Category Archives: WordPress

google-sitekit

Google Site Kit for WordPress: An Introduction for Beginners

Getting indexed by Google and having a good page rank is something every website owner worries about. Irrespective of how much effort you put into your site, if you do not get a good rank in Google results, everything might well be in vain. To make matters even more confusing, Google algorithms are a tough nut to crack. Even the most experienced SEO experts are often left baffled and confused due to Google algorithms. This is where Google Site Kit comes into play.

Thankfully, Google recently decided to address the issue and came up with its own official WordPress plugin for website owners and webmasters. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the Google Site Kit WP plugin.

Google Site Kit for WordPress — Introduction

On October 31, 2019, Google released the first version of its WordPress plugin – Google Site Kit. It is a plugin that positions itself as a one-stop solution for providing data about your site from Google’s core products, such as Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, and PageSpeed Insights. Site Kit is ideal for webmasters who want all the data from site analytics to be in one place.

Google Site Kit is a free and open-source WordPress plugin. It provides summary statistics on your site’s posts and pages in total views, average impressions, and average CTR (click-through rate). You can also check individual messages and page information by clicking on the Site Kit tab in the top panel — more on this later.

What is Google Site Kit for WordPress?

Google Site Kit helps you connect your WordPress site to six Google services:

  • Google Search Console: The Google Site Kit plugin for WordPress allows you to analyze how website pages are displayed when searching in Google. You can use it to study search queries, track traffic and the number of users who were shown the site when entering queries.
  • Google Analytics: The new plugin will help you easily analyze user behavior on your site and monitor the use of metrics, how visitors interact with various elements of the web page.
  • Google PageSpeed Insights: The plugin allows you to analyze your site and compare it with other resources, and also gives various hints that can be used to improve the overall score of your page.
  • Google AdSense: Site Kit also lets you conduct a detailed analysis of traffic monetization. Of course, you need to have a working AdSense account in order to set things up properly.
  • Google Tag Manager: Site Kit makes it easier to create, track, and update tags for a website.
  • Google Optimize: This one is a fairly new service that provides a simpler A/B and multi-channel testing process without the need to edit codes.

It is worth noting that in the case of Tag Manager and Optimize, the plugin helps you test your site, but still requires you to manually login to each service in order to make any actual use of the data.

However, for Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, and PageSpeed Insights, you’ll actually be able to view the underlying data for your site right from the WordPress dashboard, which is very convenient. For example, you can see a list of your site’s search queries or your most popular pages in Google Analytics.

How to Use Google Site Kit?

Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you will notice Site Kit as a new menu option in the WP admin panel.

Google Site Kit for WordPress

Depending on the services that you have connected, you will see additional services listed therein. You need to manually link Site Kit to each of the Google services that you use.

After a while, once Site Kit has successfully connected to and fetched data, you can start seeing the trends right inside the WP admin panel.

By default, you should see traffic overview:

Google Site Kit for WordPress

As well as search insight:

Google Site Kit for WordPress

And popular terms:

Google Site Kit for WordPress

You will also see PageSpeed metrics, such as performance score and ways to improve your score:

Google Site Kit for WordPress

To connect additional Google services, you can head to Site Kit > Settings and manage the connections from there.

As you can see, there are a few obvious advantages that Site Kit brings to the table:

  • It allows you to quickly get data from separate sources. You can get all the statistics info right inside the WordPress management page without having to use different resources.
  • As such, Site Kit gives you a bird’s-eye view of your data and insight. This can help you assess the performance of your site.
  • It’s a good solution even for people who cannot edit code. You do not need to add code to link your PageSpeed or Analytics accounts.
  • Information can be obtained as a whole for the site, as well as for individual pages and posts. This option is especially popular for complex and multi-page projects.

Final Thoughts on Google Site Kit for WordPress

Site Kit performs several tasks for the average WP user. The first is combining data from different statistical sources: Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google PageSpeed Insights, Google AdSense, and so on. The second is offering actual tips and tricks that can be used by the user to make changes on the web page and promote it more successfully. Third, the Google Site Kit plugin allows you to get statistics on your site and its individual pages for both optimization and monetization at large.

