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Best Shopify Apps in 2020: Top 40 Free and Paid Apps

Shopify is one of the easiest ways to start an online store and sell products worldwide.

One of the toughest decisions on Shopify is choosing between the hundreds of apps that are available for you. That is why we have created this post covering the best Shopify apps to solve different purposes in your store.

We have curated a list of 50 must-have free and paid apps for your Shopify store. These apps will help your products get seen more on the web, promote your store, sell your products, help you with shipping and returns, and much more.

We’ve broken this post down into eleven categories, so if you are looking for specific functionality, you can skim through that category to find what you need.

Now, some of these categories could have free options, paid options, or a mix of both. We will specify the pricing and the best use for the app in each.

Let’s get started!

Shopify Apps for Fulfillment

Shopify store owners have to have a place to source their products. A great app that helps you find and source your new products can really jumpstart your business.

Here are a few apps that can help you with that:

1. Oberlo

Oberlo Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free up to 500 products and 50 orders a month.
Price: Free to $79.90/month
Best Used For: Dropshipping Products[/alert-note]

Oberlo is one of the top-rated apps at allowing you to add products to your store and dropshipping them straight to your customers.

You can select products from AliExpress and Oberlo Marketplace from where you can list products on your Shopify site with a few clicks.

Oberlo fulfills orders for you, customizes products, and connects with your existing products. Oberlo is free to install and use until you add either 500 products to your store or reach 50 orders a month. After that, you must upgrade to a paid plan.

2. Printful

Printful Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free to install. No monthly membership.
Price: Percentage of the product you are creating.
Best Used For: Print-on-Demand Products[/alert-note]

Printful is a print-on-demand fulfillment center that gives you the opportunity to sell any kind of products that can be printed with whatever design you would like. You can create designs for shirts, socks, totes, canvases and more.

Once you connect your site to Printful, if anyone orders the products, they collect the order, print the item, and send it to your customer without you ever having to look at the shirt or whatever kind of product it is. This is a great way for a big brand to make sales without going through the hassle of buying hundreds of shirts or phone cases and having a physical inventory.

Depending on what you sell, Printful makes a percentage (often less than a dollar) on the items you sell. So they only get money when you make sales, which means you don’t really have to think twice about installing and using this app.

3. WC Fulfillment

WC Fulfillment Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free to install.
Price: Free Program and $9.99/month program for better pricing.
Best Used For: Print-on-Demand Products[/alert-note]

WC Fulfillment is a second option like Printful. There are a couple of different print-on-demand apps out there and we’ve learned that each one has different products.

You might want to do T-Shirts through one supplier and hoodies from another. The material or price could be better for certain vendors.

These apps give you the opportunity to do that, and just like Printful, WC Fulfillment handles everything pertaining to the order. They supply the product and ship it to them and even send them tracking push notifications, so the customer knows when they would receive their order.

One difference between WC Fulfillment and Printful is that WC Fulfillment gives you the option to pay $9.99/month to get a cheaper rate on their products. For example, their Unisex T-Shirt costs $19.49 on the free plan and $15.99 on the premium plan. Obviously, this comes down to if you make enough sales to offset the costs. You’ll have to crunch those numbers and see which option is best for you.

Shopify Apps for SEO

One of the most common ways people find products online is through search engines. Even if they find out about a product in using social media or other references, the very first instinct is to Google it as well.

Ranking on the search engines is more important than ever before.

These are some apps that can help you get on that first page:

1. SEO Image Optimizer

SEO Image Optimizer Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Optimize Images[/alert-note]

Google is one of the best ways to get traffic to your Shopify store. Google Images is a big part of the traffic that you can get from the search engine.

Just the unboxed Shopify site doesn’t have a way for you to optimize your images for Google Image Search.

With SEO Image Optimizer, you can add alt tags to your images. This helps them rank better in the images section of Google and sends you free traffic. As a free app, it can’t hurt to spend a little time to get this traffic flowing in.

2. Plug In SEO

Plug In SEO Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free. Can Upgrade to $20/month for more features
Best Used For: SEO Help[/alert-note]

SEO on your Shopify store isn’t the easiest thing. Luckily, this app is basically like an assistant to your search engine optimization goals. It tells you when you have a search engine ranking problem and how to fix it. Of course, another reason why it makes this ranking is that it’s free!

3. SEO Images All‑In‑One SEO

SEO Images All In One Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free. Can Upgrade from $6.99/month to $19.99/month
Best Used For: SEO for images[/alert-note]

The app we mentioned that also did SEO for images was really for allowing you to alter your alt text for better rankings. This app allows you to compress, resize, and back up your images along with the SEO things you need as well.

Compressing your images allows your Shopify site to run faster and load easier. They have a free plan that comes with everything you need. You can also upgrade your plan if you have a lot of photos on your store.

Shopify Apps for Social Media & Content

After search engines, the next best way to get traffic is through social media and content creation. Displaying your products that you and your customers love to the world will help bring lots more traffic to your site and hopefully increase your sales.

Here are some apps to help your social media game:

1. Kit

Kit Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Facebook Ads Marketing[/alert-note]

Taking a jump into paid advertising can be scary. Kit is a “virtual employee” that helps manage these paid marketing campaigns for you for free. Once you install the app, all you have to do is send a few messages and go through the chat and Kit will help you with the ads you want to run – social media ads, retargeting etc.

This app is free to install and you’ll only be charged by Facebook or Instagram for the ads you’re running. This is a charge that you would be incurring anyway using these platforms.

2. InstaFeed

InstaFeed Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free Plan
Price: Free or $3.99-$9.99/month program
Best Used For: Displaying your Instagram feed on Shopify sites[/alert-note]

Word-of-mouth marketing apps and social media can have a big influence on a customer buying a product. If your new customers see other people using your products and your social media content, they might be more inclined to make a purchasing decision.

InstaFeed has lots of different ways for you to show off your Instagram photos so you can turn your ecommerce business into a gallery.

3. Instagram shop by SNPT

Instagram Shop Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Marketing on Instagram[/alert-note]

Do you have an Instagram feed where people are always asking where they can buy your products? With this app, you have an Instagram link in your bio that takes users to another shop that looks like Instagram but has all the links for the products, clothing, art, or whatever it is right in the picture.

All the user has to do is click on the item they want to purchase and it takes them to your Shopify store or wherever it is on the web.

4. Social Media Stream

Social Media Stream

[alert-note]Free Trial: 14-Day Free Trial
Price: $4.95/month -$39/month
Best Used For: Social Media Feed[/alert-note]

Maybe you have content on other sites than just Instagram. Social Media stream allows you to show off the content that you have on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest all together in one widget on your store.

Customers can also follow and like the accounts from your store as well. The minimal account allows you to have one stream with all your content on it and updates every 24 hours.

Depending on your plan, you have an unlimited number of streams and almost a real-time refresh rate. Depending on your social media needs, you can get whichever plan you believe is needed.

5. Pocket

Pocket Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free or $4.99/month without ads
Best Used For: Content Curation and Saving[/alert-note]

Pocket is more of an extension on your browser than a Shopify app but it still helps if you create content for your Shopify store. This allows you to save content you find on the web and easily find it later.

This way, when you’re looking for more things to write for your store, you can hop over to your Pocket and find the content on your favorite topics and get it for free.

6. Related Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Content Curation[/alert-note]

If your Shopify site has a blog, one of the best ways to increase time on site and readership is to promote your other blog posts to your reader. That is what this app does.

Related Blog Posts suggests articles that the viewer might want to read based on the article they are already reading on your site. They have customization options so you can decide how many posts you want to show off and more.

7. Socialphotos

SocialPhotos Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial
Price: $10/month – $50/month
Best Used For: Social Proof from customer’s using your product[/alert-note]

Socialphotos is an app that helps win customer confidence by showing off customers that have promoted your products using social media. This doesn’t have to be paying influencers to promote your product pages. Any time your customer puts product reviews of yours on the web and says they like it, you can show it off with this app on your store.

This app tracks hashtags and usernames that get tagged and collect the photos for you. So if you have a big brand, you can just log in to see what posts have been made about your company.

Shopify Apps for Email Marketing

Email marketing will make up most of your repeat customers and eventually become your biggest moneymaker if you do it right. These apps can help you on your way to loads of returning monthly income.

1. MailerLite

MailerLite Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever Free Plan
Price: Free plan along with paid plans starting at $10/month
Best Used For: Email Marketing for beginners[/alert-note]

MailerLite is used by 550,000+ small businesses and their forever free plan makes it easy for small ecommerce store owners to get used to email marketing without having to invest a lot of money to learn how to do it.

2. CM Commerce

CM Commerce Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial
Price: Varies based on the number of emails sent to the number of people.
Best Used For: Email Marketing[/alert-note]

CM Commerce is an email marketing automation from the Shopify app store that sends different kinds of email campaigns to your customers and viewers based on your automation settings. One of the most popular settings is the abandoned carts option.

This is when someone adds a product to their cart but leaves the site before purchasing. This is called cart abandonment and the app can email them automatically telling them to come back and purchase their product, which leads to more sales.

CM Commerce also sends receipts to your recent buyers and you can send discount codes and other things on the receipts that could entice them to come back and purchase more from your store later.

3. OptinMonster

Optinmonster Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: None
Price: $49/month
Best Used For: Building Your Email List[/alert-note]

OptinMonster is one of the top options for any company when it comes to building an email list. They have pop-up boxes, scroll boxes, floating bars, and they are popular for their exit-intent pop-ups.

OptinMonster can also display certain pop-ups based on where the customer experience is on your site. If you have a clothing brand and your customer is in the shoe section and tries to leave, a coupon specifically for shoes can pop up trying to get them to stay and purchase.

OptinMonster is user-friendly and only has a paid plan.

4. OptiMonk

Optimonk Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: 14-Day Free Trial
Price: $29/month
Best Used For: Building Your Email List[/alert-note]

OptiMonk has all the features you could need to build an email list. Their exit-intent popups can help recover a lot of leaving visitors and create more money for your store. OptiMonk also allows you to integrate your pop-ups with Facebook messenger which can create an entirely new sales channel for your store.

Shopify Apps for Customer Service

In a world where customers want things done simply and quickly, customer service is more important now than ever before. Customers want to be able to speak to someone when they have any questions about your products.

A prompt reply is tough, but here are some apps that can help you combat this:

1. Messenger

Messenger Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Facebook Messenger Marketing[/alert-note]

Messenger is a Shopify developed-app that allows you to talk to customers while they are surfing your site. If a customer has a question, they can simply ask it in the bottom right corner of their screen and you or one of your support members can answer to help them.

2. HelpCenter

Helpcenter Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free and paid plan at $4.95/month
Best Used For: FAQ page builder[/alert-note]

Shopify has the ability for you to create pages for frequently asked questions.

HelpCenter creates a searchable FAQ page and you can customize it the way you want it. You can add sections, categories, articles and more to help answer questions that your customers might have so they don’t have to ask you for support or, even worse, leave the page.

3. Improved Contact Form

Improved Contact Form Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free and paid plans at $12-$29/month
Best Used For: Customer Service[/alert-note]

Sometimes a live chat isn’t always needed. A contact form can be an easy way for your customers to get the responses they need without you having to be at your phone 24/7 to answer their questions.

This contact form allows you to see analytics of where the user asking you a question has visited on your site and the ability to answer questions to solve their needs.

4. Gorgias

Gorgias Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: 7-day Free Trial
Price: Plans starting at $60/month
Best Used For: High-Quality Customer Service[/alert-note]

If your Shopify store is growing, there will come a time where just a live chat or FAQ page isn’t enough. That’s when it might be time to add something like Gorgias to your site. Gorgias is a customer support app that has options for email, live chat, phone, Facebook messaging and integrates with other apps on your store as well.

This app streamlines your support tickets and you can also create automated messages to answer questions for you. Once you have lots of requests a month, this might have to be an option to help your store stay right.

Shopify Apps for Media & Images

Bad images on your site can make all the difference between a website visitor and a customer. These apps allow your images to look the best and make life easier for you.

