WordPress guides
WordPressInside provides quality WordPress related guides. We launched December 2014 and hope you have an awesome experience.

There are multiple ways to get your WordPress up and running. I will list them in order of difficulty.

  1. Managed wordpress hosting
  2. Using Installatron to install wordpress
  3. Manually Installing WordPress

Managed WordPress hosting

If you are not code savvy then you can choose to purchase managed WordPress hosting. Basically you will pay a small premium compared to regular hosting. In return your hosting company will install WordPress for you and all you have to do is login with the username and password provided! Managed WordPress hosting also keeps your WordPress up to date.

Interested? WordPress inside offers a 50% discount on our own Managed WordPress Hosting solutions! More information can be found here.

Using Installatron to install WordPress

If Managed WordPress Hosting is too expensive for you then you could choose a hosting plan that includes Installatron. All our hosting plans come with Installatron. WordPress inside offers a 50% discount on our own Hosting plans.

Step 1: Log in

Log into your hosting plan’s control panel. This could be DirectAdmin, C-Panel or Plesk. For this tutorial we will assume you are using DirectAdmin like we are.

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Step 2: Find Installatron

Once logged in navigate too Installatron Applications Installer

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Step 3: Find WordPress

Enter WordPress in the search box and press enter

how-to-install-wordpress-using-installatron-search-wordpress

Step 4: Install WordPress

Press “Install this application” from the dropdown menu.

how-to-install-wordpress-using-installatron-install-this-application

 

Step 5: Enter your data

Installatron will now ask you to enter some required details and settings regarding your new WordPress installation. Let’s discuss them…

how-to-install-wordpress-using-installatron-required-details

Location

Domain: A dropdown box, select the URL your website will be accessible on. I suggest using the version that has http://www in it!

Location: the subdirectory. Often this will show “blog” by default. Leave it empty to directly access WordPress using your domain.

Version

Version:  Version Use recommended (latest stable)

Language: Choose your desired WordPress language (usually English).
EULA: Accept (or not if you don’t agree)
Automatic update: I recommend disabling these updates as some updates can break your plugins and or themes. Although a backup is created your site can show weird stuff for hours, or even days before you notice it.

Settings

Enter your Administrator username, password, email, website title and tagline. All of these can be changed later.

I recommend using the two factor authentication and/or using the limit login attempts. However locking yourself out  means having to wait or knowing how to edit Mysql databases. So be careful here.

Enable multi-site: Disable. You can always enable it later.

Advanced

The easiest way to install WordPress would be to leave the option to “Automatically manage advanced settings for me”.

how-to-install-wordpress-using-installatron-advanced

If you want more control then you can select “Let me manage these settings”. That way you can choose a specific Mysql database and table prefix. However, you will have to create this database with DirectAdmin before you start the Installatron installation wizard. If you go down this road then simply enter your database name, database password, localhost and table prefix (I recommend changing it from wp_ to something else like wpx_ for security purposes).

Step 6: Let’s install

Press Install at the bottom of the Installatron page.

how-to-install-wordpress-using-installatron-processing

When the installation is complete you can visit the /wp-admin/ url to enter the WordPress administration dashboard. You can automatically login using the link provided by Installatron because it includes a ‘salt’ that is added to the wp-config.php during the installation procedure.

how-to-install-wordpress-using-installatron-installed-applications

Remember, all our hosting plans come with Installatron. WordPress inside offers a 50% discount on our own Hosting plans.

Questions

Something not clear? Feel free to ask around in the comments.

There are multiple ways to get your WordPress up and running. I will list them in order of difficulty.

Managed WordPress hosting

If you are not code savvy then you can chose to purchase managed WordPress hosting. Basically you will pay a small premium compared to regular hosting. In return your hosting company will install WordPress for you and all you have to do is login with the username and password provided! Managed WordPress hosting also keeps your WordPress up to date.

Interested? WordPress inside offers a 50% discount on our own Managed WordPress Hosting solutions! More information can be found here.