Google Site Kit for WordPress provides extensive opportunities for step-by-step and systematic analysis of all website indicators. It is specially designed to save time and promote websites more effectively. Given all of its above-mentioned advantages, overall, it’s a really handy tool that lets you access all of Google’s major services right from your WordPress dashboard.

As a result, if you are a website owner or webmaster and the vast multitude of Google services is making things difficult for you, Site Kit can be a simple and effective solution that brings everything under one umbrella.

If you have used Google Site Kit WordPress plugin, how has your experience been? Share your views in the comments below!

woocommerce-optimization

WooCommerce Optimization: The Beginner’s Guide

WooCommerce is the world’s most popular open source eCommerce platform. It works from within WordPress, as a free plugin that can be extended by means of custom extensions. Naturally, WooCommerce optimization is something of primary importance, but many webmasters and site owners tend to overlook it. Continue reading

Mailchimp plugins for WordPress

MailChimp + WordPress: Top Plugins and Usage Guide

Email marketing has been around for ages, primarily because the email was among the first mediums of communication on the internet. Even though many new forms of media have been created, such as social networks, email is still irreplaceable. And when it comes to email marketing, MailChimp is the de facto leader.

MailСhimp is a web-based marketing platform that allows you to share email and advertising campaigns with users, customers, or other stakeholders. At its core, MailСhimp sends out automated messages via email, in the form of newsletters or campaigns. Continue reading

Finding the Best WordPress Page Builder

Finding the Best WordPress Page Builder: 6 Top Options

WordPress page builders have taken the internet by the storm. It is no hidden fact that WordPress powers millions of websites on the internet. As such, a good WordPress page builder can make lives easier for developers and end users alike. Such page builders have made it possible to quickly and efficiently put together a WP site in no time.

As such, the rising popularity of WordPress page builders is no surprise. In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the most popular WordPress page builders.

Finding the Best WordPress Page Builder

We know that WordPress page builders allow us to create entire websites in very little time. Almost all page builders nowadays feature an easy to use drag and drop layout, and come with several predefined style elements and blocks. More importantly, modern day page builders churn out semantically compliant code without the user having to touch even a line of code.

What else can WordPress page builders have to offer? Let us first find out!

Advantages of WordPress Page Builders

  • WordPress page builders offer a real-time editing experience so users can see the changes live as they would appear on their site.
  • The simple drag and drop features allow you to use various addons, blocks and layouts on different pages thereby giving a versatile approach to design.
  • Any decent page builder allows you to disable or hide any existing element to clear it later, and these elements can also be saved for later use.
  • You have access to pre-installed blocks and layouts, which in turn allows you to work faster.
  • Using WordPress page builders does not require any coding skills. In fact, many page builders also feature a custom CSS option wherein you can specify your own styling — and then export the said styling for use on other websites.

As you can see, WordPress page builders have a lot of features and useful solutions to offer. This has made the lives easier of not just designers and developers but also of the end users as anyone can now customize a website with ease.

Top 6 Best WordPress Page Builders

Now, the big query — which ones are the top WordPress page builders out there?

Divi

Divi is a popular WordPress page builder that comes bundled with the best-selling Divi WordPress theme. You can use this plugin with other WordPress themes as well, and it also has frontend and backend interfaces that are easy to use and configure. This particular page builder comes with a lot of useful elements to create great and fully functional pages.

Unfortunately, there is no free version of Divi Builder. This means you will have to shell out at least $89 (per annum) for an Elegant Themes membership. This will also give you access to several WP themes, in addition to the Divi Builder plugin.

Elementor

Elementor is one of the most well-known page builders for WordPress today. Despite the fact that the plugin was released in 2016, it has already been installed by more than 3 million active users.

In fact, Elementor took the WP page editing landscape by the horns and single-handedly transformed it to something anew. Elementor is a highly popular and reputed name in the league of WordPress page builders.

The free version of Elementor provides you with 40 templates and 30 basic widgets. Free widgets include cool features like image carousels and custom HTML elements. For additional widgets as well as customized templates and premium support, pricing plans begin at $49 per year (for one website).

Brizy

Brizy is a relatively newer name when it comes to WP page builders. That said, it is also among the easiest to use.

Brizy features a complete set of widgets and design elements that can be added to any page or content area. It offers seamless integration with WordPress and has a feature-packed free plan.