1. Crush.Pics

Crush Pics Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $4.99/month
Best Used For: Image Compression[/alert-note]

High-quality pictures of your products have a downside. They take up a lot of space and can slow down your site. This app compresses the image to a size that keeps the quality great and decreases the chance of it slowing down your site.

Images are very important for a Shopify store, but what’s even more important is site speed. With Crush.Pics, you can have both.

2. Bulk Image Edit

Bulk Image Edit

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $9.99/month
Best Used For: Image Edits[/alert-note]

There will come a point on your Shopify store’s lifetime where you’ll have hundreds of pictures on the site. You might need to edit lots of these photos for a number of reasons. You might change a logo or title name, resize to match a different theme or more.

This app allows you to do just a couple of clicks to change all those pictures instead of doing the same clicks for each and every picture.

3. Cool Image Magnifier – Zoom

Cool Image Magnifier Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial
Price: $2.99/month
Best Used For: Zoom on your products and pictures[/alert-note]

Sometimes customers want to be able to see a product and zoom in on certain aspects. This app allows you to do just that. Showcase your products and what’s important about them with a perfect zoom.

Shopify Apps for Shipping & Returns

If there is one thing in your business you don’t want problems with, it’s the shipping of your products. The more seamless this process is, the better. These apps should help out in shipping your products and those pesky returns you might get.

1. Free Shipping Bar

Free Shipping Bar Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Offer Free Shipping[/alert-note]

This app doesn’t necessarily help with shipping, but it does entice your viewers to add more to their cart in order to get free shipping. This bar allows you to display the offer that will give your customers free shipping. Adding this app should increase sales overall for no extra cost to you.

2. AfterShip Returns Center

Aftership Returns Center

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free to install
Price: Pay based on returns. Paid plans starting at $9/month for a lower rate
Best Used For: Handling Returns[/alert-note]

Even if you do everything else right, sometimes a customer will just want to return a product. With AfterShip, the process is simple. They give you a return center and address that lets customers submit returns with a couple of clicks.

The app is free to install and they handle the process for you for your first five returns a month. If you have any more on the free plan, its $2 per return. If you upgrade to a paid plan, it is fifty cents per return.

3. Easyship

EasyShip Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free to install
Price: Cost depends on shipping fees and options selected.
Best Used For: Shipping to customers[/alert-note]

Easyship gives you and your customers flexible shipping options for them to choose from. You get competitive rates for local and international shipping and it provides you with the cheapest and fastest couriers in the country.

Easyship also syncs your orders and print labels in one click and updates them as they are fulfilled with the tracking number.

Shopify Apps for Reviews & Trust

Reviews and trust icons can make a big difference on whether people will purchase something on your website or just search it and go to another site. These apps can help create that trust factor that your site needs to make a sale.

1. Trust Hero

Trust hero Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Displays trust icons[/alert-note]

People are still very careful when buying things online. Trust Hero shows your customers that the checkout is secure and your Shopify store can handle Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay and other payment systems.

Adding trust badges will increase your sales and this app is free to install.

2. YotPo

YotPo Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free to install
Price: Free Plan up to 50 Monthly Orders then Upgrade to $49/month
Best Used For: Get More Customer Reviews[/alert-note]

Customer reviews allow stores to have more social proof, which can influence the buying process of your customers tremendously. YotPo is the #1 app to help you get more reviews for your site, which will drive more traffic and help you increase your conversion rate.

3. TrustPulse

TrustPulse Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Limited Free Plan
Price: Free plan for 0-500 sessions/month. Must upgrade after.
Best Used For: Social Proof for customers[/alert-note]

TrustPulse leverages social proof by showing a small popup of what other users have bought or looked on your site. It tracks events in real-time, targets customers and shows related products to boost sales. The best part, it is easy to setup.

TrustPulse is free for the first 500 sessions on your site. After that, the plans start at $4/month for 1,000 sessions and scales up from there.

Shopify Apps for Rewards & Referrals

We’ve mentioned that word of mouth is a big factor in deciding whether your site will be a big hit or not. These apps promote word of mouth rewards and referrals to help skyrocket your traffic and sales.

1. Rewards and Referrals by Swell

Rewards and Referrals by Swell

[alert-note]Free Trial: Limited Free Plan
Price: Free plan for 0-100 orders/month. Paid plans start at $29/month
Best Used For: Social Proof for customers[/alert-note]

Swell is one of the best referral program apps and allows you to give your customers rewards for writing reviews or referring customers to your store. You can also reward them for sharing on social media and making purchases.

This app basically allows you to create a loyalty program for your Shopify store. It integrates with a lot of Shopify apps along with Facebook, YotPo, Hubspot and more.

2. ReferralCandy

Referral Candy Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial
Price: $49/month
Best Used For: Referral Marketing[/alert-note]

ReferralCandy is another app that allows you to incentivize your customers to share your store with their friends. There are lots of different ways to give rewards to such customers.

Once again, this app integrates with marketing tools like MailChimp and automatically delivers rewards to the customers who participate, so you don’t have to. It is a paid app with a free trial, so maybe start out with Rewards and Referrals and upgrade to ReferralCandy when ready.

3. Smile.io

Smile.io Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Limited Free Plan
Price: Free plan and paid plans starting at $49/month
Best Used For: Create Loyalty Programs[/alert-note]

Loyal customers can make a big difference when it comes to customers sticking with one brand. With this app, you can create a customer loyalty program that entices customers to become VIPs of your brand and make repeat purchases on your Shopify store.

The free plan has all the basic features and then the upgraded plans have even more ways to reward customers, customizability, and doesn’t come with the Smile.io branding.

Shopify Apps for Upselling

The hardest part of running a Shopify store is getting a customer on the site. Once they’re on your site, you want to make sure your sale is as high as possible. Here are some apps to help you achieve that.

1. ReCharge

Recharge Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: 60-Day Free Trial
Price: $39.99/month
Best Used For: Subscription Businesses[/alert-note]

If you have a store for people that buy things every month or a few times a year, you might want to think about opening a subscription company. With an app like ReCharge, the tech side of rebilling them every time will be taken care of.

2. Bundle Upsell

Bundle Upsell

[alert-note]Free Trial: 7-Day Free Trial
Price: $47/month
Best Used For: Adding Upsells[/alert-note]

Bundle Upsell allows you to upsell items that are similar or equal to the products your customer is already buying. If they are buying a plant, maybe they want two others like it. If they are buying a bow for one daughter, maybe they want another bow for their other daughter.

With this app, you can customize the way the items will be shown to the customers and generate more money and higher average order value for your store.

3. Personalized Recommendations

Personalized Recommendations Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free to install
Price: 4% of any sales the app upsells for you
Best Used For: Personalized Upsells for your customer[/alert-note]

Personalized Recommendations tracks your customers’ actions and what they are clicking on and gives them product recommendations. The app analyzes the shopping experience of your customers and doesn’t cost you anything unless people buy extra from you.

It is really a great way to engage with the user and generate more sales.

4. Candy Rack

Candy Rack Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: 14-Day Free Trial
Price: $39.99/month
Best Used For: Upsells and Cross-selling[/alert-note]

Candy Rack allows you to create opportunities for customers to buy things as they are about to check out, just like at your local grocery store. Create product upsells, cross-sells, and bundles that you design yourself or go with the predefined ones.

The one-click option allows them to see something and just click one button to add it to their order, which is super simple and easy on your customer to increase your average order.

Shopify Apps for Miscellaneous

There are multiple other functionalities that are needed in every Shopify store that don’t necessarily fall under the categories that we listed above. Here are some apps to help you out if your business needs them.

1. Xero

Xero Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Free Plan Available
Price: Free to $59.99/Month
Best Used For: Accounting for Ecommerce[/alert-note]

We all want to make sure we’re careful when it comes to our accounting. Not only do we want to track our revenue and expenses, but we also want to track how much we should be putting away for taxes. Xero can help you with that.

2. Digital Downloads

Digital Downloads Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Selling digital products[/alert-note]

Shopify created this app to sell digital products on their platform. If you sell digital products and need them delivered for you, this app can take care of it. It gives the customer a direct download link right after the payment is complete so they can get started with your content, music, or anything else you might want to send them digitally.

3. Auto Currency Switcher

Auto Currency Switcher Shopify App

[alert-note]Free Trial: Forever
Price: Free
Best Used For: Convert Currency[/alert-note]

This app converts the currency on your site to the currency of the customer’s location based on Geo-Location based country detection. Customers have the option to see the prices in their local currency or the default currency which is mentioned on your store.

Conclusion

We hope this article helped you find the best Shopify apps for your store. Depending on your business, you need different apps, which is why we created such a vast list.

If you have any questions about any of these apps, please be sure to ask them in the comments and we’ll be sure to answer them.

Categories
WordPress

18 Best WordPress Booking and Reservation Plugins

In the past, scheduling a doctor’s appointment or reserving a room at a hotel was a long waiting process.

Clients had to look up for a phone number and speak to a representative, or contact them via email and wait for a response, or worst still, visit their offices in person to book an appointment.

Today, booking and placing reservations for your customers doesn’t have to be a complicated process, especially if your website runs on the WordPress platform, thanks to the numerous WordPress booking plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory.

These plugins offer an all-in-one solution that allows your clients to reserve and schedule appointments straight from your website without the need to call, send emails, or visit your office.

These powerful tools ensure that everything is kept in order and prevent the chaos associated with too much paperwork. Apart from that, most of these tools integrate with payment gateways allowing you to charge fees and collect payments directly through your website.

So, does your website run on the WordPress platform? Do you run an online business that relies on reserving client’s bookings? If your answer is YES, then this post is for you.

Check out the 18 best WordPress booking and reservation plugins you can install on your website to help you take your business to the next level as well as make it look more professional.

But before we dive in, let’s have a quick look at some pointers.

WordPress Booking and Reservation Plugin: What to Look For

As aforementioned, WordPress offers a handful of booking and reservation plugins in its directory- both free and premium. However, all of them do not offer the same features. As such, you need to consider your business model.

For instance, an optician’s office may need to disclose the various services offered as well as the specific times. A gym, on the other hand, might have more than one trainer. As such, each trainer’s schedule must be correctly listed on the site.

That said, it’s vital to consider each of the plugin’s features as well as how its functionality will benefit your business.

Here are some features to look out for.

[alert-note]
Customizability: Ensure that the calendar you choose can easily be placed wherever you want it on your website.

Mobile-friendliness: We live in an age where people access the internet via smartphones. For this reason, your calendar choice must be responsive. What this means is that it must be capable of loading or adapting to different screen sizes presented to it.

Payment integration: If you plan on accepting payments for appointments via your website, it’s necessary for you to look for a plugin that integrates with different payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, etc.

Email confirmations and reminders: Confirmation emails are sent for the sole purpose of confirming that a particular online booking has been confirmed and that the process is complete. Reminders, on the other hand, provide multiple opportunities to remind your customers of their appointments. Reminders help reduce no-shows. They can as well decide to cancel or reschedule their appointment if the need arises. Look for a plugin that offers these features.

Filterable and searchable: Consider installing a booking plugin that allows you to filter events and has a search function that allows your customers to find events in a hurry.

Service provider support for multiple employees: If you run a gym where you have more than one instructor, for instance, it’s ideal to have a plugin that enables you to display the instructors’ profile as well as their calendar schedule.

Edit bookings: Another important feature to consider is the capability for your clients to view and edit their bookings.
[/alert-note]

There are numerous other features to look out for. We recommend that you choose the features based on your business needs.

Reasons Why You Might Need a WordPress Booking and Reservations Plugin

There are different situations when you might need to install a booking plugin on your website. We have sampled a few situations and listed them below.

  • If you run a practice such as a dental or law practice, you can install a booking plugin to make it easy for your clients to book appointments with you.
  • If you assist people to book accommodation in hotels or reserve rooms.
  • If you run a travel agency where you assist people to make travel plans.
  • If you assist people with booking flights.
  • If you run a car hire service or taxi business.

Having said that, now let’s look at the various booking and reservation plugins.

