Find Out If You Use WordPress.Com or WordPress.Org

The most common question that many WordPress users struggle with is how to tell if their website is on either WordPress.com or WordPress.org. On this blog post, we share the most basic ways of telling the two apart.

The key difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is hosting.

Let us begin by defining web hosting. It is the process of space allocation on a web server for a website to store its files. These files that comprise a website (HTML, CSS, files and images) are made available for viewing online.

WordPress.org often referred to as self-hosted WordPress, is usually set up with your own hosting provider, e.g. GoDaddy, Bluehost, 123 Reg, or a company like WP Support Specialists.

You can customize your website design as needed, and you are also able to run custom analytics and tracking for your website.

On the other hand, you pay WordPress.com to host your website domain for you. This kind of website is easy to use and does not require installation. However, your website will not be completely under your control and the design and themes are limited.

With all said you are still probably wondering whether there is another way you can tell if your website is on wordpress.com or self-hosted? Yes there is J

 A more practical way of checking the difference is by using your browser and following these simple steps:

  1. Go to your browser; type your website’s domain followed by /wp-login.php. This takes you to your WordPress login dashboard.
  2. Your WordPress login dashboard will appear, login to your website’s backend with your username and password.
  3. Once you are at the backend, hover your mouse over the WordPress logo at the top left corner of the page.
  4. On the dropdown list, you will see either WordPress.org or WordPress.com

Wordpress.org screenshot

We hope this blog clearly illustrates how you can tell which WordPress hosting platform you are on.

If you have any further questions about how do i tell if my website is on WordPress.com or WordPress.org, feel free to contact us here with your query.

Managed WordPress Hosting And Support

Managed WordPress hosting and support in a single, affordable package is hard to come by.  There are many companies offering fully managed WordPress hosting, and many others offering WordPress technical support – but few combine the two.

Really this makes no sense: websites need hosting and websites need maintenance – it’s just a fact of the digital world.  But WordPress website owners have to shop around to find the best managed WP hosting company for their needs.  Then most owners simply try to manage the regular maintenance themselves, without having any training or expertise in WordPress management.

And there are several disadvantages to these approaches:

1.Not All Website Hosting Is Created Equal

WEBSPACE

The size of a website dictates the amount of webspace it requires.  Around 1Gb is fine for small sites with modest website traffic, but the bigger the site, the more webspace it requires – those huge, complicated sites with 1000s of visitors plus per day, are going to need to have hosting with unlimited webspace.

It’s not easy to predict the amount of webspace you will need for your site and consequently makes it hard to find the right hosting package for you.

SERVER

Hosting can be shared or on a private server – again the best choice depends on the anticipated website traffic.  General shared hosting, as offered by companies such as GoDaddy, Bluehost and 123 Reg, means your site will share the server with other company websites. Consequently this type of hosting can be adequate for small sites where uptime and site speed are not critical, but far from ideal for sites with large volumes of traffic. In the latter case, website speed may be slow and if you have too much traffic, the site is likely to crash

Private server hosting means you have resources that are not shared by others. This provides more power and flexibility than being on a shared account, but costs more.

For a WordPress website, it makes sense to choose WordPress specific hosting. It may be slightly more expensive than general hosting but is optimised for WP and ensures the website runs faster and can be more easily maintained.  But many of the “big names” in website hosting don’t offer this option.

In short finding the right hosting package for your WordPress website can be tricky if you don’t  know the right questions to ask.

2. WordPress Maintenance Isn’t All Plain Sailing

In theory, WordPress is a free platform available for all to use. The reality is that it is hard to maintain a WP site securely if you’ve taught yourself everything you know about the platform.

Many business owners don’t even appreciate the need to regularly maintain their website: it needs to be backed up regularly, to be monitored for malware, and plugin and core updates need to be done in a timely manner.

Even those who do realise regular maintenance is essential, don’t have all the skills they need to carry it out effectively. Or alternatively they get so caught up in the demands of their business, that the website maintenance gets overlooked all together.

The result? At some point or other the website is going to have problems. And at that point, WordPress support is needed – again another hassle for the business owner who has to try to find a company to help them as soon as possible.

