How To Fix “Failed To Load Resource” Error In WordPress

Are you seeing “Failed to load resource error” in WordPress or your browser’s inspect tool?

Many WordPress users find it difficult to figure out what resource or file is not loading, and more importantly why is it not loading correctly.

This file can be anything like an image, other media, JavaScript, or a CSS stylesheet. A missing resource can cause your website to misbehave or not function properly.

In this article, we will show you how to easily troubleshoot and fix the “Failed to Load Resource” error in WordPress.

Fixing the failed to load resource error in WordPress

Why Failed to Load Resource Error Occurs?

Failed to load resource error occurs when WordPress is unable to load a file that it is supposed to load.

Basically when WordPress generates a page, it includes several files in the code such as images, scripts, stylesheets, and more. During the page load, these files are loaded by user’s browser.

For more details, see our guide on how WordPress works behind the scenes.

If the browser is unable to load a specific file, then it would go on to display the page without that file. Further, the browser will add a notice in the error console for debugging purposes.

In most cases, you would see this error in your browser’s error console when using the Inspect tool.

Failed to load resource error

This resource could be any file like an image, JavaScript, CSS stylesheet, etc. The error may have different helpful messages next to them.

Below are few examples:

  • Failed to load resource net::ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED
  • Failed to load resource: the server responded with a status of 404 (Not Found)
  • Failed to load resource: the server responded with a status of 500 (Internal Server Error)
  • Failed to load resource: net::err_name_not_resolved

Even if a specific file didn’t load, the rest of your web page will continue to load. It just may not look or behave as expected. This is why you need to fix the error to avoid any unexpected issues.

That being said, let’s see how to easily fix the failed to load resource error in WordPress.

Fixing Failed to Load Resource Error in WordPress

As we mentioned earlier, the error is caused when your website’s code mentions a file but the browser is unable to download it.

This could happen for a number of reasons. We will try to look at and eliminate them one by one.

Replace The Missing Resource

First, let’s start with the most common solution. Make sure that the failed resource actually exists.

If the missing resource is an image in one of your blog posts or page, then try to look for it in the media library.

Replace missing image

If you can see it in the media library, then try to add it again by editing the post or page. If you cannot see the file in the media library, then try uploading it again.

In some cases, you may see broken images or empty boxes in the media library instead of images. In that case, you may need to fix the file permissions. For detailed instructions, see our tutorial on how to fix image upload issues in WordPress.

Replace theme or plugin files

If the failed resource is a WordPress plugin or theme file, then the easiest way to replace it is by reinstalling the plugin or theme.

First, you need to deactivate your current WordPress theme. You can do that by visiting Appearance » Themes page.

Deactivate a WordPress theme

If you have another theme installed on your website, then you can just go ahead and activate that. This will deactivate your current theme. In case you don’t have any other theme installed, then you need to install a default theme.

Once you activate the other theme, you can visit your website to see the error has been resolved.

If the missing resource is a WordPress plugin file, then you will need to reinstall the plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

You can also use FTP to connect to your WordPress hosting account and manually replace a specific file. For more details, see our guide on how to use FTP.

Fixing the WordPress URL to Avoid Failed Resource Error

The most common reason that cause the failed resource error is incorrect WordPress URL settings.

Simply head over to Settings » General page and look for WordPress Address and Site Address options.

WordPress URL settings

You need to make sure that both URL are correct. You need to have the same URLs for both options.

Keep in mind that WordPress treats www and non-www URLs as two different addresses. If you have SSL enabled on your website, then your URLs should begin with https instead of http.

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

You can now visit your website to see if the error has been resolved.

If the error still persists, then you need to follow our complete WordPress troubleshooting guide. It will help you find out what’s causing the issue and how to fix it.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily fix the “Failed to load resource” error in WordPress. You may also want to bookmark our ultimate guide on fixing the most common WordPress errors.

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

The post How To Fix “Failed To Load Resource” Error In WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

WPBeginner

7 Best SMTP Service Providers with High Email Deliverability (2019)

Are you looking for the best SMTP service providers?

An SMTP service provider helps you reliably send emails from your website to your users.

SMTP servers are especially configured to ensure that your emails reach users’ inbox and don’t end up in the junk mail folder.

In this article, we will share the best SMTP service providers with high email deliverability. We will also show you how to send your WordPress emails using these SMTP services.

Best SMTP service providers for higher deliverability

Why You Need an SMTP Service Provider for WordPress Emails?

All WordPress websites rely heavily on email to do various tasks. For example:

  • Recovering lost password
  • Registering a new account
  • Notifications for comments, new articles, password changes, and more
  • If its an online store, then sending customers order confirmation, invoices, and delivery information via email.

By default, WordPress is configured to send emails using the PHP mail() function. This is the primary reason why users complain about WordPress not sending email issue.

There are a number of problems with the default mail method, and why it doesn’t work.

Most hosting providers don’t have this function configured properly. Some even disable it completely to prevent their servers from abuse.

Misusing this function is a common problem as it does not require authentication and can be used to send spam emails.

Even if the mail function is working on your WordPress hosting, sometimes your WordPress emails may still end up in spam because most spam filters will verify sender email, location, domain name, and it would flag your site email as suspicious or spam.

The only way to fix this problem is by using an SMTP server to send WordPress emails.

What is SMTP?

SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is the industry standard to send emails on the internet. It uses proper authentication which increases the chances that your emails will actually get delivered in users inbox.

There are both paid and free SMTP service providers. In fact, you can get a free SMTP account with a business email address from Google or Outlook.

However, there is a limit on how many emails you can send using the traditional email services. Usually, these free email providers like Gmail or Outlook don’t want you to use their SMTP servers for automatic emails like those sent by a WordPress website.

This is why you need to sign up with one of the well-known SMTP service providers to ensure that your emails are properly delivered. Don’t worry, a lot of the top SMTP companies offer very generous free SMTP plans that are good enough for most websites.

