Category Archives: WordPress

How to Live Stream Videos in WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!

WebNet makes live streaming easy on the most popular CMS programs.

WebNet Hosting makes live streaming easy, with simple steps to stream your media on the most popular CMS programs

How to Live Stream Media in the Most Popular CMS Platforms

Live streaming and streaming previously recorded videos on demand is not as complicated as you may think. Dynamic, quality media streaming features for live broadcasting videos in real time is not just a feature reserved for big corporations, nationally televised events and CEO-driven ?hang outs” anymore.

In fact, with today?s streaming technology, smaller organizations, nonprofits and even your average Joe can take it upon themselves to record and post live streams in real time.  It?s also simple to create a working library of on demand streaming videos, showcasing past events or prerecorded meetings, concerts, interviews?anything worthy of recording and posting!

If you use a popular CMS to operate the website for your small business, blog or organization, this post will help you get on your way to live streaming and archiving videos with ease.

Engaging a live stream on your CMS?whether it?s WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, or another popular format?can be easily done with the help of a trusted media hosting company. With a little help getting set up, organizations like churches, houses of worship, corporations, small businesses, and various interest groups can expand their reach by broadcasting sermons, meetings, lectures, and events, live, to a worldwide audience.

With streaming technology, you can even broadcast live weddings, school performances, recitals, special receptions, and much more to family and friends around the world.

This post will explain what to consider before live streaming and archiving videos, and it will also present the simple steps involved in getting high quality streaming media directly on your site or blog, no matter what popular CMS you use.

Why Go Live? Well, you don?t have to. Live streaming is an option ? but having a video library of prerecorded, archived media for on demand viewing is also an incredibly effective way to enhance your content, expand your audience and drive more visits to your site. The benefit with live streaming is the excitement that comes with real time media. Think about it: Most would rather watch a football game live in real time, rather than sit down to watch a previously recorded game days later. It?s just not the same.

Getting Streaming Media on Your Site or Blog

It?s pretty easy to host a video on your WordPress, Joomla!, or Drupal website, all you have to do is embed the link (via youtube, etc.) somewhere and you?re good to go; however, live media streaming is a different caliber of video sharing. With that said, you should not be intimidated or scared of live streaming events, seminars, meetings, concerts, sermons, lectures, or discussions through your CMS. Just make sure you follow the proper protocol so that your media streaming goes as smoothly as possible.

Remember, if you?re going to live stream, you should do a few things first and foremost: 

  • Create Interest: Before you even record and live-post your video, you really have to start creating some buzz about it: The best way to do this is to start a ?countdown? page in the exact spot (same url) the live stream will eventually display. If you don?t start a countdown page and start sharing it with your followers, telling industry peers and friends/family that you have a live streaming event taking place in the future?all of your hard work is for nothing because few will actually be watching. Tip: Try tapping into your email contacts and provide them with an update about your live event, and of course, include the link to the placeholder or live countdown page within the email.
  • Choose Your Stream: Although YouTube supports live streaming in some cases?this is not a recommended method no matter whom you ask (even YouTube steers content creators away from streaming on their platform). A trusted hosting company will give you options for your live stream and help you choose the best format for your CMS and media sharing.

An overview of how to set up streaming on the most popular CMS programs:

Once you?ve started setting up your site in a popular CMS (like WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal, for example), you?ll need to order a live video streaming solution.

The WebNet Hosting Live Streaming platform enables you to live stream or auto record videos for later viewing/posting, and it?s quite easy to set up and engage.

Live Stream From Your Cam

Before you begin live streaming on a popular CMS, you?ll need a couple of things:

– A Webcam

– An Encoder (You can download Adobe Flash Encoder for free and install it on your local computer, connected to your webcam)

Next, follow a few simple steps:

1. Install the Adobe Encoder, and input the streaming server information (this will be given to you by your video streaming provider)

2. Click ?connect? and make sure you are able to connect to the streaming server ? You can then begin live streaming video and recording it for later viewing

3. Last Step: Embed the video player code (given to you by your video streaming provider) on your WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla! website. Remember that the embed code of the video player has to be implemented into your page for viewing.

It?s that simple: You are now ready to live stream, and your audience is free to view the media on your site whenever a live event occurs?or whenever they wish to playback a prerecorded video.

Want to start live streaming? Contact us today, our support staff is here to help 24/7/365.

How to Add Live Streaming to Your WordPress Blog

News Flash: Live streaming isn?t just for major media organizations or large, robust sites anymore.

The new wave of contemporary streaming solutions from trusted web hosting companies help make dynamic, live media streaming accessible to anyone, anywhere?In more ways than one!

This post will discuss how to stream live events or videos on your WordPress blog, and what to do before, during and after you post your media for the world to see.

First we?ll run through the benefits of live streaming in the modern age.

Live Streaming and VOD, Simplified.

With today?s streaming software, even novices can equip their websites with live videos and engaging, multisensory content.

An easy-to-use, affordable video streaming and webhosting package can expand your reach and amplify your target audience in just a few simple steps. T

The best part is, live streaming is an amazing tool to have no matter what industry you?re in.

WebNet Hosting?s live media streaming solutions are perfect for:

– Events like concerts and speeches

– Instructional or educational seminars

– Sermons, church services, or religious gatherings for any house of worship

– Webinars and corporate meetings or events

– Live broadcasting your business? or nonprofit organization?s newsworthy events and openings

– And much more

Easy-to-Use, and Useful to Anyone

You may be a minister, a teacher, an aspiring musician or rock star, a corporate executive, a budding artist, fitness guru, doctor, non-profit group, or a talented hairdresser/make-up artist?No matter who you are, or how ?techie? you may be, live streaming and video archiving can take your personal and business goals and make them a reality.

Basically, if you have access to a WordPress site and a recording device, WebNet Hosting can easily and affordably help you enhance your website with rich media and live broadcasting.

Some of the Benefits of Streaming Live Videos on WordPress

live streaming and on demand video on WordPress

Broadcasting events like ceremonies, religious services, concerts, live performances, openings, closings, educational videos, and even just casual updates on goings-on in your industry will keep your audience engaged and invite the world to see what you?re up to.

The streaming solutions offered by WebNet Hosting come in scalable packages, so that anyone can get a feature rich site with reliable, fast and easy-to-use solutions for video management and media streaming. Our solutions are:

Secure (& even Private if you want): If your streaming content is exclusive, we?ll add a Membership module in, which will protect your stream and make your media only accessible to you and those you give access to.

Customizable: The features and prices of each of our live streaming hosting packages are flexible so that organizations and networks both large and small can enhance their reach.

