Month: January 2020

6 Best WordPress Event Calendar Plugins

If you are looking for a way to help you showcase events on your WordPress site? Or maybe you want to go even further and start selling tickets or accepting reservations? No matter what your needs are, one of these WordPress event calendar plugins might just be the ticket (sorry!). All of them will help you create a stylish calendar of events on your WordPress site, complete with areas to help you manage event venues and organizers. Depending on what functionality you need, you’ll also find options that let you create repeating events, sell tickets, manage attendance, and lots more. You probably just want to learn about the plugins! So let’s dive right in, starting with the most popular option.

1. Amelia – The Best Events & Calendar Plugin

Amelia is a booking plugin with a powerful events module that complements its core booking functionality.

You can create events, display events in a beautiful front-end calendar, automate online payments, and manage your employees’ availability at the same time.

And if one or more of your employees are leading an event (e.g. a Yoga class), the plugin will ensure that no services (e.g. fitness training) can be booked at the same time. You won’t have to apologize for double booking ever again.

Amelia is used by more than 4,000 users all over the world for automating bookings & events in professional services, medical, beauty, automotive, and other industries. The plugin is extremely well maintained and regularly updated with new features.

What’s more is that there are no features hidden behind higher pricing plans. It’s a flat price.

In more recent versions of the plugin, Gutenberg blocks have been added which allow you to quickly add events, catalog, search or booking blocks to your content.

What you get with the free version of Amelia

With the free version, you can run your own one-off events & appointments for a single employee.

Included is a weekly calendar where you can view your events/appointments, an appointment management page, and basic booking settings. Automated payments aren’t available in the free version.

What you get with the Pro version of Amelia

Now, this is where the real magic happens. The Pro version of Amelia will give you:

  • Unlimited employees
  • Automated online payments via PayPal, Stripe, and WooCommerce
  • Set up recurring events and tag events
  • Full back-end calendar for all of your events/appointments
  • Email and SMS notifications for the customer(s) and provider of the event/appointment
  • Google Calendar synchronisation
  • Coupons and custom fields

While the free version is great, the Pro version offers the features you need to run your business with minimal hassle.

Price: Free at Starts from $59 for one website.

Get Free Version  Get Pro Version

2. Event Espresso 4 Decaf – The Best Option For Selling Tickets

Event Espresso is a slightly more heavy-duty event calendar plugin that’s more focused towards people who need to manage tickets/registrations, including support for payment gateways, event check-in, ticket scanning apps, and more.

So if that’s you, you’ll definitely want to give this one a close look. But if you’re just looking for something to display some events on your WordPress site, you’ll probably be happier with one of the other plugins on this list.

Event Espresso 4 Decaf is the latest version of the plugin which brings a number of new features. Event Espresso 3 is still listed at, so make sure you install the newest version.

What you get with the Pro version of Event Espresso 4 Decaf

While there is a free version of Event Espresso 4 Decaf, I’m going to exclusively focus on the premium version because that’s where most of the differentiating features exist.

First off, Event Espresso 4 Decaf sets you up with a detailed events management system including:

  • Time-specific or all-day events
  • Location/venue information
  • Multiple days and times for one single event
  • Google Maps integration

And you can, obviously, display these events on an event calendar.

As I said, though, ticketing and registration are where Event Espresso 4 Decaf really shines.

For ticketing, you get some unique features like:

  • Multiple ticket pricing options for one event, with each ticket getting its own quantity limit, etc.
  • Integrated single-page checkout and lots of payment gateway options
  • A dedicated app to scan tickets
  • Promo codes to offer discounts
  • Tax administration module to collect taxes
  • Event check-in list
  • Waiting lists for tickets

Then, you also get features to manage registrations like:

  • Custom event registration forms
  • Custom email confirmation emails
  • Option for one person to register multiple attendees
  • Feature to store attendees’ contact details and add private notes (kind of like a lightweight CRM)
  • Private events that are only visible to certain users

All in all, definitely give this one a look if you need a robust ticketing/registration system for events.

Price: Starts at $79.95. Cheapest plan with all features is $299.95

Get Event Espresso 4 Decaf

3. The Events Calendar – A Great All-Around Option


By the numbers, The Events Calendar is the most popular events calendar plugin at by a longshot. It’s active on over 700,000 sites and has kept up a solid 4.5-star rating over that popularity.

The Events Calendar also comes from Modern Tribe, a popular WordPress digital agency, which gives you the backing of a big team (72+ employees).

It comes in both a free version, as well as a Pro version and extensions, which gives you access to as much, or as little, functionality as you need.

What you get with the free version of The Events Calendar

In the free version, you can create unlimited events, complete with their own:

You can save venues and organizers, which makes it easy to reuse them for events in the future

And to display your events, you get the eponymous calendar view, as well as an upcoming events list widget to use in your sidebar.

Another notable feature is the ability to save events in Google Calendar or iCal.

Finally, there’s also a free Event Tickets extension that lets you add an RSVP/Buy Now button to events (but you’ll probably want the premium version of the extension if you’re serious about ticketing).

What you get with the Pro version of The Events Calendar

If you’re willing to pay, you can extend those free features with a ton of new functionality.

First off, you get more ways to display your events, including a map or photo view. You can also create separate lists for specific venues and organizers, rather than one overall list. And visitors will also get the option to search by location.

You can also set up recurring events for events that regularly repeat, which is another way to save time.

Then, there are also some unique extensions for community events and ticketing. The Community Events extension lets you accept user-submitted events, which is helpful if your site has some social aspect.

The Event Tickets Plus extension lets you sell tickets to your events, with each ticket getting its own unique SKU. You can then manually check attendees in, or use the Event Tickets Plus mobile app to actually scan each person’s ticket for verification.

Price: Free at Events Calendar Pro is $89. Community Events and Event Tickets Plus are also $89 each.

Get Free Version  Get Pro Version

4. Modern Events Calendar – Looks Great Out Of The Box


Modern Events Calendar was formerly sold at CodeCanyon, where it had done pretty well with 4,800+ sales and a great 4.78-star rating on 181 reviews.

Now, Modern Events Calendar has gone independent and comes in both a free Lite version at as well as a premium version sold through the developer’s site. The free version is pretty generous with its functionality, which makes this a good option if you’re on a budget.

Modern Events Calendar’s biggest differentiating feature is in the name – it offers a modern-looking event calendar that looks great right out of the box. If you want a calendar that looks great without requiring any tinkering on your part, this is a solid option.

What you get with the free version of Modern Events Calendar

The free version is good for simple needs and lets you set up both one-off and recurring events, including support for venues and organizers.

You can also set up all-day or never-ending events. And you can even accept front-end event submissions in the free version, which is pretty generous.

Visitors will get a few different views to browse events, including:

  • Full calendar or monthly calendar
  • Daily/weekly view
  • Countdown view
  • List view

And you also get widgets to display events in your sidebar.

What you get with the Pro version of Modern Events Calendar

If you need more functionality, the Pro version adds on some new views, including a map view option that includes directions to the event.

There’s also this neat weather module that displays weather conditions for the event, as well as an option to display event times in a visitor’s local time zone.

If needed, you can also integrate with PayPal or Stripe to sell event tickets or bookings. But…if you’re serious about ticketing, I’d recommend that you stick with something like The Events Calendar or Event Espresso (an option you’ll see later on).

Price: Generous free version. Pro version starts at $89.

Get Free Version  Get Pro Version

5. EventOn – Flexible Functionality And Unique Styling


EventOn is the most popular WordPress event calendar plugin at CodeCanyon, where it’s been purchased over 37,000 times and has maintained a 4.45-star rating on 1,700+ reviews.

Like Modern Events Calendar, one of the unique things about EventOn is its stylish event views, including the neat card approach pictured above.

It also packs a ton of functionality into one affordable package (though there are also tons of add-ons, which can get pricey).

What you get with the Pro version of EventOn

EventOn lets you create unlimited events, complete with information for the venue/location and organizer.

For event timing, you get a ton of options. You can control event start/end times, including an option to overlap different days for events that end after midnight. Or, you can create an all-day event with the click of a toggle.

For events that repeat, you can have them repeat on different schedules (like weekly or monthly). You can also get a little more creative and do something like “repeat on the first Thursday of every month”. Or, you can just manually create your own custom repeating schedule by choosing days in advance.

To display your events, you get a bunch of different styles/themes, as well as an option to feature certain events.

EventOn has a lengthy feature list, so I can’t cover everything…but other features you’ll probably like include:

  • Option for visitors to filter by event location
  • Easy “add to calendar” for iCal, Google Calendar, and others
  • Social share button integration

Then, there are additional premium add-ons for:

  • Event countdowns
  • Bookings
  • RSVP
  • Event tickets via WooCommerce
  • Lots more

Price: $20 for core plugin. Add-ons are all priced differently

Get EventOn  Browse Add-ons

6. Event Calendar WD – Solid All-Around Option


Event Calendar WD is a well-rated freemium option that’s maintained a 4.6-star rating on over 184 reviews. Active on just 30,000+ sites, though, it’s not nearly as popular as The Events Calendar.

It does come from Web-Dorado (WD), though, who has a number of other quality plugins, so you have the benefit of an established company supporting the product.

What you get with the free version of Event Calendar WD

The free version lets you create unlimited events, complete with support for venues and organizers, as well as event categories and tags. You also get a Google Maps integration in the free version, which is nice.

Beyond that, you get a widget to help you display events in the sidebar, as well as a pretty detailed settings area to control little nitty-gritty details.

Overall, though, the free version is pretty lightweight.

What you get with the Pro version of Event Calendar WD

First off, there’s a core premium version that adds support for recurring events, as well as new views/theme options.

Then, there are a number of individual premium add-ons that further extend the plugin’s functionality. You can either purchase a bundle of all add-ons, or pick and choose the specific add-ons that you need.

Through these add-ons, you can add functionality for:

  • Ticketing via WooCommerce
  • Front-end event management for community events
  • More detailed event filters
  • Export to calendar (like Google Calendar or iCal)
  • Importing from Facebook Events, Google Calendar, or iCal
  • More detailed upcoming events widgets

Price: Free at Pro version starts at just $25.

Get Free Version  Get Pro Version

7. Event Organiser – Lightweight And Extensible


Finally, Event Organiser is a nice lightweight option that comes in both a free and a premium version.

One thing a lot of people like is how extensible it is for developers, though it’s also easy enough for casual users to benefit from.

What you get with the free version of Event Organiser

The free version of Events Organiser lets you create both one-time and recurring events, including detailed rules for how often events repeat. The plugin’s description gives a good example of how detailed you can get with repeating events – “On the third Tuesday of every fourth month or Every month on the 16th.”

Beyond that, you also get venue support, including a Google Maps integration to show where venues are.

