Friday, February 15, 2019

How to Create a Website in 120 Minutes — Step-by-Step

Creating a website used to be a massive project.

And expensive too.

Everything had to be built by hand and businesses needed to work with an online marketing agency that would charge them tens of thousands of dollars to build the site. If you wanted a professional-looking site, that was your only option.

Things have gotten a lot cheaper over the years.

Now it’s possible to get a polished site for less than $100. About $10 to buy the domain, $30–60 for a good template, and $5–10/month to host it. It’ll look so good that people won’t even realize that you built it yourself. It’ll look like some high-flying marketing agency built it for you.

Not only has it gotten cheaper, it’s also gotten a lot easier.

I’ve broken down the 9 simple steps to create your website from scratch. You’ll easily be able to run through these steps over the next 120 minutes.

Step 1: Pick a Name and Find a Domain

These are not two separate steps, unfortunately.

I really wish I could sit down, pick any name that I want for my business, and be able to create the site that I want around that name. Now that the internet is a couple of decades old, we all have to face the reality that most of the good domains have been taken.

Here’s how a naming session always seems to go for me:

  1. In a moment of inspiration, we think of an amazing name.
  2. We hold on to this name for months, maybe even years.
  3. It’s time to start the business, so we go to purchase the domain.
  4. The domain is taken.
  5. We try a dozen small variations of our original idea, all taken.
  6. No biggie, we thought of one brilliant name, we’ll think of another one.
  7. Backup idea #2 = taken.
  8. Backup idea #3 = taken.
  9. Backup idea #4 = taken.
  10. Despair sets in.
  11. We start considering names that we don’t actually like, hoping that anything is available.
  12. We come up with 2 or 3 options that we don’t like at all.
  13. Then we spend a week trying to come up with a name that’s both available and a name that we can live with.
  14. Finally, we find one.

Websites have also become so embedded in our day-to-day lives that it’s better to change the name of the business to match an available domain than it is to pick a poor quality domain. Through this process, I almost always end up with a completely different name than I originally intended.

This is why I consider the “naming my business” and “buying the domain” steps for creating a business to be the same step. I try to only lock myself into a name once I have the domain.

We put together an in-depth guide on buying domains here.

The good news is that the rest of these steps are a breeze once you have your domain purchased. It’s the first and hardest step.

Step 2: Register Your Domain

Real quick, let’s sort out the difference between a domain registrar and a web host.

A domain registrar is a company that specializes in buying (registering) domains.

A web host, on the other hand, specializes in running servers that host websites.

Every web host will desperately try to get you to also registrar a domain through them. The reason is that it’s a great upsell for them. They’ve spent most of their resources building out a hosting service, then they offer domain registration as a convenience, increase the price a bit, and collect a nice chunk of extra profit from you.

My philosophy is to buy things from businesses that specialize in that exact thing. Prices will be better and so will quality. That’s why I also use a domain registrar for buying domains and a web host for hosting. I never mix up the two.

We put together a detailed review of domain registrars here.

Step 3: Decide What Kind of Site You Want

Most guides on creating a website will push you into using WordPress. It’s the most popular and flexible website builder. And that’s usually a good recommendation.

But there are a few situations where I recommend different options.

Simple Portfolio or “Business Card” Sites

Many businesses need a simple website that tells people a few things:

  • Who the business is for
  • What the business does
  • Sometimes a portfolio that shows off some work
  • Contact info

This kind of site gives the basic info for the business, nothing more. If this is what you need, Squarespace is your best option for creating your website. It’s incredibly simple to use and will give you a professional site at a very low price. It’s perfect for small businesses.

Squarespace will try to convince you that they can handle everything. That’s not true.

They’ve created the simplest and easiest website builder out there. Truly, it’s a joy to use.

However, they completely lack all the advanced features that an online business needs. The ecommerce functionality is extremely limited, and I don’t know any serious online marketer that uses Squarespace for a content site. If your business an online business, Squarespace isn’t a legitimate option. You’ll hit the limits of its features too fast.

If you know that you want an ecommerce store from the beginning, start on Shopify and skip Squarespace. And if you know you want a blog or are planning on doing lots of content, start on WordPress.

Squarespace makes the most sense when you just need a clean, professional-looking site that gives some basic info on your business. It’s perfect for small businesses, freelancers, and artists.

Here’s another way to think about it: If you’re building a business that doesn’t live and die on its website, it just needs a website in case anyone looks for it, like a business card, then go with Squarespace. But if you’re website is your business, use one of the more tailored platforms.

Ecommerce Sites

If you’re planning on building an ecommerce store for your site, don’t use WordPress. We have an entire post here on when to use WordPress for ecommerce and when not to. The short story: it rarely makes sense to use WordPress for ecommerce.

The best option, by far, is Shopify. There used to be more competition in the ecommerce tool space but Shopify got too far ahead. Now they’re really the only option and they have an incredible reputation. You won’t regret using them for an ecommerce site.

If you’re going this route, we have a 9-step guide on how to create an ecommerce website. We also have a guide on how to start a store that drives real sales. Both of those guides will get you pointed in the right direction.

Blog Sites

If you want to create a blog with a bunch of content, you need to use WordPress. We have a detailed guide on starting blogs here.

WordPress powers over 30% of the entire internet. So it’s the only real option for starting a blog these days.

What about Joomla or Drupal? Or Typepad?

WordPress left all those other platforms in the dust about a decade ago. They’re not even legitimate options at this point. Pick WordPress — there isn’t a single situation where you’ll regret it.

When I originally started with this online thing, Drupal sites were still pretty common. I partnered up with an engineer friend of mine and we did a lot of freelance work migrating sites from Drupal to WordPress. Even back then, WordPress was a clear winner.

Now when I come across a site on any of these other tools, it’s kind of exciting. It’s like finding an ancient artifact. “This still exists!? How fascinating!”

Don’t use any of these other tools, stick to WordPress.

Everything Else

If you’re not sure or have another vision for your site outside the categories above, use WordPress. It’s the most flexible platform out there. It will do ecommerce, it’ll do simple portfolios, it’ll do massive content sites, it’ll do Fortune 500 marketing sites, it’ll do it all.

You might have to customize it more than other platforms in some situations but you can make WordPress do whatever you want it to. And just about anyone in online marketing knows their way around WordPress so you’ll be able to find plenty of people to help you when the time comes.