 

For all of these reasons, we have created a Managed WordPress Hosting and Support package which offers reliable, WP specific hosting and expert support delivered by trained WP specialists.  We work with a modest number of clients, enabling us to provide a truly personal service for each one (quite different to the likes of Godaddy and Bluehost who manage hundreds of thousands of customers).

If you’re fed up with your unhelpful WP hosting company, who tend to blame the WordPress platform itself for any problems you report, and you want quality support from friendly, WP experts then consider our managed WordPress hosting and support package.

 

 

Premium WordPress Hosting And Support

Premium WordPress hosting and support is ideal for companies with WordPress websites who want to leave the management of the site to experts so they can focus on their business.  As the name suggests, premium WordPress hosting and support comprises a top-notch service which includes:

  • WordPress specific hosting, specifically designed to deal with the “application nuances” of this CMS and ensures optimal caching and security for WP sites
  • A fast loading website which is essential for your website to please Google (and so show high in search results) and also to please your website visitors
  • The ability to quickly fix any security issues identified by WordPress
  • Regular maintenance of the website including daily back-ups, malware protection plus core and plugin updates
  • 24/7 WordPress support if things go wrong
  • WordPress support services delivered by experts who work solely with the WordPress platform and know everything there is to know

Whilst business owners realise they need to host their website via a third party hosting party, many mistakenly believe that they can support their site without external assistance; but unless they are an expert in all things WordPress, things have a tendency to go horribly wrong.

For example, WordPress plugins and core updates need to be made frequently, but if the whole website isn’t backed up properly first and something goes wrong, a lot of data is going to be lost.

Similarly if the site isn’t fully protected against hackers and malware, and actively checked for malicious behaviour on the site, it can become compromised.

At this point, business owners realise their error – they will have search for WP experts who offer emergency support, and then pay out hundreds or thousands of pounds for the experts to investigate the problems to put everything right.  And during this process of course, the website isn’t working and the business is losing potential customers and sales.

How much more sensible it would have been to follow the “prevention is better than cure” philosophy.

For all of these reasons, we have created a WordPress premium plan which offers both fast, reliable hosting and superb support delivered by specific WP experts.  We support small businesses on a regular basis and pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with them – not for us the impersonal approach of the “big” hosting companies such as Godaddy and Bluehost where you are just one customer amongst hundreds of thousands.

Are you fed up trying to deal with your hosting company, who are slow to respond and then simply blame the WordPress platform itself for any below par performance? Do you need regular support from friendly, experienced WP experts to keep your website ticking over reliably? If yes, then consider our premium WordPress hosting and support package.

Why Make Your WordPress Website Load Faster?

You may be aware that many people talk about making a WordPress website load faster, but don’t really understand why.  We can enlighten you: there are 2 very important reasons why you should care about the loading speed of your website.

Reason 1 – Improved User Experience

For website users there is nothing more annoying than clicking on a website link and waiting……. and waiting for the pages to load.  If that happens, they’re more likely than not to shut the tab down and head off to another website with a faster load speed.  And this doesn’t just apply to desktop users; mobile visitors want to use speedy websites too.

On eCommerce websites, users want to navigate round the site, look at all the pretty things on offer, add things to their wish list, pop things in their basket, then checkout and pay – all without being delayed by slow loading pages.  In fact website loading speed is so important for online shoppers that it has a direct impact on return visits, site loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations.

There are some fascinating statistics which underline the above points:

  • If your website pages take 4 seconds to load, 25% of users will abandon the website
  • 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load
  • 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again
  • 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online.

More details on loading speed can be viewed in this great infographic from Kissmetrics*.

 

Take a look at the final comment on the infographic:

“If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.”

Now that is worth thinking about!

Reason 2 – Google Likes Speedy Sites

As detailed above, a slow loading website creates a poor user experience – and frankly that makes Google fume!  As Google continuously strives to offer up the very best of websites to its searchers, those with slow page speeds will be seen as the poor relations, and won’t rank as highly in result listings as the faster performing sites.  And that goes for both desktop and mobile websites.

