How to Create an “Expanding” CTA like Elegant Themes

Elegant Themes recently changed the design of their website to include some features worth imitating. In earlier posts, I wrote about how to implement the Elegant Theme blog design and duplicate the primary menu. But, for this post, I’m going to show you how to duplicate the Elegant Themes call to action (CTA). This CTA is located at the bottom near the footer of the Elegant Themes website. What is special about this CTA is the added functionality that triggers animation once the user scrolls to the element.

Today, I’m going to show you how to duplicate not only the style of this CTA but also the animation functionality. This is accomplished using Divi’s Code Module with some custom CSS and a a few lines of JavaScript. However, you can easily extend the same animated functionality on any of Divi’s modules.

Let’s get started.

Implementing the Design With Divi

Building the Call To Action Using the Code Module

Using the Visual Builder, add a new regular section with a fullwidth row column.

Next add the Code Module to your row.

Under the General Code Settings, add the following html to the content section.

<div class="cta-info">

<h3>401,632 Customers Are Already Building Amazing Websites With Divi. Join The Most Empowered WordPress Community On The Web</h3>

<p>We offer a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, so joining is Risk-Free!</p>

<a href="ENTER URL HERE" id="sign">Sign Up Today</a>

</div>

This html will serve as the content for your CTA. You will notice the main CTA headline is wrapped in an h3 tag. The sub-headline is wrapped in a standard p tag. And the link (soon to be button) has a CSS ID called “sign”.

Also a div with the class “cta-info” is wrapped around the content. This is important for styling purposes later on.

Save Changes

Now we need to add a new CSS ID to your new section. Click the section settings icon to open the section settings.

Under the CSS tab in Section Settings, add the CSS ID “cta-section” and save your changes changes.

Next we need to add a CSS ID to your row. Click on the row settings icon.

Under the CSS tab, update the row settings with a new CSS ID called “cta-row”.

Save changes

That’s all we need for the layout of the CTA. With our content in place and our CSS ID’s, we are ready to add some custom CSS.

Adding the Custom CSS

Go to Divi → Theme Customizer → Additional CSS (or you can update your child theme’s style.css file directly). Inside the code box, add the following CSS:

/* Animated Call To Action */

/*** style CTA section and row when waypoint is not triggered ***/
#cta-section {
    padding: 0 80px;
    transition: all .8s ease;
    -moz-transition: all .8s ease;
    -webkit-transition: all .8s ease;
}
#cta-row {
    margin: 80px auto 0 auto;
    padding: 80px 0;
    max-width: 100%;
    background-color: #6c17dc;
    -moz-border-radius: 4px;
    -webkit-border-radius: 4px;
    border-radius: 4px;
    box-shadow: 0px 10px 50px #939fa9;
    transition: all .8s ease;
    -moz-transition: all .8s ease;
    -webkit-transition: all .8s ease;

}
/*** Style CTA section and row once waypoint toggles animate-cta class ***/
#cta-section.animate-cta {
    padding: 46px 0 66px 0;
    overflow: hidden;
}
.animate-cta #cta-row {
    margin: 0 auto 0 auto;
    -webkit-transform: scale(1.1);
    transform: scale(1.1);
    background-color: #4843d2;
    width: inherit;
}
/*** style button ***/

#sign {
    display: inline-block;
    width: 246px;   
    color: #fff;
    text-transform: uppercase;
    font-size: 16px;
    font-weight: 600;
    background-color: #f92c8b;
    padding: 20px 40px;
    margin-top: 30px;
    border-radius: 60px;
    -webkit-border-radius: 60px;
    -moz-border-radius: 60px;
    transition: all .8s ease;
    -webkit-transition: all .8s ease;
    -webkit-transition: all .8s ease;
    box-shadow: 0px 5px 20px #231f92;
    -moz-box-shadow: 0px 5px 20px #231f92;
    -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 10px 50px #231f92;
}
#sign:hover {
    background-color: #2cc2e6;
    box-shadow: 0px 20px 80px #1b1867;
    -moz-box-shadow: 0px 20px 80px #1b1867;
    -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 20px 80px #1b1867;
}

/*** style content within the code module ***/

.cta-info{
    color: #fff;
    text-align: center;
    margin: 0 auto !important;
    max-width: 1080px;
    padding: 50px;
}
.cta-info h3 {
    color: #fff;
    font-size: 35px;
    line-height: 1.3em;
}

Now your CTA is starting to look the part. All that we have left to do is add a short script in order to give the CTA that eye-catching animation effect once the CTA in visible in your browser’s viewport upon scrolling.

Adding the Waypoint Script to Animate the CTA When Scrolling to the Element

One of the easiest ways to trigger a function when you scroll to an element on your page is by using the JavaScript library called Waypoints. Since Divi already comes with Waypoints installed (yay!), all we need to do is include a script that utilizes the library.

Go to Divi → Theme Options → Integration and paste the following script in the section “Add code to the head of your blog”.


<script>
jQuery(document).ready(function(){
	jQuery('#cta-section').waypoint(function() {
		jQuery('#cta-section').toggleClass('animate-cta');
	}, {offset: '80%'});
});
</script>

This script is adding a function that will toggle a class called “animate-cta” when you scroll to the CTA section (with the CSS ID “cta-section”). Notice the part of the code that designates the offset as 80%. This means the function will be triggered when the top of the CTA section is 80% from the top of the browser window. If you want to delay the function to trigger when the CTA reaches the middle of the page, you could change the offset value to something like 50%. However, if your CTA is going to be at the very bottom of the page, you should stick with a value closer to 80% – 90%. This is because your CTA may never reach the middle of your browser window when scrolling and, therefore, will not be triggered.

That’s it!

Now let’s take a look at the finished project.

Adding the CTA Functionality to other Modules

If you want to add this CTA functionality to other modules within the Divi Builder, this is fairly easy to do. Here are the steps to get you started:

  1. Create a standard section with a fullwidth (single column) row.
  2. In Section Settings, under CSS, add the CSS ID “cta-section”.
  3. In Row Settings, under CSS, add the CSS ID “cta-row” AND add the Column CSS Class “cta-column”.
  4. Insert the following custom CSS:
  5.  .cta-column.et_pb_column:last-child {
     margin: 0 auto;
     margin-right: auto !important;
     max-width: 1080px;
     float: none;
    }
    
  6. Add any module you want to the row (ie. Call to Action Module) and style it accordingly. You may want to add transparent backgrounds to your module so that it won’t over lap the section background color of your CTA.

Important Note: You can’t add more than one CTA with this function per page.

Final Thoughts

Duplicating Elegant Theme’s CTA is a useful feature to add to any future project. It grabs the reader’s attention without being too overbearing. Using the Code Module gives developers more flexibility to add custom html within the CTA. And, the waypoint animation functionality is not limited to the Code Module.  You can also add the necessary CSS ID’s to any section, row, and column to create CTA’s with any any module using the Divi Builder.

I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

Cheers!

The post How to Create an “Expanding” CTA like Elegant Themes appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

17 Best Text Editors for WordPress Development in 2017

When it comes to WordPress development, it’s essential to use tools that make your life easier, but not all tools are created equal, especially when it comes to text editors.

There are many popular word processors that add their own formatting, which means any code you add won’t actually work when you upload the file to use on your WordPress site.

More specifically, you should avoid these apps:

While you can’t use any of these, there are many wonderful text editors specifically designed for programming languages.

Here are 18 of the best text editors for WordPress development as well as details on what to look for when choosing one.

Best Text Editors for WordPress Developers

When you’re perusing through the options below, there are some key features you should look for and consider:

  • Easy-to-use UI – Be sure to choose an editor that’s efficient for you to use.
  • Version control – Being able to browse or roll back through the history of the document.
  • Support for the programming languages you need – The text editor you choose should support HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP to use it for WordPress development.
  • Syntax highlighting – Structure and syntax is automatically displays in different colors to efficiently understand, read and edit code.
  • Autocomplete – Many text editors can recognize the syntax you’re going to or have started to type and can include them for you automatically to save time.
  • FTP upload – Being able to directly upload your WordPress site’s files through FTP can save you time, rather than uploading them individually into the editor after downloading them from your site.
  • Search and replace – Instead of wasting time scanning through code manually, you can search for anything within the code and replace it in a few clicks.
  • Your budget – Some of the text editors below are open source and free while others are premium options at varying price points. Consider your budget when comparing these text editors and features.