Manually Installing WordPress

The cheapest, but hardest, way to install WordPress would be the manual way.

Step 1: Download WordPress

Download the latest WordPress from https://wordpress.org/download/ . At the time of writing this will provide you with wordpress-4.0.1.zip.

Step 2: Extract WordPress

Extract the downloaded file somewhere on your hard drive. It is a zip file so any OS can extract it without requiring additional software. The Zip file contains a folder “wordpress” that houses all files required during installation.

Step3: Upload WordPress

Now we will have to upload the WordPress files to our hosting plan. By default all WordPress files are stored in a folder called ‘wordpress’. If you upload that folder your blog will be installed at yoururl.com/wordpress. Usually you do not want this.

Now you can either chose to rename the folder to something useful like “blog”. Or you can chose to just upload the files inside that folder to your public_html directory. That way your WordPress installation will be working directly from your yoururl.com.

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-upload-wordpress

In any both cases you will need to use your favorite FTP software to upload the files to your server. If you have no experience with uploading files I recommend you checkout this tutorial.

Step4: Create a database

WordPress uses a MySQL database to store its dynamic content. Therefore you will have to create a MySQL database first. This tutorial assumes you are using DirectAdmin like we do.

After you log in to your hosting account you will have to visit MySQL management.

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-mysql-management

Now press create a new database

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-create-new-database

Now enter a database name (for example wp) and password (I recommend using random)

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-database-name

Now DirectAdmin will summarize your database information. We will need that later. So make sure you save it somewhere (print as pdf, print it, copy paste it, write it down, etc).

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Step 5: start the installation procedure

Now we are ready to complete the installation procedure. For that you will have to visit the url of your website. If everything goes well you should see the following message.

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-lets-go

Now press Let’s go!

Step 6: Enter database connection details

Without a database there is no WordPress. Therefore WordPress will first ask you for the database we created at step 4. Enter the database name (testuser_wp) username (testuser_wp), password (z40O5jK) and database host (localhost).

Important: For security purposes it is recommended to change the Table prefix from wp_ to something else. For example change it too ab_ .

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-database-connection-details

Step 6B Optional if things go wrong

If the installation is not able to write the configuration file then you will get the following message,

Sorry, but I can’t write the wp-config.php file.

You can create the wp-config.php manually and paste the following text into it.

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-error-message

This means you have a permission issue because WordPress is not able to write to the directory. You can either do as you are told and copy-paste the text in a new file and name this wp-config.php and then upload it.

However there is a better solution. Go back to DirectAdmin and go into the file manager. Now select the checkbox behind the folder you uploaded WordPress in (public_html OR a subfolder like blog). Then at the bottom set permissions to 777.

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-set-permissions

After this go back to the installation procedure, go back one step and re-enter the database information. Now everything should work. This biggest advantage of this is that the configuration file is now owned by the server. Meaning WordPress itself can change it in the future.

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-appache
The wp-config file is owned by Apache

Step 7: All right, sparky!

Now WordPress will state it is ready to continue

All right, sparky! You’ve made it through this part of the installation. WordPress can now communicate with your database. If you are ready, time now to…

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-sparky

Press Run the Install

Step 8:  Famous 5 minute install

Now we are ready to fill in the final details

Welcome to the famous five-minute WordPress installation process! Just fill in the information below and you’ll be on your way to using the most extendable and powerful personal publishing platform in the world.

WordPress will ask for a Site Title (e.g. WordPressInside), a username (e.g. your name), a password, email (use a working one!). It is highly recommended to use a strong password.

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-famous-install

Now press Install!

Step 9: Success

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-lets-go

Awesome, WordPress has been installed. Now all that remains is pressing to Log In button so you get forwarded to WordPress Administrator dashboard

how-to-install-wordpress-manually-get-started

Summary

Using this guide you have successfully installed WordPress. If you have any questions then don’t be afraid to place them in the comments.

Want to know more about starting to blog with WordPress? Checkout our Getting started category!

