Google webmaster tools. Sitemaps help Google search bots easily find and index your new content.

Step 5: Submitting XML Sitemaps to Google Search Console

Simply login to your Google search console account and select your website.

You need to go to Crawl » Sitemaps on left side of the screen.

Crawl sitemaps settings

Next, you need to click on the Add/Test Sitemap button on your screen and add your sitemap URL.

Submit sitemaps URL

Your main sitemap file is sitemap_index.xml, and it has links to all other sitemaps on your site. You need to simply submit this main sitemap link, and Google will automatically crawl all other sitemaps on your website.

Once you are done with these steps, you can visit your Google search console account to check your listings. Once Google has crawled and indexed your website, you will start seeing reports in search console.

Another important factor that affects search rankings is website speed. Slower websites are bad for user experience and are often ranked lower than faster websites. See our guide on how to improve your website performance

That’s all. We hope this article helped you get your WordPress site listed on Google. You may also want to check our expert pick of the best WordPress SEO plugins and tools that you should use to optimize your website.

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 Do I Get My WordPress Site Listed on Google? (Beginner’s Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Get a Free SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Website

Do you want to get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website? You need a SSL certificate to accept online payments and secure your website. Starting today, July 1st, 2018, Google Chrome will show all websites not using SSL as insecure. In this article,… Read More »

The post How to Get a Free SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Website appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website? You need a SSL certificate to accept online payments and secure your website. Starting today, July 1st, 2018, Google Chrome will show all websites not using SSL as insecure. In this article, we will show you how to easily get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website.

How to get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an internet protocol for securing data transfer between a user’s browser and the website they are visiting.

Every internet user transfers information when they visit websites. This information can often be sensitive like payment details, credit card information, or login credentials.

Using the normal HTTP protocol means this information can be hijacked by hackers. This is where SSL or HTTPS comes in.

Websites using SSL need a SSL certificate issued by one of the recognized certificate issuing authority. This certificate is verified and highlighted in user’s browser address bar with a padlock sign and HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Address bar showing secure sign and https

Do I need a SSL Certificate for my WordPress website?

SSL / HTTPS is recommended for all websites on the internet. However it is absolutely required for all websites that collect user information like login information, payment details, credit card information, and more.

If you are running an online store, a membership website, or require users to log in, then you need to get an SSL certificate right away.

Most online payment services also require your website to use SSL/HTTPs before you can receive payments.

Apart from security, SSL certificate also creates a positive impression of your brand among your users. Google also recommends using SSL and gives a tiny bump to SSL enabled sites in the search results.

Last but not least, if your website is not using a SSL certificate, then Google Chrome will show your users that your website is not secure.

Chrome Not Secure SSL

How Does SSL Certificate Work?

SSL protects information by encrypting the data transfer between a user’s browser and the website. When a user visits an SSL/HTTPs website, their browser first verifies if the website’s SSL certificate is valid.

SSL security

If everything checks out, then the browser uses special keys to encrypt the data transfer. This data is then sent back to the intended server (website) where it is decrypted using the unique SSL key.

How Much Do SSL Certificates Cost?

Cost of SSL Certificates differs from one certificate authority to another. Their pricing could be anywhere between $50-200 / year. Some providers offer add-on services with their certificates which may also affect the cost of your SSL certificate.

If you are going to purchase an SSL certificate, then we recommend GoDaddy. They are the largest domain name registration service in the world, managing more than 76 million domains.

They offer simple SSL certificate plans starting from $69.9 / year. After you have purchased SSL certificate, you can ask your hosting provider to install it for you.

How Can I Get a SSL Certificate for Free?

Many website owners are reluctant to use SSL due to the additional cost. This left many of these websites vulnerable to data and information theft.

A non-profit project called Let’s Encrypt decided to fix this by establishing a free certificate authority. Due to the significance of the project, it quickly earned the support of major companies like Google Chrome, Facebook, Shopify, WordPress.com and many others.

If you want to install Let’s Encrypt by yourself, then you will need to have coding knowledge, server know-how, and Shell / SSH access to use command line tools. This makes it quite difficult for beginners to properly setup Let’s Encrypt SSL.

Thankfully, the best WordPress hosting companies are now offering free SSL certificate with all their hosting plans. Choosing one of them saves you from the hassle of installing a SSL certificate on your own.

Here are the best WordPress hosting companies that offer free SSL certificate with their hosting plans.

If you are already using one of these companies, then you can turn on your free SSL certificate from your hosting dashboard. You can also ask your hosting provider to enable it for you.

If your web hosting company does not offer free SSL, then you can easily follow our guide to switch your hosting and move your sites to one of the companies above.

Setting up WordPress After Enabling Free SSL Certificate

Once you have enabled your free SSL Certificate, you will need to set up WordPress to start using HTTPS instead of HTTP in all your URLs.

The easiest way to do this is by installing and activating the Really Simple SSL plugin on your website. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will check to see if your SSL certificate is enabled. After that, it will turn on http to https redirect and change your website settings to start using SSL/HTTPs.

SSL enabled in WordPress

While this plugin tries to fix all mix content issues, there may still be some files loading from HTTP instead of HTTPS. To fix that, you will need to find those files using the Inspect tool and fix them.

Most commonly, these files are loaded by poorly coded WordPress plugins. If you are unable to fix them, then feel free to uninstall those plugins and find a suitable replacement.

We hope this article helped you get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website. You may also want to see our ultimate WordPress security guide with step by step instructions to secure your website.

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 Get a Free SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Website appeared first on WPBeginner.