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How to integrate a forum with your wordpress blog

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How to integrate a forum with your wordpress blogAs most of you know, Blogging Tips has a discussion forum, an area of the site I added to make it easier for bloggers to ask questions about blogging and a place to make contacts and friends too. Before I added the forums I checked out the possiblity of integrating the forum with the blog however the options available for integration at the time were not the best. So as it stands bloggingtips has a seperate database for blog users and for forum users.

Of course, this setup has some disadvantages, the most obvious being that users have to sign up to the blog and sign up to the forum as well. By integrating your blog and forums user system you could create a better community and drive more traffic to your blog’s forums by using your blogs content.

In this post I will look at the forums you can integrate with your WordPress powered blog. Note, there are many Content Management Systems (CMS) which use only one database for articles, blog posts and forum discussions however in my experience the whole package is of a low standard ie. the forum and blog parts of the CMS are pretty basic and lack certain features, certainly when compared to blog scripts like WordPress. If you have not started your project yet and are thinking of creating a community around your articles then it may be worth checking out some of these scripts as they may achieve exactly what you are looking for. You can check out lots of potential CMS, blog and forum scripts at Open Source CMS.

How do forums integrate with WordPress

The main way forum makers have integrated their software with wordpress is to create a bridge between your blog’s database and your forum’s database. Different coders have coded this bridge in different ways however it usually involves the WordPress user database being used when signing up for the forum. At that point either the forum uses the wordpress user details or the user details are duplicated on the forum database which means that the bridge has to be able to update both databases if any changes are made ie. if you upgrade a user on your blog to admin then this should be reflected in the forum as well.

I spoke before about how integrating your blog and forum can create a better community and drive more traffic to your forums. One of the reasons why traffic usually increases to your forum is because the comment system is controlled by the forum and not your blog. How do they achieve this? Well again, different bridges work in different ways however the most common method is to create a new thread in the forums once a post is published on the blog. When a user wants to comment they are directed to the thread on the forum which has the blog post as the first post.

Many problems arise from two databases setup in different ways trying to ‘talk’ to each other to keep the other one up to date. Infact, the main problem is that a process actioned on one database is not actioned on the other. For example, when a blog post is duplicated on the forums to allow for comments, if the original blog post is deleted the corresponding forum post is not always deleted as well. I have yet to see a forum bridge that does not have problems or limitations however for the most part they are still useable despite some limitations.

Forum software which can integrate with WordPress

Below is a list of some of the most popular forum scripts on the web and the wordpress integration options which are available. If you decide to integrate any forum with your blog then I strongly encourage you to test everything on a test site before applying anything to your live blog. Obviously, it goes without saying that you should back up your blog and forum database and files before doing anything so in the event of anything going wrong you are revert everything back.

  • bbPressbbPress

    bbPress is the forum software created by the makers of WordPress and it’s the script which is used for their WordPress Support Forums.

    It’s probably the forum script which best integrates with WordPress as it allows you to use the blog user database for the forums and also use the same cookies for both areas of your site so if you would like to integrate the same forum WordPress uses for their support forums then this is the obvious choice.

    In my opinion, bbPress is a very basic forum script so is ideal for a support area or for users to give feedback however beyond that you may find it a bit limited.

    Official Forum Link : bbPress
    Integration Link : Integration with WordPress

  • vBulletinvBulletin

    Although there are literally hundreds of forum scripts available on the net vBulletin is generally recognised as one the best forum scripts available (most would argue it is the best!). It is a commercial script (the owned license costs $160) and it’s the script which I’m currently using for the BloggingTips forums.

    The bridge which is currently available has been apllied on a lot of websites and whilst it does seem to work fine, there are a lot of limitations. As it stands, if you delete a user from either the blog or the forum you need to make sure you delete it in the other database too. A lot of people have experienced cookie problems with the script, particuarly when their forums are on a subdomain. If you have vBulletin powered forums on your website then it’s definately worth checking out.

