Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Kevin Wood
Friday, February 2, 2018 by Kevin Wood
What Are the Most Popular WordPress Plugins?WordPress plugins are a great way to increase the functionality of your website and easily add additional features. There are thousands of different plugins for you to choose from. In fact, the WordPress plugin repository has over 45,000 different plugins available. So, how do you know which ones you need? Luckily, a lot of those plugins perform the same functionality, so that will help narrow down your search. And some of those plugins are low quality, so it’s not recommended to install them on your site. Below you’ll find a list of the most popular WordPress plugins that you’ll want to consider installing on your WordPress site.
1. Yoast SEOYoast SEO is a must-have WordPress plugin. If you’re looking for ways to improve your onsite SEO, then this plugin will help you do just that. It not only makes it easy for you to optimize your content for your target keywords but will educate you about SEO throughout the process.
3. AkismetAkismet is typically installed with every new WordPress installation. All you have to do is activate it, and your site will be protected against comment spam. It’s quite a useful plugin, especially if you’ve had a problem with spam comments in the past. improve the speed of your website, then caching will help you do just that. W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins available. Activating this plugin will help to reduce the amount of time it takes your site to load, and improve overall performance.
7. WordFenceIf you’re concerned about the security of your WordPress site, then you’ll want WordFence in your arsenal. WordFence is one of the most popular security plugins and it includes features like malware scans, login protection, firewall protection, and much more. This all-in-one security plugin is worth checking out.
9. JetpackJetpack was developed by the team behind WordPress, Automattic. Instead of being a single plugin it offers a wide range of different extensions, including site security, social sharing, improving site performance, optimizing your images, and a lot more.
11. RedirectionRedirection is one of the most popular link redirection plugins. With this plugin, you’ll be able to change the permalinks of certain pages or posts, and easily redirect your users to the current version of the page. This plugin is also useful when you’re migrating pages or posts from an older site. encourage readers to join your list.
14. WooCommerceWooCommerce is one of the most popular plugins for adding eCommerce functionality to your WordPress site. This plugin will work with most themes, however, keep in mind that some themes are better suited for WooCommerce functionality than others. Currently, this plugin powers 30% of online stores.
Is Shared Hosting Bad for SEO?Choosing the right web host is a very important decision in the life of your website. Choose the wrong host or the wrong hosting plan and you’ll make it that much more difficult for your website to succeed. Now, going with a shared hosting package isn’t necessarily going to be a poor choice for your rankings, but instead depends on a variety of other factors, as you’ll soon learn. Below we look into how a shared hosting plan can affect your search engine rankings.
How Your Host Can Affect Your RankingsYour host will influence a few core ranking factors that will either make it easier or more difficult for your site to rank. That doesn’t mean you should choose a host based on SEO factors alone, but it’s important to think about, especially if search engine traffic is going to play a crucial role in the success of your website.
1. Site Speed and PerformanceIf you want your site to rank it’s going to need to load quickly. Having a slow loading site will negatively impact your user experience, along with have negatively impacting your rankings. Plus, page speed is also a Google ranking factor. If you have a host that ends up slowing down your page loading speed, then you’ll definitely see a drop in your rankings.
2. Data Center LocationsAnother element that can affect the speed of your site is the data center location where your site’s files are actually stored. Some hosts will offer multiple data center locations that you can choose from. If you’re given this option you should choose the data center location that’s closest to the physical location of your visitors. Having a datacenter location that’s very far from your users may negatively impact your performance. However, you can get around this by using a CDN, which is covered in more detail below.
3. Site DowntimeSite downtime is a normal process of hosting a site online. Even the most high-performance servers will have to do routine server maintenance. However, one thing you’ll want to look for is a host that offers very high uptime (99.9% or above), and is backed by a guarantee or historical data. Having a site that’s down a lot of the time will create a poor user experience. If you have a user who clicks through to your site from the search engines and sees your site is offline there’s a solid chance they won’t come back. Google continues to shift its ranking algorithm towards sites that value its users, so it’s important you place a focus on creating the best user experience possible.