And to display your events, you get a few different widgets, as well as a number of shortcodes that you can use to control exactly what shows up (like choosing whether or not to show the venue filters).

What you get with the Pro version of Event Organiser

Event Organiser Pro is mainly focused on adding booking functionality to your events calendar.

With it, you can let visitors purchase tickets/book specific events or dates using a customizable form and integrations with popular payment gateways.

Then, you’ll be able to manage bookings from your WordPress dashboard, including an option to send emails to attendees.

Price: Free at Pro version starts at £50

Get Free Version  Get Pro Version

Which WordPress event calendar plugin should you choose?

So which one of these event calendar plugins should you actually use? To help answer that question, let’s break things down by a few different scenarios/price points…

If you’re specifically looking for a free WordPress event calendar plugin, then I would say use:

  • Amelia is a great booking plugin with solid functionality for events. And the Pro version is extremely affordable if you need to manage online payments.
  • The Events Calendar as a good base option. It’s the most popular option, comes from a well-known developer, and is pretty easy to use.
  • Modern Events Calendar Lite if you want something basic that looks great out of the box.
  • Event Organiser if you want a lightweight extensible option.

If you’re specifically looking for a plugin that will help you sell tickets and manage reservations, then your first stop should be Amelia. It is, by far, the most robust and full-featured plugin on the list. It can take care of events, service bookings, and has the best user interface of any of these tools.

Event Espresso 4 Decaf is also another viable option. Particularly for it’s ticketing functionality as well as a having mobile app to scan tickets.

Finally, if you’re just looking for a solid premium option that can do a bit of everything, EventOn and Event Calendar WD are both decent “jack of all trades” type plugins that won’t break the bank. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on
Wordpress Building Trends For 2020!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

Adding a New Post in WordPress or ClassicPress

The primary lesson you can learn when starting with your newly created WordPress or ClassicPress site is creating a new post. The practice is something you will need to know really well because the site or blog you’re about to run needs to be updated with content frequently. Although some may think the process is simple and linear, some may find it hard to familiarize themselves with the admin area. Also, those who have progressed on their WordPress skills might be missing some important parts that might improve their posts or make their life easier.

Here are tips on how to add a new post in WordPress while utilizing all the features effectively.

If you are in possession of a finely crafted Xhostcom site, then we have a little tutorial which runs through the making of an “Awesome Post” which utilizes the extra SEO and Social Media automations which are always built in to the site. You can view this below.

For enthusiasts and self builders though, just follow on below.

Adding blocks for the title and content

When you click the option of adding a post, a clean editor will appear where you will do all of the writing. The content is divided into blocks and at the top, there is a block of the post title. After adding the title, you can add blocks for subheads and other different content, to do so, click on the add block button.

If you don’t like using that option, you can search “/” to add a new block. These blocks can be arranged as per your personal preferences and the type of content you are posting.

You can add other blocks such as social media buttons or a short contact form by clicking on the blocks, respectively. When creating another page, some free WordPress themes with demo content can organize the content blocks for you.

Visual content (videos, images and other media)

Visual content makes blog posts more engaging and video content specifically can lead to conversions because people prefer watching videos than reading lengthy posts.

To add images, you can click on the icon that shows a picture and an option to drag and drop a picture will appear. Alternatively, you can click upload and then navigate to the folder the picture you want is saved in.

To have a paragraph aligned with the picture, click on the media and text block and then arrange the appearance you want. You can also embed videos from various platforms with ease by adding the relevant block. Adding a link to the video will also automatically turn it into an embedded video block.

Categorizing and tagging

To sort through the hundreds of pages your WordPress site will have over time, you will need to categorize them. That will help both you and the traffic that will be on the site because whenever you need to link an internal post, you will find it easily.

On the other hand, online traffic will easily navigate through the site and quickly find what they are looking for. You can also boost SEO on WordPress site using this method because Google algorithms will be able to index the pages accordingly.

Another helpful feature is tagging all posts. You can add tags in relation to the type of content posted and what it is about. You can do all of this under the document settings in the “categories” and “tags” sections.

Including the article summary

WordPress generally formulates an article summary that should serve the purpose of briefing up what the post entails. However, in most cases, the pre-generated summary may not be meaningful or catch the attention of readers. Because of that, you need to change it to something that might attract first-time readers scrolling past.

You can manually add an article summary by clicking on the section titled “Excerpt” under the document settings. The article summary you would like to appear on SERPs can be then typed inside the text box provided and then saved.

Changing the permalink

Fortunately, WordPress supports SEO by providing a permalink more related to the post title. That is in contrast to what many platforms do because they just attribute a generic permalink, which will cripple the SEO efforts you might invest on the site. Although that is true, some website owners may want to personalize their permalink more and make it user-friendly.

Perhaps they might like to add a date or other factors that would boost their SEO campaign. To do so, you can click on the post title and click on the option of changing the permalink above it. Another way to do it is heading to the document settings and clicking under the section titled “permalink.”

Post commentary section

WordPress has a great feature of including a commenting section on blog posts that allows readers to leave comments. In some cases, you might like to switch off the commenting section for whatever reason. To do so, you can navigate to the “Discussion” section under document settings and uncheck the “allow comments” box.

The platform also has another feature that alerts you and other blogs when your blog posts are linked to other articles. It is called Pingbacks & Tracebacks and they are mostly used for spam. Because of that, it is recommended you switch them off. They are found in the same section under the “Discussion” section.

Other options presented by plugins

Before posting the content you have written, it might be beneficial to check how it does on SEO and add other factors. WordPress plugins serve that purpose, to offer you a widened service that the platform doesn’t extend to.

For example, another plugin called WPforms helps users formulate contact forms that can be included in posts and pages. Other options include plugins like Yoast SEO that add meta boxes that will help with SEO optimization.

Other plugins with different features can be purchased or downloaded for free and then integrated to the WordPress site you are running.

Publishing options

WordPress has done exceedingly well with the different publishing options they have and they include:

  • Saving a draft before publishing
  • Previewing the post before it goes live
  • Publishing the article
  • Choosing who sees the post (Public, Private or Password Protected)
  • Selecting the dates which you would like to schedule a post
  • Featuring the post on the home page
  • Marking it as pending review for other authors or editors to easily identify
  • Adding author details

When used correctly, these options can help you avoid mistakes, such as posting an article prematurely. Most of these settings are found under document settings, but others are on the taskbar at the top.


Familiarizing yourself with WordPress shouldn’t take too long because of the fairly easy-to-use interface. However, some might miss the greatest features available on this platform that might increase their productivity. Some of them have been listed here and can be used on the general subscription on WordPress. The platform should be used to the full to benefit the business owner and the targeted audience. If you enjoyed this short post, then why not check out this article on 5 Trending WordPress Development Tools!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

7 Best Email Marketing Platforms For WordPress

When you consider the meteoric rise of social media and the speed with which it can spread information and connect people, it’s easy to think email marketing is becoming obsolete. However, statistics show it’s used by many companies, ecommerce stores and businesses. If you’re not implementing it, you could be missing out on conversions.

Fortunately, getting started with email marketing isn’t hard. Much of it can be automated, especially if you choose the right platform for your brand. There are many to decide between, but carefully weighing the pros and cons can help you pinpoint which is ideal.

In this post, we’ve rounded up six stellar email marketing platforms that integrate with WordPress. Hopefully, this will help narrow down your selection. Let’s get to it!

MailChimp is a marketing platform geared towards small businesses. However, its tools are utilized by several large-scale companies as well:

The MailChimp homepage.

MailChimp’s features encompass social media, landing pages, and much more. However, in this post, we’ll focus on its email-related services, which include:

  • An easy-to-use, drag-and-drop email builder
  • Automated email messages
  • Built-in, real-time analytics monitoring

Integrating this platform with WordPress couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is install and activate the MailChimp for WordPress plugin:

The MailChimp for WordPress plugin.

MailChimp is also highly affordable, especially if you’re just starting out. You can manage up to 2,000 contacts for free. Paid plans start at $9.99 per month and include additional support, more detailed analytics, and other upgrades.

Offering very similar features to that of MailChimp, Constant Contact is another viable option:

The Constant Contact homepage.

This platform also has a lot to offer in the way of social marketing, landing pages, and even ad creation. As far as email is concerned, you can look forward to:

  • Customizing pre-built email templates
  • Automated welcome, abandoned cart, and other messages
  • Tracking open and click-through rates

There is an official Constant Contact WordPress plugin, but it only has a three-star rating. Some users have complained of it breaking their sites. Instead, you may want to try the Constant Contact Forms plugin by MailMunch:

The Constant Contact Forms plugin by MailMunch.

Many form-builder plugins also offer Constant Contact integration.

Pricing-wise, expect to pay at least $20 per month for Constant Contact, even if you only have one subscriber. There’s no free option available, but you can access a trial before you commit.

Another alternative is SendinBlue:

The SendinBlue homepage.

This platform has a heavy emphasis on email marketing, but also offers SMS and chat services for more personalized interactions with users. Plus, you can also use SendinBlue to:

  • Automatically send your emails at the optimal time for your recipients
  • Utilize A/B testing and segmentation
  • Create automated marketing workflows

Integrating SendinBlue with your WordPress is as simple and setting up the official SendinBlue plugin:

The SendinBlue plugin.

SendinBlue’s free plan enables you to deliver up to 300 emails per day. The lowest tier paid plan has support for up to 40,000 emails per month and starts at $25 per month. This is more expensive than MailChimp’s 500,000 monthly sends for $9.99, but SendinBlue offers unlimited contacts for all its plans.

Geared towards e-commerce sites, Drip includes many features suited to online retailers:

The Drip homepage.

As a multi-channel marketing platform, Drip has a lot to offer. Where email is concerned, its features include:

  • In-depth customer behavior tracking
  • Automated emails, including welcome and abandoned cart messages
  • Revenue tracking that shows how your efforts are paying off

The best way to combine Drip with WordPress is through its official WooCommerce integration. The required extension is priced at $79 per year.

Drip itself starts at $49 per month. Pricing increases based on the number of contacts you have. You can try the demo or a 14-day free trial before signing up for a paid plan.

Campaign Monitor is dedicated exclusively to email marketing. Whether that’s a point in its favor or not depends on your strategy, but it certainly sets it apart from the other options on this list:

The Campaign Monitor homepage.

With this platform, you’ll be able to:

  • Apply custom branding to a variety of email templates
  • Create signup forms to collect contacts
  • Personalize content through segmentation

There are a few different plugins available for integrating Campaign Monitor and WordPress. We recommend combining it with Contact Form 7 and the Contact Form 7 Campaign Monitor Extension:

The Contact Form 7 Campaign Monitor Extension.