With all that in mind, here are the best text editors to use for editing code and for WordPress in alphabetical order.

Please note: The pricing and other similar details for the text editors below are accurate at the time this was written.

  • Apatana Studio 3

    Apatana Studio 3's site

    Apatana Studio 3 is a development tool and text editor where you can both develop and test your web projects.

    It supports HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP and Python. It has an integrated debug tool, a built-in terminal as well as Git integration.

    Apatana Studio 3 is also:

    • Free and open source
    • Available for Mac OS X (or later), Windows and Linux
    • Doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed

    Interested in Apatana Studio 3?

  • Atom

    Atom's site

    Atom is an extremely customizable text editor but works well straight out-of-the-box.

    It has a built-in package manager as well as many other useful features such as flexible autocompletion, search and replace, cross-platform editing as well as a multi-pane interface.

    Atom is also:

    • Free and open source
    • Available for Mac OS X (or later), Windows and Linux

    Interested in Atom?

  • BBEdit

    BBEdit's site

    BBEdit is the self-proclaimed text editor that “doesn’t suck.” It’s built for high performance and efficiency.

    It includes grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files, project definition tools, function navigation, syntax coloring for numerous source code languages, text and code auto-completion and HTML markup tools.

    BBEdit also:

    • Has a free trial
    • It’s priced at $49.99
    • Available for Mac OS X (version 10.9.5 or later)

    Interested in BBEdit?

  • Brackets

    Brakets' site

    Brackets was designed for web designers and front-end developers. It has visual tools included in the editor to aid the creative aspects of coding for design.

    It’s also specifically designed for HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You can still edit files in other languages, though, you won’t get all the same features.

    It has preprocessor support as well as a live preview option. You can also edit multiple files inline and its basic features include syntax highlighting, autocompletion and search and replace. There are also a ton of extensions to add even more features.

    Brackets is also:

    • Free and open source
    • Available for Mac, Windows and Linux (Debian/Ubuntu)
    • Has an expired SSL certificate at the time this article was written

    Interested in Brackets?

  • Coda 2

    Coda 2's site

    Coda 2 is a robust text editor that includes a gigantic set of features including syntax highlighting, autocomplete, search and replace, code navigator, indentation guides, HTML validator, automatic tag closing, fast commenting and even the ability to open files locally or remotely through FTP, SFTP, WebDAV or Amazon S3.

    The only thing it doesn’t seem to include is the kitchen sink, especially since it has a built-in terminal for SSH access, a MySQL editor and a live preview feature.

    Its user interface is surprisingly simple enough to get around, though, the enormous set of features also gives it a large learning curve for some users and it can be difficult to get fully familiar with it.

    Coda 2 is also:

    • Priced at $99
    • Available for Mac OS X 10.9.5 (or later) and iOS

    Interested in Coda 2?

  • Codeanywhere

    Codeanywhere's site

    Codeanywhere is a cloud-based text editor and is accessed from a browser. You can also share your code with a link and collaborate in real time.

    It has a built-in terminal so you can connect to a remote server and MySQL. You can also access and edit your files remotely through FTP, SFTP, Dropbox and Google Drive.

    It also supports many features such as syntax highlighting, auto complete, linting for JavaScript and CSS as well as multiple layouts, cursors and color schemes. It’s also compatible with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and 71 other programming languages.

    Codeanywhere is also:

    • Free for a basic account
    • Upgradable with premium monthly or annual subscriptions ranging from $2/month (billed annually) or $3/month and $40/month (billed annually) or $50/month.
    • Compatible with all major browsers as well as iOS and Android

    Interested in Codeanywhere?

  • CodeRunner 2

    CodeRunner 2's site

    CodeRunner 2 has a simple and clean interface and has many great features including IDE-level auto-completion, fuzzy-search, tab-selectable placeholders, you can also set breakpoints and debug your code with commands.

    You can load projects composed of multiple files andcan run 23 code languages out-of-the-box. You can also enter a terminal command to enable any other code language under the sun.

    CodeRunner 2 is also:

    • Free with a trial
    • Upgradable to a premium version for $14.99
    • Available for Mac

    Interested in CodeRunner 2?

  • ICEcoder

    ICEcoder's site

    ICEcoder is a browser-based text editor that works online and offline and you can also use locally as well.

    It has a simple interface with many features including multiple cursors and themes, search and replace, code hints, syntax highlighting and database management capabilities.

    ICEcoder also:

    • Has a free trial
    • A premium version at $10
    • Mac, Windows, Linux and all major browsers

    Interested in ICEcoder?

  • Komodo Edit

    Komodo Edit's site

    Komodo Edit has a lot of advanced features, but that doesn’t mean its user interface is complicated. It’s actually pretty straightforward with many handy features including auto complete, project manager, syntax highlighting and a markdown viewer.

    You can also customize the editor with different skins and icons.

    Komodo Edit is also:

    • Free
    • Available for Mac, Windows and Linux

    Interested in Komodo Edit?

  • Light Table

    Light Table's site

    Light Table has a minimalistic approach to its editor, but it does have a lot of features such as inline code validation, syntax highlighting, fuzzy finder, watches and you can also embed anything you want including graphs and games.

    It’s also highly customizable with a huge list of extensions.

    Light Table is also:

    • Free and open source
    • Available on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux
    • Doesn’t have an active SSL certificate installed

    Interested in Light Table?

  • NetBeans

    NetBeans's site

    NetBeans is a dedicated PHP coding environment that also supports HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.

    Its features include syntax highlighting, auto-completion, refactoring, watches, inline validation as well as hints to help you as you code. You can also set watches and breakpoints. It also includes the capability of debugging locally or remotely.

    NetBeans is also:

    • Free and open source
    • Available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux

    Interested in NetBeans?

  • Notepad++

    Notepad++'s site

    Notepad++ was designed to be ultra lightweight and has optimized performance and uses less CPU power than most other editors in order to reduce your carbon footprint.

    It has a lot of great features including syntax highlighting and folding, search and replace, auto-completion, WYSIWYG previews, macro recording and playback, it supports multiple files with tabs, and supports multiple coding languages.

    Notepad++ is also:

    • Free and open source
    • Available for Windows

    Interested in Notepad++?

  • PhpStorm

    PhpStorm's site

    PhpStorm was developed to be able to work really well with WordPress. It’s a text editor that’s built for the latest in front-end development. It supports HTML5, CSS, Sass, Less, Stylus, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, Emmet and JavaScript.

    It also includes features such as refactoring, debugging, unit testing, live previews, version control and command line tools. It also has support for MySQL, Vagrant, Composer, REST Client and similar tools.

    PhpStorm also:

    • Has a free 30-day trial
    • Can be upgraded after the trial to the premium version for $199 for the first year, then $159 for the second and $119 for the third year and every year after that

    Interested in PhpStorm?

  • Sublime Text

    Sublime Text's site

    Sublime Text has many rather unique features that sets it apart from many other text editors on this list. It has a “Goto Anything” option that lets you skip down to any line, word or symbol in your file with one command. You can also use “Split Editing” to take advantage of multiple or widescreen monitors and organize and view multiple files or several parts of a single file at the same time.

    You can also use “Split Editing” to take advantage of multiple or widescreen monitors and organize and view multiple files or several parts of a single file at the same time.

    It also includes syntax highlighting and a distraction-free mode along with quite a few other helpful features.

    Sublime Text also has:

    • A free trial
    • A Premium version for $70 and
    • It’s available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux
    • Also, one licence covers all your devices across differing operating systems

    Interested in Sublime Text?