However recent research by Google shows that the average loading speed for a mobile page is 22 seconds – but 53% of people will abandon the mobile site if they have to wait beyond 3 seconds for it to load!

Many mobile users must be continually irritated by the websites they try to access on their smartphone or tablet.  No wonder Google pushes those sites lower down their search engine results list!  And as more and more people search on mobile device, can you really afford to not rank well in the search results because your mobile site is very sluggish?

How Can I Check My Website Speed?

If you want Google to push your website higher up the rankings and want to keep your website visitors happy, you need to check your site loading speed, and if necessary make your WordPress website load faster.

Use the simple Google “test my site” tool by simply entering your website url.

Google shows us how it should look:

wordpress website load faster

How Can I Make My WordPress Website Load Faster?

There are a number of fundamental steps you should take, including optimising your images, choosing WordPress plugins carefully and choosing the right host.  For more details, check our blog here

 

We hope that this simple overview of the importance of website loading speed has inspired you to check your own WordPress website loading speed – and to take action if it’s poor.

We offer a WordPress optimisation service if you require help with any technical elements involved in improving your loading speed.  Just contact us for a no obligation chat!

 

*Infographic from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/

How to Duplicate a Page or Post in WordPress

Knowing how to duplicate a page in WordPress is a handy trick! Creating a great page or post in WordPress can take minutes. Creating a spectacular post, however, takes a lot of time. You need to do your research, write insightful content, and then you need to fine-tune it to make the post uniquely yours. You have to add images, SEO elements, bullets, numbering, and headers to make the post easy-to-read, and you should add shareable social media buttons to enable readers to spread the word easily.

That’s why it’s so important to save yourself time by learning how to duplicate a page in WordPress – or indeed duplicating a post. There are several ways to do it.

1. Duplicating a Page in WordPress – Method #1: Duplicate Post Plugin

Step 1:  Installing the Plugin

The WordPress Duplicate Post plugin is a very handy tool to have on any WordPress website.  To install it, navigate to the Plugins tab in the left hand side of your WordPress dashboard. When the page opens up, click on Add New. Type Duplicate Post in the search bar, and click on Search. The Duplicate Post result should appear on the page, with an “Install Now” button underneath. Click on that, and then on OK. Follow the prompts  until you see the Activate Plugin option.

 

Step 2:  Duplicate the Post

From the dashboard, click on Posts > All posts

duplicate a post in wordpress

 

Choose the post you wish to duplicate from the posts listing and place your cursor underneath the name of the post. A menu with options will appear.

Two options are available:

duplicate a page in wordpress

a) Click on Clone if you want to copy the page or post without opening it.

b) Click on New Draft if you want to copy the page or post and open it in the Editor window in draft mode.

 

2. Duplicating a Page in WordPress – Method #2: Using Visual Composer

If you use Visual Composer duplicating a WordPress page or post couldn’t be easier.

Simply design your page layout, then from the template menu, select “Save current page as a template” and give the template a name.

 

visual composer duplicate page in wordpress

 

Then when you create a new page, select your template from the templates menu, and it will be used on the new page.

 

3. Duplicating a Page in WordPress – Method #3: Advanced Layout Builder

Some WordPress themes have built-in page and post duplication functions.

Enfold uses the Advanced Layout Builder which makes it simple to duplicate a page or post.

If you want to clone a page you save it as a template and give the template a suitable name:

avia layout builder duplicate page

 

When you need to add a new page, click on Templates, and choose the template name you saved on the previous step and that will load the same page.

 

4. And Finally Double Check

When you are clear about how to duplicate a page in WordPress by following one of the options above, you will have duplicated an entire post or page, including the title, tags, categories, contents and more – so you won’t have to fiddle around with new formatting or the like.

It just remains for you to check the content on the page or post, change the SEO fields, update images etc and check it all for accuracy before hitting publish.

Duplicating a page in WordPress is very easy – provided you have the right tools!

If you require further help with your WordPress website or are interested in our services, please browse our website and contact us for a no obligation chat.

SSL Certificates And How to Switch from HTTP to HTTPS

You may have heard of SSL Certificates and be aware that Google is keen to see webmasters migrate their HTTP websites to HTTPS, all in the name of website security.  But if you’ve unclear what the fuss is all about, why you should make the move, and indeed how to do it, Matt Banner at On Blast Blog has all the answers.