The ability to easily add functionality by installing plugins is one of best things about WordPress. There are literally thousands of plugins available and installing them couldn’t be easier! Luckily installing them can be quite simple.

However there are a few ways to install your WordPress plugins

  • Automatic plugin installation
  • Manual plugin installation from the dashboard
  • Manually uploading plugin files (often included in premium themes)

WordPress Automatic plugin installation

Usually automatic installation is the best way to install plugins. WordPress uses a built in browsable version of the plugin repository. With that you can install plugins without leaving your own website.

Step 1: Log into your administrator panel

Visit your Dashboard (located at yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ )  and log in if necessary.

Step2: Find add new plugin

Navigate to Administrator > Plugins> Add New.

Note: You will end up on /wp-admin/plugin-install.php

how-to-install-a-wordpress-plugin-plugins-add-new

Step 3: Find a plugin

Now use the search box in the top right corner to find the plugin you need. For example let’s search on simple image to find the  plugin called Simpe Image Sizes.

how-to-install-a-wordpress-plugin-search

Step 4: Press Install

This could not be more obvious, but the press the install button. A popup box will ask for your confirmation.

how-to-install-a-wordpress-plugin-confirm-install

Step 5: Installation finished

If all goes well you will receive a message that your plugin was successfully installed.

If you get an error you are likely to have a permissions problem on your hosting plan. Write permissions are required on the plugin and temporary download folder in order to successfully download and install the plugin. This can be solved in a few ways. Please refer to The cause and solution of WordPress permission issues.

Step 6: Activate your plugin

With the plugin installed all that is left is activating the plugin. You can immediately do this by pressing the “Activate Plugin” link below the installation summary.

Or if you skipped this Simply return to the Installed Plugins overview. Now find your latest plugin and press activate.

how-to-install-a-wordpress-plugin-activate-plugin

Conclusion

That wasn’t so hard was it? Have fun with your new plugin.

Manually installing a WordPress plugin by uploading a zip file

Sometimes you end up with zipped files that contain plugin files. It is common to receive theme specific plugins with premium WordPress themes.  You can also end up with zipped files when you download a plugin directly from the Official WordPress plugin repository (http://wordpress.org/plugins/ ).

Step 1: Log into your administrator panel

Visit your Dashboard (located at yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ )  and log in if necessary.

Step2: Find add new plugin

Navigate to Administrator > Plugins> Add New. You will end up on /wp-admin/plugin-install.php

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Step3: Upload Plugin button

On the top left corner press the Upload Plugin button

how-to-install-a-wordpress-plugin-upload-plugin

Step4 : Choose file

Now simply press the Choose file button, select your zipped plugin and press Install now.

It is possible you will receive the following error

Unpacking the package…

Could not copy file

Write permissions are required on the plugin and temporary download folder in order to successfully download and install the plugin. This can be solved in a few ways. Please refer to The cause and solution of WordPress permission issues.

Step 5: Activate Plugin

If everything went well you will see WordPress has unpacked the zip adn installed it succesfully. Now all that is left is activate the plugin by clicking the Activate Plugin link.

The cause of WordPress permission issues

Explaining this will be beyond the scope of a regular WordPress Beginner.  However I will give it a shot.

The WordPress permission issues are caused by the file ownership rights on linux servers. Every file on your hosting account has a number flag that determine who can read,write and execute your files; user, group and/or everyone. For example a regular folder could be set to 755 meaning Everyone can read (7) the owner can write (5) and the owner can execute (5).

Your website will access the file from user ‘apache’  but the file belongs to your username. Therefore the website itself is not allowed to write to that folder! It is seen as “other”.

Loosen folder permissions

The most common solution is to loosen folder permissions. You can change this from the file manager of DirectAdmin or with your favorite FTP software. Changing the folder to 777 will allow everyone to read/write/execute. This will completely solve any issues with installing and updating plugins.