    Official Forum Link : vBulletin
    Integration Link : Complete WordPress/Vbulletin Bridge – Share Users And Postings

  • phpBBphpBB

    If vBulletin is the most popular commercial forum script then phpBB is undoubtedly the most popular free forum script and has been integrated into dozens of other blogging and CMS scripts.

    The most popular bridge available for phpBB is called WP-United. From what I have read on the web it seems to work pretty good however it does seem that the bridge uses the forum as the primary database ie. the blog would be integrated inside the forum so this may slow down your site. Although officially in the beta stage, there doesn’t seem to be many issues with the bridge so it’s definately worth checking out.

    Official Forum Link : phpBB
    Integration Link : WP-United

  • Simple Machines ForumSimple Machines Forum

    SMF was developed from members of the Perl forum community ‘Yet Another Bulletin Board’ which was an extremely popular script 6 or 7 years ago (before PHP was so widespread). It has proven to be a useful script which has gained popularity due to the ease at which it can be integrated into external scripts.

    Even though it’s a very customisable script, there does not seem to be any bridge which works with the current version of WordPress. The ‘WordPress SMF Bridge‘ has not been updated in 2 years, the wordpress integration project that Chris Taggart started was dropped because he started using different forum software and the plugin which is currently available in the official WordPress plugin area has only been tested up to version 2.2. EarthOrbit did take the original bridge forward recently but once again, development has not kept pace with the releases of WordPress.

    I can understand the frustration of SMF fans as apparently their script is very easy to customise but no programmer has developed a bridge for the latest versions of WordPress.

    Official Forum Link : Simple Machines Forum
    Integration Links : WordPress SMF Bridge Plugin 1.0 (not been updated since 2006) & official WordPress plugin area (only been tested up to version 2.2) & latest WordPress Discussion Thread (many reporting problems with current version).

  • VanillaVanilla Forum

    Vanilla is an open source forum script which was developed by Lussumo. It’s an open source script which runs very quickly however compared to forum scripts like vBulletin it is quite basic although it does have more features than bbPress.

    Vanilla seems to integrate very well with WordPress and the hack allows you to decide whether users sign up via your blog’s sign up form or your forums. Take a look at the Vanilla Community, if you like the look and feel of the forum then it’s definately worth doing some tests with it and the bbPress forum to see which blends in best with your site.

    Official Forum Link : Vanilla
    Integration Link : WordPress Integration : These integration instructions were written in 2006 and only tested up to WordPress 2.04 however the integration process seemed to work right up until the 2.3 series of WordPress and they are already working on a 2.5 bridge so it’s safe to say a working bridge will be available soon for the latest release of WordPress.

  • Other external forum scripts worth considering
    • PunBB – A poor mans phpBB in my opinion. There is a bridge available but it’s only been tested up to version 2.2 of WordPress so it’s doubtful it still works. Check out the bridge instructions here.
    • Phorum – A forum script which puts emphasis on speed, phorum has a WordPress bridge available but again, it hasn’t been updated in 2 years so you will probably struggle to get a bridge which works with a new version of WP. Check out the bridge details here.
    • Invision – There is a bridge available called Invision Bridge (see demo here). The blog hasn’t been updated since February so it doesn’t look like the owner is supporting the bridge anymore. Check out the blog here.
  • WordPress Forum Plugins

    These forum scripts are plugins designed specifically for WordPress so you won’t have to worry about the main integration problems which exist with using external forum solutions.

    • Simple PressSimple:Press

      Formerly known as Simple Forum, Simple:Press is a forum plugin for WordPress developed by self proclaimed Yellow Swordfish Andy. Although developed by just one person, Simple:Press seems to be one of the best forum options available to WordPress bloggers and has already been updated to work with WP 2.5.

      The forum supports many features including poll’s image uploads and SEO Friendly Permalinks. There is also importing options to migrate users from wp-forum, XDforum and rs-forum forums. Definately worth downloading and checking out.