This infographic is a checklist covering everything you need to know and how to migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS.

Enjoy the read – and remember, if you experts to migrate your WordPress website to HTTPS, we’re here to help!

 

how to switch from http to https Credit: On Blast Blog

Optimising Images In WordPress – 9 SEO And User Experience Tips

Optimising images in WordPress is essential from both a search engine optimisation (SEO) viewpoint, and also to create a great user experience.  Attractive images make the site look more appealing, can break up chunks of text and can help get a specific point across to your audience.  And if they are handled properly, they can have positive impact on your SEO.

1. Professional images

Don’t be tempted to use amateur shots on your website or even in your blogs.  They suggest you haven’t given much thought or effort to making your site look presentable.  When optimising images in WordPress, you’ll need professional shots taken of specific products, venues or the staff that you wish to promote –  but of course you can supplement these with good quality stock images.

Nowadays you can find some great free stock images, as well as paid for images on a variety of websites.  If you’re not sure where to look, check out this great article.

2. Image resolution

Choose a good enough resolution (number of pixels) for images to show as good quality on large screens ie. not fuzzy or pixelated.  As a rule of thumb, images of around 1920 pixels wide are ideal for main banner images / full width images as they will be displayed properly on the vast majority of desktops. There is generally no need to upload images in excess of this

If your image is to enhance a blog post or page, images should be smaller to reflect the fact that they will be displayed at a smaller size.

Whatever the pixel dimensions of your image, ensure the file size is as small as possible – an easy way to do this is to save them at 72dpi.

3. File Name

Before you upload an image to your Image library, consider the page it will appear on.  Think in advance what the focus word of that page will be, and create a  file name to match.  This is the very first step in telling the search engines what your image represents.

In this example, the image is to be used in a blog, where the focus keyword is “WordPress website security”, and so the image file name is simply wordpress-website-security.jpg

optimising images in wordpress

Whatever the keyword you want the page to rank for, make sure it appears at the beginning of the image file name for improved SEO.

4. Title

The image title has no impact on SEO but enables you to add in more information about the image.

5. Alt Text

This is the most important field for SEO – it helps Google understand what your image is about, and hence the description you use must be in line with your focus keyword.  However don’t be tempted to stuff keywords here – keep the text clear, concise and relevant because if the image can’t be shown to a user (eg. they have turned off images in the web browser or are using a screen reader) the Alt Text is displayed to them.

In our example we have used “WordPress Website Security Tips”.

6. Caption

This is not essential in terms of SEO but can be used to show a caption to your audience under the image on your website – if you believe it will enhance the user experience, then add captions; if not, leave this field blank.

7. Description

Again of no benefit to your SEO efforts but you can add in descriptive details here, such as when the image was taken for example.

8. Image Compression

This is important for both SEO and user experience.  If your website pages contain large images, thousands of pixels wide,  it will make the web pages very slow to load. And that creates a poor user experience that Google frowns upon.  Nowadays loading speed is considered as a ranking factor – the faster the better.

optimising images in wordpress

 

optimising images in wordpress

Then when adding images to your web pages, you can simply choose the appropriate size for the page.

9. Automatic Image Optimisation

There are a wide variety of plugins that ensure you are optimising images in WordPress – they enable website images to be served at the appropriate size for the best web page loading speed possible.

We like WP Smush which handles all image resizing, optimisation and compression needs.

By simply setting the maximum image height and width, WP Smush will compress the files to reduce file size and scale them down simultaneously – with no loss of visual quality.

 

So there you have it.  9 straightforward tips to help you optimise images on your WordPress website – to keep your users happy and to help with SEO.

 

For more information about on-page SEO using Yoast in WordPress, check out this article.

If you require help with optimising images in WordPress – or indeed help with any other WordPress issues such as hosting, maintenance or migration – then just contact us.

 

6 Simple Steps to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

If you’re using a WordPress site, you have already made at least one good decision towards the online success of your business. Now you need to optimize your site’s performance to ensure that you get the best results from it, and one way to do that, is by enhancing its load speed.