At $9 per month for up to 2,500 emails, Campaign Monitor is one of the more affordable options available. You can also pay per campaign if you only need to reach out to users occasionally.

The next suggestion on our list is MailPoet, which offers the easiest WordPress integration of all.

The MailPoet plugin's homepage.

Mailpoet is a WordPress newsletter plugin. Instead of trying to integrate with a third-party, you can send emails right from your website.

Keep in mind that in some cases, using your website’s server for email can overload it. Some hosts also have restrictions in place to prevent you from doing so. Be sure to do your research before choosing this option.

You can start sending emails with the free version of MailPoet right away. However, if you want to track analytics such as open and click-through rates, you’ll need MailPoet Premium. It’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers. Plans then start at $8.38 per month, billed annually.

The final suggestion on this list is Omnisend, which is a fully comprehensive email marketing platform.


Omnisend is Multichannel Marketing Platform with a large variety of integrations, and which also has a plugin for Woocommerce/Wordpress sites.

You can give your customers a unified experience with an omnichannel touch. Reach out to your customers in a way they prefer, not what the tools allow. Choose between email, SMS messages, web push notifications, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp or combine them into the workflow. All conveniently packed inside one platform. Omnisend also has a free tier for up to 15,000 emails PM, and is feature packed.

In my opinion this is one of the best all round platforms available, check out Omnisend here!


Email marketing is not only still relevant, but key to successfully promoting your website. Selecting the best platform for you will enable you to automate the process so you can spread brand awareness in your sleep.

This post has shared seven of the best email marketing platforms that you can integrate with WordPress, including:

  1. MailChimp: Probably the best all-around email marketing platform for WordPress.
  2. Constant Contact: A viable MailChimp alternative for those who rely heavily on social media ads.
  3. SendinBlue: Ideal for those with large audiences, as all plans offer unlimited contacts.
  4. Drip: Suited to e-commerce sites that need detailed analytics.
  5. Campaign Monitor: A smart solution for small brands with email-centric marketing plans.
  6. MailPoet: The easiest option for a smooth WordPress integration.
  7. Omnisend: An all round Multichannel marketing Platform.

With more than one million active installations, MailChimp is currently the most popular email solution for WordPress users. It’s very flexible and covers all your basic digital marketing needs, making it a strong fit for most sites.

For a simpler solution that works directly from within your WordPress site, we then recommend MailPoet. Apart from being backed by a great team, we use MaiLPoet for our weekly newsletters on WP Mayor and have done so successfully for many years, so it’s an easy recommendation from us.

Do you have questions about choosing an email marketing platform? Leave them in the comments section below! Also, if you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on The best Wordpress & eCommerce hosting services!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

Kinsta Wordpress Hosting Review And Test

Kinsta is a performance-oriented managed WordPress host that’s powered by Google Cloud Platform, which is the same hardware running Google’s own products (perhaps you’ve heard of Google?). In the past, Kinsta was almost exclusively a premium host, with prices starting at $100. This is a lot different  now, though because at the beginning of November 2017, Kinsta completely relaunched with an all-new pricing plan that starts at just $30 per month.

In this Kinsta review, I’ll investigate Kinsta and examine its new pricing and all-new dashboard design. And, of course, I’ll also run plenty of performance tests so that you can see how quickly your site will load with Kinsta.

In general, Kinsta consistently impresses me with its performance and it’s one of my favorite WordPress hosts. But let’s not jump the gun – here’s why I think that:

Kinsta Performance Tests: My Test Site Loaded In Under 1 Second

How quickly your website loads is a massive part of how successful your website is. Page load times affect everything from your Google ranking to how much people enjoy browsing your site and are willing to buy lots of stuff from you.

So if your chosen host doesn’t set you up with a quick-loading WordPress website, none of the other bells and whistles make a difference.

That’s why I want to start off my Kinsta review by running a few performance tests.

To see how quickly Kinsta loads, I’ve set up a test site that:

  • Is using the Elementor page builder
  • Has a homepage using the Elementor Canvas blank layout and an Elementor landing page template.

Other than installing Elementor, I didn’t make any changes to my test site. Its page size is 1.0 MB and it has 43 requests.

First, I ran it through a Pingdom test, where it loaded in just 946 ms:

kinsta review performance data

Then, I put it through GTmetrix, where it loaded in a similarly impressive 0.9 seconds:

kinsta gtmetrix test data

So, as far as one-off tests go – Kinsta consistently loads in under 1 second, which is pretty dang fast. But what about a situation where your site is receiving actual traffic?

That is, will your site load just as quickly for the fiftieth visitor as it does for the first visitor?

To see if that’s the case, I ran my test site through a Load Impact test with 50 concurrent visitors. Here’s how it fared:

kinsta load impact test data

What does that chart mean?

  • The blue line indicates the number of “active visitors”. It increases from 0 all the way up to 50.
  • The green line indicates how quickly the site loaded for each visitor. It hovered around 510 ms.

Essentially, this chart shows that the load times always stayed around 510 ms, no matter how many visitors were active on the site. That’s a good thing and indicates that your site will perform well even when your site is getting real traffic.

All in all, Kinsta has maintained its high-quality performance, despite dropping its prices.

Here’s The Technology That Makes Kinsta’s Performance So Good

In case you’re interested in why Kinsta sites load faster than cheap shared hosting, here’s some of the technology that powers Kinsta:

  • PHP 7.X support
  • Google Cloud Platform infrastructure
  • MariaDB
  • HTTP/2
  • LXD containers
  • Automatic MySQL Database optimization

6 Other Things That Are Cool About Kinsta

Beyond Kinsta’s quick page load times, here 6 other things that I like about Kinsta hosting.

1. The Kinsta Dashboard Is Awesome And User Friendly

Kinsta’s dashboard was always easy to use. But the recent redesign just made things even better.

Say goodbye to cPanel for good, because here’s what Kinsta’s custom dashboard looks like:

kinsta dashboard

All the sidebar tabs are interesting, but the area that you’ll probably work in most is the Sites tab.

Here, you can view all of your sites, as well as basic usage and traffic stats:

kinsta site management

And if click on each individual site, you’ll be able to manage:

  • SFTP/SSH details
  • Database access
  • Backups (more on these in a second)
  • Caching
  • HTTPS (which you get for free)
  • New Relic Monitoring
  • Your PHP Engine
  • Plugins
  • CDN
  • Server logs

2. Support Is Available Everywhere Through Intercom

In those screenshots above, you might’ve noticed that Intercom icon floating around in the bottom right corner:

This is how you get support with Kinsta, which I love.

Why is Intercom better than regular live chat support? Because Intercom isn’t tied to a specific window. That is, you can navigate through the dashboard without affecting your chat. Or, you can even completely close the window and your chat history will be preserved for the next time you access your dashboard.

For example, you can see that I can still quickly access my support chat from four weeks ago:

kinsta support through intercom

It’s a small thing, but much more convenient.

And in case you’re wondering – Kinsta responds pretty dang fast. Even though I’m in Vietnam (super weird time zone!), I still got a quick response to my query.

Just be aware – Kinsta purposefully does not offer phone support. You can read their reasoning here. That’s not a negative to me as I prefer live chat anyway – but it is something that you should be aware of.

3. Easy-to-Use Staging Sites

Staging sites allow you to create a clone of your live site that you can safely make changes to. Then, when you’re happy with the changes, you can click a button to push those changes to your live site.

Basically, they’re pretty awesome and ensure you don’t accidentally mess up the live version of your site when you’re tweaking things.

Kinsta makes staging stupid simple. Whenever you’re managing a site, you can quickly switch between the Live and Staging environments by using a drop-down:

Once you switch to staging, you can manage all of your staging site’s details and push it live with a single click:

kinsta staging

Then, Kinsta automatically creates a backup whenever you push staging live, in case you need to revert back to the old site after making the switch.

Speaking of backups…

4. Automatic Backups + Easy Restores

Kinsta automatically backs up your site every single day and stores 14 consecutive backups for you. You can also run a manual backup at any time.

And here’s what I really like – Kinsta gives you two options:

  • Restore (to live site)
  • Restore To Staging

That way, you can easily test out a backup before replacing the live version of your site:

kinsta backups

5. WordPress-Specific Security Plus A Hack Guarantee

If you want to keep your WordPress site secure, it helps to take a proactive approach. Kinsta does this for you with a number of security-conscious features. These include:

  • Hardware firewalls
  • Malware scanning
  • DDoS protection
  • 24/7 uptime monitoring – uptime checks every 60 seconds
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL

Additionally, if, by some chance, something does happen to your site, Kinsta offers a Hack guarantee. If your website is ever hacked, Kinsta will fix it for you and restore your site back to working condition.

6. 13 Global Data Centers

When you host a website, you want to host it on the physical server that’s closest to your target audience in order to offer them the best page load times possible.

Kinsta makes that easy for you by offering a whopping 13 different data centers on 4 different continents. Those locations are:

  • Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
  • St. Ghislain, Belgium
  • Changhua County, Taiwan
  • Sydney, Australia
  • The Dalles, Oregon, USA
  • Ashburn, Virginia, USA
  • Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
  • São Paulo, Brazil
  • London, UK
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Jurong West, Singapore
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Mumbai, India

Having such a large selection makes it easy to host your site near your visitors, no matter where they’re located.

What I Don’t Like About The New Kinsta Pricing Plan

In general, I think that Kinsta is a great host. But there is one thing that I don’t really like about the new plans.

In the past, Kinsta charged based on bandwidth, rather than placing a cap on visits. If you’re familiar with the managed WordPress hosting industry, this was fairly unique and actually one of Kinsta’s unique selling propositions (beyond the stellar performance).

With the new plans, though, Kinsta has fallen in step with the rest of the managed WordPress hosting industry and puts a cap on visitors for each monthly plan (here’s how they count visits).

This isn’t necessarily a negative because it is the standard approach for managed WordPress hosting. But it is…the “removal of a previous benefit”, so to speak.

Still, the new visitor caps do come with a price slash from $100 to $30 per month (starting price), so it’s not all doom and gloom.

How Much Does Kinsta Hosting Cost?

Since I just mentioned pricing, I might as well share the exact plans. Here’s Kinsta’s current pricing structure:

Kinsta hosting price comparison

Is Kinsta Right For Your WordPress Site?

< Because of its price, I don’t think Kinsta is necessarily the best host for beginners. That is, if you’re launching your first website, you can probably save some money by using a host like SiteGround which is a good quality Wordpress host for small to medium sites..

But if your site has started to gain some traction and you’re looking for improved performance, as well as improved management when it comes to things like staging and backups, that’s when I think Kinsta is a great option.

The new prices are competitive and Kinsta’s performance, support, and features are top-notch.

