How to Remove Items from the Toolbar

The WordPress Toolbar makes it easy for plugin and theme developers to add links and other items. This is great news if you find the added links useful; otherwise, the additional links may be more of a nuisance, cluttering up your current workflow. For example, the database-backup plugin UpdraftPlus adds an "UpdraftPlus" link. Some users probably think this is awesome, but for my own sites it's just not necessary, and is something I would like to remove. So for this DigWP tutorial, we'll use the UpdraftPlus Toolbar link to demonstrate how to remove unwanted items from the WordPress Toolbar in general.

Note that the techniques provided in this tutorial can be used to disable ANY unwanted Toolbar items, even those that may seem impossible to remove.

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WCEU Love & a discount on all Yoast products!

WordCamp Europe was so wonderful! Fourteen members of our Yoast team went to Vienna and had a fantastic time. We enjoyed the many inspiring talks, catching up with old friends and meeting so many new people. We want to celebrate WordCamp Europe by offering a great discount on all of our products!

IMG_7166IMG_7176IMG_7165IMG_7164

Brexit….

WordCamps enable us to befriend people from all over the world. Building connections with all kinds of people in order to improve and to build WordPress. Together. While we were strengthening our bonds with many British friends in Vienna, Great-Britain voted to leave the EU. We feel very sad about the Brexit. We love all our British WordPress friends so dearly and saw that they were in shock…

Love conquers all

We want to express our love to all of our WCEU friends by offering a 20% discount on all of our products to everyone. All of our other EU-loving clients can also profit from 20% discount. Use our discount code EULOVEFEST and get a 20% discount on all of our products until the end of June (that’s only a few more days). 

Compliments to the WCEU 2016 organization!

We all enjoyed WordCamp Europe very much. It was amazing. So many people and it still felt like being part of a family. Talks were great, social events superb and the Yoast team had a blast at the WCEUball. We want to compliment and thank the organization of WCEU 2016 for their excellent work! Next year, WordCamp Europe will be in Paris! We hope to see you there!

WCEU Contributor Day

I want to thank everyone for coming to the first ever plugin review contributor workshop!

We did not get half as much covered as I’d like to but I hope that we were able to enlighten some of you as to how the repository and review system works.

I’m looking forward to the near future when we’ll be able to start adding some of the wonderful people who came to contributor day to the review team! Since that’s still a bit in the future, what we can do right now is welcome everyone to #pluginreview !

Slack

That’s right, we have #pluginreview as a channel now. This channel is for us (yes, you and us) to talk about plugins, finding issues like base64 and creative commons code. At this time, in order not to put users at risk, please continue to send security issues to plugins@wordpress.org only.

I plan on posting some plugins for you to download and look at and discuss, as well as possibly have open hours or a scheduled time every once in a while to talk about reviewing a plugin as a group.

Also if you have a question about the plugin repository in general, please feel free to ask there. Please remember to be reasonable, though, and try not to ask “When will my plugin be reviewed?” 😁

Getting Started

In the mean time, what can you do to get started?

First, read the guidelines. Read all the guidelines. Memorize them. Be familiar with things like phoning home, and the difference between a serviceware API and a license check that cripples software needlessly. Don’t worry too much about that, but do get familiar with the guidelines.

Next! Grab the Mark Jaquith Plugin Directory Slurper. The repo is about 25 gigs, more or less, and will take you a few hours to download. By a few what I mean is set your laptop not to sleep, put it in a cool room with a fan, and go to bed. The Slurper doesn’t work well on Windows that I know of (sorry Windows people). Anyone who wants to improve that, pull requests and forks are welcome.

Now once you have the whole repo, start poking at things. Look for code you know is not allowed in the repository (non-GPL is a great start, pick a popular library you know isn’t GPL and grep or ack for it).

Talk about what you find in the Slack channel. Remember: Slack is public. Do not post anything rude, insulting, antagonistic, or mean there. Also don’t post security issues there. Please keep that to email.

Finally, if you’re really super into code ideas, download the (broken) Plugin Check plugin! Have a look at it. Try to figure out how you’d make it work, and maybe fork it onto GitHub and start tinkering. Start with the basics (check for non GPL, calling wp-load directly, including jquery etc) and see how far you can get. More hands make light work, after all.

When Will We Accept New Members?

Soon! I’m sorry, but I just don’t have an ETA.

We need the UX for the repository revamp to be usable and acceptable first. Until then, we’re on that lousy, single-threaded, bbPress setup. Once that changes, the plan is to start letting people apply (and yes, we will post requirements for that) and adding them with access to review privately. Think of it as moderated reviews. But trust me here, we can see the end and we have a plan.

We’re like Cylons.

WordPress 4.5.3 Fixes 7 Security Issues

photo credit: Lock - (license)
photo credit: Lock(license)

WordPress 4.5.3 was released today to fix seven important security issues that affect 4.5.2 and prior versions. Automatic background updates are already rolling out and all users are advised to update immediately. The release patches the following security issues:

  • Redirect bypass in the customizer (reported by Yassine Aboukir)
  • Two different XSS problems via attachment names (reported by Jouko Pynnönen and Divyesh Prajapati)
  • Revision history information disclosure (reported independently by John Blackbourn from the WordPress security team and by Dan Moen)
  • oEmbed denial of service (reported by Jennifer Dodd from Automattic)
  • Unauthorized category removal from a post (reported by David Herrera from Alley Interactive)
  • Password change via stolen cookie (reported by Michael Adams from the WordPress security team)
  • Some less secure sanitize_file_name edge cases (reported by Peter Westwood of the WordPress security team)

A host of different companies and independent volunteers worked together to responsibly disclose and fix these issues to make WordPress more secure. The release also fixes 17 bugs from 4.5, 4.5.1 and 4.5.2. Rolling them all into one security and maintenance release means fewer updates for users. Check out the release notes and closed tickets for a full list of fixes included in 4.5.3.

WordPress Hidden Gem: enter_title_here filter

When you’re working with custom post types, sometimes the post title isn’t a title. It might be a person’s name, a building number, or a course code (just to take a few examples from universities). So it’s great that WordPress has a simple filter that makes it easy to customize the “Enter title here” placeholder text to make it fit your content:

How to Create a Multi-Page Form in WordPress

Recently, one of our users asked us how to create a multi-page form in WordPress? Multi part forms allow you to collect more information without scaring the users away. In this article, we will show you how to create a multi-page form in WordPress.

Creating a multi-page form in WordPress

Why and When You Need Multi-Page Form in WordPress?

Forms are the easiest way to collect data and get in touch with your users. Whether it is a contact form, email capture form, or a simple survey.