      Official Forum Link : Simple:Press

    • XDForum

      XDForum was a popular forum plugin but unfortunately, developers announced in February 2008 that XDForum will no longer be developed. There is a plugin available for existing xdforum users so that they can migrate their users to the simple forum script. Simple:Press has an import function too.

      Official Forum Link : XDForum

Overview

Adding a forum to your website is an easy thing to do but integrating it with your blog cleanly is a little more difficult. There is definately a strong demand for a good forum script which works in conjunction with WordPress however the perfect solution does not currently exist.

With external forum solutions it definately seems like the more complex the script (ie. vBulletin) the harder it is for coders to develop a solution to integrate the two scripts. More basic forum scripts like Vanilla and bbPress are easier to bridge however many of the features of other forum scripts are lost.

Simple Press has given me hope that a plugin for wordpress is the best solution however I have yet to see how it copes with heavy loads. Nevertheless I have downloaded and installed the plugin on my test blog and I’m going to mess around with it to find our more about it.

With regards to BloggingTips, the forums is an area of the site I want to develop however I don’t believe that the current bridge available is suitable for what I’m looking for. I think this is why forum integration has been held back ie. everyone is looking for the forum to integrate with their blog in a different way.

Personally I’d like a custom script which creates a unique profile for the visitor, a profile which would give details of the users blog posts, comments and forum posts. Of course, I don’t suspect I’ll get this unless I splurge on some custom coding from a programmer! 🙂

If you have tried to add a forum to your blog then I’d love to hear how you got on. If you haven’t but are looking to do so in the future, I hope I have put you in the right direction. Either way I’d like to hear your view on the subject 🙂

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Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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Best WordPress Landing Page Builders to Look for in 2019

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landing page

If you are just starting out with WordPress you might find it quite difficult to design pages the way you really want, that’s where WordPress Landing Page Builders are introduced into the equation.

Especially if you have limited to none technical experience with HTML, CSS and even JavaScripts.

This where WordPress landing page builders help you design pages with easy drag and drop editors so you do not have to mingle with coding.

Although most editors allow you to use custom HTML and CSS elements if you want to elevate the experience of your page even more.

What is a Landing Page and a Landing Page Builder?

A landing page is a web page, that’s slightly different from the rest of your website. Its purpose is to be shown to people that are typically coming through a promotional campaign.

A Landing Page Builder is a specifically made tool to help you create those particular pages with ease in order to increase your conversion without the need for technical knowledge.

Why you need one?

A landing page builder will become really handy if you are planning on doing paid advertising campaigns like Google Ads for example and/or Facebook ads.

Specifically, when you ran those type of advertisements you want to point potential leads to a tailored made page where you will be able to convince them to sign up for your service.

So if you are planning on doing paid advertising you should definitely take a look at how to create perfectly design landing page through some landing page examples.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the best WordPress Landing Page Builder and what they offer.

1. Elementor

elementor wordpress builder

Price: Three available tiers to cater for all budgets. Personal Plan: $49/year for 1 site, Business Plan: $99/year for 3 sites and Unlimited Plan: $199/year for unlimited websites.

Free trial: Free forever although limited features.

elementor free trial

Description:

Elementor is a WordPress landing page builder that seamlessly allows you to build landing pages directly through WordPress. According to their website

It comes prepacked with a fast and intuitive Drag and Drop editor where only your imagination can stop you from creating the perfect landing page!

elementor editor

Additionally, it offers you the ability to shift between desktop and mobile versions to optimize your pages across various devices.

Finally, they provide you with 24/7 customer support to help you with any issues you might encounter.

And if you are just starting out with setting up your WordPress website Elementor offers you a huge range of WordPress Hosting platforms for you to choose from!

2. Thrive Architect

thrive architect

Price: You can opt-in for a 19$/month membership and have access to a wide variety of plugins and features. Otherwise if you only need a WordPress landing page builder you can opt in for a single lice at $67 or 5 licences for $97.

Free trial: Not Available

Description:

Thrive Architect is part of a broader suite of WordPress plugins called, Thrive Themes.