  • UltraEdit

    UltraEdit's site

    UltraEdit focuses on maximizing the efficiency of editing lists and columns with multi-caret editing, block editing and multi-select.

    It also has syntax highlighting, multiple cursors, search and replace, code folding, auto-complete, file comparing, a built-in FTP and SSH client, it’s able to load and edit large files with ease, and it has a customizable menu and themes.

    UltraEdit also has:

    • A free trial
    • A premium version for $99.95 or a yearly subscription of $79.95/year with access to additional related software and
    • It’s available for Mac, Windows and Linux
    • A licence also covers three machines

    Interested in UltraEdit?

  • Visual Studio Code

    Visual Studio Code's site

    Visual Studi Code has a sleek interface that’s straightforward to use. Its features include syntax highlighting and auto-completion that go beyond most other text editors because these features work based on variable types, function definitions and imported modules.

    It also has a debugging option and Git commands are built-in. It’s highly customizable with tons of available extensions. It also supports many languages including HTML, CSS, Sass, Less, JavaScript, JSON, PHP, XML, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, Perl, Ruby, SQL and oodles more.

    Visual Studi code is also:

    • Free and open source
    • Available for Mac 10.9 (or later), Windows 7, 8 and 10, and Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora and CentOS)

    Interested in Visual Studio Code?

  • WeBuilder

    WeBuilder's site

    WeBuilder has an enormous amount of features baked right in and it’s also flexible. This text editor supports HTML, CSS, Sass, Less, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, ASP, Perl and a lot of other languages.

    Its multitude of features include syntax highlighting, project manager, PHP debugging, HTML validation, linting, auto-complete, one-click previews, SVN and Git integration as well as FTP and SFTP support. That’s not even the whole laundry list of available, built-in features.

    WeBuilder also has:

    • A free trial
    • A premium version for $49.95 and
    • It’s available for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10

     

    Interested in WeBuilder?

Wrapping Up

There you have it: the best and most popular text editors for WordPress development.

They’re all excellent options so the best one for you is the option that saves you time and helps you work more efficiently. It all comes down to personal preference.

For more details on tools for top efficiency and productivity when working with WordPress, check out our posts 39 Must-Have WordPress Development Tools and 35 Time-Saving Productivity Apps for Busy WordPress People.

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to creating themes for WordPress, check out Upfront, our drag and drop theme framework. You can edit your theme in real-time and it includes a text editor where you can add a page element and edit its HTML, CSS and Javascript.

How to Hand Off a Completed Site to Your Clients with Confidence

The hard work is finished. You’ve written the code, you’ve made the design tweaks…your client’s site is ready to go. Only one thing left to do…actually hand over the completed site to your client.

But…how do you do that? Do you just email them the username and password and say, “Here you go”? Sure, I mean, that’s one way to hand off a completed site…but I’m going to argue that it’s not really the best way.

So if you want to not just hand off a completed site to your clients, but hand off a completed site with confidence, then I’ve got a few tips for you.

The Basics of a Handing Off a Completed Site To Your Clients

We’ve touched on this topic quite a bit at Elegant Themes, so I don’t want to rehash information from previous posts too much.

When you hand off a site, there are a number of basic things you’ll absolutely want to do. I’m talking about things like:

Those are all things you should be doing with each and every site. So if you’re not already doing them, open those articles up in another tab so you can come back to them later!

But beyond the basics, you should take a few more steps to ensure the transition goes smoothly. Let’s go a bit more in-depth…

1. Share Login Passwords and User Info With a Password Manager

You wouldn’t share your own passwords and login credentials in plain text over an email, would you? So you shouldn’t do it for your clients either. Especially because you may need to hand off credentials for integrations beyond the standard WordPress user account with limited roles.

For example – if you’re handing off a MailChimp account for your client’s newsletter, you don’t want that floating around in plain text, do you?

So to make the password handoff process both:

  • Simpler
  • More secure

You can use an encrypted password manager tool to speed up the process. There are plenty of password management tools out there, but I personally recommend LastPass. Here’s why:

It includes a dedicated password sharing tool that allows you to easily, and securely, share passwords over email. With LastPass, securely sharing passwords is as simple as sharing files on Google Drive or Dropbox:

LastPass

So as long as you set your client up with LastPass, you can share encrypted passwords directly to their email.

2. Set Up A Face-to-Face Training Session

Even if you are providing a resources page with training videos like WP101 or something similar, that’s still no replacement for actual face-to-face training.

When you train in person or over video chat, you can show your clients exactly how things work for their specific site. If you’re sure that your client understands everything about how their site functions, you can be more confident when handing over the keys to the castle.

Just remember – you need to budget this time into your quote. You don’t want to get caught up in a situation where you’re spending two hours training your client for free.

3. Record Screencasts of Your Training Session

At WordCamp Lancaster 2017, David Brooks presented a talk in which he discussed his strategy of “future proofing” his clientele. As part of sharing how he trained his clients with face-to-face sessions, he had an interesting suggestion:

Use a screencast tool like Camtasia to record the training. Then, take that full screencast, add some basic editing like prompts and zoom and pans, and give it to your client as part of the handover process. That way, they have a video guide they can reference later that matches perfectly to their unique website.

Camtasia is surprisingly easy to use – so don’t worry that you need to be a video whiz to create screencasts for your clients. A couple hours of practice and you’ll know everything you need to make some basic screencasts.

Camtasia

Additionally, David talks about how clients love this because of staff turnover. Without a site-specific tutorial, clients would struggle to get new employees up to speed.

But with a screencast version of the training for their specific site, clients can incorporate your videos directly into their employee onboarding process. Which, as David says, makes you look “like a superhero”.

4. Consider Potential Business Integrations

Sure, you’ll meet clients who know every single one of their business needs and give it to you in a clear list. Sometimes…

But you’ll also meet plenty of clients who haven’t thought things through 100% yet and aren’t sure exactly what they need.

And while part of your job is to suss out these details during the actual design process, you might not be able to for reasons like:

  • Your client didn’t think to mention an important business integration
  • They didn’t need the integration at the time

Do they suddenly need an invoicing tool? Do they need an editorial calendar?

If you can ensure you’ve covered everything, you can be more confident that you’re handing over a site that will make your client happy not just now, but also going forward as well.

5. Upsell The Boring and Difficult Parts

When you hand off your client’s site, you can be sure that it’s 100% operational and updated. But if that’s where your involvement ends…you can’t be sure that it will stay that way.

So if you want to:

  • Ensure your client’s site keeps working (and they don’t come to you with issues that could have been avoided)
  • Add a recurring revenue stream

Then, you might want to consider upselling your clients with a maintenance plan.

In part 4 of our 5-part series How to Become a Successful Divi Web Designer, Josh discusses this concept of upselling by offering a website security and maintenance plan. While most clients will like the autonomy of being able to update their content when needed, I doubt very many enjoy working with updates, firewalls, and backups.

As Josh mentions, you can even use tools like ManageWP and Sucuri to automate much of this process.

ManageWP

Wrapping Up

Handing over a completed site to your clients shouldn’t be an afterthought in the web design process.

Put a little time and effort into the process so that you ensure your client is set up for success. When you’re confident that you’ve done that, you can be similarly confident when you hand over the site to your client.

Now over to you – what’s your process for handing over a completed site to your clients? Do you have any additional suggestions for how to do things?

Article thumbnail image by tatianasun / shutterstock.com

The post How to Hand Off a Completed Site to Your Clients with Confidence appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

WordPress 4.8 Beta 1

We’re planning a smaller WP release early next month, bringing in three major enhancements:

  • An improved visual editor experience, with a new TinyMCE that allows you navigate more intuitively in and out of inline elements like links. (Try it out to see, it’s hard to describe.)
  • A revamp of the dashboard news widget to bring in nearby and upcoming events including meetups and WordCamps.
  • Several new media widgets covering images, audio, and video, and an enhancement to the text widget to support visual editing.

The first beta of 4.8 is now available for testing. You can use the beta tester plugin (or just run trunk) to try the latest and greatest, and each of these areas could use a ton of testing. Our goals are to make editing posts with links more intuitive, make widgets easier for new users and more convenient for existing ones, and get many more people aware of and attending our community events.