So, if you’re looking to make the jump from cheap shared WordPress hosting to performance-oriented managed WordPress hosting, Kinsta is a great choice that just got a heckuva lot more affordable, if you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on 5 Trending WordPress Development Tools! Or just Go to Kinsta!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: Development, eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: , ,

5 Trending WordPress Development Tools

WordPress is the King of Content Management Systems (CMS’s) with in excess of a 61% market share of all online CMS’s. One of the many reasons WordPress is a preferred platform is that it’s constantly evolving to incorporate new technologies. However, with so much innovation, keeping up with the latest changes can take some effort. To do the best for your clients it helps to look ahead to understand what web design and development trends are expected to dominate the market. Doing this will make it easier to adapt and gain an advantage over competitors.

In this post, I’ll take a look at five WordPress (or ClassicPress) development trends you can expect to see in the upcoming year and explore some examples of how they can be used.

1. Chatbot Integration

Automation and assistive technologies are cropping up in many different forms on websites these days. One of the increasingly popular uses for this technology is chatbots:

A chatbot message.

These web-based messengers streamline a wide range of administrative and customer support tasks.

Chatbots aren’t necessarily anything new. They’ve been around for a while now. However, thanks to the progressive nature of Artificial Intelligence (AI), chatbots are becoming more ‘human-like’ every day.

Take a look at this spoof demo I built for Sally Illngworth of Illingworth Media, and hit no in the dialogue for a chuckle.

Spoof Illingworth Media Bot

As such, businesses are able to use them in many different environments and applications, and will likely continue to do so in the future. In fact, at least 85 percent of businesses are expected to use chatbots by 2022.

If you’re interested in exploring chatbots for your client’s sites, we recommend using a tool with easy WordPress integration. For example, you might try using Botsify. You can create a chatbot through its website, and then quickly add it to WordPress sites via a plugin or code.

Another option you might consider is the IBM Watson plugin. This tool uses IBM Watson Assistant (previously Watson Conversation) on the IBM Cloud. It has a steeper learning curve but offers nearly unlimited customization potential.

2. Voice Search Optimization

Speaking of AI, voice search is quickly gaining traction as a staple technology for both business and personal purposes. Voice-activated search assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, are becoming more common as well.

According to research, by 2020 about half of searches are expected to be voice-activated ones. Moreover, one-third of browsing sessions will happen without a screen at all.

Voice shopping, in particular, is expected to disrupt the retail industry over the next few years. The use of smart home speakers is expected to increase from 13 percent to 55 percent.

Voice search is also expected to influence and improve SEO. People tend to use more natural language when they are conducting a search query verbally, rather than typing it. As voice search becomes more prevalent, it’s likely that we’re going to see search engines producing results that are more aligned with user intent.

To get started with voice search optimization, you might consider trying a voice search plugin. For example, WP Fastest Site Search lets you add voice capabilities to your site:

WP Fastest Site Search WordPress plugin.

This plugin replaces the default search widget in WordPress. You can use it to create and customize your own WordPress search user interface, with no custom coding needed.

3. Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology, thanks to its adoption of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is becoming particularly prevalent in financial sectors. However, we can also expect to see it influence plugin development and content monetization for WordPress sites. It can be particularly useful for enhancing on-site security and improving the speed of payment transactions for e-commerce sites.

This year, WordPress launched a new platform with blockchain features called Newspack. The primary purpose of this product is to improve the reliability and security of publishing outlets. It should alleviate many of the challenges that come with back-end site maintenance and development.

Additionally, there are plenty of WordPress cryptocurrency themes and plugins you can use. For example, to create a cryptocurrency website you can use a theme such as Cryptic:

Cryptic WordPress cryptocurrency theme.

As for blockchain plugins, you can use Site Reviews to verify reviews. WordProof Timestamp is also worth checking out, as it enables you to timestamp your WordPress content on any EOSIO blockchain.

4. Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology have made strides in giving businesses the ability to offer interactive experiences. Both take a person’s physical environment and superimpose it with layers of digital information to mimic real-world scenarios.

The IKEA Place app is just one of many examples of how AR and VR can be used to create better experiences for consumers. It lets users place pieces of furniture within a room in their homes via smartphone camera, in order to preview how they will look.

Another use is being able to ‘virtually visit’ a location and take a tour without actually being there. For example, realtors can provide clients with 3D VR tours on their websites.

WordPress now authorizes VR content with 360-degree images and videos. If you’re interested in adding AR and VR features to your client sites, there are a variety of ways to go about it. You might also consider using the Ozisti Theme:

The Ozisti Theme for WordPress.

This theme is one of the easiest ways you can integrate AR functionality with WordPress sites. It was built specifically for e-commerce, but can be used for a wide range of projects.

5. Progressive Web Apps

Last but not least, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) provide an app-like experience to mobile users without actually requiring users to install anything. They work within mobile browsers, and function largely as native apps would.

Among the many benefits include:

  • Increased security
  • Faster loading times
  • More flexibility
  • Better user experience

PWAs have been around for a while. However, with more people relying on mobile devices, they’re becoming increasingly popular for WordPress applications.

Aside from building your own PWA from scratch, you can also use WordPress plugins to turn a site into a PWA. For example, you can check out Super Progressive Web Apps:
The Super Progressive Web Apps WordPress plugin.

Once you install this plugin, users who visit the site from a mobile device can add it to their home screens. Then, each page they visit will be locally stored and available to access offline.


WordPress is constantly adding new features and functionalities. Of course, it’s important to keep up with the latest changes. However, to really enhance your offerings and better serve your clients, it helps to familiarize yourself with the most anticipated trends.

In this article, we taken a look at five WordPress development trends you can expect to see grow in popularity in 2020:

  1. Chatbot integration
  2. Voice search optimization
  3. Blockchain technology
  4. Augmented and virtual reality technology
  5. Progressive web apps

If you have questions about any of these WordPress development trends let me know in the comments section below and nif you enjoyed this post, why not check out this related article on other Wordpress Build Trends!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: Development, eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

How To Automatically Optimize WordPress Images

Many people use a lot of images on their website, so it’s important that they optimize their images for both performance and SEO. SEO Image Optimizer is a brand new plugin that helps you optimize the images that you use on your WooCommerce store, AliDropship store, or regular WordPress website for best results in search results.

SEO Image Optimizer comes from AliDropship, the developers of a dropshipping plugin that you can use with WooCommerce or as a standalone tool. Because of that connection, SEO Image Optimizer comes with several WooCommerce/AliDropship-specific features that are helpful for eCommerce stores.

So whether you’re running a dropshipping store, a regular eCommerce store, or just a regular WordPress site, check out our hands-on SEO Image Optimizer review to learn how this plugin can help you optimize your WordPress site’s images.

What Does SEO Image Optimizer Do?

SEO Image Optimizer helps you optimize your images in four main ways:

  1. Shrinks the size of your image files using compression.
  2. Automatically adds image alt text.
  3. Automatically adds image titles and rename files.
  4. Lets you add watermarks to your images to prevent image theft.


For compression, SEO Image Optimizer can automatically compress images as soon as you upload them using lossy compress — no manual action required.

SEO Image Optimizer also stores the original file, so that you can always revert back to the uncompressed version if needed.

Automatic Alt Text

If you want to optimize both your site and images for SEO, it’s important to add the image alt text (or alt tag) to each image on your site.

Image alt text provides Google with textual context about your images, which helps Google rank them.

On a side note, it also helps people who use screen readers browse your site, which is another big benefit.

To make sure each image has alt text, SEO Image Optimizer lets you set up your own alt text templates to apply to images on your site.

First, it includes dedicated templates specifically for WooCommerce products. For example, you can automatically assign the product title and variation information.

You can also set up custom templates for other images, like the images in your blog posts.

SEO Image Optimizer alt text

Title/File Renamer

In addition to optimizing image alt text, SEO Image Optimizer can also automatically add an image title and rename your file following the same templates that you use for alt text.

This option is available for WordPress sites and WooCommerce stores, but not for AliDropship stores for the time being.

Title optimization

SEO Image Optimizer can automatically change both the title and filename for your images.

But don’t worry! If you activate the automatic file name changing, SEO Image Optimizer will only change the file name for newly-uploaded images. It will not change the file name for older images because that would result in broken images.

Image Watermarking

Finally, you can also use SEO Image Optimizer to add either text-based or image-based watermarks to your images.

You can choose where to position your watermark and which images to add the watermark to.

SEO Image Optimizer Pricing

SEO Image Optimizer is a premium plugin. It costs $39, but that gets lifetime access, updates, and support, which is quite generous as most plugins make you renew after your first year.

Want to see it in action? Let’s go hands-on and I’ll show you exactly how SEO Image Optimizer works.

Hands-On With SEO Image Optimizer

SEO Image Optimizer is quite easy to use — pretty much all the settings are “set it and forget it”.

That is, you go through one time and configure the behavior and templates. Then, SEO Image Optimizer just works in the background to optimize your images.

Let’s go through how to use the four features that I mentioned above…

Image Compression

On average, images comprise about 50% of the file size of a webpage, so finding ways to shrink the size of your site’s images is important if you want to speed up WordPress and help your search engine rankings.

To access SEO Image Optimizer’s image compression features, you go to SEO Image Optimizer → Minimizer.

Here, you can click the Start Minimizing button to optimize all of your existing images. You can also use the Automatically minimize new images toggle to automatically compress new images when you upload them (or import them, if you’re using AliDropship to import products from AliExpress) Once the process finishes, you can see how much size you saved:

Compression reduction

SEO Image Optimizer doesn’t give you an option to choose between lossy and lossless compression. But based on the reduction percentage, I’m going to guess that it uses lossy compression.

Still, I didn’t see a big difference in image quality (though it is noticeable if you look closely), so it doesn’t seem like an overly-aggressive lossy algorithm.

Here’s the original image:

And here’s the compressed one:

Image Alt Text Templates

To set up your automatic image alt text, you go to SEO Image Optimizer → Alt Optimizer.

Here, you can set up two templates:

  • One for product images (like those from WooCommerce or the standalone AliDropship plugin).
  • One for other images, which would include images that you use in your posts and pages.


Set up alt tags

For product images, you can choose from pre-built templates or customize your own using tags for various product details.

For variable products, you can choose to only add variant image information to the alt text for product variant images:

Product alt tags

For non-product images, you get a similar set of choices, just with different template tags:

Other image alt tags

Once you’ve set up your templates, you can automatically optimize all new images and/or rebuild the alt text for existing images.

Title/File Name Templates

The title and file name optimizer works pretty much exactly the same as the alt text optimizer.

You get the same template options and choices:

Title optimizaer

The important thing to remember here is that SEO Image Optimizer will not change the file name for existing images — it only works on new images. Again, this is to avoid breaking older images by changing their file names after you’ve already embedded them in your content.