Whether you want to build your site by hand or you have an online marketing agency to do it for you, you should still build on top of WordPress. It’ll shortcut a lot of the programming work and give you the ability to edit basic items on your site without having to edit any code. I’ve managed marketing sites of venture-backed tech startups that employed dozens of engineers — we still had our marketing site built on top of WordPress. It’s the standard choice.

Step 4: Get a Host for Your Website

For the rest of this guide, I’m going to assume that you’ve picked WordPress to build your site. If you want an ecommerce site, skip the rest of this guide and follow our guide on creating an ecommerce site.

WordPress is the tool that you’ll use to build your website. But you also need a host that will store your site and make it available to anyone who visits.

We have an entire guide here that goes through all the best web hosts.

Hosting plans usually start around $5/month.

Step 5: Install WordPress

Just about every website host has a 1-click install of WordPress. It’s usually under a section called Tools, Website, Software, or Content Management Systems (CMS). It’ll look something like this:

Install WordPress

If you have trouble finding it, contact support at your host and they’ll be able to walk you through it.

Step 6: Point Your Domain to Your Host

Let’s do a quick recap.

  • You bought your domain using a domain registrar.
  • You signed up for a hosting plan.
  • You installed WordPress on your host.

Now you’re going to connect all that stuff together by pointing your domain to your host. Then when people go to your domain, they’ll end up on your site.

There are a few technical settings you need to apply. This involves configuring a few nameserver settings on your domain registrar for your domain. Your host will give you the correct settings; you’re looking for their nameserver settings.

If you get stuck, contact your host and they’ll give you all the info you need.

Once you have the nameserver info from your host, go into your domain registrar and configure those settings for the domain that you want to point at your site. Once you’re done, it’ll look something like this:

Create a Website Name Servers

Step 7: Install a WordPress Theme

Think of WordPress as the guts of your site, it’s all the pumping that makes your site work.

WordPress uses themes to determine how your site looks. This makes it really easy to change how your site looks without having to rebuild your site from scratch. Swap out your old theme for a new one and ta-da! Your site will look completely different.

These days, I purchase all my themes from StudioPress.

Heads up, WP Engine bought StudioPress and now includes all the StudioPress themes in its hosting plans. WP Engine is more expensive but it’s perfect for serious bloggers. It’s a great way to save money on your theme if you are planning on building a large site to begin with. WP Engine is our recommended host if you’re looking for the best. The downside is that WP Engine tends to be more expensive than other hosts.

Back to themes, are there other options?

You betcha. ThemeForest has a marketplace of WordPress themes. There are literally tens of thousands of themes to pick from. They’re usually in the $30–60 price range. When looking for theme, I rank them by the most popular or the highest rating. Then I pick one I personally like.

After you’ve purchased a theme, go to the WordPress Theme settings and upload your theme. The Theme settings are under Appearance in the WordPress sidebar menu. You’ll have to click through “Add new” and “Upload Theme” in order to see this option to upload:

Upload WordPress Theme

Go ahead and upload the .zip file you received when you purchased your theme.

After it’s uploaded, you’ll also have to click “activate” on the theme in WordPress to make it go live.

Step 8: Add Content

Now the fun part — it’s time to create the individual pages of your site.

You’ll do this within WordPress.

WordPress has two types of content: pages and posts.

Think of posts as blog posts that are published under a “blog” section of a site. If you’re not planning on having a blog, then you can skip posts entirely.

Pages are the more permanent pages on your website. Like your About or Contact Us pages. When you’re first creating your site, you want to get a batch of pages live so your site feels real.

Every website has a few standard pages you should create:

  • Homepage – Your WordPress theme usually has settings for this page.
  • Contact Page – Create a new page and install a WordPress form plugin so you can add a form to the page.
  • About page – Tell your story and why you’ve started your business.
  • Product or services pages – For the main services or products that you’re offering, it’s a good idea to create a dedicated page for each.
  • Blog – If you’re building a blog, make sure all your posts get listed here.

This list will get you started. You can always add more later.

Step 9: You’re Done!

At this point, you have a fully functioning site that looks great.

I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of extra configuration you can do to your site: you can add WordPress plugins that upgrade your site, build out a blog, add an email list, grow traffic, the list is endless.

You don’t have to do any of this extra stuff — it’s all optional. It depends on your priorities and goals.

When you’re ready, these guides will walk you through the extra stuff that’s worth considering:

http://www.quicksprout.com/how-to-create-a-website/

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Best WordPress Calendar Plugin – (Review Updated for Winter of 2019)

WordPress is the most popular content management system. Period. If you have a WordPress site — which you should if your site is a content site — you know how many plugins are available on this platform. There are thousands, literally thousands. I did a search today to see how many WordPress plugins there are. The number? 54,681. It can be a bit overwhelming. With so many plugins to choose from, how can you know which ones are the best?

What you do know is that you want to add a calendar feature to your website. Being able to simply add dates and times is crucial for some businesses. Not every calendar plugin is the same. Some of you will need more advanced calendar features than others. You may need a calendar to keep track of tasks — pretty basic. Or, you may need a more advanced calendar for managing events, bookings, and integrating with ecommerce platforms.

I took the time to find the best WordPress calendar plugins available. So regardless of your situation, you can use this guide to find the one that best suits your needs.

1. The Events Calendar

As the name implies, The Events Calendar WordPress plugin is ideal for any site that’s managing events. There are so many different uses for this feature.

It’s great for musicians who want to showcase their upcoming performances, as well as venue owners who need to display shows coming to their location. If you have a restaurant, church, or nonprofit organization, this plugin is perfect for you. If you’re an author and traveling to promote your book, or speaking at any seminars and conferences, you can benefit from the events calendar. As you can see from these examples, the possibilities are nearly limitless.

Here’s how the plugin looks once you implement it:

The Events Calendar

In addition to this month view option, you can also organize the calendar by day or list of events.

The microformats will help boost your SEO, and the plugin offers caching support as well as debug mode. It’s compatible with Google Maps, Google Calendar, and iCal as well. So events can be exported and added to other platforms.

Users who are looking at the calendar even have the option to browse for certain events. They won’t have to scroll to find something specific.

The design is fully responsive no matter what device the calendar is being used on. So you won’t have to worry if visitors are browsing from desktops, smartphones, or tablets. This is extremely important since accommodating the needs of mobile users can boost sales.

One of the reasons why The Events Calendar is so popular is because it’s easy to use right out of the box. You’ll be able to figure out how to navigate and use everything in minutes.

You can install this plugin for free, but it does have a few paid options as well. The premium upgrades are very affordable — they cost $89, $149, and $299 per year for personal, business, and agency use, respectively.