Simple: We pride ourselves on media servers and software that provide a high-quality product without being complicated or difficult to configure and manage.

How to Get Streaming Video on Your WordPress Site

The expert staff at WebNet Hosting is available 24/7, and we?ll help you equip your WordPress site or blog with streaming media and live broadcasting capabilities in a few simple steps.

First: Create Buzz.

Plan your event, plan to live stream it, hook-up a page with our help and start a countdown for the day and time the big event will be live broadcast. Creating the page countdown before you post your video helps create buzz, interest and drive traffic even before the big day of live streaming arrives.

Second: Get Connected With Us.

After you discuss your goals with WebNet?and we get the video hosting package that?s best for you going?you can connect to our streaming solutions through the WordPress API (or Application Programming Interface).

We?ll configure the software needed and the outlet we?re going to use to broadcast the stream (whether it?s using Red5, Adobe Media Server, embedded video, or a direct youtube feed).

From there, the four steps simply include capture, encode, broadcast, and accelerate. Our team will be here to help every step of the way so you can live stream your event, stress-free. All you have to take care of is the recording and the details of the event itself.

Third: Track Your Progress, Analyze Your Results.

When your live event ends the work isn?t over. For best results, track the aftermath of the stream. We?ll work analytics into your WordPress live streaming package so you can see your views, bounces, and continuously improve your media streaming to keep growing your audience.

Comprehensive analytics, customizable aesthetic features, and handpicked ad campaigns will help you track the progress and productivity of your videos, without confusing or elongating the process of enhancing your online presence and reaching more of your target audience.

Live Streaming and On-Demand Video for WordPress

With the right hosting company behind you, you can enhance your online presence, expand your audience, and stay current with live event streaming in just a few simple steps.

Now that secure, on demand and live media streaming can be incorporated into even the most user-friendly CMS systems?live streaming solutions are accessible to anyone with a WordPress platform for their self or business.

Contact WebNet Hosting to discuss live streaming media solutions for your website, business or WordPress blog today.

How to Install WordPress on a Dedicated Server (and Why You Should)

WordPress?s open-source content management and blogging platform is probably the world?s most-used CMS. Unfortunately, the popularity of WordPress makes it?s users pretty vulnerable to security breaches, hackers and stolen data.

For better security, more control and less updating errors, WordPress should be installed manually on a dedicated server. This is accomplished through extracting the WordPress software after creating a database of stored files.

Wordpress cover image

To do it you will need an FTP program?which stands for File Transfer Protocol, for those who don?t know?and you?ll also need to gain access to the server account and control panel. Of course you?ll need your WordPress software package, too.

Once you have all that follow the step-by-step process below to get your WordPress site onto a more secure, higher functioning dedicated server:

First: Download and ?Extract? WP Software

– Access WordPress and look to the ?Resources? link. You can download the software package there onto your Downloads folder.

– Once there, right click the WP software package and chose ?Extract All? (click ?Browse? to extract the file to a notable area, like your Desktop), then click ?Extract? and close the dialog box that pops up.

Second: Create a MySQL Database

– Login to your dedicated server?s cPanel account. Scroll to the section ?Databases,? and pick ?MySQL Database Wizard.?

– Chose ?Create a Database? and enter the name of your new database (make it something similar to your domain).

– Go to ?Create a Database User? and put in a username and password. Hit ?Add User to Database?, and select ?All Privileges? then go to ?Next Step.?

NOTE: Make sure to record all username and password information, both on a Word or Notepad doc AND written down off the computer.

Third: Edit WP-Config-Sample.php File

– Open a page of Notepad or Text Edit and open the folder that contains the WP software you extracted. Drag the file ?wp-config-sample.php? into your open Notepad doc.

– Put your new database name in place of the sample name.

Where the file says ?define(?DB_NAME?,?putyournamehere?)? replace putyournamehere with your new name. Don?t delete any formatting or punctuation marks while you change the names out.

– Repeat the process above with your username, password and hostname.

– Go to the section named ?Authentication and Unique Keys and Salts,? and enter your secret keys there. This is what gives your site additional security.

To get your secret keys go to the WordPress website?s secret key generator. Copy the contents of this page and delete the existing keys, paste the new ones in their place.

Hint: The olds keys will be found under ?define? properties for AUTH KEY, SECURE_AUTHKEY, LOGGED_IN_KEY, etc.

– Now save the file (go to ?File?, ?Save As?) under the name ?wp-config.php? and make sure it?s saved in the same folder as the sample file.

Fourth and Final: WordPress Install

– Go into FTP and enter your account info.

– Find the directory on your dedicated sever where you want to install the WordPress software package.

– Within the FTP program, find the folder with the extracted WP software. Right click the WP software package on your desktop, and hit ?Upload.? Close FTP when it is complete.

– Now open a web browser and type in your domain along with: /wp-config.php

– There you will find the WP script install page. It?ll ask you to create new login info to access your site, and then you can click ?Install WordPress!?

Hopefully the instructions above make your dedicated server WordPress install a little easier.

If you?re a WP user you should seriously consider doing this to protect your website, your personal information and the data you collect from customers and e-mail subscribers. Good Luck!

WordPress User Roles: A Detailed Look

The WordPress Plugin API lets you add, remove and change roles and the functions and responsibilities within those roles on your WordPress blog or site. You should try to develop an understanding of the differing wordpress user roles so that you can customize your users and the control they have over your content.

Be selective as you assign users their roles. Some might have more control of your blog than you might realize. For instance, certain roles let users delete content, parts of content or even the entire blog! This is why you need to review each role before you start to pair them with the most appropriate user. Make sure that once you’ve decided on the right users for each role, you give them the capabilities they need to really shine. Without assigning capabilities, they really just get a pointless title with no real, organized control.

As mentioned, the WordPress Plugin API gives you the chance to change the actions in a role, create a new role and customize the capabilities of each role. Their are six main roles you can choose from:

Super Administrator / Network Administrator

The name states it all: this role has maximum capability in managing a number of blogs under the same domain. The super administrator can alter themes for all sites on the network and can control them on each site. This role should be given to owners of sites, chief editors and web masters.

Administrator

Naturally, this is the step right below super administrator. They still have some pretty important abilities, including:

Creating and/or deleting users, deleting and activating plugins, posts and private pages, editing themes and options, exporting and importing content, managing categories as well as links and options. The administrator can even moderate comments and promote users, switch themes and upload files.

Editor

In addition to uploading files, the editor can edit or create content, including categories and links. They can also moderate comments. Furthermore, they can publish pages, posts, etc. and read private posts.