Let’s take a look at the best SMTP service providers with high deliverability.

Best SMTP Service Providers

There are many SMTP service providers that allow you to send mass emails, WordPress emails, transactional emails, and more.

However, each one of them is different in terms of features, pricing, ease of use, number of emails allowed on free plan, and most importantly their track record on deliverability.

Following are the best SMTP service providers that offer higher deliverability and best set of features.

1. Mailjet

Mailjet

Mailjet is the best SMTP service provider on the market. They offer a beginner friendly email marketing and transactional SMTP email service.

You can easily integrate Mailjet with your website and use it to send WordPress emails using SMTP. They offer a highly robust API with SMTP relay service to ensure that your emails don’t end up in spam.

Other notable features include drag and drop editor with email templates, built-in email marketing features, transactional SMS, marketing automation, and more. They also offer A/B testing and advanced statics to monitor your open rate, delivery rates, clicks, and more.

Pricing: Mailjet offers a free plan with up to 6000 emails every month (200 emails per day). Their paid plans start from $ 8.69 per month (billed annually) with 30,000 emails per month (no daily limit).

2. SendinBlue

SendinBlue

SendinBlue is another top SMTP email service provider on the market. They offer a powerful marketing platform with transactional emails, email marketing, SMS marketing, and live chat.

It works beautifully with WordPress and other third-party platforms like OptinMonster, Salesforce, Google Analytics and many more. They also offer powerful personalization and marketing automation features to help with your marketing campaigns.

SendinBlue has a highly extensible API and SMTP relay service which instantly improves your email delivery for transactional emails.

Pricing: SendinBlue has a forever free plan with 300 emails per day. Their paid plans start from $ 25 per month with 40,000 emails per month and no daily sending limits.

3. Mailgun

Mailgun

Mailgun is a popular SMTP service provider for developers and businesses. They offer powerful APIs to send transactional emails.

It is easy to integrate into your WordPress website. Whether you are an eCommerce store, a membership website, or a small business, Mailgun offers an easy to scale SMTP service to send your marketing and transactional emails.

It is designed for developers and lacks some of the beginner-friendly features of other SMTP providers on the list.

Pricing: Mailgun offers a ‘pay as you go’ plan with first 10,000 emails free. The free plan is more than enough for small websites. Their paid plans are fairly competitive in the market. However if you want a dedicated IP and improved deliverability, then it starts at $ 79 per month with 1 dedicated IP address.

4. SendGrid

SendGrid

SendGrid is a powerful cloud-based SMTP email service provider that allows you to send mass emails without managing an SMTP server. It offers higher scalability with a powerful set of features.

Their SMTP relay is easy to setup and works with any WordPress site. It includes delivery optimization tools, email analytics, email templates with a simple email editor, and integrations with third-party apps and services.

If deliverability is your main concern, then SendGrid offers great tools to further improve email delivery including dedicated IP addresses and domain name authentication tools.

Pricing: They offer a free plan with first 40,000 emails free and then 100 emails per day. Their paid plans start at $ 14.95 per month.

5. Amazon SES

Amazon SES

AWS or Amazon Web Services is the industry leader in cloud computing infrastructure. They also offer Amazon SES or Amazon Simple Email Service as an add-on to their web services.

It is a powerful cloud-based SMTP service for marketers and developers to easily send marketing, notification, and transactional email campaigns.

It offers higher deliverability with cost efficiency of AWS. You get a lot of powerful features, but most of them are suitable for advanced users and developers.

Amazon SES can be easily integrated into your WordPress site with the help of plugins (more on this later in the article). Depending on your usage, Amazon SES can be the cheapest SMTP service in the market.

Pricing: If your website is hosted on AWS, then you can use their free tier to send 62,000 emails each month. For other websites, pricing starts at $ 0.10 for every 1,000 emails you send.

6. G Suite

G Suite

G Suite is Google’s productivity suite for businesses. It allows you to use calendar, Google Drive, Docs, Photos, and Gmail with your own domain name.

This allows you to get a professional business email address while still using the familiar interface of Google. G Suite allows you to use Google SMTP servers to send out emails which means you can set up an email account for your WordPress site and then use it to send WordPress emails.

However, it is only suitable for small business websites and blogs because it can only send 2,000 messages a day. For details see our article on how to set up a professional email address with G Suite

Pricing: Starts from $ 6 per user per month.

7. Postmark

Postmark

Postmark is another easy to use SMTP service provider for websites, marketers, and businesses. It offers lightening fast email delivery with simpler pricing and easy integration.

Sending transactional emails is their expertise, which means they are focused on deliverability and speed. They offer easy to follow email analytics, account security, mobile-friendly responsive templates, message events triggered with simple webhooks, and more.

Pricing: Starting from $ 10 per month for 10,000 emails then $ 1.25 per 1,000 emails.

Which is the Best SMTP Service Provider?

Aside from the top SMTP providers that we mentioned above, there are literally dozens of others like Mandrill, Moosend, Pepipost, etc.

The large number of choices make it difficult for users to select the best SMTP service provider for their needs.

When choosing an SMTP service, you need to look at three main factors: email deliverability, scalability, and pricing.

Since every platform in our list offers high email deliverability and with exception of G Suite, all platforms can scale to send millions of emails per day, we will focus on pricing since it’s often a big deciding factor.

At first glance, the free plans look very competitive across all platforms. If you have a small website, then you really can’t go wrong with any of our top three SMTP recommendation: Mailjet, SendinBlue, and Mailgun.

However as your website grows, pricing becomes a pretty big factor. Mailjet offers the most competitive pricing with scalability and most importantly reliable technical support.

For example, if you’re sending 150,000 emails per month, you will pay $ 68.95 per month, and you will have a dedicated IP. Whereas for the same amount of sending requirement and dedicated IP, SendGrid will cost $ 79.95 per month and MailGun will cost $ 109 per month.