Four point eight is here
Small changes with a big punch
Big ones come later

InfiniteWP vs ManageWP: Which is the Better WordPress Management Tool?

I think you will agree when I say: Managing a couple of WordPress sites is no easy task. I mean, with a million and one tasks, how do you keep your websites healthy without going berserk?

Turns out you can easily keep tabs on your websites using a WordPress management tool such as InfiniteWP or ManageWP. In today’s post, you will discover the best WordPress management tool for your unique needs. We pit InfiniteWP against ManageWP, two of the best WordPress management tools in the market.

Why Choose WordPress Management Tool?

Managing one WordPress site is relatively easy, but when you add more websites to your repertoire, the tasks just stack up. Yet you need to update the WordPress core, themes and plugins regularly. In addition, you must check how your sites perform in terms of SEO and speed. If that’s not enough, you have to keep backups, moderate comments and so on.

If you’re an agency, a WordPress theme developer or any other WordPresser with a couple of websites to run, getting a WordPress management tool is a no-brainer. A management tool will save you a lot of time and keep you sane.

What Happens When You Fail to Manage Your Site?

If you don’t update your WordPress website regularly, you make it all too easy for hackers, and this I know firsthand. How about spam that hurts your credibility and fills your site with junk? And if you fail to keep backups, you will have a hard time restoring your site in case the worst happens, which steals your time and revenue.

Here’s the deal, you must take care of your websites, but doing it manually will drive you crazy. This is exactly why you need a WordPress management tool.

Let’s begin with first things first. What in the name of asking is a WordPress management tool?

What is a WordPress Management Tool?

A WordPress management tool/service/company/whatever you want to call it is any tool designed to streamline your daily workflow. In essence, a WordPress management tool allows you to manage not only one, but as many WordPress websites as you’d like.

In a matter of clicks, you can update the WordPress core, themes and plugins across multiple websites. On top of that, you can moderate comments, keep backups and do so much more on multiple WordPress sites without breaking a sweat.

What of today’s top contenders?

InfiniteWP vs ManageWP: Which is The Better WordPress Management Tool?

Before we get to the features, pricing, support and that kind of thing, how about we review the companies behind each WordPress management tool?

We are talking user base, philosophy and the things that make each tick. Is it not a good thing to learn more about the team that will help you manage your WordPress sites like a boss? I thought so too.

ManageWP

ManageWP

Founded by Vladimir Prelovac and powered by a cheerful team of 28 staff personnel, ManageWP is an amazing WordPress management tool that is as beautiful as it is useful.

The tool was officially released back in 2012 as the first-ever WordPress management tool. Since then, it has grown in leaps and bounds. Really guys, somebody should invent a time machine already, so we can get rid of these kinds of redundant statements.

Today, ManageWP serves over 9,000 loyal customers who collectively manage over 280k websites. The tool saves about 40,000 work hours each day. Whoa.

That means every customer saves about 4 hours per day, which is kind of impressive. Some of their customers include WP Site Care, Carrie Dills, WP Elevation and I’m not just namedropping.

What keeps these guys moving on the proverbial rainy day?

Their mission is simple. ManageWP aims at automating more of your daily work tasks. Also, they help you set up the best WordPress maintenance business. It’s quite some tool, and these guys mean business as far as WordPress management goes.

Started writing code in 1984, never looked back. I would love to change the world, I just don’t have the source code yet. Currently blogging here.  – Vladimir Prelovac

In July 2016, Vlad & Co. released ManageWP Orion, a more powerful version of ManageWP. Later in the year, the company joined GoDaddy. In the near future, ManageWP Orion integrates with GoDaddy plans, but will still operate as an independent service for users hosting elsewhere.

ManageWP is a hosted WordPress management tool, meaning the entire process is hosted on ManageWP servers. ManageWP operates from Serbia.

InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP

Two months after ManageWP was released, InfiniteWP saw the light of day. Note, however, the guys christened InfiniteWP back in 2010, but the WordPress management tool remained just an idea for two years.

Today, things are quite different. InfiniteWP is no longer just an idea but the WordPress management tool of choice for over 470,000 websites out there. Some of their satisfied customers (courtesy of Twitter, of course) include Yoast, Media Temple and Honda among others.

From what I could gather, InfiniteWP is powered by the blood, sweat and tears of four guys namely David, Amrit, Yuvaraj and Kalyan. And while ManageWP seems to put a spotlight on their 28-man team, InfiniteWP appears to laud customers for their progress.

All the comments, feedback, criticism, feature requests makes every day even more exciting. The whole team is now focussed on this and we are looking to take this to great heights.

We envision InfiniteWP to be a community-driven WordPress management platform with third party developers contributing to an ever growing plethora of addons addressing every need the multiple WordPress environment can ever come up with. – The InfiniteWP Team

Updates, Update & More Updates

These guys are constantly pushing out updates, and just the other day, they launched a standalone backup service know as WP Time Capsule. InfiniteWP is one WordPress management tool you must test-drive.

InfiniteWP WordPress management tool runs on your own server. This means you install the plugin on a sub-folder (e.g. yoursite.com/iwp), a process that’s pretty much straightforward. InfiniteWP has offices in USA and India.

Verdict: Which do think is the better WordPress management tool in terms of team, user base and operating philosophy? Personally, I lean towards InfiniteWP.

Features: InfiniteWP vs ManageWP

Now that you can tell what a WordPress management tool is, let us review the features each tool offers. Since there’s a lot of great features in this section, we will start right away.

ManageWP Features

ManageWP Features

As soon as you create your ManageWP account and link your WordPress sites, you’re treated to an impressive list of features including:

Easy Setup

Setting up ManageWP is a matter of signing up for an account and adding your websites. You install the ManageWP Worker plugin automatically on each website you add. We will learn more about this when setting up ManageWP later on.

Central Dashboard

Whether you have two or 100 WordPress sites, you can admin each directly (and safely) from the ManageWP dashboard. Don’t worry about the security of your login credentials, ManageWP does not store your username or password.

Efficient Updates

All updates are displayed in an intuitive screen that helps you to update the WordPress core, themes and plugins on multiple websites with a single click. You can update each item individually if you want to.

Cloud Backups

Once I lost my websites to a notorious hacker. As you’d expect, I asked my host for a backup, but there were none! ManageWP offers you one monthly cloud backup for free! You can get the premium backup addon at an extra $2 bucks/site/month that comes with the clone feature.

Get a Free Security Check to Spot Malware Early On

Malware can never be good for thy website. Nope Nope Nopety Nope. You can scan your websites for malware with one click. How suave?

Performance Check

Page load speed is a big ranking factor nowadays. Here’s the deal: People absolutely hate slow websites. Google penalizes slow websites as well. A performance check once in a while shows you what’s broken and how to fix it.

And for a small fee of just $1/site/month you can keep track of your SEO ranking. You can see how your SEO keywords perform, discover your competitors and much more easily.

Uptime Monitor

If you’re a WordPress theme developer, your business revolves around demo sites. When your demo sites go offline, you start losing money. But you don’t need to be a WordPress theme developer to lose money when a site goes offline.

ManageWP offers you Uptime Monitor so you know when your site is down. You can get notifications via email, SMS or Slack, so yay! This feature is a premium addon that costs just $1/site/month. There’s a $25/mo bundle that’s covers up to 100 websites, so choose one that works for your business.

Client Reports: If your website maintenance business involves sending reports to your clients, you’ll agree it can be a helluva task creating reports that sweep clients off their feet. ManageWP understands this all too well, which is why they offer a one-click report generation tool that’s quite a life saver.

White Label ManageWP

Your clients needn’t know you use the ManageWP Worker plugin on their sites; you can totally rename the plugin or completely hide the fact you use ManageWP to keep their sites in good standing order. This means you can totally brand your maintenance business without breaking a sweat.