However, lengthy forms are daunting for users and increases form abandonment.

To overcome this issue, user experience experts recommend multi-page forms. This way form fields are broken into sections and pages.

A multi-step checkout page example

With a progress bar on top and fewer fields on screen, users feel more at ease filling out the form. It provides a more engaging and interactive experience to your users.

Having said that, let’s see how to easily create a multi-page form in WordPress.

Creating A Multi-Page Form in WordPress with WPForms

We will be using WPForms which is the most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. You will need at least the Basic license which costs $39.

You can use the WPForms coupon: WPB10 to get 10% discount on your purchase of any WPForms plan.

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

Upon activation, you will need to enter your license key. You can get this key by signing into your account on WPForms website.

Copy the license key and then visit WPForms » Settings page on your WordPress site. Paste the license key and then click on the verify key button.

WPForms license key

After verifying your license key, you are now ready to create your first multi-page form in WordPress.

Simply go to WPForms » Add New page, and it will launch the Form Builder.

Adding a new form in WPForms

Provide a title for your form and then select one of the templates shown below. WPForms offers ready-made form to speed up the form creation process.

You can choose the one that closely matches your form requirements or choose a blank form. Clicking on a template will launch the form editor.

Form editor in WPForms

Simply click on the fields from left column to add them into your form. After that click on a field in the form to edit it. You can also drag and drop form fields.

Adding form fields in WPForms

After adding a few form fields, you are ready to add a new page to your form. Click on the Pagebreak field under fancy fields sections from the left column.

Adding pagebreak field

You will notice that WPForms will add a pagebreak marker to the bottom and a first page marker at the top of the page.

It will also push the submit button to the next page, and your first page will now have a ‘Next’ button instead.

Click on the first page marker at the top to edit your multi-page form properties. In the left hand column, you can select a progress bar type. WPForms allows you to use a simple progress bar, circles, connector, or no progress indicator at all.

Edit first page marker to select progress bar type

For this tutorial, we will be using Connectors as progress bar. You can also choose the color of your page indicator. Lastly, you can provide a title for the first page.

Now you need to click on the pagebreak marker to edit its properties. Here you can provide a title for the next page. You can also edit the text to display on the Next button.

Edit page title and next button text

You can continue adding form fields after the pagebreak. If you are using the PRO version of WPForms, then you can also use conditional logic to show and hide form fields based on user responses.

After adding more fields, you can add more pagebreaks if you need.

Once you are done creating your form, click on the save button on the top right corner of the screen.

Congratulations, you have successfully created your first multi-page form.

Adding Your Multi-Page Form into WordPress Posts and Pages

WPForms makes it super easy to add forms into WordPress posts and pages.

Create a new post/page or edit an existing one. On top of the post editor, you will see an ‘Add Form’ button.

Add form button

Clicking on it will bring up an insert form popup.

Select your form from the drop down list and then click Add Form button.

Select and insert your multipage form

You will notice WPForms shortcode added into your post/page. You can now save or publish this post or page.

Visit your website to see your multi-page form in action.

Preview of a paged form in WordPress

We hope this article helped you add a multi-page form in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to add a contact form popup in WordPress.

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

The post How to Create a Multi-Page Form in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

DIY: Optimize your browser cache

Browser caching is the way a browser stores files from your website on a local computer. Browser caching makes sure all files load without unnecessary server connections, which is much faster. In this article, we’ll tell you how to check if that browser cache works and how to optimize it in WordPress. We’ll tell you how we approach this in our website reviews.

What is browser cache?

Browser cache allows you to skip server connections and pull resources right from your local computer. This cache works like the temporary internet files that take up so much space on our computer. You want it there, as it helps to speed up things. But you don’t want it there forever, as things might change on a website. You can set this ‘refresh’ rate to whatever expiration time your want: the longer, the better.

List of expiration times

In most cases, you can set expiration times in seconds. Here’s a handy list of possible expiration times for your browser cache:

  • 3600 seconds (hour)
  • 86400 seconds (day)
  • 172800 seconds (two days)
  • 604800 seconds (week)
  • 2592000 seconds (month)
  • 31536000 seconds (year)

Google recommends a minimum cache time of one week and preferably up to one year for static assets or assets that change infrequently. For the majority of sites, that’s right. However, the right time of expiration largely depends on how often your content changes. If you have a news site, your homepage changes all the time. You can set the expiration time for your homepage’s content (HTML) at 3600 seconds (1 hour) without a problem. But if you load a CSS file in that homepage, that will probably only change during a redesign. The expiration time for that CSS file can easily be 31536000 seconds (a year). Please test and find what works best for your type of content.

Order your review NOW and we’ll throw in a one-year license premium plugin of your choice for free. We’ll configure that plugin for you as well!

Buy now for just $699! »
Offer valid until the 30th of June

Yoast_SEO_courses_banner

Testing your browser cache

In this section, we’ll show you a couple of site speed tools we use to check browser caching in our reviews. Which one you’d like to use to check browser caching for your website, depends on personal preferences as well.

YSlow

My personal favorite for checking browser caching is Yahoo’s YSlow. It’s available as a browser extension, works pretty fast and checks a lot more that just the expiration times of your browser cache. Here’s a screenshot:

Browser cache: yslow screenshot

ETags

Besides just a simple expire headers check, YSlow also allows you to check for entity tags, which are also called ‘ETags’. These ETags are used to “determine whether the component in the browser’s cache matches the one on the origin server.” This helps a browser determine if a new file is available. Note that ETags tend to slow down a website, so please dive into the subject and see if you really need these.

As you can see in that image (click to enlarge), the first file is a CSS file that has a one day expiration time. The screenshot was taken June, 20th and the file expires on the 21st of June. I don’t think that is necessary; in most cases, set expiration times for CSS files to a year.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google provides its own check for browser caching in PageSpeed Insights. If the section ‘Should Fix’ contains the recommendation ‘Leverage browser caching’, you should definitely address this.

Browser caching: pagespeed insights screenshot

As you can see in the image above, like YSlow, Google PageSpeed Insights tells you which files need a (far future) expiration date. And that these are usually CSS files,  JavaScript files or (template) images.

If these tools aren’t clear enough, there are more tools we rely on to do extra checks, like Pingdom and GT Metrix.

WordPress plugins that help browser caching

Browser caching is something you can for instance set in your .htaccess file. For most users, that’s probably not something you do every day. However, if you are using WordPress, you’re in luck. There is a number of plugins that can help you with this. We have listed two for you below.