Now if you have a technical team in house, then nothing will beat the pricing of Amazon SES because its $ 0.10 per 1000 emails. This means 150,000 emails per month will only cost $ 15 on Amazon SES. The big catch is that their technical support is quite limited. For dedicated IP, you just have to pay $ 24.95 per month.

For large sites, there really isn’t a more cost efficient SMTP solution than Amazon.

Our pick for best SMTP providers for small business: Mailjet and SendinBlue.

Our pick for best SMTP providers for large business and eCommerce websites: Amazon SES.

How to Easily Connect Your SMTP Service to WordPress

Once you sign up with an SMTP service provider, the next step is to integrate it with your WordPress site. This would replace the default WordPress mail function with your SMTP service, so your email actually gets delivered.

WP Mail SMTP is the best WordPress SMTP plugin which allows you to easily send WordPress emails using any SMTP service provider.

It is available as both a free SMTP plugin and the premium version with more features. The paid version gives you access to email controls to choose which WordPress notification emails to send using your SMTP service provider.

You also get email logs and easier setup for popular SMTP providers like Mailgun, SendGrid, Amazon SES, Gmail, Outlook, G Suite, and more. The Elite plan gives you access to their White Glove Setup where an expert from their team will set up your SMTP service.

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

Upon activation, you need to visit WP Mail SMTP » Settings page and enter your license key. You can find this information from your account on WP Mail SMTP website.

WP Mail SMTP settings

After entering your license key, the next step is to configure your mailing service.

Scroll down to the Mail section and enter the from email address. This is the email address you have added to use with your SMTP service provider.

Mail settings

After that, you need to enter a from name. Ideally, this should be your website title, so that your users know where the email is coming from.

Scroll down to the Mailer section. If your SMTP service provider is listed there, then you can select it here.

Choose your SMTP service provider

Choosing an SMTP provider will show you settings specific to that service provider with a link to detailed instructions on how to enter the required information.

However, if your SMTP server is not listed there, then select ‘Other SMTP’ option. WP Mail SMTP works with all SMTP providers.

Below that you will now see the information you need to enter. You can find this information on your SMTP service provider’s website under your account.

Other SMTP provider

You will need the following information.

  • SMTP Host: You smtp host address which usually looks like this smtp.yoursmtpserver.com
  • Encryption: Usually it is either SSL or TLS
  • SMTP Port: Usually it is 465
  • Authentication: Turn on authentication
  • Username: Username provided by your SMTP service usually it is your email address.
  • Password: Password for your SMTP service

Now, the plugin recommends that instead of saving your username and password in plain text, you add it to your wp-config.php file. See our guide on how to edit wp-config.php file.

After entering all the required information, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Settings’ button to store your changes.

You can now send a test email to see if everything is working fine. Switch to the Email Test tab and enter an email address to send a test email.

Send test email

WP Mail SMTP will now send a test email to the address you entered. Check your inbox to make sure that you got the test email.

Congratulations, you have successfully set up your WordPress site to use your SMTP service provider.

We hope this article helped you find the best SMTP service provider to send WordPress emails. You may also want to see our guide on easy ways to grow your email list faster.

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

The post 7 Best SMTP Service Providers with High Email Deliverability (2019) appeared first on WPBeginner.

WPBeginner

How to Create an Online Course with WordPress (the RIGHT WAY)

Did you know that you can create a successful online course with WordPress?

Selling online courses is a popular online business idea that you can start with a very small investment and no technical knowledge.

WordPress plugins make it easy for you to create an online course without writing any code!

Whether you’re looking to create an online course to sell or simply add an online course for your existing students, this article is for you!

In this guide, we will show you how to easily create an online course in WordPress. We will also show you how to make money from it and make your online course a success.

Easily creating an online course in WordPress

Here are the steps we will cover to help you create an online course with WordPress:

Ready? Let’s get started.

What Do You Need to Create / Sell an Online Course?

You will need the following things to create an online course.

  • A domain name. This will be your website’s address (Example, wpbeginner.com).
  • A WordPress hosting account. This is where your website’s files are stored.
  • A learning management add-on (also known as LMS plugin) to create and manage courses.
  • Your undivided attention for the next 45 minutes.

You can build an online course with WordPress in less than an hour, and we’ll walk you through every step of the process.

Let’s get started.

Step 1. Setting up Your WordPress Website

There are plenty of website builders that you can use to build your website. However, we always recommend WordPress because it offers you the flexibility and freedom to take your website in any direction you want.

There are two types of WordPress, and often beginners end up confusing them.

First, there is WordPress.com which is a hosting service, and then you have the original WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. See our guide on the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

We recommend using WordPress.org because it gives you access to all the WordPress features that you’ll need.

To start a self-hosted WordPress.org website, you’ll need a domain name ($ 14.99 / year), WordPress hosting ($ 7.99 / month), and SSL certificate to accept online payments ($ 69.99 / year).

This is quite a lot of startup money.

Luckily, Bluehost, an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and a 60% discount on web hosting. Basically, you can get started for $ 2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

After purchasing hosting, head over to our guide on how to create a WordPress website for step by step set up instructions.

Step 2. Install and Setup LearnDash LMS Plugin

Now that your WordPress website is ready, the next step is to install and setup a Learning Management System add-on. This will allow you to create your online course and add it to your website.

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

LearnDash is the best LMS plugin for WordPress. It is an all-in-one solution with complete course management, lesson plans, quizzes, assignments, course progression, and more.

Upon activation, you need to visit LearnDash LMS » Settings page and click on the LMS License tab to enter your email address and the license key.

LearnDash license

Once you have entered the information, click on the ‘Update License’ button to store your settings.

Next, you need to switch to the ‘PayPal Settings’ tab. This is where you will enter your PayPal information to receive online payments and sell your course.