2. Booking Calendar

Booking Calendar

The Booking Calendar is one of the first booking systems ever developed for WordPress. It was originally released back in 2009. Over the last decade, it’s been installed on WordPress sites more than one million times.

It’s safe to say that this plugin has gone through its fair share of updates and changes over the past ten years, which has helped it keep its spot as one of the best WordPress calendar plugins in 2019.

This plugin makes it easy for website visitors to view the availability of something, such as an apartment, hotel, or service, and book directly from the calendar.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say you own a carpet cleaning business. Rather than taking appointments over the phone, which can be inefficient, it’s easy for you to add a user-friendly calendar to your WordPress site. Website visitors can select the day and time for an appointment and fill out form fields to book the cleaning. This is much more user-friendly than requiring them to pick up the phone and going back and forth about possible dates. I know I’d much rather book online. If you make me pick up a phone, I’m a lot less likely to follow through with the booking.

As you can see, the functionality of this plugin can be applied to so many different websites and businesses. From the backend, it’s easy for the admin to view, manage, and customize all of the bookings. Booking Calendar lets you set limits to avoid double bookings. Dates and times will automatically become unavailable once your limits have been reached. This calendar plugin can manage an entire year in advance.

The administrative features give you the option to approve or deny bookings as well. You can set it up so you receive email notifications when something gets added to your calendar. That way you can plan your schedule accordingly, and won’t have to keep manually checking WordPress to see if anything has been changed.

3. Simple Calendar – Google Calendar Plugin

Simple Calendar - Google Calendar Plugin

I don’t mean to be redundant, but the Simple Calendar – Google Calendar Plugin is as simple as it gets. The reason why it made my list is because it’s so easy for anyone to use, even if you don’t have any technical experience.

This plugin has more limited features compared to other calendars, but sometimes too many elements add unnecessary complexity. For those of you who don’t need all of the extras and frills, the Simple Calendar – Google Calendar Plugin is perfect.

Once you install the plugin, you’ll be able to display any event from a Google Calendar, which means you won’t need to re-create any events manually in WordPress.

You can use tags to customize your events without having to do any coding.

It’s easy to integrate this plugin with other tools to turn your calendar into a format that’s easy to distribute as a newsletter. This feature allows you to share the calendar with your email subscribers without requiring them to to visit your website.

Like most options, this plugin lets you view calendars in a monthly grid or a list view. The advanced settings will automatically adjust for time zones, as well as the date and time formats, depending on where your site visitors are located.

I’d recommend this plugin to anyone who doesn’t needed too many advanced features in a WordPress calendar. For lack of a better word, I’d describe this plugin the same way it does — simple.

4. EventON

EventON

As you probably guessed, the EventON WordPress plugin is made for managing events.

The design of this calendar is what makes this plugin stand apart from other options. If you want a sleek and beautifully designed calendar that fits with your pages and themes, this will be a top choice for you to consider. With this plugin you can customize the look to match with the trending color schemes on your website.

There’s a lot to like about it as well. It’s easy for users to search for events or navigate from month to month. It readily handles events lasting for multiple days, months at a time, or even all year. And, you can highlight featured events that you want to promote more and jump off of the page. Each event has a title, date, time, address, and photo. You can also add a description of the event, as well as an additional image showing the location.

EventON Location

People can even get directions to the location directly from the event listing on your website. All they need to do is type their address into Google Maps, which is integrated on the screen.

EventON lets users buy tickets to events with Woocommerce support. But you’ll need to pay extra for that add on.

EventON is arguably the best WordPress calendar plugin for managing and promoting events on your website. It’s not free, but there is a demo for you to try if you’re interested. All of the premium features are purchased separately, so you can customize the plugin to meet your needs.

5. All-in-One Event Calendar

All-in-One Event Calendar is another one of my favorite WordPress plugins. I like it because it’s so easy to use within WordPress. Just look at how simple this new event page is to configure.

All-in-One Event Calendar

Everything is so straightforward. All you need to do is fill out the form fields, add the dates and times, and you’re good to go. There are settings for the location details, contact information, as well as a section for purchasing tickets. The plugin automatically helps optimize your events for SEO purposes. You can embed Google Maps into each event as well, so it’s one less step for people who need directions. They can do this directly from your website.

You can sync All-in-One Event Calendar with other platforms, including:

  • Google Calendar
  • iCalendar
  • MS Outlook

Site visitors can view the calendar by month, week, day, or poster board and it’s easy to filter events. I especially like the color coding feature for grouping events in certain categories. For example, let’s say you own a restaurant. You can add different colors for things like karaoke, trivia, or happy hour, so it’s easy for people to find what they’re looking for. (For me, that’d be a hard no on karaoke, and a hearty yes on trivia and happy hour.)

The basic version of All-in-One Event Calendar is free. The pro version starts at $9 per month, but there are more advanced options for $29 and $99. But I think the majority of sites will have their needs met with the free version or the $9 pro version at most.

6. My Calendar

My Calendar

My Calendar is likely the best option for adding multiple calendars on your WordPress website, or if you have multiple sites that need to display the same calendar. My Calendar is multi-site friendly, so you can add calendars to a network of sites that you’re managing directly from a single WordPress install. So you can essentially share events within the network by fetching them from a remote database. Unlike other plugins that we’ve seen so far, My Calendar has a mini-calendar view, which is ideal for a compact display on your site or sites.

Once an event has been created, you can automatically have it posted to Twitter, set up email notifications whenever a new event is scheduled, and you can easily schedule and manage recurring events.

You’ll also have the option to create custom templates for your calendars. If you’re a designer or developer, this plugin will give you lots of flexibility to create custom calendars for your WordPress site.

Conclusion

There you have it. These are the top six WordPress calendar plugins of 2019.

Use this guide to determine which plugin is the best for your website. Not all of these plugins offer the same options and functionality. So you’ll want to make sure that you find one that covers your needs.

At the same time, you don’t want to get a WordPress calendar plugin that’s too complex. If you need something that’s simple, you can find an option that’s more on the basic side. Like I said earlier, one of my business mantras is: No unnecessary complications. Keep it simple. Whizbang features you don’t need can slow you down, instead of speeding you up.

There are tons of other WordPress calendar plugins, but in my experience, these are the best ones.

http://www.quicksprout.com/best-wordpress-calendar-plugin/

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Best WordPress Security Plugin – (Review Updated for Winter of 2019)

You wouldn’t buy a brick and mortar business without getting a lock for the front door, right? I imagine you’d probably even get an alarm system and install some cameras.

