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WordPress Plugins

Choosing a WordPress backup plugin that is right for you

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Do you backup your blogs?  If not, you should! All the efforts you put into writing, advertising, marketing and administrating your blog can go to waste if appropriate reservation measures are not taken in time. Even though many hosting companies make backups of your account, it is still a must to have your own ones. As you never know when a disastrous failure can take place, having several restoration points is reasonable.

There are numerous backup plugins for WordPress to help you tackle issues of this sort. Instead of going through the trial and error method to choose the right one for you, let’s make the choice easier! Here is a little review of the three most popular backup plugins: DBC Backup, WP-DBManager, WP-DB-Backup. It was decided to rate them according to the following requirements:

  • Plugin should be easy to install.
  • Plugin should provide automatic backing up feature.
  • Interface of the plugin should be user-friendly.

WP-DB-Backup

This one is probably the most popular WordPress backup plugin. Installation is relatively easy if your ‘wp-content’ inside WordPress directory is writable. If it is not, you will have to temporary modify the permissions of this directory to make it writable so that the plugin can create a directory to store backups in. The latter is named ‘backup-*’, where “*” is an arbitrary number which solely purpose is protecting the folder from being randomly guessed. This folder is automatically created with permissions 755, owner ‘apache’ and your user as group (e.g.: drwxr-xr-x apache username backup-56025).

WP-DB-Backup menu screen shot

Figure 1. WP-DB-Backup menu.

Additionally, an empty ‘index.php’ file is placed inside the directory to prevent its content from being listed in a browser and a random hash is added to a name of a database dump file when it is created. This makes the operation of the plugin relatively secure. Even though reading permissions for backups are granted to the public, it is almost impossible to steal the backups. Simply speaking intruders don’t know neither the name of the files nor the location they are stored in.

Options available in the WP-DB-Backup plugin are shown in figure 1. The interface is friendly and easy to use. The amount of WP-DB-Backup capabilities is relatively small but sufficient for occasional backing ups.

In my opinion, the main disadvantage of this plugin is that it only allows automatic backing up to your e-mail address, rather than the server itself. In case the backups are large, this option becomes useless, as mail size restrictions will prevent file delivery to your mail box. Therefore, this plugin is good only in case you intend to regularly backup the blog manually, or if the size of your database backups is small.

WP-DBManager

This is a sophisticated database management tool providing therefore a large list of handy features. You can perform various database operations using this plugin such as viewing general information, optimization, backing up, running SQL queries, dropping tables and repairing your database. As a matter of fact, this is almost a built-in PhpMyAdmin.

WP-DBManager menu screen shot

Figure 2. WP-DBManager database options menu.

Installation, however, isn’t quite simple. You need to know the location of ‘mysql’ and ‘mysqldump’ on your server (see figure 2). Without paths to these programs the plugin will not work correctly. To obtain this information, you will need to contact your hosting provider. In order to improve security you will need to copy the ‘.htaccess’ file from the plugin folder to the backup location. This file will prevent public from accessing this directory. Besides disabling listing of the backup directory this tweak will also restrict access to it via HTTP.

With help of this plugin you can fully automate the backing up process of your blog’s databases. You can even schedule their optimization. Parameters you can control are shown in figure 2. Interface of the plugin is very well structured for such a large amount of features available, but it will take you some time to explore all of them. This is definitely a good choice in case you need automatic backups in conjunction with enhanced database management features

DBC Backup

This is the best tool if you need to make automatic backups only. The installation is extremely easy and requires no sophisticated actions. Only in some rare cases you will need to change the permissions for your backup folder, but it is likely that the plugin will succeed in creating this folder on its own with appropriate access parameters.

DBC Backup menu screen shot

Figure 3. DBC Backup Menu

DBC Backup uses the same security mechanism as WP-DBManager – .htaccess file located in the backup folder restricts http access to it. But unlike WP-DBManager, DBC Backup creates it automatically and needs no input from the user.

The interface is very simple and friendly. All you need to specify is:

  • the folder you want to backup to;
  • whether you want this done automatically (including the schedule);
  • whether you want to delete the old backup files when new ones are created.

All DBC Backup options fit in just one window (see the figure 3).

Bottom line

All three plugins can come in very handy for your WordPress blog. Still they differ in capabilities according to introduced rating requirements. So far the best plugin is the DBC Backup, because it meets all three requirements; it is very easy to install and use and it allows scheduling automatic backups to the server WordPress is installed on. Moreover all important plugin related system messages are displayed on the same page as the options themselves, which is very convenient for monitoring.

WP-DB-Backup is relatively easy to install and use, but it doesn’t allow automatic backing up to the server your blog is hosted on. Manual backups can be performed to your local PC, server or mail with the help of this plugin. Therefore if you are ok with manual backups or have a blog small enough to send its backup to an email address, then this solution will suit you well.