PayPal settings

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

LearnDash also has Stripe and 2Checkout payment gateways available as Addons. You can install those if you don’t want to use PayPal.

We will cover more powerful options for selling your online course with WordPress later in this article.

Once you have configured the basic settings, your LearnDash LMS plugin is ready to go, and you can start creating courses.

Step 3. Creating Your First Course

LearnDash makes it super easy to create and manage online courses.

First, you need to visit LearnDash LMS » Courses page and then click on the ‘Add New’ button.

Add new course

This will bring you to the ‘Add New Course’ screen. You will need to start by providing a title for your course and then adding a detailed description.

Adding new course page

You can use the post editor blocks to create a beautiful course page. You can also add course categories / tags, and a featured image also known as course thumbnail.

Next, you need to switch to the ‘Settings’ tab on the course editor. This is where you can set different options for the course including price, status, etc.

Course settings

Scroll down to the course access settings and from there you can set the course status. You can make a course open and publicly available, free, buy now, recurring, or closed.

Control course access

Selecting ‘Buy now’ will allow you to set a one-time price for your course. The recurring option will allow you to charge enrollees on a recurring basis. You’d be able to set a price and duration for the recurring payment.

Below that, you can select course pre-requisites, points, access expiration, and alter access list options.

Control course options

Once you are satisfied with your course options, you can click on the save or publish button to make your course publicly available.

You can click on the preview button to see your course in action.

Step 4. Adding Lessons to Your Course

Now that you have created your first course. It’s time to add lessons to the course. LearnDash allows you to create highly interactive lessons and then add them to your online course.

There are two ways that you can add lessons and other course content with LearnDash.

The first one is by switching to the ‘Builder’ tab in the course editor. From here you can add lessons, topics, and quizzes to your course.

The course builder in LearnDash

Simply click on the ‘Add Lesson’ button to add a new lesson to your course. This allows you to quickly create a course outline.

The other method is to simply head over to LearnDash LMS » Lessons page and click on the Add New button.

Add new lesson

This will bring you to the lesson editor. First, you need to provide a title for your lesson and then you can start adding lesson content.

Creating a lesson in LearnDash

You can utilize all the usual post editing features. You can add images, galleries, embed videos, and create beautiful content layouts using cover images, columns, and other features.

Once you are satisfied with the lesson content, switch to the ‘Settings’ tab.

Lesson settings

First, you will see the options to control lesson support material, progression, assignment uploads, and lesson timer. Each option has a support icon next to it explaining what it does.

Scroll down to the ‘Lesson Access Settings’ section. From here, you can associate the lesson to your course and control when users can access it.

Lesson access

Using Drip Content Functionality

LearnDash LMS comes with powerful drip content functionality. This means instead of giving away all course materials at once, you can gradually release them.

In the lesson access control settings, you can choose the ‘Enrollment-Based’ option and select the number of days.

Drip control course content and lessons

Once you are satisfied with the lesson, you can click on the publish button to save your lesson.

Your lesson will now automatically appear on the course page below course details. You can repeat the process to add more lessons to your course.

You can also break down an individual lesson into topics. Simply go to LearnDash LMS » Topics page and click on the ‘Add New’ button to add a topic.

Creating a topic is similar to creating a lesson. Instead of associating it to a course, you will just need to associate it to a lesson.

Adding topics to the lesson

Step 5. Adding Quizzes and Assignments to Your Online Course

Quizzes and assignments allow you to offer an interactive learning experience. LearnDash comes fully equipped with dynamic quizzes and assignments that you can add to your course and lessons.

You can make the quizzes and assignments required for your users before they can progress to the next lesson or course. You can also review assignments and give feedback to students.

Let’s start with quizzes first.

Creating Quizzes in LearnDash

To add a quiz, you need to visit LearnDash LMS » Quizzes page and click on the Add New button.

Add quizzes

First, you will need to provide a title and description for your quiz.

Creating the quiz page

After that, you need to switch to the settings tab and associate your quiz to a course, lesson, or topic.

Quiz settings

Below that you will find options to set quiz pre-requisites, marks, certificates, and display settings.

Quiz display settings

Once you are done, click on the save or publish button to save your quiz.

Your quiz is empty at the moment. Let’s change that by adding some questions to it. Head over to LearnDash LMS » Questions page and click on the Add New button.

Add new question

This will bring you to the question editor. First, you need to provide a title which could also be the question itself. Below that, you can provide a little description of the question.

Question title and description

From the right column, you need to choose the answer type for your question. Depending on the answer type, the options for your question will change.

Select an answer type

After that, you can enter answer choices. You will also be able to select what message to show on the correct answer.

Once you are done, switch to the Settings tab and associate your question to the quiz you created earlier.

Add question to the quiz

Don’t forget to click on the save button before you move onto add another question.

Feel free to add as many questions as you need for your quiz.

Enable Assignments in LearnDash

You can easily add assignments by editing a lesson and going to the lesson options area. You need to check the box next to upload assignment option.

Assignment uploads

After that, you can provide the assignment instructions in your lesson. At the end of the lesson, users will see an option to upload their assignment.

Upload your assignment

Once users have uploaded their assignments, you can view them by visiting LearnDash LMS » Assignments page.

Manage Assignments

From this page, you can edit assignments, approve them, or give comments on submitted assignments.

Step 6. Giving Certificates on Course Completion

LearnDash allows you to automatically give certificates upon completion of a course. However, creating a certificate in LearnDash requires some basic knowledge of HTML.

First, you will need a certificate image file. This is basically the background image you want to use for your certificates.

You can find certificate templates on free image creating websites like Canva. Once you find a template that you like, simply delete all text from it and download it to your computer.

Select certificate image

Next, you need to visit LearnDash LMS » Certificates page and click on the ‘Add New’ button.

Add new certificate

This will bring you to the certificate edit screen. From here you need to set the background image you downloaded earlier as the featured image.