WP Rocket

At Yoast, we’re fans of the WP Rocket plugin. It’s simplicity, combined with a lot of options, make this our to-go-to speed optimization plugin. Browser caching is enabled right after activation of the plugin. Feed cache and mobile cache can be enabled in the plugin. Find out more here.

W3 Total Cache

Because of the labyrinth of options this plugin has, we stopped recommending W3 Total Cache for the average WordPress user. However, it does have more specific browser caching options than most other plugins. In WordPress (with this plugin installed), go to Performance > Set expire headers and enable these. After that, go to the separate sections for CSS/JS and HTML and choose your section-specific expire time.

WP Rocket is really our first recommendation. But if you know your way around speed optimization, feel free to check W3 Total Cache as well.

How to Link to External Links from the Post Title in WordPress

Do you want to add an external link as post title in WordPress? Sometimes you may just want to share a link with your users. Instead of sending them to a post, you may want the post title to link to the other website. In this article, we will show you how to link to external links from the post title in WordPress.

Adding External Link to WordPress Post Title

Method 1: Linking Post Title to an External Link in WordPress using Plugin

This method is easier and is recommended for beginners.

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

Upon activation, simply create a new post or edit an existing one. You will notice the new ‘Page Links To’ meta box below the post editor.

Adding a custom URL in page links to

Click on ‘A custom URL’ to add the link you want to add to post title. Now you can save or publish your post.

That’s all. The post title will now link to the custom URL you provided.

It is not necessary to use it for external links only. You can also use it to send users to different posts and pages on your WordPress site.

Method 2: Add External Link to Post Title Using Code

This method requires you to add code to your WordPress site. You can use this method if you are comfortable with pasting snippets from web into WordPress.

Simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function print_post_title() {
global $post;
$thePostID = $post->ID;
$post_id = get_post($thePostID);
$title = $post_id->post_title;
$perm = get_permalink($post_id);
$post_keys = array(); $post_val = array();
$post_keys = get_post_custom_keys($thePostID);

if (!empty($post_keys)) {
foreach ($post_keys as $pkey) {
if ($pkey=='external_url') {
$post_val = get_post_custom_values($pkey);
}
}
if (empty($post_val)) {
$link = $perm;
} else {
$link = $post_val[0];
}
} else {
$link = $perm;
}
echo '<h2><a href="'.$link.'" rel="bookmark" title="'.$title.'">'.$title.'</a></h2>';
}

This code looks simply looks for a custom field containing your custom URL. If the post has the custom field, then it outputs the post title linked to your URL.

The next step is to replace your theme’s default display of post title with this function. You will find it in archives.php, content.php, category.php and other templates. It would look something like this:

<?php the_title( sprintf( '<h2 class="entry-title"><a href="%s" rel="bookmark">', esc_url( get_permalink() ) ), '</a></h2>' ); ?>

You need to replace it with this code:

<?php print_post_title() ?>

The code part is over, now you need to add the external URL to the post. Simply edit the post or create a new one. On the post editor page, look for the custom fields meta box.

If you cannot see the custom fields meta box, then you need to click Screen Options in the top right corner of the screen. This will bring down a menu where you need to check the box next to ‘Custom Fields’.

Show custom fields meta box on the post edit screen in WordPress

You will find the custom fields meta box below the post editor.

Click on ‘Enter New’ and then enter external_url in the ‘Name’ field and the URL you want to add to post title in the ‘Value’ field.

Adding new custom key

You can now save or publish your post. That’s all, your post title will now be linked to the URL you added in the custom field.

Next time you need to add a link, you just need to select the external_url custom field from the drop down menu and enter your external link in the value field.

We hope this article helped you learn how to link to external links from the post title in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to add an external link icon on your WordPress Site.

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

The post How to Link to External Links from the Post Title in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Help center in Yoast SEO

In Yoast SEO 3.2 we added a new feature called the help center. The help center is meant to help you figure out all the settings in Yoast SEO. To do that it contains a ton of training videos. In Yoast SEO 3.3, which we released this week, we added knowledge base search to this help center. In this post I want to show you how you can use these features.

Where do you find the help center?

Simple: on (almost) every admin page of Yoast SEO and in the Yoast SEO metabox. It looks like this (as of the 3.3 release):

help center

Clicking it expands it to a large purple box. In this box you’ll find at the very least a video tutorial, knowledge base search and an email support button.

help-center-expanded

Tutorial videos

We’ve created tutorial videos for every tab, so every tab has its own video. All the new features in Yoast SEO 3.3 already have tutorial videos. Click on it to hear me explain the features on that particular tab and how to use them.

Knowledge base search

If you click on the knowledge base menu item, you can search through the Yoast knowledge base. Our knowledge base is a quickly expanding set of articles that explains common issues and answers common questions.

Search looks like this:

knowledge base search

When you search, results are inline:

help-center-search-results

But even more important, clicking on an article loads that article inline. We actually load those articles from our knowledge base as AMP articles, in an iframe:

yoast help center article loaded inline

With the new knowledge base search in the plugin, you have the knowledge base at the tip of your fingers. Because the help center has a fixed height, you can scroll past it and adjust settings while looking up the configuration help.

Email support

If you have Yoast SEO Premium, the third option allows you to easily message our support team. The added benefit is that in the message that gets sent to our support team, we add a lot of meta-data. Our support team gets some server variables, a list of the plugins you have installed, the themes you have installed and your license key. That way we can prevent going back and forth for basic questions like that.

Read more: ‘How to use the content and SEO analysis of Yoast SEO’ »

New WordPress Feature Proposal Adds Content Authorship to Menus in the Customizer

Yesterday, Nick Halsey, one of the maintainers of the WordPress Customize component, published a proposal to add content authorship to menus in the customizer. This feature is specifically targeted at new users who might wish to set up a menu that includes pages which have not yet been created.

The scenario is familiar to those who have set up a good number of WordPress sites: You visit the pages menu in the admin to create a bunch of empty pages that you want to be displayed in the menu, and then you add them all to a new menu. This fills out the design and then you can go back and create the content later.

With users given the option to customize after activating a theme, they’re more likely to try creating a menu before any of the pages have been published. This feature proposal makes it possible to create new pages in the customizer while adding them to a menu, as shown in the demo Halsey published:

content-authorship-nav-menus

Halsey emphasized that the feature will not replace the ability to create pages in the admin via the post editor. Content authorship in menus is squarely aimed at new users and those who are restructuring a site.

“To allow new content to be created in the customizer, posts are created with the auto_draft status,” Halsey explained. “When the user saves and publishes in the customizer, these newly-created posts are transitioned to be published. In the customizer preview, the status is modified to protected to allow the posts to be previewed.”

