Making Your WordPress Move As Easy as Possible

There are a variety of different reasons that you might need to move your WordPress blog. Normally, it is because you are switching hosting providers, but maybe you just need to move the content to a new location such as from a testing environment to a live environment. Regardless of the reason, it is important that you have an effective strategy in place, otherwise you could end up wasting a lot time and dealing with unnecessary headaches. Here is a brief overview of how to make this process as simple as possible.

Start With Your Content

Always move your content first. Without your content, you have no site. In most cases, you can simply go to the tools section, export your data and then import it into your new location. The only exception is if you are moving from a local site (normally because of testing) to a remote site. If this is the case, then you should manually copy your uploads folder and move it. This is because WordPress won’t look elsewhere on your computer for any necessary files. If you find that you need to replace certain strings to get everything functioning properly, there is a Search and Replace plugin that can take of this for you.

Move Your Plugins

Once you know that all of your content has been moved successfully, the next step is to deal with your plugins. Before you move anything, go through and double check to make sure that you will only be moving the plugins that you are actually going to use. If you have done some testing, then there is a chance that you a handful (or more) additional plugins that you didn’t use.

Move Your Settings

The final big step is to make sure that all of the setting on your new site are correct. In most cases, it will be easiest to simply open up both Setting tabs and compare them manually. Keep in mind that the more plugins you use, this could take a little bit of time. Within the standard WordPress core, pay special attention to the Discussions, Reading, and Permalinks sections.

By following this basic template, you can save yourself a lot of time and headache. If you do run into a problem during this process, there are a number of online resources that can probably help you out. There are also several plugins that could be helpful as well. While moving a site is never a perfect process, you can minimize the pain with a little bit of planning. Also, if you know that you will be moving your site again in the future (or another site), make any notes regarding problems that you have and solution that you used. This can prevent the same problem from costing you time in the future.

WordPress Form Plugins

The need to create forms on your website has become a much more important part of internet marketing strategies for a variety of reasons. Most people are at least aware of the benefits that can be gained from getting personal information from website visitors. This ranges from sending newsletters to warming leads and getting them into your sales funnel. The thing that many people overlook is how important the form itself is – both in style and function. There are several WordPress form plugins that tend to be the most popular, both premium and free options. This includes basic contact forms as well. Here is a quick look at 2 of the most popular premium and free WordPress form plugins that are being used online.

Top Premium WordPress Form Plugins

1. Gravity Forms
Without the doubt, the most well known form plugin is Gravity Forms. If you look at reviews and banner ads for WordPress plugins, there is a good chance that you will see something about this plugin. They seem to excel for several key reasons. The first is simplicity. The user-interface is exceptionally simple to use, which is essential for most people. Second, the output – the form itself – is very flexible, which means that you can create a variety of different forms that will flow nicely with your site.

2. FormidablePro
Formidable Pro may not be quite as well known as Gravity Forms, but it is every bit as powerful. This plugin stands out because of its data collection ability. While it still provides a great user-interface and a variety of different styling options, this plugin excels in data organization and output. There are a number of unique graphical reports that will give you a snapshot of the data collected at any given time. If analysis capabilities is what you are looking for with most of your forms, then this is definitely worth your consideration.

Top 2 Free Form Plugins

1. cForms
If you don’t create a lot of forms, then you may only be considering free WordPress form plugins. For the most part, cForms is considered to be your best option. It is very easy to setup and customize. Plus, it has all of the basic abilities that you will need.

2. TDO Mini Forms
TDO Mini Forms is a free WordPress form plugin that is most well known for being used with user-submitted content. For example, if you accept guest posts directly from your website, then this is a great plugin for you. Not only does it make managing the submitted content easy, but it also allows you to automatically set unique permissions for submitted content so that your editors know which pieces of content need to be looked at before they are published.

There are a variety of different options that you can choose from, but it is a lot easier if you make a good decision the first time. The best premium WordPress form plugins are Gravity Forms and FormidablePro. If you are still in a position where you want to use a free plugin, then take a look at cForms or TDO Mini Forms.

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WordPress Membership Plugins

6 WordPress Membership Plugins and Unique Premium Features

Wordpress membership plugins are notorious for looking great in theory, but not standing up to practical application on your website. There are a number of different reasons for this ranging from user-related problems to fundamentally poor coding. At the same time, the best WordPress membership plugins can be very powerful. The key is making sure that your expectations align with what the plugins offer.

As a general rule, membership plugins fall into the rare category of “premium plugins only”. This is because if you try to create a piecemeal solution from free plugins, you are setting yourself up for a lot of technical problems along the way. In the end, paying for a premium plugin, along with the updates, will save you more than enough time to justify the expense. Additionally, there have been a number of advanced features that have become standardized among the premium options. This means that you need to choose the plugin that best suits your needs. Here is a quick introduction to 6 of the most popular premium WordPress membership plugins and a unique feature that each of them has to offer.

1. Magic Members
If you have to point to a single standout feature of Magic Members, it would probably be the flexible membership options. This goes much farther than just being able to set up multiple membership tiers (although you can do that too). You can simultaneously set up pay per post access to individual content and downloads as well as create as many different membership tiers that you want. Plus, there are a number of additional features that add to the flexibility including sequential course delivery to protect your content, variable subscription length, and the ability to protect content on either a per post or per category basis.

2. Wishlist Member
Wishlist Member is another very popular premium membership plugin for WordPress. If there is one thing that stands out, it is probably the additional graphics and membership models training that you will receive. It is important to note that you can only access this with a Multi-Site License.