After that, you need to use the Visual editor and click on the shortcodes button to add LearnDash metadata into the certificate. Using the shortcodes, you can add the course title, user name, and other data.

Editing certificate in LearnDash

Once you are satisfied with the certificate, you need to publish it.

Next, you need to associate the certificate to a course, lesson, or quiz. For example, you can issue the certificate on completion of a course, submitting a quiz, or finishing a lesson.

To add the certificate, simply edit the course, quiz, or lesson and switch to the settings tab. From here you can select the certificate you just created.

Associate certificate to your course

Step 7. Selling Your Online Course with More Powerful Features

Both LearnDash and WordPress are super flexible. This allows you to use them with any other tools to grow your business and reach more users.

For example, if you want to create a powerful membership site / community that offers other features and perks along with courses, then you can use LearnDash with MemberPress.

MemberPress is the best WordPress membership plugin because it offers more granular permission / subscription control.

It comes with a powerful payment system that will allow you to grow your business more efficiently.

Alternatively, if you want to sell other items like physical goods related to your course, swags, etc, then you can use WooCommerce to manage payments and orders. This will let you build a proper online store for your website.

Step 8. Promoting Your Online Course

WordPress and LearnDash make it super easy to build and manage your online course.

The other advantage of WordPress is that it also makes it easier for you to promote your online course and make money online.

Let’s take a look at few ways to promote your online course and make it successful.

1. Choose a LearnDash ready WordPress Theme

Themes control the appearance of your WordPress site, and there are thousands of free WordPress themes on the market. However, not all of them are made for selling an online course.

For that, you will need a WordPress theme optimized for making more sales and increase conversions. You would also be looking for a mobile responsive theme that works well with LearnDash.

Our first recommendation would be the Astra theme. This incredibly powerful WordPress theme is tested to work well with LearnDash, and it is highly optimized for conversions / sales.

Astra LearnDash

Choosing the Astra Pro version will also give you access to their LearnDash module. This gives you additional features to promote your online course and encourage more sign-ups.

We would also recommend you to check out the following themes (all of them work with LearnDash).

  • OceanWP – A highly versatile WordPress theme with easy customization options.
  • Academy Pro – Made by StudioPress and powered by Genesis theme framework, this theme is made specifically for selling online courses.
  • Divi – Divi comes with powerful drag and drop page builder and dozens of ready made designs to easily get started.

2. Create Landing Pages for Your Online Courses

Your WordPress theme would be able to help you create a highly engaging website. However, you may need to quickly create landing pages to describe course details, showcase instructors, highlight special offers, etc.

For that, you’ll need Beaver Builder. It is the best WordPress page builder and allows you to create professional landing page layouts without writing any code.

Beaver Builder

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to create custom page layouts in WordPress.

3. Learn The SEO Basics

Search engines are the #1 traffic source for most websites on the internet. This is why you’ll need to learn how to make your online course website rank higher in search engines.

With the help of WordPress plugins and some basic SEO best practices, you’d be easily able to compete with the big guys.

To learn more, see our complete WordPress SEO guide for beginners with step by step instructions.

4. Track Marketing Data

A lot of beginners develop their marketing strategy based on guesswork. You don’t have to do that when you can get actual data to make informed decisions.

For that, you’ll need MonsterInsights. It helps you install Google Analytics and see human-readable reports inside your WordPress dashboard.

You can see where your visitors are coming from, what they do on your website, your most popular pages, and more. You can then improve your website to improve your conversions and boost sales.

5. Start Building an Email List

After a while, you would notice that most visitors who come to your website don’t sign up for your online course. The problem is that you would not be able to reach out to those users once they leave your website.

To address this, you need to start an email newsletter. This way you would be able to collect email addresses and reach out to those users and bring them back to your website.

We recommend using Constant Contact or ConvertKit.

6. Convert Website Visitors into Subscribers and Customers

Most visitors who come to your website will leave without enrolling into your online course. This is why it’s important to convert those abandoning visitors into subscribers or paying customers.

This is called conversion optimization.

The best tool for the job is OptinMonster. It is the best conversion optimization software on the market and helps you grow your business with more leads and sales.

For more details, see our guide on how to convert website visitors into customers.

Need even more tools? See our complete list of the best tools to grow your WordPress website like a total pro.

We hope this article helped you easily create a successful online course in WordPress. You may also want to see our tips on grow your business online without a lot of money.

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

The post How to Create an Online Course with WordPress (the RIGHT WAY) appeared first on WPBeginner.

WPBeginner

How to Host a Website (Simple Guide for Beginners) in 2019

Do you want to learn how to host a website? Self-hosted website builders like WordPress offer you full freedom to build any kind of website.

The challenge is that most beginners don’t know the best way to host a website. Many even believe that it requires special technical skills to host their own websites.

That’s simply not true.

If you choose the right approach, then you can easily host your own website within just a few minutes. In most cases, it is just as easy as creating a facebook account.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll show you the exact steps on how to host a website without learning any technical skills.

We will also explain how it all works behind the scenes. This would help you gain a basic understanding of different ways to host a website.

Ready? Let’s get started.

How to host a website

Here is what you’ll learn in this guide.

What Does it Mean to Host a Website?

Hosting a website means that you put your website files on a special computer called server. This computer makes your website files publicly accessible on the internet, so anyone can visit it.

In order for other people around the world to see the website, these special computers have a particular set of software installed. This software is called a web server.

A web server’s basic job is to receive incoming requests and respond by sending the requested page to the user’s browser.

Hosting a website

Now all of this may sound like bunch of technical jargon, and it is.

However, you don’t need to learn how to do all these things in order to host your website. Luckily, there are thousands of companies that offer this as a service (at very low cost).

All websites on the internet use a web hosting company to host their websites. Even tech giants like Netflix (hosted on Amazon) and PayPal (hosted by Google Cloud hosting) use third-party service providers for their hosting.