Premium versions come with additional modules and content options and start from $49 per year for three websites.

Gutenberg

Gutenberg has been around for some years by now, and it seems to finally be getting community acceptance. That said, it is noteworthy to point out that Gutenberg is, of sorts, WordPress’ response to the page builder frenzy.

Gutenberg was pitched as the official replacement for the WP TinyMCE content editor. As such, the older editor would be phased out by 2022, and Gutenberg would replace it for good. The older editor can still be accessed via the Classic Editor WP plugin, but Gutenberg is the default editor of choice in WordPress.

There is no premium version, albeit many third party developers have, by now, started offering Gutenberg block plugins that extend the overall functionality of Gutenberg. In its basest form, Gutenberg comes with content blocks that can be used to add any type of content to the page, such as media elements, text, video, oEmbeds, and so on.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is a clean WordPress page builder with semantic code and regular updates. It comes with a bunch of addons that add more flexibility to it. Beaver Builder is very easy to use and is, perhaps, the easiest page builder with a very lenient learning curve.

This particular page builder has been used on more than half a million sites around the world! The free version offers a limited set of templates and content blocks, and you can upgrade to the paid version with additional options starting from $99 per year for unlimited websites. Such a pricing model means Beaver Builder is ideal if you are building multiple websites using it.

Oxygen Builder

The last entry on our list, Oxygen page builder, is different from other WordPress page builders, because it works with a separate sandbox module connected to WordPress. It has an easy to use interface with many page builder elements for buttons, containers, text blocks, image blocks, paragraphs, columns, etc.

Oxygen is a visual editor that is more suited for agencies and theme builders and less for end users. The cheapest pricing option begins at $99, and it does not offer WooCommerce integration. As such, unless you are a designer/developer or agency, Oxygen Builder might not be the best fit for you.

Afterword

So there you have it — a list of some of the top WordPress page builders out there.

Which one should you use? Well, if you are looking for something easy to learn, Beaver Builder is a good pick.

On the other hand, if you need a plethora of templates and design options, look no further than Elementor. Divi is a worthy choice too, but since it’s a premium offering, it may not fit everyone’s budget.

seo-plugins-for-wordpress

WordPress SEO Plugins: 5 Top Options

Search Engine Optimization is perhaps the most important part of website promotion and maintenance. Without proper SEO, your project is not likely to be successful in the longer run. Thankfully, there are several WordPress SEO plugins that can help us do the job in no time.

With that said, which of the numerous WordPress SEO plugins is a worthy pick?

WordPress SEO Plugins: 5 Worthy Options

In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the top WordPress SEO plugins.

Yoast SEO

The de facto leader in the world of WordPress SEO plugins, Yoast SEO is one of the most powerful plugins for websites written in WordPress. Yoast SEO is a plugin of incredible scale for WordPress, which is fully focused on optimizing your content for search engines. The plugin has been installed more than five million times and translated into 40 languages. For the most part, Yoast SEO does its job fairly well and is often the first WordPress SEO plugin of choice for many.

WordPress SEO Plugins: 5 Top Options

Major Features of Yoast SEO

  • Generate XML sitemaps
  • Configure robots.txt files
  • Manage breadcrumbs
  • Set canonical links to avoid duplicate content
  • Handle meta tags (title, keywords, description) based on ready-made or custom templates
  • Provide SEO analysis for content
  • Visualize the appearance of snippets in search engines and social networks
  • Optimize the site feeds for SEO
  • Quickly remove or add the prefixes from content for better optimization.

All in One SEO Pack

If we consider the best SEO plugins for WordPress, this particular plugin can safely be put on the second rank in terms of popularity. It is actively used on 2 million websites and is available in 57 languages. The functionality is by and large the same as the previous plugin, but if Yoast SEO is more focused on beginners, then All in One SEO Pack is designed to be used by experienced professionals.

All in One SEO Pack comes with all the general bells and whistles that you might expect from a WordPress SEO plugin — it offers automatic search engine pings, XML sitemaps, custom meta information, and a lot more. Most importantly, you can also turn off selective features of this plugin that you do not require. This makes it apt for use on shared hosting packages as you can save server resources by optionally disabling certain plugin functions.