These security measures are taken to prevent break-ins, from losing money, sustaining property damage, or putting sensitive information at risk.

Your internet business is at risk for these very same things. It may even be at greater risk — the Internet makes it possible for cybercriminals to break into your website without having to leave their couch: On average, 18.5 million websites are infected with malware at any given time. The average website gets attacked 44 times per day. Of the roughly 90,000 websites that get hacked each day, 83% of them are using WordPress.

That’s why you need to take as many precautions as possible when it comes to properly securing your website.

Don’t have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. Nobody is immune to vicious attacks. Even retail giants like Target have had data breaches that affected more than 41 million customers. That one security breach cost the company over $18 million in settlements. Something like this can be extremely damaging to your company’s online reputation.

I could go on and on all day about why your website needs to be secure, but I think I’ve made my point.

So how can you do install the security you need?

To start, WordPress has some built-in security features. It’s also crucial for you to choose a secure web hosting company — with a host like WP Engine a lot of the security features are built into your hosting plan. Beyond these steps, you can take additional measures to beef up your protections with a WordPress security plugin.

There are so many different security plugins available for your website. How can you know which one is the best WordPress security plugin?

Rather than taking weeks to go through and research all of them, you can just review the ones that I’ve listed in this guide. I’ve identified the top five WordPress security plugins of 2019. Use this information to increase your WordPress security and add credibility to your website.

1. Wordfence Security — Firewall & Malware Scan

Wordfence Security

With over two million active installs, Wordfence Security — Firewall & Malware Scan is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins available. It fights spam, malware, and other threats in real time. Unlike other plugins, Wordfence Security offers a dashboard that’s extremely user friendly. You don’t have to be a tech wizard, have a background in IT, or study cybersecurity to use this plugin.

One of my favorite parts of this plugin is the ability to see data about your overall website traffic trends. These reports will show you any attempted hacks on your site. You’ll be able to tell if traffic is coming from humans, Google crawlers, or potentially malicious bots.

Another great feature of this plugin is the country blocking option. You can block attacks that come from specific geographic regions known for high rates of cybercrime.

The free version of Wordfence Security offers plenty of features that will keep your website safe. They definitely give you more out of the box than other free security plugins. You’ll get firewall blocks and brute force attack protection.

Premium pricing starts at $99 per year. The premium version comes with added features like two-factor authentication, direct customer support assistance, and real-time IP blacklisting. The real-time IP blacklist feature blocks requests from any IP address that has attacked another WordPress website that is also using Wordfence Security. When it comes to the safety and security of your website, that’s a pretty good deal in my opinion.

2. Sucuri Security — Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening

Sucuri Security

The name of this plugin alone shows all of the extensive security features it offers. When you install Sucuri Security, you’ll benefit from things like:

  • Firewall integrity monitoring
  • Malware scanning
  • Blacklist monitoring
  • Security audits
  • Security hardening
  • Notifications
  • Post-hack security procedures
  • Website firewall

All of these features, except for the website firewall, come with the free version of Sucuri Security. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to protect your WordPress website, Sucuri Security is a top choice. For most sites, you don’t necessarily need the website firewall offered in the premium version.

In the event of a hack or attack, Sucuri Security offers actionable steps to help you proceed with repairing any damage. Now, some of you might not love the idea of hearing something like this. But in all reality, it’s nearly impossible for any website to be 100% impenetrable. There is always the chance of something going wrong. When something goes wrong, you’ll instantly receive a notification about it so you can act immediately.

Sucuri Security is upfront about that. They aren’t going to sit there and promise that the plugin is 100% effective. Rather than making false promises, this plugin has added a feature to assist you if your site is compromised in any way. I really like that.

The security hardening provided by Sucuri Security is exceptional. It’s easy to go through and check the status of the different elements of your website to add additional security.

If you have questions, problems, or run into any trouble when you’re using the Sucuri Security plugin, you can reach the customer service team via live chat or email.

3. iThemes Security

iThemes Security

Formerly known as Better WP Security, the iThemes Security plugin is another popular choice for WordPress users. Unlike the other plugins we’ve looked at so far, iThemes Security doesn’t offer as many free benefits, so it’s in your best interest to upgrade to the pro version if you’re going to install this plugin. The free version comes with basic security, but you won’t have access to the pro features, such as:

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Scheduled malware scans
  • Google reCAPTCHA
  • User action logs
  • WordPress security keys
  • Importing and exporting capabilities
  • Dashboard widgets
  • File comparisons
  • Password security and expiration

As you can see from this list, it’s definitely worth upgrading to iThemes Security Pro, which starts at $52 per year.

With iThemes Security, users will automatically be banned after attempting too many invalid logins, which will help prevent a brute force attack on your site.

There is also a scanning feature that will identify any potential vulnerabilities for an attack. Once those areas have been identified, the plugin shows you how to repair the problems in a matter of seconds. iThemes Security even helps strengthen the security of your server. The plugin forces SSL for admin pages, posts, and other pages on supporting servers. The plugin will hide the most common WordPress security vulnerabilities that are usually targeted by hackers. You’ll receive a notification via email anytime there is a problem or potential security threat on your WordPress site.

This plugin fully integrates with your WordPress dashboard as well, which is a nice touch. It doesn’t feel like it’s intrusive, and you don’t need to navigate to any third-party platforms to add security to your site. iThemes Security also offers extensive video tutorials, which I found to be extremely helpful.

4. All In One WP Security & Firewall

All In One WP Security & Firewall

All In One WP Security & Firewall is packed with free features. The interface is extremely easy to use, and you don’t need to be a technology or security expert to figure things out.

One of the reasons why this plugin made my list is because of the visual elements on the dashboard. You can get reports with graphs that explain all of the metrics related to your website’s security. Furthermore, the plugin tells you which actions you can take to improve the security of your WordPress website.

Each security feature is segmented into three categories:

  • Basic
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

You have the ability to apply certain firewall rules progressively in a way that won’t hinder the functionality of your website. As a result, the speed of your website won’t be slowed at all.

The plugin scans your WordPress website for vulnerabilities. After these vulnerabilities have been checked, the plugin will assist you in implementing changes to enhance your security. Everything is measured by a grading system. The grades are based on different levels of security for each element on your website.