Even though WP-DBManager plugin is harder to install and configure it provides a lot more functions. This plugin is great for general database management. It has full backup capabilities, including automation, and also allows automatic optimization of your blog databases. This is a great choice if you intend to do a lot of database management and are willing to spend some time configuring this plugin.

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My name is Foxy, and my job is to sniff out the good guest bloggers from the ones who aren't. This post was written by a contributing author to Blogging Tips. If you would like to learn more about becoming a writer (not one-time guest blogging) for BloggingTips.com, please contact us.

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WordPress Plugins

7 Must-Use WordPress Plugins to Engage with Your Audience

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7 Must-Use WordPress Plugins to Engage with Your Audience

7 Must-Use WordPress Plugins to Engage with Your Audience

WordPress is a great platform where you can run your blog. However, a success of a blog is not determined by the tools you use. Ultimately, it’s not important if you’re using the best WordPress plugins or the most responsive themes if you can’t engage people with your content.

Also, writing an informative and useful post is one thing. But to get people excited with your posts and encourage them to participate and discuss your content with others is another thing.

Eventually, you need to get people on board with what you write if you want to consider your blog as a success. By building a sustainable readership over time, you can increase your influence over them and get them to commit to your calls to action – whether it’s to subscribe to your mailing list or buy something from you!

To boost your engagement with your audience, below are the right plugins that you need to use and leverage.

1. PushEngage

pushengage

Email marketing has been an effective way of engaging with your audience. But if you are handed a better alternative, it’s always a smart thing to try and check it out too.

PushEngage is a simple plugin that allows websites to send web push notifications to reach and engage with its visitors on desktop or mobile. It’s where you can easily create customized updates or offers to get them to convert into paying customers or high-value followers.

In 3 easy steps, you can already integrate and start using it on your site. Fortunately, for new site owners with less than 2500 subscribers, PushEngage will always be free.

2. Feedify

Feedify is intended to win you more fans and customers by communicating with them through the use of surveys, feedback forms, personalized messages, and intelligent notifications.

By getting your customers feedbacks, think of how much improvements you can make on your site. This may be the key to increase your website’s traffic leading to the boost in your sales and customer base.

This plugin also provides profound insights that allow you to target based on your visitor’s location, time zone, the device used, and a lot more.

3. Engage Form

engage form

Engage Form stays true to its name. This plugin is a drag and drop form builder that is easy to use even with no coding experience required. With the Engage Form plugin, you simply copy and paste the shortcode into any page of your site, and it will be displayed accordingly. This plugin is also integrated with Askimet, so you don’t need to worry about spam.

Many people seem to forget the importance of having a good user experience for their visitors. A web form’s role is to be the medium where your audience reaches out to you to ask for more information about what’s on your site. This way, you add more opportunities for them to engage with you without hassle.

4. WP Quiz

The WP Quiz plugin helps you build a responsive, dynamic, and highly interactive quizzes that you can ask your visitors. Apparently, people like to know more about themselves so testing them with a particular topic they are interested in is going to inspire and challenge them at the same time.

With this, You don’t only interact with your audience; you also encourage them to share their results on social media. This is another advantage of integrating quizzes on your site because according to Huffington Post, it’s one of the most shared pieces of content online.

To get you started, you can start with a trivia type quiz to spark your readers’ interest. Finally, WP Quiz doesn’t cost you a penny because it’s being offered for free to everyone.

5. Disqus

disqus

Building a base of a loyal audience is tough for all website owners. You want them to interact with your content and vice versa regularly; you also want to keep in touch with them. Installing the plugin called Disqus is a quick upgrade to the default WordPress commenting system.

Disqus has made itself a name in the industry as being one of the top commenting systems that most websites in different formats used for the longest time. Moreover, it’s not a secret that there are a lot of spams and trolls that are lurking on the web. With this plugin, you can easily monitor and ban users according to their reputation to avoid any headaches they may cause.

6. Related Posts for WordPress

Related Posts for WordPress plugins helps readers navigate within your website by showing them content that’s related and recommended by you. If it’s a struggle to keep them after reading one article you created, perhaps you’re missing an opportunity to get them to stay.

Additionally, this plugin helps increase your blog’s internal traffic without having to sacrifice its speed. Related Posts for WordPress also focuses on performance; it has its cache to avoid stressing your server.

7. WordPress Calls to Action

inbound now

Adding Call to Action (CTA) buttons on your website is a no-brainer. It’s always been an effective strategy to convert your casual visitors into full-on subscribers. Fortunately, installing the WordPress Calls to Action Plugin helps site owner create their Call to Action buttons while monitoring and tracking its effectiveness. Using this plugin, you can also A/B test which of your CTAs are working well or failing miserably.