Contributor

Contributors only have access to a certain part of the dashboard so that they can add new content. However, the content they add is first reviewed by the author or the editor. Contributors can read, delete or edit posts.

Author

Like an editor, an author can create, publish and edit content. However, they can only make changes and modify their own content. They do have the power to upload images, material and files on the blog, though.

Subscriber

A subscriber is just part of the WP blog or site’s audience. First, they must register for the site, and then they’ll have the access to read content and contribute their own content in the form of comments.

Here is a table explaining the WordPress User Roles in a nutshell

ADMINISTRATOR EDITOR AUTHOR CONTRIBUTOR
Can Edit Blog Setting Yes No No No
Can Manage & Edit Themes/Plugin Yes No No No
Can Edit comments, tags, categories & links Yes Yes No No
Can edit, publish & delete all posts Yes Yes No No
Can publish, delete their own post Yes Yes Yes No
Can edit own post Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can Submit post to review before publishing No No No Yes

***

 
Extending WP Capabilities

There are a few plugins that will be very helpful to you if you have the desire to change, extend or manage WordPress user roles and capabilities. Below you’ll find the top five plugins that will assist you.

User Access Manager – With this plugin you can create user groups and assign users to a specific one. This is helpful when you create a private section of you blog or if you’re allowing just certain users to contribute to certain areas of your blog.

Members – The members plugin lets you create, edit and delete roles as well as alter and customize the capabilities of those roles. You can also make the whole site private through this plugin.

s2Member Framework – If you’re running a membership-based site, this is the plugin for you. With it you can create a variety of membership packages, and you can control restrictions and downloadable content also.

Advanced Access Manager – This plugin is for advanced WordPress users. With it you can create new roles and actions under those roles. Just make sure you know what you’re doing when you employ this plugin.

Role Scoper – With Role Scoper you can assign restrictions or capabilities to certain roles on individual pages or posts, and you can even set a time limit for the access you give to certain users.

In Conclusion

As your setting up, assigning, customizing, and refining the roles available to users on your WordPress blog or site, make sure you give it some thought. Also, if you use a complicated plugin to alter roles and users, just make sure you know what you’re doing.

Do-It-Yourself Wordpress SEO Tips

When setting up your Wordpress blog or site, don?t forget to optimize your content (including any media) and your html to get the best possible rankings and traffic to your pages. Don?t just rely on built in themes and easy Wordpress SEO steps because these won?t get you optimal results. And if you at any time decide to carry your site over to a new theme, your hard optimization work might not stick around if you don?t take the time to complete proper do-it-yourself SEO steps.

This post will explain a few easy DIY tips that will take your Wordpress SEO to the next level.

USE A PLUGIN

Plugins are like little SEO worker bees that can get you started with great results in search engines. There are multiple SEO plugins available through Wordpress (such as the SEO Yoast) that can work to better your rankings. However, make sure you don?t leave it all up to your plugin to generate SEO. Handle all the basics like title tags and metas so that your SEO functionality will stay static. That way if you switch up your theme some of your SEO work will be carried over.

WordPress SEO Yoast Screenshot

TAKE THE TIME WHEN ADDING IMAGES

Don?t just add an image with a random or meaningless title. Use the Wordpress media uploader to the full extent and you could better your SEO results. Input meta information that speaks to the concept of the image and the results you?re trying to get for your site. Make sure to properly fill out all the image information before your photo is posted: this includes Title fields, the Caption, Alt Text, and Description fields.

WordPress-Image-Uploader

REFINE PERMALINKS

Set up a permalink that is descriptive of your website. Change your permalink structure in your settings by going to the Permalinks screen on your dashboard. Select a permalink that is well-matched to your site. A URL should tell users and search engines what the main point of a page is. Where your URL is concerned, just remember to keep your titles short and sweet or they?ll make your slug too long. Taking the time to think of concise but descriptive titles will help get you noticed by both users and search engines?and you won?t have a messy slug added to your URL!

CLAIM GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP

When your content is claimed and you employ the Author Box plugin, authors of posts get credit for what they write (even in search engine results). Getting exposure to the social profiles of your authors will give you credibility when it comes to site visitors and search engine results. There is one step you (or your authors) must take here: Make sure you and your authors add the site in question to their Google+ profiles under the ?Contributor to? option. Doing so will ensure that their profile pic will show up next to the page they authored in search results. These links are more likely to get indexed and clicked on.

CHANGE THE DEFAULT TAGLINE

Don?t let your SEO results pin you as ?Just another Wordpress site.? Make sure you change this tag by navigating to your settings, clicking on general and altering the tagline. Doing this will make your site more distinguished and it might even make it more credible to potential visitors.

SET UP YOUR OWN DESCRIPTIONS

If you don?t manually input your descriptions, you?ll either have the same description for each page of your site or the first few sentences of your posts will be automatically used instead. Don?t make this mistake. Setup your descriptions manually, and make them relevant to each post or page of your Wordpress site. Use Yoast?s Wordpress SEO plugin to achieve setting up your own descriptions for a cleaner site and better SEO results.

USE TERM DESCRIPTIONS AND LIMIT CATEGORIES

Make sure you try not to overload your site with categories and tags. If your site is worthwhile, your categories won?t be jumping all over the place anyway. You?ll probably only need to have about seven main categories to filter your posts into. Also, too many tags at the end of a post can look spammy, just keep it relevant. On that note, do make sure you taxonomize your posts and pages with term descriptions, that way they are archived properly and you direct users and search engines better through your site?s pages and topics.

IN CONCLUSION

DIY SEO does take some time. But it?s pretty simple. Make sure you commit to doing at least a little of your own search engine optimization where your Wordpress site is concerned. A plugin will certainly help, but it won?t cover all of the bases. Even if you complete just half of the abovementioned tasks your site or blog?s SEO potential will be better off.

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Top SEO Plugins for Joomla! and WordPress

WordPress Cloud Hosting: Why it Rocks!

Let me start by discussing WordPress: Most everyone is familiar with this popular blogging/CMS platform. After all, it is one the most widely-used platforms in the world for website building and blogging. The reason WordPress is so popular is because it offers complete customization and gives full control to the user.

wordpress logo

With WordPress, you can easily customize and code pages as you need to: you can add new blog posts, approve or remove comments and install a lot of plugins. Whether you are a web developer or a total beginner, getting started with WordPress is extremely easy.

What’s So Awesome About Cloud Hosting?

?Cloud hosting? is the new, hottest trend (and a very popular marketing buzzword) in the hosting industry. The reason for it being such a trend is because cloud hosting has major benefits over the regular shared server, virtual private server (VPS) and dedicated hosting server.

