Ultimate Guide to Geotargeting in WordPress – Step by Step

Do you want to use Geotargeting in WordPress to enhance the customer experience?

Geotargeting allows website owners to show personalized content to users based on their geographic location. It helps improve user experience and conversion rates for businesses.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll show you how to use Geotargeting in WordPress to boost sales and customer satisfaction.

Using geotargeting in WordPress and WooCommerce

Why Use GeoTargeting in WordPress?

Geotargeting or Geo-Location targeting is a marketing technique that allows businesses to offer custom user experiences based on a customer’s geographic location.

You can use geotargeting to make your content, products, and website more relevant to the customer. Research shows that it helps build user interest, boosts engagement, results in higher conversions, and generate more sales.

A Google study found that 61% of smartphone owners prefer to buy from sites that customize information for their location.

For instance, a real estate website can use geotargeting to show specific real estate listings in a user’s region. Similarly, an online store can offer customers free shipping by detecting their geolocation first.

Having that said, now let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways to use geotargeting effectively in WordPress. Here is a quick overview of what we’ll cover in this guide.

Tracking User Geographic Locations in WordPress

Before you learn how to target users in different geographic locations, you need to gather the data about where your users are coming from.

The easiest way to track user’s geographic locations is by using MonsterInsights. It is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and allows you to easily track website visitors.

MonsterInsights

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

Upon activation, the plugin will automatically guide you to connect your WordPress website to your Google Analytics account. If you need help, then see our step-by-step guide on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

After that, you can view your website traffic reports by visiting the Insights » Reports page.

View countries report in MonsterInsights

It will show you a section of the top 10 countries, and you can view more data by clicking on the ‘View Countries Report’ button. This will take you to the Google Analytics website where you will see a full list of countries.

Google Analytics Geolocation report

You can click on each country to see how users from that country used your website, how many pages they viewed, how much time they spent, did they convert, and more.

You can then adjust your strategies to target regions that are not performing so well and find more ways to increase revenues from locations that are doing well.

Using Geotargeting in WordPress and WooCommerce with OptinMonster

The most common use of geotargeting is to show personalized content to your users based on their location.

This is where OptinMonster comes in.

It is the best conversion optimization software in the world because it helps you convert abandoning website visitors into customers and subscribers.

It also comes equipped with incredibly powerful display rules including geotargeting to show targeted messages on your website.

First, you’ll need to sign up for an OptinMonster account.

Note: You’ll need at least their Growth plan to access Goetargeting features.

OptinMonster

After signing up, switch to your WordPress website to install and activate the OptinMonster plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

This plugin acts as a connector between your WordPress website and your OptinMonster account.

Upon activation, you need to visit OptinMonster » Settings page and click on the ‘Connect existing account’ button.

Connect OptinMonster account to WordPress

This will bring up a popup where you can log in and connect your WordPress site to your OptinMonster account.

Now that your WordPress site is connected, you are ready to create your first geotargeted campaign. Go to the OptinMonster » Campaigns page and click on the ‘Add New’ button.

Create campaign

First, you’ll need to choose your campaign type. OptinMonster supports lightbox popups, floating bars, inline optins, fullscreen, slide-in, and gamified campaigns.

For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll choose a lightbox popup campaign. Below that, you can select a campaign template by clicking on it.

Select campaign type and template

Next, you need to enter a name for your campaign. You can enter any name here, and then click on the ‘Start building’ button.

Enter campaign name

This will launch OptinMonster’s campaign builder interface with a live preview of your campaign in the right panel.

Editing OptinMonster campaign

You can simply point and click on any item in the preview to edit, move, or delete it. You can also add new elements from the left column.

Let’s add some personalized geotargeted messaging to this campaign. To do that, we will be using an OptinMonster feature called Smart Tag.

Simply click on a text area or add a new text block and then in the text toolbar click on the Smart Tag button.

Detect and show user's location in OptinMonster using Smart Tag

It will show you a list of smart dynamic texts that you can add to your content.

We’ll add {{city}} smart tag to our campaign. This tag will automatically detect user’s city and display it in the campaign content.

Once you are finished editing your campaign, you can switch to the ‘Display Rules’ tab. This is where you can configure when to show your campaign.

Display rules to set up geotargeting campaigns

Next, you need to create a new Ruleset and use Physical location as the condition to check.

After that, you will be asked to select the criteria you want to match. For instance, we want to show this campaign if the visitors’ location is in Florida.

Display criteria for geotargeting

Click on the Validate button to make sure that your condition is setup correctly. After that, click on the Next Step button to continue.

Next, you’ll be asked which campaign view you want to show and if you want to use special effects.

Campaign display settings

Click on the Next Step button to continue and save your ruleset.

Now that everything is set up, you can switch to the Publish tab to make your campaign go to live. Simply switch to the ‘Publish Status’ from Draft to Publish by clicking on it.

Publish your geotargeting campaign in WordPress

Don’t forget to click on the Save changes button to save your campaign settings and then click on the close button to exit the builder.

After that, you’ll be redirected back to your WordPress site, where you can configure where and when you want to display the campaign.

Publishing your campaign in WordPress

Simply set the status from pending to published and click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to launch your campaign.

You can now visit your WordPress website in incognito mode to view your campaign. You’ll need to be in the location that you are targeting to view the campaign.

Geotargeted popup in WordPress showing a custom message

Note: If you are not located in that region, then you can check out a VPN service that has servers located in that region. This will allow you to mimic the location you want to target with your geotargeting campaigns.

Other Geotargeting Campaign Ideas for WordPress using OptinMonster

A header bar announcing free shipping with a countdown timer to trigger the FOMO effect.

A floating banner with countdown timer triggered by geo-location targeting

A slide-in message targeting local users to request a callback from your sales team.

A geo targeted slidein message

Here is an example of an inline campaign to help users discover content relevant to their location.

Inline campaign showing users locally relevant information

Using Geolocation Data in WordPress Forms

Forms help you generate leads, engage with customers and website visitors, and grow your business. Using geolocation data, you can learn more about your customers and offer them more local content.

For this, you’ll need WPForms. It is the best WordPress form builder plugin on the market and allows you to create any kind of form you need.

It also comes with a Geolocation addon that helps you collect users’ geolocation information with form submissions.

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

Upon activation, you need to visit the WPForms » Settings page to enter your license key. You can find this information under your account on the WPForms website.

Enter WPForms license key

Next, you need to visit WPForms » Addons page. From here, you need to click on the ‘Install Addon’ button next to the GeoLocation Addon.

Geolocation addon

WPForms will now fetch, install, and activate the addon for you.

You can now go ahead and create your first form by visiting WPForms » Add New page. You’ll start by entering a name for your form and choose a template.

Creating a new form

A template is a starting point that you can use to quickly make forms. You can start with a blank form too, if you want.

Clicking on a template will launch the form builder interface. On the right, you’ll see pre-loaded form fields based on the template you choose. You can add new fields from the column on your left side.

Form builder

You can also just click on any field to edit it, drag and drop to move it, or delete any form field.

Once you are finished, don’t forget to click on the Save button to publish your form.

Your form is now ready. In order to collect Geolocation data, you need to add the form to your website.

WPForms makes it super easy to add your forms anywhere on your website. Simply edit the post or page where you want to add the form and click on the (+) add new block button.

Locate the WPForms block and add it to your post.

WPForms block

From block settings, simply select the form you created earlier. WPForms will load a live preview of your form in the content editor. You can now save your post or page and view your form in action.

Viewing Geolocation Data for Your Form Entries

After you have added the form to your website, wait for it to collect a few form entries or go ahead and add a few test entries on your own.

After that, you can go to WPForms » Entries page and click on your form name to view entries. On the Entries page, click on the View link next to any entry to view the details.

Viewing form entries in WPForms

On the entry details page, you will see a box with user’s Geographic location marked on the map.

Geolocation pointed on a map

Using Geolocation Data for Your WordPress Forms

Geolocation data can be used to grow your business. You can figure out which regions are showing more interest in your products, services, or website.

You can match this data with your Google Analytics reports to see which regions are not performing well. If your business serves a global audience, then you may consider offering forms in local languages.

Using GeoTargeting in WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the biggest eCommerce platform in the world that runs on top of WordPress. It comes with built-in geolocation feature that allows you to detect user’s location and use it to display taxes and shipping information.

For this section, we assume that you have already set up your online store. If you haven’t, then follow our guide on how to create an online store for step by step instructions.

After that, you need to visit WooCommerce » Settings page and scroll down to the ‘General Options’ section.

Geolocation settings in WooCommerce

From here you can select the countries or regions where you sell or ship to. You can also modify the ‘Default customer location’ option.

By default, WooCommerce assumes customer’s location to ‘no location’. You can change that to use your store address or use Geolocate to find the customer’s country.

Note: Geolocate feature will only lookup user’s country using their IP address and WooCommerce uses a third-party integration to fetch this information.

You can also use Geolocate with page cache support. The downside of choosing this is that your product URLs will show a v=XXXX string.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

Next, you need to switch to the Integrations tab and you’ll see an option where you’ll be asked to provide a MaxMind API key.

MaxMind API key

This third-party service will lookup for GeoLocation information for your WooCommerce store.

Now, you need to sign up for a MaxMind free account. Once you have completed the sign up, go ahead and login to your account dashboard.

From here you need to click on Services » Manage License Keys menu. On the next page, click on the Generate New License Key button.

Generate license key

After that, simply copy the generated API key and paste it into your WooCommerce settings.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

WooCommerce will now start using Geolocate data to calculate taxes and shipping costs. However, you’ll still need to configure shipping zones, shipping costs, and taxes.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use GeoTargeting in WordPress boost sales and improve user experience. You may also want to see our proven tips to increase website traffic, and our comparison of the best business phone services for small businesses.

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

The post Ultimate Guide to Geotargeting in WordPress – Step by Step appeared first on WPBeginner.

Source: WP Beginners

Press This Podcast: How WordPress is Helping People Get Back to Work with Jason Cooksey & Miles Sebesta

Welcome to Press This, the WordPress community podcast from WMR. Here host David Vogelpohl sits down with guests from around the community to talk about the biggest issues facing WordPress developers. The following is a transcription of the original recording.

David Vogelpohl: Hello everyone and welcome to Press This the WordPress community podcasts on WMR. This is your host, David Vogelpohl, I support the WordPress community through my role at WP Engine, and I love to bring the best of the community to you hear every week on press this as a reminder, you can find me on Twitter @wpdavidv, or you can subscribe to press this on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify, or download the latest episodes at wmr.fm. This episode we’re gonna talk about how WordPress is helping people get back to work. We have a pandemic and the lockdown. And joining us for that conversation we have Jason Cooksey and Miles Sebesta of bitwise Jason welcome to Press This.

Jason Cooksey: How’s it going, thanks for having us.

DV: So glad to have you here, Miles welcome as well.

Miles Sebesta: Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for having us.

DV: Fantastic. Well, as I mentioned, we’re going to be talking about project a bit wise Industries has done around their project to bring onward ca online as part of the overarching onward, UW initiative, we’ll talk about all that here in a minute, really the point of all that is to help the millions of Americans workers displaced by COVID-19 back to work as quickly as possible. Jason and Miles and Bitwise industries helping out with the efforts there in California and using WordPress for that so I’m really interested to hear that project. I asked this question of every guest Jason and Miles and he made the short version because there’s two y’all. Tell me about your WordPress origin story what was the first time you used WordPress and Jason your first on my list, I’m just going to go with you.