There are only a handful of companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon that completely host all their services on their own platforms.

They can do this because they have the technical and financial resources to take on such a huge task. All other businesses (including us) use a web hosting company to host their website.

What Do You Need to Host a Website

You will need the following two things to host a website.

  • Web hosting service provider
  • Domain name

Web hosting service providers offer you ready-to-use web servers to host your website. They take care of all the technical stuff and provide website owners with easy to use tools to manage their hosting.

Now, how do users reach your self-hosted website? This is where domain names come in.

A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser to visit your website. For example, wpbeginner.com will bring you to this website.

Basically, a domain name is a human-friendly way to connect user’s browsers to the website server associated with that domain name. To learn more, see our guide on what is a domain name and how do domains work.

how domain names work

You can purchase a domain name from one of these top domain registrars. These are companies licensed to sell domain name registrations.

To understand the relationship between hosting and domains, see our guide on the difference between web hosting and domain name.

Note: later in this article, we will show you how to get a domain name for free.

But first, let’s take a look at different types of web hosting plans and evaluate which one would be the right fit to host your website.

Types of Website Hosting Services

Not all websites are the same. Some are smaller and have low traffic while others are larger with more content and visitors.

A smaller website requires fewer resources. On the other hand, a larger and more popular website will need more resources to run efficiently.

Website hosting companies provide different types of hosting offers designed to address specific website needs. Here are some of the most common hosting services.

1. Shared Hosting

A shared hosting service is suitable for small websites, blogs, and small businesses who are just starting out.

They are able to keep their costs down by allowing multiple websites to share the same server resources. This makes hosting your website affordable.

Pricing: Starting from 2.75 per month to $ 7.99 per month

Suitable for: Starting a new blog, small business website

Our recommended shared hosting provider: Bluehost

To learn more see our guide on the truth about best shared web hosting.

2. VPS Hosting

VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server hosting) is still a shared hosting environment. However, it offers a flexible set of resources to handle large traffic spikes.

You get a partitioned of private server for your website that you can manage from your hosting control panel. This gives you the best of both worlds, the low cost of shared hosting with the flexibility of dedicated resources.

Pricing: Starting from $ 29.99 / month

Suitable for: Medium-sized businesses, popular blogs, and eCommerce stores.

Our recommended VPS hosting company: HostGator

To learn more, see our article about when you need VPS hosting for your site.

3. Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized hosting service made specifically for WordPress. It is like a concierge service for your WordPress website.

On a managed hosting platform, the hosting company takes care of updates, backups, and caching of your website. This allows you to focus on creating content and growing your business.

Pricing: Starting from $ 35.00 per month

Suitable for: Popular blogs, business websites, membership websites

Our recommended managed WordPress hosting company: WP Engine

For more details, see our article explaining when do you really need a managed WordPress hosting.

4. Dedicated Hosting

A dedicated server hosting gives you the entire server dedicated to your own website. You get all the resources of the server, advanced tools for server management, ability to install your own software and even your own operating system.

You’ll be managing your own server which may require some technical skills. It is an advanced option for larger websites that need high-performance to tackle higher traffic volume.

Pricing: Starting from $ 79.99 month

Suitable for: Enterprise level businesses, hugely popular websites, eCommerce stores

Our recommended Dedicated hosting company: SiteGround or HostGator

Note: We use HostGator custom dedicated servers to host the WPBeginner website.

Choosing The Right Plan to Host a Website

As you can see, all different hosting plans come with different server configuration and pricing. You’ll need to choose a plan that suits your needs and budget.

At WPBeginner, we recommend users to start with a low cost shared hosting plan and then upgrade as their business grows. This allows you to save money and only pay for the services that you actually need.

Shared hosting plans start from $ 7.99 per month (paid annually) and $ 14.99 for a domain name.

Now if you are just starting out, then this is still a significant investment.

Luckily, Bluehost has agreed to offer our users a discount on hosting and free domain name. Basically, you’ll be able to get started for $ 2.75 per month.

They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

For other shared hosting plans, see our comparison of the best hosting companies.

Once you have signed up for a hosting account, the next step is to create your website. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to make a website.

How Much It Cost to Host a Website

So far we have covered the costs of web hosting companies. However, your costs of hosting a website may vary depending on several factors.

The first thing is the hosting plan you choose. We recommend starting with smaller shared hosting plans and then upgrade as your business and website grows.

Once you start building a website, you may need to spend money on other things as well such as website templates, software extensions, and other services.

Your goal would be to only buy what you actually need and use free tools whenever you can.

We have an excellent guide on the cost of building a WordPress website and how to avoid overspending.

How to Host a Website on Your Computer

We are often asked by our users if they can host a website on their own computer.

Yes, you can.

However, the only reason you should host a website on your computer is when you want to test a site locally before putting it on the internet.

A lot of beginners find it useful to learn web development, WordPress, and coding by installing a local server on their computer.

See our tutorials on how to set up local server on Windows and Mac.

This will allow you to install a local server without making it publicly available.

We don’t recommend using a local server to host a website and make it publicly available. However, we will show you how to do that for users who are feeling adventurous.

Putting Your Local Host Server Online

Once you host a website on your local server, it will only be available to you. You’ll need to change its settings to put your website on the internet.

First, locate your web server software’s configuration file called httpd.conf.

If you are using WAMP on Windows, then you’ll find it under C:\wamp\bin\apache\apache[version#]\conf] folder.

MAMP users on Mac will find it inside /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/ folder.

You can open this file using a plain text editor like Notepad or TextEdit. After that, you need to find the line that begins with

Listen 80

You need to replace it with your IP address and port number. You can find your IP address by simply Googling ‘what is my ip address’ it will show you a numeric string separated by dots. Here’s an example of what that code should look like with your IP:

Listen 64.233.160.1:80

Next, you need to find the following line:

ServerName localhost:80

Go ahead and change it by replacing localhost:80 with your IP address.