?In the cloud? means that a website is not hosted on just one server but spread across multiple servers, which act as one system. So instead of relying on just one machine for resources (such as RAM, disk space, bandwidth, etc.), in cloud hosting, you can pull resources from multiple servers?empowering you to scale your website as you need to.

The major benefit of cloud hosting is that it enables you to add and remove resources when needed, and you can pay as you go.

WordPress + Cloud

wordpress in the cloud

WordPress cloud hosting means that your WordPress website is scalable, with all the benefits of cloud hosting. The important thing here is to realize why WordPress hosted on the cloud is better than a WordPress site hosted on a dedicated server or a shared hosting plan. So, let?s look at some of the features WordPress cloud hosting offers:

WordPress Optimized Server:

All the cloud servers are fully optimized to run WordPress successfully. Moreover, your hosting company has a technical team that is familiar with WordPress, so they can handle any server-related issue. Each cloud server is thoroughly tested by running different versions of WordPress and fixing any issue that could arise.

Managed Hosting with WordPress Experts:

WordPress cloud hosting solutions are fully managed by system administrators, database admins and technicians. WordPress related issues are solved by a team of WordPress experts; these experts have various tricks up their sleeves to successfully run a WordPress site on a cloud server.

The team of experienced WordPress experts takes care of automatic WordPress updates, plugin updates, speed optimization backups, server monitoring, maintenance, etc., so you can sleep sound knowing your website is in good hands.

Scalability:

Cloud hosting for WordPress offers the capability to scale the server resources (RAM, disk space, CPU cores, bandwidth) as per the website requirements. So, if suddenly your website or blog sees a spike in traffic that your server can?t handle, you can easily add more resources to it. This comes in handy during peek business seasons because you can add resources to handle your site?s increase in traffic?and then scale down again as traffic declines.

Reliability:

Every server crashes at least once, which will cause your website to go down. However, with the cloud that?s not the case as your WordPress website is hosted on multiple servers: If one server crashes, the other one kicks-in, ready to keep your website up at all times. Cloud hosting greatly increases reliability by reducing server downtime.

Security:

WordPress (being an extremely popular CMS application) is also one that is attacked most by hackers. Secure WordPress cloud hosting is offered with:

– Redundant Firewalls

– DDoS Protection

– Custom Firewall Rules

– Automatic Core/Plugin Updates

– Malware Scanning

– Admin Access Controls

– And much more

CDN (Content Delivery Network):

A CDN is used for fast and efficient delivery of content over websites. Users today lack patience, and they need content to be delivered to them fast. A CDN can help achieve this.

With a CDN, a website is replicated over multiple different locations, like throughout Asia and Europe. So if somebody from Japan accesses your website, a CDN server from Asia will deliver that request, and if somebody from Spain wants to look at your site, the server for Europe will serve that user.

Conclusion

WordPress cloud hosting is the best, most cost-effective way to host a website. Cloud hosting is a trend that?s here to stay because of the many benefits that it has to offer. If you have a WordPress site and are in the market for an ideal hosting solution, then hosting WordPress on the cloud should be your choice.

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal: Hackers’ Favorite CMS

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are the most popular CMS (Content Management Systems) used worldwide for website development. The preferred choice in content management systems for business owners, bloggers, companies, small businesses, and store owners is either WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. However, the way these three content management systems attract website owners, they equally draw in hackers and criminals. WordPress is one of the most hacked cms application.

drupal-joomla-wordpress-security-tips

Underneath all these CMS is a database system that is basically heaven for hackers. Database systems have a lot of vulnerabilities that hackers can access and explore, and that’s why WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are some of their favorite CMS. Website development and maintenance is made extremely easy by these content management systems, but they are really lacking in security.

Some of the different types of attacks that a CMS is open to include:

Compromised Website:

This means a stolen or a hacked website, which lets hackers misuse a reputable domain. Hackers install a link within the database without the knowledge of the owner; however, when someone links to that site, the site is redirected to another domain.

Example: Spammers compromise a site in order to redirect users to a URL selling ?Sexual and Body Enhancers.”

As per a survey done by StopBadware and Commtouch, here is a breakdown of compromised sites based on the CMS they use:

– WordPress ? 28%

– Joomla ? 9%

– Drupal ? 1%

– Other – 62%

SQL Injection:

This an attack in which some malicious code is inserted in the website?mainly in forms?and is used as a gateway to explore the vulnerabilities of the database.

Example: A user enters his or her username and password in the form fields and hits submit. A sql query is inserted by the hacker in the form field, passing over this information to the hacker.

Code Vulnerabilities:

WordPress, Drupal and Joomla websites are built using the php programming knowledge. Many times, if not coded properly, a hacker can find vulnerabilities within the code that they can explore.

Example: Some of the code vulnerabilities can include

– Unvalidated Parameters

– Broken Access Control

– Broken Account and Session Management

– Cross-site Scripting (XSS) Flaws

– Buffer Overflows

– Command Injection Flaws

Easy to Guess Passwords:

Easy to guess passwords are a common security vulnerability.

Example: An internal team member or an ex-employee can easily guess the password, log in to the database, and steal valuable information. Therefore, it is advised to change passwords regularly and use difficult passwords that are hard to guess.

Actions To Take In Order to Avoid an Attack

There are certain measures that website owners can take in order to protect their data from intruders. Constant monitoring of the database is required in order to ensure that no unusual activity has taken place:

– Database administrators should verify that only authorized users have access to the database.Make sure that all users who have access to the database are not administrators. Assign privileges to the users based on their roles.

– Monitor the changes that take place on your website. Installing a new module or a plugin can expose certain vulnerabilities because in the end content management systems store all the information in the database.

– Install a database monitoring security system that continuously audits the database in real time and gives a report about database changes to detect and log sql injections.

– Choose a strong and secure hosting provider that offers optimized servers for WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. It is advised to get managed services, so that the web host can handle all the security patches, applications, software updates, etc.

A hacker can attack any site that seems vulnerable, so it’s better to take precaution rather than panic when an attack does happen. Keep in mind the above-mentioned security measures to prevent your website from falling victim to a security breach.

Top and the Best Joomla! and WordPress SEO Plugins

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is comprised of two major parts, off page SEO and on page SEO. Off page SEO refers to anything done outside of the actual website that helps it rank higher in search engines such as building backlinks and content marketing. On page SEO is all about the elements that make up your website that attract search engines such as proper keyword density, page structure, META tags, URL structure etc. SEO is definitely a strenuous task, but if you?re using a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla!, taking the proper steps to rank your website becomes much easier thanks to SEO plugins and extensions.