JC: I first use WordPress back when it had wagon wheels for layout, actually my first WordPress experience was was pretty terrible. It took me a few years to fully understand and comprehend it. I don’t know, maybe I’m not a smart man, but it. It’s definitely grown and improved since the first first day I use it and it was, it was a client request that’s, that’s how quick it started

DV: client requests that’ll definitely get you into WordPress alright Miles you’re at briefly tell me your WordPress origin story.

MS: Yeah, I started using WordPress maybe about 10 years ago. So I had recently graduated college and started a company. And at that time, the company I was working for were no PHP, creating everything from scratch over and over again. Eventually we got a client that had a Joomla website, and my task was to edit it, and remember editing it and just thinking, Man, I’m not trying to throw any shade at Joomla, I just remember thinking, wow there’s got to be like a, an easier way to do this, and then also the same thing when it came to kind of programming, a product over and over again from scratch and just felt like that we were reinventing the wheel. So I eventually had another client come to the come to the company and they wanted WordPress. So we took a look at it and I instantly fell in love because it just sort of made sense to me were pages or pages and posts or posts. And I think that was around the time that custom posts might have been coming out, but it was just from then on WordPress has kind of been my jam when it comes to the library and just the community.

DV: So, I was gonna ask you about custom post types. You’re right. They came out in 2010 so if it was 10 years ago that would have been a little bit before I guess when that project landed on your door, but obviously a big moment in WordPress history is it became more of like a CMS if you will definitely remember days, running teams with everything hand coded so I share that transition. And I’m not sure which of us best to answer this question, but I was wondering if you could briefly tell me about bitwise industries like What do y’all do.

JC: The official response is we are a tech ecosystem. Really though we we just want to create jobs in the tech sector for folks who have traditionally been underrepresented folks and underdog cities are trying to make a place at the table for them and if we can’t do that, we’re stretching the table out ourselves.

DV: That’s awesome. That sounds like a wonderful mission, glad to hear that that’s what y’all are all about that’s that’s incredible and obviously very well fit for this project. So my next question like just to orient folks who talked a little bit about the project kind of getting on and your general mission, you just stated is to kind of get folks back to work, but what is onward, us, you’ve mentioned that kind of leading up to this and then what is its connection to onward ca like what is all that event.

MS: Yeah so honored us, is kind of the parent initiative where it’s a it’s a platform that we’ve created to get states online when it comes to having access for the individuals and citizens in that state, or the residents in that state, access to different types of needs when it comes to resources for example trying to find. Let’s say a shelter to stay the night app, or to find internships and opportunities to learn something new or applying for new jobs so the onboard us is kind of the umbrella. So we have onward ca onward ca.org. And that’s just one of the states, we have multiple states were using this same platform with kind of the same solution to provide resources to citizens and residents in those different states so onward us is kind of the umbrella organization and then we have on org main on word co on or, CA, just a list of states that were providing this resource to for the government county level.

DV: Gotcha. And for clarity like how we understand like the wise industries that company name we also have honored us like what’s the connection there the more organizations involved or me understand that connection.

MS: Yeah so, it was in Bitwise Industries. This is our initiative to create on our platform. And so really the developers from bitwise consulting are the ones that created the onward and onward initiative so it’s just sort of a parent, or bitwise is the parent brainchild I guess you can say when it comes to honored us and honored ca.

DV: Awesome, so did onward come to be in response to the pandemic or was that in the lockdowns or Was this something you had worked on prior.

JC: Yeah, when, when the pandemic was officially recognized, and the country went into shelter in place last year in March a huge part of the nation’s workforce just didn’t have a job any longer. And so it was a response to those workers displaced by the pandemic all over the country. They didn’t know where to start to get help and governments at the state and county level weren’t really fully prepared to provide those answers. So, this was a response to that needs to be brought all the resources of the state and counties had to offer help them organize it into kind of a one stop clearinghouse of information.

DV: Yeah I know a lot of people were scrambling when that hit in a lot of areas and restaurants by sake of example we’re scrambling to figure out how to operationalize there isn’t as in a digital first world you know online ordering curbside. And, you know, I mean, I guess I don’t have that direct experience per se but just seeing that from the employment and like state resources perspective for folks like super super super in need. I would imagine that was a big deal. Obviously as well. Why did you think WordPress was a good answer for these challenges.

MS: So for us, we knew that we needed to stand something up quickly. And we have a lot of really talented individuals and professionals when it comes to to WordPress, and then also we’re actually integrating with Salesforce, so this build that we have is talking to Salesforce, where we’re pulling the data. And really we just have had the luck, and, of having a team with some a plethora of experience in different in Salesforce and WordPress. In organization and design, and it just sort of felt right. It felt like this is something that we can spin up really quickly and we knew that the way we were going to do this is that we’re going to create an MVP. And we’re going to just iterate through it. So, really, from the concept to the first MVP version. It took us about two weeks, we had a two week period to get this thing off the ground, and that included, getting people and gathering people to do the basic content data entry. We had hundreds of people working on just gathering resources from these different states, let alone, building the platform. And for us, it just felt like a natural fit when it came to WordPress. Because we have just a lot of talent and experience using that and so it just, it just naturally felt in place that way.

DV: Yeah, that velocity is such a strength that WordPress, you know, being able to stand something up quickly the fact that you know and I know y’all had the talent in house. But there is, you know, there’s also the side of it we’re looking, there’s also a lot of people to hire and a lot of agencies to hire. And so, you know, it does provide the scent like super fast path for for folks in a pinch. I mentioned the restaurant scenario earlier had a friend that built the platform in a hurry to support in restaurants with WordPress, also at the start of the pandemic. It’s so interesting to see it being used in multiple use cases. I do want to dig a little bit more into like the build and the why and like how how the states use it and so on and so forth. We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Time to plug into a commercial break.

DV: everyone and welcome back to press this WordPress community podcast on w EMR. This is your host David Vogel Paul, I’m in the middle of my interview with Jason Cooksey and Myles avesta about their project onward us helping the folks in the US affected by the COVID-19 in the lockdown. Get back to work. Jason and miles before the break, we were talking a little bit about like why you decided to choose WordPress for this application you shared a little bit like look we have that we had the talent kind of a that was kind of part of your kind of focus already you had developers that were able to work within it, but it also allowed you like incredible velocity, said you got it done in a matter of weeks, how, like I mean I get with WordPress but like what was the, how did you execute that quickly. Jesus. Are you are you like like Tell me. Let me ask it a different way like did you did you spec it out on the go and then just kind of went like in a very very super agile way. Did you, did you were you going the other way very purposeful about what you were going to build into that helped you move quickly like helped me understand that

MS: I think for us. It was kind of built in a very agile way were, we had so many people just jumping in and doing what needed to be done. I think that one thing that really, we have to remember is that, when all this was happening, it was, we were in lockdown. I mean, the groceries where you could go to a grocery store and you couldn’t find anything, and there’s just a lot of pent up, energy, and fortunately for us. Our organization has just built a amazing culture and a bunch of people that say Yes we can, like we can do this. And it was a combination of really just having talent super talented designers, project managers Salesforce individuals just. Everyone who really has had their whole career, leading up to this moment. And it felt like at the time. We have to respond. There’s, there’s nothing else we can do and what we’re gonna do we can’t go out. We’re stuck in our house right so so really it was just for me I feel like the same amount velocity was is the feeling that the world around us is not right. It’s changing, and we have some talent, to be able to do this. So let’s do something about it. And everyone just kind of putting their heads down and and working as fast as they can, as hard as they can. I think it really was just, if we didn’t have the people already there and the culture already there, where everyone’s got each other’s back and our job is to help the world. We wouldn’t have been able to pull it off in the same amount of time that we did.

DV: Hey Jason What is your take on how you were able to do so quickly.

JC: Yeah, I just, you know, second what miles was saying, like we, we had already an amazing team of folks from marketing design project management, even data entry we hired, I think over 300 people, specifically for for scraping and just finding the information that we needed to provide to those folks that were in need. And then of course the development. And as Michael says the bitwise culture, put me in coach, made it happen so quickly and so successfully there were there were a lot of all nighters trying to stand this up and I should mention our coworker Brian Cadbury, he was actually the person that built the first draft of the site. And he did it in a way that was super smart, rather than using WordPress multi sites we’re actually using a custom post type and custom meta field options to set the design of each site instance. So we basically match the HTTP POST hosted determine and set the WP site URL, which allows us to launch domains way fast without having to reconfigure the site.

DV: what is specific advantages, you feel you’re getting with that approach versus multi site.

MS: For us, it’s really rather than having to duplicate a lot of work with the way we have it set up with the custom custom meta fields that we have it really boiled down to about 20 different options color options, where we’re pointing it text, and in everything else. And so with that, it just really simplifies it simplifies standing up a new site in a way that I think with a multi site. It is nice it is simple, but it was just, it wasn’t moving fast enough, it was again is like about that velocity that you were talking about. And so for us this is custom post type kind of integration that isn’t normally seen or normally used really was beneficial, and in allowing us to maintain that philosophy.

DV: What kind of entities would like warrant a new version of onward us to be sped up are the only states are you doing other kinds of new municipalities.

MS: Yes, so we’re actually currently working on and having another commercial instance of this. So, cities, counties, rather than from the state level anyone who needs a platform to be able to provide a lot of resources to an individual. So that’s definitely something that we’re working on. We’ve also been doing it for commercially for businesses. For example, if a business wants to create a jobs board, rather than using some other traditional or other method. They have the opportunity to create a jobs board where they can have people in other organizations lists jobs for example we have an organization that we’re working with that they wanted to create a, an internship platform, and they wanted it to be specifically for people and individuals who are minority, and they wanted one site that can have minority friendly internships being posted by companies that are really forward thinking and wanting to get more individuals into their organization. So it just depends on on what they’re wanting to do. It’s just a way to create a platform where if they want to list jobs if they want to list any sort of resources. We can do that.

DV: How do you explain what onward us does to your elderly relatives, give me this simple version.

JC: That’s a good question. I have had to do a number of times. I think it comes down to a it’s a collection of information. That wouldn’t normally be available. And in a one location like it is. We we work really hard and work with a lot of organizations to bring this information together in one place, and make it easy for the end user to find everything that they need if they’re if they’ve been affected by the pandemic. I guess the best thing I can do with that.

DV: And I think it’s so great you know when I, when I asked y’all earlier like what, you know, how’d you get it done so fast and I was expecting, only to hear like architectural or like workflow responses but you really kind of hit home that you know hey look you’re kind of built for this in a way but but also that purpose. It sounded like driving you to help others. And it kind of reminded me a little bit of the movie The Blind Side where Sandra Bullock’s character discovers how to get Michael or motivated with the kind of, you know, tie into that protective nature that he had Lisa they illustrated in the movie and it was like, as I heard you talk about like, we thought we had to do something and it reminded me a lot of that, that idea that you know folks are motivated often more to help others. Then perhaps to help themselves. So it’s really kind of interesting to hear you, you talk about that I was also surprised to hear you activated I think you said 300 people to help pull the resources together to make available for folks and I get that right.

JC: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s correct.

DV: Wow. Well that’s incredible. And to take action like that and not just posting on Facebook that’s it those affected by the pandemic. It’s really good to hear that in a material way and it’s really encouraging to hear you know how WordPress played a role in that. I have some more questions about this, but we’re gonna take a quick break and we’ll be right back.