ServerName 64.233.160.1

Next, you need to find the following line for WAMP:

<Directory "c:/wamp/www/">

If you are using MAMP, then look for the following line:

<Directory "/Applications/MAMP/htdocs">

Below this line you’ll see the access permissions, which you need to replace with the following:

Order Allow,Deny
Allow from all

You can now save your configuration file and restart your local server with the new permissions.

Now anyone can use your IP address to access your website instead of localhost. This is not an ideal situation as it would be hard for your users to remember the IP address.

That’s where domain names come in handy.

Pointing Your Domain Name to a Locally Hosted Website

Pointing your domain name to a website that you are hosting on your own computer will allow users to access it as they would do with any other site.

First, you need to edit your domain name’s DNS settings. We’re using Domain.com in our screenshots below:

Editing DNS settings for your domain name

After that, you need to edit the A name record with @ sign as the Name. If you don’t have one, then click on Add new record button to proceed.

Adding A record for your domain

In the value field, you need to enter your computer’s IP address and click on the Update DNS button to save your changes.

If the computer with your local server is connected to the internet directly, then you are all done.

However, if your computer is connected to the internet via router then you need to forward ports. To do that, you need to login to your router’s admin interface by entering the router’s IP address in your browser address bar.

Depending on the manufacturer, your router interface may look slightly different. You will need to find the option labeled port forwarding, virtual server, or NAT.

Port forwarding

Next, you need to forward web or HTTP traffic to port 80. In the IP address field, you need to enter the IP address of your computer on the local network. This IP address is the internal address that identifies your computer on the local network.

After that, you need to apply the changes and restart your router.

Disadvantages of Hosting a Website by Yourself

Hosting your website on a local computer is a bad idea. This is why even the tech giants with enough resources, skills, and know-how prefer to go with a hosting service provider.

Following are just a few disadvantages of hosting a website on local computer.

  • In order to run a web server, you need to put it on a computer connected to a high-speed internet connection 24 hours a day.
  • You also need to install updates for the web server software, keep backups, plan on a backup server, and more.
  • The computer hosting your website will also be open to hacking attempts, malware injection, and DDOS attacks. This could also affect the security of all other computers on your network.
  • You will need to purchase a static IP address from your internet service provider, which will cost you extra.

Doing all this will require a lot of time, effort, and technical skills. This is why it is a bad idea to host your website on a local computer by yourself.

FAQs about Website Hosting

Having helped thousands of beginners start their own websites, we have heard every possible question. Following are some of the most commonly asked questions from people who want to host a website.

1. Why do I need a hosting provider to host a website?

Hosting service providers specialize in maintaining a platform to serve websites. They have engineers and system administrators in their staff that monitor their servers 24/7.

This allows you to focus on building your website and growing your business instead of managing server software.

2. Can I buy a domain name and hosting from two companies?

Yes, you can. However, buying them from the same company allows you to manage both of them under the same dashboard. Also some providers like Bluehost even offer a free domain as an incentive to use their service.

3. Can I buy a domain name and host my website later?

Yes, you can buy a domain name alone. However, it will not be pointing to your website until you choose a hosting provider.

We recommend Domain.com for registering a domain name. They offer beginner friendly domain management tools, which will make it easy to connect your domain to any hosting provider later.

4. Can I host my website on my local computer and later move it to a hosting provider?

Yes, you can do that. However, if you are serious about making a website, then it is better to start with a hosting provider.

5. Can I host a website with one provider and then change it to another provider?

Yes, you can move your website to any other hosting company at any time. See our article on how to move your website to a new host for detailed instructions.

6. Where do I host my website?

There are so many hosting companies out there, that it becomes difficult for beginners to make the right choice.

Over the years, we have worked with all the top hosting companies on the market. This has given us insights into what makes a good hosting platform.

For starter websites, we recommend Bluehost. They automatically install WordPress, and they offer a beginner friendly dashboard, built-in caching, security, and more. On top of it, they are offering WPBeginner readers discount on hosting + free domain name.

For more recommendations, see our complete list of the best hosting companies with their pros and cons.

There are few companies offering free web hosting, but we recommend that you be very careful about those.

We hope this article helped you learn how to host your website. You may also want to see our guide on how to get a free business email address for your website.

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

The post How to Host a Website (Simple Guide for Beginners) in 2019 appeared first on WPBeginner.

WPBeginner

How to Add Pinterest “Pin It” Button in WordPress (Ultimate Guide)

Do you want to add the Pinterest “Pin It” button in WordPress? Recently, a new traffic source popped up in our blog stats.

It was significant enough for us to take notice. This traffic source was Pinterest.

Pinterest is a popular social networking site that allows you to share visual content and drive a lot of traffic to your website (follow WPBeginner on Pinterest).

In this article, we will show you how to add the Pinterest “Pin It” button to your WordPress blog. We will also explain how to add the Pin It button over the images of your website.

Add Pinterest Pin It button in WordPress

Adding a Pinterest “Pin It” Button Using a Plugin

Pinterest officially changed the “Pin It” button name to Save in 2016.

Although some plugins still use the name “Pin It” instead of Save, they do the same job of pinning your images to Pinterest.

The easiest way to add a Pinterest button to your WordPress site is by using a social sharing plugin.

We recommend using Shared Counts plugin for this purpose. It is the best social media plugin for WordPress because it’s free and allows you to easily add the Pinterest button along with other popular social networks.

To get started, you need to install and activate the Shared Counts plugin. You can follow our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for detailed instructions.

Upon installation, head over to Settings » Shared Counts page to configure the plugin.

Shared Counts settings page

On the settings page, you need to scroll down to the Display section and then click on the “Share Buttons to Display” textbox.

This will open a dropdown menu where you can select the social media services you want to add. By default, Pinterest will be present in that box, along with Facebook and Twitter.