Best WordPress Booking and Reservation Plugins – Detailed Reviews

[num 1] Amelia

Amelia

Apart from being popular, Amelia is one of the most powerful WordPress plugins ever designed. With this plugin, you do not need sticky notes. The reason being, it gives your clients a chance to book your services at any time of day. Simply put, the Amelia plugin is simple, flexible, and manageable.

Offered in both free and premium versions, the plugin embeds cutting-edge software architecture to ensure that your appointment bookings are fully automated.

All elements from backend API and UX to the user interface are professionally designed to ensure that the plugin works across various enterprise platforms – big or small. So, regardless of whether you run a salon, spa, or dental practice, Amelia will most likely work for you.

The plugin includes easy to use features that simplify the process of creating appointment booking forms and include various built-in functions such as support for multiple employees that enable you to add specific services, hours available, and time-off for each employee.

Along with that, the plugin allows you to send email and SMS notifications to remind your clients and employees of their appointment.

Additionally, it integrates with various payment gateways for onsite payments and syncs with Google Calendar making it easy for your clients to keep track of their appointments.

[num 2] Booknetic

booknet

Booknetic is another powerful and premium WordPress booking and reservation plugin. Featuring a modern and responsive design, the Booknetic plugin presents you with a simple way to build a perfectly tailored booking and appointment forms for your business.

But that’s not all, the plugin’s modern and elegant UX is both intuitive and attractive to ensure improved user experience.

Just like Amelia, this powerful plugin allows you to completely automate your booking process and customize it for your users.

For example, you can add booking steps for your clients as well as add bookings to employees’ calendars automatically. You can also use other built-in options in the live form builder to add locations, customize the overall design, and change the color schemes to your liking.

What’s more, the plugin integrates with various online payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe. It also integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce, which enables you to add other payment options.

Other amazing features include built-in support for email and SMS notifications, Google Calendar synchronization, and the option for users to make one-time, recurring, or group appointments.

[num 3] WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments

WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments

Developed by PluginHive, the WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments plugin is an end-to-end WordPress booking and reservations plugin designed for business owners.

The plugin integrates well with any type of business that needs a booking system.

With this plugin, you can convert any existing WooCommerce product or service into a bookable resource. You can also sell products and take bookings for other products or services.

Along with that, you can offer appointments in fixed time slots based on your liking.

For example, you can configure bookings duration in minutes, hours, or months. You can also configure bookings for a range of days to allow multiple day bookings for your clients.

What’s more, the calendar has a booking cost feature that allows you to set the booking cost in order to set different prices for different appointments or bookings. For example, the plugin’s Dynamic Total Booking Cost clientele allows your team to charge appointments based on their expertise.

The plugin also allows options for email notifications, Google calendar synchronization, multi-lingual support, file attachments, and is compatible with WPML. The plugin is offered in both free and paid versions.

[num 4] Bookly

Bookly is another WordPress booking and reservation plugin that offers lots of fantastic features coupled with an intuitive interface. It’s a great option for users who do not want to custom code.

Offered in both free and paid plans, this modernized plugin is fully customizable and mobile responsive, which makes it easy for users to book and make appointments while on the go.

The plugin offers support for online payments and gives you the option to set different prices, where each team member can create unique pricing and availabilities. For example, if you run a gym and have multiple instructors.

Moreover, the plugin integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce for more payment options and Google Calendar, making it easy for your customers to keep track of their appointments.

Notably, you can send both email and SMS confirmations via this plugin as well as import and export your client list. Overall, Bookly is a total steal, especially for small businesses looking to add the booking functionality on their website.

[num 5] Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms

Developed by Rocketgenius, the Gravity Forms plugin is a flexible online WordPress booking system designed for businesses. It is a fully customizable booking form thanks to its advanced drag-and-drop interface.

The plugin features a responsive design that allows your clients to book appointments from any device. Speaking of mobile, the plugin also supports SMS notifications.

What’s more, GF’s front end management allows both the client and the service provider to view their appointments on the front-end. It also supports different payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and others.

Other notable features include endless color schemes, multi-lingual support, as well as a personalized schedule that allows you to customize your work schedule, including holidays and breaks.

[num 6] Book an Appointment Online Pro

Book an appointment online PRO

If you are looking for an online booking system that makes it a breeze to create and manage online appointments on your WordPress site, then the Book an Appointment Online Pro is worth a shot.

The plugin allows you to display your services all in one place. In addition, it comes with numerous premium features such as Google Maps integration, sign up forms, email notifications, and ten different booking modes.

Besides that, this plugin comes with an in-built feature that helps prevent overbooking from customers by only displaying the available slots.

It also allows payment collection from customers via WooCommerce payment gateways such as Stripe, 2checkout, PayPal, etc.

As aforementioned, the plugin allows you to display your services in 10 different ways, which allows your clients to have multiple booking choices.

For example, they can make a single day booking, single day and time booking, time range with single day booking, continuous day bookings, round trip booking, and many more options.

Like most premium booking plugins, the Book an Appointment Online Pro plugin allows you to assign staff members to any available appointments.

Last but not least, the plugin is fully compatible with GDPR compliance and is fully translation ready. You can do translations via WPML and Polylang or via PoEdit.

[num 7] Bookme Pro

Bookme Pro

Developed by Bylancer, Bookme Pro is a powerful WordPress booking and scheduling tool. It’s easy to use and makes it super easy to manage your clientele regardless of the kind of business you run.

It’s an ideal choice for individuals who run clinics, spas, institutions, and other types of businesses that rely on their websites to make reservations.

It has an intuitive and powerful admin panel that allows you to have full control and manage your client’s appointments.

In addition, it has a fully responsive front-end design that allows your customers to make appointments, whether on mobile devices or computers.

When it comes to customization, the plugin allows you to show or hide any fields on the booking form as well as add as many booking forms as you require.

Along with that, you can manage bookings in either daily, weekly, or monthly formats, add client time zones, and configure schedules and time-offs.

What’s more, you can send SMS notifications to your customers to alert them about their appointment. The plugin is offered as a free version, but you can also unlock more advanced features by paying for the full version.

Some of the advanced features you’ll get with the premium version include Google Calendar integration, payment gateways, an unlimited number of staff members etc.

[num 8] Vik Appointments

VikAppointments

Vik Appointments is an online WordPress booking system that allows you to create and schedule appointments for your customers.

Packed with a plethora of features, this plugin presents a powerful solution to cater for your business booking needs.

To begin with, the plugin allows you to manage bookings of various services or employees, add time slots, pricing, event capacity, and service or employee availability.

This makes it easy for your clients to book appointments with ease, regardless of whether it a doctor’s appointment or a consultation with your therapist.

Moreover, the plugin allows you to offer reservation discount coupons as well as generate invoices for your customers. It also has options for setting up automatic email and SMS notifications for confirmation of new bookings, cancellation, or follow up with reminders.

The plugin also integrates with various payment gateways allowing you to accept online payments. However, you have to upgrade to the pro version to enjoy these features.

[num 9] Appointment Booking Calendar

Appointment Booking Calendar

The Appointment Booking Calendar is a simple WordPress plugin ideal for business owners or individuals with basic booking needs that are not worth paying for.

This free plugin brings with it greater functionality than you would get from most free versions.

Some outstanding features that come with this plugin include email notifications, bookable time slots, Google Drive exports, ability to print booking lists, and captchas.

You can also customize availability as well to freeze how many times your customers can book for appointments.

However, if you intend to charge your users for booking appointments, you’ll need to opt for the premium version. This is because the free version doesn’t support payment gateway integrations.

[num 10] Webba Booking

Webba Booking

The Webba Booking plugin is an online booking and appointment system with numerous incredible features that you need to streamline your business.

Not only does it offer a comfortable booking solution, but it also creates a satisfying experience for customers with the intent of scheduling your services.

But, what does this plugin offer?

Like most premium plugins, this plugin is fully customizable to fit in with your website’s design. It comes with 79 presets that you can use or further develop. Along with that, the Webba Booking plugin has an option that allows you to add custom fields to the booking form.

What’s more, the plugin integrates seamlessly with Google calendar allowing you to send appointment notifications to your clients. Receiving online payments through your website is also a breeze because it supports PayPal payments.

The plugin also allows you to send notifications and reminders automatically. For those who would like to print appointments, it’s good to know the plugin also supports CSV exports.

[num 11] Booki

If you are looking for a feature-rich WordPress plugin for creating and managing online reservations and appointments, the Booki plugin is worth a shot.

Developed by Typps, an app development company, this plugin is an ideal choice for scheduling accommodation, taxi, meeting, gym, and spa appointments. It simply supports both appointment and reservation-based bookings.

What’s more, it integrates seamlessly with PayPal allowing your clients to make payments.

It also has a cart system that enables the purchasing of multiple bookings. As if that’s not enough, the plugin integrates with Mailchimp allowing you to offer discounts via coupons.

[num 12] Calendarista

Developed and maintained by Typps, the team behind Booki, Calendarista is an all-inclusive WordPress booking and reservation system. Its design enables businesses and individuals to schedule and accept online appointments.

The system can be used to make reservations in spas, restaurants, clinics, and more. Some notable features include WooCommerce support, three payment gateways, form builder, and Google maps integration.

The plugin comes with a backend calendar view to enable easy scheduling and booking. You can also print appointments since the plugin supports CSV exports.

[num 13] MotoPress Hotel Booking Plugin

MotoPress

The MotoPress Hotel Booking is an ultimate and comprehensive booking system specifically designed for individuals who run hotels, lodgings, apartments, and other similar establishments.

This standalone plugin integrates seamlessly with any WordPress theme and allows you to make online reservations. Along with that, the plugin supports automatic synchronization with popular OTAs such as AirBnB via iCal format.

What more, you do not need to add or customize any shortcodes for you to use it, making it an easy to use tool even for non-techy business owners.

It offers options such as flexible booking rules, automatic inventory control, email confirmations, seasonal pricing and rates, discount coupons, and more.

The system also integrates with various payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, and other payment systems offered by the WooCommerce add-on.

Overall, the MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin is a comprehensive system that you’ll want to add to your WordPress site if you run either of the above business establishments.

[num 14] Easy Appointments

Easy Appointments

Just like the name suggests, Easy Appointments is an easy and simple way to facilitate the booking of appointments on your WordPress site.

To begin with, the plugin comes with an incredibly intuitive user interface that makes it easy to create booking forms. It supports multiple services, staff members, and locations.

Its timetable is superbly flexible, allowing you to create advanced timetable options. Moreover, it includes the option to send customizable emails to your clients once an appointment is confirmed.

Other features include the option to add labels or prices, add custom form fields, bulk custom builders, and localize the date picker.

[num 15] Booking Calendar

Booking Calendar

Booking Calendar is probably the oldest and a well-known WordPress booking plugin. It’s a great choice for most businesses and offers unpatrolled flexibility when it comes to booking appointments.

It’s customizable and sleek design makes it blend well with your website’s design. Moreover, it’s fully responsive. This means that every user can make an appointment from any mobile device or computer since it adapts to different screen sizes.

In addition, all the bookings are stored in your database, so you do not need to have third-party accounts. This ensures that you have a full summary of the bookings by day, week, or month.

The import of events from Google Calendar is also possible via Booking Calendar’s Booking Manager.

[num 16] Sagenda

Sagenda

Sagenda is an online reservation solution designed for freelancers and project owners working with clients. Offered for free, this plugin allows your clients to books appointments at no extra cost.

One feature that makes it so unique is that there is no limit to the number of bookings. To use the plugin, you must first create an account after which an authentication code for verifying the plugin is sent. You can then install the plugin to allow your clients to make appointments.

Unlike most free plugins, Sagenda integrates with PayPal and credit cards, allowing your clients to make payments. It also supports numerous languages such as Spanish, French, Hindu, Russian, etc.

As you can see, there are numerous plugins that you can use to automate the booking and reservation process on your website. However, you should keep in mind that the need for every business is different. As such, select one that you feel will work for your situation.