3. MemberWing
MemberWing has become popular primarily because it also created the WordPress Membership University. A lot of the features tend to be fairly standard for a premium membership plugin, however it includes more training in terms of creating a membership site. It includes both basic and advanced configurations of the software itself, plus WordPress, payment processors, SEO, and autoresponders.

4. Digital Access Pass
Digital Access Pass is considered by most people to be a fairly average premium WordPress membership plugin. The standout feature is only useful for people who are using Amazon S3 storage. It is known as the S3 Media Vault and it fixes the biggest potential security threats created by storing your site with Amazon S3.

5. eMember
WP eMember is a solid option. It does seem to lack some of the advanced features that have become standard with many other elite options, however if you are already using other products by the same author then integration will be a snap. This is especially true if you are looking for a membership plugin that will integrate with WP eStore.

6. S2Member Pro
S2Member is actually a free plugin, however it does have a Pro add on version. The only big difference between the two is that the Pro add on will give you access to a number of additional payment processors and a few more management tools. Poor support service is commonly reported on the net.

5 WordPress Plugins That Will Get You More Comments With Less Commenters

It is always a little depressing when you check in on your WordPress blog, only to find out that no one seems to commenting. There could even be times that you don’t think that you could buy a comment (although you definitely could). The biggest reason that many blogs end up with few comments is because they are focusing on the wrong thing. Most people assume that the only way to get more comments, is to get more traffic. While more traffic will never hurt, you can also increase your number of comments by get the maximum input from the people who are already leaving comments. Here is a quick rundown of 5 very powerful plugins that you can use to get more comments with less commenters.

1. Subscribe to Comments
This may seem like a pretty simple plugin, but it is incredibly powerful. Once someone leaves a comment on your blog, there is a good chance that they would come back and leave another one. The key is keeping them actively engaged in the conversation. By alerting them whenever a new comment is posted to the article that they commented on, they are much more likely to come back and see what was added to the conversation and leave another comment of their own.

2. WordPress Thread Comment
This plugin is effective for a similar reason as the Subscribe to Comments plugin. This plugin makes it possible for someone to reply directly to another comment. Their response will be nestled below the comment that they are addressing. This plugin is useful for two reasons. The first is that it is easier for a new person to join the conversation and second, it is easier for people holding a conversation to stay organized and on point. While this plugin does little more than add visual appeal and organization to your comments section, it has proven itself to be very useful in terms of getting people to leave multiple comments.

3 & 4. Show Top Commentators and Community Cloud
Both of these plugins are designed to reward people who leave the most comments during any particular timespan. The Show Top Commentators plugin is the most well know plugin that offers this type of function, however the Community Cloud plugin makes it a little more interesting. Instead of having a list of top commentators, it creates a tag cloud of everyone who has left a comment. The more comments someone makes, the larger and bolder their name is. If anything else, it is definitely an eye-catching way to give credit to your top commenters.

5. Comment Luv/Keyword Love/ Etc.
There are a growing number of these styles of plugins. They get people to leave multiple comments by simply giving them an incentive to do so. For example, with Comment Luv, a link to their latest post will be added to the bottom of their comment. With Keyword Love, they can get a backlink with the anchor text that they want. While this also opens up your blog to spammers, if effectively monitored, it can be a great way to get more people to comment more often.

In the end, there are a growing number of plugins that you can use to boost the number of comments on your blog. The key is trying to not only get everyone to comment, but to get them commenting multiple times.

4 Plugins to Integrate Amazon Products With Your WordPress Site

Creating an Amazon store is popular method of promoting Amazon product, but what if you just want to add products to your actual post? There are a handful of plugins that are designed for exactly that. They will allow you to effectively promote products without needing to tailor your entire site around a store. While there are a variety of options available, a lot of them are no longer supported or simply don’t provide the flexibility that you may need. Here is a quick look at the 4 best plugins to integrate and promote Amazon products without building an entire store.

1. Amazon Reloaded For WordPress
Amazon Reloaded For WordPress is a replacement for the older WP-Amazon plugin that essentially imploded during the WordPress 2.5 update. This plugin is exactly what most people are looking for if they primarily want to add products to the body of their posts. It is actually kind of ingenious. Once you get a point in your post where you want to add an Amazon product, you simply scroll down to the Amazon Reloaded box and enter the product search term. When you find the product you want to add, simply click the Send Link to Editor button and then select the size of the image that you want to add and click the Send Image to Editor button. That’s it. Simple, Straightforward, and Easy to Use.

2. AmazonSimpleAdmin
This plugin is effective, but it requires a little effort on your part. The first thing that you need to do is create a few “collections”. These are related products that will be inserted when add a collection to your post, although you can insert single products as well. It also gives you the ability to create your own display templates, which is great if you don’t want the standard Amazon banner template to be used. Then you simply add a line of code wherever you want your product to be displayed. The line of code is [asa template]product code[/asa]. You can also not add the “template” portion of the code if you want to display the generate banner ad. If you not comfortable with this type of coding, then this isn’t the plugin for you.

3. WP-Amazon-Associate
There are a number of features that can make this plugin very effective, especially if you are integrating Amazon products in a variety of different places. It allows you to insert widgets into your themes, use shortcode to add products to your content, use the Amazon Product Preview to add overlays of the product when a visitor rolls over the link, and several other options. It even has multi-author support. Some people may find this plugin a little intimidating because it relies heavily on adding your own shortcode or php to the theme and content in order to insert the products, banners, and carousels.

4. Amazon SmartLinks Widget by AdaptiveBlue
This plugin is pretty straightforward and only needed to add product lists to your sidebar. It uses a variety of different widgets to achieve this. One of the biggest benefits, aside that it is easy to use, is that these widgets will automatically update the products via RSS. If needed, it can also support Ebay and Google affiliate information as well.

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