Automatic Watermark Tool

Finally, you can set up watermarks by going to SEO Image Optimizer → Watermarker.

First, you can choose between using a:

  • Text watermark
  • Image watermark
Watermark options

You can then configure the watermark content, as well as its:

By default, SEO Image Optimizer only adds watermarks to your product images. But you can also use a toggle button to apply your watermark to non-product images, as well.

Do You Need to Have an eCommerce Store to Use SEO Image Optimizer?

As you can see above, a lot of the features in SEO Image Optimizer are focused on people using WooCommerce and/or AliDropship for eCommerce. For example, the detailed alt text and title/filename templates for products, as well as the watermarking for product images.

However, you do not need to be running an eCommerce store to use the plugin – you can still benefit from all the features on your regular blog images.

Long story short – SEO Image Optimizer is great for eCommerce stores because of its dedicated eCommerce features, but feel free to use it on a blog or other sites, too.

Final Thoughts on SEO Image Optimizer

Whether you’re running a dropshipping store with AliDropship, a regular eCommerce store, or a blog or static website, your images play an essential role in your site.

Optimizing your images will help you speed up your website, rank higher in Google (especially Google Image search), and create a more accessible WordPress site for visitors who are using screen readers.

To put your image optimization on autopilot, SEO Image Optimizer is a stellar option for a few reasons:

  • Being able to automatically rename image filenames and set the alt text/title is a great timesaver.
  • Compressing your images will boost your site’s page load times.
  • Adding a watermark is great if you’re worried about image theft.

To get started, visit the SEO Image Optimizer website to learn more and purchase the plugin, and if you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Woocommerce Vs Shopify for Your Small Business!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

Create a Lifestyle Blog With WordPress or ClassicPress

Although it seems simple enough on the surface, there’s a lot that goes into creating a lifestyle blog. Lifestyle blogs are typically made by self builders and enthusiasts for their hobbies or even career related, although some of the bigger ones are built by professionals like us at Xhostcom. Getting started involves making several important decisions that will affect the success of your site. However, with a little research, you can select the best services and tools for you. When you get off on the right foot, a lifestyle blog can be an excellent source of income. In this post, I’ll provide a quick introduction to lifestyle blogging and what it entails. Then we’ll go through the 5 steps to create yours.

An Introduction to Lifestyle Blogging

The term ‘lifestyle blogging’ is a little vague, likely because it encompasses such a wide variety of content. There are as many ways to participate in this industry as there are to live.

Essentially, lifestyle blogging is an all encompassing term for content about the author’s daily life and interests. Some subjects this might cover include:

  • Fashion and beauty
  • Food, cooking, and baking
  • Crafting and DIY projects
  • Minimalism
  • Family and parenting
  • Culture or location-specific topics (for example, daily life in New York City or Los Angeles)
  • Travel and digital nomadism

This niche is one of the most popular on the web, largely because it gives authors the ability to write about almost anything they want. It’s also fairly easy to monetize (which we’ll discuss more shortly).

In fact, some lifestyle bloggers report that they’re able to make thousands of dollars per month. However, keep in mind that these content creators put many hours into building and maintaining their sites. Success won’t come without some time and patience.

How to Create a Lifestyle Blog With WordPress or ClassicPress

Anyone can start publishing content on the internet, but not everyone creates a profitable lifestyle blog by doing so. Here are five important steps for setting up your site for success.

Step 1: Choose a Hosting Provider and Domain Name

In order to make your lifestyle blog available to visitors, you’ll need to store it on a server and create an address for it. Hosting providers enable you to do the former, and registering a domain name will take care of the latter.

Since you’ll be using WordPress to create your website, I recommend looking into Managed WordPress hosting plans. This will help you take care of several maintenance tasks related to the platform.

Popular inexpensive WordPress hosts include Bluehost and SiteGround:

As for a domain name, you may be able to get one through your hosting provider. The other option is to use a dedicated registrar such as NameSilo:

Hosting and domain registration are both ongoing expenses for your site. You’ll want to budget at least $4 per month to host your site. You can expect a .com domain to run for around $9 per year, however if you use the coupon code “xhostcom” at the above link you will get $1 discount!

Step 2: Install WordPress on Your Server

Once your blog has a place to live and an address, it’s time to move in. This means installing WordPress on your new server.

If you choose a Managed WordPress hosting plan, you probably don’t have to worry about this step. The platform is likely either already installed for you, or can be with the click of a button.

In the event you selected a different type of hosting, you may need to install WordPress manually. The first step is to download Wordpress or ClassicPress

Downloading WordPress.

This will provide you with the files that make up WordPress. Next, head over to your hosting account and access phpMyAdmin. This platform will enable you to set up your WordPress/ClassicPress site’s database. (If you don’t know how to do this, your hosting provider’s support team will guide you.)

In phpMyAdmin, add a new database by typing a name for it into the relevant field and clicking on the Create button:


Creating a new database in phpMyAdmin.

Then, navigate to the Users tab and create the username and password for your WordPress account.

After that, return to the files you downloaded earlier. Find the one named wp-config.php and open it. Look for the code that reads:

/** The name of the database for WordPress */
 define( 'DB_NAME', 'database_name_here' );
 /** MySQL database username */
 define( 'DB_USER', 'username_here' );
 /** MySQL database password */<br /
 define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here' );
 /** MySQL hostname */<br /><br /
 define( 'DB_HOST', 'localhost' );

Replace the database name, username, password, and hostname with the relevant information from phpMyAdmin. Then save and close the file.

Finally, you’ll need to upload your WordPress files to your server. You can do this using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and an FTP client such as FileZilla. You’ll find the details you need to log in on your hosting account profile.

Once your files are uploaded, type your domain into your browser. You should see the WordPress installation script:

The WordPress Installation script.

Follow the instructions to finish the process.

Step 3: Select a Blogging Theme

Once you complete Steps 1 and 2, your WordPress site is up and running. Now you need to transform it into your lifestyle blog, starting with picking a theme.

WordPress themes are primarily responsible for your website’s appearance. However, many of them also include unique features, which is why it’s wise to choose one that caters to the type of site you’re creating.

You can find free blogging themes in the WordPress Theme Directory:

The WordPress Theme Directory.

There are also several online WordPress marketplaces where you can shop for premium themes such as CSSIgniter and Envato

The CSSIgniter theme marketplace.

Although more expensive, these products may be worth the investment as they often provide additional features and customization options.

Step 4: Activate Key Blogging Plugins

In addition to themes, WordPress uses plugins to add advanced functionality to your website. When it comes to lifestyle blogging, there are a few key features for blogging that you’ll want to make sure to incorporate.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your site so that it ranks higher in search engines such as Google. This is key for driving traffic to your blog and building your readership.

WordPress has several plugins that provide suggestions for improving your SEO. Yoast SEO is a popular choice:

The Yoast SEO plugin.

When writing your posts, you’ll likely need to include some images. This can clarify your content and make it more interesting. Optimizing your media files to prevent them from slowing down your loading times is wise.

You might use a plugin such as Optimole to accomplish this:

The Optimole image optimization plugin.

A content schedule will help you stay on track when it comes to publishing new posts. WP Scheduled Posts can help by incorporating a calendar in your WordPress dashboard:

The WP Scheduled Posts plugin.

Finally, in addition to writing your own posts, you may want to supplement your content with curated articles. WP RSS Aggregator enables you to share your favorite sources easily:

The WP RSS Aggregator plguin.

Like themes, there are both free and premium WordPress plugins. All of the ones mentioned above have free versions available at no cost in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Step 5: Publish and Monetize Relevant Content

Content is the bread and butter of any blog, regardless of niche. Before you start writing, however, it’s important to note that there are two ways to publish in WordPress – posts and pages:

The Posts and Pages sections in the WordPress back end.

Pages are for static content that doesn’t change often. This may include your homepage, about section, legal disclaimers and disclosures, and more.

Posts are how you’ll publish the majority of your site’s content. These are timely articles on subjects relevant to your audience’s interests.

You’ll need both posts and pages for your lifestyle blog to succeed. Once you start building up your content backlog, you can monetize your site to generate revenue from it.

There are several methods for doing this you might consider. Three popular ones are:

  • Ads. Traditional advertisements from brands that you place in your sidebar, header, and/or footer. You can choose between Pay-Per-Impression (PPI) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads.
  • Affiliate marketing. This involves promoting brands you like and use, and is a very popular way for lifestyle bloggers to monetize their content. The companies you partner with will give you special tracking links to post on your site, and you’ll receive a commission from any sales that result from your readers clicking on them.
  • Sponsorships. Similar to affiliate marketing, sponsored posts involve partnering with brands to recommend their products to your readers. However, this is a one-time deal, unlike affiliate promotions which are ongoing.

You can monetize your blog using one or a combination of these techniques. Curated content can also be monetized in similar ways to take it a step further.


Starting a new lifestyle blog with WordPress takes a lot of work. However, with the right information, you can make the best decisions for your site to get it up and running smoothly.

In this post, we covered five steps for creating and launching your new lifestyle blog:

  1. Choose a hosting provider and domain name.
  2. Install WordPress or ClassicPress on your server.
  3. Select a blogging theme.
  4. Activate key blogging plugins.
  5. Publish and monetize relevant content.

Do you have any questions about how to set up your lifestyle blog with WordPress? Leave them in the comments section below. Get in touch if you have a large project which you want to be professionally built, and if you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on the 23 Top Fashion Blog WordPress Themes!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

Fixing The ‘Missing A Temporary Folder’ WordPress Error

The ‘Missing A Temporary Folder’ error is one of the most frustrating WordPress issues that can disrupt your entire website development and user experience. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix for this error, which will prevent you from uploading any file in WordPress, and means you won’t be able to upload any images or install any plugins and themes. However, as frustrating as it seems, the error can be fixed by editing a few files in your server. You can do it by following along below.

What Is Missing A Temporary Folder Error?

Explaining the ‘Missing A Temporary Folder’ error is a bit complicated as it involves a lot of server-side folder permissions systems and PHP settings and functions.

Simply put, the error is shown to you when the “temp” folder gets accidentally deleted from your server, by you or by a server malfunction. It also occurs as a result of folder permissions set by your hosting server.

WordPress uses a temporary folder in your website’s server to store the files you upload temporarily before placing them in the appropriate folders. For example, when you upload a plugin, it will first get stored in the temp folder before WordPress create a new folder for the plugin files in WP-Content folder and store them permanently.

When this “temp” folder goes missing, WordPress struggles to go through its default uploading process and shows you the ‘Missing A Temporary Folder’ error.