In theory it makes the files vulnerable to exploits on/from other accounts on the same hosting provider. Note that this setting does not make the folder writable to anyone on the internet.  Keep in mind that you can restore the file permissions to a more safer 755 when you are done.

However some plugins like caching software will always need write permissions.

Ownership to apache:apache

Another approach would be to change the file ownership to “apache:apache”.  That way the files are owned by apache and 777 is not needed in order to write to the files. However on a regular shared hosting provider only the system administrator can do this for you.

If you manage to install a plugin though your website (by using 777 temporarily) any folders and files created during the installation will be owned by apache. Meaning your troubles are solved.

As with 777 there are some security issues. In theory scripts that are exploited can now be used to modify your files. After all it is apache that owns the folder and it is apache that is running the script.

Over time your WordPress database will start to slow down your website. Luckily there are several ways to optimize your WordPress database!

Database Overhead

When you regularly delete/update items in your database gaps will start to form in your database. These gaps will reserve space which is called overhead. Eventually these gaps will start to slow your database down, just like a fragmented hard drive will sown down your computer.

Famous quote

“Every database will, over time, require some form of maintenance to keep it at an optimal performance level. Purging deleted rows, resequencing, compressing, managing index paths, defragmenting, etc. is what is known as OPTIMIZATION in mysql and other terms in other databases. For example, IBM DB2/400 calls it REORGANIZE PHYSICAL FILE MEMBER.

It’s kind of like changing the oil in your car or getting a tune-up. You may think you really don’t have to, but by doing so your car runs much better, you get better gas mileage, etc. A car that gets lots of mileage requires tune-ups more often. A database that gets heavy use requires the same. If you are doing a lot of UPDATE and/or DELETE operations, and especially if your tables have variable length columns (VARCHAR, TEXT, etc), you need to keep ‘er tuned up.”

If you use a tool like phpMyAdmin from your hosting plan (log into DirectAdmin or C-panel) you can manually check which tables have overhead. (Note: Any database will have some overhead so you do not need to run phpMyAdmin to verify this.)

In this example a few tables have overhead totaling 4,2 KB. Obviously that is not much but this database is maintained regularly.

To combat this situation and optimize your WordPress database, we can use MySQL Optimize and Repair. If phpMyAdmin is something you are afraid to use then do not worry, there are also plugins that do this for you. We will come to that later. But since I am already in PhpMyAdmin I can show you how to do it from there. Simply press the button “check tables having overhead” and then choose “Optimize table” from the dropdown menu.

Reduce your Database by deleting trashed items

When you delete something in WordPress it is not instantly gone. As a safety precaution it is send to the trash can. By default WordPress empties the trash after 30 days. So manually deleting spammed and trashed items will decrease the size of your database a bit quicker. For posts you can do this by selecting the Trash tab on the “All post” page. The same is true for Comments and Pages.

Now you install a plugin to help you clean out the trash, but installing more plugins will put more load on your website. Instead it might be more interesting to lower the 30 day limit to something more sensible like 5 days.

To do this add the following code to wp-config.php

define( ‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 5 ); // empty trash after 5 days

If you do not know how, please check the following tutorial.

Reduce your Database size with table maintenance

The best way to keep your database quick is to keep it as small as possible. Now in WordPress there are four tables that get really large and require (manual) maintenance;

  1. wp_options
  2. wp_posts
  3. wp_postmeta
  4. wp_commentmeta

I will discuss their purpose and how we can reduce their size.

Cleaning wp_options – Transients

As one would expect wp_options contains all settings from your website. For example your site title and url. However it also stores something called “transients”. These are temporary records with data. Unfortunately expired transients usually don’t clean themselves up.

So how big of an impact do these have? Well in my personal experience I can weekly delete over 300 expired transients!

Luckily cleaning expired transients is very easy. All you need is a plugin that will do it for you. I personally recommend using Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions. https://wordpress.org/plugins/rvg-optimize-database/  as demonstrated in How to clean revisions in WordPress (but not all).