Term creation is not yet part of the UI but Halsey said this is a consideration for the future. The new feature will also include a filter for disabling content authorship on a per-post-type basis.

Halsey also clarified the relationship between content authorship for menus and the Customize Posts project:

Part of the inspiration for this feature comes from the Customize Posts plugin, which has the ability to live-preview posts and post meta in the customizer. Only a very small portion of the plugin would make its way into core as part of the nav menus content authorship feature. However, the proposal is currently to establish the wp.customize.Posts namespace for future expansions of post-related functionality in the customizer. The existing plugin would extend this core namespace, and other plugins could do so as well.

At this time the team has no plans to push Customize Posts forward for merge into core, but Halsey said an upcoming feature project will “explore the future of live preview in WordPress at a broader level.”

For the most part, feedback on the proposal has been positive and enthusiastic. The bulk of the work for adding content authorship to menus has already been completed and the latest patch on the project’s ticket is ready for testing. The Customizer team is targeting WordPress 4.7 to propose the feature for inclusion in core.

WordPress Feature Idea: Add oEmbed Support to Comments

One of my favorite features in WordPress is the ability to easily embed content from services such as YouTube by copying and pasting the source URL into the post editor. The feature is called oEmbed and was added seven years ago to WordPress 2.9.

While content authors enjoy the luxury of easily embedding content, commenters do not. That’s because the WordPress comment form does not support oEmbed leaving readers to paste links instead. I think it’s time the WordPress comment section receives oEmbed support to pass along the ease of embedding content to readers.

Not only will it liven up comment sections across the web with the ability to go beyond text, but it makes it easier to maintain the conversation in one place. Instead of having to browse away from the conversation to watch a video, readers can watch it within the comment section.

One of the largest things to consider is how embedded content is displayed in nested comments, especially those that are three to four levels deep. This may not be an issue if the content and the site’s theme is responsive. Perhaps logic could be added so that URLs are used instead of embedding the content for comments that are three to four levels deep.

A cursory search of WordPress trac turns up zero results for tickets related to this idea. Before I create a ticket, I’d like to hear your thoughts, especially the drawbacks to adding oEmbed support to comments.

Upcoming events for 2016: WPCampus, Content Strategy Summit, HighEdWeb

Tonight (and about once a month from now on), I’ll be at the College Station WordPress Meetup. We’re going to build a site from scratch as a demo for newbies. The second, smaller conference room will be available for advanced developers to chat. Locals, I hope to see you there!


Next month, I’ll be in Florida for WPCampus, the first WordPress conference specifically for higher education. Here’s the summary of my talk:

Getting to WordPress

Getting started with WordPress is easy — unless you got started a long time ago in some other CMS, or Dreamweaver or even (shudder) FrontPage. But you and WordPress can still have a happy relationship despite your baggage! In this session, I’ll show you how to import almost anything into WordPress. I’ll share examples from real projects for each step of the import process:

  • Setting up your ideal content model in WordPress
  • Cleaning up your import for best results
  • Importing from any other CMS, database, or HTML files
  • Converting old content to custom post types, taxonomies, and modular fields
  • Auditing and cleaning up content in WordPress
  • Processes for long-term content strategy and maintenance

In August, I’ll be part of the online Content Strategy Summit with a new talk that isn’t just about WordPress:

Content First in Action

We know that a content-first approach to design is a best practice, but knowing is only half the battle. We’re accustomed to our legacy workflows–and so are our clients. For years, we’ve trained clients to expect designs first, prototypes later, and writing last of all.

Win clients over to your new workflow by showing them what’s in it for them: not just a better user experience for their readers, but a better authoring experience for the content editors.

With a CMS that lets you modify the admin interface, you can make not only the design but the CMS itself fit the content. When coupled with a responsive design workflow, setting up the model first helps clients think more concretely about:

  • modular content
  • prioritizing chunks for mobile, search, and archived contexts
  • user roles and access
  • editorial UX

This content-first approach lets you design the CMS to fit the organization’s content model and workflow. You can:

  • dogfood throughout the prototyping and design processes
  • spot areas of confusion early
  • change the admin interface
  • add inline help
  • plan documentation to be a backup or a last resort

I’ve done a number of these virtual conferences with Environments for Humans, and they’re always outstanding.


And finally, in October I’ll be back at HighEdWeb for the first time since my son was born. I’m so excited to be returning with a new half-day workshop:

WordPress for the 99%

Tame the wild web that’s grown over decades of decentralized web services by providing a central self-service solution that’s prettier, cheaper, and (as far as the customer is concerned) maintenance-free — without hiring a small army. Texas A&M and Berkeley are maintaining WordPress networks of thousands of sites with web teams of two to five, and you can do it, too.

WordPress is popular because it’s easy for users to grasp and easy for developers to extend. Why not take advantage of that to provide branded websites for your campus constituents? Sure, there are a few groups who need a custom site and have the money to pay for it–but what about everyone else? A little structured content here, some inline help there, and you have a one-size-fits-most solution for virtually every small website on your campus. Go beyond the student blog network! WordPress is for everybody: faculty, staff… even that events coordinator who needs a website by 5 because she’s opening up registration in the morning and what do you mean, is the content written?

Using case studies from Texas A&M University and The University of California at Berkeley, I’ll demonstrate how to set up common content models, templates, and workflows for:

  • Departments
  • Research teams
  • Conferences & symposia
  • Committees

I’ll also talk about integrating the 1% into these WordPress networks without sacrificing security, branding, and accountability.

The workshop will include specific code examples and plugin recommendations from the case study projects.

Category (or taxonomy) drill-down pages

WordPress category archives are very inclusive. They list all the posts in a category, including all the child categories. This is also true for all other hierarchical taxonomies.

If you have a deep hierarchy, it might make more sense to have your users drill down until they reach a term that doesn’t have children, and then they’d see the list of posts.

Diagram of three category pages. On the first two, for categories that have children, only a list of linked child categories is shown. The third, for a category with no more children, shows the usual post loop.
Categories with children will show a list of those children. No posts are shown until we reach a category that has no children.

To do this, we can add some code to the taxonomy archive template to check whether the current term has children, and if it does, display a list of child terms instead of the Loop.

Here’s a category.php file (or an taxonomy.php file) that displays intermediate terms as links instead of listing posts.

Yoast SEO 3.3: content analysis

Today we’re very proud to release Yoast SEO 3.3! Yoast SEO 3.3 is a huge update, with many new features. The most important improvement is the new content analysis. As of today, Yoast SEO checks both the readability and the SEO-friendliness of your  articles. But this update contains even more: we’ve expanded our help center with search for our knowledge base! And on top of that, we took care of lots of small and larger issues. So make sure to update Yoast SEO and benefit from our new features!