You can also select the location and post type where you want to display the Pinterest button. It comes with multiple button styles that you can choose from the ‘Share button style’ option.

Once you are done, don’t forget to click on the Save Changes button to store the settings.

You can now visit any post on your website to see the Pinterest button in action.

Pinterest button added to WordPress post

Another neat thing about SharedCounts is the free Custom Pinterest Image addon available on Github. This lets you set a custom Pinterest sharing image and description that’s optimized for Pinterest.

Note: We use SharedCount plugin on our website because it’s the best option in the market. It’s very well-coded and it’s free.

Manually Adding a Pinterest Pin It Button in WordPress

Some intermediate users may prefer to add the social sharing buttons manually to their WordPress site instead of using a plugin.

Let’s take a look at how to manually add a Pinterest button in WordPress.

The first thing you need to do is make a complete WordPress backup of your site. This will help you restore your site in case something breaks by accident.

Next, you need to connect to your WordPress hosting using an FTP client and then go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder.

From here, you need to open your current theme folder and then locate the footer.php file.

Download footer php file

Next, simply right-click on that file and then select Download from the menu. This will download the footer.php file to your computer.

Now you need to open the footer.php file using a plain text editor like Notepad and then paste the following script right before the </body> tag.

 <script type="text/javascript"> (function() {     window.PinIt = window.PinIt || { loaded:false };     if (window.PinIt.loaded) return;     window.PinIt.loaded = true;     function async_load(){         var s = document.createElement("script");         s.type = "text/javascript";         s.async = true;         s.src = "https://assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js";         var x = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];         x.parentNode.insertBefore(s, x);     }     if (window.attachEvent)         window.attachEvent("onload", async_load);     else         window.addEventListener("load", async_load, false); })(); </script> 

Once you have done that, you need to save the file and then upload it back to the current theme folder.

Next, you need to locate and download the single.php file from your theme folder and open it for editing. After that you need to add the following code.

You will need to choose the location where you want it to appear in your post. After post title is the most common placement for social media buttons.

 <?php $  pinterestimage = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $  post->ID ), 'full' ); ?> <a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=<?php echo urlencode(get_permalink($  post->ID)); ?>&media=<?php echo $  pinterestimage[0]; ?>&description=<?php the_title(); ?>" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="vertical">Pin It</a> 

The above code displays the Pinterest button with your featured image, title, description, and post URL in the share URL parameter.

Finally, you need to save the file and upload it back to your theme directory using FTP.

This will add a vertical share button to the posts of your website. If you want to display the horizontal share button, then simply change the count-layout parameter to horizontal.

Creating a Shortcode for Pinterest Button

Recently, one of our users asked us how to create a shortcode for the Pinterest “Pin It” button.

Shortcodes in WordPress allow you to easily add dynamic items to your WordPress posts, pages, and widgets. By creating a shortcode, you’ll be able to manually add Pinterest button in your articles.

First, you’ll need to add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin:

  function get_pin($  atts) { $  pinterestimage = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $  post->ID ), 'full' ); return '<a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=' . urlencode(get_permalink($  post->ID)) . '&media=' . $  pinterestimage[0] . '&description=' . get_the_title() .'" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="vertical">Pin It</a>'; }  add_shortcode('pin', 'get_pin'); 

After that, you can use the [pin] shortcode in your WordPress posts where you want to display the Pinterest button.

Adding Pinterest Pin It Button Over Your Images

If you are running a fashion, photography, or portfolio site, then you definitely want your images to be shared on Pinterest to increase your website traffic.

Let’s take a look at how to add the Pinterest Pin it button over your images in WordPress. This button will appear only when the user brings their mouse over your images, allowing them to easily share the image on their Pinterest profile.

First, you need to install and activate the Pinterest Pin it Button for Images plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » Pinterest Pin It page to configure the plugin.

Pinterest Pin It button for images settings page

On the settings page, you can choose where you want to show the “Pin It” button on your WordPress site. You can display it only on single posts, pages, category pages, or everywhere on your site.

The next option is to choose the default description from the dropdown menu. This will be used as the image description for the pinned image.

Once done, you need to click on the Save button to store the settings. Now you can visit your website and then hover your mouse cursor over any image to see the Pinterest “Pin It” button.

Pinterest Pin It button over images

If you want to exclude some images from showing the Pin It button, then you can add the nopin CSS class to the images you want to exclude.

To do that, you need to select the image block in the post editor and then click on the 3 vertical dots icon from the block toolbar. This will open a menu where you need to click on the Edit as HTML option.

Edit Image as HTML option to add CSS class

You will now see the HTML code of your image. Go ahead to add nopin to the class attribute of the img tag:

<figure class="wp-block-image"><img src="https://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/imagename.jpg" alt="image name" class="nopin wp-image-1687"/></figure>

Similarly, you can also use the plugin to disable automatic display of the “Pin It” button, and use the CSS class “pinthis” to selectively display the button on specific images.

To do that, you need to visit the plugin’s settings page and then locate the Advanced section on the right side of the page.

Pinterest Pin It plugin advanced settings

Now you need to check the option that says ‘Show “Pin it” button only on images with class=”pinthis” ‘, and then click on the Save button.

The next time you add an image to a post or page, you need to select the image block and then use the Edit as HTML option to add the pinthis CSS class to the image code. Here is an example:

<figure class="wp-block-image"><img src="https://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/imagename.jpg" alt="image name" class="pinthis wp-image-1687"/></figure>

This will show the Pinterest button on that specific image, even if you have disabled the option to automatically show the Pin It button on your site.

That’s all!

We hope this article helped you understand how to add a Pinterest “Pin It” button to your WordPress blog. You may also want to see our guide on how to create an email newsletter and get more subscribers.

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

The post How to Add Pinterest “Pin It” Button in WordPress (Ultimate Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.

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