Do share your views about this post in the comments below.

Categories
WordPress

How to Monetize a Blog and Make Money in 2020! Ultimate Guide

A few years ago, the thought of having a blog or making money through your blog seemed like a dream. The few who were lucky to have one had to pay thousands of dollars to set it up and maintain.

Today, setting up a blog is as easy as setting up an email account. All you have to do is get a domain, subscribe to a good web hosting service, download and install WordPress, create content, and you’re ready to go.

But what’s your intention of creating a blog?

Is it to showcase your writing prowess, inspire your audience, express your passion for a particular subject, learn new skills, meet new people, build your online brand, or generate income?

Well, there are numerous reasons why people choose to start blogging. But the truth of the matter is that, for your blog to be successful, you must know what and why you are blogging.

In this article, we will look at the different ways you can leverage blogging as a means of generating income online, either as a side hassle or as a full-time career.

So, whether you want to make an extra $500, $1,000, $10,000 or $1,000,000 per month, this post is for you.

Don’t believe it yet?

Lookup for bloggers such as Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, Neil Patel of neilpatel.com and Kissmetrics co-founder, and Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger, just to name a few. These bloggers have one thing in common. They make over $1 million per year.

With that in mind, now let’s look at the different ways you can monetize your blog on WordPress and make a living blogging.

Why You Need To Start a Blog and Monetize It?

There are many reasons for starting a blog. For those who have not yet joined the bandwagon, here are some of the reasons.

  • Blogging as a hobby
  • To build your online brand
  • To generate income
  • Blogging as an avenue to meet new people
  • Share your life experiences
  • To inspire and showcase your writing skills to your audience

Well, the reasons are endless. But the most important thing is to know why and what you want to blog about, especially if you want to make money.

Primarily because there’s more to blogging than creating content and publishing it on WordPress. You’ll need to market it, add some graphics, handle SEO, handle technical aspects, and more.

However, none of these skills is rocket science and with some little effort and hard work, your journey to blogging and making money online can turn out to be amazingly fruitful.

So, what do you need to start a WordPress blog?

To set up a blog on WordPress, there are two basic things that you’ll require:

  • A domain name: This is the name of your website that people will type on their browser to get to your website, for example, www.mywebsitename.com. There are several domain registrars to choose from, such as Namecheap, GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator, and many more. Typically a domain name costs anywhere between $10 per year to $15 per year.
  • Web hosting serviceThis is where your live blog will be “stored.” Web hosting makes it possible for your visitors to access your blog on the World Wide Web (www). Web hosting typically costs between $3 per month to $10 per month.

We recommend Bluehost for self-hosted WordPress sites. However, you can choose a hosting plan from other providers based on your budget.

Note that when we talk about WordPress, we are referring to wordpress.org and not wordpress.com. The reason we chose wordpress.org is that it’s free. You can also do the setup yourself, hosting, install plugins, and, most importantly monetize it.

Furthermore, the platform is used by nearly all successful blogs on the internet. We are talking about 34% of all websites on the internet.

Setting up Your WordPress Blog: Quick Steps

You are probably wondering, now that I have a domain name and hosting, what’s next?

The process is very simple and it shouldn’t take more than an 20-30 minutes to have your blog up and running. All you have to do is follow the following steps.

Step 1: Download and install WordPress on the hosting server.

Step 2: Select your preferred WordPress theme to control your blog’s visual appearance. There are thousands of both free and premium themes that you can install on your blog. Choose one that is simple in design so as to keep things clean and clear as well as enhance your user experience.

Step 4: Create your first post and publish it. WordPress uses the block-based editor to assist you in creating stunning layouts for your content.

Step 5: Install plugins and customize your blog. Once you’ve published your first post, you’ll need to add some crucial elements. These include newsletter subscriptions, contact forms, sliders, galleries, and many more. Note that elements such contact forms are very crucial when setting up a blog as they help users email you directly

To add these elements, you’ll need to install a plugin. One thing about WordPress is that it has a huge plugin directory. So regardless of what you want to accomplish, there is a plugin for the specific task.

Step 5: Set up Google analytics. Google Analytics enables you to see the number of visitors visiting your blog as well as where they are coming from. It is thus crucial to set up Google Analytics during the early stages.

Step 6: Optimize your blog for SEO. It’s common for most beginners to overlook SEO optimization when beginning to blog. SEO is important as it helps boost your rank in search engines. To get started, install the RankMath SEO plugin.

Step 7: Monetize your blog. Now that your blog is already set, you are most likely thinking of how you’ll make money from it. Well, there are many ways to monetize your site. But truth be told, it is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll need to put in some genuine work.

Here are some legit ways you can use to monetize your blog content.

[num 1] Google AdSense

If you are looking to make money with your blog, the simplest and easiest way is through Google AdSense. To get started on AdSense, all you need to do is add a Google script on your blog that will allow you to display ads.

Google AdSense uses the cost-per-click (CPC) approach where you get paid a set fee every time a user clicks on the ad. The set fee is set by the advertiser.

While Google AdSense can make you a significant amount of income, it’s important to note that Google AdSense depends on the quality of your content you publish on your blog and the amount of traffic it attracts. Basically, the higher the traffic, the better the returns.

Keep in mind that your blog must belong to the AdSense network before you can start displaying ads. This means that your blog must be approved by Google AdSense. You can also try media.net, which is a better AdSense alternative. They have pretty good payouts too.

[num 2] Affiliate Marketing

We cannot talk about blog monetization without talking about affiliate marketing. But what is affiliate marketing and why is it so popular among digital marketers all across the globe?

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy where you, as a blogger, recommend a particular product or service to your audience through your blog using special tracking links. You are then paid a commission by the retailer (mainly e-commerce sites) for the sales and traffic generated from the referrals.

A good example of affiliate marketing is when you create a post about a company you are affiliated with, for example, a clothing line. So, you’ll need to write something that relates to the quality, celebrities who wear their clothing lines, caring for the product, the cost, offers, and more.

Then include a link, button, or banner ads that the reader will use to go directly to the e-commerce site where the item can be purchased and order it based on your recommendations.

The same approach applies when you are recommending services. The best way to getting started with affiliate marketing is to begin recommending products that you have already used or ones that you already use to your readers.

For example, if you use Bluehost to host your site, you can recommend them by signing up for their affiliate program. Other popular places where you can find products to promote and earn a commission include Amazon, Walmart, e-bay, BestBuy, among others.

Once you have chosen the products to promote on your WordPress blog, you can use a plugin like PrettyLinks to manage your affiliate links easily.

[num 3] Become a Freelance Blogger

Another strategy that you can implement to monetize your blog is by offering professional freelance services through your blog. One thing about freelancing is that you do not need to make any upfront investment in terms of money.

Freelance blogging

All you have to do is offer your skills and expertise in your niche area. And if your audience likes what you do, they can hire you to do some tasks for them.

For example, if you are good at baking or coffee making, you can blog about baking or coffee machines and businesses can hire you to create content to help fuel their marketing.

Statistical data indicates that an average freelancer in the US makes an average of $40,000 per annum. This means that the rates may be higher or lower for some freelancers, especially beginners.

However, if your content is pure gold, your audience may be willing to pay higher prices in order to keep you motivated and also, so that you do not dispose of them off for better ones.

Note, however, that as a freelancer, you have to position yourself in the right market or niche in order for you to be able to make money. Some niches, such as the tech niche, need to create fresh content constantly.

This means that they will need to hire writers regularly in order to stay ahead of the game. So as a freelancing blogger, the best thing is to perfect your skills in a specific niche and position yourself in it. Remember, you do not need too much traffic; all you need to showcase is your prowess.

[num 4] Sell EBooks

EBooks are a low-maintenance means of making money online. They are relatively easy to create since mostly what you have to invest is your time and then price them adequately.

sell ebooks

One aspect about EBooks is that you can use them to test how much people are interested in your content and whether they are willing to pay for it.

They are a low-risk strategy of testing whether your visitors are getting value from your content. You also don’t need higher traffic to sell your EBooks. All you need is a perfect marketing strategy and an email list, and you are good to go.

There are a number of ways you can choose to sell your EBook. The simplest and most profitable way is to sell it through your own blog. Through this method, you will get to keep all your profits.

All you need to do is design a good-looking cover and convert it to PDF. You can use a tool like Canva or Photoshop for your cover design and then use Easy Digital Downloads for digital downloads to create your EBook online store.

Another option is to sell your EBook via Amazon Kindle or Kobo. However, if you choose to sell via Amazon kindle, you’ll only keep 70% of the profits.

[num 5] Create and Sell Online Courses

Another lucrative way of monetizing your blog is by selling online courses. Online courses usually sell at a better price tag compared to EBooks since you are selling your expertise.

sell online courses

However, you do not need to be a master in that area. What you need to teach an online course is to know more than your audience and have the skills to represent the information in a manner that exudes value.

For example, you do not have to be a certified pastry cook for you to be able to teach people how to bake. If you can bake better than most people, you can create your own online course.

You can sell your courses online on WordPress, but you’ll need to invest in materials such as templates, downloads, checklists, slides, quizzes, and more. You’ll also have to decide on how many tiers you’ll offer — most sites eCommerce a basic version and premium version.

The reason for offering the course in different tiers is for you to be able to offer personalized support. Some common WordPress plugins that you can use to create your courses include LearnDash, WP Courseware, LearnPress, and LifterLMS.

[num 6] Host a Paid Webinar

Another way that you can leverage to monetize your blog is by hosting a webinar. Webinars, just like online courses, can be used to grow your business, share ideas, and build an audience.

create webinars

The only difference between online courses and webinars is that webinars are live and normally consist of a question and answer section. WordPress allows you to advertise your webinar, host a paid webinar, and register participants.

You can make your webinar more persuasive and enticing by offering a bonus at the end. This will act as an added incentive that will make your prospects to stay until the end.

For example, if your webinar is about “How to customize your WordPress site.” You can position your email like this, “I’ve been getting questions about how to customize a WordPress website. So, by the end of the webinar, I will throw in a free how-to guide that will later be sold for $67. Act now and get it for free.”

Your intention is to persuade your prospects to register, show up, and stay until the end of the webinar. This way, you’ll be able to convert them by offering something of value at no added cost.

[num 7] Launch a Virtual Summit in Your Niche

Virtual summits or virtual conferences are much more like webinars. The major difference is that, unlike webinars, virtual summits are more engaging and interactive.

Virtual Summit Expo

They are essentially online conferences where you engage with your readers about certain subjects that interest them. You can even invite a host, a number of speakers as well as have a question and answer session.

Virtual summits are normally free. However, you’ll have to sell an “all-access pass” for you to make money. All-access passes allow your attendees to access the conference material after the summit whenever they want.

You can also make money by selling courses related to the topic discussed at the summit or sell membership plans. What makes virtual summits a great monetization option for bloggers is the fact that you do not need to be a famous blogger to host one.

You can choose to partner with other influential bloggers in your niche. This will help you earn some credibility. You can use a tool like Buzzsumo to find influencers that you can connect with. All you need to do is go to their home page, type your niche keyword, then click on the Influencers tab.

[num 8] Sponsored Posts

Sometimes displaying ads on your blog can distract your website content. Although ads are a good way of earning some extra revenue, they can annoy your readers, causing them to install ad blockers in their browsers, which impacts the amount of money you make.

sponsored posts

A great alternative is to use a sponsored blog post. A sponsored blog post is an article that you especially draft to promote the services of a particular company to your readers.

For example, if you run a successful sports blog, a sports equipment company may approach you to do sponsored posts about their services and what you think about it. Usually, sponsored posts are intended for the sole purpose of promoting that particular service.

These posts do not have a standard fee. The amount of money you get from this kind of job is typically negotiated between the blogger and the company.

However, if you run an authoritative blog with loads of traffic and a huge social media following, you stand a better chance of landing a good deal with the advertiser.

[num 9] Get Paid To Review Products

Just like sponsored blog posts, you can monetize your blog by writing paid reviews. The strategy is distinct from that of monetizing your blog via affiliate links.