Cleaning wp_posts

The wp_posts table stores your posts and pages. Simply deleting your trashed items will reduce the size of this database. However the big thing here is the WordPress revision system (http://codex.wordpress.org/Revisions ).

By default WordPress stores an unlimited amount of revisions every time you modify a post. If you save an 100KB post 25 times you will end up with 2,5MB of database size wasted. So if you have 100 of these posts your database size will skyrocket too 250MB whereas without revisions it could be 10MB.

Luckily you can combat this problem in two ways

  1. Limit the number of revisions wordpress keeps
  2. Clean old revisions

Cleaning wp_postmeta

The wp_postmeta table stores all metadata associated with your posts. There are also several plugins that store information here. Now the only way to get rid of information here is to reduce the number of posts. For example you could empty your trash or delete drafts. Now it is likely that some metadata gets left behind.

We can cleanup old postmeta with two methods:

1) Using a plugin

The wpoptimize plugin i am using in this guide also takes care of deleting postmeta orphans.

2) manually running a query from phpmyadmin

For the advanced users: First make sure you have created a backup of your database! Now run the following query from phpmyadmin.

SELECT * FROM wp_postmeta pm LEFT JOIN wp_posts wp ON wp.ID = pm.post_id WHERE wp.ID IS NULL;

DELETE pm FROM wp_postmeta pm LEFT JOIN wp_posts wp ON wp.ID = pm.post_id WHERE wp.ID IS NULL;

This will delete all postmeta rows that have no ID, meaning their related posts no longer exist. Problem solved!

Cleaning wp_commentmeta

he wp_commentmeta table stores all metadata associated with your comments. Plugins also store information here. Most infamous is the askimet anti-spam plugin that literally pollutes your comment_meta. Askimet does this in order to keep track of spammers. However it can increase your databasesize by a 1000%.

Personally I can recommend anyone to switch to Disqus comments. That way you do not need askimet in the first place (since Disqus does the filtering). However once your database is polluted there is a way to clean it.

Unfortunately this is only for the advanced users.

First make sure you have a working backup! In Phpymyadmin go to the SQL tab and input the following code.

SELECT * FROM wp_commentmeta WHERE comment_id NOT IN ( SELECT comment_id FROM wp_comments );

DELETE FROM wp_commentmeta WHERE comment_id NOT IN ( SELECT comment_id FROM wp_comments );

SELECT * FROM wp_commentmeta WHERE meta_key LIKE ‘%akismet%’;

DELETE FROM wp_commentmeta WHERE meta_key LIKE ‘%akismet%’;

Now press Go. This code does the following things

  • Delete all comment meta data for comments that no longer exist (spammed/deleted items)
  • Delete all comment meta that contains the word askimet

Following this process can actually reduce your rows from over 6000 to 600 (the number of comments). But it is kind of advanced.  Now you know how to optimize your WordPress database

Summary

Reading this guide you tells you all about how to optimize your WordPress database. You should know all about maintaning your Mysql database, deleting trashed items, cleaning transients, cleaning post meta and clean and limit the number of revisions.

How much did you save (feel free to ask questions in the comments)?

Every time you save an article an additional copy is stored in your database. Because there is no limit on the number of revisions saved by WordPress your MySQL database will become huge over time! Just imagine a website with 200 posts and a database of 10 MB. Now if you start storing 20 versions of every article your database will explode to 400MB.

A large database requires more resources and makes your website slower. Cleaning these revisions can reduce the size of your database by over 90%!

Let’s clean revisions in WordPress

Now there are a lot of ways, both manually and plugins, to remove all revisions from WordPress. However personally I want more control. I want to remove all revisions EXCEPT for the last 2. That way if I made a mistake somewhere then I still have 2 versions to fall back on.

step 1 Install plugin

Install the plugin ‘Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions” . https://wordpress.org/plugins/rvg-optimize-database/

If you are new to WordPress and do not know how to install a plugin please check out How to install a WordPress plugin.

step 2 Find the Optimize DB Options

Expand the Tools menu on the left side of your WordPress dashboard and click on Optimize Database.

how-to-clean-old-wordpress-revisions-but-not-all-change-the-optimize-db-settings

Step 3 Change the Optimize DB settings

If necessary press the Change options button. Now enter the maximum number of Revisions. In this example I chose 2. Also make sure you check “delete expired transients” and” keep a log“. Both are marked red in the screenshot.