DV: Everyone and welcome back to Press This the WordPress community podcasts on WMR This is your host David Vogelpohl, talking with Jason and Miles about the onward us platform. Essentially they built to help people find resources and employment. During the lockdown and the pandemic. Before the break. Jason was talking a little bit about how many people you’d activated and pulled together these resources for people in need. We talked a little bit about how you know that that kind of sense of purpose was what was driving you early on, especially, helping you get this out in a relatively short period of time. You mentioned to me I think you mentioned even earlier here that you had that you can pivot the onward platform from COVID response into, like, you kind of referenced it earlier as like a dynamic matching platform. And you kind of touched on that I felt a little bit, but maybe you could explain more about what you mean there and like how that might work.

MS: the integration between Salesforce and WordPress. And we have created this system in this platform that allows us to kind of use WordPress and connect and sail with Salesforce, and we’ve developed a middleware, essentially, where the Salesforce side we can do a really cool wizardry to find out how to match individuals based upon certain preferences. Let’s say if they’re looking for a job in a certain zip code or another instance that we have that is kind of same type of idea as the onward and onward matching system is this website that we have which is popped up now. So pot up now is built on sort of the same principles of connecting WordPress and Salesforce together, where families can go on there, they can put their preferences in the sense of like, how do they, how do they view the pandemic How do they, how did the their family currently respond to it. Are they okay with meeting outside. What type of like masks all sorts of just quality of life and how they live life. And based on those answers, they can find individuals and be matched with individuals that have the same idea so basically they can create a pod together to be able to write out this pandemic that we’ve been going through COVID-19. So, it’s really his platform, this dynamic matching system is a way for us to be able to pair. Individuals with any type of resource that they need.

DV: So like when I think of Salesforce and pardon my ignorance, but I imagine someone fills out a lead form it gets into a salespersons hand, they turn it from a lead to an opportunity and eventually close it so help me understand like how you’re using it in this, in the onward sensor just the kind of platform since like you’re just referencing like in terms of like individuals and preference matching and things like that.

MS: Yeah, so Salesforce is super robust and I know that’s a common misconception with Salesforce is that it only is for sales leads. Really, it’s matured in a way where it’s a giant database and a giant place to, to store lots of data. And we have access to really talented individuals that can come up with the data scheme that’s necessary for, for them to put in any type of information to build out a Salesforce classic Salesforce platform that just makes sense. And it’s, you can expand it beyond just. There’s a sales cut there there’s an opportunity coming in to sales. And then, you know, pose it out like you said, all sorts of REST API endpoints that you can point to just do some really interesting things. And it but it does take that sort of, you have to step back from it and you have to look at Salesforce as a different way as, as this is a place to put a data set, and it’s a place for us to be able to edit the data. And just rely on the individuals in the Salesforce side to to construct it that way.

DV: It’s gonna say you inherit the maintenance from Salesforce you inherit all the tools around it. It’s kind of basically your user profile system if you will. Why didn’t you use with it were those the reasons why you didn’t use more like the native WordPress user component,

MS: yeah for us we. When it comes to the data, and I guess your question is probably more so on the, on the user, are we are we talking about like on the Salesforce side you have a record with an individual who could have, you know, had that record live and WordPress.

DV: Was it the reasons I had mentioned around all the capabilities of Salesforce with identity metadata and things like that is that is that fundamentally why you chose to do it there versus say in WordPress itself.

MS: So we have the some of the user data that we have on these platforms do actually live in WordPress, but we’re using API calls to push that data into Salesforce as well so it’s kind of it’s it’s a bi synchronous sort of flux and it’s the best of both worlds.

DV: I love it. Well this has been very interesting. Thank you all so much for walking me through this very interesting project and I’m glad to hear you all are doing some good in the world, but thank you for joining today Jason,

JC: thanks for having us.

DV: Awesome, thank you too, Miles.

MS: Thank you so much.

DV: Awesome. If you’d like to learn more about what Jason and Miles are up to you can visit bitwiseindustries.com or check out, onwardus.org. Again, this has been your host David Vogelpohl I support the WordPress community through my role at WP Engine, and I love to bring the best of the community to you here every week on Press This.

The post Press This Podcast: How WordPress is Helping People Get Back to Work with Jason Cooksey & Miles Sebesta appeared first on Torque.

Source: Torquemag.io

Why WordPress Users Should Consider Headless

You’ve more than likely heard about Headless WordPress as this innovative new solution to a variety of common problems. It loads faster, is more secure, and it works with any web language or framework you can think of. But is Headless WordPress really all pros and no cons?

The setup is definitely unique in that it detaches the front and back end of your site. This allows you to pair it with all sorts of new and interesting technologies, or push CMS content to multiple different sources. And it does have a lot of other benefits, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily for everyone. Does it fit your needs?

To find out, here are the pros and cons of headless WordPress, laid out clearly so you can weigh them and decide whether making the big switch is worth it.

The Pros of Headless WordPress

Headless WordPress definitely has a lot to offer. There are a few things it’s very good at doing, and a few small advantages to just sweeten the deal.

Multichannel Publishing Made Easy

One of the main uses of Headless WordPress is for multichannel publishing. What this means is that you can post one thing and have it automatically go to other websites, apps, and social media accounts automatically.

icons of publishing multi-channel publishing channels

So how does it work? The way Headless WordPress functions is by detaching your front and back end. This means you’re free to create a website without the constraints of PHP. You can even have no website at all, just a hub of content management.

The way Headless WordPress connects to a front end website, app, or other tool is through the REST API. APIs allow you to interface with other applications in a way traditional WordPress can’t. This allows you to send content to other websites, social media, populate a mobile or web app with content, or even hook to an IoT device.

The possibilities are endless, and for big businesses looking for a more efficient way to automate content publishing, very exciting.

Work With Any Language

Much like how Headless WordPress uses its API to facilitate multichannel publishing, it can also use the API to connect to any front end. Properly configure it and it will work almost just like WordPress, but you can use any technology you want to build the front-facing part of your website.

headless wordpress pros and cons available technology

With traditional WordPress PHP, Javascript, HTML, and CSS are all the languages available to you. So what about all the interesting new web languages, frameworks, and technologies incompatible with PHP out there? They’re just out of reach. You can either use WordPress, or you can build a site based on those. Unless, of course, you set up headless WordPress.

With an API, anything is possible. While the functionality of the back end won’t be exactly like what you’re used to, you can still use the CMS to fill your site with articles and other content.

So you get to experiment with cool new languages, all while getting the best benefits of WordPress.

Better Performance

WordPress is a heavy CMS. There’s a lot of functionality packed in there, which is great when it comes to building websites, but it can also make loading times quite slow. Behind the scenes, it has to run through all the core files and tons of functions, which can take forever.

how wordpress works behind the scenes infographic

WordPress also mainly relies on PHP, which isn’t the fastest language out there (even if you update to the latest version). The dynamic language works well for crafting interesting, interactive websites, but processing all that code every time someone loads a webpage takes a while.

Headless WordPress strips all that away, loading only the necessary files through API calls. It’s so much more lightweight, and your site will load lightning fast.

This is only more true if you use headless WordPress to generate a static site. With users only needing to load simple HTML (no dynamic pieces like forms, forums, or the WordPress core files), your pages will appear almost instantly.

Fewer Security Holes

Using headless WordPress essentially provides a free extra layer of security. Basically, you’re setting up a hidden server that’s very hard to find.

Why is that? Headless WordPress only connects to your sites and apps through an API rather than having a login screen right there on the front end server. Consequently, hackers will have a much harder time brute forcing their way into your sensitive content. If they can even locate your content hub at all.

This also helps with DDoS attacks. When your front and back end are on different servers, DDoSing the source of the content is a lot harder. They may still be able to attack your front-facing site and overload it, but if you’re using multichannel publishing, all other platforms will remain untouched.

The more layers you have to your site, the better protected you are. It also helps that headless WordPress is a newer technology, so many hackers will not know how to deal with it.

Easier Redesigns and Better Scaling

The detached nature of headless WordPress also leads to a these benefits: easier redesigns and better scalability.

With traditional WordPress, if you want to redesign your site or scale it up with new resources, it will almost always lead to mandatory downtime as you upgrade your server or website.

website maintenance mode example
Image source: Under Construction

With headless, upgrading the back end resources only means you won’t be able to post new content. Your old content will remain up and accessible. On the other hand, if your website is down for upgrades, you can still keep working with your content in the back end.

As for redesigns, with traditional WordPress, it can get awkward. You’d need a separate cloned instance or a new staging site until your new look is ready. But you can’t just stop publishing blog posts while you work on your redesign. So once you’re done, you either need to move all that content over, or you’ll have to replace the theme files you changed on the original site.

It can turn into a mess. But if your content and visual design are separated, you won’t have this problem.

Even upgrading your entire website or app is easier. You could entirely change what platform or language your website runs on, and you won’t lose or have to migrate any of your content. All you’d have to do is connect the API to the new site.

The Cons of Headless WordPress

While Headless WordPress as a lot of pros, it certainly comes with cons, too. It’s a big step into uncharted territory for even experienced developers, let alone those lacking the necessary technical skills.

Requires Developer Experience

Headless WordPress is definitely not something a blogger with zero development knowledge should use. If you’re not either well experienced yourself or prepared to hire someone who is, you should skip over this trend for sure.

Setting up headless WordPress on its own already takes more work than the average user will be familiar with. And you’ll need to make your own, custom-built website; there’s no easy page builder plugin or theme options to help you do it.

Multichannel publishing itself requires fiddling with the API, and having a website or app to direct your content to in the first place. It’s not something you want to try without knowing anything about code.

ustwo.com architecture diagram
Example of a headless WordPress setup. Source: Human Made

And as for maintaining your headless site, it’s far more difficult than with a typical WordPress installation. Traditional WordPress can actually very well maintain itself within limits. It will often stay up and running on your server for months or years without any major problems (with the occasional bugs, of course). Plus, you can even configure it to automatically update itself and its components by now.

With headless, the story is very different. It’s a much more high-maintenance platform, possibly more so than even a typical website built from scratch. You’ll need to pay a developer for maintenance, and that means both a bigger initial investment and more expensive ongoing costs.

Slow Without Configuration

This one goes hand in hand with requiring developer experience: headless WordPress can actually be a detriment to your performance and security, at least without proper configuration.

The REST API can be quite slow — possibly even slower than just loading up a traditional WordPress site. This is fixable of course with caching and the use of SHORTINIT. But if you just set up the API without knowing how to optimize it, you could be far worse off.

Security is another concern. While headless WordPress does improve security and make you more resistant to DDoS attacks, it’s a double-edged sword. Loading in WordPress files manually over the API can give attackers open access to your site if not properly fortified.

WordPress Functionality Disabled

What ruins headless WordPress for many is just how much functionality you’re taking away along with the front end. While both the customizer and Gutenberg work to some extent, you’re losing access to the WYSIWYG editor and the live preview.

Basically, designing in the back end is no longer easy because in most of the interface, you can’t see what changes you’re making and how they’re affecting your site. For people using WordPress for its website building capabilities, that takes headless WordPress out of the running. While there are examples of websites using headless setups [insert link to headless examples in the wild before publishing] that have found ways around that, it takes custom solutions.

headless wordpress example beachbody on demand
Beachbody on Demand uses headless WordPress together with the Customizer.

There’s also the issue of plugins. A majority of them will no longer work at all — unless they affect only the back end. But your forms, your security and caching plugins, and your comments plugins won’t fall under that category.