Check out our new video about Yoast SEO 3.3:

Content analysis

Yoast SEO takes care of most technical issues concerning SEO. The biggest challenge for our users is to write high-quality content that actually ranks. That’s why we added a content tab to our meta box. In the meta box, you’ll find the content & SEO analysis. This analysis consists of a content tab and an SEO tab. The SEO tab is pretty much what you are used to. Fill out your focus keyword, edit your snippet preview, check out your green bullets!

If you hit the content tab, you will find 6 brand new content checks. These checks will help you to write more readable texts. We check sentence length, paragraph length and your use of subheadings. These checks are available for all languages. We’ll also check use of passive voice and your use of transition words. Finally, we calculate your Flesch Reading Ease score. Passive voice, transition words and Flesch reading ease will only be available in English (for now). The checks in the content tab should help you to write a text that is nice and easy to read.

If you would like to read more about the new content checks and how we decided upon the exact measurements of our assessments, you can read our post about the methodological choices we made. Of course, we are already working on making new content checks.

Read more: ‘Content analysis: methodological choices explained’ »

How to use the content analysis?

After you’ve written your text, or while you are writing, you can check the bullets of the content analysis. Clicking on the little eye next to the bullet will allow you to highlight text which encountered the readability issue. Your text could, for example, contain many lengthy sentences. Clicking on the little eye, allows you to highlight these lengthy sentences. That’ll make improving that much easier.

screenshot-2-content-analysis

Help center!

In Yoast 3.2 we added a help center. In this release, we made this help center even more helpful. We expanded the help center with search for our knowledge base. This will enable you to search our knowledge base straight from the backend.

And many, many, many other things!

The Yoast SEO 3.2 release also took care of a lot of other (big and small) things. We’ve created a new Yoast notifications center and we’ve adapted our snippet preview as Google changed the title width. Above that, we made improvements on our XML sitemaps and made lots of transliteration improvements. Want to read more, go check out the changelog!

Content analysis: methodological choices explained

In the 3.3 update of Yoast SEO, we’ve added six content checks which will help with the readability of your text. This post is meant to explain the choices we made while developing all these readability checks. We provide argumentations for our choices. This is indispensable if you want to understand how our content analysis works and why we made the assessment the way it is.

Keep reading: ‘The importance of quality content’ »

Little research on what is ‘right’ in writing!

There are a lot of things we know about readability. Short sentences are easier to read than long sentences. Passive voice causes distant writing. However, linguistics is not at all an exact science. It is hard to decide when a piece of text is readable and when it is not. Still, we had to decide these things in order to make readability checks.

We hired a linguist (Irene Strikkers) to help us. She figured out which checks were useful and why. In this article, we first explain how the development of these readability checks came about. After that, we explain why each of the 6 assessments is important and describe the exact assessment.

The process of developing these assessments was thorough and we really worked with experts in the field of SEO copywriting and linguistics. That being said, we could well imagine that some of you have questions about the way we measure things or disagree with the operationalization of one of the assessments. Perhaps you would like to see other checks added to Yoast SEO. We’ve made a special form that’ll allow you to give us your feedback. We are curious to your ideas AND your argumentation!

Our strategy

Why readability?

We started out by doing some serious research. Irene (our linguist) began checking the existing tools, plugins, and apps in the field of automatic text review. She wanted to comprehend what was already on the market.
At the end of her research, Irene had reviewed 24 different tools and apps. She found out that some of them didn’t check what they were supposed to check, while others were seriously slowing down a website. That already gave us lots of clues about what not to do.

Most important finding of Irene’s research was that a lot of apps and tools focused on spelling and grammar, but neglected readability. Readability actually is of great importance! It determines whether people understand the message of your text. Although correct spelling and grammar are important, these are most certainly not the only factors influencing the readers. A readable text is a text one reads all the way through. Irene’s research clearly showed a lack of readability checks among most of the existing writing tools.

Deciding upon measurements

In the first stage of developing the assessments, we analyzed the competition.We decided upon the measurements of our assessments through thorough investigation of other tools and checks. Which measurements are commonly used in grammar and spelling checks? How did these other tools measure similar readability assessments?

Next to that, we analyzed the readability of texts we considered to be very readable and on texts we considered to be a very bad read. In this phase, we strongly leant on the expertise of our linguist. Why are certain checks important? What are the theoretical reasons for making an assessment? In this phase we also, calculated readability scores of texts we considered well-written as well as readability scores of texts we considered badly written. We used all the information of the two phases in developing our content checks to come to the first version of our assessments.

Finetuning measurements with some research

In the final phase of developing the assessment, we used our own content analysis. In this phase, we put our content checks to the test. We analyzed texts of lots of news sites and blogs using our own content analysis tool. We checked out texts of the Guardian, of Moz, but also articles of low-key mum and travel blogs. We selected a total of 75 articles from very different blogs and news sites.

The purpose of the analysis of these 75 different articles was to make sure that the assessments in the content analysis are sufficiently distinctive. If the bullet of the content analyse was to be green all of the time, that wouldn’t help our users. But, if it would be almost impossible to get a green bullet, that would lead to much frustration as well. Our research gave us a clear overview of the readability of many different blog post.

Our research initially showed that more than 40 % of the text scored an overall red bullet on the content analysis. It turned out that very few articles had enough transition words. We decided to lower the demands on transition words a bit, as most articles weren’t able to meet our demands. In the end, about 35% of the articles scored a red bullet, 30% scored an orange bullet and 35% scored a green bullet.

After fine tuning the assessments in this last phase, we made the final measurements of all the content checks. We feel our instrument is useful and distinctive enough. However, if you feel otherwise, please let us know!

Read on: ‘SEO copywriting: the Ultimate guide’ »

Measurements

In the remainder of this article, we will discuss the different assessments. We’ll first explain the importance of an assessment and then describe the exact measurement of each assessment. Finally, we’ll discuss the measurement of the overall content score. For now, the content-analysis will only available in English. Of course, we are already working on making it available in other languages.

Subheadings

Most readers are lazy and quickly bored. You want to convince them to read your text in a matter of seconds. Before deciding to read your text, readers tend to scan your text. 

Research has shown that people generally scan a text in an F-shaped pattern. As a writer, you can guide your readers by providing them with clear subheadings. Good subheadings will not only give them a quick overview of the topics discussed, they also make the structure of your text clearly visible. Moreover, if readers decide to read your text, they’ll already know what your paragraphs will be about. This will make understanding the content much easier.