Collaboration

Have a team doing all the dirty work? Great, you can easily collaborate with others without ever revealing your ManageWP password. This means you can work with collaborators and even allow clients to edit certain things without the risk of losing your hard work. Adding collaborators is as easy as pie.

Google Analytics Integration

What is a WordPress management tool that doesn’t help you keep track of your traffic? ManageWP offers you Google Analytics integration, meaning you can see your traffic stats right from within your ManageWP dashboard. You can add as many Google Analytics accounts as you desire.

Maintenance Mode

Need to optimize databases or perform any number of maintenance tasks on your WordPress sites, ManageWP comes with dedicated maintenance mode complete with two premade templates. You have beautiful “Maintenance” and “Coming Soon” templates that are easy to customize and launch.

Comment Management

Moderating comments can take a toll on you if you manage a couple of websites. Nonetheless, spam is horrendous and must go. ManageWP WordPress management tool helps you to take the bull by the horns as far as comment moderation go. With a single click, you can purge spam across a large network of websites like a superhuman.

Code Snippets

If you love digging into code to change plugin settings, eliminate dashboard widgets and generally be awesome, you’ll surely love this feature. The code snippets feature allows you to write your own PHP code and execute it at once across multiple networks. You can delete or keep a history of your snippets.

Vulnerable Plugins? No Problem

Now, thanks to WPScan Vulnerability Database, you can spot vulnerable plugins on your websites immediately, offering you the chance to take action before the inevitable happens. Vulnerable plugins are bad, but ManageWP has your back.

InfiniteWP Features

InfiniteWP Features

Now, let us see just how InfiniteWP stacks up against ManageWP in terms of features. Do they offer what it takes to become the better WordPress management tool? Let’s dig in.

Easy Setup

While installing the InfiniteWP WordPress management tool is not as straightforward as installing ManageWP, it’s easy to hack. Just install the InfiniteWP tool and the InfiniteWP Client Plugin on your site, link the two and Voila! – you’re good to go. The process is super-duper easy we don’t expect you’ll run into any problems.

One Master Login

In my own opinion, ManageWP Orion is beautifiul, but it doesn’t offer you a bird’s eye view of your sites the way InfiniteWP does. As a matter of fact, you may never have to use the WordPress dashboard ever again. Managing your WordPress sites using this WordPress management tool is pure bliss.

Quick Actions

Backing up your sites, opening your WordPress dashboard, writing new posts, editing site details, and saving site-specific links/notes among others things are just a hover away. Really, you can save a lot of time since all you have to do is mouse over your site, point and click.

Site Summary

No other WordPress management tool, not even ManageWP, gives you an accurate and detailed picture of your WordPress sites like InfiniteWP. Again, just by hovering over your site, you can view all available backups, updates, WordPress version, server info and so much more.

One-Click Update

Updating your plugins, themes and the WordPress core using the InfiniteWP WordPress management tool is truly a joy. Once you login to your self-hosted InfiniteWP dashboard, you spot an “Update All” button next to your site that does exactly that. Boy, you can even hide all plugins or themes that you never want to update ever.

Enhanced Security

Speaking of self-hosting, InfiniteWP lives on your own hosting server, meaning you have total control over your WordPress sites. Unlike ManageWP, you don’t have to share data or trust your login details with a third party. Just integrate InfiniteWP with your WordPress site, and experience a WordPress management tool like no other.

Backup and Restore

ManageWP offers you one monthly backup with their free plan. InfiniteWP offers you unlimited backups. And we are talking about full website backups that include your databases and files. The backup feature comes with great options including the ability to optimize your tables, exclude files and folders and so much more. Restoring a backup is a matter of hover, point and click.

Easy Plugin & Theme Management

Check which plugins or themes are installed on all your WordPress sites or install new ones across multiple WordPress websites with a single click. This means you don’t have to install your starter themes and plugin on multiple sites individually, which saves a ton of time.

Free for Life

This is probably the best feature for both WordPress management tools. They are both free to use on an unlimited number of sites. You will, however, need a couple of premium addons if you need more functionality. In comparison though, InfiniteWP premium addons have so much more to offer than ManageWP’s, and we shall see this in our next section.

Write Posts

You can write and publish posts to multiple WordPress websites directly from InfiniteWP, a feature that’s non-existent in ManageWP. See why we said you may never have to use the WordPress dashboard ever again?

Regular Updates

We all love growth, we all love progress, more so if we’re part of it. Before I could finish writing this post, InfinteWP updated their dashboard and the InfiniteWP Client plugin. These guys mean business, which is why they keep updating this WordPress management tool with new features, bug fixes and so much more. If you’re inclined, you can participate in the beta testing program.

Customer-Oriented

If you look inside the InfiniteWP dashboard, you will quickly get the feeling these guys put a lot of focus on you. They offer you an easy way to report issues as well as a complete forum where you can submit your ideas. It’s from these ideas InfiniteWP derives most of its best features.

Verdict: In terms of features, ManageWP offers more features for free as compared to InfiniteWP. All the same, the core functions you need to manage multiple websites are free in both tools. In terms of overall feature offering (free and premium), InfiniteWP outshines ManageWP.

Pricing: InfinteWP vs ManageWP

There has been a lot of debate on the pricing models adopted by each WordPress management tool. The basic plan is free for both tools, but the real expenses can quickly rack up when you introduce the premium addons.

ManageWP Pricing

ManageWP offers an incremental pricing model in the sense that the more the websites you have the more you pay, even though prices for premium addons range between $1 and $2 bucks. The idea be hind the pricing is that you may not require the same add-ons for every website you manage, giving you the flexibility to adjust the per-site fees based on what you use. So if you use the max 25 websites allowed on a freelancer pricing plan and purchase all of your addons on a per site basis, you will pay no more than $200 bucks a month.

However, Manage WP does offer bundled packages for agencies with over 25 websites. If you spring for the Agency bundle, you will pay between $150 and $225 bucks a month for all premium addons. Note that the bundle packages cover up to 100 websites.

InfiniteWP Pricing

InfiniteWP offers a more standardized pricing scheme. The free plan covers unlimited sites, just like ManageWP, and ships with the features we outlined above. If you need the premium addons, you will pay between $147 and $647 bucks per year.

Allow me to expound. The Starter pack costing $147 bucks a year supports up to 10 websites, 1-3 days email support and 22 addons worth $2576. The Enterprise plan costing $647 bucks per year supports unlimited websites, InfiniteWP For Teams, 22 addons and priority email support.

In comparison, InfiniteWP offers more premium addons than ManageWP. We are talking about addons such as a broken link checker, iThemes Security, 2 factor authentication, WordFence Security, Sucuri Malware Scanner and a file uploader among others.

If you have 25 websites, you will pay $347 bucks per year, and this includes 22 addons and 1 day email support. If you have more than 25 websites, say you’re an agency, you’re better off with the Agency plan that costs $447 bucks per year. This package comes with all the addons and priority support.

Verdict: In terms of pricing, InfiniteWP beats ManageWP ten nil. For about $37 bucks a month, you get the Agency plan that ships with 22 addons and unlimited websites. The Agency plan at ManageWP costs between $150 and $225 bucks a month, comes with 7 addons, and supports up to 100 websites.

Support: InfiniteWP vs ManageWP

Now, let us see how each company fairs in the support department. You know, you can tell so much about a company depending on the value they place on supporting the customer base.

ManageWP Support

ManageWP has a great support section. They offer a detailed user guide that describes everything from installation to features and troubleshooting among other things. There are general and sales FAQs covering most of the questions you might have. If you need further assistance, you can easily contact the support team.

InfiniteWP Support

Running into problems is inevitable whether you’re a beginner or a professional WordPresser. InfiniteWP made is incredibly easy to find help when you’re stuck. That’s why the offer a “Help” tab within the management dashboard, which makes it easy to report issues.

Additionally, they make it easy for users to make contact via their website what with a “Support” tab that sticks to your browser. Moreover, they have a fully-fledged support forum where users can post issues as well as engage in discussion with other users. Needless to say, the forums are quite popular with numerous topics.