With paid reviews, you can approach the company, or the company can approach you. What normally happens is that the company gives you a product related to your niche for free to try it out and then write a detailed review.

For example, if you run a successful tech blog, a smartphone manufacturing company may approach you to do a review post about their product and what you think about it.

You have to give an honest opinion to your readers to avoid losing their trust. Besides, you do not want to lose them because of just a few bucks.

[num 10] Offer a Paid Membership site 

membership site

Paid membership sites are becoming increasingly popular such that they have now been christened “subscription economy.” Some good examples of paid membership websites include Netflix and websites that offer hosting services.

With membership sites, readers have to subscribe and pay a fee for a given period of time in order for them to be able to access your work. Some of this work may be exclusive videos, in-depth blog posts, audio, downloads and more.

For you to be able to make some good cash with membership plans, you must always be willing to continually create premium content so that your readers can keep coming back for more.

Using a plugin such as MemberPress, you can create a WordPress membership site for just about anything.

[num 11] Create a Restricted Members Only Forum

A private forum is another option that you can use to monetize your website. With private forums, members must pay in order to access or get personalized assistance from you or from other members.

One challenge about private forums is that you’ll need to put in some work to ensure that it’s moderated. Apart from that, it’s a great strategy that you can implement to monetize your blog and earn recurring revenue.

[num 12] Create Question and Answer Community

Quora is one of the hugest question and answer community. Via such a website, you can create a sizeable online community in no time. A website comprised of engaged, motivated, and self-driven individuals.

Q and A community

After that, you can use affiliate ads, advertisements, or other strategies and start monetizing user-generated content. It’s very easy to land on sponsorship deals from advertisers or get direct advertisements with Q & A websites. This makes it easy to negotiate better rates.

[num 13] Become a Consultant

Another way that you can make money with your blog is to become a consultant. Just like freelancing, you do not need to invest anything to get started.

All you need is your existing blog, then create a page with a form, which your visitors can use to request information about your services. While sales, marketing, and finance are the most commonly consulted topics, it’s good to stick to your area of expertise.

For example, you can offer consultancy services in health, law, or fitness, based on your work experience and educational background. However, before your blog starts to earn revenue, you’ll need to promote your services.

The best way to promote yourself is to curate content that relates to the services you want to offer. This will help establish your expertise in that area and also build up a reputation. You’ll also be able to build a list of potential clients.

[num 14]Become a Coach

If consulting is not your thing, then you can opt into becoming a coach. Some people prefer one-on-one coaching and personalized instructions as opposed to reading a book or going through a course.

coaching

Coaching is one blog monetization strategy that’s being used by most bloggers to assist clients in solving their problems conveniently. For example, a blog coach offers guidance on how to improve the traffic of your blog, create quality content, and monetize the content. Other coaches include a life coach, a writing coach, and more.

We know you are already wondering about traffic. Well, for your coaching blog to be successful, you do not need too much traffic, what you need is the right kind of traffic. By this we mean, visitors who are willing to pay for your services.

This implies creating content that is specifically targeted for your clients. For your client’s convenience, it’s vital to set up a booking form on your WordPress site so that your readers can schedule a coaching session right from your blog.

Another strategy is to attend events where you can have a one-on-one encounter with them so they can get to know about you.

[num 15] Sell Ads Using a WordPress Management Plugin

As aforementioned, Google AdSense is one of the most popular and simplest ways of monetizing your blog. However, one limitation with AdSense is the limited earning potential.

But there is another strategy that you can use to boost your revenue, and that is selling banner ad space directly on your site. This strategy is more profitable, given that you negotiate the terms and the price.

Just like AdSense, you can choose to use the CPM or CPC strategy to sell your banner ads. Remember, with the CPM approach, you get paid per thousand views and with CPC, you get paid per click.

Most bloggers prefer a flat rate or CPM approach. This is because, with CPM, you do not have to keep track of clicks and views. You can, however, choose a strategy that you are comfortable with.

We recommend using an ad management plugin to assist you in managing AdSense as well as your own ads. AdSanity is a good choice.

[num 16] Buying and selling of websites (Flipping)

If you keep up with internet trends, then you’ve probably heard of website market places where people sell and buy sites.

buy and sell websites

If you are good at building websites, you can leverage your skills to make extra online income. You can decide to either build, then sell the website or flip an existing one.

Website flipping is when you buy an existing website that is not living up to its potential, spruce it so that it starts making money, and then sell it. One popular marketplace for buying and selling websites is Empire Flippers.

While website flipping can sound simple in writing, it requires some serious work over a period of time. You’ll need to conduct proper keyword research, link building (PBN), and monetize your blog.

If you think this is an ideal way to make extra revenue, then it’s paramount that you prepare yourself adequately. In addition, you need to proper niche research and how to price your sites and build them.

[num 17] Get public speaking gigs as an influencer

Promoting your personal brand as well as your blog can help you build a massive following over time, which can establish you as an influencer in your niche.

You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to let people know about you. Many bloggers have gained their first taste of exposure via these platforms and even landed speaking gigs in major conferences.

Whether you get paid or not, speaking gigs help you promote your blog and can land you new opportunities. For instance, you can become a brand ambassador, get paid to appear at events, or even add affiliate links to your bio.

However, for you to get paid as an influencer, there are some important things that you need to keep in mind. For starters, you need to be an expert in your field. If your skill level is still below par, start learning right away.

In addition to this, you need to be consistent when it comes to promoting your brand through your blog and social platforms. Also, do not forget to let people know that you are available.

Lastly, do not expect to land on speaking gigs right away. Even the highest-paid public speakers started their careers casually through meetups and free community events.

[num 18] Create paid business directories

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about web directories is the good old days before the advent of automatic indexing bots. Well, web directories are not completely obsolete.

Yes, you can make money from online directory sites. But what’s an online directory site, and what value does it offer to users? By definition, an online directory is a type of a business model whose value is created by exchanging and promoting interaction between consumers and producers.

Simply put, an online directory website lists organizations or individuals with information such as telephone numbers, names, and addresses. This means that you have to take control of the information exchanged between the parties involved.

To monetize your online directory website, you have to charge for the services you create for your users. For example, if business owners or companies want to be listed on your directory site, you’ll have to request them to pay to get a place on your site.

The best way is for you to offer different pricing plans. Each plan should offer different benefits. Apart from that, you should be clear about why customers should buy listings on your site.

You can also earn revenue through featured listings and special listings. All you need is for your site to attract traffic.

[num 19] Create a Job Board

Creating a job board is another technique that you can use to monetize your blog. Companies or people looking to hire someone can advertise a job on your board for your readers to apply.

job board

This strategy is mostly used by authority sites where you get paid to submit a listing. The strategy is highly competitive, and you need to narrow down your niche in order to create a successful job board.

This way, you can minimize the competition and become the go-to site whenever a company is looking to hire or when someone is looking for a job in your niche.

An example of a successful job board is ProBlogger. Creating a job board is easy with WordPress, thanks to the numerous add-ons. For job post submissions, we recommend the WooCommerce Paid Listings add-on.

[num 20] Create an Event Calendar with Paid Submissions

You can opt for an event calendar if you don’t like the job board idea. An event calendar allows people to advertise their events on your website, and you get paid in return.

If your audience is already established, you’ll have an added advantage. This is because most of them will be willing to pay a better price tag to reach your audience.

An event calendar is a good monetization option if you run a niche-specific website and also want to promote events in your local city. WordPress offers numerous calendar plugins that you can use.

[num 21] Create a Dropshipping Store

Another way you can make money through your site is by creating a WordPress dropshipping store. One thing about dropshipping is that you do not have to ship the items yourself or handle inventory.

All you have to do is create an eCommerce store, manage the customers, and your website. Another invincible third-party will take your orders and then ship them out to your customers.

WordPress offers the WooCommerce Dropshipping plugin that you can use to create a dropshipping store.

[num 22] Develop WordPress Plugins

Do you ever wonder why WordPress is the most flexible platform? The simple answer is because its open-source, and anybody can create or alter the source code.

That’s why there is a plugin for nearly anything on WordPress. Let’s imagine plugins as apps that allow you to customize, modify, and extend the features of your website. This makes it the most powerful website building platform.

Plugins, just like apps, come in different varieties. There are those that require simple code modifications to those that require complex modifications. But creating a WordPress plugin is not rocket science. All you need is a basic grasp of PHP language, and you are good to go.

Once you develop your plugin and have followed the WordPress plugin guidelines, you can submit your plugin to the WordPress plugin directory for free. You can also choose to sell your premium plugins through your site or via market places like MOJO.

Alternatively, you can choose to develop premium themes or graphics, such as logos. Note that, for you to create themes or plugins, you’ll need to develop your skills as well as know-how to code.

[num 23] Accept Donations

You can also monetize your blog by accepting donations. This works if you are a non-profit website.

There are different ways that you can accept donations to your site. You can use PayPal, Stripe, or any other payment gateway buttons to accept payments. You can also use WPForms to create professional-looking forms as well as enable email integration.

Well, donations are not as effective as other blog monetization techniques but you can raise some revenue based on the generosity of your readers. The best thing is to offer something else to lure your readers.

 Wrapping Up

When it comes to looking for ways to monetize your blog, the best thing is to identify different methods. However, you need to identify what works for your niche. As such every blog needs to be treated differently. Note that for your blog to start making money you need to put in some work.

There you have it, the 24 proven ways on how to monetize your blog. Do share your views about this post in the comments section below. Also, a quick share with your blogger friends would help them ideate and brainstorm better ideas to monetize their website.

Categories
WordPress

How to Make $50/Day Using WordPress Quiz Plugin – WP Quiz Pro

Every internet marketer understands or knows so well that much of the real money made on the internet is channeled from the content.

And as the old adage goes, “Content is King.” It’s the lifeblood of the internet as we know it. But it’s not just about creating quality content and publishing it on your blog, you need to market it online.

However, with everyone doing it, content marketing is more competitive than ever before.

While you can leverage tools like ad campaigns and social media to advertise your brand and engage with your audience propelling them to share your content, it’s not enough to get you astronomical results.

As such, you need to think of an effective way of driving traffic to your website as well as keep your audience hooked to your content. One engagement trend that has attracted a lot of attention among webmasters is Quizzes and Quiz websites.

Quizzes – What are they? 

Quizzes are online forms with a set of questions that website owners use to test their visitor’s knowledge on a specific subject. These forms are used to collect the user’s input, evaluate their responses, and finally display the statistics of their performance compared to those of other visitors.

We have published a detailed guide on this which you can read – [Quizzes] and How They Can Flood Your Website With Traffic!

Why Should You Add Quizzes to Your WordPress Site?

The core intent of any content marketer is to provide users with mind-blowing content that enriches the user’s knowledge. The other way is by enhancing the user’s experience by using a good design for the website.

You are now probably thinking, “what do quizzes have to do with content and user experience?”

Well, for your website to capture the interest of the audience and attract traffic, there are two things that you need to work on: content and user experience.

What are we talking about here? Take, for example, viral websites like Buzzfeed or Mashable.

Both of these sites have one thing in common. And that is, they ensure that users get to engage with their content for an extended length of time. One strategy they use is that of using quizzes in their posts, which ensures that users get to spend more time interacting with the content on their website.

With that said, the next question is, how are quizzes important and how can you use them to monetize your site?

There are different circumstances where implementing quizzes can help capture the interest of your audience, gather data, and help you make money on the internet. For instance:

  • Viral quizzes can help drive traffic to your website if your visitors decide to share them on social media. Nobody wants to fail a quiz. And with the curiosity to want to be better than others can make one try the quiz over and over again and ultimately decide to share it on different social media channels. This can help you get free traffic on your site without paying a dime on any marketing strategy.
  • Viral quizzes can help users check how much information they grasp from your posts. For example, if your posts are educational, you can implement quizzes to help users evaluate how much they have understood.
  • You can also use quizzes to evaluate the needs of your customers and recommend solutions to them.
  • More still, you can harness the viral nature of quizzes to turn the shares into email signups.