In this post, we?ll take a look at the top SEO plugins for both WordPress and Joomla! that will help your site rank higher in search engines such as Google and Bing. It?s important to realize that on page optimization is only part of the solution for ranking higher in the search engine results page (SERP). Don?t forget to build high quality backlinks in conjunction with the plugins mentioned in this post to really improve where your site ranks for target keywords.

WordPress SEO Plugins

We will start off with the top SEO plugins for WordPress. Not all of these plugins will be an all-in-one solution, so it?s best to use them in combination with each other instead of just relying on one.

1: WordPress SEO by Yoast
When you Google ?WordPress SEO plugin?, the first result on the page is this plugin. The 3rd result is a page about WordPress SEO by the company that makes the plugin, Yoast. That should give you an idea of why this plugin is so useful and beneficial. It?s made by people who understand SEO and know the ins and outs of WordPress. The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin allows you to control everything from:
– Meta tags

– Xml sitemap

– RSS feed

– Breadcrumbs

– Robot.txt file

– Much more

SEO Yoast Plugin by WordPress

It has proven to be one of the most complete SEO plugin available for quite some time and has landed on top of many lists for Best WordPress SEO plugins. Nearly any element that effects on page SEO is able to be tweaked with this plugin. The on page analysis feature even lets you see what you could be doing to further optimize a page. You cannot go wrong with the Yoast SEO plugin.

Try it: Download

2: All in One SEO Pack

This is the second most popular all-around SEO plugin for WordPress. It has many of the same features as the Yoast plugin and some people even prefer it over Yoast?s. One of the major benefits that you get with this plugin is that it provides SEO integration for WP e-Commerce site. For businesses that use WordPress to power their web store, this plugin might be just what you need. Another great thing about this plugin is that it works well for people with very little SEO knowledge and SEO experts as well. The options are simple and the setup is very easy to follow. Some of the other benefits you?ll get with All in One SEO Pack are:

– Advanced canonical URLs

– Custom post types

– API is built in so it works well with other plugins

– Ability to customize nearly everything

– Set custom META data

All in one seo pack

You can choose either the free or Pro version for $39 plus a monthly fee.

Try it: Download

3: SEO Rank Reporter

One of the most important factors of SEO is tracking where you rank for certain keywords. There are several different software programs available for this, but if you?re running a WordPress site, the SEO Rank Reporter plugin is a great option. This plugin allows you to track where you rank for certain keywords, as well as see what phrases or keywords users are searching to find your site.

seo ranker

One of the great features of this plugin is that it reports the ranking status for your keywords every 3 days. Since the SERP is fairly dynamic, updating results every 3 days is a great indicator of how your SEO is doing. All of the keywords that you are tracking can be displayed in the form of graphs to see the correlation between the keywords you?re ranking for, and how many page visits you?re getting from searches looking for those keywords. This is an excellent way to help you analyze your click through rate (CTR) as well.

Try it: Download

4: W3 Total Cache

One part of on page SEO that often gets overlooked is loading time. Google looks at how fast a website loads in determining the rankings. Google?s goal/mission is to ensure users get the best website results when they make queries using their search engine. Pages that take 30 seconds to load do not fit into that description. So making sure your page loads as fast as possible is very important.

w3 total cache

W3 Total Cache has helped decrease the load time of many WordPress sites such as Mashable.com, Mattcutts.com, and yoast.com to name a few. Some of the features of this caching plugin are:

– Compatible with shared hosting, VPS, or dedicated servers

– Works on mobile browsers

– Transparent CDN for media library, theme files, and WordPress files

– Caching database objects, objects in memory, feeds, and more

Try it: Download

5: Google XML Sitemaps

In the event that you don?t use the Yoast SEO plugin, you?re going to want the Google XML Sitemaps plugin in order to create an XML sitemap of your site. The way Google analyzes the pages and posts on your site is through your site sitemap. A sitemap is a special page on your site with all of the pages mapped out. You absolutely need to have one if you want your site to rank well in Google. This plugin creates your sitemap with the click of a button. After installing the plugin, simply create your first sitemap and you?re set to go.

google xml sitemap

Google XML Sitemaps will update your sitemap regularly as well so new pages/posts are added as they?re created. A great feature of this plugin is that you can choose what content is included in your sitemap so you may exclude archive pages, tags pages, and other pages that are relatively useless for SEO purposes. The goal with your sitemap is to steer Google towards the pages with content you wish to rank for, and this plugin does that very well.

It?s also very important that you submit your website?s sitemap to Google via Google Webmaster Tools. The plugin will provide you with the URL for your sitemap which typically looks like http://website.com/sitemap.xml. This is the URL you will submit in Google Webmaster tools.

Try it: Download

Joomla! SEO Extensions

Next, we?ll take a look at the top SEO extensions for Joomla! Unlike WordPress, Joomla! doesn?t come with many SEO options by default so you will need to rely heavily upon extensions to ensure your site is properly optimized for search engines.

1: SEO Simple

SEO Simple is a Joomla! SEO extension designed to help with the META description of your website?s pages. By default, Joomla! gives you the option to either set global META data used for every page, or customize each page?s META data individually. This extension automatically generates META description based on the page?s content which eliminates the need to manually add the information yourself for each page.

seo simple

The extension uses a defined number of words at the beginning of each page to generate the META data. For example, you may set the first 150 characters (which is the standard) to be used in order to generate the data. It?s a good SEO practice to make sure that any keywords that your page is targeting are mentioned within the first couple of sentences of the page. When the extension grabs the first few sentences to generate the META description, your keyword will be present.

If you set a custom META description for the page, the auto generated description from the plugin will be overridden.

Try it: Download

2: Xmap

The Xmap extension creates a sitemap for your Joomla! site. This extension works similarly to the WordPress plugin mentioned earlier. The sitemap generated by the extension will be compatible with all major search engines including:

– Google

– Bing

– Yahoo

xmap

The extension uses the structure of your website?s menus in order to generate the sitemap of your site. You can also generate multiple sitemaps and specify preferences for each one. In addition to this, the plugin also displays statistics for each sitemap. The extension also allows you to specify the priority of each page so Google and other search engines know which pages to check for content the most frequently. The extension keeps great statistics such as the number of visits, how many links were generated on the last visit, the last date the sitemap was visited, and more. This is arguably the best XML sitemap extension there is for Joomla!