All WordPress plugins rely on PHP, so if your front end website isn’t using that, they won’t be able to interface with it. That rules out almost every plugin in existence.

Who Should Use Headless WordPress?

In short: Who is headless WordPress best for, and who should stick with the traditional solution? Here are a few cases for going headless:

  • You’re part of a business looking for a robust CMS that supports multichannel publishing.
  • You’re a developer who wants to experiment with WordPress and other languages or frameworks.
  • You want to create an app and hook it to a CMS to populate it with content.
  • You’re interested in speeding up your website and improving security along with these other benefits.
  • You’re familiar with WordPress and want to keep using it, but are ready to branch out to other technologies.

If any of that describes you, headless WordPress might just be a fit. On the other hand, if you:

  • Have no web development experience
  • Are not familiar with headless CMSes at all
  • Are not prepared to deal with the extra configuration required to optimize security and performance
  • Want to make use of WordPress’ rich assortment of plugins and themes
  • Just want to run a simple blog or small business website with little need for multichannel publishing

…then traditional, non-headless WordPress is likely the best solution for you.

Headless WordPress Pros and Cons: Final Thoughts

Headless WordPress is starting to enter into the mainstream consciousness of most WordPress users and getting very popular as a result. But it’s definitely not the right solution for everyone — or even most people.

It does a few specific things very, very well. And if you want to experiment with revolutionary technology, it’s definitely the place to start. But for a majority of the small businesses and individuals that use WordPress, it’s ultimately not worth the setup time and learning curve.

But big businesses who need an effective multichannel solution that’s bundled with the best CMS on the market should definitely consider investing in headless WordPress. It may be too difficult to work with for many, but when it comes to multichannel publishing, that’s one thing it does very well.

If you are interested in headless, WP Engine recently announced, Atlas. Atlas takes over the technical aspect so you can focus on being creative and building something beautiful. It also comes paired with support, so you’ll have help any time of day.

What are your main pros and cons for using (or not using) headless WordPress? Let us know in the comments!

The post Why WordPress Users Should Consider Headless appeared first on Torque.

Source: Torquemag.io

WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza”

WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza”

Bringing you fresh colors in the admin, simpler interactions in the editor, and controls right where you need them, WordPress 5.7 lets you focus on the content you create.

Meet “Esperanza”, the first WordPress release of 2021. “Esperanza” is named in honor of Esperanza Spalding, a modern musical prodigy. Her path as a musician is varied and inspiring—learn more about her and give her music a listen!

With this new version, WordPress brings you fresh colors. The editor helps you work in a few places you couldn’t before without getting into code or hiring a pro. The controls you use most are right where you need them. Layout changes that should be simple, are even simpler to make.

Now the new editor is easier to use

Font-size adjustment in more places: now, font-size controls are right where you need them in the List and Code blocks. No more trekking to another screen to make that single change!

Reusable blocks: several enhancements make reusable blocks more stable and easier to use. And now they save automatically with the post when you click the Update button.

Inserter drag-and-drop: drag blocks and block patterns from the inserter right into your post.

You can do more without writing custom code

Full-height alignment: have you ever wanted to make a block, like the Cover block, fill the whole window? Now you can.

Buttons block: now you can choose a vertical or a horizontal layout. And you can set the width of a button to a preset percentage.

Social Icons block: now you can change the size of the icons.

A simpler default color palette

This new streamlined color palette collapses all the colors that used to be in the WordPress source code down to seven core colors and a range of 56 shades that meet the WCAG 2.0 AA recommended contrast ratio against white or black.

Find the new palette in the default WordPress Dashboard color scheme, and use it when you’re building themes, plugins, or any other components. For all the details, check out the Color Palette dev note.

From HTTP to HTTPS in a single click

Starting now, switching a site from HTTP to HTTPS is a one-click move. WordPress will automatically update database URLs when you make the switch. No more hunting and guessing!

New Robots API

The new Robots API lets you include the filter directives in the robots meta tag, and the API includes the max-image-preview: large directive by default. That means search engines can show bigger image previews, which can boost your traffic (unless the site is marked not-public).

Lazy-load your iFrames

Now it’s simple to let iframes lazy-load. By default, WordPress will add a loading="lazy" attribute to iframe tags when both width and height are specified.

Ongoing cleanup after update to jQuery 3.5.1

For years jQuery helped make things move on the screen in ways the basic tools couldn’t—but that keeps changing, and so does jQuery.

In 5.7, jQuery gets more focused and less intrusive, with fewer messages in the console.

Check the Field Guide for more!

Check out the latest version of the WordPress Field Guide. It highlights developer notes for each change you may want to be aware of. WordPress 5.7 Field Guide.

The Squad

The WordPress 5.7 release comes to you from a small and experienced release squad:  

This release is the reflection of the hard work of 481 generous volunteer contributors. Collaboration occurred on nearly 250 tickets on Trac and over 950 pull requests on GitHub.

7studio, aaribaud, Aaron Brazell, Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, aaronrobertshaw, abagtcs, acerempel, activecoder, ad7six, Adam Bosco, Adam Silverstein, adamboro, Addison Stavlo, Ahmad Awais, Ahmed Saeed, Albert Juhé Lluveras, albertomake, Alex Lende, Alex Woollam, alex27, Alexander Lueken, alexstine, allancole, Allen Snook, almendron, Amanda Riu, ambienthack, Amol Vhankalas, Andrea Fercia, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Nevins, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Serong, André Maneiro, Andy Fragen, Andy Peatling, Ankit Panchal, Anne McCarthy, Anthony Burchell, Anton Lukin, Anton Timmermans, Anyssa Ferreira, archon810, Ari Stathopoulos, Arslan Ahmed, Artur Piszek, Aurélien Denis, Ayesh Karunaratne, bartosz777, basscan, bduclos, becdetat, Bego Mario Garde, Ben Dwyer, Bernhard Reiter, Bernhard Reiter, bhanusinghkre, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), Birgit Pauli-Haack, bobbingwide, bonniebeeman, Boone Gorges, Boy Witthaya, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, brijeshb42, burnuser, Caleb Burks, Cameron Voell, Carike, carloscastilloadhoc, carlosgprim, Carolina Nymark, celendesign, Cenay Nailor, ceyhun0, chexwarrior, Chip Snyder, Chloé Bringmann, Chouby, Chris Van Patten, Christian Sabo, Christina Workman, Christopher Finke, clayray, Clayton Collie, Code Amp, Collins Agbonghama, Copons, Corey, cristinasoponar, Damian Nowak, Dan Farrow, Daniel Richards, Daniele Scasciafratte, Danny van Kooten, Daria, Darren Ethier (nerrad), Dave Whitley, David Anderson, David Baumwald, David Calhoun, David Herrera, David Page, david.binda, dbtedg, dd32, Debabrata Karfa, dekervit, Denis Yanchevskiy, denishua, Diane Co, Dilip Bheda, Dominik Schilling, donmhico, dratwas, Drew Jaynes, Dávid Szabó, e_baker, Ebonie Butler, Edi Amin, Ella van Durpe, Ella van Durpe, Elliott Richmond, Enej Bajgorić, Enrico Carraro, epicfaace, epiqueras, Eric Andrew Lewis, Eric Binnion, Eric Mann, Erik Betshammar, Erin ‘Folletto’ Casali, Estela Rueda, etoledom, eventualo, Fabian Kägy, Felipe Elia, Felix Arntz, Florian TIAR, Florian Ziegler, floriswt, Francesca Marano, Frank Klein, fullofcaffeine, Gan Eng Chin, Garrett Hyder, Gary Pendergast, GeekPress, geekzebre, Geoff Guillain, George Stephanis, geriux, gKibria, glendaviesnz, gmariani405, Gord, greatsaltlake, Greg Ziółkowski, grzim, gumacahin, gunnard, Gustavo Bordoni, Hans-Christiaan Braun, Hardeep Asrani, Hareesh, hauvong, Haz, Helen Hou-Sandi, helmutwalker, Hemant Tejwani, Herre Groen, hirasso, hmabpera, Howdy_McGee, hsingyuc7, Ian Dunn, ianmjones, ibiza69, Igor Radovanov, ingereck, iprg, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), Isabel Brison, Ismail El Korchi, iviweb, J.D. Grimes, jadeddragoon, Jake Spurlock, jakeparis, jakub.tyrcha, James Golovich, James Huff, James Koster, James Nylen, James Rosado, Jan Thiel, Jason Adams, Jason LeMahieu (MadtownLems), Jason Ryan, Jayman Pandya, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Chandler, Jeff Farthing, Jeff Paul, Jennifer M. Dodd, Jenny Dupuy, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Yip, Jeroen Rotty, Jessica Duarte, Jessica Lyschik, joanrho, Joe Dolson, Joe McGill, joelclimbsthings, Joen Asmussen, Johannes Kinast, John Blackbourn, John James Jacoby, John Watkins, Jon Surrell, Jonathan Champ, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathan Stegall, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joost de Valk, jordesign, Jorge Costa, José Miguel, Jose Luis, Joseph Karr O'Connor, Josepha Haden, joshuatf, JoshuaWold, JOTAKI, Taisuke, Joy, JS Morisset, jsnajdr, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Julio Potier, Justin Ahinon, Justin Sainton, Justin Sternberg, kafleg, Kai Hao, Kailey (trepmal), Kalpesh Akabari, kara.mcnair, Karolina Vyskocilova, Kelly Choyce-Dwan, Kerry Liu, kimdcottrell, Kiril Zhelyazkov, Kirsty Burgoine, Kite, Kjell Reigstad, Knut Sparhell, Konrad Chmielewski, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Kurt Payne, Kyle B. Johnson, Lara Schenck, laurelfulford, Laxman Prajapati, leogermani, Levdbas, Lihä, litemotiv, lovor, lucasbustamante, Luigi Cavalieri, Lukas Pawlik, Luke Carbis, Luke Cavanagh, Luke Walczak, magnuswebdesign, Mahafuz, Mahdi Akrami, malinajirka, mallorydxw, mallorydxw-old, Manzoor Wani, Manzur Ahammed, marcelo2605, Marcio Zebedeu, Marcus, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marie Comet, Marijn Koopman, Marin Atanasov, Marius Jensen, Mark D Wolinski, Mark Howells-Mead, Mark Robson, Mark Uraine, Marko Andrijasevic, Markus, Mary Baum, Mathieu Berard Smartfire, Mathieu Viet, Matias Ventura, Matt Chowning, Matt Mullenweg, Matt Wiebe, Maxime Pertici, Mayank Majeji, mdrockwell, Meg Phillips, megabyterose, Meher Bala, Mehrshad Darzi, Mehul Kaklotar, Mel Choyce-Dwan, mendezcode, mgol, Michael Arestad, Michael Babker, Miguel Fonseca, Miina Sikk, Mike Schroder, Milan Dinić, Milana Cap, mirka, Mohamed El Amine DADDOU, Monika, Monika Rao, morenaf, mrjoeldean, Mukesh Panchal, munyagu, mzorz, Naveen, net, nicky, Nico, Nico Martin, Nicola Laserra, Nicolas Juen, NicolasKulka, Nik Tsekouras, Noah Allen, nwjames, oakesjosh, Olga Gleckler, ovidiul, oxyc, Paal Joachim Romdahl, Pascal Birchler, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Paul Bunkham, Paul Schreiber, Paul Von Schrottky, pawki07, pbking, Pedro Mendonça, Pete Nelson, Peter Smits, Peter Wilson, Pinkal Devani, Piotrek Boniu, Prem Tiwari, presstoke, prettyboymp, Prince, pypwalters, Q, r-a-y, Rafael Galani, rafhun, Rami Yushuvaev, Ramon Ahnert, ratneshk, Ravi Vaghela, ravipatel, retrofox, Reza Ardestani, Riad Benguella, Rian Rietveld, Richard Tape, Robert Anderson, Rodrigo Primo, roger995, Rolf Siebers, Romain, Ronnie Burt, Ross Wintle, Ryan Boren, Sébastien SERRE, Sören Wrede, Saša, Sanket Chodavadiya, Sarah Ricker, sarayourfriend, Scott Taylor, Sebastian Pisula, SeBsZ, Sergey Biryukov, Sergey Yakimov, sergiomdgomes, Shahin Sid, shaunandrews, Shital Marakana, Slava Abakumov, snapfractalpop, souri_wpaustria, Stefano Minoia, Stefanos Togoulidis, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steven Word, Subrata Sarkar, Sunny, t-p, Takashi Kitajima, Tami, Tammie Lister, Tanvirul Haque, Tapan, TeamDNK, TeBenachi, Thierry Muller, thorlentz, Tim Hengeveld, Tim Nolte, Timi Wahalahti, Timothy Jacobs, tinodidriksen, Tkama, tmatsuur, Tobias Zimpel, tobifjellner (Tor-Bjorn Fjellner), Toni Viemerö, Tony A, Tonya Mork, tonysandwich, Torsten Landsiedel, Toru Miki, transl8or, Tyler Tork, Ulrich, Umang Vaghela, vandestouwe, vcanales, Vipul Chandel, Vlad T., webcommsat AbhaNonStopNewsUK, WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, Wendy Chen, wesselvandenberg, Weston Ruter, Willis Allstead, worldedu, WP OnlineSupport, Xristopher Anderton, Yann Kozon, Yoav Farhi, yscik, Yui, yuliyan, Zebulan Stanphill, and zieladam.