Another top feature offered by All In One WP Security & Firewall is spam security for your comments section. Getting lots of comments on your blog posts or other website pages can be extremely beneficial for SEO purposes, but not if those comments are spam. Instead of manually checking all of your comments and deleting spam on your own, this plugin can do the work for you. It automatically detects IP addresses that are known for producing spam and blocks them from commenting. If certain addresses have exceeded a specific number of spam comments, they will even be blocked from accessing your site altogether.

I haven’t even mentioned the best part of all. This plugin is free. That’s right, 100% free. Unlike free versions of other plugins, All In One WP Security & Firewall doesn’t withhold top features and pitch upsells. It’s completely free to all WordPress users.

5. BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security

The BulletProof Security WordPress plugin isn’t necessarily as popular as some of the other plugins out there, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it as a top choice for your website.

It claims that in the last seven years, none of the 45,000 websites that installed BulletProof Security Pro have been hacked. Impressive, though this number has some contingencies and doesn’t account for things like server hacks.

This plugin is extremely easy to install and get up and running in just a couple of clicks. The free version of BulletProof Security gives you access to features like:

  • Security logs
  • Security monitoring
  • Malware scans
  • Database backups
  • Database restores
  • Anti-spam tools
  • Anti-hacking tools

I really like BulletProof Security’s maintenance mode. It will keep your site secure while you’re going through front-end as well as back-end updates and maintenance, times when your site would normally be more vulnerable to hacks or breaches.

While the installation and setup wizard is easy for anyone to do, overall I’d say this security plugin is geared more toward advanced WordPress developers. BulletProof Security allows you to customize so many different security settings. So, I’d say start with that version before you decide if you want to upgrade. That will at least give you a feel of the interface and navigation. If you go with the paid version, BulletProof Security offers a 30-day guarantee, so there’s no risk there either.

Conclusion

What’s the best WordPress security plugin?

It’s tough to name one as the definitive best, but I’ve been able to narrow down the top five for you to consider in 2019. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Some of these plugins have more advanced features than others, which aren’t always necessary for all websites. Some plugins are easier for beginners, while others are better for advanced developers.

Do you want a free WordPress security plugin? Or do you want a pro version with annual charges?

All of this needs to be taken into consideration when you’re picking the best security plugin for your website. I’m confident you’ll find what you need on the list above.

http://www.quicksprout.com/best-wordpress-security-plugin/

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The 5 Best WordPress Cache Plugins – (Winter 2019 Review)

How fast is your website?

You might think your website is fast — but how fast is fast enough? You may be surprised that 47% of Internet users expect web pages to load in two seconds or less and they mean it: 40% of people will abandon websites that don’t load within three seconds.

That’s right. A second could cost you 40% of your website traffic.

To put that number into perspective, we’ll go through a hypothetical example. Let’s say your website has 1,000 unique visitors per week. You have a 5% conversion rate (which is generous, considering the average global conversion rate for an ecommerce website is 2.86%), and your average order value is $100.

This translates to $5,000 per week and $260,000 per year. Not bad, right?

But if your website took longer than 3 seconds to load, you’d lose 40% of that traffic, and you’d actually earn $104,000 less than that.

Let’s look at the other way. Imagine you have that same website: 1,000 unique visitors per week, a 5% conversion rate, but your load time is 3 seconds. If you improved your load time, you might capture 40% more visitors. If everything stayed the same, you’d suddenly have 1,667 visitors (since you’d originally had that many but 40% jumped ship when they didn’t want to wait). If they still convert at 5%, then that means you’re making an additional $3,335 in sales per week, or $173,420 a year in sales you were losing because your load time was too slow.

Depending on your volume, slow loading times could be costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Here’s something else to consider: of the 40% of visitors who abandon your site, 80% of those people won’t return.

Fortunately, there’s a way for you to speed up your website loading times. What’s the solution? Caching.

What is caching?

Let’s start with the basics. A request to your server is required each time someone visits a page on your site. The server sends those results to the user’s web browser.

On the user’s end, they see your website as the final product. Your website is complete with things like headers, menus, images, videos, blog content, and everything else that makes your site unique.

The server needs to process each request before delivering the final page to the user. Depending on the complexity of your website, sometimes this can take a long time.

That’s where caching comes into the equation. Caching stores recently viewed content, such as a web page, so server requests won’t be as in depth.

Here’s a visual representation of what caching looks like.

What Caching Looks Like

Simply put, caching means less work is required for pages to be viewed on your website. As a result, your site will load much faster.

Why do you need a WordPress caching plugin?

Without a WordPress caching plugin, requests for every element of your website need to be made to the server each time someone visits your site, even if they’ve seen the content before.

A caching plugin will:

  • Speed up your website
  • Increase the user experience
  • Reduce the strain on your server
  • Improve SEO
  • Lower your TTFB (time to first byte)

Caching plugins will generate a static HTML page of your site, which will be saved on your server. Whenever someone visits your site, the plugin will display the lighter HTML version as opposed to the heavy PHP scripts.

There are tons of caching plugins out there that claim to speed up your website. How can you possibly know which one to install? Truthfully, it’s nearly impossible to determine which plugin is the fastest. Depending on the website content, what works for one site may not work as well for another. With that said, there are definitely certain caching plugins that stand above the rest. I took the time to identify the best WordPress cache plugins for you to consider.

1. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache

With more than one million active installs, W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular WordPress cache plugins on the market.

W3 Total Cache is an open-source plugin, which is completely free to use. A free install gives you access to all of the features, and you won’t be pitched any upsells after the fact.

I included this on my list of best WordPress cache plugins because it offers minifications that save bandwidth, HTTP compression, as well as feed optimization.

This plugin works for both mobile and desktop versions of your website. W3 Total Cache integrates with your website’s CDN. It’s also helpful for sites with SSL certificates, making it a top choice for ecommerce websites.

You should keep in mind that W3 Total Cache can be a bit complex to use. Even though it’s a popular choice, it may not be the best option for WordPress beginners. There are 16 pages in the settings section of this plugin, for example. However, you won’t have to manually configure all of these options. The default settings work well right out of the box. So unless you’re a developer who has lots of experience with these options, I’d recommend sticking to the defaults.

If you want that type of added customization, there is a separate setting for each type of caching. You can have different settings for things like:

  • Object caching
  • Page caching
  • Browser caching
  • Database caching

The list goes on and on. It’s tough to find this type of in-depth customization for free on other WordPress cache plugins.

2. WP Rocket

WP Rocket

WP Rocket has the simplest design of all cache plugins for WordPress. You won’t have any problems installing this plugin and getting it set up quickly. The overall simplicity of WP Rocket is what makes it one of the best WordPress cache plugins, which is why it’s great for beginners.