Optional: You could also check the trashed, spammed and unused tag boxes. Personally I always keep those folders clean so I do not need them.

how-to-clean-old-wordpress-revisions-but-not-all-find-the-optimize-db-options-configure-settings

Now press Save Options (also marked orange).

Step 4 Let’s Optimize your WordPress database

Press ‘Go to Optimizer’ and simply press ‘Start Optimization’.

how-to-clean-old-wordpress-revisions-but-not-all-start-optimization

Step 5 result

After a few seconds the results of your database cleaning will be displayed.

how-to-clean-old-wordpress-revisions-but-not-all-savings

In this example only a few revisions were removed saving 174 KB. Obviously I have run the cleaning before. My total savings so far are a whopping 49 MB!

As an added bonus the plugin also did a MySQL optimize on all WordPress related tables.

Summary

With the right plugin for the job optimizing your MySQL database becomes an easy task. I hope you enjoy your clean WordPress database.

For new users the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org might not be immediately clear. Basically wordpress.org allows you to download the complete source code and run your own version of WordPress. WordPress.com is a commercial service that quickly provides you with a “free” WordPress based blog, but introduces a lot of limitations. Most of which can be lifted by spending money.

WordPress Free

With a free wordpress.com account you will be able to run a WordPress blog on the .wordpress.com sub domain in a few clicks. For example yourblogname.wordpress.com. If you want to use a .com domain you will be charged €21,99 (note: a regular price for a .com domain is  €8-10/year).

The following limitations are introduced

  • Only use select wordpress.com free themes
  • No Ecommerce allowed
  • No customization (no custom css) allowed
  • No plugins allowed
  • No video storage allowed
  • limited to 3GB of space
  • ‘Powered by WordPress.com’ footer obligated
  • Your site can be deleted at any time if it violates policy
  • You are unable to use external analytics (such as Google Analytics)

There is another catch; wordpress.com is allowed to place ads on your website. At the same time you are not allowed to make money with your WordPress blog. Once you hit 25.000 page views/month you can apply for a feature called ‘ad control’. If you are approved you will have to split ad revenue 50/50 with them.

So although it is fast and free the wordpress.com free account might not be the best available path in the long run.

Lifting the WordPress.com limitations

As I noted before WordPress.com is a commercial enterprise. Therefore they allow you to spend money to lift some of these limitations.

The first step would be the Premium plan that costs €80 yearly. For €80 you can upgrade to the following ‘perks’

  • Your own domain
  • 13 GB of space
  • No ads
  • Custom design (including CSS customization)

Other limitations still apply. So you cannot use plugins, ecommerce, ads and tracking code (Google analytics). Your website will still have to show “powered by wordpress.com” and it can be deleted for policy violations.

One step further is the Business account which goes for €240 yearly. This account unlocks the usage of e-commerce and includes a free premium theme.  Although the official page does not list it, it is being said that for $3550/month you unlock the ability to use plugins.

If you are considering upgrading to a Premium wordpress.com account then I would personally recommend changing too wordpress.org. Keep reading to find out why…

So what about wordpress.org

The WordPress package from wordpress.org is completely free and does not have any limitations at all!

So now you can use plugins, which is the best feature of WordPress because it allows for incredible flexibility. There are thousands of plugins. If you need caching, a review function, a recipe manager, affiliate manager, contact form… pretty much anything is possible with a plugin.

Furthermore you are in complete control. So you can use custom themes, custom css, google analytics, your own domain name, etc. This also means you can monetize your website and use it for e-commerce. There is also no fear of your website being deleted for a policy violation (as long as you do nothing illegal obviously).