Code is poetry.

Source: WordPress.org

How to Create a WordPress Image Map (And Why You Should)

When it comes to websites, it may be true that a picture is worth a thousand words. These days, many online consumers prefer visual content to large amounts of text. Eye-catching, interactive image maps can be a useful and engaging addition to your website.

The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert web designer to create helpful, interactive visual elements. With a plugin such as WP Draw Attention and a few simple steps, you can be well on your way to crafting an impressive image map.

In this post, we’ll give you an introduction to image maps and how you might be able to use them on your website. Then we’ll walk you through how to add this feature to your WordPress site with WP Draw Attention. Let’s go!

An Introduction to Image Maps

An image map is a photo or graphic containing clickable areas. You can use them to add interactive visual elements to your website. You’ve likely encountered image maps at some point while browsing the web, as they’re a versatile tool.

One widespread use for image maps is giving users a closer look at a building or property. For example, the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas provides site visitors with an interactive floorplan of its facility:

An interactive floor plan.

Another example is Voltcave, which highlights exceptional gaming setups. Clicking on the individual components opens new windows where users can purchase the items shown in the photo:

A Voltcave product breakdown.

Image maps lend themselves well to breaking down complicated processes. Corporate Settlement Solutions illustrates the home closing journey with an interactive and informative diagram:

An image map.

You can use image maps to teach difficult concepts easily, highlight product features, or lead a virtual tour of a property. No matter what you use your website for, you can probably dream up a few fun ways to include an image map.

How to Create a WordPress Image Map (In 7 Steps)

Now that you’ve seen how some organizations use image maps on their websites, we’ll show you how to make one of your own.

Step 1: Download and Install WP Draw Attention

The WP Draw Attention plugin enables you to add an image map to your WordPress site easily. Image maps you create with this tool are responsive, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-friendly, and customizable.

We’ll show you the free version of the plugin, but if you upgrade to premium, you’ll unlock even more options. To install it from your admin dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New. Then, search for “Draw Attention” and click on the Install Now button:

The Draw Attention plugin.

Once you’ve finished installing the plugin, click on the Activate button. This should bring you to the Edit Image screen.

Step 2: Select an Image for Your Map’s Base

The first step in actually creating your image map is to add the photo or graphic that you’ll use as its base. If you’re not already on the Edit Image screen, you can get there by clicking on Draw Attention in the menu on the left side of your WordPress dashboard:

Editing an image.

First, give your image a descriptive title. This title will be visible to your site’s visitors, so make it clear and descriptive. Then look to the Image area on the right of the screen:

Uploading a new image.

If you have your image file stored on your desktop, you can simply drag and drop it into the Image area. Alternatively, you can click on the Upload Image button, locate the file on your computer, and upload it.

If your image is already in your WordPress Media Library, click on the Media Library button. Then, locate and select the desired picture and click on the Set Featured Image button:

Setting a featured image.

If you change your mind about which image you want to use, you can always hover over the Image area, click on the Remove Image button, and select a new file.

Step 3: Draw an Image Hotspot

The next step is to designate a ‘hotspot’ on your image. This is an area that users can click on and interact with. When a visitor hovers over a hotspot, a highlight will appear to show that it can be clicked.

You’ll create and define actions for your hotspots in the Hotspot Areas section. You can find it toward the bottom of the screen:

The Hotspot Areas section.

First, click on the Clickable Area #1 dropdown to open your image. If it’s large, you may have to scroll to see the entire picture. Click anywhere on your image to place your first point.

You can move a point around by clicking on it and then dragging it. When you add a second point, a line will appear connecting the two. The more points you add, the more precise you can make your shape. Continue adding and manipulating points around the perimeter of your clickable area until you’re satisfied with the coverage:

Manipulating points around the clickable area.

If you need to remove a point, you can do so by right-clicking on it. You can also move the entire clickable shape by selecting the center point and dragging it.

Finally, give your hotspot a title. This title will display when a user hovers over the hotspot, so you’ll want to make it contextually relevant.

To add more hotspots, simply click on the Add Another Area button at the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve added more than one, you can use the Remove Area button to delete any unneeded hotspots.

Step 4: Set Your Hotspot’s Action

Now you can set the action for your hotspot. Draw Attention provides you with the option to either show more information about the image or to open a URL in a new tab. You can find both of these options in the Action section:

The Show More Info option.

To provide your users with more information, select Show More Info from the dropdown menu. Type your desired text into the Description field. If you’d like to display an additional image, you can upload it in the Detail Image section:

The Detail Image section.

You can repeat these steps for any other hotspots you create. When a user clicks on the hotspot, they will see the corresponding text and image:

The corresponding text and image.

If you’d like your hotspot to open a new URL when clicked, select Go to URL from the dropdown menu. Next, type the desired web address into the URL field. You can also check the Open in New Window box if you’d prefer to open the page in a different browser tab:

Opening in a new window.

Be sure to click on the Update button in the Publish box to save your image map whenever you make changes to it.

Step 5: Adjust Your Image Map Settings

Next, you can adjust some of your image map’s color settings. By manipulating these options, you can ensure that your image map elements match your website’s branding. You’ll find these options in the More Info Box Styling area:

The More Info Box Styling area.

If your image is on the small side, the plugin will place it on a colored background. You can change this color to match the rest of your website by clicking on the Select Color button:

Setting an image background color.

You can also adjust the colors used in the More Info box. Select your desired colors for the box’s background and text by clicking on the Select Color buttons for each option. When choosing colors, keep accessibility in mind and ensure there’s enough contrast to keep the text legible.

To help your site’s visitors understand that your image is interactive, you may want to add text to display in the More Info box when no clickable area is selected. Enter this content in the Default More Info box:

An example of an image map.

You can use this text to provide more information about your image map or encourage users to interact with it.

Step 6: Add Color to Your Hotspots

Finally, you can customize the styling of your hotspots. You can make these adjustments in the Highlight Styling section. Similar to how you selected colors for your info box, you can select what color you’d like your hotspots’ highlights to be. You can adjust the highlight’s opacity using the slider as well:

Adjusting the highlighter's opacity.

Next, you can adjust the highlight’s border. Again, you can choose the color and opacity. You can also increase or decrease the border’s thickness:

Adjusting the border settings.

If you would prefer your highlight not to have a border, simply set the Border Opacity to zero. Save your changes by clicking on the Update button.

Step 7: Insert Your Image Map on Any Post or Page Using a Shortcode

Once you’re happy with your image map, you can display it on any post or page on your WordPress site using the [drawattention] shortcode.

If you upgrade to the premium version of WP Draw Attention, then you can create multiple image maps. In this case, each of them will be assigned its own shortcode, which you can add to your content as you see fit.

Conclusion

A WordPress image map can be an appealing way to communicate with your site’s visitors. Whether you want to show off a product’s key features or just present information in a visual manner, an image map may be the best tool for the job.

Using the WP Draw Attention plugin can help you get started quickly. After you install and activate it, you’ll gain access to a user-friendly image map editor where you can draw your image hotspots and customize the styling for the various elements. To publish your image map, just add the corresponding shortcode to any post or page.

What are you planning to use your image map for? Share with us in the comments section below!

The post How to Create a WordPress Image Map (And Why You Should) appeared first on Torque.

Source: Torquemag.io

MemberPress Creators Have Earned over $1 billion dollars (Milestone Update)

It’s always mind blowing for me to see the impact WordPress makes on the global economy.

MemberPress, the leading WordPress membership and course platform, announced today that they have passed the milestone of $1 billion dollars in creator earnings.

This is a conservative estimate and likely MemberPress creators have earned way more than that.

MemberPress Billion Dollar Creator Earning Milestone

With the digital acceleration from last year, they are estimating that MemberPress site creators are projected to earn over $600 million dollars in 2021 alone.

For those who don’t know, I invested in MemberPress in 2018 as part of our WPBeginner Growth Fund.

It’s been an exciting journey to work alongside with Blair Williams, founder & CEO of MemberPress.

The impact our users (website creators) are making through their online courses and membership sites is truly humbling to watch.

Note: Want to add premium content on your site? See our step by step guide on how to create a membership site, and how to sell online courses in WordPress.

Product Update from MemberPress

Last year, MemberPress launched an easy to use online course builder that works on top of the WordPress block editor. This makes it easy for non-techy website owners to create courses, add lessons, manage access control, and more.

Creating the sections and lessons for your course

The team also added a Classroom mode to offer a distraction-free learning experience that’s focused on content consumption and course completion rate. This immersive learning mode works with all WordPress themes.

The MemberPress course curriculum that users see, showing their progression through the course

Aside from the huge update on Courses, MemberPress also made it seamless to add premium content protection for various top page builder plugins such as Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder, WP Bakery, etc.

They also made significant improvements to add drip content in WordPress, ability to gift memberships, added PDF invoices, integrations with PushEngage, and more.

I also got a sneak peek of some big features they’re working on, and it’s going to be an exciting 2021.

What Can You Use MemberPress for?

MemberPress is the best WordPress membership plugin and online course platform for many reasons.

Here’s what you can do with MemberPress:

Basically if you want to restrict access to any type of premium content in WordPress, then you should use MemberPress.

Final Thoughts on WordPress & Creator Economy

The WordPress economy and indirectly the creator economy is huge. In the State of Word for 2020, Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress shared that WooCommerce facilitated over $20 billion in sales in 2020.