As you can see, quizzes are a charming way of boosting user engagement on your blog as well as increasing your website’s traffic.

But who doesn’t want more traffic on their blog? And like we both know, the more the impressions and clicks generated from targeted traffic or visitors, the more the opportunities to make money.

Think AdSense, for instance. The better your content is, the more targeted traffic you’ll get, and the easier it will be for you to rake in some money through ad revenue. We’ll look at how you can integrate AdSense with quizzes to make money later on in the article.

That said, now, let’s look at some popular sites that have implemented quizzes as part of their marketing strategy.

Top Websites Using Quizzes as Part of their Marketing Strategy

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed-quizzes

Buzzfeed is a popular website that deals with tracking viral content. It provides coverage on a variety of topics ranging from politics, DIY, business, and more. They publish multiple quiz types and generate hundreds of thousands of views.

Their quiz results are the main deal-breaker, which the users can widely share on their social media handles, especially on Facebook. This is their main channel to drive a ton of social shares as well.

For example, a quiz like “Can You Guess The Dog Breed by Paws? Has been viewed for more than 700K times and shared widely on Facebook. Imagine having this kind of traffic on a single quiz without spending a single cent on marketing?

Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur-quizzes

The Entrepreneur is another website that uses quizzes to engage its visitors. Most of the quizzes are targeted towards users who are interested in starting their own business. The quizzes are meant for personal assessment.

Some popular quizzes on the Entrepreneur include:

ScoopWhoop

ScoopWhoop-quizzes

ScoopWhoop is Indian based internet company that works in a similar way as BuzzFeed.com. It uses quizzes to drive traffic, mostly form social media. They cover a wide range of topics ranging from current affairs, sports, politics, funny listicles, and more.

They use quizzes like:

Buffer

buffer-quizzes

Buffer is an application that helps businesses and individuals manage their accounts in social networks.

It provides a means for scheduling posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks. It also analyzes the performance of your social media content and generates a report.

They’ve used quizzes like: “Which social media acronyms do you know?” The quiz has had over 8K views and has been shared over 3.9K times.

One thing we can attest from all the above websites is that they harness the power of social media to drive social shares and traffic to their website using quizzes.

The Various Types of Quiz Posts You Can Use

There are three different ways you can implement quizzes to engage with your audience.

Let’s take a quick look at the different ways.

To entertain your audience

Most times, when people surf the internet, they are looking for content that will light up their moods. A quiz is an effective method of keeping your audience engaged and a little entertained while going through the content on your website.

Viral websites such as BuzzFeed.com post amazing quizzes on their websites to make their user feel connected. If more people learn about the quiz and take part in it, they are most likely to share it on social media. This creates an infinite and sure process that will keep traffic flowing through your website.

To get more leads

One thing about quizzes is that they are very easy to go through. They also easily capture the reader’s attention. As such, they offer you a viable platform for generating multiple leads while increasing your fan base.

You can offer a regular quiz and customize it in such a way that users will be prompted to sign up for your mailing list.

On WordPress, you can easily integrate with services like Aweber and MailChimp to store your leads and send them email marketing campaigns. You can decide to send them the results, updates, or pitch them about a particular product or service that would interest them.

To get feedback about a product or service

Quizzes are all about feedback. So, based on the structure of the questions, your intent as the content marketer is to get valuable feedback. And the more the participants there are in your quiz, the more the feedback and ideas you will get.

This will not only help in understanding your audience but also know the impact of the products and services you offer.

How to Craft Outstanding Quizzes for Your Website 

So, how can you craft outstanding quizzes for your website?

First, you’ll need to set up your site on the WordPress platform. For the sake of our readers, this article is solely focused on websites built on WordPress.org content management system.

Secondly, you’ll need to install a quiz plugin. Preferably one that allows ads. Our best choice is the WP Quiz Pro plugin, which has been raging the top charts when we talk about the best WordPress quiz plugins in the industry. Shortly you will get to know how you can use this quiz builder plugin to create stunning quizzes on your website.

WP Quiz Pro: Best WordPress Plugin for Adding Quizzes to Your Website

A brief overview:

WP Quiz Pro is a very powerful and effective WordPress plugin for designing responsive and stunning quizzes for your blog. Designed by our expert developers at MyThemeShop, the plugin integrates with any WordPress theme to help you craft six special types of engaging quizzes. These include personality quizzes, Facebook quizzes, flip card quizzes, trivia quizzes, swipe quizzes, and list type quizzes.

WordPress-Quiz-plugin

The plugin is offered in two versions. A free version with limited features and a premium version with more features and extended support. We recommend going for the premium version if you are looking to drive more traffic, revenue, and engagement to your website.

Now let’s look at some of the features that this incredible plugin offers:

WP Quiz Pro Features

Easy to use and intuitive UI

The plugin is very easy to use and comes with a very intuitive UI that allows you to navigate through the options and adjust settings on the fly.

Fully customizable

The WP Quiz plugin comes with an advanced options panel that allows you to adjust various quiz settings with ease. What’s more, you can also customize the results you share on Facebook.

Fully responsive

The WP Quiz plugin is built with responsiveness in mind. It’s 100% responsive, which means users can access your quizzes from mobile, tablets, or even desktops with ease.

Easy social sharing 

The plugin integrates with various social media platforms, which gives your quizzes much-needed exposure. Using the sharing buttons, the users can share your content on social platforms like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Superior performance

WP Quiz is one of the few quiz WordPress plugins that’s optimized for performance. The plugin employs WordPress’s latest coding standards, which ensures that it does not only integrate with all WordPress themes but also ensure that your website’s security is not compromised.

Shortcode support

The plugin gives you the option to add the quiz’s shortcode to your post. This important feature makes it easy for your users to post or share your content anywhere on the internet.

Show ads and leads

This is one of the most important features that this plugin offers. With WP Quiz Pro, you can monetize your blog by showing ads in between questions. Furthermore, the plugin allows you to monitor any leads from the back end. This means that you are able to see how many users have subscribed to your list from taking quizzes.

Payment gateway integrations

WP Quiz Pro supports both PayPal and Stripe payment options. This allows you to receive payments from players. For example, you can set a quiz where players have to play in order for their results to be revealed, or you can decide to set pay to play option. And since most people are curious about results, most of them will be willing to pay.

paypal integration

These are just but some of the few fantastic features that you’ll get from the WP Quiz Pro WordPress plugin.

Now let’s take a sneak peek of the different types of quizzes you can create with the WP Quiz plugin.

Different WordPress Quizzes

To keep your users glued on your website, the WP Quiz plugin allows you to create six different types of quizzes. They include:

Trivia quizzes

Trivia questions allow you to indulge your audience into simple, fun, but bizarre topics. You can create multiple answer type of quizzes and let your audience test their knowledge. Of course, you’ll have to include a featured image.

trivia quiz

People love challenges, and with trivia questions, they are more likely to invite their friends to beat their scores. This will, in turn, lead to your site getting more and more traffic.

Personality quizzes

We all want to know the type of person we are? Better still, equate their personality with that of their favorite movie star or celebrity.

personality quiz

Personality quizzes can be habitual, abstract or situational. The user picks a quiz and selects an answer that reverberates with his or her personality. Depending on the answer, the plugin will populate results and show which personalities the user resonates with.

It’s not uncommon to find personality quizzes on your Facebook timeline. Websites that employ this strategy are able to drive enormous traffic.

Swiper quizzes

Swiper quizzes are perfect for comparison purposes. They are used for comparing images, objects or people. These types of quizzes are quite intuitive for mobile users. Therefore, if you are targeting mobile traffic, then swiper quizzes are the best format. If you’ve used Tinder, then you should be accustomed to what we are talking about.

swiper quiz

Basically, your quizzes should be in true/false or yes/no format. So users will have to swipe left for false or right for false, or vice versa.

Facebook quizzes

Facebook is one of the most widely used social media platform. As such, most apps and websites have been constantly able to harness subscribers through Facebook quizzes.

Basically, a user will take a quiz then the plugin will analyze their profile then generate results, which the user will then share. And since most Facebook quizzes are fun quizzes, the user will challenge his or her friends to join in as well. This will make the quiz go viral hence generating more traffic.

Flip quizzes

flip quiz

Another type of quiz offers by the WP Quiz Pro plugin is the Flip quiz. With a flip quiz, users will have to flip through images and score points. Better yet, you can create a quiz with an image and a question or a quote. The user will then have to flip the image in order to see whether the answer they guessed was right or wrong.

List quizzes

list quiz

A list quiz is more of a game than a quiz. With a list quiz, users give their opinion about a certain image or question by up-voting or down-voting. List quizzes work best in forums than on websites. It’s a good strategy for increasing engagement and interaction with your users.

We have written a detailed guide on how to create stunning quizzes using the WP Quiz Pro WordPress plugin.

That said, now, let’s see how you can monetize your quizzes with Google AdSense.

Monetize your Quizzes with Google AdSense 

Ok, so now you’ve set up a quiz website, the next question is how to monetize it? There are numerous ad networks that you can use to monetize your quizzes. However, Google AdSense is by far the simplest, safest, and most popular.

For you to start cashing in with AdSense, you’ll need first to get accepted into the program. To get accepted, you’ll have to create and post a minimum of 30 quizzes on your blog. Also, don’t skimp on content.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to show Google that your site is able to attract traffic. And like we mentioned earlier, the more interesting your quizzes are, the more traffic you’ll get.

But how will you be able to attract more visitors?

While we’ve already covered this, it’s still worth repeating. To attract visitors to your site, you’ll need to:

  • Share your quizzes on social platforms such as FB, Pinterest, Instagram, and Subreddits.
  • Share quizzes on forums or FB groups. Your intention here is to identify relevant groups related to your niche.
  • Works on your website’s SEO. You can do this by optimizing your website’s speed, using proper tags, adding meta-descriptions, add a keyword to your URL, add outbound links, and make sure your quizzes have enough content (at least 500 words). For guidelines and tips, check our RankMath SEO plugin.

Once you start getting enough traffic, it’s time to apply for AdSense. Make sure to also read through the Google AdSense guidelines and privacy policy. Once you get approved, it’s time to start cashing in.

But don’t forget that content is key. Try to use gifs, interactive image and catchy titles in order to hook your audience. If your quizzes do not impact any value or engage your users, you’ll be in for a shocker. Therefore, invest your time wisely and select a niche that resonates well with your audience.

If you implement that, you’ll be surprised by how much money you can make. It can be $5 per day or even $1000 per day. It all depends on the volume of traffic you are driving on your site and how you are monetizing the same.

Wrapping Up

Implementing quizzes on your WordPress website can help you earn some passive income. All you have to do is invest in a premium plugin like WP Quiz Pro and know how to drive targeted traffic to your website.

We hope that this article was helpful to you and you will now be able to create some professionally looking quizzes. Don’t forget to share with your folks too.

Categories
WordPress

What is a Domain Name and How Do They Work? – Quick Guide

When someone starts thinking about making a website, one of the first things that confuse them is when they hear the word domain. They’ve probably never heard the word before and don’t know what it means.

Beginners get the term domain mixed up with a website or web hosting and that’s okay.

In this guide, we will answer the question of what is a domain name and how they work. This can sound all too technical, but it really does help reading a guide like this to understand and get you on the right path.

Let’s start from the very basics.

What Is A Domain Name?

what-is-a-domain-name

A domain name is the name of the site that you put in the URL bar. It’s more commonly talked about as an address. Think about a house, the address is the place you go to get there. A domain name is just the address to a website.

If you want a more technical explanation, the internet is made up of more than a billion websites. Each web page and computer needs to be able to communicate with one another.

You might know that your computer and every computer in the world has an IP address. This is a series of numbers that identifies a computer on the internet.

Now, just like computers, websites are identified by IP addresses. Imagine having to enter certain numbers to log in to our Facebook or search Google every time.

Domain names were created to allow us to access sites easily.