Try it: Download

3: sh404SEF

It?s difficult to classify what type of extension sh404SEF is because it does so many different things. However, a majority of the extension?s features are geared towards SEO so most people know it as an SEO extension even though it has social media features as well. As for the SEO benefits of this extension, they include:

– Google Analytics support

– Custom URL structure

– META data management

– Canonical headers

– Redirect 404?s

– Manage page titles

– Caching

– Track social sharing statistics of your site

sh404sef

As you can see, sh404SEF is a well-rounded extension that helps your site?s SEO on several different levels. The social sharing aspect of it is particularly appealing because social media sharing has begun to play a major role in how sites are ranked so it?s an important metric to track.

Try it: Download

4: JoomSEF

I prefaced this Joomla! extensions section by mentioning that this CMS isn?t natively SEO friendly (SEF). This is made evident by the default URL structure for pages in Joomla! which consists of random strings of characters that don?t help search engines identify what your pages are about at all. Since Joomla! does not allow users to choose their own URL structure by default, this extension is a necessity. The general practice is to use the title of your page in the URL structure, which should have the target keywords in it.

joomla sef

This extension comes in both a free and paid version ($35.52). Since the biggest benefit of this extension is the ability to set SEF URLs, the free version would probably be the best choice when used in conjunction with one of the other SEO extensions we?ve listed.

Try it: Download

5: JoomSEO

The final extension we will talk about is JoomSEO which is another all-in-one type of SEO extension. It allows you to generate automatic META data such as descriptions and keywords by using your page?s content and title. This means that you no longer have to manually go into each page to set custom META tags. Some of the other great features of JoomSEO are:

– Variable phrase lengths

– Choose words to exclude from keywords

– Choose heading tags (h1,h2,h3,etc.)

– Caching

– Edit site name, page titles, page description and more

joomla seo

The settings for this extension are also very customizable so you can edit them to your liking and to fit your needs.

Try it: Download

Top 10 Recommended and Must Have WordPress Plugins

One of the biggest benefits of using WordPress to create a site is its ease of use. The fact that you can create a beautiful, fully functioning site, with tons of features without any coding knowledge is what makes WordPress so special. This is made possible thanks to a huge library of plugins that can turn a bland lifeless site into a professional one with a few clicks.

There are wordpress plugins available for everything from sharing content on social media to booking appointments. Pretty much anything that you want your site to do can be made possible with a wordpress plugin. But since there are thousands of plugins to choose from, it?s hard to narrow down which ones are great, and which ones are just going to take up space. So we?ve decided to give you a little help by compiling a list of the best and must have WordPress plugins available right now.

Don?t be alarmed or upset if your favorite one doesn?t make the list. Remember, there are thousands of plugins out there and everyone will have their favorite. But the plugins mentioned here are amongst the best and can really benefit any WordPress user. Whether you have a blog, company website, or portfolio, you?re bound to see at least a few plugins on this list that will come in handy.

Let?s get started!

1: Digg Digg

You will be hard pressed to find a blog that doesn?t use this social media sharing plugin for WordPress. If you?re unfamiliar with this Digg Digg, it?s the little floating bar that you see in posts on blogs such as Mashable, Trip Wire Magazine, and several others. Although most users take advantage of the floating feature, it can also be used to insert social sharing buttons on the top or below your post as well.

Getting your site?s content shared across the internet is great for brand awareness, getting traffic, and for SEO purposes as well. Digg Digg encourages your visitors to share because it floats with the content as users scroll. So the sharing buttons are always readily available, but not intrusive. As for what social networking sites are available for Digg Digg, the list is very long but all of the most popular sites are present such as:

– Facebook

– Twitter

– Google+

– LinkedIn

– Pinterest

– Reddit

Digg Screenshot

Try Digg Digg (free):Download

***

2: WordPress SEO Yoast

There are a ton of different SEO plugins for WordPress. The two most popular are All In One SEO and the one mentioned here, WordPress SEO from Yoast. Both are great plugins, but we give WordPress SEO the upper hand here. The plugin is very user friendly which makes it possible for even someone who has no clue what SEO is to get in and figure their way around it.

The plugin was actually developed by Joost de Valk who is an expert when it comes to WordPress SEO. He threw all his knowledge into creating this plugin. You can do all the basics like input your meta tags for your description, title, and keywords, but this plugin goes much deeper. For instance, the Page Analysis feature dissects important elements of your posts/pages for SEO. You can run a check of your posts and pages in your Edit Post screen to see what areas of SEO you?re lacking in. Maybe your target keyword only appears one time in a page with over 2,000 words. Or perhaps you forgot to place your keyword in the ?Atl? tag of your images. The plugin will identify all of this and more. The screenshot below shows an example Page Analysis.

Yoast Screenshot

Try WordPress SEO (free): Download

***

3: WP-Optimize

Keeping your WordPress site speedy and functioning properly is a big task. One of the best plugins to help your site stay efficient is WP Optimize. The plugin cleans up your databases without the need for PhpMyAdmin. For the casual user, diving into databases is much too complex and most wouldn?t even know where to start. That?s why this plugin landed on the list.

WP-Optimize completely simplifies the database cleanup process by allowing you to optimize your database with just a couple of clicks of your mouse. There?s no technical knowledge required. The plugin allows you to remove post revisions, auto-drafts, spam, and unapproved comments that are basically just taking up space. If you?re having issues with the efficiency of your site using WordPress, consider looking into our WordPress VPS hosting which is made specifically to suit your needs.

wp optimize screenshot

Try WP-Optimize (free): Download

***

4: Akismet

Spam is one of the biggest annoyances of WordPress users. The creators of WordPress are well aware of this and it motivated them to create the Akismet plugin. The plugin is marketed as ?Possibly the best way in the world to protect you from web spam?. Its popularity is partially due to the fact that it?s made by Automattic, which is the company that created WordPress. So it definitely has some credibility right off the bat. But the plugin wouldn?t be nearly as popular if it wasn?t as effective as it is.

What Akismet does is filter out all of the spam comments left on your blog for you automatically so that you don?t have to worry about approving comments all day. When you first start out your site, a majority of the comments left on your posts/pages will be spam from people looking to get backlinks to their site. And as you build more traffic, you?ll get more and more spam. It?s nearly impossible (and a huge waste of time) to try to manually handle spam so Akismet is a huge time saver and is probably one of the most popular WordPress plugins ever.

In order to use this plugin, you do have to set up an account on the Akismet website. They have different tiers of plans but the free version works well for most sites.  

akismet screenshot

Try Akismet (free or paid): Download

***

5: Security Ninja

WordPress security is a very popular topic and something that you?ll see a lot of plugins for. Security Ninja is arguably one of the best WordPress security plugins ever made. The plugin performs a series of over 30 different tests to check your site?s security. It will check for things such as login attempts, whether or not your plugins and themes are up to date, and other important factors of WP security.