Other third-party online course platforms like Teachable reported that course creators earned over $456.7 million in 2020. Thinkific is also estimating their course creators to earn around $550 million in 2021.

MemberPress is estimating that creators using MemberPress will surpass estimated $600 million in sales in 2021, and this is a conservative estimate.

The creator economy has been on the rise since I started WPBeginner in 2009, but it’s never been stronger than right now.

If you have the knowledge and passion for teaching others, then you can start a very successful online business today.

The combination of YouTube, membership platforms, and social networks for building community provide a unique opportunity for anyone who has a desire to succeed.

As a content creator myself, it’s extremely rewarding for me to see others succeed in their online journey.

I want to congratulate Blair and the MemberPress team in their role for building a robust platform that supports thousands of creators find success online.

Here’s to an amazing 2021!

P.S. If you have a WordPress product that’s empowering website owners to succeed online and want to work with us, then I would love to chat with you. Click here to learn more about WPBeginner Growth Fund.

The post MemberPress Creators Have Earned over $1 billion dollars (Milestone Update) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Source: WP Beginners

People of WordPress: Olga Gleckler

WordPress is open source software, maintained by a global network of contributors. There are many examples of how WordPress has changed people’s lives for the better. In this monthly series, we share some of the amazing stories that are lesser-known.

From a natural interest in computers and fixing things as a young woman, Olga Gleckler from St Petersburg, Russia, found WordPress took her on a journey to becoming a successful female tech entrepreneur. On International Women’s Day, we share her story.  

Olga with a WordCamp Vienna t-shirt

Finding your path can take longer than you expect

From the age of 15, Olga found herself under pressure to find a free place for her professional studies. She said: “I didn’t know how high or low my chances were even if I had very good marks. I could have been just the biggest fish in a small pond. But anyway, I made up my mind to go to technical school.”

On leaving school in St Petersburg with her certificate, Olga felt her knowledge of opportunities was very narrow. She had pictured being an ecologist or guide translator based on the subjects she had been taught at school. There was also an advertising boom in Russia and she began to explore this as a career avenue. She had developed her computer skills and found opportunities to practise by helping her teachers with administrative work.

Though she did not have access to any formal career advice, her journey led her into programming. She said: “The range of technical schools was not wide. I spent four years studying transistor markings, soldering and drawing PCB layouts. Programming courses using Pascal didn’t do anything useful with it.”

A lack of suitable access to English-language courses made things harder for Olga. She was determined that she would master the language later in her life. In the meantime, she left technical school with an honors degree and improved typing skills.

“I faced it was a wild, unfriendly market. I didn’t know how to recognize a genuine job offer or how to avoid the bad ones. It was difficult and I don’t know how long I would’ve looked for work without help.”

Think differently to find where you belong

Olga’s father worked in an IT company and was able to give her some advice and help with potential introductions. When she was still studying, he suggested her strong technical skills might be useful as a substitute typist. When she finished her studies, he helped her apply for a job updating a legal system on clients’ computers.

Six months later, she got a full-time job in the same service department. She liked her position and her clients. However, she was given friendly advice that without a university degree she would not be able to have any further promotions.

At this time, Olga was trying to study PHP from a book. She found it very exciting at first, but a lot of their functions did not give her explanations on how to build something useful. She found when she tried to build practical items from book reading, it did not always make sense and the solutions would often fail. 

She said: “It was hard to admit a failure even to myself and it was nagging me for a long time. I had to choose something I could handle, that I was interested in and could afford. It turned out to be advertising.”

She spent most of the family’s holidays on learning sessions during the next six years. Olga recalled: “It was tricky for my husband to make me leave a computer, once I was glued to it, so he bought me my first laptop. English was still hard for me, I got high marks through just memorizing all the words in a textbook and how they should sound.”

Doubting your professional skills can happen when you are at home isolated looking after children. Keeping up your interests is important.

Olga’s life took a change after having a new baby and she spent three years doubting her professional skills and her chances of getting a good job. She tried to get back into other interests through studying, baking and drawing, but found ‘the pram was pulling me back’. She found she became very isolated and felt less able to contribute as the family was relying on her husband’s income as she tried to focus on looking forward.

She said: “I was convinced (and saw) that not too many companies wanted a woman in the office, who with a small baby might need lots of leave.”

She finished her education when she returned to work after three years caring for her son. She secured a promotion but with changes in the company’s staffing, things were tense. She found the difficulties there had become more heightened and felt that young female colleagues were treated as ‘pieces of furniture’ by one manager. She did not want to stay in this environment and in a few months time decided to leave.

Your next chapter may be nearby

Determined to not repeat this type of experience, Olga looked at the brighter side. She said: “I wanted to be a marketer. Knowing how tricky it is to sell intangibles, I wanted a solid product to work with.” 

It turned out to be more difficult to find a job outside traditional IT as a young mother. Some human resource officers advised her to remain within the technology arena.

Olga remained hopeful and continued to study hard. She had many learning experiences along the way, which she hopes others can learn from too. One was setting a low bar to employers. She said: “Companies I worked in wanted to get all publicity and sales increases achieved through deductions from my salary.” This happened once and the next time she was in this situation she asked specifically about the budget before signing up. “I was assured this would not be the case, but again I found the budget for publicity came out of my wages. It was a tough period of disappointments. So when I was offered a part-time administrative job with basic sick leave, I took it gladly as a reprieve.”

The job was far from home and involved a lot of travelling. Olga spent two to three hours a day on buses with Harry Potter audio books for company. “In these traffic jams, I started to feel English at last and loved it. It gave me a freedom no money can buy. Life was getting better.”

Though the job did not pay highly, it gave her something valuable – a working website. After her boss and the developer parted company, she was asked to maintain the site. Through some studying and reverse engineering, she discovered how it worked and it gave her an insight into how to write simple websites from scratch.

Olga’s first encounter with JavaScript wasn’t easy: “My first JavaScript calculator almost made me crazy, but I pursued it.”

Quickly she started to get small tasks from friends and relatives, usually to solve some urgent problems and started to meet popular content management systems. One of the first she met with was WordPress. There was an issue in a website theme used by a website which had been changed and not maintained. It took a whole weekend to solve, but she was determined to work it out. Back then, WordPress was ‘just a system’. She didn’t know then how much it was to become part of her life.

Olga spent the next two years in this role. As time went on, she started to feel worried and less satisfied with the work. The last straw for her was a negative statement from her boss, who was not a programmer and who hadn’t seen any of the work done on the website. She felt the approach was unfair as she had done extensive work on the site. She recalls: “I became angry, but it was exactly what I needed to move jobs.”

When Olga was job hunting, she didn’t feel she had the courage to apply for a developer’s role, despite the learning and work she had already done. So instead she started working on projects where she felt she was more like a ‘seller of box-ready websites’. It was another tough half a year for her with a lot of work, low payment and plans not turning out as she had hoped. On top of long hours, she ended up with pneumonia. She said: “I see now that I was doing a disservice to customers, websites are not a microwave meal – quick, cheap and dummy. There was no life in the sites without a lot of work which no one was willing to buy. Most of the sites I sold back then died after the first year and they never were truly alive and useful.”

You need to be brave and have courage

Olga in Berlin wearing the WordPress Code is Poetry lanyard and a WordCamp t-shirt

Olga really wanted a developer job but seeking jobs of this type was very frustrating. From the job adverts she found, it felt like most IT companies were asking for geniuses who already knew a lot of technologies and frameworks. She found this very demotivating.

She then found a job offer on a website outside the most popular job portals and it seemed like a perfect fit. They wanted someone with experience to write from scratch, understand someone else’s code and maintain it, with an ability to translate technical documentation and articles, and make simple designs for printing products. After completing a trial task, she was taken on, and enjoyed a better salary, in a calm environment with good colleagues and without the requirement for a lot of extra hours. 

The advert turned out to be a direct ad from one of the sales departments in a technology company. By succeeding in the task set, Olga had bypassed the Human Resources team which she felt would not normally have considered her. 

Her boss agreed to her working remotely most of the time. It solved any potential leave problems which Olga had thought may be an obstacle. 

For Olga it had been 14 years since the original decision to become a programmer and it was only the beginning. 

After a few years at what she describes as an ‘amazing experience’ in this workplace, Olga felt able to move on to her next challenge as a developer.

Decision-making can benefit from wider knowledge

After working with different systems Olga became sure that WordPress is the best CMS for developers and clients. But she was disappointed to find that the ease of use meant that good code was not always a priority for some of the sites she looked at. 

“The biggest flaw of WordPress – it’s so easy to make things work that some may feel they don’t need to bother to do things right, but this becomes a problem later.”

In custom themes for a site, she also saw sites being made and clients left without any further support, or items hard coded when clients actually needed more control to change regularly.

Olga used to rely on examples she could easily find, documentation and search engines to improve her understanding in using WordPress. She discovered that just by searching for a specific feature or a solution, you can miss the whole picture. 

She turned to online courses to get more comprehensive knowledge and then started to attend WordPress events, firstly online and then by foot, trains and planes! She discovered a worldwide community that was very much alive. She didn’t know when she started studying online materials and attending discussions that she would end up contributing herself to the Learn WordPress platform a few years later.

WordCamps and contributor days became a big part of her life. From her early days attending events and starting out contributing to WordPress, she is an active member of the WordPress.org Global Marketing and Polyglots Teams, and supported the recent WordPress release. She is just beginning her first WordCamp organiser experience, joining WordCamp Europe 2021 on the Contribute Team.

Olga next to a banner of WordCamp St Petersburg 2018

Olga said: “Through the wider WordPress community, I knew not only where to look but also whom to ask. Most importantly, I found allies who don’t think I’m going crazy by speaking with delight about work, and with whom I share a passion and fondness for WordPress. This is what matters.

“Now, after more than seven years of full time development, I am still enjoying endless learning, frequent discoveries, mistakes and an impassioned wish to do better.”

This and a desire to help others use WordPress.org is part of Olga’s continued contribution to its Support and Marketing Teams, and led her to be involved in the Release Marketing questions and answers in 2020.

There is no chequered flag on the way

Olga at WordCamp Europe in Berlin in 2019

The road to freedom and becoming her own boss has not been easy for Olga. It is the path that got her where she is today, and she continues to find joy in it. She retains the lessons she’s learned and is always hungry to learn more.

 “I travelled through a very uneven path, with a lot of obstacles and noise, but for me it’s like a kaleidoscope where a little turn presents a new picture, a new “ah-ha” moment, new excitement after seemingly pointless efforts.” 

She added: “When in doubt I remind myself about David Ogilvy (generally considered the Founding Father of the modern advertising industry) who tried a lot of things before he struck gold with advertising, and maybe that’s why he did.”

Finally, she learned not only to keep a good spirit and try different things, but also to dare as you move forward.

Contributors

Thanks to Abha Thakor (@webcommsat), Nalini Thakor (@nalininonstopnewsuk), Larissa Murillo (@lmurillom), Meher Bala (@meher), Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune), Chloé Bringmann (@cbringmann) and Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe). Thank you to Olga Gleckler (@oglekler) for sharing her #ContributorStory.

HeroPress logo

This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Meet more WordPress community members in our People of WordPress series.

#ContributorStory #HeroPress

Photo credits: 2nd and 4th Pablo Gigena, Berlin, 2019

Source: WordPress.org

How to Make a Gaming Website With WordPress in 2021 (Step by Step)

Do you want to learn how to make a gaming website with WordPress?