A site that loads slowly, will result in poor search engine performance, reduced conversions and a loss of traffic. Research has shown a direct link between visitor retention and:

  • page speed
  • bounce rate
  • visitor retention
  • profit

Additionally, Google has acknowledged that page speed is used as a factor in rankings. Why? Because page speed affects the user experience. Users don’t want to wait more than 3 seconds for a page to be loaded, and therefore, fast pages will be ranked higher in the search results pages.

Speed Up Your WordPress Site In Six Simple Steps

1.   Choose the right host

A reliable web host that uses DNS and is configured specifically for WordPress is crucial for your site’s performance. Your site should be hosted on servers that understand WordPress.

2.  Choose the right framework

When it comes to choosing the right framework for your WordPress site, you can’t go wrong with Genesis. It is made for WordPress and it uses the latest best practices in terms of code for best functioning. Additionally, Genesis offers responsive themes, which automatically change its resolution based on the device on which it is viewed. Since a large percentage of consumers view sites on mobile, it will open your site up to a whole new market.

3.  Install a clean theme

Clean coding is key to a fast WordPress site, and that’s why you should opt for the cleanest theme you can find. You can rely on StudioPress to deliver just that, with every single theme they create.

4.  Install a caching plugin

W3 EDGE provides an awesome plugin, known as W3 Total Cache. This tool provides fragment caching support for Genesis-powered sites.  It provides increased control over granular caching and enables faster load times.

5.  Be picky about your plugins

With so many different plugins at your disposal, it is tempting to install as many as your disk space will allow, but don’t.  Stick to the basics, and keep only those plugins that you need for your site to function as it should. With that, be sure to only install plugins that are supported and that use solid, clean code.

6.  Optimise your images

Large images take longer to load, especially if you receive a lot of traffic to your site. Therefore, you should optimise your images and compressing them in order to reduce the amount of bandwidth used when they are loaded.

There are many ways to do this, including:

Photoshop – Reduce the size of your image to the exact dimensions required on your site, and choose the most appropriate format. Select low compression settings.

WP Smush.it – Another cool WordPress plugin, Smush will take all the legwork out of compressing your images.

These simple tips should help you to speed your site up significantly. You can test the speed before and after, using Pingdom.

WordPress Security Attacks Dec 2016 And Take-Home Conclusions

WordFence – the WordPress Security company – has released a report of WordPress attacks globally in December 2016 which makes for interesting reading.

Examining the top 25 IP address responsible for attacks on WordPress websites, 80 million originated in Ukraine from four netblock owners:

  • PE Tetyana Mysyk
  • Pp Sks-lugan
  • Kyivstar GSM
  • ISP Datasvit network

24 million originated in France and 18.4 million from Russia.

 

The report splits the data into two types of attack

  • Brute force attack – which tries to guess the WordPress password
  • Complex attack – which tries to exploit a vulnerability in WordPress or associated plugin.

Complex attacks (63 million) were found to be from fewer, most active IPs – a finding the authors accredit to the fact that these are more sophisticated attackers who have the ability to attack vulnerabilities and in huge volume.

During December 2016 there were more than 3 million to 8 million blocked complex attacks per day.

Brute force attacks (67 million) were more common and noticeable from a higher number of IPs, but at a reduced volume – as these attackers are less sophisticated.  Furthermore the brute force attack is likely to be far less successful due to the very nature of the attack.

Towards the end of December 2016, there was a huge peak in blocked brute force attacks, reaching over 45 million in a 48 hour period.

Take-Home Conclusions

What Does This Data Mean For Your WordPress Security?  It re-emphasises the importance of being vigilant about your WordPress security.

Brute force attacks can be blocked by various plugins, such as the WordFence Security plugin and it is essential that you insert one on your website.

If you’re unsure how to add this type of plugin or are concerned by the warning they display before installing, please feel free to contact us for installation assistance.

Since complex attacks are targeted at vulnerabilities in WordPress themes and WordPress plugins, you can reduce the risk of attack by keeping your core WordPress system and plugins up to date.  The data reported showed that all attacks were via publically known vulnerabilities, and many of these plugins dated back to 2012.