Subheadings should be equally distributed throughout your text. You should try to cover a topic in the text after each subheading. Little subheadings throughout your text could mean that you did not cover all your topics with a subheading. That’ll make the structure of your text less visible to your reader. Too many subheadings will make the text messy and cluttered. Too many subheadings will not add structure at all.

Measurement subheadings

The measurement of subheading distribution assesses the length of the text after a subheading. If you article contains text less than 300 words after you’ve placed a subheading, you will receive a green bullet. Text subsequent to a subheading containing more than 300 and less than 350 words will result in an orange bullet. Articles with texts subsequent to a subheading containing more than 350 words will score a red bullet.

If the article does not contain any subheadings, you will score a red bullet.

Paragraphs

Readers like bite-sized pieces of information. Long paragraphs are scary and discourage people from reading. You should therefore make sure that paragraphs remain rather short.

Measurement paragraph length

Texts with only paragraphs containing less than 150 words will score a green bullet. Texts containing paragraphs with more than 150 words and less than 200 will score an orange bullet. Texts containing paragraphs of more than 200 words will receive a red bullet.

Sentences

Your sentences should not be too long either. The longer your sentences are, the harder they are to process, because readers have to keep all the words and relationships in their working memory. Therefore, try to write no sentences longer than 20 words.

Measurement sentence length

A text in which 25% of the sentences contain more than 20 words will get a green bullet. A text in which more than 25% and less than 30% of the sentences contain more than 20 words will get an orange bullet. Texts in which more than 30% of the sentences contain 20 words will score a red bullet.

Transition words

Using transition words is like putting cement between your sentences. The relation between two sentences becomes apparent by the use of transition words. Readers will understand your content much better if you make proper use of these kinds of words.

With transition words, you indicate relationships both between paragraphs as well as within paragraphs. They indicate whether a conclusion is coming up, or maybe a comparison or an enumeration. When readers know what to expect next, they’ll be able to process your text more easily.

Measurement transition words

If at least 30% of the sentences in your text contain a transition word, the bullet will be green. If more than 20% of your sentences and less than 30% of your sentences contain a transition word, your bullet will be orange. The bullet will be red if less than 2o% of the sentences of your text contain a transition word. That’s less than 1 in 5 sentences.

Passive voice

Passive voice occurs if the noun or noun phrase that would be the object of an active sentence (such as Yoast SEO calculates your SEO score) appears as the subject of a sentence with passive voice (The SEO score is calculated by Yoast SEO).

Passive voice results in distant writing. Active voice is much more engaging. We’d like to discourage you from using passive voice altogether. However, some sentences just get really awkward when written in the active voice. That’s why we’ve set the recommended maximum percentage of passive sentences to 10%.

Read more: ‘The passive voice’ »

Measurement passive voice

If less than 10% of the sentences of your text is in passive voice the bullet will be green. You’ll score an orange bullet if your text contains between 10 and 15% sentences in passive voice. If more than 15% of the sentences of your text is in passive voice, you’ll score a red bullet.

Flesch Reading Ease

Flesch Reading Ease measures textual difficulty of a reading passage in English (note: in languages other than English, Flesch is seriously unreliable). The lower the score, the more difficult the text is. The Flesch readability score uses the sentence length (number of words per sentence) and the number of syllables per word in an equation to calculate the reading ease.

Measurement Flesch Reading Ease

If the Flesch Reading Ease score of your text is higher than 60, the bullet will be green. If the Flesch Reading ease is between 50 and 60, the bullet wil turn orange. Your article will receive a red bullet if the Flesch Reading ease score is lower than 50.

Keep reading: ‘Flesch reading ease: use it!’ »

Measurement of overall content score

The present content analysis of Yoast SEO contains 6 different content checks. Of course, we are already developing some new ones ;-). These 6 checks all are equally important in the calculation of the overall content score. A red bullet equals 3 penalty points, while an orange bullet equals 2 penalty-points. If your article scores 7 or more penalty points, the overall content bullet will be red. If your article scores 5 or 6 penalty points, your article will receive an orange bullet. Articles with 0, 2, 3 or 4 penalty points will be rewarded with the much-wanted green bullet.

In order to score an overall green content bullet, you are allowed to have one red bullet or two orange bullets.

Shiny Updates Approved for Partial Merge Into WordPress 4.6

shiny-updates

The Shiny Updates project was approved for partial merge today during an additional meeting designated for reviewing improvements added within the last week. A decision was expected last week but was delayed after contributors discovered that the plugin required three more audits to be ready for merge. Drew Jaynes completed a documentation audit and Dominik Schilling completed a security review and found no issues.

Although the Shiny Updates team requested a design review in mid-May, WordPress designers weren’t able to perform a thorough review until last week. Their review revealed several jarring aspects of installing/deleting plugins and inconsistencies with theme interactions. Several of these issues have already been addressed, but the design for the core update process will require more iteration, as it still contains a redirect after update and other blockers.

The consensus of the design team and core contributors after today’s meeting is to do a partial merge of the Shiny Updates plugin. Plugin and theme updates have been sufficiently polished up and are approved for merge, but the changes to update-core.php will not make it into WordPress 4.6.

Specific aspects of the project that will be merged, according to Shiny Updates project leader Konstantin Obenland, include: “Themes and plugins in single and multisite, in plugin.php, plugin-install.php, import.php, themes.php, themes-install.php, and the ‘more-detail’ modals in those screens.”

“As disappointing it is for the folks who’ve worked on it, namely @mapk and @swissspidy, I think it’s clear at this point that that part needs more time,” Obenland said.

The Shiny Updates team is working to prepare a patch for partial merge by Wednesday, which is the deadline for merging feature plugins. The first beta is expected to follow two weeks later on June 29.

Tomorrow: new Yoast SEO! Content, content & content

Big news! Tomorrow we’ll update Yoast SEO. We have really awesome new features in our free plugin. You may have noticed our focus on creating high-quality content in our blog post and in our academy products. We really believe that writing quality content should be part of every SEO strategy.

Read more: ‘SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide’ »

All about content!

This new update of Yoast SEO will be all about content! We want to help you to write text that is nice and easy to read (as well as SEO-friendly). Next to our SEO scores, we’re going to offer you scores on your content as well. More green bullets!

As of tomorrow, our plugin will show both one or more SEO-tabs (not much has changed there!) as well as a content tab. In the SEO-tab, you’ll fill out your focus keyword and check whether or not your text is well optimized for the search engines. In the content tab, you will receive feedback about the readability of your text.