How To Fix The Missing Temporary Folder Error

To fix this error, you need to login to your website server and edit a core WordPress file. We recommend that you back up your website before making any changes to the files in the server.

Step 1: Login To Your Server

There are two ways to login to your server. You can either use an FTP client app like Filezilla or use the CPanel for the web hosting service. For this demonstration, we’re using CPanel. The process for fixing the error is the same when using an FTP client as well.

To login to your server via CPanel, type /cpanel at the end of your website’s URL (eg:

Enter the username and password for the CPanel. This is provided to you by your hosting provider. You’ll find it in the welcome email you’ve received when you signed up with the hosting platform.

Step 2: Locate wp-config.php File

Once you’ve logged into the CPanel, find and open the File Manager app.


Then Navigate to the public.html folder. Here you’ll find the wp-config.php file. This is a core WordPress file that handles all the configurations for WordPress system.


Right-click on the wp-config.php file and choose Edit.


Now copy and paste the following code right before the line that says “That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging

define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’,dirname(_FILE_). ‘/wp-content/temp/’);

Click Save to save the changes.

This will define the temp folder location for WordPress to help the system find it easily.

Step 3: Create The ‘temp’ Folder

Go back to the public.html folder and this time open the WP-Content folder.


Create a new folder inside WP-Content and name it “temp”.

This should fix the ‘Missing A Temporary Folder’ error. Go back to your website and try uploading a file to see if it’s fixed.


If the issue persists, get in touch with your web hosting provider and contact their technical support team and ask them to fix the problem.

In most cases, this error comes as a result of terrible web hosting configurations and management. If you want to avoid such issues in the future, consider moving your website to a managed WordPress hosting platform. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Page Redirects in WordPress or ClassicPress!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

Page Redirects in WordPress or ClassicPress

Page redirects in WordPress or ClassicPress are not the most straightforward topic if you are dealing with it for the first time. Many people have heard of page redirects before but aren’t always sure when you need to use them or how to implement them. These are sometimes needed when maintaining a Wordpress or Woocommerce site.

In the following blog post, you will learn everything you need to know about page redirects (in WordPress and otherwise).

This includes what they are and why they matter when to use what type of redirect, where to apply them, and different ways of correctly implementing page redirects on your WordPress site, so to start lets take a look at what they are.

What Are Page Redirects and Why Do You Need Them?

Page redirects are basically like a send-on notice for the post office. When you move, you can get one of those and any mail that was sent to your old house will automatically be delivered to your new mailing address.

Redirects are the same thing but for web pages only that, instead of letters and parcels, it sends visitors and search spiders to another web address.

Implementing page redirects can be necessary for many reasons:

  1. A mistake in your title and URL that you want to correct
  2. Attempting to add/target a different keyword with your page
  3. The entire permalink structure of your site has changed
  4. Some external link is pointing to the wrong address and you want visitors to find the right page
  5. You want to change parts of your URL, like remove www or switch to HTTPS (or both)
  6. You have moved to an entirely new domain (or merged another site with yours) and want the traffic and SEO value of the old URL to land on the new one

Why Do They Matter?

From the above list, it’s probably already obvious why page redirects are a good idea. Of course, if your entire site moves, you don’t want to start from scratch but instead, benefit from the traffic and links you have already built. However, even if you only change one page, implementing a redirect makes sense.

That’s because having non-existent pages on your site is both bad for visitors and search engine optimization. When someone tries to visit them, they will see a 404 error page. This is not a pleasant experience and usually very annoying (as entertaining as 404 pages can be).

Because of that, search engines are also not a big fan of this kind of error and might punish you for it. Also, you want them to understand your site structure and index it correctly, don’t you? Therefore, it’s a good idea to leave a “this page no longer exists, please have a look over here ” message whenever necessary.

Different Redirect Codes and What They Mean

When talking about redirects, you need to know that there are several different types. These are categorized by the HTTP codes that they have been assigned to, similar to the aforementioned 404 error code for a missing page. However, for redirects, they are all in the 300 category:

  • 301 — This is the most common kind. It means that a page has moved permanently and the new version can from now on be found at another location. This page redirect passes on 90-99 percent of SEO value.
  • 302 — This means a page has moved temporarily. The original URL is currently not available but will come back and you can use the new domain in the meantime. It passes no link value.
  • 303 — Only used for form submissions to stop users from re-submitting when someone uses the browser back button. This is probably not relevant to you unless you are a developer.
  • 307 — The same as a 302 but for HTML 1.1. It means something has been temporarily moved.
  • 308 — The permanent version of the 307.

When to Use What?

Of course, the biggest question is, when to use which type of page redirect?

While there are several options, you usually only need two of them: 301 and 302. Out of those, probably more than 90 percent of the time, you will use a 301. That’s because for the rest (except 303), it’s not always clear how search engines handle them, so you basically stick to those two options.

As for when to use which, much of it you can already understand from what the code tells the browser or search spider, however, here’s a detailed description:

  • 301 — Use this when you are planning on deleting a page and want to point visitors to another relevant URL or when you want to change a page’s permalink (including the domain).
  • 302 — Use this, for example, when making changes to a page that visitors are not supposed to see or when you redirect them to a temporary sales page that will soon turn back to the original. That way, search engines won’t de-index the existing page.

Redirects and Page Speed

While page redirects are great tools for webmasters and marketers, the downside of them is that they can have an effect on page speed.

As you can imagine, they represent an extra step in the page loading process. While that’s not much, in a world where visitors expect page load times mere seconds, it matters.

In addition, page redirects use up crawl budget from search engines, so you can potentially keep them from discovering your whole site by having too many of them. Therefore, here are some important rules for their usage:

  • Avoid redirect chains — This means several hops from an old to a new page. This is especially important when you redirect http to https and www to non-www. These should all resolve to the same domain directly (, not ping pong from one to the next.
  • Don’t redirect links that are in your control — This means, if there is a faulty link inside a menu, inline, or similar, change them manually. Don’t be lazy.
  • Try to correct external links — If the fault is with an incoming link, consider reaching out to the originator and ask them to correct it on their end.

In essence, keep page redirects to a minimum. To see if you have multiple redirects in place, you can use the Redirect Mapper.

How to Find Pages to Redirect and Prepare the Right URLs

So, besides when you do a site or page move, how do you find pages to redirect?

A good place to start is the 404 errors/crawl errors in Google Search Console. You find them under Coverage.

Note that Search Console now only shows 404 errors that threaten your pages from being indexed and not all of them. Therefore, to track down non-existent pages, you can also use a crawler like Screaming Frog. Some of the WordPress plugins below also help you with that, additionally you can take a look at SEMRush, and SEO management tool which is very popular, and used by many experts and beginners alike, you can get a free trial via the link above.

Then, to prepare your page redirects:

  • Get the correct to and from URL — This means to stay consistent in the format. For example, if you are using a trailing slash, do it for both URLs. Also, always redirect to the same website version, meaning your preferred domain including www/non-www, http/https, etc.
  • Get the slug, not the URL — This means /your-page-slug instead of This way, you make your redirects immune to any changes to the top-level domain such as switching from www to non-ww or from http to https.
  • Redirect to relevant pages — Meaning similar in topic and intent. Don’t just use the homepage or something else, try to anticipate search intent and how you can further serve it.

How to Correctly Implement Page Redirects in WordPress

You have different methods of implementing page redirects in WordPress. Basically, you can either use a plugin or do it (somewhat) manually via .htaccess. Both come with pros and cons:

  • Plugin — Easy to use, nontechnical, however, potentially slower because many of them use wp_redirect, which can cause performance issues.
  • .htaccess — This is a server file and very powerful. For example, you can include directives for using gzip compression in it. Using this is faster because page redirects are set up at the server level, not somewhere above it. However, making a mistake can mess up and/or disable your entire site.

Let’s go over both options:

1. Using a Plugin

You have different plugin options for redirects in WordPress. Among them are:

  • Redirection — This is the most popular solution in the WordPress directory. It can redirect via Core, htaccess, and Nginx server redirects.
  • Simple 301 Redirects — Easy to use, few options, does just what you need and nothing more.
  • Safe Redirect Manager — With this plugin, you can choose which redirect code you want to use (remember what we talked about earlier!). It also only redirects to white-listed hosts for additional security.
  • Easy Redirect Manager — Suitable for 301 and 302 redirects. The plugin is well designed and comes with many options.

All of the plugins work in a very similar way. They provide you with an interface where you can enter a URL to redirect and where it should lead instead.

add page redirect via wordpress plugin

Some of them, like the Redirection plugin, also have additional functionality. For example, this plugin also tracks whenever a visitor lands on a page that doesn’t exist so you can set up appropriate page redirects.

2. Using .htaccess

.htaccess usually resides on your server inside your WordPress installation. You can access it by dialing up via FTP.

filezilla ftp client for wordpress

Be aware though that it is hidden by default, so you might have to switch on the option to show hidden files in your FTP client of choice.

filezilla force show hidden files

The first thing you want to do is download and save it in a safe place so you have a copy of your old file in case something goes wrong. After that, you can edit the existing file (or another local copy) with any text or code editor.

A simple redirect from one page on your site to another can be set up like this:

RewriteEngine On
Redirect 301 /old-blog-url/ /new-blog-url/

If the brackets already exist (as they should when you are using WordPress), all you need is this:

Redirect 301 /old-blog-url/ /new-blog-url/

Just be sure to include it right before the closing bracket. You can also use wildcards in redirects. For example, the code below is used to redirect all visitors from the www to the non-www version of a website.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

To explore more options and if you don’t want to write them out manually, there is this useful tool that creates redirect directives for you.

When you are done, save/re-upload and you should be good to go. Be sure to test thoroughly!


Page Redirects in WordPress can be very useful & page redirects have a very important function. They keep visitors and search engines from landing on non-existent pages and are, therefore, a matter of both usability and SEO.

Above, you have learned all you need to know about their usage and how to implement them. You are now officially ready to start sending visitors and search spiders wherever you want.

Note that these aren’t the only ways to implement page redirects. However, they are the most common and recommended. If you want to know less common ways, check this article on CSS Tricks.

What do you use to implement page redirects in WordPress? Any more tools or tips? Share them in the comments section below & if you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on WordPress Building Trends For 2020!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: Development, eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: , ,

Woocommerce Vs Shopify for Your Small Business

Woocommerce & Shopify are both great options for building and hosting your eCommerce website. But if we compare them side by side is there a clear winner? With a large percentage of retail and other types of sales, up to 75%, predicted to be online in the next couple years, its a question which will interest many budding store owners, especially as these two platforms are now seen as the de facto options for eCommerce owners.