Gaming has never been more popular. With your own gaming website, you can create a gaming community, start a popular gaming blog, and even earn a side income.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily make a gaming website with WordPress without any technical skills.

How to make a gaming website with WordPress

What Do You Need to Build a Gaming Website Site Using WordPress?

You will need the following things to make a gaming website with WordPress.

  • A domain name (This will be the name of your website that people type to find your site online e.g. wpbeginner.com)
  • A web hosting account (This is where your website’s files will be stored)
  • A WordPress theme (This will control how your site looks and functions)
  • The right WordPress plugins (This is how you will add the specific gaming features you require)
  • SSL certificate (You need this if you’re planning on selling products or adding Twitch streams)
  • Your undivided attention for 1 hour

Depending on the type of gaming website you’re building, it’s entirely possible to build it in under an hour. We’ll walk you through the entire process, step by step.

In this tutorial, we’ll cover the following:

  • Different types of gaming websites you can make
  • How to get a free domain name
  • How to choose the best website hosting
  • How to choose the best WordPress gaming theme
  • What WordPress gaming plugins can enhance your site
  • Best resources to grow your gaming website

That being said, let’s get started.

Step 0: What Kind of WordPress Gaming Site Will You Make?

If you love video games, then there’s nothing better than being involved in the space.

Gaming blogs and websites cater to the large community of gamers who are looking for articles about the latest games, consoles, hardware, events, and more.

What kind of gaming websites can you make with WordPress?

  • A dedicated gaming forum for your favorite game
  • A gaming review site and news blog
  • A site that hosts simple and fun online games
  • A site that sells products to the gaming community

Maybe your new gaming website will be the next IGN, Kotaku, or GamesRadar?

Whatever kind of gaming website you want to make, this tutorial will help you build it using WordPress.

Step 1. Choosing the Right Website Platform

To start, you need to choose the right website builder, and since you’re reading this, you’re on the right track.

You’re going to want to use WordPress. But, there are two types of WordPress software that share the same name, so it’s easy to get confused.

First, you have WordPress.com, which is a blog hosting platform. The second is WordPress.org, which is the self-hosted version of WordPress.

We recommend using the self-hosted WordPress.org version because it gives you more freedom, control, and access to all WordPress features.

For a comparison, see the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Next, you’ll need a domain name and web hosting. But, you don’t want just any web hosting company. You need a high-quality hosting provider that’ll support your WordPress website as it grows.

A domain name typically costs $14.99 / year, and web hosting starts around $7.99 per month. If you’re just getting started, this can be a big investment.

Fortunately, Bluehost, a hosting provider recommended by WordPress, has agreed to offer our readers a free domain, SSL certificate, and discount on their web hosting.

Basically, you can get started for $2.75 / month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

After you purchase hosting through Bluehost, they will automatically install the WordPress content management system (CMS) for you.

If you prefer, you can install WordPress yourself. For more details, follow our complete WordPress installation tutorial.

Once you have WordPress installed, it’s time to set up the rest of your WordPress gaming website.

You can follow our step by step tutorial on how to make a website for complete setup instructions.

Step 2. Choosing the Perfect WordPress Gaming Theme

The next step after setting up your WordPress is site is to select the perfect WordPress gaming theme.

Gaming Website Layouts

When you’re searching for the best WordPress gaming theme, you’ll come across several choices that have gaming-related features baked right in.

Even though it may seem like a good idea, you’ll actually want to avoid using these themes.

You don’t need a WordPress theme that’s built for gaming.

Most gaming WordPress themes are bloated and will lock you into using them forever. You could even run into compatibility issues when trying to add new features to your site.

It’s better to choose a flexible, high-quality theme and add more functionality with WordPress plugins. There are all kinds of plugins to help you add the features you’re looking for.

By taking this approach, you have the flexibility to change themes in the future while keeping the same features and not having to hire a WordPress developer.

We have an in-depth article that’ll help you select the perfect WordPress theme.

If you want to shortcut the process, then check out our picks for the best WordPress magazine themes.

A magazine template can be perfect for gaming websites since it models what other large successful sites are doing in the gaming space.

Once you’ve found a theme you like, you can install and activate the theme. If you need help installing the theme, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Step 3. Installing the Right WordPress Gaming Plugins

After that, it’s time to add more functionality to your website with WordPress gaming plugins.

Plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. They allow you to add all sort of features to your website. There are over 58,000+ free plugins for WordPress.

What kind of gaming features can you add to WordPress?

  • Detailed video game reviews
  • A community gaming forum
  • Twitch video streaming
  • Real-time games visitors can play
  • Selling game-related products

Adding Game Reviews to WordPress

If you’re a gaming blogger that’s blogging about games, hardware, and consoles, then you’ll want to add advanced review functionality to your site.

That way, when you’re writing product reviews, you can add starred ratings and improve the appearance of your reviews.

Look how your reviews will stand out in the search engines:

Gaming product review search results

The best way to do this is by using the WP Product Review Lite plugin. It lets you manage and display gaming reviews on your site.

The plugin gives you customization options to add pros and cons, product images, ratings, and more to your reviews.

Game reviews WordPress widget

There’s even a feature to add a sidebar, top products, and wrap-up widgets to your site.

For more details, see our guide on how to create a reviews site with WordPress.

You may also want to use plugins like Pretty Links or ThirstyAffiliates to better monetize your website with affiliate marketing.

Creating a Game-Related Forum in WordPress

Another great feature you may want to add to your site is a forum for your gaming community.

A forum can be a discussion board, a place to share tips about a specific game, or even a question-and-answer platform.

Forums allow your visitors to feel like part of your website. When they participate in the discussion and share with others, they’re more likely to come back to your WordPress blog and engage in other ways.

The best way to add forum functionality is with a WordPress plugin like bbPress or BuddyPress. These are two of the best WordPress forum plugins and will help you easily add forum functionality to your site.

bbPress gaming forum

For more details, see our guide on how to add a forum in WordPress with bbPress.

Adding Streaming Functionality to WordPress

If you’re a streamer or want to embed popular Twitch and Esports video streams into your gaming site, you can do that easily.

The best way to add this feature is with a WordPress plugin.

We recommend using the Twitch TV Easy Embed plugin. It lets you embed Twitch.tv streams into WordPress and customize the appearance.

To install the plugin, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After the plugin is installed and activated simply navigate to Settings » Easy Embed for Twitch TV (Rail).

On this screen you’ll find the ‘Main Settings’ where you can set up the streams you want to display.

Twitch WordPress embed settings

Using the free version of the plugin, you can enter the ‘Game’ or ‘Channel’ you want to stream.

Finally, make sure you click ‘Save Channel’ before existing the screen.

Here’s how it will display when adding the Twitch game ‘Hearthstone’.

Twitch streaming embed example

To add Twitch streams to WordPress you can use the shortcode [getTwitchRail].

Simply copy the shortcode and paste it into any page or post, or even in your sidebar widget.

Twitch embed shortcode

Just make sure you click the ‘Publish’ or ‘Update’ button to save your page and make your Twitch stream live.

If you want to add an entire wall of Twitch streams to WordPress, then you can use the Twitch TV Easy Embed (Wall) plugin. It’s created by the same team of web developers and follows the same setup instructions as above.

Adding Simple Fun Games to WordPress

You might be wondering how do you add games to a WordPress website?

Adding games to your site can give your visitors something fun to do and will hopefully leave them with a positive impression.

The best way to add games to your website is with a WordPress gaming plugin.

There are plugins like Dinosaur Game and the Word Search Puzzles Game that let you add simple games to your site.

Dinosaur game plugin

To install the plugin, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

If you want to turn your WordPress website into an online gaming platform we recommend using MyArcadePlugin. It’s a premium plugin that’s used by over 100,000 WordPress sites.

MyArcadePlugin example

Selling Game-Related Products in WordPress

Maybe your goal when creating a gaming website is to sell your own gaming guides and gear.

This could be a custom gaming eyewear you’ve created to help reduce eyestrain.

Or, you’re the master at a specific game, and you want to sell courses and walkthrough guides.

WordPress makes it easy to create your very own eCommerce store, selling digital or physical products.

WooCommerce gaming shop example

To start selling products with WordPress, you’ll need to use the WooCommerce plugin.

For more details, see our step by step guide on how to start an online store.

For selling courses and exclusive membership content, take a look at our guide on how to create a membership site in WordPress.

Step 4. Taking Your WordPress Gaming Site to the Next Level

WordPress is a powerful and flexible platform that gives you access to thousands of different plugins you can use to grow your gaming website.

The following plugins can help you grow your gaming website today.

WPForms Lite – It’s the best contact for plugin for WordPress and lets you quickly create contact forms using the drag and drop builder.

AIOSEO – It’s the best WordPress SEO plugin and will help you rank higher in the search engines.

MonsterInsights – It allows you to easily install Google Analytics in WordPress, so you can understand where your visitors are coming from and what content on your site is the most valuable.

Smash Balloon – It’s the best social media feeds plugin for WordPress and let’s you add your social network feeds directly into WordPress.

SeedProd Lite – It’s the best page builder plugin that lets you easily customize your website with a drag and drop builder, no HTML needed.

For more plugin recommendations check out our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

Step 5. Mastering WordPress to Grow Your Website

WordPress is easy to use yet extremely powerful. From time to time, you may find yourself looking for some quick answers.

Here are some useful resources that will help you learn WordPress:

  • WPBeginner Blog – This is where we publish our WordPress tutorials, how tos, and step by step guides.
  • WPBeginner Videos – These step by step videos will help you learn WordPress FAST.
  • WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 230,000 subscribers and 21 Million+ views.
  • WPBeginner Dictionary – The best place for beginners to start and familiarize themselves with the WordPress lingo.
  • WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
  • WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.

Here are few of our guides that you should bookmark right away. It will save you lots of time and money in the future.

Many of our users use Google to find answers on WPBeginner. Simply type keywords for what you are looking for and add wpbeginner.com at the end.

Can’t find an answer? Send your question directly using our contact form and we will try our best to answer.

We hope this article helped you make a gaming website with WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to create an email newsletter and how to add web push notifications to connect with your visitors after they leave your website.

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

The post How to Make a Gaming Website With WordPress in 2021 (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Source: WP Beginners

What Is Gutenberg Full-Site Editing (And How to Access It Today)

Full-Site Editing (FSE) represents a huge change in the way WordPress users design and develop websites. As a member of the WordPress community, you’re probably eager to gain some hands-on experience with it. However, when WordPress 5.6 shipped, it did not include this long-awaited feature.

Fortunately, there is a way to access the Full-Site Editor. With some help from the Gutenberg plugin and an experimental WordPress theme, you can access a beta release of FSE today. This is a prime opportunity to test out the next phase in WordPress design before it’s officially released.

In this article, we’ll get you up to speed with FSE before it’s introduced into WordPress core. We’ll show you how to set it up and use it to edit every part of your WordPress website, including the underlying template. Let’s get started!

What Is Gutenberg Full-Site Editing (And Why Is It Important)?

Your typical WordPress website consists of global elements and page elements. Global elements are those that appear across your entire website, such as your header and footer. They are often generated by your theme, and you can make changes to them using the WordPress Customizer:

The WordPress Customizer.

By contrast, you add page elements to a specific webpage using the WordPress editor. Some common examples include text, images, and videos:

The WordPress editor.