Check out a sneak preview of what the plugin will look like as of tomorrow:

screenshot-keywordThe Yoast meta box: longer titles, new help center.

screenshot-2-content-analysisThe new content analysis feature.

screenshot-passive-voice-highlightOptionally highlight content issues straight in the editor.

Which checks?

In the 3.3 release of Yoast SEO you will find 6 content checks. We will check your use of subheadings, the length of your paragraphs and the length of your sentences. Furthermore, we’ll check your use of transition words and your use of passive voice. The Flesch Reading Ease score (which was in the SEO tab before) has moved to the content tab.

We will provide feedback on the readability of your text by giving you the well-known red, orange and green bullets. But, we will also allow you to highlight each check in your text. That’ll make it that much easier to correct your writing. For now, most of the content analysis is only in English. Of course, the checks for the length of sentences, the length of paragraphs and subheadings are applicable for other languages as well.

More checks to come!

Team Yoast is already working on some new readability checks. And, we are working on making sure the content-analysis will become available for more languages.  So you can expect updates with more content and readability checks in the near future!

Keep reading: ‘The importance of quality content’ »

How to Create a List of Forbidden Words for WordPress Titles

Recently, one of our users asked us how they can add a list of forbidden words for WordPress post titles? If you manage a multi-author blog and want authors to avoid using certain words or phrases, then this tip would come in handy. In this article, we will show you how to create a list of forbidden words for WordPress titles.

Forbidden words list for WordPress post titles

Why Create a List of Forbidden Words for Post Titles in WordPress?

It is not easy to keep all authors informed about your editorial style and policy on a multi-author site. You can use Edit Flow to leave editorial comments, add notes, and custom statuses, but it will not monitor your post titles.

If an author has publishing rights, then the unwanted words can go live on your website. You can prevent this by taking away publishing privileges from users, but this means more work for you as you will have to review and publish posts yourself.

Having said that, let’s see how you can easily add a list of banned words for WordPress post titles.

Adding a List of Banned Words for WordPress Post Titles

This method requires you to manually add code to your WordPress site. It is recommended for users who know how to paste code snippets from web into WordPress.

Important: Always backup your WordPress site when you are adding a code snippet to your WordPress files.

Simply add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_forbidden_title($title){
global $post;
$title = $post->post_title;

// Add restricted words or phrases separated by a semicolon

$restricted_words = "word1;word2;word3";

$restricted_words = explode(";", $restricted_words);
foreach($restricted_words as $restricted_word){
if (stristr( $title, $restricted_word))
wp_die( __('Error: You have used a forbidden word "'. $restricted_word .'" in post title') );
}
}
add_action('publish_post', 'wpb_forbidden_title', 10, 1);

Don’t forget to add the words you want to ban in $restricted_words variable. You need to use a semicolon to separate different words and phrases.

This code simply triggers a function when a user tries to publish a post which checks the post title for restricted words. If it finds a restricted word in the post title, then it will show the user an error like this:

Error shown when a user tries to publish a post with a forbidden word in title

That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to add a list of forbidden words for WordPress post titles. You may also want to see our guide on how to require featured images for posts in WordPress.

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

The post How to Create a List of Forbidden Words for WordPress Titles appeared first on WPBeginner.

WordPress Hidden Gem: Closed meta boxes filter

Sometimes, rather than hiding a meta box via screen options altogether, I want the box to be closed until the user opens it. WordPress has a filter that lets you add box IDs to the list of things that should be closed.

The filter names are different for each post type. If you want to close a box on all post types, you’ll need to loop through them:

 

WordPress Hidden Gem: screen option defaults filter

I love the fact that a lot of the meta boxes on the WordPress Edit screens are hidden by default. Did you know that it’s really easy to specify which boxes should be hidden? This is great if you’re building sites for clients with lots of plugins that add meta boxes, but you want new users’ administrative experience to be as simplified as possible.

The names in this array match the IDs of the meta boxes you want to hide. To find the ID, just inspect your screen.

Note that this filter affects only the screen options for new users. Anyone with an existing user account already has screen options set, and won’t receive the new default settings.

Shiny Updates Project Officially Proposed for Merge Into WordPress 4.6

shiny-updates

This week the Shiny Updates Team officially proposed the merge of the plugin into the upcoming WordPress 4.6 release. The project modernizes the process of installing, updating, and deleting themes and plugins in order to hide what is colloquially referred to as “The Bleak Screen of Sadness.” This is the screen that shows the technical rundown of what WordPress is doing behind the scenes as it performs installations and updates.

Shiny Updates improves the workflow so that it hides all the mundane details and doesn’t require a page refresh. The plugin also shines up the process of updating core translations. Pascal Birchler posted a screencast in the proposal, demonstrating the improvements that users can expect if Shiny Updates are approved for merge:

The proposed update expands on the shiny plugin updates that were introduced in WordPress 4.2 and extends the improvements to themes, translations, core, and the installation/deleting workflow for extensions.

Shiny Updates is currently active on more than 1,000 installations and has been refined by multiple rounds of user testing. The project’s team plans to tackle any remaining bugs on GitHub this week and will prepare a core patch by next Wednesday’s scheduled development chat.

Responses to the proposal have been consistently positive, as the improvements make updating WordPress easier and less of a chore. Although this may seem like a small improvement, refinements like these have a major impact on WordPress users. Fewer clicks in the admin translate into less time spent on site management, making it easier to stay ahead of security issues and keep the software up to date.

How to Stop Storing IP Address in WordPress Comments

After reading our article on how to allow anonymous comments, one of our readers asked us if it was possible to stop storing IP address in WordPress comments. Some site owners may want to do that to protect privacy of their users. In this article, we will show you how to stop storing IP address in WordPress comments.

Comment Privacy in WordPress

Pros and Cons of Not Storing IP Address in WordPress Comments

By default, WordPress logs and stores IP addresses of users leaving comments on your website. These IP addresses are permanently stored in your database.

The reason for storing IP addresses with each comment is to help site owners combat with unwanted comments or spam. Plugins like Akismet can block comments from IP addresses known to be exploited by spammers.

Unless your users are using a VPN service, their real IP addresses can still be found in your site logs. Most WordPress hosting providers keep an access log of all visitors to your website for a limited period of time.

On the other hand by not storing IP address in WordPress comments, you can improve privacy of commenters on your website. They may feel more confident about expressing their opinions knowing that your site doesn’t store IP addresses with comments.

Method 1: Stop Storing IP Addresses in Comments with Plugin

This method is easier and recommended for new websites and beginners.