It will ultimately come down to what you’re looking for in an eCommerce platform and what the needs of your business are. It also depends on how much you want to fool with back-end machinations from simple HTML tweaks to full-on coding. However, they each have particular things that they do really well. Because of this, you should be able to make an easy decision on which one is going to be the right fit for you.

Is Shopify the One?

Shopify is an incredible eCommerce platform for businesses that need a seamless integration into their web presence from start to finish. It does a lot of things really well and doesn’t ask a lot from the user in return. Except, perhaps, a bit more money, but more on that later.

Handling your product collections is a breeze with Shopify. And it can create automated ones once you feed it with the filters you want. You can practically curate an entire e-commerce website with adequate product categories using only attributable rules for your products.

Getting Help

Shopify offers more than 2,000 apps to help you customize your website. While that can’t compare with the number of WordPress apps that the open source platform has created, it is likely more than enough for most users. And if you can’t accomplish what you need with the apps already on offer, there is always the option to pay for help. Shopify excels when it comes to customer service (which is free with a subscription). They can point you toward the right group to help you with creating customized functionality for a fee.

Products Selling

The Shopify platform was built to help you sell your products online right out of the box. While that may make it sound like the best choice straight away, just keep in mind that it has its limitations and drawbacks. Shopify will likely be at least a little more expensive than WordPress. And it has comparatively less functionality assuming you’re someone who is experienced and willing to do some of your own coding.

But it is one of the best, dedicated e-Commerce platforms out there all the same. It is user-friendly. It is exceptional if you’re business makes use of drop-shipping.


Search engine optimization is a strength for Shopify even though it may be edged out by WordPress because of its exclusive and excellent SEO app, Yoast (more on this later).


It is easy to use. Product pages have dedicated boxes for alt tags and meta descriptions. Allowing Google Search Console to crawl the site is a breeze because your sitemap files are already created for you. If you decide to change the name of a page, your 301 redirects are automatically done for you. And while Yoast is exclusive to WordPress, Shopify does have some pretty nice apps that can get the job done.

Overall, it does a more than passable job. But assuming you’re using the Yoast companion app, WordPress is slightly better. The biggest issue is that it URLs are not quite as clean as they could be with unnecessary prefixes added onto pages’ addresses.

This is a sitewide issue that becomes exacerbated when you consider its effect on blogging. Each and every post is going to have an extra “/posts/” prefix added into the URL which is less than desirable from an SEO perspective.


That does not mean you cannot create a great blog on your Shopify site, though. And you certainly should. Blogging is a fantastic way to generate excellent, rich content on subjects pertaining to your website in order to drive traffic. It’s called inbound marketing and it works like this. You come up with subjects which are going to be thick with target keywords. Then, write amazing blog posts/articles that are going to be highly useful to your customer base and followers while at the same time adored by the major search engines. Voila. Increased traffic that will naturally turn into more website conversions.

Software Updates

Those converting customers will always be confident that they’re shopping on a secure site, as well. Shopify does everything for you in terms of software updates and all that behind-the-scenes maintenance that you probably don’t have time for even if you do have the expertise to handle. With WordPress, it is up to you to keep your plugins, themes, and software up-to-date. If a server goes offline, you’ll be chatting with a representative trying to figure out what went wrong. That’s not to say that this is a prevalent issue on the platform. However, Shopify already does all of this for you. And, whenever you do need a professional to help, most plans cover your phone conversation with an expert who will be prompt and professional with assisting you.

In that same vein, all Shopify sites come with SSL certificates which means to get the “s” in “https” for your URL, signifying a secure site. You can add this with WordPress, but you’ll have to come up with your own SSL certificate.

Shopify is The One if you:

  • Require no coding or HTML work
  • Have a bit more to spend on your website
  • Need eCommerce functionality built-in to your platform
  • Drop-ship goods
  • Are planning to mostly pay for SEO as opposed to going organic

Is Woocommerce the One?

Out of the box, WordPress cannot do eCommerce. You will have to make use of one of many plugins like WooCommerce in order to convert it into a market-friendly site and this is something that Xhostcom specialize in along with other technologies. Woocommerce can easily handle large sites with a lot of products and is a good alternative to the more expensive Magento, which is also far more resource heavy, re server requirements etc, and is easier to use for admins than Magento.

Content Versioning

Content is one thing that Woocommerce excels at. There are several reasons for this. One is that the platform offers content versioning, which is to say that each and every time you update a page or post, you are creating a different “version” of it which is stored and able to be accessed or reversed to at any time. This is something Shopify cannot currently do, so in Woocommered you can go back to any version of a page you created earlier.

Inbound Marketing

It’s also why Woocommerce beats out Shopify for inbound marketing. Considering that the platform has been a natural partner of the blogger since its inception, it comes as no surprise that features such as archiving, using tags as well as categories within a post, and clean URLs remain a cornerstone of its commitment to professional blogging.


For search engine optimization purposes, Woocommerce wins hands-down solely because it has the Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast gives you a clear, color-coded and bullet-pointed list of SEO-related observations that are easy to act on. Red for an imminent change needed, yellow for something more borderline and green for stuff you’ve already done well. It acts in real time and it’s actually quite satisfying once you get everything checked off and achieve a full green score on your page.

SEO-Friendly Sitemap

Yoast will go even more in depth than this, though. It even allows you to create SEO-friendly sitemaps – files that make it easier for Google to understand your website’s architectural structure. It also gives you the ability to choose canonical URLs which really makes Google’s heart throb. This means that you get to set which of two identical pages (which might happen if you have pages in different sections of your site out of necessity but they are the same content-wise) is the one that Google should recognize as the original and most important so that it isn’t duplicating your valuable content.

Clean URLs

Another win for Woocommerce is clean URLs. Web addresses should be as human-friendly as possible. That’s the best way for us to read them and it’s how the search engines like it, too. If your web page is finished off with a bunch of alphanumeric text, that just looks junky. That isn’t to say that Shopify does a poor job with this. It is just a bit easier to accomplish on Woocommerce.

Mobile Apps

Both platforms, however, have exceptional mobile apps that excel in different areas. Woocommerce focuses on content, allowing you to update pages and posts right there from your phone. Shopify is all about the eCommerce side of things. With their app, you’ll be able to perform product updates and keep in touch with your customers. It all makes sense, really. Woocommerce is the writing site while Shopify is the shopping site. It stands to reason that they would transition these major focuses on the mobile side of things.

That isn’t to say that eCommerce sales can’t be accomplished on Woocommerce. It really just depends on using the right plugins, and there are a huge variety. Also, you can code your own plugin or a developer like Xhostcom can do this for you.

Useful Plugins


This plugin is one of the best plugins to avoid unwanted comments. Some plugins like Akismet come by default on Google. But the anti-spam plugin is essential for your blog since it works differently; this plugin does not send files to the unwanted folder what the rest does. Anti-spam directly prohibits robots to enter and even leave comments in this folder.

Shopify Vs WordPress

It is also very easy in use. With this free plugin, you will be more than protected.

Setup time: 1 minute

Yoast SEO 

Yoast is among the best WordPress plugins. Without a doubt, it is an essential plugin for SEO. There is not any person who omit this plugin to be installed or another similar SEO plugin. Yoast SEO is a perfect WordPress plugin that can familiarize you with SEO techniques when you get started.

Shopify Vs WordPress

Although it consumes some resources, the benefits it gives are fantastic. Besides, this plugin makes things much easier if it is configured correctly.

Mainly this plugin realizes a real-time SEO study of each entry you make. Its function is to correct everything that is missing from the post to be correctly optimized: keywords, title, meta description, paragraph length, etc.

This is only one of the main functions, but it has many more.

Setup time: 15 minute

Woocommerce Plugin

This a required plugin for an eCommerce store using Wordpress (or ClassicPress) If you want to sell products, assign colors, sizes, prices and turn your website into a virtual store, this is the best plugin to use, along with associated eCommerce orientated plugins to get the best out of your site.

Shopify Vs WordPress

You can simply drag and drop to adapt the store with the possibility of choosing a wide variety of additional widgets and customizing it with customer opinions, images, shopping cart, etc.

Setup time: 60 minutes

WP Smush

It is used to reduce the weight of the images. WP Smush is a WordPress plugin that performs a general size reduction of all the images on your website automatically and without losing quality.

Shopify Vs WordPress

If you have previously done your particular compression, it will make the images very light for your blog and increase the loading speed as well.

Setup time: 1 minute


Elementor cannot be missed out of this list of essential plugins. If you have bought a WordPress template and your idea is to start building your website only with your options – just forget because you need a layout plugin.

Shopify Vs WordPress

Elementor Page Builder is a plugin with the help of which you will be able to create the pages of your website in an easy and fast way with spectacular professional results. With a drag and drop system (Drag & Drop) you can do absolutely everything that crosses your mind: forms, buttons, backgrounds, sliders, galleries, effects, gradients. 

Have you seen a web design that you loved and would like to replicate? With this layout plugin, you will get it.

It has a free version with which you can get results that you will hardly achieve with the template unless you use CSS code. 

Woocommerce is The One if you:

  • Are fine with a bit of coding and can be more independent on the troubleshooting side of things
  • Want a professional site that can be customized for your own brand.
  • Are going to be focusing a lot of your efforts on SEO
  • Need more customization and flexibility
  • Are building a site focused on content-building over e-commerce (selling on the side)
  • Want more control over what goes in to the back end of the site.

Keep in mind that none of these final traits preclude either site from being good for e-commerce business or content marketing. Each is fully capable of doing both admirably.

However, the strengths and weaknesses of each platform detailed in this article will hopefully give you an advantage when choosing which is going to combine best with your own goals and specialities. If you enjoyed this post, which has just been a short introduction to the platforms, and decide you like Woocommerce, why not check out this article on WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing and Discounts!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: Development, eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

Adding Google Analytics Tracking to WordPress WooCommerce Site

Analytics data is a crucial factor for any online business which uses a website, which of course is pretty much all nowadays. It will help you understand how users are perceiving your website and identify if there are any hindrances to a smooth user experience. You can use Google Analytics to know who visits your site, when they visit and also, how they are interacting with it. You can find more specific data from an eCommerce store that will offer actionable insights to enhance conversions as well. If you have a WordPress WooCommerce site, you can integrate Google analytics tracking to monitor your site performance. Here I take a look at how you can add Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress WooCommerce site.

How to Add Google Analytics Tracking to your site

In order to integrate Google Analytics to your WordPress WooCommerce site, you will have to first sign up for a Google Analytics account.

If you have a Gmail account then you can just navigate to the Google Analytics site to sign up with that. (Tip: always get a Gmail account for the site!)

Once you have set up the Google Analytics account, you will be able to find the tracking code from the dashboard.

Adding the tracking code manually

Go to Admin and click Tracking info under your property settings.