Verdict: Both WordPress management tools offer adequate support, but your experience depends on the gravity of your issue, so only you can the ultimate judge here.

How to Setup a WordPress Management Tool

In this section, we walk through the process of installing InfiniteWP and ManageWP, so you can install your choice WordPress management tool without breaking a sweat. Remember both tools are free, and relatively easy to install even if you’re a beginner. Let’s begin with ManageWP.

How to Install ManageWP

Setting up ManageWP is smooth sailing all way. Just head over to ManageWP.com and sign up using your email:

ManageWP – WordPress management tool

After signing up, you chill for a couple seconds before you’re directed to the next screen so you can add your personal details:

ManageWP wordpress management tool

After providing your details, you’re ready for the next step; adding your very first website to ManageWP. Just fill out the field and click the “Add Website” button:

ManageWP WordPress management tool

Next step involves linking your website to ManageWP. This simply means installing the ManageWP Worker plugin on the site you added in the previous step. Here, you can choose to install the plugin manually or automatically via ManageWP. You choose the latter since it’s faster:

ManageWP WordPress management tool

If everything goes well, you should see the final screen as shown below. Here, you can choose to add another website or go to your ManageWP dashboard:

ManageWP WordPress management tool

Since you can add more websites from the dashboard, click the “Go to Dashboard” button to launch your dashboard:

ManageWP WordPress management tool

As you can see, your ManageWP dashboard looks beautiful. Activating any feature is straightforward, just point and click. Here you can activate backups, do performance checks, track your traffic and much more.

How to Install InfiniteWP

Installing the InfiniteWP WordPress management tool is easy as well, but the process involves more steps than ManageWP. All in all, it’s so easy we don’t expect you to run into any problems. Just go to InfiniteWP.com and enter your email as shown below:

InfiniteWP WordPress management tool

Next, you’re redirected to a page that outlines the entire installation process. Step one involves downloading InfiniteWP Admin Panel installer plugin:

InfiniteWP WordPress management tool

Next, login to your WordPress admin dashboard and install the InfiniteWP installer plugin. If this is your first time installing a plugin, just navigate to Plugins -> Add New:

InfiniteWP WordPress management tool

Next, upload, install and activate the plugin. After installing and activating the plugin, you should see the notification shown below. Click the “Install InfiniteWP admin panel” button:

InfiniteWP WordPress management tool

Next step, choose a folder to install the InfiniteWP admin panel. It can be any folder, but if you use an existing folder, the contents will be overwritten. Choose the default IWP folder, and click the “Download & Install” button. You can also choose to delete the plugin after installing the admin panel:

InfiniteWP WordPress management tool

The following steps are rather straightforward. (1) Accept the license agreement, (2) confirm your database details (you needn’t change anything here, unless you know what you’re doing), (3) create your login details and you’re done:

InfiniteWP WordPress management tool

Next click the “Open Admin Panel” button and login with details you created to access your newly created admin panel:

InfiniteWP WordPress management tool

As you can see, the dashboard is clean and easy to use. Everything you need to manage your website pop ups whenever you hover over your website in the sidebar.

Which Management System Is The Best?

So which is the best? We vote it’s a tie! Managing multiple WordPress sites needn’t be a challenge anymore with either InfiniteWP or ManageWP. Both tools are free to use, but the price of premium addons can quickly stack up if you’re not careful so just be sure to keep track of what you need and what you don’t. And as with any plugin, theme or service be sure to choose the tool that works for you and your business.

Basing your choice on personal taste and the details we outline in this post, which WordPress management tool will choose? Between ManageWP and InfiniteWP, which steals the day for you? Let us know in the comments. Thanks in advance!

Website Availability and Security When Migrating Hosts

Website Availability and Security When Migrating Hosts

Website security is a continuous process. It’s not something that should be turned on when the time is right; rather integrated into the full scope of how you deploy a website, maintain it, and ensure the safety of your visitors.

At Sucuri, we protect websites with a wide range of website configurations, including business owners with a single website, multi-site WordPress installations, and web agencies who work with a number of clients. One of the biggest concerns for all of them – and an often overlooked aspect of security – is availability or downtime.

The mere thought of downtime brings up visions of confused visitors, lost revenue, and stressful IT departments.

One misconception about the Sucuri Firewall is that there will be downtime during activation or migration. This is not true. If anything, when properly implemented it should improve uptime in a variety of situations.

DNS and the Website Application Firewall

When you first add your site, our firewall servers grab your website and make it available across our globally-distributed Anycast network. After a few seconds, your website is up on our servers and ready to receive visitors.

The next step is to activate the website application firewall using a DNS change. The DNS A record usually points your domain name (example.com) to a hosting IP address (your web server).

Note: If you use cPanel, we can automatically make this change using your cPanel credentials. Another option is to use the Sucuri DNS by changing your name servers under your domain registrar.

The process of DNS propagation can take hours or days before the whole world sees the change.

Here is what happens for visitors:

  • Before you activate the Sucuri Firewall: your DNS is sending visitors directly to your original web server – including potential hackers and DDoS attacks.
  • During activation of the Sucuri Firewall: your DNS is propagating; some visitors are still being sent to your original web server – or they will be sent to your new Sucuri Firewall IP.
  • After you activate the Sucuri Firewall: your DNS is sending all visitors to your new Sucuri Firewall IP where we block hackers and DDoS attacks.

Before we instruct you to change your DNS, we provide a test link to visit and confirm that your website loads properly under your new Firewall IP. This will give you peace of mind that the DNS change is completely seamless for visitors.

Once the DNS change is done, your site will be protected by the Sucuri Firewall. If you need help changing the DNS, simply open a ticket and we’ll do it for you.

Already Using a CDN or Firewall?

If you use a Website Application Firewall (WAF) or Content Delivery Network (CDN), you’ve probably performed similar steps to activate it.

The Sucuri Firewall works well with other CDNs – and if website performance is important to you, you’ll be happy to know that the Sucuri Firewall also significantly improves the speed and availability of your website.

We have instructions on how to do this for CloudFlare and other CDNs. Our team is always happy to help with this step too.

Migrating Hosts With the Sucuri Firewall

I had a customer tell me, “We are very interested in your security platform… but are getting ready to change hosts and think we should wait.”

This misconception is interesting because the truth is quite the opposite.

There are two big reasons why it’s actually a better choice to activate the firewall before migrating hosts.

  1. The Firewall will deliver your content during migration. When you are pointing your traffic to a web application firewall it really doesn’t matter what’s going on behind the scenes. We’re caching the static content if something were to happen, so the viewers will still be able to see the site.
  2. Having a team of malware removal experts just in case. Most hosts will suspend infected websites, or won’t allow you to migrate. You might think your site is clean, but hackers hide their tracks. Our monitoring, alerting, and incident response team will take care of any concerns.

All you have to do is update your hosting IP address in the Sucuri Firewall dashboard (instructions below). This option also helps customers with load balancing and sites running on multiple servers.

Firewall Host Migration Instructions

Our team is always happy to guide you through the process or make changes on your behalf.

There are multiple benefits to the Sucuri Platform when it comes to availability and managing your hosting configuration.

Leveraging the website application firewall improves uptime and makes your website faster in more geographic locations around the world. You can rely on the Sucuri network to withstand the pressure of DDoS attacks and sudden increases in website traffic.

You can ensure a seamless experience when migrating hosts by having an incident response team standing by, a security scanning engine, and content delivery network during the switch.

The Logistics of Doing a Divi Client Site in 24 Hours Featuring Jake Kramer – The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 44

Hey Divi Nation, we’ve got a great show for you this week with guest Jake Kramer of Artillery Media and Pageinaday.com. Jake is a young guy who has teamed up with our guest from last week, John Wooten, to run a bold and multifaceted Divi design business. Learn his story and find out more about how his team has already created hundreds of 24 hour Divi websites in the episode below.

The Logistics of Doing a Divi Client Site in 24 Hours Featuring Jake Kramer – The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 44

In today’s episode of Divi Nation we interview Jake Kramer of Artillery Media, Superfly, and Pageinaday.com. He shares his WordPress/Divi story, gives us an overview of the business he helps run, and then gets into the details and logistics of how they provide a growing stream of customers with 24 hour Divi websites. Enjoy!