Let’s summarize the advantages

  • No ads
  • No referral to wordpress.com or themes
  • E-commerce allowed
  • Monetization allowed
  • Plugins
  • thousands of themes
  • custom css
  • custom tracking code
  • full code control (if you want)
  • your domain name
  • no strict policy

So what is the catch here?

Well you need a few things to use it!

  • Hosting plan to store your blog and make it accessible via the internet
  • A domain name where you can be visited
  • WordPress install

So you need to spend a little money to get going. This does not have to be expensive though. Our parent company Sedeko offers hosting plans starting from €4 monthly and your own .com domain will cost €8 yearly. Meaning that you can be up and running for €56/yearly. This is a lot cheaper than the WordPress.com premium package. The only downside is that you will have to install and update WordPress yourself.

Now if this is something you are not looking forward too than do not worry. Just use a managed WordPress hosting plan. This way the hosting company will install and update your WordPress without the limitations imposed  by wordpress.com. Our parent company Sedeko offers managed WordPress hosting from €10 monthly which already includes a free domain! If you use our referral code you will receive a ?50%? discount.

Summary

So which is better? WordPress.com or WordPress.org. If you ask me then WordPress.com is great to get to know WordPress because it is so easy to setup. However if you take this route then you are missing out on one of the best parts of WordPress; Plugin flexibility. So if you are going to spend serious time on your blog then at some point you will need to choose between wordpress.com premium and paid hosting. I really recommend the latter because it offers complete freedom and control.

For a new WordPress user the difference between posts and pages might not be clear. They both use the same editor, featured image and publish settings. So how are they different?

WordPress post: A WordPress post always part of something bigger. You have to assign a post to one or more categories. They will be automatically displayed in chronological order and can be filtered for categories and tags. They are very limited in terms of styling.

WordPress Page: A WordPress Page is a static page, it has no category or tags. However you can still modify it. The appearance of pages can be modified by custom templates that come with most themes. Often they also include “page builders” to create good looking layouts.

When to use pages

Pages are best used for things that have no relations to other items on your website. For example a privacy policy or contact us page. It would not make much sense to stick these together in a category. They are separate items.

But there are other applications!

As an added bonus pages offer a lot more flexibility in terms of design. A lot of themes offer “page builders” that allow you to drop and drag beautiful layouts. In WordPress a Page is the only way to create a beautiful and uniquely styled website. You simply cannot do it with posts.

what-is-the-difference-between-a-posts-and-pages-in-wordpress-pages

A good application for pages would be a company website. Often these contain a lot of static information. For example “About us” or a sales pitch about your products. These are not items you “blog” about weekly. They are an important part of your website and are there to stay. You might update them once in a while but you do not want them to get ‘pushed down’ by new content. As an added bonus you get to use cool designs using the page builders mentioned above.

In conclusion pages are best used for pretty much anything other than timely blogging.

When to use posts

Imagine you are writing a series of tutorials about cars. Now you have to choose between using a series of pages and a series of posts.

Choosing pages for this purposes is not ideal because these will not automatically show up on your website. You would have to give each page a permanent place in your navigation menu. Because it is not possible to use categories and tags on pages it will also become hard for your viewers to navigate between articles.

A much better way is to write your car tutorial series in posts. For example you could create you could create a category named cars. Now the first time you start writing these tutorials you will add the car category to your navigation menu. From now on each post you write that is set to cars will now automatically show up on this page! Users can view all car tutorials by clicking the associated category.

what-is-the-difference-between-a-posts-and-pages-in-wordpress-post

So if you plan to write regularly about a certain topic then you should write them in posts.

To summarize post or  page

  • Use Posts for blogging
  • Use Pages for the rest (Product pages, Contact Us, About us, Privacy Policy, etc)

Key differences between post and pages

  • Pages are sorted on hierarchy, posts chronologically
  • Pages can have custom design templates, posts can not
  • Posts have tags and categories, pages do not
  • Posts are included in RSS feeds, pages do not

Questions?