Google Analytics Tracking
On your Analytics dash board admin settings, you will find an option for tracking info.

When you click Tracking info, you will see a few more options. Click tracking code.

Google Analytics Tracking
Click the Tracking code option.

Now you will see the tracking code under Global Site Tag. Copy the entire code.

Google Analytics Tracking
Under the Website Tracking section, you will find the Google Analytics tracking code, which you need to copy.

Now, you need to go to your WordPress admin. Navigate to Appearance > Theme Editor. On the right-hand side, you will find a section for Theme Files. Scroll down and open the Theme Header file.

Google Analytics Tracking
Under Theme Files, you need to open the Theme Header file.

Now, paste the tracking code you have copied from the Google Analytics dashboard before the tag.

Google Analytics Tracking
You can simply paste the tracking code into the header file.

When you are manually entering the tracking code to your theme file, it is better to create a child theme and add the file to it. This will help you switch themes easily without worrying about overwriting the code.

Add Google Analytics tracking code with plugins

You can also add the tracking code with the help of some of the popular plugins. Here we will discuss some of the top plugins that will help you add Google Analytics tracking code.

WooCommerce Google Analytics Pro

This is a great option if you want to get detailed insights on your WooCommerce store’s performance. You will be able to get advanced event tracking for your store, and get insights on conversion rate average order value, sales by product or category, etc. In addition, you will be able to add advanced tracking events like adding coupons or changes in cart quantity. You can even track the choices customers make on the checkout page, such as payment options using this plugin. Also, the plugin lets you exclude store admins and shop managers from analytics tracking.

Google Analytics tracking
For extensive eCommerce analytics, this plugin is the best option you can get.

You can integrate Google Analytics with your website using this plugin in two ways. One by authenticating the plugin to access your settings. Or, by manually pasting the tracking code in the specific field.

You can authenticate the plugin by following the below steps.

  1. Click the Authenticate button.
  2. Grant permissions to access your Google Analytics account.
  3. Choose the property you want to track.

Alternatively, you can also paste the tracking id to the ‘Google Analytics tracking id’ field.

Google Analytics Tracking
You can add the tracking id directly inside the plugin settings.

The single site subscription of this plugin will cost you $79.

Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress by MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is one of the most popular plugins that will help you integrate Google Analytics with your WordPress site. It is extremely easy to connect your site with Google Analytics using this plugin.

Google Analytics Tracking
MonsterInsights is one of the most preferred options to integrate Google Analytics to your website.

Instead of worrying about adding the tracking code in your theme file, you can manage the connection in the following steps:

  1. Choose the category of your website.
  2. Login to your Google account through MonsterInsights.
  3. Allow MonsterInsights to access your Google account.
  4. Specify the website profile that you want to track.

The main advantage of using this plugin is that you will be able to access the Google Analytics reports right from your WordPress dashboard. It also provides several customized reports that will help you track your website more efficiently. There will be reports on Audience, Behavior, Content, eCommerce, Forms, Search console and custom dimensions. In addition, it makes GDPR compliance easier for business owners. The premium version of MonsterInsights plugin comes with more advanced features such as eCommerce tracking, affiliate link tracking and more.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics

This plugin will help you view analytics reports on your WordPress dashboard. This plugin will help you gain insights on the performance of your pages and posts along with the general analytics inputs. You will be able to get insights on events like downloads, emails, affiliate links, etc. In addition, you can track custom events like authors, categories, tags, user engagement, etc., as well. Moreover, the plugin is compatible with multi-site installs as well.

Google Analytics tracking
This is another popular plugin that offers an automatic option to add Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress website.

Instead of manually adding the Google Analytics tracking code, you can authorize this plugin to access your account. You can also specify the property you want to track and the plugin ensures that the tracking code is inserted automatically.

Insert Headers and Footers

If you don’t like the idea of editing your theme files to insert Google Analytics tracking code, you can consider using this plugin. It will help you insert analytics tracking code as well as other custom codes to your WordPress site easily. The plugin will help even beginners of WordPress to add custom code to a specific field in the plugin settings. You can insert HTML, CSS or JavaScript using this plugin. This will be a great help to ensure smooth customization of your WordPress site.

Google Analytics tracking
Insert Headers and Footers plugin is a great option to insert Google analytics tracking code and other custom code without modifying theme files.

Basically, the plugin offers two fields to paste code snippets. Those codes that goes in the Header can be pasted in one field and those in the Footer in another. The Google Analytics tracking code needs to be in the Header. So, you can install the plugin and paste the tracking code in the field instead of manually adding it to the theme file.

Google Tag Manager for WordPress

This is another free plugin that will help you integrate Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress site. You can also add other custom code snippets to your WordPress site using this tool. The main advantage of using this plugin is that it saves you from the manual effort of adding the Google Analytics tracking code.

Google Analytics tracking
You can try out this plugin too to insert Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress website.

Enhance your store’s performance with Google Analytics tracking

For a WooCommerce store owner, Google Analytics tracking is one of the primary sources to get insights on varied metrics. Here is a quick glance at some of these aspects for a better understanding of eCommerce analytics.

Customer behavior

Through analytics reports, you will be able to deduce customer behavior on your site. Popularity of products can be understood through sales data as well as visits to specific pages. Also the number of users accessing the checkout page will give you an idea on purchase intent. You can even understand if there are any hindrances in the checkout flow that is preventing purchases.

Advanced eCommerce tracking

There are also several key metrics that needs to be monitored for continuous improvement of you eCommerce store. These include average order value, conversion rate, cart abandonment data, etc. You will be able to clearly evaluate if you store is achieving its business goals by continuously analyzing reports on these parameters.

Monitor product performance

You can get clear ideas about each of your product’s performance through analytics reports. For example, you can easily identify the most popular products in terms of traffic as well as sales. Also, you will be able to get some insights on the reasons behind the not so good performance of some other products as well.

Enhance marketing strategies

Analytics will also help you in improving marketing strategies. You can monitor the performance of specific marketing campaigns using analytics to improve them next time. Also, you can keep an eye out on the efficiency of your coupon codes, affiliate links, etc.

Hopefully, this article has provided a good understanding on adding Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress site. It is important to do it correctly to ensure that the key performance metrics of your WordPress WooCommerce store are monitored. Leave us a comment if you have a query and if you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on how to Reduce Cart Abandonment in Woocommerce!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: eCommerce, WordpressTagged with: ,

Install MongoDB on Ubuntu Server 18.04

If your company is in the business of using, handling or depending on data, chances are you’re in need of a document-oriented, NoSQL database. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a NoSQL database is a non-relational database that doesn’t use tables filled with rows and columns. Instead, they make use of a storage model that is optimized specifically for the data.

These types of databases offer scalability, flexibility, data distribution, and speed of processing that relational databases can’t match.

One NoSQL database is MongoDB. This database has been adopted by big data and enterprise companies including Adobe, Craigslist, eBay, FIFA, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. MongoDB comes in both an enterprise and community edition. I’ll be demonstrating with the open-source community edition, installing it on Ubuntu Server 18.04.

This edition can be installed from the standard repositories, however, that will likely install an outdated version. Because of that, I’ll show how to deploy a version from the official MongoDB repository. This will install:

  • mongodb-org (this is the meta-package that will install everything below)
  • mongodb-org-server (the mongod daemon)
  • mongodb-org-mongos (the mongos daemon)
  • mongodb-org-shell (the mongo shell)
  • mongodb-org-tools (the MongoDB tools package which includes import, dump, export, files, performance, restore, and stats tools)

Do note that this package only supports 64-bit architecture and LTS (Long Term Support) versions of Ubuntu (so 14.04, 16.04, and 18.04).

Once installed, your Mean Stack development company (or whatever sector your business serves) can begin developing for big data.


When installing a major application/service, it’s always best to first run an update/upgrade on the server. Not only will this ensure you have the most recent software, but it’ll also apply any security patches. Do note, however, should the kernel be updated in this process, you will need to reboot the machine before the updates take effect.

To update and upgrade Ubuntu, log into the server and issue the following two commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Once up the update and upgrade completes, reboot your server (if required). You are now ready to install MongoDB, and you won’t even need to bring in your Java developers to take care of this task.

Adding the Repository

The first thing to be done is the addition of the necessary MongoDB repository. To do this, log into your Ubuntu server. From the command line, add the required MongoDB key with the command:

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -

If you see an error regarding the wget command, install that tool with:

sudo apt-get install wget

Once you’ve added the key, create a new apt source list file with the command:

echo "deb [ arch=amd64 ] bionic/mongodb-org/4.2 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb.list


Now it’s time to install MongoDB. Update apt with the command:

sudo apt-get update

Once apt is updated, install MongoDB with the command:

sudo apt-get install mongodb-org -y

Starting and Enabling the Community Edition

With the database installed, you’ll want to start and enable it to run upon server reboot. Otherwise, you’ll have to manually start it every time the server is restarted.

To start the MongoDB database engine, issue the command:

sudo systemctl start mongod

You’ll then want to enable MongoDB with the command:

sudo systemctl enable mongod

Using MongoDB

In order to start working with Mongo, issue the command:


If you get an error status 62, it means that the version of MongoDB is too new for your server. If that’s the case, you’ll need to uninstall the latest version and install the version from the official Ubuntu repositories. Here are the steps for that process:

  1. Remove the latest version with the command sudo apt-get purge mongodb-org.
  2. Remove any extra dependencies with the command sudo apt-get autoremove.
  3. Install the older version of MongoDB with the command sudo apt-get install mongodb -y.

At this point, you should then have access to the MongoDB command prompt (Figure 1) by issuing the mongo command.

Figure 1

The MongoDB command prompt.

Let’s say you want to create a new database. Unlike relational databases, you don’t use the CREATE command. Instead, you simply issue the use command like so:


Where DATABASE is the name of the database to be created.

This doesn’t actually create the database. In order to finalize that, you must insert data into the new database. Say you create a database named albums. You can then insert data into that database with the command:

db.artists.insert({artistname: "Devin Townsend" })

The above command would insert the string “Devin Townsend” associated with artistname in the database albums. You should see WriteResult({ “nInserted” : 1 }) as a result (Figure 2).

Figure 2

Successfully insertion of data into the new db.

And that’s all there is to installing MongoDB on Ubuntu 18.04 and creating your first database. For more information on using MongoDB, make sure to read the official documentation for the release you’ve installed. So, a little sidetrack from Wordpress in this post, but thought it worth a mention, Mongo DB being used in many Node and other dev environments, and I use Lubuntu. which of course is not dissimilar. Also, if you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on 8 Reasons for Slow Speeds in New York City!

Post by Xhostcom Wordpress & Digital Services, subscribe to newsletter for more!

Filed under: DevelopmentTagged with: ,