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See You Next Week!

Well that’s all for this week’s episode. Thanks again to Jake for making the time to be on the show. I hope you enjoyed our chat as much as I did. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

The post The Logistics of Doing a Divi Client Site in 24 Hours Featuring Jake Kramer – The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 44 appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

How to Secure Your WordPress Site from Hackers

Being hacked is a fear every site owner shares. No matter how secure your information is, the idea of a malicious attack is always in the back of your mind. While WordPress itself is secure, going the extra mile to make sure your site is bullet proof will save you time, money, and a huge headache down the line.

We’ve compiled a list of ways you can keep people out of your site and keep your information secure.

Strengthen your password

Many people overlook their WordPress passwords, not knowing this is the most vulnerable area of the site. The purpose of your password is to prevent brute force attacks and guessing. Therefore, you want to make it as unique, complex, and long as possible.

If you are having problems developing passwords, consider using password generators. The next time you change your password, check out for the password strength meter that WordPress offers. It will help you know when you have a strong password. It’s never fun to forget an important password, but that’s better than becoming vulnerable to an attack.

Use email in place of a username

Logging in to your WordPress requires an email address or username. Usernames are easier to predict than email addresses. That is the simple reason you need to revert to your email for login information. Remember also that your site has a unique email that can act as a genuine identifier.

While it may be easier to remember a username, using an email adds another layer of defense.

Introduce two-factor authentication

Did you know that Two-Factor Authentication has been around since 2013? WordPress began to utilize it to secure the login process. There are plenty of plugins that will help you add an extra step to the login page, hopefully deterring attackers.

It could be anything, as long as it is unique to the site owner. Although this form of identification can be a hindrance, like if you can’t find your phone, or don’t remember which email you signed up with. Even so, it is among the most effective ways of keeping hackers at bay.

Backup your WordPress site regularly

You may have installed the best security features on your site, but none of that matters if you aren’t doing regular backups. Doin a so on schedule makes getting back to the prior version would be easy.

Since you might forget about a scheduled backups, consider using reliable tools such as WordPress Backup to Dropbox and BackupBuddy. Some of these solutions will even check the site for malware and give alerts in case of an intrusion. SEO Chicago can help you in this and offer site optimization solutions.

Secure wp-config.php file

Even as you secure the rest of the site, give special attention to the wp-config.php file. This file is the heart of your WordPress site. Hackers know that and will do anything to access it. Fortunately, there is a more secure way of storing this file other than in the typical core folder. Do not worry about inaccessibility of the file; WordPress architecture allows for priority recognition of the file wherever it is placed.

The bottom line

Hackers are constantly upping their game, but WordPress isn’t resting on its laurels either. As the company releases updates for more secure sites, it is paramount for users to make use of existing security features. Therefore, try out these methods and always stay vigilant.

Jennifer Daly

Jennifer Daly is a WordPress guru with experience launching countless websites and maximizing their speed.

The post How to Secure Your WordPress Site from Hackers appeared first on Torque.

Win a golden ticket to WooConf

We’re hosting a conference this October for WooCommerce developers, the one and only WooConf! In fact early bird tickets went on sale just last week.

Our theme for this year is open eCommerce, and in the spirit of the gathering we’re running our golden ticket competition for the third time. One lucky person will win a paid trip to join us at WooConf for two days of talks, workshops, and learning.

In 2014 Sinisa from OVER Clothing won the golden ticket and joined us in San Francisco. Last year Steven Sashen of Xero Shoes and Chris from Advantage Learn were joint winners and made it all the way to Austin.

Perhaps this time it’ll be you who we see in Seattle? Read on to find out how you can enter.

What we’re looking for

For a chance to win the golden ticket this year, you’ll need to share an example of what you’ve built with our open source, community-driven software.

We’ll be looking for examples of how WooCommerce enabled you to go beyond the typical, push the limits and create a truly customized eCommerce solution for a client. This might mean a unique usage of one of our extensions, a clever customization of a theme, or just a really interesting concept for a website.

Advantage Learn, one of last year’s ticket winners, is a fine example of a site that pushes the limits of WooCommerce. Same with Xero Shoes — especially because they managed to get on Shark Tank!


Build a site like this with WooCommerce? Tell us about it and you could win.

What you stand to win, and how to enter (plus some fine print)

If you’re chosen as the winner, you’ll receive:

  • A roundtrip flight to/from Seattle, Washington,
  • Hotel accommodation,
  • A full access conference pass, and
  • A flash talk slot to speak about your winning entry to plenty of avid listeners!

Exciting, isn’t it? Perhaps you already have a client in mind? In that case, keep reading.

To enter for your chance to win:

  • Share the URL of the WooCommerce store you built, and
  • Share details of the project with us. Tell us what makes it special, how it pushes the limits, and how you customized it.

You can share your entry either via @WooConf on Twitter or by email at hello@wooconf.com.

If you want to enter via Twitter, sharing the details will likely take more than 140 characters, so we suggest writing up a blog post and sharing the link. 🙂

Terms and conditions of this competition:

  1. Both the site URL and detail on the build are required to enter.
  2. Entries will be accepted via Twitter or email. Tweets must be addressed to @WooConf. Emails must be sent to hello@wooconf.com. Entries made via other methods will be discarded.
  3. Winners will be asked to speak at WooConf 2017, so please consider this prior to entering.
  4. Entries may be on behalf on behalf of an individual or an agency. However the prize is for one person, and includes one flight, one hotel room for three nights, one conference pass, and one speaking slot.
  5. Multiple entries will be accepted (so no worries if you can’t pick a favorite store!).
  6. Entries close EOD (11:59:59 PM PST) on June 8, 2017.

What you’ll experience if you make it to Seattle

WooConf 2017 will take place on October 19 and 20 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington.

We have six phenomenal keynotes lined up so far:

  • Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz
  • Beka Rice, Product Lead at SkyVerge
  • John Maeda, Global Head of Computational Design and Inclusion for Automattic
  • Zach Stepek, Founder of Mindsize
  • Kandace Brigleb, Partner at Needmore Designs
  • And last but not least, our very own Todd Wilkens, Head of WooCommerce

… and plenty more speakers and workshop leaders to be announced over the coming weeks.

Have a peek at what’s in store for you:

Even if you aren’t keen to enter the competition, early bird tickets are on sale through June — we’d love it if you joined us in Seattle. 🙂

Well, what are you waiting for?

We love hearing from developers building with WooCommerce, and can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to. Be sure to share your entry with us by June 8 and may the Woo force be with you!

Whether you’re entering or not, keep an eye out for our announcement of this year’s winner. We’ll be sure to let you know who takes the prize this time around!

Have any questions about the competition or WooConf in general? Let us know in the comments.

9 Reasons Why WordPress Freelancers Need a Daily Schedule (and How to Make One)

Life as a WordPress freelancer is pretty awesome. You work with (what we all know to be) the best content management system. You set your own prices. You pick the clients you want to work with. And you get to flex your creative muscles all day. What’s not to love?

I think that if there is the one major drawback to working as a freelancer (WordPress or otherwise), it would be the temptation factor. The temptation to turn on your TV for 15 minutes while you eat a warmed-up burrito. That temptation to nap with your dog after a particularly difficult assignment. That temptation to stay in your jammies all day because they’re just so dang comfortable.

Let’s face it, when you work as a freelancer, it can be tempting to sink into a rut and get way too comfortable. Getting too lax can mean you miss deadlines and turn in poor quality work. And that’s bad for business.

My personal recommendation, which also happens to be supported by a number of experts, is that you create a schedule—and stick to it. Every day. Every week. For as long as it takes for it to become like second nature.

In today’s article, I’m going to cover some of the benefits of creating a routine for yourself as a WordPress freelancer. I’ve also put together a brief guide to help you create a schedule from-scratch, complete with stretch breaks.