The upcoming Full-Site Editing (FSE) feature aims to provide a single interface where you can add both global elements and page elements. This will pave the way for building entire websites using only Gutenberg blocks. In preparation for this shift, Gutenberg developers have been busy creating a library of site-building blocks, including Site Title, Post Title, Comments, and Post Content.

When it was launched in 2017, Gutenberg received a mixed response from the WordPress community. Despite this rocky start, the Block Editor has since proven itself to have some significant advantages over the Classic Editor.

As the next step in WordPress’ block-based journey, FSE may provide even more benefits. Firstly, it promises to offer more flexibility in how you design and build your page layouts. For example, you might use the Full-Site Editor to define your website’s title. You can then override this title for specific pages as needed.

FSE may also make it easier to design and build your WordPress website. Using this editor, you can make global and page-specific changes from the same interface. This means you only have to learn a single workflow. You also won’t have to waste time navigating between the Customizer and the WordPress editor. When you have a list of changes you need to implement, these seconds can add up to significant time savings.

How to Access Full-Site Editing in WordPress 5.6 (In 3 Easy Steps)

Instead of spending more time talking about what FSE can do for you, we think it’s best for you to see it in action. Here’s how you can add the upcoming Full-Site Editor to your WordPress website today.

Step 1: Prepare Your Staging Environment and Install the Gutenberg Plugin

At the time of this writing, WordPress still classes the Full-Site Editor as an experimental feature. This means it isn’t recommended to use FSE in a production environment, such as your live website.

Instead, you can create a safe testing environment in which to try it out. If you don’t already have a sandbox, you can create a local WordPress site using XAMPP, Local by Flywheel, or another platform.

Next, it’s time to install and activate the Gutenberg plugin. If you’re already using it, we recommend that you check whether you’re running the latest version, as it receives frequent updates:

The Gutenberg plugin.

Although FSE isn’t yet ready for primetime, a beta release of this editor was included in WordPress 5.6. If you haven’t upgraded to WordPress 5.6, you’ll need to do so now. This should give you the most stable and reliable FSE experience.

We also recommend you use PHP 7.3 or higher. If you’re unsure which version of PHP is powering your WordPress site, you can typically find this information in the WordPress Site Health tool under Info > Server.

If you’re lagging behind with your PHP updates, we recommend looking into the documentation for the platform you’re using to host your staging environment. It should include instructions on how to upgrade. Otherwise, if your sandbox site is hosted by a third-party provider, you can contact support for assistance.

Step 2: Install the WordPress Theme Experiments

The WordPress Theme Experiments are a collection of projects that each explore an aspect of creating block-based themes and templates. In this collection, you’ll find the TT1 Blocks theme, which is an experimental block-based version of Twenty Twenty-One. The TT1 Blocks theme is the key to unlocking the Full-Site Editor ahead of its official release.

To start, head over to the WordPress Theme Experiments GitHub page and click on the green Code button. You can then select Download Zip:

The WordPress Theme Experiments project.

Once this folder has downloaded, unzip it. Inside, you should spot tt1-blocks. You can now create a new zip folder containing tt1-blocks only. This process can vary depending on your operating system, but you’ll want to look for the option to compress the file.

The next step is uploading this .zip file to WordPress. In your admin dashboard, select Appearance > Themes. You can then click on Add New > Upload Theme > Choose File and select the tt1-blocks zip. Then click on Install Now.

Once this folder has uploaded, select Appearance > Themes in the WordPress menu. This screen should now include the TT1 Blocks theme:

The TT1 Blocks theme for Full-Site Editing.

To activate this theme, hover over it and then select Activate. A new Site Editor (beta) option should now appear in the WordPress dashboard sidebar menu.

If this option doesn’t appear, you may need to enable Full-Site Editing manually. In the left-hand menu, navigate to Gutenberg > Experiments. You can now select Full Site Editing > Save. After making this change, you should have access to the Site Editor menu.

Step 3. Customize Your Site With FSE

Up until now, WordPress users have only experienced Phase 1 of the Gutenberg project. It’s time to get some hands-on experience with Phase 2, by taking FSE for a test-drive.

To access this new editor, navigate to the front end of your WordPress website. You should now see an Edit site option in the admin toolbar:

Opening the WordPress Full-Site Editor.

It’s easy to edit a webpage in this new editor. Simply navigate to the page or post that you want to update, and then select Edit site from the toolbar. This will open the page for editing in WordPress’ new FSE mode:

The new WordPress FSE editor.

You can now edit any element on the screen by giving it a click. When you select an element, information about that item will be displayed along the bottom of the screen. You can also add new global and page elements by selecting the plus (+) button.

FSE is a tool that’s best experienced first-hand. Assuming you followed our advice and created a testing environment, it’s well worth spending some time experimenting with the different FSE features and settings.

The Future of Full-Site Editing in WordPress

As you’re exploring FSE, bear in mind that the WordPress core development team is actively looking for feedback on this new feature. If you encounter any issues, you can report them on the Gutenberg or theme experiments GitHub repositories.

You may also want to consider joining the FSE Outreach Program. This program gives WordPress users a way to communicate with the FSE development team.

The WordPress team created this program to gather feedback on every part of the FSE experience. This includes workflow changes, bug reports, and new features you want to see included in FSE. According to the FSE FAQ, participation in this program is expected to take around three hours per week.

If you want to keep up-to-date on FSE Outreach developments, information from this program will be posted to the Make WordPress Test Blog using the tag #fse-outreach-program. You can also join the #fse-outreach-experiment Slack channel for more updates.

Conclusion

The upcoming Full-Site Editing (FSE) feature promises to be the next major step in WordPress design and development. By getting some hands-on experience now, you can ensure your site is prepared for the changes ahead.

In this post, we showed you how to access a beta release of the full site editor:

  1. Prepare your development environment and install the Gutenberg plugin.
  2. Install the WordPress Theme Experiments.
  3. Customize your site with FSE.

Do you have any questions about WordPress’ new Full-Site Editing feature? Let us know in the comments section below!

The post What Is Gutenberg Full-Site Editing (And How to Access It Today) appeared first on Torque.

Source: Torquemag.io

7 Best Auction Plugins for WordPress (2021)

Are you looking for the best auction plugins for WordPress?

An auction plugin allows you to run online auctions on your website and create an eBay like store using WordPress.

In this article, we’ll show you our top pick of the best auction plugins for WordPress.

Auction plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce compared

Before You Get Started

WordPress has many different auction plugins available. Some are available as standalone WordPress plugins whereas others are available as WooCommerce extensions.

Depending on the option you choose, your set up will be different.

For example, a WooCommerce plugin will require you to set up an online store. You’ll need a WooCommerce hosting provider like SiteGround.

Whereas for other plugins, you can simply create a WordPress website and install it like you would do for any other plugin.

If you’re expecting a lot of bidding in your auctions, then you may want to consider your website speed and performance issues by using a managed WordPress hosting provider. This ensures that your website does not go down during critical auction times.

With that said, let’s take a look at the best WordPress auction plugins that you can use.

1. YITH WooCommerce Auctions

YITH Auctions for WooCommerce

YITH WooCommerce Auctions is the complete auctions plugin for WooCommerce and allows you to build an ebay-like website in minutes.

It is super easy to use and you can easily add any type of products that you want to auction. You can set up a minimum bid amount, minimum bid increment, reserve price, buy it now price, and more.

You can also choose to set a schedule for an auction, extend an auction, add a grace period, and have full control over the process.

It runs on top of WooCommerce, so you can easily set it up by setting up an online store first. After that, you can install the plugin and then add auction products like you would add any other WooCommerce product. This also makes it easier for you to accept payments and use all the powerful eCommerce features of WooCommerce.

The plugin can also be converted into a multi-vendor marketplace, which would allow other sellers to list their own products for auction on your site. Allowing you to make additional money by providing a platform to third-party sellers.

For more details, see our step by step guide on how to build an auction site in WordPress.

2. WP Auctions

WP Auctions

WP Auctions is another easy solution to run auctions on your WordPress website. It allows you to easily add auctions to your site, set starting price, date, and wait for bids to come in.

After that, you can send the winning bid to a page where they can pay via PayPal. Alternatively, you can accept payments manually or via wire transfer by emailing the user.

You can add the auction to a post, page or a sidebar widget on your website. You can also manually add it to your custom WordPress theme by adding a template tag.

The downside is that there are limited payment options, and it lacks many of the features you would get with some other plugins on the list. However, it is an excellent option if you don’t want to install an eCommerce plugin.

3. Ultimate WordPress Auction

Ultimate Auctions for WordPress

Ultimate WordPress Auction is another good way to add auctions to your WordPress website or WooCommerce store.

It allows you to add auction products, set bidding time, and manage your auctions using a simple dashboard. The free version allows you to accept payments via PayPal. The pro version allows you to accept payments via Stripe too.

Using it on WooCommerce also allows you to use a multi-vendor plugin. This enables other sellers to auction their own products on your platform.

4. WP Ebay Products Feed

WP eBay Product Feeds

WP Ebay Products Feed allows you to fetch and display your eBay auctions on your WordPress website. This is particularly useful for sellers that are already selling on eBay.

It also helps if you want to show your existing users that you are a reputable seller and have been an active seller.

The plugin is quite easy to use. Simply add the eBay ID and use a third-party service to convert it into a usable RSS feed. After that, you can set how you want products to be displayed in your feeds.

The plugin allows you to use your own Affiliate ID with eBay links. It also supports Gutenberg block editor, and you can display the auction feed anywhere on your website.

It can be used with other auction plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce, or as a standalone solution to simply send users to make the bid on your eBay profile.

5. Auctions Made Easy for WooCommerce

Auctions Made Easy for WooCommerce

Auctions Made Easy for WooCommerce is a WordPress auction plugin made specifically for WooCommerce stores.

The plugin supports normal, reverse auctions, sealed auctions, proxy auctions, and more. It allows customers to log in and view their own auction dashboard. Once they have won an auction, they will see a link to make the payment to complete the purchase.

Adding products to the auction works like any other product you add in WooCommerce. After you set up the product to be an auction product, you’ll see the options to set up the schedule, starting bid, and other settings.

It beautifully displays your auction products with a countdown timer to trigger the FOMO effect on the product page.

Being an extension of WooCommerce, it allows you to use multiple payment gateways and extend your site functionality using popular WooCommerce plugins and tools/

6. WP-Lister Lite for eBay

WP-Lister Lite for eBay

WP-Lister Lite for eBay is a WooCommerce plugin that allows you to easily add your WooCommerce products to your eBay store.

You can easily list products on your online store and your eBay store at the same time. It does not allow you to run an auction on your WooCommerce store.

However, you can use a different WooCommerce auction plugin or run the auction on eBay using the same product data without having to enter it again.

The plugin is a bit complicated to get used to as you need to set it up to work with an API. However, once it is set up the whole process runs quite smoothly.

7. Auction Nudge

Auction Nudge

Auction Nudge allows you to bring your eBay profile to your WordPress website or WooCommerce store.

It is particularly useful when you want to show that you are a well-reputed seller or just want to promote your eBay auctions. The plugin does a good job of bringing content from your eBay account to WordPress.

It is quite simple to use and comes with flexible options to display your eBay products, profile information, and your most recent feedbacks.

You can use it alongside any WordPress auctions plugin on the list and allow users to see your past activity on the platform.

We hope this article helped you find the best auction plugins for WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on best email marketing services to improve your auction bids and best live chat software to answer questions during live auctions.

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The post 7 Best Auction Plugins for WordPress (2021) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Source: WP Beginners