Questions about this article, did I miss something? Feel free to ask around in the comments.

When you start building a new website you really want to prevent Google from indexing it. Once Google has discovered a certain url it will try to crawl that url for years. So if you change the url structure or relocate some articles you are asking for trouble. Therefore it is best to “forbid” search engines from indexing your site until you are satisfied with its content and structure.

Disable indexing: Change WordPress Search Engine Visibility setting

Log onto your administrator panel (/wp-admin). Now go to Settings>Reading. Here you will find a setting called  “Search Engine Visibility”. It states “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”.

how-to-prevent-google-from-indexing-your-wordpress-website

Enabling this setting will add the following code to all pages

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow”/>

Basically this tells Google and other search engines to NOT index your website.

Disable indexing: Add a robots.txt file

If you really want to be certain your site will not be indexed you can block it completely with a robots.txt. You can setup the robots.txt file to tell search engines to NOT visit your website. Let’s get started…

First create an empty .txt file (in Windows this can be done from the right mouse menu in any folder). Now add the following code and save it as robots.txt:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /

Now to upload this file to the root directory of your website (usually public_html). You can do this with your favorite FTP software. If you are unsure how to do this then you can checkout this tutorial.

Summary

By adding noindex and a robots.txt file to your website you have ensured that your website will not be indexed by Google. Obviously I recommend removing robots.txt and disabling the option when your site is finished.

Questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments.

When too many WordPress revisions can be bad

WordPress will save an unlimited number of revisions. If you ever make a mistake you can revert to the previous post version. This might sound like a very nice feature, but by default it has no limit at all!

Every time you save an article an additional copy is stored in your database. Let’s say you have a WordPress website that has 100 posts. However because every article has at least 10 revisions stored you will actually have 100* 10= 1000 posts in your database. All post data is stored in your MySQL database, a regular post will be 100KB. Therefore the WordPress revision system will increase your database size from 10MB to 100MB!

A large database requires more resources and makes your website slower. Removing these revisions can reduce the size of your database by over 90%!

Solution: Remove or limit revisions?

Now luckily there are ways to clean old WordPress revisions. However without limits you will have to keep doing this regularly. Changing even one word will create yet another duplicate. So when you decide to modify large articles you will need to clean up again.

Wouldn’t it be better to limit the number of revisions stored by WordPress to a more reasonable number?  That can be arranged!

Step 1: Open your wp-config.php

I am going to assume that you know how to use FTP software. If not please check out our guide on how to edit wordpress files with an FTP software.

First we need to find wp-config.php. It is located in the top level directory. Usually public_html (unless your blog in installed in a subfolder like /blog/, then you will find it there). Download this file and open it.

Step 2A: Adding code to limit WordPress revisions

Now scroll down to the end of the document.  And paste the following code

/** WordPressInside Customizations */

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 5);

This code will limit the number of revisions to 5. Personally I find this a reasonable number. However feel free to change it. I could imagine 3 would suffice for most bloggers.

how-to-limit-the-number-of-revisions-in-wordpress-adding-code

Step 2B: Adding code to completely disable WordPress revisions

If you really hate revisions you can disable them completely with the following code at the end of the document

/** WordPressInside Customizations */

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false );

But generally it makes sense to keep at least one working copy. If you end up losing parts of a large article you will regret this decision.

Step 3: Save and upload the wp-config.php

Now simply save your wp-config.php and upload it back to your server. If you followed my guide (guide will follow) then saving will automatically prompt  to upload the file.

how-to-limit-the-number-of-revisions-in-wordpress-save-and-upload

That was it!

Now with this tiny modification you will save yourself a lot of unnecessary data in your MySQL database.

Keep in mind that revisions that were already created past the limit will not be removed. If you want to remove all or a specific number of revisions then please check out How to clean revisions in WordPress (but not all).

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