What Can a Daily Schedule Do for Your WordPress Freelance Business?

I’m a big fan of scheduling everything in my life, from doctor’s appointments to the most granular tasks in my professional workflow. While you don’t need to be that much of a stickler for scheduling, I do believe that bringing more organization and structure to your professional life can truly be beneficial to your WordPress business in the long run.

Here are some of the reasons why:

Reason #1: Time Savings

Success expert Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson says, “Routines remove the need to deliberate over what you should do and when (which takes time and energy) because once you’ve established a routine you’ve already made those decisions.”

Think about how much time you could take back if you no longer have to stop to think about your next move.

Reason #2: Less Stress

More time to work on top of the freedom of working at home (or away from a workplace)? If that doesn’t sound like a winning recipe for less stress in your life, I don’t know what does.

Reason #3: Stay Focused

Without a schedule, you’re probably more likely to allow for random interruptions to disrupt your workflow. Those disruptions might not even come from the outside either.

Consider how many times you’ve rationalized an unplanned jaunt for lunch, only to have it turn into a few hours of drinks and catching up with a friend because it’s Friday and you can work late to make up the time and oh wait… How is it 3:30 already?

Sticking to a firm schedule will keep you focused, ensuring deviations like these don’t get out of hand.

Reason #4: Maintain Control

I know you probably left the corporate world (or decided never to enter in the first place) because you hated feeling like you thinking under someone else’s thumb. You’re a freelancer now, so the control is yours. Just remember that scheduling your day doesn’t mean that you lose any bit of that freedom or control.

In fact, a daily schedule will help you gain more control over your structure and flow. Think about a time when you’ve forgotten about a client meeting or totally dropped the ball on a task due later in the day. You had to put everything else on hold and rush to get a handle on the missed responsibility. With schedules, you’ll never have to feel out of control again.

Reason #5: Greater Professionalism

Whether you speak to your clients over the phone or via email, there is some form of ongoing communication that occurs between you. And, if or when they should ask for an unexpected favor they want you to “squeeze” in or they want to know your availability two Fridays from now, how do you respond?

Without a well-managed calendar in front of you, there may be a lot of “umms” from your end as you struggle to figure out your availability. This is a no brainer. If you want to appear and be more professional with your clients, getting control over your day-to-day is a good way to do it.

Reason #6: Automation

Personal organizing expert Elizabeth Larkin says that schedules “save time in the short run by removing the need to deliberate, and time in the long run because they automate these actions.” Although this is self-driven automation that you’re responsible for staying on top of (instead of software that does it for you), the results are the same. More time for you to work instead of think about what to do next.

Reason #7: Optimal Results

Everyone works differently. Whether you’re an early bird, a night owl, or just really enjoy a solid three-hour workout in the middle of the workday, a schedule will help to optimize your workflow around how you work best.

Reason #8: Future Projections

Much like how reason #5 enables you to more quickly and confidently inform clients about your availability, scheduling also allows you to better foresee your business’s revenue.

Are you one of those people who typically tries to ballpark this (“Well, if I have three clients a month and charge X amount of dollars per project, I can end up in the black by year’s end… probably.”)? If so, give scheduling a try. You’ll have a definitive record of all your current and ongoing projects, and you can use it to pencil in tentative work as well.

Reason #9: Better Sleep

Consistency in your day—including the times when you go to bed and wake up—help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm. As you create a consistent rhythm for your body, you’re apt to get better quality sleep, too. Who doesn’t work better after they’ve had a fantastic night’s sleep?

How to Create the Ideal Daily Schedule as a WordPress Freelancer

As I mentioned already, everyone is different. What works for you might not work for Jane Smith in Seattle (especially with those darker winter days). When reading through the following tips, keep in mind that the ideal daily schedule should be ideal for you. These are 10 of my favorite best practices, so feel free to pick and choose the ones that align with your personal preferences and needs.

#1. Establish a Wake-Up Ritual

Whether you start work at 11 a.m. or 11 p.m., find a wake-up time that works best for you and keep it the same every day. You should also have a “morning” ritual to go with it. Get dressed. Get ready. Eat. And start up that computer. Train your body to know when it’s time to work.

#2. Allot Time to Check Messages

Inbox Zero. It’s something we all want, which is why email can become a major source of distraction and stress throughout the workday. I suggest you set aside an allotted time every morning (no more than an hour) to check all open messages and reconcile as much as you can. Anything that remains can be dealt with later.

#3. Find a Reliable Task Manager

There are so many project and task management software out there that it may feel overwhelming trying to find one to start with. Go with something that fits your budget, has an intuitive interface, and aligns well with your preferred work style, whether that be Kanban boards, checklists, calendar notifications, or something else entirely.

Regardless of which task manager you choose, put everything in there. Personal appointments. Professional meetings. Client profiles. Client-specific projects. Project-specific tasks. Everything. Then keep it updated and to use it religiously.

#4. Create Your Schedule

How many hours a day do you want to work and how many hours a day do you need to work? Schedules should strike a balance between the two. Think about when you’re typically the most productive. Doing an 8-to-5 might not be the most realistic schedule for you, and that’s fine. Just find your ideal schedule and add it to your task manager tool.

#5. Account for Breaks

Your task manager tool and schedule should also account for breaks and they should occur at the same time every day.

The Pomodoro technique seems to be popular right now and suggests you work in short 25-minute increments before breaking. I don’t know if that’s ideal for web developers or designers, however, who may find those short stretches of work too disruptive to more time-consuming tasks. If you’re not sure what sort of break style will work best for you, use a timer app to get a sense for your natural ebb and flow.

#6. Schedule Logically

The key to successful scheduling isn’t just about having a schedule and sticking to it; you should also tackle tasks in a logical manner. For instance, if you’re more alert at the start of your day, that’s the best time to schedule more difficult and energy-consuming tasks. If you have a bunch of meetings or calls scheduled on a single day, it would be best to group them so you’re not constantly doing the stop-and-start when each one pops up.

Client requests and priorities should also factor in. Some of your clients or project schedules may be more flexible than others. Don’t put a flexible task ahead of something you know is due by end-of-day, leaving you to scramble and do a less-than-stellar job or miss a deadline altogether.

#7. Go Dark

Shut down all unnecessary devices, social media, and other non-essential distractors during work hours. If you don’t have self-control in restraining yourself from using technology, use a distraction-blocking app. When it comes to your family and friends, this may be harder to do, but you’ve got to block them out, too. Don’t be afraid to tell them “no” or “later.”

#8. Go Outside

As with other breaks, plan to schedule lunch for an hour at the same time every day. Weather permitting, try to get out for at least 15 minutes or head to the gym. Just keep yourself away from your screens and give your brain a break.

#9. Establish a Hard Stop

Emergency reworks and last-minute requests are bound to come in. While it’s near impossible to plan for these unexpected hiccups, you can build in some flexibility to your hard stop each day. For example, you could put your official closed-for-business time as 8 pm, but plan to stop by 7 pm every day. That hard stop can just be there to protect yourself from going overboard. This also gives you time to unwind and review the next day’s schedule to ensure you’re prepared for it.

#10. Schedule Professional Improvement Time

Working hours should be dedicated to generating revenue. As you know, though, revenue generation activities don’t necessarily always pay. Like meeting with prospective clients.

So, when considering your daily and weekly schedule, don’t forget about those activities that help you make money in the long run. You might not get paid for that hour or so you dedicate to searching for new clients or listening to a podcast on web design now, but you will eventually. I’d suggest dedicating no more than an hour or two to this each week.

Wrapping Up

What’s the most important thing to take away from this? I think there are two good lessons here. One is that scheduling can make you a better business owner or employee, in general. Greater control, higher levels of efficiency, and a stronger structure from which to work. Then there’s also this idea that balance matters. That you can’t expect to power through 24/7 and expect there to be no negative consequences.

Once you’ve finished creating your ideal daily work schedule, start thinking about how to maximize time with your friends, family, and for other non-work commitments. This’ll keep you feeling balanced and make the time you spend at work more fruitful.