With that said, WP Rocket also has advanced settings that can be customized by developers or site owners who have a bit more technical knowledge.

Pricing starts at $49 per year for one website. WP Rocket also has a developer plan that’s $249 annually for unlimited sites.

I know what some of you are thinking, Why should I pay for this when there are so many free WordPress cache plugins available?

Simply put, you get what you pay for. For $50 per year, I’d rather have a plugin with an easy setup and smooth interface. Plus, WP Rocket comes with extra features that you won’t find in free cache plugins. It indexes your website on search engines to help improve your SEO ranking and all JavaScript, HTML, and CSS files get minified to boost page loading speed. Another benefit of this plugin is the “images on request” feature. This means that images only get loaded when they are visible on the screen. So if you have pages with lots of images deeper in the scroll, they won’t be loaded initially. This dramatically improves your loading time. This plugin also helps optimize your Google Fonts, which is something that’s not offered by most cache plugins I’ve used.

Overall, WP Rocket is one of the best WordPress cache plugins for beginners and experienced developers alike.

3. WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache has more than two million active installations. I’m not saying you should always follow what other people are doing, but numbers this high are usually a pretty good indication of quality.

This plugin is completely free as well. So it’s a great option if you’re hesitant about spending money on a WordPress plugin.

WP Super Cache creates static HTML files and displays them instead of heavier PHP scripts. The plugin offers three different modes of caching:

  • Simple
  • Expert
  • WP-cache caching

Most of you can get away with using simple mode. You’ll need a custom permalink, but this option is much easier to configure and doesn’t require you to change your .htaccess file. The majority of web pages will still be dynamic in simple caching mode.

As you might have guessed, expert mode is a bit more complex. Unless you’re experienced with coding and web development, I would not recommend this setting to you. It requires an Apache mod_rewrite module as well as modifications to your .htaccess file. If you don’t know what you’re doing, improper modifications of these files can be detrimental to your website.

WP-cache caching mode is used to cache content for known website visitors. This is ideal for those of you who have users who are logged in, leave comments, or need to be shown custom content.

If you don’t want to things to get too complicated, you can always just stick with simple mode, but the fact that WP Super Cache has so many other options makes it one of the best WordPress caching plugins.

4. Hyper Cache

Hyper Cache

Hyper Cache was designed with WordPress blogs in mind. It will work on every blog, without any complex configurations. Hyper Cache optimizes your bandwidth and ultimately boosts the page loading speed of your WordPress blog.

You can install Hyper Cache with ease and the process is very fast. I’d say this is one of the best WordPress cache plugins for users who are beginners and don’t want to manage tons of different cache settings. With this plugin, you can implement the “set it and forget it” mentality. So once you have it installed, you don’t have to do much of anything after the initial configuration.

You’ll notice that some of the settings may have some odd names that you’re unfamiliar with but Hyper Cache comes provides recommendations and detailed information about which should be activated and how each setting impacts your website.

Like some of the other options on our list, Hyper Cache is free. It offers CDN support and has mobile-friendly caching as well. It’s a great tool to have for those of you who have blogs with lots of comments.

Something that I found interesting about Hyper Cache is the way that this plugin completes website backups. The cache folders aren’t included in your backups, meaning the backup files will be smaller and save you space.

While this plugin should be a top consideration for WordPress bloggers, I wouldn’t recommend it for more complex sites, such as ecommerce platforms. If you fall into that category, you’d be better off with a more advanced plugin from this list.

5. Comet Cache

Comet Cache

Comet Cache has a quick and easy installation process. Once installed, you’ll find that the navigation on the dashboard is extremely user friendly.

I like this plugin because it’s so informative. You’ll find tons of resources that will tell you everything there is to know about caching. This will help you configure the settings to optimize the performance of your own WordPress site.

You’ll have plenty of different options for caching with Comet Cache:

  • Pages
  • Posts
  • Tags
  • Categories

If you’re looking for simple customization, this plugin is definitely one that you should consider. The ability to cache users who are logged in makes Comet Cache a top option for membership websites.

Comet Cache has both free and paid versions. Most of you can probably get away with the free WordPress plugin, but the paid upgrades offer better features. If you upgrade your plugin, you’ll have the option for automatic and intelligent cache clearing. Basically, this feature allows you to configure all of your settings from the beginning, and then have a “hands-free” approach moving forward.

Conclusion

Installing a WordPress cache plugin will boost your website speed and improve the user experience. Now that we’ve established why caching plugins are important, the question becomes, Which is the best WordPress cache plugin?

It depends what you’re looking for. Some plugins are designed for ecommerce websites, while others are intended for WordPress blogs. Some cache plugins are made for beginners, while others have more complex settings for advanced developers.

Do you want a free WordPress cache plugin? Or are you looking for a paid version?

Based on all of this information, I narrowed down my list to the top five options to consider. There is something for everyone on this list, based on the type of website you have, your technical experience, and the type of settings you want to apply. Use this guide as a reference to help you find the best WordPress cache plugin for your website.

http://www.quicksprout.com/best-wordpress-cache-plugin/

How to Build Backlinks in Less Than 1 Hour

backlinks

I have a question for you…

How do you build links?

If I had to bet, chances are you spend little to no time on link building.

Why? Because it’s hard.

But why should link building be hard?

Most parts of SEO are much simpler and cost-effective.

For example, if you want to write content… you just go and write it.

It may not be great content, but nothing is stopping you starting, learning, and improving.

On the other hand, if you want to build links, where would you start?

That’s a bit tricky because link tools cost money… and a lot of money if you are just starting out.

But that’s going to change in 30 days with your help!

Link building made simple

As you may know, I released a new version of Ubersuggest a few weeks ago. And with your help, I want to roll out a free link tool.

Here’s what I am thinking and, before I roll it out, I want to get your feedback.

So, with the new Ubersuggest, I made it where you can put in a URL.

Let’s say I’m your competitor… neilpatel.com.

You would head over to Ubersuggest and just put in neilpatel.com

You’ll end up with a report that looks something like this:

ubersuggest

Now, the most useful part of the tool (and this is where I want to integrate link building) is the top pages.

It shows you the pages on your competitors’ sites that are the most popular.

The way most SEOs grow their traffic is by finding out what’s working for their competitor and then copying them or, even better, one-upping them.