Thrive Architect is a really versatile wordpress landing page builder that allows you to create pages literally at the speed of light with their drag and drop editor.

Additionally, if you dislike coding which assumes you do otherwise you will not be looking at a landing page builder. Thrive Architect provides you with a range of landing page templates for you to use.

To be precise it offers more than 200 carefully designed templates. To either build sales pages, lead generation pages and or webinar signup pages.

A cool feature of Thrive architect is that they include conversion elements directly through the editor. Like lead generation forms where you can integrate them with other email marketing service providers and send out amazing newsletter templates.

3. Unbounce

unbounce

Price: Essential Plan : $99/month, Premium Plan: $199/month, Enterprise: $499+/month

Free trial:  30-Day free trial for the first two plans while for the enterprise solution you will have to talk with them directly.

Description:

Unbounce is one of the most popular WordPress landing pages builders, and according to Datanyze it is currently being used by more than 10,176 domain.

The unique selling points of Unbounce are:

That you will literally require no technical skills to install and or code due to their amazing drag and drop editor.

They also offer a range of pre-optimized and tested templates made for conversions power by Artificial Intelligence technology to supercharge your lead generation!

As well as a deduplication feature to create multiple landing pages at the click of a button.

Finally, SSL Encryption which is a key point to ensure to your customers that are visiting a highly secure website is automatically enabled to all your landing pages.

4.  Leadpages

leadpages

Price: Standard Plan: $37/month, Pro Plan: $79/month, Advanced Plan: $321/month

Free trial: 14-days free trial

Description:

Leadpages provides you with a complete set of solutions to supercharge your landing pages growth(hint: your revenue).

Leadpages has so many features that we might need the whole night and day to list all of them some of the most notable ones that will capture your attention besides the drag and drop editor most solutions offer.

It’s really is to install and manage within WordPress as a Plugin.

Easily create SEO-Friendly pages so you do not have to worry about organic traffic anymore, specifically you will be able to edit the metadata fields directly through the editor.

And finally, if you are an agency or web development studio you will love that feature!

You are able to establish various sub-accounts so you can easily manage team members or clients.

And finally for the more techie people around here you are also able to code in HTML if you want to take things even further as well as insert custom and hidden form fields to pass on cookie data to other pages on your website.

Conclusion

That concludes this article, we’ve taken a quick look at some of the most prominent WordPress landing page builder, these are only four examples of WordPress Landing Page Builders there are probably a dozen more of those out there.

So make sure you do your due diligence before choosing one, although these four mentioned within the article are a great starting point for your research!

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The Only Surefire Way to Protect Your WordPress Sites in 2019

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If you’ve been reading this blog, chances are you’re taking your blog and business seriously, right?

If so, why don’t you insure your blog and back up it?

You have insurance on your home, your pets, why not your blog?

Imagine you are locked out of your WordPress site, or your site crashes, leaving you with nothing.  

All of your work down the drain.

A site could go down in a million different ways, including bad plugins, server crashes, malware, user errors, buggy updates and tons of other things. Most of these scenarios are beyond your control, but all would be detrimental to your site.

Your site could easily go down next.

Get this, on average, 30,000 websites are hacked every day.

You might think, “I’m just a startup, I’m just a independent business, why would a cyber criminal target me?”

Hackers don’t target anyone. They have automatic scanning tools that search the internet for any vulnerable websites to attack and claim as their own using a malicious code. Once they have your site, they lock you out and you are left with nothing.

Your site, your hard work and your money – all down the drain. Cyber criminals have everything that you have created, and worse, all of your personal and financial information would be attached to a website that you can no longer access. If you don’t protect your website, your helping cyber criminals take down small business owners.

Can you afford to risking losing your website and your income without warning? If you WordPress site got hacked, corrupted or erased, you would lose everything. This includes content, comments, images, data, plugins, database and TIME.

How will you support yourself as you as you rebuild everything from scratch?

So how do you fully protect your blog?

Why let a glitch take your entire website away from you?