The WordPress Calls to Action Plugin by Inbound Now is fully extendable and customizable, meaning, you can also create your custom designs and pop-ups to improve your conversion rates.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to improve engagement with your audience to give you leverage and helps you better understand your website traffic. It’s always important to keep track of all the behavioral patterns of your visitors, and it’s not that hard to do so.

You must not forget the importance of your visitors’ experience within your site especially now that websites are no longer limited to only providing informational content, but also being a medium of communication for sharing info with other end users.

By just adding the relevant plugins as mentioned you’re a step closer to utilizing and harnessing your site’s capabilities further.

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Blogging

Best Plugin to Add Schema Microdata To WordPress Pages

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You must often be reading about how small blogs are scoring on search engines. Yes, it is true and how do they do this I am going to tell through this post on the best plugin to add schema microdata to WP pages. Before going deep into the best plugin to do so, et’s explore a little about schema microdata.

What is schema?

Schema is basically an organized microdata which you exhibit on your webpages with HTML code to communicate the search engines about added statistics in your post.

The plugins help you in adding productive info and can also mechanically take in http://schema.org/Blog and http://schema.org/BlogPosting graphics to your pages and posts.

To set up plugins may sound little technical to you with no experience of trying anything like that. But don’t worry it does not require any expertise and you can easily establish these plugins in your webpages.

Google extends a Rich Snippet Testing Tool to analyse and verify the added microdata in your pages and content.

What is Microdata?

Microdata is a description for machine decipherable data to be entrenched within the current content of HTML records. To execute schema using microdata, basically you will be

To implement schema using microdata, mainly you will choose your present HTML and affix numerous aspects and perhaps components. You will have to correct your theme for the following standards. If you are using a theme made by someone else, then be sure you generate a child theme; otherwise your alterations could be overwritten if the author revises their theme.

Type of schemas microdata for your webpages can be –organisation pages, movie analysis, personal and products details, book info, and reviews.

Best Plugins to add Schema Microdata to WP pages

1)Recipe Schema

Recipe Schema Plugin

With Recipe Schema, you can insert thumbnails to the Google results for your Recipes. The plugin adds schema microdata to your WP blog and flashes your page correctly on search engines. Through Recipe Schema you can add recipes from various sources like you can import from an existing post or the web, and also add a recipe into a post.

Features:

  • Take recipes from current posts by Selecting and Tagging recipe segments
  • Recipes are spontaneously arranged and can be modified using CSS
  • Write new recipes with the help of free-form text entry, as an alternative to irritating fields for each line
  • Distinct configuring and a print button makes it easy for guests to print recipes
  • Allow users to quickly save recipes to their Facebook Timeline

Download here

2) SchemaNinja

Best Schema Plugin WordPress

Yes SchemaNinja is my baby product and I made it with love to help bloggers out who are looking schema rating plus recommendations.

It is a Rich Snippet and Recommendation Plugin to add Schema Microdata to your WordPress pages. This plugin trails all the Google Standards and operates according to that. It helps in adding the following types of Schemas like- review, software, product application, video, and articles. So far this plugin has 70 plus installs and no one has complained any breaks. It is one of the most advanced Schema Rating WordPress Plugin.

The plugin is suitable for all type of content and is beneficial for generating Schema Ratings to your website or blog. The plugin is best for bloggers, CPA and affiliate marketers, product sellers, and freelancers.

Features:

  • Star Ranking
  • Schema Amalgamation
  • Affiliate Link Combination
  • Personal Licence
  • Commendations
  • Cal-to-action controls
  • Personalisation

Download here

3) Author Hreview

 Author Hreview

The plugin enables the writer to insert Schema.org markup preferences for merchandise reviews. You can easily add a reviewed product to any blog/website, and this plugin will show stars below the post. You can even conceal the ratings from readers. Attaching this schema.org markup will display your rating, writer’s name and price in the search engines results and also enhance your overall ranking.

Features:

  • It is an all-inclusive plugin for blogs
  • It is simple to install and easy-to-use
  • You can get Maximum 5 ratings
  • Fully adjustable plugin as you can change the presentation as per your need
  • Boosts CTR and overall ranking of the page

Download here

4) itemprop WP for SERP/SEO Rich Snippets

Append schema.org itemprop cipher to the (custom) post substance for search engines and boost your SERP outcomes. Itemprop plugin is very uncomplicated. It operates using WordPress basic utility to sieve constituent attributes and affixing < meta > tags with schema.org item properties.