So if you were competing with me, you could see all of my most popular pages based on Google traffic.

top pages

You can even click on “view all” under the Est. Visits column to see all of the keywords that are driving traffic to my site.

top keywords pages

I know this report isn’t perfect, but it gives you a really good idea of what you should be targeting if you want more traffic.

Because if something is working for your competitors, it will probably work for you.

But there is one big issue… if you just write similar content to your competition, there is no guarantee that you will beat them. Unless you build more links than them.

So on that same report, I was thinking about adding a drop-down that breaks down the exact links that drive traffic to each specific URL.

It would look something like this:

backlink data

I know the data is fake and junk, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what I am thinking.

This one report will allow you to see who is linking to your competitor’s most popular pages, the anchor text they are using, when the link was last seen, and even the authority (page score) of the backlink.

Now, before you give me feedback on this report, there is one more report I’m thinking about launching within the next 30 days.

Backlinks

For those of you who are advanced SEOs, I was thinking about making it super easy to see who links to you as well as your competition.

I want to start off with something basic so I can get you this report/feature within 30 days.

It would look something like this:

backlink report

You’ll be able to see the authority of the page or a domain, the total number of backlinks, how many nofollow links, referring domains, and even referring IPs.

If you want to get granular, you can, by just looking at new links or lost links or even one link per domain.

And of course you can see all the details of the link, such as title, URL, anchor text, authority, if the link was a text link or an image link, and when the link was last seen.

If you want to drill down further, the filters will allow you to do that.

backlink filters

Once you have the data looking the way you want, you’ll be able to easily export the data.

Conclusion

The whole purpose of this tool would be to make link building easier for you. You’ll be able to type in any URL, find out who links out to them, and easily hit them up and ask for them to link to your site.

The reports won’t take more than 10 seconds to load… so finding opportunities won’t be difficult. Crafting emails and doing the outreach will be the hard part.

I know this won’t automate all of your the link building efforts, but it will make the process easier and much more efficient for you.

So, what do you think, should I release this feature within the next 30 days?

And if you think I should do it, what other features would you want me to release?

Oh, and the link data would be fresh and updated daily.

The post How to Build Backlinks in Less Than 1 Hour appeared first on Neil Patel.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Best Form Plugin WordPress – (Review Updated For Winter of 2019)

How can your website visitors contact you?

It’s a simple question, yet I see so many sites with complex solutions.

Take a moment to put yourself into the shoes of a user navigating your website. For one reason or another, they have decided they want to reach you. This person shouldn’t be forced to find your phone number, dial, wait on hold, and potentially get a voicemail depending on your business hours. That’s just too many steps and not very efficient.

Here’s another scenario. The visitor has to look up your email address, navigate to their email platform, then copy and paste your email address before typing a message.

I’ll give you one more example, just for good measure. In order to contact you, the website visitor has to search you on social media, and then send a direct message or leave a comment on your page.

Should you have options for people to contact you via phone, email, and social media? Absolutely.

But you can simplify this process by allowing people to contact you directly from your website. The solution: contact forms.

A simple contact form can help you increase conversions and improve your customer experience. Each additional step a visitor has to take to perform an action reduces the chances that they’ll complete that action.

By setting up a contact form on your website, people can reach you without having to take extra steps or navigating to third-party platforms. There’s a high likelihood that they won’t finish a multi-step process. They might get distracted, or give up — it’s not worth all that work to them.

Adding a form plugin to your WordPress site will make it much easier for visitors to get in contact with you. You can also use these plugins for other forms.

So what’s the best form plugin for WordPress? I’ve identified the top options worth consideration.

1. Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms

When it comes to simplicity, the Ninja Forms plugin is definitely toward the top of the rankings. Unlike other plugins on the market, Ninja Forms integrates nicely into your WordPress dashboard and makes it easy for you to create a form in minutes.

Ninja Forms is great for beginners but has enough add-on options for advanced WordPress users as well. That’s why more than one million sites are actively using this plugin.

You can sync the forms up with your email marketing software. So all of the responses can be managed through services that you’re already using. Ninja Forms supports the majority of the most popular email tools:

  • Constant Contact
  • MailChimp
  • Aweber
  • Campaign Monitor
  • iContact
  • GetResponse

Ninja Forms even has features that allow you to collect payments through Stripe, PayPal Express, and Elavon.

Another reason why this is one of the best form plugins for WordPress is the ability to collect, export, and analyze any data submitted in the forms. Ninja Forms integrates with CRM software such as Salesforce, Zoho, and Batchbook. You can also send data to productivity and team tools like Trello, Slack, and Zapier.

The basic version of Ninja Forms is free, but add-ons can be purchased separately. They also have plans starting at $99 per year.

2. WPForms

WPForms

WPForms is arguably one of the most beginner-friendly form plugins available for WordPress. That’s because it offers a drag and drop form builder that’s as straightforward as it gets.

The simplicity behind the drag and drop builder makes it easy for anyone, regardless of their technical background, to create a form in just a few minutes. WPForms also has plenty of pre-built templates to get you started in the right direction.

You can create forms with conditional logic. This means that certain elements of the form (such as fields, sections or buttons) will be changed based on options a user selects.

For example, a website visitor who is filling out a form about a previous purchase could have different form options than someone who has a question about one of your products that hasn’t been purchased yet.

WPForms also lets website visitors submit files. Let’s say someone has a problem with something they bought from you. You can give them an option to upload a picture to improve the communication about the issue.

This plugin can also integrate with email marketing software as well as productivity tools.

WPForms can be embedded anywhere on your website.

Pricing for WPForms starts at just $39 per year, which is pretty affordable considering all of the benefits you’ll get.

3. Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms offers a clean navigation for building and managing forms on WordPress. You can consider using this plugin if you’re a beginner, but Gravity Forms offers lots of options for advanced WordPress users as well.

Other form plugins require you to add on the conditional logic feature, but that option comes standard with Gravity Forms.

Another feature I like is the ability for visitors to save and continue a form for later. This is great for those of you who plan on adding longer or more complex forms to your website. Sometimes those won’t be completed in one sitting, and you don’t want to force people to re-submit information or abandon the process altogether.

Gravity Forms lets you limit the number of submissions through one particular form. They also give you the ability to schedule forms.

Something else that sets this plugin apart from the competition is its calculations feature. Gravity Forms can automatically perform advanced calculations based on the form fields submitted by a visitor. So if you had a real estate website, you could set this up to calculate an estimated mortgage payment based on things like the purchase price, down payment, interest rate, and mortgage period.