You protect all of your other valuable belongings, so take the same precautionary steps with your blog. Spend a few minutes backing up your WordPress site before you have to completely rebuild it. You owe it to yourself to back-up the site that you have worked long and hard to create.

So how do you protect yourself?

Well, there are two ways.

First, buy ‘preventive’ plugins and softwares that attempt to thwart the attacks which is important, but still not a full-proof system.

Why? Because if your site does go down… that it.

Game over.

That’s why as a serious blogger you MUST make sure that if your site goes down you have a solid backup plan to restore it.

So as an avid blogger, that’s where I knew their was a big problem to solve and created Wp Twin.

I’m proud to say WP Twin is the only time tested software you need to instantly back-up your entire WordPress, no matter how big helping over 2 million users.

It’s so easy to backup your site there’s no excuse.

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Upload the clone script to your WordPress.

  1. Navigate to the clone page and click a button to clone to fully clone your site.

  1. Download the clone file to your computer or device. (Note: you can also delete the clone file from your database to save space and for security reasons)

  1. Upload the clone script & file to your new site, navigate to the redeploy page and click a button… that’s it! Now you’ve successfully cloned your entire site and moved it to a new domain.

If anything happens, don’t rebuild your site from scratch. Have unharmed a twin just waiting to be deployed and pick right up where you left off as if nothing even happened.

Plus, you can benefit from site cloning multiple ways.

WP Twin is also a beneficial  marketing tool, too.

Instead of hours or weeks of manual labor creating websites for clients, instantly clone any website you want in seconds to rank for different long-tail keywords. Clone any site! If you need to create sales letters, OTO pages, or want to sell websites to offline businesses, save time and money by cloning with a click.

As a blogger, time is important and I know I don’t have hours to waste setting up a site from scratch.

And best of all this is NOT plugin that could crash when you need it most.

You don’t drive your car and just hope nothing happens to it. You protect yourself and your belongings with insurance and you should do the same for your WordPress site. Instead of hoping nothing happens to your site, now there’s no excuse not to secure it.

 

This resource guide was written by Ben Murray, who is the cofounder of WpTwin, the top, time tested WordPress backup, clone, and restore solution helping a customers a record 2 million times. While this software is normally a high-ticket price, because Ben’s a fan of this blog’s readers so you can get a special no-monthly fee discount and ‘Agency Rights’ to unlimited clones today. 

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6 Reasons Why WordPress is a Great CMS for Your Brand

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Talking about the versatility of the web stage, the examination guarantees that consistently, the quantity of WordPress clients develops by multi year-on-year. One of the significant purposes of this amazing number is the open source form that has permitted web engineers to send WordPress rapidly. Its free-form empowers web experts to quicken time-to-go on the web. What’s more, WordPress facilitating as an administration has likewise earned trust due to a few factors, for example, strong move down security, the speed of administration, technical support and so on. In an offer to pick the best WordPress hosting, it winds up basic to lay spotlight on what has settled on WordPress a favoured decision for utilization among web experts. This article will lay accentuation on those seven factors that will disclose to you why.


Improved client administration

WordPress is produced on a stage that utilizations modern programming dialects, for example, PHP, SQL and JavaScript. However, keeping in mind the end goal to utilize WordPress, it isn’t vital that you know every one of these dialects. This is on the grounds that you can physically introduce WordPress from WordPress.org to profit a WordPress site for yourself. When you get a WordPress site for yourself, you don’t have to stress over programming and security refreshes since they are programmed. As for client abilities, WordPress enables in excess of one client to deal with the CMS. Along these lines, on the off chance that you need to deal with altering or distributing duties to a colleague, this should be possible effectively. Besides, since WordPress is an easy to understand interface, the time taken to adjust to the CMS is likewise less. Every one of these variables are in charge of making WordPress easy to utilize.