- HostGator's reliable 99.9% uptime guarantee earned us multiple Editor's Choice awards from PC Magazine!
4. Ability to Handle Traffic SurgesIs your host ready for when your site receives a huge amount of traffic, or a post of yours goes viral? It’s natural for a site to go offline during a huge surge in traffic unless you’re using a very high performing host. But, this issue should be remedied very quickly. Plus, if this extended volume of traffic becomes normal, then you need a host that can scale up your server resources, or easily upgrade your site to a higher package.
Will a Shared Host Negatively Impact My Rankings?This is a difficult question to answer with a straight yes or no answer. The impact your host has on your rankings will depend upon the hosting provider you choose and your site. For example, a site on a high-performance shared host with poor onsite optimization and SEO can still rank poorly. While, a site hosted on a less-than-stellar shared host with great onsite SEO like caching, image optimization, a solid theme, and a CDN can still have decent-enough performance and rankings. If you are using a shared host, then you can help to offset any negative consequences like slow loading speeds and lack of datacenter selection by using a CDN. Most shared hosts are equipped with their own CDNs or at least integrate with popular providers. However, if this isn’t the case you can always integrate your site with a third-party provider like CloudFlare. One tried and true method is to begin with a shared host and upgrade your plan if your site’s performance starts to decline. Regardless of the host you use, it’s important to properly optimize your site both for speed and rankings. Your hosting environment can help a lot, but you should still do everything in your power to improve your site as well.
Rely on Shared Hosting from HostGatorOverall, shared hosting isn’t necessarily going to have a negative effect on your rankings. What's important is to choose a reputable host, period. A good host will offer a variety of hosting plans, including shared plans, that are built to support differing levels of website traffic. HostGator offers a variety of hosting plans that are designed to support your unique traffic and site needs. All of our plans come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and unmetered bandwidth. Plus, we also offer SEO services! Learn more here. Read reviews about HostGator's award-winning shared hosting plans here.
Introducing HostGator's Website Builder Themes and TemplatesWhen the time comes to build your website you’re going to have a lot of different options to choose from. If you currently use HostGator hosting, then one of those options is going to be using the HostGator website builder. This beginner-oriented tool will help you quickly and easily build a beautiful website and get it online as fast as possible. But, is this builder the right fit for your site? Below we look at the core features of the website builder and highlight a few of our favorite themes you can choose from.
What is the HostGator Website Builder?The HostGator website builder is a free website builder for people who are currently using HostGator hosting. It’s feature-packed and caters to beginners who are looking to get their first sites online. Overall, the theme collection is quite expansive, offering you over 100 different mobile-friendly themes to choose from. Below we take a look at some of the overall features you’ll have access to when you build a site with this tool.
- Easy to use drag and drop functionality with no development skills required.
- Pre-built pages and sections, so you don’t have to be a professional designer.
- Each theme is equipped with the 6 core pages every website needs.
- Built-in SEO optimization so you can increase the chances of your site ranking.
- Social media buttons to encourage your visitors to share your content.
- Ability to customize things like your color scheme, font choice, images, and more.
- PayPal integration to easily sell your products and services.
Who Is the Website Builder Best Suited For?If you’re just getting started online and the thought of building your own website terrifies you, then let this builder greatly simplify the process for you. If you’re already using HostGator to host your site, then using this builder is a no-brainer. The Basic version is completely free and included with all hosting plans. You can quickly create a simple and attractive website. With the pre-built templates and extensive theme selection it’s very easy to build out your site, and all without any existing design or development knowledge.
Top HostGator Website Builder ThemesNow, there are over 100 different builder themes for you to choose from, so it would be impossible to highlight all of them here. Instead, you’ll find ten of our favorite themes broken down by various industries. If any of the themes below pique your interest, perfect, but if not, then feel free to explore the entire collection here.