Gravity Forms starts at just $59 per year for a basic license. If you’re a developer or have an agency, you can purchase an elite license for just $259 annually, which is valid for an unlimited number of sites.

4. HappyForms

Happy Forms

A reason why HappyForms is considered one of the best form plugins for WordPress is because it’s 100% free.

According to its website, the average cost of a WordPress form plugin is $186 per year. So for those of you who are looking for a free form plugin, this will be a top choice for you to consider.

HappyForms lets you completely customize your forms with different types of form fields.

  • Short text
  • Long text
  • Email
  • Website links
  • Multiple choice options
  • Single choice
  • Dropdown menus
  • Numeric fields
  • Phone numbers

All of these can be added to one form. The drop-down menus and multiple choice options are very user-friendly. It’s easier for someone to make a selection from a list as opposed to manually typing a response. This will also help you stay organized when you’re sorting through data and submissions from these fields.

It’s easy for you to manage all of your messages from one place. HappyForms lets you filter the messages based on your preferences, so you can respond in a logical way. For example, you may prioritize a certain type of request over another, as opposed to responding in the order the forms were submitted in.

HappyForms also has ReCaptcha and Honeypot built-in, so you won’t have to worry about getting spam messages.

Overall, this is one of the best free form plugins for WordPress on the market.

5. Caldera Forms

Caldera Forms

Caldera Forms also has a free option. If you want to upgrade to a pro version, pricing starts at $15 per month. They also have individual add-ons available for purchase.

With that said, if you’re just looking for a basic form plugin, you can probably get away with the free version.

This plugin is another option that includes a drag and drop builder, which is great for those of you who aren’t too tech-savvy and want to create forms as fast as possible.

Caldera Forms has advanced calculations, drop down menus, and conditional logic. There’s also a built-in spam filtering tool, so you won’t have to waste your time reviewing spam submissions.

I dig the auto-responders, which ensures that your website visitors always get a quick reply.

For those of you who run a blog and accept guest posts, users can submit posts directly through the form fields with Caldera Forms, too.

6. FormCraft

FormCraft

FormCraft is unique because it specializes in designs. We’ve all been to websites that have generic forms that just aren’t very appealing. You don’t want your website visitors to have that feeling when they’re on your site.

This WordPress plugin also has a drag and drop builder, making it easier for anyone to create a from as fast as possible.

FormCraft also has a wide range of templates based on the type of form that you’re trying to build. This is very helpful for those of you who will be embedding multiple forms on your WordPress site. For example, a form to sign up for your email newsletter should be distinguishable from your contact form.

Another top benefit from FormCraft is its popup forms. A user action can trigger a form to appear on the page, as opposed to embedding it somewhere on a landing page that might be overlooked.

You can create multi-page forms with FormCraft as well, although this is one of the many paid add-on features. The basic package starts at $49 per year. Add-ons range from $19 to $29 each.

7. Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is another WordPress plugin that’s completely free. They won’t try to upsell you with any premium features or add-ons. With over 5 million active installations, this is one of the most popular free WordPress plugins you’ll find.

What I found interesting about Contact Form 7 is that they have exceptional customer support for a free plugin. You’ll have access to an extensive FAQ page, support forums, and documents explaining how to do things.

Some of the top features of Contact Form 7 include:

  • CAPTCHA fields
  • Radio buttons
  • Drop down menus
  • Checkboxes
  • Quizzes
  • File submission fields

You’ll be able to embed the forms anywhere on your website. It’s a top option for anyone who doesn’t want to buy a form plugin.

8. weForms

weForms

I like weForms because it’s extremely sleek and responsive. It has a drag and drop builder, which makes it easy for beginners to create a form. There are also tons of pre-built templates that will save you time compared to creating a form from scratch.

The shortcode allows you to embed forms within your posts, as well as anywhere else on your site. With weForms, you can build forms that have entry and time restrictions and over 33 types of form fields for you to choose.

The versatility of weForms makes it one of the best form plugins for WordPress.

It syncs with some of the most popular email marketing solutions on the market. It provides anti-spam protection, and let you create forms with conditional logic. In addition to contact forms, it’s great for:

  • Volunteer application forms
  • Event registration forms
  • Error reporting forms
  • Applications
  • Referrals
  • Internal company requests
  • Patient intake forms

9. Quform

Quform

At just $29 per year, Quform is an affordable WordPress form plugin. This plugin is extremely responsive and mobile-friendly.

You’ll have the option to create multi-page forms, with complex layouts, and reCAPTCHA with the drag and drop builder.

The plugin comes with lots of different form themes as well. You can set up conditions that will automatically display elements for specific replies through your website forms. With Quform, users can attach files to their submission.

For those of who you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a plugin, but want to upgrade from a free WordPress form plugin, you’ll definitely want to checkout Quform.

10. Formidable Forms

Formidable Forms

Last, but certainly not least on our list is Formidable Forms.

This plugin is unique because it lets you create forms that are GDPR compliant. So for those of you who have lots of European visitors navigating to your website, you’ll want to consider Formidable Forms.

You can create simple contact forms as well as complex multi-page forms with this plugin. It comes standard with top features like advanced calculations, file uploads, and conditional logic.

Formidable Forms is also one of my favorite plugins for analyzing data that’s been submitted in your website forms. You can view information in graphs, which is always helpful for identifying trends.

This plugin lets you take the information that you collect through forms and use it to build directories, listings, or any other data-driven application.

The drag-and-drop builder paired with front-end WordPress editing makes Formidable Forms impressive. Pricing ranges from $49 to $399 per year, depending on your needs. But I’d say the majority of you won’t need one of the higher-cost plans.

Conclusion

Traditionally, website forms are used as a contact method. It’s a great way for your website visitors to reach you directly without having to leave or site or go through extra steps.

But as you can see, these forms can be used for so much more. That’s why it’s crucial for you to have a WordPress plugin that can help you create the forms you need.

So what’s the best form plugin for WordPress?

It depends on what you’re looking for. Some websites need to build complex, multi-page forms, with conditional logic and file submissions. Other sites may just need a simple form with a few fields.

How do you want to create your forms? If you want something that’s easy and user-friendly, you’ll want to look for a plugin that has drag and drop builders.

Price is also something that you need to keep in mind when you’re searching for a form plugin. Some are free, while others vary in price range depending on features, plans, and add-ons.

Based on all of this information, I’m sure you can find what you’re looking for on the list that I’ve come up with above. These are the best form plugins for WordPress, and I made sure to include something for everyone.

http://www.quicksprout.com/best-form-plugin-wordpress/