This plugin will not fix poorly encoded WordPress sites. This plugin will generate minor codes within your full content, with new microdata from schema.org. The plugin presumes that your content page is not incorporated wholly with HTML5’s data properties for microdata

Features:

  • Works on single pages
  • Easy to implement on webpages
  • Best option for properly coded website

Download here

5) All-in-one Scema.org Rich Snippet

The plugin is the best solution to add schema microdata to WP pages and also help in increasing your website’s Click Through Rates and enhance SEO and Rankings. You can install this plugin directly through your dashboard. At present, it supports all types of content that are published by schema.org at one location.

Features:

  • Enjoy bug-free blogging with All-in-one schema.org rich snippet
  • Provides search engines with relevant info to be displayed
  • Assist your blog in ranking high among other competitors
  • Interactive approach vis reviews, star ratings, price, author, apps
  • The updated version will cover up-breadcrumbs, local business, and books.

6) Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags

 Facebook Open Graph Google and Twitter Card Tags — WordPress Plugins

it is a lightweight plugin that inserts Facebook OpenGraph and Schema.Org corresponding microdata to headings to help out search engines to display rich snippet and mark your blog far better. This plugin also allows Facebook, Google+ and Twitter handlers to share your blog with correct title, explanation, URL and picture.

Features:

  • Customised citation of the Facebook Share/Like explanation. Takes the first 250 typescripts of the blog post if no custom citation is found.
  • The post refers to Facebook Share/Like and Microdata title.
  • Capacity to outline default thumbnail if no picture is found from the post
  • Appends more rich snippets to make the webpages stand out

Download here

Conclusion

So, adding Schema to your WP pages will help the search engines and other apps to understand the content of a web page and then display it in a particular manner. Now it is up to you to decide which plugin you are going to choose from the above-mentioned best plugins to add schema microdata to WordPress pages. What are you favorite plugins to add Schema microdata to your WordPress pages. 

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WordPress Plugins

My Personal List of Best WordPress Plugins for 2017

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I love WordPress. It has been my CMS of choice for years. However, at its core, the WordPress framework is very minimalistic.  

My WordPress sites would be useless without the right plugins. I have found a number of really cool plugins that provide the functionality my blogs need. Here are the ones that I recommend for 2017.

WPForms

Bloggers depend on forms to receive feedback from their followers. There are a number of form plugins, but most are too basic.

WPForms is one of the best I’ve come across. This plugin lets you create contact, email opt-ins, e-commerce order and other forms your site may need.

Sucuri

There are plenty of reasons WordPress is an awesome CMS. Security is not on the list. Nearly three-quarters of WordPress sites are vulnerable to hackers. Over 16,000 WordPress sites were hacked between January and September of last year.

If you don’t have a decent web security plugin installed, you need to get one immediately. Sucuri is one of the best.

There are many reasons cautious bloggers are using Sucuri to keep their sites secure:

  • Sucuri is one of the best defenses against DDoS attacks.
  • Sucuri cleans up hacked up websites. If your site has been blacklisted by Google or flagged for malware, these problems can be reversed after you install Sucuri and get the problems resolved.
  • Sucuri identifies and disables brute force hacking attempts.

This is a premium app, so you will need to pay based on the level of protection you want. The cheapest plan costs $16.66 a month. This pales in comparison to the cost of having your website hacked, which most free plugins aren’t as equipped to protect against.

Disqus Commenting

The default WordPress installation allows visitors to leave comments on your posts. However, it isn’t the most engaging setup. The commenters can provide comments to you, but can’t really interact with other commenters.

Disqus is a more seamless and sophisticated commenting platform. It allows child comments, so users can create discussions with each other, instead of just commenting on your post. Your users can even be emailed when someone replies to their comments.

It turns your blog into a mini-social network. Many people will likely return to your blog just to engage with other users on Disqus. It’s also important to note that blog commenting was one of the most used methods for growing engagement and backlinks to websites and blogs in an ethical matter. This is according to more than 60 experts who were asked about their preferred methods of content creation and link building.

NextGEN Gallery

If you’re running a blog in a very visual niche, you’ll need a plug-in that lets you showcase lots of images at a time. NextGEN Gallery does the job very well.

It has been downloaded over 16 million times in the past 10 years, because it’s the best gallery management plugin available.

This plug-in makes it easy to upload multiple images at a time, sort and rearrange images, create thumbnails and import meta-data.

CSS Hero

If you want to make any modifications to your theme, then you will need to do so through the CSS templates. Unfortunately, CSS is pretty complex and many bloggers aren’t willing to take the time to learn it.

CSS Hero is a great plugin that handles your CSS coding for you.

The Ever Growing World of WordPress Plugins

While I’ve listed some of my favorite WordPress plugins for you to consider, it would be a huge mistake to simply stop here. Be sure to check out the ever-growing list of plugins available through WordPress’ directory. No matter what you would like to accomplish with your site, there is a good chance there will be a plugin out there for you.

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