How do Domains Work?

how-domain-name-works

Domain names are important because they allow computers the ability to find the server a website is hosted on. The server then sends a signal to your computer, allowing you to access whatever site you type in.

When you type in a domain name in the browser, it actually sents a request to a network of servers called the Domain Name System also known as ICANN. These servers look up the domain in their records and send the request that you’re looking for their site.

This is where a hosting company comes in, which we will talk about in a little bit. The hosting company then allows the name servers to access the data stored by your website.

This data then gets sent back to whatever web browser you’re searching on to be able to translate it into the interface that you see on your computer or phone.

Difference Between Domain, Website, and Web Hosting

Difference-between-domain-website-hosting

Let’s start with a website. A website is a place you go to get information or entertainment on the web. It is made up of code like HTML and CSS and contains the images and words that you see on a screen like you’re reading now.

We mentioned earlier that a domain name is like the address for your house. Hosting is like the platform your house is on top of. You can imagine as your House space.

Let’s say you have a 1000 sqft house situated in the xyz street. Here, 1000 sqft can be imagined as hosting (which provides you the option to host your website files like images, plugins, and content) and xyz street can be imagined as the domain name (eg mythemeshop.com).

Hosting is the place where everything on your website is actually stored. If you upload an image to a site, the hosting company is the one that has that image in their system.

Hosting companies have powerful computers, more commonly known as servers that store thousands to hundreds of thousands of web server’s data.

If you’re looking to create a website, both a domain name and web hosting is required.

Most hosting companies have the ability to buy domains and most domain companies have the ability to host your website.

It’s mostly recommended that you get both your hosting and domain services from the same service provider (eg: Bluehost), although it’s not a necessity.

These companies have ways for you to edit your domain name to search under a different hosting company and vice versa.

Different Types of Domain Names

Different-domain-types

Every address ends in the street, drive, avenue, etc. Every domain name has a certain extension that it ends with, and you can probably guess the most popular, which is .com.

Sometimes people don’t even know there are other options like .org, .net, .info, and more. It’s recommended, though, always to try to use the .com extension.

A top-level domain is the generic domain extension that most of us see. There are hundreds of different types of top-level domains, but we really only see .com, .org, and .net.

There are others like .club, .agency, and .biz. Though, we’d only suggest you to go for these when the above TLD’s like .com, .org and .net aren’t available.

A country code top-level domain is a specific domain name that is associated with certain countries. A website in the United Kingdom ends with .uk or a website in India ends with .in.

Sponsored top-level domains cater to the certain communities. Good examples are when you see an educational institution site end with .edu or a government site end with .gov.

How to Pick A Domain Name For Your Website?

With so many different websites out there and thousands more getting added each day, it might be tougher than you think to come up with a domain name that is still available. Here are some tips for helping you choose a domain name that is perfect for your website:

1. Importance of .com

Stick with a .com domain name. They’re popular, the easiest to remember, and there are theories that they rank the best on Google (though, we cannot say that the same is 100% true).

2. Use Keywords

Try to use a keyword in your domain name. If you’re making a website about books, try to incorporate a way to add books into the name.

This can help improve your SEO and also makes your site’s branding better.

3. Keep it Short and Simple

Keep it short and easy to remember. Try to think about when someone wants to visit your site.

If your domain name is long and hard to remember, they’ll have a tougher time typing it into the address bar and maybe even not go to your site at all.

Also, the domain name should be easy to spell and you shouldn’t use numbers or hyphens. Don’t use a form of a word like boyz with a “z” or anything that can be misinterpreted into multiple spellings.

If you put in the number 4 in your domain, people might try to spell out four instead. Visitors might not be able to find your website this way because of misspellings.

4. Stick with your Domain

Stick with it. You technically can always get a new domain name at any time, but this is highly not recommended.

Every time you change your domain, Google treats it as a new site, so you lose lots of rankings, and you also confuse website viewers that will try going to your old website domain name.

Find the right domain name you like and stick with it.

If you still need help with it, there are tools out there called domain name generators that are available for you to use for free.

These tools allow you to input a keyword you know you want in the domain name, and they give you thousands of suggestions. One that we use all the time is Lean Domain Search.

All you have to do is input your keyword and it pairs your phrase with other common and relevant keywords. It shows you which ones are available and how to register them.

Another tool we use all the time is Namechk.

If you have a couple of different domain name ideas, you can use this tool to see what domain extensions are available along with what is available on social media.

This tool is used best if you are creating a website and a YouTube channel around it, or maybe you want a Facebook page to match your site’s name.

Basically, if you’re looking to create a brand instead of just a website, this tool can help you from having to search a bunch of different sites first.

How to Buy A Domain Name?

So you’ve picked a decent domain name, and now you are thinking of purchasing it. The simplest way to buy a domain name is by picking a good domain registrar.

There are lots of different sites that are available to buy domain names, so these sites usually have different ways to separate themselves from the competition.

When it comes to our recommendation, we recommend NameCheap. They manage over ten million domains worldwide, and their customer support is one of the best out there.

Every domain purchased comes with a WHOIS protection program, free months to be able to use an email address for your domain, and more. NameCheap also has the capability to have extremely cheap TLDs to choose from if you can’t afford a .com TLD.

Any available domain name can cost you from $0.99 to up to a few thousands. This just depends on if any sales are running on that particular domain registrar, which domain extensions you choose, and also if your domain name has a really popular word in it. You may find premium domain names which would cost thousands of dollars.

Some other domain registrars that we have used before are GoDaddy and Bluehost.

GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar with over 78 million and Bluehost gives you a free domain when you’re buying hosting packages. Bluehost is also one of the top hosting sites for WordPress.

If you’re looking for options, try these along with NameCheap to buy a domain name.

Other Things to Consider When Buying A Domain Name

There are some extra tips that beginners should know when buying a domain name. If they don’t know these things, you could end up losing your domain at some point or getting a bunch of sales calls that no one wants. Here are the things you should know:

1. Domain Privacy

Try to get domain privacy. When you sign-up for a domain, your personal details get put into a database called the WHOIS registrar and anyone can view them.

Businesses (usually not top-notch businesses) find ways to access this WHOIS registrar and use them as a list of phone numbers to pitch their services to.

Paying extra for domain privacy means that your details can’t be accessed by these businesses, so you won’t get spammed because of your new domain. S

ome domain registrars like NameCheap include this service when you purchase a domain.

2. Set Auto-Renewal

Set your domain to auto-renew every year. You can purchase a domain within a certain number of months like 12, 24, or 36 month periods.

Most people choose 12 months, but there are deals to buy them long-term. No matter what, though, your domain registration has an expiration date.

If you don’t renew the registration before the expiration date, not only can you not visit your website for that time period, but anyone is able to buy the domain at that point.

Auto-renewing allows you not to worry if your domain gets snatched up, and you don’t have to worry about this ever.

3. Social Media Essentials

Think about your socials. If you already have a popular social media page, it might be a good idea to use that as your domain name.

You already have gained some traction and popularity for the social media page, and that could carry over to give you a jump-start when starting your website.

The hardest part about building a website is getting those initial visitors, and if you have some already from social media, you’re ahead of the game.

4. Buying a Domain Through Reseller

What if the domain name I want is available through a reseller and not the domain registrar?

Sometimes you’ll find a domain name that shows that it’s unavailable to purchase through a domain name registrar, but it’s available to purchase through a seller.

This means, at some point, the seller bought the domain name you’re looking for and is looking to sell it for a lot more than what a domain name is usually worth.

In almost all scenarios, we recommend steering clear from buying these domains.

These domains are only going to be sold for thousands of dollars, and most of the time isn’t worth it to new websites and businesses just starting.

Now It’s Your Turn!

When you first start thinking about it, domain names seem very technical and hard to understand. After a little bit of learning and an explanation, it really isn’t as difficult as it seems.

Once you understand what a domain name is and how to get one, it usually becomes pretty simple from there.

And once you go ahead and make the jump to buy your first domain, any other domain you need in the future becomes much easier to get. Soon enough, you’ll have some great domain names pointing to some even better-looking sites for your business.

If you have any questions or doubts regarding purchasing a domain, do share them in the comments. We would be happy to help you make the right choice.

Categories
WordPress

16 Best WordPress Security Plugins – Secure Your Website Now

WordPress might be the most popular platform in the world to build websites, but that doesn’t mean that it’s indestructible.

Actually, because millions of websites are using WordPress as their platform, it makes hackers more interested in figuring out how to crack the code for the WordPress sites.

This is why having a security plugin is important for your site. In this post, you’re going to know about the 16 best WordPress security plugins for 2020.

Some of these plugins are different depending on what you’re looking for, but every website should have a security plugin on it.

Time to dive deep and understand the basics.

Why You Need A Security Plugin?

Whether you’re starting a blog, eCommerce store, or a website to brand your small business, your site will require different things like hosting, themes and plugins to run. Since you are buiding a space on the internet, there is always a possibility that a hacker wipe out your website and leave you with nothing.

Not to mention your name and address may be on that website’s listing, which is scary enough as it is.

If you’re also taking orders or payments on your site, you have an obligation to your customers to do everything in your power to keep their information safe during and after their purchase.

People attacking your site can get access to years worth of account info if they know exactly where to look, which can be a bad news for your customers and even worse news for you.

WordPress advertises that their platform has security measures built into it, but this shouldn’t be enough for you. A good analogy would be a fence around your house. Does that fence make you comfortable enough not to lock your doors at night and when you leave?

We would hope not. A good security plugin is locking your doors, buying insurance, and investing in an alarm system for your site. This plugin will protect your website while also deferring any wandering hands and fingers to try to attack your site.

Make Sure Your Hosting Is Secure

Security plugins help fight against brute force attacks from your own domain, but it is also possible that your hosting can cause you trouble as well. This is why we recommend making sure your hosting company has built-in security measures of their own to make sure your site is as safe as possible.

If you aren’t sure where to look or are worried about your current hosting not being secure enough, we recommend you check out Siteground.

Siteground has its own specialized security team that focuses just on web threats for the sites they host, along with a 24/7 system administration team to watch over their platform at all times.

They also have real-time server health checks that operate every 0.5 seconds, new firewall rules that get implemented to help with security threats, and an AI system that blocks 500,000 to 2 million brute-force attempts a day.

We’re not saying that you have to use Siteground, but when our readers ask for our recommendation, we recommend Siteground and a big reason why we do that is because of how secure they are.

Best WordPress Security Plugins

Now with security plugins, you get what you pay for. Most of these security plugins come with a price on them, but there are a few that give you some of the options for free.

We’ll mention in each summary of the plugin if it has a free version or if it has only a paid option. There’s nothing wrong with going with a free option to start out if your business doesn’t have the cash flow to use a premium one. Though, it should be a top priority to upgrade as soon as you can.

[num 1] Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security

Wordfence is one of the best options on this list if you want to go the free route. The free version has everything from protection against those brute force attacks to firewall blocks. This firewall protection identifies and blocks malicious traffic coming to your site.

The defense against brute force attacks allows Wordfence to limit the login attempts that hackers use to try to guess the login info for your site. They also have a comment spam filter that removes any dangerous URLs and suspicious content that might be put on your site.

Now, of course, Wordfence has a premium version as well that offers even more benefits to using their plugin. Some of the premium benefits include real-time IP Blacklist blocks, which helps your site not load for malicious IPs, leaving load time available for your important customers. You also get country blocking, more frequent scans and spam checks, and premium support under this plan.

With over 2 million active installs, Wordfence continues to gain the trust of millions of WordPress users worldwide.

[num 2] iThemes Security

iThemes Security

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. One of the best things about iThemes is that they’ve been around since 2008, which means if you install this plugin, it’s not just going to go away because of an unreliable source.

iThemes (free version) bans users once they try to attack your sites from accessing your website again, which allows you to have tighter protection against repeat attackers. They also scan and report WordPress security vulnerabilities and ways to fix them, bans troublesome users, and strengthens server security.

The pro version of iThemes allows you to have two-factor authentication to ensure safe logins to your website every time. Some extra premium features include database backups and import/export options, Google ReCaptcha features, user action logging, and more.