Incredible for SEO

WordPress has empowered its clients with the favourable position to climb in Google’s SERP ( web index comes about page). As a stage, WordPress has enabled clients to deal with essential components, for example, HTML markup, Permalinks, Headings and Title labels, Optimized pictures and substance curation. As for HTML markup, WordPress makes straightforward pages in HTML which can be deciphered via web search tools. To the extent permalinks are concerned, WordPress has been produced with a characteristic capacity to peruse posts and pages containing watchwords for web crawlers to lift them up. This enables clients to control the substance inside the connection. Title labels and headings enable Google to extract the data on the page though, with pictures, WordPress enables you to streamline the same further with ALT labels and additionally portrayals.

Simple to utilize CMS

In an offer to make content distributing substantially less demanding, WordPress has enabled clients with stunning capacities. As a stage, it isn’t just straightforward as far as usefulness yet additionally has a plenty of choices to upgrade content curation. Allow us to clarify how. Right off the bat, it has given clients a one next to the other visual-to-content dashboard with a specific end goal to flip between composed forms. When clients are finished written work content, they can tap on the review catch to get a look at the same. Also, the substance composed gets auto-spared in the CMS. In this way, in the event that there is a power disappointment, the client can continue composing content from the last spared case. Further, as you make and create more substance, WordPress encourages you to streamline and upgrade the nature of the substance. This can enable you to make a superior work process for the substance of your site. Besides with modules like Editflow, you can likewise scale and improve your substance generation.

Adaptability and smoothness of plan

At whatever point you are utilizing a dashboard, your slightest desire is that its plan ought to be sufficiently straightforward to enable you to explore with no issues. Nonetheless, WordPress has surpassed those desires. In the event that you purchase a premium or even a free record, the dashboard’s plan components are predictable and don’t switch layers or hues like most CMSes do. Regardless of whether you include advanced additional items or reconciliations. Talking about reconciliations, WordPress enables you to embed client advantageous modules like WooCommerce to enable you to adapt. Likewise, let us not overlook the parallax plan that makes route less complex through the CMS and the simplified component which facilitates document and substance transfers on the CMS. The greater part of this is conceivable in light of the fact that WordPress’ plan is simple and adaptable. Presently, to the extent overseeing documents is concerned, WordPress as a CMS does not require an FTP not does it require HTML supervisor to alter, erase transfer, download any records or recordings through the site.

Impressive security bolster

What could be superior to anything a powerful security bolster that sweeps malware and naturally refreshes the framework often? WordPress has a solid tech group that works towards making the stage a projected goal. Since they comprehend the significance of a safe stage, they have facilitated the procedure of reconciliation computerized security endorsements like SSL. Alongside security refreshes, WordPress advises its clients of programming refreshes which has the most recent form of insurance abilities. In addition, the joining of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) assault mitigator SiteLock and reinforcement apparatus CodeGuard has made the stage secure than any time in recent memory. In this way, in the event that you ever consider purchasing the best WordPress facilitating, inquire as to whether he enables you to incorporate SiteLock and additionally CodeGuard to anchor your WordPress site in the most ideal way that is available.

Inventive incorporations

WordPress has investigated every possibility opposite its highlights. In any case, they didn’t stop with highlights. WordPress broadened this use through additional items and reconciliations also. One of the key mixes that has surprised the web network are microinteractions. Microinteractions are minute intelligent components that are utilized to improve WordPress sites in totality. This component, predominantly utilized as an instrument to draw in clients has ended up being a differentiator for some WordPress site proprietors. Likewise, VR (Virtual Reality) based topics have additionally been coordinated much of the time, on account of WordPress’ developing innovation.

Conclusion

WordPress’ decent variety and adaptability makes it a favoured CMS for web experts world over. With an ever-increasing number of individuals joining the WordPress people group, we anticipate that the number will ascend to 40% of clients worldwide in the following couple of years. Extraordinary compared to other best WordPress hosting suppliers that have helped clients move to WordPress around the globe are ResellerClub. Their WordPress facilitating plans are justified regardless of a take and meet worldwide models as far as administration.

Along these lines, here is trusting that WordPress advances further as it has been developing and keeps on astounding its clients and improve things less complex and.

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