Builder Themes for Real Estate Websites
Builder Themes for Restaurant Websites
Builder Themes For Business Websites
For Creative Portfolios
More Website Builder ThemesIf we didn’t cover your niche above, don’t worry, there’s a huge theme selection that caters to almost every type of website out there, including:
- Beauty and Fashion
- Technology Industries
- Hotels and Travel
- Lifestyle Sites
- Music and Nightlife
- Simple One-Page Sites
- Simple Online Stores
- Sports-Related Sites
- Pets and Animals
- Construction and Other Trades
- Simple Blogs
- Business Consultant
Monday, December 18, 2017 by Kevin Wood
Top WordPress Hosting FAQIf your site currently runs on WordPress, then you’re probably in the market for a hosting environment that caters to WordPress. Managed WordPress hosting is a relatively new development and caters to sites that only run on WordPress. Still, this kind of hosting isn’t going to be the best fit for every style of website out there. Below we answer your most common questions related to WordPress hosting, so you can decide if it’s going to be the right fit for your website.
1. What is WordPress hosting?WordPress hosting is a style of hosting that’s completely configured to WordPress sites. Most hosting environments, unless you opt for a dedicated or VPS server, have more general configurations. This setup won’t be optimized to your individual site. Since WordPress is a pretty lean framework, WordPress hosting helps you to make the most out of this.
2. What are the benefits of WordPress hosting?If you’re a WordPress user, then opting for WordPress hosting can be incredibly advantageous for your website. Below we look at some of the biggest benefits.
- Improved performance as every aspect of the server environment is optimized for a WordPress installation.
- Better security as the server is optimized to the unique security configuration of WordPress, instead of just running basic security protocols.
- Most WordPress hosting environments have dedicated teams of WordPress experts managing the servers, so it will always be up to date.
- With the dedicated team of WordPress experts behind you, you’ll have a team that understands the ins and outs of your site and server, so customer support will be a breeze.
3. What are the negatives of WordPress hosting?WordPress hosting isn’t the perfect solution for every site owner, even if you’re running WordPress. For starters, it’s going to be more expensive since it’s a customized hosting solution. If your site is small and doesn’t receive a lot of traffic, then you probably won’t see that big of an improvement in performance. Also, some WordPress hosts limit the number of customizations you can do to your site and even limit which plugins you can install. So, if your site requires a plugin that’s on the host’s restricted list, then you may need to look elsewhere for hosting or choose a different type of hosting plan.
4. Who would benefit from using WordPress hosting?If you currently run a mid to high traffic WordPress site and are seeing a decline in your performance, then you could definitely benefit from WordPress specific hosting. Most high-traffic WordPress sites that switch over to WordPress hosting will see an overall improvement in their performance and loading speeds.
5. What’s the difference between shared and managed WordPress hosting?Shared WordPress hosting is basically a hosting environment that has a few WordPress-specific optimizations and offers easy WordPress installations. Most shared hosting environments offer some form of WordPress optimization since it’s such a popular CMS. Managed WordPress hosting is the next level of WordPress hosting. This style of hosting essentially takes care of everything related to your WordPress site. It commonly includes features like site upgrades, improved WordPress performance, virus scans, backups, and more. With managed WordPress hosting everything related to your hosting environment is done for you.
6. How does WordPress hosting differ from other forms of hosting?WordPress hosting, particularly managed WordPress hosting, is completely engineered to provide the optimum hosting environment for WordPress sites. Mostly, it differs from other hosting environments by the setup and software configurations.
7. Can I use WordPress hosting without a WordPress site?Managed WordPress hosting is only available to WordPress site owners, while shared WordPress hosting is generally more variable, depending on your host. Most shared WordPress hosting environments are generally basic shared hosting with WordPress add-ons. So, you could technically be using a shared host that also hosts other WordPress sites. Hopefully, the answers above have helped to answer the most common questions you have related to WordPress hosting. Any questions we didn’t answer above? Please share in the comments below or learn more about HostGator managed WordPress hosting plans here.