Read the full WordFence report here.

If you’re worried about your WordPress security, we offer a FREE security audit which examines, detects and provides a fully detailed report looking at potential vulnerabilities within your WordPress website.

Alternatively contact us to discuss any concerns you have about your WordPress website – we’re sure to be able to help.

Choosing Web Hosting For WordPress – Knowledge Is Power!

When you need web hosting for your WordPress website, it can seem a little daunting to know what to choose – and if your website is your first, you may even be a little hazy as to what web hosting is! So let us arm you with some knowledge so you understand what is web hosting and how to choose the best hosting company for your WordPress website.

1. What Is Web Hosting?

To get your website seen on the internet it has to be placed there, otherwise it won’t be available to website users.  Web hosting companies own and maintain powerful web servers which store your web pages, and “serve” them to your visitors.

There are many web hosting companies around – but when you decide which to use to host your WordPress website, you need to consider the following essential points.

1.1 Amount of web space

Around 1Gb is fine if your website is small and your website traffic is likely to be modest.  Big, complicated websites with lots of functionality (online purchasing, online booking, forums, lots of images and video etc) which attract many visitors would do best to choose hosting with unlimited web space.

1.2  Website speed

It’s important that your website has pages that are fast to load – slow websites aren’t enjoyed by visitors and your site could actually get penalised in Google search results if it is very sluggish.

1.3  General Shared or Private Server Hosting

General shared hosting is offered by companies such as GoDaddy, Bluehost and  123 Reg etc. This is great for small personal sites and low budgets, where uptime and site speed aren’t critical.

However shared servers are less suited to websites with large volumes of traffic.  They won’t scale well and with too much traffic, your site is likely to go down.  Also website speed is affected by what your “neighbours” are running on their sites concurrently.

Private server hosting means you have resources that are not shared by others.  This provides more power and flexibility than being on a shared account.

1.4 WordPress specific hosting

WordPress specific hosting may be slightly more expensive than general hosting. However it’s definitely advantageous because WordPress has “application specific” nuances that affect hosting providers.  Managed WordPress hosting providers specialise in these nuances and optimise caching, security, and support for WordPress sites.

In addition, this type of hosting means pages can be served faster and WordPress specific security issues can patched quickly with the release of each new WordPress version.  

1.5 Whether you need CDN (Content Delivery Network) services

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a service that can help the static content on your site (images, CSS, Javascript) load much more quickly.

A CDN is a collection of servers located all around the world. When a browser loads static content, the request is automatically routed to the server geographically closest to the browser. This helps the content load much more quickly. In addition, because your content is loaded from many servers in separate locations, bursts of traffic are less likely to cause issues, because the burst is spread out over hundreds of servers, rather than just one.

1.6 If you require a SSL option

HTTPS, the secure protocol for the web, safeguards your visitors by creating encrypted connections between your visitors and your site, protecting your visitors’ privacy and the data they share with you over the internet.

In addition to providing enhanced security, HTTPS can provide search engine ranking improvements.  Read this article for more information on https for SEO.

1.7 Service Level you expect from the hosting provider

The amount of support you receive depends on the platform you choose and the operator – so check the service level agreement before signing up. Things to consider:

– network availability  – does the host guarantee 100% network availability (excluding scheduled and emergency maintenance)?

– assistance – how can you contact the host? Are they available 24/7? How quickly will your query be dealt with?

 

2. Which Are The Best Web Hosting Companies?

There are thousands of hosting companies so it’s important to select a company you feel comfortable with and who you believe will provide a good service and value for money.

Many are multinational companies like GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator etc. who have tens of thousands of clients, who are consequently treated as one of many.  There are also companies like WP Support Specialists who deal with smaller numbers of clients and build up a good working relationship with them in a more personal way.

Here’s a list of 5 of the biggest WordPress website hosting companies with links through to customer reviews:

After reading this article we trust you are armed with the knowledge you need to choose the best web hosting company for your WordPress website!

If you’re interested in our website hosting services (for that personal, yet knowledgeable service!) take a look at our options here, or contact us for a no obligation chat.