Major Features of All in One SEO Pack

  • Support for AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages
  • Connection to Google Analytics
  • Help with implementing markup based on Schema.org
  • Easy setup of redirects
  • Seamless integration with WooCommerce.

Rank Math

Rank Math is a relative newcomer in the world of WordPress SEO plugins. It offers pretty much the same set of features as All in One SEO Pack and Yoast SEO, but comes with an added obvious advantage — most of the features that are otherwise available as premium upgrades in other plugins can be found in Rank Math for free. This makes Rank Math the perfect WordPress SEO plugin for users that are low on budget.

Major Features of Rank Math

  • 404 Monitor. Rank Math can actively monitor for broken links and pages on your site.
  • AMP support
  • Native support for bbPress
  • In-built Link Counter
  • Local SEO and Google Knowledge Graph
  • Support for Rich Snippets.

Slim SEO

Slim SEO is a full-featured WordPress SEO plugin that provides a complete SEO solution for WordPress for absolute beginners. The USP of Slim SEO lies in the fact that it comes with a preset configuration of settings and does not have a lot of tweaks and settings to configure. This means newbie users that are otherwise not fully aware of technical aspects of SEO can utilize Slim SEO in no time.

WordPress SEO

Of course, this also implies that Slim SEO may not be a good fit for advanced users. However, for folks looking for a no-nonsense solution sans any complex and semantic options, Slim SEO is perfect. It is also ideal if you are looking for an easy-to-use WordPress SEO plugin for your clients.

Major Features of Slim SEO

  • Meta Tags Optimization
  • Support for Schema (Structured Data)
  • In-built Auto Redirection
  • Image Alt Text support
  • Support for XML Sitemaps
  • Ability to insert custom Header and Footer code.

SEOPress

SEOPress is a WordPress SEO plugin for internal SEO optimization on the site. To be honest, it is an equally robust and much cost-effective alternative to the Yoast SEO plugin.

The SEOPress plugin has a clear interface; all settings are grouped into sections. For quick configuration, the plugin comes with a Configuration Wizard and the main screen that draws the user’s attention to the major points of optimization. A paid version is also available with enhanced features.

Major Features of SEOPress

  • Step-by-step setup wizard
  • Import data from Yoast, All In One SEO, The SEO Framework, and Rank Math WordPress SEO plugins
  • Header and description settings for all post types, archives, and taxonomies
  • Indexing settings for all post types, archives, and taxonomies
  • Canonical URLs
  • Removing /category/ from permalinks
  • Creating and configuring an XML sitemap and an HTML sitemap
  • Google Knowledge Graph settings (individual or organization, social media profiles)
  • Support for Google Local Business;
  • Checking for broken links.
  • Support for Open Graph.

The SEO Framework

The last entry on our list, The SEO Framework is available in 16 languages as of now. It is a simple and straightforward plugin, albeit it lacks some of the intuitiveness and eye-candy appeal that can be found in other WordPress SEO plugins.

The SEO Framework comes loaded with all the features that one might need from an SEO plugin. However, it does lack a bit of clarity in terms of interface and absolute beginners might find the learning curve a bit too steep.

SEO Framework

Major Features of The SEO Framework

  • Generating “breadcrumbs” for Google Search
  • Creating an XML sitemap and automatically notifying search engines about changes on the site
  • Automatic creation of title and description according to Google recommendations
  • Support for Open Graph markup to improve the appearance of pages when reposting in social networks
  • Auto-generation of canonical pages to avoid problems with duplicate content
  • Disabling indexing of empty categories.

Summary

Now, the big question: which SEO plugin should you be using?

If you are looking for a simple and powerful solution, SEOPress gets our vote. It is a low-cholesterol but insanely powerful SEO plugin that gets the job done with ease. Initially, we’d have gone with Yoast SEO. However, the free version of Yoast SEO of late has become bloated with adware and nag messages. SEOPress is slick and free from excessive adverts and as such, is a worthy alternative to Yoast and others.

However, if SEO plugins seem too confusing for you, look no further than Slim SEO. It comes with out of the box settings and offers minimal settings for you to work with, thereby ensuring that even the most basic users can master this particular plugin within minutes.

Which SEO plugin do you use and why? Share your views with us in the comments below!