These are only a few of the features that come with iThemes, and it has over 900,000+ installations. Lots of people trust iThemes security, and we would have no problem using this on our sites as well.

[num 3] All In One WP Security & Firewall

All in One WP Security

All In One WP Security & Firewall is one of the easiest to use plugins on this list, and with over 800,000 downloads, you can see that people like using it. This plugin is a well-balanced solution to protecting every level of your website.

Some of the features include protection against those brute force and DDoS attacks, monitoring and viewing the failed login attempts and security activity on accounts, and enhancing the user registration security.

All In One is also one of the most beginner-friendly plugins on this list. There are graphs and meters on the backend to allow you to see things like security strength while also giving you tips on what to do to make it stronger.

[num 4] Sucuri Security

Sucuri Security

The Sucuri Security plugin has a free version, as well as a premium version. Like others on this list, most smaller websites can work with the free version for a start. The free version has a special auditing feature that lets you know how well the plugin is protecting your website.

Some other features in the free program include file integrity monitoring, security hardening & notification and more. It also incorporates various blacklist engines, including Google Safe Browsing, Sucuri Labs, Norton, McAfee Site Advisor and more.

The one bit of an upgrade that comes with the premium plan is that they add the security of a web application firewall onto your site. You also can pay for more customer service channels and more frequent scans of your website. These are things you’d have to pay for gaining the premium benefits of the plugin.

[num 5] Vaultpress

Vaultpress

Vaultpress is a WordPress plugin that allows you to have security scanning and real-time backup service. The company that created Vaultpress is Automattic, which is one of the most reliable WordPress companies out there.

This plugin is as much a safe haven for your website. Vaultpress backs up every post, comment, media file, and all your settings all automated. This allows your website to be restored if anything wrong happens to your website.

Vaultpress doesn’t have a free plan, so there are personal and business plans that you can choose from. With over 80,000 installations, many people rely on these two plans to back up their site’s content with ease.

[num 6] Shield Security

Shield Security

Shield Security markets that they will make your website security simple and effective, which could be a very important factor in this technical category. It is one of the easiest plugins to set up on this list.

Shield starts protecting and scanning your site from the moment you activate it. Basic Shield Security is free, but if you want to get better protection and 24-hour support, you can always upgrade to the pro version.

This security plugin does all the heavy lifting for you, and this is why over 80,000 people trust Shield Security on their site.

[num 7] BulletProof Security

BulletProof-Security

The BulletProof Security plugin protects your website and has a free and premium version. The free version is enough for a small website and offers tools like login security and monitoring, database backups, anti-spam and anti-hacking tools and more.

The premium version comes with some of the most advanced options on this list, like ARQ intrusion detection and encryption solutions, but this requires you to know how to set it up anyway. So the premium version would only be worth it if you’re a real techy.

The free version of BulletProof Security is installed by more than 60,000 website. You can give it a free try to see if it works well with your site.

[num 8] WP Fail2Ban

WP fail2ban isn’t as elaborate as other plugins on this list as it only has one feature, but it is probably the most important. It protects you from brute force attacks. WP fail2ban involves a little more tech knowledge than others as you have to specify via PHP code which settings you would want.

The plugin comes with the filters that allow for either immediate banning of IPs or lenient banning if you do not want to be forceful with the bans.

You do need some PHP knowledge to run this plugin, so if you don’t know any coding, this might not be the plugin for you. Though, if you do, this plugin is good and effective and does its job well.

[num 9] SecuPress

SecuPress

SecuPress is one of the newer plugins on the list, but it’s growing fast. There is a free version and a premium version of this plugin, and they both come with a ton of features.

SecuPress has one of the best interfaces out of all these plugins. It can scan your site and identify 35 different security points and give you the security “health” of your website.

It can also block brute force logins, block IPs, and it comes with a firewall. It also includes the protection of your security keys as well as blocks visits from bad bots.

The premium version comes with alerts and notifications, two-factor authentication, PHP malware scans, and GeoIP blocking. As we said, SecuPress is newer with only 20,000+ downloads but still one of the most downloaded plugins on this list.

[num 10] Defender

Defender-WordPress-Security

Defender is one of the most popular plugins in the WPMU DEV catalog. It adds some of the best WordPress security with just a few clicks. The plugin has a five-star rating and over 20,000 downloads on the WordPress repository.

Defender comes with free scans for suspicious codes, Google 2 Step verification, blacklisting suspicious IPs, and a lot more. The best part is, Defender adds all the hardening and security tweaks you need without you having to go through the complex settings like some of those other plugins.

[num 11] Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator

Most of these plugins are a resource that gives you 360-degree protection on your site, which is good. But some of the plugins (even the premium plans) we’ve listed here don’t come with two-factor authentication.

That’s where Google Authenticator comes in. It adds a second layer of security to your login module, where it will send you a push notification to your phone or another form of communication. You’ll have to authenticate the same by entering the correct number/text it sends on your mobile.

This helps make sure no bots are able to access your site. In fact, even if anyone guesses your password, it will prevent them accessing your website due to the 2-factor authentication.

[num 12] WebARX

WebARX

WebARX is a premium-only plugin that is known for its firewall that updates automatically to prevent plugin and theme security vulnerabilities. You can block malicious bots and their hacking attempts, prevent malware infections and protect your website from brute-force attacks with this plugin.

You also get things like up-time and SSL Monitoring, two-factor authentication, WordPress hardening and more. As this plugin only has a premium version, it doesn’t have the number of downloads that some of these other sites have, but WebARX is top-notch when it comes to managing the security of your website.

[num 13] MalCare

MalCare

If you’re looking for one of the complete security plugins than MalCare might make the top of your list. They analyzed over 240,000 websites to identify complex malware before developing this freemium plugin, so you know that its got time and effort put into it.

MalCare also has a removal service if you do have a problem on your site that takes action to remove it with one click, no technical knowledge needed. The pro version is more effective, allowing you to tighten the security on your WordPress site. You can make real-time backups that you can access even after 365 days.

[num 14] Security Ninja

WP Security Ninja

Security Ninja has been helping thousands of website owners feel safe for over eight years. Just like others, they have a free and premium model.

The free model runs 50 security tests ranging from checking your files for malicious content to various PHP settings.

This plugin has a brute force check for all user passwords to ensure you have a strong password. It also comes with an auto fixer button that basically allows their tool to work their magic on your site, so you don’t have to worry about the tech.

Some extra features include scanning plugins and themes for suspicious content and malware, a list of known bad IPs to block, and a log of all events on your site.

[num 15] Hide My WP

Hide My WP

Hide My WP is another plugin on this list that has a small purpose instead of security on your entire site. This plugin hides the fact that your site is on WordPress at all. WordPress hackers and spammers use certain tools to find WordPress sites all over the web and this tool keeps you off that list.

This keeps your site off their radar and hides your wp-admin screen. It sounds simple because it is. It is only a premium plugin and does involve a little bit of technical knowledge to be able to install and implement the plugin on your website.

[num 16] Jetpack

Jetpack

To end our list, what better plugin could be suggested than one created by WordPress themselves. If you’ve ever created a site with WordPress, you’re probably familiar with Jetpack. It’s not the flashiest or most talked-about security tool on the market, but it does get the job done.

Along with it coming pre-installed with some hosting companies, Jetpack is one of the easiest and accessible security plugins on the market. It’s, of course, free with a premium plan available. The free plan comes with brute-force protection, spam filtering, and file integrity monitoring along with lots more.

Wrapping Up

We hope this article helped you find the the best WordPress security plugin for your website. You end up making all these investments into your site, whether it’s your money, time, or energy, and the last thing you should want is for it to be easily attacked by a hacker.

If you have any questions about any of these plugins, please be sure to ask them in the comments. We’ll be happy to answer your queries.

Categories
Tutorials

How to Delete a Playlist on YouTube? Step by Step Tutorial

One of the most popular sites in the world is YouTube. With over 30 million visitors a day, you can estimate that people spend a lot of their time watching YouTube videos.

One of the easiest things you can do on the platform is creating playlists to watch later or with friends. In this article, we’re going to show you how to delete a playlist on YouTube following some easy steps.

You might want to delete these playlists because they don’t fit to your channel anymore, or maybe you finished watching them, or you might just want to do a little cleaning. Either way, it can seem like a daunting task at first, but once you figure it out, it’s pretty simple to do.

How to Delete A YouTube Playlist on Your Computer

You can delete YouTube playlists on your computer or on your phone. It’s up to you and depends what’s more convenient for your needs. Luckily for you, we walk you through both ways, and you can decide which way you would like to do it.

These are the steps to delete a playlist from your computer.

Step 1

Go to YouTube to reach their homepage and make sure you’re logged into your account. You can easily see this from the profile picture in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Log-in-to-YouTube

If you’re not logged in, click the picture and choose “switch account” to add or select your profile out of the available names.

Step 2

You must make your way to the library page. On the left-hand side of your screen, if you have the minimized menu up, there will be a symbol that says “Library” with a folder icon next to it.

If you have the main menu up, there will be a lot more options, but the library page will still be close to the top. Either way, select “Library” to get to the page.

Click-on-library

Step 3

Once you get to the library page, scroll down until you see your playlists on the screen. Once you find the playlist you want to delete, click the view full playlist button at the bottom of the playlist.

view-full-playlist

Step 4

Once you get here, you should have a screen that looks like the picture below. All you have to do is click the three dots on the left side of the screen and then a drop-down menu will appear. This menu will have an option for you to delete the playlist right under the playlist settings. Press it.

A pop-up will come up asking if you want to delete the playlist. Just select “Yes” and it will be deleted.

how-to-delete-youtube-playlist

How to Delete A YouTube Playlist on Your Mobile

Deleting a YouTube Playlist on your iPhone or Android is actually easier than doing it on a computer. Here are the steps you need to take.

Step 1

Find the YouTube app on your phone and open it. Just like the computer, make sure you’re logged in to your account by looking at the upper right-hand corner where the profile picture is.

Step-1-mobile-scaled-first

Step 2

At the bottom right-hand corner, there is the tab that says library. Click on that tab and scroll down a little. You should get to a section that says playlists. Under the Playlists tab, select the playlist you would like to delete.

Library-mobile-scaled-second

Step 3

Once you get to the specific playlist screen, you should see the videos and the editing screen on your phone. Press the delete icon near the top that looks like a trash can. Once you press it, a pop-up will come up, asking if you are sure you want to delete the playlist.

mobile-step-4-scaled-third

Press OK and it will be deleted.

step-4-mobile-scaled-fourth

Remove Another Creator’s Playlist from Your Library

The step-by-step walkthrough we’ve gone through was how to delete a playlist that you created on YouTube. YouTube also gives you the option to save other creators’ playlists to your library and they will be stored in this playlist library as well.

If you are trying to delete these playlists, the process is slightly different, so let us show you how to do that.

Step 1

Just like the other steps, go to your YouTube account and click on the library page. Once you’re there, you may see some playlists that were created by other accounts.

Step 2

Find the playlist you wish to delete and click on the “view full playlist” button on the bottom of the intended playlist. A screen will pop-up that looks similar to our screen earlier but has one main difference.

other-creator-playlist

There is no drop-down menu to delete the playlist. This is because it’s not your playlist so you can’t delete it. You can only remove it from your library.

Step 3

Find the symbol with the lines and the checkmark on it and it will say “remove from library” when you put your cursor over it. Press this option and the playlist will then be removed from your library.

remove-from-library

This is just a way to keep your playlists clean once you’ve watched them all or you have no interest in finishing them. The above are some easy steps to delete a playlist from YouTube.

Wrapping up

One of YouTube’s best features is the ability to create these playlists. They can either allow you to show your favorite videos to people checking out your channel or they can help you keep track of videos that you want to have easier access to at another time.

At some point, you’re going to want to delete some of these playlists, though and the good news is that you know how to do it now.

If you have any questions, please be sure to ask them in the comments and we’ll be happy to answer them.