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

Once activated, the plugin will replace user IP with 127.0.0.1, which is an IP address typically used by localhost.

The plugin will not delete IP addresses stored with older comments. If you have older comments with IP addresses stored with them, then you may want to delete those IP addresses as well. We will show you how to do that later in this article.

Method 2: Manually Stop Storing IP Addresses with WordPress Comments

If you are comfortable pasting code snippets in WordPress, then you should use this method instead.

Simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_remove_commentsip( $comment_author_ip ) {
return '';
}
add_filter( 'pre_comment_user_ip', 'wpb_remove_commentsip' );

This is basically the same code used by the plugin we mentioned in the first method. However, instead of storing 127.0.0.1, it leaves the IP field blank.

Remove IP Address From Old Comments

Regardless of which method you use to stop storing comments IP, old comments on your WordPress site will always have IP addresses stored with them.

If you have old comments on your site, then you may want to remove IP addresses from those comments.

We will show you how to do that by running a MySQL query on your WordPress database. It is really important to make sure that you have the most recent WordPress database backup.

Next you need to login to your WordPress hosting control panel and look for phpMyAdmin.

Make sure that you have selected your WordPress database by clicking on the database name in the column on your left hand. After that you need to click on the SQL menu.

Removing IP address from old comments in WordPress

This will bring you a text area where you need to enter this query:

UPDATE 'wp_comments' SET 'comment_author_IP' = '';

Click on the Go button below the textarea to run your query. That’s all, it will remove all IP addresses stored with comments in WordPress database.

Note: if you have a custom WordPress database prefix, then please adjust the wp_comments to your custom table prefix.

We hope this article helped you learn how to stop storing IP address in WordPress comments. You may also want to see our guide on how to add ask me anything anonymously in WordPress.

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

The post How to Stop Storing IP Address in WordPress Comments appeared first on WPBeginner.

7 WordPress Plugins for Increased User Engagement

WordPress has evolved into so much more than a blogging platform. Once you have the users coming, engaging with them and leveraging the information they provide is a key part of any business proposition. Thanks to its plug-in nature, site owners can drop in a range of tools to gather more information on visitors and develop ways to use it to grow communities or increase revenue.

Newsletters Boost Engagement

You can’t expect users to visit your site every day, so they may miss a few posts or forget about you over time. To encourage them back to the site, or keep your site in mind, a weekly newsletter covering the top posts and other news is an invaluable tool. You can also use it to send offers and exclusive content that isn’t on the site as a reward for their subscription.

The Newsletter plugin helps manage subscribers, produce letters and send emails, allowing users to monitor response rates and other metrics.

Get Visitor Contact Details

Of course, you’ll need users’ contact details in the first place and one of the simplest methods of achieving this is through the contact form. Be clever about how you attract them to fill in the form, offer free information, sign them up to a club or engage them through polls. Reassure users that their data won’t be used for anything but newsletters and other relevant engagements.

123 ContactForm  does all this and allows you to add multilingual support, run third-party apps in the form and accept payments to encourage monetization.

 

5 WordPress Image Plugins to Greatly Enhance Your Blog Posts

 

Keep Your Site is Secure

With many stories popping up about threats to WordPress sites, some users may be concerned about visiting any pages running on the platform. One way to show your site is safe and protected is to run one of the many protection scanners on your installation.

McAfee scans sites for malware, viruses and other threats, with pro options for those running larger sites including secure payments. McAfee is owned by Intel and users will be reassured to see one of the biggest names in security protecting the sites they visit.

Automatically Show Related Posts

If a reader is interested in one subject, they are more likely to keep reading if they can see large, clear, links to similar content. Your site may have many similar posts and linking to them all manually can be a pain, with many internal links cluttering up the the text in your articles.

Related Posts creates an automatic visual list of links based on keywords, so if your post is about “fly fishing”, using those keywords will provide a related list that visitors can eagerly click on.

Create A Sense of Achievement

Game systems like PlayStation encourage players to keep going by offering rewards and achievements. For those with a high volume site, plugins like BadgeOS can turn your site into a reward system with its own achievements.

Users can easily create badges and a series of rules that users need to follow or complete to earn them. Creating a game within your site, or driving loyalty and engagement through rewards will be a growing trend on sites and services, so get ahead of the crowd.

Take Your Visitors Shopping

Many site articles can link to products that your business doesn’t sell. Yet you can still monetize those links by using an Amazon Affiliate account. That and a simple plugin can place adverts for relevant products on your site, and encourage readers to buy, giving you a cut of the proceeds. This plugin uses Amazon shortcodes, so there’s no stress in updating or adding offers to new pages, and the price information is always live, so visitors can see the latest offers.

Build A Community

Some websites rapidly grow beyond a humble blog into a fully-fledged community. All of a sudden the owner or operator can be flooded with work they weren’t expecting. For those sites, a plugin like BuddyPress can help create groups, member boards, forums, profiles and enable messaging to help grow the group.

5 WordPress Plugins for a Mobile-Friendlier Blog

Reminder: Do Not Compensate Reviewers

It was brought to our attention that some plugin developers on WordPress.org have used various third party services to find new users for their plugins and to have them leave reviews on our site.

It’s time for a reminder.

We do not allow for compensated reviews to be on our site, by any means whatsoever, and consider those reviews to be disingenuous.

The WordPress.org plugin and theme directories are for users to write their experiences, not for companies to use market their products. A compensated or recruited review should be posted on someone’s own site, the reviewers own site, or the 3rd party site itself.

While you may not consider getting a product free (or at a discount) to be compensation, we do. It messes up the system, which really is meant for people who legitimately use a plugin to leave a review of their experience. It’s also misleading, in our eyes, because it was not made by an actual user of the product in question.

Asking an existing user to leave a review is one thing. Emailing your user base, while possibly annoying to many people, is totally fine. Reaching out to new people and saying ‘please try and review’ inflates the number of reviews in an unnatural manner.

You may have heard about how Amazon does permit reviews like that, as long as the reviewer “clearly and conspicuously disclose[s] that fact” in their review. We’re not Amazon, and being a much smaller community, we’re able to monitor our reviews in a tighter manner. Paid reviews, compensated reviews, or recruited reviews are all the same idea. You’re ‘paying’ someone to review.

The Consumerist has a long article about this, asking Is Amazon Doing Anything To Fight Latest Wave Of Fake, Paid-For Reviews? This article illustrates the issues these kinds of reviews cause, primarily they break the trust a reader has in any review. Also keep in mind that companies like Yelp hire people to blacklist companies who reward people for leaving reviews.

This is just something you should avoid and reviews that are found to have been compensated for will be removed.