It?s extremely easy to use. After installing it, just click on Run Tests in the site Analysis menu to see where potential threats may exist. Not only will you see your strong/weak points, but you?ll also get suggestions on things you can do to improve any ?Bad? status points you get.  

security ninja screenshot

Try Security Ninja ($10): Download

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6: Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is one of the best ways to insert contact forms into your site. A lot of premium themes come with contact forms built in, but the features and customization are somewhat limited. With this plugin, you can create as many different contact forms as you?d like, and completely customize them. Not only can you customize the forms themselves, you can also customize the email you receive when someone fills out your form.

One of the things I like the most about this plugin is the attachment feature. A common question I see with people who use WordPress is ?how do I accept attachments?? This feature comes in handy for sites that accept user submitted pictures or any type of file submissions. You can even use this plugin in conjunction with Akismet, CAPTCHAS, and more.  

contact form screenshot

Try Contact Form 7 (Free): Download

***

7: Google XML Sitemaps v3 for qTranslate

If you?re unfamiliar with the importance of Sitemaps, they help search engine robots index and navigate your site more efficiently. With an XML sitemap, Google, Yahoo, and Bing crawlers can get a clear picture of your site?s pages such as when they?re updated, when new pages are added, the importance of a certain page, and other vital information. Instead of manually trying to create a sitemap, this plugin automatically generates your XML Sitemap for you.

Google XML Sitemaps also updates your sitemap regularly too. You can manually add pages, exclude categories, set the priority of pages, and several other great features. The backend of the plugin is extremely easy to navigate and doesn?t require a lot of tinkering with.  

Google xml sitemap screenshot

Try Google XML Sitemaps (Free): Download

***

8: Optinskin

Building up an email subscriber list is one of the best ways to stay in contact with your site?s visitors. Optinskin is a plugin specifically designed to boost your email list subscribers and get you more opt-ins. The reason this plugin is great is because you can integrate any major email marketing client you want such as:

– MailChimp

– Aweber

– Constant Contact

– iContact

– Google Feedburner

The plugin comes with a set of 18 opt-in forms that you can customize. You can choose where you want your forms to go such as at the beginning of posts, at the end of posts, in the middle, in a sidebar widget, or manually place it by using a short code. One reason why Optinskin is really popular is that you can split test forms. Set a form to split test and Optinskin will rotate the form with different versions you create automatically and you can see details on the performance of each form in your dashboard. It is a little pricey at $67, but it?s by far the best opt-in plugin available.   

optinskin screenshot

Try OptinSkin ($67): Download

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9: BackUpWordPress

A lot of people like to use a plugin for backing up their WordPress files. BackUpWordPress is one of the most frequently used plugins for creating backups automatically so that you can pretty much set it and forget it. With this plugin, you have the ability to customize your actual backups. You can choose which files and folders you?ll backup, and exclude certain things from being backed up.

After the plugin creates the backup, you can choose to have the files emailed to you. It?s simple to use and a necessity for any WordPress blog. In order to be completely covered, check out our WordPress Hosting. We will generate backups for you on a daily basis so you can be 100% sure you?re safe in case any problems ever occur with your site.

backup wordpress screenshot

Try BackUpWordPress (Free): Download

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10: WPtouch

Rounding out our list of the top 10 WordPress plugins is WPtouch. This plugin makes your WordPress site responsive without having to insert any code whatsoever. Since more and more users are starting to use mobile devices such as iPhones, Android Phones, and tablets to browse the internet, it?s more important than ever that your sites are mobile friendly.

One of the benefits of this plugin is that it gives visitors the option to choose whether they want to view the mobile friendly version or the full site. This plugin comes in both a free and a paid version. WPtouch Pro has a few extra features like more visual customization (styles and color), and the ability to brand your site better so that it doesn?t look generic.

wp touch screenshot

Try WPTouch (free or paid): Download

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Now that You have looked at the top 10 Must Have WordPress Plugins. Take the next step and start with WordPress Hosting. Host your WordPress site on a Cloud VPS or a Dedicated Server

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Top 5 WordPress Shopping Cart Plugins to Create the Ultimate Online Store

The WordPress Content Management System has evolved tremendously over the years. Once known strictly as a blogging platform, developers have helped make WordPress a platform for business websites, portfolios, and even E-Commerce. Since online shopping is a billion dollar industry, taking your business online and reaching customers all over the country can significantly increase your profits and expose your brand to new markets you have never tapped.

But how do you set up an online store in WordPress? Believe it or not, it?s actually a lot easier than you might think. Using a combination of E-Commerce themes and plugins, you can have your online store up and running in no time at all. There are several benefits to using WordPress for an E-Commerce site:

? Easy to setup
? Easy to customize
? Great support
? Easy integration
? Affordable

WordPress Shopping Cart Plugins

In order to setup your online shop, you?re going to need to use a plugin to bring E-Commerce features to your WordPress. These plugins allow you to add features such as:

? Shopping carts
? Payment gateways
? Product categories
? Order forms
? Store front
? Product variations
? Shipping management
? And much more

There are both free and paid E-Commerce plugins for you to choose from. Some of the paid options come with more features, but the free solutions are definitely viable options as well.

Warning! The Importance Of A Solid Web Host

I would be doing you a terrible disservice if I didn?t mention how important it is to make sure you?re using adequate hosting for your E-Commerce store. The needs of an E-Commerce store are significantly different than just a blog or company page. You?re integrating payment solutions, managing several different customer accounts, products, generating several requests from servers constantly, and producing reports regularly. All of this creates an extra strain on servers, and Shared Hosting really isn?t optimal for this.

For this reason, I highly suggest you consider looking at our WordPress VPS Hosting. It will give you the scalability and flexibility needed to handle the complex needs of an online store. The last thing you want is for customers to have technical difficulties in the middle of making purchases.

With that said, here are some of the best E-Commerce WordPress Shopping Cart plugins.

1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is one of the most popular WordPress E-Commerce Plugins there is. The plugin integrates with the E-Commerce Woothemes for WordPress. The plugin has several benefits. One of its biggest strengths however is the reporting feature. You can get everything from sales reports, customer reports, and inventory reports all available in the dashboard.

woocommerce screenshot

The plugin was built to match the look and feel of the WordPress Admin panel so it is extremely easy to navigate and learn. One of the other features I really like about this plugin is how shipping is handled. With other E-Commerce solutions, shipping can be a messy feature. But WooCommerce allows you to set shipping cost based on individual products, charge a flat rate, or even offer free shipping. To sweeten the deal, WooCommerce has several extensions such as integrating UPS, USPS, FedEx, and other shippers to handle all of your shipping needs. Some of the other extensions available for WooCommerce are:

? Linnworks: Order and inventory management

? QR Code Generator: Allow customers to scan a QR code on their mobile device and be taken right to the
product on your site to buy it.

? Limited Deals: Add coupons/deals good for a limited time and limited quantities similar to Groupon.

? Shopdock: Add an AJAX shopping cart to any WordPress theme with WooCommerce so that customers can add products to their shopping cart without the page reloading.

? Accepted Payment Methods: This extension allows you to display the different payment options customers have.

? Twilio SMS Integration: Send order updates to customers via text message.

If you?re wondering how the customer can manage their purchases and track orders, don?t worry. WooCommerce has an excellent account management system so that each customer has their own login information and can access past orders, update billing information, and even change their own passwords.

WooCommerce allows you to use all the major Payment Gateways such as PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.net and 2Checkout as well so that you aren?t limited to any one option. Almost anything you could ever want or need from an E-Commerce store, you can do with WooCommerce.

Try WooCommerce out: Download

2. WP E-Commerce Plugin

This is the most popular E-Commerce Plugin for WordPress by far with well over 2.2 million downloads. One of the major benefits you?ll get with this plugin is that it is easy implementable into any WordPress theme that?s compliant with the WordPress API. The list of features for this plugin is quite lengthy so I?ll highlight some of the most attractive features.

You can completely customize the look of your store with this plugin with some tweaks to the HTML and CSS so you?re not ?stuck? with a look you don?t like.

As for the payment gateways, you?ll have access to 15 different options. The free version comes with 6 options, such as PayPal, Google Checkout, and Manual Payments. In order to access extra payment options such as Authorize.net and some other features, you have to use the Gold Cart Plugin ($47) along with this one. So that is a little upsetting. But if you?re just starting out your shop, the WP E-Commerce plugin alone should be enough to get you started.

Checkout screenshot - ecommerce plugin

Some other notable features are:
? Discounts based on Quantity
? Sales on specific products
? Coupons
? One-Page checkout or a step by step checkout
? Checkout as a guest or start an account
? Complete catalog management
? Supports digital products
? Taxes based on location

As I stated, the list of features for this plugin go on and on. In addition to everything I?ve already mentioned, you can even use this plugin to start a subscription site as well.

Try the WP Ecommerce Pligin: Download

3. Cart66

This plugin comes in both a free and a paid version. Cart66 Lite is the free version and Cart66 Pro ($89) is the paid version. Don?t think just because the lite version is free that it won?t supply you with a ton of features. While the Pro version definitely has some very great features, the lite version is definitely a viable option.

wp plugin - cart66

With both the free and paid version, you get features such as:
? Order management
? Tax by location
? International selling
? Choose your currency
? Send customizable receipts by email
? Different product variations
? Affiliate program*

*In order to use the affiliate program, you have to buy the WordPress Affiliate Platform for $49.95.

Although the Lite version is nice, I have to say that the Professional version of this plugin is one of the best E-Commerce plugins available. It allows you to easily place a Terms of Service option in the checkout page (which is something Google looks for), integrate Google Analytics, and even allows you to have recurring payments and subscriptions for SaaS. In addition to all of this, they integrate several different modules such as:

? Constant Contact– Email marketing

? Spreedly– Managing Payments

? Zendesk– Providing customer support

? Gravity Forms– Creating forms

? iDevAffiliate– Affiliate program

? Mailchimp– Email marketing

I highly recommend using Cart66 specifically for selling digital products or services, but it can still definitely be used for physical goods as well. Another nice benefit of this plugin is that it allows you to add your store into your existing WordPress theme instead of requiring an E-Commerce theme. Through the use of shortcodes and easy customizable CSS, you can completely customize the look of your online store within WordPress. However, if you don?t want to deal with coding at all, simply use one of their Themes specifically made to work for Cart66. Aside from the higher than average price point for the pro version, this plugin is great.

Try out Cart66: Download

4. eShop

The last E-Commerce plugin for WordPress I want to tell you about is called eShop. Here is another fairly lightweight plugin. The great thing about eShop is that it is very much community driven. Meaning a lot of the features that really help it stand out were developed by their community. In order to get the most out of this plugin, I highly suggest making use of the Community Add-ons.

Some of the great additions from the community include:

? CSV Import: This makes it very easy to import bulk products into your store

? Affiliates: Set up an affiliate program for your store

? Handling Fee Add-On: This allows you to add a cost of for Handling in addition to the shipping cost from your carriers.

The plugin includes a lot of the features that you would expect/need from an E-Commerce plugin such as sales data/reporting, product variation, allow customers to create accounts, discounts, and inventory management. One downside to this plugin is that they don?t support as many Merchant gateways as the other plugins mentioned. Currently they support PayPal and Cash/Checks. They do offer other Gateways such as Authorize.net and iDeal, but they do not offer support for them.

A cool feature of this plugin is that you can actually use it as just a product catalogue without having the shopping cart integration to make sales. So for Call To Order businesses, this plugin would be ideal.

eshop-screenshot

I have to say that while this plugin doesn?t have nearly as many features as WooCommerce or Cart66, it is extremely easy to use. Products are added through making new posts or pages, and as you can see in the image above, all you have to do is enter in the values and you?re set. It?s highly recommended that you use the Category Grid View Gallery plugin so that you can have a nice looking store front for your E-Commerce site.

Try out eShop: Download

5. E-Commerce Themes

Typically the easiest way to set up an online storefront is by using a WordPress E-Commerce theme. These are themes with online shopping features built in and are used in conjunction with plugins to set up your own online store.

As you saw with the plugins mentioned above, most of them have themes specifically designed to work with them. I recommend E-Commerce themes for people who want to jump right into selling online but don?t necessarily have the technical skill/experience to start everything from scratch. The themes compliment the plugins and give you a great place to start out. If you?re using the WooCommerce plugin, I suggest checking out the Woothemes website for themes. The Cart66 website also provides you a list of themes that integrate well with the plugin. If you don?t see anything there you like, visit Themeforest for a wide selection of E-Commerce WordPress themes.

I ll be more than happy to help you with any WordPress Hosting related issues. For creating an ultimate store using these Ecommerce WordPress Shopping Cart Plugins, I would highly recommend hosting WordPress on the Cloud. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Enjoy!

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